Lalgarh: 2 CPM men shot, posters promise more attacks
Posted by Admin on July 19, 2009
Sukumar Mahato, TNN
19 July 2009, 04:58am IST JHARGRAM: Two CPM partymen one a zonal committee worker and the other a local-level party worker were gunned down in West Midnapore on Saturday. The needle of suspicion points to the Maoists, though there is no concrete proof yet.
The first victim was CPM Jhargram zonal committee member Jaladhar Mahato, who was on his way back home from Jhargram to Andharisole near the Kalabani forests when he was shot. Around 7.30 pm, Ashok Ghosh, a CPM worker from Goaltore’s Jirapara was killed. The two murders were preceded by a panic attack in Jhargram town as as residents of Manikpara woke up to “death warrants” against nine CPM leaders in the district. The targets include CPM’s West Midnapore district committee member Hiralal Mahato and Manikpara local secretary Shatadal Mahato.
The threat posters pasted on shops at Ramkrishna Bazar read: “CPM netader shighroi pantha boli dewa hobe (CPM leaders will be beheaded soon)”. The posters renewed the scare that had subsided after security forces moved into the area. The Maoist posters convey the decision of a Maoist gana adalat (people’s court) held at Manikpara in Jhargram.
Taken aback with such posters in Jhargram, the district police sprung into action and removed the. Later, CPM’s senior district secretariat member Dahareswar Sen rushed to the spot to reassure his comrades, some of whom are reportedly thinking of leaving the party.
Sen has his doubts over the Maoists having a hand in writing such posters. “I think it’s an attempt by Opposition parties namely, the Congress and Trinamool Congress. Maoists do not use such foul language, though we are opposed to them in theory and practice. They never use such language like balir pantha. We are not giving importance to such posters,” Sen said. CPM’s Manikpara LCS also did not take the death threat seriously. “Look at the posters. They do not mention the surnames. They just mention some names Hiralal, Shatadal, Debashis and son on,” said Shatadal Mahato.
But, according to police, everybody in Jhargram knows who Hiralal is. He is a former zilla parishad member and CPM district leader, while Shatadal is none other than Shatadal Mahato, local secretary.
Whatever Sen said, 30 CPM party members, including the primary unit secretaries from the surrounding villages of Barkola, Sundarnata Chandra, Dharampur and Bhulka and Champasole dumped CPM and announced it publicly. “We won’t be alive if we are with CPM,” said Tarapada Singh, from Barkola. Some of these villages, such as Dharampur, Bhulka are close to the police camps set up after the security forces captured Dharampur police station.
Congress general secretary of Jhargram sub-division Rajesh Mahato rubbished CPM allegations that they were behind the threat posters. “We believe in non-violence. CPM leaders are bringing baseless charges against our activists. We will begin a stir if police act on these charges and round up our men,” he said.
Police officers, however, are not taking these posters lightly. “We are not taking chances. If Maoists can gun down three CPM activists in a place like Bankasole, close to National Highway-6, we can’t rule out these posters as a hoax. We have got inputs from the intelligence wing, saying that a Maoist squad took shelter in the Ramrama jungle a few days ago,” said a police officer from Jhargram.
Far away at Anjasuli, located at the trijunction of Kotwali, Lalgarh and Salbani, some 60-odd men in “uniform” appeared from the Rajarban forests and looted trader Banamali Mahato’s house. They took away his licensed gun, his brand new motorbike and Rs 1 lakh in cash. When Banamali’s wife came in their way, the group beat her up badly. The People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) wasted no time in taking up the issue and fan anti-police sentiments among villagers. However, there was no confirmation of the alleged atrocity by security forces.