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Arms issue can be discussed: Varavara Rao

By Our Staff Reporter

KARIMNAGAR, DEC. 19. The CPI (Maoist) representative and revolutionary writer, Varavara Rao, has asked the State Government to revive the peace talks process with naxalites. He has also sought extension of ceasefire by another three months.

Mr. Varavara Rao, who was here to participate in the `Amaraveerula bandhu-mitra sangham'' district meeting on Sunday, told newsmen that the Government should extend the ceasefire and stop combing operations by the police immediately. "We are ready for peace talks and the Government is free to make the arms issue the first item on the agenda for the second round of dialogue,'' he pointed out.

He urged villagers to mount pressure on elected representatives to take up the issue of extension of ceasefire with the Government. He said during the truce period political representatives and others had visited villages freely without any fear.

Alleging that the Government in the name of violence was suppressing a political movement, he asked: "Who stopped the Government from raising the arms issue during the earlier round of talks?"

Maoists talk peace

Our Visakhapatnam Staff Reporter writes:

In a related development, the CPI (Maoist) Andhra Orissa Border Zonal Committee demanded the continuation of the ceasefire agreement and beginning the second phase of talks. In a letter released to the media, the committee secretary, Sudhakar, termed combing operations and deployment of police forces during talks as violation of the ceasefire agreement and a ploy to indulge in encounters.

Denying that the naxalites had violated (the agreement), Mr. Sudhakar said they were ready for any enquiry. The Ceasefire Monitoring Committee was free to go into the charge. The statements of the Chief Minister and the DGP that the second phase of the talks would centre around the "arms issue'' also gave an indication that an agenda had been decided upon, Mr. Sudhakar felt.

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