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West Bengal: Maoists begin 2-phase overhaul of operations

Posted by Indian Vanguard on December 22, 2007

Ajoy K Das
Saturday, December 22, 2007 03:45 IST

KOLKATA: With the security beefed up in the wake of the Dantewada jailbreak, the Maoists active in West Bengal have initiated a two-pronged overhaul of their operations. First, the Maoists have decided to dig deep into their strongholds in jungles across Bankura, West Midnapore and Purulia, which even state home secretary Prasad Ranjan Roy has acknowledged the administration is unable to penetrate.

Secondly, the extremists are linking up insurgent and terror outfits along the Indo-Bangladesh border in North Bengal with the red extremists in Nepal. This will help them flee to Bangladesh after hit-and-run operations. The Maoists have already established such alliances with terror outfits in south Bengal districts such as Nadia and Murshidabad bordering Bangladesh.

The new risk assessment of Maoist extremism emerged at a series of meetings of various state intelligence organisations. The meeting was held at the same time when the National Development Council chaired by Manmohan Singh was deliberating measures to combat the “biggest internal security threat”, as the Prime Minister termed Maoists extremism, in Delhi.

Recently, a high-level meeting was also held in Siliguri in north Bengal between chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and RS Naluya, IG, North Bengal, and Gaurav C Dutt, IG, Intelligence Bureau.

A senior Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer of the West Bengal Police said, “Maoists links with Harkat-ul-Jihad Al Islam (Huji) have been established. Now, we have fresh inputs that apart from Huji, the Maoists have linked up with underground organisations in north Bengal to open up a second front after south Bengal.

The officer said while the Maoists planned to operate in alliance with Huji in south Bengal, they are expected to increase violent aggression in north Bengal with extremist elements of Kamtapuris and Bhupalis.

Bhupalis are Bhutanese of Nepal origin ousted from Bhutan and currently living in different refugee camps in Jhapa, Nepal and Kalchini, Looksan, Beerpara and Bagrakot in Jalpaiguri in north Bengal. Recently, the Bhupalis adopted an aggressive and violent posture against Indian border security agencies while trying to forcibly cross over into Bhutan.

IB officials said the Bhupalis are being sought after by the Maoists to help them find safe havens in the jungles along the Bhutan border. The IB has cautioned the state government that the next time the Bhupalis try to cross over into Bhutan, they are likely to be better equipped in terms of trained manpower and explosives, sources said.

d_ajay@dnaindia.net

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