Three naxals held in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: Three naxals, including a woman cadre, were on Saturday arrested from different places in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, police said. “While one ultra was nabbed from Dantewada district, two others were picked from Kanker district,” DIG (SIB) Dipanshu Kabara told a news agency over phone. The naxal arrested from Dantewada is identified as Sanna Sodhi alias Sannu (38) and is suspected to have been involved in the attack in 2010 at the house of Congress leader Avdhesh Gautam.
“Sannu is also a close confidant of the commander of Malangir Area Committee, Deva. He was allegedly involved in triggering blasts at Kuakonda tehsil office and in a bus in Chingavaram,” Kabara said. Meanwhile, in a separate incident a joint squad of BSF and district police force arrested two ultras, identified as Umeshwari and Ramji from forest near Bhainsasur village in Kanker district. The duo have cases of arson, attempt to murder etc. registered against them in various police stations, Kabara said.
Govt goes for major overhaul of anti-Naxal policy
NEW DELHI: As home ministry officials go back to the drawing board to reshape contours of the anti-Naxal policy, there are indications of a tweaking of all existing schemes and initiatives in Left-wing extremism (LWE) areas. Some key proposals are allowing more flexibility to the home ministry to revise guidelines and update list of districts and items covered under the security-related expenditure (SRE) reimbursement scheme and empowering CRPF to restructure its dynamics to suit requirements of the LWE grid.
The revised draft anti-Naxal doctrine, which will be circulated to the affected states for their comments before being put up for Cabinet approval, will also propose raising of monetary incentive for surrenders by Naxal cadres as well as announcement of higher bounties by NIA on top CPI(Maoist) leaders. The draft of the new Naxal rehabilitation, surrender, neutralization, solatium and reward policy is ready, according to sources.
As of now, a surrendered higher-ranking Naxal leader gets Rs 2.5 lakh as an immediate grant and Rs 4,000 per month for 36 months. Importantly, the Centre, as part of its revised anti-Naxal policy, will bat for restructuring of CRPF to suit requirements of the LWE grid. This may entail autonomy for the CRPF to work out its own dynamics rather than turn to the home ministry for approval of the slightest change in organizational framework.
Earlier this year, CRPF had proposed a restructuring plan envisaging a single command system in conjunction with the area of responsibility. This, according to CRPF, was necessary as the concentration of troops in Naxal areas, northeast and J&K had resulted in group centres and range offices being far away from the battalions. The revised counter-Naxal doctrine may propose a standing mechanism comprising the home minister and chief minister of affected states to periodically review anti-Naxal policy.
The other initiatives that may see an overhaul are the scheme for special infrastructure (SIS) in LWE districts, under which funds are released to set up infrastructure for Greyhounds-like special forces and strengthen approach roads to police stations. The utilization of additional funds provided in this year’s budget for police modernization and implementation of scheme for construction and strengthening fortification of police stations will also be improved upon.
A central action plan to fight Maoists had recently suggested an advanced mine detection system, in use in Afghanistan, to tackle IED threats from the ultras. It recommended that CRPF’s Institute of IED Management, Pune, study the AN/PSS 14, developed by US-based L3 Cyterra, and make suggestions. Another idea is to focus on 35-40 worst-affected districts and reward the IAS/IPS officers who do good work there with preferential postings and foreign assignments. Taking a leaf out of Punjab’s success in beating Sikh militancy, the action plan suggests that a single IG/DIG exercise command over both the state police and central forces to ensure better coordination. Besides, inter-state border junctions in select places like Jamui-Giridih and Sukma-Malkangiri may be placed under the jurisdiction of DIG/commandants of central forces.
….The doctrine aims to set some ground-rules — like no talks with Maoists unless in a bleak scenario where they lay down arms, going after the top Maoist leadership by dedicated security teams, pushing in more security forces into worst-affected areas like Bastar and political commitment from all Maoist-affected states to eradicate the Left-wing extremism. A senior IB official told ET that the anti-Maoist doctrine will soon be circulated to all Maoist-affected states by the ministry for their comments and consent and subsequently an “in-principle approval” of the same will be sought from the Cabinet.
“Once the doctrine is in place, any wavering from it by any state will mean costs – in terms of funds being sent to the state to fight Maoists being curtailed,” a home ministry official said. BJP had earlier criticised the UPA government for not having a uniform anti-Maoist policy. Bihar has lately differed with the Centre’s stance against Maoists. The IB official said Singh has wished for an aggressive approach to eradicate Maoists after a recent presentation to him that said the violence levels were lowest in the last 14 years and Maoists were facing serious challenges like “decline of their base, loss of leadership, ideological dilution, increased desertions and weakening of urban movement”.
The presentation put the strength of CPI (Maoist) at 6,000 armed cadres and 36,000 Jan Militia and said they held 4,000 regular and 6,000 country-made weapons. It also pointed out that Sukma and Bijapur in Chhattisgarh and Gadhchirolli in Maharashtra were the worst-affected and the main hub of CPI (Maoist) and needed to be targeted. South Chhattisgarh is the “fountain-head” of Maoism with presence of large Maoist armed formations and location of the top leadership, it added. The presentation said the operations had yielded improved results “only in” Maharashtra and Odisha and that Bihar and Jharkhand had a “poor performance”.
Among other concerns flagged off to the home minister were “movement of large groups of armed Maoist cadres, massive collection of funds through extortion, inability of the security forces to take on large armed groups, heavy security force casualties in IED blasts and administrative vacuum in large areas.” Singh was also told that Maoists were planning to intensify guerilla and mine warfare against security forces, develop a second line of leadership and focus on issues of “Jal, Jungle and Zameen.” He was told Maoists planned more abductions — followed by short negotiations and killings of abductees if demands were not met.
Top Maoist Shambhuji arrested in Bihar
In a major catch a top Maoist, involved in several naxal-related incidents in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, was on Saturday arrested along with three accomplices, police said. Shambhuji alias Sunil Kumar alias Lambuji, member of Special area committee of the banned outfit in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhtisgarh, was arrested from Gandhi Maidan police station area here, a press release from the office of Senior Superintendent of Police Manu Maharaj said.
Acting on a tip off, the city police netted him with three aides when he had come here to collect levy money, the release added. The three others arrested were Sanjay Kumar, Sunil Singh and Lakshaman Yadav. ‘Shambhu ji’ was involved in brutal massacre of 16 members of TPC (Third Presentation Committee) in Jharkhand on August 8 this year, the release said. Several cases of loot, murder and extortion have been listed against him in the three states. A total of 25 detonators, 3 Chinese make radio sets, medicines to make someone unconscious besides Rs 25,000 were recovered from him, it said.
Maoists gun down farm labourer
VISAKHAPATNAM: After a nearly four-month lull, Maoists struck in the Visakha Agency again, killing a tribal at Killamkota in the mandal on Thursday night. However, the news came to light only on Friday evening after a villager came to the mandal headquarters and revealed the incident. The deceased was identified as 35-year-old farm labour B Balaraju. According to sources, a group of armed personnel allegedly entered the Killamkota colony, a Maoist stronghold area located around 30 km from the mandal headquarter, and dragged Balraju out of his house. They took him to the nearby village of Cherukubanda at around 7 pm where they opened fire at him.
Sources said after killing Balaraju the Reds told the villagers that he had been killed because he was a police informer and warned the other villagers with dire consequences if they informed the police. When contacted, police officials said they had no information about the incident so far as no one had lodged a complaint in this regard. A senior police official said the killing may have been prompted by the need of the Maoists to show their presence in the districtby terrorising people to carry out the ongoing anti-bauxite agitation.