Saturday, October 01, 2005

Tribals aim high with studies

- By P. Sridhar


Karimnagar, Oct. 1: A revolution is on in Naxal-affected Garjanapalli — a revolution in education.

This remote village in the Maoist hotbed of Yellareddypet mandal in Karimnagar has discovered that education is the key to escape. And they are pursuing education in real earnest.

Situated close to the dense Manala forests, the village, which houses about 1,500 Lambada tribals, is steeped in poverty. Amenities are woefully inadequate and even sick people have to be taken long distances by bullock cart to get medical attention.

The village had made news earlier as it had witnessed much bloodshed and was home to many Naxalite leaders, including the Janashakti district secretary Ranadheer. However, the villagers decided to change their own fate. Now, the village is making news for different reasons. Over the years, village elders have persuaded young men to pursue education vigorously. The tribals used all possible avenues to get schooling. The tiny hamlet has produced 300 government employees, including teachers, engineers, policemen, RTC drivers and conductors.

Tirupathi Naik, a recent recipient of the best teacher award, is one among the 25 teachers who belong to the village. Similarly, Ramulu, an assistant engineer of APTransco, and circle

inspector Ramreddy are proud sons of the village. Garjanapalli also boasts 105 police constables and 50 RTC employees, mostly drivers.

"We have suffered a lot, but now things are changing now," said Gynavva, a villager. "We have realised the value of education. Scores of village youth escaped from poverty by studying hard," she said.

Notoriety has now metamorphosed into fame. "Gone are the days when people used to look at us with suspicion," said Srinivas, a farmer. "Now our village has become a model one."

Most of the Lambada youth have secured lower-rung jobs in the government. "This has helped them lead a stable life," said Srinivas. Some have set their sights further up. "I am inspired by the achievements of Gaglothu Veeranna of Muttaram village, who rose to the status of assistant professor in Kakatiya University and Ramana of Mallaram thanda, who became an IFS officer," said Ravi, a student of the local government school. "I want to be like them."

However, the success stories of the youth have not improved facilities in the village. "We still reel under numerous problems," said Ramesh, the village sarpanch. "We have to travel about 20 km to get medical help."

Garjanapalli residents want the government to improve facilities in the village and set up a residential tribal school there. "We will scale new heights" said the upa-sarpanch, Bavsingh Naik. Sure they will.

Anti-naxalite movement gains momentum in Chhattisgarh

Raipur | October 01, 2005 5:45:11 PM IST



The ongoing movement against naxalites in Chhattisgarh gained momentum with a large number of people participating in a rally in the state capital today, expressing solidarity with the tribals who are spearheading a campaign against extremists in the Bastar region.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh garlanded a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi and flagged off the rally named 'Salwa Judum', meaning 'peace campaign' in tribal Gondi dialect. The rally was organised by Hari Thakur memorial organisation.

Besides Dr Singh, his cabinet colleagues, Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly Mahendra Karma and other leaders took part in the rally, which later converged into a public meeting at Gandhi maidan.

Dr Singh told the gathering that the anti-naxalite movement was a spontaneous reaction of tribal population, which were driven to desperation because of more than three-decade-old problem of naxalite violence.

He said the movement reflected strong desire of the people to join the mainstream.

Describing that it was a movement against violence, terror and anarchy, Dr Singh said the campaign against naxalites was tough and fraught with challenges but it was aimed at protecting the pride of Chhattisgarh.

Referring to the naxalite attacks targeting those who were participating in the anti-naxalite campaign, the Chief Minister said several people had lost their lives for the cause of the campaign.

He said security personnel drawn from police, special armed forces and paramilitary forces, were deployed in the naxalite areas. He said some of them had laid down their lives while performing their duty.

Mr Karma, who represents the Dantewara assembly constituency, said the movement will gradually transform into a national campaign against naxalite violence and terror.

''The naxalites are killing innocent people. They are not driven by any ideology. Naxalism has now taken shape of terrorism,'' he said.

Mr Karma called upon the people of naxalite-infested areas to unite to flush out the ultras.

A large number of tribals, carrying bows and arrows, participated in the rally.

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Indian Maoist rebels kill 5, thousands flee homes

(Reuters)

1 October 2005


RAIPUR, India - Maoist guerrillas shot dead five people in India’s central Chhattisgarh state in fresh rebel violence that has forced thousands of tribes-people to flee their homes, police said on Saturday.

“The rebels killed five people and dumped their bodies in the forest. The bodies were found today,” Inspector-General of Police M.W. Ansari said.

He said the rebels had unleashed a wave of violence against tribesmen in the remote Bastar region, targeting mostly their former comrades and police informers.

“The rebels have kidnapped three villagers. Around 3,000 villagers have fled their homes fearing the Maoists,” he said.

The rise in rebel violence comes within a month of a strike on a police vehicle that killed 23 security personnel and a civilian, prompting the state government to ban the Maoists.

“The homeless villagers are being housed in relief camps and are being provided food and medicines,” Chhattisgarh home minister Ram Vichar Netam told Reuters.

13 naxalites lay down arms

Warangal (AP), Oct 1. (PTI): Thirteen Naxalites, including three women, surrendered to the police in Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh today.

The extremists, who laid down their arms included T Gowraiah alias Govardhan (36), a State Committee Member of CPI (Maoist) who is involved in eight murder cases.

His wife and a `Dalam' (armed squad) member of the Parkal area T Saroja alias Jyothi (32), two deputy commanders and two 'Dalam' members also gave themselves up.

The ultras surrendered before Deputy Inspector General of Police of Warangal range B L Meena here.

Sonia to be apprised about anti-naxalite movement

Raipur: Congress legislators from the naxalite-infested areas will call on party President Sonia Gandhi to apprise her about the 'ground reality' of the ongoing anti-naxalite movement in tribal Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi said today.

Talking to newspersons here, he said naxalites had killed nearly 100 ''innocent tribals'' after 'Salwa Judum'-- an anti-naxalite movement--began nearly three months ago.

Pointing out that the movement was just restricted to few blocks in Bastar, Mr Jogi said about 20,000 people from these blocks had to leave their village and take shelter in relief camps, fearing retaliation from the naxalites.

Asked about reports that the Congress President was likely to visit Bastar where leader of opposition in the assembly Mahendra Karma was leading the anti-naxalite movement, Mr Jogi said local legislators would meet Mrs. Gandhi to apprise her about the 'ground reality' in these areas.

Mr Rajendra Pambhoi, a legislator representing Bijapur assembly segment, said the naxalites were targetting poor tribals because of the movement led by Mr Karma.

''I dont' understand why Mr Karma is not organising such anti-naxalite campaign within his naxalite infested Dantewara constituency. His campaign is in my constituency and my people are being targetted by the naxalites'', Mr Pambhoi added.

Anti-naxalite movement gains momentum in Chhattisgarh

Raipur: The ongoing movement against naxalites in Chhattisgarh gained momentum with a large number of people participating in a rally in the state capital today, expressing solidarity with the tribals who are spearheading a campaign against extremists in the Bastar region.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh garlanded a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi and flagged off the rally named 'Salwa Judum', meaning 'peace campaign' in tribal Gondi dialect. The rally was organised by Hari Thakur memorial organisation.

Besides Dr Singh, his cabinet colleagues, Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly Mahendra Karma and other leaders took part in the rally, which later converged into a public meeting at Gandhi maidan.

Dr Singh told the gathering that the anti-naxalite movement was a spontaneous reaction of tribal population, which were driven to desperation because of more than three-decade-old problem of naxalite violence.

He said the movement reflected strong desire of the people to join the mainstream.

Describing that it was a movement against violence, terror and anarchy, Dr Singh said the campaign against naxalites was tough and fraught with challenges but it was aimed at protecting the pride of Chhattisgarh.

Referring to the naxalite attacks targeting those who were participating in the anti-naxalite campaign, the Chief Minister said several people had lost their lives for the cause of the campaign.

He said security personnel drawn from police, special armed forces and paramilitary forces, were deployed in the naxalite areas. He said some of them had laid down their lives while performing their duty.

Mr Karma, who represents the Dantewara assembly constituency, said the movement will gradually transform into a national campaign against naxalite violence and terror.

''The naxalites are killing innocent people. They are not driven by any ideology. Naxalism has now taken shape of terrorism,'' he said.

Mr Karma called upon the people of naxalite-infested areas to unite to flush out the ultras.

A large number of tribals, carrying bows and arrows, participated in the rally.

Left moving centre stage

Saturday, October 01, 2005 9:25:28 IST
The Congress is paving the way for a horror happening; Across the country the dark shadow of the Left (which includes the Naxalites) is lengthening..



for :

The Congress has a big record of creating Frankenstein monsters. To get short term gains or to cut the wings of some inconvenient opposition party, it hobnobs with dangerous characters and build them up. Its strategy is to set them up against its enemy and watch the monster do the dirty deed.
And the monster turns around and hits it.
It happened in the case of Bindranwale. He was promoted by the Congress to fight its opponents in Punjab. He grew so big and formidable that he finally tried to hit the party that created him. And Bindranwale gave a lot of trouble to the Centre. And he in no measure was responsible for the killing of Congress leader Indira Gandhi.
The Congress does not seem to have abandoned its horror strategy.
In its bid to remain in power at the centre, it is hobnobbing with the communists. Without them, it cannot be in government. It is quite intimated by them. It does not want to incur their displeasure. It wants to hold on to power so desperately that it eats the humble pie often and changes course as dictated.

Issuing threats
The Left parties keep reminding the Congress about the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) and pulls it up and threatens to withdraw support. The Left keeps issuing threats and by now the Congress must have realized its hands are tied and it cannot carry out policies freely and fully. Each time a new policy is announced, the Left pounces on the Congress and finds fault with it.
The Congress is afraid to challenge the
Left leaders. It does not want to risk another election. It is not certain what its chances would be in another parliamentary poll. It wants to hold on to power, such as it is and hence it keeps trying to keep the Left leaders in good humour.
The Left is taking full advantage of the situation and is making efforts to steadily gain political ground.
It is sending message after message to the nation - about its lofty ideals, about its commitment to bring about the survival of the poor, about its battle against capitalists in the country and unscrupulous multi-nationals who are out to loot the unsuspecting people.
It is sending a clear message that it has stopped the Congress from taking anti-people steps and that it is trying hard to prevent dangerous tie-ups with capitalist nations like the USA.
It has made it known that come what may it will not allow “family silver” to be sold and that it will oppose all sale of public sector units. It is behind the strike at the airport in Mumbai. It does not want privatization of airports.
It has evidently gained the support of a large number of employees of banks and transport sector. The Left is making its presence felt all over the country.
In its desperate effort to hold on to power, the Congress unwittingly is promoting the Left parties which are becoming acceptable to a large number of people.
The Congress has been ready for an alliance with the communists. It will rejoice if the Left parties join the alliance.
Thereby it is giving a clean chit to the communists. They are not the ogre the BJP and the Shiv Sena are trying to make them to be.
And in Bihar, the communists are in with the UPA. In an arrangement with the RJD and the Congress, the Left gets eight seats. The Left was a non-entity in the state so far. There is a big chance of their getting a foothold now. When once they move in, they can be expected to make themselves comfortable and increase their presence.
In West Bengal and Kerala, the Left parties have a big political output. The ruling Congress coalition in Kerala was worried when the Left parties go won six civic corporation polls. With the Left making such a big splash at the Centre, it is certain that the Left parties will cover much political ground in the states.
The Naxalites are also communists. They call themselves Maoists who believed that power comes through the barrel of a gun.
The Naxalites are increasingly, steadily making their presence felt all over the
country. Until recently, they were found in some pockets in the country, but they have spread out. The only difference between the Left parties and the Naxalites is that the former have renounced arms as a means for gaining power.
But the Left parties have definitely sympathy for the Naxalites.
In fact the presence of communists in the national power set-up has been a moral booster to Naxalites.
The Naxalite menace has been vociferously condemned by leaders of several political parties. I have, however, yet to hear of any condemnation of the Naxalite movement by any communist leader.
All the Left folks and the Naxalites are the birds of the same feather. Their ideology is the same. Their objective is the same. There is only one difference: the Naxals justify violence as a means to achieve the end.
The Left parties have adopted a clever strategy and have decided to take advantage of the democratic process. They have not changed their hues — they have only changed the method and means.
The Congress is paving the way for a horror happening.
Across the country the dark shadow of the communists — belonging to various groups — is lengthening.
The Congress is responsible for this development. It should not have accepted any kind of assistance from the Left parties. It should have had no truck with them.
It has made the Left respectable.
The big question is: do we want the Left parties to take over the country?
Is their ideology, their perceptions, their way of functioning good for the nation?

US vs. us
Take for instance our relations with the US. For a long time, our so-called socialists and communists did everything possible to prevent the US and India coming together. We missed a lot by tilting towards the communist country like the Soviet Union and staying away from the US. Our communist “intellectuals” told us that the US was waiting to grab and gobble India, their capitalists would come and take away all the wealth. The US was bad and evil, they said.
And they have not changed their attitude towards the US. Even today, they are as allergic to the US as they were before. They are protesting against our vote against Iran with regard to the use of nuclear energy. They are saying we should not have gone along with the US. To them evidently, national interests do not come first.
The Congress has created and unleashed one more Frankenstein monster. It will first devour the Congress and then turn its fiery attention on the nation.
For power, or for anything, a party believing in democracy and liberty should not have any connection with parties guided by the likes of Marx and Lenin. It is an outmoded ideology which has been tested, tried out and rejected.
Before the Left parties withdraw their support and create a mess, the Congress should act. How long will it suffer piggy-riding by the Left?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Intelligence Brief: Nepal

Nepal, landlocked and bordered by the rising Asian powers of India and China, has become the object of competition among its neighbors as the country has descended into severe instability. The only Hindu kingdom in the world, with a generally impoverished population of 27.7 million people and few strategic resources, Nepal interests New Delhi and Beijing as a geostrategic prize in the new "great game" for spheres of influence in Central Asia. [See: "The 'Great Game' Heats Up in Central Asia"]

Except for a brief period of parliamentary government after World War II, Nepal was an absolute monarchy until 1989, when King Birendra, bowing to pressure from a coalition of political parties and social movements, instituted a constitutional monarchy. The new parliamentary system was riven by fractious partisanship, failure of leadership, corruption and the persistence of poverty. In 1996, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (C.P.N.(M.)) abandoned parliamentarism and initiated an armed "people's war" in the countryside aimed at overthrowing the constitutional monarchy and establishing a "socialist republic."

The Maoist insurgency gained support among the 80 percent of Nepalese living in rural areas and now is estimated to control up to 70 percent of the countryside. The campaign to suppress the insurgency by the Royal Nepalese Army (R.N.A.) has been marked by brutality and torture on both sides, most recently documented by U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak in a September 16, 2005 press conference following his investigative trip to Nepal.

A further plunge into instability came in February 2005, when King Gyanendra, who had assumed the throne after the heir apparent had killed his parents and himself, dissolved parliament and declared a state of emergency, suspending civil liberties, imposing press censorship and banning opposition demonstrations, in the name of fighting the insurgency more effectively and suppressing corruption. [See: "Sacking the Government Brings International Attention to Nepal"]

Gyanendra's seizure of absolute power has not calmed Nepal's political turmoil and has led to international censure, including the withdrawal of military aid to Kathmandu by New Delhi and Washington. On April 30, Gyanendra lifted the state of emergency, but did not surrender control and has not moved to re-establish the parliamentary system. Since then, Nepal has been in a state of political flux, in which the three parties to the domestic conflict -- the king, the Maoists and the parliamentary parties -- have maneuvered for advantage in an intensely uncertain situation.

Nepalese Instability: Tri-partite Conflict

The crisis precipitated by Gyanendra's February seizure of absolute power threw the parliamentary parties into the position of either attempting to mount resistance in order to recoup their losses or accepting defeat. Particularly after the king revoked the state of emergency in April, they chose the former, pursuing a three-pronged campaign to delegitimize his rule and render him unable to govern. Forming the same kind of coalition that had forced the institution of a parliamentary system in 1989, they subsumed their rivalries under a common program of restoring democracy.

As Gyanendra remained unyielding, the parliamentary parties radicalized their positions. The crisis ratcheted up to a higher level, when, in late August, the Nepali Congress Party (N.C.P.) -- the largest parliamentary grouping, which has close ties to New Delhi -- announced that it had decided to delete the goal of achieving a constitutional monarchy from its constitution. The Communist Party of Nepal (U.M.L.), the second biggest grouping, had already abandoned constitutional monarchy for a "democratic republic."

In response to the parliamentary parties' break with the monarchy, the Maoist insurgency announced a three-month cease fire and has begun releasing some of its R.N.A. prisoners, although Nepalese media report that it continues to carry out abductions of school teachers and students for "re-education." Registering a shift in the balance of power, the seven-party parliamentary coalition announced on September 16 that it would form a team to negotiate independently with the Maoists. The coalition made it clear that talks were premised on the insurgency ending violence against civilians and that the Maoists would not be permitted to join the coalition unless they laid down their arms.

Along with abandoning their commitment to monarchy and moving towards the Maoists, the parliamentary parties, with the support of student and other civil-society groups, initiated an ongoing series of street demonstrations in Kathmandu, aimed at forcing Gyanendra to restore democracy, that have attracted up to 7,000 participants and have met with mass arrests -- including temporary detention of top party leaders -- and often violent suppression by government security forces.

Faced with international isolation, the collaboration of the Maoists and the parliamentary parties and the emergence of "people power," Gyanendra has held fast to his refusal to institute a cease fire to match the Maoist's initiative and has urged the parliamentary parties to negotiate with him.

Each actor in the tri-partite conflict is playing a risky game with uncertain results.

The Maoists, who have used previous cease fires to rearm and regroup, are growing increasingly confident that their people's war strategy of surrounding Nepal's cities and precipitating urban insurrection is succeeding. Their commitment to a future parliamentary regime is at best suspect.

The parliamentary parties hope to emerge as victors by playing both sides against the middle, counting on the support of New Delhi and its Western allies, and on people power.

Gyanendra is counting on the continued backing of the R.N.A., military aid from Beijing to make up for New Delhi's suspension and residual popular commitment to the monarchy.

At present, it is impossible to predict who will emerge on top or whether there will eventually be a compromise between two or among all of the parties.

The Bottom Line

New Delhi, which counts Nepal within its sphere of influence -- due to its preponderant economic power in the country, cultural affinities and strategic advantages -- has been most severely impacted by the crisis. Indian analysts report on a power struggle in New Delhi between the Ministry of External Affairs, which backs the parliamentary parties and their efforts to negotiate with the Maoists, and the Home and Defense Ministries, which place their bets on Gyanendra, fearing a Maoist takeover and a spread of Maoist insurgencies into India, exacerbated by border insecurity. Thus far, New Delhi has chosen to back the parliamentary parties, but there is no assurance that the strategy will succeed or that it can be pursued effectively given intra-governmental conflicts.

As New Delhi faces hard choices, Beijing has seized the opportunity to move in and offer Kathmandu arms deals, one of which has already been signed. Islamabad is rumored to be doing the same. Washington and London have been left with no option but to back New Delhi as they try to pressure Gyanendra to restore constitutional monarchy and accept international mediation to end the Maoist insurgency.

The latest moves in the new great game highlight the uncertainties and shifting opportunity structures that emerge when strategically valuable, weak states begin to implode. Beijing has nothing to lose by backing Gyanendra and will win big if he holds on to power. New Delhi, which allowed the situation to get out of control, faces the possible diminution of its influence. As the crisis has deepened, New Delhi has sent troops to Indian states bordering Nepal to contain an escalated conflict.

Uncertainty is the watchword in Nepal, where much depends on how the parliamentary coalition plays its hand as it seeks to finesse the Maoists and the king.

Report Drafted By:
Dr. Michael A. Weinstein



The Power and Interest News Report (PINR) is an independent organization that utilizes open source intelligence to provide conflict analysis services in the context of international relations. PINR approaches a subject based upon the powers and interests involved, leaving the moral judgments to the reader. This report may not be reproduced, reprinted or broadcast without the written permission of inquiries@pinr.com. All comments should be directed to content@pinr.com.

Maoists blast Bihar police station

Thursday September 29 2005 00:00 IST
IANS

PATNA: Suspected Maoist guerrillas blew up a newly constructed three-storey police station in Bihar, police here said on Wednesday.

The rebels blasted the Parasbigha police station in Jehanabad district with a dynamite late on Tuesday night. No casualties have been reported.

The incident occurred a day after the guerrillas carried out another blast at the Chakand Railway station on the Patna-Gaya section of East Central Railway.

In the latest blast, about 70 rebels of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) surrounded the newly constructed police station, planted a dynamite and blew it up with a remote control, the police said.

They shouted anti-police slogans and left Maoist literature near the explosion site, local people told police.

Maoist rebels had warned that they would target railway and government property to protest police action against their cadres, particularly the arrest of a senior leader a few days ago.

The CPI-Maoist has also called for a boycott of the October-November assembly elections.

Maoists warn people of massacre

Thursday September 29 2005 00:00 IST

IANS

RANCHI: Maoist guerrillas in Jharkhand have threatened to kill anyone who helps the government to suppress them.

The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) killed 15 people in Beluwaghati village of Giridih district this month, after the villagers allegedly ganged up against the Maoists.

The villagers had been mobilised by former chief minister Babulal Marandi.

A statement issued by the outlawed CPI-Maoist said: "Anyone who will oppose the CPI-Maoist will meet the fate of the people of Beluwaghati."

It warned people "not to come under the influence of any politician". If they did, it said, they should "be ready to face the consequences".

Maoist guerrillas are active in 16 of the 22 districts in the state. Nearly 530 people, including 210 policemen, have been killed in the state in Maoist linked violence in the last five years.

Naxals withdrew unilaterally from talks says YSR

Hyderabad | September 28, 2005 5:51:29 PM IST


Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy today said the naxals were responsible for collapse of talks, which the government had initiated, by insisting on carrying weapons.
Paying homage to ruling Congress senior legislator C Narsi Reddy, who along with his son and nine others was gunned down by extremists on Independence Day, Dr Reddy told the Assembly that naxals unilaterally withdrew from the talks.

Asserting that no government could allow a private person to carry weapons, he said peace was possible only when left-wing extremist organisations gave up violence and joined the mainstream of society.

Strongly condemning the killing of the MLA and others at Narayanpet town in Mahaboobnagar district, the Chief Minister said the naxals had resorted to the violent act only to make their presence felt and give a fresh lease of life to the dying movement.

Dr Reddy hit out at VIRASAM (Revolutionary Writers Association) activists for not condemning naxal violence. ''Statements they made after the killing made civilised society bow its head in shame,'' he added.

He urged all parties to rise above political considerations and join hands with the government in stamping out naxal violence.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

CPI(ML) opposes political line of Maoists

KOLKATA, SEP 27 (PTI)

Admitting that it was a mistake in the late sixties to follow the path of annihilation of 'class enemies', formidable naxalite leader and CPI(ML) chief Kanu Sanyal today opposed the political line of the Maoist groups in both India and Nepal.

He told a press conference here that the naxalites in West Bengal had trodden that route in the early sixties and had realised the futility of armed rebellion and killing of individuals.

"There is no political doctrine like Maoism as amply demonstrated by the Chinese leaders. Some doctrines of Mao Zedong were followed in China but what CPI(Maoist) is following is totally different from Maoism," said Sanyal who gave leadership to the Naxalite movement in West Bengal in the late sixties that had witnessed killings, including that of senior police officials.

"Why are you asking me this question again? I have already made my stand clear. That path we have travelled and we committed mistakes," he said in response to a question on his stand on the activities of CPI(Maoist).

"Can we end the capitalism by killing a capitalist?" he said.

The veteran naxalite leader said CPI(M) which was heading ruling Left Front in West Bengal was 'collaborating with the Indian bourgeoise landed class'.

WEST BENGAL : New state force to combat Naxal menace

The force, which will be headquartered in Siliguri, will cull personnel from police and other govt agencies.
Express News Service

Kolkata, September 27: Alarmed at the Naxalite violence in the state, the Government has decided to raise a force called the India Battalion Reserve Force.

The force will have the daunting task to tackle the menace which has claimed the lives of around 20 policemen in the state so far.


This has been decided at a state Cabinet meeting held today with Chief Minister Budhadeb Bhattacharjee chairing it.

The proposal was sent by the state home department, again headed by the Chief Minister. Earlier, the proposal got the Cabinet nod.

An amount of Rs 13 crore will be spent on the new force. The amount will be also shouldered by the Central Government, according to the Cabinet documents made available to Newsline.

The headquarters of the armed force will be at Siliguri in north Bengal.

In the first phase, 1,101 personnel who will be scouted from both the state police and other Government agencies, will be recruited for the force. There will be fresh appointments, too, the papers revealed.

Other decisions taken at the meeting today included setting up five new degree colleges in the state. The places where the colleges are going to be set up are: Kultoli in South 24 Parganas, Lalgola in Murshidabad, Keshpur and Goaltore in West Midnapore district and Pandaveshar in Murshidabad district.

The Cabinet has also given its nod to the bifurcation of Keshpur police station of West Midnapore district. There will be a new police station called Anandapur which has been carved out of the Keshpur PS.

Maoist rebels blow up a railway station in Bihar

Gaya | September 27, 2005 4:19:44 PM IST



Maoist rebels in Bihar blew up a railway station after alerting passengers to flee, officials said on Tuesday.

The explosion was so powerful that the waiting room, booking office and a newly constructed building of the station was turned to debris.

"At around 11.30 p.m. (Monday) we heard a loud noise and got to know that the whole area was blown up," said Mahesh, an eyewitness.

The rebels, who say they are fighting for the rights of peasants and landless labourers in the country's rural hinterland, pasted a notice on the walls of the station in Bihar's Gaya District, asked police and paramilitary forces to end operations against them, police said.

"They have left this notice at the site of the incident which makes it clear that this attack has been carried out by Maoists," said Vinod Kumar Singh, Inspector of Government Railway Police, the provincial force to police railway network.

Security forces have launched a crackdown against the estimated 2,000 rebels in the state, which will vote for a new assembly in four-phased polls in October-November.

Analysts say the federal government should adopt a national policy to tackle the Maoist problem instead of allowing states to deal with it.

Thousands have died in three decades of Maoist insurgency across eight states. Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttaranchal, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh. Rebels have killed politicians and policemen and blasted factories and government offices.

Maoist rebels in Nepal fighting to overthrow the nation's monarchy and their Indian counterparts have recently vowed to join together to promote communism, stoking fears the insurgency in the Himalayan kingdom could spillover.

Analysts say the rebels aim to build a red corridor from Nepal to Karnataka, home to India's technology capital, Bangalore.

According to India's home ministry, there are about 9,300 Maoists in the country and leftist violence accounts for "about 91 percent of the nationwide violence and 89 percent of the resultant deaths".

At least 6,000 people have been killed in Maoist violence since it first began over two decades ago.

Monday night's blast comes just a week after the Home Ministry undertook a security review of nine states hit frequently by Naxalites, and it was then decided as a preliminary strategy, that there was a need to give more freedom to the two joint task forces appointed in June to cross state boundaries to curtail the impact of these menacing ultras.

At the meeting, which was chaired by Home Minister Shivraj Patil, some of the state chief ministers reportedly expressed concern over the spread of the naxalite activities in newer areas other than the nine states classified as naxalite-affected.

Bihar Governor Buta Singh, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, Orissa Chief Minister Navin Patnaik, Karnataka Chief Minister Dharam Singh, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Babulal Gaur, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda were present at the meeting. Home Secretaries of all the concerned states were also present.

Informed sources said then that an agreement had been reached to set up two inter-state joint task forces for gathering and sharing of tactical intelligence will undertake synergised and coordinated joint operations, including hot pursuit across state boundaries against the Naxal leaders and cadres.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil had convened the meeting ollowing intelligence reports of escalation in extremists iolence in many parts of the country. The immediate rovocation for the Home Ministry to have such an exercise was the recent Naxalite violence in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. (ANI)

Naxal-scarred Tripura residents demand Army protection

Hazaripada, Tripura | September 27, 2005 2:08:47 PM IST



After the brutal killing of eight people in Tripura by Naxals on Sunday, people residing in the area have started demanding tight security for their village.

Activists of the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), which has been fighting for an independent tribal homeland, fired indiscriminately with automatic weapons when they raided Hazaripada, some 90 km east of Agartala, the state capital.

Ramni Mohan Devnath, a resident, described the Naxal and militant threat has a situation that had recurred frequently in the past.

"This has happened a number of times. In the year 1998 and 1999, there were lots of people who used to reside in this area but now only few are left. We are always tensed and we demand a camp of paramilitary forces for our security," said Ramni Mohan Devnath.

All the victims who were attacked by the Naxals were from the majority Bengali-speaking community in Tripura which borders Bangladesh.

An extensive combing operation in the area was launched by contingent of the police and the Tripura State Rifles soon after the killing. (ANI)

Extremists blow up police station building

Jehanabad | September 27, 2005 12:41:41 PM IST



Proscribed CPI(Maoist) activists have blown up the newly constructed building of Paras Bigha police station under Naxal dominated Jehanabad district of Bihar.

Police sources said over one hundred CPI(Maoist) activists converged on the deserted police station building last night and blew it up using dynamite.

The extremists left the site raising slogans decrying ''police atrocities'' and hailing their own organisation, sources said, adding that adjoining areas of the village had been sealed and a massive manhunt launched to nab the culprits.

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