Hi-tech weapons recovered from Naxal hideouts, Chhattisgarh Police worried
The recovery of high-tech arms, ammunition and gadgets from Maoist hideouts in Chhattisgarh recently has set alarm bells ringing as police apprehend that the ultras are working on strengthening mobile warfare strategy against security forces in the Naxal-hit state. As per intelligence sources, the devices were earlier never found with the ultras. “Advanced direction finder-GPS, China made binoculars, claymore landmines and many other latest devices have been recovered from Maoist hideouts in Rajnandgaon district (bordering Maharashtra) in the past two years,” Additional Director General (ADG), Naxal operation, RK Vij told PTI.
“It indicates that Naxals are trying to consolidate their communication technology and acquire some sophisticated weapons but still there is long way to go for them,” he said. When asked about the origin of these weapons, Vij said, “Our forces are capable enough to tackle them at any front. The search is on at a high level to locate the sources of these weapons.” Of the recovered devices, several were looted from the security forces in the past, but most of them were supplied from other places, he pointed out.
A senior Intelligence Bureau official, on condition of anonymity, told PTI that “with gradual development of equipment and gadgets in security forces’ camps, the rebel fold is also attempting to give them a tough challenge in this segment.” They have equipped themselves with modern technologies as they are using highly sophisticated VHF (very high frequency) sets which are not only transceivers, but also scanners with scrambler facility.
Apart from using satellite phones and mobile phones, the Reds are working with sophisticated communication equipment and laptops, data cards etc, the official said, adding that they are also extensively using Internet for transmission of encrypted data. As far as explosives are concerned, use of crude rockets, pressure activated mines, wireless activated mines and booby traps are frequently being used to target security forces in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, the official said. The Naxals have also developed expertise in exploding landmines at night – blasting a SUV at Bodeguda near Sukma (on May 17, 2011) and MPV (mine protected vehicle) near Katekalyan (on June 9, 2011) are cases in point, the official mentioned.
Police fear that Naxals have become self-reliant in rocket technology and developed rocket launchers, which could explode under the impact of hitting the target. In 2005, rockets and launchers were recovered from Dhoudai Police Station of Narayanpur district. However, since then the forces have never recovered such weapons in the region. “It is suspected that Naxals have now developed very powerful rockets that can cause major damage but still they need to get equipped with good quality launchers,” he said. The rocket launchers pose a real threat to the flying machines in the region, he added.
19 held for paying tribute to Naxalite leader
DHARMAPURI: Nineteen people have been arrested by the Dharmapuri district police after they attempted to pay tribute to naxal Balan on his 33rd death anniversary on Thursday. District police authorities didn’t grant them permission to do so, citing section 144 on the IPC. “We had informed all Balan’s supporters not to perform any such activity at his memorial site situated on Dharmapuri-Tirupatthur state highways near Naickenkottai as the district administration had imposed section 144 across the district after dalit boy Elavarasan’s death,” said Asra Garg, Dharmapuri district superintendent of police.
But they had failed to pay heed to police warning and consequently were arrested. The former naxalite R Balan of Naickenkottai village in Dharmapuri was killed in an encounter at Seriyampatti in Palacode taluk, Dharmapuri district on September 12, 1980. Each year, followers of Balan and members from various naxal outfits including People’s War Group (PWG) assemble at Balan’s memorial site on his anniversary to pay tribute to him and hoist the naxal flag. Also the activists will circulate handbills bearing messages against the police and the government on that particular day. “They have been arrested under sections 147, 341, 353, 188, 290, 506(i) Indian Penal Code read with 7(1)(a) Criminal Law Amendment Act. They have been produced before the Judicial Magistrate of Dharmapuri district combined court and later remanded at Salem central jail,” the SP added.
Meanwhile, police stations at Marandahalli, Panchapalli, Palacode, Karimangalam, Pennagaram, Eriyur, Hogenakkal, Mathikonpalayam and Adhiyamankottai have deployed additional forces. The police have appealed to villagers to inform the nearest police station if they are aware of any naxal movement in their villages.
Police to start confiscating Naxalites’ properties
PATNA: The state government, in a bid to check terror activities in the state, is all set to attach the properties of Naxalites and other ultras by implementing Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The home department has prepared a list of 23 persons hailing from seven districts of the state in this connection. Among the 23 cases, the home secretary has listed seven persons in the first phase for seizure of their properties and assets. Bihar DGP Abhayanand had asked all the district superintendents to send a list of persons who had amassed wealth through Naxalites or terrorist activities and are named accused in criminal cases in their respective districts.
“This is the first time that any state police are implementing the UAP Act to curb Naxalite and terrorist activities. The state police will not have to wait for the approval of any central agency for this,” the DGP said. “We received twelve cases from Aurangabad, three from Munger, two from Jehanabad and Gaya and one each from Patna, Sitamarhi and Sheohar. Home secretary Amir Subhani has given his approval to seven cases and the process of confiscating their properties has started,” the DGP confirmed.
Maoists’ Urban Movement
The apprehension of a few people over the past few days in Maharashtra, which led to searches by the police at the residence of G N Saibaba, an English teacher, in New Delhi on September 12, 2013, has, once again, brought into focus the urban presence and activities of the Maoists. The police recovered a few hard disks and pen drives from the academic’s house. Saibaba is a prominent leader of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), a proscribed front organization of the CPI (Maoist).
Earlier, Prashant Rahi, reportedly a freelance journalist and alleged front organization member/over-ground cadre of the Maoists, and his associate, Vijay Tikri, were arrested by the Gadchiroli police in Deori, Gondia district, Maharashtra, on September 1, 2013. They were arrested following the arrest of Hem Mishra, a former student of Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and two others, on August 22. Mishra is alleged to be a courier of the Maoists and was reportedly carrying secret documents and a microchip containing coded information to be delivered to a senior Maoist leader, Narmadakka.
A few days earlier, on August 13, replying to Unstarred Question No. 1267 in the Lok Sabha, Mr RPN Singh, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, said, “ … a few cases have come to notice where the CPI (Maoist) cadres have taken employment in urban areas… The strategy of CPI (Maoist) for urban areas is documented in a paper titled ‘Urban Perspective [Plan]’”. He went on to add, “Briefly stated, the strategy for urban areas of the country includes mobilization and organization of the working classes, building a [Tactical] [U]nited [F]ront, (TUF) on short, of classes similarly placed to the working classes and military tactics involving sabotage actions and select assassinations by ‘action teams’”.
In a nutshell, the TUF serves the agenda of the Maoists in the following ways: To consolidate various ‘anti-imperialist’ struggles and bring them on to one platform on the basis of a common working understanding; To expand the reach of the Maoists to various sections of the society by building contacts with them; To expand over-ground cadre strength, thoroughly indoctrinate them, and then completely incorporate them into organisational work, especially in urban areas; Poach partners for potential leaders and ideologues; Serve as a good cover from the long arm of the state; and Essentially being a political activity, it reinforces the military activities, i.e. armed struggle.
Presently, the organisations with which the Maoists have formed the TUF include the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), the People’s Democratic Front of India (PDFI), the Committee against Violence on Women (CAVOW), and the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP), among others. The activities of the CPI (Maoist) in urban areas –– cities and towns –– need to be understood because of the implications they hold. These activities should be understood together with TUF activities, because urban presence would give a fillip to TUF activities. For reasons such as merger, consolidation and survival from what the Maoists term as state repression, the Maoists in their earlier avatar did not pay much attention to building their movement in urban areas. However, they always had a presence in towns and cities to cater to logistics needs and stay in safe houses during medical treatment or in transit.
As a senior journalist and renowned authority on the Maoists told this author, “Because of the anonymity it accords, it becomes easy for the Maoists to stay and operate in urban centres”. The Urban Movement has a defined role in the political strategy and military strategy of the CPI (Maoist). According to the CPI (Maoist), “… being the centres of concentration of the industrial proletariat, urban areas play an important part within the political strategy of the New Democratic Revolution”. The Maoists envisage that they would mobilise and organise the industrial workers and channelise them towards playing “leadership role in organising the agrarian revolution by sending by sending … advanced detachment to the rural areas”.
The role of the Urban Movement within the military strategy of the Maoists has been best explained by Mao Tse Tung thus: “the final objective of the revolution is the capture of the cities, the enemy’s main bases and this objective cannot be achieved without adequate work in the cities”. The CPI (Maoist) holds that “[they] should, by building up a strong urban movement, ensure that the urban masses contribute to creating the conditions that will obtain success for the armed struggle in the countryside”.
In the Maoist scheme of things the objectives/tasks of the Urban Movement could be classified under three broad heads or categories: (a) mobilise and organise the basic masses and build the party on that basis; (b) build United Front; and (c) Military tasks. As one journalist noted: “[these] efforts are part of a grand strategy to mobilise a section of the discontented population, especially industry workers… by aiming at heightened ‘mobilisations’ around industrial establishments and simultaneously indulging in disruption strategies.” Thus, the Maoists seem to be acting on a long-term perspective plan. In their scheme of things, they hope to gain control over the working class movement and use it appropriately at a later stage when their so called New Democratic Revolution advances and furthers. In the immediate to short-term –– according to an internal document of the CPI (Maoist) –– the objective is to gain control over key (strategic) industries such as communication, oil and natural gas, coal, transport, power, defence production, etc with a view to inflicting ‘damage’ on the state’s capacity to fight the rebels, either through organising sabotage activities or bringing production to a halt.
NK division of Maoists faces leadership crisis
A day after the exchange of fire between Maoists and security personnel at Kadnaka Bandili area under Kalyansingpur block on Wednesday, Rayagada SP Rajesh Pandit said the body of woman Maoist, who was killed in encounter, was recovered from the forest late in the night. Addressing mediapersons here on Thursday, the SP said on a tip off about presence of 15 to 20 Maoist cadres led by Maoist leaders Bunty and Indu in forest areas near Kadraka, Panchkudi and Bendili villages under K Singhpur police limits, District Voluntary Force (DVF) and COBRA personnel began an anti-Maoist operation on early Wednesday morning.
Towards the noon, they found presence of Maoists in Kadnaka Bandili area and an exchange of fire ensued which continued for 30 minutes. Maoists then retreated into the forest. During search operation in the area, the security forces found the body of the woman cadre and also seized arms and ammunitions including three .303 rifles, one INSAS magazine and seven detonators besides medicine kits. The SP added that Rayagada police have been receiving inputs about frequent movement of Maoists belonging to NK (Niyamgiri-Kashipur) division in the last several months.
Karinkanni colony gets Maoist scare
Narayanan mooppan, 60, the chieftain of the Karinkanni Kattunaykka colony, cringes as he recollects the events that unfolded before him a few days ago. A group of gun-wielding men and women forced their way into the colony on the eve of the Independence Day and terrorised the residents for several hours, before disappearing into the forests of the Kakkayam range in Kozhikode district. The police later recovered medicines and a couple of copies of the pamphlets distributed by the group members, who were reportedly wearing uniforms similar to that of security forces. The pamphlets carried a call to support the revolutionary Maoists. They introduced themselves to the tribesmen as activists of the Western Ghats special zonal committee of CPI (Maoist).
Political Prisoners’ Rights Day today
The Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) is observing September 13 as Political Prisoners Rights Day, commemorating the sacrifice of Shaheed Jitin Das and organising a memorial programme for Maoist idealogue Ganti Prasadam, in Hyderabad on the occasion. Ganti Prasadam was killed by unidentified miscreants in Nellore a few months ago and it was alleged that the government was behind the killing.
Ganti Prasadam, who was CRPP’s AP chapter founder-member, was imprisoned and had spent eight and a half years in jail. Several tribals were also put in jail by police in false cases and Prasadam was fighting for their cause when he was done to death by forces backed by the government, CRPP general secretary Balla Ravindranath said in a press release. In 1929, demanding that the British government recognise the freedom fighters in jails as political prisoners, Bhagat Singh and his comrades staged protests in jail. Jitin Das, among them, resorted to fast unto death and died on the 63rd day of his fast (September 13), he said. Madabushi Sridhar, Vara Vara Rao, Akula Bhumaiah, Chilaka Chandrasekhar, P Jaya and others will be attending the memorial meeting, he added.