Jhargram: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday gave Maoists a seven-day deadline to lay down arms, saying violence would not be tolerated any more.
    
"I am giving you (Maoists) a seven-day ultimatum to lay down guns. Think over it. We will not tolerate any more violence. Killings and negotiations cannot go hand in hand," she told a rally here.
    
"They (Maoists) do not pursue any ism, they have no ideals. They are 'supari' killers, jungle mafia. People hate violence. We initiated the peace process. We will continue the negotiations, but you (the rebels) have to lay down arms," she said.
    
Condemning killings by Maoists and gunning down of two Trinamool Congress leaders in junglemahal recently, Banerjee said, "We have started the peace process, stopped joint operations for over four months, expecting peace to return... But they (Maoists) have not kept their word and continued the killing spree."
    
She said if peace returned to junglemahal, there would be no need of joint security operations.
    
Asking the Maoists what they wanted, the chief minister said, "Tell me what you want? We will give you schools, colleges, roads, jobs...everything...The door for dialogue is still open. We want a solution through negotiations but we will not tolerate any more violence."

Holding up the three-month-old baby of slain TC leader Lalmohan Mahato, Banerjee said, "We do not want any more mothers to lose their children...I will never compromise with
peace. Development is another name of peace."

Daring Maoists to come into the open instead of indulging in killings under the cover of darkness, she said, "You want to kill Mamata Banerjee? Tell me where you want to kill me.
There will be no policemen with me."

On Maoist threat to people not to avail of government assistance like rice and foodgrains, she said, "Don't be afraid of some goondas. We will not allow this to take place anymore...Development can't come through terrorism."

Urging Maoists to return to the mainstream, Banerjee said, "We will give protection to those returning to normal life. We will give them jobs, monthly pension and benefits under other schemes."

Announcing a number of development projects for junglemahal, said she if development starts taking place in the region, Maoists will be gradually alienated from the masses.

'Recruitment bank' for junglemahal

Mamata Banerjee said an 'employment bank', which will provide jobs under various government schemes, will soon be set up in junglemahal.

"A junglemahal employment bank will be set up so that we can provide government jobs to eligible candidates," she told a rally here.

She said a process was on since September 9 for recruiting 5,000 junior constables and as many National Volunteer Force volunteers in junglemahal, and applications would be accepted up to November 18.

Eligible candidates left over from the recruitment drive will be considered by the employment bank, she said, adding that vocational training centres will start functioning in
junglemahal from this year.

The Chief Minister, who laid the foundation stone for a Rs 170 crore bridge over Subarnarekha river connecting Nayagram and Gopiballavpur, announced a slew of projects
covering infrastructure development, health, education and agriculture.

"We want road connectivity in all 84 mouzas in West Midnapore district. The work will be taken up this year itself," she said.

Didi seeks cost of projects in junglemahal

West Bengal Chief Minister directed officials concerned to ascertain time frame and cost of improvement of basic amenities in Maoist-hit West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts.

"Monitor the progress of development work in junglemahal and submit reports to me every fortnight...ascertain time frame and cost of improvement of basic amenities in the
region," she told a high-level meeting in Midnapore on Saturday.

This was Banerjee second visit to 'junglemahal' after July.

Irrigation Minister Manas Bhuniya and Western Region Development Minister also attended the meeting.

(JPN/Agencies)