National Investigation Agency files charges against PLA-Maoist nexus
NEW DELHI: Left wing extremists (LWE) had been procuring Chinese arms and communication equipment from banned Manipuri outfit, People’s Liberation Army (PLA), via Myanmar and routing it to Kolkata through Guwahati between 2006 and 2011. This was revealed by a supplementary chargesheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the CPI (Maoist)-PLA nexus case. According to the chargesheet, all the communication equipment recovered from Maoists have made-in-China marks, while arms recovered from PLA members too belonged to Chinese brands.
It is, however, yet to be established conclusively whether they came from China and were routed via Myanamar or were pilfered out of Myanmar or some other source. The chargesheet has been filed against Maoist leaders Pallab Borborah, Indranil Chanda and PLA’s external affairs chief Asem Ibotombi Singh alias Angou, who were all arrested this year from Assam, Kolkata and Odisha, respectively. The accused are alleged have played a significant role in training of Maoists by PLA in Jharkhand’s Saranda forests apart from procurement of arms and communication equipment.
Earlier, NIA had filed a chargesheet against three top PLA leaders — N Dilip Singh alias Wangba, Senjam Dhiren Singha alias Raghu and Kh Arnold Singh alias Becon. One of the main evidence against the accused in the chargesheet is the email that PLA members had exchanged among themselves, and their Myanmar-based bosses. The emails exposed the nexus, helping agencies to sniff them out.
“Maoists use very little modern technology They rely on human couriers. But PLA members regularly wrote e-mails to their bosses in Myanmar. This exposed them,” said an official privy to the probe. The emails also mentioned aliases of Borborah and Chanda whose real identity was later established following statements of former PLA and Maoist members and are part of the chargesheet. The chargesheet says the nexus was initiated by then PLA external affairs chief Gypsy Sharma in 2006. Later, Becon was appointed as the liaison officer and sent to Kolkata to coordinate the operation, where he met Chanda.
However, for the first two years no deal could be struck save for PLA gifting some arms and communication equipment to conduct tests. In 2008, when Wangba replaced Gypsy Sharma in the PLA, he took one CPI (Maoist) central committee member to Myanmar, where Maoists and PLA signed a joint declaration against the Indian state and mooted the idea of forming a United Strategic Front. The first payment to procure arms was made in 2009. A deal was struck to procure arms and communication equipment worth Rs 50 lakh. A total of Rs 33 lakh in three installments was paid before the accused were arrested.
TPC ultras exchange gunfire in Latehar
The ultras of the CPI (Maoist) and its breakaway group Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC) exchanged fire near Gudiyang dam at Rampur Bareni village of the district. The two rebel outfits were locked in the gun battle since yesterday and exchanged about 800 bullets under Balumath police station, Superintendent of Police Kranti Kumar told reporters today. The encounter ceased after Kumar reached the spot with security forces and the police have launched search operation in the area.
Major operation against Red rebels to be launched
State police and paramilitary forces deployed in Bastar areas are planning to launch a big operation against Maoist insurgents in the areas bordering Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Maharashtra. In the operation modern telescopic weapons that are capable of striking up to 500 metres, automated grenade launchers and 81 mm mortars will be used to give the rebels a tough time in their own stronghold.
According to sources, Central Reserve Police Force, CoBRA Battalion, Special Task Force, Chhattisgarh Armed Forces along with district police forces of Dhamtari, Bastar, and Kondagaon are planning a massive operation in the areas of Dantewada, Sukma, Bastar and Bijapur districts bordering Odisha, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. During the operation, security forces will use long vision telescopes, sniper rifles, under barrel grenade launcher, 81 mm Mortars and other weapons of modern warfare. In the operation, the security forces deployed in Chhattisgarh will also be assisted by their Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha counterparts in area domination exercise.
Newly appointed DGP of Chhattisgarh, Ram Niwas has already visited Bastar a fortnight ago to take stock of the preparations and also meet the jawans who are scheduled to take part in the operation and are given training as to how to use the weapons during the major operation against the maoists. The training will be necessary as the weapons are based on modern techniques and the jawans are not used to using them.
According to sources, a large number of paramilitary jawans have been camping in North and South Bastar areas for this purpose. Notably, the paramilitary forces had entered the Abujhmar area in the North Bastar area for the first time last year and destroyed numerous hideouts and arms factory that wee being operated by the rebels in the area.
More explosives hidden by Maoists found
Koraput (Odisha): A day after recovering explosives hidden by Maoists in a jungle in Koraput district, the BSF on Wednesday found four big iron pipes used to make claymore mines, about 40 kg of gun powder and a few metre of wires from another forest in nearby area of the district, police said. Following information on the explosives in Salpaguda forest under Narayanpatna police station, the BSF personnel recovered the articles from a cave. “The Maoists had hidden the explosive materials in a cave and could used them in future offensives,” SDPO of Laxmipur, Y Jagannath Rao said.
“No arrest has been made so far. Possibility of the the presence of more explosives in the area cannot be ruled out. We have intensified our search operations,” he added. BSF personnel engaged in anti-Maoist operation yesterday seized three landmines, two can bombs, a country-made gun and about 40 metre of wire from Musulmunda forests in Narayanpatna police station.
Shutdown in Visakhapatnam to protest bauxite mining
Visakhapatnam : A shutdown was observed amid tension in the tribal areas of Visakhapatnam district Wednesday to demand that the Andhra Pradesh government should not allow bauxite mining. An all-party committee opposing the mining called for the shutdown to protest Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy’s visit to Paderu, about 150 km from the coastal city of Visakhapatnam.
Shops, businesses and educational institutions were closed in 13 mandals or blocks, especially in Paderu, Arakau Valley and surrounding tribal areas. Police arrested dozens of opposition activists before the chief minister’s arrival in Paderu to take part in ‘Indiramma Baata’, a programme aimed at interacting with beneficiaries of welfare schemes. A group of leaders and activists staged a protest outside the office of Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) in Paderu to demand that the chief minister speak out against the bauxite mining and cancel the projects awarded to companies.
The all-party committee comprising the Telugu Desam Party, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India-Marxist and some people’s groups have threatened to disrupt the chief minister’s programme. Hundreds of policemen were deployed as security was stepped up in the agency areas. Police sealed off roads and took several people into custody as a precaution.
As the tribal area has Maoist influence, armed policemen were deployed. Maoists and other groups as well as greens are supporting the movement by tribals against bauxite mining. They allege that the project would displace the tribals, affect their livelihood and harm the environment. Union Tribal Welfare Minister Kishore Chandra Deo, who is from the region, is against the mining. He has asked Governor E.S.L. Narasmihan and the chief minister to cancel the MoU signed with two companies. The state-owned Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corp has signed the MoUs to supply the ore from Jerrela deposits to Anrak Alumina Co and from Araku reserve to Jindal Co.