KOLKATA:Just days after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhisekh Banerjee bragged about top Maoist leader Kishenji being killed by his aunt’s government, the CPI(Maoist) hit back by reconstituting its state unit and directing its cadre to carry out attacks in the state. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday alerted the state government of a possible strike by the banned outfit. The CPI(Maoist) has issued a notification stating, “Under the present political situation in West Bengal, the party’s Eastern bureau has decided to reconstitute the state committee. The party has analysed the political situation, our struggle and how to strengthen our organisation.”
Combing operations were beefed up after the outfit put up posters in Jangalmahal, in the Western part of the state. A Central intelligence report stated that the Maoist central committee had directed its West Bengal unit to choose ‘comparatively soft targets’. The report suggests that the Maoists are likely to target the Railways in the state, like it had done in Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha recently. It added that crowded Howrah and Sealdah stations and the Metro Railway in the city were the most vulnerable targets.
The group may carry out bomb blasts in the run-up to Independence Day. The city’s metro stations have a total of 611 CCTVs cameras and baggage scanners that are not in use as they are likely to lead to long queues and pose inconvenience to commuters, a metro official said. Last week at a public meeting at Belpahari in West Midnapore district, Abhisekh had said, “Earlier everyday in Jangalmahal people were killed. During the last four years there was only one murder. Mamata’s Government by killing Kishenji has proved that the people have the last word.” Manjullla Koteswar Rao alias Kishenji, a dreaded CPI(Maoist) leader from Andhra Pradesh, who was in charge of West Bengal and a member of the party’s central military commission, was killed in an encounter at Burisol village on November 11, 2011, five months after Mamata stormed to power. Interestingly, Kishenji had urged the people to reject the then ruling CPM-led Left Front and vote for the TMC.
Following Abhisekh’s speech, the police had discovered several Maoist posters in Jangalmahal–comprising West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts in the Western part of the state bordering Jharkhand where the militants have a strong base. The death of Kishenji in an “encounter” with joint security forces, the surrender of women Maoist leaders Suchitra Mahato and Jagori Baskey and the arrest of several top Maoist leaders, proved to a major setback for the CPI (Maoist) in the state. The group has appointed Akash as the new state secretary of the reconstituted 21-member committee, but according to its organisational structure, leaders, who are in jail have not been included on the committee.