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Maoists kill 8 during strike against Obama visit

Maoists killed eight persons, including a woman, in West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa during a 24-hour strike called by them since Sunday night to protest against US President Barack Obama’s visit to India. Those killed included three CPI-M supporters and a woman in Bengal, two bomb disposal squad
personnel defusing a bomb planted by the extremists that exploded in Bihar and two men who the ultras held guilty of extorting money by posing as Maoists in Orissa.

In Bengal’s West Midnapore district, assailants on motorcycles shot dead Kanai Ray, a former CPI-M panchayat pradhan, at Patashimul village.

The three others — Rashbehari Mahato, Sandhya Mahato and Sheikh Wajed Ali — were abducted by gun-wielding persons on Sunday night from a village in Jhargram subdivision. Their bullet-ridden bodies were found near the village on Monday morning, officials said.

Rashbehari Mahato was an expert on the tribal Chhau dance and Ali was a state government employee at the block development office. Both were CPI-M supporters, an official said.

The Maoists had warned the woman, Sandhya Mahato, of dire consequences unless her son quit the CRPF, the officials said.

Her husband is missing.  In Bihar’s Gaya district, two men of the Bihar Military Police, Vijay Kumar and Jai Chand, were killed while defusing a  bomb planted by Maoists at the Banke Bazar block office, DGP Neelmani said.

In Muzaffarpur district, 10 wagons of a goods train derailed after Maoists blasted a railway track near Kurhani railway station, Neelmani said.

In Orissa’s Nabarangpur district, Maoists shot dead two men. They also blew up a school building in Malkangiri district.

India says 1,000 dead in Maoist violence this year
NEW DELHI — Almost 1,000 people including civilians have been killed in the first 10 months of 2010 in violence linked to a raging Maoist insurgency in India, the government said Tuesday.

At least 577 civilians, 260 policemen and troopers and 137 suspected Maoist rebels died between January and October, Junior Home Minister Ajay Maken told parliament’s lower house.

The highest civilian casualties were reported from Marxist-ruled West Bengal state, he added.

The insurgency-riven state of Chhattisgarh accounted for the most casualties among security force personnel with 163 deaths, he said in a statement.

Authorities launched a major offensive last year to tackle the insurgency, which has spread to 15 of India’s 20 states and is described by Premier Manmohan Singh as the biggest internal security threat facing the country.

The movement which began in 1967 feeds off land disputes, police brutality and corruption and is strongest in the poorest and most deprived areas of India, many of which are rich in natural resources.

Maken said New Delhi had launched 69 separate welfare programmes in 35 insurgency-hit districts to try and wean away people from enlisting with the leftwing guerrillas.

Huge cache of arms and ammunition recovered from Maoist hideout in Bankura

Police seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition from a Maoist hideout in West Bengal’s Bankura district.

During a joint search operation, the local police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) unearthed the Maoist hideout in Lateri jungle of Raipur region on Monday..

A country made Indian rifle, detonators, landmines, 325 cartoons, a pistol, bags, Gelatin sticks, flag, flash gun and some pro-Maoist literature were seized from the Maoist hideout.

“We conducted a search operation where we found cache of arms and ammunition from their hideout,” said Pranab Kumar, Superintendent of Police (SP), Bankura.

He further said the investigation is in progress on the basis of the recovered items. (ANI)

Senior Maoist leader arrested, admits role in Singur stir
In a major breakthrough, the CID and the district police arrested Ajoy Das, a senior Maoist leader from Kanchrapara in North 24 Paraganas, late Sunday night. Das, a resident of Singur, during interrogation has admitted that he played an important role in the Singur movement, said a senior CID official.

Das was arrested from Bijpur police station area after he with five of his associates robbed a local trader and shot him dead on the day of Kali Puja. Police have seized a carbine and Rs1 lakh from his possession. “After interrogating him for hours, it was revealed that he is an active member of the CPI-Maoists. The case has been handed over to the CID,” said a senior police officer.

According to sources, Das, 38, is a senior member of the group’s Nadia-Burdwan-Murshidabad zonal committee.

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