Maoists Use Tribes as Human-shield to Fight Security Forces

Maoists rebels who have surrounded two police station areas in West Midnapore district of West Bengal have put a three tier human shield with the help of tribes supporting them as paralmiltary forces plan a crackdown on the rebels.

“The Maoists have formed a three-tier human shield with women and children in the vanguard, men behind them and armed naxals forming the rearguard,” informed a senior police official involved in the drawing up strategies against the agitators in Lalgarh.

He said that the police have pulled out of camps fearing looting of arms with the tribals under the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities demolishing and torching empty camps in the past few days.

According to him, Maoist action squad leader, known as Bikash, and his men were patrolling roads between Lalgarh and Belpahari armed with AK47s.

Last night the tribals set ablaze CPI(M) party offices in Lalgarh and Belatikri and dug up roads leading to Lalgarh from Dharampur, Goaltore and Pirakata to prevent entry of central forces.

The digging up of roads and felling of trees was a tactic deployed since November last year by the tribals when they went on the warpath after police raids on their homes.

The police made the raids following a landmine blast at Salboni on November 2 in which West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and two then union ministers Ramvilas Paswan and Jitindra Prasad narrowly escaped.

Five CPI(M) men have already been killed and four were missing after clashes with tribals in the past few days, while three more, including a marxist local leader were shot dead on Wednesday morning at Bankasole.

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