CRPF officer injured in blast in Sukma
A CRPF officer was today injured in an IED explosion in the Naxal hotbed of Sukma in south Bastar in Chhattisgarh. 26-year-old Sub-Inspector Jatin was patrolling the forests of Chintagufa along with his men to sanitise the area for the movement of other police convoys when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted alongside the road went off. The SI was injured by the splinters of the IED and was airlifted to Raipur, a senior official said. The SI, who is from Haryana, belongs to the 150th battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) based in Bastar for conducting anti-Naxal operation. The movement of the troops and convoys will resume in sometime, the official said.
Naxal chief okayed leader’s surrender
NEW DELHI: Senior Maoist leader GVK Prasad alias Gudsa Usendi surrendered after taking due permission from CPI Maoist chief Ganpathy and was allowed to go unharmed in view of his seniority and loyalty to the party even as several others willing to surrender were allegedly killed, sources said. Home ministry sources said Usendi, though worked upon by Andhra Pradesh police who facilitated his surrender, did not run away surreptitiously but surrendered after taking top brass in the CPI Maoist in confidence.
“He has surrendered because of failing health and being unable to continue the struggle. He has done so after taking due permission from the leadership. Though he must have been discouraged, he was allowed to go unharmed because of his seniority and the three-decade long service that he gave the party. Many others in the lower rung have met fatal ends to such decisions,” said a senior official. Home ministry is likely to accord him the same respect in terms of withdrawing prosecution against him in small cases and facilitating bail in heinous crimes apart from giving him all possible help to start a new life so that he becomes an example for other senior leaders to follow.
Sources say most senior leaders in CPI Maoist, including its chief Ganpathy, are suffering serious ailments and if Usendi is treated well, home ministry hopes, others will follow. Senior Maoist leader Arvindji, who led last year’s Latehar attack in which bombs were planted in the abdomen of dead soldiers, is reported to be so frail that he moves around on a horse being unable to walk. Usendi’s surrender is being regarded as a big success and blow to the Maoists as the last time a top leader of CPI Maoist surrendered was in 2001 when its central committee member Lanka Papi Reddy laid down arms and is now living a comfortable life in Hyderabad, home ministry sources said.
Home ministry, however, may look a bit too optimistic given that several senior leaders have died of ailments in the jungles but not chosen to come to the other side of the fence. A case in point is of central committee member Anuradha Ghandy who died of falciperum malaria in the jungles of Chhattisgarh at the age of 54 in 2008 as she could not avail of medicines in time. A year later, her husband, politburo member Kobad Ghandy, was arrested in Delhi.
“We want to make an example out of Usendi. We will facilitate his bail in cases of mass violence and withdraw prosecution in smaller cases. We will provide him a lawyer. We want others to follow suit,” said the official. Usendi is suspected to be involved in several cases of mass violence including the May 25 Darbha massacre of the Congress cavalcade.
DGP: No Let-up in Anti-Naxal Op
Director-General of Police Prakash Mishra on Friday said operations against Maoists will continue to be mounted vigorously without resting on the major successes in the recent anti-Naxal operations. There will be no let-up on the onslaught against Left Wing extremism. It will rather be intensified as a Coordinated Action Plan is being launched to counter resurgence of Maoists in different parts, Mishra told mediapersons after inaugurating the 57th Senior Police Officers’ Conference here.
Govt to give land for Rapid Action Force base
PATNA: Bihar government has agreed in principle to the request of the CRPF to provide land for the base of one battalion of Rapid Action Force (RAF) to be set up in the state. According to sources, the state government has earmarked a piece of land on the outskirts of the state capital. The CRPF had earlier informed the state government that 50-60 acres would be required for creating base for one battalion of RAF. The CRPF headquarters has mooted creation of five new battalions in different parts of the country.
Four other battalions of RAF would be raised in other parts of the country. RAF, incidentally, is part of the CRPF with expertise in controlling communal riots. CRPF sources here said IG, CRPF (West Bengal), Vivek Sahay, who is also holding additional charge of Bihar, had come to the state capital on Tuesday to give Rs 2 lakh as reward to two battalions – 207 ( CoBRA battalion) and 215 (Jamui battalion) – which had launched sudden attack on Maoists near Pathakchak dam under Sikandra block of Jamui district and killed two Maoists, recovered one .315 bore police rifle snatched by the Reds during Jhajha railway station attack and nabbed three persons, including a woman and her 10- year-old daughter.
Later, the CRPF let off the woman as she was not in the group but was forced to cook for them. Sahay had also recommended gallantry award for the men in the force. The CRPF wondered why Jamui, a highly Maoist-affected district, has only 250 policemen, of which over 100 are deployed as bodyguards. The policemen are also not adequately trained to take on Maoists. A senior CRPF officer said a proposal was given to the state government about a year back that one company of Bihar Military Police (BMP) be allowed to be trained by CoBRA in jungle warfare and launching attack against Maoists.
Training was to be of one month duration only. Another company of BMP was to be trained later. Initially, the state government agreed to it but the proposal never materialized. Again, the sources said, the IG CRPF had suggested that since there were only 8-10 police stations in Aurangabad and Gaya districts, which are dens of Maoists, police personnel posted in these areas be given incentive in salary. He had suggested a massive operation against Maoists by surrounding their stronghold areas. But nothing has materialized till now, sources added. “Had it materialized, we would have overcome Maoist onslaught,” they added.
INDIA: Paramilitary Still Squats in Chhattisgarh Schools
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from CGNet Swara, an organization promoting community journalism in India, regarding the continuing occupation and use of educational institutions in Chhattisgarh by the Indian paramilitary. AHRC has learnt that two companies of the Border Security Force (BSF), deployed at remote Kodapakha village of Kanker district, about 250 km from the Chhattisgarh state capital Raipur, have been occupying the premises of three schools for several years now.
They do so in violation of a Supreme Court order. It has been reported that three school premises, namely Kodapakha Shashakkey High School, Shashakkey Uttar Madhyamik Vidayalay, and Kodapakha primary school were occupied by the BSF in the 2010 to enable the forces to carry out counter insurgency operations against the Maoist movement in Chhattisgarh. Initially, the BSF housed themselves there on a temporary basis.
However, in time, the forces installed facilities to increase their comfort and continued the occupation and use of the educational institutions. The BSF has erected elevated concrete structures for surveillance and security of their ‘base’ – an indication their occupation is long term. Not only school houses, a health care facility nearby has also been converted into a military base. Locals have said that a building was constructed for the purpose of providing health care to the local population. However, BSF occupied this building as well about three years back and are still continuing their occupancy.