Kolkata: The seven-day deadline to Maoists in Junglemahal to lay down arms by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee passed on Saturday with the ultras calling a 24-hour bandh in defiance, that failed to evoke much response. (Agencies)
There was not much response to the bandh in West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts, the forested areas of which are collectively known as Junglemahal.
Surprisingly, the People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA), dubbed a Maoist-backed organisation of tribals, campaigned against the shutdown last night with loudspeakers in Balarampur, Bagmundi and Bandwan in Purulia district, police said.
In Delhi, asked about her stand on the threat from Maoists, the Chief Minister on Saturday said she was against bloodshed and wanted them to join the mainstream.
"They are our brothers and sisters and should come forward and join the national mainstream and whatever they want from the government we are willing to discuss. We will give them full package," she said.
"I am ready for talks, but we are against bloodshed or killings. Individual killings will not give any result."
The Chief Minister at her rally at Jhargram on October 15 had given the Maoists the seven-day ultimatum and had branded them as "supari killers" who did not believe in any "ism". Defying the bandh call and the Maoist diktat against accepting government jobs, thousands of tribal youths cycled to police stations from distant areas to collect application forms for jobs in posts of junior constables, homeguards and the National Volunteer Force.
Reports said that former PCPA convenor Chhatradhar Mahato's son collected one such application form.
The Chief Minister had announced 10,000 jobs in the NVF, homeguards and as junior constables recently.
Reports from the three districts said that train services were normal while banks and post offices in all the three districts were open and life remained more or less normal except for some pockets, the reports said.
Buses did not run in some pockets while shops in some areas remained closed.
The shutdown was peaceful except the finding of a steel can with fire crackers inside at Dubrajpur in Jhargram subdivision in West Midnapore district.
The reports said that Trinamool Congress supporters took out motorcycle processions in Jhargram and in Purulia town in protest against the bandh.
The joint forces were on intensified patrol in all the three districts.
Kolkata: The seven-day deadline to Maoists in Junglemahal to lay down arms by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee passed on Saturday with the ultras calling a 24-hour bandh in defiance, that failed to evoke much response.