WB: 13 Maoists get life sentence in 2010 EFR security personnel massacre case | Kolkata - Hindustan Times
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WB: 13 Maoists get life sentence in 2010 EFR security personnel massacre case

Feb 28, 2024 07:13 PM IST

The additional district and session judge at Midnapore court passed the judgement and said it would announce the sentence for 10 more accused on Thursday

Kolkata: A district court in West Bengal on Wednesday convicted and sentenced 13 cadres of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) to life imprisonment in connection with the attack on the Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR) camp at Silda in West Midnapore district on February 15, 2010, in which 24 EFR personnel were killed.

A district court gave the judgement (Representative Photo)
A district court gave the judgement (Representative Photo)

On Tuesday, 23 accused, including nine who were released on bail, were produced before the district court.

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The additional district and session judge at Midnapore court passed the judgement and said it would announce the sentence for 10 more accused on Thursday.

“The charges were concocted. We will challenge the sentence in higher court,” convicted Maoist leader Bikash told the media while being taken to prison.

Located in the Belpahari area of the erstwhile undivided West Midnapore district, the Silda EFR camp witnessed the most severe Maoist operation in the state.

Around 60 guerrillas ambushed the camp when the EFR personnel were preparing for dinner, killing 24 personnel, and five Maoists were gunned down in counter-fire.

The Maoists set the camp on fire and fled with a huge quantity of automatic weapons and ammunition. There were around 50 EFR personnel at the camp and many suffered severe injuries.

The Left Front government headed by then chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee handed the case to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

As many as 24 suspects were arrested by CID, but 10 of them, including Maoist leader Sudip Chongdar, were later released on bail. Chongdar died during the long trial.

Armed cadres of the CPI(Maoist) became active in Bengal during the last years of the Left Front regime. Home to a sizeable tribal population, the rough terrains of Jangalmahal – a region spread across West Midnapore, Purulia, Bankura and Jhargram districts – witnessed rampant bloodshed for several years.

Jangalmahal was officially tagged as a backward area for decades since Independence. Promising better governance, chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who came to power in 2011, created the Jhargram district in April 2017 by splitting West Midnapore. Silda is now a part of Jhargram.

CPI (Maoist) central military commission member Kishenji, who claimed responsibility for the Silda attack, was killed in an encounter with the Bengal police on November 24, 2011, months after TMC came to power.

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