Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Maoist round up

Raipur lays road to fight Naxals
Posted online: Wednesday, October 18, 2006 at 0000 hrs Print Email

RAIPUR, OCTOBER 17: Concrete roads will be the Chhattisgarh government's latest weapon against Naxalites. With landmines claiming an alarmingly high number of casualties, the government has decided to build concrete roads in Naxal-affected areas. Experts feel extremists will not be able to plant landmines easily on these roads.

The decision follows a recent Union Ministry of Home Affairs directive seeking to improve the security scenario and connectivity in Naxal-affected states. An Union Ministry of Rural Development order has also asked the Chhattisgarh government to use Central funds routed through it for building concrete roads in such areas. As an added incentive, funds allocated under the Prime Minister's Rural Roads Development Project, will also be allocated for the project, expected to cover villages with at least 100 families.

Speaking to The Indian Express, state Home Minister Ramvichar Netam said cement roads will help save many lives. “Planting landmines won't be easy. Even if explosive devices are implanted they would be easily detected,” Netam added.

About 40 roads and small bridges are being constructed in Dantewada and Bijapur, while 26 road projects worth about Rs 45.9 crore have been sanctioned for other districts. Construction work on eight roads connecting various villages with the district headquarters at a cost of about Rs 10.6 crore has also begun.

According to official sources, the government hopes the new roads will also help fast movement of security forces. Statistics reveal that of the 880 fatalities in the struggle against Naxals in the state, 220 were killed in landmine explosions.

Security officials have repeatedly asked for better roads in Bastar, Dantewada, Kanker and Sarguja. “These districts have nothing more than a network of kuchcha roads and mud trails where Naxals always have the advantage. They can attack a convoy and vanish on these trails which hamper free movement of vehicles. Installation of IEDs is also much easier than on pucca roads,” the officials added.

According to various estimates, thousands of landmines and IEDs have been planted by Naxalites across Chhattisgarh.

These devices are generally used to target security convoys or civilian targets that can cause high number of casualties.

Source: Indian Express

Breakthrough in rocket launchers case

Mastermind behind case Srinivas Reddy and wife Sudharani surrender to police

HYDEERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh police on Tuesday got a major breakthrough in the investigation of the rocket launchers case when a top naxal operative Srinivas Reddy, the mastermind behind the fabrication of rocket launchers being used by rebels, surrendered himself to the police in Warangal district.

His wife, identified as Sudharani, also surrendered herself to the police.

Reddy is also known as Raghu, Tech Madhu and a host of other names.

The surrender came in the most dramatic circumstances. Accompanied by a local religious leader, the couple is stated to have walked into Gudur police station in Warangal district. When they could not find the Station House Officer, they went to the Circle Office of the station and identified themselves. Police officials, who initially doubted their claims that they were the most wanted couple in the rocket launchers case, took them in custody.

The couple, wanted by Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu police, was on the run ever since the State police seized a huge consignment of launchers and rockets being transported into the jungles in Mahabubnagar district in the first week of September.

The naxal couple, who had been living in a rented a nondescript house in Ambattur area of Chennai since 2002, commissioned several lathe machine workers in Chennai to fabricate different parts of the rocket launchers.

They had used the lorry transport companies, mainly Kranthi Transport, to send across the `finished' products to Mahabubnagar and Prakasam districts.

Sources told The Hindu that Reddy and his wife Sudharani walked into an interior police station in Warangal stating that they wanted to surrender.

Sudharani is stated to be suffering from ill-health. The whereabouts of the surrendered couple, who could provide a great insight into the armed might of the Maoist party, have been kept as a closely guarded secret.

The couple, it is believed, is being driven to Hyderabad for a detailed debriefing session by a special unit of the Intelligence department, detailed to investigate the rocket launchers case. The Q Branch of Tamil Nadu is also on the lookout for the couple after they escaped on a motorcycle from their rented house on September 9.

The police here expected that the couple could surrender themselves after they seized the personal diary of Raghu, entries of which indicated that he was not happy with the functioning of the Maoist party.

Source: Hindu


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