War of words as top Maoist escapes:
Intelligence Bureau blames CRPF for ‘failed’ operation to catch Arvindji
There’s war within the country’s security establishment as a top Maoist leader lives to fight another day. The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has alleged that the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) mishandled an operation to nab Arvindji, who carries a bounty of Rs 1.30 crore on his head. Mail Today has accessed this information on a day the CRPF suffered its biggest casualties this year as 14 of its personnel were killed in a Maoist ambush on Monday afternoon in the Chintagufa area of Sukma district, Chhattisgarh.
Top government sources said that the IB was so miffed with the manner in which the operation was carried out in Jharkhand last month that it has complained to Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The CRPF in return has given a report to the Home Ministry countering the IB’s claims of a goof-up and said there was no lapse on its part. Acting on a tip-off given by the IB about the presence of Arvindji in Latehar district of Jharkhand, the CRPF launched an operation on November 12. But before the CRPF team could reach the designated location, they were confronted by a group of Maoists and an exchange of fire took place.
One jawan was injured and the Maoists managed to escape. Deo Kumar Singh alias Arvindji heads the Maoist operations in Jharkhand and is believed to be one its top leaders. He is also a central committee member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Little is known about Arvindji. However, some media reports say he joined the Naxal movement some 25 years ago and quickly rose up the ranks due to his notoriety.
His track record shows he has carried out several attacks on security forces, besides attacking an independent MP and former Jharkhand assembly speaker Inder Singh Namdhari in December 2011, in which 11 police personnel were killed. He was reportedly close to Maoist leader Kishenji, who was killed by security forces in November 2011. He had executed a landmine blast in the Bhandaria locality of Garhwa district in January 2012 in which 14 security forces, including the officer-in-charge of Bhandaria police station, were killed. Further, on April 2012, a group of Maoists guided by Arvindji had opened indiscriminate fire on security forces combing the Barwadih jungles in Latehar district, killing a Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) commando and injuring many others.
Local cadres camping in Bastar planned Naxal ambush: police
Raipur: The deadly Maoist ambush, claiming lives of 14 CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, was planned and supervised by local Naxal leaders who were reportedly camping in south Bastar for past few days, a senior police official said today. “We received several inputs that dreaded Maoist leaders of Dandakaranya region were holding meeting in forests of south Bastar-Sukma, Bijpaur and Narayanpur, worried over large number of surrenders and arrest of their cadres during the past few months,” a senior police official involved in anti-Naxal operations told PTI on condition of anonymity.
“We suspect that the attack was planned and carried out by the same group of leaders by taking the support of local lower rung supporters,” he said. The official, however, did not rule out involvement of Maoist’s Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee secretary Ramanna, the top Maoist leader of the region. Preliminary information indicates that nearly 150 armed guerrilla military cadres were positioned on three sides in the forests of Kasalpada and Elmaguda and were assisted by a supporting group of around 100 militia and sangham supporters of local villages, he said.
The Maoists certainly got a tip-off about the route of security forces during their return to camp on 1 December after a three-day-long search and area domination operation and may have set up the ambush in just a short span of time, he said. Prima facie it appears that LMG (light machine guns) used by the cadres caused much damage to the security personnel, he said. After the encounter, Naxals looted three UBGL (under barrel grenade launcher) armoured AK-47, seven AK-47, one Insas-LMG, one Insas, a bullet-proof jacket, a GPS, one binoculars, a monopack and several magazines of AK-47, Insas and Insas-LMG of CRPF men and fled to the dense forests, he said.
The official ruled out any intelligence lapse in view of the incident and said routine area domination operations were intensified in the region from past several weeks and were not based on any specific inputs. Meanwhile, security has been tightened across the Naxal-hit Bastar region as the Maoists are observing Peoples’ Liberation Guerrilla Army week from today in the honour of their slain leaders.
Attapadi Tribals Fuel for Naxal Fire
PALAKKAD (KERALA): At a time when the administration claims that measures have been taken to curb burgeoning Maoist activities in Attappadi are in full swing, Adivasi people have come up alleging that armed Maoists have been visiting their settlements often without any fear of security personnel. The tribals also said that disclosing this to the police has always ended up in the police torturing them and due to this they are reluctant to say anything to police.
Going by the words of one of the tribal promoters in Attappadi, over a 100 Maoists are there in the group and they often visit adivasi settlements in groups of six or eight. It was also learnt that a group of Maoists had taken classes for Adivasis at Edavani two weeks ago demanding them to join them to fight against the government. “In the meeting, they told us that the government has not provided any basic amenities or addressed our demands despite ruling for years,” said one of the tribals.
“In the meeting we were also directed not to inform this to anyone. We are between the devil and deep blue sea. On one side, the Maoists and on the other, the torture of police,” he added. The Adivasis said that ladies were also among the Maoists in the age group of 20 to 25 and the age of males varies from 20 to 35 years except the one member who guides them. He is over 45. “These people stay at Edavani, Anavayi, Kenattukara and Thadikundu and won’t come down to Thazhethudukki. They don’t stay in one place all the time, but keep on shifting base,” said another tribal from Attappadi.
Reds’ PLGA Week begins today
VISAKHAPATNAM: With the Maoists all geared up to celebrate the 14 anniversary of their military wing People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) in the Andhra-Odisha Border area from Tuesday to December 9, tension gripped the Visakha Agency as a large number of banners and posters were visible at various places along the border. Fearing attacks by Reds, politicians and those who have found their way on the Naxalites’ hit-list have already gone to safer places even before the week-long celebrations began.
Such is the fear that tribals are not even venturing to the weekly markets in the Agency area, said sources. With a high alert sounded, a large number of security personnel have been pressed into action for combing operations in the Maoists stronghold areas. The cops have also taken up stringent vehicle checking at various places in the Agency such as Paderu, Munchingput, G Madugula, Annavaram, Lotugedda Junction, Chintapalli, GK Veedhi, Seeleru, Koyyuru, Narsipatnam, among others.
Maoists have been celebrating the PLGA anniversary in memory of their martyrs Nalla Adireddy alias Syam, Murali and Naresh, who were killed in an encounter at Koyyuru in Karimnagar in 2000. After their death, the then People’s War Group (PWG) reinvented itself into PLGA. During the PLGA week celebrations, Maoists usually focus on recruitments and pay tributes to their martyrs. Visakha Rural SP Dr Koya Praveen said special parties have already been deployed at various Maoists stronghold pockets in the district over the past 10 days and have been continuously carrying out combing operations.
“Our men are on job. We will not allow the Naxalites to create any trouble. We have already warned those who are on the Maoists’ hit-list and are taking all necessary precautions. We have alerted all the police personnel in the Agency police stations,” he said. According to police sources, this year’s PLGA celebrations are being spearheaded by key AOB Special Zonal Committee leader Pratapareddy Ramachandra Reddy alias Appa Rao alias Sudha alias Kailasam.
“They have already formed small local guerilla squads and even one area committee at Pedabayalu mandal,” sources in anti-Naxal wing. Suspecting that the Reds may strike at interior pockets and damage government property to show their presence in the district, the security forces have deployed nine CRPF companies to guard the police stations in the sensitive areas Visakha Agency. Apart from this, around 400-500 Greyhounds have been pressed in to service along with personnel from district armed reserved force. Across the border in Odisha, 33 BSF camps have been set up in Malakangiri and 26 BSF camps in Koraput district in preparation of the PLGA week.
Cop suspended after nabbed Maoist escapes from police custody
A head constable of the Gadchiroli police has been placed under suspension for dereliction of duty after a middle-aged Maoist who was nabbed by the police escaped last night, it was officially announced here today. One Ranjit alias Chandrika Jethuram Raut (45) from Fulbodi Gatta in Dhanora taluka of the district was nabbed by the police, a release issued by the Gadchiroli police said. During interrogation, he had revealed that he was convicted by a local court for Maoist offences and was absconding for ten years, after he was released on parole. As the police was interrogating him about his past, he asked for meals. Taking advantage of the darkness, he ran away from police custody.
Maoists call for 10-day celebration to mark People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army anniversary
RANCHI: The banned CPI (Maoist) has called for a 10-day ‘celebration’ to mark the 14th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA). CPI (Maoist)’s eastern regional bureau (ERB) and eastern regional command (ERC) on Monday issued a six-page press statement appealing to its cadres in the Bihar-Jharkhand Special Area Committee, North Chhattisgarh Special Zonal Committee, Eastern Bihar-North-eastern Jharkhand Special Area Committee, West Bengal State Committee and Assam State Organizational Committee to intensify their activities in the next 10 days beginning on December 2. Cultural programmes, discussions, road shows and military parade would be organized by the party’s core military group as well as the frontal organizations in the five states under ERB.
Security Beefed up Ahead of PGA Week in Koraput
KORAPUT: Red alert has been sounded in all Maoist infested areas of the district ahead of People’s Guerrilla Army (PGA) Week to be observed by the Maoists from Tuesday. According to sources, the Koraput-Srikakulam Maoists’ Divisional Committee has put up posters and banners across Koraput district asking the people to observe PGA Week from Tuesday. The posters, which were found in Sunki, Narayanpatna, Bandhugam, Ramgiri, Boipariguda, Lamtaput, Nandapur and Pottangi, also called upon the tribal youths to join the Maoists. Security has been beefed up in Maoist hotbeds in the district while para-military forces have launched combing operation in the sensitive pockets.
The outfit has demanded tribals’ rights over land, water and jungle, stop on Operation Green Hunt by the armed forces and withdrawal of para-military forces from the tribal areas. As a security measure, vehicles passing through the tribal areas are also checked and armed forces have been posted in bordering pockets. Police said the intelligence agencies are in constant touch with their Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh counterparts. Earlier, intelligence agencies had alerted about possible attacks during the PGA Week in the tribal areas. Inspector General (South-West range) Yashwant Jethwa reviewed the security arrangements with the SPs and commandants of para-military forces camping in the tribal region.
Jharkhand: Second phase polling underway amid tight security
RANCHI: Jharkhand on Monday sealed its borders with West Bengal, Odisha and Chhattisgarh to prevent cross-border movement of Maoists a day ahead of the second phase of polling on Tuesday. At least 45,000 security personnel have been deployed in the 20 assembly constituencies in the Kolhan and South Chhotangapur divisions spread over seven districts, East and West Singbhum, Sereikela Kharsawan, Ranchi, Gumla, Simdega and Khunti.
With Maoists having given a call for poll boycott, four choppers will conduct air surveillance in the sensitive areas. The choppers also ferried over 150 polling personnel in 17 far-flung Maoist-dominated areas on the eve of elections on Monday. As many as 260 companies of central paramilitary forces (CPMF) apart from the district police and Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) have been deployed in the districts to sanitize the sensitive areas and guard the polling booths.
Maoists recently burnt a couple of election vehicles, one a Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) van and another that belonged to a Congress candidate. On Monday, CRPF jawans and the state police also marched in Chaibasa Sadar market, Gua, Manoharpur and Saranda areas to instill confidence among voters
High alert sounded along Odisha border
A day after Maoists massacred 14 CRPF troopers in Chhattisgarh, police Tuesday sounded a high alert along the Odisha border that touches Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. The Maoists are celebrating the 14th anniversary of their military wing, the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), in the Andhra-Odisha border area from Tuesday. The PLGA week will end on December 9. “We have ordered a high alert along the border in Nuapada, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri and Koraput districts (of Odisha),” a police officer told IANS.