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Somewhere in Maoist hotbed, in Banduan, Purulia, West

Written by: Staff

Bengal, Apr 16 (UNI) Taken blindfolded inside the maze of a forest by riding the carrier of a cycle and then walking, one can not but keep blinking sometime before finding a band of non-descript people sitting in a clearing.

As one strains a little to have a closer look they appeared clad in soiled trousers and T-shirts, their faces straight and all staring at you.

The guns strapped to the shoulders of few of them send an unmistakable message that they are the dreaded Maoists operating in three South Bengal districts bordering Jharkhand.

Breaking the silence, one of them (name not known) reminded this correspondent in Bengali, the condition for appointment, that they could give maximum of five minutes for answering queries before moving to some other place and they wanted to be straight into business.

''What they wanted? Why violence?'' was the first question.

''It's our tactical line. We are working for the poorest and this is the way we can shake the administration and instill confidence among the people,'' the supposed leader said.

The fixer, who arranged the brief encounter, had told this correspondent that a deputy commander would be there.

The man, seemingly in his forties-- rugged, tanned but otherwise looking innocuous except for his imposing stares claimed that the fact they had been successfully operating proved they had the support of the local people.

''They call us the 'Bon party' (a party having base in the forest). They know nothing of our ideology a bnd strategy but they undertsand that we are for them,'' he said.

In reply to a question on killing of individuals and CPI(M) workers, most of them poor people, he alleged that CPI(M) had assumed the role of a protector of the system and the assault was against that.

''What had the CPI(M) government done for the marginal people? They have been caught in the lure of Parliamentary democracy. That is why we have called for boycotting polls in some areas. People must realise that it is a farce because it is not for all sections of people.'' The place was not far from where the Maoists had burnt alive local CPI(M) leader Rabindranath Kar and his wife by setting on fire their house.


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