CMs of Naxal-hit states to meet on June 5 to chalk out strategy
New Delhi: Chief ministers of Naxal-affected states will meet in New Delhi on June 5 to formulate strategy on how to check unabated violence by Maoists and tackle the menace. The special session of nine chief ministers will be held on the sideline of the Chief Ministers conference on internal security convened by the Home Ministry next week. Chief ministers of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal will discuss threadbare the issue with Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and other top security officers. The Centre is expected to take consent from the chief ministers for launching an all-out anti-Naxal operation involving specialised forces like CoBRA and Andhra Pradesh’s Greyhounds simultaneously in all Naxal-affected states to wipe out the extremists from their strongholds.
The renewed effort for the all-out offensive against the Maoists is necessitated following killing of 24 people, including Congress leaders, by Naxals in Jagdalpur on May 25. Sources said even though the Maoists carried out the audacious strike last week, they were on the backfoot even in areas like Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra, some areas in Odisha and security forces in these states were coordinating with each other to fight the Naxals.
“There is inter-border movement of Maoists. This is such terrain — Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha — where there is poor communication. So, they often sneak into another state from one state. Our aim is to intensify the operations with close coordination of state forces as well central forces,” a source said.
Ammonium nitrate used in Chhattisgarh Naxal attack
Raipur/New Delhi: A preliminary forensic investigation of the May 25 Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district has revealed that between 27 to 30 kilograms of explosives were used in the strike. The forensic analysis conducted by a National Security Guard (NSG) team also revealed that ammonium nitrate was used in the explosives detonated to target the convoy of Congress leaders which killed 24 leaders, including top state party leaders Mahendra Karma and Nand Kumar Patel. Another senior Congress leader VC Shukla was seriously injured and is battling for life at a Gurgaon hospital. As per sources, the forensic report was shared with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing the attack.
It goes on to say that electric detonator was used with command wire in the attack. Security sleuths say the explosives were used to slowdown the convoy after which the Maoists opened indiscriminate fire on the Congress leaders and their supporters. Reports also claimed quoting sources that there was specific intelligence on around 50 Maoists gathering in the area some days before the attack.
Specific info about Naxal plans to target Pune: Sushilkumar Shinde
Shinde was responding to a question about reports which suggested that major urban centres may witness targeted killings by Maoists in coming months. Government has specific information that Naxals are trying to expand their bases in urban centre and may try to target cities, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on Thursday. “We have this information for long. We have information about Pune. This can happen in other places. We have this information,” he told reporters here.
Shinde was responding to a question about reports which suggested that major urban centres may witness targeted killings by Maoists in coming months. The Home Minister said the Maoists have been trying to set up bases in many urban centres.
Maoists release fresh hit-list, to target ex-Salwa Judum activists
RAIPUR: Within days after the worst Naxal ambush targeting senior Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh, Maoists have sent a letter to Sukma district collectorate, threatening to eliminate at least 15 people, who were associated with controversial anti-Naxalite movement Salwa Judum. The letter, written in red ink by Darbha divisional committee of Communist Party of India (Maoist), was received at the Sukmacollectorate on Tuesday.
“We will punish the salwa judum activists and the police”, said the letter adding that it was releasing a list of people, who were helping the police and were closely associated with Salwa Judum. “You will not be able to protect them even by deploying your entire force”, the letter threatened. The Maoists named the Salwa Judum leaders and those who were helping the security forces to take action against innocent tribes and for sending them to jail.
Maoists demand include withdrawal of para-military Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) from Bastar, stop killing of innocent people, calling off of “Operation Green Hunt”, and calling off Vikas Yatra and Parivartan Yatra, registration of murder charges against CRPF members involved in Arasmetta killings and release of Maoists cadres from prisons. The fresh threat to people who were associated with controversial anti-Naxalite movement ‘Salwa Judum” comes within days after the Maoists unleashed an attack on a Congress convoy in Bastar, killing prominent Congress leader Mahendra Karma, who spearheaded the movement between 2005 and 2008.
Karma, who was on the top of Maoist hit-list, had survived several attempts on his life during the last two decades before he was brutally killed by the Maoists on May 25. Emboldened by the capture and execution of top Salwa Judum leader, the rebels have now gone public, challenging the security forces to protect those who were in their hit-list, which they have sent it to the office of district collector of Sukma.
CRPF, Chhattisgarh Police start massive Maoist hunt
The Chhattisgarh Police supported by CRPF battalions on Thursday launched operations to engage 2,500 armed Maoist rebels and local militia in the jungles of Bastar even as perpetrators of the May 25 attack were believed to be moving towards Malkangiri in Odisha. The ambush had left 27 people, including several Congressmen, dead. About 5,000 state police personnel and five CRPF battalions (about 5,000 men) started combing the forests in Bastar – the notorious hideout of naxals – with 5.56mm INSAS rifles and communication gear.
Besides hunting for 150 armed Maoists, they will try to get the main accused of the May 25 attack: Vinod Sema, secretary of the CPI-ML’s Darba committee, and Madkami Sema alias Surendra. related story. Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told HT he would visit Chhattisgarh on Friday to review anti-Naxal operations with the state government and paramilitary commanders as well as meet the survivors of the attack.
The Chhattisgarh Congress, meanwhile, boycotted the all-party meeting called by chief minister Raman Singh to discuss strategy to counter Maoist terror. The anti-Maoist operations were launched after the Chhattisgarh Police submitted a plan in two days after home secretary Raj Kumar Singh and other senior home ministry officials visited the state. According to state police sources, Singh wanted to launch the counter-Maoist operation immediately after his visit but postponed the plan after the police admitted to gaps in its penetration capabilities in the thickly-forested areas of Bastar. As many as 32 CRPF battalions are on standby in the state.
While intelligence agencies are tracking the movement of various factions of Maoist rebels towards Odisha, the state police and paramilitary forces are likely to adopt the ‘hammer-and-anvil strategy’ to counter them. This entails injecting at least four battalions of paramilitary forces into the jungle to establish a base, which is then fed through aerial support, while the state police surround the forest. This is meant to trap armed Maoists and neutralise them.
Maoist-PLA links broken, says government
Imphal: The tie-up between Maoists and the Manipur-based People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been broken, according to a senior official in the central home ministry. Shambhu Singh, joint secretary (northeast) in the ministry, also said that Indian militants hiding in Myanmar were finding it difficult to infiltrate into India. “The link between Maoists and Manipur’s PLA has been broken due to logistical problems in Myanmar and the strong presence of security forces along the India-Myanmar border,” Singh said. He said this happened after the outlawed PLA shifted its training camps to Taga in northern Myanmar.
The PLA and Maoists signed a pact Oct 22, 2008 in which the Manipur group pledged to provide arms trainers to Maoists in Jharkhand. It also agreed to train Maoists at the PLA base in Myanmar. Singh said Maoist leaders had visited Manipur and Nagaland but had not been able to establish themselves. He said the Maoists’ sole presence in the northeast was in Assam, where police recently arrested several Maoist activists, including Anukul Chandra Naskar, a politburo member of the Communist Party of India-Maoist. Singh also said the PLA, National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Sumarjit faction) and the anti-talk ULFA faction operating out of Myanmar were facing difficulties in infiltrating into India.
“(This is) because security forces have blocked most (border) routes,” he said. The official said the Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland had cautioned the United Liberation Front of Asom and NDFB not to move out of Myanmar. He added: “Troop deployment from Assam Rifles has improved on the Indian side. Hence it has become difficult for the rebel groups to infiltrate and carry out their operations.”
Assam Rifles, the oldest paramilitary force in the country, has the twin responsibilities of guarding the 1,643-km treacherous India-Myanmar border and conducting counter-insurgency operations in Manipur and Nagaland. Singh admitted there were certain areas along the international border that need better security. “But the overall troop deployment has improved,” he said. IANS
Assam CM Tarun Gogoi expresses concern over Maoist activities in state
Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday said he was concerned over the Maoist activities in the state and keeping a strict vigil on their activities in nine districts. “We are concerned over Maoist activities in parts of nine districts of Assam. Their presence is in 35 police station areas of the districts,” Gogoi told reporters in Guwahati. “We have been keeping a strict vigil on the Maoists since 2006 and that is why they have not been able to step up their activities in the state as much as they would have liked”, he said.
A close watch was kept on particularly in the areas where poor people lived, as Maoists attempt to make inroad in the districts, he said, adding that suspected sympathizers of the Maoist rebels are also under surveillance. The chief minister said he was aware of the people’s demands of land deeds, infrastructure development, checking of erosion among others and was working hard to reach the fruits of development to the people there.
The nine affected districts are Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Jorhat, Sibsagar, Golaghat, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Cachar and Karimganj, he said. Due to the alertness, four Maoists were killed in encounters with the police and 58, including two top national level leaders, arrested recently, he said. The state government has urged the Centre to declare the nine districts as Left Wing Extremism (Maoist) affected areas, official sources said. If declared, the Centre through the Ministry Of Home Affairs would provide special infrastructure development fund of Rs 10 crore per year to each district, the sources added.
CRPF smashes Maoists’ training camp in Muzaffarpur
MUZAFFARPUR: Central Reserve Police Force personnel have smashed a training camp of CPI (Maoist) in Gandak diara belt under the Sahebganj police station area in Muzaffarpur district. However, no Maoist was arrested during the raid , a CRPF officer said on Thursday, adding a joint combing operation by the Cobra battalion of the CRPF, led by DIG Kewal Singh, SSB and district police has been going on in the area since Tuesday.
The CRPF jawans recovered an improvised explosive device (IED) from a watermelon field in the diara. Some cylinder bombs, cane bombs and cooker bombs, recovered from the spot, had to be burnt along with the huts raised by the Maoists as the force had no bomb disposal squad with them. The Maoists numbering 23, included four women. They were carrying five AK 47, three carbines, SLRs and regular rifles, according to one of the boatmen who helped them cross the river. The Maoists were in a better position as they had got two boats to cross the river while the CRPF could not get any boat immediately, the CRPF officer said on condition of anonymity.
The officer said the Maoists had dug bunkers around their camp to counter police attack. They used to give training to their recruits in making IED and different kinds of bombs. The camp was not being used for providing training in firing as it is normally done in dense forests, the official added. Through interception of their telephonic talks, the CRPF learnt that some big leaders of the Maoists were hiding there.
One of them was Rajan and the other Chandan, both area commanders of this locality. They were heard telling someone that the police were surrounding their camp and they were about to escape. It could not be immediately learnt whether any leader from Chhatisgarh or Andhra Pradesh were hiding there or not. It is suspected that the Maoists got the information about the movement of CRPF just when the force started crossing the river from one side.
They were in such a hurry that they left behind their food, cloth, blankets and hundreds of party posters and leaflets at their hideout. The river has three channels in the area and the Maoists crossed over to another diara on boats before the arrival of the force. The police are probing to confirm whether the boatmen were the accomplice of the Maoists or not. The CRPF men have formed several groups. One group has been patrolling the area and others are engaged in capturing the Maoists. Senior SP, Muzaffarpur, Saurabh Kumar said for the first time, the police have been able to detect the Maoists’ hideout in the district. They have also learnt for the first time about the definite mode of the Maoists’ mobility. Maoists who escaped included some women, the SSP added.
Two persons arrested with counterfeit notes
Kollam,May 30 (PTI) Two persons with suspected maoist links were arrested here today on the charge of possessing counterfeit currency notes with a total face value of Rs five lakh, police said. The two hailing from Kanayakumari district in Tamil Nadu were arrested at the Railway station and the fake notes seized from them. The arrested were suspected to be having links with maoist in Andhra Pradesh, police said adding ‘further probe is on’. PTI COR JRK VS HKS DK