The People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) has formed an armed outfit even as the West Bengal government is planning to ban the parent body.
The armed unit has been formed to take on the “the state and central forces working in league with the CPI(M)’s armies”. The outfit has been named “Sidhu Kanhu Gana Militia”.
Sidhu and Kanhu were leaders in the Santhal uprising against British rule in 1855.
The West Bengal government has started the process of banning the PCAPA, which started the movement in Lalgarh, 160 km south-west of Kolkata.
West Bengal Director-General of Police Bhupinder Singh told Hindustan Times , “By forming the armed outfit, the PCAPA has become involved in altogether illegal activities. It has even taken the responsibility for holding up the Rajdhani Express on Tuesday. We have started the process of banning the outfit.”
Talking to Hindustan Times on Tuesday, Asit Mahato, the PCAPA’s new spokesperson, said, “We have been forced to take up arms. We have fought the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and its police with bows and arrows. But now they are attacking us with sophisticated weapons. We have to use similar arms against them.”
“We decided to form the militia after a PCAPA rally was attacked on Monday evening by CPI(M) goons and the joint forces near Lalgarh. The villagers killed five of them and snatched 10 guns — the beginning of our armoury.” Mahato did not specify the militia’s strength.
However, five days ago Maoist leader Kishenji told Hindustan Times that they wouldn’t keep any arms looted from the Sankrail police station and hand them all to local villagers.