14 Naxals killed in an encounter with police in Odisha
Bhubaneswar: 14 Naxals have been killed in an encounter with police in Malkangiri district of Odisha. The encounter took place near the Odisha-Chhattisgarh border. This is said to be the biggest casualty of Naxals so far in Odisha. The police team was led by Malkangiri SP Akhileswar Singh late on Friday night. Huge arms and ammunitions have been recovered from the Naxals in the encounter.
NIA team arrives to identify slain Maoists
A two-member team of National Investigating Agency (NIA) arrived at Malkangiri on Sunday to identify the bodies of Maoists who were killed in Saturday’s encounter with security forces and ascertain whether they had any role in the Darbha valley ambush on May 25. Officials of Andhra Pradesh State Intelligence Branch (SIB) have also arrived here to find out if the killed Maoists had any involvement in Maoist-related violence in their State.
On Saturday, security forces had gunned down 13 Maoists in Malkangiri’s Podia block, located on Chhattisgarh border, during an early hour encounter in Silakota forest. While one of 13 Maoists is a woman, the security forces also captured one cadre alive. The bodies have been kept in the district police office for identification. The NIA team is led by a deputy superintendent of police. The Maoists belonged to both Kalimela Dalam and Podia local operation squad.
Director General of Police (DGP) Prakash Mishra said some of them are believed to have taken part in the ambush on the Congress convoy in Chhattisgarh’s Darbha valley on May 25 which had led to death of 27 party workers and security personnel. Accoridng to reports, the Maoist unit comprising abut 30 members had set up a camp in Silakuta forest. When the security forces ran down the camp, a fierce gun battle ensued.
The encounter started at about 5.20 am and continued till 6.05 am. While 13 Maoists were killed, the unit leader Rakesh managed to escape. Since Maoists keep sneaking into Odisha from neighbouring States, the police have been keeping a watch on their movement. DGP Mishra, ADG (Intelligence) Abhay Kumar, IG (Intelligence) DS Kuttey and IG (Operation) Soumendra Priyadarshi – who halted here on Saturday night – held a meeting with DIG (south range 2) S Devadutta Singh and SP Akhileswar Singh on Sunday morning before flying back to Bhubaneswar.
Maoist sympathizers planning meet in Delhi, say police
Maoist sympathizers are planning to organise a three-day meet, International People’s Tribunal, most likely in Delhi in December to highlight the “impact of Operation Green Hunt on the tribals”, according to senior police officers here. According to them, the plan was revealed by one of the documents seized from Prashant Rahi, the alleged Maoist courier from Uttarakhand who was arrested recently at Deori in Gondia district.
Police claimed the document, like many other papers, originated from DU professor G N Saibaba. The purported documents contain elaborate guidelines on how to prepare dossiers and compilation of “fact-finding” reports on the issue from various places, including Bastar, Saramanda, Latehar and Gadchiroli. “Affected people should be brought from the areas to depose before the tribunal,” the documents say. Among those to be mobilised for the conclave, according to the documents, are advocates taking up cases of encounter killings, political prisoners, journalists, activists, writers, artists, film-makers and academicians. The “jury” of the proposed “tribunal” consists names such as Arundhati Roy, Rajinder Sachar, A P Shah, Sudershan Reddy and M Suresh.
AOB combing intensified for Maoists
In the wake of the recent Maoist encounter at Malkangiri district of Odisha in the early hours of Saturday, police teams from the district have intensified combing operations along the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB). Police personnel are maintaining a constant vigil in the Maoist infested areas after the incident as the Agency areas along the AOB remain in the grip of tension.
Maoists deny they planned to abduct Latehar collector
Two days after the Jharkhand police said that they had recovered pamphlets that allegedly described a plan by the CPI (Maoists) to abduct Latehar District Collector Aradhana Patnaik, the rebels in an audio statement to The Hindu denied this terming it a “police conspiracy”. District police in Palamu on Friday had claimed to have recovered a country-made revolver, pamphlets and other Maoist literature from a room in Hotel Rudra in Medininagar when they raided the hotel on a tip-off.
A senior police official based in Ranchi had, however, on Saturday said the State police were yet to establish the authenticity of the pamphlets that described a plan to abduct Ms. Patnaik. On Sunday, in a 15-minute audio clip, Maoists spokesperson Gopal said the police were “spreading rumours to turn ordinary people and intellectuals against Maoists” by claiming that they had planned to abduct a woman official.
“None of our cadre had gone to the town or to the hotel. We are focussed on class struggle. I request the Collector, Aradhana Patnaik, to consider our ideology and not believe the police version. We guarantee her and all women officials and people’s representatives’ security if they work for people,” said Mr. Gopal terming this “a police conspiracy in collusion with their informer Abhay Mishra lodged in Latehar jail.” The spokesperson further stated that the police had promoted armed vigilante groups such as the Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC) in Latehar and adjoining districts to fight the Maoists.
It claimed that villagers testified that they had observed cadre of TPC, which is in the government’s list of left-wing extremist groups in Jharkhand – travelling in police vehicles. “We have no plan to abduct people’s representatives such as the Member of Parliament from Chatra Inder Singh Namdhari whose convoy we had attacked Latehar in 2012. We had attacked his convoy to avenge the death of Kishenji. But we want an audience with these parliamentarians, who divert crores meant for public welfare in connivance with officers. We want to talk to them and ask them questions. But the government does not want to talk to us,” he added.
Cops warn Chatra MP of Red attack
RANCHI: Maoists have halted development work review programmes of Chatra MP Inder Singh Namdhari in his own constituency. Police have intercepted calls of the Maoists and concluded that the rebels might plan to strike when the MP is at his work. Afraid as he was, Namdhari immediately postponed all his programmes in the Red-hit areas after Chatra SP made a request to him on Friday. The ultras had made an effort to assassinate Namdhari in 2011 in which several policemen, part of his convoy, were killed while he escaped.
SP, Chatra Anoop Birtharay said he had “some critical inputs” after which he requested Namdhari not to visit the interiors of Kanhachatti block, on the borders of Bihar and Jharkhand, where Maoists enjoy a strong presence. Namdhari, former Jharkhand Assembly speaker, said, “It is for the first time that the SP has asked me to postpone all programmes in the sensitive Kanhachatti block. He has not shared any specific information but I considered it wise to postpone engagements there.”
As Chatra shares borders with Maoist-hit Gaya in Bihar, it is a favourable place for the rebels to flourish. Almost every year several policemen die in Maoist violence. The rebels had killed an SDPO and an assistant commandant of CRPF in 2005 along with 12 cops. The independent MP is popular in Chatra. “I have thousands of supporters in Kanhachatti but the Maoists can also put pressure on them,” said Namdhari. Namdhari has initiated several community welfare projects like construction of market places, community halls among others. He planned to visit Manjholia, Kandari, Tulbul, Doka and Bhadua villages to inaugurate them on Friday.
“I will definitely go there after some time,” Namdhari told TOI over phone from Chatra. Long range patrolling was carried out in northern parts of the district mainly in Kanhachatti and Hunterganj block where Maoists’ movement was reported lately. “A combing operation is on in suspected areas. Soon it would be safe for him to go,” said Birtharay. About the threat to Namdhari, Birtharay said, “It is not specific. He has been holding programmes in several parts but we had some inputs about this particular block. So we took a precautionary measure.”
Four Maoists held in Bihar
Motihari: Four hardcore Maoists were arrested on Saturday from Dumari Baiju village of Bihar’s East Champaran district, police said. Acting on a tip-off, a joint team of CRPF and police raided a place in the village and arrested four Maoists who were wanted in connection with several cases of murder and bomb blasts, Superintendent of police (Motihari) Vinay Kumar said. While three Maoists belonged to the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA), the other was associated with the CPI(Maoist), police said. PTI
Rebel sympathizer held with Rs 89k
BOKARO: The district police in a joint operation with the 26th battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) arrested a Maoist sympathizer with cash collected as levy in the foothills of Jhumra under Gomia police station here on Saturday. Following the direction of Bokaro SP Kuldeep Dwivedi, security forces were conducting an anti-Maoist search operation in the jungle areas, when they spotted Ram Chandra Mahto and nabbed him. Cash worth Rs 89,900 cash was recovered from his possession.
Mahto is a resident of Turio village in Gomia block. Dwivedi said, “During the operation, when forces reached a spot between Birhor Tanda and Dumri railway station, they noticed a man trying to flee on seeing them.”This raised their suspicion, they chased and arrested him after a bit of a struggle. During the chase, Mahto managed to throw the polythene bag containing money behind the bushes. Later, during interrogation he revealed about the money bag and the spot where he had thrown it, following which security men went there and recovered the cash.
The bag contained Rs 89,900 of different denominations. Dwivedi said, “During interrogation, Mahto confessed that the money was collected as levy. He was about to hand it over to a person at Tenughat for the bail of a former Maoist area commander Mithlesh Singh who is in jail.” The Maoist area commander of that place, Santosh Mahto, had asked him to bring the money. Mahto was booked under section 384 of IPC and 17 CLA Act in this connection, said Mahto.
Both from Uttarakhand and champions of people’s causes
The two alleged Maoistcouriers arrested in Gadchiroli are both activists who have taken up various social causes in Uttarakhand. Prashant Rahi, 54, is an engineer-turned-journalist who hails from Maharashtra and whose daughter Shikha is a filmmaker, an assistant director for Taare Zameen Par. He was arrested in 2007, too, for alleged Maoist links and got bail thee years later. He participated in labour and other movements in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh in the 1990s before settling in what is now Uttarakhand, where he worked as a journalist. He was working on providing legal aid to suspected Maoists — “political prisoners” — when he was arrested, allegedly while organising a Maoist training camp.
Hem Mishra, 30, cut his teeth as a student-activist in Almora before moving four years ago to JNU to study Chinese. The causes he took up included water, forest and land, and a shift of the capital from Dehradun to Gairsain. Every year, he would join a programme to pay tribute to those killed in the Rampur Tiraha firing incident in 1994 during the statehood agitation, say people who know him. Mishra was arrested in August while allegedly couriering material on behalf on Maoists.
The arrest of Rahi came days later, in September. “As part of the Progressive Students’ Front, Hem used to participate in street plays and recite poems written by Girish Tiwari Girda,” says Shamsher Singh Bishta, himself an activist in Almora. “He participated in a padyatra in support of the demand for shifting the capital.” Retired teacher Keshavdutta Mishra describes Hem, the youngest of his three sons, as “an intelligent boy who loves to participate in cultural activities”. Hem graduated from the SSJ campus of Kumaon University. “Four years ago, he was selected for MSc in mathematics and also for Chinese in JNU,” his father says.
“He chose the JNU course… Yes, he is very social and a lover of music. But he has never carried home any literature that would suggest he is involved in Maoist activities.” He says it is normal practice in Gadchiroli to describe any person after his arrest as a Naxal. Rahi, 54, or Prashant Sangalikar — police also call him Navin and Mahesh — hails from Nashik. He won a B Tech from Banaras Hindu University in 1982, followed by an M Tech, and worked in a power company in UP’s Sonbhadra district, a left-wing extremism-affected area. Intelligence sources in Uttarakhand cite a long history with movements — a labour movement in Maharashtra in the 1990s, work with youth organisation Purvanchal Nauzwan Sabha in UP, and a movement for rehabilitation of people affected by the Tehri dam project in what is now Uttarakhand.
He had arrived in this region in 1993 and worked till 2000 as a journalist with a local newspaper. What raised suspicion that he was a Maoist sympathiser were his efforts to provide legal help to people arrested for spreading the Maoist ideology. “Police got information in 2004 about the presence of Maoists in the forest areas near Saufutia. They found evidence suggesting training camps,” an intelligence officer said. This led to a watch on suspected sympathisers and Rahi was arrested from Nanakmata in December 2007.
He was charged under the IPC sections for waging or abetting war against the state, sedition and other offences, and under UAPA for being a member of a terrorist organisation or gang. Police claimed to have recovered copies of a magazine, Aamukh, with articles relating to the CPI (Maoist)’s expansion to Uttarakhand and suggesting it had set up a zonal committee. His daughter Shikha, then 24, had fought a long legal battle for his release. In 2011, after his release on bail, she had told The Indian Express that the police had accused her father of having conducted training camps in villages.
Woman naxalite among those killed
A top naxalite from the district died in an encounter at Odisha. One Nidigonda Prameela alias Sharada alias Jeelani Begum hailing from Pochannapet village of Buchannapet mandal was among those killed in the encounter. She was a member of the special zonal committee of Andhra Orisha Border Maoist party.
CARRIED RS. 5 LAKH REWARD
She was involved in 21 cases of crimes in Warangal and 12 in Karimnagar and was carrying Rs. 5 lakh reward on her head. She is wife of Gajerla Ravi alias Ganesh, who is currently the Maoist party Central Committee member. Prameela has been underground since 1996. She was arrested in 2005 and after her release from jail, she again went underground. The Kazipet police informed her mother Ramulamma about the death. The body is yet to reach the town.
Maoists and ULFA expected to target Diwali and Durga Puja celebrations
Intelligence sources revealed that a group of militants, including Maoists and members of United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) are preparing themselves to carry out terrorist activities during Durga Puja and Diwali celebrations. ULFA till it was banned in 1990 was a terrorist group in Assam. They further revealed that these groups have been found camping themselves along inter-state border of Assam and Indo-Myanmar boundary with an intention to carry out ruinous and destructive activities during the celebrations.
Intelligence sources, looking after Upper Assam range including the two states, revealed that the ultras were previously staying along the international border of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland and the timing for the strike was so chosen as law and order personnel were primarily engaged in security duty during that period. The cost of training in those camps is being met by money collected through extortion as these terrorist groups need money for training in camps and for procuring arms and ammunition.
The Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) is helping them in their preparation since the terrorist group has got good hold in those areas. Intelligence sources gathered this information about the impending terrorist strikes from five cadres, two ULCA members and three Maoists, who were arrested by the security forces. These five uncovered about the emergence of two new organizations – TALTFA formed on June 16 and ULCA on September 3.
The arrested militant cadres also revealed that cadres of CPI(Maoist), Paresh Baruah-led ULFA(I), NSCN, United Liberation Council of Arunachal (ULCA), and Tai Ahom Liberation Tiger Force of Asom (TALTFA) were moving along the three border states and serving extortion notes since the last couple of weeks. Their interrogation revealed that a group of ULFA(I) cadres were undergoing training in the camp to be followed by ULCA cadres.
Imphal, September 14 2013 : The 12 hours general called by the outlawed Maoist Communist Party in protest against alleged corrupt practices in RIMS severely affected normal life in the State today. Because of the general strike which came into effect from 5 am, Khwairamband Keithel, the largest commercial centre of the State and other commercial centres of Imphal bore a deserted look. On the other hand, Home Department put in place extra security measures in all hyper sensitive areas in view of the general strike coupled with yesterday’s bomb blast. Yet there is no report of any untoward incident. All kinds of passenger vehicles stayed off the roads.
There was no inter-state or inter-district bus service. Like in Khwairamband, main commercial centres of Thoubal, Bishnupur and Imphal East were shut down for the day. Yet, the general strike had little impact in hill districts. Markets remained opened as usual. Though schools were opened, attendance of students was very low. All oil-pumps located in the four valley districts were closed for the day. However, flight service was not affected. Notably, September 14 is the foundation day of RIMS.