Maoists gear up for ‘Martyrs’ week’ in Bastar
The outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) will observe a ‘Shahid Saftah’ (Martyrs’ week) from July 28 to August 2 in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh. According to Dantewada district Superintendent of Police (SP) Kamlochan Kashyap, the martyrs’ week is a yearly ‘spectacle’ organised by the Maoists who build memorials in the interior areas in the remembrance of “their fallen comrades”. For over a week, the Maoists have been distributing pamphlets and putting up banners in different parts of Bastar appealing observance of the week.
On Saturday, the ultras stopped a train from Dantewada to Kirandul and pinned up a banner on the train calling people of Bastar to observe the martyrs’ week. “Remembering Comrade Charu Mujumdar and Comrade Kanhaiyya Chatterjee, we appeal to the masses to respect the ideals our comrades laid their lives for. Organize martyr meetings in all the villages and take the massage of our fallen comrades to the people,” read a banner put up by the Maoists’ near Bacheli town of Dantewada. The Maoists’ banner also appealed the people to “stop surrendering before police and fight to live with dignity” and added that the masses should “unite and fight against the BJP government’s capitalistic agenda”.
“The services of some of the passenger trains operating in Bastar, Jagdalpur and Dantewada area have been suspended for a week as a precautionary measure. Security forces are combing the core areas of the Maoists where they are usually active during the Martyr week,” Mr.Kashyap told The Hindu.
Maoist involved in killing of two CRPF personnel held in Munger
A hardcore Maoist allegedly involved in the killing of two CRPF personnel during the recently held Lok Sabha elections was arrested on Sunday from a forest area of Munger district in Bihar, police said. Arrested Maoist Bipin Mandal was a named accused in the attack on CRPF personnel in Munger on April 10 this year during the Lok Sabha elections in which CRPF personnel were killed, they said. Additional Superintendent of Police of Haveli Kharagpur, Ranjan Kumar, said Mandal was arrested from Gangta Mor under Kharagpur police station in a well-planned operation by the Bihar Police. The place falls under Bhimbandh wildlife sanctuary.
“A sophisticated, automatic pistol and its magazine having 10 bullets were recovered from him. Apart from the attack on CRPF personnel, he was involved in a few other cases of violence as well. It’s a big catch for us,” said Kumar. The arrested naxal is a resident of Ghoghala village under Kharagpur police station and had been operating in the area for last several years.
Maoists ‘damage’ Essar Steel pipeline
Members of the banned CPI (Maoist) damaged a slurry pipeline belonging to Essar Steel, near Balapam of Chintapalli mandal, in the Agency area of Visakhapatnam district on Saturday evening. According to one report, the Maoists blasted a portion of the pipeline, while the sources in the police said they damaged a portion of the pipeline. It was believed that militia members of Korukonda area had damaged the pipeline at some place with the help of crowbars and hacksaw blades, said a police officer, who is engaged in anti-naxal operation in the Agency area.
Another police officer, however, dismissed it as a rumour. “Whenever, the Maoists are not able to come forward, due to heavy combing by security personnel, they engage the militia members to take up such activities. The incident appears to be a show of strength, as part of their Martyr’s Week celebration that is schedule to commence on Monday,” he added Balapam is located about 30 km from Chintapalli mandal headquarter and is on the Andhra-Odisha border.
The pipeline was constructed by Essar Steel to transport iron ore from the Baladila iron ore mines to its pelletisation plant in Visakhapatnam. The 67-km pipeline passes through the states of Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. It is estimated that it ferries about 20,000 tonnes of iron ore in slurry form on a daily basis to the 8 million-tonne plant. Though the incident would impact the plant’s production, there are other sources of alternative transportation, which would take care of the plant’s requirement, till the pipeline is repaired. According sources in the police, the pipeline passes through thick forest, where the Maoist influence is pretty strong and this has been a regular feature.
State plan to sniff mining firm coffers
Ranchi, July 26: Assembly elections nearing, officiating chief secretary Sajal Chakraborty and director general of police Rajeev Kumar have hit upon a dynamite of an idea to curb rebel landmines, that of monitoring if explosive devices that are legitimately available with mining companies in Jharkhand manage to reach wrong hands. Early this week, as grenades and arms were seized in Giridih’s Parasnath hills, Chakraborty and Kumar, then coincidentally in the same district as part of their two-day Santhal Pargana recce, decided it was high time to explore whether the explosives were pilfered from public sector majors BCCL and CCL. DGP Kumar revealed that a high-level meeting was likely anytime next week with controllers of explosives of the PSUs, officials authorised to hand over landmines and dynamite for blasting jobs and keep tabs on the inventory.
Not only is the job sensitive, it comes with enormous responsibility. Chakraborty will chair the meeting, the DGP added. “The agenda of the meeting is simple. We want to ensure no pilferage of explosives takes place from companies. Explosives shouldn’t reach wrong hands. We want to get all stakeholders on board in our fight against Naxalism,” Kumar told The Telegraph. “We will start surprise probes and audit record books of mining companies. We want facts and figures at our fingertips,” the DGP added. “Ahead of Assembly elections, it is imperative that we ensure safety measures and cleanse the limited Naxalite groups from the state,” he said, referring to violence during Lok Sabha polls.
Every mining company uses controlled explosions for rock and land blasting. According to the Explosives Rules, 2008, mining companies permitted controlled explosions must maintain records about their use and share them regularly with the Centre. But, it remains to be seen how many tiers of employees the explosives might pass and how, if at all, rebels could strike underhand deals to get hold of them. “Illegal pilferage of explosive items may well happen. Explosives meant for the internal use of mining companies may reach Naxalite forces, enabling them to make landmines, grenades and other ammunition,” said a senior policeman.
Acting on a tip-off on Monday, Giridih police recovered huge cache of large grenades, around 50 countrymade pistols, some 303 guns and about 15 rifles after a daylong operation in Parasnath hills. Police also busted a concrete bunker inside the hills. Chakraborty said border districts were vulnerable. “Rebels often shuttle between Bengal and Jharkhand, making Santhal Pargana as a whole sensitive. But the fear element is very high and there is a natural tendency among people not to cooperate with police, which is why local intelligence gathering suffers,” he said. He stressed on “almost a military-type operation with ground-aerial coordination” concentrating on certain tracts of land, sanitising them and moving ahead. “Dumka has a firm air base, which will help us,” he said. On Naxalite activities in Giridih, Chakraborty said some 45-50 hardcore rebels were led by one Ajay Mahto in Parasnath hills. “It is not a big group. We are concentrating on launching operations across the hill from all sides simultaneously,” he said.
Top Maoist leader arrested
Top Maoist leader Arvind Bachhar was today arrested following a raid at Baduria in North 24-Parganas district, police said. Bachhar, 45, was wanted in a number of cases including that of a major blast in Jhitka forest at Jhargram in West Midnapore district, Additional Superintendent of Police, North 24-Parganas district, Bhaskar Mukherjee, said. The Jhargram police had issued an arrest warrant against Bachhar who had his house at Baduria’s Magurkhali village. The Maoist originally hailed from Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh. Bachhar would be produced before a court at Basirhat today, the ASP said.
High alert in South Odisha as Maoists observe martyrs week from July 28 to August 3
Report by Kishore Dash; Bhubaneswar: With the outlawed CPI (Maoist) observes martyrs week from July 28 to August 3 . The Southern Odisha districts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Nabarangpur and Rayagada have been put on high alert to prevent any untoward incident during the time. Security measures have been tightened across the Maoist hotbeds to avoid any untoward incident during the period. Special instructions have been issued to police stations and high-risk administrative offices located in Red zone of the districts to augment security cover, South Western Range IG office sources in Koraput said.
The police are taking all preventive steps to check the possible Maoist violence as the Intelligence inputs and the analysis of the previous year violence’s suggested the Maoists, besides targeting vehicles carrying security forces, could launch attacks on police stations across the Maoist infested districts, a top police official said. Though the security personnel remained alert and are collecting intelligence inputs about movements of the Maoists, incessant rains and overflowing rivers have hit anti-Maoist operations in Koraput, Rayagada and Malkangiri districts. But our security forces are on high alert in view of the Martyrs’ Week,” he added.
The police seem to be determined not to allow the Maoists to conduct any programmes including the construction of memorial pylons in the interior areas and unveil them during the week, though they may not launch an offensive. Combing operations by the Border Security Forces, Central Reserve Police Forces, COBRA personnel’s, Special Operation Group commandos and District Voluntary Forces has further been intensified in these districts ahead of the Martyrs week.
But this year’s martyr’s week might be different in the wake of killing and arrest of Maoist cadres including Madhav in Malkangiri district and arrest of scores of cadres in other places. . Violent incidents might be witnessed on the border with Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh where the Maoists are strong.
Maoists kill tribal man in Odisha
Bhubaneswar : Maoist guerrillas have killed a tribal man in Odisha by slitting his throat after accusing him of being a police informer, an official said Sunday. The murder took place in Koraput district’s Dasini village, over 500 km from here, Saturday night but the incident came to light Sunday morning after villagers found Kadrak Komana’s body. A group of Maoist rebels dragged Komana out from his home and killed him by slitting his throat, Inspector General of Police Yashwant Jethwa told IANS. Maoists believe he was a police informer. Komana, 40, was previously associated with Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha, an organisation linked to Maoists, he said.
Three Naxals held in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: Three Naxals were arrested from separate places in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Kanker district, police said on Sunday. Based on specific inputs, two cadres were apprehended from Bande police station limits this morning, Kanker Superintendent of Police, RN Dash, told PTI. After getting information about the visit of ultras to their native place Mahlapara, located around 300 km away from the state capital, a team of local police was mobilised in the region.
After surrounding the village, the security personnel nabbed the duo, he said. Those arrested were identified as Maniram Kureti (35) and Mansa Nareti (35), he said, adding, they were involved in several incidents of crime in the region, including triggering blasts. In another incident, a cadre Radheshyam Darro (48) was arrested from restive Chowki region of the district last evening. A team of district force was on a combing operation in the forests of Chowki outpost, during which it nabbed the rebel from Kalwar village, Dash added.