Maoist merger causes concern for Kerala police
KOZHIKODE: Adding to the worries of security agencies in Kerala, CPI-ML (Naxalbari), a Naxalite outfit operating mainly in the state, has merged with CPI (Maoist), the largest Maoist organization in India. The merger, formalized on May 1 (International Workers’ Day), was announced through a joint statement issued by CPI (Maoist) spokesperson Abhay and CPI-ML (Naxalbari) leader Krantipriya here on Friday.
“We dedicate ourselves evermore firmly to the cause of the Indian revolution and the world proletarian revolution,” the statement said The CPI-ML (Naxabari) made its appearance in the state after the CRC-CPI (ML), the local Naxalite movement, was dissolved by K Venu in 1991. A group within the dissolved party, led by M N Ravunni, formed the Kerala Communist Party that later merged with the Maharashtra Communist Party to become the Maoist Unity Centre (MUC). The MUC later merged with the CPI-ML (Naxalbari) led by S A Rauf, the Naxalite leader from Andhra Pradesh. The CPI-ML (Naxalbari) may be an obscure organization for Keralites, but its frontal organizations like the Ayyankali Pada and Porattam had hit the headlines many times in the past.
The Ayyankali Pada had taken the Palakkad collector, W R Reddy, hostage at the collectorate in 1996. Porattam had led many militant agitations including the attacks on the World Bank project office at Kothamangalam in 2000, Coca Cola outlet in Kochi in 2003 and Citi Bank branch at Kochi in 2004. CPI-ML (Naxalbari) cadres themselves had attacked the offices of Nabard in Kannur and Kalpetta in 2008. With the red rebels trying to make their presence felt in the state in the past one year, the May Day merger is likely to give a momentum to the Maoists activities in Kerala. The Viplava Sthreevadi Prasnthanam, Viplava Vidyarthi Prasthanam and Njattuvela Samskarika Samithi are the other outfits associated with the CPI-ML (Naxalbari).
CPI (Maoist) has been engaged in discussions with the CPI-ML (Naxalbari) ever since the formation of the former in 2004. CPI (Maoist) considered Naxalbari as a true revolutionary organization even though there were some basic disagreements between them over ideological issues. CPI-ML (Naxalbari) also had some reservations about the military line adopted by the Maoists. Kannamballi Murali, a Malayali who has links with the international Maoist movement, is the all-India secretary of the CPI-ML (Naxalbari). Hailing from Ernakulam, Murali was a student at the Regional Engineering College, Kozhikode. He had left the institute before completing the course.
He was the contemporary of Rajan, who was killed in police custody during Emergency. After the merger, Murali is likely to be inducted into the central committee of the CPI-Maoist. He has been writing books and articles under the pen name Ajith.
Anti-Maoist op stepped up in Nayagarh
After receiving information about the presence of a large group of Maoists, who are reportedly camping inside the Baisipalli sanctuary in Daspalla area of Odisha’s Nayagarh district, a joint combing operation is underway in the area, reports said. Sources said Nayagarh SP Bhagyadhara Behera, visited Daspalla on Thursday night to take stock of the situation following intelligence inputs about the Maoist group.
A combing operation has begun in the sanctuary area since Friday morning, sources added. On April 10, local newspapers had carried reports on the movements of a Maoist group in a forest near the Badasilinga panchayat under Gania police station limits. Following these reports, the police came to know about the existence of a Maoist camp in the area but by the time police operation began, the ultras had already shifted the camp to an unknown location deep inside the forest.
Suspecting the left wing ultras may be hiding inside the Baisipalli sanctuary, one platoon of Odisha Special Security Force (OSSF) personnel had been deployed at both Daspalla and Banigochha police stations, as a precautionary measures There are reports that more than 130 Maoists including 16 women cadres have entered into Baisipalli sanctuary via Ranisahi and Talagan panchayat in the neighbouring Boudh district three days ago.
Sources said, while one group of Maoists has camped near Pokharigochha under Banigochha police station, the other group is camping near Senpari, Bankajhari, Duisingh and Dhipasahi villages of Badasilinga panchayat under Gania police station. According to eyewitness accounts, about eight Maoists were found moving along Andharakot-Ghugudipada road under Daspalla police station three days ago.
Acting on a tip-off that the Maoists were planning to attack Daspalla police station, one platoon of OSSF and two platoons of Special Operation Group (SOG) forces were rushed to Daspalla police station on Thursday night. The Banigochha and Gania police stations were temporarily closed and the Nayagarh-Daspalla road, sealed. While the Nayagarh SP refused to provide details of the ongoing anti-Maoist operation, reliable sources said the two platoons of SOG have began combing operation along with the OSSF personnel inside Baisipalli sanctuary. Fearing Maoist attacks, traders and business establishments in Daspalla town are downing their shutters by 7 PM since Thursday, the reports said.
‘Women, teenagers part of Dumka ambush team’
DUMKA: Police arrested two brothers in connection with the Maoist ambush on a polling party bus near Sarsajol under Shikaripara police station. Budhinath and Som Murmu of Rajpara village were arrested in Asanboni and presented before the media late on Thursday. Maosit rebels killed eight persons when they detonated a landmine in Dumka after polling had concluded in the constituency. Police said the two rebels have revealed more sensational information about the attack and indicated at the casual approach of the police and administration in ensuring security arrangements in rebel-hit pockets.
The duo said the landmine that was triggered on April 24 was planted on the night of April 19, five days before the election. The confession suggests that precautionary measures taken to detect landmines along the routes were not undertaken by the security forces. Budhinath, one of the accused name in the case, said he had bought two containers from Asanboni market on the behest of Probir Da, who led the group of the rebels.
“We had planned to plant both the landmines at separate locations on the same night, but dawn broke and we returned to the hideouts after planting just one landmine,” Budhinath said. He denyiedthat he was part of the assault group that fired at the polling party’s bus. He further said that the assault group had returned home in Rajapara by 6.30 to 7pm with the firearms looted from the police personnel bearing bloodstains.
“Probir Da and the rest of the rebels were provided drinking water at my home. They then left, leaving us behind,” Budhinath said, adding that he was given Rs 1000 by Probir Da for his support. Budhinath also said that the assault group of the rebels also included women and teenagers between the age group of 18 to 20. Dumka SP Nirmal Kumar Mishra, who interacted with the media for the first time since the ambush, denied that there were insufficient number of paramilitary forces in rebel-hit pockets and said eight companies of the CRPF were deployed in Shikaripara alone. Mishra, however, admitted the failure of police communication system led to the incident.
2 Maoists held for Pakur SP murder
Two CPI (Maoists) activists, allegedly involved in the killing of Pakur SP Amarjit Balihar, were arrested from Kathikund Police Station area of Dumka district, police said today. Acting on a tip-off, police conducted a raid and arrested the duo with similar name Manvel Murmu (29 and 25 years), SP AK Srivastav said. While 29-year-old Murmu was a resident of Choudhar, the other Murmu hailed from Gandhar, both under Kathikund police station area, he said. Both the Maoists, who were sent to jail, were involved in the killing of Balihar and four others in Pakur district in July last year, he alleged. Balihar, a 2003-batch IPS Officer, his driver and three security guards had been killed in a Naxal-ambush July last year when they were returning to Pakur, after attending a meeting in Dumka.
EC to deploy choppers for polls in Bengal’s Maoist areas
Helicopters, with a medical support team onboard, will be pressed into service during the May 7 polls in West Bengal’s Maoist-hit Junglemahal region, an Election Commission official said Monday. The commission has stepped up vigilance in the region, in a bid to ensure peaceful polls in the large forested stretches of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura districts. Besides choppers, as many as 10 satellite phones will be functional on polling day.
“Two choppers will be available for the three areas May 5-8,” Amit Ray Chaudhury, officer on special duty in the chief electoral officer’s office, told reporters here. In addition, polling hours have been reduced in six assembly segments. As per standard protocols of the ministry of home affairs, bomb disposal squads, road opening party and anti-landmine vehicles will be deployed in the Maoist areas. Sudhir Kumar Rakesh, special observer for West Bengal, said all measures are being taken to ensure free and fair polls. As per the commission’s directive, central security forces deployment will be decided by special committees in consultation with candidates in the constituencies.
BSF personnel seized over 100 detonators in Odisha
Bhubaneswar: Border Security Force (BSF) personnel seized over 100 detonators and several booklets containing Maoist literature during a combing operation near Lamtaput in Koraput district on Sunday morning. According to reports, the BSF personnel were on a routine operation in the dense forest area in Lamtaput block in the morning hours.During the operation, the Central forces found 115 detonators and other items including Maoist literatures hid under a culvert at Dangabeda.Following the seizure, the combing operation has been intensified in the area in anticipation of the presence of a Maoist group, BSF sources said.