Claiming that the Left Front government in West Bengal was targetting intellectuals by alleging that they had links with PCPA leader Chharadhar Mahato, the Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday dared it to arrest her since she supported the tribal movement.

“Why is (theatre personality) Saonli Mitra and other intellectuals being targetted for their support to the tribal cause? Let the Government arrest me too since I support the tribal movement,” Ms. Banerjee, the Railway Minister, told a TV channel.

“Support to the tribals’ cause does not mean supporting Maoists,” she said renewing her warning that there would be trouble if the government dared to act against the intellectuals.

Alleging that a conspiracy had been hatched by the state Government against the intellectuals, she said “this government had even framed charges against me in the past.

“If our respected intellectuals are touched by the police, people will take to the streets in protest”, Ms. Banerjee said.

Ms. Banerjee said the state Home Secretary and the DGP should apologise to the people for allegedly dishonouring intellectuals, including eminent writer Mahasweta Devi who had supported the tribal movement at Lalgarh.