Saturday, July 25, 2020

Bandh called by Maoists in Telangana incident-free: Police

Hyderabad, July 25 (PTI): The bandh, called by Maoists in Telangana on Saturday to reportedly seek the release of poet Varavara Rao and others from jail, was incident-free, a police official said. Maoists have also sought withdrawal of Greyhounds, an elite commando force of the state police, from the forest areas, he said. "No impact. No incidents so far," the official added. The bandh was to reportedly demand the release of Rao, accused in the Elgar Parishad case, and the others. Rao (80), undergoing treatment for COVID-19 in Mumbai since July 16, has been behind bars for about 22 months. He has approached the special NIA (National Investigation Agency) court seeking bail on medical grounds. On the night of July 21, Maoists set fire to road- laying machines in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district of Telangana. Last week, Maoists, including five members led by Bhaskar of CPI (Maoist), had escaped after an exchange of fire with police in the forest areas of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district and Bhadradri-Kothagudem district. Police have since intensified combing operations in the areas. The Elgar Parishad case is related to inflammatory speeches delivered at a conclave allegedly backed by Maoists. The conclave was held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which, the police claimed, triggered violence. PTI SJR NVG NVG

Two Maoist sympathisers held in Kothagudem

The police have recovered naxals wall posters from the possession of Somaiah.

By Author  |  Published: 25th Jul 2020  6:04 pm
Two Maoist sympathisers held in Kothagudem

Manugur (Kothagudem): The police have arrested two Maoist sympathizers under the limits of Manugur police sub-division in the district on Saturday.

Manugur Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) P Shabarish speaking to the press here informed that a team of police officials and personnel while inspecting vehicles at Bugga cross roads spotted a person moving suspiciously. He was taken into custody and questioned.

During questioning he revealed his identity as Paddam Somaiah resident of Budugula village in Manugur mandal. He was a native of Gonge village of Sukma district in Chhattisgarh state. He confessed to the police he was a sympathiser of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) Party.

He was serving as local Maoist party member and used to provide the Maoists shelter and essential commodities. The police have recovered naxals wall posters from the possession of Somaiah.

Similarly, another naxal sympathiser identified as Chimala Ravi alias Bhima of Pittatogu in Pinapaka mandal was arrested under the limits of Edulla Bayyaram police station in the district.

The ASP Shabarish further informed that the police have identified all the naxal sympathisers and the Maoist party members in Manugur sub-division. Stringent action would be taken against such persons, he warned.

Following the recent exchange of fire at Mallepallitogu in Manugur forests the Maoists were threatening the innocent Gothikoya tribals and snatching away rice and money from them as they were not able to extort money now from contractors.

The Maoists were even taking away utensils used to feed the pet dogs of the tribals, he noted adding that steps were being taken to prevent Maoists activities in the agency villages. Inspectors of Police of Edulla Bayyaram and Manugur Domala Ramesh and MA Shukur were present

`Naxals'' from Jharkhand were trying to incite tribals: Guj ATS

Ahmedabad, Jul 25 (PTI) Three alleged naxals from Jharkhand arrested in Gujarat were trying to instigate tribals in Tapi and Mahisagar districts to resort to violence against the government, a police official claimed on Saturday.

Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrested Saamu Oreya, Birsa Oreya and Babita Kachhap on Friday.

The three were associated with Pathalgadi movement of tribals in Jharkhand, claimed ATS deputy Superintendent of Police B H Chavda.

"We verified these facts and also the information from sources that they were inciting members of the Satipati sect in the tribal regions of these two districts of Gujarat to act against the state government by calling for a bandh (general strike)," he said.

"We carried out technical surveillance and found this to be true," said Chavda.

The three were associated with the Pathalgadi movement started by tribals in Jharkhand in 2016, and were trying to make Satipati sect followers to join the movement, he alleged.

Booklets from the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) were recovered from their possession and probe was underway to check if more people were working in other tribal-dominated districts of Gujarat, Chavda said.

"They are basically from Jharkhand. They have 7-8 FIRs registered against them at various police stations in Jharkhand. They were visiting Tapi and Mahisagar districts for the last six months and inciting Satipati followers to resort to violance," he said.

The ATS has arrested the trio under IPC sections 121 (A) (waging war against government) and 124 (A) (sedition).

Pathalgadi movement which began in Maoist-affected areas of Jharkhand in 2016 was marked by erection of huge stone plaques outside villages and locals barring the entry of ousiders including government officials, declaring `self- rule''. PTI KA PD KRK KRK

Gujarat ATS nabs three alleged naxalites

TNN | Updated: Jul 25, 2020, 07:12 IST
Representative image


Gujarat ATS

 late on Friday nabbed three alleged naxalites including a woman from Vyara and Dahod. In-charge SSP, ATS, Deepan Bhadran said that among the arrested are Samu Oraya, his brother Birsa Oraya and the woman Badiya Katachap.

They were part of the Pathalgadi struggle in 2016 in Jharkhand. Katachap was arrested from near Mahisagar in Dahod. Sources confirmed that the naxalites disguised as locals had been staying in Vyara and Dahod for about four months . ATS sources said they had been working in local factories and had changed their identities. ATS officials said they were inciting the tribals against the government.

ATS said that though no weapons have been found from them, literature teaching violent ways to overthrow the elected government was found.

Bhadran said as the accused were preaching naxalism they have been booked for planning to overthrow a government under Sections 121 A, 124 A, 153 A and 120 B of IPC.

We have seized laptops and mobile phones from them and analyzing the data. We suspect more of their associates are hiding in Gujarat,” said Bhadran.

Bhadran added the trio are wanted in Jharkhand for serious offences like murder and kidnapping

Friday, July 24, 2020

Mamata Banerjee inducts former Maoist leader Chhatradhar Mahato into the Trinamool State Committee

Chhatradhar Mahato (left) filing his nomination as an independent candidate for Jhargram Assembly seat in West Midnapore in 2011.Chhatradhar Mahato (left) filing his nomination as an independent candidate for Jhargram Assembly seat in West Midnapore in 2011.
Suhrid Sankar Chattopadhyay24 JULY 2020 07:20 IST
UPDATED: 24 JULY 2020 13:19 IST

In a major development that has raised eyebrows in political circles, former Maoist leader Chhatradhar Mahato, who had been in prison for the last 10 years, was inducted into the State Committee of the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal on July 23. The move was part of a major organisational reshuffle aimed at revamping the party machinery to take on an ascendant Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Assembly elections in the State, which is less than 10 months away.

Chhatradhar Mahato, who was the convener of the Maoist-backed Peoples Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA), was arrested on September 25, 2009, by police officers disguised as journalists at Lalgarh in West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district at the height of the Maoist movement in the State. He was charged under several sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967, for his links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Mahato, who used to organise violent rallies against the then ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front, was the most visible public face of the Maoist movement in the State. He came into prominence after a failed assassination attempt on the then Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee near the forested Lalgarh area in November 2008. Mahato organised violent protests against arrests made in the region in connection with the crime. It is believed that the prolonged agitation helped the Maoists swiftly take control of the Jangalmahal (the contiguous forested area of the three districts of Paschim Medinipur, Bankura and Purulia). Under the PCPA’s leadership, the tribal people in the area refused to allow the police into the region.

The PCPA’s agitation kickstarted one of the most violent and bloody periods in West Bengal’s recent history that lasted more than two years. According to Snigdhendu Bhattacharya, author of Lalgarh and the Legend of Kishanji: Tales from India’s Maoist Movement, out of the 391 civilians killed by Maoists in India in 2009, 134 were killed in the Jangalmahal alone. In 2010, out of the total 478 people killed, 180 were from Bengal. “As of 2016, 36 people remained missing from the region,” said Snigdhendu Bhattacharya. Most of the people killed were workers or supporters of the Left Front. There was a clear effort on the part of the Maoists to create a political vacuum in the region.

Interestingly, Mamata Banerjee, who was then the opposition leader, had shared a dais with Chhatradhar Mahato in early 2009. However, later she distanced herself from Mahato and the PCPA, leading to a souring of relations between the two. Even after Mamata Banerjee came to power in the state in 2011, Mahato remained in prison. It was only in February this year that he was released.

After his elevation in the party, Mahato said: “I have been with the Trinamool right from the party’s inception. In between, I had given leadership to a mass movement. Subsequently, when the party came to power, it was my dream to help the people under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee. My dream today is fulfilled….”

Political observers see this development as a desperate move by Mamata Banerjee to win back the support of the people of the Jangalmahal. Corruption at the grassroots level and highhandedness of the local Trinamool leadership have alienated the local people, who have switched their allegiance to the BJP. Mahato’s choice of words after being elevated in the Trinamool was also quite significant: “I will try and redeem the lost glory of the party.”

Joyprakash Majumdar, vice president of the West Bengal unit of the BJP, told Frontline: “Trinamool has no support in Jangalmahal. This is an attempt to reorganise the old members of the Maoist movement so that they can target the BJP. Chhatradhar Mahato has lost touch with the people and the politics of the region. This is a very dangerous move. When popular support cannot be won back, Mamata Banerjee is looking for support from the erstwhile Maoists. It is a clear case of quid pro quo between the Maoists and Mamata Banerjee.”

According to CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty, those accused of establishing a reign of terror in Jangalmahal are being rewarded by the present State government. “Those instrumental in bringing Mamata Banerjee to power through a path of blood have been rewarded. With this move, she has proved that it was with the purpose of bringing her to power that so many murders took place in the Jangalmahal,” Chakraborty told Frontline.

Another surprise new entrant in the 21-member State committee of the Trinamool is Ritabrata Banerjee, former Rajya Sabha member of the CPI(M). He was the general secretary of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and was expelled by the party in 2017 because of alleged unethical behaviour.

With the elections looming round the corner and allegations of corruption and faction feuds increasingly weighing the ruling party down, Mamata Banerjee has made some major changes in the party structure, giving greater responsibility to younger leaders and overhauling the leadership in several districts. Mahua Moitra, the articulate and dynamic Lok Sabha MP, has been made party president of the faction-ridden Nadia district and former cricketer Laxmi Ratan Shukla has been given charge of Howrah district.

Two Maoists killed in encounter with police in Odisha, woman among them

Between July 5 and 7, five Maoists were killed in two separate encounters with the police in Kandhamal district in Sirla forest of Tumudibandh block.

Updated: Jul 24, 2020 08:35 IST

By Debabrata Mohanty | Edited by: Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times Bhubaneswar

A fortnight after five Maoists, including a senior leader with Rs 20 lakh reward on his head, were killed in an encounter with Odisha Police, two more Maoists were killed in an exchange of fire with the anti-Maoist cops in Kandhamal district on Thursday evening.

Odisha Police chief Abhay said that a team of anti-Maoist police force of Special Operations Group (SOG) and the District Voluntary Force (DVF) were patrolling in Sirla reserve forest area of Kandhamal district when they came under fire. “The police forces fired in self-defence. After the exchange of fire ended, the SOG and DVF spotted two bodies - a male and a female. Both were in Naxal uniform. We also seized one INSAS rifle, one carbine, and two country-made firearms,” Abhay said. The DGP appealed the Maoists to surrender and get the benefits of Odisha Government’s Naxal rehabilitation policy.

The identity of the two deceased Maoists is yet to be ascertained.

Between July 5 and 7, five Maoists including two women were killed in two separate encounters with the police in Kandhamal district in Sirla forest of Tumudibandh block. One of those killed was Kosa Sodi alias Sukru, a member of Odisha State Committee of the CPI (Maoist) with a bounty of Rs 20 lakh on his head. The other two were identified as Itesh and Reena, both area committee members with reward of Rs 4 lakh each on their heads.

The Union home secretary, in a letter to Odisha chief secretary and DGP, had appreciated Odisha Police for its successful operation in Kandhamal district on July 5.

Open letter to a Maoist friend: Is it time to hang up your boots?

July 24, 2020, 7:22 AM IST  in From the heart of India | India | TOI

Dear Vasu

Heard your voice after a long time when you sent an oral press note opposing our Peace initiative. Same voice, same passion…

It was good to know that you are now an official spokesperson for the Maoist party.

I recall our first meeting, in a coffee house in Raipur Chhattisgarh, now more than 30 years ago when you told me that you do politics for people. Center of gravity of your politics is the good of the common people. People, only the good of people, you had told me with sparks in your eyes and I was impressed. Your party was then called People’s war.

But now your same politics is harming the same poor people more my friend, hope you agree.

“For a better future” you are regularly killing people after calling them “informers”. For example in one of your stronghold districts In Chhattisgarh called Bijapur according to official data your party has killed 294 people as “informers” in the last 14 years. The total number of people killed by your party in the same period is 602. I am told that these numbers are only the tip of the iceberg as many people from interior areas do not report to police about atrocities by the party at all. Don’t you feel bad destroying so many families?

Your party has also put out a press note saying police have killed 24 “innocent people” in the same period in that region.

In the last 40 years you have created thousands of commanders in Bastar but you don’t have a single local adivasi in your politbureau today. Some of your leaders justified it by saying that there is no reservation policy here. We tried but we could not make second rung political leaders. Politics is complex and these Adivasis do not understand it, they told me. They also told me that you came to Dandakaranya to hide and not to do politics. There was a clear instruction that Adivasis do not have political consciousness so you should only concentrate in making the forest a safe haven for the party. But you started doing politics here when places where revolution was to happen like in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal dried up for the party.

Leaders like you, who came from states like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana must be aging now. You have also created a good system for procuring arms and monetary resources but once you are gone will the same commanders not turn against each other as we see in places like Jharkhand and Afghanistan? Is this the legacy you want to leave behind?

You left your homes more than 40 years ago to build a better world. I get tired after spending a few weeks with you guys. We salute your commitment. But your politics has no future, my friend.

Your senior leaders had told me during those trips that you are fighting for a New Democratic Revolution. The conditions in India are not ripe for even socialism yet and the fight for communism may come after, they told me.

All of us want a better democracy. Outside the jungles we have been almost a failure so far but maybe we should join hands. It is much bigger a battle than running away after killing a few policemen.

It is impossible to have a revolution with guns today. Mao has also not said that a few hundred leaders with a few thousand supporters can bring any meaningful change and especially in a big country like India.

Like experiments in Bodo areas in North East may be it is time to talk for a Dandakaranya Autonomous Council. You have made people of Bastar a fighter. Please help them a bit more to make a better Bastar for their future generations before you leave

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.


Shubhranshu ChoudharyShubhranshu Choudhary
Shubhranshu is a former journalist with BBC. From last 15 years he is working on an experiment to create a model of democratic media in media dark zones in the forests of Central India. He has written a book called Let’s call him Vasu: With Maoists in Chhattisgarh. He is recipient of Google Digital Activism award and was named one of the 100 Leading Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine

Chattisgarh: Cops kill alleged senior Maoist, family claims he was only 15-years-old

Police say that on May 21, two senior Maoists were killed in Dantwada after an encounter. However, kin of one of them say that he was just 15-years-old.

Rishu Istam and Ramsingh Alami a.k.a Maata were killed on May 21, following an “encounter” near their village, Pidiyakot. (Representative image: PTI)

After two alleged Maoists were killed by security forces in Chattisgarh's Dantewada in May, family members of one of the killed have approached High Court saying that he was a minor, only 15 years of age. According to a report in The Indian Express, Rishu Istam and Ramsingh Alami aka Maata were killed near their village Pidiyakot on May 21 following an encounter. While police claim both were senior Maoists, kin of Istam say that he was just 15 years old. The Dantewada police says both were senior Maoists, facing several cases, with cash rewards of Rs 8 lakh and Rs 1 lakh in their name. According to them, while Istam was “deputy commandant” of Platoon No. 16, Maata was Pidiyakot Janmilitia “commandant”.

Istam’s elder brother Gopi denies the allegations, showing an Aadhaar card where Istam’s age is mentioned as 15. Sobbing, Istam’s mother Palo says that forget a gun, her son didn’t know how to use even a bow and arrow. “He rarely went out, and was busy with farming work and household chores all day,” Palo, 58 tells The Indian Express.

Pidiyakot village sarpanch Umaram Kawasi also contests the claim that Maata, 32, who was the village ‘Perma (tribal priest)’ and a father of three, was a Janmilitia member. “He was arrested long back, during the Salwa Judum movement, as a Naxal. However, they had to release him after two years as they had no evidence against him,” Kawasi says, adding that the police never came asking about the two in the run-up to the “encounter”.

Dantewada Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallav said they had recovered weapons as well as 5 kg IED from the two. He added that having not raised any questions for two months, the villagers were now protesting under Naxal pressure. “The family members and local representatives accepted at the time that both were Naxals. Their issue was that we could have arrested and not killed them. But our men came under fire, and in retaliation, both men were killed,” he told The Indian Express.

On claims that Istam was a minor, he said, “It is a Naxal strategy, to put a fake date of birth when making Aadhaar cards so that the cadres can get away by claiming to be minors.”

Sarpanch Kawasi says that on the day of the encounter, Istam, Maata and some other villagers were returning from Chote Tumnar, 40 km away, after collecting PDS rice, when they were apprehended by security personnel right next to Pidiyakot. One of the villagers who claims to have witnessed the arrest, Manki Berta, says the security forces had their faces covered and “carried plastic gunny bags, which had guns”.

Berta says Istam and Maata’s faces were covered with a cloth and they were led into the forest.

Maata’s wife Jilo Alami says she and two other women followed the men, staying hidden, and then heard the gunshots that went on for almost 15 minutes. “I knew my husband and Istam were dead,” she says, her eyes fixed on her youngest daughter, a toddler.

Gopi says the family’s lives had earlier been destroyed during the vigilante anti-Naxal Salwa Judum campaign. “Our house in Pidiyakot was razed. We lived in Kasuli camp for seven years, after which my parents and one of my sisters moved to Pidiyakot, while I, my family and Rishu stayed in Tarlapal,” he says, regretting having convinced Istam to move to Pidiyakot last year.

“Our aged parents couldn’t do farming any more. So, Rishu helped them,” Gopi, a paddy farmer, told The Indian Express.

According to the Dantewada police, they had got inputs regarding movement of Maoists in the area, and that during an operation, their men had come under heavy fire. SP Pallav said they had proof to show Istam and Maata were Maoist cadres. “There are several cases against them, their names are in statements of surrendered cadres.”

Asked about details of the cases against the two, the police said they could not share the same as the matter was subjudice.

Pallav added that a bone ossification test had put Istam’s age at around 18, and that he was likely to have been older. “In Bastar, due to malnutrition, bones are underdeveloped sometimes, so it is clear that he was at least 20-21 years old.”

Bastar IG P Sundarraj said, “This is propaganda by the Naxals to demoralise and defame security personnel. We have records that both men were part of Naxal dalams for six-seven years. Maata had been arrested earlier and was out on bail.”

Gopi says they are afraid of retaliation now over their decision to go to the high court. “Recently, some policemen came to my village and asked where I was. I am afraid.”

Peddapalli police officers visit kin of Maoist leaders in bid to get them to surrender

By Naveen Kumar Tallam| Express News Service | Published: 24th July 2020 08:21 AM
Police personnel hand over fruits to Maoist leader Raji Reddy’s mother Veeramma at Kistampet village in Peddapalli district on Thursday

PEDDAPALLI: With Khammam, Adilabad and Mulugu districts witnessing excessive Maoist activity of late, Peddapalli police are cautious. In fact, they are employing a new tactic to get Maoists to surrender.

They have been visiting the families of known Maoist leaders, and requesting them to release a statement asking their sons and daughters to quit the party.

Three days ago, Peddapalli DCP P Ravinder and his team visited Kistampet village to meet Maoist central committee member Kankanala Raji Reddy’s mother Veeramma.

They offered fruits to Veeramma and sought her help in getting Raji Reddy to return to the mainstream society.

On the request of the police, Veeramma, in a statement, said the family was suffering and that she wanted her son to return.

The DCP said that they were also planning to meet Mallojulla Venugopal Rao’s mother Madhuramma in Peddapalli town.

It may be recalled that Venugopal is the brother of Mallojulla Koteshwar Rao, who was killed in a police encounter in West Bengal in 2011.

According to police records, there are about 13 Maoist leaders, who have gone underground, in Peddapalli district

Maha: Exchange of fire between naxals, police in Gadchiroli

Mumbai, Jul 24 (PTI) There was an exchange of fire between ultras and police in Maharashtra''s Naxal-affected Gadchiroli district, an official said on Friday.

No casualties were reported in the incident that took place in Korchi area on Wednesday evening, he said.

Naxals who were camping in the forest opened fire at a police party patrolling the area, he said.

The exchange of fire continued for a while before the ultras escaped into the dense forest, the official said, adding that there were no casualties in the attack.

Meanwhile, naxals have put up posters along Maseli- Navargaon Road, urging people to observe "martyrs'' week" between July 28 and August 3 in memory of late Charu Majumdar, the founder of the outlawed naxal movement. PTI DC ARU ARU

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by Outlook Staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI

When I Met Naxal Poet Varvara Rao...

Varvara Rao.

Varvara Rao, who has been wearing the Naxal tag on his sleeve all his life, was being rebranded as a human rights activist.

What would you call a person, who claims that “parliamentary democracy is not good for India, and armed struggle like Naxalbari is the only way forward?”

What would you think of him if he justifies killings of innocent tribal by Maoists giving a reason that life of revolutionaries, that is Maoists, is more important than police informers?

Would you think if such a person is a defender of human rights or a Maoist sympathiser?

Ideally, there is no place for ambiguity when it comes to answering such questions.

However, a section of people in India go one step beyond and perceive such a person as a human rights activist. Is it attributed to the naivety or a motive? Well, that varies from person to person.

Surprised? You need not be. This is an era of perception warfare, where facts are twisted, evidence is excused and truth is sacrificed to manipulate perceptions.

Few years back, I met Varvara Rao for the first time at his residence in Hyderabad. An academic researcher, who had just stepped into the complex subject of left-wing extremism, I was trying to understand diverse views to form my own opinion on Maoism, and met him to find out the Maoist side of Maoism.

I was curious about his response to my questions as I had already read about his unapologetic active support to People’s War Group (PWG), a Naxal outfit started by Kondapally Sitaramaiyya in the 1980s.

In fact, many times he was introduced as PWG ideologue by journalists and academicians from his own organisations.

Varvara Rao’s interviews, writings and speeches, which form his digital footprints today, are testimony to 50 years of his association with various Naxal fronts and his connects to the topmost Naxal leaders and central committee members of Communist Party of India (Maoists).

He was elected as president of Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) in 2012 and aggressively opposed the decision of the Andhra Pradesh government to ban RDF being a Maoist front.

His organisation Revolutionary Writers’ Association (RWA), also known as Virasam, was identified as Maoist front organisation by various state and central governments in the past, and was banned as well.

The recent in this series was the mention of RWA and RDF in the list of 74 front organisations by R P N Singh, former minister of state of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in February 2014 in Lok Sabha.

He was a speaker at the memorial lectures organised in the memory of Anuradha Ghandy, the late central committee member of CPI(Maoist) in 2017.

He was also a speaker at Naveen Babu Memorial Lecture at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Naveen Babu was a JNU student, who went underground to join the Maoist movement, and died in 2000 in an encounter while fighting for the Maoist cadre in Andhra Pradesh.

One can imagine the blunt replies that can be expected from such a person to be interviewed.

As I entered his house, a red replica of monument in the hall caught my attention. Maoists generally build these monuments in Dandakaranya in the memory of their fallen comrades in armed fights with security forces.

The conversation started and went on for more than an hour. With some discomfort, I posed my last question on the unapologetic support to Maoist violence. “How can you justify violence by the Maoists!” I asked with the humanly innocence.

His answer was not different from the typical stand he takes to justify almost anything and everything done by the Maoist cadre.

After that meeting, I saw him in a Pune court during the hearing of Elgaar case as one of the accused. The Elgaar arrests and subsequent propaganda presented a new lesson in life.

Earlier, I used to think that only political leaders could be rebranded and ‘relaunched’ with a makeover.

However, here I was witnessing a case where a man like Varvara Rao, who has been wearing the Naxal tag on his sleeve all his life, was being rebranded as a human rights activist.

In May 2020, he was admitted to JJ Hospital as he reported health concerns. Within couple of days, he was sent back to jail after the medical experts found him fit.

This week again, he reported sick and was found Covid-19 positive and asymptomatic.

There is a campaign going on raising concerns about his health and if he was getting proper medical treatment.

For better treatment related to neurological and urological management, he has now been shifted to Nanavati Hospital. Doctors confirmed that he does not have complications related to Covid-19.

Many already concluded that his rights are being violated because he has not been given bail.

In fact, from session court to Supreme Court, the accused in the Elgaar Parishad case were denied bail with a reiteration by judges that “there is prima facie evidence that the accused were part of conspiracy by proscribed terrorist organisation CPI (Maoist)”.

The investigation of Elgaar Parishad case was wide and probed the role of CPI (Maoist) and their wider anti-India conspiracy. Elgaar Parishad was just a small part of it.

It is important for the Maharashtra Police to ensure that Varvara Rao remains healthy. They would want him convicted based on the evidence they are certain about. If it is about human rights of the accused, let us not forget that there have been instances wherein security forces have donated blood to save lives of armed Maoists captured after encounters.

This country respected and upheld human rights of terrorists such as Ajmal Kasab in the past. Let’s be assured that Varvara Rao won’t be an exception.

Capt Smita Gaikwad is a former army officer, and researcher on left-wing extremism with Forum for Integrated National Security. She is one of the members of the fact-finding committee on Bhima Koregaon riots who highlighted the role of Maoists in Elgaar Parishad.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Two Maoists Killed In Gunfight With Police In Odisha’s Kandhamal

Phulbani: Two Maoists including a woman cadre were killed in a gunfight with police personnel in Kandhamal district today evening.

Official sources when the SOG and DVF personnel were carrying out combing operation in a forest area in Kandhamal district, the Left Wing Extremists opened fire at them. In retaliation the security personnel fired at the Maoists. After a brief firing, the security personnel recovered two bodies of a man and a woman in uniform.

Besides, the security personnel seized one INSAS rifle, one carbine and two country made weapons from the spot.

The sources added the security personnel are unhurt following the gunfight.

On July 5, the security personnel gunned down four members of Maoist organization in Kandhamal district

Jharkhand Naxal cadre remanded in NIA custody for interrogation

Jitender Sharma Jul 23, 2020, 01:27 AM IST, 

He was reportedly very active in Naxal activities in Parasnath area of Giridih district and was instrumental in the collection of huge amounts of levy from contractors engaged in developmental projects.

Ranchi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday (July 22, 2020) remanded a senior Jharkhand Naxal cadre Sunil Manjhi in custody for interrogation in connection with the seizure of 6 lacs and incriminating material from a CPI (Maoist) cadre.

"The case pertains to the seizure of Rs 6 Lacs and incriminating material from CPI (Maoist) cadre Manoj Kumar in January 2018 while he was going to make levy payment to CPI (Maoist) terrorists. During further investigation, the incriminating role of arrested accused Sunil Manjhi emerged," read the official statement.

Apprehended 37-year old Manjhi hails from the Giridh district in Jharkhand and was a member of the Bihar-Jharkhand Special Area Committee (BJSAC) of CPI (Maoist).

He was reportedly very active in Naxal activities in Parasnath area of Giridih district and was instrumental in the collection of huge amounts of levy from contractors engaged in developmental projects being undertaken in that area.

The State Police had filed a charge-sheet in the case on July 17 in 2018. Subsequently, NIA re-registered the case and took over the investigation after 5 days on July 22.

Sunil was produced before the NIA Special Court in Ranchi and four days’ NIA remand has been taken for his custodial interrogation

Naxals kill naxals in Chhattisgarh

New Delhi, July 31: Two naxals were allegedly killed by their colleagues after they refused to carry out an order to destroy a road built in their village in Chhattisgarh's insurgency-hit Dantewada district, police said on Thursday.

Three villagers were also injured in the incident after they were thrashed by ultras for trying to save the two cadres, an official said.

Naxals kill naxals in Chhattisgarh

The incident took place at Potali village under Aranpur police station limits late on Wednesday night, Dantewada superintendent of police Abhishek Pallava told PTI.

NIA arrests two naxals in case relating to killing of Chhattisgarh MLA

"The deceased have been identified as Bajrang Vetti and Tido Mandavi, who were militia commander and militia member of Maoists respectively," he said.

Naxals are angry about the construction of a road from Aranpur to Potali, considered as a Maoist stronghold, he said.

As per preliminary information, two naxal commanders called a meeting of villagers in Potali and questioned why they had not destroyed the road despite being instructed to do so in the past, he said.

"Subsequently, they asked Vetti and Mandavi, who were natives of Potali, to destroy the road, to which the duo refused citing that the road had helped villagers get access to several facilities such as ambulances," he said.

Angry about their refusal to carry out the order, the ultras thrashed the duo and slit their throats, Pallava said, adding that some villagers were also beaten up when they tried to intervene.

Security forces have sent the bodies for post-mortem, while three villagers have been hospitalised, he said.

Security forces have launched a search in the area to trace the ultras, the official added

▶▶▶▶▶▶▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ HINDUSTAN TIMES

 seeming defiance by two outlawed Communist Party of India (CPI)-(Maoist) cadres led to their death in the hands of their own party cadres at a village in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district in Bastar region on Wednesday night.

The Maoists were killed after they purportedly refused to carry out an order to dig up a road that is linked to their native village.

Abhishek Pallava, Superintendent of Police (SP), Dantewada, said on Thursday that the Maoists also thrashed three other villagers, who tried to save the slain Naxals.

The incident took place at Potali village under Aranpur police station. The deceased have been identified as Bajrang Vetti and Tido Mandavi, who were a commander and a member of the CPI-Maoist, respectively, and belonged to Potali village,” the SP said.

 meeting of Maoists was held in Potali village, where the villagers were hauled up for not digging up the road linking to the hamlet, the SP said.

Later, the rebels instructed Vetti and Mandavi to carry out the assigned task, which they refused, citing that it would cause inconvenience to the villagers. The defiance infuriated the Maoists, who killed their two colleagues with sharp weapons and also thrashed three other villagers, the SP added

Can the state assume the right to kill?


By Jawhar Sircar| Published: 23rd July 2020 07:45 AM
Image used for representational purpose only

No, we will not discuss Vikas Dubey. But we need to revisit occasionally that very shadowy zone where the state assumes the power to liquidate certain citizens. We know that this is one of the three unique traits that distinguish the state from all other organisations, including those more prosperous or powerful. These are the legitimate right to impose taxes (everyone else ‘charges’ people); the inherent right to requisition men, materials, places and buildings (as during elections or wars); and the third is its basic right to kill. It thus declares all other killings are homicides and prosecutes the perpetrators, leading occasionally to capital punishment, after due trial and the process of law.

Besides, this most critical authority of the state is meant for foreign attacks and extended to internal rebellion and ‘liquidation’, in the name of tackling the “war against the Union of India”. But neither the judiciary nor the rational section of the people can ever agree with the claim that encounter killings are just a further extension of this dreadful syndrome. At this point, let us recall the first ‘mainstreaming’ of large-scale liquidation that was carried out in 1971-72 against the original Naxalites of Bengal. The Naxalites were in the throes of their class war and had appropriated to themselves the right to kill at will.

The gory beheadings and the hit-and-run killings of hapless police constables and other perceived class enemies by ‘action squads’ had converted life in Kolkata to brutal, bloody and short. The major strike-back was ‘Operation Steeplechase’ in mid-1971 when the police and armed forces unleashed reprisals on an unprecedented scale, methodically and remorselessly, without any due process of law. Those like us who lived through that terrifying period know how young men were tied to lampposts and shot point blank. Later, as an administrator, one was proudly shown exhibits of the very successful operation against urban guerrillas at the Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School.

It was entitled ‘Calcutta 1971’ which was, quite eerily, the same name that Mrinal Sen had chosen for his very disturbing film on police brutality in contemporary Kolkata. Hazar Chaurarsi’s mother can suffer endlessly but the state had “gotten over its problem” and re-established its authority. The same fate awaited those who had almost hacked Punjab from the Union of India in the 1980s and 1990s, amidst unspeakable atrocities and horror. It was only after pro-Khalistan terrorists had literally slaughtered several hundred innocent citizens, mainly in Punjab and Delhi, that the state hit back—with unconcealed vengeance.

Indira Gandhi paid with her life for having stormed the Golden Temple and stepping up action to liquidate terrorists, but terrorism lingered on. In August 1995, Punjab CM Beant Singh and 17 others were blown off by a Khalistani suicide bomber. The point is, unlike Bengal where a painful surgery worked, Punjab’s ulcer bled for a dozen years more. But then, the state clawed its way back and seized Punjab — again, at a huge human cost. It is not that this is restricted to India. It is a recurring feature of the entire Third World and the inhuman brutalities wreaked in Bosnia and its neighbours prove that Europe is not immune. This month itself, Human Rights Watch has reported that more than 180 male corpses have been found in Djibo, a town in the north of Burkina Faso, obviously resulting from ‘extra-
judicial killings’.

To understand the heartless institution called the state, we may look back at the most powerful theorist in this domain, Thomas Hobbes. This 17th century English philosopher was obsessed with rescuing humanity from terrifying chaos, lawlessness and endless strife in “the state of nature”. He viewed the state as an authoritarian Leviathan created by its citizens, surrendering a part of their liberties to strengthen it—to rule over them. The other great philosopher, John Locke, was less paranoid and spoke more of human rights, but the state that he advocated had freedom in “the mutual preservation of their lives, liberties and ... property”. The third theorist, Rousseau, was clear that the state emerges from a “social contract” with citizens but his state could go to more extremes to ensure that the “general will of the people” prevailed over dissidents.

But these propositions are quite old and constitutional democracy has evolved much since then, through battles, revolutions and world wars. Vigilance over the modern state has sharpened and the ‘hue and cry’ factor cannot be ignored. In 1919, Jallianwala Bagh hardly stirred the world but 70 years later, the Tiananmen Square massacre drew universal condemnation. Yet, when Daya Nayak eliminated 83 “notorious gangsters in Mumbai through his encounter killings”, he became the stuff of legend. A rotten, failed judicial system is largely factual, but as long as public support exists for such ‘encounters’, they are difficult to stop. They satisfy innate desires for reprisals and bottled-up bloodthirstiness that lie deep within society.

These are, however, only attempted explanations and civilised society can never accept them as justifications. History has proved, time and again, that a murderous state soon turns upon the citizenry it is duty bound to protect. The genetic propensity of the state to assume an acquired right to kill has to be shackled—or else we will all be locked in a cage with a Godzilla gone berserk.

Jawhar Sircar
Retired civil servant. Former Culture Secretary and ex-CEO, Prasar Bharati (Tweets @jawharsircar

Visakhapatnam: Constable injured in landmine blast

G Sambasiva Rao | TNN | Jul 23, 2020, 21:22 IST
Image used for representational purpose only

VISAKHAPATNAM: An anti-Naxalite force constable was injured in a landmine blast close to the Landalu village in 

Pedabayalu mandal


Visakha tribal area in Andhra Pradesh

 on Wednesday.

The incident came into light on Thursday.

It is recalled that an exchange of fire took place between Naxalites and security forces on Sunday.

Following the incident, cops intensified the operations in the area as they suspect that two to three top rank Maoist leaders, including 

AOBSZC military chief Chalapati

 and others, were injured in the firing.

Cops got information from the locals that an old man with white hair was among the injured in the firing. Sources said that Naxalites escaped from the incident and were reportedly planted scores of landmines in the vicinity of exchange of fire area.

One of the constables of the anti-Maoists force was injured on Wednesday during the hunt for the injured Maoists when the ul triggered landmine to protect themselves at around 10 km to 15 km from Landalu forest area.

Cops have pressed choppers for an areal survey and trying to shift the injured constable from the forested area. Tension mounted in the area.

When contacted the rural SP Boddepalli Krishna Rao told TOI that a constable was injured in the blast and was out of danger.

"One or two Maoists were injured in the Sunday exchange of fire as blood strains at the incident site indicates the injuries to the Maoists. We don't know whether they are top rank Maoists or squad members. We gave a call and requested the injured Naxalites to surrender to the police and get better medical treatment," the rural SP said

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

No remote ops, Maoists regrouping in Telangana

Mahesh Buddi | TNN | Jul 22, 2020, 12:12 IST

: Top police sources claim CPI (Maoist) 

central committee

 has given specific instructions to Telangana cadre, currently operating out of Chhattisgarh, to set up a direct base in the state instead of remotely running operations from safe shelter zones in the neighbouring state.After a hiatus, two incidents of exchange of fire with Maoists, resulting in an injury to a constable, in July jolted the Telangana police in Agency areas out of their slumber, prompting police chief M Mahendar Reddy to personally visit the places where combing operations—Kumaram Bheem-Asifabad, Mancherial, Jayashankar Bhupalapally, Mulugu and Bhadradri Kothagudem districts—were going on to locate the elusive Maoists.

Maoist leaders Hari Bhushan and Damodar are leading luxurious lives and using adivasis as scapegoats. Maoists, who fled from the state 10 years ago, have returned with an intention to extort money from businessmen, engineers and doctors. I appeal to locals, especially adivasis, to not provide any support to Maoists. We are carrying out combing operation and we are confident that very soon we will nab the Maoists,” DGP Mahendar Reddy had said, during the recent review meetings in Asifabad and Venkatapuram. During the preliminary inquiry, police found that small teams of Maoists, headed by state committee members 

Adellu alias Bhaskar

 of Boath in Adilabad, K Raji Reddy of 

Peddapalli district

 and Sudheer alias Ravva Ramla of Manugur area committee had returned to the state to direct operations. Asifabad police had a run-in with Bhaskar’s team, while Kothagudem police had an exchange of fire with Sudheer’s team.

Due to the crackdown against frontal organisations, which were extorting money from businessmen and contractors on the directions of Maoists operating from Chhattisgarh, funds from Telangana had almost dried up. To instil fear among businessmen, local politicians and contractors, a decision was taken by central committee leadership to send teams to set up bases in Telangana and activate village-level network in Agency areas,” an intelligence officer said. Bhadradri Kothagudem SP Sunil Dutt said combing operation was on to locate the absconding Maoist team members

NIA arrests senior Naxal of banned CPI (Maoist)

New Delhi, Jul 22 (PTI) The NIA on Wednesday arrested a senior Naxal cadre of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) for his alleged involvement in the collection of huge amounts of levy from contractors for illegal activities, an official said.

Sunil Manjhi, 37, a resident of Jharkhand''s Giridih district, is a member of Bihar-Jharkhand Special Area Committee (BJSAC) of CPI (Maoist), a spokesperson of the NIA said.

"He was very active in Naxal activities in Parasnath area of Giridih and was instrumental in the collection of huge amounts of levy from contractors engaged in the developmental projects being undertaken in that area," he said.

The case pertains to the seizure of Rs 6 lakh and incriminating material from CPI (Maoist) cadre -- Manoj Kumar -- of Giridih on January 22, 2018, while he was going to make levy payment to CPI (Maoist) terrorists, the official said.

The NIA, which re-registered the case and took over investigation on July 22, 2018, found the incriminating role of Manjhi, the official of the premier investigation agency said.

He was produced before a special NIA court in Ranchi which remanded him to four days'' of NIA remand for his custodial interrogation, he said.

Further investigation is underway, he added. PTI

Naxals set road-laying machinery on fire in Kothagudem

According to police, the Maoists doused a bull-dozer and a road roller with petrol and set them on fire before disappearing from the scene.

By Author  |  Published: 22nd Jul 2020  8:12 pmUpdated: 22nd Jul 2020  9:37 pm
Naxals set road-laying machinery on fire in Kothagudem

Kothagudem: Maoists, who have been making desperate efforts to gain a foothold in Telangana State, set on fire construction machinery in Cherla mandal in the district.

The incident took place in the wee hours of Wednesday between Bathinapalli-Tippapuram villages, on Chhattisgarh borders, where road works were going on under Central Road Connectivity Project meant for development of Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) areas.

According to police, the Maoists doused a bull-dozer and a road roller with petrol and set them on fire before disappearing from the scene. A team of around 10 members was said to have taken part in the action. They threatened the villagers who opposed their act.

The Cherla Inspector of Police T Satyanarayana informed the press that a case has been booked, and police teams were conducting combing operations for the naxal team that vandalised the machinery.

The Maoists left behind pamphlets in the name of the CPI (Maoist) Bhadradri Kothagudem-East Godavari Committee in Venkatapuram mandal of Mulugu district.

Burning down the machinery at Cherla was the first incident after the movement of naxal action teams were reported in Manugur forests recently in the district.

Incidentally, it was in July month in 2019, an ex-MPTC N Srinivas Rao, of Peddamidisileru in Cherla was abducted and killed by the Maoists. It was said to be the first incident after Telangana formation wherein a ruling party leader was eliminated by the naxals.

Cherla incident proves naxal’s atrocities: SP

Kothagudem: The burning down of machinery used in road construction in Cherla mandal in the district by the Maoists was the best example of their anti-development mindset and atrocities, stated the Superintendent of Police (SP) Sunil Dutt.

Referring to the incident of vandalising of machinery at Tippapuram in Cherla mandal during early hours of Wednesday, the SP said the Maoists were claiming that they were not thwarting the development, contrary to their claims the naxals were hindering the development of agency villages.

The government has taken up the construction of road to ensure better transportation to the residents of Bathinapalli and Tippapuram hamlets. Torching the vehicles parked at the hamlet created panic among the tribals, Dutt noted.

He advised the Maoists to stop obstructing infrastructure works in agency villages