Halt violence, come forward for talks: Chidambaram to Maoists
Home Minister P Chidambaram today said the government had not asked the Maoists to lay down their arms as it was "too realistic" to know that they would not do so, but reiterated his appeal to the left wing radicals to halt the violence and come forward for talk.See specialdelhi Updated: Oct 30, 2009 21:58 IST
Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday said the government had not asked the Maoists to lay down their arms as it was "too realistic" to know that they would not do so, but reiterated his appeal to the left wing radicals to halt the violence and come forward for talk.
"We have never said as far as Naxalites (Maoists) are concerned, to lay down arms. Because I am too realistic to know that they will not do so," Chidambaram told reporters, while presenting his ministry's monthly report card.
He stated that the rebels believed in armed revolution and "unless they changed the very character of their organisation they won't lay down their arms".
"We have always said, halt the violence and come and talk to us, talk to the state governments, we will facilitate such talks," Chidambaram said.
The home minister said he did not visualise a situation in the near future of the rebels surrendering their weapons.
"Laying down arms is far into the future but it is a primary duty of the state to end the violence."
The home minister's appeal comes amid unreleting incidents of violence by the leftist guerrillas in the past month where they have attacked police stations in West Bengal, ambushed paramilitary troopers in Maharashtra and also held a train and passengers hostage for five hours.
"It is only fair that we offer to them - halt the violence and come and talk to the state government."
In the same vein, the minister also asked civil rights groups not to ignore the acts of violence by Maoists.
Chidambaram said his appeals have so far evoked "disappointing" response from the rebels.
"The Maoists are still recruiting and procuring more arms. I am asking them to come forward for talks. If you sincerely espouse the cause of the poor, for their forest rights and development, if you are serious champions of the poor, come and talk."
Chidambaram said he was not in favour of Salwa Judum and added that the civil militia launched to fight the Maoists in Chhattisgarh was coming to an end.
"I don't favour non-state actors like Salwa Judum taking to arms. By and large Salwa Judum has come to an end. No more activities of Salwa Judum has come to my notice."