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Call for thousand more Lalgarhs

india Updated: Aug 18, 2009 00:51 IST
Soumyajit Pattnaik
Soumyajit Pattnaik
Hindustan Times
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Bhubaneswar: On a day when the Prime Minister discussed the Naxalite threat to the country, the ultra-left militants gave a call to create “thousands of Lalgarh-type liberated zones”.

HT is in possession of a three-page document released by the politburo of the CPI (Maoist), the banned political party of the Naxalites, to its estimated 25,000 cadres, which “hailed the glorious mass uprising in West Bengal” and called upon “the revolutionary masses to come forward in support of the Lalgarh movement”.

For seven months, the Naxalites had “liberated” a 1,300 sq km zone in Lalgarh in West Bengal’s West Midnapur district, 200 km south west of Kolkata, where the writ of the civil administration, including the police, did not run.

The 5,000-strong People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), the much-feared armed militia of the Maoists, is believed to have been behind this operation.

The Bengal government had to launch a major offensive with help from para-military forces in June to reassert its authority. The operation is still on. PLGA, meanwhile, has melted into the local population or withdrawn to other areas.

A senior official at an intelligence agency, who gave HT a copy of the document, said the government is taking the Maoist call seriously.

A senior IPS officer, without wishing to be identified, said, “Even before this document was circulated, the Maoists tried to repeat Lalgarh experiment in Narayanpatna block of Koraput district, 550-km south of Bhubaneswar, in June. Their goal is to create liberated zones. We anticipated their strategy to create more Lalgarhs even before they circulated this document”.

The document with HT is in English. “Your revolt, with arms in hands, has risen like a storm against decades of fascist neglect, misrule and terror… It is indeed an inspiring example of new forms of struggle…”