Centre to tackle Naxal menace with ‘localised approach’
With a 20 per cent drop in the number of people killed in Naxal-related violence in the country, the government has decided to change its strategy and go for a “more localised approach” to deal with Left Wing Extremism (LWE). The government has decided for the first time to put special attention on South Bastar and also areas in bordering states of Maharashtra, Telangana and Orissa. The decision has been taken following the Sukma incident, two months ago, where 13 CRPF men were killed. A high-level committee constituted post-incident has submitted its report that will be discussed at a meeting on February 9 in Delhi. The Home Ministry has called a meeting on February 9 of CMs and DGP’s of only four states which broadly comprise South Bastar. Unlike other occasions when the heads all the 10 affected states were called together to address the problem, this time it has been decided that “there will be customised approach for every zone.” The meeting will be chaired by Rajnath Singh where the chiefs of all central police forces will be present. “Earlier, we used to call the representatives of all the 10 LWE affected states for any meeting. It was not yielding any result and we have decided to go for a more focussed approach. This will be the first comprehensive meeting after the Sukma incident,” said a senior home ministry official. According to government data, 2014 saw 300 Naxal-related deaths, while 397 deaths were reported in 2013. “The Sukma committee report is in and the meeting is being convened to discuss its findings. Besides inter-state coordination, we will be telling states to take the lead in operations as they have to act first to deal with the problem. Though the central forces have been asked to step up operations, the onus will lie on the states now,” the official said.
Centre Plans ‘Strategic Change’ Against Naxals
NEW DELHI:The Centre is likely to tweak the strategy against the Maoists to neutralise their influence in the worst-affected districts, spread across 10 states. In the first phase, the Centre is planning coordinated operations to sanitise eight districts of Chhattisgarh – Bastar, Bijapur, Sukma, Dantewada, Kanker, Narayanpur, Kondagaon and Rajnandgaon. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has called an urgent meeting on February 9 with four states – Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Telangana and Maharashtra – to devise the strategy to launch anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh, top sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said.
“Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries of these states are expected to attend the meeting. Government is looking at adopting a completely new tactic by roping in the bordering states even when the operation is launched in only one state. This is to ensure that escape routes for Maoists are made inaccessible and easy crossing over that they have been doing for over the years is effectively blocked,” sources said. According to the MHA, Chhattisgarh witnessed 236 Naxal attacks in the last year in which 82 casualties were reported.
Huge cache of bomb-making material seized in Chhindwara, MP
Mumbai/Bhopal: The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Saturday said it has seized a huge cache of bomb-making material from Madhya Pradesh and arrested two persons in a joint operation with the police of the neighbouring state. “We have seized bomb-making material and arrested two persons,” an ATS release said. According to officials, the Nagpur unit of ATS received a tip-off that huge quantity of bomb-making material was stored at a house in Chhindwara in MP which was likely to be used for some illegal acts.
The joint operation by ATS and MP police led to recovery of 1,768 electronic detonators, 612 gelatin sticks, 840 feet of detonating cord and an exploder, among other things. A case was registered at Chhindwara police station against the two arrested persons, who are 30 and 40 years old, respectively. “A team of ATS officials is questioning the accused. Since Chhindwara is a Naxal-affected area, their possible links with Naxals are being probed,” the release said. PTI
Naxals murder police warden’s brother
NAGPUR: Indersa Parsa, 50, elder brother of village police warden, was killed on Friday by Naxals, suspecting him to be police informer at Ghodezhari village in Dhanora tehsil. The Naxals killed Parsa by slitting his throat. Police sources stated that Parsa had earlier opposed Naxals. He was a vociferous Naxal detractor who also opposed the rebels entering village. A section of the security personnel has expressed surprise over Parsa’s murder as he had stopped most of his activities to oppose rebels in the village. Sources claimed that a group of armed rebel guerilla barged into Parsa’s residence before dragging him out of the house. The rebels stabbed Parsa before slitting throat at the chowk.
Police stated that the rebels’ latest murder is part of their agenda to spread terror by targeting innocent tribals. While police have registered a case of murder in Parsa’s case, senior officials claimed that information about murder of special police officer (SPO) Jaisingh Atla was nothing but rumour. A highly placed police official claimed that there was no one called Atla either in records or in reality. Superintendent of police, Gadchiroli, Sandeep Patil stated that there was no SPO identified as Atla in the department’s records. “Police conducted a preliminary inquiry but could not trace any family in Kondavahi village of Dhanora who claimed Jaisingh was their kin. There was no body found in the locality too after a thorough search in adjoining villages and jungle,” he said. SP Patil also stated that there is a growing trend of pro-Naxal organizations in Dhanora to spread misinformation to hassle security forces.
Armed fight to stop for now: Maoists
KALPATTA: CPI (Maoist) has informed that they are suspending their fight for the time being. In the statement issued under the name of Maoist spokesperson Jogy claims that their Guerrilla fights were a success. “We are giving an interval to political army campaign. The fights carried out in Wayanad and Palakkad were with the help of local support. The police should also release cadres arrested after the attacks in Palakkad,” said the statement issued under the name of Special Zonal committee.
Suspected Maoists remanded in judicial custody
Two persons arrested on charge of being Maoist sympathisers were produced before the Ernakulam Principal Sessions Court on Friday and remanded in judicial custody. Human rights activists Jaison Cooper and Thushar Nirmal Sarathy had been arrested by the police on the charge that pamphlets issued by banned Maoist groups were found in their homes. The police took custody of the accused and interrogated them on their suspected links with Maoist groups. The two activists have been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Meanwhile, rights activist group ‘Porattam’ organised a signature campaign outside the District Court complex demanding the release of Jaison and Thushar. Members of the group stood outside the complex and held placards demanding that the charges under UAPA be removed. They collected hundreds of signatures for their petition.
The court will hear the bail petitions of Jaison and Thushar on Monday. The police have been asked to submit a report on the matter to the court by then. The accused submitted in the petition that they were innocent of the charges levelled against them and that they had not incited anyone to violence.
Maoist ideologue’s son to walk free
In a major blow to the Orissa Police, a two-judge bench of Supreme Court on Friday ordered immediate release of Odisha Jan Morcha leader Sangram Mohanty, son of Maoist ideologue Dandapani Mohanty, from jail. In 2011, Dandapani had played the role of a key interlocutor in the release of former Malkangiri Collector R Vineel Krishna from the clutches of Maoists. In response to a criminal writ petition filed by Sangram’s mother Gitanjali Mohanty seeking his release, a bench comprising Justices V Gopala Gowda and R Banumathi ordered the immediate release of Sangram while seeking a response from the chief secretary within four weeks.
Reprimanding the government, the apex court even threatened to proceed with perjury for filing a false affidavit. Sangram was arrested by the Orissa Police on December 5, 2012 near Gajapati’s Kamalapur village on charges of helping Maoists. He has been in jail ever since. Police claimed to have seized two US-made automatic pistols, Maoist literature, ammunition, food materials, cellphone sets and around Rs 16,500 cash from him. Sangram was accused of targeting police and civilians with landmines, tiffin bombs and helping Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda.
After Sangram’s mother moved for bail in the Supreme Court last year, the state government in September filed an affidavit that 15 cases were pending against him. The SC granted bail in eight cases while the Orissa HC granted bail in the rest. By virtue of the bail granted, Sangram was set to be released from Berhampur Jail on January 27, but was rearrested for two pending cases from 2011. In her petition Friday, Sangram’s mother alleged that her son is being victimised by the state and the police as he joined Odisha Jan Morcha headed by Naveen’s bête noire Pyari Mohan Mohapatra. Sangram’s father Dandapani, who was arrested in February 2013 over alleged Maoist links, is stil in judicial custody.