Lalgarh was back on the boil on Sunday when four bodies were recovered, while at least 10 persons are reportedly dead following clashes between CPI(M) and CPI(Maoist) at Dharampur.
Though the administration could not confirm the causalities, since the Maoist-backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) has jammed any flow of information from the ‘free zone’ in Lalgarh to areas beyond.
The local CPI(M) leadership claimed that nine of those dead were their supporters. CPI (M) zonal committee secretary Anuj Pandey said, “The Maoists launched an overnight attack on Jhilapara village, surrounding Dharampur. Nine of our supporters were abducted. On Sunday morning, the villagers found three of their bodies in front of our party office and we don’t expect to get the six others alive.”
As CPI (Maoist) action squad chief Kishanji earlier said that their intention was to increase their base. Maoists on Saturday took over areas surrounding Dharampur, which has been a CPI(M) stronghold so far.
Pandey himself lives in the village but he has reportedly shifted elsewhere. He is one of the Maoists’ prime targets.
The district CPI(M) leadership is mounting pressure on the state committee bosses and administration to check the advance of the Maoists. Pandey said, “The administration has to find out a way to to stop this rain of terror.”
Other than Dharampur, Maoists are also concentrating on Madhupur and Sijua villages. If they can capture Sijua then their hold over the area surrounding the Salboni steel plant would be stronger.
“Initially we found it hard to enter particular villages but now with the help of locals we’ve been able to make our presence felt in these areas,” PCAPA spokesman Chhatradhar Mahato said.
According to CPI(M) leadership, their supporters have started sleeping in those areas. Mahato, however, claimed that PCAPA was not involved in any kind of aggression.
(With inputs from BS Roy and MP Roy)