Security beefed up ahead of bandh, airstrip area sensitive
DALTONGANJ: The district police have been put on alert in the wake of the Sunday bandh called by Left-wing extremists who are set to observe Martyrs’ Day from July 28 to August 3. Palamu SP Narendra K Singh said, “The police will do all it takes to abort plans of Maoists, if any. Security of vital installations has been beefed up.” Quizzed about the security of the Chiyanki air strip, barely three kilometers from Zero Mile in Daltonganj, given that it does not have any boundary wall, the SP assured that the police would take care of it.
A year ago, the then CRPF IG D K Pandey had written to former Jharkhand DGP G S Rath about the CRPF’s apprehension of Maoists damaging or destroying the airstrip, which is used to ferry troops and food in every major anti-Maoist operation. Sources in the security department said, “This airstrip provides landing/take-off facility for choppers that carry policemen from Chak post in Palamu’s Manatu to Daltonganj for buying essential commodities or for any replacement or reinforcement of cops often. Cops from Chak who go on leave do not travel by road as the road from Chak to Daltonganj is fraught with landmines especially up to the Paton block.”
Sources said the former DGP Rath had taken a note of it. However, almost a year has lapsed and this airstrip remains without the boundary wall and the Maoist bandh renders it highly vulnerable. Police are worried about soft targets like railway tracks, railway cabins, station halts, signals and the easiest of all the railway gang men. Narendra said, “During this bandh, police will leave nothing to chance and seek people’s cooperation in tackling and foiling the plans of Maoists.”
In the past two months, Palamu police have launched two crackdowns – one on PLFI and the other on the Maoists. The PLFI has been considerably weakened and stands disintegrated, but their strength should not be undermined, said sources. As far as the Maoists are concerned, they are avoiding any clash with police after being vanquished in the Kumandi. During this bandh, the Maoists may return to their old tactic of deceitful attack on police by improvised explosive devices. On being asked as to how would the police defuse the diabolical designs of Maoists, the SP said the strategies cannot be shared.
Police arresting innocents as Naxalites: Munjare
BHOPAL: Krantikari Janata Party president and former MP Kankar Munjare have accused the Balaghat police of arresting innocent villagers as Naxalites. During a rally to mark the 105th birth anniversary of Chandra Shekhar Azad, Munjare was accompanied by parents of Bharat Uikey, who was recently arrested by the Balaghat police claiming that he was a Maoist cadre wanted in several cases. Addressing media during the rally, Munjare said that all three persons who were arrested by the Balaghat police as Naxalites were innocent villagers earning their livelihood in peace.
Bharat’s father Punnu Ram told media that police called his son on pretext of a meeting and arrested him. “He was never with rebels…he is innocent,” he told media. However police claim that he was active in Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon district, and was arrested by Hawk Force on July 15 after a tip-off that he had arrived in his native Bhave village.
Bharat, said police, had confessed that he was a member of Tanda as well as Malajkhand dalam of the Maoists and was involved in encounters with the police. Meanwhile, sources claim that three Maoists including a woman cadre, arrested by the police was based on information led by one Chetan, an ex-Maoist recently released from jail. Chetan is being used as informer, and those arrested were his relatives, said sources.
Village head shot dead, cops suspect Reds
JAMSHEDPUR: More than 20 armed assailants shot dead the village head of Kadamdih village, around 50 kms from the district headquarters in the Maoist-hit West Singhbhum district, late on Tuesday. The slain mukhiya of Kadamdih village, Jaipal Purthy, was at home when suspected Maoist cadres raided his house around 9 at night. According to sources, the rebels took the slain Purthy some distance away from his house, after he came out following a call from the assassins and pumped two bullets into his body from a close range. The rebels then escaped into the jungles, taking advantage of the dark. It is alleged that Purthy, who was also a functionary of the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) Party, was close to police.
“Rebels suspected him of being a police informer and apparently killed him to set a precedent for those who seek to become police informers,” said a local villager. It is learnt that rebels had in the past threatened Purthy of dire consequences because of his increasing proximity to police. The village head was the son of the former Singhbhum MP, Moran Purty, the former Jharkhand Party leader of the erstwhile Singhbhum region who was elected to the lower house of the Parliament in 1971.
“The hunt is on to arrest the criminals,” said West Singhbhum police superintendent Pankaj Kamboj. The slain body has been shifted to the Chakradharpur government hospital for autopsy. Angry with the killing of their party person, AJSU Party leaders have sought action against the police officers responsible for the brutal assassination of the public representative. “We demand adequate financial compensation and government job to the the kin of the slain Purthy,” said a leader.
Two Maoists arrested
Two Maoists were arrested during a combing operation at the cut-off area of Malkangiri on Wednesday. They have been identified as Killo Ranju alias Chanti of Kadamguda village and Mangaraj Hantal of Allampakka, said SP Akhileswar Singh. The combing operation was carried out by BSF and Chitrakonda police. SP said the two are involved in as many as seven criminal cases including the murder of two gram rakhis in the cut-off region. Ranju was working as the committee member of the outlawed CPI(Maoist) outfit.