Government asked to initiate dialogue with leftist rebels


New Delhi: The government should initiate “an unconditional dialogue” with leftist rebels and put an end to all anti-Maoist hostilities to secure peaceful solution to the problems of the people in leftist insurgency-hit states, a rights groups said Tuesday.

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Citizens Initiative for Peace (CIP), a collective of civil right activists and academics, also exhorted on the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) and other leftist armed groups to give up violence and facilitate a ceasefire in the areas where the rebels hold sway.

In its public meeting in the national capital the CIP demanded that the government should peacefully address the basic problems of the people in the tribal areas of central India.

“The government should first stop the offensive in the areas when the CPI-Maoist and other Naxalite groups (as the leftist rebels are commonly known as) are active,” the CIP said in its resolution.

The demand comes as the government is all set to launch its biggest coordinated offensive planned against Maoist guerrillas, codenamed Operation Green Hunt.

Some 75,000 federal paramilitary forces along with personnel drawn from the state police are expected to carry out the offensive against the Maoists. It is likely to be launched in November, according to home ministry officials.

Six districts in the worst hit states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Maharashtra will be the focus of the operations initially.

The operation has already attracted criticism from rights groups, who say the use of “military” power will further alienate the people in these areas, where the rebels are alleging that common people are exploited and deprived of natural resources.

“Using force against people will not solve any problem… it will engender a culture of violence,” the CIP said.

Asking the CPI-Maoist to “cease all hostilities against the state forces to facilitate the ceasefire,” the CIP said the armed conflict relegates to the background the problems of the people they claim to represent.

“They must realise that politics in the better alternative to achieve their aims as against guns,” it said.

Prominent among those who represent the CIP include Justice (retd) Rajindar Sachar, former foreign secretary Muchkund Dubey, activist Medha Patkar, lawyer Teesta Salvad, human rights activist Binayak Sen, Rabi Ray and Kuldeep Nayar.

The group also presented before the media some tribes people who alleged that state forces had unleashed a rein of terror in the name of anti-Maoist operations.

Activists from Maoist-hit states gave reports on the conditions in their areas.