Mamata sings tribal tune in Lalgarh as Biman cries foul

MIDNAPORE, Feb 5 : Trinamul Congress will be with the tribals in their fight against the government on their legitimate demands, said Miss Mamata Banerjee in Lalgarh today.

While addressing a gathering near Ramgar in Lalgarh of West Midnapore, Miss Banerjee said the tribals were fighting against the government over various legitimate demands. They have been spearheading an agitation under the banner of Police Santras Birodhi Public Committee (PSBPC) since November last year. She added the killing of three tribals has prompted her to visit the place, though she was not called by them.

After reaching Lalgarh, Miss Banerjee went to Kashjungle, where three tribals were gunned down allegedly by CPI-M cadres and four injured on Monday. She alleged that while carrying the body of Binpur CPI-M leader Nandudulal Pal, cadres arranged 12 vehicles in their convoy from which they fired upon tribals. Their gameplan was to dominate the tribals by using their muscle power as they had tried to do in Nandigram in 2007, she said.

Miss Banerjee wondered why Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, chief minister, has not visited Lalgarh yet to talk to tribals about their problems. She demanded Rs 5 lakh for each of the victim's families, Rs 3 lakh for the injured and Rs 1 lakh for those whose houses were torched or damaged. Meanwhile, a bandh, sponsored by the Congress, PSBPC, Suci and JMM to protest against Monday's firing, paralysed life in Lalgarh,

Belphahari, Binpur and Jhargram. Lalgarh area remained isolated from other parts of the district due to the blockade.

Maoists have called for a 12-hour bandh in three districts from tomorrow protesting against atrocities on tribals perpetrated allegedly by police and CPI-M cadres.

In another development, Left Front chairman Mr Biman Bose today accused Miss Banerjee of fomenting trouble at Lalgarh. The brother of Mr Chhatradhar Mahato, spearheading the Adivasi agitation at Lalgarh, Mr Bose said, is a Maoist and when Miss Banerjee met Mr Mahato the links became established.