Maoists want Arundhati, Kabir Suman as mediators for talks with Centre

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Kolkata, Mar 7 (ANI): The Maoists ultras on Sunday said that they would be interested in talks with the Centre with writer Arundhati Roy and singer-turned-politician Kabir Suman being mediators in it.

Speaking to a private news channel Maoists leader Koteshwar Rao alias Kishanji said his group would stop violence if the Centre invited intellectuals and rights activists like Arundhati Roy, Kabir Suman and former IAS officer B D Sharma to mediate in peace talks.

Kishanji demanded that the government should stop the ongoing operations against Maoists to pave way for talks.

He also demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should announce halting of operations.

Koteshwar Rao also claimed that he is not directly involved in the kidnapping of Bankura school headmaster, Ranjit Duley, and that "people" have kidnapped him to protest torture by security forces.

On Friday evening, Duley was kidnapped from the school in Sarulia village of Bankura District in which he was working.

The Maoists have issued a 48-hour ultimatum. They demanded the West Bengal government to release six men arrested on the charges of involving in the murder of a police officer Rabi Lochan Mitra.

Meanwhile, Arundhati Roy has said that though she is ready to be an independent observer if the government agrees to hold peace talks with the Maoists but cannot act as a representative for the Maoists.

"I am a writer, I don't have the skills of a mediator," Roy said. (ANI)

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