WB govt ready to negotiate for release of cop

Last Updated: Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 00:32

Kolkata: The West Bengal government on Wednesday
said it was ready to negotiate with Maoists if there was any
concrete proposal from them for the release of an abducted
police officer after his family met Chief Minister Buddhadeb
Bhattacharjee.

"The government is ready to hold negotiations with
the Maoists if they give any concrete proposal. But all their
conditions as told to the media cannot be accepted," Chief
Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty told reporters.

"We also have to keep in mind that the Maoists shot
dead two police officers at the Sankrail police station in
cold blood, besides kidnapping the officer-in-charge
(Atindranath Dutta)," he said.

"Let us see whether they give any specific proposal,"
he said.

Earlier DGP Bhupinder Singh said their primary job is
to find the kidnapped officer.

"We are doing our duty. Negotiation is not part of our
job," he said.

Yesterday, after the storming of the police station,
Maoist leader Kishenji had demanded release of all tribal
women arrested during anti-Naxal operations in West Midnapore
district to free Dutta.

"Our main purpose is to secure the release of the
police officer. But how and when we cannot say," Chakraborty
said.

Chakraborty differed with Singh`s remark that the
police were accepting the `challenge` thrown by the Maoists.

"I will not call it a challenge. Our main concern is
to free the officer," the chief secretary said.

"If they have spoken about challenge, we must take it
up. But we have to be careful in our operations taking into
consideration the threat to the officer`s life. We are not
going to retreat," Singh said.

Asked whether the attack was a result of the failure
of the police, the DGP said "failure is a strong word. They
overpowered us. This was a soft target because Sankrail was
never identified as a Maoist area. Now forces are being
redeployed in Sankrail and adjoining areas."

Yesterday`s operation was carried out by Maoists from
the state as well as those from Jharkand and Orissa with one
or two women cadre, he said.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee met Dutta`s
wife Indrani, two-year-old daughter Oindrakshi, brother-in-law
Sanjiv Dutta and parents at the state secretariat.

"I have listened to you carefully and I have
everything in mind. The government will act to get the officer
released and his safety and security will be properly
considered," Sanjiv Dutta said quoting Bhattacharjee.

The chief minister also held an emergency meeting with
senior officials shortly after meeting the officer`s family.

Bhattacharjee will leave for Delhi tomorrow to attend
the CPI-M Central Committee meeting and is likely to discuss
the attack issue with the Centre.

Bureau Report



First Published: Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 00:32

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