Saturday, August 13, 2005

Black flags, not tricolour, Maoists tell schools

Sunday August 14 2005 00:00 IST

IANS

RANCHI: Maoist guerrillas in Jharkhand have issued directions to schools to hoist black flags instead of the tricolour on Independence Day on Monday.

The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) warned of "consequences" if any school was found violating its order. The organisation has reportedly put up posters to the effect in Giridih and Palamau districts.

"If we accept the Maoist directive then we face the wrath of the government, and if we ignore their call then they will act," said a school principal not wishing to be named.

Naxal commander, 15 others nabbed

Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh, Aug 13 (UNI) A naxal sangam member was killed in an encounter and 16 extremists, including a deputy commander, were arrested yesterday in tribal Bastar region, police said.

The encounter took place at South Bastar's Chidiyapal village when a naxal group assaulted a police team.

Sixteen militants, including Koilabada Dalam Deputy Commander Rameshwar, were arrested at Koilabada in Kanker district. Naxal literature and explosives were seized.

Militant activity in J&K declining but camps still exist

New Indian assessment - Militant activity in J&K declining but camps still exist: Patil
Sudhir Chadda
Aug. 13, 2005





India is making new assessment on conditions in Kashmir terrorism and militant activities. The terror network is still in tact sponsored by shadow ISI of Pakistan. But activities are put on hold somewhat. The terror activities are sporadic at best but capabilities and intensions are all there.

According to media sources, acknowledging terrorists activities in Jammu and Kashmir had come down in the first seven months of 2005, Home Minister Shivraj Patil today said that a number of "training camps" were still operational in Pakistan. "Pakistan has to ensure that peace prevails," he said, in his reply in the discussion on terrorist activities in the country, including the Ayodhya attack, in the Lok Sabha. The discussion was initiated by BJP MP Vijay Kumar Malhotra on August 4.

Avoiding charging Pakistan directly for the terrorist activities in the country, particularly the Ayodhya terrorist attack, the Minister said that the government's policy was not to name anyone.

"However, everyone knows who were behind the attack on the Ram Janmbhoomi complex," he said.

The Home Minister assured the House that the Government has taken steps ahead of Indepence Day (August 15) to provide security to the capital of the country. Meanwhile, fresh security measures are being implemented for the safety of the Shiva temple in Varanasi, the Krishna temple in Mathura and the Taj Mahal. The state governments have also been directed to take security measures to protect important religous and cultural sites.

Complimenting the security forces posted at Ayodhya in foiling the terrorist attack, Patil said all the persons involved in the attempt were shot dead. The government is continuing its investigation to find out the groups involved in the attack, he added.

The Minister said in Jammu and Kashmir, there was an increase of 79 per cent in the number of tourists as well as Amarnath pilgrims. Meanwhile, the number of civilians killings had decreased by 28.5 per cent.

Patil said that the law and order situation in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland was peaceful while it had slightly worsened in Assam. However, the situation in Manipur was "not good," he said.

The Home Minister said the Government has planned to provide modern equipment to the police forces and decided to raise 300 battalions of central paramilitary forces for the states. An expenditure of Rs 10,000 crores has been earmarked for modernisation of the police forces, he added.

Patil said that the fencing of Indian borders may be one of reasons for decline in terrorist activities. "The Government is expected to complete the fencing of both Eastern and Western borders by 2006," he said.

However, he denied that the situation in the country had deteriorated due to the withdrawal of POTA or the IMDT Act.

About the Naxal-affected areas, the Government has undertaken a number of economic activities for development. "We have decided to provide a special grant of Rs 35 crores for creating infrastructure in the most backward districts in the country," he said.

Replying to a question, the Minister said that officials of Bangladesh and India are likely to discuss the modalities of undertaking joint combing operations in the border areas to flush out terrorists from the region.

Friday, August 12, 2005

NGOs, Asok on warpath

Statesman News Service

SILIGURI, Aug. 12. — Amid continuous protests and agitation by different NGOs of Siliguri against the arrest of the local social activist, Mr Debasish Chakroborty, on charges of alleged Maoist links, the state urban development minister and the local MLA Mr Asok Bhattacharya, today came out in support of the police on the issue. Talking to the media for the first time on the issue today since the arrest of Mr Chakroborty, the urban development minister, Mr Bhattacharya, said that he is convinced of the fact that the police have strong evidence against Mr Chakroborty.
“After talking to the senior police officials on the issue I am convinced that Mr Chakroborty was in touch with the Maoist ultras,” said Mr Bhattacharya. ’’Some people, in the guise of social workers, are trying to turn Siliguri into another Midnapore. But our government and police would not allow any one to disturb the peace of Siliguri,” he added. Appealing to the NGOs here not to be misled, Mr Bhattacharya further said: “I know most of the NGOs do not have any connection with the Maoist ultras, but there are a few persons who are using the cover of social work to help out the ultras.”
Reacting to the comments made by Mr Asok Bhattacharya today, Mr Abhijit Mazumdar of the Siliguri Welfare Organisation (SWO) said they are not surprised by the fact that Mr Bhattacharya has come out in support of the police. “There is nothing unusual in a minister supporting the action of the police. But we would request him to take into consideration the public support that we are getting on the issue,” Mr Mazumdar added.
In another development, the additional sessions judge in Siliguri today rejected the special bail petition of Mr Chakroborty, saying that the investigation into the case is at the primary level and hence, granting of bail to the accused may hamper the investigation. The next regular hearing of the case would take place on 17 August.
On the other hand, in continuation of their protests against the arrest of Mr Chakroborty, the NGOs here would bring out a cycle rally in Siliguri tomorrow at 4 p.m. On Sunday an open convention will be held at the Bagha Jatin Club House at 2 in the afternoon and on 16 August the NGOs would organise a mahamichil in Siliguri.

A glimpse of the past...

LOHAGARH (Indo-Nepal boarder) Aug. 12. — The barter system known to students through history books is still in vogue at the Indo-Nepal border near Mechi river among the people of Darjeeling district and Jhapa district of Nepal.
Under the barter system goods are exchanged for goods and there is no cash transaction. The people of Boundangi, Patapur, Chirwa, Tiring and other parts of eastern Nepal enter Lohagarh, Panighatta and Naxalbari of Darjeeling district, that falls under Mirik block, with food medicinal plants and other home made products to exchange them with necessary items.
Birbahadur Rai, a poor farmer from Patapur, Jhapa Nepal came to Lohagarh carrying a basketful of green vegetables that he wished to exchange with kerosene oil. He said: “I am a poor farmer and there is a crisis of kerosene oil in our place because of which we often have to spend nights in utter darkness. The Nepal government has failed to provide cent percent electrification in the hills.”
The barter system is being practised in the hills for ages. According to the locals, the Maoist insurgency in Nepal has hampered it during last five years. The Sima Suraksha Bal (SSB), deployed on the Indian side who do not permit the Nepali citizens to bring goods to India. The SSB official allows Nepali citizens to carry only little goods that too with thorough checking.
Mrs Sita Chhetri from Baundangi had also come to Lohagarh with a bundle of brooms which is grown at her field to exchange with any items which is in crisis at Nepal. She said, “Products like kerosene oil, salt, sugar, and many other is the main crisis in our place.”
Mr Sekhar Chhetri a businessman of Lohagarh under Mirik block said: “Many poor farmers from Nepal side comes here with raw food items like brooms, ginger, oranges, green leafy vegetables, and cardamoms and exchange their goods with necessary items which are not available in their places. — SNS

MCC night attack catches cops napping

OUR CORRESPONDENT

Patna, Aug. 12: A Maoist attack on a police station in Nalanda took them completely by surprise, resulting in deaths and injuries.

A large squad of Maoists, said to be People’s Liberation Guerilla Army, surrounded Chabilapur station a little after midnight and blasted the existing station building and the new building, scheduled to be inaugurated on August 15.

Constable Ram Sharan Paswan and a village guard are reported killed in the firing, and three others, including a man in the lock up, sustained bullet injuries.

Two of them are undergoing treatment at Patna Medical College and Hospital. The rebels looted eight police rifles, two carbines and over 250 live cartridges.

“The cops were in their sleep and least expected the attack. They had no time to put up any defence,” police sources said in Patna.

Director-general of police, Ashish Ranjan Sinha, said the administration has taken the attack seriously and rushed extra forces to the district. “Police have launched an intense operation to arrest the culprits and sealed the entire area,” Sinha added.

The target of a station in Nalanda by the Maoists has baffled the police, especially because the district does not figure in the strongholds of the Leftist ultras in central Bihar, like Patna, Bhojpur, Aurangabad, Jahanabd, Gayaand and Nawada.

However, the present attack is only a series of Naxal attacks on police over the years in the state, which has left about 70 police personnel dead in the past four years. The current year started with the sensational killing of superintendent of police of Munger district, Surendra Babu, and five others when the rebels blew their vehicles off by landmines.

The state police are on alert in yet another district in the west, Rohtas, where the same Naxal oufit has threatened to blow off a village. A wall poster pasted in the area two days ago issued the threat that Vishrampur village in the district would be finished off latest by today, as a punishment for being police informers.

Reportedly, the villagers have formed their own armed squads to take on the Naxals, but are not daring to venture out for fear, especially after last night’s attack of Chabilapur station in Nalanda.

DGP Sinha said in Patna today that special police security has been deployed for the village. Special Task Force personnel rushed to the village early this morning to boost the morale of the people.

But the villagers are being cautious and not venturing out. Nor is the police encouraging them to do so.

BUTA ON THE BRINK

Those who had expected Buta Singh to lead a cleansing operation in Bihar during President’s Rule were barking up the wrong tree. To begin with, he was Governor of a state with a notorious reputation but where the evils of crime and corruption were institutionalised during 15 years of RJD rule in which the Congress was an alliance partner. Lalu Prasad lost the assembly election on a negative swing but had the good fortune of being able to use his bargaining position in Delhi to virtually blackmail the party into protecting his fiefdom. Any hope that the Governor would upset Lalu, who could promptly upset the coalition at the Centre, was thus wholly misplaced.

His new role

There were more compelling reasons for believing that Buta Singh in his new avatar as administrative head could not be the man to rid Bihar of the shame of gang wars, kidnappings, Maoist excesses and the chief minister himself being charged with corruption and landing in jail. For if Lalu presents the extraordinary case of a chief minister steeped in the fodder scam and fighting to get out of the mess in the disproportionate assets case, Buta presents the exceptional case of a Union minister being convicted in the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha bribery case and given a three-year jail sentence from which he later got a reprieve from the Delhi High Court.
That was the time when he was an Independent candidate in the 1998 Lok Sabha election, was elected and joined the Atal Behari Vajpayee government. Pramod Mahajan, a key functionary in the government, got into a running battle with Buta for asking him to resign within ten minutes. He was sacked by the Prime Minister and, in 1999, predictably rejoined the Congress, a shelter that any politician in his uncomfortable position would seek. Nor was the JMM case the first time he was forced to quit under dubious circumstances.
Two years before that, the hawala scandal forced him to resign. Subsequently, the income-tax department probing instances of tax evasion in the Jain hawala case revealed he had undisclosed income to the tune of Rs 30 crore.
That Sonia Gandhi appointed him Governor of Bihar in November last year — three months before the assembly election — despite this unflattering record explains why Buta Singh has every reason to be grateful and has to perform according to instructions. Appointments to Raj Bhavan had been politicised long before Buta arrived in Patna. Buta Singh perhaps represents the new low to which such appointments sink; others with some reputation to protect may not have been persuaded in similar fashion to serve specific vested interests.
The Congress had by then surrendered whatever ammunition it had to Lalu with whom it hoped to share power in the state — a grave miscalculation judging by the results. However, the fractured verdict made it possible to use Buta to stall anyone who could grab power and make things difficult for Lalu. Buta clearly had a political brief.

Lalu factor
Nothing, therefore, that he has done should cause any surprise. It is in the interest of the party that appointed him to ensure that Lalu has his way even when he is out of power regardless of the alarming consequences. It will spare Manmohan Singh the threats held out by Lalu with his flock of 21 MPs — the same reason why he compelled the Congress to give him the Railway portfolio and induct as ministers some on the wanted list. That will also buy time to help reverse the verdict in November. Reinstalling Lalu is a guarantee too that the UPA will last its full term — that is, if the Left doesn’t pull the rug on the multitude of issues that it keeps raising to no effect.
The Left’s principles on coalition politics are scarcely different from Lalu’s, the common factor being that both have tasted power for the first time at the Centre and are in no mood to sacrifice that privilege. The difference is that while the Left pretends to be defiant and earnest about keeping the government on its toes, Lalu is more of a backstage operator. He has nothing to shout about, especially after the Supreme Court’s orders on matters that have been dragging on at a pace that suits him.
His single-minded objective is to create the conditions to enable him to win the election. For that purpose he needs people like Mohammed Shahabuddin whether or not he has 42 criminal cases against his name. He also needs handpicked friends in the police and administration — those whom he trusts will make it happen in the November election.
This must be seen as the context in which 17 IPS officers were transferred against the wishes of the state’s chief secretary. Some of them were engaged in carrying out court orders against high-profile gangsters used shamelessly by political parties during election time. They became hurdles for Lalu and, with just a few months left for the poll, Buta was in a hurry to set things “right’’ for the RJD obviously with instructions from the right quarters. This explains why, after being summoned to Delhi, there is no sign of remorse or that he has been restrained.
Instead, he seems to have emerged stronger after the crude display of power. A defiant chief secretary has been put in his place and the transfers have gone through. He may also have confirmed that he expects everyone else to either fall in line or suffer the consequences of their corrective drives.

IAS protests
Thus the protests, even those by the IAS association in Bihar, are not likely to make a difference in a climate where the general approach is to give in to pressures. One may have expected an organised resistance outside the RJD-Congress circuit to the extent that would result in some concessions. But if the Governor gets away with everything, it is perhaps because there are too many skeletons in too many cupboards.
On the last occasion, the Election Commission’s proactive role did yield positive results. It will be a tragedy if Buta’s latest excesses serve to neutralise all that the EC did in February and is expected to do so again in November. At the same time, it must be said that there is a limit to which the EC can go in restraining the Governor. The election is yet to be formally announced and all that the EC can do — and which it has done — is to restrain Buta Singh from transferring election-related officers. That may not be enough to undo the damage.
The saving grace is that the final outcome, hopefully, rests with voters who have demonstrated in no uncertain measure that even in Bihar there is a place for principles. It could not offer an alternative — perhaps because there wasn’t any — but it proved beyond doubt that it wanted change. Whether or not it reaffirms that verdict remains to be seen. But if the Governor persists with his desperate acts of partisanship, even a compliant administration and police may discover that he indeed is a liability to those he intends to serve.

Para-teachers may take to Naxalite path

Statesman News Service

KRISHNAGAR, Aug. 12. — At a time when the CPI-M government has come up with several development projects to combat the Maoist menace, hundreds of para-teachers are toying with the idea of a Naxalite-type movement to get their demands fulfilled.
The teachers who are frustrated with the state government’s decision on the para-teacher issue have started knocking the doors of the ultra-Left Naxalite organisations such as the CPI-Maoist and CPI-ML Liberation. Some of those teachers have already discussed the issue with leaders of these organisations.
The Liberation’s state secretary, Mr Kartick Paul, said: “We will welcome those teachers who are willing to work with us.”
The state secretary of the West Bengal Para-Teachers’ Association, Mr Gopal Debnath, said: “Many teachers want to issue an ultimatum but I have restrained them from taking that path. But I can’t hold them back for long. If the state government continues to be strict about its decision on para-teachers, many teachers may join the Naxalite organisations”.
He also said: “It is interesting that most of the para-teachers have come from Left-families or pro-Left families. These youths who are frustrated with the CPI-M government’s policies have become restless now.”
The teachers who are in favour of a Naxalite movement say: “Ebar amra jana juddha korbo, tahale ora bujhte parbe (We have to join the People’s War from now on to teach the government a lesson), a teacher from Thanarpara shouted yesterday when they were coming out en masse from the Nadia Zilla Parishad after being beaten up by the police.
Yesterday, hundreds of para-teachers were beaten up by the police. The police fired two rounds in the air before resorting to a lathi-charge.
Following the incident, the CPI-ML Liberation has called a 12-hour Nadia bandh tomorrow to protest against the alleged police atrocities on the teachers. Several parties have condemned the incident.
The Liberation state secretary, Mr Paul, said steps should be taken for permanent employment of para-teachers. He also demanded punishment for those policemen who had beaten up the teachers.
The para-teachers today observed a black-day to protest against yesterday’s incident.

NSC reviews situation in Nepal

Friday, 12 August , 2005, 20:12

New Delhi: A meeting of the National Security Council (NSC), chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on Friday reviewed the latest situation in Nepal following the seizure of power by King Gyanendra six months ago.


“We reviewed the situation in Nepal", Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said after a 90-minute meeting of the council at the Prime Minister’s residence.

Asked if any other issue came up for discussion, Mukherjee said only Nepal issue was deliberated upon.

The meeting assumes significance in the wake of recent step up in activities of Maoists along the Indo-Nepal border in Bihar and their reported linkages with Naxal groups in the country like the PWG and Maoist Communist Centre.

Nepal says Indian guns let it down in rebel battle

12.08.2005 - 14:10
By Gopal Sharma

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - The Nepali army said on Friday faulty Indian assault rifles were partly responsible for its heavy death toll in a gun battle with Maoist rebels as troops hunted for 75 soldiers still missing after the fighting.

Forty-three soldiers and a civilian were killed when hundreds of rebels attacked an army base in the remote Kalikot district, 600 km (375 miles) from the capital, Kathmandu, late on Sunday.

The Maoists, fighting to topple Nepal's monarchy and establish communist rule, say they captured 52 soldiers after the raid, a claim rejected by the army.

Army spokesman Brigadier-General Dipak Gurung said the Indian-manufactured INSAS rifles malfunctioned during the fighting which continued for about 10 hours.

"Soldiers complained that the INSAS rifles did not function properly during the fighting which lasted for a long time," Gurung told a news conference when asked why the army death toll was high.

"May be the weapons we were using were not designed for a long fight. They malfunctioned," he said.

There were also fewer troops at the base as it was a road construction project and not a fighting base, he added.

The army casualties were the heaviest since Maoist violence escalated after King Gyanendra seized direct power in February by sacking the multiparty government.

"There were stoppages during the firing ... the rifles got hot and soldiers had to wait for them to cool," another officer told Reuters.

India is a key military supplier to the poorly equipped Nepali army. But New Delhi suspended arms supplies six months ago after the king's power grab to press the monarch to restore multi-party democracy and civil liberties.

Nepali troops have complained in the past about technical problems with the Indian designed and built INSAS or Indian Small Arms System assault rifle.

Indian troops using the rifle are also known to have faced difficulties using it, Indian defence experts say. Indian defence officials declined to react to the Nepali comments.

The nine-year Maoist revolt has scared away investors in the desperately cash-strapped nation and wrecked the economy that is heavily dependent on international aid and tourism.

More than 12,500 people have died in the conflict and tens of thousands of people have fled their homes to towns or to neighbouring India to escape the conflict.

Maoists blasted a police station in Bihar's Nalanda district , 2 Killed

Saturday August 13 2005 00:00 IST
IANS

PATNA: Suspected Maoists blasted a police station in Bihar's Nalanda district, killing two police personnel.

Nalanda district police officials said a group of 70-80 armed Maoists of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist attacked the Chhabilapur police station early on Friday and blew up both the old and new building of that post by dynamite.

"The blast was powerful and two policemen, including a constable, were killed in their sleep," said an official. Two other personnel were seriously injured and taken to the Sadar hospital.

Sources said the policemen were rendered virtually helpless as the Maoists had looted seven rifles and over 200 cartridges from the police station.

Maoists have also threatened another bomb blast in the Vishrampur village of the Rohtas district, if villagers failed to apologise to them for "violating" their orders.

The threat has caused panic among the villagers, who have formed their own armed front to face any attack.

Bihar police chief Ashish Ranjan Sinha said a large number of forces were deployed in the village, and people had been assured safety and security.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Top Maoist Naxalite leader Dasari Alivelu surrenders

Correspondent

Cites ill-health, disillusionment as reasons

MAHABUBNAGAR ( ANDHRA PRADESH) : Top Maoist leader Dasari Alivelu alias Bhagyakka, surrendered before the Superintendent of Police, Vikram Singh Mann here on Thursday. Alivelu (30), a CPI Maoist area committee member, joined the PWG in 1996 along with her three brothers. She was in the party for almost a decade and committed several offences in the district. On her decision to surrender, Alivelu said she was disillusioned with the party ideology. Constant ill health and harsh conditions in the forest were also cited as reasons.

Bomb blast injures labourers

MALDA, Aug.11. — Three labourers were injured, when a bomb, contained in a bag, exploded at Eklakhi in the Gazole police station area of Malda district this morning, police said. The labourers were constructing a BSNL tower when the incident occurred.
Police have not ruled out the possibility of the involvement of militant outfits in the incident. “We are inquiring into the incident,” the Malda SP, Mr DK Mondal, said.
Mr Mondal said that 11 labourers came here from Kolkata to work on the project. “Some of them have been posted elsewhere. We will interrogate all of them. All labourers belong to the minority community,” the SP added.
“We are trying to contact the assigned contractor who had engaged them 15 days ago with a view to collecting the details of the labourers,” he added.
“The bomb was very powerful guessing from the sound of blast,” the SP informed. The condition of one of the injured labourers was stated to be critical.
Panic gripped the people after the news of the blast spread in the area. Unofficial sources said that a Maoist group might be involved in the blast.
Police have tightened the security arrangement in the district in the wake of the blast. Since Independence Day is round the corner, they are leaving no stone unturned to ensure security here. — SNS

Blast greets cops’ meet to fight Naxalite menace

Statesman News Service

RANCHI, Aug. 11. — As a high-level meeting of senior police officers of six states to discuss and formulate plans for combating Naxalite rebels concluded in Ranchi today, extremists blew off railway tracks near Latehar in the Barwadih-Barkakhana section of the East Central Railway.

Latest reports from the area indicate that the gunbattle was still continuing between the extremists and the police. One company of CRPF jawans has been rushed to the spot. The SP of Latehar has also rushed to the area with additional police force. There have been no comments on casualties or injuries so far on the part of the police.

According to information, there were intelligence reports with the railways about attempts of subversive activities along the tracks in the section. As a result, the railways had decided to patrol special trains to detect any abnormality along the busy route.

In another incident late yesterday evening, rebels barged into the station master’s office of Hehegarah station close to Latehar and assaulted him and other station staff including the porters.

Naxal Spy arrested

Police punch holes in tribal ‘spy’ arrest

OUR CORRESPONDENT

Jamshedpur, Aug. 11: The arrest of 20-year-old tribal Durga Soren from a village in Ghatshila subdivision on charges of spying for the Naxalites has raised many an eyebrow within the district police.

The police claimed that Soren, a school dropout, was nabbed by the Dhalbhumgarh police during patrolling on August 5.

According to them, Durga was supposed to have tipped off the rebels about the movement of the police vehicles on December 8, last year, which enabled the rebels to attack the police by laying landmines on the route. The attack had killed four police personnel.

“Durga was very much involved with the rebels and used to guide them in different villages in Dumuria and Ghurabandha area. He was in constant touch with the rebels,” senior police officials claimed after his arrest.

However, police insiders admit that local villagers of Khejurdari when asked about Durga’s connection with the rebels denied there was any link between the two.

“We had asked a lot of villagers about Durga’s activities. None of them had said anything about him being a spy of the Naxalites,” said a police official at Ghatshila subdivision.

The youth has also vehemently denied the charges.

“He confessed during the interrogation that the rebels used to come to his house to have food and that he helped them put up posters at different times. But that happens with a lot of villagers. But to pick on one particular youth for that is not the absolutely right thing to do. This shall surely have an adverse impact on the other villagers,” cautioned a section of the police officials.

Police officials who have worked in Naxalite-infested areas feel there are hundreds of cases in each police stations of the state where villagers give food and shelter to the rebels.

“The villagers have to abide by the diktat of the rebels because of fear. But to arrest villagers for this would be detrimental in fighting the rebels. The villagers shall stop providing any information to the police. We feel that rather than concentrating on nabbing such elements, the police must concentrate on arresting the main rebels who are the masterminds of all activities,” suggested a police officer.

If sources in the Dhalbhumgarh police are to be believed, the arrest of Durga did not go well within the villagers either.

“I have got to hear that they are pretty angry about the arrest. They are cursing the cops and I fear they will not cooperate any more with us,” the police personnel added.

WEST BENGAL : I-Day fears ring alarm

NARESH JANA AND RANJAN LAHIRY

Midnapore/Kanksa, Aug. 11: With Independence Day around the corner, security agencies are giving final touches to their plans to pre-empt a Naxalite offensive, particularly along railway tracks.

Senior railway police officials on Tuesday held a meeting with officers of the special operations group — the wing formed to combat CPI (Maoist) extremists in Bengal — in the West Midnapore circuit house.

In the brainstorming that lasted five hours, officials of three Naxalite-infested districts — West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia — and the criminal investigation department (CID) shared information with the railway security establishment.

The move followed a caution from intelligence agencies against Maoist attacks on, before or after August 15.

On Monday, senior railway officials held another round of meeting with the West Midnapore police brass in Jhargram.

Officials there, including inspector-general of police (railways) Mukul Sengupta and special inspector-general (railways) Sadhan Mandal, expressed concern over the Maoists’ threat.

“Although the Maoists in Bengal have not targeted tracks like in Assam or Jharkhand, we are not ruling out the possibility,” Sengupta said.

S.S. Panda, the superintendent of railway police, Kharagpur, said: “We have decided to provide more security personnel on long-distance trains and intensify vigil at important stations. Besides, close watch will be kept on the tracks.”

The rebels have apparently strengthened their organisation in the forest areas of Kanksa in Burdwan.

In a bid to draw more villagers into their fold, CPI (Maoist) leaders are said to be screening video clippings of their activities in Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand and playing recorded speeches of the firebrand rebels.

Intelligence reports have said that a group of 70 youths has already joined the organisation.

No intention to hold talks with naxals: Centre

PATIL
NEW DELHI, AUG 11 (PTI)

The Centre today asserted that it does not intend to hold talks with any naxal outfit directly but would provide all possible assistance to affected states to tackle the problem.

Making a statement on recommendations of 109th Report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Home Affairs on Demands for Grants (2004-05), Home Minister Shivraj Patil said in the Lok Sabha that his ministry has accepted all th 24 suggestions fully or with slight modifications except one.

The recommendation not accepted by the Home Ministry relates to holding of a broad, comprehensive and meaningful dialogue by the Union government with all extremist organisations who abjure the path of violence to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the problem.

"This has not been accepted as the Central government does not intend to hold talks with any naxal outfit directly," Patil said, adding however that the union government will continue to provide all possible assistance to the affected states to tackle the problem.

With regard to Jammu and Kashmir, the minister said there has been a "noticeable decline" in the terrorist-related violence and the killing of civilians since 2002.

On infiltration, Patil said the influx from across the frontier still continues even though there has been a substantial decrease over the year continued during the current year.

JOINT TASK FORCE TO TACKLE NAXALITES : QUESTION IN PARLIAMENT

QUESTIONS ASKED BY : DR. VIJAY MALLYA ,LALIT SURI

ANSWERED BY MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS( SHRI SRIPRAKASH JAISWAL )

Will the Minister of HOME AFFAIRS be pleased to state:-


(a) what are the recommendations made by the Co-ordination Committee of the 13 Naxalite- affected States held on 17th June, 2005 at Hyderabad;

ANSWER : : The 18th meeting of the Coordination Centre, held in Hyderabad on 17.6.2005, inter-alia, decided to undertake Joint Inter-State anti-naxalite operations, strengthening of Task Forces/Special Police, need to effectively neutralize IED/landmine blasts, encouragement of local resistance groups/Defence Committees, special strategy for targeted districts, speedy implementation of PESA Act and land reform laws, and accelerated socio- economic development of the affected areas through special monitoring and delivery mechanisms.

(b) whether the 13 Naxalite-affected States have arrived at a consensus to ban Naxalite organizations;

ANSWER : No such proposal was considered in the meeting. CPML-PW and MCCI, the two prominent naxalite outfits are banned as terrorist organizations under the Unlawful Activities(Prevention) Act 1967 as amended in 2004.

(c) whether it is a fact that Joint-Task force to tackle Naxalites has been formed; and

(d) whether Karnataka also figure among them?

ANSWER : It was decided in the above Coordination Centre meeting to set up two Joint Inter-State Task Forces of the naxalite affected States. Karnataka is not included in these Task Forces.

SPREAD OF NAXALISM , QUESTION RAISED IN PARLIAMENT

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS
RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 1809
TO BE ANSWERED ON 10.08.2005


By SHRI ABU ASIM AZMI , AMAR SINGH



Will the Minister of HOME AFFAIRS be pleased to state:-


(a) whether Government are aware that Naxalism has spread from one village in West Bengal to 7000 villages and now control 19 per cent of India`s forest areas;

(b) if so, whether Government have ever examined the main reasons for the spread of this movement which had adversely affected more than 300 million people by Naxal-related violence and if so, the details thereof; and

(c) what are the details of steps Government propose to take to remedy the situation?


ANSWER


MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS

(SHRI SRIPRAKASH JAISWAL)


(a): 76 districts in 9 States namely Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattrisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are affected by naxalite violence/activity in varying degrees. Besides, naxalites are also trying to spread their influence in some parts of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Uttaranchal.

(b): Socio-economic disparities, some local issues such as threat of eviction from forest areas lack of development backwardness and inadequate/ineffective mechanisms for redressal of public grievances are some of the reasons, which are exploited by the naxalites in spreading their activities.

(c): The Central Government has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to tackle the problem of naxalism which includes

(a) having a peace dialogue by the affected States, wherever feasible, with naxalite groups willing to abjure violence,

(b) modernization and strengthening of the State Police forces, long term deployment of Para Military forces, intensified intelligence based well-coordinated anti-naxalite operations,

(c) focused attention on integrated development of the affected areas and

(d) gearing up of public grievances redressal system and creation of Local Resistance Groups.

Regional Maoists meet in Rajshahi over next plan

Thursday August 11 2005 09:46:32 AM BDT


Anwar Ali, Rajshahi


Underground Maoist operatives yesterday launched a three-day meeting in an unknown part of Rajshahi division, in anticipation of this year's annual conference of the Coordination Committee of Maoists Parties and Organisations in South Asia (CCOMPOSA), to be held in Bangladesh.

"We are sitting today somewhere along the Bangladeshi frontier with India in Rajshahi division to hold the CCOMPOSA meeting successfully," confirmed an advisory level leader of Purba Banglar Communist Party's (PBCP Marxist-Leninist) Red Flag faction.


During a cell phone call, the anonymous Rajshahi regional leader informed that two delegates from India, one of them from Naxalbari, the very birthplace of the Maoist guerrilla movement, were attending the meeting.


South Asian Maoists will hold an 11-day long 4th meeting of CCOMPOSA somewhere along the Bangladeshi frontier with India by December this year. Some 50 delegates around South Asia are likely to attend, shaping future strategies.

The 17-day long third meeting was held somewhere in Jharkhand in India last year.


The CCOMPOSA is a combine of left-wing extremist organisations in four South Asian countries -- Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.


The PBCP has been reorganizing in the northwestern region for what they termed, 'avenging state-sponsored atrocities on people so far' by law enforcing agencies and Bangla Bhai's Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh.


As part of this, they recently trained 35 cadres from Bhutan in bomb techniques and guerrilla warfare using sophisticated arms, including AK-47s. Indian separatist rebels ULFA and KLO imparted the week-long training to over 150 operatives around South Asia.


Their recent posters, put up on the occasion of the 33rd death anniversary of Naxalite movement founder Charu Majumder, called for an 'Extension of the existing drive of eliminating class enemies to attacks on state machineries'.


The PBCP men are frequently visiting areas and collecting money, according to sources. "The PBCP men collected money from two businessmen in Sakoa and Baroihati in Bagmara a few weeks ago," said a witness.


Mastar Da and Rakesh Kamal have now been leading the largest Red Flag faction since its split from the Mofakkhar Chowdhury group in the mid 90s.

Dr Rafikul Islam, also known as Tutul Daktar and Alam, Bikash Ranjan, Tara Pada Roy, Atul Biswas, Titas, Fazel, Ratan, Titas, Tara and Abu Sayeed Maker are accompanying him.


The group killed some 50 political leaders, businessmen and landlords in a span of ten years. They have been hiding since the anti-outlaw operations by JMJB beginning in April last year.


"People here are hostage to the operatives. They hardly trust law enforcing agencies, which never proved sincere", said Rafiqul Islam, a resident of Taherpur in Bagmara.


The law enforcing agencies here, however, said there was nothing to be worried about as they were closely monitoring the situation.


The dailY Star
Bangaladesh.web

Maoists hack two informers to death

Thursday August 11 2005 13:48 IST

VISAKHAPATNAM: CPI (Maoist) cadres killed two former Naxalites in Pedavalasa village of G K Veedhi mandal in Visakhapatnam district, suspecting them to be police informers.

According to the police, Jartha Bujjibabu alias Arun and another surrendered Naxalite were hacked to death by the Maoists late Tuesday night. Arun surrendered to the police last week. The police could not establish the identity of the other deceased.

Speaking to reporters, Home Minister K Jana Reddy condemned the incident and described it as a revenge attack.

Superintendent of Police Srinivasa Rao wondered how Arun could give information about the Maoists to the police within one week after surrender.

He said the Maoist killed another man in such a brutal manner that it was almost impossible to identify him. In his opinion, the Maoists are committing such murders as they are unable to accept the fact that tribal youth are not interested in Naxalism.

Maoists kill two `police informers'

Special Correspondent

Deceased accused of leaking information about martyrs' memorial

http://www.hindu.com/2005/08/11/
stories/2005081108020400.htm



VISAKHAPATNAM: A member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) who surrendered to the police less than a week ago and another person were shot dead by Maoists near the demolished Peda Valasa martyrs' memorial in G.K. Veedhi mandal on Tuesday night, according to information received on Wednesday.

The Maoists shot dead Jarta Bujji Babu alias Arun of Sarpagandi village and the other person said to be Jarta Prasad of Mandapalli village under Matham Bhimavaram panchayat in Koyyuru mandal, alleging that they were acting as police informers.

The party wanted to unveil a memorial at Nerellabanda village on August 3 as part of Martyrs' Week celebrations, which they had managed to complete without interference from the police. Bujji Babu and Prasad allegedly leaked the information about the programme to the police.

The two were shot dead by a dalam, consisting mostly of women naxalites. A top woman leader of the CPI (Maoist) was reportedly present.

Superintendent of Police V.V. Srinivasa Rao condemned the killing of the two girijans. "This is to create terror among girijans who want to quit the CPI (Maoist) and lead a normal life, as they are not able to withstand the tyranny of the party," he said.
The police wanted people's organisations and girijan associations to condemn the incident.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Chhattisgarh seeks report on Maoist attack

Indo-Asian News Service


Raipur, Aug 10 (IANS) The Chhattisgarh government has sought a report on a Maoist attack in which two relatives of the leader of the opposition in the state assembly were killed.

Sources said that home ministry has asked the civil and police authorities of Danetwada district for separate reports about Tuesday's attack in Farsapal village, one of the most heavily guarded of Chhattisgarh, along the Andhra Pradesh border.

Two close relatives of veteran Congress leader Mahendra Karma were killed in the attack.

The government has expressed surprise over the attack as a large contingent of the local police and the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force is deployed in the village to protect Karma's family.

"We see the attack a challenge to the government as they (the Maoists) managed to raid an area in which there was heavy police deployment. Those officers who underestimate the Maoists strength would have to pay the price," a home department official told IANS.

The government has also asked Additional Director General of Police S.K. Paswan, an expert on anti-Maoist operations, to camp in the area and track down the attackers.

Unfazed by the killings, Karma said at Farsapal village Wednesday the attack would not deter him from his decade-long movement to weed out extremism from the Bastar region, which comprises Kanker, Bastar and Dantewada districts.

Stir stepped up for release of ‘Maoist linkman’

Statesman News Service
SILIGURI, Aug 10. — Welfare and human rights organisations agitating against the arrest of alleged Maoist link person Mr Debasish Chakrabarty, stepped up their stir yesterday demanding his release.
Mr Chakrabarty was arrested on charges of harbouring links with Maoist activists on 29 July. The arrest met with severe protests from all corners including from human rights organisations in Kolkata. Mr Chakrabarty, who is a member of the Siliguri Welfare Organisation and the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights, is yet to receive bail. In continuation of the ongoing agitation demanding Mr Chakrabarty’s release, 40 organisations including the APDR and the SWO launched a 72-hour sit-in-demonstration near the Siliguri court premises yesterday.
Representatives of welfare units, human rights and non-government organisations from Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar, Lataguri and Malbazar are participating in the 72-hour demonstration along with several organisations from Siliguri sub-division.The agitation, which has snowballed in the past few days, is now showing signs of spinning out of hand.
According to the SWO secretary, Mr Dipankar Chakrabarty, a bail petition for the release of the arrested person would be moved at the additional sessions judge, first court on 12 August.
The agitators are, however, aware that the charges levelled against Mr Chakrabarty are serious in nature and would require a specific amount of time before his bail can be secured.
Under the circumstances, the agitators have decided to mobilise public opinion throughout North Bengal through a series of programmes.
“A mass convention has been convened on 14 August in Siliguri and over 80 organisations from all over North Bengal have consented to attend the convention. The future course of action would be drawn from the convention,” the SWO secretary said.
It was learnt that the agitators intend to cover every angle before launching a bandh in North Bengal any day after 17 August.
According to the agitators, petitions containing signatures of the intelligentsia from North Bengal and Kolkata would be sent to the chief minister and the governor urging Mr Chakrabarty’s release.
“If that does not work, other programmes such as roadblocks, rallies and a token bandh for a short duration would be held before calling a bandh throughout North Bengal,” the agitators said.

Doctors caught in Maoist bind

Bihar Police go on a spree to round up doctors for treating injured Nepalis

By Deeptiman Tiwary
New Delhi
HOW DO I KNOW THEY
ARE NEPALI MAOISTS? I DON’T DISCUSS LANGUAGE, POLITICS, GUNS OR RED FLAGS. I ONLY FOLLOW MY SACRED DUTY...


Many Maoists keep coming to India for treatment, and these doctors make money by hiding
information, says Muzaffarpur SP Amit Lorha
Ever since suspected Nepali Maoists attacked the small town of Madhuban, in Purbi Champaran district of Bihar, the police have been overeager in cracking down on anyone remotely linked to the militants. The latest to fall in the loop are doctors treating Nepali patients.

Dr Ajay Kumar Sinha, a surgeon in Muzaffarpur, was arrested on June 26 on charges of sedition and treason for treating six injured Nepali patients, suspected to be Maoists. On July 9, at about 6.30pm, the police arrested Dr Qamruzzaman from his clinic in Bettiah on similar charges. His crime: treating two Nepalis without informing police. Sinha and Qamruzzaman have been in the Muzaffarpur and Bettiah jails since then. Two other doctors — Dr Ramnarayan Singh, a government orthopaedic surgeon, and Dr DP Singh, retired civil surgeon and eye specialist — whom the patients were referred to by Qamruzzaman, have got a reprieve from arrest, however, after physicians rose in protest.

Doctors view the issue as an unwarranted harassment, and an intrusion that will adversely affect the profession. Dr VK Patole, a member of CPI(ML) New Democracy, says, “Which law prevents treating Nepali patients? Every patient is the same for a doctor; his foremost duty is to treat him. Such harassment will sow fear among doctors, and they might think twice about treating an injured patient from now on.” The Indian Medical Association (IMA), too, has condemned the crackdown. IMA Secretary General Dr Vinay Aggarwal says, “Gagging the medical profession is wrong and completely unacceptable. The Supreme Court allows doctors to deal with emergency situations. As doctors, we do not discriminate between patients. And on whose face is it written that he is a Maoist?”

The arrests have a dubious air about them. In the Bettiah arrest, the police had gone looking for thieves in the nearby village of Barwat Sena. During the search, they stumbled upon two suspected Maoists injured in a skirmish with the Royal Nepalese Army. Interrogations revealed that both were treated at Qamruzzaman’s clinic, leading to his arrest. Dr Patole, who has been fighting for Qamruzzaman’s release, alleges that though he was arrested at 6.30pm, his statement was recorded only four hours later, and he was presented before the magistrate after two days. Dr Patole says the delay shows that police didn’t know what charges to press. To strengthen their case, the police later added in the fir that the Maoists were planning to loot the police station, he says. “The question is, how could injured Maoists loot the thana,” asks Patole.

Bettiah Superintendent of Police (SP) MK Nair denies the allegations. “There is nothing like that. Everything was done in accordance with the law. We might not have much evidence as of now, but then, aren’t arrests made on suspicion?” He stonewalled further queries, saying, “You are asking too many questions that I can’t answer.”

Similarly in Sinha’s arrest, the police have recorded statements that the six Maoists arrested were planning to attack government establishments, despite the fact that they couldn’t even walk. Muzaffarpur SP Amit Lorha says, “We arrested the doctor and the Maoists under Section 125 of the IPC. Because of the porous borders, many of these Maoists keep coming to India for treatment, and these doctors make money by hiding their information. We are only trying to break this nexus.”



Aug 13 , 2005

Maoists kill Congress leader's relatives

Indo-Asian News Service


Raipur, Aug 9 (IANS) Over 50 suspected Maoist guerrillas attacked and killed two close relatives of Chhattisgarh opposition leader Mahendra Karma early Tuesday in spite of heavy security cover for his family.

Congress veteran Karma's relatives were killed by Communist Party of India-Maoist rebels in his native village, 483 km from here, in Dantewada district.

"Maoists raided Faraspal village and pumped bullets into Suku Karma, 52, and Sukhram, 50, around 3 or 4 a.m. Tuesday, killing both on the spot," Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam told IANS.

He said the deceased were Karma's cousins.

"It's surprising how guerrillas raided Karma's village as one company of the state police force and a good number of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers are deployed for the security of the Congress leader's family," Netam said.

Chief Minister Raman Singh has strongly condemned the incident and described it as "a sign of growing frustration among guerrillas due to the success of people's anti-Maoist movement" that broke out in June.

The killing came soon after a top Maoist leader in Bastar described Karma as a top enemy.


--Indo-Asian News Service

AP: 2 seriously injured in bomb blast

Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | August 09, 2005 18:32 IST



Several people were injured, two of them seriously, when a tiffin-box bomb exploded at the bus station complex in Karimnagar district in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday.

The police sounded a red alert in the district following the incident. The district police suspect the hand of extremists, linked to the Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan, behind the incident even though the involvement of naxalite groups is also not being ruled out.

Also read: Four naxals killed in encounter

"Preliminary investigations by the bomb disposal squad indicate the presence of high explosives like tri-nitro toluene. Prima facie, it is the handiwork of extremists. However, till further tests are conducted and investigation is completed, we would not like to say which group is involved," Karimnagar superintendent of police D S Chauhan said.

The incident occurred between 9.30 and 9.45 am in front of platforms 5 & 6 of the district bus station complex meant for Hyderabad and Mumbai-bound buses.

A passenger noticed smoke coming out of a tiffin box wrapped in plastic bag kept on a cement concrete seat meant for waiting passengers.

He alerted the RTC bus crews. Even as a RTC security guard was approaching the site, an explosion took place, causing injuries to persons standing nearby.

In all, 20 passengers, bus crew members and other bystanders were injured. They were immediately shifted to the government hospital in the town. One critically injured person was later shifted to Hyderabad and another seriously injured person was admitted to the MGM hospital at Warangal.

The explosion triggered panic and people ran helter skelter. Superintendent of Police D S Chauhan rushed to the spot with a bomb disposal squad and forensic team.

"We have not yet achieved a breakthrough in the case as to which extremist group or terrorist organisation is involved," a district police official said. "We are investigating the incident from all angles," he added.

Election panel invites Maoists

Statesman News Service

RANCHI, Aug. 10. — The Jharkhand State Election Commissioner welcomed all Maoist outfits of the state to take part in the upcoming panchayat poll process and come to the mainstream political scene.

“We want the Naxalite rebels of the state to take part in the general electoral process and get involved into the mainstream of the society”, said Mr G Krishnan, the state election commissioner.

Mr Krishnan has already held a high-level meeting with all district commissioners of the state on the upcoming panchayat polls. State election commission sources informed that the meeting was mainly focused on the ways and means of holding free and fair polls in the rebel dominated districts. After the meeting, the election commissioner has expressed his satisfaction on the progress of the meeting. He has also informed that more meetings would be held on the same line in the following days.

“Most of the district commissioners have expressed their eagerness to hold the polls and many of them have also come upwith specific proposals. The Commission would surely consider them with due importance”, added Mr Krishnan. Incidentally, the district commissioners of Gumla and Chaibasha districts have urged the state election commission to defer the polling process in those blocks scheduled for the first round, to the second round.

Among others present in the meeting were the state home secretary Mr JB Tubid, the state DGP Mr BD Ram, the state intelligence chief Mr GS Rath and the state rural development department secretary Mr RS Sharma.

Naxalites use satellite phones

Intelligence agencies in the State have one more reason to be wary. Satellite phones are the new menace with Maoists cleverly using this new tool to communicate among themselves.

Special Intelligence Branch of the State intelligence department which deals with Naxals strongly suspect that top Maoists District Commanders use these phones because it is difficult for intelligence officials to track or tap satellite phone conversations, thus making it a foolproof method of communication for extremists.

P. Krishna Sashtry cyber forensic expert says, “The satellite phones which use the global positioning technology are used widely by extremists all over the world. Al-Qaida operatives change phones often and keep calls short to discourage tracking. The satellite phone users can even exchange SMS with other cell phone users too.

Mumbai mafia, D gang and our naxals are suspected to be using them.” He adds that satellite phones come in handy during natural calamities like the floods, where most communication lines break down. But now they are in the hands of criminal elements.

The rental charges of these handsets per week will be around 40 dollars and per month around 150 dollars. They can be easily bought online and dispatched to the necessary location. Director General of Police Swaranjit Sen when contacted says, “We have found two phones which belonged to Naxals but it is too early to make a comment.”

DeccanChronicle

Security tightened in police stations in Krishnagiri , Karnataka

Wednesday August 10 2005 00:00 IST

HOSUR: Krishnagiri district police has tightened security in eight rural police stations to protect them from possible attacks from banned outfits.

Mathur, Kandhikuppam, Bargur, Uthangarai, Maharajakadai, Samalpatti, Singarapettai and Bargur are the eight police stations where security has been tightened. All these towns have already been notified as Naxal-infested areas in government records.

Sand bags were piled up at the entrances of these police stations so the cops could retaliate if any untoward incidents occurred.

It is speculated that the Naxals would create problems on Independence Day. In addition to tight security at police stations, more than 120 men from the Tamil Nadu Special Police battalion were also deployed across the district.

Apart from this, an additional police force has been deployed in check posts on the border areas of Krishnagiri district, with a view to prevent Naxals from infiltrating into TN from Andhra Pradesh.

For the past three days, the entire area in the neighbouring district of Dharmapuri had come under police cover after the police detected 10 hurricane lamps filled with powerful explosive materials.

Dharmapuri Superintendent of Police H T Jayram has formed three police teams, led by Naxal Special Division Wing (NSDW) Inspector Sendhil, Dharmapuri Q Branch Inspector Raja Kaleeswaran and Madhigonpalayam station Inspector Sekar respectively, to nab the culprits.

Dharmapuri Collector Suddep Jain also issued a Press note appealing to the public to alert the police if they came across any suspicious objects.

Meanwhile, police arrested a person while he was roaming around with a gunny bag in Singarapettai on Monday. Police recovered a few explosives from his gunny bag. The accused, identified as Das Muhammed (57), was taken in police custody for interrogation.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

West Bengal plan to counter Maoist menace

KOLKATA, Aug. 9.– The state government is planning to introduce “abadi” cultivation- an alternative farming project that has already proved successful in the dry areas of Gujarat to counter the Maoist menace in the underdeveloped areas of Purulia and Bankura.

The cultivation would be initiated in one block each of Purulia and Bankura. The tribal population is about 50 percent in these two districts and the Maoists have created panic for the authorities here by using the “underdevelopment weapon.”
The Bandwan block of Purulia and the Ranibandh block of Bankura have been selected for the pilot project that has been floated to uplift the financial condition of the underdeveloped areas. Mr Upen Kisku, the backward class welfare minister, announced this after holding a meeting with the chief secretary and the district magistrates at Writers Building today. — SNS

AP: 2 seriously injured in bomb blast

Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | August 09, 2005 18:32 IST


Several people were injured, two of them seriously, when a tiffin-box bomb exploded at the bus station complex in Karimnagar district in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday.

The police sounded a red alert in the district following the incident. The district police suspect the hand of extremists, linked to the Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan, behind the incident even though the involvement of naxalite groups is also not being ruled out.

Also read: Four naxals killed in encounter

"Preliminary investigations by the bomb disposal squad indicate the presence of high explosives like tri-nitro toluene. Prima facie, it is the handiwork of extremists. However, till further tests are conducted and investigation is completed, we would not like to say which group is involved," Karimnagar superintendent of police D S Chauhan said.

The incident occurred between 9.30 and 9.45 am in front of platforms 5 & 6 of the district bus station complex meant for Hyderabad and Mumbai-bound buses.

A passenger noticed smoke coming out of a tiffin box wrapped in plastic bag kept on a cement concrete seat meant for waiting passengers.

He alerted the RTC bus crews. Even as a RTC security guard was approaching the site, an explosion took place, causing injuries to persons standing nearby.

In all, 20 passengers, bus crew members and other bystanders were injured. They were immediately shifted to the government hospital in the town. One critically injured person was later shifted to Hyderabad and another seriously injured person was admitted to the MGM hospital at Warangal.

The explosion triggered panic and people ran helter skelter. Superintendent of Police D S Chauhan rushed to the spot with a bomb disposal squad and forensic team.

"We have not yet achieved a breakthrough in the case as to which extremist group or terrorist organisation is involved," a district police official said. "We are investigating the incident from all angles," he added.

Orissa CM rules out CBI probe

Statesman News Service
BHUBANESWAR, Aug. 9. — The Opposition onslaught over the tender-fixing scandal ended in a whimper today. Chief minister Mr Naveen Patnaik not only rejected the demand for a CBI probe but also managed to hit back at the Congress as well as the UPA government.
“I have full faith in the impartiality and effectiveness of the crime branch police,” said Mr Patnaik, while asserting that his government has had a track record of not sparing any of the guilty, be it corrupt politicians or criminals.
The demand of the Opposition is based on an interview of a hardened criminal which has been published in a newspaper which is closely linked to the former chief minister and leader of the Opposition, he observed.
Taking a dig at the Congress, Mr Patnaik said he had been informed of how all tenders were fixed at the highest level and a handful of contractors was ruling the roost in the past.
All this has changed and we are trying to further rationalise the tendering process, said the chief minister, while announcing the formation of a high-power committee headed by the chief secretary to suggest measures for streamlining and improving the system within one month.
Reaffirming that the police has been insulated from political interference, the chief minister said this was one of the main reasons why people had reposed faith in his party and re-elected it to power.
The previous regime was notorious for the state of nexus between criminals and the corrupt business and politicians.
Politicisation of the police force had taken place and that is one reason why people opted for a change for the better, he said.
On the situation in Kendrapara and demands for transfer of the district collector and SP, the chief minister said at this juncture the primary task was to restore peace. Thereafter, the government will do whatever is appropriate, he added.
Curfew has been lifted from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and there has been no untoward incident, Mr Patnaik said, while contending that Kendrapara was fast returning to normality.
On MCC and Naxalite problems, the chief minister said extremism and terrorism were a global phenomenon.
We are better off than many of our neighbouring states, he observed, while providing figures of such crimes in Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar. He said 135 Left-wing extremists had been arrested in Orissa and security forces kept on alert.
He regretted that the UPA government had not provided adequate assistance to set up fire stations nor had it conceded to the state government’s request to waive Rs 45 crore towards payments of the CRPF.
The UPA government has also not declared Orissa a B1 category state which would ensure a 75 per cent Central share in funds for Naxalite-affected areas, he said.
Earlier, during the debate the Congress had staged a walk-out alleging that their members had not been given adequate opportunity.
They were agitated over the fact that the initial decision of a reply by the chief minister at 5 p.m. was overlooked to allow a few more of the ruling party members to speak. The Congress members, however, returned after Speaker Mr Maheswar Mohanty appealed to them.

Five Maoists surrendered in VISAKHAPATNAM



Staff Reporter



JOINING THE MAINSTREAM: The Vizag rural SP, V.V. Srinivasa Rao, presenting the surrendered naxalites before the media in Visakhapatnam. — Photo: K.R. Deepak

VISAKHAPATNAM: Five Maoists, including two deputy commanders, surrendered before Visakhapatnam (Rural) Superintendent of Police V.V. Srinivasa Rao on Monday.

They include Pujari Raja Rao alias Vijay alias Raju and Kummari Poornamma alias Saroja alias Bharati, deputy commanders of Andhra-Orissa Border Military Platoon A and Konalova Local Guerilla Squad respectively.

The two said disenchantment with the naxalite ideology and ill-health forced them to surrender. Purnamma's husband Joga Rao is working as a division committee member but refused to surrender. All of them, barring one, belong to G.K. Veedhi mandal.

Ex gratia

Mr. Srinivasa Rao said these naxalites would get an immediate ex gratia of Rs. 5,000. The deputy commanders carry a reward of Rs. 50,000 each on their heads and they would also be given that amount. Their rehabilitation would also be arranged soon as per the Government's policy. More naxalites were sending feelers in the next three months another 15 to 20 naxalite cadres were likely to surrender, he claimed.

Hailing from Ammavari Darakonda, Raja Rao had joined the local guerrilla squad in 2001 and was trained in using .303 gun and musket. He was involved in the attack on the Armed Reserve office at Koraput last year and the exchange of fire at Puttakota last month. Purnamma of Devarapalli joined the Jananatya mandali of the Tandava squad in 1997 when she was 14 years old. From then she worked in the Korukonda LGS and the Konalova area committee. She had kept away from the extremist activities for one and a half years and went back to the naxalite fold. She had participated in the exchange of fire at Gadipalem, Pullalamamidi, Mangalapalem and the attack on Darakonda police camp.

The other three members who surrendered are Kanangi Ravi of Killamkota in G.Madugula mandal, Sagina Satya alias Kumari of Mondigedda and Vantala Besu alias Saroja of Bonangipalli. Ravi had joined Korukonda local guerrilla squad in 2004.

He was later sent to the military platoon and was also trained in using a gun at Boddumamidi. He was involved in the exchange of fire at Puttakota. Satya had joined Maoists in Aug, 2004, and attended the training camp organised by Kudumula Venkatrao at Boddumamidi and was trained using 12 bore, .303 and musket and blasting landmines.

Naxals blast private guesthouse in Nalgonda

Staff Reporter

NALGONDA: The Rachakonda dalam, which suffered a major set back with the killing of its commander, Golanukonda Chandraiah, blasted a private guesthouse situated along national highway No. 9 at Dandu Malkapur in Choutuppal mandal late last night.

According to the police sources, four naxalites descended on the guesthouse belonged to Ganesh Mellinium City and ordered the watchman and his wife to follow them to a nearby hillock, where two more naxals were waiting.

Later, the six naxals planted explosives under the building and blasted it. The loss was estimated at Rs. 20 lakhs. Police said the same dalam had blasted the guesthouse in December 2002. Incidentally, the guesthouse was near the Reliance petrol bunk, where the naxals gunned down three unarmed policemen in March.

Four Janashakti naxalites arrested

Special Correspondent

No harm will be done to the arrested, says Home Minister

HYDERABAD: The police picked up four Janashakti naxalites, including a State committee member, Prabhakar, at Vijayawada on Monday morning.

While the emissary of Janashakti in the peace talks with the State Government, Chandranna, said they were arrested when they met at a spot near the bus station in the city, which they had identified earlier, the Director General of Police, Swaranjit Sen, in fact maintained that five of them were arrested in Guntur and not Vijayawada.

Prabhakar alias Veeresham is the prime accused in the murder of M.V. Prasad, the spokesman of the rival Janashakti (Ramachandran) faction, and his wife at Mote in Nalgonda district two months ago.

The Home Minister, K. Jana Reddy, when approached by Chandranna and some others during the day, reportedly assured the delegation that no harm would be done to the arrested persons.

Meanwhile, it is reliably learnt that three of them were handed over to the Guntur police and one to the East Godavari police for showing their arrest officially.

ORISSA : 23 police personnel were killed , Rs.80.89 Lakh worth Proterty destroyed

CM: Left violence least in State

Tuesday August 9 2005 14:00 IST

BHUBANESWAR: As many as 23 police personnel were killed and government property worth around Rs 80.89 lakh was destroyed in Naxal attacks during the last three years, said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the Assembly on Monday.

Replying to a question from Ranendra Pratap Swain (BJD), Naveen said 14 companies of BSF, 21 companies of CRPF and two companies of CISF were deployed in the Naxal-prone areas during the election.

To another question from Sanchita Mohanty (BJP), the Chief Minister said Orissa police is fully prepared to face attacks from the Left wing extremists.

‘‘The strategy of the Government is to face the attacks from the Naxals, modernise the State, train and equip the State police force with better amenities,’’ Naveen said, adding that two police establishments, one for collecting intelligence and the other for special operation have been set up.

Naveen said incidents of violence and killings related to Left wing extremism has been minimum in Orissa compared to Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

He, however, said constant interaction is being maintained between Orissa and Andhra Pradesh police, in exchange of intelligence and joint operation against the extremists

Chhattisgarh leader's kin killed by Naxals

Tuesday, August 9, 2005 (Raipur):


Naxals today killed two relatives of Leader of Opposition in Chhattisgarh Assembly Mahendra Karma and injured another in Dantewada district.

A group of 200 armed Naxals killed Suku Karma and Sukhdev Bhogami besides injuring Suku's son Rati, according to police sources in Dantewada.

Suku Karma is the brother of Leader of Opposition while Sukhdev is his distant relative and all the three were residents of Pharaspal village in Dantewada district.

Murdered by Naxals

The Naxals initially surrounded the village from all sides, broke the door of Suku's house and took him and his son outside. The other victim, Sukhdev was dragged out from another house.

The ultras then asked Suku whether he was involved in an anti-Naxal campaign before hacking him to death and took away Rati and Sukhdev with them.

Later, the Naxals also killed Sukhdev and released Rati after assaulting him. Sukhdev's body was recovered about 2 km away from the village. (PTI)

17 reportedly injured in AP blast

NDTV Correspondent

Tuesday, August 9, 2005 (Karim Nagar):


At least 17 persons were reportedly injured when explosives hidden in tiffin boxes went off at a bus station in Karim Nagar in Andhra Pradesh.

Police said the injured are in a critical condition at a hospital.

The bombs might have been placed by left-wing naxal rebels and traces of tri-nitro toluene or TNT were found in the explosives, according to police investigators. (With PTI inputs)

Naxalites attack Chhattisgarh opposition leader house; 2 killed

Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh, Aug 9(UNI) Peoples War naxalites attacked the ancestral house of leader of Opposition in the Chhattisgarh Assembly Mahendra Karma at Pharaspal village in Dantewara district late last night, killing two persons, including a relative.

Mr Karma, who was in Raipur at the time of the attack, has rushed to his native village, police said today.

Police said a large number of naxalites attacked Mr Karma's house with firearms which was countered by the armed police jawans posted there. But there was no casualty in the encounter, police said.

In the meanwhile, the naxalites kidnapped three persons from a nearby house and shot dead Mr Karma's relative Sukuram Karma and servant Sukhram at some distance away and released the third, Rati.

Senior police officials, including Bastar range Inspector General M W Ansari, reached the spot. Director General of Chhattisgarh Police O P Rathore also rushed to the spot.

Mr Karma, a senior tribal Congress leader, was actively participating in the awareness campaign launched by the administration against the naxal movement since June 13. The naxalites retaliated by killing more than 40 people who took part in the campaign. From July 27, they had observed ''martyrdom week'' in memory of their lost colleagues.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Communist rebels attack army camp

Hundreds of communist rebels attacked an army camp in Nepal's remote mountains, triggering one of the fiercest battles in the country's Maoist insurgency this year, officials and rebels said.

Each side claimed the other suffered heavy casualties in an all-night gunbattle near Tilli village in Kalikot district, 340 miles north-west of the capital, Kathmandu.

An army official said at least one army helicopter with night vision equipment had pounded the attackers with bombs.

Officials at the Royal Nepalese Army headquarters in Kathmandu said they were still waiting for details, confirming only that one soldier was killed and three injured. There were about 200 soldiers at the camp when it was attacked.

Meanwhile, the rebels said in a statement emailed to news organisations that they had inflicted heavy casualties on the army, but had lost several of their own fighters.

They also claimed they had taken some soldiers hostage, and had seized weapons and ammunition.

Neither claim could be independently verified, and further details were not available. The area involved is in one of the most remote, impoverished parts of this Himalayan kingdom, and walking is the only form of transportation available to area residents.

The army said that reinforcements had arrived early this morning by army helicopter, and that nearby camps had deployed more soldiers to hunt the attackers.

Rebel violence has escalated since King Gyanendra seized control of the government in February. He said the measure was necessary to quell the country's nine-year-old communist insurgency, which has left more than 11,500 dead.

The rebels claim to be inspired by Chinese communist revolutionary Mao Zedong and are trying to overthrow the country's monarchy.

Cops now up against malaria menace

Monday August 8 2005 12:59 IST

KORAPUT: Besides Naxals, cops in the tribal dominated Malkangiri district have been fighting against another enemy albeit in different form for the last one year. The dreaded malaria has given the men in khaki a reason to worry and poor healthcare facilities in the area have added to their woes.

According to reports, as many as 800 policemen have been afflicted by the disease in the last one year. Seven suffered from cerebral malaria and two died of it.

Apart from poor health services in the district, non-availability of medical assistance to police personnel on duty and consumption of contaminated water particularly in the Naxal infested areas are to blame for the spread of the disease, sources in the police department said.

Although the policemen have been requesting the higher authorities to appoint at least one doctor to take care of their health needs, no step has been taken.

At present, the policemen either depend on the Malkangiri headquarters hospital or Koraput headquarters hospital, both of which are far away from the police camps.

“Sometimes we urgently need medical help in the camp. But we are forced to postpone a visit to the hospital due to the distance,” said a constable of OSAP working in a remote village of the district. “‘Malaria is a common problem here and we have to take some preventive measures soon,” admitted Malkangiri SP Yatindra Koyal.

Meanwhile, the police administration has instructed the cops to keep a stock of anti-malaria drugs in their camps. It has also requested the district medical officer to conduct frequent medical camps in the inaccessible pockets for the benefit of the cops.

Task force to be set up to support villagers in Naxal areas

Monday August 8 2005 15:06 IST

SHIMOGA: The residents of the naxal prone areas view deployment of service minded officials would make a difference.

‘We are not supporting Naxals. We have faith in democracy. They (Naxals) visit our houses and have food too. We pity them. But we disagree with their principles and ideology,’ this was the collective opinion of people living in those identified Naxal prone areas, at a programme held in Agumbe on Saturday.

District Police organised a dialogue with people on the topic ‘Naxal problem and Democracy’ in Agumbe on Saturday. Villagers, Presidents, Vice-presidents, Secretaries and members of various gram panchayats of Agumbe and Muttur hobli participated in it.

Villagers opined that Naxals would commence their fight against the government demanding to provide basic amenities to villagers. The main idea behind this was to gain confidence of the villagers. Gradually, they drag the entire area into their control and wage fight against democracy, villagers said.

Villagers felt that deploying those government officials who are pro people and concerned about the people welfare could make difference. This would discourage Naxals to settle down in the area, participants opined.

Initiating the dialogue, Circle Inspector Balaraj said ‘Naxalism is anti democratic and such organisations are not necessary for us’. Karnataka Vimochana Ranga, Mahila Jagruti, Jathi Vinasha Vedike, PUCL, CLF, Janakala Mandali and other such organisations work on the ideology of Naxalism. These organisations were responsible for the Naxal base in Malnad region, he said.

Youths were given systematic training in Naxal organisations and they will be trained in using weapons too, he said. He ridiculed branded ‘intellectuals’ for encouraging Naxal organisations who were betraying government being a part of it (working in a government sector) .

He said Naxals failed to find a proper base in Raichur and slowly they migrated towards Malnad region. Naxals have support from LTTE, Maoists of Nepal and other international organisations.

One Kuppuswamy Iyer trains mostly youths belonged to Scheduled castes and tribals. These youths will be the ‘pawns’ in their hands, he said. Tahshildar B L Hegde said efforts are on to go to people by the administrative machinery to resolve their problems.

A task force will be constituted to understand and resolve problems of the villagers. The task force involves Revenue, Telephones, Power and Police department, he added.

Maoist leaders accused of amassing wealth

Ranchi: Lower rung leaders in the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoists) in Jharkhand have been heard complaining that their top rebels are too busy amassing wealth.

A meeting of the core committee of CPI-Maoists took place in Jharkhand this month, with junior leaders bringing out pamphlets critical of seniors in the organisation, sources say.

The pamphlets state the names of such leaders and also the wealth and property amassed by them in Jharkhand as well as other states.

"The activists expressed their concern about the attitude of the top leaders. The top leaders, instead of carrying out the ideology, (are do things) suiting their own interest," said a source close to the organisation.

Maoists are also said to be involved in the smuggling kendu leaves. According to the pamphlets, Kendu leaf smugglers were present at the wedding of a top Maoist leader's daughter.

A senior police official corroborated the story: "We too are in possession of such pamphlets. What we have been saying for a long time has now been raised by Maoist activists themselves."

"We know that some leaders have palatial houses and some leaders' kin are involved in business and the money raised by activists are used for personal causes by Maoist leaders."

Security upped in Dharmapuri district after Naxal threat

Monday August 8 2005 13:39 IST

PTI

DHARMAPURI: Security was tightened in some police stations in the district in the wake of a threat from Naxalites and recovery of 30 country bombs on the Dharmapuri-Bangalore National Highway.

Investigations are on to find out who abandoned the bag containing the bombs on Saturday, police said.

Meanwhile, a Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) team from Chennai, led by Inspector Muthukrishnan defused the bombs on the foothills of Chemmanahalli, about 15 km from here.

District Collector Sudeep Jain appealed to the people to alert the police on finding suspicious material.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

'No links with Indian Maoists' claims Bhattarai

THT Online
Kathmandu, August 7

The Maoists in Nepal have no “direct physical” or “military links” with the Naxalites in India nor are they anti-India in any way, claims Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai, according to a report in The Telegraph.
In the report, Bhattarai says that Indian Maoists did initially inspire his party ideologically but apart from the initial inspiration, they had no direct physical or military links with the Indian Maoists. He described as “totally baseless” the charge of the Bihar police that Nepali Maoists were involved in an attack in Madhubani. “There is no question of our participating in any military action in India. By policy or by design we do not subscribe to such action. These allegations were made by pro-palace elements to disturb the goodwill generated by our visit to India. Since then we have also come to know that an inquiry by the government of India also found the charge of our involvement baseless,” he said. He also dismissed media reports that his party was linked with the LTTE. “We never had, don’t have and don’t want any contact with them. Theirs is a national struggle in a different mould. Ours is an ideological political movement which subscribes to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. They don’t subscribe to this ideology. So there is no affinity between us.”

Pizza and Pepsi threaten Maoist fiefdom

By Sujeet Kumar, Bastar (Chhattisgarh) : Pepsi and pizza are proving to be effective weapons in weaning the people of this largely tribal region of Chhattisgarh from Maoist influence.

The extremist Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), which has virtually ruled the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh in southcentral India for 15 years, is fighting to save its fiefdom against a gastronomic offensive by the state government.

For the first time since the early 1990s when Maoists gained ground in Kanker, Bastar and Dantewada districts, the rebels have been facing a serious revolt thanks to the pizza and Pepsi showered by the home department in poverty-stricken Maoist bastions.

And it is working far better than the various strategies and millions of rupees invested in tackling the menace. So much so that the home department is trying to increase the supply of these fast food favourites heavily in the forest belt.

"Yes, we have been offering food items to local tribes as part of the government's decision to ensure food security in poor and backward areas and bring these people back to the mainstream," Dantewada collector K.R. Pisda told IANS.

But sources in the home department admitted that the Bastar tribes were taking to Pepsi and pizza far more than any other "food item".

A senior official said: "Money spent into weeding out the Maoist menace makes sense when it is going into buying soft drinks and pizza that are feeding hungry people. When these people get direct money, they spend it on alcohol."

The official sought to link the "change of heart" of some former Maoists to the fact that they were well fed.

Last month 117 members of the "Sangham" or local CPI-Maoist affiliated units surrendered at a rally held by the government at Bhairamgarh, and more have followed suit since then.

Sanghams were instrumental in helping the Maoists take command of Bastar, known for its picturesque valley, hilly terrain and rich iron ore resources.

The Maria tribe, with its strong presence in vast stretches of the Bijapur, Bhairamgarh, Geedam and Kesloor areas of Dantewada, has given up Sangham membership and joined the armed anti-Maoist movement that broke out in June.

The government claims that Maoists are so shaken about Sangham members giving up their violent ways that their top leaders invited local and national journalists last week in the deep forests to convey its views.

Chhattisgarh is one of the states worst hit by Maoist violence that has taken a toll of 150 lives including 93 civilians since January 2004.

Nepal Army not tackling Maoists effectively: Pranab

KOLKATA, AUG 7 (PTI)

The government today said the Nepalese Army was not being able to effectively tackle the Maoists and expressed fears that its failure to do so would make the situation go out of hand.

"The Royal Nepal Army is trying to contain the Maoists. But its efforts are not effective. We hope it successfully tackles them, otherwise, the situation will go out of hand," Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters here after inaugurating 'Mercury Flash,' the Army's Strategic Broadband Satellite Network.

"We are trying to impress upon (the Nepalese) government to tackle the Maoists. But, unfortunately, certain recent developments in that country like the supression of its constitution and the multi-party system had set back anti-Maoist initiatives," Mukherjee said.

Stating that the Nepalese Maoists have close links with many militant left groups in India, he said, "many of them have the fancy idea of setting up a liberated corridor starting right from the Terai region and going through parts of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Karnataka and Maharashtra." Asked whether the visit of External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh would help improve relations with Bangladesh against its continuous denial of ISI presence in its territory, he said, "some response will come, but we should not expect dramatic results overnight." Mukherjee, a former Foreign Minister, said that no country readily admits that its territory is being used by terrorists against another country. "But we must make efforts at continuous dialogue.