On Day 1 of the 48-hour deadline Maoists set the Chhattisgarh government to meet their demands in exchange for the release of four policemen, the state sought the help of the Andhra Pradesh government to negotiate with the ultras to resolve the crisis.
After Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh held a meeting of top officials on Monday, state Home Minister Nanki Ram Kanwar told HT the neighbouring state’s help was sought because of its experience in negotiating with Maoists.
Besides, intelligence officials have said that the rebels are likely to have taken the four abducted policemen from Bijapur district in the Maoist-affected Bastar region to Andhra Pradesh.
HT had on Monday broken the story about Maoists having killed three of seven abducted policemen on September 19.
Kanwar said the state government would not be able to meet the rebels’ first demand that their jailed leaders and comrades be set free. “The government cannot interfere in the matter as it is before the courts,” the minister said.
“The Maoists talk about initiating the peace process. How can it be possible when they also demand that the central forces be withdrawn unilaterally?” the minister asked.
The state police however are clueless about the whereabouts of their abducted colleagues and have sought the help of the Special Intelligence Bureau of AP to trace the policemen.
Three districts of Andhra Pradesh — Khammam, Warangal and Karimnagar —share common borders with Bijapur.
The Maoists have threatened to kill the four policemen if the state government fails to meet their demands in two days.