Naxal’s arrest a breakthrough for cops
ISAKHAPATNAM: Police have come across a mine of information on the CPI (Maoist) party’s top brass and its sympathizers following the arrest of Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee top leader Marpu Venkataramana alias Lenju alias Jagadeesh a few days ago at Berhampur in Odisha.
According to sources, the laptop and pen drives recovered from the Maoist leader have revealed valuable information about top rung rebel leaders, cadres and sympathizers, apart from giving crucial leads on intellectuals supporting the Maoist ideology. The cops are also learnt to have recovered Rs 1.70 lakh in cash from him. It is learnt that the pen drives contained details of the recent AOBSZC conference and plenum, future strategy and plans that may give some insight into the upcoming 10th Congress which the cops suspect is likely to be held in the coming monsoon.
This has given the security forces the confidence that they may be able to make further inroads into the Maoist network and glean more information about the whereabouts of other Maoist leaders and cadres. “Before the summer, Maoist committees prepare circulars about precautionary measure to be taken to avoid the massive combing operations that are usually taken up by the security forces during these months. At the same time, they take up tactical counter offensive campaigns (TCOC) to divert the attention of the cops.
Lot of literature pertaining to such moves has been recovered from the arrested Maoist,” said a source. Jagadeesh’s arrest is being considered as a major victory for the security forces as, being one of the key members in the AOBSZC, he was familiar with the AOB terrain and played a key role in evolving strategies to inflict heavy casualties on the security forces over the past two decades.
The former East Division secretary, who has an experience of 27 years in the field as he joined the Maoist rank at the age of 17 while he was pursuing his ITI in Visakhapatnam, is an important catch as he has been looking after the technical and political aspects of the Koraput-Srikakulam division committee for the past three years and is familiar with the ins and outs of the Maoist outfit in the region, a senior police official involved in anti-Naxalite operations said.
According to sources, the arrest of Jagadeesh, coming as it does on the back of the nabbing of Koraput Area Committee member Santosh alias Gemmeli Chinna at Rayagarh in Odisha, had helped the cops crack a vital link in the Maoist network because it was the arrest of Santosh that tipped the cops off about Jagadeesh’s whereabouts.
The captured Maoist leader, who hails from Binnala Madhanapuram in Mandasa mandal of Srikakulam district, was produced before the magistrate at Anakapalle on Thursday night and sentenced to 14 days remand. The Vizag rural police are likely to seek custody of the arrested Naxalite in a couple of days.
Incidentally, Jagadeesh was allegedly captured while he was undergoing treatment at a hospital in Behrampur after he suffered bullet wounds in the right leg during the encounter at Gunukurai in GK Veedhi Mandal in 2008, much before the Balimela ambush in which 37 security cops met a watery grave. However, Andhra Pradesh cops claimed that Jagadeesh was actually arrested at Anakapalle railway station while he was on his way to a Maoist safe zone in Odisha.
Chhattisgarh Govt extends ban on CPI-Maoist, affiliates
Raipur, May 10 : Chhattisgarh Government has extended by one more year the ban on top Naxal outfit CPI-Maoist and half a dozen organisations affiliated with it. “The ban on CPI-Maoist and its six front organisations has been extended for another year,” a Home Department official said here today. The dreaded outfit, along with its affiliates, was first outlawed in the state in April 2006 under Section 3 of the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005.
Since then the State Government has been extending the ban every year. CPI-Maoist was formed nearly a decade ago after the merger of two groups—CPI (ML) People’s War and MCC. It is since then spearheading the Naxal movement. The front organisations to face ban are Dandakaranya Adivasi Kisan Mazdoor Sangh, Krantikari Adivasi Mahila Sangh, Krantikari Adivasi Balak Sangh, Krantikari Kisan Committee, Mahila Mukti Manch and Jantana Sarkar, the official added.
Naxalites flee police custody
BHOPAL: Two alleged Naxalites gave a slip to the police while being taken to a district court in Chhattisgarh for a hearing. The accused were travelling from Singrauli district in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday morning. While one was arrested, a massive search operation is on to arrest his associate. Both belonged to the Renga Yadav dalam, claimed police. The special task force and hawk force of the state police have been mobilised to arrest the accused along with the district force.
According to official sources, Naxalite Kamaruddin alias Kamalahasan and a Naxal sympathizer Sanjay Kherwar – both lodged in Rewa central jail were being taken to Korea district in Chhattisgarh. When they reached Bhargawan, district Singrauli at around 4.30pm, they gave a slip to the police and escaped from custody while drinking tea. The police, however, arrested Kherwar. Superintendent of police (SP) Singrauli, Jaidevan told media that efforts were on to arrest him. The ASI who was taking them to Chhattisgarh was suspended for dereliction of duty immediately after the incident.
A department enquiry has been initiated against the head constables and constables who arrested them. The accused were arrested by the Singrauli police in August 2011. One of them had killed Renga Yadav and was trying to regroup the dalam. They were mainly running extortion rackets in Singrauli and bordering Chhattisgarh, the police said.
Top Maoist leader held in Assam
The 65-year-old Naskar hails from Balia in 24 South Parganas district A joint team of the Assam police and the Special Intelligence Branch (SIB) from Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday arrested top CPI (Maoist) leader Anukul Chandra Naskar alias Goer Chandra Naskar alias Pareshji in southern Assam’s Cachar district. Senior Superintendent of Police A.P. Tiwari told The Hindu that Naskar was a “very senior leader and a policymaker of the CPI (Maoist).”
He is member of the Polit Bureau of the CPI (Maoist). The 65-year-old Naskar, who hails from Balia under the Sonapur police station in 24 South Parganas district of West Bengal, joined the Maoist Coordination Committee (MCC) in 1967. He became a member of the central committee of the MCC in 1985. When the MCC and the People’s War Group (PWG) merged to form the CPI (Maoist) in 2004, Naskar was made a member of the central committee and the Polit Bureau. Naskar was remanded in police custody for five days by the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kamrup, on Thursday, the SSP said.
Mr. Tiwari said that the SIB team arrived in the city on May 7 and left for Cachar district with a team of the police and arrested Naskar. He was brought to the city later. “While the SIB team from Andhra Pradesh is already here, in the next couple of days top officials of the Intelligence Bureau, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), top police officials of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and other Maoist affected areas are expected to arrive in the city to interrogate him to get some more leads,” Mr, Tiwari added.
The joint team got lead on Naskar’s presence in Cachar during the interrogation of two other top Maoist leaders — Aklanta Rabha and Siraj Rabha — who were arrested on April 26 on the outskirts of the city, police sources said.
Maoist bandh peaceful
In the wake of the two-day bandh called by the Maoists, road communication to Malkangiri district from other parts of the state was paralysed on Friday. The response to the bandh was total as over 100 government and private buses and other vehicles went off the road. Banners and posters of Maoists were found in remote parts of Anakadeli, Machkund, Ramagiri, Gavindapali of Koraput district where the Maoists protested police movement.
Elaborate security arrangements were made for the bandh. Police and para-military forces were deployed in the sensitive pockets. However, life was normal in the Maoist hotbed of Naryanpatana in Koraput district. “We are on high alert and no untoward incident has been reported from any part during the bandh,” said a senior police officer.
According to reports, the Maoists had called the bandh demanding immediate withdrawal of armed forces from the tribal areas of the district, benefits for poor people, proper pricing of the forest products being sold by tribals and stopping police atrocity.
Rockets in Maoist Arsenal
P. V. Ramana May 10, 2013 Naxalites of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) [CPI (Maoist)], or Maoists in short, have been using rockets in their assaults on the security forces since the past, at least, eight years. Confirming this, Minister of State for Home Affairs RSN Singh informed the Lok Sabha, in reply to a question, on May 6, 2013, that the Maoists were “manufacturing improvised hand grenades and rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) in units that have come up in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh”.
More than a year earlier, on March 4, 2012, the West Bengal police arrested Sadanala Rama Krishna, the head of the Maoists’ Central Technical Team, in 24 North Parganas district, and seized rocket launcher manufacturing equipment, Rs 36 lakh in cash and documents from his flat. Two days later, on March 6, in a joint-effort between the police forces of Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh, police in the Chhattisgarh State capital Raipur recovered 80 boxes containing material/equipment for manufacturing rockets and mortars.
At that time, Senior Superintendent of Police of Raipur, Mr Dipanshu Kabra, said: “There is no doubt that the seized material was meant for the Maoists. It is surprising that such hardware equipment for rocket launchers and mortars was stored in a busy area of (the State capital).” The story of rockets being present in the Maoist arsenal is ten year’s old. Speaking to the media on May 26, 2003, the then Director General of Police, Andhra Pradesh, Mr P Ramulu, said that for the first time the police recovered the designs of an RPG during a raid on a dump of the then Communist Party of India [Marxist-Leninist (People’s War)], PW in short –– the earlier avatar of the Maoists –– in the Kalimela forests, along the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha border.
In fact, a few years later, on January 10, 2007, police in Bhopal busted an arms making-cum-R&D unit of the Maoists, on a tip-off provided by the Andhra Pradesh police. During the raid, Madhya Pradesh Police recovered designs of cross-sections of RPGs and rocket launchers. A year earlier, on September 7 and 8, 2006, in raids in Mahabubnagar and Prakasam districts, Andhra Pradesh, the police unearthed and recovered 875 empty rocket shells and 30 rocket launchers. Investigations led the police to the Ambattur industrial estate, a suburb of Chennai, where these were manufactured in seven separate industrial units/workshops.
The complex trail of manufacturing and transshipment of the empty shells and rocket launchers involved five States, viz. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Chhattisgarh. The complete story of the effort to design and manufacture rocket launchers and rockets is quite interesting.
The Maoists, in their earlier avatar as the PW, constituted a technical team comprising Sande Rajamouli Krishna, a member of the Central Military Commission, who was later killed in an encounter, Akkiraju Hara Gopal Rama Krishna, Central Committee member and the then secretary of Andhra Pradesh State Committee, Sakhamuri Appa Rao Ravi, who later became the chief of the Maoist’s Military Intelligence Wing and was also killed in an encounter with the police, Matta Ravi Kumar Sreedhar, who, too, was killed in an encounter with the police.
The technical team nominated Thota Kumara Swamy Tech Madhu, a native of Warangal district, Andhra Pradesh, to carry forward the effort to design and manufacture rocket launchers and rockets. The first such piece was tested in the Malkangiri forests, Odisha, in 2003. After this, Tech Madhu was asked to proceed to Chennai and get the rocket launchers and rocket shells manufactured. The Maoists envisaged executing “Project Rocket Launchers” in two phases –– “Rocket Launchers – I” and “Rocket Launchers – II”. “Rocket Launchers – I” was a pilot project undertaken ahead of elections to the Andhra Pradesh State Legislative Assembly in 2004.
The plan was to manufacture 25 Rockets with launch pad (rocket launcher) at a cost of Rs 950 per rocket. In the process, five rockets each were distributed to Anantapur, Guntur and Nallamala. Five others were tested at Burugundala, Yerragondapalem mandal, Prakasam district, and five more were set aside for further trials in order to develop the next version. “Rocket Launcher – II” was a project for the development of shoulder-fired rockets and launcher.
These were tested in September/October 2004, again at Burugundala, by fastening the rocket to a tree in order to gauge its effective range, accuracy and impact. As one senior IPS officer told this researcher, in an interview in Hyderabad, in February 2007, “the Maoists, following the trials, were of the opinion that the rockets were neither effective enough nor accurate, but had nuisance value”. After the second set of trials, Tech Madhu was instructed to have 1,600 rockets and 40 rocket launchers manufactured.
Accordingly, he headed to Chennai and got 1,550 rockets and 40 rocket launchers manufactured. Tech Madhu was given Rs 35 lakh to execute the plan. These rockets (RPGs) might, presently, be having mere nuisance value. However, when the Maoists acquire the versatility to manufacture rockets which could be fired with accuracy, then their lethal impact would be enormous and mind boggling. Many strategic and static locations would come under threat with disastrous consequences.
CRPF sets up camps to combat Maoist activities in Gaya
Gaya, May 11 (ANI): Troopers from the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) set up camps along a crucial supply line of Maoists to combat their activities in the Gaya. The CRPF troopers have set up camp in the Sevara locality which lies along the border of the provinces of eastern Bihar and Jharkhand and is a haven for Maoist activities in the region. The troopers would use special equipments and weapons to counter the Maoists.
The locality is also strategic as it is directly connected to the Chakarbandha hilly region which is a major hideout for the Maoists and also paves way for them to travel neighbouring states like Jharkhand. “There is a lot of Maoist movement on this side. The road which runs from Meghara is their supply line. Setting up a camp along this line will affect their supply to a large extent. We can also get help in going into the Maoist hideouts in the hilly areas of Chakarbandha,” said P. K. Bharti, the CRPF deputy commandant and incharge of the camp.
Suguna released, but whereabouts unknown
Beecha Suguna alias Sangeetha, wife of Malla Raji Reddy, CPI (Maoist) central committee member, was released from Kakkanad prison on Wednesday. She was given bail by the Additional Sessions Court in a case for allegedly propagating Maoist ideology and harbouring Reddy in December 2008. According sources in the Kakkanad jail, she was released by 3 pm. “An advocate came here and took her to some place. We have no information where she went after being released. The bail was granted a few weeks ago but we received the bail order only on Monday. Within hours, we released her,” the sources said.
However the intelligence wing is on her trail on the suspicion that she could be engaged in some Maoist activities after leaving the jail. In the wake of Maoist activists being spotted in various parts of the state, intelligence officials have received an order to closely monitor her activities. Reddy, 63, also known as Sattenna, along with Suguna, was arrested from a house near Little Flower Hospital, Angamaly, in December 2007.
They were later handed over to the Special Task Force for Maoist operations from Andhra Pradesh. Muralidharan is the sole witness in the case. According to the police, leaflets propagating Maoism were recovered from the house. Suguna was handed over to the Kerala Police by the Maharashtra Police in January this year. She had been acquitted in nine cases registered in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh on the suspicion that she was a Maoist activist.
Three landmines unearthed
During a combing operation, three landmines of low intensity were unearthed and defused on a village road between Tora and Jhirpani villages under Koida police limits of the Maoist-hit Bonai sub-division in Sundargarh district on Friday. Police said each of the landmines weighed around six kilograms. They were packed in tiffin boxes and fitted with detonators. Police claimed the mines were placed to specifically target security personnel engaged in combing operation on foot as vehicle do not ply on the interior road.