4 BSF men killed in Naxal attack in Odisha
Four personnel of the Border Security Force (BSF) were killed and three others were injured in a landmine blast by Maoists targeted at the vehicle of the security personnel in Koraput district of south Odisha on Tuesday morning. According to police sources, this landmine blast occurred on NH26 at a culvert between Sakirai and Kauguntha villages near Ralegada of Sunki Ghat under Pottangi police station limits at around 9 a.m.
The slain BSF personnel who were on leave, were on their way to Visakhapatnam from Balimela area of Malkangiri district to board trains. They were traveling in three vehicles. Each of the vehicles was carrying seven BSF personnel. A BSF personnel who escaped unhurt from this Maoist ambush said, their vehicles were first fired at by ultras hiding on a nearby hill. The BSF personnel had retaliated with counter fire.
But their third vehicle faced the landmine blast while crossing the culvert. The vehicle was thrown to a distance and was completely destroyed. Four BSF personnel died at the spot. Out of the three injured, two were in serious condition and they were being shifted to Visakhapatnam for treatment. The other had received minor injuries and was being shifted to Koraput hospital. Receiving information about the incident, Koraput Superintendent of Police (SP) Avinash Kumar rushed to the spot with extra force.
The Maoists who were involved in the ambush who were hiding on the nearby hill also fired at this police team. The SP narrowly escaped a Maoist bullet. Security personnel have cordoned up the hill and have also rounded up some suspicious persons from the area, who are being interrogated at Pottangi police station. Security personnel seized a grenade and wire used to detonate landmine from the hill near the landmine blast. Some food material was also found at the spot hinting that it was a well planed ambush by the Maoists who were waiting at the spot to target the security personnel.
STF commander, jawan killed in C’garh Naxal encounter
Raipur: A Special Task Force (STF) commander and a jawan were killedon Tuesday in an encounter between the ultras and security forces in Maoist-hit Bastar region of southern Chhattisgarh, police said. “The incident took place between the forests under Madum police station (Bastar district) and Mardapal police station (Kondagaon district) limits when a joint party of STF and local police was coming out of the forest after an intense operation,” Bastar Superintendent of Police Ajay Yadav told a news agency. Those killed were identified as company commander Lav Bhagat and constable Selestian Kujur, Yadav said.
The patrol party was on a combing operation for the past two days in the bordering areas of Dantewada, Narayanpur, Kondagaon and Bastar districts of Bastar division. “They succumbed to bullet injuries while being taken out of the forest,” the SP said. Earlier, on Monday afternoon, a face-off had taken place between security personnel and Maoists in the forest of Narayanpur area in which two women naxalites were killed, he said.
“After an hour of the gunbattle, security personnel recovered bodies of two women naxals, dressed in Maoist uniforms, from the spot,” the SP said, adding some weapons were also recovered from the spot. Additional forces have been rushed into the forest to help the patrol party reach back to their camp, the SP added. PTI
Three Naxals arrested in Bastar
Three Naxals were arrested on Monday during separate search operations in Maoist-hit Bastar region of southern Chhattisgarh. Two cadres of Jantana Sarkar group of Maoists were nabbed by a joint team of Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and district force from the forests of Mandali village under Orchha police station limits of Narayanpur district, Deputy Superintendent of Police N K Sahu said. The Moists were identified as Lakhmu (35) and Butlu (50) and both were involved in several incidents of attacks on security personnel and loot, he said. “They were produced in a local court which sent them to jail,” Sahu added.
In a separate search operation, another Naxal Bhanu Ram, carrying a reward of Rs 3,000 on his head, was rounded up from Kanker district of north Bastar, police said. The 40-year-old was apprehended by a contingent of BSF and local police from the forests of his native place Tumrisur village under Lohattar police station limits this afternoon, Sub-Division Officer of Police (SDOP) Tarkeshwar Patel said. The patrol party was on a combing operation since this morning in Lohattar region, around 200 km from the state capital Raipur. On getting a tip off about the presence of a Maoist in Tumrisur, the team nabbed Bhanu on suspicion. Later, he admitted his involvement in the Naxal movement and taking part in several crimes like loot and attack in the region, the SDOP added.
Cops shot ‘Naxals’ in cold blood: Activists
A group of activists on a “fact-finding” mission regarding the six police-Naxal encounters in Gadchiroli this year has alleged that the police killed many suspected Naxals in cold blood without allowing them to surrender. This, they said, constitutes “excessive and unauthorised use of force”, and that “there is policy at work of not taking prisoners and killing those suspected of being Maoists”. Under the banner of ‘Co-ordination of Democratic Rights Organisation’, the activists toured Gadchiroli to meet villagers of Mendhri, Sindesur, Bhagwanpur, Govindgaon and Bhatpar, where the alleged encounters took place.
Harish Dhavan, part of the independent panel, told reporters Monday: “Based on what the villagers told us, we inferred that the police were the first to open fire and that they made no announcement asking the alleged Maoists to surrender to avoid loss of life.” “In Mendhri, six women Naxals were killed in cold blood and in Bhagwanpur, an alleged poacher met the same fate. In Sindesur, two young boys died in an encounter as collateral damage.Hoardings announcing Rs 10 lakh compensation to the two boys’ families were erected, but nothing has been given,” Dhavan said.
In Bhatpar, he alleged, the parents of an alleged woman Naxal member killed in an encounter pleaded for her body, but to no avail. The activists demanded that the “policy of shooting to kill, not taking prisoners and of causing maximum damage must go. FIRs of culpable homicide must be registered against the police personnel responsible. A judicial probe should be ordered into the Mendhri, Bhatpar and Bhagwanpur incidents. The judicial magistrate should take eye-witnesses’ statements at their homes in a duress free atmosphere”.
Dhavan spoke about a poster put up in the interiors, which proclaims “Samanyawar atyachar karal tar polisanchya golinich maram (if you commit atrocities, you will die from police bullets)”. “This promotes trigger-happy attitude,” he said. Asked how the villagers’ accounts can be relied upon for ascertaining the facts as they invariably claim to have seen nothing, Harish Dhavan said: “It was necessary to take their versions since only the police version had come out in the Press.”
‘Naxals trying to expand activities in urban areas’
New Delhi: Naxals have been trying to expand their activities in urban areas and their plans include sabotage and selective assassinations in cities, the Lok Sabha was told on Tuesday. Minister of State for Home R P N Singh said the CPI(Maoist) has been making efforts to expand its activities in urban areas through overground front organisations and members of such organisations masquerade as ‘activists’ espousing causes which mainly supplement the activities of underground cadres in direct and indirect ways.
Singh said the front organisations provide safe hideouts to armed cadres and also facilitate procurement of supplies to Maoist war machinery. “They also initiate legal action on various issues to slow down the enforcement regime. They are also adept at dissemination of propaganda and disinformation to demonize the state and security forces,” he said. The Minister said a strategy of CPI(Maoist) for urban areas is documented in a paper titled ‘Urban Perspective’ and according to it the group would mobilise working classes in urban areas, build a united front of classes similarly placed to the working classes and military tactics involving sabotage actions and select assassinations by ‘action teams’. PTI