Naxals urge surrendered colleagues to rejoin movement
Nagpur: The Naxal strength is depleting alarmingly with heavy casualties, increasing surrenders by cadre, and reluctance of youths to join them. This is also evident from a pamphlet recovered by the Gadchiroli police, which calls on surrendered Naxals to rejoin the movement. Such pamphlets printed by Dandakaranya South Zonal Committee (DKSZC) were recently distributed in villages where surrendered Naxals are living. Some time earlier, the rebels had also distributed a letter on behalf of three missing girls from Lahiri Ashram school, calling on youths to shun police jobs and join their ‘red movement’ to fight against alleged injustice meted out to tribal community, as reported by TOI on October 2.
Bhumkal Movement founder Arvind Sovani said the Naxals adopted similar strategy in Bastar in 2009-10, when Salwa Judum movement was at its peak. “Even then, Naxals were confident that they will crush the struggle. But suffered heavy casualties that forced them to retreat. They then distributed similar pamphlets to their surrendered colleagues, calling them to rejoin and strengthen the base,” he said. Gadchiroli superintendent Sandip Patil was busy when TOI called him and could not be reached for comment.
Interestingly, the pamphlets are written in Gondi, official language of the Naxals. It specifically named DKSZC members Sukhdev and Arjun Rainu, and divisional commanders Beerju, Mahesh, Saket, Suresh, Vicky, Manku, Devrao, Chotu, Jeevan, Kisan, Dilip, Shankar, Jagdish and Pardu. Of them, Vicky was bodyguard of Bhupathi alias Venugopal alias Sonu, the politburo member of banned CPI (Maoist). The pamphlets call upon surrendered Naxals to come back and live with their people. “If somebody dies, the forces describe it as a killing by the Maoists. Don’t trust them. Such hindrances would be often faced in future for the struggle of Gadchiroli, but we will fight together. We will immortalize ourselves by sacrificing lives in the struggle for civil rights and create history. We must make proper utilization of this opportunity,” the pamphlets read.
It further mentions that they (Naxals) understand circumstances that led some of them to surrender. “Now you have experienced the difference in working with your people and police. How many comrades have lost their lives in safeguarding you. We understand your disappointment and are concerned about it,” it says. The pamphlet added that police were exploiting their weakness by luring them with jobs, shelter and money. “These people will serve you nothing. Living life on police favour has no self-respect at all. Even the security provided by them is not original. Instead, join hands for the forthcoming movement. We will always protect you. No need to fear us. Raise your voice and struggle for your water, jungle, land, respect and rights,” the pamphlet says. What Naxals said
* Come back and live with their own people rather than cops
* Immortalize yourself by sacrificing lives in struggle for civil rights
* Many comrades have lost their lives in safeguarding them
* Police exploiting your weakness and luring with job, shelter
* Raise voice and struggle for water, jungle, land & respect
Bihar polls: Maoist shadow over battle of ballots in Suryagarha
It’s a battle of ballots that will be fought under the shadow of bullets in Bihar’s Suryagarha constituency, one of the hotbeds of Maoist insurgency in the state. No party will officially acknowledge it but it is an open secret that the support of the CPI-Maoist – the dominant Left-wing insurgent group in the state – is crucial for winning the electoral battle in this constituency which goes to the polls on October 12. Though not as influential as before, the Red rebels are now mainly concentrated in the deeply forested Kajra hills where Maoist rebels had ambushed and killed seven policemen in 2010. The Red brigade had also abducted four police personnel and killed one of them before releasing the other three.
Though a poll boycott call by the CPI-Maoists is seen as just a muscle-flexing by the rebels, sources said both the BJP and the RJD have sent feelers to the rebel leaders seeking support during the elections. “Any assurance from squad leaders, however, is yet to come,” an RJD insider said. The main contest is expected to be between the RJD’s Prahlad Yadav and BJP’s sitting legislator Prem Ranjan Patel, a two-time MLA. Patel admitted that “the Kajra hills are definitely crucial for the elections”.
Official sources said there are around 70 polling booths in the Kajra hills, which serve as a safe route for the rebels to and from the insurgency breeding ground of Jamui and onwards to the safe havens of Jharkhand. A poll observer who refused to be identified said that the rebel leaders usually take a decision at the last moment. “In the deal, money usually changes hands.”
Tension mounts in Visakha Agency
VISAKHAPATNAM: With the cops failing to trace the three tribal TDP leaders – Vandalam Balayya, Mamidi Balayya Padal and Mukkala Mahesh — that were abducted by Maoists three days ago, tension is mounting in the Visakha Agency. The Vizag rural cops are on their toes as chief minister Chandrababu Naidu is scheduled to visit the city on Friday and Monday. According to cops, if they take action by sending forces into the forest it may prove fatal for the tribal leaders.
At the same time, the Reds are also waiting for action to garner more publicity from the kidnapping and bring the bauxite mining issue into the national spotlight, said sources. The Reds have called for a 48-hour bandh on October 12 and 13 and if the government fails to act even after a week, the situation could turn volatile as the Reds may then start killing the abducted leaders one by one, sources added. On the second day too, the Chintapalli Girijana Udyoga Sangham employees tried to contact the Maoists and visited the Tokarai area in the Agency. However, by the time they reached the area, the Maoists had already crossed the border into Odisha, sources said. On Wednesday, the sangham employees had tried to contact the Reds by visiting the Gondipalli area in GK Veedhi mandal of Visakha Agency. Meanwhile, worried family members of the abducted leaders reportedly refused to meet the cops.
Mamidi Balayya Padal and Vandalam Balayya had two wives each and the cops are trying to searching for them. According to sources, the Maoists had called the three TDP leaders earlier to discuss some issues. However, they allegedly did not attend the meeting, after which they were sent letters by the naxals asking them to meet as early as possible. When they again failed to do so, the Reds reportedly sent two people on Monday and warned the tribal leaders. Following the threat, the three went to meet the Maoists. However, sources in the police department said that the tribal leaders were warned of the possible kidnapping before it happened. In fact, after the kidnapping, all the political leaders and former Maoists, militants and other persons in the Maoist hit-list vacated their houses and moved to safer places.
According to police records, there are more than 200 persons on the Maoist hit-list, most of whom belong to the ruling TDP. Visakha Rural SP Koya Praveen told TOI that the cops have informed the people on the Maoist hit-list to move to safer places and keep the police in the loop on their whereabouts. They even informed the abducted persons a month earlier about possible abductions and calls from Maoists. “They believed that the Maoists would not harm them as they were local people and had never worked against the Maoists,” the SP said.
No one to bail out ‘Maoist’ Bhelke
As defence counsel doesn’t turn up to plead case on his behalf
Alleged Maoist Arun Bhanudas Bhelke failed to get bail from a special court on Wednesday as his lawyers were repeatedly absent for his bail plea hearing. Despite several notices issued by the court, nobody turned up to defend Bhelke. Ironically, at the time of his arrest, more than five lawyers were ready to fight for him and three had even filed his vakalatnama. Bhelke is currently lodged at Yerwada jail — ever since his arrest in September last year, along with wife Kanchan Nanaware, under various sections of the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and document forgery. Naturally, after the one-sided arguments by the prosecution, the court gave a judgment in favour of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), rejecting Bhelke’s bail plea, which was pending for a period of over six months.
The judge considered the view of ATS officials saying, “Once he gets bail, he may again begin indoctrinating many youths with the Maoist ideology and may even start recruiting more people.” The ATS also claimed that he was working as the area commander of the ‘Mumbai-Surat Golden Corridor’ and was known as ‘Comrade Rajan’. As soon as hearing began, the court of additional sessions judge R P Pande announced the defence lawyer’s names.
But, just like in the last five hearings, nobody appeared to plead on his behalf. This time, judge Pande asked ATS officials and the public prosecutor to argue their cases in the absence of the defence lawyer. The ATS informed the court that police have confirmed information that the duo are hardcore activists and members of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). Further, it was stated that reports from the Kalina forensic laboratory about the laptops, hard disk, pen drive and data card recovered from both clearly indicate their role in antisocial activities. It also alleged that the accused may pressure the witnesses in this case. He can also destroy evidence, officials claimed.
After hearing the arguments, the judge rejected Bhelke’s bail plea and ordered him to be taken back to jail. Advocate Tosif Shaikh, who was supposed to represent Bhelke and Kanchan at a past hearing, said, “The organisation with which Bhelke is associated had decided to bring their own lawyer to represent him. I insisted on filing a discharge application. But as his associates did not agree, I decided not to be part of this case.” Another of Bhelke’s advocates revealed, “The members of the Maoist movement were not in favour of Bhelke’s early release. They were willing to keep him safe in the Yerwada jail, till more activists and funds are gathered. They have their own strategy, which didn’t agree with me and, therefore, I quit the case.”
Maoists call poll boycott
Banka: The surfacing of Maoist posters and handbills calling for poll boycott and cautioning the polling personnel and officials not to ride police vehicles, just five days ahead of polling in Belhar assembly segment in Banka district has created flutter among senior police officials and district administration. Alarmed, police and district administration have pressed two battalions of Border Security Force (BSF) and central paramilitary force besides the district police to increase vigilance in Belhar seat. Security has also been beefed up in other assembly segments of Banka district.
More than half a dozen Maoist posters and hand bills in Hindi and red and blue colours were found on the roadside trees between Kharanda Mor and Navi Bandh villages on Belhar-Banka main road under Belhar police station in the early hours of Wednesday. Police sources said this area is considered a stronghold of hardcore Maoist Mantu Khaira, the self-styled sub-zonal commander of the banned outfit. Sitting JD(U) MLA Girdhari Yadav and BJP nominee Manoj Yadav are in fierce contest in Belhar constituency.
Some other important contestants are: Shiv Kumar Singh (BSP), Raj Kishore Prasad alias Pappu Yadav (JMM) and Arjun Pandit (Socialist Unity Center of India). It may be mentioned here that in Belhar constituency 293 polling booths are hit by Maoist menace besides 220 in Katoria and 28 in Banka (Sadar) apart from polling booths in some other assembly constituencies. There are 1,321 polling booths in Banka district, which goes to polls on October 12. Some other handbills and posters mentioned formation of ‘Krantikari Kisan Committee’ to ‘make sure that electorate don’t cast their votes and warned politicians with slogans like ‘khadi-kurta-dhoti hoshiyar, Krantikaari janata hai taiyaar (khadi-clad politicians beware, the revolutionaries are ready …)’, said sources. The posters were in the name of CPI (Maoist). On receipt of information, Banka SP Satya Prakash visited the spot. He said the matter is being investigated.
One Maoist killed in gun battle in Rayagada
Bhubaneswar: One Maoist reportedly was killed in an exchange of fire between the ultras and police personnel in Niyamgiri forest area of Rayagada district in Odisha on Friday. Exchange of fire is going on in Muniguda-Kalyansinghpur forest area while five teams consisting of CRPF, SOG and District Voluntary Force have been pressed to deal with the situation, said sources. Meanwhile, one woman Maoist namely Nancy Gundia alias Sasmita has surrendered before the Jajpur police on Friday.
Suspended DU professor asked to appear in court on Oct 27
Nagpur, Oct 9 (PTI) Suspended Delhi University professor G N Saibaba and five others accused of having Maoist links have been directed by a sessions court in Gadchiroli to appear before it for recording of evidence in connection with the case on October 27. Saibaba along with Naresh Tirki, Pandu Narote, Hem Mishra, Prashant Sanglikar and Vijay Tirki were arrested by Gadchiroli police and later released on bail. The case was fixed for recording of evidence yesterday but Saibaba failed to appear before Gadchiroli Sessions Judge Suryakant Shinde while the other accused were present in the court. Moving an application for adjournment, Special Public Prosecutor P Sathianathan contended that prosecution does not wish to record evidence unless all accused persons are present before the court.
He said serious prejudice would be caused to the prosecution if any of the accused was absent during recording of evidence. Sathianathan pointed out it was necessary that evidence should be recorded in the presence of all accused persons, as per section 273 of the CrPC. After hearing arguments of the defence and prosecution, the sessions court adjourned the matter and directed Saibaba and five others accused to remain present at 11 AM on October 27. Saibaba was arrested in May last year by Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli police on charges of allegedly being a member of the banned CPI (Maoist), providing logistics and helping in recruitment for the group. On June 30 this year, he was granted temporary bail for three months by the Bombay High Court considering his deteriorating health condition.