Nani Gopal Pal
BALARAMPUR, Feb. 7: A 36-hour "Operation Dalma" in and around Ahodhyapahar, was conducted by the security forces, 50 km from Purulia town, to arrest Maoists, with no results. District police had some information earlier about a "den of Maoists". As a result, police raided the village of Sirkabad, Maramu, Kharbera, Urma, Kantadih and Ghatbera. Police also blocked the areas.
Mystery shrouds the arrest of two Forward Bloc members, residents of Bandhdih in Balarampur, Purulia, Mr Sankar Singh Sardar and Mr Sankar Mondal last week. Perhaps, it was the first arrest of a political party in the left front partners in West Bengal. Both were arrested as the link-men of Maoists, who were allegedly involved in the killing of a CPI-M cadre there.
The president of Juba Trinamul Congress Barabazar block, Mr Pratul Mahato was also arrested, reportedly because of a Maoist link, and had was involved with the murder of a CPI-M activist at Bhikheri Cheliama.
Protesting against the arrest of the Forward Bloc members and the Trinamul Congress leader, both parties demonstrated in Balarampur and Barabazar, Purulia. They also set up road blocks in different areas of the district.
The arrested members were forwarded to Purulia court, when the court sent them police remand. In connection to the Barabazar agitation, police arrested 13 members of Trinamul Congress. A bodyguard's pistol was missing at Barabazar.
Mr Ashok Kumar Prosad, SP of Purulia said in Purulia town today that the police had some definite clues to arrest them. While talking to The Statesman, he further added: "We had also no intentions to arrest them without any cause and the court will now prove."
The president of Purulia district Trinamul Congress Mr Kamakshya Prasad Singh Deo and the secretary, Forward Bloc district committee, Mr Nishikanta Mehata also former Arsha MLA, strongly criticised the attitude of Purulia district police. Both separately alleged: "Police are now a kind of CPI-M party men."
Mr Manindra Gope, a leader of the Purulia district CPI-M committee cautioned the member of both parties. "They (police) are not maintaining their neutral attitude," he alleged.
Meanwhile, four more members of the CPI-M local and branch committees had to quit the party after receiving Maoist threats, raised to 25 in Balarampur and Barabazar. The CPI-M secretary of Balarampur zonal committee, Mr Gobardhan Majhi admitted: "Maoists force cadres to quit the party, distributing leaflets for consequences."
Forward Bloc top brass, including the MP, Mr Narhari Mahato, alleged the CPI-M is creating pressure with the knowledge the party will fight alone in the forthcoming panchayat elections in West Bengal.
The Congress leaders also blamed the CPI-M who were responsible of corruption charges in the panchayat. "They (CPI-M) are trying their best to hide out the corruption," they said.