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Trinamool fields kids against Central forces

800 kids to visit camps, distribute leaflets urging jawans to withdraw. Ravik Bhattacharya reports.

india Updated: Oct 26, 2010 08:37 IST
Ravik Bhattacharya

Tired of unsuccessfully pleading with the Centre for the withdrawal of Central security forces in the Maoist-dominated districts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura, Trinamool Congress has decided to field an army of 800 school children to carry the protest at the door of the camps and appeal to their conscience.

The party, that is the second largest constituent of the UPA government with 19 Lok Sabha MPs, has ordered printing of posters in Hindi that will urge the jawans to stop their operation.

"We would reach to individual jawans of the central forces. We would give them handouts and leaflets showing the real picture, as how women are raped in villages by harmads (armed goons of the CPI-M)," Sisir Adhikary, union minister of state for rural development, told HT.

Trinamool Congress has already roped in more than 800 school students, who will take part in the protest in various areas including Lalgarh, Pirakata, Salboni, Goaltore, Jhargram and other areas of West Midnapore district.

"The jawans of the joint forces are earning a bad name. They should realise they have their womenfolk at home," remarked Mamata Banerjee on Sunday afternoon before leaving for New Delhi

On Sunday, Mamata Banerjee took to the streets of Kolkata for the first time demanding the withdrawal of the Centre-state combined forces. She alleged that the Prime Minister and Union home minister have turned a deaf ear to her pleas.

Trinamool Congress leaders led by Mamata Banerjee have been consistently opposing the deployment of central forces since June 18, 2009 when the forces were pressed into service in Lalgarh of West Midnapore district.

"The jawans are not at fault, they are just being misused. We want to remind them that they too have mothers and daughters. How can they support such an operation?" added Adhikary.

Sisir's son Subhendu Adhikary is also a Trinamool MP and Mamata Banerjee's pointsman in the Maoist-dominated districts of the state.

"We are publishing thousands of leaflets in Hindi, so that the personnel can read them. They will be distributed by school children to the jawans. The children will appeal to their emotions. Teams of children are being prepared," said the union minister of state for rural development.

"The leaflets will identify and highlight harmad camps and their location with respect to the camps of the joint forces camps," added Adhikary.

The leaflets will also highlight how, after central forces are gaining ground, villages are being raided by harmads, who are raping women and killing those who oppose, alleged Trinamool Congress.