Women Maoists play key role in Shilda attack
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Last Updated: Tuesday, February 16, 2010, 23:19
Shilda (WB): The women power among Maoists came to the fore once again as it played a key role in executing the attack on Eastern Front Rifles camp here last night.

If four months ago a Maoist squad, led by a woman, had kidnapped policeman Atindranath Dutta on October 20, in the latest assault, the women not only did the recce but it was a woman from Jharkhand who had led an entire platoon that attacked the Shilda camp of the EFR housed in the premises of a Primary Health Centre.

According to a top level district police source, three women, disguised as tribal dancers, came to the spot in the morning, danced and collected money from shop-owners and local businessmen.

"They entered the camp pleading they didn't have anything to eat and so we offered them food and after eating them they went away," an injured EFR jawan being treated at Jhargram sub-divisional hospital said on condition of anonymity.

They left the place at around 11 in the morning and the deadly attack took place at 4. 45 in the evening resulting in 24 jawans killed, a district police source said.

According to district intelligence sources, the three women did the final reccee before launching the attack. A man was there but he waited nearby at a road intersection for the women to come back.

"According to information available, the lady who looked hardly 32 years old came from Jharkhand and was perhaps new in the area," a senior district police officer said.

Asked if known Maoist commandos were on the strike, the officer said "commanders like Sasadhar Mahato and Jagori Baske were there in the platoon but they didn't lead the team."

Sasadhar is the brother of Chattradhar Mahato - the PCPA leader arrested by the police and Jagori Baske - the lady who had led the attack at Sankrail in West Midnapore district police station and abducted Atindranath Dutta who was later released.

The three roads - the State Highway nine which goes from Jhargram to Shilda, the road from Bankura and the road that goes from Shilda to Midnapur via Naranpur - were all chock-a-block with mines.

"The mines were planted mainly at Fulkusuma, Malabati and Naranpur and roads were blocked by felled trees and naturally the police had to tread carefully through the kutcha road, leaving the metal road. So, it took at least four hours to reach the spot. The Maoists had enough time to flee," the officer said.

''The Maoists had enough information about the jawans and the camp because they initially destroyed 13 out of 20 smaller camps inside by throwing mortars, and petrol bombs," the officer said.

''Then they entered the camp through all the three gates and fired at the jawans from all sides leaving the inmates not even a slightest opportunity to defend themselves,'' the officer said.


First Published: Tuesday, February 16, 2010, 23:19

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