Biman Bose feels railway forces should have been more alert

Preliminary reports indicate that Maoists are responsible the derailment of a passenger train in Paschim Medinipur district and the incident only strengthened the State government's resolve to counter the threat posed by Left-wing extremists, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said here on Friday.

“All our efforts have to be directed against this menace; on how the State and the country can be liberated from this threat…We will sensitise our forces and we will counter this Maoist threat,” he said at a press conference.

Police were on alert

Asked whether the government had any prior information, given that Maoists were observing a week of protest in the region, he said militants frequently staged such protests and the police were on alert. “We knew they would be observing this week, but we had no idea that they would be committing this dastardly crime.”

Mr. Bhattacharjee pointed out that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) had fought Naxals in the 1960s and 1970s through a political struggle, but they raised their heads again, entering West Bengal from Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Jharkhand.

“We will oppose them politically and administratively…This is a difficult fight, but a worthy fight,” he said.

A minute's silence in memory of the victims was observed at the Chief Minister's suggestion.State secretary of the CPI(M) Biman Bose said the tragedy could have been avoided if the Railways and its security forces were more alert.

In a statement, he said: “There have been several attacks by Maoists in the particular area…Maoists have attacked trains and disrupted the rail track in the Jhargram area earlier too.

“In such a situation, the security forces of the Railways should have been more vigilant.”

The West Bengal Left Front Committee has condemned the attack.

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