Peoples War in India Clippings 21/5/2013



SSB to be deployed in anti-Maoist operation

PATNA: Apart from the CRPF, SAP and STF, the Bihar police would soon be using Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) for the first time in action against Maoists. The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has told the state government that it can use SSB for operations against Maoists.

The MHA has spared one battalion of SSB to be exclusively used against Maoists. Sources in the police headquarters said that one such battalion of SSB is already undergoing training in Assam about the operational tactics while dealing with Maoists as the force is otherwise created entirely to tackle illegal activities on Indo-Nepal border.

They further said that that the MHA had recently allocated 10 battalions of SSB for anti-Maoists operations to different states. Of these, five battalions were sent to Chhattisgarh, two each to Jharkhand and Orissa and one to Bihar. Sources further said that the two battalions of CRPF, which were earlier closed by the MHA and sent to Chhattisgarh, have again been returned to Bihar.

With availability of almost adequate central armed forces, the state police headquarters are now ready to take on Maoists at any war theatre in Bihar. The police headquarters have decided to deploy the one battalion of SSB in the north Bihar districts including East Champaran, Sheohar and Sitamarhi and Bagaha police district once the force returns to the state after training.

As far the CRPF goes, the police headquarters, sources mentioned, would deploy additional five companies in Jamui district where already four companies are on the job. That apart two companies would be sent to Munger and one to Lakhisarai. In the central Bihar, three companies of CRPF would be deployed in Gaya, two in Aurangabad and one in Jehanabad besides two in Rohtas and one in Kaimur. “The anti-maoists operations would now be undertaken with new vigour with the availability of more forces to the state,” sources said.

Maoists making rapid inroads in Assam, say police

GUWAHATI: The recent arrests of several CPI (Maoist) cadres in the state have not only put the security forces on alert, but has also revealed that the Red rebels managed to create a base in six districts of the state with at least 150 people willing to follow them.

The revelation came to the fore after veteran CPI (Maoist) leader Anukul Chandra Naskar alias Pareshda and his wife, Kabita, were arrested earlier this month. They revealed that the Maoists are expanding their base in the char areas too. “The char areas of Dhubri district bordering West Bengal and forest areas are the new targets of Red rebels. The Maoists are also spreading tentacles in Goalpara, Bongaigaon, Silchar, Karimganj and Kamrup rural districts too.

They have created a fresh support base of at least 150 cadres in these districts,” said IGP central western range of Assam Police L R Bishnoi. Besides the new members, a special task force of state police formed to combat the Maoists, in its earlier report, had said there were some 81 CPI (Maoist) cadres active in the state out of which 23 were reportedly women.

“Naskar and Kabita have already succeeded in forming district committees in these districts. Once the support base is created, they were planning to send some of them to Jharkhand for further training under the guidance of Chandrashekhar Das, a veteran Maoist leader,” added an official of Assam Police. At least 11 cadres have been sent to Jharkhand from Assam over the last two years for a ‘capsule’ or short- term arms training. “The couple also had a rented house at Tollygunje in Kolkata. We have already searched the house and sealed it.

We have found several incriminating documents from there,” added the policeman. Police said Naskar and Kabita were staying in West Bengal with fake names and professions. “Since 1998, Naskar was responsible for creating a strong support base in Assam,” police said. According to official figures, some 60 CPI (Maoist) cadres were arrested in the state so far.

Lawyer detained for giving Reds protection cover

RANCHI: A member of the Network of Advocates for Rights and Action (NARA), which was formed to extend judicial help to innocent tribals held up in jails on false charges of Maoist activities, was harassed by Ranchi police, who accused him of being a Maoist sympathizer.

The incident took place at Kotwali police station late on Sunday when advocate Shambhu Mahato was illegally detained by police for over two hours and was released only after some senior members of the bar association threatened to take legal action. Mahato told TOI that he will be filing an information petition with the court of chief judicial magistrate to avoid being further harassed by police.

“It is true that I take up cases of innocent tribals and people from weaker sections of society, most of whom languish in the jail on false charges of involvement in Maoist activities,” he said. Contesting that his profession cannot allow anyone to brand him as a Maoist, he said, “If a lawyer can be threatened in this manner and Maoist charges slapped against him, one can imagine the condition of illiterates, tribals and innocent villagers, who are often pushed behind the bars to showcase police success in Maoist cases,” he said.

The incident took place when Mahato approached the local police station after some traffic constables seized the mobile phone and vehicle of one of his clients, coming from Khelari to civil court. “Though my client was ready to pay the fine, but the traffic constable in question refused to hand over the vehicle and mobile phone, which compelled me to approach the Kotwali police station,” Mahato said.

The convener of NARA advocate, Anup Kumar, intervened into the matter after he was apprised that Mahato was detained in the police station following arguments with the sub-inspector. “We were shocked at the way the policemen were treating Mahato and threatening him of dire consequences,” Kumar said. He added that the NARA members decided to file information petition to avoid further harassment.

“We are taking up cases in which poor and tribals have been implicated and are also extending them judicial help, but that doesn’t qualify the police to target the lawyers and harass them,” he said. Surya Bhushan Sharma, the officer in charge of Kotwali PS, denied detaining the lawyer in custody and said no policeman would invite trouble by detaining a lawyer. “There must have been some heated arguments but no one was detained,” he said.

Information petiton is a category of petition that brings to the notice of court a particular matter and thus puts that on record. It’s aim is to give a legal bearing to some sort of apprehension as in this case the lawyer has been threatened of being slapped with Maoist charges by the police – he desires to bring it to the notice of court so that in the future, if any such case is lodged he would have legal protection.

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