Maoist shadow over Birbhum clash

Intelligence suspects Maoist presence in the region

The clash between villagers and the police at Loba village in Birbhum district has triggered speculations of Maoist presence in the region.

“We have got some reports, which indicate that Maoists are trying to spread their wings in these areas through frontal organisations. In at least four police station areas-Dubrajpur, Illambazar, Mahammad Bazar and Sadaipur-Maoist movement has been identified. Sometimes, because of its proximity with Jharkhand, the area is also used as a transit point. However, we are keeping a close eye on the situation,” a senior intelligence officer told Deccan Herald.

The nature of the movement indicated that the Maoists might have played a crucial role in organising and the mobilising the people of the area.

“The road which goes from Suri to Loba village has been dug at several places to restrict the movement of the police. Trees have been felled at several places to block the road.

These methods have been frequently used by the Maoists at Nandigram and Lalgarh. So we cannot rule out possibilities of Maoist presence in the area,” a senior district police officer said. “It has been the trade mark of the Maoists to form a frontal organisation. In Lalgarh, they formed the ‘People’s committee against police atrocities’ and in Singur and Nandgram the entire movement was spearheaded by the ‘Krishi Jomi Raksha Committee’ or ‘Save agricultural land committee.’ Here also the movement is organised by KJRC. This strengthens the belief that the rebels might be playing a role in the movement,” the officer added.

Even Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, at a press conference on Wednesday, indicated that there was “instigation from outside.” “Though I have some information but I cannot tell unless I have the detailed report. But I can say for certain that this is not a movement for land. There are some other people behind it,” she claimed.

However, the enquiry ordered by the state government revealed that the police went to recover the earth-moving equipment on the orders of a senior Trinamool minister and the top echelons of the state police was well aware of the operation. “Hrishikesh Meena, the former SP of Birbhum, has been made a scapegoat,” a senior police officer said.

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