Garden check for Maoists
Jorhat, June 18: Tinsukia police are preparing a standard operating procedure to check Maoists’ design to expand in the district, especially in the tea belt and along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border. Tinsukia superintendent of police P.P. Singh told this correspondent that a monitoring system would be put in place under the standard operating procedure to keep a close tab on movement of people in tea estates.
There are over 100 tea gardens in the district, many of which are located in the interior border areas having a rough terrain of dense forests and hills. Singh said with intelligence reports indicating that Maoists are trying to get a foothold in the gardens, it was necessary to have a proper mechanism to keep a close watch on the movement of people. Each garden would collect information on persons going out of (say in search of jobs in or outside Assam or for any other purpose) or returning to the gardens. “We will also distribute photographs of missing persons of the district for easy identification.” The tea garden belt has been divided into six zones, each of which will be under the charge of a gazetted officer (of the rank of inspector and above) to supervise implementation of the standard operating procedure.
All the 17 police stations in these zones and the outposts under them would gather information from the gardens. Police officers will meet managers, labour sardars (leaders) and line chowkidars on a fortnightly basis. The information collected from the tea estates will be submitted in a format being prepared by the police department. It will be centrally stored in a data bank at the district police headquarters and analysed by the Naxal cell of the district police. Singh said gradually the plan would be extended to villages where gaon burahs (village headmen) and gram panchayat members would be involved in collecting information. There is also a plan to hold awareness meetings in the vulnerable areas on Naxalism and its evil designs. The development assumes significance as, according to intelligence reports, Maoists are making inroads into Tinsukia. Top police officers and chief minister Tarun Gogoi have time and again admitted the presence of Maoists in the district.
On June 9 night, the police had detained 66 youths, who had boarded Chennai Express at Tinsukia station, on the suspicion that they were going to join Naxalite outfits. Most of the youths hailed from places like Sadiya, Tangana and Dhola in Tinsukia district, Rajgarh and Tingkhong in Dibrugarh district and Namsai in Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh, which are deemed sensitive in terms of insurgency and Left-wing extremism. The youths claimed that they were going to Chennai for employment. After two days of interrogation, the police released the youths after obtaining undertakings from their parents or guardians that they would produce their wards before the police whenever asked for. The police have sent documents relating to the proposed employers of the youths to Chennai police for verification.
Unified command meet on anti-Naxalite operations
RAIPUR: Nearly a month after the deadly Maoist ambush in Bastar, the state is coming to terms with the incident and getting back to normal course of business. Chhattisgarh government is planning to hold a meeting of unified command later next week to further streamline anti-Naxalite operations in the state. Former director general of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) K Vijay Kumar, who has now been appointed as advisor of Union home ministry to look after Maoist management and operations, is expected to attend the meeting as a special invitee of the state government, official sources told TOI.
Vijay Kumar, who was advisor to Jharkhand governor, has been appointed by the home ministry for the special task after the major Maoist attack in tribal Bastar in Chhattisgarh where senior Congress leader V C Shukla, Nandkumar Patel, Mahendra Karma, Uday Mudaliyar and other party leaders were killed. Kumar has been known for successfully launching and executing anti-Maoist operations in the country as CRPF chief. Police sources said the unified command meeting, likely to be held on June 25, would be presided by chief minister Raman Singh. Top officials of CRPF, Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and other officials would attend the meeting.
The meeting would review various aspects of anti-Naxalite operations including issues pertaining to coordination and operational efficiency. Sources said anti-Naxalite operations would continue in the area, though it could be restricted due to monsoon. During monsoon, movement in the forests becomes difficult as rivers and rivulets are in spate and moreover the thick vegetation makes any action impossible. It has been the practice of Maoists to lie low during monsoon because of the same reasons.
Two Naxals arrested in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: Two Naxals were on Wednesday arrested by security personnel from Chhattisgarh’s Maoist-hit Bijapur district. “The cadres were nabbed by a patrol party of district force and Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) from the forest under Madded police station limits,” said a senior police official.
The two have been identified as Michha Rajesh (25) and Michha Suresh (22), the official said. Rajesh was carrying a cash reward of Rs 5,000. “They were involved in several serious crimes like murder, arson, abduction, etc,” the official said. The patrol party nabbed the duo during a combing operation from the forest area between Timirguda and Nayapara villages in the region. A muzzle-loading gun was seized from the possession of Suresh, the official said. PTI