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Maoists end ceasefire in Bengal; Mamata says joint forces operation on

Within hours of the Maoists calling off the ceasefire, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday announced that the joint forces operation against the rebels will begin soon and those who support them will also be arrested.

Putting the onus of peace talks on the West Bengal government, the Maoists in a letter to the interlocutors, publicised Monday, called off the mutual cease-fire agreed earlier.

"The one-month cease fire agreement we entered with you has expired Oct 30. Since then, there has been no communication on the issue either from the government or you. In wake of this, we declare the end of cease-fire," read the letter dated Oct 31 and signed by Communist Party of India-Maoist state secretary Akash.

Banerjee dismissed the letter.

"I don't want to give any importance to the letter of the Maoists. For last five months I have not taken any action against them I though they would respond positively. But I have information that they have come down to hooliganism, kidnapping of businessmen and extorting money," she said.

"There are two professors of Jadavpur University who are supporting them along with few other people. They are doing all the conspiracy from Kolkata. Now I have to take a decision that police will take action against those who will try to glorify and help the Maoists," Banerjee said.

"We will snatch away their rifles and the joint forces operation will also start and it will go on. Those who are sitting in Kolkata and are supporting the Maoists will also be arrested as the Maoists organisation has been banned by the central government. The government will take action against those who will glorify the Maoists. Law will take its own course," she said.

Banerjee's announcement of the commencement of the joint forces operation also comes after two Trinamool Congress supporters were killed by the Maoists in Balrampur area of Purulia district.

"Today (Monday) they have killed two Trinamool Congress supporters. What do they think they can do whatever they like and we will sit and watch? We will not tolerate this," Banerjee told a television news channel.

The joint forces have also exchanged fire with the Maoists in the area.

"There are news of exchange of fire between the Maoists and the joint forces," said Purulia district magistrate Abhinindra Singh.

Banerjee accused those helping the Maoists of staying mum when Trinamool supporters are mercilessly killed.

She also took a dig at Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) for spreading false allegations that Trinamool was hand in glove with the Maoists.

"They (CPI-M) had earlier said that we have relations with the Maoists but now it has been proved wrong as the Maoists are killing Trinamool workers. The goons of CPI-M are helping the Maoists," she said.

Banerjee also termed the Maoists as terrorists who are using women as a shield to mislead the common man.

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