Social activists Swami Agnivesh and Medha Patkar have said they would join hands with Mamata Banerjee at the Trinamool Congress chief’s proposed rally in Lalgarh on August 9 if it is apolitical.
Banerjee claimed on Sunday that the rally in the state’s Maoist-affected West Midnapore district would not be a political platform and no party colour would be displayed — but workers would be allowed to carry flags.
“I call upon civil society members and intellectuals to come to Lalgarh,” she said. The gathering would be held under the aegis of the santras birodhi mancha (anti-terror forum), she said.
Agnivesh, who has been acting as an intermediary between the Centre and the Maoists, sad he would respond to Mamata’s gesture on Monday after talking to his associates.
“I called her (Banerjee) on Saturday evening and we had a long talk over the issue. I proposed that we are eager to join her in the rally,” he said. “Apart from Medha Patkar, a host of other intellectuals will join her in Lalgarh. But I said that this should be a people’s march.”
Agnivesh said their aim was to bring “peace and harmony” to Lalgarh and other areas. “We also plan to violate Section 144, which is in place for the past year in Lalgarh,” he said.
Banerjee said many civil society members wanted to visit Lalgarh. “We all want peace and democracy in the area where the state government has imposed Section 144,” she said.
The section of the criminal procedure code prohibits demonstrations, rallies, processions, shouting of slogans, carrying of weapons and assembly of five or more people.