“We want to teach the upper classes a lesson and change their narrow class outlook through this incident,” Maoist Polit Bureau member Koteswar Rao alias Kishanji told The Hindu on Tuesday referring to the detention of the New Delhi-Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express near Jhargram in West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district on Tuesday.

Though Mr. Kishanji denied that the Maoists had any role in the incident, he said he supported the cause of the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) activists.

‘Stop mortar firing’

Admitting that the local people sought his help to mediate in the issue, he demanded immediate stoppage of mortar firing and withdrawal of security troops from the area.

A national issue

“It is now an issue of national interest since it involves the Rajdhani Express…the game of passing the buck between the Centre and the State regarding the issue of development of the tribal people is over now. I am waiting for Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee [Chief Minister], Mamata Banerjee [Railway Minister], P. Chidambaram [Union Home Minister], Manmohan Singh [Prime Minister] and Sonia Gandhi to reply,” Mr. Kishanji said, while speaking over phone from Lalgarh.

‘Class oppression’

Slamming the security forces for opening fire at the site where the train was detained, Mr. Kishanji said: “Only because it was a blockade by the tribal people, not the educated middle class, that the police fired at them. It was a clear case of class oppression.”

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