Purulia, Dec. 3: The manner in which Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) activists carried out last week’s gruesome attack at Bansgarh village in Jhalda block, bordering Jharkhand, has set alarm bells ringing in the district administration.
“This is the first official attack by the MCC in a demonstrative manner in the district,” said district magistrate D.P. Jana. “There is a strong possibility that there was local connivance. We are taking measures to counter the MCC threat,” he said.
Several meetings have been held to chalk out a series of measures. Jana is meeting the home secretary tomorrow at Writers’ Buildings to submit a comprehensive report on the situation, including the possible reasons that led to the attack and the plan of action drawn up. The report includes a detailed account by district superintendent of police V.K. Goyal.
Sources said the administration’s measures are based on the strong likelihood that the attack, in which a landlord was beheaded on November 26, stemmed from the economic divide. Most of the villagers in the surrounding areas are much worse off than the family of Jagadish Tiwary, the murdered landlord, who was also a member of the local forest management group.
The radical MCC activists are known to exploit the backwardness of the population in a particular area and create mistrust and incite people against the government. The Tiwary household was looted, and among the items taken away were solar lights, generator sets, sewing machines, TVs, jewellery and property deeds. Two rifles were also snatched.
Incidentally, Bansgarh village is just 2 km from the spot where the famous Purulia arms drop took place in 1995, police said. According to some witnesses to last week’s crime, the activists had demanded that Tiwary give them the AK-47s they thought he had from the drop. Instead, they found a double-barrelled gun and another rifle.
The district magistrate will request the home department to commission the new police station at Kotshila near the spot of the crime and fill the police vacancies, which include 100 constables, 15 sub-inspectors and 15 assistant sub-inspectors. Effective steps for intelligence gathering are also needed.
Three policemen, including an assistant sub-inspector, were suspended in Diamond Harbour in South 24-Parganas today after complaints of immoral trafficking came in against them.
Sub-divisional police officer Mehmood Akhtar said the three policemen had gone to a resort with prostitutes on Saturday with three friends.