Maoists warn of retaliation against police atrocities in Odisha
About 5,000 tribals alleging atrocities by the police on the common man participated in a people’s conclave organized by the outlawed CPI (Maoist) held at an undisclosed location in the cut-off area of Odisha’s Malkangiri district. Local sources said tribals alleging atrocities by the police on innocent citizens demanded the immediate removal of police camps set up at various locations in the area.
Maoists at the gathering warned of strong retaliation if atrocities by the police on innocent tribals did not stop, the sources added. Speakers at the conclave demanded right to live for the people and alleged that the police and security personnel were murdering innocent people by branding them as Maoists. The conclave organized by Benu, secretary of outlawed CPI (Maoist) was attended by about 5,000 villagers hailing from Panasput, Andrapalli, and Jodaamba villages, local sources said.
Chhattisgarh constable killed in naxal blast
A constable of Chhattisgarh police was killed and another person sustained injuries in a pressure bomb explosion in the forest area under Maraigudem police outpost limits in Sukma district of neighbouring Chhattisgarh on Monday afternoon. According to sources, the incident took place a few kms away from Cherupally village in Dummugudem mandal of Khammam district along the Telangana-Chhattisgarh border.
Sources said that Madakam Joga, a constable of Chhattisgarh police, and Sanjay, an operator of a concrete mixer excavator, sustained grievous injuries in a pressure bomb blast allegedly triggered by Maoists in Maraigudem forest area in the strife-torn Sukma district late on Monday afternoon. The injured constable was part of a joint team of police and CRPF personnel deployed at the spot to guard the ongoing road work between Maraigudem and Gollapalli in the dense forest area. The constable succumbed to injuries while being shifted to a hospital, the sources said. The injured excavator operator was shifted to the Government area hospital in Bhadrachalam. His condition is stated to be critical.
Institute for Conflict Management on CPI (Maoist) in Odisha
..Apart from these killings, the Maoists were also found to have engaged in several violent acts in order to obstruct developmental works. On January 31, 2016, for instance, Maoists attacked different camps of contractors at Taupadar, Barabandha and Kasuguda under Pottangi Police Station limits of Koraput District. They first assaulted the laborers while they were asleep and subsequently set ablaze the three camps when the laborers fled from the camps. They also set ablaze eight construction vehicles. Before leaving the area, the Maoists left posters and banners signed in the name of the Srikakulam-Koraput Divisional Committee. In the posters, the outfit claimed responsibility for the incidents and protested the widening of the road to Deomali, saying it would help Police and BSF personnel, as well as multinational companies, and not the tribals. The Maoists demanded construction of narrow roads, failing which they would ‘punish’ the contractors and the officials engaged in construction work.
Maoist violence has registered a spike in several Districts across the country, after sustained declines, if the fatalities in the first four months of the current year are compared with the fatalities in the corresponding period of the previous year. Total fatalities in the current year till May 1 stands at 170, 51.17 per cent higher than the 87 recorded in the corresponding period of 2015.
Institute for Conflict Management on CPI (Maoist) in Madhya Pradesh
…Madhya Pradesh has a total of 51 Districts. Apart from Balaghat, six Maoist-linked incidents have been recorded from four other Districts since the formation of CPI-Maoist in September 2004. These included two incidents each from Bhopal, the State capital, and Shahdol; while one incident each was reported from Sehore and Singrauli. These incidents alone do not demonstrate a significant Maoist presence in the State, outside Balaghat. Yet, State Home Minister Babulal Gaur warned, on February 9, 2014, that a total of 10 Districts have been hit by “red-sponsored terrorism”, hampering development in these areas.
These are disturbing signs. With the Maoists under extreme duress in neighbouring States, MP offers tempting areas for relocation, particularly with the poor Police profile in the State. MP has the fourth lowest number of Policemen (27.3) per 100 square kilometres among all States in the Country, less than half the national average of 54.7 according data last released by the National Crime Records Bureau in 2014. The State also has a relatively low Police-Population ratio, at 112 per 100,000, well below the national average of 141 (which itself is far from satisfactory according to international standards), and fifth from the bottom among all States.
According to an August 12, 2015, report, the State Government has decided to form a Special Indian Reserve Battalion (SIRB), a force that can be deployed across the State for maintaining law and order and to fight the Maoists. A total of seven companies and 1,107 posts are to be created in the special force. State Home Minister Babulal Gaur disclosed, “The SIRB is being established in MP to combat the Naxalites. Its headquarters will be at village Kanki of Balaghat District, neighbouring Naxal-hit Chhattisgarh.” No further information on the current status of the Force is available.
The Maoists are in sharp retreat across their traditional areas of dominance, and it would be unfortunate if they are able to carve out a new sphere of operations due to the lackadaisical responses of the MP Government. A sense of tremendous urgency – of which there is little present evidence – must attend the responses to this, as yet, emerging challenge in the State.
Naxal killed in encounter
A Naxal was killed in one of the longest encounters in Gadchiroli’s history on the night intervening Saturday and Sunday. Police suspect the deceased Naxal, whose body was found on the encounter spot, as Rajita alias Ramko Usendi, Chatgaon area secretary (CPI Maoist).
The encounter ensued in Hurrekasa village in Chatgaon of Dhanora tehsil around 8 pm on Saturday and continued up to 5 am on Sunday.
“The Naxals hiding in the place opened fire at the police party. The police started retaliating but the encounter continued up to 5 am on Sunday. With the police gaining upper hand, the Naxals took to their heels. Afterwards, the police found the body of a woman Naxal, who appears to be Chatgaon area secretary Rajita alias Ramko Usendi,” stated a police press note. The suspicion about Rajita being the deceased was due to the fact that an AK-47 rifle, which is possessed only by a commandor-level cadre, was recovered from the spot. The police also recovered a .303 rifle, camera flash, a cartridge, 47 rounds of AK-47, a bag and some other daily-use material.
“We had inputs about Naxals hiding in the village. So we initially sent a party of 15 personnel for a check. During the search, they found that some Naxals were hiding in a two-storey house. Our men sent messages to the Naxals to surrender but the insurgents were in no mood to give up. So we decided to take the final call and sent additional forces. In the subsequent exchange of fire, the female cadre was killed,” said Gadchiroli SP Sandip Patil. Asked why the encounter stretched for nine hours, Patil said, “We spent a lot of time to convince the Naxals to give up but they sent back the messengers asking them to mind their own business. After we decided to take on the Naxals, we first cordoned off the village and also evacuated other houses to keep civilians away at a safe distance. All this took many hours. The actual firing did not last for more than 30 minutes.” With this, four Naxals, all women, have so far been killed in encounters in Gadchiroli this year.
Three Naxals held in separate cases in Cgarh
Raipur, May 10 (PTI) Three Naxals, two of them carrying cash rewards on their heads, have been arrested from two separate places in the insurgency-hit Bastar division of Chhattisgarh, police said today. Two cadres, identified as Deva Muchaki (23) and Podiyami Gagru (25), were nabbed today by Dantewada police from Marjoom forests under Tongpal police station limits of neighbouring Sukma district, Dantewada Additional Superintendent of Police Gorakhnath Baghel told PTI. The duo was allegedly involved in the recent encounter between a joint team of security forces and ultras in Marjoom area on May 7, in which two rebels were killed.
“They were also wanted in several other incidents, including attacks on police party. They were carrying a reward of Rs 1 lakh each on their heads,” he said. In a separate incident, a Maoist commander identified as Barsuram Jurri (38), was nabbed from Tiralgarh village forests area under the jurisdiction of Bande police station in Kanker district last evening, a police official said. A team of district police force had launched a combing operation, to the interiors of Bande, located around 300 km from the state capital Raipur. While cordoning off Tiralgarh forest, they spotted a suspect and arrested him after chasing him for some distance. “During his interrogation, the rebel admitted his involvement with the Naxal movement as being the Janmilitia Platoon Commander in Tiralgarh area,” he added.
Sontakke bail: SC takes note of duration of her custody, acquittals in other cases
In all, 18 cases were lodged against Sontakke after her arrest from Thane in 2011 by the ATS, 16 of which ended with acquittals and discharge.
THE SUPREME Court, while granting bail to alleged Maoist Angela Sontakke last week, has taken into account the duration she has been in custody and the fact that she has been acquitted of similar charges in other cases. In all, 18 cases were lodged against Sontakke after her arrest from Thane in 2011 by the ATS, 16 of which ended with acquittals and discharge. She has already got bail in a case lodged in Gondia and will be released after bail formalities are completed before the trial court. Sontakke has been lodged in Byculla women’s prison for over five years. “Undoubtedly, the charges are serious but the seriousness of the charges will have to be balanced with certain other facts like the period of custody suffered and the likely period within which the trial can be expected to be completed,” the Supreme Court bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Prafulla Pant said. The court also observed that though Sontakke had been in prison for more than five years, the trial was yet to begin.
“The trial is yet to commence… there are over 200 witnesses proposed to be examined. The accused appellant is a lady. She has also been acquitted of similar charges leveled against her in other cases. Taking into account all the aforesaid facts, we are of the view that the accused appellant should be admitted to bail,” the court stated. The court has further directed the trial court to impose appropriate conditions on her bail. On Monday, the order was presented before the Mumbai sessions court with the ATS counsel, Special Public Prosecutor Rohini Salian, seeking a day to file a reply on the conditions of bail for Sontakke. The bail application of three others, Sachin Mali, Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaychor, remain pending before the Supreme Court and will be heard in July. The Bombay High Court had previously granted bail to six others arrested along with Sontakke and Sheetal Sathe, who belonged to cultural group Kabir Kala Manch.
Explosive materials recovered in Jharkhand
Security Forces (SFs) recovered 25 kilograms ammonium nitrate and 30 kilograms liquid explosion in a search operation in forest areas at Herhenj in Latehar District on May 9, reports The Telegraph.