Arrest a drama, says CPI (Maoist)
KORAPUT: The Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) has labelled the arrest of home-grown Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda as a state-sponsored drama. Ajay, a spokesperson of AOBSZC, through letters sent to the media in Rayagada on Wednesday, said soon after his expulsion from CPI (Maoist), Sabyasachi joined hands with the state government and formed the Odisha Maovadi Party to defame the original Maoist organization.
“Sabyasachi’s arrest is an eyewash. Since long Sabyasachi has been working on the direction of the state government and providing all necessary information against our organization to police,” the one-page letter written in Odia said. “In the name of encounter, police raid his hideouts. Sabyasachi has surrendered all looted arms to police. He had prepared grounds to get his men arrested in connivance with police. And now Sabyasachi’s arrest is part of well-knit plan to salvage his image.
A ‘NEW’ COUNTER-NAXAL ACTION PLAN – ANALYSIS
Days after the formation of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in New Delhi, contours of a new policy vis-a-vis Left Wing Extremism (LWE) remained a matter of speculation. Whether tough measures would replace the ad hoc ones and clarity would substitute confusion were commented upon. Some of the statements of the Home Minister and the Ministry officials in the early days following the formation of the government raised hopes that a policy change, if not the prospect of an immediate solution to the problem could be on the anvil.
However, the new 29-point Action Plan evolved by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for addressing the LWE challenge point towards the continuation of the past policies and does not indicate a radical departure from the approach pursued by the previous government. Three principal assumptions mark the new counter-LWE policy:
a. Security force operations must precede developmental initiatives
b. The Communist Party of India-Maoist’s (CPI-M) military capacities can be crippled by targeting its top leadership
c. Security force operations, with modest gains so far can be made effective by additional force deployment and augmenting intelligence collection.
While each of these assumptions are relevant, whether such measures can be implemented without broad-based security and governance sector reforms, remains a matter of debate. Ruling out negotiations with the CPI-M has been one of the most highlighted aspects of Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s statements in recent times. Speaking on 27 June, Singh, at the meeting of chief secretaries and Directors General of Police (DGPs) of 10 Naxal-affected states said, “There is no question of any talks now. We will take a balanced approach. But the forces will give a befitting reply if the Naxals launch attacks.”
Given that several past offers for negotiations have been rebuffed by the CPI-M, Singh’s statement aims to serve as a foundation for a primarily force-based approach to the LWE challenge. The new action plan involves a directive to the Intelligence Bureau to “infiltrate into Maoist ranks” and follow a specific policy of targeting the top leadership for neutralisation.
The Naxal-affected states have been advised to raise commando forces similar to the Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh. Similarly, 10 additional battalions of central armed police personnel are being deployed in Chattisgarh’s Bastar region by the end of 2014 for a renewed offensive against the extremists. The new policy further speaks of creating a series of incentives for “good officers” to serve in Maoist-affected areas by offering them monetary incentives and career benefits. All these measures, incidentally, have remained the MHA’s counter-LWE approach in the past.
None, however, achieved much success due to a range of deficiencies that include lack of ability as well as coordination between the central as well as state security forces and the intelligence agencies. Years since the LWE emerged as a major security threat to the country, both technical intelligence (TECHINT) as well as human intelligence (HUMINT) gathering mechanisms continue to suffer from serious shortcomings. There is an acute lack of enthusiastic participation of the state police forces in New Delhi’s overall design, that neither supplements nor aims to replace the central forces in countering the extremists.
The new plan is silent on the ways to remove such loopholes and make operations a principally state police-led initiative. Given the fact that state bureaucracy has remained mostly apathetic to restart governance in areas cleared by the security forces, policies need to go beyond the rhetoric of ‘posting of good officers’ in naxal-affected areas. In the previous years, evolving a national policy consensus on a challenge that affects at least 10 states has remained one of the main challenges for New Delhi.
The 29-point Action Plan falls short of addressing the problem. It merely exhorts the affected states to appoint nodal officers to increase coordination at the centre and asks the chief ministers and home ministers to visit the affected areas in their respective states to develop a favourable image of the government among the tribal population. In the absence of a reward system to make the non-conforming states fall in line with a central approach, such measures of improving coordination are likely to be met with lack of enthusiasm, if not resistance by the states ruled by non-Bharatiya Janata Party parties.
The current LWE situation is marked by scaled down violence by the extremists who understandably are into a consolidation mode after suffering some reversals. Recruitment activities still continue, so do the efforts to ideologically reshape the movement that seems to have deviated significantly from its original objectives and strategies. A tactical retreat of this nature often creates the illusion of victory among the policy makers…
Explosive and bomb making equipment recovered from Saranda
Jamshedpur: Explosives including five live bombs were recovered by the security personnel from the Saranda forest in Maoist-affected adjoining West Singhbhum district, a senior police officer today said. The recovery were made when security personnel of the 174th battalion of CRPF and District Armed Force were on anti-naxal operation ‘Dhanus’ in the jungles near Tirilposi under Jeraikela police station limits last night, said Additional Superintendent of Police (Chakradharpur), Alok Priyadarshi.
Priyadarshi said explosives for making bombs including codex and electric wire, safety pins, screws and welding machines were recovered in large quantities from the spot. Five live bombs were also recovered by the security personnel and were defused, he added.
Two held, arms recovered during Maoist bandh
GAYA: Two suspected Maoists were arrested and seven weapons including three country-made rifles and an equal number of country-made pistols were recovered during a joint operation conducted by the district police, STF and CRPF to thwart any sabotage and disruption during the bandh called by the Maoists to protest against the alleged police excesses and subsequent firing in Madanpur area in Aurangabad district. Gaya SSP Nishant Tiwari confirmed the arrests and recovery of weapons.
One of the two arrested Maoists hails from Odisha. The arrested men have been identified as Suraj Aru and Suresh Prasad. In another bandh-related incident, Maoists blew up a mobile phone tower in Salaiya area in Aurangabad district. Life came to a near standstill in Dumaria, Imamganj, Raushanganj, Banke Bazar and part of Gurua police station area in Gaya district and Nabinagar, Deo, Amba, Kutumba and Madanpur area in the neighbouring Aurangabad district.
The bandh, as per reports reaching the divisional headquarters, was more effective in areas South of GT road compared to areas located to the north of GT road. In the Maoist-affected areas of Sherghati sub-division in Gaya district, all shops, educational institutions and nationalized banks remained closed. Movement of traffic in the Maoist-hit area was negligible as vehicles including two wheelers did not ply. According to Naxalite watchers, the Wednesday bandh was more pronounced compared to similar bandhs earlier enforced by the Maoists in recent times.
BSF top guns review situation along Odisha border with AP, Chhattisgarh
BSF Additional Director General B D Sharma and IG A K Sharma, accompanied by senior officers of the central para military force, today visited Malkangiri, the Odisha district worst affected by Maoism, and reviewed problems associated with Left Wing Extremism in the district and anti-Maoist operations in the backdrop of the arrest of top Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda. ADG BD Sharma and IG AK Sharma, who arrived at the MV 3 camp of the BSF by a special helicopter, discussed and reviewed Maoist activities and anti-Maoist operations in the remote bordering district with Malkangiri SP, SDPO Malkangiri, Commandant BSF and several other senior officers.
Sources said the closed door meeting focused, among other things, on a special strategy to deal with situations arising out of any possible untoward incident unleashed by the Andhra Odisha Special Zonal Committee of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) and Maoist groups from bordering Chhattisgarh in the backdrop of the arrest of Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda. The meeting decided to intensify patrolling by BSF along the district’s border with Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh to keep a check on infiltration of Maoists from these states apart from issuing high alert in these areas, sources added.
Maoists blow up police officer’s home in Bihar
Maoist guerrillas Thursday blew up the home of a police officer in Bihar to protest the killing of two people a few days ago in a gunbattle with police, an officer said. The home of inspector Kedar Nath Singh was severely damaged in the attack that took place in Aurangabad district’s Manjhauli village.
Aurangabad superintendent of police Upender Kumar Sharma said there were no casualties. Kedar Nath Singh is posted in Katihar district, he added. Sharma said Maoists surrounded the home and asked his family to vacate. They later blew up the home using dynamite. “Maoists blew up the home during a shutdown called by them to protest the killing of two people in police firing in Aurangabad a few days ago,” another police officer said.
Seven wanted naxals arrested in Chhattisgarh
Seven wanted naxals, two of them carrying reward on their heads, were arrested with a weapon and explosives recovered from their possession in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Kondagaon district today, police said. The cadres were held from separate places under Bayanar police station limits this afternoon, Kondagaon Additional Superintendent of Police Surjit Atri, told PTI.
Acting on specific inputs, a joint squad of Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and a team of local police were mobilised in the interiors of restive Bayanar forests, located around 240 kms from here. When the security personnel reached Rajbeda village forests, they rounded up four suspects, who were trying to escape from the spot, the ASP said. Those arrested were identified as Jarha (27), Chaitram (26), Buduram (40) and Mangal (25), members of Rajbeda janmilitia group of Maoist, he added. Besides, two high ranking cadres- Raiman Korram (38) and Samdu Korram (22) were apprehended from forests of Aadnar and Permapal respectively, he said. Head of Maraskol Janatana Sarkar of CPI (Maoist), Raiman, were allegedly planning to plant explosives in Permapal region to harm the security forces while he was nabbed, Atri said.
A 3kg-tifin bomb, wire and couple of batteries were seized from his possession, the ASP said, adding, he was carrying a reward of Rs 10,000 on his head. Besides, Samdu, active in the outlawed movement as Daula LOS (local operation squad) member, was nabbed along with a muzzle loading gun, he said. Subsequently, the ultra- Ramji (40) who was carrying a reward of Rs 7,000 was nabbed from Regagondi forests, the ASP said. The arrested cadres were involved in several incidents of crime ranging from loot, arson, attacks on police party, torching vehicles and others in the region, the ASP said. They were being interrogated, he said.
2,432 militants arrested from 2012 to 2014 in Manipur
IMPHAL: A total of 2,432 militants have been arrested by the Manipur Police between April 1, 2012 and July 18, 2014, state Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam, who also holds the Home portfolio, said.
Factory owners demand larger security force
NEPALGUNJ, JUL 24 – Entrepreneurs in Western Nepal have asked the government to beef up the Industrial Security Force (ISF) as the number of factories have swelled tremendously and security requirements have increased. The industrialists said that the security force was too small to handle the expanded needs. There are 345 armed police personnel under the ISF to protect factories scattered over 26 districts from Butwal to Kanchanpur.
A flurry of new factories have opened in the region since the end of the armed conflict eight years ago. Even though the fighting has stopped, industrialists still face threats from trade unions and assorted Tarai-based armed outfits who have been engaged in extortion.
Ghana’s Biggest Labor Union to Hold Strike Over Economy
Ghana’s biggest labor group holds a strike today to demand President John Dramani Mahama do more to stem a slide in the cedi that’s fueling inflation and curbing economic growth. More than 5,000 members of the Trades Union Congress are expected to march in Ghana’s largest cities, including the capital, Accra, TUC Secretary-General Kofi Asamoah said yesterday. The union represents 18 national unions with workers ranging from miners to health-care workers and maritime personnel. “People are angry and complaining because petroleum products and utilities prices have been increased significantly without a corresponding increase in wages and salaries,” Asamoah said. “The government has a responsibility to ensure that there are mitigating measures to help cushion the poor and vulnerable.”
Zambia: Over 300 Tazara Workers Go On Strike
Over 300 workers at the Tanzania Zambia Railways in Mpika have downed tools protesting a five month delay in salary payments. The workers have vowed not to go back to work until their salary arrears are cleared. Another strike action is looming in Nakonde following a similar among the border branch of TAZARA.
Workers of Shishir Group, Tuba stage protests for wages, bonuses
Workers of a knitting and dyeing factory in Tongi yesterday came to the company’s headquarters at Bangla Motor in Dhaka to demand their due wages and festival bonuses. Owners closed Shishir Knitting and Dyeing Factory, a unit of Shishir Group, on July 14, without notice, workers said. “We waited for 10 days but nobody from the management came to pay our dues,” said Md Mizan, a worker. About 300 workers of the factory that employs around 1,000 demonstrated in front of Planners’ Tower around 1pm and looked for the owners and top management of Shishir Group to demand their dues.
Kazakhs Continue Land Confiscation Protest
Several women and their children are continuing a demonstration against the confiscation of their property by the Kazakh government. The protesters have again gathered in front of the government’s building in Astana, on July 24, a day after their demand to meet with presidential office chief Nurlan Nyghmatulin was rejected. The protesters first gathered in front of the government building on July 23, intending to spend the night there to observe the Islamic Night of Revelation, or Laylat al-Qadr, in protest. At around midnight, police detained them and kept them at a police station until 3 a.m.
Kenya: Kitengela Tiles Factory Closed After Protest
RESIDENTS and MCAs in Kitengela on Tuesday afternoon led to the closure of Flamingo Tiles factory over “foul smells” and dust. The residents demonstrated on Namanga road before moving to the factory in Enkasiti area. They forced the staff and security officials out of the factory and they switched off power.
185/3, FOURTH FLOOR, ZAKIR NAGAR, NEW DELHI-110025
Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners is holding a day long PROTEST DHARNA on the 23 JULY Wednesday from 11.30 am onwards at the JANTAR MANTAR. The dharna will highlight the issues confronting the hundreds of thousands of political prisoners incarcerated in various jails in the Indian subcontinent. The speakers who will address the dharna include: Justice Rajinder Sachar, Arputham Ammal (mother of Perarivalan), Arundhati Roy, Prof. AK Ramakrishnan, Prof. P Koya, Prof. Saraswathy, Prof. Jagmohan, Mohd. Ahmad (JIH), N Venuh(NPMHR), Bubumoni Goswami (MASS), Madan Kashyap, Pankaj Bisht, Arun Ferreira, Dr. Aparna, Sumit Chakravarty (Editor, Mainstream), Kanwarpal Singh (Dal Khalsa), Harish Dhawan and others. Kindly send your reporter, camera person to cover the event. The Main demands of the dharna are:
1. UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE OF ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!
2. REPEAL ALL DRACONIAN LAWS INCLUDING UAPA, AFSPA AND THE ANTI-SEDITION LAW!
3. REMOVE ALL MILITARY/PARAMILITARY FORCES FROM PEOPLE’S STRUGGLE AREAS!
4. POLITICAL PRISONER STATUS TO ALL WHO HAVE BEEN THE TARGETS OF THE STATE’S ‘WAR ON TERROR’, OR THE WAR ON THE ‘SINGLE LARGEST INTERNAL SECURITY THREAT’, STATE-SPONSORED XENOPHOBIA AND HATE CAMPAIGN, CRIMINALISATION OF TRANSGENDERS, LGBT!
5. ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY!
In Solidarity, Rona Wilson Secretary, Public Relations PH: 9810149990
Jharkhand: Top Naxal Commander Killed
In a pre-dawn operation, security forces today killed a prominent Naxal commander operating in Jharkhand in the forests of Khunti district of the state. According to preliminary information reaching the headquarters here, the Naxal commander Vishal alias Tulsi alias Tadit, also the Special Committee member of CPI (Maoists), was gunned down by security forces in the jungles of Limba-Sosokutti village in the district. Officials said the operation was led by P R Mishra, a five-time gallantry award winner of the CRPF and at present Additional SP (Operations) of the district along with commandos of the elite CoBRA unit and district police.
A heavy exchange of fire took place between the two sides for close to an hour after which the Naxals retreated leading to the killing of the Maoist commander. Security forces recovered an AK series rifle, 150 bullets, few magazines, a grenade and two mobile phones after the operation which ended at 4 AM. “This is an important hit against the Maoists by security forces. Additional reinforcements are on-spot to check other Naxals in the area,” a senior official said.
An Assistant Commandant rank officer of the CoBRA unit was shot under the eye in the operation and has been shifted to a hospital in the state capital, the official said. Jharkhand Chief Secretary Sajal Chakraborty and Director General of Police Rajeev Kumar told reporters in Khunti that Vishal was said to be the ‘right- hand man’ of wanted Maoist Kundan Pahan. Vishal, who was carrying an award of Rs three lakh on his head, was wanted in connection with several Naxal-related cases, including the beheading of special branch officer Francis Indwar some years ago. Of the award, Rs two lakh was today distributed among the district and CRPF police personnel, they said.
The encounter took place near Lemba under Adki police station at Khunti district, they said. A top Naxal commander and aide of dreaded Maoist leader Kundan Pahan was today killed by security forces in a pre-dawn encounter in the forests of Khunti district of Jharkhand. According to security officials, the executed Naxal commander Vishal alias Tulsi alias Tadit, also the Special Committee member of CPI (Maoists) was gunned down by security forces drawn from two districts of the state, CRPF and CoBRA in the jungles of village Limba-Sosokutti under Adki police station area in the district. Jharkhand Chief Secretary Sajal Chakraborty and Director General of Police Rajeev Kumar told reporters that Vishal was said to be the ‘right hand man’ of dreaded Maoist Kundan Pahan who heads activities of armed Maoist cadres in the state and along its borders.
Vishal was carrying an award of Rs 3 lakh and was wanted in connection with several naxal violence-related cases including the beheading of special branch officer Francis Indwar some years ago and the 2009 killing of five Central Reserve Police Force troops in Khunti. Officials said the operation was led by P R Mishra, a five-time gallantry award winning officer of CRPF and at present Additional SP (Operations) of Khunti, the Addl. SP of Ranchi along with commandos of the elite CoBRA unit of CRPF. A heavy exchange of fire took place between the two sides, amidst heavy rains, for close to an hour after which the Naxal squad present with Vishal retreated leading to the killing of the Maoist commander.
“The Naxal commander later took refuge in an abandoned house just below a hill in the forests and he was killed there. He sustained three bullet injuries,” the officials said. Security forces recovered an AK-47 rifle, 150 bullets, five magazines, a grenade, two active mobile phones and a walkie-talkie set from the spot. The operation, based on intelligence inputs, began at 2 AM and ended two hours later, the officials said. “This is an important hit against the Maoists by security forces.
Additional reinforcements are at the spot to check other Naxals in the area,” they said. An Assistant Commandant rank officer of the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) has been shot under the eye in the operation and has been shifted to a hospital in the state capital, the official said. The commando officer Manoj Yadav is now stable, the official added. Of the award, Rs two lakh was today distributed equally among the district police and CRPF and CoBRA personnel, he said.
Govt says 1,922 people killed in Naxal violence in last 3 years
New Delhi: A total of 1,922 people, including 1,179 civilians, were killed due to the Naxal violence in the last three years, Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday. Minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju said 142 security personnel, 469 civilians and 99 Naxals were killed in 2011 due to the violence perpetrated by the Maoists. Altogether 114 security personnel, 301 civilians and 74 Naxals were killed in 2012 and 115 security men, 282 civilians and 100 Naxals were killed in such violence in 2013. Rijiju said 61 security personnel, 127 civilians and 38 Naxals were killed till 11 July, this year.
Maoists blow up rail track in Bihar, pilot engine of Rajdhani derails
A portion of a railway track between Ismailpur and Rafiganj section in Bihar was blasted by Maoists on Tuesday and it led to derailment of a pilot engine running ahead of the Bhubaneshwar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express. Deputy Inspector General of Police, Magadh range, P.K. Shrivastava, said that the blast took place late Tuesday night but it did not injure anyone. In Patna, Chief Public Relations Officer, East Central Railway, Arvind Kumar Rajak said the advance pilot engine running ahead of Bhubaneshwar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express derailed due to the incident.
The incident has delayed nearly one dozen mail and Express trains including three Rajdhani Express trains. The Maoists caused the blast during a one-day bandh call called by them to protest police firing in Aurangabad and Rohtas districts. The blast damaged around three meter of the track. It also caused damage to the electric wire overhead. The DIG said that the impact of the blast was so strong that it created a four-feet deep crater.
Mobile networks in Naxal-hit areas in 15 months, says Telecom Minister
Mobile networks are likely to be set up in the Naxal-affected areas in 15 months under the Universal Service Obligation Fund scheme, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Monday. “Mobile networks under the USOF scheme are likely to be set up in 15 months. Phase VII expansion of BSNL in the states affected by LWE (Left Wing Extremism) is likely to be completed by April 2015,” he said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
Saying that the government is concerned about the coverage and quality of telecommunication services in LWE-affected areas, he added that the government has approved installation of mobile towers at 1,836 locations in the states affected by LWE with funding from USOF. The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has already installed mobile towers at 363 locations. According to the minister, the project cost calculated by the BSNL “through transparent, open tender process is Rs.3,567.58 crore”.
Mass support for Naxals behind Bihar stir?
The Aurangabad SP and DM’s report said that villagers were suspected of sheltering Maoists Substantial public support for Maoists is suspected to be the root cause behind the sudden unrest in Bihar’s Aurangabad that led to police firing on a large crowd of violent agitators on July 19 in which a woman and a child died and five others were injured. This being the second police firing in Bihar a fortnight, the first being in Rohtas on July 8 in which two people died and nine others were injured, Bihar’s JD(U) government and the Opposition BJP are locked in a war of words over the government’s alleged loss of control on the police force’s activities.
But, even as a probe is currently on, the suspected Maoist connection in the Aurangabad incident has caused massive disagreements between the government and the Opposition. Top police sources pointed out that villagers in Maoist-affected Aurangabad turned against the police and the district administration so violently, indulging in arson and rioting, because they were angry about the intense, weeklong joint combing operation carried out in the area by the state police and the CRPF in search of some leftwing rebels reportedly hiding there. The Aurangabad SP and DM’s preliminary report on the incident, tabled in the state Assembly on Monday, also said that villagers were suspected of sheltering armed Maoists in their homes.
“The entire area was experiencing tension ever since the security forces began conducting raids in Deo and Madanpur to flush out Maoists camping in the area for a fortnight. The security forces also had an encounter with the Maoists at Devagaha village in Deo on July 11,” said water resources minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary in the Assembly during a three-hour debate on the issue on Monday.
Maoists using fake ID to get SIM cards
RANCHI: Maoist rebels in Jharkhand are using fake identity proofs — voter cards, driving license and PAN cards — to obtain SIM cards and make extortion calls. During recent anti-Naxalite operations, police in Lohardaga, Gumla, Khunti, Ranchi and Simdega came across several cases where SIM cards were obtained through fake ID proofs. In Jharkhand, Maoists and its splinter groups make around Rs 50 crore a year through extortion from various industries and construction companies operating in the state, a report prepared by police last year said. DIG (Ranchi range) Praveen Singh has called a meeting of mobile service providers from Khunti, Gumla, Ranchi, Lohardaga and Simdega districts on July 25 to discuss the issue. Police have also decided to crack down on the gangs making these fake ID cards.
“In one case, one Maoist in Khunti managed to obtain more than half a dozen SIM cards through one ID proof, which was found to be fake,” said Singh. Trai guidelines say that one person can obtain only five SIM cards through one identity proof. Police have obtained information that the chief of People’s Liberation Front of India Dinesh Gope has obtained more than 10 SIM cards through fake ID cards. “These days, mobile towers are situated in deep forest areas as well. Rebels make a call to a contractor and use the SIM card till they get the levy. If things go awry – like the contractor going to the police – the Maoists throw away the SIM and use a different one to make calls to the same person,” said Singh. Ranchi SP (rural) S K Jha said:
“Every time we conduct raids and arrest Maoists or make seizures, we recover mobile phones and several SIM cards of different mobile service providers. We have already alerted our police stations against such SIM card dealers, but I think a more serious step is required to deal with the situation,” he said. In the past, various district police had held meetings with mobile service providers. “Now I will tell the mobile service providers that police will make them accused in cases where we find that SIM cards were issued to the extremists on the basis of fake ID,” said Singh.
Prisoner ends hunger strike after a week in Kolkata
He was demanding only a political prisoner status, says civil rights activist After fasting for more than a week to get a writ petition filed in Calcutta High Court, alleged Maoist leader Anup Roy ended his hunger strike at Presidency Correctional Centre here on Tuesday, confirmed prison superintendent Nabin Kumar Saha. Mr. Roy was detained under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in January this year.
According to civil rights activist Ranjit Sur, Mr. Roy started a fast on July 10 to demand a political prisoner status and to get a writ petition challenging an amendment to the West Bengal Correctional Services Act, 1992, passed in Calcutta High Court. The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government introduced an amendment in November 2013, which curbed the rights of prospective political prisoners.
The amendment stated that a person found having links with any terrorist organisation would be denied the rights of a political prisoner. “The amendment was aimed at Maoists and Islamic outfits. The amendment is unconstitutional. Political prisoners, who were lodged in jails before the amendment was passed, were also denied their status. This was an illegal move. Mr. Roy sought to change this,” said Mr. Sur. Mr. Roy’s demand to file the writ petition was being denied by jail authorities, Mr. Sur said.
“Mr. Roy has still not been proven accused. Therefore he is not guilty in the eyes of law and is free to file a petition like any other citizen, ” Mr. Sur said. When contacted, Mr. Saha denied that Mr. Roy had started his fast to demand the rights of a political prisoner. Refusing to divulge the details of the writ petition that Mr. Roy sought to file, Mr. Saha said it was a highly confidential matter. “Mr. Roy started his hunger strike to demand that the writ petition be filed in the court. He ended his fast on Tuesday,” he said.
Three Naxals Held in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: Security forces today apprehended three suspected Naxals from the Maoist hotbed of Sukma district in Chhattisgarh. The three were nabbed under an operation led by central paramilitary CRPF in the Hamirgargh-Tongpal axis of this south Bastar district. The three suspects have been indetified as Handram, Deva Ram and Bheema Ram, the officials said. They have been handed over to the local police for further interrogation, the police added.
Palestinians clash with Israeli troops across East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Palestinians on Tuesday night clashed with Israeli forces across occupied East Jerusalem as protests in solidarity with Gaza erupted for another night across the region. Undercover Israeli forces detained seven young Palestinian men, including a paramedic, during clashes with Israeli forces in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of at-Tur late on Tuesday evening. Eyewitnesses told Ma’an that a group of undercover agents ambushed the young men and managed to detain seven. They added that soldiers showered the protesters with rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades during the clashes.
Baidya rejects talks with CA dialogue panel
KATHMANDU, JUL 23 – CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidya has refused to hold talks with the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee under the Constituent Assembly (CA) . He said that there was no point in holding discussion with a committee under the CA which cannot give a people’s constitution. Speaking at a press conference organised in the Capital to make public the decisions made by the party’s Central Committee on Wednesday, Chairman Baidya said that his party was firm on its demand for a roundtable political conference featuring all the political parties.
The CPN-Maoist decision comes at a time when the CA dialogue panel led by UCPN (Maoist) leader Baburam Bhattarai is trying to hold discussions with the political parties outside the CA. The party’s CC meeting has also decided to hold its General Convention within a year, after holding discussions on the two proposals presented by Chairman Baidya and party Secretary Netra Bikram Chand.
Nepal will further suffer with BJP at the helm in India: CPN-Maoist
KATHMANDU, July 23CPN-Maoist has said that the Bharatiya Janta party’s (BJP) rise to power in India would further embolden southern neighbor’s big brotherly attitude on Nepal’s internal affairs. In a press conference organized on Wednesday to make public the decisions of Central Committee (CC) meetings of the party held between July 2-21, the break-away Maoist faction came up with its formal stance on the BJP’s coming to power in India.
According to the information provided in the press meet, the political paper presented by the party chief Mohan Baidya states that BJP’s rise to power will further reassert India’s clout in Nepal. “Indian expansionist oppression is ever increasing in Nepal. The communal party like BJP coming to power in India will have negative effect on Nepal’s internal affair. It is likely to help American colonialism to gain further ground in our country,” Baidhya’s political paper, which was approved by CC, reads. The party’s central body demanded government to control ever rising prices of the essential goods and protested the Israel’s continued attack on Palestine as well as Indian proposal of energy sector cooperation to Nepal.
CPN-Maoist to oppose Nepal government’s power pact with India
KATHMANDU, July 23 (Xinhua) — Amidst government’s preparation to sign a major power trading agreement (PTA) with India shortly, Nepal’s hardliner CPN-Maoist party decided on Tuesday to protest against it, a party official said Wednesday. A group of five parties headed by CPN-Maoist holding a meeting in Kathmandu concluded that the planned PTA is an utter intervention in Nepal’s sovereignty by the India government as well as anti-nationalist.
The meeting also has decided to launch protest if the plan to sign the agreement is not canceled. The group of the parties announced its decision on the eve of Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s three-day official visit to Kathmandu from July 25. She is scheduled to lead the Indian delegation at the 3rd Nepal-India Joint Commission meeting to be held on July 26-27. The Nepalese government has been planning to sign the PTA during the meeting.
The Himalayan country has long pled India to sign the PTA, which will allow hydro-electricity powered Nepal to export its surplus energy to its southern neighbor during the wet season and import power during the dry season. “This contract in the name of PTA will hurt Nepal’s sovereignty, ” Dev Gurung, secretary of CPN-Maoist, told Xinhua, “This is an attempt of the current government to hand over controversial projects like Upper Karnali and Upper Arun to India one-sidedly.” Upper Karnali and Arun-3, both having 900 MW capacity and being developed by Indian power developers, are two of the most controversial hydropower projects in Nepal since 1990.
Protest Meet Against Development Injustice in Mapithel Dam at Riha Village in Ukhrul
A protest against continuing injustice by the ongoing construction of Mapithel dam was held today at Riha Village in Ukhrul District, Manipur. The protest meet as organized by the Mapithel Dam Affected Villagers Organization with Citizens Concern for Dams and Development and Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur. The participants from several villages also protested to stop Mapithel dam construction till a review of Mapithel dam construction is conducted and till the Expert Review Committee formed in 2008 is resumed.
The protest meet held as part of the Global Days of Action for Development Justice to demand a just sustainable development in a post 2015. The meet calls for protect survival sources of communities, adhere to due process of development and indigenous peoples human rights standards and to ensure due accountability of corporate bodies destroying peoples’ land and resources in Mapithel valley and to end all forms of militarization.
Police fire tear gas at protesting students
Police and students clashed during which they pelted stones at each other in Imphal on Tuesday. Some students who sustained injuries were hospitalised. Police are patrolling the trouble prone areas to maintain law and order. Students of three schools, Modern Academy, Pioneer School and City higher secondary took out a procession demanding reimplementation of the Inner Line Permit in Manipur. Police in riot gears intercepted them near the Palace ground. Police fired tear gas canisters and resorted to baton charging. One student, Praven, sustained injuries. Police also whisked away several other students only to be released far away.
Christian Council urges gov’t, labour to fix differences quickly
The Christian Council of Ghana says it is “very much concerned and worried about the recent rampant industrial agitations across the country” and wants the government and labour to resolve the differences quickly. “This industrial unrest, coupled with demonstrations, which have become rife, are as a result of the high cost of living which does not correlate with the income levels of most workers.
The recent hikes in fuel and utility prices, and the continuous depreciation of the cedi against major trading currencies such as the United States Dollar and the British Pound Sterling have further deepened the economic challenges of most Ghanaians,” a statement issued by the Council on Tuesday explained.
Riot police begin evicting thousands of squatters from half-finished Venezuelan skyscraper that became the world’s tallest slum
CARACAS, Venezuela — The beginning of the end came for the world’s tallest slum Tuesday as officials began evicting thousands of squatters from a haphazard community inside the half-built Caracas skyscraper known as the Tower of David. Police in riot gear and soldiers with Kalashnikov assault rifles stood on side streets as dozens of residents boarded buses for their new government-provided apartments in the town of Cua, 37 kilometers south of Caracas. Ernesto Villegas, the government minister overseeing Caracas’ redevelopment, told reporters the residents could not be allowed to stay indefinitely because the 45-story building in the heart of the capital is unsafe.
Child’s Death After Violent Protest Brings Calls to Repeal Mexico’s ‘Bullet Law’
The death of a 13-year-old boy who was hit in the head by a projectile during a protest that turned violent in the Mexican state of Puebla has led the state governor to seek a repeal of a short-lived law that allows the use of deadly force during public demonstrations. The boy, José Luis Tehuatlie Tamayo, died from his injuries on Saturday after receiving a direct shot to his head from what activists described as a rubber-coated projectile during a community blockade of a highway leading to the state capital, also named Puebla, located about 60 miles southeast of Mexico City.
The teenager’s death, 10 days after the July 9 confrontation between state police and campesinos near the town of Chalchihuapan, sparked a flurry of condemnation and anger directed at Puebla Gov. Rafael Moreno Valle.
Service station workers’ strike spreads north
OSHAKATI/WINDHOEK – The strike in the petrol retail industry continued into its second day yesterday after talks collapsed on Monday evening. Petrol attendants in Oshana, Ohangwena, Oshikoto and Omusati regions have joined the strike that commenced on Monday in Windhoek. “The talks collapsed last night. The strike is continuing,” Namibian Fuel and Allied Workers Union (Nafawu) Secretary General, David Frans, told New Era yesterday.
Service station workers are demanding a wage increase from the current range of between N$250 and N$800 per month to a minimum of N$4 500. Yesterday demonstrations in the northern regions was a tad tense with workers citing threatening and derogatory statements from some of their employers, who reportedly threatened to fire those taking part in the strike and demonstrations – as “there are a lot of hungry Wambo’s in the streets.”
New port workers strike cuts shipping at Argentine grains hub
BUENOS AIRES, July 22 (Reuters) – A new strike by port workers in Argentina’s biggest grains hub prevented shipping in the terminals of major exporters Bunge, Toepfer and Nidera on Tuesday, a local business group said. The strike is the latest in a flood of protests at the facility in Rosario, which, if prolonged, could have global market implications, as Argentina is a leading exporter of soybeans and corn.
A strike last week paralyzed exports for several days at a busy time in the harvest cycle. Labor unrest is common in Argentina, where one of the world’s highest inflation rates is eating into wages, but the number of strikes and threatened protests in Rosario over the past two weeks has been unusual.
Odisha rights body to hold protest against state repression on July 27
Odisha rights body Campaign Against Fabricated Cases (CAFC) will hold a street protest against state repression on dissenting voices and fllow it up with a state level convention on the issue in Bhubaneswar on July 27, the CAFC convenor Narendra Mohanty said in a press release today. The street protest will be staged at the Master Canteen Square at-10 am on July 27 and will be followed by the convention at Nagbhusan Bhawan, Bhubaneswar the same day at 11 am, during which the victims of state repression and their family members will be sharing their agony with the participants, the release informed.
The release said hundreds of innocent tribal, dalits and poor people are languishing within the four walls of different jails in Odisha for years after being accused “under false charges framed on fictitious grounds. These peersons include leaders of mass movements, workers of different political parties, social and human rights activists and their supporters. ” With an intention to facilitate the appropriation of our natural resources by the corporates, the state is targeting its own citizens.
Oppression, deception, threat, fabricating false cases are some of the vicious tricks being used by the state to put down any kind of dissent by people. With such an approach, the Odisha government has let loose a reign of fear among the common people especially those who express their discontent and dissent, thus squeezing whatever space was there for freedom of expression and exercise of democratic rights,” the release alleged.
PIA employees protest proposed privatisation
The Employees of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) held a protest demonstration against the proposed privatisation of the national flag carrier. Protesting at the PIA headquarters in Karachi, the employees called on the Supreme Court to take suo motu notice of the privatisation. The protest was attended by engineers, pilots and other employee unions.
Maoist wall posters reappear after 10 years
Undeterred by recent combing operations in the Nallamala forests after the arrest of Naxal leader Daragoni Srinu alias Vikram, Maoists pasted posters on the walls of government offices at Midgil in the district on Monday inviting people and supporters to attend the annual meeting to be held from July 28-Aug 2. Villagers and police were taken by surprise seeing the Maoists wall-posters after a gap of nearly a decade. The wall-posters were issued in the name of Mahbubnagar Maoist party and contained some crucial points such as invitation to people to join dalams, request to attend the annual meet, halt to construction of Polavaram project and warning to ‘coverts’.
For the last several years, there has been a lull in the activities of Maoists in the Nallamala forests covers two districts of Andhra Pradesh and Mahbubnagar in Telangana. However, since the gunning down of three naxalites by the Prakasam district police and the surrender of other leaders including Dharagoni Srinu alias Vikram, the Maoists stepped up their activities. It is learnt that a group of dalam members came to Midgil in the Kalwakurthy constituency and pasted wall-posters seeking the support for the annual meeting. It is also alleged that the Maoists were also on a fund collection drive. When contacted, Shadnagar DSP Dhronacharayalu said that the posters were pasted on MPDO and MRO offices as well as at bus stops by the Maoists but were later removed by the police.
15 D’puri Youth Get Bail in Naxalite Case
CHENNAI: Madras High Court granted bail to 15 youth, who were arrested by the Krishnapuram police in Dharmapuri district for offences under various sections of the IPC, Indian Arms Act and Explosive Substances Act. According to prosecution, prohibitory order under Sec 144 CrPC was promulgated in Dharmapuri district to prevent persons from participating in the first death anniversary of Dalit youth Ilavarasan on July 4 last. Satish and 14 others were arrested on the charge of violating the prohibitory order and obtaining arms training from naxalites Kalidass and Chandra with the assistance from ‘Thuti’, an organisation intended to educate Dalit youths.
Granting bail to them, Justice P Devadass pointed out that no weapon was seized from them. The petitioners seem to be misguided youth. “Some persons who are stated to be leaders, have misguided the petitioners, who are dumb-driven cattle. They are in jail for a considerable period,” the judge said and granted them bail. They should be released on their executing a personal bond for `10,000 with two sureties each for a like sum to the satisfaction of the Judicial Magistrate-II in Dharmapuri. They should stay in Tiruchy and report before the Contonment police daily at 11 a.m. the judge added.
The judge, however, refused advance bail to Madhan Raja, an advocate and Bharatprabhu, a Ph.d scholar in Madras Christian College who arrest under the same Acts. “Very serious allegations are made against the duo, who were alleged to be instrumental in misguiding the other accused to indulge in certain criminal activities. The investigation is going on and the possibility of their custodial interrogation cannot be ruled out,” the judge said and refused them any relief. The judge also refused bail to Santosh and five others, from whom lethal weapons have been seized by the police. The Collector had also detained them under the National Security Act on July 10 last. The judge, however, granted bail to the 7th petitioner Tirupathi.
Arms found in Maoist bunker
RANCHI: Giridih police on Monday found more than 50 countrymade guns and 15 rifles after destroying a bunker reportedly built by rebels in the Maoist-dominated Parasnath Hill, known for the Jain pilgrimage site Shikharji, which draws a large uge number of pilgrims every year. DGP Rajiv Kumar said police have recovered 50 countrymade guns, 15 rifles, a huge cache of bullets, four boxes of Maoist literature, a large number of detonators, among other things.
Incessant rains hamper anti-Maoist operations in Odisha
Koraput: Incessant rains have hit anti-Maoist operations in Koraput, Rayagada and Malkangiri districts of Odisha, with security personnel finding it difficult to move in the forests with overflowing rivers, inundated tracks and thick undergrowth. Inspector General of Police (south-Western range), Y K Jethwa said, “Our regular anti-Maoist operations have been hit. We are now relying on only intelligence inputs.”
Maoists Racking Brains to Regain Grip over AOB
VISAKHAPATNAM: Top Maoist leaders are working on new strategies to regain their sway over the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB) and also Telangana pockets. They have come to a conclusion that they lost the confidence of the tribals along the AOB. After discussions and inter-party meetings, the top guns have found some lapses at their end and hence decided to take important measures to regain their grip over their ‘once strongholds’. Even as recruitment of cadre, rapport with tribals, procurement of modern weaponry and strengthening attack forces with three-layered security have been contemplated, the Maoists are learnt to have resolved not to kill innocent people in the attacks.
According to the prevailing conditions in the state and the neighbouring states, the Maoists have found that the AOB is the best location to strengthen their movement. After reviewing their existing strategies and the large number of surrenders in the recent times, the top Maoist leaders have expressed worry over their losing hold in the pockets of Visakhapatnam agency including GK Veedhi, Koyyuru, Paderu and Chintapalle areas. During the past five years, many hardcore Maoists and militia members from the agency have bid farewell to arms.
The Intelligence Bureau has already alerted the Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha police about the Maoists’ plans and possible counter measures. The IB has also informed that the Maoist leaders are on a serious recruitment drive and are threatening contractors, who had taken up various development works in the dense forest areas. Already, some contractors expressed their reluctance to panchayat raj engineering wing as regards undertaking further road works. “It is no surprise for the IB officials, who as part of their duty, have alerted the state police. During the past one decade, the Maoists have lost the confidence of the tribals despite the fact that they have sustained only with the help of tribals all these years. Against this backdrop, the police working in the agency have been on their toes,” a police official working in the Visakhapatnam agency told Express.
CPI (ML) protests against attack on Gaza
Activists of the CPI (ML) New Democracy staged a demonstration here on Monday, in protest against the Israel’s military offensive against Gaza. The pro-Palestinian activists led by party district secretary Ch.Venkateswarulu came in a procession from their party office. They shouted slogans against Israel’s military campaign. Members of the CPI(ML) ND frontal organisations including Progressive Organisation for Women(POW) and Progressive Democratic Students Union(PDSU) joined the protest and set ablaze the effigy of Israel. The protesters pressed for an end to Israeli military action in Gaza .
Maoist alliance urges govt to reject hydropower proposal
KATHMANDU, JUL 22 – Five parties including the major opposition UCPN (Maoist) have urged the government to reject the Indian hydropower proposal , concluding that the proposal from the southern neighbour is against national interest . A meeting including the leaders from UCPN (M), CPN-Maoist, Matrika Yadav-led Maoist party, Mani Thapa-led Revolutionary Communist Party and CPN-Unified led by Pari Thapa in the Capital on Tuesday made the decision to the effect. The meeting which convened at CPN-Maoist headquarters in Buddhanagar concluded that the Indian proposal came with the intention to create monopoly on Nepal’s water, energy resources, urging the government to take call on the matter only after reaching national consensus.
NEPAL: DISRUPTIVE ALLIANCES – ANALYSIS
On June 28, 2014, five main Maoist parties of Nepal, including the Pushpa Kama Dahal aka Prachanda-led Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M), the Mohan Baidya aka Kiran-led Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist-Baidya), the Matriya Yadav-led CPN-Maoist (CPN–Maoist-Matriya), the Mani Thapa-led Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) and Pari Thapa-led CPN-Unified (CPN-U), at a special function at Buddha Nagar in the national capital, Kathmandu ,signed an agreement to constitute an alliance. Addressing the function, Prachanda observed that the alliance was formed “with an aim of unification among the communist parties”.
Addressing the same function, Mohan Baidya, however, qualified that unification with the UCPN-M would be possible only after it agreed to the six-point proposal floated by CPN-Maoist-Baidya’s politburo on June 14, 2012. The proposal included accepting Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as the key ideology; accepting Peoples’ Revolution as the party’s working procedure; rejecting the parliamentary system; use of force for transformation of the revolution; correcting past political aberrations; and an organization based on the central principle of the peoples’ revolution.
Indeed, on February 2, 2014, the CPN-Maoist-Baidya at its politburo meeting had concluded that unity with the UCPN-M was still possible if the latter showed willingness to “correct” its political line of peace and the statute adopted through the Hetauda Convention of February 2013, which incorporated theoretical principles that mandated the governance of the party with a focus on participatory democracy, shunning the military structure that the party had earlier embraced. Baidya had asserted, “We are ready to bring a proposal for party unification if they [UCPN-M] stand ready to correct their present political line. They must think over this critical situation. If they show readiness to correct themselves, unification is possible any time.”
Since the split, which took place on June 19, 2012, the Baidya-led CPN-Maoist-Baidya has mostly remained outside the political mainstream and had boycotted elections for the second Constituent Assembly (CA), held on November 19, 2013. Despite the stridency of is political positions, it had, more or less, been pushed into political oblivion. The Prachanda-led UCPN-M, however, has also suffered a humiliating defeat in the CA elections, winning just 80 seats in the 601-member Assembly, and was relegated to third position in the CA. Significantly, it was the largest party in the first CA, winning 229 out of the 601 seats in the elections held on April 10, 2008.
Recognizing that factionalism and a progressive splintering of the party was part of the cause of the electoral reverses, Dahal had, on many occasions in the past, called for reunification with the Baidya group. Significantly, commemorating the 19th ‘People’s War’ Day on February 13, 2014, Dahal, recalled the party’s humiliating loss in the CA elections and observed, “We won when we were united and lost after the split. This shows the necessity of unification between revolutionary forces, wherever they are. It’s time to listen to the heartbeat of the people who are repeatedly urging party unification”.
Speaking at a separate function, on the same day, Baidya, reiterated that the “party was moving ahead successfully towards its aims when it was united”. On March 13, 2014, a joint statement signed by Dahal and Baidya, observed that the Government was arresting their leaders and cadres in connection with war-era cases. Both the parties urged that all war-era cases should be dealt through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), as the present sequence of arrests was against the spirit of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Such cases were not to be dealt with in a piecemeal manner, through regular court proceedings, the joint statement observed.
It was against this backdrop that the five parties agreed, on June 26, 2014, to form a Working Alliance Committee (WAC), comprising of the chiefs of the parties, to work together on a common agenda, though the unification of the parties led by Prachanda and Baidya remained elusive. The June 28, 2014, agreement to constitute an alliance was the outcome of this process. As expected, soon after the alliance was formed, these parties started talking of agitational politics.
In a meeting of the WAC held in Kathmandu on June 30, 2014, during an extensive interaction on the subject of federalism, the constituent parties expressed their readiness to hit the streets to press the Government to incorporate their agenda in the constitution being drafted. Compounding the issue further, on July 11, 2014, UCPN-M and six Madhesi parties – including the Madhesi Peoples’ Rights Forum-Democratic (MPRF-D), Madhesi People’s Rights Forum-Nepal (MPRF-Nepal), Tarai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP), Federal Socialist Party-Nepal (FSP-Nepal), Sadbhavana Party (SP) and Tarai Madhesh Sadbhavana Party (TMSP) – formed an alliance, the Federal Republican Front (FRF), to push for their demand of identity-based federalism. The purpose of the alliance was purportedly to press the big parties – Nepali Congress (NC) and Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) – to embrace ‘the people’s aspirations for change’.
Conspicuously, after forging two separate alliances – one with the Maoist factions and another with the Madhesh-based political parties – the UCPN-M is now mulling an interventionist role in national politics. A standing committee meeting of the party held on June 29, 2014, discussed possible protest programmes to be launched inside and outside Parliament. Party Secretary Giriraj Mani Pokharel thus observed, “We have realized that we need to play interventionary role in national politics, so we are working out our future course of action.”
The newly formed alliances, however, remain edgy. For instance, though the UCPN-M and the CPN-Maoist-Baidya have formed the WAC along with three other parties, unification remains elusive, despite overtures. On fundamentals, the two parties remain irreconcilable, and, expressing doubts whether the UCPN-M was serious about party unification, CPN-Maoist-Baidya Secretary Dev Gurung, on June 19, 2014, noted, “Though they are talking about party unification, it just looks like propaganda, as they have not done any homework with regards to our six-point condition.”
Day 3: Clashes, shutdown in Kaimoh
Kulgam, July 21: Amid complete shutdown, clashes continued in Kaimoh area of this south Kashmir district for the third consecutive day Monday. Reports said a complete shutdown was observed in Kaimoh town and its adjoining villages of Khudwani, Redwani and Frisal to protest the killing of a teenager, Suhail Ahmad Lone—a 9th grade student—in CRPF firing in the area on Saturday. Shops remained closed while traffic was off the roads. Shutdown was also observed in Kulgam town and its adjoining areas.
Eyewitnesses said police and paramilitary forces were deployed in strength in Kaimoh areas to thwart any attempts at protests. However, they said, youth came out on the roads and fought pitched battles with the forces who lobbed tear-gas shells to quell the demonstrations.
Over 1,000 Yue Yuen staff in Zhuhai block roads in protest
More than a thousand workers from the Yue Yuen shoe factory in Zhuhai, a city on the southern coast of Guangdong province, have stopped work to protest inadequate housing and insurance, reports Chinese-language citizen journalism site Boxun. The protesting workers, who blocked roads leading to the factory for about two hours from 8:30am on July 21, told reporters on the scene that the company has refused to pay for staff housing and has acquired temporary insurance coverage for permanent workers.
One witness said online that the protesters took more extreme measures such as stopping work and blocking roads because they wanted to attract the attention of the local government and the municipal labor bureau in the hope that their legal rights can be protected.
Militants infiltrating industrial protests in Ghana – Dr. Aning
With the increasing spate of industrial action across the country, a security expert with the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) is cautioning leaders of such demonstrations not to allow their actions to degenerate into violence. Dr Kwasi Aning is even more worried about the potential of militants in the West African sub region infiltrating the demonstration to cause mayhem in the country.
Ghana has seen a groundswell of industrial action across the country over the past few months with workers protesting what they say is the high standard of living in the country. Hikes in fuel prices, utility prices and fall in the cedi have created a lot of discontent against the government. Ahead of an intended nationwide strike and demonstration on Thursday by the Trades Union Congress, members of the Industrial and Commercial Workers on Monday hit the streets in protest over high cost of living in the country. Simultaneously, residents of Oduman in the Ga West Municipal Assembly also embarked on a demonstration to protest the poor roads in their neighborhood.
The Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) are on strike and the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) also threatening another strike in protest over unpaid book and research allowance which is in arrears. Speaking to Joy News’ Dzifa Bampoh the security expert with KAIPTC said these strikes and demonstrations have a potential security threat on the country.
Railways workers threaten more protests after Eid
The Pakistan Railways workers have opposed the proposed privatisation of the largest state-owned transportation network and warned to launch protest campaign against the move after Eid. This was decided at a meeting of the Railways Workers’ Federation and its affiliated unions and units on Monday with Manzoor Razi, the president of federation, in the chair. The meeting asserted that in the first phase, a movement against proposed privatisation of railways, corruption in the department and for seeking workers’ right will be started after Eid under the aegis of Railway Workers Federation and in the second, sit-ins at the offices of railway divisional superintendents across the country would be staged.
Addressing the meeting, Razi said that the RWF had been formed to give an independent and larger platform to the railways’ workers and unite all unions under one umbrella in order to strengthen workers unity and their struggle for rights. He said the railways had already been handed over to private companies as some trains have been given to private operators; parcels and ticketing business was outsourced and now the track access has been provided to some parties at 15 paisas per ton per kilometer. While denouncing, what they described, a shoddy sell-off deal, the PRW said it would not accept loot and plunder by capitalists in the name of privatization, adding “the trains were being sold for peanuts.”
Eight killed as Turkish military, Kurdish rebels clash
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, July 22 (Reuters) – At least eight people were killed in clashes between the Turkish military and Kurdish rebels on the country’s Syrian border, the army said on Tuesday, apparently the most serious outbreak of violence since the militants declared a ceasefire last year. A local official earlier pointed the finger at smugglers, after an armed group crossing the border from Syria into Turkey ignored calls to stop and opened fire on an army outpost.
Three border guards were wounded, two of whom later died, after they came under attack from around 15 people trying to cross into Turkey, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement. Reinforcements were deployed and at least six “terrorists” from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) or its affiliate, the Syria-based Democratic Union Party (PYD), were believed to have died in the clash, the army said.
Maoists regroup to regain hold in Visakhapatnam’s Visakha Agency
VISAKHAPATNAM: After nearly a five-month lull, Maoists have reportedly begun regrouping to regain their stronghold areas in the Visakha Agency ahead of the Martyrs Week to be observed from July 28 to August 3. According to sources, the banned outfit has already started setting up small squads as part of its damage control strategy and to show its presence during the upcoming Martyr’s week celebrations. They have already formed small squads in the Puttakota, Pedalanka and Palakajeedi areas of the Visakha Agency, sending cops into a tizzy, said sources.
According to a senior cop involved in anti-naxal operations, big leaders of the Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) like military operations chief Pratapareddy Ramachandra Reddy alias Chalapati, AOBSZC member Bakuru Venkata Ramana alias Ganesh had entered the district along with one company of the Central Regional Bureau (CRB), a military wing, led by Kudumula Venkata Rao alias Ravi.
Admitting that the Maoist movement is visible in Munchingput, Pedabayalu and G Madugula mandals, Visakapatnam Rural SP Vikram Jeet Duggal said: “We have inputs that they are trying to regroup in some pockets of the Agency. Our anti-naxal operations will continue with increased focus.” With almost all Maoist activities coming to a standstill in the Agency areas over the past few months, barring one or two incidents, initially the cops thought that the Reds have shifted their activities to Odisha. But following intelligence inputs, they arrived at the conclusion that it was just a strategy of the banned outfit to wait for better conditions to strike again.
Anti-Naxal ops: Govt deploys 1,000 fresh ITBP personnel in CG
New Delhi: In order to bolster anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh, government has deployed a fresh contingent of about 1,000 Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel in the state. The specially trained contingent of the paramilitary will be initially inducted to operate in Rajnandgaon district of the state, which borders Madhya Pradesh. “The squad will also be used to intensify anti-Maoist operations along the state’s borders. The troops of the unit will also render sanitisation duties in order to secure helicopter operations,” a senior officer said. ITBP has marked its 46th battalion for the task and it will join three of its other battalions that are already deployed in the district for similar operations.
“The unit is getting inducted into the state at present,” the officer added. The officer said the force was tasked with the job as it has undertaken good operations in the particular district in the past and hence their responsibilities have been widened. Chhattisgarh already has over 32,000 personnel of various paramilitary forces like Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force and ITBP to undertake these operations. The deployment of the squad was also discussed during the recent meeting of Left Wing Extremism states which was chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh at his office few weeks back.
Mobile networks in Naxal-hit areas in 15 months: Prasad
New Delhi, July 21 (IANS): Mobile networks are likely to be set up in the Naxal-affected areas in 15 months under the Universal Service Obligation Fund scheme, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Monday. “Mobile networks under the USOF scheme are likely to be set up in 15 months. Phase VII expansion of BSNL in the states affected by LWE (Left Wing Extremism) is likely to be completed by April 2015,” he said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha. Saying that the government is concerned about the coverage and quality of telecommunication services in LWE-affected areas, he added that the government has approved installation of mobile towers at 1,836 locations in the states affected by LWE with funding from USOF. The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has already installed mobile towers at 363 locations.
C’garh: Trader arrested for supplying to Naxals
Two persons, including a Bhilai-based businessman, have been arrested for allegedly supplying materials used for making arms and ammunition to Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Sukma district, police said here today. Businessman Yogesh Vardani and Ramadhar Verma, a driver who hails from Kerlapal areal of Sukma, were arrested last night on the specific input by a recently arrested Naxal supporter, Sukma Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Neeraj Chandrakar told PTI.
Yogesh, who runs a hardware shop in Bhilai area, was providing various hardware materials used in manufacture of firearms and explosives to Naxals, he said. Chandrakar said Poonam Deva, who was arrested last month from Manjhipara area, told police that Yogesh, a native of Khurshipar area in Bhilai, was supplying materials to rebels hiding out in remote areas of south Bastar for the past several months. Deva was introduced to Yogesh by Ramadhar, the ASP said, adding both Yogesh and Ramadhar have been booked under Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005.
435 people, 139 Maoists killed in Odisha in 14 years: Naveen Patnaik
Bhubaneswar: Maoist ultras have killed 435 persons including 210 police personnel during the last 14 years while the security personnel eliminated 139 rebels during the same time, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday said. Patnaik told this while replying to a written question of BJP’s Dilip Ray in the Assembly. “Maoist activities of different magnitude are witnessed in certain pockets of 19 districts of Odisha,” Patnaik said. While giving details on killings by the Left Wing ultras, the Chief Minister said 210 security personnel were killed and 218 others were injured in Maoist violence. Similarly, 225 civilians were killed and 119 others had sustained injuries in Maoist attacks, he said.
During the period, Patnaik said 1,916 ultras, militia, supporters and assistants of the Maoists have been arrested while 355 rebels surrendered before the police in between 2000 and 2013. The Maoists during the period have looted 1,907 guns and about 1,72,656 bullets during different incidents, Patnaik said adding the personnel of both the state and the central government have been engaged in anti-Maoist operations in the state.
Naxal Regroup on Cops’ Radar Post-Sabyasachi Fall
BHUBANESWAR: With the big fish in the net, the State Police is keeping its eyes and ears close to the developments in the CPI (Maoist) which, in all likelihood, would try and reclaim its dominance over central and parts of adjoining southern Odisha where Sabyasachi Panda once held sway. While Sabyasachi had unsuccessfully attempted a patch-up with CPI (Maoist) late last year, his arrest has now paved the way for the outlawed outfit to regain control.
In districts such as Kandhamal, Gajapati, Rayagada and Ganjam, the Maoist leader built his control step by step over the last two decades. He not only had underground men to strike, the overground support was huge too. Although the strength of his military unit weakened following fall-out with the Maoist party, his support base remained almost in tact. This is where, police sources say, the CPI (Maoist) would like to cash in on. “If he had formed a structure-based outfit after his exit from CPI (Maoist), he would have had a second-in-command who would take over control or even merge with the mother unit but it did not happen because of the conflict,” said the Intelligence sources.
Besides, it was his control over Central Odisha that allowed the CPI (Maoist) to create a Red corridor through the State to connect Chhattisgarh. Now that he is behind bars, the Naxal outfit would try to regroup and create its own base. Director General of Police Sanjeev Marik said the State Police is keeping a watch on the possible realignment among the Maoist groups in the region as well as influx of cadre members from neighbouring Chhattisgarh.
The State Police is wary that the ground-level propaganda mechanism will be put back by the CPI (Maoist) which would resort to terror tactics to gain base. “Since Sabyasachi had considerable influence in Central Odisha, the CPI (Maoist) will make every attempt to take advantage of the situation. We are aware of the fallout of his arrest and are keeping a watch on the movements of the Naxals,” the DGP told this paper on Sunday. He said anti-Maoist operations will be intensified to neutralise any effort by ultras from Chhattisgarh to enter Odisha in days to come. Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist) has criticised the State Police for arresting Sabyasachi. Central Committee member Sekhar, in a press release, said the Maoist leader had shunned violence for about two years.
Youth killed in firing during protest against Israel in Kashmir
A youth was on Saturday killed in alleged CRPF firing in Kulgam district of Kashmir during protests against Israeli aggression in Gaza Strip. “One youth was killed while another was injured in a firing incident in Qaimoh area of Kulgam,” an official at district Police Control Room said. The deceased youth has been identified as Suhail Ahmad Mir, a resident of Mishripora in Kulgam. He said the situation in the area was tense as the incident has led to more protests which have spread to some adjoining areas.
Police said a group of youth were protesting against the latest Israeli ground offensive in Gaza at Qaimoh. The protests turned violent when CRPF personnel used batons to chase away the protesters. The youth started pelting stones after which CRPF personnel allegedly opened firing, resulting in death of one person and injuries to another, the police said.
Pictures: 15 farm invaders arrested
CLOSE to 15 farm invaders were yesterday arrested at Mashonaland East Tobacco Graders in Bromley when the dreaded Police Support Unit members popularly known as “Black Boots” swooped on the property which has been at the centre of an ownership wrangle.
Protesters arrested over Rome violence
Three of the men have been put under house arrest, two from Rome and one living in Marghera, north-east Italy, while another is currently in a district prison in Ferrara. One of the protesters, named only by the initials MC, 22, is believed to have used a slingshot to hurl objects at riot police during the April 12th protest. He was wearing ski goggles and a gas mask at the time, La Repubblica reported. The anti-government march descended into chaos outside the Ministry for Industry, on Rome’s Via Veneto, with protesters clashing with riot police.
Anti-riot police disperse touts protesting along Haile Sellasie
Nairobi, Kenya: A tout died after a vehicle ran over him in a confrontation with police at Railways bus stop, Nairobi. Police had tried to arrest the deceased on Friday afternoon prompting a confrontation that led to his death. Witnesses and police said the officer had tried to drag the tout from the matatu after he allegedly committed an offense when the driver drove.
Central OCPD Paul Wanjama said the driver drove off, the tout slipped off before the same vehicle ran over him killing him instantly in the 3pm incident. The death sparked violent protests at the scene spreading to Haile Sellassie Avenue for hours in which other motorists were attacked and robbed. Police used teargas to disperse the group of touts and drivers who were protesting the death of their colleague demanding the arrest of the officer who allegedly caused the death.
Six suspects remanded over Anomabo Police Station riot
Six persons arrested during last Tuesday’s clash between the police and some residents of Anomabo in the Mfantseman District leading to the destruction of the district police station were on Thursday remanded into prison custody by a Cape Coast circuit court. The suspects, including a woman, are Kwame Afful, 19 years, fisherman, Kodwo Nkrumah, 25, driver, Ekow Amoah, 26, carpenter, Richard Quansah, 20, driver, Obed Obo Mensah, 20, mason and Victoria Dodoo, 31, trader.
They were charged with agreeing to act together with common purpose to commit crime, assault of police officer and damage to police property but their plea was not taken. They will be re-arraigned on Monday, July 21. Police Inspector Samuel Amoako, who prosecuted, told the court presided over by Mr Kofi Seshie Ametewee that on Tuesday, July 15, at about 1318 hours, the Central Regional Police Commander, DCOP Ransford Moses Ninson, received information that a group of people had attacked the police at the Anomabo Police Station and were vandalizing the place.
He said the Regional Commander, together with his Second in Command and some men, proceeded to the station and found a large crowd of people out of which the six suspects were arrested. He said the suspects, together with the many others who bolted, destroyed everything in the police station and assaulted the policemen on duty. Inspector Amoako said police investigations were still ongoing. It would be recalled that on Tuesday irate residents of Anomabo went on rampage and vandalized the Anomabo Police Station over the death of a resident who jumped into the sea and got drowned in an attempt to bolt during a police swoop on Monday near Forte Williams.
The angry mob, armed with dangerous implements, carried the dead body which was washed ashore on Tuesday to the station and destroyed furniture, television set, documents, some vehicles and other items worth thousands of cedis in and around the station. But for the intervention of police reinforcement team from the Central Regional Police Command, policemen on duty would have been beaten to pulp.
Contract Workers at Britannia’s Delhi Factory Go On Strike
Contract workers at Delhi factory of biscuits major Britannia Industries have gone on strike, partially affecting production. The company has declared the strike illegal and said availability of its products in the market will not be impacted by workers’ stir. In a filing to the BSE, the company said the contract workers at its factory located in Delhi have gone on an illegal strike. “The said illegal strike has had a partial impact on the production/operation at the said factory,” it said.
Cameroon unions call for national strike over fuel subsidies cut
YAOUNDE, July 16 (Reuters) – Twelve trade union groups in Cameroon have called for a national strike from July 28 to protest cuts in fuel subsidies that have pushed up pump prices and transport costs. Oil and cocoa-producing Cameroon removed some subsidies on petrol, diesel and cooking gas on July 1. Petrol prices rose 14 percent, diesel prices 15 percent and gas 8 percent. The government took measures to soften the impact of the cuts, such as increasing base salaries for government workers and the military. But the groups, representing Cameroon’s main unions, said those were not enough and demanded the government revoke the cuts. The workers union confederation said it had not received a response from the government to a July 2 strike notice.
Strike in Retail Sector Planned this Sunday in Greece
The Federation of Private Employees (OIYE) has called for a nationwide strike in the retail sector on Sunday, July 20, in protest against the opening of stores on Sundays. The Federation called on associations, labor unions and sector employees to participate in the strike.
Port workers strike in Argentina threatens national economy
Argentina’s main exports are halted due to a strike by port workers and grain inspectors. Unions say export companies are not meeting the bargain agreements signed months ago, and also demand salary increases and better working conditions.
Iran: East Alborz Coal Mine workers go on strike again
More than 1,000 coal miners went on strike in the Iranian province of Semnan for the third time on Wednesday in protest at sudden changes in the company ownership that means they are being denied property promised to them in exchange for unpaid profit shares.
Operations stop at Pan American’s Bolivian mine as workers go on strike
Around 600 union workers at Pan American Silver’s San Vicente silver-zinc mine in the Potosí department of Bolivia have gone on strike, demanding changes in the senior management. The workers are demanding the removal of general manager Eusterio Huerta León, reported Business News Americas citing union leader Hugo Arratia’s update given to Página Siete newspaper. Mining workers allege that Huerta León ordered increase of ore extraction by 50% to 1,200t a day and also banned the chewing of coca leaf at the mine. The San Vicente mine is operated by Pan American’s subsidiary Pan American Silver Bolivia in a joint venture with state-owned mining company Comibol.
Seven People Attempt Suicide Protest in Beijing Over Illegal Land Seizures
On Wednesday morning at about 8:10 a.m., seven people who had traveled together to Beijing from southeastern Jiangsu province met outside the offices of the China Youth Daily newspaper. They carried with them black bottles containing pesticides, which they opened and quickly drank. In rural China, consuming pesticides is one of the most common methods of suicide; the seven chose this as an act of desperate protest.
Petition papers that lay askew, near where the five men and two women fell unconscious on the pavement, indicate that the group had come to Beijing to petition national authorities to intervene over land seizures and forced demolitions in their hometown.
Niger activists arrested over Areva protest before François Hollande visit
Transparency campaigners in Niger have been arrested shortly before the French president’s visit to Niamey. François Hollande arrived in the Nigerien capital on Friday to discuss the deployment of French troops as part of a strategy for securing the wider Sahelian region. Approximately 10 activists, including Ali Idrissa, the national co-ordinator of the Publish What You Pay (PWYP) coalition, were arrested at their homes that morning.
The group had held a joint press conference on Thursday calling for peaceful demonstrations during Hollande’s visit. They are calling for Areva, the French state-owned nuclear company, and the Nigerien government to publish the details of a new uranium extraction contract. “This goes to show that we’re living in a dictatorship,” Idrissa said from his office in Niamey after being released. “We wanted to exercise our democratic right to protest. This is really serious.”
700 Protest Factory Closure In Myanmar
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — More than 700 workers protested Thursday in front of the South Korean Embassy in Myanmar to demand officials help them after a Korean-owned factory closed without paying their wages. The workers from the Master Sports Footwear Factory in Yangon said the owner closed the plant illegally and without notice in May and has left the country. They are demanding that the Korean ambassador help them. They said they were having trouble paying their rent and wanted assistance in finding new jobs.
Road blocked to protest youth’s killing
Dozens of people staged a protest demonstration on Thursday in Faisalabad against the murder of a young man. The demonstrators gathered at Jhang-Faisalabad Road and blocked it for traffic for hours. They placed Shakeel Anwar’s body on the road and brought the traffic to a standstill. Naseer Akram, one of the protesters, told reporters that the victim had been a labourer, who had gone to collect his wages, but did not return.
“Anwar went to receive his payment from a house owner in Officers Colony on Wednesday where he had worked for two days. He never returned,” Akram said. He said Anwar’s family found his body at the Allied Hospital mortuary. “When they asked the hospital staff about who had brought the body, they were given no information,” Akram said. He said Anwar’s body bore signs of torture. “We suspect that the house owner tortured him instead of paying him his money. When he died, the body was sent to the hospital,” Akram said.
Violence grips Gangtok as government college students protest over fee hike
Sikkim: The city of Gangtok in Sikkim has been gripped in violence as the students of a government college in Tadong has been protesting over four-fold increase in the fee. Violence was reported from various parts of the city and even from the main hospital. Even as the college has rolled back the decision, the peace has not been restored. Protesters who were angry due to the lathi charge and the fee hike, reportedly vandalised many government vehicles.
The Inspector General of Sikkim who had arrived from Delhi was attacked by the protesters and damaged his vehicle. The protesters are now demanding his resignation. The police has been accused of not handling the situation promptly.
Three farmers sentenced to three years for plough protest in Sagaing
Three farmers in Sagaing Division were sentenced to three years in prison on Monday for “trespassing” and about 300 more face charges for staging a plough protest in Kanbalu on farmland that was confiscated by the Burmese military. In March, the farmers demonstrated for the return of their land in the town of Kanbalu by ploughing the farmland, a common last resort for farmers who had their land confiscated by the Burmese Army during the military regime. The Burmese Army’s 2nd Logistics Battalion confiscated the Kanbalu land in 1997, and is currently operating it as a sugar cane plantation project.
After Panda, Focus Shifts to Naxal Leader Nachika Linga
KORAPUT: Following the arrest of Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda, the focus of the security forces seems to have shifted to Nachika Linga, President of Chasi Muliya Adivasi Sangh (CMAS), a naxal-backed tribal outfit in Koraput district of Odisha. Nachika, the most wanted tribal leader for Odisha Police, has been on the run evading arrest for his alleged involvement in several criminal cases, including murder, arson and dacoity since November 2009, Koraput Superintendent of Police Awinash Kumar said today.
“Nachika remains on our wanted list and we are tracking his movements. On many occasions, we have come close to nabbing him but have been unable to do so as he moves around in a crowd. We have now formed a strategy to nab him which we cannot divulge at this stage,” the SP said.
“We appeal to him to surrender and return to the mainstream. Or else, he should be ready to face police action,” Kumar said. Though Nachika has surfaced on a few occasions over the past few years and also addressed CMAS meetings, the police has been unable to arrest him. In March, the wanted tribal leader had declared he would surrender before a local court, but did not turn up, the SP said.
Jharkhand: CBI must probe ‘fake’ Naxal surrenders
The Jharkhand government has asked for a CBI inquiry into reports that a former Military Intelligence (MI) official and some CRPF officers falsely projected at least 150 Adivasi youths as members of various Left Wing Extremist (LWE) organisations in 2011-12, making them “surrender” in a bid to boost statistics. These youths were reportedly lured with the promise of jobs in the paramilitary forces. They were reportedly told that these jobs were being offered to surrendered members of LWE groups.
Some of them were even made to pay as much as Rs 2 lakh. After their “surrender” in late 2011, these youths were kept in the old Ranchi jail for up to a year, guarded by some personnel of the 203rd Battalion of the CRPF’s CoBRA. This jail was not in use since 2006, when a new jail was built on the outskirts of Ranchi. State government sources said the “scam” was the result of an ambitious project of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that went wrong.
The MHA had brought in former MI officer Ravi Bodra, now accused of being the “lynchpin”, after his work in Assam where he convinced some Bodo militants to surrender. “Bodra was in the Army and served in Nagaland. He later became an MI officer and was effective in getting a number of extremists to surrender in Assam. He wanted to do the same in Jharkhand and was successful for a while in Khunti district,” said Ranchi SP Anup Birthare. However, he refused to divulge which agency had given Bodra, also known as Ravi Barla, the Jharkhand mission.
Hounded by Cops, Sabyasachi Approached Andhra Cadres
Bhubaneswar/Berhampur: With his influence on the wane and the security forces getting perilously close on more than one occasions, the dreaded Sabyasachi Panda had made one last effort to patch up with the Andhra Odisha Border (AOB) Special Zonal Committee of the CPI (Maoist) late last year. He knew that it was not only the security forces which were after him, the CPI (Maoist), which had declared him a ‘renegade’ and expelled from the outfit, was also after him.
So he made a last ditch attempt to meet the Andhra leaders of the Maoist party to strike a negotiation. That did not work out though. However, the State Police is keen to know what transpired in that meeting between Sabyasachi and the Naxal leaders from AP. “When we interrogate him over next 10 days, we want information about the meeting as it will give us a peek into their operational control in southern Odisha where the Maoists continue to hold sway,” said an intelligence officer, requesting anonymity. On Saturday, Sabyasachi was whisked away to an undisclosed location after the Berhamopur Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) sent him on a 10-day police remand beginning Saturday.
Naxalite arrested with Rs 2.5 lakh
Ranchi: Police arrested a Naxalite leader, identified as Mutur Paswan alias Neeraj Rajwar with cash worth Rs 2.5 lakh from New Market Chowk at Ratu Road on Saturday. Senior superintendent of police Prabhat Kumar said a team led by DSP Deepak Ambast conducted raid to nab the Naxalite leader on the basis of a tip-off.
Hunt for Maoists on in 5 districts of Odisha
BERHAMPUR: Combing operations continue in Maoist-infested southern Odisha districts of Ganjam, Gajapati and Kandhamal districts, even after the arrest of top Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda on Friday. The Maoist group led by Sabyasachi had been dominating the southern Odisha districts Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Rayagada and Nayagarh ? over the last several years, while the state-grown Red leader was involved over 100 different Maoist-related cases in these districts.
“There is no doubt that a major Maoist group was destroyed in the area with the arrest of Sabyasachi. But anti-Maoist operations will continue as usual in the area to wipe out the other groups” said DIG (southern range) Amitabh Thakur. Police suspect that Maoist cadres from Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh states were still active in Kandhamal-Gajapati-Rayagada and Rayagada-Kandhamal-Kalahandi border areas. The CPI (Maoist) had formed the Ghumusara-Nagabali-Vansadhara division to spread their influence in the area after Sabyasachi formed the Odisha Maobadi Party (OMP), after being expelled from the party in August 2012. He was expelled from the party for accusing party leader Ganapathi in an open letter.
“More ultras from the neighbouring states are likely to infiltrate the area to strengthen their organization in the absence of Sabyasachi, who reportedly opposed their violent activities,” said a retired senior police officer. Moreover, the militia members of the OMP were likely to be inclined towards the new group in the absence of Sabyasachi, he said.
Two die in cop firing
Patna, July 19: Two persons, including a middle-aged woman, were killed and five others were wounded when police opened fire today to disperse a mob at Madanpur block office in Maoist-hit Aurangabad district. According to the police, the demonstrators indulged in stone pelting, arson and hurling bombs. The injured persons have been admitted to Anugrah Narayan Medical College and Hospital, Gaya. However, the condition of two of them identified as Awadhesh and Uday was stated to be critical. The deceased have been identified as Kalawati Devi, 34, and Dhanraj Kumar, 17 — both residents of Madanpur.
The trouble erupted around 3.30pm when a police team reached Madanpur block office to disperse the protesters, who had laid a siege to the offices of the block development officer (BDO) and the circle officer (CO) since morning to protest the arrest of a resident for his alleged links with the Naxalites. The protesters pelted the men in uniform with stones and set a police vehicle on fire. A section of the protesters also exploded bombs on the government offices. Initially, the police pressed baton charge and lobbed teargas shells to quell the mob, which was demanding unconditional release of a resident of Chhalidohan village.
He had been taken into custody during operations on Thursday and they demanded action against the police personnel involved in thrashing him allegedly in police lock-up. The mob subsequently set the block office and the circle office on fire and chased the cops. The protesters had also disrupted traffic on the busy NH-2 by putting up blockades at different points. “The police were forced to open fire when a mob attacked them, set ablaze their vehicles and targeted the office of the Madanpur BDO and CO. The office to deal with applications under the Right to Public Service Act was also torched,” said Aurangabad superintendent of police Upendra Sharma.
Sources in Aurangabad said the mob had locked BDO Ashok Kumar Singh and CO Rajendra Pathak in their respective offices and did not allow them to move out. “The police had to open fire in self-defence,” added Sharma. Additional director-general (headquarters) Guptesh-war Pandey confirmed the death of two persons in the police firing. “Additional forces have been deployed in view of tension prevailing in the town,” Pandey said, adding that Sharma was camping at Madanpur. Additional forces from Bihar Military Police’s 2nd battalion stationed at Dehri-on-Sone in Rohtas have also rushed to the spot to assist the local administration in maintaining law and order.
“The police headquarters is keeping a close watch on the situation,” Pandey said. The protest was continuing till the time of filing the report. Aurangabad district magistrate Naveen Chandra Jha claimed that the situation was under control. “The post mortem of the two persons killed in the firing is being conducted at a government hospital in Gaya,” he added. Some local residents said the police with the help of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had carried out search operations in Sahajpur and Chhalidohar villages on Thursday after being tipped off about the presence of some Maoist leaders in the area. “The police had to face a hostile crowd during the operations,” a resident said on condition of anonymity.
Manas, a spokesman for the CPI (Maoist), alleged that the security personnel misbehaved with some women during search of their houses angering the residents and they assembled at the block headquarters to protest the police highhandedness. Some innocent residents were also harassed after being branded as Maoists, he said. This is the second incident of police firing in the state in the past fortnight. Earlier, two persons were killed and seven others were injured when the police opened fire to quell a violent mob at Akabarpur in Rohtas district on July 8. The incident had figured in the Assembly proceedings with Opposition condemning it and demanding action against the erring police officers.
Weapons hidden by Maoists in jungle found
The police today recovered huge quantity of arms and explosives hidden by Maoist ultras in a jungle in Rohtas district. Superintendent of Police Chandan Kumar Kushwaha said during combing operation in the jungle near Madhukupiya village under Chutia police station, policemen found weapons hidden by Maoists. The arms recovered include three rifles, one pistol, 15 ammunition, 20 detonators and about 1 kg explosive, the SP said.