The Communist Party of India (Maoist) has called a 24-hour lockdown on September 30 in Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal and Jharkhand to protest the death of more than 100 civilians in Jammu and Kashmir since June.
The lockdown shall also be enforced in the districts of Gadchiroli, Gondia and Chandrapur in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh's Balaghat district.
Even as Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram unveiled an eight-point initiative to defuse the unrest in the Kashmir valley, a statement issued by Anand, secretary, central regional bureau of the CPI (Maoist) and Abhay, spokesperson for the CPI (Maoist) central committee expressed support for, what he called, “the just struggle in Kashmir.”
The last three months have witnessed increasing violence in Kashmir as stone-pelting youth clashed with security forces and local police who retaliated with live ammunition.
In a telephonic conversation with this correspondent, Dandakaranya special zonal committee spokesperson Gudsa Usendi said, “The Centre should stop the massacre of innocent civilians in Kashmir.”
“The CPI (Maoist) also calls for withdrawal of the paramilitary forces from Kashmir and a repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.”
The Maoists demanded that a plebiscite be held in Kashmir and all political prisoners released. “The Kashmiris should be allowed to decide their own future,” said Usendi.
Mr. Chidambaram on Saturday said the Centre had advised Jammu and Kashmir to release all students detained for pelting stones at security forces and to review the deployment of security forces in Kashmir, but said the repeal of the AFSPA had not been discussed.