“The Centre and the West Bengal government willing, our movement in Lalgarh on people’s behalf will continue for another three years or maybe even 30 years. The onus is on the government to choose what it wants,” said the top Maoist leader Koteswar Molajella Rao, alias Kishanji.

He was responding to the State government’s decision to seek additional Central forces to flush out Maoists from the Lalgarh region.

Speaking to The Hindu over telephone from an undisclosed spot in the Lalgarh area on Friday, Kishanji, who is a member of the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), said: “Let the State government send as many contingents of Central forces as they want to to Lalgarh, I can assure them that none in the force will go back home.”

On the Centre’s decision to escalate its war against the Maoists, he said: “The decision was made public immediately after Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s return from his recent U.S.A visit.

“It indicates that the Pentagon has dictated the decision and we have evidence to support that… I want to tell the Centre that we are prepared to face any offensive at any moment.”

Refutes reports

Refuting reports that the Maoists suffered a major setback following the death of several cadres in the recent Operation Greenhunt in Chhattisgarh’s South Bastar district, Kishanji claimed, “only three Maoists were killed as opposed to the 30 declared [dead] by the police.”

“The police is running a misinformation campaign. Out of the seven bodies recovered, three belonged to our comrades while the remaining four were innocent villagers killed purposely by the forces. If the police is claiming to have killed 30 of us, where are the rest of the bodies?”

‘Arrest created some disturbances’

Admitting that the arrest of Kobad Gandhy, a Polit Bureau member, who has been entrusted with spreading the revolutionary movement to urban areas, created “some disturbance in the party’s activities,” Kishanji said it would be “overcome” soon.

“We will need some time to overcome the blow and re-arrange the set-up. The party general secretary will elect a member for the post soon.”

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