Merely a month after the Centre-state joint security operations began at Lalgarh, the Maoist stronghold in Bengal’s West Midnapore district, it’s the CPI(M) which has now started complaining.
The complaints not only focus on the fact that the joint forces have failed to improve the situation on the ground, but also has begun to assume a rhetoric that resembles their political opponent — the Trinamool Congress.
Local CPI(M) leader Tarun Banerjee described the police atrocities to HT as “state-sponsored terrorism”, words that Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee uses often to attack the state government.
He said, “Due to police atrocities and torture on the innocent, almost all male villagers have fled their homes from hamlets like Tarki, Purnapani, Chandavilla, Rangametia, Karanshol and Thakurpara. These were CPI(M) bastions. But the experience is forcing them to oppose the state government and, therefore, CPI(M).”
It was substantially due to the pressure from the local and district CPI(M) that forced the Bengal government to lobby hard for the Centre-state joint forces operation. But with more than a month elapsing since the operation began, the
failure of the operation so far has put the CPI(M) at the receiving end.
The CPI(M) is feeling the heat so intensely that Banerjee wondered whether “the Centre-state joint forces have captured foreign territory”.
For the ruling party the situation seems to be steadily deteriorating. On Tuesday, one CPI(M) leader of Dherua area and a Jharkhand Party leader of Belpahari area were killed.
Worse, CPI(M) leaders are apprehending that two other supporters, Pranesh Ghosh and Buddhadev Mahato of Thakurpara village, who are among the three topping the Maoist hitlist, might be killed
“Our leaders and supporters are killed by Maoists and we are also losing our support among the masses due to the high handedness of security force. It is better to withdraw the force,” remarked a local CPI(M) leader.
At least 19 CPI(M) leaders have been killed so far after the joint forces started their operation on June 18.