Raktima Bose

Protest against ‘police excesses’

CPI(M) leader’s house torched

Supply of essentials hit

KOLKATA: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 the 11th day on Monday, the outfit also called a 48-hour-bandh in the three districts from Monday in protest against alleged police excesses during combing operations.

Meanwhile, violence 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 blockades and bandhs have taken a toll on 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 the administration was moving essential commodities under security cover. This had eased the situation.