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Cop camp shift demand

Lalgarh, Feb. 5: Tribal leaders today decided to launch a movement for the removal of two police camps here for “doing nothing to protect the tribals”.

One camp, in Ramgarh, houses 120 CRPF personnel and the other, in Kalaimuri, 80 Indian Reserve Battalion personnel.

Chhatradhar Mahato, the leader of the Peoples’ Committee Against Police Atrocities, said the decision was taken because of the “total inaction of the police while our people were being killed by CPM goons”.

“Three innocent tribals have been shot in front of the police,” Mahato said. “Instead of arresting the culprits, the police provided them safe passage. So we do not trust the police, nor can we hope they will ensure our protection. There is a nexus between the police and the CPM. Monday’s firing was a clear example of this. So we don’t require them here any more.”

Three tribals were killed in a clash between a resistance group and CPM activists carrying the body of a leader slain by suspected Maoists in Khas Jangal in West Midnapore on Monday.

Mahato said there would be a meeting soon to decide when to launch the movement. “We have decided to chase them away very soon. If they don’t go, we will pull them out of their camps,” Mahato said.

In December 2008, following persistent demands from the tribals, the Ramgarh police camp was shifted out of Lalgarh. However, a week later, it was shifted back following a meeting between the administration and the tribal leaders.

Today’s announcement came at a “protest meeting” of the committee at Belatikri, attended by around 1,000 tribals.

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