West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Tuesday refuted the charge made in home minister P Chidambaram’s letter that the state government was using armed cadres to intimidate people in the Maoist-dominated areas.
Bhattacharjee said no armed CPI (M) cadres had been sheltered in the camps set up by the party for those who had been forced to leave home by Maoists.
Earlier, Chidambaram’s letter created quite a flutter here, as the contents of the letter were known in Delhi much before it reached the state government. The letter arrived here on Monday morning six days after it was posted in New Delhi on December 21.
State government sources claimed that Bhattacharjee also alleged in his reply that the number of Left supporters died in Maoist violence, as mentioned in Chidambaram’s letter, was lower than the actual figure.
The chief minister, however, remained mum on the contents of his reply faxed to Delhi, saying, “The reply has been sent. The contents will be revealed at an appropriate time.”
The sources, however, said Bhattacharjee had reiterated the Bengal government’s claim that it had proofs of the link the Trinamool Congress has with the Maoists.
The CM also reportedly asked why central forces under the union home ministry command had not destroyed the CPI (M) camps, if armed goons were sheltered there.
On Monday, CPI (M) state secretary Biman Bose expressed surprise that such a letter was leaked before it reached the addressee. Bose challenged Chidambaram’s claim that till December 15, 2010, “CPI (M) cadres who have been killed and injured number 65 and 773, respectively”. Bose said, “After the Lok Sabha polls, 337 Left supporters have been killed in the state. Among them, 222 are from the three Maoist-affected districts.”