Rocket launchers, detonators seized from Naxal hotbed
They were recovered yesterday by a joint team of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and district police from the forest under Madanwada police station limits. In a major haul of Maoists’ weaponry, three improvised rocket launchers and two detonators have been seized from a dense forest in Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon district, police said today. The rocket launchers were recovered yesterday by a joint team of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and district police from the forest under Madanwada police station limits, Rajnandgaon Superintendent of Police P Sundarraj said.
On receiving specific inputs that improvised rocket launchers and directional mines were hidden between Dorede and Birjupara village forests, the joint squad of security personnel launched an operation in the region, located around 200 kms from the state capital, he said. While cordoning off the area, three improvised rocket launchers, two detonators and flexible wires hidden underground were recovered, the SP said. According to a senior police official involved in anti-Naxal operations, in 2005, rockets and launchers were recovered from Dhoudai police station limits of the insurgency-hit Narayanpur district. Now, after a long time such launchers have been again recovered in the region, the official said on condition of anonymity. “It is suspected that Naxals have now developed very powerful rockets that can cause major damage, but still they need to get equipped with good quality launchers,” he said.
Maoist operative wanted in Pakur SP killing arrested from Dumka, Jharkhand
Dumka (Jharkhand): A CPI (Maoist) operative who was allegedly involved in several Naxal-related incidents including the killing of Pakur district Superintendent of Police Amarjeet Balihar in 2013, was today arrested from Chatupara locality of Dumka district. Dumka Superintendent of Police Vipul Shukla told reporters that Seemant Soren (22), a resident of Jamboni village under Kaksa police station of Burdwan district in adjoining West Bengal, had joined the ultra outfit about six years back and was active in the Giridih and Dumka districts of Jharkhand.
Soren was mainly engaged in hatching plans for the outfit and its publicity, Shukla said, adding he was also involved in the killing of Balihar among others. Balihar, along with some other police personnel, was killed in an ambush by the Maoists within the limits of Kathikund police station area of Dumka while returning to Pakur in July, 2013. Soren’s wife Sunita, a resident of Pirtand in Giridih district, was also an activist of the Maoists’ frontal organisation ‘Nari Mukti Sena,’ Shukla said. Several other cases were pending against Soren in different police stations including Shikaripara (two), Kathikund (five), Littipara (two) of Pakur district and others, he said. A mobile phone, Rs 1,600 and Maoist literature ‘Lal Chingari’ were recovered from him, Shukla added.
Judge’s Finding on Maoism ‘Illegal’: Government
KOCHI: The State Government on Wednesday submitted before the Kerala High Court that the Single Judge’s finding that ‘being a Maoist was not a crime’ was ‘illegal’. The State Government made the submission in an appeal seeking to quash the Single Judge’s order directing it to pay 1 lakh to Shyam Balakrishnan of Wayanad for illegally detaining him, alleging Maoist link. The State pointed out that by virtue of Section-13 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, unlawful activities cover various acts such as advocating, abetting, advising or inciting the commission of unlawful activities. Subsection-2 of Section-13 further stipulates that whoever, in anyway, involve in any unlawful activity of any association will be liable for punishment.
Hence, the law imposes punishment not only for acts of violence, but also for acts that apparently seem to be innocent – such as advocating, advising or indirectly abetting unlawful activities, wherein everyone associated with the propagation of the ideology would be held liable. “Nobody can proclaim himself to be a Maoist. Therefore, the finding of the learned Single Judge is illegal and liable to be dismissed,” the State submitted. The Single Judge came to the finding totally on the basis of wrong proposition of facts which were not justified as per the records. The Single Judge also stated that though the political ideology of Maoists did not synchronise with the constitutional polity, the right to think in terms of human aspirations, freedom of thought and liberty are natural right, which cannot be curtailed. The State submitted that CPI Maoist was an organisation banned under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
“Maoist organisations are advocating armed rebellion to overthrow the established government, and therefore they are advocating, encouraging and indulging in anti-national and seditious activities against the country,” the State submitted.It said that there was no arrest, and that no search was conducted in the house of Shyam. “The Single Judge had accepted the fact that the police officials acted bonafide and there was no malafide. Notwithstanding the finding, the Single Judge passed the judgment, fixing liability on the State. The judgment is against the sovereign immunity of the government, and the various parameters relating to the matter in issue were not considered,” it stated. When suspicion exists, the suspected person can be detained during probe, for the purpose of questioning. “What is involved in this case is only a detention for the purpose of interrogation, which the police is expected to do under normal circumstances as per law. It cannot be complained. Therefore, the learned Single Judge was absolutely not justified in ordering the compensation,” the State said.
‘Tough Laws Bring Back Memories of Emergency’
COIMBATORE:Thursday, June 25, will mark the 40th anniversary of the Emergency declared by the Indira Gandhi government in 1975. That Emergency, when all civil liberties were suppressed, had ended, but the existence of preventative detention laws like the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Armed Forces Special Forces Act is tantamount to having a “silent emergency” where the state, through its organs like the police and security forces, exercises wide-ranging and often tyrannical power over its citizens, say activists. While the police say UAPA is an “essential tool” in maintaining law and order, lawyers and activists question its necessity, given the adequate provisions in the Indian Penal Code for action against those trying to destroy the country’s integrity. They cite cases registered against 10 people arrested under UAPA since May 2015 to highlight discrepancies in their prospective prison terms under UAPA and under IPC alone.
For instance, two 21-year-old youths, Masanamuthu and Nagamanickam, were booked under IPC sections 294B (uttering obscenity in a public place), 353 (using force to deter a public servant from discharging duty) and 506(ii) (criminal intimidation), along with UAPA Section 10. They were arrested for allegedly trespassing into the Q Branch office, threatening a policeman, taking pictures of the office and raising pro-Maoist slogans. The maximum prison sentence, for any of these offences under the IPC is seven years. As they have been booked under UAPA also, conviction could result in life terms, an activist told Express. The five Maoists arrested—Roopesh, Shyna, Anup, Easwaran and Kannan — were booked under IPC sections 120(b) (criminal conspiracy) and 124A (sedition) and UAPA Section 20. The Q Branch police have booked them for sedition as they congregated in a tea stall, were discussing ways to overthrow the state, a charge which their lawyer, S Balamurugan, vehemently denies. The five “Maoists” were charged with sedition as they also raised pro-Maoist slogans while being arrested.
According to the Section 124A, “Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government” can be imprisoned for life. However, the laws against sedition, must be interpreted to mean that any seditious speech must pose an existential threat to the State. Balamurugan cited the the Kerala HC’s verdict of 1984 in the Aravindan and Others versus State of Kerala, where Justice Chandrasekhara Menon said, “A slogan that the government can be changed by an armed revolution does not mean that there is a conspiracy to change the government by criminal force. At best it could be said that the petitioners want to educate the people that only by force can the government be changed.”