A police station was stormed. Two officers were killed and their boss abducted. A bank was looted. And all this was done by Maoists in just 15-20 minutes on Tuesday.
Now, the state police are facing a police revolt in Sankrail in West Midnapore district, about 180 km west of Kolkata. Almost the entire force of 28 men in the police station did not report for work on Wednesday.
They want at least three days’ leave to recover from the shock. “We would like to go on leave for three days or be removed to the police line. We will not obey anyone’s order,” said Pranotosh Pati, 50, a constable.
On Wednesday morning, HT visited Sankrail police station and found none of the policemen were in uniform.
A constable, who refused to be identified, blamed the authorities for the Maoist attack. He said the arms stored at the police station had actually attracted the Maoists.
A day after the attack, the State Bank of India (SBI) closed the branch that was robbed, withdrew all the five employees and stationed them at Kharagpur, about 50 km away.
United Bank of India (UBI) and Allahabad Bank, both Kolkata-based nationalised banks, have a total of 75 branches in the district. Both are facing security problems.
“We’ll try to keep the branches operational, but inadequate security can cost us dearly any day,” said T.L. Bhaduri, zonal head, East and West Midnapore, Allahabad Bank.