Two security men injured in land mine blast in Lalgarh

June 20th, 2009 - 7:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Ram Vilas Paswan Lalgarh (West Bengal), June 20 (IANS) Two security personnel were injured when a land mine planted by Maoist rebels exploded in Goaltor in West Midnapore Saturday - on the third day of the operations launched by the West Bengal government to free this trouble-torn area from leftwing radicals.
“Two personnel got minor injuries in their hands and the gunfight between the security forces and the Maoists is still on in the Goaltor area intermittently,” Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia told IANS.

Sujit Sarkar, director general of police, said: “Maoists must have planted land mines at many places in the region. We are sending reinforcement to the area.”

Using mine-proof vehicles and land mine detectors, security forces marched five km through a forest, considered a Maoist den, to reach the Lalgarh block headquarters Saturday.

A day after their advance was slowed down in the face of stiff resistance from the Maoists, who Friday carried out surprise attacks and engaged the forces in heavy gunbattles besides triggering land mine explosions, the central and state forces treaded with extreme caution as they combed the Jhitka Jungles on way to this area in West Midnapore district.

Two security personnel were injured in a land mine blast in the area Friday.

Lalgarh has been on the boil since last November when a land mine exploded on the route of the convoy of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and then central ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitin Prasada.

Complaining of police atrocities after the blast, the angry tribals launched an agitation virtually cutting off the area from the rest of the district.

During the last few days, the agitators have torched CPI-M offices, driven away the party’s supporters and forced the police to leave, thereby establishing a virtual free zone.

Maoists are active in three western districts of the state - West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia. They also backed the Trinamool-sponsored movement against the state government’s bid to establish a chemical hub at Nandigram in East Midnapore district.

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