Breaking News
Nagaland Post Logo
You are here:  Skip Navigation LinksHome » Show story
Maoists reject HM talks offer
Published on 19 May. 2010 12:42 AM IST
Print  Text Size

A top Maoist leader based in Chhattisgarh Tuesday rejected Home Minister P.Chidambaram’s offer of talks a day after the guerrillas massacred at least 31 people, triggering a bus blast in the state. He also warned of more attacks on policemen.
Ramanna, a top Maoist leader who reportedly masterminded April 6 killing of 76 policemen in Dantewada, Tuesday said talks were not possible until forces are withdrawn from the region.
‘There is a massive forces build-up and talks are not possible till they (forces) are withdrawn,’ Ramanna told a news channel from an undisclosed forested location in the restive Bastar region.
‘There is no question of giving up arms, the forces’ atrocities are on the rise day by day, and we hit the bus Monday to target the police force who were mixed up with civilians in the bus. I regret the killing of civilians but we will continue hitting policemen all over the country,’ the rebel leader said.
Chidambaram made a fresh offer of talks Tuesday in New Delhi, saying that talks could start if the guerrillas abjured violence for even 72 hours.
‘The Maoists should say we will suspend violence, and actually suspend violence from any day they fix for 72 hours. Within 72 hours, we’ll get the chief ministers’ support and we will respond,’ Chidambaram earlier told a television channel in the national capital.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, who visited Dantewada to the boost morale of policemen and civilians there, left for New Delhi late Tuesday to discuss with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the rise in red terror in his state.
A powerful landmine exploded under a bus with over 50 people Monday as it passed through a forested stretch in Dantewada district, killing at least 31 people, many of them civilians.
Maoist shutdown
Fear stalked large parts of Chhattisgarh as police totted the toll of the Maoist massacre the day before and disheartened security forces stayed in their camps Tuesday, when a shutdown called by the guerrillas hit four other states and the central government reiterated its offer of talks.
The shutdown called by the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) began -- a day after 31 people were killed when the guerrillas blasted a bus in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district -- amid fears of fresh attacks and crippled life in Bastar region as well as parts of Rajnandgaon and the rural areas of Raipur and Dhamtari districts.
Traffic was also disrupted in Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand where trains were diverted or cancelled and buses stayed off the roads in many places as the Maoist strike to protest a government offensive against them came into effect.
Life was affected in the Maoist strongholds of these states. Police were on alert though no untoward incident was reported.
In Chhattisgarh, however, the second deadly attack in Dantewada in 40 days spread fear and terror.
Police officials said 31 bodies, including 16 of security men, had been recovered and feared that the death toll could rise with 15 of the injured in very critical condition.
“In Bastar, an absolute terror-like situation is prevailing. Forces are hardly moving due to fears of Maoist attacks... they are feeling terrorised at their base camps,” said a senior official based in Jagdalpur in Bastar region, the sprawling 40,000 sq km area comprising five districts.
A policeman posted within five kilometres from the blast site at the Gadiras police station admitted that he and his colleagues were demoralised.
“I admit that forces in the interiors of Bastar have gone on the defensive. Neither state police nor paramilitary forces are ready with heart and mind to go after the Maoists in the thickly forested areas.”
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Governor Shekhar Dutt, Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar and Director General of Police Vishwa Ranjan visited Dantewada to condole the deaths and meet the injured.
Ranjan spelt out the challenges ahead.
“Up to 25,000 sq km of Bastar’s 40,000 sq km is intensively mined and the big problem is that we have no technology and resources to de-mine the massive forested pockets. There is no technology to detect mines buried more than four feet deep inside.
“The massive Bastar region has turned into a minefield with landmines buried even up to 10 feet below the ground. Without taking out the landmines it’s literally impossible for forces to go after the Maoists freely in the thickly forested areas as the rebels are always ready with a booby trap.”

Comments:(0) Login or Register to post your Comment
(Available for registered users only)
More News
  • 1
  • 2