WB signals intensified operations in Junglemahal

The West Bengal government has recalled senior IPS officer Manoj Verma as Superintendent of Police, Counter Insurgency Force.

Last Updated: Nov 15, 2011, 16:02 PM IST

Kolkata: Signalling stepped up operations
in Junglemahal after withdrawal of the offer of ceasefire by
the Maoists and the killing of two Trinamool Congressmen, the
West Bengal government has recalled senior IPS officer Manoj
Verma as Superintendent of Police, Counter Insurgency Force.

Additional Director General of Police Law and Order
Surojit Kar Purakayastha said that Manoj Verma was
appointed SP, CIF on Friday and took over the charge
yesterday.

Verma, who had headed the anti-Maoist operations in
Junglemahal as the former superintendent of police of West
Midnapore district, had been sent on compulsory wait soon after
the Mamata Banerjee government took over power in the state.

Two Trinamool Congress workers Ajit Singh Sardar and
his son Baku Singh Sardar were shot dead by ultras at
Ghatbera in Purulia district last night, shortly after Maoist
State Secretary Akash withdrew the unilateral offer of
ceasefire to the state government.

Ajit and Baku were the father and brother of Rajen
Singh Sardar, a key organiser of a Trinamool Congress-backed
anti-Maoist vigilante group in the district.

An encounter subsequently took place between the joint
forces, including the COBRA forces and Maoists, in which two
of the ultras were killed and their bodies recovered today,
Inspector General of Police, Western Range, Gangeswar Singh
said.

Two joint force personnel were injured in the
encounter, who were taken to Ranchi in neighbouring Jharkhand
for medical assistance.

It was suspected that the Maoists were led by Ranjit
Pal, leader of the Ayodhya squad, which also included four or
five women.

An SLR and a .303 rifle were found from the spot.

A letter written to the government-appointed
interlocutors yesterday by Akash alleged that the
administration was trying to set up Salwa Judum in the state
in the guise of appointment of tribals as policemen.

Reacting to the killing of the two party workers,
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had given an ultimatum to
the Maoists to lay down arms, said that the ultras had been
given five months time by suspending anti-Maoist operations.

Stating that the killers would not be spared, Banerjee
said that joint operations would begin afresh.

PTI