Lalgarh tribal leader alleges attack by CPI-M

April 11th, 2009 - 11:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Ram Vilas Paswan Kolkata, April 11 (IANS) A tribal leader in West Bengal’s troubled Lalgarh region Saturday alleged that armed Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) cadres had attacked local villagers and torched their houses.
“A number of miscreants owing allegiance to the CPI-M have launched a sudden attack on the villagers today (Saturday) morning. They are constantly opening fire at us from Memul area under Shalboni police station area,” People’s Committee Against Police Atrocity (PCAPA) leader Shamal Mahato told IANS over the phone.

“I am now at ground zero and I can hear the firing. We are constantly in touch with the police but they also can’t enter the region.”

Trouble erupted in Lalgarh last November after the police arrested some school students and allegedly harassed tribal women following a landmine blast on the route of the convoy of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and central ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitin Prasada near Bhadutala area.

Lalgarh residents have been protesting police “excesses” and resisting a planned government crackdown against Maoist rebels ahead of the elections.

State home secretary Ardhendu Sen said the police will not open fire at the villagers in Lalgarh as it could cause casualties. He also said the election will take place there and for that police will enter the region, despite mass resistance.

“The election must take place in Lalgarh and for that whatever we’ll have to do, we’ll do that,” Sen told reporters here.

Sen said police were yet to enter 13-14 villages in Lalgarh.

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