Cops change strategy to flush out Maoists in Gaya
PATNA: Bihar police have changed their operational strategy to tackle Maoists in Gaya district. Now instead of engaging Maoists in Chakarbanda forest, on the border of Aurangabad and Gaya districts, and then retreat to their base, the police would set up their base at strategic locations to not only encircle the forest but also help in dominating the area. About 10 companies of CRPF and STF have been deployed in the area. Sources in the police headquarters said the purpose was to sanitize the area and make it Maoist-free once for all.
The change in strategy is attributed to heavy casualties suffered by the police in the operation launched in October 2012 when the CRPF lost seven persons including an assistant commandant. Prior to that, CRPF had lost one sepoy each during operations launched in the same forest in September and June last year. What was more agonizing for the police was that no casualty was reported from the Maoists’ side.
As far as the Chakarbanda forest goes, the state police have decided to set up camps at four to five places but they would be strategically relocated in nearby villages. Currently, police have set up base at Lutwa and Megra villages but more bases would be set up. CRPF DIG Umesh Kumar has confirmed that the force had moved into the Chakarbanda forest with all its logistics. State Task Force (STF) has also joined the CRPF. From the police point of view, Chakarbanda forest, covering both Aurangabad and Gaya districts and on the eastern side of Jamui hills, has given sleepless nights to the police.
The state police have decided to weed out Maoists from these two places. After the Maoists ambushed the CRPF men in October last, the state police had slowed down their action against the Reds in Gaya district, which gave the latter a chance to commit crime. They had kidnapped two persons and later eliminated them in January this year.
Security forces recover explosives in Jharkhand
Ramgarh, Feb 03 (ANI): Acting on a tip-off, security forces in Jharkhand have recovered a large cache of explosives in a Maoist infested district in the state. In a joint operation by the police of Ramgarh district and a bomb disposal squad from state capital Ranchi, the recovery was made from the Kotre forest in the area. The cane bombs, weighing between two and five kilograms, were of great destructive potency. They were destroyed in controlled explosions by the bomb squad.
Andhra-Chhattisgarh border back in Maoists’ crosshairs
The Andhra Pradesh-Chhattisgarh border area in Khammam district is again turning into a Maoist hotbed, with frequent attacks being reported. Maoists flee back to Chhattisgarh after attacks in Andhra. Officials believe the attacks are meant to instill fear among the villages after a streak of unexpected surrenders by many Maoist leaders and cadre from Gadchiroli and Khammam.
More than 150 members have surrendered in the past few months, including members of South Division in Gadchiroli, Maitha Militia in Chattisgarh, Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee and leaders of Dummugudem Mandal of Khammam. “There is some activity along the border on both sides. The terrain along the Chhattisgarh border is conducive for the Maoists to move freely and they are crossing over often to create trouble and fear, to show their presence and then sneak back across the border,” said the DIG, Special Intelligence Branch, V C Sajjanar.
“It was a setback for them and they are launching attacks and destroying infrastructure and threatening contractors to establish their hold in villages. In December, they shot dead a labourer accusing him of being a police informer. They are digging up roads, destroying construction equipment and cellphone towers,” an official said. The number of incidents of firing on police and forest officers has also steadily increased. On January 13, security forces exchanged heavy fire with Maoists who apparently came from Sukuma, Chhattisgarh. Two policemen and several Maoists were injured in the gunfight, officials claimed.
Seven hardcore Maoists held in Odisha
KORAPUT(ODISHA): Seven hardcore Maoists were arrested and weapons seized by securitymen in Odisha’s Koraput district today, police said. The Maoists, belonging to Srikakulam-Koraput division of Naxalites bordering Andhra Pradesh, were nabbed during a joint combing by BSF and district voluntary force (DVF) in the forests near Murlaput under Laxmipur police station, Koraput Superintendent of Police, Awinash Kumar said. Two country-made guns, a camera flash, over 100 meters of wire, adopters, gunpower and some Maoist literature were seized from them, he said.
Several cases, including some relating to killing of a BSF jawan and two tribals, were pending against the ultras in Narayanpatna and Laxmipur areas in the district, he said. All the arrested Maoists were experts in planting of landmines, IEDs and executing ambush of security personnel, Kumar quoted them as confessing during interrogation. The arrested ultras have been identified as Sarbu Muniata, Suna alias Sona Wareta, Lati Hikoka, Jugal Mandingi, Iswar Hikoka, Deudu Hiniaka and Hari Miniaka. The Maoists would be forwarded to the court shortly, Kumar said.
Maoists release abducted Sarpanch
GAYA: Ramadhar Singh, sarpanch of Chapi panchayat under Sherghati police station area in Gaya district, was released by the Maoists on Saturday night. The Red rebels did not cause any harm to the sarpanch who remained in captivity for two days. The police heaved a sigh of relief while the intelligence agencies are trying to decipher the somewhat anti- climatic end to the abduction episode. Clean acquittal by the parallel court organized by the Maoists is a rarity and as such, the real motive and possible deal leading to the release are being ascertained.
Confirming the release of the sarpanch, Sherghati SDPO Rajesh Kumar said the sarpanch told the police that he was released by his tormentors with a warning not to work as a police informer and implicate innocent people in false cases. The sarpanch claimed to have promised ‘good behaviour’ to secure his release. As per information gathered by intelligence agencies, Ramadhar Singh has been double crossing the police and the Red rebels and collected extortion money on behalf of the ultra-leftist organization having a sizeable financial stake in the ongoing development activities.
The Maoists receive hefty amount as ‘levy’ (protection money) to allow contractors and other business persons to conduct their operations in the Naxal-affected areas. The sarpanch, according to sources, kept with himself a hefty amount realized as ‘levy’ and the Maoists abducted the sarpanch to get the money and the sarpanch secured release on the promise to deposit the money.
Harming the sarpanch would have been poor economics for the Maoists, say sources. Asked about the ‘levy’ story behind the sarpanch’s abduction, SSP Vinay Kumar said in absence of concrete evidence, he cannot say anything in the matter. Talking to TOI on Sunday afternoon, the sarpanch totally denied the ‘levy story’. Singh said some ‘new Maoists’ abducted him due to some confusion and his character was vetted by the senior Maoists who pleaded his case during the Jan Adalat and said that “Ramadhar Singh aisa admi nahin hain’ (Ramadhar Singh is not a bad man). The sarpanch also said he has given a written undertaking to the Maoists not to engage in any anti-Naxal activity and provide any information to the police about the Maoists.