JD-U skips organizational polls in Red bastion in Gaya
GAYA: Is the ruling JD -U obeying Maoist dictat? Going by the organisational election schedule of the ruling party in Gaya district, the answer is in the affirmative as the party goes ahead with organisational elections in 22 of the 24 blocks. The blocks where the ruling party appears to be reluctant to rub the Maoists on the wrong side are Imamganj and Banke Bazar.
Though the process has started in Dumaria block, JD-U leaders are apprehensive and in private discussions admit that the situation in Dumaria was similar to Banke Bazar and Imamganj and as such organizational elections are unlikely to be completed in Dumaria block as well. Interestingly, the two blocks where the organizational election process has not started are part of the Imamganj assembly constituency, a high profile constituency of the state assembly Speaker Udai Narain Chaudhary represents the seat.
For nearly four years now, normal political activity has been brought to a near halt by the Maoists, who forced no less than three dozen NDA office bearers to resign their party positions and since then political activity in the area is dictated by the Maoists so much so that virtually no campaign was allowed in the Imamganj constituency in 2010 and elections took place under heavy police presence. In April, 2008, nearly three dozen NDA activists of the Naxal-hit Dumaria-Imamganj region of the district were herded together and taken to a Maoist base in Chhakarbanda forests.
The NDA activists were kept in captivity for several hours. They were freed with a directive to resign from their respective party membership and posts. The activists belonged both to the JD-U and BJP. Maoists handed over a written text of their resignation letters and the helpless men complied with the dictat by signing on the dotted lines. The NDA men were then also made to organize a protest dharna in Imamganj against police action in the area. Even four years later, the nightmarish experience appears to haunt the JD -U men of the area.
Asked why the Banke Bazar and Imamganj blocks have been excluded from the organizational election process, district JD-U chief Ram Chandra Singh said the situation in the area was known to everybody. The Maoists, it may be recalled, have stepped up their activity in the region and only recently two persons were killed by the Maoists after giving them the ‘police informer tag’. Whereas one person was gunned down at a short distance from the local police station, another was thrashed to death after being put to trial in a parallel court organized by the Red rebels.
CRPF to set up special cell to study Naxal IED threats
The CRPF, engaged in a major way in anti-Naxal operations, will establish a Research and Development Cell to study and analyse the IED threats in areas affected by Ultra-Left extremism.
The Cell will be developed in consultation with agencies having expertise on the subject and work out the strategies/measures to deal with the menace of IEDs effectively as major casualties suffered by the Paramilitary forces in Naxal-hit areas are due to explosions of such devices. The study will help reduce the challenges faced by the forces due to such explosions. The Cell will comprise “bright and experienced officers” who will carry out IED blast experiments with different types and quantities of explosives, normally used by Naxals in real situations on a set of condemned 5-tonne trucks by putting layers of sand bags to determine the absorption capacity of the vehicles.
The decision was taken after a comprehensive review of the CRPF by Union Home Secretary RK Singh who underlined that the number of encounters had gone down and the number of Naxalites/terrorists killed in comparison to the casualties suffered by security forces’ personnel was “very adverse.” “CRPF may step up operational activities in their area of responsibility for increasing the achievement in terms of seizures of arms and ammunition, apprehension and neutralisation of armed terrorists,” Singh told CRPF Director General Pranay Sahay after the latter gave a power point presentation on the Naxal situation at the recent review meeting.
The Union Home Secretary also asked the CRPF to prepare a database of the encounters on monthly and quarterly basis so as to ascertain the increase or decrease in the achievements by security forces in the Naxal hotbed. The database is expected to list the encounters conducted by CRPF based on Intelligence inputs and the resultant achievements, operations executed in response to the Naxal attacks/provocations and the comparative seizure memo on a quarterly basis.
A capsule course in interface management will be conducted for the troops to be deployed in anti-Naxal operations during their pre-induction training. “While conducting anti-Naxal operations, interface management of highest order must be ensured. The troops should be so trained and briefed so as to be polite but firm while dealing with the local population. This would enable the force personnel to win them over the confidence of the local populace, which is of paramount importance from operational as well as Confidence Building Measures point of view,” Singh told the CRPF officials.
Union Home Ministry, on its part will take up the issue with the State Governments to include construction of critical roads and bridges in the Naxal areas’s Road Requirement Plan. A number of Naxal-affected States do not have sufficient numbers of young police officers with operational experience as the posts of Dy SP and SP (operations) are lying vacant in many districts adversely affecting the coordination between the State police and the Central Paramilitary Forces. To overcome this problem, Union Home Ministry will provide the services of paramilitary officers in the rank of Assistant Commandants and Deputy Commandants on deputation basis to fill these vacant posts. A letter is being sent to the States requesting them to project their requirements of paramilitary officers for deputation to fill these vacancies.
Two women Naxals killed in Chhattisgarh; bodies recovered
Security forces today killed two women Naxals in an encounter in Kanker district of ChhattisgarhA joint squad of BSF and local police had the encounter in the jungles of Tekameta under Bande police station of the district, resulting in exchange of heavy gunfire. “The bodies of two women Naxalites and two weapons have been recovered after the encounter. The area commander of the local Maoists cadre Teju has been injured in firing,” a senior security official said. No casualities have been reported among the security forces, they added.
This is a rare instance when the forces have been able to recover the bodies of Naxalites as the ultras usually take away the dead comrades with them. BSF reinforcements are combing the area for Teju, they said. Border Security Force (BSF) have delpoyed 5,000 personnel (five battalions) in the district to conduct anti-Naxal operations.