Reds’ reponse sets cat among pigeons
VIJAYAWADA: The statement of the CPI (Maoist) issued in the name of its official spokesman Syam with a warning to kill the accused in the call money-sex racket case in the city has stirred a hornet’s nest. It keeps the police engaged in anti-Maoist operations and observers of the leftwing extremist movement thinking whether it could be read as a sign of shift from the forest-centric operations of the Maoist party. The party, since its previous avatar of People’s War Group (PWG), has viewed the plains in the coastal Andhra region as a shelter or peace zone and incubator for production of its think-tank. Therefore, it keeps itself away from indulging in violent actions in the coastal plains so as not to stop fund flow from these areas and disturb ‘peace’ there.
The strategy has been in force since the period of Kondapalli Seetaramaiah, a patriarchal figure of the erstwhile PWG, who hailed from a village near Gudivada in Krishna district. The police take serious view of the Moists’ warning in the capital region inhabited by VVIPs. A senior officer entrusted with anti-Maoist operations did not rule out the possibility of a random or surprise action in the capital region in a desperate bid to make their presence felt. ” It could be a sign for a hit-and-run action”, he added. City police commissioner D Gautam Sawang told TOI that he was examining the tone and the tenor of the press release. A Left intellectual, who did not want to be quoted, said Maoists’ response in a case pertained to the capital region was an indication for their departure in their focus from the forests to the plains. “The plain areas or urban centres like Vijayawada are no longer their fund centres and their base either. In such a scenario they may revisit their existing strategy to attract the urban poor and middle class with random actions”, he felt while driving his point home, citing the instance of Visakhapatnam where three Maoists were killed in encounters in a span of two years as a result of the party’s focus on urban issues.
Currently, the party is indulging in sporadic activities in certain pockets of East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts under the banners of the Sabari Area Committee and East Visakha Committee. In early 1980s the Central Organising Committee (COC) which later metamorphosed into PWG concentrated their activities in urban areas of Telangana region such as Karimnagar, Godavarikhani, Ramagundam and Peddapalli. Later, the party was forced to retreat into the forests after a police action and it failed to build its bases in the urban centres. The police fear whether the Maoist menace has been inherited to the successor State along with the others issues that cropped up in the process of bifurcation of Telangana.
The presence of Maoists is limited to around a dozen mandals in Visakhapantam district, especially the places like Donkarayi which the extremists use as a transit point in their movement on Andhra Odisha Border (AOB). The successor state has inherited seven mandals from the Telangana’s Khammam district as part of the bifurcation. Of them Chintoor, Yatapaka and Kunavaram are considered as hotbeds for Maoist activities. An intelligence official highlighted the need for reorientation of the armed forces to handle a fresh threat of Maoists in the successor state. “Anti-naxal squads (ANS) have been drafted for the other assignments like VIP security and the cadre allotment in the police department in the rank of DSP is still to be decided even 18 months after the state division. These issues have to be sorted out on a priority basis to counter the Maoists effectively”, he commented.
Woman Naxal held in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker
Raipur: A suspected woman Naxal, who was allegedly involved in violence during panchayat elections early this year, was arrested from Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Kanker district, police said on Tuesday. The rebel was carrying a reward of Rs 1 lakh on her head, they said. Acting on a specific input, the cadre, identified as Mangoti Korram, was nabbed yesterday by a joint team of district force and Special Intelligence Branch (SIB), Kanker, from Amabeda police station area, Kanker Superintendent of Police Jitendra Singh Meena told PTI. Based on information about the movement of ultras, security forces were keeping a hawk eye in the Amabeda region. During the search, a woman suspect was rounded up at Amabeda square who later admitted to her involvement with the outlawed CPI (Maoist), Meena said.
A native of Kondagaon, Korram was a member of Kiskodo LOS (local operation squad) of Maoists and allegedly involved in looting of EVMs (electronic voting machines) at Alanar village during panchayat polls held early this year, he said. She was also wanted for other Naxal incidents of loot, arson, murder and attacks on police party, he said. Her interrogation may reveal crucial details about the strength of cadres in the region, the SP said, adding that she was being interrogated. PTI
Naxal killed in encounter with police in AP
Hyderabad: A suspected Naxal leader who was wanted in at least 15 cases of murder and carrying a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head was today killed in an encounter in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, police claimed. K Chukka alias Nagesh (35) was a member of Sabari area divisional committee of the banned CPI (Maoist). He was killed in an exchange of fire with police in a forest under the Chinturu police station limits of East Godavari district adjoining Chhattisgarh, district superintendent of police P Ravi Prakash told PTI over phone.
“He was involved in several offences including at least 15 murders — five of them this year — besides kidnapping and was carrying a reward of Rs 10 lakh,” the SP said, adding Nagesh joined a Naxal Dalam in 2004. The police have launched a combing operation in the forest to nab the other ultras who fled during the encounter, he added.
Naxal Special Division sleuths deployed in Sathyamangalam forest
COIMBATORE: An 11-member team from the Naxal Special Division has been deployed in the Sathyamangalam forest range on the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border to check on the entry of naxalites to Erode district. “The search operations have begun based on the information provided to us. On orders from the superintendent of police, Erode, we have formed an 11-member team,” said a member of the special team. The team is checking all state transport and omnibuses, private vehicles and trucks at Thengumarada, Bhavani Sagar, Thalavadi, Hasanur and Thadambur.
“There is information of naxalites movement in the area. So, we are checking all vehicles, as there is a possibility that naxals might enter the Erode forest region from these points,” he said. Naxals are expected to enter the Erode forest region posing as blanket sellers. According to the special team, there are many youths from Rajasthan, Bihar and Jharkhand who sell blankets in Sathyamangalam and surrounding villages that fall in the forest range. “They may enter the Erode region disguised as blanket sellers. We have alerted all private lodges and house owners to ensure that they check all the details before lending a room or a house,” the team member said.
Maoist encounter on Jharkhand-Bihar border
RANCHI: A team of CRPF and state police had ‘an encounter with heavily armed Maoists’ in a forest amidst Koleshwari hills under Rajpur police station on Jharkhand-Bihar border on Tuesday. The gunbattle lasted around half an hour but none of the security personnel or the Maoists was hit, inspector general CRPF Jharkhand sector Rakesh Kumar Mishra said. The security personnel, Chatra SP SK Jha claimed, were pursuing a Maoist group led by zonal commander Uma Bhokta alias Endalji. “The forces were marching north, towards Bihar, when Maoists sitting in ambush fired a volley over them. The forces retaliated strongly. It forced the rebels to run away to avoid casualty,” Jha said.
ASP Chatra Ashwini Kumar, who led the operation, said the Maoists were using automatic firearms. “Several rounds were fired from both sides in the encounter,” he said. In a search operation launched after guns fell silent, some backpacks full of clothes, police said, were found at the site. “The search operation is on,” he said. According to police records Endalji holds the rank of a zonal commander and looks after Koleshwari zone of CPI (Maoist). Its jurisdiction covers Chatra, Hazaribag and Koderma in Jharkhand and Nawada and some parts of Gaya in Bihar.