Mamata sets 7-day deadline for Maoists to lay down arms

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."

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