Government for leaner but trained force in Maoist-affected areas for polls
NEW DELHI: The government may have patted its back over the success of Chhattisgarh state elections amid unprecedented security last year. But a home ministry advisory to Maoist-infested states has criticized the way security arrangements were made in Chhattisgarh. It asked for a leaner but trained force to handle the Lok Sabha polls. Anticipation of attacks in the wake of Maoist call to boycott polls in Chhattisgarh had seen the government deploying close to one lakh security personnel on the ground. The MHA advisory said such heavy deployment forced the state to requisition forces which were not trained to fight Naxals and thus heightened security risks.
The advisory said: “It was seen during Chhattisgarh assembly elections that the demand/availability of security forces appeared more than actually required in some places. Consequently, the security forces of states with no LWE (Left Wing Extremism) orientation were deployed which resulted in problem of ensuring their own security. It is suggested that in ‘A category’ districts (those with heavy Naxal presence) the emphasis should be on the quality of forces rather than just large numbers.” It said additional deployment in ‘A category’ districts should largely comprise paramilitary forces rather than state forces from non-LWE affected states which do not have the requisite tactical orientation.
During the assembly polls, 56,000 troops were brought from outside to boost security in the state. Their deployment was a huge exercise with CRPF putting into action 83 companies just for road opening exercise. A major part of this induction had no prior experience of fighting the Naxals. “One commandant from a paramilitary force demanded a vehicle for movement of forces—a strict no-no in Naxal areas as Maoists plant IEDs on roads,” said a senior CRPF officer pointing out the dangers of putting untrained forces in Naxal areas. The advisory also asked states to intensify anti-Naxal operations in the run-up to elections saying they could be carried out only till March 15. It also noted that “in the last four months anti-Naxal operations have not yielded results in terms of attrition among the Maoists”.
Cash, ammunition seized from Naxal hideouts
Rajnandgaon, Mar 4 (PTI) In a major haul, a whopping Rs 29 lakh were seized from a Maoist dump in Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon district, police said today. Besides, ammunition and electronic gadgets were also recovered from two separate Naxal hideouts in the region.
Maoist arrested in Palamu during anti-Naxal operation by police
A Maoist cadre was arrested with arms and ammunition from Rangai village in Palamu district, police said on Tuesday. Sanjay Bhuiyan, member of Roshanji-squad, was arrested during anti-naxal ‘Operation Winner’ late on Tuesday night, Superintendent of Police YS Ramesh and CRPF Commandant Anil Minz said. The operation has been continuing for the past four days in Palamu district, Ramesh said. A loaded magazine, which was looted from the police in the past, a walkie-talkie set, 11 detonator wires, 60 cartridges and one empty magazine were recovered from his possession.
Undertrial Naxal serving life sentence escapes from court
Two prisoners, including a hardcore Maoist serving life sentence, escaped from court premises at Ghatsila, around 45 km from Jamshedpur on Monday, a senior police officer said. CPI (Maoist)’s Phogra Munda, serving life sentence in a murder case as well as facing trial in several other cases in Ghorabandha, Shyamsunderpur and other police stations in Maoist-affected Ghatsila sub-division of East Singhbhum, managed to escape soon after production in court, Superintendent of Police (Rural) Shailendra Kumar Sinha said.
Magisterial probe ordered in encounter of suspected Naxals
Raipur: A magisterial probe has been ordered into an encounter between security forces and Naxalites early this year in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district, in which two suspected cadres were killed. Kanker Collector Alarmelmangai D has ordered the magisterial enquiry headed by Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Antagarh to investigate the encounter near Michewada Hills around two months back, an official said.
Two suspected Maoists killed in Odisha encounter
Police say they were suspected to be members of the CPI (Maoist)’s “Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee” Two suspected Maoists were killed during an exchange of fire inside the jungle under the Pottangi police station area of Koraput district in south Odisha on Tuesday. Speaking to The Hindu, Koraput Superintendent of Police (SP) Awinash Kumar said as per initial reports the uniform of the slain men hinted that they were Maoist commanders.
Their identity was being ascertained. But they were suspected to be members of Koraput-Srikakulam division under the “Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee” (AOBSZC) of the outlawed CPI (Maoist). The security personnel have also seized two carbines, two magazines of fire arms and a grenade from the encounter spot. The encounter occurred during an anti-Maoist operation by the District Voluntary Force (DVF) of Koraput police, which had been initiated following intelligence reports that a group of hardcore Maoists were camping in the jungle under Pottangi police station bordering Andhra Pradesh.
Two Naxals held in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: Two Naxals, including one carrying a reward on his head, were arrested during a search operation in Maoist-affected Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh. The cadres were nabbed by a team of local police from the forests of Burji village under Gangalur police station limits last evening, a senior police official said. On sensing the security personnel near them, the duo made an attempt to escape but they were chased and nabbed, he said. During investigation, they admitted to being involved in the movement, he said. The two ultras were identified as Kadti Sannu (24) and Hemla Somlu (30), he said.