Maoists lose top leaders in group war


Jaideep Deogharia & Deeptiman Tiwary, TNN | Mar 29, 2013,

RANCHI/NEW DELHI: At least ten Maoistsincluding some senior leaders of the CPI (Maoist) were killed in a pitched gun battle with rival faction, TritiyaPrastuti Committee (TPC), inJharkhand on Thursday. This is one of the rare instances when Maoists have lost several of their top leaders in an internecine fight that has dealt a body blow to the banned outfit.

Among the 10 dead, security forces have identified three top leaders -Lalesh Yadav alias Prashant, state secretary (Madhya zone, Bihar Regional Committee) and closest aide of Latehar encounter leader Arvindji, Dharmendra Yadav alias Veeru, member of sub-zonal committee of Eastern Palamu zone and Jai Kumar Yadav, a ‘platoon commander’. Prafulla, a sub-zonal committee member, is also suspected to be among the dead. But several bodies are still to be identified. Self-styled TPC area commander Ajayji, however, said that 15 Maoists had been killed and another 10 taken hostage, but police declined to confirm the claim.

“The gun battle has eliminated the top Maoist leaders from the Madhya zone and we expect restoration of the peace in the region,” JharkhandDGP Rajiv Kumar said. The killings give opportunity to the security forces to lay siege to naxal-infested areas in Bihar where the Maoists now remain cornered in Jamui and Gaya districts. “They were running the show in Bihar. This is the time for the state to conduct operations in the areas and bring administration to the people. Maoists will not be able to rise again if that happens,” said an official from the security establishment.

The fierce firefight in the Lakarbandha forests in Chatra lasted over 12 hours after which police recovered one AK-47, two .303 rifles, three .315 rifles and a huge quantity of ammunition from the site. Jharkhand Police spokesperson Richard Lakra said that the gun battle began at around 2PM on Wednesday and continued till 2AM on Thursday. “On receiving information, police teams and jawans of CRPF‘s CoBRA contingent ventured into the forests and spotted the bodies as the day broke,” he said.

Sources said the Maoist group was caught unawares by the sudden attack by a large number of armed TPC activists while they were holding a meeting in the Lakarbandha forests, about 100 km from Ranchi. Lalesh’s group was preparing to move to Chatra to rescue Maoist leader Sandeep, who separated from Arvindji’s group in Jharkhand, and bring him to Bihar. Security forces had recently cornered Arvindji in Gumla district, but he managed to give them a slip.

A March 25 encounter in Dumaria area of Gaya between a CoBRA contingent and Maoists is believed to have set the stage for Thursday’s bloody internecine clash. There were no casualties in the hour-long exchange of fire that day. “The encounter, however, set the Maoists back in terms of ammunition and morale and going into a rescue operation in Jharkhand they were at a disadvantage,” said an intelligence official.

Sources said, the group had some injured people and it was while arranging for their medical help that the information of their arrival in Chatra got leaked to TPC- a splinter group that separated from CPI (Maoists) alleging that it was Yadav-dominated and discriminated against tribals (to which TPC cadres belong) in the party.

Maoists have routinely accused the police of supporting TPC which had identified CPI (Maoist) as its ‘main enemy’ after the break-up. According to police records more than 100 ultras have been killed in the Maoist-TPC turf war in the past three years alone. Of the 57 extremists killed in 2010, 38 died in internecine conflict while 40 of the 69 killed in 2011 and 22 of the 33 deaths in 2012 were due to inter-group clashes. Maoists had given a call for unilateral ceasefire for three months last year, urging the splinter group to join ranks. The TPC operates in Palamau, Latehar, Garhwa and parts of Hazaribagh districts.

Maoists threaten to silence voices #Vaw




Time has turned a full circle in the case of Niyamat Ansari. It is on the brink of taking the same ugly turn witnessed exactly two years ago, when Ansari was murdered. The social activist had been fighting corruption in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme (MGNREGS) in Latehar.

Apparently acting at the behest of culprits behind Ansari’s killing, local Maoists have now threatened his sister, Saida Bibi, and even abducted Bhukhan Singh, the whistleblower’s close aide and companion in his struggle on the Centre’s flagship programme.

The ultras had approached Saida Bibi on Wednesday and threatened her with dire consequences. “The ‘party people’ (Naxals) told Saida to change her statement in court. They pressurised her to say she does not identify the persons languishing in jail (for murdering Ansari) and instead blame the ‘party’ for the crime. Otherwise she would meet a fate similar to her brother. She is terrified since then,” Nuroosha Bibi, Ansari’s wife, told The Pioneer.

Saida Bibi still lives in Jharua village, which Ansari’s wife had been forced to leave behind after his murder. She had left Manika block of Latehar and come to the town with her children.

Seven accused are behind the bars for the March 2, 2011 murder that had sent shockwaves across the nation. Facts coming to the fore now suggest that some of those arrested have had close association with Rajan Yadav and Pappu, reportedly Maoist ‘area commanders’. The Naxals are now terrorising the family members of the whistleblower and key witnesses to deviate from their original statements.

Activists like Jean Dreze, Aruna Roy, Arundhati Roy and several others had raised the matter on various platforms in 2011. A team headed by BK Sinha, the then Secretary in the Rural Development Ministry, had visited Kope gram panchayat in Latehar and filed a detailed report admitting rampant corruption and the role of contractors in the MGNREGA work in the area — the very issue raised by Ansari before he was silenced.

The rebels have been working on sabotaging the entire investigation into and even abducted Bhukhan on February 26 to frighten him into turning a hostile witness.  Bhukhan was released a day after and has been given police protection.

“Maoists often visit Jharua and bully the 14 to 15 eyewitnesses of the incident. They have even beaten a few to get them to change their statement before court,” said a local MGNREGA activist who is fighting for justice to Ansari.

The motive behind pushing the name of the Left-wing organisation for the killing is to save the culprits. It would be virtually impossible for the police to pinpoint individuals working in a Maoist organisation.

It would effectively silence the voice against siphoning of funds and the cold-blooded murder would be masked as another Naxal act.

Life after death of Niyamat Ansari

FRIDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2013 00:05


Niyamat Ansari’s family is yet to breathe easy. It’s been nearly two years since the whistleblower was killed. His wife Nuroosha Bibi has got work in January this year but is yet to draw her first ‘salary’.

Worst of all, the frightened family has had to abandon its original village Jharua (Manika block) and settle in Latehar town.

On March 2, 2011, Ansari was dragged out of his house, brutally beaten up and murdered by local goons for exposing MGNREGA embezzlement.

Narrating her unending hardship to The Pioneer, Nuroosha Bibi said the family of eight have had to survive on pennies. “We would get some agricultural work on others’ farms and make ends meet. No one gave us land and we were left with some tand (less productive) land only. Nothing but maize grows there,” she says.

After Ansari’s murder, his parents’ old-age pension has proved too little to survive on, leave alone provide proper education to his three children and those of his sister —Saida Bibi, a widow.

Nuroosha has now been given a temporary job in a Government office at Latehar. “I am working in DRDA office on a daily basis since January 22. But they are yet to pay me. The bada babu (senior clerk) told me I would get Rs 195 a day. But that would be for working days only and not for Sundays or holidays. I don’t know how I will manage,” she says in a chocked voice.

The cold-blooded murder had created a furore at national and international levels in 2011. Activists such as Jean Dreze, Aruna Roy, Arundhati Roy and others had raised the matter on various platforms. As a result, a team headed by BK Sinha, the then Secretary in Union Rural Development Ministry, visited Kope gram panchayat and filed a detailed report. It admitted rampant corruption and the role of contractors in the rural job scheme.

Despite the attention it grabbed, Nuroosha Bibi was forced to abandon her husband’s house, succumbing to pressure, mostly from associates of forces behind Ansari’s killing. “I had some money from my marriage and also from Saida. By collecting savings, I somehow managed a house at Latehar, though it had no windows or stairs. But I did not want to live in the village. They used to laugh at me, threaten me and pass comments. I was feeling extremely frightened.”

Her sufferings have not ended. About two months ago, money and valuables were stolen from her house and there has been no police action.

The Government deposited Rs 3 lakh as fixed deposit in her name about seven months ago, but not before draining efforts. “The file was moving very slow. We approached officials in Delhi and in Ranchi. Finally, when we met Arjun Munda and Jairam Ramesh (Union Rural Development Minister), the process speeded up,” said Shayama Singh of NREGA Help Line, an NGO working to bring transparency in the scheme.

However, Ansari’s family is still awaiting Rs 1 lakh and a permanent job as compensation that was reportedly announced by former CM Arjun Munda and promised by then Deputy Commissioner Rahul Purwar. It will come only after the case finally concludes, a distant dream indeed.

Nuroosha Bibi is not sure about the fate of the case. “I have no knowledge of legal aspects as I am not very educated. They are in jail but for how long, I don’t know and also when the case is going to end,” she says.

Ansari’s case is just another grim instance on how it does not pay to blow the whistle.


#India- ‘We were used as human shields in Latehar against Maoists’ #WTFnews


Villagers say police asked them to walk in three queues, men and women on both sides and the police in the centre, when they went to look for the bodies after the encounter. Photo: Manob Chowdhury
Villagers say police asked them to walk in three queues, men and women on both sides and the police in the centre, when they went to look for the bodies after the encounter. Photo: Manob Chowdhury


Four villagers died in an explosion when they tried to lift a CRPF jawan’s body

Adivasi villagers at Amvatikar have accused the CRPF of beating them and using them as shields as they were forced to search for security personnel’s bodies in the Katiya forest in Latehar district on January 8. Eleven security personnel were killed in an encounter with Maoists a day earlier.

In an interview to The-Hindu on January 11, Vijay Turi (40), who survived the blast that killed four villagers, said the explosion took place when they tried to lift the body of Baijnath Kisku on the CRPF’s instructions. It caused a three-foot deep pit. A scarf, broken slippers and scraps of cloth lay scattered on the slope of the Bhaluwahi hill at the edge of the adivasi hamlet.

Police officials initially said the blast was triggered by explosives planted under Kisku’s body. They later said it was likely that Maoists had sewn the explosives inside the body, as they had done with CRPF’s Babunath Patel’s body. That bomb was detonated safely outside a hospital in Ranchi on January 10 after doctors, suspecting something was amiss when they noticed an incision on the body, called the police.

“Pramod Sau from Nawadih came at 10 a.m. and said the police would beat us if we did not help them look for the bodies,” said Turi’s nephew Binod Turi (18). “The police made us walk in three queues, men and women on both sides and the police at the centre. We spotted the body on the hill slope. The police stood with the villagers at the base of the hillock, 20 feet from the body. They asked six villagers in the front to walk ahead and lift the body.

“Suddenly there was a huge explosion. We ran. The police asked us to take cover with them, but the villagers were running. Some policemen then started hitting the men with their guns, sticks, boots, saying ‘you shelter Maoists.’ They put a gun to my stomach and made me sit there,” he recounted.

On Friday morning, he and Turi’s wife Asha packed a few bags of clothes and some grains and fled the village with Turi’s two sons and several Adivasi families, fearing more violence.

Another villager, Suresh Parahaiya, said a CRPF man hit him in his forehead and leg when he ran in panic after the blast. “They beat us when we tried to run and made us sit there till 4 pm when two bodies were found and loaded on a tractor,” said his wife Mano Devi.

“The policemen made us walk to the hill and then they held some men in the front by the back of their neck; they held a gun to Ganu, my niece’s son,” said Bimli Devi. Ganu (16) had walked a few steps up the Bhaluwahi hill and was bending over the jawan’s body when the blast took place. Only the lower half of his body was recovered on Tuesday evening. He was the youngest among the four villagers who died.

“On Monday, we heard gunshots all day,” said Rajkumar Bhuian (70). “My older son Jogeshwar asked his wife and five sons to leave for Manika town with my younger son Suneshwar. On Tuesday, I was in the forest grazing cow and found out only in the evening that the police had taken Jogeshwar to search for the bodies. I found only his gamchha (small towel), his chappal, and three ribs.”

“They could not find my son Birendra’s body on Tuesday,” said Bihari Yadav. “When I went to the police station in Latehar, the policemen began beating me and calling me a Maoist before an officer intervened. On Wednesday I found only his limbs.”

Pramod Sau, a shopkeeper from Nawadih who had helped the police gather villagers from Amvatikar, Nawadih, Chahal and also got two tractors from the village to carry the bodies, succumbed to his blast injuries in his face in Ranchi on Wednesday.

The mukhiya of the neighbouring Chungru panchayat, Baldev Parahiya, said he had agreed to help the police look for four bodies and arranged for three tractors on Tuesday morning, but requested that the villagers be allowed to go home after the explosion occurred.

IG (Operations) S.N. Pradhan could not be reached for his comments on Friday. In an interview toTheHindu on January 11, Mr. Pradhan denied the charge that the CRPF forced villagers to accompany them. “We often need the help of villagers to borrow cots to carry bodies back. Women and children sometimes accompany the men as they think this will ensure the men’s safety,” he said.



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