WB govt not serious about talks: Maoist leader

Responding to Mamata Banerjee’s deadline to them for laying down arms in ‘junglemahal’, Maoists on Saturday said the West Bengal government was “not serious” about talks and advised the Chief Minister to stop the use of “provocative language”.

“We were serious about talks and did everything according to our commitment, but the way Mamata Banerjee reacted at her public meeting on October 15 hints that the government is not at all serious about it,” Maoist state committee secretary Akash said in an open letter, apparently referring to the deadline which expired on October 22.

The letter to government-appointed interlocutors said if the government was serious it should give its opinion directly in writing to the Maoists who would do the same so that there was “transparency in the talks process”.

Referring to the call to lay down arms, Akash said in the letter that surrendering arms was never on the agenda when talks were held with interlocutors on two previous occasions and “will never be in the agenda in future”.

On the Chief Minister having called the Maoists “supari killers” at her meeting in Jhargram on October 15 where she had given the seven-day ultimatum, Akash said, “She needs to understand that we are neither contract killers nor mafia and she will have to stop this kind of provocative language”.

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