Peace process to continue in `junglemahal`: Mamata

Noting that talks and killings could not continue together, the CM earlier in the day dubbed Maoists to be "more dangerous than terrorists".

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2011, 23:09 PM IST

Kolkata: Asserting that her government won`t
adopt a sit back and watch approach to Maoist excesses, West
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tonight said the peace
process in Maoist-hit `junglemahal` area will continue but
violence will no longer be tolerated.

"We will continue the peace process in junglemahal, but
the government will not tolerate killings and violence anymore
with the police and the administration to take stern action,"
she said at a cabinet meeting, secretariat sources said.

PHE Minister Subrata Mukherjee raised the Maoist issue at
the meeting and defended the state action to deal with Maoist
violence, they said.

Noting that talks and killings could not continue
together, the chief minister earlier in the day dubbed Maoists
to be "more dangerous than terrorists" and warned that her
government would not remain a mute spectator.

"You cannot talk peace and kill people. We cannot sit
back and watch. We have to maintain law and order. We cannot
suck our fingers when killings go on," she said.

Banerjee, however, hoped that good sense would prevail on
the Maoists to return to the mainstream. "If they come to the
mainstream, the state government will take responsibility. It
is a duty of the government to give protection to people."

DGP Naparajit Mukherjee at a separate briefing said said
that the government was ready to hold peace talks if the
Maoists stopped killings and laid down arms.

With the joint forces renewing operations in the Maoist-
affected `junglemahal` comprising the forested areas of West
Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura in the state, Mukherjee said
that additional forces would be deployed if necessary.

The state government has brought back former West
Midnapore SP Manoj Verma from compulsory wait to head the
counter insurgency force.

Meanwhile, government-appointed interlocutors for talks
with Maoists wrote to the chief minister seeking to be
relieved of their responsibilities.

"In view of the latest development in junglemahal, we
feel we have no role to play in a positive and effective
manner," one of the six interlocutors told PTI on condition of
anonymity.

"We want to be relieved of our responsibilities assigned
by the government to us on July 7," he said.

The joint security in stepped up anti-Maoist operations,
carried out searches and raids in Purulia and West Midnapore
districts and seized a huge quantity of arms, ammunition and
explosive material.

Two Insas rifles, 100 rounds of AK47 and Insas rifle
ammunition, 60 kg of explosive materials, mines, gelatine
sticks and fuse wire were seized from Purnapani, an area
between Salboni and Lalgarh police stations in West Midnapore
district, police sources said. Searches were also made in
Purulia district.

PTI