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November 15, 2011

We will snatch the guns from the Maoists to stop bloodshed, announces CM

We will snatch the guns from the Maoists to stop bloodshed, announces CM

Kolkata, November 15: Four days after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a public rally at Balarampur in Purulia district, urging people to resist the Maoists, an armed Maoist squad raided a village in the area late Monday evening and gunned down a 63-year-old retired school teacher and his 22-year-old son. Both Ajit Singh Sardar and his son Baku were TMC supporters.

Within hours, an angry Chief Minister directed the Joint Security Forces to immediately resume operations to counter the Maoists in the area.

Most of the dozen victims of Maoist attacks in recent months are Trinamool leaders and supporters. Moreover, it was in Balarampur — an area bordering Jharkhand — that the Maoists had gunned down another Trinamool leader, Jitu Singh, about a fortnight ago.

“The Maoists are trying to create a fear psychosis by such killings. But people do not want any more bloodshed,” said Trinamool Minister who represents Balarampur Assembly constituency.

The bodies of the slain Trinamool Congress workers will be brought to Kolkata on Wednesday and a mourning procession would be held from College Square to condemn the killing, Ms.Banerjee said.

The CM said Maoism was being used by some people who were engaged in killings, loot and extortion.

"They are killing people in the name of Maoism. We are against killings. I have already urged them to abjure violence and join the mainstream or else people will chase them away," she said.

Expressing her government's determination to firmly deal the Maoist violence, she said, "If we, with the help of the people, can drive out CPI-M from power after 34 years of its misrule, we will also free the state from the Maoist menace. They are killing because they are alienated from the people."

Ms. Banerjee said she had given enough time to the ultras to come to the talks table and lay down arms with the expectation that they would see "good sense".

"For five months, I had stopped operations against them. But that did not help. They are kidnapping businessmen and extorting money in industrial areas," she said.

Lashing out at the Maoist sympathizers, she said that they were also trying to penetrate into the labour unions as also in the college unions by "misguiding" the people and students. She said the Maoists of maintaining nexus with the CPI(M). "I have always said that there is a nexus between the Maoists and CPI(M)," Ms. Banerjee said.

"Murderers would not be spared. We will surmount the Maoists and snatch their guns. Joint operations would begin. My government has given them five-month time (by suspending the joint operations)," the CM announced.