Chhattisgarh polls: MHA asks security forces to be in mission mode
NEW DELHI: The Centre has ordered tightening of security in Chhattisgarh following intelligence inputs that Naxals are engaged in “assiduous preparations” to disrupt the two-phased assembly elections on November 11 and 19. In an advisory, the Home Ministry said CPI (Maoist) continues to engage itself in “assiduous preparations” through large scale mobilisation of its cadre, assembling and planting of IEDs on polling routes and booths, formation of small teams assigned with specific tasks to locate suitable ambush points and target polling parties and security forces. Large groups of armed Maoist cadres (more than 50) along with their senior leaders have been noticed on several occasions since October 1 in Narayanpur, Bijapur and Kanker districts in connection with executing the plan of the outfit to disrupt the polls.
The Maoists also organised a large meeting of cadres (approximately 300) which was attended among others by their chief Mupalla Laxman Rao alias Ganapathy. “With regard to the elections, several small teams were formed and assigned specific tasks to locate suitable ambush points, plant IEDs, detain polling parties and loot EVMs during meeting where suitable awards with promotions in ranks were announced for the cadres on successful completion of assigned tasks,” the advisory said.
The Home Ministry told security forces deployed in Chhattisgarh to step up anti-Naxal operations in the Maoist strongholds to dominate the areas not only within the state but also adjoining districts of Maharashtra and Odisha. “The security forces must remain in mission mode during the entire electoral process and ensure peaceful and incident free elections,” the advisory said.
Poll-bound Chhattisgarh covered in security blanket
It is a cat-and-mouse game with the Maoists here,” said G Singh, a 28-year-old jawan of the CRPF’s E-company as he walked with his colleagues towards their destination of the day: Lohapara village. The village is about 14km from the nearest road head (National Highway 30) and the route is through Maoist-controlled areas. The E-company’s responsibility for the day was to “dominate the area” and sanitise the route — mud tracks through paddy fields — so that voting can happen on November 11 without any hitch. However, the final location of the polling booths will be made public only a couple of days before the poll day. NH30 from Jagdalpur, the HQ of Bastar, to Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh goes right through the centre of the Maoist heartland of Dantewada, Sukma, Dornapal and Konta.
A large part of this 440-km route is through the forests and in recent times this region has witnessed major strikes by the Maoists: in 2010, 76 CRPF soldiers were killed at Dantewada and in May almost the entire Congress state leadership was wiped out during the Darbha Ghati attack in Bastar. When a CRPF company goes out patrolling, they use new routes every day and the time for leaving the base camp also varies. Even while patrolling, the route to reach their destination is different from the one they take for going back to the base camp. Each company of 100 to 130 jawans combs around five to seven km a day, but sometimes they sanitise even 10-15km.
Each jawan carries a backpack for food and water but then there is no time to sit in peace and eat; it’s a grab-and-go lunch. “The dangerous areas on any route are the culverts or mud tracks where Maoists plant IEDs or pressure bombs,” said assistant commandant H Gainwal. So the first group to sanitise the route is the IED detection team. “Everything looks serene here. But behind the trees, there could be someone sitting and watching us and alerting the Maoists,” said unit commander Mohan Prakash.
As the company moves forward, three to four jawans are left on either side of the tracks to ensure that there are no attacks from behind. “We want to create confidence in the people so that they can vote without fear,” he added. The Maoists have called for a poll boycott. Despite such confidence-building efforts, villagers are divided over whether the presence of forces will mean better voter turnout. “The tribals are afraid of the forces and the moment they see them, they will run to the forests to hide,” said Jiten Singh, a shopkeeper at Tukanar.
Combing operation called off
The Anti-Maoist combing operation which was being conducted by a team of the Thunderbolt Commando Force of the state police in Kannavam forest and nearby areas in the district, was stopped without yielding any results. The massive operation was launched after reports of ‘Maoists’ sightings at Vilangad Vayad Tribal Colony in Naripetta grama panchayat in the district on Friday evening. The operations were conducted with the assistance of local police and forest officials.
“The operation was launched on Saturday morning and continued till 4 pm ,” said a senior police official. He also added that it is highly likely that the ultras might have escaped into dense Kannavam Reserve Forests. Earlier it had been reported that an armed group which included women, had visited the Adivasi colony and distributed pamphlets to the residents on Friday. Police officials said that two of them were suspected to be absconding Keralites involved with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). According to the police, members of the banned outfit, dressed in black uniform and carrying guns, visited the colony and interacted with the locals in Hindi and Malayalam.
Chhattisgarh: 2 more maoist killed
Raipur, Nov 4: The 25,000 strong paramilitary force deployed in Chhattisgarh, ahead of the Assembly Elections this month is doing its bit thoroughly. Apart from the earlier Maoist and Naxal encounters, reports suggest that two more Maoists have been killed in a gun battle by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Chhattisgarh. In a separate incident, another Maoist has been arrested following the clash in Basaguda on Sunday. The bodies of the Maoists have been handed over to the police. Investigations are on and the arrested person is being questioned, according to an official.
Maoist Jhadu Tadingi arrested
A hardcore Maoist named Jhadu Tadingi (35), who was involved in a number of murders, was arrested in Naryanpatna block of Koraput district on Sunday. According to Koraput superintendent of police (SP) Awinash Kumar, basing on intelligence reports regarding his presence, personnel of Narayanpatna police station and Koraput district police had started an operation in jungles near Dumsil village to nab him from Saturday. According to the police, Jhadu had initially joined the controversial tribal organisation Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) and had later switched over the Narayanpatna area committee of Srikakulam Koraput Divisional Committee (SKDC) of outlawed Maoist organisation.
Since 2009, he was he was involved in several cases of murder. He had led the ultras for the murder of Siva Madangi at Jogi Palur village on August 11 this year. Jhadu was also involved in the landmine attack near Patamunda of Narayanpatna area on September 1, 2012 in which a personnel of the Border Security Force (BSF) Xavier Kindo was killed. Investigation and interrogation has proved that he had provided logistic support for the IED blast on Naryanpatna-Laxmipur road in June 2009 in which nine police personnel were killed. Jhadu was involved in the gruesome murder of village leader Nityanand Meleka at Gotiguda in 2009 and murder of Suresh Piniti of Bandhugaon the same year.
Series of murders
According to the police, he was also involved in the murder of Gokula Pondu of Balipeta, Ghasi Kendruka of Dumsil, Sambru Huika of Odiapentha, Sikunu Meleka of Tentulipadar in the year 2010. In 2011 he was involved in the murder of Rabindra Bidika of Bikrampur, Dali Habika of Pilbore. He was also involved in the murder of innocent tribal Dharma Rao Kendruka of Dumsil on July 27, 2012 and had killed Sukra Huika of Odiapentha and Uday Hirdika of Bhitarpada the same year. Apart from these murders, the arrested Maoist was also involved in other unlawful violent activities in Narayanpatna and adjoining areas like attack on Narayanpatna police station, damages to houses of non-tribal people, looting, extortion, road blockades, planting of IEDs etc, the SP said.
Two Maoists Arrested in Bihar
Two Maoists were arrested today by the Special Task Force (STF) from Railway Station Road under Town police station area in Bihar’s Jehanabad district. Acting on a tip off, an STF team apprehended Nirmal Paswan alias Mutwar and Nandan Vishwakarma, while they were on way to purchase arms from a supplier, Superintendent of Police Sayali Dhurat said. A number of Maoist literature was recovered from the two who belonged to Palamu district of Jharkhand. Paswan was wanted in connection with dacoity in the railway premises among slew of other cases and had been jailed in the past too, the SP said. Vishwakarma too was arrested earlier on charge of supply of illicit weapons to the Maoists, she said.