New Delhi: A Congress MP from Orissa
today said an inquiry into the encounter of top Maoist leader
Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad was necessary to keep alive the
"honest" initiatives of engaging Naxalites in a dialogue.
"At a time when talks for a dialogue(with naxalites)
were on and some naxalite was trying to take initiative in
this direction, someone like Azad is killed. It then becomes
necessary to conduct an inquiry to keep initiatives and honest
efforts alive in a democracy," Congress MP Niyamgiri Bhakta
Charan Das said.
"Why can`t it be done?", he said at a conference on
`Maoist Challenge` organised jointly by Global Centre of
Tension Diffusion and Peace Initiatives (TENDIFF) and Central
Association of Private Security Industry (CAPSI) here.
Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad, a senior member of CPI
(Maoist) Central Committee was gunned down by Andhra Pradesh
police along with another associate Hem Chandra Pandey on July
two in an encounter.
Prominent social activist Swami Agnivesh had on July 9
demanded a judicial inquiry into the killing. He, however, had
said that the demand was turned down by Home Minister P
Chidambaram, saying such a step could only be taken by the
Andhra Pradesh government as the encounter took place in
Das, a former union minister, claimed that the
encounter of Azad has created a "incredible situation" at a
time when initiatives were being taken by various quarters to
engage Maoists in a dialogue with the government.
"Government is addressing several among us in this
regard and our initiatives are failed. (An) encounter is
carried out. It creates an incredible situation," the MP from
"....when a dialogue can be initiated with China and
Pakistan, why not with the one here from whom peace can be
bought," he added.
Das also opposed use of force against Maoists. "We
cannot solve the (Maoist) issue through violence in the
sensitive areas of forest. I oppose it."
Speaking at the conference, Congress leader and former
MP from Madhya Pradesh`s Bundelkhand Dev Vrat Chaturvedi
agreed that there should be a dialogue between government and
Maoists but said, "to initiate it, there has to be an honest
environment and mutual trust."
He said that Maoists should first abjure violence and
surrender their weapons before expecting a dialogue with the