The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Naxalite terror alarm rings
- Intelligence warns of post-Puja blasts, attacks

Midnapore, Oct. 6: Apparently irked by the government's unwillingness to initiate a dialogue with them, guerrillas of the People's War and the Maoist Communist Centre, active in the jungles of West Midnapore, are waiting to unleash terror.

This was revealed by intelligence agencies, which added that the Naxalites might engineer blasts and killings after the Pujas.

District superintendent of police Vineet Goyal said they recovered two landmines and papers containing explosives formulae during a raid in August in the jungles of Lalgarh.

'We have information there are large amounts of explosives tucked away in the jungles. We also have reports that the PW-MCC is drawing up a hit-list. We are very alert,' he added.

'We have recovered a notebook during a raid in the jungles which contains various formulae for preparing landmines. We have interrogated some people and found that teams of guerrillas have interviewed villagers for names of CPM leaders, their popularity, contacts and attitude towards the common people,' said an intelligence official.

The notebook also mentions that the guerrillas have plans to use RDX.

The landmines recovered so far contained a potent combination of potassium nitrate, sulphur and nitric acid. Gelatine sticks were also used.

Since 1999, at least 10 local CPM leaders have been killed by alleged Naxalites in Belpahari, Salboni, Goaltore and Garbeta areas. About a dozen landmines had been recovered from these areas over the past four years.

In February this year, five Eastern Frontier Rifles jawans, two police officers and a driver were killed in a landmine explosion in Belpahari, 200 km from Calcutta.

The CPM, too, is collecting information on the guerrillas through its own network of informers.

'The guerrillas are active in the Churimara, Daldali, Amjharna, Dhobakacha and Purnapani areas of Belpahari. We have information that a group of at least 30 has spread out in these areas and many of them are Telugu-speaking,' said Dahareswar Sen, district CPM secretariat member.

Intelligence sources said the number Naxalite activists is swelling in the district with many coming from Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.

'While a year ago, the number of PW-MCC activists was about 40 in the district, now there are about 90 of them. A large number of them are in the jungles of Lalgarh and Salboni,' said an official.

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