Naxal Blast Injures Two Policemen in Chhattisgarh
RAIPUR: Two police jawans were injured in a pressure bomb blast triggered by Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Bijapur district today, police said. The blast occurred near Emargunda village when the security personnel were carrying out a combing operation in the Gangaloor police station limits, a senior police official told PTI. The security personnel accidentally came in contact with a pressure bomb planted by Maoists outside of the village. In the explosion, head constable Rajesh Sen and assistant constable Asharam Netam sustained injuries, he said. Reinforcement was rushed to the spot and the injured policemen are being brought to a local hospital for treatment, he said. A search operation was underway in the region, he added. Maoists had earlier given a day-long bandh call for today in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Telangana, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh to protest against the alleged displacement of tribals due to development projects.
Indian-made drones get a big push
Made-in-India drones or unmanned air vehicles, called the eyes and ears of security forces, have got a shot in the arm with the coming together of public sector production and research agencies. Aircraft manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. on Thursday said it had launched a major programme to produce three categories of drones or unmanned air vehicles for civil and military purposes. HAL Chairman T. Suvarna Raju said during the ongoing Aero India 2015, its design team was coming up with a 8 kg to 10 kg class medium UAVs for the services. It was partnering with defence research lab Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) for the latter’s Rustom-2, and with National Aerospace Labs for 2-kg micro air vehicles.
Last year, looking at the demand, the company’s board approved starting a separate division for its UAVs business. It also maintains the few dozen UAVs that the Forces use. “We have the wherewithal for it,” he said. On Thursday, HAL and ADE sealed a tie-up for ADE’s Rs. 1,200-crore Rustom-2 MALE drone (short for medium altitude long endurance). HAL will invest Rs. 210 crore in the triangular programme, which may need a new production line. Bharat Electronics Ltd., another defence PSU, will provide ground support for the pilotless aircraft and put in Rs. 90 crore, Mr. Raju and ADE’s Director P. Srikumar told The Hindu separately. ADE works on the operational Nishant, which is used by the Forces and made by HAL, as also Rustom-1 and Rustom-2 UAV programmes. It is also developing a range of micro, rotary (helicopter-like) and other air vehicles. Mr. Raju said HAL is also funding academia for UAV technology by starting a chair in IIT Kharagpur, mainly for a 2-tonne rotary UAV that can stop and watch an area. It is also working with ADE on this line and hopes to base it on the Cheetah/Chetak helicopters.
The three Forces need a large number of drones for surveillance and intelligence gathering and are said to require several dozens of them. They are estimated to be using a mix of 40 Israeli and Indian UAVs, mainly along the Western border and in Naxal-hit areas. Eventually, the success of these activities is expected to bring down the imports. The Ministry of Home Affairs has requested for information on 18 ‘birds’.
Maoists go on rampage in parts of Bastar region, kill 2
Raipur: Maoists went on a rampage in parts of Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Bastar region killing two people, including a security personnel, and damaging a part of a railway line, leading to the derailment of two engines of a goods train. A Special Task Force member and a police informer were killed in separate Maoist incidents in Sukma district, Sukma Deputy Superintendent of Police Irfan-Ul-Rahim told PTI. A joint contingent of the STF and the district police force was carrying out an anti-Maoist operation in the densely forested borders of Dantewada and Sukma districts, which are located around 400 km away from Chhattisgarh state capital Raipur.
After they reached Dudhiras forest under Gadiras police station limits, a group of armed Maoist cadres opened indiscriminate fire on them killing constable Gautam Rajwade, the DSP said. However, the Maoists escaped into the core forests after the contingent retaliated heavily, he said. In another incident, a 32-year-old police informer, Boodu Ramesh, was shot dead by armed Maoist rebels in Konta town under Konta police station limits. Ramesh was attacked while he was returning to the Gaganpalli rehabilitation camp, the DSP said, adding that combing operations are on in the region to nab the attackers.
Five Maoist operatives held
Five Maoist operatives were arrested by security personnel from a forest area in Odisha’s Malkangiri district, the police said today. “The rebels were nabbed during a joint combing operation by BSF and Special Operation Group (SOG) in a forest stretch in Kalimela area last evening,” Malkangiri district Superintendent of Police Mitrabhanu Mohapatra said. All five were forwarded to the court here today and sent to jail, he said. The ultras were identified as Ganga Madhi (26), Irma Kabasi (35), Bandi Madhi (30), Bhima Madkami (30) and Anda Madi (21), the police said adding the Maoists belonged to villages in Kalimela area. The ultras were allegedly involved in several incidents of violence including murder, landmine blasts, attack on security personnel, attack on public places and government buildings and gun-battles, they added.
Cops target 12 Red hideouts in state
RANCHI: Jharkhand police have asked for a contingent of 5,000 CRPF personnel to help them destroy 12 Maoist camps across the state. Most of the 12 camps are mostly situated in forested hills, which the forces consider impregnable and do not dare to venture into. Budha Pahar on the Jharkhand-Chhatisgarh-Odisha tri-junction, Katiya-Kumandih forest in Latehar, Jhumra-Luggu hills in Bokaro, Gidhaur Pahar and Chauparan-Lohardaga-Gaya at Jharkhand-Bihar border and Tinkoniya Pahar of Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary at Jharkhand-West Bengal border are among these 12 centres A confidential study conducted by the CRPF has found that Maoists have withdrawn into these 12 bases following aggressive security measures in the last 14 years. DGP Rajiv Kumar said: “These 12 places work as incubation centers for Maoists who have been chased out from all other parts of the state. The additional forces will play a crucial role in dismantling these camps.”
Sources in the police intelligence wing said Maoists hold training sessions for new recruits, organize inter-state meetings, prepare strategies, Maoist literature and make explosives at these camps. The areas are strategically surrounded by hills not connected with motorable roads. The security forces can not bomb these areas because several villages are also situated in the areas. Villagers whom Maoists have appointed as informers help them know about suspicious movements around these places. Police have tried to reach these areas several times in the past, but they have always failed.
“The core areas of these places do not have CRPF camps. The camps situated near them are around 20 to 30km away. When forces move towards these places, Maoists get inputs and change their location,” CRPF IG R K Mishra said. Forces have no option but to walk as much as 20km to these places during operations and trekking across hills and rivers is exhausting. When they finally reach the specific spot, they are too tired to launch an effective encounter and fall victim to Maoists. In the past, several security personnel have been killed in these places. Kumar said police have requisitioned the government for five companies of CRPF personnel. “New base camps would be opened after the forces are allocated,” Kumar said. Once the base camps are opened, the forces would not need to walk and would be able to launch effective operations. “The base camps would also enable us to conduct aggressive area domination exercises in the core areas which will help us weed out the Maoist menace from the state,” Mishra said. .
NUAPADA: Security forces on Thursday busted a Maoist camp in Pandel Reserve Forest near Biswanathpur village under Komna police limits and seized three tiffin bombs, weighing four kg each. Acting on Intelligence inputs about Maoist movement in the forest, a CRPF team led by Commandant Mahesh Kumar launched a combing operation and found the camp. Three detonators, ammonium nitrate and Maoist literature were seized from the place. On Wednesday, the CRPF had busted a Maoist camp in Jharlam under Soseng gram panchayat in Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary under Komna police limits.
Maoists Set Fire to Country Liquor Unit
BALANGIR: A country liquor manufacturing unit at Jamki village under Turekela police limits was set afire by Maoists on Wednesday. Sources said 50 armed Maoists reached the factory late Wednesday night and asked the security guard and other staff to leave the place before torching it. They also took away mobile phones from the staff. The Odisha State Committee of Marxist Communist Party (Maoist) has owned responsibility for the incident.
After torching the unit, the Maoists left behind some posters which accused the State and Central Governments of selling the State’s property to foreign companies and neglecting the poor. They have called Odisha bandh in protest against negligence of both the governments on February 20. It may be noted that about seven days back, the Maoists had torched a JCB machine and some tractors of a road works contractor. A jawan was also severely injured in a landmine blast in Kameimunda village of Turekela block.
Security beefed up on AP-Odisha border after bandh call
Visakhapatnam, Feb 20 (PTI) Security in the agency areas of the district has been beefed up after a bandh called by the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) on the Andhra Odisha Border (AOB) today to protest against anti-people’s activities of the state and central governments, police said here today. Visakhapatnam District Superintendent of Police Koya Praveen told PTI that the situation was peaceful in eleven mandals of the district’s agency area.
Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems stalled by slow digitization in states and software shortcomings, says report
According to reports, states like Bihar, Rajasthan and software developer Wipro are posing hurdles to Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) from being rolled out any time soon, reports The Times of India on February 20. Mooted by the last United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government and supported by the new Narendra Modi Government, the system aims to connect all police stations in the country for real-time exchange of information on criminals and terrorists. Sources said that, while as many as seven states are lagging behind in digitizing and connecting database at their end, Bihar and Rajasthan have not even been able to kick off the system. To make things worse, Wipro, which is the core software developer for the programme, has allegedly delivered a system that neither enables real-time exchange of information nor supports search and query options. Government sources said that without these features, the system would be of no use.
A Home Ministry official said “A lot of work has happened but Bihar and Rajasthan are way behind because their contractors have pulled out. Seven other states have been slow but we are hoping they will catch up soon. Wipro has delivered a system that does not support real-time exchange of information. They say they can provide such system only at a higher cost which we are not ready to accept. Negotiations are going on.” The project was mooted by former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in the wake of 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Under the project, approximately 14,000 Police stations throughout the country are planned to be connected apart from higher offices in Police hierarchy.
The INR 20 billion project, approved in 2009, spans across all the states and Union Territories. As per the plan, it would connect a total of more than 21,000 locations. The goal of the system is to facilitate collection, storage, retrieval, analysis, transfer and sharing of data and information at the police station and between the Police station and the state headquarters and the central police organizations.