Maoists regrouping in ''junglemahal''

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Maoists
Kolkata, Aug 3: Top Maoist leader Kishenji has again become active in West Bengal's ''junglemahal'' area, according to intelligence reports.

"Kishenji was present in more than one meeting held in Lalgarh and adjacent areas in West Midnapore district in the last half of June, in all probability on June 22 and 23," the reports said.

The Maoists taking advantage of the joint operations coming to a virtual standstill and six teams of CoBRA moving to Jharkhand have begun holding meetings.

PCPA chief Asit Mahato and secretary Manoj Mahato held a meeting at Bakisol area in Jhargram while Suchitra Mahato the wife of Maoist leader Sasadhar Mahato, who was killed in a police encounter, held another on June 5, according to the reports.

Maoist spokesperson Akash alias Mansaram Hembram and another leader Bikas organised a series of meetings in Lakhanpur, Bagjhora and Madhupur all in Jhargram subdivision on June 15, it said.

"A week ago, the Maoists held a condolence meeting at the Kantapahari school grounds for Sidhu Soren, a squad member killed in a police encounter, where all major Maoist leaders of the state were present," they said.

Asked whether this pointed to the Maoists regrouping, the intelligence sources said, "It indicates that they are reorganising and restructuring the party which was dismantled by the joint operations in the past two years."

Eight Maoist squads headed by Suchitra, Bikash and Akash have become active since the regular searches by the joint forces came to a halt, the report said.

A CRPF official said that six of the 18 CoBRA teams in junglemahal have been shifted to neighbouring Jharkhand.

The West Bengal government has recently given a call to the Maoists to lay down arms for which a rehabilitation package would be provided and their families looked after.

PTI

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