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Posts Tagged ‘PCPA’

Maoists in 5-hour gunbattle with Security forces in Lalgarh

Posted by Admin on July 31, 2009


CPI Maoist

As the joint Central and state forces conducted search operations to trace the two policemen, who were abducted on Thursday evening, an exchange of fire took place between the police and the Maoists in Lalgarh on Friday.

Manoj Verma, SP, West Midnapore said the firing took place in various forests of Lalgarh. According to the West Midnapore police, Lakhiram Hembram, a Maoist, and two villagers were injured in the firing. Hembram was injured at Bhulagera and was admitted to the Jhargram hospital.

Two locals, Sailen Murmu and Swapan Mahato, were also injured and were taken to the Midnapore hospital.

The joint forces continued their search operations in the forests at Lalgarh and adjoining areas. But the Maoist groups escaped from the area, said Verma. Read the rest of this entry »

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Security forces lathicharge tribal women in Lalgarh

Posted by Admin on July 28, 2009


Security forces use batons to disperse women in Lalgarh

medi_police_lathi_lady

Lalgarh (PTI): Shortly after a three-member team of the Trinamool Congress, including two Union ministers, visited Lalgarh demanding withdrawal of central forces, a procession of tribal women was alledgedly lathicharged by the police.

A huge procession of the women supporters of the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities headed for Lalgarh police station at around 4:00 pm with placards and posters demanding withdrawal of the central forces and police from Lalgarh, The Lalgarh police station was recaptured from Maoists through their operation since June 19.

“There were at least 300 women, mostly tribals who were prevented from entering Lalgarh police station. We had to fire four teargas cells to disperse them,” top police sources said.

There were sounds of firing and mine explosion from the nearby villages, the sources said. “We are yet to determine the exact area from where the sounds came.” Read the rest of this entry »

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lalgarh: Where have the Maoists gone?

Posted by Admin on July 23, 2009


Sankar Ray
10nax2aFables like 1,500 Maoists or 100 specially-trained-in arms-operations Maoists are at Lalgarh or its surroundings, scripted by West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and his condescending subordinates like chief secretary Asoke Mohan Chakraborty and home secretary Ardhendu Sen, are now into the open.

Not a single Maoist is yet in the net of the joint forces. However, the 11,000-strong force has been successful in preventing newspersons from filing reports on torture let loose on subalterns.
Small wonder, the CPI-M’s central committee member Benoy Konar happily said, rubbing his palms gleefully, “We are with the chief minister in his application of the Central Act to suppress the Maoists”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lalgarh Students on Hunger stike

Posted by Admin on July 23, 2009


lalgarh children on fast at gohomidanga picture by samir mondalThe People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) started a hunger strike demanding the opening of schools in the area, which have been converted to camps for security forces for some time now.

Dozens of men, women and children sat on a fast at the Gohomidanga High School, demanding security forces be removed from there and normal classes resumed.

“The schoolchildren and their parents have initiated a hunger-strike because despite assurances, the state government is yet to open the schools for the children. Besides, security forces are harassing and torturing innocent villagers in the name of conducting operations against the Maoists. We are spearheading our agitation against this,” said PCAPA leader Chhattradhar Mahato.

A few days back the police had lathicharged and lobbed tear gas shells on a group of students and their parents of Gohamidanga School when they were demanding shifting of a police camp from the school premises requisitioned by the district police to accommodate security forces. Fifty students were injured in the incident.

Mahato recently established communication with Left Front leaders other than those in the CPM and sought their support for their movement. Constituents of the Left Front, including RSP and Forward Bloc, have spoken against the police operation in Lalgarh and promised to take up the matter with the Front leadership.

Indian Express

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Lalgarh: Where Have All the Young Men Gone?

Posted by Admin on July 22, 2009


Tribal marchIt is an intriguing mystery, one that is preventing the police, the joint forces, and the West Bengal state government from having a peaceful night’s sleep, despite the fact that many of the trouble-torn areas of the political volcano called Lalgarh in West Midnapore are already free from the Maoist siege which started in Mid-June. Successfully captured the occupied areas they have, but the forces have noticed a large number of young tribal men of the area to be missing, (most of them supporting the Maoists) as they seemed to have left the villages and retreated into the jungles to strike back soon.

According to local estimates, about 10,000 youths have left the villages in the Lalgarh area. The remaining populations, mostly tribal women, have shown remarkable grit and have consistently refused to provide any information regarding the men. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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Police lathicharge villagers at Lalgarh

Posted by Admin on July 20, 2009


23naxalPolice today resorted to lathicharge on the villagers of Dharampur, near Lalgarh, when they protested outside the police camp there, demanding that the camp be shifted out of the school premises. About 500 villagers of Dharampur, including school students, today rallied up to the police camp in Dharampur, amed with traditional weapons, and demonstrated outside the camp. Many of them owe allegiance to the maoist backed PCPA (peoples committee against police atrocities).

The villagers demanded that the camp there, alonwith the other camps throughout the Lalgarh region be immediately shifted out of the numerous schools, as it was affecting hundreds of local students. They allegedly tried to storm into the school premises, housing the camp, when the police had to lob tear gas, and lathicharge. Many of those injured included students in uniforms.

For the last two weeks, villagers in Lalgarh have been protesting against the police camps inside schools, and have stepped up their agitation against it.

Many view this as a tactic to levy pressure on the joint forces and administration, as the villagers still suspect the police of their intentions.

Thaindian

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Lalgarh: Massive PCPA Rally in Dharampur

Posted by Admin on July 20, 2009


lalgarh 565671

LALGARH: In a bid to wipe out the CPM from Jangalkhand, Maoists in Lalgarh forced 19 CPM activists to quit the party on Sunday.      File photo

Soon after announcing that the 19 CPM men have voluntarily quit their party, the People’s Committe against Police Atrocities (PCPA) took out a huge rally near Dharampur. Several Maoists, too, took part in the procession. Interestingly, hundreds of policemen and paramilitary personnel have been camping in the area for the past few weeks.

Those who were forced to quit CPM on Sunday included Suman Singh, the pradhan of Baita gram panchayat in Lalgarh, and Pritam Mullick, CPM leader and upa-pradahan of Manikpara panchayat in Jhargram block. They promised not to keep in touch with their comrades. Mullick’s name was there on the list of nine CPM leaders whom the Maoists had threatened to behead unless they quit the party. Read the rest of this entry »

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West Bengal:PCPA Bandh hits three disticts

Posted by Admin on July 20, 2009


cpi maoist written in bengali on the banspahari panchayat office picture by sanjoy chattopadhyaya copyMidnapore (WB), July 19 (PTI) Normal life was severely affected today on the first day of the three-day bandh called by PCPA in Jangal Mahal region comprising tribal areas of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts, officials said.

Picture-CPI (Maoist)’ written in Bengali on the Banspahari panchayat office.

Wanted chief of People’s Committee against Police Atrocities, Chhatradhar Mahato, called the bandh to protest against “police atrocities on innocent people” for the past few months.

Life came to a standstill in Jhargram sub-division including Lalgarh, Salboni and Goaltor of West Midnapore district; Ranibandh, Simlapal, Sarenga and Khatra areas of Bankura; and Bandwan, Baghmundi, Balarampur and Barabazar blocks of Purulia district.

Though schools, colleges and offices were closed as it is Sunday, shops and markets remained shut and vehicles were off the road, the officials said.

Mahato had said he sought moral support and cooperation of Left Front partners RSP and Forward Bloc to make the bandh a success.
PTI

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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 Updates

Posted by Admin on June 16, 2009


PRONAB MONDAL

THE BUNGALOW THAT A COMRADE BUILT
A two-storeyed house being built by CPM Lalgarh zonal committee secretary Anuj Pandey and his relatives became the symbol of what the Maoists termed “exploitation of peasants” and was partly demolished. Villagers converged on the house in Dharampur, beating drums and chanting: “Come and watch how a zamindar’s house made with money sucked from poor peasants is being demolished.”Then they started breaking down parts of the house. The first-floor balcony railing was ripped out, the boundary wall on the roof demolished, the marble floor dug up and all doors and windows were smashed. Pandey, along with his two brothers, owns 40 bighas in the area — an enviable possession in a district where Bengal’s poorest of the poor live.

Pandey, a CPM wholetimer who earns Rs 1,500 a month, said he was building the house along with his brothers, one of whom deals in agri-products business. “The house is not yet complete,” Pandey said.

“They targeted my house because I stood up to the Maoists and stopped their advance beyond Lalgarh.”

With dusk descending, the villagers suspended the demolition.“We’ll complete it later,” Maoist Lalgarh leader Bikash said.

Picture: Swarup Mondal

Lalgarh, June 15: Bengal police today deserted Dharampur, leaving the 30-year bastion of the CPM to the mercy of Maoists who unleashed a rampage apparently in the making at least since 2007.

The Maoists had a free run of the West Midnapore village through the day, tearing down party and police establishments before withdrawing to their staging post in Lalgarh that is out of bounds for law-enforcement.

The stage was set for the Maoist rampage when police personnel posted in camps on the outskirts of Lalgarh deserted their posts late last night following the murder of three CPM activists in Dharampur, around 11km from Lalgarh town.

“We have no orders to open fire. So we had no option but to get away,” said a policeman who had left the Dharampur camp. “If we had been confronted by the armed Maoists, what could we have done? In areas they dominate, they are surrounded by hundreds of villagers. So even if we had flouted orders and fired in self-defence, unarmed villagers may have been killed.”

Around midnight last night, 320 policemen left their camps in Dharampur, Ramgarh (which falls in Lalgarh), Belatikuti and Koima.

The field clear, thousands of villagers from Lalgarh, where the police have been unable to enter since November 2008, this morning swept into areas known as CPM strongholds.

Under the supervision of armed CPI (Maoist) cadres, the villagers burnt down the police camps at Ramgarh and Koima and partly demolished the home of a CPM leader. (Picture and details in box)

Around 50 armed Maoists, carrying mostly .303 rifles snatched from policemen and single-barrel rifles, were part of the hordes that marched into Dharampur after the police left. None of the known leaders of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, the outfit spearheading the villagers’ protest, could be spotted among the crowd.

“So far, we had kept ourselves restricted to Lalgarh, but now we are making other areas here a part of the liberated zone,” said Bikash, who is in charge of the operations of the Maoists in Lalgarh. “This had been part of our long-term plan and now is the time to put the plan into operation.”

An AK-47 slung across his shoulder, Bikash oversaw the

demolition operations today.

But those supposed to enforce the law appeared to be cut off from the ground. Arnab Ghosh, the deputy superintendent of police, operations, based in Lalgarh and in charge of all these camps, said: “I was not aware of this (the desertion of police posts). I only got to know of it at 1 this morning, an hour after they had left their posts.”

“Our victory lies in getting hold of Dharampur, which has been a CPM stronghold for over 30 years,” Bikash said.

“In West Midnapore, we first consolidated our base in Belpahari, Banspahari and then Bhulabheda,” he added. “By 2007, once we were on a sure footing in these areas, we decided to move into neighbouring Lalgarh and begin working among the people.”

In a year, the Maoists had covered “reasonable” ground, but were still waiting to bring the area in its complete grip. The “spark” was provided in November 2008 by police atrocities after a mine explosion on the chief minister’s route.

“We grabbed it. The issue helped generate a lot of goodwill for us in Lalgarh,” Bikash said. “Having stopped the police from entering the area, we brought in members of our action squad from Jharkhand and Orissa and we have trained about 400 youths of Lalgarh in handling arms.”

The next “logical step” for the Maoists was to extend their reach. The choice was the CPM stronghold of Dharampur, which was putting up “maximum” resistance to the Maoists. “Last week, we had heard that the CPM there was getting arms and outsiders to fight us. So we jumped to strike,” Bikash said.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee did not comment in public, though the government’s hands-off policy came under attack from Left politicians.

Chief secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti said “everything possible” was being done. Told about the burning down of the Dharampur CPM office, he said: “Ask the party.”

Violence in Lalgarh

The house of a communist party leader was attacked

Hundreds of Maoists backed by thousands of villagers have seized the ruling party’s last stronghold in a troubled part of India’s West Bengal state.

Armed rebels are reportedly patrolling roads around the village of Dharampur in the Lalgarh area after police fled. Three people were killed, reports say.

Rebels have been entrenching themselves in Lalgarh since last November and now have almost total control of the area.

Maoist-linked violence has killed 6,000 people in India over the past 20 years.

The rebels operate in more than 180 districts across east and central India and are seen as a major threat to national security. Last week more than 20 police were killed in the eastern state of Jharkand.

The Maoists say they represent the rights of landless farmhands and tribal communities.

‘Ransacked’

The BBC’s Amitabha Bhattasali in Calcutta said that as hundreds of workers from the state’s ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPI(M), fled the Lalgarh area, Maoists claimed it as their first “liberated” zone in West Bengal.

A Communist party office set on fire in Lalgarh

Communist party offices ablaze – rebels are in virtual control of Lalgarh

One of the police posts was later set ablaze and the Maoists were reported to have demolished the house of a local communist leader.

“The Maoists went on a rampage yesterday in Dharampur village and ransacked our zonal secretary’s home and party office before setting it on fire. Three of our men are dead and six more still missing,” a CPI(M) official said.

The village of Dharampur was the last bastion for the ruling communist party in Lalgarh. Other villages in the area had been under Maoist control since November.

Our correspondent says that taking control of Lalgarh is part of a long-term plan for the Maoists.

The area encompasses vast tracts of the forests of West Midnapur, Purulia and Bankura districts of West Bengal and adjoins parts of the states of Jharkhand and Orissa.

Arrests

Lalgarh has experienced considerable unrest for a number of months.

The violence began last November when police arrested some local residents on suspicion of attempting to assassinate the chief minister of West Bengal state, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, after he narrowly escaped a landmine explosion set off by suspected Maoist rebels.

A Peoples’ Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) was subsequently formed to protest against the arrests. They launched violent protests and strikes against the local police.

The police and state administration have been virtually non-existent in most of Lalgarh since then. Polling booths could not be set up for recent general elections so voters had to cast ballots outside the area.

Our correspondent says the insurgents and the CPI(M), which has been the state’s dominant political force, have been fighting a turf war.

In the past few years, he says, the Maoists have extended their influence with guerrilla commanders camping in the area and providing basic military training to local youths.

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