West Bengal Timeline 2009
The Centre decided
to undertake a comprehensive plan to bring in the development
of certain remote areas including Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore
District of the State. In the wake of the recent tribal agitation
in Lalgarh, the Centre has come to realise that lack of development
in these areas had aided the CPI-Maoist set up a strong foothold
At a war camp in Taldanga village
on the Bankura-Purulia District border, over 1000 tribal men and
women are being given commando training. The men and women are
given theoretical and practical training in using traditional
weapons to attack as well as defend. Armed with bows and arrows,
spades and hammers, the tribals are training rigorously, under
the guidance of CPI-Maoist.
A leader of the CPI-Maoist-backed
People's Committee against Police Atrocities was killed while
another was abducted in the morning of January 25, a few hours
before a meeting of the organization was scheduled at Chakadoba
in the afternoon of January 25. While assailants shot dead Nirmal
Sardar at Talpukuria in Belpahari, more than 40 armed assailants
abducted Himadri Mahato from his home at Keondishole.
A major racket in arms whose
clientele included Maoists in Chhattisgarh was neutralised by
the West Bengal Police. More than 5000 cartridges, locally-made
and sophisticated rifles and revolvers, pen-pistols and a bullet-proof
vest were among the items recovered. One of those involved in
the racket, Anupam Chowdhury, from whose house the Police seized
thousands of bullets and cartridges and several firearms was produced
before a court in Barasat in the State's North 24 Parganas District
that remanded him on January 26 to 10 days in Police custody.
The reach of the gang members is believed to extend beyond the
Four days after the massive arms
recovery in Kolkata's northern outskirts of Baguihati, the Criminal
Investigation Department (CID) personnel recovered a cache of
bullets, mostly of foreign make, from the house of suspected kingpin
of the arms racket Nemai Das. The Deputy Inspector General (Special
Operations Group), CID, Siddhinath Gupta said 300 rounds of bullets
were recovered from the cistern of the toilet of Das's house at
Rajarhat. Das is, however, absconding.
CPI-Maoist cadre, identified
as Ratan Roy, was arrested by the Police from Mansai under Baksirhat
Police Station in the Cooch Behar District. He was a key organiser
and instrumental in spreading bases of the outfit in the State.
"He is a prize catch for us. Roy is the biggest Maoist leader
in North Bengal," said Zulfiquar Hassan, Special Inspector General
of Police in Jalpaiguri. Police recovered several incriminating
documents from Roy, who was living in Mansai in the guise of a
person named as Saidul. Sources said he had taken arms training
at a Maoist camp in Chhattisgarh in 2006-07. Ratan was also involved
in several incidents of violence in West Bengal and Jharkhand.
"Ratan used to operate as Prakash in Nadia and Birbhum and he
was known as Bangtu in Siliguri. Recently he had started recruiting
youths under the name of Saidul and was working among the Rajbangshis
in Cooch Behar and adjoining Assam in an effort to indoctrinate
them. This youth had his hand in several landmine blasts in Jharkhand,"
said the Cooch Behar Superintendent of Police, Devendra Prakash
A zonal committee member of the
ruling CPI-M, identified as Nandalal Pal, was shot dead by a gang
of five people at Murar village in Lalgarh. Police suspect the
incident to be the handiwork of some Maoist groups.
The CPI-Maoist cadres shot dead
two Railway Protection Force (RPF) constables and injured two
others while snatching their weapons at Barabhum railway Station
in the Purulia District about 10 kilometres from the Jharkhand
border. The deceased constables were identified as N.B.N. Ansari
and S.R. Majhi. The incident occurred when the 3302 Subarnarekha
Express (Tatanagar to Dhanbad) entered Barabhum Station at around
2.20 pm (IST). The constables were returning in the brake-van
at the rear of the train after escorting a cash consignment to
Tatanagar. The assailants, who apparently knew the constables
were in it, went up to the coach and opened fire at them.
A local committee member of the
ruling CPI-M had a narrow escape on when a landmine, suspected
to have been planted by cadres of the CPI-Maoist, missed its target
at Lachipur village at tribal-dominated Lalgarh in the West Midnapore
District. The landmine exploded barely a minute after Chandi Karan,
a member of the Beltikri local committee of the CPI-M, and a security
man riding on the pillion of his motorcycle, passed a desolate
spot where the landmine was planted, the Police said.
Suspected cadres of the CPI-Maoist
shot dead two local leaders of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist
(CPI-M) at Bhulabheda market in West Midnapore District. The victims
were identified as Banspahari local committee member Durgapada
Deshwali and Santosh Mahto. The District Superintendent of Police,
Manoj Verma, said, "They died on the spot. Durgapada''s brother,
Palaram, suffered bullet injuries in his right leg after five
Maoists shot them as they got down a bus and entered a tea stall."
Two cadres of the CPI-Maoist
were arrested from Ghojadanga village near the Indo-Bangladesh
border in Nadia District. The duo was identified as Sheikh Firdaus
and Safikul. A 9-mm pistol, an improvised pistol, 13 rounds of
cartridges and some important documents were recovered from them.
CPI-Maoist cadres set ablaze
the house of a local ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)
leader at Bersa village in Purulia District. The leader, Chandrasekhar
Majhi, was not at home when the house was set ablaze. Other members
of the house, however, escaped unhurt.
Three persons were arrested with
a cache of Bihar-made arms allegedly meant for the CPI-Maoist
cadres camping at Lalgarh in the West Midnapore District. The
arrests were made when the trio's car was stopped for checks 10
kilometers before Lalgarh. One of the arrested persons is suspected
to be a Maoist action squad member. Three pipe guns, parts of
improvised rifles, 30 rounds of ammunition and Maoist leaflets,
some of them calling for a boycott of the polls, were said to
have been found.
A 67-year-old Naxalite (left-wing
extremist) leader, Horibol Mal, surrendered in the Rajnagar Police
Station of Birbhum District. Horibol Mal is under suspicion of
involvement in the murder of a ruling CPI-M leader. Police have
been searching for the Naxalite leader for the past six months.
Suspected cadres of the CPI-Maoist
shot dead Asim Mondal, a branch committee member of the ruling
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-Marxist), at Bhulabheda
in the West Midnapore District. According to eyewitnesses, "Asim
was sitting on a bench when suddenly three men, in their thirties,
surrounded him. Asim carried a gun to protect himself. But he
did not get a chance to take it out. The three fired and left."
"Asim had quit the party in 2006 and circulated leaflets announcing
this after Maoists threatened to kill him. Last year, he rejoined
the CPM as a branch committee member," a Police official said.
Some West Bengal Police personnel
would secure training at the Jungle Warfare College at Chhattisgarh
in guerrilla warfare. Brigadier Basant Kumar Ponwar, Director
of the Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College at Kanker
in Chhattisgarh, who was in Kolkata last week said, "The new session
begins in July and I am waiting for a formal proposal from West
Bengal. I had initially suggested that we start with a batch of
36 personnel but the Bengal Police is keen to send 100 personnel."
The Election Commission declared
six assembly constituencies of West Bengal as Maoist-affected
saying that security arrangements would be stepped up there to
tackle any violence during the Parliamentary elections scheduled
to be held in three phases between April 30 to May 13. The security
arrangements will be heightened in all six Maoist-affected areas
- Jhargram, Bandwan, Jaipur, Balarampur, Bagmandi and Tinpur,
the West Bengal Chief Electoral Officer Debashis Sen told a press
conference in capital Kolkata. The Maoists are mainly active in
three south Bengal Districts - Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore
- which go to the polls on April 30.
Two persons were injured when
a landmine planted by suspected CPI-Maoist cadres, adjacent to
an illicit liquor shop, exploded in the Purulia District. The
Superintendent of Police, Rajesh Yadav, said the owner of the
shop and a customer was at the incident site at around 7am (IST)
when the landmine exploded injuring the duo. Maoists had earlier
put up posters in the area demanding an immediate closure of all
Three members of the ruling Communist
Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) were killed by suspected cadres
of the CPI-Maoist in the adjoining Salboni region in West Midnapore
A group of about 70 Maoists entered
the Dubrajpur and Saluka villages, four kilometres from the paramilitary
Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp at Ramgarh in West Midnapore
District, and assaulted CPI-M leader, Gopinath Murmu, to death
at Dubrajpur. The Maoists then went to Saluka looking for the
CPI-M's local branch committee secretary Sudhir Mahat, who was
in hiding after receiving death threats from Maoists. Not finding
him, the Maoists attacked his family members and local CPM supporters.
Sudhir's son Banabehari and six CPI-M workers, Bhagan Mahat, Shockap
Mahat, Bankim Mahat, Uttam Mahat, Pratap Mahat and Uttam Murmu,
were reportedly assaulted. They were also forced to write that
they were quitting the CPI-M party and the posters were put up.
A series of landmine blasts were
triggered in the Lalgarh area of West Midnapore District, about
150 kilometres from the State capital Kolkata. However, no casualty
was reported in the incidents.
CPI-Maoist cadres killed two
local leaders of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)
at Supurdih village in the Balarampur area of Purulia District.
Police said Bibhuti Singh Sardar and Baikuntha Mahato were returning
from a fair at around 11pm when some motorcycle-borne assailants
shot at them from a close range killing the duo on the spot. While
the Police are yet to identify the assailants, family members
of the victims said the killers raised slogans in support of the
Maoists after killing the two. The CPI-M called a 12-hour shutdown
in Balarampur on April 24 to protest the incident.
A leader of the CPI-Maoist action
squad, identified as Nurul Mahalath, was arrested from the Bamongola
area of Malda District. Nurul Mahalath's arrest comes at a time
when the there are reports of the Maoists trying to regroup in
north Bengal, according to a Senior Police official.
The CPI-Maoist gave an election
boycott call in the Lalgarh area, 24 hours before the general
Four persons were killed when
suspected cadres of the CPI-Maoist triggered a landmine blast
targeting a convoy of three vehicles ferrying Election Commission
(EC) personnel after polling at Jamboni in West Midnapore District.
The blast occurred at 6: 45pm in the area between Dahijuri and
Belpahari in the Binpur parliamentary constituency when the EC
officials, escorted by para-military personnel, was returning
after conducting polling at a school building in a forest, the
Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) said. While three
of the victims were identified, the fourth body could not be recognised,
said the District Magistrate N. S. Nigam.
Two central paramilitary force
personnel were injured when Maoists exploded a landmine near a
polling booth at Biramdih in the Purulia District. The security
force personnel were patrolling the area when the landmine blast
occurred at around 7.50am. Following the incident polling was
suspended at the booth, the Superintendent of Police Rajesh Yadav
Koteswar Rao alias Kishan,
the CPI-Maoist politburo member in charge of Bengal, Jharkhand
and Orissa and head of the party's central military commission
revealed in an interview that they got the ammunition from the
ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) to combat the
Trinamool Congress-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) armed motorbike
gangs that raided villages at Keshpur in West Midnapore in May
2000. Further in Nandigram, the Trinamool Congress supplied them
with arms in March 2007.
Nearly 5,000 tribals, wielding
shovels, axes and hammers and led by CPI-Maoist cadres, demolished
a Government building that till last week was a Police camp at
Kalaimuri near Lalgarh in the West Midnapore District. Police
said that around 11am, a group of Maoists gathered in front of
the camp, one of four in Salboni. "They (the Maoists) contacted
people in the neighbouring villages and asked them to assemble
near the camp," a Police officer said, adding, "Nearly 5,000 villagers
with bows, arrows, axes, iron rods and shovels gathered within
half an hour. Some in the demolition squad were women. The Maoists
held an hour-long meeting with them and the demolition began around
1pm. The camp building was completely destroyed by 4pm." Police
sources said the tribals had come from about a dozen villages.
This is for the first time that tribals of the area demolished
a Government building. One of the tribals who helped bring the
building down said, "Had the building remained standing, the Police
would have returned with reinforcements. That's why we demolished
it." Manoj Kumar Verma, the West Midnapore Superintendent of Police,
said he had received news of the demolition and had informed his
superiors. "We will not move into Kalaimuri now because it may
lead to untoward incidents. We don't want a confrontation with
the villagers at this moment. Today's demolition of the camp was
led by Maoists," he added.
The CPI-Maoist leaflets demanding
the immediate release of a dozen of its jailed leaders were found
inside Writers’ Buildings (the West Bengal Government Secretariat)
in capital Kolkata. An employee of the Secretariat saw about 30
of them had been folded together and placed on a locker in the
press corner on the first-floor, which also houses the Chief Minister’s
In an open meeting, which the
Maoists call a peoples' court’, at Madhupur village of Salboni
in West Midnapore District, six influential cadres of the ruling
CPI-M were made to march almost eight kilometres through local
villages after being garlanded with shoes. They, along with 26
CPI-M cadres were forced to announce publicly that they were severing
all ties with CPI-M forever. The peoples' court was organised
and supervised by an armed Maoist squad leader, who said, "This
is to punish them for their activities." He also ordered another
group of CPI-M men to apologise before the crowd by doing squats
while holding their ears.
Three Policemen were killed and
two others injured when a group of 15 CPI-Maoist cadres ambushed
a Police patrol party when they were having lunch at Piralgiri
in the Bankura District. The Maoists later decamped with a SLR,
three .303 rifles and a revolver from the slain Police personnel.
"They had some motorcycles hidden among the trees and sped away
shouting ‘Maobad zindabad’," said the hotel owner Kalachand Das.
Maoists allegedly killed two
CPI-M supporters at Gajgiri, a day after the ambush on the Police
in Bankura where three Policemen were killed.
Jayanta Mahato, a leader of the
ruling CPI-M, was killed by cadres of the CPI-Maoist at Dirghosa
forest in the Salboni area of West Midnapore District in the morning.
An armed group of 15-20 insurgents dragged other CPI-M leaders
out of their homes and assaulted them in the Dhinpur village Panchayat
(village level local self Government institution) area. Earlier,
on June 2, Maoists had announced at a meeting that Mahato would
be killed. Shyam Pandey, CPI-M’s Salboni zonal committee secretary,
said, "Around 50 leaders have fled the locality in fear." Fearful
villagers reportedly did not venture out to remove Mahato''s body.
Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma said, "We heard that a few
CPI-M leaders have been kidnapped by Maoists. However, we have
not received a murder complaint yet."
Three cadres of the ruling CPI-M
and one cadre of the CPI-Maoist-backed PCPA were killed in a gun-battle
in West Midnapore District’s Lalgarh in the morning. Nine other
CPI-M cadres have gone missing and are believed to have met with
the same fate as their party comrades. Around 9.30am, the bullet-riddled
bodies of the three CPI-M workers — Asit Samanta, Prabir Mahato
and Naru Samanta — were found behind a bush on the Lalgarh-Dharampur
road, barely 500m from CPI-M’s Dharampur local committee office.
PCPA cadre Arun Mahato''s body was found later in the evening
besides the Jirapara canal.
A gunrunning racket that supplied
arms to Maoists and other insurgent groups was neutralised by
the Police. Police arrested six persons, including four who hail
from Lalgarh in West Midnapore. The gunrunners reportedly arrived
at Howrah to deliver a consignment of arms to the Lalgarh-based
group. Five sophisticated and improvised guns were recovered from
them. Police are now looking for their associates. Jiten Mondal
and his son Amit were the kingpins of the racket. Hailing from
Jiaganj in Murshidabad, the two used to manufacture arms and supply
them to Maoists.
Two more cadres of the ruling
CPI-M were found dead as cadres of the CPI-Maoist-backed PCPA
set ablaze three recently vacated Police camps and demolished
house of a CPI-M leader, virtually taking control of Lalgarh in
West Midnapur District after forcing Security Forces to leave
the area. The Police camps at Belatkri and Dharampur and the Ramgarh
outpost in Lalgarh were wound up in the wake of apprehensions
that PCPA may loot the arms, the Police said. They also demolished
a camp at Kaima from where the CRPF withdrew, the sources said.
PCPA cadres also demolished the palatial house of a CPI-M leader
Anuj Pandey with crowbars and hammers at Lalgarh, the sources
said, adding that Pandey had fled the site.
In the morning, a contingent of
CRPF tried to go to Lalgarh, but was stopped by the PCPA supporters
at Gherua. The CRPF personnel then entered a school building,
but were compelled to leave when a mob of 2500 tribals started
demonstrating, the sources said.
A Maoist leader Bikash claimed
that his outfit was leading the tribal agitation at Lalgarh. "Chief
Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is saying that we are providing
support to the tribal movement and not actively participating.
This is not true. We are actively in the movement and will continue
to support it," Bikash said over phone.
An office of the ruling CPI-M
was set ablaze when the CPI-Maoist backed PCPA held a ‘victory’
rally at Lalgarh in the West Midnapore District, a day after its
supporters ransacked several Police outposts, offices of the CPI-M
and the house of a local CPI-M leader. However, the PCPA convener
Chhatradhar Mahato told media persons that the objective of the
rally was to "peacefully" protest against the State Government’s
rule that the tribal people cannot hold armed rallies in capital
The Centre believes that West
Bengal's indecision on outlawing the CPI-Maoist is hampering counter-insurgency
operations in the Red corridor. "While the Bengal government accuses
the Centre of not sending adequate paramilitary forces to counter
Maoists, the ministry of home affairs has urged the state to impose
a ban on the outfit. Till this is done, the menace cannot be controlled.
But instead of considering a ban, the state government has even
withdrawn its Police forces from the areas where Naxalites are
operating. Under the circumstances, central forces who do not
know the terrain or the people will be of little help," a Ministry
of Home Affairs (MHA) source said.
The Centre dispatched two companies
of the para-military CRPF, trained in anti-Maoist combat, to take
up positions at Lalgarh by the night, while three more companies
are reportedly on the way.
A local leader and two activists
of the ruling CPI-M were killed by the CPI-Maoist cadres at Banksole
in the Jhargram area of West Midnapore District, about 20 kilometres
from Lalgarh area. Six motorcycle-borne assailants killed the
three persons, including CPI-M’s Shimli branch secretary Amal
Mahato, when they were having tea at a shop after patrolling the
forest in the night to guard against Maoist-backed tribal agitators.
The three were part of a village resistance group approved by
the administration to assist the Police, Jhargram Sub-Divisional
Officer Ulganathan said.
Three houses belonging to the
CPI-M leaders were ransacked and set ablaze in areas adjoining
Lalgarh, parts of which have been rendered inaccessible with roads
dug up by activists of the Maoist-backed PCPA to prevent the entry
of Central Paramilitary Forces being deployed in the region.
The Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram
told the State Government that it should use its own Police rather
than depend on Paramilitary Forces to tackle the ''law and order
The West Bengal Chief Minister
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is reported to have ordered a crackdown
against the Maoists after a meeting of the Left Front but left
it to the Police to decide the date. The State Home Secretary
Ardhendu Sen said West Bengal Police would lead the assault, with
central forces providing the "crucial back-up". A unit of Commando
Battalions for Resolute Action (COBRA) arrived at Kalaikunda late
in the night. Twelve more companies of the central forces are
coming in phases to Midnapore town, Sen said.
As West Bengal launched a counter-offensive
against the CPI-Maoist, the insurgents killed a leader of the
ruling CPI-M and three others near Goaltore in the West Midnapore
District. Their bodies, with throats slit and buried in a patch
of ''shaal'' forest, were found early in the morning.
Hundreds of tribal youths from
the Bankura District moved into Lalgarh in the early hours reinforcing
the ranks of the Maoist-backed PCPA.
The second day of the Police
operation at Lalgarh in the West Midnapore District, an IED explosion
triggered by the CPI-Maoist cadres hit the Domkal Sub-Divisional
Police Officer’s (SDPO's) car in Pirakata, injuring three Policemen.
A culvert was also blown up in Nimtala. Around 9pm, gunfire was
reportedly heard near the Lalgarh Police Station.
The Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram
asked West Bengal to ban the CPI-Maoist in the State. Questioning
the decision of the West Bengal Government for not banning the
outfit in the State, he said, "I believe there are voices in West
Bengal which have raised this issue. We think they should be banned
in West Bengal as in other States."
The Maoists looted at least 24
licensed rifles from several villages adjacent to their citadel
in Lalgarh in the night.
Hundreds of villagers in the
Lalgarh area fled as Security Forces (SFs) started combing operations
and arrested three CPI-Maoist cadres.
After reclaiming control of the
key Lalgarh Police Station area, SFs pushed deeper to break the
Maoist siege of 17 villages considered strongholds of the Maoists
and tribals backed by them.
The Maoist-backed PCPA convenor
Chhatradhar Mahato appealed to the State Government to declare
a cease-fire until July 14 when a meeting was scheduled between
the Government and the PCPA.
The spokesperson for the CPI-Maoist
in West Bengal, Gaur Chakraborty, was arrested by the Kolkata
Police outside the office of a private news channel in the Park
Street area. He was arrested under Section 20 of the Unlawful
Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. He was remanded to Police custody
for 14 days by a court in Kolkata on June 24.
Hundreds of supporters of the
PCPA reportedly took out a rally at Dharampur near Lalgarh in
West Midnapore District. The rally was led by Bikash, a prominent
The Centre sent 600 more Security
Force personnel to Lalgarh as part of its operations against the
CPI-Maoist cadres, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sources
There was heavy exchange of fire
between the Security Forces (SFs) and cadres of the CPI-Maoist
in areas adjacent to Lalgarh in West Midnapore District, the ninth
day of the joint operation by the paramilitary forces and the
West Bengal Police against Maoists and the Maoist-backed PCPA.
Maoists triggered landmines as the SFs moved deeper into Lalgarh
area from the Goaltore end and re-captured Kadasol, 14 kilometres
from Lalgarh. Several improvised explosive devices were recovered
and defused. "The Maoists triggered three landmine blasts in which
none of the joint force personnel was injured. The bomb detection
squad of the Criminal Investigation Department defused seven mines,
while three were exploded in a controlled manner," Inspector-General
of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia said.
The Centre asked the Government
of West Bengal to declare the CPI-Maoist as an "unlawful association"
under the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908 (CLAA) as its scope
is much wider than the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA)
enacted in 2008. Union Home Ministry officials said the West Bengal
Government has been advised to declare the CPI-Maoist as outlawed
because of the fact that the UAPA, under which the Centre outlawed
the outfit on June 22, is essentially directed against unlawful
associations that support secession. "The Criminal Law Amendment
Act, 1908 (CLAA) has a very different objective. It is directed
against associations which encourage or aid person to commit acts
of violence or intimidation. The power is vested in the state
government to declare an association as unlawful," a Union Home
Ministry official said.
48 hours after Ramgarh was captured,
the CPI-Maoist stronghold of Kantapahari was seized by the Security
Forces without any resistance in the morning. Barring a mine blast,
in which no one was injured, a few felled trees and dug up roads,
there was reportedly no sign of any opposition from the Maoists.
Three mines were detected at Shijua, two of which were defused.
The Unlawful Activities Prevention
Act (UAPA) was invoked against two suspected Maoists, Kanchan
Murmu and Gopinath Murmu, who arrested from Sarenga in the morning.
Security Forces retook Dharampur
in the Lalgarh area of West Midnapore District, as the CPI-Maoist
cadres offered no resistance. The Security Forces in their 10
kilometres advance to Dharampur only found felled trees at a number
of places which were cleared by the payloaders accompanying the
10 companies, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Midnapore
Range), Praveen Kumar, told reporters.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist triggered
two simultaneous landmine explosions near a Police checkpoint
at the entrance to Lalgarh in West Midnapore District. However,
no one was injured in the incident.
Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee
said that Chhatradhar Mahato has provided an open forum for Maoist
activity in Lalgarh by forming the Sangram Committee (People’s
Committee against Police Atrocities). Participating in a budget
discussion on his department (Home and Personnel Administrative
Reforms) in the Legislative Assembly, Bhattacharjee said "Formally
his name might not be on the [Maoist] organisation’s list, but
by forming the Sangram Committee, he has provided an open-forum
for Maoist activity in Lalgarh and its surrounding areas." He
further said that the sources of strength and support for the
Maoists were in Jharkhand where they have two training camps.
"Where are their arms, their explosives coming from?" Bhattacharjee
asked saying that the Maoists had seized the opportunity provided
The West Bengal Home Secretary
Ardhendu Sen said in capital Kolkata that more than 100 Maoists
were still hiding in Lalgarh’s forests and many of them are well-equipped
with advanced arms and ammunition. "According our information,
more than 100 Maoists are hiding in West Midnapore''s Lalgarh
and many of them are well-equipped with fire weapons," Sen told
Four cadres, including a woman,
of the CPI-Maoist were arrested from Ghatberakerua under Balarampur
Police Station in the Purulia District. These Maoists were squad
trainers, State Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen said on July 4. They
were carrying pistols, landmine accessories and Maoist literature.
Security Forces arrested a suspected
CPI-Maoist linkman, identified as Lal Mohan Murmu, from the Jhitka
forests near the Lalgarh area of West Midnapore District.
The Maoist-backed People's Committee
against Police Atrocities (PCPA) has called for a shutdown across
the three Districts of Bankura, West Midnapore and Purulia on
July 8. PCPA spokesperson Chhatradhar Mahato said that the shutdown
has been called to protest the arrest of 30 PCPA workers, the
warrant issued against him and the harassment of city intellectuals,
who went to Lalgarh during the joint operations.
A local Trinamool Congress (TMC)
leader, Kartik Deb Singho, was arrested from a relative’s house
in the Manikpara Police Station area of Jhargram in West Midnapore
District and has been charged with waging war against the Government
of India. Singho was later produced in a court, which remanded
him in Police custody for 10 days. The West Midnapore Superintendent
of Police, Manoj Verma, said there are specific cases against
Singho, adding, "He was arrested as he is accused of Maoist activities
in the area and has links with Maoists squads. There are specific
cases against him."
Threatening to launch a "greater
movement" within a couple of days unless the West Bengal Government
withdraws the joint security forces from Lalgarh, the PCPA convener
Chhatradhar Mahato warned it against "any more arrests of innocent
people in the name of a Maoist flush-out."
Two supporters of the ruling
CPI-M were killed by cadres of the CPI-Maoist at Shirsha village,
25 kilometres from Lalgarh in West Midnapore District. A squad
of around 50 armed CPI-Maoist cadres, including seven women, reportedly
held a procession and a kangaroo court in the village, along with
several cadres of the CPI-Maoist-backed PCPA. 12 villagers, who
are also CPI-M supporters, were summoned to the court by the Maoists.
The two persons sentenced to death were local CPI-M leader Gurucharan
Mahato and Baren Mahato, a CPI-M supporter and local ration dealer.
The rest were brutally assaulted and forced to quit the party.
"The Maoists have claimed responsibility for the killings. We
are conducting raids in several places in search of the assailants,"
Manoj Kumar Verma, District Superintendent of Police, told from
Armed cadres of the CPI-Maoist
ransacked the house of Sudarshan Das, a local leader of the ruling
CPI-M, at Nimal village near Lalgrah in the West Midnapore District.
"They came, threw away all utensils, set my house on fire and
beat me because I failed to tell the whereabouts of my son," Sudarshan''s
father Rakhhari Das said.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist attacked
a camp of the Security Forces at Dharampur, about 15 kilometers
from Lalgarh in the West Midnapore District. The Maoists reportedly
fired about 20 rounds, the Inspector General of Police (Western
range), Kuldip Singh, said. Subsequent to retaliatory action by
the SFs, the Maoists retreated. District Magistrate N.S. Nigam
said no casualty has been reported on either side.
The CPI-Maoist cadres detonated
a landmine that damaged a portion of an under-construction community
hall at Barabazaar in Purulia. Eyewitnesses said around 20-25
Maoists raided the community hall and left behind posters eulogising
The Security Forces arrested a
suspected Maoist, Sambhu alias Salil Lohar, from Bikrampur
under Sarenga Police Station in Bankura District. Police claimed
Lohar was involved in planting a landmine between Kargil junction
and Baliapal a few days back.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist killed
two activists of the ruling CPI-M in the Lalgarh area of West
Midnapore District. The bodies of the two CPI-M workers - Swapan
Debsingha and Tarini Mahato - were found near a ditch in the forest
area of Memul under Salboni Police Station, Inspector General
of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia told. Armed Maoists had
abducted the duo in the night of July 13. .
Armed cadres of the CPI-Maoist
shot dead Gangaram Mahato (45), the Purulia District committee
leader of ruling CPI-M, at Burrabazaar near Purulia, a day after
two CPI-M activists were killed by the Maoists at Salboni in West
Midnapore District. The Police said an eight-member motorbike-borne
gang of Maoists shot at Gangaram Mahato, who was returning from
the market on his motorcycle, from a point blank range at Burrabazaar,
killing him on the spot. Mahato was reportedly on the hit-list
of the Maoists, the Police said.
Two days after attacking the Dharampur
camp of the Security Forces, the Maoists again raided the same
camp besides another at Andharjora in Lalgarh region in West Midnapore
District. Casualty, if any, was not known, the sources said.
It was ascertained after the Intelligence
branch of the West Bengal Police intercepted mobile phone calls
between the Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organisations
of South Asia CCOMPOSA and action squad members during ''Operation
Lalgarh'' that the Maoist action squad members who held sway over
Lalgarh for nine long months were residents of West Bengal and
Jharkhand, but the operation was masterminded by Nepal-based members
of the underground CCOMPOSA. It further said that a team of around
200 CCOMPOSA members set up bases in the jungles of Jharkhand
and Bastar in Chhattisgarh to monitor the activity in Lalgarh.
The CPI-Maoist-backed People's
Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) gave call for a 72-hour
shutdown in the West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia Districts
from July 19 to protest the month-long operation and alleged torture
of innocent villagers at its core committee meeting near Lalgarh.
The CPI-Maoist called for a shutdown
on July 22, immediately after the shutdown by the PCPA ends, in
Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal in protest against the
price hike of petrol, potato and essential commodities.
A local leader of the ruling
CPI-M was shot dead by CPI-Maoist cadres at Andharishol, 20 kilometers
from Lalgarh. Jaladhar Mahato, a resident of Jhargram, was a member
of the CPI-M’s Jhargram zonal committee.
Maoists in Lalgarh forced 19
activists of the ruling CPI-M to quit the party. Soon after announcing
that the 19 CPI-M members have voluntarily quit their party, the
PCPA took out a huge rally near Dharampur which was also attended
by several Maoists.
A landmine exploded at a jungle
in Bankisole in West Midnapore District even as Security Forces
(SFs) combed 43 villages on the second day of the three-day shutdown
called by the CPI-Maoist-backed PCPA. However, no casualty was
reported in the blast.
Hundreds of PCPA supporters and
students were baton-charged at Gohumidanga High School near Dharampur
in Lalgarh area when they held a demonstration to protest the
institute being used as a camp by the SFs. Approximately 16 people
was injured in the baton-charge.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist shot
dead a leader of the ruling CPI-M, Fagu Baskey, at Madhupur village
under Belpahari Police Station in West Midnapore District, minutes
after he returned to his village following six months in hiding.
A man who identified himself as Maoist leader Rakesh claimed responsibility
for the murder. Baskey, a branch committee secretary of the CPI-M
in Madhupur village, had fled home after suspected Maoist action
squad member Nikhil Mahato was arrested. "After the arrest, the
Maoists had issued death threats to Baskey for allegedly tipping
off the Police. He spent the past six months at the CPM office
in Belpahari town, about 10 kilometers away," a Police officer
Maoists' call for a day's strike
affected several areas of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia
Districts, but no untoward incident was reported.
Supporters of the CPI-Maoist-backed
PCPA, armed with traditional weapons ransacked the house of a
local committee member of the ruling CPI-M at Pirrakhuli, 10 kilometers
from Lalgarh in West Midnapore District, for allegedly informing
the Police about the PCPA. However Madan Mahato, who had received
several threats from PCPA supporters as well as the Maoists for
his party affiliation, fled from his home before the attackers
A group of armed cadres of the
CPI-Maoist and People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA)
abducted a Police officer and two others at Pirrakhuli, 14 kilometers
from Lalgarh in West Midnapore District. Though the other two
persons were later released, the Police officer was held hostage.
The Maoists hijacked a water tanker on its way from the Pirakata
base camp to the Bhimpur base camp with Assistant Sub-Inspector
Dipak Pramanik onboard, along with the driver Banamali Mahato
and the cleaner Santosh Mahato. The tanker was taken to the dense
Bankishole forest and set ablaze. All the three abducted were
badly assaulted. Police is yet to trace Pramanik who is suspected
to have been taken by the Maoists to their stronghold in the dense
forests adjoining Dharampur.
Heavy exchange of gunfire between
the Security Forces and the Maoists was reported from Kantapahari
later in the evening. The Security Forces have reportedly set
up a base camp there.
The CPI-Maoist cadres released
the Policeman they abducted on July 24 at Pirrakhuli, 14 kilometers
from Lalgarh in West Midnapore District. In a press statement
issued later, CPI-Maoist leader Bikash stated that "the Policeman
was released following discussions with local people, media and
Personnel of the West Bengal Police
and the CRPF launched a joint operation to flush out Maoists in
Purulia District. It is part of the simultaneous security operations
that the West Bengal and Jharkhand Police had agreed upon at a
joint meeting held in Jharkhand on July 8.
The CPI-ML activists, allegedly
from the Mahadev faction, killed a Democratic Youth Federation
of India (DYFI) worker, identified as Ananda Das, and injured
two other at Takimari village in Rajganj in Jalpaiguri Distrist
for refusing to respond to a bandh (shut down) called by
the Naxalites (Left Wing Extremist). Ananda Das (32), Jatan Roy
(32) and Sudhanshu Biswas (28) were sitting at a tea stall when
seven CPI-ML cadres tried to shut it down forcibly. When the trio
resisted, the Naxalites hacked them with sharp weapons. Ananda
died on the way to hospital. Later, a Police team arrested three
men from Baikunthapur forest, the report added.
The CPI-Maoist cadres opened fire
at a Police camp at Ramkrishna High School in the Lalgarh area
of West Midnapore District. The Police retaliated by firing several
rounds and the gun battle continued for about an hour. However,
there were no reports of any casualties.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist shot
dead Sagar Masanta, a local committee member of the ruling CPI-M,
and abducted five other party members in West Midnapore District.
The Police said Sagar Masanta, a resident of Patharpara village
at Goaltore in the Lalgarh Police Station area, was found dead
and his body was recovered from the field near the village. Five
other CPI-M members - Arun Mahato, Amal Mahato and Brahmanya Singha
Roy from Salboni village in the Lalgarh Police Station area and
Sailen Deb Sinha and Anadi Deb Sinha from Kalaimuri village -
were abducted from their homes.
The Maoists abducted two Policemen,
Sabbir Molla and Kanchan Bauri, Assistant Sub-inspectors of the
State Armed Police and members of the joint forces engaged in
anti-Maoists operations in Lalgarh, while they were returning
to their camp in Dharampur. This is the second incident of abduction
of Policemen by the Maoists in a week in Lalgarh.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist and
Security Forces (SFs) exchanged fire at Bhulageria near Lalgarh
in the West Midnapore District where an anti-Maoist operation
is in progress. Some people were injured in the firing at Bhulageria,
Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen told reporters in capital Kolkata,
adding though there were reports about two Maoists getting killed
in the Police firing, they were yet to be confirmed. Police said
the Maoists fired at the SF personnel prompting the troops to
retaliate. One of the injured was identified as Laxmikant Soren,
unconfirmed reports said.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist killed
two local-level politicians, one from the ruling CPI-M and the
other from the Jharkhand Party (Aditya) in West Midnapore District.
Nirmal Mahato, who was killed just one kilometer away from the
Lalgarh Police Station, was the CPI-M's Amdanga branch committee
secretary. Kalipada Singh (35), a Jharkhand Party (Aditya) and
Gana Pratirodh Committee (People's Resistance Committee) leader,
was killed at Chirugeria in Belpahari. Both leaders were reportedly
attempting to organize local resistance against the Maoists and
People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA). Nirmal had
been on the Maoist hit-list for the past two years. He had been
shot at in 2007, but managed to escape. Police have detained six
persons, including Anil Mahato, brother of the PCPA spokesperson
Chhatradhar Mahato, and five students from Amdanga and Amliya.
Meanwhile, the PCPA supporters
dug up roads near Shirshi and Champashole in Kotwali while the
Maoists put up posters asking locals to observe 'Martyrs' Week'.
A group of 15-20 cadres of the
CPI-Maoist shot dead Nagen Singh Sardar (42), a resident of Nischintipur
village in Belpahari, an adjoining block to Lalgarh in the West
Midnapore District, when he was returning home late in the night.
Sardar, a former CPI-Maoist activist, had switched loyalty and
joined the Jharkhand Party (Naren), and later a local people''s
committee – the Gana Pratirodh Committee (People’s Resistance
Committee) -, which was set up to resist Maoist activities in
the region eight months back. He was reportedly threatened by
the extremists several times as they suspected him of passing
information to the Police. The incident occurred within a three
kilometre radius of the Tarafeni Police camp that was set up following
the joint operation of Security Forces.
Gurucharan Tudu (56), a member
of the Gana Pratirodh Committee, (People’s Resistance Committee),
was killed by Maoists at Jamjurki village Belpahari, an adjoining
block to Lalgarh in the West Midnapore District.
A group of around 70 cadres of
the CPI-Maoist, including some women, killed Shankar Das Adhikary
(38), a supporter of the ruling CPI-M, at Chilgora village, about
20 kilometers from Lalgarh in West Midnapore District. The Maoists
barged into his house and dragged him out around 2.30a.m. (IST).
A "people's court" was held in the village at which he was awarded
'death sentence' for his alleged connection with the Police, and
then shot dead. A statement issued by Maoist leader Bikas through
SMS said "Extreme punishment has been meted out to Shankar Adhikary.
After the arrival of the joint force, the Chandra camp was his
regular address. He was also accused of exploitation and corruption."
Gunadhar Singh (46), was shot
dead by the Maoists after being awarded the 'death sentence' at
a "people's court" at Majgeria village in the Belpahari area,
an adjacent block to Lalgarh.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist shot
dead three persons at Aankro village, about 25 kilometers from
Lalgarh in the West Midnapore District. A group of armed assailants
dragged the victims, identified as Ashim Soren, Shaktipada Murmu
and Budhu Hansda, out from a local cold storage where they were
employed. Villagers reportedly heard gunshots at night. The bullet-riddled
dead bodies of the victims were later found in a paddy field.
The deceased who were residents of the neighbouring Maguria were
supporters of the Jharkhand Party (Naren) and were also associated
with the Gana Pratirodh Committee (People's Resistance Committee)
that was set up in December 2008 to resist Maoist activities in
The State Government admitted
that Operation Lalgarh has not been successful so far. "Our target
was to arrest the Maoists or flush them out of the area. But we
have not been successful. The Maoists are continuing with the
siege almost everyday. Killings and abductions are regular," Home
Secretary Ardhendu Sen said after a review meeting at Writers'
Buildings (Secretariat of the State) in capital Kolkata. The West
Midnapore District magistrate Narayan Swaroop Nigam is reported
to have expressed fears of an attack on Midnapore town "any day".
The Maoists have reportedly killed 10 people in the area in a
week in spite of the huge presence of Police and central paramilitary
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist, in
a show of strength, held an armed rally at Domohani, barely two
kilometers from Dharampur Police Station, in Lalgarh of West Midnapore
District. The rally was attended by around 1,000 villagers. In
the rally, the Maoists assured people that they were completely
prepared to take on the armed forces. "None of our people has
been killed or arrested," claimed Maoist leader Bikash.
One person, identified as Ramapada
Mandal, was shot at and injured by the Maoists in the Lalgarh
area of West Midnapore District late in the evening. Maoist leader
Bikash claimed responsibility for the incident.
The dead body of a civilian,
Manik Mandal, who was shot dead by cadres of the CPI-Maoist, was
found at Pochapani in the Lalgarh area of West Midnapore District.
Though the Police are yet to verify his political affiliation,
reports said he was a supporter of the Jharkhand Party (Naren
faction). Maoist leader Bikash claimed responsibility for the
The cadres of the CPI-Maoist
killed a local leader of ruling CPI-M at Dherua near Lalgarh in
West Midnapore District. Paritosh Mishra, the CPI-M leader, was
given death sentence by a 'people's court' as he had been working
against their interest, Maoist leader Bikash said.
Workers of the Maoist-backed PCPA
dug up roads leading to Jhargram town in 12 places to enforce
an indefinite bandh (shut down) from August 11, Police
said. The roads have been dug up between Bamal and Dherua and
between Dherua and Baita, PCPA sources said.
Encounters between the Security
Forces (SFs) and cadres of the CPI-Maoist were reported from the
Lalgarh area of West Midnapore District. According to the District
Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma, the two sides exchanged
fire intermittently throughout the day in the forest areas near
Lakhanpur and Hatilot, which fall under the Salboni Police Station.
Commenting on the progress of the joint operations, Chief Minister
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who was on a visit to Midnapur to review
the progress of various development schemes, said a change in
strategy was needed.
An intermittent exchange of fire
between the SFs and Maoists continued in the Lalgarh region of
West Midnapore District. SFs chased a group of about 100 Maoists
early in the day at Chandavila village where they had taken shelter.
With the Maoists opening fire, a gun-battle ensued with the SF
personnel retaliating, the Police said. The extremists fled the
village and entered Purnapani village where another encounter
followed. Faced with heavy firing from the troops, the Maoists
split in two groups - one proceeding towards Tarki village and
the other entering the dense Bhulagara forest. The Bhulagara group
was encircled by the SFs after a brief encounter and some of them
were arrested. However, none of the group members who fled towards
Tarki could be arrested. District Police Superintendent Manoj
Kumar Verma told, "Some Maoists have been arrested and are being
interrogated now. Heavy fire exchange took place in four places
though there was no casualty on our side." One of the arrested
has been identified as Baidyanath Hembram (20) of Rautara village
in the region. However, no weapon was found on him at the time
The State Government said the
second phase of the operation was about to begin. Home Secretary
Ardhendu Sen and Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh visited
West Midnapore and held a meeting with senior Police and District
officials. "The next phase of the operation will start very soon.
We will also take the people in the area into confidence," Sen
said. "There is no possibility of calling off the operations unless
the entire area is free from Maoists," he added after meeting
senior officers of the Central and State Police Forces engaged
in the operations. Sen said the Central Forces would stay on in
Lalgarh for a long period of time and their withdrawal would be
considered only after a review of the security situation. "They
will stay in Lalgarh at least till September when the situation
will be reviewed again," the Home Secretary said.
"Overground" supporters of the
CPI-Maoist and surrendered Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO)
cadres publicly floated a new political organisation at Dakshin
Salsalabari village in Alipurduar block II of Jalpaiguri District.
They have named the organisation 'Communist Organisation for North
Bengal (preparatory committee).' Speaking on behalf of the new
organisation, former Maoist leader Sudhanshu Das said his party
would strive for the right of the farmers, tribal and Other Backward
Classes, residing in north Bengal. "A new Leftist organisation
focusing on equal rights for all was the need of the hour following
the State Government's failure to ensure it. We dream of a new
democratic society where people would enjoy equal status," Das
claimed. Another "ex-Maoist" leader Ratan Roy said that the preparatory
committee has 11 members who would work to build the organization
all over north Bengal. "We published our manifesto today along
with the organization's logo - a sickle and a hammer. We are grateful
to our former KLO friends who joined our part to work for the
development of north Bengal," Roy said. However, Jalpaiguri Superintendent
of Police (SP) Anand Kumar said that they did not have any information
about the development.
An activist of the ruling CPI-M,
Ramakrishna Duley, was killed by the CPI-Maoist cadres at Saluka
village in the Bankura District on.
Tribals led by Maoists held protests
with black flags at various places in Lalgarh in the West Midnapore
District on Independence Day. Villagers of Lalgarh, Salbani, Goaltore,
Belpahari, Binpur reportedly stayed away from Independence Day
celebrations and took out processions led by the CPI-Maoist in
various areas with black flags. Over 5,000 tribals, including
women, armed with traditional weapons, also gathered at Madhupur,
a PCPA stronghold, near Salbani and hoisted a black flag, the
Police said. Superintendent of Police in West Midnapore, Manoj
Verma, said the Police were inquiring about the hoisting of black
Four cadres of the CPI-Maoist
were arrested late in the night in the Lalgarh region of West
Midnapore District after the gun-battle in Madhupur jungle earlier
on the same day. Sunil Mahato, Haradhan Khanra, Subhas Mahato
and Arun Das were arrested from the Madhupur and Memul villages.
Several traditional weapons and crude bombs were recovered from
Maoist leader, Molajella Koteswar
Rao alias Kishan, claimed that the second phase of joint
operations will also fail as "no government can oppress the voice
of the people". "This is a people's movement and no government
can oppress the voice of the people," Kishan told PTI on
phone from an undisclosed location. "They were not successful
in the first phase so they are preparing for a second phase,"
he added. He alleged that the joint forces were disrupting studies
of students because of their occupation of school buildings and
also harassing tribals in Lalgarh.
Life in tribal villages in 18
Police Stations across the three Districts of West Midnapore,
Bankura and Purulia came to a standstill due to the shutdown call
given by the PCPA, a Maoist-backed organisation. The shutdown
was also successful in Lalgarh, Belpahari and Kantapahari. Local
traders reportedly downed shutters despite the presence of Security
Forces and schools were also closed. The PCPA started the indefinite
shutdown with low-intensity blasts at Kantapahari and Narcha in
West Midnapore, close to Police camps. Around 9pm (IST), the Maoists
also set ablaze six trucks that had defied the strike and were
plying on the Jhargram-Silda road.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist and
Security Forces exchanged fire at three places in the Lalgarh
area of West Midnapore District for the second time in three days,
Police said. The firing took place at Kantapahari, Bhulageria
and Kadasole areas, which were earlier brought under control by
the Central Forces and the Police in anti-Maoist operations since
June 18. Sources said that there was no casualty in the firing
and added that a 300-member armed group of Maoists have sneaked
A local committee office of the
ruling CPI-M at Dherua, around 22 kilometers from Lalgarh, was
ransacked by the PCPA. The Maoist-backed PCPA members felled trees
at Tandra and other areas on roads leading to Lalgarh and organised
a rally at Mehmul, near Salboni and at Madhupur to protest alleged
atrocities during anti-Maoist operations by the Security Forces,
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist exploded
an IED near Mahuatola in the Lalgarh area of West Midnapore District
targeting a joint forces patrol, on the third day of the bandh
(shutdown) called by the PCPA. Police also recovered three IEDs
near the Kadashole Police camp.
Nearly 1,000 armed men vandalised
the houses of Suman Singh, who had resigned as the Baita village
panchayat pradhan (head of the village level local self Government
institution) and a leader of the ruling CPI-M, Bankim Singha,
at Barkola. "Bankim''s house was ransacked as he had supplied
water to the patrolling forces three days ago," Police said.
Four CPI-Maoist cadres were arrested
from Jhitka forests in the Lalgarh area of West Midnapore District.
Police also confiscated pipe guns, cartridges and gelatin rolls
from the insurgents. During their interrogation, it was revealed
that the CPI-Maoist is piling up arms in the forests of Lakshmanpur
and Tarki, about six kilometers from Lalgarh, close to the Jhitka
forests. The arrests also reportedly confirmed that outsiders
such as Subal Murmu, now in Police remand, had come all the way
from Gajole in Malda to Jangalmahal, apparently for the Maoist
The indefinite strike called
by the Maoist-backed PCPA in the three Districts of West Midnapore,
Bankura and Purulia that entered its fourth day and was 'relaxed'
for a two-hour period "for the convenience of the people". Acknowledging
the difficulties faced by the people, Chhatradhar Mahato, PCPA
convenor, told The Hindu over telephone from his hideout,
"We decided to relax the bandh for two hours each day for as long
as it lasts". He, however, declined any chance of the movement
slackening and stuck to the PCPA's demand of Security Forces'
withdrawal from the region.
The State Home Secretary Ardhendu
Sen, on a visit to West Midnapore District during the day, said
the operations would continue. "The operations against the Maoists
will not end quickly. They are continuing. The Centre has accepted
that the security forces need to stay in Paschim Medinipur," Sen
said, adding that the West Bengal Government has requested the
Jharkhand Government to launch a simultaneous operation against
the extremists for better results.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist shot
dead two activists of the Jharkhand Party-Aditya in the Belpahari
area of West Midnapore District. Lalu Murmu and Karan Murmu, residents
of Shakhabhanga village, were missing since August 22 and their
dead bodies were found near a forest in the morning of August
23, authorities said.
The Director General of Central
Reserve Police Force (CRPF), A. S. Gill, visited Salbani where
a Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) training institute
would be set up. Gill visited the site allotted for the institute
by the State Government beside the mint there. He also reportedly
held a meeting with commanders of the 26 CRPF companies who are
currently part of the joint forces engaged in anti-Maoist operations
The 48-hour bandh (shutdown)
called by the CPI-Maoist paralysed life in the Jhargram sub-division
and Midnapore town in West Midnapore District though it evoked
a mixed response in the Bankura and Purulia Districts. The outfit
had called for a 48-hour bandh in five states, including West
Bengal, in protest against the arrest of two leaders in Jharkhand,
who were allegedly not produced in court in due time.
Suspected cadres of the CPI-Maoist
ransacked the house of CPI-M leader Jagannath Mahato at Pathri
village in the Lalgarh region of West Midnapore District.
Another CPI-M supporter, Govinda
Mahato, was assaulted by the Maoists in the same village for his
Superintendent of Police (West
Midnapore) Manoj Kumar Verma said two landmines were recovered
from Bansberh village at Kantapahari, seven kilometres from Lalgarh.
Documents seized from hideouts
of the CPI-Maoist in Lalgarh during joint operations reveal that
it has set up six Zonal Committees (ZCs) in the State so far and
at least five more will come up in south Bengal Districts. Representation
from West Bengal in the outfit's Central Committee (CC) and Politburo
has also increased, according to information available to the
State and Central Police Organisations. The outfit is also planning
to set up more units in Districts including Nadia, Burdwan, Murshidabad,
Hooghly and Birbhum. The CPI-Maoist will be setting up two ZCs
in Nadia and Murshidabad shortly, an officer said, adding that
another unit will be established to spread Maoist activities in
Arambag, Khanakul and Goghat (Hooghly) and Chandrokona, Ghatal
(West Midnapore). A Maoist leader hailing from Jangipara in Hooghly
has been entrusted with the responsibility of looking after this
articular committee, the officer said adding that another Maoist
leader from Jangipara has recently been inducted into the CC.
The operation to tackle Maoists
from Jangalmahal in collaboration with Jharkhand will start after
the monsoon, State Director-General of Police Bhupinder Singh.
"We are in constant touch with the Jharkhand government but the
monsoon is not the right time to launch the operation. The terrain
is familiar to the Maoists but not to the forces. We are waiting
for the monsoon to get over," Singh said. Flash floods, malaria
and snakebites will be some of the major impediments if the operation
is carried out during the monsoon.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist killed
Lakshman Mahto, a member of the ruling CPI-M, at Belasole in the
Salboni area of West Midnapore District. Police said the attackers
slit the throat of Mahto and left him bleeding at the spot.
At Chandra, near Lalgarh in the
same District, armed Maoists damaged houses of one CPI and five
CPI-M leaders, accusing them of having exploited tribals for years.
Cadres of the Communist Party
of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) and members of the People's Committee
against Police Atrocities (PCPA), a Maoist backed group, damaged
offices of ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-Marxist)
in four villages, around 30 kilometres from Lalgarh in the West
Midnapore District. According to Police, a Maoist squad along
with the PCPA members gathered around 600 people of Sirsi village,
held them at gunpoint and told them not to support the CPI-M.
The villagers shouted in agreement following which the Maoists
split them in four groups and marched towards the CPI-M offices
in Chandvilla, Binpur, Belia and Deuldanga, all under Midnapore
Kotwali Police Station.
Mangal Soren, a supporter of
the ruling CPI-M, who had been trying to mobilise public opinion
against a bandh (shutdown) backed by the CPI-Maoist was
killed in the Binpur area of West Midnapore District. Mangal Soren
was tilling his land when five assailants on motorcycles called
him and shot him from close and later as Mangal slumped to the
ground, they hacked him. An axe flew out of the hand of one of
the attackers and hit another farmer at a distance. Sital Hembram,
who survived the blow on his back, told villagers he saw a familiar
face among the five and the residents of Ergoda village set out
for the house of Chandan Mahato, a Jharkhand Party (Naren) supporter
in neighbouring Guiara village. In Chandan's absence, the mob
dragged out his 63-year old father Biren Mahato and hacked him
with daggers and also shot him. "We think Mangal's murder was
the handiwork of Maoists. We are probing whether any political
party was involved," said District Superintendent of Police Manoj
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist shot
dead Lakshikanta Kumar, secretary of Sindurpur local committee
of the ruling CPI-M, when he was returning on a bicycle from the
Chatuhasa village under Arsa Police Station in Purulia District.
In the other incident in the morning,
a CPI-Marxist member, Bidyut Das, was shot at and injured in the
Shandpura village of West Midnapore District. Das, a poultry owner,
succumbed to his injuries later in the night, sources said.
Chhatradhar Mahato, leader of
the Maoist-backed PCPA declared, "We, the sons of the soil, want
the rights to the land, jungle and water of Jangalkhand. We want
total autonomy because our people and land should be ruled by
us." He did not rule out the possibility of a statehood demand,
saying, "We will soon set up a united ethnic platform to raise
our demand for autonomy." This is the first time the PCPA leader
has expressed a clear autonomy demand.
An active worker of the ruling
CPI-M, Debiprosad Hansda (50), was shot dead by armed cadres of
the CPI-Maoist on the charge of being corrupt at Bitting Lohar
village in Purulia District, the Police said.
A group of 10 armed Maoists shot
dead Sukdeb Mahato (40) of Manihada village in the Lalgarh area
of West Midnapore District on the suspicion of being a Police
informer. The Maoists dragged him out of his home and took him
to the forest near by to "try" him in a Kangaroo court ('people's
court') there, Police said.
A Maoist died when the improvised
explosive device he was making to blow up a culvert exploded in
a field on the outskirts of Behrampore town. Sambhu Dolui, his
accomplice, who had joined a Maoist action squad six months ago,
was seriously injured in the blast. The dead Maoist has not been
identified as yet. Some Maoist literature was recovered from the
possession of Sambhu, who told the Police that the duo had planned
to blow up a culvert on the National Highway 34 to disrupt traffic
between Siliguri and capital Kolkata.
In the West Midnapore District,
Maoists shot at and injured a CPI-M leader while he was returning
home from the market. Police sources said Ujjwal Kundu (55), member
of the party's Kantapahari branch committee, had fled his house
at Papuria village near Kantapahari, seven kilometres from Lalgarh,
following the spate of violence in November 2008 and returned
only after the Security Forces reclaimed the region from the Maoists.
He, however, continued to receive threats.
Four more CPI-M workers and leaders,
including Latika Hembram, Pradhan (Chairman) of Kepka Ghatber
Panchayat Samiti (block level self-Government institution), her
husband and two relatives were assaulted at Amghar and Nandudih
villages in Balarampur. The party leaders were also told to desert
the CPI-M at the earliest, sources said.
Nearly 700 cadres and supporters
of the Liberation faction of the Communist Party of India-Marxist
Leninist (CPI-ML-Liberation) courted arrest in Siliguri demanding
immediate withdrawal of forces from Lalgarh.
The Maoist-backed PCPA announced
that the indefinite bandh (shutdown) being enforced by
it since 14 days in the West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia Districts
would be 'relaxed' for a week from September 1 for the "convenience
of local people." Speaking to The Hindu over telephone
from his hideout in the Lalgarh area, PCPA convener Chhatradhar
Mahato said, "Though we are receiving support from people of all
sections in our protest against the presence of security forces
in the region, we felt that the indefinite closure is affecting
them, especially daily-wage workers."
Maoists abducted Kanai Nayek,
(34), a worker of the ruling CPI-M, from his house in Barkola
village, six kilometers from Lalgarh area of West Midnapore District
in the night of August 31. There was no trace of Kanai till late
in the night of September 1. "We are searching the local jungles,"
said West Midnapore Police SP Manoj Verma. Some 50-armed men came
to Kanai’s house and dragged him out, said a resident of Barkola
village, adding, "They tied his hands with a towel and took him
Two cadres of the CPI-Maoist
were killed and an equal number were arrested in an encounter
with the joint force of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and
State Armed Police personnel at Madhupur village in the Salboni
area of West Midnapore District. District Superintendent of Police
(SP) Manoj Verma said the encounter occurred when the troops reached
Madhupur in the morning and was fired on by the Maoists from near
the banks of a nearby canal. There was no casualty among the Security
Force personnel who have recovered the bodies of the two Maoists
identified as squad leaders, Verma said. Three guns and a large
quantity of ammunition were recovered from the slain and arrested
Maoists, he added.
Another group of Maoists raided
the house of a ration dealer and CPI-M supporter Lakshmikanta
Das at Memul village in Salboni, 10 kilometers from Lalgarh. Das
had fled home a month ago following threats from the extremists.
While ransacking his house in the night, the Maoists found many
ration cards and distributed them among the villagers.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist killed
two supporters of the ruling CPI-M, Satish Singh Sardar and Narendranath
Mahato, in the Belpahari and Jamboni areas of West Midnapore District
in the morning. According to the Police, an armed Maoist squad
entered Chotopukuria village at around 3am (IST), called Satish
outside of his home and took him to a desolate house before shooting
him dead. Satish was a member of the Gana Pratirodh Committee
(a group formed by the CPI-M in the area to resist the Maoists).
Meanwhile, another squad attacked Narendranath Mahato, another
CPI-M in Jamboni. He was hit with sharp weapons.
Two more unidentified bodies were
found in the evening from Dherua in the same District.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist shot
dead a leader of the ruling CPI-M and abducted two others at Salbani
near Lalgarh in West Midnapore District. Superintendent of Police
Manoj Verma said armed Maoists entered Shyam Chalak's home at
Keudi village and shot him dead from close range. Chalak was secretary
of CPI-M branch office at Keudi village which was recently cleared
off Maoists by the Police and Paramilitary Forces in a flush-out
operation. Verma said one armed Maoist guerilla was arrested in
connection with Chalak's murder.
Two other CPI-M leaders were abducted
in retaliation by Maoists from Kadasole village near Lalgarh,
hours after the arrest of a Maoist cadre, the Police said.
A group of armed Maoists, at least
two of whom were carrying guns, was chased by nearly 40 villagers
at Nepura village and three of them were caught. They were assaulted
and handed over to Police. The Maoists reportedly came to target
Durga Tudu (65), a former Legislator belonging to the CPI-M.
A local committee leader of the
ruling CPI-M was shot dead by cadres of the CPI-Maoist at Chingra
locality under Sarenga Police Station in the Bankura District
in the evening, Police said. "Krishna Kundu, CPI-M’s Bikrampur
local committee secretary, was killed by a group of Maoists ultras,"
a senior officer of Sarenga Police Station. The incident took
place when Kundu was returning to his home from a nearby market
on his bicycle.
Around 11.30 pm (IST), a group
of 50-60 cadres of the CPI-Maoist in military fatigue raided the
house of a local leader of the ruling CPI-M, Badan Paramanik,
in Burudih village in Purulia District. Badan, whose name figures
on the Maoist hitlist, had been staying away from home for some
time. Failing to find him, the Maoists assaulted his son Goutam
and wife Sabitri outside their home and warned that all of them
would be killed if Badan did not quit the party immediately. They
set ablaze to a haystack in the house before leaving. The Maoist
group then went to the house of Chunnu Gorai at the other end
of the village and asked him to hand over his licensed gun. "As
I refused to do so, they threatened to blow up my house using
landmines. My wife then urged me to hand over the gun and I did
so. The Maoists left, but only after hurling a few bombs outside
our house in a bid to create panic among villagers," Gorai said.
Security Forces exchanged fire with the same Maoist group Bandih
village at the foot of Ayodhya Hills near Kanthaljore forest in
Purulia District around 1.30 am (IST) on September 11. The exchange
of fire lasted around 15 minutes, after which the Maoists fled
towards Jharkhand. However, there were no casualties in the encounter.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist shot
dead a supporter of the ruling CPI-M, identified as Nazrul Hasan
(35), in the Binpur area of West Midnapore District. Around 10
Maoists came on three two-wheelers and shot dead Hasan from close
range about 8.30pm (IST) while he was having tea at a local tea
Earlier in the day, the CPI-M
activists took out a rally from Kankaboti to Enayetpur, around
8 kilometres from Midnapore town to protest the killing of 31
party workers since the beginning of joint operation against Maoists
in Lalgarh, with CPI-M District secretariat member Satyen Maity
leading the rally, which saw the participation of more than 5,000
people. The Maoists, too, organized a rally comprising villagers
from Chilgora to Dherua. Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma
said, "We know about the rally. We recovered two suspected landmines,
but they turned out to be fake." Further, suspected Maoists also
dug up a road at Baita, around 15 kilometres from Lalgarh affecting
bus service between Jhargram and Midnapore via Dherua.
Three workers of the ruling CPI-M,
including a school teacher, were killed by cadres of the CPI-Maoist
in the Lalgarh area of West Midnapore District. Kartick Mahato
(38), a temporary-teacher in Jamda High School at Belatikri in
Lalgrah, was shot dead in the morning by six to seven motorcycle-borne
Maoists after barging into the classroom when he was taking a
class. They also took away his motorbike. A few minutes later,
the CPI-M's Salbani Branch office local committee Secretary Sambhu
Mahato was shot dead along with one of his associate Anadi Mahato
while they were sitting in a roadside tea-stall at Burikarli by
the Maoists, the Police said. While Sambhu, a resident of remote
Guripal village, died on the spot, his associate died in a local
Suspected cadres of the CPI-Maoist
set ablaze the houses of three leaders of ruling CPI-M in Chainpur
and Kundalboni villages in West Midnapore District in the night.
The houses of Nitai Pal CPI-M's Dherua local committee member
and teacher at Chandra High School and DYFI leader Manoj Pal in
Chainpur were set ablaze. The Maoists had taken out a huge rally
and attacked the CPI-M members' houses. There were no casualties.
Maoists also set ablaze the house of CPI-M's Chandra local committee
member Manik Mahapatra in Kundalboni. Manik had left the house
two months ago.
A hardcore Maoist who faces 30
murder cases was arrested along with four others from an area
under Lalgarh Police Station in the West Midnapore District. Sundar
Mandi, the Maoist, was also allegedly involved in several abduction
cases, including that of two Police constables from Lalgarh area
on July 30. Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma said Mandi is
a member of the People's Guerrilla Association (PGA) of the Maoists
and also a leader of the Maoist-backed PCPA.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist set
ablaze the houses of two civilians, Apu Singh and Rajib Singh,
who were shot dead by Maoists on September 6.
The Maoists also took out a 5000-people-strong
rally at Kharikashuli, about seven kilometres from Midnapore town.
Maoist-backed PCPA leader Swadesh
Hembram (28), a resident of Ramgarh in Lalgarh in West Midnapore
District, was allegedly lynched by activists of ruling CPI-M.
Local CPM leaders, though, denied that their men were involved
in the lynching. Swadesh's relative, Subhas Hembram, was seriously
injured in the beating when he tried to rescue.
Eight persons, including suspected
cadres of CPI-Maoist, were detained for interrogation after arms
and ammunition seized from them during anti-Maoist operations
in the District, Police said. "Eight persons from Ghuri village
in Belatikri area in Lalgarh have been detained. We are interrogating
them and if necessary, arrest some of them," West Midnapore Superintendent
of Police Manoj Verma said.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist killed
two supporters of the ruling CPI-M, identified as Manik Mandi
and Ashok Mandi, residents of Tarafena village in Belpaharai near
Lalgarh in West Midnapore District in the night. The victims were
members of Gana Pratirodh Manch, a mass organisation set
up by the CPI-M to combat Maoists. According to the Police, armed
Maoist squads called the duo out of their homes and beat them
up. They dragged them to the centre of the village and slit their
throats. Later, they shot in their heads. In a message to media
persons, Maoist leader Bikash took the responsibility of the killings
and said the duo was acting as Police informers.
In another incident in the same
night in the same District, a local Maoist leader Asit Sarkar
(52) was killed by four unidentified persons at Sandhipur area
under Garbeta Police Station. Asit Sarkar, a founder member of
the District unit of the erstwhile PWG became a senior District
leader of the CPI-Maoist after the outfit was formed following
the merger of the PWG with the MCC in September 2004.
Four Maoists, who were suspected
to have shot dead a school teacher, Kartick Mahato, in his classroom
on September 14, were arrested in Lalgarh. Of the four, Lakshman
Baskey, from whose house the other three were also arrested, is
a member of the Maoist-backed PCPA. The three others arrested
were Baskey's son Rajendranath (18), his brother Ranjit (30),
and Baburam Mandi (18), who is from Raipur in Bankura.
The Maoists killed Buddheswar
Mandi (50), a resident of Kalapathar village in the Belpahari
block, adjacent to Lalgarh. The victim was a member of the Gana
Pratirodh Committee (People's Resistance Committee) set up
with the support of the CPI-M in December 2008 to resist Maoist
activities in the region. Several Maoist leaflets were also found
at the spot, the Police said. Maoist leader Bikas claimed responsibility
for the killing.
The CPI-Maoist threatened finance
minister Pranab Mukherjee with dire consequences. The threat made
public through leaflets found strewn in the Press Room of Berhampore
in Murshidabad District in West Bengal. The leaflet also mentions
that an improvised explosive device blast which took place on
the NH 34 on August 30, in which one Maoist was killed, was intended
for Pranab Mukherjee.
Scores of armed cadres and militia
of CPI-Maoist attacked a party office of the ruling CPI-M at Enayetpur,
15 kilometres from Midnapore near Lalgarh in West Midnapore District
in the afternoon triggering a gun battle that lasted till midnight.
There was no casualty in the gun fight, but three persons suffered
bullet injuries. The Maoist gunmen were reportedly led by Koteswar
Rao alias Kishan and Bikash. According to sources, about
200 CPI-M supporters had assembled at the Enayetpur party office
over the last three weeks, apparently to stop the Maoist advance
towards Midnapore town. Many of them had also taken shelter there,
with the Maoists killing CPM men almost every day. However, many
of them had left the place in the morning to celebrate Eid
festival. Only 50-odd CPI-M cadres held fort at the party office.
In the afternoon, a 10,000-strong group of tribals, many of them
carrying firearms, started marching towards the office, led by
Kishan and Bikash. At 5pm (IST), the Maoist assault party started
surrounding the building. The Maoists retreated after Security
Force personnel reached the spot early on September 22.
Two activists of the ruling CPI-M,
identified as Nemai Bishayi (60) and Samir Singha Mahapatra (50),
were abducted and killed by cadres of the CPI-Maoist at Goaltor
area in West Midnapore District late in the night. Both the dead
bodies were recovered from a nearby forest area in the morning
of September 24.
Maoist politburo member in charge
of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa, Kishen alias
Koteswar Rao told that they (Maoists) would not mind holding talks
with the Government, but on three conditions. "We want the immediate
withdrawal of joint forces from Lalgarh and the entire Jangalmahal
area, want unconditional release of 60-odd women who were arrested
from Lalgarh and the release of those poor villagers who were
implicated falsely in various criminal cases," Kishen said. The
Maoist leader, however, ruled out the possibility of surrendering
arms to pave the way for a dialogue with the State Government.
Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and CPI-M state secretary
Biman Bose had earlier urged the Maoists to surrender arms and
give up the path of killings to hold talks with the Government.
Chhatradhar Mahato, convener
of the CPI-Maoist-backed PCPA, was arrested in an operation conducted
by the State Police at Birkar village near Lalgarh in West Midnapore
District. He was arrested by Policemen who posed as journalists,
according to eye witness accounts. Immediately after Mahato's
arrest, a landmine went off near Kantapahari (seven kilometres
from Lalgarh) and another failed to explode at Kumarbandh. However,
SP Manoj Verma said none was injured in the incident. Eight persons
were arrested in connection with the incidents, four of them suspected
to be Maoists. The Maoists, meanwhile, have called for a 24-hour
all-India shut down on October 3. Kishan, Polit Bureau member
of the CPI-Maoist, threatened, "Unless Chhatradhar Mahato is released
unconditionally, the entire Jangalmahal in five States [West Bengal,
Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Bihar] will be up
The Maoists abducted two constables
of the State Armed Police, Sisirkanti Nag and Siteswarprasad Singh,
from Tamajhuri in Belpahari, a place about 50 kilometres from
Lalgarh, in the night demanding the release of Mahato. The two
constables were abducted when they were returning to their camp
in Lalgarh aboard a public bus. The PCPA members later claimed
that the duo had been abducted in protest against the arrest of
Mahato. They also demanded his immediate release. "There is no
doubt that Mahato is an important leader for the Maoists. They
abducted two constables last night and demanded the release of
Mahato. Moreover, the Maoists have called a bandh in protest against
Mahato's arrest," said Manoj Verma, West Midnapore SP.
Chhatradhar Mahato was produced
before the Jhargram assistant chief judicial magistrate on, along
with eight suspected Maoists who were arrested from the Kantapahari
and Kumarbandh areas on September 26. Mahato was charged with
sedition and remanded to five day Police custody. He faces charges
under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act
Shops and business establishments
remained closed after Maoists called for a shut down in the Lalgarh
The two Police constables, Siteshwar
Prasad and Shishir Kanti Nag, who were abducted on September 26
by Maoists demanding Mahato's release, were set free late in the
night at Jamtalghera, about seven kilometres from where they were
Suspected cadres of the CPI-Maoist
and members of the PCPA set ablaze a bus near Rathberia village,
about 40 kilometres from Lalgarh in West Midnapore District in
protest against the arrest of PCPA convener Chhatradhar Mahato.
The passengers of the bus were asked to alight before the vehicle
was set ablaze.
The Security Forces and cadres
of the CPI-Maoist got engaged in a gun battle at Dahijuri in the
West Midnapore District in the evening. However, no casualty was
reported. The Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Verma said
apart from the incident of fire-exchange, one landmine was also
detected and defused by the Police during the day.
Supporters of the People's Committee
against Police Atrocities (PCPA), threatened to embark on a "blood-soaked
movement shortly" in the Lalgarh area unless their leader, Chhatradhar
Mahato, was unconditionally released. Speaking to The Hindu
over telephone from Dharampur near Lalgarh, senior PCPA leader
Asit Mahato said
"We have treaded the peaceful
path of democratic movement for long. But when the State government
has chosen the violent way, we will not sit back. Preparations
for a blood-soaked movement are underway and we are mobilising
the tribal population in the region for the same." Mahato added
that besides the 48-hour-shut down called by the PCPA in the Jangalmahal
area (common name for forested areas in the region) from September
30, it was also contemplating calling an indefinite bandh (shut
down) in the region unless their demand was met.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist killed
three members of the ruling CPI-M at Ranjia village under Shalboni
Police Station area in West Midnapore District late in the night.
The dead bodies were recovered by the Police in the morning of
October 1. The victims were identified as Anadi Mahato, Radhanath
Mahato and Bhakti Mahato. Anadi was a local CPI-M leader and member
of Lalgeria Gram Panchayat (village level local self Government
institution). Radhanatah and Bhakti too were local CPI-M leaders.
A carbine recovered from a betel
leaf farm at Sonachura in Nandigram, close to the spot where the
dead body of Trinamool Congress party leader Nishikanta Mondal
was found, was finally identified as the same weapon stolen by
the Maoists from Security Force personnel when they shot at and
burnt to death CPI-M leader Rabi Kar and his wife Anandamayee
on December 31, 2005, in Purulia's Bhombragarh.
The CPI-Maoist cadres killed
two leaders of the Jharkhand Janamukti Morcha (JJM) in the West
Midnapore District. While the JJM state president Panchanan Tudu
(49) was dragged out of his house and shot dead at Panchiara near
Dahijuri in Binpur in the night of October 1, his colleague Amalendu
Patra (43) was shot dead down in the market at Kapgari village
in the Jamboni Police Station area around 6.30pm (IST) on October
2. Besides being a JJM leader Tudu was also a member of the Gana
Pratirodh Committee the organisation set up to counter the Maoists.
The CPI-Maoist leader Bikash said, "We killed Tudu as he helped
Police by forming the Jharkhand Samanway Mancha."
The Superintendent of Police
of West Midnapore District, Manoj Verma, said photographs and
other incriminating evidence were found revealing links between
the CPI-Maoist and Chhatradhar Mahato, convener of the PCPA that
led the agitation at Lalgarh and its adjoining areas. Details
of the PCPA's funding were also emerged in the course of the investigation.
The assistant treasurer of the
PCPA, Sukh Shanti Baske, who was arrested from the Lalgarh area
on September 28, was brought to capital Kolkata for interrogation.
Baske was also charged under several sections of the Unlawful
Activities (Prevention) Act.
Raja Sarkhel and Prasun Chatterjee,
two activists of a Kolkata-based non-governmental organisation
(NGO), were arrested from Jadavpur by a team of officers of the
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for their reported links
with the PCPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato. The West Bengal Government,
a few hours before, had approved the proposal of the West Midnapore
District Police to frame charges under the Unlawful Activities
[Prevention] Act (UAPA) against Mahato. Ajoy Ranade, the Deputy
Inspector General of Police (Operations), confirmed the arrest.
The two are also being charged under the provisions of the UAPA,
he added. Both Sarkhel and Chatterjee are members of the Lalgarh
Sanhati Mancha, a city-based group of intellectuals that supported
the tribal movement in Lalgarh.
A day after two persons were
arrested from capital Kolkata, Vivekananda Kumar, a former leader
of the ruling CPI-M and now with the CPI-Maoist-backed PCPA, was
arrested from Arsha in Purulia for links with the Maoists. Besides,
Police also sealed a press in Manicktala for publishing PCPA posters
and leaflets and arrested its owner Sadananda Singh. Two members
of human rights organization Bandi Mukti Committee, Ramesh Das
and Bhanu Sarkar, were also detained. Swapan Dasgupta, the editor
of magazine People's March, was also detained in the same evening.
Suspected CPI-Maoist cadres set
ablaze a tractor and a trekker vehicle at Pindrakhuli, 14 kilometres
from Lalgarh in the West Medinipur District, after asking occupants
to get off. The Security Force personnel, however, reached the
spot soon after and doused the flames. No arrests were made in
connection with the incident, the Police said.
Police arrested two suspected
CPI-Maoist cadres from two different areas of Murshidabad District.
"We arrested Majid Sheikh, a resident of Gangadhari village in
Nawda and Israil Sheikh of Garibpur village in Domkal, three days
ago for their direct involvement with the Maoists," said Murshidabad
SP B. L. Meena, adding, "We have seized a firearm and two rounds
of ammunition from Majid. Both of them are now in Police custody."
Majid was associated with Maoist activity in West Bengal and Jharkhand.
"Police were on the lookout for him since long. Majid is accused
of several murders and he was arrested a couple of times earlier,"
the SP added. He also said that Israil used to collect money for
the Maoists. He used to work under a person known as Tajem, a
senior Maoist functionary reportedly in charge of the Nawda, Hariharpara,
Rejinagar areas in Murshidabad and a portion of Nadia. Israil
was allegedly involved in extorting money from traders.
The PCPA convener Chhatradhar
Mahato was produced before a court in Jhargram for the third time
since his arrest on September 26. He was remanded to three days
of Police custody by the court against the 18-day Police custody
petition filed by the public prosecutor.
A cadre of the CPI-Maoist was
killed during an exchange of fire between Maoists and the Security
Forces in the Lalgarh region of West Midnapore District. While
the Police refused to identify the person, the Maoists identified
him as Marang.
The Maoists ransacked four houses
belonging to local leaders of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist.
Kishan, a Polit Bureau member
of the CPI-Maoist rejected Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram's
call to the Maoists to abjure violence and take the path of democracy,
saying there was no question of giving up arms. Defending armed
struggle, Kishan told PTI over phone from an undisclosed location
in West Bengal that "There will be arms in the hands of the people's
liberation army as long as the state uses arms to throttle the
voice of the people."
Members of Maobadi Pratirodh
Committee (Anti-Maoist Committee), an organisation led by ruling
CPI-M, shot dead a cadre of CPI-Maoist, identified as Chakradhar
Mahato, at Jidighat in West Midnapore District, Police said.
The Maoists claimed responsibility
for the murder of Trinamool Congress leader Nishikanta Mondal
in Nandigram on September 22, alleging he was a Police informer.
Underground Maoist leader Kishan told PTI from an undisclosed
location that Mondal, panchayat pradhan (head of village level
local self Government institution) at Sonachura in Nandigram,
was killed because he was a Trinamool party leader and worked
as a Police informer. "We have our base in Sonchaura in Nandigram,
and Trinamool also has its base in the same area. Nishikanta was
making negative propaganda and was not allowing us to function
properly in the area. We had requested him many times but he refused
to listen," Kishan said.
West Bengal DGP Bhupinder Singh
said that Maoists received foreign funds through an NGO in the
name of development. "The foreign funds were received by the Tribal
Welfare Fund from an NGO for development purpose and a portion
of this was diverted to the Maoists", Singh told reporters at
the State Secretariat. The DGP also said several foreign-made
arms were recovered from Maoists at different places. Singh said
different political parties had connections with the Lalgarh movement.
The Maoists called a 48-hour-bandh
(shut down) from October 12 in West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand
in protest against the killing of a squad member by the Security
Forces and cadres backed by the ruling CPI-M in the Lalgarh region
of West Midnapore District. The bandh was earlier called in Jharkhand
and Bihar in protest against the Security Force operation in the
Suspected cadres and supporters
of the CPI-Maoist set ablaze a truck laden with sal (Shorea robusta)
leaves in the Kotwali area of West Midnapore District. Police
said a group of suspected Maoists stopped the truck at Nayagram
under Kotwali area and asked the driver and helper to alight.
They later set blaze the ablaze and retreated into the nearby
forest. There was, however, no report of any casualty. Some reports
suggested the Maoists also raised slogans demanding the release
of tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato, arrested from Lalgarh on
September 26, but there was no official confirmation.
A day after Union Railway Minister
Mamata Banerjee hinted that she was ready to mediate between the
Maoists and Centre, Kishan, a politburo member of the CPI-Maoist,
urged the minister to "make her stand clear" on the "state oppression"
against tribals in Junglemahal. "The proposal (mediating between
Maoists and the Centre) is very good. But she (Mamata Banerjee)
is a part of the UPA [United Progressive Alliance] that sent forces
to Lalgarh. First, she has to make it clear whether she stands
by the tribal people," said Kishan from an undisclosed location.
Suspected cadres of the CPI-Maoist
killed two persons in separate incidents at Binpur and Belpahari
in West Midnapore District on the first day of the two-day bandh
(shut down) called by the Maoists.
In the first incident, the bullet-riddled
body of Kanai Murmu (44), a former gram panchayat (village level
local self-Government institution) member of Jharkhand Party-Naren,
was found beside a pond by local residents at Binpur's Salpatra.
Murmu had been abducted from his home late on October 11. Murmu
had joined the Gana Pratirodh Committee (an anti-Maoist Committee)
and mobilized local youths against Maoists.
In another incident at Belpahari's
Madhupur, a group of six armed men killed Ananda Mahato (32) while
he had gone to his field. Mahato used to be a Congress worker
who later switched to Jharkhand Party-Aditya.
The Maoists raided and ransacked
the house of ruling CP-M Ghatbera Local Committee Secretary Chandan
Singh Laya at Balarampur in Purulia District. They later set the
house ablaze after failing to find him, Police said. The Maoist
also shot at Chandrasekhar Singh, a member of the village resistance
committee, injuring him in the knee when they were attacked with
bows and arrows by the village resistance committee.
The joint anti-Maoist operations
by Central Paramilitary Forces and Police in the State will continue
with the Centre deciding to keep 17 companies of its forces Stationed
in the State.
West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb
Bhattacharjee said that he agreed with Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh's comment that talks with the Maoists could take place only
after they laid down arms.
A top leader of the CPI-Maoist
supported PCPA was arrested from his Hooghly hideout in the night.
Police said Sibu Murmu was wanted for sedition and murder. Sibu,
the secretary of PCPA's Bankura wing, had been absconding since
the Security Forces started operations in Jangalmahal in June
2009. Police said he was sheltered by his elder brother Shankar
Murmu at the latter's residence at Dihibagnan Adibasipara in the
Hooghly District. "In the past two months, we managed to nab at
least 25 senior and influential leaders of the tribal outfit.
It is a major setback for them," said an unnamed senior Police
One person, identified as Sheetal
Hembram, was hacked to death by unidentified assailants, suspected
to be cadres of the CPI-Maoist, near Lalgarh in the West Midnapore
District. Hembram had reportedly witnessed the murder of a member
of the Jharkhand Party-Naren faction two months back and the Police
suspect that Hembram was killed since he might have identified
the assailants. The District’s SP, Manoj Kumar Verma, told, "Investigation
has been initiated. Though prima facie it appears to be a Maoist
killing, we are also not ruling out a political angle."
A suspected Maoist, Lakshiram
Soren, was arrested from a forested area of Garbeta.
A local leader of the ruling CPI-M,
Satya Ruidas, who was abducted by the Maoists on October 13 remained
untraced. There were also incidents of houses of CPI-M supporters
being ransacked and set ablaze by groups of suspected Maoists.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist raided
Sankrail Police Station in West Midnapore District and shot dead
two Police officers and kidnapped the officer-in-charge of the
Police Station. They also looted INR 923,000 from a bank located
nearby. The Maoists numbering around 50, including some women,
arrived in two groups on motorcycles and headed for the Police
Station and the State Bank of India branch nearby, Police said.
At the Police Station, they opened fire killing the second officer
Dibakar Bhattacharya and abducted Officer-In-Charge Atindranath
Dutta and an Assistant Sub-Inspector Swapan Roy, sources said.
The body of Roy was later found from a swamp some distance away,
they said, adding, the Maoists took away all the arms and ammunition
at the Police Station. Times of India adds that the Maoists
left behind posters demanding the release of the People's Committee
against Police Atrocities (PCPA) leader Chhatradhar Mahato and
withdrawal of Security Forces from Lalgarh. The CPI-Maoist politburo
member, Koteshwar Rao alias Kishan, claimed responsibility
for the strike. "The Police officer is in our custody. He will
be killed if any attempt is made by security forces to follow
our comrades," he said in a statement later.
Koteshwar Rao said the
Maoists have launched their biggest ever offensive called Operation
Venus in retaliation to the West Bengal Government's offensive
against them. Rao also said they would arm people if the Government
increases its offensive.
Assuring "total safety" of the
abducted Police officer, CPI-Maoist leader Mallojula Koteswara
Rao alias Kishan announced that Dutta will be treated like
"any other prisoner-of-war" until the State Government accedes
to the Maoist demands. Speaking to The Hindu over telephone
from an undisclosed location in the District’s Lalgarh region,
"Since we are at war with the
State, we have to abide by the rules of warfare and take hostages.
But we will take care of Mr. Dutta and even welcome his father
and wife to come and stay with him till the State Government makes
up its mind." The Maoists have demanded the release of all the
tribal women arrested by the Police over the last five months
for suspected Maoist links, as well as the withdrawal of SFs from
the District against the release of the Police officer.
The West Bengal Government said
it was ready to negotiate with the Maoists if there was any concrete
proposal from them for the release of Dutta after his family met
Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. "The Government is ready
to hold negotiations with the Maoists if they give any concrete
proposal. But all their conditions as told to the media cannot
be accepted," Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty told reporters.
"We also have to keep in mind that the Maoists shot dead two Police
officers at the Sankrail Police Station in cold blood, besides
kidnapping the officer-in-charge (Atindranath Dutta)," he added.
Security Forces (SFs) opened
fire on cadres of the CPI-Maoist who were to produce the abducted
Police officer Atindranath Dutta before the media at Lakhanpur
village in West Midnapore District in the morning. The CPI-Maoist
leader Mallojula Koteswara Rao alias Kishenji told PTI
that he has asked the SFs to stop the firing otherwise Dutta,
the officer-in-charge of Sankrail Police Station who was abducted
on October 20, would be beheaded.
The CPI-Maoist freed the abducted
Police officer Atindranath Dutta in the Domohini forest near Lalgarh
in West Midnapore District in the evening in the presence of a
group of journalists. The Maoists had abducted Dutta after attacking
the Sankrail Police Station in West Midnapore District on October
20. The news of the Maoists’ decision to release Dutta was announced
in the afternoon after 14 tribal women and nine men were granted
conditional bail by the District Sessions Court in Midnapore.
The Maoists were demanding the immediate release of all elderly
tribal women arrested for suspected Maoist links in exchange for
freeing Dutta. A group of journalists was taken to an undisclosed
spot in the Domohini forest so that Dutta could be released before
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist shot
dead Pratap Nayak (40), a member of Andharia gram Panchayat
(village level local self government institution), at Chandra
village under Binpur Police Station in West Midnapore District
while he was returning home. Nayak was a member of the ruling
The Maoist backed-People’s Committee
against Police Atrocities (PCPA) announced that it had turned
into an armed outfit called Sidhu Kanu Gana Militia. The
announcement came with the claim that PCPA members had looted
10 firearms by raiding a CPI-M armed rally in Goaltore. The PCPA
spokesperson, Asit Mahato, who replaced Chhatradhar Mahato (under
detention), said the tribal forum would "no longer continue democratic
processes of rallies and agitations". "We have formed the People’s
Militia Force," he said, adding "After facing continuous torture
by the joint forces and the administration in Jangalmahal, PCPA
has decided to pick up arms to combat the forces." Mahato threatened
that the militia would soon hit state and central offices and
Government agencies. He called for an indefinite strike in Jangalmahal
from October 27.
Armed cadres of the People's
Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) as well as that of
the CPI-Maoist laid siege to the Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani
Express at Banstala Railway Station, eight kilometres from Jhargram
town in West Midnapore District. The Security Forces rushing to
the site for rescue operation were ambushed by the Maoists, triggering
an encounter in which two PCPA men were killed and a Policeman
was injured. After the gunfight, the PCPA cadres and the Maoists
managed to escape. The Security Forces later reached the spot
at 7.30pm (IST) and the train left an hour later. The PCPA cadres
were demanding the release of Chhatradhar Mahato, the PCPA leader,
who was arrested on September 26. Earlier at around 2:30pm, the
Maoists held the train driver hostage and encircled the train
for about five hours at Banstala. Some passengers were also injured
in brick-batting. The driver and his assistant - initially taken
to a building near the Station - were later released.
A truck was set ablaze by unidentified
men near the Kushboni forest close to Lalgarh.
The CPI-Maoist cadres shot dead
two local leaders of the Trinamool Congress (TC), Jalad Baran
Kar and Ashis Kar, calling them out of their homes at Bamundiha
village under Belpahari Police Station in West Midnapore District
in the evening.
In the neighbouring Bankura District,
Maoists slit the throat of TC supporter Ajit Das and threw his
body into a pond at Sangroghat under Ingas Police Station.
Tapan Mody and Dilip Mahato, local
leaders of the ruling CPI-M, were abducted by the Maoist-backed
PCPA supporters from Raghunathpur and Goaltore areas in West Midnapore
District in the night. Their mutilated bodies were found on October
Three CPI-M local committee members
- Ratan Patra, Gadadhar Patra and Kartik Dey - were abducted from
Goaltore in the same District in retaliation for the abduction
of a PCPA supporter from Hatipota village on October 28. The PCPA
had alleged that the CPI-M was responsible for the abduction.
The Maoist-backed PCPA decided
to call off its shutdown. The PCPA has been demanding withdrawal
of the Security Forces engaged in an operation to neutralise cadres
of the CPI-Maoist from Lalgarh and surrounding region and the
unconditional release of its convener Chattradhar Mahato.
The CPI-Maoist Polit Bureau member
Mallojula Koteswara Rao alias Kishan told The Hindu
during a telephonic interview that the CPI-Maoist supported the
PCPA's cause and would provide supporters of the outfit strategic
and military support to take on the Security Forces.
The military wing of the Maoist-backed
People's Committee against Police Atrocity (PCPA) - Sidhu Kanu
Gana Militia - vandalised property belonging to the State Government
in two separate incidents in West Midnapore District. A group
of armed men attacked the Silda Range Office in the Binpur block
and ransacked and set ablaze six buildings. The group assaulted
the officer-in-charge and looted money. It left behind posters
demanding the unconditional release of PCPA convener Chhatradhar
Mahato and other leaders of the outfit.
A group ransacked the Panchayat
(village level local self government institution) office at Makli
in the Goaltore area and later set it ablaze. Superintendent of
Police Manoj Kumar Verma said the PCPA was behind both attacks
and that they were being investigated. "The Police had been claiming
that the PCPA is an offshoot of the Maoists and was involved in
all kinds of violent activities. But only after they launched
the so-called armed wing was it proved that there is no difference
between the Maoists and the PCPA supporters," Verma said.
Suspected Maoist cadres looted
around INR 400,000 from an irrigation department office in the
same District in the afternoon, Police said. "Five motorcycle-borne
Maoist rebels looted a state irrigation department office at Jhargram
sub-division this (Friday) afternoon," Inspector General of Police
(Law and Order) Surajit Kar Purakayastha said. He said one of
the armed Maoists was caught by the locals and later handed over
to Police. Four other Maoists escaped from the incident site along
with the money.
One activist of the ruling CPI-M,
identified Madhab Mudi (43), was shot dead by suspected CPI-Maoist
cadres in the Lalgarh area of West Midnapore District. He was
shot dead by a group of armed men while working in the field.
The assailants reportedly shouted pro-Maoist slogans as they left
the spot. Mudi's brother Montu and another person have been missing
since October 18 and are suspected to have been abducted by the
An exchange of fire was also reported
between the Maoist-backed People's Committee against Police Atrocities
(PCPA) and the CPI-M activists at Amjore village near Goaltore.
The District Superintendent of Police, Manoj Kumar Verma, told
over telephone, "There had been a gun-battle in which several
villagers are reported to have suffered bullet injuries. Our teams
have gone to the spot to investigate the matter, though prima
facie it appears to be a clash between the PCPA and CPI-M cadres."
A local leader of the ruling
CPI-M was shot dead at Salboni near Lalgarh in the West Midnapore
District in the evening. Former pradhan (head) of the gram
panchayat (village level local self government institution),
Anil Mahato, was forced out of his residence at gunpoint by a
group of persons. He was then taken to the grounds of a local
school where he was shot dead, said the District Superintendent
of Police Manoj Verma. Commenting on the progress of the Security
Forces in the area, Verma said 18 persons had been arrested on
November 1, mostly supporters of the Maoist-backed PCPA, he added.
A suspected cadre of the CPI-Maoist
was arrested from West Midnapore District. "Sunil Kisku was arrested
from Belpahari region, a Maoist stronghold in the District. He
was an active Maoist ultra and used to operate in the region,"
the Inspector General of Police (Law and Order), Surajit Kar Purakayastha,
said. He also said Kisku has been charged with launching attacks
on the Security Forces’ camps in the region. He is also allegedly
involved in some murder cases.
The Maoist-supported PCAPA started
an indefinite roadblock in the three western Districts of West
Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura. PCAPA activists felled
trees and blocked roads at multiple points on the roads leading
to Lalgarh in West Midnapore District.
Six companies of the Central
Security Forces arrived at Midnapore town of West Midnapore District
from where they were despatched to different parts of Lalgarh
region to join in the operation to flush out the Maoists. The
six companies will be in addition to the 17 companies of Central
forces, including the Central Reserve Police Force and the Border
Security Force, as well as two units of the CoBRA already Stationed
in the region since June. Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar
Verma told The Hindu over telephone that with the arrival
of additional troops, an intensified operation against the Maoists
will be launched shortly in close coordination with the Police
in Jharkhand and Orissa.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist killed
three persons in the forests of Kushbani under Binpur-I block
in the West Midnapore District in the night, suspecting them to
be Police informers. The bodies of Lakshmi Das, Manoranjan and
Joyram, apparently in their twenties and thirties, were found
lying on the state highway connecting Jhargram and Belpahari.
Posters of the CPI-Maoist were found near the dead bodies. The
feet of one of the bodies were tied with a rope. "They have been
given the ultimate punishment for being Police informers," claimed
one of the posters.
A sackful of explosives, two directional
landmines, firearms and a 9 mm pistol were recovered from Sarenga
forest area of Bankura District. The seizure was made when
Police chased a man who was on a motorbike in the night of November
5 and he dumped the sack containing the explosives, they said.
Police did not give any further details, saying, they were investigating
Maoists killed an activist of
the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Nabakumar
Singh, at Gohaldanga village about 25 kilometres from the circuit
house in Midnapore town where the Chief Minister was staying in
the night. Nabakumar had fled his home with several other activists
in the wake of a Maoist strike in the area three months ago but
had returned a fortnight ago for the potato-sowing season.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist killed
four Security personnel of the Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR) and
looted their arms near a Police camp close to a school in Gidhni
Bazaar area under Jamboni Police Station in West Midnapore District.
Kuldip Singh, Inspector General (Western Range), said the EFR
personnel were attacked when they were patrolling the area. The
incident took place at around 5.30pm (IST) after the Chief Minister
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and senior State Government officials
left West Midnapore District for Kolkata after a two-day visit,
Police said. Meanwhile, claiming responsibility for the killing
of four EFR personnel, the CPI-Maoist politburo member Koteshar
Rao alias Kishan dared the West Bengal and Central governments
to deploy as much forces as they wanted in the West Midnapore
District. "We have killed the four jawans as they tortured innocent
school children who had taken out a rally in the area yesterday
demanding the educational institutions be vacated by joint security
forces and their classes resume at the earliest," Kishan told
PTI from an undisclosed destination. Earlier, visiting
the Naxal-hit West Midnapore District, Chief Minister Buddhadeb
Bhattacharjee said the State Government is ready to start a fresh
operation against Maoists, as he ruled out talks with them till
they surrendered their arms and abjured violence.
Jagannath Mahato, a local leader
of the ruling CPI-M as well as a former president of the Garmal
village Panchayat (village level local self government
institution), was shot at by cadres of the CPI-Maoist while he
was on his way home in the Salboni area in West Midnapore District.
His condition was reported to be critical, the District Superintendent
of Police Manoj Kumar Verma said.
Encounters between the Maoists
and Security Forces continued at three other places, besides Salboni.
A group of around 100 women supporters
of the Maoist-backed PCPA gheraoed the office of the Jhargram
Sub-Divisional Officer demanding the release of 17 men who were
arrested a few days ago following intelligence reports that they
had Maoist links.
One person was killed in the Belpahari Police
Station area near Lalgarh in West Midnapore District, when activists
of the Maoist-backed PCPA laid siege to a Police camp. "Shashti
Charan Dutta was killed at Bashpahari. Police teams are on their
way to the spot after which we will be able to know more about
the circumstances of the murder," West Midnapore SP, Manoj Verma,
Suspected cadres of the CPI-Maoist
abducted five activists of the ruling CPI-M from Lalgeria village
near Jhargram in the West Midnapore District late on November
15. While three persons were released early on November 16, the
others remained untraced. The abducted persons, Joydeb Mahato,
Bijoy Mahato, Ganesh Mahato, Ajit Mahato and Khudiram Mudi, were
tried in a "people’s court" held by the Maoists in the village.
According to Joydeb, Bijoy and Ganesh, who were released, a woman
squad member of the Maoists was in charge of the kangaroo court,
where she accused the five of corruption, Police sources said.
Sources said an operation was launched in search of the missing
men in the Nuniakundri forest adjoining Lalgeria. "No body has
been recovered throughout the day though the released persons
claimed that the Maoists had killed the remaining two. Blood patches
were found at a spot, however," a senior Police official told
Two persons were found shot dead
near a forest area in the West Midnapore District and Police said
they suspected that cadres of the CPI-Maoist had killed them.
"We’ve got reports that two bodies were found near Mohanpur area
in Lodhashuli forest region this [November 18] morning. We’ve
already sent our teams to the spot," West Midnapore Superintendent
of Police M. K. Verma told IANS. "We assume that both of them
were killed by suspected Maoist guerrillas," he said, adding,
"The identity of the two is not yet known."
The Maoist backed-PCPA convenor
Chhatradhar Mahato, who was arrested on September 26, 2009, was
accused in a fresh case for helping the Maoists during a gun battle
with the Security Forces in West Bengal.
The CPI-Maoist politburo member
Kishan outsmarted the Security Forces in the Lalgarh area of West
Midnapore District and sneaked into neighbouring State of Jharkhand
a few days ago, Police officers tracking his phone said, blaming
the terrain for his escape. "This is the first time he has left
the area in six months. We were monitoring his cell phone and
those of others in touch with him. The problem was in sealing
the Bengal-Jharkhand border. There are hundreds of routes through
dense forests and keeping an eye on all of them is impossible,"
said an unnamed officer overseeing the Lalgarh operations. Kishan
apparently left with 50 others who are part of his three-tier
security ring. Rajiv Kumar, special additional commissioner in
charge of the Police Operation in Lalgarh, said, "We know Kishanji
has crossed over to Jharkhand. He is camping there."
Another officer admitted it was
not possible to seal the routes. "We had intensified vigil along
the metalled road between Jhargram in West Midnapore and Bandwan
in Purulia. We knew Kishanji would have to cross this 70km stretch.
But in reality, cordoning off such a long stretch, most of it
in dense forests, is not possible," he said.
Intelligence Branch (IB) officials
said Kishan was likely to shift to Orissa soon for party meetings.
"The CPI (Maoist) is going to reorganise its central committee
and politburo as many members have been arrested recently," said
an IB official. The Maoist politburo’s strength has halved from
20 in 2005, the official added. "The central committee is 18-strong
now after 12 arrests."
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist killed
a supporter of the ruling CPI-M in the Lalgarh region of West
Midnapore District. A group of insurgents stormed into the house
of Tapan Mahato, a resident of Shirshi near Jhargram, and dragged
him out. His bullet-riddled body was found on the National Highway
9, some distance away from his house. The Superintendent of Police
(SP), Manoj Kumar Verma, on November 23 said that CPI-Maoist leaflets
found strewn around the body claimed that Mahato was "given ‘capital
punishment’ as he was involved in espionage for the Police."
There were reports of an exchange
of fire between the Maoists and Security Forces at several locations.
Landmines, hand-made rocket launchers and explosives were recovered
after the gunfight, though none could be arrested, the SP added.
Suspected CPI-Maoist cadres shot
dead two leaders of the CPI-M and critically injured another person
in the Lalgarh area of West Medinapore District in two separate
Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee
said that the West Bengal Government will pay a special allowance
to Police personnel who operate in Maoist-infested areas. "The
Police are operating in difficult times. In north Bengal, there
is the threat of certain separatist forces; in south Bengal, there
are 21 thanas (Police Stations) spread across the Districts of
West Medinapore, Bankura and Purulia where they have to counter
terrorist activities [by Maoists] almost on a daily basis," he
added. Steps were being taken to increase the firepower of the
Police as well as induct more personnel, "or else we will be in
difficulty," the Chief Minister said. He said though the functioning
of civil administration had been hampered by Maoist activity,
it was the Police who directly faced the threat from extremists.
"I had gone to West Medinapore District for a better understanding
of the situation and discussed issues with senior Police officials
there," he further said.
the CPI-Maoist killed a supporter of the ruling CPI-M in the Lalgarh
region of West Midnapore District in the night. A group of insurgents
stormed into the house of Tapan Mahato, a resident of Shirshi
near Jhargram, and dragged him out. His bullet-riddled body was
found on the National Highway 9, some distance away from his house.
The Superintendent of Police (SP), Manoj Kumar Verma, said
on November 23 that CPI-Maoist leaflets found strewn around
the body claimed that Mahato was "given ‘capital punishment’ as
he was involved in espionage for the Police."
reports of an exchange of fire between the Maoists and Security
Forces at several locations. Landmines, hand-made rocket launchers
and explosives were recovered after the gunfight, though none
could be arrested, the SP added.
CPI-Maoist cadres shot dead two leaders of the CPI-M and critically
injured another person in the Lalgarh area of West Medinapore
District in two separate incidents.
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said that the West Bengal Government will
pay a special allowance to Police personnel who operate in Maoist-infested
areas. "The Police are operating in difficult times. In north
Bengal, there is the threat of certain separatist forces; in south
Bengal, there are 21 thanas (Police Stations) spread across
the Districts of West Medinapore, Bankura and Purulia where they
have to counter terrorist activities [by Maoists] almost on a
daily basis," he added. Steps were being taken to increase the
firepower of the Police as well as induct more personnel, "or
else we will be in difficulty," the Chief Minister said. He said
though the functioning of civil administration had been hampered
by Maoist activity, it was the Police who directly faced the threat
from extremists. "I had gone to West Medinapore District for a
better understanding of the situation and discussed issues with
senior Police officials there," he further said.
CPI-Maoist cadres shot at a school teacher and a member of the
non-teaching staff of a school at Baghmundi in the Purulia District,
killing the teacher on the spot and critically injuring the other
person. The victims, Subimal Mahato and Shankar Laya, were returning
home from Ranga High School on a motorcycle when they were accosted
by a group of insurgents who fired at them. Additional Superintendent
of Police, C. Sudhakar, said in Purulia, "The case is under investigation.
Though we are probing every other possibility, involvement of
the Maoists is not ruled out." The area is located near the Ayodhya
Hill, believed to be a strong Maoist base.
shot at former zilla parishad (District council) member
and Jharkhand Jana Mukti Morcha leader Ashutosh Mahato near Machhkandna
in the Belpahari area of West Medinapore District in the morning.
Mahato was travelling to Belpahari on a bicycle when four insurgents
suddenly emerged from a forest and shot at him. Superintendent
of Police Manoj Verma said, "According to primary investigation,
Mahato was shot at by Maoists."
CPI-Maoist cadres killed two Policemen by triggering a landmine
blast near Lalgarh in the West Midnapore District. The insurgents
triggered a landmine blast when some members of joint Security
Forces (SFs) were walking from Pirakata Police camp to a forest
near Burisole for an operation, Police said. The Maoists also
fired at the patrolling party just after the explosion, following
which the SFs forces retaliated. "Two security men, Alok Mondal
and Srimanta Banerjee, of the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) were
fatally injured in the landmine explosion. The duo was rushed
to Midnapore Medical College and Hospital where they were declared
brought dead," West Midnapore Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar
Verma said. The condition of three others was serious, he said.
Local Police put the number of injured to eight.
shot dead a local CPI-M leader in the same District, Police said.
According to in the sources, the incident took place in Jhargram
Sub-Division’s Jitushol area in the night when a group of insurgents
killed Karuna Mahato. "Mahato was a CPI-M gram panchayat (village
council) member in Shalboni region. The Maoist ultras called Mahato
from his residence late Friday night and took him to a nearby
forest. He was found dead this (Saturday) morning on National
Highway-9 near Kalaboni forest region," a District Police officer
said. Police also recovered a few Maoist posters from the spot
which claimed Mahato was a Police informer.
was shot dead by the Maoists in the Lalgarh area.
Renewing the call
for dialogue, a Maoist leader said the central and West Bengal
Governments should stop the anti-Maoist operations in West Midnapore
and begin talks to resolve the problem. "At this moment, the people
want a solution through dialogue," Maoist leader Bikash said.
He claimed that resistance was continuing since the central and
State Governments did not show willingness for peace by accepting
demands for release of those arrested in West Midnapore. On the
two Policemen killed on November 27 at Burisole in the District,
he said they had died in a 'counter attack' by the people and
dead body of a person, suspected to have been killed by the CPI-Maoist,
was found in the Lalgarh area of West Midnapore District taking
the death toll in the region over the past three days to six even
as incidents of exchange of fire between Maoists and Security
Forces took place at several places in the morning hours. Villagers
found the body of Dhanpati Murmu, District Secretary of the Jharkhand
Party, on the outskirts of Khasjungle village early in the morning,
Manoj Verma, District Superintendent of Police said.
The beheaded body
of a school teacher, abducted by a cadre of the CPI-Maoist, was
found near Goaltore in West Midnapore District. The teacher, Satya
Kinkar Hansda, of Sirisboni village, who had been warned by the
Maoists for being a member of Gana Pratirodh Committee (a
group formed by the ruling CPI-M to resist the Maoists), was abducted
by an armed cadre the night before and his decapitated body was
found in a nearby jungle in the next morning, they said.
One BSF trooper,
Chandrip Singh, was injured in an exchange of fire with Maoists
in a jungle near Pirakulli at Salboni in the District.
The People’s Committee
against Police Atrocities (PCPA) has called for a 120-hour bandh
(general shut down) in the West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia
demanding an end to Police patrolling for two weeks. The PCPA
spokesperson Asit Mahato said the Central-state joint forces should
stop patrolling for two weeks so that the farmers and locals could
harvest their crops. The PCPA also requested the CPI-Maoist cadres
not to attack the Police for the next two weeks to improve the
prevailing situation. According to Mahato, they requested Home
Secretary Ardhendu Sen through media a few days ago to withdraw
Police patrolling for the next two weeks. The PCPA had fixed November
30-evening as the deadline for Sen to respond but he did not.
Mahato said this is the time for harvesting and farmers store
crops for next four-five months. The Central-state joint forces,
he alleged, often arrest farmers from paddy fields and many are
injured in the cross-fire between Security Forces and the Maoists.
According to Mahato, the PCPA has formally requested the Maoists
restrain themselves for the next 15 days but there was no assurance
from the latter. N S Nigam, the District Magistrate of West Midnapore
said the PCPA had not informed him on their bandh to be
observed from tomorrow.
suggestions given by the team from the Union Home ministry to
the administration in West Bengal was the upgrading of technology
and an increase in the strength of the Police. "They suggested
introduction of better technology for gathering more information
in Maoist-affected areas and increased manpower in the Police
force," State Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen said at the conclusion
of the two-day visit by the team, which did not visit trouble
spots in the State, but met top officials from nine violence-affected
Districts in Kolkata, the State capital. "Modern technology introduced
in other Maoist-hit states yielded better results," Sen said.
The team, which had three meetings with top state officials in
the last two days, also called for improved coordination among
Police Stations in Maoist-affected Districts.
After a gap
of a month, fugitive CPI-Maoists politburo member Kishan attended
an open gathering in Jangalmahal to observe the foundation day
of the PLGA. Another Maoist activist, Rakesh, leader of the West
Bengal-Jharkhand-Orissa border regional committee also attended
the function along with the ‘commander-in-chief’ of Jangalmahal,
Bikash. The gathering was held amid tight security provided by
PLGA activists who had surrounded the area with sophisticated
arms and weapons to prevent the joint forces from attempting to
foil the function and arrest top Maoist leaders like Kishan. It
is, however, not clear whether Kishan is staying at Jangalmahal
or left the place after attending the function there. The function
was attended by the inhabitants at least 50 villages in the region.
of the BSF were withdrawn from the Maoist violence-affected areas
in southwest West Bengal for deployment in the remaining three
phases of the Assembly elections in Jharkhand, even as Security
Forces (SFs) and the Maoists engaged in a seven-hour-long gun
battle in the forests near Dherua near Lalgarh in the State’s
West Midnapore District. "At about 10 in the morning a landmine
was discovered near Dherua, after which they [Maoists] started
firing at us and we had to return their fire," said Manoj Verma,
the West Midnapore Superintendent of Police. There were no causalities,
but the exchange of fire lasted until 5 p.m. (IST), Manoj Verma
The six BSF
companies that were withdrawn would be replaced by the State’s
Indian Reserve Battalion. The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)
would continue to be deployed in West Midnapore, Director General
of Police Bhupinder Singh said here.
The additional chief
judicial magistrate’s court at Jhargram acquitted Chhatradhar
Mahato, convenor of the Maoist-backed People’s Committee against
Police Atrocities (PCPA), on charges of "waging war against the
State." Mahato has been charged under the Unlawful Activities
(Prevention) Act, 1967, besides being implicated for other criminal
offences, and is presently in prison.
The West Midnapore
District administration shifted SFs from only a single school
in Lalgarh, though Advocate General Bolai Roy had assured the
Calcutta High Court that it would vacate at least two schools
by December 2. One company of forces was shifted from Gohamidanga
High School, which had been occupied since July 1. After hearing
a Public Interest Litigation on November 24, the Calcutta High
Court had directed the State Government to vacate all the schools
where Police camps had been set up to accommodate the Central-State
joint forces. According to Roy, State Government had occupied
22 educational institutions between June to September at Binpur,
Lalgarh, Salboni and Goaltore blocks in different phases to accommodate
4,100 personnel of the Central-State joint forces to carry out
Police operation against Maoists outfits.
General of State Police Bhupinder Singh conceded that the Maoist
menace had raised manifold in West Bengal in the last ten years.
His statement came in the wake of handwritten Maoist posters found
at the BD Market area, and the walls of adjacent Bidhan Nagar
Government School in the Salt Lake locality in the evening December
A group of armed
men, suspected to be cadres of CPI-Maoist, abducted three persons,
identified as Neemai Singh, Phani Singh and Bagrai Soren, from
their homes in Simulpal village under Belpahari Police Station
area of West Midnapore District and took them to the near by forest
area and killed them. The bullet-ridden dead bodies of the victims
were found on the outskirts of the village in the morning. Two
of the victims - Neemai Singh and Phani Singh - were reportedly
actively associated with the Gana Pratirodh Committee,
a local resistance group that has been campaigning against the
A Policeman was
injured in a landmine explosion at Ramgarh in the same District.
Police suspect that the blast was triggered by the Maoists.
A truck and a car
were set on fire on National Highway 6 on the fourth day of a
five-day bandh (shut down) called by the PCPA. Police have
not been able to identify those responsible for the incident,
but suspect that PCPA supporters were involved.
CPI-Maoist cadres shot dead a CPI-Marxist activist in the West
Midnapore District. The body of Sanatan Pratihar (44) was found
near a forest in the Pingboni area. "The rebels also torched the
house of another District CPI-M leader at Shalboni region this
(Monday) morning," Police said.
set ablaze a pick-up van in the same District. Sources said the
Naxals set ablaze the vehicle as it was plying during the five-day
shutdown called by the People's Committee against Police Atrocities
(PCPA). The PCPA had called for the shutdown in the Districts
of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia, demanding a 15-day halt
to the anti-Maoist operations in view of the harvesting season.
The State Police
arrested a Maoist leader, the first since Maoists launched their
movement in Bengal in November 2008. In the night of December
6, the Security Forces arrested Raju Adak (30), believed to be
behind the Maoist insurgence in Purnapani, a pocket of the Maoists
near Lalgarh. According to sources, Adak had led the team that
killed two Police officers in Sankrail Police Station in West
Midnapore on October 20.
The Maoists shot dead a supporter
of the CPI-Marxist and injured another person in the Belpahari
Police Station area near Lalgarh. A group of Maoists shot at Subal
Mahato and Suresh Murmu at Chirakuti village and the former died
on the spot, Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma told The Hindu
over the phone. Mahato was involved in the Government’s local
water supply scheme, District Magistrate N. S. Nigam said. At
a rally in Kolkata, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said
Maoists had killed 70 supporters of the Left parties in the region
in the recent past.
Suspected CPI-Maoist cadres shot
dead three CPI-Marxist workers at Sebaytan village in the West
Midnapore District in the morning of December 10. The three deceased
identified as, Bijay Mahto, Manik Mahto and Brihaspati Mahto,
were called out from their homes in the village under Jhargram
Police Station at about 1.30am (IST) and gunned down, Police said.
The bodies were found this morning in front of a college with
a note that the three were given the "extreme punishment by people's
verdict" as they were 'Police informers', they said.
The Maoists blew up an office
of the forest department at Jhitka in Lalgarh area using a landmine.
Police exchanged gunfire with
a group of cadres of the CPI-Maoist in Satpati village in West
Midnapore District in the night of December 10. While Police said
no one was injured, a union minister of the Trinamool Congress,
Mukul Roy, claimed one person was killed and six others injured
in the gunbattle. An officer manning the control room told IANS
that around 40-50 Maoists attacked the Pirakata outpost under
Salboni Police Station around 8 p.m. "The Police returned the
fire. But there are no reports of any injury," the officer said.
The CPI-Maoist Malkangiri Divisional
Committee Secretary Ramal in a letter to Orissa Daily’s Malkangiri-based
reporter on December 10 said that all the ruling Bharatiya Janta
Dal leaders, including party Members of Legislative Assembly and
Members of Parliament, of Malkangiri and Koraput Districts in
Orissa will be awarded death sentence if the Police atrocity does
not comes to end in Narayanpatna of Koraput District. The Maoist
leader also urged Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik to beg apology
for the Narayanpatna Police firing on November 20 and unconditional
release of all the forcibly arrested innocent tribals.
A local leader of the CPI-Marxist
was killed and several other party supporters were reportedly
injured at Parulia village in Salboni sub-division following a
gun battle between suspected Maoists and members of the Gana Pratirodh
Committee that was set up last year to resist Maoist activities.
There was a brief spell of gunfight
between the SFs and the Maoists in the forest adjacent to the
Pirakata outpost, 16 kilometres from Lalgarh.
Police arrested two CPI-Maoist
cadres from West Bengal for allegedly attacking Jharkhand Mukti
Morcha (JMM) Orissa unit chief Sudam Marandi, authorities said.
"We have arrested two Maoists involved in the attack on Sudam
Marandi on October 13. They have been arrested from Gopiballav
Police Station areas of West Bengal. Prime suspect Lossor Tudu
along with his accomplice Jasai Soren have been arrested," Mayurbhanj’s
Superintendent of Police Dayal Gangwar said. A weapon and few
live bullets were recovered from them. An unnamed Police officer
said four Maoists were earlier arrested in this connection. Marandi
had escaped unhurt when the Maoists attacked him when he came
out of a football field at Pandab village of Mayurbhanj District.
Three of his Police guards were killed in the attack.
A supporter of the CPI-Maoist-backed
PCPA was shot dead and five other PCPA supporters suffered bullet
injuries in a clash with SFs in front of the Satpati camp in the
Lalgarh area of West Midnapore District. Though the name of the
victim, Tilak Tudu, was confirmed by the Superintendent of Police
(SP) Manoj Kumar Verma, the identities as well as the exact number
of the injured could not be established till later in the day.
According to the PCPA spokesperson Asit Mahato, the SF personnel
opened fire on villagers in the evening of December 10 when the
latter protested against alleged high-handedness of the SFs. "Several
CPI (M) cadres, dressed as security force personnel, have taken
shelter at the Satpati camp. They were misbehaving with the local
residents when the villagers protested…one of our supporters,
Biplab Betal, was killed on the spot as the forces started firing
at the local crowd and five more were injured," Mahato told The
Hindu over phone from the Lalgarh region. The SP Verma, however,
denied that the Police had opened fire at first and claimed that
the SFs retaliated only when suspected Maoists in the crowd fired
at the camp. Further, the PCPA leadership called for a gherao
of the Satpati camp in protest against incident of its supporters
being fired at. Elaborate security arrangements were made around
the Satpati camp to avoid any more untoward incident. The PCPA
supporters put up blockades on the road connecting Lalgarh with
Midnapore town with felled tress at several places. There were
also reports of torching of houses of Communist Party of India-Marxist
(CPI-Marxist) supporters at some places late by suspected Maoists.
Meanwhile, the PCPA called for a bandh (shut down) in the three
Maoist-affected Districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia
on December 12 (today).
Suspected CPI-Maoist cadres abducted
one Trilok Tudu, a student of the Gorbeta College and member of
the Students Federation of India, while he was returning to his
village on December 11. His dead was found at Paraulia in the
Lalgarh region of West Midnapore District in the night of December
12, Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma said.
A Trinamool Congress member,
Amjad Ali (50), was killed by CPI-Maoist cadres at Bhagawanpur
in the Bhangar area of South 24 Parganas District,. Five-six persons
attacked Amjad Ali with sharp weapons when he was returning home
from his party office in the evening. Ali died on way to the hospital.
Criticising the CPI-Maoist for "unleashing politics of killing
and violence", Union minister of State for shipping Mukul Roy
appealed to his party workers "not to be provoked by CPI-Maoist's
A demand for autonomy for three
tribal-dominated Districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia
in West Bengal was made by a top Maoist leader, who also justified
the Gorkhaland statehood issue. The Maoist politburo member Kishen
told PTI from an undisclosed location, "We demand autonomy for
the three Districts on the lines of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill
Council." He alleged that the West Bengal Government had denied
the legitimate rights of the people of the Districts, adding,
"We demand autonomy to protect the language, culture and religious
beliefs of tribals." Asked if he meant statehood, he replied,
"the people of the three Districts are not yet prepared for statehood."
Queried if it was part of the demand for a 'greater Jharkhand',
Kishen said, "That demand is no longer relevant. The scenario
has changed. Moreover the formation of Jharkhand has not solved
Suspected Maoists killed a former
CPI-Marxist in the same District. The dead body of Dinabandhu
Soren, who was missing from his home in Dharampur since December
12, was found by the joint forces in the forests of Kadamdiha
in Lalgarh on December 13, a senior District Police Officer said,
adding, Dinabandhu was killed on suspicion of being a Police informer.
Two personnel of the joint SFs
were injured when the Maoists exploded two landmines -- one at
Pirakata and the other at Maldiha in Lalgarh.
Cadres of the PCPA set ablaze
two goods-loaded trucks on fire on National Highway 6, for violating
the bandh (shut down) called by them in three Districts of West
Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura. The truck was heading towards
Kharagpur. Another truck was burnt on State highway 9 near Salboni
by the PCAPA supporters. The truck was heading towards Jhargram
from Lodhashuli. Asit Mahato, convener of PCPA, said"The trucks
were set on fire as they did not comply with the will of the people
by going against the bandh call." The bandh had been called to
protest against the Police firing on PCPA supporters at Satpati
near Lalgarh on Thursday [December 10] night, in which one PCPA
activist was killed. A senior Police officer, meanwhile, said
a mine had been recovered from Dharampur near Lalgarh.
The CPI-Maoist cadres late on
December 10 ransacked and looted a forest beat office on the periphery
of the Jhitka forest near Lalgarh in the West Midnapore District.
But most of the looted materials were returned to the office employees
on December 16. According to Vinod Kumar Yadav, Conservator of
Forest (Western Range), the Maoists have apologised for the incident
and even asserted that forest department officials would not be
harassed in future.
A suspected CPI-Maoist, Chunaram
Murmu, was arrested by the Police following a brief gun battle
between the Security Forces and the extremists at Parulia village
in the Salboni sub-division of West Midnapore District.
Three CPI-Marxist activists were
killed in two separate incidents while several vehicles and properties
were ransacked and set ablaze by suspected CPI-Maoist cadres in
the Lalgarh area of West Midnapore District since. The bullet-riddled
dead bodies of Anil Chalak and Dayal Chalak, both residents of
Chandra village near Lalgarh, were found at Bandhgora near Jhargram
town on December 18. Another resident of the same village, Ganesh
Hansda, was also found in a critical condition with wounds inflicted
by sharp weapons. All the three persons were abducted from their
homes in the evening of December 17. While all three of them were
members of the CPI-Marxist, Anil Chalak was also a former panchayat
(village level local self Government institution) President and
Hansda was a current panchayat member.
The dead body of another CPI-Marxist
supporter, Amar Patra, was found at Baita village near Lalgarh
on December 18. He, too, was abducted and shot dead. Superintendent
of Police Manoj Kumar Verma said that the Maoists’ role was primarily
suspected in the killing. The violence coincided with the first
day of the indefinite blockade called by the People’s Committee
against Police Atrocities (PCPA). The PCPA also called for a two-day-bandh
(shut down) on December 28 and 29 in protest against the assault
on tribal women by the Security Force personnel.
The situation in the Lalgarh region
of West Midnapore District, it is feared, could take a bad turn
from December 18 with the PCPA threatening to launch an indefinite
violent movement. The PCPA leadership has issued a 24-hour-deadline
to the Police for producing in court two of their supporters who
were allegedly detained earlier this month, failing which they
would be "forced to begin a violent movement in the three Districts
of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia." The PCPA supporters,
Raju Adak and Joydeb Bera, were allegedly picked up by the Lalgarh
Police late on December 6 and could not be traced by their family
members since. "We fear that both the men have been killed in
Police custody. Though the inspector-in-charge of the Lalgarh
thana has assured us to produce them in court on December 24,
we are not convinced," Asit Mahato, spokesperson of the PCPA told
The Hindu over telephone on December 16. Mahato added"We demand
their production in court within the next 24 hours. If they fail
to do so, the PSBJC supporters will set ablaze any vehicle that
plies in the three Districts from December 18. We will have no
alternative." The Superintendent of Police (SP) Manoj Kumar Verma,
however, said that the two persons were not in Police custody.
"They were not picked up by the Police in the first place. I have
spoken to the inspector-in-charge of Lalgarh thana and he said
that the Police have not promised any production date…maybe this
is one of the tactics adopted by the Maoists in order to create
unrest," Verma alleged.
Farmers in West Midnapore District
may not have to repay their crop loans. The Maoists have announced
a waiver. This is the first time the extremists have announced
such a decision. "Several peasants who took crop loans over the
last two years have suffered losses. So, we have decided that
they don’t have to pay back their loans," said a moist politburo
member Koteshwar Rao alias Kishen. "Moreover, no agricultural
cooperative, bank or private money lender will be allowed to charge
more than two per cent interest on loans they advance to peasants
this year," he added. Cooperative and public sector banks usually
charge seven per cent interest on agricultural loans. Private
moneylenders charge much more – between three per cent and five
per cent a month. "If anybody, be it from public sector banks
or private moneylender tries to squeeze money out of the farmers,
he will be branded a people’s enemy and tried in a people’s court,"
Kishen threatened. Kishen claimed that farmers have suffered losses
and that "no one is in a position to repay the loans. Since the
government did nothing, it was left to us to give relief". These
"courts" usually hand out the death penalty to those who defy
their writ. "We will look into the matter and take action if anybody
lodges a complaint," said the West Midnapore District SP.
Two trucks and a forest beat
office were set ablaze by suspected Maoists in the West Midnapore
District. Police said the two trucks were set ablaze on the National
Highway 6 near Gajasul and a forest beat office at Sankhahar under
Jhargram Police Station.
The Maoists launched a brutal
assault on a zoo in Jhargram town in the night of December 19,
firing indiscriminately into deer and black buck enclosures, setting
fire to animal cages, burning hundreds of birds and beating the
beat officer and forest guards, according to Times of India. The
actual toll is still being assessed, but two black bucks are confirmed
dead and hundreds of birds burnt to ashes. Forest department officials
are now scrambling to save an elephant herd that is headed in
the direction. The attack on the zoo, just two kilometres from
Jhargram, could be a strategic move because it connects the town
with Jharkhand via Banstala and Manikpara. Once Maoists have access
to it, they can easily reach Jharkhand.
Two CPI-Marxist activists were
killed by the CPI-Maoist cadres in the West Midnapore District,
Police said. The dead bodies of two CP-Marxist workers Jyotidranath
Mahato and Manik Midha, who along with four others were abducted
by Maoists late in the night of December 19 from Balodhoba village,
were found dead on December 20 at Lauria village near Manikpara,
they said. The whereabouts of the other two persons abducted by
the Maoists from Balodhaba village was not known, they added.
Two suspected Maoists were shot
dead by the Security Forces near Jhargram during a gun battle
that injured at least seven villagers caught in the crossfire.
The Police identified the slain duo as Santu Mahato, 26, and Kajol
Mahato, 22. The People’s Committee against Police Atrocities,
meanwhile, said they were its leaders, "killed when the Police
fired indiscriminately at villagers". Santu’s body has been retrieved
but Kajol’s was lying deeper in the Boira forest.
During a patrol along a State
Highway that connects Kharagpur with Jhargram, the joint forces
learnt that mines had been planted near Boira. Two companies (around
200 personnel) went there with a bomb squad and defused two improvised
devices at around 3pm (IST). 15 minutes after the force had picked
up two men on suspicion that they may have planted the mines,
500 villagers surrounded them protesting arrests. The Maoists
opened fire from an adjoining forest, a Police official said,
adding, "The Maoists tried to put the villagers in the line of
fire. Shots rang out as we started lobbing tear-gas shells to
drive the villagers away." The encounter on the fringes of Boira
forest, 12 kilometres from Jhargram town, started around 3.30pm
and continued till 9pm.
Two Policemen were abducted by
Maoists from Tehgoria under Salboni Police Station at around 10am
on December 20, the Police said, adding that a massive search
operation was launched to rescue the Policemen.
Two CPI-Marxist workers who were
believed to have been killed by the Maoists returned home on December
21. Gopal Mahato and Khagen Mahato, residents of Shabardanga in
Jhargram, said they were hiding in neighbouring Dubhkundi after
they learnt of the alleged Maoist threat to their lives in the
afternoon of December 20. Confirming the return of the duo, CPI-Marxist
District secretariat member Dahareswar Sen said, "We feared the
Maoists had killed Gopal and Khagen Mahato. The Maoists had organized
a 'people's court' against them and their mobiles were also switched
off. We came to know on Monday that they were alive." However,
Kishan had earlier claimed responsibility for the "murder" of
Gopal and Khagen saying they killed the duo to avenge the death
of two villagers in firing by the joint forces.
Cadres of the CPI-Maoist-backed
PCPA ransacked and set ablaze the houses of two CPI-Marxist leaders
at Dahijuri village in the West Midnapore District in the evening
of December 21. According to Police, a large group of PCPA cadres
and several armed Maoists attacked the house of Amiyo Sengupta,
a member of the CPI-M’s District committee, at Dahijuri. Though
Sengupta was not at home at the time, his wife, three daughters
and grand-daughter were present. The extremists ransacked the
house and later set it on fire. Unable to get out of the house,
the women took refuge on the roof of the three-storied-building
to escape the fire raging on the ground floor. The Police said
the extremists also attacked the neighbouring house of local CPI-Marxist
leader Avijit Singha and set it ablaze. The family, however, managed
to flee. Later, a contingent of SF personnel was dispatched from
the Binpur thana (Police Station) on receiving news of
the attack. The Maoists, however, had set up a booby trap on the
way to Dahijuri from Binpur by planting a directional improvised
explosive device on the way at Andharia. It was set off while
the SFs were approaching the spot, injuring four personnel, including
the Inspector-In-Charge of the Police Station, the Police said.
Another contingent of forces was also dispatched from Jhargram,
along with a fire-tending machine, but could not reach the spot
fearing the presence of more landmines on the way. The SFs finally
reached the spot in the morning of December 22.
The Maoist politburo member Koteswar
Rao alias Kishan justified the attacks, saying they were
"spontaneous outbursts of people who have been refused their rights
and freedom for years and are continuously subjected to atrocities
by the Security Forces."
The CPI-Maoist have apparently
been shifting base from their strongholds in Lalgarh and Belpahari
in the last two months, with killings and violence increasingly
taking place in Jhargram subdivision, 40 kilometers away in the
West Midnapore District. Police sources attribute this to the
strong Security Force (SF) presence in Belpahari and Lalgarh.
There are seven camps of the joint SFs in the Lalgarh and nine
in Belpahari while there are only three camps in Jhargram and
one in Jamboni. Quoting statistics, the sources said, that around
50 Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-Marxist) local leaders
and supporters were killed around Jhargram in the last two months,
while there was no casualty in Lalgarh, considered a Maoist stronghold
and which had been wrested by the joint forces earlier 2009. "As
there are many camps of the joint forces in and around Belpahari
and Lalgarh, Maoists are not able to operate there and are shifting
to areas around Jhargram," an unnamed senior Police officer said.
Asked why Jhargram, the officer said Jhargram's proximity to Jharkhand
was one of the main reasons, adding, "Maoist can slip away into
Jharkhand easily after committing a crime and it involves time
and legal problems for the West Bengal Police to follow them across
Maoist politburo member Koteswar
Rao alias Kishan said over phone, "We are not shifting
base anywhere. We are always with the people. We will stand by
the people anywhere." Claiming the support of the people of Jhargram,
Kishan said, "The Government should know that they cannot control
us or the people through force." Challenging the joint forces,
he said, "We are at war with the state and have our own strategy.
The government is well equipped with Police, central force and
intelligence network. Let them catch us." Kishan also said that
the violent incidents taking place in and around Jhargram for
the past two weeks was "the beginning of realising a long-term
goal to turn Jhargram into a liberated zone,"
Three CPI-Marxist party workers
were found dead in the Junglemahal area of West Midnapore District
on December 23. Habul Patra, a cable operator and CPI-Marxist
worker, was dragged out of his home at Bamal village in Lalgarh
by the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) in the night
of December 22. His dead body was found near his residence. Separately,
a CPI-Marxist zonal committee member of Gopiballabhpur in Lalgarh
was allegedly killed by Maoists in the night of December 23. Prabir
Dandaput, 48, was returning to his home when Maoists fired at
him. In addition, the bullet-ridden dead body of Sadhan Mahato,
another CPI-Marxist member, was found at Damakata village in Salboni
earlier in the day. While he was returning from a local tea stall,
he was surrounded by a group of 10-12 armed extremists. As Mahato
tried to flee, the Maoists shot fire at him. The incident took
place very close to Pirakata Police camp. Mahato was forced to
leave his home several months ago fearing Maoist onslaught and
had returned Salboni on December 22.The Maoists had put up posters
near the bodies stating that they were punished for being Police
informer. "The incident is supposed to be the handiwork of the
Maoists," said West Midnapore Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma.
The Maoist-backed PCPA set ablaze
a truck near Dhosra village while they were on their way to Jhargram
where they had gone to ransack the Parihati Range office. The
PCPA activist ransacked and set ablaze the houses of two CPI-Marxist
party workers at Goaltore. The first day of the PCPA-sponsored
two-day bandh (shut down) paralysed life in the Junglemahal
area on 23 with shops, educational institutions remaining closed.
One Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM,
Aditya) leader was shot dead and another critically injured by
the CPI-Maoist cadres at Belpahari in the West Midnapore District.
Around 12.30am (IST), a group of 10-15 Maoists stormed into the
house of 50-year-old Biswanath Murmu at Sakhabhanga village. Murmu
was dragged out of his house in front of his family members. Later
Murmu’s bullet-ridden dead body was found near his residence.
A couple of months back, Murmu’s son Karan had also been killed
by Maoists. Karan was a popular leader of the JMM (Aditya).
The Maoists shot at Durga Soren
(48), a zonal committee leader of the JMM (Aditya). Soren was
also called out of his house and Maoists pumped bullets into him.
Additional Superintendent of Police (Jhargram) Murlidhar said,
"We have been informed that one bullet-ridden body has been found
in Simulpal. We have sent forces to the area."
A CPI-Marxist activist Biswanath
Kundu was abducted allegedly by the Maoists. A missing complaint
has been lodged with the Goaltore Police Station.
Following reports that Maoists
may be shifting base from Lalgarh to Jhargram sub-division in
West Midnapore, the State Government has decided to send an additional
company of Central Paramilitary Forces to Jhargram. After sporadic
incidents of violence in Jhargram recently, including the torching
of the deer park and setting ablaze sponge iron units followed
by an attack on CPI-Marxist District committee leader Amiya Sengupta’s
house, the State Government has decided to boost the reinforce
the strength of paramilitary forces in the area.
A CPI-Marxist leader was shot
dead by suspected CPI-Maoist cadres at Barikul in the
Bankura District. Rameshwar Murmu, the local committee
secretary of the CPI-Marxist, was forcibly taken away from his
residence at Bhulagara in the morning by an armed group
of 15, who pushed aside his wife and son, saying Murmu deserved
to be killed for his "anti-people activities." Shortly later the
family heard gunshots and Murmu's dead body was recovered
by Security Forces from a nearby forest. Police suspected Maoists,
active in the belt, could be behind the attack but the identity
of the attackers was still being probed.
Suspected Maoists ransacked and
set abalze a forest beat office, after assaulting its
employees at Sarenga in the Bankura District. Police
added that the extremists also threatened the employees with dire
consequences if they returned to work there. A group of 100 extremists
set ablaze files and documents before escaping. This is the third
attack on a forest beat office by the Maoists in December. The
Maoists are active in areas under 30 Police Stations in Bankura, West
Midnapore and Purulia Districts of the State.
The CPI-Maoist have given a 24-hour
bandh call in five states on January 2 alleging that Communist
Party of India-Marxist activist on fired at a Christmas tribal
fair near Lalgarh in West Midnapore District. "Maoists has called
the bandh on January 2 in West Bengal, Orissa, Chhattisgarh,
Jharkhand and Bihar to protest the unprovoked firing
on villagers at Binpur," Maoist politburo member Kishan said
on December 26. He claimed that two persons were killed and four
others were injured in the firing at the fair. District Magistrate, Narayan Swarup Nigam confirmed
the firing, but it was yet to be ascertained, if there was any
casualty. He said that four hardcore Maoists were arrested in
this connection. Earlier, a spokesman of People's Committee against
Police Atrocities (PCPA) spearheading the campaign against alleged
Police action on villagers and gave a 24-hour bandh call on December
27 in the West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia Districts of West
Bengal to protest the "unprovoked firing" at the fair.
Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on
admitted that it was difficult to track down Maoist politburo
member Kishan despite his regular phone calls to prominent
people, including State bureaucrats. "We can identify the (mobile)
tower but it is difficult to pin-point his location in that area,"
he told reporters when asked about Kishan’s reported phone call
to State's Principal Secretary (Environment) Madan Lal Meena to
protest about polluting mines. Bhattacharjeesaid the Maoist
leader was talking to "hundreds of journalists every day" but
despite this, it was difficult to catch him. He also said, "We
are facing some problems in getting to the deep forest areas or
villages in the interior places where the Maoists are operating
from. However, we have cleared main roads, Police Stations, shops
and markets." Noting that Jungalmahal was one area where
security operations were facing problems, he said, "We are in
discussion with other (neighbouring) states".
Hundreds of PCPA supporters ransacked
and set ablaze the house of a local leader of the CPI-Marxist
at Radhanagar near Jhargram town in the West Midnapore District.
While the CPI-Marxist leader, Manoranjan Pal and his
family managed to escape, their house was ransacked and set ablaze.
Several PCPA supporters in the crowd reportedly carried sophisticated
firearms, the Police said corroborating local reports. The
Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Verma told The
Hindu that the report that some persons in the crowd
were carrying firearms "proved once more" that the PCPA and the
Maoists are "similar entities with different faces."
The indefinite blockade called
by the PCPA in the three Districts of Bankura, Purulia and
West Midnapore entered the 11th day,
while the outfit also called a 48-hour-bandh in the three Districts
from December 28 in protest against alleged Police excesses during
combing operations. The blockades and bandhs have taken
a toll on normal life in the areas adjacent to the forests in
the three Districts even as it had little impact on the urban
areas. Vehicular movement on a stretch of the National Highway
6 and State Highway 9, between Midnapore town and Jhargram,
has virtually stopped following the setting ablaze of four vehicles
in the first two days of the indefinite blockade. This had seriously
impacted the supply of essential commodities.
Top Police officials of the State
said that the Maoist politburo member Koteshwar Rao alias Kishan’s
mobility, apart from lack of local support, made it difficult
to arrest him. While Kishan continues to be in West
Bengal, as per the location of his cell phone that is being tapped
by the Police, the closest the forces came to arrest him was on
the morning of October 23, hours before abducted Police officer Atindranath Dutta was
to be released. Orders had come from the top to abandon the raid
at the time as Dutta’s life was at stake. West Bengal
Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh acknowledged
that Kishan is in the State, and that "there were a
number of reasons" he still hadn’t been caught despite their best
efforts. The special task force is hunting for Kishan.
The PCPA on announced that the
blockade in West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia Districts,
called by the outfit since December 18, would be relaxed from
December 31. Speaking to The Hindu over telephone from Lalgrah,
PCPA spokesperson Asit Mahato said, "The festival season of the
tribal people is approaching. Potato farmers also need to sell
their harvest. So we decided to relax the blockade for the time
being." Mahato also denied that the protest was called off in
the face of local’s resentment, saying, "We have people’s support
and we have relaxed the blockade for their sake. We can resume
it any moment if the security forces harass the people again."
During the 12-day blockade, PCPA
supporters ransacked and set ablaze several forest department
offices, including a mini zoo at Jhargram. A mob shot dead two
rare species of blackbuck and carried away the carcass. Several
rare birds were also feared charred to death. Many vehicles were
also set ablaze for defiance of the blockade. Several persons,
mostly supporters of the Communist Party of India-Marxist, were
killed during this time.
The West Bengal Government said
it was working with Jharkhand to launch joint operations against
Maoists in both states. Joint operations were being planned by
both states, Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborti said, ruling
out the possibility of deployment of Army in Maoist-affected areas
in West Midnapore, Bankura and Purlia Districts. He said the joint
forces operating in the area would remain there and the nine companies
of central paramilitary forces which were dispatched to Jharkhand
for the assembly elections would return soon. Chakraborti said
the situation in the three Districts was improving. "Law and order
situation has improved a lot in Purulia and West Midnapore,"
After Maoist politburo memebr
Koteshwar Rao alias Kishan’s recent phone call
to state environment secretary M. L. Meena complaining about pollution
allegedly caused by sponge iron factories, the West Bengal Government
cautioned officials against speaking to any leader of outlawed
organisations. "Why should any of our officers talk to Kishenji?
We don't need discussion with any leader of an outlawed organisation
like CPI (Maoist)," home secretary Ardhendu Sen told reporters.
To another question, Sen said the whereabouts of outlawed leaders
could not be pinpointed by mobile towers. "This is wrong. Then,
the Centre could send high tech towers to all naxalite affected
states to detect whereabouts of leaders of outlawed organisations,"
activists set ablaze three trucks on a highway near West Midnapore
District, Police said. A group of unidentified persons, suspected
to be members of PCPA's armed wing Sidhu Kanu Gana Militia,
set ablaze the Jharkhand-bound trucks carrying iron rods and potatoes
on the national highway at Mohanpur, about 98 km from Jhagram,
in the District, they said. No arrest has been made so far in
the case, Police added.
The PCPA said
indefinite road blockade demanding release of its two arrested
members, which began on December 18 in the Junglemahal –
Maoist-affected Districts of Bankura, West Midnapore and Purulia--
will end on December 31.
of the New Delhi-Puri Purushottam Express had a narrow escape
as suspected CPI-Maoist cadres removed the connectors between
two tracks on a 400 metre stretch near Gidni Station in West
Bengal just before the train was to cross the area,. Patrolling
railway men detected a group of people removing the pandoral clips,
connectors between two tracks, and trying to bend the line near
Gidni at around 1.15am (IST), a South Eastern Railway
Spokesman said. They immediately informed railway authorities
at Gidni Station following which movement of trains was stopped. Train
movement was restored after six hours, the spokesman said.
The supporters of the Maoist-backed
PCPA squatted on the railway tracks in the Kharagpur-Adra division
leading to disruption of train services for hours. According to
the South Eastern Railway authorities, around 250 PCPA supporters
squatted on the railway tracks, piled stone chips on the tracks
and removed pandrol clips (device to hold the track
and the concrete sleeper together) between the Midnapore and Godapiyashal
Stations to observe ‘martyrs day’.
The Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram
expressed concerns over the "pretty depressing" situation in Lalgarh.
"I am disappointed over the Lalgarh situation...The situation
is pretty depressing...despite adequate number (of) Central paramilitary
forces (being) sent to them in June 2009, the West Bengal Government
has not been able to contain the problem," Chidambaram said.
Two CPI-Marxist supporters were
killed by suspected CPI-Maoist cadres at Belpahari near the Lalgarh
area in West Midnapore District, late on December 30. The victims,
Konaram Singh and Ananda Singh, were abducted from their homes
at the Balichua village. Their bullet-riddled dead bodies were
found nearby on December 31. The Maoists left some posters near
the dead bodies wherein it was stated that the duo had been punished
for being Police informers and for supporting the anti-Maoist
Gana Pratirodh Committee (Mass Resistance Committee), the Police