Monday, July 06, 2009

State wants CRPF vigil till peace returns

;Sabyasachi Roy

LALGARH, 5 JULY: The Central Reserve Police Forces, conducting an operation to flush out Maoists from Lalgarh along with the state police, will be asked to stay till normalcy is restored in the area, said home secretary Mr Ardhendhu Sen here today.
Mr Sen visited Lalgarh this morning on the 18th day of the operation to assess the functioning of the administration in Lalgarh area after it was reclaimed from Maoists.

“We want the Central forces to be here till the end of this month. If the Centre agrees to it, they will stay till normalcy is restored in entire Lalgarh," said the home secretary.

He added that altogether 43 companies of Central and state police forces are engaged in the operation. The strength of the joint forces is sufficient and no additional force is required to complete the operation, said Mr Sen. He also pointed out that assistance of National Security Guard (NSG) was not sought to help joint forces in the operation.

Before leaving Lalgarh, he held a meeting with senior officials of the state government who are here to chalk out development projects and the block development officer of Binpur-I block.

Later, the state chief secretary held an hour-long meeting with Mr NS Nigam, district magistrate, Mr Manoj Verma, Superintendent of Police, Mr Praveen Kumar, DIG (Midnapore Range), Mr Kuldip Singh, IG (Western Range), Mr Raj Konojia IGP (law and order) and Mr Hari Ramalu, Commissioner (Burdwan Division) at the Midnapore West circuit house.

Mr Sen said as the operation is meaningless without development, the district administration has started distributing BPL cards among the people living below poverty line and all those who were deprived from getting these cards. Some 800 ration cards have already been distributed and they are expecting to cover all needy persons at the earliest.

Several schemes have already been initiated. Drinking water supply system will be introduced in 17 places in Lalgarh. This apart, 160 deep tubewells will be sunk in Binpur-I and Sadar blocks. It is an ongoing process and several other development schemes have been undertaken that will come up soon, added the home secretary.
A senior official of the district administration said they have sought help of the Ramakrishna Mission in implementing development projects in Lalgarh and a meeting was held with representatives of the organisation this morning.

Earlier in the morning, the joint forces started a sensitising operation from Pirakanta to Sejua. The forces, after taking control of Kalaimuri and Madhupur yesterday, have set up their base camp there to launch further operations, said a senior officer.

In Kadashole village the body of an unidentified man was found near the bridge over the Tamalkhal that connects Kadashole with Pingboni this morning. The villagers informed the joint forces at Goaltore police camp of the discovery of the body. The body has been sent to Midnapore Medical College for an autopsy. An investigation has been ordered into the incident.

Meanwhile, taking cognizance of demands from the state unit of the Congress party and its ally, the Trinamul Congress, the Central government has sought reports from Intelligence agencies as well as from the West Bengal government on the situation in Keshpur in Midnapore district and Mangalkot in Burdwan district.

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