Maoists behind tribal unrest: police

November 18th, 2008 - 10:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Nov 18 (IANS) Maoist rebels are adding fuel to the ongoing tribal agitation in West Bengal’s Lalgarh area and preventing any peaceful settlement, police said Tuesday.”The agitation by a section of tribals is still continuing at Lalgarh. We’ve got reports that some Maoists leaders are supporting the movement,” West Midnapore police superintendent R.K. Singh told IANS.

He said the majority of villagers had already responded positively to a meeting that was held between the district administration and the locals Monday.

“They want to withdraw the agitation. But the Maoists are threatening a section of the local people not to withdraw the movement at ground zero. The Maoists have also taken the upper hand and don’t want to call off this agitation,” he said, adding that the police have already cleared the blockade near Jhargram town Tuesday and repaired a metalled road that heads towards the violence-hit zone.

Last week, thousands of tribals squatted on dug up roads at Maoist-hit Lalgarh in West Bengal protesting police harassment and the arrest of some locals following the Nov 2 landmine blast in a ministerial convoy.

The Adivasis, led by Bharat Jakat Majhi Marwa Juan Ganta (BJMMJG), had blocked all approach roads to Lalgarh by placing huge tree trunks on the roads.

“We are trying to restore peace in the area through a process of dialogue,” a police officer said.

Trouble began at Lalgarh last week after the district police arrested some school students and allegedly heckled tribal women in connection with the landmine blast that went off when the convoy of Union Ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitin Prasada and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was passing near Bhadutala Nov 2.

Though all the three VVIPS had a narrow escape in the incident, six policemen were injured.

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