Naxalism in urban areas worries Centre
MUMBAI: The arrest of suspected Naxal activist Pintu Jawahar Paswan from Mulund on Friday indicates that Naxals are setting up base in urban areas and this has become a cause of concern for politicians. Paswan, who was active in Jharkhand, was employed as a worker in a factory in Mulund. A week ago, Nagpur Congress MP Vilas Muttemwar had raised the issue of emergence of Naxal activists in urban areas.
“Naxal activists are infiltrating security agencies and factories as workers to spread their network in urban areas,” he had said while urging the Centre and the state to make police verification essential to prevent them from doing so. Replying to a question raised by Muttemwar, Union minister of state for home RPN Singh said there was no intelligence to suggest that Naxal organizations were infiltrating security agencies and factories. But a few cases had come to the notice of the Centre where the CPI (Maoist) cadres had taken up jobs in urban areas primarily to earn a livelihood and evade arrest.
“The front organizations of the banned CPI (Maoist) party and organizations sympathetic to the outfit have been supporting the cause of workers employed in factories. Their objective is to exploit the situation to gain a foothold among the working class,” he said.
Anti-Maoist cell soon in state
RANCHI: Jharkhand police may soon set up an anti-Naxalite cell to address Left-wing extremism on the lines of the Centre’s naxal management division that works under the supervision of the ministry of home affairs. The move is likely to be a shot in the arm for thousands of security forces combing Jharkhand forests in search of Maoists. In the first quarter of this year, the state reported the highest number of Maoist attacks in the country.
The division will be responsible for gathering intelligence inputs and executing anti-Maoist operations besides coordinating with the central and state forces. The cell will have its units in all district police headquarters. “We have already drafted a proposal for the creation of an anti-Naxalite cell,” said police chief (DGP) Rajiv Kumar. The move comes close on the heels of Pakur SP’s murder last month. The decision comes in the wake of reports that suggest the rebels are strengthening and expanding their base.
In 2004, the Maoist Communist Centre of India and People’s War Group had merged to form CPI(Maoist). Over the years, the outfit has grown rapidly and split into 18 groups. At present, the state has 19 outfits, which includes CPI Maoist, People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), Tritiya Prastuti Committee, among others. A police report recently claimed that Maoists make around Rs 50 crore annually through extortion from various industries and construction companies operating in Jharkhand. The home ministry has time and again advised Jharkhand police to strengthen its intelligence network. However, sources said state police department lacks a well-integrated system. Police was left red-faced in July when despite emphatic claims of surrounding 250 rebels in Latehar’s Kumundih forests, the rebels managed to escape.
“There were some lacunae on our part and the Maoists escaped. But we destroyed several of their camps in the forests,” said Kumar, who led the operations in the forests. In January 2013, security forces, with poor intelligence inputs, ventured into Latehar forests and 11 of them were killed when the rebels launched an attack. “The cell will monitor Left-wing extremism and take effective steps to counter Red threats,” said police spokesperson S N Pradhan. We can constitute the cell with policemen from the special branch without hampering day-to-day work,” said Pradhan.
Large quantity of arms seized in Gaya
The security forces today seized 57 improvised firearms apart from a large quantity of arms during an anti-Maoist raid in Bihar’s Gaya district, a police officer said. Carrying out a Long Range Petrolling (LRP) in the Maoist-dominant Lutwa forests, the forces comprising CRPF, STF, SAP and district police recovered 57 ‘pipe guns’, three pressure cooker bomb and tiffin bombs each, two rifles, long wire and Naxal literature, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ashok Kumar Singh said. No arrest could be made as the Maoists fled from the area ahead of search operation.
Maoist Death Threat Stymies $2 Billion Project: Corporate India
Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. (JSP), which is building two electricity plants in eastern India at a cost of $2 billion, halted all work following death threats from Maoist guerillas against developing an adjoining coal mine. “Our people are mortally scared to go into the area,” Managing Director Ravi Uppal said in an interview in New Delhi, where the company controlled by billionaire lawmaker Naveen Jindal is based. “We’ve asked the government for security. We’ll not move ahead unless our safety is guaranteed.” Halting the projects in the eastern state of Jharkhand jeopardizes Jindal’s plan to increase generation capacity more than tenfold in seven years and underscores the risk the Maoists pose to industry. The rebels are adding to challenges Prime Minister Manmohan Singh faces as he tackles the slowest pace of economic growth in a decade, the rupee’s plunge to a record and an unprecedented current-account deficit.
LWE: The Revolution Devours Her Children – Analysis
Six cadres of the People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), a splinter group of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), were killed in a clash with CPI-Maoist cadres in the Namsilli village area of Khunti District, Jharkhand, on July 23, 2013. In vengeance, around 20 PLFI cadres abducted two CPI-Maoist members from the nearby Ramandag village in the Khunti District on July 24, 2013, and shot them dead. Their bodies were recovered from Eshehatu forest area in the Khunti District on the same day. In another incident, two CPI-Maoist cadres were killed in a clash with the Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC, Third Preparatory Committee), another CPI-Maoist splinter, in the Pratappur Forest of Chatra District on August 1, 2013.
A poster found along with the bodies warned CPI-Maoist cadres of more such attacks in the future. Earlier, on March 27, 2013, 10 CPI-Maoist cadres were killed in a clash with TPC cadres in the Lakramanda village of Chatra District. These incidents are not in isolation. In fact reports indicate that, apart from the CPI-Maoist, PLFI and the TPC, there at least another 16 Left-Wing Extremist (LWE) groups operating in and out of Jharkhand.
The other prominent groups include Jharkhand Janmukti Parishad (JJM), Bharatiya Communist Party (BCP), Jharkhand–Chhattisgarh Simanta Committee (JCSC), Jharkhand Jan Mukti Parishad (JJMP), Jharkhand Prastuti Committee (JPC), Jharkhand Sangharsha Jan Mukti Morcha (JSJMM) and Jharkhand Regional Committee (JRC). According to partial data compiled by the Institute for Conflict Management (ICM), Jharkhand has recorded at least 39 incidents of factional clashes between these groups, resulting in 74 fatalities, since 2007, when the PLFI was formed. Most of these clashes have taken place among the CPI-Maoist, PLFI and TPC cadres. In 2013 (till August 18), LWE groups in Jharkhand have engaged in fratricidal clashes on at least eight occasions, with 22 fatalities. Significantly, it is just these three groups (CPI-Maoist, PLFI and TPC) that have been involved in these clashes.
In fact, since the formation of PLFI, the turf war between these groups has escalated sharply, as they struggle to extend and consolidate their respective influence across the State. The CPI-Maoist, the parent party, has presence across the State, but PLFI has developed its influence in the Ranchi, Khunti, Simdega, Gumla, Latehar, Chatra and Palamu Districts. The TPC is primarily operating in Latehar, Chatra and Palamu Districts. There is an obvious overlap between the areas of influence of the three groups.
Moreover, PLFI and TPC have identified and declared CPI-Maoist as their ‘principal enemy’. Indeed, Anil, a PLFI cadre who survived the July 23, 2013, Namsilli incident and surrendered before the Police on July 28, 2013, confirmed that the attack on PLFI cadres by the CPI-Maoists was a result of disputed claims over the region: “The area where the attack took place is controlled by the CPI-Maoist. Ram Mohan is the ‘area commander’. The organisation (PLFI) decided to try and drive them out. Our mission was to lay the groundwork for it there, by concentrating on Namsilli village. We were there to talk to the villagers to draw them to the PLFI. We had visited the village in the evening. It was out first night of camping in the area.” Director General of Police (DGP) Rajiv Kumar on June 13, 2013, admitted that, between January and May 2013, there has been rise in cases of violence involving Maoist splinter groups.
Out of the 181 incidents of LWE violence reported in Jharkhand during the period, 52 per cent were related to the CPI-Maoist; 29 per to PLFI; and 15 per cent to TPC. Expressing concern over the ongoing factional clashes among various LWE outfits in Jharkhand, Chief Minister Hemant Soren convened a high-level meeting with the top brass of the administration on August 5, 2013, and asked officials to bring the situation under control immediately or face action. Factional clashes have compounded escalating LWE violence in the State.
According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) database, Jharkhand has emerged as the worst LWE-affected State in 2013 in terms of fatalities, with 112 killed, including 34 civilians, 24 SFs and 54 LWE cadres [Chhattisgarh, which ranks second, recorded 102 fatalities, including 45 civilians, 31 SF personnel and 26 LWE cadres]. In 2013, while the CPI-Maoist has been responsible for 44 fatalities (20 civilians and 24 SFs), the PLFI was involved in 14 fatalities (all civilians). Also, while 22 LWEs (21 CPI-Maoist and one PLFI) were killed in Police action, 29 LWEs (17 CPI-Maoist and 12 PLFI) were killed in factional clashes.
Two CPI-Maoist cadres were killed while making bombs on January 26, 2013. No details are available regarding the death of one LWE. LWE groups are, of course, also involved in other violent and disruptive activities that include extortion, arson, bandhs (general shut downs), etc. According to Police estimates, LWE groups in Jharkhand extort approximately INR 1 billion per annum. Commenting on the PLFI’s style of functioning, Jharkhand Police spokesperson S. N. Pradhan on August 7, 2013, said, “PLFI is a purely money-minting gang with no ideology or fundamentals.”
In addition to the CPI-Maoist, the PLFI and TPC have now emerged as significant LWE forces. Jharkhand State Police under its ‘PLFI Action Plan’ recently conducted a survey on the cadre strength of the outfit, which found that there were 264 PLFI cadres across Jharkhand – 82 in Ranchi, 55 in Khunti, 44 in Simdega, 44 in Chatra, 17 in Gumla, 14 in Palamu, five in Lohardaga and three in Latehar Districts. According to a media report dated April 5, 2013, the cadre strength of TTP is around 500. On June 13, 2013, DGP Kumar disclosed that a separate ‘Action Plan’ against PLFI and TPC had borne results with more than 30 PLFI leaders and cadres having been arrested, besides the arrest of 40 leaders and activists of other outfits.
Five Maoists arrested in Chhattisgarh
Five Maoists have been arrested with a cache of arms and ammunition from Kanker district of Chhattisgarh, police said on Tuesday. “Acting upon a tip-off, a joint team of Border Security Force and local police nabbed the cadres from the forests of Maspur village last evening,” said Kanker deputy superintendent of police (DSP) MZ Baig. A muzzle-loading gun was also recovered from their possession, Baig said.
Later, two bombs, weighing 7kg and 2kg, a battery and a 10-metre wire hidden beneath the soil on Maspur-Raoghat road were also recovered based on their statement. After getting information about Maoists holding a public meeting in the jungles of Tadoki, around 200km from state capital Raipur, the patrol was mobilised on Monday morning. On seeing the security forces near Maspur village, the ultras tried to escape from the spot but security personnel chased and arrested them.
Four of them – Massu Potai (22), Fandiram Dugga (27), Singrai Potai (40) and Bilas (30) – are wanted in several cases of crime including murder, landmine explosion, loot, arms and ammunitions, etc, the DSP said. Another arrested rebel, Sindhu Maravi (21), was a sangham member of outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist). The arrested Maoists are being interrogated, the DSP added
Maoists kill Jharkhand village head
Ranchi, Aug 20 (IANS) Maoist guerrillas killed a village head in Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh district, police said Tuesday. Kapishwar Sahu, mukhiya (village head) of Sahpur Panchayat (village council), was abducted Monday night by 10 to 15 Maoists from his house situated at Masurtoli village of Hazaribagh district, which is around 110 km from Ranchi, said police. His body was found Tuesday morning in Katamsandi jungle of Hazaribagh district. Maoists had left a pamphlet that said those involved in atrocities and corruption will meet the same fate. The body has been sent for post-mortem examination.