In a fresh appeal to Maoists to return to the mainstream, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday warned sympathisers of action if they were found "glorifying" the Naxals.
"There is no time limit for patience in democracy. Let us hope for the better. One should not lose faith. Peace is a continuous process and I will definitely keep faith," she said at the Writers' Buildings in Kolkata.
"I want Maoist friends to return to the mainstream and many are returning. The government will help them in all possible ways. I am again appealing to them," the Trinamool Congress chief said.
Defending her decision to step joint force operations in Maoist-hit Junglemahal, she said, "We suspended the operations for five months in the interest of peace. It was also mentioned in the Trinamool Congress manifesto. But after eight to 10 killings, we felt we are bound to ensure security to the people and I cannot deny my constitutional responsibilities."
Taking umbrage to a press conference earlier by the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights in which Magsaysay award winner Mahashweta Devi remarked that democratic rights were being taken away by the state, Banerjee said, "I honour Mahasweta Devi and her age. But I cannot accept all that she has said. I saw on TV that she was being prompted from behind."
Charging Maoists sympathisers with muddying the waters, she said, "They do not want peace to return to junglemahal and thrive on their share of the loot.
"Action can be taken against those glorifying Maoists. But the state government has not yet taken any action against them."