Biratnagar, February 16:

The Jwala Singh-led Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha (JTMM) today said it would not form any talks team until the government meets certain demands put forth by it.

Talking over the telephone to this daily from an undisclosed place, JTMM chairman Jwala Singh said, “The government has formed a team while the JTMM is yet to do so. The government should meet our minimum demands first. Only then the JTMM will form a team to talk to the government.” He added that the government call for talks was a welcome move.

However, according to RSS, JTMM-Jwala constituted a five-member team under the coordination of Jhawar Saha of Saptari for holding talks with the government. Central members of the Morcha — Bibas Bidrohi, Binod Sardar, Sakhi Chandra Yadav and Hridaya Narayan Chaudhari — are members of the talks team, the Morcha said. The Morcha has urged the government to “announce a ceasefire before initiating talks”.

“Before talks, a ceasefire should be announced with the JTMM and JTMM cadres who were killed in different incidents should be declared martyrs. The martyrs’ families must be provided Rs 1.5 million each as compensation,” Singh said. He said, “The JTMM has been more flexible than the government. We have put off strikes and armed attacks.”

Singh said he was giving a two-week deadline to the government to meet the JTMM’s demands. “If the government takes the JTMM’s demands positively, we are ready to sit for talks anytime,” he said.

Warning that the JTMM will launch an armed struggle if the talks attempt failed, he said: “We will launch a more violent armed struggle.” Singh said. “The JTMM treats the Tarai and Pahadi people equally. It has not killed any Pahadi and will not kill any in future too. The King was ignoring the Madhesi people. Now, even the parties are ignoring the Madhes.”