Intelligence slip giving Naxalites sleepless nights
Rajnandgaon/ NAGPUR: Fragile intelligence network was a major concern for the security agencies earlier when the Naxalites were dominating the show. However, the scenario has changed with the rebels now worried over their dwindling intelligence network. Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon police said that a Maoist document of Maharashtra Rajya state committee, seized during action this month, revealed that the reds were unhappy about their fledgling intelligence and security forces’ growing intelligence networks. The document was replete with several growing concerns which the top cadres had expressed including the increased presence and operations of the forces. A senior official of the Rajnandgaon police said that the security agencies have managed to make inroads into the Naxalite formations. “Police now have managed to plant special conduits in the Naxalite outfits who are moving around with the guerillas under different covers. The messages regarding the Naxalites’ movements are directly coming to the higher police officials,” he said.
The senior officer also stated that Central agencies and state forces closely toiled for these kinds of developments for several months before the success was achieved. “The political will brought government help. The focus strengthened on increasing manpower and firepower in the Naxalite zones apart from stepping up budgets on various heads including gathering of intelligence,” he said. After an encounter on Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border, police found documents where Naxalites expressed that several of their earlier safe zones could no longer be considered impregnable as forces started moving into such regions. The Naxalites have also expressed concerns regarding the presence of a large number of paramilitary forces in the jungles.
The reds have also cited the examples of frequent encounters in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh to underline the fact that the guerillas now need to remain on high alert. A senior official of Maharashtra police said that security forces penetrated deep into jungles following specific inputs of Naxalite presence. “We have learnt through our intelligence cells that Naxalites too have been left stunned by the sudden approach of the cops at places which they never expected and at such point of time,” he said. The officer said that the Gadchiroli police’s C-60 commandos had managed to gun down six, including a senior cadre, Naxalites at Govindgaon at Aheri in January this year in the night after the rebels just finished their meeting. Earlier, security forces discouraged night operations.
A section of the cops too feel that paramilitary forces, like Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) deployed in Chhattisgarh and Cobra battalion and their parent unit of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), have quickly acclimatized to the local conditions after initial hiccups. “The paramilitary forces now have started parallel and joint operations along with patrolling and other duties on the same footing with the district forces which have given real boost to the anti-Naxalite operations,” said a senior official. “The Naxalites have expressed in their documents that there is a serious slowdown in recruitments and decreasing manpower which has affected their dominance in several pockets. The security forces in the same period doubled their strength and increased their penetrations into the so-called Naxalite strongholds,” he said.
Security beefed up as Reds observe foundation week
RAIPUR: Security has been beefed in remote tribal areas in Bastar as the Outlawed Maoists are observing foundation week till September 27. Amid reports that the rebels could instigate people against political activities in the region, in the wake of upcoming assembly polls, security forces are keeping a close watch on the activities of the Maoists. S
ecurity arrangements have been tightened in the Naxalite areas and a special vigil is being maintained at police stations, check posts, camps of para-military forces, even as patrolling has been intensified in all the seven districts of Bastar region, police sources said. Ever since the rebels targeted the opposition Congress ‘Parivartan Yatra’ in Bastar on May 25 and eliminated frontline Congress leaders, the state’s mainstream political parties are wary of holding rallies and public meetings in the interiors of Bastar. As the assembly polls are due by the end of this year, there are also apprehensions that the rebels could target their attack against political events. The Maoists distributed pamphlets, put up posters in the interiors of the districts of Dantewada, Bijapur, Bastar, Narayanpur, Kondagaon, Sukma and Kanker, asking people to join their progrommes to observe the foundation day, which they celebrate to mark the merger of two Naxalite outfits-The Peoples’ War and Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) in 2004 to form CPI (Maoist). “There has been no untoward incident during the first two days,” a police spokesman said.
Maoist magazine hails cadre for attack that killed Congress leaders
NEW DELHI: The Maoists have claimed that the killing of Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh on May 25 by their armed unit PLGA was one the party’s well-planned, successful operations for which the CPI (Maoist) has congratulated its cadres, PLGA members and local people of Bastar. The cover story of the latest issue of ‘Prabhat’, a Hindi quarterly brought out by CPI (Maoist), Dandakaranya special general committee, celebrates the ambush of a convoy of Congress leaders in which veteran V C Shukla, Chhattisgarh state Congress president Nand Kumar Patel and tribal leader Mahendra Karma were among 30 odd persons killed.
According to the report in Prabhat, Karma, who was also a leader of the Salwa Judum, was the main target of the attack since the Maoists had identified him as “anti-tribal”. Karma was described as “torturer, looter, rapist and corrupt” in the report. It said Karma “died a dog’s death and that has brought about a celebratory mood in the entire Bastar region”. While Shukla and Patel were also blamed for anti-tribal activities, the report regretted the death of some “innocent people and lower level Congress workers who were not our enemies” (of Maoists). The article congratulated PLGA for its “successful” venture and warned that those who indulge in activities against the interests of tribals in the area would be similarly punished. The magazine is meant for circulation among supporters and sympathizers of the Maoists.
According to the Prabhat report, the PLGA strengthened its armoury by taking away nine AK-47 rifles, seven Insas rifles, two SLRs and five pistols. The haul from the attack also included 1,023 cartridges and 10 walkie-talkie sets. The article includes a separate piece on Karma, which talks about his political career from a student of law when he started as an AISA activist and joined the CPI, but later moved to Congress, broke away from Congress with Madhavrao Scindia’s group and rejoined Congress. According to the report, Karma’s family has been exploiting tribals for generations. Among the things listed against Karma was the manner in which he opposed 6th Schedule being imposed in Bastar, for which a movement had started in the area in 1996, while the state was still part of Madhya Pradesh.
Microchip may have Maoist clues, efforts on to decode it
Investigating agencies have not been able to extract information from the microchip recovered from Hem Mishra, a Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student arrested by Gadchiroli police in Maharashtra as it contains encrypted data, a senior officer said.
An officer said they were waiting for a report from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in Mumbai, which is trying to decode the microchip, said to have been sent from top academic circles in Delhi, for Maoist leaders in Abujhmad in Chhattisgarh. “We are yet to receive the CFSL report as we were not able to decipher the microchip since it contains encrypted data. We do not know what the contents of the microchip are yet,” said Ravindra Kadam, DIG, Gadchiroli Range. Mishra reportedly named a man, Rajesh, whom he often met at a dhaba on JNU campus. He gave him the microchip to be handed over to top Maoist leadership said to be hiding in Abujhmad area.
After getting the microchip, Mishra reportedly asked DU Professor GN Saibaba for permission to travel to Gadchiroli. Saibaba dismissed the allegations. “Why will Hem Mishra seek my permission before going anywhere? It is ridiculous to even think so…I got nothing to do with his visit to Gadchiroli,” said Saibaba. The Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) has sent a letter to home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde condemning a raid on Saibaba’s house by Gadchiroli police. Another officer said Mishra was saying all sorts of things and they had to sift through his statements for facts. Another officer said Mishra did not know the contents of the microchip and was only a courier. “He himself does not know what was there in the chip but was part of a well entrenched network of couriers,” said the officer.
Gadchiroli police to question DU professor
The Gadchiroli police have sent summons to alleged Maoist sympathiser G N Saibaba, a professor of English at Delhi University whose Delhi house was recently searched. The professor has reportedly agreed to be questioned at his house. Saibaba’s name had cropped up during the interrogation of alleged Maoist couriers Prashant Rahi and Hem Mishra by the Gadchiroli police, which later searched Saibaba’s house in Delhi and seized hard disks, pen drives and some documents.
“We believe Saibaba has a lot to do with the case currently under investigation. That’s why we have sent him summons,” DIG (Gadchiroli range) Ravindra Kadam said. “Though we can call him to Gadchiroli, we sought to know his place of convenience where he could be questioned through an email communication. He wrote back that since he is physically challenged, he could be available at his Delhi residence. We will honour his request,” Kadam said. No date has yet been fixed for Saibaba’s questioning, he added.