Saturday, April 22, 2006

Naxal threat: PM should take Parliament into confidence - LK

Rajnandgaon (Chhattisgarh), Apr 22: Opposition BJP today asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take the Parliament into confidence on how his government was planning to tackle Naxalite menace in the country.

The Union Government must follow-up on the decisions taken at the Chief Ministers` conference and mount an effective assault on the Naxal problem, senior BJP leader L K Advani told reporters in this Naxalite-affected town.

"I would like Prime Minister to take Parliament into confidence in the forthcoming second part of the budget session on his government plans to deal with the threat of this magnitude," the leader of the opposition said.

Accusing the UPA of adopting a "soft approach" towards left-wing extremism by dismantling the unified and coordinated Centre-state strategy evolved by the previous NDA government, he said the government had belatedly realized the need for tough action.

The former Union Home Minister also alleged that Congress had entered into a "secret pact" with Naxalite organizations before the elections as part of its vote bank politics and the soft approach towards extremists had given them `respectability` and resulted in spurt in extremist violence.

He said terrorism and Naxalism should not be viewed as state-level law and order problems. Instead, there should be a unified command and a coordinated approach by the Centre and states to tackle the menace, Advani said.

While welcoming the Prime Minister`s proposal for a unified command, Advani said he was surprised as to why the UPA government had dismantled such a mechanism put in place by the previous NDA government.

In addition to firm action by security forces, efforts must be stepped up to promote good governance combined with rapid socio-economic development through people`s participation in the Naxalite-affected areas, Advani said.

Asked about a book by former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao in which allegations of his involvement in the demolition Babri Masjid were made, Advani said, "I have not read the book. I have already testified before the commission (going into the Babri case) and its final report is awaited."

Replying to another question on the sting operations involving his party leaders in the recent times, he said "there should be a law pertaining to such operations. However, irrespective of whether sting operations are allowed or not, the people in public life should lead a life of integrity and honesty."

Bureau Report

Naxalism: The threat India overlooks

By Varun Gandhi

If free enterprise is to survive, if India has to remain a parliamentary democracy, then the poison of Naxalism must be countered immediately, otherwise as Naxalism spreads the India we know, would be increasingly threatened by the Red-bully.

The failure and reluctance of governments to recognise the Naxal threat and to deal with them immediately, effectively and ferociously, has permitted Naxalism to spread.

On September 4, 1999 Chandala-vada Umesh Chandra, a young IPS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre, famous for his anti-Naxal operations was assassinated by Naxalites. In October 2004, the People’s War Group marked out 5,000 acres of land for ‘redistribution’, threatened landowners and corporates from Microsoft to Infosys. In January 2006, four Rajdhani Express trains were stopped near Gaya en route due to the Naxal threat. In the past 16 years, in Andhra Pradesh alone, the Naxals have killed over 2,000 civilians, 500 security personnel and destroyed property worth 200 crore rupees. In Bihar they have ransacked police armoury, freed their kin from jails and laid a siege of Jehanabad town. Police constables in Chhattisgarh refuse to take postings in areas of Naxal dominance.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while speaking at a conclave of Chief Ministers of the 13 Naxal-affected Indian states said, It would not be an exaggeration to say that the problem of Naxalism is the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country.

Who are these Naxals? Groups like, People’s Guerrilla Army, People’s War Group (PWG), Maoists Communist Center (MCC), Communist Party of India (Maoist), and the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Janashakti are the extreme leftists (ultra-leftists or Naxals). They aim the conquest of India by overthrowing parliamentary democracy through a communist revolution brought about by protracted guerrilla warfare, and the establishment of a communist state on lines of China.

The writings of Charu Mazumdar form the ideological base of the ultra-leftists. In 1965-66, Mazumdar argued that democracy in India was a sham, and postulated a parallel application of a mixture of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist thought in Indian politics. Mazumdar’s initiatives put forth revolution-based communist politics attempting a revision in the communist movement of India. The communists refer to his presentations as the “historic eight documents”.

In 1967, an armed tribal unrest took place in West Bengal’s Naxalbari area. It was sparked by an attack on a tribal youth Wimal Kesan by landlords, when the former had gone to reclaim his land. The tribals armed themselves, and started capturing back their lands. It was a fight between Mazumdar-backed tribal violence and the government. The name “Naxal” is derived from Naxalbari. The tribal uprising lasted for 72 days and is called the “Naxalbari Uprising”. Mazumdar was arrested in Calcutta (Kolkata) on July 16, 1972 and died in police custody eight days later. The same year, in Andhra Pradesh, Kondapalli Seetharamaiah, an influential Naxal leader, reorganised the ultra-leftists. By 1978, however, the Maoist movement was in shambles.

In the pre-Mazumdar days, the Indian communist movement was basically Marxist-Leninist oriented—or “Westernised”. Charu Mazumdar following the Maoist pattern attempted to “Easternise” it, while Seetharamaiah tried to “Indianise” even the Maoist outlook by seeking to spread agrarian-based communist revolutions through the Go to Village Campaigns. In 1980, unlike Mao, he discarded the total annihilation of “class enemies” as the only form of legitimate communist revolution, and stressed on floating mass organisations. He formed the People’s War Group (PWG).

Since then, the PWG has built up armed groups in Andhra villages, euphemistically called, Radical Youth League Units. The PWG builds bases in remote areas that are difficult to reach by security agencies, and transforms them into guerrilla zones. After over-running the local government machinery, it establishes a parallel government at the local level, terming these zones as to why the “liberated zones”. It then indulges in self-motivating operations such as “area-wise seizures” and “encircling cities”. The October 2004 putting of Red flags on plots at Hyderabad’s outskirts was an example of “encircling cities” aimed at boosting cadre morale and extorting money from landowners. In order to identify with the people, the PWG is supposedly fighting for, it aims to install a people’s government and calls it’s armed activities the people’s war. The PWG aims to usher in its communist revolution, calling it the “New Democratic Revolution” (NDR). Ironically, the PWG expelled Seetharamaiah, who died unsung on April 12, 2002.

The Central Committee (CC) is the highest policy-making body in the PWG. It comprises of 21 permanent and six alternate members. At present Muppala Lakshman Rao, alias Ganapathi is its General Secretary. It has two wings—the political and the armed. The armed wing is headed by a “Central Military Commission” (CMC). As General Secretary of the political wing, Ganapathi heads the CMC. The military commissions are present parallel to the political committees at each level. At the micro-level is the Village Defence Squad (VDS), organised as a militia group. The main fighting part of the outfit or a platoon comprises 25 to 30 highly-trained guerrillas. Formed in December 2000, the PWG’s fighting force is called the People’s Guerrilla Army (PGA). It has its own flag and an insignia, too. The estimated cummulative strength of the armed ultra-leftist groups is about 10,000 and is distributed in an area called the “Red corridor” influencing 27 per cent of India’s landmass!

The situation is grim. The Naxalite movement is increasing its tenacity to strike at will. Thousands of armed guerrilla warriors are no longer engaged in isolated attacks, but are resorting to large militarised assaults and have forged external links. In 2001, the Maoist Communist Center (MCC), and nine other Naxal outfits of India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka joined hands to form a trans-national umbrella organisation called the “Co-ordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organisations (CCOMPOSA) with a purpose to unify and coordinate the left extremist activities in South Asia. The failure and reluctance of governments to recognise the Naxal threat and to deal with them immediately, effectively and ferociously, has permitted Naxalism to spread. When political parties need Naxal-support during elections, they describe Naxals as a social problem. After elections, Naxalism is treated like a law and order situation. Governmental response has been defocused.

The recent talk by the Prime Minister of adopting a walking on two legs strategy that would recognise Naxalism as not merely a law and order problem but relate Naxalism directly to under-development exhibits this defocus. How can the government seek to call Naxalism, a social problem when it possess central military commissions that aims at overthrowing Indian democracy?

The government must, therefore, draw up an anti-Naxal charter. A state-wise pro-active governmental initiative must be launched. It must be a tri-dandi initiative—a three fold one—educative, rehabilitative and combative.

On the educative front, special propaganda modules must be made to expose Naxalism’s true face, one that abducts, rapes, extorts and kills. The demonisation of the Naxalite movement is not difficult. Instances of Naxal atrocities can be documented and shown to people. Catchy anti-Naxal slogans, skits and songs must be developed and spread. Special groups of actors must go village to village and play out these skits. Bill-boards must be put up in towns and villages informing people about Naxalism and its true colours. The Naxals try to win over gullible village youth through false promises of a better life but end up making them brigands without a future. Similarly, there have been numerous cases of sexual exploitation of women cadres by the Naxalites An exposure at the village level would dry up the recruitment fields for the Naxals and make it difficult for them to lure away the youth. A complete chronology of Naxal brutality and attacks on rural infrastructure proving them to be not just anti-people, but also as anti-India, and anti-progress can be presented in a pocket-book form in local languages and distributed.

There must be a rehabilitative package for surrendered Naxals and provisions for their protection from retaliatory attacks by their former comrades. Regular taluka programmes should be held to keep avenues open for surrender. Surrendered Naxals must be debriefed and integrated back into society by imparting special vocational training and skills. The government must send out a clear message that it would not harass surrendered Naxals and their families. The better the rehabilitative package and its propaganda, the more Naxals cadres would abandon the ultra-leftist promises and return.

Women cadres, usually the victims of exploitation must be provided protection and alternate employment opportunities in various skilled and unskilled projects. Women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) must be promoted in affected areas. A public-private partnership must be formed to evolve an economical rehabilitative package. Simultaneously, the government must also launch special purpose vehicles to look into the infrastructural development of Naxal-affected areas. Usually these areas are severely backward and poor. A collective economic improvement would automatically make people less inclined towards the false hopes of the communist revolution that the Naxals espouse. The rehabilitative package must extend to the families of security personnel killed in action against Naxals. Each security personnel should be insured for atleast Rs 10 lakh.

The combative step is like a surgeon’s knife, painful but effective. In Mao’s own words, the language of the bullet has universal understanding. A special task force must be formed at the Centre having multi-state functionality with the aim of taking the fight to the Naxals—to fight the guerrillas like guerrillas.

Elements from both the army and paramilitary forces should be included in the task force. It should have its own air wing. Additional air-strips must be built in Naxal-affected areas to shorten response time of security forces. The strategy should be quick deployment of battle-ready troops, encirclement and liquidation of the Naxal threat. Satellite tracking and monitoring of the affected areas is needed. Lately, the Maharashtra government has chalked out a Rs 733 crore anti-Naxal programme for the affected districts of Gadchiroli and Chandrapur. It has asked the Centre for setting up of a helicopter base in Nagpur, have medical support teams, and be provided with a team of the CRPF that was promised two years ago.

The intelligence agencies must improve their information gathering capabilities and launch a cash incentive scheme to garner information about Naxal leadership. Local village level defence and intelligence squads would form the frontline of such a combative strategy. Each Naxal attack must be traced to locate hideouts and training centres. The government’s combative focus must change from battling foot soldiers to leadership liquidation. A covert strategy must be evolved to specifically target Naxal leadership. Arrested Naxal leaders must be secretly removed to high security jails, so that when a rescue attempt is launched it can be encountered without risk of losing the arrested Naxals. A special fast track court must be set up to try Naxal cases. Surveillance of rail and road infrastructure along Naxal-affected areas must be increased to reduce chances of attacks. In order to squeeze the Naxal influence, an Inter-state Naxal Movement Deterrence plan must be drawn with an enhanced security presence not only along state borders but also along the hills and plains. This would deter Naxals from undertaking inter-state travel and thereby lock them in.

The government must precede the initiation of serious peace talks with Naxal leadership, with a well publicised programme for mass surrender, aimed at ending this armed rebellion. But before engaging in peace talks, the government must lay down three conditions. Disarm the cadres, dismantle combative capabilities and training centres, and disband the military commissions. The government must also seek return of stolen government arms and unspent ammunition. If such peace talks fail, the government must immediately adopt a zero tolerance policy towards the ultra-leftists, and order Naxal leadership liquidation. This would control the situation from spreading and severely dent Naxal strike capabilities.

If free enterprise is to survive, if India has to remain a parliamentary democracy, then the poison of Naxalism must be countered immediately, otherwise as Naxalism spreads the India we know, would be increasingly threatened by the Red-flag.

Four naxalites killed in encounter in AP

Staff Reporter

Exchange of fire with police; one of the dead is district committee secretary

WARANGAL: Four naxalites belonging to Praja Prathighatana Group were killed in an encounter with the police around 10 a.m. in the Katapur forest area in agency Tadvai mandal here on Friday.

Among the victims, one was identified as Paya Lakshmaiah alias Yadanna, who was Praja Prathighatana Warangal district committee secretary. He belonged to Damerathogu village of Gundala mandal in Khammam district and had been underground for the past one decade. He was involved in 36 criminal cases.

Three others, including a woman, are yet to be identified.

Superintendent of Police M.S. Ravindra said on reliable information about the movement of naxalites, special police parties were sent to comb the area. The police found the naxals moving in the forest abutting the Motlagudem village and there was an exchange of fire between the police and naxalites.

The police later recovered one Springfield rifle, two 8mm rifles, one pistol and one revolver and seven kitbags from the spot.

Later around 1p.m. again the police exchanged fire with naxals just 2 km distance from the first encounter spot. There were no casualties, but the police recovered one 8 mm rifle left by the fleeing naxals. Mr. Ravindra said unable to bear the pressure from the naxal groups for money, the local villagers informed the police about their movements. The revolutionary parties which claimed to be working for the people had now turned against the people since they left behind their ideology and grew greedy for money, he added.

Meanwhile, the police unearthed three landmines pitched reportedly by the Maoist party naxalites on the road between Moddulagudem and Oddugudem in Govindaraopet mandal in the afternoon. Each of the mine contained 5 kg of explosive material and probably aimed at targeting the police going that way for combing operations. A team of personnel headed by Circle Inspector V Tirupathi unearthed and defused the landmines.

Naxal commander was arrested in Chhattisgarh

Raipur: A naxal commander was arrested from Balrampur police district, north of Chhattisgarh bordering Jharkhand, police said today.

Jai Prakash Nagesia alias Ram Chandra alias Anil was arrested yesterday from a house in Lavkushpur jungle, Sarguja range Inspector-General of Police A N Upadhyaya told PTI over phone.

Acting on certain information, a joint police team of CRPF and District Force raided the house and arrested him, Upadhyaya said.

A .32 bore revolver, two country made pistols and some ammunitions were recovered from Nagesia, he said.

Nagesia was involved in several killing and other offences, the IGP said.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

State Pulse - Bihar: Naxalism can't be fought with gun alone

The naxals have found tribal, as also some rural areas, as fertile ground for their operations, says MK Dhar.

With the Maoists stepping up violence and also enlarging their operational base, claims made by the Government that the situation is getting under control are not justified. It has a fairly correct assessment of the causes that breed and sustain naxalism, but seems to lack the will and determination to address them. It is not by police methods alone that violence can be countered because, experience shows, that violence breeds counter-violence and no amount of force will deter a determined, aggrieved, deprived and desperate tribal from indulging in violent acts to register his protest against continuing social injustice, economic deprivation and avoidable police harassment.

The naxals have found tribal, as also some rural areas, as fertile ground for their operations because their population faces a variety of problems related to their livelihood, way of living and, in many cases, starvation. About 7 per cent of India's population is tribal and wilderness-based and only 8 per cent of the country's geographical areas is left with dense forest cover. Therefore, one cannot argue that the tribal areas are less densely populated than the rest of the country, barring towns. The forest cover is decreasing every year, thereby depriving the tribals of their primary source of living derived from forest products and also marginal, mostly dry-land cultivation.

In the past 50 years, nearly 40 million people, including those living in semi-urban areas, have been deprived of their lands, homes and living as a result of activity related to mines, industries, large and medium-scale dams, wildlife sanctuaries and similar projects. Nearly 40 per cent of the people so deprived and displaced are tribals and only 25 per cent of them have so far been rehabilitated. The rest are wandering from place to place, or languishing in temporary settlements without work or mean of sustenance and awaiting implementation of assurances of full rehabilitation and generous compensation given by respective governments at the Centre and in the states.

With so many deprived and desperate people wandering aimlessly or knocking at the doors of the authorities for implementation of the promises made to them, little wonder that Naxals find them easy recruits for waging a violent struggle to secure their rights, with complete disregard for the consequences. To ward off criticism of the collective failure of the governments of the affected states to deal with Naxal violence, the Union Home Secretary recently tried to pat the government on the back by furnishing statistics to drive home the point that naxalite violence affecting as many as 13 states, was now under control. In the past few months Chhattisgarh has borne the brunt of naxalite violence and Bihar under the Nitish Kumar administration also has witnessed some serious incidents like raid on jails and train and station hold-up near the capital city of Patna. In Chhattisgarh as many as 162 incidents have been reported in the first quarter of this year compared to 97 during the corresponding period of last year and, countrywide, the number was 391 against 476. But the number of casualties went up from 114 to 157 and 47 security forces personnel were killed as against 45.

The number may have marginally come down but the ferocity and sophistication of the attacks has increased. The naxals have become bolder, as jail raids and train hold-up in Chhattisgarh and Bihar demonstrate. Presently, as many as 167 districts are affected and the expanding "Red Corridor" starting from Tamilnadu, Karnataka and running through several states including Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, UP, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal extends right upto the Nepal border. The increase in the number of casualties is attributed to pro-active measures being taken by the state governments at the Centre's prodding. The states are being helped to bring about a coordinated counter-response and engage the Naxals in a no-holds barred battle.

This was after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's warning to those indulging in violence and killing that such activities will not be pardoned. Faced with mounting Maoist violence the government will have "no option other than to fight such groups and the ideology of hatred". Extremism of any form based on any divisive ideology could not be tolerated in any civilized democratic society. The states are being provided extra funds to recruit more policemen and equip them with sophisticated weapons, more Central para-military forces are deployed in the affected areas and specially trained police officers assigned to combing operations. But, experience shows that police measure alone will not suffice. In fact, sometimes excessive retaliatory police action leads to counter-violence at an escalated level.

The basic causes of discontent and frustration among a section of the population need to be redressed along with appropriate remedial measures of relief, rehabilitation and employment. A Cabinet Committee on Tribal Affairs headed by Home Minister Shivraj Patil regularly monitors the situation. A panel set up by the Prime Minister's Office under R. Mungaker on inter-sectoral issues of tribal development, with special reference to displacement of large sections of the people, has made some significant recommendations. One of them is a review of the National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy 2002. It was discovered that poor relief and rehabilitation of the displaced people is at the root cause of tribal anger against projects, such as, dams, mines, large industrial and infrastructure projects. The panel identified the loopholes to be plugged and wanted relief and rehabilitation to be completed before construction of a project, or a strictly-enforceable and monitored time-frame fixed for completing the task. Providing employment to the displaced should also be part of the R and R package.

The Government is also introducing legislation in Parliament to amend the Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of forest rights) Act to remove any ambiguity in determining the cut-off dates for tribal rights on land. Tribals will be given personal "pattas" recognizing their rights in national parks and sanctuaries and forest officials will henceforth be involved in grating land rights to tribals. The Centre's new 14-point policy to tackle the Naxal menace also recognizes the causes of violence, but expresses helplessness over improper execution of welfare projects involving large sums of money meant to mitigate poverty in rural and tribal areas. As regards social, development and political measures, the Centre has provided financial assistance of Rs 2,475 crores for 55 naxal - affected districts in Andhra, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Maharashta, MP, UP and West Bengal under the Backward Districts Initiative. But, how much of this money has actually reached the intended beneficiaries? The general perception is that the bulk of its has gone to line the pockets of the disbursing officials.

The same is true of other Rozgar and Awas Yojanas for which the Centre provides thousands of crores of rupees every year but has not means of monitoring its use. The general assessment is that the intended beneficiaries, among them, displaced and unemployed tribals, gain very little, continue to remain dissatisfied and are prone to revolt in the absence of their anguished voice being heard. The Centre has again pointed out that naxal groups have been raising land and livelihood related issues and asked the states to take up land reforms on a priority basis. The states, by and large, have subverted land laws and the category of the landless keeps expanding, instead of shrinking. A belated recognition has dawned that naxalism is not purely a law and order problem, but must be tackled simultaneously on political, security, development and public perception management fronts in a holistic manner.

Even though the Andhra Pradesh Government's surrender and rehabilitation policy for naxalites showed promising results, it has had to break of negotiations with their leaders who persisted with their unacceptable demands. The Salva Judum (counter-resistence) movement started in Chhattisgarh is a commendable step towards organizing local resistence to Maoists who thrive on loot, extortion and plunder. The naxals have killed scores of Salva Judum activists, who have destroyed some of their bases. Most of them are now operating from relief camps set up by the government after being displaced from their homes.

It should be borne in mind that organizing self-resistence is also a good strategy, but to make it succeed, the government's concerned must initiate action on a broad front to remove genuine causes of disaffection among displaced and deprived tribals. A multi pronged approach is called for: go tough with those using the guns, wean away their support base among tribals and the poor through development and jobs, choke off their men and money supply and improve the civil and police administration.

Maoist's conviction a morale booster for police

THE HINDU
14th April,2006



S. Harpal Singh
Officials see need for speedy trial in cases where naxals stand accused
Luxettipet Fast Track Court sentences Kamera Chandraiah to imprisonment in a case of arson
The conviction points out that people are willing to come out against naxalites, says an SI
ADILABAD: The Luxettipet Fast Track Court in Adilabad district sentenced on April 12 Kamera Chandraiah, alias Suresh, a Maoist to five years' imprisonment in a case of arson.
The rare conviction not only comes as a morale booster for the police force but also buttresses certain of their contentions. It also underscores the need for speedy trial in cases where Maoists stand accused.
Distant dream
Over three decades of Left wing extremism in the district has seen hundreds of cases registered against Maoists.
But, conviction of the accused in these cases has remained a distant dream for the law enforcement agency.
Chandraiah's conviction is only the fifth in the long list of cases that have come up for trial.
People's confidence
"The conviction clearly points out that people are willing to come out against naxalites and help the police," observes Ajay, Sub-Inspector of Nennel police station, to which Chandraiah's case belonged.
"The police have certainly succeeded in gaining people's confidence through its programmes that portrayed the department's humane angle," points out a senior police officer.
So far as the technical aspects of cases related to Maoist violence are concerned, police officers here feel that the arrest of the accused should be followed up by speedy trial if they were to be convicted.
The case
In the Luxettipet case, the trial ended some two years after committing the crime at Gangaram plantation in Audam of Nennel mandal.
The accused had participated in torching earth moving machinery at the VSS plantation. He was arrested while undergoing treatment at his house some time after the crime was committed.
His arrest denied him the chance to threaten the witnesses as happens often.
West Bengal example
"The case of three Maoists convicted in West Bengal in March this year is an example of how speedy trials can end up achieving desired result.
"The chargesheet was filed within 90 days of the arrest of the accused - Patitban Halder, Santosh Debnath and Sushil Roy - while the trial lasted just three months.

‘No Bharat Suraksha without Tribal Suraksha’

Friday April 21 2006 00:00 IST

ADILABAD: Accusing the UPA Government of being indifferent to the interests of tribals in the country, senior BJP leader and Opposition leader in the Lok Sabha L K Advani on Thursday demanded that the Centre implement the decisions taken by the previous NDA regime for their welfare.

He also demanded the Centre to formulate a comprehensive National Tribal Development Policy with livelihood security and land-ownership rights, as there can be no Bharat Suraksha without Tribal Suraksha.

Addressing a news conference at the end of his 832-km long Bharat Suraksha Yatra in Andhra Pradesh here, Advani said that the NDA Government had decided to regularise the ownership rights (pattas) of tribals and forest lands up to December 31, 1993 (as against the earlier cut-off date of October 25, 1980) which was challenged in the courts.

“Why is the UPA Government not removing the legal hurdles in its implementation?” he asked. He wanted the Centre to take effective steps, including punitive measures, to prevent tribal lands being grabbed by non-tribals. Advani further wanted prevention of religious conversion of tribals through inducements and coercion.

Summing up the reasons for the ‘scale and spirit of public response to his four-day yatra in Andhra Pradesh’ Advani said that the region was plagued by three problems - Hatya (killings by naxalites), Aatmahatya (suicide by farmers) and Vishwasghat (betrayal by the Congress on statehood to Telangana). He lashed out at the UPA Government for going soft on naxalite issue terming it as an issue of states whereas the NDA perceived it as a national problem. “We have set up a coordination committee and also a unified command to deal with the problem. But the UPA Government disbanded them after it came to power in 2004, he said.

When pointed out that the Congress was seeking a letter from BJP on statehood to Telangana, Advani said that Congress was cornered on the issue and was trying to get out of it by making such statements.

He advised Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) to pull out of the UPA Government if the latter failed to introduce the Bill on Telangana during the Lok Sabha Budget session beginning from May 10 lest it will be guilty of betrayal of its promise to the people.

“We will gladly join hands with TRS if it quits UPA,” he said

BYWORD FOR DISRUPTION

- History is just not on the communists’ side
Swapan dasgupta

This is the strangest assembly election ever experienced in West Bengal.The Election Commission guidelines have drained this festival of democracy of colour and the usual carnival atmosphere. The evocative graffiti, which used to be the most cost-effective medium of political communications, have disappeared — outlawed by the application of a little-known law dating back to the time the Congress was last in control of Writers’ Buildings. Gone are the buntings, the huge cut-outs of competing symbols and even posters are scarce. If it wasn’t for the modest processions through the back streets, the odd padayatra by candidates and the occasional public meetings, you wouldn’t have guessed that West Bengal is in the throes of an election. The cacophony of street politics has been replaced by relatively sober duels in the print and electronic media. At the same time, voter turnout is unimpaired.

Maybe the restrictions were overdue. For the past 100 years the stereotype of the fractious, argumentative and over-politicized Bengali has been etched into the national consciousness. Whereas Bengalis debunked Rudyard Kipling’s banderlog caricature as colonialist disdain of enlightenment, the rest of India often equated loquaciousness with dementia. From the “revolutionary terrorism” during the raj and Naxalite adventurism in the Seventies to the unending spate of bandhs since 1966, Bengal has become a byword for disruption. The communist movement must hog most of the credit for protesting too much but, to be fair, the Congress and its offshoots haven’t lagged behind entirely. Being dysfunctional has become the Bengali consensus.

The state has paid an unacceptably high price for passing off perversity as common sense. A hundred years ago, Calcutta was the most happening place in India. It was the second city of the largest empire since Roman times. It was the hub of education, cosmopolitan culture, trade and a fledgling industry. It was the citadel of gracious living — a phenomenon by no means confined to the white man. Above all, it was the epitome of modern India.

In just a century Kolkata has not only lost its pre-eminence within India, it has been relegated to the status of a provincial backwater. In just three generations, a truncated Bengal has squandered away its profound historical advantages and lost out to Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Today, it lags behind resurgent India in everything except crowds in cricket matches, lost mandays and voter turnout. West Bengal is a state that has been crippled by the politics it professes.

When the history of West Bengal’s decline in the 20th century is written, it is certain to place the communist movement in the dock. Communism in Bengal has always been more than just a formidable election-winning machinery; it is a mindset centred on self-destruction, envy and a reckless disregard of all the laws of economics. Behind the veneer of bhadralok civility, Bengal’s middle-class communist leadership has snuffed life out of a people’s creative enterprise.

It has happened not because communists are inherently evil. Many of the left leaders are deeply compassionate individuals with a genuine commitment to improve the lives of the poor. They also have high ethical standards — a reason why the index of corruption in West Bengal has not reached the dizzying heights of, say, Delhi and southern India.

The root of the problem is the communist obsession with control. Starting from the personal lives of their cadres, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) aspired to control everything — the distribution of land, cropping patterns, the selection of teachers, and the appointments, transfers and postings of government employees. Even areas which traditionally came under the purview of civil society, like the composition of voluntary associations, and, occasionally, business decisions, were sought to be brought under the umbrella of party control.

In its 29-year rule, the Left Front boasts of having empowered those who were previously on the margins of society. At one level this may be true, but a strange corollary of this empowerment of the “toiling masses” is its emotional subordination to the party. Thus, when the party makes it a prestige issue to ensure 85 to 90 per cent polling in districts such as West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia — areas where the CPI(M) majority is weighed rather than counted — the faithful fall in line and do their bit for the local committee. If empowerment, however, also involves the freedom of individual choice and the right to be contrarian, the CPI(M) will have none of it. The element of control may be loose in urban and suburban West Bengal, but in the villages, communities have become frighteningly regimented and dependent on the party for both survival and growth. The space for individual initiative has shrunk.

This is not a situation which can endure indefinitely, and certainly not with the spread of literacy and market economics. On the surface, the CPI(M) strongholds appear completely impregnable. According to the opinion and exit polls, the Left Front is set to replicate its earlier victories on May 11-and that too without falling back on emotional motivation. Despite the stringent measures the EC has taken to prevent electoral malpractices, the opposition parties are just not in a position to take advantage of the wholesome environment. Going by the opposition’s own estimates, Left Front candidates will have a walkover in nearly 184 of the state’s 294 assembly constituencies. In three decades, the Left Front has crafted a system of one-party dominance.

Yet, ironically, it is this spectacular exercise of intrusive politics that carries the seeds of popular liberation. To many, the chief minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, is like a breath of fresh air. In the course of five years, he has begun the process of dismantling Jyoti Basu’s crippling legacy. Almost every single tenet of CPI(M) orthodoxy, from the espousal of militant trade unionism to the disavowal of English, has been turned on its head. Bhattacharjee talks the language of Manmohan Singh in economics and shares Narendra Modi’s impatience with lax national security. He almost seems like a scientist in a flat-earth society.

That the chief minister has transcended the CPI(M) orthodoxy is undeniable. The question is: why has the CPI(M) given him the licence for heresy? The answer may lie in the party’s own recognition that it is impossible to keep West Bengal as a protected enclave much longer. The winds of change sweeping across India are whipping up fierce expectations, particularly a desire to catch up with the developed world. The CPI(M) may be only too aware that it can neither put a lid on dreams of a better life nor micro-manage communities with disposable incomes. In short, unless the party changes its tune and adapts to a market environment, it risks eventual obsolescence. Ironically, this is also a problem that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh faces.

Bhattacharjee has anticipated the process and not left it to the opposition to exploit a creeping anti-incumbency. In good communist tradition, he has assumed the mantle of the reformer and painted Mamata Banerjee as a hysterical populist who has internalized the very cussedness the CPI(M) leadership is anxious to discard. What makes this election unique is that we are seeing the CPI(M) for the first time hesitantly admitting that it has been 29 years of miscalculations and wasted opportunities.

Some three decades after China embraced the market and comm unists in western Europe discovered Euro-communism, Bhattacharjee is trying to make the CPI(M) come to terms with the charms of liberal capitalism. If he succeeds, it will be good for Bengal. For the CPI(M), however, the future is less rosy. History is not just on its side.

Naxalites are the hollow men

Manoj Joshi

April 20, 2006




Among the myriad of interesting facts and revelations in Bill Bryson’s Short History of Nearly Everything, the one that stuck most vividly in my mind is about a very rare condition in which benign bacteria within our bodies turn rogue and begin eating us, inside out. No known treatment works. The only cure is to surgically excise the portion affected and, since it is random and can be any part of the anatomy, a victim can be left with the most horrific consequences.

India seems to have become afflicted by that disease, and hostile organisms are now eating the system from within. The rogue bacteria are the Maoist extremists, or Naxalites who have established their presence in a vast swathe of the country. Despite much talk and exhortation, no cure seems to be in sight. But those in-charge of running this country, both in the state and Union governments, have not done anything but routine and hand-wringing till now. Indeed, by their acts of commission and omission, the political and governmental system is probably contributing to the spread of the disease.

The Naxalite phenomenon is not new. The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) led by Kanu Sanyal and Charu Mazumdar broke away from the CPI(M), which itself was a rump of the CPI. Following

the ‘Spring Thunder’ of 1967, idealistic youth took on the state with pipe guns and slogans. The movement was soon crushed and its leaders killed and imprisoned. In the past four decades or so, the generic Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) has split into several factions which periodically merge and split again. Some of its elements like the CPI(ML) Liberation led by Dipankar Bhattacharya has joined electoral politics and won a seat in the 1991 and 1999 elections to the Lok Sabha. Kanu Sanyal runs another faction which is also involved in electoral politics. Pockets of the militant movement, however, survived in Andhra Pradesh, via T. Nagi Reddy, an old-time communist leader of the state, and later resurfaced as the People’s War Group founded by Kondapalli Seetharamiah.

In Sept. 2004, the PWG merged with the Maoist Communist Centre, a group that had arisen in parallel to the Sanyal-Mazumdar CPI(ML). This merged entity is called the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and has consolidated its hold across large parts of Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh with significant pockets of activity in Karnataka, West Bengal and Maharashtra.

The Naxalite of today is a far cry from the ill-armed zealot of Naxalbari. They have established sanctuaries in forest areas and are well armed, mainly with weapons seized from police personnel and have a well-knit organisation with an extensive cadre of sympathisers and supporters in the cities. Their strike capabilities come from their use of effective explosive devices which have taken a heavy toll of police personnel. Reportedly, the PWG reportedly learnt the use of such devices from the LTTE in the late Eighties.

But what the movement has gained in its ability to kill, it has lost in its ideology. Maoism has been definitively buried in its own home country, even if its prophet’s embalmed remains are used as a talisman by his successors to ward off the many evils he perpetrated. His Indian heirs are more focused on power, and how to obtain it through systematic brutality and extortion, all in the name of the Revolution rather than the fine points of Mao’s thought. In the process, unlike their forbears, they have sought to use the fissures of caste and community to serve their ends.

Failure of governance, effective policing and apathy of various state governments have enabled the scattered dalams and groups of the past to become efficient fighting groups sometimes operating in units of hundreds. In Nov. 2005, they demonstrated their capabilities in the spectacular attack on Jehanabad, a district headquarters, that succeeded in freeing hundreds of detained activists. In another attack in Giridih, they seized a police armoury by killing seven policemen and looting some 185 rifles and ammunition.

There is a time in every militant movement or insurgency when its operations are so scaled up, or when it consolidation is marked by an effective revenue gathering and administrative machinery. Insurgencies in large parts of the North-east have reached this stage. What happened in Punjab, or the present situation in Jammu and Kashmir are examples where this has failed to happen. While no one cause can explain why one fails and the other succeeds, one thing is clear — once a militant group is able to establish a parallel government with its justice dispensing and tax collection system, it is very difficult to dislodge it as it has now enmeshed a larger pool of sympathisers with a vested interest in the continuance of that system.

The Indian-State has to decide whether it wants to allow this state of affairs to continue and, as a first stage, spread to increasingly anarchic Uttar Pradesh, or do something about it. The time for a piecemeal response is over. With a united Maoist party operating in a ‘Compact Revolutionary Zone’ extending from the Nepalese border to Andhra Pradesh, there is need for a holistic response, as well as clarity in the ideological perspective of the Indian-State. Unfortunately, so thoroughly has the Indian political class debased the currency of secularism, socialism, social justice or any kind of justice that this is not any easy task.

On the other hand, the Maoists have been able to press their agenda with civil society groups and the intelligentsia in states like AP. Under their pressure, Chief Minister Y.S. Rajashekhara Reddy declared ceasefire in 2004 with the hope of negotiating a settlement. The Maoists used the respite to consolidate their operations and forge a tie-up with the MCC. Last month, when Reddy called on them to lay down their weapons before any talks, the cheeky Maoist response was that any ‘intellectual’ (read: civil society) push for talks would be “the equivalent of supporting the fascist rule” of the Congress. Their spokesman, Janardhan, also appealed to ‘civil rights organisations and democrats’ not to criticise Maoist ‘counter-violence’, but to be more understanding to why a revolutionary party took resort to violence.

To counter Maoism, we need to clearly understand its pernicious pseudo-ideology and the fundamental challenge the outfit poses to the body politic of the country. The Maoists are not seeking concessions, land reforms or social development — their aim is to seize political power. That possibility may be remote, but be clear about one thing: There is as much room for compromise with the Maoists as with Osama bin Laden.

The second item is the need for a quality response on the ground to, first, re-establish the writ of the state. Without law and order there is no chance that you will be able to either restore educational and public health institutions, build roads or undertake any development projects.

This is easier said than done because the Maoist dalams today are better organised, led and armed, than the police personnel in many of the states. There is obvious need for better training, leadership, and equipment. Under the cover of a qualitatively enhanced police effort a refurbished administrative and justice delivery systems can be reinserted and development plans executed. But all this can happen only if there is a realisation in the states and the Centre as to the life-threatening danger posed to the Indian body politic by the rogue bacteria eating us from within.

Elaborate security in Chattisgarh for Advani Yatra

National


Raipur, April 21 (PTI): Against the backdrop of stepped up naxal violence in Chhattisgarh, elaborate security arrangements have been made for senior BJP Leader L K Advani who enters the State today with his Bharat Suraksha Yatra.

"Advani will enter Chhattisgarh from Rajnandgaon district tomorrow evening and cover four districts", Law and Revenue Minister Brij Mohan Agrawal said here on Thursday.

During his three-day tour of the state, Advani will address five public meetings, the sernior BJP Minister said.

Advani will address public meetings in Rajnandgaon, Durg, Raipur and Bilaspur districts for which elaborate security arrangements have been made, police said.

About 5000 security personnel, including armed policemen, would be deployed at the meeting venues and enroute of the yatra, DIG Intelligence Sanjay Pillay said.

Red terror's costly shadow over govt's mega ventures

Subodh Ghildiyal
[ Friday, April 21, 2006 12:09:14 amTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]



NEW DELHI: Booming guns may soon turn big projects costlier. Faced with an increasing demand for anti-terror security for big projects, the Union government is veering round to the idea that all mega ventures should include expenditure on security in their budget.

With twin terror threats — of extremist groups in urban areas and Naxalites in the hinterland — emerging as perennial problems, the Union home ministry has woken up to the hidden cost of providing men and guns to guard various industrial and infrastructure projects.

All major ventures being conceived in towns and villages — transport, skyrises, power stations, government installations, dams, mineral projects — are emerging as prime targets of terrorists and Naxalites.

The factoring in of security cost in the project estimates will have the source of funding it accounted for and not lead to a post-facto haggling between various arms of the government. At present, the major question on meeting the security demands revolve around costs and sanctioned posts for personnel.

The in-principle agreement on the issue comes in the wake of the Delhi Metro emerging as the key target of terror groups. Intelligence inputs on terrorist outfits keeping an eye on the intra-city rail transport have led to a demand for a dedicated 2,900-strong security force.

The choice is between raising a CISF-Delhi Police joint metro police force or raising a force on the lines of NSG. Anticipated now is a whopping security bill which has sent the home ministry racking its brains.

At a recent meeting the Centre held with representatives of Naxal-affected states, Andhra Pradesh raised the demand for factoring in security costs in a project's budget.

Sources said that the state is expected to see a huge rise, both in terms of money as well as manpower, in providing security to projects in the hinterland which have vast stretches under the shadow of the Naxal gun.

There are many irrigation projects and dams in the pipeline in the state and a spurt in demand for security can send the state budget haywire. The cost implications start showing even during the long construction period.

Govt to redo plan to tackle Naxals

[ Friday, April 21, 2006 01:47:22 amTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

PATNA: Chief minister Nitish Kumar has said the state government's plan for containing the Naxal menace in Bihar submitted to the Union home ministry is being "firmed up". The ministry is reported to have returned the draft.

Speaking to mediapersons here on Thursday, Nitish said he very much anticipated this kind of reaction from the Centre.

The chief secretary has held meetings as a follow-up action and a fresh plan would be sent, he said.

Reacting angrily to the criticism by a Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader over the appointment of Afzal Amanullah as the new home secretary, the chief minister said: "Bardasht nahin ho raha hai (they are unable to stomach it).

He said it was his prerogative to appoint officials. "An official of a minority community has risen to the post by virtue of his own ability," he added.

Nitish clarified that the disbanding of the Justice Amir Das Commission was not his decision. He said, "The decision of not extending the tenure of the panel beyond January 31 had been taken during the President's rule.

But I am responsible for not revoking that order and not giving extension to the commission which had been granted extension nine times in the past."

He also said that it was not his government's decision to take back the government flat from the family of freedom fighter Suraj Narayan Singh.

However, he added that the flat had been given through a cabinet decision in 1973 to his (Singh's) widow who was no more now.

The family members had given a written undertaking in the high court to quit the house within a prescribed time limit. The chief minister, however, promised to find out some alternative arrangement for the family.

On the charges levelled by Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh that nothing was happening in Bihar, Nitish shot back: "If he cannot see the 'changes' in Bihar he should go in for an eye check-up."

Saying that Singh has a habit of speaking too much, Nitish, however, hastened to add that he was an energetic person.

Naxalites Once Again Hit News Headlines - Spotted in Villages

Kundapur: Naxalites Once Again Hit News Headlines - Spotted in Villages


Mangalore: We Build the World Together




Daijiworld News Network - Kundapur (GA)

Kundapur, Apr 20: After a long hiatus, the Naxalites have once again hit the news headlines in their own manner. The Naxalites who had gone on sabbatical after blasting the guest house belonging to the forest department in the Karkala area, have once again started visiting the villages to muster support from the people for the Naxalite movement.

A group of about 12 armed Naxalites was spotted first in the Bhagimane and Amavasyebail areas recently. Even before, the locals could forget this, they were once again spotted in the Yedamoge village.

In Yedamoge they met the daily wage workers at Basavanpal and tried to ignite the spark of protest against the administration for denying the villagers the basic amenities such as drinking water and electricity.

There were 9 young men and 3 women in the group. Among these 3-4 of them do not know Kannada which indicates that Naxals from the neighbouring state too are active in the area. The villages said that the Naxals told them about the killing of one of their female comrade in Chattisgadh recently. They also told the villagers that the said female comrade was their companion a few months ago.

Naxalites kill 2 cops

OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
Mumbai, April 19: Two policemen have died in a landmine blast triggered by Naxalites in a forest in northern Gadchiroli, on Maharashtra’s border with Chhattisgarh.

Around 8.30 last night, members of the special C-60 anti-Naxalite squad were on their way to a police outpost at Gatta in tribal-dominated Gadchiroli in an anti-mine vehicle when a powerful landmine exploded and sent the vehicle several feet up in the air. It landed upside down, injuring all 16 squad members.

Naxalites opened fire as constable Avendra Rasekar was trying to wriggle out of the vehicle, killing him on the spot. Three others suffered serious injuries and were taken to Government Medical College Hospital in Nagpur, where 48-year-old sub-inspector Harishchandra Madhavi died today.

“Yes, we have lost two officers in the ambush. They were on their way to the police outpost under fire from Naxalite groups. The mission was to surround the firing groups and trap them. But before they could reach the outpost, the ambush was triggered. Because it was an anti-mine vehicle, the casualty has been lower,” superintendent of police Shirish Jain said over phone from Gadchiroli.

Jain and other senior police officials rushed to the spot, which is 42 km from Gadchiroli town.

The police suspect that large quantities of gelatin were used in the explosion. “It was a blast of dimensions similar to the one that was triggered last month. The explosion had tossed up the anti-mine vehicle, but it landed in upright position. In this case, the number of injuries were more because the vehicle overturned on landing,” Jain added.

On March 13, 25 jawans of the special squad travelling in two anti-mine vehicles had survived a landmine blast near Pendhari forests. The explosion had flung one of the vehicles about 20 feet up in the air and created a crater more than five feet deep. After the explosion, the Naxalites had opened fire, but the police commandos countered the firing and forced them to flee.

Last year, more than 22 policemen were killed in Naxalite strikes in Maharashtra.

Contiguous forests help Naxals spread tentacles

Thursday April 20 2006 11:09 IST
ROURKELA: Though the Deogarh police seems to have got a shot in the arm with the death of three Naxalites in Badkhol forest area under Riamal police limits on Tuesday, the locals are living in fear expecting retaliatory attack by the ultras.

The people fear that the Naxalites, who had been limiting themselves to the distribution of leaflets in the district, will now strike with a vengeance.

Though the police and para-military forces have intensified combing, the recovery of an SLR indicates the way the Naxalites have armed themselves.

In fact, apart from socio-economic problems like unemployment, poverty and lack of development, which have led to the growth of Naxalite movement, geographical location, terrain and extensive forest cover have also helped the Naxalites spread their tentacles.

A closer look at the forest map of the State reveals that while the forest area is scattered in the eastern districts comprising Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Khurda, in the western part, the forest cover spans over Sundargarh to Chitrakonda and extends to Andhra Pradesh. The forest cover in Sundargarh is contiguous with that of Jharsuguda district.

Once you cross Hirakud dam reservoir, you are in Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary in Bargarh district. If you proceed further, you find yourself in Gandhamardan Hills and then forest in Nuapada district which is contiguous with forest areas in Chhattisgarh.

If you are in Chhattisgarh and slightly change your direction, you find yourself in the forest area of Nabarangpur which takes you down to the forest areas of Koraput, Malkangiri and Chitrakonda, then to Andhra Pradesh where the Naxalites call the shots.

Similarly, if you travel through central Orissa, a trip down Sundargarh district takes you to the forests in Deogarh and Ushakoti sanctuary to Rairakhol. The forest further extends to Athmallik, Angul, Boudh, Phulbani and Nayagarh from where you may either stray into the forests in Kalahandi or the forest areas of Rayagada or Gajapati and then to Andhra Pradesh.

This could be one of the reasons why the Naxalites have made no headway in Mayurbhanj which shares border with Keonjhar district and West Bengal. Though Keonjhar is located between Mayurbhanj and Sundargarh, the forest is dense except in border areas of Sundargarh district and does not provide a safe passage to the Naxalites.

On the other hand, the police and security forces do not have knowledge of forest roads which connect the intra-forest regions in Orissa and its neighbouring states. This gives an edge to the Naxalites.

Jharkhand Police screen documentary to expose Naxals

Ranchi: As part of its campaign against Naxals, the Jharkhand Police on Thursday started screening a documentary showing double standards of the leaders preaching political extremism among villagers.

In the first phase of the campaign, the 30-minute documentary was screened at Kolahari village in Dhanbad under Tundi Police Station, where a police picket was blown up by the Maoists last year.

Large number of villagers attended the screening at a makeshift theatre under tight security.

There were experience sharing portions that exposed how most men and women who embrace the Naxal movement with great expectations, end up disillusioned and no where to turn to.

The film, titled ‘Badrang Hota Lal Salam (The Fading Red Salute)’ shows that many, who join the cadres find themselves caught in an exploitation circuit.

Women are more susceptible as their disillusionment is not limited to just the discovery of a haphazard life, chased all over the place by the security forces, but they are sexually exploited as well.

“Wherever we have screened this film, people are being awakened about the realities of the ugly and perilous face of Naxalism. People have shown signs of fear of the rebels’ backlash but come to watch anyway, and are happy to learn the truth, gaining awareness about what activities the Maoists indulge in. The impact is total and people can see and hear for themselves, how strenuous and unpleasant the rebels’ life is,” said Mithilesh Kumar, the Officer -in-charge of the Tundi Police Station.

Hiralal Soren, a youth who attended the screening was very impressed with the contents of the documentary.

“The Maoists are creating various impediments in our path. I learnt about their mode of operation from this CD. We all know that the Maoists profess to be working for the good of the people but are instead targeting the common man. They do more harm than good, if any. I also learned that as long as the Maoist rebels continue their reign of terror in our State, we cannot realise our full potential or gain progress like the rest of the nation,” said Soren.

Officials say that 157 people had been killed in Maoist-related violence this year, up from 114 in the first quarter of 2005.

But the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) puts the death toll this year at 235, describing the conflict as the ‘the most serious challenge to human rights advocacy in India’.

Gill visits naxal-infested Bastar region

NAXALS-GILL

RAIPUR, APR 20 (PTI)
Security Advisor to the Chhattisgarh government K P S Gill today made his first visit to naxal-infested Bastar region.

"Making his first visit to any naxal area, Gill today discussed with the police officials of Bastar region about the ground situation and other things of the naxalites," police sources told PTI from Bastar.

"Besides taking the feed back about the activities of the naxalites and their size and fire powers, Gill also discussed other issues of Bastar," they said.

Director General of Police Om Prakash Rathor and State Intelligence chief Sant Kumar Paswan, Inspector General of Police (Bastar) Mohammad Wazir Ansari participated in the meeting at the divisional headquarters of Bastar at Jagdalpur, the sources said.

Naxalites are active in Chhattisgarh for about three decades and they have also established their headquarters in the deep jungle of Bastar while declaring some of the area as "liberated zone.

One arrested in Bellary, pistol, cartridges seized

Thursday April 20 2006 12:20 IST
BELLARY: Police arrested Naganna alias Boya Naganna alias Mukanna, resident of Binigeri village in Alur Taluk in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh and seized from him a country pistol and 5 cartridges. He was roaming around KSRTC Bus Stand in Bellary.

Additional Superintendent of Police Dr D C Rajappa said during interrogation, Naganna revealed that he got the pistol from a coal merchant to handover the pistol to naxal leader Ranga Reddy.

Additional Superintendent of Police said following a tip off that a person was roaming around loaded with a country made pistol in Siruguppa town, he directed Siruguppa PSI Naga Reddy to arrest the person.

The accused is remanded to Judicial Custody.

A case was registered in Siruguppa Police Station.

Naxals withdraw from village they had laid seige to

Raipur, Apr 19 : Naxalites have withdrawn from Usur village in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh after reinforcements of security forces reached there, a senior police official said today.

"Because of prompt action by the police forces, the armed naxalites failed to do anything at the Usur village yesterday and quietly slipped into the nearby forest," Chief of anti-naxal operation Sant Kumar Paswan told PTI here.

About 2,000 naxalites had yesterday cordoned off the Usur village after which additional reinforcement of CRPF and district forces had been sent to the spot.

The forces reached the village from nearby camps and combing operation was carried out today also in and around Usur village and police has a dominance of that area, Paswan said.

"The situation in and around the village is totally under control and peaceful and because of police presence with sophisticated weapons. The naxalites had yesterday also failed to commit any crime and today also the area was peaceful," said Paswan who is also the Additional Director General of Intelligence.

Usur is located in the hyper naxal infested area and Murkinar is located about 11 km from the place, where on Sunday, the Maoists had killed 11 policemen and looted 38 weapons.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

West Bangal should hold dialogue with Maoists: Pranab

Kolkata, Apr 19: The West Bengal government should initiate a dialogue with Maoists as there is no other alternative to solve the problem, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said today.

"There is need for a dialogue... There is no other alternative," Mukherjee, also the PCC president, told a meet-the-press programe here.

When a scribe remarked that the talks between naxalites and the Andhra Pradesh government has failed, Mukherjee said "it is not that dialogue will always give instant results. But there is no alternative to talks." Mukherjee also said the law and order machinery should be strengthened to tackle Maoists active in Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore districts of the state.

"The police have to be modernised and given more mobility. The communication system should be improved and there should be better training," he said.

Mukherjee said 65 districts in nine states were now naxalite-affected.

"The Centre and the state governments concerned have identified these districts. All security-related expenses in these districts are being borne by the Centre," he said.

He said the five-year scheme, started in 2001, has been re-introduced after it expired on March 31.

Mukherjee said that there was no trace of development in areas of West Bengal where Maoists were active.

"The tribal people are getting attracted to Naxalite ideology as there is no scope for employement and they are even being denied access to forest produce," he said

Naxalites kill 2 cops in Gadchiroli, Maharastra

OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Mumbai, April 19: Two policemen have died in a landmine blast triggered by Naxalites in a forest in northern Gadchiroli, on Maharashtra’s border with Chhattisgarh.

Around 8.30 last night, members of the special C-60 anti-Naxalite squad were on their way to a police outpost at Gatta in tribal-dominated Gadchiroli in an anti-mine vehicle when a powerful landmine exploded and sent the vehicle several feet up in the air. It landed upside down, injuring all 16 squad members.

Naxalites opened fire as constable Avendra Rasekar was trying to wriggle out of the vehicle, killing him on the spot. Three others suffered serious injuries and were taken to Government Medical College Hospital in Nagpur, where 48-year-old sub-inspector Harishchandra Madhavi died today.

“Yes, we have lost two officers in the ambush. They were on their way to the police outpost under fire from Naxalite groups. The mission was to surround the firing groups and trap them. But before they could reach the outpost, the ambush was triggered. Because it was an anti-mine vehicle, the casualty has been lower,” superintendent of police Shirish Jain said over phone from Gadchiroli.

Jain and other senior police officials rushed to the spot, which is 42 km from Gadchiroli town.

The police suspect that large quantities of gelatin were used in the explosion. “It was a blast of dimensions similar to the one that was triggered last month. The explosion had tossed up the anti-mine vehicle, but it landed in upright position. In this case, the number of injuries were more because the vehicle overturned on landing,” Jain added.

On March 13, 25 jawans of the special squad travelling in two anti-mine vehicles had survived a landmine blast near Pendhari forests. The explosion had flung one of the vehicles about 20 feet up in the air and created a crater more than five feet deep. After the explosion, the Naxalites had opened fire, but the police commandos countered the firing and forced them to flee.

Last year, more than 22 policemen were killed in Naxalite strikes in Maharashtra

Naxalites raid on road builders

VISHVENDU JAIPURIAR

Hazaribagh, April 19: Suspected Maoist rebels set ablaze a machine and two motorcycles of a construction company in Gola near Ramgarh last night.

Around 3 in the night, about 12 extremists appeared at the site of Classic Company, which is involved in renovation of the Rajrappa-Gola Road in Jobia village — 75 km from Hazaribagh.

They also left behind a number of pamphlets. The pamphlet, which warns middlemen and informers to face the wrath of the rebels besides demanding 90 per cent participation of lower class in every project, was reportedly written by Maoist outfits operating in the state.

However, Ramgarh deputy superintendent of police Sanjeev Kumar said only some local criminals are invol ved in the incident, not the Maoists.

Police officers, who went to the spot, said that they were investigating the matter and trying to locate the culprits.

Pawan Singh, owner of the company, which faced similar attack last year also, is known to be close to land and land revenue minister Chandra Prakash Choudhary.

This was the second incident of Naxalite attack within 24 hours in North Chhotanagpur commissionerate.

On Monday, they set off three powerful bombs in under-construction buildings of Police Line in Chatra damaging the structure. Later, the police had recovered a country-made gun from the spot.

However, no arrest has been made related to the explosions. Gautam Construction company, which was involved in doing the work in the Police Line, today admitted to have suffered a loss of Rs 50 lakh.

However, sources said that the company has unable to complete the project, started at an estimated cost of Rs 10 crore in 2004.

Rajiv Mathur removed as ADG CAF and Training

Raipur, Apr 19: The Chhattisgarh government today shifted one of its senior most IPS officers, Rajiv Mathur, from the post of Chief of Armed Force and Training to a less significant post, following his "differences" with Director General of Police Om Prakash Rathor.

"Mathur is removed as Additional DG of Chhattisgarh Armed Force and Training and made Director Prosecution replacing R K Vij," Chief Secretary Ram Prakash Bagai told PTI here.

Mathur, who is number two in the police headquarters (PHQ) had "serious differences" with the DGP, official sources at the PHQ said here.

The shifting of Mathur comes a day after K P S Gill assumed charge as the Security Advisor to the Chhattisgarh government.

The Director Prosecution was always held by an official of the DIG level ever since the state was formed, PHQ sources said.

About the possible reason for shifting Mathur, the Chief Secretary said it was a proposal by the Home Department and Director Prosecution was also an important post.

Meanwhile, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Bijay Kishore Sunder Ray said Sanjay Tiwari was today appointed as new district Superintendent of naxal-infested Bijapur, replacing Dasrath Lal Manhar, who has been made the secretary State Human Rights Commission.

To a question, Ray said soon an order will be issued for posting a senior officer in charge of Chhattisgarh Armed Force and Training in place of Mathur.

On Sunday last naxals killed 11 policemen and looted 38 sophisticated weapons from CAF camp of Murkinar in Bijapur district.

25,000 Jharkhand policemen insured

Press Trust Of India / Kolkata/ Ranchi April 20, 2006
Stepping up its anti-Naxalite drive, Jharkhand government has brought 25,000 police personnel operating in Naxal areas under insurance cover and purchased a new fleet of anti-mine vehicles.

The new policy, formally announced here , will cover state police personnel, central paramilitary forces and army personnel engaged in anti-Naxal operations.

The joint agreement was signed between the police department and the United India Insurance Company, the Oriental Insurance Company and the New India Assurance Company.

Under the agreement, the state home minister Sudesh Mahto gave a cheque for Rs 2.47 crore to Rakesh Kumar, the chief regional manager of the Oriental Insurance Company, as premium for 2006-07.

Kumar accepted the cheque on behalf of the three insurance companies. Addressing the IPS and IAS officers at a function here, the minister assured all help to the police in their fight against extremism.

"If any of the 25,000 personnel engaged in anti-Naxal drive in the state suffers fatal wounds or permanent total disability or loses two limbs or sight, his or her family will be entitled to a maximum benefit of Rs 11.5 lakh," he said.

The insurance benefits would be the same for everybody irrespective of rank, he said.

"Though sixteen districts are marked as Naxal-infested areas, the insurance will cover the entire state," director general of police Vishnu Dayal Ram said. Stating that the compensation package in Jharkhand earmarked for anti-Naxal operation was the highest in the country, the DG said the insurance policy would fulfil the CRPF's grievance that its personnel should be at par with the state police vis-a-vis compensation package.

The government has a Rs 10 lakh compensation package for the family of the state police personnel who die fighting the Naxals and the CRPF has also been demanding the same.

Additional director general of police (modernisation), Neyaz Ahmad, said the Jharkhand police would soon have 120 bullet-proof and 54 anti-landmine vehicles. Orders for mortars and grenades had been placed and delivery was expected any time, he said, adding a group of policemen were being trained by the BSF and the Assam rifles.

One Constable killed , 17 injured in naxal attack

Nagpur: A police constable was killed and 17 others, including a police sub-inspector, were injured when naxalies triggered a landmine blast and opened indiscriminate firing in Phulbondi forest area in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra today, police said.

"About 17 policemen from a special squad C-60 were on a patrolling duty when their anti-landmine vehicle was blown off by a powerful landmine blast by a group of naxals in thick forest in Phulbondi, about 250 kms south of Vidarbha region early today," Gadchiroli police said today.

He said the blast was so powerful that the vehicle was tossed in the air.

The naxals also opened fire, which was retaliated by police, but constable Avendra Rasekar was killed in the firing.

PSI Harishchandra Madavi (48) and two constables Kusu Koradi and Prakash Gorade, who sustained serious injuries, were rushed to the city and admitted to Government Medical College Hospital, police said, adding that their condition was critical.

Other 12 injured were admitted to Government Hospital in Gadchiroli, they said.

Gadhciroli S P Shirish Jain and other officials have rushed to the spot and supervising the relief operations, police added.

Centre beefs up security along Nepal border

BHARTI JAIN

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ THURSDAY, APRIL 20, 2006 12:23:28 AM]

NEW DELHI: Concerned over Maoist spillover from troubled Nepal, the Centre has asked the Sashastra Seema Bal troops deployed along the border to step up guard and watch out for movement of Nepalese Maoists into Indian territory.

The decision to put the SSB on high alert along the border in Bihar, UP and West Bengal follows a security review by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday evening regarding the developments in Nepal.

The meeting, attended by Union home minister Shivraj Patil and top security brass, assessed the security concerns arising from a possible Maoist takeover of power in the Himalayan Kingdom.

According to latest reports from the Indo-Nepal border in Bihar and UP, many Nepalese families have already shifted base to this side and several more are still coming in. This, the security agencies feel, is essentially a panic reaction in anticipation of a major outbreak of violence in the Himalayan Kingdom as a fallout of the anti-King protests.

Although no major influx of Nepalese Maoists is reported so far, the agencies have warned of a possibility of the extremists crossing over to safer havens in Bihar districts like East and West Champaran, Madhubani and Sitamarhi in the wake of any major crackdown by the Royal Nepalese Army under the King’s instructions.

Though there is no concrete evidence of active and operational links between the Maoists in Nepal and those on this side, they do share ideological affinity and logistical facilities and are jointly aiming at creating a “Red Corridor” stretching all the way from Nepal to the south Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

The Union home ministry is apprehensive that the Naxal movement here, which is already on the upswing with several daring attacks being recorded almost daily in the badly-hit states of Chhattisgarh and Orissa, may receive a major morale booster in case the Nepalese Maoists succeed in gaining power.

The SSB, Union home secretary V K Duggal told the ET, has been especially directed to strengthen vigil along the Indo-Nepal border to ensure that no armed Maoist makes his way into Indian territory.

The movement of weapons as well as counterfeit currency is also to being watched out for as the border forces monitor the inflow of human traffic from Nepal. Ever since King Gyanendra clamped emergency in Nepal, the Maoists there have been resorting to violence and resisting a crackdown by the RNA.

Available reports indicate the movement of CPN(Maoist) cadres into various part of the country, but mainly for medical treatment. Around 40 CPN(Maoists) activists were arrested last year, as against over 140 of them picked up between 2001 and 2004 from Bihar, West Bengal, UP and other parts of the country.

Govt ready to take on Naxalites

Mukesh Ranjan
NEW DELHI, April 19: Concerned by the threat posed by the rampant Naxalite violence in the country and Naxalites’ attempts to create a red corridor from Pashupatinath in Nepal to Tirupati in south India, the government is set to soon take some counter-offensive measures.
A highly-placed source said the government is seriously considering instructing the affected state police and Central forces to actively and constructively support the “Salva Judum” in Chhattisgarh.
“Salva Judum” is a movement of local tribals in the state which is opposed to Naxalite violence and is considered an anti-thesis to the revolution propounded by the Naxalites.
The government is also considering creating groups of local people on the pattern of “Salva Judum” in other affected states, the source said. Since the government is aware that apart from police, the Naxalites’ prime targets are new industries and new mineral units, it is being mooted that apart from proper rehabilitation of the displaced, five per cent equity ownership will be given to local tribals so that they have a sense of belonging.
The government is also considering roping in the Border Roads Organisation to complete road construction work in areas where contractors are facing trouble because of Naxal threats. Strategic rural roads will be put under the Backward District Initiative (BDI) instead of the Prime Minister’s Gramin Sarak Yojna (PMGSY).
In another significant step, the government is mulling incorporating “security cost” as part of the project cost while evaluating and sanctioning mega projects in the affected area. “But there is a problem in doing so as there is a distinct difference in plan and non-plan expenditure,” said an informed source. The government is looking into other options to sort out this problem as action has to be taken to include the cost of required security in the construction of mega projects.
If the proposal comes through, all the affected states, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhatisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, would benefit as they would either be compensated for the security to be provided or would be relieved of the responsibility of providing security to the projects.


Cops killed
NAGPUR, April 19: Two constables were killed and 17 others, including a police sub-inspector, were injured when Naxalites triggered a powerful landmine blast and opened indiscriminate firing in the Phulbondi forest area in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra today, police said. He said the blast was so powerful the vehicle was tossed in the air. PTI

In Bihar, Naxals use handpumps to enlist anti-govt support

Thursday April 20 2006 00:00 IST

GAYA: Handpump. This is what the Naxalites are now using to enlist local support and stay a step ahead of the administration.

As officials hold meetings to counter the Naxals, here, in the drought-hit regions of Gaya district, the Left wing extremists have opened another front.

With the entire district, including Gaya town, facing a severe water crisis, the banned CPI (Maoist) has stepped in with money to help villagers repair handpumps. It's also using muscle power to ensure equitable distribution.

They even have a name for their operation: Paani-Paani.

While the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and ward commissioners of Gaya corporation sit on a dharna, unable to tackle the water crisis, the Naxals have got going, quietly executing works which the officials should have.

Gaya Chief Engineer D P Singh acknowledges that the situation is very bad, with "groundwater levels depleting 40-80 feet". Throughout the district, most manually sunk handpumps (at a depth of around 40-60 feet) and open wells have dried up. Only those sunk at a depth of around 100 ft are working.

Singh claims that the government has taken some action. "Money was sanctioned at the end of last year. We are procuring materials to sink new handpumps and repair defunct ones. Work should start soon," he says.

But ask Ramji Das of Paraiya block. Till the Naxals came with money, Das and other villagers were trying to locate water holes for their cattle. The only handpump in his village had dried up and the villagers had no money to sink the tubewells deeper.

But Maoist cadres have been going from village to village, ensuring that Operation Paani-Paani works. Well-to-do farmers with diesel pump sets have been directed to create water reservoirs and throw it open. In villages where handpumps and open wells have dried up, the Maoists are funding the repairs.

In one village, whose residents asked not to be identified, Maoists paid for the repair of six handpumps. "Two people came to us and told us to get our defunct tubewells repaired. They said the party would pay for it. We did not believe them. The next day they came with mechanics and started the work," says Janki Das.

Asked about the Naxal operation, Gaya District Magistrate Sandeep Paundrik claimed he had no information and had only heard "rumours".

If the Maoists do end up consolidating their base here, the government would only have itself to blame. For more than three years now, Gaya and its surrounding areas have not received adequate rainfall. Day temperatures have already touched 40 degrees Celsius.

Two Naxal supporters arrested

Thursday April 20 2006 00:00 IST

HOSUR: The Hosur police arrested two persons on Tuesday who were supporting the movement of Naxals and demanding the public to shun the Assembly elections.

Tension gripped Hosur taluk office area when a few anti-government posters were seen on the compound walls of the taluk office.

The posters urged the public to shun the forthcoming elections and keep faith in the Naxal movements. The posters were put up on behalf of an outfit called ‘Puratchikkara Thozhilalargal Munnani’.

Following instructions from Krishangiri Superintendent of Police Avi Prkash Sinha, Hosur DSP Arularasu and team started an inquiry to nab the persons behind the posters.

Police arrested Parasuraman (31) of Hosur and Ravichandran (39) of Bagalur in this connection. Further investigation is on.

K P S Gill discussess Naxal situation with Chhattisgarh CM

Raipur: The new Security Advisor to Chhattisgarh government, K P S Gill, today discussed naxalite activities with Chief Minister Raman Singh and other top state officials.

"Over a working breakfast, Gill discussed the naxal situation with the Chief Minister, Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam, Chief Secretary Ram Prakash Bagai and DGP among other top officials," official sources told PTI here today.

It was the first discussion of Gill with Singh after he assumed charge yesterday.

The discussion lasted for three hours, the sources said.

"Besides the situation, the possible action plan was also discussed," the sources said adding both the Chief Minister and Gill were "serious" about the naxalite menace.

Meanwhile, looking into the threat perception, the security of the former Punjab DGP was tightened here with deployment of additional force in the Police Mess where he was staying.

"Gill has been provided a bullet proof car for his movement and security has been tightened in and around him," the sources said.

Chhattisgarh Director General of Police questioned the presence of media at the

Chhattisgarh police stations close to Maha border

Raipur: Chhattisgarh police today alerted its police stations, located close to Maharashtra border, after a powerful landmine blast killed one policeman and injurred 17 others.

"All the bordering police stations have been alerted after the reports of movement of naxalites in the bordering district of Gadchiroli in Maharashtra," Chief of anti-naxal operations of the state Sant Kumar Paswan told PTI here.

Rajnandgaon, Kanker, Bastar and Dantewada districts of Chhattisgarh share border with Maharashtra.

Armed Maoists had blown up an anti-landmine vehicle of Maharashtra police in Phulbondi forest area and opened indiscriminate firing killing one constable and

Strengthening PR institutions to eliminate insurgency: Aiyar

Adilabad, Andhra Pradesh, Apr 19 (UNI) The Union Minister for Panchayat Raj Mani Shankar Aiyar today said strengthening of the Panchayat Raj institutions would be of more help to eliminate insurgency than police action.

The Minister, who toured this district as part of his programme to observe the working of the Panchayat Raj institutions, addressed the general body meeting of the Zilla Parishad.

Mr Aiyar said that there was need to focus on the development of naxal-affected areas. The Union Minister who had toured the district advised people's representatives to visit every village, interact with the people and implement employment generating schemes. He said then the people would themselves oppose the Maoists.

The Union Minister said the Naxalites were able to block developmental works because the development of backward areas was not being attended to. He also lamented that even the Central funds were not properly being utilised. He has asserted that this was one of the reasons for insurgency taking deep routes in backward areas.

Mr Aiyar said that in some states the central funds were reaching the state government treasuries instead of the Panchayat Raj institutions, resulting in delay in execution of developmkent works.

He said the Central funds should directly reach the Panchayat Raj institutions and added that bank accounts should be seperately opened for these institutions to facilitate transfer of funds.

The Union Minister while faulting the present arrangement of making the district collector as the Chairman for even appointing Anganwadi workers, he said due to such measures delays were occurring.

The Minister had earlier interacted with the representatives of local Bodies in Gudi Hatnoor and enquired about the working of the Panchayat Raj institutions.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Naxals running a parallel govt: Raman Singh

Raipur, Apr 16: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Saturday admitted that the Naxalites were running a parallel administration in the interior regions of the state and creating problems for developmental activities.

"Naxalites are running parallel administration in far off and interior places, where the administration has failed to reach," Singh told reporters here.

The Naxalites were also not allowing the plucking of Tendu leaves or carrying out of panchayat works in those places, he said.

Because of the activities of the rebels, the developmental works in the interior areas were being hampered, Singh said.

"If the activities of the Maoists are not curbed in all the 13 affected states, then it could turn into a Nepal like situation," the Chief Minister warned and added similar views were expressed by many chief ministers in the conference on Naxalite threat on Thursday last.

"It is not a simple law and order situation. It is a threat to the democracy and needs immediate attention," he said.

However, Singh said, he was very happy to see a shift in attitude of the Centre on the Naxalite issue.

Instead of looking at it as a separate problem of individual states, the Naxal menace was being considered as one problem for the country, he said.

Bureau Report

Bihar govt draws up strategy to deal with Maoists

Patna, Apr 16: With the spectre of Maoist violence looming over 33 of the 38 districts in Bihar, the state government has drawn up a two-pronged strategy to deal with the menace which has assumed alarming proportions with extremists sneeking into the state through the highly porus border with Nepal.

"While stepping up police action against the extremists, we are laying special emphasis on infrastructure development in the state," Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi told mediapersons while explaining the strategy.

He said that districts in North Bihar have been facing a spurt in Maoist violence ever since the ultras have become active in Nepal and districts like East and West Champaran, Sitamarhi and Sheohar have to bear the worst brunt of violence unleashed by them.

Admitting that police was not well equipped to deal with the ultras, Modi said efforts are underway to boost the morale of the police force by providing them modern vehicles, better wireless connectivity and anti-mine devices.

Modi, who also holds the finance portfolio, said that a provision of Rs 125 crore has been made in the 2006-07 state budget for police modernisation.

He said that steps had been taken to fill 5,000 posts of sub-inspectors. Ten thousand police personnel were being appointed and after imparting six months training they will be absorbed in the police force.

In the meantime, he said 5,000 ex-servicemen were being appointed and already 2,200 ex-servicemen have been taken as constables.

The Maoist violence in Nepal had a direct bearing on the contiguous areas of North Bihar, official sources said and pointed out that political workers have been warned that they were on the hit list of the Maoists and as a precautionary measure they have been asked by the state authorities not to venture out after dusk.

Two daring incidents took place a few months back when the state was under president's rule. Jehanabad jail break was an open challenge to the state police and was perhaps the first episode of its kind when heavily armed ultras stormed the jail and freed virtually all the inmates, they said.

In another incident, the Maoists laid virtual seize on Madhuban town some six months back and in an organised attack looted money from the bank and block offices, and arms from police stations after immobilising the securitymen.

The trigger-happy ultras also barged into the home of senior RJD MP Sitaram Singh and looted his belongings, the sources said, adding that a large number of people were also killed in extremist violence in Madhuban.

Modi said the state government would launch operation greyhound on the lines of the crackdown in Andhra Pradesh and sought central assistance for the purpose. At the meeting of chief ministers of Naxal-affected states convened by the Prime Minister, Bihar demanded four helicopters for aerial surveillance and additional para military forces, Modi said.

Modi said along with police action the state government would lay special emphasis on development schemes. To take development to the doorsteps of the people in far-flung areas, the government has launched an ambitious programme 'aap ki sarkar, aap ke dwar' (your government at your doorstep) under which all development schemes would be launched simultaneously at one place.

The scheme was flagged off by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at Sikaria village in Naxal-affected Jehanabad district of Central Bihar recently.

"The thrust of the developmental schemes will be on infrastructure development," he said.

Referring to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme launched by the Centre to provide jobs to every rural household, he said while the Centre had selected 23 districts for the scheme, the state government had decided to launch a similar programme in the remaining 15 uncovered districts with its own resources.

"With this, Bihar will become the first state in the country to have the job guarantee programme throughout the state," Modi said, adding the whole idea was to check unemployment and migration.

Bureau Report

Ten policemen killed in Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh

Raipur, Apr 16: Heavily-armed Naxalites today attacked a police station in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh killing at least ten policemen. Activists of outlawed CPI (Maoist) also looted arms and ammunition from the police station before fleeing, police said.

"We have information that ten policemen have been killed in a Naxal attack on Murkinar police outpost," police said.

"There are heavy casualties on both sides," Director General of Police Om Prakash Rathor said, adding police parties had been despatched to the site.

Murkinar police outpost, about 550 km from here, was set up to check Naxal activities in the area.

Meanwhile, the gravity of the Naxalite problem is so severe that Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Saturday admitted that the Naxalites were running a parallel administration in the interior regions of the state and creating problems for developmental activities.

"Naxalites are running parallel administration in far off and interior places, where the administration has failed to reach," Singh told reporters here.

The Naxalites were also not allowing the plucking of Tendu leaves or carrying out of panchayat works in those places, he said.

Because of the activities of the rebels, the developmental works in the interior areas were being hampered, Singh said.

"If the activities of the Maoists are not curbed in all the 13 affected states, then it could turn into a Nepal like situation," the Chief Minister warned and added similar views were expressed by many chief ministers in the conference on Naxalite threat on Thursday last.