Police have upper hand in Agency area, says SP
A large number of security forces deployed to thwart Maoists’ poll boycott call. It is believed that the security forces have entrenched themselves in almost all the strategic hillocks in the Agency area. The Visakhapatnam district police have deployed a large number of security forces for combing operation in the Agency areas with the aim of obtaining total area domination. This is being done to thwart the boycott call given by the Maoists for the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls scheduled for May 7.
Talking to The Hindu, Superintendent of Police Vikram Jeet Duggal said about 5,000 security forces drawn from various wings such as AP Special Police, Greyhounds, local police, CRPF and BSF have already been deployed in the entire district. “In the Agency area itself we have the presence of about 3,000 personnel and we are expecting another 20 companies of Central Armed Police Forces,” he said. According to him, the policy of total area domination will reduce the fear factor among the tribals and they will be in a position to defy the boycott call. “The strategy had been successful during the recent MPTC and ZPTC elections, as the voter turnout was at about 72 per cent,” said Mr. Duggal.
It is believed that the security forces have entrenched themselves in almost all the strategic hillocks in the Agency area. “Technically, we are on the upper hand, as the foliage is pretty low during this part of the year. The visibility is much clear and it would be easier for our men to spot any movement from the elevated positions. It would have been a difficult proposition after the monsoon, when the greenery would be thicker,” said the SP.
Identifying key areas, he said certain mandals such as Koyyuru, G.K. Veedhi, Chintapalli, Annavaram, G Madugula, Pedabayalu and Munchingput were hyper sensitive areas. Giving a clean chit to almost all the sensitive mandals, he was candid to admit that Maoists were still present in some pockets in the two mandals of Pedabayalu and Munchingput. “We hope to overcome even that shortly,” he said. The SP said the Sadbhavana Sadassu organised by the police played an effective role in reducing the Maoist influence. “This apart, in the last three months we have about 75 surrenders or arrests of Maoists or militia members.
Of them six were Dalam members and three were area committee members. We also seized 447 gelatine sticks with bundles of wires and about 60 kg of ammonia sulphate, which is the main ingredient for improvised explosive devices,” said Mr. Duggal. Another senior officer said East Visakha Division, which controls the operation on the Andhra side is on the wane, as the support from Odisha has dwindled with the exit of Sabyasachi Panda from the Koraput-Malkangiri division.
Cops hunt guns looted in Sukma Naxal attack
Even after 50 days, police forces across the country are yet to recover 17 weapons looted by Maoists who killed 15 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and police in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district on March 11. After a letter in this regard from their Chhattisgarh counterpart, the Maharashtra police have instructed all police units in the state to hunt for these weapons in their jurisdictions. Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli and Gondia districts are Naxal-affected, while they have sympathisers in other parts of the state, police said. The attack occurred around 11 am when the team was patrolling areas close to National Highway 30, which was being repaired ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
According to survivors, more than 300 Maoists swooped on a joint CRPF-police road opening party, triggering powerful blasts and firing indiscriminately at Takbada, in Sukma district of Bastar, Chhattisgarh. The local police station, Tongpal, was located just six km away from the spot. On March 21, the Deputy Inspector General of Police, State Intelligence Branch, Chhattisgarh wrote a letter to the police chiefs of Maharashtra, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
“The banned CPI (Maoist) had ambushed a police patrol party and looted the weapons. It is requested to circulate this letter to all Superintendents of Police and other special police units in your state, conduct a search for these weapons and intimate us about the recovery,” the DIG stated. Accordingly Police Inspector (Naxal Cell) J M Patil issued a letter to all police units in the state, on behalf of Additional Director General of Police (Special Operations), for recovery of the weapons on April 4. The looted weapons include two SLRs, a INSAS LMG, eight INSAS rifles, five AKMs and one AK-47.
Naxals pose as voters, decamp with polling materials in AP
Naxal struck at a polling station in Andhra Pradesh’s Khammam district bordering Chhattisgarh and looted the Electronic Voting Machines besides other materials Wednesday afternoon. The polling booth, Anjampalli is just 12 kms from the Chhattisgarh border where the incident took place at around 3 pm, police officials in Bijapur said. The security personnel had been put on alert on the border following the incident, they added.
According to report reaching from Bijapur, heavy armed Naxalites struck in a spectacular fashion and reached the polling station posing as voters. The rebels detonated three powerful explosions outside the polling station at a distance. The serial blasts created pandemonium even as voters lined up to exercise their franchise disbursed for safe cover. The security personnel deployed in the booth ran towards the blast site that activated the rebels who were present inside the booth. The rebels threatened the polling staff and decamped with the EVMs and other polling materials. The rebels executed the operation without bloodbath. The polling station was identified as hyper sensitive as it came under the worst Naxal-infested pocket of Khammam district.
5 Maoists get 3 years in jail for keeping arms
PUNE: Five members of the Communist Party of India (Maoists), a banned outfit, were sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment in a 2011 case of possessing firearms. The court of additional sessions judge N P Dhote on Tuesday found Nipein Mahato, Ravi Hansda, Rudra Mahato, Ajit Mahato and Atal alias Pintu Mahato, all from West Bengal, guilty under the Arms Act four for possessing four country-made pistols and seven cartridges. They were, however, acquitted from charges framed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) due to lack of evidence. The anti-terrorism squad (ATS) had arrested eight people and detained two minors at the Pune railway station on May 13, 2011.
The ATS had information that they had fled from West Bengal and were working at Karegaon MIDC near Ranjangaon in Pune district. The ATS had seized firearms, mobile handsets, cash and banned Maoist literature in English, Hindi and Bengali. ATS assistant police inspector Sunil Dorge had filed a complaint. Anand Mahato, Sushantao Mahato and Ravi Mahato were acquitted because some witnesses from West Bengal did not turn up. The trial against the two minors is pending in the juvenile court.
Wanted Red leader arrested in Ranchi
RANCHI: Police arrested CPI (Maoist) area commander Soma Munda (45), wanted in over a dozen cases, from Rahe area in Ranchi on Tuesday. A country made rifle, a booklet on how to plant a series of landmines, Maoist literature, dresses, shoes and papers documenting expenses of the rebels gangs were recovered from his possession. Munda had given several slips to police in the past. Ranchi SSP Prabhat Kumar said:
“The police received secret information that the Maoist was holding a meeting in Serengdih forest under Rahe police station. Without wasting time, a team of officers plunged into action and caught hold of Munda. However, his accomplices managed to escape.” “He is an important catch and we hope that he would make important revelations,” said Kumar.
Brisk polling in Bhadrachalam
Amid poll boycott call given by the CPI (Maoist), the polling in Bhadrachalam ST reserved Assembly constituency began under a tight security cover and aerial surveillance. The voting percentage in the first two hours up to 9 am stood at 15 percent in Bhadrachalam Assembly constituency. The constituency has a long border with the trouble torn areas of the neighbouring Chhattisgarh State. It has the highest number of over 150 extremist affected polling stations.
An IAF helicopter has been kept ready in Bhadrachalam temple town to deal with any exigency. An air ambulance has been positioned at the airport in Rajahmundry in the neighbouring East Godavari district as part of an election contingency plan. The aerial surveillance support services of two Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) will be accessed to ensure peaceful conduct of the general elections in the Bhadrachalam Agency, said A V Ranganath, Superintendent of Police, Khammam.
No untoward incidents have been reported from anywhere in the bordering villages so far, he said adding that a three-layer security cover has been provided to the polling stations categorised as extremist affected in the district, he said. Two command and control centres had been set up in Kothagudem and Khammam to monitor the security arrangements and deploy striking forces if the situation warranted.
Strike affects normal life
Imphal, April 29 2014: Normal life in the State was thrown out of gear on account of the 12 hours general strike called by the CorCom and the Maoist Communist Party against the visit of President Pranab Mukherjee to the State today. Major commercial centres of the State capital including Khwairamband Keithel wore a deserted look. There was little vehicular traffic on all major roads of the State. All passenger carriers including inter-district buses stayed off the roads.
All schools and colleges remained shut and attendance in Government offices was minimal. As exempted from the purview of the general strike, religious activities were not affected and essential service including private water suppliers went on with their normal business. On the other hand, in view of the President’s visit, security forces were deployed in full strength all along the roads where the President was expected to traverse through.