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Maoists ready to face any offensive
Published on 27 Sep. 2009 12:48 AM IST
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“The Centre and the West Bengal government willing, our movement in Lalgarh on people’s behalf will continue for another three years or maybe even 30 years. The onus is on the government to choose what it wants,” said the top Maoist leader Koteswar Molajella Rao, alias Kishanji. He was responding to the State government’s decision to seek additional Central forces to flush out Maoists from the Lalgarh region. Speaking to The Hindu over telephone from an undisclosed spot in the Lalgarh area on Friday, Kishanji, who is a member of the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), said: “Let the State government send as many contingents of Central forces as they want to to Lalgarh, I can assure them that none in the force will go back home.” On the Centre’s decision to escalate its war against the Maoists, he said: “The decision was made public immediately after Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s return from his recent U.S.A visit. “It indicates that the Pentagon has dictated the decision and we have evidence to support that… I want to tell the Centre that we are prepared to face any offensive at any moment.” Nationwide shutdown Tribal leader Chhattradhar Mahato, chief of a Maoist-backed group at the forefront of a violent agitation in this trouble-torn belt of West Bengal, was arrested Saturday. Mahato, leader of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), was nabbed from Birkara near the headquarters of Lalgarh block of West Midnapur district, Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Surajit Kar Purkayastha told IANS. Following his arrest, the Maoists called for a nationwide shutdown Oct 3. Apart from protesting the “unethical” arrest of Mahato, Maoist leader Kishanjee also voiced his anguish at the central government “refusing to give medical aid” to Kobad Gandhi, a top leader of the outfit who has a heart ailment. Gandhi, in charge of spreading the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist’s influence in urban areas, was arrested in New Delhi Sep 21. Kishanjee said the shutdown was also against the atrocities by the security forces at Sundargarh and Koraput of Orissa, and the torture of locals by the CRPF’s elite unit Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) in Chhattisgarh. He also protested against the central government’s plans to deploy special forces against the Maoists.

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