Maoist sympathisers burn effigies of PC, Buddhadeb



Kolkata: Hundreds of Maoist sympathisers, including intellectuals led by noted writer Mahasweta Devi, today jostled with the police and burnt effigies of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee while a meeting to discuss strategy to combat the extremists was on in the metropolis.

Shouting anti-government slogans, the sympathisers paraded the city streets protesting against the proposed 'Operation Greenhunt' and demanded an end to "torture of innocent people in the name of combating Maoists".

Mahasweta Devi, however, left the rally soon after it left the College square area and proceeded towards Esplanade.

As the procession moved towards Esplanade, the agitators were prevented by the police to move further.

Traffic was disrupted near Dorina crossing area due to the procession, police said.

Meanwhile, unprecedented security measures were taken in and around the state secretariat where the crucial meeting, presided over by Chidambaram, took place.

Policemen threw a human chain to guard the area leading to the VVIP zone and the Chief Minister's office.

Scanners were installed at the central gate and sniffer dogs were engaged as part of the enhanced security drill at the venue where all visitors were frisked.

PTI