Will review cases of all political prisoners: Mamata

May 20th, 2011 - 11:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, May 20 (IANS) Hours after being sworn in as West Bengal’s chief minister, Mamata Banerjee Friday said cases of all political prisoners will be reviewed and those found innocent would be freed.

Addressing her first media conference as the head of the state government at the Writers’ Building here, Banerjee said: “There are many political prisoners who are languishing in various jails and several are innocent.

“A committee comprising former judges, jurists, human right activists and members of the civil society will review their cases so that people who are innocent are freed.”

Earlier, she had maintained on several occasions that the erstwhile Left Front government had falsely charging people and put them behind bars out of political vendetta.

Giving a brief account of her government’s agenda, Banerjee said: “The condition of the Muslims in the state is pitiable. We will meet Justice (Rajinder) Sachar and discuss with him about the implementation of the recommendations made by him in his report. Our government will endeavour to improve the condition of the Muslims and work for their welfare.”

“And if he agrees to come to Bengal and give his suggestions, we will be very happy,” Banerjee said.

The Sachar Committee appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh prepared a report on the social, economic and educational status of the Muslims in the country.

Banerjee said a special package would be unveiled for Junglemahal (the Maoist-affected areas of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura). Talks will be held to bring about a solution to the Maoist problem.

“If they want to talk to me, I am open to it,” the chief minister said.

Banerjee also said that her government would hold talks with the Gorkhaland representatives for settlement of the issue.

The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), has been spearheading the movement for a separate Gorkhaland state to be carved out from the northern part of the state, including the Darjeeling Hills.

Asked whether she would now take up with the central government her long-standing demand for withdrawal of the joint forces of the centre and the state from the Maoist belt, she said: “The central forces are now there because of the just-concluded elections. I can only tell you I don’t veer from my commitments.”

“We want to solve both the Gorkhaland crisis and the Junglemahal problem in three months,” Banerjee said.

Banerjee was especially concerned about the law and order situation in the state as a slew of illegal arms and ammunitions have been seized by the police after the polls.

“It is alarming. The number of illegal arms recovered over the last few days is huge. The weapons seized are dangerous and lethal. We want peace and order in the state.”

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