TPC: 'Troubleshooter' Crashes ...

Deepak Kumar Nayak Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management
On May 28, 2018, three cadres of the Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC), a splinter group of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), were killed in an encounter with the Security Forces (SFs) near Dundur Hillock under Chhaterpur Police Station in Palamu District. Commenting on the encounter, Superintendent of Police (SP) Indrajit Mahatha disclosed, “Three ultras have been gunned down. Two dead bodies, along with two AK-47 rifles, have so far been retrieved.” The identities of the slain cadres were yet to be ascertained.
Northeast: Negotiated Successes
The Union Government and seven Naga militant groups are, according to an April 25, 2018, news report, said to have finalized the substantive portions of the peace accord, which is likely to be signed before the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament scheduled to begin in July 2018. Unnamed official sources stated that the accord does not change the boundary of States; provides autonomous Naga territorial councils for Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur; a common cultural body for Nagas across States; specific institutions for Nagaland’s development, integration and rehabilitation of Naga militants; and the removal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act-1958 (AFSPA). The Government of India's interlocutor on Naga talks, Joint Intelligence Committee Chairman, R.N. Ravi, was quoted as stating, “Yes, we are pretty close to finalising the (Naga Peace) Accord”.
Jharkhand: Latehar: Fragmenting Threat
Five cadres of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), including two ‘sub-zonal commanders’, were killed in an encounter with Security Forces (SFs) during a search operation in an area between the Sikid and Kedu Forests under Herhanj Police Station limits in the Latehar District of Jharkhand State on April 4, 2018. The two ‘sub-zonal commanders’, carrying rewards of INR 500,000 each on their heads, were identified as Shivlal Yadav and Shravan Yadav. The identities of the remaining three slain Maoists are yet to be ascertained. SFs recovered the bodies of the five Maoists, along with two Self Loading Rifles (SLRs), two Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) assault rifles, a .315 bore rifle, and a large number of live bullets from the encounter spot.
Northeast: Dying Fires
On April 13, 2018, at least 102 cadres and 12 leaders, including ‘chairman’ H. Zosangbera, of the H. Zosangbera faction of the Hmar Peoples Convention-Democrat (HPC-D-Zosangbera) surrendered in Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram. The militants deposited 44 weapons, including four sniper rifles, nine AK assault rifles, one M-16 carbine, 13 double-barrel guns and 2,892 rounds of ammunition, grenade launcher shells and five radio sets. On April 14, the surrendered militants headed for Sakawrda village in Aizawl District, the proposed headquarters of the Sinlung Hills Council (SHC), after which they departed for their respective villages.
Maharashtra: Unrelenting Reverses
On February 22, 2018, cadres belonging to the Kasansur Local Organizational Squad (LOS) of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) in South Gadchiroli, killed Police Warden (patil) Katiya Peka Pungati (Kumoti) (55), branding him to be a ‘Police Informer’, outside Lanji village in Etapalli Taluka (revenue unit) in Gadchiroli District. Pungati was abducted on February 21 and his body was found with his throat slit, and the face and head smashed with a stone, outside Lanji village. The Kasansur Dalam (armed squad), led by ‘commander’ Mahesh Gota, claimed that they held Pungati responsible for the information of their presence in Tadapalli Forest in Etapalli on January 10, 2018.
Telangana: Maoist Collapse
At least 10 cadres of the ‘Telangana State Committee (TSC)’ of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) were killed in an encounter near the Pujari Kanker Forest under the Pamed Police Station limits in the Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh, along the Telangana-Chhattisgarh border, on March 1, 2018. According to reports, acting on tip-off about a ‘big meeting’ of CPI-Maoists in the area, personnel from the Greyhounds[the elite anti-Maoist force of the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Police] and Chhattisgarh Police started a combing operation. The combing team came across an estimated 50 to 100 CPI-Maoist cadres and asked them to surrender, but the Maoists opened fire. In the retaliatory fire, Security Forces (SFs) killed 10 Maoists, while the remaining rebel force managed to escape.  B. Susheel Kumar, a Greyhounds commando, also lost his life in the encounter.
Jharkhand: Waning Maoist Influence
Four cadres of the ‘Madhya Zone’ (Central Zone) of the Bihar-Jharkhand Special Area Committee (BJSAC) of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), including ‘sub zonal commander’ Rakesh Bhuiyan, were killed in an encounter with the Security Forces (SFs) at Malanga Pahad (hill) under Chhatarpur Police Station in Palamu District, on February 26, 2018. The SFs, who had launched an operation on a tip off that Rakesh Bhuiyan was hiding in the area along with 20 others, were attacked by the Maoists. The encounter started at 8.50am and lasted for just 20 minutes, leaving four Maoists dead. The slain Maoists were identified as Bhuiyan, Lalloo Yadav, Ruby Kumari and Rinki Kumari. SFs also recovered two SLRs (Self Loading Rifles), five magazines, 219 bullets, eight cell phones, back packs, uniforms, Naxal [Left Wing Extremism (LWE)]- literature and eatables.
Mizoram: Minor Troubles
For the second consecutive year, Mizoram did not record a single insurgency-related fatality in 2017.    Significantly, the last such fatality in the State was recorded on March 28, 2015, when three Policemen were killed in an ambush by cadres of the Democratic faction of Hmar People’s Convention (HPC-D) near Zokhawthiang in Aizawl District. The last civilian fatality was recorded on October 15, 2014, when the bodies of two non-tribals were found near the Tuikhurhlu area in Aizawl District. The last militant fatality was recorded on February 26, 2008, when a Kuki Liberation Army (KLA) militant was killed in a factional clash in the State capital Aizawl.
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