Thursday, December 29, 2005

Maoists warn government of retaliation, justify killings

Statesman News Service
PARALAKHEMUNDI, Dec. 29. — The Maoists have warned the Orissa government of retaliation if the police continued to follow a “trigger happy” attitude as had been seen recently when two innocent people — Rajesh and Sujit — were injured in the Keonjhar district.

In a release purportedly written by the secretary CPI (Maoist), Orissa State Organisational Committee, Sunil, the extremists have condemned the police firing.
“This is an attack on innocent people of Orissa who are being unnecessarily targeted on the pretext of taking action against Naxalites,” it stated.
Justifying the killings of the corrupt and dishonest persons who, according to the Naxalites, are a burden on the society, the CPI (Maoist) has demanded that the state government immediately declare a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the two
victims.

Maoist Training Costs Pregnant Lady Her Life: RNA

THT Online
Kathmandu, December 30:

A four-month-pregnant woman died while undergoing militia training by the Maoists, the Royal Nepalese Army Directorate of Public Relations (DPR) said.
"The woman, a resident of Chatara VDC-4 in Bajura district, who was forced by the terrorists to undergo militia training and to use weapons, died while in training on December 25," said a press statement issued by the DPR on Thursday.
Likewise, an 11-year-old girl was injured when the Maoists detonated a bomb in the Rukumkot area in Rukum district on December 26. According to the DPR, the injured child Kiran KC was airlifted by the RNA to the district headquarters, Salle, for treatment.
The press release also stated that the so-called district president of the Maoists in Solukhumbu district surrendered to the security forces. Jagat Bahadur Basnet alias "Bikram" surrendered to the district administration on December 27.
It also stated that a local Maoist cadre Ramsharan Timilsina of Hanumanagar area in Parsa district and Chandra Bahadur Mukpai Magar of Kalika area in Dailekh district surrendered to the district administration in their respective places on December 26.

‘Underdevelopment behind Naxalite menace’

Statesman News Service
BERHAMPUR, Dec. 29. — The Naxalite problem has its links to the socio-economic underdevelopment of tribal areas, said the Union minister of state for home affairs, Mr Manikrao Gavit here today.
He said that the issue of tackling the Naxalites in the bordering areas of Orissa is the lookout of the state government and that the Centre can only provide help if the state government requires it.
Speaking to newsmen during his visit here today at the valedictory function of the annual conference of the All Orissa Lawyers’ Association, Mr Gavit related the Naxalite problem to the socio-economic backwardness prevailing in the remote areas of the state.
Addressing lawyers at the conference, Mr Gavit claimed himself to be a tribal and said he knew the real problems of the tribals. He said although Orissa is rich in its cultural heritage and mineral resources, it is still known to be a poor state. Mr Gavit said as the tribals in the state are still finding it hard to arrange for one square meal a day, the Naxalites are finding it easy to motivate the tribals to become a part of their violent ideology.
He urged the lawyers of the state to fight it out so that the poor and the and tribals of the state get their legitimate powers. He felt that laws related to the tribals need several changes.
Lawyers need to deliberate on such issues and suggest changes, he observed.
The Central minister criticised the state government for not providing matching grants for various developmental projects for tribals.
As per the minister of state for home affairs, the tribals of Orissa are facing atrocities at the hands of the land and jungle mafia, which is emerging into social tussles.

Indian police feud cripples terror hunt

BANGALORE, India, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Long-standing rivalries in Bangalore's top police hierarchy have crippled the hunt for terrorists.

A long-running feud within the Karnataka state police bureaucracy over creating an independent internal security squad for information gathering and disseminating operation has resulted in police groping in dark, hours after terrorists attacked the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Wednesday, Newindpress.com reported Thursday.

The idea for a separate security force was mooted in 2003 when the state government decided to create a separate force that would act independently, the Web site said.

Many wings of the police department, including its Anti-Terrorist Cell, coastal security and internal security sections, drugs and narcotics, all terrorist activities and Naxalite guerilla movement activities were to be moved to the new department.

However, the proposal received a stiff resistance from top police officers. It was bounced back to the Home, or Interior, Ministry, with a request to exempt coastal security, anti-terrorist squad, internal security and drugs and narcotics from coming under the new structure.

Since then, the internal security wing has turned out to be another top-heavy wing, without any infrastructure.

"Hardly any professionalism is exhibited in handling the police force," one police source said, according to the report.

Congress won AP assembly polls with Naxal support: Advani

Mumbai | December 30, 2005 12:42:55 AM IST



Bharatiya Janata Party President L K Advani today alleged that the Congress had won the assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh in connivance with naxal groups and launched a broadside against the UPA Government for its ''failure to establish internal security in the nation''.

Addressing a public meeting at Shivaji Park as part of the ongoing silver jubilee convention of his party, Mr Advani, a former Deputy Prime Minister who also held the Home portfolio, blamed the ''faulty'' policies of the UPA regime for the deterioration of the internal security.

He alleged that in Andhra Pradesh, the Congress had lifted the ban on Naxal groups and even invited them for talks without asking them to surrender their arms.

Mr Advani said when the NDA was in power, Naxal menace was contained and the government had taken special steps to forge a co-ordinated effort by the Centre and state governments. A co-ordination committee, headed by the Union Home Secretary, was set up to monitor Naxal activities. But, the UPA Government declared that Naxal menace was a State subject and it was up to the affected states to decide how to handle it,'' he charged.

Similarly, in Assam, in view of the coming assembly elections, the Centre is inviting ULFA for talks. He said due to the massive infiltration from Bangladesh, the religious demography of the eastern parts of the country was changing.

Mr Advani also blamed the Centre for engaging Pakistan in bilateral talks when cross border terrorism and anti-India activities had increased in recent times. Referring to the shootout in Bangalore yesterday, Mr Advani said the incident had happened when the Centre had cautioned the Karnataka Government to take precautions as gangster Abu Salem was being taken to the IT city for a narco analysis test.

He said it was only the NDA government which had focussed on internal security and probity in bringing about good governance in the country. Mr Advani lamented that despite India having achieved independence over 50 years back, the people still considered themselves as belonging to an underdeveloped nation. It was the BJP which had instilled confidence in the minds of the people that they were capable of surging ahead and emerge as a developed nation.

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Sting-tainted MP summoned to Maoist 'court'

Thursday December 29 2005 15:55 IST

IANS

RANCHI: Maoists in Jharkhand have summoned a Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP - who was expelled from the Lok Sabha for involvement in the cash-for-queries scam - to a kangaroo court.

The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has threatened Manoj Kumar with "death penalty". Kumar represented Palamau in the Lok Sabha.

He was charged with taking Rs.150,000 to ask questions in parliament. Ten other MPs were also expelled this month in the same scam unearthed by a TV-website joint sting operation.

"Manoj Kumar is directed to appear in the Jan Adalat (People's Court). People of his constituency will decide what kind of punishment should be given to him," a poster pasted by the CPI-Maoist in parts of Palamau says.

"For this crime, Manoj deserves death penalty. This is the first time that a Palamau MP was expelled from Lok Sabha on bribery charges.

"Manoj Kumar has cheated people of his constituency for his own cause. He is an example of MPs who further their own interests and forget the interest of the people after reaching the parliament and assembly," the poster says.

In the past some politicians have been forcefully produced in the Jan Adalats of Maoists. Three years ago, a Jharkhand minister was held captive for six hours and produced in the Jan Adalat. He was released with a warning.

Maoist guerrillas are active in 16 of the state's 22 districts.

Naxalite violence, tribal movement dominate events in Chhattisgarh

Raipur | December 28, 2005 2:38:49 PM IST



Amid Chhattisgarh's continued struggle to raise the new state's visibility even in the fifth year after its formation , spurt in Naxalite violence, tribal uprising against left wing extremism, paddy and rice scams and expulsion of a BJP Member of Parliament for his involvement in 'cash for query scandal' dominated the events during the year in the state.

Unlike in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, which witnessed three BJP chief ministers in 18 months, the political situation remained stable here as Chief Minister Raman Singh had a smooth sailing second year in office without any major onslaught either from the opposition Congress or from within his organisation.

''What's special in completing two years in office ? We feel satisfied only when we are able to able to fulfill the promises made to the people. We are working on a plan to be implemented during the next three years in a time bound manner for the state's development,'' Dr Singh said on December seven the day he completed two years in office.

Dr Singh effected a major reshuffle of his cabinet in mid June, divesting senior minister Brijmohan Agrawal of the home portfolio and handing over the home department to tribal leader Ram Vichar Netam.

While Mr Agrawal was entrusted with the revenue department, women and child welfare department minister Mrs Renuka Singh was removed from the ministry. A tribal leader from Bastar, Mrs Lata Usendi was inducted as minister of state for women and child development.

Though the political situation remained normal, the state drew attention for the wrong reasons, particularly increase in the activities of Naxalite outfit Communist Party of India (Maoist) mainly in tribal Bastar region, bordering Andhra Pradesh, and in Sarguja region neighbouring Jharkhand. As Naxalite groups are active in ten out of 16 districts, there were reports about left wing extremists penetrating into new areas in other districts.

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Anti-Terrorist Cell 'battles files, not terrorists'

Friday December 30 2005 00:00 IST

BANGALORE: The first ever terror strike in the City has come as a wake up call to the State Government to strengthen its Anti-Terrorist Cell (ATC), which now just handles government files, like any other department.

In the absence of its own men and logistical support, the cell headed by an officer of the rank of Inspector General of Police (IGP) is working as part of the State Police Intelligence Wing and does little to check terrorist activities in the state.

While the silicon valley of India has been pushed on to the terror map of the country quite sometime back, the Government is sitting on a proposal to strengthen the ATC on the lines of a similar set-up in Andhra Pradesh.

In AP, the cell has its own officers and men in all Naxal-prone districts to collect and analyze information about Naxal activities. The information is shared with the senior officer in-charge of `Greyhounds,' a special unit formed to check Naxal activities.

Ironically, in Karnataka the cell has just a few officers, that too only at the headquarters. They just handle files assigned to them by their senior officers in the intelligence wing. The cells do not have its men at district headquarters.

The proposal pending with the government suggests for deputing more number of officers to the cell and also providing it with logistic support so that it can operate efficiently to keep an eye on terrorist activities in the state.

The information collected from the cell can be passed on to the respective district police or Anti-Naxal Force, which will act on it. However, according to a senior police officer, collection and dissemination of information about the terrorist activities itself is a very important and tough task. “Sitting at the headquarters the officers of the cell are doing that important job,” the officer added.

He, however, admitted that the Wednesday's attack at IISc would certainly force the government to favourably consider the proposal to strengthen the ATC. Incidentally, the officers at the cell, like their counterparts in the police department were clueless about the attack and its chief was on leave.

RPF, Orissa, AP police to coordinate in naxal affected areas

Vizianagaram Andhra Pradesh | December 29, 2005 9:41:58 PM IST



Andhra Pradesh police would make a coordinated effort with Orissa police, Railway Protection Force and Greyhound force to check naxal related incidents in the agency areas of this district.

Superintendent of Police Bhavana Saxena told newspersons here today that different police forces would coordinate to tackle insurgency-related incidents. The agreement comes after an incident when Maoists gunned down four RPF policemen at Koneru Railway Station on AP Orissa border on Monday.

''We are obtaining clues on the attack. It was gathered that two Maoists were injured in the attack,'' she said.

On the grenade attack, which injured local Additional Public Prosecutor early this month, the SP said the grenade that was used did not belong to the State.

Police were ascertaining the location of the smuggled explosive, she added.

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Naxal killed, 2 CRPF men hurt in Bihar

PRESS TRUST OF INDIA

Posted online: Thursday, December 29, 2005 at 0151 hours IST


MOTIHARI, DEC 28: An activist of CPI (Maoist) was killed and two CRPF jawans were injured in an exchange of fire between crpf and Naxalites at Betawna Uttar tola in Bihar’s East Champaran district on Wednesday.

One Naxalite was also killed on the spot and the injured crpf men were admitted to the Sadar hospital here, sources said adding that a combing operation has been launched to track down the Naxalites.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Security beefed up for West Bengal CM's visit

Siliguri: Security has been tightened here on the eve of West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's visit.

Additional forces from other districts and also of the State Armed Police (SAP) were deployed.

Checking and night patrolling have also been intensified.

Reports of a failed suspected Naxalite ambush attempt on the Chief Minister's convoy on the Baraka-Raghunathpur Road on Sunday prompted the security forces to tae the measures

AP may seek army help to counter Maoist menace

Visakhapatnam: With the incidents of Maoist induced violence on the rise, the Andhra Pradesh government is contemplating to seek the help of the army to counter the naxal menace, Home Minister K Jana Reddy announced here today.

Addressing a press conference after inaugurating the Regional Forensic Science Laboratory here, he said the state government had not abandoned the idea of holding a second round of talks with the insurgents.

Quoting examples of LTTE and Naga insurgents, he said those extremist groups were inclined to have a dialogue with their respective governments in order to find a peaceful solution.

''The Maoists should also do the same'', he said.

Asked about the recent attacks by Maoists he said the Government wanted to strengthen police stations wherever necessary by imparting training in the use of sophisticated weapons and providing modern weaponry to the police force.

He strongly criticised the Maoists for indulging in heinous acts like killing innocent people.

Asked if the intelligence units had failed in monitoring the movements of Maoists at Seluru and Kuneru, he said the incidents took place instantaneously without the knowledge of the police.

He said countries like Italy and UK had been utilising the expertise of AP Forensic Science Laboratory. As part of strengthening the police investigation system, the Government would set up three more Laboratories in the State apart from the present six

Woman naxal shot dead in encounter

Guntur: A woman naxal was killed in exchange of fire between the police and the outlawed CPI (Maoists) near Sirigiripadu village in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh today, according to the police.

Police said, a gun, a granide and a kit bag were recovered from the scene of the encounter.

The encounter ensued when a police party combing the forest area, a strong hold of the naxals, spotted a group of Maoists. When they were asked to surrender, the extremists opened fire, the police returned the fire in which the woman naxal was killed.

The others managed to escape into the forests, police added.

Bomb Scare at Petrol Bunk - Claim of a Naxalite Threat

News -- Mysore: Bomb Scare at Petrol Bunk - Claim of a Naxalite Threat



By reciprocal arrangement with Star of Mysore

Mysore, Dec 27 : An anonymous letter in the name of Naxalites, threatening to blow up a petrol bunk in city on the New Year's eve, has caused a flutter not only for the bunk owner, but also among the residents and the Police Department.

It is reported that the inland letter received by Vijaya Service Station on Dhanvanthri Road from the postman on Wednesday December 21 had the following message written in English, "Ningal petrol bunk blasting new year day night: Naxal."

The bunk owner Babu took it to the Devaraja Police Station and lodged a complaint.

The Police could not read the postal seal of the place from where the letter had been posted. The bunk owner too could not name any person as suspect behind the threat.

Babu told Star of Mysore yesterday (December 26), that he felt it was just a mischief by some persons in the name of Naxalites. Yet, he took the matter seriously.

Meanwhile, the Police Control Room is said to have received a telephone call from a public phone booth in Dhanvanthri Road yesterday morning, threatening to blow up a petrol bunk on Dhanvantri Road. But the anonymous caller is said to have not named the bunk.

"Opposite the Vijay Service Station on Dhanvantri Road in the Ganesh Petrol Bunk," said Police Inspector Ramachandraiah and added that as pre-cautionary measures, Bomb Squad and Task Force will be deployed at the bunks on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.

Naxals vowed to intensify struggle for people’s rule

Ultras
Tuesday December 27 2005 11:32 IST

MALKANGIRI: Only a day before the mayhem in the train to Rayagada, the CPI (Maoist), in a release to this website’s newspaper, had stated that it would intensify struggle against Naveen Patnaik and YSR governments for their anti-people policy.

Andhra-Orissa Border Special Zonal Committee Secretary of Maoists Bhaskar said the armed fight would continue till the establishment of people’s rule in Dandakaranya area.

The Maoists reinforced the pledge at the party’s ongoing silver jubilee celebration of Dandakaranya movement and formation of the committee. The celebration that started on December 24 would continue until 31.

The Naxal movement had begun from East Godavari of AP in 1980. Since the formation of the committee, a series of attacks were made on police camps and stations and hundreds of arms and ammunition looted, the release said.

Claiming to have the support of public, students and intelligentsia, the Maoist leader said in the release that a series of meetings would be organised in villages in the border area to mark the silver jubilee.

Demanding forest right to the tribals, Bhaskar reiterated that the movement was aimed at protecting tribal language and their rich culture. The police were allegedly harassing and arresting tribals for no reason, he said.

Police bust Naxal meet, kill four

Jaideep Hardikar
Tuesday, December 27, 2005 00:27 IST


NAGPUR: At least four Naxalites were reportedly killed in a major offensive planned by police on a naxal-den in remote Gyarabatti area of north Gadchiroli on Monday morning. Two policemen were also killed and as many injured when the members of the armed Platoon Dalam fired in retaliation. The operation was launched in the wee hours, but the actual confrontation took place around 7.15 am, according to the Gadchiroli police.

The Naxalites retaliated with Light Mortar Guns and rifles from the top of the hills killing on the spot two policemen - Avinash Ranadive and Birsa Atram - down at the foothill. Two others - Prakash Rathod and Vinod Bulle - who sustained wounds are out of danger. They have been admitted to the district government hospital and are recuperating fast.

Anti-Naxal Operation chief Pankaj Gupta told DNA from Gadchiroli that at least 140 naxalites of three to four splinter groups had converged on the Tipagarh hills, deep in the forests of the district under Purada police precincts, for a conclave to plan something big when the police launched an attack.

“We had surrounded them from three sides at the foothill, while the fourth side has a lake,” he informed. The operation, expected to continue for a few more days, was launched in the wee hours, Gupta added.

Three police parties were involved in the operation, according to Shirish Jain, the district superintendent of police. Jain claimed that it was a “big success” given the kind of terrain it was. He said the naxalite groups had managed to drag back their dead taking advantage of thick forest cover.

Gupta said that apart from the armed Platoon dalam, the members of Tipagarh and Khobramendha dalams were also present on the hills. “We are following them,” he said, confirming that the operation “is still on”.

In all, at least 15 Naxal splinter groups are active in Gadchiroli, with at least 20 declared members and tens of sympathisers and supporters. The Platoon dalam is the most ferocious of all, trained in the use of LMGs and other sophisticated weapons. And, the focus of the naxal groups has shifted to North of Gadchiroli from the south in this past year or so.

After the merger of the Maoists with the People’s War, the new CPI (ML) has grown in strength, according to analysts. The state’s policy for the Naxals willing to give up arms has yielded little success.Gupta informed that the police parties have found lot of blood on the hills after the operation, which indicates that a few Naxalites may also have been injured. The police are also trying to ascertain the motive of the Naxal groups behind this meeting, though they believe that the Naxals might have been formulating the plans for their training camps

Security forces may use mortars against naxals in AP

Visakhapatnam | December 27, 2005 12:39:51 AM IST



Following stepped up Maoist attacks in the North Coastal Andhra pradesh police have decided take up extensive combing operations in the naxal affected agency areas in the districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam and use mortars in their operations, a top police official today said.

He said the police had declared a red alert in the entire three districts, with special concentration on the agency areas.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said the top brass in Hyderabad had asked the Superintendents of Police in the three districts to change their strategy and instructed them to step up the combing operations further and use mortars against the rampaging insurgents.

Anti-insurgent crack forces like Grey Hounds and Special Police Parties involved in the combing operations would deal with them with an iron hand and the required weaponry and ammunition would be rushed to all Maoist infested areas on a war footing.

''Since the Maoists have started looting the public money and are being ruthless not hesitating to kill the personnel on duty, police will also change their plan of action. Our aim is not to create any problem to the civilians in agency areas. We will retaliate in a fitting manner,'' he claimed.

According to reports the Maoist hierarchy had allegedly asked their district commanders to attack and loot money from police and government officials in this region.

This instruction is said to have emanated from the higher ups in Andhra-Orissa Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZE) headquartered in the jungles of Rayagada in Orissa.

The Maoists have already stepped up their attacks. They struck at Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts during the last two days when a nearly 100 strong cadre tried to attack Sileru police station on Andhra-Orissa border in this district only to be repulsed from a strong posse of police and CRPF men on Saturday.

In the second incident yesterday, they shot dead four Railway Protection Force policemen who were travelling in Visakhapatnam-Rayagada Passenger at Kuneru Railway Station bordering Orissa in Vizianagaram district and looted Rs 12 lakh meant to be disbursed to railway ministerial staff in the East-Coast Division and also took away arms and ammunition from them.

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Monday, December 26, 2005

Five Maoist guerillas surrender in Bihar

Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | December 26, 2005 13:43 IST



Five Maoist guerillas have surrendered before the police in Pipra, Patna district on Monday.

Police officials said the surrendered Maoists included an area commander of the banned organisation, Communist Party of India (Maoist) and some others figured in the state list of 'hardcore Maoists'.

According to the police, the five guerillas said that they would like to return to a normal life in mainstream society. The surrender comes after a special task force assured them that the government will conduct a rehabilitation programme for them.

The rehabilitation programme will be initiated soon after the legal formalities are completed. Last week, 17 Maoist guerillas surrendered in Muzaffarpur district.

Naxal commander killed in encounter

Monday December 26 2005 09:28 IST

WARANGAL: One Naxalite of the Praja Prathighatana group (PPG) was killed in an ‘encounter’ while a sarpanch fell victim to Maoists in the district during the last 24 hours.

According to police, the encounter took place on the outskirts of Kesamudram mandal headquarters in which PPG commander Ramesh Reddy was killed. Police began combing the area on information that Naxalites were moving in the area and extorting money from contractors. Suspecting one person riding a motorcycle, police stopped him at a check post but he sped away in a different direction.

Further, he tried to open fire at the police from a distance which was retaliated, Mahabubabad DSP K Satyanarayana has said. Police recovered a revolver from the slain Naxalite.

Meanwhile, thirty five-year-old Eeka Bhaskar, sarpanch of Oorattam in Mulug revenue division, was killed by Maoists branding him police informer on Saturday night.

In a note left beside the body, Naxalite commander Damodar and member Naresh stated that they killed the sarpanch as he had been creating obstacles to their movement. The deceased was a police constable before joining the village politics, five years ago.

YEAR END REVIEW - MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS

POLICIES, PROGRAMMES AND ACHIEVEMENTS DURING 2005
18:12 IST

Year End Review 2005

Disaster Management Bill, 2005:



The orientation of disaster management policy in India has been changed from a relief centric approach to a holistic multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral approach, encompassing all the elements of disaster management i.e. prevention, mitigation preparedness, response, relief and rehabilitation. The approach emanates from the conviction that development can not be sustained unless disaster mitigation and preparedness are built into the developmental process. Disaster Management Bill envisaging this approach was introduced in the Parliament and passed by the Parliament in December 2005.

The salient features of the Bill include setting up of a National Disaster Management Authority under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister; State Disaster Management Authorities in the States/Union Territories under the chairmanship of Chief Minister or Lt. Governor or Administrator, as the case may be; and the District Disaster Management Authority under the District Magistrate in each district.

The Bill also seeks to constitute a National Institute of Disaster Management which shall plan and promote training and research, documentation and development of national level information base relating to disaster management policies, prevention mechanism and mitigation measures. A National Disaster Response Force shall also be constituted for specialist response. The Bill seeks to constitute Disaster Response Fund and Disaster Mitigation Fund at the National, State and District level.

Keeping in view the federal polity, the Bill has been enacted under the Entry ‘Social Security and Social Insurance’ in the Concurrent List of the Constitution of India since it will have the advantage to allow the State Governments also to have their own legislation.


The Government has constituted National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) consisting of 8 battalions of Central Para-Military Forces - two battalions each from the Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for the purpose of specialist response in disaster situations. The process of the training and equipping of battalions is in progress.


These battalions would be positioned at Arrakonam(Chennai), Mundali(Bhubneshwar), Greater Noida, Chandigarh, Barasat(Kolkata), Guwahati(Assam), Pune(Maharashtra) and Gandhinagar(Gujarat). In addition, 16 Regional Response Centres (RRCs) of NDRF battalions are being set up across the country to enable immediate response to natural calamities.

Rajiv Gandhi Rehabilitation Package for Tsunami affected areas: The Government of India approved a Special Package of Rs. 3644.05 crore named as “Rajiv Gandhi Rehabilitation Package for Tsunami affected areas” to provide assistance for immediate relief and response, revival of fishery and agriculture sectors; immediate construction of temporary (intermediate) shelters and repair/restoration of infrastructure.

The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGOM) has approved the Tsunami Rehabilitation Programme at an estimated cost of Rs.9870.25 crore comprising Rs. 3344.13 crore through external agencies (World Bank, ADB, and IFAD)., Rs.1607.01 crore under the Rajiv Gandhi package and balance of Rs. 4641.11 crore as additional budgetary support.


Integrated Operations Centre (IOC) in the Ministry of Home Affairs: The Home Minister inaugurated the Integrated Operations Centre (IOC) on 30th March, 2005. The Centre will provide the latest communications facilities to the Ministry for monitoring and directing officials throughout the country during times of crisis. The IOC has an Operations Room, 2 Control Rooms (Internal Security and Disaster Management) and a communications room with state of art equipment and essential accessories.

Situation in Jammu & Kashmir:

Overall security scenario has improved significantly. The lower level of violence has resulted in revival of tourism giving a major boost to the economy.

The data available from the State show that the number of cases of human rights violation in Jammu & Kashmir have substantially come down in recent times. The forces of all ranks were sensitized about the sanctity of Human Rights and any alleged violation was treated with the utmost gravity. The Home Secretary suggested that all cases of Human Rights violations should be investigated within a time frame of 90 days. Home Secretary directed that handy cards containing the Do’s and Don’ts should be prepared and distributed and Citizen centric Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) prepared.

The bus service from Srinagar to Muzaffarabad started as scheduled on April 7, 2005 despite threats from militants. The second bus schedule was also maintained from both sides on April 21, 2005 without any trouble.

Government has mobilized massive relief for the people affected by the Earth Quake in Jammu and Kashmir. The Earthquake had claimed 1336 lives in the State and destroyed thousands of houses. The Ministry of Home Affairs coordinated the rehabilitation efforts, provided temporary shelters in the form of tents, pre-fab material, food and medical aid etc.

Naxalism:

The Government is of the view that the naxal problem should be tackled in a dynamic and holistic manner. Chief Ministers’ conference on Naxalism was held in New Delhi on 19.09.2005 to discuss the strategy to counter the challenge posed by naxalism.

The Government has comprehensively revised the Security-Related Expenditure Scheme for Naxal affected areas to make it more beneficial to the affected States. A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been finalized in consultation with the Naxal-affected States with an objective to formulate operational plans and undertake intelligence based inter-State joint anti-naxalite operations in the specified inter-State border areas against naxal leaders and cadres. Each of the inter-State border areas identified will have a separate inter-State task force/mechanism on a bilateral or trilateral basis to facilitate need-based intelligence driven joint operations. The naxal affected States have been requested to take concrete steps to raise India Reserve (IR) Battalions on priority. The time frame prescribed for raising the IR Battalions ns is two years. The Coordination Centre headed by the Union Home Secretary constantly reviews review and coordinate the steps being taken by the naxal affected States to effectively counter the menace of naxalism.

Situation in North East:

The overall security situation in North-East has shown signs of improvements not only in terms of declining levels of violence but also through public revulsion against mindless acts of terrorism. There have been instances of public protests against high-handedness by militant cadres and people are now forthcoming to speak against the militants.

The situation in Karbi Anglong district of Assam is fast returning to normalcy after the ethnic strife in the district started on 26.09.2005. Aggressive patrolling by the Security Forces is on in the area. State Government has ordered a judicial inquiry into the clashes.

All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM) had started economic blockade in Manipur, with effect, from 19/20 June 2005 against the declaration of the 21st June as Integrity Day by the State Government. The blockade was lifted on 11th August 2005. State Governments of Manipur, Nagaland and Assam were asked to cooperate with each other and see that essential commodities were allowed to be transported to Imphal and other places without any obstruction. Sustained offensive operations have been conducted in the three Southern districts of Manipur and the writ of the civil administration restored in most part of the State.

In Tripura, due to the sustained pressure by the Security Forces, the violence has decreased by 45% and a large number of NLFT(B) and ATTF cadres have surrendered in 2005. Consequent to the improvement in security situation, a number of development projects have been launched.

Government is willing to talk to any group that abjures the path of violence and seeks resolution of their grievances within the framework of Indian Constitution. The existing ceasefire/suspension of operations with NSCN(IM), NSCN(K), UPDS, DHD and ANVC have been renewed. A fresh suspension of operations agreement has been signed with NDFB on 1st June 2005. The People Consultative Group (PCG) constituted by ULFA held talks with the Government representative on 26th October 2005. Peace dialogue is in progress with NSCN(IM). The latest round of talks was held in Bangkok on December 17-18, 2005.

Police Reforms:

A committee has been constituted under the Chairmanship of former Attorney General Shri Soli Sorabjee to draft a new Police Act to replace the Police Act of 1861. This committee (Constituted in September 2005) has been given a time period of six months to prepare the draft of the new Police Act in view of the changing role/responsibility of Police and the challenges before it especially on account of the growth & spread of insurgency, militancy, naxalism etc.

National Conference of Superintendents of Police: First ever National Conference of Superintendents of Police was organized on 1st September 2005. About 400 district Superintendents of Police from all over the country participate in this unique exercise.

Conference of DGPs/IGPs: Three-day conference of the DGPs/IGPs was organized in New Delhi in October 2005 to discuss the issues pertaining to national security, left wing extremism – emerging dimensions, disaster management, threat from Bangladesh & Nepal, VIP security, cyber security, counterfeiting, crime against women & children, human trafficking, criminal intelligence and Right to Information Act. The conference provided a forum to discuss various problems being faced by the police in their day-to-day functioning and work out solutions to such problems by exchange of ideas and sharing of experience, making the police more effective, efficient and people-friendly.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill: The Parliament has passed this Criminal Law (Amendment) bill in this winter session, 2005. It provides for ‘Plea bargaining’ and aims at ensuring relief to victims through compensation besides reducing delays of cases through early disposal.

The State Emblem of India (Prohibition of improper use) Bill, 2004: The Parliament has passed this bill, which is a self-contained legislation regulating the use of the State Emblem.

The Prevention of Insult to National Honour (Amendment) Bill, 2005: This bill was passed by the Parliament in the winter session 2005.

Law on Communal Violence:

The communal violence (Prevention, Control & Rehabilitation of victims) Bill, 2005 has been introduced in Rajya Sabha and has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee. This comprehensive bill incorporates measures for prevention of acts leading to communal violence, enhanced punishments for communal violence and certain other offences, speedy investigation and trial of offences through special courts and institutional arrangements for relief, rehabilitation and compensation. The country witnessed one major incident of communal violence this year in Mau and thereafter in Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh.

The Foreign Contribution (Management and Control) Bill, 2005: The draft Bill named ‘Foreign Contribution (Management and Control) Bill, 2005’, has been referred to the Group of Ministers by the Cabinet. The Government is also considering certain changes in the law governing the receipt and utilization of foreign contribution by voluntary organizations to remove shortcomings noticed in the present law.

First meeting of the reconstituted National Integration Council: The first meeting of the reconstituted National Integration Council (NIC) was held in New Delhi on 31st August 2005. The Agenda set out for the deliberations was “Communal Harmony through Governmental Action, Education and Media’”. The Council last met in 1992. It was reconstituted in fulfillment of the commitment made in the Common Minimum Programme of the United Progressive Alliance Government. The National Integration Council headed by the Prime Minister has 141 members comprising Union Ministers, Chief Ministers of all Sates and Union Territories which have legislatures, leaders of national political parties and regional political parties, chairpersons of National Commissions, eminent public figures and representatives drawn from business, labour, media and women.


Inter State Council meeting: The Ninth meeting of the Inter-State Council was held in New Delhi on 28th June 2005 to discuss the “Blue print of Action Plan on Good Governance" and "Disaster Management – Preparedness of States to cope with Disasters”.

Commission on Centre-State relations: The Government has decided to set up a Commission on Centre-State relations. The task of finalizing its terms of reference was entrusted to a Group of Ministers, which met recently for this purpose. The proposed Commission shall consist of a Chairman, who may be a retired Chief Justice of India or a Judge of the Supreme Court, and four full time Members. The tenure of the Commission will be for two years.

Scope of Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) scheme extended:

Citizenship Act, 1955 has been amended to extend the scope of OCI to Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) of all nationalities other than Pakistan and Bangladesh that allow dual citizenship under their local laws in some form or the other. Citizenship Rules, 1956 has been amended to simplify the procedure and application form for grant of OCI registration. Necessary amendments have also been carried out in the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939. Arrangements have also been made for online submission of applications for grant of OCI through the website of the Ministry of Home Affairs. This scheme has been made operational since 02.12.2005. The amendment further reduces the period of stay of two years to one year in India for OCI, who is registered for five years, to become eligible for grant of Indian citizenship.

Medical VISA for foreigners: The Government of India has decided to introduce Medical Visa to the foreigners who come for the medical treatment and are required to live in India for extended period. The Medical Visa would be admissible to all foreigners seeking medical attendance in reputed/recognized specialized hospitals/treatment centres in the country. The initial period of such a visa would be for one year or for the period of treatment whichever is less. Unlike tourist visa, medical visa is extendable. The State Governments/FRROs have been delegated powers to extend such visa. The key feature of this visa is that it will be available to all the foreign nationals including nationals of China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Bilateral Agreements:

India-Pakistan Home Secretary level talks: To take the Confidence Building measures further, Home Secretary level talks were held between India and Pakistan in New Delhi on August 29-30. In these talks, it was agreed to provide consular access to all persons within three months of arrest and release prisoners immediately after completion of sentence and nationality verification. Subsequently, India released 97 Pak civil prisoners and 51 Pak fishermen on 12th September, 2005 and 26 more Pak civil prisoners on 18th November 2005 across the Wagah Border. Pakistan also repatriated 371 Indian fishermen and 64 Indian prisoners lodged in various jails of Pakistan.

India-Bangladesh Home Secretary Level Talks: The Home Secretary - level talks between Bangladesh and India were held in New Delhi from October 27th-28th, 2005. Both sides approached all issues on the basis of mutual understanding and appreciation of each other’s position and sensitivities, on the basis of reciprocity and mutual confidence. Both sides agreed to work on security related issues closely and agreed to provide consular access to the insurgents/ criminals arrested by either side and to share information about activities of insurgents.

Measures to Curb the Problem of illegal immigration: Government has taken a series of measures to curb the problem of infiltration of Bangladeshi nationals into India. These include raising of additional Battalions of Border Security Force, reduction of gap between the border outposts, intensification of patrolling both on the land and the riverine border, accelerated programme of construction of border roads and fencing, increase in the number of outposts, provision of modern surveillance equipment etc. The Government is also considering the recommendations of the ‘Group of Ministers’ on ‘Reforming the National Security System. This report recommends recommended introduction of a scheme for issuing ‘Work Permit to Foreigners’ as a measure to curb illegal migration and to begin this with Bangladesh and Myanmar nationals.

India-China Sign MoU to enhance mutual co-operation in combating Terrorism: During the five-day visit of Union Home Minister Shri Shivraj Patil to Beijing from 8th September 2005, both the sides agreed to enhance cooperation in sharing information and experiences to combat international terrorism.

India-USA sign Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty: The Union Home Secretary, Shri V. K. Duggal and the US Ambassador in New Delhi, Dr. David C. Mulford signed the Protocol of Exchange of the Instrument of Ratification concerning Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in criminal matter between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the United States of America. The Treaty will enhance the ability of the two countries to pursue their common objective of law enforcement of putting in place a legal mechanism to enable them to provide to each other assistance in connection with the investigation, prosecution, prevention and suppression of crime including those relating to terrorism, narcotics, trafficking, economic and organized crime.

India-UK sign agreement on the transfer of sentenced persons: India and United Kingdom have signed an agreement on 18th February 2005 on the transfer of sentenced persons. The two countries also renewed an MOU regarding verification and return of illegal Indian migrants in the UK.

India-Myanmar agreement: India and Myanmar have agreed to hold joint interrogation of persons arrested for drugs/arms smuggling and for insurgency related activities. This agreement followed the eleventh national level meeting between the Home Secretaries of India and Myanmar in Yangon from 13th-17th October 2005.

India and Cambodia sign agreement: India and Cambodia have signed agreement to enhance cooperation in combating trafficking of drugs & arms, terrorism and transnational crime. The Secretary of State in the Ministry of Interior, Royal Government of Kingdom of Cambodia, Shri Em Sam An and the Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Shri S. Regupathy signed this agreement in New Delhi in December 2005.

RK

Two cops killed in encounter with naxalites

Nagpur | December 26, 2005 7:42:43 PM IST



Two constables were killed and two others injured in an encounter with naxalites hiding in a forest at Gyarapatti-Kotgul in Dhanora division of naxal-infested Gadchiroli district early this morning.

According to police, while some constables were patrolling in the forest at around 0500 hrs, a group of naxalites suddenly opened fire.

Two constables were killed while two others sustained injuries in the attack.

The police patrol also returned fire, but the naxalites fled away in the darkness and cover of fog.

The deceased have been identified as - Birsay Gulabarao Atram and Avinash Shyamrao Randive.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Sirish Jain rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation.

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‘Police ready to deal with Naxalites’

Monday December 26 2005 09:16 IST

NALGONDA: The police department is ready to deal with Naxal activities, Minister for Home K Jana Reddy has said.

He was here to participate in several programmes on Sunday.

He condemned the attack on the Sileru police station and stressed the need for people to get motivated against Naxal violence. He urged the people to cooperate with the police officials in checking the increasing Naxal violence.

The higher officials had issued orders for filling up 2000 vacant posts in the State according to GO No. 610, he said.

ABVP criticises Centre, AP Govt on naxal violence

Rajahmundry | December 26, 2005 2:39:38 PM IST



Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) Organising Secretary P Chandrasekhar today criticised the Centre and Andhra Pradesh Government for escalation of naxal violence in the country.

Addressing newspersons here, Mr Chandrasekhar, while referring to the Maoist mayhem in Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts alleged that Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy initially lifted the ban on the naxals and subsequently clamped on them.

Mr Chandrasekhar said Dr Reddy was following in the footsteps of TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu in allowing corporate colleges to fleece the students.

He said a two-day 25th State Conference of ABVP, would be held here from January seven.

He said ABVP was spearheading successful movements on various students issues in Sri Venkateswara University and Nagarjuna University, but feared retaliation from naxals.

He said ABVP All India President Dr Kailash Sarma, BJP Vice- President M Venkaiah Naidu and Andhra University Vice-Chancellor Prof G Venugopal Reddy would attend the meet.

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Police intensifies NAXAL combing operations in AP

Hyderabad | December 26, 2005 12:38:59 AM IST



Police today intensified combing operation in Coastal Andhra in the wake of CPI (Maoist) naxal attack on Sileru police station in Visakhapatnam district last night.

Speaking to newsmen here, Director General of Police (DGP) Swaranjeet Sen said special police parties were being sent to the naxal-infested areas.

Stating that the naxal attack on a police station was a bad incident, he said the stations would be guarded with additional police personnel.

Meanwhile, state Home Minister K Jana Reddy told newsmen at Nalgonda that the police had foiled the naxal attack on the police station by not letting them enter the station. He said the police would take stringent steps to prevent such activities in future.

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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Naxalites killed 3 Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel , broad daylight attack

Three RPF personnel killed, four injured in Naxalite attack
Bhubaneswar | December 25, 2005 10:42:14 PM IST

In a broad daylight attack suspected naxalites today shot dead three Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel, injured four others and looted huge cash meant for payment to the wayside railway station staff near Kuneru Railway station, about 34 kms from Rayagada railway station East Coast Railway (ECoR) sources here quoting the information of pay clerk E.Shankar Rao said the armed naxalites asked the RPF party carrying the cash to handover them as the Visakhapatnam-Rayagada passenger train approached the Koneru station.

When the RPF resisted the attempt of the naxalites to snatch the money, the suspected naxalites opened fire killing head constable P.V.Rao, constable D.Sri Ramlu and J.Raja Rao on the spot and snatched away the cash, six rifles and two revolvers from their possession.

Four other RPF personnel, including an Assistant Sub-Inspector, were also injured in the attack and admitted to the Paravatipuram Hospital from where they were later shifted to Visakhapatanam as their condition deteriorated.

The ECoR sources said the pay clerk was carrying Rs 25 lakhs cash for distribution of salary to the staff members posted at the wayside station.It was not immediately known as to how much cash had been distributed before the naxalites attacked the RPF party.

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Asian Age

Hyderabad, Dec. 25: Suspected Naxalites killed three constables of the Railway Protection Force who were travelling in a passenger train and allegedly took away a cash box which the RPF men were carrying after an exchange of fire at Koneru railway station on the Andhra-Orissa border on Sunday, the police said.

A group of armed Maoists stormed a compartment of the Vijayawada-Raigarh passenger train in which RPF personnel were travelling with a cash box containing the salary of Raigarh staff, the superintendent of police of Vizianagaram, Ms Bhavana Saxena, said. When the passenger train reached the station at around 11 am, the Maoists made their way into the compartment and in the exchange of fire that followed three policemen were killed and six others injured, she said. According to reports, the cash box may have contained Rs 50 lakhs, but this could not be confirmed. The SP, Ms Saxena, only said that the attackers had "taken away some cash," without mentioning the amount. There were some civilians among the six injured, she said, adding that all the injured had been hospitalised.

Koneru railway station is in Vizianagaram district, close to the Dandakaranya forest area which runs across Andhra Pradesh and Orissa and has been a hotbed of Naxalite activity for a long time.

Maoist rebels had earlier set off an explosion at a government guest house with detonators and had attacked Sileru police station using rocket launchers on Saturday night in the neighbouring district of Visakhapatnam, the police said

Naxal killed in encounter

Warangal Andhra Pradesh | December 25, 2005 10:42:58 PM IST



A Pratighatana naxal was killed in an encounter near Baruwada village of Keshasamudram mandal of this district today.

Police said a special combing party was fired upon by the naxals forcing them to retaliate. In the encounter, Mahaboobabad Mandal Area Dalam Commander Ramesh alias Sagarin was killed.

The police recovered a revolver from the scene. One more naxal managed to flee from the spot.

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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Alert over wires in CM way

OUR BUREAU

Calcutta/Purulia, Dec. 24: Police today found a network of wires embedded in the earth on the Purulia-Barakar road which will be taken by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on his way to Purulia tomorrow.

Police officials said the wires could be connected to explosives planted by CPI (Maoist) guerrillas. The culvert under which the wires were seen is located in a deserted place 3 km from Raghunathpur town.

Bhattacharjee will visit Para in Purulia, 220 km from Calcutta, to address a public meeting. The chief minister will reach Asansol by train and travel by car to Raghunathpur. He is expected to reach Para around 2 pm.

“We don’t know if there are any landmines underneath and are waiting for the expert team. We have stepped up security along the chief minister’s route,” said Jogesh Chatterjee, inspector-general of police (headquarters) in charge of law and order.

Naxalites launch People's Courts to win sympathy in Jharkhand

Now, Naxalites launch People's Courts to win sympathy in Jharkhand

Chatra (Jharkhand): They may have espoused the cause of the poor and the landless for more than four decades, but the rebel Naxals are still wary of leaving anything to chance as far as winning public sentiment is concerned.

Having used the gun and a parallel form of government to establish their authority over remote and often inaccessible parts of rural India, the Naxals are now projecting their softer side through regular public contact programmes, known in the local parlance as “Jan Adalats” or “People's Court”.

The latest one was held in the jungles near the Chatra- Palamau border.

Armed with guns and raising slogans against the local police and administration, the naxals organised the court not only to propagate their cause, but also to provide a platform for villagers to voice their opinion.

“Our aim is to fight against the atrocities of the administration. We (Naxals) want justice for the people who have suffered so much and want that they should make progress,” said Ravi, a platoon commander of the People's Liberation Guerilla Army.

Some of the villagers, however, said that they were attending such fora to procure rice and blankets for themselves and their families.

“We will get rice and blanket, and so, we have come here,” said a villager.

People voiced their grievances on the platform. A group of people also came up with a short play which aimed to project the basic needs of common man.

Naxalism -- the ultra-leftist manifestation of age-old peasant struggle in India—was born in West Bengal's Naxalbari village in 1967 with an armed revolt backed by Comrade Charu Majumdar. The “rebellion” was crushed but the saga of terror and violence that entailed continues in different streams despite severe crackdown on them over decades.

The movement continues to breed in both its political and violent forms in backward and tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu.

Of the many Maoist organisations in India, the People's War and the Maoist Communist Centre are at present engaged in armed struggle against “ruling classes and oppressive state forces” in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and adjoining areas.

Faced with a host of military and other measures against them, Naxalites have acquired lethal firepower and guerilla war expertise over the years. They are well organised and armed with latest weapons.

Jehanabad jailbreak case: 3 naxals held

[ Saturday, December 24, 2005 06:25:49 pmPTI ]

JEHANABAD (BIHAR): Three naxalites involved in the November 13 massive attack on a jail in Jehanabad were arrested in Hulasganj area of the district and remanded to judicial custody, police said on Saturday.

Umesh Paswan alias Dipak Paswan, state committee member of the proscribed CPI (Maoist), Shivratan Paswan, another hardcore naxalite and Ramashish Paswan were arrested from village Tirra under Hulasganj police station on Thursday night, sources said.

Ramashish Paswan is considered the right-hand man of self-styled commander of the outfit Praduman Sharma who masterminded the operation.

They were later produced before a district court which remanded them to judicial custody.

Bihar Admin gears up to deal with Naxal problem

JEHANABAD: The Jehanabad district administration has geared up its machinery to give a major thrust to the development projects in the district as part of the special action plan recently mooted by the state government to tackle Naxalism in Patna, Jehanabad and Arwal districts in the first phase.

Giving broad outlines of the plan, Jehanabad DM Rana Awadhesh told TOI that as opposed to the conservative line of thinking, which treated the problems of the countryside and the Naxal response to it as a mere law and order problem, the new action plan emphasises the need to analyse and identify the basic requirements of extremist-affected areas, fix priorities, have fresh development strategies and accelerate the implementation process.

The plan is basically designed to instil a sense of security among the rural folk living under the Naxal fear and to deliver distributive justice to the poor, particularly the deprived sections, who are supposed to form the main support base of Naxalites, he added.

The DM informed that to begin with, eight companies of the CRPF have so far arrived in Jehanabad under the special plan of the government to help impart a momentum to various development works in the extremist-affected areas of the district.

CPMF personnel are also being deployed at cluster camps, each comprising three panchayats. These cluster camps will also be known as campaign centres with each centre leaving a static strength of one platoon of CPMF.

The team of the district administration entrusted with the task of carrying out development works in the vicinity will also stay at the same centre until the completion of the works.

On the completion of works, the development team will shift to the neighbouring cluster centre to carry on further development works, the DM said and added that the CPMF will remain stationed at the campaign centres till the entire area is saturated and agog with development activities.

The plan, according to the DM, also envisages restoration of equal rights over the common property assets in the villages to the weaker sections, speedy implementation of land reforms and resolution of land disputes, construction of Dalit colonies and provision for drinking water and sanitation facilities in the Dalit colonies.

16-year-old caught in Naxal crossfire

Tejeswi Pratima

Saturday, December 24, 2005 (Prakasam district ):


Naxals in Andhra Pradesh portray themselves as friends of the poor, who dispense justice, but that is not always the case.

On February 8, 16-year-old Siva Nagamani in Prakasam district was accidentally caught in the Naxal crossfire.

On the fateful day, a bullet pierced into her stomach and has stayed there for the last 10 months.

The Naxals opened fire on her as she happened to be standing alongside a villager who the rebels thought was a police informer.

Living with a bullet

Nagamani has undergone two operations since then. "They cut eight inches of my intestine, saying it will grow after two years. I don't feel like eating like I used to before," says Nagamani.

Doctors decided to let the bullet remain in Nagamani's stomach, fearing complications if it was removed. But the pain has forced her to give up school.

"I wanted to go and study. But I am unable to sit for long in school. So, I stopped going to school," she adds.

Shattered dreams

Nagamani's parents, who work as farm labour in Pettapuram village of Prakasam district, had big dreams for her. But the tragic incident has changed their lives forever.

"I am a daily wage labourer and earn Rs 25 a day. I wanted my daughter to study so that she will be able to make a decent living. But now we don't have an option other than keeping her at home," says Krishnaveni, Nagamani's mother.

The Naxals owned up their mistake and promised the family help but that never came. On their part, Nagamani's parents say they are scared to take help from the government, fearing the Naxals may not approve.

The police officials have promised to take a medical opinion and give a compensation to Nagamani, which could be between Rs 65,000-1,00,000.

Naxal threat to blow up DDPI office

Saturday December 24 2005 12:43 IST

CHIKMAGALUR: Naxalites have threatened to blow up the DDPI office if he failed to dismiss all the phoney physically-handicapped teachers who were recruited under the physically-handicapped category.

In a letter addressed to the DDPI, the Naxalites claimed that they had attempted twice to blow up the DDPI and his vehicle, but he was fortunate to escape on both occasions.

The letter urged the DDPI to see that the fake handicapped teachers’ issue was published in the newpapers. It threatened to blow up his house if he tried to act smart.

But unlike other Naxalite letters released to the newspapars under the name of Gangadhar, this one was signed by Muniya, Ramu, Kavitha and Shibbu.

When contacted, DDPI B N Krishanmurthy told this website’s newspaper that he had received a letter in this regard and had brought it to the notice of the police as well as authorities of the education department.

He made it clear that no physically-handicapped teachers have been recruited so far in the district during his tenure.

However he has directed all the block education officers to verify the certificates produced by teachers who had joined under the category in the past five years.

Those who had produced fake medical certificates would be dismissed immediately and criminal cases filed against them, he warned.

Since 1995 as many as 87 teachers have been recruited in the district under the disabled category, and in 1997-98 the department had recruited 52 teachers, he informed.

Friday, December 23, 2005

On a selling spree

Friday December 23 2005 09:50 IST
KOZHIKODE: Neither Government-owned, nor private. This seems to be the prime reason for the current state of affairs of Comtrust.

The fact that the trust is not answerable to anyone gives it a free hand. And it does whatever it wishes – from allowing total mismanagement to indulging in a selling spree of the valuable properties of the company.

Over the last several years, valuable properties of Comtrust worth crores of rupees have been sold out much below the market rate. Instead of finding ways to manage the company professionally, the management clings on to an easier method – property-selling – to tide over the financial crisis.

The 75-cent Comtrust plot adjacent to Central Library was sold to a private party for a paltry rate of Rs 3-lakh per cent. Even a naive in the real-estate business would know that a cent of land at this part of the city would fetch more than Rs 10 lakh.

Further, the spacious bungalow near the All India Radio office at Kozhikode beach and its two-acre premise was sold for a song. The property fetched just Rs 3.07 crore.

“Before this particular deal was struck, someone had bid Rs 7 crore for the bungalow and the land. But with some higher-ups in the management intervening, the property was sold for such a meagre amount,” said a trade union member at Comtrust.

Similar fate awaited other valuable properties owned by Comtrust in different parts of the country including those in Mumbai.

The latest in the selling drama is the bungalow and the plot near the Comtrust weaving unit at Mananchira. The bidder is learnt to be a prominent NRI business tycoon, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP, while a former naxalite’s husband acts as the broker.

The property selling, however, is not helping the company to tide over the financial crisis. On the contrary it plunges deep into debt traps.

Crores of rupees as overdraft overdue, PF overdue and other huge financial liabilities owing to mismanagement – one could simply imagine the present state of Comtrust.

Majority of the workers say there exists a conspiracy to kill Comtrust by selling out all of its properties. Next, they fear, it could be the weaving factory itself as the management is hardly bothered about running the company.

“You can never run a company by selling its property. Its ultimate death is not far off,” said an aged employee.

And the allegation gains ground: Some board members are conniving with influential real estate mafia to take possession of the valuable properties of the Comtrust. The selling spree is part of a larger conspiracy.

Police arrests CPI (Maoist) zonel commander

Chatra Jharkhand | December 23, 2005 6:31:07 PM IST


A CPI (Maoist) zonal commander Tilak Ganju was arrested from his house at Urub village under Samaria police station of the district last night during a raid, police said today.
Police said Ganju carried a reward of Rs one lakh on his head.

He was active in Chatra, Hazaribagh and Giridih districts and was associated with the banned organisation for about 20 years.

Police wanted him in connection with several criminal cases, police added.

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Woman naxalite arrested in Chhattisgarh

Raipur: A woman naxalite, belonging to the Communist Party of India (Maoist), was arrested by the police in Sarguja district of Chhattisgarh.

Police sources said 25 year old Chameli alias Parmina was arrested from village Pratappur in Balrampur police district on December 20 following a tip-off that she was camping there.

The woman naxalite, who was carrying a reward of Rs 5000 on her head, was involved in a number of crimes in Sarguja, Balrampur, Surajpur areas of Chhattisgarh and in neighbouring Jharkhand state.

Police said she belonged to the gang of CPI (Maoist) zonal commander Bhim Kodaku, who was killed in an encounter with the police few months ago.

Bihar govt prepares approach paper to combat naxalite violence

PATNA, DEC 22 (PTI)

The Bihar government has prepared an "approach paper" outlining its two-pronged strategy which lays emphasis on giving a fresh impetus to development while continuing with the armed offensive to combat growing naxalite problem in the state.

The paper, prepared by the state's home department which will form the basis of a comprehensive action plan, envisages launching of "social justice-oriented" development schemes to "saturate" naxalite-hit areas with development.
To start with, extensive development programmes will be undertaken in Patna, Jehanabad and Arwal districts, Home Secretary H C Sirohi, the man behind the paper, told PTI today.

"The aim of these programmes will be to bring justice to the deprived sections whose feeling of hurt and that of being discriminated against make them vulnerable to the allure of naxalite organisations. Our priority also includes creating an atmosphere of security with the help of central para-military forces and the state police," Sirohi said.

An important component of the approach paper is to free the common property assets like government land, public ponds etc from the occupation of the influential people so that the poor and the underprivileged could also enjoy the benefits.

The paper lays stress on rebuilding and repair of roads, bridges and culverts in these areas and expeditious and effective settlement of land disputes to prevent violent clashes as naxalites tend to exploit such situations, he said.

Naxalite menace, split in ruling coalition in 2005 in Karnataka

BHARATHI RAGHUNATH BANGALORE, DEC 22 (PTI)

Naxalite menace raring its ugly head, split in the ruling coalition partner JD(S) and confrontation between the IT sector and the state government came to the fore in the year 2005 in Karnataka.

Continuing tensions between ruling Congress and JD(S) which also came out prominently during the year, however, had a silver lining for the state's economy with the long awaited Bangalore international airport project taking off at last.

February saw the naxalite menace raising its ugly head in Chikmagalur district. The killing of two naxalites, including its top leader and state general secretary of CPI (ML) Sanket Rajan in a police encounter was immediately followed by a retaliatory attack by the ultra-left group on a police camp killing six policemen and a civilian in Pavagada taluk of Tumkur district.

As Naxalites tried to gain foothold in Malnad districts seeking to widen their network, the government announced deployment of STF to curb their activities while also sending a message that it was ready for a dialogue with them.

Uneasy relations between the Congress and JD(S) continued to dog the government run by them but it was overshadowed by the revolt in the outfit headed by former prime minister and party supremo H D Devegowda as one of its seniormost leaders Siddaramaiah led the rebels challenging the hold of Gowda's family over the party.

Bangalore continued to shine as the IT capital of the country but the confrontation between the government and the IT industry over infrastructural woes in Bangalore left a bitter taste. The IT sector spoke out strongly against the government's "indifferent" approach in getting things moving to provide better roads, ease traffic congestion and make living conditions better.

The government hit and charged the IT sector with complaining too much for ills that were not the products of the coalition governance and even accusing them of trying to deliberately bringing a bad name to it.

The confrontation became more bitter when H D Devegowda chose to attack celebrated technocrat and Infosys Chief Mentor N R Narayana Murthy questioning his contributions as the chief of Bangalore International Airport Limited, leading to his resignation from the post.

Gowda also targetted the IT sector, accusing some firms of grabbing land and questioned the need for alloting land sought by Infosys for a new development centre and township it planned to build. Infosys promptly countered Gowda point by point to assert that it never grabbed any land and it was purchased at market rates.

The annual premier IT show saw Devegowda using the platform to launch a fresh offensive against a section of the IT sector accusing them of carrying a "whispering campaign" to destabilise his party's coalition government with Congress.

Chhattisgarh assembly adopts Special Peoples' Security Bill

Raipur | December 23, 2005 7:44:06 PM IST


The Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha today adopted the Special Peoples' Security Bill, 2005 to deal with group engaged in disruptive and unlawful activities, including the Naxal outfit Communist Party of India (Maoist) and its frontal bodies.
Piloting the bill, Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam said, ''The rebels are unleashing terror in tribal areas for more than two decades and they killed hundreds, mostly policemen, by triggering landmines.'' After the merger of Peoples' War and Maoist Communist Centre, the Naxal outfit was engaged in more disruptive activities. It acquired modern weapons, including Automatic Kalashnikov-47 (AK-47) rifles and explosives, and there were several explosions in tribal Bastar region.

Mr Netam said ultras also blasted an anti-landmine vehicle in Bastar this year, killing 24 including 22 Central Reserve Police Force personnel.

Besides posing a threat to democracy and killing innocents, naxals were also obstructing development initiatives in tribal areas. The government felt the need for stringent legislation to deal with such organisations and frontal outfits. The bill provided for declaring such organisations as unlawful and banning them.

Opposition Congress members were absent as they were suspended earlier in the day for raising slogans from the well, demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into a 'rice scam' in which a collosal stock went missing from a State Warehousing Corporation godown.

Mr Novil Kumar Verma (Nationalist Congress Party) and ruling party members participated in the discussion and the house adopted the bill by voice vote.

UNI JJ AC CD ND1924

Delhi may be the next target of Maoists

Rajesh Sinha



NEW DELHI: Red terror is now knocking on Delhi's doors. While the Centre and state governments are yet to get their act together to counter the fast spread of Maoist influence, Haryana, which is at the doorstep of the national capital, has joined the list of states facing the problem.

Intelligence reports say the Communist Party of India (Maoist) is building its base and spreading its network in Haryana. The development came to light in the course of investigations into an incident on September 21, the first anniversary of the formation of CPI (Maoist). Activists from one community were taking out a torchlight procession in Ghaso Khurd in Jind. Firearms were used when people belonging to another community tried to stop the procession.
Police investigations into the incident revealed a link with CPI (Maoist) and further probe into the incident revealed that various front organisations and groups sympathetic to the naxal outfit have cropped up in at least seven districts of Haryana ----- Jind, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar, Hissar, Rohtak and Sonipat. The finding set alarm bells ringing in the security establishment.

Intelligence sources said while the Maoists have not yet started carrying out armed strikes, or imposing and collecting "taxes", they are actively propagating their ideology. The Maoists are targeting sections of society such students, dalits and workers for spreading their ideology and influence, said an intelligence officer. Sources said raids at premises of some of the suspected outfits yielded Maoist and naxal literature that were being used to spread the ideology. Street plays and torchlight processions are other means adopted by these organisations.
The incident at Gohana where dalit houses were set on fire by Jats was seen as an opportunity to these outfits to make attempts to spread their influence, according to intelligence sources.

Notorious NAXAL criminal was lynched by villagers

Notorious criminal lynched in Jamui
Jamui: A notorious criminal was lynched by villagers in Navadih under Sikendra police station here last night.

Police Superintendent Arvind Kumar said here today that Chapata, was lynched by the villagers as soon as he was spotted.

He was accused in a number of cases including murder, dacoity, kidnapping and extortion.

Meanwhile, an extremist, Ashok Yadav, was arrested last night from a private nursing home under Jhajha police station during a raid conducted on a tip off.

Several live cartridges, detonators, land mines detectors and naxal literature were recovered from Burhi Khar village when a team of local police raided a hide-out on information obtained from Ashok Yadav, the SP added.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Captured: rebel brutality

- Pictures with police show man beheaded by Maoists
OUR CORRESPONDENT

Midnapore, Dec. 20: Police have produced in court photographs purportedly showing a Maoist leader escorting a man through a forest and then, the latter’s headless body lying on the ground.

The alleged rebel in the photograph, seen walking ahead of the lean, middle-aged man bound by ropes, has been identified as Santosh Debnath, who was arrested from Belpahari in West Midnapore on May 23.

In another picture, also with the police, CPI (Maoist) pol-itburo member Sushil Roy and the outfit’s central committee member, Patit Paban Haldar, are seen meeting the CPI (Maoist) leader from Andhra Pradesh, Varvara Rao.

Roy and Haldar, too, were held in Belpahari, 180 km from Calcutta, in May.

Roy is seen dressed in army fatigues and brandishing a rifle in yet another photograph, one of 20 submitted before the Jhargram additional sessions judge.

Debnath, Roy and Haldar, who have been charged with waging war against the state, are being tried in the court in Jhargram, 170 km from Calcutta. The police filed the charge-sheet in August and the hearing began on Saturday.

After their arrest, a joint investigation team of the police and the CID raided Roy’s rented house in Hind Motor in Hooghly and several other places in the district and seized the photographs.

“We also seized a computer that was used by Sushil Roy, besides compact discs and CD players. In the CDs, we found video recordings of meetings and training camps held by the Maoists,” an officer said.

“In some CDs, there were formulas and diagrams for making explosives, maps and plans. We also found pictures showing a house, apparently of a landlord, being set on fire and elated guerrillas,” the police officer said.

The police have, however, not been able to pinpoint exact locations. “From the look of the forests, it seems they are in Jharkhand or areas in Bengal bordering that state — West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia. But we have yet to confirm it,” an officer said.

Public prosecutor Sasanka Ghosh said the photographs seized would strengthen the case. “We suppose the pictures were used to terrorise landlords and other affluent people in Maoist-dominated areas. They were also probably used to impress youths and woo them into their fold ,” Ghosh said.

The lawyer for the rebels, Tapan Sinha, said the photos were doctored. “We will demand their examination by experts,” he added.

The district administration has made elaborate arrangements for the trial, deploying over 50 jawans of the special combat force and the state armed police in the court.

Force into the line of vision

Vikram Sood

December 20, 2005



Parliamentarians were supposed to meet in the afternoon of December 13 to honour those who died saving them five years ago. Instead, they woke up to the horror stories of their Eleven accepting bribes for agreeing to do something they were in any case elected to do — raise issues in Parliament. It is ironic that the expos√© took place on December 13.

As for raising issues in Parliament, most of its time in recent days seems to have been spent on the Volcker-Natwar saga. The country has seen endless debate, on TV, in newspapers and magazines, or in the well of the Lok Sabha where lung power took precedence over intelligent discourse. The antics of the Parliamentary XI left the Speaker of Lok Sabha and many other good men close to tears and one hopes in the days ahead this debacle, and what it signifies, would be debated publicly.

As it is, we have not done too well on the integrity scale. According to recent figures quoted in this newspaper, 99 per cent of the people perceive the police to be corrupt, 98 per cent think similarly about political parties and 97 per cent feel likewise about the judiciary. All three need a massive image makeover. This is an unfortunate commentary about the two main arms of governance that give security and justice to the average man and woman.

So those of us who can afford it hire private security guards if the State does not provide security, dig our own (illegal) tube wells if the State cannot provide water and install our own generators if there is no electricity. And if Parliament does not debate crucial issues and instead spends most of its time obstructing meaningful discussions, then the people will debate issues on the streets.

It is not quite correct to blame Parliament alone. All of us, the civil society, the media or even our mushrooming think-tanks, have failed to discuss the one important issue that should really be causing sleepless nights. The Jehanabad assault got lost in the din of the Delhi bomb blasts and in the fallout of the Volcker report. Besides, Volcker was about ‘us’ and Jehanabad was about ‘them’. So not much time need be wasted on ‘them’.

After a couple of days of mock concern, most of us retreated to the comfort of book launches and musical soirees, while the government, as usual, rushed in Delhi-based forces with no knowledge of local conditions and therefore ill-suited to help find the culprits. Regional incompetence matched by central incongruity.

As a country develops, its elite identifies itself more easily with the elite of the rich West, more particularly the business interests of the mega-corporations with whom they have to work closely. It is easier to associate with causes closer to the West than within one’s own country. For instance, it is easier to campaign against Aids (undoubtedly a killer) rather than against hepatitis and malaria (both massive killers in India) because these diseases are not on any Western radar screen and, therefore, not ‘fashionable enough’.

It is easier to debate about nuclear non-proliferation rather than Jehanabad, maybe because this did not arouse our collective conscience. But more Jehanabads will occur unless we learn to care because what happened there was a symptom, not a disease.

The lack of public debate means that the significance of the event has largely escaped all of us barring a recent report in this newspaper. Is it that we are out of touch with the rest of the country? Or that we have chosen to ignore the problem hoping that it will somehow disappear? Here were a thousand armed and unarmed persons who carried out a meticulously planned assault on the district jail and sprung 350 of their Naxalite compatriots from custody, took a few hostage and killed others.

Jehanabad is not a remote part of India. It is in one of the most populous states of the country. There must have been months of planning, of teams sent out on reconnaissance by the Naxals and more than just the attackers must have been involved. Either it was an intelligence failure, or the authorities were too frightened, which means this was a failure of the administration, or the local authorities knew about it and were apathetic (or even sympathetic) to the cause, which means that the State had totally collapsed. The second obviously has the more worrying implication.

Maps, showing the extent of activities of the Left-wing extremists, divide India north-south right through the heartland starting from Bihar all the way down to Karnataka, with 116 districts under their control, have been around for some time now.

The decade-old conflict, with its transnational connections, has accounted for more than 10,000 lives and has lately shown increasing sophistication in its operations and access to equipment and weaponry. Today, Naxals threaten major private investments in Orissa, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh. There could be more trouble ahead. The security of India and its success as a major power will lie in our collective ability to address such basic issues and not in our membership of the UN Security Council.

The pattern in India today is to let a local thug evolve into a national don or let a problem fester and when ultimately forced to take notice, then grant some concessions — allocate funds or carve out a new district, a new state, or more reservations but skirt the main issue. This only encourages regional and sectional truculence of various hues. Populist promises and actions ‘ghettoise’ us into Brahmins, Rajputs, Jats, Kurmis, Yadavs, OBCs, Dalits, Hindus, Muslims, Bengalis, Assamese, Tamilians, Punjabis or whatever. But where is the Indian in all this?

By granting reservations in perpetuity, we also run the danger of permanently secluding sections of our people and fracturing society and preventing them from joining the mainstream. The gravity of a crime or the generosity of a reward is determined by caste and region. Merit or punishment by quota accentuates divisions but does not remove them.

There are many things that are wonderful about India, especially the talent and √©lan of the youth, but there are many that are not. A beginning has to be made somewhere to repair the system. Assuming that there is a political will to emancipate or to improve the situation, an instrumentality is required. But the steel framework — the civil service — has been bent and broken beyond recognition through years of political expediency where loyalty to the country is defined as loyalty to the individual, party, caste or region.

The strong and upright have given way largely to the cynical and opportunist alternating between a demi-god and a hanger on. This must be repaired first before anything can be achieved. Mere Pay Commissions will not do; the bureaucratic machine has to be leaner and more muscular.

The authority and the self-respect of the local administrator, quite often derisively referred to as the babu, has to be restored first. He must know that while he will be accountable, he will also not be victimised for doing his work without fear or favour and not dependent on an increasingly whimsical political system.

More powerful than a powerful idea is its implementation. But if the instruments have all weakened, how will India Shine?

Chill cover: Rebel win

RANJAN DASGUPTA
Rural relief

Jamshedpur, Dec. 19: The Maoists appear to have distributed more blankets among the poor than the state government. The revelation comes from state government officials who said the rebels undertook the distribution as part of their public relations exercise.

Alarmed at the intelligence reports, some of the deputy commissioners are learnt to have demanded more funds from the state government for blankets.

The state government, as reported earlier, allotted Rs 32 lakh for purchase of blankets to be distributed in over 22 districts. Each district’s share came to a little over a lakh.

While the director, social secretary, N. Bhuiyan, pleaded helplessness by saying that whatever money he had was disbursed to the districts two months ago, at least two deputy commissioners said the funds were not enough.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the officials said the funds released to his district were enough to purchase just about 600 blankets. Not only is the need much greater, he said, but the number distributed by rebels is higher. Distribution of the blankets in such circumstances is getting to be trickier, he pointed out. “Who should get it and who is left out?” he asked rhetorically.

State government sources confirmed receiving messages for more funds from Naxalite-affected districts like Latehar.

“The extremists are on a spending spree to purchase blankets and provide them to common people. It is a confidence building measure by the Naxalites and the state government must do something about it,” labour department officials conceded.

A few districts like West Singhbhum is yet to begin distribution of blankets although it is one of the worst Naxalite-affected districts in the state. The mercury has already dipped below eight degree Celsius in the district and it is cold, the officials admitted.

But a senior official claimed, after much cajoling, that the blankets could not be distributed because no allotment letter was received from the state government. He was “pursuing” the matter, he declared.

None of the officials in the districts are willing to share information on how the blankets have been distributed or how the beneficiaries were chosen; whether NGOs were drafted for the distribution or service clubs enlisted and, finally, whether the blankets were distributed among the rural or the urban poor. In the absence of transparency and such details, doubts are being expressed freely about the credibility of the distribution even in official circles.

The state government has not been able to manage the distribution of blankets, it seems, even after reversing the earlier practice of centralised purchase.
Naxals eying banks, police stations
Chandra Bhushan Pandey
[ Wednesday, December 21, 2005 03:24:43 amTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

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MOTIHARI: The CPI (Maoist) has once again threatened to launch a major offensive in the state after the Jehanabad jailbreak incident.

This time, the Naxal outfit is eying the Indo-Nepal border areas of East and West Champaran, Sheohar, Sitamarhi and Muzaffarpur districts.

According to highly-placed intelligence sources, the Naxalites are not only planning to loot police arms, but banks as well, the sources said.

The transfer of East Champaran SP Binay Kumar and Sheohar SP Satyendra Prasad Singh have boosted their confidence as the new SPs will have to start afresh to check the Naxalites' nefarious designs The Sheohar SP, who is ready to give charge to the new SP, said on Tuesday that he had conducted raids in Belwa, Narkatiya and Semrahaiya villages and had asked the CRPF platoon to move to the border areas of the district.

"I have done my duty till the last minute to maintain peace and contain Maoists' activities," he said. East Champaran SP Binay Kumar, who also has to give charge to his successor Sunil Kumar Jha, was instrumental in arresting veteran Maoists Munna Mistry and Nokhelal, who were involved in the Madhuban attack.

The duo were arrested from Purnia and Katihar, respectively, and were remanded to jail custody. A senior Maoist, Praveen, has reportedly said, "We know that the government will initiate repressive measures against us and we are ready to strike back."

The outlawed Maoist outfit has been spreading its tentacles on the Indo-Nepal border with the Sheohar district being the main centre.
They have made over two dozen villages of Sheohar and East Champaran as their permanent base, the sources said. The forest areas of Peprarhi serve as an ideal hideout for Maoists.

According to reports reaching here, Maoists hold their regular meetings at Kalupakar, Penehara, Dornauli, Betwa and Peprarhi villages to chalk out their strategies.

Though the East Champaran police have identified over 100 hardcore activists, their arrests are yet to be made. The diara areas of Bagmati are also serving as a safe refuge for Naxalites.

According to intelligence sources, some Naxalites from Andhra Pradesh have also been noticed in the district in the last one week.

18 Maoists surrender in Bihar

Muzaffarpur | December 20, 2005 8:10:00 PM IST



Eighteen Maoist rebels surrendered in Bihar on Monday.

Police said they are trying to verify the antecedents of the rebels, locally called Naxalites, who surrendered in Muzaffarpur district alongwith countrymade weapons.

"The people who surrendered are 18 in all. Out of these six were from the most wanted list of the active terrorists in the state as per the police records. The rest claim that they are Maoist rebels too and they all want to be rehabilitated. We cannot take their claims at face value and will have them verified but have allowed them to surrender at the moment. Some amount of country made weapons, not the regular weapons have been recovered from them," said Sanjay Ratna, Superintendent of Police.

The rebels said they laid down arms on a rehabilitation assurance by the state government.

"We asked for the government's agreement to our conditions in writing that we will be cleared of all the cases against us. We also asked for the allotment of houses and an allowance of Rupees 3,000 till such time as we get job and a cash payment of rupees 200,000 to start a business. We also want to be given a licensed revolver to protect ourselves. We were assured by the new government and we are very hopeful of them abiding by their word. That is why we have surrendered," said Naresh Ram, the head of the group.

Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh are among the states worst affected by Naxal violence.

Maoist rebels, who say they fight for the rights of landless labourers and impoverished peasants, operate across swathes of south and eastern India. In Bihar, they often clash with the private armies of landlords.

The Home Ministry estimates that there are around 9,300 armed Maoist rebels in the country and say they have links with Maoist insurgents in Nepal who are fighting to overthrow the Himalayan nation's monarchy. (ANI)

Drive for modernisation of police stations

Statescan
Orissa Newsletter



The recent attack on a police party in Sambalpur district has thrown up questions as to why there has been an inordinate delay on the part of the Centre to declare Sambalpur and Deogarh districts Naxal-affected. Proposals for this had been sent a year ago. People have also raised question over the state government’s commitment to fight Maoists. The state government is yet to establish Second India Reserve Battalion, funds for which had been sanctioned more than a year ago.

However, senior home department officials pointed out that 60 odd police stations located in Naxal hotspots had been identified for modernisation within three years. Already a few police stations in the Naxal-affected districts like Malkangiri, Rayagada, Koraput and Gajapati have been strengthened, while similar measures are underway in several police stations of Sundargarh, Kondhmal, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Keonjhar districts.

Modernisation of police stations is being taken up under the police modernisation scheme. More than Rs 230 crore have already been spent on the scheme during the last five years, while another Rs 30 crore have been earmarked for the current financial year. Besides, central assistance of Rs 20 crore will be available to the state this year towards the reimbursement of security-related expenses incurred in the Naxal-affected districts. However, Sambalpur and Deogarh districts, which have been witnessing growing Maoist menace, are deprived of the benefit, as these districts are yet to be declared Naxal-affected.

Naxals Blow Up Quarry Owned by State BJP Leader

Patna: December 20, 2005

Maoist extremists who have unleashed an unprecedented reign of terror in Bihar particularly since the infamous attack on Jehanabad jail a few weeks ago, on Sunday night, blew up a stone quarry owned by senior Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Gopal Narain Singh in the Naxal-infested Rohtas district, the police in Sasaram said.

According to the report, over 150 heavily armed criminals with allegiance to banned Maoist outfit dressed in police uniform attacked the quarry in Gaighat in Kaimur on late Sunday night in the same fashion they raided the Jehanabad jail, and destroyed the place by blowing up with power dynamites.

While no one was injured or dead in the attack, the place was totally destroyed by the perpetrators, the police said. The damage is estimated to be in excess of Rs. 6 lakh, sources said.

A well-known name in the area for his vast business empire, Singh has repeatedly refused to give in to the extortion demands of the Maoists who have issued numerous threats to him in the past.

The extremists also left Communist literature at the blast side while also leaving more warning for Singh for much serious consequences if he didn't play by their rules.

Hearing the news of attack, the police gave a chase to the fleeing criminals resulting in an encounter in Bhadokra under Tilothu police station. After over 200 rounds of firing from both sides, the police gunned down at least one Maoist, officials in Rohtas said.

Raids are being carried out in the neighboring areas to nab the Naxalites. Security has been beefed up in Rohtas district.

On Monday, the state Sports Minister Janardan Singh Sigriwal visited Gaighat to take stock of the situation. A CRPF post would be installed near the quarry within next two days, the minister said

Tackling Maoist--II

The ban imposed by the Centre on People's War Group and the Maoist Communist Centre has had no effect on the activities of these outfits. Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil insists if regrouping is taking place, efforts would be intensified to ensure violence does not occur. He is not opposed to a dialogue with the rebels to solve the problems and insists there should be no hesitation about it as India was talking to Pakistan also. "Why should we treat talking to out own people as a soft approach? We are prepared to persuade them, remove their grievances and take action as per the law". He admits it is necessary to develop the affected areas and give their people economic, political and social justice. The Naxalites need to be convinced that by killing others they would not achieve anything, but by cooperating in understanding the real situation and proving remedies, they would achieve their objective.

Naxal-Maoist violence has been accentuated by the caste factor. The upper, landed castes in most parts of the country resent when members of the lower castes demand better wages for working on farms, access to village facilities such as, drinking water and schools and equality of opportunity want to acquire land and pursue professions hitherto reserved for the upper castes. In most cases the aggrieved lower castes have no access to justice wether at the hands of the administrators or the lower judiciary. Therefore, they fall an easy prey to the call of the Maoists to take to arms and bring about a socio-economic revolution through violent means. The Maoists manage to control area, redress the grievances of the underprivileged by dispensing ready justice and eliminate members of the upper castes who do not obey their orders.

Broadly speaking the various Naxal and Maoist organizations have a similar set of demands. They blame the police for faking encounters to kill them and get rewarded by the state for miscarriage of justice. They want an end to such encounters, judicial probes into them and stopping police promotions for killing them without provocation. They want land reforms to be implemented speedily, strict implementation of the land ceiling laws and distribution of surplus lands among the landless. All pending irrigation projects should be completed speedily so that farmers get adequate irrigation facilities; all private loans taken by farmers, whose crops fail, should be waived to prevent suicides among them and permanent and integrated plans for tackling drought situations should be drafted. The scores of upper caste armies which justify their existence on the plea of fighting the guerillas should be disbanded because they are committing excesses on the under-privileged classes. They also want setting up of small industries in rural areas to provide employment to the unemployment youth and protect such industries against competition from multinationals. The tribals people's rights on forest land should be recognized, alienation of their land and settling of non-tribals in reserved areas should be stopped. Another demand is to probe the illegal assets and wealth acquired by corrupt bureaucrats, politicians and businessmen and make the rich pay their taxes to finances development.

While the methods to enforce these demands may be questionable, there is little to object to in them in the face of a stone-walled bureaucracy and politicians who are influenced more by the affluent and the privileged classes in devising policies which increase rural poverty and indebtedness. The guerillas also seem to realize the futility of continuing violence, but want an honourable settlement based on speedy implementation of their socio-economic demands. Their leaders insist that it is violence by the police in the first instance that leads to counter violence by the Maoists. "Let the repression go and there will be no violence", said one of them, but they would continue to demand strict implementation of the land reforms, which had been sabotaged by powerful vested landed interests in collusion, with obliging politicians, and solutions to a host of their pressing problems and righting the injustices committed on them.

When it is conceded by the Union Home Minister and the Maoist leaders both that the root cause of violence is socio-economic inequality and denial of justice to the rural poor and of their legitimate demands and rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution, then where is the scope for conflict? Police measure under way in most states have failed to solve the problem. Actually, the government has played into the hands of anti-national forces by relying solely on police methods and putting other measures on the back-burnet. The result is more violence on both sides, more security personnel getting killed as also Maoists and their sympathisers. Indiscriminate arrests of sympathizers leads to massive harassment and resentment against the administration and strengthens the Naxal movement. This is happening all over, particularly, in the North eastern states where problems have compounded and insurgent outfits proliferated.

It is necessary to separate the problem of externally - sponsored and Islamic fundamentalist terrorism from the indigenous Naxal-Maoist movement; while the former needs to be firmly tackled with all of the resources at the command of the state; the latter must be dealt with sympathetically, because the grievances articulated are regarded genuine by all and must be addressed by a democratic state that relies on people's support. The problem calls for a socio-political approach and principally democratic solutions. Instead of creating more problems for itself, which become chronic and insoluble, a democratic state should go about earnestly and systematically solving them.

MK Dhar, NPA