Mamata asks Maoists to lay down arms

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked Maoists to join the mainstream by laying down arms and promised that her government would provide them compensation and take care of their families.

Jhargram (WB): West Bengal Chief Minister
Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday asked Maoists to join the mainstream by
laying down arms and promised that her government would
provide them compensation and take care of their families.

"Surrender your guns. You will get compensation and
the government will take care of your families. Stop
individual killings. If you have to take up arms, take it up
for the country," she told a public rally here on her first
visit to `junglemahal` after becoming chief minister.

"Friends, return to the mainstream and the government
will look after you. I have faced guns. Which is mightier,
guns or the people? If there is no peace, development cannot
take place. You cannot procure food with guns," Banerjee said.
"Help rebuild junglemahal by creating an atmosphere of
peace and security," she said.

Referring to the potential of junglemahal, comprising
West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts and its
greenery, she said it has to be tapped for overall development
of the area and violence should cease.

"If there is no peace, who will come forward to work
for you? It is the prerequisite to work for peace to help
rebuild Junglemahal."
Banerjee, who had campaigned vigorously for the
withdrawal of joint forces from junglemahal in the run-up to
the May Assembly elections, indicated that the central
paramilitary forces would stay on.

"The joint forces will not harm people. They will not
act against the innocent. Those doing no wrong have nothing to
fear from the joint forces," she said at Nayagram earlier.

PTI

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