People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army week: A calm Day 1
GK VEEDHI: The day one of Maoist PLGA (People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army) week which started on Sunday went smooth with no major incident being reported from the region.Police deployed a huge contingent of forces to thwart the attempts of Naxals from conducting the PLGA celebrations. RTC buses operated in the Agency with police escort.
Apart from the companies of Andhra Pradesh Special Police, the Greyhounds and CRPF jawans were also deployed in huge numbers. Though the focus was on the entire Agency, police kept a close watch on Chintapalli, G K Veedhi and Munchingput mandals, which are Maoist-infested. About 500 personnel have been deployed in GK Veedhi alone. In Maoist pockets like Pedavalasa, Sapparla, Ammavaru Darakonda, Sileru, Gerela and Garimanda, a police party comprising about 30 personnel was deployed at every 10 km distance.
A senior police officer involved in anti-naxal operations told TOI that 1,500 to 1,800 personnel have been deployed in the Agency. While the APSP, Greyhounds and district commandos are on their own as they are familiar with the language and the terrain, local policemen and surrendered naxalites have been attached to the CRPF for logistic support and route mapping.
The fortification of the police stations and police pickets had begun a month back and the area domination strategy by the forces has been on since last 10 days. SP (rural) G Srinivas said, “It is nothing but increasing our visibility in the sensitive areas. This by itself will frustrate the Maoists from committing any offence. We have also intensified vehicle checking, patrolling, combing operation and nakabandi.” During the PLGA week, cops are strictly told to venture out in batches of 10 or 15 and fully armed.
The Maoists have been celebrating the PLGA week since 2000 in memory of slain central committee members Adi Reddy, Seelam Naresh and Erramreddy Santosh Reddy, who were killed in an alleged encounter in Koyyur of Tadicherla mandal in Karimnagar district on December 2, 1999. During the week, they hold public meetings to lure new recruits, give speeches against the establishment and conduct cultural programmes. A separate team under Maoist commander K Venkat Rao alias Ravi was formed to track police informers. Ravi is a native of Chintapalli.
Rebels blast 3 buildings
RAIPUR: Stray incidents of violence were reported from tribal Bastar region in Chhattigarh as the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) began celebrating the 12th anniversary of formation of its military wing, Peoples’ Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) to propagate their political aim among the masses.
Rebels blew up three panchayat building near Nilavaram in Maoist hotbed of Sukma while the ‘haat bazars’-the weekly market in the tribal areas-remained closed in response to the call given by CPI (Maoist) central military commission’s call for PLGA celebrations from December 2 to December 8. Much before the PLGA week celebrations began, security forces had stepped up vigil in the tribal areas, particularly around the inter-state borders on the tri-junction of Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, where helicopters were also being used for aerial surveillance. Security forces, led by the para-military, stepped up patrolling in entire Bastar region but with caution in view of the possibility of Maoist ambush and even landmine attacks.
Inspector general of police (Bastar range) T J Longkumer said, “We have stepped up security in all areas identified as hyper-sensitive. Para-military forces are also on the vigil to avoid any untoward incident.” Vehicular traffic, even on the national highways passing through the Bastar division, remained thin with passenger bus services remaining suspended. Bhanupratapur-Pakkhanjur road remained isolated throughout the day and markets and other shops in Durgkondal and Narayanpur remained closed. Passenger train service from Dantewada has been suspended while the railway decided not to operate goods train service on Kirandul-Kothavalasa, known as KK line, in Dantwada.
In a press release CPI (Maoist) Central Military Commission spokesman Deoji had exhorted upon people to observe the PLGA 12th anniversary celebrations in all the guerilla zones and red resistance areas and announced that guerilla warfare would intensify to defeat the anti-naxalite operations in the region. The rebels said they were also opposing the deployment of Army in Bastar in the “guise of establishing training facilities near Narayanpur for suppressing revolutionary movement”. However, Maoists have clarified that they have not given any call for bandh during the week long PLGA celebrations and it was the security forces which were trying to create a ‘bandh’ like situation to counter the Maoists.
Maoist week jams wheels
KORAPUT/BERHAMPUR: Vehicular movement was badly hit in the Maoist-dominated areas of Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur and Rayagada districts on the first day of People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) week on Sunday. The PLGA week was unheard of till 2001. After formation of the PLGA on Decemebr 2, 2002, the Maoists included it in their calendar of activities. While government-run buses suspended services to Malkangiri district, private buses didn’t ply beyond Malkangiri town. The 100-km stretch between Malkangiri and Motu wore a deserted look.
Fearing Maoist attack, all government buses plying between Koraput and Bhubaneswar via Rayagada took the Andhra Pradesh route. Intra-district bus service in Koraput district was also badly affected with buses remaining off the road in Narayanpatna, Lamataput and Onkadeli. With public transport system totally paralysed, hundreds of passengers were seen stranded at bus stops across the four districts. Police said adequate security arrangements have been made to avert any subversive activities.
“We are keeping a strict vigil in areas bordering Andhra Pradesh to stall Red rebels’attempts to sneak into Koraput,” said SP (Koraput) Awinash Kumar. Maoists had put up posters and banners at Kalimela, Motu and Bhenjagwada in Malkangiri district and Narayanpatna, Lamataput and Boipariguda in Koraput district. The banners urged the people to join the PLGA to make the movement a success. “The situation is under control and no untoward incident has been reported,” said SP (Malkangiri) Akhileswar Singh. Things were no different in Ganjam, Gajapati and Kandhamal districts.
While Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) has suspended as many as 13 long-routes buses, very few private vehicles were seen on roads in the Maoist-infested areas. “We have suspended all buses via Adava in Gajapati district from Saturday midnight,” said district transport manager, OSRTC’s Berhampur division, A K Mishra. The Red rebels had torched four buses at Raipanka on December 27, 2009. “Patrolling has been intensified and vehicles are being checked at night to prevent movement of the Maoists,” said SP (Kandhamal) J N Pankaj.
Maoist directive to youth: Support us or face music
RANCHI: Maoists in Jharkhand have urged youth not to support police and join their ranks. Through posters put up in two districts, Ranchi and Khunti, during Martyrs’ Week, they warned youth to either support them or else incur their wrath. During the weeklong observation, also called People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army Week, the Reds have solicited youth’s support in the state to make the organization stronger.
The week is observed every year in memory of those Maoists who lost their lives in their struggle against the government. During the week, the Maoists used every possible tactic, including arson, to instil a sense of fear among villagers. Martyrs’ Week was observed from November 24 – December 2. On the second day, the Reds put up posters in Maoist-affected Khunti district warning youth not to lend support to police.
“The posters bore the Reds’ warning to the special police officers to quit their job, failing which they would be killed,” said Khunti SP Amarnath Mishra. Police had seized over 50 such posters from Khunti Murhu road. The posters bore the names of youth who once worked for Maoists but who they now suspect to be working as informers for the cops. On Saturday, police recovered posters from rural areas of Ranchi – Bundu and Namkum, which asked the youth to help Maoists in strengthening their organization. “The posters carried the appeal from the Reds to follow their lines and to support their ideology,” said Ranchi SP rural A V Minz.
Maoist jail inmates go on hunger strike
KOLKATA: Maoist inmates, including those who have political prisoner status, have gone on an indefinite hunger strike at Presidency Correctional Home since Sunday morning demanding immediate release of ailing Maoist inmates Gour Chakraborty and Sushil Roy.
Chakraborty is a septuagenarian Maoist leader, who was the official spokesperson of the outfit’s Bengal chapter until the party was banned in 2009. Chakraborty was arrested in 2009 and charged with UAPA and is still lodged at Presidency jail.
For the past few months he has been suffering from various ailments, including cardiac problem. His condition is critical and following his treatment at Bangur Institute of Neurology, he is now at jail hospital. Sushil Roy was also a veteran Maoist politburo member and is now lodged at Giridih jail. On November 25, Maoist inmates lodged at different central jails in Bengal, went for a token hunger strike demanding the release of ailing Maoist leaders.
Militant activities in Assam points towards need of serious attention on Bengal foothills
SILIGURI: Following the encounter of last week in which ULFA top leader Saurav Borah has been shot down in Western Assam, whole of the NE state has been put under Red Alert. But the development has once again pointed out towards the need to give serious attention on critical foothills region of North Bengal at India’s ‘chicken neck’ adjoining to lower Assam that is witnessing gradual consolidation of extremist’s outfits in its socio-economically shattered tea belts.
With Nepal in North-West and Bangladesh in South-East, West Bengal’s foothills had always remained a major and preferred passage for the extremists from NE Indian states to Nepal, Bangladesh and also Bhutan across the infamous ‘Chicken neck’ of India that connects entire north east region with rest of country. Indo-Bhutan and Indo-Nepal, while both of these borders are open, that with Bangladesh is fenced and closed but highly porous.
“The extremists are using the foothills as important hub of their operation. Largely varying topography of the region with hilly rivers, jungles or uninhabited lands give additional advantages to them,” said security experts. “Despite best effort, the border guarding forces cannot fully stop infiltration of people, explosives, arms or narcotics across these borders. These make this Dooars region a strategically important and suitable place for the militants of NE region to camp in,”” agreed top security agency officials. “There is a definite upsurge in the effort of these groups for reconsolidation in this region,” they said.
Contentious arrest of many in the region since long including top Maoist leaders like Mr. Mohan Vaidya or volunteers from ULFA, NDFB or KLO and seizures of huge cache of arms confirm increasing presence of militants in the. The chaotic Tea economics since last couple of years has caused socioeconomic downfall of less educated and simple minded tea workers of foothills tea belt that hosts over 300 organized gardens. UPA Government’s ‘Special packages’ or ‘Grants’ for tea industry could hardly reach the workers level. Naturaly, these socially and economically victimized class of people may become easy prey of these groups,” complained Mr. S Roy, veteran Tea Trade Union Leader.