Maoist leader leads PSBJC rally near Lalgarh Raktima Bose
|Even as Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty was holding discussions with senior officials on the joint operation|
— Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury
STIFF RESISTANCE: Hundreds of supporters of the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities at a rally in Dharampur near Lalgarh on Wednesday.
LALGARH: Even as West Bengal’s Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty was holding meetings with senior police and administration officials here on Wednesday on the operations against Maoists and the Maoist-backed Police Santrosh Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee (PSJBC), activists of the PSBJC took out a procession, led by a prominent Maoist leader, at Dharampur – not more than 10 km from here.
Starting from Goumichowk, six km from here, the PSBJC supporters marched down the narrow gravel path through villages with traditional weapons, beating drums and shouting slogans against the police and the CPI(M).
Maoist leader Bikash, who came into spotlight after holding a press conference on June 15 where he admitted that Maoists were supporting the PSBJC movement, moved around with an AK-47 toting henchman, supervised the crowd and ordered it to maintain order.
Bikash said though the security forces reached Lalgarh without much resistance, they would not find it easy to penetrate further.
Asked about their strategy against the security forces, which were camping at the Lalgarh Police Station since June 20, he said: “Time will tell. But we will stop them for sure.”
At the end of the procession, several local PSBJC leaders addressed the crowd.
One of them, a close aide of Bikash, Asit Mahato, said roads had been dug up at several places and camps set up to keep an eye on police movement.
“The joint forces have to walk over our bodies if they try to enter the area beyond Lalgarh,” he said.
More forces arrive
Though there was no force movement on Wednesday, seventh day of the offensive against Maoists and the PSJBC, combing operations in adjacent villages continued. On the request of the State government, 10 companies of the Border Security Force reached Lalgarh.
Some companies of the Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR) and the Central Reserve Police Force also reached Goaltore, 20 km from here.
Distribution of relief materials resumed on the day at the Block Development Office here and long queues of men and women were seen outside the office premises.
Ananya Dutta writes from Kolkata:
Spokesperson for the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in West Bengal Gaur Chakraborty was remanded to police custody for 14 days by a court in Kolkata on Wednesday.
He was produced at the Bankshal Court where he was remanded to custody by Acting Chief Metropolitan Magistrate C. Bhattacharya.
On Tuesday evening, the city police apprehended Mr. Chakraborty outside the office of a private news channel in the Park Street area. He was later arrested under Section 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
The Communist Party of India (Maoist) was declared a banned organisation under the Act by the Centre on June 22.