‘Naxalite’ Kobad Ghandy on indefinite hunger strike inside Tihar Jail
New Delhi: Kobad Ghandy, accused of being a Naxalite and under arrest since 2009, has gone on indefinite hunger strike at the capital’s Tihar Jail to protest against alleged harassment by authorities. Ghandy, 68, started his hunger strike on Saturday, alleging that the jail authorities had been unnecessarily shifting him between different wards in order to target “his failing health”. In a statement released earlier this week, Ghandy reportedly claimed that he suffers from several illnesses, including a heart problem, blood pressure, a slipped disc, arthritis and a kidney condition.
Chhattisgarh to raise tribal battalion
Chhattisgarh is soon going to raise a tribal battalion, comprising adivasi youth, to take on Left-wing insurgents in the conflict zone of Bastar. Union home minister Rajnath Singh has agreed “in principle” to a proposal to this effect given by Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh when the former was on a two-day visit to the state last week, a senior police officer disclosed to this newspaper here on Tuesday. “The chief minister broached the issue of raising a “dedicated anti-Naxal force comprising only local tribals of Bastar” to counter Maoists before the Union home minister, to which the latter readily agreed. Modalities for forming the battalion will soon be worked out jointly by the Centre and the state government,” the police officer revealed requesting anonymity.
According to him, the chief minister had briefed the Union home minister how Koya commandos, tribal cops appointed as special police officers (SPOs) to assist the security forces in anti-Naxal operations, had played a key role in battling Maoists in Bastar. The state government has abolished the post of SPO following a directive by Supreme Court, which questioned the move to arm semi-literate adivasi youth. The SPOs had mostly comprised former members of the now-disbanded Salwa Judum, anti-Naxal vigilante force. The SPOs had enjoyed relaxation of age and educational qualification to join the cadre.
Maoist sub zonal commander arrested in Gaya
GAYA: The Gaya police, on Wednesday nabbed Bihad Yadav, a sub Zonal Commander of CPI(Maoist), the dreaded naxal outfit. The arrest was made from the Civil Lines police station area. The arrest was made on the basis of specific input received by Magadh Range DIG Shalin. Confirming Yadav’s arrest City SP Rakesh Kumar said that Bihad was a big catch, as no less than 13 cases are registered against him in different police stations of the district. The arrested Maoist’s track record was being scanned and police officials are hopeful about getting more inputs from Aurangabad and Arwal districts to establish Yadav’s complicity in red violence in these districts as well.
The arrest of the Maoist has come as a shot in the arm for the district police, as Maoists, of late have stepped up their activities in the district and much to the discomfiture of the police forces, after remaining dormant in the Tekari sub division area of the district for several years, the Maoists have once again started activities in the area and movement of Maoist squads has become more frequent in the Konch-Tekari-Goh areas of the Gaya and Aurangabad districts. Police officials are hopeful of getting some vital clues about Maoist operation and logistical specifics from the interrogation of the nabbed Maoist.
Only a few days back, the Maoists challenged the Gaya police in a big way by establishing a four hours long control over a 2 km stretch between Bishunpur and Taradih villages located on the all important GT Road, the four lane National Highway no.2. The maoists torched no less than 32 heavy vehicles in their mid night operation on 25 May’2015. According to the City SP, some of the cases against Yadav were registered way back in 1993. Of late, Bihad was involved in cases of burning of Mobile Tower in Mow and Road construction machines in the Konch area.
Now, unified command to fight Maha Maoists
Headed by CM, the team will keep an eye on extremist activities and strategise on security Five years after it was first conceived for states affected by Left-wing extremism( LWE), the Maharashtra government has now adopted a unified command mechanism to deal with the Maoist menace in the eastern part of the state. The unified command will have officers from the security establishment and the Intelligence Bureau (IB), besides civilian officers representing the civil administration.
The chief minister will head the command and a committee for integration and co-ordination at state government level will meet every two months. The committee will discuss strategies and keep a watch on LWE activities, review security and development plans, co-ordinate with other LWE-affected states, and co-ordinate with the central government and its agencies. Other states where a similar structure exists are Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal, among the worst affected due to Maoist violence. According to officials in the state home department, the decision to form a unified command was taken after a reminder from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). “In 2010, during a meeting chaired by then prime minister Manmohan Singh and home minister P Chidambaram, a decision was taken to form a unified command in the four states most affected by Maoist violence. At the time, it was felt that Maharashtra, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh did not require such a mechanism. However, over the last few years, we have seen that Maoists have become a potent force, striking at regular intervals. The Communist Party of India (Maoist) is the principal Left wing extremist organisation and is active in Gadchiroli, Gondia and Chandrapur districts of the state,” a senior government officer told Mirror.
Centre, state favouring Vedanta, Utkal Alumina in Rayagada: Maoists
KORAPUT: The Maoists through an audio tape released on Tuesday charged both the Centre and state government of favouring Vedanta and Utkal Aluminium International Limited (UAIL) in Rayagada district by using security personnel against tribals. “Both the governments are working as agents of these two companies. The state government is trying to handover Niyamgiri hill to Vedanta for bauxite mining and torturing tribals of the area,” stated the voice in the audio tape.
The voice identified as that of Sukdev, secretary of Kashipur-Niyamgiri division of CPI (Maoist), urged the government to provide basic facilities to people living in Niyamgiri hill and withdraw security forces. “While villages situated on Niyamgiri hill are without roads, drinking water, schools and hospitals, the government instead of providing basic necessities at Niyamgiri is torturing innocent tribals. We demand stop to all police action in Niyamgiri,” the Maoist leader said in the recorded message. A few days ago, the Red rebels had put up posters at several places under Kalyansinghpur and Muniguda blocks making similar demands.
Landmine explosion in Koraput
Koraput: BSF personnel engaged in anti-Maoist operations escaped unhurt after a landmine exploded along a forested road at Narayanpatna in Odisha’s Koraput district. Police said today that Maoists had planted the explosive to target security men. Inspector General of Police (south-western range) Y K Jethwa said the blast was heard from Balipeta area, around 90 km from here, last evening after a team of security personnel had crossed the spot. “Few minutes after a vehicle carrying our forces passed the crime spot, the explosive went off. There is no report of any injury or casualty,” Jethwa said, adding going by preliminary report it was a blast of lesser intensity.
Maoist leader Roopesh in judicial custody
Kochi: The Additional District Sessions Court (CBI/NIA) remanded top Maoist leader Roopesh and wife Shyna to judicial till June 10 after their 10-day custody with the Internal Security Investigation Team (ISIT) ended on Tuesday. The couple would be now taken to Coimbatore as their judicial custody with regard to another case registered there is set to end on Wednesday. Earlier, when they were produced before the CBI court in the morning, the duo alleged that a team of Andhra Pradesh police and paramilitary officers also interrogated them though the court had sent them to the custody of the ISIT in a specific case over arranging a hideout for Maoist central committee member Malla Raja Reddy and wife Beecha Suganna in Perumbavoor.
They also complained that they had not been permitted to meet each other in the last 10 days. Judge K. M. Balachandran directed the investigation officer to file a report over the charges raised by the accused. The court also ordered both to be given medical aid at the Ernakulam Medical College after Roopesh complained of severe knee joint pain while Shyna said she had been suffering from back pain and toothache. After the duo is produced before the Coimbatore court on Wednesday, they are expected to be sent to the custody of the Karnataka police which had already filed a production warrant. Meanwhile, the Kerala police has also filed a production warrant in connection with a case in Malappuram.