If Maoists halt violence, Centre will facilitate talks: Chidambaram

If Maoists halt violence, Centre will facilitate talks: Chidambaram

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram made it clear that no talks could be held in an atmosphere of violence.

"We never said lay down the arms...We said halt the violence and talk...If they halt violence, the Centre will persuade the state governments to talk to them on issues like land reforms, land acquisitions," he told reporters here.

"If they halt violence, we will facilitate talks. I cannot ask state governments to talk when there is widespread violence," Chidambaram said.

He said if the Maoists are "serious champions of the poor", they should come forward for talks.
The Home Minister said Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh had attempted to hold talks with the Maoists but the moves were "futile".

He said the Cabinet Committee on Security has decided to provide help to the states affected by the naxal violence.

Noting that the government has been extending offers for talks, the Home Minister said the response so far has not been encouraging.

Asked whether the Centre would ban the People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) which had earlier this week hijacked a train in West Bengal, he said it was for the state government to decide as the activities of the outfit are confined only to the state.

"We are open to provide help. West Bengal Government is competent ....The organisation is confined to West Bengal only," he said.

The "most serious threats" to the internal security this month came from the Maoists, Chidambaram said releasing the ministry's report card for October. He also listed the incidents of violence unleashed by the Maoists.

"The violence must end. The Central and state Governments have a duty to end violence. It is with that objective that we have made a simple and straight forward appeal to the CPI (Maoist) :'halt the violence'," the Home Minister said.

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