Odisha: BSF officer, jawan killed in Naxal attack
A BSF officer and a jawan were on Friday killed in a landmine blast carried out by Naxals when they were out on a bike patrol in the jungles of Koraput district of Odisha. The incident occurred around 1:00 PM when a team of about twenty Border Security Force personnel were returning from an operational task in Dandabari village of the said district on ten motorcycles and the first carrying the team commander and his jawan got trapped into the blast carried out by using a hidden bomb on the dirt track. The jawan driving the bike, constable S P Panda, was killed on the spot while pillion rider and commander of the squad Deputy Commandant Sunil Kumar Behra succumbed to his injuries later.
“The two men sustained fatal injuries from shrapnels and heavy explosives used in the IED cleverly hidden and planted under the road by Naxals. A big crater was created at the spot where the bike was blown off,” officials said. They said the bike was tossed high in the air due to the impact of the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast and the rest nine motorcycle-borne teams immediately took positions suspecting a gunfire from hiding Maoists. “However, the Naxals did not rain heavy gunfire on the patrol party and they escaped into the jungles after firing few shots. The BSF team was returning to its base in Ramagiri from Dandabari village after verifying reports of killing of a civilian by suspected Maoist cadres,” they said.
The patrol party led by Behra belonged to the 143rd battalion of the BSF deployed in Koraput for undertaking anti-Naxal operations. Officials said in order to escape getting trapped into IED and hidden explosive booby-traps in jungle tracks of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) areas, the troops very rarely use four-wheelers and rely on motorcycles for movement. This is a rare incident in the LWE theatre when bike-borne personnel of security forces were hit by a Naxal planted IED, the most potent weapon used by ultras to target forces in these areas. The BSF has constituted a Court of Inquiry into the incident even as additional forces have been deployed for sanitisation of the blast area and adjoining villages for similar IEDs and bombs.
..The explosion occurred a few kilometres from where a businessman was shot dead by Maoists on Thursday night. Maoists are observing a two-day ‘bandh’ in Nuapada, Malkangiri and Kalahandi districts from Friday to protest against ‘Operation Greenhunt’, a joint operation by security forces against Maoists.
Anti-Naxal op: Five Naxals killed, arms recovered in Bihar
Five Naxals have been killed in an encounter with the elite commando unit of the CRPF after a fierce gunbattle in the jungles of Aurangabad district of the state. Officials said the encounter began late evening in the Dibhara area of the left-wing extremism hit district after which five bodies of the Maoists, an AK series assault rifle, one carbine, a country-made gun and some other ammunition have been recovered from the spot. “As darkness has set in the jungle area, the troops are taking time to sanitise the area and provide furher details of the encounter.
The CoBRA team was out for operation based on some inputs about the movement of armed Maoist cadres in the area,” they said. They said the operation was conducted by the troops of the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) unit of the CRPF which has been raised by the force exclsuively for jungle warfare operations. A commando of the 205th battalion of the CoBRA has been injured in the encounter, they said, adding the forces are still combing the area for further recoveries. The CoBRA and other regular Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) units are deployed in these areas of Bihar for undertaking anti-Naxal operations.
Justice system works against tribals in Bastar
NEW DELHI: Nineteen-year-old Bhima Kadati was charged in 12 different cases. The cases against the Bastar native continued in court for four years. Though the tribal youth was acquitted in all of them, he never lived to see the day. He died in a Bastar district prison due to medical reasons. The first study conducted in Naxal-infested Bastar region of Chhattisgarh reveals Kadati’s tragic story and a grim fact — on an average 96% of the tribals arrested are acquitted by the court…
Arrested for supplying walkie-talkie sets to Maoists
The Araku Valley police arrested 45-year-old Y. Gowri, an employee with Lakcon Construction Company, for trying to supply 10 walkie-talkie sets and about one kg of gold to Maoists, late on Wednesday night, near Araku junction. Inspector of Araku Valley S.S. Naidu said based on a tip-off the police team intercepted and arrested Gowri when he was transporting the walkie-talkie sets and the gold. Gowri is a native of East Godavari district and he has been working as a PRO with Lakcon, a company that has been awarded the contract to lay the road between Jeypore and Lamtaput in Odisha.
The police said the Maoist present in the Andhra Odisha Border (AOB) demanded the Lakcon company staff to supply their requirements. Gowri has procured the walkie-talkie sets and gold in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam to give them to Left wing extremists. It has been the practice of the Maoist to place their demands with contractors in the Naxal dominated areas, for supply of various items such as tarpaulin, wires, batteries, rations and photoflashes to operate remotely controlled land mines and IEDs. A case has been registered under Section 120 (B) of IPC and the police are investigating.
IAF will fire in self defense to boost morale of forces in Bastar, says Air Marshall
RAIPUR: “Recent decision of Indian Air Force’s and Chhattisgarh police to carry out attacks from air in ‘self defense’ at Maoist insurgent Bastar, was aimed at boosting the morale of forces deployed in red zones and dissuade rebels from attacking choppers,” newly appointed Air Marshal SBP Sinha, air officer commanding-in-chief Central Air Command told TOI on his first visit to Raipur and Jagdalpur after assuming command at Anti-Naxal Task Force (ANTF) of Indian Air Force on Thursday. ANTF spearheads Operation Triveni of Indian Air Force, which is one of the largest sustained helicopter operations ever undertaken by the Indian Air Force, spanning as many as eight states namely Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. In an exclusive chat with TOI, Sinha said, “The first thought that comes to any soldier’s mind when attack takes place is that he ought to do something to save lives.
There have been few instances in the past where state and IAF choppers were fired at by Maoists and by giving them permission to fire in defense would maintain the morale needed at an insurgent place.” Small weapons including rifles and guns would be installed in choppers for self defense. “It shouldn’t be considered as part of anti-insurgency activity at all, IAF is supporting police forces in Bastar. There’s a standard policy, retaliating to Maoist attacks would kill many civilians, so there is no question of retaliatory attack. For attacks, we have armed helicopters but the ones in Bastar aren’t designed for that,” Sinha said.
Man with suspected Maoist links dies at govt hospital
Coimbatore: A 25-year-old man, suspected to be a Maoist sympathiser and absconding for the last few months, died in a government hospital here today. Ganesh Kumar, hailing from Angalakurichi in Pollachi area in the district, was an active member of a caste eradication movement ‘Jaathi olippu viduthalai munnetra iyakkam’ (Caste Eradication, Liberation, Progressive Movement) and had resettled some tribals in reserve forest of Anamalai Tiger Reserve. However, they were later evacuated by the forest department.
A case was also registered against Ganesh for allegedly luring another youth, Santosh Kumar into extremist activities and. The duo later joined the Maoist movement. Police came to know about Ganesh’s alleged Maoist nexus after the arrest of three persons, who had forced Santosh to join them, police said. Even as police was searching for him, Ganesh was admitted in the government hospital here a couple of days ago with kidney problem.
Maoist Posters Found in Rayagada
RAYAGADA: Maoist posters and banners were found in three villages under Rayagada district on Thursday. In the posters put up at Kalyansinghpur and Hatamuniguda villages under Bissamcuttack and Dahikhal village in Muniguda block, the ultras called upon people to support their bandh call on Friday over farmer suicides. In the posters, they accused the BJP Government at the Centre of ‘dancing to the tunes’ of RSS and fuelling intolerance in the country.
They also accused the Rayagada Collector of working as an agent of Vedanta and police of oppressing the tribals in Niyamgiri hills. Demanding immediate release of Bari Pidikaka, a member of Niyamgiri Surakshya Samiti (NSS) who was arrested in October last year, they wrote that mental torture by police led Drika, a Dongria Kondh of Dhamanpanga village to commit suicide last year. Bari was arrested for allegedly raping a minor Dongria girl. Prior to his arrest, he was an active and influential member of the NSS that has been spearheading agitations against proposed mining at the Niyamgiri hills. Police and CRPF personnel have seized the banners and posters. Rayagada SP, K Siba Subramani said police along with other forces like CRPF, BSF, SOG and DVF are on high alert and combing operations have been intensified in the district to avert any untoward incident.
Left Wing Extremism Major Challenge for Odisha, Says Naveen Patnaik
BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said Left Wing Extremism continues to be a major concern for the state and it needs to be handled effectively. “Though we have been able to contain the menace to areas bordering our neighbouring states, recent movement and activities of the Maoist cadres in districts of Bolangir, Kalahandi, Kandhamal and Boudh is worrisome,” the chief minister said, addressing the annual conference of senior police officers in Bhubaneswar…
Maoists call bandh to oppose ops against them
Bhubaneswar: Maoists have called a two-day bandh starting from Friday in Nuapada, Kalahandi and Malkangiri districts to protest against the proposed Operation Green Hunt against them. The protesting Maoists belong to the Mainpur-Nuapada divisional committee and have put up posters and banners announcing the bandh at some places in these districts. The ultras said they would strongly protest the proposed operation against them in the south-western part of the state.
The rebels also raised the issue of police excesses against innocent tribals in these districts. They have demanded issue of forest land to tribals in order to make them self-reliant. They have also called a bandh in Chhattisgarh to protest against anti-Maoist operations. They had issued an audio tape in this regard recently. Nuapada SP Pinak Mishra said the district police, along with CRPF, SOG and DVF personnel, have been deployed at strategic locations to keep an eye on the movement of Maoists. “We have issued an alert in all the camps to stay prepared for any face-off from the ultras. The security personnel have been advised to follow the standard operating procedure while moving in the sensitive areas,” he added.
New police circle soon at Edakkara
Malappuram: The government’s decision to bifurcate the Nilambur police circle and to form new circle based at Edakkara is expected to help police force to intensify the operations against Maoist groups in the Nilambur forest region. It was on Wednesday that the cabinet meeting decided to form new police circle with Edakkara, Vazhikkadavu and Pothukallu police stations. It was a long pending demand to bifurcate the Nilambur police circle, which has the largest number of police stations under it.
The new police circle is to be formed with three police stations which are facing the threat of Maoist groups. “As Maoist sightings are being reported frequently in the region, the decision will help coordinate the operation in an improved manner. The political leaders and police personnel have for long demanded to bifurcate this circle and form a new one,” said a police source. The new circle will come under Perinthalmanna police division. Edakkara circle will help the home department to concentrate more on the Maoist operations. The sightings of Maoist groups also being reported in the areas come under the Pookkottumpadam police station and the bifurcation is also expected to help handle the cases related to the Maoist attacks reported in Nilambur circle