People’s War in India Clippings 16/9/2014


Forum for alternative politics to be launched

Revolutionary poets Varavara Rao and G Kalyan Rao along with other like-minded people came together to float an organisation called ‘Forum for Alternative Politics’ which would be formally announced on September 21 at Hyderabad. This coincides with the celebration of merger of Peoples’ War and MCCI to form Maoist Party. There will be a convention, rally and a public meeting on September 21.

A debate on the ten-year-old Maoist party, its failures, its success and what it has to offer to the country will be organised. We found Janatana sarkar being run by the Maoist party in Bastar district more people friendly. “We invite everybody to join our Forum and strengthen it. It would strive to popularise Janatana sarkar that is being run by the tribal people themselves, ,” Mr Varavara Rao said. He said that the forum would strive to bring unity among people and strengthen their movement. Forum member G Padma Kumari wanted people to take part in the meeting at Hyderabad on September 21 at Sundaraiah Vignana Kendram.


A ‘Maoist’ encounter: The (un)accidental death of an adivasi

Death to the directly affected is not a minor incident but in the larger political arena it becomes an insignificant event relegated to the yearly statistics released by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The number of security personnel killed, the number of Maoists killed and the number of civilians killed: the ordinariness of it all, the banality of outrage, and yet the question of the structural violence that leads to this is never weighed by the numbers or the cost of life.

At 3:30am on the 3rd of September, 2014, six villagers from Marowai in Narma Panchayat of Gumla district of Jharkhand, were just starting to leave their village for Hindalco’s Bauxite mine at Gurderi in a Tata L-Series truck. All of them are farmers who supplement their income by loading and carrying bauxite to the railway station of Tori. They get paid Rs 600 amongst themselves, and on this particular morning, they left early to beat the rush at the mine and stay ahead in the queue. Matmaiya Oraon tilts a bucket full of clothes covered in blood. Her son had manage to escape the barrage of bullets and returned home covered in the blood of his co-villagers and passengers.

The CRPF and the local police had meanwhile been informed that the Maoists were going to cross the village and had positioned themselves in the dark foliage, the fields, and the abandoned panchayat building, mere 200 metres away from the village. As a classical case of an occupying army that doesn’t know how to be the security of the populace: its intelligence was more concerned with killing Maoists than paying attention to how the civilian population behaves.

Why were they not aware that civilians take their trucks early in the morning to Gurderi to collect bauxite ore and take it to the railway station at Tori Junction? Thus, within the next 15 minutes, two of them would be shot dead, another two left with serious bullet injuries, and two would run back to their homes covered in blood. The entire village of Marowai awoke to the thunder of gunfire, as panic and rumour spread, ‘mela jaise ho gaya tha’ said one witness, the aunt of one of the killed. The CRPF didn’t allow any of the villagers near the truck, the injured lay there for the next 3 hours before their injuries were tended to, and they were airlifted to Ranchi’s Apollo hospital.

Gadchiroli police arrest senior Maoist leader

Gadchiroli: A senior Maoist was arrested by the Gadchiroli police today, Superintendent of Police Sandip Patil said during a press conference here today. The arrested Maoist cadre, identified as Raju alias Jethuram Dhurwa (41) who is a resident of Khedgaon village in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh, is allegedly a member of the Manpur Division and Commander of Aundhi Local Operation Squad. Representational image. AFP The Gadchiroli police succeeded in arresting such a senior Maoist cadre for the first time after 2007, the SP said, adding, Maoists have suffered a major setback with the arrest.

Earlier, a deputy commander of this Maoist squad was killed in an encounter at Gahangatta after which this squad had almost ceased to exist, he said. Allegedly, Raju was actively involved in several serious offences in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. Before joining the Maoist movement, he worked as militia member in his native place. He used to allegedly transport explosives and other material sent by Maoist Gudsa Usendi and Manpur Division Special Zonal Committee to various Maoist squads.

Raju joined the Pallemadi Maoist squad in 2007 and was transferred to Mohalla Local Operation Squad in 2008, where he continued till 2012. In 2012, he was transferred to the Pallemadi Maoist squad and worked as in-charge of the Aundhi squad, the police official said. Allegedly, Raju was involved in several crimes including vehicle burning at Pallemadi mines in 2006, looting gelatin sticks in Mahamaya, the Sorpar murder in 2007, Sambalpur encounter, Padi murder in 2009, Kandali murder in 2011, Bukmarka hill and Mungner encounters in 2012, Lekepar ambush in 2012, as well as Mudeli and Mardgutta encounters in 2014, the police official said.

7 security men injured in two blasts

Seven security personnel have been injured in blasts in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. Three Central Reserve Police Force personnel were injured when an improvised explosive device went off when they were trying to defuse it near Timmapur village of Bijapur district in south Bastar. The injured Assistant Commandant of the 168th battalion, Madhu Nair, inspector T.P. Khan and constable Manoj Kumar were shifted to Raipur. In the other incident, Maoists triggered an IED blast near Yerkad village in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra, injuring four police personnel, said R.K. Vij, Additional Director-General of Police, Anti-Naxal operations. All four Jawans were airlifted to Nagpur for treatment. Yerkad is on the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh boundary.

Specialised training to officials in tackling Maoists

Civilian, armed forces officers will participate in discussion on ‘Left-Wing Extremism’ All-India Services officers in eight naxal-affected States will undergo specialised training at the Chhattisgarh Academy of Administration on tackling Left-wing extremism. As part of a mid-career interaction with the armed forces, conducted in coordination with the Defence Ministry, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has asked the State governments to nominate at least three officers — one each from the Indian Administrative Service, the Indian Police Service and the Indian Forest Service — for the training from October 15 to 17. Mid-career courses

“The programme intends to bring together civilian and armed forces officers from Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand to a common discussion forum on the theme subject ‘Left-Wing extremism,’” the DoPT directive says. “In case officers from the All-India Services are not available, officers belonging to the State Civil Services of appropriate seniority who are working at the cutting-edge level in the districts may also be considered for nomination for the programme.”

“These mid-career interaction courses are conducted at the tactical and operational level and they are expected to benefit both the armed forces and the civil services officers through mutual learning from each other’s strengths and also by imbibing the best points of each other’s work culture, ethos and customs. This is expected to help them combat future challenges to national security in an organised manner,” the directive said.

Woman Maoist arrested in Chhattisgarh

Raipur: A woman Maoist, carrying a reward of 1.10 lakh on her head, was arrested during a joint search operation by security personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district, police said Tuesday. Yalam Sarita alias Rita (27), an active member of Madded LGS (Local Guriella Squad) was apprehended from restive Marimalla forests under Madded police station limits late last evening, a senior police official told PTI. Besides, Sarita was also working in the medical team of Madded Area Committee of CPI (Maoist), the official said. A joint squad of CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force), CAF (Chhattisgarh Armed Force) and district force, was dispatched on a combing operation in Bangapalli, Muttapur, and Marimalla on Septermber 14.

Modi govt set to give police more teeth for anti-Maoist operations

Police in Maoist-affected states do not even know the names of the rebels operating in their respective areas, a review of the Congress-led UPA government’s policy on left-wing extremism has revealed. So much so that the police forces in the nine affected states largely remain restricted to their police stations and are scared of venturing out and taking on the Maoists. The review by the Narendra Modi-led NDA government has apparently hastened the drafting of a new policy with special emphasis on giving more teeth to police to fight the Maoists.

The ministry of home affairs – tasked with undertaking a comprehensive review of how to deal with the threat from left-wing extremism (LWE) – has drafted a new policy which envisages a “police-up” approach, which entails motivating the state police forces to take the lead in operations. Home minister Rajnath Singh has already indicated that the policy could be unveiled within a week. An official involved with the review process told HT on condition of anonymity that “the new policy, while focusing on winning the hearts and minds of the tribals, will seek to empower the currently demoralised state police forces with more finances and better training facilities”.

The official said the government has come round to the view that the battle against Maoists cannot be won merely by sending in paramilitary forces “who are neither familiar with the terrain nor local dialects”. According to the official, in some of the worst-affected districts like Bijapur and Sukma in Chhattisgarh and Gadcharoli in Maharashtra, the Maoists have a free run. “The police do not even have names, forget about photographs of Maoists who operate in those areas,” the official added. Another key element of the new policy focuses on surrenders. The current Rs. 1.5 lakh for mid-level and Rs. 2.5 lakh for senior Maoist leaders is being reviewed.

The new anti-Maoist doctrine aims to set the ground rules: no talks with rebels unless they offer to lay down arms, a commitment from all affected states to and speedy clearance for security infrastructure that had been caught in red tape during the UPA.


Anti-national material seized from arrested ‘Maoist’: ATS

The district court has extended the police custody of alleged Maoist operative Arun Bhelke alias Rajan, and his wife Kanchan Ranavare, after the Pune unit of the Anti- Terrorism Squad (ATS) stated in court that they have picked up 42 CDs from one of their hideouts in Mumbai, which contains material intended to provoke people against the government. The duo, arrested in the beginning of the month, has now been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Another seven days:

The alleged Maoist operative, Arun Bhelke, was arrested by the Pune unit of ATS on September 1 and his wife, Kanchan Ranavare, was arrested the next day. File pic During the hearing on Monday, the special public prosecutor, Vikas Shah, told the bench of district court, “After raiding one of their hideouts in Mumbai, the Pune ATS team has found 42 CDs that show how a CISF jawan was brutally murdered by a Maoist. They have also found articles, written in code language, that talks against the Indian government and country.”

‘Acts against nation’

“We have decoded the articles, which were intended to be given to peers to carry out activities against the nation. The team also seized four mobile phones with SIM cards purchased from 20 different locations,” added Shah. The prosecutor asked for an extension of the duo’s police custody, and informed that the ATS team is now looking into whether Bhelke and Ranavare are married or not. ‘No evidence submitted’

Defence lawyers Wajed Khan and T C Shaikh opposed the extension of police custody, stating, “ATS has not provided any evidence to court yet, nor have they submitted the laptop seized by them. If the couple was using a fake UID and PAN card, then they should be booked under forgery and not UAPA. The ATS now wants to investigate whether the couple were married or not. However, the law does not refrain consenting adults from staying together.” After hearing the arguments, Additional Sessions Judge N P Dhote extended the police custody of Bhelke and Ranavare till September 22.


Search Stepped Up after Killing of ‘Informer’

KAKINADA: After a long lull, the Maoists have once again begun to make their presence felt by killing former extremist Muvvala Naresh (27) two days ago, branding him an informer. Later, the Maoists left the body of their former colleague in the Jangalathota area. The police found a letter purportedly left by the Galikonda area team near the body of Naresh. The letter said that Naresh was killed as he turned into a police informer.

In January, 2007, the Maoists killed Ulem Rambabu (27) of Jangalathota area alleging that he was being used by the police as their informer. Six years ago, top Maoist leader Gowtham was killed in an encounter in the same area. The incident spurred the police into action, prompting them to intensify combing operations in the Agency areas of Chhattisgarh and Orissa states as well as in Visakhapatnam district. East Godavari and Visakhapatnam district police have decided to conduct joint combing operations to check the movement of Maoists. The police are also keeping a vigil on the recently merged mandals of Chintoor, Kunavaram, Vararamachandrapuram.

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