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Maoists trigger landmine blasts
Ask CPM to release Gour or face attacks on its leaders

Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, June 26
During their flushout operation at Lalgarh today, paramilitary forces and cops faced landmine attacks in as many as seven places in the Pingboni forest area, compelling them to halt at Kadasole for the day instead of advancing further to the destination at Ramgarh.

There was heavy exchange of firing between jawans and the Maoists in the area which lasted for over two hours. But there was no report of death from either side. Five landmines planted on the main thoroughfare towards Ramgarh were defused by the jawans.

According to an intelligence report, over 400 trained-Maoists equipped with firearms and other modern weapons have now been guarding the jungle from different directions against the forces’ attack on their bastion at Ramgarh.

In the past few days, several Maoists leaders from Jhargram and Bihar have joined the Maoists at Ramgarh. The police was planning to first capture Ramgarh and then launch further operation inside the jungle area.

After a two-day break, the joint force of the state police and the paramilitary units this morning re-launched their operation from their base camp at the Lalgarh police station towards the Maoists bastion at Ramgarh. Since they had to pass through the dense forest area, two Army helicopters were used to vigil the area and guide the force.

But before the force could proceed a little distance from Goaltore, there were repeated attacks on them from various sides with firearms and landmines. Around 2 pm, the force, however, could take the possession of Kadasole, which was a strong-hold of the Maoists. The police set up their new base camp at Kadasole from where tomorrow’s operation would be launched. A large contingent of CRPF, BSF and other para-military forces were reinforced at Kadasole for participating in tomorrow’s operation.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at a meeting at Writers Buildings today reviewed the situation at Lalgarh vis-à-vis the relief operations by the government and some other voluntary organisations in the affected areas. He asked the forces for conducting the operation with caution. Today, a statement was issued to the press on behalf of the Maoists from an undisclosed location which warned the Chief Minister that they would launch massive attacks on the CPM leaders and workers everywhere if their arrested spokesman Gour Chakraborty was not released unconditionally within 48 hours.

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