Naxal movement in Kerala a matter of concern
The naxalites appear to have raised their ugly head and this time the concern is Kerala. The problem came to light when an incident in which exchange of fire was reported by the police and naxals at the Vellamunda police limits at Waynad two days back. The naxals at Kerala have been lying low for some time and now there appears to be a sustained effort on on their part to announce their return. While Kerala has been successful in the past in combating this menace, it appears that the naxals have returned and are operating out of the forests in Northern Kerala.
Writing on the wall
After the naxals were beaten down in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, there were warnings issued that there is a possibility of them moving into Kerala. A large part of the command of the naxals has in fact moved into Kerala with an intention of strengthening the movement. Kerala is already facing a problem of Islamic terror and now that the naxals have decided to raise their ugly head yet again it appears that the Kerala police will have more issues on hand to deal with.
Naxal activities in Kerala have increased manifold: Govt
New Delhi: Activities of the Naxals in Kerala have increased manifold and situation in the state has the potential of becoming more serious if immediate preventive measures are not taken, according to a note prepared by the Home Ministry. In the 17-page note on CPI (Maoist), the Ministry said in recent times, the outfit is focusing on a southern theatre in the tri-junction of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
“The situation in Kerala has the potential of becoming more serious if immediate preventive measures are not taken,” the document prepared by the Left Wing Extremism division of the Ministry said. CPI (Maoist), in a change of strategy for the present, seems to be intent on consolidating its strength in select swathes of the country where, in their parlance, they were in a position of ‘strategic offensive’ against the state until recently. The note said the core of Maoist insurgency lies in 23 districts of India which reported 80 per cent of the total violent incidents in 2013.
The districts are: Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Aurangabad, Gaya, Jamui, Muzaffarpur (Bihar), Bijapur, Bastar, Dantewada, Kanker, Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Sukma (Chhattisgarh) Chatra, Giridhi, Gumla, Khunti, Latehar, Palamu, Simdega, West Singhbhum (Jharkhand), Gadchiroli (Maharashtra), Koraput and Malkangiri (Odisha). The Ministry said it feels that inspite of the apparent decline in Maoist violence since 2011, the core military strength of CPI(Maoist) still remains in these areas and other adjoining districts.
“Sustained anti-Maoist operations have not dented the capability of the CPI(Maoist) to inflict significant damage on the security forces and the civilians at the place and time of their choosing in these areas,” it said. The note said in the Northeast, some elements of CPI (Maoist) exist in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. In all, the underground cadres of CPI (Maoist) exist in 15 states. “However, the front organisations of the CPI(Maoist) exist in 21 states and carry out overground agitational activities in an attempt to enlarge the mass-base of the party and prepare the state for armed insurrection,” it said.
ATS seeks further 60 days’ custody for Bhelke couple
Time needed to probe Arun Bhelke and wife Bhoomi’s links with Naxalite sympathisers Having failed to file a chargesheet against suspected Maoist Arun Bhanudas Bhelke and his wife Kanchan Nalawade alias Bhoomi in the stipulated 90-day period, the Pune unit of the state antiterrorism squad (ATS) submitted a petition before a special court on Monday, requesting additional 60 days to carry out further investigations. Having heard the arguments, the court of judge Mangala Dhote postponed the matter till December 20.
The ATS claimed that their officers haven’t managed to complete their investigations yet and require two more months to do so. The additional time, the ATS has claimed, would be utilised in probing the alleged Maoist nexus involving other groups, which might have funded the duo. Meanwhile, Bhelke and Bhoomi have been shifted to Yerwada jail. The two were taken to Chandrapur last month by a special anti-Naxal squad to be tried for cases under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Arms Act, for which a non-bailable arrest warrant (NBW) was issued against them in Chandrapur.
“Additional custody is required to investigate the jungles in which the youths who went missing from Pune might have been trained. We need to search the various places and the code language they use to communicate with each other,” the petition has said. Advocate Tosif Shaikh, representing Bhelke, told Mirror that the ATS is unnecessarily wasting time. “Since the UAPA was lodged against the accused, the ATS have revealed that they have nothing new. To demand more time is unnecessary,” he said.
Search in Kunhome Shows No Trace of Maoists
KALPETTA: The combing operation launched by a joint team of security forces in Kunhome forests under the Periya Range of the North Wayanad Forest Division for suspected Maoists failed to yield any results on Monday. The search was launched following a report of exchange of fire between suspected Maoists and Thunderbolts commandos on Sunday. The exchange of fire, later confirmed by the Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, happened inside the forests near the Mattilayam Chappa tribal colony within the Vellamunda police station limits around 6 pm on Sunday.
Encounter between Maoists and security forces in Jharkhand
Giridih (Jharkhand): Security forces and Maoists exchanged gunfire near Kendua Pahari under Dhanwar Assembly constituency in Giridih district on Tuesday. No casualty was reported in the encounter that took place just an hour before polling began at Dhanwar from where former Chief Minister and JVM( Prajatantrik) president Babulal Marandi is contesting, additional Superintendent of Police Kunal Kumar said. The rebels opened fire at the security forces but in the strong retaliatory action by the security personnel the ultras fled into the forest, he said. The encounter that began at 6 am lasted for about 15 minutes and occurred under Gaona police station limits, Kumar said.
Two undertrials shot dead on escape bid in Jharkhand
Fifteen prisoners managed to flee
Two undertrials were shot dead and three were injured in West Singhbhum district from among a group of 55 prisoners who attempted to flee the jail premises on Tuesday afternoon. All 55 undertrials were being brought back in a van after having been presented in Chaibasa court earlier in the day. Fifteen prisoners managed to flee. Teepa Das and Ram Vilas Tanti, who were killed while trying to escape, were in Chaibasa district jail on charges related to Maoist violence.
Teepa Das was accused of being a Zonal Commander of the CPI (Maoist). “Fifty-five undertrials, of whom 26 were in jail on charges of Maoist activities, were presented in court. At 4 pm, the jail van returned to the jail premises through the main gate. The jail staff failed to close the main gate as is the routine, and all the undertrials had come out of the van by then. They made an attempt to escape seeing the gate was still open. Teepa Das and Ram Vilas Tanti died on the spot from bullet injuries,” West Singhbhum Superintendent of Police Narendra Kumar Singh told The Hindu.
Mr Singh said, of the 15 undertrials who managed to escape, seven were on trial in cases related to Maoist charges. Three undertrials who were inured in scuffle with policemen are being treated for injuries at the district government hospital. “We are carrying out combing operations in the forest areas nearby,” said district police officials.
PLGA week passes off peacefully
The banned CPI (Maoist) claimed that its annual People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army week, which concluded on Monday, was a success and also accused the police of colluding with the ganja smugglers. Maoist party’s Korukonda area committee secretary Vijayalakshmi in a statement sent to reporters in Agency area, said the PLGA week was successfully conducted in spite of the police and para-military forces stifling the people. Response from people was good, she claimed.
Reiterating its support to the Girijans’ demand not to take up bauxite mining in the Agency area, the Maoist party said Superintendent of Police Koya Praveen was not bothering about people. PLGA week is celebrated by the CPI (Maoist) mainly to recruit youths but this year, a day before the week started, Maoists set off a landmine in Sukma district in Chattisgarh killing CRPF personnel and during the week a police combing party escaped when a tiffin box mine was set off in Visakha Agency. There was an incident of banners hung in another place.
Maoists to switch to mobile warfare
Apparently emboldened by the December 1 Sukma attack on CRPF contingent massacring 14 CRPF troopers, outlawed CPI (Maoist) has declared to switch over to mobile warfare from guerrilla attacks to counter security forces in their strongholds. In a press release issued to a section of media, South Regional Committee (SRC) spokesman Gudsa Usendi said the Left-wing insurgency would now be upgraded from guerrilla warfare to mobile warfare to take on security forces in the rebel strongholds.
The Sukma attack was a demonstration of a successful mobile warfare by the reds, the press release said. Security experts were of the view that the statement by the banned outfit indicated growth of the red armoury to the level that made them confident to launch mobile warfare.
Vigil in Border Areas of Kollam
KOLLAM: In the wake of exchange of fire between suspected Maoists and Kerala Police commandos in Mananthavady taluk in Wayanad on Sunday, the district police stepped up vigil and raised alarm in the border areas. As the district has a large forest area, the police have chalked out plans which will leave no stone unturned. According to the police and forest officials, Kollam is a main area as it has dense forests in various border areas. The district itself has two forest divisions- Thenmala and Punalur.
The Thenmala division comprises Kulathupuzha, Aryankavu, Edamon teak plantations and reserve forests and Punalur division comprises Anchal and Pathanapuram ranges. Police officers in the border areas said that constant vigil and rapport with adivasis were essential to combat the Maoists. District Special Branch DySP V Vijayakumaran Nair told Express that till now, there was no Maoist threat in the district. He said that for combating the same, the Special Branch with the help of the rural police had chalked out some precautionary measures.
For this, a meeting was called on Monday by Kollam Rural SP S Surendran. “During the meeting, many people said that they had seen strangers in their locality. This would be taken seriously. According to initial findings, they are not Maoists. But we are not taking it lightly,” he said.
Police Issue High Alert in Thrissur
THRISSUR: The police have sounded a high alert in the district in the wake of the exchange of fire between police commandos and suspected Maoists in a forest settlement in Wayanad district on Sunday. Since the police suspect a 15-member gang led by Maoist leader Roopesh, who hails from Vadanappilly in Thrissur, carried out the attack on a platoon of Thunderbolts Kerala, security has been tightened at vital establishments and police stations close to forest and coastal areas where Maoists sympathisers have a strong presence.
Thrissur rural SP N Vijayakumar told ‘Express’ that the forces were asked to keep a close watch on the movements of suspicious persons, particularly on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border places like Malakkappara and Athirappilly where the peripheral patrolling has been intensified. Besides, security has been strengthened at Varanadarappilly, and Vellikulangara police stations apart from coastal regions like Vadanappilly, Thalikulam and Valappad from where the Swiss national, Jonathan Baud, was arrested for attending a memorial meet of a Maoist activist, who was killed in Andhra Pradesh a few months ago while making bomb.
The police have also augmented the security cover of the Paliyekkara Toll Plaza on NH 47 in Thrissur and Nitta Gelatine India Ltd Company, Chalakkudy, as there has been intelligence report that the Maoists or its frontal organisations may target the toll plaza or other vital establishments, as part of its 10th anniversary of the organisation in the state. Following the threat perception, the police have provided additional armed guard to toll plaza and NGIL company, besides the customary security alert in all police stations.
All vehicles coming from the neighbouring states will also be subjected to strict check up at boarder points, he said. As per the intelligence report, toll plaza and other vital establishments that become a centre of public protests in the recent past were figured in their hit-list.
Two left-wing extremists arrested in Telangana
The Police at Venkatapur mandal (administrative unit) in Warangal District of Telangana unearthed one tapancha and one toy pistol hidden underground and arrested two persons suspected to be Communist party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) sympathisers on December 5, reports The Hindu. According to the Police, on a tip off, they searched the house of Dommala Ramesh in Peddapur village in the mandal and unearthed one tapancha hidden in the backyard of his house. They also recovered one toy pistol.