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Maoists demand release of cadres in exchange of cops

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 14:56

Zeenews Bureau

Midnapore (WB): Maoists on Wednesday demanded the release of their comrades in exchange for the 2 policemen they kidnapped on Tuesday from a police station near Lalgarh in West Midnapore district of West Bengal.

At least 50 armed Maoists, including women, rode up on motorbikes to the police station in Jhargram subdivision where Lalgarh is also located, and opened fire killing the second officer Dibakar Bhattacharya and kidnapped officer-in-charge Atindranath Dutta and an assistant sub-inspector Swapan Roy, the police said.

They were also reported to have looted arms and ammunition from the police station which is surrounded by jungles. The policeman killed in the attack was identified as assistant sub-inspector Dibakar Bhattacharjee and the two kidnapped as Sub-Inspector Atin Dutta and Assistant Sub-Inspector Swapan Roy.

The Maoists, who came in a group and on motorcycles, are believed to have escaped into the jungles in Orissa. Naxal boss Koteshwar Rao or Kishenaji had demanded on Tuesday that his men be released in exchange of the cops. He had assured the cops will not be killed, while accepting that beheaded Jharkhand cop Induwar Francis last month.

One of the kidnapped cops` family members
met West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who
assured that the matter was being looked into.

Indrani, the wife of officer-in-charge of Sankrail
police station Atindranath Dutta, said they had conveyed to
the Chief Minister Maoist leader Kishenji`s demand that women
arrested by joint forces in West Midnapore district be
released immediately.

Dutta`s father, who along with the abducted officer`s
2-year-old daughter had also met Bhattacharjee, said that the
chief minister gave an assurance that his government was
looking into the matter.

"We hope that Kishenji will also keep his word that
their hostage is safe," he said.

The CM assured swift action and said another cop will not be sacrificed after Francis` murder.

Home Minister P Chidambaram had yesterday said the Centre was ready for talks with Maoists if they abjured violence.

First Published: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 14:56

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