Release our Leaders or Face Full-scale Offensive, Threaten Maoists

Responding to Centre’s offer for talks, Maoists have again demanded the release of their senior leaders as a precondition, reported BBC.

The demand, made by Maoist military wing head Koteswara Rao, came a day after Venkateshwar Reddy, alias, Telegu Deepak, was arrested in Kolkata.

Other media reports said that the rebels even threatened to start a full-scale offensive against the government if their leader Deepak is not released by 5 pm on March 6.

Deepak, a close associate of Rao who is popularly known as Kishenji, is believed to have masterminded several attacks, reported BBC.

He is the latest big arrest for West Bengal police. Earlier, senior Maoist, Kobad Ghandy, was arrested in daily and before this, a husband and wife – who claimed to be senior Maoists – were arrested in October last year in Jharkhand.

According to police, Deepak plotted attack on a camp of the Eastern Frontier Rifles last month in which 24 paramilitary soldiers were killed, said report.

Police said that he was a member of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), report said.

Quoting its correspondent, BBC reported that Deepak is easily one of the biggest catches in the ongoing anti-Maoist offensive in several states called Operation Green Hunt.

The arrest came against the backdrop of the apparent failure to get negotiations started between the Indian government and Maoist rebels after both sides put forward their conditions for talks, said report.

Last month, Kishenji had offered a ceasefire ahead of possible talks with the government.

The government asked the rebels to give the offer in ‘writing’. The rebels responded by giving out a telephone number to the government to call so that negotiations could begin.

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