Saturday, June 18, 2005

Mulayam asks Naxals to shun violence

Varanasi, June. 19 (PTI): Promising accelerated development of the region, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav on Saturday asked Naxalites and their supporters in Chandauli, Sonebhadra and Mirzapur districts of the State to shun violence and join the mainstream.

"The Naxalite outfits and their supporters should shun the path of violence since the solution to socio-economic backwardness of this region cannot be found in the gun," he told a gathering at Naugarh in Chandauli district.

Yadav said he was committed to weeding out insurgency from UP at any cost but it would be better if they voluntarily joined the mainstream.

The State Government would also consider withdrawal of criminal cases against innocent people suspected to be Naxalite members or sympathisers, he said.

The CM laid the foundation of 51 projects costing Rs 240.61 crores, sanctioned 1,000 hand-pumps to each of the three Naxal-infested districts and announced electrification and road connectivity of the region.

NAXALS kill TRS leader, over 100 quit posts

Hyderabad | June 18, 2005 6:44:15 PM IST


The rebels murdered Nagabhushan, a member of the local body Mandal Parishad Territorial Committee (MPTC), in Veeranapally village of Karimnagar district.




On Saturday morning, at around 11.45 am, five armed extremists of CPI-ML (Janashakti) belonging to Rajanna group shot dead M V Prasad, 50, spokesman of CPI-ML (Janashakti) Ramachandran group at Mamillagudem toll gate in Mothe mandal in Nalgonda district while he was traveling in a vehicle.

Hyderabad, June 18 : Maoist guerrillas killed a leader of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) in Andhra Pradesh early Saturday, prompting more than 100 party members to quit their posts in panic.

The rebels murdered Nagabhushan, a member of the local body Mandal Parishad Territorial Committee (MPTC), in Veeranapally village of Karimnagar district.

Nagabhushan's daughter Lavnya said a group of armed Maoists knocked on their door early Saturday and ordered her father to accompany them to discuss an important issue. After covering some distance, the attackers cut his throat with sharp edged weapons.

In a letter left behind by the Maoists, they warned that TRS leaders who continue to remain in their posts despite their ultimatum would meet the same fate.

The incident created panic among TRS ranks in the Telangana region and more than 100 party leaders in Karimnagar have resigned en masse.

They include dozens of village heads and members of district, sub-district and village level bodies. Reports from Nizamabad and Adilabad districts also said dozens of TRS leaders had quit party posts to escape Maoists' wrath.

This was the first killing of TRS leader by Maoists after their ultimatum ended Wednesday.

Communist Party of India-Maoist and Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist Janashakti had warned TRS to sever links with the ruling Congress in the state. They had also asked TRS leaders to quit their posts.

The leadership of TRS, which is fighting for separate statehood for the Telangana region, ignored the ultimatum.

But Maoists have accused the TRS of betraying the people of Telangana by sharing power with the Congress at the centre and in the state and forgetting their promise to achieve a separate state.

The TRS, which had fought last year's elections in alliance with the Congress, has 26 legislators in the 294-member state assembly. It also has five MPs.

Maoists are supporting the three-decade-old demand for separate statehood to the Telangana region, comprising 10 districts, including Hyderabad.

The attack came a day after TRS leader and Labour Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and urged him to expedite the report of the committee appointed by the ruling United Progressive Alliance at the centre on Telangana.



(IANS)

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REDIFF News
Maoists kill TRS leader

Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | June 19, 2005 00:01 IST



Continuing their killing spree, Maoists and Janashakti Naxalites killed four persons in different incidents in four districts in Andhra Pradesh since Friday night.

One of the victims, belonging to Telangana Rashtra Samithi, was killed for ignoring the Maoists' ultimatum to all TRS leaders to quit their elected posts by June 15.

In the early hours of Saturday, six armed Maoists of Praveen Dalam went to the house of Thottu Nagabhushanam, 36, mandal parishad territorial constituency member of TRS, at Veernapalli village in Yellareddipet mandal in Karimnagar district.

They dragged him out of the house, ignoring the pleas of his wife. They shot him dead after stabbing him. The incident occurred at around 0120 IST.

The Maoists had issued an ultimatum to TRS leaders to resign from their elected posts by June 15. The victim had earlier worked as a deputy central organizer of Madhu dalam of People's War and surrendered to the police in 1994. He joined TRS and was elected to a panchayat post in 2001.

In another incident, three armed Maoists went to the house of a Congress leader S Venkat Rami Reddy at Kalapadu mandal near Badwel in Kadapa district and shot him dead. He was former president of primary agricultural cooperative society at Kothakota and a close associate of Congress legislator D C Govind Reddy of Badwel. The incident took place at 2000 IST on Friday night.

In yet another incident, six armed Maoists went to the house of an ayurvedic practitioner Darsi Sivaiah, 30, at Kondipadu village in Bellamkonda mandal in Guntur district around 2200 IST on Friday night. They took him out of his house on the pretext of talking to him and shot him dead, branding him a police informer. He was practicing at Tenali town for the last three years and came to his native village earlier in the day to attend the funeral of his grandfather.


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HYDERABAD/KARIMNAGAR: Maoists hacked to death an MPTC member of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti in Karimnagar district on Saturday.

The killing took place just two days after the expiry of the deadline set by the naxalites for TRS members to quit their elected posts in the wake of their "failure" to carve out a separate Telangana.

T Nagabhushanam, an MPTC member of Veernapalli under Yellareddy Peta mandal became the first victim of the Maoist threat to TRS leaders. Five to six naxalites attacked him on Friday night and hacked him to death.

So far, half a dozen TRS leaders — mostly sarpanches, ZPTC and MPTC members — have received threatening calls from the Maoists. In a letter recovered from the scene of offence, the Maoists reiterated their demand that TRS leaders quit their posts.

The incident has sent shockwaves in the TRS, as Nagabhushanam was a dalam member of the PW before joining TRS. Twenty of the 26 TRS MLAs are now in Hyderabad, fearing Maoist reprisal.

"What happened was contrary to the Maoist statement that they will not attack TRS leaders physically. The party will respond only after getting a full report," TRS MLA M Satyanarayana Reddy said.

Meanwhile, some 100 sarpanches, MPTS' and ZPTS' have quit their posts following the Maoist threat. Police asked TRS leaders from remote areas to move to the nearest mandal headquarters.

4000 cartridges seized from Chandrapur

By: PTI
June 18, 2005

In a major seizure, police today recovered over 4000 cartridges from Ranala lake in Chandrapur city of eastern Maharashtra, suspected to be dumped there by naxalites.

The cartridges, including nearly 2000 rounds of 410 Muscket and 2000 rounds of 9 mm bore, were recovered after the Chandrapur police launched a search operation at the Ranala lake on a tip-off, police said.

"The ammunition appears to be old, which naxalite dalams (groups) could have dumped in the lake," Chandrapur SP Ravindra Kadam told PTI, adding that the search operation was continuing with the help of fishermen.

Kadam said he suspected that there could be an ammunition depot of naxalites in the proximity of the lake, and the ultras dumped the ammunition in the lake while shifting the den or fearing a police crackdown.

Kadam said nearly 800 cartridges of similar calibre were seized from a scrap merchant in late 2004 and it was being ascertained if those and the ones seized today belong to the same manufactured lot.

Naxalites chip in where state doesn’t give a damn

Manoj Chaurasia in Patna
June 17. — Given their four-decade-long presence in a poverty-stricken state like Bihar, yet to get rid of its caste-based and communally-oriented politics, Naxalites appear to have learnt very well the art of exploiting mass sentiments. Their task has been made easy by the failure of the government machinery to deliver the goods regardless of who’s in power. Taking full advantage of the official failure to come to the rescue of the people suffering the state’s worst hot spell in 80 years, the Naxalites are now making their presence felt doing what the government cannot.
The Communist Party of India-Maoist has initiated efforts aimed at providing irrigation facilities to the poor farmers of Immamganj, Dumaria, Kothi and Barachatti in Bihar’s Gaya district. The extremists are constructing a huge dam near Khajura village in Dumaria block by connecting two hills. They are planning two big canals for the water to be taken out of it. The work on the dam is on, with the administration looking on, and the project is being funded by levying survival taxes upon the rich. A report from Gaya said extremists were working on a dam at Tata Bara in Kothi besides building two more in Barachatti. All these initiatives have been warmly welcomed by the people, who recall how Naxalites once saved Gaya’s poor peasants from the terror of the dola system. When the state administration failed to check crime in these areas, Naxalites meted out rough justice, detaining some 24 criminals whom the police had failed to arrest and punishing them in their “courts” organised in the Konch-Tekari region early in 2000. Those accused of rape and murder were hacked to death. Petty offenders had their ears or noses chopped off. That brought the crime graph down, whilst raising an important question about who was ruling Bihar. The debate, truth to tell, continues.

Integrated plan to curb terror
HYDERABAD, June 17. — The thirteen Naxalite-affected states today decided on an integrated approach in terms of sharing Intelligence and coordinated action to tackle the gravest threat to internal security. “It is important for joint aoperations and sharing of Intelligence. It has been tried and tried successfully. We agreed to constitute two task forces so that police chiefs in consultations with theircounterparts can plan operations against the militants,” Union home secretary Mr VK Duggal said. Such actions are yielding good results, he said. Mr Duggal chaired the eighteenth meeting of theCoordination Centre here comprising directors general, chief secretaries and top police brass of the respective states. Ahead of the meeting the participants visited the Ordnance Factory in adjacent Medak district to note the progress in production of mine-protected and bullet proof vehicles. Mr Duggal said the Centre would assist the states in procuring these vehicles, as the number of casualties is the highest in landmine attacks. —

Go full blast against Naxalites, says Centre

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2005 01:58:43 AM ]



HYDERABAD: Taking a serious note of the growing influence of the Maoist groups in the country, the Centre has assured full support to states in tackling the left-wing extremism.

During a coordination meeting with the chief secretaries and DGPs of the 13 naxalite-affected states here on Friday, the Centre said that it would spare no effort to stop the advance of naxalites.

Union home secretary VK Duggal admitted at a post-meeting press briefing that the CPI (Maoists) were very active in six states and indulging in sporadic violent incidents in seven others. "Naxalites are spreading from one state to another and this has to be addressed very seriously," Duggal said.

As a first step, the Centre is forming a standing committee of the chief ministers of the 13 affected states and will convene its first meeting shortly.

A joint task force with security personnel from the naxalite-affected states and the central para-military forces will be raised to combat the naxalites.

The states have also agreed to share intelligence and launch joint operations.

Naxalites were active inAndhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and Maharashtra, while they have been indulging in sporadic incidents of violence in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, the meeting concluded.

Duggal said besides footing the security-related expenditure and funding the modernisation of police force in the 13 states, the Centre will also initiate steps to improve socio-economic conditions in the extremist-hit areas.
"Some policies adopted by Andhra Pradesh government to improve the living conditions in backward districts are worth emulating," he said.

According to informed sources, the Intelligence Bureau officials made a power-point presentation on how the Maoists were spreading their activities from making a small beginning in Andhra Pradesh in early 70s to holding a central committee meeting near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh in April this year.

"Though the naxalites are failing to garner support from the middle-class and intelligentsia, armed Maoist cadre are running parallel governments in parts of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand," the Intelligence Bureau officers reportedly said quoting intelligence inputs.

The Union home secretary also reportedly agreed to a suggestion from the Andhra Pradesh officers that the central government must provide logistics like helicopters and mine-proof vehicles to fight the naxalites.

While no decision was taken on supplying helicopters, Duggal reportedly agreed to give required number of mine-proof and bullet-proof vehicles.

A team led by Duggal, and Director General of Police Swaranjit Sen went to the Ordnance factory in Medak on Thursday and asked the factory officials to speed up the manufacturing of mine and bullet-proof vehicles.

AP steps helped Naxals spread out?

Saturday June 18 2005 12:27 IST

HYDERABAD: Has the peace process initiated by the Andhra Pradesh government helped Naxalites spread their activities to neighbouring states like Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa?

The police top brass from these states felt so at the 18th coordination centre meeting held here on Saturday.

According to sources, DGPs of these states, in their reports, pointed out the sudden spurt in Naxalite activities in their states after the Andhra Pradesh government initiated the dialogue process with CPI (Maoist) and Janasakti groups.

However, Andhra Pradesh police was of the view that when the state government was holding talks with the Naxalites, the extremists continued to be active in AP. Only after the talks process failed and the police intensified its operations, they have crossed the state borders and entered Maharashtra, Chattisgarh and Orissa.

The use of crude rocket launchers and high frequency communication systems also came in for discussion. The worrying factor was huge funds mobilisation by Maoists through extortion.

Taking into account the seriousness of the problem in the state, the Union Home Secretary has agreed to extend the security-related expenditure facility to 16 districts in the state.

While assuring to send helicopters for anti-Naxalite operations, the Centre has also agreed to provide as many as 30 bullet proof vehicles immediately. Two mine proof vehicles have already arrived and a few more would be provided as and when required, sources added. The ordnance factory has been asked to manufacture at least 30 mine proof vehicles immediately.

The Intelligence Bureau, in its presentation, is understood to have explained how the movement had spread during the last three and half decades. Sources said that the IB was more critical of the porous inter-state borders.

The examples cited were how the movement had spread to Karnataka from Anantapur district border.

The mutual exchange of information by the Naxal-affected states at the meeting aimed to formulate a clear cut strategy to counter the extremism.

Funds plea to fight rebels

OUR CORRESPONDENT

Jamshedpur, June 17: The state home department has asked the Centre to grant an advance fund of Rs 24 crore for the current financial year under Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme for Naxalite-hit states.

State additional director general of police (modernisation and finance) Niyaz Ahmad said a meeting between the Union home ministry and officials of state home department is scheduled to take place at New Delhi on June 23.

State home secretary Jyoti Bharmar Tubid is expected to take part in the meeting.

The funds would go into police training, life insurance of police officials posted in Naxalite-hit areas, maintenance of Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF), organising confidence-building meetings between the villagers and police officialsraising of the India Reserve Battalion (IRB)fencing of police stations that feature on the hit-list of extremists and provision of helicopters for anti-insurgency operations.

Ahmad added that the Centre had fixed a new criteria for extending the SRE to the states and districts.

Out of 22 districts in the state, 16 districts have been officially declared as the Naxalite-hit.

According to the guidelines of the Union home ministry, one company of the IRB is currently undergoing training on the lines of the CPMF at Padma (Hazaribagh) based police training centre.

A meeting of district officials and state home secretary is scheduled for June 20.

According to the highly- placed police sources, the Centre has come out with a revised guideline for reimbursement of the SRE to the Naxal-infested states.

The criteria list for states that will be considered under the SRE scheme includes the existence of activities of one or more banned outfits in the state, e nactment of a legislation to tackle activities of Naxalites or similar organisation, raising of IRB by a state for curbing extremist-related activities and inadequate development of extremist-affected areas.

Friday, June 17, 2005

NDTV Polls : Talks with Naxals don't solve the issue

Naxalite-affected states to constitute joint task force

NAXALS-TASKFORCE

HYDERABAD, JUN 17 (PTI)

As part of efforts to effectively tackle naxalite violence, the extremist-affected states today decided to constitute joint task force to facilitate direct intelligence sharing and operational planning.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the coordination committee of 13 naxalite-infested states in which the Directors General of Police, Chief Secretaries and Home Secretaries took stock of the internal security situation.

The six states, which will have representation in this joint task force are Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and Maharashtra.

"The meeting decided that six states where naxalite movement is very active should form joint tast force to enable their police chiefs to consult each other and plan joint operations against extremists," Union Home Secretary V K Duggal told reporters.

The modalities of the task force would be worked out by the DGPs of the respective states. Duggal, who chaired the day-long meeting of the police top brass, said the meeting also decided to constitute a standing committee comprising Chief Ministers of naxalite-affected states.

The first meeting of the standing committee would be held within a month, he said.

Today's meeting, attended by DGPs, Chief Secretaries and Home Secretaries of 13 states, came against the backdrop of growing Maoist violence across the country and the stalled peace talks in Andhra Pradesh.

Noting that the extremist violence was spreading across state borders, the meeting decided to adopt an integrated and coordinated approach to tackle naxalite activities.

"If some misguided people choose to take to arms and target innocent people and policemen, despite the absolutely sincere efforts by the Centre and state governments for allround socio-economic development and bringing them into the social mainstream, we cannot remain silent by-standers," Duggal said.

The official replied in the negative when asked whether any of the states called for imposing a ban on naxalite groups.

"No state has demanded a ban. Naxalism is not a problem that can be solved by police alone. At best, the police can contain their activities. The focus should be on socio-economic development," he said.

Ruling out an uniform national policy on naxalites, the Home Secretary said: "Each state has its own peculiar set of problems. One single model cannot be replicated in toto. There can be uniformity in broad strategies to bring them (extremists) into social mainstream." Asked about the reported complaint by other naxalite-affected states that removal of ban on Maoist organisations in Andhra Pradesh was created problems for them, he said: "this meeting was not meant to trade charges but to discuss measures to solve the problems." The meeting resolved to adopt an integrated approach to tackle extremist activities and felt that sharing of intelligence and coordinated operational plans would yield desired results.

Stating that the number of extremist offences had come down this year year compared to last year, Duggal, however, said naxalism had now become a 'cross-border problem' and there has to be 'joint operations and sharing of intelligence' by the affected states.

While six states are severely affected with 'more frequent incidents of violence', the states where incidents are sporadic are West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttaranchal, Kerala, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.

Today's meeting was a follow-up of the meeting of Chief Ministers of naxal-affected states held in Delhi on April 15.

"We undertook complete review of socio-economic development strategies being implemented in various states," he said.

Meeting of officials of Naxal-hit states begins in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: UNI

The meeting of top officials of the 12 naxal-affected states started amid tight security here on Friday morning.




The meeting of top officials of the 12 naxal-affected states started amid tight security here on Friday morning.

The meeting was expected to chart out a strategy to curtail the activities of CPI (Maoist) in the country.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and State Home Minister K Jana Reddy were received at the venue by Hyderabad City Police Commissioner Dinesh Reddy and Intelligence IG Arvind Rao.

However, they declined to speak about the deliberations at the meeting.

Chief Secretaries and Director-Generals of Police from Andhra Pradesh, Karnakata, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal are attending the meeting convened by the Union Home Ministry.

Union Home Secretary V K Duggal and Intelligence Bureau Director E S Lakshmi Narsimham were among the top bureacrats and Intelligence officials attending the meeting.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

TRS seeks BJP support as Naxal deadline expires

Our Political Bureau

New Delhi, June 15 With the “deadline” issued by the Naxals expiring on Wednesday, Telangana Rashtriya Samithi (TRS) seemed to be under high pressure on “showing progress” on the Telangana statehood front.

TRS chief KC Chandrasekhara Rao was busy garnering support from senior BJP leaders on the Telangana issue. He met BJP chief LK Advani on Wednesday, after having met former prime minister ABVajpayee on Tuesday. TRS sources told FE that the party “was definitely under high pressure in making some headway soon on a separate state for Telangana”.

The Naxals had recently “issued an ultimatum” to TRS ministers, both at the Centre and the Andhra Pradesh government, to demit office by June 15 if there was no concrete development on the demand for Telangana statehood.



URL:

Mine cover for Naxalite cops

OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
New Delhi, June 15: The home ministry has decided to equip paramilitary forces with over 150 mine-proof vehicles (MPV) in view of the rise in casualties among the forces in Naxalite-affected states.

“Many of the paramilitary forces in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and other states have died due to mine blasts. Therefore, a decision was taken to provide paramilitary forces with MPVs,” said home secretary V.K. Duggal.

Paramilitary forces think that upgrade of equipment, particularly armoured vehicles and remote sensing satellites used to take images of Naxalite camps, can greatly improve the efficiency and confidence of the personnel.

“As of now, we (paramilitary forces) have only 50 MPVs, which are not enough to cover all the areas in different states infested with militant outfits and Naxalites who are getting into the habit of laying mines. The ministry has decided to buy 100 more of these vehicles from ordnance factories. A decision regarding which vehicles to buy will be taken after a visit to the Medak Ordnance Factory by a team of officials and the home minister,” said an official.

Home minister Shivraj Patil along with top home ministry officials and directors-general of the Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the National Security Guards inspected an MPV manufactured by the ordnance factory board here. The MPV, with a capacity of 12 soldiers, can be used in counter-insurgency operations and can ply at 85 km per hour.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

TRS camp jittery over naxalite ultimatum

HYDERABAD, JUNE 15 (PTI)



NAXALITES ULTIMATUM TO Telangana leader K Chandrasekhar Rao , to severe ties with ruling Congress .
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The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), a partner in the Congress-led coalition governments at the Centre and in Andhra Pradesh, is in the grip of fear with the deadline, set by naxalites for its ministers and legislators to quit, expiring today.

The Maoist groups, which favour separate state for Telangana, had recently issued an ultimatum to TRS ministers and MLAs to resign in the wake of their "failure" to achieve the promised statehood.

While the extremists' threat has put the party cadres in jitters, the TRS leadership has not taken a public stand on the issue, maintaining it was committed to the statehood cause.

"We have been elected by people on the basis of our commitment to striving for Telangana state. We are not here for the sake of power. If our resignation can pave way for creation of Telangana state, then we will consider," the TRS leader and Andhra Pradesh Civil Supplies Minister Vijayarama Rao said.

Neither Rao nor any other party leader was willing to respond to Maoists' ultimatum. Instead, they sought to justify their continuance in the coalition governments saying it would "hasten the process of formation of Telangana state".

The CPI (Maoist), the dreaded naxalite oganisation having a considerable presence in at least nine states, had set June 15 deadline for TRS Ministers, both at the Centre and in the state, MPs and MLAs to quit their positions if they failed to achieve anything concrete on statehood issue.

"You should severe your ties with ruling party (Congress) by June 15 or face the people's wrath," said the ultimatum issued recently by the CPI (Maoist) Central Committee. The CPI (ML-Janasakthi), another extremist outfit, has also demanded that Telangana leaders quit their positions and join the movement for statehood. Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, however, has asserted that his government would not tolerate such threats by naxalites.
"In democracy, everyone has a right to his or her views but it should be done within the framework of democratic norms. No individual or group can issue such ultimatum to elected representatives of people," Reddy said.

Apparently worried over the implications of the naxal threat, the TRS, which has two members in the Union Cabinet and six in the Andhra ministry, has stepped up efforts to enlist support of various political parties to the statehood cause.

The Telangana party is already smarting under a strained relationship with its coalition partner Congress on Telangana issue.

While TRS wants formation of Telangana state through an Act of Parliament without any further loss of time, the Congress is in no hurry for bifurcating the state and insists that Telangana will become a reality only when there is a political consensus on it, which is a remote possibility considering strong opposition to the statehood demand by the main opposition TDP and Left parties.

TRS leaders move to safety following Naxal threat

Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | June 15, 2005 12:58 IST


Telangana Rashtra Samithi leaders on Wednesday moved to safer areas from Naxalite-affected districts as the deadline set by the Communist Party of India-Maoist asking them to sever their ties with the Congress and quit their elected posts ended.

The Maoists had served an ultimatum on the TRS leaders who got elected on the plank of statehood for Telangana to either quit their posts or face the wrath of the Naxalites.

In a statement to the media on June 1, the Maoists asked all the ministers, legislators and leaders of TRS who were enjoying power to resign their posts immediately.

The Maoist diktat applied to two TRS ministers in Manmohan Singh cabinet—TRS founder and Labour Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and Minister of State for Rural Development A Narendra, six TRS ministers in the Dr Y S Rajasekar Rao ministry and 20 TRS legislators and three TRS members of Parliament.

CPI-Maoist central committee member Prakash had declared: "This is the final opportunity to the TRS to break the alliance with the Congress. They will be taught a fitting lesson if they do not quit their posts and severe ties with the Congress by the deadline."

While all other political parties-- the Congress, Telugu Desam Party, Bhratiya Janata Party, CPI and CPI-Marxists-- decried the Maoists for issuing "undemocratic" threats to public representatives, the TRS leadership decided not to react publicly to the Maoist ultimatum.

All the same, even as the police stepped up security for the TRS ministers, MLAs and MPs and advised them against venturing into naxalite strongholds, the TRS quietly asked its leaders and functionaries to shift to safer areas like the state capital and district headquarters towns.

The Maoists have asked the people to "drive away" the TRS leaders as they failed to keep up their promise of making the separate Telangana state a reality. The TRS leaders were clinging to power despite the Congress leaders, particularly Chief Minister Dr Reddy, opposing a separate state, the Maoists said.

"After assuming power by deceiving the voters, the TRS leaders have forgotten the promises and are taking the people for a ride," Maoist leader Prakash said.

Stating that the people have a right to confront the TRS leaders, the Maoists warned that 'the People's Liberation Guerilla Army will teach a fitting lesson to the betrayers'.

Maoists asked the TRS cadres to quit their party and join hands with forces fighting for creation of a separate state.
CPI-ML (Janashakti)—another Naxalite outfit—has supported the Maoists' ultimatum. Janashakti secretary Amar extended the warning to legislators and MPs, including Rajya Sabha members, belonging to Congress and hailing from Telangana region.

Amar said the TRS ministers in the state cabinet must quit since they are enjoying power under a Vishalandhra (united AP) government. He asked the people to take up an agitation for forcing Telangana leaders to resign their elected posts.

Source : http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/jun/14jafri.htm

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Maoist leaders produced in court

Tuesday June 14 2005 13:03 IST
NIZAMABAD: The One Town police on Monday produced the two Maoist leaders, who were in their custody for the last four days, in the Additional First Class Judicial Magistrate court following completion of interrogation.

The Maoist leaders - G Prasadam and Y Surender - were arrested along with four activists of the Revolutionary Writers Association (RWA) on the outskirts of the town on June 2 and were remanded in judicial custody for 15 days.

The police, however, sought the custody of the Maoist leaders for further investigation.

According to police sources, the Maoist leaders were taken to Aurangabad, Hyderabad and Eluru during the last four days where they seized some letters and party literature.

The letters included those written by CPI (Maoist) Central Committee secretary Ganapathi alias M Lakshmana Rao to the party leaders, sources said.

Speaking to reporters at the court complex, Prasadam said the police interrogated him and Surender separately but did not use force against them.

West Bengal : Naxalites issued threats to police officers , in posters

Police as Maoist ‘poster-boys’

Statesman News Service

KOLKATA, June 13. — For the first time since the Naxalite movement of the early 1970s, Leftist ultras have issued threats to police officers. The threats, outlined in posters, targeted the personnel of the Special Operations Group set up last December to tackle the “intensifying armed struggle” of the Maoists in parts of West Bengal.

Two types of posters were noticed in five localities this morning — three in North 24-Parganas and two in Hooghly. One poster read: “Paschim Midnapore special police team sabdhan! Tomader mundu chai! (Beware West Midnapore special police team! We want your heads!)” Another read: “Comrade Sushil Ray ebong comrade Pradip Paban Halderer greptarer amra badla nebo (We will avenge the arrest of comrade Sushil Ray and comrade Pradip Paban Halder).” Both are top-ranking CPI (Maoist) leaders who were picked up by the SOG from Belpahari recently.

In North 24-Parganas, eight posters were seen in Khardah, two in Sodepur and one at Dum Dum Metro station. In Hooghly, six such posters were spotted in the Hind Motor and Konnagar railway station areas.

According to senior police officers, Maoists, hit hard in the last six months by the offensive undertaken by the SOG and the arrest of five of their top leaders, are becoming restless. “The SOG was formed after the Maoists intensified their operations in the state and it has been successful in not only preventing major offensives by the CPI (Maoist), but also in shaking up their organisational strength... the arrests of their top leaders has really hurt them,” a senior West Midnapore police officer said while speaking to The Statesman.

Though threats issued through posters are not new in these parts, the latest have caught the police’s attention because they call for revenge against police officers involved in anti-Naxalite operations.

“Earlier, posters called for strengthening the Naxalite movement and urged members to take revenge for the arrest of their leaders. But this is the first time that they have issued threats to the special police team that has been so successful in nullifying Naxalite influence in the state,” said the police officer.

Centre to help states combat naxalites

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ MONDAY, JUNE 13, 2005 08:50:29 PM ]



HYDERABAD: Waking up to the harsh realities that the Maoists were spreading to new states across the country, the Union home ministry has convened a meeting of director-generals of police and chief secretaries of 13 states that have been affected by the naxalite problem, in Hyderabad on June 17.


The Centre has added five new states- Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu -in the list of naxalite-affected areas and has asked the DGPs and chief secretaries of these states to attend the meeting.

A reported confession made by Sushil Roy, alias Shome, a top-ranking Maoist leader arrested in Kolkata on May 20, that the Maoists had established bases in remote areas like Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and its leaders are frequently meeting their Napalese counterparts apparently prompted the Centre to urgently convene the meeting.

According to sources, the central committee of the CPI (Maoists), consisting of 38 members, met in a forest in Jharkhand in April this year and took some important decisions.
They include, formation of new state committees for Jharkhand (part of Dandakaranya state earlier) and Orissa (part of Andhra-Orissa Border state), increasing the number of recruits, and carrying out more attacks on the state machinery.

Following the development, sources said the Union home ministry got into the act and decided to help the states combat the naxalites in more effective manner.

Besides sending additional central para-military forces and providing helicopters to tackle the naxalites, the Centre is also considering setting up a new department on the lines of one set-up for J&K and North East to arrest the growing activities of the left-wing extremists.

Sources said senior officials from the Intelligence Bureau, who are coordinating the meeting, are also mooting a proposal to start a centralised training school on the model of Greyhounds Academy to train the policemen of all the 13 naxalite-affected areas and para-military forces.

CPI (M) leader’s wife arrested

Tuesday June 14 2005 13:03 IST
KARIMNAGAR: Police confirmed the arrest of Communist Party of India (Maoist) leader Ganesh’s wife and party district east division committee member Geelani Begum.

The Maoists had issued a statement saying that she was arrested along with two other Naxalites by the police on the borders between Warangal and Khammam districts four days ago.

Meanwhile in Adilabad, a Naxalite belonging to the CPI (Maoist) Mangi dalam, Seedam Srikrishna alias Jangu Dada surrendered to the police on Monday.

Naxal sympathisers’ strike foiled

Tuesday June 14 2005 12:57 IST
GUNTUR: Police on Monday foiled indefinite hunger strike started by wives of some CPI (Maoist) sympathisers at Sattenapalli mandal revenue office demanding release of their husbands.

Police resorted to mild lathi-charge and arrested nine of them, including APCLC district secretary Chilaka Chandrasekhar.

Alleging that their husbands were picked up by the police in Piduguralla, Sattenapalli and Machavaram mandals wives of Sampathi Venkata Yadav, Chatla Peda Nageswara Rao, Bandi Isreal, Poluri Srinivasa Rao, Baira Pitchaiah and four others’ wives launched a hunger strike.

Fearing that police were using coercive measures against their husbands, they sought the release of their spouses immediately or produce them in court.

Police reached the venue and attempted to remove the tent where wives of Maoist sympathisers had launched the strike. As the victims retaliated the police had to forcefully arrest them.

Mangalore: Naxal Movement Taking Roots under New Leadership

from Daijworld.com's special correspondent (GA)

Mangalore, Jun 14: The Naxalite movement, which had suffered a big jolt with the death of their leader Saket Rajan in an encounter with the police at Menasinahadya in Chikmagalur district on February 6, appears to be gradually getting into its groove under a new leadership.

The death of Saket was indeed a big blow for the Naxalites and they know it clear that the void created by it cannot be filled. He was a charismatic leader for them with his indomitable intelligence and shrewd planning. Moreover, he was from Karnataka itself, and he knew every inch of the forest very well. This had enabled him to outline and execute his plans quite easily. Being one of the socialists in the early 80s he had made a name for himself in the elite circle of thinkers too. He had the credit of having contributed in writing to the growth of the socialist movement. Extracts from one of his books were used as part of a lesson in the graduation programme of one of the universities in the state. So it was a huge loss for the entire Naxalite movement to lose him unexpectedly.

Though they avenged his death by killing 7 police personnel in a bomb blast at Pavagadh taluk of Tumkur, they themselves knew that it was not an act of retaliation but the explosion of their distress of losing their leader. After his death some of the Naxalites had fled to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh to take shelter. Only a handful of them had stayed back in the forest areas of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Chikmagalur districts. Their search for a leader was not that easy since whoever was succeeding Saket had the daunting responsibility of matching his predecessor, which, of course, was not all that easy.

After taking their own time, the Naxalites leaders appointed a person of Andhra origin as the leader. Though name and credentials are not yet known to the media, it is understood that the new leader comes from the hardcore school of Naxalism. There are 2-3 names making rounds, portraying him to be the leader. But those who are able to read between the lines know it very well that after their undisputed leader Saket Rajan's death they will not reveal the name of their next leader. By circulating two or three different names among the people as well as media they can always keep their leader away from limelight, so that he can carry out his responsibilities quite easily while the police are busy searching for their head.

This has become very clear now. The Naxalite movement in Karnataka was all about the battle staged by them to protect the rights of people displaced by Kudremukh reserve forest project. They had made it clear time and again that their prime motive was to give justice to these displaced people of Malnad. But now the new leadership has widened its ambit. They have included the cases of people displaced by national projects such as Kaiga and Sea Bird (INS Kadamba) in their agenda.

If their initial target group was only a few districts in Malnad and coastal belt, the present leadership has the idea of getting the sympathy of even the people affected by national projects.

In a press release sent recently around Mangalore the Naxalite leaders are understood to have criticized the way of for displacing people to make way for the Kaiga, and INS Kadamba projects. They have also strongly opposed the relocation of families to implement Nagarjuna project at Ellur near Padubidri in Udupi district.

The unseen message in the press release is that Naxalites are building network by studying the problems of the rural people in every district in order to win popular sympathy. This should ring an alarm bell to the government and the entire democratic system because they have been neglecting the rural people and areas in the name of development. These people have kept quite not because they are satisfied but because they did not have a voice of their own and moreover there was no one to stand by them. Now if they feel free with Naxalites then it could spell doom for the entire system.

However noble may be their motive, one cannot support the Naxal way of violence to achieve their goal. Any movement that resorts to violence is not a movement but a menace. So it is a wake-up call for the government as well as the police. From now on they cannot neglect either the poor people from rural areas or the Naxalites who show a special apathy towards them. Neither group has anything to lose and those who have nothing to lose could be very potentially perilous unless their are paid an attentive ear. Any delay in this would give rise only to a bloody battle between the system and those who question this system just as it took place in Andhra Pradesh.

Naxals in control of 7,000 villages

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The spread of Naxals

- Growing at rate of two districts a week since a year.

- Control 19 per cent of total forests.

- 300 million people affected by Naxal-related violence.

- Plan to bring 25 districts of Orissa under their control by 2007.



Mismanagement of forests is the main reason for the spread of Naxalizm from just one village in West Bengal to 7,000 villages in the last 38 years. Different Naxal groups now control 19 per cent of India’s forests over an area two-and-a-half times the size of Bangladesh, reveals a study.



The report “Unquiet Forests – A Comprehensive Look at How Forest Laws are Triggering Conflicts in India with a Focus on Naxalite Movement,” prepared under the prestigious Prem Bhatia Memorial Trust Scholarship for young Indian journalists, has revealed startling links between forest mismanagement and the spread of naxalite groups. Since last year, the ultra-Leftist CPI-Maoist has been spreading at the rate of two districts each week, and their activities have gone up from just 55 districts in nine States in November 2003 to 156 districts in 15 States in 2005.



The author of the report, Mr. Richard Mahapatra, says, “This groups controls close to 19 per cent of India’s forests. Inside these forests the government ceases to exist. Financially, the CPI-Maoist is the richest and largest revolutionary group in India.”



The yearlong study finds forest-related issues are fast emerging as entry points for Naxalites. “Ignored as a law and problem, Naxalites have made tremendous inroads using environmental issues like forests, displacement and tribal self-rule,” says Mr Mahapatra.



After interviewing several Naxal leaders in dense forests, Mr Mahapatra has come to the conclusion that “conflicts are increasingly being influenced by environmental issues in India. Archaic laws, like the set dealing with forests, have alienated people from their issues in India.”



“The gap is exploited by Naxalites to further their influence. For the people, it is not Marx or Mao, but simply access to livelihoods.”



In Orissa, there is a plan to “control” 25 districts by 2007. Currently, the state government accepts that 10 districts are in the grip of Naxalites.



The study says that while levels of Maoist violence in the state remain low, the pace of Naxalite consolidation has accelerated rapidly, particularly after the launch of the offensive against the rebels in Andhra Pradesh after the collapse of peace talks there.



“With security forces mounting pressure in Andhra Pradesh, top Maoist leaders have shifted their base to areas in the Dandakaranya region lying in Chhattisgarh and Orissa,” says Mr Mahapatra.



Orissa is considered fertile ground for proliferation of Naxalism.



Tribal alienation, displacement by large projects and the government’s failure to ensure food security are the main reasons for the spread of Naxals in Orissa and other states.



One estimate says there have been as many as 149 medium and large dam projects executed in Orissa since 1901 and, of these, 18 are currently under construction.



The administration’s failure to rehabilitate the affected tribals and rural families has been the main source of discontent, and consequent violence, in western Orissa.



(Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle; June 11, 2005)

Monday, June 13, 2005

MESSING UP WITH NAXALITES

Col R Hariharan (retd.)

“Different Naxal groups now control 19 per cent of India ’s forests over an area two-and-a-half times the size of Bangladesh , reveals a study”, read a ‘special’ lead story captioned “Naxals in control of 7000 villages”, in the Deccan Chronicle on June 11, 2005. The news story was based on a report “Unique Forests – A Comprehensive Look at How Forest Laws are Triggering Conflicts in India with a Focus on naxalite Movement” prepared by the Prem Bhatia Memorial Trust Scholarship for young Indian journalists.

To those who had been following the so-called fight against naxalites for nearly four decades, the report comes as no surprise. Much has been written about naxalites and many visual media stories have glorified them. As the report is neither to be tabled in the parliament nor that of a government appointed committee or commission, politicians would not care about it. Officials responsible for the fight against naxalites, already suffering from battle fatigue, would not be bothered about it, because they know that we were not fighting the naxalites but messing with them.

How is it that naxalites have thrived despite the effort of law enforcing agencies for all these years in over 11 states? What is so unique about them? Experts like Dr Ramana have already written about them. In all analyses on naxalites a few things come out clear: they thrive on existing anomalies of governance, political system and social disparities that are the weaknesses of our democratic system. Another thing that emerges is that qualitatively they are different from the ideological dreamers and founding fathers of Naxalism of the 60s like Charu Mazumdar. The present generation of naxalites are cynical products of a civilization that has adopted coercive persuasion by any means as part of its life style. (This is the same life style that has bred psychological persuaders such as advertorials of well-known newspapers and physical persuaders like gun-toting goons of political-criminals masquerading as policy-makers). So if the society wants to handle this problem successfully, it has to look for solutions within existing environment rather than depending purely on law books of Lord Macaulay’s vintage or selective parliamentary practices of Westminster system.

We are perhaps the only country in the world, which has rich experience of fighting insurgency from Day-One of its independence. So we need not look outside for techniques or technology to fight them. We have enough talent within the country both to wage insurgency as well as to fight it. So we should take a hard look at the issue and identify key elements that are making our present fight against naxalites a self-defeating one. The solution is there within our system of governance, particularly in handling crime, terrorism and insurgency; and it is crying out to be uncovered.

Biting the bullet

Our politicians both in and out of power need to introspect on the issue before they embark on new initiatives, which are at present announced publicly at the drop of a hat, and forgotten after a few months. A few thoughts are –

They have to bite the bullet and accept that we have not been fighting naxalites with our heart and soul. So far they have been using it as one more whip to flog the other parties, as a part of the political drama they play. This implies any secret understanding with naxalites or financing them to garner electoral support or paying ransom can no more be part of the politicians’ stock in trade.
They need to understand that politicians themselves would lose out if naxalites succeed because the naxalites have no faith in the existing system of participatory democracy or pluralism. Naxalites well-publicised aim is to seize power through force of arms and enforce the ideas and beliefs of a small minority on the rest of the population. So leaders in power do not set a good precedent when they keep repeating clichés like ‘naxalites are our brothers, we should show tolerance to them’ even while policemen are dying in the fight against them, as a part of the political strategy to win some bye-election or a section of the vote bank. Whenever they make such statements, not only they embolden the naxalites but also makes the law enforcers rethink on the relevance of their current operations. A recent example of such thoughtless action is the order in Andhra Pradesh asking the policemen not to wear uniforms while on operations against naxalites!
They have to accept that it is no more a law and order problem of a state, but a scourge that is eating at the vitals of 11 states in the country. As a corollary, it will cease to be the responsibility of the state government only but fall very much within the concurrent jurisdiction of both the state and Union governments.
Getting rid of structural anomalies

Our administration has a rusty and slow moving structure of governance. A number of commissions, committees and research publications have made plenty of recommendations to improve the existing scheme of things, going into various issues of governance as well as specific component parts of criminal procedure, administration of justice, system of policing, human rights, land reforms, law enforcement and so on related to the issue. But invariably the recommendations are not discussed or even made public, let alone taken up or enforced, for political reasons or to further personal agenda. Our states have sufficient autonomy and power to improve their performance even within the existing scheme of things. Many of the changes require a will to think and act to improve the quality of life of the people. In spite of being blessed with the very same products of the political mill, some states have taken the initiative to spruce up and modernise the administration even within the existing limitations. It is significant that naxalites have not made much headway in such states.

As a result, over the years we find wide disparities in the quality of governance among states. In the context of the fight against naxalites, this gives rise to a number of aberrations. A few of them are given below: .

There had been little coordination at the national level among the affected states and the Centre. This has to be on two tracks – at the policy level and at the operational level.
At the national level, clear policy guidelines on some of the core issues will have to be laid down. Instead of going for the perigee of a consensus, we should delineate political and administrative responsibilities aiming at enforceable limits of power for both.
A moot point is whether the Home Minister, a ministry of elephantine proportions will be capable of processing huge quantity of information on a wide variety of internal security issues, and provide real-time policy support to coordinated nationwide operations against naxalites. While the Army with its organized system of administering complex operations could be entrusted with this task, conceptually it will be detrimental to the defence imperatives of the country, let alone to democratic rule. A terrorism control headquarters with full technical and legislative support could be a solution. This can be under the office of the Security advisor to the Prime Minister. But unless there is a specific and all embracing legislation on combating terrorism, such a headquarters will be a status symbol to provide a sheltered appointment for a politically soft incumbent. As this is a politically sensitive issue, a lot of thought will have to go in before embarking on any hasty legislation.
The question of a special law to deal with insurgency and terrorism has become a political issue instead of one of dispensing criminal justice. The success of such a law will be directly proportional to the quality of law enforcement with a guarantee of human rights and speedy dispensation of justice. [In this context, Justice Jeevan Reddy Commission’s report on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which has been submitted to the government, recently will be of great interest. We hope it will be made public]. The law enforcers operate under a war like situation against ruthless enemies, who are out to destroy the system of government. Naxalites had circulated internal pamphlets for the education of their cadres in Andhra Pradesh that said they should use all loopholes in the Constitutional system of India and existing laws to destroy that system. They use these loopholes in conjunction with similar ones also found in our antiquated legal system for their own ends. Thus even the best-investigated cases against naxalites end in acquittal. For instance, the Srikakulam Conspiracy case, one of the thoroughly investigated cases against naxalites ended in acquittal of all the accused after ten years of trial because the court demanded additional proof of conspiracy, though the accused had been to Beijing to seek Chinese support for the struggle which was well documented both in their diary and in naxalite publications. So there is a crying need for a comprehensive legislation on the line of POTA, with adequate safeguards against misuse and to protect the interests of law-abiding citizens. [This issue has been dealt with in some detail in author’s SAAG paper No. 1289 dated March 14, 2005 title “Problems of Enacting Laws on Terrorism in Democracies” available at http://www.saag.org/papers13/paper1289.html ].
Existing criminal procedure code is not really designed to deal with crimes of the scale perpetrated by naxalites. Mr P.S. Ramamohan Rao, former governor of Tamil Nadu, with excellent credentials as distinguished police officer with hands on experience in fighting naxalites in Andhra Pradesh, had discussed practical problems of proceeding with a criminal trial under current procedures, while addressing a national seminar in Chennai. [‘Responding to Terrorism: Dilemmas of democratic and developing societies’ Page 286, Book Venture, Chennai]. Under the Criminal Procedure Code, that governs our criminal justice system, we cannot have a trial without the presence of the accused. He had cited the example of a case involving 30 naxalites as accused, which took three and half years to build up. The trial took thirteen and a half years. For years the police could never get the 30 accused together. Some of them always managed to come out on bail, go underground, or plead illness, or just not turn up in the court. In the interim period, many witnesses were liquidated.
Surprisingly for a subject of such sinister dimensions, our legislators, media, and public are not devoting adequate time and energy to debate, discuss, analyse and take up the war in right earnest. That will be more useful in national interest than endlessly debating non-issues like the secular credentials of Jinnah. It is high time we dealt with naxalites as a national problem instead of messing up with them piecemeal.

( Col R Hariharan (retd) is an intelligence analyst with nearly three decades of experience as an MI specialist in counter insurgency intelligence. E-mail: colhari@yahoo.com)

Naxalites blast Guntur Congress MP's house in AP

Maoists blast Cong MP’s house
Monday June 13 2005 12:23 IST
PTI

HYDERABAD: A Congress MP’s house was blasted by Maoists in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh on Sunday night.

About 10 Maoists went to the house of Congress MP V Bala Shoury at Morzampadu village under Machavaram mandal and asked inmates to come out, police said here on Monday.

Later, they blasted the house using explosives causing huge damage

Maoists blow up Cong MP's house in AP
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Guntur, June 13: Maoists blasted the ancestral house of Congress MP from Tenali Lok Sabha constituency, Balashoury, and looted cash and gold ornaments worth Rs 2 lakh, police said.


The Maoist attack at Balashoury's house in Morgampadu village in Guntur district late last night was in protest against his role in obtaining environmental clearance to the controversial Rs 950 crore Pulichintala project on river Krishna in Guntur-Nalgonda districts, they said.


Balashoury was not in the house when the Naxals struck, police said, adding that there were no casualties.


Giving details about the incident, they said about ten armed men stormed Balashoury's house and asked his parents to come out, planted gelatine sticks around the house and triggered them.


The Maoists also looted cash and gold ornaments valued at Rs 2 lakh while fleeing from the scene.


The extremists left a letter in which they expressed their indignation at the MP's role in obtaining environmental clearance for the project.


The project is being opposed by Maoists, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and people of Guntur and Nalgonda districts.


The Maoists had blasted the foundation stone plaque laid by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, set fire to the contractors' structure and blasted two ferries near the project site last year. (Agencies)

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Orissa villagers to arm themselves to fight Naxals

DH News Service Sambalpur (Orissa):

The police in Orissa will train villagers to use arms so that they can defend themselves in case of Naxal attacks.



People in many villages in Western Orissa, affected by the recent spurt in naxal activities, want to arm themselves for protecting their lives and property as the police have failed in protecting them from repeated Naxal attacks.

“We should be provided with arms and ammunition to take on the Naxals and protect our homes”, residents of Burda village in Sambalpur district said. Three villagers were killed last week by the Maoist Naxals.

The villagers have already conveyed their desire to have arms and ammunition to fight the Naxals to political and official teams which had visited the area soon after the last week’s Naxal attack.


The villagers fear fresh attacks from the Naxals though one platoon of armed police have already been deployed in the village. Ironically, the villagers, all displaced by the Hirakud dam project, had chosen the area to resettle decades ago as it was considered a peaceful place.

Police sources in Sambalpur said, the villagers’ demand was discussed at a high level meeting of the police officials held at Talcher in neighbouring Angul district early this week. The top brass of the state police including Director General(DG) B B Mishra attended the meeting convened to discuss the recent spurt in naxal activities in western Orissa region.

The meeting reportedly have decided to train villagers in using arms before supplying them guns and pistols to fight the Naxals. If the state police went ahead with its plan, then this is for the first time people of the Orissa villages would be provided arms training to fight the Naxal outfits.

The police’s role in handling the Naxals, however, has been strongly criticised by the affected villagers. “The police did not turn up for a long time though they had been informed of the Naxal attack soon after the incident”, the villagers of Burda said recollecting the last week’s Naxal attack. Instead, the two youths who had gone to inform the police about the attack were detained for questioning.

A BJP team headed by Joel Oram, former union tribal welfare minister and MP from Western Orissa’s Sundergarh constituency, which had visited Burda village has also submitted a report to the chief minister Naveen Patnaik in which they have demanded disciplinary action against the local police.

Faced with criticism from all quarters, the local police have launched a massive combing operation in the entire western Orissa region to capture the Naxalites. And the efforts seem to be bearing fruit for, the police have been able to nab a couple of hardcore ultras. They include Khadag Singh, an area commander of the Maoist Communist Centre.

Naxalites aka Maoists to target Mumbai's financial capital for for logistic support and money supply

Nandu R Kulkarni in Mumbai

June 12. — Mumbai may not yet be a target of Naxalite insurgency but various factions of the Maoists are being attracted towards the financial capital of the country for logistic support and money supply, intelligence sources said.
Such ‘‘business visits’’ have of late become more frequent, confirmed the sources. But they do not anticipate violence in the city in the near future.
State Intelligence agencies have found out that some NGOs operating under the guise of promoting youth activity and some eminent persons associated with the Left ideology are supporting the Naxalites with whatever help they need in spreading their struggle among the Adivasis in the far-flung areas of Maharashtra — the focus at present being on Vidarbha.
Besides monetary support, Naxalite leaders visit Mumbai to get medical treatment. They have their hideouts in Dharavi amidst the numerous hutments.
The insurgents form groups of not more than 15 people. There are about 17 to 20 such groups operating in the Adivasi-dominated areas of rural Maharashtra.
Intelligence agencies rule out the possibility of an organised insurgency in the metropolis because “they are aware of their limitations vis-à-vis Mumbai’s well-prepared police force.”
Reports suggest that help also comes from Maoists of Nepal and the People’s War Group in Bihar.
In Maharashtra, the Naxalites have come a long way from collecting money from tendu patti contractors in the districts of Gadchiroli, Gondia, Bhandara, Chandrapur and rural Nagpur.
‘‘In the past, their only source for money was the tendu patti contractors and the annual collection used to be about Rs 15 crore,” said an Intelligence officer.
Now the extremists are better off financially and are known to be spending quite an amount on weapons and equipment. Intelligence sources said they had busted a gun manufacturing unit at Katol, near Nagpur, and seized lathe machines used for making gun barrels.
There has been a spurt in Naxalite attacks in far-flung Adivasi areas of Vidarbha in the recent past. These attacks were better organised and more lethal, with anti-Naxalite police being the main target. A fortnight ago in Gondia, Naxalites ambushed and blew up a police vehicle killing seven.
It was a major setback for the Anti-Naxalite Operation in the state. Besides the ANO, the state police has another squad called IG Range located at Nagpur to combat the insurgency.
Intelligence gathered by the police suggests that the Naxalites will soon be making their foray into the Adivasi-dominated Melghat area of Amravati district.
The dense forest area is known for its lion sanctuary. Thousands of Adivasi children have died here owing to malnutrition over the past six to seven years. The state government has shown little or no interest in providing medical relief and regular food supply. The situation is ideal for launching a Naxalite-led “people’s struggle.”
The state and Central Intelligence agencies have been repeatedly warning the state government about the potentially explosive situation. Two other districts, Yavatmal and Nanded bordering Andhra Pradesh, have seen a spurt in Naxalite activity.

Naxalite arrested with country-made pistol and ammunition

NAXALITE
VARANASI, JUNE 8 (PTI)

A member of the Naxalite group that stirred trouble during the Jharkhand Assembly elections in February was arrested in Sonebhadra district last night, police said today.

The man, Ajay Paswan, attached to the People's War group was apprehended near Khetkatuwa village in Sonebhadra district and a country-made pistol and ammunition seized from him.

Paswan told police the names of around 15 PWG members involved in the land-mine blast in Naugarh police circle last year in which several police and PAC personnel were killed.

He also admitted that the group was responsible for creating disturbances in the Jharkhand Assembly polls this February, police added

Reporter sympathetic to Naxal cause arrested by Police

Magazine editor arrested in Andhra Pradesh for "waging war against the state"

Reporters Without Borders today condemned the prolonged detention of G. Venugopal, the editor of the Telugu-language fortnightly Veekshanam in the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh, and the conspiracy charge that has been brought against him.

Venugopal was arrested on 30 May in the company of other writers and activists related to the local Naxalite Maoists.

The press freedom organisation called for his release on health grounds, as he suffers from diabetes. "The police and judicial authorities should take account of the fact that prolonged detention could be fatal," the organisation said. "Furthermore, it is shocking to see a journalist charged with conspiracy simply because of a meeting with Maoist militants."

In a raid on a hotel in Aurangabad (near Nizamabad) on 30 May, special branch agents of the Andhra Pradesh state police arrested six persons - two leaders of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and four members of the Revolutionary Writers Association (Virasam), including Venugopal.

The police kept their arrest secret for three days, finally taking them before a judge in Bodhan on 3 June. The police accused them under articles 121A ("waging war against the state"), 122 (conspiracy") and 120B of the criminal code. The judge allowed the police to keep them in custody for another 14 days for questioning.

The other detainees - including Pinaka Pani, the editor of the pro-Maoist literary magazine Aruna Tara, and Ravi Kumar, a member of his staff - were transferred amid the utmost security to Bodhan prison. Venugopal was taken to a hospital because of his diabetes, after his family accused the authorities of refusing to give him the daily insulin shots he needs. But he was transferred back to prison today.

After demonstrations by Andhra Pradesh journalists, the state's chief minister, Raja Shekhar Reddy, promised that Venugopal would be released soon.

When he appeared in court, Venugopal said : "We are being charged on the basis of half truths (…) As a journalist, I have a right to meet a Maoist Party media representative."

After waging war against the Indian state for many decades, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) began negotiations with the authorities, especially in Andhra Pradesh, in 2004.

Two cops hurt in Naxalite-triggered landmine explosions

Jagdalpur, June. 12 (UNI): Three persons, including two police personnel, were injured today in two successive Naxalite-triggered landmine explosions within the Bastar region's Narayanpur police district.

Inspector General (Bastar Range) M W Ansari, said a police vehicle was heading from Narayanpur to Kurusnar bus camp when the extremists exploded the landmines. The police team and the ultras exchanged fire following the explosion.

The injured were admitted to Narayanpur hospital.

Shun guns, let’s talk: CM tells Naxals

Sunday June 12 2005 11:34 IST

BELGAUM: Chief minister Dharam Singh has invited the Naxal leaders to come for a dialogue with the government. However, he has laid a condition that they should first put down their guns.

Speaking to media persons at Chikalgudda near Belgaum on Saturday, the Chief Minister said that the Naxalites should believe in ballots and not in bullets. They should come forward to get their problems solved, he added.

The Chief Minister said about 2,000 Adivasi families were displaced in Sahyadri region under the National Forest Act and the Naxalite leaders went there and exploited their innocence. He said the defeat of Congress in Shimoga and Chamarajpet had not affected the party’s confidence.

However, he said the Congress had done a good job in Shimoga as in four Assembly segments it had got more votes compared to the Samajwadi Party.

In the last elections, Ayanur Manjunath was defeated by Bangarappa by 76,000 votes whereas now the difference was 16,000. “This itself shows that the Congress had done good work,” he added.

When asked whether ‘Daridra Narayan’ convention of the JD(S) was the reason for the minorities and slum-dwellers to ditch Congress, he said slum-dwellers and minorities were always with the Congress. However, he said he had accepted the verdict of the people.

Earlier, talking at the function held during the dedication of golden quadrilateral project to the nation, he said that his government was working successfully and had solved CET problems smoothly.