A delegation of state government officials, comprising Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen, Director General of Police Sujit Sarker, DG (Co-ordination) Bhupinder Singh and other senior officials visited Midnapore and had a meeting with top officials of the West Midnapore district and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officials.
“We are ready to launch the operation very soon. I don’t want to reveal when and how we are going to organise it. I am warning the Maoists not to use women and children as shields. I am also requesting the villagers not to co-operate with the Maoists,” Sen said, after briefing Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee about the latest developments in the area.
The Left Front, which exhorted the state government on Wednesday to take all measures to put an end to the unrest in the district, endorsed the move.
Sen added that the government was aware the operation could entail bloodshed.
“We will try our best to see the bloodshed is reduced to the minimum possible extent,” Sen said. While the state forces would lead the operation, the central forces sent would provide back-up support for the operation, he added. And in response to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram’s remarks earlier on Wednesday that the West Bengal government was divided in taking action against Maoists, Chief Secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti said the government was determined to take action against them. “There are no two opinions about this,” Chakrabarti said.
SFI strike in state colleges today
Students Federation of India (SFI), the student wing of the CPM, has called a strike on Thursday in all state colleges to protest against the murder of an SFI leader by alleged Maoists in Jhargram area of West Midnapore on Wednesday morning. Abhijit Mahato, the zonal committee member of SFI Jhargram unit, was shot dead allegedly by Maoists.