The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Naxalite scanner on police excesses

Calcutta, Sept. 3: Leaders of eight Naxalite factions, including the CPI-ML (Liberation), will soon tour East and West Midnapore districts to verify reports of police excesses on their activists in the wake of the police campaign against the People’s War.

“We don’t support the People’s War line and condemn the killings of CPM leaders and workers by their activists. But we have information that police is picking up our activists by branding them People’s War cadres and implicating them falsely,” Kartick Pal, CPI-ML (Liberation) leader, said today.

All the eight Naxalite factions have condemned the elimination of CPM leaders by People’s War activists in the two districts of Midnapore. At the same time, they have opposed chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s decision to give police a free hand in tackling the People’s War cadres.

“Anil Biswas (state CPM secretary) is saying that they will fight forces like People’s War and KLO politically. But the chief minister has already given a green signal to police to initiate any measure they consider fit to tackle the activists. This is nothing but a farce,” said a Naxalite leader.

CPM insiders said the party is delighted with the Naxalites’ decision. A couple of weeks ago, Biswas had visited the CPI-ML (Liberation) office to convince Pal to fight the ultra Left forces unitedly. It is not known whether Pal agreed to Biswas’ proposal as both leaders refused to say what they talked about.

It seems the CPM has realised that it will be easier for them to tackle the People’s War if they manage to bring all the Naxalite forces on their side. Many of these factions have also often assailed the People’s War for attacking their supporters.

The largest constituent of the ruling Left Front also feels that the People’s War activists have secret links with these factions since all the groups had their origin in the Naxalite movement of the mid 70s.

A coordinated effort with the factions to rein in the People’s War will also enable the CPM to keep their promise of fighting the ultra Left forces politically.

The CPM has ruled out the possibility of banning the People’s War and Maoist Communist Centre in West Bengal as Andhra Pradesh has already done.

Moreover, since the CPM is undecided on introducing the tough Prevention of Organised Crime Act, the party and government have no alternative but to fight the rebels politically.

But the CPM is split on the help they will receive from the eight Naxalite factions. Though a majority of its leaders feel the party will benefit, a section is of the opinion that the Naxalites will not provide any effective help because they still have a soft corner for the People’s War and the MCC.

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