Maoists call shutdown to protest Modi’s Gaya rally
Patna, Aug 8: Maoists guerrillas have given a day-long shutdown call on Sunday in Bihar’s Magadh division to protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Gaya ahead of the upcoming assembly polls. Magadh – comprising Gaya, Aurangabad, Nawada, Jehanabad, Arwal districts – is considered a strong hold of Maoists, police said. “In view of Maoists shutdown call and announcement to observe black day to protest against Modi’s rally, we have tightened security and will deploy additional forces in Gaya and surrounding areas,” a police officer said.
The officer said the Maoist rebels have also threatened vehicle owners in their stronghold in rural pockets not to provide vehicles to carry BJP’s supporters to the rally. “Maoists have threatened to take action against those owners, whose vehicles were hired for the Modi’s rally,” the officer said.
Amid Threats Of Maoist Attack, PM Narendra Modi Cancels Bodh Gaya Visit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bodh Gaya during his trip to Gaya in Bihar on Sunday has been cancelled, an official said on Saturday…. A senior police official in Gaya said Modi’s proposed visit to Bodh Gaya was changed because of paucity of time. Another district official said security arrangements have been tightened in Bodh Gaya and a team of security personnel have inspected the area.
A group of armed Maoists attacked a construction site of a canal in Banka district of Bihar in the early hours on Sunday, assaulting the workers and torching two excavator machines and a tractor. Banka Sub-Divisional Police Officer Shashi Shankar said the incident occurred near Rathokia village where the state irrigation department is getting a canal constructed. The SDPO said that police teams have reached the spot and raids are being conducted in the area to nab those involved in the attack.
The ghosts of Salwa Judum refuse to leave Chhattisgarh
A pall of gloom hung in the air in Judumpara as a small crowd gathered at the home of Jaidev Yadav, an assistant police constable killed by the Maoists. Yadav was posted in the police station of Kutru in Bijapur district, part of the southern region of Chhattisgarh where armed tribal rebels belonging to the CPI Maoist have been engaged in a protracted war with government forces. On 13th July, along with his colleague Raju Telam, Yadav went to the district headquarters to collect his salary. In the evening, both the men boarded a bus to return to Kutru.
Mid-way, the bus was stopped by armed Maoist cadres, who singled out the two men and took them hostage. Two other assistant constables Rama Majji and Mangal Sodi, who were following the bus on their motorbike, were also taken into custody. Two days later, four bodies were found on the main Bijapur-Kutru road, bruised and riddled with bullet wounds. The killing of the four assistant constables has sent shockwaves through Judumpara, which is home to several police families. “Whenever they leave their base station to the district headquarters or other places, we always live in fear for their lives,” said Puja Kashyap. Her husband Timichand Kashyap is also posted at Kutru as an assistant constable. “Coincidentally my husband did not go to Bijapur with the rest that day, otherwise I would have been widowed as well,” she said.
Saranda forests on Odisha-Jharkhand border turn into Maoist den
The Saranda forests on Odisha-Jharkhand border that former Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh had sought to turn into an oasis of peace with his much touted ‘Saranda Development Plan’ after security forces flushed out Maoist rebels from the area is back to being its old self — a den of the ultras. Increased activity by Maoists who have been raiding hamlets and threatening people on the Odisha side of the border in Sundergarh district has forced the authorities to chalk out a joint operation by the two states to clear the area of Red rebels.
“It will be almost on the same scale as the operation we undertook some three years ago. The details are being worked out,” said a senior police officer who was earlier involved in anti-Maoist operations in Sundergarh district. Sources said the authorities were worried in particular about the ultras’ attempt to recruit tribals from areas like Bhalulata, Rourkela and Jhirpani, all close to Jharkhand border. In the last two years, police have arrested Maoist operatives including a woman cadre in this belt where in the pre-CPI (Maoist) days the cadres of the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) ruled the roost.
Fasting ‘Maoist’ Roopesh Very Weak: Lawyers
COIMBATORE:Suspected Maoist Roopesh, who is allegedly into day 14 of an indefinite hunger strike in the Coimbatore Central Prison, has become “very weak” and has lost around 12 kg of weight, his lawyers have claimed. Meanwhile, another alleged Maoist, J Anoop, who was arrested along with Roopesh and three others, is into the fourth day of his fast. On Friday, four of them – Anoop, C Easwaran, Kannan and Roopesh’s wife, Shyna, were produced before the Principal District Judge R Pongiappan. Roopesh was not brought because of his fast.
Five lawyers representing the alleged Maoists – S Balamurugan, Mohammed Abubacker, Shekhar Annadurai, Murugesan and Nicholas – visited Roopesh in prison. They said Roopesh had told them that he had been force fed milk. The lawyers urged him to give up the fast and told him that he should continue his fight through the legal system. However, Roopesh told them that knowing how many cases had been formally registered against him was his fundamental right; he has asked the Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala to clarify the matter. The lawyers said he feared that the Kerala government was keeping in abeyance cases in which he would be made an accused if he was released from prison if the current charges against him are dismissed by the court. The next hearing in the case has been posted for August 19.
SPs asked to fine-tune anti-Maoist ops for better results
RANCHI: At a high-level meeting to review anti-Maoist operations in Ranchi, Gumla, Lohardaga, Khunti and Simdega, the respective superintendents of police (SP)s were asked to fine-tune the operations for better results. In the last few months, police have arrested many rebels and also killed some wanted leaders. “But more could have been done had the SPs adopted a calibrated approach towards anti-Maoist operations,” senior police officers said, adding that the meeting was a routine exercise.
“Though several rebels have been arrested in the five districts, it has been observed that some operations have been unsuccessful. We discussed ways to plug the loopholes and get better results,” said Ranchi DIG Arun Kumar Singh. A senior cop said that on an average seven well-planned anti-Maoist operations are carried out in the state every day. “The absence of last-minute intelligence or real-time intelligence has foiled many operations. In several instances, the forces reached the specific spot only to find that the target has escaped,” he said.
A mother goes door to door for kerosene, then sets herself ablaze
Abandoned by her husband three decades ago and shaken by the death of her younger son seven years ago, a 70-year-old woman, whose elder son was arrested in May this year for allegedly helping a Maoist get a mobile phone connection, went door-to-door collecting kerosene in a can and then set herself ablaze last Saturday. She died on way to hospital. In Muthupilakkad, a village in Kollam district, residents said Chellamma had lost her sanity, her condition worsening after she was not allowed to meet her arrested son, a 51-year-old.
Denied bail and in judicial custody, son Anandan was allowed by the court to see his mother one last time. He went home but could spend barely 10 minutes near her body. Arrested on May 12, Anandan faces charges of forgery and conspiracy. He has also been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Police said he helped a Maoist leader, Roopesh, get a mobile phone connection by providing him copies of voter ID cards of two persons as guarantors. Anandan and Ramanan, a 38-year-old from Kollam, were held following the arrest of Roopesh in Tamil Nadu the same month. Anandan’s wife Syamala, who lives with her two daughters in a shack in the village, said of Chellamma:
“Mother lost her mental balance when Manoharan, her younger son, died in an accident in a Gujarat workshop eight years ago.” “My husband Anandan was a daily wage worker. After his arrest, mother stopped eating at home. She would roam the locality. Several times, she wouldn’t return home. We would find her curled up on verandahs by the roadside. Had Anandan been here, she would have been home,’’ Syamala said. Neighbour Gopalakrishna Pillai said Chellamma’s condition deteriorated after the arrest of Anandan. He said nobody realised what she had planned.
“She collected kerosene in small quantities from houses in the neighbourhood. She never let that can of kerosene out of her sight. Since she was known to have had some mental problem, nobody paid heed,” he said. Last Saturday night, Chellamma doused herself with kerosene and lit a match. “A two-wheeler rider saw her ablaze. She ran on to the road but soon collapsed. She was rushed to a hospital but died on the way,’’ Pillai said. The body was kept in a morgue for two days. When it was brought home for cremation, police brought Anandan. “Hundreds turned up to watch. His handcuffs were removed only when he stood near her body. He could spend barely 10 minutes there. He was taken back to the jail,” Pillai said.