Talks fail as tribal leaders remain adamant

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Lalgarh, Nov 14 (UNI) The truce meeting between the district administration and religious outfits of the tribals ended in smoke here today with the leaders remaining adamant and placing ''impossible'' demands, District Magistrate N S Nigam said.

Thus the nine-day siege of the entire Lalgarh block as well as the road blockade in Jhargram town for the past two days continued as usual. Ten tribal leaders joining the meeting, however, said they would need 48 hours more to reconsider the situation.

Mr Nigam said, '' Practically nothing has come out of the Lalgarh meeting as the tribal leaders have placed a ten-point charter of demands most of which are impossible. '' '' Demands like withdrawal of all cases against Sasadhar Mahato and Suchitra Mahato, the two most wanted Maoists, withdrawal of all police camps from Maoist areas and release of all arrested in connection with the blast incident cannot be adhered to. We are, however, sympathetic to the demand of free treatment of those women, injured in Chhoto Pelia village under Lalgarh police station during police operation. '' He said action would be taken if any definite complaint was submitted.

Meanwhile, about 250 Maoists covering their faces with black clothes and led by their Lady Action Commander Jaba Mahato marched through the streets of Bhulaveda this afternoon, demanding immediate withdrawal of all police camps under Belpahari police station.

The protagonists then disappeared in the adjoining forest area bordering Jharkhand. There was no police to be found anywhere.

Yet another shock for the district police administration came from the judiciary in Midnapur. Out of seven tribals, arrested by police in connection with the blast on November two, five were given bail on a surety of Rs 300 each by Chief Judicial Magistrate Narendra Nath Dasgupta in Midnapur District and Sessions Judges court.

Investigating Officer of the case Purna Shib Mukharjee of the Sadar Kotowali Police Station was issued showcause by the Judge for not submitting the case diary.

Only two of the arrested Bhagbat Hansda, a Jharkhand Party Panchayet Pradhan of Andhariya Gram Panchayet and Sunil Hansda from whom the SP claimed to have recovered two sophisticated pistols with some cartridges were remanded in police custody for three days only.

The road blockade from Jhargram to Dahijuri was, however, lifted this morning. But the major link towards Kolkata Via NH 6 (Mumbai Road) still remained snapped as the blockade near Kalaboni still continued.

The tribal leaders, however, said they would need at least 48 hours to discuss the suggestions of the district administration in today's meeting, but the SP himself should come to Dalilpur at Lalgarh, where from the present movement started, to listen to their decisions.


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