NHAI office vandalised
Files burnt; pamphlets claim CPI(Maoist) role
The office of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) at Kalamassery here was vandalised on Thursday by unidentified miscreants claiming affiliation to the Communist Party of India (Maoist). In an attack similar to that at the office of Nitta Gelatin India Ltd. at Panampilly Nagar November last, the vandals pulled files out of the shelves at the NHAI office onto the floor and set fire to a few of them. The incident occurred between 8.30 a.m. and 9.15 a.m..
The attack occurred on a day that Maoist groups in the State had declared to be ‘action day’ to take action against organisations that allegedly committed injustice. The attackers left pamphlets protesting against the acquisition of land for National Highway expansion and privatisation of the agency’s works. The pamphlets claimed that the attack was carried out by the CPI (Maoist). ‘CPI (Maoist)’ was also scrawled in black letters on the walls of the office.
Recurring Maoist Attacks Point to Police Slackness
KOCHI: The second attack by suspected Maoists in the city has put the City Police in a fix, who are still groping in the dark with regard to the probe into the Nitta Gelatin attack in November last year. Moreover, it shows the incapability of the police in acting on Intelligence warnings of possible attacks on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, which are said to be ‘Maoist action days’ in the State. Even IG M R Ajithkumar and City Police Commissioner K G James mentioned about it while addressing mediapersons after the attack on the office of the National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI)on Thursday.
According to the City Police Commissioner, the police neither ignored any Intelligence report nor did it show any apathy in probing cases. Ever since we received information about the ‘Maoist action days’ from the Intelligence, the police have been keeping vigil and conducting combing operations. But unfortunately, the attackers chose an isolated place, where police patrolling is weak. We have taken every step to book the perpetrators of the attack,” said K G James.
The corporate office of Nitta Gelatin India Limited (NGIL) at Panampilly Nagar was attacked on November 10 by a nine-member gang claiming to be CPI-Maoists. The City Police have managed to nab only two suspects in the case; that also after being alerted by the Palakkad Police who arrested the men in connection with the attack on two multi-national food chains at Chandranagar in Palakkad district. The remaining seven persons are still at large, though the police are having the CCTV footage of the incident.
So, Thursday’s attack reveals that the police investigation has reached a deadlock in all respects. James further pointed out that Arun Balan and Srikanth Prabhkaran, who were arrested from Palakkad district in connection with the previous attacks, were adamant and hardly disclosed any detail during interrogation. Special Branch Assistant Commissioner A D Balasubramanian, who shared the views of James, stated that the police had never failed to act on Intelligence information. “The incident occurred in a remote area along the national highway where there is hardly any police patrolling. We are fully equipped to curb such incidents. Moreover, when the attack was launched, the National Highway Authorities of India employees thought it was just a fire accident and failed to inform the police in time,” he added.