India: Assam Assessment 2014 – Analysis
[section on CPI (Maoist)] …Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) remained a worry. MHA Joint Secretary (Northeast) Shambhu Singh noted, on November 22, 2013, “Maoist presence in Assam and border areas of Arunachal Pradesh has been noticed and hence their activities were noticed in Golaghat, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Tinsukia Districts of Assam and Namsai area of Lohit District in Arunachal Pradesh.”
At least seven Districts, especially in the Upper Assam area, have reported significant mobilisation of the outfit, with an estimated strength of 114 in the State. Though the Maoists were not found to be involved in any single fatality in the current year, at least seven Maoist-related incidents were reported in 2013, in addition to 10 incidents in 2012, three in 2011 and just one in 2010. In one such incident in 2013, a three-member group of the CPI-Maoist raided a Police guest house at Borguri on the outskirts of Tinsukia town (Tinsukia District), and escaped with an INSAS rifle and 20 rounds of ammunition after injuring the sentry, Bipul Sonowal, in the night of October 1, 2013…
Naxal killed in Jharkhand
A suspected Naxalite has been killed and another apprehended by the CRPF in Khunti district of Jharkhand early today. Sources said security forces engaged Maoists in the forests of Lebed village during a search operation and in the ensuing firing, a Naxal leader identified as Ramesh Pahan was killed. The body has been recovered, a security official said. Another suspected Maoist, Lal Mohan Pahan, has been apprehended from the spot along with two .12 bore rifles by the security forces, which also included state police.
The location where the encounter took place had a Naxal hideout which was destroyed during the encounter by the security forces, the sources said. Two IEDs were also recovered by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troops from Merwahi village of Sukma during a search operation.
India seeks Bhutan crackdown on KLO camps
KOLKATA: With the KLO showing signs of resurgence in north Bengal and parts of Assam, India has requested Bhutan to resume flushing out operations in forested areas along the border with India where the organization is suspected to have camps. Cadres of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-Sonbijit) and United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) are also suspected to be holed up in these camps.
In 2003, the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) had carried out a fullfledged attack on militant camps along the border, which led to peace in the area for several years […] India and Bhutan share a border of 699 km. The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) guards the border on the Indian side while the RBA is deployed on the other side. Last Thursday, two NDFB – Sonbijit cadres were shot dead by Indian security forces in Kokrajhar close to the Assam-Bengal border. “There are clear indications that Maoists in Bhutan have ties with militant outfits in the northeastern part of India. Bhutan will be in trouble if outfits like the Ulfa and the NDFB – Sonbijit start training the Maoists there and arm them. India has also asked Bangladesh to crackdown on anti-Indian outfits operating from its soil. Myanmar has promised all assistance,” the source added.
CRPF chief vouches for more coordinated anti-Naxal operations
New Delhi: CRPF, the country’s mainstay security force for anti-Naxal operations, will undertake more coordinated offensives in the Maoist violence-affected states in order to flush out the ultras and create pressure on them to surrender. It is buoyed by the success of a four-day-long operation in several Naxal-hit states, which concluded recently, in which the security forces were mobilised in particular manner that led to recovery of a “good” quantity of arms and ammunition.
Inter-state police meet likely in February
VARANASI: The need for an inter-state coordination meeting of the police of neighbouring Maoist affected states has been realized. Following the interaction between UP Police and their counterparts in Bihar and other states, the possibility of next meeting had increased in the first fortnight of February. DIG A Satish Ganesh said on Monday that he had an interaction with the police officers in Bihar and other neighbouring states.
The officials here are expecting that the next meeting can be hosted by Bihar in the first half of February. This possibility increased after Ganesh held talks with DIG Sahababad (Bihar) Amit Jain. It is considered that the IG Patna zone will chair the meeting. An anti-Maoist operation was launched in several affected states including Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh by Central paramilitary forces and police from December 26. Since then, it was claimed that combing operations on the bordering areas of Maoist affected districts of Sonebhadra, Mirzapur and Chandauli, which are linked with the borders of Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, had been intensified to foil any bid of Maoist ultras to enter the territory of UP for taking shelter.
However, when TOI tried to take stock of the inter-state coordination meetings of police, which takes place at least once in a year to maintain coordination with the police of neighbouring states to combat the Maoist problem effectively by sharing intelligence inputs, it came to light that the last meeting had taken place in March 2013. And, the officials did not realize any need for similar meeting before the launching of anti-Maoist operation in the neighbouring states. The police realized the importance of the task as the season of tendu leave plucking, when mobility of Maoists is noticed to extort money from the contractors of forest department, is also commencing after February-end.
Nilambur cops get modern arms training to fight Maoists
MALAPPURAM: Police personnel at six police stations in Nilambur region are being exclusively trained to handle AK-47 rifles in a bid to tackle the Maoist threat in police stations along forest borders. The five-day-long training is already under way at the Kerala Armed Police camp in Nilambur. The training is being given to sub-inspectors of Nilambur, Edakkara, Vazhikadavu, Pothukallu, Pookkottumpadam stations under the Nilambur police circle and Kalikavu station under Vandur police circle.
The officers will also be trained to handle pistols and upon completion of training, will be provided with pistols. The state police and Tamil Nadu police have confirmed the presence of over 100 Maoists in the Nilambur forest region, armed with weapons including AK-47. Sources with Nilambur police said the training aims to boost the confidence of police officers at these stations make combing operations inside forests more effective. “The government has already decided to tighten the security at police stations,” said a source. Police personnel and newly appointed tribal home guards in areas along the Nilambur forest border had undergone special training in anti-naxal operations in November.
The newly appointed home guards at tribal regions in Nilambur for assisting police in the Maoist hunt have also undergone jungle training and special training in trekking. Though the 30-member team of Thunderbolts, the special commando wing of Kerala police was deployed in Nilambur, there had been complaints that officers at police stations along the forest border in the district can’t prevent a possible attack from Maoists. Recently, some forest staff were allegedly attacked by two Maoists near Pookkottumpadam. A tiger survey team had also sighted Maoists inside the forest.