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Bandhs, Maoist way of pressuring police

Posted by Admin on October 29, 2009

RANCHI: Left parties, especially the CPI (Maoist), which used to call bandhs supposedly to protect the interest of the common man against oppression, social discrimination and rising prices of essential commodities, have for some time been using this tool of protest to build pressure on police. The idea is to ensure safety of their comrades in police custody or protest their killings.

In the past few months, Maoists have called more than half-a-dozen bandhs. The rebels fear that if their members remain in police custody for long, security forces will be able to extract details of their plans and foil their attempts. They can even arrest others on the basis of the information collected from them. Recently the police arrested Kartik and Anil from a Patna bound train with the help of the Andhra police. Quick on the heels of the arrest the CPI (Maoists) immediately called for a Jharkhand bandh on August 24 following which the police produced the duo in a Ranchi court..

Similalry the outfit once again called for a 24 hour bandh on Tuesday to coerce the police for the release of one Ashok Mahto of the cadre. Mahto was supposedly arrested on October 23 from Sonahatu, according to the outfit though the police are still denying the arrest.

Sources in Special Branch revealed that seven bandhs called by the Maoists and its splinter groups out of 22 were in protest against the killing or arrest of their cadre.

"Whenever police arrest their members or kill them during encounters, they call a bandh to create pressure. Maoist leaders are aware that the government cannot endanger the lives of people, public property like railways and schools which are soft target of rebels. The moment a bandh is called the rebel leaders are produced in court," said a source.

"If the police manage to keep the arrested rebels for long, more members can be arrested and their hideouts destroyed. In the past we have arrested rebels and destroyed their dens, especially in Hazaribag, West and East Singhbhum, on the information provided by the arrested rebels," said an IPS officer preferring anonymity.

The officer feared that the new pressure technique will create more problems for the police in the coming days. TOI

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