Statesman News Service
KOLKATA, 11 OCT: A day after railway minister Miss Mamata Banerjee hinted that she was ready to mediate between Maoists and the Centre, the banned ultra-Left outfit's top politburo member Kishenji urged the minister to “make her stand clear” on the “state oppression” against tribals in Junglemahal.
“The proposal (mediating between Maoists and the Centre) is very good. But she (Miss Banerjee) is a part of the UPA that sent forces to Lalgarh. First, she has to make it clear whether she stands by the tribal people,” Kishenji told The Statesman over telephone from an undisclosed location today. “What surprises me is that she is giving contradictory statements on Lalgarh. Despite being a part of the UPA, she criticises the operations of joint forces in Lalgarh and supports the Lalgarh movement. On the other hand, she remained silent when police force was sent to Lalgarh," the Maoist leader said.
He, however, added that the party's top brass would discuss if a proposal for dialogue comes from the “other end” (read the Centre). Sticking to his earlier comment that they would not give up arms as long as state continues to kill people, Kishenji said: “Being a part of the UPA, which supports oppressive operations on tribal people, how could she make such a proposal. If she is really keen to arrive at a solution, she has to make it clear whether she is with the UPA or with the poor tribals,” the CPI (Maoist) politburo member asserted.
He also came down heavily on the director-general of police, West Bengal, saying that the DGP is cooking up stories before media persons. “What I can say is that most comments of the police officer are baseless,” he claimed. “Questions about our armoury and strength were raised by the officer. We will show our real strength when time comes,” the Maoist rebel added throwing a challenge to the police.
Mamata demands CM's arrest
Miss Banerjee today demanded the arrest of Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and imposition of President's Rule in the state holding the chief minister responsible for engineering an armed attack on Trinamul Congress activists at Arambagh today.
Miss Banerjee alleged that the chief minister had for sometime been adopting the tactics of instructing his partymen to “attack'’ Trinamul Congress activists while he is away from the state. The same pattern was followed this time when a henious attack was launched while the chief minister was in Delhi to attend a Politburo meeting. She said if the chief minister is arrested all this Maoist movement and widespread terror will come to an end. She spoke to the Union home secretary and later Mr Mukul Roy, MoS for shipping and port, spoke to the Union home minister, Mr P Chidambaram.
Miss Banerjee alleged that the local CPI-M MLA, with the help of police, fired at her party activists injuring several of them. She said today at least seven of her party activists sustained bullet injuries and two were attacked with choppers allegedly by CPI-M goons. She said the situation at Arambagh is as grave as Nandigram where police and CPI-M cadres gunned down 14 villagers.
The railway minister said:"I could have called bandhs for three days as the situation is grave but we are not going to call a bandh as it is against development.'’ She will go to Arambagh and Khanakul on Tuesday and tomorrow. Mr Roy and Mr Subhendu Adhikary MP and TMC youth president, will visit Arambagh and Khanakul respectively. She said the chief minister has failed to protect democracy.