Peoples War in India Clippings 31/12/2013

India: Maoists Hard-Hit In Maharashtra – Analysis

SATP Maharashtra consolidated its position further in the campaign against the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) through 2013, after the tentative gains it had secured through 2012. More substantive losses were inflicted on the Maoists in 2013, in comparison to other Maoist-affected States over the same period. In fact, in their own assessments the Maoists acknowledged that their movement in Maharashtra had “weakened”.

The fatality figures alone tell much of the story. According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), 45 people were killed in the State in Left Wing Extremist (LWE) linked violence in 2013, including 10 civilians, seven Security Force (SF) personnel, and 28 Maoists, while 21 civilians, 14 SF personnel and five Maoists were killed in 2012. Significantly, while civilian and SF fatalities fell to less than half between 2012 and 2013, Maoist fatalities have increased by an astonishing seven times.

The Maoist fatality figure for 2013 is, in fact, the highest for any one year in Maharashtra. In terms of geographical spread, except for one civilian fatality in Gondia District, all other fatalities in 2013 were recorded in Gadchiroli District. Maharashtra recorded seven major incidents (each resulting in three or more fatalities) in 2013, as against just one in 2012. The Maoists suffered heavily in five of the seven 2013 incidents. Common to these significant operational successes against the Maoists was the fact that the rebels were taken by complete surprise, a crucial departure from the experience of the past in Gadchiroli as well as most other theatres of Maoist violence.

This point was driven further home by the fact that, in these operations, the Maoists were not even able to execute orderly withdrawals, as evidenced by the high number of bodies recovered. The Maoists do not generally leave behind the bodies of their fallen comrades. Moreover, SF casualties in these operations have been minimal, in sharp contrast to the ratio of fatalities in 2012. Further, as a result of the growing strength of their intelligence network, the Gadchiroli Police were able to successfully execute a counter-ambush against a group of 50 to 60 Maoists, who were waiting to ambush Police search parties in the Hetalkasa Forest under the Malewada Police Station in Gadchiroli on May 19, 2013.

After the encounter, the Police recovered the body of a Maoist and a small cache of arms and ammunition. As indicated, the SFs managed to significantly cut down operational losses. Out of the seven SF fatalities recorded in 2013, three personnel were killed in a single Improvised Explosive Device (IED) incident on October 17. Due to the tremendous SF pressure, moreover, Maoist strikes against civilians also declined significantly, with just one major incident, on June 13, involving civilian fatalities, when Llyod Company’s Vice President, a subcontractor and a Police patil [village representative] accompanying them, were killed near Nender village in Etapalli tehsil in Gadchiroli. The Maoists carried out the killing purportedly to protest against the attempt to start mining in Surajagad and Damkodvadavi Hills in the Gatta area, despite ‘popular sentiment’ against mining in the area.

Naxal wanted in scribe’s killing nabbed in Chhattisgarh

A Naxal allegedly involved in the killing of a journalist earlier this year was arrested from Maoist-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, police said on Tuesday. Banjami Hidma (35) was nabbed from the forest under Tongpal police station limits on Monday during a search operation, Sukma Superintendent of Police Abhishek Shandilya said. “The cadre was wanted in connection with the murder of a local journalist — Nemi Chand Jain (45) — and a cash reward of Rs 50,000 was also announced for information regarding him,” the SP said.

Acting on a tip-off about his presence in Tongpal of South Bastar, around 450 km from Raipur, a team of local police mobilised and later nabbed him, he said. The interrogation of the rebel was on, he added. According to sources, police also suspect Hidma’s involvement in the May 25 Jiram valley Naxal attack in which prominent Congress leaders were killed.

Maoists kill farmer for ‘helping’ cops

KORAPUT: Maoists gunned down a farmer suspecting him of being a police informer in Malkangiri district in the early hours of Monday. The Maoist offensive comes on the third day of the Red rebels’ bandh call which they have given in Malkangiri district for an indefinite period protesting against the ongoing police operations in the area since Saturday. In this latest incident, local villagers spotted the bullet-riddled body of Kasa Madhi lying around two kilometers from his village Sangel under Kalimela police limits on Monday morning. Sources said the Maoists had abducted Kasa on Saturday night while he was on his way to his village on his motorcycle.

Odisha Human Rights Commission moved against police

BHUBANESWAR: A woman from Kandhamal district moved the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) here on Monday, accusing the Ganjam police of branding her son as ‘Maoist supporter’. The woman, Kalemang Mallick, also alleged that police claimed her son to be 20 years old even though he was 17. The Kui-speaking woman of Katringia village in Bramhanigaon alleged that Badagada police picked up her son, who was on his way to meet his sister at Ranpur in Nayagarh district on December 10.

“The family came to know about his arrest on December 16. Though he was a minor, police illegally kept him in custody till December 15 and formally showed his arrest the same day,” said her lawyer Bibhu Prasad Tripathy. “If l he was a Maoist sympathizer, police should have produced him before the Juvenile Justice Board and sent him to a juvenile home. But he is languishing in jail,” Tripathy said. He alleged that police did not inform the woman or her family after arresting him.

The woman has demanded immediate release of her son and action against police. SP (Ganjam) Ashish Kumar Singh said the woman has not brought to his notice her son’s age. “We have evidence he is a Maoist supporter,” Singh told TOI. Police said some explosives and Maoist literature were seized from him.

Assam DGP on CPI (Maoist)

…The DGP said the Maoist rebels could pose a threat in the future, adding that the focus of the Maoists is on mass mobilization. Assam has a history of protracted violence and there is unemployment, which has caused disappointment against the Government. All these issues may help the Maoists attract youths of the state to join their fold. He also pointed out that the armed actions of the Maoists normally start with looting of arms and banks and the wealthy. He said that so far, the Maoists have not launched any armed action except for one incident of arms snatching, but the threat should not be overlooked.

Police seizes 2500 kg explosives in Jharkhand

Ranchi: Koderma district police in Jharkhand recovered around 2,500 kg of ammonium nitrate and 300 pieces of gelatin sticks on Tuesday from a van.The driver of the vehicle managed to flee abandoning the vehicle The police said that on receiving a tip-off, police chased a pick-up van that met with an accident near Jaynagar village in Koderma district which is around 170 km from Ranchi, ther state capital of Jharkhand. The driver of the vehicle managed to flee abandoning the vehicle.A rich haul of explosives was seized by the police which comprised 50 sacks of ammonium nitrate and the gelatin sticks from the vehicle. Each sack weighed 50 kg. Ammonium nitrate and gelatin sticks are the essential ingredients for making landmines and bombs.

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