Karkala, Jul 31: Naxals, who were lying low since being active for a brief period long time back, have announced their resurgence in the taluk by hanging banners in the name of CPI (Maoist).
Four banners were found to have been hung to the poles supporting the bus shelter located near Poonjaje school in Mala village located at the foot of Western Ghats. The locals noticed these banners on Saturday July 30 morning.
One among these four banners has made mention about Martyrs’ Day. Naxals observe Matyrs’ week from July 28 to August 3 every year. It has become common for them to prove their presence during this period every year. Knowing this, Anti Naxal Force (ANF) remains active during this period.
Since the last some years, barring isolated incidents, naxals had not undertaken any major initiatives. Therefore, it was widely believed that their numbers have steeply dwindled. The banners prominently give the message that forest and environment are anytime bigger than any government and that the people should come together to defeat proposed Tiger Project, implementation of Kasturirangan report and other proposed projects in Kudremukh National Park and other forest areas. The banners also speak about observing Martyrs’ Day.
Reports said that a six-member gang comprising four men and two women, has been visiting houses in Mala and Nooralbettu areas seeking support for their organization since the last some days. Locals believe that some of the members were from outside the state, going by the fact that they were speaking some other language too. But none of the locals have come out with complete details of their encounter with naxals. Some say the people suspected them to be naxals only after seeing the banners. However, the gang is not to be seen since a couple of days, it is learnt.
Both the police and ANF have not been giving any information about finding these banners and the resultant follow up action. After those who saw the banner conveyed this information to them, officials of the department rushed to the spot. A case was registered in the rural police station here. It is said that a combing operation has been launched in the forests to find out whether naxals are camping in the area.
Naxals kill tribal youth
A tribal youth was killed allegedly by Naxalites on the suspicion of being a police informer, police said today. 23-year-old Rakesh Karu Gawde, a resident of village Gurja in Aheri tehsil of the district, was shot dead by Naxals late last night, Gadchiroli police said in a release.
Rakesh was a second-year graduation student and was helping people by giving information about government schemes, it said. As per the release, Naxals belonging to ‘Perimili Dalam’ dashed to his village and dragged him to village Tumarkasa where he was shot dead. Following the incident, anti-Naxal operations have been intensified in the area, police said, adding investigations are underway.
IED planted in 2008 in Chhattisgarh, recovered
Based on a tip provided by a surrendered naxal, security forces on Sunday recovered a powerful 40-kg improvised explosive device (IED), planted by Maoists eight years back in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district on National Highway 63, police said. The input was provided by a surrendered naxal, the explosive that was packed in a big steel container, was unearthed from Bastanar valley under Kodenar police station limits of the district, Bastar Superintendent of Police R N Dash said.
Man killed by Maoists
An man was allegedly killed using sharp weapons by Maoists in the insurgency-hit Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh during their ongoing Martyrs’ week, police said today. “The victim’s body was found lying in a pool of blood this morning on Bijapur-Gangaloor Road under Bijapur police station limits,” Bijapur Superintendent of Police KL Dhruv told PTI.
Soon after getting the information, a police team rushed to the spot, located around 450 kms away from here and recovered the body, he added.
A note left beside the body by Maoists claimed that the man was Naveen Das Baghel, a native of Nagarnar area of Bastar district, who was working for Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in the region, the SP said. According to the note, the victim had joined the Bastar police in 2001, while he was later associated with CRPF in 2003. It further claimed that the victim was picked up by ultras on July 28 and murdered on July 30 after interrogation.
“However, during police investigation, nobody named Naveen Das Baghel was found to be residing in Nagarnar area,” the SP said adding that further probe to ascertain the identity of the deceased, was on. Meanwhile, a CRPF official denied having any links with the victim. In a separate incident, a Maoist identified as Padam Kamesh alias Sudhakar was arrested from Basaguda police station area of Bijapur district.
The cadre was apprehended from Chikapalli village forests while a joint team of CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action)- an elite unit of CRPF and local police was carrying out an anti-Naxal operation in the region, the SP said. Security has been beefed up across the Naxal-affected Bastar division, which comprises seven districts– Dantewada, Bijapur, Bastar, Narayanpur, Kondagaon, Sukma and Kanker as the Maoists are observing ‘Martyrs’ Week’ till August 3, during which they try to create disturbance.
Maoists kill pastor in Chintoor mandal
Chintoor (East Godavari): Maoists killed a pastor and abducted another person in the mandal on late Friday night only to release the latter on Saturday morning. Both the murder and the abduction were carried out on the charge that they were police informers. The naxals also warned the people that all police informers would meet a similar fate as that of the pastor. The victim was identified as Uike Marayya of Lachigudem in the mandal, while the abducted person who was later released was named Kaniti Raju of Vankagudem in the mandal.
According to police sources, late on Friday night, more than 100 naxals and militia members entered Lachigudem village and dragged pastor Marayya out of his house and took him to the forests. There they beat him severely with sticks before slitting his throat. The Maoists also left a letter near the body with the warning. They also accused the Chintoor and Nellipak police of harassing innocent people by branding them as naxal sympathisers. Marayya was a native of Sukuma district of Chhattisgarh and had settled here almost 15 years ago.
Chintoor circle inspector V Durga Rao told TOI that after leaving Lachigudem, the Maoists entered the nearby village of Vankagudem and abducted Raju. The naxals, however, released him on Saturday morning after severely beating him up. The inspector said, “Chintoor mandal shares its borders with Chhattisgarh. Maoists commit offences here and crosses the border within hours.”
Meanwhile, pamphlets and posters by Maoists, who have been observing Martyrs Week from July 28, surfaced at various places like Pega, and Mallampeta urging the people to ensure that the celebrations are a success. A plastic bag with heavy metals was also found on the Pega-Mallampeta road which the villagers thought were land mines placed by naxals targeting the security forces. On their part, a large number of security forces have been carrying out combing operations in the Visakha Agency. They have been conducting vehicle checks at every junction, but incessant rains acted as a deterrent.