Friday, June 05, 2009

Cops foil rebel cross-over bid

Jamshedpur, June 5: Alert policemen of Ghatshila managed to foil an attempt by about 350 activists of a pro-Naxalite outfit from Bengal to cross the state border and gherao the Chakulia police station to protest the recent arrest of nine alleged Naxalites.

East Singhbhum police ensured a heavy deployment of police and para-military forces — two companies of CRPF and Rapid Action Force were on standby — along the Jharkhand-Bengal border as frenzied activists of Police-Santrash Pratirodh Samiti (PSPS), carrying bows and arrows, tried to cross over into Chakulia this afternoon.

Samiti activists, who came in as many as 10 buses, were shouting slogans against the police and demanding the release of the nine suspected Naxalites arrested on May 31. Later, two of the outfit’s representatives, including a woman, held talks with Deepak Kumar, the officer in-charge of Chakulia police station.

Kumar told them there was enough evidence against the arrested Naxalites and that at least 28 villagers were nabbed last week for taking part in the samiti’s rally that day.

“I asked them to leave as their outfit was banned in Jharkhand. The two representatives weren’t aware of the samiti’s status in Jharkhand,” said Kumar.

The nine arrested Naxalites have been lodged at the Ghatshila sub-divisional jail. The police have recovered a pistol from one of them who is said to have come from Lalgarh in West Midnapore district of neighbouring Bengal to attend the rally.

On May 31, a large number of Samiti activists had assembled in Chakulia and were cajoling local residents to taking part in their rally. The police acted quickly and detained nine rallyist. “The Samiti had organised the rally to make its presence felt in Chakulia, which is yet to become a stronghold of Maoists,” said Kumar.

SP Naveen Kumar Singh said the samiti activists cancelled their programme today due to heavy deployment of police and para-military forces on the Chakulia border.

“The police will not harass innocent people but will act strongly if anybody tried to take the law into their hands,” he said.

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