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WB govt intensifies anti-Maoist operations in Jungle Mahal

Source: PTI
Last updated on: November 15, 2011 17:21 IST
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Signalling stepped up operations in junglemahal after withdrawal of the offer of ceasefire by the Maoists and the killing of two Trinamool Congressmen, the West Bengal government has recalled senior Indian Police Service officer Manoj Verma as superintendent of police, counter insurgency force.

Additional Director General of Police Law and Order Surojit Kar Purakayastha told PTI that Manoj Verma was appointed SP, CIF on Friday and took over the charge on Tuesday.

Verma, who had headed the anti-Maoist operations in junglemahal as the former superintendent of police of West Midnapore district had been sent on compulsory wait soon after the Mamata Banerjee government took over power in the state.

Two Trinamool Congress workers Ajit Singh Sardar and his son Baku Singh Sardar were shot dead by ultras at Ghatbera in Purulia district on Monday night, shortly after Maoist State Secretary Akash withdrew the unilateral offer of ceasefire to the state government. Ajit and Baku were the father and brother of Rajen Singh Sardar, a key organiser of a Trinamool Congress-backed anti-Maoist vigilante group in the district.

An encounter subsequently took place between the joint forces, including the COBRA forces and Maoists, in which two of the ultras were killed and their bodies recovered on Tuesday, said Gangeswar Singh, inspector general of police, western range.

Two joint force personnel were injured in the encounter, who were taken to Ranchi in neighbouring Jharkhand for medical assistance. It was suspected that the Maoists were led by Ranjit Pal, leader of the Ayodhya squad, which also included four or five women. An SLR and a .303 rifle were found from the spot.

A letter written to the government-appointed interlocutors by Akash alleged that the administration was trying to set up Salwa Judum in the state in the guise of appointment of tribals as policemen.

Reacting to the killing of the two party workers, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had given an ultimatum to the Maoists to lay down arms, said that the ultras had been given five months time by suspending anti-Maoist operations. Stating that the killers would not be spared, Banerjee said that joint operations would begin afresh.

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