The Maoist-backed Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee (PSBJC) announced on Tuesday a Statewide 48-hour bandh from August 3. This is part of a week-long mourning programme to be held in protest against the killing of the outfit's general secretary Sidhu Soren on Monday.
Soren, along with five other suspected Maoists, were killed in a five-hour-long gun battle with the security forces at the Metala forest near the Goaltore area of West Bengal's Paschim Medinipur district.
Calling Soren the “hero of the second Santhal movement,” the PSBJC leadership alleged that the security forces connived with the local Communist Party of India (Marxist) leaders to kill him and the others while they were asleep.
“Is this how the leaders of the Congress and the CPI (M) are trying to prove that they want to bring peace and development in the tribal region? Sidhu Soren's sacrifice will not go in vain. We vow to take revenge which will be lethal,” Manoj Mahato, central committee member of the PSBJC, told The Hindu over telephone from an undisclosed location.
Meanwhile, a prominent PSBJC leader, suspected to have been involved in the Jnaneswari Express derailment case of May 28, surrendered before the Jhargram court on Monday.
“Mr. Giri is wanted in 10 cases including two murders, three cases of sedition and three incidents of looting. We also have some information about his being involved in the train accident case. His surrender is a positive sign indicating the willingness of several Maoists to return to the mainstream,” Mukesh Kumar, Additional Superintendent of Police, Jhargram, said.