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West Bengal:Reports on spreading Activities of the CPI Maoist

Posted by Admin on November 10, 2009

GIDHNI (WEST MIDNAPORE)/KOLKATA: If you thought that Red terror was confined to Jangalmahal, think again. The Maoist menace is fast expanding outside to newer towns and villages in the districts, stretching out to strategically important and hitherto uncharted areas. The rebels are already active in Hooghly, North and South 24-Parganas, thus forming a ring around Kolkata as well.

The idea, said police sources, is to spread across the length and breadth of the state and make a presence felt in north Bengal, with support from various militant and ultra-left outfits in the North-East, Bhutan and Nepal.

The signs are ominous. What started as a localized movement in two Jangalmahal blocks, covering an area of just 627 sq km, has metamorphosed into a siege that has left 14-15 blocks in Jangalmahal comprising West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura under their control, covering an area of around 2,500 sq km. Maoists now have a firm grip over the Jhargram subdivision, Midnapore Sadar, Jamboni, Binpur-I, Binpur-II, Goaltore, Garbeta, Salboni, Gopiballavpur and Nayagram blocks. And, even though Midnapore town is believed to be safe, it could actually deceptive. Police admit that Maoists now operate within 4 km-6 km of the town, moving around freely in the town and travelling through it. In fact, Maoist leader Kishanji had recently remarked that Midnapore town was not out of their range.

Inputs from central intelligence agencies have confirmed the presence of around eight arms training camps in the state. Some of these camps have been identified at Chanpai (Birbhum), Rajgaon (near Dumka, along the Jharkhand-Bengal border), Gopiballavpur forest, Bhalukbasa in Sarenga forest and Ajodhya hills in Purulia.

The growing clout of Maoists in several pockets has alarmed security agencies. According to reports, they have already made inroads among workers in the coal belt of Asansol and the tea gardens in north Bengal. This apart, Maoist bases have come up at Burdwan’s Kaska, Budbud, Oushgram, Purbasthali-Katwa, Nadia’s Ranaghat, Tehatta and Krishnagore, Hooghly and Arambag. Intelligence agencies claim that Maoists have even set up a town committee in Asansol. Closer to Kolkata, they have also established contacts with the closed-down mill workers in Naihati and Belghoria, North 24-Parganas.

Jhargram, too, is under their grip. The way they have Jhargram surrounded on all sides, even a Jehanabad-like jailbreak is not ruled out. Even Suri and Rampurhat could soon fall to the Maoists, said sources. Central intelligence agencies have warned that Maoists could even strike Kolkata to "make their presence felt".

"It is clear that their strategy is to form a circle that starts with South 24-Parganas at the bottom, goes through Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia, Birbhum and Hooghly, rounding off at North 24-Parganas. This would bring them dangerously close to Kolkata," said a police officer.

Central intelligence sources said that CPI (Maoist) politburo member Amitabha Bagchi alias Anil, arrested by Ranchi police on August 19, had confessed that Maoists were creating another corridor from Nandigram-Khejuri to Lalgarh via Kharagpur. This is a part of a larger plan of the Maoists to proceed along the coastal belt of the state, forming a corridor that extends till Baripada in Orissa. They are already active in other coastal areas of Midnapore and South 24-Parganas.

What has facilitated this spread is the strategy to spring surprises. "The strike last evening was a novel one since it was the first time they struck in a crowded marketplace. The EFR jawans were caught off guard," said a West Midnapore police officer. TOI


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