Friday, June 12, 2009

PM gets SOS from Bengal, to discuss Maoist threat

Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay Posted online: Friday , Jun 12, 2009 at 0415 hrs

Kolkata : The growing influence of Maoists in Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore districts has forced the state government to desperately seek Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention.

On Friday, Singh will discuss the issue with Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in New Delhi. Senior officials of the state government, including Chief Secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti Principal Secretary (Commerce and Industries), Sabyasachi Sen and Principal Secretary (Planning and Development) Jaya Dasgupta, will be present at the meeting.

“The problem with the state government is that the Maoists are mostly based in Jharkhand and after they carry out attacks in Bengal they flee to the jungles of neighbouring state,” said a senior state government official.

The Left Front government has prepared a comprehensive plan to combat the Maoists as over 50 people, including CPM leaders and policemen, have lost their lives in such attacks.

As per the state government’s proposal, a joint operation of the police forces of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Central Paramilitary Forces should be launched to flush out Maoists from the area.

It has also called for patrolling by the Army and demining of the area, among others.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who is visiting Delhi next week, will meet Chidambaram on June 20 and is expected to discuss the issue.

“The entire area has become a major concern for the government. Take the case of Lalgarh. The situation there is more serious than Khejuri. Police can enter Khejuri but it cannot do so in Lalgarh. In fact, there is no government there. And we have gathered information that Maoists have made a stockpile of arms and ammunition,” a senior state government official told The Indian Express.

Friday’s meeting will also discuss the relief and rehabilitation works in the aftermath of Cyclone Aila that has ravaged large parts of the state.

Singur also on agenda

The first sign of the Trinamool Congress’ clout in the Congress-led UPA government, where it is the second largest partner, has begun to show. On Friday’s meeting, which will be chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the abandoned Tata Motors site at Singur will also come up for discussion: courtesy Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee. Though the meeting was called to discuss the growing Maoist threat and the devastation caused by Cyclone Aila in the state, Singur has also been included in the list of agenda.

The state government, which will be represented by its senior officials, will be asked to clarify the present status of the controversial project site. Banerjee says that her party had no objection to the Tata Motors factory in Singur and only wanted the state government to return 400 of the total 1,000 acres to those farmers who had not received money for their acquired land. According to the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation, the Tatas have not parted with the land and they are still paying the lease rent.

“I cannot say whether Tatas will return or not. It is absolutely their decision,” said Subrata Gupta, MD of the WBIDC.

1 comment:

मिहिरभोज said...

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