Welcoming the Maoist announcement of a 72-day ceasefire, the intellectuals under the aegis of 'Citizens Initiative for Peace' said, "this opportunity should not be missed. Armed operations by government and Maoists should cease immediately, so that dialogue can begin."
"We recall that Home Minister P Chidambaram had said that the government would be willing to talk if the Maoists abjured violence for 72
hours. We had earlier welcomed that statement. From this development it appears that both sides have accepted the necessity for talks," they said.
The statement was signed by activists and intellectuals including Manoranjan Mohanty, K B Saxena, Sumit Chakravarty, Nandini Sundar, Ujjwal Singh and Shalini Gera. The members of the Citizens for Peace Initiative include former Lok Sabha Speaker Rabi Ray, former Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajindar Sachar and writer Mahasweta Devi.