Ripples of Dumka attack in Junglemahal

With two incidents of Maoist violence in the border areas of Bengal-Jharkhand-Bihar in one month, apprehensions of rebel squads from neighbouring states trying to regroup in poll-bound West Bengal and triggering violence are becoming stronger.

On June 13, a group of at least 200 Maoists attacked an intercity passenger train in Bihar's Jamui district and killed six people. On July 2, an SP and four other policemen were killed in an ambush by Maoists in Kathikund forest area of Dumka district in Jharkhand. The spot is just 30 km from the border of West Bengal, where panchayat polls are due in a week.

According to police reports, the squad that performed the "operation" in Jharkhand —- in which Pakur SP Amarjit Balihar and his guards were killed —- includes Maoist cadres from Bengal who crossed over to the neighbouring state after their leader Kishenji's death. The squad is now believed to have left Pakur as security forces have launched combing operations in the area.

Since the site of the attack is just 35 km from Birbhum district, security has been beefed up there. Birbhum shares a 150 km-long border with Jharkhand, along which eight police stations are affected by the Left-wing extremism. Birbhum will go to panchayat polls in the fourth phase on July 22.

Siddinath Gupta, IG, Western Range today held a meeting with the senior police officials and officers in charge of the eight police stations. Two CRPF companies have already been deployed along the border.

Gupta said, "We have received intelligence reports that we needed to discuss. Certain directions were given to the district police at the meeting."

There are reports that a group of Maoists took shelter in Burdwan before the Dumka incident. The squad entered the state through Purulia district. A senior police official said, "We have information about movement of squads from Jharkhand. But it is a moving squad and it did not stay at one place for long time. The group consists of 30 to 40 cadres. Most of them left the state after the death of Kishenji and mainly comprises members from Bengal."

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