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Iinitiate talks with Maoists without setting conditions: Bardhan

Posted by Admin on October 24, 2009

BA B Bardhanardhan talks push
OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Calcutta, Oct. 23: CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan today urged the Centre and the state to initiate talks with Maoists without setting conditions — a stand different from that of partner CPM which wants the rebels to lay down their arms first.

“Both the government and the Maoists should come forward for a dialogue without preconditions,’’ Bardhan said.

His stress on talks without “preconditions” indicated the difference between the CPI and the CPM, the bigger partner in the Left Front whose stand is at one with that of Union home minister P. Chidambaram.

The difference between the two front partners was also evident from Bardhan’s opposition to even restricted use of the army and the air force during the Centre’s planned anti-Maoist crackdown. The CPM has remained evasive on the issue, leaving it for Delhi to decide.

“The army should not be used against our countrymen. Police and paramilitary forces are enough to deal with internal security,” the CPI leader said.

Bardhan’s call for talks came a day after the state government secured release of a police officer in exchange for bail to 14 tribal women.

The CPI and the CPM also differ on the use of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in Bengal and the ban on the CPI (Maoist) under this law.

The CPI leader, however, endorsed the need for security forces in Lalgarh to contain Maoist violence. He also stressed the need to redress the grievances of people facing “exploitation and lack of development in tribal areas”.

Bardhan expressed relief over the release of Atindranath Dutta, the officer in charge of Sankrail, but cautioned that the government’s swap deal with the rebels could become a “precedent”.

He also accused Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee of helping the Maoists indirectly.

Bandimukti Committee, a civil liberties forum, today pointed out that the government had heeded armed Maoists and freed tribals while ignoring the same plea by rights groups for months. “It would send a signal that the government responds positively only to armed intervention and it (the government) has to bear its ramifications,’’ the committee’s Sujato Bhadra said. TT

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