Latehar operation mastermind tipped for Maoist politbureau berth?
NEW DELHI: Deo Kumar Singh alias Arvindji, the CPI (Maoist) central committee member and mastermind of January’s Latehar encounter, which had killed 14 people, including 10 CRPF personnel, is being considered for a promotion to the politbureau, the highest decision-making body in the Naxal outfit. Arvindji, who is also the chief of CPI (Maoist) operations in Jharkhand, has reportedly caught the fancy of his seniors for his abilities to inflict maximum injuries on the anti-Naxal forces by coming up with innovative yet audacious acts of using bodies of slain police personnel as booby traps by strapping and embedding them with explosives.
Sources in the Union home ministry told ToI that the intelligence agencies recently picked up chatter between Maoist leaders deliberating over pushing Arvindji up the party hierarchy and including him in its politbureau. The Maoist politbureau, which is reduced to a six-member body in the wake of killings and arrests of several leaders, is to be reconstituted at the party congress that has been due for almost a year now.
A fierce encounter with an armed group of Maoists perched on a hilltop in Karmatiya forests of Latehar on January 7 had led to the killing of 10 CRPF personnel, a Jharkhand Police personnel and three civilians. As darkness fell after the encounter, the CRPF jawans could only recover six bodies before they retreated, leaving four bodies behind. However, when the security personnel returned to reclaim the bodies of their slain colleagues the next day, accompanied by the local villagers, the pressure bombs strapped by Maoists to the corpses went off, killing three civilians. The bodies were reportedly mutilated by the Naxalites before the forces came back the next morning to take them away.
What made the whole act even more audacious was the fact that Naxalites, under the leadership of Arvindji, tried to use the dead policemen’s bodies as a booby trap by planting explosives inside them. The doctors spotted the stitches on the body of slain Babulal Patel, and, prompted by suspicion, cut it open only to find a neatly assembled 2 kg IED planted inside the dead policeman’s stomach. His intestines and spleen were removed to make room for the bomb, said to be fitted with a light sensor mechanism. Arvindji joined the Maoist ranks 25 years ago and carries an award of Rs 12 lakh on his head.
He has carried out several attacks on security personnel, besides attacking Independent MP and former Jharkhand Speaker Inder Singh Namdhari in December, 2011. Arvindji hails from Bihar’s Jehanabad district and was reportedly close to Maoist leader Kishenji, who was killed by security forces in November, 2011. Sources said Arvindji, who has a post-graduate degree from Patna University in the 1980s, has a well settled family — he has two sons, one of them an IITian, and a daughter. His wife was nabbed by the Bihar Police in Jehanabad last year.
One policeman killed; four suspected Maoists arrested
A policeman was killed and four suspected Maoists were arrested following an encounter with the red rebels near Matrukha village in Giridih district, the police said today. The policeman died after he received bullet injury during the encounter with last night, Superintendent of Police A V Homkar told reporters here. “Four Maoists were arrested after the gun battle,” he said. The rebels attacked the police team when it went to the village in search of an extremist involved in the jail van attack in which some Maoists escaped on November 9 last year, he said. Chhotka Marandi, one of those escaped that day, is one of the four arrested.
Maoists torch four construction vehicles
Raipur, Feb 5 (IANS) Maoist insurgents Tuesday torched four heavy machines engaged in road construction in violence-hit Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, damaging them badly, police said. According to police sources, construction work of Dantewada-Katekalyan road is being carried out by Dantewada-based contractor K.C. Sharma, who has pressed in a number of heavy machines and vehicles to complete the road speedily.
However, around noon Tuesday, about 50 Maoist ultras came to the site in the guise of villagers and put all the machines and vehicles on fire. Armed with axes, bows and arrows and other lethal weapons, the rebels told the drivers to get down from their vehicles before striking at the vehicles’ fuel tanks and lit them up. Two tippers, one road roller and one JCB machine were burnt beyond repair.
The insurgents also warned drivers, operators and labourers engaged in road construction to stop the work or else be ready to face consequences. Dantewada Superintendent of Police Narendra Khare said police have registered a case against some unidentified people and further investigation was on to identify the insurgents.
Sympathy to ideology doesn’t make them Maoists: HC
Sympathy for Maoist philosophy with a likelihood to indulge in various violent activities is not sufficient ground to conclude that the accused are presently active members of the terrorist organisation, the Bombay High Court held while granting bail to four youths held from Pune allegedly due to their Naxal links. Justice Abhay Thipsay passed the order on January 31 stating that “suspects could be sympathisers of Maoist philosophy but none can be said to be active members of banned CPI (Maoist)”.
The suspects include Siddhartha Bhosale of Kondhwa, an economics student at Fergusson College, Deepak Dhengale, a poet-singer of Pune-based cultural group Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) and two girls, Mayuri alias Nandini Bhagat of Nagpur and Anuradha Sonule of Chandrapur. The order stated, “The basic apprehension of the state (ATS) is that in future they (the suspects) were likely to indulge in various violent activities and offences… Certainly such apprehension cannot be said to be without basis. It ought to be treated genuine. However… such possibility by itself would not be sufficient to conclude that the applicants are presently active members of the terrorist organisation.”
The order stated that in view of the fundamental freedoms guaranteed to citizens, the activities which can be justified with reference to those freedoms and those that go beyond it and attract criminality need to be clearly demarcated. “It does not appear prima facie that any of the applicants have crossed the demarcating line,” said the order. The Maharashtra ATS had arrested the four in April-May 2011 along with three others from Pune and Thane.
The three others were Angela Sontakke, alleged to be the secretary of Golden Corridor Committee of CPI (Maoist). Her husband Milind Teltumbde is alleged to a top state CPI (Maoist) operative. Six youths associated with KKM were also booked in the case but are absconding. The ATS had booked all others under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for spreading Naxal ideology of armed struggle against the government. It also claimed to have seized Maoist literature from them. The same court had earlier granted to bail to suspects Jyoti Chorge and Sushma Ramteke, who were arrested from Pune, in this case.
Advocates Mihir Desai, Vijay Hiremath, Maharukh Adenwala, Sharmila Kaushik, Susan Abraham represented the suspects. According to the ATS, besides strengthening cadres in jungles, the Maoists also want to spread their influence in urban areas. It said the Golden Corridor Committee of CPI (Maoist) aimed to indoctrinate and recruit the youth and labourers from urban belts in Pune, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Thane and Nashik through cultural groups and functions like street plays in colleges and slum areas. Angela is alleged to have indoctrinated the suspects, most of whom are KKM members, who further allegedly operated in Pune to spread the Maoist ideology.
As per Dhengale’s statement, CPI (Maoist) organised a 15-day training camp at his relatives place in Khed taluka of Pune in mid-2010. Angela and Milind had explained Maoist ideology and shown videos named “Blazing trial” displaying the attacks on police and paramilitary forces in the camp. Dhengale, who worked at the vehicle department of Pune Municipal Corporation, stated that he was not allowed to attend all the programmes at the camp. The ATS also said the Maoists allegedly aimed to set up arms base in cities and encourage the urban youth to join jungle warfare.
As per ATS, two KKM members Prashant Kamble and Santosh Shelar from Kasewadi slums in Pune had allegedly jointed the Naxal movement in jungles. KKM founder’s statement The ATS had also recorded the statement of Amarnath Chandaliya of Pune who started KKM in 2002. He had talked about his interactions with Maoist leaders like Janaki didi alias Anuradha, Angela and Milind. The HC order said, “Going by his statement he had gained an entry in the said organisation… But he has not been made an accused in this case.
He has also not been tendered a pardon and made an approver. Such persons are often believed to have a certain understanding with the police, if not having struck a deal with them.” Chandaliya had stated that Angela and Milind indoctrinated KKM members to Naxal ideology. He also stated that he went to jungles for three weeks in 2009 when Milind showed him how the armed Maoists operated. Chandaliya claimed that he left KKM in 2005 and also cut down contacts with alleged Maoists due to differences. The KKM was then headed by artist Sheetal Sathe.
Rebels strengthen frontal bodies
RANCHI: The CPI(Maoist) is trying to strengthen its frontal organizations – Krantikari Kisan Sangh (KKS) and Nari Mukti Sangathan (NMS) – and bring more people close to the Red ideology in Tamar and Bundu areas of the district. The revelation was made by rebel leader Budhram Munda who was arrested in Bundu on Monday. The operation was jointly carried out by the CPRF and district police on a tip-off received by Ranchi SSP on Monday morning.
Munda was one of the active members of a squad led by Ram Mohan for the past seven-eight years and was involved in several encounters with police. Recently, the rebels had put up posters in rural areas urging women to join the NMS and take the help of the organization in case of atrocities on them.
Ranchi SSP Saket Kumar Singh said during preliminary interrogation the rebel leader had conceded before police that the cadre strength of the squad led by Ram Mohan had gone down and all the active members were asked to put efforts to strengthen the frontal organizations in Bundu and Tamar to bring maximum people close to Maoist ideology. In the meanwhile, police arrested another rebel Gajibaas Mahali in the Tamar area of the district late on Sunday night.
Apart from being the accused in several encounters, Mahali was also wanted in cases of loot, arson and planting landmines in Tamar. This operation was also jointly carried out by district police and the CRPF. The SSP said officers were interrogating the two rebels who have good knowledge of the terrain of Bundu and Tamar and have also worked with dreaded Maoist Kundan Pahan. “We expect to get some important clue about the whereabouts of Pahan and other rebels active in the area,” said the SSP.
CRPF arrests four naxals from Bijapur
Raipur: Four naxals were arrested from Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh during a search operation, police said on Tuesday. “Four naxals were arrested by the joint contingent of district force, Chhattisgarh Armed Force and Central Reserve of Police Force (CRPF) during a search operation in Madded police station area on Saturday,” a senior police official from Bijapur said.
“Those arrested have been identified as Madded range committee commander Pottam Babu (25), Madded area commander Mandra Nagesh (27), Wasam Suresh (27) and Paaret Chandraiya (40),” police said. Pottam Babu and Nagesh were carrying cash reward of Rs 20,000 and Rs 10,000, respectively, on their head. A number of detonators, cartridges, tiffin bomb, explosives and naxal literature were also recovered from the possession of Pottam Babu, Suresh and Nagesh, they said. They all were involved in several serious crimes like murder, arson, abduction, police added.