The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Phantom rallyists fox MCC hunters

Dhanbad, Oct. 31: The detention of over 200 people on their way to a seminar in Calcutta has prompted police to suspect that the banned MCC has floated several fora to stay in touch with the mainstream.

The impromptu fora are believed to be focusing on holding seminars, symposia and mass rallies dodging the police.

The police had recently detained nearly 200 persons from the extremist-affected areas of the neighbouring Giridih district while they were going to Calcutta to attend a seminar and rally organised by the Struggling Forum for People’s Resistance on October 27. Naxalite literature, banners, posters, food items and medicines were seized from them.

According to the Govindpur police station officer-in-charge, Mukut Dhari Mahato, there were about 150 men, 40 women and seven children. A few were also detained in other parts of the district.

Despite interrogation, they refused to divulge at whose behest they were going to Calcutta. “When all were going, I too joined them,” was their standard reply.

Though most of them were sent home after a few hours, 36 were held back for further interrogation. Senior police officers from special branch and Giridih questioned them for several hours. They, too, were eventually freed. “We cannot put anyone behind the bars, without justified reasons. Their real identity could not be established despite our best efforts,” district police superintendent Murarilal Meena said.

A handbill recovered from them appealed to all sections of the society, especially women, to fight the capitalist forces and the feudal order. It also expressed grave concern over the country’s economic policy and industrial scenario, and called for “revolutionary campaigns” at all levels.

Sources said the MCC was reviewing the lapses that caused it recent losses. “It has also been decided to punish the police informers and the erring cadres engaged in anti-party activities. They have also restructured their organisation in certain districts,” the sources added.

The police claimed that the MCC’s bid to “infiltrate” the mainstream is an admission that its underground activities have come under pressure. Chief minister Babulal Marandi had been saying that the extremists were on the run.

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