16 alleged Maoist cultural wing activists arrested
At least 16 Muria Gond tribals have been arrested in the last 48 hours in Bijapur district of south Chhattisgarh for allegedly acting as cultural activists of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist). The arrested alleged activists are aged between 18 and 22 years and were influencing the locals against the administration through song and dance, a release from Bijapur police said. Local court
According to the district SP Prashant Agarwal, the activists have been produced in a local court. The alleged activists belong to the Chaitanya Natya Manch (CNM), the cultural wing of the CPI (Maoist). The police release said the first group of 11 activists were arrested on Wednesday, while they were performing near Bidiyabhumi village under Bhairamgarh police station in Bijapur. Second group The second group of three boys and two girls were picked up from Kondapal village under Mirtur police station.Both groups were arrested during a searching operation carried out by the district force. Drums, musical anklets, green clothes, red head-bands and Naxal literature were confiscated, the release said.
No Maoist version regarding the mass arrest of CNM activists was available till late evening. This is the first major arrest of cultural wing activists in the recent years.
The CNM activists are normally recruited from the local tribals who have a natural flair for song and dance. While a section of the CNM activists later join the party or its armed wing, many members leave the cultural wing as they grow up. The CNM activists are unarmed and never given any training in arms, unless they join the party.
Mr. Agarwal said the CNM members were not carrying any arms and were not connected to the party’s armed wing, the Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army.
Maoists kill journalist in Bastar
RAIPUR: Caught between the Naxalites and the police for long, Sai Reddy—a rural journalist who earned the wrath both the rebels and the police in the conflict zone of tribal Bastar—was killed by the Maoists on Friday afternoon near a market in Basaguda in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh. Police said Reddy, who is in his early 50s, had gone to Basaguda when a group of Maoists attacked him with sharp edged weapons near the market and fled from the spot.
The journalist, who was lying in a pool of blood, was rushed to district headquarters of Bijapur but he succumbed to his injuries on his way to the hospital. “This is the second incident in the recent past in which Maoists killing journalists. In February this year, a journalist Nemichand Jain was killed by the rebels in Sukma. Forty five days after the murder, Maoists had apologized for Jain’s killing”, Bastar’s journalist association president S Karimuddin told TOI.
“In 2008, Sai Reddy was arrested by the police and kept in jail under the state’s much-debated Chhattisgarh Special Security Act, accusing him of having links with the Maoists. On the other hand, Maoists had set his house ablaze and had threatened him suspecting him to be a sympathizer of the security forces”, he said adding that the association strongly condemned the Maoist attack on journalists in Bastar. Journalists in Bijapur said Sai Reddy had been receiving threats from the Maoists even after he was released after the court due to lack of any evidence against him.
Reddy’s detention under the controversial law came to national limelight after activists mounted an international campaign for release of Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) leader Dr Binayak Sen, who was also arrested and jailed under the same law. Reddy a resident of Basaguda in Naxalite-hit Bijapur district, was arrested in March 2008. Police claimed that he was detained after an arrested Naxalite, Rambabu, revealed he had “connections” with him and that Naxals took their ration from a shop run by his wife.
Like many journalists in Bastar, Reddy too earned his living selling grain and minor forest produce while contributing to local newspapers. His writings on Naxal violence in the region earned him the wrath of both Maoists and security forces. On one occasion, the rebels had threatened to kill him and his family if he didn’t leave Chhattisgarh. The rebels blew up his house, forcing him to flee to Cherlapal in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
Three Maoists, including a woman, held Jamui
(Bihar), Dec 6 (PTI) Three Maoists, including a woman, were today arrested by the security forces from Harni forests in Khaira police station area in Bihar’s Jamui district, the police said. During a combing and search operation in the wake of Naxal attack in Munger and Aurangabad districts, the security forces nabbed the three Maoists hiding in the forests and seized a haul of explosives, detonators and Naxal literature from their possession, the sources said.
Suspected Maoist ‘killed’ in encounter
KORAPUT: A suspected Maoist was killed in an encounter with security personnel in Malkangiri district on Thursday. The exchange of fire helped at least of the three persons kidnapped by the radicals escape from the Maoist camp. They were kidnapped on Wednesday night. While Padhia Madhi reached his village on Thursday, there is no news about the other two, including a woman. “Blood trails at the encounter spot suggest that a Maoist has been killed and few injured in the gun battle, but the number is yet to be ascertained,” said SP (Malkangiri) Akhileswar Singh.
A group of 40 to 50 Maoists, including women cadres, swooped down on Gumphakonda village, around 45 km from Malkangiri, around Wednesday midnight and dragged the trio, including the son of Gumphakonda sarpanch, out of their homes. The Red rebels accused them of helping police and took them deep into the forests. “On Thursday morning, when BSF personnel launched an operation to ascertain the whereabouts of the kidnapped villagers, the Maoists fired on our men near Tunduli Batla around 10 am.
The exchange of fire continued for more than an hour. Unable to face the firing, Maoists fled from the spot,” the SP said. Padia Madhi, the kidnapped person who reached home on Thursday, said, “The Maoists assaulted and kept us on a hill-top. We were interrogated by them. We escaped when the rebels were engaged in a fire. The other two are yet to reach the village. I am not a police informer.” Police said search operation is on to trace the villagers. Our men recovered IED and few Maoists belongings near the spot.
BSF DG Reviews Anti-Maoist Operations
The BSF would further intensify anti-Maoist operation in this part of the State in the wake of recovery of arms and ammunitions from forest areas.This was informed by BSF DG Subash Joshi who reviewed the BSF activities in the Maoist affected Koraput and Malkangiri districts on Thursday. The DG held discussion with the local officials and took stock of the situation. Joshi flew in from New Delhi to the BSF office at Badapada situated in the cut-off region of Malkangiri and interacted with the security forces besides Malkangiri SP Akhlieswar Singh regarding the challenges faced by them in tackling the ultras.
Prior to that, he reviewed anti-Maoist operation in Koraput’s Narayanpatana, Bandhugaon, Boipariguda and Ramgiri areas. The DG asked the security forces to be more careful during combing operations and lauded the role of the elite forces in containing Maoists from spreading their tentacles in the districts. Joshi’s visit is considered important in the wake of PLGA Week being observed by the ultras.
Prisons put on alert in view of Maoist attacks
PATNA: The Centre has issued a letter to all the ‘left wing-affected (LWE) states’, asking for security audit especially in the prisons where Maoists are lodged. Acting on the letter, the state home (prisons) department has directed the DMs and SPs of the Maoists-hit districts, including Patna, to audit the security arrangements and enhance the same, wherever necessary. According to intelligence inputs, Red rebels increase their operations in February and March.
But keeping in view the recent Maoist attacks in the state, the state prisons have been put on high alert. IG (prisons and correctional services) Anand Kishore told TOI on Thursday security audit of all the prisons had been done. In his letter to the DMs and SPs, Kishore said the officials concerned could request the district judge to conduct trial of Maoist prisoners through videoconference. In case of non-availability of the technology, Maoist prisoners should be transported to the court in separate vehicles with adequate security. Security personnel could also be deployed on the roads during the transit.
The IG said one DSP along with the jail superintendent would ensure the security of every prison. Incidents of Maoist prisoners using mobile phones from the prison premises have also increased in recent times. The prison staff should be made accountable if mobile phones are found from the possession of inmates. Talking about mobile phone jammers, Kishore said, “It takes between Rs 20 crore and 25 crore to install jammers in one jail.”
Maoists threaten to kill Sushil Modi, Bihar BJP leaders
RANCHI: Maoists have put up posters in Jharkhand’s Latehar district, threatening to kill top Bihar BJP leaders, including former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi. Modi along with party colleague and former minister Giriraj Singh have been advocating strong police action against Maoists in Bihar. The two leaders have alleged the Nitish Kumar government is soft on the Maoists who have recently carried out attacks in Bihar.
“We have recovered the posters that threaten to target Modi, Giriraj, Rajya Sabha MP C P Thakur and other BJP leaders,” Latehar SP Michael S Raj said on Thursday. The posters have urged people not to come under the influence of these leaders because they are “fascists”.
Police have sounded an alert in the district. “We have communicated to Bihar police,” said additional SP Manish Kumar Bharti. Police said the posters read, “Sampradayeek aur fascist party Bhajapa tatha khunkhar pratikriyawadiyo ke chakkar me na padey. Aam admi se anurodh hai ki samanti pratikriyawadi Sushil Kumar Modi, Giriraj Singh, C P Thakur and other leaders ko maar girayein (Do not get influenced by communal and fascist BJP. Common people are requested to kill feudal reactionaries Sushil, Giriraj, Thakur and other leaders).”
Latehar is close to Chatra district in Jharkhand where Maoists from Bihar allegedly take shelter. “It could be a possibility that the posters were meant to be used in Bihar, but the banned outfit’s men inadvertently brought and pasted them here,” a police officer said. Three such posters and two banners were recovered from two different places on Wednesday. One poster said CPI(Maoist) has opened a recruitment cell each in all panchayats. “The posters invited schoolchildren to join the party,” said the police officer. Two Maoist posters were recovered from Deoghar district on Thursday. Police said the posters condemned police action against the Maoists and asked people to support their cause.
Nine panchayat members resign in Koraput district
KORAPUT: Nine out of 26 elected panchayat representatives of Koraput’s Bandhugaon block resigned on Thursday in the face of Maoist threats, sources said. Officially, however, they cited non-execution of development works in their area as the reason. The members signed a single resignation letter and handed it over to the block development officer (BDO) of Bandhugaon on Thursday afternoon. The block consists of 12 panchayats.
The panchayat members who resigned included four sarpanchs, two samiti members, a block chairperson and two zilla parishad members. The members have complained in the letter that education and healthcare facilities have virtually collapsed in the area. Besides, beneficiaries are not getting houses under IAY and Mo Kudia Yojana and several poverty alleviation programmes have been hit due to the callousness of officials. Locals, however, said repeated threats by Red rebels were the real reason behind the mass resignation. “A couple of weeks back, the extremists put up posters at several places in Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon blocks urging panchayat members to resign from their posts.
The elected members have bowed down in front of the Maoists diktat,” a source at Bandhugaon said. Countering the charges leveled by the members, Koraput collector Sachin Jadhav said, “It’s not true that development activities have been hit in Bandhugaon. More emphasis is being given to Bandhugaon and several development projects have been expedited in the block recently.” “I was informed by the BDO over phone that nine panchayat members have resigned. They had not given any prior notice to the administration. Necessary action will be taken after getting the resignation letter,” the collector added. SP (Koraput) Awinash Kumar said, “No panchayat member ever approached us about the threat from Maoists. If any complaint is lodged, we will take necessary action.”