Lifer for Naxal commander
NAGPUR: District and Sessions Court on Monday sentenced Sarju Zhuru Zhure to life imprisonment for his alleged involvement in a gun battle with the police at Dobur Jharan hillock of Bhamragarh tehsil on February 22 in 2008, where constable Shriniwas Dandikwar was killed. Police had recovered several arms and ammunition after killing the four rebels in the same encounter.
It has come to fore that Zhure, commander of Bhamragarh dalam, had been arrested in 2010. He has nearly 13 offences against him. Apart from other charges, Zhure has been convicted under 302 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) for murder for which the court slapped him with life imprisonment. District government pleader SC Moonghate had appeared for the prosecution.
Forces rushed to Andhra; Assam, Bengal put on alert
NEW DELHI: Even as a decision on Telangana is awaited, the Union home ministry has put its forces on standby not only in Andhra Pradesh but also other regions seeking statehood – mainly, Darjeeling hills (Gorkhaland), Bodoland, Karbi-Anglong and even Vidarbha – in anticipation of law and order exigencies. Around 3,500 Central paramilitary personnel — of which 1,000 were dispatched by the Centre on Saturday – are being positioned across the sensitive cities/towns of Andhra Pradesh, particularly in the Rayalaseema region. In addition, a deployment chart has been prepared by the MHA pinpointing the additional forces that can be moved to the state at a short notice.
Most of these “standby” forces are stationed in border districts of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, besides the counter-Naxal grid in Andhra Pradesh, and can be reallocated to the affected areas depending on how things play in the southern state after the “big” announcement. According to Union home ministry sources, another 2,000-3,000 troops may be needed by Andhra Pradesh in the days to come.
“We are ready with our reserves and will move in forces as and when the need arises,” a government official told TOI. Incidentally, the security arrangements ahead of a decision on Telangana were subject matter of discussions last week between Union home secretary Anil Goswami and Andhra Pradesh chief secretary P K Mohanty and DGP V Dinesh Reddy. Both Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Goswami had assured the state government officials all possible central help to maintain peace in Andhra Pradesh.
Incidentally, the Centre’s concerns regarding the law and order repercussions of a call on Telangana are not limited to Andhra Pradesh alone. Agencies have warned of a flare-up of the situation in Darjeeling hills, where a 72-hour bandh has been called to step up pressure for separate Gorkhaland state. Similarly, people demanding Bodoland and Karbi-Anglong to be carved out of Assam are expected to up the ante, and agencies fear some violence in these regions as well.
Vidarbha is also a concern. The Centre has asked the Assam government to redeploy the forces already stationed in the state, including the border troops, to counter any law and order problems in Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) area and Karbi-Anglong. Similarly, it has advised the West Bengal government to divert the Central forces deployed for the just-concluded panchayat polls to manage the protests in Darjeeling and adjoining areas.
Gadchiroli: Cops on Alert as Naxals Observe Martyrs’ Week
Security has been beefed up across Gadchiroli district in east Maharashtra in the light of ‘martyrs’ week being observed by naxals. Police have stepped up vigil and patrolling in sensitive areas in the wake of encounter of six suspected Maoists earlier this month, according to officials. Meanwhile, naxals have put up banners and posters in remote areas asking people to join the martyrs week which began yesterday. Naxal observe the event annually to remember their comrades who have fallen to police bullets by terming them as “martyrs”.
Observation of such weeks is often fraught with violence as the rebels in the past had triggered landmines and attacked security forces, police said. Police said they have beefed up the security against the backdrop of 23 naxals having been killed in various encounters with police in the last seven months. As a precaution, state transport buses are not plying in remote areas as Maoists have reportedly blocked roads by felling trees.
Security forces on alert as Maoists observe ‘martyrs’ week in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: Security has been stepped up in the Naxal-affected Bastar region of Chhattisgarh as the ultras are observing “martyrs” week starting on Sunday. “Security has been beefed up in the forest interiors of all seven districts of Bastar division — Dantewada, Bijapur, Bastar, Narayanpur, Kondagaon, Sukma and Kanker — as the Maoists are observing martyrs’ week from July 28 to August 3,” a senior police official said on the conditions of anonymity.
“Combing operations have been intensified in the border areas, though security has always been maintained at top level in the entire Bastar, which is considered as a stronghold of ultras,” the official added. According to police, cultural programs, meetings and recruitment drives are undertaken by the Maoists during the week, meant to commemorate the cadres killed by security forces. So far, no untoward incident has been reported.
However, Naxal pamphlets and posters were seen at some places in Bijapur district, appealing the cadres and the people to observe the martyrs’ week, the official said. The Railways are not running the Visakhapatnam-Kirandul train beyond Jagdalpur during the week, fearing Naxal attacks, forcing commuters to travel by bus from Jagdalpur to Kirandul. “The passenger train will not go beyond Jagdalpur while goods rain will be run only during daytime,” a railway official said. PTI
Front organisations of Maoists may face legal action
NEW DELHI: Groups supporting Naxals or espousing their causes may face legal action if authorities find evidence that they help the Maoists directly or indirectly through various acts. This is part of the new anti-Naxal strategy adopted by the security forces at a high level meeting held here in last two days. Official sources said leaders, spokespersons or active workers of the front organisations of the CPI(Maoist) may face the police wrath if they directly or indirectly help the banned organisation, which has been responsible for killing hundreds of people every year across India.
The meeting, chaired by Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami and attended by police chiefs of 26 worst-affected districts, decided to improve intelligence gathering mechanism, emphasised on more involvement of special forces and how to reduce gaps in coordination among state forces. Failure in basic policing has been identified as the key reason for security forces suffering reverses in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand or Bihar.
A more pro-active role by local police stations was needed to engage Maoists, it noted. The meeting decided that state governments should be approached for improving road networks and speedy implementation of various schemes, including Integrated Action Plan, to gain trust of local people. The two-day meeting, convened in the wake of the July 3 killing of Amarjit Balihar, the SP of Jharkhand’s Pakur district by Maoists, was also attended by other top officials of Home Ministry and CRPF, Inspector Generals in-charge of operations in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Odisha.
A detailed discussion on the methodology taken by the Maoists to carry out their attacks as well as how to face the new challenges on the ground also discussed threadbare. Superintendents of Police of Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district Mohd Suvez Haque briefed the gathering on the innovative methods adopted by him to tackle Maoists menace. Haque has been chosen to give a presentation at the meeting on the methods adopted by him to take on the Maoists. A top officer of Andhra Pradesh special force Grey Hounds gave a presentation on its successful anti-Naxal strategy.
Maoists kill abducted police constable
The body of the police constable, who was abducted by the Maoists on July 21 from Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh, was recovered on Sunday from the dense forest areas of Maharabeda village near here, police said. “The body of constable Dhansai Sori (25), abducted by the Maoists a week ago, was recovered from the dense forest of Maharabeda village between Jhara and Dhaudai police stations,” Deputy Superintendent of Police N K Sahu told PTI. “It appears that he was beaten to death,” Sahu said.
Six Maoists held, two grenades recovered from Bihar
Aurangabad: Six Maoists were on Saturday arrested in Bihar’s Aurangabad district in connection with an alleged attack here by ultras earlier this month in which five persons were killed, officials said. Acting on a tip-off, police raided various hideouts and nabbed the six, identified as Arvind Paswan and Amrit Paswan from Jharkhand and Sridhar Pathak, Sanjay Yadav, Suresh Yadav and Chhotu Bhuian, all hailing from Bihar.
Sharing the news, DSP Md Anwar Javed told reporters that the six accused are wanted in a number of attacks in the district and adjoining areas, including one on July 17 at a construction company camp office in the Goh police station area in which five persons, including two policemen, were killed. Two hand grenades and naxal literature was seized from the possession of one of the arrested Maoists, police said.
Naxalites trying to woo lower rung cops
GAYA: Expression of regret by the CPI (Maoist) for killing SAP personnel, soon after the Goh operation in which the ultras got their biggest cache of arms in the state ( INSAS rifles, SLRs and AK47 assault rifles) has not come as a surprise to Naxalite watchers, as, for quite sometime now, the Maoist outfit, in the name of class affinity, had been wooing the constabulary. Maoist spokesperson Rahul, while regretting the killing of SAP personnel in Goh said the organization is only interested in arms not men.
On several occasions, the ultras have made it clear that the Red rebels have nothing against the lower rungs of the police force, particularly constables, as they by and large come from the same socio-economic class whose interest Maoists claim to be championing. Earlier, the Maoists, as part of their strategy made the time-tested institution of village-level chowkidars virtually redundant either by winning over them or browbeating them with the result that the information channel has almost been choked.
Most of the chowkidars have also lost credibility and several of them are suspected to double cross while drawing remuneration from the public exchequer. In order to meet the information deficit caused by the erosion of Chowkidar’s credibility and question mark over the integrity of many of them, an alternative arrangement of recruitment of SPOs (Special Police officers) was given a trial but the SPOs were themselves found to be involved in questionable activities and quite a few of them started blackmailing innocent people and working as touts of the local SHOs.
Nearly half-a-dozen SPOs have been killed in Gaya district alone for reasons other than the call of duty. Apparent wooing of the constabulary is seen as a smart move on the part of Maoists, as by showing softness towards the lower rung cops, they aim at creating fissures in the police rank and file.
Moreover, once it is known that the Naxalites only want weapons not lives, the level of vigil is bound to go down. As the less than vigilant and absentee cops have, on most occasions, except perhaps Pretshila (Gaya) and Goh (Aurangabad) incidents, have not been made accountable for their lapses/indiscretions, the Maoists operating on zero/minimum risk principle by showing sympathy towards the constabulary hope to lessen the bite of the anti-Naxalite operations.
‘Clear stand on bauxite mining’
VISAKHAPATNAM: Even before the police could breathe a sigh of relief on the peaceful conduct of panchayat polls in the district, the CPI (Maoists) threw a fresh challenge by openly observing Martyrs’ Week in a village located on the Andhra-Odisha border on Sunday. After keeping a low profile for nearly a week after the panchayat polls were conducted in the Visakha Agency area on July 23, the Reds came out in the open to showcase their presence in the interior pockets.
One of the Maoists’ leaders of Maoists rank and file, Narender, the Korukonda Area Committee commander, warned the people’s representatives and the leaders of various parties to make their stand clear over bauxite mining in the Agency. They should decide whether they take the side of the people or the rulers, he said while addressing a gathering of villagers at the celebrations. After unveiling a pylon constructed in the memory of Commander Kongala Sudhakar Reddy and Tandra Krishna, who were killed at Suvvapalli encounter in the border area in the late nineties, and other martyrs Vantala Konda Babu, Bangarraju and Lakshman, the area commander ordered the political leaders to resign to their posts if they wished to stand with the people and take part in the agitations against bauxite mining and corruption. The Maoist party would otherwise treat them as anti-people and take action against them, he warned.
He said that neither the government nor the tribal leaders, who got power through their own community people, had done anything for the people of the region. He urged the people to join the PLGA forces in large numbers to fight against the rulers. The active militia members mobilized villagers in large numbers and paid tributes to the martyrs of Naxalite forces at the pylon. Around 500 people of more than 10 villages attended the meeting, sources said. Maoists pasted posters at the Maddigaruvu area in G Madugulamandal on Saturday night.
Wanted Maoist held in West Bengal
JHARGRAM (WB): A hardcore Maoist, who has several non-bailable warrants against him, was arrested from the jungles along the West Bengal-Jharkhand borders at Jhargram today, a senior police official said. Jhargram SP Bharati Ghosh said the Maoist, identified as Chunaram Tudu alias Chatu was arrested during an overnight raid led by her. A 9mm pistol and four cartridges were seized from Tudu, who is an active member of the Jayant squad of CPI (Maoist).
He is alleged to have been involved in killings, sedition and fire exchanges with police and has five NBWs against him. Tudu was allegedly involved in the murder of Trinamool Congress worker Rabindranath Mishra, besides police constable Shankar Hembram and CPM local committee secretary Babulal Mahto in 2011 and the killing of CPI-M worker Madan Mahato at Baksole in 2010. The ultra was also reported to be involved in the exchange of fire with the police at Birihari forest in Jhargram in 2010, Ghosh told reporters. In another raid at Labh Kush jungle at Jhargram, the district police seized a single barrel gun and 18 kg explosives. However, none was arrested in this case, the SP added.
Maoist protest affects life
KORAPUT: Public transport system came to a standstill in Maoist-hit areas of Malkangiri district on Sunday, the first day of the martyr’s week. The 100-km road stretch from Malkangiri to Motu, the town bordering Andhra Pradesh, wore a deserted look. Buses also remained off the road at MV 79, Bhenjagwada and Kalimela, sources said. Shopkeepers downed shutters and markets remained closed in the interior pockets, fearing Maoist attack.
“Villagers are panicky and don’t want to take any chance during the martyr’s week,” said sources at Motu and Kalimela. The Maoists have reportedly erected a few temporary martyr’s pillars, to mark the death anniversary of Red leader Charu Majumdar, at several villages in the cut-off area of the district. “Police are on high alert and no untoward incident has been reported so far,” said SP (Malkangiri) Akhileshwar Singh. The impact of the martyr’s week could also be felt in Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon blocks of Koraput district. State-run night buses from Jeypore and Koraput to Bhubaneswar via Rayagada changed routes and instead plied through Andhra Pradesh.
Combing operations have been intensified in the district following intelligence inputs about a major Maoist offensive during the martyr’s week. “A few additional security measures are in place to thwart any attempt by the ultras to carry out subversive activities in the district,” said SP (Koraput) Awinash Kumar.
Maoist posters in Nadia demand weeklong bandh
Maoist posters have appeared calling for a week-long strike from July 28 to August 3, Kotwali Itna area in Nadia district, police sources said. The 25 posters pasted on different walls on Friday were torn off by the police, the sources said. A poster called for an countrywide strike on 28 July to demand agricultural revolution, while another offered ‘red salutes’ to Maoist leaders Kishenji and Sashadhar Mahato.
Two Naxals arrested in Bastar
Two Naxals, including a woman, were today arrested in separate search operations in Maoist-hit Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, police said. “Sukman Salaam (28) was apprehended from the forests of Chinari village under Farasgaon police station limits of Narayanpur district by a joint team of CRPF and local police,” Deputy Superintendent of Police NK Sahu told PTI.
The arrested ultra, an active member of Jantana Sarkar group of outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist), was involved in a number of crimes like loot, arson and murder in Benoor area of the district, Sahu said. The search party acted on a tip-off about the presence of the Reds in the region, he said. In another search operation in Bijapur district in southern Bastar, a woman cadre, Michha Sommu (35), was arrested jointly by the district force and CRPF from the forests under Madded police station limits. The patrol party was on a combing operation in Timerguda village when it nabbed the ultra, DSP Ashok Singh said.