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Archive for the ‘West Bengal’ Category

West Bengal, Jharkhand police to get rid of border jurisdiction

Posted by Indian Vanguard on January 6, 2008

MIDNAPORE(WEST BENGAL): West Bengal and Jharkhand police have decided to get rid of the barrier of jurisdiction in adjoining Maoist-hit areas to take faster action against the Naxalites.

In the Maoist affected belt of six districts including three of Kolhan range of Jharkhand and three districts of West Bengal, policemen can now move freely into each other’s territory, West Midnapore Superintendent of Police R Rajsekharan, who attended the meeting said on Friday.

After launching an attack in one state, Maoist ultras usually flee to another through the forest covered border and the police fail to chase them due to the jurisdiction barrier.

But now, if a police station of West Bengal has some information on a Maoist activity, it could directly tip-off the respective police station in Jharkhand instead of informing Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Rajsekharan said.

The existing rule was that only a DIG level officer could pass on such information to another DIG level officer. But, by the time the information reaches from a police station to the DIG’s office of one state and from the DIG’s office to the police station concerned in the other, precious time gets lost and the ultras escape easily, police sources said.

The new system would reduce the time gap significantly, the sources said after the joint meeting of the DIG of Kolhan range of Jharkhand and his Midnapore range counterpart in West Bengal at Kharagpur in West Midnapore district on Friday.

Besides the DIGs, all superintendents of police, circle inspectors and officers-in-charge of the nine districts attended the meeting.

Times of India

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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.

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Bengal voices jungle fear

Posted by Indian Vanguard on December 21, 2007


Calcutta, Dec. 20: The state government today said it was difficult for police to combat Maoists since the rebels were “more familiar with” the jungles of Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore.

The admission comes in a week jailed rebels have created mayhem in Chhattisgarh and Bihar prisons, prompting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the Maoist threat with chief ministers across the country.

“The Maoists know every nook and corner of the jungles. So, for the police it is very difficult to track them down,” Bengal home secretary Prasad Ranjan Ray said at Writers’ Buildings this afternoon.

Intelligence sources said the rebels were hiding in the vast jungles of Salboni, Jaipur and Ranibadh that stretch across West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia.

Ray said five Central Reserve Police Force companies had been posted in the three Moist-hit districts in addition to State Armed Police and Rapid Action Force personnel.

“We are in touch with Delhi. If it’s necessary to deploy more central forces in the three districts, we will write to the Centre.”

Asked if the government might ban the CPI (Maoist), the home secretary said it would not.

Ray met senior police officers today to discuss police arrangements in and around Writers’ Buildings where Maoist posters sprang up a week ago.

Inspector-general of police (law and order) Raj Kanojia, fresh from Monday’s tour of the Maoist-hit areas, said the police were being trained by the army and the CRPF “to make them more efficient”.

He said all the 36 police camps set up near jungles in these three districts were being upgraded. “Senior officers have been asked to visit the camps and supervise their functioning.”

Calcutta police have tightened vigil in and around the city after the embarrassment over the Maoist literature at Writers’.

City police chief Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti has suspended four constables for failing to catch those who had pasted the posters that called for CPM leaders to be “tried” in a “people’s court”. He said a few more constables would be suspended for dereliction of duty.

The inspector-general of prisons, B.D. Sharma, has asked the superintendent of the Midnapore Central Jail, where more than 30 Maoists are lodged, to upgrade security.


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Alert against Maoists in three Bengal districts

Posted by Indian Vanguard on December 17, 2007

Kolkata, Dec 17 – Alarmed over the jailbreak by Maoist inmates in a Chhattisgarh jail, the West Bengal government Monday sounded an alert in all three Maoist-affected districts – Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore – against a possible attack by the rebels.

‘We have alerted Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore districts, which share border with Jharkhand,’ Home Secretary Prasad Ranjan Roy told reporters at the state secretariat Writers’ Building.To a query, he said: ‘The state government has no plan yet to declare the Maoists as a banned organisation in West Bengal.’ On the Maoist posters found plastered on the gate of Writers’ Building on Thursday night, Roy said: ‘The police are investigating how the Maoists managed to come there and paste posters since the area is prohibited to outsiders.’City police commissioner Gautam Mohon Chakraborty said the police were probing the matter and also the role of the police officials on duty at the time.

Four constables on duty that night at gate No.1 of Writers’ Building have been suspended. Maoist posters condemning the violence in Nandigram were found on the walls of the high-security state secretariat.The posters blamed Chief Minster Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, Left Front chairman Biman Bose and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member Binoy Konar for the March 14 police firing in Nandigram in which 14 people were killed.

Earth Times

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West Bengal: Maoist’s IED threat sends cops scurrying to classroom

Posted by Indian Vanguard on December 16, 2007

KOLKATA, Dec. 15: Recovery of posters of CPI (Maoist) in three places in the city, including the state’s administrative headquarters ~ Writer’s Building, seems to have prompted the police authorities to send junior officers to classrooms to learn about the modern use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), which Maoist insurgents often use as part of their war against the state. A day after six posters of CPI (Maoist) were found on a wall of Writers’ Building, the city police authorities have organised a special programme at Lalbazar today to make the cops aware about various uses of IED by Maoists insurgents.

The directorate of security and the chief minister’s chief security officer, Mr Arvind Kumar Maliwal, who is considered to be an explosive expert, today delivered a lecture at Lalbazar today. He answered the queries of policemen regarding EID, said Mr Subrata Narayan Sarkar, the additional commissioner (I) of the city police. Officers-in-charge of police stations, assistant commissioners and deputy commissioners attended the programme. Mr Sarkar said that the presence of Maoist activists in the city has prompted the polic to sound a wakeup call to the junior officers.

He, however, refused to relate Mr Maliwal’s visit to Lalbazar with recent recoveries of posters of CPI (Maoist) from Writers’ Building, Presidency College and Coffee House. “Mr Maliwal’s visit to Lalbazar was a scheduled one. He was requested to deliver a lecture on IED to make the city policemen aware of explosives being used by militant organisations,” Mr Sarkar said. When asked whether the police was going to form a new squad to combat the Maoists, Mr Sarkar said that they have already formed a few specialised squads to deal with serious law and order situation in the city. Meanwhile, departmental proceedings against policemen, who were suspended for negligence were initiated today, the police said. The security at the Writers Building and other vital government structures has been heightened. Jawans of the Special Action Force were deployed today at the Writers’ Buildings premises to thwart untoward incidents.

Statesman News Service

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West Bengal: Special force to combat Maoists

Posted by Indian Vanguard on December 16, 2007

KOLKATA: Kolkata Police is planning to set up a specialised force to combat the increasing influence of Maoists in the city. They are looking for young and energetic officers with a good academic background for the purpose.

The decision to raise the force was taken after analysing the recent incidents involving Maoists. It would be under the supervision of DC (special branch). The first duty of this core group will be to identify the activists who had pasted the posters on Writers’ Buildings walls. But it would be difficult to take legal action against them as pasting posters is not an offence and neither is CPI (Maoist) banned in the state.

Till the new force is in place, the police top brass is trying to bring about an improvement in the existing structure of the force. To begin with, there will be a reshuffle in the special branch (SB). Police are concerned with the Maoist posters on the walls of the state secretariat. While other wings of the city police are blaming SB for failing to provide information on Maoist plans, the latter pointed at the existing set-up for the failure.

SB officers have pointed out several problems as reasons for their failure. All the officers have to perform law and order duties on a regular basis and since they are in uniform, they are easily identifiable.

The officers further stated that the students’ cell at the special branch was inactive now, but an important wing to combat the Maoists is active in student organisations. Earlier, too, due to failure of the students’ wing, police had no information about the activities of ultra-Left students’ organisations before one of them ransacked a Tata Motors’ showroom on AJC Bose Road.

A few senior officers admitted that the SB had failed to inform them about the movement of Maoists in the city. Senior officers on Saturday discussed how to combat increasing Maoist influence in the city.

SB officers reportedly informed their seniors that Maoists have been active behind several frontal organisations at Beliaghata, Narkeldanga, Manicktala and Tollygunge.

A K Maliwal, director of the Special Security Unit, chaired a meeting at Lalbazar on Saturday. Officers from various police stations, special branch and other senior officers were present there.


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Maoist posters at Bengal secretariat, cops suspended

Posted by Indian Vanguard on December 14, 2007

THE LATE sixties, when Naxalites overran Kolkata and Bengal, seems to be coming back to haunt the state. In the aftermath of the Nandigram violence, Maoist posters appeared, in all places on the walls of the seat of power in Bengal — the Writers’ Buildings. A shocked state administration sat up in alarm and pressed the panic button.

The black posters written in startling white in Bengali were first noticed opposite the famous India Coffee House on College Street in central Kolkata, on Friday, opposite the Presidency College, the hotbed of Naxalite activities in the mid-sixties. Later in the day it was noticed on gate number one of the state secretariat.
Outside Writers’ Building the poster was discovered by a security personnel on duty. He in turn alerted policemen on duty.
Police personnel tore the poster at Writers’ Buildings. This is the first time that Maoists have pasted a poster bang on the gates of Writers’ Building. The police are puzzled as to how the Naxalites managed to sneak in and paste a poster in such a high-security zone.
The posters near Coffee House were found around 8:30 am, after it opened. A woman who had come out early in the morning told television channels that she had seen a number of youths turn around and walk from where the poster had been put up. She went to the extent of saying that she had seen at least two of them loitering around in Presidency College on several occasions.
The posters lambasted the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders, including Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, CPI (M) State Secretary and Left Front chairman Biman Bose and Politburo member Benoy Konar and blamed them for the violence in Nandigram.
The posters also demanded stern action against Tapan Ghosh and Sukur Ali, the two Marxist leaders who were active in Nandigram and who allegedly masterminded the Chhoto Angaria killings several years ago.
The police have had photocopies of the posters made for investigations.
That the posters, especially at Writers’ Buildings had created a flap was obvious. The State Home Secretary Prasad Ranjan Ray confirmed that the posters had been discovered. He said that the Commissioner of Police, G M Chakravarty was looking into it.
Asked whether there had been a security lapse at Writers Buildings he said, “The Police Commissioner will look into the matter.”

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Jharkhandis take CM’s remark to heart

Posted by Indian Vanguard on December 14, 2007

Statesman News Service

MIDNAPORE, Dec. 13: The Jharkhand Party (Naren) president and Binpur MLA, Mrs Chuni Bala Hansda, has sharply reacted to the chief minister Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s recent remark that “the jharkhandis should move to Jharkhand, their homeland, as by working jointly with the Maoists they have been killing the civilians, particularly Marxist cadres and the policemen.

Over the past six years, more than 20 CPI-M workers and 19 policemen were killed in Midnapore West, Bankura and Purulia by Maoists, the chief minister alleged.

By geographical and historical reasons, these three district are the heart of the Jharkhandis, 90 per cent of whom are tribals. And by making such a derogatory remark, unbecoming on the part of a state’s chief minister, the CPI-M has hurt the sentiments of the tribals, Mr Hansda regretted.

Addressing open session of the Midnapore West CPI-M’s district conference
at Kalaikunda on Monday, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee alleged: “They are Jharkhandis in day time while Maoists at night”. As the chief minister of the state he should not have made such an unwarranted and bad statement. Is West Bengal his own ‘khas taluk’ that the Marxists alone are entitled to live in the state which is part of the Indian Republic?” the JKP leader asked.

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West Bengal:Missing CPM supporters return

Posted by Indian Vanguard on December 13, 2007

12 Dec 2007, 0215 hrs IST,TNN

LALGARH: The 53 CPM supporters, who were suspected to have been kidnapped by Maoists at Lalgarh in West Midnapore on Monday evening, returned on Tuesday. They had fled on seeing the armed Maoists approach their bus.

A 15-member Maoist group, which included one woman, attacked the private bus carrying CPM supporters between Narcha and Sijua villages in Lalgarh on Monday evening. The incident took place barely three hours after chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee referred to the Maoists as ‘cowards’ at an open session of the CPM district conference at Kalaikunda in West Midnapore. According to police and political leaders, the main aim here was to prove the chief minister wrong.

“They (Maoists) are cowards. They live in jungles and flee to the jungles after committing their deeds,” he had said. The Maoists chose a spot that is just 4 km from Lalgarh police station and 2 km from Kantapahari jungle to prove their bravery, police said.

The 53 people on the bus panicked at the sight of the Maoists and left the vehicle and ran. All of them returned to Lalgarh and Kantapahari on Tuesday morning. Only one, Murali Pal, was injured as he had tried to jump off the bus hurriedly, seeing the Maoists firing at them. Murali was admitted to Binpur-I block primary health centre, where he was interrogated by police.

Kalipada Murmu, one of the passengers, said: “The villagers did not open the doors though we screamed for help. We could not convince them that we were not Maoists. They had heard more than 20 rounds being fired. They panicked and put out the lamps.”

Police recovered four packs of cartridges but no arrests have been made yet. Villagers alleged that the state armed police reached the spot only after an hour.

“It was decided that a force from Lalgarh police station would escort us. I thought I would drive the bus along with three others on the same route and reach Murar safely. But we got delayed as some of the leaders stopped for refreshments. When I saw the Maoists approaching, I stopped and tried to reverse, but a lorry was right behind. The Maoists started shouting “Run, run if you want to live” and fired at the wheels. A bullet hit the oil tank. We jumped out of the bus and ran,” said Paltu Paria, the bus driver.

Sadhan Nandy, who was on the bus, felt the attackers had given the passengers the opportunity to escape. “They could have killed or injured several people,” he said.

Arjun Mondal, the driver of the lorry that was behind the bus, said: “At first, I did not realize what was happening. But then I heard slogans hailing Maoists. I fled along with the bus passengers.”

CPM’s Lalgarh zonal committee secretary Joydev Giri said: “We feared that the Maoists had abducted some partymen as 53 of the 107 went missing. The Maoists just tried to scare us. Earlier, they had threatened us to quit the party and not attend the open session.” On Tuesday, the state armed police force brought an anti-land mine vehicle and blocked the road, causing inconvenience to students on their way to school.

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Maoists attack CPI-M bus, two injured

Posted by Indian Vanguard on December 12, 2007

Maoist guerrillas have attacked a bus packed with around 150 supporters of West Bengal’s ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in West Midnapore district.

Of the 155 passengers, two were injured while 60 have returned home, police said. The police were clueless about the other missing passengers. The bus was returning from a rally of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya late Monday.

The incident occurred between Ramgarh and Kantapahari area in West Midnapore, an insurgency hit district of West Bengal, the police said.

One CPI-M worker received bullet injuries in his head while another sustained a leg injury, police said. Both were admitted to hospital.

The attackers shouted slogans and fired at the bus and hurled crude bombs, police said, adding most passengers fled. Maoist posters were recovered from the spot.

India e news

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