In July 2010, while negotiating a framework for peace talks with the government, Azad, central committee member of the Communist Party of India (Maoists), was killed, allegedly by the Andhra Pradesh Police, stalling the peace process and making Swami Agnivesh quit as interlocutor.

In their latest initiative for talks, the Maoists, defining their movement as an “internal conflict and a civil war according to international laws,” hence want all veteran comrades in prison to be released by lifting all “false” cases on them or on bail. They should be allowed to meet our central committee to decide on a team to participate in the dialogue with the government.

In setting another condition, the party seeks legitimacy. Since the party was concerned over land reforms and self-reliant economic development, agriculture and industry, and committed to the sovereignty of the country and democracy and long-lasting peace for its development, the government should not have problems in accepting the mass movement as a legitimate one, Abhay, spokesperson of the party central committee, said in a statement.

The party wants the ban on it and frontal mass organisations lifted. “The attacks on leaders and activists should stop,” the spokesperson said. Its another demand is punishment for the “killers” of Azad. The government should stop paramilitary and police aggression against people in rural areas under partial control of the Maoists. Besides, “…killing of mass organisation leaders in urban areas flouting international, national laws should be stopped. Judicial inquiries should be conducted into all those incidents,” Abhay said.

There were at least five attempts, official and informal, by the State and the naxalites since the Telangana armed struggle in the mid-1940s, to strike a framework for a peace talk.

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