Uneven Ground: Odisha Sees ‘Red’ over CAPF Deployment
BHUBANESWAR: The lopsided deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) on either side of the border has raised the concern of Odisha Government which may seek from Centre further deployment to tackle the menace. The Unified Command, under Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhy and DGP KB Singh, met earlier this week and discussed threadbare the Central forces deployed in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand vis-a-vis Odisha. The meeting took note of the serious imbalance in the CAPF deployment in the three states which not only share borders but also bulk of the LWE problems. At least 44 battalions of the Central Para Military Forces (CPMF) have been placed in Chhattisgarh, whereas in Jharkhand, their strength is 21 battalion.
Odisha’s deployment is 16 battalions. Chhattisgarh has deployed 21 battalions of Central forces along the areas bordering maoist hotbed Malkangiri whereas on Odisha’s CAPF presence is about three battalions. “This disparity has serious ramifications so far as anti-Maoist operations are concerned and must be addressed through additional deployment,” sources said. Security vacuum in four districts will be filled up in a time-bound manner.
Maoists Kill Ex-Naib Sarpanch in Koraput
KORAPUT: In yet another incident of Maoists unleashing violence on villagers, the body of a former Naib Sarpanch, with his throat slit, was found in Kandho Tikarapada village under Bandhugaon police limits on Friday night. He has been identified as Krishna Miniaka, who was killed on suspicion of being a police informer. In a letter written in Telugu, Srikakulam Koraput Divisional Committee of the Maoists has claimed responsibility for the killing. Sources said about 20 armed Maoists entered the village late on Friday and called Miniaka out of his house. They later dragged him to a nearby forest, where they killed him. The letter, which was recovered from the spot, alleged that Miniaka was playing a key role for the surrender of Chasi Muliya Adivasi Sangha members and he was a home guard.
The killing took place barely 10 hours after DGP K B Singh left the district after reviewing security and within 24 hours of the murder of a trader, Rohini Nachika, by the Maoists in Narayanpatna. The DGP was here to review the law and order situation in Maoist-affected areas of Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Rayagada and Nuapada with senior officials of South-Eastern range. Singh stressed on tactful operations in areas bordering Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. After lying low for nearly two years, the Maoists have begun spreading terror in the area, sources said.
Meanwhile, the BSF and SOG personnel have intensified combing operation. Sub-divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Laxmipur police station, Hemant Padhi said Krishna Miniaka was former Naib Sarpanch of Kabribadi gram panchayat of Bandhugaon block and confirmed that he was a police informer. A few days back, a trader of Dandabadi village, Bapi Samant, was gunned down by Maoists branding him a police informer. This apart, two BSF personnel were killed in a landmine blast triggered by Maoists in Kalijhula village under Boipariguda police limits recently.
Encounter in Angul Forest
Angul: An exchange of fire between the police and the Maoists was reported in Tapdole forest under Takaurgarh police limits area on Saturday. The forest is adjacent to Satkosia sanctuary where an armed encounter occurred last month. Confirming the encounter, a senior police official said a combing party of CRPF and SOG personnel ventured into the forest, which is used by the ultras as transit route. “At about 1 pm, the Maoists, who were on the top of the hill, saw the combing party and opened fired at them resulting in exchange of fire for about 15 to 20 minutes. No security personnel was injured while no information is available about the Maoists. Senior police officials have rushed to the spot, the official added. It is believed that the rebels changed their transit route to this part of the forest after intense combing operation was launched in Satkosia sanctuary. On learning about their new strategy, police launched combing in Tapdole resulting in the encounter, sources said.
Tribals allege assault by policemen in Gadchiroli
Gadchiroli (Maha), Jan 17 (PTI) A group of tribals today alleged they were beaten up by police jawans, who accused them of sheltering a woman Naxal. These tribals – Sakharam Narote, his wife Mangala, daughter Smita, their relatives Shyamrao Narote, his wife Vanita and Natthuji Atla made the allegation at a press conference held here this afternoon. The Narotes reside in village Nagweli, while Natthuji is a native of adjoining village Kaneli. Sakharam said Ramko Atla, a woman from his village who is also his relative, was forcibly taken away by the Naxals to join their ‘ranks’ some two years ago. “The girl (Ramko) came to our village on January 5 and stayed with us as she is our relative. We called her father (Natthuji) and were about to inform the police about her surrender plan. However, we could not do so because of other urgent engagements,” he said.
On January 10, some police jawans in civil clothes came to the village and thrashed Ramko and Smita, a Class IX student, who were in an agriculture field, Sakharam said. “The jawans destroyed all our foodgrains and misbehaved with the girls. They also took away a bank pass book,” he said. “The policemen took Ramko with them and threatened us not to tell anybody about the incident.” On January 15, policemen from Potegaon Police Station again came to our village and assaulted other members of the family and also Natthuji after accusing them of harbouring the woman Naxal, he said. Police have not yet told us anything about Ramko’s whereabouts, Sakharam said. He demanded action against the policemen who committed the atrocity and also sought compensation for the foodgrains damaged by them.