Security personnel, cops chalk out anti-Maoist strategy
Bhubaneswar, Feb 23 (PTI) Top security officers of CRPF, BSF and Odisha Police today attended the Unified Command meeting for chalking out anti-Maoist operation strategy in the state. “We discussed the law and order situation concerning the security of the civilians,” Chief Secretary B K Patnaik told reporters here after presiding over the meeting. Patnaik refused to divulge more details about the talks.
Police nab Maoist leader in Odisha’s Koraput district
Acting on a tip off, the local police here on Saturday arrested a Maoist leader said to be involved in multiple murder cases and also a land mine blast case in Koraput district Odisha. Giving details of the arrest, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Devadatta Singh said that the arrest of the Maoist named Kastu Tadingi would strengthen the programme launched against the rebels.
“Kastu Tadingi has been arrested from Narayanpatna area of Koraput district, which is a known extremist-affected area. There are at least in 12 cases he has been found involved and out of that 4 cases are of murder including one land mine blast. We hope that with this arrest the ongoing process that is ‘operation combined civic action’ will definitely be strengthened,” said Singh.
Police in Maoist-affected parts of the state have launched a ‘civic action programme’, which aimed at combating left wing extremism and to bridge the gap between villagers and security personnel.
Six cops among 8 killed in Gaya
Maoist landmine In a broad daylight operation, Maoists killed eight people, including six policemen, by triggering a landmine blast at Majhaulia village under Roshanganj police station area of Gaya district in Bihar on Friday. Superintendent of Police of Gaya Akhtar Hussain said that Maoists used Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) to blow the vehicle of the police personnel on which they were travelling.
The deceased included a Special Police Officer (SPO) and two villagers. Other victims were an Assistant Sub Inspector of Police (ASI), a police havildar and four jawans of Bihar Military Police (BMP). The incident took place when security forces were returning to their base after completing their patrolling duty, assigned by local authorities to avert any disturbance during selection of Anganwadis at Balasot village under Roshanganj police station area of the district. The local Child Development Project Officer (CDPO) had reportedly sought the help of the police for hassle free selection of anganwadis.
The vehicle of the deceased converted into a rubble due to the impact of the explosion. The site of the incident was nearly 700-800 metres away from Roshanganj police station in the bordering areas of Bihar and Jharkhand. The deceased cops had been identified as Praduman Rai (ASI), Sheomani Rai (Police Havildar) and BMP jawans — Dharmendra Kumar, Amit Kumar, Subhash Yadav and Rakesh Kumar. The immediate provocation for the attack is believed to be the decision of the district authorities to engage an NGO to conduct mass awareness campaign against Maoists whose influence in this part of the State is still strong.
Meanwhile, sources claimed that ultras also looted four sophisticated firearms from the victim BMP police personnel and the service revolver of the deceased ASI. Sources said that 12 Maoists riding on six motorcycles (two each on one motorcycle) reached the spot following the explosion and looted firearms and made their escape good by opening fire in the air. Deputy Inspector General of Police (Magadh Range) NH Khan, however, claimed that firearms were destroyed in the blast and denied the loot. Imamganj locality of Gaya district is considered as a stronghold of extremists and the Roshanganj attack was the fourth one during the last three years.
Sources said that all occupants of the vehicle died on the spot and their bodies were charred very badly. The difficult terrain in the locality makes it easier for Maoists to establish their dominance in the forest areas and places surrounding hillocks. Security forces had been their soft targets during their several attacks in the past too.
Maoists holed up in deep forests: Jharkhand DGP
Faced with intense combing operation, Maoists in Jharkhand are holed up in dense forest areas in selected pockets, posing a dilemma to police on which part of the jungles they should target them, a top police officer said in Hazaribagh, Jharkhand, on Saturday. “Although their strength has come down, whatever numbers left (in the Maoist ranks) is confined to the deep forests,” Director General of Police GS Rath told reporters here.
And that is the problematic point for the security forces as they were not aware which side of the forests the rebels are hiding, he said, adding that police personnel have to move cautiously in their anti-Naxal operations. He identified Maoist pockets in Saranda forest of West Singhbhum district, Giridih’s Parasnath, Bokaro’s Jhumra Pahar and the forests in Palamau. Claiming that Maoist activities have been contained in Jharkhand through intensive combing operations, the DGP said the remaining leaders in their ranks are still “powerful and capable of giving the police, a challenge”. The forces were using modern weapons in their fight against Naxalism but the rebels too possessed sophisticated weapons, the police chief said.
Arrests & encounter keep police on toes
RANCHI: Friday was a mixed day for Jharkhand police with some losses and an important arrest. Police held Maoist leader Bishu Bodra, who masterminded the Baliva (Saranda) attack on police in 2004, in which the then DIG of Jharkhand police and the SP of West Singhbhum had narrowly escaped death. In Lohardaga, 13 suspected rebels were arrested from Sehna block with arms and ammunition and two hand grenades.
However, in Latehar, CPI (Maoist) activists blew up a newly constructed health sub-centre building in Serendag village under Herhanj police station around 2.30 am on Friday. Police later recovered four unexploded IEDs from the spot. Subdivisional police officer (SDPO) Alok Kumar said an encounter took place in Chuku, also in the Herhanj police station area, on Thursday afternoon.
“Police or CRPF personnel have never used it (the sub-centre building) for shelter or during any anti-Maoist operation as we have standing orders not to use concrete buildings during operations to avoid wrath of Maoists,” he said. The gunbattle had continued till 4 pm on Thursday and resumed after 7 pm which continued late into the night. The distance between the encounter site and the health sub-centre is around 20 km.
‘Stop repression or face more attacks’
RANCHI: Within hours of attacking a police patrolling vehicle in Gaya killing eight persons, the CPI (Maoists) owned up the responsibility for the strike and threatened more attacks in case the alleged repressive action of the security forces against villagers at Dumaria, Banke Bazar and Barachatti blocks is not contained immediately. Spokesperson for the Bihar regional committee of the Maoists Manas told TOI that they had specific information about the movement of police patrolling party which was attacked.
“We had information that a drama team of the ‘reactionary forces’ was preparing to stage anti-Maoist and pro-government plays in the villages under Roshangunj police station area of the district,” he said. The spokes- man denied that they had targeted the troupe but added that the artists were not the common people but young policemen “who played the roles of Maoists, men and women and policemen to mislead the innocent villagers”.
Apart from killing the police, the rebels have also snatched away the arms and ammunition from the security forces. The Maoists have described it as a part of the “Break Operation Green hunt.”
10 years’ rigorous imprisonment for 4 Red cadres
BOKARO: District and sessions judge-II SatyaprakashSinha on Friday awarded 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment to four Naxalites who were arrested five-and-a-half years ago with cartridges of SLR, AK47 at Nayamoad bus stand here. The court held Jitender Singh, Pradeep alias Pappu Jain, Kundan Singh and Daso Manjhi guilty of being involved in Naxalite activities.
The court has awarded rigorous imprisonment separately under different sections of IPC, Arms Act and the Explosives Act. Meanwhile, the court has also held them guilty under the Criminal Law Amendment Act (CLA) and sentenced six months’ rigorous imprisonment that apart from two years imprisonment under the Unlawful Activity Prevention Act, said R K Rai, additional public prosecutor. He also said the court also imposed fine in majority of sections apart from the imprisonments. The imprisonment awarded to the guilty under various sections will run concurrently.
The four were residents of Madhuban in Giridih district. They were arrested by a special police team, who conducted raid on August 12, 2007 at Nayamoad. Police also recovered 50 cartridges of SLR each from Pradeep and Jitender while from Kundan police got 25 cartridges of 30.06 bore and 61 cartridges of AK 47 and one grenade from Manjhi. Police nabbed them on a tip off provided by three naxals who were arrested then by Bokaro police, said Rai.
NE States to jointly check Maoists
GUWAHATI, Feb 21 – The police forces of the States of the North East region have decided to launch coordinated efforts to check the Maoist rebels from establishing strong roots in the region. The forces are also of the view that the peace talks with the militant groups, which have already signed cease- fire agreements, should be expedited.
A meeting of the heads of the police forces of the North East States, convened by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which concluded in Gangtok last evening, discussed in detail the efforts by the Maoist rebels to establish roots in the North East region and observed that there is need for formulating strategies to check the growth of the Maoists and all the States decided to launch coordinated efforts in this regard.
The meeting observed that though the militant groups have weakened in 2011 and 2012, in recent times, the level of violence has gone up, which is a matter of serious concern. Highly placed sources in the MHA told The Assam Tribune that the increasing of the level of violence is a matter of concern, while, the ethnic clashes in Kokrajhar last year and the poll violence in the Rabha Hasong areas resulted in the number of deaths.
There is need for dealing with such situation to bring down the level of violence, the meeting observed. The meeting felt that the members of the militant groups under cease-fire agreements, are getting restive because of the slow progress of the peace talks. There have been instances of members of such groups indulging in unlawful activities including extortion and there is need to expedite the peace talks to find permanent solution to the problems. The meeting also decided that the Central Government should be requested to take effective measures to expedite peace talks with the militant groups.
As the members of the militant groups cross over from one state to another whenever operations are launched against them in one state, the meeting decided to launch joint operations whenever necessary, particularly in the inter-state border areas.
Two suspected Maoists arrested
A joint party of district police and CRPF on Thursday arrested two suspected Maoists from Modakpal Police Station area of the Naxal infested Bijapur district. According to police sources, the accused were arrested during the search operation from Guddipal village about 12 km from the police station, on Thursday. The arrested accused were identified as Rajaiah, 25 and Pulse Gaura, 25, residents of Gudipal village. Police claimed that both the arrested were involved in serious criminal offences like murder and abduction.