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Rebel move to ‘spare’ CPM

Goaltore, July 14: Maoists in West Midnapore’s Jungle Mahal have decided to “spare” CPM cadres and supporters, the shift in strategy prompted by the realisation that plenty of “unnecessary killings” have taken place since the 2009 Lalgarh movement.

The rebels have set one condition for not attacking CPM supporters they should not work as police informers.

Several top Maoist leaders entered Jungle Mahal taking advantage of the halt in operations by the joint forces since May 20. An intelligence branch official said thousands of CPM supporters living in Lalgarh, Goaltore, Salboni and Belpahari were now “at the mercy of Maoists”.

Akash, the secretary of the CPI (Maoist)’s Bengal state committee, said: “We have decided to spare the lives of the CPM supporters. They will not be harmed if they don’t work as police informers.”

A Maoist source said: “Too many unnecessary killings have taken place in Jungle Mahal since the Lalgarh movement of 2009. Our ground-level recruits murdered several poor people. Many of the murders were carried out to settle personal scores.”

The source said many murders took place “without the approval” of the leadership. “Killings in future of poor people solely because they don’t support us may weaken our mass base in Jungle Mahal,” the Maoist source said.

Akash said the Maoists did not kill a CPM supporter in Belpahari “even though he tried pass on information about our movements to the police”.

Since 2009, 200 CPM cadres have been killed by Maoists and 500 families owing allegiance to the party rendered homeless, Left sources said.

CPM supporter Nirmal Mahato (name changed) said: “Our leaders can’t protect us any more. Now, we won’t dare incur the wrath of the Maoists by acting as police informers,” Nirmal added.

Police sources said the intelligence network would suffer if the villagers stopped working as informants.

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