Two Maoists killed, two held in Bastar
The security forces in Bastar division were directed to plan strategy to take on the ultras, who usually start their Tactical Counter-Offensive Campaign in January, police said. Two Maoist guerrillas of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) were killed and one was arrested during an encounter with the police in restive Kondagaon district of Chhattisgarh on Tuesday, the police said. “The Maoists’ Kudhur Local Operating Squad (LOS) commander and one LOS members were killed in a fierce encounter between Kondagaon District Reserve Guard (DRG) and the Maoists today morning,” informed S.R.P. Kalluri, the Inspector-General of Police, Bastar range.
“In view of the Maoists’ Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign which began on January 1, police teams were sent on operation in different parts of Bastar on January 3. One such team, comprising of 35 DRG boys, was sent from Kondagaon towards Kudhur forest. When this team was returning to the headquarters, the Maoists ambushed it. Our men retaliated the fire forcing the Maoists to flee the area. Two dead bodies of uniformed Maoists were recovered after searching the spot of the encounter,” he added. One Maoist, identified as Kudhur LOS member Jai Singh, was also arrested by the force from a nearby village. The dead Maoists have been identified as LOS commander Jai Ram and LOS member Holdhar Kashyap. Three country-made guns were also recovered by the force from the spot of the encounter. In a separate incident, one Maoist was arrested by Sukma police from Kerlapal area of the district.
Students say they weren’t ill-treated by Naxals in captivity
Three youths from Pune, who were kidnapped by Naxals last month in Chhattisgarh and released after five days, today said they were not ill-treated in any way by their abductors. The students shared their experience during captivity when they also came to know about the harsh life in Naxal-dominated areas at a press conference here, in which Superintendent of Police of Gadchiroli, Sandeep Patil, was also present. The trio – Aadarsh Patil, Vilas Valake and Shrikirhna Shevale – was abducted from Basaguda village of Bijapur district on December 29 and freed on January 2.
They said the Naxals did not harm or ill-treat them during captivity. The youths had on December 20 launched a cycle rally from Pune under their “Bharat Jodo” (Link India) campaign to propagate the message of peace in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, the states worst affected by Naxalism. “We had gone to study the life of people in remote and Naxal-affected tribal areas as part of our mission and did not expect to be kidnapped by the Naxals, though we fully knew about their presence,” they said. “On December 29, we halted at Basaguda village in Chhattisgarh but some people in civil clothes approached us and tied our hands upon which we realised we have been kidnapped. However, the villagers offered us food.
“The next day a man in Naxal uniform came to us and enquired about the motive of our tour. We had some money in our wallets but that was not touched by villagers or Naxals. They checked our cameras, mobiles, bags etc. On January 2, we were released,” the Pune students said. “We saw an entirely different world where people still lived in deprivation. They had no access to electricity, nutritious food or good clothes.”
Huge cache of explosives, 28 petrol bombs recovered during a search operation in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: A huge cache of explosives including 28 petrol bombs was recovered during a search operation by security personnel in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Gariyaband district, police said. At least 24 tiffin bombs and 28 petrol bombs were recovered from a Naxal dump in restive forests of Karlajhar village of the district, a senior police official said. A team of district force was patrolling in the region when they got an input about the explosive dump of naxals near Karlajhar village following which they started cordoning off that area, he said. Meanwhile they spotted the explosives hidden under bushes, the official said, adding that bombs were immediately destroyed by the security forces.
In a separate incident, a group of security forces had a close shave as Maoists detonated a powerful pipe bomb blast in Bijapur district of south Bastar. No one was injured in the explosion. The rebels exploded the pipe bomb near Tarrem village under Basaguda police station limits when a team of CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action)- an elite wing of CRPF – was patrolling in the region, the official said. However, no harm was caused to the security forces in the blast, he added.
Police gear up to take on Maoists
Tuvva Hill range identified as most vulnerable place
Following directive by the State government, the Srikakulam police have geared up to curb Maoist activity on Andhra-Odisha border. The department has identified Tuvva Hill range as most vulnerable place on AP-Odisha border and more focus is laid on it to prevent possible activity of the extremist groups in the hilly area. The State government has reportedly directed both Vizianagaram and Srikakulam police to be alert as Maoists planned to conduct more meetings in the hilly area to attract more number of youngsters by spreading the ideology of Maoists and ‘misrule’ of the successive governments. Tuvva Hills, covered with dense forest, are located in the stretch between Battili and Kottur which are in the limits of Srikakulam district.
They are in the vicinity of Saluru, Neelakanthapuram and other areas which are very close to Koraput district of Odisha. Additional forces have been reportedly deployed at sensitive and strategic locations to stop the intrusion of Maoists in the AP region. The police stations in places like Battili, Kotturu, Sithampet, Bhamini and other places have been strengthened with additional forces to take on Maoists in future. The Police Department has got reliable information that the banned organisation is trying to get foothold again in the district where the naxal movement started in 1969. Although the insurgency was lying low for the last few decades, sympathisers continued to stay in many places.
According to sources, Maoists formed Odisha-Srikakulam committee recently to intensify operations in many pockets. It prompted the district administration to keep additional APSP forces in place such as Dhonubhai, Kotturu, Battili, Meliyaputti, Mandasa, Kasibugga, Vajrapukotturu and other areas which are very close Odisha forest area. SP A.S. Khan is constantly monitoring the situation, following a directive by DGP J.V. Ramudu. Guard support Meanwhile, the district public representatives have been asked not to move without the support of guards.
“Coordination meetings between AP and Odisha police are being conducted regularly to intensify concerted effort to prevent the Maoist activity in border areas. We are exchanging crucial information regularly,” said a source in the Police Department. The police administration has been interacting with the locals in border areas to prevent youngsters to join Maoist movement. The officials recently conducted medical camps in Polla of Sithampet mandal, Maniga in Bhamini mandal to win the hearts of locals. The department roped in the services of senior doctors and arranged operations for the patients suffering from chronic diseases as part of its social service activities in AP-Odisha border. “Sports kits are also being distributed to locals. We are conducting sports and games frequently to have interaction with youngsters. It helps us to prevent penetration of Maoist ideology in tribal areas,” says an official.
5 more SPs to join state’s anti-Maoist operations
Five additional superintendents of police (SPs) will likely be deployed in Maoist-hit districts to tackle the threat posed by extremist activities, said sources. The officers may enjoy the status of ASP (operations) in districts and lead the anti-Maoist operations planned to target the rebels. Police spokesperson S N Pradhan said the officers would help in prompt and smooth conduct of operations against Maoists. “I have interviewed five of them and found them suitable for deployment in anti-Maoist operations. They have also expressed willingness to join,” said Pradhan. The CRPF officers selected are Shailesh Kumar, Sadan Kumar, Saroj Kumar, Prana Anand Jha and Emanual Baske – all deputy commandant rank officers.
They are also supposed to establish coordination between CRPF forces and the state police during anti-Maoist operations. In a letter dated December 28, 2015 to CRPF director general Prakash Mishra, DGP D K Pandey requested the service of five deputy commandants of the central force with a commendable service record in anti-Maoist operations. A senior government official has pursued the matter with CRPF DG Mishra. The DG has assured the official that he would approve the request. “The appointed officials will serve the state police,” said the official on condition of anonymity.
The additional SPs may likely be deployed in Maoist-hit districts like Saraikela-Kharsawan, Dumka, Pakur, Garhwa and Simdega. Maoist activites have recently intensified in Dumka and Pakur. A few years ago, both districts, part of the santhal pargana division, were considered largely peaceful. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, eight security personnel were killed in a Maoist ambush in Dumka. This apart, Dumka offers a strategic advantage to Maoists as it shares its border with Bihar and West Bengal. The state police chose Saraikela for deployment of additional SP because it is among the districts with a dense forest cover. It shares its border with West Singhbhum…
TOI notes police support of lumpen “counter-gangs” in North Bihar
“..Kislay and Jaykant had started property dealing business recently while both of them are old players for running kidnapping for ransom gangs. Their opponents Niraj Kumar and Shatrughan Rai are veteran criminals accused in extortion cases. They claim levy from extortion companies and are active mostly in North Bihar. Not only Patna based criminals, Azad Hind Fauz, the renegade group which was given free field to counter Maoist activity in North Bihar is also active in extortion. These people either push their own men as contractor or collect levy from the company coming from outside as protection money. Santosh Jha’s group members are also active in the area,” said an official…”
Two cane bombs recovered from a forest in Bihar
Two powerful cane bombs were recovered by Security Forces (SFs) from a forest in Chando village in Gaya District on January 4, reports The Hindu. During a combing operation against Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)’s Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) unit and the District Police recovered two powerful cane bombs, weighing five kilograms each, from the forest area and defused them.