Kolkata: Opposition CPI(M) in West Bengal
on Thursday said that the loss of one individual with the killing of
top Maoist leader Kishenji would not greatly affect the ultras
as they have the support of "anti-national" forces.
"Kishenji as an individual does not matter, because (the
Maoists) are supported by anti-national, reactionary forces.
There is no reason to think that they will lose their punch
with the death of an individual," Leader of Opposition in the
state Assembly, Surjya Kanta Mishra said.
Mishra said, "I would have been happy if he had been
caught alive. I offer my sympathies to his family."
58-year-old Molajula Koteswar Rao, better known as
Kishenji, was today killed in an encounter with the joint
forces at Burisole forest in West Midnapore district.
Appealing to the Maoists to shun violence and join the
mainstream, Mishra, also a member of CPI(M) central committee,
said, "I appeal to them to leave the wrong path. If they
believe in Leftism and anti-imperialism, they must come to the
He refused to comment on whether the killing of the
Maoist leader was a success for the joint forces currently
operating in the area.
It is true that Kishenji was behind the killing of many
of our party leaders and activists, but this is not the time
to discuss success or failure, Mishra said, adding, "Nothing
has happened to cause a celebration."
Sujato Bhadra, leader of the interlocutors team set up
by the West Bengal government to negotiate peace with the
Maoists, refused comment on the incident, saying he would come
out with a statement only after discussing the matter with
others in the team.
One of his team members, Asokendu Sengupta, however,
told a television channel that he was `sad` at Kishneji`s
"Just as I am sad at the killing of Trinamool Congress
activists in Balarmpur (in Purulia), I am sad at the killing
of Kishenji," Sengupta said.
He, however, did not give a direct reply when asked
whether Kishenji`s killing had any special significance as it
happened in the midst of peace negotiations.
"We are trying to bring peace in the Junglemahal. We
will have to talk to those who are in favour of it and those
against. We still hope that peace will return. But it cannot
be done in one or two days," Sengupta said.
Describing Kishenji`s death as a big success` for the
joint forces and the state government, BJP state president
Rahul Sinha said the government should further intensify the
operations against the ultras.
"This is a big success for the joint forces and the
state government. The government should now further intensify
the operations. We will support it," he said.
He said that Maoists driven by the security forces in
Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar were able to regroup in the
Ayodhya Hills in Purulia district owing to the initial lull in
operations after the Mamata Banerjee government came to power
in the state.
"BJP wants that those who take up arms against the state
be replied with arms. We also want the government to help
those who want to return to the mainstream," Sinha said.
Claiming that a section of Trinamool Congress leaders
had sympathies for Maoists, he said, "We want Mamata Banerjee
to utilise the intelligence agencies in finding out who they
are so that steps can be taken against them."