West Bengal villagers complain of torture by security forces

     Residents of various villages in West Bengal's Jhargram District accused the security forces of torturing innocent people. The Government deployed forces in the Jhargram District as part of ongoing anti Maoists operations. The villagers also mentioned that the police personnel have not spared even young school going students. Speaking to the media persons on Saturday in one of the village hospitals, a young injured student recalled the atrocities by the personnel in course of their routine patrolling of the area. "Today joint force saw red pen colour in my hand and they claimed that I wrote poster for the Maoists for payment. After that they continued to torture me from six in the morning till 10 in the night. Two of them stood over my chest and ultimately I had to push them away from me. Then five CRPF Jawans came and tortured me lashing with stick and belt," said Manoranjan Manna, an injured student. According to the villagers, there are over 600 personnel patrolling and during that they randomly pick up students and other na├»ve villagers and torture them. Several students have been injured in their chest and on the face and back. The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was deployed to establish law and order in three Maoists infested areas - West Medinipur, Purulia and Jhargram. "Joint forces suddenly attacked my son and fractured his face. He came home covering his face with his hand. Joint forces threatened that they will fire and kill us. We sat there silently for some time and when they had gone away, we came to the doctor for the treatment. They tortured every other student and villager," recalled Latika Patra, mother of an injured student. Maoist rebels in recent months have stepped up attacks in retaliation to a government's offensive operation to clear them out of their jungle bases.

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