Govt convenes meet on Naxal violence on May 24
New Delhi, May 17 (PTI) As Naxal violence continued unabated, the Centre has conveyed a meeting of top civil and police officers of 10 Maoist-hit states on May 24 to discuss the security situation in the affected areas. Home Minister Rajnath Singh will chair the day-long meeting and Chief Secretaries and DGPs of Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh will attend it. The meeting will review the situation in the Maoist-hit states and deliberate on how to make the ongoing anti-Naxal operations more successful, a Home Ministry official said.
While 106 districts in the 10 states are affected by Maoist activities in varying degrees, 35 districts in seven states are the most affected.
The official said the security forces have achieved greater success in tackling the Maoists in recent times and there was 30 per cent decline of Naxal violence this year. Altogether, 76 Naxal cadres were killed between January and April this year in comparison to 15 killed in the corresponding period of 2015. As many as 665 Maoists were arrested and 639 surrendered in the first four months of 2016 and 435 Naxal were arrested and 134 others surrendered in the corresponding period of 2015. Maoist violence saw 226 deaths in 1,088 incidents of violence perpetrated by the rebels in entire 2015. In 2015, of the 226 deaths, 168 were civilians and 58 were security personnel. As many as 89 Maoists were also killed and 1,668 were arrested and 570 cadres surrendered before authorities during the year.
According to a recent Parliamentary Standing Committee report, Naxal activities continue to be a matter of concern with 35 districts in seven states being badly-hit. “Left Wing Extremism (LWE) remains an area of concern for internal security of the country. “CPI (Maoist) continues to be the most potent among the various LWE outfits in the country and accounts for more than 80 per cent of total LWE violence incidents and resultant deaths,” the report said.
…Helipads apart, home secretary Pandey said there were 13 focus areas in the state where security and development initiatives were being pursued simultaneously. These include Banalat (Gumla), Pesrar (Lohardaga), Saryu (Palamau), Manatu (Palamau), Jhumra (Bokaro) and Parasnath (Giridih).
“We have plans to set up Parasnath, one of the most sacred places of worship for Jains, as an international tourist hub. We will construct PCC roads to the top of the hill known as Sammed Sikhar, where Jains across the country visit, while we would also see if there is a need to built a helipad here in future,” Pandey said. Pradhan said 2016 had been a very successful year for the state police in recovering rebel arms dumps in various areas, including the Koel-Shankh zone, in areas in and around Palamau, which Maoists call a part of their Bihar Regional Committee.
“The only big incident of police casualty by Maoists happened in Palamau this year in January, where seven policemen were killed in an IED explosion,” Pradhan said. “But, no police arms could be looted by the Maoists.” So far in 2016, police claimed to have arrested 22 top rebels and 150 other members and supporters. They have launched as many as 430 special anti-rebel operations during which 338 long-range patrolling ventures led to the recovery of eight pieces of arms looted by rebels, five guns, 99 countrymade pistols and rifles, 1,721 detonators, 95 landmines/improvised explosive devices/claymores and 2,101.5kg of explosives.
Hindustan Times notes police supported counter-insurgency movement in Jharkhand
..Impressed by the initiative, the Jharkhand government and security forces are reportedly lending their support to the leaders of the movement. The authorities are happy that the villagers have found a way to alleviate the Maoist situation without resorting to vigilantism. Past initiatives by the police to raise armed groups for combating the Maoist movement met with little success. “People are fed up with Maoists, and are coming out against them openly. The massive public outrage vindicates our claims that the rebels have lost their foothold in the state,” director general of police DK Pandey said, hailing propagators of the Ulgulan movement for their courage and conviction. No police assistance was provided for holding the shanti sabhas, he added.
Munda gave credence to the DGP’s observation at a gathering in Tilma village on April 10. Dressed in a lungi and vest, he told the villagers before him: “For once, we have realised that united we stand and divided we fall. The Maoists made our lives hell, and we have finally run out of patience.” However, the shanti sabhas have evoked suspicion in certain human rights groups in the area. “The Maoists, unlike militant organisations like the People’s Liberation Front of India, are considered pro-people. One wonders what has given rise to campaigns like these,” said People’s Union for Civil Liberties general secretary Shashi Bhushan Pathak.
Naxal bandh in East Division evokes partial response
Visakhapatnam: The bandh called by the Maoists in the East Division on Monday passed of peacefully and evoked a partial response. The strike was called in protest against the alleged fake encounter by the security forces at Marripakalu in Koyyuru mandal in Visakha Agency on May 4 in which three Maoists including Galikonda area committee secretary VRL Gopal alias Azad were killed.
Shops and other commercial establishments remained close in GK Veedhi mandal and some interior parts of other mandals. Buses and private vehicle operators also suspended services to the mandal but both public and private transport vehicles operated in Chintapalli, Paderu, G Madugula, Pedabayalu and Munchingput mandals.
Meanwhile, Maoist leaflets on alleged atrocities by security forces surfaced at RV Nagar in GK Veedhi mandal. The Maoists said their armed cadres were killed in a one-sided firing at Marripakalu and warned the security personnel that they would pay the price for the fake encounter.
CRPF personnel killed in Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh
A Central Reserve Police Force personnel was martyred when a group of armed Naxals attacked a CRPF camp in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district, about 400 km from here, early today, police said. “The ultras opened fire on the “Reddy” camp of the CRPF located in a forested area under Gangalur Police Station limits at around 0100 hrs, and fled after the force launched a retaliatory attack,” Additional Superintendent of Police Indira Kalyan Elesela told UNI. In the gunfight, constable Satish Gaur (30) hailing from Adilabad in Telangana received a bullet injury in the chest.
Missing constable killed, Gadchiroli police recovers body
AFTER the mysterious disappearance of Constable Bandu Vachami on May 10, the Gadchiroli police recovered his body near Arewada village in Bhamragadh tehsil of the district Monday morning. From a note recovered from near his body, it was clear the 31-year-old was held captive by Naxalites. “The note mentions he was out to gather intelligence and build network, and was hence killed,” Gadchiroli SP Sandip Patil said.
Vachami, a tribal who hailed from Gadchiroli itself, had left his Kothi outpost to go to Poyarkuti village on the Chhattisgarh border, ostensibly to attend a marriage. What has surprised the police is, Vachami was picked up by local supporters of the Naxalites, called Area Rakshak Dal (ARD)/Gram Rakshak Dal (GRD) members.
“There was no Naxal movement in the area according to our informers, who said three local supporters had actually bundled out Vachami from Poyarkuti village,” Patil said, adding, “We picked up one of them as soon as he returned to the village after remaining away over the last few days.”
Another evidence pointing towards ARD-GRD involvement was the 12-bore gunshot in Vachami’s temple. “If there were to be some Dalum involved, some superior gun would have been used,” Patil said. This is the third police casualty in Naxal violence in Gadchiroli this year so far.
The police on Sunday arrested Naxal Ramesh Korami, who was carrying a reward of Rs 4 lakh on his head in Jarawandi forest area. The 35-year-old is a member of Naxal Platoon number 3 and also a member of the action team, which carries out surprise attacks at public places, according to a press note issued by Gadchiroli police. Korami — involved in many encounters and attacks against the police — was on the wanted list even in Chhattisgarh, the note added.
Two Naxals arrested in Andhra Pradesh
Two Naxals, one of them carrying a reward of Rs one lakh, were today arrested by the East Godavari District police in Andhra Pradesh.
East Godavari Superintendent of Police M Ravi Prakash said 19-year-old Madakam Mada, who was an active Dalam member in Sabari area and had joined the movement in 2015, was apprehended. Mada, carrying a reward of Rs one lakh, was allegedly involved in abduction of a pastor and in gun-fight against security personnel on the Telangana and Chhattisgarh where eight Maoists killed, the SP told reporters.
A .303 rife was recovered from his possession. Another Naxal Sode Pojjaiah, an active Militia commander, was also arrested, the officer said.
Pojjaiah was allegedly involved in recruiting several youths and sending them for Maoist training, he said.
NAXALS FLEE LEAVING RS8 L CASH AFTER ENCOUNTER
A join team of the Gariaband District Police and CRPF have seized cash amounting to Rs 8 lakh from an encounter site after a gun battle with Maoists on Chhattisgarh-Odisha border, Inspector General of Police (IGP) (Raipur range) GP Singh informed here on Monday. This is probably for the first time such a huge amount of cash had been seized from an encounter site following a gun battle with Maoists in restive Gariaband district. The cash was allegedly collected from Tendupatta contractors in Gariaband district, Singh said. “We had specific intelligence inputs that Naxals of Dharambanda Dalam active in Odisha were going to receive hefty cash amount in the jungles of Surangpani close to Odisha border in Gariband district,” the IGP said while addressing a press conference at his office here.
The Maoists had collected the money from merchants particularly Tendupatta businessmen by putting them under duress, he said. A Police team had exchange of fire with Naxals in a forested patch near Surangpani village which is around 30-32 kms away from Gariaband district headquarters, he mentioned. “Naxals who could not withstand fire from the police team fled while leaving cash amounting to Rs 8 lakh at the spot that was seized later,” Singh told reporters. Superintendent of Police (SP) Gariaband, Amit Kamble was supervising the team consisting of District Police and CRPF personnel which had engaged in gun battle, he added.
IED planted by Maoists recovered in Jharkhand
An improvised explosive device (IED) planted by Maoist guerrillas in Jharkhand’s Khunti district was recovered on Tuesday, police said. The 20 kg IED was found planted near Usram jungle under Rania police station in a search operation, said a police officer. The bomb disposal squad was called in to defuse the IED. Over the last fortnight, the police have seized explosives and landmines planted by the Maoists in different parts of the state. Eighteen of the 24 districts of Jharkhand are affected by Maoist insurgency.
Tribes exercise franchise under heavy security
A multilayered security blanket was thrown over the tribal-dominated interior areas of Attappady from Monday morning on the polling day in the face of an alleged Maoist threat to derail the democratic process. Apart from personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), 120 commandos of specially trained anti-Maoist squad Thunderbolt were deployed along with bomb and dog squads.
Security arrangements were tightened in the face of the alleged sighting of armed Maoists in interiors of Mananthavady in Wayanad on Sunday. All the tribal colonies had been put under CCTV surveillance and special vehicles were arranged to take voters from remote tribal hamlets to polling booths.
“Apart from keeping vigil on Maoist threats, we assisted local tribes to cast their votes. Police jeeps were used to transport the aged and ailing tribal voters. Emergency health care was ensured,” Agali Deputy Superintendent of Police P. Waheed told The Hindu .
Over 200 personnel of the CRPF conducted flag marches on Sunday at Attappady, which is part of the Mannarkkad Assembly constituency. The CRPF personnel were deployed in tribal settlements such as Swarnagaddha, Pudur, Paloor, and Mulli, which are encircled by dense forests. The tribal residents of Mulli dropped their plan to boycott the election citing poor condition of roads, following intervention of the police and district officials. The police had also removed posters and banners, purportedly issued by Maoists, urging the tribespeople to boycott election at Agali, Pudur, Anaikatty, Sholayur, and Kottathara.
Barbed fencing had been erected around Agali police station. The police had found 12 polling booths in the region as under Maoist threat.