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Days after killing 17 troopers, Maoists offer Covid ceasefire

However, since the statement has not come from the central leadership of CPI (Maoist), official sources said the Maoists are perhaps testing the waters on whether the governments accept the offer. The statement on the “impact of the vexing coronavirus globally” said: “In this critical time, our party, PLGA and our various other peoples’ units have decided not to raid the police.”

Last Updated: Apr 07, 2020, 10.59 AM IST
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(This story originally appeared in on Apr 06, 2020)
NEW DELHI: Calling for a temporary truce in the times of coronavirus outbreak, the CPI (Maoist) has offered a unilateral ceasefire against security forces, giving a five-day deadline to the governments in Maoist-infested states to respond to the offer. It comes a little more than two weeks after a Maoist offensive killed 17 CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh on March 21, during an operation by the security forces.

In a hand-written statement in Telegu, issued on a party letterhead on April 5, CPI (Maoist) Malkangiri-Koraput-Visakha Border (MKVB) division committee secretary, Kailasam, said, “The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, is creating havoc across the world.”

“Our party, People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA- armed wing of the party), and various frontal organisations of the party have decided against carrying out any kind of attack on the security forces during this period,” the statement said.

However, since the statement has not come from the central leadership of CPI (Maoist), official sources said the Maoists are perhaps testing the waters on whether the governments accept the offer.

The statement on the “impact of the vexing coronavirus globally” said: “In this critical time, our party, PLGA and our various other peoples’ units have decided not to raid the police.”

However, Kailasam warned that in case of any offensive against them, there will be counter offensive from the Maoists. “We (Maoists) would like to make it clear that if police initiate any action, we will be compelled to resist,” the statement says, adding, “We demand of the government to let us know its view within five days.” .

Bastar range inspector general of police (IG) Sundarraj P, told TOI that there has been a social pressure on Maoists for a while now at the local level, with village heads and local intellectuals talking of the need to go for a call for suspension of violence since it otherwise becomes difficult for health workers and government staff to enter the villages in the times of Covid-19.

Civil rights activists have welcomed the ceasefire proposal, urging both the Centre and Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments to respond positively. In a joint statement, Civil Liberties Committee’s (CLC) Telangana unit president Dr Gaddam Laxman and its Andhra chief V Chittababu said: “The Centre and state governments should work in tandem to create a peaceful environment by accepting the proposal.”
(Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)

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