Plans on for major anti-Maoist offensive in Bastar
CRPF and the State police remain divided on who would lead the operations in the coming days.
The Chhattisgarh police and central security agencies are gearing up for a major anti-Maoist offensive in restive Bastar region of the State in the coming weeks. According to sources, a major anti-Maoist operation might be launched anytime now, but the CRPF and the State police remain divided on who would lead it. “Inspector-General of Police, Bastar range, S.R.P. Kalluri is keen on operating with the DRG (District Reserve Guard) which consists of mostly local Koya boys. However, the CPRF wants to operate with the CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) with some help from the DRG,” said a senior police officer based in Bastar. National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval also visited Bastar earlier this month signalling the Union government’s approval for large-scale operations. Mr. Doval visited Burkapal CRPF camp in Sukma district and also held a meeting with senior police and CRPF officers posted in Chhattisgarh.
The NSA reportedly took an aerial survey of the Maoist insurgency hit region. “But the meeting in presence of the NSA ended without any resolution on who would lead the offensive,” added the officer requesting anonymity. An officer, known for his ruthless ways of working, reportedly questioned about the motive of the operation in the meeting. The officer even assured his top bosses present in the meeting that if the purpose of the anti-Maoist operation was to bring the Maoists then he could bring “dead bodies” with some surgical operations. Around 500 men of Chhattisgarh police, mostly based in Sukma and Dantewada district, were sent for a special 45-day guerrilla training in Assam in June and July this year.
The first batch returned in September and second batch returned 10 days ago. The first batch has already started moving in Maoist territories of Sukma. “Ultimately, the district Superintendents of Police (SP) of the respective districts would take a call on who would conduct the operations. But the CRPF, which was quiet after the transfer of IG H.S. Sidhu out of Chhattisgarh, has started moving in Sukma,” informed a senior police officer based in Raipur. Usually, very few anti-Maoist operations are conducted during the rains, but November and December witness big movement of security forces in the area.
“However, this time the operations would be properly planned and coordinated. All district of Bastar would witness operations against the rebels but the main target is the Battalion area in Sukma and its chief Hidma,” informed another source. The Maoist battalion is based in Konta division of Sukma and has inflicted massive causalities on security forces since 2008. Special Security advisor (internal security) K. Vijay Kumar also visited Bastar earlier this week.
Two tribal men killed by Maoists: Police
Maoists gunned down two tribal men at a village in Malkangiri district suspecting them to be police informers, barely 12 days after killing a tribal in the Naxal-hit district, police said today. A group of armed ultras stormed into Kanaguda village under Kalimela police station limit and took away Soma Madkami and Rama Madhi from their houses last night and their bullet riddled bodies were found in the village outskirts this morning, Inspector In-Charge of Kalimela Police station B Nanda said. The red rebels had asked the duo, aged between 25 and 30 years, to accompany them into the nearby forest for a meeting, he said. A police team was sent after information about the villagers spotting the bullet-riddled bodies along a forest road on the outskirt of the village was received, Nanda said.
A hand written message recovered from the site stated that Madkami and Madhi were punished for operating as informers of the police and assisting them in anti-Naxal drive, the police said. The message also claimed that the duo helped in the surrender of a large number of Maoist supporters before the police in the district, they said. Steps were being taken to step up combing and patrolling by the security forces in the area after the incident, they said. The killing came close on the heels of gunning down of Arjun Khara (40) of Kandhaguda village on October 3 night.
Reds smell grand alliance win in polls
Patna: Maoists, it seems, have developed a soft corner for chief minister Nitish Kumar after he joined hands with RJD and Congress to form Mahagathbandhan. Despite poll boycott call given by the rebel outfit, the first phase of election in 10 Maoist-hit districts went off peacefully on October 12. Apart from recovery of IEDs in Gaya, Rohtas and Kaimur districts, no major incident of Maoist violence has been reported in the run up to second phase of election as well.
A Maoist leader told TOI that going by the people’s choice and voting trend, they would not create any disturbance in the election. Maoists had extended their two-day Magadh zone bandh by a day which coincided with PM Narendra Modi’s rally in Gaya on August 9. However, the bandh did not have any impact on Modi’s meeting.
Huge cache of explosives recovered ahead of polls in Bihar
PATNA: Security forces engaged in sanitisation works ahead of second phase of elections tomorrow recovered a huge cache of improvised explosive devices (IED) in Maoist-infested Gaya and Rohtas districts Thursday. While a huge amount of IED was recovered from a middle school at Kewalakala village under Dumari police station area in Imamganj assembly constituency, a cylinder bomb was found hidden under a culvert near chaugain village under Roshanganj police station area in the district. While the cylinder bomb was defused, the IED has been deactivated. Police said the IED was recovered from a room of the school building which was to be used as a polling centre during balloting tomorrow.
Maoists Release Abducted TDP Leaders
VISAKHAPATNAM: Three TDP leaders who were kidnapped by the Maoists on October 5, have been released safely in the agency area of Visakhapatnam district in the wee hours of Thursday. The Maoists have abducted the TDP men demanding that the Andhra Pradesh government to stop the bauxite mining in the agency areas of the district. The abducted are identified as TDP GK Veedhi mandal unit president V Balaiah, district committee executive member M Mahesh and Janmabhoomi committee member M Balaiah.
Tension prevailed in the dense forest, especially in and around GK Veedhi, Chintapalle and other Maoist strongholds following the incident. Following the Maoists demand, chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu has recently clarified that the bauxite mining was not his focus area at present, paving way for the release of the TDP men. While complete information regarding the arrival of the TDP leaders is yet to reach Visakhapatnam, sources said that they were let off in the deep forests of the agency area on the Andhra-Odisha border following negotiations between the Maoists and various tribal organisations.
It is learnt that the abducted TDP leaders along with several others working for the ruling party in the mandals of GK Veedhi and Chintapalle, have agreed to resign for the party and intensify agitations against the bauxite mining, as demanded by the Maoists.
TD mandal panel members in Agency quit
All members of the Telugu Desam Party’s mandal committee members from G.K. Veedhi, G. Madugula and Chintapalli on Wednesday resigned from the posts and party as well, after the banned CPI (Maoist) warned them of dire consequences, if they did not quit and join the movement against the bauxite mining proposed by the government in the Agency. Three directors of Agriculture Market Committees of Paderu, G. Madugula and Chintapalli put in their papers.
While former Tribal Welfare Minister M. Manikumari resigned from the three-member committee of the party for the Paderu Assembly segment a few days ago, the Wednesday’s resignations followed the Maoist party’s fresh warning at a rally held on the Koyyuru-GK Veedhi border which was addressed by a Maoist leader Jambri on Tuesday. The development came a day after Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said here that the government was yet to take any decision on the proposed bauxite mining .
600-page charge sheet filed by ATS
The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Wednesday filed a chargesheet against senior CPI (Maoist) member Kannamballi Muralidharan alias Ajith at a special court. The investigation has so far revealed that the accused was using different names by forging documents and had been in contact with several youths attached to the Maoist movement, especially in Thane, Mumbai and some parts of Pune. Assistant commissioner of police (ATS-Pune unit) Bhanupratap Barge, who has been probing the case, said, “After getting the state government’s sanction under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), we submitted the chargesheet on Wednesday. The chargesheet runs into 600 pages, with all the details of the investigation.” Muralidharan (62) was arrested from his hideout at Talegaon Dabhade on May 9 this year.
Since then, he has been lodged at the Yerwada Central Jail. This is the third major Maoist arrest in Pune over the last four years, which has led to speculation that the city and its fringes are becoming a safe haven for those with Maoist affiliations. Also known as Thomas Joseph, he has been absconding for 40 years, except for a brief period during the Emergency when he was detained. He hails from Irumbanam in Ernakulam, Kerala, and is a member of the powerful central committee of the CPI-(Maoist).
Till last year, he had been secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Naxalbari and is a former member of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement. The investigation also confirmed that he was an active member of the powerful central committee of the CPI-(Maoist). The chargesheet was submitted before special court judge T Utpat. The next hearing will see the framing of charges, after which the trial would begin. According to the chargesheet filed by ATS, Muralidharan faces charges of forgery and impersonation under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and UAPA.
Police also found that Muralidharan had held meetings in Mumbai and Thane and was also in contact with Maoist youths around Pune. Officials said his activities in Pune were not overt as he was here to hide. “He got funds from the central committee. There were some leads and our team went up to Chennai, but nothing concrete has come out of the investigation yet,” apolice officer added.
ENCOUNTER BETWEEN SECURITY FORCES, ULTRAS
The police and para-miliary forces on Wednesday had a fierce encounter with armed squad of CPI-Maoists from a village on the border of Tamar and Seraikela-Kharsawan district. The encounter took place at Joheragora jungle under Tamar police station area bordering Seraikela-Kharsawan district. Seraikela-Kharsawan superintendent of police, Indrajeet Mahatha said that as the Tamar police station was far away from the spot of encounter, a company of paramilitary CRPF was rushed from Chowka in Seraikela-Kharsawan district for the reinforcement. “We cannot reveal much details but the encounter lasted for over half-an-hour. As the forces retaliated the Maoist rebels fled the scene, leaving a laptop and explosive materials which they were carrying along. We have also recovered a magazine of AK 47 assault rifle from the spot from where the rebels were attacking at the para-military forces,” said Mahatha.
The SP, Seraikela said that the maoist squad which encountered with the police and paramilitary forces were of Kris Munda and Analjee who are active in Tamar, Ichagarh, Chowka and Kuchai area. “We have recovered laptop. We will scan it to divulge further details. We expect lot of information will be gathered from the laptop when it will be opened,” Mahatha said. The SP, when queried, pointed out that there was no casualty from the police or paramilitary side, adding that they are not aware whether there was any casualty on the rebels’ side. “The combing operation had begun here from wee hours of the day. The para-military forces were combing the area in jungle while carrying out the operation. As the forces were busing in combing operation, they were suddenly sprayed with bullets, leading them to run for the cover. Soon after, the paramilitary forces had retaliated by returning the fire,” said a police official.