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Centre offers talks with Maoists, NE insurgents

November 30, 2011 17:13 IST

The Centre on Wednesday offered talks with Maoists and insurgents in the north east with a condition that they should suspend violence.

"Violence does not pay and violence will not pay. The state will not bend before anyone who uses violence as an instrument of policy to achieve political demands. That is why we tell them suspend violence and come for talks and when you come for talks, you will be treated with dignity and honour. And we can resolve your political demands through talks," Home Minister P Chidambaram told a press conference on a day he completed three years in the ministry.

He was replying to questions on the bomb blast in Manipur on Wednesday and about talks with different insurgents groups in the north east.

"Yes, it applies to Maoists also. I have made this statement several times before and I make it again today as I complete three years. Even Maoists should suspend violence. We are not asking for more at this stage. Just say there will be no violence and my offer stands," Chidambaram said.

"After consulting chief ministers of the states concerned, within 72 hours we will get back to them to fix the dates and venue for starting talks. But they must suspend violence," he said.

Rejecting allegations of fake encounter, Chidambaram said there were "no doubts" that maoist leader Kishenji was killed in a gun battle with security forces in West Bengal last week.

"Reports indicates that he was killed in a gun battle that started on November 22 and concluded on November 23. We have no doubts about the encounter. He was killed in an encounter," he said.

In accordance with the National Human Rights Commission

guidelines, the state government has set up an inquiry by CID into the death of Kishenji alias Koteshwar Rao, Chidambaram said.

To a question whether there was any specific report to the home ministry about the encounter, he said "Yes, Director General of Central Reserve Police Force, who visited the place, briefed me personally."

"He has spoken to the team that was engaging with the Maoists. He has spoken to West Bengal police officers and we have spoken to the senior police officers of West Bengal government and on that basis I have made the statement... We have no doubts about the encounter," Chidambaram said.

In the wake of killing of Kishenji, the police in the left wing extremists affected areas have been asked to remain on alert, he said.

On the bomb blast in Imphal, Chidambaram said "Manipur is on high alert. In the run up to the Prime Minister's visit, it remains on high alert.

"The information is IED was handed over to a person and before he could place it, it went off. He was severely injured. Four others have received minor injuries. The police have been able to speak to the person who is believed to have carried the IED and they have taken statement".

He said we have anticipated that there will be trouble in Manipur and therefore very stringent measures have been taken.

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