Trial in Maoist meet case in final stage
KOCHI: EXAMINATION of witnesses in the case related to conduct of a secret meeting at a lodge in Mavelikkara by the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), a frontal organisation of the CPI(Maoist), is progressing at the the NIA Court here, and the trial in the case is expected to be completed by month-end. NIA Judge S Santhosh Kumar examined 41 witnesses so far, and is currently examining the investigation officials. The trial is being held in-camera, a procedure in which only people who are involved in the case are permitted.
“Of the 85 witnesses in the case, only 55 will be examined. The trial procedure is expected to conclude by month-end. The verdict in the case is expected to be pronounced in one or two months,” said NIA officials.
Recently, the NIA Court had issued non-bailable arrest warrant against K J Johnson, a circle-inspector of the Kerala Police who was involved in the preliminary investigation. The warrant was issued after the officer failed to appear before the court, despite being summoned twice. However, it was later found that the circle-inspector was hospitalised. The accused in the case are Rajesh Madhavan of Mavelikkara; Tamil Nadu-native Gopal who is a scientist with the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research-Kalpakkam; Devarajan of Kollam; Bahuleyan of Thiruvananthapuram and Ajay Kumar alias Mannor Ajayan of Muvattupuzha. It is the first NIA case registered against a Maoist group in Kerala.
According to the prosecution, the Mavelikkara Police raided the lodge in which the meeting was organised in December 2012 and arrested the accused, based on a tip-off. The meeting was allegedly organised to form a students’ wing of the RDF in Kerala. In a major twist in the case, a few days after the raid, the investigation officer committed suicide, reportedly due to job-related stress and health issues.
Maoist held with arms and ammunition
Security forces today arrested a Maoist with arms and ammunition from Besratand forest near Dulampur village in Bihar’s Jamui district after an encounter with the ultras, police said. Following a tip-off about gathering of some Maoists in the forest, the CRPF’s 215th battallion jawans reached the spot in wee hours and started sealing the area before they came under fire from the ultras, Superintendent of Police (SP) Jayant Kant said.
The jawans fired 20 rounds to quell the Maoists, most of whom escaped from the spot, he said, adding the security personnel, arrested an ultra Sanjay Marandi alias Motilal Marandi, said to be a former area commander of the CPI(Maoist) and native of Udaipur village under Chakai police station area. Two rifles with 67 ammunitions and a pistol with one ammunition, police uniform, naxal literature, papers related to levy collection, and levy receipts among other things were seized from him, Kant said.
Three Maoists held, 15 IEDs seized in Jharkhand
Three suspected Maoist guerrillas were arrested and 15 improvised explosive devices (IED) seized in two districts of Jharkhand on Tuesday, police said. The three guerrillas, including a woman, were arrested from Shikaripara in Dumka district and were said to be involved in the killing of Pakur Superintendent of Police Amarjit Balihar. Security forces seized the 15 IEDs from Budwa Pahad in a search operation in Latehar district following a gunfight on Monday in which one Central Reserve Police Force trooper was killed.
Odisha, Jharkhand cops plan strategy to contain Maoists
ROURKELA: SENIOR cops and CRPF officials of both Odisha and Jharkhand met in Rourkela on Monday to chart out plans for effective anti-Maoist operations. Apparently, the meeting comes in the wake of reports about presence of three to four Maoist groups on both sides of Odisha-Jharkhand border.
On Saturday, security forces dismantled a Maoist hideout inside Sialjor reserve forest near Sanbalijor under K Balang police limits in Sundargargh district, close to Jharkhand border. Arms and ammunition have been seized. Earlier on June 23 and 28, Rourkela police had busted two Maoist camps in forests under Gurundia block in the district. Taking note of these incidents, the senior Jharkhand cops met at Chaibasa on Sunday where it was decided to convene a coordination meeting at Rourkela on Monday. Senior police officials of Sundargarh district in Odisha and their West Singhbhum counterparts in Jharkhand were present.
Two Saranda-based groups comprising about 50 cadres under Dakshin Chhota Nagpur Zonal Committee (DCNZC) of the banned CPI (Maoist) outfit, led by Rappa and Chandan, are moving as a single unit, sources said. After July 9 incident, the unit has moved towards Bitkelsoi in Saranda forest of Jharkhand. Apparently, the group had come to receive two central committee members and was stuck in Gurundia forest. Another Saranda-based group led by Sandeep, is also present in Chandiposh forest to escort the central members.
Rourkela Police sources said security forces are focused on the group in Gurundia as it has veteran Maoist leaders and central committee members Prashant Bose alias Kishanda and Misir Besra alias Sunirmal. A senior police official informed that the Saranda-based group of Kishanda and Besra is moving with about 50 armed-Maoists. The group holds much significance for Odisha Police as they are being tracked since January when they travelled to Kandhamal, Boudh, Kalahandi and Angul trying to sneak into Saranda through Sundargarh. The group is not finding safe passage, he added.
Rourkela-based IG of Police (Western) RK Sharma said the Monday’s meeting focused on real time intelligence, information sharing and plugging the security vacuum along Odisha-Jharkhand border. Stress was laid on increasing informal interaction and communication among field commanders of both the States to launch joint operations on short notice, he added.
Among others, Rourkela SP Anirudh Singh, his West Singhbhum counterpart Michael Raj and CRPF Commandants of both sides were present.