Naxals kill police constable in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: A police jawan was on Wednesday stabbed to death by Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Maoist-hit Bijapur district, police said. Constable Budhram Mudma (29), posted at Timed police camp, was stabbed to death by a group of Naxals with sharp edged weapons under Toynar police station limits in the wee hours, Bijapur Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Sukhnandan Rathore told PTI.
Three Maoists Arrested in Visakhapatnam
Three Maoists, who were part of a team tasked with disrupting just-held election here, were arrested today, while two other Naxals surrendered before the district police. Acting on a tip-off, police nabbed Chikkudu Praveen (24), Chikkudu Usha (20) and Killu Srinu from Kamayyapeta Road near Hukumpeta village, officials said. The trio was part of an “action team” formed by banned CPI (Maoist) to disrupt the just-concluded election and hit specific targets, including political leaders, in Vizag agency region, District Superintendent of Police (Rural) Vikramjeet Duggal told the media here. The police also seized a firearm from Praveen. The three were involved in various offences, including killing of a police constable and some locals, setting afire to road-laying equipment, causing damage to public and private property and looting of ballot boxes during the local body elections in 2014, among others, police said.
Maoists set ablaze vehicles, construction equipment in Odisha
In the latest incident of Maoist violence in Odisha, armed Maoists set afire several equipment and vehicles at a road construction site in Rayagada district, police said today. Police said there has been no casualty in the incident. A group of armed rebels set fire to three tractors, an excavator and a motorbike belonging to a contractor engaged in construction of a road between Guma and Khambesu village around midnight on Wednesday, police said. The rebels managed to escape into the nearby forested area immediately after the attack leaving behind a poster warning the contractor to stop construction of the road, police added.
Intelligence department to recruit youths to keep watch on Maoists
KOLKATA/ WEST MIDNAPORE: In an effort to keep a close watch on Maoist movement in West Midnapore, the IB has decided to recruit young persons from the bordering villages. They will be recruited in different central government departments and projects but their main work will be to keep a watch on the Maoist movement. This is a pilot project where initially 40 youths will be recruited. If the project becomes successful then it will be replicated in other districts also.
According to sources in the intelligence department, Maoist activities have increased not only in the districts like Purulia, Bankura and West Mindapore but also in the districts like Nadia, Birbum and Murshidabad. “Considering the increase of Maoists activities in the state, the intelligence department has decided to increase the information network and for that new people will be recruited mainly from the bordering villages of Gopillabvpur, Nayagram Jhargram and Binpur,” an officer in the intelligence department said. Sources in the district administrative department confirmed that they have received a letter from the intelligence department where they have been asked to train some youths so that they can work as a part of the concerned department. The intelligence department has mainly asked the civil defence, public health engineering, water resources department and public works department to train the youths.
“We have been asked by a central government agency to train some youths and engage them in different kinds of works,” an official in the public health engineering department said. “This is a pilot project where nearly 40 odd youths will be recruited from 18 bordering villages like Amjhuri, Adharkali, Atnasol, Sagarmoni, Adharia, Baghaberia, Bajuri under Gopiballvpur block, Amjam, Andharisol, Arra, Babuidanga, Malam under Nayagram block and Aguboni, Asnaboni, Asnapara Chotodigiha under Jhargram block. Apart from that, some recruitment will also be done from Binpur, Lagrah and Kantaphari. If the project becomes successful then the model will be replicated in other districts,” the officer of the intelligence department 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 has been traced in Chakulia area in Jharkhand. Not only that, teams from Jharkhand and Odisha often cross the border and enter into Bengal. They don’t stay here but hold meeting and go back,” a senior district police officer said. When asked about it, IG (western range), Siddhinath Gupta said, “Maoists activities have increased in these areas and we are spreading our information network in different ways so that we have a first hand knowledge about their movement and for that we are making different plans which we cannot divulge.”
Wanted Maoist leader arrested in Bihar
Muzaffarpur: A Maoist leader, wanted in connection with the killing of a police officer in 2009, was arrested from a riverine area near Ghelpur Chaturpatti village of Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district Thursday. “We had intelligence inputs about Maoists assembling at a spot in the area. Accordingly we moved our forces to surround them and caught Santosh Ram, while two other Maoists managed to flee the place,” ASP (Operations) Rana Brajesh said. Ram was an accused in several cases of violence including the blowing up of a government school during 2009 Lok Sabha elections in which a police official was killed, he said. Ram was considered to be an expert in planting Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
In Bastar, the valley of death
A 40-km stretch has become the new hunting ground of Maoists
With Maoists inching closer to the key town of Jagdalpur, the new government at the Centre is confronted with a mounting challenge in Bastar. “A simple law and order approach to the Naxalite problem will not work. I only hope the new government is briefed properly on these issues,” E.N. Rammohan, former Border Security Force Director-General, said on what former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh termed the “biggest internal security threat”.
A 40-km stretch from the villages of Kamanar to Tahakwada on National Highway-221 has become the new hunting ground for the Maoists. In one year alone, over 60 people — including senior political leaders, security personnel and civilians — have been killed. The most recent Maoist attack, in which nine persons were killed, came two days after polling in the Bastar Lok Sabha constituency on April 12, just 35 km from Jagdalpur. “The attack was unexpected and shocking. We were manning all the sensitive points of the area and this blast took place on the main road,” said a Central Reserve Police Force official in the area. A month before the elections, the Maoists targeted a joint team of the CRPF and Police from the Tongpal station near Tahakwada, killing 15 personnel and one civilian. This area includes the dense valley of Jiram, where 28 people were killed last year, including former Union Minister Vidya Charan Shukla and Congress leader Mahendra Karma.
“The area hardly witnessed any activities until two years ago. So police presence was less here. This is a thinly populated area with hard terrain and the inter-State boundary only makes the situation complicated,” Bastar range Inspector-General Arun Dev Goutam told The Hindu. According to Kichhai Nanda, a former group leader of the Special Police Officers, the Maoists often target new areas where their presence is hardly expected by the police. “For over a year, Jiram Ghati has become their new target, so the security forces will also focus on this area. But it gives time to the Maoists to regroup in their strongholds deep inside forests,” Mr. Nanda told The Hindu.