A portion of foreign funds meant to be routed through various non-governmental organisations for the welfare of tribals in the Lalgarh area of West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district could have ended up in the hands of Maoists, the State’s Director-General of Police, Bhupinder Singh, said here on Friday.

Arms purchase

The extremists, it is suspected, have been using the money to purchase arms.

The police gleaned this information from those arrested from Lalgarh and its adjoining areas during the security forces’ drive to flush out Maoists and activists of the Maoist-backed Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee (PSBJC).

Political links

Mr. Singh, who also said the Maoists and PSBJC convener Chhatradhar Mahato had links with a recognised political party, parried questions from journalists on the party concerned.

Mr. Mahato, arrested near Lalgarh on September 26, was earlier reportedly associated with the Trinamool Congress and had connections, it has now been ascertained by the police, with the Maoists.

Mr. Singh pointed out that the target of the police was the Maoists, but cautioned political leaders against playing with fire.

Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee recently warned that the State would burn if the police “touched” intellectuals on charges of being associated with the Maoists and the PSBJC in the Lalgarh area.

Mr. Singh said there was a nexus between the Maoists and the Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh (Resistance against Eviction from Land) Committee, with the Trinamool Congress joining in later during the agitation against the setting up of a chemical hub in the Nandigram area of Purbo Medinipur district in 2007.