JAP personnel killed in encounter with Maoists
Jamshedpur: A Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) personnel was on Saturday killed in an encounter with Maoists in between Jiyan and Hariyan villages in Ghatsila sub-division, police said. The security personnel were engaged in a routine combing operation in the naxal-hit area when an encounter took place during which the Maoists started firing on them, Superintendent of Police (Rural) Devendra Thakur said. The JAP personnel was killed in the encounter, he said. Meanwhile, senior police officials have rushed to the spot and launched a massive operation to track down the ultras, who reportedly made a hasty retreat following the incident.
Maoist Killed in Odisha-AP boarders in Pottangi block of Koraput
Report by Manoranjan Routray; Koraput: One unknown Naxal killed during an encounter at Tala Paniki village on the Odisha –Andhra Pradesh boarders under Pattangi police station of Koraput district on Friday said, Koraput Superintendent of Police Awinas Kumar in a press meet here at Koraput. One INSAS rifle, two magazines of INSAS, 47 live rounds of INSAS, 101 detonators, one Hand-Grenade, camera IED, medicine box, 20 pencil battery, Naxal kit bags, polythene sheets, rope, umbrellas, water bottles, two kit bags containing like item of daily use like toothbrush, comb, wrist watch, scissors, soaps, washing powder, needles, Tiffin boxes and Maoist literatures were recovered from the area after the Security Forces in a joint operation raided the Maoists.
According to DIG of Police (SWR), S Devdutta Singh, the operation was led by, the 202 CoBRA Battalion of the CRPF along with the Koraput district police and SOG Forces. He informed that the joint forces, following a tip about movement of armed group of outlawed CPI Maoists in the forest area under Pottangi police station, an Anti –Naxal Operation was launched on 31st October 2013(Thursday) to nab armed Maoists.
“At about 09.00 am, on 1st November (Friday), while security forces were coombing the forest area near Tala Paniki village under Pottangi police station, they sighted group of 30-35 armed cadres including some lady cadres. Security forces asked them to surrender by revealing their identity but Naxals started firing to kill police personnel. Our forces also fired back at them and the gun battle continued at least for one-and-a-half hours. When this battle came to a halt, our forces started a search operation and in that they recovered a body of an unknown Maoist,” he added. The DIG further says, this is the 3rd central Regional Committee (CRC) of CPI (Maoist) which is the military company of Naxals. Sing also said that the same 3rd CRC Naxal group was involved in the Ralegada incident dated 27th August 2013 in which four BSF personnel were killed, and again they planning to target police personnel on National Highway in Pottangi area. After the incident, combing in the area intensified.
167 polling stations shifted in Bastar due to Naxal threat
RAIPUR: As many as 167 polling stations in the sensitive areas of Naxal-affected Bastar region, which will have polling in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly elections, have been relocated for “security and accessibility” reasons. “A total of 167 polling booths of Bastar region were shifted due to security and accessibility reasons,” Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Kujur told reporters this evening.
More UAVs watching Bastar 24×7 ahead of polls
NEW DELHI: Boots on the ground and eye in the sky — the home ministry is using both in tandem to secure assembly elections in south Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region, a Maoist stronghold. The CRPF, nodal agency overseeing deployment of security forces for the upcoming assembly elections in five states, has increased the number of unarmed aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the Maoist zone for round-the-clock surveillance. UAVs have been withdrawn from Maoist zones in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli, Jharkhand and Odisha and mounted above Bastar.
About half a dozen UAV Netra, owned by the CRPF, are conducting recce and gathering real-time intelligence across about 40,000 sq km of Bastar region that votes on November 11. These indigenous UAVs can send real-time video of ground movement within a 5-km radius. Netra can identify human activity about 500 m away. Besides, the MHA has asked the NTRO, country’s elite intelligence agency, to fly UAV Heron whose range — about 400 km — is much more than the UAV Netra. The Israeli Heron is operated from airbase at Begumpet in Hyderabad. It was supposed to start operating from October 1. However, its launch was delayed by about a month due to various reasons, including weather. The UAVs will aid planning of operations and deployment of more than 50,000 security forces inducted in Bastar’s Maoist heartland for the polls, said a senior officer.
The poll boycott call by the Maoist and history of violence in Bastar makes the November 11 election prone to high security risk. In early October, Ramanna, Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee secretary of the Maoists, said, “When the government uses force and violent measures to defy our poll boycott call, then we will definitely resist such repression.” The message is loud and clear. “We are pulling all stops to ensure a safe election in Bastar,” said a CRPF officer.
The UAVs can play a crucial role in surveillance and intelligence gathering in the region where real-time human intelligence is hard to come by. Flow of technical intelligence is meager as large swathes are inaccessible and not covered by mobile phone network, for instance. Grabs sent by the UAVs help the security forces on the ground to monitor Maoist movement and plan precision strike operations in Bastar and also along Chhattisgarh’s border with Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Jharkhand. However, the UAVs have not had a spotless record over Chhattisgarh’s hostile terrain. The UAV Heron had failed to spot the movement of about 500 Maoist cadres in Bastar’s Darbha Ghati. These Maoists attacked a convoy of Congress leaders almost wiping out the party’s top leadership in Chhattisgarh in May.