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Bengal CPM welcome army deployment in Maoist zone

Posted by Admin on September 26, 2009

CPMBengal CPM for army role in Maoist zone OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Calcutta, Sept. 25: The CPM finds “little scope for debate” on the Centre’s plan to deploy the army to tackle Maoists, but the party is not sure if the Left Front partners would be as welcoming.

“Let the Centre decide and put the proposal before the state. But there is little scope for debate on this issue among us. The Maoists are operating as a regular army and they can be dealt with effectively by an army response,” said CPM state secretariat member Benoy Konar.

Party sources said Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today told his comrades at the weekly party state secretariat meeting that the matter of army deployment in Maoist areas was likely to come up in his meeting with Union home minister P. Chidambaram next month. Bhattacharjee is scheduled to visit Delhi on October 10 to attend a CPM politburo meeting the next day.

Other state secretariat members said that the government and party leadership would first have to know the extent of the army’s involvement in the operation and consider its political fallout before spelling out its position.

A secretariat member brought up the question of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act that allows the army and the paramilitary to arrest, shoot or kill anyone who raises suspicion. “This may be suitable for the Northeast or Maoist-infested Chhattisgarh, but the situation is different in Bengal,’’ said the secretariat member.

“Nonetheless, we will welcome central action against the Maoists in Jharkhand who are using the state as their hideout and launching attacks across the border in Bengal’s tribal zones,” he said.

The party, however, is not sure how to deal with the political fallout of such a move as its allies — the Forward Bloc, RSP and the CPI — have already opposed the joint operation against the rebels in Lalgarh as well as the banning of the CPI (Maoist).

Forward Bloc secretary Debabrata Biswas rejected the idea of any military solution to the Maoist insurgency early this week and urged the government and the front for a political dialogue with the rebels. The RSP and the CPI aired similar views. TT

The CPM state secretariat today also endorsed the “Enayetpur model” of armed resistance against Maoists in West Midnapore as a means to boost the sagging morale of the CPM cadres. Bhattacharjee, apparently under pressure from the rank and file, endorsed the party’s preparation for armed “resistance against the Trinamul-Maoist nexus”.

“We are trying to organise a people’s resistance against the Maoists and give them a befitting reply,” Konar said.

Maoists and CPM cadres fought a night-long gun battle in West Midnapore’s Enayetpur on Monday. The rebels failed to overrun the CPM’s “resistance”. “Since the joint forces of the state and the Centre failed to stop the killing of our workers, the party has the right to self-defence,’’ a secretariat member said.

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