Ministry of Home Affairs wants to fast track Maoist plan
New Delhi: The Union home ministry has decided to fast track the implementation of the NDA government’s new anti Naxal policy which calls upon state police forces to take the lead in anti Naxal operations on the lines of counter insurgency campaigns in states like Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Tripura. As top officials of 10 Naxal-affected states met the home ministry top brass on Tuesday evening to discuss the new anti Naxal action plan, the Chhattisgarh government asked the Centre to devise a strategy to tackle front organisations of the Maoists and make it a part of the Centre’s new anti Naxal policy.
Chhattisgarh along with some other states also pitched the demand for increased air support to security forces involved in the anti Naxal operations. The logistical support provided to ferry security personnel and aid in the evacuation operations for the injured personnel was termed as critical to the overall efforts of the security forces to tackle the Naxal menace. It may be recalled that during the recent Naxal attack on CRPF men in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, the IAF copters could only evacuate the injured the day after the encounter took place.
Fortification of 16 vulnerable police stations only on paper
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as naxals started striking directly at the state police, as many as 16 police stations in the Northern districts continue to be vulnerable to naxal strikes as the measures prescribed to fortify these stations remain on paper even after a year. While financial crunch of the government has been officially cited as reason for inordinate delay, police sources point out that it required only around Rs 3 crore for ensuring minimum work. Setting up of high boundary walls, trenches and even watch towers in some police stations were the fortification measures prescribed.
The main objective was to plug the chances of naxals easily barging into the police stations or carrying out a direct gunfire attack from outside. About a year back, the police department evaluated the risk faced by the police stations in naxal affected areas of northern districts. Subsequently 16 police stations located close to forest areas were identified to be vulnerable to sudden attacks and were prescribed the fortification measures. The government granted nod for fortification plans and the Kerala Police Housing Construction Corporation was entrusted with the work.
The corporation did the basic paper work required for commencing. But it came to a standstill thereafter as the government did not allot the required funds. “In order to carry out the work we require funds,” a KPHCC official said. Meanwhile, police sources said that though naxal affected states get special funds from the centre for security and development activities, Kerala was being deprived of it as the state is yet to be considered a naxal hit by the centre. “It is high time that the state government strongly take up the matter with the centre,” said a senior police officer.
Jharkhand prison break: Officials suspended, hunt on for escaped prisoners
Ranchi: Authorities have suspended 14 Chaibasa prison officials after two prisoners were killed and 15 others escaped while they were being brought back to prison, as per news reports on Wednesday. Out of the total 15 inmates which managed to flee, seven are Naxalites. The incident took place yesterday when the headcount of 45 prisoners was underway after their return to the jail from the court where they were due to appear. The prisoners overpowered the escort police team and prison guards even as the headcount was on. According to news reports, unidentified gunmen opened fire at the jail van in which the prisoners were being taken back to the jail. Two Naxal prisoners were killed and three others injured when police opened fire at them in a bid to stop them.
Maoist Presence: High Alert in Alappuzha
ALAPPUZHA: After the recent exchange of fire between Maoists and ‘Thunderbolts’ of the state police at Vellamunda in Wayanad district, the Alappuzha district police were alerted to strengthen vigil in the region. District Police Chief K K Balachandran has said the department alerted the special branch and other wings of police to increase alert in the southern panchayats where the Maoist activities were reported. Police personnel were deployed to check the activities in the colonies of Mavelikkara, Charummod, Nooranad and other areas, the top cop said.
Dubious incidents of Maoist posters appearing at Vallikunnam, Palamel and other parts of Mavelikkara taluk last month explain that the number of sympathisers are high in the area, said a Special Branch wing police officer. The colonies are the main areas of functioning, but nobody has come out in open support of the banned outfit. The district has no forest so we do not expect a guerrilla attack, he said.Police suspect the Maoists are gaining footholds in the district, posters were the means of showing their strength.
Some of the posters appeared in October 31 at Vallikunnam panchayat. Nobody was arrested in the incidents. CPI (Maoist) Western Ghat committee was the patron of the poster that read: “Uphold the 10th anniversary of the organisation, array behind the party and defeat the armed forces sponsored by the rulers.” Similar notices were found at roadside in Kurathikad. One of them vouched for the strike called by the adivasis in Thiruvananthapuram that lasted for more than 100 days. It said, “the government, which was turning a blind eye on the strikes by adavasis, is spending crores of rupees for the development of tourism.”
Jailed Maoists to go on one-day hunger strike
VISAKHAPATNAM: The central committee leaders of the CPI Maoists that are housed in the Vizag central prison announced that they would observe a day-long hunger strike in jail on Wednesday on the occasion of World Human Rights Day to protest harassment and threats to tribal political prisoners and their families by the police. A letter, issued under the names of the central committee leaders including Amit Bagchi, Baccha Prasad Singh, Akhilesh Yadav, Narla Ravi Sarma, Vijaya Kumar Arya and Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB) area leaders Manda Yesobu alias Jaipal, and Marpu Venkata Ramana alias Jagadeesh, was sent to the TOI office on Tuesday. In the letter, the Maoist leaders demanded that the government stop illegal arrests and threatening family members of prisoners.
“The intelligence cops should stop contacting tribal prisoners in jail or in the courts during hearings. Maoists political prisoners should not be re-arrested once released from jail. Cases should be expedited by filing chargesheets in the shortest possible time and in cases that is not done, self bail should be granted,” the leaders demanded. The incarcerated central committee leaders alleged that the harassment of adivasi political prisoners and their families’ by the cops was increasing by the day in utter disregard to the law and all democratic norms.
“Intelligence cops have been picking up family members, relatives and friends of adivasi political prisoners from outside the jail gates when they come to visit them. They are then pressurised to act as informers and if they don’t agree fabricated cases are being slapped on them by cops. Due to this harassment, family members and friends of prisoners are not coming forward to either stand surety or even visit them.” the leaders alleged.
Accusing the cops of waging a psychological war, they said that one of the political prisoners, Pangi Manga Raju, was subjected to so much mental agony that he committed suicide. They also alleged that Killo Kamesh also lost his mental balance recently because despite being granted bail three months ago, his family members were not coming forward to offer sureties’ due to police harassment.
“Another Maoist, Tambelu Lambaiha, was picked up by the cops again after being released on bail on November 28 this year, even as female Maoist, Tambelu Kamala, has been languishing in prison for more than seven years as an undertrial,” the leaders said in the letter, demanding that her trial either be disposed of at the earliest or she be released on self-bail. “All these arrests and the rising harassment is nothing but an example of CM Naidu’s brutal rule to benefit corporate bigwigs through bauxite mining in the Agency,” they alleged in the letter.
Cultural activists under police lens
Thrissur: The suspected Maoist attack in Wayanad has brought all cultural activists and their events under the police scanner. All venues, including the Kerala Sahithya Akademi and Sangeetha Nataka Akademi campuses here, where at least one event takes place every day, are now being closely watched by the police. Intelligence sources say the police has reason to be alert as the Maoists have used the Kerala Sahithya Ackademi campus to chalk out plans and meet those with a similar mindset.
“They had plans to draw human rights and cultural activists , especially the young ones among them, into their movement at these cultural events,” they reveal. Disturbingly, the Maoists appear to be succeeding as their influence is reportedly growing among the state’s youth. The police has also intensified security at the Pallieyakkara Toll Plaza on the national highway 47 in Thrissur and around the Nitta Gelatine India Limited Company, Chalakudy, following intelligence reports that the Maoists or their frontal organisations could target the toll plaza and other vital establishments as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of the movement in Kerala.
The toll plaza and other vital establishments that have been a centre of public protest in the recent past are on the hit list of the ultras especially as a few organisations with a strong ideological leaning to the Maoist movement, have been taking part in anti-toll strikes here over the past few years, explain sources .
Maoists exchange fire with SFs in Chhattisgarh
A joint team of District Force, Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and Special Task Force (STF) seized a printer, world map, computer, Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) literature, and solar plates from a Maoist camp in Jappemarka village in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh after a brief gun battle with Maoists while on a searching operation, reports The Pioneer on December 10. The team was conducting search and combing operations when Maoists launched indiscriminate firing on forces at around 12 midnight.
Meanwhile, another joint Security Force team found a Maoist hideout in an area coming under Gadiras Police Station limits in Sukma District, reports The Pioneer on December 10. A group of around 60 Maoists ran from the spot after spotting the search team leaving behind food items and daily use commodities, Police said.
Four Maoist accused acquitted in Odisha
The Additional District Sessions Judge in Gajapati District on December 8 freed four persons accused of being Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres, who were arrested from the Bhaliagada forest under Gajapati District’s Mohana block on November 19, 2012, due to lack of evidence, reports The Pioneer. Security Force personnel had arrested these four accused, Bulu Mallick (30), Kalia Mallick (25), Jalendra Mallick (27) and Surendra Mallick (26), during a combing operation in the jungle. The combing operation was intensified after an encounter took place between police and Maoists in the jungle on November 14, 2012. Police had seized grenade, detonator, pistol and a contry-gun from their possessions.
Jonathan Baud acquitted by Kodungallur court in Kerala
Jonathan Baud, the Swiss national arrested on charges of taking part in a meeting held at Thriprayar in Thrissur District on July 28, in remembrance of Sinoj, a Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) leader, was acquitted by a Kodungallur court in the District on December 9, reports The Hindu. The court ordered the authorities to return his passport and others documents.