Complete Maoist bandh in  Jangal Mahal after 10 yrs

| | Kolkata
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Complete Maoist bandh in  Jangal Mahal after 10 yrs

Saturday, 09 April 2022 | Saugar Sengupta | Kolkata

After more than a decade Bengal’s Jangal Mahal districts on Friday witnessed a complete shutdown after the Maoist organizations called for a bandh in protest against rising crime and corruption in the State.

Already reeling under corruption charges, frequent political clashes and bloodshed and court-ordered CBI investigations, the Trinamool Congress Government on Friday had to suffer yet another embarrassment when large parts of the State’s forested districts observed complete bandh apparently burrowing a hole in Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s oft repeated claims of a “smiling Jangal Mahal.”

A number of blocks including Sarenga, Simlapal, Ranibandh, Raipur, Bandwan, Jhalda, Belpahari etc in Bankura, Purulia and Jhargram districts adjoining Jharkhand witnessed complete bandh days after Maoist posters were found at various places warning those who would

defy the bandh diktats with dire consequences. This, even as the police recovered landmines at least in two places in two consecutive days.

No buses except a few run by the State Government and other vehicles plied on roads that wore deserted look and shops and other business establishments were closed, sources said adding the schools including the ones run by the Government witnessed very thin attendance.

While the administration would not react to the Friday’s development, local politicians mostly belonging to the Opposition Congress, Left and the BJP said rampant corruption and criminalization and “utter failure of the TMC Government to deliver on the promises that brought

it to power has led to large-scale alienation in the village level … a support for the Maoists is the obvious result of that.”

A school teacher from Shilda near Jhargram said “the Government had promised jobs, peace and quality life but it gave only Rs 500 or Rs 1000 monthly allowance and few kgs of rice that would not suffice … the people, especially the youth have aspirations … when these are not met they are bound to turn towards some other ideology … the youth have seen how some people who would not even get one square meal then have become millionaires in a matter of years … they are resenting … and the Maoists are finding it easier to strengthen their organization in these areas all over again.”

Jangal Mahal had become the hotbed of Maoist politics during the closing years of the Left Front regime with hundreds of people including many mainstream Marxist cadres getting eliminated by the Left ultras in the strife torn boondocks.

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