Maoist carnage ‘rumour’ prompts search ops
RANCHI: Jharkhand police on Wednesday launched a search operation after receiving inputs that Maoists had killed seven members of a criminal gang in Gumla district, 100 km from here. However, police and CRPF personnel have not found any body or a sign of any murder so far. “We received inputs that Maoists have killed seven people at Barang village on Tuesday night. The inputs have not been confirmed till now. No trace of any killing or any body has been found so far,” Gumla SP Bheemsen Tuti, who toured the village on Wednesday morning, told TOI. Police have also interrogated over 500 villagers in the search operation. “One Gopi Mahto who had given the inputs was taken to the reported place of occurrence. He appears to be mentally unsound and drunk,” state police spokesperson Anurag Gupta said.
Mahto terrorized people on Tuesday evening when he broke the news of the alleged killings to villagers at a weekly market. He subsequently informed the police, but it could not launch the operation on Tuesday night. “The search operation will continue,” Tuti said, adding villagers have claimed they did not hear any gunshot while the informer says seven were gunned down. No blood trail or palpable crime spost was found either, police claimed. A police officer said rumours suggest members of Jhangur group, a local criminal outfit, have been killed. Jhangur is one of the many criminal gangs which extort money from businessmen and mining contractors. Maoist-hit Gumla shares its border with Chhattisgarh where bloody rivalries between Maoists and splinter groups are common.
Odisha to set up more special police battalions
The Odisha police have proposed to establish two more Special Armed Police (SAP) battalions in the State to enhance anti-Maoist operations as well maintenance of law and order. This was stated by Additional Director General (ADG) of the Odisha police in charge of SAP, Arun Kumar Ray during the passing out parade of new recruits of 8th Battalion of Odisha State Armed Police (OSAP) at Agastinuagaon in Ganjam district on Wednesday. At present there are 13 OSAP and eight India Reserve (IR) Battalions in Odisha. According to him, the State police have already sent request to the government regarding establishment of these two proposed SAP battalions. He informed that recruitments for the State police force would start soon.
Mr Ray said deployment of Central paramilitary forces for anti-Maoist operations and law and order maintenance is a major financial burden on the State government. Recently the Centre had demanded Rs.1,300 crore from the Odisha government towards cost of deployment of Central paramilitary forces, he added. Proper training and strengthening of SAP battalions in the State through recruitment of local youths would help in reducing this financial burden and making the SAP battalions more productive, he said. The SAP battalions with local recruits would be more helpful and active as the local cadres will know local language, people and topography.
‘Jose was a Mediator Who Conspired in Maoist Attacks’
KOCHI: In a major breakthrough, the special investigation team probing the Nitta Gelatin case and the National Highways Authority of India Office attack held last week has revealed that Jose who was arrested from Kannur the other day was a ‘mediator’ and conspired in all the suspected Maoist attacks which occurred recently in various parts of the state. “Jose,50, a farmer hailing from Kelakam, Kannur, has been helping the master-brain of all the attacks called ‘Sakhavu’ directly and indirectly and the ‘Urban action Team’ for over a year.
The attackers of the Nitta Gelatin attack case have no direct connection with the ‘Sakhavu’. They received the specific information on the attack through Jose. Jose informed the attackers through phone and other mediums based on the instructions from ‘Sakhavu’. The ‘Sakhavu’ will be under our radar very soon. Even Jose never expected the police operation to nab him as he was playing the entire game lying underground only,” said Bijo Alexander, Thrikkakkara AC and the investigating officer.
He further indicated that the arrest has dealt a ‘huge blow’ to the kingpins, informers and helpers hiding in and outside of the state. In our knowledge, many such people are there. They will also be arrested soon based on the statements from Jose. When Arun Balan and Srikanth Prabhakaran were arrested for attacking the multinational food chains at Chandranagar, Palakkad, they were tight-lipped about their leaders. But the arrest was definitely a slap to all such extremist think tanks or organisers. We will also uproot the ‘Maoist’ sleeper cells and sentiments throughout the state,” Alexander said. He also added that the police were being deployed in various parts of the state and many of the sleeper cells were under police surveillance. So we hope to record further arrests very soon, Alexander said. The accused Jose is now under police custody till February 7 for further interrogation. He was earlier produced before the principal sessions court and he will be charged under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act(UAPA).
CRPF men leaving in droves over poor living conditions
Poor living conditions in camps, lack of leave, and tough work schedules in conflict areas are taking their toll on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The country’s largest paramilitary force is plagued by an attrition rate that jumped 62 per cent as morale in the ranks seems to be at an all-time low. On average, the force saw almost 20 exits a day in 2014, as 6,700 personnel prematurely hung up their uniforms. It marked a sharp increase from 2013, when 4,186 personnel had quit.