INDIA: ROUSING A CRIPPLED GIANT – ANALYSIS
…On the Maoist conundrum, similarly, the Modi Government has articulated a ‘muscular’ position, emphasizing dramatic augmentations of both Force and Administrative outreach. An ‘integrated action plan’ is to be drawn up by the UMHA, though its contours are yet to be made public. In the interim, the following steps have already been announced:
10 additional battalions of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to be sent to Chhattisgarh. A UMHA official stated, “We will try to deploy them within three months, or latest by the end of the year.” Flagging Naxal area as the “most dangerous zone” in the country, the Government will also enhance hardship allowance for CAPF personnel deployed in these areas to more than what they get while serving in J&K and North-eastern region. The Government may give the officials special monetary benefits, out-of-turn promotions and choice posting after completing their tenure successfully in Maoist-affected places. The incentives are aimed at attracting talented Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service officers to work in Naxal-hit areas. In the worst-affected Maoist Districts, the Ministry will try to deploy the most capable officers who have proven their ability.
In a change of nomenclature indicating the broad approach of the Government, the Naxal Management (NM) Division of the UMHA was changed to Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Division, indicating that the Ministry doesn’t seek to ‘manage’ Maoists.
A decision has been taken to expedite road construction of about 5,477 kilometres and expedite the construction of 2,199 mobile towers in Maoist affected Districts. The project for 5,477km roads was sanctioned in 2010, but just 2,900km have been completed in four years. The mobile tower project for improving connectivity has yet to take off. The ministry has also decided to review all the rejected claims of land title deeds that were to be given to tribals to wean them away from Maoists. Officials feel that a key reason of tribal angst is rejection of genuine claims in many cases as a majority of tribals only have anecdotal evidence to prove their claims to land.
Dalits Cry Foul on Naxal Link; Not to Drop Ilavarasan Anniv
DHARMAPURI: A day after six Natham Colony residents were arrested with weapons for alleged Naxal link, locals claimed that the police action was part of a plot to prevent them from observing the first death anniversary of Ilavarasan, a Dalit youth, on July 4. The villagers had earlier announced that they would observe it as ‘Caste Eradication Day.’ Tension was palpable in the area, even as security personnel in large numbers were deployed to keep the flaring tempers in check. Meanwhile, a police team was keeping a close vigil on Sellankottai (Native place of Divya) to prevent any untoward incident.
Amid these developments, a group of Natham Colony residents rushed to Chennai to meet Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) president Thirumavalavan. Vanniarasu, spokesperson of VCK, said, “Natham residents met Thirumavalavan and deliberated on the next move.” VCK has decided to violate the prohibitory order to go ahead with the anniversary function, sources said. On July 4, it would be one year since the death of Ilavarasan, who was found dead under mysterious circumstances near a railway track in the district. A resident, on condition of anonymity, told Express, “It is a clear drama by the police.
Once, Natham was the heartland of Naxal movement, but now no one has any connection with it. The entire district administration and police are trying to threaten us psychologically.” Denying the allegations, the police said, “Durai, was arrested in 2002 under the POTA Act for Naxal activities and was in jail for four years. He received training from Maoist leader Kalidas,”
Sukma villagers ask police to end CRPF “violence”
Chodi Erama (30), a tribal farmer of Chintagufa village in Sukma district of south Chhattisgarh, is confused and worried these days. Mr. Erama and others in his village say they are deeply troubled by the “daily atrocities” committed by the Central Reserve Police Force personnel stationed in Chintagufa. Around 200 villagers from the village approached the Sukma Superintendent of Police (SP), D. Shrawan, on June 20, seeking an end to the violence.
“I was thrashed by the CRPF personnel twice in the last two months. They accused me of [having] Maoist links and slapped cases on me,” said Mr. Erama whose right hand is broken, apparently as a result of the CRPF beating. “Every time they [CRPF] come for patrolling, they beat us up, saying ours is ‘a Naxal village’. They have damaged our houses and utensils,” claimed Podium Kosa, adding that the CRPF had been thrashing the villagers “inhumanly” for over two months now. According to some villagers, the CRPF may be targeting them because of an attack on the CRPF camp in the village on April 9, in which three paramilitary jawans were killed by the Maoists. But other villagers say the CRPF violence started earlier. “The first time they (CRPF) attacked us was on April 6. The day after the election, all the villagers were brutally thrashed with batons and rifle butts by the CRPF,” said Sodi Hunga, who said the CRPF men stripped him and put chilli powder on his private parts on June 19.
The CRPF personnel have allegedly humiliated young girls from the village also. “They [CRPF personnel] asked me to strip, slapped me and asked me to go back home naked,” said a 17-year-old girl. “How can we tolerate these day-to-day atrocities?” asked Kawasi Deva, who claimed that the forces snatched Rs. 3,000 from him. “They are threatening that there will be a repeat of Tadmetla [a nearby village which was allegedly ransacked by the security forces in 2011] here,” he said. “We have our land and property here but if these atrocities don’t end, we will have to leave the village,” said Podium Idema, another villager. Fed up with the atrocities, the villagers approached Sukma Superintendent of Police (SP) D. Shrawan. “The SP asked us to ensure that there would be no untoward incident in the village by the Maoists and that he would rein in the CRPF here,” Kawasi Budra, who suffered injuries on his leg, told The Hindu.
Maoist presence in forest area in Kerala:
Chennithala Thiruvananthapuram, Jun 30: Presence of Maoist in the forest areas of certain parts of Kerala has been noticed since February 2013, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala told the assembly today. Maoist existence was noticed in the forest areas of Wayand, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasargod districts, Chennithala said in a written reply. Stating that it was not proper to disclose more on the subject in view of security reasons, Chennithala said several checks had been conducted in the areas where Maoist presence has been reported. A special team comprising three companies of armed forces has been constituted for anti-Maoist drive, he said.
He also said necessary precautionary measures had been taken to monitor the link between migrant workers with Maoist. It has come to the notice of the government that some of the Maoist had come to Kerala posing as migrant workers. They have been arrested and registered cases against them whenever such cases came to the notice of authorities, he said. Kerala police was also very vigilant against such people, he added.
To a question whether information about migrant workers were gathered, he said contractors or agents who bring the migrant labourers to the state were supposed to provide the details of workers to the nearby police station. Close watch was also on the places of migrant workers camps, he said.
Maoist leader Vikram arrested
Hyderabad: Mahbubnagar police took top Maoist leader Vikram alias Daramoni Srinu into custody on Sunday following a search in the Nallamalla forests. Vikram, who was the main accused in several cases in Mahbubnagar, Kurnool and Prakasam districts, was also the prime accused in the murder of Maisigandi temple president and tribal leader, Panthunaik. However, the police is yet to make an official arrest and is tight lipped about the raid details.
On June 24 three Maoists were killed in an encounter in the Nallamalla forests of Guntur and Prakasam district. However, Vikram who is a native of Mahbubnagar managed to escape. In the encounter Maoists of Mahbubnagar – Nagamma alias Rajita, Bharatakka and her husband John Babu Rao were killed. A police team under the supervision of Mahbubnagar SP Nagender Kumar continued combing since then. After the bifurcation with reports of Maoist activity increasing in both states, the police had begun combing in the Nallamalla forests. The Mahbubnagar police is likely to produce Vikram before court in two days.
Police recover arms cache from Maoist ambush in Giridih
Acting on a tip off on Monday, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) along with the district police recovered arms and ammunitions from Maoists in the red corridor of eastern Jharkhand. A Maoist was also reportedly killed during the police encounter. Superintendent of Police (SP), Giridih, Kranti Kumar, said that the combing was launched in the area to nab the red rebels but they escaped amid exchange of fire. “Acting on a tip off, we launched the ambush with the joint team of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and district police. The Maoists escaped in the middle of firing. We have recovered IEDs, a rifle and some bullets,” he said.
Police exchange fire with Maoists in Angul
Angul, June 30: An exchange of fire took place between police and Maoists in the early hours of Sunday in the hilly areas under Chhendipada police station in Odisha’s Angul district. No one was hurt from police side but there was no confirmation whether anyone from the Maoists side was injured or dead. Reports said there were blood stains on the spot fuelling speculations of injury or death in the Maoists group.
With this incident, the tall claims by the Odisha police that they had successfully stalled the progress of Maoists into new districts have proved hollow. According to Inspector General of North Central Range P.S. Ranpise, the special operation group jawans were carrying out combing operations in the forest areas bordering Angul and Sambalpur districts following intelligence reports of Maoist movement. At about 4 am they confronted some Maoist cadres at a hilly place under Chhendipada police station limits.
“Finding police at the doorsteps the extremists opened fire which was returned by jawans. The exchange of fire lasted about one hour before the Maoists melted into deep forests. Details of about their number and injury are awaited. Combing operation will be more vigorous in coming days in these areas,” he added. It may be noted that there were reports of Maoist movements in the villages under Thakurgarh and Purunakote areas of Satkosia jungle last week. Villagers had informed police that about 18 men and women came to their villages and took foods besides holding meetings.