Fulfil promise on Naxal issue, Mahasweta to Mamata
Magsaysay Award winning writer and activist Mahasweta Devi on Tuesday reiterated her demand of removal of joint forces from West Bengal's Maoist-affected areas, asking Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to fulfil her pre-poll promise.kolkata Updated: Oct 18, 2011 21:26 IST
Magsaysay Award winning writer and activist Mahasweta Devi on Tuesday reiterated her demand of removal of joint forces from West Bengal's Maoist-affected areas, asking chief minister Mamata Banerjee to fulfil her pre-poll promise.
She said she would herself try to reach out to the rebels through her writings.
"The (joint paramilitary) forces should be withdrawn. The chief minister (Mamata Banerjee) must realise that she needs to fulfil her pre-poll promises," the octogenarian writer told media persons here.
Banerjee, while campaigning for the state assembly polls, had promised the withdrawal of joint forces which have regularly been accused of perpetrating atrocities on the locals.
Four months have passed since she assumed power, but Banerjee is yet to order the removal of the security personnel from the Maoist-affected areas, prompting the Jnanpith awardee to come out to demand she keeps her promises.
Asked to comment about the government's efforts on peace talks with the guerrillas, the writer shot back: "How does my opinion matters? I am neither on the government's side nor on the Maoists."
"If she (Banerjee) thinks things can work out this way, it is good. But the talks need to take place a number of times before conclusions can be drawn," said Mahasweta Devi.
She said the condition of the tribals in the state has not changed. "They have always been deprived of even the basic of human rights. They are the most neglected people. If the reports are to be believed, the atrocities on them by the joint forces continue unabated. This needs to be prevented."
Asked if she would convey any message either to Banerjee or the rebels, the social activist said, "Surely, I will like to say something to her (Banerjee). Being a writer, I will convey my messages through my writings. So far as Maoists are concerned, I do not know them but I will surely try to reach them through my pen."