Govt vs Maoists: No middle ground?

From a train hijacking in West Bengal, to killing policemen in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, Maoist violence has been on the rise in recent weeks.

And as the countdown to the government's planned offensive against the Naxals begins, both sides seem to be digging their heels in.

The Central Committee of the Maoists spelt it out that the government's proposal for peace talks is only a 'propaganda ploy'. And a few hours after the Maoists rejected his offer of talks, Home Minister P Chidambaram was equally categorical.

"Till I have the last drop of my blood, I will not give room for armed revolution in the country. I will not give room for violence and I will not give room for terrorism," he said.

Increasingly, it's the middle ground which is getting smaller.

Back in Delhi, some of those who tried to facilitate talks are disappointed with the Maoists' rejection.

"I am unhappy and worried. Frankly if you could ask me sir whether or not you have not reached a dead end I cannot disagree as they say hope for the best and don't think the worst will happen," said Justice Rajinder Sachar.

So what happens next? Both the Maoists and the government appear set on a collision course. But caught between could be millions of people whose voice may never be heard.


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