KOLKATA: After a hiatus of almost 15 months, Maoists of West Bengal’s Jangalmahal area are making another attempt to regroup, according to reports from different intelligence agencies. Following the warnings, central and state police forces are planning a massive combing operation in Jangalmahal before Independence Day, with help from Jharkhand Police.
Security forces plan to raid all Maoist hideouts along the Bengal-Jharkhand border. Ever since the Mamata Banerjee government came to power in May 2011, such operations were suspended on the instructions of the chief minister.
The Trinamool government has been trying to improve the economic condition of the people in the area and bring Maoists back to the mainstream. Her efforts have been very successful till now.
Comprehensively beaten and driven out of Jangalmahal, Maoists have been trying to find their bearings with help from counterparts in Jharkhand. Most of those who were active in the Jangalmahal area had fled after top gun Kishenji, alias, Koteswar Rao, was killed in encounter.
Naparajit Mukherjee, DG Police, West Bengal said on Friday that IG (Western Range) Gangeswar Singh had recently met top Jharkhand police officials to chalk out a strategy to launch the second phase of operations against Maoists.
“Jharkhand police has assured us all help to combat these Left-wing extremists in Bengal. The police stations of Kamalpur, Patamda, Ghatshila, Chakulia and Dhalbhumgarh in Jharkhand will give us help needed to tackle Maoists in Jangalmahal. We have information that Maoist activists from those police stations in Jharkhand have sneaked into our territory to hold meetings” Mukherjee said.
No launch date has been announced, but it is estimated that action will begin on August 14. According to a source, intelligence information to Writers’ Buildings had it that Maoist leader Akash had recently held meetings at the Trinath forest in Jangalmahal, while others like Madan and Jaba Mahato have been instructed to recruit youth from Lalgarh, Jamboni, Shalboni and Binpur areas, so that organised attacks can be launched on police camps in Belpahari and remote pockets of Jangalmahal.
A number of Maoist squads have also become active in Banspahari and Simulpal in West Midnapore. Joint forces are expected to raid both places when operations begin.
Mukherjee also said that the police is keeping a very close watch on political activists who were released recently by the Banerjee government, following the recommendations of the Bandi Mukti Committee.
“We have information that some of these people have engaged in anti-social activities once again. We have therefore decided to keep close tabs prisoners that may be asked by the committee in the future to be freed,” the police chief said.