3 naxals involved in attack on Congressman’s house arrested
“The cadres – Dewa Kunjam (25), Barse Manjhi (30) and Kuma Kunjam (25)– were apprehended by a joint squad of CRPF and district force from restive forests of Kuwakonda police station limits on Monday evening,” informed Dantewada Superintendent of Police Kamlochan Kashyap. SP added that when the security forces were cordoning off Kuwakonda forests, located around 450 kms away from the state capital, during a search operation they spotted the trio keeping a tab on the movement of the patrol party, later on the personnel encircled the area and nabbed them.
“The ultras were involved in several major naxal incidents, including the attack on the house of Congress leader Awdhesh Gautam in Kuwakonda (2010) that left two civilians dead, besides damaging Potali Ashram school in Aranpur by triggering a blast (2008), and blocking highways during Maoist bandh and attacks on security forces,” the SP said.They are being interrogated, he added.
Woman Maoist nabbed in Odisha-Chhattisgarh border
A woman Maoist was arrested by the police at Marandum village of Bastar district in Chhattisgarh on the Odisha-Chhattisgarh border on Monday. The woman Maoist, identified as Jyoti, was the deputy commander of Basur Area Committee. She had joined the Maoist outfit as an active member in 2006. After undergoing guerilla warfare training in Andhra Pradesh, she was appointed as the deputy commander in 2009. According to police, Jyoti was involved in a series of violent activities, including the murder of Sahen Mandabi at Kadena in 2013 and blasting of a police van at Karghat area along the Odisha-Chhattisgarh border. The Chhattisgarh police had announced a cash reward of Rs 3 lakh on her head.
‘Maoists’ vandalise Nitta Gelatin office
Kochi: A nine-member gang, with seven of them donning ski masks, vandalised the corporate office of the Nitta Gelatin India Ltd at Panampilly Nagar here and distributed pamphlets in the name of ‘CPI (Maoists)’ claiming that there was a need for such armed attacks against the company causing environmental pollution at Kathikudam, Thrissur. The well-planned attack occurred at 7.50 a.m. on Monday when the police personnel deployed at public places go back to stations as part of shift change. “As per the CCTV records, the attack lasted for two minutes from 7.44 a.m. before the attackers left a pamphlet at the office and distributed more to onlookers as they proceeded towards the Atlantis railway gate side by foot. The images of two gang members who didn’t wear a mask were captured on the CCTV cameras installed at the company office and that of the nearby bank,” said a senior Special Branch officer.
The camera recording showed that the attackers came walking and were aged between 25 and 35 years. Initially, a man turned up at the venue and inspected the site before signalling his friends to come over. Two more persons arrived from the opposite direction and proceeded to the office entrance. As the security stopped them, the others too barged in with one of them carrying a travel bag in which pipe rods and hockey sticks were kept. “One of them spoke Malayalam while the others threatened me in Hindi to stay away. They then vandalised the front door, the windshield of a car, showcase, display panels, computers and telephone,” said Vincent Victor, security guard.
According to him, the men raised slogans. They also left behind a letter written in Malayalam stating that there was a need to take action against the company as it was causing pollution (at its manufacturing unit at Kathikudam near Koratty in Thrissur district) and exploiting the water sources there. “As per initial probe, a Left extremist group is behind the incident. An alert was sounded across the state. Sketches of two faces caught on camera were made and circulated to all police stations directing to conduct searches at railway stations, hotels, lodges and the like. A special squad under City Police Commissioner K.G. James was formed to probe into the incident,” said Mr M.R. Ajith Kumar, Ernakulam Range Inspector General.
“We’re probing the Maoist angle. We’ve recovered pipe rods used in the attack and also spotted blood that oozed out of the wound of one of the attackers, probably after the glass pieces pierced his arms. We’re verifying the sketch with those who attended a meet hosted by Maoist supporters on October 24, 2013. Also we’re tracking suspected Maoist activists,” said sources. “There were two male and three female staff in the company at that time. One of them (John) followed the attackers who proceeded to the railway gate side. But they suddenly disappeared. Either they used a vehicle kept there or hid in a building nearby,” they said. The company officials estimated the loss at Rs 40 lakh.
Attack on Nitta Gelatin office: UAPA invoked
The police have taken into custody a few Maoist sympathisers for interrogation. The special squad probing the Nitta Gelatin corporate office attack case has invoked the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against the nine unidentified men who carried out the action. “The charges are being invoked on the suspicion that members of a couple of banned organisations are involved in the action. However, we are yet to confirm if they belong to any Maoist organisations, though the pamphlets distributed by them claimed it to be the handiwork of CPI (Maoists),’’ said K.G. James, City Police Commissioner, on Tuesday. As part of the investigation, the police have taken into custody a few Maoist sympathisers for interrogation.
However, no concrete information regarding the attackers is available as of now. “They are being questioned on the suspicion of aiding the attackers. No arrests have been made yet and hence their names can’t be revealed at this point of time. They will be questioned and released if found to have no links with the attackers,” the official added. Meanwhile, sources said the probe had been expanded beyond the district on an assumption that the gang members could be from outside the district. The corporate office of Nitta Gelatin India Ltd (NGIL) at Panampilly Nagar in Kochi was attacked by a group of masked men on Monday causing extensive damage. The group carried out the attack after accusing the company of environment pollution and its neglect to employ local people.
KMA condemns attack
Meanwhile, the Kerala Management Association (KMA) condemned the attack on NGIL, saying that it was deeply shocked by the incident and appealed to authorities to take stern action against perpetrators of the crime. “These incidents are only likely to discourage investments in the State and dampen the business confidence,” it said, in a statement.