Maoists admit to biggest setback since 2005:
‘Lost 200 cadres last year’ Beginning their annual “martyrs’ week” in Dandakaranya on Monday, the CPI(Maoist) admitted that they lost over 200 cadres, including a Central Committee member, in the last one year. “In the last one year, we have lost over 200 of our leaders, members, People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army commanders and guerrilla fighters, leaders and members of people’s organisations, members of Jan Militia and revolutionary masses,” said a press release issued by the CPI(Maoist), South Regional Committee, Dandakaranya.
They died for their “dream to establish socialism and communism” in the country, it said, while adding that many had died due to natural causes, including Central Committee member Barun Dada and senior comrade Shaheeda Didi.
TRS govt not fulfilling promises made to people: CPM
WARANGAL: The CPI (Maoists) Khammam-Karimnagar-Warangal (KKW) division committee secretary Damodar Bade Chokkarao has asked the people to organise martyrs’ memorial meetings in all the villages in the district. In a media release, he said that the Maoist leaders including Charu Mazumdar and others had sacrificed their lives fighting for the rights of the people. He called upon the people to organize meetings from July 28-August 3 in the villages.
He said that the Telangana government was working for the benefit of the capitalists and feudal classes. He said all the parties had duped the people giving false assurances on the Naxalite issue. He said the TRS government was playing foul play with the citizens by not implementing its promises. “The TRS government has not given clarity on the ban on the Maoist party and joined hands with multi-national companies while continuing its repression against the Maoists,” he said.
Swiss National Held for Suspected Maoist Link
THRISSUR: A 24-year-old Swiss national has been arrested after he allegedly attended a function organised in memory of a Maoist activist at nearby Valappad. Police said Jonathan Bold, who arrived in Kerala on a tourist visa, attended a meeting organised in memory of Sinoj, a Maoist activist from Kerala who was killed while making country bombs in Andhra-Karnataka border last month. The meeting was organised by a group having Maoists and Naxalite sympathies.
Sinoj belonged to Valappad in Kerala. Jonathan has been charged under the Foreigners Act, Section 14(b), which pertains to violation of visa conditions. Police said some Maoist literature had been recovered from him. Jonathan arrived in Kerala on July 10 with a woman companion and had visited Kannur and other parts of the state before arriving here Monday. Since he speaks French, the help of an interpreter conversant in French would be sought for detailed interrogation, police said.
Naxal killed in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh
A Naxal was killed and three personnel of Central Reserve Police Force including an assistant commandant were injured in a shoot-out in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district this evening, police said. The incident took place in the forest near Ramaram village under Chintagufa police station limits, Sukma Superintendent of Police D Shrawan told PTI. A joint team of CRPF and district police was in Chintagufa region, around 500 km from the state capital Raipur, when ultras opened fire. The body of a male Naxal was recovered later. Assistant commandant Alok Kumar and constables Jatan Lal and Ravindra Kumar of the 150th battalion of CRPF sustained minor injuries and were admitted to a local hospital, the SP said.
Three naxals arrested, arms recovered in Chhattisgarh
RAIPUR: Three naxals were arrested on Tuesday and a cache of arms, ammunition and electronic gadgets seized after security forces busted a Maoist transit camp in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district, police said. The incident took place at Rampur village forests, close to Mendki river, under Pratappur police station limits, Kanker superintendent of police R N Dash told PTI. Acting on specific inputs, a joint squad of 127th battalion of Border Security Force (BSF) and district force was dispatched on a combing exercise from eight different company operating bases (COBs) in Badgaon region, located around 300 kms from here.
On reaching Rampur, located 35km south of Badgaon, security personnel spotted three naxals in the forests following which they surrounded the area and nabbed the cadres, the SP said. The arrested – Dharmu Podo (26), Rai Singh (47) and Nar Singh (35) – are wanted in several incidents of crime in the region, he said. Besides, two single barrel muzzle loading guns (SBML), a pipe bomb, a half kg explosive, three detonators, battery chargers, wires, couple of batteries, flash light batteries, electric circuits (big and small size), a loud speaker, naxal posters and pamphlets, ammunition pouch and medicines, were recovered from their possession, he added.
The operation named ‘Meghdoot’, was planned ahead of ongoing Martyrs’ Naxal week which is being observed by the naxals from July 28 to August 3, Dash said. Notably, combing operations have been intensified in the insurgency-hit pockets of the state, particularly in Bastar during Maoist’s martyrs week. The call for observing martyrs’ week has hit normal life in Bastar region as transporters have stopped plying buses to the remote areas. Railways too are not running the Visakhapatnam-Kirandul train beyond Jagdalpur during the week, fearing Naxal attacks, forcing commuters to travel by bus from Jagdalpur to Kirandul.
Two new Mi-17 helicopters to bolster BSF air wing
New Delhi: Two advanced ‘Mi’ series choppers are set to provide additional support to the BSF air wing in anti-Naxal and counter-insurgency operations in the country. A pair of Mi-17-V5 helicopters is expected to be handed over to the Border Security Force by September-end for deployment in multi-theatre roles in the internal security domain of the country. “We would be getting the two advanced Mi choppers by September. The new machines will be part of our air wing, which is tasked with aiding troops in anti-Naxal and counter- insurgency operations,” BSF chief DK Pathak said.
These machines are expected to be initially based at the BSF facility in Delhi and may later be sent to an operational air base in the country, officials said. The new Mi-17s (V-5 variant) are part of the first batch of the machines which will be delivered to the country’s largest border-guarding force under an eight-chopper package that the force is expected to get as part of the modernisation of its air fleet.
Wanted Maoist leader arrested in Bihar
A wanted Maoist ‘Area Commander’ was arrested in a joint operation of Bihar Police and CRPF from Bajaria in East Champaran district on Tuesday. Dinesh Pandit was arrested with a sophisticated 7.62 mm pistol, 35 cartridges and several pieces of Naxal literature, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) (Operations) Rajeev Kumar said. “The arrested Maoist leader is the Area Commander of the Naxal groups active in Sheohar district in the state.
He was involved in blasting the railway tracks in Muzaffarpur district along with several other incidents of violence,” Kumar said, adding, Pandit was being interrogated to find out about his links. The ASP said Kumar was a key player in the supply of arms and ammunition to the Maoist outfits active in north Bihar districts.
Maoists’ Martyr Week on, Security Forces on Toes
MALKANGIRI: Movement of vehicular traffic in the district came to a halt with the beginning of Maoists’ Martyr Week on Monday. The Red ultras observe the week from July 28 to August 3 every year to pay tribute to their leaders and cadres who lost their lives. The OSRTC stopped plying its buses from Malkangiri to other districts apprehending Maoist attack. Normal life was hit in rural pockets as passenger buses and other vehicles stopped plying at many places fearing trouble, police said, adding that shops and business establishments also remained closed in areas like Kalimela, Padia and Motu. However, there was no report of road blockade from any part of the district.
The Maoists put up posters in Kalimela, Motu, MV 79, Podia and Gompakonda areas protesting the Silakota police encounter in which their 13 cadres were killed on September 15 last year. Although Government offices remained open, there was thin attendance. People preferred to remain indoors. Security Beefed up In other Maoist-hit South Odisha districts like Koraput, Rayagada, Ganjam, Kandhamal, Nabarangpur and Gajapati, the situation was normal amid tight security measures.
Even though chief of Odisha Maobadi Party Sabyasachi Panda was arrested by police recently, security has been beefed up in the region suspecting that his supporters may resort to violent activities. “We have tightened security with deployment of additional forces in sensitive areas and anti-Maoist operation has been intensified in the region,” said DIG (southern range) Amitabh Thakur. Special Operation Group (SOG), Central Reserve Police Forces (CRPF), India Reserve Battalion (IRB), District Voluntary Forces (DVF) and Special Police Officers (SPO) have been deployed to maintain law and order in Maoist-affected areas of these districts.
Police patrolling and checking of long-route vehicles were intensified in Daringibadi, Kotagarh and Bramhanigaon, the Maoist-affected areas in Kandhamal district. Similar measures were also taken in Gajapati district. “We have alerted the forces. Besides, regular checking of the vehicles and blocking in the border areas are continuing,” said Gajapati SP CS Meena.
Odisha tribal village chief killed in Maoist explosion
A tribal village head was killed and his wife critically injured in an explosion triggered by Maoists in Odisha’s Malkangiri district on Tuesday. The village head of Darbaguda in Kalimela area was returning home along with his wife from a nearby forest when the explosive device planted by Maoists on the road went off, Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Akhileswar Singh said. While Bira Padiami (50) died in the blast, his critically injured wife was taken to the nearby hospital by the villagers for treatment, Singh said. Police said the ultras were believed to have planted the explosive device, probably a pressure bomb, targeting the security personnel as a BSF camp is located near the site.
Maoists’ memorial destroyed in Bastar
Violence marred the first two days of Maoists’ ‘martyr week’ in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh in which one suspected Maoist was killed and three policemen were injured. Police also arrested 13 suspected Maoists’ from different areas of Bastar and destroyed a ‘Maoist memorial’ in Dantewada district. Three policemen suffered minor injuries when the police parties exchanged fire with Maoists near Chintagufa village in Sukma district. A suspected Maoist was also killed in the firing, said police.
Narayanpur district police claimed to have arrested seven Maoists on Tuesday. “We trapped them (Maoists) when they were putting up Maoist banners near Maharabeda village,” the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Narayanpur district Mr.K.S.Diwan told reporters. Three suspected Maoists were arrested from Kirandul area of Dantewada district when a police team led by Mr.Kamlochan Kashyap, Dantewada district Superintendent of Police (SP) busted a Maoist memorial. A team of Border Security Force (BSF) arrested three suspected Maoists from Bhanupratapur and Antagad area of Kanker district.
According to some reports, Maoists opened fire on a police post in Kuwakonda block of Dantewada district. However, no casualties were reported from either side. Normal life was affected in many parts of Bastar with the passenger train service being suspended for a week as a precautionary measure. Private bus services were also not running in many parts of Bastar due to Martyr’s week.
Martyrs’ week halts southern Odisha districts
KORAPUT/BERHAMPUR: Vehicular movement came to a grinding halt in Maoist-hit Malkangiri district and in some parts of Koraput and Rayagada districts on the first day of Martyrs’ Week on Monday. Shops, markets and other business establishments remained closed in Kalimela area of Malkangiri district. Public transport system, including government-run vehicles, was completely paralyzed with no bus plying to Malkangiri from neighbouring Koraput district.
Hundreds of passengers were seen stranded at various bus stops in Malkangiri district. Many reached their destinations through taxi and auto. “Since morning I am waiting at the bus stand to go to Motu. I am worried what to do,” said Samant Mohapatra, a passenger at Malkangiri bus stand. Every year, the outlawed CPI (Maoist) observe the week from July 28 to August 3 to pay homage to cadres killed in police firing.
“Though security has been tightened, but we can’t take a chance. It’s better not to ply vehicles,” said a bus operator of Jeypore in Koraput district. Panic among the people was palpable as the Red rebels had murdered two persons just two days before the Martyrs’ Week, suspecting them as police informers in Malkangiri. The extremists have also erected temporary martyr pillars in forests of Tekguda and cut-off areas to pay homage to slain comrades.
Similarly, buses stayed off roads at Narayanpatna, Bandhugaon and Lamataput in Koraput district and Gudari and Chadrapur in Rayagada district. Keeping in view the threat perception, buses in 17 routes have been cancelled in Malkangiri, Koraput and Rayagada districts. “Our service to Malkangiri district will remain suspended till August 3,” said district transport manager of Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC), Jeypore division, Rajendra Pujari.
Red alert in Jharkhand for Martyrs’ Week
RANCHI: Police sounded alert in all districts on Monday, the first day of ‘Shahadat saptah’, or Martyrs’ Week, when Maoists remember their fallen cadres. Jharkhand Police also alerted the three railway divisions in the state to avoid any possible Maoist attack. Police said the rebels had, in the past, carried out attacks during the Martyrs’ Week. Also, cops found Maoist posters in Giridih in which the rebels warned villagers against capitalists and urged them to join the movement against administration.
“The posters were found in Nimiaghat police station area. It seems that there were some movements of the Maoists in this area. In this area we have increased the vigil,” said Giridih SP Kranti Kumar. DGP Rajiv Kumar said the Maoists would not be able to carry out any untoward incident anywhere. “All SPs have been asked to undertake necessary measures to keep their activities in check,” said Kumar. A letter has been sent to all SPs asking them to ensure safety of highways, important establishments in affected areas, police stations, police pickets and the people. Central agencies, like the Election Commission, are keeping a close watch on law and order in Jharkhand before the assembly election this year. Khunti, Palamu, Latehar, Lohardaga, Gumla, Simdega, West Singhbhum and Giridih are the worst among all 24 districts affected by left wing extremism. Dhanbad rail SP Manoj Chothe said “we have heightened vigil” along the CIC section of the Indian Railways.
The CIC section passes through Palamu, Garhwa and Dhanbad districts. “Forces would conduct area domination exercises throughout the week in sensitive parts. Road operation parties would be deployed along highways. The buildings which Maoists are prone to use in affected areas would also be under watch,” said a source.
North Bihar’s top Maoist held with girl shooter
MUZAFFARPUR: The head of a Maoist guerrilla squad holding number 2 position in the CPI (Maoist) in north Bihar, Sanjay Patel alias Sanjay Azad, was arrested along with a young girl, Beauty, a sharpshooter of the same squad, from village Kiratpur under Aurai police station of this district on Sunday night by a special investigation team led by ASP (Operations) Rana Brajesh and DSP (East) Ajay Kumar. Giving this information to mediapersons here on Monday, Senior SP Jitendra Rana said Sanjay Azad was responsible for more than a dozen incidents of Maoist violence in Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Sheohar and Sitamarhi districts during the last six months.
The crimes in which he was directly involved included the burning of a petrol pump belonging to Aurai MLA Ramsurat Rai, attack on different road construction contractors’ camps, firing on a contractor’s munshi, burning of JCB machines and tractors on failure of the contractors to pay levy to the Maoists. Belonging to Runnisaidpur area in Sitamarhi district, Azad had reached Aurai area to attend a meeting of the Maoists to discuss strategies about collecting levy from a brick-kiln owner. On getting definite information, a trap was laid and the two Maoists were arrested. A countrymade pistol and some live cartridges were recovered from Azad.
The SSP said Azad returned to his village from New Delhi about three-and-a-half-years back. He developed intimacy with some criminals and then came into contact with north Bihar’s top Maoist Ratnakar Devendra Sahani. After getting training in guerrilla warfare, he was made in charge of levy collection as well as of that of offensive squad. He had unleashed a reign of terror among contractors in rural areas and brick-kiln owners in all the four aforesaid districts.
Combing operations in Nilgiris over Maoist scare
Ooty: With suspected Maoist movement in the jungles in Kerala bordering the Nilgiris on its west, the police here, assisted by foresters, organised combing operations in the Upper Bhavani, Kinnakorai and its nearby forest areas in the Nilgiris border to ascertain if there was any infiltration or movement of any suspicious elements in and around the jungles in the hills. Though forest and police officials maintained that it is a routine exercise, police sources said a couple of days ago, some suspicious elements were found roaming in the Jalliparai tribal hamlet in the Aghali area in Kerala as it is located next to the Kinnakorai slopes in the Nilgiris.
While this prompted the police in Kerala to intensify their combing operations in the jungles along the Kerala-Nilgiris border, the police here have set in motion operations in the jungle borders in the southwest of the Nilgiris along the Kinnakorai region and also along the jungle borders around Pandalur taluk in the west. While around 60 policemen, including some DSPs, are said to be part of the combing operations, a police team, led by the SP of Nilgiris, Mr T. Senthil Kumar, organised combing operations on Monday along the Upper Bhavani and Kinnakorai slopes. The team visited tribal hamlets in these regions and enquired with the tribals about recent activities in the jungles and the movement of strangers.
While police officials said this exercise would continue to keep evil designs under check inside the forest, at Pandalur taluk, security has been beefed up in five police stations on the jungle borders on Monday to check any attempt by Maoist elements to attack the stations in the backdrop of the death anniversary of Maoist leader Charu Mazumdar, observed on Monday.