Home India News Only ceasefire can pave way for talks: Maoist sympathiser

Only ceasefire can pave way for talks: Maoist sympathiser

By Mohammed Shafeeq, IANS,

Hyderabad : The government is not sincere in talks with the Maoists and a simultaneous ceasefire by both sides alone can pave way for talks, said Left-wing sympathiser Varavara Rao here Wednesday.

“The talk of Maoist abjuring violence before the talks will not take us anywhere. The government is not talking of ceasefire and this shows it is not sincere,” the writer told IANS.

Rao, who heads an association of revolutionary writers, was reacting to union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai’s statement that Maoists would have to abjure violence before peace talks could be started.

Rao wants the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government to emulate its own government in Andhra Pradesh which declared a ceasefire for eight months in 2004 for first-ever direct talks with Maoists.

“Abjuring violence is a vague term. In Maoist parlance it is the state which is indulging in violence and all the tools of violence are in the hands of state. All that Maoists are resorting to is counter and revolutionary violence,” said Rao, who had acted as mediator in the peace talks in Andhra Pradesh.

“The government is talking as if it is acting in accordance with the constitution and abiding by rule of law,” said Rao.

He feels a meaningful peace process could start only when both sides agree to a mutual and simultaneous ceasefire for a specific period.

“Both sides should not use weapons, the ban on the party should be lifted, the government should stop Operation Green Hunt, stop encounter killings, withdraw paramilitary forces and release leadership from jail,” Rao said.

“This is what their own government did in Andhra Pradesh. The congenial atmosphere was created for talks but it is a different issue that the talks failed as the government did not address the issue of land reforms raised by the Maoists,” he recalled.

Varavara Rao said Maoist leader Koteshwar Rao alias Kishanji’s offer for talks was not new, and pointed out that several top leaders had made similar offers in the past but the government did not respond to create congenial atmosphere, he said.

He alleged that Communist Party of India (Maoist) spokesman Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad, who was working to create an atmosphere favourable for talks was picked up by police in Nagpur (Maharashtra) and murdered in cold blood in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh.

He said though there have been demands from various quarters for a judicial probe into his killing, the central government is not sincere and it is trying to pass the buck by stating that it is for state government to order a probe.

(Mohammed Shafeeq can be contacted at [email protected])