4 injured as Naxals target passenger bus
Raipur: Four persons, including a woman, were today injured as a private passenger bus they were travelling in was hit by a landmine blast triggered by the Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district. Some police personnel were also on board, but they were not harmed. “Four civilians, including a woman and the bus conductor, sustained minor injuries in the low-intensity blast near Maharbeda village under Jhara police station limits,” a senior police official told PTI. The bus, carrying about sixty passengers, was heading towards Orchha from Narayanpur town.
As the bus reached Rakasnala rivulet between Dhaudai and Jhara, rebels triggered the blast and opened fire. But they retreated into the forest when the police retaliated, he said. Additional security personnel were rushed to the spot and the injured were shifted to a hospital in Narayanpur, he said, adding that the police personnel safely reached their destination. A combing operation had been launched in surrounding areas to nab the culprits.Last year on April 18, a passenger bus had escaped a similar low-intensity landmine blast on the same route, in the same area.
Meanwhile, in another insurgency-related incident, a CRPF jawan was injured in the blast of ‘pressure bomb’ planted by the Maoists in the neighbouring Bijapur district. The incident took place near Cheramangi village under Awapalli police station limits while the CRPF was conducting anti-Naxal operation. The injured jawan was identified as P Harshad, constable of 168th battalion.
Two Maoists’ bunkers destroyed
Security forces today destroyed two Maoist bunkers and seized a haul of ammunition and naxal literature from Bhimbundh forest in the district, police said. A joint team of CRPF, STF and district police carried out a combing and search operation in Bhimbundh forest and destroyed two bunkers of the Maoists, the Superintendent of Police (SP) Barun Kumar Sinha said. During search of the area, they recovered two Syntax water tanks which the ultras were using for stashing arms and ammunitions, he said.
The security forces recovered 150 round ammunition of SLR and a haul of naxal literature, uniforms and mosquito net from the water tanks, Sinha said. The security forces used dog squad during combing-cum- search operation, the SP said.
ANF intensifies combing in the Western Ghats
The Anti-Naxalite Force (ANF) and the police intensified combing in the Western Ghats on Tuesday after a team of suspected Naxalites visited a house in Ajjoli village coming under the Hebri police station limits in Udupi district on Monday night to collect groceries. K. Annamalai, Superintendent of Police, told The Hindu on Tuesday that a team of four Naxalites had visited a house at Ajjoli village around 8.30 p.m. on Monday to collect rice. This team comprised three men and one woman, he added.
Maoists shifting base to Odisha: Naveen
Maoists are regrouping and consolidating their position in western part of Odisha, particularly in Nuapada district. The ultras have started moving from neighbouring states like Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in a letter to Union Home Minister Rajanth Singh. “Intelligence inputs indicate that the Maoists have been trying to consolidate their position in western Odisha, particularly in Nuapada district for quite sometime. A large number of cadres have moved in from Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand to the district,” the letter circulated to the media here said, adding that in the current scenario of left wing extremism in Odisha, the situation remains challenging not only in Nuapada but also in districts like Koraput and Malkangiri.
There is a possibility of further migration of armed Maoists into Odisha particularly from Chhattisgarh following the action by central forces in the neighbouring state. “It is learnt that additional battalions of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) are likely to be inducted in Chhattisgarh soon. This is expected to increase further the cross border movement of the Maoists into Odisha from Chhattisgarh side”, the letter said. Patnaik also said the deployment of more security forces will become absolutely necessary on Odisha-Chhattisgarh border. He has asked the home minister to send two more CAPF battalions for deployment in Nuapada and Malkangiri districts. “The present deployment of forces in Nuapada district is inadequate to dominate the area, conduct meaningful operations and restrict the movement of Maoists.
Similarly, there is a need to augment the presence of security forces in Malkangiri district to effectively dominate Maoist strongholds and conduct sustained anti-Maoist operations. I would therefore request you to kindly look into the matter and consider providing two additional CAPF battalions to contain the spread of the Maoists in these areas,” Patnaik who also heads the home department in the state told his central counterpart.
Man shot dead by suspected Maoists
A man was gunned down by suspected Maoists at a busy market place in Lanjigarh area of Odisha’s Kalahandi district, police said today. Two suspected red rebels struck at the weekly market in Trilochanpur yesterday and opened fire at the victim, identified as Laxminarayan Pattnaik from close range, Kalahandi Superintendent of Police Brijesh Kumar Rai said. While the assailants fled leaving some leaflets at the site, Pattnaik died on the spot sparking tension in the area, police said, adding that the leaflets accused the deceased of functioning as an informer for the police.
Incidentally in July, 2011 the elder brother of the deceased had also been murdered by Maoist cadres near this very spot, sources said. Similarly on January 20, 2015 suspected Maoists burnt a vehicle carrying mid-day meal and escaped with food and containers in the area. Police personnel have been sent to the area and combing operation was stepped up to nab the assailants, police said.
Man held in Nitta Gelatin attack case
The city police on Tuesday arrested a man for his alleged involvement in the attack on the office of Nitta Gelatin India Limited in November last year. A man identified as Jose was detained by the city police from Kannur. Police said that Jose, who was based in parts of Kannur and Kozhikode, was part of the conspiracy to vandalise the office of the company. “He was not part of the nine-member group that attacked the office, but was an important part of the conspiracy. He was a link between the leader of the group and those who carried out the attack,” said Thrikkakara Assistant Commissioner Bijo Alexander.
Police said that while he was not part of the cadre of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), he was a Maoist sympathiser and worked to further its goals. Nine masked men vandalised the office of Nitta Gelatin at Panampilly Nagar in November 2014. They trashed office furniture and computers and distributed pamphlets accusing the company of polluting the environment at its manufacturing locations in the State and neglecting to employ local people. The pamphlets attributed the attack to the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Two men who were allegedly part of the attack were arrested from Palakkad earlier and were questioned by the city police. Police are probing the identity of the seven other attackers and others involved.