Maoists try to alienate Mamata, Irom Sharmila

Expressing solidarity with the Iron Lady of Manipur, Irom Sharmila Chanu, the Maoists imprisoned in various jails of West Bengal wrote a letter cautioning her not to trust West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has promised to work for revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

In a letter to Sharmila on February 6, the Maoists said: “She made similar commitments before the Assembly elections here. She promised to withdraw joint forces and bring peace in Jangalmahal. She held rallies with Chhatradhar Mahato. However, after coming to power, she didn't keep her promises”.

“Her government is proving to be more brutal - even crossing the limits set by the Left Front regime,” the letter read.

The letter written in English was signed by V Venkateshwara Rao, alias Telugu Dipak and the “political prisoners“ of West Bengal. The letter highlighted the offensive launched by the security forces in Jangalmahal and the arrest of “innocent’ people, the very ones she had supported before the polls.”

Banerjee, during her election campaign in Manipur where TMC has fielded candidates for the Assembly election for the first time, had met Sharmila in the  hospital and promised to get AFSPA repealed if her party came to power.

The letter suggested that Banerjee’s overtures were a ploy to win over Sharmila who commands considerable influence on the voters in Manipur.

“Why was she silent on the issue of AFSPA earlier? She's demanding its repeal now, on the eve of elections,” the letter said. TMC has fielded candidates in the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and Goa and hope to do well in Goa and Manipur.

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