Friday, March 05, 2010

Deepak finger on trade union pulse

A STAFF REPORTER

Calcutta, March 4: Whether in the forests of Lalgarh or in urban Calcutta, Telugu Deepak, police believe, had cast the Maoist web wide across the state.

The police claimed that besides training youths in guerrilla tactics in the Maoist-infested districts of Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore, Deepak was involved in setting up ultra-Left trade unions in Calcutta as well as North and South 24-Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly.

Sleuths questioning Deepak, a member of the CPI (Maoist) state committee, said he had frequented Calcutta and nearby areas in the past couple of years. His task was to set up unions, especially in the unorganised sector, but also where trade unions were existing.

“He was arrested en route to Haripur, the site of the proposed nuclear reactor in East Midnapore. Deepak had for sometime been engaged in setting up Maoist-backed units among jute workers, tailors, barbers and other daily wage earners,” an officer said. “He also set up a union for Group D bank employees.”

The police said that he used to do this with the help of frontal organisations of the Maoists to avoid prosecution.

“For instance, he had set up the Mazdoor Kisan Shramik Sangathan in many of the jute mills along the Hooghly and also Naba Parjay, an outfit of state government employees sympathetic towards the Maoists,” the officer said. “This (the work for the unions) is what brought him often to Calcutta.”

Deepak was also the architect behind the Maoist bases in Nadia, Murshidabad and Birbhum. “He organised the farmers and poor villagers who reside on the banks of the Jalangi in south Bengal and also helped organise a violent movement against ration dealers in Birbhum,” the officer added. “But last year, after a police crackdown and arrest of key operatives recruited by Deepak, the Maoist base in Murshidabad and Nadia suffered a setback.”

The officer also said that Deepak was in touch with “some political” leaders as well as intellectuals but refused to elaborate. “Deepak is a big catch and we are relieved he has been arrested.”

“The central intelligence bureau had submitted a report that the Maoists should be neutralised in Haripur to set up the nuclear reactor there. There was pressure on the state government to do so and Deepak’s arrest will go a long way in achieving that.”

P. Nirajnayan, inspector-general, CID, said: “We have enough proof to show that he went there (Haripur) a number of times and appointed his point men there,” said.

CPM murder

Suspected Maoists shot dead a CPM leader in West Midnapore’s Binpur area. Police said Swapan Mondal, 35, a panchayat samiti member and a CPM local committee member, was returning home on a motorcycle when he was shot dead.

P C RAP
New Delhi, March 4: P. Chidambaram today said the CPM and the Janata Dal (United) had been ambivalent in the past to Maoist threat, the accusation apparently directed at the main parties in the Bengal and Bihar coalition governments.
The Union home minister’s remarks came at a meeting he held with the administrative heads of 33 districts worst affected by the menace.
Sources said a battalion (around 1,000 men) each of central forces would soon be sent to Bengal and Jharkhand. “The battalions should reach by March 10,” said a senior official.

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