Maoists fire, detonate landmine during security operation in Odisha
Malkangiri: A team of security personnel returning from an operation in a Maoist stronghold escaped unscathed after the ultras fired at them and also detonated a landmine in Odisha’s Malkangiri district on Saturday.
The Maoists fired on the security personnel returning from Kanaguda village, considered a Maoist den, from nearby hills with the exchange of fire continuing for about two hours, Kalimela police station in-charge Surendra Kumar Nayak said. The police fired 70 rounds at the Maoists, some of whom were suspected to have been injured, Nayak said.
A powerful landmine was also detonated by the Maoists at Gamphakonda area nearby, but the security forces comprising the BSF, Special Operation Group of the Orissa police and local police, had safely passed the area, he said. The remnants of the exploded landmine were collected by scientific experts in the team. The villagers apparently had prior information about the raid and had fled before the arrival of the security forces.
Hardcore Maoist arrested
Police today arrested a hardcore armed Maoist cadre from the Saranda forest in Odisha’s Sundargarh district during combing operation. The Maoist was identified as Ram Gagrai(23), alias Chotu. He hails from the Jareikela area of Jharkhand under West Singhbhum district, the police said adding that Chotu is an active armed cadre of the outlawed outfit. He was allegedly involved in the murder of Kandri Lohar, the former lady Maoist cadre who had surrendered before Sundergarh police in 2006 and was leading a civilian life. Kandri was employed as a home guard in Sundergarh police district. She was murdered along with her four year old son on February 11, 2011.
Maoist leader sent to 14-day police custody
GUWAHATI: The Kamrup chief judicial magistrate’s court on Friday sent top Maoist leader Anand Kharwar to seven days police custody.
Assam Police’s Special Operation Unit (SOU), which has registered a case against the Maoist leader, pleaded for 14-day custody of Kharwar. On Thursday, police arrested Kharwar, who is the sub-zonal commander of CPI (Maoist) in Jharkhand’s Latehar district, and his co-brother Anil Singh, from a hotel in Tezpur. Anil, an employee of a Kolkata-based company, was produced in court.
“We have inputs that Maoists are spreading tentacles in the state and the arrest of Kharwar is a vital one. We believe we will be able to extract information on movements of Maoists in the state after interrogation,” said a senior SOU official. Recently, police came to know about Maoists’ plan to get involved in the coming panchayat elections in the state by fielding former Adivasi militants as candidates.
Two Naxalites held in Kanker during separate search operations
Two Maoists were arrested from Naxalite-infested Kanker district in Chhatisgarh during two separate joint search operations conducted by security forces, the police said today.
“One 38-year-old Sop Singh, a resident of Partapur village was apprehended from Pakhanjur forest area after a joint team comprising sleuths of the district police and the Border Security Force (BSF) cordoned off the area,” Superintendent of Police Rahul Bhagat told PTI. Singh was allegedly involved in a number of crimes ranging from arson to loot, besides being accused of looting some election material in a previous Lok Sabha election, he said.
A muzzle-loading gun was recovered from his possession, he said. In a separate incident, Chaituram Raut (30) was nabbed during a search operation by a joint team of district police and the BSF’s 127 battalion from the Mendra forest area, which is under the Badgaon police station’s jurisdiction, he said. The joint team also detected and defused a 10-kg improvised explosive device hidden beneath a road in the Durkundal forest area, he said.