Director Intelligence visits Kalimela area of Malkangiri
Two days after Maoists blew up a river bridge in Malkangiri, the new Director (Intelligence) of Odisha Police visited the site today and discussed about naxal menace with senior district police officials. Director-cum-Additional DG of police, intelligence, Sunil Ray visited the bridge on Poteru river in Kalimela area along with other senior police officials, police said. Ray discussed about naxal menace and movement the ultras in the red corridor with senior BSF officials and top district police officers, Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Akhileswar Singh said.
Ray expressed happiness that the portion of the bridge which was damaged in the blast has already been repaired by the jawans of BSF and Odisha police. A group of about 60 ultras struck in the wee hours on Saturday and triggered a blast and destroying a portion of the bridge using powerful explosive materials. The bridge on Kalimela-Padia road is often used by the security forces for their movement to carry out anti-Maoist operations in the area.
40,000 security men take on Maoists
In first of its kind anti-Maoist operation, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) aided by other central paramilitary forces and state police forces has launched a massive five-day hunt across eight states aimed at striking at the root of Maoist formations and cadres. The five-day coordinated operations, led by paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), were started at the crack of the dawn at 4am from Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha and bordering states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. Carried out under the leadership of CRPF, besides 10,000 fully armed personnel of central paramilitary forces including ITBP, BSF and SSB, the operation is aided by about 30,000 state police personnel to give as little as possible escape route to the Maoist guerrillas across state borders, CRPF officials said.
Winters are the best time suited to launch an operation as the foliage that gives blanket cover to the Maoists is minimal and gives better imagery through unmanned aerial vehicles, chances of soldiers getting hit by malaria are the least and weather allows soldiers to carry on without fatigue for several days at a stretch, a senior CRPF official said. “The operation has begun and a huge deployment of joint forces has been made. The idea is to scramble all the forces at one time so that Naxals cannot flee into neighbouring territories if they feel pressure by the security forces in one area,” said Dilip Trivedi, director general of CRPF.
Officials said though the main concentration of operations is in four states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Maharashtra comprising Dandakaranya region, states of West Bengal, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have been made a part of this maiden offensive. CRPF sources said that the operations have met with reasonable successes at Maoist hotbeds of Khunti, Simdega and Singhbhum in Jharkhand where security forces busted a mini Gun factory and confiscated two generators, three lathe machines, more than 200 gun barrels, 13 bombs with timers and 30kg of liquid explosives. However, at Metul in Bijapur, Chhattisgarh Maoists managed to counter attack killing one security personnel and injuring another. They also snatched two INSAS rifles from them.
The proposal of coordinated operations was mooted in a recent meeting of police chiefs of all the Naxal violence hit states and the results of the five-day operations will be analyzed threadbare and a decision to undertake such offensives in the future would be decided. The forces, according to sources, have asked their senior commanders to be on ground and all the operations are coordinated not only at state police headquarters here but also at the CRPF directorate in New Delhi where DG Trivedi himself is keeping a tab on the progress. “The idea is to inflict maximum damage on the Maoist leadership and infrastructure with least casualties to the security forces and tribal.
A close eye is being kept on the operations with the help of helicopters and UAVs. The exact success of the operations will be known and analyzed once they end and all the forces reach their camps,” a senior CRPF official said. However, officials in the intelligence establishment do not have much hopes from the operations as they feel that the Maoists have already retracted and are lying low because of pressure from the security forces. “They would not like to react much during these operations and are awaiting formation of Telangana that would give them a safe haven to regroup,” said a source.
Indian Government Approves Procurement of 15 New Heron UAVs
The Indian government has cleared a new procurement of up to 15 Heron I unmanned aerial systems from israel, as part of an effrot to increase the country’s surveillance over the northern borders with Pakistan and China. The cost of this acquisition is estimated at unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Israel at a cost of around US$195 million (Rs 1,200 crore.) The proposal to procure these Heron UAVs was approved by the Cabinet committee on security headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at its recent meeting, the Times of India reported December 29.
Maoist bandh hits Malkangiri
KORAPUT: Public transport came to a standstill in Malkangiri district on Sunday, the second day of the indefinite bandh call given by Maoists. Both state-run OSRTC and private buses remained off the roads to avert any untoward incident. The Malkangiri divisional committee of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) had called for the bandh on Friday night, protesting against the anti-extremism operations, and demanded withdrawal of central forces from the area. Given the recent Maoist offensives in the district, no one dared to disobey the diktat.
While 10 villagers were kidnapped, two were killed on charges of being police informers. The rebels blew up the Padia block office and a bridge connecting Padia with Kalimela, besides setting two buses on fire. “It’s better to suspend bus services than invite the ire of Maoists,” said a functionary of a private bus association. The 100-km stretch from Malkangiri to Motu wore a deserted look with no bus plying on the route. “People are stranded at different bus stops. Taking advantage of the situation, small vehicles are charging exorbitant fares from the passengers. The worst sufferers are the patients, who need to be shifted to the district headquarters hospital,” said a source.
The bandh was felt more in rural areas where people remained confined to their houses. Shops and markets were open in urban areas though, the source added. Police had appealed to the people not to panic. “The situation is under control. Security forces are on high alert to prevent any subversive activity. The combing operations have been intensified following the bandh call,” said SP (Malkangiri) Akhileswar Singh. In a separate incident, a joint team of Odisha police and BSF seized two country-made guns and explosives in Koraput’s Kami Padar forest on Sunday.
Odisha: Maoists strike again, kill local leader in Malkangiri
Malkangiri (Odisha) : Suspecting him to be a police informer, Maoists have killed a local leader in Odisha’s Malkangiri district, police said here today. Kosa Madhi (38) of Sangel village under Kalimela police station, secretary of local Panipanchyat, was kidnapped by the ultras on Friday when they triggered a blast with explosives and destroyed the bridge over river Poteru apparently to stop movement of security personnel between Kalimela and Padia. Madhi was produced before the ‘Kangaroo Court’ and killed by the ultra for acting as a police informer, villagers alleged. His body was spotted by the villagers today. On Friday, the Maoists had looted the house of a special police officer (SPO), Lacha Madkami, one of Madhi’s relations, of the same village.