Mamata, opposition spar on skeletons recovery (Lead)

August 23rd, 2011 - 11:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 23 (IANS) Following West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s comment that arms and skeleton recovery would continue in the state, Leader of Oposition in the assembly Surya Kant Mishra Tuesday asked why the government was not confiscating Maoists’ guns and recovering skeletons of their victims.

“Why are so many skeletons tumbling out? Many people in the state are feared to be dead but their bodies have not yet been found. Without body, you don’t get a death certificate and without such certificate, you cannot claim insurance money or gratuity or other claims. So finding dead bodies is necessary for their families,” Banerjee said.

“Lot of people are still missing. In East Midnapore’s Nandigram, 12 people are still untraceable while in Salboni (in West Midnapore district) six of our men are missing. A lot of places, dead bodies are yet to be found.

“What is the harm in finding the dead bodies? It is being done under the law and law will take it own course. This has nothing to do with us,” said Banerjee.

But Mishra, a senior Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader, was far from impressed.

“She says recovery of arms and the skeletons will continue. But I want to ask why is she not recovering the guns from the Maoists? Why are not the skeletons of those who were killed by the Maoists in Junglemahal being recovered,” he asked.

Banerjee has refuted repeated claims that CPI-M men were being killed by her party workers, though she conceded several of her party cadres have been arrested in few incidents.

Banerjee said she has received reports that some of the large cache of weapons recently recovered from various parts of the state had come from Bihar and has instructed the police to look into the case.

Assuring an impartial administration, she said: “The CPI-M had used the police for partisan ends. But we are not vindictive. I have instructed the administration to work impartially.”

After Banerjee assumed power in May this year, ending 34 years of uninterrupted Left Front rule, there have been a spate of recoveries of illegal arms as well as skeletons, allegedly of Trinamool Co0ngress workers killed during the Left regime.

In one such skeleton recovery case in West Midnapore, CPI-M leader and former minister Sushanta Ghosh has been arrested and sent to judicial custody by a court.

–Indo-Asian News service

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