Court seeks report from jail official on Kobad Ghandy’s plea
A Delhi court has sought a report from Tihar Jail Superintendent on a plea by Maoist ideologue Kobad Ghandy, facing trial for allegedly trying to set up a base of banned outfit CPI (Maoist) here, regarding his production in another case in a Telangana court.
Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh asked the Jail Superintendent to file the report by May 24. Ghandhy said in his application that he was required to be produced before the concerned court at Telangana where another case against him is pending.
He has also filed a plea urging that his further presence in the Delhi court be dispensed with till pronouncement of the judgment in this case which is at its final stage. The court has put up the application for consideration on on May 24, the next date of hearing. Meanwhile, the court fixed the case for commencing final arguments here. “List the matter for final arguments on May 24,” it said.
Two CPI-Maoist ultras nabbed; fire-arms, live cartridges recovered
Jamshedpur, May 11: In a major breakthrough, the district police nabbed two CPI-Maoist ultras and recovered two firearms as well as ammunition from Bota village under the Patamda police station area on Tuesday. Those arrested are the active members of the CPI-Maoist’s Patamda-Dalma squad led by their commander Rahul. The arrested have been identified as Ravana Pahadia (19) and Madhusudan Pahadia (20), both residents of Bota village.
A team of police officials led by DSP (Patamda) Amit Kumar and Quick Reaction Team of the adjoining MGM police station undertook the operation successfully.Addressing the media, superintendent of police (rural) M Arshi said that the two rebels were arrested as they had returned to their homes after being separated from the Rahul’s armed squad, which visited Patamda frequently.
Arshi said they had nabbed Ravana and Madhusudan one after another on Tuesday evening, and after probing them, the police recovered two pistols that the rebels had hidden under the trees at two separate places. He informed that a sophisticated revolver and two live cartridges that they recovered were found lying hidden under a tree beside a canal today.
Another pistol and two live cartridges that belonged to Madhusudan were recovered from a jungle in Bota. Arshi described the arrests as a major achievement for the forces. During the interrogation, the two arrested rebels have confessed that they had participated in an encounter with the police at Amda Pahadi in Patamda on the morning of April 17, which had lasted for about 15 minutes.
“We have gathered information that the outlawed outfit had started regaining their base in Patamda which they had to leave in 2009-10 due to a mounted pressure on them by the police and para-military CRPF,” said the superintendent of police. According to intelligence sources, the CPI-Maoist rebels have once again become active in Dalma-Patamda-Ghatshila belt bordering Bengal.
Sources informed that the high alert has been after intelligence report that the ultras may attack the Naxal-infested areas of Ghatshila and Patamda. “We have alerted security forces in vulnerable areas of Patamda, Ghatshila and Potka in view of the bandh call given by the Naxalites,” said a police official. “A strict vigil would be kept on the non government commercial establishments. Even the security would be beefed up at some of the Naxal-prone areas of Ghatshila and Dumaria,” said a police official.
Sources informed that the police have decided to ensure strict vigil and deploy additional security forces in the fringe areas. “Security has been beefed up in the area and they were keeping strict vigil on movement of the Naxalites. The plan is to keep a tab on the camps being operated by ultras,” said another official.
Woman power drives insurgency in Bastar
Raipur: Left-wing extremism in Chhattisgarh’s conflict zone of Bastar has of late witnessed a significant transformation with growing number of women members being promoted to the rank of commanders to break male dominance in an armed revolution, intelligence reports have disclosed.
A senior officer of state intelligence bureau (SIB) revealed on Wednesday, “Nearly three-third of around 150 Naxal commanders heading the armed units in Bastar are women. Similarly one third of total area committees functioning under Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee (DKSZC) of CPI (Maoist) are headed by women cadres”.
The DKSZC has inducted as many as 20 women cadres, including Sujatha, wife of elusive CPI (Maoist) general secretary Ganpathy, alias Muppalla Laxshmana Rao, as its members, the intelligence reports said. “It is a strategic move by CPI (Maoist) to give prominent space in armed revolution to women”, the SIB officer said.
The recent move by CRPF to deploy 560 women commandos in Naxal-infested areas was aimed at countering the Maoist strategy, a CRPF spokesman told this newspaper here on Wednesday. According to the SIB report, hardly 20 per cent of women rebel cadres would rise to the rank of commanders in 2004-05 in Bastar. Now, it is seen that 50 per cent of women cadres have risen to the rank of commanders.
It is evident from the fact that 20 out of 51 Naxal leaders killed in Bastar in the past six months are women. “We have video clippings of women cadres being given military training in the same intensity as their male counterparts in Bastar,” the CRPF spokesman said.
Prominent among the women cadres who have been given charges of key armed units included Niti, secretary east Bastar division, Sumitra, secretary, west Bastar division, Madhavi, secretary, Kistaram area committee, Ranita, secretary, Indravati National Park committee, Rani Bai, secretary of Elmagunda committee, Nirmala, secretary of dreaded Malangir area committee, and Sapna, member of powerful South Regional Committee.
Naxals east division bandh on May 16
Visakhapatnam: Maoists have called for an East Division bandh on May 16 in protest against the killing of Galikonda area committee secretary Gopal alias Azad, Anand and Kamala in Marripakalu-Palasamudram area in Koyyuru mandal on May 4. According to them, there was no encounter and that the three were shot dead in cold blood by Greyhound personnel.
In a press note on Wednesday, the East Division Committee of the Maoists urged the people of Visakhapatnam Agency and parts of East Godavari to support the bandh. The note claimed that Azar and two others were shot dead by personnel of the state special intelligence bureau (SIB) and Greyhounds. The note warned of retaliation against the TDP government and Greyhound cops for what it called regularly staging false encounters.
The Reds claimed that these killings were done to benefit MNCs to excavate bauxite in the Visakha agency. They said the TDP government had been trying to set up as many as 100 BSF camps and more than 100 cell phone towers even though the people are opposing it. Serious attempts are being made to throttle the one-and-half-decade old bauxite agitation and one-decade-old agitation against coffee plantations, the press note said.
The naxals recalled that the two persons who were killed at Puttakota on February 23 in an alleged encounter with security forces were not Maoists but innocent tribals from Odisha who had ventured into the AP forests for hunting. This was coorraborated by a fact finding team of human rights activists who visited the village in Odisha and spoke to an injured survivor of the incidnet.
The naxals also charged the security personnel with beating up a tribal youth and branding him as a naxal sympathiser in the first week of April. Further, in the recent past, around 24 tribals of Jerrela area were put behind bars under false charges and another 12 families vacated the village due to attacks of the security forces leaving behind two fertile crop lands, the naxals alleged.
Maoists call bandh on May 16
The east division committee of the CPI (Maoist) has called bandh on May 16 in protest against what it called the “killing” of one of its top leaders and Galikonda area committee secretary Azad and committee members — Anand and Kamala — in the Marripakala forest area near Palasamudram of Koyyuru mandal on May 4. The committee, in a press release despatched to reporters in the Agency area, alleged that the Greyhounds, on information provided to the Special Intelligence Branch by “anti-people” elements, surrounded the party members and shot them dead.
The party further alleged that the Narendra Modi and Chandrababu Naidu governments intensified the phase three of ‘Operation Green Hunt’ soon after coming to power with a view to handing over valuable mineral wealth to the corporates. “The governments do not want the Maoist party to survive since it is leading the Girijans in their struggle to protect the forest wealth,” the press release said.
The TDP government intensified police combing in the Agency to scuttle the agitation of the Girijans against bauxite mining and taking over of the coffee plantations. Two Girijans were killed on February 23 at Puttakota and 24 youths branded Maoists sympathisers. The two incidents adversely impacted 12 families of the Jerrela area, which had to leave the village and fertile land unable to bear police harassment, the press note alleged.
The party’s support to the Girijans would continue till their demands were achieved, the release said.
Security forces arrest top Maoist rebel in Medinipur
Security forces have confirmed the arrest of a top Maoist commander in West Medinipur, West Bengal.
Mansaram Hembram, alias Bikas, was produced before a judicial magistrate court in West Medinipur district which sent him to police custody for 12 days on Wednesday. He was wanted in a landmine attack on the then chief minister’s convoy in Salboni town in 2008. West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and then Union Steel Minister Ram Vilas Pawan had a narrow escape on November 2, 2008 when a powerful IED, suspected to be planted by the left-wing extremists went off moments near a culvert on the Salboni-Medinipur road after their convoys passed through Kalaichandi in West Medinipur District.
The explosive device was attached to a wire that stretched nearly two km across an adjoining paddy field. The blast damaged a pilot vehicle, which was following the convoy. Six police personnel in the pilot vehicle were injured, two of them seriously.
The leaders were returning from Salboni after attending the foundation laying ceremony of Jindal Steel Works’ mega steel plant. Police then suspected the CPI-Maoist to be behind the incident.
On Wednesday, Mohammad Habib, a lawyer said,” The court granted 12 days of PC (Police Custody) for recovery of arms and ammunition. The IO (Investigating Officer) also said that there are some people who are absconding. Therefore, his PC is required for the arrest of the rest of the accused.”
ISRO satellite images aid Chhattisgarh security forces track Maoists
High resolution images provided by the ISRO is helping the security forces obtain real-time information about the specific movement of Maoists and their hideouts in dense forests. For the first time in the history of anti-Maoist operations, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is helping the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Chhattisgarh Police in their fight against the ultras. High resolution satellite images provided by the ISRO is helping security forces obtain real-time location and movement of the Maoists. The visuals also aiding the forces to locate hideouts in dense forests.
‘UNPRECEDENTED RISE IN NAXALISM DURING ’15-16’
Maoist activities decreased in all the States except Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh with number of incidents rising to 42 per cent, observes the annual report of the Union Ministry of Home for 2015-16. The report mentioned that the rise in incidents had been due to conduct of Panchayat polls in January-February month in 2015-16 in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region. It further mentioned that the Dandakarnya region in South Chhattisgarh had been the nucleus of Maoist activities.