Naxal arms factory busted
MUNGER: In a first such instance in the state, a joint operation launched by police and CRPF personnel today busted an arms manufacturing unit of Maoists and seized a cache of sophisticated weapons in Munger district of Bihar. Over 200 personnel of Bihar Police and CRPF took part in the operation and seized 16 sophisticated automatic pistols of 7.65 mm, 70 magazines as well as a large number of gun-making tools from the arms unit, which was located in the densely forested Sugaun Hills under Dharhara police station of the district. “This is the first time that an arms manufacturing unit being operated by the Naxals has been unearthed.
The raid was conducted on the basis of intelligence inputs and ASP (Operations) Navin Kumar led the team. Special Task Force (STF) Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Alok and CRPF Deputy Commandant Rajkumar Raj were also part of it,” Munger Superintendent of Police (SP) Barun Kumar Sinha told PTI. Sinha said the operation was conducted in difficult terrain during the pre-dawn hours. The forces were not able to apprehend any Naxal as they escaped taking advantage of darkness.
“For us this is a major success because this arms manufacturing unit could have provided a continuous supply of weapons to the Naxals. It could have proved dangerous for the police as the seized pistols are highly sophisticated one,” Sinha added. STF DSP Alok said the seized machinery from the gun making unit is also of good quality and of complicated nature. “The finishing of the pistols was so good, that it looked similar to the ones that we use,” Alok said. The police have started investigating the entire matter and are trying to figure out whether the persons producing the pistols were Maoists themselves or hired from outside to work for them.
Security forces gun down woman Naxal in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: A woman Naxal was today killed in a gun battle between security forces and ultras in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district, a police official said. The cadre was gunned down following a prolonged exchange of fire between a joint squad of security personnel and Maoists in the forest under Awapalli police station limits this afternoon, Bijapur additional superintendent of police Indira Kalyan Elesela told PTI. A joint team of district police, Special Task Force and Central Reserve Police Force was mobilised on a combing operation from Awapalli police station, located around 400 km away from the state capital, in the region.
Maoist hand: explosives dump found
BHOPAL: State police unit have recovered a dump of raw materials used for making explosives from naxal-infested Balaghat district. This time the dump was found near Malanjkhand Copper Project (Hindustan Copper), the largest base-metal mine in India. Two motorcycle batteries, splinters and bottles were recovered from near sewerage outlet of HCL two days ago, said Inspector general (IG) Balaghat range D C Sagar.
The matter is being investigated, he said adding search operation in the area has been intensified. Members of the Malajkhand dalam are said to be active in the region. Though HCL and its employees have never reported any suspicious activities, police do not rule out the possibility of this area being frequented by Maoists. Two months ago heavy exchange of fire took place twice between Hawk force of state police and an armed squad of CPI (Maoist) at Naxalite-infested site in the area. The encounter began when a strong Hawk force contingent entered Machurda forest area — located 30 km from district headquarters during routine patrolling.
They were heading towards the forest from the area under Birsa police station, when rebels opened fire for the first time. Commandant, who was leading the force, ordered retaliation. Maoists who were at vantage position fired from SLRs and AK-47s, said sources. Hawk force seized a 12-bore weapon that rebels dropped while fleeing into the dense forest. Earlier, another such encounter was reported in the area on May 22 where there was an exchange of fire in forest area near Raasimeta village. The encounter took place when the police confronted the ultras on a tip off that they are arriving in the area to collect ‘donations’.
Seven alleged Maoist cadres arrested in Dantewada district
Raipur: Seven Maoists who were allegedly involved in torching heavy vehicles and attacking security personnel in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Dantewada district early this month were arrested from the same region on Thursday, the police said. The Maoist cadres were apprehended from Nerlighat valley under Bacheli police station limits by a team of the local police, Kirandul Sub-Divisional Officer of Police (SDOP) M Z Baig told PTI. Those arrested were identified as Somaru Apka, Madkami Budhram, Vetti Butlu, Rakesh Apka, Padami Boti, Apka Podia and Budharu, who are natives of Bijapur district where they were allegedly active in the Mirtur people’s militia, Baig said.
Various local police teams were on patrol to ensure security to road and railway tracks in the Nerlighat region, located around 400 km away from the Chhattisgarh state capital since last night. On seeing security personnel, the Maoist rebels tried to flee, but they were nabbed after a chase, the SDOP said. Allegedly, there were all were involved in setting ablaze three iron laden trucks and firing at police teams in Nerlighat on November 7, a day ahead of the Dandakaranya bandh call given by outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) on November 8. These alleged lower rung cadres were basically tasked with damaging railway properties, putting up Maoist posters and banners, obstructing roads by cutting down trees as well as attacking the police, the SDOP said, adding that they are being interrogated.
The curious case of Maoists in Kerala
Among all conflict-related updates this past week, there was a curious one from South Asia Terrorism Portal. The New Delhi-based aggregator highlighted anti-business incidents in Kerala that local authorities attribute to Maoists. On 18 November, the office and staff quarters of a resort in the state’s northern, relatively forested, and relatively poor Wayanad district was trashed. Attackers left behind posters celebrating the 10th anniversary of the formation of Communist Party of India (Maoist).
The pre-eminent left-wing rebel conglomerate had arrived at that milestone in September 2014. This was preceded by an incident on 10 November, when a group of nine masked men partly trashed the corporate office of Kochi-based Nitta Gelatin India Ltd. Witnesses claim the attackers spoke Malayalam and Hindi: they accused a Nitta plant of polluting Chalakkudy river, which lies to the northeast of the metropolitan area, and generally ignoring the welfare of local residents.
A Maoist zonal committee claimed credit for the attack by what it calls its urban action team. At first look, these attacks seem more Greenpeace than Maoist, flashy propaganda hit than part of a protracted war. The terrorism portal cites a CPI (Maoist) leader from central India as having denied the Kochi attack, raising speculation that it could have been perpetrated by local activists. After all, Kerala-based activists have a history of taking on businesses seen as polluting; or predatory in terms of depleting vital natural resources like water and soil nutrients—such targets have included marquee names like Coca-Cola India.
But the denial could equally be a ploy to diminish focus on an as-yet-small but dedicated band of city-based sympathizers. (Maoists have not denied the attack in Wayanad—a tiny but telling demonstration of we-are-for-the poor—located in a planned expansion area near the tri-junction of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.) Whatever the claims and counter-claims, the episodes provide an interesting insight into Maoist play at a crucial time for the rebellion. Various left-wing rebel incarnations since the 1960s meticulously conducted studies of what they termed objective conditions for rebellion. Such studies have sampled eastern, central and southern India.
Concern over Maoist attacks in Kerala
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) has expressed serious concern over a string of incidents involving the Communist Party of India Maoist (CPI-Maoist) in the State recently, reports The Hindu on November 27. At least two incidents, the attack on Agraharam Resort at Tirunelly in Wayanad District on November 18, and at the Indo-Japanese joint venture Nitta Gelatin India Limited in Ernakulum District on November 10, have left officials puzzled.
CRPF wants second-hand US military vehicles to counter Maoist attacks
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) wants the Centre to purchase used mine-resistant and ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs) from the US, which have already been deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. A message has been delivered to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), highlighting that the ever-growing sophistication in combat tactics of Maoists calls for urgent modernisation of the forces. The CRPF has recommended to the home ministry that purchasing these used MRAPs will be far less expensive than making new purchases. “At present, the CRPF is facing attacks using IEDs, which are very basic in nature and generally found in jungle areas. Maoists are likely to come up with more technologically sophisticated IEDs in near future. Maoists may use these IEDs once they shift their movement to urban areas,” a CRPF note sent to the home ministry stated.
“The US forces are withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan. These MRAPs are also being withdrawn and will be available in spare in the US,” the CRPF note said. The CRPF has urged the government to provide the force with equipment that can counter the IED threat. Other than the MRAPs, the CRPF has also listed equipment and technology that is needed to counter the high threat posed by IEDs. Explosive detectors or field labs to find IEDs will be effective in eliminating the menace. There have been nearly 450 deaths in the force due to IED explosions, and deaths in ambushes laid by the Maoists have accounted for more than 50 per cent of the killings in the force.
Sources said that over the last few years, the rebels have switched to planting explosives rather than engaging in direct combat with the forces. “The strategy ensures that there is mass casualty and the risk of casualty on their side is much less,” a CRPF officer said. Till now, according to sources, they have been making IEDs which are of a localised nature, but with their expertise increasing the rebels have the potential to make a remote-controlled bomb that could cause much more damage. In the wake of this threat, the CRPF has written to the home ministry stating that the force needs a “futuristic approach.” “We should be ready to face the emerging challenges successfully,” the CRPF note said. The CRPF is also of the view that there is a need to develop forensic and biometric capabilities that can be used in field areas where different IEDs, explosive and remnants can be collected and scrutinised. It is also recommended that a “bomb library” like the one created in the US be started in India to analyse different kinds of explosives.
Maoists hold memorial meeting in Agency
Ahead of the PLGA week commencing on December 2, the banned CPI (Maoist) held a meeting on the border with Odisha in Visakha Agency on Thursday to pay homage to its district committee member Sharath and militia member P. Ganapathi who were killed in an attack by the people near Korukonda shandy on October 19 and repeated its warning that it would not spare Simhachalam who escaped from the Maoist attack and 19 villagers who attacked the party men at the behest of the police. While Sharath and Ganapathi were clobbered to death, another militia member Korra Nageswara Rao who was dumped in a nearby stream believing that he was also killed due to thrashing, survived and talked to the media during the meeting.
Nageswara Rao said Simhachalam provoked his people to attack Sharath and others while being taken to a praja court. Congress and Telugu Desam were following same policy towards bauxite mining and keen to take up mining in spite of protests from Girijans of Visakha Agency, he said. The meeting for which people from 33 villages under Balapam Gram Panchayat were asked to attend by the Maoists as if to show that their influence over the area has not diminished, was addressed by party’s east division secretary Kailasam while many top leaders of State rank were also present. More than a hundred party functionaries of all cadres were present, according to information received here.
Charge against SP
Charging Superintendent of Police Koya Praveen with implementing a Salwa Judum type operation in the Agency, he said he would meet the fate met by Salwa Judum leader Mahendra Karma. Kailasam demanded withdrawal of proposal for creation of village protection force.
Coffee plantations distribution
Kailasam announced that coffee plantations at Siribala, RV Nagar and Chapagedda will be distributed to the Girijans soon since the party believed that the forest wealth belonged to the Girijans. In the past it distributed six coffee plantations to the Girijans.
Maoist Manipur asks people to boycott Modi’s visit
Imphal, November 27 2014: Reiterating its earlier stance of boycotting the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Manipur on November 30, the Maoist Communist Party (MCP), Manipur has appealed to the people to boycott Modi’s visit. In a press statement issued by its Secretary of Publicity and Propaganda Nonglen Meitei, the MCP said that the visit of Narendra Modi does not have any merit for the people of Manipur as it is just a one and half hour sojourn for attending the closing function of Sangai Festival and interacting with Manipur BJP leaders.
The purpose of Modi’s visit is not to take stock of the problems being faced by the people. The Indian Prime Minister is not interested in the developmental affairs of Manipur. He would be visiting Manipur with some hidden agenda to serve the purpose of the Indian colonialists. The people of Manipur have been kept suppressed for quite a long time by India ever since the then Maharaja of Manipur Bodhachandra was forced to sign the Merger Agreement at gun point in 1949.The Indian Government has done nothing to address the myriad problems being faced of the people, the statement said. The MCP further appealed to all to support the 17-hour general strike from the 12 am to 5 pm of November 30 to boycott the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Manipur to grace the closing function of Sangai Festival.
CRPF battles differences with MHA
The NDA government’s tough anti-Naxal stand is yet to be implemented in letter and spirit with the CRPF virtually battling differences with the Union home ministry even as it finds state governments adopting a non-serious approach in tackling one of the biggest internal security threats to the country. On Thursday, CRPF chief Dilip Trivedi said that the Naxal-affected states are not making “serious and concerted efforts” to stem the menace pointing out that the supply of explosives to Maoists is continuing unabated in several Naxal-affected states.
The chief of the country’s largest paramilitary force, which is designated as the lead anti-Naxal operations force of the country, further alleged that the Union home ministry which is preparing a comprehensive action plan for development of Naxal-affected areas of the country has yet not consulted the CPRF. The D-G also virtually dismissed the move of the MHA in creating two committees for restructuring of the over 3 lakh personnel force which faces numerous challenges and problems.
He said setting up of expert committees or panels by the government does not serve any purpose as “these so called experts take domain knowledge from them and then reports are made.” He pointed out that the CRPF faces basic problems in deployment as “many times, it takes a very very long time to even get land and space to create battalion centres where jawans can have a living space, their kitchens and toilets.”
Thwart Maoists’ Bid to Re-enter State, Cops Told
WARANGAL: Warning that the Maoists could seek a re-entry into Telangana (from Chhattisgarh) and try to re-establish their presence, Warangal Range DIG B Malla Reddy has asked the police officials of the border area police stations to be vigilant even as the Maoists have threatened some top political leaders to ‘vacate the tribal land encroached upon by them’ or face dire consequences in Khammam district.
The DIG advised the policemen thus during his visit to remote villages, including Thupakulagudem, Devadula, Buttaigudem and Kannaigudem in the Maoist -affected Eturunagaram mandal of Warangal district on Thursday. He was accompanied by SP (Warangal Rural) Ambar Kishore Jha, Mulugu DSP B Raja Mahendra Naik and CIs Sivaramaiah and Kiran Kumar. These villages are located on the district’s border with Khammam district and are close to Chhattisgarh. The DIG’s visit assumed significance in the wake of reports that the Maoists had been trying hard to gain re-entry into Telangana since the formation of the new state.
Maoists torch sand-laden lorry near border village
Suspected Maoists set ablaze a sand-laden lorry bound for Chhattisgarh near Paidigudem village in Dummugudem mandal of the district on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday. The incident occurred on the Pedanalabelli-Paidigudem road abutting the volatile Telangana-Chhattisgarh border. The lorry reportedly developed a snag near Paidigudem while on its way to deliver a consignment of sand for construction of the proposed police outpost at Dharmapeta, considered a Maoist stronghold, in Chhattisgarh. A group of seven persons, including two armed men, descended on the spot, where the vehicle was parked, late in the night.
They ordered the vehicle crew to get down and then set the vehicle on fire. Incidentally, a cavalcade of vehicles carrying cement, sand and other material meant for construction of the police outpost, had passed through the same road amid tight security on Wednesday evening.
Arms, ammo recovered ahead of Modi visit
DIBRUGARH, Nov 27 – Four RPG (rocket propelled grenade) launchers, one carbine, five packets of explosives, thirty rounds of live ammunition and two carbine magazines were recovered from an underground pit at Sadiya by the police. The carbine was the one that was snatched from a police battalion constable in October 2011 at Sadiya. The recoveries were a result of confessions by an alleged Maoist activist named Debajit, who was arrested from a Dibrugarh nursing home some time ago. Following the tip-off by Debajit, police literally ploughed a field at Tokojan Village No 2 this morning, which led to the recovery.
Police sources in Tinsukia said Sadiya is known to be home to quite a few Maoist terrorists. Our Staff Reporter adds in Guwahati: Police recovered three cartons of gelatin sticks, detonators and cordex wire from a vehicle during a check in Dispur Police Station area around 12.30 am today. The driver of the vehicle and the only passenger have been detained for questioning, the Senior Superintendent of Police (City) said.
Maoists set ablaze eight tractors carrying logistics for CRPF in Jharkhand
The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres set ablaze eight tractors at Rai village near Saryu forests in Latehar District after heavy crossfire with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on November 26, a day after peaceful polling in the first phase of Assembly elections, reports The Telegraph. Security forces had their items of daily use such as blankets, folding chairs, tents, and others on eight tractors. Though roughly over 5,000 rounds of fire were exchanged between the Maoists and a joint team of CRPF and Jharkhand Jaguars, no casualties have been reported. According to reports, around 9.30am, Maoists sprayed bullets on Security Force (SF) personnel returning to the Saryu picket from poll clusters Kabri, Kotam, Rai and Chora, where they had dispatched EVMs.
The first encounter lasted till 11am. According to local sources, SF personnel then caught four “innocent villagers” and thrashed them. In retaliation, Maoists started the second round of attacks at 2pm. After an hour of gun battle, as the security forces gained ground, rebels set ablaze the tractors and fled. Latehar Superintendent of Police SP Michael S. Raj confirmed the incident. “Tractors were set on fire after two encounters. There is no report of casualty from any side,” he said. On the detention angle, he said: “Some people have been detained on suspicion. Can’t give details now”