Eight Ultras, Including a Teen, Held in Chhattisgarh
RAIPUR: Eight suspected Naxals, including a teenaged girl, were arrested from separate places in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Bastar division today.
Four cadres were picked up from Kanker district and four others held in Sukma district, a senior police official told PTI. In the first incident, a team of district force was carrying out a search operation in Badgaon police station area, located around 250 km away from here, when they spotted four persons in forests of Latamarka village, he said.On interrogation, they admitted involvement in the Naxal movement, he added.They were identified as Saten Ram Kumeti (26), Rati Ram Jade (23), Vimla Uike (23) and a 17-year-old girl, the official said.
Kumeti was wanted in cases of abduction and attempt to murder in the region while three others, including Vimla and the minor, were allegedly involved in offences like rioting, loot and attempt to wage war, he said.In the second incident, a joint squad of CRPF and the district police force nabbed four Maoists from Nilavaram village under Gadiras police station limits, the official said. Of them, Katti Guddi alias Madkam Ganga was carrying a reward of Rs 2,000 on his head, he said.
All four were active members of Dandakaranya Adivasi Kisan Majdoor Sangthan, a front for banned CPI (Maoist), and were allegedly involved in various crimes including creating disturbance during panchayat election in 2015.
Female Maoist held in Amaravati
AMRAVATI: A CPI (Maoist) activist Bhootam Aruna alias Annapurna alias Padmakka was alleged to have been whisked away by the anti-naxal squad police at Thallayapalem under Thullur mandal of Guntur district on Tuesday.A 20-member team of police in plainclothes from the ANS launched a crackdown on the house of Duddu Balaswamy, Padmakka’s brother-in-law, and whisked her away, according to eye-witness accounts. Later, Balaswamy was also summoned by the police on the charge of harbouring extremists. Suffering from migraine for some time, Padmakka was said to have come to the house of her sister Venkataratnam at Thallayapalem for treatment.
According to information, Padmakka, a native of Julakal village in Piduguralla mandal in the district, remained inactive for some time on health grounds. Attracted to the people’s war movement in 1991, she worked in different areas in different capacities as wife of Nune Narasimha Reddy, State committee member of the Maoist party. Her sister, also an activist of the Maoist party, was reportedly killed in an encounter in the Visakha agency a couple of years ago. The police authorities in Guntur district did not confirm the apprehension of Padmakka.
“It could not be construed as arrest. The ANS personnel might have chanced upon her and taken her away for interrogation”, a senior police officer from Amaravati region told TOI wishing not to be identified. Meanwhile, Andra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC) general secretary Ch. Chandrasekhar demanded the release of Padmakka. She was not facing any criminal case and that she be released immediately keeping in mind her fragile health condition, he urged.
Jawan, villager injured in IED blast in Chhattisgarh
Two persons, including a police jawan and a villager, were injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast triggered by Maoists in the district’s Antagarh-Orcha road today. Aiming to target security personnel, the rebels after planting the landmine, had blocked the road by cuttingdown a roadside tree near the Mavli turning. They had also put up Naxal banner and poster. The Maoists triggered the blast inflicting serious injury to a police constable Preetam Poyam and a villagerwhen a patrolling team reached the spot and tried to remove the obstruction with the help of the local villagers.
STF personnel train police
The Special Task Force (STF) personnel have started training a team of 57 police personnel of the police at Pillur Dam, and Mulli along the Kerala border.
The three-day training programme that began on Monday has been organised in the wake of reported Maoists intrusion into the State in The Nilgiris district last Friday.
While there has been no attack in Tamil Nadu so far, the training would help the police to meet exigencies. It will build the confidence in police personnel involved in intelligence gathering, surveillance, and vehicle checks, said a senior police officer. He said that the STF personnel were competent enough to carry out combing operations, and anti-Naxal drives in the forests.
Pillur Dam Police Station is the closest to Kerala.Hence the location was selected for the training.A 15-member STF team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police, P. Maraimalai, will provide training in conducting combing operations, sensing attacks, counter insurgency, camp defence, ambush, and weapon handling.
Those who undergo training include a Deputy Superintendent of Police, an Inspector, five Sub Inspectors and 50 others in the rank of Special Sub Inspector, Head Constable, and a Constable. Most of them are aged between 25 and 35.
Authorities fear return of Maoists
The arrest of a Maoist state committee leader and his wife from Kolkata on Saturday night has raised alarms within the security establishment.
Even though no Maoist activities have been reported in Bengal in almost four years, the Election Commission and security agencies are not willing to let their guard down with the arrests coming barely two days before the first phase of polling.
With as many as nine constituencies in Jungle Mahal, an area considered a hotbed of Maoist activities since 2006, are witnessing polling in the first phase, the recent arrests have made authorities believe that the ultra Left outfit could be staging a comeback. Maoists lost their grip over the region — the forested area cuts across districts of Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore — since the encounter death of top leader Kishenji in November 2011.
The Kolkata Police’s Special Task Force arrested CPI (Maoist) state committee member Bikash, and his wife, Tara, also a party member, from central Kolkata, based on a tip-off, Joint Commissioner (STF) Vishal Garg, told reporters. The police seized a 7.62 mm pistol, an Ak-47 assault rifle, two magazines and around 120 live bullets from their hideout, the location of which remains undisclosed. Authorities are more concerned with a bunch of books on Maoist ideology in Santhali language, seized from the couple.Investigators believe this to be a clear indication that ultras are trying to regain grounds in the tribal-majority Jungle Mahal. This comes within days of CPI (Maoist) state secretary, Akash, issuing a statement, put up as posters across Jungle Mahal, in which he called for boycotting the polls.
Officials admitted that the widespread belief within the administration and security establishment was that Maoists lost their direction after Kishenji’s death.
“This belief has suddenly come under question. There are reports that ultras have been running a whispering campaign in Jungle Mahal against the state government for the last few months,” an official said.Even though the Trinamool Congress government has been taking developmental steps in the largely impoverished region, there is still a lot to be done, officials agreed.Jungle Mahal has around 40 seats, of which 18 seats witnessed election on Monday, with the second round scheduled for April 11.
Since Maoists had significant presence in nearly 30 of these seats between 2006 and 2011, authorities are not willing to take chances.
If Monday’s polling under a heavy blanket of security was a glimpse into EC’s strategy, the cordon will be further tightened for the next phase, officials said.
BSP neta held for links with Maoists
Aurangabad: With the arrest of noted contractor and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) state general secretary Kaushal Kumar Singh, the police on Sunday claimed to have exposed nexus between the white-collared politician and members of banned CPI (Maoist). Kaushal, along with five others, has been arrested in connection with planting of high-capacity cylinder bombs on Deo-Madanpur road close to village Jalwan under Madanpur police station area of the district.
Police sources said the arrests were made from different areas of the district. The five have been identified as Kamlesh Singh, Brajkishore Singh, Jitendra Singh, Nagdeo Yadav and Ganesh Yadav. Soon after the recovery of bombs, police carried out raids to unravel the case.
Aurangabad SP Babu Ram claimed on Sunday evening that police have gathered enough evidence indicating that Kaushal was funding Maoists for carrying out their operations. “Kaushal had allegedly assisted Maoists in Bandhgoreya encounter under the Dhibra police station about two months ago, in which four Maoists were gunned down by the security personnel,” said the SP.