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Anti-Maoist ops in Lalgarh must stop: Mamata

July 30, 2009 18:29 IST

Expressing concern over a spate of political killings in Left-ruled West Bengal, the Centre on Thursday sought an end to it even as Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee demanded termination of joint operations against Maoists in Lalgarh.

"We are concerned. It (killings) should stop. After all who are being killed are average political workers," Home Minister P Chidambaram told media persons in New Delhi.

He made these observations after Banerjee met him and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee over the "killings" of her party workers in West Bengal.

"I have spoken with the West Bengal Chief Minister...I will speak to him again," Chidambaram added.

Later, Banerjee demanded an end to the joint operations by Central forces and state police against Maoists in Lalgarh and accused the Left Front government of indulging in 'atrocities' against political opponents.

"Since the (Lok Sabha) elections, 50 of our workers have been killed. I have handed over a list of the victims to the Home Minister," she said.

The Left parties too have accused Trinamool Congress workers of killing its activists.

Accusing the Left Front government of indulging in "state-sponsored terrorism", Banerjee said: "Dangerous things are going on (in the state) and this cannot continue."

Alleging that the state police was "inactive" and not arresting the accused, she said the Centre should take action using its powers in such situations.

When asked whether she supported imposition of President's Rule in West Bengal, she said: "If rules permit -- I cannot say anything on this but we want peace restored."

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