Top Naxal woman cadre killed in 10-hr operation
Nagpur: Rajitha, Chatgaon area committee secretary, who had a reward of Rs16 lakh on her head, was killed in an encounter that stretched over 10 hours at Hurrekasa village in Dhanora tehsil of Gadchiroli on Tuesday. The C-60 commando party taking part in the action had to practice restraint in firing to ensure there was no collateral damage during the incident inside a hamlet. The deceased woman cadre, whose half-burnt body was recovered after the 10-hour-long operation, opted to die rather than surrender. The incident mirrored the case of former Chatgaon dalam commander Raneeta Hichami, alias Ramco, in August 2011. She too had single-handedly held back a formidable force for almost a day, refusing repeated offers to surrender. She had gone down fighting despite several bullet injuries at Makadchuha, ensuring that the rest of the dalam was able to escape safely.
In the latest action too, the security forces relentlessly tried to get Rajitha to surrender. The family which had sheltered her was also sent a message to ask her to surrender, but she drove them away. The local police warden too failed to convince her.On the contrary, Rajitha opened a burst of fire from her AK-47 assault rifle on an officer who tried to sneak into the house through a window. The officer miraculously survived without serious injury. She had kept the security forces at bay with intermittent firing, forcing the personnel to rework their strategy. Finally, the end came about with an under barrel grenade launcher (UBGL), which blew up the house where the Naxal cadre was holed up alone, after two of her body guards had fled in the dark.
Rajitha was earlier heading the Kasansoor Dalam. Police have recovered Rajitha’s AK-47 assault rifle and one .303 rifle along with two rucksacks. It’s learnt that Rajitha had come to the house, where she was killed, a couple of days ago, after fleeing the spot of Mahawada encounter, which was around 4km away.Superintendent of police, Gadchiroli, Sandip Patil said security forces were already conducting searches in villages around Mahawada encounter spot, knowing that the fleeing Naxals would be holed up in adjoining villages. “We were informed that two or three Naxals were sheltered at Hurrekasa village. On Sunday, a squad of C-60 party had reached the place,” he said. “One of the Naxals had fled earlier, but we learnt that two more were sheltered in the house of a supporter. We immediately cordoned off the place, even though it was getting dark,” said Patil. “Police had given ample time and opportunity to the Naxals to lay down arms but they kept on challenging us. They kept on engaging the force with wait-and-watch tactics. We too had to go slow since there were villagers around the house,” he said. Patil said they came to know that Rajitha’s bodyguard, identified as Rahul, managed to flee the place before the encounter.
Police kills two naxals in Sukma district
Two country-made muzzle loading guns, 150-metre wire, detonators, battery and other articles were recovered from the site of incident. Two Naxals were on Wednesday killed in a gun battle between security forces and the ultras in the insurgency-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, police said.
A team comprising about 90 personnel, led by District Reserve Group (DRG) Commander Mudiraj and Sub-Inspector Amit Padamshali, had launched anti-Naxal operations in the interior region of Maraiguda, about 500 km from here, Sukma Superintendent of Police (SP) D Shrawan said. They were on lookout for Maoists since the death of Assistant Constable Madkam Joga in a pressure mine blast on Monday, he said. The encounter took place this morning near Kanaiguda village in which two ultras were killed, the SP said.
After prolonged exchange of fire, the ultras fled. Two country-made muzzle loading guns, 150-metre wire, detonators, battery and other articles were recovered from the spot, Shrawan said. The deceased were identified as Tati Sukka (28), a Gangler village RPC (Revolutionary People’s Council) member, and Podiyami Deva (32), an RPC militia head, he added. With this, the total number of Maoists killed in police encounter in Bastar this year reached 53, police said.
Maoist posters found at different places in Bolangir
The appearance of a number of Maoist posters at various places along the Bolangir-Patnagar road near Kutpali and Dulusar village caused concern amongst local people and the police administration. The police swung into action and confiscated the posters to try and diffuse the tension in the area. The poster which were put up at various place asked the locals to support their bandh call on Tuesday.
It condemned the state government for construction of the lower Suktel dam and Pujhari Pali project to appease corporate houses at the expense of the displaced people. The corporate houses which want water for the bauxite mining at Gandhamardan hills are keen on both the projects, alleged the posters. Local people said that the posters must have been put up late last night as they saw it early this morning. It was both in red cloth and paper, written in hindi. It was put up on road side trees and display boards.
“We notice these poster while coming to our work place, it was written in Hindi sign by Bolangir – Bargarh Mahasamund Division of Communist Party of India (Maoist)” said people who had seen and read it. People who are aware about topography of the area view that appearance of poster in these area has lot of significance as these village falls under lower Suktel dam project area where people are miffed over failure of administration to settle their compensation and rehabilitation demands. The appearance of such posters is a warning to the local administration of Maoist movement in the area. The poster directed the administration to stop displacing people and stop catering to needs of multinational companies.
Maoists threaten police over Malkangiri ‘excesses’
Koraput: After a brief lull, the Maoists have vowed to retaliate against the securitymen alleging police excesses against the tribals residing in cut-off area of Malkangiri district.The ultras had organised a meeting at an undisclosed location inside the cut-off area under Kudumulugumma block under the leadership of Benu on May 6. Over 5,000 tribals of five panchayats had attended the meeting and reportedly extended their support to the Red organisaiton.”Police are arresting innocent tribals from cut-off area branding them as extremists. The government is trying to destroy the people’s movement by terrorising the tribals.
We condemn police excesses against tribals and will retaliate aginst police action,” read a letter sent by the Maoist leader to few mediapersons in Malkangiri on Monday.The letter shared information about the May 6 meeting.”Our fight for the tribals’ right over land, water and forests and development of the cut-off area will continue,” the letter read.
Govt report: Reds still a challenge
Bhubaneswar: Despite government’s claim of improvement in Left-wing extremism (LWE) situation in the state, it is still a challenge in a number of districts. The situation is grim in parts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Nuapada, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Balangir, Nayagarh, Rourkela and Bargarh police districts, said the White Paper released by the state government in the assembly.
There is, however, improvement in the situation in districts like Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Gajapati, Ganjam, Nabarangapur, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Sundargarh. The report said in 2015, total 72 LWE-related incidents were reported in the state involving death of 26 civilians, four security personnel and nine hardcore LWE cadres. During the period, total 53 LWE cadres were arrested and 255 weapons, 168 improvised explosive devices and large quantities of explosives recovered.Total 64 LWE cadres/militias surrendered in the state in 2015.
The robust security response resulted in total marginalization of Odisha Maobadi Party of Sabyasachi Panda and significant containment of activities of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha, a frontal organization of CPI (Maoist), in Narayanpatna and Bandhugoan blocks in Koraput district, the report said.
Due to a well-calibrated counter-LWE response of the state government, 1,039 Maoist sympathizers, including many active members of revolutionary people’s committees and village committee members, of Kalimela and Podia of Malkangiri district withdrew their support to the extremists.
Apart from state police, the Centre has deployed 17 battalions of central armed police forces – eight battalions each of CRPF and Border Security Force and one battalion of Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), a specialized unit of the CRPF – in the state. The central forces are largely deployed in Koraput, Rayagada, Malkangiri, Kalahandi, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Nuapada and Kandhamal districts.
Firebomb attack on construction site in Gaya.