Maoist tech guru spills beans on five key rebels
Kolkata: Interrogation of Sadanala Ramkrishna, former head of the technology wing of the Maoists, have revealed five more names who were actively involved in procuring technology for advanced explosives and arms for the extremist group. The five, all of them at large, are likely to be named in the chargesheet to be filed soon. According to an NIA officer, Ramakrishna, alias Dokra alias Santosh, a mechanical engineer from Regional Engineering College, was the key member of the technology wing of the Maoists-TRAM (Technical Research Arms Manufacturing Unit). T
he NIA officers have learnt from him that the five people, who helped Maoists procure technology for advanced weaponry, also worked towards organizing meetings in different cities, including Kolkata. The weapons could outsmart the police in any combat. The initial link of Mumbai techies and the CPI (Maoist) was earlier busted by the personnel of the Gadchiroli police station. Ramakrishna and some of the five worked with the Mumbai engineers, learning how to make advanced arms. NIA officers found the raw material were sent from Mumbai to Raipur. “Their role will be clear once the supplementary chargesheet is in place,” said NIA advocate Shyamal Ghosh.
The techies in Mumbai supplied the details of how to assemble hi-tech arms. Ramkrishna attended a workshop on BT Road in Kolkata. NIA sources said the five people might have also workshops in Kolkata. “There they received training in assembling rocket launchers and grenade launchers,” said an NIA officer. Investigators have also interrogated another key functionary, Asimkumar Haranath Bhattacharya, who was in touch with Mumbai firms, which procured raw material for arms for the Maoists. “We have recovered drawings and documents for 51 mm Mortar. Investigators also have reasons to believe the Maoists” made powerful and long-range mortars,” said an NIA official. The agency has not ruled out the possibility of them rejoining the Maoist outfits.
BERMO, GIRIDIH REMAIN PEACEFUL
The first day of the two-day Statewide bandh called by Maoist, evoked mixed response in the coal city Bermo and mica town Giridih and also passed off peacefully on Monday. Even though the Bokaro and Giridih districts administration and the police made elaborate arrangement, the NH-2 remained deserted. However, the situation within the all blocks of Bermo and Giridih were normal. Courts, offices, Government schools and daily business continued as per schedule. State Bank of India, Bank of India, Bokaro Thermal and Kathara branches remained closed, fearing untoward incidents.
Shops remained closed on the outskirts of the Maoist affected blocks Nawadih, Gomia and Peterwar in Bokaro while marketing establishment of Pirtard, Bagodar, Dewari,Isari, Gawa, Bangabad, Muffasil and Dumari in Giridih did not opened. Train movement, however, remained unaffected . DIG, Bokaro Shambhu Thakur no incident was reported from any parts of the both districts. “We have sufficient deployment of force to tackle any untoward incident and instill a sense of confidence into people”. But coal transportation was also affected in Bermo and Giridih. However bandh remained peaceful.
Partial impact of Maoist bandh, boards postponed
Ranchi/Jamshedpur/Bokaro/Gumla: The first day of the 48-hour Maoist bandh had no impact on Ranchi on Monday. However, it had a partial impact on rural areas of the state. The bandh called by the CPI (Maoist) Bihar state committee resulted in the postponement of the matriculation and intermediate examinations, conducted by Jharkhand Academic Council (JAC), scheduled for February 16. The matriculation examination will now begin on March 2 while the intermediate exam will start on March 3. JAC chairman Arvind Prasad Singh said, “Keeping in view the bandh called by Maoists, we have decided to postpone the exams to ensure students do not face any difficulty commuting. Although dates have been postponed, the timetable remains the same.”
In Bokaro, most business establishments in Gomia, Nawadih, Bermo and other areas remained close throughout. Commercial vehicles also remained off the roads, including long-distance buses. The bandh also disrupted transportation of coal, said sources. The police increased security in sensitive places, especially areas bordering West Bengal, Giridih and Hazaribagh. Bokaro SP Y S Ramesh said no untoward incidents were reported. In the Steel City, police stepped up security on NH-33 to ensure smooth traffic. “A section of long-distance buses remained off the road as passenger turnout was relatively low,” said a functionary of the Private Long Distance Bus Owners Association. No trains were cancelled along the Chakradharpur rail division.
Three Maoists arrested from different places
Patna: A team of Special Task Force (STF) on Sunday night arrested one self-styled zonal commander of CPI (Maoist) from Samastipur district and two women cadres from a place on Muzaffarpur-Sheohar border. Confirming the arrests, Sushil M Khopde, IG (Operations and STF), said the zonal commander, Lalbabu Sahni alias Bhaskarji, was arrested from his hideout in Samastipur and on the basis of his tip-off, woman cadres – Soni Kumari and Chitralekha – were arrested. The IG said, “Bhaskarji, a native of Sheohar, was accused in several cases in Bihar. He is one of the most wanted Maoists on the list of Andhra Pradesh police. He was earlier sent to jail in Bihar, but was released on bail last year.”
After coming out of jail, he became active again. Two fresh cases have been lodged against him since then. He was Maoist zonal commander in North Bihar for Muzaffarpur-Sitamarhi-Sheohar zone. According to police records, Bhaskarji and one of his associates, Tirthankar, had been arrested from a rented house in Nayatola locality of Patna on November 22 in 2007. A huge cache of arms and explosives, including over 50kg IEDs, hand grenades, detonators, wire and other explosive materials, were seized from their possession. Soni Kumari and Chitralekha were handed over to the Muzaffarpur police after arrest.
However, no arms were recovered from their possession. The IG added, “A few more persons have been detained and their identity verification is going on.”Sources said the two women were closely working with one of the area commanders of the outfit. “Our information is that one of the arrested women is wife of a senior Maoist,” said the source.
‘Maoists’ torch truck on NH-33 in Jharkhand
RANCHI: Suspected Maoists torched a truck on Ranchi-Jamshedpur national highway (NH-33) during wee hours on Tuesday, second of the two days CPI (Maoist) called Jharkhand-Bihar bandh.The speeding truck screeched to a halt at Nagasoreng village in Ichagarh where Maoists had held up the highway with small branches of palash tree scattered across the road. The Maoists, some armed with small weapons, emerged from either side of the highway and allowed an escape to the driver and the cleaner before setting fire to the Jamshedpur bound truck. The vehicle was empty as, police said, it was returning from Ranchi after unloading a consignment.SP Saraikela Kharsawan Indrajeet Mahtha said Rs 20,000, the driver was carrying, was looted by them.
Maoists torch BSNL mobile tower in Bihar
PATNA: Maoist guerrillas torched a mobile tower in Bihar’s Jamui district on Tuesday, the second day of a two-day state-wide shutdown, police said. The Maoists had called the shutdown to protest the killing of one of their top-ranking leaders in a police shootout earlier this month. Nearly 40 armed guerrillas attacked the BSNL mobile tower at Mudwaro village and set it ablaze. “The BSNL mobile tower was badly damaged,” a police official said. Maoists pasted hand written posters at different places in the district, warning police to stop harassing innocent people and threatened the police to stop torturing the poor. The shutdown has affected normal life in rural ares in Jamui, Banka, Munger, Lakhisarai and other neighbouring districts.
Police, Maoists exchange fire in Odisha forest
Exchange of fire between police forces and Maoists was reported this evening from Handapa area of Odisha’s Angul district, said a top police official of the district. Police and Red Rebels exchanged fire around 7 PM in the Nakchir Udal forested area under Handapa forest limits, police sources said. “During joint combing operations by Angul and Sambalpur police it came face to face with Maoists belonging to Sambalpur-Deogarh-Sundergarh division of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) resulting in exchange of fire. We have no reports till now of casualties due to the exchange of fire. We suspect that Maoists are in hiding in Handapa area. We have intensified our search operations,” said Angul SP Rajesh Pandit.