[In this article, the Telegraph (UK) discloses a new governmental ceasefire offer, while repeating the police claim that Maoists were behind the attack on an express sleeper train--a claim that the CPI(Maoist) and PCAPA have denied]
By Dean Nelson in New Delhi
Published: 10:41PM BST 02 Jun 2010
Its offer, made in a letter from home secretary P Chidambaram, emerged just days after a Maoist attack on an express sleeper train from Calcutta to Mumbai left more than 140 passengers dead. Almost all were civilians.
The Indian government has failed to contain rising violence and Maoist influence has spread to one third of India's 600-plus districts. Prime minister Manmohan Singh has described the insurgency as India's greatest security challenge.
The Maoists, known as 'Naxalites' in India after Naxalbari, West Bengal where their uprising began in 1967, are now a powerful force in Orissa, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand states. Their rebellion is for land reform and to protect tribals and poor farmers forced from their land to make way for mining and other developments.