Friday, June 18, 2010

Captured youth slain rebel’s brother Leader, others identified

Salboni (West Midnapore), June 17: His brother shot right in front of his eyes, the injured young Maoist who police said was “possibly 14” had gone numb with shock.

He broke his silence this morning and also revealed his name — Rameswar Murmu.

The police also confirmed his age. He is 25.

The police today identified all the eight Maoists killed in yesterday’s early-morning encounter at Ranja forest, not far from rebel hotbed Lalgarh.

They have been identified as Arjun, Ram Murmu, Baichung, Laden, Ganesh, Mala, Ganga and Raagho. Rameswar, who survived a bullet that grazed his head, is Ram’s younger brother.

The police said Arjun, who originally comes from Orissa but had been operating in Bengal, appeared to be the commander of the Maoist squad the joint forces surprised after setting out in the dead of night following a specific tip-off.

All of them were between 19 and 27.

Police officials said Rameswar, from Duli like his brother, was basically an errand boy and was being groomed to join the squad. Wounded in the firing, he survived by lying low on the ground.

“He is in trauma after seeing the dead bodies of those he had known at the Maoist camp. He was also terrorised by the continuous firing from 4.30am to 10am,” district police chief Manoj Verma said.

“But the worst was seeing his brother die right in front of his eyes. All this had silenced him through yesterday, from his capture till the time he went to sleep around 10.30pm after medication at the Salboni block primary health centre,” the police superintendent added.

This morning, Rameswar had recovered enough to tell the police his name. He also said his elder brother Ram was among the eight whose bodies the joint forces found at the Maoist camp after the five-and-a-half-hour encounter.

Verma said the police later found an identity card with the name Ram Murmu on one of the bodies. Rameswar was produced in the Midnapore chief judicial magistrate’s court this afternoon and sent to 14 days’ judicial custody.

In Duli, a village of some 35 families, the mood was tense. All the men, except the elderly, had left. “We fear a reprisal because the Maoists think one of the villagers told the police about their whereabouts in Ranja forest,” said a worried Tarini Murmu.

Not a single policeman could be seen in the village today. Yesterday, some 700 were involved in the assault on the Maoist camp.

Maoist murder

Maoists killed a farmer in Pidrakuli, a village 8km from Ranja forest, a few hours after the forest encounter.

A group of 10-12 Maoists went to Niranjan Mahato’s house last evening and called him out. They took him to the Midnapore-Lalgarh main road, about 3km from Pirakata, and shot him in the head.

Residents said Niranjan, 60, had no political affiliations. But when the police reached the spot this morning, they found posters saying the “elimination drive of CPM and police spies is continuing and will continue”. (Calcutta Telegraph)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Karnataka Naxal leader held in AP

The police on Sunday arrested a top Maoist from Karnataka who was allegedly targeting political leaders and senior police officers in Andhra Pradesh.

The arrested Maoist leader, identified as Chandrashekhar Gorebal, reportedly told the police during his interrogation that the team led by him was tasked to eliminate politicians and policemen in Andhra Pradesh. The team managed to sneak into Mahabubnagar district in Andhra Pradesh on Saturday night. However, policemen nabbed the extremists during vehicle checking operation, said Mahesh, Gadwal Deputy Superintendent of Police.

Based on intelligence inputs, Mahabubnagar police was carrying out search operations on entry points in the bordering areas of Karnataka and signalled a vehicle, in which three people including Chandrashekhar were travelling.

They jumped out of the vehicle and tried to escape. However, Chandrashekhar was nabbed while two others managed to flee, the police said.Chandrasekhar is a Karnataka state committee member of the CPI (Maoist) and allegedly provided logistic support to its central committee, the police officer said.

On the information given by Chandrashekhar, a police team raided some hamlets near Shahapur town in Yadgir district in Karnataka on Sunday and unearthed a dump and seized one AK 47, ammunition of 9mm pistol and SLR, four wireless sets, two police uniforms besides Maoist literature, he said. A hunt has been launched to nab the two other extremists.

It is said that Chandrashekar and colleagues were on their way to meet Kothapalli Vasudeva Rao, another Naxal leader.Chandrashekar hails from Raichur district’s Gorebal village in Sindhanur taluk. A lecturer by profession, he worked as the state president of Karnataka Vimochana Ranga from 1991 to 2001. It is reported that he was associated with Ujjinagouda of Vimochana Ranga, who is already under the custody of the police. (Deccan Herald)

Ten Indian Maoists killed in security operation

PATNA, India — Indian security forces have killed 10 Maoists in a huge operation to clear a rebel stronghold in the east of the country that involved about 2,000 men, police said on Monday.

One paramilitary policeman was also killed in the fighting, which began late on Sunday and raged for 18 hours in Jharkhand, a heavily forested state that lies in the "Red Corridor" of Maoist-controlled territory in eastern India.

Local police superintendent Akhilesh Jha told AFP that at least 10 Maoists had been killed, "maybe more". A stash of mines, materials for explosives and food supplies were also recovered at one camp.

State police chief Neyaz Ahmad said the raid was part of an ongoing offensive against Maoists in Jharkhand which is being led by local police and heavily armed federal paramilitary police.

An offensive was launched in November in the worst-affected Maoist areas with nearly 60,000 paramilitary and state police pressed into action with the prompting of the New Delhi government, which favours a hardline approach.

Since then, the Maoists have launched a series of increasingly bold and bloody attacks, including the massacre of 76 policemen on April 6 and the derailment of a passenger train on May 29 that left 146 people dead.

The Maoist rebellion, which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has labelled the biggest threat to the country's internal security, began in West Bengal in 1967 and has since spread to 20 of India's 29 states. (AFP)