MP claims Centre ignoring Naxal problem in many districts
MORENA: Claiming that Madhya Pradesh has not got adequate support for fighting the Naxal menace, state Home Minister UmaShankar Gupta today said despite having evidence of such activities in nine districts of the state, the Centre considers only Balaghat as hit by Left Wing Extremism (LWE). “We have evidence of Naxal-movement in nine districts of the state, but the Centre considers only Balaghat as naxalite affected district and is not ready to consider remaining eight others,” the Home Minister told reporters.
He said the other state districts where Naxal movement was noticed are Sidhi, Singrauli, Rewa, Shahdol, Umaria, Anuppur, Mandla and Dindori. The state submitted evidence of Naxal movement in these eight districts to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a meeting with the chief ministers on the Naxal issue, but the Centre is not providing resources to fight the LWE as per the prescribed guidelines, Gupta said. The state government is controlling Naxal activities in these districts on its own, he said.
Man, woman suspected to be Maoists arrested
CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu police on Friday arrested two suspected Maoists from Dharmapuri, the western border district of the state, on Friday night. The two suspected naxals, S Bharathi alias Ragini, 42, and S Durai Singavel, 52, had escaped the police dragnet during a 2002 anti-naxal operation in Uthangarai in Dharmapuri district, officials said. The duo, who were produced before the Dharmapuri judicial magistrate court, were remanded in custody and lodged in the Salem central prison. A joint action team led by Dharmapuri superintendent of police Asra Garg and state ‘Q’ branch sleuths, nabbed the suspects, natives of Kundrathur in Chennai, from a hide-out in Kadakathur village near Palacode on the outskirts of Dharmapuri. Successive governments have insisted that the district, once a notorious base for naxal movement, has been thoroughly cleansed and claim to roll out development programmes to ensure the youth in the district are not lured into naxal movements.
Acting on a tip-off, the Dharmapuri police swooped down on the two in a house near Papparapatti on Friday evening. Police seized incriminating documents and pamphlets related to Maoist propaganda from them. Durai Singavel and Bharathi were said to have been part of the Uthangarai module that was busted in an anti-naxal operation in 2002. The two had provided training for a group of naxal recruits, said police. Durai Singavel, who was charged in the case, has been attending trial in Dharmapuri court. Bharathi, who was also listed as an accused in the case, has been absconding.
Police said Bharathi is a member of the core group, recruited and trained by naxals in Andhra Pradesh. The Dharmapuri town police charged them under IPC sections 124 (A) (Sedition) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharging his duty). Police said a few days ago the two had gone on a recruitment spree, visiting several villages in the region to mobilise support for their naxal movements, the People Democratic Party and People Democratic Women’s Front. While Durai Singavel was the state president of the MJK, Bharathi was the state secretary of MJPM. The anti-naxal wing police said the two activists met the villagers to regain support for naxal activities in the district. Police said that a few days ago the duo, S Bharathi and S Durai Singavel, had gone on a recruitment spree, visiting several villages in the region to mobilise support for their naxal movements.
Bid to acquire more UAVs, ramp up night surveillance
NEW DELHI: In the new-found urgency to boost security in the Naxal-affected zones, particularly through strengthening of intelligence, government is working on a plan to not only acquire more Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), but also increase the window of the currently operational Heron UAVs from five-six hours to 10-12 hours and increase their nocturnal surveillance. Managed by the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), the UAVs are functioning below par because of lack of manpower. “There aren’t enough trained personnel who can remotely fly UAVs. To get its surveillance for 10-12 hours a day people need to work in shifts as it requires high concentration. We have been losing crucial intelligence because of that,” said a senior CRPF officer.
It was because of lack of specific intelligence that led to the May 25 massacre of Congress cavalcade at Darbha in Chhattisgarh. While there was information of presence of Maoists in the area, their exact movements on the day could not be established. “There is no alternative to good human intelligence. But that is hard to come by because of a host of reasons including the tribal mistrust of the state and lack of development. UAVs come in handy in such situations,” said the officer. He added that NTRO is already training more men for this and they would be operational within a month. “That will give us distinct advantage with a 12-hour surveillance including at night time,” said the officer.
In addition to this, CRPF is also in talks with DRDO to develop about a dozen indigenous UAVs. Contrary to perception, Heron UAVs being used by CRPF have surveillance capability and not only capture movement of Maoists in the jungle with great clarity but also pick up their conversations. They also have nocturnal surveillance capacity and can capture small troop movements as well. “When the collector of Sukma, Alex Paul Menon, was kidnapped by Maoists in April, 2012, the UAVs had given us clear pictures of his movements. We even had pictures of the hut where Maoists had kept him,” said another senior officer.
Two IEDs recovered in Chhattisgarh
Two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) weighing 10 kgs were today unearthed by security personnel in the naxal-infested Kondagaon district of Chhattisgarh today, averting a major tragedy, a senior police official said. “The joint party of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and district force found two IEDs – each weighing 5 kgs, stealthily placed beneath a road between Temrugaron and Chalka villages under Bayanar police station limits, during a search operation,” Additional Superintendent of Police Kondagaon Surjit Atri told PTI over phone. The explosives were defused by the bomb disposal squad, he added.
Splinters overshadow Maoists
RANCHI: Jharkhand has witnessed a sudden rise in incidents of violence perpetrated by activists of splinter groups. This at a time when there has been an overall decline in the number of Maoist incidents in the state. The DGP’s admission of the looming threat from splinter groups supports the Maoist claim that such groups enjoy the covert support of security forces. This has catapulted them to their present status in the state.
Between January and May this year, about 181 incidents of left-wing extremism have been reported in different police stations as against 197 in the corresponding period of 2012 and 201 in 2011. A close analysis of the prevalent scenario reveals that Maoists were involved in 93 incidents, which make up 52% of the total cases whereas the PLFI and TPC together accounted for 80 cases corresponding to 43% of the total incidents reported. Among Maoists, around 294 people of different ranks were arrested between January and May this year, as against the arrest of 30 PLFI activists in the first five months.
During the same period, about 40 cadres of different splinter groups like Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC), Jharkhand Prastuti Committee (JPC), Sangharsh Jan Mukti Morcha (SJMM) and Pahadi Cheeta were arrested. Police have also claimed that of the 185 special operations conducted till May 31, thirty were exchange of fire and 31 encounters. “Police could recover 10 bodies of Maoists whereas we have information of about 12 more Maoists being neutralized in exchange of fire but the bodies were taken away by their troop members,” said DGP Rajiv Kumar.