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West Bengal: Allies warn CPM on ‘Salwa Judum’ plans

Posted by Admin on September 26, 2009

Salwa Judum With the CPM reportedly planning to pit volunteers against the Maoists in their bastion of West Midnapore district, the constituents of Left Front today voiced their fears saying an armed resistance would lead to “anarchy” and that the CPM should desist from any such move.

LF allies like the Forward Bloc and the CPI said these volunteer groups would create additional problems in West Midnapore, especially Lalgarh and the surrounding areas. “It is a fact that CPM supporters are being killed by the Maoists every day, but armed revenge cannot be an option for a political party or a front,” state’s Minor Irrigation Minister and CPI leader Nandagopal Bhattacharya said.

CPI sources said the state secretariat of the party has already decided to take up the issue with the CPM and would demand a discussion at the next Left Front meeting.

“I do not know whether the issue will figure at LF meet, but officially we will ask CPM to discuss… a bi-lateral meeting can also be held to discuss the issue,” said Bhattacharya.

A senior CPM leader said they are encouraging retaliation against the armed Maoists. Following the failure of joint operations, Maoists are killing people in and around Lalgarh. “Maoists are killing our supporters and taking shelter inside jungles. It is not possible for the police to protect each and every supporter. So, there must be a resistance group at the grass-roots level. We would not have to surrender to the Maoists then. Ask the leaders who are talking about a political battle against the Maoists as to how many of their supporters were killed by the Maoists,” said the leader.

However, CPM’s ally Forward Bloc was of the view that the state government should take an initiative for talks with the Maoists. “A discussion can solve problems. We condemn frequent murders by the Maoists but an armed resistance will lead to anarchy,” said Debabrata Biswas, general secretary of the Bloc.

Meanwhile, CPM state secretariat, the highest decision-making body in th!e state, discussed the issue and approved the idea of creating volunteer groups in villages.

CPM West Midnapore district committee had floated the idea of village-level resistance groups. Sources said the 13-member CPM secretariat feels that once the Maoists are challenged at the grass-roots level, it will be easier for the government to act.

“We are at the receiving end. The LF partners may raise some theoretical questions but we have to face the Maoist menace. So, we have planned to form the resistance groups,” said a secretariat member. Indian Express

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