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Lalgarh thana recaptured
Combing operation begins; blast injures 6 security personnel
Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Four Maoists killed in encounter

Lalgarh: Four Maoists were reportedly killed in an encounter with the security personnel near the West Midnapore-Bankura district border on Saturday. Then there were also reports of tribals setting ablaze houses of two CPM leaders and damaging another belonging to a party activist in the area. — PTI

11 CRPF men die in Naxal attack

Raipur: Eleven CRPF personnel were killed and as many injured when the truck they were travelling in was blown up by Naxals in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on Saturday. DGP Vishwa Ranjan said the incident occurred at Kokanara village, around 375 km from here. The jawans were coming back from patrol. — PTI

Tribals torched houses of two CPM leaders at Baita area in West Midnapore district on Saturday, the police said. The tribals under the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) set ablaze the house of Ranjit Giri at around 12 noon. They then damaged the house of another CPI(M) leader Atonu Giri located in the neighbourhood. — PTI

Kolkata, June 20
Six security personnel were injured in two separate incidents as the West Bengal police and paramilitary forces today stormed Lalgarh and recaptured the police station which had been under the control of Maoists for the past eight months.

“The forces entered the police station by bursting open its locked doors at around 11 am. The thana would now be used as a base camp for the combat forces,” said DIG Parveen Kumar, who is in charge of the operation, while talking to The Tribune. “It’s a partial victory. A major part of the operation is yet to be completed, which may take days or even weeks,” he added.

Earlier, the forces relaunched their operation from Binpur base around 7 in the morning in three different groups. An anti-landmine vehicle cleared the path for the security personnel and the main group, led by the DIG, reached the Lalgarh police station to take charge of the building.

The police station had been out of bounds since November last when tribals, under the banner of People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, launched a boycott of the police to protest raids on their homes following a landmine blast targeting the convoy of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

“A massive combing operation has been launched and already securitymen donning camouflage and bullet-proof vests have sanitised the five-km stretch of Jhitka jungle, a Maoist area,” said DGP Sujit Sarkar, while addressing mediapersons at Writers’ Building in Kolkata. “We are on a lookout for Chatradhar Mahapatra, Kishenji, Bikash and other Maoist leaders. The government has already made an appeal to villagers by air-dropping leaflets yesterday, asking them not to shelter the culprits, he added.

The DGP said there was heavy exchange of fire between the security forces and Maoists in the Katashol forest area, which continued for over an hour. Several rebels were injured in the firing but none of them could be located.

Security personnel also came under intermittent fire from Maoists at the Pingboni-Sarenga road where two landmines planted on the road were defused.

There were also reports of over six security personnel getting injured in a landmine blast in the dense Katashol forest near Pingboni — a Maoist bastion. The home secretary was sent to Lalgarh in the evening for reviewing the entire situation.

Meanwhile, Maoist leader Kishenji told a private TV channel today that they were ready for talks but the police atrocities had to stop immediately.

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