Naxals pose a major threat to Lok Sabha candidates in Jharkhand
Election time in Naxal-infested Jharkhand is doubly dangerous for the politicians many of whom are high on the rebels’ hit-list. As candidates and their supporters move in the countryside, tour villages and address huge rallies, the security agencies face a nightmarish situation in providing them security especially as many of the leaders believe that a tight security cordon prevents them from campaigning effectively. Jharkhand has witnessed many political killings by the Naxals with one of the latest being All Jharkhand Students’ Union leader Tileshwar Sahu who was shot dead by suspected People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI) cadre.
The PLFI along with groups like Jharkhand Prastuti Committee (JPC) and Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC) are some of the Naxal outfits operating in the state apart from the biggest and deadliest of them all – the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist). Based on intelligence inputs, the state police has issued advisories to the political leaders and warned them about the threat, sources have told IBNLive. The top leaders who are on Naxal hit-list include Chief Minister Hemant Soren, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Shibu Soren, former CM and BJP leader Arjun Munda, state Congress chief Sukhdev Bhagat, Congress leader Subodh Kant Sahay, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) supremo Babu Lal Marandi, MP Dr Ajay Kumar and a few others.
200,000 policemen, vehicles, ’copters for polls
NEW DELHI: More than 200,000 gun-toting paramilitary personnel, thousands of vehicles and nearly a dozen helicopters will be deployed across the country to ensure smooth and violence-free elections beginning on April 7. During the nine-phased polls, spread over nearly two months, the home ministry has chalked out the deployment plan for 543 constituencies having a total electorate of 814 million with the special focus on violence-hit states.
Political parties concerned about Maoists attack
KOLKATA: A number of landmines recovered from different jungles in and around Lalgarh weigh more than 10 kilograms which are capable of large scale explosion. Police also recovered huge amount of gun powder, different kinds of arms and ammunition from the three Maoist-hit districts triggering concern not only among the politicians but among the police as well. In the last fortnight police scooped out six landmines from West Midnapore, four from Purulia and three from Bankura coupled with 29 kilograms of gun powder. “We have also recovered some country-made revolvers and bullets from Dohijhuri under Jamboni police station area,” a police officer of west Midnapore district said.
According to senior police officers the activities of the Maoists have increased in recent past and they are active in the bordering areas. “Two teams one led by Madan and the other led by Shyamal are active in Belpahari area and one team led by Jayanta is tarced in Chakulia area in Jahrkhand. They occasionally come to West Bengal hold meetings and fgo back,” a senior district police officer said. The Maoist activities have increased after there was change of guard in the Maoist rank and file a couple of months back. ON January 19 Dankaranya Special Zonal Committee secretary GVK Prasad surrendered and the reins was taken over by Ramanna who is considered to be hardliner.
The political parties are concerned about the renewed activities of the Maoists in the area. Speaking to to TOI all the major political parties demanded strengthening of the security system in the district. CPM leader Dahreshwar Sen said, “It is now an open secret that TMC had an understanding with the Maoists and now in this election they are again terrorising the people using this extremist force. Their presence is felt in different areas like Simlipal, Chakulia, Belphari, Jamboni, Banstala and Manikpara and police should try to find out the nexus between TMC and the Maoists”. Trinamool Congres leader Prodyut Ghosh also accepted that the activities of the Maoists have increased.
“They are trying to regroup and they are targeting places which are close to the border so that they can have an easy escape and some people in West Bengal are helping them with food, money and shelter. We have told the police to look into it”. BJP though didn’t demand special protection for the candidates but are keeping a watch on the situation. “The Maoist activity have increased but certainly and we are keeping a close watch. If needed we will apply to the election commission for special protection,” BHP district secretary Abani Mahato said. “Some of the recovered some landmines weigh more than ten kilograms and we are concerned about the size and the strength of these landmines.
These landmines are capable of large scale destruction and we are very much concerned about it,” West Midnapore’s Superintendent of Police Bharati Ghosh said. “We are taking all possible steps to ensure security in the three districts. We are not taking any chances and we have planned for a detailed security structure and are working on it,” IG (Western Range Siddhinath Gupta said. When asked whether they are arranging for special security for the candidates and political heavyweights, a senior district police officer said, “We are not giving special protection to any candidate but we have told all the political parties to give their itinerary so that we can design our security arrangement”.
Maoist Arrested in Bihar
Naresh Ram, a hardcore Maoist and the prime accused in the Pariyari incident of August 2002 in which three persons were killed, was today arrested from a place in Arwal district of Bihar, the police said. Acting on a tip-off, police raided Nirakhpur village and arrested the ultra, Superintendent of Police Shafique Haque said. The Maoist was on the run since the Pariyari incident .
4 Maoists held in two separate incidents in Chhattisgarh
Security personnel have arrested four Maoists, including two carrying rewards on their heads, and seized posters urging boycott of Lok Sabha polls, from separate places in the insurgency-hit Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, official sources said here today. Two Maoists, identified as Phool Singh (25) and Pareshwar (26), were nabbed from Dhaudai police station limits of Narayanpur district today, a senior police officer told PTI.
A joint squad of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the local police were on a combing operation today morning in Dhaudai forests, which is more than 300 km away from Chhattisgarh state capital Raipur, when the duo were spotted fleeing. They were chased and nabbed, he said, adding that both of them carried a reward of Rs 5,000 each on their heads, he said. In another operation, a joint contingent of the Border Security Force (BSF) and local police nabbed two Maoists from the Kodapakha forests of Kanker district last evening, the officer said. Those nabbed have been identified as Sukalu (34) and Ratiram (36), he said.
All four Maoists were allegedly involved in various crimes like murder, attempt to murder, arson, road blockade, kidnappings, blasts and other cases, he said. Meanwhile, a local police team recovered Maoist posters and banners from Korenar village under Bande police station limits of Kanker, which urged voters to boycott the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, he said.
Maoists send bulk SMSes to people, appeal to boycott upcoming Lok Sabha polls
In a first, Maoists are using SMS service to appeal to people to boycott the Lok Sabha polls in Bihar and neighbouring Jharkhand, police officials said on Monday. “Maoists are sending bulk SMSes to mobile-phone subscribers and appealing to them to boycott the ensuing general elections,” a police official said. The SMSes were issued on behalf of the Communist Party of India-Maoist border zonal committee spokesperson Avinash.
“In the SMSes, Maoists have urged workers, farmers, youth, women, progressive intellectuals, senior citizens, nationalist and revolutionary people to boycott the polls,” police said. The CPI-Maoists also appealed to its party cadres and its different units, including People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army, through SMSes to target and attack security forces during the election. Maoists have also called for poll boycott in Jamui, Lakhisarai, Banka, Gaya and Aurangabad districts through posters. Giving the call for poll boycott, the posters demanded withdrawal of forces engaged in counter-insurgency operations. Police have seized and removed such posters from various places.