Are Maoists really serious about bringing peace?

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New Delhi, June 23 (ANI): The Maoists' attempt to distance themselves from Gyaneshwari Express train mishap, statements disowning the key accused Bapi Mahato, encouraging speculation about its spokesperson Azad's letter to a leading social activist hinting ultra's 'readiness' for talks, on conditions apparently not acceptable to the government, indicate some rethinking among them.

The objective may be to gain time to formulate a new strategy to regroup and relaunch.

As the anti- Maoist operations are gaining upper hand along the so called red corridor, in the six central Indian states-Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Orissa, the Maoists are evidently searching for a new way to escape from heat of the operations.

Reportedly, Maoists spokesperson Azad has written a letter to leading social activist Swami Agnivesh expressing his group's willingness to come to the negotiation table on some conditions.

These developments clearly show that Maoists are becoming conscious that public anger is increasing against them especially after the May 28 Gyaneshwari Express train mishap.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had repeatedly asked the Maoists to abjure violence at least for 72 hours before the talks could be initiated.

However, no serious response was made from the Maoists side; rather they continued to indulge in violent activities and disturb civilian life.

Now the Maoists put three conditions for talks-the Centre has to repeal the ban put on CPI (Maoists), the awards announced for the information on various Maoists leaders should be taken back and the ongoing operations in six Naxal affected states should be stopped.

It is well known fact the People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) is a front organization of the Maoists, and Mahato was an active member of the group.

Due to the increasing public anger the Maoists now disowning Mahato and his team's act.

Maoists ideologue, Varavara Rao has also made statements indicating a serious debate on all these issues among top Naxal ranks and even at Maoist Central Committee.

The new developments is seen as attempts to regain lost public sympathy and gain time to regroup .

After the conclusion of his three-day padayatra from Raipur to Dantewada, Agnivesh had announced that he would hold a round table conference to discuss the issue in Dantewada next month.

Will the Maoists respond to Swami Agnivesh ? By Shreeraj Gudi (ANI)

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