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West Bengal Timeline 2017



January 6

The UMHA flagged the operational efficiency of SFs in the Naxal-affected areas as one of its biggest achievements during a presentation before PM Narendra Modi. The Ministry informed Modi that since the NDA Government came to power in May 2014, there had been a 45 per cent increase in the efficiency of Central Forces (CFs) in operations against the Naxals. In a presentation made by Home Secretary, Rajiv Mehrishi, Modi and other officials were informed that the number of Naxal cadres killed in 2016 had been the highest ever in six years. Eighty-Four cadres of the CPI-Maoist were killed in 2015 and in 2016, the number swelled to 218, which was an increase of 160 per cent. There was also an increase in the number of Police encounter from 237 in 2015 to 316 in 2016. UHM Rajnath Singh told in a press conference earlier this week that demonetization had increased the problems of CPI-Maoist and that they had weakened. The EFC has already given the go-ahead for an ambitious road project in the 44 worst Naxal-affected Districts. Under this project, the Government proposes to construct 5,412 km of roads and 126 bridges and it would cost INR 117.25 million. The Government is redrawing the 'Red Corridor' - the area affected by LWE - and may soon take off 20 Districts from the list of Naxal-affected areas. The 106 Districts which span 10 States - Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh - constitute the Red Corridor. Of these, 44 Districts are said to be the worst affected. India has a total of 683 Districts.

January 17

CPI-ML (Red Star), a Naxalite outfit that has contested elections has token presence in Kerala and West Bengal, led land agitation near Kolkata. CPI-ML (Red Star) has become the key organiser of a movement at Bhangar village in South 24 Parganas District. It is to be noted that the villagers are demanding cancellation of a power grid project designed to transmit electricity through high tension overhead lines. A senior Police officer said, "All the leaders of the movement belong to the CPI (ML) (Red Star). We never monitored their activities because they held little influence." Police said they are keeping a close watch on are Alik Chakraborty, Sharmistha Chowdhury and Pradip Singh Thakur, all leaders of the Red Star faction of CPI(ML). The leader of the party is K N Ramachandran, who hails from Kerala. Thakur and Chakraborty are politburo members of the party and Choudhury a central committee member. Chakraborty is also the spokesperson of the committee spearheading the movement.

January 25

The 'most wanted' CPI-Maoist leader Ranjit Pal (45) laid down his arms and surrendered before of the STF of Kolkata Police at Kolkata District. Pal surrendered before State DGO Surajit Kar Purakayastha and Kolkata Commissioner of Police, Rajiv Kumar along with his wife Jharna alias Anita also a top CPI-Maoist leader along the Bengal-Jharkhand border mostly in Purulia District. Pal surrendered with a SLR. Pal said, "I am surrendering before Kolkata Police STF and beginning a new life and appeal those who are wrong path to join the main stream." He added, in past 17 years he had realised that taking up arms was not a solution to people's problems and the issues had been sorted out in Bengal to a large extent.

February 20

Seven CPI-Maoist cadres surrendered to the SP, Bharati Ghosh, in West Midnapore District. The seven had 48 cases pending against them. The seven surrendered CPI-Maoist cadres were - Saheb Murmu alias Jayanta, Saheb's wife Manasi Mahato, Dilip Singh, Malati Singh wife of Dilip, Samir Mahato, Baidyanath Mahato and Banamali Mahato. The surrendered CPI-Maoist cadres deposited one AK-47 rifle and seven country made guns to the Police. The surrendered Maoists, all residents of Jhargram Sub-Division, were allegedly involved in extortion, attacks and other criminal cases in past few years.

February 28

SFs launched a hunt for the last squad of CPI-Maoist, led by Akash, secretary of the state organising committee in West Midnapore and Purulia Districts. The squad comprises seven to 10 cadres and is based near Ghatshila area in East Singhbhum District of Jharkhand. According to Police, the squad is active in and around Dampara area in Ghatshila sub-division. Atul Mahato, believed to be another cadre of the state organising committee, is also with the squad. The squad popularly known as Gurabandha squad was also involved in formulating policies for revival of Maoist armed units in Purulia and West Midnapore Districts.

March 22

Two CPI-Maoist operatives from Belpahari area surrendered before the Police in West Midnapore District. Maniram Sardar and Kabita Sardar were part of the Madan Baske squad of the Maoists and had expressed desire to shun violence and return to the mainstream of the society, the Police said. The duos also laid down one rifle, 13 one-shutter pistols and live cartridges. Both Maniram and Kabita were wanted in as many as 12 cases in the District and neighbouring Jharkhand and were accused of being involved in the murders of JMM MP, Sunil Mahato, and Belpahari CPI-M leader Sudhir Singh Sardar, the Police said.

April 17

Narayan Sanyal (80) a top ranking leader of the CPI-Maoist died in Kolkata District. Sanyal was suffering from cancer. Sanyal was the Politbureau member of the CPI-Maoist at the time of his arrest in 2005 and perhaps the second most important leader after the party's national secretary, Muppalla Lakshmana Rao.

June 12

Five months after an alleged CPI-Maoist-led agitation against a power grid in Bhangar in South 24 Parganas District that claimed 2 lives in police firing and sparked a blockade, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, asked Bhangar to stay away from Maoists and come to the negotiation table. Speaking at a public rally at Bhangar, CM Banerjee asked residents of Bhangar to surrender their weapons that she claimed were amassed during the movement or face search operations. "I know there are weapons in the villages. The Maoists click pictures of you cutting off roads and up in the arms to garner monetary aid from sympathisers abroad. Did you get anything? That is why I am urging you to stay away from the Maoists and denounce them. They are not going to help you, but I will," the CM said.

July 3

NIA filed a charge-sheet with the NIA court in Kolkata, naming the top CPI-Maoist leader Muppalla Lakshman Rao aka Ganapathi, 'general secretary' of the Central Committee of the CPI-Maoist, and four others. The name of the top leader of the LWE group has come up in the charge-sheet in connection with the probe that the NIA had undertaken in connection with the arrest of another of their top leader Sadanala Ramakrishna. He was arrested from College Street in Central Kolkata in 2012 along with two other Maoist leaders. The STF had arrested the Maoist leader and seized INR 9.6 million cash, firearms, ammunition and Maoist literature from him.

July 23

The Kolkata STF detained two CPI-Maoist cadres near West Bengal CM, Mamata Banerjee's residence. According to STF sources, the two claim that they are part of the Purulia Maoist group and had come to surrender themselves before the Chief Minister.

August 9

Two CPI-Maoist cadres surrendered before West Bengal Police at the Belguma Police line in Purulia District. The surrendered Maoists identified as Hazari Hembram alias Bijoy and Rani Munda alias Pooja were known to be cadres of the Dalma squad active in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha region for the CPI-Maoist. The duo handed over one 303 rifle and a 12mm bore gun to SP, Joy Biswas. Hazari, a resident of Mahalitar under Balrampur Police Station in Purulia had joined the Maoist squad in 2006. Rani, who hails from East Singhbhum District of Jharkhand, entered the Maoist squad in 2015. The Dalma squad of Maoists primarily operates in the East Singhbhum region of Jharkhand. A tribal squad, most of its leaders and cadres are from West Bengal. "These two were also member of regional committee of Dalma squad surrounding Jharkhand, Orissa and Bengal," SP, Biswas added.

August 20

A leader of the CPI-Maoist leader named Ratan Dey was arrested by the Kharibari Police from Jarla Jote in Darjeeling District on August 19. The leader's supporters gathered around the Kharibari Police Station and started a protest while the Police was taking the arrested to the Siliguri Court. The Kharibari OIC, Ranjit Pal, stated that Dey has confessed to being a CPI-Maoist leader. He hails from Kolkata.

Source:Compiled from news reports and are provisional.





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