Chidambaram places fresh offer of talks before Maoists

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Lalgarh, Apr 4 (ANI): Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday made a fresh offer to the Maoists to come to negotiating table if they are really interested in bringing development to backward regions of the country.

Chidambaram made the offer during his visit to the Naxal heartland of Lalgarh in West Bengal's West Midanpore District.

Interacting with media, Chidambaram termed the Maoists as cowards.

"Naxals are cowards. Why are they hiding in forests? We have invited them for talks but after they abjure violence. If they really want development, if they really want to solve problems of the people, they are welcome to talk," Chidambaram said.

"I have said we can talk about anything in the world. They should just give up violence," he added.

He also criticized the Naxals for using tribal groups like People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) as a shield for their activities.

Expressing concern over the PCPA's support to the Naxals, Chidambaram said if they really are a problem, he was willing to lend his good offices for ensuring talks between them and the West Bengal Government.

Chidambaram appealed the villagers not to support the Maoists.

"I appealed to them not to provide any moral or material support to the Naxalites who can do no development for the people," he said.

Agreeing that villagers had reasons to be angry due to lack of development, Chidambaram said: "I told them the Naxals are killing you and will continue to kill you and they have no place in the society." (ANI)

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