Saturday, July 11, 2009

Maoists strike again, kill two CPM workers

Sukumar Mahato, TNN 12 July 2009, 02:12am IST

MIDNAPORE/KOLKATA: None of the family members is willing to take away the bodies of a ration dealer and a trader lying close to a CPM office in

West Midnapore district of West Bengal for the past 24 hours.

Maoists killed CPM members — ration shop owner Barendranath Mahato and his relative and another trader, Gurucharan Mahato — in retaliation to security forces’ recent Lalgarh operation in Jangalmahal, on Friday night. The bodies lay along the road with a poster pasted on Gurucharan’s corpse reading, ‘‘Eke chhoben na, bomb achhe (Don’t touch, there is a bomb).’’ The killings come days after security forces celebrated reclaiming police camps around Lalgarh, the Maoist stronghold.

Maoists had abducted six people, including CPM branch secretary Akshay Mahato and Gurucharan’s wife Sulekha from the village. They were made to stand in front of the CPM’s Sirsi party office with their hands tied behind for about two hours on Friday, while villagers along with 25 armed Maoists ransacked the party office. The police could not reach the place in the night.

Barendranath’s wife Arati was unwilling to put her signature after police inspector Pabitra Bandyopadhyay urged her to do so for sending the body for postmortem. ‘‘What’s the use of doing all these? I am not going to get him back. They (Maoists) will be coming to our place on Sunday again. We have been asked to leave this place. I don’t want to lose my sons,’’ she said.

Her eldest son Sasanka too was in no mood to invite trouble. ‘‘We don’t want the body. We are not supposed to talk to the police,’’ said Sasanka.

Barendranath, who was in this business for the last 22 years, owned a beautiful house — the only one in the village to have mosaic floors and a dish antenna. His second son works in Haldia Port and younger son Krishnaprasad owns a poultry farm. There were around 25 armed Maoists including five women. Villagers from neighbouring areas too reportedly accompanied them. They dragged Barendranath out of the house and went to Gurucharan’s house.

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