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Posts Tagged ‘Midnapore’

Maoists surge, State dithers

Posted by Admin on August 3, 2009


It’s abysmal lack of development and injustice which have provided the Maoists a fertile ground to spread. But the State seems clueless
Rakhi Chakrabarty Delhi

The operation of the joint forces at Lalgarh in West Bengal to flush out the Maoists was hailed by the media. It was the first well-coordinated joint operation by central and state forces.

The success of this operation will determine if this will be tried out in other states reeling under Maoist violence. Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa account for 80 per cent of the violence caused by the Maoists. There are plans to launch joint operations in all states affected by the Maoist problem in October. A big hurdle is the paucity of security forces.

Political leaders and senior police officers in the know admit that the joint operation in Lalgarh happened at the “instigation” of Union home minister, P Chidambaram. “The HM called up Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and proposed a joint action in Lalgarh. The Bengal CM immediately gave his nod, even before he consulted his cabinet colleagues or his party,” a senior MHA official told Hardnews. Read the rest of this entry »

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An article on Lalgarh

Posted by Admin on August 3, 2009


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Forget Maoists, West Bengal’s Left Front has lost its social constituency through years of inaction

The situation in Lalgarh in West Bengal’s Midnapore district, still precariously poised, seems to have been overtaken by generous helpings of farce in nearby Kolkata and distant Delhi. Union Home Minister P Chidambaram kept urging West Bengal to ban Red ultras even as he completed the formality of notifying the cpi-Maoists as a proscribed organization countrywide. He might not have bothered had he been up to speed with the situation in the state.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has been talking about a political campaign against the Maoists for a while, especially since the attack on his convoy near Salboni (near Lalgarh) in November last year.

Now, in the wake of the ban, he has announced a three-pronged strategy: police action, political campaigning and development.

The fact, however, is that for at least a year Maoist sympathizers, not insurgents, have been the soft targets of the government and cpi(m) cadres. Several have been incarcerated on charges ranging from pasting posters to being in the possession of what is presumably ‘incendiary’ literature. The role of the party cadre and the highly irregular proceedings against people who can at best be described as propagandists was dramatically publicized when the police tried to barge into the accommodations of some students of Jadavpur University with no authorization soon after the Salboni attack. It was only concerted and immediate opposition from the student and teaching community of the university followed by a public outcry that scotched this proceeding. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lalgarh ‘not stable’ Maoists still influential: Union Home Minister

Posted by Admin on August 2, 2009


LalgarhNEW DELHI: Noting that Maoists still have “pockets of influence” in Lalgarh, Government Saturday said the situation in the strife-torn area in West Bengal was not stable but maintained that paramilitary forces cannot be deployed there indefinitely.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said state police will have to take responsibilities for maintaining law and order in the Naxal-hit area in West Midnapore district.

“Seven weeks since the paramilitary forces were deployed at the request of state government in Lalgarh, the situation has still not stabilised.

Maoists still continue to have pockets of influence and suspected to be behind in some recent acts of violence,” he told reporters.

Chidambaram said the Centre has made it clear to the state government that paramilitary forces are available for deployment but “such deployment cannot be for indefinite period” and the state police has to take the responsibility of maintaining law and order.

On a separate Gorkhaland state, the minister said the Centre has invited Gorkha Janmukti Morcha for a tripartite discussion on August 11 to find a solution to the issue. PTI

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APDR documents on Lalgarh: Press release on human rights violations of counter-insurgency forces

Posted by Admin on July 31, 2009


ASSOCIATION FOR PROTECTION OF DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS (APDR)

Lalgarh Villagers sleeping in a school

18 Madan Boral Lane, Kolkata 700 012
Phone 033/22376459 email : apdr.wb@gmail.com

PRESS RELEASE ISSUED ON WEDNESDAY 22 JULY 09 ON

HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN LALGARH

Download PDF Format

Released at a Press Conference held at Calcutta Press Club on 22 July 2007

Lalgarh operations enter 35th day

Normal life is continuing to be affected in large areas of three western districts of WB in the Lalgarh operations jointly undertaken by the combined forces of the central and state for the 35th day today In a situation, when the area has been sealed off and no persons are allowed to enter the area except a few media persons, reports of gross  human rights violations continue to be trickling in in media. From the media reports, statements of state government officials and other sources it has been learnt that almost all the villagers were forced to flee their homes for varying periods in the face of armed operation by combined forces, people, including women and children are being brutally assaulted, household articles and valuables are ransacked, looted and destroyed during search operations, daily necessities has become non available. A large number of people has been arrested for which there is no clear data, people arrested are almost invariably being charged with various sections under Chapter VI of the IPC relating to sedition, conspiracy against state etc. and for which the required statutory permission of the Governor is being made available indiscriminately. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lalgarh: Villagers recount tale of police atrocities

Posted by Admin on July 30, 2009


LALGARH 630_34LALGARH/BELPAHARI: “Why have you come here? How will you help me by taking my photographs?” demanded Jharna Mal of Pathardanga village, her anger
welling up from the bottom of her heart. “Come and see how I am surviving, how I am feeding my four children. What was his fault?”

Jharna, who is referring to her husband, fails to understand why he should be arrested while sleeping in his own house. “Where should he have slept if not in his own house? If my husband is such a bad man, then I too should be arrested.”

Recalling the incident, People’s Committee against Police Atrocities spokesman Chhatradhar Mahato said when police raided Pathardanga soon after entering Lalgarh town during the joint operations, all the men of the village had fled, except for Manoranjan Mal, who was sleeping in his house. They promptly dragged him away and slapped a few cases on him. Manoranjan has not returned since. Pathardanga, too, wears a deserted look. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lalgarh: Fight is not over, says Maoist leader Bikash

Posted by Admin on July 26, 2009


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KOLKATA: Maoist leader Bikash on Saturday denied that the movement in Lalgarh suffered a setback due to the joint operation, warning that guerrilla warfare had its own tactics and that the security forces would suffer heavily in the future.

“The fight has not finished,” he said, dismissing as propaganda reports that leaders had fled the region. People would not be fooled by the government’s “hollow promises” on development projects, he added.

Speaking from his hideout in the Lalgarh area to The Hindu on the phone, Mr. Bikash said, “Kishenji and all the core leaders who are leading the guerrilla warfare against the security forces are presently in the Lalgarh region only and have not fled anywhere.”

Mr. Bikash gained prominence as a Maoist leader when he held a press conference on June 15 at Dharampur, 14 km from Lalgarh, openly declaring for the first time that the Maoists were supporting the Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee.

“We belong to the Jangalmahal [a common name for the forest area in and around Lalgarh], and are fighting for the cause of the people of this region. Why should we flee? It is a ploy of the police to mislead people,” he said.

Asked if the Maoist movement suffered a setback following the security operations, and as the security forces reclaimed almost the entire area without much resistance, Mr. Bikash said, “Guerrilla warfare has its own tactics, and just because they could set up some camps it does not mean they have won. The fight has not finished and they [security forces] will suffer heavily in future.”

On development in the region and the projects initiated by the government, he said: “People of this region have been listening to such hollow promises for the last 32 years, though nothing has materialised so far. It will be the same this time too.”

Asked if the Maoists would take up development programmes, he said certain projects like building schools and healthcare centres had already been taken up, and the process would continue.

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Lalgarh: PCPA Seeks support from LF allies

Posted by Admin on July 21, 2009


lalgarh7474Chattradhar Mahato, leader of Peoples Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), is now knocking at the doors of the Left Front — minus the CPM — to garner support for their agitation.

He recently spoke to and got a favourable response from the Forward Bloc and RSP. This, despite the fact that the CPM has branded him as a Maoist and he is on the list of “most wanted” by the security forces who are carrying on operations in Lalgarh.

“Our main enemy is the CPM and police. It is not necessary that other Left Front parties are against us. I called up and had talk with senior leaders of the RSP and Forward Bloc. I sought their support in our agitation and to stop the ongoing police operation in Lalgarh. They gave a favourable reply,” Chattradhar Mahato told The Indian Express over phone.

Mahato spoke to RSP central committee member Manoj Bhattacharjee and state secretary of Forward Bloc Ashok Ghosh over phone. Interestingly, both Forward Bloc and RSP have publicly stated that the Lalgarh problem cannot be
solved through police operation. Both parties were also against
banning the Maoists and have said they should be fought out politically.

“We had a talk with Mahato regarding Lalgarh. We still maintain that police operation is not a solution to the problems there. We will deliberate on this issue within our party and also highlight it in the Left Front meeting,” Bhattacharjee said.

The PCAPA, which was set up two years ago following police atrocities in Lalgarh, initially had the support of Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had even visited Lalgarh. Recently, however, she distanced herself from the movement after police operations started and denounced Mahato as Maoist.

lalgarh564Meanwhile, violence continued in Lalgarh on the second day of three-day bandh called by the PCAPA.

On Monday, over 3,000 villagers protested in front of the Gohumi High School in Dharampur against the retaining police camp inside the school. The villagers alleged that for the last one month, students in the area have been at the receiving end after security forces set up camp in the school.

The police lathicharged the villagers leaving 12 people injured. They were taken to Jhargram and Lalgarh police stations. Mediapersons covering the protest were also injured. Following the incident villagers blocked the Lalgarh-Katapahari road by felling trees.

A landmine also exploded in Bankisol forest, Ramgarh, following which gunfire was exchanged between security forces and Maoists. Owing to the bandh call, Lalgarh and adjoining areas were shutdown.

Aajkaal-1_2nd.pmdState Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen, meanwhile, expressed regret over the lathicharge on school children at Lalgarh but accused vested interests of making the most of the situation there. “Unfortunately there was a lathicharge at Lalgarh on school children and we are really sorry for that. But I believe there are some people who are using such occasions to serve their purpose,” Sen said on Monday.

At present as many as eight schools have been occupied by security forces at Lalgarh and classes have been put on hold.

Sen also said the police forces would vacate the schools very soon so that classes can be resumed. “We are looking for alternative accommodations and at some places we are making arrangements in which the forces can use the schools as just night shelters,” he added.

The Home Secretary said the central forces would remain in Lalgarh even after July. “The operation can go on for more than two-three months,” he said.

Indian Express

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West Bengal: 72-hr PCPA bandh in three districts

Posted by Admin on July 18, 2009


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LALGARH: Both the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) and the Maoists have called bandhs one after the other.

While the Maoist-backed PCPA has given a call for a 72-hour bandh in West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts from Sunday to protest the month-long operation and torture of innocent villagers at its core committee meeting near Lalgarh on Friday, CPI(Maoist) has called a bandh on July 22, immediately after this strike ends in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Bengal in protest against the price hike of petrol, potato and essential commodities. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lalgarh Revolt and the Hoax of Development & Democracy

Posted by Admin on July 17, 2009


By Ayesha published on Peoples Truth

How the Mass Anger Exploded

lalgarhBIndian history is now a witness to a heroic mass upsurge that has been going on as a basically adivasi mass uprising in the Lalgarh area in West Midnapur district of West Bengal. Ever since the landmine explosion conducted on November 2 reportedly as a protest against the SEZ bid of West Bengal’s ruling party, on the entourage of Bengal’s Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and the Union Minister steel, chemical & fertilizer Mr. Ramvilas Paswan while returning from the highly state publicized inauguration ceremony of the Jindal Steel Works (A Special Economic Zone) at Salboni in West Midnapore.Police went on rampaging the tribal villages, torturing the tribals and other exploited in the dead of nights in the name of search for Maoists Read the rest of this entry »

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CPI-M’s Downhill Journey in Bengal

Posted by Admin on July 12, 2009


Saturday 11 July 2009, by Barun Das Gupta on Mainstream Weekly

First the panchayat elections last year, then the Lok Sabha elections this May, and now the municipal polls. The CPI-M’s downhill journey to defeat, disgrace, despair and eventual dislodgement from power continues. One need not be an astrologer or a psephologist to predict that the curtains on the party’s 34 years of uninterrupted rule in West Bengal will be finally rung down in the State Assembly elections in 2011.

The civic election results are significant because they reflect the mood of the urban electorate. And it is among the urban voters that the CPI-M mounted a shrill propaganda campaign against Mamata Banerjee, the leader of the Trinamul Congress-SUC-Congress alliance, portraying her as the embodiment of forces opposing Bengal’s industrialisation and consequent generation of jobs for the educated unemployed middle class youth. She was conspiring to keep Bengal permanently backward—so ran the CPI-M propaganda. Read the rest of this entry »

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300 protesters stopped on way to Lalgarh

Posted by Admin on July 10, 2009


MIDNAPORE: Police had a harrowing time trying to prevent 300 workers of the Majdoor Kranti Parishad (MKP) on Thursday. The MKP workers looked determined to reach out to Lalgarh breaking the police barricade right at the Midnapore railway station. Police finally detained all MKP at Kotwali police station for five hours and later released them on personal bond.

Agitators complained that police heckled some of their senior leaders and rounded up 48 women without women police being present. “Police can’t stop us at Midnapore railway station because the prohibitory orders are not in force in this area,” said general secretary Amitava Bhattacharya. “Our target was to reach Lalgarh and put pressure on the administration to immediately call off the joint operation. Villagers are leaving their home and hearth. Most of them are scared of the security forces. Some have already faced police torture. The government should concentrate on the development of Jangalmahal, including the forest hamlets in Belpahari, where the distress is maximum.”

MKP president Binanda Jha alleged that police heckled women’s wing leader Rakhi Sarkar and arrested all 48 women workers without any women police personnel being present.

Meanwhile, PCPA spokesperson Chhatradhar Mahato saw a CPM and police plan in an unsigned letter he reportedly received, demanding PCPA’s accounts. “I have received an unsigned letter asking me to furnish PCPA’s accounts. I fear that it is a mischievous design of the ruling CPM and police. Police ransacked a PCPA leader’s house at Amkola near the Kangsabati and beat him up. We will launch a movement against such atrocities very soon if police continue with the repression,” he said.

Rajesh Mahato, secretary of the Chhatra Yuva Kurmi Sangram Committee, said: “We will violate Section 144 in Jhargram on Sunday as the SDO did not give permission for a peace rally requesting the administration to stop torture on innocents and putting false charges on poor people.”

Meanwhile, Sudir Mahato, Swapan Mahato, Buddheswar Mahato and Saumyajit Mahato CPM leaders from Chuansol, 25 km from Midnapore, quit the party reportedly after being threatened by Maoists.

TOI

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Lalgarh Pictures

Posted by Admin on July 4, 2009


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People with bows and arrows run to block state police in Goaltore, from where a road leads to Lalgarh on Friday.

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A procession of the tribals in Bankura’s Mejia. Picture by Gour Sharma

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UP IN ARMS : Tribal women hold bows and arrows and march during a rally in Esplanade area of Kolkata on Friday

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India Violence

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