The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fears of fresh violence stalk Jamboni

Oct. 28: Jamboni was taut with tension today. Seven police camps have been set up and jawans of the Eastern Frontier Rifles are patrolling the villages.

District superintendent of police K.C. Meena conceded that the situation was far from normal. “There is every possibility of an escalation of violence as the panchayat polls draw closer. We are also apprehending trouble in the wake of the CPM’s proposed tribal rally at Gidhni on Thursday, but will spare no effort to maintain peace,” he said.

Since last night, the police have carried out intensive search operations for arms in various parts of Jamboni.

Plugging into the continuing violence here, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamul Congress today sought in Calcutta the Centre’s intervention to “maintain” law and order. The state Congress and the Jharkhand Party (Naren Hansda) called a joint “protest rally” on November 15.

Both Trinamul general secretary Mukul Roy and state Congress vice-president Pradip Bhattacharya accused the ruling Marxists of “launching a drive to eliminate political opponents in rural Bengal before the panchayat polls”.

“Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has failed to maintain peace in the state and has also brought it to the verge of bankruptcy,” they said at separate news conferences.

State CPM secretary Anil Biswas, however, described the Jamboni killings as a “conspiracy against CPM leaders there as the Jharkhand Party and other Opposition outfits are fast losing ground”.

“These forces are so determined to eliminate us that they attacked one of our leaders barely 24 hours after Saturday’s killings,” he added.

A Congress-Jharkhand Party joint rally will be held to protest the “CPM’s terror, which has taken a heavy toll” in the past one year, the state Congress vice-president said. He claimed that Jamboni has witnessed at least 24 political murders and seven kidnappings since last October.

The decision to organise a joint rally was taken at a meeting of the state Congress executive committee chaired by the party’s state unit chief Pranab Mukherjee. The meeting decided against calling a Bangla bandh as mooted earlier but felt the need to start a mass movement against the “CPM’s political terror.”

Bhattacharya said the spell of violence at Jamboni was a result of the CPM workers’ efforts to regain control over the area from which they were ousted in 1993.

Bhattacharya, who visited Jamboni with former state Congress chief Somen Mitra, said the manner in which local CPM leader Dibakar Malakar was shot dead indicated that he was a victim of the party’s infighting.

A team of Trinamul functionaries led by legislators Paras Dutta and Dipak Ghosh visited the area today. They are expected to submit a report to Mamata in a day or two.

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