Bengal taking steps following Maoist regrouping alert

Kolkata: Alerted by intelligence agencies on regrouping of Maoist ultras in Jangalmahal and neighbouring Saranda forest in Odisha, the West Bengal government has initiated stringent steps to forestall any threat.

"About 40 to 45 Maoist ultras under the leadership of Tara, wife of Maoist leader Bikash, are regrouping at an undisclosed location in Saranda forest in Odisha to renew attack in West Bengal," state police sources said quoting the intelligence input.

The sources said that several political figures like Srikanta Mahato and Mrigen Maiti, both Trinamool Congress MLAs in Jangalmahal, had been chosen as targets by the Maoists.

"Security to these leaders have been tightened and measures initiated to strengthen the security net at the Jangalmahal area," the sources said.

The state government has received six companies (around 600 personnel) of central para-military forces in addition to the existing 39 companies (around 3,900 personnel) of such central forces to intensify vigil at Jangalmahal following the intelligence alert, state Home Department sources said.

Following an MHA caution on possible Maoist threat against Mamata Banerjee, the security of the chief minister has also been beefed up.

Several other VVIPs have also been brought under the special security net, while special vigil around vital installations in the state had been arranged, the sources said.