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Lalgarh Mancha asks state to withdraw forces

Posted by Admin on August 22, 2009

adivasi-women-bengalKolkata Members of the Lalgarh Mancha, a body recently formed during the ongoing tension in the area, will submit a memorandum to Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi and Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee demanding the immediate withdrawal of forces from Lalgarh.

At a press meet on Friday, the Mancha alleged that the joint forces enter the villages, ransack the homes of innocent villagers on the pretext of searching for Maoists and sometimes even kill the villagers. The state and Union governments are responsible for their inability to curb the Maoist problem and mishandling the Lalgarh situation, the Mancha added.

“Instead of the armed intervention, the state government should sit with the members of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) and find an amicable solution to the problem,” said Sujata Bhadra, a member of the Lalgarh Mancha and the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights.

Citing instances, when representatives of political parties were prevented from visiting the trouble-torn areas, the Mancha demanded that all political parties should be allowed to enter the area and Section 144 be withdrawn from Lalgarh.

“Since the Lalgarh operation began, we have seen injustices done to the innocent villagers. Many villagers had to leave their homes in fear of being harassed. The situation is getting worse but the government is silent,” said Bhadra. The Mancha also demanded that the state government provide free treatment to Anup Mondal, a player who was recently injured in police firing.

Meanwhile, nearly 200 villagers, led by PCAPA leaders, protested at Pirakata in Lalgarh, near the police camp on Friday morning, demanding the release of four villagers who were arrested yesterday at Pirakata. The villagers blocked the road near the camp for a few hours.

‘Police tracking Kishanji, will nab him soon’
Claiming that the police have been aware of the movements of Kishanji, the most wanted leader of the banned CPI(Maoist), Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen said Kishanji has been operating from Lalgarh and its adjoining areas and the police will arrest him soon. Attending a programme of the jail department at Midnapore on Friday, Sen said the joint operation against the Maosits will continue in Lalgarh and adjoining areas. When asked that the alleged arrests of the innocent villagers in the name of Maoists have affected the police’s image among tribals, Sen claimed locals of Lalgarh have supported the police action and the presence of joint forces brought confidence among them. Noting that the Maoists have been operating from the forests, he said the ultras have not gained the support of the locals. The home secretary also urged the Jharkhand and Orissa governments to initiate police action against the Maoists, as they have their bases in Jharkhand. IE

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