Tribals agitate in West Bengal against occupation of schools by security forces

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Midnapore (West Bengal), July 21 (ANI): Dozens were injured as security personnel caned and fired tear gas at tribals who staged a protest against the use of an institute as a camp by security forces in Dharampur region of Midnapore district in West Bengal on Monday.

Officials tried to negotiate a peaceful settlement but talks failed, resulting in clashes prompting the police to resort to baton-charge.

Forces deployed in the Lalgarh area to fight Maoist rebels have set up camps in several school campuses.

Locals say that school children have been missing classes and exams due to the problem.

Reportedly the People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA), an organisation supporting Maoist rebels, has been provoking villagers and choolchildren to oppose the forces on this issue.

"We want to alert the Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, if he thinks that repeated use of police force can solve the matter then he is wrong. We will not tolerate police atrocities. If things continue like this, we will retaliate," said, Mahato, PCPA leader.

Maoist rebels in West Bengal last month declared a "liberated zone", sparking unease among investors in the communist-ruled state.

Hundreds of troops were deployed to push back the rebels, who are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and the disenfranchised. (ANI)

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