Maoist links: Bombay HC quashes Saibaba’s bail plea
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has rejected the bail application of Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, under arrest since May for his alleged Maoist links. Justice Sunil Shukre , while rejecting the argument of Saibaba that he couldn’t be branded a Maoist or even a sympathizer only on the basis of the resemblance of his social activism with Maoist ideology, said a prima facie case exists against him for involvement in Maoist activities and for his being a prominent and important Maoist leader, according to Government Pleader Bharti Dangre. Saibaba also cited his physical disability as ground for bail. That too wasn’t held valid by the court, according to Dangre.
His lawyer Surendra Gadling said, “we argued that mere resemblance of social activism to Maoist ideology isn’t ground enough to brand him a sympathiser or a Maoist. Also, we said the police don’t have sufficient material to substantiate their claim.” On court’s rejection of the disability ground, Gadling said, “the court accepted the police argument that he was being provided adequate assistance, facilities and medicines.”
Naxal threat: Red corridor expanding in Maharashtra, Odisha and Telangana
Even as the Narendra Modi’s government readies a new anti-Maoist doctrine, Maoist seems to be gaining ground in the districts of Maharashtra and Odisha, where they had considerably diminished under the previous regime. As per the half yearly report of the Central Intelligence Committee, accessed by India Today, the district of Gadchiroli in Maharashtra which was once cited by the Manmohan Singh government as the model for other Left Wing affected States has witnessed mass killings.
There were 44 incidents reported in which 22 lives including that of civilians were lost in 2014 as compared to 40 incidents and 8 deaths in 2013 during the same period, the report states. The red corridor has also made new inroads into the newly carved state of Telangana and renamed themselves as Telangana State Committee (TSC) replacing the erstwhile North Telangana Special Zone Committee (NTSZC). Similarly, Odisha has witnessed a surge with 65 incidents and 13 killings in 2014 as against 40 and 10 deaths in 2013. The note further remarks, “The CPI (Maoist) continues to maintain its dominance in the Koraput, Malkangiri and Rayagada districts of southern Odisha.”
The report also states that only 37 Naxals were killed in the first half of the year as compared to 52 last year during the same period. “The period witnessed increasing attacks on police post with 93 incidents in 2014 as compared to 65 such attacks during the corresponding period in 2013,” it stated. However, it was suggested in the report that overall violence has “marginally” declined with 597 incidents being reported from LWE areas as compared to 593 in 2013. The committee headed by cabinet secretary Ajit Lal also observed that security forces suffered set back on during the Maoist’s annual tactical counter offensive campaign (TCOC) which coincided the Lok Sabha elections.
“There were two major attacks one in Chhattisgarh in which 15 security personnel and a civilian were killed and another in Maharashtra in which seven policemen were killed. During this year TCOC, 26 weapons were lost by the policemen as against the target of 100,” the report stated. As per the report, the arrest and surrender of top Maoist cadres is also the reason of worry for the Maoist as the outfit discussed the decline in number of youth cadres. The deficiencies which were noted during the Maoist leaders meeting included, “desertion of cadres and increase in non-proliferation tendencies in both the party and the PLGA as well as in the People’s Revolutionary Committee. It was admitted that a bureaucratic approach towards people was eating at the base of party’s support among the people. This in turn has led to a decline in the recruitment, particularly in the Western and Northern region” it was noted in the report.