Naxal Efforts on to Strengthen Influence in South India: Govt
NEW DELHI: The CPI(Maoist) is making efforts to strengthen its influence in South India, particularly on the tri-junction of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, Lok Sabha was informed today. Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said their plans include creating a base on the border of Kerala and Karnataka. “The CPI(Maoist) cadres, active in the Wayanad district of Kerala, have also been known to engage in efforts aimed at establishing a forest route from Wayanad district to Mysore district of Karnataka,” he said in reply to a written question. However, despite these activities, the CPI(Maoist) has not been able to establish themselves in these areas.
India will help Nepal build anti-terror infrastructure
Realising that Nepal was being used as a major hub by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for carrying out its anti-India activities and that the country was becoming a safe haven for terror elements and even Naxals, India will help its key neighbour develop a formidable anti-terror infrastructure. Sources said India will not only train the Nepali security personnel in counter-terrorism operations, but will also provide them with state-of-the-art technology and equipment.
The issue was discussed at length in a series of meetings that National Security Adviser A.K. Doval had with senior Nepali security officials during the recent Nepal visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Sources said the decision to help Nepali agencies was taken up in the run-up to the PM’s visit, especially considering the strategic importance that Nepal holds in India’s fight against terror. Further, both Pakistan and China have been making significant inroads into Nepal due to which it became even more important for Indian intelligence and security agencies to engage with their Nepali counterparts in a more “constructive manner”.
Top government sources said Nepal too had sought India’s assistance in building greater capacity to counter subversive elements operating from their soil. Over the last few years, Indian agencies have carried out many successful operations with help from Nepali authorities, like the arrest of Indian Mujahideen’s India chief Yasin Bhatkal and some members of the terror outfit’s Darbhanga module. In addition, India has also managed to successfully tackle the supply of fake Indian currency into the country through the Nepal route over the last few months. Sources said helping Nepal develop a strong counter-terrorism mechanism was part of the increased co-operation between security agencies of the two countries over the last few years. “This is a strategic move that will eventually help us in the long run since Pakistan as well as the underworld has been using Nepal to launch terror operations against India.
Both fake currency and weapons are being pumped into Indian from this route as well. Thus, the focus now is to help agencies in Nepal develop their own expertise so that the move can be nipped in the bud as its extremely difficult to stop such elements at the border due to its porous nature,” a senior security official said. Another dimension to India’s security concerns with regard to Nepal is the close links that Naxals in India have with their counter parts across the border. It is believed that many top Naxal leaders escape to Nepal and even hold training camps there whenever they feel heat from Indian security forces. The Naxals here, sources added, are also getting arms and ammunition through the Nepal route and. Indian agencies will help Nepal form a special outfit to deal with the Naxal menace, sources added.
Two suspected Maoists killed in Gadchiroli encounter
At least two suspected Maoists were killed in an encounter with police in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra on Tuesday. However, police refused to say anything on record unless the identity of both the deceased is confirmed. “There was an encounter in Khobramenda forest in Kurkheda block this morning and we have recovered two dead bodies of the Maoists. We have also recovered one SLR rifle and one 3.3 gun. Kurdkheda Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Sachin Padnharkar has reached the spot with reinforcement,” revealed a police officer posted in Gadchiroli requesting anonymity. Local sources told The Hindu that some teams of Maharashtra’s special anti-Naxal unit C-60 were out on operation in the Khobramenda forest for over three days when they came across the suspected Maoists on Tuesday morning.
Maoists to observe Black Day on August 15
KORAPUT: With Independence Day only three days away, Maoists in Malkangiri district are gearing to observe it as Black Day. Each year on August 15, Maoists celebrate Black Day in protest against the alleged failure of the government in developing the tribal area. According to sources, Maoists along with their hundreds of supporters assembled in the thick forests of Marigeta in Kalimela police limits in the district on Sunday and urged the villagers to cooperate during the observation of Black Day.
“After the meeting, the Maoists took out a rally from Marigeta to Bodigeta raising anti-government slogans. Also, in the meeting the Maoists demanded the withdrawal of central forces from the area and the release of innocent tribals who have been jailed on false Naxal cases,” a source at Kalimela said. Police said the developments were being monitored closely and all necessary security arrangements had been made to thwart any possible Maoist violence. “Keeping in view the Maoists’ observation of Black Day on August 15, elaborate security arrangements have been made across the district. Additional forces have been deployed at a few sensitive areas,” said Malkangiri SP Akhileswar Singh.
Naxal carrying a reward of Rs 20,000 on his head arrested
A hardcore Maoist carrying a reward of Rs 20,000 on his head was arrested during a search operation in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Narayanpur district, police said. The cadre, Lakhmu (38), was apprehended from a forest near his native Kumnar village under Kurusnar police limits by the district force on Monday, Narayanpur Additional Superintendent of Police OP Sharma told PTI. The rebel was wanted for several criminal offences, including attacks on police party, loot, murder, torching of vehicles and others, the ASP said.
Based on inputs about his arrival at Kumnar, a police team was dispatched to the spot. The Naxal was spotted in forest near the village when he was trying to escape sensing the movement of security personnel, following which he was rounded up, he said. An active member of Kutul LGS (local guerrilla squad), Lakhmu had joined the outlawed CPI(Maoist) in 1997 and since then was deployed in the region, Sharma said, adding that he was being interrogated.
Maoists still have presence in Agency: SP
The Maoist influence in the Agency areas of Visakhapatnam is not as weak as it is thought to be. Things are not that rosy and they have considerable presence in the two areas of Galikonda and Korukonda, according to Superintendent of Police Koya Praveen. Under the Maoist East Visakha Joint Division that controls the Andhra Odisha Border (AOB), Galikonda and Korukonda area committees are the most active committees and they have a brief upper hand, especially during the monsoon period. “But despite that, our forces have done a good job and saw that the Maoist Martyr Week (July 28 to August 2), fail in all respects,” says Mr. Praveen.
Coming to the head count, the SP has said that it is not possible to give the exact number, but it is estimated that the East Visakha Joint Division chief Chalapathi and his deputy Bakuri Venkata Ramana alias Ganesh move around with about 40 to 50 hardcore cadres, each. Similarly, Galikonda area committee heads Ravi and Sharat and Korukonda area committee leaders Naveen and Kiran go around with at least 30 Maoist cadres. “The figures are excluding the local militia members and sympathisers.” Talking of fire power of the Maoists, he has said, “The weaponry depends on the rank. It is reported that leaders such as Ravi and Naveen, have at least five to six AK 47 assault rifles in their group and supported by a good number of 303 Lee Enfield rifles. They also carry landmines and claymore mines.”