Mamta Banarjee plays down Kishenji Killing

Mamta Banarjee

Mamta Banarjee

Breaking her silence on the killing of Maoist leader Kishenji, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said he and his comrades were given three days to surrender but they opened fire instead, resulting in the gunbattle that killed him.

With rights activists claiming Kishenji was killed in a fake encounter, Mamata said, “The Naxals fired 1,000 rounds. It could have caused death of at least 500 people who live in adjoining villages. The police told me they had given them three days’ time but they did not pay heed. So our policemen had no other option but to fire back.”

Addressing a rally, Mamata said Maoists had gathered to carry out acts of sabotage in the state. “The police told me they wanted to target me and other senior leaders. They also had plans to carry out sabotage at Metro stations, at railway stations like Howrah and Sealdah. They are always crowded. I shudder to think of it,” she said.

Criticising rights activists, she said: “When a common man is killed, they never take out a rally. Why, a common man has no human rights?”

Despite the Maoists’ call for a shutdown being met with a lukewarm response through the weekend the state of West Bengal and its chief minister are well aware of the fight that still lies ahead.

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