Arrest a drama, says CPI (Maoist)
KORAPUT: The Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) has labelled the arrest of home-grown Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda as a state-sponsored drama. Ajay, a spokesperson of AOBSZC, through letters sent to the media in Rayagada on Wednesday, said soon after his expulsion from CPI (Maoist), Sabyasachi joined hands with the state government and formed the Odisha Maovadi Party to defame the original Maoist organization.
“Sabyasachi’s arrest is an eyewash. Since long Sabyasachi has been working on the direction of the state government and providing all necessary information against our organization to police,” the one-page letter written in Odia said. “In the name of encounter, police raid his hideouts. Sabyasachi has surrendered all looted arms to police. He had prepared grounds to get his men arrested in connivance with police. And now Sabyasachi’s arrest is part of well-knit plan to salvage his image.
A ‘NEW’ COUNTER-NAXAL ACTION PLAN – ANALYSIS
Days after the formation of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in New Delhi, contours of a new policy vis-a-vis Left Wing Extremism (LWE) remained a matter of speculation. Whether tough measures would replace the ad hoc ones and clarity would substitute confusion were commented upon. Some of the statements of the Home Minister and the Ministry officials in the early days following the formation of the government raised hopes that a policy change, if not the prospect of an immediate solution to the problem could be on the anvil.
However, the new 29-point Action Plan evolved by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for addressing the LWE challenge point towards the continuation of the past policies and does not indicate a radical departure from the approach pursued by the previous government. Three principal assumptions mark the new counter-LWE policy:
a. Security force operations must precede developmental initiatives
b. The Communist Party of India-Maoist’s (CPI-M) military capacities can be crippled by targeting its top leadership
c. Security force operations, with modest gains so far can be made effective by additional force deployment and augmenting intelligence collection.
While each of these assumptions are relevant, whether such measures can be implemented without broad-based security and governance sector reforms, remains a matter of debate. Ruling out negotiations with the CPI-M has been one of the most highlighted aspects of Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s statements in recent times. Speaking on 27 June, Singh, at the meeting of chief secretaries and Directors General of Police (DGPs) of 10 Naxal-affected states said, “There is no question of any talks now. We will take a balanced approach. But the forces will give a befitting reply if the Naxals launch attacks.”
Given that several past offers for negotiations have been rebuffed by the CPI-M, Singh’s statement aims to serve as a foundation for a primarily force-based approach to the LWE challenge. The new action plan involves a directive to the Intelligence Bureau to “infiltrate into Maoist ranks” and follow a specific policy of targeting the top leadership for neutralisation.
The Naxal-affected states have been advised to raise commando forces similar to the Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh. Similarly, 10 additional battalions of central armed police personnel are being deployed in Chattisgarh’s Bastar region by the end of 2014 for a renewed offensive against the extremists. The new policy further speaks of creating a series of incentives for “good officers” to serve in Maoist-affected areas by offering them monetary incentives and career benefits. All these measures, incidentally, have remained the MHA’s counter-LWE approach in the past.
None, however, achieved much success due to a range of deficiencies that include lack of ability as well as coordination between the central as well as state security forces and the intelligence agencies. Years since the LWE emerged as a major security threat to the country, both technical intelligence (TECHINT) as well as human intelligence (HUMINT) gathering mechanisms continue to suffer from serious shortcomings. There is an acute lack of enthusiastic participation of the state police forces in New Delhi’s overall design, that neither supplements nor aims to replace the central forces in countering the extremists.
The new plan is silent on the ways to remove such loopholes and make operations a principally state police-led initiative. Given the fact that state bureaucracy has remained mostly apathetic to restart governance in areas cleared by the security forces, policies need to go beyond the rhetoric of ‘posting of good officers’ in naxal-affected areas. In the previous years, evolving a national policy consensus on a challenge that affects at least 10 states has remained one of the main challenges for New Delhi.
The 29-point Action Plan falls short of addressing the problem. It merely exhorts the affected states to appoint nodal officers to increase coordination at the centre and asks the chief ministers and home ministers to visit the affected areas in their respective states to develop a favourable image of the government among the tribal population. In the absence of a reward system to make the non-conforming states fall in line with a central approach, such measures of improving coordination are likely to be met with lack of enthusiasm, if not resistance by the states ruled by non-Bharatiya Janata Party parties.
The current LWE situation is marked by scaled down violence by the extremists who understandably are into a consolidation mode after suffering some reversals. Recruitment activities still continue, so do the efforts to ideologically reshape the movement that seems to have deviated significantly from its original objectives and strategies. A tactical retreat of this nature often creates the illusion of victory among the policy makers…
Explosive and bomb making equipment recovered from Saranda
Jamshedpur: Explosives including five live bombs were recovered by the security personnel from the Saranda forest in Maoist-affected adjoining West Singhbhum district, a senior police officer today said. The recovery were made when security personnel of the 174th battalion of CRPF and District Armed Force were on anti-naxal operation ‘Dhanus’ in the jungles near Tirilposi under Jeraikela police station limits last night, said Additional Superintendent of Police (Chakradharpur), Alok Priyadarshi.
Priyadarshi said explosives for making bombs including codex and electric wire, safety pins, screws and welding machines were recovered in large quantities from the spot. Five live bombs were also recovered by the security personnel and were defused, he added.
Two held, arms recovered during Maoist bandh
GAYA: Two suspected Maoists were arrested and seven weapons including three country-made rifles and an equal number of country-made pistols were recovered during a joint operation conducted by the district police, STF and CRPF to thwart any sabotage and disruption during the bandh called by the Maoists to protest against the alleged police excesses and subsequent firing in Madanpur area in Aurangabad district. Gaya SSP Nishant Tiwari confirmed the arrests and recovery of weapons.
One of the two arrested Maoists hails from Odisha. The arrested men have been identified as Suraj Aru and Suresh Prasad. In another bandh-related incident, Maoists blew up a mobile phone tower in Salaiya area in Aurangabad district. Life came to a near standstill in Dumaria, Imamganj, Raushanganj, Banke Bazar and part of Gurua police station area in Gaya district and Nabinagar, Deo, Amba, Kutumba and Madanpur area in the neighbouring Aurangabad district.
The bandh, as per reports reaching the divisional headquarters, was more effective in areas South of GT road compared to areas located to the north of GT road. In the Maoist-affected areas of Sherghati sub-division in Gaya district, all shops, educational institutions and nationalized banks remained closed. Movement of traffic in the Maoist-hit area was negligible as vehicles including two wheelers did not ply. According to Naxalite watchers, the Wednesday bandh was more pronounced compared to similar bandhs earlier enforced by the Maoists in recent times.
BSF top guns review situation along Odisha border with AP, Chhattisgarh
BSF Additional Director General B D Sharma and IG A K Sharma, accompanied by senior officers of the central para military force, today visited Malkangiri, the Odisha district worst affected by Maoism, and reviewed problems associated with Left Wing Extremism in the district and anti-Maoist operations in the backdrop of the arrest of top Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda. ADG BD Sharma and IG AK Sharma, who arrived at the MV 3 camp of the BSF by a special helicopter, discussed and reviewed Maoist activities and anti-Maoist operations in the remote bordering district with Malkangiri SP, SDPO Malkangiri, Commandant BSF and several other senior officers.
Sources said the closed door meeting focused, among other things, on a special strategy to deal with situations arising out of any possible untoward incident unleashed by the Andhra Odisha Special Zonal Committee of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) and Maoist groups from bordering Chhattisgarh in the backdrop of the arrest of Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda. The meeting decided to intensify patrolling by BSF along the district’s border with Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh to keep a check on infiltration of Maoists from these states apart from issuing high alert in these areas, sources added.
Maoists blow up police officer’s home in Bihar
Maoist guerrillas Thursday blew up the home of a police officer in Bihar to protest the killing of two people a few days ago in a gunbattle with police, an officer said. The home of inspector Kedar Nath Singh was severely damaged in the attack that took place in Aurangabad district’s Manjhauli village.
Aurangabad superintendent of police Upender Kumar Sharma said there were no casualties. Kedar Nath Singh is posted in Katihar district, he added. Sharma said Maoists surrounded the home and asked his family to vacate. They later blew up the home using dynamite. “Maoists blew up the home during a shutdown called by them to protest the killing of two people in police firing in Aurangabad a few days ago,” another police officer said.
Seven wanted naxals arrested in Chhattisgarh
Seven wanted naxals, two of them carrying reward on their heads, were arrested with a weapon and explosives recovered from their possession in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Kondagaon district today, police said. The cadres were held from separate places under Bayanar police station limits this afternoon, Kondagaon Additional Superintendent of Police Surjit Atri, told PTI.
Acting on specific inputs, a joint squad of Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and a team of local police were mobilised in the interiors of restive Bayanar forests, located around 240 kms from here. When the security personnel reached Rajbeda village forests, they rounded up four suspects, who were trying to escape from the spot, the ASP said. Those arrested were identified as Jarha (27), Chaitram (26), Buduram (40) and Mangal (25), members of Rajbeda janmilitia group of Maoist, he added. Besides, two high ranking cadres- Raiman Korram (38) and Samdu Korram (22) were apprehended from forests of Aadnar and Permapal respectively, he said. Head of Maraskol Janatana Sarkar of CPI (Maoist), Raiman, were allegedly planning to plant explosives in Permapal region to harm the security forces while he was nabbed, Atri said.
A 3kg-tifin bomb, wire and couple of batteries were seized from his possession, the ASP said, adding, he was carrying a reward of Rs 10,000 on his head. Besides, Samdu, active in the outlawed movement as Daula LOS (local operation squad) member, was nabbed along with a muzzle loading gun, he said. Subsequently, the ultra- Ramji (40) who was carrying a reward of Rs 7,000 was nabbed from Regagondi forests, the ASP said. The arrested cadres were involved in several incidents of crime ranging from loot, arson, attacks on police party, torching vehicles and others in the region, the ASP said. They were being interrogated, he said.
2,432 militants arrested from 2012 to 2014 in Manipur
IMPHAL: A total of 2,432 militants have been arrested by the Manipur Police between April 1, 2012 and July 18, 2014, state Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam, who also holds the Home portfolio, said.