DGP dialogues with Naxals, through a newspaper

BY Nitin Mahajan| IN Media Practice | 02/01/2008
Editor of ¿Chhattisgarh¿, Sunil Kumar, the brain behind the series, said a dialogue between the two sides had to be initiated to end the violence.
NITIN MAHAJAN in The Indian Express

Reprinted from the Indian Express, January 2, 2007


Raipur, January 1 : Over the past few weeks, Chhattisgarh Director General of Police Vishwaranjan has been involved in a "dialogue" with the Naxalites, albeit through the columns of a local Hindi newspaper.


The DGP has, in a series of articles, given his views on Maoist ideology and why it is bad for the country. Interestingly, the series has also been responded to by the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee—the state-level committee of outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist)— through its spokesperson, Gudsa Usendi.


The process began a few weeks ago when the DGP began writing about Naxalism in a Hindi evening newspaper, Chhattisgarh, published from Raipur.


DGP Vishwaranjan told The Indian Express that he felt there was need to write about Naxal ideology and its adverse impact on the nation. "The newspaper (Chhattisgarh) seems to be following Leftist ideology and it is supposedly read by Maoist sympathisers. This was an opportunity which I didn’t want to miss."


He said he had been successful in unmasking the real motive of Maoist extremists. "In responding to my columns, the Naxals have conceded that they have no faith in the Indian constitution and they would one day like to grab power by using force. This proves our point that the extremists do not have faith in our system and would prefer violence over democratic process," he said.


He said such a debate would not have been possible through a mainstream national daily as no one would be willing to give Chhattisgarh DGP space to present his thoughts on left-wing extremism.


Vishwaranjan conceded that like other Communist Party of India (Maoist) leaders, Gudsa Usendi was also likely to be an assumed name and more than one ideologue must be contributing to the columns. In his columns, the DGP has also challenged the Naxal ideologue to prove the extremists were not indulging in violence against the common people, adding that he has documentary evidence to prove otherwise.

Editor of Chhattisgarh, Sunil Kumar, the brain behind the series, said a dialogue between the two sides had to be initiated to end the violence. "While the state has been facing this extremist problem for almost 30 years, there has been no effort by any side to initiate a dialogue. By providing a space for the adversaries to engage, we hope to facilitate the process."


He clarified that the paper had no direct contact with any operatives of the CPI (Maoist) or the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee and the responses were e-mailed to Chhattisgarh from various e-mail addresses. The Indian Express could not (reach?)Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee spokesperson Gudsa Usendi for his comments



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