Saturday, July 18, 2020

Maoist leaders enjoying affluent lifestyles, tribals being made scapegoats: Telangana DGP


(Eds: Updating with details)

Hyderabad, Jul 18 (PTI): Appealing to Telangana tribal people not to support Maoists, the state Director General of PoliceM Mahendar Reddy on Saturday alleged the topleadership of the banned organisation was leading an affluent lifestyle while innocent tribals are being made scapegoats.

Reddy, who held a high-level review with senior police officials in Mulugu district, said the state police resolved not to allow any activities of Maoists on Telangana soil.

"Maoist Party senior leaders such as Hari Bhushan and Damodar are leading luxurious lives while innocent tribal people are being victimised. The Maoists are trying to re- enter into Telangana. We will not allow their misdeeds on Telangana soil," a police press release quoted the DGP as saying.

He said the police would effectively thwart the attempts being made by the Maoists who "fled" 10 years ago, to re-enter into the state with a plan to extort money by threatening doctors, engineers and businessmen.

Reddy said the Maoists were trying to create unrest in Telangana at a time when the people of the state are happy living as every village is now connected by roads and getting facilities like education and health.

The DGP warned that the department will deal a severe blow to the Maoists who commit "murders" in the guise of informers.

On Friday, he said police were on alert and were conducting massive combing operations to nab five CPI Maoists, includinga senior member, carrying a reward of Rs 25 lakh, who escapedafter an exchange of fire with police in Kumram Bheem Asifabaddistrict on July 14 night.

He had told reporters as many as 500 personnel ofGreyhounds, the elite anti-naxal force of Telangana police,Telangana State Special Police, Armed Reserve and local policewere on the hunt for the Maoists.

He exuded confidence that they would soon be nabbedand appealed to people not to provide shelter to the outlaws.

Two groups of Maoists members, including the five ultrasled by Bhaskar, Telangana "State Committee" member of CPI(Maoist), armed with AK-47 assault rifle, had escaped after anexchange of fire with police in separate incidents in forestareas in K B Asifabad district and Bhadradri- Kothagudemdistrict on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Reddy vowed to ensure that there was no Maoist activityin Adilabad, Asifabad, Nirmal and Mancherial districts thatconstitute the erstwhile undivided Adilabad district.

He said the Maoists were seeking to create terror andtension among Adivasis and also sow seeds of suspicion at atime when the government has taken up a lot of development andwelfare programmes.

Reddy warned that development and welfare programmesundertaken by the state government, particularly for thebenefit of the Adivasis, would be hampered if Maoists wereallowed to re-enter the district.

"People should cooperate with police and not provide shelter to the Maoists and ensure they do not re- establishbase. Development and welfare programmes will be hampered (ifthe Maoists re-enter)," the DGP had said.

Bhaskar, who hails from Adilabad district of Telangana,is allegedly involved in multiple offences and has goneunderground for nearly 30 years.

He carries a reward of Rs 25 lakh on his head announced by the state government.

His wife is also a Maoist, police said.

The group had entered Telangana from bordering Maharashtra and had been moving around in the forest areas forthe past two months.PTI

Rain hampers hunt for maoists in forest area in Telangana


Express News Service | Published: 19th July 2020 07:50 AM

KHAMMAM:  The whereabouts of 10 Maoists, who had escaped after exchanging fire with police at Mallepallitogu forest area on July 15, are still unknown. This, despite the CRPF, Special Party Police and Greyhounds sweating it out in the area for the past three days. As combing operations are particularly hard in the thick forest area swamped by the recent downpour, the officials have not been able to make much progress. Speaking to Express, a police officer said, “We are facing hurdles due to the rains. The area is muddy and it is a task moving forward. The rains have also reduced visibility.”

As many as 10 members of the banned Maoist party exchanged fire with police personnel at the forest area in Manugur mandal on July 15. Though over 500 personnel of the Greyhounds and district police cornered them, it seems the Maoists have vanished into thin air.Telangana North Zone IG Y Nagi Reddy and SPs of Kothagudem, Mulugu and Asifabad districts have been monitoring the combing operation. According to sources, the police have tightened security along the Godavari river bank.

Are they in Chhattisgarh?
The police suspect that the Maoists may have crossed the river and fled to Chhattisgarh. However, when contacted for comment, a police officer denied the assumption and stated that the Maoists were still hiding in forest areas of Kothagudem, Mulugu and Asifabad.The DGP visited Manugur on Saturday, met with the officials and instructed them to nab the Maoists at the earliest. He accused Maoist leaders like Haribhushan, Damodar and others of leading a luxurious life while exploiting innocent tribals


https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/telangana/2020/jul/19/rain-hampers-hunt-in-forest-area-2171725.html

Telangana DGP talks tough on Maoists


Express News Service | Published: 19th July 2020 08:04 AM
DGP M Mahender Reddy interacts with police officials of Mulugu and Jayashankar Bhupalpally districts at Venkatapuram mandal in Mulugu on Saturday


MULUGU/ ADILABAD : Director General of Police (DGP) M Mahender Reddy, on Saturday, directed the police personnel deployed in border districts to take steps to stop Maoists from re-entering the State. The DGP said this during a review meeting on activities of Maoists in the State with police personnel of Mulugu and Jayashankar Bhupalpally districts at Venkatapuram mandal on Saturday.

The DGP landed on a helicopter on the outskirts of Venkatapuram village and then went to the Venkatapuram police station. He inquired about measures taken by police in the areas bordering Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra States. The district police officers informed him that combing operations by special forces are underway in Agency areas following the encounters in Asifabad and Khammam.

Speaking at the review meeting, Reddy directed the officials to be prepared to hit back against any move by the Maoists. He also observed that the Maoists are carrying out anti-development activities in the State. 
Several programmes have been initiated by the State government in Agency areas, including construction of roads, education and development programmes like Mission Bhagiratha, Mission Kakatiya Kaleshwaram Project, and pensions for all, Reddy said.He further said that Maoist leaders extort money from contractors and business persons. He urged the residents of Agency areas to stop supporting Maoists, and inform the police about their movements.

DGP’s 2-day tour ends
The firing incident between the Maoists and police has left the Thokiguda village in Kumrambheem Asifabad district terrorised. Meanwhile, in the wake of the incident, police have increased vigil and intensified combing operations by deploying as many as 500 personnel in the forest area. Now, combing operations are being carried out round-the-clock, expecting that they would soon nab the escaped Maoists. 
Director General of Police M Mahender Reddy is directly monitoring the operation. His two-day tour of the district, to take stock of the arrangements in place, ended on Saturday. During his visit, the DGP organised meetings with the district police officials and collected information regarding the combing operations.


Entered Telangana under the guise of migrants?
While briefing DGP Mahender Reddy, police officials said that the banned outfit’s State committee member Mailarapu Adellu alias Bhaskar and team must have entered the district during the lockdown period, by pretending to be migrant workers. In the wake of the firing incident, police have increased vigil and intensified combing operations by deploying as many as 500 personnel in the forest areas of Kumrambheem Asifabad district, which is being monitored directly by DGP M Mahender Reddy


https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/telangana/2020/jul/19/dgp-talks-tough-on-maoists-2171724.html

Mangi forests safe haven for naxals since 40 years


This area contains unknown caves and hillocks that become hideouts for the extremists

By Author  |  Published: 19th Jul 2020  12:38 am
https://telanganatoday.com/mangi-forests-safe-haven-for-naxals-since-40-years

Mangi forests safe haven for naxals since 40 years

Kumram Bheem Asifabad: The calm dry deciduous forests of the district attract tigers of neighbouring Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh due to rich prey base and drinking water sources in the form of natural springs. Certain parts of this vast region earned popularity by becoming the most favourite shelter for Maoists due to their hostile geographic conditions for armed forces of Police Department since 1980s.

The district’s forests contain many secret locations where the extremists used to take shelter and dump their ammunition and hide cash for future needs as well. Some of them include Kadamba in Kagaznagar mandal, Shivapalli in Chintalamanepalli, Cheelapalli in Sirpur (T), Agarguda in Penchikalpet, Lovva in Dahegaon, Jodeghat in Kerameri and Mangi in Tiryani. Except for Mangi forests, the rest are no more zones of naxals, who vanished in the last two decades.

Mangi, a hilly forest terrain in Tiryani mandal, has been a safe haven for various squads locally known as ‘dalams’ of the banned outfit for four decades. This inhospitable domain continues to be a much preferred destination of the extremists. It drew headlines again when five members of a band of red brigade, led by Mailarepu Adellu alias Bhaskar, had a close shave with police parties recently.

Caves turn hideouts

It is not the name of a village, but it is an area consisting of hills, dense forests and valleys which shelters around 20 hamlets of aboriginal tribes. The place offers a slew of features for Maoists. It contains unknown caves and hillocks that become hideouts for the extremists. It allows them to easily escape from being caught by security forces.

The terrain used to be a safe home for the red brigade till 2010. It is inaccessible to parties of Greyhounds and forces of elite commando even as the district’s communication system has undergone a revolutionary change over a period of time. Maoists turn invincible once they reach this region. They become indomitable here when compared to any other havens.

Tribal hospitality

The Maoists invariably enjoy hospitality of tribals dwelling in the valleys. They rely upon the ethnic tribes for food and shelter on some occasions. They are helped by some Adivasis in avoiding confrontation with the armed forces. They can effortlessly disappear in the woods and cannot be traced by policemen.

In the latest instance, the head of Thokkuguda in Tiryani mandal was arrested for allegedly supplying food and providing shelter to the extremists and for helping them escape from being arrested. The naxals managed to vanish in the dark within no time. They still remain untraceable.

As many as 25 special police parties, including Greyhounds, have been formed for tracking down the ultras. In addition, 15 parties are carrying out vehicle checks in urban parts and 25 parties are patrolling rural parts and keeping vigil on movement of strangers. About 500 personnel have been deployed to nab the extremists.

Director General of Police M Mahender Reddy, who reviewed anti-extremists operations in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district headquarters on Friday, exuded confidence that they would be able to achieve a ‘positive result’ in their daunting mission. It has to be seen whether the security forces get a breakthrough or not in their mission to trace Maoists in their bastion, Mangi forests

Why Maoist Varavara Rao Masquerading as a poet should not be released


    17-Jul-2020
  
Shaan Kashyap
 126  
Varavara Rao is not just a poet, but primarily a Maoist ideologue! One needs to think and know what makes Rao 'special’ for those who’re running a campaign for his release from prison


 
Ever since Pune police arrested him from his Hyderabad residence on November 17, 2018, in relation to the Bhima Koregaon violence, Varavara Rao is being identified merely as a ‘renowned poet and activist’ in a large section of media. May be reporters and editors have shied away from calling him a Maoist poet who has in his much-hyped public life over the years has gone on the record to suggest that parliamentary democracy is not suitable for India. In an interview given to Sandesh Prabhudesai for Rediff, Rao without any hesitation claimed, “Naxalbari laid down a path of rejecting parliamentary politics, taking up agrarian armed revolution, and forming the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist).” He further stated, “Compared to the 1990s, today’s position is very strong. In fact, in north Telangana and Dandkarnya, it has reached an advanced stage of forming guerrilla zones. We visualise Dandkaranya as a base area for forming a people’s army, with platoons of 200 red guards each. In such a situation, how can you say the fire is dying out?”
 
Varavara Rao making such seditious claims is not new! He has been jailed in the 1970s. He was pushed behind the gallows by Congress Govt again in the 1980s with Ramnagar Conspiracy Case foisted in 1986. The case went on to break records, and after 17 years of trial, Rao was acquitted in 2003. During UPA-I, he was again inside the prison in 2005. Rao in this way, is a history-sheeter par excellence! Despite this fact that he has been championing the path of violence for decades, Indian State has tolerated him for so long for no good reason. Also, our popular press and institutionalised media call him just a ‘poet’. Even Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and Muammar Gaddafi wrote poetry, but the history of mass murder which they constructed cannot get discounted by their poems.
 
Release Campaign? Politics and Propaganda 

 
 
First, the identity of the poet. And then Rao’s age being 80 years is used by his supporters and sympathisers to newspeak about the campaign for his release. This argument is without any rational for at least three reasons. Firstly, someone being a senior citizen does not warrant any access to pardon. According to ‘Prison Statistics India’ (2015) out of 1,34,168 convicts lodged in various jails in India 24,035 (17.9%) convicts were in the age group of 50 years and above. One can assume that this number might have risen in the last 5 years. Now, if COVID-19 scare alarm could be raised for Varvara Rao, then it should be raised for other 25,000 prisoners who can be categorised as ‘elderly’. Why Rao’s ‘comrades-in-arms’ are not demanding the release of every prisoner who is above 50 years if it is only about the COVID scare? Surely, no one cares about 25,000 prisoners because they are not a part of any urban network of intellectuals and activists. Rao, on the contrary, is the jewel in the crown because people like him are used as ‘poster boys’ of Naxalbari and Maoist insurgency.
 
Secondly, Rao, like other prisoners, rightfully deserves medical attention in prison when he requires. His wife Hemalatha Rao and daughter Pavana has alleged that Rao is being not given medical attention, and they urged authorities to not “kill him in the jail.” This is again Communist-style propaganda in which his arch enemies mastered Nazi Goebbels in the end! Ranjit Mankeshwar, the dean of JJ Hospital, Mumbai, has cleared the air over more than one occasion informing the media and the people that all possible medical attention is being delivered to Rao. Lately, Rao has contracted COVID and it has resulted in some kind of uproar, but the question remains that would that alone be a ground to let a history-sheeter walk free? What makes his case special and different from lakhs of prisoners throughout India? Why should he be alone given some extra attention? The reason again settles to this sole fact that Rao enjoys the backing of a politics in India, which many others don’t. If he could be dubbed as a ‘political prisoner’ to merit some extra attention, the Indian State should also consider the merit of his politics of Naxalism and what kind of threat it is for the Indian democracy.
 
Lastly, the raison d ‘ĂȘtre of Rao’s significance is defined by why he is, and not by who he is. Speaking in an interview after Thoothukudi firing, Rao said that, “Armed revolution under the leadership of CPI (Maoist) is for New Democratic Revolution laid down by Naxalbari path, ushered into “Janatana Sarkar” in Dandakaranya, provincial revolutionary councils in Saranda or Jharkhand Andhra Orissa Border special guerrilla zone. Such attempts were made in Jangalmahal, Western Ghats, Trijunction and during 1996-1999 in Telangana.” What more shreds of evidence would one need to know why Rao is defended by those who still enjoy a stronghold within the public institutions? Those who’ve defended Varavara Rao should now come out in the open and confess that how far they agree with Rao’s views on Indian democracy, State, Police and Armed Forces, and whether they support his vision for a “Janatana Sarkar”? For how long these people would go on hiding their intentions behind the scar-faced humanity, whether they preach human rights for Rao but justify the killing of police personnel and even tribals if they proved to be informers for the State.
 
Varavara Rao should not be released at any cost. Like every Indian citizen, he enjoys fundamental rights despite not believing and affirming in our Constitution. He should be provided with the best medical treatment as other prisoners should. However, he should be confined to prison, like so many others for their crimes. His case doesn’t have any other ‘merit’ except he is a ‘Maoist ideologue’!
 
(The writer is a research scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi


https://www.organiser.org/Encyc/2020/7/17/Not-just-a-Poet-Maoist-Varavara-Rao-should-not-Be-Released.html

Cops step up combing operation in north Telangana after Maoist activity intensifies


Director General of Police M Mahender Reddy, who stayed put in Mulug for the second consecutive day on Saturday, told reporters on Friday that the Maoists had intensified their activities in the tribal habitations in the past few weeks luring innocent Adivasis and creating fear among them.

Updated: Jul 18, 2020 16:51 IST

By Srinivasa Rao Apparasu | Edited by Sohini Sarkar, Hindustan Times Hyderabad

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/cops-step-up-combing-operation-in-north-telangana-after-maoist-activity-intensifies/story-zA7b8dgG25qFKjxSnBZvZL.html

The anti-Maoist forces of the Telangana police have intensified their combing operations in the forests of north Telangana; following reports that Maoists have increased their activities in these tribal belts in a bid to regain their hold on Telangana.


The combing operations are directly supervised by state director general of police M Mahender Reddy, who had been touring the districts of Mancherial, Kumaram Bheem-Asifabad and Mulugu districts bordering Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh from where the Maoists usually enter Telangana.

On Saturday, the police released posters across the border areas of these districts along with the names of top Maoist leaders who have been actively leading 12 area committees in Telangana.

Peddapalli area committee covering Jayashankar Bhupalpally, Mahabubabad and Warangal (rural) districts is led by Kankanala Raji Reddy; Eturnagaram Mahadevpur area committee by Reena; Venkatapuram-Vajedu area committee by Ungi, Yellandu-Narsampet area committee by Mangu; Mancherial-Kumaram Bheem area committee is led by Mailarapu Adelu alias Bhaskar; Mangi area committee led by Lingamma; Indravelli area committee by Warghese; Chennur-Sirpur area committee by Narasimha Rao; Charla-Sabari area committee by Sammakka alias Sarada; Manugu area committee by Rasool; Bhadradri Kothagudem-East Godavari divisional committee by Sambaiah; and Telangana action committee led by Bade Chokka Rao alias Damodar.




Apparently, these area committees have been activated and entrusted with the task of recruiting more youth and tribals into the Maoist cadre which is facing shortage. “The Maoists appear to have taken advantage of the Covid-19 crisis prevailing in the state which has forced the district administration and the police force to divert their attention to tackle the pandemic,” a senior police official said.

Director General of Police M Mahender Reddy, who stayed put in Mulug for the second consecutive day on Saturday, told reporters on Friday that the Maoists had intensified their activities in the tribal habitations in the past few weeks luring innocent Adivasis and creating fear among them over the progress being witnessed.

He said the police department had intensified their combing operations with 500-odd police personnel and the movement of the squad was being tracked, he said, adding that the police had cordial relations with the people while taking part in anti-Maoist operations.


“We are going to thwart their attempt to regain a foothold in Telangana by all means,” he said and urged the Adivasis not to extend support to the Maoists by providing them shelter and food.

On Tuesday night, the police forces had an exchange of fire with the Maoists near Thokkuguda village of Thiryani block in Kumaram Bheem Asifabad district. A five-member squad led by Maoist party Telangana committee member Mailarepu Adellu alias Bhaskar, who carries a cash reward of Rs 25 lakh, managed to escape from the spot.

On Friday, CPI (Maoist) Telangana state committee spokesperson Jagan issued a statement, accusing the Telangana police of attempting wipe out the party by targeting innocent Adivasis and arresting sympathisers.


“While our party has been observing self-restraint by not indulging in assaults in the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic, the security forces of the state and central government have been unleashing a reign of terror in the tribal areas,” Jagan alleged.

He warned that if the police did not stop attacks on the Adivasis and Maoist party activists, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders would be punished severely in the people’s court.

Combing operations on to flush out Naxals:Telangana DGP


PTI Jul 18, 2020, 12:09 PM IST,

Combing operations on to flush out Naxals:Telangana DGP

Hyderabad: A massive combing operation and checking in villages was on to nab five CPI Maoists, including a senior member, carrying a reward of Rs 25 lakh, who escaped after an exchange of fire with police in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district on July 14 night, Telangana DGP M Mahendar Reddy said.


He told reporters here on Friday that 500 personnel of Greyhounds, the elite anti-naxal force of Telangana police, Telangana State Special Police, Armed Reserve and local police are on the hunt for the Maoists.


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He exuded confidence that they would soon be nabbed and appealed to people not to provide shelter to the outlaws.


Two groups of Maoists members, including the five ultras led by Bhaskar, Telangana "State Committee" member of CPI (Maoist), armed with AK-47 assault rifle, had escaped after an exchange of fire with police in separate incidents in forest areas in K B Asifabad district and Bhadradri-Kothagudem district on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.


Speaking to reporters after a meeting with senior police officials in K B Asifabad district, he said "We will nab the Maoists shortly and produce them before law."


Reddy vowed to ensure that there was no Maoist activity in Adilabad, Asifabad, Nirmal and Mancherial districts, that constitute the erstwhile undivided Adilabad district.



He said the Maoists are seeking to create terror and tension among Adivasis and also sow seeds of suspicion at a time when the government has taken up a lot of development and welfare programmes.


Reddy warned that development and welfare programmes undertaken by the state government, particularly for the benefit of the Adivasis, would be hampered if Maoists were allowed to re-enter the district.


"People should cooperate with police and not provide shelter to the Maoists and ensure they do not re-establish base.



Development and welfare programmes will be hampered (if the Maoists re-enter)," the DGP said.


Bhaskar, who hails from Adilabad district of Telangana, is allegedly involved in multiple offences and has gone underground for nearly 30 years.


He carries a reward of Rs 25 lakh on his head announced by the state government.


His wife is also a Maoist, police said.


The group had entered Telangana from bordering Maharashtra and had been moving around in the forest areas for the past two months

Friday, July 17, 2020

10 years on, family of Odisha cop killed in landmine blast yet to get land


Bibhisana Sahu of Pandiapali village in Sonepur district was killed in 2010 along with 10 other troopers of the Special Operations Group, an anti-Maoist specialist force like the Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh, when the Maoists triggered a landmine in Boipariguda area of Koraput.

Updated: Jul 17, 2020 12:20 IST

By Debabrata Mohanty| Edited by: Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times Bhubaneswar

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/10-years-on-family-of-odisha-cop-killed-in-landmine-blast-yet-to-get-land/story-ujvKqPoLghtnQrLWS2IkqO.html


The policemen were travelling in a vehicle to Malkangiri district from Baipariguda in Koraput district on road clearing when the blast occurred
The policemen were travelling in a vehicle to Malkangiri district from Baipariguda in Koraput district on road clearing when the blast occurred. (HT file photo. Representative image)

The family of an Odisha policeman, who was killed a decade ago in an attack by Maoists, has said it has not got the land the government had promised for all personnel killed in areas affected by the insurgency.

Bibhisana Sahu of Pandiapali village in Sonepur district was killed in 2010 along with 10 other troopers of the Special Operations Group, an anti-Maoist specialist force like the Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh, when the Maoists triggered a landmine in Boipariguda area of Koraput.

The policemen were travelling in a vehicle to Malkangiri district from Baipariguda in Koraput district on road clearing when the blast occurred.

Eyewitnesses said the impact of the blast was so severe that the vehicle was blown up at least 25 feet in the air before falling into a ditch below. Severed parts of the policemen’s bodies, including those of the 24-year-old Sahu, were found on trees.




Though his family received the financial assistance and his younger brother Pankah got a job in the police department, his family is yet to get the 10 decimals land that the government had announced for all the slain policemen in Maoist areas.

“I have been running to government offices for getting the patta of the 10 decimals of land that the government had announced, however, I am yet to get it,” Sahu’s father, Baikuntha, said.

“I have provided all necessary documents to the government, but have not succeeded. How long would we have to run around for a piece of land? Don’t the families of the police martyrs deserve respect?” he asked.


Sonepur district collector Monisha Banerjee said she has recently gone through all the documents of the case and ordered for the speeding up of the process.

“I don’t know as to why the process was delayed. We should be able to give the land to the family in the next two months,” Banerjee said.

The state government has claimed major gains in its fight against the Maoists by announcing exclusion of five districts from the list of affected ones.

Last week, Odisha’s director general of police (DGP) Abhay said the state has recommended to the Union ministry of home affairs to exclude five districts from the list of those get funding from the Centre’s Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme for fighting the Maoists.

Abhay said with Maoist situation improving in the state and more rebels surrendering due to aggressive police action, Odisha has now recommended to the Centre to drop Angul, Boudh, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Nayagarh.

Once the Centre excludes these districts, Odisha would have 10 districts under SRE.

Indian Christian missionary who shared Gospel despite Naxalites’ threats found shot dead


Indian Christian missionary Munshi Dev Tado was murdered on 10 July by suspected Maoist Naxalite attackers who had previously threatened him for sharing the Gospel in western Maharashtra State.

The 28-year-old was taken to a forest near his home in Gadchiroli district and shot. He leaves a wife, three young daughters and a son.

Munshi Dev Tado with his wife and three of his four children [Image credit: AsiaNews]

Munshi was a former member of the militant communist Naxalite group and participated in the persecution of Christian families in the area. He converted to Christianity, left the Naxalites and began Christian ministry, opening a church on his own land. He has twice been ordered to stop his missionary work by Naxalites.

Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), condemned the “hateful” murder. Gadchiroli is a remote tribal area where radical Hindutva groups also operate, he said.

“Munshi Dev Tado's conversion to the Christian faith was the cause of hostility and tensions,” added George. “He was assassinated in this remote wooded area for his Christian faith, and for his church, and for preaching the gospel. The GCIC demands justice for Munshi Dev Tado and the truth about his murder.”

Naxalites are believed to have carried out the beheading of Christian father-of-five Anant Ram Gand in the eastern state of Odisha (formerly Orissa) in February 2019. Anant’s six-year-old son tearfully ran after his father as he was dragged away by three assailants, who ordered the boy not to follow.

From Barnabas Fund contacts


https://news.barnabasfund.org/Indian-Christian-missionary-who-shared-Gospel-despite-Naxalites--threats-found-shot-dead/

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Roli Books to publish Kobad Ghandy’s memoir in 2021


Ghandy was imprisoned in various jails around India for 10 years for charges ranging from sedition to those under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

In the memoir, to be published by Roli Books, he will talk about his life working for Dalits and poor, his and his wife’s involvement with the Naxalites, and his ongoing legal battles. (Express Photo)

Activist and Marxist thinker Kobad Ghandy will come out with his memoir next year, chronicling his time as a student in London to his return to India and introduction to the Dalit Panthers and radical politics.

In the memoir, to be published by Roli Books, he will talk about his life working for Dalits and poor, his and his wife’s involvement with the Naxalites, and his ongoing legal battles.

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Ghandy, a Parsi from a privileged background was educated at Doon School and went to London to study CA. He took interest in leftist politics and quit his CA course to return to India to join the Naxalite movement. He was imprisoned in various jails around India for 10 years for charges ranging from sedition to those under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

“In October 2019 when he was released, I immediately asked him to write his story. I am delighted to be publishing Kobad Ghandy’s memoirs – not only because it is an important account of our justice and penal system but also because he writes beautifully,” says Priya Kapoor, director of Roli Books.

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The memoir will be published in the first quarter of 2021.

“The book traces the striving on my part and that of Anuradha, my late wife and inspiration, for a just and equal world. It is being brought out at a time the world is witnessing an earth-shattering experience, never witnessed before, of pandemics, environmental devastation and economic disaster,” says Ghandy

Get 500 Naxals of 1,600 in Dantewada to surrender — Chhattisgarh’s new rehabilitation plan


The Chhattisgarh Police plans to scale up its new ‘transparent’ Lon Varratu campaign for rehabilitation of Naxals if it works in Dantewada.

PRITHVIRAJ SINGH
A file photo of Dantewada SP Abhishek Pallav with villagers in Potali village in the district. | Photo: ANI
A file photo of Dantewada SP Abhishek Pallav with villagers in Potali village in the district. | Photo: ANI
https://theprint.in/india/get-500-naxals-of-1600-in-dantewada-to-surrender-chhattisgarhs-new-rehabilitation-plan/461534/

Raipur: The Chhattisgarh Police plans to ensure the surrender of at least 500 Naxals from Dantewada district of Bastar region by the end of this year under its new target-driven Naxal rehabilitation programme that promises to be transparent.

According to senior police officials, around 1,600 Naxals in the rural areas of Dantewada have been identified for rehabilitation. Around 200 of these are armed fighters. Details of these Naxals were gathered by the police via a large survey carried out in all the villages of the district and information received from the Maoists who have already surrendered.

On the basis of this information, the police launched a new campaign, ‘Lon Varratu’ (Come back home), in Dantewada on 26 June, and is now appealing to these Naxals to surrender, said the officials. The plan is to see if the new approach works and then scale it up.

So far, 58 Naxals have surrendered under the campaign against a target of 500 until the end of the year. Activists in the region have welcomed the move.

What the campaign aims to achieve

Sundarraj P., inspector general (IG), Bastar Range, who is spearheading the campaign in the area said, “The Lon Varratu campaign is a special initiative of the government and police forces under which misguided villagers are encouraged to return to their homes and start new lives with the help of the government.”

He highlighted that unlike the past surrender policy, it’s not necessary for Maoists who surrender under this campaign to be recruited in the police force only.

“Now employment opportunities are being provided to them as per their own free will. Bank loan arrangements have also been made with the help of other departments. The initial results of Lon Varratu are extremely positive,” he said

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

2 groups of Maoists escape after exchange of fire with cops in Telangana


(Eds: Updates with another exchange of fire, details)
Hyderabad, July 15 (PTI) Two groups of banned CPI (Maoist)
members, including a senior cadre carrying Rs 25 lakh reward,
escaped after exchange of fire with the police in separate
incidents in forest areas in Telangana and intensified combing
operations launched to nab them, officials said on Wednesday.
One police personnel suffered "minor injuries" when a
13-member group of ultras opened fire and fled in a forest
area of Bhadradri-Kothagudem district on Wednesday morning,
hours after another group engaged in gunfire in Kumram Bheem
Asifabad district on Tuesday night in which there were no
casualties, top police officials of the two districts said.
However, it was not clear if there were any injuries on
the Maoists side in the incident on Wednesday morning, police
said adding extensive combing operations were underway at both
the places and neighbouring regions.
In the first incident, police came across five ultras led
by Telangana "State Committee" member of the CPI (Maoist)
Bhaskar, armed with AK-47 gun, at around 10.30 pm on Tuesday
in Thokkuguda village in Asifabad District during continuing
searches, police said.
The Maoists opened fire at the Police party which
retaliated, following which they escaped, Asifabad
Superintendent of Police (In-charge) Vishnu S Warrier said.
Bhaskar, who hails from Adilabad district of Telangana, is
allegedly involved in multiple offences and has gone
underground for nearly 30 years. He carries a reward of Rs 25
lakh on his head announced by the state government. His wife
was also a Maoist, police said.
The group had entered Telangana from bordering Maharashtra
and had been moving around in the forest areas for the past
two months.
It is a five-member team comprising of Telangana State
Committee member Bhaskar and four others and this was learnt
later after interrogation of the person who had given them
food and support," the official said.
"Bhaskar was carrying AK 47, while four others were having
SLR weapons. They were missed by a whisker (from being caught)
as it was heavily raining and due to darkness they escaped
into the forest area, Warrier said.
In fact, they managed to give a slip to the police on
Sunday night also and some items left behind by them were
seized in Thiryani Mandal, he said.
Besides massive combing operations in the forest areas,
heavy police force has been deployed andvillages and vehicles
were being continuously checked in the area, the police
official said.
The SP said any person giving information about the
Maoists or any suspicious persons in their area will be
rewarded and their identity will be kept as a secret.
Search operations and intense combing operations are going
on to catch them... It seems they would have run out of
supplies and came out of forests for logistics support...
based on information police had launched search operation,
Warrier said.
The second exchange of fire took place in Mallepallitogu
forest area in Bhadradri-Kothagudem District at 9 am on
Wednesday when 500 police personnel in 25 teams were engaged
in search operations on a tip-off that Maoists have sneaked
into Telangana from neighbouring Chhattisgarh.
The Maoists numbering around 13, escaped leaving behind
their goods after the exchange of fire, Bhadradri-Kothagudem
District Superintendent of Police Sunil Dutt said.
Extensive combing operations were on in the area and three
neighbouring districts to nab the ultras, who escaped, he
added. PTI

Five Naxals surrender in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district


Beautiful Image

Dantewada, July 15

Five Naxals, three of them collectively carrying reward of Rs 5 lakh, have surrendered in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district, police said on Wednesday.

Since the local police last month launched a campaign asking rebels to return to the mainstream, 58 Naxals have so far surrendered in Dantewada, Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava said.

“On Tuesday, five cadres turned themselves in before police, saying they were disillusioned by the hollow Maoist ideology and at the same time were impressed by the local police’s Lon Varratu ((term coined in local Gondi dialect which means ‘return to your village/home’) rehabilitation campaign,” he said.


Out of the five who surrendered, Jagdish alias Ratan Kawasi (30), who was carrying a reward of Rs 3 lakh on his head, was the “most dreaded one”, the official said, adding that he was active as deputy commander of Bodhghat LGOS (local guerrilla operating squad).

He was allegedly involved in various Naxal attacks, including the Jhara Ghati ambush in Narayanpur district in 2007 wherein seven policemen were killed, and Mardapal attack in Kondagaon the same year in which nine policemen lost their lives, he said.

Jagdish was also part of Maoists technical team and used to make muzzle loading guns, single shot guns, 12 bore guns, claymore pipe bombs, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other explosives, and also used to repair sophisticated rifles, Pallava said.

Two other surrendered cadres, Kamlesh alias Motu Ram Poyami (22), an LGOS member, and Mani Ram Alami (24), head of Jantana Sarkar group of Maoists, were carrying rewards of Rs 1 lakh each, he said.

Besides, Janmilitia members Balku Kashyap (20) and Shivnath alias Manuram Poyami (25) also surrendered.

They all have been given an immediate assistance of Rs 10,000 each and will be provided facilities further as per the government’s surrender and rehabilitation policy, the police official said.

Under the ‘Lon Varratu’ initiative, the police have been putting up posters and banners in the native villages of Naxals, who carry cash rewards on their head.

The posters mention the names of rebels and appeal to them to join the mainstream, the official said. PTI


https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/five-naxals-surrender-in-chhattisgarhs-dantewada-district-113264

Excerpt: The Death Script: Dreams and Delusions in Naxal Country by Ashutosh Bhardwaj


A powerful work of narrative non-fiction that examines the civil war in Bastar, The Death Script combines literary skill with sharp reportage. This excerpt recalls the kidnapping of Alex Paul Menon, the collector of Sukma by Maoists in 2012

Updated: Jul 15, 2020 18:27 IST

By Ashutosh Bhardwaj, Hindustan Times

Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon who was abducted by Naxals in Chattisgarh in 2012
Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon who was abducted by Naxals in Chattisgarh in 2012. (PTI)

280pp, Rs 599; HarperCollins

It’s my eighth day in Sukma. We arrived here hours after the abduction. From all over the country. From Raipur, and as far as Odisha, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh. Around fifty journalists and camerapersons. There is little lodging space in this pocket-sized town, so we have all ‘adjusted’ in the guesthouse of the Public Works Department and the newly constructed Officers’ Club. A couple of dhabas and a Rajasthani Bhojanalaya are the only eateries. Broadcasting vans of TV channels are anchored at the collector’s residence. Every 10 minutes, reporters regurgitate breaking news before the camera: the collector was spotted near the Andhra Pradesh border; 2,000 Naxals have surrounded the collector; an unmanned aerial vehicle pierced through the impregnable forest and located his coordinates. Some journalists laugh away the screaming news. We are aware of our frauds.

Carved out of Dantewada this January, Sukma is among the most densely forested districts of India. Its Konta tehsil has some of the thickest woods in a single administrative unit in the country. 2,200 square kilometres of Dandakaranya’s wilderness lie here. More than the combined area of Bombay and Delhi. Konta made Dantewada notorious for Naxal violence. The blood of seventy-five Central Reserve Police Force personnel and one Chhattisgarh policeman was shed in Tadmetla in April 2010 – the most devastating Naxal attack in India, the highest casualties in a single day. The attack on the Errabore relief camp, with over two dozen people burnt alive. A passenger bus burnt to ashes in Chingawaram, with nearly 30 lives gone. Salwa Judum flourished in Konta – a constitutional government handed weapons to its citizenry and pushed them into its fight against the Naxals. It displaced residents of the forest and made them the enemy of their kin. The number of deaths per square kilometre is, perhaps, the highest in Konta. Bordering Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, ‘Killing Capital Konta’ now witnesses the abduction of the collector of Sukma.

Teenaged members of Salwa Judum in a photograph dated 18 November 2007. ( Anand Shinde/HT Photo  )

We, the journalists, are stuck in the forest. A few enthusiasts have traversed Dandakaranya on motorbike. I spent two nights inside, scoured the dense forests. I could not trace the collector, but managed to meet the insurgents who had abducted him. They brandished AK-47s and asked, ‘Did we have any other option?’

The Red soldiers are apathetic about the young and sensitive bureaucrat, Alex Paul Menon, who admires Che Guevara and has The Motorcycle Diaries on his bookshelf. He is also an asthma patient. His wife carries their baby within her. She keeps asking the journalists about her husband.




For many of us, this was our first assignment reporting an abduction. We struggled to stave off a sense of adventure. In the initial days, an unspeakable excitement followed us. It’s the eighth day today. We are now in the grip of ennui. Nothing is moving. The news cycle is repeating itself: talks going on between the government and the Maoist negotiators in Raipur; medicines for the collector sent to the forest; a rally held in Sukma demanding his release.

A picture dated 30 March, 2016 of a crater at the site of a landmine blast triggered by Maoists in Dantewada. Seven CRPF jawans were killed. ( Ejaz Kaiser )

‘If he is not released soon, let’s go back.’

This is the refrain of a lot of journalists. Many have already been replaced by another reporter sent by their publications. It is not physical fatigue – the mind has been made captive.


That’s the tragedy of reporting. Plough a barren land daily, rewrite the same incident in new words. Invoke the ghosts of dying news to make it alive again for a while, and convert it into a seemingly fresh report. Find your byline with this corpse every morning. The unbearable depreciation of your voice. Have we also been abducted? Kites severed from their threads, suspended in the sky of Sukma.

‘I have seen innumerable dead bodies in the last ten years … charred bodies, limbs amputated, faces distorted … You guys are new, so you attach great significance to a collector’s abduction. Is there any account of the people who have gone missing in the jungle? How would it affect anyone if one more disappears?’ a journalist from Dantewada, Suresh Mahapatra, asks. ‘Earlier, I would rush to the spot. Now the news of an incident reaches me on the phone, and that is enough for me to draw its image.’

The detachment in his voice is scary. Are we sinking into the marshland this jungle has become? Should we run away before the blazing April sun dries up our veins?


Author Ashutosh Bhardwaj ( Courtesy HarperCollins )

The Maoists abducted the collector of the neighbouring Malkangiri district of Odisha last year. They released him after nine days. The ninth day is hours away, but the forest of Sukma offers no hope. There are few homes in the villages of Bastar that have not seen a killing, or a relative joining either the insurgents or the police in the last thirty years. The insurgents have announced that they will treat the collector as a prisoner of war. Forest dwellers are not so privileged. Maoists often kill them after taking them hostage. The Indian state still doesn’t call it a war, but a mere conflict. Let them indulge in the politics of lexicography. It is a war.

Along with the collector, many of us are also waiting for our release from this wilderness, aware of the tormenting possibility that after returning to the comfort of our cities we will quietly bury the memory of these April nights – sunburnt skin, thirst and mosquitoes, anti-landmine vehicles, soldiers armed with mortars and grenade launchers. We will eventually return to the city, but the bullets will continue to find new targets in the jungle of Sukma.

(28 April 2012. Sukma.)


https://www.hindustantimes.com/books/excerpt-the-death-script-dreams-and-delusions-in-naxal-country-by-ashutosh-bhardwaj/story-5DvaNvKe0ZPsCqVwAcaN1K.html

Naxalites kill ex-colleague


 |  | SUKMA

Naxalites killed a former colleague who had surrendered last year in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district on suspicion that he was a police spy, an official said on Wednesday.

Dirdo Bheema (35) was hacked to death by the rebels near his village Mutheli in Kukanar police station limits on Tuesday night, Sukma's Superintendent of Police Shalabh Sinha told The Pioneer over phone. 

According to preliminary information, about 20 Maoists, some of them armed, barged into Bheema’s house and took him to a nearby forest.

They accused him of acting as a police informer before killing him, the officer said. The body has been sent for post mortem.

Bheema left the Maoist organization last year and was living in his village. He had not officially surrendered to the police but he was no longer involved in Maoist activities, said the officer.

A case has been registered, Sinha said, adding that a combing operation is on to trace the assailants.

Have a complaint? Use toll free number to tell Collector

DANTEWADA: In Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district, where Naxalites are active, the public can now register their complaints and grievances regarding government services directly with the District Collector.

This can be done using toll free number 93027 06669, and the details will reach the District Collector’s office, an official statement on Wednesday said.

Collector Deepak Soni has launched the toll-free number under an initiative titled ‘SAMPARK’ to fill the gap between the government and public in a district where Naxalites hold sway. 

Those filing complaints will get information free of cost and will be updated      regularly by the district administration and concerned government office


https://www.dailypioneer.com/2020/state-editions/naxalites-kill-ex-colleague.html

Maoists trying to gain foothold in Telangana by exploiting Adivasi issues, allege police


Two Adivasis till agriculture fields in close proximity to forests in Kumram Bheem Asifabad and Adilabad district
Why are a handful of armed Maoists risking their lives in the jungles of old undivided Adilabad, Warangal and Khammam districts in Telangana? Are Maoists trying to reestablish the hold of Communist Party of India (Maoist) over Adivasis living in the forests and if so how have they planned to do it?

These are some of the questions that security forces and observers in the state have been grappling with over the last four months when armed bands of the banned outfit first reappeared this year. Since then, they have been reviving old contacts apparently aimed at regaining a foothold by addressing the issues faced by Adivasis living in the forests.

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According to sources in the police department, Maoists started ‘interfering’ in the problems faced by indigenous tribal persons in 2017 when the Adivasi-Lambada issue broke out. Telangana Director General of Police M Mahender Reddy had warned of a possible interference of Maoists in the issue back then.

In early June, the underground organisation's Andhra Pradesh unit supported the cause of Adivasis, who were protesting the scrapping of GO 3 by the Supreme Court. GO 3, which provides 100% reservation for Scheduled Tribe (ST) teachers in the scheduled areas of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, came into effect in united Andhra in 2000. The government order aimed to strengthen educational infrastructure, promote education development, protect the interests of tribal persons and solve the phenomenon of teacher absenteeism in remote areas. However, in April this year, the apex court scrapped the 20-year-old GO calling absolute reservation “arbitrary” and unconstitutional. The top court stated that the reservation for STs cannot exceed 50%. 

Poster of Maoists in undividided Adilabad district put up by the police department recently

According to observers, Maoists are also trying to rile up emotions based on issues surrounding forest land. Adivasis have been demanding rights to forest lands being cultivated by them for generations under the  Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.

"It is no coincidence that the movement of the armed band led by CPI (Maoist) Telangana State Committee member, Mylarapu Adellu alias Bhaskar was reported from Bazarhatnoor mandal just a few days before tribals staged a protest in Upparpalli demanding rights to till forest land. Or for that matter places in Kadem mandal in Nirmal district, before similar protests were staged," a police officer pointed out.

The Telangana police department also warned forest officials to be cautious when trying to reclaim forest lands under dispute as Maoists could infiltrate and create trouble. Most lands under dispute are located in Kagaznagar revenue division of Kumram Bheem Asifabad, Khanapur division in Nirmal, Adilabad division in Adilabad district, Mahabubabad, Eturnagaram and Tadvai forests of old Warangal and in the forests of Bhadradri Kothagudem district.

Adilabad Superintendent of Police Vishnu S Warrier, who also holds charge of KB Asifabad and Nirmal districts as SP, said, "They could try to gain sympathy of Adivasis but will not succeed as the present ethos in tribal hamlets is quite different from 15 years ago." However, he asserted that the department is geared up to meet any such challenge.

The Adivasi Hakkula Porata Samithi, better known as Tudum Debba, which is in the forefront of the land struggle in Telangana, rubbished allegations of Maoists supporting their cause. The Adilabad district president of the outfit, Godam Ganesh, said vested interests had created this allegation to dilute the struggle of the inidgeneous tribal persons on the issues of land and GO 3.

"Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao promised to give rights to pattas (under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006) several times. Now the Forest Department wants to evict poor farmers," said Godam Ganesh. 

Meanwhile, the police department has conducted programmes like health camps and distribution of rations during the lockdown period in tribal villages. This is aimed as a confidence building measure in the poverty ridden habitations and preventing youths from joining the underground outfit

Telangana: Police, Maoists exchange fire in Kothagudem and Asifabad


According to Superintendent of Police (SP) Sunil Dutt, about 25 teams comprising nearly 500 armed police were engaged in search operations in the forests following the information on the movement of Maoist teams in the forests.

By Author  |  Published: 15th Jul 2020  11:43 amUpdated: 15th Jul 2020  11:53 am

Hyderabad: In a sign of the desperate attempts to revive the Maoist movement in Telangana, the armed squads of the red brigade have been moving in Telangana and on Wednesday, police forces engaged them in gun battles in two places – in Manuguru forests in Bhadradri Kothagudem district and in Tiryani mandal of Asifabad district.

In both instances, there was brief gunfire between the police and the Maoists, but there were no casualties. It was just on Monday, the same naxalite squad was challenged by the police in Asifabad district.

Here are the brief reports about the two incidents from our correspondents based in Asifabad and Kothagudem districts.

Asifabad: Five members of the banned Maoist party once again escaped from being caught by police after attempting to fire at police parties, which were carrying out searches for the extremists at Thokkuguda village in Tiryani mandal on Tuesday night.

In-charge Superintendent of Police Vishnu S Warrier, in a press statement issued on Wednesday, said that members of Maoist Dalam clad in olive green dress and were carrying AK 47, SLR weapons attempted to fire at a police party at Thokkuguda village at around 10.30 pm. The extremists made the bid and fled the spot when the police were searching for the extremists after some items belonging to the outfit were seized, he added.

Search operations and intense combing operations are going on to catch the group which is headed by Telangana State Committee Mailarepu Adellu alias Bhaskar, Varghesh, Mangu, Ajay, and Ramu. Any person giving information regarding Maoist Dalam or movement of any suspicious persons in their area would be rewarded and their identity will be kept as a secret, the SP informed.

On Monday, Bhaskar and four other members managed to escape from the multiple police parties, which were carrying out combing operations in Gundala forest area in Tiryani mandal, following a specific input. During the searching, police recovered two bags containing revolutionary literature, uniform, electronic gadgets, detonators and cortex wires at the spot.

Kothagudem: An exchange of fire has taken place between the police and the Maoists in the forests of Manugur in Bhadradri Kothagudem district on Wednesday morning hours.

According to Superintendent of Police (SP) Sunil Dutt about 25 teams comprising nearly 500 armed police engaged in search operations in the forests following the information on the movement of Maoist teams in the forests.

At Mallepallitogu area the Maoists and the police spotted each other and that led to exchange of fire. The Maoists escaped from the the spot and the police teams continuing combing operations searching for the Maoists, SP said