Security intensified as Maoists issue fresh poll boycott call in Jharkhand’s Dumka district
DUMKA: Taking a cue from the earlier elections, elaborate security arrangements have been made to thwart any attempt to disrupt the polling process. As part of the exercise, IAF helicopters have been pressed into service for dropping poll personnel at sensitive areas in the Maoist-hit Dumka district. Polling personnel of 19 booths in Naxalite-hit Kathikund, Shikaripara and Gopikandar blocks in the district were ferried to respective helipads, which were constructed earlier amid fears of a possible attack against security forces and poll workers.
The district administration had identified six booths in Shikaripara, seven in Kathikund and six in Gopikandar blocks in the district as the most vulnerable ones. Chopper service has been made available to ferry poll workers in these blocks. A total of 76 polling personnel were lifted by IAF helicopters which ferried them from Dumka airport in separate trips and will be stationed here until Thursday for emergency, particularly injuries to security forces or polling personnel on all the three Lok Sabha constituencies in Santhal Pargana. Four IAF guards also accompanied the polling personnel onboard the helicopter and were armed with light machine guns to counter rebels.
Maoists behind high polling in Kandhamal?
Maoists, who have been routinely calling for poll boycott during every election, may have played a big role in ensuring very high turnouts in certin parts of Odisha’s Kandhamal district. In sharp contrast to zero polling in some of the booths in the Maoist-affected districts in Odisha, especially in Malkangiri, Kandhamal recorded an unprecedented polling figures during the first phase polls on April 10 in areas where Maoists call the shots.
While a maximum polling of 80.59 per cent was recorded in Kotagarh block, a known stronghold of the Maoists, polling in the other two Maoist affected areas- Daringbadi and Tumudibandh-was as high as 72.93 and 64.27 percent respectively. While many have attributed the massive turnout in these hypersensitive areas to the courage of the voters and the success of the administration’s vote awareness campaign, sources say the Maoist groups that operate in these localities reversed their stand and persuaded the people to cast their votes in favour the candidates of their choice.
Requesting anonymity, some of the polling officials, who were on duty at these polling booths, said even the known local Maoists and their supporters had come to cast their votes. The matter calls for both a probe to check the veracity of the claims as also to find out the party or the candidates the Maoists chose to side with in this election. “If the Maoist interference in the poll process is found to be true, it would mean that the left wing ultras are not only fully active in the district but also wield great influence over the people here,”said a senior NGO activist.
Two women ‘Maoists’ nabbed in Koraput, explosives seized in Nabarangpur
Security personnel arrested two women, suspected to have been Maoists, from Dumasil village of Narayanpatna block in Odisha’s Koraput district in the wee hours on Wednesday. The arrested suspected Maoists, identified as Kendruka Rupi and Kendruka Jamalu were later brought to Narayanpatna police station for interrogation after which they were taken to Laxmipur, police said. According to reports, the BSF personnel and the local police raided Dumasila village in the wee hours on Wednesday after conducting a night-long combing operation in the nearby forest area on late Tuesday night.
During the raid, the security personnel arrested the two women Maoists who were active members of Jana Natya Mandalam of the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh, a local radical outfit. It may be mentioned that Purna Huluka, alleged to have been a Maoist, was killed in an encounter with the police in Narayanpatna on April 13 and another person called Mina of Dumasila village was detained.
Acting on the statement of Mina during interrogation, police later arrested the two women. In a separate development, the BSF personnel seized three SBML guns, explosives and food materials from inside a cave in Kedupari forest near Maidalpur village of Papadahandi block in Nabarangpur district on late Tuesday night. Acting on a tip-off that some Maoists are camping inside the forest, the Central forces launched a combing operation in the forest at about 2 AM and found these items from a cave.
Security forces prepare for World Cup in a restive Brazil
RIO DE JANEIRO — Drones, bomb-detecting robots, camera glasses, rubber bullets and sound and light grenades will all be at the ready if Brazilian police need them to quell disturbances during the FIFA World Cup. The Brazilian military also has a contingency plan in case President Dilma Rousseff calls it to the streets. But the military’s main role will be to secure stadiums, the skies, the waters and public utilities, and guard against any terrorist threats during the June 12 through July 13 event.
The possibility of massive street protests — a contingency that was scarcely part of initial World Cup security planning — is now front and center after some 1 million Brazilians demonstrated in June during the FIFA Confederations Cup, considered a dress rehearsal for the world’s premier soccer event. Violence in Brazil’s shantytowns, or favelas, also is a possibility during the Copa as security forces continue an effort to take back the streets from criminal gangs in neighborhoods where emotions are already on edge. For the World Cup, 150,000 police and members of the armed forces will be involved and another 20,000 people trained in event security, according to Andrei Rodrigues of Brazil’s Ministry of Justice.
Emotional, violent protests a year after Bangladesh disaster
Dhaka: Thousands of Bangladeshis held emotional and violent protests on the one-year anniversary of the world’s worst garment factory disaster, as Western retailers faced pressure to hike aid for victims of the accident that cost 1,138 lives. Angry victims, some wearing funeral shrouds, staged demonstrations at the site of the now-infamous Rana Plaza factory complex, which collapsed last April 24 after a catastrophic structural failure.
Chanting “We want compensation!” and “Death to Sohel Rana!”, the owner of the shoddy building, the demonstrators — who included injured survivors and families of the deceased — marched to the ruins of the nine-storey building outside Dhaka carrying flowers and wreaths. Relatives of the 140 workers still unaccounted for also joined in, calling on the government to help find their bodies. They included toddlers, holding photos of their missing mothers.
“I want my daughter’s dead body. At least it would give us some consolation,” said crying mother Minu Begum, clutching a photo of her missing daughter Sumi Begum, who worked at one of Rana Plaza’s five factories. For the first time since the disaster, when the site was sealed off, relatives of the dead and survivors were allowed inside. Some fell to the ground, sobbing and grabbing handfuls of dirt, while others prayed.
Violent protests broke out in the capital where police fired tear gas at some 2,000 brick-throwing demonstrators demanding higher wages and compensation outside a small garment factory hub, police said. “More than 20 garment factories were forced to shut down for the day fearing unrest,” local police chief Moshiur Rahman said.
China Labor Group Says Activists Detained in Shoe Factory Strike
Chinese authorities detained a pair of labor activists who are advising striking workers at a shoe manufacturer for brands including Nike Inc. (NKE:US) and Adidas AG (ADS), China Labor Watch said. The two activists, Zhang Zhiru and Lin Dong, entered a factory belonging to Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings Ltd. (551) in Dongguan to help workers after a strike began April 14, China Labor Watch said on its website.
Zhang’s wife Xiao Hongxia said the last time she reached her husband was midday April 22, when Zhang told her he had met with security officials. “I called my husband at noon yesterday, asking if he would be coming home to eat,” Xiao said in an interview on April 23. “He said he was in Dongguan and already having his meal. I haven’t heard from him since.”
200 Administrative Detainees Start Hunger Strike
The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that 200 detainees, held by Israel under arbitrary Administrative Detention orders, without charges or trial, started an open-ended hunger strike protesting their continued illegitimate imprisonment.
Frustrated Egyptian workers pose a grave challenge to new president
MAHALLAH, Egypt — Egypt’s next president will have to contend with frustrated workers who have threatened a new wave of nationwide strikes if their demands are not met by an already cash-strapped government. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the ex-army chief who overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last July and is hailed by supporters as a tough leader who can restore stability, is widely expected to win next month’s election.
But he is likely to face strident demands from the same labor leaders who organized a massive 2008 strike seen as a precursor to the 2011 uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade rule. And with tourism and investment having largely dried up following three years of turmoil, it’s unclear whether the government can meet their demands. Labor activist Kamal Fayoumi says he struggles to make ends meet despite having worked at a textile factory for 30 years, and he and other labor leaders insist the promise of the 2011 uprising — “bread, freedom, social justice” — has yet to be fulfilled. “All governments over the past three years, including Morsi’s, have only made promises, but never delivered,” Fayoumi told AFP at a roadside cafe in Egypt’s textile hub of Mahallah, 115 km north of Cairo.
In the years since Mubarak’s overthrow in 2011, workers have staged persistent strikes across the country, only halting them in February under a temporary truce with military-installed authorities. The strikes had taken place in key sectors, including textiles, steel, cement, public transport, ports and postal services, further compounding the country’s economic woes.
MCPM to boycott President’s Manipur visit
Maoist Communist Party Manipur (MCPM) Tuesday said that the party would call a statewide general strike in Manipur on April 29 as part of boycott to the scheduled visit of India’s President Pranab Mukherjee. President Pranab Mukherjee would visit Imphal on April 29 to attend the 14th convocation of Manipur University. He would leave Imphal on the same day, an official source in the state home department said.
A statement of the MCPM signed by its publicity and propaganda secretary comrade Nonglen Meitei dispatched to the local media Tuesday said that the general strike would be imposed to boycott the visit of President. The main objective of proposed general strike was to highlight the suffering of the people of the state after the state merged with the Indian union, MCPM’s statement added.
Three Maoist leaders arrested in Jharkhand
Medininagar (Jharkhand): Three Maoist leaders were arrested with arms and ammunition from Shahpur village of Naxal-hit Palamau district, police said on Wednesday. Acting on an information that some ultras would be assembling in the village, security personnel conducted raid and arrested the three yesterday, Superintendent of Police YS Ramesh said. The arrested Maoists were identified as Sub-zonal Commander Mahendra Singh Kharswar, Area Commander Lalan Singh Kharwar and Virendra Kumar Ram. One 303 rifle, which was looted from police in the past, and 77 live cartridges were recovered from their possession, Ramesh said, adding that over two dozen cases were pending against them. The trio assembled in the village to finalize plan to snap ties with the ultra outfit, he said. PTI
Indo-Nepal border sealed for third phase polls in Bihar
The Election Commission (EC) has deployed 143 companies of Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF), 74 companies of Bihar Military Police (BMP) and 20,523 district police jawans for the third phase of polls in the state tomorrow. Seven Lok Sabha constituencies – Supaul, Araria, Kishanganj, Purnia, Katihar, Bhagalpur and Banka – are going to polls in this phase. Around 1.08 crore voters will get an opportunity to exercise their franchise at 9,840 polling stations to decide the fate of 108 candidates in fray.
“Apart from the security forces, 3,003 patrolling magistrates, 949 sectoral magistrates and 456 zonal magistrates have been deployed,” Additional Chief Electoral Officer R Lakshmanan said. “The sectoral magistrates will ensure that free and fair polls are held in 5,142 vulnerable hamlets spread over the seven constituencies and comprising 2.09 lakh voters,” he said. Since Supaul, Araria and Kishanganj constituencies are located on the Indo-Nepal border, the Sashatra Seema Bal (SSB) for the first time during this general elections, has sealed the international border.
Teacher shot dead by Naxals in Chhattisgarh
Rajnandgaon: A 30-year-old government school teacher was allegedly shot dead by naxalites in Maoist-hit Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh, police said today. The shikshakarmi (contractual teacher) Ranveer Salame was killed late last evening by a group of armed naxals in Teregaon village weekly market under Kohka police station limits, Rajnandgaon Superintendent of Police Sanjeev Shukla said. Salame was posted at a school under restive Khadgaon police station area.
The incident took place when he visited the weekly market along with wife. About 10 armed naxals stormed the area and shot at him using pistols, he said. According to eyewitnesses, assailants included self-styled commander of Mohla region of CPI (Maoist) Chintu Tekam and other local cadres, he said. The reason behind the fatal attack is yet to be ascertained, he said. A case has been registered in this connection and security forces have launched hunt to nab the attackers in the region, he added.
Deadly riot in Rio’s Copacabana district with World Cup weeks away
One person was shot and killed as violent protests erupted in Rio’s Copacabana beach district less than two months before soccer’s World Cup begins in Brazil. The riots followed the death of a dancer, allegedly at the hands of police. Brazilian media said he was fatally beaten after officers mistook him for a drug trafficker. Two main roads were closed on Tuesday after demonstrators from a slum set alight barricades of tyres and hurled bottles and other missiles at police.
A 30-year-old man died after being shot in the head in the slum, which is just a stone’s throw from Copacabana beach. He was taken to hospital but was dead on arrival, health officials said. It was not immediately clear who shot him. Demonstrators are furious that billions of dollars have been spent on World Cup infrastructure instead of public housing, roads, more aid for the poor and ending violent crime. The trouble began in the early evening in the Pavao-Pavaozinho favela – which nestles above the well-heeled tourist centres of Copacabana and Ipanema – before quickly spreading, witnesses said.
“It started about 5.30 pm. There was smoke everywhere, gunshots in the street and people racing for home,” said a young man who lives next to the favela, or slum. “A number of police special unit trucks have just gone up into the favela. We are stuck at home – we can’t go out,” he added, as helicopters flew over. Another resident said electricity supplies had been cut in the area and reported that the situation remained tense. Media reported that the violence had spilled over into Ipanema as some youngsters went on the rampage there, pursued by police.
40 injured as street vendors‚ police clash
KATHMANDU: At least 40 street vendors and four police personnel were injured in a clash between vendors and riot police at Shanti Batika today. The clash ensued after police rained lathis to foil the one-hour chakkajam that street vendors had enforced as part of their protest against the government’s decision to drive them away from the Capital’s streets.
A police official said cops lathi-charged the demonstrators after they tried to manhandle security personnel, who were convincing them not to obstruct the traffic. According to police, around 40 demonstrators got injured in their action. Of them, Devaki Kharel, 45, of Kavre, has sustained injuries in various parts of his body. Four police personnel, including Constable Krishna Nepal, were also injured.
Anti-Obama protesters clash with police in Manila
MANILA, Philippines — Police armed with truncheons, shields and a fire hose clashed Wednesday with more than 100 left-wing activists who rallied at the U.S. Embassy in Manila to oppose a visit by President Barack Obama and an expected security pact that would increase the American military presence in the Philippines. Riot policemen blocked the flag-waving activists near the heavily fortified embassy compound but the protesters slipped past them, sparking a brief scuffle in view of motorists stuck in traffic.
Strikes still on in some provinces
Unrest in the garment sector spread yesterday, as hundreds of workers from Kandal province demonstrated outside their factory. The 700 workers at Unity Fashion factory walked off the job after managers said they would dock wages of workers who did not show up on April 17, the first day after Khmer New Year, said Ry Sithinet, a Free Trade Union officer. Striking that began on Saturday continued yesterday at three factories in Svay Rieng province’s Tai Seng Special Economic Zone, said Meas Sokna, the local Collective Union of Movement of Workers officer.
1000s of Peruvian teachers rally over pay
Thousands of striking Peruvian teachers rally in the capital, Lima, demanding better pay and working conditions. Members of the United Trade Union Education Workers of Peru (SUTEP) and the National Federation of Education Administrative Workers (FENTASE), who were on a 24-hour strike on Tuesday, marched through the streets of the city that were surrounded by security forces. Scuffles broke out when Peruvian police tried to stop the protesters from completely blocking roads and disrupting traffic.
Chairman of Baloch student Organisation abducted, comrades announce hunger strike till death
Karachi : Senior Chairperson of the Baloch Student Organisation (Azad), Banuk Karima Baloch, revealed on Tuesday that the chairman of BSO-Azad, Zahid Kurd Baloch, has been abducted from Quetta on 18 March 2014. She said Zahid Baloch was abducted during a raid on a political meeting of the Organisation. She expressed these during a press conference outside Karachi Press Club where they set up a hunger strike on to death protest camp for the release of their chairman.
She said, “We expect you [media/journalists] to make our voices heard in the right mediums around the world.” She added, “Baloch Students Organization – Azad (BSO-A) is a progressive democratic student organization that believes in peaceful struggle and has been striving for the Baloch rights including the right for freedom. In the struggle for these aims, BSO-Azad has been clear and open on its strategy since day one; which is, not only believing and advocating peaceful democratic struggle but also becoming an exemplary lead in it.
“Although BSO-Azad has been strictly committed to its democratic struggle, powerful Pakistani state elements could never tolerate our mere existence. From past 5 years, there has been an unannounced deadly crackdown against BSO-Azad that has left hundreds of our peaceful activists being abducted and dozens extra judicially murdered. In addition, BSO-Azad has also been unlawfully banned to carry out any political activity. Despite all of these brutalities, BSO-Azad has not compromised on its principal of peaceful democratic struggle.
“On March 18, 2014 at 5pm, Pakistani secret agencies and security forces abducted BSO-Azad Chairman Zahid Baloch also known as Baloch Khan from Quetta. I, along three other senior members of BSO-Azad are eyewitnesses to this incident of forced disappearance. Zahid Baloch was abducted in presence of dozens of other independent eye-witnesses. We did not disclose about his abduction because we hoped that they would bring him to surface at some point.”
Barapukuria mine workers protest
Workers of Barpukuria Coal Mining Company Limited in Dinajpur have confined about 50 officials to the administrative building to press for retention of existing manpower. The workers encircled the administrative building on Wednesday morning to prevent the officials from coming out. Coal Mine Workers-Employees Union President Wazed Ali said the authorities had recently finalised a new manpower structure that would employ only 738 people instead of the previous roster strength of 2,674.
On Apr 20, the workers had given the managing director (MD) an ultimatum to go back to the previous strength. Ali said they were compelled to protest due to the inaction of the management. A large number of police, Border Guard Bangladesh and RAB personnel have been deployed at the company premises to avert any trouble.
Naxalites torch vehicles deployed for road work
CHANDRAPUR: A group of over 50 Naxalites on Monday evening set afire vehicles deployed for construction work on Dechlipetha-Jimalgatta road near Dechlipetha village in Jimalgatta subdivision of Gadchiroli district. The rebels also stalled Aheri-Jimalgatta bus passing through the road for around an hour. Sources said the Naxalites reached the site around 6.30 pm and set ablaze three trucks, a JCB and a tractor belonging to an Andhra Pradesh based construction company.
They also stopped an Aheri-bound MSRTC bus and ordered all its passengers to disembark. Sources claimed the Naxalites also searched around 35 passengers to identify presence of any police informer. However, when nothing suspicious was found, they released the bus. On Sunday, Naxalites had shot dead Vitha Kulmethe, a surrendered Naxalite who worked as special police officer, in a weekly market at Jimalgatta.
‘Naxals collected info on trucks carrying explosives from Khadki to Ahmednagar’
Investigation following the arrest of the artistes of Pune-based cultural group Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) for their alleged Naxal links has revealed that Maoists regularly collected information about the trucks carrying explosives from the Army’s Khadki ammunition depot to Ahmednagar. Justice A R Joshi of the Bombay High Court (HC) recently rejected the bail application of three KKM artistes Sachin Maruti Male, Sagar Tatyaram Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor.
The HC order dated April 11, 2014, makes specific mention of four witnesses — Jivan Ramsai Narote, Suraj alias Gulal Darshan, Anil alias Manoj Bapu and Vikrant alias Vikram — who are surrendered Naxals and have given statements that Sachin, Sheetal, Sagar and Ramesh had participated in arms training with over 100 others in the jungle areas of Gondia and Gadchiroli between November 2011 and April 2012, when they were on the run. As per the HC order, Vikrant alias Vikram was asked to collect information about vehicles transporting explosives from the Army’s ammunition units. “In his (Vikrant’s) statement, he referred present applicants (Sachin, Sagar and Ramesh) and another co-accused regarding work allotted to him to collect information about trucks loaded with explosives passing from Khadki to Ahmednagar,” said the HC order.
According to sources in the investigating agencies, Vikrant is from Yavatmal district of Maharashtra. He surrendered in December 2012. As a student of ITI in 2003, he came in contact with an alleged “Naxal front” “Deshbhakta Yuva Manch”, through which he later joined CPI-Maoist. His statement reveals that because he was a good driver the Maoists provided him a four-wheeler for transportation of gelatin sticks, detonators and ferrying top Naxal leader Deepak alias Milind Teltumbde.
He also allegedly worked as a “courier” between the Naxal operatives in jungles and those in urban areas. As per the statement, he was in Ahmednagar between 2010 and 2011. During this time, Teltumbde allegedly told him to collect information and study the routes of trucks loaded with explosives going to Ahmednagar from the ammunition factory in Khadki (Pune) and also from the Central Ammunition Depot in Pulgaon in Wardha district. Vikrant also revealed the alleged plan of Maoists to trap and loot vehicles carrying ammunition near Deori, on NH 6, in Gondia district. A senior police officer said:
“There have been incidents of Naxals looting explosives and ammunition before. On March 12, 2010, armed Naxals looted 16 tonnes of liquid explosives from a private tanker they had trapped by felling trees on a road in the jungle area around 25 km from Dhanora in Gadchiroli. The tanker was transporting explosives from Chandrapur MIDC to Chhattisgarh.”
Maoists eye mining pie, keep guns silent in Jharkhand
The guns are quieter in Jharkhand this election. This troubled astern state has hardly had elections without bloodshed. Maoists and their splinter groups killed persons in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and 12 in the assembly elections that year. The two phases of Mandate 2014 have been peaceful barring a landmine blast in Bokaro that injured four CRPF personnel. Other Maoist-hit states have been far more violent. Chattisgarh and Bihar have so far reported 12 and two deaths respectively.
So what has happened in Jharkhand that witnessed 383 Maoist-related incidents compared to 353 in Chattisgarh? Senior police officials and activists here feel the rebel groups are refraining from big-bang attacks for a share of the lucrative iron ore mining trade. “Various rebel groups have been tacitly supporting a number of candidates to gain control over the mineral-rich constituencies and this could one of the reasons behind fewer violent incidents this election,” a senior superintendent of police heading a sensitive district told HT. According to prominent anti-mining activist Xavier Dias, many candidates in the red terror zones of Chatra, Palamu, and Khunti have reached an understanding with Maiosts and their offshoots.
“All the major groups including the CPI (Maoist), People Liberation Front of India (PFLI), Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC) have supported one candidate or the other,” he said. He did not take names but locals know who are backing whom. Besides, rebels have voiced their choices. CPI (Maoist) regional committee member Nakul Yadav announced support for Neelam Devi, Jharkhand Vikash Morcha candidate from Chatra.
The outfit’s rival TPC is widely believed to be supporting the BJP in the same seat. In Khunti, the PFLI is actively helping Jharkhand Party candidate Anosh Ekka. Many believe the iron ore trade is too lucrative for Maoists to stay away from. In West Singbhum’s Saranda region alone, 19 projects mining projects are in different phases of approval. “Once a powerful force, the Maoists have not only been divided into various splinter groups but have also come under severe attack from the state. They are on the back foot, and so they want to control the area politically,” Dias said. This probably explains why Maoists have checked their habit of boycotting polls. State DGP Rajeev Kumar did not rule out any Maoist-candidate understanding but insisted the rebels have lost steam because of heavy deployment of security forces and intense combing operations. “We were better prepared this time with 90,000 security personnel deployed in the two phases. Also, we began search operations on a massive scale from November last year,” he said.
NAXAL VIOLENCE: OLD CHALLENGES FOR THE NEW GOVERNMENT – ANALYSIS:IPCS
That the Communist Party of India-Maoist (Maoist) does not believe in democratic principles and electoral processes is too well known. The 2014 Lok Sabha elections provided the extremist outfit with yet another opportunity to reassert its vision for the country. In words and as well as with accompanied violence, it proved once more that the probability of a negotiated settlement to the long-standing conflict is rather low.
The CPI-Maoist released three sets of somewhat contradictory statements in March 2014, two signed by the spokesperson of the outfit’s Central Committee (CC) and one on behalf of the outfit’s Eastern Regional Bureau. Dated 24 March, the CC released its customary boycott of elections calling the affair “another huge financial burden on the people”, which can not transform the “present exploitative system.” Critiquing all the political parties for their dishonest policies towards the tribals, the statement termed the government’s peace proposals “deceptive.” Interestingly, another 19-page document was released by the CC on the same day, which contained answers to 11 questions posed by the media persons to the outfit.
Responding to a question on the outlook of the outfit on peace talks with the government, the spokesperson stated that while the outfit is “not against Peace Talks with the government”, since talks are “an integral part of the political struggle.” However, five demands were outlined which the government must fulfil before a peace process could begin. These included declaring the CPI-Maoist a political movement; de-proscribing the outfit and its front organisations; initiating judicial inquiries into the killings of its senior leaders; stopping of security force operations; and releasing arrested leaders/cadres of the outfit.
The statement surprisingly was hailed as the outfit’s declaration for peace by the media, ignoring the fact that the conditions outlined have remained an integral part of the outfit’s statements in the past. While the outfit expects the government to fulfil some of its most impious demands, the outfit itself has rebuffed the minimum condition laid down by the home ministry to “stop violence for 72 hours” as the lone condition for starting of a peace process. Few days prior to the release of the twin CC statements, the CPI-Maoist’s Eastern Regional Bureau had issued a four-page ‘short-term vision document’ appealing the masses to chose between “real democracy” or a “pseudo-democratic system.”
This document, which effectively constituted a manifesto of the outfit, reiterated the need for a “new constitution” including provisions for “equal socio-economic rights to women” and “death penalty compulsory for molestation and rape.” It further called for “freedom of speech and expression, right to congregate and protest, form an organisation, primary health care, access to primary education, primary and minimum employment and compulsory participation in daily governance system.” The outfit additionally promised not to suppress the separatist movements with the power of the gun, but to “honour nationalist movements and self-decision to allow them dignified and peaceful co-existence (sic).” Neither the proclamation of intent for peace nor the declaration of its own manifesto, however, stopped the outfit from carrying out a series of attacks on security force personnel, poll officials as well as civilians in the affected states that went to polls.
Compared to the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, during which 19 people were killed by the outfit, till the writing of the article, at least 20 civilians and security forces had been killed in Maoist attacks. These contrasting signals emanating from the outfit signify two possibilities. One, peace negotiation as an instrument of conflict resolution does not figure in the imagination of the extremist outfit and its utterances on a peace process are merely rhetorical. Two, the outfit intends to use violence as a bargaining tool in case a peace process with the government comes to fruition. Faced with this deceptive extremist strategy, the action plans of the political class to deal with the challenge, remains highly fractured.
Going by the manifestos of the political parties, the probability that the new government in New Delhi would be able to address the anomalies of the past and chart a new course looks blurry. While the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) promise to deal with the problem with a “firm hand” and a policy of “zero tolerance” respectively, the Aam Admi Party (AAP) prefers a “multi-lateral dialogue.” The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) opines in favour of “specific measures to tackle the socio-economic problems” faced “particularly by the tribal people.” The BJP insists that “talks with the insurgent groups will be conditional and within the framework of the constitution.” The Congress, on the other hand, is silent on the process of dialogue and prefers to pursue “a development agenda to empower people” in the affected areas. While the CPI-M insists that left-wing extremism is “not just a security issue,” the AAP reiterates that “socio-economic development and effective political de-centralisation” hold the key.
Keeping strict vigil on border areas to tackle Maoists: Andhra DGP
Andhra Pradesh police are keeping a strict vigil on the bordering areas of the state to tackle Maoists ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, a top police officer said today. “Their (Maoists) presence is very much there in neighbouring states of Chhattisgarh and Odisha (bordering Andhra Pradesh)…Keeping that in view and assuming that they may stage a infiltrate these parts (bordering districts of AP) and commit offences, we keep a continuous vigil on these parts, especially through our special parties and specialised anti-Maoist force–Greyhounds, “DGP B Prasada Rao here said. “These forces will continuously monitor and take counter measures against the Maoists,” he said at a ‘Meet-the-Press’ event hosted by Andhra Pradesh Journalists Forum. ”
CPI (Maoists) routinely give poll boycott call before elections. It has happened in the past also. Going by their presence and influence, we take counter measures. We know that Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam are affected by Maoists problem in Telangana region of the state while East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam are LWE affected in coastal districts of AP,” Rao said. He said the cops were aware of the threat the naxals pose to political leaders and also of their method.
“Sometimes, Maoists induct action teams to hit at certain targets. So, we are aware of this threat also and we sensitise the political party leaders those who go for campaigning as well as for conducting political meetings in affected places. The precaution, required bandobast and security arrangements are taken by us,” the DGP said. Asked if there are any specific inputs from Central agencies that Maoists may disrupt electoral process in AP, he said, “That threat is there…We have seen it very recently during polls in Chattisgarh. They attacked police stations and polling parties. We are aware of that and we have been making necessary security arrangements”.
Union members and riot police clash in Istanbul
In Turkey, union members have clashed with riot police in Istanbul, as they tried to enter a park to hold a press conference. Around 100 union members tried to enter Gezi Park, which is next to Taksim Square, but they were pushed back by security forces. Union leaders were trying to issue a public press statement calling for official permission to hold rallies in the square on May 1st, to observe International Workers’ Day. The Turkish government has banned May Day events at Taksim Square for over three decades, after 34 people were killed there in 1977 by unknown assailants during May Day celebrations.
Strike spreads at Chinese supplier to Adidas and Nike
A strike at a Chinese factory that manufactures shoes for Adidas and Nike has spread to a sister factory in a neighbouring province, as thousands of workers gathered to protest against what they said were unfair pay and benefits. About 2,000 workers clocked in on Monday, but did not work, at the Yue Yuen factory complex in Jiangxi province, southern China, joining at least 10,000 employees at another Yue Yuen factory complex in Dongguan, Guangdong province, who have been on strike since 14 April. Up to 30,000 employees have stopped working in the strike – China’s largest in recent memory, according to the New York-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) China Labour Watch.
20 People arrested for beating police in east China
Twenty people were arrested around midnight in the eastern Chinese town of Lingxi following a violent incident in which hundreds of people surrounded a group of five police officers and gave them a beating, leaving two of them in a coma, the state-run Global Times said Monday.
China to Deploy Armed Police After Attacks, China Daily Says
China will deploy more armed police across the country to respond to emergencies and combat violent crime, the China Daily newspaper reported. Police with handguns will patrol city streets as well as railway stations, airports, shopping malls, schools and hospitals, the paper said today, citing Yan Zhengbin, deputy director of the Ministry of Public Security’s management bureau.
Protests flare in Sudan, citizens arrested
Dozens of residents of residents of Aljiraif East were injured and arrested in a massive demonstration on Friday in protest against the government selling their lands and changing the name of the district into Mansheya East. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that the security forces used batons and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators, wounding and arresting of dozens of protesters including the engineer Mutassim Algham, Badr Al-Din Alhat, Mohammed Abul Gasim, Ali Abdullah Zein, and Abdu Mukhtar Badroddin.
Several citizens of El Salam and Azhari areas south of Khartoum demonstrated on Friday in protest against the lack of drinking water. They complain that the water crisis has lasted for more than a year without a solution, noting that the price of a barrel of water has risen to SDG 22 ($3.90).
The staff, workers and storekeepers of the railway in Atbara in River Nile state have ceased work in protest against repeated thefts from the railway stores. They accused the government authorities of stealing the contents of six stores belonging to the railway on Wednesday the evening of Wednesday.
Henan Teachers Vow to Keep Marching Over Pay Demands
Thousands of schoolteachers in the southern Chinese province of Henan continued a sit-in and demonstration outside the gates of government offices on Monday, as their strike over pay and conditions entered its 14th day. Around 2,000 teachers from Henan’s Wuyang county marched on Monday to government buildings in Luohe city, following mass protests of more than 5,000 teachers at the weekend, participants told RFA.
“The teachers are still going out there [to join the protest],” a striking teacher surnamed Wang said on Monday. “There are still teachers outside the north gate of the Luohe municipal government, and at the train station,” he said. “There are still about 2,000 of them there right now,” Wang said, adding that the authorities had responded by sending groups of officials to schools in the county to persuade the teachers to call off their strike.
ALGERIAN FORCES CLASH WITH AMAZIGH ACTIVISTS IN WAKE OF ELECTIONS
Algerian security forces clashed with Amazigh rights activists in the northern city of Tizi Ouzou on Monday, days after an election marked by a historically low turnout garnered a fourth term for ailing 77-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Analysts and activists say that authorities provoked the violence toward Amazighs, often pejoratively referred to as Berbers, after years of relative calm to distract from concerns that kept Algerians — of all stripes — away from the polls. The clashes started Sunday during a march to commemorate the April 20, 1980 launch of an Amazigh rights movement, dubbed retrospectively the Amazigh Spring. Activists who participated to push for political and socioeconomic parity with Arabs were met with a violent crackdown, demonstrators told Al Jazeera.
In Algeria, as in neighboring Tunisia and Morocco, Amazighs are legally barred from starting their own political parties, even though many Amazighs say ruling administrations act exclusively on the behalf of Arabs. On Sunday “women and children were running for safety in every direction,” according to Amazigh rights activist Kamira Nait Sid who participated in the protest. Demonstrators said over 60 injured protesters were admitted to one local hospital, and another 50 were arrested.
Over 800 kgs of explosives; 100 IEDs seized till now in Naxal-hit area
Over 800 kg of explosives and 127 improvised bombs have been recovered by security forces from across Naxal violence-hit areas since the Election Commission sounded the poll bugle in the country on March 5. The maximum of these killing traps and deadly ammunition, aimed at security forces and poll officials, have been recovered by the paramilitary CRPF from Left Wing Extremism affected areas of Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Odisha.
According to an official report, a maximum of 61 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were recovered from Bihar, 33 from Jharkhand, 24 from Chhattigarh and nine from Odisha. The total number of these locally made recovered bombs, which also killed troopers, is 127. 750kgs of explosives was seized from Bihar, 53 kgs from Jharkhand, .5kg from Chhattisgarh and 3.8kgs from Odisha, taking the total to 806.92kgs during the period between March 5-April 20.
During the same period, 10 IED explosions took place in Bihar, six in Jharkhand and 13 in Chhattisgarh. The maximum casualty for the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the lead anti-Naxal operations force and the largest security force deployed for polls, took place in the restive Bastar area of Chhattisgarh where 20 personnel were killed while 15 were injured in separate incidents. Five CRPF men were also killed in Bihar while seven were injured in the same state during poll duties in the Maoist grid. A total of fifty-two arms were also recovered during the same period with Bihar (10), Jharkhand (21), Chhattisgarh (15), Odisha (5) and Maharashtra (1). Similarly, a total of 452 rounds of ammunition was recovered by the paramilitary force from these states with the maximum being in Jharkhand (355), Bihar (47), Chhattisgarh (37) and Odisha (13).
Naxals kill road construction company personnel in Jharkhand
An Ultra Left outfit has killed the site-in-charge of a road construction company at Peeding villlage near naxal-affected Saranda forest range in Jharkhand, a police officer said on Monday. A group of ultras killed the site in-charge before setting ablaze the the earth moving equipment on Sunday, Sub-divisional Police Officer (Chakradharpur sub-divison) Alok Priyadarshi said. The construction company was engaged in building a road between Bandu and Peeding villages under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in Saranda forest range of the district.
Two Naxals Held in Chhattisgarh
Two Maoists were arrested during an anti-naxal operation in insurgency-hit Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh today, police said. The cadres were arrested from the restive forest under Jangla police station limits of the district, a senior police official told PTI. A team of local police were combing the forest of Potenar and Tungali under Jangla region, located around 400 kms away from the state capital Raipur, since last evening when they spotted the two suspects.
The duo tried to flee from the spot on seeing the police personnel near Tungali village but they were chased and nabbed, the official said. Those arrested were identified as Anil Kunjam (22) and Chamru Kosa (24), he said, adding that they were involved in several incidents of crime in the region.
Maoist leader, wanted in several cases of murder, arrested in Arwal
A Maoist leader wanted in several cases of murder was arrested on Monday from Gadopur in Arwal district. Acting on a tip off, police raided the village and arrested ‘Sub-Zonal Commander’ KB Lal alias Kaviji, Superintendent of Police Shafiul Haque said. Lal was wanted in connection with one dozen murder cases and several incidents of violence in the district, he said.
Maoists blow up school building in Bihar
Maoist guerrillas blew up a state-run school in Bihar’s Jamui district early on Monday, police said. Over 200 students will now not be able to attend school. Jamui superintendent of police Jitendra Rana said a group of armed Maoists used “cylinder bombs” to blast the Bojhayat middle school building.
Rioting crowd severely beats 5 chengguan for killing civilian
A riot involving around 1,000 people broke out last Saturday in Cangnan county of Wenzhou city, Zhejiang province, resulting in the hospitalization of five chengguan, China’s notoriously abusive and under-regulated urban enforcement officials. The alleged cause for the riots was the five’s brutally killing a civilian. According to reports, the chengguan “hit the man with a hammer until he started to vomit blood, because he was trying to take pictures of their violence towards a woman, a street vendor.” This man later died while being rushed to the hospital.
Baidya threatens to bring constitution from streets
RAUTAHAT, April 21: CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidya has claimed that the new Constituent Assembly (CA) will also fail to produce a new constitution ensuring people´s rights and that his party will announce a pro-people statute from the street. “We will keep on fighting for the people´s rights until the rights of workers, peasants and underprivileged communities is ensured by a pro-people constitution,” said Baidya, whose party boycotted the CA election last November. He accused the non-Maoist parties of trying to derail the peace process by reopening cases related to the insurgency time.
“Though the Comprehensive Peace Accord envisioned entrusting the to-be-formed Truth and Reconciliation Commission with the responsibility of investigating into all the conflict-era cases, conspiracies are being hatched to harass Maoist cadres on cue from foreign elements,” he said. He accused some international institutions of showing unnecessary interests about the TRC and conflict-time cases. He claimed that the insurgency-era cases should be settled by Nepal´s political parties on their own and that the foreigners needn´t worry about that. “It is condemnable to try to file cases in court even as there has already been an agreement in writing that the TRC should be mandated to take up all the conflict-era cases,” he explained.
Time Runs Out For Illegal Gold Miners
LIMA, Peru (AP) — The clock has run out for an estimated 40,000 illegal gold miners who had until Saturday to legalize their status in a region of southeastern Peru where fortune-seekers have ravaged rainforests and contaminated rivers. The government’s vow to enforce a ban on illegal mining is raising fears of bloody confrontations. The miners already have been clashing with police while intermittently blocking traffic on the commercially vital interoceanic highway that links the Pacific coast with Brazil, protesting government attempts to squeeze them out by drastically restricting shipments of the gasoline they use for their machinery.
One miner has been killed and more than 50 wounded. But officials insist this time they’re serious about combatting the multi-billion-dollar illegal mining trade that accounts for about 20 percent of Peru’s gold exports. “We’re not backing down even one inch,” said Daniel Urresti, the former army officer leading the task for President Ollanta Humala. The unrest already has left the region’s cities short of food, inflating prices, and local authorities who support the miners have traveled to the capital to press for more time. They were denied an audience with Urresti and other officials. “I don’t know what’s going to happen after the government deadline lapses. I think the violence will begin,” said Jorge Aldazabal, the governor of the Madre de Dios region who has spent more than a week camped out on a mattress in front of a 17th-century church to protest the crackdown and demand a solution.
Israeli forces detain man, clash with locals in Jenin district
JENIN (Ma’an) — Israeli forces overnight detained two Palestinians in the Jenin district overnight, security sources and an army spokesman said. Palestinian security sources told Ma’an that Muhammad Tariq al-Saadi was detained after Israeli soldiers raided his house in Jenin refugee camp. Locals added that Israeli forces ransacked their houses in Jenin and the nearby village of Yaabad. An Israeli army spokesman said the army conducted “routine activity” in Yaabad, without elaborating.
In Jenin refugee camp, he said Israeli forces arrested two Palestinians overnight. Soldiers arrived at the camp to make an overnight arrest, and “a riot erupted,” the spokesman said. He said Palestinians hurled stones and “improvised explosive devices,” in addition to firing live bullets at Israeli soldiers.
Workers protest in Tejgaon
Workers of a garments factory in Tejgaon in the capital have demonstrated demanding payment of their pending salaries. Workers of All Weather Fashion blocked the Mohakhali-Tejgaon road from Nabisco intersection to Mohakhali bus-stand from 9:30 to 10:30 on Monday morning. The blockade caused long tailback on both sides of the road. Police later fired teargas shells to disperse the protesting workers.
Workers death triggers violent protest
MAILSI-Six workers died of suffocation while cleaning a disposal well and three others were rescued here in suburban village Jallah Jeem on Sunday. The incident sparked a violent protest while the police resorted to baton charge and shelling to control the situation. According to details, the TMA Mailsi workers along with six labourers were de-silting a disposal well in Union Council Jallah Jeem area. During the work three workers including the TMA employees went into the well to fix motor fan but they fell unconscious and drowned. Meanwhile, six other labourers rushed into the well for their rescue but they also fainted due to poisonous gas in the well.
Resultantly six of the workers including the TMA employees identified as Muhammad Naseer, Muhammad Ikram, Tahir Mateen, Muhammad Fiaz, Muhammad Shah Nawaz and Muhammad Iqbal died while three others including Muhammad Aslam, Ghulam Qadir and Ghulam Nabi were rescued by Rescue 1122. Meanwhile, scores of locals who were gathered at the scene ran amuck in protest against the TMA and poor management of the Rural Health Centre Jallah Jeem. The enraged people attacked the BHU and the adjacent house of its MO Dr Mian Fazil and ransacked and set ablaze furniture, household items and a vehicle.
The protesters also attacked BHC MS Dr Atta Zafar and thrashed him. Meanwhile, Vehari DCO Jawad Akram and DPO Sadiq Ali Dogar also reached the spot but the protesters locked them in the building. The protesters accused Dr Fazli of refusing to treat the fainted workers due to stink.
11 Anti-ecotax demonstrators to appear in court for vandalism
Eleven protesters against France’s ecotax will appear in a court in Brittany on Tuesday. The men are charged with setting fire to an ecotax control portal in protest against a new levy on road freight. Eight other men are currently in custody pending their hearing. The eleven men were arrested on Friday prior to a demonstration in Nantes calling for the reunification of Britanny. The coastal town has been at the centre of anti-government protests for several months. The protestors are being prosecuted for belonging to a criminal organization with the aim of “destroying public property through violent means”. This, according to the General Prosecutor of Rennes, Thierry Pocquet du Haut-Jussé.
Police seize landmine targeting security forces in Balaghat.
Tenant registration mandatory in Nagpur rural: Superintendent
NAGPUR: The landlords may face action in the rural district for not passing on the information regarding tenants at the local police station. The measure, already existing as a precautionary guideline, is a step to thwart antinational strengths and their sleeper cells operating from rented places under disguise. While the Nagpur rural police is gearing up to conduct a drive to enroll maximum number of tenants in their records, city police are yet to wake up to the need of the hour with threat perception rising every single day.
Though the system is also in place for city, there is little effort from the cops to enforce the norms. Apart from the private residences, rural police will ensure that hotels and lodges too strictly comply with the rule of sending information of their guests in stipulated pro forma. Superintendent of police, Nagpur rural, Arti Singh stated that the landlords need not come to police station personally, but can send the information through post.
“The interrogations of several top Naxals and terrorist cadres have repeatedly brought a fact to the fore that they had almost on all occasions stayed in some rented place or hotels after coming from outside before perpetrating the attack. Nagpur is a place whose mentions have resurfaced frequently in interrogations of Naxals,” she said.
“The antinational strengths have managed to spread tentacles to almost all cities including Mumbai and Delhi where the norms of informing police stations regarding tenants are being followed diligently. We do not want to take any chance and intend to follow the pattern in rural districts,” said Singh who had spent considerable time working in Naxal-affected Gadchiroli and Bhandara districts.
Two rival Maoist groups engage in fierce encounter at Palamu
A fierce encounter took place on Sunday between two rival ultra outfits near Phulwaria village in Palamu district bordering Bihar, police said. The encounter lasted for about three hours between Maoists and Trutiya Prastuti Committee cadres, according to a preliminary report, Dy SP Ajay Kumar said. Superintendent of Police YS Ramesh along with adequate security personnel rushed to the spot, Kumar said. A joint operation with Bihar has been launched to apprehend the militants, he said.
Red threat grips santhal pargana before election
DUMKA: After the two phases of Lok Sabha elections in the state got over, the Santhal Pargana -where the third and final phase of elections will take place on April 24 – is the place where all political activities are focused on. At the same time, Maoists are reported to have zeroed in on this region in a desperate bid to display their might. The rebels have failed to disrupt poll process in the rest of their strongholds in the last two phases.
According to the reports, security forces have not been able to sanitize the forests and Reds are still active in the rural pockets taking advantage of the rough and hilly terrain covered with deep forests. Even police have admitted that the movement of armed Maoist squads was noticed by them at different places in Dumka district in the past few days. “We have been receiving reports of movement of armed Maoist squads.
We have chalked out a strategy to sanitize the forests before the scheduled date of the LS election,” said Dumka SP Nirmal Kumar Mishra. Sources said movement of rebel armed squads was seen during Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) president Babulal Marandi’s election meeting at Pokharia village under Shikaripara police station area on April 17. “When Marandi was addressing the gathering amid tight security cover, armed rebels were seen on the top of the hill about 500m from the venue,” said a source.
Pokharia, a tribal hamlet on the foothills, has been one of the strongholds of the Maoists where the first ever encounter between police and rebels had taken place in 2007. Intelligence agencies, too, have alerted the security agencies for extra precautionary steps to be taken to ensure smooth conduct of the Lok Sabha election in Dumka and other rebel-hit districts in the region.
Huge cache of arms, ammunition seized in 3 districs
PATNA: Three teams of the special task force (STF) conducted raids in Khagaria, Buxar and Saran districts on Friday night and seized huge cache of arms and ammunition which were allegedly being used by members of banned CPI (Maoist) and criminals. The cops arrested Azad Paswan alias Bihari ji, a member of CPI (Maoist), from village Parasa Ganda under Sikraul police station area in Buxar district. IG (operations) Amit Kumar said Paswan was the secretary of the Sone-Vindhyachal zonal committee of the CPI (Maoist) group.
“The STF team arrested him with Rs 63,000 which was collected as levy from different persons,” he said. Ten cases in Buxar and five in Rohtas are lodged against Paswan. He was released on bail. During a raid in an area under Mufassil police station in Khagaria, an arms supplier Manoj Yadav was arrested. IG (operations) said Yadav was arrested from village Morkahi. The cops seized one country-made pistol and 400 rounds of live. 395 bore bullets.
He was wanted in several murder cases, the IG said. The third raid was conducted at Goswami Security Agency at Railway Wheel Factory, Chhapra, in Saran district. “Altogether 29 guns were found in their possession. Only 14 of them had licence. There was clear violation of Arms Act and Bihar Security Agency Regulations Act. A case has been lodged in this connection with Dariapur police station in Saran against Gaurav Goswami, owner of the security agency, and 16 others,” added the IG.
8kg landmine found in Ghatshila
JAMSHEDPUR: The district police recovered an eight kilogram live can bomb from Baghpathar village under Ghatshila police station area on Saturday. “The security team, consisting of the district police and CRPF, defused the landmine subsequent to its recovery,” said SP (rural) Shailendra Kumar Sinha.
The intensified anti-extremist combing operation, which commenced in the Maoist-hit areas of the Ghatshila subdivision ahead of the parliamentary elections, will continue for an extensive period, said police.
Anti-Naxal Force mistakenly kills a Muslim cattle-trader; bandh called in Mangalore
Mangalore: The Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) personnel have reportedly shot dead a Muslim cattle trader suspecting him to be a Naxalite on Saturday, April 19. The ANF officials were on night vigil when the incident took place near Shringeri check post on the Chikmagalur-Karkala state highway. The deceased has been identified as Kabeer (23) , a resident of Krishnapura in Suratkal. Kabeer, along with five others, was transporting cattle when the incident took place. The ANF sleuths opened fire when the vehicle did not stop at their instructions thereby killing the youth, a source said. The ANF personnel have also arrested a man, identified as Farooque in this connection and other three are reportedly absconding.
Bandh called in Mangalore
A bandh was also called in Mangalore today afternoon to protest against the killing of the youth in which all shops and business establishments were closed. Furious on this, the locals have demanded a CBI enquiry in this connection.
On a war footing for peaceful polls
NEW DELHI: More than 2.1 lakh armed men, moving over 100 trains, 10,500 vehicles and 21 choppers could look like an army on the march. But this is no war. This is what’s needed to organize polls in the world’s largest democracy. Getting over 80 crore to vote in over 8 lakh booths across 543 constituencies, each unique in caste composition, religion mix and ethnicity, is a task. Add to this the threat from insurgents and it’s a logistical nightmare.
‘Man killed by police in N’Patna not Maoist’
Social activist Prafulla Samantray today demanded a judicial inquiry into the killing of a suspected Maoist in Narayanpatna in Odisha’s Koraput district on April 13, claiming that the slain person had little to do with Maoists. “While the people in Narayanpatna area have all along participated in the democratic protests peacefully, the police have tried to create disturbance in the region and conducted a false encounter to kill an innocent person Purno Ulluka. We want a judicial inquiry by a sitting High Court judge and compensation of Rs 20 lakh to his family,” said Samantray at a press conference here.
However, the police claimed that the Maoist who was shot dead in an encounter near the Forest Range office in Narayanpatna on Sunday night was a wanted ultra and was involved in a number of civilian killings in Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon area in recent months. The slain Maoist, identified as Purno Ulluka hailed from the nearby Basanaput village and was an active member of the Koraput-Srikakulam division of the outlawed CPI-Maoist, police said.
The encounter took place when a group of 12 or15 Maoists were reportedly found moving towards the venue of Thakurani Yatra which was being celebrated in Narayanpatna, allegedly to punish some local leaders who were instrumental in encouraging people to vote in large numbers in defiance of the Maoist call for poll boycott.
Hardcore Maoist arrested in Bihar
PATNA: A hardcore Maoist was arrested today by Special Task Force (STF) from Buxar and a levy money of Rs 63,000 recovered from him, a senior police officer said. Acting on a tip off, the STF team arrested Azad Paswan from Sikaraul police station of Buxar, Inspector General of Police Amit Kumar said. He was accused in 10 cases in Buxar and Rohtas districts.
…Meanwhile, in Birbhum district of West Bengal a villager recovered a live bomb lying on the road side, about which he later informed the concerned authorities.