Thursday, November 12, 2020


Naxal commander wanted for 10 years held
Hidma Madavi was wanted in 13 cases; arrested in Sukma.

The Maharashtra police, in a joint operation with its Chhattisgarh counterpart, apprehended a 45-year-old former Naxal commander from insurgency-hit Sukma district in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday.

Ramesh alias Hidma Madavi carries a Rs 12-lakh reward on his head. He is wanted in over a dozen criminal cases and had been evading arrest for a decade, police sources said.

Madavi had reportedly gone underground after his wife, who was also a Naxal, died by suicide in 2008.

Madavi was produced before a Gondia court on Thursday, which sent him to five days in police custody, Additional Superintendent of Police Atul Kulkarni told Mirror.

Describing the stealth mission, Kulkarni said, “We had concrete information about his presence in a village in Sukma and shared it with Sukma police. They along with CRPF personnel verified the information. For two days, we conducted a joint cordon and search operation in the village and were successful in apprehending Madavi.

“Sukma is a Naxal headquarter and hence the police party kept a close watch on Madavi’s movements before apprehending him. Some of the surrendered Naxals who had earlier worked with Madavi in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra confirmed his identity,” said another police officer.

Madavi was active with Deori Dalam between 1998 to 2010 and was wanted in more than 13 cases, including an attack on the police party in Gondia, police sources said

CPI (ML)’s show in Bihar an eye-opener for Left parties

Sumit BhattacharjeeVISAKHAPATNAM 13 NOVEMBER 2020 00:18 IST

Leaders hope that the banned CPI (Maoist) will take a cue and shun violence to join mainstream politics

The strong showing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)-Liberation party in the Bihar Assembly elections, where it won 12 out of the 19 seats it contested as part of the Mahagathbandhan (MGB) alliance, has come as an eye-opener for Left parties across the country.

Leaders from the Left are now hopeful that the performance of the CPI (ML) in the face of relentless propaganda by the ruling coalition in Bihar might inspire even the banned CPI (Maoist) to rethink its strategy of using violence to achieve its goals.



“Fundamentally, the CPI (ML) was an underground revolutionary party founded by Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal and others, who led the Naxalite movement in West Bengal and Srikakulam among other places in the country.”

“But over the years, we have realised that the basic philosophy of Charu Majumdar — of creating liberated zones through armed struggle and expanding them to gain political power — may not be possible, and Vinod Mishra who took over the party after Majumdar’s death, took the party from underground activities to the political mainstream,” said P. Ajay Kumar of the CPI (ML), who unsuccessfully contested the Anakapalle Lok Sabha seat in 2019.

“With the results achieved in Bihar, it has become evident that it is possible to have revolutionary ideals in a democratic framework. It is time that the CPI (Maoist) realised it,” he said.

“We were offered just 19 seats in the MGB and we won 12. Were we given 50 seats as sought, we could have won more and the MGB would have ended up forming the government in Bihar,” said Mr. Ajay Kumar, quoting Dipankar Bhattacharya, the current leader of the CPI (ML).

Bihar is a backward state and we traditionally have a strong cadre unlike the Congress. And we are determined to fight the BJP in all States, as the right-wing party has paralysed all democratic institutions, Mr. Ajay Kumar said.

In 2015, the party won three seats in Balrampur, Darauli and Tarari. In 2020, they not only consolidated those three seats but also won nine others, taking the tally to 12.

A.P. in focus

With a presence in 16 states, the party is now focusing on expanding its cadre base in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

“In A.P., there are around nine Left parties and throughout the year, we fight together on issues by coming on to one platform. But whenever elections are in sight, the bigger Left parties have their own ideas. In most cases, they enter into a coalition with another bigger regional party to fight the elections,” said Mr. Ajay Kumar.

According to him, if the Left parties come together and fight elections without siding with other regional or national parties, things would be different. “We can have our own seat-sharing model, but such things are not discussed before the elections. Now, it is time that we look into this aspect,” said Mr. Ajay Kumar

Maoist outreach drive by Chhattisgarh NGO

Focus on menstrual hygiene
The Process contacted several online donation sites that turned it down to avoid controversy. Police officers and politicians they spoke to were initially opposed to the idea, but Choudhary said they have come around to not preventing them from carrying out their work.
File picture
Pheroze L. Vincent

A Chhattisgarh NGO is raising funds to distribute menstrual cups and sanitary napkins to women, including Maoist rebels, in the southern part of the state with the hope that it will create an atmosphere for talks between the banned CPI(Maoist) and the state.

The distribution programme will be conducted from Diwali on Saturday till Sankranti on January 14.

The note by The New Peace Process — a group promoted by Bastar-based Bluetooth community radio CGNet Swara — on says, “This Diwali, let’s extend our love to our sisters fighting strong in Bastar. After having borne the brunt of the decades-old Maoist insurgency, the beautiful district of Bastar, with its sprawling forests and vibrant culture, has seen large-scale devastation and violence…. The dearth of information surrounding menstrual hygiene adds to the regressive mindset and is thus a cause for concern. Hence, this Diwali, we wish to gift these women reusable sanitary pads and menstrual cups with the aim of initiating discussions around this topic.”

They said these products can be an essential part of the kit gifted to the Adivasi women of Bastar, who roam around in jungles for most part of their day. “We plan on sending two reusable cloth pads and one menstrual cup as a gift pack, which will cost around Rs 1,000 each…. We intend on sending a portion of these gift packs as a peace offering to the Maoist female fighters as well, who joined the movement as an escape from their distressed living conditions with hopes for a better future.”

Shubhranshu Choudhary, convener of The New Peace Process, said the idea came up in the quarterly “Bastar Dialogue” on October 2, which had participants from countries such as Colombia, Nepal, and the Philippines, where armed communist rebellions have taken place. In 2010, the Colombian military decorated nine trees in contested territory with Christmas lights and a message encouraging Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia cadre to come home. This was followed by Operation Rivers of Light, where people were urged to send Christmas greetings to rebels in floating LED-illuminated balls down rivers that flowed through rebel-held territory. This initiative reportedly led to one in 20 rebels leaving the forests.

Choudhary, who also heads CGNet Swara, explained, “Whenever we went to the forests, the men would explain that they lose three days a month due to malarial fevers. Women say that for three days a month they additionally suffer as they cannot sit down to rest or dry the pieces of cloth used as sanitary napkins. We want to make a beginning by extending a hand of friendship.”

The Process contacted several online donation sites that turned it down to avoid controversy. Police officers and politicians they spoke to were initially opposed to the idea, but Choudhary said they have come around to not preventing them from carrying out their work.

“We were asked why we were trying to make life easy for the Maoists, and that this was an ‘urban Naxal’ idea. For the fighting to stop, both sides need to break the ice. Bastar division is larger than Kerala and a third of it is considered to be under Maoist control. We don’t want to fool people. A part of the kits will go to Maoists. Some of it will even reach villages in neighbouring states. We hope both sides will take it sportingly. The long-term goal is for talks to end the violence,” he explained.

Undivided Andhra Pradesh had attempted talks with Maoists between 2001 and 2005, as did the Centre in 2009. These failed over the key condition by governments that Maoists must abjure violence. Hopes for talks had dimmed after the chief of the Maoist’s People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army M. Koteswara Rao alias Kishenji was killed by police in Bengal in 2011. After being elected in 2018, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel had said that “talks, not bullets” will end the insurgency.

Choudhary added, “In the last two weeks, two of our teams who go there to gather news and talk to people were stopped by locals in these areas. One of them was asked to return and the other was questioned by Maoists and then asked to leave. Initially, we plan to drop off the kits with locals in five or six such areas. We do not want the government to be a party to this as they are a party to the conflict.”

The Process derives hope from the fact that in a recent telephone survey of locals in Hindi (mainly spoken by non-tribals), Halbi (a link language between Marathi and Odia used in markets), and Gondi (spoken mainly by forest dwellers), an overwhelming majority said the solution to the conflict is through talks, rather than military means. Around 92 per cent of respondents on Hindi and Halbi wanted talks. For Gondi respondents, it was 100 per cent for talks.

“The Maoists publicly claimed that intelligence agencies are doing this survey to spy on people. But one day, a journalist came to us with a message that Maoist-controlled villages are unable to participate in survey as there is no connectivity in their area,” Choudhary said.

Security forces push back Maoists to small pocket in AOB

BSF personnel at Gurasethu company operating base in cut off region in AOB.BSF personnel at Gurasethu company operating base in cut off region in AOB.
Sumit BhattacharjeeVISAKHAPATNAM 13 NOVEMBER 2020 00:54 IST

Bases set up by A.P., Odisha forces dent reach, control of Maoists

Ever since the elite anti-naxal force of Andhra Pradesh, the Greyhounds, struck deep into the Maoist bastion in October 2016, the security forces on both sides of the border in Odisha and A.P. have changed their strategy to establish bases in the interior parts of AOB, to push the left wing extremists on the back foot.

In the wee hours of October 24, 2016, the Greyhounds struck a Maoist camp in Ramaguda, an obscure village in the cut-off area of AOB, killing over 30 Maoists, including some top leaders in one single operation. The operation partially wiped out the MKVB (Malkangiri-Koraput-Visakhapatnam Border) committee.

Deep inroads

Buoyed by the success, the security forces of both States have stepped up the offensive by establishing Company Operation Bases (COB) and Armed Outposts (AOP), deep into the AOB region, which was once impregnable.



On the A.P. side four armed outposts under the CRPF have come up at Rallagedda in Chintapalli mandal, Rudakota in Pedabayalu mandal, Thurumamidi in GK Veedhi and Nurmathi in GK Veedhi.

In Odisha, about 25 COBs of the BSF and about 10 IRBN (Indian Reserve Battalion) bases have come up.

Odisha has been successful in creating about six COBs in the cut-off region in places such as Badapadar, Jambai, Jantapayi, Vantalguda, Badapada and Gurasethu and one IRBN base at Jodombo.

“The presence of Maoists was very strong in these areas till about a year ago. But now with BSF setting up a COB at Gurasetu in Swabhiman Anchal of Malkangiri district, the security forces have dented the reach and extent of control of the Maoists,” said a senior officer from the A.P. police, who is engaged in anti-Maoist operation in AOB.

The Maoists were now caught between the AOPs in A.P. and COBs in Odisha and they were pushed back to a small area in the Gumma region in the cut-off. But they still had some cadres in Pedabayalu, GK Veedhi and G-Madugula, but those were minimal and smaller squads, he added.

Game changer

The inauguration of Gurupriya bridge in 2018 is actually the game changer in the region. Overnight, the cut-off area transformed into Swabhiman Anchal, and over 151 villages in nine panchayats across Odisha and A.P. that were cut-off since decades with the construction of the Balimela reservoir got connected.

The bridge was proposed in 1982 and it took over 36 years to come up, as the work was hampered with the Maoists creating hurdles

TN varsity removes Arundhati Roy's book on Maoists from syllabus after ABVP's protest

The protesters alleged the book glorified the ultras and was anti-national in content

57-arundhati-royArundhati Roy

After complaints from several people, including the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, against Arundhati Roy's 'Walking with the Comrades' being part of its MA English syllabus, a state-run university in Tamil Nadu has removed it from the curriculum.

The ABVP and others alleged the book glorified the ultras and was anti-national in content.

Opposition parties, the DMK and CPI(M), have opposed the move to take the book off the syllabus that chronicles the author's journey to hideouts of Maoists in Chhattisgarh and the way they operated out of the jungles.

The book has been part of the syllabus from 2017-18 batch for the third semester of MA in English Literature of Tirunelveli based Manonmaniam Sundaranar University's affiliated colleges.

"Last week we got a written complaint from the ABVP. Subsequently, there were lot of other representations. We received complaints from our syndicate members as well," MSU's Vice Chancellor K Pitchumani told PTI.

Such complaints underscored the 'controversial' contents in the book and wanted it to be deleted from the curriculam for students, he said.

Hence, a committee comprising senior academicians was set up to look into the matter. The former chairman of the board of studies who framed the syllabus and the incumbent chief were also part of it, he said.

"The committee met on Wednesday and they decided the withdrawal of the book from syllabus for its sensitive nature and in its place, a book of Padma awardee and naturalist, M Krishnan's 'My Native Land, Essays on Nature' has been included," he said.

"This has been implemented immediately," he said.

Krishnan (1912-96) was a renowned naturalist, a pioneer in Indian wildlife photography and writer and he was awarded the Padma Shri in 1969.

The decision would be approved at a meeting of the university's Standing Committee of Academic Affairs, he said, adding they were not for 'controversy' since academics alone were important.

Asked if the 'sensitive' nature of the book was not taken into account when it was included in the syllabus, the top university official said,"probably it went unnoticed."   However, as soon as representations were received against the book, prompt follow-up action was taken, he said.

In its complaint, the ABVP's south Tamil Nadu unit alleged Roy's book openly supported Maoists and disseminated anti-national views.

"It is a matter of regret that this book has been part of the syllabus for the past three years. Through this, the Naxal and Maoist ideology has been imposed on the students," the ABVP said demanding the book's withdrawal.

Roy's interaction with Maoists and her visits to forests where she met them first appeared in an English magazine in 2010 and it was later published as a book.

DMK youth wing secretary and MP Kanimozhi said in a tweet that power and politics deciding "what is arts, what is literature and what the students should read" would destroy the pluralistic feature of the society.

CPI(M) Lok Sabha member S Venkatesan said on his twitter handle removal of the book was condemnable and wanted the move to be rescinded.

The Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artistes Association general secretary Aadhavan Dheetchanya announced a virtual protest meet on Thursday evening to oppose the deletion of the book from syllabus.


People for peace: Tribal people of Chhattisgarh favour dialogue to end Maoist problem

Tribals in Maoist-affected areas said this, in a first of its kind opinion poll

bastar-peaceA painting depicting the Bastar issue by Shantanu Mishra, an artist from Durg in Chhattisgarh during the New Peace Process event

Bastar tey aayta hinda tun bahun roki kenud aani Bastar tey jo hinsa taakta ad jhagda al aay sake mayo. Aden makun rante paksh nal maandi kiya wayal aske Bastar tey shaanti wayal,” Motiram Poyam of village Mutenpal in Bastanar block of Bastar district in Chhattisgarh says with conviction, in native Gondi language, over the mobile phone.

Translated in simple English, this would mean, “the violence in Bastar cannot be resolved by conflict. Both the sides will have to talk for peace to reign in Bastar.”

Munneta 40 warsa nal aayta hinsaa jhagda tun amot roki kiyana chahe. Maytodom amot baatle jhagda al chahe mayom [(We) want an end to the violence that is happening since the last 40 years. (We) don’t need any kind of violence in Bastar],” Monu Ram Sodhi of Jango Para settlement in village Jamgaon, also of Bastar, says in Gondi.

Messages after messages in Gondi, Halbi and Hindi – overwhelmingly in favour of resolution of Maoist problem through dialogue – poured out during a unique mobile-phone based opinion poll conducted in left wing extremism (LWE) hit areas of Chhattisgarh recently.

The uniqueness of the poll, organised under ‘New Peace Process’, an initiative of a conglomerate of tribal and non-government support groups and individuals, was that for the first time, the respondents could choose to interact/respond in native Gondi and Halbi languages, apart from Hindi.

The question was simple: whether the Maoist problem in central India was a political issue to be resolved through dialogue or a law and order issue to be resolved with military force.

All the 676 Gond tribal people—18 per cent of the total 3,760 respondents— participating in the poll, were unanimously in favour of dialogue based resolution to the Maoist problem. Overall, 91.88 per cent of all respondents were in favour of dialogue based resolution, while only 8.12 per cent felt that the issue was a law and order problem and should be solved with the use of military force.

About 76 per cent of the respondents chose to respond in Hindi while six per cent responded in Halbi.

Kamlesh Kashyap from Tokupal block (Bastar) recorded a message in Halbi saying, “Educated and aware people will have to come forward with the intention of restoring peace.”

Gangaram Barse spoke in Gondi from Kakalgur, Darbha (Bastar) and said “both sides have to overcome differences and talk about how to bring peace in Bastar.”

Masuram Poyam from Badekilepal village in Bastanar (Bastar) said police alone cannot solve the problem. Both Maoists and villagers will have to sit together and try to resolve the issue, Poyam said in Hindi.

The organisers of the poll are buoyed by the results of the survey that was conducted between Independence Day (August 15) and Gandhi Jayanti (October 2).

“People from the affected areas have made their opinion fairly clear and we are hopeful that both Maoists and the government will listen,” convener of the New Peace Process, Shubhranshu Choudhary said.

Speaking to THE WEEK, Choudhary, peace activist and founder of CGNet Swara , a voice portal that allows people from remote areas in central India to share their stories and issues, said the opinion poll is significant as it revealed that 100 per cent of the Gondi speaking people (Gond tribals) chose the peaceful option of dialogue to resolve the problem.

“Leave aside a few outsider non-tribal leaders, most of the current Maoist leaders are Gond tribals who speak Gondi. The Maoists also get their majority cadre from among the Gond tribals, many of whom are conversant only with Gondi and know no other languages. In such a situation, getting 100 per cent support for the peaceful option from among Gondi speakers is a very crucial indicator,” Choudhary pointed out.

However, both the Chhattisgarh government and Maoist leadership have reacted to the peace process as well the latest opinion poll.

The Maoists seem to have attempted to dismiss the opinion poll as an initiative happening only in the non-Maoists areas.

“I received a visitor (messenger of Maoists) who told me that people from the Maoist-controlled areas cannot vote in the opinion poll, which was underway then, as they do not have mobile phone signals. So, the opinion poll would be basically from non-Maoists areas,” Choudhary said.

He said this message of the Maoists has been taken as a valid criticism. “This time we got the opinion mainly from the state-controlled affected areas and the areas where state forces and Maoists both move around. Even in these areas, there were sections of people who had no mobile phones, and we made technical arrangements that made it possible for several persons to vote from a single device that was made available to them,” Choudhary said.

“But now, we are trying other options like training someone or sending someone trained to the areas without mobile phone signals and get people to vote on a mobile phone carried by this person. This mobile phone will transmit the entire data once it is brought back in the mobile signal area. We are already in discussions for this and are hoping to use it for a survey of internally displaced people in the region, to be conducted soon,” Choudhary said.

Apart from this intervention in the opinion poll process, the Maoists have also repeatedly sent out warning letters against the other initiatives of ‘New Peace Process’ since it started in June 2018.

There were death threats and boycott calls to the peace rally and cycle rally held in October 2018 and February 2019 respectively. They also issued a death threat to the head of Abhujmadia Adiwasi Samaj after an initiative to seek habitat rights for the members of the particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG) Abhujmadia was taken in June 2019 as part of the peace process.

A peace rally held under the banner of New Peace Process in Bastar

Even as the opinion poll was underway, on September 10, 2020, the secretary of Darbha divisional committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), Sainath, issued another warning statement. The statement called upon the ‘pro-democracy, pro-people intellectuals’ to support the ‘legal struggle of the people to save their livelihood, faith, existence and honour’.

The statement targeted Shubhranshu Choudhary directly, calling him an ‘undercover agent in the garb of an intellectual’ who was opposing Maoists by the way of peace rallies. THE WEEK could not directly contact any of the Maoist leaders for reaction.

Meanwhile, the Chhattisgarh government has chosen to respond in a measured way to the opinion poll result. Forest minister and government spokesperson Mohammad Akbar, while speaking to THE WEEK, said the focus of the state government was to augment livelihood and employment opportunities for the tribal people in affected areas.

“Even in COVID-19 pandemic times, we have taken a lot of initiatives in the form of collection and value addition to as many as 31 minor forest produce and giving back the profit after sale of value added products to the collectors themselves through women self help groups. As much 74 per cent of all minor forest produce collected in the entire country was in Chhattisgarh alone. We have hiked rates for tendu leaves, gave back dividends of profits to these collectors too and have taken up large scale tree plantation projects in the affected areas so that people could have sustained livelihood options. If they have such options, their mind will not stray the other way,” the minister said.

He added that the required measures for resolving the (Maoist) problem, including the possibility of dialogue, were constantly taken up by the state government and that will continue.

The New Peace Process

The process was initiated by 24 tribal and supporting groups who were of the view that peaceful resolution of the problem should be given a chance during the next few years. After that, the groups felt, the issue might turn into that of a violent inter-group rivalry among the tribal Maoist commanders that might see the local tribal people suffer far more, including loss of lives and damage to property.

Choudhary pointed out that the original core Maoist leadership mainly comprised non-tribal leaders from Andhra Pradesh. They made a lot of commanders from among the local Chhattisgarhi tribals in the last four decades, but the core 40-member central committee and politburo does not have a single Chhattisgarh local.

In the next few years, the original leadership, which has already become quite old, will age further and phase out, leading to the possibility of local Chhattisgarhi commanders getting engaged in internal rivalry.

The declining influence of the Maoist leadership in their party and rise in internal violence is evident by the fact that during past few months, by their own admission (in a statement released on October 7), they have killed at least 25 persons, including half a dozen of their own, in ‘jan adalats’ on the suspicion of being police informers and letting out secrets of Maoist movements.

Choudhary said there is a time window of about five years in Chhattisgarh before things start going the Jharkhand way of internal rivalry related violence, harming the local tribals much more. “So, there needs to be a strong people’s movement demanding that both sides come forward for dialogue and peaceful resolution as no one is supporting violence anymore. The peace process and particularly the opinion poll results are very important in this context,” he said.

Under the New Peace Process, apart from the peace rally and cycle rally for awareness on peace initiatives among people, steps have also been taken to ensure habitat rights (under Forest Rights Act, 2006) for the PVTG Abujhmadia and at least four meetings with participation of district administration (of Narayanpur district) was held till September 2019 in this direction. However, later the Maoists issued a death threat to the Abhujmadia Samaj chief Ramji Dhruv and he resigned from his post. Nonetheless, people of the community are still in favour of habitat rights and have opposed attempts of the government to give individual rights instead.

peaceA selfie contest was also organised where people were to send in their photographs carrying slogans on the theme ‘Bastar maange hinsa se aazadi’

Another initiative is related to secure alternative land under the Forest Rights Act for roughly 50,000 people from Bastar who were forced to leave their villages and escape to neighbouring states after the Salwa Judum movement was initiated in 2004. About 500 such displaced people have already applied for alternative land in peaceful areas of Chhattisgarh so that they can come back to settle in the state. “The process is still hanging fire because the union ministry is yet to finalise guidelines for the Section (3.1.m) of the Forest Rights Act that speaks of this alternative land provision,” Choudhary said.

This time, along with the opinion poll, a selfie contest was also organised where people were to send in their photographs carrying slogans on the theme ‘Bastar maange hinsa se aazadi’ (Bastar seeks freedom from violence). Hundreds of selfies also poured in for this contest and winners were given prizes during an event on October 2, where the opinion poll results were announced too.

A series of meetings – called Chaikle Maandi (meetings for peace and happiness) – have also been started where prominent individuals and groups would interact among themselves and with violence-hit families from the region. The first of such meetings was held on October 2 too. 


Maoist hideout unearthed, huge quantity of arms & explosives seized in Odisha

Getty Images


The hideout was busted during a joint operation launched by Special Operation Group (SOG) and District Voluntary Force (DVF) of Odisha Police and Border Security Force (BSF) in Jodambo area of 'Swabhiman Anchal' recently, Malkangri Superintendent ...

Malkangiri: A Maoist hideout was unearthed and a huge quantity of explosives and arms dumped by the ultras seized during a special operation by security forces inside a forest in Odisha's Malkangiri district, a senior police officer said on Thursday. The hideout was busted during a joint operation launched by Special Operation Group (SOG) and District Voluntary Force (DVF) of Odisha Police and Border Security Force (BSF) in Jodambo area of 'Swabhiman Anchal' recently, Malkangri Superintendent of Police Rishikesh D Khilari said.

Acting on specific information, an intensive search and area domination was conducted near Arapadar-Andrapalli villages in Swabhiman Anchal, earlier known as cut off area, resulting in uncovering of a major Maoist hideout and arms and ammunition, he said.


"This has led to recovery and seizure of a large quantity of arms, ammunition, explosive materials and other articles stocked by the Maoists," the SP said, adding that these arms were intended to be used against innocent civilians and security forces for carrying out their subversive activities.

The seized arms included around 148 rounds of ammunition, 14 grenades, two landmines, 13 electronic detonators and other articles, he said.

"This is a major jolt to the subversive and anti- national designs of Maoists in this area," the SP said.

It is suspected that the explosives belonged to Maoist cadres of Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC), Khilari said.

In the wake of the recovery, further combing and search operations have been intensified in this area, he added

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Tribals on night patrol to thwart Maoist threat in Odisha's Swabhiman Anchal area

Express News Service | Published: 11th November 2020 08:22 AM
Armed with traditional weapons, youths of Jodamba village patrolling the area in night at Jodamba in Malkangiri. (Photo| EPS)

The keenness of the people to be part of the mainstream is strongly evident in Jodamba village whose tribal inhabitants have started  patrolling at night to prevent Maoists from entering the area. Since the last few days, local youths armed with bows, arrows and other traditional weapons are on alert in the key areas of Jodamba and nearby villages to thwart any attempts of the rebels to come in. They resorted to this practice after Maoists recently threatened villagers of dire consequences if they supported police. 

Sources said that a group of around 25-30 men is carrying out night patrolling in the area and each member has been assigned with a specific responsibility. They are deployed randomly at several locations in and around the villages.

Kamlu Khilla, a villager, said, "We were unhappy with the Maoists for obstructing development which resulted in absence of power supply and proper road connectivity in our village for decades. Besides, innocent villagers were slaughtered by the rebels on suspicion of being police informers."

Another villager Sukra Hantal attributed the bold initiative of locals to the frequent visits of Malkangiri Collector Manish Agarwal and SP Rishikesh D Khilari to supervise development works and security scenario in the region. This has instilled confidence among the villagers, he opined.

Sources said the Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee of the banned CPI (Maoist) was dominating the area by taking advantage of the inaccessible Swabhiman Anchal. However, the outlawed outfit’s influence on tribals started to wane after the cut-off region was connected with the mainland after Gurupriya bridge became operational.

Notably, Maoists have been further pushed into a corner due to intense combing operations by security forces and construction of roads in the region recently

Monday, November 09, 2020

Maoist militia commander held in Telangana, explosives seized

PTI | Published: 09th November 2020 09:07 PM
For representational purposes

HYDERABAD: A Maoist militia commander of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), belonging to Chhattisgarh, was arrested in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district of Telangana on Monday and explosives including gelatine sticks seized from his possession, police said.

Based on specific information, a police team nabbedthe 25-year-old man during vehicle checking in Aswapuram of the district when he was allegedly on way to kill police personnel and damage public property and explosives meant for the purpose was seized, they said.

On interrogation, he revealed that he was working as Maoist militia commander in Chhattisgarh for the past seven years and was involved in four murders (of villagers), extortion and blastings in Chhattisgarh state, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Manuguru Sub- division, Shabarish P said.

He is being further interrogated from where he brought and where he was taking the explosives, the ASP said. Police seized gelatine sticks, detonators, electric wire, batteries and a tiffin box from his possession

6 Maoists held from 2 places in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur

PTI | Updated: Nov 9, 2020, 22:13 IST
Representative image

BIJAPUR: Six Maoists, including a woman, were arrested from 


 district of 


, police said on Monday. Three of them were held from the forest of Damavaram village under Pamed police station area while the others were nabbed from Basaguda, an official said.

"District Reserve Guard (DRG), Special Task Force (STF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and its CoBRA teams were involved in these actions which took place on Sunday," he added.

In Pamed, when a patrolling team was returning after a brief gunfight with ultras, it saw three suspects who were trying to plant explosives, he said.

"Madvi Bichchem (30), Uika Rama (26) and woman cadre Uika Lakhi were caught and a pipe bomb, wire, batteries and switch were recovered. Ultras Kunjam Linga (25), Kowasi Masa (27) and Kowasi Sukram (32) were arrested from Basaguda," he said.

On Sunday, a 


 was killed in a gun-battle with security forces near Bhattiguda village in Pamed, adjoining Telangana

Maoists to observe ‘Martyrs’ Week’ from Dec 2, alert sounded

Maoists to observe ‘Martyrs’ Week’ from Dec 2, alert sounded

Jamshedpur: A general high alert has been sounded in the district in the wake of Maoists observing “martyrs’ week”. The district police and paramilitary forces are on high alert in Naxal-infested areas, bordering West Bengal and Odisha. Communist Party of India (CPI)-Maoists is set to observe Martyrs’ Week from December 2-8.

Police said apart from ensuring deployment of additional police and paramilitary forces, the combing operations and patrolling has been intensified to check the possibility of entry of Maoists from neighbouring states. It has also stepped up intelligence-gathering in view of Martyrs’ Week.

A senior police official said that the police have also intensified the efforts for strengthening security arrangements especially on the routes used by Maoists to enter the naxal infested areas.

“We have asked security forces to conduct long-range patrolling in the areas of Ghurabandha, Ghatshila and Patamda,” said the official.

It may be mentioned here that Maoists observe martyrs’ week in memory of Charu Majumdar, the founder of the Naxalite movement. The Maoist leadership organises meetings in areas where it yields considerable influence.

Sources informed that the high alert has been after intelligence reports that the ultras may attack at naxal areas of Ghatshila and Patamda.

Sources informed that there are intelligence inputs that CPI (Maoist) may indulge in demonstrative acts of violence by targeting security forces and economic infrastructure such as trains, buses, railway

stations, bus stations and other places where people are likely to gather in significant numbers.

” Every effort will be made to maintain law and order and to ensure security of the people. This time all security forces have also been alerted to remain vigilant, particularly against IEDs and landmines,” said another official.

Sources informed that the mobility of the police has prevented the extremists from carrying out any violent activity in the past 15 days in the entire Kolhan. All the police stations in the three districts of the division including East and West Singhbhum and Seraikela Kharswan have been asked to beef up the security and keep a vigil at the bordering areas.

“A strict vigil would be kept on the non government commercial establishments. Even the security would be beefed up at some of the naxal prone areas of Ghatshila and Dumaria,” said the official.

According to intelligence sources, the rebels are trying to observe the martyr week by organising small meetings at a number of places in West Singhbhum and adjoining Seraikela-Kharsawan district, and Chowka jungle is one of the probable venues for such meetings.

The CPI (Maoist) rebels have resorted to a massive poster campaign at Chowka in the adjoining Seraikela-Kharsawan district as part of the martyrs’ week. Concerned over the situation the police and para military forces have started combing operations in that area

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Who's Not Performing?’ Amit Shah Meets Officials From 5 Naxal-hit States in Big Push for Anti-Maoist Ops

The officials said a target has been set to eliminate the Maoist strongholds in Bihar, Jharkhand and Maharashtra by the summer of next year.

‘Who's Not Performing?’ Amit Shah Meets Officials From 5 Naxal-hit States in Push for Anti-Maoist Ops
File photo of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. (PTI)
  • CNN-NEWS18
  • UPDATED ON:NOVEMBER 8, 2020, 09:37 IST

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has asked for a renewed push to eliminate Naxalism from the country. Expressing dissatisfaction with the pace of the anti-Maoist operations in the country, Shah in a review meeting held last month asked for a "a strict audit to find out what, why and where the problem is."

Officials told News18 that the Home Minister demanded answers about which forces — the central ones like COBRA or those under state — were not performing the task of eliminating the Maoist strongholds and why.


On the condition of anonymity, a CRPF official told News18 that a target has been set to eliminate the Maoist strongholds in Bihar, Jharkhand and Maharashtra by the summer of next year. A similar claim was made by CPI Maoist South sub Zonal Bureau as well.

Soon after the Shah’s review meeting, CPI Maoist, South sub Zonal Bureau, Bastar issued a statement on November 2 and claimed that an operation called Prahar-3 was being planned in Chhattisgarh too with the timeline of November 2020 to June 2021. "Janta aandolan dabane ke liye bade paimane per police walon ko tainat karke yuddh abhiyan chalane ka faisla kiya hai. Ye abhiyan naye tarike ka salwa judum jaisa hai," the statement read. It added, "Modi and Bhupesh Baghel government, as part of a military campaign, have sent thousands of central para-military forces. Crores are being spent to acquire helicopters, weapons and ammunition

K Vijay Kumar, advisor, Naxal, to Amit Shah refused to confirm the name of the operation or the timeline but he did tell News 18 that the Home Minister has asked states and central forces to work in better coordination with immediate effect to eliminate the weak spots in the anti-Naxal strategy. "The Home Minister took a review to help out the states. Who is not performing, which state isn't doing enough, how states can be helped further … all of this was discussed," he said.

The review meeting by Home minister was attended by central para military forces, central IB and state government officials of five states— Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.


Officials said Chhattisgarh remains number one on the list of states where there was an agreement that top focus must be given. K Vijay Kumar left for Sukma soon after the review meeting in Delhi and met top state and central police officials to review the situation in Bastar. "In Chhattisgarh Naxals are trying to use local elements to bolster the Jan Militia. Intelligence agencies have suggested counter strategies, "Vijay Kumar told news18 on his return.

Redeployment of forces is one of the strategies that the government is implementing. The officials said state police have been asked to take over areas which are less sensitive so that the CRPF and other para military personnel can be redeployed in interiors where Jan Militia is trying to gain more ground.

CPI Maoist called this, "a coordinated operation between state police, CAPFs and intelligence agencies providing corporate security through new camps, new roads and bridges, and improving various communication channels, patrolling operations, information based operation."

Jharkhand was identified in the review meeting as the second most problematic state after Chhattisgarh. Though officials said things were improving.

In Bihar, the districts of Jammui, Aurangabad and Gaya have been zeroed in as districts where anti-Naxal operations should be focused. Odisha came in for praise for successfully implementing the Andhra model of focused intelligence gathering and operations. In Maharashtra, the multiple borders that Maoist affected Gadchiroli shares were flagged off as problem areas. "Gadchiroli shares borders with four states and has mad (abujmad) as its border with Chhattisgarh. This complicates the situation,” K Vijay Kumar told News18.

Other than the operations, Home Minister asked for special focus to improve coordination between state police and central forces. The BSF in Malkangiri, Odisha and Shastra Seema Bal in Jharkhand and Bihar and CRPF, ITBP, BSF in Chhattisgarh

Maoist killed in encounter in Bijapur


A Naxalite was killed while two security personnel were injured in a gun battle in Bijapur in Chhattisgarh on Sunday, police said.

The exchange of fire took place at around 10:30 am near Bhattiguda village in the Pamed police station limits, on the border with Telangana, Inspector General of Police (Bastar) Sundarraj P said.

The District Reserve Guard (DRG), Special Task Force (STF) and CRPF's Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) personnel were carrying out a counter-insurgency operation along the Chhattisgarh-Telangana border since Saturday, he said.

"The encounter took place when the patrolling team was cordoning off a forest at Makrajgatta hill this morning. One Naxalite was killed and a huge quantity of explosives was found at the spot," he added.

CoBRA 204th Battalion's Constable Sandip Ghosh and Constable Chandu Kadti of the district police sustained leg injuries after stepping on an iron spike trap set up by the Maoists, the official said.

Maoists, security forces exchange fire in Bihar’s Jamui

A cache of arms and ammunition, banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) pamphlets, medicines, and items of daily use were seized following the encounter.

Updated: Nov 08, 2020, 13:18 IST

By Avinash Kumar,

The dense Chatro forest in Bihar’s Jamui district, which shares its border with neighbouring Jharkhand’s Giridih district, on Sunday morning echoed an exchange of intense firing between left-wing extremists (LWEs) and security forces after a brief lull of violence for 22 days.

The encounter took place at Giddheshwar Hills and no casualty has been reported from either side yet.

A cache of arms and ammunition, banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) pamphlets, medicines, and items of daily use were seized following the encounter.

Manu Maharaaj, deputy inspector-general of police (DIG), Munger range, said the security forced had acted on the basis of a tip-off that Maoist sub-zonal committee member of eastern Bihar and Jharkhand, Arvind Yadav alias Awinash; commander Parvesh Da; and Prakash Rana along with their guerilla squad had reached the forest.

The Maoists resorted to unprovoked firing at security forces belonging to 207 CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action), who were combing the forest near Pathakchak dam. The rebels beat a hasty retreat taking advantage of the dense forest cover and the hostile hilly terrain following the retaliatory firing by the security forces,” said the DIG.

“Recruitment forms” to the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), the armed wing of the LWE, were recovered from the spot, he added.

Blood stains were found at the spot, which indicated that some of the rebels might have been killed or sustained grievous injuries because of the firing, the DIG said.

More details would be made available after the security forces got back to their camp, he added.

Earlier, a similar incident had occurred at Paisra in Munger district on October 18.

DIG Maharaaj had led that operation on the Jamui-Munger border against the outlawed Maoist rebels, spearheaded by Sahdeo Soren alias Parvez.

Two pistols, improvised explosive device (IED)-making materials, blood-stained clothes, explosive gel, fake voter identity and permanent account number (PAN) cards were seized by the security forces from the spot

Maoists into 'poll khol' mode to expose leaders, Bastar police launch counter propaganda


By Ejaz Kaiser| Express News Service | Published: 08th November 2020 06:41 PM
Drama, songs with performing arts prepared by the cultural outfit of Maoists.

RAIPUR: The outlawed CPI (Maoist) in south Chhattisgarh are using the mobile-centric network as a medium to infuse distrust among tribal villagers against the elected leaders over “non-fulfilment of the promises” they had committed ahead of the polls.

Across the major parts of strife-torn Bastar, the villagers are now increasingly accessing uninterrupted cellular services. The rebels are making use of available hi-tech means through the mobile phone network—disseminating videos prepared by the cultural outfit ‘Chetna Natya Mandli' (CNM) and circulating their messages in areas of south Bastar.

The mode of communication is in local dialect ‘Gondi’, as the rebels attempt to use the strength of tribal culture to step up their agenda among the local population. Experts believe the dissemination of messages through short drama films and songs in local dialect creates an impact on the understanding of issues.

The video clippings in tribal dialect besides entertaining the villagers also set out to remind them the pledges made by the elected leaders.

The rebels are passing on their information using mobile phone network in the villages of south Bastar. With the drama and songs studiously prepared by the CNM, the rebels are projecting themselves into a sort of ‘Pol Khol’ (expose the violation) campaign against the minister and elected leaders highlighting the pledge they made to the masses.

However the Bastar police cited the game plan of Maoists as mere propaganda. “This itself exposes their double standard. They are not allowing development works to be implemented and attempt to misguide the local villagers to create mistrust against the elected leaders”, said Sunderraj P, inspector general of police (Bastar Range).

The IG said that the police have simultaneously carried out a massive counter campaign Bastar Tha Matta (Voice of Bastar) to expose the real face of Maoists as  “anti-development and violent” . 

“For the tribals, their language remains an emotive issue and they readily accept the contents communicated in their dialect”, said Shubhranshu Chowdhary, peace activist who is using language as key component towards peace process among the tribals in the disturbed areas for the past one decade. 

According to the local scribes, the issues raised by the rebels also lead to exchange of views among the local masses who discuss the “non-fulfilment of commitments” by the political leaders or administration. 

In one of the videos, the speaker was seen speaking in Gondi questioning a local minister Kawasi Lakhma on ‘how could he fail to acknowledge the assurances that so resoundingly drew the attention of the masses during the elections and now he didn’t act on all these’. Lakhma despite repeated attempts couldn’t be reached for his remark.

For the banned Maoist organisation the finance and technology apparently seems to go hand-in-hand to accomplish their agenda

Determined to finish Maoist presence from Swabhiman Anchal: DGP

Odisha DGP Abhay said this after a visit to the Gurasetu BSF Company Operating Base

Representative Image. Credit: PTI Photo

Odisha Police on Sunday said the state government was determined to completely eliminate the Maoist presence from the 'Swabhiman Anchal' in Malkangiri district.

Odisha DGP Abhay said this after a visit to the Gurasetu BSF Company Operating Base (COB), recently set up in the Maoist hotbed of Malkangiri district.

The security personnel have set up at least seven COBs in the Swabiman Anchal, considered as the safe fort of red rebels mostly operating in the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh border.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has re-named the Cut-Off area encircled by water in the three sides and dense forest on another connecting to Andhra Pradesh, as Swabhiman Anchal. Patnaik had also inaugurated Gurupriya Bridge connecting Swabhiman Anchal to rest of the state, which now helped the police to set up camps in the Maoist den.

"We are determined to finish the Maoist influence in Swabhiman Anchal. Therefore, the presence of security personnel are required to boost the confidence of the local residents. We have set up COBs in different places," Abhay told reporters at the district headquarters town here after a review of the Left Wing Extremism in the district.

Apart from Odisha Police, senior officers of BSF also attended the review meeting to chalk out a strategy for complete elimination of LWEs from Malkangiri, which continued to remain as a point of challenge for the state.

In a bid to end the Maoist influence in the area, the DGP said roads, telecommunication towers, schools, health centres and anganwadi centres are being developed in Swabiman Anchal. "We will ensure that the development in the real sense reach the people of cut-off area," Abhay said.

The DGP also reiterated his appeal to the Maoists to come forward and surrender before the police as the government is determined to develop the area. "We have a lucrative surrender and rehabilitation policy for the surrendered Maoists. They get cash for doing business, training to start their own units and other facilities. They should take the benefit from the state governments good gesture for them," he said.

Admitting that the Maoists are the major hurdles before development in the cut-off area, the DGP said efforts are on to ensure that the local residents get all sorts of facilities like health, education and livelihood.

Abhay also met the local tribals during his visit to the Gurasetu COB and distributed blankets, school uniforms, bags and other essentials to the villagers. "The people want development and they have sought schools, hospitals and anganwadi centres in their locality," he said.

Asked about the people living under constant threat of attack from the rebels, Abhay said: "We have a huge presence of security personnel across the Swabhiman Anchal."

Senior officials including the Director, Intelligence RK Sharma, IG, Operation Amitabh Thakur, BSF IG MS Sharma and DIG, South-western Range Shafin Ahmed accompanied the DGP.