Forces advance into Maoists' base

Operation Lalgarh: Mamata calls Buddhadeb a bigger Maoist

Forces advance into Maoists' base

Amid allegations of police excess and torture on innocent villagers in the name of busting of Maoist hideouts,top officials in charge of the operation have instructed the forces to remain on high alert as wresting control of the 17 villages here will boost the morale of the jawans, harangued by oppressing heat and inadequate rest.
“Our aim is to reclaim total control of the area by a scissor attack from the Pirakata and Goaltor fronts,” one official told Deccan Herald here on condition of anonymity.

In the Pirakata-Ramgarh region, the Kachapahari area is considered the toughest as the road has been mined and the area heavily forested.  Chakadoba in the Goaltor front is another Maoist-infested area, the official said.

In Barapelia,Chotopelia and Dalilpurchak villages, top Maoist leaders are reportedly holed up, he said. Barapelia is the home of People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) convener Chatradhar Mahato. The PCAPA headquarters is also situated there.
Having reclaimed Lalgarh and established a bunker in Pirakata, the combined forces now aim at reaching Ramgarh and gain control of the police station there, which had been already torched by the Maoists a couple of weeks ago.

Hence, forces have started combing the surrounding villages in search of elusive Maost leaders and weapons on the fourth day of the operation.

The forces, who were ambushed and faced stiff resistance on Saturday en route to the area leading to serious injury to six policemen, have been advancing slowly on Sunday as the entire stretch is believed to have been mined. The jawans could advance barely 7 km from Pirakata where the operations began on June 18.

Progress at the Goaltor front has also been slow in view of recovery of landmines and fierce encounter between the forces and Maoists.

According to the official, search operations were again conducted in the Jhitka forest on Sunday as this jungle corridor is used by Maoists  to access the Dalma forest of Jharkhand from the three hilly districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia. The BSF has already pitched a camp in the forest.

Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress chief and Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged that Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee “is a bigger Maoist” and threatened a massive stir in the next 48 hours if allegations that her party had links with Left wing rebels are not withdrawn.

Echoing the remarks of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, she also questioned why Bhattacherjee did not ban the Maoists  when the outfit has already been banned in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh.

“I hope Trinamool didn’t advise him against banning. I am condemning the atrocities, whoever is doing this. But who created the Maoists? Who has carried out atrocities against common people in the name of Maoists? The people who are arrested in Lalgarh are not Maoists,” she charged.

The two Union ministers of state and TMC leaders Mukul Roy and Sisir Adhikari, who were on their way to Pirakata with two relief trucks were held up on the road allegedly by  CPM supporters. The TMC has opened a relief camp at Ramkrishna Vidyapith at Pirakata for hundreds of panick-stricken tribals, who have left their homes in hordes fearing atrocities by the security forces.

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