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CPM leaders too are soft targets of Naxalites

Naxalites determined to create Muktanchal in the bordering areas of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa while targeting the JMM leaders have also made CPM leaders their soft targets.

About 20 CPM leaders and 'influential' cadres living in villages spread across Jharkhand and West Bengal borders have fallen prey to Naxalite bullets since September 2005. In the last assembly polls in West Bengal, the Maoists used all kinds of pressure tactics to prevent the CPM leaders from participating in election campaign, killed some of the CPI leaders and cadres and even prevented CPM voters in their strongholds from casting their ballots.

Prominent CPM leaders killed along Jharkhand-Bengal border since September 2005 include Ravi Kar, Bhola Mahato, Kartik Mahato, Anandmayee Kar, Kamal Mahato, Mahendra Mahato and Ravi Das. The casualties from the JMM side include Sunil Mahto, Dhiren Mahto, Santosh Mahato, Prabhakar Mahato (All JMM leaders and sympathisers), Sahdev Khatri and Devraj Rai, Sunil Mahato's bodyguards. The Maoists have also looted in all six INSA rifles, four from Jharkhand and two from Bengal territory.

The bordering West Bengal districts of Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore and Ghatsila, Dalbhumgarh and Chakulia blocks of Jharkhand are the worst affected areas on the border. The West Bengal government has already acknowledged the 5000 square kilometer area stretching from Raniband in Bandwan to Binpur in West Midnapore districts as 'Red Zone' and declared 70 per cent polling booths in this area has been declared highly sensitive. The Maoists now desperately plan to declare it as Muktanchal (Free Zone), where they literally run a parallel government.

According to Kartik Mahato, resident of Narsinghpur in Jharkhand territory, his relatives in West Bengal often get threat letters from the Maoists to disassociate themselves from the CPM or else face death. "With the killing of Sunil Mahto, the Maoists have also begun targeting the JMM leaders," Kartik said.

Jharkhand police, however, has long been ignoring the gravity of Naxalite menace in the area till March 4 last when the Maoists gunned down Jamshedpur MP, Sunil Mahto. "The terrains on the borders are rough and inaccessible. The Bengal government has constructed several pickets to keep the pressure on the Naxalites. But we do not have any pickets in our territory. Still we have been ensuring minimum damage to our leaders and civilians from Naxalites," said Ghatsila SDPO, Sailendra Burnwal. Hindustan Times

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posted by Resistance 3/08/2007 10:52:00 PM,

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