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Archive for February 25th, 2010

Chidambaram’s Response: “Maoists Must Abjure Violence for Talks”

Posted by Ka Frank on February 25, 2010

This article appeared on India Blooms on February 24, 201o.

“Maoists must abjure violence for talks”

New Delhi:  Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday questioned the seriousness of the Maoists in holding talks while reiterating that the rebels must abjure violence if they are indeed for peace.

“All I want the Maoists to say are four words: We will abjure violence. I have said this earlier also,” said Chidambaram reacting to a question at the NDTV Indian of the Year function when told that a “courtship” has unfolded over exchange of phone numbers with the Maoists after rebel leader Kishenji provided a phone number to the Home Ministry for holding talks after the ministry gave them a fax number.

He said he told the Maoists that if they abjured violence then he would get back within 72 hours after speaking to the Prime Minister and other concerned like the chief ministers of eastern states. 

”Three hours after their statement (of ceasefire) they attacked a joint patrol party (in West Bengal’s Katapahari),” Chidambaram said questioning the sincerity of the rebels in holding talks in an atmosphere of peace.

The Maoists made a ceasefire offer but followed it up by an attack at the Katapahari CRPF camp in West Midnapore district. 

Maoist-backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) president Lalmohan Tudu was killed in the encounter along with two others, police claimed.

The police force, with their morale down since the Silda camp attack that left 24 jawans dead, on Tuesday tasted a semblance of success after the Katapahari camp attack was foiled and Tudu killed.

On Tuesday, the Maoists gave a mobile number to the Union Home Ministry to call them for talks.

Maoist leader Kishenji told the media the home ministry’s representative could call them on the mobile number 9734695789 after 5pm on Thursday, Feb 25.

Chidambaram’s talk offer drama: Kishenji’s aide

Indo Link, February 25, 2010

New Delhi: An aide of top Maoist leader Kishenji today dismissed the offer of talks by Home Minister P Chidambaram to naxals as a “drama”, saying he doesn’t want to talk but to control and dominate the people who are talking about their rights.

On the telephone number given to them by the Home Ministry to fax their proposal, he said, “he (Chidambaram) has laid many traps. This is Chidambaram’s ‘natak’ (drama). “”Chidambaram’s offer is of 72 hours. He really doesn’t want to talk. He wants to control and dominate the people of jangalmahal here who are talking about their rights and he wants to silence them,” Raju, an aide of Kishenji, told NDTV. “We are willing to ceasefire for 72 days, not just 72 hours if state terror stops,” he said.

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Maoists Offer 72 Day Cease-Fire and Talks With Indian Government

Posted by Ka Frank on February 25, 2010

This article appeared in the Washington Post on February 23, 2010.

This is a very significant (and politically astute) offer.  Singh and Chidambaram will have a hard time rejectiing this peace initiative by the Maoists. The terms are simple–both sides stop military operations in order to begin negotiations.  The CPI (Maoist) has stated that stopping all mining operations and tearing up the MoUs in the adivasi areas, and releasing villagers accused of Maoist ties during Operation Green Hunt are at the top of their negotiating agenda.

The Maoists are also making an attempt to reach out to liberal intellectuals and human rights groups who have generally opposed military actions by both the government and the Maoists while exposing the government’s human rights abuses. The Maoists have also timed the 72 day cease fire period to expire on May 7, around the time of the arrival of the monsoons, which makes it very difficult to launch new military operations.  It will be interesting to see what the government does.

Maoist rebel offers cease-fire, talks with India

NEW DELHI –India responded cautiously Tuesday to an offer by a top Maoist guerrilla leader for a cease-fire and talks with the government, with the home minister saying he would wait for a formal proposal before considering the offer. Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said he wanted a short, simple statement from the rebels without preconditions before responding to the offer by Kishenji, a senior Maoist leader in eastern India.

On Monday, Kishenji told television channel NDTV in the eastern state of Orissa that “Our revolutionary violence will stay on hold for as long as state terror is put on hold.” If the government puts “violence on hold, not for 72 hours but for 72 days, then we will immediately stop our revolutionary violence,” Kishenji said.

That would require the government to halt its Operation Green Hunt offensive – aimed at flushing the militants out of their forest hide-outs – from Thursday until May 7.

Kishenji also called for “liberal intellectuals and human rights groups” to mediate talks between the rebels and the government.  But the government ruled out any preconditions for talks with the rebels. “I would like no ‘ifs,’ no ‘buts’ and no conditions. Once I receive the statement, I shall consult the prime minister and other colleagues and respond promptly,” Chidambaram said in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »

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