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‘Maoists ready for talks, peace’

“It is not clear whether they are sincere in their attempt to have a dialogue with the Maoists. The PM said during the 15 August address that Maoists should abjure violence. Maoists are ready but the steps from the government's side are awaited.”

KOLKATA, 2 JAN: Maoists are ready for a dialogue and ceasefire provided the Union government agrees to an impartial inquiry into the killing of Azad, spokesman of the Central Committee of the CPI (Maoist) and a member of its Politburo, said Swami Agnivesh today.
Speaking at a press conference here, he said that he had filed a writ petition in Supreme Court on 15 September, 2010 against the Union government demanding a judicial inquiry into the killing of Azad. “The court will open tomorrow and the case will come up next week. I will appear in the court as petitioner in person,” he said. He said he had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 20 July and was assured by him that he would take up the issue with the Union home minister, Mr P Chidambaram, and the decision would be disclosed in five-six days. But till now nothing has been done, he said.
Agnivesh said: “It is not clear whether they are sincere in their attempt to have a dialogue with the Maoists. The PM said during the 15 August address that Maoists should abjure violence. Maoists are ready but the steps from the government’s side are awaited.” He claimed that Azad and journalist, Hem Pandey, were killed in fake encounters and there are enough evidence to substantiate that. He said he would not write to Maoists anymore, as he “feels guilty that Azad was killed while carrying his letter.” He condemned the life sentence given to Binayak Sen and said that the judgment “has lowered the image of the judiciary in the eyes of the people”. He demanded that Sen be “honorably acquitted and given the highest civilian award for serving humanity.” Twenty-eight Nobel Laureates, including Amartya Sen and Noam Chomsky, have extended their support to him and have condemned the judgment. “We will fight the case in Bilaspur High Court and in Supreme Court, if needed,” he said.
Swami Agnivesh said that they have launched a campaign called “India Against Corruption” with Dr Kiran Bedi, Anna Hazare, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Baba Ramdev, former joint director of CBI, Mr BR Lall, and former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Mahasweta Devi and Mr Justice Shyamal Sen along with others. They will organise a march on 30 January from Rajghat in New Delhi in protest against the absence of “a third agency to investigate corruption of high level people. The CBI is manipulated while the CVC is toothless.” More than 10,000 people have lodged complaints at the Parliament Police Station against Mr Kalmadi for bungling Rs 70,000 crore for Commonwealth Games but till now the FIR has not been lodged. He also demanded revision of the draft Lokpal Bill.

Violence feared in elections
Swami Agnivesh today said the Trinamul Congress could also be raising a Harmad Vahini like that of the CPI-M and this is going to be the “bloodiest elections ever in the history of the state”. He urged the parties to maintain peace and said that very soon he would call Miss Mamata Banerjee and Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee for a peace talk. He said that though he doesn’t have “direct information, some Trinamul supporters have conveyed to him that they will retaliate with full force if CPI-M resorts to violence”. He said that a citizens’ watchdog committee would be formed to oversee the election process.

Soma Basu

Soma Basu

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