Armed Maoists, including women, blow up government building in Odisha
Armed Maoists blew up a block office building at Padia in Odisha’s Malkangiri district early on Wednesday using powerful explosives. A group of armed ultras, including women, stormed into Padia, about 70 km from Malkangiri, in the early hours and entered the block office building after breaking the lock, Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Akhileswar Singh said. The red rebels set the building on fire before triggering a powerful blast, causing extensive damage to the structure, he said, adding no one was harmed in the attack. Four of the five rooms in the building with asbestos roof were completely destroyed in the blast which damaged volumes of documents and important records, gram panchayat officer Basant Behera said.
The SP said the attack was a desperate attempt by the Maoists to counter stepped up anti-Naxal operations mounted by the security forces in the region. A poster found from the site stated that the attack was in protest against an encounter with security forces in September this year in which around 13 Maoists had been killed, police said, adding the poster also sought a halt to anti-Naxal operation and withdrawal of BSF from the region. Maoists had blown up the new building of Padia block office in September, 2010, following which work was being done from the old building which now got destroyed in the pre-dawn attack, sources said.
Maoist held in Hazaribag
HAZARIBAG: Bishnugarh police on Wednesday arrested a Maoist near the Challania forest on the Bishnugarh-Bagodar Road known as the den for all rebel activities. The Red cadre was on a two-wheeler travelling towards Saranda when police nabbed him. At a press conference here on Tuesday, SP Manoj Kaushik said, “The rebel, William Hansda (27), is more popularly called Lalji, Patelji and Milka and joined the ultra group in 2004. He worked with zonal commander Navin Manjhi who was a terror in Hazaribag, Bokaro and Giridih districts.
He was initially involved in more than two dozen Maoist cases which include killing cops, arms loot and burning vehicles used by both police and contractors for construction of roads and bridges. He committed these crimes in the Bishnugarh police station and its adjoining areas.” Later, Maoist commanders shifted him to Saranda forests in West Singhbhum where he carried out the 2004 landmine blast in which 32 policemen were killed.
Hansda worked closely with Anmolji, who was above the zonal commander’s rank, and was responsible for the Maoist attacks both in Saranda and Rourkela forests in Odisha. The SP said in these two districts Hansda was part of the rebel group that killed four cops and also burnt 18 vehicles when a railway construction work was on in 2012 at Rourkela-Chirubera section of Odisha. The SP also said, “Hansda was also involved in several encounters in the Simdega and Kolebera jungles. He has confessed to his involvement in killing five jawans in Poreyahat jungle in West Singhbhum in 2011.” The SP informed that Hansda developed differences with top Maoist cadres about his rank in the outfit and later left the rebel group. He shifted to Aurangabad in Maharashtra some four months ago and was working there.
The Jharkhand Maoists, who lost a number of their top cadres either because of police arrests or because they got killed, felt the need and started recruitment drives in the Bishnugarh belt in Hazaribag and Jhumra Pahar area. They again asked Hansda to return to the rebel fold and lead the organization and promoted him to area commander’s rank. The SP said Hansda came to his native village in Parsateri from Maharashtra few days ago and it was then that police arrested him. The SP also said both the Rourkela police and West Singhbhum police were informed about Hansda’s arrest which was a big accomplishment for Hazaribag police.
Six Maoists arrested in Vizag district, 19 surrender
VISAKHAPATNAM: Visakhapatnam district rural police on Tuesday arrested six members of a Maoist militia, while 19 members of another militia surrendered. Talking to reporters at Narsipatnam, Superintendent of Police Vikramjeet Duggal identified the arrested militia members as A Venkata Ramana (25), G Nagaraju (26), G Sathibabu (26), M Chinabbai (28), T Sathibabu (30) and Vanthala Sibu (25), all natives of Balapam village in the district.
They were involved in the murder of Killo Rambabu, a surrendered Maoist, and his friend K Rammohan for being police informers at Johar Ghat road on November 8, 2013. Additional Superintendent of Police A R Damodhar said these six had also carried out robberies at two places.
Search on for abducted workers in Bihar
Jharkhand and Bihar police on Tuesday launched joint operations to search for seven workers of a construction company allegedly abducted by Maoists from Deoghar near the Jharkhand-Bihar border on Monday. The workers employed by KK Builders, Jamshedpur-based construction company, included a site supervisor, two guards, a driver, and three labourers. They were abducted by a group of armed men from the site of a Rs 2.5 crores-bridge being built over Dhadhwa river under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.
The site lies 30 km from Jamui district in Bihar, a Maoist stronghold. Senior police officials said four companies of paramilitary Jharkhand Jaguar had joined state police in search operations in Dumka and Deoghar districts in Jharkhand and the adjoining areas in Bihar. No pamphlets were recovered from the site and several hours after the abduction, no demand had been made by any group in exchange for the workers’ release. “We suspect the CPI (Maoists) have abducted the workers. It is not clear what the motive for the abduction is but we suspect it may be related to collecting levy from the construction company.The search operations are on in Deoghar; we have sent additional forces today to the areas near Jamui,” said Jharkhand Director General of Police Rajeev Kumar. “We sent four companies of Jharkhand Jaguar to the district border of Deoghar and Dumka in Santhal Pargana, and state border along Deoghar-Jamui,” said a senior Central Reserve Police Force official. Speaking to local media, Vikas Singh the owner of KK Builders said before the incident he had received no demand for levy from any extremist group.
He said his staff had reported that workers were threatened into stopping work, beaten up, and the armed men had taken a motorcycle, Rs 7000 cash, and 12 mobile phones with them before they left the site with the workers. “I have regularly got demands for levy working in the area. In October 2012, I received a note with the letterhead of Santhal Pargana Zonal Committee and reported it to the police. When the police traced the calls, they found some of my workers had links with the Maoists and were making the call and three of my employees were arrested,” said Manoj Singh who has a contract to build a PMGSY bridge five km from the KK Builders site.