Encounter killing of woman in Narayanpur and five CRPF commandos injured in Sukma engagement.
Maoist kill villager in Chhattisgarh
A villager was allegedly killed by Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres on the suspicion of being a ‘Police informer’ in Kanker District on March 2, reports The Times of India. The victim, Satru Ram, was allegedly shot dead by the Maoists at his native place Tiralgarh village under Bande Police Station limits, Kanker Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Jayant Vaishnav said. Meanwhile, five Maoists, one of them carrying a cash reward on his head, were arrested in Sukma District on March 2, reports The Times of India.
“Based on intelligence inputs, the cadres were rounded up by a joint team of security forces from a weekly market at Korra village under Gadiras police station limits,” Sukma Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Santosh Singh said. Those arrested were identified as Sodhi Joga (30), Sodhi Kosa (28), Madkam Ranga (22), Madvi Budhra (25) and Sodhi Deva alias Malir (28), he said. Joga, who was wanted in connection with an abduction and murder case, was carrying a reward of INR 5,000 on his head, the ASP added.
Jharkhand police wield sedition stick most to hunt down Maoist rebels
A wave of protests may have rocked the Capital over sedition charges against JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar but thousands of miles away, the Maoist violence-hit Jharkhand has the highest number of such cases in India. The state registered 18 sedition cases in 2014. Most of them were against Maoist rebels, their front organisations and sympathisers, who have a presence in 16 of the state’s 24 districts. Extremist violence has killed 499 civilians and 1,689 policemen in the past 15 years.
Top officials say lower-rung police officers use the 156-year-old sedition provision liberally against Maoist rebels when they attack forces, hoist black flags during national festivals, or are found carrying pamphlets against India’s unity and integrity. But many of these cases collapse and embarrass the force. “IPC Section 124-A (sedition) is very loosely worded and open to varied interpretations,” said Jharkhand police additional director general of police (ADGP) special branch Anurag Gupta. But do cases end up into convictions? “Unfortunately no, because evidences are scanty and procedures are not followed completely,” Gupta said. Several senior state police officials conceded there was a severe lack of knowledge about sedition laws among lower rung officers. In some cases, chargesheets were filed without seeking the government’s permission—mandatory for framing sedition charges — resulting in major embarrassment for the police in courts, said AGDP Anil Palta.
“The cops blatantly used sedition against most of us. The idea was to prevent us from getting bail sooner whenever we got caught or surrendered,” said Yugal Pal, once a senior Maoist commander and now a social activist in Palamu. Pal said as newer laws came in place, police switched from Section 124 (A) to 17 Criminal Law Amendment Act (CLAA) and the Unlawful Assembly Prevention Act (UAPA) as these laws were tougher and required lesser intervention by the state. But state secretary of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties Shashi Bhushan Pathak said it was easy to “frame” Maoists for sedition as they were locals fighting against forcible usurping of their land and minerals by corporates. Economist Harishwar Dayal, director of Institute for Human Development (IHD), eastern regional centre said until non-state players shun violence and provide alternative growth plans, they will “remain enemies in the eyes of law”.
“India of the 21st century does not require a law used by the colonial government to suppress India’s voice,” said Maoist-turned-activist Satishji. Slain CPI (Maoist) politburo member Koteshwar Rao alias Kishenji had argued with HT months before his death in an encounter with forces that Maoists were the biggest patriots. “If Pakistan attacks India, we would be happy to form the first line of defence against them. Unfortunately, the state considers us bigger enemies.” Another Maoist spokesperson, Bablooji, had said they take 7 % levy for running their revolutionary force and carrying out development programmes in villages. The government officers take 20-30 % cut in allocating welfare schemes. “Who is anti-national?” he had asked.
Encounter deaths in Sukma: HC to hear PIL on March 9
Hyderabad, Mar 3 (PTI) The Hyderabad High Court today directed Khammam police in Telangana to preserve the bodies of the eight Maoists who were killed in an allegedly fake encounter in Sukma district of neighbouring Chhattisgarh on March 1. The elite anti-Naxal force of Telangana police, Greyhounds, was involved in the encounter. A division bench of acting Chief Justice Dilip Bhosale and Justice P Naveen Rao passed the order on a public interest litigation filed by the State Civil Liberties Committee, an NGO, alleging that the encounter was fake.
The bench directed that if the relatives of the slain Naxals came forward to claim the bodies, the police may record their statement and hand over the bodies. This process must be videographed, it said. The unclaimed bodies will be preserved till March 9 when the court will hear the PIL, the judges said. Additional Advocate General J Ramchander Rao said that two of the bodies had already been handed over to relatives.
ANS Info Aids in Nabbing Three Naxals
ELURU: The Jangareddigudem DSP J. Venkatrao addressing a press conference at Butyagudem police station, on Wednesday, said that Anti-Naxal Squad (ANS) on receiving information about the movement of CPI-ML (New Democracy) Chandranna Dalam members in Buttayagudem agency forest area began combing operations on Monday night. During the combing operations, the police arrested three members of the group at Upparilla village in Buttayagudem Mandal on Tuesday and handed them over to the police on Wednesday. The DSP said that they arrested include Pallala Prakash alias Prakash Reddy alias Dharmanna (45), of Jajivalasa in Ramavaram of East Godavari district, Madakam Ramarao alias Ramanna (55) of Kannapuram and Nadapala Somaraju (28) of old Alineru village.
“One country-made rifle and six rounds of bullets were recovered from the accused,” Venkatrao said. Speaking about the arrested, the DSP said that the prime accused Dharmanna is the Commander of the Chandranna Dalam, while the other two worked as couriers. “For the past 20 years, the prime accused Dharmanna was working with the New Democracy. In 2004, he became a member of the Dalam and later was made Commander. His activity extended to East and West Godavari agencies and was also leading an eight-member armed team. Dharmanna was an underground cadre,” Venkatrao said. The Buttayagudem police has registered cases under Section 25(1), (a), 27 of Indian Arms Act 1959, Section 4(6), 5 of Explosive Substance Act 1884, Section 10, 13 of Unlawful activities prevention Act 1968 and Section 8(1) (2) of A.P. Public Security Act, 1992 on the charges of illegal possession of arms, recruitment of activists for Naxalite movement, conspiracy, and extortion against the three.
Maoists Rope in Chhattisgarh Cadre to Stay Afloat in Odisha
BHUBANESWAR: With local recruitments drying up in catchments of its area of operation, a desperate CPI (Maoist) is pumping in cadre from Chhattisgarh to keep its struggle alive in Odisha. The State Police has reasons to believe that there are just about 70 Odia members left in the cadre of the party in the State whereas total number of operatives would be in the region of 460 to 500. The rest are either from Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand or Andhra Pradesh. At present, though, Chhattisgarh has turned out to be the “supply line” as the Maoist outfit has found recruitment a tough ask even in pockets where it held sway only five years back. A case in point is Banshdhara-Ghumsar Division, commanded by Bauri Bandhu Sethi alias Bunty.
The division has barely about 46 members who operate in four units and to boost their strength, the party has sent in a company (about 30 members) as reinforcement from the neighbouring State. Sources say between 2004 and 2010, when the outfit operated in full throttle, it had managed the highest recruitment. After Sabyasachi Panda’s arrest and surrender of Nachika Linga, the exercise was hit while increasing successes of the State Police critically affected ground operations of the banned outfit. “The Kalinga Nagar Division was a dominant unit and carried out a spate of violent activities after 2006-07. It had as many as 74 members out of which 72 were locals. By now, it is all but finished,” said sources in the State Police. Narayanpatna, once a stronghold of Maoists in the southern region given the influence of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha and its leader Nachika Linga, too is running thin on cadre base.
From around a unit of 60, it has come down to about 12 who are now pushed to southern part of the block, closer to Andhra Pradesh border. Malkangiri district, though, continues to be a strong area where despite frequent offensives by the security forces, the Maoists control a large part of the cut-off areas. But State Police sources claim local recruitment number has dropped nonetheless. The total numbers have fallen from 100 to 50 in Kalimela-Padia areas. Although bordering areas of Rayagada, Kandhamal and Kalahandi continue to see activity and CPI (Maoist) managed to enrol locals, the same cannot be said of Nuapada, Nabarangpur, Bargarh and Balangir and even Rourkela. Experts say a major reason behind the low recruitment is the decline of leaders such as Sabyasachi Panda and Linga.
“They were locals, had a mass following. Like political leadership, they had appeal and cadre could connect to them,” said an insider. Most of the current unit leaders including Bunty, Kunu Dehuri (heading the Sambalpur-Deogarh unit) and Shankar Majhi (Kalahandi-Boudh-Kandhamal outfit) were recruited about 10 to 12 years back by Panda. They have their units but do not command mass appeal. As a result, the local recruitment numbers have fallen which CPI (Maoist) acknowledged in its party meeting last year documents of which are now in public domain. “At one point, Odia members constituted half of the armed cadre of the party in the State. Now it is barely about 15 per cent,” sources point out.
Orders on Azad encounter case rivision petition on March 28
The order on a revision petition filed by Padma, wife of slain Maoist Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and Babita, wife of journalist Hemchandra Pandey, on their dismissed protest petition were posted for March 28, by Adilabad Family Court Judge, Aruna Sarika. Arguments on the revision petiton presented by CBI advocate B. Alexander Lenin Raja and advoate for petitioners, D. Suresh were completed at the court on Thursday. The arguments centred around Neelakanteshwar Rao, the doctor who conducted post mortem on the body of Azad at Mancherial hospital on July 3, 2010, being denied an opportunity to explain the nature of injuries in the lower court in Adilabad which was dealing with the protest petition.
The advocate for petitioners contended that the opinion of the doctor was crucial to the decision on taking cognizance of the plea. It may be recalled that the top Maoist and the journalist were killed in an alleged encounter at Sarkepalli forest in Wankidi mandal of Adilabad District on July 2, 2010. The petitioners had accused the police of eliminating the two in a fake encounter. The CBI had subsequently conducted an inquiry into the allegation and given a clean chit to the policemen who had participated in the encounter. The protest petition was filed following the submission of the CBI report to the Supreme Court.
Wary of Maoists, villagers want cops to go back
Aurangabad: Repeated attempts by police to instil confidence among the villagers of Red-dominated zone in the district under ‘Operation Vishwas’ have proved futile, as natives of Langurahi and Pachrukhiya do not want any help from the security forces. The villagers have made a fervent appeal to security forces, camping close to both the villages, to leave them to their fate. A villager Sukhi Bhokta said “Sahib, zindagi rahegi tab na dekhenge kutch, jab se apke dawara di gai yojna ka labh liya hai, jaan par hi afat aa gayi hai (Sir, only if our life is secured we can utilise the benefits. Ever since we accepted the facilities provided by you, our lives are at risk).”
Arrest in Bhojpur.