Political prisoner killed in police custody in Lakhisarai.
Jawan killed, another hurt in Naxal attack in Bijapur
A police jawan was today killed and another injured after Naxals ambushed a team of security personnel who were deployed on a helipad in the dense forests of Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Bijapur district. A group of Maoists opened fire on jawans guarding the helipad in a restive pocket of Pamed police station area, located around 500 km away from the state capital Raipur, Bijapur Superintendent of Police KL Dhruv said.
Security forces were tasked with ensuring security to the helipad ahead of the landing of a helicopter meant to transport ration for them. After dropping the consignment, the chopper returned and security forces began marching back to its base, he said. “Meanwhile, a group of Maoists opened indiscriminate firing on them from behind leaving two constables –Baburam Markam belonging to the district force and Dinesh Ogre of Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) – injured.
However, rebels fled from the spot as security forces launched the retaliatory attack on them,” he added. Reinforcement was rushed to the spot and the injured were admitted to a local hospital, he added. “While Markam succumbed to his injuries during the treatment, Ogre was airlifted to Raipur for treatment,” he said. Meanwhile, security forces have launched a combing operation in the region to trace the attackers, the SP added.
MP: Maoists in Balaghat wanted to influence tendu leaf plucking
The Maoists who had an encounter with Madhya Pradesh security personnel in Balaghat on Thursday were newly recruited from Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and wanted to influence tendu leaf plucking to broaden base, investigations have reveled.
A Maoist was injured in gun-battles with teams of Madhya Pradesh anti-Maoist Hawk Force, Central security force and Balaghat district police in the jungles between Chukkatola and Bhagwandeeh twice on Thursday.
The encounter took place almost four years after two Maoists were gunned down in Lanji area of Balaghat district on May 24, 2012.
The group of 25-30 fresh recruits were led by three hardcore Maoists, including Tanda Malajkhand area committee member Sangita, who carries a reward of Rs 7 lakh on head and is wanted by the Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh police.
The other two included Tanda Malajkhand area committee member Dipak, who carries a Rs 30 lakh reward on head, and divisional commander of North Gadchiroli Gondia committee Naresh, who carries Rs 20 lakh bounty.
The Maoists were camping in the jungles between Chukkatola and Bhagwandeeh in Balaghat district to extort money from contractors of tendu leaf plucking on the Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh-Maharashatra trisection, investigations have revealed.
Balaghat police sources said the Maoists had planned to fuel resentment among tribes people plucking tendu leaves by telling them that they are paid Rs 130 per hundred leaves instead of Rs 150 per hundred leaves.
Seven teams of the state Hawk Force, three of the CRPF and cops of three police stations of Balaghat are searching for the fleeing Maoists in the 80-km-long forest edging Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh.
The Balaghat police officials believe that the Maoist injured in Thursday’s encounter has sustained bullet wounds in the thigh and is being nursed somewhere in the border areas.
“While four Maoists are carrying their injured colleague, another group of 25-plus are still holed up in the other part of the jungles spanning in Roopjhar, Malajkhand and Lanji areas of Balaghat district,” Balaghat superintendent of police Gaurav Tiwari said.
Inspector general (anti-Maoist operation) RS Meena, Balaghat inspector general DC Sagar and Gaurav Tiwari are camping in the jungles to supervise the combing and search operations.
Judicial custody of 5 ‘Maoists’ extended
Coimbatore: A local court on Thursday extended the judicial custody of five Maoist suspects till April 27.
They were produced before the first additional district judge court here for remand extension.
The Maoist suspects — Roopesh, his wife Shyna and three accomplices Veeramani, Kannan and Anoop Mathew George — were arrested from a bakery at Karumathampatti in Coimbatore district in May last by the Q branch officials. All of them were lodged at Coimbatore central prison.
Already, the Q branch has filed a chargesheet against the five but copies of the same are yet to be served to the suspects. Only after copies ofchargesheet are served on them, the court will frame charges against them and the prosecution can start the trial.
The prosecution plans to serve the copies of the chargesheet to the Maoist suspects during the extended judicial custody period. But the principal district judge was on leave. Then, they were produced before the first ADJ court. The judge, Christopher, has extended the judicial custody till April 27. Balamurugan, who appeared for the Maoist suspects, argued that over 24 fresh cases were registered against his clients in order to keep them behind bars. Later, the five were taken back to the central prison.