Five Maoists killed in encounter with cops on Odisha-AP border
Five Maoists were reportedly killed in heavy exchange of fire with security personnel in the cut-off areas of Odisha’s Malkangiri district bordering Andhra Pradesh this morning, sources in the security establishment said. The crossfire was still on when reports last came in. According to top sources in the state police, personnel of the elite Greyhound force of Andhra Pradesh police, the specially raised anti-Maoist outfit Special Operations Group (SOG) of Odisha and District Voluntary Force, a small constabulary unit of the Odisha Police, began a joint combing operation following intelligence information that the Maoists were running training camps at Vejingi and Pingapuram in the cut-off areas along the Chitrakonda reservoir last evening.
Talking to OST, IG, south-western range, Yashwant Jethwa said the as per intelligence reports, top Maoist leader and central committee member of the party Ramakrishna alias RK was present at the spot when the exchange of fire began this morning. “But it is not yet clear if he is still there or has managed to escape,” he said adding there were more than 60 Maoists at the Pingapuram camp. While confirming that some Maoists have been killed in the encounter, Jethwa declined to give any numbers.
“I can tell you the number of Maoist casualties only after the encounter is over and the bodies are recovered. It is not possible to give the exact number of casualties since the operation is still on,” Jethwa said. Quoting a senior police officer in Andhra Pradesh, The Hindu reported that RK was addressing a plenary session in the area. “Whenever such a plenary session is held and it is addressed by a senior leader such as RK, the Maoists deploy a five-tier security layer spanning a radius of about 5 km. Since the firing is still on we are yet to ascertain how may tiers we have been able to penetrate. And whether we will be able to reach RK or he would have escaped under the cover of fire, can be confirmed only after the firing ends,” the police officer was quoted as saying.
Maoists beat two youths to death after trying them at a praja court in Kalimela of Malkangir district.
Around 30 armed rebels called the villagers and organised a ‘praja court’ on the outskirts of the village in the evening. Later, they tied two youths, Jaga Kabasi and Jaga Sodi, to a tree and asked others to leave the place. The extremists beat them severely up to death. Though no posters were left at the spot, it is suspected that they killed the duo on suspicion of being police informers. The villagers are panicked over the incident.
Naxals: search on Varushanadu hill intensified
A special Naxal squad in association with forest officials intensified search operation on Varushanadu hill on Sunday to check possible migration of Naxals from Kerala, in the wake of an encounter between Thunderbolts personnel and an armed group in Wayanad district in Kerala. The team combed the hill bordering Kerala since morning.
The operation would continue for some more days, said the police. Q Branch police had stepped up combing operation in the reserve forests along the Kerala border, especially the Western Ghats on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border, and also in upper Kodaikanal hill in Dindigul district. The teams covered even village temples and tribal habitats in the Western Ghats as Maoists could easily win the confidence of tribal people by fulfilling their basic needs and offering timely help. They suspected that they could mingle with nomads easily. A special team had watched even Sri Mangala Devi Kannagi Temple area where movement of men was very less.
Koraput: Maoist leader’s posters put up after intel inputs
KORAPUT: Security personnel on Sunday put up posters of Maoist leader Rama Krishna at several villages under Narayanpatna block in Koraput district. They swung into action after receiving fresh intelligence inputs about movement of the top Red leader in the forests of Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon, bordering Andhra Pradesh. The posters contain photograph of the ultra and cash awards announced by various state governments. Krishna is a central committee member of CPI (Maoist).
According to the posters, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand governments have announced cash reward of Rs 50 lakh, Rs 40 lakh, Rs 25 lakh, Rs 25 lakh and Rs 12 lakh respectively on Krishna’s head. “The cash reward will be provided to whoever furnishes specific information on him,” the posters read, urging people to inform about him at the nearest police station or BSF camp. According to police, Krishna oversees functioning of Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee of the CPI (Maoist). Under it, Koraput, Malkangiri and East-Godavari divisions in Koraput and Malkangiri districts and certain parts of Andhra function. “The BSF has pasted posters of the rebel so that local people can recognize him,” said IG (south-western range) Yeshwant Kumar Jethwa. Police have intensified combing operations in and around Narayanpatna with reports of several Maoist cadres’ influx into the area from Andhra.
Maoist ‘sub-zonal commander’ arrested in Bihar
A Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) ‘sub-zonal commander’, identified as Thakur Khaira, was arrested from Satletba forest under Kotoria Police Station limits in Banka District on January 3, reports The Telegraph. Commenting on the arrest, Banka Superintendent of Police (SP) Satya Prakash said acting on a tip-off a police team arrested Thakur and recovered a pistol, live cartridges, a cellphone and Maoist from him. His arrest will help curb Maoist activity in the District.