Centre not sincere about peace talks with Maoists: Agnivesh | india | Hindustan Times
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Centre not sincere about peace talks with Maoists: Agnivesh

india Updated: Sep 05, 2010 21:22 IST

Social activist Swami Agnivesh on Sunday accused the Centre of not being sincere about its proposed peace negotiations as it had not ordered a judicial probe into the death of CPI(ML) spokesperson Azad.

"The government is using me as a pawn to deal with Maoists", Agnivesh, who is a mediator in brokering talks between Maoists and the government, told reporters on the sidelines of the World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom in Kochi.

He said he met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on July 20 seeking a judicial probe into the killing of Azad, but nothing had happened so far.

Azad was gunned down by Andhra Pradesh police on July 2 in Vankhidi forest area at Jogapur in Adilabad.

Agnivesh said he also met BJP leaders L K Advani, Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh and CPI leaders A B Bardhan and D Raja asking them to put pressure on the government for a judicial probe into Azad's killing, but none of them responded.

He said he met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also in this regard on August 23, eight days before the four policemen were taken hostage, to put out a statement seeking a judicial probe.

Condemning the killing of a police official, he said the act by Maoists was not 'revolutionary conduct'.

While addressing the religious congress, Agnivesh said the Union Government must ensure that information on religion or caste is not recorded in school or academic registers as religion divides people.

"A child should have no religion upto the age of 18. The government must ensure that there should not be any claims for religion or caste in school register or academic register," he told a plenary session on Role of Religion in Promoting Human Rights.

"One should have the freedom to choose any religion after the age of 18," he said.

He advised students to "read all scriptures and know all religions".

"There is need to fight against injustice and social evils like gender inequality, female foeticide and bride burning," he said.