With polls just round the corner, Naxals plan a massive ambush: Report
As Chhattisgarh is gearing up for the Assembly polls that are scheduled to be held on November 11, more than 400 Naxal commanders and guerrillas held a meeting on October 29 at Bastar to disrupt the elections, said intelligence reports. The Intelligence agencies have alerted the Centre and the state about a possible Naxal attack between November 8 and 10, said reports.
Maoist leaders’ recurrent visits keep Chhattisgarh police on toes
Raipur: Amid inputs of senior Maoist leaders frequently visiting Bastar region from adjoining states to chalk out action strategies ahead of this month’s polls, security forces are keeping a close eye on inter-state borders to check the movement of the rebels. According to Intelligence Bureau sources, top Maoist leaders like central committee member Kadri Satyanarayana alias Kosa, Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee secretary Ramanna and many middle-order leaders are being noticed more frequently, conducting meetings in the region.
Besides, a large number of cadres are also being mobilised from Naxal-affected zones of neighbouring states of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra to strengthen their capabilities ahead of polls, the sources said. “We are aware of every situation and even local police have been informed and every movement is under close vigil of police,” Director General of Police Ramniwas told PTI when asked about the frequent visits of Maoist leaders.
Local security forces are in close coordination with police of adjoining states to keep an effective check on cross border movement of Naxals, supply of liquor and movement of other criminal elements, the DGP said. The security personnel are fully prepared to conduct polls in the region in a peaceful manner, he assured. The IB sources also suspect that the rebels killed in recent Naxal encounters– in Etapalli of Maharashtra on October 29 and in Chhattigsarh’s Sukma yesterday — on the interstate borders were allegedly part of Naxal team formed to create nuisance in the border areas during polls in south Chhattisgarh.
Two alleged Naxal cadres were gunned down in Etapalli sub-division in south Gadchiroli on Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh state border in the wee hours of Monday. In Sukma, two ultras were yesterday killed by security forces in the forests of Maraigudi police station area on Chhattisgarh-Andhra Pradesh Border. Eighteen Naxal-affected constituencies of eight districts – Bastar, Bijapur, Kondagaon, Sukma, Narayanpur, Dantewada, Kanker and Rajnandgaon – will go to polls in the first phase on November 11.
Naxal cadres have been visiting many villages in their stronghold Bastar district for past one month, putting up posters and asking people not to cast votes in the elections. They have also given a bandh call in the region from November 7 to 12 in support of their call to boycott the first phase of polls scheduled on November 11.
Two cops injured in Maoist bomb explosion in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: Two police personnel were injured when a pressure bomb laid by Maoist exploded in Sukma district of South Chhattisgarh today, the police said. The incident took place when they were on an area domination exercise under Chintagufa police station limits, Sukma Additional Superintendent of Police Neeraj Chandrakar said.Assistant constables Munna Madkam and Anil Samrath were injured in the blast when they were hit by the pressure bomb laid by the rebels, he said.
After being administered first aid at Konta Primary Health Centre, the two policemen were brought to Jagdalpur Medical College, he said, adding one of them has been airlifted to Raipur for further treatment. The condition of the injured is stated to be stable, he said.
Maoist ultra killed by security forces in Odisha
Security forces today gunned down a suspected Naxalite in the jungles of Koraput district in Odisha and recovered some arms and ammunition following the operation. A joint squad of CRPF’s CoBRA commandos and Odisha’s Special Operations Group (SOG) recovered the body of the ultra after engaging some Maoists in the jungles of Potangi here. CoBRA commander and Inspector General VS Yadav confirmed the incident to PTI saying an INSAS rifles and a few magazines had been recovered from the spot. In another anti-Naxal operation, in Jharkhand’s Latehar district, a CoBRA commando was injured while combating armed Maoists. This latter operation is still continuing, senior officials said.
Five security personnel injured in encounter with Maoists
Five security personnel were today injured during an encounter with the Left-wing guerrillas in Kumandih Jungle of Latehar district. “One jawan of the CoBRA and four personnel of the Jharkhand Jaguar were injured in the encounter with the Maoists,” SP Michael S Raj said. All the injured were taken to a hospital in Ranchi, about 100km from here, he said. Security forces launched the anti-Maoist operation from Wednesday and the Maoists exploded landmines and opened fire around 10am today, resulting in the encounter, he said. Police, however, could confirm the name of the injured CoBRA jawan Pradeep Kumar.
Bengal govt shifts rebels to new jails fearing uprising
KOLKATA: Fearing a possible uprising inside correctional homes and facing a threat by CPI (Maoist) general secretary Muppala Lakshman Rao alias Ganapathi to carry out a strike to free his comrades, the Mamata Banerjee government has resorted to tactics adopted by the British. Maoists housed in correctional homes across the state are being shifted to new locations. The process recently started with the shift of seven Maoists from the Midnapore Correctional Home. Ganapathi has recently urged armed squads to stage attacks on correctional homes in nine states, including Bengal to free jailed Maoists and supporters. Ramanna, chief of the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee, also stated this in a recent interview.
In 2005, Maoists carried out a daring raid on the Jehanabad correctional home in Bihar, killing several people and freeing a top leader. Ranvir Kumar, inspector general (prisons), said: “It is quite natural to relate his (Ganapathi’s) statement with the move to shift inmates. However, this is more of an administrative decision. It is not prudent to keep Maoists at a single location for a long time. They are all very dangerous. The more they stay together, the greater the possibility of a conspiracy. So, the government has decided to send them to different correctional homes in the state.” “There was a huge concentration of Maoists in Midnapore correctional home.
Before the shift took place, there were 98 Maoists there including leaders like Sudip Chongdar alias Kanchan, Sukhshanti Baskey and Chhatradhar Mahato. This was a major concern for the authorities and it was decided to shift them elsewhere. The same policy will be followed at other district correctional homes,” a senior prison official said. Such reshuffles were initiated in correctional homes of Bihar and Odisha where Maoists, including some politburo and central committee leaders are housed.
Before Independence, the British would shift freedom fighters to ensure they don’t spread their ideology among other inmates. “The rebels not only formed a strong organization inside the Midnapore correctional home, they also built a network with their comrades outside and journalists. They even sent and received advisories and orders to and from leaders outside,” sources in the Counter Insurgency Force, a unit set up to combat Maoists in Jangalmahal, said. After the shift, Chhatradhar Mahato has been housed in Cell 6 of Block 3 at the Alipore Correctional Home. This cell is under round-the-clock CCTV surveillance. There are central intelligence reports indicating that the Maoists may be down but no way out in Jungelmahal.
Efforts are still on to ‘capture’ Junglemahal as this forms an important corridor for their operations in other states. A central IB report (between September 17 and October 17) indicated that the ultras may attempt to break into any of the correctional homes in the state. This prompted the state to carry out a study on the vulnerability of correctional homes in districts. The one in Midnapore was found most vulnerable due to lack of infrastructure and security. The fact that the CRPF made important seizures in Bandwan in Purulia even though they missed operations leader Ranjit by a whisker only goes on to prove this point.
Hence, when there was an input that all these seven leaders were planning another conspiracy, we did not wish to take a chance, said an official. Central agencies reminded how Maoist ideologues like Varavara Rao recently told the media that they have indeed asked people to boycott elections but added immediately that it was up to the people to implement the same perhaps an indication of the waning popularity of the outfit.
While Chhatradar has been shifted to Alipore jail, Sudip Chongdar, Prashanta Patra and Dhritiman Mahato were shifted to Dum Dum jail, Raja Sarkhel has been shifted to Hooghly jail. State committee member Sukhshanti Baskey and Prasoon Chattophay are housed in Bankura and Prasoon Chattophay has been shifted to the and Purulia jails respectively. Only last month, Maoist Action Squad member Sahebram Hembrem was spotted in Jhargram’s Bankisol and Chandipur areas.
Several armed robberies, often in uniform, were reported soon after from the area. Similarly, state military committee member Ranjit Pal is believed to be active in Purulia’s Balarampur and Baghmundi areas. Maoist leader Bikash too is also rumoured to often visiting Barikul.
It is only at the beginning of this month that several police stations from West Midnapore (Lalgarh, Salboni, Kotwali), Jhargram police district (Belpahari, Binpur, Jamboni, Gopiballabpur, Nayagram), Purulia and Bankura were asked to be on alert. The fact that the anti-Maoist operations have not received a major boost after the killing of Kishenji and some high-profile surrender like Suchitra Mahato have also left security agencies worried and hence the move, said sources.