CCTV footage of crusher attack proves Roopesh’s role: Police
Iritti: The police have released the CCTV footage of an attack on a stone crusher unit at Nedumpoyil and said it showed that Maoist leader Roopesh and gang had rampaged the establishment. The footage shows a sequence starting with the entry of the group into the unit’s office and ending with the destruction of CCTV cameras. The time code on the clip shows the recording was done at 4:18 am on January 2. The police, however, explain that the time is wrong and the attack happened around 2:15 am. A group of men in military fatigues are seen entering the premises carrying guns, staffs and other weapons. Five men came first, followed by two others.
They were led by Roopesh, who sported a beard then, the police said. The man had an AK47 flung over his shoulder. They look around the premises and start pasting posters and dropping leaflets. One of them breaks open the door with a long knife. They enter the office and destroy computers, printers and furniture. Though they burned up the computer where the CCTV footage was stored, the hard disk was not damaged, the police said, helping them to recover the visuals. Roopesh admitted that it was mistake not to take the hard disk with them, the police said.
Roopesh’s wife seeks dental care treatment
Shyna was taken to the Dental College hospital in Kottayam for expert care. Four of her molars were filled and another one was extracted. The hospital authorities had prepared separate facilities to treat Shyna as they did not want the high-profile patient and the large contingent of police around her to disrupt the normal functioning of the dental college and hospital. Shyna had to be taken back to the women’s prison at Kakkanad as soon as possible. Shyna reached the hospital by 9:30 am and returned by 11:30 am. The visit led to skirmishes between the police and reporters. The police tried to bar reporters from speaking to Shyna. A camera and microphone of a television news channel was damaged in the tiff.
Another reporter also found his microphone damaged. The police even tried to manhandle Mathrubhumi reporter Sandeep. The Kottayam district unit of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists demanded strict action against the policemen who targeted mediapersons. KUWJ district president S. Manoj and secretary Shalu Mathew said the union would write to the home minister and the district superintendent of police, demanding action against the police and compensation for the victims.
Four Maoists held in Jamui
Jamui: The safety forces Wednesday arrested 4 Maoists from a village in Bihar’s Jamui district, a police officer stated. Acting on a tip off, the safety forces comprising the CRPF and district police raided Parasi village and arrested the 4 Maoists, recognized as Bharat Raut, Dev Narayan Yadav, Gopal Raut and Ravindra Raut, Superintendent of Police Jayant Kant stated.
Maoist military chief’s visit gives cops the jitters
VISAKHAPATNAM: Maoists have started chalking out plans to regain their foothold in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana following the recent visit of their central military wing chief Namballa Kesava Rao. According to sources, the top Maoist leader visited some areas on the Visakhapatnam and East Godavari border last month. Sources said that news of Kesava Rao’s visit has been giving jitters to the security personnel as the top leader was known for masterminding attacks on cops. “An old man visited both the districts and interacted with the Maoist rank and file. Although we are not sure whether it was Basava Raju or some other big leader, intelligence inputs claim that he was Basava Raju himself,” a senior cop involved in anti-naxal operations told TOI.
Basava Raju is learnt to have advised the CPI Maoist cadres in East Godavari and Visakhapatnam to orchestrate people’s movements without being seen as getting directly involved. “The naxals plan to create trouble for both, the Telangana and Andhra governments, by using people’s movements to their advantage. They want to project the anti-bauxite and anti-Polavaram movements as anti-people’s projects and gain support of the masses,” a senior police officer of East Godavari said. Kesava Rao alias Basava Raju alias Ganganna, who started the Maoist movement in the East Division of Visakha Agency and East Godavari district in the early 80s with only eight armed members, is well versed with the topography of the two districts and has good relations with the elders of many villages.
Sources said that he played a major role in preparing the squads and area committees, besides village committees and militia network in building up the anti-bauxite and Polavaram agitations. Sources said the naxals are now focusing on strengthening the people’s movements in the Andhra-Odisha and Andhra-Chhattisgarh border areas as well as in Telangana. As a result, they have been playing a key role in the anti-Bauxite movement in AP and anti-Polavaram agitations in Telangana. Earlier, the naxals depended on their military prowess to spread the Maoist ideology among the masses, but now they are reportedly changing their tactics. “The Maoists have already chalked out plans to strengthen their base in AP and Telangana through people’s movements. They have even prepared a detailed document on the anti-bauxite and Polavaram agitations,” the police official added. According to sources, the seven mandals that were merged into AP once had a very strong Maoist presence, which declined over a period of time. But, they are now trying to revive their connections in around 350 villages in those mandals as well as East Godavari to strengthen the village level committees in the Visakha Agency.
Young Maoist sympathisers under vigil
CPI-Maoist cadre could be fast depleting in Telangana as the State intelligence claims, but those holding extreme Left-wing ideology are fighting lone battles standing close to people’s movements in several Telangana districts, forcing the intel wing to up its social media surveillance. Like Kodamangundla Vivek (19), an active Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika member and commander of CPI-Maoist who was slain in a police ‘encounter’ in Chhattisgarh, several others who are mostly students and young human rights activists from across the region, having Maoism as ideology, are active on social media platforms and agitations. From protests against Polavaram project and those against eviction of Adivasis from tribal areas in Eturunagaram in Warangal district, Bhadrachalam in Khammam district and Utnoor in Adilabad district, to smaller student protests on campuses, several social movements witness the presence of those harbouring Maoist ideology, both Maoist ideologues and participants of these movements said.
Police surveillance on these activists range from video recording students’ protests on campuses in Hyderabad, Nalgonda and Warangal, to closely gathering details on the activities of leaders on micro-blogging and social networking platforms. While activists say they are being watched online, police confirmed that “routine” online checks are common, especially that of over-ground workers (OGWs) of CPI-Maoist. “There is a good presence of people who are Maoist sympathisers on social media platforms. We consider such propagation in is not illegal,” said a student leader, who wished to maintain anonymity. With several court rulings, including a recent Kerala High Court ruling that stated that having an ideology, even that of a banned outfit, does not warrant arrest, unless the accused has indulged in “unlawful activities”, young leaders are hopeful of their growing base. From Progressive Democratic Students Union (PDSU), TVV and less active AISA, all outfits which participate in social movements in various districts are watched, police sources confirmed.
“Intelligence officials are in touch with most of these suspects and gather reports on regular basis about their activities,” a police source said. The State’s police head confirmed that social media surveillance is a common affair. “We have an intelligence branch which looks into these kinds of things,” said Anurag Sharma, DGP, Telangana, adding social media is a vast area because of which it is literally impossible to monitor everything. “Normally universities and campuses go through peripheral checks,” Mr. Sharma said. According to police sources, officers monitor even public posts of activists on social media platforms. “The party is currently living in exile in Dandakaranya. But there are enough young men and women who are active in social movements to support the ideological base of the party,” said Varavara Rao, Maoist sympathiser writer.
Suspected Maoist taken to Kerala
C.Veeramani alias Eswaran (60), a suspected Maoist lodged in Coimbatore Central Prison, was taken to Kerala on Tuesday and produced before a judicial court there. He was one of the five arrested along with top Maoist leader Roopesh and his wife Shyna at Karumathampatty at the outskirts of Coimbatore on May 3. According to sources, a case was pending against him in Kerala. Following this, he was produced in a court in Palakkad district on Tuesday.
The District Rural Police on Tuesday arrested C. Kannan, one of the Maoist sympathisers who is already in judicial custody, in a case of inducting a 23-year-old youth into the Maoist movement. According to police sources, Ganapathy (39) of Pollachi, Selvaraj (55) from Sultanpet and Sihimani (27) from Angalakurichi were arrested on Friday on charges of undertaking a propaganda campaign and recruiting members into the extremist movement. Case registered Kannan has now been made a co-accused in the case registered at Aliyar Police Station, sources said. Further investigations are on.
Bombay HC allows jailed DU professor Saibaba to access private health care
The Bombay High Court Wednesday allowed Delhi University professor Dr G N Saibaba — jailed in Nagpur for his alleged maoist links — to be shifted to a private health facility observing his deteriorating health. Appearing for the family, senior counsel Gayatri Singh informed Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice AK Menon that government facilities in Nagpur were incapable of handling Saibaba’s case. “He is suffering from neurological issues apart from heart related and other ailments,” she said.
Public prosecutor Sandeep Shinde opposed to the proposal, citing security concerns. “It may lead to bigger security concern,” said Shinde adding that the sessions judge in Nagour could assess the situation and pass appropriate orders. The HC, however, felt that the professor’s health might worsen if not admitted immediately to a private hospital having neurological treatment facility. Feeling it necessary to impose certain safeguards, while HC has allowed Saibaba’s wife and brother to accompany him, they have restricted them from carrying cellphones or laptops. Add to that, there will be medical officer nominated by the prison authority accompanying Saibaba and also a doctor appointed by his family. Round-the-clock security by the prison will be provided at the private hospital, the HC said.
The court also clarified that Saibaba will remain in the hospital subject to its further orders. His medical report will be submitted to Shinde who will in turn inform the court about Saibaba’s condition. The HC had last week taken took suo motu cognisance of a letter written by an activist, who expressed concern over the failing health condition of Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, arrested for alleged Maoist links a year ago. Melghat-based activist Purnima Upadhyay, in a mail enclosed the copy of a news report published in an English daily earlier this month. The report points out that Saibaba, who has spent six months in the prison’s “anda cell”, has developed many more ailments, leaving him crippled.
The English professor is able to use only his right hand, the report says. Taking note of the letter and the news report, the High Court issued notice and asked them to file their replies by June 17. In a development which took place last month, a sessions court had ordered that Saibaba, be given a disabled friendly bed and three more assistants, however, the prison officials are yet to implement the order. The professor is paralysed below neck and cannot move without help. On May 20, during a hearing via video conference, Saibaba had told sessions judge D R Shirasao that due to his ailment he was unable to stay in the concrete Anda cell and that he needed three more assistants along with a bed that suited his ailment