CRPF jawan killed in Naxal encounter in Jharkhand
A CRPF commando was today killed in a gunfight with Naxalites in Jharkhand’s Chaibasa district. Sources said a joint squad of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and state police had begun an operation in the jungles of the district last night in hunt of some top Naxal commanders. “A commando of the elite CoBRA team was today killed after he succumbed to bullet injuries in the encounter. The firing is still on,” a senior official said. Joint forces have been sent for the long haul operation and this operation was based on intelligence inputs, the official said.
After JNU ex-student, 2 more held for Naxal link
NAGPUR: Gadchiroli police have arrested 52-year-old Prashant Rahi, an Uttarakhand-based journalist-turned-activist and front organization member, and Vijay Teerki, of Chhattisgarh, for their alleged links with Naxalites. Rahi, alias Prashant Sanglikar, who had his schooling in Mumbai, was picked up from the Deori bus-stand in Gondia district on Sunday, while he and Teerki were “heading to Naxal-stronghold Abujmadh to meet a central committee (CC) member”, according to the cops.
Sources in Gadchiroli police said they learnt about Rahi’s mission from Hem Mishra who was arrested on August 22 from near Morewada village in Aheri, south Gadchiroli. Mishra, a former Jawaharlal Nehru University student and who is also from Uttarakhand, was arrested along with Pandu Narote and Mahesh Teerki. According to the police, the trio was carrying messages to senior Naxal cadre Narmada-akka, a divisional committee member, in Abujmadh.
The Naxal HQ, which is on the Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh border, is about 80kms from Aheri as well as Deori. Police said that Rahi too was carrying documents to a senior central committee member based in Abujmadh. His arrest may not be a big catch but it shows the increased inroads that Naxalites have made into urban areas. Earlier, Naxal cadre Kobad Gandhy was caught in New Delhi, Vernon Gonsalves and Shridhar Srinivasan in Govandi in Mumbai, and Sudhir Dhawale who used to reside in his wife’s nursing quarters in Byculla in Mumbai. Rahi, who was one of the main campaigners during the Tehri dam protest in the ’80s and ’90s, attended school and college in Mumbai and then moved on to complete his engineering degree from Benaras Hindu University. His daughter Sikha assisted Aamir Khan in ‘Taare Zameen Par’.
Sources in the Gadchiroli police department said that there was intelligence input about a senior-level meeting of the Naxalites to be held in Abujmadh for which several top rebel leaders were to assemble. The police and intelligence wing is now scanning through the Naxal literatures and other related documents found with Rahi and Teerki. The two were produced before a Gadchiroli court which remanded them to police custody for 13 days after being slapped with charges under relevant sections of Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act. The court has also extended the remand of Mishra and two others for another 13 days. Mishra was also allegedly carrying a microchip to be delivered to Narmada.
The cops have now ‘cloned’ the microchip to uncover the contents. Police feel that information regarding the Naxalites’ plans and networks in the metros as a part of their objective to spread the rebel movement in urban centres could be retrieved from the documents and records seized from Rahi and Mishra. The Naxalites’ aim to combine jungle welfare with urban movement is now well documented. A senior officer said that the seized materials would help corroborate and bring forth many new facets regarding Naxalites’ plans.
Rahi, who originally hails from Nashik, had earlier served a three-year term in Uttarakhand after being arrested by the police in Dehradun in 2007. Later, his wife Chandrakala Tiwari too had been picked up. According to the police, the couple was actively working with the Uttarakhand Zonal Committee of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). Rahi and Tiwari were released about 18 months ago. DIG (Naxal Range) Ravindra Kadam said that Rahi has so far remained tight-lipped about his destination. “Rahi was accompanied by Vijay who claims to be a sarpanch from Beloda village of Kanker in Chhattisgarh but we strongly believe they have close links with the Naxalites,” said Kadam.
He added that the duo was set to enter Abujmadh on foot from Aldendi village after reaching there from Beloda on bike. It’s learnt that the cops had been trailing Rahi from Uttarakhand. He was pinned down through his mobile phone location in Delhi and Raipur before being finally trapped in Deori. “After nabbing Mishra, we knew that there was another person who would be heading towards Abujmadh accompanied by local guides. We also knew that he would be coming with important documents,” said Kadam. Sources in the police department also claimed that Rahi worked with the front organizations like Forum Against War on People, Revolutionary Democratic Front (India) and Committee for Release of Political Prisoners.
Who is Prashant Rahi?
Grew up in Mumbai, studied at St Stanislaus School in Bandra, followed by Ruia College, Matunga. Went on to study engineering at Banaras Hindu University in 1977. At BHU, briefly met human rights activist Dr Binayak Sen and was inspired by his work in impoverished villages. Was exposed to various youth movements and was involved in fighting for the rights of villagers in Uttar Pradesh. Was an integral part of the struggle against the Tehri dam.
Worked as a journalist with Himachal Times and the Statesman. Arrested in December 2007, seven months after Sen was arrested on charges of sedition. Spent three years and eight months in jails in Uttarakhand, including Haldwani, Udham Singh Nagar, Dehradun, Pauri Garhwal and Haridwar. Most of his prison years were spent in solitary confinement.
Top naxal leader gives police the slip?
Adilabad police seem to have narrowly “missed” top naxalite Mylarapu Bhaskar alias Adellu and about 25 other Maoists for whom combing was conducted in the dense Vaipet forest of Indervelli mandal on Sunday. According to sources, the 26 naxalites, of whom four were from Adilabad district and 22 from Chhattisgarh, moved out of their hiding place near Mangalkota somewhere between Vaipet and Khanapur just 10 minutes before the police parties reached the spot.
Adellu, said to be functioning currently as Adilabad district committee secretary, had come here to recruit cadres and organise a training camp. The rations and other material purchased by the couriers were meant to be handed over to them in the jungle. Sources said the training camps were to be held in the forest close to Chimmanguda and Vaipet. While the former is 33 km away from Indervelli mandal headquarter, Vaipet is 2 km further away. After ensuring sanitisation of the place, policemen organised an awareness meeting for tribal youth in the area.
Police yet to find motive behind Pakur SP’s murder
RANCHI: The security agencies in Jharkhand have not been able to find any concrete motive behind the attck on Pakur SP Amarjit Balihar in July. A suspected Maoist, Sanathan Bakshi, who was arrested in connection with the murder of SP Balihar on Friday have told the police that the Maoists wanted to attack security personnel and the SP happened to be a random victim. The Maoists were celebrating ‘Martyr Week’ and they wanted to few cops are on the hitlist.
Police spokesperson S N Pradhan said that investigations are still on to find out more details about the motive of the murder. “Investigations are still on and various clues are emerging,” said Pradhan. A group of Maoists had attacked the convoy of the Pakur SP in neighboring Dumka district while he was returning after attending a meeting at the office of the Santhal Pargana range. Balihar with six policemen were killed in the ambush. Bakshi, in his 30s, is being interrogated by policemen including the incumbent Pakur SP. He was arrested from Rolagram village under Mahespur police station in Pakur district. “He told us that Balihar was no special target. They wanted to strike back after several Maoists were killed in an encounter with cops in Latehar,” said Pakur SP Y S Ramesh.
A police officer privy to the interrogation said a group of 100-odd Maoists had gathered near Dumka and Pakur border to attack policemen. “They were aware of the SP’s movement on that fateful day and attacked his convoy,” said the officer not willing to go on quote. The Maoists struck in Pakur because it was considered a Naxalite-free zone and thus deployment of forces was relatively lesser. A speculation has surfaced that some one in the police had informed Maoists about the movement of the SP. “We have found no clue about it so far, though we have gathered and scanned huge amount of details,” said Ramesh. The wife of slain SP Balihar Sumanlata Balihar had recently sought CBI probe into the ambush.
Reward on Odisha legislator’s killers hiked
Bhubaneswar : Odisha Police Monday increased five-fold the reward money for information on two Maoists wanted in the killing of a ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator two years ago, an official said. Umarkot legislator Jagabandhu Majhi was shot dead Sep 24, 2011, by unidentified gunmen when he was distributing land ownership papers to poor tribals at a public function at Gona village in Nabrangpur district, over 500 km from here.
His bodyguard was also killed in the attack. The state police’s crime branch which has been investigating the murder identified at least two suspects and offered Rs.1 lakh to anyone providing information leading to the arrest of the duo – identified as Satyam Ghaude and Jani Salem. “Now we have increased the amount to Rs.5 lakh,” Additional Director General of Police (Crime Branch) B.K.Sharma told IANS. Jani Salem is the general secretary of the Main-Puri divisional committee of the outlawed Communist party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) while Ghaude is an active member, he said. Salem earlier in a television interview claimed responsibility for the killing, he said. Majhi, 39, was a popular tribal leader. He was disabled and confined to a wheelchair after he was injured when fired at by some unidentified assailants several years ago.
Maoist bandh, high alert sounded in Malkangiri
District Security forces have been put on high alert in the district apprehending violence in the wake of the Maoist bandh call on Tuesday. The bandh call has been given by Malkangiri Divisional Committee secretary of the CPI (Maoist) Punam Chandar in protest against killing of their leader Madhav alias Golla Ramullu by security forces. In a press release, Chandar alleged that Madhav was killed in a fake encounter. But the allegation has been refuted by Superintendent of Police Akhileswar Singh who said it was a “clean” operation.
In view of the bandh call, security has been tightened in sensitive areas like Kalimela, MV-79, Govindpalli, Motu, Chitrakonda, Podia and Mathili, police sources said. Police have been put on high alert in rebels’ strongholds. Border Security Force and Special Operation Group Commandos have been asked to keep a close watch on sensitive areas during the bandh.