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Maoist names Prof G Haragopal as new interlocutor



Raipur, April 25, 2012: Maoists today named Prof G Haragopal as their new interlocutor after senior Supreme Court Advocate Prashant Bhushan and CPI leader Manish Kunjam refused to mediate on behalf of the Maoists, where as Chhattisgarh Government named two former Chief Secretaries Nirmala Buch and Suyogya Kumar Misra as its interlocutors.

"Dr Brahma Dev Sharma and Prof G Haragopal will be the interlocutors for Maoists," the CPI (Maoist) reportedly said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh has said former Chief Secretary of Madhya Pradesh Nirmala Buch and former Chief Secretary of Chhattisgarh Suyogya Kumar Misra would be the interlocutors from the state government side.

The Chief Minister had a meeting yesterday with Chief Secretary Sunil Kumar and a host of officials and discussed the issue after Bhushan and Kunjam refused to become Maoists interlocutors.

In that meeting the names of Buch and Misra were finalised, sources said adding the Chief Minister also spoke to both the retired IAS officers and took their consents before announcing their names as the Government interlocutors.

Refusing to become an interlocutor, Prashant Bhushan has said "Taking hostage of a civilian officer and using him as a hostage to negotiate demand is not proper".

"I appeal to the Maoists that they should unconditionally release the officer without using him as a bargaining chip for their demand," he said.

However, the senior advocate said he was agreed to many of the demands of the Maoists, including end to Operation Green Hunt, the term used for anti-Maoists operation by the joint forces.

Meanwhile, former CPI MLA and national President of Adivasi Mahasabha, Manish Kunjam also expressed his reluctance to become a mediator.

Due to regional factor and party decision he cannot become an interlocutor, Kunjam told reporters.

The matter was discussed in the party previously and it was decided that he should not become an interlocutor due to various reasons, the young Communist leader has said.

However, he appealed to the Maoists to release the abducted Collector.

In a mail to the BBC Correspondent Salman Ravi, Secretary of the Bastar Divisional Committee of the CPI (Maoists) Vijay Madkam reportedly suggested on Monday the names of retired IAS Brahma Dev Sharma, Bhushan and Kunjam as their interlocutors.

The Maoists had said Swami Agnivesh also wanted to become an interlocutor, but after the "inhuman behaviour" to the social worker after the March 2011 Tadmetla episode, they do not want his name to be added to that list to further humiliate him.

When the 2006-batch IAS officer was on a tour of the Majhipara area in Sukma District during Gram Suraj Abhiyan, he was confronted by the Maoists guerrilla on April 21 and after exchange of fire, the civil servant was kidnapped by Maoists after killing both his body guards.

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