Andhra Varsity Professor Arrested for Suspected Maoist Links
VISAKHAPATNAM: J Apparao, an associate professor of Andhra University was arrested by the Visakhapatnam rural police during the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday under mysterious circumstances. The police claimed that he was arrested for suspected links with the banned Maoists, triggering tension on the university campus as a large number of students boycotted the classes and staged a protest at the Visakhapatnam rural SP’s office. Apparao who is an associate professor in the Telugu department, was picked up by men in plain clothes from his residential quarters on the Andhra University campus.
The family members said that three men knocked their doors at around 1 am on Thursday and demanded that Apparao come with them. “They said they were policemen but refused to produce any arrest warrant or present their identity cards. We were scared but then they shoved my husband into a four-wheeler and left the spot even before the neighbours came to help us,” said Mynavathi, the professor’s wife. The news spread like a wildfire and a large number of faculty members and students gathered at the residence of Apparao. Soon after the dawn, the family members along with some research scholars lodged a complaint with the Three Town police stating that he was kidnapped and forcible taken out of his residence.
As news started being flashed on vernacular television channels that Apparao has been kidnapped, more support was received from students and teachers of Andhra University to the family members of Apparao. The associate professor is a native of Korrapalle area under G Madugula mandal in Visakhapatnam agency area and is a known tribal rights activist who worked for protection of tribal rights. He is also known to be a kind person who helps students from tribal areas and poor financial condition. Meanwhile, Visakhapatnam rural superintendent of police Koya Praveen responded to the media queries and confirmed that Apparao was indeed taken into custody by the rural police following his alleged connections with the left-wing extremists over the past a few years.
He said that the police have been observing the activities of Apparao and have strong evidence against him for providing logistical support including supply of explosives to the banned Maoist party. Soon after, the family members of Apparao along with a large number of students and representatives of Andhra University Teachers Association rushed to the rural SP’s office. Claiming that Apparao was innocent, they demanded that he should be presented before the media immediately.
Some members of AUTA even held discussions with the authorities to let them meet Apparao but in vain as the police said that the SP was out of city and would return only in the evening where more details about the arrest would be revealed. Interestingly, the police did not inform the Andhra University authorities about the arrest which is mandatory to arrest a university employee from the university premises. When contacted, Andhra University vice-chancellor GSN Raju said that the police might have acted discreetly as it was a sensitive and serious issue. However, he vouched for the innocence of associate professor and stated that the university faculty members were holding discussions with the police for the release of Apparao.
A Maoist leader admits ground lost in stronghold
A platoon commander of the CPI (Maoist)’s People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army has confessed that the outfit is not in a healthy state in its former stronghold of Porahat sub-zone, blaming its absence at the grassroots level. “We had to hurriedly celebrate the Martyrs’ Week (in July). The Foundation Week celebrations too were held hurriedly. Police were swarming here,” said Jeevan Kandulna, 36, speaking to The Indian Express in the Porahat forest of West Singhbum in a rare interview.
Maoists in the area have not been able to even plan their “Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign” for executing major attacks against security forces this year. And they are yet to make their stand clear on the assembly elections due later this month. Kandulna, or Gajendra Singh, admitted that the response to their efforts to draw mass support for protests too has been mild. “When a schoolteacher was arrested for being a supporter of ours, we tried to conduct a mass agitation demanding that his replacement be posted immediately. People did not turn up,” he regretted.
Villagers have also remained cold to Maoist efforts to mobilise alleged victims of sexual harassment by security forces. Kandulna blamed it on the outfit not making its presence felt at the ground level. “The party works through its committees. We don’t have the Nari (Mukti Sangh), and the (Krantikari) Kisan Committee is nonexistent. I am the only person running the party here; there should be at least three.”
As a result, the CPI (Maoist) is becoming an overtly militaristic organisation, with overground work by frontal organisations shrinking. Kandulna agreed that their militia remains strong. “Recruitment is still healthy,” he said. “Our cadres could do with more training though. Also, a number of them don’t stay long.” Most of the 10-15 members of Kandulna’s platoon look well under 18 years of age. Another platoon commander, Suresh — real name Dimba Pahan — who was present with Kandulna, said, “The two of us are the only seniors. Everyone else is gone.”
A full platoon of the PLGA comprises 30 fighters. There are at least two other platoons in the Porahat sub-zone. Kundan Pahan, Suresh’s brother and the second-most wanted Maoist leader in the state, moves around with one of them. Kandulna got de facto charge of the Porahat sub-zone following the arrest of Krishan Ahir alias Prasadji by the Ranchi police on August 13. He notes that the central committee has neither sent a replacement, nor even talked to him since the arrest. “I am supposed to coordinate with Bundu sub-zonal commander Dheeraj da, but that has not been easy,” said Kandulna. A Munda tribal hailing from Khunti district’s Torpa block, Kandulna joined the PLGA in 2009, after a neighbour who was with the splinter group PLFI killed one of his sisters.
Security of Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren increased
Fresh intelligence inputs ahead of the Jharkhand Assembly polls have warned of possible attempts by the outlawed CPI(Maoist) to target Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren and other top state leaders during the election campaign, prompting the Union ministry of home affairs to expand the chief minister’s security cover.
Maoists trigger IED blast in Chhattisgarh
Security personnel on November 5 escaped a Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) triggered powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast under a small bridge between Pamalwaya and Cherpal under Bijapur Police Station limits in Bijapur District, reports Zee News. “The explosion was so powerful that it left a five-and-half feet deep crater on Bijapur-Gangaloor road,” Bijapur Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Indira Kalyan Elesela said. However, no one was injured in the blast.