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Operation Lalgarh a failure: West Bengal Govt

Posted by Admin on August 7, 2009

lalgarh 56567KOLKATA/BINPUR: Operation Lalgarh has failed, the state government admitted on Thursday, the same day Maoists gunned down three more people in the trouble zone and Maoist leader Bikash reiterated the threat to assassinate chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

The situation is so bad that West Midnapore district magistrate Narayan Swaroop Nigam fears an attack on Midnapore town “any day”.

Naxalites have killed 10 people in the area in a week in spite of the huge presence of police and paramilitary forces.

“Our target was to arrest the Maoists or flush them out of the area. But we have not been successful. The Maoists are continuing with the siege almost everyday. Killings and abductions are regular,” home secretary Ardhendu Sen said on Thursday after a review meeting at Writers’ Buildings.

The admission comes five days ahead of chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s visit to West Midnapore’s Debra, 35 km from Midnapore town. “The CM wanted us to do a stocktaking of Jangalmahal to find out why police could not round up Maoists despite setting up camps in the area. We are working out a new strategy that will come to effect within a fortnight,” the home secretary said.

The failure is likely to come up at the CM’s meeting with the Prime Minister in Delhi on August 17.

As many as 25 people — mostly CPM men and some from Jharkhand Party (Naren) — have been killed by Maoists since security forces moved into the area seven weeks ago. On Thursday, Maoists gunned down three tribals working as nightguards at a warehouse in Maguria, Binpur, accusing them of passing on information about their nocturnal movements to police. One of them is a close relative of JKP(Naren) MLA Chunibala Hansda.

On Wednesday, Maoists had dragged away and murdered a villager even as he desperately clung to his two children.

There are no less than 40 companies of police in the area but they have failed to stop the killings or capture even a single squad leader. When asked if the government was willing to arrest PCPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato, who is moving around freely and giving television appearances, the home secretary said: “We have not been able to catch him as yet. He will be taken to task.” The same words he has been repeating over the last 51 days. TOI

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