Forces yielding ground to Maoists in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand
Judging by the current patterns, the fight with the Maoist rebels has a historical ring to it. Whether it is the first battle of Panipat in 1526, when a small army of Babur defeated the huge contingent of Ibrahim Lodi, or Shivaji’s combats with the mighty Bijapur kingdom in the 17thcentury, all speak of how the smaller outfits outclassed the bigger ones. The police in Maoist-affected states, especially Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, appear to be the modern-day equivalents of the larger forces. Despite being ‘larger’ and ‘stronger’, the forces are yielding ground to the comparatively weak red brigade. Monday’s incident in Jharkhand’s Giridih district, where the rebels first decoyed the forces into their trap and carried out a series of explosions, killing one CRPF trooper and injuring more than 17, has once again brought to light the Maoists’ operational efficiency in areas under their control.
In a recent report, Jharkhand deputy inspector general of police Suman Gupta said despite specific information, senior police officers in at least five Maoist-affected districts in the Hazaribag range desisted from taking action against the rebels. And this is despite the ultras’ supposedly depleting military strength — home ministry reports suggest there are barely 9,000-10,000 members of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), the unified military organisation of the Maoists. So where is the lapse? Jharkhand police spokesperson Anurag Gupta says it is the professional hazard that is leaving the forces at the receiving end. Albeit, he adds, the dependence on the paramilitary forces will have to be reduced and the states instead should focus more on training their police for endurance in jungle, tactics, and the precautions to be taken to be able to counter the Maoists. “The operational strategy has to be changed. The recent successes against terrorists in J&K have been achieved primarily by the special operations groups of the state police,” he said.
The Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh governments have doubled their police strength to nearly 50,000 and 60,000, respectively, over the past five years, but there has been no letup in violence. In Chhattisgarh, the Maoist militia, numbering barely 5,000, influences more than 130 of the 392 police stations in the state, while in Jharkhand 2,500-odd armed rebels are giving sleepless nights to the police in at least 18 out of the 24 districts. What gives them an edge over the police? “Our honesty, dedication and selflessness, coupled with public support, have kept us firm and strong over the years,” said CPI (M) commander Ashokji alias Karamchand, speaking to HT last week. “We are down in Andhra Pradesh and other plain areas, but have grown stronger in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand,” he said.
MLA seeks security over naxal threat
BSR Congress MLA and mining magnet B Sreeramulu today asked the state government to provide security to him in view of threat from naxalites. “I request the government to provide security to me because I often travel across the state, including Bellary, which borders naxal-hit Kurnool and Anantapur districts in Andhra Pradesh,” he said in the legislative Assembly. Castigating the government, Sreeramulu, who hails from the mine-rich Bellary district, said it is not keen on bringing the naxalites into the mainstream despite being keen on their surrender before the police. Raising the issue during the debate on motion of thanks to the Governor for his address, Sreeramulu alleged that innocent people were being apprehended as naxalites and police were perpetrating atrocities on them and requested the government to put an end to it.
Hardcore Maoist arrested in Aurangabad
A hardcore Maoist was arrested on Wednesday from a village in Bihar’s Naxal-infested Aurangabad district, police said. Acting on a tip off, the police raided Pichhulia village and nabbed the dreaded Maoist Dharmendra Yadav from a hideout, the Superintendent of Police (SP) Upendra Kumar Sharma said. The Maoist was wanted in conectioned with a landmine blast near Navinagar area last month in which eight policemen were killed, he said. Yadav was being interrogated about his involvement in various incidents of naxal violence in the district and adjoining areas, the SP said.
LS polls: 1.2 lakh paramilitary to be deployed
New Delhi, Jan 29: Given the importance of the Lok Sabha polls this year, the centre has deployed approximately 1.2 lakhs paramilitary personnel to avoid any unfavourable situation. The state police is also likely to be engaged for the high-profile multi-phased Lok Sabha polls that are likely to be held in April-May 2014. To be held over 5-6 phases, the polls have been given high attention by the Home Ministry, which has said that there would not be any loopholes in terms of security to ensure peaceful voting in the General elections.
Salwa Judum re-run: Chhattisgarh’s tribals take up arms against Maoists [PLFI lumpens]
RAIPUR: Driven to desperation by Maoists excesses and police inaction, tribals of Jashpur district bordering Jharkhand, have taken up arms to drive out guerrillas from the forests in a re-run of the Salwa Judum movement witnessed in tribal Bastar between 2005 and 2008. More than 1,500 tribals from Thutiamba, Aurapani and 25 other villages have declared war on Maoists of People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI). Armed with axes, hammers, knives, bows and arrows, armed villagers can be seen heading towards dense forests on the Chhattisgarh-Jharkhand border to fight the rebels.
Top Maoist leader arrested in Kolkata
A senior Maoist leader Anup Roy has been arrested by the Special Task Force of the Kolkata police from the Sealdah area. Acting on a tip-off, a special team of the STF last night arrested Roy from the Sealdah railway station area when he was about to board a train to flee the city. Roy, a state committee member of the CPI (Maoist), was being tracked by the STF for a long time. Roy will be produced before the court tomorrow.
Asked if Roy is involved in any extremist activity carried out by the Maoists in the state, Joint CP (STF) Tripurari said, “The interrogation has just begun. Let it progress, then only we can say something,”.