The rebels want ceasefire, lifting of ban on the outfit.
Naxalites may again find no takers in the UPA government for their latest talk offer. While the Naxalites want the ban on their outfit removed, a ceasefire from security forces and the release of their cadres from jails, the government wants the outlawed outfit to shun violence for any dialogue.
Top sources in the government told Business Standard that the centre was in no mood to bow to the demands of the Naxalites. “The armed operations against the Naxalites are showing results and we are determined to bring the areas influenced by the Naxalites under the control of civil administration,” a senior minister said. Home ministry officials also don’t rule out the possibility that the peace talk offer by Naxalites is a ploy to regroup.
Ever since the centre launched its renewed offensive against the Naxalites in West Bengal, Maharashtra, Bihar and Jharkhand, the rebels have offered to sit for talks, at least a couple of times. But each time, they gave a loaded offer and set down conditions. In their latest move, they want the government to fulfil the three conditions for a conducive atmosphere for talks.
Government sources, however, believe the peace attempts are desperate calls by the cornered Naxalites, as the security forces have stepped up the heat against them. The UPA government is determined that dialogue is possible only if they shun violence.
A few weeks ago, when the Naxalites offered talks through media, and even announced the possible mediators (writer Arundhati Roy, Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman), Home Minister P Chidambaram issued a statement, saying that he would like a short, simple statement form the Naxalites, saying: “We will abjure violence and we are prepared for talks”. The home minister also gave a fax number of his office for the Naxalites to send the fax.
The Naxalites, however, retaliated with more attacks and the government too, moved more forces into the disturbed areas. Azad, the spokesperson for Naxalites, recently said the government placed an offer of talks, but it didn’t spell out, if it would stop atrocities on the tribals.
The UPA government terms the Naxalite violence as the biggest threat to the country’s internal security. It has launched a counter-offensive through developmental works and armed operations against the Naxalites to bring back the hold of civil administration in these areas.