Mamata asks Maoists to lay down arms (Lead)

August 15th, 2012 - 4:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, Aug 15 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday promised an attractive rehabilitation package to Maoists who lay down weapons and return to mainstream.

“I appeal to the Maoists to lay down arms. We will ensure that those who surrender will be adequately rehabilitated and provided jobs,” Banerjee said in her Independence Day speech here.

Breaking with a tradition in place since 1948, the city witnessed a full-fledged Independence Day pageant after Banerjee shifted the venue of the celebrations from the government headquarters at the Writers’ Building to Red Road in the heart of the city.

Banerjee hoisted the tri-colour and inspected a guard of honour as hundreds witnessed the event.

The celebrations involved colourful tableaux presentation by government departments and march past involving Kolkata Police, West Bengal Police and Rapid Action Force besides school students.

Banerjee promised that law and order situation in the state was under control and warned people against indulging in violence.

“Riots cause unnecessary loss of life and property. It disturbs peace and retards growth and development,” she said.

“On this auspicious day let us all pledge that we will sternly deal with murder, rape and other atrocities especially on women.”

Banerjee reiterated her government’s commitment to restore the lost glory of West Bengal.

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