Plan to declare Ballia as Naxal-affected district
VARANASI: Contrary to claims of ending the Maoist problem in affected districts of Sonebhadra, Chandauli and Mirzapur, the police are gearing up to declare Ballia as Maoist affected district. “A proposal is being prepared by Ballia police in this regard,” said IG GL Meena while talking to TOI. It has yet to be submitted to the IG for forwarding it to the DGP office and the state government.
Despite these efforts of police, it is a million dollar question that on what ground this district can be declared as Maoist affected area. When the state government declared Sonebhadra, Chandauli and Mirzapur as Maoist affected districts, 53 villages of Ballia, which are linked with bordering areas of Bihar, had also been kept in the list of Maoist affected areas.
However, the left wing extremists never showed presence in Ballia. As per the records available in IG office, in 2001, Vijay Chauhan, who had links with Bihar-based Maoist ultras, had tried to kill Musafir Chauhan and his wife but the villagers had foiled his bid and he was also killed in the incident. In reaction to the incident, the wife of Musafir was murdered on November 18, 2012. It was suspected that Vijay’s kin had sought help of Maoist ultras to avenge his killing. After the incident, a demand for providing additional paramilitary forces came from Ballia police.
During recent meetings of zone police, some officials said that instead of demanding additional force, the demand for including Ballia in the list of Maoist affected districts should be made as it would help in getting all the benefits like the funds of security related expenditure (SRE) and special infrastructure scheme (SIS), apart from permanent deployment of Central forces. Hence, a plan to prepare a proposal was finalised. Some officials are not convinced with the demand to declare Ballia as Maoist affected district.
The officials revealed that any demand of this nature can be made only after the attack on government establishments, government officials and employees, police or paramilitary forces and bid to loot weaponry of forces by the Maoist groups. The IG admitted that no such incident had been reported from Ballia so far. But, as the officials are preparing a proposal and IG said that it would be forwarded to the DGP office and the state government, it becomes clear that officials are in no mood to ‘discourage’ their subordinates.
Maoists abduct, kill panchayat official in Chhattisgarh
RAIPUR: Maoists abducted a village panchayat secretary and beat him to death in the forests of Karramal in Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh. Police and the villagers found the body of Karramal village panchayat secretary Lakpati Dansena in the forests on Sunday after he was abducted by a group of armed Maoists late on Saturday night.
Maoist cadres, including women, first reached the house of village panchayat secretary’s brother Gajpati Dansena and inquired about Lakpati’s house. They asked Gajpati to follow them to the house from where Lakpati was dragged out and taken to the Karramal forests
. The rebels left Gajpati after beating him. They tied Lakpati’s hands, beating him to death with lathis and later left the body in the forests, police said. The rebels dropped pamphlets warning the villagers against giving any information to the police and demanding increase in wages of labourers engaged in plucking of tendu (beedi) leaves.
The pamphlets described that the action against village panchayat secretary was taken by Bargarh Zonal Committee of CPI (Maoist). This is perhaps the first Naxalite related murder in Raigarh district, which shares a border with Odisha where the Bargarh Zonal Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) is active.
First FIR against Maoists in 2000
VARANASI: The Maoist problem had started in Naugarh region of Chandauli and some parts of Sonebhadra in mid-nineties. However, the first FIR against MCC ultras in this region was lodged with the Naugarh police in October 2000. Since then, over 100 people, including government officials and employees, were killed by the Maoist ultras. Initially the cadres formally branched out with the emergence of Dakshin Purvanchal Sangathanik Sub-zonal Committee (DPSSZC).
They expanded their network by forming area committees and local area committees. In 2001, they looted 14 SLRs from the PAC camp in Mirzapur district. In spite of the obvious presence of the MCC in Naugarh and in the forests of Mirzapur and Sonebhadra districts, it was only the mass killing of PAC and police personnel in November 2004 which compelled the government to realize the gravity of the matter.
It was not so that the government was unaware about the truth. In 2002, late Prime Minister Chandrashekhar had drawn the attention of the then Union home minister Lal Krishna Advani to the influx of outlaws from violence-ridden Bihar. In a letter dated July 31, 2002, the former PM had expressed concern over the spread of violence from Bihar to UP and requested to take note of it and initiate appropriate measures. After these developments, the three districts were declared as Maoist affected.
But, till then the Maoists had formed Sone Ganga Vindhyachal Zonal Committee to replace DPSSZC to control their operations in Chandauli, Sonebhadra, Mirzapur in UP and Buxar, Rohtas, Bhojpur and Bhabhua districts of Bihar. The Naugarh Chandraprabha Sub-zonal Committee, Robertsganj Machi SZC and Duddhi Chopan Bhojpur SZC work under this zonal committee. The Maoists had their networks in 293 villages of Sonebhadra, 241 of Chandauli and 107 villages in Mirzapur district.
The Mulayam Singh Yadav government decided to a adopt two-prong strategy. As part of it, the police adopted aggression anti-Maoist operations while emphasis was also laid on ensuring overall development of the Maoist affected districts, which proved ideal harbour for Maoist groups due to difficult terrains and geographical condition. These districts are connected with the borders of Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
Cameras for tiger census record ultra movements
GUWAHATI, April 21 – Use of modern technology can help a great deal in dealing with militants and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have already been used to track Maoist rebels in some states of the country. Meanwhile, in an interesting development, movement of militants inside a National Park of the State has come to light after such movements were tracked in cameras installed for tiger census.
Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that movements of some militants with weapons were recorded in the cameras installed in the Nameri National Park for tiger census. Sources said that the cameras were installed in different interior places of the National Park for tiger census and any movement in front of the cameras is recorded.
But when the concerned officials checked the recordings in the cameras, to their surprise, they found that movements of militants with weapons were also recorded in the same along with the photos of the animals including tigers. Sources said that according to information available with the police and security agencies, there were movements of the members of the Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) in the Nameri area and the militants, whose movements were recorded in the cameras, must be of them only.
But the incident proved beyond doubt that there have been movements of armed militants within the National Park. Meanwhile, on the demand of the Chief Minister for use of UAVs in the interior places of the State for tracking the movement of militants, sources said that the proposal would have to get clearance from the Defence Ministry first for use of air space.
The UAVs were used in some of the Maoist affected areas of the country including Chhattisgarh to photograph the movement of the Maoist rebels. Sources said that the UAVs used in India so far are only for taking photographs and those are not equipped with weapons like the ones used mostly by the United States army in the operations against Talibans in Afghanistan. On the other hand, full fledged use of the UAVs in the Kaziranga National Park for tracking the movement of the poachers is yet to start.
The Government has taken a decision to use UAVS in the National Park in view of the spurt of poaching of rhinos and the test flight was carried out in presence of Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain recently. But as the necessary air space use clearance from the Defence Ministry is yet to be received, the test flight of one UAV was carried out in a limited area only and flights into the interior areas can be done only after receiving the permission.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests has already sought clearance from the Defence Ministry for the use of UAVs in the Kaziranga and if the permission is granted, the Park would become the first in the country to use such technology for dealing with poachers. The Government has also started the process of using “Electronic eye” for dealing with poachers as was done in the Corbett National Park.