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Archive for May 21st, 2007

Nagpur: Magisterial custody for naxals

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 21, 2007

NAGPUR: The four hardcore naxals, who were arrested at Deekshabhoomi, got some respite on Sunday after they were transferred to magisterial custody from police custody.

The court also allowed police to take Murli alias Ashok Satyam Reddy and Arun Thomas Ferreira for narco analysis test to be held in Mumbai on Monday.

The TOI first reported on May 15 that the police plan to take Murli and Ferreira, who are booked under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), to Mumbai for a narco analysis. Apparently, the naxals were not cooperating with the investigators and hiding vital information regarding naxalites movements and their purpose of assembling in Nagpur. Both the accused would also be subjected to brain mapping and lie detector tests.

The application was filed by assistant police commissioner at Sitabuldi division D D Gawande, who is investigation officer in the naxal case. The Sunday’s hearing was held in a peaceful atmosphere unlike on other days when entire district and sessions court premises remains buzzing with scores of lawyers, policemen and others.

Counsel for state government public prosecutor P K Sathianathan informed the court that they have received the letter from Mumbai’s judicial assistance forensic laboratory to produce the naxal duo for narco test on Monday.

Surendra Gadling, the counsel for naxals, also pleaded before the court to transfer these four naxals to MCR as they had been under PCR for long period. He also raised apprehensions regarding health, safety and security of his clients.

Advocate Tiwari from Gondia along with advocate M G Bhangde appeared for Dhanendra Bhurle who is believed to be a self styled-journalist of a leading vernacular daily from Gondia and staunch supporter of naxal activities. Advocate Tiwari
appeared on behalf of journalists from Gondia.

The judge after hearing arguments from both sides and taking views of all the four accused ordered to shift the naxals to MCR from Sunday. Naresh Bansod, president of Andha Shraddha Nirmulan Samiti in Gondia and a naxal sympathiser, was the fourth accused.

The court also allowed wives of Bhurle and Bansod, Prof Sarita Bedarkar and Kalpana Bansod, to talk to their husbands in the court premises. A similar appeal made by both these women during earlier hearing on May 16 was rejected.

Some well wishers of both Bhurle and Bansod also thronged the court. However, no one turned from both Murli and Ferreira’s side.

Earlier, the police application stated narco analysis is must on naxal duo as both—Murali (divisional secretary of Maharashtra State Committee of Communist Party of India (Maoist) and Ferreira (resident of Bandra in Mumbai and believed to be a courier of Central Committee of CPI (Maoists))—are neither disclosing names of their associates nor their motive behind meeting at a religious place like Deekshabhoomi.

The four naxals were arrested by Nagpur police on May 8 when they assembled at Deekshabhoomi and seized material like pistol, two magazines, 16 rounds, naxal literature and diaries, pen-drive, two VCDs, MP3 disc and notepad.

The Times of India

Posted in Maharashtra, NEWS | Leave a Comment »

Rewind to 1967-Deep Focus

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 21, 2007

Some memories are like fireflies gently twinkling in the dark. But for Paban Singh of Bengaijote village, memories of that sunny May afternoon are like pieces of a broken mirror. The shards each telling their own story. It’s a tale that goes back to May 24 when hundreds of peasants and tea garden workers, agitating for land ownership in the Naxalbari region, killed a police inspector with arrows in Boro Jhorojut village, barely seven km away.

The next day women activists, says Paban, had organised a secret meeting by the Mechi river on the Nepal border. “Some informer must have told the police because when they came back to Prasadojote village, the police was waiting,” recalls Paban, who was in neighbouring Bengaijote village, just a kilometre away.

In the book, In the wake of Naxalbari, Sumanta Banerjee writes: “While the police version of the incident was that the rebels had attacked them from behind a wall of women and children, forcing the police to open fire, the dissident Marxist leaders alleged that the police deliberately killed the women and children.” Kanu Sanyal of CPI(ML) says, “It was a revenge killing.”

To this day, Paban can hear the sound of those gunshots. “I immediately picked up my bow and arrow and ran towards the twin oak trees in Prasadojote. “On my way, I saw Gaudrau Shaibani and a child being hit,” he recalls. Manoj Saha, whose shop is barely 100 yards from the spot, recalls his father, a migrant from Bihar’s Madhepura district, telling him that he hid under the bed on hearing the gunshots.

By the time Paban reached the spot, most agitators had run away. But the injured and the dead were lying on the ground. “I saw Ishwara Boudi lying on the ground and screaming. She was struck by a bullet on the lower part of her leg. I could see the bullet and tried to pull it out. But it wasn’t easy doing that. She was screaming.”

At this point of time, says Paban, he just wanted to find out who was hit and who had died. He found his mother Dhaneshwari Devi lying beside a muddy pathway off the road a few yards away from the twin oak trees. “She was dead. I went around in the village looking for a piece of cloth to cover her. I found a sack cloth and covered her. That’s all I did. There was a warrant against my name. I left the spot.”

“Much later, I learnt that the police had come back the next day. They arrested everyone injured and took away the bodies. I don’t know what they did with the body of my mother: whether they burnt her or just dumped her in the river.”

In all, 11 people were killed, including six women and two children. Naxalites now commemorate May 25 as Martyr’s Day. The names of the dead are inscribed on a marble slab next to Bengaijote Primary school.

The Times of India

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Naxal threat scares sarpanches

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 21, 2007

ONGOLE: Peace in the mandals adjoining Nallamala is under threat what with Naxalites making threatening calls to the village sarpanches.

The immediate provocation seems to be the CPI-Maoist Naxalites’ suspicion that one of their key pointsman Yarraiah is in police captivity.

Yarraiah is considered an important operator in Tripurantakam, Pullalacheruvu and Yarragondapalem mandals abutting the Nallamala forests.

These mandals have always been problem zones as they are hotbeds of Naxalite activity.

For the past two months, the Naxals have been calling sarpanches over landlines and mobiles asking them to mediate with the police to secure ‘freedom’ for their key activist.

A sarpanch in Yarragondapalem confirmed on condition of anonymity that he had received a call from the Naxals.

The Naxals have reportedly threatened the sarpanches of dire consequences if they did not mediate.

However, Markapuram OSD ARN Ammi Reddy strongly denied the allegations that Yarraiah was in their custody. He said no Maoist is in their custody.

Meanwhile, most of the sarpanches in these three mandals have moved to safe zones like Ongole town as a precautionary measure. Some sarpanches have shifted to Markapuram town, which is close to their villages and easy to operate from.

A sarpanch from Madhurantakam mandal, who too had received a warning call from the Maoists, is taking shelter in his friend’s house in Ongole town.

It may be recalled that the Maoists have killed a couple of sarpanches and a few villagelevel Congress leaders alleging them to be police informers.

The kin of a local MLA was also killed by the Maoists in the recent past.

Posted in NEWS, Orissa | Leave a Comment »