Resistance

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Centre sounds Maoist alert in Nandigram

Posted by Indian Vanguard on April 18, 2007

Anjan Chakraborty

KOLKATA, April 17: The seizure of a large consignment of explosives bound for West Bengal in Jharkhand four days ago coupled with recent Intelligence reports suggest that Maoists are relocating a portion of their cadre to the state in the wake of the Nandigram issue, the Union home ministry has said.

In a warning to the state government, the ministry has disclosed intelligence reports of Maoists importing men to West Bengal from among its cadre base active in the neighbouring states of Bihar and Jharkhand for the last two months. The group is using the Katihar (Bihar)-Sahibganj (Jharkhand) corridor to sneak militants into the state.
Local intelligence inputs from these states suggested that a few hundred extremists might have managed to reach West Bengal already. The CPI-M, incidentally, had been alleging that the violence in Nandigram was "aided and abetted by the Maoists."

In the so-called red corridor spread across Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal, the state remains the weakest link. "Maoists become active in three stages. First, they identify an issue and then they create a tempo against the local government and finally usher in a parallel administration. Nandigram SEZ would, no doubt, tempt Maoists," a senior state home department official said.

Intelligence inputs were further corroborated on 14 April when Dumka police in neighbouring Jharkhand nabbed a suspected Maoist and recovered 3,000 detonators and 400 bags of explosives from his possession. Police raided a Rampurhat-bound private bus near Pusaro Bridge and arrested a teenager, Swapan Ravi Das, of Rajgram village in Suri subdivision of Birbhum district of West Bengal.

On the basis of information provided by Swapan, Dumka police rushed to Rampurhat to arrest those to whom the explosives were to be allegedly supplied. The boy had told the police that two persons would be there to receive these explosives near Rampurhat bus stand, but when police along with their West Bengal counterparts reached there, they found no one.

Police raided several places in Shikaripara block in this connection and detained four persons including Muhammad Riyauddin, Harun Sheikh, Idul Sheikh and Muhammad Jalal, all hailing from West Bengal. They have been interrogated on the destination and intended use of the explosives.

The explosives recovered had the seal of Gomia based Indian Explosive Ltd, a Central government unit in Jharkhand. Swapan admitted that it was his second such trip within a week. One Musharraf Sheikh had engaged him to procure these explosives from Durgapur village in Kundo police station of Deoghar district.
"Police in the districts bordering Bihar and Jharkhand have been asked to step up vigil following the Intelligence report," the official added.

The Statesman

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