Saturday, July 11, 2020

Bihar Border districts put on alert after killing of four Maoists

Ramashankar | TNN | Jul 12, 2020, 04:00 IST

PATNA: The killing of four Maoists in an encounter by security forces in West Champaran’s Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) on Friday has once again brought the focus on left-wing extremists still active in some districts bordering Nepal.

Apprehending a backlash from the CPI-Maoists over the killing of their active members and seizure of sophisticated weapons, the state police headquarters on Friday directed all SPs in north Bihar districts to keep a close watch on red rebels operating under their jurisdiction.

Besides West Champaran and East Champaran, districts such as Sitamarhi, Sheohar, Muzaffarpur and Vaishali have been put on high alert. “We are cautious and keeping surveillance on movement of the members of the banned outfit,” Sitamarhi SP Anil Kumar said.

Mahindwara and Belsand in Sitamarhi, which is close to the India-Nepal border, are considered to be hotbeds of 


 activities. Similarly, areas falling under Tariyani, Shyampur Bhatahan and Purnahia police stations in Sheohar districts are affected. Madhuban and Dhaka in East Champaran district had earlier witnessed Naxal-related incidents.

Acting Vaishali SP Pushkar Anand said that villages under Hajipur Sadar, Patepur, Jandaha and Tisiauta police stations in the districts had earlier witnessed Naxal-related incidents, which showed their influence on local residents. “The SHOs of the police stations concerned have been asked to verify how many of them were out on bail,” he told TOI over the phone on Saturday.

Sources in the state police headquarters said those killed in the VRT forest in West Champaran were part of the Maoists’ group, which had envisaged a detailed strategy to impart training to newly recruited cadres. However, it is yet to be verified whether Maoists from Nepal were also present at the congregation.

Top ranking leaders from Darbhanga, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, East Champaran and West Champaran in Bihar besides some from Jharkhand had assembled in VTR forests. Ram Babu Ram alias Rajan, who belonged to the East Champaran-Sheohar region, however, managed to escape unhurt in the gunbattle.

A source in the state intelligence wing said, “The Maoists have focused on strengthening their base in north Bihar districts, especially those sharing their borders with Nepal in the wake of stepped up police operations against ultras in south and central Bihar.”

Health call centre opened in Naxal-affected Dantewada to boost institutional delivery

Health call centre opened in Naxal-affected Dantewada to boost institutional delivery

Dantewada (Chhattisgarh) [India], July 11 (ANI): In an effort to boost institutional delivery in Naxal-affected Dantewada district, health call centre has been opened here by the state government.
The employees of the health call centre are calling pregnant women 5 days before delivery and asking them to come to the hospital.
The health department and administration believe that the rate of institutional delivery will increase. District Collector Deepak Soni said that the rate of institutional delivery in the district has to reach 100 per cent.
The workers of the call centre - Yashoda, Varsha, Priya and Aanchal - told that the list of pregnant women has been given to them and they have been informed about their delivery date.
"The help of the ambulance is being given to the hospital. Information is being given to the ANM, Sarpanch, Secretary, Patwari and BMO if there is no contact with family members," the Collector said.
Officials believe that the objective of doing so is to reduce maternal and child mortality by increasing institutional deliveries.
Pregnant women of inaccessible villages Kakari, Phulpad, Hadmamunda, Bhalupara have been brought to Palanar Hospital for delivery. (ANI)

Friday, July 10, 2020

Naxals Have Taken A Big Hit, On Retreat: Odisha DGP

Bhubaneswar:  Odisha Director General of Police (DGP) Abhay today informed that in the recent past the State Police has achieved a series of successes against Left Wing Extremism in the State and Naxals are on retreat.

“Overall Naxals have taken a big hit and are on retreat. We have also seen a good trend in the surrender numbers. On the whole of 2019, 13 Naxals had surrendered and in 2020 so far already 19 have surrendered,” said Abhay briefing newsmen at the Police Seva Bhavan here today.
Abhay said that two security camps have been set up at Hantalguda and Darlaguda in the cut-off area of Malkangiri where there were no security camps in the past.

Also, a new police station has come up at Jodaamba, he added.

He further informed that the State Police had a big success by way of the largest seizure of arms and added that recently five Naxals were neutralized which included a State Committee member, the highest rank holder.

The DGP said that those neutralized also included district committee members and area commanders.

“Keeping all this in view Odisha Government has approved our proposal to take five districts away from the list SRE, accordingly the Government of India has finally decided,” he informed.
These five districts which are proposed to be taken out are Angul, Boudh, Deogarh, Sambalpur, and Nayagarh, he added.

The DGP appealed to the Naxals to surrender with arms and take advantage of the State Government’s very generous rehabilitation and surrender policy.

4 Maoists killed, 2 policemen injured in Bihar encounter

Amarnath Tewary
PATNA 10 JULY 2020 11:42 IST
UPDATED: 10 JULY 2020 18:58 IST

Operation conducted by a joint team of SSB and police’s STF.

Four Maoists were killed and two policemen injured in the early hours of Friday in an encounter with security forces on the India-Nepal border in Bihar.

District police officials said the operation took place under the Laukariya police station. It was conducted by a joint team of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and the Special Task Force (STF) of the State police. The STF was led by Superintendent of Police Dharmendra Jha.

The incident took place in the Valmikinagar forest area of Harnatand in Bagaha of West Champaran district, said a senior police official at the Patna headquarters.



Inspector General of SSB, Patna Frontier, Sanjay Kumar, said the operation was led by SSB Deputy Commandant Narpat Singh. “In the operation, SSB inspector Rituraj got injured with a bullet injury in his wrist...he was taken to the hospital and is out of danger”.

Arms seized

Arms and ammunition, including an AK-47 series rifle, three SLRs (self-loading rifles) and one 303 Bolt Action rifle have been recovered from the encounter spot. However, some Maoists are believed to have escaped from the spot taking advantage of the dense forest area and incessant rain, said local police officials.

District police officials said the Maoist group was led by troop commander Ram Babu Ram alias Rajan. “Ram is a member of north Bihar special area committee of CPI(Maoists)… there were 12 members in the troop of Ram Babu Ram in which four were killed”, said a police official. The killed Maoists have been identified as Amarlal Dev alias Nakul, Alok Ram, Deepak Ram and Chotu Kumar.

Maoists kill 2 villagers

On late Thursday night, alleged Maoists killed two persons by slitting their throat in Baghel village of Haveli Kharagpur block in Munger district of Bihar. The deceased villagers have been identified as Brijlal Tuddu and Arun Ray.

The Maoists left hand-written pamphlets at the spot accusing both the villagers as police informers”, Munger range Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Manu Maharaj said

Odisha removes 5 districts from Naxal SRE scheme due to 'improved security situation'

Representational image
Updated Jul 10, 2020 | 13:38 IST

Odisha has been experiencing the scourge of Naxal activities for more than three decades.

Representational image
Representational image
Photo Credit: ANI

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has approved the removal of five districts from the Left Wing Extremism affected Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme, a top police officer said.

The districts which will be out of the SRE are: Angul, Boudh, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Nayagarh, said Director General of Police (DGP) Abhaya.



"This recognises improved security situation in these districts. Odisha Police is committed to making the whole of Odisha LWE free," the DGP said.

Odisha has been experiencing the scourge of Naxal activities for more than three decades. As many as 19 of the 30 districts of Odisha districts were declared as SRE district, sources said.

"Robust security response, as well as focused developmental activities, have brought about a turn-around in the situation in the state especially in the last few years, said IGP (Operation), Amitabh Thakur.

In April 2018, six districts - Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Gajapati and Ganjam - were declared as free from Maoist activities and these districts were removed from the Central government-sponsored Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme.

The SRE is a Central scheme exclusively meant for capacity building for Maoist affected districts across the country.
With the changing situation, the Odisha government has approved the removal of five districts namely, Angul, Boudh, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Nayagarh from the SRE scheme.

Therefore, a total of 11 districts of Odisha have so far been assessed to be free of Maoist activities in a span of two years, largely due to the impact of security response and good governance by the state government, the DGP said.

The fizzling out of the Maoist influence in the state is indicative of the growing acceptance by the people to the developmental agenda of the state government and their disenchantment towards the obsolete Maoist ideology, the top police officer said.

Security forces got a big success in Bihar, four Naxalites killed in encounter

Jul 10 2020 11:10 AM

News Track
Western Champaran: Four Naxalites have collapsed in an encounter between STF and SSB jawans and Naxalites in the forest of Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Harnatand, Bagaha in West Champaran district of Bihar. After receiving information, Police personnel from multiple police stations reached the spot after the incident. With the joint action of STF and SSB, the police personnel achieved a successful encounter.

After few hours, this morning, the police demolished the Naxalites' plan and stole four Naxalites. At the same time, two SSB jawans got injured in the incident. They were admitted to the hospital immediately. The Place where Police encountered Naxalites,  area was surrounded by dense forest and was truly inaccessible by civilians. The Naxalites use to stay there for now. The combing operations were being carried out by the personnel of STF and SSB for two days, after which the police team got success today. There are also reports of three indenture of Naxalites.

Naxalites strangled two people to death in Munger district. A former Naxalite is also among those who died. Murder of former Naxalite Brijlal Tudu The murder of Arun Roy, a resident of Jatari village, is reported to be near Baghel in Haveli Kharagpur block

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Odisha: Maoists killed in Kandhamal encounter carried Rs 34 lakh reward

Debabrata Mohapatra | TNN | Jul 9, 2020, 10:27 IST
Security personnel at encounter site in Kandhamal



 police said the five suspected Maoists, who were gunned down in Kandhamal district following an exchange of fire on July 5, together carried 

Rs 34 lakh reward

 on their heads. This is the first time that rebels carrying this kind of high reward were killed in a single day in the state.

There have been instances of deaths of more than five Maoists on a single day in the past. But, deaths of the Maoists carrying Rs 34 lakh reward on a single day is so far the highest. Some years ago, a few Maoists carrying rewards of Rs 25 lakh were killed on Angul-Deogarh border,” a senior police officer said.

Among the Kandhamal deceased, Sukru @ Kosa Sodhi was a state committee member of outlawed CPI (Maoist) carrying Rs 20 lakh reward. A divisional committee member carried Rs 5 lakh reward, two area commander members Rs 4 lakh each and a party member carrying Rs 1 lakh reward on his head.

Notably, the Rs 34 lakh reward will be given to the Kandhamal police following the deaths of the five suspected Maoists. The reward money would have gone to the suspected Maoists had they surrendered before the police. DGP Abhay earlier appealed to the Maoists to surrender and take advantage of the surrender and rehabilitation policy of the government.

This action by the security forces deep inside the jungle of Kandhamal will give a boost to developmental projects of the state government akin to the developments in Swabhiman Anchal of Malkangiri district,” the police officer said.

Notably, the incumbent Kandhamal SP Prateek Singh, who received accolades from the chief minister Naveen Patnaik over phone on Tuesday, had led a similar anti-Maoist operation in Kandhamal on May 13, 2018. At least five Maoists were gunned down in Sudukumpa forest in Kandhamal on that day. Naveen had then announced Rs 10 lakh reward for the Kandhamal police for the successful operation.

At least six Maoists have so far been killed in Odisha this year. Before the five deaths in Kandhamal, the police had neutralized a suspected Maoist in Swabhiman Anchal in Malkangiri district in January this year. Casualties of suspected Maoists stood at 19 in 2018 and 8 in 2019.

COVID-19 fears, illness woes force Maoists to lie low

Except for sighting of a few Maoist cadres in some of the interior parts of the AOB, there has not been a single exchange of fire since JanuaryExcept for sighting of a few Maoist cadres in some of the interior parts of the AOB, there has not been a single exchange of fire since January | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK
Sumit Bhattacharjee 09 JULY 2020 22:20 IST
UPDATED: 09 JULY 2020 22:20 IST

No major activity in Visakhapatnam Agency area in last six months

There was no major Maoist activity, but for a surrender, in the last six months in the Visakhapatnam Agency area. The situation was similar even in the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB) region. Except for sighting of a few Maoist cadres in some of the interior parts of the AOB, there has not been a single exchange of fire since January, which is considered to be unusual by many of the police officers engaged in the anti-Maoist operations.

Besides the fear of COVID-19, serious illness to some of the top cadres have an impact on the left wing extremists and made them to lie low, say informed sources.

Unlike other diseases, the awareness of COVID-19 has spread far and wide in the Agency area and tribals have become very cautious. Besides enforcing voluntary lockdown, they are not allowing outsiders, including Maoists, into their villages.

The Maoists, who used to depend on the villagers for logistic support and food supply, now move to the Odisha side, which probably is one of the reasons for spurt in Naxal activity in that State. It is also learnt that top leaders such as Akkiraju Haragopal alias Ramakrishna alias RK and Kakuri Pandana alias Jagan have taken ill.

Maoist teams enter Manugur forests, massive search operations underway

A senior police officer said the district police had received intelligence inputs that three Maoist action teams had entered Bhadradri Kothagudem district from neighbouring Chhattisgarh

By Author  |  Published: 9th Jul 2020  7:59 pm

Kothagudem: Massive search operations were underway in the forests of Manugur agency area and its surroundings in the district following reported movements of ultras of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) Party.

A senior police officer said the district police had received intelligence inputs that three Maoist action teams had entered Bhadradri Kothagudem district from neighbouring Chhattisgarh. Nearly 400 policemen including 20 special party police and greyhounds teams were engaged in combing operations in the forests searching for the naxals and high alert has been sounded in Manugur agency area. Top police officials were monitoring the situation guiding the forces.

Meanwhile, tension prevailed in the agency areas with tribals living in the forests in the grip of fear. Maoists were trying to establish ground in the agency areas in Kothagudem district with the pressure from Chhattisgarh police increasing, sources said.

According to the senior officials, the Maoist Telangana state committee wanted its cadre to shift to Telangana and hence sent action teams to prepare the ground in Kothagudem district.

25 naxals surrender to police in Dantewada

As many as 25 ultras of the CPI (Maoist) Party have surrendered to police at Kuakonda police station in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on Thursday. They joined mainstream life in the presence of Superintendent of Police (SP) Abhishek Pallav, CRPF DIG, DN Lal and District Collector Dipak Soni under ‘Lon varratu’ (return to your village) initiative launched by the police.

Of the 25 surrendered naxals three were carrying cash reward on their heads. They were all part of  Katekalyan Area and Malangir Area Committees under Darbha division and were vexed up with naxalite ideology, the SP, Pallav said.

Notorious Maoist of Asim Mandal squad nabbed

Police officials informed that four cases of Naxal violence have been registered against him at different police stations.

On Thursday, Additional Superintendent of Police Gulshan Tirkey presented the Maoist in front of the media. He has been accused of carrying Naxal activities in Galudih, Patmada and MGM police station area. The police had earlier on Tuesday arrested Maoist Subhash Munda and on the basis of clues provided by him police managed to nab Birhor. After arrest, Patmada DSP Vijay Mahato and other officers grilled him at MGM police station.

According to police sources, he used to paste Maoists posters in the Naxal infested areas and was also responsible for arranging food items for fellow squad members.

Newly appointed Kolhan DIG Rajiv Ranjan had held a meeting to curb Maoist activities in the area. He gave clear instructions to police officers to take immediate steps against Maoist activities. On Tuesday, police arrested Subhash Munda, a member of the Most Wanted Naxalite Asim Mandal Squad who carried a reward of one lakh rupees.

Meanwhile, the police and paramilitary forces have started frisking commuters in the bordering areas. At some places common people are also being interrogated by police and paramilitary forces on suspicion. Forces have been deployed in strategic locations.

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

Police sources have informed that on the basis of the leads provided by the arrested naxalite joint team of police and paramilitary forces are raiding at different places to nab other Maoists too. Sources informed that the ultras belonging to the banned outfit CPI (Maoist) have been active in the areas like Dumaria, Musaboni, Chakulia, Bahragora and Ghatshila.

Naxalite, who joined rebels when he was 8, arrested

Piun Birhore has four cases against him, police believe he has links with top leaders
Arrested Naxal Piun Birhore at MGM police station in Jamshedpur on Thursday
Animesh Sengupta
Kumud Jenamani

A 19-year-old Naxalate was arrested from a village barely 12km from the steel city with police describing him as “hardcore” for his close ties with a “squadron leader” who had recruited him in the CPI(Maoist) when he was eight.

The Naxalite, Piun Birohore, is wanted for four cases against him for attacks on police teams and detonating EIDs between 2015 and 2018.

 A resident of Ghatshila sub-division, Piun was arrested from his maternal uncle's house where he had been staying for a fortnight apparently to help him during the paddy sowing season after having deposited his rifle with, and obtained “leave” from, Sampara area squad leader Ashim Mondal.

Additional SP (Naxal Operation) Gulshan Tirkey said the Piun was staying in a thatched house belonging to this uncle at Chhotabanki village.

"We acted on an intelligence input. We could not recover any firearms.  But Piun is a big catch. We are interrogating him to get information about Ashim Mondal and other active Naxalites active on the Jharkhand-Bengal border," Tirkey told The Telegraph Online.

The additional SP said Piun was recruited by Ghatshila squadron leader Madan Mahato in 2009 when he was just eight-year-old.

"Mahto trained him in the use of arms when he was 13. After he gained proficiency in the use of AK-47s and other sophisticated firearms, Mahto inducted him into the squad," the senior police officer said.

Police sources said Piun was valuable as he had information on the whereabouts and activities of both Madan Mahto and Ashim Mondal, and also a very senior woman Naxalite by the name of Bela.

“Beladi used to hide in East Singhbhum during anti-insurgency operations. We will try our best to get more information on her, too,” Tirkey said

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Chhattisgarh: Villagers chase Maoists, rescue cop’s parents

Rashmi Drolia | TNN | Updated: Jul 8, 2020, 12:06 IST

RAIPUR: Within a week of murdering a policeman and the kin of a cop, Maoists abducted the parents of a newly recruited police constable from a village in Dantewada on Monday night. But villagers went after them into the forest, and rescued them from the clutches of the rebels 24 hours later.

Lachchu Telam, 64, and his wife Vijjo, 62, had been kidnapped from their home in 

Gumiyapal village

, about 50km from Dantewada, by a band of Maoists who beat up their daughter when she tried to save them. The couple's son, Ajay Telam, recently joined the District Reserve Guards, which is on the forefront of the jungle combat against Maoists.

Outraged, about 150 villagers entered the forest on Tuesday to negotiate with the Maoists for their release. Dantewada SP Abhishek Pallava said that the villagers walked through rough hilly terrain for 15km and found the constable's mother, who had been left by the Maoists in the middle of the jungle, apparently because she was slowing them up.

She showed the villagers which way the rebels had taken her husband into the forest of Badepalli in neighbouring Bijapur district. Villagers marched on until they reached the rebels' lair deep in the jungle.

It turned out that the couple had been kidnapped by dreaded Maoist Kamlesh, an area committee member, said the SP. There were two other wanted Maoists -- Deva, Darbha division commander, and Vinod, divisional committee member. All thee carry a combined bounty of Rs 23 lakh, the SP said.

"This is a unique case where villagers managed to argue with the Maoist fiercely at a jan adalat to release someone branded a police informer. They argued that the elderly parents do not use mobile phones, nor do they know how to access it. They have no means to contact police," said the SP.

The Maoists checked the constable's sister's phone that they had snatched from her and found no evidence about calls to police, Pallava added. The rebels released the couple on villagers' persuasion around 5pm and they reached Dantewada at 8.30pm. Maoists were pressuring the family to persuade Ajay to quit the force, and abducted the elderly couple when they resisted, say police. Ajay is staying with his unit in Dantewada town and his village, Gumiyapal, is about 50km away.

Pallava said that Maoists are infuriated and desperate after losing control over villages like Gumiyapal and Hiroli that they dominated for years through force. The rebels' grip has weakened because at least 30 local youths have been recruited in DRG over the past year and local boys are smart enough to resist Maoist diktats and lead other villagers, said the SP.

"Now, these DRG boys are on the hit-list of Maoists, who have been pressurizing their families to get them to quit the force and return to the village. But the Maoists will kill them when they return. Police have asked their families to shift to the unit's camp in Dantewada town, but the elderly people are attached to their land and refuse to leave their village homes," Pallava said.

Maoists have adopted a new tactic of attacking families of policemen to strike terror, police say.

On the night of July 1, a policeman on medical leave was riddled with arrows and hacked to death at his home in Bijapur district. His parents were critically injured by the rebels. Just hours before this, an NMDC worker - whose brother recently joined DRG -- was axed to death at a so-called 'jan adalat

Another Maoist killed in gunfight with forces in Odisha

A Maoist was gunned down in an exchange of fire with security forces at Sirla forest within Tumudibandha police limits, two days after four of them were killed in an encounter in the same area. Kandhamal SP Prateek Singh said acting on information that Maoists had regrouped in the area, a search operation was launched by jawans of Special Operations Group and District Volunteer Force on Monday evening. During the operation, around 10-15 Maoists, with the intention to avenge the deaths of their comrades, opened fire at the security forces.

The security personnel retaliated and in the exchange of fire, a Maoist was killed while the rest managed to escape in the cover of darkness. The body of the slain Naxal, a member of BGN Division, was retrieved by the personnel after the encounter. Besides, two country made weapons, Maoist uniform, a kit bag and literature were recovered from the spot. Search operation is going on to flush out the Maoists from the area, Singh said. Meanwhile, of the four Maoists killed in the encounter on Sunday, three have been identified

Chhattisgarh villagers rescue cop's parents from Maoist captivity

By Ejaz Kaiser| Express News Service | Published: 08th July 2020 02:49 PM
Image used for representational purpose only.

RAIPUR: In a rare gesture, the inhabitants of a tribal village got united against the Maoists and got the kidnapped parents of a security personnel released within 24 hours of their abduction by pressuring the rebels in the strife-torn Dantewada.

The Maoists apparently yielded to the demands of tribal villagers and freed the elderly couple after realizing the inherent power of local masses in the conflict-ridden Bastar.

A Jawan named Ajay Telam, deployed with the District Reserve Guards (DRG) in Dantewada, had irked the rebels owing to his pro-active role in motivating the return of the Maoist cadres to the mainstream under the ongoing ‘Lon Varatu’ (Back to Home) campaign.

The DRG personnel, around 250 in Dantewada, are flag bearers of the campaign. Recently, they had played a key role in securing the surrender of several Maoist cadres carrying rewards on their heads.

Ajay’s parents — father Lachhu Telam and mother Vijjo - were abducted and taken to remote forested terrain near Gumiyapal village.

The tribals of Gumiyapal, expressing resentment over the incident, decided to get united against the Maoists to free the elderly couple.

It’s a rare sign of unity. The first time, we saw an entire village standing firm against the rebels’ intention. They walked together 15 km up to Bade Pali to put forth their views with the rebels and ensure the couple's release”, said Abishek Pallava, Dantewada SP.

The abduction could also have been planned to get the Jawan eliminated if he comes into the jungle to free his parents. “We counselled him not to venture into the forest owing to a risk to his life”, the SP added.

The kidnapping of jawans' kin is the fourth such incident in Dantewada this year. The Maoists are doing this in a bid to force the family members to call the DRG men back into the villages.

In the last three incidents, the relatives of DRG jawan were killed by the Maoists”, said Pallava

Anti-Maoist operations to pave way for development in Odisha's Kandhamal

Express News Service | Published: 09th July 2020 07:36 AM
For representational purposes ( Photo | AFP)

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Police’s operation against left-wing extremism (LWE) in Kandhamal district has not just dealt a body blow to CPI (Maoist), it also has made a push or development work in the remote pockets of the district.

In back-to-back operations on Sunday and Monday, the security forces gunned down at least five Maoist leaders. The operation has weakened the Bansadhara- Ghumsur-Nagabali division of CPI (Maoist).

The loss of key leaders, police sources say, will deflate Maoist activities on the ground and provide momentum to development initiatives of the State Government, similar to Swabhiman Anchal of Malkangiri district.

Road connectivity, electricity supply and rural infrastructure work can now be expedited in Kandhamal. 

Besides, restricting Maoist influence from 21 districts in Odisha to 10 districts will also help the developmental agenda of the State Government to be pushed further.

“People will be able to integrate with the mainstream socio-economic and development activities of the Government and show their disenchantment towards the obsolete Maoist ideology,” said an officer.

The Malkangiri example, State Police sources say, is there for all to see.

People living in the erstwhile cut-off area realised that LWE was obstructing development works carried out by the Government and it was evident after locals of Janturai village confronted a Maoist in January, said the police officer. 

Meanwhile, the five Maoists who were killed in police encounter carried a combined reward of over Rs 30 lakh on their heads.

The exchange of fire between security forces and Maoists occurred at Tumudibandha reserve forest of Kandhamal where State committee member of the outlawed outfit Kosa Sodhi (carrying Rs 20 lakh on his head) was killed. 

A divisional committee member carrying a reward of Rs 5 lakh, area committee member with a reward of Rs 4 lakh and a party member with a reward of Rs 1 lakh were killed by security forces in a single operation on Sunday.

On Monday, another Maoist was gunned down. Basing on Special Intelligence Wing inputs, a joint team of SOG and DVF led by Kandhamal SP launched the operation in Tumudibandha reserve forest area on Saturday

Naxal couple surrenders in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada

Dantewada (Chhattisgarh) [India], July 9 (ANI): A Naxal couple surrendered before Dantewada Superintendent of Police (SP) Abhishek Pallav on Wednesday.

They were part of several incidents including an attack on police near NMDC plant in which six jawans were killed.

Pallav said that the couple used to work for the naxal group by providing them local information.

He also informed that 28 naxals have surrendered so far after they launched a campaign few days back. (ANI)

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Maoists preponed tactical counter-offensive campaign in Chhattisgarh

The officials believe that rebels have also managed to recruit new cadres in Sukma, Bijapur, Dantewada, and Narayanpur districts.

Updated: Jul 07, 2020 11:51 IST

By Ritesh Mishra, Hindustan Times Raipur

Usually TCOC was be carried out between March and June allowing rebels easier move in dense jungles of Central India during peak summer
Usually, TCOC was be carried out between March and June, allowing rebels easier move in dense jungles of Central India during peak summer. (HT photo)

The outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) has made a key strategic change and advanced its annual tactical counter-offensive campaign (TCOC), where rebels carry out maximum attacks against security forces, to two phases this year – January to March and April to June – officials said.

Usually, TCOC was be carried out between March and June, allowing rebels easier move in dense jungles of Central India during peak summer.

However, an alarming trend has come to light amid the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, where ultras managed to freshly recruit 50 cadres in eastern Bastar, a Maoists’ letter seized by the security forces revealed, said a police official posted in the region.

The officials believe that rebels have also managed to recruit new cadres in Sukma, Bijapur, Dantewada, and Narayanpur districts.

The seized letter is written by Maoist leader of Maad division of Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee, Sukhlal, and addressed to the banned party’s leader Nagesh, who goes by his first name.

The letter stated that TCOC would start in January this year, as a marked departure in a bid to take security forces by surprise.

Sukhlal claimed that half a dozen ambushes and attacks were carried out in the Maad division in Narayanpur district and also fresh recruitment of 50 cadres since TCOC had started in January.

TCOC is an arm of the Maoists, which reports to the party’s Central Military Commission (CMC), whose chief is responsible for making an annual strategy for the counter-offensive operations against security forces that are aimed at destablising the government by an aggressive armed rebellion.

A fresh recruitment drive for cadres is also carried out during this period. Typically, the new recruits are deployed in areas, where the rebels are planning fresh strikes against security forces.

TCOC helps Maoists to regroup and startle security forces with a pulverising attack out of the blue. Though the campaign had started in January, the Minpa attack on March 23 was its culmination, when 17 jawans were killed in a daring attack in Sukma district. This is for the first time that TCOC has been advanced to January and held in two phases,” said the official quoted above.

Data showed that 26 security personnel were killed and bodies of 20 rebels were recovered in Chhattisgarh between January 1 and June 30.

Most of the strikes were carried out in the Left Wing Extremist (LWE)-hit areas such as the tribal-dominated Bastar division and districts that come under the newly formed Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh (MMC) region.

In 2019 and 2018, 12 security jawans and another 35 lost their lives in anti-Naxal operations, respectively.

The Minpa attack, where 17 jawans were killed on March 23, is the worst-attack on security forces over the past two years. Altogether, 21 jawans were killed between January and March,” said an Indian Police Service (IPS) official posted in Chhattisgarh.

The official expressed concern about the fresh recruitment drive in eastern Bastar.

This is a worrying trend. Over 300 cadres have been recruited in the Bastar division between March and June, despite the pandemic. The Maoists’ toll of 20 between January and June is the lowest in the 10 years,” he said.

DM Awasthi, director-general of police (DGP), Chhattisgarh, said, “The pattern for conducting TCOC has been constantly changing over the past few years. In the last couple of years, TCOC was held for four months after June and ended in December. It was started in January this year, as they have become more flexible. However, we were prepared because we had prior information of an early start.”

Shubhranshu Chaudhary, a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) journalist-turned-peace activist in Maoist-infested areas in central India, weighed in on the TCOC’s early start in January

“If TCOC had started in January, it also suggests an ‘over militarisation’ in the party’s ranks since the new leadership assumed charge. Now, the party is filled with people, who are adept at Guerrilla warfare since Nambala Keshav Rao, alias Basavaraju, took charge as the new general secretary. There has been a sea-change in their combat strategies,” he said.

I feed a surrendered Naxal mutton, liquor, track his woman. Dantewada is not Delhi

In 'The Death Script’, Ashutosh Bharadwaj writes about the dreams and delusions of the Naxalbari movement in India.

Naxals blew up the convoy in which BJP's then-Dantewada MLA Bhima Mandavi was travelling | Photo: ANI | Twitter

What I’m going to tell you now, I have never shared with any outsider. It is not even recorded in the confidential files of my department.

Yes, I ensure the surrenders of innumerable Maoists in Bastar. I also recruit surrendered Maoists as auxiliary constables in the police force. I deploy some of them as gopaniya sainiks, some others I take with me to the jungle for operations. It is mandatory to record the surrenders on official files immediately and inform the Raipur police headquarters, which then submits a report to the Union home ministry in Delhi. But I do not follow either of these directives. In fact, I cannot.

Those who claim that I violate laws do not comprehend the law. Dantewada is not Delhi, nor is its policing the same. The Code of Criminal Procedure mandates that a person must be produced before a magistrate within twenty-four hours of the arrest. This is impossible in Bastar. Say my boys have gone for an operation towards Gompad or Kutul. If they catch anyone, it may take up to forty-eight hours to bring him to me, to the city. If I pick up somebody, will I first interrogate him, prise all the secrets out of him, or produce him before a goddamn magistrate?

If Ganapathy, the top boss of the Maoists, or Bhupathi, their politburo member, are caught, should I dutifully take them to a court, or keep them at a safe house for months and extract their entire history? Even if a divisional committee member is detained, I will not let anybody get wind of it, will grill him for weeks, and only when he has been completely drained, fit to be discarded, will I produce him before the media and the courts.
I follow a similar tactic with surrendered Naxals. How can I officially declare a surrender on the day the outlaw arrives at my door? I will keep him for weeks, months, squeeze all the juice out of him, and disclose him only after he is empty.

I am also aware that all those registered as surrendered Naxals on government papers are not Naxals. Many of them are villagers and Sangham members – ground-level, unarmed supporters. But who’s complaining? Do I kill anybody? Lock them up in a police station?

I merely bring some tribals from villages, declare them as surrendered Naxals, get their photographs clicked by the media, and return them with 2,000 rupees and a bottle of country liquor, thereby creating the possibility that they may feel obliged to me and rat out the Naxals, or that the insurgents will begin doubting them for visiting the police and bringing home money and a bottle in lieu of surrenders that were never there. I thus try to create friction between the villagers and the Naxals.

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War is not fought on the battlefield. It takes place on the chessboard of your mind. If I have my way, I can eliminate every single Naxal from Bastar.

Some wise people concede me the right to script my tale, but wonder why I deploy the surrendered cadres in my force and send them for operations. What if a Naxal had surrendered only to deceive me, and he suddenly turned around in the middle of an operation in the jungle? My entire party would be gone in a second. Several surrendered Naxals have escaped with AK-47 rifles belonging to the police. Police barracks narrate stories of Naxal ambushes that annihilated my forces, ambushes in which surrendered Naxals who had accompanied the police for an operation suddenly switched sides in the jungle.

I admit the risk, but I have no other option. I will have to recruit surrendered Naxals. I am aware that the rehabilitation policy for surrendered cadres invalidates my acts, that it is indeed evil to hand over weapons to a surrendered Naxal and dispatch him to the forest with my encounter team, that I should give him training for jobs like that of a telephone mechanic, a carpenter or an electrician, that I should never keep him in the police barracks but ensure him a home and a livelihood instead. I am aware that the Naxals kill only those surrendered cadres who join the police. They never harm the ones who return to their villages or begin farming after their surrender.

But perhaps you are not aware that life is awfully cheap in Bastar. It is not guaranteed by a government document called the Constitution, but hinges on the bullet from a rifle. If it touches the right spot, a single bullet will swiftly make a corpse out of a man. A bullet is never cruel or unjust. The finger that presses the trigger of a rifle is erroneously taken to be merciless. In fact, it is merely exorcizing its fears. When a soldier caught in the jungle at night frenetically swirls around his rifle, releasing ten bullets per second and turning eight-, fourteen-, fifteen- and twenty- two-year-olds into corpses, he is merely foreclosing the possibility of becoming a corpse himself. A murder is recorded the moment he pierces the chest of a corpse with a knife and wipes the red beads gleaming on its edge with the dead body’s clothes.

The difference between the dead and the living is a matter of chance in Bastar. In Bastar the hunt is for the dead, not for the living. My police force does not do it often, this corpse-hunting. But that’s a different tale. For later.

A surrendered Naxal knows all the paths and secrets of the forest, the hideouts of Maoist commanders, the many ways to corner them. His worth as a soldier in the battle against Naxals is inestimable. Yes, it endangers his life, but my life also hinges on his continued loyalty in the jungle. A life in the jungle rests on the palm of a hand. He moved in the jungle for years with the looming threat of police attacks, where he could be killed at any time. He faces lesser danger with me than he did as a Naxal. I will ensure good medical care if he is injured by a bullet from his former comrades, and monetary compensation to his woman in the event of his death.

I have to take risks – for the liberation of Bastar, for the Indian Constitution. But they are well calculated. I never send him to operations immediately after his surrender. I keep him under observation for months: where he goes, who he meets, what he eats. I feed him chicken and mutton, and ply him with liberal doses of liquor so that his senses, hardened by years in the jungle, loosen up. I give him a mobile phone and keep his number on surveillance. I deploy him on the front line, my rifle pointed at his back, a fact he is not unaware of. He is also aware that his woman remains under police watch (she is always under my watch anyway) until he returns from the operation. We suspect each other, and this mutual distrust underwrites our lives.


This excerpt from The Death Script: Dreams and Delusions in Naxal Country has been published with special permission from Harper Collins