Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Red letters land in capital


Two leaflets threatening to avenge the death of Maoist “martyrs” and exhorting junior policemen to join the rebels landed in newspaper offices here today.

First, copies of a four-page unsigned leaflet from the CPI(Maoist) was delivered in newspaper offices and some homes in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. Then, a letter from Sunil, state secretary (organisation) of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) landed on the desks of journalists this afternoon.

The leaflets have come three weeks after the Naxalites released two police officials, held hostage after the R. Udaygiri attack, asking them to leave the “oppressive police force”.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik initially denied that the government had received any leaflets from the Maoists. But home secretary Santosh Kumar said he has asked police to investigate the veracity of the twin documents.

Kumar said the contents of the leaflets were being scrutinised to confirm their source. The possibility of Maoists choosing urban centres in central Orissa as their base cannot be ruled out as a central intelligence report had earlier warned of the same, he added.

However, there is no reason to panic as precautionary measures have been taken, the official assured.

The chief minister said “precautionary measures have been taken at all vulnerable places across the state”.

To counter possible rebel attacks, 83 police stations and six jails in the Naxalite-affected areas of Malkangiri, Rayagada, Koraput, Sambalpur, Rourkela and Baripada would be fortified.

The leaflets, copies of which are available with The Telegraph, urged the people to “celebrate” the R. Udaygiri raid in Gajapati district and asked the police to join the struggle for “liberation”.

The unsigned appeal said the March 24 attack was orchestrated by the PLGA, which looted about two dozen self-loading rifles, one AK-47, grenade launcher, light machine gun, 9-mm pistol and .38 revolver each, two carbines and country guns each, 10 grenades and ammunition.

It also claimed that a couple of PLGA activists from Andhra Pradesh — Narayan Goud alias Suresh and Mohan alias Satish — were killed during the attack. The raid was part of its movement to set up a “new democratic set-up”, the Maoist leaflet stated.

“The police are not our target and we don’t intend to attack them either. At R. Udaygiri, we had urged the OSAP men to lay down their arms. Since they did not heed, we had to attack them,” said the leaflet, which also had a section on how the state had been targeting tribals.

The second piece of Maoist literature accused the police of having used guile to shoot three Naxalites while they were asleep at Validiha village under Riamal police station and looting Rs 2 lakh and a revolver from three PLGA members. It urged the masses to join the armed struggle.

Director of state intelligence and additional director-general of police Manmohan Praharaj said similar leaflets were distributed after a recent clash in Nayagarh’s Ranapur between villagers and tribals over a cashew plantation.

Admitting that manpower was a problem, Kumar said 915 constables and havildars would be recruited for deployment in the rebel-hit areas.

Red letters land in capital
(The Telegraph, Friday, April 28, 2006)
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