Hindustan Times: Maoists agreed to talk, with conditions

Kolkata, June 25, 2010

The Communist Party of India (Maoist) is ready to observe a ceasefire if the Centre halts its anti-Maoist operations and fulfill some other conditions, a spokesperson of the banned outfit has claimed in a letter to social activist Swami Agnivesh.

The letter appears to be a response to Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s letter of May 11 to Agnivesh, requesting him to try to persuade the Maoist leadership to hold talks with the Centre. Chidambaram’s letter came after Agnivesh held a peace rally from Raipur to Dantewada from May 6-8.

The Maoists’ typed three-page letter to Agnivesh is dated May 31 and has been signed by the party’s Central Committee spokesperson Azad.

The letter also said the Union government would have to release some of their top-level leaders from jail so that they can hold talks on behalf of the party.

Agnivesh confirmed having received a response from the Maoists but declined to disclose the details to Hindustan Times. “It’s a personal letter and extremely confidential. I can in no way divulge its contents,” he said on the phone.

Agnivesh is believed to have informed the government about receiving the letter.

The letter, a copy of which is available with HT, demands that the government lift the ban on the party and its mass organisations to let them participate in “open forms of struggle”, once the ceasefire begins.

The letter reads, “The practical measure to really ensure peace is the declaration of mutual ceasefire for a period of two to three months to start with…to ensure the establishment of peace there should be ceasefire by both sides simultaneously.”

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