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Back-to-back Maoist strikes stun Lalgarh, West Bengal

Midnapore, May 28: Barely 24 hours after they attacked the house of a CPM leader, Maoists killed the father-in-law of another in a raid mounted last night.

Manik Mahato, 68, was shifted to Midnapore Medical College and Hospital with stab wounds, but succumbed to his injuries this morning.

Manik's son-in-law Upen Mahato is a CPM local committee member.

The incident took place at Jamda village in West Midnapore's Lalgarh area. The place is only 2 km from Nera village, where an attack on CPM zonal committee member Sheikh Khaliluddin was foiled on Saturday-Sunday midnight.

Khaliluddin's bodyguards and some 20 villagers with bows and arrows had fought off Maoists.

Shaken by the twin attacks in such a short span, villagers in the Lalgarh area are blaming the police for doing nothing to fight the threat.

"We suspect that it was the same gang that attacked Sheikh Khaliluddin's house on Saturday night. We have reports that there were some local pe-ople, too, with the guerrillas. We are trying to identify them first," West Midnapore superintendent of police R. Rajsekharan said.

CPM district secretariat member Dahareswar Sen ac- cused the Jharkhand Party (Naren) of orchestrating the attacks.

"The party is taking help from Maoists to create terror in the CPM-dominated Belatikri village panchayat area. Bypolls were held there on Sunday."A group of nearly 30 Maoists stormed Upen's house around 11.30 pm last night.

"My mother (Bilasi), father (Chunaram) and father-in-law tried to prevent them from breaking open the door. Some of them fired through the cracks. My mother was hit in the back and my father-in-law in the right palm. As they held themselves against the door, they stuck in a spear through a crack that pierced my father-in-law's chest," said Upen.

The CPM leader said the firing stopped after about half an hour. "When I came out, about five of them chased me. I started running for my life and managed to escape."

When the police finally arrived around 12.30 am on Monday, they were surrounded by angry villagers.

"There have been three attacks on me over the past two years but I haven't been given a bodyguard. Even after the attack at Nera village, there was no additional deployment of police," Upen said.

SP Rajsekharan said that isn't true. "The police rushed to Jamda from Gopalpur as soon as they heard the gunshots. Our men removed the injured people to hospital."

The Telegrap

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posted by Resistance 5/29/2007 05:43:00 PM,

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