Mamata criticises Maoists, cautions intellectuals

On her first visit to this former Naxal hotbed as CM, Mamata Banerjee decried the Maoists` cult of violence but did not offer talks with them.

Lalgarh (WB): On her first visit to this former Naxal hotbed as chief minister, Mamata Banerjee today decried the Maoists` cult of violence and killing but did not offer talks with them.

Addressing a rally here, she also criticised a section of intellectuals in Kolkata for indulging Maoists.

"They do not believe in democracy. They do not want peace. They believe in the barrel of the gun. They indulge in kidnapping and killing people," she said and dubbed the Maoists as cowards who concealed their faces.

Vowing that the land of Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Subhas Chandra Bose and Matanigi Hazra would not be allowed to be bloodied, Banerjee in a message to a section of Kolkata-based intellectuals said, "I appeal to those in Kolkata giving statements kindly do not to give any encouragement to Maoists. This is my request to you.
Referring to the Netai killings last year in January and without naming the CPI-M she alleged that the Marxists were being sheltered by Maoists.

"They used to accuse me of having links with Maoists. Now the truth has come out. Those who have killed in Netai are now being sheltered by Maoists," she said.

Referring to Maoist menace being controlled in `junglemahal` after her government took over, she said, "Peace has returned. Do not allow the Maoists to disturb peace again. Full credit goes to you who have silenced guns."
Banerjee cautioned villagers to be on the lookout for trouble-makers so that there was no further trouble.

Noting that villagers wanted peace, she said, "We will give you protection, jobs, schools and colleges."

The chief minister laid the foundation stone of a proposed bridge over the river Kangsabati and said that Lalgarh and Jhargram were now connected.

Banerjee laid foundation stone for construction of new railway line between Bhadutala and Jhargram via Lalgarh and inaugurated computerised passenger reservation centres at Lalgarh and Debra. She also laid the foundation stone for a road overbridge at Balichak.

She announced setting up six multi-speciality hospitals including in Jhargram, Salboni and Nayagram as well as two nursing training centres at Lalgarh and Kharagpur and a medical college at Purulia.

Banerjee gave kisan cards to farmers and announced that all poor people would be given three kathas of land within five years to build their own houses.

She said that by July this year, 10,000 youths from `junglemahal` would be recruited in the police force.

Railway minister Mukul Roy was also present.