People’s War in India Clippings 12/6/2015

Palamau: Dead bodies of 12 maoist rebels after an encounter with police at Palamau district in Jharkhand on June 9, 2015. (Photo: IANS)

Encounter fake, claim Maoists

Ranchi: The encounter near Palamu-Latehar border late on Tuesday night, which killed 11 ‘active Maoist cadres’ and a zonal commander, was fake, the rebel outfit has claimed in a letter sent to a vernacular daily here. In the letter, CPI(Maoist) spokesperson Gopalji further claimed that it were the armed cadres of Jharkhand Jan Mukti Parishad (JJMP), a Maoist splinter group, sponsored by the police that killed the Maoists. Two days after the encounter, police could not establish any Maoist link in the profile of 11 of the 12 slain “cadres”. One of those killed was underage.

Earlier too, Jharkhand police had been accused of engaging in fake encounters and the state crime investigation department (CID) is investigating one such encounter in Latehar a couple of months ago in which two Maoists were killed and one injured. In previous fatal encounters, police were quick to identify the Maoists but their inability to do so in this case has fuelled suspicions. “We have identified one Anurag Yadav alias RKji alias Doctorji who was a zonal commander with a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh. We have identified all others but it would take sometime to find out their Maoist background,” Palamu SP Mayur Patel said. A villager from Chatra, Lakhan Yadav, brother of Doctorji, has told local TV channels that Santosh Kumar (Doctorji’s son) and Yogesh Kumar (Doctorji’s nephew) have never worked for the Maoists. Two of them were para teachers and one a driver. Lakhan received the bodies of the three on Thursday.

A retired security officer said the police theory of the encounter has several missing links. “How can 12 people travel in one SUV that too with arms? How can one SUV easily escape during such a powerful operation and the other get trapped? All the 12 Maoists were killed easily and no security personnel suffered even minor injury,” he asked. According to an IPS officer, a Maoist of the rank and profile of Doctorji, carrying Rs 10 lakh bounty, never moves unprepared. Even when they take rest armed cadres protect them. “In case of a genuine encounter with security personnel, Maoists would have hurt at least a few security personnel. In the dark of night it is not so easy to kill 12 of them so easily,” he said.

Maoist spokesperson Gopalji has levelled similar allegations. “The Maoists were carrying sophisticated fire-arms. JJMP rebels killed 12 men and police rewarded them with the sophisticated firearms they snatched from the dead comrades,” the press note said. State police spokesperson S N Pradhan rejected the allegations. “All those killed were carrying firearms and traveling with most wanted Doctorji. It is the old habit of the Maoists to make false claims to show police in poor light. Any source we use in operations, Maoists call them JJMP,” he said. About one underage victim Pradhan said: “If an underage tries to shoot us down, we will first neutralize him before asking his age.”

CRPF jawan injured in IED blast in Naxal affected Sukma

Raipur: A CRPF jawan was injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast during a routine patrol in the Naxal affected Sukma district of the state. Officials said the incident occurred around 2:15 PM in the Chintalnar-Burkapalli axis of the district when a patrol of the force was out on operation. “The incident occurred near Gadgadmeta village when a Road Opening Party (ROP) of paramilitary forces was carrying out its operation on Jagargunda-Dornapal road” , Sukma Additional Superintendent of Police Santosh Singh told PTI.

The ROP was deployed on Jagargunda-Dornapal route to ensure security to goods vehicles (trucks) which were returning after supplying ration to Jagargunda from Dornapal. While security personnel were patrolling, a jawan accidentally came in contact with a pressure bomb planted by the Maoists near Gadgadmeta which exploded, the ASP said. Constable Aditya Kumar belonging to 74th battalion of CRPF sustained injuries in the incident, he said. Soon after the incident, additional security force was rushed to the spot and injured was taken to a local hospital. “A helicopter has been sent in from Jagdalpur for evacuating the injured troop,” a senior official said adding the rest of the team has moved towards the nearest camp.

Chhattisgarh: 1 naxal killed, 3 held in gun-battle

Raipur, Jun 12 (PTI) A naxal was today killed and three others were arrested in a gun-battle between the ultras and the security forces in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Sukma today. The skirmish between the district force and the Maoists took place in a dense forest near Tumma Vaagu village under Kistaram police station limits, Inspector General of Police, Bastar Range, SRP Kalluri said. Based on a specific input about the presence of the hardcore Maoist commanders Nagesh and Sudhakar along with their ‘dalams’ (groups), the forces from District Reserve Group (DRG) launched an operation in the Kistaram region, located around 450 kms from here, the IG said. While security forces were cordoning off the area, an encounter broke out between the two sides in the jungles near Tumma Vagu village, he said.

After seeing security personnel zeroing on them, naxals soon fled into the core forests, Kalluri added. Later, security forces recovered body of a naxal from the spot, beside apprehending three cadres as they tried to flee. The deceased naxal was identified as Rama (27), a Jan Militia member, he said. A military company member Apka Pandu and Jan Militia members – Madvi Deva and Madvi Bheema – were arrested, he said. Besides, a muzzle loading gun, two wireless sets, 10 detonators, 2 camera flash, bags, naxal uniforms, batteries, wire and other naxal related materials and commodities of daily use were also seized, he added.

Little impact of Maoist bandh on GT road traffic

GAYA: The three-day long bandh called by the Maoists had little impact on traffic on the always busy GT road, as movement of vehicles was near normal. GT Road, it may be recalled hit the national headlines on 25 May’2015 as the Maoists controlled nearly two kms long stretch between Bishunpur and Taradih villages for several hours and torched no less than 32 heavy vehicles in an unprecedented arson orgy. The bandh call has been given by the red rebels to protest the killing of a dozen Maoists in the neighbouring Jharkhand state.

However reports reaching from some of the remote areas of the district, particularly Dumaria, Imamganj, Banke Bazar and Raushanganj police station areas of the naxal infested Sherghati sub division, the bandh has impacted life in these areas in a big way as almost all the business establishments including small shops, govt offices and commercial banks etc remained closed on day one of the three days long bandh cum economic blockade. Though not a single heavy vehicle was seen on the road in these areas, some bikes and auto rickshaws were seen plying. According to BN Prasad, Station Manager of the Gaya railway station, movement of trains on all the four sections viz Gaya-Patna, Gaya-Mughalsarai, Gaya-Dhanbad and Gaya-Kiul was normal. Asked about the bandh, Senior SP Manu Maharaj said that no report of any untoward incident has been received from anywhere in the district. No arrest/preventive detention has either been made in connection with the bandh, said the SSP.

Carrot and stick: How Odisha put Maoists on the back foot

At a time when Maoist violence has emerged as the country’s biggest internal security threat, Odisha has set an example by drastically bringing down ultra-left wing insurgency in its territory, thanks largely to a strategy of going after high-value targets and encouraging low-level rebel cadres to surrender. Five years ago, the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) held sway in more than half of the state’s 30 districts but over the past three years, the rebels have lost their hold significantly. “The Maoists are on the back foot, but we have a long-term approach in dealing them. Once development percolates down, people will realise the futility of siding with the ultras,” Yashwant Jethwa, inspector general of police, southwest range, told HT.

While states like Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are still struggling to control the insurgents, Odisha has succeeded in reducing the rebels’ presence to negligible levels in most districts except their main stronghold, Malkangiri as well as Koraput and Nuapada. Despite the success, the government isn’t letting down its guard with more than 15,000 security forces engaged in anti-Maoist operations. “The situation remains challenging in the districts of Malkangiri, Koraput and Nuapada. The CPI (Maoist) still maintains resilience and poses a clear threat to security forces in areas bordering Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand,” chief minister Naveen Patnaik said in a letter to Union home minister Rajnath Singh.

The top Maoist leadership is aware of the reversal in fortunes. A review paper circulated among top cadres in September last year expressed concern over what it described as the “surrender of our cadres to the enemy (security forces)” and the rebels’ losing their hold over tribals. On the police radar are at least seven top Maoist leaders operating in the state’s southern districts. In the first week of January, Maoist leader Ramkrishna (RK) – a central committee member of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) – narrowly escaped being captured in a joint operation by Odisha and Andhra Pradesh police along with the BSF (Border Security Force) in the forests of Malkangiri. Recently, a deputy commander of a local guerilla squad under Mainpuri-Nuapada division, Suraj, was killed in an encounter with Odisha police in a forest in Kalahandi district.

A rifle recovered from his possession was found to have been stolen from Rajesh Pawar, additional SP of Gariabandh in Chhattisgarh, when he was killed along with eight policemen in an ambush by Maoists near the Odisha-Chhattisgarh border in 2011. Police have encouraged lower-level cadres to take advantage of the government’s surrender policy. Since January, more than 10 cadres have surrendered. On their part, the Maoists have been trying to regain lost ground. They have opened new fronts in Kalahandi, Balangir and Bargarh along the Chhattisgarh border and are trying to revive their movement in Sambalpur, Deogarh, Sundargarh and Kandhamal districts where they were highly active earlier but have lately been plagued by an inability to recruit local cadres.

Despite the successful crackdown, a senior police officer warned the Maoists could regroup fast. “It is up to the administration to usher in development in areas cleared of the rebels because it is basically an administrative problem. The Maoist threat may re-emerge if development is neglected,” he said.

Maoists rebuilding old bases in Odisha, says CRPF DG

Prakash Mishra Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Director-General (DG) Prakash Mishra on June 10, said Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has planned to rebuild their old bases in some core areas of Odisha in order to strengthen their organisation, reports The Pioneer.

DG Mishra, who visited Sunabeda in Koraput District in the morning (June 10) to review the progress of training institute of the 202 Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) of the CRPF, said the Odisha Police should remain alert over the movements and plans of the Maoists who are planning to rebuild their old bases in the State. On the use of unmanned vehicles (Drones) to strike against Maoists in the jungles, Mishra said the CRPF has not made any substantial result from the existing planes. So the CRPF was planning to bring new drones for the operations, he added. On requirement of forces, Mishra said there is a need of more security forces in Nuapada and Kalahandi districts.

‘Reports of Seizure of Videos from Maoists’ Laptop Fabricated’

COIMBATORE:Contradicting recent reports that a video was unearthed from the five arrested Maoists allegedly giving weapons training to over 50 persons in an undisclosed location in Tamil Nadu, sources privy to the investigation being carried out by the Q-Branch police, said that such rumours were ‘false’ and were ‘fabrications’ of lower level officials in the department. A tranche of documents were discovered in a laptop belonging to Maoist couple, Roopesh and Shyna at their house in Tirupur. However, the ‘documents’ were restricted to only pamphlets, communist literature, and propaganda material, highly placed sources told Express.

“The propaganda material discussed, in a generalized sense, the problems faced by tribal communities mostly based in Kerala and Karnataka.” In the laptop, there were also suggestions on how to strengthen the Maoist movement in Tamil Nadu. Most of the documents were in Malayalam, and have been handed over to the Kerala police. Police confirmed that there was no video which had been unearthed from the hard drives seized from any of the suspects. S Balamurugan, the lawyer representing the five Maoists, said that the police themselves have not produced any records of such a video, showing persons being given arms training, to the court.

He said that the only materials seized from his clients were some ‘communist literature.’ The mere possession or affiliation with an ideology cannot be construed to be illegal, he said. The reports of such a video, without any material evidence of its existence, were ‘unfair’ and was an attempt to ‘defame and character assassinate’ the five Maoists, he added. Meanwhile, Q-Branch police, who Express attempted to contact, said that they were unaware of the existence of such a video themselves. They were also clueless about the origins of such a rumour.

Maoist arrested in Bihar

A Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadre, identified as Sagar Sahni was arrested from Davaichh village under Tisiauta Police Station limits in Vaishali District on June 11, reports The Telegraph.

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