Return to party fold, surrendered Maoists urged
As its annual Martyr’s Week entered the second day on Friday, the CPI (Maoist) is reportedly making preparations to unveil martyr’s memorials in the interior areas of Visakha Agency. A few memorials (stupams) are reportedly erected in the border areas from G. Madugula to Padebayalu mandals. Meanwhile, Pedabayalu area committee secretary Kiran has reportedly asked the surrendered Maoists, militia members, and supporters to return to the party fold.
CoBRA jawan killed in gun-battle with Naxals in Chhattisgarh
A CoBRA jawan was killed and another injured in a fierce gun-battle with Naxals in a dense forest pocket of Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Sukma district on Saturday, police said. The skirmish took place in the core forests of Bhejji police station area when a squad of CoBRA’s 208th battalion – an elite unit of CRPF – was out on an anti-Naxals operation in the region, around 500 kms away from here, a senior police official told PTI.
Security forces had undertaken the operation based on specific inputs about the movement of dreaded Maoist commander Hidma with his group in the region, he said. When the CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) jawans were patrolling the forest between Ettrajpad and Gachonpally villages, a group of Naxals opened indiscriminate fire on them leading to a heavy gun-battle, he said. As per preliminary information, a constable-rank jawan was killed and another injured, the official said, adding reinforcement was immediately rushed to the spot. Efforts are on to take the deceased and injured personnel out of the forests, he added.
Area commander held in Garhwa
Garhwa: Area commander of the CPI (Maoist) was arrested with arms from Ranka police station area on Thursday night, police said on Friday. Lalan Singh Kharwar alias Shrawan was arrested from Karri forest of the district. Police have also found a 315 pistol, 4 live cartridges and Naxalite literature, said Ranka police station officer in-charge Narendra Kumar Sinha.tnn Sinha added that Kharwar had been released from Garhwa sub-jail on bail a few days ago. After being released from the jail, he again started working for the Maoist outfit. In absence of the Maoist area commander Bhanu Singh, Kharwar was given charge of area commander with the responsibility of extension of the organization.
Meanwhile police were tipped-off that Kharwar along with half-a-dozen men in Karri forest was plotting to execute any incident. Acting on the tip-off, deputy commandant of CRPF 172 battalion M H Siddiqui and jawans of district police and JAP cordoned off the area. All men managed to escape taking the advantage of dense forest. But Kharwar was nabbed after a chase, said the OC Narendra Kumar Sinha. Dozens of Naxalite related cases have been registered against Kharwar in Ranka and Chinia police stations of the district, added the OC.
Maoist camp busted, explosives seized
Khaprakhol: A joint team of Special Operations Group (SOG) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans during a search operation inside Gandhamardan forest in this block in Bolangir district busted a Maoist camp and seized a huge cache of arms and explosives in the wee hours of Friday. Bolangir SP Asish Singh and CRPF deputy commandant PK Mishra held a press conference in this regard. With a ‘Martyrs’ Week’ being observed by the Maoists throughout the district, police continued the combing operation and seized the ammunition, Singh said.
According to sources, the Maoists had made a camp in the forest to observe the martyrs’ week. Acting on a tip-off, SOG and CRPF jawans in a joint operation began the combing operation in the forest. Although the camp was tracked, it was found to be deserted as the ultras managed to escape.
Two guns, four grenades, two detonators, two landmines, granite pouches, batteries, explosives and other equipment were recovered from the spot. The combing operation continued in the area to track down the ultras, Singh added. While no major Maoist atrocities have been witnessed in Khaprakhol area in the last three years, the Maoists make their presence felt by periodically putting up posters and banners in the block.
Zero deaths in 5 years, 4 districts may lose LWE tag
KOLKATA: The Centre is working towards withdrawing the ‘Left-Wing-Extremism-affected’ tag from four Bengal districts -Purulia, Bankura, West Midnapore and Birbhum -following ‘zero deaths’ and minimum incidents of Maoist violence in the past five years.
The ministry of home affairs has communicated its intent to the home department seeking response, but the state government is vehemently opposed to the idea and is writing back urging a rethink. The four districts were brought under the LWE category in 2010. The immediate effect of the removal of the tag would be withdrawal of 22 companies (22,000 personnel) of central forces deployed in the four districts. Besides, it would mean drying up of central financial assistance worth Rs 40 crore per district per year. Much of this amount is currently being utilized on development projects in these poor districts.
The Centre, however, is going by a recent report of the Review Group (formerly Task Force) under the Cabinet Secretary, which has underlined the need to redraw the so-called ‘Red-corridor’, concentrating more on areas still dominated by Maoists and excluding those where the situation has improved. The report of the Centre’s Maoist Review Group recommends pruning the 106-strong list of LWE-affected districts by 20. The Centre has informed Bengal that the 22 companies posted in the four districts can be better utilised in other states, where the threat perception from Maoist activity is higher. But the state is worried about a resurgence in Maoist activities once the central forces are withdrawn.
Dumka: Over the past few days, police have arrested seven wanted CPI (Maoist) rebels, including sub-zonal commander Etwari Hembrom alias Timpu Soren alias Naresh Da and two women cadres, following a search operation in Maoist-dominated areas of the district. Based on a tip-off by Etwari, the other rebels were arrested from different villages in Kathikund, Shikaripara and Gopikandar areas. Some of the accused have been identified as Dipak Dehri, Motilal Dehri, Madhwa Dehri, Sonu Dehri, Shivani and Sumanti Dehri. The rebels, who have a number of cases lodged against them in Dumka and Pakur, were wanted for the murder of catholic nun Sister Valsa John, the ambush slain Pakur SP Amarjit Balihar’s cavalcade as well as the ambush on the polling team in the 2014 Lok Sabha election in Amrapara (Pakur) Kathikund and Shikaripara police station areas of the district, respectively.
Police, along with Jharkhand Jaguar and SSB personnel, seized communication devices, uniforms, a weaving machine, medicines, saline bottles, contraceptives and naxal literature during various raids.
“We could not find arms and ammunition from the hideouts despite rebels’ tip-off,” Dumka SP Prabhat Kumar said, adding the anti-Naxal operation will continue. SP Kumar said Hembrom was trained by the outfit to administer saline. Meanwhile, bauxite mining in Netarhat came to a halt on Friday as rebels continue to observe ‘martyrs’ week’. On July 25, a Maoist poster found at Kujam bauxite mine ordered operators to halt bauxite transportation. There are a dozen of bauxite mines including rich Gurdari, Kujam, Amptipani and others in Upper pat area alone while about 450 trucked carrying the aluminum ore ply daily on Upper pat route while another route is Serengdag route located in Ghaghra police station, not far away like the aforesaid Upper pat in the district. Hundreds of bauxite trucks also run in this route everyday.
Most of the trucks plying on the Upper pat route have been off the road because of the Red threat, said a truck owner. Only a few trucks are seen on the road these days, admitted OC of Bishunpur police station. Transportation of bauxite has been affected on account of Maoists observing martyr week.
The busy route which makes roadside business activities vibrant now seems to be lonely with bauxite mining operation coming to a halt, said a source. This is for the first time rebels as much number of rebels could be arrested by the police in the joint operation conducted by the security forces. Rest of the rebels been arrested by the security forces include Dipak Dehri, Motilal Dehri, Madhwa Dehri, Sonu Dehri, Shivani and Sumanti Dehri who all belong to different police stations of the district.
Motilal Dehri according to the SP is the boyfriend of Sumanti Dehri both belonging to Silangi village under Shikaripara police station of the district are lovers who influenced her to join the rebel organization. Dipak Dehri and Shivani both also belonging to Slangi village are married couple. SP said all the arrested rebels were hardcore ones who have undergone warfare training in Giridih.