TNN, Oct 1, 2010
KOLKATA: The Maoist-backed People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA), on Thursday welcomed Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s demand for a CBI probe into the ‘mass killings’ at Jhargram villages by armed CPM cadres. PCPA even said they would help the probe team if needed.
PCPA spokesman Joydev Mahato said this in response to Mamata’s claims that armed CPM cadres in police uniform carried out a Nandigram-style operation in the outskirts of Jhargram to capture several villages between September 25 and 27.
A few days ago, PCPA had made the same allegation when joint forces raided Chheraboni and Bandarboni villages of Binpur. A CRPF jawan and a suspected Maoist were killed during that raid. Police claimed that the raid was conducted to nab top Maoist leader Sashadhar Mahato who was reportedly camping there. The PCPA, however, denied the police statement.
“Guarded by joint forces, CPM cadres opened fire on unarmed villagers and killed at least 10 people, including Khokon Mahato, whose body was recovered. The CPM cadres ransacked several villages and forced villagers to flee,” said Mahato.
PCPA called a 48-hour strike in Jangalmahal to protest the incident. And Mamata’s statement has endorsed the same allegation.
On Thursday, the PCPA spokesman said, “We are happy that Mamata Banerjee has raised the issue and demanded a probe. If she comes to Jangalmahal, we will help her find out the truth. People will tell her how armed cadres of CPM are capturing villages. PCPA is even ready to help if any probe team arrives here.”
Joydev Mahato alleged that CPM is continuing its armed operation in other parts of Jangalmahal. Two women, Basanti Murmu and Ghurmoni Mandi, sustained injuries and several others are missing from some villages in Binpur, alleged PCPA. In protest against this CPM-led violence, PCPA has decided to observe October 2 as Black Day. Chief Minister Budhhadeb Bhattacharjee is scheduled to visit Midnapore on that day.
The PCPA found Mamata’s comment handy to justify its stance. “For long we have been saying the same thing,” said Mahato.
Jhargram SP Praveen Tripathi refused to comment on the issue. CPM, however, came down heavily on Mamata. “It now becomes clear that Trinamool has a nexus with the Maoists. As the Maoists and their frontal organisation PCPA are cornered by the resistance of common people and joint forces, Mamata is trying to make the situation more complicated,” said Dahareswar Sen, CPM district committee member in Midnapore. All her allegations are baseless, he said.