Naxal war clippings

35 Maoists from Chhattisgarh reportedly enter Orissa
October 12

Report by Orissa Diary correspondent; Bhubaneswar: As tipped-off by the Chhattisgarh police, at least 35 Maoist ultras have entered Odisha after the red rebels backed out in the ongoing combing operation against them in Mahasamund district in Chhattisgarh close to the Odisha border.

As per the information by the Chhattisgarh police, the left wing extremists have forced to back out following the death of eight of their cadre members in the ongoing operation by the Chhattisgarh police.

It said that at least 35 Maoists including some of the injured have sneaked into the Odisha border.

It may be mentioned here that recently a group of Maoist ultras had sneaked in to Bargarh and Sambalpur districts via Chhattisgarh. However, the Odisha police had managed to drive them away to Chhattisgarh.

However, the state police has kept itself in the high alert after the recent infiltration of the red rebels from the neighbouring state.

While the infiltration of the red rebels from Chhattisgarh to Odisha has become a routine affair, the Maoists in the meanwhile, have formed a new division named Kalinganagar in Jajpur district, reliable sources in the top police circle said.

In the newly formed division, the red rebels have incorporated eight districts. These districts are, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Angul, Deogarh, Sambalpur and Sundargarh.

However, the Maoists have excluded some parts of Sambalpur and Sundargarh districts from their control, the sources added.

Chhattisgarh to step up Maoist offensive

2010-10-12

Raipur, Oct 12 (IANS) Chhattisgarh has decided to step up the offensive against Maoist guerrillas.

The offensive against the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) had slackened since July as the security forces found it difficult to operate in the thick jungles that serve as Maoist hideouts.

‘After a let up during monsoon, we will now step up the offensive in Maoist pockets,’ an official at the police headquarters told IANS.

Chhattisgarh’s 40,000 sq km Bastar region, a long-time stronghold of the Maoists, is ringed by landmines placed by the guerrillas to prevent the movement of security forces.

The official said that roughly 40,000 personnel drawn from the state police and paramilitary forces including the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Border Security Force (BSF) have been deployed in the five districts of Bastar region.

These include Dantewada, Bijapur, Bastar, Narayanpur and Kanker.

The state police force will also intensify operations in parts of Mahasamund and Raipur districts where rebels have made inroads in recent months.

Maoists have a presence in 13 of state’s 18 districts, with a dominating presence in seven.

Officials say roughly 2,100 people have been killed in Maoist violence in the state since it was born in November 2000.

Maoists call for bandh against new Bastar peace campaign
Outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) has given a call for a 48 hour ‘Dandakaranya’ bandh from September 22, demanding disbanding of Bastar’s newly formed “Shanti Sangharsh Morcha”, alleging that it was a new avatar of “fascist Salwa Judum” — the anti-Naxalite campaign which was launched in June 2005.

The Maoist call for a two day bandh came after a group of tribals, who met on Gandhi Jayanti day in Bijapur district, formed ‘Dandakaranya Shanti Sangharsh Morcha” for launching a ‘non-violent’ people’s campaign to restore peace in the strife-torn Bastar region.

“Maoists will be observing a 48 hour DK bandh on September 22 and 23 to protest against the newly formed organization as it is a new avatar of Salwa Judum”, CPI (Maoist) Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee spokesman Gudsa Usendi said in a communiqué sent to the media in Bastar.

The so-called Dandakaranya region — which the rebels term as “DK” state — forms part of forest areas of Bastar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa. Maoists claim it as their ‘Liberated zone’ while the the civil administration’s consider it as areas dominated by the rebels.

The initiative for a new peace campaign began last month when a group of people, including a few of those who were associated with the Salwa Judum, met at Karkeli village and decided to formulate strategies to take the campaign ahead for establishing peace in the area. Later, they met again at Kutroo village in Bijapur district on October 2 and resolved to work for peace without carrying any weapons by following the Gandhian path of non-violence.

Salwa Judum, which began as a small protest from Karkeli village in Bijapur district on June 2005, had turned into frenzy in South Bastar, once the cherished zone of the Maoists. The movement, which the state government described as a spontaneous peoples campaign against the Naxalites, spread far and wide and turned the entire South Bastar into a battle field. The Naxalites unleashed attacks on Salwa Judum cadres, who went on a prowl against Maoist sympathizers, and the conflict led to police and Para-military forces swarming the region.

Maoist call for two day bandh against the newly formed Dandakaranya Shanti Sangharsh Samiti is being seen as an attempt to thwart the possibility of new campaign spreading into the remote areas where the rebel have their base.

Two civilians killed by police in shootout with Maoists

2010-10-11

Raipur, Oct 11 (IANS) Two days after police claimed to have killed eight Maoists in a fierce shootout in Chhattisgarh’s Mahasamund district, its claims were mired in controversy with accusations Monday that two of those killed were civilians.

Dozens of state police personnel had Oct 9 fought a gunbattle with Maoists near the Orissa border and claimed to have killed eight rebels and also described it as an achievement.

It was the first incident of police and Maoists involved in a gunfight in Mahasamund district that was so far untouched by the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) outfit.

However, people of the village – Ledgidip – said that police personnel stormed into the house of Gautam Patel during the gunfight and killed him along with his servant despite their pleadings that they were not Maoists.

Local media reports have quoted Himadri, wife of Patel, as saying that her husband and servant were killed in the kitchen by policemen and the blood was still on the floor.

Chhattisgarh Director General of Police Vishwa Ranjan told IANS: ‘Yes, two civilians were killed in cross firing Oct 9 but we have to find out how they got killed.’

He added: ‘Only a probe would reveal whether they were killed by Maoists or police.’

Asked whether a magisterial probe is on into the killings, he said: ‘It’s a legal complication to have a probe whenever civilians get killed.’

Maoists have presence in 13 of the state’s 18 districts with considerable base in seven districts.

Red rebels shift base to Purulia hills

Oct 12
KOLKATA: Maoists in Bengal have shifted their operational base to the hilly terrain of Purulia, nestled in the Ayodhya and Dalma ranges, to stop CPM’s advance in Jangalmahal and for easy access to Bihar. For long, this remote hilly area was a known Maoist corridor joining Jharkhand and Orissa with Bengal. The Red brigade also enjoyed some support base here. But over the past two years, since the tribal upsurge in Lalgarh, the Red rebels did not focus on Purulia.

Now, due to increasing pressure from the joint forces and armed CPM cadres, the Maoists are finding the plains of Lalgarh and adjoining areas less safe than before and are shifting towards Purulia.

Said a police officer dealing with Maoist insurgency in the region: “A large number of armed Maoists are camping in far-flung areas of the Ayodhya range, from where they are getting easy access to the Mayurbhanj area of Orissa bordering Bengal through the Gurbandha range. They are also gaining access to both Jharkhand and Bihar and their operational areas in West Midnapore.”

A senior leader of the Maoists’ Bengal Jharkhand Orissa Border Regional Committee said: “A huge section of armed CPM cadres fighting against us in Lalgarh hails from villages located in the Ayodhya and Dalma ranges. Some of our cadres who are now on the police payroll have been recruiting these youths in lieu of huge money and are sending them to fight for CPM. To stop this fighter’ supply chain of CPM, it was necessary to camp here.”

When TOI contacted former Maoist cadres like Gurucharan Kisku alias Marshall and Umesh from Jharkhand, who are now trying to put up an armed resistance against the Maoists with the help of police, they admitted that this was their area of strength.

Marshall, who was a senior area commander of the Maoist outfit, hails from Purulia. He has some clout in the Dalma range of East Singhbhum district in Jharkhand, where they are working under outfits like Nagarik Suraksha Mancha.

The Red brigade claimed to have managed to stop the recruitment of such youths and regained its control over the treacherous hilly terrain of Dalma as a safe corridor.

Intelligence officers feel the Maoists have selected this area as they want to focus on Bihar till the assembly polls. “They are desperate to keep the corridor open as they need frequent movement to Bihar and escape routes to Orissa,” said an intelligence officer.

Police believe the Maoists had three strong squads in Purulia Gurbandha, Dalma and Ayodhya. Now, they have increased the number of squads and platoons there and at least 500 elite PLGA cadres are camping the area.

Worried over these developments, the state has deployed six companies of ambush-expert Naga IRB personnel. “The Naga police have the expertise needed to operate in such places,” said a police officer.

“We have plans to deploy more forces in the area as it will emerge as a crucial battle zone in the near future’ said Rajesh Yadav, Purulia SP.

Maoist commander arrested in Jharkhand

12 October
Ranchi: A Maoist area commander was arrested in Jharkhand’s Latehar district yesterday, police said.

According to the police, Satyendra alias Rabindra Oraon is an area commander of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist). He was arrested from Barbari Mandal Road of Latehar district, around 140km from Ranchi.

A loaded pistol and live cartridges were recovered from him.

Two days after police claimed to have killed eight Maoists in a fierce shootout in Chhattisgarh’s Mahasamund district, its claims were mired in controversy with accusations yesterday that two of those killed were civilians.

Dozens of state police personnel had on Saturday fought a gunbattle with Maoists near the Orissa border and claimed to have killed eight rebels and also described it as an achievement. It was the first incident of police and Maoists involved in a gunfight in Mahasamund district that was so far untouched by the CPI-Maoists.

However, people of the village – Ledgidip – said that police personnel stormed into the house of Gautam Patel during the gunfight and killed him along with his servant despite their pleadings that they were not Maoists.

Local media reports have quoted Himadri, wife of Patel, as saying that her husband and servant were killed in the kitchen by policemen and the blood was still on the floor. Chhattisgarh Director General of Police Vishwa Ranjan said: “Yes, two civilians were killed in cross firing on Saturday but we have to find out how they got killed.”

He added: “Only a probe would reveal whether they were killed by Maoists or police.”

Asked whether a magisterial probe is on into the killings, he said: “It’s a legal complication to have a probe whenever civilians get killed.”

Maoists have presence in 13 of the state’s 18 districts with considerable base in seven districts.

In the last six years, not a single Maoist in Chhattisgarh has surrendered with a light machine gun (LMG) or an AK-47 assault rifle, though over 2,600 rebels have given up violence during the period, say police. Police estimate that about 10,000 Maoists armed with LMGs and AK-47 rifles are active in the state. With the thrust on bringing back Maoists into the mainstream of society, the state government’s surrender policy assures a payment of `300,000 to a rebel if he or she surrenders with an LMG or `200,000 in case of an AK-47 rifle.

Official figures provided by police headquarters say 2,619 Maoists have surrendered till date in the state, but just six of them with weapons such as 12 bore guns.

Police officials posted in the restive 40,000sqkm Bastar region, where the rebels’ hideouts in forests are ringed by landmines, said the “government lacked a long-term plan and strategy to win over hardcore Maoists armed with LMGs and AK-47s”.

“The Maoists who carry LMGs and AK-47s are the fighters who have been recruited into the outfit first in bal sangham, a unit of the Communist Party of India-Maoist for minors aged around 8 and 10 years,” said an official posted in Dantewada district requesting anonymity.

“Most of them were forcibly picked up from villages and schools and were brainwashed to follow the Maoist ideology. The government can’t persuade them to shun the Maoist ideology till it reaches them and holds meetings with a clear cut commitment to rehabilitate them and their families.”

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