Security strengthened in Red zone
KORAPUT: Security personnel have intensified anti-Maoist operations in Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon areas of Koraput district with the Red rebels observing People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) week from December 2. “A massive operation has been launched in Narayanpatna. We cannot divulge details for security,” said SP (Koraput) Awinash Kumar, who is camping in Narayanpatna since Monday.
Earlier, DIG (south-west range) S Debdutta Singh had assessed the security arrangements at Narayanpatna on Monday. The combing operation, which was launched on Monday after police gathered vital information regarding presence of top Maoists in the dense forests of Narayanpatna that borders Andhra Pradesh, continued on Tuesday with new batches of force being airlifted to Narayanpatna.
Given its geographical location, Narayanpatna is considered a Maoist stronghold and the Red rebels are trying to convert it into a ‘liberated zone’. Police said special teams, including SOG, BSF, Odisha police and the elite anti-Maoist Greyhound personnel from Andhra Pradesh, have encircled the forest areas of Narayanpatna. However, unlike previous years when Maoists put up banners and posters urging people to cooperate during the PLGA week, this year no Red banner or poster is found in Narayanpatna. Sources said the heavy deployment of security forces might have deterred Maoists from putting up posters and banners.
Meanwhile, traffic remains affected in Maoist-hit areas of Koraput, Malkangiri and Rayagada districts for the third day on Tuesday due to the PLGA week. Sources said buses have stayed off roads at Kalimela and Motu in Malkangiri district and inter-state bus services from Narayanpatna to Parvatipur in Andhra Pradesh also remained suspended. “At present, the situation is under control and no Maoist offensive has been reported. Forces are on maximum alert and counter-insurgency operations have been intensified,” said SP (Malkangiri) Akhileswar Singh.
Cops on Red alert ahead of Ranchi ODI
RANCHI: In the wake of frequent Maoist attacks and recovery of arms and ammunition, police are taking every precaution to make the first ever one-day international match in Ranchi a safe affair. The Jharkhand police are on high alert following a missive from the Union home ministry. The police will run a massive sanitization operation to ensure safety of players. In the past two years, they have recovered several weapons, cane bombs, detonators and grenade launchers from different areas in the city.
Sources in the police headquarters said the operation is likely to begin from December 15, a month before the ODI. The sanitization operation will primarily target members of the People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI) and CPI(Maoists). Jharkhand police spokesperson S N Pradhan, who is also the inspector general of the state’s special branch, said, “The sanitization operation will target all rebel groups who are active in the rural parts of the state capital.”
The special branch of Jharkhand police will hold a meeting with the city police soon to plan the sanitization operation. The meeting will focus on the security mechanism, including crowd management, said Pradhan. Ranchi SSP Saket Kumar Singh sounded confident about the forces’ readiness. “Recovery and arrests of top rebels in Ranchi have actually weakened the Naxalite movements in this part of the region.” In June, police had seized a massive consignment of explosives, including over 1,000kg ammonium nitrate and thousands of gelatin sticks.
The Dhurwa police had recovered 70 detonators and 500 gm explosive substances in March 2011. The Jharkhand police are on high alert ahead of the match following several such incidents of arms recovery. The ODI is likely to attract thousands of cricket fans and several VIPs from across the country. This is the first time that Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will play in his hometown.
Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan is also expected to attend the January 19 match. In 2011, the city’s Kotwali police had recovered five detonators and 40 gelatin sticks. The sadar police, last year, had seized a huge grenade launcher from PLFI rebels. Huge cache of explosives and ammunition were frequently seized from rebels in Bundu, Tamar, Mandar, Silli and Lapung.
Maoists develop nexus with Islamic groups in West Bengal: Govt
The outlawed CPI (Maoist) has developed close nexus with radical Islamic groups in West Bengal and has forged common platform with them on certain issues, Government on Wednesday told the Rajya Sabha.Minister of State for Home RPN Singh said the Government is closely monitoring the situation. Singh, however, said no concrete inputs are available to indicate that Maoists have forged direct ties with Pakistani intelligence agency ISI.
Maoists may field ex-rebels in polls
GUWAHATI: Maoists may project former Adivasi militants as candidates against the Congress in the panchayat elections scheduled to be held in January. A pre-election intelligence gathering by state police suggest that activities of Maoists present in the seven districts of upper Assam could trouble the ruling Congress in the coming panchayat elections. “Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar, Jorhat and Golaghat on the south bank of the Brahmaputra and Sonitpur on the north bank are dotted with tea gardens and have a huge population of labourers, which are always soft penetration targets for Maoists.
Lakhimpur district, on the other hand, is very backward,” a source said. He added that Maoists have recruited surrendered militants of All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA) and they might field them against Congress in the tea garden areas. “The Maoists have already started an anti-Congress campaign among tea gardens labourers on the ground of the tribe not yet getting the Scheduled Tribe status,” the source added.
The state has been on high alert following infiltration of Maoists from West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa. Security sources said the Maoists have been tapping Adivasi militant outfits with active support from the Paresh Baruah faction of Ulfa after all the five Adivasi outfits declared a ceasefire. Two overground Maoist organizations have been identified in the state – Assam Chah Yuba Sangathan and Chah Janajati Surakha Samity.
The presidents of the two organizations – Tingraj Orang and Aditya Bora – were arrested in Jharkhand where they had gone for training. Police have killed four Maoists and arrested a few others, including some top leaders. The concentration of Maoists activities at present is in the industrially advanced tea and oil rich upper Assam where they are currently engaged in a massive extortion drive. Recently, Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh said that Maoists activities are on the rise in Tinsukia and Dibrugarh and the Centre is likely to declare these two districts as Maoist-hit.