Saturday, June 20, 2009

Security forces reach Lalgarh, partial victory, say police

Saibal Gupta

Lalgarh (WB) Jun 20 (PTI) Security forces today stormed Lalgarh and without much resistance reclaimed the police station under control of Maoists, who had cut off the area in West Midnapore district for eight months.

"It is a partial victory. The hundred per cent operation is yet to be completed. It may take days, even weeks to do this," DIG (Midnapore Range) Praveen Kumar told an impromptu press conference outside the Lalgarh police station.

An anti-landmine vehicle cleared the path for the security personnel who reached the police station to take charge of the building.

Central forces, comprising men from BSF and CRPF, fanned out in the forests for combing operations against the Maoists. The securitymen donning camouflage and bullet-proof vests sanitised the five-km stretch of Jhitka jungle, a Maoist area near here.

AK-47 and Insas rifle-toting securitymen came under intermittent fire from Maoists at the Pingboni-Sarenga road today, Superintendent of Police Burdwan Humayan Kabir said adding two landmines planted on the road were defused.

Lalgarh police station was out of bounds since November last year when tribals under the banner of People's Committee Against Police Atrocities launched a boycott of police to protest raids on their homes following a landmine blast targeting Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee's convoy. PTI

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