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Maoists block roads to Saranda forest since Thursday evening

Posted by Admin on October 10, 2009

231201275JAMSHEDPUR: All approach roads to the Saranda forests in Kiriburu block of West Singbhum district have been blocked by the Maoists since Thursday
evening a la Lalgarh style.

The Red rebels have used at least three dozen full-grown trees to block all the four roads leading to the jungle known as Asia’s largest sal forest to the adjoining towns as part of their anti-police repression week that kicked off on Wednesday.

The maximum brunt of the blockade has fallen on the 13-kilometre stretch from Karampada to Kiriburu, where at least 16 trees have been used to block the road. This is the stretch where 12 CRPF personnel were killed in a mine blast at Chitir village in June. The other roads, which have been blocked, are Karampada and Thalkobad, Meghataburu and Kumudih, and Megahataburu and Gheghati Bankar in the Jagannathpur subdivision of the district.

Two companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and district police are engaged in removing the blockade since Thursday and police say it will take another day for the security forces to clear the road.

“The security personnel are involved in removing the blockade but as many as four roads have been blocked by the rebels and it will take some time to restore normalcy on the said streets,” said Michael Raj S, Chibasa additional superintendent of police.

On Thursday evening, the West Singhbhum police received information of the development following which officers-in-charge of Gua, Jamda and Noamundih police stations along with CRPF personnel and the ASP rushed to the site. However, police refrained from clearing the blocked road on Thursday night and it was not before Friday morning that they started removing the blockade.

Since this was the peak tourist season, plying of private vehicles to the forest has come to a halt, said police. A section of policemen has been stationed at the entry points of the road in the town area to prevent commuters and tourists from taking the forest route. “These roads are not the busy ones like the national highways. Yet, they are the lifeline of the villagers, who negotiate to and from the forests for their livelihood,” said a policeman at the Jagannathpur subdivisional police officer’s office.

Lalgarh, the epicentre of Maoist activity in West Bengal’s Maoist-dominated West Midnapore district, has been in the news ever since tribals, backed by the CPI(Maoist), put up a blockade by felling trees from the surrounding forests to prevent police from entering the block ever since some villagers, especially women, were assaulted by police early last November. Finally, the situation took an ugly turn when the state government ran out of patience and launched an operation with the help of central paramilitary forces in the middle of June to free the area of Maoists. TOI

Nandigram: Maoists claim responsibility for murder of Trinamool leader

Kolkata: The Maoists have claimed responsibility for the murder of Trinamool Congress leader Nishikanta Mondal in Nandigram on September 22, alleging he was a police informer.

Underground Maoist leader Kishenji told PTI from an undisclosed location that Mondal, panchayat pradhan at Sonachura in Nandigram, was eliminated because he was a Trinamool leader and worked as a police informer.

“We have our base in Sonchaura in Nandigram, and Trinamool also has its base in the same area. Nishikanta was making negative propaganda and was not allowing us to function properly in the area. We had requested him many times but he refused to listen,” Kishenji said.

The Maoist leader insisted Nishikanta was killed, not because he was a follower of a political party but was “personally corrupt and was a counter-revolutionary”.

Mondal was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on the evening of September 22. DNA

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