Bihar Maoist attack toll rises to six
The Maoist rebel group Peoples Guerilla Liberation Army (PGLA) has owned up Wednesday night’s well-coordinated attack at a police camp which left six persons dead at Goh, 80 kms south of Patna, in Bihar’s Aurangabad district. The slain included one bus driver, whose death was confirmed by police on Thursday. The PGLA, the armed wing of the CPI-Maoists, claimed to have carried out the attack, codenamed ‘Operation Green Hunt Breakthrough’, in retaliation to Bihar Police’s ‘Operation Silent Green Hunt’ against the Maoists.
The rebels also looted 30 weapons when they overran the base camp of the Special Auxiliary Police (SAP) after attacking a construction site off the Goh-Rafiganj road. Three of the dead are jawans of the SAP while two others were private security personnel engaged by the construction agency. The spokesperson of the rebel group, known only as Gopal, said in a statement that they have looted 3 AK47s, 11 SLRs and 16 Insas rifles besides 2,500 cartridges.
He said, “It was not the PGLA’s intention to kill the private security guards”. Eyewitnesses told HT that the Maoists squads first cleared the shops, bus stands and homes of people, before they started the firing at the SAP base camp. The base camp has been attacked six times in the past. The killed SAP jawans killed have been identified as Amrik Singh (Amritsar), Subhash Singh (UP) and Paras Nath Mishra (Ballia) while the two private security guards were identified as Shankar Baitha and Ranganath Singh. The lone civilian, a bus driver, was killed in a landmine blast. Additional director general of police (headquarters) Ravinder Kumar confirmed looting of the armoury.
“Security forces have launched an operation to encircle the retreating Maoist squads,” he said. Senior officers including ADG (law and order) S K Bharadwaj and IG rank officers of state police and CRPF were camping at the spot to supervise the combing operation against Maoists, who are suspected to have escaped in the night to their hideouts in Goh and neighboring Jharkhand areas. The raiding Maoist team was said to have been made up of 250 to 300 rebels.
Naxal suspect gunned down by Gadchiroli cops turns out to be poacher
CHANDRAPUR: The Gadchiroli police gunned down one villager and arrested two others on Tuesday night on suspicion that they were Naxalites. The cops recovered a couple of guns from the villagers, who claimed to be local residents engaged in poaching animals. Police authorities however maintain that the cops fired in retaliation after the victim and his friends opened fire at them. Cops are still investigating whether they were Naxalites or ordinary villagers moving around in the forest to poach animals.
A team of C-60 commandos was returning towards Kurkheda from Belgaon Kosvi at around 11pm on Tuesday. Near Kardi village under Armori police station, they came across the three suspects on a bike, carrying a couple of manually loading guns (bharmar). The police jawans called upon them to stop, but the trio fled on their bike. The commandos pursued their vehicle for over 2km, before the suspects left their bike and fled into the jungle.
As cops rushed into the forest after them, the suspects opened fire on them. Two jawans sustained minor injuries when they were struck by pellets fired from the bharmar guns. The commandos then fired in retaliation, killing one Anandrao Gawde (40). His two friends, identified as Baghuna Tulavi (28) and Devrao Usendi (30), then put down their weapons and surrendered. The three belong to Karadi village and were carrying two manually-loading guns (bharmars), axe, knife and a torch. SP Suvez Haque told reporters that the suspects were armed and fired at cops chasing them. Commandos were forced to retaliate in self-defence.
Cops are still trying to verify whether the deceased and other two accused have any connection to Naxalites. Offences of attempt to murder, use of criminal force or assault to deter public servant from discharging duties, and illegal possession of arms have been registered against the accused Tulavi and Usendi. Eight more suspects are likely to be detained for questioning in the case, sources said.
Arms to Naxals: Properties of absconding Congress leader, brother to be auctioned
Gadchiroli Police have started the process of auctioning properties of former zilla parishad president and Congress leader Bandopant Mallelwar and his brother Narendra, accused of supplying arms to Naxalites with five others, including a government doctor of Gadchiroli. The brothers have been declared “proclaimed offenders”. Police stopped ambulance of a government hospital near Bhamragarh in June and seized arms and ammunition meant for a Naxal dalam.
Four persons in the vehicle were arrested but medical officer Ravindra Karpe and the Mallelwars disappeared. Police later raided the Nagpur house of Narendra and seized two letters written last year by Naxal leader “Comrade Vikram”, secretary of Chatgaon area committee of CPI (Maoist). The first letter calls Narendra “Naru Seth”. It seeks his “appointment and requests him to come to the forest”. The second letter addressed to “Shriman Bandu Mallelwar says the party received development fund of Rs 35,000 and thanks him for it”.
“We have declared Narendra a proclaimed offender. His properties will be auctioned if he does not appear before a court in Aheri before July 29,” Superintendent of Police Suvez Haq said. The court will hear an anticipatory bail plea of Bandopant on July 19. “If it is rejected, we will initiate the same process for him,” Haq said. Karpe was denied bail on July 2, after which he approached the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court and secured ad interim relief. “The final hearing is Thursday. If his plea is rejected, we will arrest him,” Haq said.
The Mallelwar brothers have been accused of funding Naxals earlier too. In 2001, Rs 11 lakh was recovered from them on the basis of information provided by six Naxal sympathisers belonging to Chudial village in Dhanora tehsil. “The sympathisers had told police the brothers had given Rs 15 lakh to Naxals,” Haq said.
Encounter in which 6 women Naxals died was fake: activists
A human rights activist today alleged that the encounter at Mendhri village in Etapalli tehsil of the district on July 7, in which six suspected women Naxals were killed, was fake. Bela Bhatia, a professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, lodged a written complaint in this regard with the Superintendent of Police here today. Bhatia headed a fact-finding team that visited the spot recently. Police, huge in number, could have captured women alive as they had indicated that they wanted to surrender, she alleged.
“We will produce ourselves before the Sub Divisional Magistrate of Etapalli who is conducting magisterial enquiry into the incident,” Bhatia said, addressing a press conference here. Police had claimed that they opened fire in retaliation.
Grenade launchers seized from Maoist ammunition dump
Two grenade launchers were found by police after they unearthed a suspected Maoist ammunition dump in Mudedu village in the Mahadevpur police station area. The cache was recovered last night in the village located nearly 140km from here, Godavarikhani Deputy Superintendent of Police G Udaykumar said today. Apart from the two grenade launchers, 670 rounds of self-loading rifle ammunition, too, were recovered from the ammunition dump. No arrests have been made in the case so far, Udaykumar added.
Govt in dilemma over ‘Maoist funds’
To give or not to give — the government is faced with a piquant situation over funds provided for developmental activities across the Maoist-affected states. A recent government-funded study on the architecture of Maoist finances has suggested that it is “not possible to bottle up extortion sources for Maoists right away”. “Because if the government holds back developmental funds — mainly given to build roads, primary health centres, schools and bridges in Maoist-affected areas — it will only result in further alienation of people from the state,” it was stated in the confidential report.
“Moreover, improving infrastructure and connectivity would enhance the scope for penetration of the state machinery, including that of the police,” it adds. This is not the first time that there has been a tacit admission of India’s worst-kept secret. On September 24, 2010, a parliamentary committee had told the government that its own funds meant for development are finding their way into Maoist coffers. The latest study that has been drafted after field visits to Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh during February-April 2013.
It lists the main revenue sources for Maoists as mining industry, PWD projects, government schemes, development schemes and PDS, ‘tendu’ leaf collection, telecom companies and corrupt government servants. Maoists maintain an extremely meticulous system of accounting and book-keeping with each level in the hierarchy maintaining a detailed statement of expenditure. For example, the balance-sheet prepared by the Maoists’ North Telengana Special Zone (NTSZ) during its peak in 2001-2003 recorded an expenditure of R4,42,51,256, the income as R6,20,48,500 and an additional 562 gold biscuits.
Unlike the insurgent groups in the Northeast, Maoists are not known to pay monthly salaries to their cadre and expenditure is incurred mainly on weapon procurement, daily needs of the cadre and in maintaining war machinery, publication and propaganda work, and court-litigation costs for members and supporters.”Another expenditure item is that of the central technical committee which has been tasked with the development and manufacturing of mortars and grenades,” the official added.
Maoist cloud over gram sabhas
KORAPUT: Keeping in mind the presence of Maoists in and around Niyamgiri hills, police have strengthened security arrangements for the first of the 12 gram sabhas to be held at Serkapadi village under Muniguda block in Rayagada district on Thursday. The gram sabhas to decide Vedanta’s plan to mine Niyamgiti,will be held in seven villages of Rayagada and five in Kalahandi between July 18 and August 19. The Supreme Court in its April 18 order had asked the state these meets to decide the community, individual as well as cultural and religious claims of the Dongria Kondhs.
However, with the Kasipur-Niyamgiri division of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) operating in the area and rebel leaders like Nikhil and Bunty opposing bauxite mining, untoward incidents during the gram sabhas can’t be ruled out. “There is frequent movement of Maoists in villages situated in Niyamgiri hills. It could prove to be a threat during gram sabhas,” said a source at Muniguda.
Admitting to the presence of Maoists in Niyamgiri hills, SP (Rayagada) Rajesh Pandit said, “Security arrangements have been made in and around Serkapadi.” Officials said that the district judge under whose supervision the gram sabha will be conducted will be provided with ample security in tune with the high court order. “Besides the district judge, two executive magistrates from the administration will also be present in the gram sabha. No official from the company or the administration will remain present,” said collector (Rayagada) Sashi Bhusan Padhi.
Arati walks free sans Maoist slur
BERHAMPUR: Suspected Maoist Arati Majhi was released from circle jail here on Wednesday. The district and sessions court, Paralakhemundi, acquitted Arati and Shyama Majhi, one of her associates, in seven cases of Maoist violence for lack of evidence. “The court had earlier acquitted her in the burning of a bus of Odisha State Road Transport Corporation at Raipanka in Gajapati district on December 28, 2009,” said her lawyer Upendra Nayak.
Maoist mediator Dandapandi Mohanty was also implicated in the case and arrested, he added. Arati was arrested in February, 2010, from her house at Jadinga in Gajapati, a few days before her marriage. Her name also featured in the list of prisoners, whose release Maoists sought in exchange of kidnapped Italians Paolo Bosusco and Caludio Colangelo in 2012.
Odisha: Maoists kill contractor in Koraput
Koraput (Odisha): Maoists today gunned down a contractor on suspicion of being a police informer in Odisha’s Koraput district, the police said. Four Maoists reached Kumbhariput in two motorcycles at around 4 pm and fired on Balaram Dalai (40) of Kumbhariput village who was standing near his home. Soon after committing the crime, the red rebels fled from the spot, a source said. He died on the spot. The police said Dalai was under the Maoist scanner for the past few years for which he was staying at Rayagada. Today, Dalai had come to Khumbariput on some personal work when Maoists attacked him, Circle Inspector of Bandhugaon police station Bimal Mallick said.
Maoists blast bridge, torch dumpers in South Bihar
Hundreds of Maoists attacked the Dilaru based aqueduct and canal system and blew up a newly constructed bridge in Aurangabad district, approximately 180 kms south of Patna, late evening Wednesday. The Maoists fired several rounds to create panic after they had bombed the bridge, police said. Aurangabad town is situated on national highway, popularly known as the Grand Trunk Road.
Sources said, hundreds of Maoists descended in mufti at the construction site of the MBL and torched three dumpers. The company had been engaged by the Bihar government on contract to link the roads. Police said, the Maoists later melted in the the night after about half an hour of its operations. The workers were missing and were reported to have fled the area, though there was no confirmation on whether the Red squads had taken some away.
The Maoists have been on the rampage in South Bihar, extracting levy from construction agencies, which have contracted to build roads, bridges and aqueducts under an ambitious programme of the state to link all villages. Eye witnesses said over phone, that the Maoist firing could be heard from miles away as were the explosions.
MCP claims bomb attack
IMPHAL, July 17: The proscribed Maoist Communist Party, Manipur has claimed the bomb attack carried out on July 16 at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS). A statement issued by Nonglen Meitei, secretary publicity and propaganda, (MCP, Manipur) stated that the outfit has been urging the concerned authorities of RIMS to avail certain facilities to poor and needy people of the State, to stop doctors of the hospital going to private hospitals to earn extra money and to furnish information on inducting 45 staffs fraudulently since 2012.
Saying that the outfit had already carried out numerous bomb attacks inside the campus hospital even by using remote control device to remind their wrongdoings, the party continued that doctors of the hospital especially its director have been defying the demands made by it.