Tue, Aug 17 11:03 PM
Kolkata: Two days after the president and the prime minister asked the Maoists to abjure violence and come to the discussion table, top Maoist leader Kishenji tonight suggested a three-month ceasefire by both sides and talks for a peace process.
"The president and the prime minister, in their Independence Day speeches, have appealed to the Maoists to abjure violence. We are never for violence but the government has instigated us to take up arms," Kishenji told PTI from an undisclosed destination.
"When our comrade Azad was preparing ground for talks, he was treacherously killed... So, it is very clear from the activities of the government that they don't want any peace," Kishenji said.
The Maoist leader claimed there were "some reports from the prime minister's office that Mamata Banerjee has been asked to work as a mediator. If she agrees, then we have no problem".
Kishenji suggested some names of mediators, like a group of intellectuals including writer Arundhati Roy, singer and Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman, BD Sharma, Gopal Narlekar and Ramanna.
"But we will not declare ceasefire unilaterally unless there are some positive steps from the government," Kishenji said.
"If the prime minister is keen to restore peace and normalcy in the disturbed areas of the country, then he will have to take an initiative to withdraw joint forces and order a judicial inquiry into the murder of Azad," he said.
He said that the prime minister in his Independence Day speech had vowed to fight terrorism and corruption.
"We are always against terrorism and corruption of any kind... It has been our party's mandate to fight corruption and so we are mobilising people all over the country to ensure that they raise their voice against injustice which has been meted out to them," the Maoist leader said.
Referring to the drought in West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, he said, "We appeal to the government to sanction Rs500 crore to each drought-hit district of these states."
Kishenji also demanded that the Rs8,000 crore that had been sanctioned for modernisation of police force and Rs60 lakh per day being spent for the anti-Naxal operation be utilised for employment and income generation schemes in underdeveloped districts of the country.