Naxals greet PC with a blast

Naxals greet PC with a blast

Bomb Disposal Squad inspecting the spot after a landmine bast at Bamal under Lalgarh Police Station in West Midnapore district on Saturday. PTIUnion Home minister P Chidambaram arrived here on Saturday for a two-day on-the-spot visit of the Naxal-hit Lalgarh region.

Going ahead with his scheduled visit, the minister appeared to send a firm signal to the Left wing rebels that the Centre is determined to restore the civil administration in the troubled zone in the West Midnapore district.

So far, there has been no plans for cancellation of his scheduled trip to Lalgarh and Midnapore town on Sunday despite a powerful landmine blast triggered by suspected Maoists on Saturday at Bamal village, targeting a CRPF vehicle, left a jawan injured.

The rebels detonated the mine, barely 4 km from the helipad next to Lalgarh police station, when at least a dozen CRPF personnel were aboard the vehicle which was going to Lalgarh from Dharampur, the police said.

Chidambaram’s special chopper is slated to land on the helipad on Sunday morning and from here he is to proceed to the Lalgarh police station to hold a high-level meeting with the police and the administrative officials.

The security has been beefed up in and around Lalgarh following the blast, with around 1000 CRPF personnel deployed along with special anti-Naxal force. The Union Home minister who held a closed door meeting with Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacherjee in the wake of his arrival from Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, is believed to have discussed the successes and failures of the first phase of `Operation Greenhunt'.

Chidambaram who would be visiting the Midnapore town later in the day to hold a special meeting with the civil administration along with top security officials of both the state and central governments, looked determined to send a strong signal to the Maoists that the Centre is in no mood to call off the operation midway, specially when it was showing some signs of success.

“The flush-out operations in the thickly forested jungles of Lalgarh and adjoining region have been paying dividends with eight suspected rebels having taken into custody and recovery of huge cache of ammunition from the Maoist hideouts,” a senior police official claimed on Saturday. A CRPF chopper has been closely monitoring the situation from the sky.

Security has been tightened in the three districts of Midnapore, Bankur and Purulia where the Maoist-backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) has called for observing a 2-day ‘bundh' in protest against Chidambaram's visit. This is the first time that Chidambaram will be visiting a Maoist stronghold since the launch of ‘Operation Green Hunt’.
DH News Service

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