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Kolkata to Indore, rebels dominate

delhi Updated: Feb 19, 2010 01:31 IST

Political parties across the spectrum reacted on Thursday to the Maoist violence in West Bengal and Bihar.

In West Bengal, 24 Eastern Frontier Rifles troopers were killed on Monday.

In Bihar on Thursday, at least 12 tribals were killed by Maoists.

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said on Thursday that security lapses led to Mondya’s massacre.

“There were intelligence lapses and lack of alertness among the police,” he said. Bhattacharjee regretted the difference in statements between Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen and Director-General of Police Bhupinder Singh.

Sen said there were intelligence inputs on the attack but Singh claimed they were of a routine nature and not necessarily on this attack.

“I have asked them to discuss the matter among themselves,” Bhattacharjee said.

After the Cabinet meeting in New Delhi on Thursday, Trinamool Congress leader and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee met the Prime Minister separately to urge him “to do something” on Maoist violence in West Bengal. If necessary, there could be consultations with the Maoists, she advocated.

The Prime Minister, sources said, remained noncommittal.

Banerjee is, however, against the ongoing joint paramilitary operation against Maoists in Lalgarh, 160 km west of Kolkata, and she is also against any large-scale offensive against them.

“The CPI(M) and the state government are using the joint operation for their own benefit,” Banerjee said.

At the BJP executive council meeting in Indore, party chief Nitin Gadkari said the government’s approach on all key issues — Kashmir, internal and external security, and religious-based quota — posed a grave danger to India's unity.