13 November, 2005: Jehanabad:
300 to 400 armed, well trained extremists attack the district jail. They had been gathering since early morning. They raid and hold the jail for long. Of 658 inmates, they free 341, including one of their leaders, Ajay Kanu who has 22 cases against him. Seven people are killed on the spot. Of those the Naxalites abduct, they “execute” nine. Throughout the seige, Maoists control all the entry and exit points of the city. This raid is accompanied by synchronized attacks on the District Court; on the residence of district judge; on the District Armoury ; as well as on SS college in which a Paramilitary camp had been set up. For the siege, they had disconnected the telephone lines of the jail area 48 hours ago and the electricity supply of the city was stopped too. They loot large quantities of arms and ammunition. All this happens roughly 50-60 kms from the state capital Patna. And at the time, Bihar is under direct rule of the central government — it had been under direct rule since last 7 months. To top it all, Minister of state for Home tell the parliament on 29 November that there had been ‘Intelligence inputs’ that the Naxalites would be launching attacks in the area!
11 November, 2005: Giridih:
Over 150 Maoists attack Home guard training center at Pachamba, Giridih District, in Jharkhand. They kill 5 people on the spot and decamp with 183 rifles, 2 pistols, and an estimated 2500 rounds of ammunition. Prior to the attack, they closed all the roads to the town by laying land-mines, by installing IED’s and barricading. After looting the weapons they make their way to a Goshala Mela which is going on and then they open fire. They then proceed to ambush a police party. In this instance also, the minister of state for Home tells the parliament, “The state govt. has reported that they had inputs on Naxals attacking the police pickets/Police stations/Police establishments in Giridih district and the District police were informed about it.”
6 February, 2004, Koraput:
Maoists attacked the Koraput District armoury in Orissa. In a prolonged operation, they killed four; and made away with 2000 firearms. From the armoury they went and opened fire on the police station; on the Sadar Police camp; on the office of Police SP; on the District Treasury and then on the Orissa Special Armed Police centre of the 3rd Battalion.
In each of the three stories, three things are common.
1. Half of you have not heard of the places where these incidents took place.
2. In each instance of its kind, note the scale. They have been increasing in its tenacity steadily.
3. The Naxals are well trained, well equipped and have connections in high places.
Yes my friends, we did not reach Daantewada in 6 months!! We have made gradual progress!
To say nothing about others, here is the police force in state after state not able to protect even itself. This shows the depth to which the security of an ‘aam aadmi’ has sunk in last decade.
Intelligence now reports that there are more than 10,000 battle hardened cadres with an equal number of modern firearms including AK-47 rifles and chinese manufactured grenades. Another 15,000 cadres are kept in the ancillary ‘Peoples liberation army’ whose services are harnessed whenever required for carrying
out a violent operation. According to this estimate, the naxalites are able to raise more than 200 crores annually (which is a rather conservative number according to various organisations). From this they pay a stipend of 1500-2000 Rupees to every cadet of their army.
With the amount they rake in, they are able to raise and sustain up to 25,000 activists: that is 25 battalions. To put the figure in perspective, sources point out that total number of terrorists in J & K are estimated to be around 2,000.
In addition to these developments, the different factions of the Naxals have become united and formed CPI(maoist). Furthermore, they have established close contact with CPN (Maoist) of Nepal and all such groups have formed the ‘Association of Maoist revolutionaries of South Asia’.
The coordination of such groups will have several consequences- for example, acquisition of arms, availability of funds, better coordination in drug trade. If you are not able to understand the magnanimity of the problem, i urge you to read about ‘Columbian Drug Trade’. With 1/6th of the nation gripped under Naxalite dominance, they can create havoc if they are able to get a hold of drug fuelled finances.
In these vast swathes-spread across Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Andhra- Police stations are being abandoned. Something that has already happened in several parts of the North East. These states are bigger than many European countries and no Official dares to go there alone. Officials and Policemen go in company strength and thus become more easier targets to be taken out by landmines.
(To be cont.)
[Image credit- Meri news]