Maoists using CPI-M guns to kill: Mamata


Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday alleged that rifles earlier used by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) activists have been passed on to the Maoists who are using them to commit murders.

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Banerjee’s angry comments came in the backdrop of the murder of her party Trinamool Congress’ activist Lal Mohan Mahato in Jhargram of West Midnapore district Tuesday. Maoist posters claiming responsibility for his death were strewn around the victim’s body.

“The rifles earlier used by CPI-M harmads (goons) have now been passed on to so-called Maoists. They are using these firearms to indulge in violence,” Banerjee said.

She alleged that a guerrilla action squad led by Jayanta Mahato was behind the spate of murders. “The Jayanta squad and some others who claim themselves as members of the (pro-Maoist tribal body) People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities are committing such violent acts.”

The chief minister said those who did not want peace and development in the Junglemahal (Maoist hit forested stretches in the state’s western districts) and employment for the people there are indulging in such senseless acts.

Besides enhancing the rehabilitation package for Maoists, the chief minister has constituted a team of interlocutors for facilitating peace talks with the extremists.

However, Banerjee’s strong condemnation of Maoist violence seems ironical in view of her repeated statements till a few months back that there was no Maoist presence in the state and it was only the CPI-M which was behind the disturbances.

“In the morning they are Marxists (CPI-M), and at night they become Maoists,” she said time and again till the April-May assembly elections which brought her party to power.

CPI-M central committee member Md Salim came down heavily on Banerjee for her “volte face”.

“For the last three years before the elections as the Maoist problem intensified, she has consistently been denying the existence of the guerrillas. Maoists killed people by blasting landmines, and organised shutdowns and blockades almost daily, but she looked the other way,” Salim told IANS.

Salim alleged that a joint militia of the Trinamool and Maoists had also been formed in the affected areas and the Trinamool got help from them in defeating the Left Front.

“Maoists have helped her and she willingly took their support. Now the ultras are demanding their pound of flesh like the withdrawal of forces and release of their leaders. But she is unable to deliver,” he said.