Women Maoist commanders play big role in encounters
Women commanders have come to constitute almost half of the armed cadre of Maoists and are playing a major role in encounters, like they had done in the Sukma encounter in Chhattisgarh on March 11, security forces believe. It is difficult to get a headcount but a rough number of women killed in encounters last year was available after security forces stumbled upon Maoist posters and pamphlets to pay them homage on International Women’s Day.
One poster in Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra paid homage to 17 women commanders killed in encounters over the year. In the past one year, there has been a significant increase in women joining the armed wing of Maoists. Maoists do not leave behind their dead and take away the bodies. The posters enabled security forces to get a headcount. Posters recovered from Gadchiroli identified some of the women as Indra, Dhanni, Geeta, Anita, Swarupa, Santila, Pramila, Seema, Reshma, Vasanti, Champa and Mamta. It said, “mahila bina kranti nahin, kranti bina shoshan mukt samaj nahin (no revolution without women and without revolution there can’t be an exploitation-free society).
In the March 11 encounter in Sukma in Chhattisgarh where 15 security personnel were killed, women Maoist commanders played a role, according to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) which lost 11 men. The state police personnel lost four men. In a presentation to the MHA, the CRPF had said Maoists were divided into three groups, and one group comprised mainly of women commanders in black uniform who fired from behind. After a drop in male recruits and desertion, Maoists have started recruiting women on a large scale.
A Maoist document accessed by security forces says not many men were coming forward to join the People Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), their armed wing. The document in Hindi says, “Villagers should be requested to join PLGA. Once they join, they should be taken care of and given adequate leave. If a PLGA cadre has erred, he should not be scolded, threatened or beaten up.”
Chhattisgarh: Naxal camp busted, arms seized
Ahead of the first phase of election in 70 Assembly seats and 10 Lok Sabha seats in Naxal-dominated districts of Orissa, security forces achieved a major success when they busted a Maoist camp operating in the Chhattisgarh forests on the state border. The operation was initiated from Nawrangpur district side of Orissa two days ago. Senior police officials said around 50 Maoists of Mainpur division and Nuapada division were camping at the forests in Raigarh area of Chhattisgarh when the Border Security Force and District Voluntary Force and Special Operation Group of Nabarangpur district police attacked the camp. The joint team seized 8 landmines, three SBML guns, one 8mm pistol, 70 detonators, seven bundles of wire, a solar panel, five kilogrammes of gun-powder, Maoist uniforms and literature from the camp. Acting on a tip-off, the security personnel tracked the Maoist camp, but soon came under attack from the rebels.
The security forces fired in retaliation, but the Naxals managed to escape. There was no report of any casualty from the Maoist side. Meanwhile, in Sorada area of Ganjam, police arrested 4 persons who were allegedly supplying provisions to the Maoists. In Koraput district’s Boipariguda block, the Maoists, in a message through posters, have asked locals to boycott polling on April 10 and accused all political parties of being anti-poor. The posters also asked the people not to let politicians enter villages for campaigning. According to the police, the Maoist central committee has asked its cadres of Jharkhand to plan a major attack on security personnel. Inspector General of Police(Anti-Naxal operations) Soumendra Priyadarshi said the encounters showed police was succeeding in engaging the Maoists.
“The Maoists strategy is to avoid any encounter or exchange of fire with cops. They would rather want to surprise us. After their failure in 2013 Chhattisgarh Assembly polls, they have taken a conscious decision to thwart the election process.” To avoid any Darbha-type incident, police would now issue district-specific and area-specific guidelines for candidates during campaigning in Maoist-hit districts of Koraput, Malkangiri, Nuapada, Nawrangpur, Kandhamal, Ganjam and Gajapati.
“If someone wants to go to a place like Narayanpatna with just a PSO, we would strongly advise against it,” said a senior police official of Koraput district. 4 Maoist leaders nabbed in Bihar PATNA: The Special Task Force of the Bihar Police arrested four Maoist commanders in Muzaffarpur district. IGP (Operations) Amit Kumar said the four were allegedly involved in various incidents of violence, including a murder in North Bihar and cases of extortion and arson. They were nabbed from Gandakdiara (Riverine area). One of the Maoists, Rohit, is the son of jailed Maoist leader Musafir Sahni. Kumar said, “The Maoists had organised a ‘Shahidi Mela’ (Martyrs’ fair) at Suhasa and Suhasi villages on Friday. Our men infiltrated it, cornered the suspects and brought them to Patna.” PTI
Maoists disown Nachika, ask people to oppose his ‘selfish’ poll plan
Ever since Nachika Linga, the leader of Narayanpatna’s Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh ( CMAS ) decided to give up his life in the jungle and work overground , he has become a target of the Maoists who are deeply worried about losing their grip over their 5-year old base in the area. In a signed two-page letter issued on Sunday night, Daya and Aruna, leaders of the Srikakulam division of the outlawed CPI-Maoist, have urged the local tribal people to disown Nachiks and oppose his plan to join electoral politics after striking a compromise with the establishment. Terming it as a move to further his own personal ambitions at the cost of the larger interests of the local tribal people, the Maoist leaders have denounced Linga’s plans to contest the 2014 general elections.
The letter says the Maoists supported Nachika Linga and CMAS after they boycotted the 2009 general elections. However, the CMAS led by Nachika betrayed them in 2012 when they took an active part in the 3-tier panchayat elections in 2012. “ after winning all the seats they (CMAS) extended support to the BJD candidate for the Zilla Parishad chairman’s post after entering into an 10-point agreement with the Mass Education minister Rabi Nanda and other BJD MLAs including the Laxmipur legislator Jhina Hikaka,” the letter said. “ Did it result in any change in the lives of the people ? Did BJD fulfill the 10 demands they had promised to ?” – the letter asked.
Alleging that the elected sarpanchs have gone missing and the local Zilla Parishad member Joru Mouka has become a ‘don’ in Damanjodi, the letter says it is not electoral politics but ‘people’s war’ which is the only way out for the people to escape their misery. Urging the people in Narayanpatna to oppose Nachika’s move the Maoists have asked them to boycott the ensuing polls.
Security beefed up in Manipur for Rahul visit
Security in Manipur has been beefed up as it gears up for the visit of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on March 19. Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, who inspected the rally venue in Thoubal district, found that construction work at the venue, a sports stadium, was not up to the mark. He directed contractors and officials to do it afresh. About 50,000 persons are expected to attend the rally. With two underground organisations — the United Revolutionary Front and the Maoist Communist Party — urging people to not participate in the Gandhi family scion’s rally, review meetings at the government and party level are being held to ensure that untoward incidents do not take place during the visit, and combing operations have been intensified, Mr. Singh said.
Villagers allege ‘torture’ by AR in Manipur
Six villagers allegedly picked up by the Assam Rifles troops in a follow up action to PLA’s March 11 deadly ambush were released after subjected to torture. Security force has also reportedly prevented two severely wounded villagers from being hospitalized, a report received here said Sunday. On March 11, armed cadres of PLA laid a deadly ambush on the convoy of 24 Assam Rifles at a hilly place near Kambang village in Chandel district, leaving casualty to the troopers besides snatching away of arms from the troopers.
In the aftermath of the ambush, villagers of Kambang and Kambang Khullen, fled and stayed in the forest throughout the night under the fear of possible reprisal from the Assam Rifles and returned home the next morning. On Saturday, troops of 24 Assam Rifles reportedly came to the village and picked up six villagers and tortured badly before releasing them late night of the same day, villagers informed media persons and civil organizations. Two of them, identified as Kh Donai Maring (55) and Kh Liupa (32) of Kambang Khullen sustained severe injuries in the alleged torture meted out by the AR troopers.