'Centre must hold peace talks with Maoists'

Published: Tuesday 30 June 2009

-- On May 25, the Supreme Court freed Binayak Sen. The paediatrician and human rights activist was held prisoner by the Chhattisgarh government for two years for alleged Maoist links. Savvy Soumya Misra spoke to him on his future plans

What is your priority now?

In Chhattisgarh, violence is being answered with Maoist violence. The state and the Centre have said they will intensify military action. This will affect people in the area. We (People's Union for Civil Liberties) support neither the state agenda nor the Maoist agenda. We have an independent agenda for peace that we want people to ratify. This will require de-legitimizing violence as a means of resolving the problem.

What is your agenda for peace?

The disputing parties, the government and the Maoists, have to be brought together. We also need to recognize other entities like civil society and human rights organizations.The initial effort should be to recognize the participants and then to proceed with talks.

Will the state harass you?

It seems most logical. A very serious case based on lies was made out against me. Now that the case is collapsing one would expect some other case to take its place. I have information that there is a threat to me from the Chhattisgarh government.

Do you plan to resume public healthcare work?

Apart from the peace process, I want to work on healthcare. There has been widespread displacement of people in Chhattisgarh leading to health and human rights problems. I will be part of a peer group dedicated to these issues.

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