Two naxal sympathisers held in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: Two young suspected Naxal sympathisers, including a school girl, were on Thursday arrested in Maoist-hit Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, police said. “The Maoist sympathisers were nabbed from Kaika village of the district during an anti-Naxal operation by district force,” a senior official told PTI.
Those arrested duo were identified as Manju Avlam (18) and Aytu Avlam (21), the official added. According to police, both have admitted that they were helping Dinesh, a member of Gangalur LOS (local operating squad) of Maoists for supplying commodities of regular use to Naxals, besides acting as messengers for him.
“A few letters of communication with Maoists, Naxal literature and a couple of sharp-edged weapons have been recovered from their possession,” the official said. Both were booked under Chhattisgarh Jan Suraksha Adhiniyam 2005 (Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act) and the Arms Act. Manju is a ninth grade student in a government school of Bahairmagdh village in the region and recently appeared in her final exams.
BSNL installs 363 towers in naxal affected areas
MUMBAI: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has installed a total of 363 mobile towers in the naxal affected areas, after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) identified 2199 locations to Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for installation of mobile towers in nine states which are affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE) and do not currently have any coverage by any service provider. BSNL has covered 363 out of the 2199 locations including 351 in Chattisgarh, six in Madhya Pradesh, three in Andhra Pradesh and three in Maharashtra.
The scheme of installation of mobile towers is funded by Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). The total number of locations identified by the MHA comprised of 227 in Andhra Pradesh, 184 in Bihar, 497 in Chattisgarh, 782 in Jharkhand, 22 in Madhya Pradesh, 60 in Maharashtra, 253 in Odisha, 78 in Uttar Pradesh and 96 in West Bengal.
In May 2007, the USOF launched a scheme called the Shared Mobile Infrastructure Scheme (SMIS) to provide subsidy support for setting up and managing 7353 infrastructure sites/towers in 500 districts. These included the LWE affected districts spread over 27 states for provision of mobile services in the specified rural and remote areas, where there was no existing fixed, wireless or mobile coverage.
Villages which have a population of 2000 or more and having no mobile coverage, were taken into consideration for installation of towers under the scheme. 673 mobile towers were targeted in the 11th Five Year Plan under the scheme in LWE affected districts and all these towers have been installed.
The details of subsidy disbursed by USOF under shared mobile infrastructure scheme upto February 2013 include 42.33 crore for Andhra Pradesh, 11.21cr in Bihar, 30.57 for Chattisgarh, 8.34 for Jharkhand, 17.76 in Madhya Pradesh, 30.01 in Maharashtra, 12.35 in Odisha, 35.28 in Uttar Pradesh and 4.12 in West Bengal. The Ministry also stated that in the 12th Plan period, all villages which presently do not have mobile coverage will be provided with connectivity under a scheme funded by USOF.
Bastar tribals demand CBI probe
RAIPUR: Enraged tribals of Maoist hotbed Narayanpur district in tribal Bastar region of Chhattisgarh are demanding a CBI probe into the alleged police encounter of two villagers in Maronaar village near ChoteDongar on April 30. A joint team of COBRA battalion, CRPF and district force claimed to have gunned down Maoist cadres of Duala Dalam Phool Singh and Jai Singh.
Since then police have been facing severe protest from 84 villages in the vicinity against the killing. Talking to TOI, Panniram Wadde, president of tribal Gond community in Bastar said, “On the night of April 30, town inspector Vijay Chelak and sun-divisional officer of police B N Baghel dragged three brothers of the family to the police station and after brief interrogation, police relieved Ram Singh, keeping Jai Singh and Phool Singh in the custody. Next morning their mutilated body was found in the jungles of Maronaar, few kilometre from the police station. Aged between 30 and 35 years, both the villagers were involved in farming.” Wadde said, the police had also claimed to have found four muzzle loading guns, one USA made pistol, one country-made pistol, couple of grenades and tiffin bombs, detonators and Naxal literature in their camps, but the fact was that they were dragged empty-handed from their homes. Panniram alleged that the police had fabricated the encounter by beating them and made them wear Maoists uniforms, killing them in the forests.
More than 10,000 agitated villagers from 84 nearby villages gheraod the police station in protest demanding CBI probe in the case. “Not only did the police kill them, they also buried both the bodies in the same ditch after conducting post mortem,” Panniram said adding that the body was not handed over to the family. Comrade Niti, commander south Bastar CPI (Maoist) called up newsmen at midnight, to point out that it was not the first time that police victimized innocent villagers.
“When they fail to trace Maoists they assault villagers and kill them fabricating the incident as an encounter. This time too the police have killed two innocents. CPI (Maoist) strongly condemns the incident,” she said. In another incident, a member of Gond community, Pramod Potai, said that more than 30 villagers of Kukrajor region, 10 km from Narayanpur, were admitted to a hospital after being brutally beaten up by the police.
“The CRPF base camp was attacked by Maoists on the intervening night of Tuesday opening firing at policemen. Though there were no casualties, soon after the incident police came to the village thrashing them for not passing them information about planned firing,” said Potai. Condition of five villagers is said to be critical.
Key leader of north-east chapter of CPI(Maoist) arrested by Assam police from Guwahati
NEW DELHI: CPI(Maoist) central committee member and a key leader of the north-east chapter of the outfit, Anukul Chandra Naskar alias Paresh Da, was arrested by the Assam police on Thursday from Guwahati. Naskar wa picked up almost two weeks after the arrest of another central committee member, Mahesh ji, who was heading the north-east operations of CPI(Maoist).
With the arrest of Maheshji and his key aide, Naskar, MHA sources are already claiming near decimation of the north-east wing of the CPI(Maoist). This wing has been serving as a crucial link with other north-eastern insurgent outfits for sourcing illegal arms from syndicates across the border.
The police are now on the lookout of another CPI(Maoist) leader active in the northeast, Aditya Borah. With Naskar’s arrest, the membership of the CPI(Maoist) central committee has shrunk from the original 31 to just 19. Even the politburo is now down from 14 members to 7 on account of arrest or neutralisation of 7 members in the recent years.
Anukul Chandra Naskar, aged 65 years, was a native of Balia village in West Bengal’s 24 South Paraganas district. He joined MCC in 1967 and became a central committee member in 1985. After the CPI(Maoist)-MCC merger, Naskar was made a member of both the Politburo and central committee in 2004. Later, he stepped down from the politbureau but continued as a central committee member.
Injured Red nabbed from Pandra hideout
DALTONGANJ: A 21-year-old CPI (Maoist), undergoing treatment at an abandoned house near Pandra in Ranchi, was arrested by Palamu police on Tuesday. He got injured on May 3 while laying landmines on a metallic road near Abun village. The Maoist, Goodar Bhuiyan alias Mahender, was under the medical care of a doctor D C Bharti. He had a bandaged leg and a catheter for urination at the time of his arrest.
Three or more persons were engaged in laying landmines in that village under Panki police station area. They exploded before it could be laid, injuring Bhuiyan and the other rebels. The Maoist was presented before media persons in Daltonganj on Wednesday by SP Palamu Anoop T Mathew. The injured rebel received treatment in Daltonganj too before he was shifted to doctor Bharti’s clinic at Pandra in Ranchi.
The doctor was providing treatment to the Maoist in Ranchi without informing the police. However, realizing that it would invite trouble for him Bharti did not admit the rebel to his clinic. “Before a surgery could be done on the Maoist for a sum of Rs 40,000, the Palamu police arrested him,” said the SP. Maoists have a good network in Ranchi and the entire medical expense was borne by the outfit.
“I have not spent anything from my pocket for the treatment there in Ranchi,” said Bhuiyan. Mathew said police was on the lookout ever since they were tipped-off that one Maoist was injured on May 3 and was undergoing treatment at Pandra in Ranchi. Bhuiyan has confessed his involvement in laying landmines. Palamu police have arranged for his treatment.
Along with Bhuiyan Palamu police have arrested another person, Satrangi Bhuiyan (20), who helped the injured Maoist to receive treatment first in Daltonganj and then in Ranchi. The injured Bhuiyan said, “I joined the Maoists to free my land from dispute. But the Maoists wanted me to first serve the outfit.” He was an active member of the CPI Maoists’ platoon.
Top security brass meet after Red threat to Malkangiri bridge
BHUBANESWAR: The state government is worried over the sudden rise in Maoist violence in the interior areas of Malkangiri district, particularly in Mathilli block, which in the last few weeks has witnessed a number of kidnappings, murders and destruction of public property. The Unified Command, headed by the chief secretary, met here on Wednesday to take stock of the situation and chalk out strategies for containing the extremists.
The meeting took place amid intelligence reports that the extremists are planning to blow up the nearly 110-meter-long Kiang bridge, the only connection to the rather inaccessible hilly and heavily forested Mathili area, bordering Chhattisgarh. “There is a security camp at Mathilil, but forces hardly move into the interior areas crossing the bridge out of fear of being ambushed by the extremists. If the bridge is destroyed the area will be totally cut off,” official sources pointed out.
Malkangiri district has seen at least six killings by Maoists in the last six months. This includes the murder of three persons, including the naib sarpanch of Kiang panchayat, of the six persons kidnapped by the Reds in two phases. The extremists on Monday blew up the Kiang panchayat building and prior to that on May 3 destroyed the only mobile tower, rendering the area completely out of touch even by police and the district administration.
“For all practical purposes the Maoists have taken over Mathili area,” said a senior Malkangiri district official. “The Maoists two days back summoned four sarpanchs of the area and kept them in their captivity. As yet we don’t have any confirmed report about their whereabouts,” the official said. He ruled out air operation saying the area being too hilly helicopters may not be able to land there. Malkangiri SP Akhileswar Singh conceded the situation is ‘very bad’.
“Communication access to the area has been totally cut off after the destruction of the mobile tower,” the SP said. The SP attributed the rise in violence in Mathili area to the exodus of Maoists belonging to the Dharaba division of the CPI (Maoist). “Due to heavy pressure from the adjoining Chhattisgarh side, where CRPF was deployed recently, the extremists have entered into Odisha area and are continuing violence,” he said. He estimated their number to be around 170.
Coal Industry Stung as Terror Cuts Explosives: Corporate India
By Rajesh Kumar Singh – Coal India Ltd. (COAL), the nation’s biggest producer of the commodity, cut output across its operations after a federal order to keep explosives from terrorists halted shipments of the material that’s also central to mining.
No explosives have been dispatched to Coal India’s mines for the past three days because suppliers are grappling with the new rules imposed to ensure safety of the consignments, Chairman S. Narsing Rao said in an interview. The state-owned company uses about 400,000 metric tons of explosives in a year and produces about 1.2 million tons daily from its 466 mines.
Coal Industry Stung as Terror Cuts Explosives
“Explosives are bread and butter for us,” Rao said. “Operations at all mines have been affected and we are assessing the impact.” Faced with a Maoist rebellion in resource-rich states of India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government is increasing security measures to prevent the chemicals from falling into the hands of extremists fighting a war against the state.
The disruption may hurt the Kolkata-based company, which supplies 80 percent of the fuel the nation needs, and starve power producers struggling to eliminate blackouts in a country where peak demand for electricity exceeds generation by 9 percent.
Vehicles transporting derivatives of ammonium nitrate, the main raw material in mining explosives, need to be escorted by armed guards of the local police of every district they pass through, according to an order by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization that came into force on April 30. Suppliers risk losing their permits should they flout the new rules, according to the notification. “This is just not practical,” said Subhas Pramanik, Managing Director at Gulf Oil Corp. Ltd., which makes and supplies explosives to mines.
“This will increase our cost because the number of shipments will get reduced substantially.” Ammonium nitrate, also used to make fertilizers, was found to have been used in a number of blasts in the country, including in the southern city of Hyderabad in February that killed 16 people.
To check such misuse, the government last year introduced rules for storage, shipment and stockpiling. The stoppage is set to squeeze Coal India, which missed its output target in the year ended March 31 as it battled law and order problems, worker unrest and delays in acquiring land and mining approvals.
Coal India, which is 90 percent owned by the state and fires more than half of the nation’s electricity generation capacity, is under pressure to ensure uninterrupted shipments of the fuel. Power outages shave off about 1.2 percentage points off the growth of the $1.8 trillion economy that expanded at the slowest pace in a decade, according to government estimates.
India’s coal demand is expected to rise 41 percent by 2017 to 981 million tons, while supplies from local mines may gain 28 percent to 715 million tons, the Planning Commission said last year. The nation, which generates 57 percent of its electricity from coal, plans to add 118 gigawatts of capacity in the five years ending March 2017, said I.A. Khan, energy adviser at the commission. Coal India shares fell 1.1 percent to 308.85 rupees in Mumbai.
The stock has declined 13 percent this year, compared with a 2.6 percent gain in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex. (SENSEX) Solar Industries Ltd. (SOIL), India’s biggest supplier of industrial explosives, declined 2.9 percent to 989.15 rupees, the most in more than two months. Rival Gulf Oil, the second-biggest, declined 2.6 percent to 62.85 rupees.
“The situation poses serious implications and can potentially bring the mining industry to a standstill,” said Abhisar Jain, an analyst with Centrum Broking Pvt. in Mumbai, who has a neutral rating on Coal India stock. “If not resolved soon, it can aggravate power shortages and lead to a crunch in supplies of end materials such as steel and aluminum on account of shortage of minerals due to a halt in mining.”
Maoist guerillas, who regularly clash with police mostly in India’s mining regions in the states of Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar, say they are fighting on behalf of poor villagers and tribal communities whose resources are exploited for development with little benefit for the local people.
In 2009, Maoists attacked National Aluminium Co.’s Odisha bauxite mine in a bid to seize the explosives stored at a warehouse. The gun battle between guards and the guerillas, which killed at least 14 people, slowed output at the mine for several weeks as workers refused to work at night.