The West Bengal government has declined to comment on Maoist Polit Bureau member Kishanji's offer to hold talks with the Centre, provided Maoist leader Venkatesh Reddy alias Deepak, who was arrested recently, is released unconditionally.

Mr. Reddy is a member of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and is considered a close associate of Kishanji.

Following Mr. Reddy's arrest from the city on Tuesday, Kishanji had, through a section of the media, demanded the unconditional release of Mr. Reddy and other arrested Maoist leaders to initiate a dialogue with the Centre.

“I have no reaction to such demands and, moreover, there has been no official communication from the Maoists. I cannot say anything on the basis of media reports,” Director-General of Police Bhupinder Singh told The Hindu on Thursday.

Mr. Singh said he had no information about the demand being discussed among administrative circles.

The arrest is believed to have come as a severe blow to the Maoists, with more senior leaders already behind bars.

The police consider Mr. Reddy's arrest a “great one,” only second to the arrest of Maoist ideologue Kobad Ghandy.