Naxal pamphlets recovered, high alert sounded in MP’s Balaghat
Pamphlets asking locals to boycott Republic Day celebration in Madhya Pradesh’s Balaghat district were recovered with police sounding high alert in the naxal-hit district, bordering Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. Police said the pamphlets were allegedly circulated by rebels under the name of ‘Tada Dalam’ and pasted on walls in rural areas of Devarbeli, Songudda and Machhurda, under Roopjhar police station limits of the district. “The pamphlets urged people to shun Republic Day celebrations and criticised the government, stating it was exploiting tribals and encouraging illegal mining and crone capitalism,” Superintendent of Police, Gaurav Tiwari, told PTI today. The SP said the handbills were recovered yesterday, following which police has sounded red alert last night.
Tiwari said they were investigating whether the pamphlets were pasted by naxals or some other persons to create panic. He said that security has been stepped up in naxal- affected areas in the district and joint search operation of MP police with Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra counterparts has been launched. CRPF personnel too have increased their vigil, he added. In the first phase of panchayat polls, held recently, naxals had given a call to villagers to represent a common candidate to win the elections unopposed, but, locals did not accept it.
Another Maoist attack? NHAI office in Kochi attacked, police recover naxal literature
A project office of National Highway Authority of India in Kochi was attacked allegedly by Maoists on Thursday morning. Police have recovered pro-Maoist literature from the office premises. According to police, the incident was reported around 9 am after the sweeper left the office. The unidentified assailants had burned office files. The incident came to light only when office staff reported for duty in the day. Some of the pamphlets recovered from the office premises have slogans in protest against development of the highways under BOT scheme.
Kochi range IG Ajith Kumar said police have been conducting a combing operation in the city based on intelligence report that Maoists may attack some offices in the city. However, we could not cover all offices, he said. In Kerala, the opposition against NH development under BOT scheme was spearheaded by fringe Muslim and ultra Left outfits. Although mainstream parties have supported widening of the highways into 45-meter width, the government could not go ahead with land acquisition mainly due to the protest from local people and traders.
Former SPG Chief takes charge as CRPF Special DG
Former SPG Chief and senior IPS officer K Durga Prasad today joined the country’s largest paramilitary force CRPF as its Special Director General. Prasad, a 1981-batch officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre, took over formal charge at the force headquarters here and he will soon undertake a tour of the field formations in the country, including those in the anti-Naxal operations grid, officials said. He was shunted out as the Director of the elite Special Protection Group (SPG) in November last year when he was accompanying Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his visit to Kathmandu for the SAARC Summit. Prasad has earlier been with the Central Reserve Police Force and has been credited with raising the elite special anti-Naxal operations unit in the force– Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA)– in 2008 as its Inspector General.
‘Maoists’ Visited Houses after Attack on Hotel
MANANTHAVADY: The armed group which had ransacked Tamarind Easy Hotel run by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) in Thirunelli the other day, reportedly visited a couple of houses in the vicinity after attacking the resort. According to Sukumarannunni Warrier, a resident of Thirunelli, the gun-wielding persons visited his house around 5 am on January 25 and handed over copies of pro-Maoist newsletters and ‘Kattuthee,’ the mouthpiece of ‘Kabanidalam’, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) wing operating in the Western Ghats region. One of the group members introduced himself to Warrier as Roopesh alias Praveen. The extremists reportedly told him that they would strongly oppose the ‘resort culture’ in the area as it was being done at the expense of poor farmers and tribal people.
Roopesh, who was accused of coordinating the activities of the banned outfit in the state, is in the list of ‘wanted Maoists’ in the state. The gang also visited the residence of Muraleedharan, the owner of a building under construction in the area. The group, comprising four men and two women, were reportedly wearing uniforms similar to those of security forces. Police officials, however, refused to confirm the reports. Meanwhile, the Thunderbolts and the anti-Naxal squad have intensified their search for the gang in the Thirunelli forests under the Begur Forest Range of the North Wayanad Forest Division. The attack on Tamarind followed the late-night attack on ‘Agraharam,’ a private resort in Thirunelli in the early hours of November 18.
Combing operations intensified in Western Ghats
Tirunelveli: Combing operations have been intensified in Western Ghats after an Odisha-based Maoist was nabbed recently in Tenmalai forest area in Kerala, adjacent to this district, forest department officials said here on Thursday. Jaghwanth Poojari, a Maoist from Ghodpur in Odisha, was recently nabbed by forest department personnel in Kerala, and produced before a court at Punalur and remanded to judicial custody, they said. The officials said combing operations were intensified as they feared more Maoists could have sneaked in from Kerala. The operations would continue and permanent armed forest department would be deployed at vantage points, the officials said. PTI
Odisha Tribals protest land ordinance
United under the banner of ‘Koraputia Jana Suakshya Sangh (KJSS)’, tribals held a demonstration at Semiliguda in Koraput district on Wednesday to protest against alleged infringement of their land rights. Environmental and social activists alleged that through the ordinance, the Central Government had attempted to dilute the Right to Fair Compensation, Resettlement and Rehabilitation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Act 2013 and Forest Rights Act. They were critical of weakening of gram sabha during land acquisition process, which had protected the Niyamgiri hill from mining in the recent past. The tribals are also wary of atrocities during anti-Maoist operations by paramilitary forces.
Around 4,000 tribals, who took part in this demonstration at Semiliguda took out a rally and handed over a memorandum addressed to President of India and Odisha governor at the office of the local tehsildar. Their major demand was proper rehabilitation of 971 tribal families that had been displaced because of a unit of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at Sunabeda in Koraput district way back in 1962.