UAV for anti-naxal operations in Chhattisgarh to fly out of Bhilai soon
RAIPUR: Decks seem to have been finally cleared to set up the base for the Indian Air Force’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) use in anti-Naxal surveillance programme at the Steel Authority of India’s airstrip at Bhilai. Though the move to shift the base of the UAVs from Hyderabad to Bhilai had been going on for quite some time, the recent massacre of Congress leaders on May 25 in Bastar hastened the process, with the centre acting as a mediator between SAIL and IAF.
If insider’s are to be believed an understanding has reportedly been reached between the SAIL and the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), which will operate the UAV. According to sources, the process for setting up the base is in final stages and it’s only a matter of “short time” that UAV would start doing daily sorties for monitoring movement of Naxalites. Vijay Mairal, DGM Public Relations of Bhilai Steel Plant, confirmed that a high level team of the NTRO visited the plant yesterday.
He however refused to give any further details on the plea that discussions were still going on. He also refused to comment on whether a formal MOU had been signed between SAIL and NTRO for using SAIL’s Nandni airstrip. As of now, UAV had been operating without much success, primarily due to the long flight distance, from Hyderabad. The 12 Israeli-made Searcher tactical UAV imported last year for tactical intelligence gathering over the Naxal areas of Chhattisgarh and Orissa were to be actually stationed at airstrip at Jagdalpur.
However, reports suggest that Air Force authorities refused deployment of their men in Jagdalpur due to “poor living conditions” and demanded shifting of the base of SAIL’s plant in Bhilai. With the shifting of the base to Bhilai, the UAV, will be able to spend more time in the air gathering tactical intelligence as their flying distance to the sensitive areas of Jagdalpur would reduce to almost half from the present 500 kms from Hyderabad, sources said.
While none of the officials were willing to come on record as to when the UAV would finally start flying out of Bhilai, Additional Director General of Police (Naxal Operation) R K Vij, admitted that it would be of great help in tackling the Naxal menace. Vij told TOI the shifting of the base would lead to better coordination as state’s officers would be able to visit Bhilai easily for the interpretation of the data collected by the UAV. He said earlier the officers were sent to Hyderabad and it was time consuming. “All coordination issues will be sorted out if they are in the vicinity”, he said.
Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh: Odisha Police arrest two
Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Police on Tuesday arrested two suspected Maoists in connection with the May 25 deadly attack on a Congress convoy in Chhattisgarh. According to a news channel, the two suspects, who were arrested from Malkangiri, provided logistical support to the Naxals for the audacious attack. “Last year we had recovered at least seven improvised explosive devices in the district and the arrested duo was wanted in that case.
They joined the Maoist organisation five to six years ago. They have confessed to their involvement in several Red offensives in Odisha and Chhattisgarh, including the Dharba Ghati attack,” said SP (Malkangiri) Akhileswar Singh. The SP said, “Ora (Madhi) and Kasa (Madhi)have revealed that around 200 ultras, including 35 from Malkangiri, divided into four groups, participated in the Dharba Ghati massacre.
The group from Malkangiri, comprising 20-armed ultras and 15 cadres, reached Tirkipalli in Chhattisgarh on May 19 where they with other Maoists were given three-day training by some top Maoist leaders prior to the attack on May 25.” “After the attack, the Left-wing extremists were divided into four groups and fled the spot. The Maoists from Odisha returned to Malkangiri,” Singh added.
Naxal leaders Gonsalves, Srinivasan convicted by Nagpur court
Two top Naxal leaders, arrested by Mumbai ATS in 2007, were today found guilty of unlawful activities by a local court and given jail terms. Vernon Stanlase Gonsalves alias Vikram (50) and Srinivasan Krishnan alias Vishnu (50) were sentenced to imprisonment of five and six years respectively. Co-accused Angela Sontakke was acquitted. They were facing a case under Arms Act, Indian Explosives Act, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and Indian Penal Code.
After the arrest, they were brought to Chandrapur for investigation, and later tried at the special court here. District and Additional Sessions Judge P M Dunedar convicted the two for unlawful activity and carrying arms and explosives. On August 19, 2007, police arrested Shridhar and Vernon from suburban Govandi in Mumbai for links with Naxal movement.
Two firearms, gelatin sticks and detonators were recovered from them, along with Naxal literature. Vernon and his wife Susan Abraham had worked among tribals in Chandrapur area between 1984 and 1994. Susan came back to Mumbai in 1994 after she gave birth to a son. According to police, Srinivasan was a national politburo member of Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist (CPI-ML) and Gonsalves was a top state-level leader of the banned outfit.
Country-made bombs seized in AP village
Guntur (AP), Jun 25 (PTI) Police today seized about 50 country-made bombs from a village, once a Naxal stronghold, near here in Andhra Pradesh. The bombs were recovered from Mannesultan Palem village, where Maoists were once active, police sources said. Following the seizure, 20 persons were taken into custody for interrogation, they said, declining to provide further details.
Police recover can bomb during Operation Prahar
MOTIHARI: The CRPF and police sleuths during ‘Operation Prahar’ recovered a can bomb having pressure release technique planted by Maoists near a road bridge at Ajgari on Barakagawn-Sishani road under Pakaridayal police station in East Champaran district, which exploded when it was being defused by a bomb disposal squad. However, no one was hurt in the explosion. Param Shiwam, commandant, CRPF, said, the bomb had been planted by the Maoists to to kill the CRPF and police jawans who have launched ‘Operation Prahar’ on foot to nab the Maoists.
It may be recalled that CRPF and police sleuths had recovered three landmines on Rajepur road near Rajepur last week, which were planted by the Maoists to blow a police jeep. According to intelligence sources, around 150 hardcore Maoists of Jharkhand and Jamui have sneaked into this area of East Champaran, Sheohar and Muzaffarpur districts and their resurgence has rung alarm bells.
The recovery of bombs and landmines ahead of six-day bandh called by Maoists from June 26 to July 2, in the district is causing concern to the police. East Champaran SP Vinay Kumar said the police have geared to tackle the Maoists. A Maoist Suhag Paswan, who was arrested in Gujarat on October4, 2012, and who was taken on remand here by the police, has disclosed that 11 landmines have been planted on different roads in this area by Maoists.
The police and CRPF swung into action to locate these bombs with the help of bomb detecting devices and sniffer dogs and recovered five IEDs on Rajepur, Ajagari and Chaita roads. The police have launched ‘Operation Prahar’ on foot to trace the rest six bombs on roads in this district. One IED each was recovered in Sheohar and in Dewariya in Muzaffarpur by the police.
Maoists kill two, injure another in Bihar
MUZAFFARPUR: Armed Maoist cadre, dressed in police uniform, attacked the house of Chairman of Primary Agriculture Credit Society killing two persons and injuring another in a village in Kudhni in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, a police officer said on Tuesday. “Prabhat Rai (25) and Laxmi Rai (60) died on the spot, while Rajkumar Rai suffered bullet injuries last night when Maoist cadre dressed in police uniform attacked Chairman of Primary Agriculture Credit Society ( PACS) Pradeep Rai’s house at Mankauli village,” Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), West, Anuj Kumar said. Nearly two dozen armed Maoists dressed in police uniform fired randomly on the family members of Rai, he said.
The injured person was admitted to a hospital, Kumar said, adding his condition was stated to be critical. Maoists left behind leaflets containing slogans against the landed gentry and warned Rai against exploiting the poor people, DSP said. A case has been registered against unidentified Maoists and raids were being carried out to arrest the attackers, the police said.
Anti-Maoist operations in Gumla forests
GUMLA: Security forces continued anti-Maoist operations in Kashmar region under Bishunpur police station on Monday. A big contingent of CRPF personnel and district police under SDPO D K Pande started their operation on Sunday. Police suspect there are about 30-35 cadres. Kashmar region comprises three hinterland panchayats under the same police station and touches the boundaries of Latehar Sarju – the Red bastion. and since a long time the region has been a hotbed for the rebels.
The presence of a rebel squad in this region for the last few days led security forces to start a well-planned operation in the forest area. Gumla SP Rakesh Bansal confirmed that an anti-Maoist operation is being carried out.
Four naxals held in Rajnandgaon: police
Raipur/Rajnandgaon, June 25 (PTI) Four naxals were arrested today during a search operation in Maoist-hit Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh, police said. “The cadres of Jan militia group of Maoists were arrested by the joint contingent of district force and ITBP (Indo Tibetan Border Police) from the Manpur police station area of the district,” Rajnandgaon Superintendent of Police (SP) Sanjeev Shukla told PTI.