HC refuses bail to accused in Naxal activities case
Mumbai: Observing that unlawful activities of naxalites need to be exposed, sternly dealt with and prevented, the Bombay High Court refused to grant anticipatory bail to a former zilla parishad president and NCP leader from Gadchiroli accused of providing explosives to naxal groups. Bandopant Mallelwar, former ZP president and local NCP leader from Gadchiroli, and his brother Narendra were accused of supplying arms to naxalites with five others, including a government doctor of Maharashtra’s Maoist-hit Gadchiroli district. While four persons were arrested in the case, Bandopant, Narendra and the doctor, Ravindra Karpe, are still absconding.
Bandopant approached the Nagpur bench of the High Court seeking anticipatory bail on the ground that he was innocent and never indulged in criminal conspiracy to provide explosives and ammunition to naxalites. Bandopant and others were booked under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Explosives Act and IPC. “In the present case considering that prima facie there is ground to believe involvement of the applicant (Bandopant) and the fact that the investigation is at preliminary stage, I am not prepared to take a different view from that of the sessions court rejecting his anticipatory bail,” Justice A P Bhangale observed on July 31.
“Custodial interrogation may yield more valuable and material information in respect of the unlawful activities of naxalites which are required to be exposed, sternly dealt with and all their unlawful activities need to be prevented in future in the interest of maintaining law and order in the society and for the welfare and safety of people in the naxal infested areas of the state,” Justice Bhangale said. In June, the Gadchiroli police had stopped an ambulance of a government hospital near Bhamragarh and seized arms and ammunition allegedly meant for naxals. Four persons in the vehicle were arrested. According to police, Bandopant and his brother had influenced Karpe to allow them to use the ambulance. Police also conducted searches at the Nagpur house of the Mallelwars and seized two letters by an alleged naxal leader thanking Bandopant for giving Rs 35,000 as development fund. PTI
Woman held as Mamata cracks down on ‘Naxal sympathisers’
Joyeeta Das, a graduate of Jadavpur University and founder member of suspected Maoist front Mahila Matangini Samiti, was arrested by the police late Friday night, the first time the Mamata Banerjee government has cracked down on “Maoist sympathisers” in Kolkata. Joyeeta was remanded in police custody till August 14 by a local court on Saturday. Police told the court Joyeeta was an active member of the Maoists’ city committee and claimed to have seized “incriminating” Maoist documents and letters from her.
Joyeeta is known in the city committee as “Titas”, police sources said. It is the first arrest after Mamata said in Lalgarh that her government would come down heavily on “Maoist sympathisers” in Kolkata. Joyeeta’s parents are central government employees and she is married to Abhigyan Sarkar, the editor of New Dawn, a pro-Naxal magazine. Sarkar is also a PhD scholar at JU. Joyeeta, along with Debolina Chakraborty, president of Matangini Mahila Samiti, had allegedly played a key role during the Singur and Nadigram land movement. At that time, both were close to the Trinamool Congress. The Mahila Matangini Samiti also played a significant role during the Lalgarh movement.
But after the TMC came to power, the ruling party started distancing itself from the Mahila Matangini Samiti and later disowned it. Significantly, it was Mamata who had set both Joyeeta and Debolina free when they were confined in a room by Left parties when the Left Front was in power. Debolina had earlier been arrested for participating in the Nonandanga eviction movement. She was given bail after two months. Though she now keeps away from mass movements and rights groups, Joyeeta took part in the women’s movement in Kamduni, where a 20-year-old student was raped and murdered. A senior police officer said, “Joyeeta was very active in the organisation. She was moving from place to place to organise the Maoists’ movement again. She was trying to regroup several frontal organisations of the Maoists before the Lok Sabha elections.”
Maoists blow up police station in Bihar, two live bombs found
The Maoists attack on the police building coincided with the death anniversary of the Naxal leader Charu Majumdar. Maoists blew up a room of newly- constructed building of Khudwa police station in Bihar’s Aurangabad district and left two live bombs in the premises which were later defused, a police officer said today. The Maoists barged into the Kudhwa police station late last night and detonated bombs made from two small cylinders damaging a room of the newly-constructed building, Superintendent of Police Daljit Singh said.
There was no major damage to the building as two bombs planted in other rooms failed to explode, he said, adding the explosives were later defused by the bomb disposal squad. The Maoists attack on the police building coincided with the death anniversary of the Naxal leader Charu Majumdar. There was no loss of life and property as the police station was yet to shift to the new building, Singh said. Raids were being carried out to nab the ultras, the SP said.
Maoist attacks on rail targets on the rise
Maoist attacks on railways and road have increased this year, with the latest being the blowing up of railway tracks in Bihar late on Friday night. However, there has been a the decreasing trend of Maoist attacks on economic targets in the past two years. The Maoists had struck rail infrastructure nine times this year till June 15, as against seven times during the same period last year. Friday night’s attack in Bihar, to enforce a Naxal bandh, is the latest one, the previous being on June 13, when the extremists struck a passenger train in Bihar’s Jamui district, killing a railway police personnel and two passengers.
The Naxals blew up the rail track around 11 pm on Friday between Taraiya and Guraru railway stations, barely 20 minutes after the pilot engine of the Howrah-Delhi Rajdhani Express had crossed the area. No one was injured in the incident. Following the 2003 accident of the Howrah-Delhi Rajdhani in Naxal-infested Aurangabad district of Bihar, which had left over 100 people dead, Railways runs pilot engines ahead of trains as a precaution. An analysis of the Union Home Ministry statistics shows that 2013 witnessed a surge in attacks on roads being constructed under the Prime Minister’s Grameen Sadak Yojna , power plants, panchayat buildings and facilities of the National Mineral Development Corporation.
Overall, however, there has been a decrease in the number of attacks on economic targets owing to a slump in targeting forest roads and culverts, which fell to 70 incidents till mid-June this year as against 111 in the corresponding period in 2012. A total of 106 incidents of targeting economic infrastructure were reported this year till June, as aga]inst 146 in the same period last year. Such attacks were on the decline since 2010, when 365 cases had been reported.
The next year saw a total of 293 such cases, while the number slipped to 214 last year. In 2008, the figure was 182, rising to 362 next year. Of the nine incidents of attack on railways this year, five were reported in Chhattisgarh, three from Bihar and one from Jharkhand. Bihar’s tally rises to four if one adds the latest incident, while last year, only one such incident was reported from the state. The roads constructed under PMGSY were attacked eight times in different states this year, with Bihar accounting for half the incidents. Last year, till June 15, only three such incidents had been reported.
Rebels extort Rs 50 crore a year: Report
RANCHI: Various Naxalite outfits have formed an industry of sorts in Jharkhand worth Rs50 crore by extorting money from industries and construction companies, a state intelligence report said. Jharkhand police spokesperson S N Pradhan said the study has found that 19 rebel outfits collect around Rs 50 crore annually. “Their main source of income is extortion,” said Pradhan. Nationally, the extremists’extortion revenue is worth Rs 150-200 crore, he added. When faced with opposition, the rebels do not hesitate to kill people.
Two SPs, one MP and over 500 security personnel have been killed in the past 13 years. More than 100 major industrial units are based in Jharkhand and, over the past few years, their properties have been ransacked and damaged by the rebels. Their employees have also been kidnapped and killed on several occasions. Around 10 days ago, armed Maoists beheaded three contractors in Gumla district when they refused to pay extortion money.
To create a sense of fear among other contractors and owners of business establishments in the district, they placed the severed heads on the middle of a road. The lure of easy money has led to the mushrooming of several rebel outfits in the state. Police records say as of now there are 19 parties in different parts of the state. In 2000, there was only one Maoist Communist Centre (MCC). A section of the outfit parted ways with MCC in 2002 and formed Tritiya Sammelan Prastuti Committee (TPC) on so called ideological grounds. TPC gathered strength and the flow of money to its coffer continued to swell.
In 2004, MCC joined hands with People’s War, active in southern India, to form CPI (Maoist). At this time one more section of the MCC parted ways and formed People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI). By 2004, greed and corruption started plaguing CPI (Maoist) and several of its commanders were suspended on charges of corruption and indiscipline, said Ranchi zone IG M S Bhatia. Bhatia also said the suspended rebels ganged up and formed various groups like Sangarh Jan Mukti Morcha, Jharkhand Prastuti Committee, Pahari Cheetah, Jharkhand Liberation Tiger, Jharkhand Jan Mukti Parishad, Janhit Kranti Party and several others.
Petty criminals also started calling themselves rebels because it was easy to collect money using their name. “The sole purpose of these outfits is to extort money,” said Bhatia. Also, group rivalry is on among these factions for supremacy. The Union home ministry has deployed more central forces in Jharkhand. Now, there are around 20 battalions of central forces. In 2002, there were only four battalions.
Maoist activities: NIA begins probe
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) started an investigation into the alleged Maoist meeting held in Mavelikkara on December 29, 2012. The NIA re-registered the case by filing the First Information Report at NIA special court last month. The Hyderabad unit of the National Investigation Agency, a few weeks ago, had met the police officials who first investigated the case. The agency is also interrogating the accused persons in the case.
“The FIR was registered last month and we started investigation. The accused person will be interrogated. Two minor girls who were present at the lodge will also be interrogated. Since the accused persons are out on bail, a summons would be sent to these people”, an NIA official in Kochi said. As per the FIR, Rajesh of Mavelikkara, Bahuleyan of Njarayilkonam, Devarajan of Kollam, Gopal of Rajilpakkom in Tamil Nadu, who is a scientist with Indira Gandhi Centre of Atomic Research in Kalpakkam, and Mannur Ajayan, all activists of CPI(Maoist) were accused in the case. In the FIR, the NIA stated that five men had conducted secret meetings. The police officials who first investigated said that meeting was held for forming a new wing of CPI(Maoist) in Kerala and also enhance its activities.