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Updated: March 4, 2010 03:15 IST

Kishanji demands top aide’s release, says Maoists ready for talks

PTI
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Maoist leader Venkateswar Reddy alias Telugu Dipak, arrested in Kolkata on Tuesday night, being produced at a city court on Wednesday. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish
Maoist leader Venkateswar Reddy alias Telugu Dipak, arrested in Kolkata on Tuesday night, being produced at a city court on Wednesday. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

Maoist leader Kishanji on Wednesday said his outfit was ready for talks with the Centre and demanded the release of his close aide Venkateswar Reddy, who was arrested from the southern fringes of Kolkata.

Demanding immediate and unconditional release of Reddy alias Telugu Dipak along with all other arrested Maoist leaders he said, “We are ready for talks with the Government which has not responded so far.”

Dipak was remanded in police custody for 14 days by a city court on Wednesday.

Claiming that Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram was not interested in holding talks, Kishanji said both sides should sit for dialogue while ensuring that there was no State-sponsored terrorism and revenge tactics.

“On the date proposed for talks, the joint forces shot dead People’s Committee against Police Atrocities president Lalmohan Tudu. It proves that Chidambaram is not keen on discussions with us. His proposals for talks are all eyewash,” he claimed.

Tudu was shot dead near Kantapahari in West Midnapore district on February 26 in an alleged encounter with the joint forces.

Mr. Chidambaram had earlier given a fax number of the Union Home ministry for Kishenji to make his offer of talks, with the stipulation that there should be “no ifs, buts and preconditions“.

Kishenji had responded by sharing a mobile number and saying he would wait for a phone call.

“There has been no response from the government to the number we gave to Union Home Minster for talks so far. There is no phone call from them. This proves once again that Chidambaram is not interested in talks,” Kishanji alleged.

The Maoists would communicate to the media by fax if they received a “positive response” from the Government, he said.

The Maoist leader also demanded immediate reduction in prices of essential commodities and petrol and diesel and alleged that UPA allies DMK and Trinamool Congress, which had opposed the hike, were hoodwinking the people.

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