Hardcore Maoist found dead
A hardcore Maoist was today found dead in a locality under Kothi police station area in Bihar’s Gaya district, a police officer said. Acting on information by local people, the police recovered the body of an ultra from Talaiya Bazar, Kothi police station in-charge Qayamuddin Ansari said. The body was identified as that of one Jaglal Ganju, a native of Chatra district of Jharkhand, who was said to be an area commander of the proscribed outfit – CPI(Maoist), Kothi police station in-charge Qayamuddin Ansari said.
The dead body bore marks of injuries from bullet indicating that he was shot dead, he said, adding a pamphlet was found from the spot bearing the name of another naxal outfit – Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC) in which it was claimed that Ganju’s murder was a revenge for killing of a TPC cadre Kuldeep Yadav recently, he said.
‘Maoist violence has declined in the country’
Maoist violence has declined in the country from 1,000 killings during 2008, 2009 and 2010 to about 300-odd now, K. Vijay Kumar, special security adviser, Union Ministry of Home Affairs said. “This is a sign that two-third violence has come down. But that does not mean that they (Maoists) are incapable of causing hiccups and giving surprises,” he said. He was here for a programme at the VIT University on Wednesday. Speaking to The Hindu , he said there were two to three Maoist-affected States that were being concentrated upon. “Chattisgarh and Jharkhand contribute about 30 per cent each that is two-third in the country. The governments are trying to tighten efforts here,” he pointed out.
“The Central government has a good policy in dealing with Maoists. It has a two-pronged approach for bringing in development and rehabilitation and also for surrender of Maoists,” he mentioned Mr. Kumar said they were concentrating particularly on Chattisgarh and Jharkand. “Overall, State governments have done well in coordination with the Centre,” he noted.
In Jharkhand, a big extortion industry under the garb of Red rebels
Six months ago, a para-teacher in Simdega, a south-west district of Jharkhand, was kidnapped by a group of armed criminals called Pahadi Cheetah. His family got him back after paying Rs 5,000 to the gang. Just when his shock and numbness began wearing off, they came back again to demand Rs 5,000 from the teaching assistant who earns a monthly salary of Rs 6,000. And he paid, firmly controlling his urge for bravado. The assistant teacher had learnt the importance of discretion from his neighbour Mohammad Azhar, who had brushed aside the criminal gang’s demand for Rs 10,000 three times only to eventually pay with his life.
Slain Azhar’s brother Mohammad Akhtar said: “My brother ran a small hardware shop in Kudek village. Pahadi Cheetah members called him thrice demanding Rs 10,000. He innocently declined to abide by their diktat. One morning we saw him dead near our family brick kiln. I have hence shifted my brick business to a safer place in Lohardagga.” Jharkhand’s thriving extortion industry spares none. Almost every citizen living in the countryside who has a government job, runs a business no matter how big or small or is a contractor engaged in executing modest government projects has to pay a share of his earnings to these armed outfits operating under the garb of left-wing extremist crusaders. Ravi (name changed), a mobile shop owner, said a People’s Liberation Front of India leader once called him and demanded 10 cellphones. “I pleaded mercy as I had credited the phones from the wholesaler. Eventually they settled for Rs. 5000.”
The People’s Liberation Front of India is a breakaway faction of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Kidnappings and murders for ransom as little as Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 by the left-wing extremist (LWE) groups are common in Simdega. In the last five years, the police have registered 74 murders by these outfits, maximum being 23 in 2012. But locals say the number should be much higher because several killings go unreported as people do not lodge complaints out of fear. In the neighbouring Bolba village, PLFI and Pahadi Cheetah have killed around 12 people in the last 5 years, half of the victims being para-teachers, for refusing to pay levy. Pahadi Cheetah, which means cheetah of the hills, is one of the 17 splinter Left-wing extremist groups active in Jharkhand.
Many of the outfits that call themselves Maoists or Naxalites are no more than hired guns and thugs patronised by the police and political parties for sniping at the Communist Party of India-Maoists (CPI-M), the main rebel outfit in the state. Like the Maoists, these outfit members camp in jungles, dress up in battle fatigues and carry sophisticated arms and ammunition. The main difference is that these splinter groups carry no ideological baggage.
Maoists kill two civilians including sarpanch in Chhattisgarh
A newly elected sarpanch (head of village level local self government) and a villager were hacked to death by suspected Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres in Sukma District on March 11, reports The Hindu. “Suchcham Hidma, sarpanch of Gollapalli, and Punem Pandu of Pollampalli were allegedly abducted by Maoists on March 7 along with six other villagers from different parts of the District. Hidma and Pandu were killed while the others were released after some warning,” Sukma District Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Santosh Singh said.
Odisha Assembly Panel recommends plan to boost Police strength in State
With Odisha figuring low among the States in the Police-population ratio, the Assembly Standing Committee on Home Department has recommended a five-year plan to augment the strength of civil Police, reports The New Indian Express on March 12. Currently, the sanctioned civil Police strength ratio stands at 81.05 per 100,000 population against the national average of 145.02. Interestingly, if the vacancy is taken into account, then State deploys just 71 civil policemen for 100,000 population. The panel, in its report, observed that the disparity could be attributed to a low civil police strength which needs to be raised.