West Bengal tribal adviser resigns after Lalgarh atrocities
Posted by Admin on June 27, 2009
Kolkata, June 27 (IANS) A senior adviser to West Bengal’s Left Front government resigned Saturday to protest against the “torture” of tribals in the state’s Lalgarh area that has just been cleared of armed Maoists who had declared it a “liberated” zone.
“I have served this government with all sincerity. But the way the tribals in Lalgarh are being tortured, I never expected this from this government,” Dhirendra Nath Baske, a leading Santhali scholar, told IANS here.
Baske, adviser to the state government’s Santhali publication Pachhim Bangla, sent in his resignation to the director of information.
“I know the tribal psyche. They never want violence. But look at this government. Their police tortured women and innocent people after the landmine explosion on the chief minister’s convoy at Salboni in November.
“The tribals had only demanded that police tender an apology for the atrocities. But police did not. The government also did nothing. That means the government is supporting the police action,” said Baske, a former editor of Pachhim Bangla and a one-time acting editor of Adibasi Barta – a representative magazine of West Bengal Tribal Welfare Cooperative Board.
Security forces have launched a major offensive on the Maoists in the West Midnapore district enclave of Lalgarh, 200 km west of state capital Kolkata.
Baske was also cut up with the government for the neglect of the Santhali Academy.
“About seven years back, I had made arrangements to bring to Kolkata a rare miscrofilm from Oslo university on the history, society, culture and behavioural pattern of tribals 100 years back. But there was no follow-up.”