Rajnath to preside meeting of top officials of Naxal-hit areas
Home Minister Rajnath Singh will chair a crucial meeting of Chief Secretaries and police chiefs of Naxal-affected states here on Friday to take stock of the situation and to draw up a future gameplan. Chief Secretaries and Director Generals of Police from all Naxal-hit states, including Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, will take part in the meeting to be addressed by Home Secretary Anil Goswami and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval besides the Home Minister.
Though held on an annual basis, this will be the first meeting of Naxal-hit states since the BJP-led NDA government came to power last month. Earlier this month, Singh had said that the MHA is working on a comprehensive integrated action plan to solve problems like Naxalism, separatism and terrorism. “We accept the challenge and based on this, efforts will be made to take balanced action,” Rajnath had said. The Maoist-hit states are Odisha, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhattisgrah, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The most affected are Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Chattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh had recently met the Home Minister during which he had sought support from the union government.
Naxals extort Rs 100 cr annually from Chhattisgarh: Police
Raipur: The Naxal-hit Chhattisgarh has become centre of extorting money by the ultras, who collect nearly Rs 100 crore annually from various sources in the state, police said. “Numerous intelligence inputs suggested that Maoist have extorted money to the tune of Rs 80-100 crore from various sources like contractors, businessmen, transporters and tendu patta contractors, every year in the state,” a senior police official, told PTI. Senior naxal leaders were primarily focusing on mineral-rich Chhattisgarh for extorting money for functioning of the banned outfit CPI (Maoist) in the country, the official said.
In March this year, based on tip-offs, security forces had unearthed naxal dumps in the forests of Sitagaon and Aundhi in Rajnandagon district and seized nearly Rs 29 lakh, he said. The spokesperson of the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee Gudsa Usendi alias GVK Prasad, who surrendered early this year in Andhra Pradesh had revealed that naxals were involved in extorting a hefty amount of money from restive Bastar (south Chhattisgarh) region, he added. Giving details of the account of money extorted by naxals, based on the documents received from State Intelligence Bureau, the officer said, naxals have been extorting money to the tune of Rs 3 crore annually from the locals, Rs 10 crore from businessmen, Rs 20 crore from contractors, Rs 10 crore from transporters.
Around Rs 20 crore from tendu leaves contractors, Rs 15 crore from timber contractors, Rs 20 crore from industrialists based in naxal-hit areas and Rs 20 crore from the employees and officers, he added. Around 20 percent of total cost of any projects or development work undertaken in the Maoist-affected zones is extorted as “protection money”, ensuring safety to the work as well as people involved in it till its completion, the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) document said. Moreover, mobile operators also pay protection money of Rs 20,000 to Maoist to ensure safety of the mobile towers. From the locals, money is raised in the name of “revolutionary tax”, which ranges from Rs 10 to Rs 2,000, it said.
The SIB document also revealed that the central committee of CPI (Maoist) take the final call on the amount to be extorted from different sources. The task has been divided among organisation’s segments like zonal committee, area committee and local cadres, and at each level and the place where money kept after collection is known to only two persons. Mostly, money is hidden underneath the earth in deep forests. However, sometimes it is deposited in banks as well, it said. As per the documents, money is used for different purposes like buying vehicles, procuring gold biscuits, weapons and explosives, printing works, medicines, communication, food, training camps, legal aid.
Two Maoist operatives arrested for collecting levy from contractors
Two members of a Maoist outfit were arrested for collecting levy from contractors engaged in implementing government projects in the Maoist-affected Ghatsila sub-division on Monday. Hinduram Murmu, a resident of Sudgi village under Gurabandha police station and Sadhucharan Mahli, a native of Lakhtiya village under Musaboni police station, were arrested by a special police team while proceeding to collect levy from a contractor, said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Amol V Homkar and Superintendent of Police (Rural), Shailendra Kumar Sinha on Monday. Addressing a press conference here, Homkar said the duo were active members of a CPI(Maoists) squad headed by Supai Tudu, who was operating in Gurabandha, Dumaria and Musaboni blocks of the sub-division.
One more ultra of the squad managed to escape, he said adding one country-made revolver and two live cartridges, mobile phones and Maoist pamphlets were seized from the duo. Led by Sinha, SSP said a special police team comprising of Sub-divisional Police Officer (Ghatsila) Arif Ekram, officer-in-charges of Gurabandha, Dumaria, Musaboni, Dalbhumgarh police stations was formed following information that the Tudu-led squad have been demanding levy from contractors engaged to implementing government projects in the sub-divisions. They had collected Rs 10 to 15 lakh as levy from some contractors, Homkar said refusing to divulge the names of the contractors as further investigations were on.
Three Maoists arrested from separate places in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: Three Maoists, one of them carrying a reward on his head, were arrested from separate places in the insurgency-hit Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, police said on Sunday. Two Maoist cadres, Dhan Singh and Toor Singh, who were wanted in several incidents of crimes, were arrested today from the forests of Rowghat police station limits from Kanker district, Kanker Superintendent of Police RN Dash told PTI.
A joint team of the Border Security Force (BSF) and police were on a combing operation in the Rowghat region, located around 250 km away from the state capital, when it nabbed them from Barchi village, the SP said. In a separate incident, a senior Maoist cadre, carrying a reward of Rs 10,000 on his head, was nabbed from Narayanpur district last night. The arrested Maoist has been identified as Balram Yadav, member of the Maoist Janatana Sarkar, Narayanpur Superintendent of Police Amit Kamble said. A 12 bore country-made gun and five rounds of live cartridges were also recovered from his possession, he said.
Acting on a tip-off, a joint team of the police force, Central Reserve Police Force and its Compact Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) rounded up the Maoist from his native place in Kihkad under Narayanpur police station area, he said. After joining the banned Maoist movement in 1985, the middle-aged rebel, had been actively involved in several incidents, including murder, arson, attack on police team and others, in the region, he said. The arrested Maoists are being interrogated, they said. PTI
Maoists gun down contractor
KORAPUT: Maoists gunned down a contractor at a remote village in Koraput district late on Saturday for allegedly acting as a police informer and motivating people to vote in the recent twin polls in the state. The deceased was identified as Ashish Saunta, 30, of Tangulubeda village under Semiliguda police limits. A group of around 10 armed Maoists swooped on Tangulubeda, around 70 km from here, and dragged Saunta out of his house. On Sunday, villagers found his bullet-riddled body. A letter, signed by secretary of Koraput-Srikakulam divisional committee of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) Daya, was recovered from the spot. It said the deceased was targeted for helping police and exploiting tribals.