Newspaper agent Debashis Banerjee attacked
PSBJC supporter abducted and shot at
KOLKATA: Suspected Maoists killed one person and injured two others in separate incidents in the Lalgarh region of Paschim Medinipur district since late Monday. Tuesday was the second day of the 48-hour bandh called by the Maoist-backed Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee (PSBJC) in the three Left-wing extremism-hit districts of the State.
Called in protest against the alleged abduction and murder of three students by Communist Party of India (Marxist) cadres last week, the bandh disrupted life in the forest fringe areas of the region.
According to the district police, three unidentified youths attacked Debashis Banerjee, a newspaper agent and social worker, in the Manikpara market near Jhargram town early in the day. Mr. Banerjee was earlier an active CPI(M) supporter but quit the party last year after he was threatened by the Maoists.
“Mr. Banerjee suffered three bullet injuries. His cousin Prasanta was also shot at when he came to the rescue of Debashis. Both were rushed to the Midnapore hospital from where Debashis was taken to Kolkata after his condition worsened. The Maoists are the primary suspects in the case since they threatened him several times in the past,” district Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Verma told The Hindu over telephone.
Mr. Banerjee was associated with several social and cultural organisations in the area and was the secretary of a non-governmental organisation that shelters orphaned girls. His condition is reported to be critical.
In another incident, Bharat Singh was abducted from his house at Banshpahari near the West Bengal-Jharkhand border late on Monday and his bullet-riddled body was found on Tuesday. Mr. Verma said Mr. Singh was a PSBJC supporter and suspected that his death could be the result of in-fighting amongst the Maoists.
In another incident during the day in the district's Salboni area, Biswanath Mahato, a CPI(M) supporter, was attacked by a group of men and was shot at. “A group of about 40 masked persons reportedly attacked Mr. Mahato. It is still not clear who the assailants were and what the motive behind the attack was,” Mr. Verma added.
Meanwhile, Director-General of Police Bhupinder Singh said on Tuesday that the sanction of the State government required for using the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act against a person was “delayed due to procedural reasons,” adding that it was expected to be received within “a couple of days.”
A court in Jhargram on Monday refused to take cognisance of the Act being used against 24 persons chargesheeted by the State's CID for the Silda massacre, citing the absence of the State government's sanction as the reason.