November 18, 2008 8:54:03 am
While the Maoists have made significant inroads in various districts of West Bengal and the state home department has demanded a ban on the outfit, the CPM has rejected the ban.
CPM state secretary Biman Bose said: “I am not in favour of banning the Maoists. A ban will provide extra authority to the police, which will be misused, turning people against the party and the government.” The party fears that the ban will further enhance the popularity of Maoists, denting the CPM’s prospects in rural and tribal belt.
“Police highhandedness has created trouble in many places, not only in Lalgarh,” said Bose.
Party sources said some top bureaucrats in the state home department have strongly advocated for an immediate ban on the Maoists. But the ruling Left Front government, under the pressure of the CPM, has set aside the proposal.
The demand for a ban became louder after the recent incidents in Lalgarh, when police had arrested some villagers but were forced to release them after the growing protests by tribals.
“If the Maoists are banned, then the police will be in a better position to tackle them. They are taking advantage of the situation and are moving at large. The police cannot take effective action against them,” said a senior official of the home department.
Bose, however, said: “I do not think the ban will do any good. The Maoists should be tackled politically.”
His views, however, are not likely to find many takers even in his own party, as CPM leaders in the Maoist-affected districts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura are living under the constant fear of Maoist attacks. Many of them have even employed armed guards for personal security in these districts.
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