Midnapore: Two Maoists surrendered to Mamata Banerjee on Saturday in junglemahal with the West Bengal Chief Minister today showcasing restoration of peace in the former ultra stronghold as a model for the country.
"The success story of restoring peace in junglemahal has become a model before the entire country," Banerjee told a rally here in West Midnapore district.
"Earlier people, particularly women, would not have dared to go out of their homes for fear of Maoists and `harmards` (armed CPI(M) goons). Now they move about freely. Guns can no longer be heard," Banerjee said.
Claiming that hundreds of people were killed every year during the former Left Front regime, she said "Now there is no death. People want development and peace and not violence. But harmards are still trying to enter, so keep watch."
Two Maoists Kishore Hembrom, area commander of Nayagarh and Bhim Baskey that of Lalgarh surrendered with guns before the chief minister who handed them bouquets in the presence of state police chief Naparajit Mukherjee.
Banerjee gave letters of appointment as homeguards to some surrendered Maoists including Jagori Baskey and her husband Rajaram Soren.
Baskey told reporters "I am happy. Didi (Mamata Banerjee) has enabled us to return to the mainstream. Without this we would not have got back this life. We want peace. We are happy."
The chief minister also handed over rehabilitation packages to some Maoists who had surrendered on December 22.
Apart from this, 23 families whose kin fell to Maoist bullets received Rs one lakh each from the chief minister.
Referring to her promise to absorb youths from junglemahal in the police, the chief minister said of the 10,000 jobs promised, 5000 have been given employment in the National Volunteer Force and the process to recruit the remaining 5000 as homeguards was in progress.
She said her government has decided to set up an employment bank in junglemahal which would provide jobs under various government schemes.
The chief minister also announced a slew of infrastructure development, health, education and agriculture projects.