Maoists revive anti-bauxite committees in Agency areas
CHINTAPALLI (VISAKHAPATNAM): With their sights set on cashing in on the flare-up in the anti-bauxite agitation, the CPI Maoists have begun reviving their anti-bauxite committees as part of their efforts to beef up their rank and file in the bauxite reserves zone and unite tribals for anti-bauxite agitations. According to sources, Maoists have revived two of their anti-bauxite committees, which will be known as Bauxite Belt Area Committees, to create awareness among tribals about bauxite mining and its impact.
Around three-four anti-bauxite committees were formed nine years ago when late chief minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy made efforts to excavate bauxite reserves in the Agency areas to supply ore to Anrak Aluminium Limited and Jindal Steel through Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation. However, the committees lost purpose following the delays in clearances and permissions for excavation of bauxite from the central government and naxals losing their grip in the area after a series of encounters, arrests and surrenders. Maoist leader Ganesh initially led the bauxite belt area committees consisting of four to five members each when he was the area committee secretary. These committees worked actively for almost five years.
Now, the Reds under the guidance of senior leader Chalapati have revived two of the committees and plan to increase their number by merging them with various ground level committees, sources said. According to sources, the main committees would work under the direction of armed cadres by creating extensive propaganda about the impacts of bauxite mining and ask local people’s representatives to conduct protests. According to highly placed sources, the Red guerillas were focusing on Galikonda, where they lost ground almost one and a half years ago and were taking steps to strengthen the village level committees and militia network. “Galikonda, including GK Veedhi, Koyyuru and Chintapalli mandals, is the main pocket for Maoists to carry forward their anti-bauxite agitation as the area has huge bauxite reserves. At present, they have a stronghold in GK Veedhi and some parts of Chintapalli,” said a senior police officer working in the Visakha Agency.
Sources said that the Reds recently visited Palakajeedi, Balarevula, Pokalapalem, Kunukuru, Garimanda, Pedavalasa and other areas in Galikonda. The top naxal leadership has given the responsibility of conducting anti-bauxite agitations to Kudumula Venkata Rao alias Ravi, chief of the Central Regional Committee (CRC)-1, which is one of the military formations of the CPI Maoists in the Andhra-Odisha border area. Korukonda area commander Naveen has been conducting the meetings in Jerrela. “We have information about Maoist movement in Galikonda and will enhance combing operations there,” said Visakha Rural SP Koya Praveen. Meanwhile, sources said that the police department was chalking out plans to take up community policing programmes in the area and police officers deployed in the Agency areas would interact with heads of the villages to counter the Maoist threat.
Bihar border sealed after Gaya encounter with Reds
RANCHI: The Jharkhand Police on Sunday sealed the border that the state shares with Bihar in Chatra district following an encounter between Maoists and CoBRA jawans in Gaya on Sunday morning. Police said a woman cadre of the CPI(Maoist) was killed in the encounter that took place in a village that lies between Gaya’s Barachatti and Chatra’s Rajpur police stations. CRPF IG Jharkhand sector Rakesh Kumar Mishra said a joint operation with Bihar police was launched after receiving inputs that Maoists were meeting near the inter-state border. However, CRPF IG in Bihar Arun Kumar said Jharkhand police did not participate in the operation and it was just informed about the incident after the encounter was over.
A senior official said about 25 Maoists were trying to cross into Jharkhand from Bihar. This information put the state police on high alert. Security forces of 22 CRPF battalion from Hazaribag and 190 battalion from Chatra have already launched a search operation in the border area. Four additional companies of security forces are likely to be sent soon. Chatra, Palamu and Hazaribag districts have been alerted following Sunday’s incident. “The Maoists failed to carry out even a single incident during the Jharkhand assembly elections. We expect them to carry out such attacks during Bihar polls too,” CRPF IG Mishra said, adding that the security forces would not allow them to use Jharkhand’s soil to launch attacks in Bihar.
Chatra SP Surendra Kumar Jha is camping in Rajpur. Mishra also visited the area on Sunday where he took stock of the offensive launched against the invading Maoists. Another report from Bihar said eight Maoist activists, including a middle ranking commander, were arrested by the police under Konch police station in Gaya district. The arrests were made from the Punia Bigha hamlet. The arrested rebels, as per the police version, were involved in a number of Naxalite incidents in Gaya and Aurangabad districts including attack on the SAP camp under Goh police station in Aurangabad district and killing of a special police officer and several activists of the TPC, the rival Naxalite outfit. Police also decided to deploy four additional security forces in Chatra’s Rajpur police station area to stop Maoist infiltration.