Police arrest suspected Maoist sympathizer in West Bengal
Jhargram, Jan 24 (ANI): Police in Jhargram district of West Bengal have arrested a suspected Maoist sympathizer, who is accused of killing a farmer in September 2012. The farmer was allegedly shot, when he saw some Maoists pasting posters in the village. The incident triggered panic in the area. One of the accused in the murder Rabi Barik was arrested in October last year. The culprit revealed details about the other accused, which helped them to arrest Biswajit Mahakur, who is likely to be produced in the Jhargram court today. Virtually desperate to retain their ever shrinking ground, the Maoists have stepped up their efforts against the government as well as the locals to spread fear psychosis in the Maoist infested areas.
Two Maoists arrested in Chhattisgarh
Two Maoists were arrested today from Maoist-infested Bastar region in Chhattisgarh in two separate search operations by security forces, the police said. “One 42-year-old Padam Lakhmu was arrested from the forests of Metapara village under Basaguda police station area in Bijapur district, during a search operation by the district force,” the police said. Lakhmu, a native of Hirapur village, was wanted in several crimes ranging from arson to loot, the police said. Rup Singh was involved in several cases of loot and murder in the region, the police said. Meanwhile, security forces have busted a Maoist training camp in the forest of Pidiya village under Gangalur police station limits, in Bijapur district. “A couple of detonators, battery, wire, Maoist literature, ration, Hollywood film CDs and printing machine tools were recovered from the site,”
Superintendent of Police Prashant Agrawal told PTI. “Joint forces comprising CRPF, district police force and special task force were on a combing operation in the forest area of Pidiya village, nearly 25 kilometers away from Gangalur Police station, in the district since four days,” he said. During the operation, fierce gun-battles occurred between security forces and Maoists nearly eight times in the jungles of Iranar, Gaytapara and Aumukpara villages, he said, adding that no casualties were reported from both sides.
15-year-old’s trauma: Do they really believe I’m a Maoist?
RANCHI: It was a muggy July afternoon in 2011. Magdelene Mundu, a 15-year-old girl from Mailpiri village in Jharkhand’s Khunti district was returning home from school. The day would be just like any other, thought Magdelene. She would reach home, eat the frugal meal cooked for lunch and then go to work in the fields. As it turned out, though, the day – July 29 – turned out to be completely different. As Magdelene was cycling down the dirt track to her village, she was stopped by a team of Jharkhand police. “Stop pretending to be a student,” they reportedly told her. “We know you are a Maoist.” The 15-year-old was taken by the police to her house which was thoroughly searched.
“They found nothing. Then, they told me to change my school dress. I was taken to the Khunti police station where they told me to undress. Then they started slapping me. They kept on saying stop pretending to be a student,” recalls the girl, wincing at the day’s memories. Magdelene was kept at a women’s probationary home in Namkom, near Ranchi. Her family, meanwhile, got in touch with local social activists who arranged a lawyer for her. She was finally acquitted after being at the probationary home for 10 months. Magdelene’s story recently went viral when a YouTube video made by an activist of NGO India Unheard caught the attention of many.
The police, though, continue to claim that the 15-year-old girl is a Maoist supporter. SN Pradhan, IG special branch and Jharkhand police spokesperson says that at times police may go overboard in arresting wrong people. But the case of Magdelene Mundu, he says, was genuine. “She could have been acquitted because of lack of evidence but she obviously has links with the Left rebels and has increased her activities after being released,” he says. Activists in her village, though, say that the only activity the girl is involved in is picking the pieces of her life and trying to resume her studies. Even though her family wants her to stay at home now, the girl is determined to finish her schooling, they say.
Also, she wants to clear her name in her village. “I feel very strange around people now. I keep on thinking whether they really believe I am a Maoist?”
Branded as rebels
Jharkhand and Bihar have numerous cases of people being labelled Maoists. Aparna Marandi was picked up by Ranchi police on December 8, 2012. She had been fighting for her husband Jeetan who has been awarded capital punishment for allegedly masterminding the Chilkhari massacre of 2007 in which former Jharkhand chief minister Babu Lal Marandi’s son was killed.
Aparna was presented in the court as Santoshini, an accused in the Kathikund case of Dumka in which Maoists were involved. Human rights campaigners say this is an attempt by the police to brand Aparna as a Maoist since she has taken up cudgels for her husband In June last year, Avdhesh Bhuinya of Kenua Tarn village in Gaya district of Bihar was shot dead in police firing. Awdhesh worked at a sweetshop in Jalandhar although he was identified as a Maoist by the police. The Mahadalit Commission in Bihar later probed the matter and found a number of discrepancies in the case
Three landmines recovered
Three landmines planted by Maoists targeting security forces were found while two persons arrested for alleged links with the ultra left in Odisha’s Malkangiri district today, police said. Security personnel including BSF jawans were returning from a combing operation when they detected the three landmines under Tangurukunda road in Kalimela area, Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Akhileswar Singh said.
The landmines were defused by a special squad from Malkangiri, police said adding the explosives were apparently planted to target the security forces moving in the Maoist-hit area. In another incident, jawans of Odisha’s elite anti-Maoist special operation group(SOG) captured two persons with alleged Maoist links in a forest in Padia police station limit, the SP said. The two confessed to Maoist links during interrogation, the police said adding investigation is on to ascertain their activities.
Red warning for tribal MLA for favouring bauxite mining by pvt firm
KORAPUT: Maoist leader Daya has threatened Koraput MP Jayaram Pangi of dire consequences if he does not refrain from favouring bauxite mining by a private company at Mali hill. Daya, the secretary of Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC), has informed this in a letter to mediapersons in Koraput on Tuesday. “While tribals are fighting for their rights over land, forest and water and opposing mining at Mali hill as they will lose their livelihood, Jayaram Pangi is favouring mining at Mali hill. If Pangi does not refrain from such anti-people activities then he will be punished,” Daya stated in the letter written in Telegu.
For the past few months, two groups of tribals are at loggerheads over mining at Mali hill in Semiliguda block. While a group of villagers claim that over 40 villages in Semiliguda block would be affected if mining operations continue at Mali hill, another group want mining to continue as over 250 people will be rendered jobless if the company stopped operations. Demanding cancellation of mining lease awarded to Hindalco by the state government, tribals under the banner of Mali Parbat Surakhya Samiti, have been protesting at Mali hill for the past few years.
The company which had started mining in 2005 was forced to stop operations after stiff resistance from tribals in 2010. Recently, the villagers opposed to mining detained two bauxite ore-laden trucks of the company near Tentuliguda while the company was trying to transport bauxite which it had mined before 2010. Pangi brushed aside the Maoists allegations and said he had never done any anti-people work in his over 35 years of political career. “I have never favoured mining in the Mali hills. The allegations are not true. I have always worked for the people of my area.”
Maoist cadres mobilising in Assam: DGP
Maoists in Assam were involved in mobilisation, but so far there was no sign of ground-level cooperation between them and ULFA, DGP Jayanta Narayan Choudhury said today. “The Maoists are currently engaged in mobilisation and organisation building.
So far they have not started the phase of armed conflict,” he said addressing an open house for the media. Stating that Maoists were mostly targeting districts like Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Sibsagar for expanding their base, Choudhury said “There are around 120-130 Maoist cadres in the state. “While they are mainly present in upper Assam districts, Guwahati is being used as a transit point,” he said. Asked about collaboration between Maoists and ULFA’s anti-talk faction, the DGP said
“They have the same catchment area as far as recruitment is concerned. But so far we have not seen any tactical level link between them at the ground level. Choudhury, however, cautioned that such cooperation between might take place in the near future. He said that social and economic issues played a part in the recruitment drives of Maoists, as was the case of states in central India. He said that the insurgency situation in the state has changed over last two to three decades with Maoists and ethnic militant groups gaining ground, while ULFA declined.
Maoist activist remanded
Maoist activist Beecha Jagna was remanded by the Principal Sessions Court in Kochi on Wednesday. Jagna is believed to be an activist of the Maoist group. She is the wife of Maoist activist Malla Raji Reddy and is accused of impersonation and conspiracy to propagate anti-national activities here. The couple were arrested from Angamaly in 2007 by the Andhra Pradesh police. Reddy had later gone missing after jumping the bail. Jagna, who had been on remand in Nagpur on a terrorism case, was brought to the court here under heavy police security. The case is being investigated by the Internal Security Investigation Team in Thiruvananthapuram. The couple were living among migrant labourers here when they were arrested. Police said Thrissur native Roopesh, the first accused in the case, had impersonated the complainant to rent a house at Peumbavoor. Roopesh’s wife Shyna is second accused in the case. Reddy and Jagna are third and fourth accused respectively.
Centre asks Naxal-hit states to intensify vigil for Republic Day
New Delhi: Ahead of the Republic day, the Centre has asked the Naxal-affected states to intensify vigilin all sensitive areas to foil any attempt by the extremists to carry out violence.
In an advisory, the Home Ministry said CPI (Maoist) would observe January 26 as “black day” and the observance is likely to be marked by hoisting of black flags, desecration of the national flag and other subversive activities in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Inputs indicate that the outfit may also indulge in acts of violence in these states and there is likelihood of planting of IEDs/booby traps with the naxal banners/flags to target security personnel in Naxal-affected areas, the advisory said.
There is likelihood of planting of IEDs/booby traps to target security personnel in Naxal-affected areas. Centre asks Naxal-hit states to intensify vigil for Republic Day The Home Ministry asked the states to deploy additional forces in sensitive places, markets, industrial installations, railway tracks, bridges to avoid any untoward incident in the run up to the Republic day, according to sources.
Soni Sori Transfered
Soni Sori, the alleged Naxal sympathiser who was lodged in Central Jail Raipur, was shifted to Jagdalpur Jail, informed KK Gupta Jail Superintend Central Jail Raipur on Wednesday. Supreme Court on January 8 had ordered to transfer of Soni Sori from the Raipur Central Jail to the Jagdalpur Jail. Sori had complained of sexual harassment from jail officials at the Raipur prison. A suspected Maoist conduit, Sori has been accused by the police of receiving “protection money” from the Essar group.
She was arrested on October 4, 2011 in South Delhi by a team of Chhattisgarh police and was taken to Dantewada for interrogation. Sori had alleged that she was not only raped at the Dantewada police station, but tortured too with stones inserted into her private parts. The health of Soni Sori since the assault has been deteriorating and activists fear she may lose her life before her plea for bail is addressed by the courts. In her many letters, Sori has been complaining of bad health and being denied sustenance.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir accepting the plea had ordered to shift Sori. The order was passed after senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi and counsel Atul Jha, appearing for the State Government, said they are not opposed to the plea of the tribal woman, who has been in Raipur Jail since October 2011.