The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Police sit up after MCC strike

Purulia, June 12: Police have set up a camp at an unauthorised building erected by the Ananda Margis in Bansgarh, outside which the Maoist Communist Centre had set off an explosion last Friday.

Rattled by the blast, the district administration and law enforcement agencies are now busy working out counter strategies.

The concrete structure built about five years ago on government land is set on high ground surrounded by hills and forest, about 2 km from the Jharkhand border. The only landlord in the region, Jagadish Tiwary, was beheaded by an MCC-led mob in November, metres beyond the building.

The dirt-road common to both addresses was patrolled by the police over the past six months. After a high-level police meeting at the district headquarters yesterday, a 24-hour police camp has been posted there.

“The personnel have been drawn from various units and will be stationed there as long as it is required,” said district superintendent of police V.K. Goyal.

Since Tiwary’s murder, a seven-member patrol comprising policemen of the 13th battalion of the state armed police was responsible for securing the area. But last week’s blast — the first such to be detonated by extremists in south Bengal — has sounded alarm bells.

“It is a serious development and a reminder that these organisations are still active in the area,” said district magistrate D.P. Jana. “I gave the police permission to set up the camp in the building,” he said.

The magistrate could give the permission because the Ananda Margi building is on a plot that belongs to the collectorate.

“Records show that the land belongs to the government. There is no documentation whatsoever that says the land has been given on lease or sold outright to the Ananda Margis,” said Jana.

The question, then, is how the cult, popular in pockets of the district for their schools and other charitable outlets, could build the huge structure without the administration knowing of it.

“Bansgarh is a remote location and added to this is the possibility that the administration as well as the villagers let it be thinking that the building could be used for the welfare of people,” Jana justified.

Email This Page