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Archive for October 27th, 2009

PCAPA has big following in Bengal’s tribal belt

Posted by Admin on October 27, 2009

The People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), which has claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s blockade of the Rajdhani Express, is an apex organisation for uniting the people of Lalgarh and the tribals against alleged atrocities of the police and CPI(M) in West Bengal.

The group was first heard of in the later half of 2008. Spearheaded by 45-year-old Chhatradhar Mahato, a local tribal leader, the PCAPA enjoys the loyalty of lakhs of people from the tribal-dominated West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts of Bengal. Its influence started with 22 villages and now extends to 47.

The PCAPA is regarded by many as a mouthpiece of the Naxals, but the group has denied such links.India Today

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PCPA block train during indefinite strike

Posted by Admin on October 27, 2009

trianhostagestoryKOLKATA: The driver and assistant driver of the New Delhi-bound Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express were abducted Tuesday by activists of a Maoist-backed tribal outfit at a station in West Midnapore district of West Bengal, police said.

Railway and police sources said the 2443A UP Rajdhani Express was stopped at 2.45 p.m. in South Eastern Railway’s Kharagpur division by a group of people who were squatting on the track at Banstala Halt station a little after the train had left Jhargram.

“The agitationists entered the drivers’ cabin, beat up both the driver and assistant driver, and then abducted them,” Additional Director General (Railway Police) Dilip Mitra told IANS.

Driver K. Anand Rao and assistant driver K.G. Rao sustained injuries and were missing, Mitra said.

A district police force, which started off for the spot, was ambushed and one constable was injured, he said.

A large force of Railway Protection Force (RPF) and General Railway Police has been sent, Mitra added.

A South Eastern Railway spokesman said security personnel have cordoned off the train, and all passengers are safe.

The agitators were members of the Maoist-backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) which has called an indefinite shutdown in West Midnapore district in support of its 33-point charter of demands. The charter includes “stopping police torture on innocent tribals” and “withdrawal of joint security forces” deployed to flush out Maoists from the Lalgarh belt in the district. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jharkhand: Produce Maoist leader Ashok Mahato before the court

Posted by Admin on October 27, 2009

RANCHI: Police on Monday denied charges that security forces have arrested Ashok Mahato, a member of the CPI(Maoist) South Chotanagpur Zonal Committee, and started preparing to combat the bandh called by the Maoists from Tuesday midnight.

Samarji, spokesperson of the South Chotanagpur Zonal Committee, on Sunday released a note to the press, demanding that mahaot be produced in court and before media as they feared that he may have been killed by police in a fake encounter.

The press note claimed that Mahato was arrested on October 2, under Sonahato police station in Ranchi but police have neither produced him in court nor before the media, raising questions about police’s actual intention.

Denying that Mahato had been arrested, Ranchi senior superintendent of police Praveen Kumar, on the other hand, said: "We have produced whoever was arrested on Sunday before the media."

Two persons, Prahalad Mahato and Mangla Kumari with a 9mm pistol and levy posters, were arrested from the Garupiri forest area on the border of Angara PS and Namkum PS here on Saturday.

Two others, Kaleshwar Mahato and Surendar Mahato, were detained but later released after interrogation and proper verification by police as they had no links to the Maoists.

Kumar, however, said they are prepared for the bandh and preparations have been done to prevent any untoward incident in the district. "We have asked police in the rural areas to tighten vigil and regular patrolling will be done on the national and state highways," said Kumar.

Meanwhile, police on Monday intensified search in the forest areas of Angara, Namkum and Rahe blocks to look for the Maoists injured in the police encounter early on Sunday.

"We have specific information through our sources and villagers that at least four Maoists have succumbed to bullet injuries. But their bodies were taken away by the other members of the squad while one body has been recovered," the SSP said.TOI

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Cops shoot rebel, committee threatens attack – Maoist held after 7-hour fight

Posted by Admin on October 27, 2009

27mao1.jpgThe injured Maoist in Midnapore Medical College and Hospital. (Samir Mondal)

Midnapore, Oct. 26: The People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities exhorted supporters to attack government offices on a day security forces captured an injured Maoist guerrilla near Lalgarh after a 1000-bullet fight.

“The security forces have unleashed a reign of terror. They are torturing people. We have called an indefinite bandh in West Midnapore district from tomorrow and asked our supporters to dig up roads and block them with trees. We’ve also told them to loot government offices in West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia,” said Asit Mahato, the committee spokesman after Chhatradhar Mahato’s arrest.

The tribal resistance group today confirmed that its activities were no different from those of its Maoist drivers. “Our supporters will loot police stations, block and panchayat offices and other govern-ment establishments. We will arm them with weapons robbed from CPM goons,” Asit said. That is also how the guerrillas work.

“We will carry on with our movement till the forces are withdrawn from Lalgarh,” Asit added.

West Midnapore superintendent of police Manoj Verma said the forces were prepared to deal with the threat. “All police stations and central force officers have been alerted.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Torture by the joint forces and the administration forced us to pick up arms: PCPA

Posted by Admin on October 27, 2009

LALGARH: People’s Committee against Police Atrocities, the Lalgarh tribal forum that has all along denied links with Maoists, announced on Monday
that it has turned into an armed outfit, ‘Sidhu Kanu Gana Militia’. The announcement came with the claim that PCPA members had looted 10 firearms by raiding a CPM armed rally in Goaltore.

PCPA spokesperson Asit Mahato, who replaced Chhatradhar Mahato, said the tribal forum would “no longer continue democratic processes of rallies and agitations”. “We have formed the People’s Militia Force,” he said. “After facing continuous torture by the joint forces and the administration in Jangalmahal, PCPA has decided to pick up arms to combat the forces.”

PCPA had been carrying out a ‘democratic movement’ since November 2008 when it was raised to protest ‘arbitrary arrests’ in the wake of the ambush on the chief minister’s convoy.

Just after the Sankrail attack, Maoist leader Kishanji had warned that villagers were looking for firearms to take on the forces and that the weapons looted from the police station were being distributed among them.

Since Monday morning, security forces on routine patrol were surprised to face strong resistance in villages like Teshkan, Makli and Hiraban-dh. Villagers seemed to be firing on security forces, which puzzled officers until Mahato came out with the statement. Soon after that, the militia opened fire on the Dharampur police camp, triggering a gunfight till late in the night.

Mahato threatened that the militia would soon hit state and central offices and government agencies. He called for an indefinite strike in Jangalmahal from Tuesday. “Police have rounded up over 350 common villagers and charged them with sedition and murder. They did not even spare elderly women. They are occupying schools, depriving our children of education. They torture villagers every day,” alleged Mahato.

Senior police officers didn’t make much of the threat. “Mahato’s announcement indicates that the reins of the Lalgarh movement are in the hands of Maoists. It will now be easy for us to pick up PCPA members who’ve been working for guerrillas for the past year under the guise of PCPA,” said a senior officer.
“If they’ve turned into a militia, they can no more cla-im innocence as mere villag-ers. Our task will be easier,” DGP Bhupinder Singh said. TOI

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