Maoist offer of talks is somewhat bizarre: Chidambaram

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New Delhi, March 2 (ANI): Union Minister for Home Affairs P. Chidambaram on Tuesday described the recent 'offer' made on behalf of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) to hold talks with the Central Government as bizarre.

"On February 22, 2010, the media reported a statement purported to have been made by Koteshwar Rao @ Kishenji, on behalf of the CPI (Maoist), offering to talk to the Government on condition that the Government (Centre and States) suspended their anti-naxal operations for 72 days. It was a somewhat bizarre offer," said Chidambarm while presenting the Ministry of Home Affairs' monthly report card for February today in the national capital.

Explaining the reasons behind terming the 'offer' of talks by the Maoists, Chidambaram said: " I just described the so-called offer of the CPI (Maoist) as bizarre. That is because, barely 3 hours after the so-called offer, the CPI (Maoist) attacked a joint patrol party of the West Bengal police and the CRPF in PS Lalgarh, district West Midnapore."

"The patrol party retaliated and three people were killed. In the 7 days since then, there have been 18 significant acts of violence in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal. These include landmine blasts, killing of civilians alleged to be police informers, attack on police parties, ambushing of trucks and other vehicles, and blasting of school buildings. I may point out that eleven lives have been lost including that of Inspector Ravi Lahan Mitra of PS Saranga, West Bengal," he added.

However, the Home Minister said that the government hasn't received any meaningful response to his offer made in February last week to the Maoists, provided they abjured violence.

"Many weeks ago, I had offered to facilitate talks with the CPI (Maoist) provided they abjured violence. There was no meaningful response to that offer. Nevertheless, on February 23, 2010 I esponded that if the CPI (Maoist) made a short, simple and unconditional statement that they would abjure violence, Government would be prepared to hold talks with them. I have eceived no response to my statement," said Chidambaram. (ANI)

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