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Lalgarh Tribals and Maoists dig up roads

Posted by Admin on August 21, 2009

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Midnapore, Aug. 20: Tribals and Maoists have dug up roads or placed chopped trees on them at several points just outside the security forces’ circle of domination in West Midnapore in what seems like a repeat of resistance tactics now synonymous with Lalgarh.

Last night, villagers owing allegiance to the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, accompanied by the rebels, dug up two roads — one running from Jhargram to Chandra, the other from Lalgarh town to Dherua. (See graphic)

Between Jhargram and Baita, a village about 24km from Lalgarh town, the villagers placed trees on the road.

The stretch between Baita and Dherua, close to the Dharampur police camp, was dug up in three places.

The road between Dherua and Chandra showed freshly dug ditches in four places, while the road from Lalgarh town to Dherua, with Dharampur in between, was cut at least in three places.

All this was done, according to police, to keep the forces away when the rebels and the tribals later attacked the homes of seven local CPM leaders and also vandalised a party office in Malbandhi.

Had the the security forces in the three camps at Dharampur, Chandra and Jhargram town tried to rescue the CPM families in Baita, they would have found all the roads blocked.

“This is the same tactic the Maoists employed in Lalgarh before the joint forces moved in. Whenever police tried to enter any trouble spot, the Maoist instructed villagers to dig up roads,” a police officer said.

The houses of CPM local committee member Bankim Singha and chief of the Baita gram panchayat Suman Singha were attacked, though both had announced that they had quit the party a month ago following Maoist threats. Neither leader was at home.

“The villagers along with the Maoists surrounded our house around midnight. They ransacked it and broke the furniture with axes and rods. They took the broken pieces of furniture outside and set them on fire. They also looted my jewellery and money,” said Manju, Bankim’s wife.

Around the same time another group of about 200 villagers, again with Maoists accompanying them, ransacked the CPM local committee office in Malbandhi — standing deserted for a month now — and set the furniture and papers on fire.

“In every house, the Maoists set the furniture on fire after ransacking the house and looting money and jewellery,” said a police officer.

A police officer said one of the reasons for the attack could be the detention of eight villagers for questioning yesterday.

“Last evening, security forces picked up eight villagers from Gohomidanga for questioning. But they were released when we realised that we had picked up the wrong people,” said Manoj Verma, West Midnapore SP.

Security pat

The Centre wants the Lalgarh security operation to be a model for other states.

“This is a laboratory for the kind of operations we will do in Chhattisgarh (and elsewhere),” Union home secretary Gopal Krishna Pillai said, specifically speaking on Lalgarh.

Pillai termed the operations in Lalgarh largely successful, considering that the area was under Maoist control till June.TT

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