HC flays cops over alleged Naxal’s rearrest
NAGPUR: The Maharashtra government and its home department came under fire from Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Tuesday for their failure to file a reply on rearresting alleged Naxal leader Maruti Kurwatkar on September 12. A division bench comprising justice Bhushan Gavai and justice Prasanna Varale orally passed strictures on respondents for rearresting Kurwatkar without following due procedure of law. The judges tersely observed that police need to be taught the importance of citizens’ liberty as mentioned in the Constitution of India.
They were warned that they should be ready for punishment in case of failure to come up with valid reasons for Kurwatkar’s rearrest. The judges sternly directed assistant public prosecutor Tehsin Mirza to file a reply in a week, while rejecting his appeal for granting two weeks for the same. The directives came while hearing a plea by Ganpat, father of Maruti Kurwatkar, through counsels Nihalsingh Rathod and Surendra Gadling. State home secretary, Nagpur Central Jail superintendent, commissioner of police in Nagpur, and Dhantoli police station inspector were made respondents. During last Tuesday’s hearing, the court issued showcause notices to respondents while allowing the petitioner to carry out amendments in the plea.
Petitioner’s counsels contended that the 35-year-old was picked up by police on September 12, immediately after he was released from Nagpur jail on bail following his acquittal in some cases. The so-called ‘senior Naxal leader’ had been behind bars from January 2012 for about three years and eight months after Chandrapur police first arrested him at Talodhi. The lawyers added that about 50-60 police were waiting in plain clothes outside the jail premises and whisked him away as soon as he was released. He was not even allowed to meet his lawyers and family members before he was rearrested. The counsels strongly argued that Kurwatkar’s arrest was in blatant violation of Supreme Court guidelines and human rights. The cops didn’t entertain complaints of Kurwatkar’s lawyers alleging kidnapping of their client by the police.
Naxal prevention cells to come up in 10 districts
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Tuesday announced creation of special cells at a cost of Rs 9.48 crore in 10 border districts to prevent Naxalite activities. “The cells will be set up at Tiruvallur, Vellore, Erode, Udagamandalam, Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Dindigul, Virudunagar, Tiruvelveli and Kanyakumari districts,” she said, while replying to the demands for grants for Home Department.
15 KG IED RECOVERED IN DANTEWADA DIST
A team of District Reserve Guard (DRG) recovered a powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in insurgency-hit Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, police said on Tuesday. The IED weighing around 15 kgs was recovered from a patch between village Munga and Gadam falling under limits of Katekalyan police station on late Monday evening, added police. According to the police, while undertaking anti-Naxal exercise in the forest under Katekalyan police station, DRG personnel spotted a wire connected with IED in a patch between village Munga and Gadam villages and unearthed the bomb planted by rebels with the intention to hurt security personnel. Experts from Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) destroyed the IED at the spot
Foundation week: ‘Weak’ Reds stay inactive on Day 2
RANCHI: The second day of the Maoist foundation week, which marks the merger of the Maoist Communist Centre and People’s War Group in 2004, on Tuesday remained peaceful even as police in all sensitive districts were put on alert. The celebrations, which started on Monday, will continue for one week during which Maoists will hold meetings in their strongholds. “It is like new year for the Maoists and they want to start it on a high note. They wish to cause damage to the security personnel and believe that damage to them will lift the spirits of their cadre,” a police officer said. State police spokesperson S N Pradhan said the highest alert has been sounded in the state capital and other districts for the occasion.
“Maoists have retreated into deep forests and continue to confine themselves there. During this occasion security personnel are keeping a watch on their activities in such core zones,” Pradhan said, adding that districts along the Bihar border are also under close vigil. A source in the special branch of the Jharkhand Police said the people’s liberation guerilla army (PLGA), the main army of the Maoists, is back into the forefront for the occasion. “The heightened activities of the PLGA are a precursor to the fact that Maoists want to get active and do something,” the source said. The foundation day celebrations in 2014 were also peaceful barring a few encounters between security personnel and Maoists. “This time our target is to make sure that the Maoists do not come out from their hideouts,” Pradhan said.
Explosives recovered in Falaknuma
A huge cache of explosives – directional landmines seized from Falaknuma Express sent shockwaves in the administrative circles and passengers of Howrah Station on Wednesday. While the six directional landmines was successfully diffused by the state’s investigating agency – Bomb Disposal Squad of CID, a strong opinion is gaining ground that this cache could be dispatched to some Maoist-infested location in West Bengal.
There are reasons to apprehend that the cache was being sent from Andhra Pradesh to Bengal, as the ultra-Left group is once again gaining more ground in several pockets. On Wednesday morning, as many as six cylindrical objects containing explosives were placed inside two abandoned bags which were found in the general compartment of the train. GRP and RPF officials had rushed to the spot and informed the West Bengal CID.
The Bomb Disposal Squad immediately reached the Howrah station and took the abandoned bags to a deserted area near platform one. The area was cordoned off and all six cylindrical objects, in the form of cylinders was defused. Forensic officials had also gone to the spot to carry out further scientific examinations over the explosives. Meanwhile, the railway authorities have begun an investigation into this case.