Saturday, May 09, 2020

Once a gun-wielding Maoist, Telangana MLA is a model for netas

By Mohammed Shafeeq

Hyderabad, May 9 (IANS): Carrying a load of essentials on her shoulders, holding a couple of bags in the other hand and walking through the rocky terrain, at first sight she looks like a migrant worker, but she is an MLA in Telangana out to help the needy during the ongoing lockdown.

Braving the scorching sun, walking through the forests, crossing rivulets and trekking mountains, Danasari Anasuya is reaching remote tribal villages in her constituency Mulug to provide rice, vegetables and essentials.

Having operated in the same forest as a gun-wielding Maoist rebel in the late 1980s and early 1990s, she is not unfamiliar with the terrain. The only difference, in her own words, is she then had a gun in her hand and now she carries food.

Popular as Seethakka, she is now serving people as a member of the legislative Assembly and is earning praise for her active role in providing succour to the needy during the lockdown.

The tribal MLA, representing the constituency for a second term, believes it is her duty to serve the people. "Serving the people is what gives me happiness. They elected me with a lot of expectations and I just try to live up to those expectations," the MLA, belonging to the opposition Congress, told IANS.

With rice bags, vegetables and other essentials, loaded on a tractor, she sets out for the villages every day. "When the tractor can't move, she rides a bike and where even bike can't go, she walks carrying the bags. "Walking is her passion," said one of her aides.

As most of the villages in her constituency are inaccessible by roads, she walks to reach out to people. Though her constituency has no Covid-19 case, the impoverished people in the area always look for help, and lockdown has only added to their woes.

"Many of them don't have ration cards and hence did not get the free rice from the government. They don't even get fresh vegetables," said Seethakka, who has so far distributed 8,000 kg rice among people in her constituency.

During the last 45 days, she covered 425 out of 640 villages in Mulug and plans to reach out to the remaining villages near the border with Chhattisgarh.

Impressed by her work, people from surrounding constituencies of Pinapaka, Yellendu and Kothagudem have been inviting her to visit their villages. She visited a few villages on Saturday and distributed the aid.

The 48-year-old, who runs Seetakka Foundation, said many individuals in India and even abroad are coming forward with their donations. Even farmers in her constituency are donating rice and vegetables for the relief work.

Before venturing into interior villages, she surrenders her security guards at the nearest police station. "Akka (sister) does not want to put the lives of the gunmen in danger," says her aide. The area was once a stronghold of Maoists and she does not want to take any chances.

The MLA's followers say she is not scared. "She freely moves around in the area. People are with her," said a follower.

Belonging to the Koya tribe, Seethakka joined Maoist movement at an early age and was heading an armed squad active in the same tribal belt. She participated in many gunfights with the police and lost her husband and brother in encounters.

Disillusioned with the movement, she surrendered to the police under a general amnesty plan in 1994. With this the life took a new turn for Seethakka, who pursued her studies and secured a law degree. She also practised as an advocate at a court in Warangal.

She later joined Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and contested from Mulug in 2004 elections. However, facing a Congress wave, she finished a runner-up. However, in 2009 she won the election from the same constituency.

She finished third in 2014 polls and in 2017 quit TDP to join Congress. She made a strong comeback in 2018 by wresting the seat despite the statewide sweep by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS)

Maoist Camp Busted In Odisha Forest

Nuapada: Security personnel unearthed a Maoist camp in Patdhara reserve forest under Boden police limits in Odisha, informed Nuapada SP Vinit Agrawal today.

However, the red rebels managed to escape from the area during anti-Maoist operation in the forest.

Briefing a presser, Agrawal said that the anti-Maoist operation was launched on May 6 based on reliable inputs. During combing operations at around 11.45 am on May 7, the camp was busted in Patdhara RF.

The Maoists opened fire at the security forces following which the Special Operation Group (SOG) team retaliated gallantly and counter fired in self-defense due to which the CPI Maoists fled the area.

More than seven red rebels fled the spot after 25-30 round exchange of fire between the SOG team and Maoists,” Agrawal said.

During search operation, the SOG recovered Mao literature and other articles

Rebel leader was spreading Covid-19 awareness when killed: Maoists

Soumitra Bose | TNN | May 10, 2020, 04:25 IST

Nagpur: The banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) has claimed that Gadchiroli police’s C-60 commandos shot dead divisional committee (DVC) member Srujan Akka alias Jaini Arka at Sinbatti village when the woman rebel leader was spreading awareness on Covid-19.

The Maoists have also called a ‘bandh’ in Gadchiroli on May 20 to protest the alleged killing. Srujan Akka had nearly 146 offences against her and a reward of Rs16 lakh.

Currently, Maoists are observing Tactical counter offensive campaign during which they step up violence.

In a statement released by the North Gadchiroli division committee, Maoists have alleged Srujan Akka was killed in a cold-blooded manner and not during combat.

SP Shailesh Balkawade said that the administration and police department are engaged in strategic information dissemination and creating awareness about Covid-19 among tribals. “The Maoists neither have resources nor awareness to give tribals information about coronavirus,” he said.

The SP said that Maoists are visiting villages to disrupt ongoing infrastructure development works and also targeting contractors for extortion.

It is common for Maoists to target tendu contractors, road and construction companies for extortion. Sinbhatti villagers had requested the Maoists to allow the contractors to build roads citing hardship faced during monsoon. The Maoists were trying to convince them to set vehicles of contractors on fire,” said the SP.

According to a source, Srujan Akka was at the village to meet an agent of the contractor who has already paid some amount to Maoists. There was pressure for coughing up few more lakhs for allowing the work to continue

India: Tenacious Threat Of Maoists – Analysis


By Deepak Kumar Nayak*

On April 18, 2020, a Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadre was killed in an exchange of fire with Security Forces (SFs) in the forests of Chintalnar-Mundwal villages under Puspal Police Station limits in the Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. The slain Maoist, identified as Podiyam Kama aka Nagesh, a native of the Bhejji area of Sukma, was active as an ‘Area Committee Member (ACM)’ of the CPI-Maoist ‘Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC)’, and carried a cash reward of INR 500,000 on his head.

On April 17, 2020, a civilian was killed and another injured when they were caught in an exchange of fire between the CPI-Maoist cadres and SFs in a forested area near Otkalpada village under Modakpal Police Station limits in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh.

On April 16, 2020, a Policeman identified as Ramesh Kursam was hacked to death by CPI-Maoist cadres at Farsegarh village in Bhairamgarh Tehsil (revenue unit) in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. Ramesh had been missing since April 14, 2020, and his slain body multiple injuries apparently inflicted with sharp-edged weapons was found by local villagers on the outskirt of Farsegarh village. A leaflet purportedly written by the Maoists was also recovered from the spot claiming responsibility for the killing.

On the same day, a CPI-Maoist cadre was killed in an exchange of fire with SFs in a forested area under the Mirtur Police Station limits in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. The identity of the slain Maoist is yet to be ascertained.

According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), there have been a total of 61 fatalities (18 civilians, 25 SF personnel, and 18 Naxalites, Left Wing Extremists) in Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-linked violence in the current year (data till April 19, 2020). During the corresponding period of 2019, the number of such fatalities stood at 81 (22 civilians, 12 SF personnel, and 47 Naxalites).

Through 2019, there were a total of 302 fatalities (99 civilians, 49 SF personnel, and 154 Naxalites) in such violence. In the preceding year (2018), there were a total of 412 fatalities (108 civilians, 73 SF personnel, and 231 Naxalites). The overall fatalities in 2019 were the third lowest recorded in a year since March 6, 2000, when SATP started compiling data on LWE. The lowest total of 256 fatalities (90 civilians, 56 SF personnel, and 110 Naxalites), was recorded in 2015, followed by 278 fatalities (94 civilians, 40 SF personnel, 135 Naxalites and nine unspecified), in 2000. A peak of 1,1179 fatalities were recorded in 2010.

The number of overall LWE-linked incidents also fell from 781 in 2018 to 673 in 2019. Incidents of killing also came down from 217 in 2018 to 176 in 2019. 26 of the 176 overall incidents of killing were major incidents (involving three or more fatalities) in 2019. In 2018, the number of major incidents was 28. Resultant fatalities from major incidents declined from 157 (eight civilians, 36 SF personnel, and 113 Naxalites) in 2018 to 122 (nine civilians, 39 SF personnel, and 74 Naxalites) in 2019.

Significantly, fatalities among civilians registered a drop of 8.33 per cent, from 108 in 2018 to 99 in 2019. The latest round of continuous decline in this category has remained uninterrupted since 2016, when 122 were killed. A high of 628 civilian fatalities were recorded in 2010. 

SFs suffered 49 fatalities in 2019 as against 73 in 2018, a decline of 32.87 per cent. There were 76 fatalities in this category in 2017. In 2010, 267 SF personnel were killed, the maximum in a year

The SF:Maoist kill ratio remained significantly in favour of the SFs in 2019 at 1:3.14. In 2018, the ratio was at 1:3.16. The ratio has remined in favour of the SFs since 2011, when it was at 1:1.53. In 2010, the SF: Maoist kill ratio was at 1.01:1, favouring the rebels. Since March 6, 2000, the overall kill ratio has been in favour of the SFs (1:1.53).

According to SATP data, SFs arrested 410 LWEs in 2019 in addition to 776 in 2018. In the current year, as on April 19, 2020, the number of arrests stood at 78. Since March 6, 2000, total arrests number 14,869.

Through 2019, SFs recovered arms from the Maoists in 219 incidents, in addition to 129 such incidents of recoveries in 2018. During the current year, as on April 19, 2020, the number of such incidents was 43. Since March 6, 2000, 4,003 incidents of arms recovery are on record.

The mounting pressure on LWEs has resulted in a large number of surrenders over the past few years. According to SATP, at least 340 LWEs surrender through 2019 in addition to 480 in 2018. During the current year, as on April 19, 2020, the number of surrenders was 55. Since March 6, 2000, the number 12,799 LWEs have surrendered.

Successful intelligence-based operations by the SFs have dealt a severe blow to the Maoist leadership at several levels. According to the SATP database, at least 1,240 ‘leadership elements’ have been neutralised since 2010. These include 25 at the national level (three killed, 18 arrested and four surrendered); 257 State level (26 killed, 190 arrested and 41 surrendered); and 958 local level (160 killed, 418 arrested and 380 surrendered) (data till April 19, 2020). The 25 at the national level include 22 ‘CC’ members and three others: Marri alias Leevu, member of the ‘East Division Committee’ and of the ‘first Central Reorganisation Committee (CRC)’; Sadanala Ramakrishna alias RK, head of ‘Central Technical Committee’; and Mohan Vishwakarma, senior member of the ‘Central Technical Committee’ and ‘Technical Research and Arms Manufacturing (TRAM)’.

An analysis of over-ground and underground Maoist activities in the country’s LWE-affected areas also suggests a waning influence. According to SATP, in 2019, Maoist activities were reported from 12 States in comparison to 13 States in 2018. (India has a total of 640 Districts in 29 States and nine Union Territories). The 12 affected States have a total of 410 Districts, of which 91 recorded a Maoist presence.  Of these 91, seven Districts fell in the ‘highly affected’ category; 37 in the ‘moderately affected’ category; and 47 were ‘marginally affected’. By comparison in 2018, three Districts fell in the ‘extremely-affected’ category, six in the ‘highly affected’ category, 36 in the ‘moderately affected’ category, and 36 were ‘marginally affected’.  

Indeed, on February 4, 2020, Minister of State in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, G. Kishan Reddy, told the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament), “Left Wing Extremism (LWE) related violence and geographical spread have declined over the years”

The overall improvement in the security situation has been evident across all Maoist-affected States: Andhra Pradesh, BiharChhattisgarhJharkhandKeralaMadhya PradeshMaharashtraOdisha, and Telangana.

The Central Government has taken several steps to combat this problem. On February 4, 2020, Minister G. Kishan Reddy, told the Lok Sabha,

To combat the LWE menace, the Government of India has formulated National Policy and Action Plan in 2015, which consists of a multi-pronged approach comprising security measures, development initiatives and ensuring rights & entitlements of local communities. Operation Prahar was launched in 2017 in core moist areas of Bastar range. Such sustained, offensive, intelligence-based operations are continuously executed.

Some of the measures initiated by the Government of India (GoI) in 2019, to curb LWE activity, include:

Strengthened and upgraded capabilities of intelligence agencies at the Central and State levels, including intelligence sharing through Multi Agency Centre (MAC) at the Central level, and State Multi Agency Centres (SMAC) at the State level, on round-the-clock basis.Strengthened the intelligence mechanism by setting up of Joint Command and Control Centre at Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh) and Gaya (Bihar), to reinforce the technical and human intelligence, thrust for generation of real-time intelligence and creation and strengthening of State Intelligence Bureaus (SIBs) in the affected States, for which Central assistance is provided.The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) issued a Standard Operating Procedure on issues related to Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and landmines in Maoist-affected areas, which was circulated to all stake-holders to promote best practices in IED management.A total of 56 India Reserve (IR) Battalions were sanctioned for 10 LWE affected States – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal – out of which, 44 have been raised. In addition, the Centre has sanctioned the raising of 10 new Specialised India Reserve Battalion (SIRB) for Bihar (1), Chhattisgarh (2), Jharkhand (2), Madhya Pradesh (1), Odisha (3) and West Bengal (1), of which eight have been raised.

Despite the improvement, the Maoist threat persists in several hotspots across the country.

The Bastar Division, the core of the residual Maoist problem not only in Chhattisgarh but in the entire so-called ‘Red Corridor’ region, comprising seven densely forested Districts – Bastar, Bijapur, Dantewada, Kanker, Kondagaon, Narayanpur and Sukma – sprawling across 40,000 square kilometers, in the southernmost region of the State, is the most significant concentration of residual Maoist activity.

On March 21, 2020, CPI-Maoist cadres ambushed a Police party in the dense forests of Elmaguda close to Kasalpad and Minpa villages in the Chintagufa area in the Sukma District of Chhattisgarh, killing 17 security personnel [12 District Reserve Guards and five Special Task Force], and injuring another 15. The Maoists also looted at least 15 weapons from the possession of the slain personnel – 12 AK 47 assault rifles, one Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL), one INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) assault rifle and one Excalibur, the upgraded variant of the INSAS rifle. Though the Police claimed that a considerable number of Maoists are believed to have been killed in the encounter, only one body of a Maoist cadre was recovered during search operations in the area.

According to an April 16, 2020, report, the Maoists were using the nationwide lockdown amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to regain strength, as a large group of the rebels entered the South Bastar region of Chhattisgarh from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, and even Nepal. The report citing intelligence inputs noted,

[Maoists were] continuously conducting meetings in the core areas in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma District and in the Darbha Division in Jagdalpur District of the State and part of Dantewada District there under the supervision of top Maoist leaders. They are also organising villagers for confronting the Government on the issue of fixing a minimum price for plucking up of tendu leaves and compensation for death or injury of villagers involved in plucking of the leaves.

A March 10, 2020, report, revealed that Maoist action teams were on the prowl in the Visakhapatnam Agency of Andhra Pradesh in an effort to establish their dominance and to take their chances during the forthcoming local body elections. An unnamed senior official of the Visakhapatnam Rural Police, stated, “A lull in their activities indicates that they may strike at any time during the elections. We have information that there have been changes in their rank and file.” The local body elections scheduled for March 21, 2020, have now been put off indefinitely by the State Election Commission (SEC) in view of the coronavirus crisis. 

A March 2, 2020, report claimed that the Maoists were engaged in developing a new ‘base area’ in the dense Amarkantak Forest, to operate in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh (MMC). The Amarkantak Forest lies at a location where the Vindhya, Maikal and Satpura ranges converge in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Over the past few years, the Maoists have increased their presence in the region. According to an unnamed State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) official, the ‘Vistaar Dalam of MMC zone’  was active in the forests of Amarkantak, and its numbers are sizeable. Most of its cadres are recruited from south Bastar (in Chhattisgarh) and a document seized from the Maoists in December 2019 suggested that there were about 200 Maoist cadres in the ‘MMC Zone’

Significantly, a January 29, 2020, report, confirmed that the CPI-Maoist had succeeded in reinstating its ‘central committee (CC)’, the second highest rung in its hierarchy, with 21 members, 10 of whom are from Telangana, four from Jharkhand, two each from Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal, and one from Bihar. Nambala Keshava Rao aka Basava Raju (65), hailing from Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh, was elected ‘general secretary’ of the ‘CC’. Rao is also a member of the ‘politburo’ and ‘Central Military Commission’ (CMC), and is the current ‘chief’ of CPI-Maoist. He took over the reins of the Maoist party from Muppala Lakshmana Rao aka Ganapathi on November 5, 2018. As noted earlier, at the time of its formation in 2004, the CPI-Maoist reportedly had a 34-member strong ‘CC’. Five members were subsequently added to the ‘alternate CC’. However, out of 39 members of the ‘CC’, only 17 remained ‘operational’ or were untraceable, including eight ‘politburo’ members, five ‘CC’ members, and four ‘alternate CC’ members.

Despite the very significant operational gains and state initiatives to reinforce capacities for response, several deficits in the fighting forces remained noticeable in some of the worst afflicted States. According to the Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPR&D), as on January 1, 2019, there were at least 21 Police Stations in Chhattisgarh, the worst affected State, which did not have a telephone. Similarly, at least 37 Police Stations in Odisha, did not have a vehicle; and 59 Police Stations in Madhya Pradesh had no wireless/mobile connectivity.  

Moreover, large vacancies persist in the State Police Forces. According to BPR&D data, as on January 1, 2019, as against the sanctioned strength of 1,595,680 there were a total of 1,243,537 policemen in position, leaving a vacancy of 352,143, i.e. 20.37 per cent in 12 LWE-affected States. At the national level, deficits against sanctioned strength were 20.34 per cent, almost the same as the shortage in the Maoist affected States. The police-population ratio (policemen per hundred thousand population) of these 12 States had increased from an average of 138.63 in 2018 to 149.42 in 2019. On the other hand, the all-India police-population ratio had increased from 150.80 in 2018 to 158.22 in 2019, significantly higher than the levels in the LWE affected States. Importantly, existing police-population ratios in these 12 states remained significantly lower than the sanctioned strength of 183.97, while at the national level where, the existing levels were also significantly lower than the sanctioned strength of 198.65 per 100,000. Moreover, the number of vacancies in the apex Indian Police Service (IPS) of these 12 States was 595 (22.44 per cent), as against 948 (19.97 per cent) at the national level, considerably weakening executive direction of the Force. These critical deficiencies in the enforcement apparatuses need urgent attention.

There is an overall declining trend in Maoist violence and activity across the country. Nevertheless, the rebels have shown tremendous capacities for resurgence in the past, and retain significant operational and over-ground capabilities in substantial areas of their erstwhile regions of dominance. A sustainable peace in the Maoist belt, consequently, remains some way off.

*Deepak Kumar Nayak
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management



SATP, or the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) publishes the South Asia Intelligence Review, and is a product of The Institute for Conflict Management, a non-Profit Society set up in 1997 in New Delhi, and which is committed to the continuous evaluation and resolution of problems of internal security in South Asia. The Institute was set up on the initiative of, and is presently headed by, its President, Mr. K.P.S. Gill, IPS (Retd).

Maoists torch 13 vehicles in Jharkhand

IANS | Published: 09th May 2020 03:22 PM
For representational purposes

RANCHI: Maoist guerrillas set 13 vehicles on fire in Jharkhand's Palamau district on Saturday, police said.

According to police, 15 to 16 Maoists raided a crusher stone company at Chaparwar village situated under Pipra police station of Palamau district, early on early Saturday. They set fire to 13 vehicles parked in the area.

The denial of levy by the company is said to be the reason behind the arson.

Maoist guerrillas are active in 18 of the 24 districts in the state.

Every year 50 to 60 vehicles are set on fire in the state by the Maoists.

Friday, May 08, 2020

Kothagudem: SP Sunil Dutt warned the Maoists to Robbing groceries from tribals is heinous

Update: 2020-05-08 22:54 IST
Superintendent of Police Sunil Dutt
Kothagudem: SP Sunil Dutt warned the Maoists to Robbing groceries from tribals is heinous

Kothagudem: District Superintendent of Police Sunil Dutt warned the Maoists, who are allegedly robbing groceries from Gotti Koya tribal people. In a statement released here on Friday, the SP said the police department had distributed groceries to Gotti Koya tribal people in the district, who are facing problems without work and food during the lockdown.

But the Maoists threatened and took away groceries from them, which is heinous, he added. Meanwhile, Khammam Police Commissioner Tafseer Iqbal flagged off a vehicle carrying groceries and vegetables Khammam town on Friday. He said these groceries and vegetables, sponsored by donors, will be distributed in rural villages of Gundala of Kothagudem district. Three town police have imposed fines to 20 persons for not wearing masks in the town

Chhattisgarh police, 4 Maoists killed in encounter

Sub-inspector of 

The encounter took place near Pardhoni village under Manpur police station limits.

Updated: May 09, 2020 09:36 IST

By Ritesh Mishra | Edited by: Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times Raipur

Chhattisgarh police subinspector SK Sharma died in the Pardhoni Maoist operation
Chhattisgarh police sub-inspector SK Sharma died in the Pardhoni Maoist operation. (SOURCED)

A sub-inspector of police lost his life and four Maoists, including a divisional committee member of CPI(Maoist), were killed during a gunfight in Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon district on Friday night, officials said on Saturday.

The encounter took place at around 10.30pm in the jungles near Pardhoni village under Manpur police station when the police team was out on an anti-Maoist operation.

“We had got a pin-point Information about the Maoists and hence a team was made to nab them. When we were cordoning off Pardhoni, the Maoists started firing. In retaliation, we also started firing. Our sub-inspector SK Sharma lost his life in Maoist firing,” Jitendra Shukla, Rajnandgaon’s superintendent of police (SP), said while speaking to HT.

Sharma, a resident of Surguja district was also the in-charge of the Madanvada police station.

 Shukla said they have gunned down Ashok, the divisional committee member, and Krishna, who was the area committee member of CPI (Maoist).

“Two other woman cadres, Sarita and Pramila, were junior cadres and working as party members,” he added.

“We have also recovered an AK-47 assault rifle, one SLR and two 315 bore rifle from the spot and searching of the whole area is going on,” the SP added.

Police said that the team of Maoist was camping in Pardhoni jungles since Friday evening.

Rajnandgaon comes under the newly-formed zone of Maoists. Maoists have built a new red corridor on the tri-junction of three states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh (MMC) zone. 

Many documents recovered suggest Maoists are continuously moving in that area to strengthen the new zone and recruitment for the area was also done.

Senior officers of Chhattisgarh believe there are about 180 armed Maoists now in the Vistaar Dalam of the MMC zone, who are trying to establish their grip in the MMC zone. 

The new zone is said to be a refuge for hardcore Maoists of Bastar and other regions. Most of the cadres in this region were recruited from South Bastar.

Naxal injured in encounter with security forces in C'garh


Raipur, May 8 (PTI) A Naxal, carrying a reward of Rs 1 lakh on his head, was injured in an encounter with security forces at a forest in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh on Friday, police said.

The Naxal was later arrested and will be produced in a local court on Saturday, police said.

The skirmish took place this morning when a joint team of security forces was out on an anti-Maoist operation in the jungles along the border of Bijapur and Dantewada districts, Dantewada Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava told PTI.

Personnel belonging to District Reserve Guard (DRG), Special Task Force (STF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) from both the districts were involved in the operation, he said.

When the patrolling team was cordoning off the forest between Hurrepal and Bechapal villages under Mirtur police station limits, the exchange of fire broke out between the two sides, he said.

'During the search of the spot later, a Maoist was found with a bullet injury on his leg,' he said.

He was given primary treatment at the encounter spot, after which he was shifted to a local hospital where doctors gave necessary medication to him, but said that he does not need hospitalisation, he said.

The injured Maoist has been identified as Baman Muchaki, who was active as Hurrepal Janmilitia Commander of Maoist and carrying a reward of Rs 1 lakh on his head, Pallava said.

He was allegedly involved in several Naxal incidents in the area, the SP added. PTI TKP NP NP

4 Naxals, one police official killed in Chhattisgarh encounter

CRPF personnel patroling in Sukma area, in Chhattisgarh. File photoCRPF personnel patroling in Sukma area, in Chhattisgarh. File photo | Photo Credit: SushilkumarVerma
RAIPUR 09 MAY 2020 09:09 IST
UPDATED: 09 MAY 2020 09:11 IST

The incident took place on Friday night at Pardhauni village, about 150 km from Raipur

Four Naxals, including two women, and a police official were killed in an exchange of fire in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh, police said on Saturday.

The incident took place on Friday night at Pardhauni village under Manpur police station limits, located over 150 km from here, when a team of security forces was out on a counter-insurgency operation, Inspector General of Police (Durg range) Vivekanand Sinha said.

Also read: Amit Shah asks CRPF to go after "urban Naxals and their facilitators"



Acting on a tip-off about the presence of ultras in the village, security forces had launched the operation.

“When the patrolling team was cordoning off the area, Naxals suddenly came out of the village and the encounter broke out between the two sides,” he said.

Police Sub Inspector (SI) S K Sharma, who was posted as the Station House Officer at Madanwada police station, lost his life in the gunfight,” the IG said.

Also read: Keep tabs on movement of naxals: DGP

Arms recovered

Bodies of the four Naxals were recovered from the spot along with an AK47 rifle, an SLR rifle and two 315 bore rifles, he said.

Reinforcement was rushed to the spot and bodies of the martyred official and the Naxals were evacuated out of the forest, he said, adding that search operation was underway in the area.

Covid-19 revives commune

CPM frontal organisations arrange community kitchen for around 3,000 people at Naxalbari

By Avijit Sinha in Siliguri

  • Published 9.05.20, 5:39 AM
  • Updated 9.05.20, 5:39 AM
Food being served at the community kitchen in Bengaijote
Food being served at the community kitchen in Bengaijote Telegraph picture

The coronavirus-spurred nationwide lockdown has revived the practice of commune in Darjeeling district.

During the heyday of the Left movement in India, commune had become a popular arrangement that facilitated the collective accommodation and shared food for party workers and leaders.

The concept has returned to the district with the CPM’s frontal organisations running a community kitchen for around 3,000 people at Naxalbari, the seat of the famous Naxalbari movement that had rocked the country in the late sixties and brought to the fore issues of peasants and workers’ rights.

“As the lockdown started, we found many people, mostly daily wage earners, in crisis. There are families of seven, eight and even more members with only one bread earner in and around Naxalbari. The income of these people dried up soon and we started the kitchen for them. It has been 26 days that we have been running this kitchen and every day, around 3,000 people are being provided with a square meal,” said senior CPM leader Gautam Ghosh.

The kitchen has been set up at Bengaijote — a village that bears testimony to the peasants’ uprising 53 years back, which eventually led to the birth of Naxalite movement.

Since the lockdown had started, a number of organisations have been serving cooked food to the poor in and around Siliguri, but the community kitchen in Naxalbari stands out because most of the people having food there are making contributions in their own small way.

While the men are arranging firewood to feed the ovens and managing the kitchen, homemakers are bringing gourds, green jackfruits and “kochu” (taro root) and other vegetables harvested in their homes.

They are also joining the men to cut and prepare the vegetables and serving food.

“People from different walks of life are coming with help. Right from schoolteachers to traders, we are getting people arriving at the kitchen with sacks of rice, lentils and spices,” said Koushik Acharjee, a schoolteacher who has also joined in the effort.

Every day, the food – rice, dal and a vegetable curry – is being distributed from eight distribution points other than the kitchen. Around 1,600 people collect food from these points in the afternoon, while another 1,400 queue up at Bengaijote near the kitchen, he said.

Ghosh, who is a known face of the CPM’s labour wing Citu, said significantly people who were economically sound were joining the kitchen and making contributions. Sometimes, they are also joining the lunch.

“It is good that we could bring people from different economic strata together at this hour of crisis, like the communes which were run by our party where there was no distinction among a worker and a leader. Also, the effort has succeeded in Naxalbari, a name that is synonymous with the movement that had advocated equality of people and right to food for all,” the CPM leader said.

Maoist urban support network busted in Chhattisgarh; seven held

The Chhattisgarh Police on Friday claimed to have busted an alleged Maoist urban support network, with the arrest of seven people, including three construction contractors, from separate places in the state.

While two persons, identified as Tapas Palit and Dayashankar Mishra, were arrested last month, five others were held recently by Kanker district police, Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) Sundarraj P told PTI on Friday.

On March 24, the police had arrested contractor Palit while he was allegedly transporting a huge consignment of shoes, fabrics and walkie-talkie sets, meant for Naxals in his SUV, from Siksod police station area of Kanker district, he said.

During his interrogation, he revealed about the Maoist couriers network, which had beeen supplying various kinds of material and cash to Maoists since the last two years in northBastar, he said.

Mishra, who was associated with him, was later arrested from Rajandgaon district, the official said.

For an extensive probe into the matter, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Kanker police led by Additional Superintendent of Police Kirtan Rathore was constituted, he said.

The SIT recently arrested five more persons- Ajay Jain (45), Komal Prasad Verma, both contractors from Rajnandgaon, Rohit Nag (33) of Koyalibeda in Kanker, Sushil Sharma (50) of Uttar Pradesh and Suresh Sharnagat (28) of Madhya Pradesh in this connection, he said.

As per the preliminary probe, two other Rajnandgaon- based contractors were allotted road construction works under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) in Antagarh, Amabeda, Siksod, Koyalibeda and other Naxal-affected areas of Kanker district by the government department concerned, the IG said.

The two contractors then authorised Ajay Jain, Komal Prasad Verma and Palit to carry out the construction work, he said.

"The trio allegedly established communication with the Naxals. They had been supplying shoes, Maoist uniforms, walkie-talkie sets and other materials along with lakhs of rupees of cash to the Maoists since the past two years," he said, adding that the remaining arrested persons are their accomplices.

Two cars and ten mobile phones were also seized from their possession, he said.

The involvement of some other people in the offence is being probed, he added.

According to police, the Maoists have suffered a huge blow with these arrests as the ongoing lockdown has already paralysed their supply chain

Intelligence reports show Maoists are using lockdown time to regroup in Bastar

The Maoists may have declared a ceasefire due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it has given them the perfect breather to reestablish fortresses in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar.

Maoists set ablaze 27 vehicles and Construction Machines at a road construction site in Kurkheda, Gadchiroli, Maharshtra | ANI
File photo | Maoists had set ablaze 27 vehicles and construction machines at a road construction site in Kurkheda, Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, in 2019 | ANI


Don’t be hoodwinked by the latest ceasefire declaration by the Maoists during the coronavirus lockdown. As police operations get nearly suspended or drastically reduced in many areas of Bastar after 24 March, the rebels have been using the time to rebuild and regroup.

The Narendra Modi government has not given careful thought to the impact of the lockdown on various sectors and communities. The Maoists are an issue that the Centre completely ignored and whose ramifications can only be seen once the lockdown is lifted. Even the Chhattisgarh government and its chief minister Bhupesh Baghel seem oblivious to the emerging development.

With the security forces mostly confined to their camps over the past three weeks, the Maoists have been visiting and camping in the areas they had ceded earlier like Todma and Dantewada-Katekalyan main road. They meet villagers, hold meetings, recruit ground-level forces and strengthen their Jantana Sarkars, the people’s councils through which the Maoists run their government in Dandakaranya. They are digging the lanes that lead to police camps and planting landmines in the lanes that have now been deserted, police officers say.

They even killed an auxiliary constable Ramesh Kursam late Wednesday night last week in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district.

This follows the unilateral ceasefire announced by the Malkangiri–Koraput–Visakha Divisional Committee (MKVDC) on 5 April when the committee’s secretary Kailasam said that given the spread of the coronavirus, the rebels would not attack the forces.

What the Maoists did not disclose was that they had been quietly using this period to enhance their cadre base in their capital Bastar, several police officers in Raipur and Bastar tell me based on their intelligence reports.

Also read: Maoists kill 17 personnel in Sukma gun battle after ambushing large encounter team

Increased presence in Chhattisgarh’s villages

Consider a few instances. A series of intelligence alerts sent from Bastar to Raipur Police Headquarters after the lockdown began noted that a strong Maoist group had begun assembling in a cluster of villages in Dantewada district from March-end. Senior cadres including East Division Committee secretary Niti alias Urmila, Amdai Area Committee Secretary Suresh Salam, besides several other Divisional Committee and Area Committee members, camped in the villages of Todma, Mutenulpara, Kohkawada.

For around 10 days, the intel alerts noted how their presence gradually intensified in the area — they held first meetings with villagers for several days before beginning construction work in April. From 15 Maoists in the area in the first few days, the number swelled to 35 by 6 April.

The 6 April alert sent from Bastar noted that “some 30-35 Maoists are guiding the villagers to undertake road levelling work in Todma Jantana Sarkar in Dantewada district. They have also posted their men on roads from Todma to Barsur and Sat Dhar.”

In another village, “Kursinh Bahar of Dantewada some 45 Maoists began assembling from March including East Division Company 6 Commander Chaitu alias Hidma, Platoon One commander Murli”. Similar presence has been recorded in Bijapur and Sukma districts where the Maoists have intensified their activities in large swathes of forests over the last two weeks, including Gorgunda, which is a mere 7 km from Dornapal on NH-30.

Significantly, just a day before the Janata Curfew announced by Modi, the Maoists had killed 17 security personnel in Sukma on 21 March. They looted 12 Ak-47, one LMG, an Excalibur rifle and a large number of round, and an Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL). They now have an estimated 12 UBGLs with nearly 100 grenades. Once Ramdher, then head of their Abujhmad Battalion, had explained to me the significance of the UBGL for the Maoist armoury. One grenade can severely damage a police post.

They can raise at least two decent squads with the new weaponry.

Also read: Dreaded Naxal Hidma is the new Maoist militia leader in Chhattisgarh

Re-building the Abujhmad fortress

Over the last eight years, I have made innumerable trips to Abujhmad and those villages that have barely seen the presence of an outsider. On my last visit to Abujhmad a few months ago, I saw some startling developments.

While a road had already arrived for the 18-kilometre stretch between Kurusnar, once the last police post before Abujhmad, and Sonpur, the state had now begun cutting into the wilderness with a road that may eventually connect to Gadchiroli in Maharashtra. If the final battle is going to be in Abujhmad, as the security forces believe, its pitch is being prepared. Sonpur had a helipad now, the last one towards the western axis of Abujhmad.

However, I also found that the jungle had become like a fortress. I went up to the Maharashtra border and found that several villages in the interior looked deserted. Aided by the Sonpur post, the police had increased patrolling in the area, and regularly rounded up young Adivasis, who were now in jails. Fearful, many villagers had fled to Narayanpur — perhaps the first mass exodus from these Abujhmad villages, which had not yet witnessed any police–Maoist conflict. The forested paths that were once used by villagers to visit the weekly Sonpur market were now obstructed by tree trunks and large ditches, and were effectively an even safer haven for the rebels. I found that the Maoists were now better-equipped and prepared for the longer haul.

Also read: Maoist insurgency far from over. After Bastar, Naxals’ new laboratory is in south India

Listen to Bastar

Some police officers understand the looming threat, but they concede that in the given situation, the forces cannot really resume patrolling, and the situation will remain unchecked for a while in Chhattisgarh. Bastar’s villagers are now following ‘social distancing’, they have erected barriers of tree trunks outside their villages. The police teams have made occasional forays into the jungle since the lockdown, leading to a few deaths on all sides.

The police killed a suspected Maoist, Podiyam Kana, in Sukma on 16 April. The next day, the forces opened fire on a group of adivasis close to a CRPF camp in Bijapur leading to the death of a villager named Dubba Kanaiya. Such killings of villagers at a time when they are facing shortage of ration and are unable to find a market for the forest produce of mahua and tendu patta will only intensify the humanitarian crisis.

The coronavirus lockdown has come at a time when the Maoists, having been restricted in Bastar, had been cultivating new zones in southern India and Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh borders. It might have given them just the breather they needed to return and rebuild their core territory in Bastar.

The author is an independent journalist. Views are personal.

5 can bombs recovered from Naxal hub
 |  | Jamshedpur

Police and paramilitary forces recovered five can bombs from Jojodgara jungle under Keraikela police station area in West Singhbhum district on Thursday.  The can bombs, each weighing five kgs, had been buried in the earth along a mud road. 

The police said the detection of the IEDs was made during a search operation at the jungle.  The police later detonated all the five IEDs by pressing a bomb disposal squad in the afternoon.

Police said that the security has been beefed up in the area and they were keeping strict vigil on movement of the Naxlites.

There has been a substantial increase in Maoist activities in this area. We are not much concerned about small acts of violence because these activities can be controlled by us, but the bigger attacks are worrisome,” said a security official.

“We cannot reveal on the status of the operation due to security reasons but yes we interrogating them to dig out further links,” said a district police official. He said that the forces are targeting the different areas under the Saranda forest

ED to attach assets of absconding Jharkhand Naxals

age correspondent

NationCurrent Affairs

Central agency recently attached assets of several other Jharkhand-based Naxal operatives

Enforcement directorate to attach assets of absconding Jharkhand Naxals. (PTI Photo)
Enforcement directorate to attach assets of absconding Jharkhand Naxals. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: The enforcement directorate (ED), which is probing money-laundering charges against several Jharkhand-based Naxal operatives, is collecting details about absconding members of the banned Left Wing extremist organisation Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC) from the state police.

According to sources, the agency is in constant touch with Jharkhand Police and is collecting all crucial details about the absconding TPC members. “Since several TPC members had been arrested by the state police in the recent past, Jharkhand police is also sharing details pertaining to the absconding members with the central probe agency,” sources said. The ED had recently registered money-laundering cases against TPC members on the basis of state police FIRs, they added.  

The ED is preparing to initiate the process to attach their (absconding TPC members) properties, worth several crores, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The central agency recently attached assets of several other Jharkhand-based Naxal operatives.

The money-laundering cases pertains “to illegal collection of levy from the contractors and coal merchants through criminal extortion and intimidation in Magadh-Amrapali coal area in Chatra district of Jharkhand by members of banned Left wing extremist organisation TPC. TPC has been banned by the Jharkhand government and most of its cadres are former members of the CPI (Maoist).

The ED case was filed on the basis of state police FIRs against the accused. Accused namely Binod Kumar Ganjhu, Pradeep Ram along with other Naxals were running local committees in name “Magadh Organising Committee” and “Amrapali Shanti Samiti” and in the guise of these committees, the accused used to extort levy from contractors, transporters, delivery order holders and coal merchants which was further handed over to the members of TPC, sources alleged

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Minister asks MLAs about anti-Covid battle in Naxal areas

 |  | RAIPUR

Chhattisgarh Health and Family Welfare, Panchayat and Rural Development Minister T. S. Singh Deo spoke with Bastar MLAs over video on Wednesday to know the status of the war against Covid-19 pandemic and health facilities in tribal areas where Naxalites are active.

Speaking to Bastar MLAs, the Minister also sought details regarding distribution of foodgrains, MGNREGA works and collection of forest minor produce.

Singh Deo told the MLAs that in the context of the     disease and nationwide lockdown, the state government has taken all steps so that no negative impact is felt in rural areas.

To provide employment and to boost the rural economy, both community and beneficiary oriented MGNREGA works have started. Under the State Rural Livelihood Mission, women beneficiaries are being linked with livelihood activities, he said.

The MLAs lauded the government's steps which has helped in curbing the spread of the coronavirus disease. The government was also appreciated for bringing back workers, students, pilgrims and others from Chhattisgarh stranded in other states