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Archive for the ‘West Bengal’ Category

The Trophies Of Operation Green Hunt

Posted by Admin on July 2, 2010

(Security personnel with the body of a suspected female Maoist after the June 16 encounter in the Ranjha forests near Lalgarh)
OutLook Magazine India.

The author of this article Nandini Sundar is also the author of Subalterns and Sovereigns: An Anthropological History of Bastar 1854-2006.

If the security forces can treat dead women like hunting trophies, not only trussing their bodies to poles, but taking pride in displaying their kill, is it surprising that their behaviour towards the living is so atrocious?

“After every deadly attack by the Maoists, ‘civil society actors’ are summoned by TV channels to condemn the incident, substituting moral indignation for news analysis. And yet, the same media is strangely silent on police or paramilitary atrocities against civilians.”

On June 9, The Hindu published stories of rapes in and around Chintalnar in Dantewada by special police officers (SPOs) of the Chhattisgarh government. To my knowledge, no one’s asked P. Chidambaram, Raman Singh or the Chhattisgarh DGP to condemn these incidents or even asked what they are going to do about it. These are people in positions of power, who are elected or paid to uphold the Constitution, and the ‘buck stops with them’, not with ordinary citizens. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in West Bengal | 1 Comment »

Maoists, Trinamool lock horns over Haripur nuclear plant

Posted by Admin on January 4, 2010

KOLKATA: They had fought shoulder-to-shoulder in Nandigram, but at the proposed nuclear plant site in Haripur, the Maoists are not ready to be “deceived” by Trinamool Congress anymore. The Trinamool too has threatened the Maoists with “dire consequences” if they dare to venture into Haripur.

“Trinamool is not at all serious about the cause of Haripur. What the party is doing there is nothing but an eyewash. Because it’s their government which has taken the decision to set up the N-plant,” said Maoist leader Koteswar Rao alias Kishanji, whose party is slowly and steadily making foray into this coastal village of East Midnapore around 160 km from Kolkata.

Local Trinamool leaders are not taking kindly to the Maoists’ interest to this newfound stronghold. Party MP from Contai and Union minister Sisir Adhikary said, “If Kishanji or his followers want to set foot in Haripur, we’ll give them a good thrashing (mere haat-pa bhenge debo). They are just murderers with little political base. If they have courage, why don’t they come out from behind the shield of other organisations and face the people?” Read the rest of this entry »

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West Bengal: Maoist bid to nuke project

Posted by Admin on December 29, 2009


Dec. 28: Maoists have entered Haripur in East Midnapore to fan a movement on the lines of Nandigram against a proposed nuclear power plant, intelligence reports say.

In Nandigram, the Maoists had allegedly worked with Trinamul Congress leaders after a spontaneous local protest against an acquisition notice.

Mamata Banerjee has disowned Maoist claims of assistance, but it is widely believed that the guerrillas had helped cut off the administration from Nandigram in 2007, much the same way as they did in Lalgarh last year.

The intelligence bureau report, which has been forwarded to the Union home ministry, warns the state that it has to be prepared to confront Maoist-fired protests if the proposed central project is to be implemented in Haripur.

Intelligence sources said three CPI (Maoist) teams had moved into Haripur, 50km from Nandigram.

“They are camping in Haripur, holding meetings with villagers and saying they will fight more sincerely than Trinamul (which is part of the central government now),” an IB officer said. “They are taking advantage of the villagers’ fear of losing land and citing their success in Nandigram.” Read the rest of this entry »

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I Don’t Know What Phone Kishenji Uses: West Bengal DGP Bhupinder Singh

Posted by Admin on November 20, 2009

TUSHA MITTAL questions West Bengal DGP Bhupinder Singh on why the police has failed to nab one of India’s most wanted Maoists

image Photo: PINTU PRADHAN

CPI(Maoist) Politburo member Kishenji is hiding in Lalgarh. What is the West Bengal police doing to catch him?
We aren’t going to tell the media what we are trying. But be assured he is our target. We are certainly looking for him.

Why have you not been able to catch him yet? He’s talking live to TV channels every other day. TEHELKA had a two-hour phone conversation with him.
We know that. It is not simple. You have to find the person physically. Just because he is able to talk on the phone doesn’t mean he can be found easily. That he is able to talk to the media doesn’t mean anything. It only means he’s in a certain location in a vast jungle. It is difficult to locate him unless there are other inputs. It’s much easier to locate people in built-up urban areas; you can pinpoint the exact place. I don’t know what phone he uses. We are not tapping his phone. It is illegal.

Do you have enough ground intelligence? Do you know what he looks like?
We have a reasonable idea of how he looks, but that is not so relevant. He is always protected by his security people. The level of intelligence is relative. There is an issue regarding intelligence. It will take time, but we’ll find him.

When TEHELKA spoke to him, he wasn’t inside the jungles. He said he’s two kilometres from a police camp.
If you believe what he says, that’s up to you. Read the rest of this entry »

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JU ex-students held at Haldia meet

Posted by Admin on November 9, 2009

DebolinaHALDIA: Two former students of Jadavpur university were detained along with six others in Haldia on Sunday morning for alleged connection with Maoists. After being detained all day, they were released in the evening after bail bonds were furnished.

The eight were putting up mikes for a street-corner meeting under the banner of Haldia Jana Jagaran Mancha. Police apprehended them anticipating disturbance in the area.

Around 9. 30 am, Debolina Chakraborty, Jayeeta Das (both former JU students), Dulal Bhowmik, Manas Chakraborty, Sanchita Mandal, Suroja Khatun, Kamalesh Maity and Lakshman Chandra Soren were at Matangini more, Haldia.

Bhowmik and Chakraborty are from Haldia, while Khatun and Mandal came from Khejuri. Maity and Soren are from Jhargram. The girls claimed that one Buddhadeb Mahato who came from Bankura has gone missing. Police suspect he managed to escape.

Several people had gathered at the crossing. A banner proclaiming Haldia Jana Jagaran Mancha was also put up. They then started distributing leaflets of Lalgarh Mancha among those assembled at the meeting. Read the rest of this entry »

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West Bengal: Peace on Basu’s lips, cadre finger on trigger

Posted by Admin on November 3, 2009

Tahemina Bibi, whose house was looted in Khanakul. Ananda Das

Tahemina Bibi, whose house was looted in Khanakul. Ananda Das

KHANAKUL: Political violence has been the order of the day in Bengal in recent times, but the turf war hit a bloody low in Hooghly’s Khanakul on Monday when armed CPM goons unleashed a reign of terror on Trinamool Congress supporters and fired at police when they tried to intervene.

A constable was shot in the leg and another smashed on the head with a brick. Ten Trinamool supporters were injured, three of them with bullets, while a 25-year-old woman was molested. The gang set up checkposts’ at the six entry points Nandigram style and would not let the media in while the operation’ was on.

The CPM violence comes just two days before Mamata Banerjee’s scheduled public meeting in Hooghly’s Arambagh, 40 km away. A livid Trina-mool chief demanded the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government’s dismissal and threatened a Bengal bandh. Party activists blocked Durgapur Expressway in protest and lodged a police complaint against 30 CPM workers. No arrests have been made yet.

The attack will go against Bhatta-charjee, who heads the home department. He has been telling the Prime Minister and Union home minister that the root of all trouble in Bengal is the Maoists, with Trinamool backing the rebels. But he’ll find it hard to explain CPM men shooting at police and terrorizing political opponents.

Home secretary Ardhendu Sen doesn’t believe the continuing violence in Khanakul is taking a turn for the worse or that it has the signs of becoming another Nandigram. “I don’t think so. There are enough police in the area. Raids are on. I think the administration is impartial,” Sen said. Read the rest of this entry »

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West Bengal police IG says Maoists network is difficult to crack

Posted by Admin on October 26, 2009

The Maoist supporters came from several districts of Andhra Pradesh are at the Naxalite rally in Hyderabad. The historic rally after 14 years is conducted by the extreemist outfit.   SEPT-30/2004

The Maoist supporters came from several districts of Andhra Pradesh are at the Naxalite rally in Hyderabad. The historic rally after 14 years is conducted by the Naxal outfit. SEPT-30/2004

Maoist network can’t be cracked overnight: WB

Kolkata: Cracking the Maoist network in West Bengal will not be easy, top police and administrative officials admit days after the rebels cocked a snook at the authorities with the dramatic abduction of a cop in Sankrail near the Lalgarh region.

“It would not be right to call the Lalgarh operation totally successful right now. The Maoist network can’t be cracked overnight and it’s not a very easy task either. You have to give some more time,” Surajit Kar Purakayastha, the state inspector general of police (Law and Order), told IANS.

It has been over four months since a massive security offensive was launched in the Lalgarh region of West Midnapore district to flush out Maoists. While it has not seen much success yet, police insist that investigations into the rebel network are yielding positive results.

“The outcome of the investigation has been satisfactory, especially after the arrest of tribal leader Chhattradhar Mahato,” Purakayastha said.

Around August, Mahato spearheaded a Maoist-backed movement in Lalgarh under the banner of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA). Police also arrested a Maoist commander, Chandra Bhushan Yadav, who used to operate in neighbouring Jharkhand. He has been handed over to the Jharkhand police.

However, the Sankrail episode has left many in the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led government redfaced.

Terming it as “unfortunate”, state chief secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty said the government would take steps to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.

“We’re taking adequate measures by formulating necessary security strategies now. We’ll tighten security arrangements at all police stations in West Midnapore district,” Chakraborty said.

In the audacious daylight raid last week, about 40 Maoists had stormed into the Sankrail police station and shot dead two police officers and abducted officer-in-charge Dutta. He was handed over to a section of scribes by the ultras in exchange for some tribal Maoist suspects.

Additional Director General (CID) Raj Kanojia told IANS: “So far the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has arrested four people for allegedly carrying out Maoist activities across the state.

“Yes, we’ve got several important leads from those arrested and the investigation is progressing.”

Many photographs and other incriminating evidence have surfaced before the investigating agency that established the links between Maoists and Mahato, he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Civil rights severely challenged in West Bengal

Posted by Admin on October 24, 2009

Let us deman copyCIVIL LIBERTIES and Human Rights groups are alleging that the state of West Bengal is reeling under a spate of mindless anarchy and violence; disturbing civil life and posing a serious challenge to whatever minimal democratic environs exist in the state.

According to a report released by Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), the so called Marxist government of West Bengal, in the guise of fighting ‘Maoist’ menace is actually waging a war against its own populace. It has enough evidence that the place, where people are struggling under the banner of ‘peoples committee against police atrocities’, are being subjected to inhuman condition of living and deprived of all livelihood options, with arrests, keeping them in state custody and interrogating them by violating all the prescribed norms and procedures related to the same, while protesting and demanding their rights.

MASUM lamented that now these extreme violations of procedure and subjugation of humanity is not only confined to the aborigines fighting for their rights and subsequent police atrocities in aborigines dominated districts but the state has extended its blood-soaked hands to urban activists who are condemning the state’s atrocious acts, demanding release of leaders of the committee with other political prisoners and showing their concern over the century old deprivation of aborigines.

MASUM secretary and National Convenor Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity (PACTI) Kirity Roy said that MASUM also condemns the heinous violence by the private party but with clear observation that maintaining human rights and civil liberty standards is the primary and ultimate responsibility of the state and the state cannot infringe on these constitutional and judicial liabilities by labeling someone ‘Maoist’.

In this respect, he said that they want to condemn the series of high handedness by the police of West Bengal. Police are now targeting activists of human rights groups and in the course violating all the procedures laid down in the Criminal Procedure Code of our country.

According to him, they want to focus on two of such incidents of forcible rounding up of persons by the police and interrogation thereafter, without any respect to the Sections 47, 49, 50, 50A and 160 of CrPC, in which police violated all the mandatory provisions of law in case of arrest, summon and interrogation. The mandatory guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court of India in the DK Basu case (AIR 1997 SC 610) is also intentionally violated by the police. MASUM is confident that all these illegal activities are being done by the police on the decision of the government of West Bengal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Champions of democracy forget India’s Mamlocks

Posted by Admin on October 22, 2009

lalgarh1.jThe concern expressed by about 150 scholars, writers and political activists over the “unprecedented military offensive in the adivasi-populated regions of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Orissa and West Bengal” in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh puts a huge question mark on our polity. “To hunt down the poorest of Indian citizens in the name of trying to curb the shadow of an insurgency is both counterproductive and vicious. The ongoing campaigns by paramilitary forces have created a civil war-like situation in parts of Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, with hundreds killed and thousands displaced”, they stated.Signatories include Noam Chomsky, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, film maker Mira Nair and Arundhati Roy.

In West Bengal civil rights organisations were stupefied when sleuths took away Chhatradhar Mahato, convenor of Police Santras Birodhi Janaganer Committee (PSBJC: People’s Committee against Police Atrocities) blindfolded in broad daylight from Midnapore to Bhabani Bhaban, state CID headquarters in Kolkata on the plea of interrogation, assuming that PSBJC is a front organisation of CPI(Maoist). This was a first, at least in Independent India. Only when one is hanged is the face of the convict covered.As for the Left, especially the CPI(M), champion of democracy, one is reminded of the play Professor Mamlock, about a Jewish professor who was tortured during the Weimar Republic. Read the rest of this entry »

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Focus on fringe groups, relief for celebs, Press sealed over Maoist magazine

Posted by Admin on October 7, 2009

07raja.jpg Raja Sorkhel (top) and Prasun Chatterjee while being brought to the Jhargram court. (PTI)

Oct. 6: Police cracked down on Maoist “sympathisers” in the city today, arresting the owner of a press that printed a banned rebel magazine as well as its publisher.

The police said they found books and leaflets on Maoists in the Calcutta Graphics press in the Manicktala Industrial Estate. The press prints the People’s March magazine, a banned publication.

The police claimed they found a copy of the magazine in the house of Raja Sorkhel, an alleged Maoist sympathiser who was arrested yesterday in the city along with Prasun Chatterjee.

Sorkhel, 46, and Chatterjee, 34, run an outfit called the Ganatantrik Adhikar Manch.

Four others were also detained tonight when the owner of the press, Sadananda Singha, and the publisher of People’s March, Swapan Dasgupta, were arrested. Dasgupta stays in Paschim Balia, Garia.

The police also detained Bhanu Sarkar and Ramesh Das, members of an organisation called Bandi Mukti Committee. They were picked up from College Street.

Chatterjee and Sorkhel were arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Today, they were remanded in police custody for 14 days by a Jhargram court.

Public prosecutor Suman Das Mahapatra said the two had been charged under seven sections of the UAPA for terrorist activity, raising funds for terror activity, conspiracy for terror activity, offence relating to membership in a terror organisation and supporting such an organisation.

They have also been charged under IPC sections for attempt to murder, waging a war against the state, sedition, conspiracy against the state as well as the Explosives Substances Act.

Mahapatra claimed that on September 26, the day Chhatradhar Mahato was arrested, the Maoists tried to trigger a blast in Lalgarh when security forces were returning after patrolling. He said Chatterjee and Sorkhel had planned the blasts. “They were arrested following the interrogation of Chhatradhar Mahato, Sukhshanti Baskey (a treasurer of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities) and three others,” said the public prosecutor.

In Calcutta, CID officials said investigations had revealed that Chatterjee and Sorkhel had collected and given Rs 1.5 lakh to the tribal committee. “The committee is supported and guided by the Maoists,” an officer said. “So providing funds to the committee amounts to funding the Maoists. They organised medical camps for Maoists in Lalgarh.”

“Chhatradhar said the meetings in Lalgarh — on funds collection — had representatives from three sections: the Maoists, the people’s committee and some Calcutta- based organisations like the Manch,” another officer said. TT

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West Bengal: Allies warn CPM on ‘Salwa Judum’ plans

Posted by Admin on September 26, 2009

Salwa Judum With the CPM reportedly planning to pit volunteers against the Maoists in their bastion of West Midnapore district, the constituents of Left Front today voiced their fears saying an armed resistance would lead to “anarchy” and that the CPM should desist from any such move.

LF allies like the Forward Bloc and the CPI said these volunteer groups would create additional problems in West Midnapore, especially Lalgarh and the surrounding areas. “It is a fact that CPM supporters are being killed by the Maoists every day, but armed revenge cannot be an option for a political party or a front,” state’s Minor Irrigation Minister and CPI leader Nandagopal Bhattacharya said.

CPI sources said the state secretariat of the party has already decided to take up the issue with the CPM and would demand a discussion at the next Left Front meeting.

“I do not know whether the issue will figure at LF meet, but officially we will ask CPM to discuss… a bi-lateral meeting can also be held to discuss the issue,” said Bhattacharya. Read the rest of this entry »

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Maoists: We control 5,000 villages in West Bengal

Posted by Admin on September 26, 2009

india-1.jpgSanjay Basak, Asian Age New Delhi

Sept. 25: The Maoists on Friday claimed they have been able to establish control in nearly 5,000 villages in and around West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia in the ongoing battle with the security forces in West Bengal.

Speaking exclusively to this newspaper, one of the Maoist leaders wanted most by the security forces, CPI (Maoist) politburo member Kishenji, claimed that the “Maoists have established people control in areas like Lalgarh, Goaltor, Shalboni, Belpahari, Balrampore, Sorega among others”.

He said they now plan to “levy taxes” on any big companies operating or coming up in these areas. “Generally we levy between eight to 10 per cent taxes on the big companies operating in areas controlled by the Maoist government,” Kishenji revealed on the phone. While rejecting the state government’s terms to come to the negotiating table and giving up their arms, Kishenji said, “Before any talks we also want the release of all Maoist prisoners from jail.” The Maoists also want those arrested in the Lalgarh operation freed without delay.

Kishenji claimed that in its protracted war against the state, the Maoists have established themselves strongly in at least 50 per cent of the districts in Orissa, 60 per cent of the districts in Chhattisgarh, 25 per cent in Bihar, 10 per cent in Maharashtra and 25 per cent in Andhra Pradesh. He claimed the Maoists still have a considerable presence in north Andhra. Read the rest of this entry »

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