Tue, 12 Jul 2011 20:41:30 GMT

Mamata asks Maoists to lay down arms

Jhargram (WB): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked Maoists to join the mainstream by laying down arms and promised that her government would provide them compensation and take care of their families.

Mamata asks Maoists to lay down arms

"Surrender your guns. You will get compensation and the government will take care of your families. Stop individual killings. If you have to take up arms, take it up for the country," she told a public rally here on her first visit to 'Jungle Mahal' after becoming chief minister.

"Friends, return to the mainstream and the government will look after you. I have faced guns. Which is mightier, guns or the people? If there is no peace, development cannot take place. You cannot procure food with guns," Banerjee said.

"Help rebuild Jungle Mahal by creating an atmosphere of peace and security," she said.

Referring to the potential of Jungle Mahal, comprising West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts and its greenery, she said it has to be tapped for overall development of the area and violence should cease. "If there is no peace, who will come forward to work for you? It is the prerequisite to work for peace to help rebuild Jungle mahal."

Banerjee, who had campaigned vigorously for the withdrawal of joint forces from Jungle mahal in the run-up to the May Assembly elections, indicated that the central paramilitary forces would stay on.

"The joint forces will not harm people. They will not act against the innocent. Those doing no wrong have nothing to fear from the joint forces," she said at Nayagram earlier. "I want people to return to their homes and not hide in jungles. I want the police to treat the people with respect," Banerjee said.

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