Friday, July 29, 2005

Bandh to observe the death anniversary of NAXAL founder peaceful

Bandh shuts down Siliguri

Statesman News Service

Siliguri, 28 July. — The strike called by Naxalites to observe the death anniversary of their leader Charu Mazumdar passed off peacefully today.
This strike which is observed every year on this day since the past 32 years is probably the only one of its kind in India.
Charu Mazumdar, Saroj Dutta, and Mr Kanu Sanyal were among those daring leaders who started the Naxalite movement from Naxalbari, under Siliguri Mahakuma, in the early 60s to fight for the rights of the poor farmers and tea garden workers.
Charu Mazumdar, who was the then all India general secretary of CPI- ML, was arrested by the Lalbazar police on 16
July 1972 as his party was underground and the government had put ban on it. Saroj Dutta, the party’s state general secretary, was also arrested in August 1971.
Recalling the events of that year, Mr Abhijit Mazumdar, son of Charu Mazumdar who is also the Darjeeling district secretary of CPI-ML- Liberation, told The Statesman that his father was a severe heart patient.
He alleged that the jail authorities and the then Congress led state government had killed his father inside the jail by withdrawing his daily medicine requirements.
Charu Mazumdar had never been produced before the court and died inside the jail on 28 July 1972. From the year following his death, the party supporters decided to call a strike on July 28 every year.
Mr Mazumdar said that he along with Association for the Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) had filed a writ petition in 1998 at Calcutta High Court to take legal steps against those who had been responsible for Mr Mazumdar’s death.
The High Court and later the Supreme Court, however, ignored the case. According to Mr Abhijit, the police firing at Maidan, Kolkatta, also killed Saroj Dutta.
Today’s twelve-hour general strike in Siliguri Mahakuma called by CPI-ML New Democracy and supported by CPI -ML Mr Mahadev Mukherjee group and CPI -ML 2nd CC group passed off peacefully. The CPI-ML Liberation however neither supported the strike nor protested against it.
Security was tightened in Siliguri town and its outskirts The Siliguri police arrested some 25 protestors, along with Mr Sridhar Mukherjee, the secretary of CPI (ML) New Democracy, from Hill Cart road near Air View More who were later released on PR bond.

Three landmines go off after vehicles pass over the site

HEBRI (UDUPI DISTRICT): Eight policemen were injured when naxalites detonated three landmines at Mathav village, about seven kilometres from here, on Thursday.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Parmeshwarappa, told presspersons here that two jeeps and a van carrying police personnel were on their way from Kokkanabettu to Mutlupady when the landmines were detonated around 4.30 p.m. The first mine detonated after the first jeep passed, the second after the second jeep passed and the third after the van passed. About 13 policemen were travelling in the two jeeps and there were about 15 personnel of the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) in the van. The blasts damaged the jeeps and eight police personnel in them were injured, two of them with head injuries.

After the detonation of the landmines, there was an exchange of fire between the police personnel and the naxalites. The naxalites opened fire first and the police returned fire. There were about 12 to 15 naxalites who were firing from a distance, Mr. Parmeshwarappa said. The exchange of fire went on for quite some time, he said.

The injured police personnel are Ramdas, Shankar Singh, Jagadish and Bopanna of the KSRP; Sankapayya, Assistant Sub-Inspector, Hebri police station; Narayan and Padme Gowda, jeep drivers; and Krishnaprasad, police constable, Hebri.

The injured policemen have been then brought to Hebri.

The Superintendent of Police, S. Murugan, later told presspersons that the six others would also be shifted to Manipal Hospital.

The police had been receiving information about the movement of naxalites in the area. The personnel of the Udupi district police and the Anti-Naxalite Force were involved in today's combing operations.

The naxalites are known to move about in areas coming under the Kollur, Shankarnarayana, Hebri and Karkala police stations. This is because these areas are covered by dense forests of the Western Ghats coming under the Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Kudremukh National Park.

Karnaataka CM asks police to vigil on naxals

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Bangalore, July 29: Karnataka Chief Minister N Dharam Singh today said the government had "viewed seriously" the landmine blast, triggered by naxals against police personnel in Udupi district yesterday, and asked police to ensure that there was no repeat of such incidents.


Sharing the concern of members in the assembly over the landmine blast near Hebri, Singh said such an incident had never happened before in the state and "we have viewed it seriously."


He said naxalites were trying to gain foothold in tribal areas in a systematic way but the police was also keeping a close watch and bringing the naxal activities under control.


Singh said he had issued instructions to police to provide security to legislators in areas where naxalites were active.


"Karnataka police is not keeping quiet. Four naxals, including their leaders, have been killed in encounter," Singh said, adding, yesterday's incident in which seven policemen were injured, was apparently a retaliatory action by them.


Opposition BJP leader B S Yediyurappa said legislators in the region hit by naxalite activities, were in the grip of fear and the naxalites had even publicised the names of legislators they were targetting. (Agencies)

Pictures of NAXAL landmine blast on Police Jeep

Daijiworld News Network - Udupi - Pics by Prakash Studio, Karkala

Udupi, Jul 29: The Naxal attack on the police at Mattavu cross near Hebri here on Thursday July 28 is said to be a well hatched but not well executed plan. The police jeep did not move on the exact spot expected by the Naxalites, which reduced the intensity of the landmine blast.





Naxalites were spotted in Kabbinale from Thursday morning itself. This gives an indication that they wanted the police to come to a particular spot on their trail. A group Naxalites group of two young women and 4 men were pasting and distributing Naxalite posters and handbills at Kabbinale bus stand and at Neerane areas between 5.30 and 7.30 am. The first bus plying between Kabbinale and Hebri reached at 7.30 am. The Naxalites distributed the handbills to the passengers. Once the bus left, they went to Muniyal. After sometime another 6 Naxalites joined them. A message regarding the Naxalites movements was passed on to Hebri police station immediately.




On the other hand the police have been on a hunt for the Naxalites for the last 3 days. Though they had been given information that Naxalites were moving around in the area, police were not able to spot any of the Naxalites. On Thursday police once again came to Kabbinale on two separate jeeps. After meeting and eliciting information from the people there, they went to Muniyal on the jeeps. As the jeeps reached Mattav cross landmines blasted.





But police were a bit lucky since the blast did not take place as Naxalites expected. A pit measuring about 3 feet in depth was formed as a result of the blast. The police jeeps were filled with muck and mud. As the Naxalites realized that landmines had not worked to the full, they started hurling hand grenades at the police who were caught up in the jeeps. But since they were hiding in the woods, they hand grenades did not exactly fall on the police jeeps but fell on the ground nearby injuring the policemen.




In the meantime the jeep driver lost control over the vehicle due to the mud that went into his eyes and partly owing to the fear of blast. So the jeep went out from the road and turned turtle. But the other jeep was not damaged. So the injured and all the other police came to Hebri, which is 8 km away from the blast spot. The injured were admitted and treated there.




Later speaking to the press persons Hebri SI Siddhalingayya said that police shot at Naxalites who were hurling hand grenades at their jeep. Police are of the opinion that at least 3-4 Naxalites might have been injured in exchange of fire.


The blast at Mattav cross was done from a distance of 50 meters were the Naxalites were hiding. A wire had been linked to the bomb and was operated from 50 meters distance behind a huge tree. When the search was carried out battery shells, bundle of wire, a bomb, which was defused later, food packets, water bottles, Umbrella, a diary, some Naxal literature was found. There was also a Motorola Walkie-Talkie and a cell phone on the spot.

Udupi SP S Murugan, deputy commissioner T Shyam Bhat, SNF SP Madhukar Shetty, Kundapur AC Madan G Nayak, and DSP Parameshwarappa visited the place. A SNF battalion is now engaged in intense search operations in the area.

Ms Jamuna Devi's one more joke , RSS = Naxalites

Ms Jamuna Devi is the same person who said RSS is termed as Terrorist Organization by some Non-Profit Think Tank , now she is equating RSS with Naxalites .... Oh boy.. may be WHole MP assembly is having fun ... SHE IS LALOO'S SISTER

RSS no better than Naxalites, charges Congress


Statesman News Service


BHOPAL, July 28. — While Madhya Pradesh chief minister, Mr Babulal Gaur, expressed grave concern over the recently-issued Naxalite threat of hoisting the Tricolour upside down in Balaghat, the Opposition leader, Ms Jamuna Devi, dubbed the RSS, the VHP and the Bajrang Dal no better than Naxalities who are out to disrupt the law and order in the state.

Mr Gaur today told the House that members of the Communist Party (Maoist) had put up posters in Ruphjar at Balaghat announcing their plan of celebrating the shahid diwas, between 28 July and 3 August, in memory of their dead peers. The CM, however, said that the martyr status cannot be accorded to the dead Naxalites. He said the group has also threatened to intensify its guerilla warfare against the government. The CM exhorted citizens of the state to to offer resistance to the Naxalites through peaceful and non-violent methods. Mrs Jamuna Devi reacted sharply to this statement of the CM by questioning the state government’s lack of intelligence inputs on such threats. She drew the government’s attention towards the disruptive activities of the RSS, the VHP and the Bajrang Dal.

Referring specifically to the Bajrang Dal’s recent demonstration at Indore airport, Mrs Devi said that Naxalite activities have been on rise in the state following the failure of the BJP government in curbing the activities of the sister organisations that are assisting the Naxalites. The House also discussed the delay in the disposal of pension. The Speaker, Mr Ishwardas Rohani, requested the state government to adopt a sympathetic attitude towards those senior citizens who are dependent on pension money. The CM has asked one-month’s time to look into reported cases of some people receiving pension in the names of those already dead. Around 300 such cases have been reported from Bhopal alone, said the CM.

Tackling Naxals the Naxal way

DH News Service Ranchi:


They will wander in the forests and pitch tents on the foothills for night halts. They will also carry stoves to cook food. They will do what Naxalites do, except of course planting landmines.
As part of a new strategy adopted by the Jharkhand police, a group of state police will move around on night patrol like Naxalites, in an effort to tackle the extremist menace in the State, say highly placed sources in police department.

According to the sources, the idea is to curb the problem of extremism by dominating the forest areas, which are considered to be ultra hideouts for several years now.


“The police personnel will adopt guerrilla warfare. They will be equipped with cellphones and wireless sets while in the wilderness, to keep in touch with headquarters,” sources said.

The Jharkhand police has been implementing strategic changes after V D Ram took over as the new Director General of Police (DGP).

As the levy from contractors is a major source of income for the Naxals, the DGP has offered police protection for contractors involved in works in remote area.

Poster war

The State police headquarters is also planning to wage “poster war” against the Naxalites. The police claims to be in possession of over 200 photographs of the Naxalites downloaded from CDs recovered from their hideouts.

The proposal aims at exposing the identity of the Naxalites, who have been enjoying anonymity among the populace, dwelling in remote parts of the State. The police will put up posters with photographs of hardcore ultras in extremist-infested areas. These will also announce rewards to those willing to pass on information about ultras.

Communist Party of India (Maoist) KILLED 7 in Bastar

Rebels kill seven in Bastar

R KRISHNA DAS

Raipur, July 28: The extremists of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) “welcomed” the new acting governor of Chhattisgarh, Sushilkumar Shinde, by killing seven villagers in the remote areas of worst Maoist-infested Bastar region on Wednesday.

Soon after taking oath of office as acting governor today, Shinde said, his first official visit in the state would be in the Maoist-prone areas. Shinde, the governor of Andhra Pradesh, was given the additional charge of Chhattisgarh following Krishna Mohan Seth proceeding on a two-month leave.

Co-incidentally, both the states are worst Maoist infested in the country. Shinde arrived in the state capital today. And the first news he heard was the killing of seven villagers by the Maoists in Karyamarke and Mundergaon village under Bhairamgarh police station in Dantewada district, about 500 kms from here.

The Maoists abducted the villagers on Tuesday night from their villages, who were actively participating in the on-going public awareness campaign against the rebels. Two bodies were recovered near the village forests on Wednesday afternoon while the other five were discovered late in the night near Taalnaar.

The police from Bhairamgarh reached the spot today morning and started the investigation. Of the victims include deputy sarpanch of village Mundergaon Jeetilal. “The Maoist issue is a national problem and shall not be taken as a crisis of any individual state,” Shinde told reporters at Raj Bhavan after assuming office.

Commander of LGS Lakshmana Rao gives in

Friday July 29 2005 14:36 IST

RAJAHMUNDRY: Self-styled commander of the, Palakajeedi local guerrilla Squad of the CPI-ML (Maoist) Lakshmana Rao (21) alias Muvvala Lacha alias Naresh today surrendered before East Godavari superintendent of police V Naveenchand.

Lakshmana Rao took over as the commander of the Palakajeedi LGS a few months ago. He surrendered due to the pressure brought by his family members.

Lakshmana Rao, a native of Endakota village in Koyyur mandal of Vizag district, has been a member of the Palakajeedi LGS for the past four years. He had worked under the leadership of Sagar and was deputy commander since May, 2003 under Madakam Suribabu. He was made commander recently.

Lakshmana Rao was involved in the Jeedigaddavagu blasts in which reserve inspector Narendra Reddy was killed and blasting of Polavarappadu Bridge.

He had snatched and destroyed electronic voting machines and burnt government jeeps during the recent Assembly elections. He left the dalam last night and met Rampachodavaram police, who, in turn brought him to the SP's office where he surrendered.

Lakshmana Rao surrendered due to the pressure brought by his family.

After Naxals, Maoists spread network in tribal areas

Friday July 29 2005 15:06 IST

JEYPORE: “Observe the week of our heroes and protest police action”. These words on red banners stare at you in all Naxal-infested areas once again during ‘martyrs’ week’.

As ultras round the country gear up to make it a success, the weeklong affair poses fresh challenge to security forces. If the Intelligence network feedback to administration is to be believed, the Maoists have decided to make their presence felt.

Every year during the week, the Maoists pay tribute to their comrades who laid down their lives for the cause of Naxalism and also take stock of their support base in inaccessible pockets of Malkangiri.

Significantly, the number of Naxal supporters and cadres is rising in Malkangiri, Rayagada and Koraput districts, forcing the police to step up efforts to fight the menace.

Police records indicate that when a handful of Naxals supported by their counterparts of West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh and Bastar district of Chattisgarh started a new group, ‘Kalimela Dalam’, in early 1990’s, none could imagine that the ultras would swell to the present stage in the tribal hinterland.

Today, there are seven leading Maoist groups and three frontal organisations with about 300 hardcore Naxalities and 2000 active supporters. Remarkably, Kalimela, Motu, Populur, Korkunda, Chitrakonda dalams and Sangagampary in Malkangiri, Bansadhara and Kuilabang sangh in Rayagada and Janjhabati and Chasimulia sangh in Koraput are challenging the district administrations with their ideologies.

Malkangiri is emerging as the base of the Maoists in the State and is gaining the status of Naxal division of Orissa-Andhra bordering areas. It is also reportedly under the direct command of top Naxal cadres of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.

Though the ground realities in the three southern districts have helped Maoists garner support, the factors differ from one region to another.

Alleged exploitation of tribals by businessmen and government officials in Malkangiri has given ample scope to the Naxals to spread their ideology in the district while violation of land rights of tribals and large scale encroachment by outsiders have boosted the Naxals’ presence in Rayagada district.

But the situation is completely different in Koraput, which witnessed Naxals’ mayhem for the first time in 2004.

“It is clear that expected development could not be done by the government in tribal areas which forced the tribals to take to arms in KBK areas,” laments Akshay Mohanty, a social worker.

However, the administration thinks otherwise.

“The Naxals do not have clear-cut ideology. While blaming government machinery for under-development, they are also posing as hurdles in the path of development by not allowing any official or contractor to carry out work in the villages,” said Yatindra Koyal, Malkangiri SP.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Maoist girl returns to mainstream, gets married

Rourkela, July. 28 (PTI): From a gun-wielding woman Maoist in the dense woods to a demure bride is a far cry, but Kandri Lohar appears to have made the turnaround with consummate ease.

The 18-year old girl, who was "forced" to become a Maoist, exchanged garlands with a boy with whom her marriage negotiation was continuing before she went missing over eight months ago.

Family members danced amid drum beats as her marriage with Shankar Barua, who belonged to Bondamunda, near here, was solemnised yesterday with the police playing the hosts.

DIG (Western Range) S.S. Hansda, Superintendent of Police Y.K. Jethwa, and CRPF Commandant Bharat Singh, were present to bless the couple.

Kandri, who belonged to Sagajodi village under Manoharpur police station in neighbouring Jharkhand, said she had been lured into the jungles on the promise of a job but was forced to join the Maoists. She was made to wear fatigues and imparted weapon training.

"Everytime I made a mistake during training, they took me to task," she narrated and said the ultras had changed her name to Madhuri.

Not willing to live the life of a militant, she was waiting for an opportunity to escape and succeeded last February in slipping out of the dense Saranda jungle and hid in a friend's house in Sundargarh district.

She was nabbed by the police at Jareikela on July 17 when she had come to witness the return car festival there.

Maoist threat prompts officials’ visit

Statesman News Service

KRISHNAGAR, July 27. — The Maoist threat has brought villagers under a common umbrella. It seems that the villagers have finally achieved what they have been demanding for so long from the police and the administration.
A large convoy comprising the district magistrate, Mr Rajesh Pandey, the SP, Nadia Mr R Rajasekharan, and a bunch of senior district administrative and police officials reached Patradaha in Nadia’s Dhubulia police station area this morning in an effort to reassure the villagers, for the first time perhaps, by announcing several development projects and police protection.
Considering the Maoist menace at some villages like Patradaha, Char Moktarpur, Sonatala and Rupdaha in the Naopara-II panchayat area, the SP, Mr Rajasekharan, announced: “No one will have to take permission from any one before going to harvest his or her crops from the shallow lands. My police will protect you from now”.
The reason for which the officials were compelled to visit the district’s one of the ‘poorest of poor’ villages at Patradaha was that the ultra-Left Naxalite group, presently the merged form of CPI-Maoist, had threatened villagers to vacate the shallow lands along the course of the Jalangi by the Bengali month of Kartick.
The Maoist threat has triggered panic among the people, a majority of whom are farmers. Apprehending a possible clash between Maoists and the CPI-ML-backed villagers, the district officials had chalked out a plan to visit the villages immediately to boost the villagers’ morale.
After interacting with the villagers for about two hours the DM promised the villagers to look into their problems.
Mr Pandey said, “Long-standing problems like electricity, sishu siksha, rationing and land distribution will be solved soon. In this regard, the respective authorities have been asked to assess the problems and chalk out plans.
I have assured the villagers that no one will have to vacate the lands which they have been cultivating for years.
But, a survey will be conducted and after that we will give the lands to them as patta”.
Panic gripped villlagers after suspected Maoist extremists had put up posters, asking villagers to vacate their lands by the month of Kartick.
In some cases, Maoists have, however, allowed locals to carry on farming on the condition that they carry on “other activities with their permission.”
Maoists have been welcomed by the CPI-M here because, according to the CPI-ML district secretary Mr Biman Biswas, the CPI-ML is dominating the Naopara-II gram panchayat while it has one member in the CPI-M dominated Naopara-I panchayat.
In a bid to wipe out the CPI-ML support base in the area, the local CPI-M leaders are using the Maoists, Mr Biswas alleged.

Naxalites blasted the house of a Janshakti Party (LJP) leader

GAYA, JUL 27 (PTI)
Heavily armed ultras of CPI (Maoist) today blasted the house of a Janshakti Party (LJP) leader at his native village of Bihar's Gaya district and kidnapped three persons, including two relatives.

LJP district vice president Shukar Paswan, a former naxalite, was not present at the scene at the time of the incident at Naseerchak village.

Paswan's son Shivnath Nirala said the armed extremists swooped on the residence, asked the family members to vacate the house and blew it up.

The Maoists also set on fire a tractor and kidnapped three persons, including the driver and two sons of Paswan's sister-in-law.

When contacted, DIG (Magadh range) Sunil Kumar told PTI that he had received information of the incident.

Two brothers of Paswan were killed by MCC extremists in 1996 and 1997.

Cops clueless in Bankura woods of WEST BENGAL

Cops clueless in Bankura woods

Kanchan Siddiqui
in Bankura
July 27. — The dense growth of trees in the forests of Bankura is making it difficult for cops to hunt out Maoists, who have taken shelter in the forest. The police and forest officials are now hoping to solve the problem in a co-ordinated move.
After the Majgaria bloodbath on 9th July that claimed the life of two CPI-M leaders and the OC, Barikul police station, a combined police force have geared up for action in different stretches of Bankura, Medinipur and Purulia borders, which are covered with dense forests. The police have however failed to make a headway in the matter yet.
Bankura has managed a 26 per cent growth of forest reserve in the past five years. This has been possible due to the success of extensive afforestation programme under the supervision of three respective forest divisions operating in the district. The district, according to the state forest department witnessed a maximum growth of forest reserve in ranges under Khatra sub division. Incidentally, the blocks in Khatra like Ranibandh, Simlapal and Sarenga are reeling under continued Naxalite menace since 2001.
The growth of forest reserve besides building a positive benefit towards eco-environment has also got a reciprocal impact on the political scenario of districts like Bankura West Midnapore and Purulia. This has been revealed during successive naxalite invasions from time to time. The IGP (western zone), Mr Anil Kumar said: “The Maoists have been using the jungle corridor to shift their base from one location to another. Their detailed knowledge of the woods have put them in an advantageous position.” The widely stretched jungle is linked with the Jharkhand forest through the Galudi pass, a location usually preferred by the Maoists while intercepting West Bengal destinations.
Mr Kumar, IGP, said: “The Special Operations Group pressed into action to combat the Maoists since after the 9th July massacre is facing a hard time and the forest reserve is a reason behind the slow progress. Officers are trying hard to overcome the difficulties.” The DFO, Bankura, (South) Mr Ashok Chakraborty however is quite happy with the desired growth of forest reserve in the district. So is the forest and environment department. The division incidentally had put in a big effort to launch fresh afforestation drive in Ranibandh and Simlapal block this year. Mr Chakraborty said: “We had chosen five hectares each in Simlapal and Ranibandh this year for planting sal. Both the locations have good depth that is favourable for growing sal and associated species like Mohua. We have chosen the middle of the jungle for this, as sal saplings need to be protected from the scorching sunlight,” adding “The new plantation will further enrich the Khatra greenery in the next two years.”
The DM, Bankura Mr PK Mishra said: “If the deep jungles in Bankura are posing a difficulty in combat operations, a co-ordination between the two government departments is the suitable option to sort out the crisis.” About police movement inside the forest, the DFO said: “Forest department staff and members of the forest protection committee have not faced any difficulty yet. We do not know why the cops are finding it hard to penetrate into the forest.”
According to the sources, the Bankura police has managed to prepare a map of certain areas in the jungle which according to top officers are not easily navigable to reach into the denser areas. The growth of greenery in either way has invited a danger for Bankura though the top, police forest and administration officials have not accepted the logic officially. Rather, the police alternative to solving the problem is increased absorption of local youths in the force. The IGP Mr Kumar said: “Local youths frequent the jungles for many reasons every day. They know the topography better than us. The youths need employment and we require sufficient strength and expertise to explore the jungle pass confronting the ultras. It is logical to include the segment into the operation.” This symbiosis may cure the recurring trouble in the Bankura jungles, top cops believe.

Security worry in Andhra, Assam, Manipur: Patil

EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE
Posted online: Thursday, July 28, 2005 at 0217 hours IST

NEW DELHI, JULY 27 : Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil today admitted in the Rajya Sabha that the security situation in Assam, Manipur and Andhra Pradesh was a cause for concern.

Replying to a discussion on internal security and cross-border terrorism, Patil said although the overall security scenario had improved, the situation in Andhra Pradesh, witnessing Naxalite movement, is grim. The situation in Manipur and Assam has become worse, he said.

Earlier, initiating the discussion, Jaswant Singh demanded a white paper on how the goverment proposed to deal with terrorist violence, which he said was on the rise because of its lack of “foresight and understanding”.

Jaswant and former Chief of Army Staff General Shankar Roychoudhury (retd) drew the government’s attention to the eastern borders. The General said the Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB) that is guarding the Nepal border is not a “high-grade force” and the government should take steps to counter threat from Nepal. He said Naxalism posed the biggest threat to the country. “The western sector seems secure but there is need for a unified strategy to deal with Naxalism. There is need for a unified command,” he said.

Patil said the government would accept suggestions from Roychoudhury. He added that to deal with terrorism, 200 battalions of paramilitary forces were being raised and personnel provided air cover and armoured vehicles.

EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE

Ten Janashakti naxals arrested in AP

Hyderabad, July 27 (UNI) Ten naxals, including a woman belonging to CPI(ML) Janashakthi, were arrested in Prakasham and Warangal districts of Andhra Pradesh today Nine Janashakti naxals, who were involved in extortions were arrested at Ongole in Prakasham district.

One rifle, a DBBL gun and 35 detonators were seized from the naxals of the Janashakti Ahobilam Dalam, police said.

Elsewhere in Warangal district, police arrested one Janashakti naxal Rama, a native of Warangal, when she was travelling in a private vehicle near Angandir cross road in Gudur Mandal. One hand grenage was seized from her.

Police identified Rama as West Godavari Janashakti district committee member.

Rama's husband Mallesham alias Jeevan, who was Deputy Commander of West Godavari District Committee, was arrested in the district some time ago, police added.

NAXAL VIOLENCE : Rajya Sabha figures

NAXAL VIOLENCE: As many as 903 incidents of Naxalite violence were reported during the first half of the current year as against 976 during the corresponding period last year, Rajya Sabha was informed.

The level of Naxalite violence was down by four per cent in 2004 over 2003, Mr Jaiswal said in a written reply.

1,533 incidents of Naxal violence were reported in 2004 as against 1,597 in 2003, he said.

The major Naxalite groups such as CPML-PW, MCCI (now merged to form CPI-Maoist and CPML-LIB, CPML-JS/KR were behind the violent incidents in states of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, he said

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Marxists seek Maoist aid

Statesman News Service

KRISHNAGAR, July 26. —— At a time when the CPI-M ruled West Bengal government is trying to chalk out a policy on how to deal with the Maoist menace in districts like Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore, a section of CPI-M leaders in Nadia has allegedly reached an understanding with the Maoists to resist another faction of the Naxalites — the CPI-ML.

The reason being cited is the old maxim — an enemy’s enemy is a friend. Because of this the ultra-Left Naxalite group, presently the merged form of CPI-Maoist has found a safe haven in Dhubulia. And, are threatening villagers in Patradaha, Sonatala, Char Moktarpur and Rudradaha to vacate the shallow lands along the course of the Jalangi by the Bengali month of Kartick.
As a result, tension mounted high by the day with a majority being farmers who have little other for livelihood save the land. Apprehensive of a possible clash between the Maoists and the CPI-ML backed villagers, the district magistrate Mr Rajesh Pandey, SP, Nadia Mr R Rajasekharan, SDO (Sadar) Mr Ajay Sannamat and other senior administrative officials have plans to visit the villages tomorrow. And if require they will hear the problems from the villagers after setting up a camp.
Maoists have been reportedly welcomed by the CPI-M here because, according to the CPI-ML district secretary Mr Biman Biswas, the CPI-ML has a lone member from Patradaha of the CPI-M dominated Naopara gram panchayat. Moreover, the party has gained faith from the people here as it had captured 60-bigha shallow lands along the course of Jalangi before distributing the lands to the poor villagers. Mr Biswas said: “Local CPI-M leaders are using Maoists to wipe out our support base in the area. A CPI-M-dominated panchayat, Brittihuda, in Nadia’s Chapra police station area has also reached an unholy adjustment in a bid to resist us for the same reason. The district police too have turned a blind eye, as it is the ruling party in the district which has a rendered a covert support to the Maoists. We have repeatedly informed the administration of this, but to no avail.
In some cases, Maoists have however allowed locals to carry on with farming with the condition that they carry on “other activities by the their permission.” Faced with threats, most have fled the area where posters have been pasted. Alerted on the recent threat of ‘ultimatum’, the district administration has realised the gravity of the situation and planned to visit the areas”.

When asked about the matter Mr Pandey said: “We have heard about Maoist activities in the area and the ongoing problem about land procurement. However, it is yet to be ascertained if the two are inter-linked to each other. The district land and land reforms department has been asked to survey the lands in question and to submit a report immediately.”
The CPI-M district leaders however brushed off the allegation saying that they are quite enough to fight alone with the CPI-ML, if requires.
Meanwhile, a joint police team of West Bengal and Jharkhand raided a secret hideout of Maoists at Lataisini in Ghatshila of Jharkhand last night. Police had information about the Maoist den. Following the killings of three CPI-M members and the officer-in-charge of Bandwan (Purulia) and Ranibandh (Bankura), police have been looking for a breakthrough. But they have failed to arrest any person so far.
“Maoist supporters got prior information of the police raid,” a police official in Purulia town said today. He added: “All preparations and information of the raid had been kept highly confidential.”

Naxalites are “supported by a political party” Mr Babulal Gaur

Gaur takes comrades to task

Statesman News Service

BHOPAL, July 26. — Madhya Pradesh chief minister Mr Babulal Gaur today said the state government was unable to rein in the Naxalites as they were being “supported by a political party” having considerable influence in Balaghat, Seoni, Anuppur, Sidhi and Dindori districts.

Though Mr Gaur named the political party he held responsible for Naxalite violence in the state, his statement had to be expunged from Assembly records under vehement protests from the senior Communist Party legislator, Mr Ram Lakhan Sharma.
Mr Gaur said some people had been “thwarting development work” in Naxalite-affected areas. Farmers in Balaghat were not being allowed to cut and sell bamboo. The Centre had provided Rs 37.56 crore to the state to fight Naxalites in the recent past.
In the Assembly today, the Opposition demanded a judicial inquiry into the Dharaji incident in which 70 people had drowned in Narmada river on 7 April night because of excess release of water by the Narmada Hydro-electric Development Corporation.
The Opposition termed the government inquiry and the subsequent report a “sham” and called for the registering of cases of criminal negligence against the then Dewas collector and superintendent of police. Opposition leader Mrs Jamuna Devi said the government must take stringent action against the collector and the SP for negligence whicjh led to the tragedy.
Congress legsilator Mr Satyadev Katare said Mr Gaur must rise above politics and order a judicial inquiry into the incident. Other Opposition MLAs also expressed dissatisfaction with the government.

No response to additional forces yet: Buta

PATNA, JUL 27 (PTI)
Amid growing Naxal activities in Bihar, Governor Buta Singh today said that the Centre was yet to respond to his request for sparing ten companies of Border Security Force and Indo-tibetan Border Police for stepping up surveillance on the Indo-Nepal border in the state.

"I personally met union Home Minister Shivraj Patil in New Delhi during my visit early this month and sought ten companies of BSF and ITBP for intensifying srveillance on the border. I have also written a letter to him a few days ago and his response is awaited", Singh told reporters.

The BSF Director General had visited the state some time ago and had meeting with the state officials to explore measures to check the influx of Maoist rebels from Nepal.

An intensive combing operation had been launched to apprehend the naxalites, he said.

In reply to a question, Singh said there was already a provision for the treatment of police and special task force personnel injured in anti-naxalite operations at government cost and he had ordered release of Rs 1.27 crore recently for this purpose.

Maoists eye panchayat polls

Rebels eye panchayat polls
KUMUD JENAMANI

Jamshedpur, July 26: As preparations for the panchayat election in the state are gearing up, Maoist movements indicate that they are also making attempts to field candidates of their choice in the polls.

Intelligence sources said the Maoist, in the face of decentralisation of power, now wants to make their own men mukhias in the panchayats. The splinter groups of the Naxal outfit have begun to move deep inside the areas, which were hitherto considered safer places, added these sources.

According to intelligence reports the rebels are motivating the people by giving anti-establishment speeches during the night and asking the villagers to join them for a better future.

Intelligence sources said the main purpose behind such activities of the Maoist is to ensure a victory in the panchayat polls, which is just around the corner.

“We are vigilant on the Naxals activities as we are getting reports that Maoist are interested in the panchayat polls, which is scheduled to be held sometime in September,” said a highly-placed source in the state intelligence department.

The source revealed that there has been a concentration of the rebels in parts of Saraikela-Kharsawan district, Patalong, Mango mufassil area in East Singhbhum district, which borders West Bengal's Purulia and West Midnapore districts, and in Jadugora, Potka and Musaboni areas along Orissa’s Mayurbhanj district.

The police had recently nabbed a youth from Mayurbhanj district of Orissa, suspected of being a Maoist, and he is said to have spilled the beans about the rebels’ plans for the panchayat elections.

The suspected extremist, whose identity has been kept under wraps, was nabbed from Dimna Chowk, under Mango mufassil area, and is under interrogation.

Additional superintendent of police S.K. Jha refused to disclose any details on the Maoist activities but agreed that the police are keeping a vigil on their movements.

Notably, the state election commission has already begun the process of holding panchayat polls by mid-September. Besides initiating the training process for the poll personnel, the election machinery has also asked the district administration to make a list of reserved panchayat seats. Although the poll notification has not been made so far, the arrangements for holding them within two months is almost complete.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Top CPI-Maoist 'commander' arrested

Wednesday July 27 2005 00:00 IST
IANS

RAIPUR: A top commander of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) who was wanted for over 25 cases of murder and robbery has been arrested by Chhattisgarh Police.

Home Minister Ramvichar Netam told IANS on Tuesday that Maoist rebel leader Jitendra alias Kamal was arrested Monday night on a tip-off in Sarguja district, 412 km from this state capital.

Police in Chhattisgarh and neighbouring Jharkhand had offered a cash reward for information leading to Kamal's arrest.

Police officials in Sarguja said three cases under the now defunct Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) had been registered against Kamal, who would be handed over to Jharkhand police if a written request were received from that state.

Kamal's arrest comes against the backdrop of the surrender of 117 CPI-Maoist cadres on Sunday at a rally organised by the state government in the Maoist stronghold of Bhairamgarh in Dantewada district bordering Andhra Pradesh.

According to official figures, 150 people, including 93 civilians, have died in Chhattisgarh during the past 18 months in Maoist violence.

Vexed with party ideology, this CPI (Maoist) couple surrenders before DSP

Wednesday July 27 2005 00:00 IST
UNI

WARANGAL: A couple belonging to the CPI (Maoist) party on Tuesday surrendered before the Warangal District Superintendent of Police M S Ravindra.

The two were S Narsimhulu (25), Nalgonda district CPI (Maoist) platoon (B section) Deputy Commander and his wife Narayana Swapna, Commander of platoon B section. He was part of the movement since 1999 and was involved in seven murder cases and the blast of MRO and MDO offices in Chandalpet mandal in Nalgonda.

Narsimhulu was also involved in blasting of houses of local village heads and police outposts, according to police.

Swapna joined the movement five years ago. Since then she was involved in two murders and attacks on police parties in Nalgonda and Ranga Reddy districts.

Since Narsimhulu is a native of Warangal, he surrendered along with his wife before the district SP. The couple told the police that they were vexed with the CPI (Maoist) ideology and surrendered.

Cops go for image makeover to win over Koraput tribals

Tuesday July 26 2005 15:25 IST

JEYPORE: ‘‘Namaskar, This is ..... police station and I am ..... What can I do for you ......?’’ Hold on, you are not listening to the sweet voice of a receptionist rather a man in khaki on the line.

The police-with-a-human-face drive in the predominantly tribal Koraput region has finally paid off. Information-seekers and informants used to complain about harsh voices and rude manners from the men in uniform. No more.

The change to friendly approach has come as a major relief to the locals who are already traumatised by the Naxal scourge.

It’s a conscious decision by police administration to go for an image makeover to counter insurgency. Police personnel on duty at important police stations are now adopting a ‘people-friendly’ approach to get intelligence feedback and tip-offs about Naxal activities from the tribals.

Police sources said the direct contact between people and police is key to contain Naxal menace. ‘‘You can get valuable information from the callers by talking with them decently,’’ says S.C. Mishra, a police inspector.

Generally, the police stations in the tribal areas are in contact with a sizable tribal population and most of the locals often fear to cooperate with the police due to misconception that it will invite problems. Now, policemen from the rank of constable to IPS officer are accessible on phone and ready to give you a patient hearing.

Strategic experts also believe that the new ‘avtar’ of police can be a vital weapon to counter Naxals in the inaccessible pockets. The ultras often thrive on ‘unfriendly’ image of the police and the new policy will endear police to the masses, feel the experts.

‘‘The main approach of the police must be people-friendly and it would give a peaceful administration,’’ said a senior police officer.

No aid for Naxal victims

Statesman News Service

BHUBANESWAR, July 25. —— The proposal, submitted by the Home department to provide financial assistance to the Naxalite-affected families, was turned down by the Finance department, ironically when there is a need for providing moral boost to the people in view of growing extremist violence.

Official sources said that the Home department had submitted a proposal to pay an ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh each to the family of Naxal victims and provide assistance ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 75,000 to the persons affected by ultras’ attack.
Several persons were injured while movable or immovable properties of many of them were damaged in extremist attack. Justifying the proposal for providing financial assistance to people affected by Naxalite attack, the officials said similar schemes were being implemented in a few extremist-hit states.


The above proposal was turned down at a high level meeting, held at the state secretariat today under the chairmanship of the finance minister, Mr Prafulla Chandra Ghadei to discuss the Home department’s various proposals pending with his department.

A fresh proposal will be resubmitted by the Home department for the Finance department’s approval, official sources said.
The finance minister, Mr Ghadei, however, cleared the proposals for recruitment of 1308 constables and 99 sub inspectors of police keeping law and order situation in the state.

It may be noted that a ban has been imposed on the recruitment to government jobs, in pursuance of a MoU signed with the central government.
A proposal had also been submitted by the Home department for construction of buildings of 55 fire stations across the state.

Expressing his inability to provide funds for construction of all 55 fire stations buildings at a time, Finance Minister assured that it would be considered in a phase-wise manner.

The Finance department had, in turn, requested the Home department to post constables and home guards in the check gates, run by the Commercial Tax department. Home department officials informed that the district police authorities had been asked to make necessary arrangements. Among others, home secretary, Mr Santosh Kumar, finance secretary, Mr U Saratchandran and DGP, Mr Suchit Das were present.

Govt to augment cop strength Industrialisation, growing Naxal menace prompt move

Tuesday July 26 2005 14:54 IST
BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has decided to appoint 1308 constables and 99 sub-inspectors of police in a bid to keep pace with the proposed industrialisation of the State and tackle the increasing activities of the Left wing extremists.

A decision to this effect was taken at a high-level meeting presided over by Finance Minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadei here on Monday. The new appointments will cost the State exchequer Rs 10 crore per year. With this all vacancies in base-level posts will be filled up.

The Finance Department also conceded to the Home Department’s demand for construction of buildings for fire stations in phases. Now 55 fire stations in the State do not have their own buildings. Each building will cost Rs 25 lakh. The total expenditure will be Rs 13.75 crore.

The Home Department was asked to make security provisions in all the check gates in the State till the Government finalised a security agency. Ghadei said the contract with the security agency, which was looking after the gates, has expired and the State Government is yet to finalise the name of another agency. Constables and home guards from the local police stations will be mobilised and deployed at the check gates.

Director General of Police Suchit Das, Principal Secretary in the Finance Department U.Saratchandran, Principal Secretary in the Home Department Santosh Kumar, Special Secretary in the Finance Department P.K. Mishra and senior officials attended the meeting.

Free health camp held

ORISSA July 26, 2005


Tuesday July 26 2005 15:26 IST

KORAPUT: A health camp was jointly organised by the district police and 38bn, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Naxal infested Narayanpatna of the district on Sunday. More than 200 persons including women and children from Borigi, Langalbeda,Talagumandi and Kaspabalsa were treated and provided free medicines at the health camp. This was part of the ongoing efforts of the district police to reach out to tribal mass and gain them over from the Naxalite influence.

Reacting to the overwhelming response, SP Arun Bothra said more such camps would be organised in interior areas. The doctors of Police hospital and Naryanpatna health workers provided necessary logistics and medicine for the camp.

Hardcore Naxals in joint operation net

Tuesday July 26 2005 15:14 IST

ROURKELA: Close coordination between Sundargarh and Jharkhand police to combat Naxal menace is finally paying dividends. In a recent case, on the basis of clues provided by Naxal cadres arrested by Sundargarh police, a hardcore ultra, Sahadev alias Arjun Mahato (28) was arrested by Jharkhand police in Colibhengra village on Friday night.
Sahadev is the self-styled commander of platoon 22 of the MCC ultras active in Saranda forest which is spread over both the states. He has reportedly confessed his involvement in a number of attacks on Jharkhand police personnel and looting of arms.

It is learnt that Sahadev who belongs to Hazaribagh in Jharkhand was camping in Saranda to launch an operation to avenge the death of MCC ultra Iswar Mahato in an encounter with Jharkhand police in 2002.

Sahadev was involved in the killing of a forester in Bitkilsoy village in Jharkhand in December 2002 and that of a village headman. On December 19, 2002 he led the ambush on Jharkhand police personnel in Kareikela in which 20 personnel were killed and arms looted.

On April 7, 2004 he led the attack in which 28 Jharkhand police personnel were killed in Baliba under Goa police station in Chaibasa district of Jharkhand. His interrogation has led to recovery of bombs and rifles.

Earlier, Sundargarh police apprehended some Naxal cadres including a woman from different places under Bisra police station. They included Napolean alias Mundari on March 3 from Bhalulata railway station and MCC conduit Pitas Bhengra on July 1.

The arrested ultras have given some clues on the operations and plans of the MCC cadres operating in Saranda forest, which would help the police of two states in the joint operation against the Naxals.

Jana’s sugar-coated pill for Maoists

Tuesday July 26 2005 14:49 IST

VISAKHAPATNAM: Home Minister K Jana Reddy on Monday expressed the government’s willingness to halt combing operations if the Naxalites renounced violence.

Speaking to newsmen here, the minister said the Police Department had strengthened itself during the talks the government had held with the Naxalite leaders.

He felt that the government would require some time to resolve the decades-old Naxal issue.

On his reported misunderstanding with the Director General of Police Swaranjit Sen, the Home Minister denied that there were any misunderstandings and claimed that there was absolutely no communication gap between the DGP and the Home Affairs Department

Monday, July 25, 2005

Lack of political opposition helps growth of Naxalism

‘Lack of political opposition helps growth of Naxalism’

Monday July 25 2005 14:08 IST

BHUBANESWAR: One of the main reasons behind the failure to contain Left wing extremism is a near absence of political opposition in the areas where it is taking roots, Home Secretary Santosh Kumar said here on Sunday.

In most of the regions where radicals take leadership of locals in a bid to offer direct resistance to the administration, only political leadership can check their influence, he said adding that in West Bengal, its growth could be arrested because of the involvement of political parties.

Kumar, who was addressing a seminar on ‘Dimensions of Naxal/Maoist Problems’ organised by Indian Institute of Public Administration’s State chapter, said since Left wing extremism is a national problem, it calls for national level endeavours.

He rued that the political parties have not shown a high-level of commitment and sincerity to fight the Naxal menace, while radicals have been characterised by these very traits.

The Home Secretary said that poverty, unemployment, underdevelopment and a rising expectation from the State Government are reasons, which allow ultras to seek sympathy and support from undeveloped pockets. ‘‘It is true that we have not done what we should have. Worse still, we have not implemented what we tried to do,’’ he said.

A worrying trend, he said, was emergence of local anti-socials who now are joining hands with the radicals in the guise of revolutionary activities.

Kumar informed how campaign materials and literature recovered from a camp in Malkangiri were originally in English and printed in Chennai and Delhi. Subsequently, those were translated here into Oriya and tribal languages for circulation.

The Home Secretary also revealed how the ultra outfits are concentrating on sophisticated weaponry. There is more circulation of AK 47 among the groups, which has been possible because of increased flow of money. According to the Intelligence Bureau, every year, Rs 150 crore to Rs 200 crore is pumped into the movement.

Extremists have been targeting corrupt officials and contractors. Those who have been targeted in Sambalpur and Malkangiri were involved either in construction or in controlled commodities, he added.

Kumar said, one of the ways to penetrate the radicals’ stronghold is through those who have surrendered out of disillusionment.

Former Director General of Police S.C. Mishra said, though political parties elsewhere have won elections with support from Naxals, their link in the State has not been established so far.

‘‘However, all the Naxal pockets are either in the constituencies of either BJP or Congress. Not one is in BJD’s constituency,’’ he observed. Among others, Chairman of IIPA, Orissa S.B. Mishra also spoke.

117 leftist rebel supporters quit Maoist movement to join mainstream

Bastar | July 25, 2005 4:24:18 PM IST


In a major success for civilian authorities in countering the Naxal menace, at least 117 leftist rebel supporters today quit the Maoist movement and have joined the mainstream.
The leftist rebels, known as Naxals in local parlance, are fighting for peasants' rights and radical redistribution of land.

The villagers were enrolled as supporters by the Naxals to popularise their movement in the tribal dominated Bastar district.

Bastar is one of the worst hit rebel dominated area where they repeatedly blow up railway tracks and vandalise rich houses.

Last week, five villagers were kidnapped and later killed for undertaking development programmes in the backward district with the help of provincial authorities.

"I was not involved in this. They forced me into it, so I had to attend their meetings. I was fed up of them," said Kanhiya, a surrendered activist.

Birendra Toppo, Commandant of paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) said they were stepping up patrolling to tackle the naxal movement.

"We have been provided with cycles so that we can patrol those areas where vehicles cannot move. Most of the roads which were blocked by them have been opened," he said.

Besides Chhattisgarh, neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh are affected by the Naxalite movement, represented mainly by the People's War Group (PWG) and the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC). (ANI)

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Air shield in war against Maoists

OUR CORRESPONDENT
Patil

New Delhi, July 24: Security forces combating insurgents and Naxalites will soon be able to call for air cover.

Union home minister Shivraj Patil said the government was also considering providing mobile phones — in addition to other modern weapons and communications systems — to personnel engaged in fighting militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, security forces in the Northeast and the Naxalite-infested areas.

“Air cover will be available to paramilitary and state police forces for evacuating injured personnel and, if necessary, for operational purposes,” he said.

The decision comes on the heels of the June 18 meeting of the co-ordination committee of Naxalite-affected states, which had decided to set up two joint task forces to deal with rebels.

The idea of providing air cover to boost counter-insurgency operations was also mooted at the meeting held in Hyderabad.

Militants are known to set up camps in remote areas where communication links hardly exist.

In the Northeast, some organisations have bases in border areas, including inaccessible hilly terrain.

“This (use of air power) is a change in the thinking and strategy,” Patil said when asked about steps being taken to modernise the police forces.

As part of the modernisation drive, the Centre is making available better weapons to match the firepower of militants, besides providing armoured vehicles and advanced communication equipment to security forces.

The Border Security Force at present has six to seven helicopters that could be used by the Central Reserve Police Force, India Reserve Battalions, the Shasastra Seema Bal and other paramilitary forces and state police forces during operations, the home minister said.

“The police forces can also seek helicopters from the armed forces if required,” he said.

“Such forces were also being given modern protective gear like bullet-proof jackets and advanced training to help them face greater challenges,” Patil added.

Orissa twists Naxal issue to its advantage

NAGESHWAR PATNAIK

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SUNDAY, JULY 24, 2005 12:49:52 AM]

BHUBANESWAR: BJD-BJP combo in Orissa is trying to twist the Naxalite problem in order to get political mileage. No doubt, the spread of influence of Naxalites across tribal-dominated districts in the state in the last couple of years has turned out to be a major challenge for the government. But the government is turning it into an opportunity to blame the Centre for neglecting this poorest region of the country for decades.

In fact, whenever there has been Naxalite violence in the state, the state government points out the problems faced by the tribal people. Experts attribute alienation of tribals, their displacement due to large ‘development’ projects and complete absence of food security as the main reasons for the surge in the Naxalite movement of the state.

The state is the homeland of the tribal people. Incidentally, the state houses the third highest tribal population in the entire country, which accounts for roughly 11% of the total tribal population in the country.

Not surprising, the Naxals are ruling the roost in nine predominantly tribal districts i.e. Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangapur, Rayagada, Gajapati and Ganjam abutting the Andhra Pradesh and Sundargarh, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts adjacent to Jharkhand. The movement have also grown stronger in different parts of Sambalpur, Kalahandi, Bolangir, Phulbani, Deogarh, Jharsuguda and Anugul.

A series of Naxalite attacks, killing of politicians from mainstream political parties, looting of arms and ammunition from the district armory at Koraput and a series of tribal rallies by organisations supporting the Naxalite movement have forced the Naveen Patnaik government rethink about the whole development strategy in these underdeveloped tribal pockets.

Suchit Das, the state director general of police, told ET, “It is a multi-dimensional issue. So far as law and order component is concerned, we are working on two-pronged strategy, confidence building exercise by the armed units in the worst Naxal affected villages in north Orissa and precautionary measures like identifying and clearing the land mines in these areas.”

‘Be humane, buy info’

Sunday July 24 2005 13:12 IST

HYDERABAD: Expressing serious concern over the spread of Naxalite activities in the State, the two-day Collectors’ conference has decided that a “co-ordinated humane approach” will alone help marginalize the influence of the extremists. The law and order issue, particularly the Naxal problem, was discussed for over two hours on Saturday.

Several suggestions like “buying information” and a co-ordinated approach by police and revenue officials in the affected areas have come up in the meeting. Some SPs of the Naxal-affected districts, who attended the meeting on Saturday, are understood to have suggested that more money should be spent for “sourcing information” from informants.

One officer suggested that the cash reward announced on Naxalites (which was suspended during the talks period) and some portion of the secret reserve amount should be spent for getting information from villagers about the movement of ultras.

The other suggestion was winning the confidence of the people of the affected areas by adopting a humane approach.

Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy advised the police to work in tandem with the district administration.

Collectors for humane tack to Naxal issue

Sunday July 24 2005 13:09 IST

HYDERABAD: Expressing serious concern over the spread of Naxalite activities in the state, the two-day conference of the district collectors has decided that a “coordinated humane approach” will alone help marginalize the influence of the extremists.

A couple of officers suggested that at least one member in each household, in the affected areas, should be given employment in a bid to wean away youth from joining the movement.

Another proposal was that the government should post revenue officers in rural areas, so that they can take up development works with purpose.

UP police give Maoists sleepless nights

BY SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

NEW DELHI, July 23 - As Uttar Pradesh (UP) began cracking down on the rampaging Maoists in the state's Naxal-infested districts, four rebels were killed while 60 others were arrested in an ongoing drive against them, police said, Saturday.

The feat was achieved during a recent operation in the Maoist-affected districts of Chandauli, Mirzapur and Sonebhadra in eastern UP, Inspector General of Police Devraj Nagar told reporters in Varanasi.

For its part, the central government in New Delhi - criticized for its dual and contradictory "hunt-them-down" and 'they-are-our-children" approach to deal with the problem - has started equipping securitymen in Maoist-affected states with modern weapons and bullet-proof vehicles.

Nearly 200 districts in at least 13 states across India are considered to be Maoist affected; and intelligence officials say the trend is on the rise with new districts in new states having to grapple with the increasing Naxal menace.

UP police is also being equipped with modern weapons, as wellas 38 bullet proof vehicles, Nagar said. In addition, the state has started giving special allowance and "promotional avenues" to boost the morale of the securitymen.

Meanwhile, a group of human rights activists has criticized the Bihar government for arresting Nepali patients - termed by authorities as Maoists - as well as Indian doctors for treating them in Muzaffarpur area during the first week of July.

Security forces will soon be able to call for air cover

New Delhi, July 24. (PTI):Security forces engaged in fight against militancy and insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir, North East and Naxalite-infested areas will soon be able to call for air cover to give them an upper hand in operations.

Government is also considering providing mobile phones to security forces deployed in remote areas besides inducting more modern weapon and communcation systems, Home Minister Shivraj Patil told PTI here.

"Air cover will be available to para-military and state police forces for evacuating injured personnel and, if necessary, for operational purposes," he said.

Asked about steps being taken by the Government to modernise police forces, which, at times, were in a position of disadvantage while dealing with militancy, Patil said "this (use of air power) is a change in the thinking and strategy".

The Home Minister said at present, the Border Security Force (BSF) had six to seven helicopters which could be used by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), India Reserve Battalions (IRBs), Shasastra Seema Bal (SSB) and other para-military forces and state police forces for operations.

"The police forces can also seek helicopters from the Armed Forces if required," he said.

As part of the modernisation drive, the Centre was making avaialble better weapons to match the fire power of militants besides providing armoured vehicles and advanced communication equipment to the security establishment