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Sankrail a model: Rebel Maoist warns of ‘war’

Posted by Admin on October 22, 2009

22sank3.jpg 22sank7.jpg The ransacked office of the abducted OC; bloodstains being removed from the chair on which a sub-inspector was shot dead. Pictures by Samir Mondal

Calcutta, Oct. 21: Maoist military wing chief Koteshwar Rao alias Kishanji today said the operation in Sankrail yesterday was the beginning of a “full-fledged guerrilla warfare” in Bengal.

He told The Telegraph over the phone that the earlier stray attacks on police, mostly by detonating crude bombs, would now be replaced with Sankrail-like strikes.

“Yesterday, we opened a new chapter in guerrilla warfare in Bengal,” Kishanji said. “This will now be our strategy. We shall introduce in Bengal what we had so far done in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.”

So far, the Maoists had restricted themselves to ambushing police vehicles or kidnapping the odd cop. Yesterday’s attack on a police station was a first by the Maoists in Bengal.

“A full-fledged guerrilla war has begun in our stronghold in Bengal and we are all set to deal with the state gov-ernment-sponsored oppression,” Kishanji said.

A CRPF camp was set up in front of the Jhargram police station this evening.

The outlawed outfit’s action squad chief, however, did not disclose how long he would keep OC Atindranath Dutta hostage. “We have told the government to release those women who were arrested and slapped with false charges in the recent past. It is their responsibility to respond,” he said.

According to the police, there are about 20 women in jails in Maoist-hit West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia.

Only two of them — Bim- ala and Sulekha — have been charged with being Maoists. “Most of the others are supporters of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities and behind bars for attacking the police,” an officer said.

The fugitive leader described OC Dutta as a “prisoner of war” lodged in a Maoist camp. “We are fighting a war with the government and Dutta is a soldier of our enemy force. We are treating him as a war prisoner,” he said.

The police think Kishanji’s promise of allowing Dutta’s family to meet him could be another trick. “There is every possibility that they will be taken hostage too. How can we believe those who kill people without any provocation,” said another officer.

Needle in haystack

Why can’t the police get the guerrilla leader, though he keeps talking to media personnel through the day?

The police said they were not being able to pinpoint his location in dense forests, though they were getting a rough idea of where he was from the towers of his mobile service provider. “In cities, a tower covers 1.5-2.5sqkm. But in a remote place like Lalgarh, the area covered becomes 7-10sqkm. We have come to know about a vast forest area where Kishanji is camping. But we do not know the exact location,” said a West Midnapore officer.

Asked why the police were not entering the forest with the central forces, he said: “The Maoists enjoy the support of many villagers. Once a force leaves a camp, they relay the message over the phone.”

Security forces raided villages in Salboni, Lalgarh, Dharampur and Jhargram today and detained 11 villagers.

Nearly 150 women demonstrated demanding their release. The security forces resorted to a baton charge to drive away the protesters TT

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