Left parties appeal to PM to contain ministers


New Delhi : The Left parties Sunday appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure that the joint operations against the Maoist rebels in Lalgarh of West Bengal are not “adversely complicated by utterances and actions” of some ministers.

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“We have learnt through media reports that some members of the union council of ministers are proceeding to visit the affected areas and are making public comments which are adversely complicating the operations against the Maoists,” said the letter written by the four parties.

“We are writing to you to convey our apprehensions in connection with the ongoing joint operations by the central security forces and the security forces of the government of West Bengal in Lalgarh and other areas of West Midnapore against the Maoist violence.”

Though the letter does not name the ministers who were apparently proceeding to Lalgarh in the Left Front ruled state, it was evident that the Left was hinting at utterances of Trinamool Congress leaders.

Railways Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has reportedly instructed two union ministers of state Mukul Roy and Sisir Adhikari to proceed to Midnapore town and stay put there for the next few days, party sources said.

“You had, yourself, drawn the attention of the country by stating that the Maoist activities constitute one of the gravest threats to India’s internal security. In that spirit, the central security forces have been dispatched at the request of the state government for launching these joint operations,” the statement said.

“In this situation, we, MPs belonging to the Left parties seek your personal intervention to ensure that the joint operations against the Maoists are not adversely complicated by utterances and actions of some members of the union council of ministers as reported by the media.”

With combing operations against Maoists in Lalgarh reaching a critical stage, Home Minister P. Chidambaram Sunday also appealed to political leaders and NGOs not to venture to the conflict zone in West Bengal.

His appeal comes a day after a section of West Bengal intellectuals went to Lalgarh and alleged that women and children there were being harassed.

Theatre personality Saonli Mitra, who visited the area, told journalists: “We have visited some interior villages and spoken to the people. People are living in danger. They are very afraid that police may beat them up.”

Security reinforcements comprising several companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Border Security Force (BSF), as also state armed police have been part of the Lalgarh operations.

Among those who signed the letter were Sitaram Yechury, Brinda Karat and Mohammed Amin of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), D. Raja of the Communist Party of India (CPI), Abani Roy of the Revolutionary Socialist Party and Barun Mukherjee and Narahari Mahato of the Forward Bloc.