CPI-M ‘reclaims’ Lalgarh after one-and-a-half yearsBy IANS
Sunday, October 10, 2010
KOLKATA - One-and-a half years after being ousted from Lalgarh in West Bengal by the Maoists and their supporters, thousands of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) supporters Sunday marched into the area amid tight security and “reclaimed” the area.
Holding party flags, an estimated 12,000 cadres, including women, led by CPI-M zonal committee secretary of Lalgarh Anuj Pandey, marched 12 km from Dharampur and Goaltore to Lalgarh in West Midnapore district.
The entire stretch was sanitised by the police and joint forces.
After “reclaiming” Lalgarh, the party supporters reopened the CPI-M party office and Pandey unfurled the party flag.
Some supporters, equipped with bows and arrows, raised slogans against the Maoists and the pro-Maoist tribal body Peoples’ Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA).
Pandey, whose house was torched after he was evicted by the Maoists from his residence at Dharampur in Lalagrh area June 13 last year, went back home Sep 2 this year.
The party supporters went round the Lalgarh market and held a rally in front of the Lalgarh CPI-M office which had been damaged by the Maoists June 19 last year.
Asked how the CPI-M could hold such a big rally in the area when this could have sparked a law and order problem, West Midnapore’s Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Verma said they had taken permission a couple of days back.
“We already have adequate police forces in the area, including the joint forces. But no separate security arrangement was made for the CPI-M rally,” he said.
Pandey said at the rally: “Some people are creating disturbance in the area in the name of politics. But we are peace-loving people and want to restore peace.”
Adding that in past one year 58 CPI-M activists in Lalgarh area were murdered by the Maoists, he requested the youths to come out of the influence of the Maoists and join the mainstream.
Entire Lalgarh area was cut off from rest of West Midnapore district for over three months last year. Police and administration officials were prevented from entering the area by the PCAPA members backed by the Maoists.
The joint forces’ operation to flush out the Maoists was launched last year.