The return of the Naxals
Maoist extremists have brought in units of Company-10, trained to kill with precision; 37 people are known to be on their hit list.
Contrary to the Maharashtra government’s recent claim that left-wing extremism is on the wane, the State faces a rejuvenated red cadre that has vowed to eliminate 37 senior police officers and informants in 2016. The latest hit list has been issued by Naxals in response to the State’s lucrative surrender policy, which, the government claims, has taken off in a big way resulting in a substantial drop in violence. But the latest data show that this claim could be exaggerated. Intelligence inputs have revealed that to execute the hit list, the extremists have brought in several units of Company-10 from Chhattisgarh, each with a strength of 30 men trained to kill with precision.
“This (the latest hit list) is a matter of serious concern for the State, even as inputs show new strategies are being adopted to attract youth with fresh vigour,” an intelligence note in the possession of The Hindu reads. Counter-strategy As part of the Naxal revival policy, documents recovered recently by Gadchiroli Police show that plans are afoot to win the surrendered cadre back to the Maoist fold or eliminate them. The counter-strategy was launched by the CPI-Maoist’s Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee (DKSZC) in villages around Gadchiroli where most of the surrendered cadre lives. Dandakaranya stretches over 92,000 sq km across five States — Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh. — and is a significant holding area for Maoists.
“Left wing extremists adopted a similar strategy in 2009-2010 in Bastar and now, cornered by police action and a spate of surrenders, the outfit is desperate to retain its hold in the red bastion,” reads an intelligence report of the Anti-Naxal Operation Unit of Maharashtra Police. The State government has claimed that thanks to its latest policy – a Rs 5 lakh cash reward and rehabilitation – as many as 51 extremists surrendered in 2015. Violence, too, has ebbed, the government claims.
However, there is another side to the story. In 2015, 18 tribal informants were killed, and 15 murders connected to red extremism were reported as against 14 the previous year, 66 policemen injured as opposed to 43 in 2014, 18 civilians were killed as opposed to six the previous year. Naxals also killed 10 police informants in 2015 as opposed to 8 in 2014. Data also show only two extremists were killed in 2015 as against 13 the previous year. Property worth Rs 1.76 crore was destroyed in 2015 as against Rs 1.49 cr the previous year. Two policemen were killed in 2015, while the number was 11 the previous year. This spate of violence and destruction took place despite the government making the Special Director General (Nagpur) accountable for protecting surrendered Maoists under the new surrender policy. Senior officials told The Hindu that a minor drop in violence could be attributed to the joint operations carried out in 2015.
Another internal note revealed that surrenders were on account of various factors in addition to the state policy, such as ‘health problems, love affairs, internal rifts, sexual exploitation,’ because of which ‘guns were dropped’. Before the new policy came into effect, 40 extremists had surrendered in 2014, and 48 in 2013, showing there has not been a substantial decrease in either violence or number of persons surrendering since the new policy was introduced in end-2014. Maharashtra first launched a Naxal surrender policy on August 29, 2005, and has claimed that 502 extremists have given up arms in the last 10 years since then in violence-hit regions. “The 2015 scenario indicates that the government’s new approach has ensured a retreat of Maoists and advancement of our forces. But we must move with caution,” a senior official said.
HT Special: How bomb training turned the tables on Maoists in 2015
Anti-Maoist operations by the Maharashtra police in 2015 resulted not only in zero casualties among security forces but also the recovery of the largest ever cache of explosives from the insurgents. These records were accompanied by third milestone — the surrender of 56 guerillas, the highest in any of the past 10 years. By comparison, the police lost 11 of its men in anti-Maoist operations in 2014 and six in 2013. Most of these deaths were caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Dreaded Naxalite arrested in Jamui
Police arrested a dreaded Maoist rebel at Jhopa village under Lakshmipur police station area in the district today. Superintendent of Police (Operation) Diwakar Narayan Pandey said here today that a team comprising jawans of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and District Police laid a siege to the village under his leadership and nabbed CPI(Maoist) Praveen Kumar Verma alias Gopal Ji from his hideout. He said a rifle, some live cartridges, detonator and equipment for developing IEDs were recovered from outlaw. Interrogation of the Naxalite was on. UNI XC DH PL AE AS1416
Maoist activity on upswing in Vizag Agency area
With the International Fleet Review (IFR) dates coming close, the district police appear to be a bit worried over the recent spurt of Maoist activity in the Agency area, especially in the cut off area on the Andhra Odisha Border (AOB). According to District Superintendent of Police Koya Praveen, the Maoists have been active in certain pockets in the Agency areas, for the last one year. Their presence has increased in places such as Pedabayalu, Munchingput and G. Madugula, especially after the formation of the Malkangiri-Visakhapatnam- Koraput (MVK) division. The MVK division was formed last year to concentrate in the cut off area of the Andhra Odisha Border (AOB).
Earlier, the area was being taken care of by the East Division, and now it has been moved to the East Godavari region, to regain its lost ground. The MVK division which is headed by Venu, has been active and its cadres comprise mostly of Gutti Koya tribals and Girijans from the Koraput area of Odisha, said the SP. “The recent killings of a couple of innocent people including a former Sarpanch of Jerela, after branding them as police informers, indicate their active presence. None of the killed persons had any touch with the police, but were once Maoist sympathisers. They are using the killing method to spread fear among the locals and to deter them from getting close to the government machinery,” Mr. Praveen told The Hindu . To counter the movement, the police have moved additional forces in the Agency area and have intensified the combing operations.
Maoist leader Guha to be quizzed by Maha and Chhattisgarh cops
A top Maoist rebel who was active in three states for nearly two decades and named in more than 200 cases, will be questioned by the Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh police, officials said on Wednesday. Guha was arrested by MP police in May last year Diliip Uikey alias Guha, who was arrested by the Madhya Pradesh police in May last year, will be questioned by the Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh police in connection with cases registered against him in the two states, police said. Guha was active in three states for nearly two decades Guha, who hails from Matte village of Balaghat district, was active in the three states for nearly two decades, before he was arrested from the jungles in Songudda of Balaghat by the Madhya Pradesh police.
He carried a total of Rs 35 lakh cash reward on his head and was wanted in the three states for over 200 cases, including 19 murders in Balaghat. According to police, Guha was a member of the Malajkhand dalam (a local unit of Maoists) in the mid-1990s and later became the deputy commander of a special guerilla squad before becoming the divisional commander of Gadchiroli-Balaghat-Gondia committee of Communist party of India (Maoist) in 2008. Police took him into custody following a tip-off about his movement in the jungles of Songudda. While other Maoist rebels managed to escape, Guha was nabbed by police. Guha was involved in orchestrating attacks, loot of weapons, murders and landmine blasts: ASP Neeraj Soni, Balaghat additional superintendent of police, said Guha was wanted in connection with 130 cases in Madhya Pradesh alone, including 19 murders.
“Since his arrest, interrogations have revealed important information about the structure, and workings of the rebels and various unsolved cases. We also managed to cipher the codes they were using to contact each other,” he said. The Gondia police in Maharashtra had moved an application in the local court seeking his remand so that they could question him in connection with cases which have been lodged against him in the state, he said. “The Maharashtra police was granted his remand few days back till January 29. Guha was taken from here on January 16. But given the large number of cases against him, his remand is likely to be extended.”
Guha was involved in orchestrating attacks, loot of weapons and landmine blasts, besides 30 to 50 murders cases in the three states, he said. Shashi Kumar Meena, Gondia superintendent of police, told Hindustan Times over phone that after they moved an application for Guha’s remand, he was brought to Gondia from Balaghat a few days back. On the number of cases lodged against Guha, he said the exact number would be clear once they question him. Asked whether they would seek extension of Guha’s remand, he said it would depend on information police gets from him on various cases. “If we feel more time is required, then we would demand extension of his remand,” he said. The Chhattisgarh police too said they will seek Guha’s remand and question him. YP Singh, additional superintendent of police, Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh, speaking to HT over phone, said after the Gondia police questions Guha, they would seek his remand so that he can be brought to Chhattisgarh and questioned.
Chhattisgarh: Security forces apprehend four Maoists
Sukma (Chhattisgarh), Jan. 21 (ANI): Joint forces of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and police have apprehended four Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district on Thursday. All the four Maoists carried a reward of Rs 1 lakh on their heads.