Unofficial Salwa Judum? Naxal faction ‘working’ with police
In a move that is sure to rake up unwelcome memories of Salwa Judum, a breakaway group from the Naxals is helping the state establish control over areas of Jharkhand. The Triteeya Sammelan Prastuti Committee (TSPC), also remains banned officially by the government, but with a young squad, the youngest of which is 14 and the oldest is 30, the group claims to have greater public acceptance than the Naxals.
In a detailed report on the group, the Indian Express describes the group which lives in forest camps, and follows the same ideology as the Maoists, with the exception that the TSPC doesn’t believe in targeting government officials and local politicians, a move that has reportedly earned them a tacit understanding with the state police. The TSPC was reportedly formed after the police took the father of the group’s founder, Brajesh, for medical treatment and helped him escape the death threats of Maoists, said another Indian Express report.
Describing the genesis of the group, a Jharkhand Police official said: “We also arranged for Brajesh to meet a senior officer. He already had guns; we gave him another Rs 80,000. Some officers arranged for rifles. Thus the TSPC was born, with 140 of his boys switching over from the MCC to Brajesh’s side.” From guaranteeing the security of telecom companies and mobile towers, to allowing roads running through their areas to be built for a commission, the TSPC claims that they are ensuring government works reach the people. “Government officers consult us before implementing schemes. We ensure they work. Compare this with Maoist areas. No block development officer here can give the excuse of not visiting interior areas,” TSPC spokesperson Sagar is quoted as saying in the report.
Facing cases mainly of extortion and bullying, with the police looking the other way when it comes to inter-group killings, the TSPC is even being credited with bringing down Naxal-related violence in districts like Chatra. However, while the current understanding between the state and the group hasn’t faced any strain, the police are hopeful that once they have tackled the Maoists the group will lay down their arms and surrender. But despite the fact that some senior TSPC functionaries’ relatives have contested elections in the past, a peaceful resolution isn’t certain.
Maoist leader wanted for 6 years arrested
DALTONGANJ/BOKARO: A CPI (Maoist) leader, who has 26 cases pending against him and has been searched by the police of four districts since 2007 when he joined the rebel outfit, was arrested by a joint team of police and CRPF. Umesh Yadav alias Gorka was picked up from Thekhi village on Saturday. He was produced before the media on Sunday by Palamu SP Narendra Singh and Commandant of CRPF Anil Minz. According to the SP, Umesh is the self-styled zonal committee member of the Koyal Sankh zone and secretary of North Koyal subzone of the Maoists. “He is the third big Maoist leader to have been arrested in the recent past. He had a Rs 7 lakh reward on his head.”
Umesh is a matriculate and a married man but his affair with a mother of two children finally led to his arrest. The joint security team recovered one country-made stengun, seven cartridges and one cellphone from Umesh. Following Umesh’s interrogation, the security forces recovered 34 small LPG cylinders, 35 pieces of electric detonators, 162 detonators, 3,365 batteries, 255 cartridges, one steel container, one camera flash and five iron springs. Sources said the entire operation was conceived in an hour and the Palamu DIG Ravi Kant Dhan made a meticulous arrangement to catch Umesh.
The arrest was made without even a single shot fired but the enormity of risk to life was all around during the entire operation. Commandant Minz said. “A perfect coordination between police and CRPF posed no problem resulting in such a big catch and heavy recoveries.” Umesh’s aide Nawal who had taken the Red leader to his mistress was also arrested. The ammunition was hidden in Abun forest. The security forces had to crawl to reach the dump there. “These deadly devices were enough to devastate any town or suburb,” said a CRPF officer. In a separate incident, security men thwarted a major attack by recovering 44 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted in a series using special kind of wires (codex) on a muddy stretch of 150m between Purnapani and Hurdag in the Jhumra foothill.
This was the second big trap laid by Maoists against the security personnel in the past six months. Maoists planted the explosives targeting security personnel who use the route frequently during patrolling or combing operation. “The seizure has averted a major mishap,” said Bokaro SP Kuldeep Dwivedi. The SP, however, said the detection of IEDs was difficult as the Maoists did not use any containers or metal objects in them. “In the absence of any metal in the IEDs, the deep search metal detector or dog squad fails to detect it during the search. The security personnel recovered the explosives on a tip-off. The recovered IEDs have been diffused.”
Four Maoists held, explosives seized in Odisha
Malkangiri: Four hardcore Maoists involved in many offences, including killing of a Special Police Officer, were arrested and five explosives seized in Odisha’s Malkangiri district, police said on Sunday. During a joint combing operation by Special Operation Group (SOG), district voluntary force (DVF) and local police in Tumukimarka and Kurup forests under Kalimela area, three ultras were nabbed on Saturday, Malkangiri district SP Akhileshwar Singh said. On interrogation, the Maoists named another person who was associated with them and confessed that some tiffin bombs targetting security personnel had been planted in the area, he said, adding that their accomplice was nabbed on Sunday.
Based on the information, a forensic team of police had detected five live bombs buried beneath the ground in separate steel containers and bundles of wires for the purpose of triggering blasts. Experts successfully defused the bombs and averted a major mishap in the area, the SP said, adding that the explosives weighed between five and eight kg each. The four arrested Maoists were identified as Padia Padiami, Debendra Madkami and Pandra Sodi of Tumukimarka village and Rama Madhi of Patakunda village. Padiami, Madkami and Sodi were nabbed on Saturday, while Madhi was arrested on Sunday on the basis of the information provided by the trio.
The ultras had buried the explosives in the area as it was the main route used by security personnel during combing operation. The arrested Maoists were allegedly involved, among other incidents, in the killing of Special Police Officer Kanhu Madhi of Patakunda village on May 25 and attack on a Panchayat member and robbing him. Combing operation and patrolling by security forces in the entire area had been intensified and the ultras were being interrogated, Singh said. PTI
Special cells to counter Maoists in 9 Assam districts
The Assam Police will set up special cells in nine districts of the state that would monitor activities of the Maoists and carry out special operations in collaboration with other security agencies.At a two-day meeting that concluded Saturday, the Assam Police top brass also decided to make special provisions for the cells to intercept electronic communication between Maoist leaders and their cadres. While three districts— Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur — have set up such cells, the other six districts are Dhemaji, Golaghat, Sivasagar, Goalpara, Kamrup and Cachar. Last month, the Assam Police had apprehended two top Maoist leaders, Anukul Naskar and Aklanta Rabha. The Assam Police decision came close on the heels of a series of recommendations made by a task force headed by additional DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta which had suggested a slew of measures to tackle the growing Maosit menace.
Kuwari villagers deny Maoists abducted six schoolchildren
Residents of Kuwari, a village in Jharkhand’s Gumla district, denied reports that six children, of Class VI-X, were forcibly taken away by Maoists last week for conscription. In an exclusive interview to The Hindu, Nakul ji, Maoist commander of the east koel sankh zonal committee — spread over Gumla, Lohardaga, Latehar districts — too denied the allegation.
“We do not forcibly recruit anyone, especially children, and we cannot. If we did that, those who join will become a risk to the lives of other cadres by not following party discipline. There are some incidents in which adolescents join the party because they are drawn to what they see around them, even if their parents may not be supportive of their decision,” Nakul ji said at the rebel’s camp. People of Kuwari, 130 km from Ranchi, said that after reading the front-page reports in Hindi daily Prabhat Khabhar on Friday of Maoists abducting six children after holding a meeting in the village on Tuesday, they submitted a statement on Saturday to the Gumla police, denying the report.
Bihar’s former Director-General of Police Anand Shankar, who was recently appointed adviser to the Jharkhand’s Governor, expressed concern at the incident and ordered a police investigation. “It is true that a few children had accompanied the party cadre after they held a meeting in the village. They went with them to help them ferry their luggage and ‘pithoos’ [bag packs] to their camp. We cannot refuse the cadre if they make such a request. But the children came back,” said Chandramuni Oraon*. “Six men from the village went on bicycles to the Bishunpur thana this morning [Saturday morning] to inform the police that the children were back in the village. We have submitted a statement to the thana that no children had been abducted… by the Maoists,” said an elder Sukan Oraon*.
A majority of the 60 families in the village, are Oraon adivasis and Khairwars, working as small farmers. A few families said they had only recently returned from brick kilns in Varanasi to cultivate their small plots of land. While the villagers said the six children had returned, most families said their children were not home when asked for the children’s version of events. “School gets over by noon, and they have left to play,” said one parent. Others said the children were away at relatives’ houses. “Based on preliminary investigation by the district police, it appears the children are back in the village,” said Jharkhand DGP Rajeev Kumar. Gumla Superintendent of Police Rakesh Bansal said investigations were under way.
Maoists kill a villager, torch houses in Jharkhand
Jharkhand, June 24 (ANI): An outfit of 200 Maoist cadres attacked a village and burnt several houses in Gumla district of Jharkhand. The ultras targeted a villager, named Jumrat Ansari who owned an outlet for items under the public distribution system (PDS), better known as a ration shop. Ansari was first abducted by the Maoists to a secluded place and later shot dead. Interacting with the reporter, a local villager, Anil Kumar, said that the Maoists even plundered Ansari’s belongings including cash.