Maoist posters resurface in Bengal’s Jangalmahal after almost a decade
Hand-written posters allegedly signed by Maoists have been recovered from the Jangalmahal area – once a Maoist stronghold – after almost a decade in West Bengal. The pamphlets urged people to observe the Independence Day as Kala Divas.
On Sunday, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar had hinted that Maoists could be regrouping in the state.
“The dangerous head of Maoism is getting visible with support of state actors,” Dhankhar had said at a function organised at the Raj Bhawan to mark the second death anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
The police have started a probe into the incident, however no one has been detained or arrested yet.
“Around 10–12 posters were recovered from two to three adjacent villages of Bhulabheda in Jhagram. We have started a probe. No one has been detained so far,” said Amitkumar Bharat Rathod, superintendent of police of Jhargram.
West Midnapore, Purulia, Bankura and Jhargram comprise the Jangalmahal - where the CPI (Maoist) had virtually set up a ‘liberated zone’ between 2009 and 2011.
The area witnessed a bloody battle between the insurgents, security forces and the armed militia of CPI(M). More than 350 civilians and more than 50 security personnel were killed by Maoists.
In retaliation, security forces killed around 80 Maoist leaders and activists.
The Maoists were virtually wiped out from the state after the Mamata Banerjee-administration came to power in 2011.
“Maoists no longer have any armed squad active in the state. Several Maoists had surrendered after the killing of dreaded Maoist leader Mallojula Koteswar Rao alias Kishanji in 2011. Such posters were found in West Midnapore last year as well. We are investigating,” said a senior official of the state police.
Recently, in a major development, the Trinamool Congress had inducted Chhatradhar Mahato, who was the convener of the Maoist-backed Peoples Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA), and had been in prison for the last 10 years, was inducted into the party’s state committee.