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Cop meet on Maoist movement

Calcutta, March 17: Bengal police has asked counterparts in Jharkhand to share information on Maoist movement along the border in the wake of a central intelligence report that the rebels were trying to regroup in Jungle Mahal.

Sources said a meeting was lined up between the police of the two states later this month. The Jungle Mahal areas of Bankura, Jhargram and Purulia will go to the polls on May 7.

A similar meeting was held last week after the Maoist attack in Jharkhand’s Latehar district.

Sources said the intelligence report suggested that the Maoists were planning a major strike in Jharkhand ahead of the elections.

“Bengal shares a long, porous border with Jharkhand. Purulia has 380km of border with this neighbouring state. For sometime now, we have been receiving information about some squad members trying to sneak into Bengal from Jharkhand and regroup. There is an immediate need for intelligence sharing,” said a senior police officer in Purulia.

Another police officer in West Midnapore said: “Maoist leaders Akash and Bikash have been moving in and out of their original area of operations in Belpahari and Lalgarh. They are trying to regroup.”

“Even Ranjit Mahato, another rebel squad leader, has been moving out of Ayodhya Hills to try to spread his influence to areas along the Jharkhand-Bengal border,”the officer added.

To collect specific inputs about suspected movements, it has been decided that police officers in Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore would try to collate as much intelligence as possible from officers working at the ground level and the district intelligence branch in Jharkhand.

A few weeks ago, over 600kg of high-intensity gelatine sticks and 975 detonators were recovered from the houses of three farmers in Birbhum's Rampurhat, a haul police said was the biggest in the district.