Maoist bandh cripples life in Sherghati sub-division
GAYA: The bandh call given by the Maoists to register their protest against the Laxmanpur Bathe judgment, in which all the convicts including the 16 earlier awarded death sentences by the trial court, were acquitted by the Patna High Court for lack of evidence, brought life to a near standstill in the major part of Sherghati subdivision of Gaya district, south of GT road on Thursday. The maximum impact of the bandh was felt in the Dumaria, Imamganj, Banke Bazar and Raushanganj police station areas of the district. According to reports reaching the divisional headquarters from the bandh-affected areas, commercial bank branches, shops and even block offices remained closed. Roads in the bandh-affected areas wore a deserted look as even motorcyclists complied with the Red diktat. Interestingly, the bandh had little impact under Sherghati subdivision area of the district, a former Red bastion.
It was in the Tekari subdivision area that the Maoists have conducted major operations including the Bara massacre, daylight attack on the Tekari police station, attack on the Tekari block and loot of weapons from the Tekari block guards and attack on the then Alipur police picket (Alipur was subsequently made a full-fledged police station). When contacted, Gaya SSP Nishant Tiwari said no report of any untoward incident had been received from any part of the district. However, the threat was not over till the time of reporting as the bandh will continue till the zero hours on Friday. There would be no lowering of guard and special measures have been taken to protect the likely targets including railway tracks and government buildings, said Tiwari.
Asked about the impact of the bandh, the SSP said that the impact was localized to some areas south of the GT road. Aurangabad SP U K Sharma claimed ‘normalcy’ in the district. The police was on the high alert in the district. Extra vigil was being maintained around soft targets. Aurangabad, only a few days back, witnessed landmine blast ostensibly for the same reason for which the bandh call has been given (Laxmanpur Bathe judgment). Asked about the progress in the blast case, the SP said that with one more named accused surrendering before the court, two of the seven named accused were in jail now.
Efforts were also being made to arrest two more persons whose complicity has been found during the investigation. About the ambiguity over the identity of the blast engineers on account of the named accused not having any recorded history of Red association, the Aurangabad SP said that ‘basically’ it was a Maoist operation and it was not necessary for all the participants to have ‘Maoist links’. The SP did not rule out some other secondary considerations including local political rivalry. But that does not mean that it was not a ‘Maoist operation’, said Sharma.
Two Maoists arrested from Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh
Two Maoists, one of them carrying a cash award on his head, were arrested from the Maoist-hit Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, police said here today. Maoist cadres, including a woman, were nabbed during a search operation by joint team of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force and the district force in the forests under the Faresgarh police station limits last evening, a senior police official told PTI. The patrol was on a search operation in the Farsegarh region, located over 400 km away from the state capital of Raipur.
On reaching the jungles of Talmendri village, two people were spotted fleeing after which they were chased and arrested, he said. Those arrested were identified as Bedja Lakhmu (27) and a woman called Dasho Madvi, who are allegedly members of the national park area committee of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist). Bedja who carries a cash award of Rs 10,000 on his head, is wanted in around 11 cases, ranging from loot, arson, murder and attacks on the police in the region. They have admitted being involved in the Maoist movement during interrogation, police added.
Two Maoists Arrested in Bihar
Two Maoists, wanted in connection with several cases, have been arrested from Bihar’s Gaya district, a police officer said today. Acting on a tip off, a police team raided Hridaychak village last night and arrested the CPI(Maoist) ultra Ramdeni Yadav and seized three rifles, two stenguns, one pistol and five rounds of cartriges from his possession, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Nishant Kumar Tiwary said. In another raid, a joint team of Gaya police and the Special Task Force (STF) arrested another Maoist Bablu Ahmad from Simraor village and recovered one semi-automatic rifle from him, he said. The two persons were wanted by Aurangabad and Gaya police in connection with several cases of murder and extortion, the SSP said.
Arms procurement an important goal
GUWAHATI, Oct 24 – One of the main goals of the Maoist rebels in their attempts to expand bases in the North Eastern region is procurement of sophisticated weapons, as most of the active militant groups of the region have the means to smuggle in arms from the neighbouring countries. However, the efforts of the Maoists to expand bases in the NE suffered severe setbacks after arrest of a number of senior leaders.
Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that the fourth meeting of the central committee of the Maoist rebels also discussed the strategies to expand bases in the North East and one of the major aims is to procure weapons. The Maoists signed an agreement with the PLA of Manipur for procurement of arms, but that link was snapped after the arrest of a number of senior leaders of both the Maoists and the PLA by the National Investigating Agency (NIA). Sources pointed out that most of the active militant groups of the North East have no shortage of weapons and establishment of strong bases in the region and links with the militant groups would give the Maoists an opportunity to procure weapons.
Sources said that at the central committee meeting, the Maoists admitted that the movement in the North East suffered “a great deal because of killing of important cadres and arrest of senior leaders.” The killing of dreaded Maoist leader Kishenji in West Bengal also affected the expansion plan of the Maoists in the North East, forcing the rebels to keep a low profile in the region, particularly Assam. Sources revealed that according to information available with the security agencies, the Maoists have around 30 well-trained cadres in Assam and most of them took training outside the region. But most of them are keeping a low profile for some time because of the setbacks suffered by the rebels. However, the police and security forces are yet to find the whereabouts of Aditya Bora, who is presently heading the Maoist movement in Assam.
MHA sources further said that at the last central committee meeting, the Maoists decided that instead of concentrating only on the peasants and rural areas, the Maoists should try to establish roots in the urban areas also, particularly among the unorganized labourers and the possibility of the Maoists trying to establish roots among the tea garden workers cannot be ruled out, sources said. The Maoist central committee has also asked the jailed leaders to step up their activities among the jail inmates, sources added.