‘Request to shift EFR camp ignored’

  • HT Correspondents/PTI, Hindustan Times, West Midnapore/Jamshedpur/ Patna
  • Updated: Feb 20, 2010 23:51 IST

A senior official of the Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR) blamed the district police and administration for the Maoist attack on an EFR camp in West Midnapore on Monday.

Covering his face with a black bandana as he faced TV cameras at the EFR headquarters at Salua, West Midnapore, Special Inspector General (EFR) Benoy Chakraborty vented his ire at the district police and administration.

It is not clear why he had masked himself.

On Monday, 25 people were killed by Maoists in an attack on an EFR camp at Silda in West Midnapore, about 170 km west of Kolkata.

“Higher officials in charge of the district knew that the camp was not safe. The SP, West Midnapore, was repeatedly told that the camp should be shifted, but he paid no heed,” said Chakraborty.

“Several radio messages requesting the SP to shift the camps went unanswered.”

However, another Inspector General of the state police said on condition of anonymity: “How can an officer criticise his own colleague in front of the media when the government had ordered an inquiry into the massacre?”

Meanwhile, two of the 14 people whose release the Maoists asked for as a condition for letting go Dalbhumgarh Block Development Officer Prashant Layek were on Saturday granted bail by a court in Ghatsila.

Additional District Judge M.M. Singh granted bail to Jasmi Mardi and her father, Bahadur Mardi.

A police outpost, with additional forces, has been set up at Phulwaria-Korasi village in Naxal-affected Jamui district in Bihar. At least 12 persons were killed and an equal number injured in a Maoist attack on Thursday morning.

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