‘Some rebels were alive. They were shot at point blank range”
GADCHIROLI: A villager in Govindgaon where six Naxals were gunned down in an ambush by C-60 commandos of Gadchiroli police, recalled that shortly after midnight, sudden noise of machine gun fire woke up the village of 300 families and 1500 people. Children began crying hearing the strange noise. Some peeped out to see the area teeming with commandos. The villagers chose to remain in their homes, only occasionally peeping through the windows of the muddy houses. “The Naxals could not fire a single shot back.
The security forces were behind trees. They could see the Naxals walking down the road under streetlights. Some other rebels who took another way through the dark escaped,” said a villager. It was after a marathon with villagers that six out of around a dozen Naxals were shot dead by commandos from Pranhita camp in Aheri, located around 40km away. Local top leader Shankar anna and five others, including two women, were killed. “A couple of them were alive despite being hit and could have been taken to hospital.
Commandos went close and pumped bullets into them at point blank range,” a villager recalled to this journalist who went undercover on the pretext of visiting the local school. An inspection of the place showed holes where bullets hit in the ground. “Commandos ensured not a single Naxal remained alive,” said an eyewitness indicating police are following a take no prisoner policy.
The Naxals had even purchased foodgrains and prepared their own meals. It was after dinner, when the rebels were moving out that police bullets took them by surprise. One could spot scarf of a woman cadre, toothpaste pouch and some other materials strewn among dried blood stains on the road leading to village Zilla Parishad school. Police may be on Cloud Nine with their “most successful” encounter ever with Naxals in the state, but there was a palpable sympathy for the slain rebels in the village where life has already settled back to normalcy. Such encounters are part and parcel of life in the district.
Andhra Pradesh High Court asks for details of detained tribal women
The Andhra Pradesh High Court has asked the State police to produce details of two young tribal women who were picked up from Nimmalagudem village in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on January 12 on the charge of being ‘Maoist militias’ (villagers who work for CPI-Maoist). A two-member Bench of Justice M.V. Ramana and Justice P. Durga Prasad passed the order while hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by Human Rights Forum (HRF). The SP of Khamam A.V. Ranganath said the women were arrested on January 14 and produced in a Khammam court two days later. However, Inspector General (Warrangal Range) A.B. Venkateswara Rao told TheHindu that the women were picked up on January 20.
“A multilateral operation was on in the forest of Nimmalagudem since January 10 in which the A.P. and the Chhattisgarh police and the CRPF took part. These [arrested] women militias were involved in burning several constructions earlier. There are several charges against them. They were produced in a local court and are lodged in the Khammam sub jail.”
ADG (Naxal Operation) of Chhattisgarh R.K. Vij confirmed that “a small team of the Chhattisgarh police took part” in the operation in the area recently. The disappearance of the tribal women came to light when a HRF member visited Nimmalagedem. Quoting tribal residents, HRF’s fact finding report said Madvi Parvathi (21) and Kovasi Somidi (15) were “partially disrobed” and taken away “at about 7 am on 12 January 2013.” Parvathi was pregnant, according to her family members.
The report said every time a Maoist movement was apprehended around the areas bordering Sukma and Khammam, the villagers of Nimmalagudem bore the brunt. On January 12, a huge police party from AP consisting of over 100 personnel, including the anti-Naxalite force Greyhound, came to the village at daybreak. The report says “policemen began abusing and beating up residents, including several women and children.” They picked up a farmer Podium Chukkaiah and his minor son P. Bhimaiah (aged about 11), besides Parvathi, Somidi and one Madkam Saramma.
“Their hands were tied and they were taken to a spot about half-a-km from the village below a hillock, where there were remnants of a camp set up earlier by the Maoists… They beat the villagers with hands and sticks,” the report said. Mr. Ranganath, however, denied any human rights violation. “Nimmalagudem is a notorious village and the people work as militias. On January 14, after arresting the militias, we were bringing them to Chintoor in Khammam when we were fired upon. The police retaliated, but there was no rights violation.”
Naxalites active once again in Punjab?
CHANDIGARH: Punjab government is maintaining a close vigil over Naxalite movement in this border state where, after a brief lull, activities of the Naxalites are again picking up in several districts. According to informed sources in the Punjab Police headquarters here, Naxalites are setting up frontal organizations at several places and there are reports of their establishing Naxalite committees in some districts. Sources said that attempts are also being made to attract fresh recruits to the Naxalite movement.
But the police are fully alive to the situation and during the past about two years, nearly one-and-a-half dozen persons have been arrested in connection with Naxalite activities. Only recently, Punjab Police chief Sumedh Singh Saini had conceded that attempts are being made to establish Naxalite cells in the state.
Meanwhile, former chief minister and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Capt Amarinder Singh too has expressed concern over the Naxalite activities in different parts of the country including Punjab. Capt Amarinder said on Tuesday that he had raised this issue at the Jaipur Chintan Shivir of the All India Congress Committee because it constitutes a serious challenge to the security of the country. According to the intelligence wing of Punjab Police, the Naxalite movement in the state has now entered its second phase.
The first phase consisted of establishment of frontal organizations, while in the second phase the activities of the frontal organizations are stepped up along with a recruitment drive. In the third phase, the movement moves into violent activities followed by open confrontation with the established set-up by carrying out big operations. In the fifth and final stage, Naxalites seek to set up a parallel administration. For the time being, Naxalite activities in Punjab are confined to Mansa, Barnala and Sangrur districts where many of their leaders have been picked up, but they are trying to expand in other areas.
Maoist sympathiser Suguna brought to Kerala
Kochi:Suguna, companion of Maoist leader Malla Raji Reddy, wanted in connection with at least 3 cases here, was brought to Kerala Wednesday for questioning. Maharashtra police, who brought her here, handed her over to Kerala police following which she was produced before Additional Sessions Court, Ernakulam, and remanded to judicial custody till February six. Reddy, a Maoist central committee member, who evaded arrest for 39 years, was apprehended in 2007 from nearby Perumbavoor.
Though Suguna, a tribal woman, was allegedly living in hiding with him, she had managed to escape, police sources said. She was arrested a year later from Maharashtra and was lodged in Nagpur central jail. She has been acquitted in all cases there. However, in Kerala, she is wanted in cases including distribution of seditious leaflets propagating Maoist ideology. The Internal Security Investigating team will seek her custody for questioning in connection with the arrest of some Maoists from Mavelikkara recently. PTI
Bombs seized from Maoist dump in Odisha
Bhubaneswar, Jan 23 (IANS) Police and security forces Wednesday unearthed a Maoist dump in Odisha and recovered arms and explosives, an official said. A joint team of the paramilitary forces and police raided a forest near Gadargudi village of Rayagada district, nearly 400 km from here, Superintendent of Police Rajesh Pandit told IANS. A landmine was planted in a nearby road targeting the team.
However, the party unearthed it, he said. The items recovered from the dump include one country-made hand grenade, one claymore bomb weighing half kg, 21 detonators, a landmine weighing six kg, a pair of Maoist uniforms and three kg potassium nitrate, he said. Maoists are active in more than half of the state’s 30 districts. The district of Rayagada is considered one of their strongholds.