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Archive for the ‘Bengal’ Category

CPM activists spreading tension in Haldia

Posted by Indian Vanguard on April 8, 2007

Haldia, April 7.— Even though the state government has scrapped the proposed mega-chemical hub project at Nandigram following the carnage on 14 March, goons allegedly backed by the CPI-M are continuously spreading tension in the area by hurling bombs at peaceful meetings.

These incidents are frequently reported from the villages along the Talpati canal every night. According to reports, goons allegedly backed by the CPI-M have been trying to create a new corridor to enter the trouble torn areas of Nandigram-I block through Hatingabari, Bahargunge, Simulkundu and Ranichak area in Nandigram-II block.

The villagers of Ranichak village alleged that CPI-M cadres were hurling bombs and firing bullets in the air even in the daytime to scare the villagers from other side of Talpati canal since the last two days. However, a police contingent entered Simulkundu village around noon today to take control of the situation. No violence has occurred at Ranichak area since then.

Mr Partha Chattopadhay and Mr Sisir Adhikari, Trinamul congress leaders visited Nandigram today to inspect the situation and boost up the morale of the party workers who have been leading the anti-land acquisition movement at Nandigram.

Mr Chattopadhay said: ” Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is to be blamed for the tragic situation in Nandigram and Khejuri. Though the chemical hub project has been scrapped, state government does not seem to have taken any initiative to restore normalcy in the area.”

Mr Adhikari said: “We shall up the ante if the state government tries again to grab the lands of the farmers in East Midnapore district.”

The Statesman


Posted in Bengal, NEWS | Leave a Comment »

SFI (Social Fascists of India) pseudo leftist student union unleases terror in Calcutta

Posted by Indian Vanguard on April 6, 2007

Reeling from blow after blow the social fascist student
organisation of the CPI(Marxist) has
un leashed terror after suffering humiliating defeats.
We now know from whom they learn this type of
criminal behavior.

Post-poll, JU erupts

– Anti-SFI union victory rally targeted, seven students injured

Science and engineering faculty students protest the attack on the victory march on Thursday. Picture by Amit Datta

The Jadavpur University (JU) campus turned into a battlefield on Thursday, as students and employees clashed after the announcement of the students’ union election results of the science and engineering faculty. At least seven students were injured.

All four seats in the union were won by the We The Independents (WTI), a non-political umbrella group opposed to the CPM-backed Students’ Federation of India (SFI). The union has been under the control of anti-SFI students for the past 11 years.

WTI members, who will hand over a memorandum to registrar Rajat Bandyopadhyay demanding action against the “attackers”, lodged an FIR naming two teachers who they alleged had joined hands with non-teaching staff members in mounting an assault on a students’ procession.

Leaders of the anti-SFI camp demanded that the service of professors Dipak Kesh (mathematics) and Arghya Deb (physics) be terminated. Both teachers were unavailable for comment.

Registrar Bandyopadhyay, reportedly busy in meetings throughout the day, could not be contacted.

Soon after the election results were announced at 1.30 pm, WTI supporters took out a victory procession around the campus. Violence erupted when the march reached the Science Club, near the engineering faculty canteen and adjacent to the office of the JU Karmachari Samsad, the union of non-teaching employees loyal to the CPM.

WTI members alleged that several non-teaching staff members, along with a few teachers and some outsiders who were seen holding red flags, attacked the “peaceful” procession.

“They kicked and punched us and also assaulted us with iron rods, sticks and bricks,” said Proloy Kumar Saha, a WTI leader and outgoing general secretary of the Science Faculty Students’ Union.

“Seven students, including myself, were injured. Someshwar Chandra fractured his hand and Surajit Sarkar sustained a neck injury. Among the others injured are Sourav Guha, Prottay Banerjee, Sourabh Mitra and Suman Majumdar,” he added.

Karmachari Samsad general secretary Saugata Roy denied the WTI charge.

“The executive committee meeting of the union was in progress when the victory march came near our office. Some students from the procession ransacked the Science Club and then attacked our office,” he explained.

Dhrubajyoti Chakraborty, a member of the SFI’s Calcutta district committee, claimed: “The anti-SFI organisations at the university were trying to foment trouble over the past few days to keep our loyalists at bay, and this was the outcome. Seven of our members were injured and one has fractured two ribs.”

When contacted, superintendent of police (South 24-Parganas) S.N. Gupta said: “We will take necessary action.”

SFI ruckus in South City College
Express News Service

Kolkata, April 4: The Students Federation of India (SFI) today created a ruckus at South City College on the eve of the student union elections, likely to be held tomorrow. SFI members beat up representatives of the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad and injured them. Three injured students were taken to SSKM Hospital for medical aid.

Paiswanor Chatterjee, president of the West Bengal Trinamool Chhatra Parishad, said: “SFI members don’t want other parties in the college to continue their election campaign in peace. Yesterday they tore off all the graffiti and posters put up by the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad members. Today they beat up our boys so that our campaign is interrupted.”

Chatterjee alleged that the same SFI members had murdered a local resident, Raju Prasad, because he had objected to their consuming alcohol and misbehaviour. “It has been a fortnight since the incident took place and the hoodlums are still roaming free. Our boys had protested and they were beaten up. Everything happened before the police but they did not say anything. They stood there like mute spectators,” said Chatterjee.

Indian Express

Posted in Bengal, NEWS, Student Politics | 1 Comment »

Maoists went to Nandigram and Singur to fight against CPI-M goons

Posted by Indian Vanguard on April 6, 2007

BANDWAN, April 5: Maoists called a 24-hour south Bengal bandh in protest against the Nandigram carnage. The bandh was peaceful and more or less spontaneous.

The CPI-ML condemned the police firing in Nandigram in which 14 villagers were killed. The party also issued a barely disguised threat to the CPI-M.

A spokesperson said: “Maoists went to Nandigram and Singur to fight against CPI-M goons.” It was also said that a group of Maoists from Purulia and Bankura had visited Nandigram. They, the party spokesperson said, had surveyed the plight of innocent villagers and warned the state government of dire consequences. Meanwhile, police seized leaflets and posters of Maoists at Chakbazar in Bandwan block of Purulia district, nearly 100 km from Purulia town.

The posters, written in red ink, held the chief minister responsible for the killings in Nandigram and declared a death sentence for him.

The deputy chief minister of Jharkhand, Mr Sudhir Mahato, expressed his displeasure over the activities of the Maoists.
During an annual programme of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (Soren) at Lalpur in Purulia, he expressed his determination to punish those Maoists who were the responsible for the brutal murder of Mr Sunil Mahato, MP.

The Statesman

Posted in Bengal, NEWS | Leave a Comment »

One step forward, two steps massacre

Posted by Indian Vanguard on April 3, 2007

Even Left-leaning intellectuals join the chorus of protests over Nandigram

Rajat Roy Kolkata

Three days after the Nandigram massacre, a few thousand students, intellectuals, poets and artists assembled in front of Metro Cinema in the heart of Kolkata and condemned the Left Front government in no uncertain terms. It was a scene the city has not witnessed for a long time. Prominent among the protesters were some Left intellectuals who have never been seen taking an anti-Left position.

Theatre personalities Bibhash Chakravorty and Kaushik Sen made public their decision to resign from the state-sponsored Bangla Natya Akademy. Poet Shrijato read out the resignation letter of eminent poet Sankho Ghosh from the post of vice chairman of Bangla Akademy, another state-run body. Ashru Kumar Sikdar also resigned from Bangla Akademy and Shashi Anand resigned from the advisory body of Nandan (a cultural complex of the state cultural department). One after another, poets like Joy Goswami and others expressed their anguish at the brutal treatment meted out to the villagers of Nandigram.

Later, a similar meeting was held at Sujata Sadan, a theatre hall in south Kolkata, where playwright and actor Manoj Mitra and many others from the world of theatre condemned the Nandigram massacre. Students have already started demonstrations and more organised agitations are being planned once the exam season is over.

The significance of this development cannot be ignored, as for the first time in the last 30 years of the Left rule in West Bengal, artists and intellectuals with Left leanings have come out openly to oppose the ruling Left party. People like Mahasweta Devi and Saoli Mitra never aligned themselves with official Left and didn’t hesitate to criticise the ruling Left Front whenever the occasion demanded. As expected, they also joined the anti-government movement in Singur and Nandigram. But generally Left intellectuals did not take any clear position before the Nandigram massacre. They were seen as active supporters of the Left. Many enjoyed a good rapport with Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, and seemed to be happy with the state patronage.

They happily obliged the left whenever there was some need to mobilise public opinion in favour of the regime and remained silent when the state resorted to repressive measures against its own people, be it the Kamtapuris or Naxalites or the mainstream opposition parties. The people in Bengal got used to this band of Left intellectuals who were forthcoming in their protest against the demolition of Babri Masjid, Gujarat riots or even America’s war on Iraq but were found wanting when it came to protesting the undemocratic acts of the Left Front government. The Nandigram episode has finally forced them to sever their relations with the Left Front government.

The Bengali intelligentsia has a long tradition of acting as the conscience-keeper of the people. During the freedom struggle, the leadership came from Rabindranath Tagore himself. He famously returned his knighthood to protest against the Jalianwallabagh massacre. That tradition was carried forward after independence by a new generation of intellectuals, whose sympathy lied mostly with the communist movement. The peasant movement of the late 1940s and early 1950s, known as the Tebhagha movement, was supported by a whole lot of artists, musicians, writers.

But the passion for causes gradually dried up. During the Naxalite movement, when a section of Naxals started vandalising and beheading the statues of the leaders of 19th century and meaningless killings became rule between the Naxals and the police, Bangla intelligentsia by and large remained silent. During the emergency, only a handful of courageous intellectuals like Amlan Dutta and Gourkishore Ghosh, known for their liberal bourgeois leanings, and radical Left playwright and actor Utpal Dutta and Leftist intellectuals like Samar Sen and Ashok Mitra showed courage in protesting the curbing of citizen’s rights.

When the Left Front came to power in 1977, the Left intellectuals became active. Their partisan position was evident from the beginning. The CPI(M), true to its ideological moorings in Stalinism, tried to monitor the intelligentsia closely, sometimes with hilarious consequences. For instance, in the early 1980s, a left leader labelled pop singer Usha Utthup’s stage performances as apasanskriti (decadent culture). The then state secretary of the CPI(M) entrusted one of the younger leaders with the task of defining the distinction between “progressive” and “decadent” culture. They then realised their folly and dropped the idea without further ado. Interestingly, that young CPI(M) leader is today’s chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who continued to cultivate good relations with the intelligentsia.

Buddhadeb’s pet project Nandan became the centre of state sponsored cultural activities in Kolkata. Natya Akademy, Bangla Akademy and other government cultural agencies were formed, which accommodated senior artists, poets and writers, playwright and stage personalities. A series of government awards were instituted to reward the “right” kind of people.

It paid rich dividends to the party. The massacre of settlers who came from Dandakaranya to resettle themselves at Marichjhanpi in the Sundarban, the murder of Anandamargis in broad daylight in south Kolkata, both in the early 1980s, or even a violent attack on Mamata Banerjee by a known CPI(M) cadre in Calcutta in the 1990s could not break the silence of these intellectuals. The Orwellian world the Left tried to create in Bengal made them selective while taking a moral stand. Although there was growing disillusionment among Left intellectuals about the regime, nobody dared to speak out.

In the early 1990s, Subhas Mukhopadhyay, a noted poet and onetime darling of the communist parties (famous for his revolutionary poems) openly criticised the Left for its sectarian and corrupt practices. Although he made some valid criticism of the Left, he was vilified as senile. Also, his joining hands with arch anti-communist political forces were not appreciated by most, which successfully blunted the edge of his criticism.

Now, after living under the Left rule for 30 years in Bengal, it seems the disillusionment of the people has grown to such an extent that, not withstanding the absence of a viable political opposition, the civil society has started taking more active role. The vocal protest of Left intellectuals is indicative of that. The Bangla intelligentsia has started speaking out its mind.

Eminent theatre personality Bibhash Chakraborty is known among theatre lovers of Bengal for his successful productions like Chak Bhanga Madhu, Madhab Malanchi Kanya and many others plays. On March 14, when the police crackdown on villagers of Nandigram was flashed on television, Bibhash Chakraborty recorded his protest by resigning from the state-run Bangla Natya Akademy. In a candid interview with Hardnews, Bibhash Chakraborty explained his reasons for resignation and the cultural atmosphere in Bengal under the Left Front regime. Excerpts:

Why did you resign from the Bangla Natya Akademy?

The issue of the land acquisition has been agitating me for quite some time. I have been writing about it in newspapers, voicing my discontent about the forcible land acquisition process initiated by the state. I call it land grabbing by proxy on behalf of big industry. So, when I saw the barbaric attack on the villagers, children and women on TV, I was extremely disturbed. I realised that the least that I could do was to resign from the Natya Akademy, which is directly under the state government’s department of cultural affairs.

In the last 30 years of Left rule we have never seen artists and intellectuals of left inclination speaking out against the Left Front. Do you think this incident was first of its kind that called for such protests?

In retrospect, I think there were a few occasions that deserved protests, such as the Marichjhanpi incident. But we remained silent. I repent that now. However, through my plays I tried to criticise the deviation and corrupt practices of the Left.

Do you think the left has become more intolerant to dissent over the years?

Yes. Earlier, we could talk to them and discuss various issues. Nowadays, there is a perceptive change. They have somehow started articulating the words of Bush (Those who are not with us are against us).

What is your next course of action?

I don’t know. We are individuals united for a cause and not a political party. It is very difficult to fight against the well organised and heavily oiled party machinery. But one thing is clear: the way the villagers have resisted the government’s move, it won’t be easy for the state to snatch agricultural land forcibly anymore. Perhaps the government would come to realise that without initiating proper dialogue with the people, they cannot move forward. The people have lost faith in the administration, legislature and media of our state. The only hope we have is with the judiciary. Let’s see. Hard News

Posted in Bengal, NEWS | Leave a Comment »

News report of SFI loss

Posted by Indian Vanguard on March 29, 2007

Following is a news report on the loss of SFI in Jadavpur University AFSU(Arts Faculty Student’s Union) elections published in a leading kolkata newspaper. Forum for Arts Students (FAS) has swept the students’ union elections of the Jadavpur University arts faculty, traditionally a bastion of the Students Federation of India ( SFI )

FAS won three seats, while All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (Aidso) bagged the remaining seat. The elections were held on Tuesday. Counting of votes began at 11 am on Wednesday. The results were declared at 4 pm. The new vice-chairperson of the union Mahadyuti Adhikary won by a margin of 428 votes. General secretary Sourish won by 454 votes.

The assistant general secretary (day), Souro, and assistant general secretary (night) won by 401 votes and 52 votes, respectively. More than 1,800 students of the day section cast their vote. From the night section, about 180 students voted. The students voted for the posts of the day or night assistant general secretary, vice-chairperson and general secretary. In addition, the students also voted for their class representatives.

FAS, which is not affiliated to any political party, was formed in the aftermath of police intervention to break a hunger strike by the university students in June 2005 to protest the expulsion of three students. The SFI, the students’ wing of the CPM, controlled the students’ union for the past 11 years. Last year, FAS had wrested the vice-chairperson’s seat from the SFI.

The Nandigram issue was a major campaign plank against the party this year. “We will work on student-related issues without interference from any outside body,” said vice-chairperson Adhikary on Wednesday. “For instance, we have been mobilising support for a movement demanding better placements.” “Even a few years back, there was a feeling that the SFI could not be beaten without political backing. Last year’s results showed it could be achieved. This year’s results reflect a change in the mindset of the students,” added Adhikary.

SFI leaders said the verdict was “not unexpected”, but the margin of defeat came as a surprise. The expected margin of defeat was about 200 votes, but FAS won by more than double the figure.

Posted in Bengal, NEWS, Student Politics | Leave a Comment »

SFI,Wiped out in college polls

Posted by Indian Vanguard on March 28, 2007

Courtesy Revolutionary path

Today SFI, the student’s wing of CPM, a social fascist, terrorist party in west bengal province of India was decisively defeated in the election to the Arts Faculty student’s union(AFSU) in Jadavpur University in kolkata. They lost all the four portfolio seats to FAS(Forum for Arts Students) a newly formed organisation.

Jadavpur University is one of the most prominent and prestigious universities in India. Not only because of it’s academic excellence but also the history of glorious student’s struggle right from the 50’s and 60’s. It was the storm center of the naxalite movement of the 70’s.

However SFI, a criminal organisation dominated by lumpens and thugs have been holding the arts faculty union for the past 8 years by using different fair and unfair tactics. But the students have now made it quite clear that they will not tolerate this tactics of intimidation to continue naymore. They will not allow their beloved university and its honour be trampled by the pseudo-leftist,criminals.

This election mandate also reflects the growing disdain that is prevailing among the students and youth of west bengal about the bourgeois policy of the West Bengal government to grab the land of poor peasants and give it to the profit monger MNCs to satisfy their ugly hunger.

SFI had made this so-called pseudo-industrialisation an issue and has got a slap from the student community. The students of Jadavpur University have categorically rejected the anti-people economic policy of the CPM(Left front0 govt. and their politics of terrorism , mass murder and mass rape.

Posted in Bengal, NEWS, Student Politics | Leave a Comment »

Kalinganagar protesters join the issue

Posted by Indian Vanguard on March 27, 2007

45-member team detained on way to Nandigram

Kolkata, March 26: Protestors from Orissa’s Kalinganagar have found a meeting ground with agitators of Nandigram — land acquisition. A 45-member team of agitators of Kalinganagar, heading for Nandigram, was intercepted by the West Bengal police at Kharagpur.

The police were tipped off by their Orissa counterparts that a Maoist squad was entering the state. The group was released after they were interrogated and had their photographs taken.

The delegation reached Nandigram late in the evening.

The members belonged to Bistapan Birodhi Janmanch and Lok Pakshya, organisations that spearheaded the agitation against the Tata’s integrated steel project in Kalinganagar, Orissa.

A number of them were found to be members of CPI-ML (New Democracy) and National Alliance for People’s Movement.On 2 January, agitators from various parts of Andhra Pradesh, Nandigram and Singur had held a meeting at Kalinganagar, commemorating the anniversary of tribal deaths.

“Our team is here to show solidarity with the people of Nandigram, who share the same fate as people of Kalinganagar. We are being harassed by the police unnecessarily. Incidents in Nandigram are not isolated cases but a part of national issue. The character of the state government is the same — be it Bengal or Orissa and we will organise an all-India people’s movement,” said Rajendra Sarengi, one of the leaders of the group.

The GRP at Kharagpur station traced the gang at around 2.30 am in a passenger compartment of Puri Express. The group is led by Ravinder Jarika of Bistapan Birodhi Janmanch and Rajendra Sarengi of Lokpakshya.The team included 19 women and 26 men, who were also carrying food for the affected villagers of Nandigram.

They were detained and taken to the Midnapore town police station. Teams from various security agencies from Kolkata reached the spot.The police also contacted their counterparts in Orissa to know about the antecedents of those detained and later, around 4.30 pm, they were released.

Pradip Singh Thakur, senior member of CPI-ML (ND), rushed to the spot from Kolkata and identified the detainees as their party members and demanded their release. “It was an illegal detention violating the basic rights of individuals. We strongly condemn the incident,” said Choton Das, general secretary of Paschim Banga Bandi Mukti Committee, who help political prisoners in the state.

Kolkatta News Line

Posted in Bengal, NEWS | Leave a Comment »

‘Kawakhali could be another Nandigram’

Posted by Indian Vanguard on March 26, 2007

Kolkata, March 25: Kawakhali and its adjacent mouzas near Siliguri may well turn out to be another Nandigram if the state government does not backtrack on its plan to acquire land from the villagers for the establishment of a residential township. A threat to this effect was issued by the Bhoomi Raksha Committee last Friday.

A handsome compensation package by the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA), a state government body, has failed to move the villagers from their standpoint of not allowing the government to “grab” their lands. Last Friday, led by veteran Naxalite leader Kanu Sanyal, about 500 villagers, most of whom are owners of small plots at the Kawakhali, Purajhar and Tikulikatha mouzas, raised slogans against state urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya and chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

“We do not want any compensation. We are going to save our lands at any cost. If the government still tries to acquire our land, it will face strong opposition and the bloody scenes of Nandigram will be repeated at Kawakhali, Purajhar and Tikulikatha,” said a villager from Kawakhali, who is also the member of the Bhoomi Raksha Committee, on condition of anonymity. After submitting

a memorandum to Neelam Meena, the chief executive officer of the SJDA on Friday, Sanyal said, “We want Asok Bhattacharya to meet the Bhoomi Raksha committee members within seven days to discuss the issue. If the minister fails to do so, anything might happen at Kawakhali and its adjacent mouzas, and for that we will not be responsible.” A couple of months back Sanyal had threatened that if the government did not stop acquiring land for industrialisation, there will be a massive movement on the lines of the Naxalbari movement of the late 60’s and early 70’s.

Political observers are of the opinion that under the banner of Bhoomi Raksha Committee concerned villagers throughout the state are preparing for such a movement. Asok Bhattacharya, however, said that land acquisition at Kawakhali will never be a problem and no force could stop the SJDA from establishing the proposed township. He did not clarify whether he would sit down with the members of the committee within a week. Today, the CPI(M) organised a mass rally of about 10,000 people in Siliguri to garner support for industrialisation, which was addressed by Bhattacharya. He said that district magistrate Rajesh Pandey would hold an all-party meeting to settle all the problems regarding the project soon.

The SJDA had decided to acquire 302 acres of land at Kawakhali, Purajhar and Tikulikatha villages near the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital at an estimated cost of Rs 2,500 crore, some six km from Siliguri, for the establishment of a satellite township by Bengal Universal Unitech.


* Two cottahs of land to each evicted landowner
* House for the poor among them
* Job in the project,
* Medical insurance to the evicted
* Community hall
* Arrangements for education of one member from each family
* Free training to those displaying an aptitude for sports
* Free training at Industrial Training Institute to those who want technical education Kolkatta News line

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CPI-M office vandalised in Bengal

Posted by Indian Vanguard on March 23, 2007

Kolkata, March 22 (IANS) Attacks on the Communist Party of India-Marxist’s (CPI-M) premises are continuing in the aftermath of the Nandigram killings with some miscreants damaging a party office in Murshidabad district.

The hand of Maoist guerrillas is suspected in Wednesday night’s attack at the CPI-M office in Nawada in Murshidabad, about 250 km north of here, with the reported recovery of posters of a rebel group.

However, Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia told IANS: “We are looking for the miscreants behind the attack but we are not saying they were Maoists right now.”

“The office of the CPI-M was damaged and there was an attempt to set it on fire,” Kanojia said adding: “No one was injured.”

Some reports said one of the attackers was a woman and the posters left at the spot belonged to Maoists.

CPI-M cadres in Murshidabad allege that Congress men were behind the attack. The district is a stronghold of the Congress.

Tension prevails in the area.

After a brief lull, Nandigram witnessed fresh tension Wednesday as Trinamool Congress supporters ransacked an office of the CPI-M at Tekkhali after bombs were allegedly hurled on a procession taken out by the former.

Things came to a boil in West Bengal’s Nandigram area a week ago when 14 people were killed in police firing while protesting the acquisition of farm land for a special economic zone. Indian Muslim Info

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Cops overpower Maoists in Bankura

Posted by Indian Vanguard on March 22, 2007

KHATRA, March 21: A Maoist cadre was nabbed by police in Barikul recently. The ultra-naxalites of Bankura are going through a hard phase as the police of the area have been on the alert and have shown considerable efficiency in nabbing criminals over the past few months. At least five cadres, all members of the Maoist squad operating in Bankura, Midnapore (West) districts, were arrested during police exercises in different stretches of Khatra.

Most of them were arrested while they were on their way back home. The success of the cops has been an encouragement for the morale of the district force. But the consecutive arrest of the ultras has also ushered curiosity among many in the district about the recent trend of home-coming of the militants. Police is also trying to see the reason why the naxalites are so frequently returning to their hamlets although aware of the chances of getting trapped by patrolling police.

The arrest of the naxalites has brought relief to the CPI-M leaders of the district who would live in constant threat of a Maoist attack anytime. A CPI-M district committee member said: “We are happy that the police is overpowering the ultra forces and the cadres who have caused several bloodbaths in Bankura and the adjoining areas,”. He, however, added: “We are also wondering whether the Maoists are deliberately falling into the traps laid by the police!” The leader explained: “Most of the persons arrested are quite old. It is therefore suspected that the squad might have asked them to leave permanently as they were becoming burdens to the outfit,”.

District CPI-M secretary, Mr Amio Patra said: “It is inevitable that the naxalites have to surrender as they are gradually becoming unpopular in the districts. The section of common mass who sympathised with the outfit, have now turned a deaf ear to them. People are becoming conscious and we expect many more to surrender in the days to come.”

On 15 March, the police arrested Gorkha Singh Sardar, member of Belpahari squad of the Maoist faction from the jungle adjacent to the Dhajuri village in Barikul PS area. He was returning to his native village. The police is interrogating him to help further investigations. Gorkha was a dedicated member of the squad and was accused of murder of CPI-M zonal committee leader, Raghunath Murmu and a party member, Bablu Mudi on 9 July 2005 at Majhgeria village.

On 31 January, an action squad member of the Maoists, Mahantalal Murmu was arrested from Singurdihi village in same Barikul PS area. The police had an ambush with the Maoists while taking Mahantalal to the PS. Gorkha Singh Sardar, the latest Maoist arrested by the police was also accused of attack on the police during the arrest of Mahantalal.

On 28 February the Maoist cadre, Baneswar Singh Sardar who is also the father-in-law of Gorkha was arrested by the police from the same Dhajuri jungle stretch. He was accused of Majhgeria massacre. A Dhajuri resident, Bimala Sardar, a hardcore Maoist cadre was arrested by the police from neighbouring Ulukhdoba jungle in Belpahari PS area, Midnapore (West) on 7 February 2006. Her colleague Sulekha Mahato was also nabbed during the police invasion.

On 22 February, the police arrested Subhas Mandi, a Maoist cadre from Khayerpahari jungle in Sarenga PS area. An improvised firearm was recovered from his possession. He was accused of the murder of CPI-M district committee member, Shibaram Satpathy on 10 April 2001. Thestatesman

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