Govt identifies 26 districts as highly Naxal-hit
Government has identified 26 districts in the country as highly Naxal-affected with 80 per cent violence in the last three years being reported from there. The districts are spread over seven Maoist-hit states – Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal, official sources said here today. Eight districts in Chhattisgarh where a large number of violence took place in last three years are Bastar, Bijapur, Dantewada, Kanker, Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Rajnandgaon and Sukma. Jharkhand’s eight districts which have been considered as badly affected are Garhwa, Giridih, Gumla, Khunti, Latehar, Palamu, Simdega and West Singhbhum.
The three districts in Bihar which have been identified as highly violence-prone are Aurangabad, Gaya, and Jamui while three Odisha districts are Koraput, Malkangiri and Bolangir. Andhra Pradesh’s two districts – Khammam and Visakhapatnam, Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli and West Bengal’s West Midnapore have also been identified as Naxal-hit.
More than 600 people were were killed in Naxal violence in last three years across the country and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had termed the meance as India’s biggest internal security threat. Naxal violence has been reported in areas falling under 270 police stations in 64 districts.
Arms manufacturing unit busted by police
Koraput, Apr 12 (PTI) Security forces today busted a Naxal arms manufacturing unit and seized explosives from the jungles of the district here. According to officials, a patrol squad of BSF detected and recovered a number of claymore mines, a 12-bore gun and muzzle loading gun, electric items and chemical explosives from a Maoist hideout at Narayanpatna area. The force also launched a search for possible naxalites in the area but it was called off later in the evening, they said.
Govt to recruit 7350 men for paramilitary forces from Naxal affected districts
NEW DELHI: The government has decided to specially recruit 7350 men for paramilitary forces from 26 districts of India which are worst affected by Naxal violence. A notification for a special recruitment drive for this purpose will be issued next week by the Union Home Ministry and the process of recruitment is expected to be over by June. The Ministry thinks it is important to recruit youngsters from these districts for the paramilitary forces like CRPF to wean them away from joining the Naxal fold.
Also, since these youngsters would hail from the districts worst affected by naxal violence, they would have a good knowledge of the topography and terrain of the district which could aid the security forces during anti-naxal operations in these areas. As per a assessment done by the Home Ministry, 26 districts in India account for 70% of all Naxal violence in the country making them the focus areas for the government.
Ten such districts in fact account for 50% of the overall Naxal violence in India since 2009. The special recruitment will hence be done from the 26 districts — including West Midnapore ( West Bengal), Dantewada, Bijapur and Kanker in Chhattisgarh, Gadhchirolli in Maharashtra, Latehar and Palamu in Jharkhand, Malkangiri and Koraput in Orissa and Gaya in Bihar. Though the government admits that Naxals have presence in at least 203 districts of the country, the problem has been assessed by Home Ministry to be the most acute in 26 districts.
4 Naxals, one policeman, 2 civilians killed in encounter
Four naxalites, a police jawan and two civilians were killed today in an encounter between the ultras and the security personnel in Sindesur forest of Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district. Acting on a tip-off, commandos of anti-Naxal unit C-60 combed Sindesur forest area in Dhanora taluka and spotted a group of ultras who fired at them, triggering a gun battle at around 11 AM, police said.
The slain policeman has been identified as constable Govinda Farkade (41) of Jairampur village of the district. The four Naxals and two civilians killed in the encounter are yet to be identified, police said. Search operations are still on in the forest area. One SLR, a country-made gun, some weapons, ammunition and other Naxal-related material were recovered from the spot, police said.
Reds defy CRPF chief, blow up Bihar buildings
Two separate groups of the CPI (Maoist) late on Wednesday blew up eight government buildings, including six in Aurangabad district, to protest the killing of some of their top leaders at Chatra on March 28 by their rival faction, the Trititya Prastuti Committee (TPC). However, no casualty was reported, as no one was present in the buildings. The action was widely read as a show of defiance towards the presence in Patna of CRPF director general Pranay Sahay, who was visiting the state to review anti-Naxal operations.
The extremists left behind handbills at both the places of occurrence, reiterating that the CPI (Maoist) would not tolerate TPC-police nexus. Maoists claimed that the government had attempted to station 285 CoBRA battalion force in six government quarters, which were under renovation.
One of these housed 14 flats. “The rebels apprehended that the buildings could be used against them as they had been vacant for a long time. Extremists also knew that during transit or operations, the paramilitary forces used government buildings. These abandoned buildings give them an advantage and the rebels wanted to neutralise it,” said an officer in the police headquarters. In the first incident, over 100 ultras used dynamites and can bombs to blow up six buildings of the water resources department at Misirbigha village, which is barely one km away from Deo police station and about 18km from Aurangabad district headquarters.
On getting information about the incident, superintendent of police (SP) Daljeet Singh and SDPO Ajay Narayan Yadav rushed to the spot with reinforcements and inquired about the incident. During search operations, police found a live can bomb, which was planted in one of the buildings. Police later defused the bomb. Singh said the police had launched an intensive combing operation in the hilly areas of the district bordering Jharkhand.
Locals told the police that the rebels continued their operation till 1am of Thursday. Another group of Maoists also demolished two government buildings, including a panchayat bhawan, at about the same time at Bhisondah village under Chandra Mandi police station in Jamui district. Jamui SP Dipak Barnwal confirmed the incident, stating that unidentified rebels had demolished the government buildings with the help of JCB machines.
Red leader scores over IM’s Bhatkal brothers in bounty list
NEW DELHI: CPI (Maoist) top gun Mupalla Lakshman Rao alias Ganapathy now carries a total bounty of Rs 51 lakh on his head. The reward kitty for any information leading to his arrest has swelled further with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) offering Rs 15 lakh — over and above the Rs 12 lakh each already declared by Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand Police.
Interestingly, Ganapathy scores over even Indian Mujahideen (IM) ringleaders like Riyaz Bhatkal, Yasin Bhatkal and Amir Reza Khan in the NIA’s latest bounty list. These IM operatives, along with their nine colleagues, carry a lesser reward of Rs 10 lakh each on their heads. However, the NIA reward list puts saffron terror accused on par with top IM terrorists, with the ‘wanted’ from either camp commanding a maximum Rs 10 lakh bounty.
Yet, while the total bounty for wanted Naxal leaders is Rs 50 lakh, the reward for ‘wanted’ IM leaders adds up to a whopping Rs 1.2 crore. The saffron terror accused command a total cash reward of Rs 39 lakh, with the most wanted — Sandeep Dange, Ramji Kalsangra and Ashwini Chauhan — carrying Rs 10 lakh bounty each.
The NIA’s decision to put Ganapathy – the elusive CPI(Maoist) ideologue – ahead of even IM masterminds is being seen with interest, considering that the Bhatkal brothers have been associated with a series of high-casualty terror blasts, including 7/11 local train explosions in Mumbai, the German Bakery blasts and more recently, the Hyderabad blasts.
With the extent of the bounty an indicator of the threat that the criminal poses to the law, the Rs 15 lakh reward on Ganapathy’s head confirms Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s oft-repeated assessment that Naxalism remains the number one threat facing the country. Apart from Ganapathy, the NIA has declared a Rs 10 lakh reward each on three other senior Maoist leaders — Nambala Keshav Rao (politburo member) alias Basavraj, Thippiri Tirupati (central committee member) alias Deoji and Balmuri Narayan Rao alias Prabhakar. Basavraj and Deoji, also `wanted’ by Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand Police, now have a cumulative bounty of Rs 41 lakh each.
Another Maoist from West Bengal, Somji, has Rs 5 lakh bounty declared by the NIA. That’s how the Central agency’s total bounty for Naxals is Rs 50 lakh — Ganapathy (Rs 15lakh), three senior leaders (Rs 10 lakh each) and Somji (Rs 5 lakh) But what confirm the most-dreaded status of IM is the dozen ‘wanted’ operatives, who now command Rs 1.2 crore NIA bounty among them.
These 12 IM terrorists include Yasin Bhatkal, suspected to have planted the bomb in Hyderabad and Pune, Riyaz Bhatkal, Amir Reza Khan, Mohd Tehseen Akhtar, Mohsin Ismail Choudhary, Iqbal Bhatkal, Dr Shahnawaz Alam, Asadullah 0Akhtar, Ariz Khan, Mohd Sajid, Mohd Khalid and Mirza Shadaab Beg. Some of these, including the Bhatkal brothers, also have Rs 10 lakh award declared on their heads by the Mumbai ATS.
The absconding status of these IM masterminds, bomb-makers and planters points to the continuing threat that the nation faces from the IM terror factory. Among the other wanted criminals with an NIA reward on their heads are Delhi High Court blast accused Junaid Akram Malik (Rs 10 lakh), SIMI’s Wasik alias Rahman (Rs 2 lakh) and Shoukat Ali, accused in a fake currency case (Rs 25,000).
Journey from teacher to most wanted
CPI (Maoist) chief Mupalla Lakshman Rao alias Ganpathy hails from Karimnagar in Andhra Pradesh. He studied B.Sc and B.Ed and taught in a school in his native Karimnagar. Later, while studying in Warangal he was attracted to the Maoist ideology and was indoctrinated by Nalla Reddy. He is in his mid-60s and is a contemporary of Maoist leader Kishenji, who was killed in an encounter in Bengal. While Kishenji had a sharp military acumen, Ganpathy is more of an ideologue.
242 armed fighting companies proposed to tackle Maoist problem in Bihar
Patna: Bihar government has proposed to set up 242 armed fighting companies of police to deal with rioting, Maoist violence and organized crime in the state. Director General of Police Abhayanand said the decision was taken by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at a high-level review meeting of the home department on Thursday.
Among the proposed 242 armed fighting companies, 44 companies will be a dedicated force to deal with rioting, while the remaining companies will be engaged in operations against the Maoists and organized crime, he said. Kumar also directed that the district police be upgraded to a fighting force companies and would be armed with anti-riot equipment and weapons which will be purchased as per requirements, Abhayanand said.
The ageing policemen would be used for civil policing work with a mandate to resolve disputes among the people, he said. The chief minister also directed the home department to create the post of Director-in-chief (DIC) of the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) and setting up of a directorate comprising the FSL, finger print and photo bureau under the DIC, who will be a forensic science expert of national repute.
The meeting also decided to recruit people in the vacant posts in the police force and purchase equipment as per requirement. The government would provide 35 percent reservation in the recruitment of women constables and sub-inspectors under which three per cent posts will be for those from the the OBCs, Kumar said adding the policy decision in this regard will be ratified by the cabinet in due course.
Massive combing operation in Bihar
Patna: Security forces in Bihar have launched a massive combing operation in the areas a day after the Maoists blew up as many 26 government flats as a mark of defiance to the armed forces. The flats which belonged to irrigation department had only recently been renovated by the state government at a cost of Rs5.3 million (Dh356,872) to house the 285 Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), a specialised unit of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) created to counter the Maoist problem in India.
Police said around 1,000 Maoists raided village Mishra Bigha located in Deo block of southern Bihar’s Aurangabad district in the wee hours of Thursday and blew up the renovated government quarters by planting dynamites and can bombs. Their operation lasted for some seven hours during which all the buildings targeted by rebels razed to the ground as debris lay scattered all around.
Witnesses said the deafening sound of the blasts was heard as far as 5 km away as the local police did not dare to rush to the spot. In all, some 25 blasts were triggered by the rebels whereas one can bomb failed to detonate but the damage was extensive, police said.
The damaged buildings initially meant for housing the irrigation department staffs had been constructed in 1977 but very recently they were given a facelift to station the CoBRA forces so as to launch operation against the rebels who had let loose a reign of terror in the areas. Aurangabad, which shares border with Jharkhand, is one of 38 districts of Bihar infamous for Maoist activities, and also the first major massacre involving killing of 54 upper caste Rajput villagers (at Dalechak-Baghaura villages) reported from this district in 1984.
“We have launched an intensive combing operation in the hilly areas of the district bordering Jharkhand state to nab the absconding rebels,” the local district superintendent of police Daljeet Singh said from Aurangabad town, some 170 km south of Patna. According to him, the police have got vital clues about the rebels’ whereabouts from the local villagers and were acting on the information provided by them.
Another incident of Maoist attack has been reported from eastern Bihar’s Jamui district where the rebels badly damaged two government buildings by using JCB machines. Police said their operation lasted for about 30 minutes. Police say the rebels have gone on blasting spree in Bihar as they apprehend the government buildings in far-off areas could be used as bases of security forces to launch operation against them.
As per a police report, the angry rebels have blown up more than 50 government buildings, offices and schools and 56 mobile phone towers in Bihar in the past four years, indicating the severity of the situation, let aside private houses of villagers. According a report compiled by the police department, Maoists blew up 13 government schools, two government buildings, five houses, railway tracks at five places, apart from torching 22 JCB machines and 19 mobile phone towers in the state in 2011 while in the year 2010, they blasted 12 government buildings, eight mobile phone towers and three JCB machines engaged in road construction works.
Similarly in 2009, the rebels blew up 24 government buildings, railway tracks at seven places, 17 mobile towers, and also set afire 29 JCB machines of private road construction firms while in 2008, the rebels destroyed three government buildings, 12 mobile towers and five JCB machines.
US mission feared Veerappan killing may help Maoists in Tamil Nadu
CHENNAI: American diplomats posted in India feared that killing of forest brigand Veerappan will create a security vacuum in Tamil Nadu’s Dharmapuri region, helping Maoists to get a foothold. “While Veerappan’s death removed the main security threat in Dharmapuri, the conditions that spawned his power remain. Its poverty, isolation and lack of infrastructure leave the area ripe for further security threats,” said a cable sent by the US consulate in Chennai on November 9, 2004 and released by WikiLeaks.
“The current contenders for power lack either knowledge of the local terrain or local political support, giving the government of Tamil Nadu time to bring this comparatively lawless region back into its reach. However, if the chief minister fails to deliver the development she promises, the region could remain the “wild west of Tamil Nadu and pose future security concerns for the state”, said the cable sent by the then consul general Richard Haynes.
“So complete was Veerappan’s hold on the forests that his death leaves the future of the region in doubt. Acknowledged to be one of the least developed districts in Tamil Nadu, Dharmapuri has been effectively unserved by the state government for many years. Its poverty and remoteness make it an ideal breeding ground for discontent,” the cable said. The cable discounted fringe Tamil groups like the Tamil National Liberation Army and the Tamil Nadu Retrieval Troops as mainstream political parties like PMK and DMK have considerable influence among the Vanniyar youth in the region. But the mission feared the situation may lead to resurgence of Maoists in the backward district.
“In addition to Tamil ultra groups, the People’s War has also been active in Dharmapuri. While the Maoist group has found success and support in Andhra Pradesh, high urbanisation of Tamil Nadu has limited the group’s opportunities here. However, Dharmapuri’s lack of infrastructure has allowed the People’s War to gain a small foothold in the region,” the cable said. Nine years after the operation in which the bandit was gunned down, T Senthamarai Kannan, a senior police officer who was involved in it, said the success in hunting down Veerappan could be attributed to the inter-state coordination. “Due to sharing of intelligence among Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, we could prevent any other group taking control of the forests. Also, posting of a large number of police personnel in the region helped a lot,” Kannan said.
Osmania University posters exhort war for Telangana
HYDERABAD: More than 200 posters exhorting the youth to join an armed struggle to achieve Telangana state surfaced at the Osmania University campus, worrying the city police force on Thursday, but analysts dismissed it as just a ploy to breathe fire into a weakening agitation.
The posters, according to police , were signed by Telangana People’s Liberation Front, a largely unknown offshoot of the CPI (ML) Jana Shakti party, and said: “only a militant struggle could lead to Telangana state formation” , and people of Telangana should not fall for electoral games.
The poster with a red background and sketch of a person holding a rifle which has been surfacing over the past few days on the campus said: “Lobbying will not help us secure separate statehood, only war will.” “Militant poratale Andhrulaku dhadapottesthundi (Only militant struggle will scare people from Andhra region),” the posters, slapped across the men’s hostel read. While the police suspect Maoist rebels and said they were looking for five suspects who had put up similar posters in Tarnaka about a month back, political commentators dismissed it as a gimmick and said it was highly improbable for Maoists to dare an armed strike over Telangana right now, while they were on the run in the state.
“A poster is just a poster. No one will run to the next rebel group and take up arms because of a poster,” said G Haragopal, director of Centre for Human Rights, University of Hyderabad. Many experts said if the state government wanted to convince the central government that the protest has fallen into the hands of extremists and get New Delhi to announce something on the statehood issue, they might just have to plant such posters in the city and make a few arrests.
“The state had played several such tricks to brand student leaders and even arrest the most vocal and the most assertive of them,” Haragopal added. On OU campus, the posters were found near Arts College and some of the boys hostels including A, B and new research scholar hostels.
In the Tarnaka case, police had filed cases under 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 153 A (promoting enemity between classes) and 153 B (imputations assertion prejudicial to national integration) against unknown people, an OU police officer said. OU students disowned the posters, saying none of the OU students or leaders of Joint Action Committee have printed or put up these posters.
“We believe that Telangana state can be achieved through democratic struggles. We are fighting well within the constitutional rights,” said M Krishank, spokesperson, OU JAC. Experts say the T-agitation is on the wane with the Centre failing to respect several deadlines to announce formation of Telangana to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh.
Hectic lobbying by both Seemandhra politicians and Congress leaders from Telangana region, have not yielded any results so far, and people are largely disillusioned. While the Telangana Rashtra Samithi has threatened to step up agitation time and again, without any success, student leaders admit that after three years of protests they have not gained anything significant. Thus spoke posters “Only a militant struggle could lead to Telangana state formation Lobbying will not help us secure separate statehood, only war will.”