IDSA COMMENT Maoists Look for Safe Sanctuaries and External Support
A media report of 17 January this year, said a large number of armed guerrillas of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), or Maoists in short, have infiltrated into Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh comes as no surprise. Of course, it is difficult to hazard a guess at the number of rebels that have moved across the porous border between Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh and from the adjoining areas of Gondia (Maharashtra). The enclosed map shows a few safe sanctuaries in the Maoist-affected areas indicating that in case of sustained operations and hot pursuit by the security forces (SF) against the Maoists, they could move into some of the prominent forested areas – also characterised by their remoteness and vulnerable population. These include general areas in and around Malkangiri, Abhujmarh, Gadchiroli, Balaghat, Balrampur and Sarguja, and Saranda. Interestingly, all these lie along inter-state boundaries. The bi-junctions and tri-junctions are known to be the most vulnerable areas….
4 Naxals arrested after fierce gunbattle between Maoists-security forces in Bijapur
Four Naxals, including a self-styled military company member who was allegedly involved in Tadmetla incident in which 76 troopers were killed and carrying a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh on his head, were arrested after a prolonged gun-battle in Maoist-hit Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, police said on Monday. Those arrested were identified as Budta Gonde (26), Lakhmu Kadiyam (35), Sannu Lekam (28) and Lakshman Uike (25), who were allegedly handling the Maoist’s activities on national highway in south Bastar region, Bijapur Deputy Superintendent of Police Sukhnandan Rathore told PTI. “A cache of ammunition, commodities of daily use and Naxal-related items were recovered from them,” he said.
“The cadres were nabbed from the restive forests under Bijapur police station limits on Sunday during a search operation following the face-off,” he added. While the joint party of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and district police reached the forests between Kaika and Ghumra, about 10-15 armed rebels ambushed the police party and opened indiscriminate firing on them following which they retaliated, the DSP said.
Immediately after the gunfight, security forces launched a search in the region during which four ultras were arrested, he said. A five kg tiffin bomb, a couple of detonators, bags, Naxal uniforms, their literature, other ammunitions and commodities of daily use were recovered, he said. According to the official, Gonde was a member of regional military company II of CPI (Maoist) and was carrying a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh on his head.
During interrogation, he admitted that he had joined the movement in 2009 and was involved in the deadly 2010 Tadmetla (now in Sukma district) attack in which 76 security personnel were killed in Dantewada district, the DSP said. Lakhmu was a militia platoon commander of Japeli area, while Sannu and Lakshma were militia platoon members. They were handling several Naxal activities like sticking anti-government posters, blocking roads for operations and others on national highways, he said, adding they were involved in several incidents of crime in the region. In a separate incident in the district, Semla Bheema – a sangham member of Maoist – was arrested during a joint search operation in Koraguda village forests under Basgaguda police station limits on Sunday, the DSP added.
One killed, 11 injured in Maoist-triggered blast
Maoists said, you will find out the reason why you were taken hostages once you are released: Released Jharkhand PMRDF Three panchayat-level workers and a Prime Minister Rural Development Fellow (PMRDF) taken hostage by Maoists on January 25 in Giridih district were released on Monday evening.In the search operation that began on January 26, Badal Mandal of Central Police Reserve Force (CRPF) 22 Battalion died and 11 others suffered injuries when suspected Maoists triggered over 12 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) explosions on Monday afternoon. Eleven companies, or nearly 700 paramilitary personnel, of CRPF and special assault groups of Jharkhand Jaguar (JJ) were deployed in the search operations that began on Sunday. The injured paramilitary personnel – seven from CRPF and four from Jharkhand Jaguar – were flown to Ranchi for treatment.
“Though we lost one of our men, we were able to secure the safe release of all four by putting the Maoists under immense pressure. Our forces surrounded them from all sides,” said Jharkhand Director General of Police Rajeev Kumar. Panchayat Sewak Maqsood, Rozgar Sewak Shambhu Pandey, village-level worker Chandra Dev, and Sai Vamsi Wardhan, a 25-year old software engineer from Andhra Pradesh working in Giridih as a PMRDF had been taken hostage from Nakania village while collecting applications from the village’s residents for government schemes. The information shared by the released indicates that the abduction may have been used as a strategy by the rebels to target paramilitary personnel.
“We collected forms for pension schemes, MNREGA Kaam Maango Abhiyaan, skills development programmes in Nakania. Twelve Maoists including two women arrived there and asked us to accompany them. They did not ask us many questions or harm us. They said, ‘you will find out the reason you were taken hostages once you are released’,” said Sai Vamsee Wardhan, who has been working as PMRDF in Giridih since September 2012
Maoists kill two more tribals in Odisha’s Malkangiri district
Malkangiri: Maoists gunned down two persons suspecting them as police informers in Odisha’s Malkangiri district, police said Monday. The victims have been identified as Deba Sodi and Erma Banjarni of Silakota village under Padia Police Station area of the district. The duo were abducted from their houses on January 25 night and killed yesterday after producing them at the Maoist’s praja court, they said.
“Two persons have been killed by the Maoists at Silakota village. But, they were never police informers,”Malkangiri district SP Akileswar Singh told reporters. Family members of those deceased, however, have cremated the bodies without informing the police about the incident, villagers said. Meanwhile, the Maoists’s Malkangiri Division spokesperson Poonam Chanra in an audio message claimed that they have killed the duo as their information had helped the police to launch an attack on ultras on September 13 last year when around 13 rebels were killed, police said.
Chanra also cautioned that more people from Silakota village would face the same fate as they have been working as police informer, police said, adding that she has also adviced them to tender apology for working as police informers in order to save their lives. Around 18 innocent persons including 16 tribals, have been killed since April last year by the Maoists branding them as police informers. PTI
Bomb blasts mar R-Day in Manipur
IMPHAL, JAN 26: Republic Day celebration in Manipur was marred by a series of five bombs explosion. Two security personnel were injured in the explosion which took place in interior Chandel district. Of the five bombs, four exploded in the morning. The first explosion was reported around 8 am near the Imphal river bank running on the eastern side of Babupara VIP colony close to Imphal West deputy commissioner’s office while the second one exploded around 9 am at a place opposite to Kalimai Mandir which is only around 100 feet away from the parade ground of the 1st Manipur Rifle where the main state level celebration function of the Republic Day was conducted.
Another bomb was exploded near a post of 4 Assam Rifles at Chinga around 10 am followed by the fourth explosion at Sangakpham Bazar close to a post of the Assam Rifles around 10.10 am. No casualty was reported in all the explosions. Police suspect that the blasts were triggered by rebels using time devices as part of their strategies to disturb the celebration. “We suspected IEDs that exploded using time devices,” said a senior police officer who was on duty during the Republic Day celebration.
The fifth explosion, took place at Sajik Tampak in interior Chandel district, this morning around 9 am, where two personnel of A-coy of 2 Assam Rifles post at Chakpikarong were injured. The wounded personnel were evacuated to Army hospital at Leimakhong, Imphal by chopper, sources said. Various rebel groups including Coordination Committee of KCP, RPF/PLA, UNLF, KYKL and PREPAK have imposed separate general strikes as part of boycotts to the celebration of the day in the state.