India: Villagers Fight Back Against Red-Hunting Cops


Nov 5, 2010

MIDNAPORE: The officer-in-charge of Sankrail police station, Uttam Debnath, and his 40-man team were beaten bloody by villagers in Chunpara on Thursday when they were on a raid for suspected Maoists. The OC was battered with sticks and bricks and his AK-47 rifle snatched. Police retaliated by firing into the crowd, injuring seven villagers.

The incident, which seems to have been triggered by the murder of a villager early on Thursday, comes a year after the high voltage abduction drama of the then Sankrail OC Atindranath Dutta.

Chunpara villagers blame CPM harmads for the day’s violence. It started with gunmen — alleged CPM cadres — attacking the houses of Gyan Mahato and Gopal Mahato before daybreak. The residents were beaten up. Even the girls and women were not spared. Their wails alerted neighbours, who challenged the attackers and forced them to flee.

“While escaping, the harmads opened fire at us. Uttam Mahato, my husband, fell,” said Monica Mahato. His body was recovered 500 metres from his house near Mahimnischinta Primary School. A villager said the CPM brigade targeted the village after several party cadres switched loyalties and joined the Trinamool Congress.

Around 5am, a police team, led by Uttam Debnath, arrived in search of Maoists Jayanta Mahato and Prameswar Ray who had been holding meetings in the area to launch an assault, said Jhargram additional SP Mukesh Kumar. A few days ago, Maoist squad member Deepak Mahato was arrested from the village.

As soon as the policemen arrived, the villagers turned on them. Someone pushed the OC. Blows rained on him as he lay on the ground. Outnumbered and under attack, the policemen opened fire, hitting seven villagers, including Deben Mahato, an NVF constable on leave from Jhargram. Deben’s son Kali is accused of snatching the OC’s rifle. Twelve policemen were injured in the attack.

All the injured have been admitted to Jhargram subdivisional hospital. Three critically injured policemen were moved to Midnapore. Seventeen people have been arrested, said police. The ASP has ordered an inquiry.

CPM district leader Dahareswar Sen refuted the allegation. “The attack on police was pre-planned. How did so many villagers gather early in the morning with lathis and bricks? Police had gone to the area in connection with a case after Maoist squad leader Deepak Mahato’s arrest. Maoists and the PCPA men are holding meetings with villagers along the Sankrail-Jhargram border.

No villager will dare snatch police arms unless they are backed by Maoists,” Sen said.

Read more: Mob beats up OC on Red hunt after ‘harmad’ attack – The Times of India


About B.J. Murphy

I'm a young socialist and Transhumanist activist within the East Coast region, who writes for the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET), India Future Society, and Serious Wonder. I'm also the Social Media Manager for Serious Wonder, an Advisory Board Member for the Lifeboat Foundation, and a Co-Editor for Fight Back! News.

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  1. Pingback: Black money trail: ‘India drained of Rs 20 lakh crore during 1948-2008′ « Revolutionizing Awareness

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