PCPA backs ‘massacre’ claim
Oct 1, 2010
KOLKATA: The Maoist-backed People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA), on Thursday welcomed Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s demand for a CBI probe into the ‘mass killings’ at Jhargram villages by armed CPM cadres. PCPA even said they would help the probe team if needed.
PCPA spokesman Joydev Mahato said this in response to Mamata’s claims that armed CPM cadres in police uniform carried out a Nandigram-style operation in the outskirts of Jhargram to capture several villages between September 25 and 27.
A few days ago, PCPA had made the same allegation when joint forces raided Chheraboni and Bandarboni villages of Binpur. A CRPF jawan and a suspected Maoist were killed during that raid. Police claimed that the raid was conducted to nab top Maoist leader Sashadhar Mahato who was reportedly camping there. The PCPA, however, denied the police statement.
“Guarded by joint forces, CPM cadres opened fire on unarmed villagers and killed at least 10 people, including Khokon Mahato, whose body was recovered. The CPM cadres ransacked several villages and forced villagers to flee,” said Mahato.
PCPA called a 48-hour strike in Jangalmahal to protest the incident. And Mamata’s statement has endorsed the same allegation.
On Thursday, the PCPA spokesman said, “We are happy that Mamata Banerjee has raised the issue and demanded a probe. If she comes to Jangalmahal, we will help her find out the truth. People will tell her how armed cadres of CPM are capturing villages. PCPA is even ready to help if any probe team arrives here.”
Joydev Mahato alleged that CPM is continuing its armed operation in other parts of Jangalmahal. Two women, Basanti Murmu and Ghurmoni Mandi, sustained injuries and several others are missing from some villages in Binpur, alleged PCPA. In protest against this CPM-led violence, PCPA has decided to observe October 2 as Black Day. Chief Minister Budhhadeb Bhattacharjee is scheduled to visit Midnapore on that day.
The PCPA found Mamata’s comment handy to justify its stance. “For long we have been saying the same thing,” said Mahato.
Jhargram SP Praveen Tripathi refused to comment on the issue. CPM, however, came down heavily on Mamata. “It now becomes clear that Trinamool has a nexus with the Maoists. As the Maoists and their frontal organisation PCPA are cornered by the resistance of common people and joint forces, Mamata is trying to make the situation more complicated,” said Dahareswar Sen, CPM district committee member in Midnapore. All her allegations are baseless, he said.
Man dies in Bengal in police firing
Kolkata: A man was killed and another injured in firing by security forces in West Bengal’s Purulia district early Friday, triggering protests and a 12-hour shutdown in the area, officials said.
Bikas Mishra was killed and Ganesh Kar Gupta injured when a security picket opened fire after the duo did not stop their vehicle at a checkpost in Chawkbazar area. The two were residents of Bokaro in Bankura.
“Troopers of the Nagaland Indian Reserve Battalion (NIRB) were patrolling around 1.30 a.m. and when the vehicle flouted orders, the security personnel opened fire. One person died and one was injured,” Purulia Superintendent of Police Rajesh Yadav said.
Two companies of NIRB troopers have been deployed in and around Ayodhya Hills of Purulia district to flush out Maoists from the area which has been identified as Maoist-hit.
“As the two persons were travelling during night and refused to stop their vehicle even after being directed to, the NIRB personnel suspected them to be miscreants or Maoists and opened fire,” Yadav said.
However, the local people challenge the official version of the incident. They allege that there were three people in the vehicle and the incident took place around 9.30 p.m. Besides, the NIRB personnel did not ask them to stop.
The travellers, the local people say, were going to Tatanagar in Jharkhand, when the NIRB personnel indiscriminately fired at them. They also alleged that the NIRB personnel “are carrying out atrocities on the common people and even misbehaving with the women”.
Naxal rebels kill 21 in kangaroo courts: Indian official
NEW DELHI, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) — The Indian governmen Friday said that the country’s extreme left-wing Naxal rebels have executed 21 people in public this year after pronouncing them guilty in kangaroo courts, known as “Jan Adalats” or public court.
“The number of ‘Jan Adalats’ has risen to 48 in the current year up to August 31 — up from 38 in the corresponding period last year. The number of persons executed has risen to 21 from 11 last year,” Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram told the media in the national capital.
The Home Minister said that the main targets of Naxal rebels were cops and alleged “police informers”.
“Every one who swears by the rule of law must condemn these kangaroo courts and brutal executions,” he said.