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Dialogue process with Maoists to continue in WB

Kolkata: The West Bengal government- appointed interlocutors today said that the dialogue process with Maoists in the Junglemahal area would continue, though Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has given a seven-day deadline to the ultras to lay down arms.

“I can only let you know that dialogue process is on and will be continuing,” Sujato Bhadra, one of the interlocutors, told reporters after an hour-and-a-half meeting with the chief minister and key cabinet members. Refusing to answer queries on how the process could go on following reports of fresh Maoists-joint forces skirmishes and the ultras trying to spread their base in urban areas, Bhadra said, “I will not say anything other than what I have already said.”

Asked what transpired at the meeting, he said, “in the meeting we wanted to know what our role will be in view of the complexity of the situation. And I can say that we have not been thrown out.” Asked about the seven-day-deadline given by the chief minister on October 15 to Maoists, Bhadra said “it is not over and we have not discussed it.”

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Cabinet ministers Subroto Mukherjee, Partha Chatterjee, Purnendu Bose and state chief secretary Samar Ghosh were present in the meeting. Besides Bhadra, interlocutors Choton Das, Debasish Bhattacharya, Kalyan Rudra and Prasun Bhowmick were also present in the meeting.

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