Naxals free Chhattisgarh government peon, sub-engineer still in captivity

By Express News Service

KOLKATA:  At a time when law enforcing agencies arrested CPI (Maoist)’s second-in-command Prashanta Bose alias Kishanda and neutralised 26 rebels in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli in past 48 hours, West Bengal police are fearing that the outlawed outfit’s members are regrouping in Junglemahal, a backward region in the state.

With the recovery of two land mines, which were manufactured very recently and capable of blowing up a vehicle, from Lalgarh in the erstwhile hotbed of the rebel outfit in Jhargram district, which witnessed large-scale bloodbath between 2008 and 2011 and killing of several CPI(M) activists, police officials suspect the banned organisation already recruited its foot-soldiers silently while lying low since the past one decade.

‘’Taking advantage of Covid-19 pandemic, many outsiders entered the area and organised health camps in the remote pockets located inside deep forests. We suspect many of them are members of Maoist’s frontal organisations who entered the area in the disguise of social workers and reunited their ground-level strength. During Durga Puja, we noticed many unknown faces roaming in the villages,’’ said an official of the state intelligence branch.

The West Bengal police also arrested an ideologue of CPI (Maoist) from Birbhum district recently. 

The Maoists have been maintaining silence since their leader Koteshwar Rao alias Kishanji, who was also a politburo member of the outfit, was gunned down in November, 2011, six months after the change of political guard in West Bengal and Mamata Banerjee became the chief minister of the state.