Soren asks Maoists to give up violence
Responding to the Maoists' announcement of holding a dialogue on certain terms, Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren on Saturday appealed to them to give up violence and assured them that their terms would be considered.india Updated: Jan 30, 2010 20:15 IST
Responding to the Maoists' announcement of holding a dialogue on certain terms, Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren on Saturday appealed to them to give up violence and assured them that their terms would be considered.
"We have come to know the conditions of the Maoists through newspapers. We appeal to them to give up violence and we will consider the terms and conditions set by them," Soren told reporters here
The banned Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) had held a press conference for selected journalists at which it listed its terms for a dialogue.
"If the Soren government is serious on initiating dialogue, then it should make serious efforts to create a conducive environment for dialogue. We have doubts about Soren's talks offer as he could buckle under pressure of the central government and his alliance partner, BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party)," said Gopalji, CPI-Maoist spokesperson of Bihar, Jharkhand and North Chattisgarh special area committee, at the press conference.
The press conference was held somewhere on the Bihar-Jharkhand border and reports about it appeared in a section of newspapers on Saturday.
The terms announced by Gopalji include releasing jailed Maoists leaders, removing security forces including para military forces from schools and villages and others. The demand to release top ranking leaders include central committee leaders - Sushil Roy, Amitabh Bagchi, Mohit as well as women Maoist leaders, Shila and Anuradha.
The rebels also sought an end to government protection to other Maoist groups like People Liberation Front of India (PLFI), Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC), and others and withdrawal of cases against some of the Maoist leaders.
The CPI-Maoist leader, however, has ruled out possibility of laying down weapons ahead of the talks.
The rebels' terms for talks come just a day after Soren met union Home Minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi on the central goverment's proposed anti-Maoist operation. After the meeting, Soren had announced there were no differences between the central and state government over the polices on the Maoists.
Soren, who became chief minister Dec 30, had invited Maoists for dialogue. On one occasion, he had termed himself termed as the "biggest Maoist". "We invited Maoists for a dialogue to know what actually they want from us. Their genuine demands will be fulfilled," he said.