Sonia Gandhi statement on Maoists hailed

New Delhi, May 18 (Calcutta Tube) Writers, academics and jurists have hailed Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s statement that the ‘extreme neglect’ of tribal areas is linked to Maoist insurgency.

‘We welcome the statement … that the extreme neglect of the tribal areas is at the root of the present crisis in those (Maoist) regions,’ they said in a joint statement here.

‘We hope this appreciation of the need to go deeper into the question would lead to initiatives for immediate cessation of hostilities and dialogue so that the process of people-oriented development can be made feasible.’

The signatories to the statement include former Supreme Court judges V.R. Krishna Iyer and P.B. Sawant, poets Shankar Ghosh and Joy Goswami, writers Mahasweta DevI and Arundhati Roy, historian Romila Thapar, playwright Bibhas Chakraborty, former Indian ambassador to Portugal Madhu Bhaduri, academics Amit Bhaduri, Amit Bhattacharyya, P.K. Vijayan and Randhir Singh, and Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan.

The statement was issued just before Maoist guerrillas blasted a bus in Chhattisgarh Monday killing more than 30 people. The Maoists are most active in tribal areas, which are home to the poorest of the poor in the country.

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