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WB govt let off Naxal chief Kishenji
New Delhi, FEB 18 (AGENCIES)
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Published on 19 Feb. 2010 12:23 AM IST
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In an exclusive intelligence report to which CNN-IBN has access to, it is revealed that the dreaded Naxal leader Koteshwar Rao alias Kishenji could have been let off by the West Bengal government. The details of the report indicate that Kishenji was in Sirsi village, just 3 kilometers away from Midnapore town when the Naxal attack was going on in Silda on Monday, February 15. The attack killed 24 EFR jawans. The intelligence traced his phone calls and passed on his (Kishenji’s) coordinates to the state police, which surprisingly chose not to act on the intelligence information. Intelligence was able to track down Kishneji by tracking his phone calls to journalists, claiming the attack. Earlier CNN-IBN had reported of the intelligence warning about a possible Naxal attack in Sildah to the West Bengal government. The intelligence input was specific and could have prevented the attack. The state intelligence had sent two specific alerts to the government on November 23, 2009 and February 13, 2010 “Mobile squad of Maoists is planning to attack Sildah camp of the joint forces,” said one alert. Another intelligence alert warned that Naxals were infiltrating among students in Sildah College. All joint forces camps required to have two local police officers present at all times. However, the local police officers posted in Sildah camp left just 30 minutes before the attack. The interrogation of local police officers has revealed discrepancies in their statements. Bullets fired by Naxals during the attack were those that are used by the state police, leading officials to suspect that ammunition from the district police armoury reached Naxals. Meanwhile, West Bengal’s home secretary Ardhendu Sen said, “There had been some intelligence inputs and the troops should have been more alert. However, the exact site of the attack was not known. It is not true that the EFR jawans did not retaliate but it cannot be denied that there were several security lapses and a departmental inquiry is going to be held.” The home secretary’s statement comes a day after Bengal’s top cop said that there was an intelligence failure. West Bengal Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh had said, “Because it is not expected that inside the town the Naxals would enter in the numbers that they did and attacked.” Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has said there were “signs of failure” in how police were caught off-guard in a camp described as a “picnic spot.”

 
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