A day after Maoists killed 24 jawans in West Midnapore in a biggest-ever attack, the West Bengal government on Tuesday ruled out any possibility of talks with the ultras, expressing its resolve to continue the joint operation to flush them out.
"There is now no question of any talks with them (Maoists)," State Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen told reporters.
Admitting a kind of failure on part of intelligence and security forces, Mr. Sen said, "may be there was lapse on their part.”
The State government, he said, would send a report to the Centre on the incident at Silda camp of Eastern Fronter Rifles (EFR) in a day or two.
The Home Secretary said security had been stepped up at Midnapore Central jail where some Maoists were lodged.
To a question, he said the Maoists attack might have a kind of "demoralising effect" on the jawans.
State chief secretary Asok Mohan Chakraborty ruled out any suspension of the joint operation and said that yesterday's armed attack on the jawans once again proved that the Maoists were desperate to disrupt normal life.
At least 24 Eastern Frontier Rifle jawans were killed yesterday when the ultras overran their camp at Silda after setting it on fire.
Mr. Chakraborty said three people have been arrested in connection with the attack.
State Finance minister Asim Dasgupta on Tuesday led a team of five ministers to Salua at Kharagpur to accord a guard of honours to the slain EFR jawans.
Mr. Dasgupta was accompanied by Relief Minister Murtaza Hussain, Fisheries Minister Kironmoy Nanda, Civil Defence Minister Srikumar Mukherjee and Sports Minister Kanti Ganguly.
State's Micro and Small-scale Enterprise minister Manab Mukhkerjee said the government decided to distribute at subsidised rate saris to women living under Below Poverty Line (BPL) in five Maoist-hit districts, including West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia.
Initially, 1.50 lakh women under BPL would be benefitted by the scheme which would cost the state government Rs 94 lakh, Mr. Mukherjee added.
It is seen as a move to win over the BPL women in the five Maoist-hit districts.