Chhattisgarh Naxal encounter: Police jawan, one Maoist killed in gun-battle
Raipur: A police jawan and a Naxal were killed in a gun-battle between security forces and ultras in the Maoist-hit Bijapur district of southern Chhattisgarh, police said on Wednesday. “The face-off took place near Mariwada police camp under Gangalur police station limits of the southern district last night,” Deputy Inspector General of State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) Deepanshu Kabra told PTI today. “Assistant constable Hemanta Masa was killed on the spot in the exchange of fire,” Kabra said, adding that the ultras escaped with his Insas (Indian Small Arms System)rifle, 80 round live cartridges and a rifle magazine.
According to the DIG, the police personnel were deployed in Bijapur town during Chief Minister Raman Singh’s public gathering on Tuesday. After the programme, they were returning to their fold in Gangalur on Tuesday night and made a halt at Mariwada village for having dinner. “When Hemanta was going to bring food from the village, suddenly around 15 armed Naxals opened fire and shot him dead,” he said. Hearing the gunfire, other security personnel rushed to the spot and launched a retaliatory attack, following which Naxals escaped into the jungle, he said adding that a Naxal was also killed in ensuing gunfight. “Body of the Naxal and one country-made pistol were recovered from the spot,” Kabra added. The body of the police jawan was taken out of the jungle and a combing cooperation has been launched to nab the attackers, he added. PTI
Naxals torch NMDC conveyor belt, mining operations stalled
Naxals allegedly set on fire a conveyor belt of National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district in the wee hours on Wednesday, police said. A large number of ultras stormed the NMDC’s Bacheli iron ore mines at around 2.30 AM and set on fire its over 80 metres of conveyor belt, bringing a halt to the mining operations, they said. “Soon after getting the news of the incident, several fire tenders and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel were pressed into service to douse the blaze and very soon everything was under control,” Dantewada Superintendent of Police Narendra Khare said.
“The loss caused due to the fire is yet to be ascertained,” he said, adding that security personnel have launched a search to nab the attackers. According to a NMDC official, the damage to the belt would affect the transportation of iron ore from the region for a couple of days, resulting in losses worth several crores to the public sector undertaking.
Anti-Naxal operations sets up its own propaganda cell
NAGPUR: The state Anti-Naxal operations (ANO) unit now has a special propaganda cell for countering the campaigns triggered by the rebel guerillas either to corner the security forces or to show it in poor light. This is the first time the state government has engineered a concrete step towards countering the guerillas off the killing fields. The state government has shifted a group of personnel from the department of information and public relations to ANO in Nagpur to set up the specialized cell.
This cell would not only counter the Naxalites’ potent wing of propaganda but also initiate media strategies regarding issues and incidents from rebels’ zones. DIG (Naxal range) Ravindra Kadam stated that the Naxals have been spreading misinformation regarding police action and also propagate their agendas in media and their own literature. “Earlier, police did its job but now it would also highlight its action in proper perspective and also expose the lacunas in the rebel camps,” said Kadam.
He added that the Naxals have their own cell comprising authors and self-styled freelance journalists. Sources from security agencies stated that Naxals’ front organizations take up the responsibilities of spreading their views in the media favourable to their causes which often create an adverse image of the police department. The Naxal front organizations manage to portray a police action as an atrocity but there had been no one who exposed how the rebels killed the innocent tribal, said a senior officer.
Naxals planning jail breaks?
Apprehending jail breaks by Naxals, the Centre has asked nine Maoist-affected states to tighten security in prisons where rebel leaders are lodged and check any attempt to get them freed. The Home Ministry has told Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh that the Naxals have become desperate to get their jailed leaders freed as only a few leaders are still at large and active.
Official sources said the Central government conveyed to the states to tighten security inside and outside jails where the Naxal leaders are lodged and strengthen intelligence network to foil any attempt by the rebels to attack prisons. The advisory came after security forces recovered a letter written by CPI(Maoist) top leader Muppalla Lakshmana Rao alias Ganapathy to some senior cadres. Ganapathy in his 17-page letter said the responsibility of the Naxal leaders still at large is to help their jailed comrades come out, either by obtaining bail or by jail break.
The top Naxal leader cited the jailbreak in Chaibasa in Jharkhand on January 17, 2011, when three senior Maoist leaders – Motilal Soren, Raghunath Hembram and Mangru Mahato – escaped by cutting the ventilators of their cells. “A few comrades have broken jails, ridiculing the enemy’s stern vigilance and surveillance system that are becoming stricter and more rigid day by day and joined the revolutionary movement again,” the letter said.
Bombay high court rejects Mallelwar’s bail plea
NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court, on Tuesday, rejected the bail application of Narendra Mallelwar, brother of Gadchiroli Zilla Parishad president and local NCP leader Bandopant. The siblings were accused of allegedly providing explosives to Naxal groups. A single-judge bench comprising Justice Prasanna Varale rejected his plea after assistant government pleader Sanjay Doifode pointed out that the petitioner was facing serious charges and might try to destroy the evidence, if released on bail.
Earlier on August 4, the high court had rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Bandopant. Both accused had made contentions that they were innocent and never indulged in criminal conspiracy to provide explosives and ammunition to Naxalites. Both of them were booked under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Explosives Act and IPC. In June, the Gadchiroli police had stopped an ambulance of a government hospital near Bhamragarh and seized arms and ammunition allegedly meant for Naxals.
Four persons in the vehicle were arrested. According to the police, Bandopant and his brother had influenced a government doctor Ravindra Karpe to allow them to use the ambulance. Police had also conducted searches at the Nagpur residence of the Mallelwars and seized two letters by an alleged Naxal leader thanking Bandopant for giving Rs35,000 as development fund.
JNU student’s papers hint at Maoist cell in varsity
NAGPUR: Documents seized from the alleged Naxal courier Hem Mishra, a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), have revealed that the country’s premier educational institute is becoming a hub of leftwing extremists, security agencies have claimed. Sources in the team quizzing Mishra, arrested from Aheri on August 22, claim they believed there was at least one active party cell of banned Communist Party of India ( Maoist) in this institution with students as its cadres.
A former PhD student of history from Assam, earlier an active member of party cell, is now part of the Naxals’ core team based at Abujmadh. Sources claimed that the cadre had been christened by Naxals as Navin. “Navin was present on Facebook. He might have got some inkling about security agencies stalking him in cyberspace. The Facebook account was soon deleted but we believe he would be present through pseudonyms in social networking systems to remain in touch with his colleagues,” said a senior officer.
“Navin had already attained status of a professional revolutionary while studying at JNU. We believe that there are a couple of more now enrolled as students but their identities are not clear right now,” he said. Though Mishra has vehemently denied being part of any party cell, the interrogators have learnt India’s capital has a couple of more student-based cells outside JNU while interrogating him in custody.
Apart from students, the cells also comprise faculty members. A senior member of the interrogation team claimed that each party cell comprised three to five members. “These cells recruit youngsters from metros for guerrilla squads,” said the official. Following searches at the home of DU professor GN Saibaba in New Delhi, the security agencies were trying to ascertain whether senior faculties members too were part of cells.
Maoist boss looks to Kolkata students to add steam to stir
Despite a huge setback in Bengal, CPI(Maoist) general secretary Mupalla Lakshman Rao, alias Ganapathy, has pinned a lot of hope on Kolkata’s students and intellectuals, who, he thinks, will help rebuild the Maoist movement in the country and in the state. In a sub-section titled “Brief political report of last five years” of the 17-page letter he wrote to party leaders in and out of jail, he said, “Although the Lalgarh movement has receded temporarily, its leaders sacrificed everything to the great cause of emancipation of entire mankind … “Likewise the role of Kolkata students and intellectual movements have also a lot of significance in the present scenario of revolutionary and democratic movement of India.”
Students and intellectuals of Kolkata played a significant role in the three years of the Lalgarh movement (November 2008-November 2011), with several doctors providing free health care services and teachers and scientists writing reports and articles in favour of the movement, building public opinion, organising rallies and press meets, and so forth. Reacting to Ganapathy’s clarion call to Kolkata’s students, a senior intelligence officer said, “We know the Maoists are banking on Kolkata’s students and intellectuals to rebuild the movement in Jangalmahal (districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia), as well as rebuilding the party’s network in several other parts of the state.”
He added, “That’s why we’re keeping a close watch on a number of students and intellectuals.” “We’re extremely keen on clamping down on any movement by students to serve the Maoist cause.” Their key targets are some students associated with the United Students’ Democratic Front (USDF), which played a significant role during the Lalgarh movement. Some Jadavpur University professors are also on police radar. Kolkata’s students and intellectuals had a large role during the Naxalite revolution (1967’72), when thousands of them responded to the call of an ultra-Left uprising by Charu Mazumdar. The students in those times left their studies to fight the police in the city and camp in the rural areas. Such institutions as Presidency College and Jadavpur University became the centres of ‘revolutionary activities’.