Three Maoists arrested in Bihar
Three Maoists were arrested from Hansikol forest today under Chakai police station area in Bihar’s Jamui district, the police said. Acting on a tip-off, a joint team of CRPF and Bihar police raided Hansikol forest areas and arrested the three. Three bombs, naxalite literature and uniform were recovered from their possession.
Palamu polling booths likely to be relocated
Daltonganj: Officials of the Palamu zila parishad as well as mukhiyas are worried about the security arrangements at polling booths for the Lok Sabha election. This is going to be the first such LS polls in the state with elected officials of the zila parishad and the mukhiyas. The last Lok Sabha election was held in 2009 and election for zila parishad/mukhiya was held in 2010. Vice chairman of the Palamu zila parishad Binod K Singh said the polling booth at Mahoor under Mohammadganj block is too difficult and prone to Maoist violence.
It had seen a fierce attack on the security forces by the rebels in which a chopper was used to airlift the injured and the dead cops in the 2004 Lok Sabha election. In 2009, security was beefed up at Mahoor. Binod Singh said polling booths at Salaiyya and at Gardaag under Pipra block are under the Maoist influence. All these booths fall under the jurisdiction of the Palamu Lok Sabha constituency. Palamu SP Y S Ramesh and the district election officer (DEO) Manoj Kumar, who is the Palamu DC, both hinted at relocation of booths in Palamu saying polling booths track record and its vulnerability to Maoist attacks will count much for their re location.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha election more than four dozen polling booths were relocated. The mukhiya of the Manatu panchayat Sachindrajeet Singh listed about half a dozen polling booths in Manatu which fall under Palamu district but are counted as booths for Chatra Lok Sabha constituency. According to Singh polling booths located at Dumri, Karmahee, Sarguja, Metar, Chunka are in heavily naxal dominated where run the writ of the naxals especially the CPI Maoists. Singh added the voters simply dance to the tune of the Maoists as it is the Maoists who decide the voting in favour or against of the candidate here.
In 2009 Lok Sabha election ten booths falling under Manatu were relocated. According to DC Manoj Kumar this time too there would be relocation of booths here. Permod Singh a member of Palamu zila parishad who represents Chainpur Mdhya said polling booths falling at Boorhee, Karso, Khura, Salutwa are in Maoists territory but here security arrangements help prevent any unseemly incident in election time. The Maoists cast their shadows on elections here by its two committees East Palamu Sub Zone committee and Koyal Sone Sub Zone committee which covers even the two national Highways NH 75 and 98 here too.
Maoists still a threat in Santhal Pargana
DUMKA: With Maoists successfully carrying out attacks in the assembly and parliamentary elections in Dumka in 2009, forces are gearing up to counter the outlawed rebels during the coming elections. What has made matters worse is that the rebel outfit has in the course of time strengthened its might in the area largely due to the negligence of security forces engaged in anti-Naxal operations. In its maiden attempt of resorting to bloodshed during elections in Dumka, the rebels ambushed a polling party near Jodam under Kathikund police station of the district on the polling day of the last LS election in May 2009.
A village choukidar was killed and a banker engaged in polling duty injured when rebels opened indiscriminate firing on the vehicle ferrrying them after polls. Apparently, owing to the porous security measures, rebels once again managed to ambush a patrolling party in the subsequent assembly election in the same year in December without any resistance. Two BSF jawans of road opening party were killed at Chaypani under Shikaripara police station of the district. Rebels had also taken away sophisticated firearms and live cartridges of the slain BSF jawans. At a time when respective district administrations are gearing up for polls, no perceptible move has been made keeping in view the security concerns involved therein.
“We have not yet been directed by higher authorities regarding the security perception of the LS election,” said sources in the intelligence agencies, thereby underlying the gross indifference of the stakeholders towards the gravity of the Maoist threat. That Maoists have managed to strengthen their might in the last five years is evident from the string of fatal incidents triggered by them, including the recent ambush on Pakur SP Amarjit Balihar and his guards on July 2 last year near Kathikund in Dumka.
Around three dozen rebels equipped with sophisticated firearms fired indiscriminately on Balihar’s convoy along Dumka-Pakur road while he was returning from a meeting, which was presided over by newly posted DIG Priya Dubey in Dumka on the fateful day. Altogether six policemen, including Balihar, succumbed to the gunshot injuries. As is always the case, the rebels managed to escape without any resistance and also took away the firearms and live cartridges along with them. The site of ambush on the Balihar convoy was merely three to four km from Kathikund police station. The incident also put a spotlight on the poor intelligence network of the security forces.
So far only three rebels involved in Balihar’s assassination have been nabbed by the police. With the rest being still at large, they may trigger yet another attempt to disrupt the election process. The absence of IG for a prolonged period of over seven months since the transfer of Dumka IG Arun Oraon is also indicative of the state government’s lack of commitment towards the Naxal menace of Santhal Pargana. It is strategically suitable for the rebel organization due to its tough topography with a dense forest cover and hills extending up to the neighbouring parts of Maoist- hit Bengal and Bihar.
Anti-Naxal Force to be Deployed in Northern Districts
Three companies pooled from the Armed Police Battalions will be deployed for anti-Naxal operations in the northern districts, said an order issued by the Home Department. The order, intended to streamline the anti-Maoist operations, also sanctioned special benefits to the personnel, irrespective of their ranks, who participate in field operations. The order assigned four top officials with specific tasks related with the operations. Kannur Range IG S Suresh will be the commandant of the anti-Naxal force. Wayanad district police chief Putta Vimaladitya is the operational head of the anti-Naxal squad which will operate with Wayanad as base station.