June 25, 2009

Talks with PCPA possible only if it lays down arms: govt

LALGARH, JUNE 24: West Bengal government today ruled out talks with the People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA), spearheading a tribal resistance against police at Lalgarh, until they laid down arms and ended the reign of terror unleashed by them in the area.

State chief secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty said here that members of the PCPA, which is believed to have a strong link with Maoists, were equipped with sophisticated arms and unless they surrendered them in order to create a conducive atmosphere, talks could not be held.

He said a reign of terror had been unleashed by them in the area and they had to bring an end to this to pave the way for talks.

The administration was trying to restore law and order in the area by taking local people into confidence, he said, adding police was talking to the people to instill confidence in them in the fight against terrorists.

Chakraborty, who was accompanied by DG (Coordination) Bhupinder Singh, IG (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia and district magistrate N S Nigam, said police was helping the district administration revive the PDS system which lay disrupted for months.

Before coming to Lalgarh by a helicopter, the chief secretary visited some villages in Purulia, hit by Maoist activity, and Sarenga in Bankura district to oversee the preparedness of the forces deployed there.

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