Naxals tent, pamphlets, explosives, found – combing intensified
Chikkamagaluru, May 14: On Wednesday, a tent in which naxals had stayed recently, was found from Khan forest area within Nemmar gram panchayat in Sringeri taluk. After naxal pamphlets and banner were found in the area recently, the Anti Naxal Force (ANF) had intensified its combing operations. The ANF staff found the above tent during the combing drive. Detonators, cable wires, pamphlets, clothes for banner, books containing naxal literature, clothes, walkie-talkie, torch, rice, kerosene, match box, provisions, cooking utensils, tiffin box, footwear, bag, bed and bed sheet, bag, and other items were found inside this tent.
All these items were seized by the police. District superintendent of police, Santosh Babu, deputy superintendent of police, Sachin Ghorpade, ANF heads, Narayanaswamy and Raju, Sringeri police circle inspector, Sudheer M Hegde, police sub-inspector, Kusumadhar, and others visited the spot where the above tent was found. This tent was found at a location near the house in which naxal leader, B G Krishnamurty, used to stay. This is located 14 km away from Sringeri. ANF took up combing operation with renewed vigour after the existence of tent proved the presence of naxals in the area. Five teams comprising police personnel and ANF cadres conducted detailed inspection at Valale, Mainakadu, Meenugaradi, Sheerlu, Hemmige, Menasinahadya, Kigga, Sirimane, Megur, Talavantikodige, Kerekatte, Mallandur and other places. Vehicles are also being inspected on the main roads by setting up barricades.
Security on Borders Rise After ‘Red Alert’
COIMBATORE: Following the arrest of the five Maoists last week, Coimbatore police have stepped up security in all police stations and border checkpost across the district. District Superintendent of Police, M Sudhakar, said that security has been strengthened especially in areas bordering Kerala and Tamil Nadu. He claimed that the district police had been in a state of preparedness since the month of February. The Naxal Special Division (NSD), comprising two units in Coimbatore and the Nilgiris, which were formed months prior to the arrests of the radicals, have also intensified combing operations in forests and adjoining areas. Sources said that the police are working with various departments in order to discuss the grievances of people in tribal hamlets on the outskirts of the city.
They said that through the discussion, they hope to address their grievances and at the same time, deny any room for the growth of left-wing radicalism in the district. Apart from tightening security, the city police have also stepped up the strength in police stations across the district. A top officer from the Coimbatore city police, said “double sentries” have been posted across all stations. Police are also sensitising personnel to keep their arms and ammunition safe at all times. CCTV cameras, which had recently been installed after a High Court direction, will also come in handy in order to monitor their movement in and out of the police stations.
Q Branch Can’t Seek Further Custody: HC
The Madras High Court has ruled that the Q Branch police, Coimbatore unit, cannot seek further custody of the five left-wing radicals, once their interrogation period ends on May 14. The five Maoists – Roopesh, his wife Shyna, Anup, Kannan and Eswaran – were arrested from Karumathampatty on May 4. Two days later, a sessions court granted the Q Branch police to take them under custody for 10 days for interrogation. Meanwhile, K Kesavan, the Joint Secretary of the Center for Protection of Civil Liberties and one of the lawyers representing the five Maoists, had appealed to the Madras High Court challenging the custody granted to the police. The petition came up before Justice M M Sundresh.
The lawyers argued that the vacation bench of the district sessions court had granted custody of the five Maoists without looking into the merits of the case made out by the police. Kesavan said that Justice Sundresh ruled that “It is not open to them (the Q branch police) to file any more applications seeking further custody (of the Maoists).” Invoking the landmark ruling made by a Supreme Court bench, comprising Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra, that mere membership of a banned organisation does not equate to criminality, unless the suspect in question resorts or incites people to violence, Kesavan said that the police had simply foisted a case against his clients. “They were having tea at a bakery in Karumathampatty. That does not in any way signify criminality,” he told Express.
Arrest of maoists: Cops quiz real estate agent, book landlord
Underground operatives in Mumbai, Pune may have helped them get Aadhar and PAN cards, says ATS Following the last week’s arrest of a top Maoist and his aide from the city, investigations have revealed that a real estate agent helped them take an apartment on rent in Talegaon Dabhade. On May 8, the state’s Anti-Terroirsm Squad (ATS) had arrested top Maoist leader K Muralidharan alias Thomas Joseph alias Ajith and his aide Ismail Hamaza Chiragpilli alias Pravin alias James Mathew (29) from Talegaon Dabhade.
The duo were later remanded to police custody by the court for seven days. During interrogations, investigators got to know that the Maoists had approached the real estate agent and introduced themselves as Thomas Joseph and James Mathew. They told the agent, who apparently liked to do social work, that they were social activists working for tribals. The agent not only helped the Maoists in getting a 1BHK apartment at Lotus Villa building in Talegaon Dabhade, but also kept some of their belongings with him. ATS sleuths are now questioning the agent. They have already questioned the apartment owner, Shripad Parshuram Paranjape, a local resident, who has told them that he was not aware of the Maoist links of the duo.
The Pune rural police have now booked him under IPC section 188 for violation of official order to provide information on his tenants to the police. A report in this regard will be submitted to the ATS, said Talegaon Dabhade police. Investigators suspect that Maoists chose Talegaon Dabhade as it is located in the rural area and is also close to Pune and Mumbai, the two cities where Maoists could be trying to spread their base. ATS has also recovered a PAN card and Aadhar card with fake names from the two Maoists, which they claim to have procured from Mumbai. Investigators believe that “underground” operatives carrying out such specific tasks of raising logistics and medical support for Maoists in urban areas may have helped the duo in procuring PAN and Aadhar cards.
Two such alleged underground operatives, Arun Bhelke and his wife Kanchan Nanaware, both members of the Golden Corridor Committee of the Communist Party of India (CPI-Maoists), were arrested by the ATS in September 2014. The couple lived at Kanhe Phata in Maval taluka of Pune district, but were operating secretly in Pune, Mumbai and adjoining districts. They had also managed to get PAN and Aadhar cards from Mumbai. During their interrogation, Ajith and Ismail denied knowing Arun, Kanchan and artistes of Pune-based cultural group Kabir Kala Manch who were also arrested by the ATS for their alleged links with Maoists. Meanwhile, the investigators have recovered a few cell phones, SIM cards, electronic gadgets and documents with code language from the arrested duo. Attempts are on to decode this information. Also, the cellphones had no contacts saved. Police suspect Ajith used cellphones and SIM cards very carefully for speaking to his contacts without getting intercepted.
Maoists to Mamata: Will punish you for disowning and convicting Mahato
The letter, signed by several Maoists, has been written by IIT dropout Arnab Dam and senior leader Patit Paban Haldar. Both leaders are currently lodged at Presidency Jail. Jailed Maoists on Wednesday wrote to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, claiming that she will soon be “punished” for “disowning and convicting” Chhatradhar Mahato — “the face of Lalgarh movement and without whom the CM could not have succeeded in bringing change” in Bengal. On Tuesday, a Midnapore court had sentenced Mahato, the convener of People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, and five others to life imprisonment after holding them guilty under UAPA for their alleged links with Maoists.
The letter, signed by several Maoists, has been written by IIT dropout Arnab Dam and senior leader Patit Paban Haldar. Both leaders are currently lodged at Presidency Jail. The letter stated: “The chief minister held several meetings with Mahato and asked him to spearhead the tribal movement. She promised that Mahato would be released when she would come into power. However, she disowned him after assuming office. She would be punished for this treachery… She alone did not bring change in Bengal. Many people like Chhatradhar Mahato were with her.” However, the letter — written on white paper — is yet to reach Mamata and is lying with the superintendent of Presidency Jail.
A senior official of state correctional services said, “We have received the letter. But the prisoners did not follow rules while writing the letter. The process in which a prisoner writes to government authorities is called a prisoner’s petition. There is a form that has to be first submitted to the welfare officer. It will be dispatched from prison after it is duly signed by the welfare officer and the superintendent.” Police said it will initiate a probe in the threats issued to Mamata in the letter. Arnab Dam (36) alias Vikram alias Surya was arrested by the Bengal Police from Biramdih railway station in Purulia district — bordering Jharkhand — in July, 2012. Dam, son of a retired state district judge, dropped out of IIT-Kharagpur (he was a mechanical engineering student) in 1998 and joined CPI-Maoists. Dam, who was earlier the secretary of Bengal Jharkhand Odisha Border Regional Committee, has 79 cases against him, including murder, abduction, looting and sedition.
Patit Paban Haldar, a political prisoner, has been languishing in jail for over five years now. He used to operate in the Jharkhand-Bengal area and is believed to be a top leader in CPI-Maoist. Meanwhile, several rights groups and Bandi Mukti Committee on Wednesday took out a rally carrying photographs of Mamata and Mahato holding meetings in Jungelemahal.
Anti-bauxite agitation flares up again in Visakha Agency
JERRELA (VISAKHAPATNAM): After a lull of nearly four years, the bauxite mining agitation has flared up once again in the Visakha Agency following attempts by Maoists to cash in on the issue to stage a comeback. The issue, which had almost died down, was rekindled after chief minister Chandrababu Naidu announced late last year that bauxite would be mined through ITDA for the betterment of tribals. According to sources, the agitation had lost steam in 2010-11 following delays in granting mining permissions and domination by the security forces of both Andhra Pradesh and Odisha in the Maoist-infested areas but over the past one month there has been a sudden spurt in the bauxite agitation, leaving the security forces jittery.
However, security forces are now worried that naxals might once again resort to brutal killings of tribals and local people’s representatives by accusing them of being pro-government and branding them as police informers. The chief minister’s announcement seemed to have given the Maoists, who had lost ground in a few pockets in the Agency area, yet another reason to flex their muscles. Sources said, the Reds had already conducted meetings with local sarpanches and directed the opposition parties in the state to protest against bauxite mining in Visakha Agency. Meanwhile, the local people’s representatives, fearing for their lives, staged anti-bauxite mining protests on May 7 on the occasion of revolutionary fighter Alluri Seetarama Raju’s death anniversary.
Various people’s organisations and tribal welfare associations also began conducting meetings on the issue even before the Reds swung into action.According to sources, from 2005 to 2011 there was a major spurt in Maoist violence forcing even members of the ruling party to take up anti-government agitations. The Red rebels have been reportedly sending threatening letters to local body representatives to take up anti-bauxite protests or face dire consequences, sources said. The anti-bauxite agitation, which started in 2005, reached its peak when the Maoists killed ZP vice-chairman Sammida Ravi Sankar at Hukumpet, MPP Somalingam in Koyyuru mandal and another ZP vice-chairman Ugrangi Somalingam in Chintapalli mandal.
Maoists had even formed bauxite area committees to guide the agitating tribals. The Reds were also involved in several killings, blasts and exchanges of fire with security forces besides famine raids against those supporting bauxite mining. However, the agitation eventually fizzled out as the Maoist movement started losing strength as the key leaders, who played a crucial role in the movement, either died in encounters, were arrested or surrendered.
The Maoists lost leaders like alternative central committee member Vadkapuri Chandramouli alias BK, Valluri Mastan Rao and Golla Ramulu alias Madhav in encounters, while several Andhra Odisha Border (AOB) level leaders such as Ponnoju Parameswar alias Nandu, Gopu Sammireddy alias Jogal, commanders such as Dantanna alias Anil, Mahesh and others surrendered. Other AOB leaders Tella Anil alias Chandu and Marpu Venkata Ramana alias Jagadeesh were arrested. Hundreds of militia members and symphatizers as well as party squad members surrendered in the past decade. Sources said that Maoists lost their cadres in the Galikonda area, which has a huge bauxite reserve, along with their stronghold areas like Kannavaram, Nerellabanda, Garikabanda, Garimanda, and Rallagedda.
Assam University VC set to resign
SILCHAR, May 13 – Assam University Vice Chancellor Prof Somnath Dasgupta has decided to resign from his post. Claiming that this move to relinquish office is strictly on personal grounds, the Vice Chancellor made it clear that the pronouncement is absolutely his own and he has no issues against the varsity or its fraternity. “Expressing my wish to resign, I have sent my resignation letter to the secretary of the Union HRD Ministry and this is sternly based on my personal reasons. If the MHRD allows me, I shall leave. There is nothing against the university or anybody else,” the Vice Chancellor said.
However, Prof Dasgupta did say that he has been occasionally troubled by ill health, which according to him has contributed to his decision to resign. Interestingly, his decision to step down comes at a time when the university is shrouded with questions on Maoist activities involving some of its faculty members and students. Asked whether the Maoist issue could be a reason behind his sudden call to quit, Prof Dasgupta said, “The decision has not been taken overnight. I have some personal reasons which I have to address and I had thought about my resignation some time ago. It is unfortunate that the unrelated events have coincided.”
Tiffin bomb recovered in Chhattisgarh
A tiffin bomb, planted by the cadres of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) to target the Security Forces (SFs), was recovered on a road under the Kondagaon Police Station limits in Kondagaon District on May 13, reports The Hindu. The steel container packed with 10-kilograms of explosive was found under a pile of gravel on the road connecting Hangwa Tiraha to Totar.