Shodh yatra in naxal-affected Gadchiroli
A civilian mission to meet tribals and understand their problems, say organisers
Unperturbed by Maoist suspicions, a group of civilians, social activists, writers, research scholars and professors is on a 10-day Shodh Yatra (search mission) through the naxal-affected tribal villages of Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra. “The main aim of this yatra, which began on Thursday, is to speak to the tribals and try to understand their problems which are being neglected in the [state-naxal] conflict” the organisers said in a statement. However, the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) has expressed doubts.
According to the yatra pamphlet, the organisers “do not seem to be on the side of the people. This yatra covers only those villages where police camps are situated. Is it not a police sponsored event?” a statement signed by State CPI (Maoist) secretary Sahyadri wondered. But the organisers deny that there is any involvement of the police or the administration.“Maoists claim to be fighting for the cause of tribals. How can they oppose something which is being done for the benefit of the tribals? We are ready to speak to them [Maoists] and we appeal to them to cooperate with us” organiser Arvind Sowani, a professor, said in a statement.
Naxal arrested in Chhattisgarh
Raipur, Jan 4 (PTI) A naxal was arrested in Maoist-hit Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, police said today. Tulsi Ram Pujari, carrying a cash reward of Rs 5,000 on his head, was arrested yesterday in forests near a village under Jangla police station area in a joint operation of Chhattisgarh Armed Force and a team of local police. Pujari, 30, was involved in murder, attempt to murder and several other crimes in the region, police said.
LIC policy papers worth Rs 20L found in Maoist’s house
MOTIHARI: In a joint operation, the police and CRPF teams of East Champaran district conducted raids at Gumariya under Ghorasahan police station, Gangati under Minapur police station in Muzaffarpur district and Karariya under Shyampur Bhataha PS in Sheohar district on Thursday and arrested four Maoists. The joint team recovered two pistols, cartridges, two cellphones, detonator wires, LIC policy papers worth Rs 20 lakh, fixed bank deposit certificate of Rs 10 lakh, 20 documents relating to purchase of land and details of expenditures of Rs 10 lakh on recently held Gidha mela in Sitamarhi district organized by Maoists.
All these items were recovered from the house of veteran Naxalite Suresh Sahani of village Karariya in Sheohar district but he managed to escape before the police reached his house. The East Champaran police have launched search drive after Gidha Mela of Maoists and attack on the base camp of a bridge construction company at Sattarghat in Gopalganj district. Sanjay Kumar Singh, ASP, said the police raided the house of one Zamirul Haque at village Gumariya under Ghorasahan PS in East Champaran and arrested one Manoj Kumar Agrawal, Maoist area commander of Sheohar, and Manoj Baitha of Lakhaura.
The duo were quizzed and on their input, the police swung into action and raided a house at village Gangati under Minapur PS in Muzaffarpur district and arrested Ramkumar Sahani and Raj Kumar Sahani. The arrested Maoists revealed that one Suresh Sahani is the leader of Maoists in the area. The police rushed to village Karariya under Shyampur Bhataha PS in Sheohar district. The police team with the support of local police raided the house of Suresh Sahani but he managed to escape.
The police searched his house and recovered firearms, ammunitions and various documents. The two Maoists arrested from Gangati under Minapur PS were handed over to the Minapur police for necessary action and the remaining two Maoists arrested from Gumariya under Ghorasahan PS are being quizzed by the police at Motihari. Raids are being conducted at different places to nab Suresh Sahani of Karariya, police said. ASP Sanjay Kumar Singh and Sandip Pandey, assistant commandant, CRPF, said thee arrested Maoists had admitted their involvement in half-a-dozen crimes.
M’giri demands more central forces to contain Red attacks
KORAPUT: Malkangiri police have sought additional central forces following the recent spurt in Maoist activities in the district. Presently, four battalions of Border Security Force (BSF) are deployed there. Police said owing to absence of any permanent camp of paramilitary forces along Odisha-Chhattisgarh border, Maoists have now started regrouping in Padia and Mathili blocks that share the boundary with the neighbouring state.
“We are conducting operations in Padia and Mathili only on specific intelligence inputs regarding movement of Maoists. This is not sufficient to contain them,” said SP (Malkangiri) Akhileswar Singh. “We need permanent camps of central forces in border areas. This has been intimated to our higher-ups,” said the SP. “At least two more battalions of central forces are required for the district,” he added. According to the SP, Tulsi Dongar situated on the border of Mathili and Chhattisgarh and Dornapal forests along Padia and Chhattisgarh is slowly turning into a hub of Maoists. All recent offensives were reported from these areas.
In less than a month, Maoists have abducted at least 10 villagers, murdered three persons on charges of being police informers, burnt two passenger buses, blew up a mobile tower in Padia block. Also, additional forces could be deployed in the cut-off area, consisting of 151 villages, situated across Balimela reservoir, which the Maoists have converted into a ‘liberated zone’. “The Maoists were on the back foot in the district for the past several months following intensive combing operations by Odisha police and central forces. Now they have identified places where we have least presence and the cut-off area is one of them.
Additional forces could be deployed in the cut-off area,” the SP said. Meanwhile, public transport system which was paralyzed in Malkangiri since Saturday following a bandh call by Maoists for an indefinite period resumed on Thursday. The Malkangiri divisional committee of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) had given the bandh call in protest against police operations and deployment of central forces.