Maoist activity in Agency area puts question mark on panchayat polls
Congress leaders have already begun quitting party and elected posts in the areas where the Maoists have considerable influence, following Maoists’ threat. The CPI (Maoist)’s early warning to political activists not to participate in the panchayat elections, followed by attacks on Congress leaders, death of a Maoist in an encounter three days ago and snatching of nomination papers from officials on Sunday, has triggered tension in the Agency area with local people fearing more trouble. Congress leaders have already begun quitting party posts and elected posts too in the areas where the Maoists have considerable influence, following the threat from Maoists. Seven gram panchayats in three mandals have not received nominations.
The first phase of polling in the district is in the Agency area (Paderu Revenue Division), on July 23 and in spite of the district administration’s announcement that security is in place the local people are not sure if the poll process will go on smoothly.
Two groups of Maoists entering villages where the scrutiny of nominations was scheduled on Sunday and coolly taking away the nomination papers filed for four panchayats, has shaken the people. It is also surprising that police protection was not provided for scrutiny of nominations in the villages where the Maoists are expected to create trouble. Candidates and the voters of the gram panchayats are thus being denied their right to participate in the election process. Resignations galore Former ZPTC and mandal-level Congress leader M. Matsya Raju quit his party post four days ago and with him PACS president G. Babu Rao quit the post and also the party.
Their houses were looted during famine raids last week and both were sternly told not to participate in the elections. On Sunday, Reemala Ananda Rao, another PACS president, quit. More resignations are expected in the next few days. Contestants in other places are not undertaking campaign fearing attacks by the Maoists. Polling day might witness more violence in mandals such as Chintapalli, Koyyuru, Pedabayalu, GK Veedhi, G. Madugula and Munchingput.
Partial response to Maoist bandh against encounter killings
A bandh called by Maoists protesting against the alleged police encounters, including in which six women ultras were killed recently at Medhri village in Etapalli taluka of Maharashtra, evoked a partial response in the district today. In Dhanora and Korachi, the most Maoist-affected taluka headquarters in district, the shut down was total, sources said, adding that all shops and business establishments in these two talukas were closed for the whole day today.
The bandh also affected some interior areas of Etapalli and Aheri talukas. Vehicular traffic beyond Dhanora was totally cut off. Even the private vehicles on this route did not ply. The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) had suspended its buses to some interior parts of the district as a precautionary measure due to the bandh. Maoists also stalled the traffic between Laheri-Dhodraj and Pendhri Kasansur by placing trees on roads. However, there are no reports of any violent activities during the bandh.
Two naxals held in Chhattisgarh
Raipur, Jul 16: Two naxalites were arrested during a search operation in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh yesterday, police said. The cadres were nabbed by the joint contingent of district force, CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) and CAF (Chhattisgarh Armed Force) from the forests of Madded police station area in the district, they said They were identified as Michha Shankar (25) and Michha Ganpat (29), both the members of outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist), police said. The patrol party was on a combing operation in Tamlapalli and Anagampalli villages, located over 400 kms in southern Bastar region, from Sunday when they spotted the duo who were arrested after a chase. They were involved in several incidents of serious crimes like murder, attempt to murder, dacoity etc, police added.
Rajnandgaon Maoist arrested from his hometown by MP police
A Maoist, who was allegedly active in Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon district, was arrested by the Madhya Pradesh police, a senior official said on Monday. Bharat (30) was arrested on Sunday after a tip-off that he had arrived in his native Bhave village, Balaghat Range’s Inspector General (IG) K P Khare told reporters on Monday.
He was arrested by the Hawk Force Group Number 12 after a search operation, the IG said. The IG claimed that the arrested ultra has admitted that he was a member of Tanda as well as Malajkhand squads of the Maoists and was involved in encounters with the police. Khare said that a case has already been registered against Bharat under several sections of the Indian Penal Code in 2004 and a local court had issued an arrest warrant against him. He said that the accused has been interrogated by the police for vital information about the Maoists active in the region.