September 20, 2009 11:51:32 am
Though anti-Maoist operations by the central security forces and the police launched on June 19 in Lalgarh in West Midnapore district have not been as successful as desired,the West Bengal government would carry on with it.
“Though initially we had some success,it was not up to our expectations. So we have changed our plans. We are going to succeed,though it might take some time,” Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen said.
“The ground reality in Lalgarh and its adjacent areas including Purulia and Bankura districts,besides Jharkhand,is that the problem is showing very little sign of receding till now,” he said.
There were 17 companies of central forces in Lalgarh working in close co-ordination with the state forces,he said,while another 10 companies have been sought,Sen said.
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“We have asked for another 10 companies from the Centre. Our DGP is meeting Union Home minister P Chidambaram,” he said. “The central forces will stay for an indefinite period till the problem of Lalgarh is resolved,” Sen said.
In the last three months over 50 people have been killed by Maoists and some,including policemen,kidnapped. Maoist leader Kishenji,however,said,”when the police and the CPI(M) are killing us off,we cannot keep.
Asked if the operations had hindered the activities of Maoists,Kishenji replied,”The Home Secretary has himself admitted that the operations by joint forces have failed and they have asked for extra forces from the central government.” West Midnapore Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma said 72 arrests have been made from Lalgarh and its adjacent areas.
Asked why the police were unable to arrest any top Maoist leader or those from the People Committee against Police Atrocities,Verma said “We will arrest them when we think fit.”
Another senior police officer,who spoke on condition of anonymity,said “Maoists follow hit and run tactics and so it is very hard for organised forces to combat them.”
Another factor was the support base of Maoists in the area,he said.
“Without the people’s support it is very hard for any guerrilla group to be successful. The people of Lalgarh and its adjacent areas fully support Maoists.”
A lawyer from Andhra Pradesh K G Kannabiran who has been defending Maoists in court for the last two decades said “It is not the story of the people of Lalgarh alone. The Maoists gain strength because of inequality of the political and social structure.” quiet. We have to answer them with bullets.”
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