Win hearts to fight Maoists: Centre
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The central government has issued a set of guidelines to tackle the Maoist threat. It also warned Kerala against ignoring or concealing instances of armed CPI (Maoist) cadres’ movement in the state. The guidelines instructed the state to thwart any attempt by the ultras to win over the marginalized populace.
Besides Kerala, the Centre has issued the warning to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The guidelines also exhorted the state to sensitize district administrations about the need for a robust grievance-redress mechanism, which could prevent Maoists from capitalizing on local woes to recruit people for the PLGA (armed wing of CPI (Maoist) and also politically mobilize them.
In response to the Centre’s warning, the state police alerted the forest and tribal departments, asking them step up vigil. These departments were also told to ensure that the benefits of governance reached the beneficiaries. “Some steps suggested by the Centre may not be reflective of the ground situation in our state. But in general, it is applicable to us because the Maoist presence here is not a creation of the police,” senior police sources said. The MHA has also suggested initiating a propaganda campaign to counter the Maoists.”
The violence and atrocities perpetrated by Maoists in states like Jharkhand/Chhattisgarh, etc., can be highlighted. Also large-scale destruction of schools, development infrastructure, use of child soldiers, etc., in other states can be used as themes for the propaganda campaign,” the guidelines said. Plainclothesmen should be deployed to collect intelligence and arrest Maoists cadres. These activities should be monitored by a nodal office in respective state police headquarters since it involved inter-district and inter-state coordination, the guidelines said.
“Pamphlets may be distributed in areas vulnerable to Maoist influence exhorting local people to inform police about the movement of Maoist cadres,” it said. The MHA urged the the state should evolve its own mechanism to counter Maoists. The warning also said that though the Maoists efforts of CPI (Maoist) to open a new theatre in south India was a cause for serious concern, at this stage, it can be easily controlled through a well-formulated action plan could contain the threat.
Maoists may lose political prisoner tag
NEW DELHI: Nine Maoists, including rocket launcher Sadula Ramakrishna, who were granted the status of ‘political prisoners’ by a lower court in Kolkata, may soon be stripped of their privileges as the West Bengal government is set to challenge the order in the Supreme Court.
Last week, the apex court stayed a Calcutta High Court order giving political prisoner status to Maoist leader Telugu Dipak, People’s Committee against Police Atrocities convener Chhatradhar Mahato and four others. The lower court thereafter granted the same status to the nine others, including Ramakrishna, who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency for manufacturing arms, ammunition and military-grade rocket launchers to wage war against the state.
The HC order last August, given under the West Bengal Correctional Services Act, had rattled the security establishment which feared it would act as a precedent and prompt even a terrorist like Lashkar’s Hafiz Saeed to demand such status. Proving their apprehensions right, American Centre attacker Aftab Ansari, who has links with Indian Mujahideen, petitioned the court demanding the same status. A flummoxed Union home ministry then asked the Bengal government to amend the law and challenge the orders in Supreme Court.
A person declared a political prisoner is entitled to privileges like a separate cell, home-cooked food, access to newspapers, books and other reading material, meeting with relatives and advocates and greater freedom inside jail compared to other prisoners. According to the West Bengal Correctional Services Act, political prisoners are those who are arrested or convicted on a charge of having committed or attempting to commit, aiding or abetting the commissions of any political offence.
It is applicable even if the person is charged under the Indian Penal Code. The law also says that anyone who commits or allegedly commits an offence during a political or democratic movement with an exclusive political objective, free from personal greed or motive, is entitled to political prisoner status. Even charges of waging war against the nation cannot prevent an accused from being granted the status.
Two Maoists convicted in 2004 Baliba massacre
Ranchi: A special court on Tuesday found two Maoists guilty of killing 29 police personnel at Baliba in the West Singhbhum district, nine years ago. Convicting William Marandi and Shahdeo Mahato, the special court of SH Kazmi fixed March 14 to pronounce the quantum of sentence. They were booked under the Prevention Of Terrorism Act (POTA). The incident, which happened at Baliba under the jurisdiction of Gua police station on April 7, 2004, was the first major Maoist strike after Jharkhand bifurcated from Bihar on November 15, 2000.
Two Maoists held with arms
Two Maoists were arrested on Sunday by Kataram police and huge cache of arms meant for ambushing a police team at Kammanpalli in Mahadevpur mandal were recovered from them. As many as 20 detonators, 20 guillotines, 3 kg ammonium and 25 meter electric wire were seized from them. District SP V Ravinder on Monday produced the arrested Maoists before the media at police headquarters before remanding them to the local court.
Speaking to newsmen, the SP said the two arrested Maoists include Dumpa Raghupathi alias Daya (26) and Vasam Kamala (36). Daya worked as a committee member at Narsampet in Warangal district and Kothagudem in Khammam district in 2006. Kamala, working as village Mahila Committee chairman provided shelter to the Maoists and also worked as a Maoist informer in Chhattisgarh. Both of them belong to Annaram village in Tarlagudem tehsil in Chhattisgarh.
Government to build sensitive police station in Naxal-hit Lakhisarai
Patna: The Bihar government on Monday promised early construction of a building of a sensitive police station in Naxal-hit Lakhisarai district where policemen feel insecure to venture out after evening. Replying to a starred question of BJP’s Prem Ranjan Patel in the state Assembly, Minister In-charge of Home Vijay Chaudhary said that Kajra police station presently functioning from a make-shift house arranged by locals.
The land for building the police station, he said, has been identified and process for construction of building would start in the next financial year. Patel in his question mentioned that Kajra police station was insecure due to which policemen do not venture out of the police station after 6 pm. He said the police station had been twice raided by Maoists who took away arms. The police station area also witnessed a major Naxal strike in 2010 in which eight policemen were killed by extremists. The BJP MLA said, since the police station was running from a make-shift house it was difficult to regulate its daily functioning.
Maharashtra govt spent Rs 25 lakh on payment to informants
MUMBAI: The state home department has informed the legislature it spent Rs 25 lakh as payment to informants while another Rs 10 lakh has been spent on deporting illegal foreigners to their home country. In its supplementary demand, it has sought Rs 291 crore for construction of 10 fortified police stations in naxal affected areas, besides capital outlay for road transport. It has sought another Rs 87 crore for various administrative expenses.
The Home department said the provision of Rs 25 lakh for arms and ammunition, petrol, motor vehicles etc was insufficient and it has withdrawn an additional Rs 38 crore for the purpose. It has also sought an additional provision of Rs 17 crore. The department plans to organise a Maharashtra state police sport 2013 for which it is developing a spirts ground. It has sought sanction for Rs 2 crore for the purpose.