Centre closely monitoring West Bengal situation

In the wake of fresh political violence in West Bengal, the Centre is closely monitoring the situation and is in constant touch with the state government to ensure security in the troubled-torn areas.

Last Updated: Jan 07, 2011, 19:57 PM IST

New Delhi: In the wake of fresh political
violence in West Bengal, the Centre is closely monitoring the
situation and is in constant touch with the state government
to ensure security in the troubled-torn areas.

The Home Ministry is in constant touch with the
government and received a preliminary report about the Lalgarh
incident where six persons, including a woman, were killed and
over 20 injured when suspected armed CPI-M cadres fired upon
them today.
The villagers suspecting that a house was being used
by CPI-M cadre as a camp gheraoed it but were fired from
inside at Netai village in Belatikri gram panchayat in Lalgarh
police station area, leading to the casualties.

Sources said enough central paramilitary forces were
stationed in violence-hit West Midnapore district to assist
West Bengal Police to deal with the law and order situation
there and it was up to the state government for their optimum
utilisation to curb violence and maintain peace.

The fresh violence came days after a "letter war"
between Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and Chief Minister
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on the unabated killing of political
workers in West Bengal, in the run up to the Assembly
elections which are due in May.

In a letter to Bhattacharjee on December 22,
Chidambaram questioned West Bengal government on its use of
central forces in the state saying the killing of activists of
political parties point to a "virtual collapse" of law and
order there.
Chidambaram`s strong letter to Bhattacharjee came
after ally Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee alleging
misuse of central security forces in the state and offering to
quit if her charge was proved wrong.

The home minister had also asked the state government
to ensure that the armed cadres belonging to `harmad vahini`
(looters and pirates) are "immediately disarmed and
demobilised".

Bhattacharjee and CPI-M hit back at the home minister,
accusing him of being "partisan" with a motive to "please"
Trinamool Congress and serve its "political interests". He
also objected Chidambaram`s use of the word `harmad` saying it
was a "nasty" word.

Later, in another letter Chidambaram invited
Bhattacharjee to New Delhi for a frank discuss on this
extremely sensitive issue and agree upon the way forward.

PTI