Saturday, July 24, 2021

Chhattisgarh: 4 Naxals, including two who caused 5 police deaths in 2015, surrender

PTI | Published: 24th July 2021 08:34 PM

For representational purposes. (Photo | PTI)

RAIPUR: Four Naxals, including two accused of triggering a blast in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada in 2015 in which five policemen were killed, surrendered on Saturday, an official said.

The four, including a woman, surrendered at Kirandul police station in Dantewada, some 340 kilometres from here, he said.

"Of the four, Bhima Markam alias Pandu (40) and Lalita Tamo (27), were involved in blowing up an anti-landmine vehicle with an improvised explosive device (IED) in Cholnar area on April 13 in 2015, leaving five policemen dead.

The other two, Motu Markam (40) and Baman Ran Kunjam (31) were wanted for a 2013 attack on a polling team as well as other incidents," Dantewada Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava said.

All four were active jan militia members in the Malangir area committee of the Naxals' Darbha divisions, which is one of the most dreaded formations of the outlawed group in Bastar, he said.

The four surrendered as they were impressed with the police's rehabilitation drive 'Lon Varratu', which means return to your home/village in the local Gondi dialect, he said.

The number of Naxals surrendering as part of this campaign, in which ultras are being invited to return to the mainstream, since June last year now stood at 386, the SP informed.


Meet IPS officer Ankita Sharma who commands operation in Naxal stronghold Bastar

DNA Web Team | Updated: Jul 24, 2021, 07:27 PM IST

Ankita Sharma has been made ASP of Naxal-affected Bastar district of Chhattisgarh and is commanding ‘Operation Bastar’.Ankita Sharma is the first woman IPS officer of Chhattisgarh to get home cadre and now has been given a big responsibility. Ankita Sharma has been made ASP of Naxal-affected Bastar district of Chhattisgarh and is commanding ‘Operation Bastar’. She is identified as a domineering and powerful officer. Ankita is also known for her good looks, who often shares stylish photos on Instagram.

Ankita is from small village of Durg

Success in 2018

Operation Bastar

Wanted to become IPS since childhood

UPSC preparation after MBA
Husband is an Army officer
Fond of horse riding and badminton
Led Republic Day parade
Ankita had clashed with an MLA
Prepares youth

Maoist camp busted in Odisha; arms, ammunition seized

Express News Service | Published: 24th July 2021 09:11 AM

Huge amount of arms and explosive materials were seized.

NUAPADA: A team of security forces of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) busted a Maoist camp and seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition  in an overnight operation from Patdhara reserve forest near Kundan Jharia village under Boden police limits on Thursday.

Commandant of 216 battalion of the CRPF, Rajesh Vatsa said the team came across the camp during a combing operation on Thursday after receiving a tip off from reliable sources. The red rebels, however, fled taking advantage of the dense forest cover despite being asked to surrender.

Later, during search operation, huge amount of arms and explosive materials including five rifles, one bomb gun, 25 gelatin rods, 36 detonators besides few medicines, tools like knives, axe and other materials were recovered.

A large quantity of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) (10kgs), ammonium nitrate (50kgs), acid bottles (10ltrs) and few other explosive contents  were also found and destroyed on the spot. The remaining articles and ammunition were brought to the CRPF camp late in the night and search operation in the nearby area is still underway.

Notably, three days ago a watcher was brutally killed by the Maoists near the Odisha-Chhattisgarh border

Cops reshaping tribals’ agri future in Maoist-hit G’chiroli

Nagpur: Police have turned to agriculture and farm techniques to strike a rapport with the tribal population in Gadchiroli. In the backdrop of ebbing Maoist influence, police are now trying to empower the tribals through agriculture for bettering their economic condition, which has been in doldrums since the last 30 years due to rebel violence. 

A bunch of police personnel, with either family background of farming or education in agriculture, have started reshaping their department’s equation with the tribals. Launching a composite programme ‘Krishi Samridhhi Yojana’, police have started offering various agriculture-based benefits and services to the villagers since last year.

Apart from coordinating with the government’s agriculture department for various schemes, including discounted and free seeds and saplings, cops have started training and guiding the tribal population, encouraging them to replace their primitive farming techniques with modern methods and do away with over dependency on paddy crop.

Police have also gone to the extent of developing nurseries to train the villagers in farming techniques and giving them away free saplings. Constables, who are either trained or being guided by the officers having agricultural knowledge, are engaged in maintaining the nurseries and guide the locals visiting the place.

Sub-inspector Dhananjay Patil, posted at Perimili police outpost who hails from a farmer’s family in Sangli, had written a book in Marathi about easy farming techniques and used his own salary to print, publish and distribute it among the locals.

“During our gram bhets (village visits), I try to encourage the villagers to take up modern and scientific methods of farming instead of their traditional practices which is leading them nowhere,” said Patil, whose family owned substantial farmland in Meraj in Sangli. “The villagers are dependent only on one crop which, if fails, leaves them empty handed at the end of the cycle,” he said.

Patil said a successful experimentation last year to create a small farm of drumsticks and distribution of 3,000 saplings to villagers had paved way for a bigger one this year. Around 15,000 saplings were produced and distributed to 500 farmers (30 each). “We are also helping the locals engage in fisheries and extending every possible help to them. Our work with the locals over fishery is already on at Perimili,” he said.

SP Ankit Goyal said police is the nodal agency for distributing government schemes and benefits arising out of them. “Our Krishi Samriddhi Yojana is part of the bigger project ‘Dadalora yojana’ (single window system). We created our own nursery of drumsticks which is considered a superfood,” he said.

“A custard apple nursery at Yelchil and another one of papaya at Bamni in Sironcha is already under way from where we shall train the locals on how to grow these fruits and also distribute saplings and seeds,” he said.

DIG (Naxal range) Sandip Patil said the tribal population can themselves adjudge who is their real friend and who is misleading them. “If the Maoists are running a parallel government, how much help have they extended like police to empower the tribals and help them grow economically? From seeds to saplings and training to support, police are extending various helps to the local population to ensure their farming improves,” he said

Is the Maoist movement in a ‘critical’ phase?

Sumit BhattacharjeeVISAKHAPATNAM 24 JULY 2021 23:52 IST
UPDATED: 24 JULY 2021 23:52 IST

With no fresh recruitments and issues, and the security forces gaining an upper hand, the outfit appears to be on the back foot

After almost five decades and surviving many ups and downs, the Naxalite, or Maoist movement, now led by the banned CPI (Maoist), is going through a critical phase.

Documents recovered from the encounter sites and the surrendered, or arrested Maoists reveal that the Central Committee, the highest body, has repeatedly used the terms “critical phase” and “setbacks”.

As per the documents, the leadership has pointed out that the movement is “highly critical” in the plain areas (urban pockets) and in the key strongholds such as the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee (DKSZC), the Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC), and the Telangana State Special Zonal Committee (TSSZC).

The documents also reveal that the Maoists still have some presence at the tri-State border junctions such as Maharashtra - Telangana - Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand - Bengal- Odisha, and Odisha - Chhattisgarh - Madhya Pradesh.

In one such document drafted by the DKSZC in 2011, it was stated that the movement in the region had reached a stagnation point, which was accepted by the Central Committee in 2013-14 and noted in the minutes of its meeting.

In retreat mode?

In 2014, the then general secretary of the CPI (Maoist) Muppala Lakshmana Rao alias Ganapathi, in a letter to all the State committees, had given an order to "minimise losses and defend the strongholds," which signified the retreat mode.

But it did not work for them, as by then most of the States such as Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh had developed their own elite anti-Naxal strike forces such as the Greyhounds, the Special Operations Group (SOG) and the C-60, which had penetrated deep into the strongholds, killing top leaders.

Since then, the Maoists’ area of operation has been shrinking.

Another aspect that has been troubling the outfit since the mid 1990s is the drying up of recruitments from the urban areas, especially educated youth.

Post globalisation and the opening up of opportunities, the Maoist ideology has no takers, particularly among the students in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The banning of the Radical Students’ Union (RSU) in 2004 in the unified Andhra Pradesh had dealt a blow on fresh recruitments.

It was the RSU that had attracted educated youth such as Nambala Keshava Rao alias Basavraj, the general secretary of the party now, and the likes of Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad, Mallojula Koteswara Rao alias Kishenji, and Yalavarthi Naveen Babu.

These leaders hailed from reputed institutions such as NIT-Warangal, Andhra University College of Engineering, Osmania University, and JNU, and had led the movement ideologically.

The documents reveal that recruitments have almost come to a nought, leaving the tribal people as their only mass base.


Lack of issues has also impacted the movement. The Maoists are still holding on to the ‘land reforms’ and the ‘class enemy’ concept. Landlords holding on to the farmers’ land is a rapidly dwindling issue, and this has almost phased out the ‘class enemy’ concept.

In a 7,000-word document, the Central Committee had tasked the State committees and the special zonal committees to find new issues, but they were hard to find.

The bauxite mining issue in the AOB region, which had the potential to infuse life into the movement, turned out to be a non-issue with the Government of Andhra Pradesh revoking the relevant G.O.

Tribal vs non-tribal

With no fresh recruitments and issues, the Maoists are totally dependent on the tribal base, be it in the AOB region, or in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Bihar, and Jharkhand.

In the beginning, things were fine, but later the assertive tribal people, who had earned their positions in the middle-rung leadership, started questioning the "hegemony" of the leaders from the plain areas.

The strength of the once 40-member Central Committee has now dwindled to about 14. It comprises leaders almost above the age of 60, most of who suffer from various ailments. And even among them, about 70% are from A.P. and Telangana. Similar is the case in the middle-rung leadership, which is dominated by leaders from the plain areas.

The surrendered tribal leaders such as Kundan Pahan in Jharkhand, Naveen in Visakhapatnam, and Chikudu Chinna Rao alias Sudheer, who recently left the party in the AOB, had openly spoken about the rift between the tribal and non-tribal leadership.

Top sources in the police say that there are not many educated and intellectual tribal people now in the party who can take top posts

Friday, July 23, 2021

What material do you have against Maoist link accused, SC asks Centre

Legal CorrespondentNEW DELHI 24 JULY 2021 00:58 IST
UPDATED: 24 JULY 2021 00:58 IST

The Kerala youth, Thwaha Fasal, has been booked under the UAPA

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Union of India what “material” it had against Thwaha Fasal, a Kerala youth booked under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for Maoist links .

Appearing before a Bench led by Justice U.U. Lalit, Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju said that a “lot of literature concerning revolution, violence and secessionist struggle in Jammu and Kashmir” were seized from him.

Fasal had appealed to the apex court after the Kerala High Court reversed the National Investigation Agency Court's decision to grant him bail.



The High Court, however, had not interfered in the bail granted to Fasal's co-accused, Alan Shuaib, citing mitigating circumstances, medical condition and his young age. Mr. Raju said the NIA was filing an appeal in the apex court against Shuaib’s bail.

The Bench has decided to take up both cases together on July 30.

Senior advocate V. Giri, for Fasal, submitted that his client was a young man of 23 years and a journalism student with no financial backing. “He has no antecedents and has already undergone 530 days of custody,” Mr. Giri said.

He read out the titles of some of the books arraigned as evidence against Fasal, including one on the caste system, Rosa Luxemburg's critique of Lenin, and 'Hello Bastar: The Untold Story of Indian Maoist Movement’ by journalist Rahul Pandita. Mr. Giri informed the court that pamphlets calling for conservation of the Western Ghats was already available in the public domain.

“Apart from these, was there anything else said by the witnesses?” Justice Lalit asked Mr. Raju. The law officer replied that pamphlets and notices of Maoist fronts were found with Fasal. Notes in Fasal's own handwriting and circulars of the internal communications of the Maoists were found. “They showed an acceptance of the path of violence,” he submitted.

Mr. Raju said the third accused in the case, known in the media as the “Pantheerankavu Maoist case”, had fled to the “jungles”.

“Accused number three ran away and has gone into the jungles... The moment they are released, these people will go to the jungles... He [Fasal] was meeting with an absconding Maoist leader,” the Additional Solicitor General submitted.

The High Court had dismissed the defence lawyer’s arguments that the youngsters were interested in understanding and assimilating new ideologies. However, while agreeing that there were documents that were on the face of it innocuous, there were materials that could not be “ignored in a light-hearted manner”, it said

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Karauli jawan, killed in Naxal attack, to be cremated today


A jawan of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) from Karauli was killed in an encounter with Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district on Tuesday.

Shivnarayan Meena was killed in an encounter with Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district on Tuesday

JAIPUR: A jawan of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) from Karauli was killed in an encounter with Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district on Tuesday.

The jawan has been identified as 31-year-old 

Shivnarayan Meena

 who hailed from Kodiya village in Karauli district. His mortal remains were brought to his native village on Wednesday where he will be cremated with state honours on Thursday. Meena was part of the escort party which was accompanying a politician passing through the Naxal inflicted area and was killed on the spot during indiscriminate firing.


“Shivnarayan was part of the Road Opening Party (ROP) and they had left their base camp around 6 am and at 10 am, Naxals started firing indiscriminately at the team. Although our jawans also retaliated in kind, Meena sustained a bullet injury due to which he died on spot while another one of his colleagues was also injured. Unfortunately, the Naxals managed to escape,” said an official of ITBP.

Shivnarayan had joined the ITBP three years back and was posted in Chhattisgarh just few months ago, prior to which he was stationed in Shimla.

His father, Unkar Meena, said, “Before joining ITBP, my son prepared for the same for couple of years since he always wanted to join the forces. I spoke to him on Monday when he mentioned that he would come home next month for Rakshabandhan, but on Tuesday afternoon around 1 pm, I got a call that he had been killed in an attack. I am still finding it difficult to believe.”

Eldest of the two siblings, Shivnarayan was unmarried and is survived by his parents as well as younger brother. His mortal remains were flown from Raipur to Delhi from where they were brought to Karauli by road. The state political leaders took to social media to condole the jawan’s demise

Application of Galtung’s ABC Model on the Naxalite Insurgency of India


The conflict analysis model proposed by Johan Galtung in 1969 includes both symmetric and asymmetric conflicts. In the author’s opinion, a conflict can be viewed as a triangle whose sides are represented by A (attitude), B (behaviors) and C (contradictions.


The Naxalite Insurgency

The Naxalite revolt which developed in the 1960’s is the most seasoned of all. The Naxalite revolt gets its underlying foundations from a remote town called Naxalbari in West Bengal. They are the progressive communists bunches resulting from Sino-soviet split in Indian Communist Movement. The Naxalite uprising is a low-level war of Maoists against the Indian government. The insurrection began as a labor resistance in the eastern Indian town of Naxalbari in 1967 and has now spread to an extensive swath in the southern and eastern parts of the nation. In 2004 the Maoist dissident association People’s War Group and the Maoist Communist Center of India converged to shape the Communist Party of India (Maoist). The Movement was driven by Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal and Jangal Santhal.


The main conflict includes real or perceived “incompatibility of goals” between the conflicting parties. In symmetrical conflicts, the contradiction is defined by the parties, their interests and conflicts of interests. In asymmetric conflicts, the contradiction is defined by the parties, the relationship between them and the conflict within this relationship.

Before continuing with Galtung’s model analysis, it is necessary to highlight the differences between symmetric and asymmetric conflicts. When A and B have a relatively similar or equal position and they enter into a conflict due to diverging interests; we are talking about a symmetrical conflict. When in the relationship between A and B one of the parties has a clearly superior standing compared to the other (i.e. a clear situation of inequality between the two sides); we are referring to asymmetric conflict. This type of conflict occurs between the majority and a minority, between a government and a rebel group, between an employer and his employees, or between a master and his servants (“Transforming Civil Conflicts”, The Network University. The University of Amsterdam, June 2000).

A conflict in Galtung’s view = attitude + behavior + contradiction, where contradiction (C) is the root of the conflict, and attitude (A) and behavior (B) are meta-conflicts after (C). CAB is a possible example of a conflict sequence starting objectively with an attitude of inner life that is expressed externally through violent or not verbal and / or physical behavior. This definition helps us to talk about the CAB as a guiding conflict theory, as a dynamic phase of the conflict, or as an approach to solutions (Galtung, 2007, 22).

The contradiction here in this conflict is inequality and dispute over political rights and resources. The Naxalites get most help from Dalits and Adivasis. Together they sum for one fourth of India’s population; a large portion of them live in rural India. Their bases for supporting the insurgency includes unemployment, new timberland provisions with confinement for their jobs, cultural degradation, feeble access to social education, confined and constrained access to regular assets, social abominations, relocation, political underestimation and suppression of rebellions. The affected areas have rich mineral resources but the inapproachability and negligence of the government is another which has kept the insurgency alive.

The demands of the insurgents are not of succession rather they demand their democratic rights. They want the government to implement improvements in the farming sector, give accommodations and full authority to the farmers, and abandon all private finances taken by the agricultural community to stop suicides by farmers, prepare a lasting and unified plan for tackling the scarcity situation and to be given equal opportunities, jobs, education, acceptance from the upper caste people.


Includes the perception of the parties; It can be positive or negative, strongly negative especially in violent conflicts when the parties develop humiliating stereotypes about each other. Attitude consists of emotive and affective components (I like or I do not like X), cognitive components (favorable or unfavorable information about X) and cognitive/ behavioral components (desire, will).

Attitudes or we say perception of conflicting parties, i.e., Government of India and Naxal rebel’s groups are entirely negative. Indian government thinks of it as a national security threat and wants to counter it one way or the other. In 2006, the Ex-Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh called the Naxalites “The single greatest inward security challenge.” As the insurgency is not in just one part of the country but it is expanding in many regions which is a serious threat to the state’s internal security. While the rebel groups being untouchables, think of the government as racist and discriminatory and want equal rights and opportunities as any other Indian.


Involves cooperation or coercion / conciliation or hostility regarding the behavior, in case of violent conflict we talk about threats, coercion or destructive attacks.

The Indian National Congress is India’s oldest party. Hence has seen a number of conflicts and insurgencies. The INC government sought after a double pronged approach depended on military and cruel police activities.

SalwaJudum was launched as part of counterinsurgency strategy by the Indian government. The Naxals and SalwaJudum used to assault each other with much greater savagery; numerous individuals were killed by Naxals and SalwaJudum. The SalwaJudum was at long last prohibited by the Supreme Court in 2011 for damaging human rights and the Constitution itself. The government then presented “Operation Green Hunt”, an organized activity over a few states (Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal among others), to handle Naxalism. But the operation was also a failure.

The government then realized that using the military on their own people is not the solution to the problem hence, they made some developments in the affected regions but it did not give long lasting results; it resulted in the failure of the policies of Indian National Congress.

Andhra Pradesh has the best strategies to counter the Naxalite insurgents among all affected states. It perceived the Naxalite insurrection as a genuine risk. It has put resources into the Greyhounds; a unit arranged for a counterinsurgency reaction and has given extensive recovery bundles to repatriate the previous Naxalites.

They likewise made a few projects to help police faculty and their families if executed in the line of duty. Andhra Pradesh’s counterinsurgency approach is unmatched in the whole country.

The Naxalite rebellion entered in these states later. They are the most badly influenced states because of their topography and demography. Because of a crackdown by police and military against the naxalites, the movement spread into many states. Since these states have a huge population and forested territory, they were the ideal areas for the guerillas to develop. None of these states has a solid counterinsurgency approach. Chhattisgarh has connected comparable guerrilla strategies and many operations like Operation Shikhar, Operation X, Operation Thunder and Operation Hill Top but neither of these operations have been able to purge the insurgency in the state. Jharkhand has led a few hostile activities, Odhisa uptil now have no strategies that can manage the uprisings. Every one of the three states is rich with mineral resources but none of them have powerful counterinsurgency technique. West Bengal is relatively successful in countering insurgency. The state government additionally got assistance from the central government.

The BJP government counterinsurgency strategy against the Naxalites combines a twofold unit approach; one approach is to utilize safety powers to create security whereas the other is winning hearts and minds of the overall public. Past governments utilized the relative systems, yet in light of a nonappearance of coordination and uneven execution between influenced states, it didn’t give incredible results.

Social and economic inequity is seen as the main drivers of the Naxalite insurrection. Accordingly, the BJP government has reported sweeping policy, which incorporates improvement measures to manage social and economic degradation. The government has invested in the expansion of infrastructure which includes the creation of communication linkage and rail and road accessibility also in educating and providing basic services to the people. The number of violence decreased during BJP’s time period, the credit is not alone to BJP government but also to previous governments.

Hamail Aziz

I am recent graduate of National Defence University Islamabad from the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies. My area of interests include insurgencies, global politics, international conflicts and crisis

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

11 feared abducted by Maoists in Chhattisgarh

At least 11 people have gone missing from a village in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Sukma district and are suspected to have been abducted by Maoists, police said on Tuesday
PUBLISHED ON JUL 21, 2021 06:11 AM IST

The rebels suspected that the missing persons had appeared for a police recruitment test, and hence, may have taken them in captivity.. (AFP/File Photo)(HT_PRINT)

At least 11 people have gone missing from a village in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Sukma district and are suspected to have been abducted by Maoists, police said on Tuesday. A search for the missing is underway, they added.

According to inspector general of police (IGP) (Bastar range) Sunderaj P, seven persons went missing after attending a social gathering two days ago.

“...(the) villagers from Kunded under Jagargonda police station limits went to a nearby village to attend a social gathering a couple of days back and they are yet to return home. We are trying to verify the information about a few of them being taken captive by Maoists,” he said.

Sukma superintendent of police Sunil Sharma said that four others, including a village head, on Monday had reportedly gone to hold talks with the rebels on the alleged abduction of the villagers but did not return.

According to people familiar with the developments, the rebels suspected that the missing persons had appeared for a police recruitment test, and hence, may have taken them in captivity.

No case has been registered so far and talks are underway between tribal leaders and Maoists, the people cited above added.

ITBP trooper killed in gunbattle

A paramilitary trooper of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) was killed and another was injured in an exchange of fire between security forces and Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Left-wing insurgency-affected Naraynapur district on Tuesday.

The Bastar IGP said the gun battle broke out near Aamdai Valley after a party of the ITBP’s 45th battalion was out to clear the movement of Chandan Kashyap, the member of Chhattisgarh assembly from Narayanpur constituency.

“After the convoy of Kashyap passed through the area around 10 am, a small action team of Maoists opened fire on the ITBP jawans. One jawan, Shiv Kumar Meena, died while assistant sub-inspector Keshav Ram suffered minor injuries,” Sunderaj P said, adding that Ram was out of danger and undergoing treatment at a local hospital

Monday, July 19, 2021

Naxals dying of COVID in Andhra-Odisha border without medical treatment: Odisha police

Naxals, COVID, Andhra, Odisha, border

Representative Image (File Photo: AFP)

The hideouts of left-wing extremists active in the Andhra-Odisha border have come under the firm grip of the COVID-19 pandemic with red rebels succumbing to the disease and getting infected with the deadly virus. The rebels are dying without medical treatment, police said, quoting the version of two Maoists who surrendered before the Malkangiri police on Sunday.

The police in Odisha’s Malkangiri district had earlier urged the left-wing extremists showing COVID-19 symptoms to surrender for prompt medical symptoms. Police had also intensified the vigil to check the sneaking of infected Naxals into human habitations as it might lead the disease to spread and infect the villagers.

Two hardcore Maoists, carrying cash rewards, surrendered to join the mainstream during the Malkangiri visit of Director General Police Abhay today.

Two Naxals who pledged to shun the path of violence for returning to the mainstream, are identified as Rame Podiami, a woman cadre, and Raidhar Dhurua, police said adding that all of them carried cash rewards on their heads. Besides, a woman Maoist- Tulas Huika-who was the area committee member of Narayanpatana Maoist group also surrendered before police DGP in Koraput today.

The Naxal duo had participated in several attacks on security forces and ambushes in addition to several other incidents during their underground activities.

Both of them get monetary assistance as per the Surrender and Rehabilitation Scheme of the Government of Odisha. Besides, they will be provided with financial assistance for building a house, pursuing studies, and getting training in a trade and vocation of their will.

The ideological deviation, excellent surrender, and rehabilitation policy of the government besides the raging pandemic forced them to leave the path of violence to return to the mainstream.

“The appeal made by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to Maoists and militias to leave the path of violence for the peaceful development of these areas is paying dividends. As a result, in the past two years more than 20 active Maoist cadres and hundreds of active militias and Maoist sympathizers have surrendered in Malkangiri district”, police officials said.

The sequence of surrender by red ultras in recent times is a clear indicator that the Maoist organisation is weakening in Odisha.

Malkangiri has carved out a spot as one worst affected districts in the country, reporting as many as 332 Maoist incidents between 2008 and 2020, with 101 civilians and 77 security personnel deaths. Of this, Swabhiman Anchal accounted for the deaths of 25 civilians and 49 security personnel. In 2016, in an encounter at Ramaguda in Swabhiman Anchal, some 30 Maoist ultras were killed. In 2011, the then Malkangiri collector R. Vineel Krishna was abducted while he had gone to supervise developmental work.

The Swabhiman Anchal in Malkangiri was once regarded as the epicenter of left-wing extremism along with other areas such as Dantewada, Bijapur, Bastar, and Narayanpur regions in Chhattisgarh.

However, the Maoists’ strength in the erstwhile cutoff areas in Swabhiman Anchal in Malkangiri district, is steadily disintegrating. There has been a discernible turnaround in the region with the deployment of BSF and construction of Gurupriya River Bridge connecting the area with the mainland, added the official

Madhya Pradesh: Cops used Pegasus in Koregaon Bhima case, says Digvijaya Singh


Congress Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh on Monday told TOI that Pegasus was used by police in the Koregaon Bhima case, and even his name had surfaced, but he couldn’t be implicated because he had stopped using the phone that was mentioned in the ‘Naxalite letter’.

Former chief minister and Congress Rajya Sabha member Digvijaya Singh addressing a press conference in Bhopal on Monday

BHOPAL: Congress 

Rajya Sabha



 Singh on Monday told TOI that 


 was used by police in the Koregaon Bhima case, and even his name had surfaced, but he couldn’t be implicated because he had stopped using the phone that was mentioned in the ‘Naxalite letter’.

“It is important that evidence collected through the spyware Pegasus be made public because it not only hacks phones, but can also be used to plant documents, messages, videos and audios to falsely implicate people,” the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said.

According to Digvijaya, his phone number, too, was mentioned in a letter between 


. “I was not on 


 on the number they mentioned in the letter from one Naxalite to another. There was a case registered against me in Pune. But fortunately for me, I had stopped using that phone for a long time. So I could not be implicated,” he said.

Earlier in the day, he tweeted how he had questioned the government on Pegasus during a Rajya Sabha debate in December 2019.

During the debate, Digvijaya had asked then Union minister for communications 

Ravi Shankar Prasad

 whether the Indian government had “negotiated and executed any deal with the Israeli company 


 that has developed the spyware Pegasus”.

“After this (debate in Rajya Sabha), I wrote to the minister, requesting him to reveal the list of people whose phones were hacked, sent to him by WhatsApp. I am yet to receive any reply,” he tweeted on Monday.

In another tweet, he said, “Questions asked to the government in Rajya Sabha in December 2019 session are still unanswered. Will Amit Shah ji inform us? I don’t think he will. Because they are the ones to blame.”