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Maoists ready for talks, truce
Day 2 of bandh: Community centre, tower blown up

New Delhi, June 23
Putting a moderate step a day after the imposition of ban by the Centre, the CPI (Maoist) said it is ready for talks and demanded hat the forces should be pulled back from Lalgarh. Speaking to mediapersons, Gaud Chakraborthy, a spokesperson of the Maoist organisation, expressed his group’s intention to declare ceasefire. The Union Home Ministry, however, ruled out calling back the forces from the trouble-hit district of West Midnapore in West Bengal.

Meanwhile, on the second day of the 48-hour bandh called by the CPI (Maoist) in protest against the police action in Lalgarh, the ultras continued their violent activities in Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand amidst strong presence of the security forces.

The activists of the red brigade blew up a mobile tower and a community centre near Gaya in Bihar, torched the CPM office in Jhargram in West Bengal, and blew up a Panchayat office in Palamu Saridi in Jharkhand. According to the police, the red ultras entered Jhikatia village in Aurangabad district around midnight and blew up a community centre.

In a separate incident, a senior government official and two security personnel were injured when armed Maoists attacked the civil court premises and freed their ‘commander’ Babulal Besra at Lakhisarai in Bihar.

Over 50 ultras, armed with sophisticated weapons, raided the court premises, broke open the lock-up and freed Besra, District Magistrate PK Jha said. They later attacked a police posse that tried to block their way and looted a carbine and two rifles from the policemen, before escaping, he said. Deputy Development Commissioner (Lakhisarai) Rajiv Ranjan sustained minor injuries when chunks of wood flying from the smashed window of his room hit him, the DM said. Two constables, also suffered splinter injuries. The Maoists also blew up a mobile telephone tower belonging to a private mobile company at Kharasi village in Gaya district. In West Bengal, despite the heavy presence of the forces, the Maoists attacked the CPM office in Jhargram town, which is barely 50 kilometres from trouble-torn Lalgarh.

Normal life was disrupted in pockets of Maoist-hit southern and western districts of Orissa also. — Agencies

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