Torch rally to ignite protests
Jamshedpur, April 1: Armed squads of Communist Party of India (Maoist) today took out a torch-lit procession at Gian in the Ghatshila subdivision of the district.
Sources said the programme of the torch-lit procession and the subsequent meeting that started at 11 pm on Saturday continued till 3 am today.
Sources said the members had fired in the air while marching in the area, which is considered to be a rebel stronghold. It was for the first time that the rebels had organised a torch-lit procession about which they had spread news amid the villagers.
Moreover, the gun-toting rebels had motivated the local residents to participate in the procession, which was later converted into a meeting. Sources added that while addressing the meeting the rebels condemned the alleged police atrocities against innocent persons in the name of operation against the Naxalites.
East Singhbhum SP Pankaj Kumar Darad, neither confirmed nor denied the news saying that the Naxalites had stepped up activities in areas like Gian under Ghurabandha police station and that the news of Naxalites organising a torch-lit procession could not be ruled out.
“We have information that the Maoist rebels have stepped up their activities in Gian, and it would not be surprising if they organise a torch-lit procession,” he said.
Shanker Chandra Hembrom, president of anti-Naxalite outfit, Nagarik Surakshya Samiti, however, confirmed that the procession had indeed taken place. Hembrom, whose outfit is keeping a close track on Naxalite activities, said armed guerrillas are nowadays being seen in bigger groups of 15-20 members.