Monday, November 26, 2007

Foul play whiff in ‘Maobaadi’ posters

Foul play whiff in ‘Maobaadi’ posters
- CPM & rival trade charges

Nandigram, Nov. 25: Hand-written posters in the name of Maoists appeared here today, days before a CBI team arrives for a probe, triggering allegations that they had been pasted by CPM supporters.

“Nandigram ka khoon dharshan-er apradhey CPM neta taiyar ho jao” is neither proper Hindi nor Bengali.

The message that appeared on walls all over Hajrakata, Hossainpur and Rajaramchowk villages translates as “The crime of murder and rape in Nandigram — CPM leaders be prepared”.

“They appear to have been written in a hurry and in not very correct Hindi,” a police officer said.

He added that Maoists write CPI (Maoist) at the bottom of their posters. In Nandigram, the posters have been signed “Maobaadi (Maoist)”.

The CPM is bent on establishing the Maoists’ hand in organising the villagers’ resistance in Nandigram. The reb- els were accused of training the villagers in the use of firearms.

The police and the CRPF tried to underplay today’s development. “I have heard about some Maoist posters. The matter is being handled by the CRPF,” said East Midnapore superintendent of police S.S. Panda.

The CRPF did not reveal much, though a poster was put up within 300 metres of its camp at Rajaramchowk High School. “There were a few posters but I would not like to comment,” said an assistant commandant.

His boss, deputy inspector-general Alok Raj, who is now on leave, is expected to join tomorrow.

Villagers saw the posters early in the morning. Mohammed Sabir, who owns a tea stall in Hossainpur, said: “It was difficult to make out what it was. Not many of us could read Hindi. As a crowd gathered, a few who knew the language turned up. We realised what it was from the word Maobaadi.”

He had not seen any outsider in the village in the past few days.

Another villager wondered why the posters should be written in Hindi when most local CPM leaders could not read the language.

Trinamul Congress MLA Subhendu Adhikary said: “No such poster appeared in the last 11 months. Why now?”

A CBI team is expected here on Tuesday to complete their investigation into the March 14 police firing.

The CPM, which has an office at Rajaramchowk, alleged that “Trinamul Congress-ba- cked antisocials” put up the posters. “They want to terrorise people,” said Ashok Bera, the party’s Nandigram zonal committee secretary.

“We had said Trinamul and the Bhoomi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee supporters had brought in Maoists for arms training and the police had also recovered rifles snatched from the police, Maoist literature and improvised explosive devices,” said Bera.

The committee and Trinamul denied the charge.

Police sources said an investigation had begun into whether the posters had been put up by Maoists at all.