Maoist arrested in West Bengal
KOLKATA: A Maoist guerrilla involved in several cases of violence including the killing of a CPM leader was arrested from West Bengal’s Bankura district on Saturday, police said. “Govind Singha Sardar was arrested on Saturday morning from Baruikul in the district. At least 13 warrants have been pending against him. He was also involved in the killing of tribal CPM leader Haren Baske,” Bankura superintendent of police Mukesh Kumar said. Sardar, a member of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), was involved in the killing of Baske in 2010.
Maoist resurfacing surprises police
The unexpected resurfacing of a group of armed people, suspected to be members of an outlawed Maoist outfit, at an Adivasi colony near Nilambur on Thursday evening has surprised the police and forest officials. Although no formal manhunt has been launched, the Police and the Forest departments have tightened their vigil. The police had stopped their formal search for some extremists who surfaced in the district sometime back.
“We have had enough. Now what we are doing is secret moves with the help of forest officials,” said a police officer, pleading anonymity. Now, a six-member gang wearing olive-green uniform and carrying guns visited the Chembra Adivasi colony at Kurumbilangode in Pothukal grama panchayat at 6.30 p.m. on Thursday. The gang, which included a woman, led a brief class to the Adivasis and distributed pamphlets amongst them. Criticising the United States (U.S.) and Indian policies towards the U.S., the gang reportedly exhorted the Adivasis for an armed struggle.
The gang, which spoke in Malayalam, left the colony around 7 p.m. Some members of the Adivasis informed the local forest officials of the visit of the gang around 8 p.m. The forest officials and the police visited the colony at night. Nothing much to do then “We had nothing much to do at that time. They alerted us about an hour after the gang had left the colony,” said Georgi P. Mathachan, Divisional Forest Officer (Nilambur North). The forest officials could get only two copies of the pamphlets distributed by the gang. The gang had food from the Adivasi colony and carried rice and other groceries from there.
It quietly disappeared into the forests of the Nilambur range. Mr. Mathachan said that frequent searches were being conducted in the forests here despite shortage of staff. “Half of our staff has now gone for training. We are managing with the available few,” he said. Senior police officers from the district also visited the colony. However, unlike the past, the police kept away from disclosing any information about their search plans.
A platoon of the Thunderbolts commandos of the State police had searched the forests a few weeks ago in the wake of the sighting of some men and women suspected to be Maoists. The much-hyped commando search, however, yielded nothing. The Thunderbolts commandos were called in as the civil police officers engaged in the search had little experience in searching forests. The Thunderbolts had got training in all kinds of terrains, including jungles.
CRPF troops awarded for Kishenji killing
New Delhi, Mar 23: Two CRPF officers, who killed top Maoist leader Kishenji in West Bengal, were today honoured with the Shaurya Chakra by President Pranab Mukherjee along with 12 personnel from the Army and the IAF. Two CRPF officers who killed Maoist Kishenji honoured with Shaurya Chakra The Shaurya Chakra is the third highest peacetime gallantry award.
Two jawans including Naiks Rajeshver Singh and Anil Kumar of the Punjab Regiment were awarded the Shaurya Chakra posthumously for repulsing a terrorist attack from across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kupwara in September last year. Maj Chandrashekhar Singh of the Army Aviation Corps also got the award posthumously. Singh died while carrying out air maintenance operation in the Siachen Glacier.
Cops bust Maoist camp
BERHAMPUR: Security forces busted a Maoist camp inside a forest near Gadapakali village in Kandhamal district on Thursday night. Five steel containers and same number of polythene sheets, around 30 metres of electric wires, 45 metres of fuse wires, medicines and seven towels were seized from the camp. “We suspect the Maoists abandoned the camp just before the raid,” said SP (Kandhamal) J N Pankaj. The extremists could have stocked electric and fuse wires and steel containers for making landmines, he added. The combing operation was carried out by the Special Operations Group (SOG) personnel and district police.
Reds demolish ex-leader’s house
BOKARO: More than 50 Maoists demolished the house of their former sub-zonal commander Phulchand alias Praveel Manjhi at Jamnia village of Pek panchayat on Thursday midnight, branding him “corrupt and traitor”. The rebels triggered three landmine blasts demolishing Phulchand’s palatial building, having 10 rooms comprising drawing room, four bed rooms, study room, dining hall, spacious kitchen, several toilets and entry gate. The Maoist had constructed before his arrest on March, 2012. In December, the Naxalites had blew off a small portion of the building.
Phulchand is presently in the Hazaribag central jail. The blast aims to send a message that the rebels are not going to leave corrupt leaders of the outfit, who have amassed assets stealing money from the party or collected from residents. After the incident, the Maoists put up the banner on the main gate of the demolished structure saying “party or janta ka rupiya harpkar aalisan makan banana wale bhrast, gaddar, vishwasghati Phulchand ka ghar dhwast karo”. Similar banners are also put up at different places including Budgadda Moad, Narki Moad, Narayanpur Moad of the area. Villagers said they heard three sounds of blast, which had shaken their houses too. Many residents came out of their houses.
However such a powerful blast unable to demolish pillars of the house. Phulchand’s house was discovered by police during an anti-Naxalite operation in the area. Citing its example, Bokaro SP Kuldeep Dwivedi had then said it showed the working and intention of the Maoist outfit. “The money which was collected as levy by the Maoists from the coal smugglers and contractors is being used by Praveel for his own comfort.”
The cops were surprised seeing the building a most beautiful structure come up in the area, which is poverty-stricken and counted one among the most backward region of the district because of Maoist dominance. The SP confirmed the damage to Phulchand’s house and said investigation was on. Phulchand a father of five children including three daughters, had planned to shift to the new house but he was arrested before that.
However, his family is presently residing in the same village in a normal house, which can show his poor background. During interrogation, Phulchand confessed that he had joined the Red outfit to capture land of others in village. Phulchand had dominated in Sotapani area of Nawadih where he had given shelter to illegal coal mining.
One killed in Aurangabad Maoists attack
PATNA: In two separate incidents of Maoists attack, one person was killed while another received splinter injuries at Chandpur and Kachanpur villages in Aurangabad district on Thursday night and Friday morning. The ministry of home affairs (MHA) had issued a letter in January to all the Left wing-affected (LWA) states for security audit especially in those prisons where Maoist prisoners are lodged.
The state home department had ordered all the SPs of the Maoist-hit districts, including Patna, to audit the available security arrangements and to enhance the security wherever necessary. According to intelligence inputs, security forces were put on high alert because Red rebels strike the most in February and March. With the onset of summer, the ultras desert camps and head for home as soaring temperature makes life miserable in the forests. It is also difficult to execute attacks during the monsoon.
After rains, they conduct training camps, prepare blueprints of major attacks and execute them between February and April. Aurangabad ASP Rajesh Bharti said the first incident took place at 8pm on Thursday night at village Chandpur under Dev police station. “Around 40-50 armed Maoists attacked the village and set afire a private jeep.
They also fire indiscriminately at the villagers killing one Ajit Kumar on the spot. Another villager Umashankar received multiple splinter injuries and was admitted to the Sadar hospital,” he said. The ASP further said, “Another incident took place on Friday morning at 10am. About 100 armed Maoists first get passengers alighted from a bus and then torched it at Kachanpur village, located at hilly terrain, under the same police station.
However, they did not resort to firing here.” The police were rushed to the spot immediately but the Maoists fled from the spot, he said and added the security personnel arranged an alternative bus to send the commuters, who were alighted from the bus, to their respective destinations. “We also launch a combing operation after the incident. It is too early to ascertain the reason behind the attack as no Maoist poster was found at the spot,” he said.
Suspected Maoists distribute notices
People living in Munderi forest have come up with strong evidence of Maoist presence in the area. The distribution of notices in the Chembra Tribal colony inside the Munderi forest exhorting people to take up arms against the governments of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka proves beyond doubt the presence of extremist groups in the forest. The notice says these governments are apathetic towards the poor.
Though people living inside and close to the forest area have reported sighting armed people, it is for the first time a team is distributing such notices in the area. These notices were distributed on Thursday night in the tribal colony. Though police and forest officials conducted several combing operations in the area it was all in vain.
“Police force have been in the area for a long time. The Thunderbolt is also camping in the region. We have collected evidence about the armed persons who visited the colony from the tribal people. They have also handed over the copies of notices distributed among them,” Perinthalmanna DySP Vijayakumaran said.
Maoists torch bus
Daltonganj: Maoists set a bus on fire after evicting passengers at Parsoum between Panki and Balumath in Palamu district on Thursday. The bus had left Panki at 5.30am when the Maoists intercepted it at Parsoum and asked the passengers to get off the bus.
They then took out the diesel and torched it. PalamuSP A T Mathew has confirmed this arson by the Maoists. Quoting from the Maoist leaflet, the SP said they have blamed the bus owner, Satweer Singh a resident of Chandwa district in Latehar of hobnobbing with the PLFI. tnnHe, however, said the Maoists’ allegations would be verified. Police have registered a case. “Passengers remained unhurt,” said Mathew.
NIA office likely in Jharkhand
RANCHI: The Centre is likely to set up a regional office of National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Jharkhand in the wake of growing terror activities in the state and frequent recovery of foreign-made weapons from Maoist bastions. Union home secretary R K Singh on Friday said this after a review meeting with top officials on the law and order situation in the state. State home secretary J B Tubid, DGP Rajiv Kumar and senior officers in the CRPF attended the meeting.
“We are looking into the matter and may open NIA’s regional office in Jharkhand,” said Singh, who is on a two-day visit to Jharkhand. He was replying to a question on increased terror activities in the state. The arrest of Indian Mujahideen operative Manzar Imam by NIA early this month and revelations made by him during interrogation gave an impetus to the government to contemplate setting up a local office of the central probe body.
At present, NIA has headquarters in Delhi and five regional offices operate from Hyderabad, Guwahati, Mumbai, Lucknow and Kochi. NIA is investigating cases of arms recovery from rebels in Hazaribag, Palamu and Simdega in the last few months. Police had recovered weapons made in the US, bullet-proof jackets in the UK and cartridges made in Pakistan from three districts at different times.
“NIA is investigating as to how foreign arms and ammunition reached the rebels and there is good progress,” said Singh without delving into details. On the possibilities of increasing strength of CRPF in the state to combat Maoists, he said over the past few years there has been decline in rebel activities in the state but to handle the situation more effectively deployment will be increased.
“We are going to increase the strength of CRPF in the state but it would not be correct to disclose further details,” he said. Earlier in the day, the home secretary visited the CRPF camp in Palamu district and tried to have first hand information about the ongoing anti-Naxalite operations there. This is Singh’s first visit after imposition of President’s Rule in January.
Anti-Naxal drive: IAF to deploy latest Mi-17 V-5 helicopters
Strengthening its capability for anti-Naxal operations, IAF will deploy a squadron of its latest Mi-17 V-5 helicopters in Nagpur to cater to the needs of extremism-hit states of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
These helicopters are advanced versions of the existing fleet of Mi-17s in the IAF and are equipped with sophisticated avionics and on-board navigation systems making them more suitable for both day and night operations in Naxal-affected areas. The helicopters will be deployed in Nagpur to cater to the needs of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh in anti-Naxal operations, Indian Air Force sources said.
So far, IAF has deployed its choppers in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh and Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh for supporting anti-Naxal operations. IAF has been providing aerial support to troops from CRPF deployed in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected states since 2009.The choppers are used to insert and evacuate troops during Naxal-operations and have been suitably equipped to operate in dense forests and can operate from temporary helipads there.
The Mi-17 V-5 helicopters have an on-board weather radar along with the state-of-the art autopilot and latest night vision devices. IAF has been providing aerial assistance in them anti-Naxal operations in five states of Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh. The force is operating there within the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) or Rules of Engagement laid down by the Defence Ministry, which prescribes for fire in self defence only.
Tackling naxal activity is top priority for Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala police
MYSORE: Tackling naxal activities appears to be top priority of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala police. Police officers working in the border districts of these states seriously discussed the issue and strategies to tackle their activities in respective regions during one-day in-house inter-state border police officers meeting here on Saturday. IGP (southern range) K Ramachandra Rao told STOI the inter-stage Tri-Junction (Karnataka, Kerala and TN) meeting was organized in the wake of sighting of naxals in Kodagu and Hassan districts and ahead of Karnataka Assembly election. Ten times Naxals were sighted in Karnataka since October 2012 and it is something new.
As Kodagu is bordering Kerala we suspects Naxals are active in the region and also moving between the three states through forests. We convened the meet to seek coordination of Tamil Nadu and Kerala police because we felt with better coordinated efforts we can tackle the naxal activities effectively. The IGP said we have requested Kerala and TN police to share any information and intelligence with regard to naxals.
The agencies tackling naxal activity in Karnataka is known as Anti-Naxal Force (ANF), in Tamil Nadu it is Special Task Force and in Kerala it is Thunderbolt. Officers attached to these forces too attended the meet. A total of 150 officers including three IGPs from TN and two IGPs from Kerala attended the meet along with their subordinates from intelligence, civil and internal security police wings and forest officials where they exchanged information about naxal activities in respective jurisdiction.
ADGP (Law and order) Bipin Gopalkrishna, who inaugurated one-day meet, briefed about naxalism in Karnataka and efforts made by government and police in containing naxal activities here. On the occasion, the ADGP felt there is need for operational strategy and to create separate structure within police department to combat naxalism.
Besides better inter-relation between district police and special anti-naxal force will help the police agencies in addressing the issue. Bipin claimed of late “naxalism and left wing extremism is spreading in urban areas”. According to Mysore superintendent of police R Dileep, who was nodal officer, there were a number of power point presentations by top officers on how to combat Naxalism. City police commissioner K L Sudheer was part of one-day meet.
Court absolves suspected naxal Horale Saroja of charges
Kundapur, Mar 23: Suspected naxal, Horale Saroja from near Sringeri, has been absolved of all the charges levelled against her by the prosecution. Saroja, who had been facing about 22 cases, had been lodged in the jail since the last four years.
It may be recalled that Saroja (29) from Horale in Megur gram panchayat in Koppa taluk of Chikmagalur district, and Devendra (37) from Sorab in Shimoga district, who were originally arrested by the Shimoga district policemen and lodged in Mysore jail, had been entrusted to Udupi district police during February 2010, for being tried for offences allegedly committed by them within the limits of Amasebail and Shankarnarayana police stations in the taluk.
Saroja had been charged for offences under various sections including treason, violation of Arms Act, and destruction of public property. Out of the above cases, ten were in Kundapur court alone. Among them, nine had been dismissed for want of enough witnesses and evidences.
The last case too was dismissed on Friday March 22. 22 cases had been registered against Devendra and Saroja in the local court as well as courts in Udupi and Karkala, relating to their alleged naxal activities. In 21 cases, they had already been held not guilty. These two suspected naxals were represented in the court here by advocate, Prakashchandra Hegde.
Four Maoists arrested in Kharswan
Jamshedpur: Four CPI (Maoists) were arrested following an encounter in Gitilbera jungle under Hesakocha panchyat of Chowka police station in Seraikela-Kharswan district today.
The security personnel were on their regular long-range patrolling in the naxal-infested jungle when they came across the ultras, who fired on them, Superintendent of Police Upendra Kumar said. Four Maoists arrested in Kharswan No casualty was reported from the police side and four ultras were arrested following the encounter, he said. Police recovered a 9 mm pistol, two magazines, eight cartridges, medicines, food items, party flag and posters from them.