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Lalgarh: Teen released after PCPA gherao

Posted by Admin on August 26, 2009

LAL_630atttMIDNAPORE: Bhimpur in Salboni turned tense on Tuesday morning after the Maoist-backed People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) gheraoed the Bhimpur police camp, demanding the release of Tukai Mahato (15), a Madhyamik student. Police released him after the PCPA stir.

Trouble started when the joint forces, pursuing an intelligence report, launched an operation at Purba Patajharia, Balibandh and Neria villages in Salboni at 6 am to nab Maoists. But the large contingent of BSF jawans and policemen failed to nab a single Maoist squad member. Then, they allegedly zeroed in on local PCPA leaders, but they had already fled on hearing about the arrival of police. The joint forces then searched the house of PCPA leader Prasanta Mahato and his two brothers, Harisadhan and Tapan, but did not find any evidence of Maoist links.

On their way back, police took Tukai, Harisadhan’s son, with them. As the news spread, more than 5,000 PCPA supporters, including women, gheraoed the Bhimpur police camp,

demanding the “innocent student” be released. When the mob tried to enter the police camp forcibly and broke a part of the fencing, cops resorted to a lathicharge. Twelve people, including five women, were injured.

PCPA workers who gheraoed the police camp demanding the release of the teenage student feared that “false charges” would be slapped on him. They also demanded that the police camp be withdrawn.

A senior district officer said: “So far, we have found out that boys in the age-group of 15-18 years have been used by Maoists in various operations, including murder. So, we picked up Tukai for interrogation, but released him as we found nothing.”

Maoists also took out a huge torch rally from Malbandhi to Dherua in Midnapore Sadar block on Monday night to challenge state home secretary Ardhendu Sen’s assertion that people were not with the Maoists.

The police administration was concerned, as nearly 15,000 people from 50 villages were estimated to have joined the rally, held about 18 km from Midnapore town and 20 km from Lalgarh.

Joint operation with Jharkhand after monsoon

KOLKATA: The operation to tackle Maoists from Jangalmahal in collaboration with Jharkhand will start after the monsoon, state director-general of police Bhupinder Singh said on Tuesday.

“We are in constant touch with the Jharkhand government but the monsoon is not the right time to launch the operation. The terrain is familiar to the Maoists but not to the forces. We are waiting for the monsoon to get over,” Singh said. Flash floods, malaria and snakebites will be some of the major impediments if the operation is carried out during the monsoon.

In July, the DG, IG (western zone) Kuldiep Singh and then DIG of CID (operations) S N Gupta had met V Ram, DGP of Jharkhand Police. Bengal Police had sought free access to each other’s zone for the operation as well as exchange of intelligence inputs. However, Jharkhand Police had specified that they would not go for the operation until the monsoon was over.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had recently said, “…Maoists operating in West Bengal use their bases in Jharkhand to mobilise their squads. The joint operation (in Lalgarh) can be successful only if a similar operation is launched in Jharkhand in collaboration with our state.” TOI

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