Two Maoist guerrillas arrested in Latehar
Two Maoists, including a ‘zonal commander’ of the proscribed outfit, were on Tuesday arrested in Latehar district, the police said. The police raided a house around and nabbed zonal commander Ravindra Yadav and his associate Lavtesh Ganju from Kuriamakhurd village under Balumath police station after being tipped off, the police said adding a country-made pistol was seized from them.
STF team arrests wanted Maoist in Haryana
PATNA: A team of Special Task Force (STF) of the state police on Tuesday arrested an alleged activist of CPI(Maoist), Mahavir Saklani, from Haryana. He was wanted in over a dozen criminal cases lodged in various police stations of the state. IG (operations) Sushil M Khopde said Saklani had a reward of Rs 25,000 on his head. He is a native of East Champaran and had been active mostly in north Bihar districts. The first case was lodged against him in April 2001. Khopde said the police were yet to ascertain the reason behind his shifting to Haryana. “He might have gone there to work as a daily wager to earn some money during monsoon because the Red rebels hardly strike during the season. Or, he might have gone there to plan some attack as Maoists are also active in Punjab and Haryana,” Khopde said.
“The security forces are working in coordination with Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh police. Last year, we had successfully set up camps in the bordering areas of Gaya, Rohtas and Aurangabad districts,” he said. The security forces successfully set up base camps at Lutua under Banki Bazar police station area and Sewra under Imamganj police station area of Gaya districts. Two camps at the hilly terrains of Barha-Chakarbandha were also set up. The CRPF and civil police are also setting up temporary camps at several places to flush out the Naxalites from the area. A CRPF personnel said, “A new battalion camping site is being set up at Aurangabad to monitor the movements of the CRPF battalions in south Bihar. Currently, it is being monitored from Motihari in East Champaran. Three companies of CRPF will be staying at the site.”
Govt to raise 31 IRBs in J-K, NE, Maoist-hit states
To ease pressure on central paramilitary forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir, North East and left wing extremism (LWE)-affected states, the Centre will provide funds for raising 31 India Reserve Battalions (IRBs) there, sources said. “It will be a huge boost for the states battling terrorism and insurgency. The central paramilitary forces are already stretched to their limit for being involved in static as well as temporary deployment in these states. Once the states raise their own battalions, we will be able to move the central forces from there and deploy them more in line with their original mandate,” said a government official requesting anonymity.
The IRBs are raised by the states with initial fund fund coming from the Centre. At present, there are 145 IRB battalions with states across the country. “We got demands from the states for raising more than 50 fresh IRB battalions. But we have agreed for only 31 battalions (around 31,000 personnel) with priority being given to Jammu and Kashmir, northeastern states battling insurgency and LWE-affected states. The decision has huge financial implications for the Centre as the cost of raising one IRB battalion comes to around `50 crore. We have asked for views from all stake-holders including the finance ministry that has to approve the spending,” said the official. Sources said five IRB battalions have been approved for Jammu and Kashmir and 26 others for northeastern and LWE states. At the moment there are 37 IRB battalions with the 10 LWE-affected states. A cabinet note has been prepared in this regard and circulated to all stake holders. It will soon be put before the cabinet for final approval.
Maoists, police indulge in propaganda warfare in Bastar
The Maoist insurgency-hit Bastar region of Chhattisgarh is witnessing a propaganda war between the police and Maoists with both sides claiming to have inflicted heavy damage on the other. The outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoists) claimed that the party’s military wing, the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), killed six commandos of the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in an encounter in Bijapur district on August 10. In a handwritten press note from the South Bastar Regional Committee of the CPI (Maoist), the banned outfit claimed that the PLGA “shot dead” six COBRA commandos and inflicted serious injuries on four others in an encounter near Pawarguda village of Bijapur district.
“A police party took the dead bodies and the injured jawans towards Murdonda area. But the police and district administration remained silent on the incident. It’s not yet confirmed whether they handed over those dead bodies to the families of the deceased,” said the South Bastar Regional Committee. However, police denied the Maoists’ claims. “It is not possible for police to hide such a big incident because we have to do so many formalities. The Maoists are desperate and are on back foot. They (Maoists) are fighting a losing battle and are indulging in such false propaganda out of frustration,” reacted Mr. S. R. Kalluri, the Inspector General (IG) of Police, Bastar range.
In a similar incident, Chhattisgarh police and the CRPF had claimed that they killed “at least 10 to 11” Maoists” in Ramram village of Sukma district on July 28 only to be rebutted by the Maoists who instead claimed that the security forces killed “two civilians” in the village. The South Bastar Regional Committee press release has also appealed the security personnel to “stop sacrificing their lives for the capitalists”. “Don’t fight for the capitalists and imperialists. Instead join our people’s movement,” the banned outfit told the jawans.
Naxals shoot copter, hit tail
Raipur: A helicopter of the Chhattisgarh government came under attack by Maoists while it was flying over a hilly region in south Bastar in the state, but escaped the assault with a minor damage, a police officer said on Tuesday. The incident took place late on Monday evening and has been kept under wraps “for security reasons,” the police official confided. “The copter came under firing by Naxals while it flying between Pamed and Bhadrakali in south Bastar district of Bijapur. The pilot felt a minor jolt but could not assess the situation. That the Maoists tried to shoot down the copter was known after it landed at Jagdalpur airbase where the ground staff noticed bullet mark on its tail,” he revealed.
According to him, preliminary inquiry has revealed that light machine guns were used to target the copter. “A major disaster has been averted. The bullet missed the fuel tank and ro-tor by a few inches. Had it hit either of them, the copter could have crashed,” he added. This was the third incident of Maoist attack on a copter in Bastar in the current year.