Allegations of assault on women political prisoners
Mumbai: The Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR) has alleged that some of the political prisoners lodged in Byculla District Prison were victims of a brutal attack by jail staff last Friday. According to CPDR, Sushma Hemant Ramteke, an undertrial political prison and four other co-accused women including Angela Sontakke who have been in the prison since June 2011, “have been victims of brutal assaults and punishments of solitary confinement for speaking up for their rights and that of other women prisoners, for quoting the Prison Manual and for exposing the overall corruption and repressive tactics of the prison staff against women undertrials.” Maharukh Adenwala and Susan Abraham, CPDR members, who visited the jail on November 11 and obtained an interview, said the face of Sushma Ramteke was swollen and red bruise marks were visible on her body, even after three days.
They claimed she had not been taken for medical examination or given any treatment for her injuries. Ramteke’s lawyers moved an application on Tuesday for producing her in court and ordering a medical examination immediately as well as for an inquiry. They have sought further action to be taken by the National Human Rights Commission, State Human Rights Commission, National Commission on Women and Inspector-General Prisons “as this is the fourth case of assault by jail staff against women prisoners in Byculla prison.”
In April 2011, the Anti-Terror Squad had arrested Angela Sontakke, 42, an alleged Maoist and wife of Milind Teltumbde, secretary of the Communist Party of India-Maoist’s Maharashtra committee, in neighbouring Thane district whilst Sushma was arrested in Pune. They were arrested due to their alleged involvement with the Naxal movement.
New leaders of CPI (Maoist) under pressure to carry out attacks
NEW DELHI: Even though the first phase of Chhattisgarh polls, covering Naxal-affected districts of the state, passed off largely peacefully, the administration is still nervous about the second phase to be held on November 19 in north Chhattisgarh. Inputs received in the run-up to the elections show CPI (Maoist) has gone through a major leadership reshuffle in the recent past in Chhattisgarh and all the new appointments are under pressure to carry out spectacular attacks.
Given that force deployment (over 1 lakh troops) has been intense in traditional Naxal areas, Maoists may target non-Naxal areas where the administration is presumed to be a little relaxed. Maoists had similarly carried out attacks in non-Naxal areas of Bihar when pressure increased in Jharkhand early this year. Also, north-east Chhattisgarh shares its border with Naxal areas of Bihar and Jharkhand and may see Maoist movement. Sources said Naxals could carry out attacks before and after the second phase of polling as well. That security forces are less alert post-polls was evident when two BSF personnel along with a civilian were blown up in a landmine blast in Sukma on Tuesday as they committed the mistake of traveling in a vehicle.
Maoists also attacked a CRPF company pulling out of poll duty on Tuesday and injured a deputy commandant in south Bastar. Intelligence inputs said about half a dozen area committee secretaries and members were promoted to divisional committee while those responsible for big attacks in the past such as the May 25 Darbha attack were given fresh responsibilities along with promotion. South Bastar Divisional Committee secretary Venkatesh has been replaced by Raghu alias Surender, who was rewarded for carrying out the Darbha attack, sources said.
Similarly, West Bastar Divisional Committee has been taken from Madhavi and given to Ranita of National Park Area Committee. Gopi of Jantana Sarkar in Bijapur and Nagesh from Madded Area Committee have been promoted as divisional committee members. To add to this, Ganesh Uike, secretary of South Regional Committee, is now heading Abujhmad while Gajrela Ashok alias Ayatu, secretary of Western Regional Committee in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has moved to Darbha in Chhattisgarh. “All these leaders are under pressure to carry out spectacular attacks and will take advantage of any laxity on part of security forces. Thus, the second phase of polling cannot be taken lightly even though it does not concern core Naxal areas,” said an officer from the security establishment.
40 IEDs seized in Chhattisgarh in 1 week
The Centre is concerned over a large quantity of explosives and IEDs being seized during the first phase of the Chhatisgarh elections held on Monday. As many as 40 IEDs with detonators and explosives were seized by security forces in the last one week in the run-up to the elections. While most of the IEDs weigh 2-5 kg, some were even found to weigh 30 kg, claimed officials. According to reports, the maximum number of IEDs (11) were found in Dantewada, followed by Bijapur and Kanker.
Over 1 lakh security personnel have been deployed in Chhattisgarh. The seizures, being seen as an indication that Maoists are desperately trying to carry out an attack, show that they are easily obtaining explosives and other materials required to assemble bombs. What worries security forces is that there is no let-up in Naxal activities. The examination of these IEDs has reportedly revealed that Maoist cadres are being trained to assemble IEDs in large numbers. There are two kinds of IEDs being used by Naxals. One is the ‘pressure IED’, which is used to target vehicles and can blow up once pressure is applied. These IEDs are used to target vehicles of security forces. The second type is the ‘command IED’ which functions with trigger mechanism and can be operated from a remote location.
C`garh: CRPF man injured in Naxal attack
Raipur, Nov 13 (PTI) A CRPF man was injured in an encounter with Naxals in Maoist-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh today, police said. The incident took place in the forest of Temelwada village under Chintagufa police station limits when CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action), a specialised unit of CRPF, was on an area domination exercise, Additional Superintendent of Police Neeraj Chandrakar told PTI.
Explosives recovered from Maoists’ hideout
Jamui/Munger: The security forces have seized huge quantity of explosives from a Maoist hideout in a forest in Bihar’s Jamui district, a police officer said Wednesday. Acting on a tip-off, a joint team of Jamui police and the CRPF’s CoBRA unit raided Charkhapathar area in Bhelwaghati forest last night and seized about 100 kg Ammonium Nitrate contained in three sacks, nine LPG cylinders, two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), two packet power gels, besides food materials, DIG (Munger Range), Sidhanshu Kumar said.The Maoists managed to escape by taking advantage of darkness during the search carried out by the security forces, he said.
Majority of Manipur encounters are fake:NHRC
New Delhi: In what is likely to further strengthen the case of rights activist Irom Sharmila, who has been on fast for over a decade demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the National Human Rights Commission has found that most of the encounters held in the state are fake. Reports on Wednesday said that the NHRC made this observation after making its first ever visit to the state nearly a fortnight ago.
The apex human rights body said that twenty of the 44 encounter cases against the state security forces heard by the commission have been declared fake. The commission is yet to decide on the remaining 22 cases. The NHRC has also directed the Manipur government to provide relief to the family of those killed in these fake encounters. The members of the commission made this observation after going through a critical process of conducting 44 hearings against complaints filed by victims of alleged fake encounters.’
The commission has also sought a response from the state government regarding its compliance with its recommendations on providing relief to the next of kin. “State government had failed to make its case, and we told the government to give them relief and in Imphal we closed the cases as well,” NHRC member Satyabrata Pal was quoted as saying. The findings of the commission have come as a major blow to the security forces (para military, police and Army), which have often defended itself by claiming that the exchange of fire was an exercise of right of self-defence.