The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has decided to launch an agitation against Maoists in three districts. The decision comes as the state government gears up to launch an all-out offensive against the rebels.
The party is planning to hold public meetings in Naxal-hit West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia to drum up support against terror and for development initiatives. The first meeting was held in Bandhgora in West Midnapore on June 28. Meetings would be held in Chandri on July 9 and Silda on July 14. Both are rebel hotspots in the same district.
According to sources in the Trinamool Congress, party workers have been on the run fearing Maoists in various areas, including Sapdhora, Chandri, Jamboni, Belpahari and Binpur. Many have fled the villages over the past few weeks.
"Chief minister Mamata Banerjee is for development in the Maoist-dominated areas and those who oppose it will have to face the wrath of the government," said Suvendu Adhikary, parliamentarian from Tamluk and the party in-charge in the area. "We will resist any sort of armed terror."
The government, meanwhile, is also equipping the anti-Naxal security forces with deadly assault weapons, like the German submachine gun MP5 (Maschinenpistole 5 by Heckler & Koch). This is a lighter gun and has a superior firepower than the AK-47 and AK-56 assault rifles that the rebels use.
The MP5 can fire 900 rounds per minute — 50% higher than the 600 rounds per minute of an AK-47. The administration is tight-lipped regarding the anti-Maoist operation, but the buzz is that the government may launch an offensive any time. "We are just waiting for the political nod," said a home department official.