April 25, 2009


LALGARH: A massive rally was organised at the call of the CPI (M) right in the troubled heart of Lalgarh and more than 20 thousand people were in courageous attendance. The ‘Maoist’ den is but a few kilometres across the border into Jharkhand. More 50% of the rallyists were women, and most came with their children tagging cheerfully along.

The rally, militant in nature, was filled with fluttering Red Flags of various sizes. The sound of kettle drums and the shouting of slogans added to the militancy as well as colour to the assemblage. The entire jangal mahal was made aware of the rally as the loudspeakers carried the voices of the CPI (M) who fearlessly addressed the rally – many have threats against them from the ‘Maoist’-Trinamuli-Jharkhandi criminals- deep into every corner of this part of Midnapore west.

Speakers at the rally included professor Dipak sarkar who heads the Midnapore west unit of the CPI (M) as the secretary, and CPI (M) leaders Satyen Maity and Anuj Pandey (who presided). It is significant that the CPI (M) could appear in strength in both the hill areas of Darjeeling and the laterite zone of the extreme west of Midnapore on the same day.


The aftermath of the Lalgarh rally was not without unpleasantness borne of criminal acts. At Salboni within a stone’s throw distance of Lalgarh, the ‘Maoists’ struck with a murderous intent. The place was the tiny hamlet of Nadadia and it falls within the Debgram GP. Two dozen heavily-armed men, faces covered, attacked the village, sought out CPI (M) workers’ hutments.

The raiders then proceeded to beat to a pulp with gun-butts three CPI (M) workers: they were comrades Shakti Sen, Hambir Mandi, and Ranjit Singh, poor kisans all. Comrade Hambir and Shakti died on the spot, and the ‘Maoists’ made off with their bodies. Ranjit was rescued and he has been admitted to a local hospital in extreme critical conditions with gashing wounds on his head.

The ‘Maoists’ also took forcibly away two licensed single-barrelled guns of Mihir Sen and Deben Hembram. In protest against the ‘Maoist’ depredations, rallies are held all over Midnapore today (22 April). The bodies are yet to be recovered.

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