A delegation of writers, intellectuals and human right activists on Tuesday met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and appealed to him to initiate a dialogue with Maoists in the State.
The delegation, led by writer Baragur Ramachandrappa, submitted a memorandum signed by 19 noted personalities to the Chief Minister, demanding that both the government and Maoists come to the negotiating table to create peace and equality in the State.
Citing statements made by both Mr. Siddaramaiah and Home Minister K.J. George earlier, attributing the upsurge of the Maoist movement to social inequalities, the delegation appealed the Chief Minister to translate their concern into an official policy and announce the same.
Mr. Siddaramaiah said the issue would have to be brought before the Cabinet to make it an official policy.
Pointing that the rise of the Maoist movement reflected shortcomings in democracy and the State’s “failure” to address some of the fundamental issues of the people, they said the naxal conflict had seen a lot of bloodshed in the past four decades and the reason for this “tragic situation” could not be ignored. Viewing it as a mere law and order problem and continuing to suppress the movement through police action would not do, the signatories said.
The memorandum also said that “ideological stubbornness and unnecessary use of violence” on the part of the Maoists had badly affected societal peace and democratic process.
The signatories observed that the impasse could be broken only when both the government and Maoists carried out a serious reflection of their respective positions. The signatories to the memorandum include U.R. Ananthamurthy, Mr. Ramachandrappa, G. Rajashekar, Rahmat Tarikere, Phaniraj, H.S. Doreswamy, G. Ramakrishna, Indudhara Honnapura, Gauri Lankesh, Parvateesh, L. Hanumanthaiah, Sanat Kumar Belagali, Banjagere Jayaprakash, T.R. Chandrashekar, N. Ramesh, Nagari Babaiah, V.S. Sridhar, A.K. Subbaiah and B.M. Basheer.