Monday, April 19, 2010

Cops to get tough with visitors' to Maoist-hit Ghatshila

B Sridhar, TNN, Apr 17, 2010, 09.44pm IST

JAMSHEDPUR: Learning a lesson from the Shyamsunderpur episode, police have decided to act tough with any potential visitor to the Maoist-hit Ghatshila subdivision. The East Singhbhum district police have made it clear that no outsider would henceforth be allowed to visit the forest area without the prior permission of the concerned authorities.

Superintendent of police (rural) Sashikanth Kujur has said that police would keep an eye on the outside visitors' to the Maoist den of Ghatshila subdivision.

Angered by the visit of the six-member team of Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO) to Shyamsunderpur, about 65 km from the district headquarters, under the Chakuliya block of Ghatshila subdivision, the SP said hiding the truth to seek access to Maoists is unfair and unethical.

Ghatshila subdivisional police officer (SDPO), Anup Virtheray, who was entrusted with the job of probing the CDRO team's visit to the forest, said: "We have gone serious with the visitors and henceforth no individual regardless of any organization shall be allowed to visit the forest area without taking the concerned officials into confidence."

The SDPO though maintained that the six-member team had visited the forest on Thursday at the invitation of Mangal, the CPI(Maoist) Jharkhand-Orissa zonal committee secretary and the prime accused in the abduction of Dhalbhumgarh block development officer, Prashant Leyak, this February and had a feast with the Maoists.

"Our vigilance will be tightened and an effective surveillance of all those visiting the forest area shall be made to prevent the recurring of Shyamsunderpur-like incidents in future," the SDPO said.

At the same time, he maintained that enhancing vigilance would serve a dual purpose. First, the authorities would be fully aware of those visiting the area and secondly, it would be significant from the security point of view.

"If we feel providing security to the visitor is necessary, then we will do that. But none would be allowed to get into the dense forest without informing police," asserted the IPS officer.

On Thursday, a six-member CDRO team, including students and faculty of Delhi University, visited Shyamsunderpur at the invitation of Mangal. Police detained the team for hours before releasing them in the dead of night, albeit only after the authorities were fully satisfied by the credentials of the visiting team and noting the names, addresses, contact numbers and other details of each one of the six members.

No comments: