Put up by police, posters carry picture and name of top Naxal leaders

In an attempt to persuade members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) to lay down arms and prevent their movement in the Maoist-affected Jangalmahal region of West Bengal, the State police have put up posters with the photographs of seven prominent Maoist leaders in the Jhargram area of Paschim Medinipur district.

Each poster has the name and photograph of an important Maoist leader, including the party's State secretary Akash, squad commander Bikash, Suchitra Mahato, Tara and Jayanto, with a message urging them to join the mainstream. The posters also mention the crimes they have been charged with.

Setbacks

The Maoists have suffered several setbacks recently including the killing of their Polit Bureau member Koteshwar Rao alias Kishenji in November last year.

Senior police officials claimed that this initiative would restrict the movement of the Maoists in the Jangalmahal region. It was also aimed at denting the local support base of the rebels. Police officials said the locals were not aware of the identity of the Maoists and the posters would expose them.

“We are not concerned about foot soldiers. The idea is to put pressure on the important leaders operating in the area,” a senior police official said. “We have started by putting up the posters in the Jhargram police district. Soon they will be put up in the entire Jangalmahal region,” Gangeshwar Singh, Inspector general of Police (Western Range) told The Hindu over telephone.

Since the Trinamool Congress-led government came to power, 16 Maoists, who were active in the Jangalmahal region, have surrendered. These include three couples.

Keywords: Maoist issue