‘Security forces only to terrorize voters’
BIHAR-JHARKHAND BORDERS: After being cornered by government and security forces in the past few years, the Maoists have once again tried to hold the centre stage during elections by calling for a complete poll boycott. The announcement was made by the Bihar-Jharkhand Special Area Committee (BJSAC) of the CPI (Maoists) in a press conference organised by them in the undisclosed locations, somewhere on Bihar-Jharkhand borders on Saturday.
Addressing media, BJSAC spokesperson Gopal Ji said that even as the government has been claiming increase in poll percentage during recent Lok Sabha elections, it is nothing but eyewash. “Elections are hardly free and fair because in the name of providing security arrangement, central para military forces are used to terrorise electors and under the shadow of guns no one can freely exercise their right to franchise,” he said.
Criticising the mainstream political parties for forging ‘opportunist’ alliances to grab power, the Maoists said, electors should understand that they have become puppets in the hands of ‘votebaaj’ political parties. “Even the so called communist parties like CPI, CPM, CPIML and Marxist coordination committee have entered into alliance to gain seats in this pseudo democratic system,” Gopal Ji said. Claiming failure of incumbent democratic system he said that in the history of past 64 years of Indian republic, the basic necessities of common people have not been fulfilled by successive governments.
“Jharkhand is rich in mineral reserves still the life of common people is miserable, the condition of people living in mineral rich belts is degrading whereas the ministers and political masters are amassing huge wealth,” he said. Releasing a written press communique BJSAC has said that the expectation of common people from tribal chief ministers has also remained unfulfilled. “Tribal masses expected that their right over jal-jungle-jamin and tribal identity would be protected by the tribal leaders but even they started targeting the tribal villages to handover right of natural resources to outsiders,” the release read.
Asked if they extend support to some selected leaders and political parties during elections in the name of poll boycott, Gopal Ji said that they have issued warning against their own leader as his wife is contesting election. “We are against electoral politics and have warned Manorama Devi, wife of comrade Arun contesting election from Chatra seat on symbol of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. Even comrade Arun has clarified that party (Maoists) has nothing to do with his wife’s decision to contest election,” he said. Asked if the Maoists were ready to take action against those joining the fray, Gopal ji said that action would be political in nature. “Everyone has the right to chose political stream and our only contention is that electoral politics is unyielding,” he said.
Woman Naxalite arrested in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli District
Nagpur, Oct.20 (ANI): Police in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli District have arrested a young woman Naxalite during a swift security operation on Friday. The arrested Naxal, who was identified as Vasanti, alias Savita Pandu Potem, is aged 25, and was facing 62 criminal charges.
Twenty-two of these charges are said to be non-bailable. Potem joined the Naxal movement in 2004 and was Dalam Commander in Ganglur in Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh between 2006 and 2010. Her husband Madhu was also a hardcore Naxalite and operated in Andhra Pradesh. He died in 2006. Vasanti was produced before a court in Gadchiroli and has been placed in the custody of Bijapur Police. (ANI)
Red scare? Telangana mantris get bullet-proof cars
HYDERABAD: Barely months after chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao denied there was any Maoist threat in Telangana, the government on Sunday did a volte-face and said it had provided cabinet ministers with bullet-proof cars, fearing attacks from the Red army. “There are certain concerns including Maoist activities although there are no reports as yet, and the chief minister is of the opinion that security must be beefed up for the ministers as they are expected to travel extensively across the districts,” said home minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy. The move has invited criticism from political quarters. “The chief minister is coming up with reasons for gifting bullet-proof cars to his ministers.
So either he has changed his views on Maoists, or he is simply citing this as a reason to splurge the taxpayer’s money for the luxury of his cabinet colleagues,” said M Raghunandan Rao, BJP spokesperson. A senior official in the VIP security wing said the existing bullet-proof vehicles were given to the ministers, they would be replaced with new ones once the purchase process is done. While the government on November 5 had issued an administration sanction of Rs. 27,93,48,00 to purchase 70 new vehicles for VVIP/VIP security, the chief minister on Saturday allotted 30 bullet-proof Mahindra Scorpio VLX-7 STR each worth Rs 54 lakh to the ministers.
As the entire convoy of the CM is set to be replaced too, the purchase list includes two bullet-proof Land Cruiser Prado each worth Rs 1.39 crore and five bullet-proof Toyota Fortuner 3.0 4WD each costing Rs 77.56 lakh. Officials said the CM would use three bullet-proof vehicles in his convoy for his tours. Two deputy chief ministers T Rajaiah and Mahmood Ali were given two bullet-proof vehicles each while other ministers have been given one each. It can be recalled that when former chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy had argued that bifurcation of AP would lead to resurgence of Naxalites in Telangana and the then DGP V Dinesh Reddy quoted reports to second Kiran Reddy, KCR had debunked the claims and said the Naxal problem would never crop up if his Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) comes to power in the new state since the party had never differed with the Reds as far as socio-economic issues were concerned.
While this is the first time that ministers have been given bullet-proof vehicles, police officials said the move was prompted by the visible presence of Naxalites in Adilabad, Khammam and Karimnagar. They said that top cops of the area had admitted to having information about two Maoists squads being active in Adilabad, which shares borders with Gadchiroli in Maharashtra. “We had to make elaborate security arrangements including deployment of Greyhounds in and around the Jodheghat forests in Adilabad last month when KCR went to pay tributes to revolutionary Komaram Bheem on his death anniversary. We had to do this since there is indication of the changing reality as far as Naxalism is concerned,” said a police officer.
The Communist Party of India (Maoist) announced its return to action in Telangana on November 8 by calling a day’s bandh to protest the ‘wrong policies’ of the TRS government that is resulting in farmer suicides. Ajay Misra, principal secretary (home), however, sought to make light of the matter and said police were well prepared to take on the Maoist menace. “We must not mix the issue of security cover given to ministers with the Maoists issue. The two are separate. The Maoists might have given the bandh call to make their presence felt, but our police force is well prepared to tackle them,” Misra said.
Two CoBRA jawans injured in face-off with Naxals in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: Two jawans of CRPF’s elite CoBRA unit were on Monday injured in a gun-battle between security forces and Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, police said. The face-off took place in the restive forest under Chintagufa police station limits when a joint squad of Central Reserve Police Force, CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) and district police was carrying out an anti-Naxal operation this afternoon, Sukma Superintendent of Police D Shrawan told PTI.
When the security personnel were cordoning off a restive patch of the forest, around 7 kms from Chintagufa, a group of armed rebels opened indiscriminate firing on them following which they retaliated, the SP said. After the gun-fight that lasted for around an hour, the ultras fled into the deep forest when they found that the security personnel were zeroing-in on them, he said. However, two constables of CoBRA 206 battalion sustained bullet injuries in the face-off, he said.
Reinforcement was rushed to the spot and a chopper was sent to retrieve the injured jawans, the SP said. “They were being airlifted to Raipur for treatment and their condition was stated to be out of danger,” he said. The anti-Naxal operation is still underway in the region, located around 450 kms from the state capital, he added.