West Bengal villagers protest Chidambaram's Lalgarh visit

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Lalgarh (West Bengal), Apr 4 (ANI): The residents of Salboni village in West Bengal's Lalgarh District on Sunday held a demonstration opposing the visit of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in the region.

Many villagers, who support suspected Maoist rebels, took part in the protest.

Effigies of Chidambaram were burnt amid slogans asking the minister to go back.

The Home Minister's visit has upset the locals, as they oppose the joint forces operation against Maoists.

"We just want to say, 'Go back, Chidambaram!' We want peace and want them (Indian government) to withdraw joint forces. We can't enter jungle areas although we are the resident there. We don't even have food to eat," said Kamala Sing, a villager.

Chidambaram reached Maoist-hit Lalgarh in West Midnapore district on Sunday morning on his two-day visit to assess the ongoing joint operations against the Maoists.

He arrived here in a helicopter at around 8 a.m. accompanied by West Bengal Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen and Director General of Police (DGP) Bhupinder Singh.

It has been reported that Chidambaram held a high-level meeting with the DGP, Home Secretary and top Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officials at the Lalgarh police station.

Earlier on Saturday, he held a meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, to take a stock of the joint anti-Maoist operations.

This is the first time that Chidambaram is visiting a Maoist stronghold since the launch of "Operation Green Hunt." (ANI)

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