Centre to train 3,500 Chhattisgarh cops for anti-Naxal operations
NEW DELHI: The Centre has accepted a proposal to train 3,500 Chhattisgarh Police personnel in jungle warfare tactics and undertaking anti-Naxal operations at the training facilities of central paramilitary forces. The task to train and motivate these men has been entrusted by the Union Home Ministry to Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), which will train five separate batches of 700 state police personnel each at its recruit/auxillary training centres in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, officials said.
The first batch is expected by next month end. This is probably the first time that the central paramilitary force will train such a large number of police personnel hailing from a single state. The CRPF, according to sources, has been assigned the task as it is also the mainstay for conducting anti-Naxal operations in various Maoist violence-hit states. The decision to train these policemen by the central forces was taken recently as Maoist insurgency in Chhattisgarh has posed a big challenge for security forces operating in the state and the local police administration does not have large training facilities and infrastructure to train its personnel.
The state policemen will be given a 60-week training in jungle warfare techniques, commando tactics, unarmed combat, weapon firing and gathering of local intelligence. It is also planned, sources said, that the Chhattisgarh policemen will also be given a stint to train with the elite CoBRA battalion of the force which has been raised for specific tasks of conducting counter-Naxal operations. The top brass of Chhattisgarh Police had recently met CRPF commanders after the state government got in touch with the Union Home Ministry in this regard.
Naxal arrested in Kondagaon district of Chhattisgarh
An alleged hardcore Naxal with a cash reward of Rs 20,000 on his head was arrested in the Maoist-hit Kondagaon district of Chhattisgarh, police said today. Based on the information provided by Panchhu Rawat, the arrested Naxal, security forces also demolished a commemorative plaque put up by the ultras to honour their slain comrades, police added. Rawat (35), was Vice President of self-styled ‘Janatana Sarkar’ wing of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist), police said.
He was nabbed from a jungle between Badgai and Korohbeda villages last evening, Kondagaon Additional Superintendent of Police Surjit Atri told PTI over phone. “Police search party also found a Naxal memorial based on the input by Rawat in the nearby dense forest and destroyed it,” the ASP said. According to the ASP, Rawat was active in the Naxal movement since 2004 and served in the Barda dalam. He was involved in several cases of loot, arson, murder, booth-capturing during polls, etc, Atri said.
Maoist alert at 45 police stations
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state intelligence department has identified 45 police stations that are vulnerable to attacks from Maoist groups. An alert has also been sounded across the state in this regard. At least 31 of these 45 stations are in the northern districts of Kasaragod, Wayanad, Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Palakkad. Among these, the maximum numbers of stations are concentrated in Wayanad, hilly sides of Kannur and Nilambur in Malappuram.
“Police have made the assessment on the basis of inputs from central and state agencies. An alert has been sounded, especially in those stations found highly vulnerable to attacks from such extremist groups,” a senior officer said. Central agencies have alerted the states about a possible Maoist attack on July 28, the death anniversary of Charu Majumdar. The states have been warned of a plan to attack one police station in each state. Majumdar was one of the founder leaders of the Naxalbari movement in West Bengal. The state government’s proposal to launch an anti-Naxal force is still under the consideration of the government.
The proposal followed spotting of some armed men in the forest areas of Kannur district. On March 7, the Centre had alerted the state about a secret camp being organized by suspected Maoists in the forest area bordering Kerala and Karnataka in Wayanad. The camp of around 40 members was being organized on the Karnataka side of Begur reserve forests, close to Thrissileri. In 2011 also, the Union home ministry had informed the state of a Maoist training camp in Nilambur forests.
The Centre had, in a letter on February 26, 2013, warned the southern states of increased activities of Maoist cadres in the tri-junction of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It also said the plan apparently is to develop the area as a base with a view to providing shelter to its leadership in the event of increased anti-Naxal operations in its strongholds in central India.
Arrest of area commander
RANCHI: A Maoist area commander carrying Rs two lakh on his head was on Thursday arrested at Burhmu in Ranchi district and Rs 4.74 lakh cash recovered from his possession. “Arjun Singh alias Babua Singh, Maoist area commander, has been arrested. Rs 4,74,000 levy (extortion) amount has been recovered from his possession,” senior superintendent of police Saket Kumar Singh said here. Carrying a reward of Rs two lakh on his head, the SSP said the rebel was wanted in more than 24 Maoist-related cases. The arrest was made following a tip-off.
MHA planning change in tactics in anti-Maoist operations
NEW DELHI: The home ministry is mulling a tactical change in anti-Maoist operations with greater emphasis on intensive intelligence gathering leading to setting up village-level database at police stations in affected districts. This will come up for discussion at a meeting called by the MHA in July-end with police superintendents of 26 worst-hit districts across seven states and central paramilitary force officers, said an official.
After the Darbha carnage in Chhattisgarh where several senior Congress killed by Maoists followed by a train attack in Bihar and killing of Pakur SP and several policemen in Jharkhand, the acute lack of intelligence about the rebels has hit home. The MHA will urge police chiefs of the 26 worst-affected districts to take the initiative to collect information about each village, its residents, amenities and infrastructure available. “We must go back to the basics and revitalize police stations.
The information will help in setting up a database at the police stations about villages in its jurisdiction,” said a source. MHA is keen to replicate the Andhra Pradesh model to combat Maoists. “Village-level database in AP helped police to plan effective operations and develop intelligence network at the grassroots,” he said. Earlier, in the 1970s, the West Bengal Police under its then chief Ranjit Gupta had begun the notorious ‘Census Operations’ where information about the state intelligence agency collected information about each individual and police informers kept tabs on movement of residents. This helped the police in their cordon-and-search operations leading to the crushing the first Maoists movement.
The MHA will urge district police chiefs to use the database to monitor movement of villagers, keep tabs on newcomers or enquire about anybody away for an unusually long time. “Besides, we will ask the district police to document the Maoist formations in their area,” said the official. Accordingly, targets will be fixed and specific responsibility assigned to state police and paramilitary forces assisting it. The role and mandate of the CRPF, nodal agency for anti-Maoist operations, will also be spelt out, he said.
Maoists call for AOB bandh on July 21
The CPI (Maoist) AOB Special Zonal Committee called for a bandh in Andhra-Orissa border (AOB) areas on July 21 protesting against the killing of Ganti Prasadam by SIB police on July 4. In a press release on Wednesday, CPI (Maoist) AOB special zone committee political representative Jagabandhu called upon the people to observe a protest week from July 15 and a bandh on July 21. The people would observe one protest programme every day in the week, he said.
He requested the people and democratic forces across the state to participate in the protest programmes in a big way. Jagabandhu warned the Kiran Kumar Reddy government which was responsible for the killing of Ganti Prasadam would face the wrath of the people. Jagabandhu alleged that the murder of Prasadam was part of the attempts by both the Central and the state governments to crush people’s agitations and revolutionary struggles in the name of the Green Hunt.
He said that the SIB police killed Ganti Prasadam and claimed that unidentified persons killed him. Jagabandhu also clarified that Ganti Prasadam was not a former Maoist as claimed by the SIB police. Prasadam was a Maoist leader till he was killed, he added. “The murder of Ganti Prasadam was a part of fascist governments’ trend, which are sore over the increasing awareness among the public and also increasing response to the people’s movement in Dandakaranyam,” the AOB special zone committee leader said in the press release. “Prasadam publicly supported Maoist philosophy. The Supreme Court stated that it was not a crime to campaign for Maoist ideology. Still, the state murdered him,’’ he said.
Seven Naxalites arrested in Narayanpur
RAIPUR: Security forces have arrested seven Naxalites from the forests of Narayanpur in tribal Bastar district of the state on Wednesday morning. Police said a joint team of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), state’s special task force (STF) and district police personnel were on a search mission when they got a tip off about presence of rebels in the forests near Dhanora. The security forces managed to arrest seven of them who belonged to outlawed CPI (Maoist) jantata sarkar (peoples’ government) and other frontal outfits. Police said all them were wanted in connection with several cases of murder and loot under Dhanora police station.