KOLKATA: Fugitive Maoists leaders and the outlawed outfit’s squad members, who did not respond to West Bengal Mamata Banerjee’s call for surrender, have started visiting villages in Jangalmahal
to regain their erstwhile stronghold, according to the sleuths of the state Intelligence Branch (IB).
In a report submitted by the IB to the state home department, it was mentioned that some outlawed leaders of CPI(Maoist), including two women, are visiting the villages in the forests along Bengal-Jharkhand border and holding meetings with the local people.
“Earlier, we had information that the rebels were spending a few hours at villages and left before the security force personnel rushed there after receiving information. But this time, they are spending nights there and the local police are not getting the information. It indicates that the intelligence network involving local people is not working in favour of the local police,’’ said an IB official.
A decade ago, during the upsurge of Maoist movement, 28 police stations were identified as rebel-infested zones in Jangalmahal comprising Purulia, Bankura, West Midnapore and Jhargram districts. After the outfit’s politburo member and in-charge of Bengal chapter, Mallojula Koteswara Rao better known as Kishanji, was gunned down in November 2011, the rebels retreated.
No activity was visible in the area. The number of sensitive zones has come down to one over the past seven years.
“Belpahari police station in Jhargram district is now considered as a pocket where Maoists' presence is heard. We have come to know the rebel leaders are visiting villages like Sakhabhanga, Odolchua, Amlashole and Dhangikushum in Belpahari,’’ said the official.
The IB said in its report that the rebel outfit has already initiated the process of recruiting youths as its foot soldiers.
Subrata Bhattacharya, Jhargram district president of the Congress said, “The corruption issue which has deprived thousands of poor people is now Maoists’ key tool to regain their base. Poorest of poor people fell victim of cut-money practice by ruling TMC’s local leaders.”
Dahareshwar Sen, CPI (M)’s district secretariat member said, “If the rebels become active in this region again, the Trinamool misrule will be responsible.”