Saturday, March 14, 2009

CPI(M) local leader escapes Maoist attack in West Bengal

Midnapore (PTI): A CPI(M) local committee member had a narrow escape this morning when a landmine, suspected to have been planted by Maoists, missed its target at Lachipur village at tribal-dominated Lalgarh in West Midnapore district.

The landmine exploded barely a minute after Chandi Karan, a member of the Beltikri local committee of the CPI(M), and a security man riding on the pillion of his motorcycle, passed a desolate spot where the landmine was planted, the police here said.

Apparently those remote controlling the explosion could not see the speeding motorcycle properly, their vision being blocked by plumes of dust raised by a tractor that just passed.

Policemen later visited the area and took stock of the situation.

Since January six, policemen had been facing boycott by the people of Lalgarh who accused them of unleashing a torture campaign following landmine blasts by Maoists that targeted Union ministers Ram Vilas Paswan amd Jitendra Prasada on November 2, 2008.

Bid on CPM man’s life

Statesman News Service

MIDNAPORE, March 13: CPI-M's Belatikri local committee secretary escaped an attempt on his life this morning in Lalgar, West Midnapore, drawing attention to the security problems in the area.

The CPI-M committee secretary, Mr Chandi Karan, suffered minor injuries and was administered first aid at a local clinic. The CPI-M committee secretary drove into two planted mines at around 9 a.m. this morning, on his way from his Nachipur residence to the party office at Belatikri. Mr Karan was riding a two-wheeler, accompanied by his security guard, when he was knocked off his vehicle by two blasts which were heard within seconds of each-other. The CPI-M leader's security guard fired two rounds from his revolver at a pair of men fleeing the blast site, but missed.

District CPI-M leader, Mr Dahareswar Sen, suspect Maoists of launching the attack, pointing out that Mr Karan had been on their hit list for some time. It is likely, he said, that Maoists had observed Mr Karan's route closely before planting the mines on the road.

Police discovered two pieces of wire, about 2 km long, linking the road mines to nearby a forest, where they were detonated using a remote control device. It appears that Maoists have taken advantage of the influence exercised by the Police Santras Birodhi Public Committee (PSBPC) in the Lalgar area over the past four months. The PSBPC has already succeeded in restricting police patrolling in the vulnerable area. Today, the committee demanded the closure of the police camp at Kalaimuri, an area bordering Lalgar and Salboni blocks.

SP Mr Manoj Verma said the camp is essential for the suppression the Maoist menace in the area, and would continue to operate, even at the cost of a showdown with the Adivasis. The district authorities have duly clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC, within a 200m radius of the Kalaimuri camp. Undaunted, several thousand Adivasi people demonstrated near the camp today, flying the banner of the PSBPC.

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