The Trinamool Congress on Tuesday demanded the immediate withdrawal of central forces from Lalgarh in West Midnapore district and asked the Centre to take up development programmes there.
"We demand immediate withdrawal of the joint security forces, who are committing atrocities on innocent villagers in the name of nabbing Maoists, and urge the Centre to take up development programmes at Lalgarh as early as possible," Leader of the Opposition and senior Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chatterjee said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had 'misguided' the Centre to send central forces for 'committing atrocities' on villagers in the name of curbing Maoists, he alleged. He, along with Union Minister of State for Rural Development Sisir Adhikary and Minister of State for Shipping Mukul Roy, visited the area where central forces and the police had wrested areas held by Maoists in operations since June 19.
Chatterjee, who led the team to distribute relief at Lalgarh, claimed that villagers tearfully narrated tales of 'torture' they faced during the anti-Maoist operations.
Chatterjee claimed that he had heard that two villagers were arrested for trying to meet the Trinamool Congress leaders to narrate their grievances.
Charging the Left Front government with failing to do any development work at Lalgarh in the last 32 years, Chatterjee said, "There is no food, drinking water and no sign of development."
The first task, he said, was to provide food to the poor villagers, generate job opportunities and arrange irrigation facilities. The TC leader demanded that school buildings, particularly at Gohomidanga, be immediately vacated by the security forces for resumption of a normal academic atmosphere.
The TC leaders were provided security by the administration for the visit, which had earlier advised them not to visit Lalgarh.