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West Bengal Timeline 2016



February 10

CPI-Maoist posters criticizing the Mamata Banerjee Government were recovered by the patrolling CRPF personnel from Salboni area of Jangalmahal region of West Bengal State, pointing to the increased activity of the Maoists in the area. The Maoists have sent a warning to TMC workers as well, asking them to give an undertaking that they will resign from all party posts. This is the third time in two weeks that such posters - 12 of them - were recovered from the area.

February 15

Interrogation of Sadanala Ramkrishna, the former head of the technology wing of the CPI-Maoist, have revealed five more names who were actively involved in procuring technology for advanced explosives and arms for the extremist group. The five, all of them at large, are likely to be named in the charge sheet to be filed soon. According to a NIA officer, Ramakrishna alias Dokra alias Santosh, was the key member of the technology wing of the Maoists-Technical Research Arms Manufacturing Unit.

March 29

Four years after the death of Mallojula Koteswara Rao alias Kishenji, a CPI-Maoist 'Politbureau member', in an encounter with CRPF's CoBRA team in West Midnapore District of West Bengal on November 24, 2011, a former Maoist cadre identified as Shantanu Mahato has claimed that it was he and not the SFs who killed the top Maoist leader. In an interview to a Malayalam news channel, Asianet News, at Midnapore in West Bengal, Mahato claimed that he betrayed Kishenji after the Police promised to help him enter the mainstream society.

April 2

The STF of the Kolkata Police arrested top CPI-Maoist leader Vikas alias Manasharam Hembram and his wife Tara alias Thakurmani Hembram from Kolkata of West Bengal. Joint Commissioner of Police (STF) Vishal Garg said that they were arrested near the Brigade Parade Ground under the Maiodan Police Station in Central Kolkata, after receiving inputs from reliable sources. "Vikas is the State Committee member of Maoists as well as the secretary of their State Military Commission. His wife Tara is the leader of their Salboni squad. They were involved in several Maoist- related incidents including those in Shilda and Goaltore," said Garg. After interrogating them, Police raided a house in the Mogra Police Station area in Hooghly District and seized an AK-47 rifle along with rounds of live ammunition, Maoist literature and some letters written in tribal language. Garg said that they came to Kolkata to meet a leader.

May 5

The questioning of arrested CPI-Maoist leaders, Bikash and Tara, has led Police to recover several new weapons and a huge amount of explosives from Jhargram's jungles. The STF that had been questioning them for several days before they finally expired their custody period - said that the recoveries were made with the help of joint forces and the Binpur Police. Among the items recovered during the raids at Jhargram's forests - from near the canal cutting through Burishol and Kusboni - are one AK-47 rifle, three country made single shotter, one pistol, 35 cartridges and some 300 bore cartridge. In addition several other cartridges of 7.64 bore were also recovered. However, most importantly, six kilogrammes of explosives, 10 detonators and several incriminating Maoist literature too were recovered.

May 11

SF personnel have confirmed the arrest of a top CPI-Maoist 'commander', identified as Mansaram Hembram alias Bikas, in West Medinipur District. Bikas was produced before a judicial magistrate court in West Medinipur District which sent him to Police custody for 12 days on May 11. Earlier SATP had reported about the arrest and subsequent recovery of arms with inputs from Bikas.

June 27

The Centre asked four Naxal-hit States-Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal-to frequently hold Unified Command meetings for formulating a strategy to tackle the issue effectively. The UMH Rajnath Singh conveyed this at the Eastern Zonal Council meeting held in Ranchi, official sources said. Singh also cited the example of Jharkhand where splinter groups of the CPI-Maoist have been active and tackling them required coordination among forces and better strategy. The Zonal Council meeting took stock of various development schemes carried out in LWE-affected areas and found that Bihar lagged in construction of fortified Police Stations. Out of the 45 sanctioned fortified Police Stations in Bihar, 40 are yet to be constructed. In Jharkhand, out of 73 sanctioned fortified Police Stations, only two are yet to be completed, in Odisha, out of 52 sanctioned fortified Police Stations, 18 are yet to be constructed and in West Bengal, out of the 17 fortified Police Stations, one is yet to be completed. In 2011, the Centre had announced that it would fund construction of 400 fortified Police Stations in 83 worst Maoist-hit Districts in the country at a cost of INR 20 million each.

August 29

The slogan 'Naxalbari ek hi rasta', posters containing quotations from Mao Zedong and Charu Mazumdar, rendition of 'revolutionary songs' and selling books written by Mao and Mazumdar marked the first public event in the city attended by top CPI-Maoist leaders held to condole the death of former CPI-Maoist state secretary Himadri Sen Roy alias Somen. Besides recounting Somen's role as a 'communist organiser', leaders, supporters and sympathisers of the banned outfit pressed for 'broader unity of revolutionary forces' to 'carry forwards the work left unfinished by Somen'. On the dais were top Maoist leaders Narayan Sanyal and Purnendu Sekhar Mukherjee, along with Chandi Sarkar and Gour Chakraborty. All of them are in their seventies and were released on bail after spending several years in jail. Nearly 300 people belonging to various organisations attended the event at Bharat Sabha Hall in central Kolkata.

September 9

The CRPF recovered a high-intensity landmine, possibly planted by CPI-Maoist cadres, from West Midnapore District. According to reports, acting on a tip off, personnel of CRPF's 165 battalion, along with CoBRA force, spotted the landmine, weighing seven kilograms, beside a road at Kushboni Forest area near Binpur under Jhargram Sub-Division limits. Later, the bomb disposal unit of the central SF rushed to the spot and defused the landmine. CRPF officials said that the Maoists had planted the mine recently.

September 16

Two suspected CPI-Maoist cadres have been arrested from the Arsha area in Purulia District. The Police have seized two small arms and some ammunition from the accused. Acting on a tip-off Police arrested Kabita Ghorai alias Kalpana alias Sarala (27) and Panchanan Mahato (28) from the Arsha Police Station area near the Purulia Main Road. "Two persons who were earlier associated with Maoist-related cases were arrested on Friday (September 16) evening. They were produced in court today [Saturday, September 17] and remanded to police custody for nine days," SP of Purulia, Rupesh Kumar said.

October 31

State 'commander' of Kishore Sangha and close associate of top CPI-Maoist leader Kishenji, top Maoist leader Kamalesh Mahato, surrendered before the Police in Jhargram in West Midnapore District. The hardcore Maoist surrendered their arms and ammunitions, which included an AK-47, two 9mm pistol and 4 round 9mm bullet. The Police are further trying to find 50 other Maoists, who have been trained by Maoist Kamlesh Mahato.

October 31

State 'commander' of Kishore Sangha and close associate of top CPI-Maoist leader Kishenji, top Maoist leader Kamalesh Mahato, surrendered before the Police in Jhargram in West Midnapore District. The hardcore Maoist surrendered their arms and ammunitions, which included an AK-47, two 9mm pistol and 4 round 9mm bullet. The Police are further trying to find 50 other Maoists, who have been trained by Maoist Kamlesh Mahato.

November 23

The CRPF got a new battalion, the 232 Women's Battalion, fourth women's unit in the force but the first to be deployed in active combat in Jharkhand and West Bengal. The 232 Women's Battalion have been trained for 44 weeks in jungle warfare, unarmed combat and smart weapons firing. They have been trained to negotiate dense forests and rivers so that they are capable of tackling every obstacle that they may face while fighting Maoists. They have been deployed in the 'company formation' style, which means about 100 personnel at one time. "We did not compromise on the training standards. The benchmarks were as stringent. We had to keep them ready for combat in these areas. So, I think they are geared up. Both psychologically and physically," Sudeep Lakhtakia, ADP (Operations), said.

December 9

The CRPF seized a few rounds of bullet, musket and other arms and ammunition in West Midnapore District. CRPF jawans of the 184th Battalion led by DC of CRPF 184th Battalion, Prabir Kumar Ghosh, identified a mysterious sack of goods which was tied at its neck in a forest of Poradiha Village during two search operations. He initially suspected that the sack belonged to the CPI-Maoist cadres. The jawans then, cordoned the abandoned sack and informed the Bomb Disposal Squad of 207 CoBRA Force. The squad arrived on the site and retrieved a musket, 8 rounds of bullet and an empty cap of bullet from the sack. The retrieved arms were then handed over by the squad to the Jamboni Police Station. The presence of these arms has lead to the creation of a sense of worry among the residents of the locality on whether it is signaling the rise of Maoists in the region.

Source:Compiled from news reports and are provisional.





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