Over 100 camps housing armed vigilante gangs of the Communist Part of India (Marxist) exist across the districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia—the Jungle Mahal area—who provide active, illegal support to central paramilitary forces' and police's operations against the Maoists…The Maoists have only five per cent of the sophisticated arms possessed by the CPI (M) vigilante gangs (Harmad vahini).
These are excerpts from a letter sent by CPI (Maoist)'s top leader Mallojula Koteswar Rao alias Kishenji to activist Swami Agnivesh, who is mediating for proposed peace talks with the Centre.
The letter was signed Kishenji, spokesperson of the CPI(Maoist)'s Central Committee (Eastern Bureau).
In the letter, Kishenji asked Agnivesh to "organise a fact-finding team for Bengal to investigate the extent of atrocities of joint forces and harmads (vigilante gangs) in Jungle Mahal".
"The West Bengal government must be compelled to allow the team to move freely in Jungle Mahal to see the massive presence of the harmad camps."
Kishenji asked Agnivesh to push for an independent probe by "human rights and democratic activists into the killing of comrades Azad, Sudhakar Reddy and Appa Rao".
"I thank Kishenji for his sincerity and commitment towards the peace process, his letter means the Maoists have resumed talks to prepare for a mutually acceptable peace settlement," Agnivesh told HT.