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Archive for October 23rd, 2009

Buddha, Chidambaram tyrants: Kishanjee

Posted by Admin on October 23, 2009


KISHANJEEJHARGRAM (WEST BENGAL): Describing union Home Minister P. Chidambaram andWest Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee as “tyrants”, top leader of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) Koteshwar Rao alias Kishanjee said Thursday night that people would fight the security forces assembled against the rebels.Speaking to reporters deep inside the Domohoni jungle, where he released Sankrail officer-in-charge Atindranath Dutta and handed him over to ediapersons, Kishanjee said: “We are releasing the O.C. without harming or torturing him. His mobile phone is with us.

That will be returned tomorrow. But Buddha and Chidambaram are acting like tyrants.”Kishanjee said Chidambaram had assembled 2,000 security forces in Jharkhand and 1,000 in Chhattisgarh to combat the Maoists. “The people will give them a befitting reply.”He said Dutta was released as the people of the state’s tribal areas were satisfied at the bail granted to 14 women Maoists by a court in West Midnapore district.”We have not insulted him. But see how they (the police) attacked and arrested (People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities – PCAPA) leader Chhattradhar Mahato.

I appeal to the media to think who is in favour of democracy and who believes in fascism.”Earlier, in a speech, the Maoist leader criticised the centre and West Bengal government for trying to curb Maoist activities and also rapped Trinamool Congress chief and Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee for failing to ensure withdrawal of joint security forces from Lalgarh.Kishanjee presented before the press the mother of Jawaharlal Mahato, who he claimed has been arrested by the police. “For the last three days, Dutta’s mother was crying. We have relased Dutta to wipe her tears. But who is going to wipe the tears of this mother whose son is in jail for three months now.” IE

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West Bengal: Tribals march to Barasat, on dharna at DM office

Posted by Admin on October 23, 2009


KOLKATA: Residents of Barasat were stunned to see a demonstration by hundreds of tribals wielding bows and arrows outside the district magistrate’s office on Thursday morning. This was the first tribal stir here in recent times.

The tribals, settled in small pockets of Basirhat like Haroa, Hingalganj and some parts of Sunderbans, marched to Barasat the district headquarters of North 24-Parganas to demand development. They said basic amenities like education and healthcare are missing in their regions and must be made available immediately.

The demonstrators said they were often denied loans and other benefits meant for them under various welfare schemes. They said the state backward classes welfare department must immediately hand them application forms under a loan scheme. They also demanded jobs and inclusion of their names in the list of BPL ration card holders.

"We are carrying bows and arrows not to terrify the people of Barasat but to display our culture to the town folk," said a tribal.

"They demonstrated peacefully and headed for the DM’s office. Initially, we were worried about controlling the armed crowd. But they did not create any problems," said a policeman. The district administration has promised to address their demands. Kolkata had witnessed a similar demonstration at Esplanade on April 24 this year.

Barasat residents, however, were taken aback. "I thought people had come from Jangalmahal," said Joyjeet Chatterjee, an MBA student. "I was surprised to see hundreds of tribals with their traditional weapons," said Sohini Sengupta, a housewife. TOI

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Scribes brokered hostage parley

Posted by Admin on October 23, 2009


Armed Maoist rebels escort police officer Atindranath Datta (third right) to his release in presence of the media in the village of Bholagara in Midnapore District, on Thursday.

Armed Maoist rebels escort police officer Atindranath Datta (third right) to his release in presence of the media in the village of Bholagara in Midnapore District, on Thursday.

KOLKATA: It was a nerve-wracking 48 hours for a group of senior government officials and police officers, who remained cooped up in their
Writers’ Buildings chambers, searching for ways to secure Sankrail OC Atindranath Dutta’s release.

With Maoist leader Kishanji refusing to interact with officials directly, the government was at a loss. Two senior BBC journalists came to their aid helping strike a deal through a prolonged negotiation that lasted more than 24 hours. They acted as facilitators and served as a bridge between the rebels and the government.

The drama started soon after Dutta’s abduction. “Initially, the government was a bit confused. On Wednesday morning, they sought our help. Having worked in the North-East for several years, I have been involved in facilitating several such hostage negotiations. We wanted to start a dialogue but couldn’t since we needed at least one government official to participate but there was none,” said senior BBC journalist Subir Bhaumik, who initiated the dialogue.

Most government officials were hesitant to join the negotiation. Finally, an officer was assigned and Kishanji was contacted. “The conversation started off very amicably and Kishanji seemed to appreciate that we were sincere about the release of the prisoners. We told him that it was not possible for the government to release them officially. But their bail plea would not be contested when the case came up for hearing on Thursday. We also agreed to stop the police operation. Kishanji was satisfied and then we talked about the modalities of Dutta’s release. He said he would release Dutta in front of the media and make a political statement after he had been set free. By 4.30 pm on Wednesday, the deal appeared to be on course,” said Bhaumik. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lalgarh: Relief for women buys freedom for OC – Bailed out

Posted by Admin on October 23, 2009


Tale of co-operation, watched by captors Forest freedom from Kishanji
23kishan.jpgOUR BUREAU
Kishanji takes off the PoW label stuck on the police officer. (Amit Datta and Samir Mondal)

Oct. 22: His Maoist abductors lined up behind him, faces covered and guns slung on their backs, Atindranath Dutta spoke about his “co-operative” captors after CPI (Maoist) leader Kishanji released him before cameras in a West Midnapore forest.

“I feel relieved. I want to tell my family that there is nothing to worry about,” said the Sankrail officer-in-charge after over 50 hours in Maoist captivity. Standing before journalists at Bhulagera in Lalgarh, about 30km from Jhargram, the officer recounted the kidnap, stay and release, often referring to the Maoists as onara — a term of respect generally used while speaking about elders.

Before the interview started, Kishanji took off a red cloth that was hung from the officer’s neck with a paper stuck on it, saying: “Juddha bandir mukti sammelan (a meeting to release a prisoner of war).”

Recounting Tuesday’s kidnap, Atindranath said: “I was not at the police station during the incident (when bike-borne Maoists attacked the police station) but I heard gunshots. I was returning to the police station after lunch at my quarters when a woman pointed a 9mm pistol at me. Before I could react, others blindfolded me and put me on a motorcycle and drove me to their den.” Read the rest of this entry »

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