Saturday, February 5, 2011

More Evidence, Mr Chidambaram?


By Special Correspondent
People’s Democracy, February 06, 2011

KOLKATA: TRINAMUL Congress-‘Maoist’ nexus in West Bengal has been exposed once again after the Joint forces arrested two ‘Maoist’ activists from a Trinamul camp on 31 January. TMC turned a guest house “Rajeev Nilaya”, run by Midnapore Municipalty, into a camp of their party. The camp, situated in Midnapore town was a shelter for TMC activists operating in jangal mahal area.

On a tip off, the security forces arrested Asim Mahato and Amiya Mahato, both accused in several cases of murder and ‘Maoist’ attacks, from the camp. When the security forces moved in for a search of the camp, TMC activists resisted. They were soon joined in by TMC leaders from the town, including the chairman of the municipality run by TMC-Congress combine. In the chaos that followed at least four other ‘Maoists’ fled.

Blocked by TMC men, the security forces resorted to lathi charge and some journalists were also injured in the commotion. TMC chief and railway minister Mamata Banerjee rushed to Midnapore, probably for preventing further raids.

This incident took place just 24 hours before the chief ministers’ meeting on internal security in Delhi. In the meeting itself, both prime minister and union home minister sharply criticised the ‘Maoists’ and maintained that the threat from this violent force remained as dangerous as before. While they were stressing on increased co-ordination between centre and the states to effectively counter the Maoists, their cabinet colleague was furiously challenging the role of security forces.

Amiya Mahato (alias Lachchu) and Asim Mahato (alias Baichung), who were slapped with charges of conspiracy and other charges under the Arms Act, were produced under high security in the court of Midnapore chief judicial magistrate the next day. The magistrate remanded them to police custody for two days. According to police, Asim Mahato used to act as a courier for the elusive ‘Maoist’ top leader Kishenji and Amiya Mahato was a Maoist squad member and accused in several cases. According to police, several letters of senior ‘Maoist’ leaders including four from Kishenji were recovered from them. Amiya Mahato was a member of erstwhile Sidhu Soren squad of ‘Maoists’. He was injured earlier in a gun battle with joint forces in the jungle near Ranja, in which Sidhu himself was killed. Amiya was involved in several murder cases in West Midnapore. They were also involved with gruesome attack on security forces in Shilda in February last year in which 22 jawans were killed.

According to the reports, one of the leading ‘Maoist’ Kanchan Deb Sinha also spent days in that particular camp of TMC. Deb Sinha was later arrested.

CPI(M) and the chief minister have alleged many times in the past that the most crucial factor in the violence in jangal mahal was the nexus between ‘Maoists’ and a constituent partner of UPA. Two days prior to the Midnapore raid, TMC and PCPA, a frontal organisation of ‘Maoists’ held a joint rally in Lalgarh. The rally was addressed among others by Mukul Roy and Shishir Adhikary, both union ministers. The flags of both TMC and PCPA were put up on the dais itself. It may be noted, PCPA members are the prime accused in CBI chargesheet in Gyaneswari Express sabotage.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhatacharjee has warned that appropriate administrative actions would be taken against those who were providing shelters to ‘Maoist’ murderers. "The state government will no longer wait. We will take action immediately on the basis of evidence of Trinamul's link with the ‘Maoists’ which are tumbling out one after the other," he said.

Bhattacharjee said he would inform union home minister P Chidambaram about the Trinamul-‘Maoist’ nexus which had once again been confirmed after the arrest of two Maoists from a Trinamul-run camp in West Midnapore district, calling the incident "dangerous".

"I have asked them not to keep any relation with the killer ‘Maoists’. We want peace, development and industry in the state," he said. He told he would remind Chidambaram of what kind of party the UPA coalition had at the centre, asserting that even two days back Trinamul Congress had held a meeting with the ‘Maoists’ at Lalgarh.

"They want to facilitate the spread of the ‘Maoists’ throughout the state, causing concern for the people who will never allow this," Bhattacharjee said

There has been a meticulously motivated campaign about the so-called ‘armed camps’ of CPI(M) in jangal mahal. Even the union home minister joined in the campaign and wrote three letters to chief minister on this issue in December 2010. The joint forces have actually raided CPI(M) offices, the relief camps of homeless people, houses of CPI(M) leaders and activists for last few days. TMC even submitted a ‘list’ of places to be searched in Kolkata High Court and the court supplied the list to security forces. More than 80 places have been thoroughly searched. The IG, CRPF, T G B Rao has told the media that no arms have been found in these searches of CPI(M) places. Interestingly, there was no resistance from CPI(M) in any place during the raids. The question arises: why were the security forces challenged and blocked in Midnapore TMC camp?

However, after the incident in Netai on 7 January, 10 CPI(M) activists have been killed in renewed attacks by ‘Maoist’-TMC combine. Many houses have been burnt and destroyed by blasts.

Reminding about these incidents and the arrest of ‘Maoists’ from the TMC camp, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and MP, Sitaram Yechury, in a letter addressed to union home minister has stated, "One cannot escape an uneasy feeling that the noise over the 'armed camps' has helped the brazen activities of the Trinamul-‘Maoist’ nexus."

Does Mr Chidambaram need more evidence?

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