Maoist undertrials to observe fast
Seven members from the Central Committee of the banned CPI (Maoist), who are lodged in Visakhapatnam Central Jail and Cherlapally Central Jail as undertrial prisoners, will observe one-day fast on Wednesday, protesting the alleged extra-judicial killing of five undertrial prisoners by the Telangana police and 20 labourers from Tamil Nadu in Seshachalam forest by the AP Police. Addressing the media persons here on Monday, civil rights activist and member of Virasam Varavara Rao said CC member Varanasi Subrahmanyam, N. Ravi Sharma and Purnendu Mukherjee, who are lodged in Visakhapatnam jail, and Akhilesh Yadav, Bacha Prasad Singh, Amit Bagchi and Vijay Kumar Arya, who are in Cherlapally jail, have decided to take up the protest.
Mr. Varavara Rao termed both the shootings as brazen extra-judicial cold-blooded murder. In the case of Vikaruddin and four of his accomplices, who were alleged to be SIMI activists and were shot dead by the Telangana police while being shifted from Warangal to Hyderabad near Nalgonda, Mr. Varavara Rao said, “all the five were undertrial prisoners and all such prisoners are under the protection of the court. It was the gross failure of the judiciary to protect them and it was a clear case of revenge killing.”
He further said the circumstantial evidences in both the cases clearly indicate that the killings were fake and staged. The civil rights activist also demanded that the High Court should intervene and suspend all the police officials involved in both the cases and book them for culpable homicide.
MHA warns of more Naxal attacks
Caught on the back foot after four Naxal attacks in three days in Chhattisgarh, the Union Home Ministry on Monday warned the state government of more such attacks. MHA sources said two successive alerts were issued in the last 24 hours regarding possible attacks that threaten revival of Naxal violence after a brief period of calm in the state. The MHA decided to confer gallantry medals on the security personnel killed in the back-to-back attacks, officials said.
“The Ministry has decided to honour the martyred policemen as part of the initiative to boost the morale of the forces which are engaged in the counter-naxal operations,” said a senior official, adding that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has spoken with Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh to take stock of the situation. These attacks have also have exposed chinks in the anti-Naxal armour put in place by the state government and the Centre and also highlighted the lack of coordination between the two, sources said on Monday.
An official admitted that the attacks exposed lack of coordination between the forces on the ground between the Special Task Force, the state police and the Central Paramilitary Forces, namely the BSF and the CRPF. Even as MHA officials said the attacks underlined “an increasing engagement by the State police with the Maoists”, the casualties on the ground showed lack of actionable intelligence about the impending attacks, a source said. In one of the attacks a BSF jawan was killed less than 500 metres from his camp in Kanker district while one perimeter security duty. “It is a positive indication that the State government is taking the lead in carrying out operations against the Naxals. Standard operating procedures on carrying out troop movement and counter-IED measures are already in place and they are being followed,” officials countered.
A comprehensive counter-naxal doctrine recently drafted by the MHA also envisages a lead role for State police forces in carrying out anti-naxal operations. The official said: “However, although precautions are taken to ensure that there are no casualties on our side, but is a war going on in the difficult terrains and occasionally, preparations prove to be inadequate. All the incidents are being analysed to ascertain how such attacks can be thwarted effectively.” While the MHA has five extra companies of para-military forces to assist the State police in conducting anti-naxal operations, the state has been demanding 26 more battalions over and above the nearly 50 already posted there. Chhattisgarh is the only state where Naxal violence has been growing since 2012. Security agencies suspect that the recent attacks by Naxals could be part of the outfits’ tactical counter offensive campaign launched around this time every year to re-group and gain ground.
Series of attacks in Chhattisgarh puts other Naxal-hit states on high alert
Bhubaneswar/Berhampur: In the wake of a series of Naxal attacks on security forces in neighbouring Chhattisgarh, a high alert was on Tuesday sounded in Maoist-hit districts of Odisha, particularly in the southern region. Police personnel have been put on alert in Maoist-affected districts, particularly in areas bordering Chhattisgarh, Director General of Police (DGP), Sanjeev Marik said. While security forces have been alerted after the Chhattisgarh incidents, Superintendents of Police in Maoist-hit districts have been asked to keep a close watch on movements of suspicious persons, he said.
Police apprehend that the left-wing ultras might cross over to Odisha’s Maoist-hit areas following intensified search operation in the neighboring state after violence in last three days in Sukma, Dantewada and Kanker districts. The SPs of all Naxal-hit districts are in a state of high alert in view of possibility of cross-border movement of Maoists from Chhattisgarh, Inspector General of Police (South West), Y K Jethwa said. While the emphasis is on strict adherence to standard operating procedure (SOP), intelligence network has also been strengthened, he said CPI (Maoist) cadre from Chhattisgarh were trying their best to strengthen the organisation in border areas of Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Boudh and Rayagada after the arrest of Sabyasachi Panda, founder leader of Odisha Maobadi Party (OMP) on 17 July, last year, police suspected. “Combing operation has been intensified in Kandhamal district following the incidents in Chhattisgarh.
We have also asked our personnel to maintain strict vigil on the movement of suspicious people in vulnerable areas,” said SP (Kandhamal) KV Singh. “Search was conducted in the long-route vehicles passing through the district, while anti-Maoist operation intensified,” added SP (Gajapati) S.Nayak. He, however, ruled out engaging more forces in the anti-Maoist operation. Besides police, Central Reserve Police Forces, District Volunteer Forces (DVF) and BSF were deployed in the operation.
Naxals set on fire construction machine in Kanker
Raipur: Naxals on Monday torched a `poclain (excavating) machine’ engaged in construction work in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Kanker district, police said. The incident took place near Mandlipur village under Koyalibeda police station limits where construction of an anicut (barrier) on a small river is underway, Kanker Deputy Superintendent of Police Jayant Vaishnav told PTI. “A group of Maoist cadres stormed the construction site and torched the vehicle late this evening,” he said. “No one was hurt in the incident,” he added. Soon afterwards, a police team was sent to the spot, the DSP said, adding that a search operation was launched in the region to apprehend the attackers.
Four Maoist leaders produced before Karimnagar magistrate
Four top leaders of Communist Party of India (Maoist) were produced before a local court here today amid tight security. Maoist leaders Amit Bagchi, Akhilesh Jadhav and Batchi Prasad Singh were produced in court from from the Warangal Central Prison whereas Jaspal Singh, alias Vijay Kumar Arya, was brought from the Chanchalguda Central Prison in Hyderabad, before Karimnagar First Class Additional Judicial Magistrate at about 1.30 pm today. All of them are undertrial prisoners in the murder of former Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker Duddilla Sripada Rao in 2009, in which top Maoist leader Muppala Laxman Rao, alias Ganapathi, as well as 32 others have also been named as accused.
Based on a confessional statement made by one of the accused Malla Raji Reddy, on January 1, 2008 at Karimnagar, the Karimnagar Rural Police registered a case of murder against Muppala Laxman Rao as well as 32 others including Kobad Ghandy, Varanasi Subrahmanyam, Janthu Mukherjee, Amit Bagchi, Jaspal Singh and Akhilesh Jadav who are held in various prisons. Among those yet to be arrested are Muppala Laxman Rao, Akkiraju Haragopal and Cherukuri Rajkumar while another accused named Mallojula Koteshwar Rao, alias Kishanji, was killed in a police encounter in West Bengal’s Jangal Mahal region on November 24, 2011.
Malla Raji Reddy, who made the confessional statement, was granted bail and has been absconding since then, while another Maoist leader Pramod Mishra was released on bail recently. However, the police have not filed a charge sheet in this case so far. Karimnagar Magistrate Azahar Hussain has directed the police to produce all those accused in the case before him on April 27, 2015.
Seven tribals abducted by Maoists in Odisha
The incident happened at Kartanpalli, a remote village in Malkangiri district. Seven tribal civilians including a village head and a former block chairperson were abducted by Maoists from a Kartanpalli, a remote village under Mathili police station of Malkangiri district in Odisha bordering Chhattisgarh on Monday night. According to locals, the armed abductors spoke Hindi, suggesting that they may be part of Darbha division of outlawed CPI (Maoist), which is active in the Chhattisgarh and bordering areas of Odisha.
According to Malkangiri police, a search operation has been initiated to locate the abducted persons. Since security forces apprehend planned ambush by ultras due to hilly terrain, they are taking utmost precaution. The abducted persons included former chairperson of Mathili block, Trinath Bhumia and the village head of Kartanpalli, Sanyasi Bhumia. According to sources, a group of around 20 armed ultras had reached Kartnapalli village at Monday late night and called up seven persons including these two. They were forced to go inside the jungle along with the armed Maoists. The Maoists had told villagers that they would release these seven after discussion, on Tuesday morning. But till Tuesday afternoon no news of these abducted persons had reached Kartanpalli.