Photo: Morter of joint force. Inset: Dead body of Kalol Mahato (Source: Icore Ekdin, (Bengali Daily), 22 December 2009)
Photo: The Statesman, 22 December 2009
Statesman News Service
Two PCPA activists ~ Kajal Mahato and Santu Mahato ~ both in their late twenties, were killed and seven others of the organisation were injured when security forces opened fire on suspected Maoists at Kalaboni village in West Midnapore district last night. Altogether four people have been killed in the Junglemahal area over the past 24 hours, two others being CPI-M leaders of Lodhasuli area in Jhargram ~ Jatin Mahato and Manik Midya. Three of the injured PCPA activists ~ Mr Durgesh Mahato, Mr Pradip Mahato and Mr Gostha Behari Mahato ~ were transferred to SSKM Hospital in Kolkata today after their condition deteriorated. Threatening more violence, Mr Mahato said they will hold a rally at Chhatinasole in Gopiballavpur tomorrow demanding release of the tribal school student, Loso Tudu, who is currently in custody of the Orissa police. PCPA members have also put up posters in different places of Gopiballavpur and Nayagram areas alleging police excess.
Although there were no reports of fresh violence or arson in the Junglemahal area today, the PCPA-sponsored road blockade programme entered its fourth day disrupting traffic movement in the entire Jhargram sub-division.
Meanwhile, members of the Jhargram Bar Association today submitted a memorandum to the Jhargram SDO, Mr Ulganathan P and threatened to observe a ceasework in the court for an indefinite period unless the ongoing jungle raj is removed from the sub-division within 24 hours. The Byabasayee Samiti of Pirakata Market in Salboni too have decided to boycott police and are not selling any goods to the jawans of joint forces based in Pirakata from yesterday. As for the zoo that was torched in Jhargram by Maoists yesterday, Animal Resources Development department officials said that about Rs 6 to 7 lakh would be required to re-open the zoo.