“We are willing for peace talks for the benefit of the people provided the government first removes the camps of armed forces from the conflict-ridden areas, revoke the ban imposed on the CPI (Maoist), and release our party leaders languishing in jails,” Vikalp, the spokesperson of Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee (CPI-Maoist) stated in the press statement issued in Hindi.
The spokesperson asserted that the present exploiters are the rulers (ruling class of political parties) and the real cause of the unrest of oppressed masses is not the Maoists. “The exercise of peace should be in the direction of ending the roots of the unrest. The civil society should focus on exposing the real problems faced by the masses, he added.
The Home Minister Tamradhwaj Sahu reacted to the Maoists’ proposal for talks saying that if they (rebels) are willing for dialogue with the government on peace then it has to be ‘unconditional’.
“Only after the talks are being held, the further discussion on the conditions would be feasible. And we have so far not received any authorised communication on peace talks from the Maoists. Any such dialogue process needs to involve the Centre as well as other states to chalk out the strategy”, the minister said.
The Maoist statement is seen as an apparent reaction to the 'New Peace Process', an initiative by the families of the victims of Maoist violence and also the sufferers from the security forces' actions are participating in the ongoing ‘Dandi March 2.0 which began on March 12 from Abujhmaad in Narayanpur district (south Bastar). It will culminate in Raipur on March 23.
“During our opinion poll conducted last year over phone, over 92% of the local population who participated sought to end the four decades of violence through the dialogue process. We are happy that the Maoists have responded. So let the peace talks happen. Our ongoing Dandi March also aims for the same. Even the Congress party in its manifesto had promised peace talks with the Maoists,” said Shubhranshu Choudhary, the convener of the 'New Peace Process'.