Security agencies have a lot of ground to cover in anti-Naxal fight: Shinde
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, on Friday, expressed concern over the armed capability of Maoists, saying “security agencies have a lot of ground to cover in neutralising the armed capability of Naxals, who have the power to carry out spectacular attacks against soft targets”. He made the statement while addressing the consultative committee of MPs attached to the MHA. “The CPI (Maoist) has the capacity to launch spectacular strikes in its stronghold areas (Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa), especially against soft targets,” he said.
The MPs also discussed Naxal ideologies of armed struggle and militarisation, violence profiles, government policy and approaches to deal with Naxalism, including monitoring mechanisms and security and development related measures taken by the government. In this regard, the Home Minister said, “The role of the central armed police forces is of great importance since 90 battalions (around 90,000 personnel) have been deployed for anti-Naxal operations.” He said the government has adopted a multi-pronged strategy in partnership with the states affected by the menace.
Over 1000 cams to monitor hyper-sensitive booths in Bastar
Raipur: Over one thousand cameras will be installed at hyper-sensitive polling stations of Naxal-affected Bastar region in Chhattisgarh to prevent bogus voting and monitor the polling process during the Assembly Elections in November. “The Election Commission has made arrangements to install one thousand cameras in polling booths of Bastar and it can be raised further according to the need,” Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath said on Saturday. The decision has been taken after some political parties in the state raised doubts over the conduct of an impartial and fearless election in Naxal-affected Bastar and demanded videography of hyper-sensitive polling booths in the region, he said.
An EC team comprising the CEC, election commissioner H S Brahma and other senior officials is on a two-day visit to the state to review the poll arrangements ahead of Assembly elections to be held in two phases in November. “The commission held an elaborate discussions with police and administration officials for conducting fearless and fair polls and we are satisfied with preparations,” Sampath said, adding adequate security arrangements are in place to ensure fair and peaceful elections and the law and order situation is being closely monitored.
A total of 21,424 polling booths will be set up, out of which 6,920 are sensitive and 3,249 are hyper-sensitive, the CEC said. On relocation of hyper-sensitive polling stations in Bastar, Sampath said, “the EC had reviewed to relocate around 300 booths and after strengthening security arrangements there, it (the number) has been reduced to half.” The CEC said efforts will be made to take those polling booths, which are not approachable and did not have proper connectivity in Bastar, closer to villages.
Chhattisgarh: 2 Maoists held in 2008 police killing case
Police arrested two Maoists, who were involved in the killing of seven security personnel in 2008, from Kondagaon district of Chhattisgarh. The two identified as Kosa Muriya and Massu Muriya (both 45) were nabbed from their houses in Aadnar village under the Bayanar police station by a joint team of security personnel, Kondagaon Additional SP Surjit Atri told sources. Incidentally, Kosa and Massu, members of Mardapal jan-militia group, were carrying cash rewards of Rs 8,000 and Rs 5,000 respectively, he added.
Acting on a tip-off about the ultras visiting their native place on Thursday, a combine team of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force, Quick Response Team and district police was mobilised in the forests of Bayanar and Mardapal, around 350km from the State capital Raipur. After encircling the villager, the security personnel rounded up the duo from their houses, Atri said. Both were involved in the killing of seven security personnel when they were returning after supervising re-polling at some booths in 2008, he said. They were also involved in looting cash and electronic items from Congress workers when they were campaigning in Kondagaon during the 2008 Assembly poll, the officer said, adding, that the extremists were wanted in several other Maoist-related incidents in the district, he added. The duo was produced before a local court which sent them to jail.
Jharkhand on alert after blasts in Bihar’s Aurangabad
RANCHI: The Jharkhand police have sounded an alert and increased security cover for all politicians in Palamu and Garhwa districts in the aftermath of landmine blasts in Aurangabad, Bihar, that killed seven people. Aurangabad shares its border with Palamu and is also connected to Garhwa. Both districts of Jharkhand are affected by extremism and the police headquarter has asked the districts to be vigilant to avert any possible attempt by the rebels to seek shelter in Jharkhand. Rebels usually leave the area after executing an attack and hide in neighboring districts. Palamu DIG R K Dhan said both the districts have been put on high alert and VIPs will be provided extra security cover while traveling to interior areas.
There are two MPs and eight MLAs apart from several other VIPs in Palamu division. “The movement of politicians has not been restricted. They already have enough security, but the officers concerned have been asked to provide extra cover when the politicians and other VIPs are in sensitive areas,” said Dhan. Aurangabad has turned into a police camp since Thursday evening when Maoists blew up a vehicle killing all its seven occupants, including Sushil Pandey, husband of Zila Parishad member. “In the face of police operations, which are going on in Aurangabad, it is likely that the Maoists will seek shelter in Jharkhand.
The border with Bihar is not manned well and it will draw the Naxalites here,” said a police officer. Palamu SP Narendra Kumar Singh said the police are ready to deal with the rebels. “I personally led a combing operation at the border against the rebels’ possible movement into Jharkhand,” said Singh. The district police had organized a police strategy meet in Chhatrapur Thursday night. In the meeting attended by ASP, SDPO, DSPs, CRPF and Jharkhand Jaguar officers, strategies were shared with top police officers and they were asked to keep a vigil. It is a challenge for the police to maintain vigil along the borders because of the 22 police stations in Palamu almost 90% of them are not anywhere near the border. It leaves an opportunity for the rebels to easily take shelter.