“We do not believe in violence. But the system targets poor people to benefit the rich through violent means. So we also resort to violence to root out the violent system,” said Maoist leader Prasad, while talking to a local Oriya chanel (OTV) on Monday.
Talking from an undisclosed location, Andhra Orissa Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) top leader Prasad said that people of south Orissa had fought against the British under the leadership of freedom fighter Laxman Nayak for their rights over land, forest and water and now the Maoists are doing the same.
“The government has put hundreds of people, including innocent tribals, in jail on the pretext of they being Maoists just because they have been fighting for land, forest and water. We have abducted the Malkangiri collector (R Vineel Krishna) in protest,” he said.
Prasad demanded the release of those people as well of that of their leaders like Ghanti Prasad, Srinivaslu Ramulu and Padma. He also demanded that the Polavaram project, which is allegedly displacing poor people, should be scrapped.
Prasad admitted that the combing operation in Orissa has stopped after the beginning of talks between the Orissa government and the mediators. “But it still continues in Andhra Pradesh. The Orissa government should prevail upon the Andhra Pradesh government to halt all operations,” he said.