Lalgarh children want schools back from forces
Posted by Admin on July 14, 2009
Midnapore, July 13: Armed Maoists are allegedly going around the Lalgarh region at night and telling villagers to press for the removal of police camps from school premises.
Within three days of a students’ protest demanding that their classes be allowed to resume, the administration vacated seven rooms. But some students of Binpur High School today shouted slogans vowing not to let classes start until the entire police camp was shifted.
At Gohomidanga, 15km away, nearly 600 students took out a procession and marched to the local high school, demanding that the forces staying there since July 1 move out.
Many villagers said the protests that began spontaneously among students and teachers was being steered by the Maoists and their sympathisers now.
Police sources said the rebels were trying to cash in on the anger among the students and their parents.
“Had it not been for the Maoists, we wouldn’t have suddenly got so many students in different areas clamouring for the immediate shift of the forces,” said an officer.
A villager explained the sudden clamour. “Maoist armed squad leader Bikash has been going around the villages, telling us to force the police to move out,” said the father of a student at Gohomidanga.
The Maoist-backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities held a meeting yesterday at Netai village near Dharampur and announced its strategy to back the “students’ movement to get rid of the security forces”.
Dharampur is not far from Gohomidanga.
A committee leader said: “Under the circumstances, this student protest is the best way to build pressure and force the security personnel to leave the region.”
Home secretary Ardhendu Sen had promised after Friday’s protest that the forces would be shifted to permanent camps in a fortnight.
West Midnapore police chief Manoj Verma today said it was clear that the villagers’ hands were being forced. “They are being forced to launch such movements.”
Suspected Maoists tonight fired at a police camp in a health centre at Dharampur.
The central force stationed there shot back and the encounter continued for an hour. No casualties were reported.