The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CM rings ISI arms school alarm

Calcutta, Dec. 12: Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today told the Assembly that the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence is providing arms training to the KLO, Ulfa and Bodo militants in 11 pockets in north Bengal and the border areas of Bhutan and Nepal.

“I had a talk with deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani on the issue. The Centre has assured us all co-operation in dismantling such camps,” Bhattacharjee said while replying to a calling-attention motion moved by Somen Mitra, Abdul Mannan and other Congress MLAs.

Bhattacharjee claimed that the People’s War and the Maoist Communist Centre activists in the two Midnapores and Purulia had lost ground and were not in position to hold secret meetings in the villages following stepped-up police vigil and the government’s efforts to provide civic amenities to the people.

“These forces used to exploit the extreme poverty of the villagers in these districts to strengthen their organisations. Now they are isolated as they believe in the politics of murder and terror,” the chief minister said.

The government has set up a Paschimanchal Unnayan Parshad for carrying out overall development of these districts and had recently sanctioned Rs 3 crore each for Purulia and Bankura. The parshad is working hard to implement a water supply project at a cost of Rs 4 crore.

The villagers, Bhattacharjee said, had realised the “sincere efforts” of the government and rejected the Naxalites.

The chief minister said the MCC and PW activists who used to operate in these districts had no links with the Naxalbari movement of the late Sixties and had their headquarters in Andhra Pradesh.

Bhattacharjee denied allegations made by Congress MLA Asit Mal that the police in the two Midnapore districts had been torturing common people in the name of suppressing the activities of the rebels.

In Midnapore, 268 people had been arrested for links with the Naxalite outfits. In Bankura, 160 were held. “Most of these arrests were made on specific charges and the police are not torturing common people,” he added. Bhattacharjee said the MCC is active in Khanakul in Hooghly, but the police are alert.

Border curb

Following the recent arrests of defence personnel for alleged links with the ISI, the Murshidabad administration has decided to step up vigil in areas along the Indo-Bangla border, reports out correspondent.

After a meeting with senior officers of the Border Security Force, the district administration has decided to promulgate Section 144 in the areas between the zero point of the border to 3 km inside the country. The prohibitory order will be valid from dawn to dusk. Restrictions on movements in the areas during nights are already on.

The district magistrate, the superintendent of police and senior officials of BSF attended the meeting. “This is the first time we have decided to promulgate Section 144 from dawn to dusk. Earlier, the security measures had been tightened to maintain vigil only during the night, said the district magistrate.

, after the meeting.

Today’s meeting was convened to take stock of the situation in the border areas following arrest of two persons including a army jawan from the zero point two days ago.

“The local police stations have been asked to ensure that the local not a single person is allowed to violate the orders,” Panth said.

In all nine police station areas falls in the border between Murshidabad and Bangladesh covering a stretch of 105 kilometers.

The locals, mostly farmers come out at dawn to till their fields and the fishermen emerge at night to get into their boats in the Padma.

But from now no one will be allowed to come out in large groups. “In order to get over the language problem between the villagers and the BSF jawans, we have formed local committees comprising the panchayat and the block development officers to sort out differences,” Panth said.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is scheduled to visit the district on December 15 and the BSF has been asked to be especially vigilant during that time. Bhattacharjee is expected to address a public rally at the grounds of the Nabagram High School.


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