Nov. 14: Last night's arrest of three Nandigram residents who "confessed" to receiving arms training from Maoists has confirmed the rebels' role in the violence, the Bengal government said.
"We are convinced about the presence of Maoists," home secretary P.R. Ray said.
The Sonachura residents — identified as Gourhari Mondal, Prakash Munia and Radheshyam Giri — have apparently named their rebel leaders. "But we cannot reveal the names now," said Ray.
The three were held on a fishing trawler in Kakdwip, 60km south of Calcutta. Inspector-general (law and order) Raj Kanojia said: "A route map of Nandigram, a SIM card, telephone numbers and a diary were found on them."
The chief minister had yesterday named "most-wanted" Maoist Ranjit Paul, who allegedly brought a team of 20 to 30 people from Jharkhand. Kanojia said: "They were training about 150 villagers for the past few months."
Intelligence sources in West Midnapore said another Maoist, Sasadhar Mahato, had visited Nandigram several times since January. "He is an expert in making the IEDs (improvised explosive devices), cutting trenches and erecting bunkers. He also trains the rebels in shooting."
A woman from Calcutta, Devlina, had apparently helped build the women's brigade — Matangini Bahini.
The security forces today recover-ed an IED, two improvised guns, a country-made revolver and 153 bullets from Satnegabari.
Four IEDs and guns were found in Sonachura yesterday. The CRPF had said they resembled those used by Maoists in Jharkhand.
A CRPF officer said villagers were providing them with information on arms depots. The force set up camps in Khejuri today.
Asked about the CRPF's role, the chief minister said: "They would dwell on confidence-building measures. The CRPF would move into areas where police could not."