Two with Maoist links held
HAZARIBAG: Security forces arrested two Maoist sympathizers from Choi under the Churchu police station of the district on Sunday. SP Manoj Kaushik said police had prior information about the presence of a large number of Maoists in the area near Jhumra hill. “An operation was launched and two sympathizers moving suspiciously in the jungles were arrested,” said the SP.
They have been identified as Kartik Murmu, son of Jhunu Murmu and Taklu alias Arjun Sao, belonging to Churchu. Police recovered Rs 35,000 from their possession. The SP said the cash was collected as levy from the contractors here. The duo was going to hand over the amount to the Maoist commanders. He also said these two were arrested earlier as well for carrying explosives for the Maoists.
Maoist camp busted; Naxal uniforms, guns recovered
Police on Sunday morning busted a Maoist camp under operation in a dense forested area of Birbhati village about 12 kms north-west from district head quarters Sukma and seized large numbers of Naxal uniforms, guns and other items. However no Maoist was arrested in the action.
Superintendent of Police Sukma, Abhiskek Shandilya said we had information about presence of Maoist in Birbhatiti village under Bhejji police station. Acting on the inputs a joint team consisting of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPC), District Force (DF), Special Task Force (STF) and Combine Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) was formed and sent for action.
However, somehow Maoists got information about the movement of security forces who then fled away hastily leaving behind their belongings in the camp, said SP. Inspector General of Police Bastar range Himanshu Gupta lauding the action said that police have found 4 guns of 12-bore, Maoist uniforms in large number, ration, tents, pitthu bags, Naxal literature, banner, poster etc. from the spot. Some ration that was looted from security forces was also found in the camp.
Maoist threat can’t be ignored: DGP
GUWAHATI, Jan 6 – Though the Maoist rebels are not indulging in major acts of violence, the threat of Left Wing extremism cannot be overlooked, admitted the Director General (DGP) of Assam Police, Jayanta Narayan Choudhury. He also admitted that ethnic tension in some parts of the State is a cause of concern and the issue has to be looked into seriously.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Choudhury pointed out that the activities of the Maoist rebels spread like cancer and as armed movement comes at a very late stage and in the initial stages, they want to spread their bases among the people. He said that apart from one incident of attack on security personnel, the Maoists are trying to collect funds and spread their bases among the people. Referring to the demand of the Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh for declaring Dibrugarh and Tinsukia as Left Wing extremism affected districts, the DGP pointed out that it is a positive development as such a demand was raised without waiting for the Maoists to indulge in killings.
Choudhury pointed out that if the districts are included in the list of Left Wing extremism affected districts, Central fund of Rs 30 crore a year would come for each of the districts for infrastructure development and the Government would be able to counter the propaganda of underdevelopment of the Maoists. He said that Dhemaji district should also be included in the list of Left Wing extremism affected district. He further revealed that the Assam Police has identified Sadiya area of Tinsukia, Tingkhong area of Dibrugarh and Dhakuakhana area of Dhemaji as some of the areas where the Maoist rebels can establish roots.
Seized letters indicate Maoists in touch with BJD, Cong leaders
Letters seized from Maoist ‘commander’ Ghasi alias Chenda Bhushanam, who was arrested in April 2011, indicate that Maoists were in touch with at least an MLA and MP of the Biju Janata Dal and the Pottangi Congress MLA.
The letters were seized from Ghasi and produced in the trial court as part of the seizure list. A top ‘commander’ of the Andhra Orissa Border Special Zonal Committee, who carried a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head, the 46-year-old Ghasi has over 100 cases against his name. Two letters in Oriya seized from him, copies of which are with The Indian Express, indicate that Maoists were in touch with Koraput MP Jayram Pangi and Koraput MLA Raghuram Padal apart from Congress MLA Ramachandra Kadam.
This is the first documentary evidence of correspondence between Maoists and elected Orissa leaders. In the letter written in February 2011, on a CPI (Maoist) letterhead, Daya, secretary of the Koraput-Srikakulam Divisional Committee of the Maoists, asked MP Pangi, MLA Padal, Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka and a BJD leader from Pottangi, Prafulla Pangi, to attend their meeting in the Narayanpatna block. Since 2009, the block, which sits at the tri-junction of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, has been a Maoist stronghold, with rebels crossing over to bordering states after ambushing police.
“You BJD people have to attend the meeting. Please go and listen to what people are saying about the government. If you think us as your people, then please come or else don’t. The district administration and politicians should think of land problems, Dalits and tribals lodged in jail and difficulties faced by villagers in areas around police camps. Please go, see, listen and understand and try to solve the problem after discussions with local people. If you go to Narayanpatna, your future would be bright,” said the letter sent by Daya.
He also wrote that separate letters had been issued to Congress leaders to attend the meeting. The letter, which was sent by a Maoist courier, was acknowledged by Koraput MP Pangi at 6.10 pm on February 6, 2011, with his signature. The letter also bears purportedly the signature of Koraput MLA Padal, acknowledging receiving it at 5.30 pm the same day. The second letter seized by police was purportedly written by Pottangi MLA Kadama of the Congress to Ghasi, in which he acknowledged having received his previous letter. Addressing Ghasi as “Priya Ghasi bhai (dear brother Ghasi)”, Kadam said he wanted the people of Kanti and Narayanpatna lodged in jails to be released.
“I have raised questions about this in the Assembly. You have to wait for some time. I have welcomed the steps taken by the government for you. I think it is a good thing if the government works for you. I don’t oppose it. I am opposing Hindalco since beginning. I am with people on this matter. I have no truck with Hindalco. All the propaganda about me having relations with Hindalco is false,” Kadam wrote in the letter, bearing what is purportedly his signature in Oriya. Sources said this letter was possibly written after August 29, 2010, when Ghasi killed Congressman Anand Kirsani, a zilla parishad member of Dhusura village under Semiliguda block in Koraput. When The Indian Express contacted BJD MP Pangi, he said he had never got the letter directly from Maoists
. “I have never got any letter directly from the Maoists so far. That particular letter was shown to me by Koraput MLA Padal. He asked me to sign it. But I never went to that meeting in Narayanpatna. Some days later, someone from their side called me up over the phone asking why I I failed to attend the meeting. I told them I had prior engagements. The area where I live is teeming with Maoists. I can neither agree to whatever they say nor can we show our defiance,” the MP said. Koraput MLA Padal and Pottangi MLA Kadam flatly denied ever having received any letter from Maoists. Sources said Ghasi collected Rs 50-60 lakh a month from local politicians, traders and officials. Such was his terror that youths were known to extort money in his name without his knowledge.
Involved in almost all the major operations in Orissa and Andhra, Ghasi had 63 cases lodged against him between 1991 and 1996 in Vishakhapatnam district alone. Now lodged in Koraput jail, Ghasi’s strengths lay in ambushing police parties, setting landmine blasts and shooting down informers or policemen. Incidentally, in March last year, Koraput-based pro-Maoist outfit Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh helped the ruling BJD clinch the post of the Koraput zilla parishad president.
With both the Congress and BJD tied at 14 seats each in the 29-member parishad in the panchayat polls, the CMAS backed Zuro Mouka, who in turn supported the BJD. Mouka incidentally was acquitted in a case of Maoist violence in 2010. At the time, three BJD MLAs and Koraput MP Pangi had appealed to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to withdraw cases against CMAS activists and stop Operation Greenhunt in the Narayanpatna block. However, soon after Mouka’s election, the Maoists, allegedly aided by the CMAS, had abducted Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka. He was released only after a month.
7 security men killed in encounter with Maoists
Seven CRPF personnel were killed and at least nine others injured in a fierce gun battle with Maoist guerrillas in Latehar district today. Jharkhand Director General of Police G S Rath told PTI that nine/ten other personnel from both CRPF and Jharkhand Jaguar were injured in the gun battle with the Maoists near Katila locality of Amuatikar village of the district. The CRPF had rushed to the spot after police got information that several Maoist guerrillas, including those from outside the state, had assembled near the place.
The encounter broke out when the Maoists from a hill-top fired on the security personnel. Units drawn from the 112 and 134 battalions of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and state police were out to conduct an anti-Naxal operation when the attack took place. The security forces have consolidated their positions now and some causalities have been inflicted upon the Naxals too, a CRPF official said in New Delhi. This was the first major encounter this year where security forces suffered causalities in anti-Maoist operations. It came close on the heels of Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh’s two-day visit to the Maoist-affected district of Latehar, Garhwa and Palamau from December 31 to inspect centrally sponsored rural developmental works.
Bastar court orders acquittal of 10 accused in Dantewada massacre
RAIPUR: In a major setback in the country’s worst ever Naxal attack case, the court of additional session’s judge in Dantewada on Monday ordered acquittal of 10 accused in the Tadmetla massacre of 76 security personnel, including 75 from the Para-military Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), in April 2010.
The court of additional sessions judge Anita Deharia acquitted 10 accused, who include three panchayat members, on the ground that the prosecution had failed to provide substantial evidence that could lead to their conviction. All the 10 accused were charged under various section of Indian Penal Code, Arms Act and under the provisions of explosive Act.
Sources said the prosecution had produced a number of witnesses in the court but their statements were insufficient for conviction in the case of Tadmetla massacre—the worst ever incident of Naxalite violence in the country. The court ordered release of Payami Ganga, Podiyami Hirma, Swayam Hirma, Kawasi Budra, Joro Jogga, Varse Ratna, Markam Ganga, Rajesh Nayak, Ratan Joga and Marvi Dula, who were arrested in connection the massacre case.
Though the police had named many other senior Maoist leaders, including Papa Rao whose name came up as the key conspirator, as accused but they could not be arrested as they were absconding. Seventy five personnel of the CRPF and a state police official fell to bullets in the wee hours of April six in 2010 as they were caught in a brutal ambush in the forests of Tadmetla, an area dominated by the rebels.
Outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) military wing, People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) cadres numbered closer to 350 and were assisted by a supporting cast of 200-odd local militia (armed informers) and ‘sangams’ or village associations had unleashed the attack on the security forces. The rebels had initially triggered a series of power blasts targeting the security personnel and later moved in from the heights they occupied on the road near the village of Chintalnar in Dantewada and shot the injured and looted weapons.