Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kolkata: For the first time since the Lalgarh police operation, the Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has admitted the presence of Maoists in t

Kolkata: For the first time since the Lalgarh police operation, the Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has admitted the presence of Maoists in the area.


Banerjee, who has so far been opposing police operation, said on Monday that there were a few Maoists in Lalgarh but the state assured them a safe passage during the operation.


“Two or three Maoists were there but the state police allowed them to flee,” said Banerjee, while blaming the CPM for maintaining ties with the CPI-Maoist party.


“I have a direct information network among the locals there who have told me that the state police allowed the Maoists a passage through Sarenga, an area in Bengal close to the Jharkhand border,” Banerjee said.


Interestingly, Banerjee indirectly criticised Chatradhar Mahato and alleged that there was a link between Mahato and the state government.


On Sunday, Mahato had alleged that Banerjee had dissociated herself from the people’s committee only recently.




“Every thing is a sham. When people are grateful to the police for coming to their rescue, how can someone (Chatradhar) cook food for those opposing police action?” Mamata asked hinting that Mahato is also acting on behalf of the government.


Banerjee once again demanded an inquiry into the Lalgarh issue. She wants a high-level meeting with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and home minister P Chidambaram where, she said she would express her views about the operation.


“Every day I talk to Pranab Mukherjee, I have spoken to the Prime minister and requested them to hold a meeting where the home minister is present. I will expose everything. I will force them to hold an inquiry,” said Mamata.


“The CM is a clever person. Taking advantage of the joint police operation, the CPM cadres are trying to recapture Lalgarh in the same way as Nandigram. The Central forces should recover arms from the houses of CPM cadres across the state. There is no need for a joint operation. The Central government should take the initiative to recover arms hoarded by the CPM,” she said.


She also demanded that the Centre should involve itself unilaterally for the development of the region.

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