Dismissing all rumours that had been spread about ‘regrouping’ of some top Maoist leaders in Jangalmahal area a few weeks ago, a recce conducted by the state Intellegence Bureau (IB) just ahead of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s recent visit to Khatra in Bankura revealed that there is no trace of any Left wing extremists in the area.
Restoring peace in Jangalmahal and Darjeeling were two of the biggest successes of the Mamata Banerjee government, after coming to power in 2011.
Places in Purulia, Bankura, West Midnapore and Jhargram had been notorious in the news for bloodshed for nearly a decade till 2011.
The places become free of Maoist insurgency with the killing of Maoist leader Kishenji. Adding to this, the state government carried out massive development works.
According to sources in the intelligence agency, the recce was conducted in the areas including Ranibandh, Sarenga, Belpahari and Raipur. The officers went to the areas prepared for any contigency after getting wind of reports about movement of Maoist leaders from Jharkhand to some of its adjacent villages situated in Bengal.
However, sources said that “no adversity was found” during the recce conducted by the intellegence officers. The officers found the area peaceful as it had been the last four years. People could also move around freely after sunset.
In recent times, it has been seen that gaining the faith of a section of local people is a part of tactics used by extremist groups to either to create a base or for regrouping. The Maoists too, reportedly, follow the same to regroup in Jangalmahal area.
However, investigating officers did not get any reports on attempts to approach villagers with such a motive. The officers felt that the situation in Jangalmahal is not favourable for Maoists as local people do not show them any sympathy, fearing it will again lead to bloodshed after an all-round development in the area under the leadership of the Chief Minister.
Subsequently, a report was also placed before the top brass of the state government stating that “no adversity was found”.
It may be recalled that on December 19, the Chief Minister said in a public meeting: “Once tension prevailed in places including Raipur, Sarenga, Khatra and Taldangra. Many people used to come here from Jharkhand and many people were killed. Today, peace has been restored and massive development work has taken place in the areas. Peace will continue to prevail. Thus, I would urge the people of the area not to allow anyone to create fresh trouble here and there should be no more bloodshed”.
When an investigating officer was asked to explain the need of keeping central forces in the area under the jurisdiction of 29 police stations in Jangalmahal when “no adversity was found”, he said that 42 companies of central forces are still posted as “preventive measures”.