Siliguri, Aug. 31: The death of two Kamtapur Liberation Organisation leaders, prime suspects in the recent strike on a CPM office in Dhupguri, in an encounter has come as a shot in the arm of the state police, particularly its top brass in north Bengal.
Coming on the eve of chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s visit, the encounter is a face-saver for the police, which were the target of criticism by Left Front partners in the wake of the terror unleashed by KLO insurgents.
The anger of local CPM activists, too, had boiled over when director-general of police D.C. Vajpai visited the Dhupguri party office after the August 17 strike. They had heckled the police boss, blaming the force for not doing enough to ensure security.
Today’s shootout at Mathabhanga, coupled with last Wednesday’s gunning down of KLO’s self-styled camp commander Rohini Adhikary on the Bhutan border, has come as a respite to the force. “The annihilation of at least three top-notch KLO militants, the prime suspects behind the Dhupguri attack, prior to the chief minister’s visit will surely enable him to soothe the ruffled feathers of party workers at the Dhupguri rally on Sunday. It will also give the militant-wary police force some credibility,” said a senior police official.
The slain militants — Haripada Roy, better known as David Barua, and Jogesh Roy, alias Kalyan Singha — were residents of Dhupguri. Police believe they had played an active role in planning and executing the strike on the CPM party office.
“David, a 26-year-old member of the fourth batch of trainees at the KLO camp in Bhutan, was one of the masterminds behind the Dhupguri attack. David had provided the blueprint of the Dhupguri party office and the exact layout of Dhupguri town to KLO action squad chief Jay Deb Roy, alias Tom Adhikary. The fair, tall and intelligent David within a short span had found a place in Adhikary’s crack action squad,” said an intelligence officer.
David, who was from Milpara in Dhupguri, and Jogesh from neighbouring Gadang knew the escape routes to be taken after the attack like the back of their hands. David and Rohini Adhikary had put the final touches to the strike plan, the officer added.
“The two successful encounters also prove that the security forces have so far managed to plug most of the escape routes and contain the militants within the country. The strike force has split up into different groups to evade detection and is trying to take unconventional transit routes to reach their hideouts either in south Bhutan or neighbouring Bangladesh,” a senior police official said.