Security forces gearing up for biggest operation against Maoists
Security forces are gearing up for an all-out assault on the Maoist hideouts in Malkangiri’s “cut-off ” area, a formidable rebel bastion bordering Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. Highly-placed sources said that a strategy to launch a “final” attack on the Red fortress had been given the final shape following a visit to the area – comprising six gram panchayats located across the Balimela reservoir of Malkangiri district, by chief secretary Jugal Kishore Mohapatra and director general of police Prakash Mishra towards the end of last month. It was the first visit of such high-ranking officials to this virtually inaccessible area that can be reached only by boats from the district’s mainland.
The area has been in constant focus because of scaled up Maoist violence, with the rebels striking big in February 2011 when they kidnapped the then Malkangiri collector R. Vineel Krishna, the first incident of its kind in the country. Three years earlier, that they had gunned down 38 jawans of Andhra Pradesh’s elite Greyground force while they were trying to cross the Balimela reservoir in the same area. Sources said, during his visit to the area on January 24, the DGP undertook a reconnaissance trip to the forest and hill-dotted terrain along with senior officials of the district.
The team included superintendent of police Akhileshwar Singh who in last September scored a major victory when a police party led by him shot dead 13 ultras close to the cut-off area. The chief secretary, too, took the risk of visiting the area because he wanted to inspire confidence among the local residents before launch of the operation against the Maoists. While sources in Bhubaneswar said the operation will begin “soon” and shall be one of the biggest ever against the Maoists in the state, Malkangiri SP Singh refused to comment. He, however, asserted that the morale of the security forces was at an all-time high. The operation, which would include state police, the BSF and the district voluntary force (DVF) jawans, is likely to be assisted by police forces from the bordering areas of Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.
Significantly, planning for the operation has been given final touches almost coinciding with the arrest on Saturday of top Maoist leader Tella Anil Kumar alias Chandu of the Andhra-Orissa Border State Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) who carried a reward of Rs.40 lakh on his head by the police in the neighbouring Koraput district. Inspector general of police, south-western range, Yashwant Jethwa said Chandu was the intelligence in-charge for Koraput-Srikakulam Division, Malkangiri Division and East-Visakha Division of the Maoists, and operated mainly in Koraput and Malkangiri districts of Orissa, and Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts of Andhra Pradesh.
Security forces recover IED after a battle with naxals in Chhattisgarh
An encounter today broke out between security forces and Naxalites in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district following which an IED and multiple rounds of ammunition were recovered. The operation, conducted by paramilitary CRPF along with state police in the Chintagufa-Bheji area of the district, saw an exchange of fire between the two sides when the forces were out for an anti-Naxal operation. The forces recovered two local guns called ‘bharmar’, 53 rounds of different ammunition, Improvised Explosive Device (IED) weighing 5kg and some other material from the spot, a security official here said. The IEDs were later crippled.
Arms, explosives seized, 6 suspected ultras detained in Bihar
Munger: Security forces seized a large haul of arms and explosives and detained six suspected Maoists from Kanani forests in Bihar’s Munger district. Acting on a tip-off, the security forces – comprising CRPF jawans and the district police – launched a combing and search operation in Kanani forests, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Munger Range, Sudhanshu Ranjan said. During the gun-battle, at least three Maoists suffered injuries, but they were whisked away by others in the outfit in the jungle.
Six persons, suspected to be ultras, were detained for questioning, he said. The forces later recovered an Insas rifle, 50 detonators and over 100 rounds of ammunition, besides Naxal literature and uniforms from the encounter site, the DIG said. The forces returned to their base camp after completing search operation in Kanani forest, he said.
Pregnant woman Maoist arrested from railway station in West Singhbhum
A pregnant woman Maoist was arrested on Tuesday from a railway station while she was waiting for a train in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district. The Maoist, Limbo Bodra alias Anita, a member of the Prasadji squad who was wanted in five cases including encounter with security personnel was arrested from a railway station, about 80 km from Jamshedpur.
Maoists set ablaze vehicles in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh District
Ramgarh (Jharkhand), Feb.4 (ANI): Maoists set ablaze vehicles in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh District, instilling fear among villagers. The driver of the burnt trucks claimed that the rebels were armed. Around 15 to 20 armed rebels attacked the drivers and set their vehicles on fire in Ramgarh district.
‘Reds’ kill JVM-P leader in Giridih
RANCHI: A group of suspected Maoists gunned down a JVM (P) leader in Giridih on Sunday evening, just a week after the attack on CRPF personnel, killing one and injuring 15 in Peertar block of the district. Kapildev Yadav, 35 was killed because he did not sympathize with the Maoists even though he lived in a village where they enjoy dominance. JVM (P), however, sees the killing as an attempt to check party’s growing influence in Giridih region.
One of the worst Maoist-hit districts, Giridih is home to former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi who inspired several Maoists to surrender during his tenure. Nunulal Marandi, brother of Babulal, visited Giridih on Monday. “YIt is a political killing and has been carried out to stop check the influence of the party. Yadav was trying to connect poor people, who have been abandoned by the successive governments in the state,” said Marandi.
He, however, said that the reason behind the killing is a matter of investigation. A source in the police said Yadav with some local people was holding an informal meeting at Manikpur village, close to the Bihar-Jharkhand borders on Sunday evening when few men alighted from a passenger bus. Soon a number of motorcycles also arrived at the meeting site. They interrupted the meeting and asked for Kapildev Yadav. As the JVM(P) leader stood up, around six men pulled out their guns. “They abused him first and told him that he was a fool to call himself a leader. As Yadav tried to run away, he was shot at the back after which he fell to the ground. The Maoists then shot at him multiple times,” claimed Marandi.
More prisoners join hunger strike
RANCHI/HAZARIBAG: The agitation initiated by prisoners of Hazaribag Central Jail is set to spread across all other prisons in Jharkhand and neighbouring states as more and more people have joined the protests. On Monday, more than 68 prisoners of Birsa Munda Central jail resorted to a hunger strike under the aegis of Bandi Mukti Morcha, which was recently floated in different jails across state.