Kolkata: In a stern warning to Maoists
after a Trinamool Congress leader was shot dead at Jhargram in
West Midnapore district on Tuesday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
said "politics of killing" would not be tolerated when her
government has launched development and peace initiatives in
Five Maoist cadres shot Lalmohan Mahato (39) from
close range at Chotopukhuria when he was going to a coaching
centre to give private tuitions to school students and fled on
two motorbikes, the police said.
Describing the killing as an "act of cowardice,"
Banerjee said, "Those, who want to jeopardise the peace
process, are engaged in such politics of killing."
Referring to the Maoist interlocutors comprising some
human rights activists, Banerjee told a Bengali TV on her way
to quake-hit Sikkim, "Let those, who are having a dialogue
with the Maoists, continue. But we do not accept such politics
of killing. We believe in democracy."
The interlocutors, led by activist Sujato Bhadra, had
been to Jangalmahal recently to negotiate with the ultras as
part of the government`s peace initiative. Earlier this
month, they met Banerjee to apprise her about the latest
developments in the engagement.
Referring to development activities launched by her
government in Jangalmahal, she said, "Those who do not want
people to remain in peace, get education and development, have
indulged in such killings."
She also alleged that arms in possession of CPI(M)
"goons" had passed into the hands of so-called Maoists.
Banerjee announced a compensation of Rs five lakh for
the victim`s kin and said state minister from West Midnapore
district Sukumar Mahapatra and party MP Subhendu Adhikary have
been asked to go to the spot.
A meeting to protest the killing would be organised by
her party in the area and will be attended by the party`s
all-India general secretary Mukul Roy, she said.
Without naming any Maoist faction, the chief minister
said the murders were being committed at the behest of the
"Jayanta (Mahato) squad" and in the name of Janashadaraner
Committee (Maoist-backed PCPA).
Bhadra had earlier said the state government had
appointed them as interlocutors to facilitate talks with the
Maoists to lay down arms and return to the mainstream.