Saturday, March 25, 2006

No traces of officials abducted by Naxals yesterday

Parlakhemundi (Orissa): Combing operations by security forces were continuing in the forests of Gajapati district after the daring Naxalite attack on Ramgiri Udayagiri town in which four persons, including three policemen, were killed.

There was no report about the two government officials including the officer-in-charge of the R Udayagiri police station who had been abducted yesterday by the heavily armed Naxalites as they retreated into the jungles, official sources said.

"The combing operation has been intensified and efforts to ensure the release of the abducted officials are on," DIG of police (southern range), SK Upadhyay, said.

The attackers had abducted the OIC Ranjan Kumar Mallick and the jail superintendent Rabinarayan Sethi while retreating to the jungles.

The ultras also shot dead three policemen in a gunbattle near the Orissa Special Armed Police camp while another policeman was injured.

One more person, a daily labourer of the public works department, was killed and six others injured when a landmine went off at Kankadaguda village, about 10 km from R Udayagiri, yesterday afternoon.

Meanwhile, bomb disposal squads have been pressed into service to search for hidden landmines on the roads and places where the road had been blocked by fallen trees and boulders.

Normalcy was slowly returning to R Udayagiri town which was stunned by yesterday's surprise attack. The main market area in the town, which remained closed yesterday, did not function today with people preferring to stay indoors.

Naxalite arrested in U P

Lucknow, March 25 (PTI): A self-styled Deputy Area Commander of the banned naxalite outfit Maoist Communist Centre was arrested near Karail Bandhi village in Sonebhadra district of Uttar Pradesh, a police spokesman said here today.

Acting on a tip-off, a police party intercepted naxalite Mahangu alias Chiru near the village last evening and recovered two guns and some live cartridges, he said.

He was wanted in several cases of extortion and kidnappings, he added.

11 killed in Chhattisgarh naxalite blast

[ Saturday, March 25, 2006 03:28:52 pm IANS ]


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RAIPUR: As many as 11 people were killed and four injured when Maoist guerrillas detonated a landmine in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh even as three rebels died in a gun battle with police on Saturday.

The first incident took place in the thickly forested Pakhanjur area, 254 km south of here, in Kanker district bordering Maharashtra on Friday night.

"Maoists exploded the mine under a jeep carrying 15 people in Pakhanjur around 9 p.m. Six people died on the spot while five succumbed to their injuries in a hospital Saturday," district police chief Pradeep Gupta said.

Police said the six tribals and five traders who were killed were returning from a market when Maoists triggered the blast Police suspect the attack was meant to avenge the death of a Maoist leader who was killed in a gun battle earlier Friday.

In another incident at 8 a.m. Saturday, police killed three Maoists in a shootout at Bhairamgarh area, 420 km south of here, in the violence-hit district of Dantewada bordering Andhra Pradesh.

"Three Maoists were killed in the exchange of fire that broke out after the rebels opened fire on a police vehicle. We have recovered the bodies of all the three men," said M W Ansari, the inspector general of Bastar Range.

He said extra police force and paramilitary troopers had reached the site to launch a combing operation against the guerrillas who hold sway in Bhairamgarh and the adjoining Bijapur area.

Maoists have a strong presence in eight of Chhattisgarh's 16 districts. Officials say nearly 90 people have been killed in Maoist violence in the state since Jan 1, mostly in Dantewada district.

Naxals pre-empt cops!

Saturday March 25 2006 12:01 IST

BHUBANESWAR: Did the police sense an attack by the Naxals? Probably yes. But they had no inkling what the target would be.

Going by reliable sources, Gajapati Police had information on Naxal movement in the district and was anticipating attack in Parlakhemundi. This was the reason why police presence had been stepped up in the town.

But, the radicals had other things in mind. Meanwhile, sources revealed that the R Udaygiri attack was executed by Jogel who happens to be divisional commander of Malkangiri unit of Andhra Orissa Special Zonal Committee of CPI (Maoist).

The radical leader, who commands a military unit, was recently ‘transferred’ to Gajapati as the Left wing ultra leadership probably had such a plan in mind, intelligence sources believe.

In fact, Gajapati and Malkangiri were the two districts where the Left wing ultras started creating their base during the early days of Naxalism.

These tribal districts had witnessed number of Naxal-related incidents during late ’90s and early 2000. But their activity had dropped significantly of late.

With focus on Malkangiri, Sambalpur and Sundergarh, Gajapati seemed to have escaped from police mind.

It was the reason why the district was on the Naxal radar.

“With their Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand units on the offensive, the Orissa committee of the Maoist outfit was up to something similar,” a senior police officer said.

Naxals blow up jeep, six killed

CNN-IBN

Posted Saturday , March 25, 2006 at 09:20
Kanher (Chhatisgarh): Naxals have struck again, with same impunity and vengeance.

Six people were killed and at least eight injured when the rebels blew up a jeep in Ghodagaon, in Kanker District of Chhattisgarh on Friday evening.

"Naxals attacked a civilian vehicle carrying 14 to 18 passengers, four of whom have been brought to hospital in injured conditions. It looks like an attempt to scare people against a public uprising against the Naxals," Senior Superintendent of Police, Kanher, Pradeep Gupta said.

In yet another daring attack in Orissa, on March 23, more than 200 Maoists seized the town of R Udaigiri in Gajapati district, killed three policeman and kidnapped two.

The rebels attacked the Udaigiri jail, looted arms and destroyed the treasury office. The entire Udaigiri town was under naxal control on Thursday night. The police station inspector and the jail superintendent were also abducted.

"They tied us in the jail and took away the jail superintendent at gun point. We could do nothing," Udaigiri Jail Head warden, said.

Though the state police claim they killed three Naxals, but their bodies were taken away by the rebels.

Maoists storm jail in Orissa, free 40 prisoners

Staff Reporter

Three officials taken hostage from police station

Morning raid by extremists, supporters lasts over two hours
Simultaneous attack on police camp, jail, treasury and tehsil office
Second major Maoist attack in southern Orissa in recent years

BHUBANESWAR: A large number of armed Maoists stormed a sub-jail in R Udayagiri town of Gajapati district and freed 40 prisoners early on Friday.

They also attacked the local police station and an armed police camp killing three policemen before fleeing with a large cache of arms.

The naxals took hostage the Officer-in-Charge of the police station, Ranjan Mallick, and jailor Rabinarayan Sethi. District Collector Binod Bihari Mohanty, who was camping at the local inspection bungalow, escaped the attack.

200 extremists involved

More than 200 extremists along with an equal number of supporters raided the town from all sides after snapping telephone lines and disrupting electricity supply. The raid that started around 5 a.m. continued till 7.30 a.m.

The Maoists simultaneously attacked the State Armed Police camp, jail, police station, treasury, tehsil office and a telecom tower spreading terror in the town.

In the exchange of fire between the two sides at the police camp, at least three naxalites, including a woman, were killed, but the bodies were taken away by the ultras, Director-General of Police Suchit Das said.

Loot arms

The arms looted from the police camp included 25 self-loading rifles (SLRs), a pistol, a light machine gun and an AK-47 rifle, sources said.

The ultras, who ransacked the police station, burnt stamp papers worth nearly Rs. 40 lakh in the treasury.

Basanta Singh, one of the 40 prisoners released by the Maoists, returned to the jail after the ultras went inside the nearby forests.

Of the three policemen killed, two died on the spot and one died while being taken to a hospital in Berhampur. Another policeman injured in the attack is undergoing treatment.

Although senior police and administration officials reached R Udayagiri to take stock of the situation, there was no information on the whereabouts of the police official and the jailor taken hostage by the extremists till evening.

The naxal attack, similar to the incident in Bihar's Jehanabad district in November last, is the second major Maoist attack in southern Orissa in the recent years.

Three years ago, the naxalites had raided the district headquarter town of Koraput and looted arms and ammunitions from the district armoury.

Issue raised in Assembly

The R Udaygiri issue was raised in the State Assembly by the Opposition legislators who blamed Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for the "failure" of the law and order machinery in the State. Mr. Patnaik is holding the Home portfolio.

Meanwhile, a labourer was killed and six others were injured when a landmine went off near Kankadahada Ghati, 15 km away from R Udayagiri. The accident occurred when the authorities were clearing the landmines laid by the naxalites.

4 cops killed in major Naxal attacks on Orissa town

6TH LD NAXALITES

PARLAKHEMUNDI (ORISSA), MAR 24 (PTI)

In twin strikes, Naxalites today raided a prison in a town in Gajapati district, 65 km from here, and exploded a landmine killing four policemen and lost three to four of their own comrades in a gunbattle with security forces before freeing most of jail inmates including a few ultras.

In a pre-dawn attack, 200 armed naxalites in two trucks swooped on sub-jail in Ramgiri Udayagiri town at around five am and fired at the police station and an Orissa State Armed Police camp killing three personnel, official sources said.

The policemen, who returned the fire, claimed three-four Naxalites fell to bullets but their bodies were taken away by the retreating ultras, Director General of Police Suchit Das said in Cuttack. He had earlier put the number of naxal casualties at four to five.

He said about 200 heavily armed ultras, along with an equal number of their supporters, sneaked into the town and attacked the police station, OSAP camp, treasury, tehsildar's office and the local sub-jail, setting free several prisoners.

The ultras also set fire to the treasury destroying a large number of official papers.

OSAP Havildar Prasanta Patnaik and Sepoy Panu Duria died on the spot in the Naxalite firing while another injured sepoy Rajesh Ekka died on way to MKCG Medical College Hospital at Berhampur. Another injured policeman was undergoing treatment at Berhampur hospital.

The Naxalites also abducted the Officer-in-charge of the local police station Ranjan Kumar Mallick and Superintendent of the Sub-jail Rabinarayan Sethi whose fates were not known, official sources said.

After the operations, the naxals retreated into a dense forest and blocked the road by felling trees. When a police team went to search for the naxals, a landmine went off in the evening near Kankadaguda village, about 10 km from Ramagri Udayagiri, killing one person and injuring six, the sources said.

Sources said a large number of arms and ammunition looted by the Naxalites in the pre-dawn attack at R. Udaygiri included Self-loading rifles (SLRs).

Regarding the pre-dawn attack, sources said the ultras approached the town from two different sides divided themselves into groups and launched simultaneous strikes at different places.

While the OSAP camp witnessed a gun-battle, the police were outnumbered at most places. The Naxalites, who were armed with sophisticated arms including AK-47 assault rifles, set free almost all the 40 prisoners of the sub-jail after breaking open the gates, sources said. The Naxalites also damaged a communication tower in the town.

Union Home Secretary V.K.Duggal spoke to Orissa Chief Secretary Subas Pani about the Naxalite attack while offering all assistance to deal with the situation.

Senior home ministry officials were also in touch with the DGP and the state government was asked to intensify combing operation to arrest the ultras.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Naxalite attack rocks Orissa house

Bhubaneswar, March 24 (PTI): The daring naxalite attack on R.Udayagiri town in Gajapati district in Orissa this morning had its echo in the state Assembly as the opposition demanded the resignation of Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik.

The Opposition members stalled the proceedings from the beginning, shouting slogans against the Chief Minister even as several of them referred to the naxalite attack.

They described it as a 'complete failure' of the law and order machinery in the state.

Amidst the din, the Speaker Maheswar Mohanty, who had asked the Revenue Minister Manmohan Samal to reply to a question, adjourned the house for 15 minutes.

The adjournment was subsequently extended upto 11.30 am, and then upto 12 noon. The Chair then adjourned the house for the lunch recess.

The slogan shouting opposition members also demanded the resignation of Excise Minister Kalindi Behera in the wake of the recent Ganjam hooch tragedy in which at least 26 persons died.

Naxals free prisoners in Orissa, 3 cops killed

PTI
Friday, March 24, 2006 13:14 IST




PARLAKHEMUNDI (Orissa): Three policemen were on Friday killed in a pre-dawn raid on the subjail in R Udayagiri town of Gajapati district by Naxalites, who also set free 40 prisoners in an operation similar to the one on the district jail at Jehanabad in Bihar late last year.

The 200-odd Naxalites and as many supporters, attacked the Orissa special armed police camp and the police station around 5 am and killed three policemen and injured another in an exchange of fire that lasted over two hours, official sources said.

While havildar Prasanta Patnaik and sepoy Tuna Dehury died on the spot, sepoy Rajesh Ekka died on the way to the MKCG Medical College Hospital at Berhampur.

Director-General of Police Suchit Das said in Cuttack that four to five ultras were killed when the police returned fire. But the bodies were carried back by the Naxals.

After invading the town, the Naxals divided themselves into groups and attacked several places simultaneously. While the camp witnessed a gunbattle, the Naxalites also ransacked the police station and attacked the sub-jail, treasury and the tehsildar's office.

As the gates of the sub-jail were thrown open, all but one of the 40 prisoners walked out of the prison and disappeared.

AGNATHAM – SWETCHA (joining mainstream from underground life) programme of Nalgonda Police


AGNATHAM – SWETCHA (joining mainstream from underground life) programme of Nalgonda Police

Aim: -

To motivate and facilitate the underground extremists/terrorist to surrender by counseling their parents.

Efforts: -

Taking out rallies, displaying banners and placards for encouraging those willing to join the mainstream, leaving underground activities.

Visiting the houses of the underground activists and ascertaining the reasons of their going underground from their parents.

Holding direct meetings with the parents to persuade them to give calls to their sons and daughters to surrender, after creating conducive environment through rallies etc.

Arranging discussions between the local leaders and officers of various departments for promoting welfare of the village and exploring and implementing solutions to their problems.

Distributing food grains, new dresses and sweet packets etc. to the parents of misguided under ground activists, in order to win them over and making them more amenable for meaningful dialogue.

Achievements: -

Number of underground cadres laid down their arms & joined mainstream since the launching of this programme.

THE HINDU
June 03,2005
Andhra Pradesh - Nalgonda
Youth urged to capitalise on welfare schemes
Staff Reporter
NALGONDA: The Superintendent of Police, M.M. Bhagwat, called upon youngsters to utilise the Rashtriya Samvikas Yuvajana scheme to get better employment opportunities and lead a peaceful life.
Addressing a meeting organised as part of "Agnatam-Swechha" programme at Ipparthy village in Munugode mandal on Tuesday, he said a `Youth Facility Centre' would be shortly opened at the district headquarters "You will get valuable information about education and employment opportunities from the proposed centre," he said, adding the Police would act as a facilitator between the Government and the youth. Roads would be laid and drinking water would be provided for the naxal-affected villages under the newly launched scheme.
Mr. Bhagwat strictly advised the youngsters not to be carried away by anti-social elements. As part of "Agnatam-Swechha", the SP, the Officer on Special Duty, V. Ravinder, the Nalgonda DSP, G. Ananta Reddy, and the Chandur Inspector, Ramulu, called on the parents of the underground naxalite, Antati Narasimha, and enquired about their social and economic condition.
After organising a rally with the underground cadres' relatives, naxal sympathisers and police officers, the SP gave away new clothes, rice and medicine to the naxals' parents. The SP launched the programme one week ago at Mallareddygudem in Samsthan Narayanapur mandal.
http://www.hindu.com/2005/06/

NDTV
AP police adopt families of Naxal recruits
T S Sudhir
Tuesday, May 24, 2005 (Nalgonda):
The Andhra Pradesh police are playing an interesting mind game. Moving into villages that have seen recruitments into the Naxal fold, they are adopting families of such Naxals. The aim is to dent the family's self-esteem so that it puts pressure on the son or the daughter to discard the gun.One of the families adopted by the police is that of Raghupati's. He joined the Naxal movement when he was 18 and the district police have now come forward to publicly affirm that they are here to do what the son should have done - look after the aged parents and a younger sister."These policemen are helping for now but if my son helps, it will be much better,'' said C Balaram, Raghupati's father.Self-pride of youthForty families in 20 villages have been similarly adopted by the Nalgonda police. The strategy clearly is to strike at the emotion and self-pride of youth gone astray."This is psychological warfare. We are reminding them that you belong to this area. The area is backward. Your parents' condition is not too good,'' said Mahesh Bhagwat, SP, Nalgonda.The villages are being wooed with promises of employment and free medical camps if they remained on the side of the law.The police hope efforts such as these would provide the healing touch. But all the good work comes to naught when people from such villages are picked up on suspicion that they provide logistical help to the underground cadre.While combing operations and hunting of Naxals still continue, this is an effort to show that the police do not talk only the language of the gun.

http://www.ndtv.com/

NEWINDPRESS.COM
SOUTHERN NEWS - ANDHRA PRADESH
Jan 19, 2006
Naxal couple lay down their arms
Wednesday January 18 2006 11:52 IST
NALGONDA: Communist Party of United State of India - Dalita Bahujana Shramika Vimukthi (CPUSI-DBSV) state committee secretary Challa Lingaiah alias Manganna, his wife and committee member Sunita alias Polakka laid down arms before Superintendent of Police Mahesh M. Bhagawath on Tuesday.Addressing mediapersons this evening, the SP said Lingaiah was accused of being involved in five murder cases in Warangal district. He also participated in encounters at Somulagadda, Ramanakkapet and three other areas in Warangal district, he said.Sunita joined the cadres in December 2004. She joined the CPUSI Singanna Dalam and remained underground.The Naxal couple said they surrendered because they were disenchanted with the Naxal ideology.The SP gave Rs 5,000 reward money to the couple. OSD Viswaprasad and other police officials were present.The surrendered couple said they were disenchanted with Naxalite policies.
http://www.newindpress.com/

THE HINDU
March13,2006
AP Edition online
Return home, family members appeal to `missing' youngsters
Staff Reporter
They are involved in subversive activities, says the SP

AGONISING WAIT: Hameeduddin, father of Rasheed, addressing a press conference as M.M. Bhagwat, SP, shows the youngster's file photograph at the district police office in Nalgonda on Sunday.
NALGONDA: Family members of three youngsters of Bhongir town, Ahmed Mohiuddin Rasheed (22), Mohd. Mustafa (24) and Sayed Abdul Khadeer (22), who have been missing for a year, have made a fervent appeal to the trio to return home and lead peaceful lives.
Addressing a press conference in the presence of Superintendent of Police M.M. Bhagat at the district police office here on Sunday, they said that the youths were misguided by some elements. Rasheed's father Hameeduddin, 55, an imam, said that he needed the help of his only to take care of him in his old age.
LeT influence
Rasheed had gone to Hyderabad four years ago for further studies and came in touch with Abdul Aziz alias Gidda of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) through Naseeruddin of Tehreek Tehfooz Shariat-e-Islam (TTSI), the SP said. The police arrested him on the charge of conspiring to set off blasts during the Ganesh festival in Hyderabad on August 29, 2004. He jumped bail and absconded on October 2, 2004. In June 2005, he along with Mustafa was arrested by the Railway police in Purna in Maharastra while moving under suspicious circumstances. The duo was lodged in Aurangabad jail for some time and later jumped bail.
Mustafa left his house in 2001 along with wife and son after a fight with his elder brother Meeran. "Later he too joined the LeT and was arrested. He jumped the bail in January 2006," the SP said. "He divorced his wife and was involved in illegal activities. My family wants to give him another chance to lead a normal life," Meeran told reporters.
Khadeer had gone to Hyderabad from Bhongir four years ago and joined the LeT, the SP said. He was also arrested along with the duo in a conspiracy case in 2004. "He was lodged in Cherlapally jail and jumped bail on January 5, 2006," the SP said. Khadeer's eldest brother Shafi, a mechanic, too advised his brother to join the mainstream
www.nalgondapoliceinitiative.blogspot.com





"Its not the activity of rascals but the inactivity of good people that destroys our society."
Shiv Khera

Mahesh Bhagwat IPS
Superintendent of Police
Nalgonda District
Andhra Pradesh
India 508001
08682-222304
www.nalgondapoliceinitiative.blogspot.com
www.aasara.blogspot.com
www.policemekosam.blogspot.com


Thursday, March 23, 2006

People’s might to combat fear

PARALLEL LINES - NALIN VERMA
On our way to Ranchi, my wife, two children and I entered the up-market Manokamana Restaurant on the Ranchi-Hazaribagh-Patna Highway around 11 pm.

Manokamana, which is a modern motel-cum-bar near Hazaribagh, was full with customers either on their way to Ranchi and Jamshedpur, or to Patna and Nalanda. While enjoying the dishes one could see rows of trucks, buses and cars plying on the highway before the motel.

The 350-km Ranchi-Hazaribagh-Patna Highway stays busy for nights with vehicles, carrying families and goods, plying non-stop. Like many other parts of Bihar and Jharkhand, this stretch, too, has areas like Koderma, Rajauli, Ramgarh and Barhi where the armed squads of the CPI (Maoist) rule the roost.

Still life never comes to a stand-still on this stretch, which is dotted with dhabas and restaurants serving delectable North Indian fare. These eateries, which remain open 24 hours, do brisk business even late at night, with cars and buses stopping there and the passengers getting the much-needed refreshment. Many of these restaurants stay bathed in fluorescent lights to lure customers. Some like Madhuban and Samrat have aquariums, rabbits, puppies and playthings for the travellers and especially for children to enjoy.

Driving on this stretch last week for almost the whole night with my family, I pondered why vehicles stop plying on the Ranchi-Lohardaga, Ranchi-Gumla, Ranchi-Simdega-Rourkela and Ranchi-Muri-Dhanbad roads after sunset?

I have heard many of my colleagues and friends mention that gun-toting Naxalites prowl on these stretches. Few advices travellers to pass through the stretches, particularly after sunset for the fear of Maoists, who kidnap their ‘class enemies’ at will.

But why have the Maoists, who are said to have a strong presence in Koderma, Ramgarh and Rajauli valleys, failed to stop the night-long movement of vehicles on the Ranchi-Hazaribagh-Koderma-Patna stretch. I did not even notice any contingent of police forces patrolling on this stretch to guard travellers. Vehicles carrying women, men and children were plying through the intricate Koderma and Rajauli valleys and the people were stopping at their chosen restaurants to eat and be merry.

Unlike to this stretch, there are very few eateries on the Ranchi-Lohardaga, Ranchi-Gumla, Ranchi-Simdega-Rourkela and Ranchi-Muri-Dhanbad roads. And there is hardly any use of opening them on these stretches where angels fear to tread after sunset. I asked my college friend Gupteshwar Pandey (IPS), who was once posted as senior SP in Ranchi as to what could be a possible explanation. Pandey gave a revealing reply.

He said rather philosophically: “You know peoples’ power is mightier than the power of Naxalites and even the police. It is not that kidnapping does not happen on this stretch in Hazaribagh, Koderma, Nalanda and Nawada. But people have simply refused to stop their movement owing to that.” The officer who is now deputy inspector-general, of Tirhut (Muzzafarpur) in Bihar, explained that if the people decide to travel freely and in hordes on Ranchi-Gumla, Ranchi-Lohardaga and Ranchi-Simdega, these roads, too, will be free from fear.

The deployment of forces won’t help alone. Eventually, it is up to the will of the people whether they will travel on Naxalite dominated stretches. If they do, that will end the reign of terror on the feared stretches of Jharkhand.

Yours truly, too, finds an element of validity in Pandey’s explanation. Decide to travel in groups on the Ranchi-Simdega stretches. The armed men, who stealthily invade from behind, will stay at bay at the sight of rows of buses and cars, filled with people, the way they do on the Ranchi-Hazaribagh-Patna Highway. Wishing you a joyful trip on “feared” roads.

Naxal gun down forest guard in Hazaribag

Hazaribag (Jharkhand), Mar 22 : A forest guard was tonight killed and a man injured in an attack by Naxalites on the Hazaribag-Bagodar National Highway, about 17 km from the Hazaribag district headquarters, police said.

The forest guard, Ugan Sao, and his friend Mahadev Yadav, were riding home on a two-wheeler when suddenly three motor-cycle borne extremists overtook them on the Shivani road Bridge on NH-100 and fired on the duo.

While Sao was killed on the spot, the pillion rider was grievously wounded, police added.

The injured was being taken to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Maoists demand information on prisoners

Statesman News Service

MALDA, March 22. — After the hunger strike, Maoist activists now demand information about all imprisoned fellow activists in various jails arrested on the charge of “waging war against the state”.
Sources said today that one Maoist activist, Mr Animesh Chakraborty, has been on hunger- strike for the last three days and that the Maoists may soon appeal to the Court seeking the status of all Maoist prisoners, who are presently in jail, based on the Correctional Services Act 2000.
The Maoist activist, Mr Animesh Chakraborty, has been on hunger strike continuously in phases, while he was in the Malda, Jalpaiguri and Siliguri jails in north Bengal for the same issue.
On 5 March, he was transferred to Midnapore Central jail from the Malda jail in connection with a case for waging war against the state, recorded in Shalboni.
Reportedly, out of 10 cases against, he has bail in four, all of which were initiated by north Bengal police.
One case, however, which was initiated in Malda in connection with a murder in Harishchandrapur in the 1990s, will start in April.
Animesh had threatened to intensify the hunger strike after the jail minister allegedly commented: “They would not be treated as political prisoners”.
Animesh Chakraborty reportedly wrote a letter to the jail minister, Mr Biswanath Choudhury, from Malda in the first week of March pointing out that under the section 24(6) of the West Bengal Correctional Service Bill 1992, they had a right to know the status of the Maoist prisoners.
In a letter, Chakraborty also claimed that he had studied the situation in various villages in Malda, Murshidabad, Nadia and Jalpaguri and found that croplands were in the clutches of capitalists.
He also alleged that no implementation of Dharmagoal had taken place, as declared in the election manifesto in 1978 by the ruling state government.

Maoists blast rail track, NMDC installation

Thursday March 23 2006 00:00 IST

IANS

RAIPUR: In fresh violence in Chhattisgarh, Maoists blasted a railway track and detonated an explosion in a National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) installation.

Both the incidents took place in Dantewada district that borders Andhra Pradesh late on Tuesday.

Though there were no casualties there was panic and heavy loss to property, police said.

"This is the third time since February 1 that Maoists have targeted NMDC installations in Dantewada district. Last night, they triggered major blasts at Kirandul locality, 475 km south of capital Raipur," Dantewada district police chief Praveer Das told IANS over the phone.

Besides the blast at NMDC complex in Kirandul, Maoists damaged a 10 km stretch of the railway track in the Bailadila-Visakhapatnam section.

The NMDC has three iron ore mining deposits at Bailadila and its iron ore is mostly imported to Japan through Visakhapatnam port.

On March 5, rebels blasted a major portion of the Bhansi railway station and a rail engine parked at the station.

On February 8, eight paramilitary troopers were killed when guerrillas attacked NMDC's explosive store and took away 19 tonnes of high-powered explosives that are yet to be recovered.

Maoists have strong presence in eight of Chhattisgarh's 16 districts.

According to official estimates, 86 people have been killed in Chhattisgarh since January 1 in Maoist related violence. This includes 20 policemen, killed mostly in Dantewada district.

Naxalites ask EC to monitor Police

Mmonitor police in West Bengal
Kolkata Mar 22: Naxalite outfit CPI-ML (Liberation) today asked the Election Commission to closely monitor the state police administration in West Bengal in the interest of free and fair elections.

A CPIML (Liberation) statement said party leaders Partha Ghosh and Jayatu Deshmukh met CEC B B Tandon yesterday and submitted a memorandum urging him to closely monitor the police, saying they were under control of the ruling parties.

Observing that the state Information and Cultural Affairs department was helping to popularise the slogans of the ruling party in the manner of the 'Bharat Uday' campaign of the NDA government, the memorandum said Transport minister Subhas Chakraborty was carrying out a campaign putting up hoardings on private and government buses with his election symbol.

It said police were conducting house-to-house raids every night in the border districts of Nadia and North 24-Parganas in the name of identifying Bangladeshis, the memorandum said and added that this could adversely affect free elections, besides communal harmony, if not immediatley stopped.

"The Commission was also apprised of the partiality of election workers against voters who have shifted residence and want their epic cards changed accordingly. Mr Tandon has agreed to look into the complaints," the release said.

The Adivasis of Chhattisgarh: Victims of Naxalite Movement and Salwa Judum Campaign

Victims of Naxalite Movement and Salwa Judum Campaign
(Excerpts from the main report)

Since the launch of Salwa Judum, an anti-Naxalite campaign, in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh in June 2005, the Adivasis, who constitute 78.51% of the total population of Dantewada, have become victims of the conflict between the Naxalites and the State government of Chhattisgarh. Though majority of the cadres of the Naxalites are Adivasis, they are not the decision makers. “Commander” Kosa, the secretary for the Naxals in Chhattisgarh hails from Andhra Pradesh. The apology by the Maoists for the killings of innocent Adivasis on 28 February 2006 at Darbhaguda was also issued from Andhra Pradesh . Similarly, the Salwa Judum campaign has been taken over by the State as a full-pledged counter-insurgency programme. The Adivasis are the pawns of both the parties of the conflict. They are also the perpetrators as well as the victims of the undeclared civil war.

In 1980s, the Naxalites, the ultra-left wing armed opposition group, made inroads into Bastar region from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. Then Madhya Pradesh government had little semblance of presence in the Bastar region. The plight of the dispossessed and exploited Adivasis provided the classical situation for starting a communist revolution. As the Naxalites took over the tasks meant to be done by the State and provided protection to the Adivasis against exploitation by the corrupt officials, police, forest department officials, timber mafia, money-lenders etc, it was not difficult for the Adivasis to relate to the ideology of the Naxalites. The Naxalites gradually increased their influence day by day. At present, at least nine out of 16 districts of Chhattisgarh i.e. Kanker, Dantewada, Bastar, Surguja, Balrampur, Rajnandgaon, Koriya, Kawardha and Jashpur are affected by low intensity armed conflict with the Naxalites.

However, the Naxalites also came with the baggage associated with communist armed insurrections - execution of petty bourgeois amongst the most impoverished, extortion, and other harsh punishments. The Adivasis became victims of gross violations of human rights such as “violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; taking of hostages; outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment; and passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples”, at the hands of the Naxalites. Some of those who were injured in the landmine blast on 28 February 2006 at Darbhaguda village were allegedly stabbed and clubbed to death by the Naxalites.

The policy of the Naxalites of forcibly recruiting one cadre from each Adivasi family compelled many families to give the female members to the Naxals. Hence, traditional Adivasi social taboos were challenged and destroyed by the Naxalites and resentment against the Naxalites grew. But, any rebellion against the rebels was quelled with brutality. In 1992-93, a rebellion against the Naxalites was silenced after the Naxals killed 70 Adivasis.

Since June 2005, episodic resentments against the Naxalites took organized shape under the leadership of Mr Mahendra Karma, the Member of Legislative Assembly and Leader of the Opposition in the Chhattisgarh State Legislative Assembly. Mr Karma christened it as Salwa Judum, Peace Initiative. It soon received the State sanction and became part of Chhattisgarh government's experiment with counter-insurgency operations to tackle the Naxalites. The civil war began in earnest.

The Salwa Judum has been far from a peaceful campaign with hundreds of the cadres being given full military training as Special Police Officers. It has created a civil war where one is either with the Naxalites or with the Salwa Judum . As the Naxalites followed the policy of forcibly recruiting one cadre from each family, in numerous cases, members of the same family have been pitted against each other. The Adivasis do not necessarily share the Naxalites' dream of surrounding “ Delhi one day with Red Army”, but they want their plight to improve and bring an end to exploitation by the corrupt government officials, police, money lenders, contractors etc. Instead, they find themselves in the midst of a civil war.

The Naxalites responded with violence against the Salwa Judum cadres irrespective of whether they are joining on their own volition or by force. Between 5 June 2005 and 6 March 2006 , at least 138 Salwa Judum activists have been allegedly killed by the Naxalites.

Even the children of the Salwa Judum cadres were not spared. Swayam Mala , Ex-Sarpanch of Darbhaguda village told Asian Centre for Human Rights, “On the night of 23 February 2006 , Sangham people (Naxalites) came to my residence searching for me on the accusations that I was initiating development projects in the village. Not finding me, they killed my son Swayam Kanna, who was studying in class eight.”

Although the Naxalites have been responsible for more killings, the response of the State government to involve the civilians directly in the conflict and recruiting children as Special Police Officers is morally and legally untenable.

As on 4 March 2006 , a total of 45,958 Adivasi villagers from 644 villages in 6 blocks of Dantewada district have come under Salwa Judum programme. The security forces and Salwa Judum activists have been responsible for gross violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws including torture, killings and rape especially during joint operations to bring scattered villages under the Salwa Judum. But the police do not register such complaints of atrocities as they also commit these crimes. Those who are victims of violations by the security forces and the Salwa Judum activists therefore are not given any compensation. Only the alleged victims of Naxalite violence are given compensation.

The displaced Adivasis have been living as inmates in temporary camps. Many have been living in the houses, roofed with the leaves of trees. The camp conditions are deplorable and no provisions are provided except for a square meals with watery dal.

There are also no educational facilities in the camps but the government claims that it is providing business education! Many government schools including Government Higher Secondary School at Konta, Girls High School, Janpad Middle School, Girls Ashram and Boys Ashram at Dondra have been converted into relief camps. Students who have been appearing for the High School and Higher Secondary School Board examinations in March 2006 have been badly affected.

The temporary relief camps have been turned into centres for military training and anti-Naxalite indoctrination education. As on 4 March 2006, 3,200 Adivasi boys and girls have been recruited as Special Police Officers (SPO) in Dantewada district alone at a fixed honourarium of Rs 1500 to each per month. Many SPOs have not been paid any honourarium. Many have joined in the SPO with the promise of regularization in the State Police Force.

Both the security forces and the Naxalites have been responsible for the recruitment and use of children in hostilities. ACHR interviewed 9 SPOs at Bangapal Relief Camp within the Bangapal Police Station who claimed that they were below 16 years.

As on 4 March 2006, there were 1999 surrendered Naxalites in Dantewada alone. Many of them have been kept in chains and they do not have the right to freedom of movement.

As many as 227 persons have been killed between 5 June 2005 and 6 March 2006 including 47 security personnel and 30 alleged Maoists, 150 civilians out of which 138 at the hands of the Maoists and 12 at the hands of security forces and Salwa Judum activists. Out of these, 63 persons including 33 security forces and 30 civilians were killed in landmines planted by the Naxalites. There is an urgent need to bring an end to the armed conflict in Chhattisgarh and the suffering of the innocent persons caught in the conflict. All actors of the conflicts i.e. State governments and the Naxalites must find peaceful solutions

Olives to protect khakis from Maoists

The police department is also planning to create a separate sub-division headquarters at Venkatapuram, a bordering mandal. Five mandals — Vajedu, Venkatapuram, Cherla, Dummugudem and Chinturu — covering about 50 to 60 small villages are in Bhadrachalam division.

The police officers are finding it difficult to monitor naxalite movements on the Chhattisgarh border from Bhadrachalam as some police stations are 150 to 160 km from this police divisional headquarters.

For instance, Peruru police station is 160 km and Mothugudem station is 150 km from Bhadrachalam. The idea behind it was if an officer of the rank of deputy superintendent of police or additional superintendent of police is stationed at the new headquarters he can supervise anti-naxalite operations.

Reinforcement of the personnel is also easy in case of any eventuality. The division had a history of naxalite attacks on police stations. Erstwhile, People's War attacked Vajedu police station in 1994 and snatched away weapons from the station.

In another bordering village Egugullapally, the naxalites killed a CPM leader for taking up anti-naxalite activities. Since then, an armed outpost is being posted in the village


HYDERABAD: It is a case of military having to protect the police. With increased naxalite violence, Andhra Pradesh government has decided to post 40 armed para-military personnel or a platoon at each of the 11 police stations in Bhadrachalam division that borders Chhattisgarh.

"This is part of the high alert on the state border," a senior police official said. In fact, platoons have already reached some of the police stations whilst the rest of the police stations will get additional help soon.

The state intelligence wing has already alerted that the Maoists had been planning to take up a major strike on these police stations bordering Chhattisgarh.

"Apart from deploying para-military forces, we have increased ambush points in various routes to trace the movements of naxalites. We have asked to sanction additional civil police to each police station," a senior police official of Khammam district told TOI.

The police are on a high alert after the attack on Salwa Judum activists on February 28 in Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh

The police department is also planning to create a separate sub-division headquarters at Venkatapuram, a bordering mandal. Five mandals — Vajedu, Venkatapuram, Cherla, Dummugudem and Chinturu — covering about 50 to 60 small villages are in Bhadrachalam division.

The police officers are finding it difficult to monitor naxalite movements on the Chhattisgarh border from Bhadrachalam as some police stations are 150 to 160 km from this police divisional headquarters.

For instance, Peruru police station is 160 km and Mothugudem station is 150 km from Bhadrachalam. The idea behind it was if an officer of the rank of deputy superintendent of police or additional superintendent of police is stationed at the new headquarters he can supervise anti-naxalite operations.

Reinforcement of the personnel is also easy in case of any eventuality. The division had a history of naxalite attacks on police stations. Erstwhile, People's War attacked Vajedu police station in 1994 and snatched away weapons from the station.

In another bordering village Egugullapally, the naxalites killed a CPM leader for taking up anti-naxalite activities. Since then, an armed outpost is being posted in the village.

EC measures for free, fair polls in naxal-hit areas

Kolkata, March 22 (PTI): The Election Commission would take all necessary steps, including deploying a sufficient number of central para-military forces, for free and fair assembly elections in naxal-hit areas in West Bengal, Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon said today.

"All necessary steps will be taken in the naxal-hit areas for free and fair elections where adequate number of central para-military forces will be deployed," he said at a press conference at the Raj Bhavan at the end of the full EC team's two-day sitting in the metropolis.

He said the EC would ensure sealing of the state's international border, while it was in touch with neighbouring Jharkhand and Bihar about closing the inter-state border to prevent the movement of naxals.

"Necessary action with be taken at the appropriate time and appropriate level," the CEC said.

The spurt in Maoist insurgency in West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts figured prominently at the meetings with the EC team.

These three districts will witness the first phase of Assembly elections beginning on April 17.
National

Jharkhand Assembly lauds police

Regional


Ranchi, March 22 (PTI): The Jharkhand Assembly today praised the police for keeping naxalites on toes with successive raids and successful results.

The house adopted a unanimous resolution congratulating the security forces for their offensive against the maoists during the last couple of days resulting in huge successes.

The resolution was taken up after BJP MLA and former minister Ravindra Rai suggested that if the members could express concern over the growing extremism repeatedly in the house "why don't we appreciate the recent achievements of the police through a house resolution".

In a show of rare unanimity, all members in the house nodded in affirmative when speaker Inder Singh Namdhari asked whether the house supported Rai's suggestion.

In multi-pronged raids against ultra leftist activists to push them into the deep forests, security forces broke Naxal assemblage at Hazaribag and Garwah, resulting in fierce encounters.

During the encounters, bodies of four naxalites were recovered and the police seized sophisticated weapons from one of the encounter spots.

Jharkhand Assembly lauds police

Regional


Ranchi, March 22 (PTI): The Jharkhand Assembly today praised the police for keeping naxalites on toes with successive raids and successful results.

The house adopted a unanimous resolution congratulating the security forces for their offensive against the maoists during the last couple of days resulting in huge successes.

The resolution was taken up after BJP MLA and former minister Ravindra Rai suggested that if the members could express concern over the growing extremism repeatedly in the house "why don't we appreciate the recent achievements of the police through a house resolution".

In a show of rare unanimity, all members in the house nodded in affirmative when speaker Inder Singh Namdhari asked whether the house supported Rai's suggestion.

In multi-pronged raids against ultra leftist activists to push them into the deep forests, security forces broke Naxal assemblage at Hazaribag and Garwah, resulting in fierce encounters.

During the encounters, bodies of four naxalites were recovered and the police seized sophisticated weapons from one of the encounter spots.

Naxal guerrillas train on Indian Army model

Sudhi Ranjan Sen

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 (New Delhi):



Naxals in India now model themselves on the Indian army, from training manuals to undercover training.

The People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) of the CPI (Maoist) is no longer a poorly trained militia but a highly equipped force trained on the lines of a regular army.

NDTV has access to two military manuals of the PLGA seized for the first time. These were seized by security forces from Andhra Pradesh during a recent raid.

Professional army

The manuals translated into Hindi from Telugu by the security forces give a chilling insight into the PLGA's planning, military skills and motives.

Security experts say such detailed military manuals have rarely been found in Kashmir or even in the militant infested North-East.

"This is very similar to the training of either a jawan or even a JCO. This is a kind of syllabus and these are the subjects covered," said General (retd) VK Sood, former Army chief.

The PLGA's Basic Military Course Manual begins with handling automatic weapons, compass and map reading.

It then moves on to detail defensive and attack formations. The manual analyses Naxal operations since 1997 and suggests means to increase enemy casualty.

It discusses how to collect intelligence, stalk the enemy, lay an ambush and attack. It also instructs how to retreat when attacked, regroup later using coded communication and how to raid protected installations.

Like the special forces, the stress is on the element of surprise and stealth.

"The planning and preparations suggest that they want to engage in a protracted struggle with the state," said AK Doval, former director, Intelligence Bureau.

"They are building up this movement purely on military lines. Training of armed cadres is taking place on the techniques used by the Indian Army," he added.

Command structure


The Naxals follow an elaborate command structure. Right on top is the central military commission followed by five regional bureaus, not unlike the Army's Corps Commands.

Beneath each such bureau is a divisional military commission, which in turn commands the fighting personnel.

Security experts believe that till this point, the Naxal structure involves a little over 9,000 personnel, the crux of the Naxal army.

And at the bottom of this structure is the people's militia.

The fighting forces of the Naxals are divided into three categories – the Primary Force, usually a small group of extremely well-trained personnel who spearhead any attack with superior weapons.

The secondary form the bulk of a large group, but with less sophisticated weapons. And finally, the people's militia comprising farmers, labourers and others.

"Their lethality is increasing, and frequency of attacks is on the rise. Unlike the old days, weapons power has improved, from simple farm weapons they are now using SLRs and even crude rocket launchers," said Dr PV Ramanna, Research Fellow, Observer Research Foundation.

Contrary to government claims, the Naxals have a regular paid army.

The PLGA's Platoon-level Handbook, also in possession of NDTV, says one of the key duties of the Platoon Commander is to promote diligent cadres and increase their salary.

"The Platoon Commander also ensures that their kit, uniforms, their weapons, their rations, everything is provided for," said Doval.

Terror links


The Home Ministry rules out that Naxals have links with other terrorist organisations. This is clearly not true.

Senior intelligence officials have told NDTV that Naxals have over 80 training camps, each training between 200-300 people at any point of time.

And, in all likelihood the training is being provided by the ULFA and retired Indian Army officials. The ULFA is also believed to be the source of their automatic weapons.

"There are 84 training camps which are operating in several states like Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Jharkhand," said Doval.

"They have linkages with the ULFA and the LTTE as well," said Dr Ramanna.

At least 10 chief ministers of Naxal-affected states will meet in a week's time in the Capital, yet again to chalk out a strategy to deal with Left extremism.

But doubts remain on whether the government can even take the first step - accepting that CPI (Maoists) is not just a bunch of misguided youth and that they pose the biggest threat to India's internal security.



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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Indian State has neither a policy nor an answer to Red resistance

The Bloody red corridor

The Indian State has neither a policy nor an answer to Red resistance

TEHELKA

When they crushed it brutally in the early 70s, they thought it was all over, reduced to the garbage can of history — the end. Even those Naxalites who were not eliminated, who survived in jails for years, tortured or turned into mental wrecks, many of them, young eclectic rebels, who thought that it’s just not possible to accept this dehumanisation of a democracy anymore, even they didn’t realise that the ‘revolution’ was all over. Many of the survivors split into factions, often on bizarre ideological issues. They were the incredible residue of the uprising which began with the peasant struggle in Naxalbari in West Bengal with its sharpest divides originating in the ideological confusion of the cpm. However, the inevitable realism of this conflict-ridden trajectory is that history has chosen to repeat itself yet again, the fractious movement is far from dead, and more than three decades after, the Indian State just can’t claim that the Naxalite movement has been turned into a biodegradable non-entity in the wasteland of Indian politics. Indeed, apart from the dogged, overground politics of the Naxalites such as the CPI(ML)- Liberation, which has decisively changed the power equations in the feudal terrain of Bihar since the early 70s, often making great sacrifices, the sparks that are now lighting the ‘liberated guerilla zones’ are being fired by the armed dalams of the CPI (Maoist), till recently, the People’s War Group. Their violent strikes across the ‘red corridor’ of the Andhra Pradesh border, around Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar bordering Nepal, even in some districts of cpm-ruled West Bengal, with their ‘mass base’ spreading rapidly among the most impoverished sections of the Indian population, is a pointer that goes beyond the myopic clich├ęs of their being a ‘menace and a law-and-order problem’. The fact is that the Indian State has neither a policy nor an ideological answer to this organised armed resistance, that blood for blood, this way or that, is not going to be the answer to this political phenomena. That the poorest of the poor are aligned with the Maoists is a fact. That they are getting caught in an action-replay of a vicious circle — with bloody vengeance stalking the landscape — is also a fact. But what about the Indian State? Is it at all interested in renegotiating these conflict-ridden margins?


Mar 25 , 2006

Copter pressed into service to rescue a police officer in Andhra Pradesh

Hyderabad, Mar 20 : Andhra Pradesh government today pressed into service an official helicopter to rescue a police officer of the anti-naxalite squad who had slipped into Krishna river while chasing extremists in Nallamala forest area of Kurnool district yesterday.

Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy agreed to the request made by the state police to spare the chopper for the rescue mission, official sources said.

After an hour-long exchange of fire with the Maoists, two policemen belonging to 'Greyhouds', an anti-naxalite wing, were chasing naxalites in a boat when the mishap occurred.

One of the policemen swam to safety while another went missing. There were no casualties in the firing.

On receiving the news of the missing police officer, state Director General of Police Swaranjit Sen directed the Inspector General of Police (Greyhouds) Durga Prasad and Intelligence Chief Aravinda Rao to meet the Chief Minister to request for official helicopter.

Responding to the request, the Chief Minister cancelled his scheduled trip to Gachibowli and spared the chopper for rescue operation.

Cops feel the heat as Naxals infiltrate with impunity

Tuesday March 21 2006 11:42 IST
JEYPORE: With heavy influx of tribals suspected from neighbouring Chhattisgarh into bordering Malkangiri district during last fortnight, police are on high alert apprehending untoward incidents in the tribal areas.

Intelligence sources said 200 hardcore Naxals from bordering Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh are now hiding in Chitrakonda, Kalimela, Motu and Padia areas of Malkangiri district.

Taking serious note, police along with gray hound and para-military forces have embarked on combing operations.

“On receiving information on Naxal influx to the State after the Dantabeda attack in Chhattisgarh, we cautiously devised our strategy,“ said a senior IPS officer of South Eastern range.

At least 50 persons were killed in Dantabeda bordering the district recently and police are on the lookout for them.

Naxals from East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts of AP and Dantabeda and Bastar districts of Chhattisgarh have several times infiltrated into Orissa, considered a safe hide-out, by taking advantage of dense forest along the border.

ORISSA : Village defence panels to campaign against Naxals

Tuesday March 21 2006 11:34 IST

BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has decided to organise village defence committees to create public opinion against Left wing extremism.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced this in the Assembly on Monday to a question from Brundaban Majhi (BJP).

He said that ‘sabha gruhas’ will be constructed in the villages where villagers can meet and discuss.

The Chief Minister, however, maintained that the situation was not so bad in Orissa compared to the neighbouring States. While 60 people were killed by the Naxals in Andhra Pradesh in 2004, in Orissa the figure was only 19.

During the year, eight Naxal-related incidents have taken place without any casualty, he said.

The State Government had submitted a proposal to the Centre to include Sambalpur, Deogarh and Jajpur as Left wing extremism-affected districts under the security-related expenditure (SRE) scheme. Certain kinds of SRE incurred in such districts are fully reimbursed under the scheme, he said.

Naveen said that to bring the tribals into the mainstream, community policing programmes had been launched in the Naxal-affected villages.

Under this programme, health camps, sports events and cultural-cum-music functions were organised by the police.

Participation of police in tribal festivals and distribution of ‘sports kits’ to them were also included in this programme.

Describing the problem as a socio-economic one, the Chief Minister said that steps had been taken to provide livelihood support to the tribals through bamboo collection operations, de-controlling of 60 minor forest produces, increase of wages to kendu-leaf workers and establishment of self-help groups with loan linkage to banks.

Naxal arrests: All hotels directed to maintain registers

Tuesday March 21 2006 10:03 IST
BELLARY: Following the arrest of 4 Naxalites who were hiding in Hotel Rameswari under fictitious names, the police have sent forms to all lodges in the district to be filled and periodically.

Hotel owners have been advised to verify the identity of the customer before giving them rooms.

Anti-Naxal squad: Addressing the media, SP Pankaj Kumar Thakur said that he had formed an Anti-Naxal Squad headed by Bellary rural Inspector Rama Rao, Brucepet inspector M R Reddy and PSIs Nagaraj, Nagi Reddy, Gokhale and Srinivas.

All cases related to Naxal activities have been transferred to this squad. The SP also appreciated the good work done by policemen who were instrumental in nabbing the 4 Naxalites.

He said the Bellary police are interacting with bordering Kurnool and Ananthapur police.

Maoists kill child ‘informers’ in AP

Published: Tuesday, 21 March, 2006, 09:12 AM Doha Time

HYDERABAD: Maoist rebels have kidnapped and killed two teenagers in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh after branding them police agents, officials said yesterday.

The teenagers, Nagesh (15) and Yelisha (13), were among five minors kidnapped by the rebels on Friday from a village in Prakasam district, 270km southwest of the state capital, Hyderabad.


They were shot dead by rebels who suspected the boys of passing information on the Maoists to police, officers said, adding that it was the first time that children in the state had been targeted in this way.

The rebels, who operate out of jungle bases in nine states, mainly in the southern and eastern parts of country, claim to be fighting for the rights of poor peasants and landless labourers in an insurgency that has killed thousands over four decades.

Singa Prasad, a leader of a local Maoist committee, claimed responsibility for the killings in a signed statement which was left with the dead bodies.

One of the kidnapped children was released on Sunday and returned home with news of the killings.

“The fate of the other two boys in rebel custody is uncertain,” said N Balasubramanyam, the district’s superintendent of police.

Police estimate there are as many as 20,000 Maoists, known as Naxalites, named after the town of Naxalbari in West Bengal state where the movement began in 1967. They have links with Maoist rebels in neighbouring Nepal.

The government of Andhra Pradesh held peace talks with rebels based in the state in 2004 but the guerrillas used the break in hostilities to regroup.

News of the boys’ deaths came after rebels set off a landmine under a police truck in a forested area of the neighbouring state of Chhattisgarh, killing two police officers and wounding 13 others.

The attack occurred at 9pm on Sunday near the town of Dongargarh, 100km west of the state capital, Raipur, district police chief Vivekanand Sinha said.

A team of 35 police officers were in the truck. Of the wounded, nine were in serious condition, Sinha said.

Local people and political parties in Dongargarh called for a dawn-to-dusk strike yesterday to protest against the attack by the Maoists, who have a strong presence in eight of Chhattisgarh’s 16 districts.

Officials say that over 80 people have been killed in Maoist violence in Chhattisgarh since January 1, mostly in Dantewada district which borders Andhra Pradesh.

Prompted by politicians and prodded by the police, more than 46,000 people have fled their villages in Chhattisgarh in the past nine months to join a new campaign against the Maoists.

“Twenty-five years ago, the Naxalites promised us land, they promised us a better life, but they have given us nothing,” said 34-year-old Kiche Rama. “All they are doing is killing us.”

“All the tribals here are very angry, so angry that if we end up finding a Naxal among us, we will straight away kill him.”

More and more tribesmen are fleeing to ill-protected camps run by the anti-Maoist Salwa Judum (Campaign for Peace) movement in Chhattisgarh.

“The Naxalites say they will kill anyone who has joined the Salwa Judum, they will murder our families, they will burn our houses and take everything we have,” said Bardkham Raja, a sarpanch, or village head, who fled his village last month.

“If you have more cattle, they take it from you and sometimes redistribute it. If you have more money they just take it away. If you complain, they beat you or kill you.

“That is why we don’t want to live there.”

The Chhattisgarh government has high hopes the Salwa Judum campaign could help to finish nearly four decades of Maoist insurgency.

But all the campaign has achieved so far is to turn southern Chhattisgarh into a virtual war zone, with civilians in the firing line as the Maoists fight back ruthlessly. – Reuters

Govt to announce plan for devpt of Naxal-infested areas: Patil

Mumbai, Mar 20: Maharashtra government would soon announce an action plan for development in Naxal-infested areas, the state assembly was informed today.

"Details of the plan would be announced in the next session of the state legislature", Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister R R Patil said.

Naxal menace was predominant in areas where the human development index (HDI) was low, Patil added.

Besides measures like introducing a surrender policy for Naxals and steps to tackle violence firmly, the government is engaged in drafting a comprehensive development plan for the Naxal-infested area of Vidarbha region, he said.

Patil said he had held several rounds of discussions with Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on the issue.

The Government would also hold a meeting of elected representatives from Naxal-infested areas soon, he said.

Bureau Report

North Telangana in forefront of Maoist `revolution' again

K. Srinivas Reddy

Maoist leadership debates continuance of Ganapathy as supremo

Jampanna spoke out against withdrawal of forces
He pushed for a more militant approach



HYDERABAD: North Telangana was not only the beacon of revolution, which fuelled revolutionary activity all over the country, but has now sown the seeds of discord among the naxalite leadership. The dissensions have reached such a stage that the party leadership is discussing the propriety of continuing Ganapthy as secretary.

Two years ago, the Central Regional Board (CRB) had decided to order a complete withdrawal of forces keeping the serious organisational and military losses in the five districts of North Telangana (NT). This decision was resented by the North Telangana Special Zonal Committee (NTSZC) headed by Jinugu Narsimha Reddy alias Jampanna.

Plenum convened


Overriding this decision for scaling down the armed rebellion to a strategic defensive stage, Jampanna is reported to have convened a plenum of NTSZC and got a resolution passed rejecting the CRB diktat. Interestingly, Jampanna too was a part of the CRB and had voiced his dissent.

This NTSZC resolution was perhaps the first sign of revolt. Jampanna was not alone in his forthcoming view that an important cause for downfall of the naxal movement in Andhra Pradesh was the `moderate' line being adopted. Some Maoist leaders in the Central Committee too were believed to have shared his view. Despite the resolution, squads had to be shifted from plain areas to the forests. However, Jampanna firmly believed that a `most militant' approach would only provide some space for the movement to grow in severe repressive conditions, like in Nepal.

Meanwhile, differences of opinion cropped in the State Committee on a statement issued to the media. The statement issued last year had asked the cadre to destroy the bodies of those killed by them, so as not to leave any trace. The controversial statement was immediately disowned by the party, which blamed the police for the `false propaganda.'

But the issue got revived when the police seized some letters written by Gangadhar, believed to be Cherukuri Rajkumar, a Central Committee memberm, to Varavara Rao last year. In his letters Gangadhar expresses surprise over the statement, despite the State Committee rejecting the proposal (of causing disappearance of the bodies). This showed that the State Committee had indeed discussed the issue, but rejected it.

Is the release of such a statement a way of expressing dissent? There are no answers for this question so far.

Monday, March 20, 2006

ORISSA : Crime graph rises in State

Monday March 20 2006 12:49 IST

BHUBANESWAR: The crime graph in the State is on the rise despite claims to the contrary by the Government. The deterioration in general law and order situation, apart from spurt in Naxal activities, has put the law-enforcing agencies in a tight spot.

The disturbing fact is that the law and order situation is virtually out of control even in Khurda and Cuttack districts, which have better infrastructure to contain crime.

For 2005, Khurda district topped the list with 5947 cognisable offences recorded, a rise of 3.3 percent over the year preceding. Cuttack district is close second with 5242 cases.

The trend was the increasing number of crimes against women across the State. While rape cases increased to 799 during the year from 770 in 2004, dowry-related incidents touched 2550, including 458 dowry deaths.

The number of cognisable cases recorded in the State also shot up by more than 2500 and touched 65,029. Director General of Police (DGP) Suchit Das, however, said, despite the rise in the number of cases, Orissa is a peaceful State compared to neighbouring states where over one lakh cases are recorded in a year.

The DGP attributed the increase in the number of crime to the growth in population and overall economic development of the State.

“It is abnormal for the crime rate to come down when there is allround growth,” Das reasoned, adding, there are various factors, which contributed to the increase in the number of cognisable cases.

Shortage of personnel is a factor. While at all India level, for one lakh population there are 124 police personnel, in Orissa there are 92. Das said a proposal has been submitted to the State Government to increase the manpower.

The DGP admitted that expansion of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack cities has put a lot of pressure on the police. Though the two cities have grown, the number of police stations remains the same.

He said the State Government has now decided to open a new police station for Infocity.

There are several areas in the Capital city, which do not have effective police presence.

Stating that new proposals for Twin City have been placed before the State Government, the DGP maintain that introduction of Commissionerate system could make policing more effective.

Naxals' extortion, murder bid foiled; 4 held

Bellary, UNI:


The Bellary police have foiled a plot of the CPI(ML) naxalites to eliminate Vibhuthi Gudda Mines Managing Director S K Modi, with the arrest of four alleged ultras from a city lodge last night.

Superintendent of Police Pankajkumar Thakur told newspersons here that Rangareddy, a notorious naxal in Andhra Pradesh, had written to Mr Modi last month, demanding a ransom. As there was no response from Mr Modi, the extremists threatened him with dire consequences if he refused to part with the amount. But an unfazed Mr Modi approached the police. Enraged by his act, the naxals decided to finish him off and hatched a plot.

However, police got wind of the plot by intercepting their phone calls and apprehended one Suri near Rajapura village. Based on the information provided by him, police swung into action and arrested Hari and Hanumantha Rayudu from a city lodge, who were waiting for Rangareddy to attack Mr Modi. Later, one Pothanna was taken into custody at Renukanagar, he said, lauding the police officers.


Rangareddy, involved in 11 cases, however, managed to give a slip to the police.

Police seized two loaded pistols, including an imported one, over ten mobile phones and a vehicle from them.

The outfit targetted major mine owners of Bellary, Hospet and Sandur to extort money, needed for their movement and purchasing weapons

Chhattisgarh: 2 policemen killed, 16 injured in naxal attack

Raipur: Two policemen were killed and 16 injured, two of them seriously, in a landmine blast and ambush by naxalites in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh, police said today.

The naxalites triggered a powerful landmine blast near Kolarghat about 100 km from here last night, targeting a mini-truck carrying armed policemen. While one policeman was killed on the spot in exchange of firing between the two sides, another succumbed to injuries in hospital, they said.

The condition of Sub-Divisional Police Officer Manoj Khiladi and Dongargarh Station House Officer R P Tiwari was serious and they have been moved to Bhilai for treatment. Other injured policemen were being treated in Rajnandgaon -- Chief Minister Raman Singh's native district.

Raipur Inspector General of Police Durgesh Madhav Awasthy, after returning from the spot, said the police vehicle was badly damaged in the blast. The gunbattle between the two sides continued for over two hours and the naxals' attempts to escape with weapons of the policemen were thwarted, he added.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Naxalite problem spreads to 14 of 30 Orissa districts

Bhubaneswar, March 19 (PTI): The naxalite problem has emerged as one of the biggest threats to Orissa's internal security as nearly half of the total districts of the State are now infested by the ultras.

"Naxalite activities, which were reported from southern and northern districts of the state, have affected law and order situation of the state. Of the 30 districts of the state, naxalites were active in 14 districts in 2005," a white paper on the law and order situation tabled in the state assembly said.

The report has expressed alarm on the growing influence of naxalites on several districts.

"After spreading their influence in bordering districts such as Sundargarh, Keonjhar, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Mayurbhanj, the naxalites were trying to establish their foothold in Dhenkanal, Jajpur and other districts," the white paper said.

"The ultras were trying to link Bhubaneswar and Cuttack with southern part of the state through central districts such as Kandhamal and Boudh," it said.

The year 2005 saw naxalite activities spreading into northern districts such as Sambalpur and Deogarh.

"In October last, a group of naxalites had attacked police personnel and snatched away guns and ammunition at Jamankira in Sambalpur district. While a policeman was killed in the attack, some other people were injured," the report mentioned.

Orissa govt hikes compensation to policemen

Bhubaneswar, Mar 17 : The Orissa government has decided to hike the compensation being paid to policemen getting killed in Left wing extremist violence from Rs four lakh to Rs ten lakh, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in the state assembly today.

A substantial increase has been made in the financial assistance, including an insurance component, being provided to policemen dying in the battle against extremism, Patnaik said while replying to the debate on the budgetary grants relating to the Home department tonight.

The Chief Minister's reply to the debate, however, was boycotted by the opposition members who walked out of the House as soon as he stood to speak.

The opposition had earlier announced its decision to boycott the Chief Minister in protest against his refusal to resign from his post in the wake of the Kalinga Nagar incident of January 2 in which 13 tribals were killed.

Describing the Maoist activities in Orissa as a +cause of concern+ and an +inter-state phenomenon+, Patnaik said the violence level in the state was +much less than other states+.

A multi-pronged strategy was being adopted to deal with the naxalite violence, he said adding a special intelligence wing had been set up to keep tab on extremist activities while a Special Operation Group (SOG) constituted to deal with the Maoist menace, he said.

Security boost for N Dinajpur

Statesman News Service

RAIGANJ, March. 17. — More than 8,000 security personnel, including 6,500 Central paramilitary forces will be deployed in the seven Assembly consti
tuenciesof North Dinajpur — Chopra, Islampur, Goalpokhar, Karandighi, Raiganj, Itahar and Kaliyaganj — to ensure a smooth election this year. The maximum number of paramilitary forces will be deployed in Chopra, Islampur, Karandighi and Goalpokhar Assembly constituencies which fall under the Islampur subdivision as all booths in these constituencies have been declared “sensitive”.
Mr PK Sanyal, SP North Dinajpur, said: “There have been incidents of violence in Chopra prior to the last panchayat elections. Some residents got killed in the violence. Numerous cases of looting were also reported,” Mr Sanyal said.
“Moreover, Chopra’s proximity with the Nepal border heightens the possibility of any untoward incident during the election. Due to this reason, the problem of infiltration of the Maoists also could not be averted,” the SP of North Dinajpur said.
Mr Sanyal further said: “The problem of criminal infiltration in Goalpokhar is also suspected as the region is near the Bihar border. Sometime back, one constable was killed by a gang of criminals at Rampur village that falls under the Goalpokhar constituency.
It is being suspected that some Naxalite group or Maoist activists hailing from Bihar had a hand in the crime. “As such, in order to maintain peace, deployment of additional security forces had become very essential in the Goalpokhar Assembly sector. Security will also be tightened along the Indo-Bangladesh border areas of the district, informed the SP. Another reliable source informed that on the election day this year, more security forces will be deployed in all the booths of the district than the previous election. He furthered mentioned that previously, only one officer and two constables were stationed in the booth premises. This year however, at least six CPMF men along with the local police force will be posted at all the booths. This will include even those booths that are not sensitive.

High alert as Maoists infiltrate Malkangiri

Sunday March 19 2006 09:59 IST
MALKANGIRI: More than 100 Maoist cadres have reportedly entered the district from neighbouring Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh in the last few days. They are reportedly in a revengeful mood following the Kannaguda encounter, in which eight ultras were shot dead.

As per Intelligence reports of possible Naxal attack on the district headquarters, civil and armed police have been kept on high alert and security has been beefed up at vital installations - district armoury, State Bank of India, jail, collectorate and bus stand.

Armed police have been deployed at all the entry points to the town and vehicles entering the town are being checked. Security arrangements are being monitored by senior police officers.

UP police announces reward for women naxalites

REWARD

VARANASI, MAR 19 (PTI)
The Uttar Pradesh police today announced a reward of Rs 10,000 on two hardened women naxalites of neighbouring Chanduali district, police sources said.

The reward on Lalita Kol and Sushma Kol was ammounced after a review meeting of naxalite activities in the three naxal affected districts of Chandauli, Miezapur and Sonebhadram recently at which the names of the duo figured as the wanted fugitives, Inspector General of Police, Varanasi Range, K L Meena said announcing the reward.

The two women were wanted in more than a dozen cases of murderm loot and other criminal acts registered against them at Naugarh police satation in the last few years, they said.

Indian tribe takes up bows, arrows to fight Maoists

Staff and agencies
18 March, 2006




By Simon Denyer Fri Mar 17, 8:12 AM ET

DORNAPAL, India - Clutching their bows and arrows, a group of tribesmen and young boys mill around outside a crude refugee camp in the forests of central India.

Prompted by politicians and prodded by the police, more than 46,000 people have fled their villages in the past nine months to join a new campaign against Maoist guerrillas, or Naxalites, who have added misery and terror to their crushing poverty.

"Twenty-five years ago, the Naxalites promised us land, they promised us a better life, but they have given us nothing," said 34-year-old Kiche Rama. "All they are doing is killing us."

"All the tribals here are very angry, so angry that if we end up finding a Naxal among us, we will straight away kill him."

The Naxalites, named after a town in West Bengal state where the movement was launched in 1967, pretend to be latter-day Robin Hoods, robbing from the rich to give to the poor.

For a while, they were popular in one of India‘s poorest and least developed regions -- but today it is the very people the Naxalites claim to represent who have taken up bows and arrows to defend themselves.

More and more tribesmen are fleeing to ill-protected camps run by the anti-Maoist Salwa Judum (Campaign for Peace) movement in Chhattisgarh state.

"Before, we were a little afraid because they had guns," said Rama, a long, sharp knife in his hand. "But now the government is with us. They told us, ‘Pick up your bows and arrows and we will be with you‘. Now we are confident."

Behind him, 3,000 people shelter from the blazing sun under blue tarpaulins at a new camp at Dornapal in southern Chhattisgarh, many sleeping in the open on a carpet of leaves.

Bows and arrows lean against every tree, plastic bags carry their few belongings. A paramilitary camp over the road offers a degree of protection to this camp, but not to those left behind in the villages. Other camps are virtually unguarded.

"The Naxalites say they will kill anyone who has joined the Salwa Judum, they will murder our families, they will burn our houses and take everything we have," said Bardkham Raja, a sarpanch, or village head, who fled his village last month.

"If you have more cattle, they take it from you and sometimes redistribute it. If you have more money they just take it away. If you complain, they beat you or kill you.

The state government has high hopes the Salwa Judum campaign could help to finish nearly four decades of Maoist insurgency.

But all the campaign has achieved so far is to turn southern Chhattisgarh into a virtual war zone, with civilians in the firing line as the Maoists fight back ruthlessly.

People are dying almost every day, 55 in a land mine attack on a truckload of Salwa Judum members on February 28.

The civilian death toll in Chhattisgarh -- just one of nine states where Maoists operate -- may have already overtaken last year‘s official tally of 127 people.

"It is a cause for concern and we are trying to protect people as best we can," Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh told Reuters. "But the Salwa Judum is probably the biggest movement ever against Naxalism, and if it succeeds the whole Naxal problem can be finished in this country."

An ill-trained and thinly deployed police force, backed by 4,000 paramilitary troops, are in no shape to end the killings in Chhattisgarh, with tens of thousands of square miles either under total Maoist control or dominated by the rebels.

"The first duty of the state is to protect its citizens," said Ajay Sahni of the Institute for Conflict Management, a New Delhi think tank. "It cannot put the lives of its citizens at risk."

"Provoking the people to resist the terrorists in regions that are immensely under-policed will only invite retaliation and untold suffering on the heads of the innocent," he said.

THE RED ZONE

In Dornapal, 18-year-old Raju Sori wants revenge on the Maoists for killing his father seven years ago. He has joined up as a "Special Police Officer," a ragbag militia recruited by the authorities in an attempt to level the playing field in the intelligence war.

Hundreds of recruits have been trained, and guns promised -- but only a few dozen seem to have been distributed so far. Not knowing who to trust, police admit they are worried the weapons could end up in Naxal hands.

The Indian government has tried similar schemes in the past to combat insurgencies in Punjab and Kashmir , recruiting locals to act as policemen or to defend villages in more secure areas.

But it is reckless and irresponsible to put boys like Sori in the frontline in an area dominated by the rebels, says Sahni.

All Sori has received so far is a small piece of white cloth pinned to his shorts, with his name and "S.P.O" written in pen. He carries a small homemade baton painted light blue.

"With the security forces, we will go into the jungle and chase them away," he said. "We want to end the Naxalites."

It may be a vain hope, with the police and paramilitary forces unable to even set foot in what they call the "Red Zone," a Maoist safe haven covering 4,600 square miles in the Abujh Marh (Unknown Forest).

Human rights groups such as the leftist People‘s Union for Civil Liberties say villagers are being forced to join the Salwa Judum, their houses and crops burned, and allege that up to a 100 people may have been killed by the activists in the past few months.

The government denies this, but officials admit it is impossible to be neutral in the villages of southern Chhattisgarh any more.

"We‘ve been going from village to village asking people to join the movement," said Salwa Judum leader and Congress party politician Mahendra Karma. "If you want to join, come with us. If not, you are with the Maoists. There is no in between here."

It is not a choice every villager revels in.

"People here are caught in a vice, either by the Maoists or the politicians," said Swayam Nagesh, a sarpanch from the village of Eraboru. "No one will allow us to live freely."

Police arrest gun peddlers with suspected links to Maoists

Agra (Uttar Pradesh): Agra police have arrested four gun peddlers on suspicion that they could be supplying arms to Maoists rebels in the Naxal affected states in the country.

Police said they recovered four pistols, 15,000 rupees in cash and a car from the men.

"We got information from our sources about them. We found three pistols from them. One of the men has identified himself as Sanju. We also found a revolver from their possession, along with 15,000 rupees and a car," Superintendent of Agra Police, Gulab Singh said.

Singh said that the men were being probed for more information on Maoists, who are active in many border states.

"Our sources said that the arrested persons had links with Maoist rebels. We are investigating their connections further. We had information that they were selling weapons to the rebels," he said.

Analysts have warned that Maoists are making slow inroads into India.

They add that for four decades, the government has underestimated the threat posed by Maoist guerrillas lurking in India’s eastern and southern forests, and it still lacks a coherent strategy to combat the menace.

Decades of neglect have allowed the Maoists, known as Naxalites after the West Bengal town of Naxalbari, from where the movement evolved in 1967, to sink deep roots in India and form links with powerful Maoist guerrillas in Nepal.

Latest estimates say there are more than 20,000 armed Maoist rebels in India, backed by hundreds of thousands of supporters, operating in the "Red Corridor" stretching from Andhra Pradesh in the south to the border in Nepal.

Vast parts are virtual "no-go" areas for the ill-trained and ill-equipped police. Ironically these may include some of the richest areas, home to huge deposits of iron or aluminium ore.

Maoists training new recruits, says govt

Published: Saturday, 18 March, 2006, 08:57

NEW DELHI: Outlawed Maoist groups have stepped up violence in India and are training new recruits in strongholds across the large swathes of the country, a government report has warned.

The federal home ministry study said murders of police personnel by the guerrillas jumped 53% to 153 in the year to March 31, 2006, while 516 civilians were killed, an 11% increase on the previous year.

The figures were released after Maoist guerrillas on Monday hijacked a train in insurgency-torn eastern Jharkhand state before releasing its 60 passengers unharmed after a nightlong standoff.

The ministry’s international security report said the guerrillas also suffered heavier casualties during the last year compared to 2004. Police killed 223 suspected rebels compared to 87 the previous year.

It warned the guerrillas were pursuing a recruitment drive in their quest to control larger areas of insurgency-wracked states.

“Naxalites (Maoists) continue to focus on fresh recruitment and militarisation of their cadres,” the government report said.

“Training camps to impart training in arms and explosives handling to fresh and old cadres are being mainly held in the states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh,” it warned.

“As many as 76 districts in nine states ... are badly affected by Naxal violence although in a varying degree,” the report said, adding that the banned groups have also established inter-state logistics and communications links among its cadres.

In the latest in a series of spectacular bomb attacks, Maoist guerrillas were accused of killing 28 villagers and abducting 100 more in central Madhya Pradesh state three days ahead of a visit to India by US President George W Bush which began on March 1.

The government report said provincial and federal security agencies were also joining forces to tackle the spread of the insurgency.

States bordering Nepal, where a Maoist uprising has continued for 10 years, had been urged to bolster border patrols, it added.

Maoists, who have bases in at least 11 of India’s 29 states, say they are campaigning for better economic and social rights for tribal people and the country’s landless poor in rural areas.

The federal home ministry estimates 9,300 Maoist rebels operate in India. But security experts say the number is impossible to tally as ultra-leftists hold sway across neglected rural areas.

* Two top Maoist leaders were yesterday sentenced to life while a third was given 10 years’ imprisonment by a West Bengal court.

In the first-ever conviction of Maoist leaders, the fast track court of Jhargram in rebel-dominated West Midnapore district gave the life term to Patitpaban Haldar and Santosh Debnath while Sushil Roy was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

The three leaders were charged with sedition and illegal possession of arms.

Judge Biswanath Dey, however, acquitted another Maoist leader, Zakir Hussain, for lack of evidence.

Roy is a politburo member of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), and Haldar its state secretary.

The two leaders were arrested from a forest in Belpahari area of West Midnapore on May 23, 2005. Debnath and Hussain were arrested in June 2005. – Indo-Asian News Service

Raman Singh apprehends more attacks by Maoists

Raipur, Mar 17 : Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has expressed apprehension of more strikes by Maoists in the state.

"Since Chhattisgarh is the only state where the people have launched a historic agitation against the naxalites, there is possibility of more strikes by the Maoists and the security has been tightened," Singh told reporters after touring the naxal-infested Bastar region yesterday.

"At present about 45,000 people of 864 villages of Dantewada district are living in 27 relief camps because of the naxal threat and we are also taking steps to provide them shelter before the monsoon," he said.

Singh said he had visited the relief camps in Bhairamgarh, Basaguda and Konta and talked to both the local people and the people's representatives for rehabilitation of 45,000 people.

About 900 houses have been completed and another 6000 sheds are being constructed to provide shelter to the people and besides rehabilitation, developmental works are also being emphasied, he said adding the district administration had been told to carry out works without bothering about the financial aspect.