Friday, July 24, 2009

Maoist real target: police intelligence

PRONAB MONDAL
Calcutta, July 23: A police report has said the main reason why Maoists are systematically killing CPM leaders is to snuff out any attempt by the force to revive its collapsed intelligence network in Lalgarh.

The state intelligence branch, which has been probing the recent killings in and around Lalgarh by the Maoists, has said since July 12, seven persons, all linked to the CPM, have been killed for trying to return to their villages.

In the latest incident, Fagu Baskey was shot dead yesterday minutes after he returned to his village in Belpahari after fleeing six months back.

After the Maoists established their free run in Lalgarh, the police’s intelligence network, which was almost totally built on information supplied by CPM leaders and supporters, “completely collapsed”, an officer said.

But after the joint forces marched into Lalgarh and re-established the police camps, some CPM leaders who had fled their homes felt emboldened and returned.

The Maoists suspected the police would try to revive the intelligence network and start tracking their movements with information provided by the CPM leaders and activists, the officer added.

During the security operation, the lack of intelligence had vexed the forces. Often after the forces moved on after securing an area, the rebels would sneak in, kill a CPM “informer”, then melt away.

“The reason behind the killings can be explained simply as a way to create extreme fear among CPM activists so that they do not pass on information to the police. The rebels also want to deter those who have fled their homes from returning,” the intelligence officer said.

Maoist leader Bikash, said to be overseeing the Lalgarh movement, said: “These recent killings have been of those CPM people who have been trying to harm us. These are the people who had been passing on information about us to the police. We had to stop it.”

Another Maoist leader said: “We recruited and trained hundreds of youths from villages. We have learnt from experience that once the CPM leaders return home... they will help the police identify those we have trained. It is our duty to protect the men, so we have to carry out these killings to ensure that information about us is not given to the police.”

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