Maoists attack West Bengal security camp after offering ceasefire

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Kolkata, Feb 23 (ANI): Hours after offering a 72-day long ceasefire with the Central Government starting from February 26, Maoists attacked the Kantapahari camp of the security forces in West Midnapore district.

Maoist attack took place on Monday night in the Naxalite stronghold of Kantapahari.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Manoj Verma said, "Maoist-backed People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) members assembled near the Kantapahari camp of the forces and fired, prompting the jawans to challenge them."

"The PCPA members, with a number of Maoists among them, obviously had plans to attack the Kantapahari camp but the jawans were alert and repulsed them," added Verma.

More forces have been dispatched to the area, said Verma adding that there are reports of a PCPA member being killed in the gun battle between the security forces and the Maoists.

Top Maoist leader Mallojula Koteshwar Rao alias Kishenji had on Monday evening offered a 72-day long ceasefire with the Central Government starting from February 26.

Speaking to a private news channel, Rao had said that talks with the government could take place only if it stops the ongoing anti-Naxal operation.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had on Saturday said that the government would reach out the negotiating table even if the Maoists adjourn violence for at least 72 hours.

Earlier this month, Maoists general secretary Ganapathy had said that they were ready for talks only if the government releases arrested Naxal leaders. (ANI)

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