Friday, August 13, 2021

Maoists’ surrender raises issues of waning tribal support for the outlaws and lack of new recruits

Six Maoist cadres who surrendered presented to the media by Director General of Police D. Gautam Swang, in Mangalagiri, Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, on August 12.Six Maoist cadres who surrendered presented to the media by Director General of Police D. Gautam Swang, in Mangalagiri, Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, on August 12. | Photo Credit: GIRI KVS
UPDATED: 13 AUGUST 2021 15:23 IST

Twenty-four hours after the surrender of six key cadres belonging to the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist), an uneasy calm pervades the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha border area. The surrender of the six, along with similar such instances in the recent past, is being seen as a major setback to the Maoist movement in both the Andhra-Odisha border area and overall for the Naxalite movement itself.

Police sources told Frontline that the local Adivasis, even those inhabiting the interior forest areas in the Andhra-Odisha border area, have slowly distanced themselves from the Maoists. The sources also said that besides a lack of support from the tribal people and the paucity in recruitment, the Naxalite movement has suffered because of the feeling among the tribal people that they are being discriminated against by the top Maoist leadership.

During the last year, the Maoists movement has come under a lot of pressure. There have been 11 exchanges of fire with the security forces; 14 Maoists, including divisional committee members, have lost their lives; 32 cadres, including a special zonal committee member and three divisional committee members, have surrendered; and many, including those among the top leadership, have been infected with COVID-19. In June, six Maoists, including a senior leader, were killed in an encounter between Maoists and the Greyhound special forces of the Andhra Pradesh Police at Teegalametta forests of Koyyuru mandal.

The six Maoists who surrendered on August 12 before D. Gautam Sawang, Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police were part of the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) and included four women. They carried a combined reward of Rs.16 lakh on their heads. Of the six, four were from Chhattisgarh and two from Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam district. The six were allegedly involved in 127 offences, including 17 murders, over a period spanning a decade and a half. The surrendered Maoists are Pedabayalu-Korukonda area committee secretary Chikkudu Chinna Rao alias Sudheer (aged 32); divisional committee member and divisional commander Vanthala Vannu alias Mahita (25); area committee members Madakam Somidi (25) and Madakam Manglu alias Deepak (21); and two female cadres identified as Poyam Rukini alias Rinky (18) and Sodi Bheeme (18).

Releasing the names of the surrendered Maoists, Sawang disclosed that Chinnarao was not only a divisional committee member of the Maoist Korukonda area committee but also one of the few tribal leaders from this region. He was involved in 93 offences, including 14 murders, 11 exchanges of fire and seven land mine blasts. Vanthala Vannu was involved in 10 offences, including the murders of former Andhra Pradesh legislators Kidari Sarverswar Rao and Siveri Soma. Vanthala Vannu and Madakam Somidi were part of the team that provided protection and security to top Maoist leader Rama Krishna, popularly known as RK. The police said that while Mangulu participated in nine offences, Rukini and Bheeme participated in three offences each.

According to Sawang, several schemes of the government were reaching the tribal people even in the remote areas and had benefited them in numerous ways. This he added had made it difficult for the Maoists to maintain their attractiveness to the tribals. Sawang claimed that the cadres have also depleted. Stating that the government had identified 3 lakh acres of land and handed out pattas (title deeds) to 20,000 tribal families, the DGP said that this move had eased the anxiety among tribal people regarding the ownership of the land they were tilling.

The DGP also disclosed that the Maoist cadres had depleted to 54 now from 140 two years ago. Sawang said: “Earlier there used to be two companies with 19 members in each but now the outfit has just one platoon comprising 10 members. The Andhra-Odisha Border area used to have eight committees in the past but now the number has come down to four.”

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

State finding it tough to tackle 84 frontal organizations of Maoist, dens in five districts

Nagpur: Maharashtra, known as the hub of urban Maoists, is learnt to be finding it difficult to tackle frontal organizations which are fast spreading their wings. 

According to intelligence reports, Maharashtra has the highest 84 frontal organizations having secret dens in at least five districts in Gondia, Nagpur, Nashik, Pune and Mumbai.

The state is now contemplating enacting the ‘Maharashtra public security Act’ to be able to firmly tackle the frontal organizations, their networks and activities.

After the enactment comes into effect, the state would be able to ban outfits engaging in anti-government activities and spreading ideologies against establishments.

“The Central government bans bigger organizations having nationwide activities but ignores smaller outfits operating only in a few districts. The enactment, like the Maharashtra public security Act, would help the state to bring prohibition on organizations which it feels could be a threat to public security and unrest in the society,” said an official.

“The organizations too can appeal against the decision to impose a ban,” he said. 

In the first week of August, senior bureaucrats and police officials had a joint meeting regarding the issue of having a special security enactment like other states for reigning in anti-government activities. Sources said the state has been contemplating a special security act since the last five years.

Sources said the death of Stan Swamy, an accused in the Koregaon Bhima case, has triggered a nationwide stir among frontal organizations who are aiming to make inroads into Maharashtra.

To counter plans of the frontal organizations from spreading their activities, the state aims to bring in the enactment.

DIG, Naxal range and in-charge of the state anti-naxal operations (ANO), Sandip Patil said the draft proposal is being considered by the government. “The proposal is being compiled with data and references for consideration,” he said.

It’s learnt that the state is considering references of similar enactments in other states for preparing it’s draft proposal. The intelligence reports of the latest activities of the frontal organizations, their strengths and networks are also being taken into considerations with the latest incidents like Koregaon Bhima where involvement of urban Maoists have come to the fore. Documents seized from Maoists in Gadchiroli had references of urban networks and their future activities penned by senior cadres and think tanks

Woman claiming to be Maoist rescued in Odisha

Express News Service | Published: 09th August 2021 07:37 AM
For representational purposes

BHUBANESWAR:  A woman reportedly abandoned by Maoists due to her mental and physical health issues was rescued by Rayagada police on July 30. The woman, in her mid-twenties, was moving around in a village within Ambadola police limits and told some local girls that she was associated with the banned CPI (Maoist) outfit. A police team rushed to the spot and rescued her from the village, Rayagada SP Vivekanand Sharma told TNIE. 

She was looking frail and was taken to a doctor. During testing, it came to fore that her haemoglobin level was low. The woman was then taken to ‘Swadhar Grah’ in the district and questioned by women police officers. “She gave prevaricating statements to the police and did not seem mentally fit. Clothes and bangles were given to her during her stay at the shelter home,” Sharma said. 

The investigators faced difficulties in ascertaining her identity and had to circulate her photographs in police stations nearby. Finally, police managed to trace her parents to neighbouring Kalahandi district. She was handed over to them recently. 

The SP said as of now, it cannot be confirmed if she was part of the banned outfit. “However the possibility of the ultras deserting her due to her poor physical and mental health cannot be ruled out and further probe in this regard is on,” he said. The Bansadhara-Ghumusar-Nagabali (BGN) division of the Maoists is active in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts.

There are just 20 active Maoists from Odisha as of now and they are desperately trying to recruit local cadres, said sources. “The recruitment of local cadres has come down significantly in recent years due to our effective intelligence network and awareness programmes in the Left Wing Extremism-hit districts of the State. The locals too are opting for the State government’s development programmes to get jobs instead of joining the ultras who are not part of the mainstream,” said a senior police officer

Maoists trying to kill their former cadre: Kothagudem Police

Maoist leadership is trying to capture and eliminate Madakam Chukki of Battigudem village, who came out of the party due to alleged harassment and torture

By Author  |  Published: 8th Aug 2021  7:51 pm

Kothagudem: Maoist leadership was trying to kill a female naxal who left the CPI (Maoist) party recently, the district police said.

A statement from Superintendent of Police here on Sunday said Madakam Chukki of Battigudem village in Cherla mandal, who worked in Cherla local organisation squard (LOS), came out the party due to alleged harassment and torture by the Maoists.

The Maoist leadership, which feared several other cadres in the party might follow in her footsteps, was now trying to capture and eliminate her. Making the serious allegation against the Maoists, the police said: “There is not much difference between ISIS terrorists and Maoists when it comes to dealing with women and minors serving the party.”

The police appealed to the Human Rights, Women Rights and Child Rights organisations and their activists to come forward to protect tribal children and women from the hands of the Maoists.

They also appealed to the Maoists to surrender and lead a better life