While the indefinite blockade called by the Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee (PSBJC) in the three districts of Bankura, Purulia and Paschim Medinipur in West Bengal entered eleventh day on Monday, the outfit also called a 48-hour-bandh in the three districts from Monday in protest against police excesses during combing operations.
Meanwhile, violent incidents continued in the Lalgarh region as hundreds of PSBJC supporters ransacked and torched the house of a local leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) at Radhanagar near Jhargram town on Sunday evening.
While the CPI (M) leader, Manoranjan Pal, and his family managed to flee, their house was ransacked and set afire. Several PSBJC supporters in the crowd reportedly carried sophisticated fire arms, the police said corroborating local reports.
The district’s police superintendent Manoj Kumar Verma told The Hindu on Monday that the report that some persons in the crowd were carrying firearms “proved once more” that the PSBJC and the Maoists are “similar entities with different faces”.
Meanwhile, the spree of blockades and bandhs have taken a toll on the normal life in the areas adjacent to the forests in the three districts even as it had little impact on the urban areas.
Vehicular movement on a stretch of the National Highway 6 and State Highway 9, between Midnapore town and Jhargram, has virtually stopped following the torching of four vehicles in the first two days of the indefinite blockade. This had seriously impacted the supply of essential commodities.
District magistrate Narayan Swarup Nigam said that the administration is trying to ply essential commodities-carrying vehicles with security cover on the stretch causing the situation to ease somewhat.
Banks, government offices and educational institutes also are being forced to down shutters since the PSBJC has warned against destroying government properties as a part of their agitation.