At last the battle-green fatigues are moving in, for what is being seen by some as the decisive battle in West Bengal against the Maoists. The entire region has been cordoned off, with Para-military helicopters circling over. The border with neighbouring state of Jharkhand has been sealed by Jharkhand police, the CRPF and Special GREYHOUND forces, and COBRA commandoes, specialised in combatting terrorists have been taking up postition, and have started combing the area. Almost 500 personnels have already moved in, and 5 more companies of CRPF are coming, with the West Bengal police as backup.
The Maoists, in the last few weeks, drove out the administration and goverment officials, and started burning offices, boycotting police forces, and running a parallel administration, in what they termed as a "free-zone". They also started extracting taxes, from local businessmen, setting up "public courts", and coercing the local businessmen not to sell daily use items to any government official. It rose to it's peak yesterday, when thousand of armed tribals, backed by hundreds of rebels, marched in to local towns, and drove away the policemen, burning and looting whatever property they could lay their hands on.
Incidentally on Monday, Maoists went to the extent of holding a press conference at Lalgarh with the spokesman, with an Assault Rifle, having his back to camera and claiming proudly that they had indeed planned to kill West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on November 2, 2008 in a failed landmine explosion.
This is one issue, when both the Goverment and the opposition jointly asked for Central support as the situation was rapidly spiralling out of control.
Ironically, the Human Rights groups, and the Intellectuals who instigated the poor tribals, in taking up arms, against the administration are nowhere to be seen, when they should be actually responsible, for all the people who will die tomorrow morning in the operation.