Meeting the Maoists: Lal Salaam, Deva
Soft spoken, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and with a neatly trimmed moustache, Deva is dressed in an olive green uniform and has an AK 47 slung on his shoulder. The area commander of the Darbha division of the Maoists extends his hand to greet me. Not high in the ranks, but the king of his area, Deva lords over a 100 men and played a key role in the lethal attack on top Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh on May 25 last year. Mahendra Karma, V C Shukla and Nand Kumar Patel were among the Congress leaders killed by Deva and his team months before the state went to the polls. The attack crippled the Congress and reflected just how life-threatening it can be to keep democracy alive here.
But the sympathy wave helped the Congress in the assembly elections even though they lost the state. They won eight out of 12 seats in the Naxal zone of south Bastar. We met Deva in the midst of the mega Lok Sabha election somewhere in the Dandakaranya forest in Sukma, close to Tulsi Dongri that lies on the border with neighbouring Malkangiri in Odisha, also Maoist dominated.
Naxalite held in Chowka
Chandil: Chowka police arrested a Naxalite, identified as naresh Sahu, near Kadadoba under Chowka police station area on Saturday. They nabbed the man on the basis of a tip-off with the help of CRPF jawans of 196 Battalion. Chandil police inspector Arvind Kumar Singh said Sahu was nabbed when returning after meeting hardcore Naxalite Maharaj Pramanik. Sahu is the son of Gajanan Sahu, a resident of Dimna Road.
During interrogation, the accused reportedly spilled the beans and told cops he had a long association with Maharaj Pramanik. He said he had struck a Rs 5 lakh deal with Pramanik to supply latter explosives and bullets of AK 47. He said he had been given Rs 5 lakh for the deal. Samples of explosives and bullets were given to the Naxalites, he told police. Cops seized three detonators, bullets of different caliber, ATM cards, mobile phone, digital camera, Naxalite literature, a motorcycle and various other things from the possession of the accused.
Maoist bid to attack security forces foiled
HAZARIBAG: A joint team, comprising police and CRPF personnel, on Saturday foiled the CPI(Maoist)’s attempt to attack security forces who are carrying out combing operation. Hazaribag SP Manoj Kaushik said police had information that Maoist cadres, led by Santosh, the area commander of Bishnugarh-Gomia, were hiding in Arjari forests in Bishnugarh and targeting the patrolling camp along the Konar river. Police said the Maoists first fired at them and they retaliated. The gunbattle continued for more than three hours on Saturday morning. Kaushik said three can bombs, weighing 3 kg each, more than 100 m of wire, 30 m of cordex wire used for igniting IEDs, medicines, packets of condom and bags were also recovered. No casualty has been reported. tnn