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Kerala Timeline 2016



January 2

NIA has taken over the probe into the CPI-Maoist attack on a Civil Police officer at Vellamunda in Wayanad District.

January 6

A grant of INR 10 billion was approved by the UMHA for 35 worst Naxal affected districts spread across seven States to carry out development work and augmenting facilities to fight the CPI-Maoist. The affected areas include 16 districts in Jharkhand, eight in Chhattisgarh, six in Bihar, two in Odisha and one each in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The Ministry allocated fund at the rate of INR 280.57 million per district.

January 21

An inter-State meeting of senior forest personnel in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala held at Bandipura in Karnataka, held after an interval of three years, decided to intensify joint operations to tackle the CPI-Maoist activities in the forest areas of the region, Pramod G. Krishnan, Chief Conservator of Forest, (Wildlife, Palakkad), said. The meet offered all assistance to Police Forces in combing operations to tackle Maoist menace. As part of this, anti-poaching activities information would be exchanged each other.

February 24

A Police team conducting search operation exchanged fire with a three-member CPI-Maoist group in the forests under Pookkottumpadam Police Station limits in Malappuram District. The members of the Thunderbolts were conducting search operation after they came to know that the Maoists had visited a tribal colony in the area on February 23.

March 29

An armed group of suspected CPI-Maoist cadres visited a tribal colony at Pattakkarimbu in Malapuram District of Kerala and convened a meeting of the colony natives in which the group urged the people to boycott upcoming Kerala Assembly election and to launch protest against the recent death of a woman of the colony. A team of 10 persons including three women came to the colony raising slogans against government and Police. Before the meeting they laid an iron chain across the walkway to the colony to prevent colony natives from going outside. The team left the colony after spending more than an hour there, collecting rice and groceries from colony natives.

May 8

Kerala Police have launched a poster campaign in tribal colonies to stymie attempts by the CPI-Maoist to gain foothold among tribes people, especially in the wake of their recent calls for boycotting of the upcoming Assembly Elections. In a bid to counter the propaganda of Maoists, Police in Malappuram and Wayanad Districts have come up with posters with images of Maoist atrocities in other states, including violence against tribals. The anti-Maoist posters by Police have been pasted in many colonies in Malappuram while officials and social workers have been pressed in for house visits in Wayanad to neutralize the anti-election campaign.

July 24

A suspected CPI-Maoist cadre, identified as Mahalingam (63), was arrested in Tiruchur District and produced before Andipatti Magistrate V. Baskaran in connection with alleged arms training on Varushandu hill in 2007. Police said Mahalingam was arrested on a charge of engaging in arms training. He was released on conditional bail in 2009. Later, he did not appear before the court. The Police were in search of him. Acting on a tip-off, a special team arrested him in Tiruchur on July 24.

September 26

A seven-member armed CPI-Maoist cadre encountered the Police at Mundakkadavu Adivasi Colony in the Karulai forest range near Nilambur in Malappuram District. The Police said the armed group fired at them and escaped into the forest. The Police too returned fire. But none was injured. The Police reached the Adivasi colony on a tip-off about the Maoist group's visit to the colony. The group, consisting of six men and a woman, had conducted a class for the tribal people at the colony's community hall. The Police said the meeting was convened by the group's leader Soman. On seeing the Police, the armed group escaped through the back exit by making the Adivasis as human shield and shouting Maoist slogans against democracy.

October 9

The SFs of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu decided to launch a joint operation, following specific intelligence information that CPI-Maoist had increasingly been using the forest tri-junction of the southern states as a safe haven. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting held in Kochi in Ernakulam District of Kerala, in the wake of the arrest of suspected ISIS sympathisers in Kerala and the surging Maoist infiltration into South Indian States. Earlier, intelligence agencies had received information about a secret meet of the Maoists held in Wayanad on September 14, which was attended by a Maoist 'central committee' member who was reportedly hiding in the tri-junction area. At the high-level meeting, a specific strategy was laid out detailing the role of the security formations of each State, and modalities were worked out for preventing Maoists from hiding in the border Districts of Kerala and Karnataka, besides Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu. "We received information from reliable sources that Maoists advancing North Indian states like Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh were using the tri-junction area as hideout. The infiltrating extremists include senior Maoist leaders who control regional operations. A joint action is needed, considering the possibility of Maoists crossing the border and escaping to another State when the police force of a particular state launches crackdown," a senior officer said. However, CRPF DG, K Durga Prasad said that ever since SFs intensified their crackdown, threat from LWEs had come down in the Southern States.

October 22

A huge flex board displaying images of 32 suspected CPI-Maoist cadres and seeking the cooperation of public in arresting them, has been erected by Police and Forest Department, at a check post on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu Border. The board was put up in the wake of reports of infiltration of suspected Maoists, who held a secret meeting in a village in Kerala, near the Tamil Nadu Border last month, they said. Police and Forest Department officials put up the board to enable the public to identify the Maoists, who include a few women, and to pass on information they might have, they added.

October 28

CPI-Maoist cadres operating the Nilambur area in Malappuram District have issued warnings to those who are `acting as `informers' of the Police and other intelligence agencies'. This was disclosed in the first issue of Chenkad, (Red Forest), the official mouthpiece of the Nadukani squad of the CPI-Maoist. According to the publication the PLGS had warned one Kochu Ravi, who allegedly gather information for the Police and spread lies about the Maoist movement among the tribals living in the Pattakkarimbu colony.

November 24

Two CPI-Maoist cadres, including a woman, were killed in an encounter with the Kerala Police, inside the forests at Padukka under Nilambur forest range in Malappuram District. The encounter occurred around noon during a combing operation carried out by a 60 member Police team, including commandos attached to Kerala's elite special force Thunderbolt and anti-LWE wing. The team spotted around 10 Maoists at Kadannakapu and asked them to surrender. A gunfight followed in which two persons were killed while other members of the group fled the spot. The deceased are identified as Kuppu Devaraj alias Shanker, a senior Maoist leader and 'central committee member' of the Maoist outfit and Ajitha alias Kaveri, a woman leader. Officers said the combing operation will continue to stop the fleeing Maoists from regrouping. SFs had specific information about movement of Maoists in the area. They had brought Nilambur forest region under surveillance after suspected Maoists opened fire at a police team a month ago. The Maoists have been frequenting the area and interacting with the locals at Mundakkadavu colony. The Police troop had conducted a massive search operation a couple of weeks ago in the forest after intelligence inputs on a possible grouping of Maoists led by Deveraj, but could not find anyone, Deveraj was masquerading as Kuppu Swami, Rayanna, Balaji, Yogesh in the forests of several States carrying a reward of INR 700,000 and INR 1 million announced by Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh Governments respectively.

November 25

The Kerala Police, intensified the search for the CPI-Maoist cadres who could have escaped November 24 encounter with Thunderbolt Commandos in the forest in Nilambur in Malappuram District, in which two extremists were killed even as the CPI, rights groups and several influential personalities protested the State's "Maoist hunt" and allegations came up to the effect that the encounter might have been fake. Sources in the Police said that the combing operations were not limited to forests under the Karulayi Forest Range in Nilambur where the gunfight between the Maoists and the Commandos had reportedly taken place but a large number of personnel were engaged in the efforts in the areas contiguous to the Nilambur forests in Palakkad, Kozhikode and Wayanad Districts. Those killed in the encounter, according to sources, were Kapu Devaraj, a 'central committee member' of the CPI-Maoist and chief coordinator of the outfit's Kerala operations, and a woman activist, Ajitha alias Kaveri. Both were said to be natives of Andhra Pradesh. Reports also said that a third Maoist, probably a top functionary from Kerala, was killed in the gunfight or had escaped with serious injuries.

November 28

The Department of Intelligence has issued a warning in Kasargod District, that there is a possibility of backlash by naxals. The Policemen working in Districts which are facing threat from Naxals have been asked not to patrol the streets at night alone. The department has also suggested that teams comprising Police SI and ASI should alone conduct night patrolling and that during patrolling, the officers should without fail carry guns with them. The department said that Police Stations like Adur, Bedaga, Badiyadka, Rajapuram, Vellarikundu, Cheemeni, and Ambalattara are located on the borders of thick forests. It said possibility of Naxals crossing over through forests in Karnataka to this side and attacking the Police Stations cannot be ruled out. Based on this advice, the Policemen are on high alert in forest areas in Kannur, Palakkad, Wayanad, Kozhikode and Malappuram Districts. The case relating to exchange of fire between Policemen and CPI-Maoist cadres at Nilambur has been handed over to crime branch, which has formed a special team for the purpose. The wallpapers pasted inside the toilet of a hotel at Thiruvananthapuram have warned Policemen of revenge attacks. Policemen are trying to find out whether this writing was related to the firing incident at Nilambur.

The District Police stepped up surveillance following suspicion that a CPI-Maoist activist, injured during the Police action at Nilambur in Mallapuram District. "We have put him under surveillance though we don't have any confirmation so far," a senior Police officer said. According to reports the Police have received, the person is undergoing treatment in a private hospital hailed from Puthenvelikkara area in Ernakulam District and is a dalit activist. The members of the investigating team probing the presence of Maoists at Nilambur, including the NIA had questioned the suspected activist at Kodungallur.

November 29

In the recent encounter inside Karulayi forest in Nilambur in Malappuram District of Kerala, in which two CPI-Maoist cadres were killed, the Police have come out with fresh evidence to prove that the Maoists had used automatic weapons including AK- 47 to open fire against Police squad. Earlier, Police recovered empty shells used in pump-action shotgun allegedly used by Maoists for the attack. Police are of the opinion that the AK 47 rifles were used by used by the bodyguards of Devraj, who is a senior leader of the party. However, the gang members managed to take away all weapons with them while escaping during the encounter, Police said.

December 5

A local court dismissed a petition seeking re-post-mortem on the bodies of two CPI-Maoist in Malappuram District. District and Sessions Judge S S Vasan in Manjeri D rejected the plea in this regard by Sreedharan, brother of slain Maoist leader Kuppuswamy Devaraj and some human rights activists, public prosecutor P Suresh said. The court observed that the autopsy was conducted by experts in Kozhikode Medical College Hospital and there was no need for a re-post-mortem.

December 8

A couple of hand-made posters by the CPI-Maoist 'Bhavani Dalam' surfaced at Mele Ommathampatti at Pudur Panchayat in Attappady in Palakkad District, demanding the withdrawal of Kerala Thunderbolts Commandos from Attappady. Alleging that State Government was trying to suppress the Naxals, the posters accused the ruling party of killing their leaders in the recent encounter at Nilambur in Malappuram District.

December 11

Visuals found on the data storage devices that the Kerala Police had recovered from the Karulayi jungle in Nilambur in Malappuram District after two CPI-Maoist cadres were killed in encounter reportedly showed LWE leaders asking followers to oppose the Constitution and Government and to prepare for armed struggle. Kuppu Devaraj, a 'central committee (CC) member' of the CPI-Maoist who was killed along with woman extremist Ajitha in the encounter with the Thunderbolt commandos of the Kerala Police on November 24, is seen in the video found in one of the pen drives asking the extremists to focus attention on colonies of Adivasis and to take care not to lose their support. The visuals found on the pen drives recovered from the Maoists' camp have appeared in the visual media of Kerala in the particular context of the suspicion aired by certain rights groups and the CPI, second biggest partner in the CPI-M led ruling LDF, that the Police could have killed the two Maoists in unilateral firing in a fake encounter.

A dossier compiled by the Kerala Police on Kuppuswamy Murthy alias Kuppu Devarajan was released in Kollam District. The top CPI-Maoist leader killed by the Police in an alleged encounter inside the Nilambur forests on November 24, shows that Kuppu was trained in arms handling by the LTTE during the late 1980s.

December 12

Two suspected CPI-Maoist cadres were spotted at Chenappadi near Kalikavu inside Nilambur Forest region in Malappuram District. A joint team of anti-naxal squad of Police and Kerala Thunderbolts commandos carried hours-long search in the area. According to the Police, it was a worker of Pullakode Estate who had first noticed the men with backpacks and alerted the local people and Police. Following this, the Police team led by CI of Nilambur, Sunil Pulikkan and Thunderbolts personnel carried out a search in the deep forest areas. After the recent encounter of two CPI-Maoist cadres with Police which culminated in the death of two Naxals, Police have intensified vigil in the region.

December 13

A clerk at the Government Polytechnic College at West Hill in Kozhikode District, who had assisted the relatives of a CPI-Maoist cadre, killed in an alleged encounter in Nilambur forest, in securing his body from the mortuary and negotiated with the Police on behalf of human rights organisations has been placed under suspension pending inquiry by the Director of Technical Education for his alleged links with LWE groups. Rajeesh Kollankkadi (36), of Vadakara, was suspended from service based on a report submitted by Uma Behra, Commissioner of Police, Kozhikode city.

December 19

One Nadeer Gul Mohammed was detained by the Police for his suspected links with CPI-Maoist in Kozhikode District. The Police said they detained Nadeer as the Aralam Police in Kannur District had earlier registered a case against him under the UAPA for distributing Maoist pamphlets among Adivasi families. The Balussery native would be released into the custody of the Aralam Police for further investigation, the Police said.

December 20

Activist Gul Muhammed Nadeer, who was taken into custody from the Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, on December 19, for his suspected CPI-Maoist links, was let off by the Aralam Police in Kannur District, for want of 'sufficient evidence'. He was taken into custody while he was visiting writer and theatre activist Kamal C. Chavara, who had been admitted to the hospital following uneasiness after his release by the Karunagapally Police who had detained him on a complaint of insulting the national anthem.

December 25

The CPI-Maoist cadres who have been camping in forests in the tri-junction of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka have shifted their camps to the Agali Forests in Palakkad District, which is close to Annaikatti near Coimbatore District, according to intelligence sources. This follows the killing of two CPI-Maoist, Kuppu Deveraj and Ajitha, in an encounter with the Kerala police in Padukka village in the Nilambur forest division in Malappuram District of Kerala on November 24. The group now reportedly has 11 members; of who five are women. The tribals in the area have seen them with guns. "We have identified two of them - Manivasagam, a native of Dharmapuri, and Chandra, a native of Krishnagiri," the sources added. Manivasagam has been absconding since 2008 and Chandra since 2002. Both were in an ultra-extremist organisation and later joined CPI -Maoist. Three to five members of the group often visit tribal villages in Pillur Dam area near Mettupalayam, from Agali via Mulli village by travelling through forests."We have opened a permanent camp near Pillur dam to stop them from coming to the villages," said a senior intelligence officer.

December 26

Kerala Police have found video clips from a pen-drive they recovered during their encounter with CPI-Maoist. The video clips seem to be the propaganda intended to influence the youth. The main objective of the narrators in video seems to be to delegitimize the Electoral process. Kerala Police have found video clips from a pen-drive they recovered during their encounter with CPI-Maoists in Nilambur forest in November. The said clips are said to have been recorded before Assembly Elections in Kerala. In the video, the men and women in uniforms are all seen narrating stories on how political parties don't care about the common people and how elections are held to deceive them. They discuss how the CPM is a party that bombs for votes and seats, how parties sell your drinking water to soft drink giants like Coco Cola, how Congress is a party that specialised in scams (solar, CWG, 2G) and that ever since the BJP came to power at the center, one is killed for eating beef or for loving someone outside one's caste and religion.

December 30

As per the direction of Idukki SP, A V George, the Idukki Special Branch submitted a detailed report about the presence of the CPI-Maoist cadres at Edamalakudy in Idukki District. The report points out that the Government should take necessary steps against intervention of the middlemen in the area. Some organizations are prompting tribals to hold protests against the Government. Some of the groups have already opened Facebook pages and were posting messages to encourage protests against the State Government. The report adds that the Government should assure all types of developmental activities at Edamalakudy, it should take steps to encourage agricultural development of the area, water stability and better treatment facility. The report has already been forwarded to the State Police Chief for further action.

Note:Compiled from news reports and are provisional.





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