Saturday, June 10, 2006

A road that changed their lives in Naxal affected areas of AP

K. Srinivas Reddy
Villagers in a remote tribal area benefit from a joint effort.
— Photo: R. Raju.

PATH TO PROGRESS: This bus service is link to the outside world for the people of Gangapur in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh.
TWO WINTERS ago, on January 18, 2004, the first bus reached village Gangapur in Andhra Pradesh's Adilabad district, opening up a whole new world for its people and those in nine surrounding hamlets.
It used to be a day's travel by bullock cart in the summer to reach the town of Pembi, 40 km away. During the rains, it took double the time: the villagers had to cross the backwaters of the Kadam reservoir in country boats and then wade through waist-deep water to cross rivulets.
All that changed with a 12 km road connecting Gangapur to the main road and the nearest town of Kadam. About 1,800 villagers and the district police, braving the threat of Maoists, worked together to lay the `kutcha' road that cuts through two hillocks and many small rivulets. Work began on November 20, 2003, and was completed on December 15, 2003.
Despite having extremely fertile lands and abundant groundwater, Gangapur and the surrounding hamlets had remained poor. The villagers practised primitive methods of cultivation. Traders and middlemen got fat on the yield while the farmers starved.
Education and healthcare facilities were almost non-existent. Officialdom stayed away.
"Several pregnant women died for lack of timely medical attention and so did some people bitten by snakes. We were helpless," recalls Aravinda Kumar, a villager.
Then came the road. Now people can drive down to the village in jeeps or use the twice-daily bus service. The road is an example of development ushered in by a proactive government agency, in this case the district police.
Gangapur and the nine hamlets, mostly inhabited by Gonds, Kolams, and Lambadas, were once strongholds of the Maoists. Not anymore.
In May 2003, the villagers turned against the Maoists.In a bloody clash that ensued, naxals had to beat a hasty retreat, but not before the villagers seized a pistol from a dalam commander. The next day, they trekked over 60 km to a police station to hand over the pistol and reiterate their resolve not to entertain Maoists anymore.
For the police, it was a godsend — a chance to implement the WHAM (winning hearts and minds) strategy to wean away the villagers from the naxalites. Pooling donations and funds from different schemes, they began laying the road. For more than two months, more than 30 policemen stood guard as 100 villagers a day toiled on the road. Two hillocks were cut through and 37 culverts constructed across the rivulets to connect the village to the main road running between Kadam and Utnoor towns. The bus service started on January 18, 2004. Just days before that, on January 13, the villagers repulsed another attack by the naxalites.
The road has saved the villagers from the middlemen, who had till then dictated the price of paddy, turmeric, cotton, and maize. "We used to trek our way to Pembi to borrow money from traders for buying seeds, pesticides, and fertilizer. We had to sell the farm yield to the same trader, who used to offer low prices and then deduct the loan amount with three per cent interest rate," says Madhu, a tenth class dropout and a former member of the Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituency.
The tribals were never paid cash immediately, but only after a fortnight. If money was to be paid immediately, the trader would deduct another two per cent. And so innocent were the tribals that none questioned the practices.
The villagers are a transformed lot today. Some of them go to Kadam town just to know the prevailing market prices. "The other day we sold 2,000 bags of paddy in our village to a trader. We got some Rs.300 extra per quintal. If we had to sell that in Pembi we would have to bear the transport expenses, spend two days for transport. Life is comfortable now," says Ch. Rajeshwar Reddy. Vedama Laxman is more adventurous. He hired a lorry and took sunflower seeds to Bokhar in Maharashtra to sell. "I got a price of Rs.1,600 per quintal, whereas the prevailing rate here is Rs.1,200."
Frequent visits to Kadam, where they interact with others, have taught the villagers new farming techniques. Some have begun hiring tractors to till the lands and the area under cultivation has increased. They now sell mahua flowers and beedi leaves collected from the forest at a Girijan Cooperative Corporation outlet in Kadam.
An attitudinal change among the villagers, thanks to the police's proactive approach, is also evident. They feel an armed struggle is irrelevant when government agencies are ready to solve the problems. "The ITDA [Integrated Tribal Development Agency] sends mechanics to repair the hand operated borewells. The ITDA officials helped us start Self-Help Groups," says Dosanla Laxmi. At present there are 29 active SHGs, which have borrowed Rs 3.55 lakh for buying agricultural inputs.
Other "goodies" too have come in. Along with development activity, the road has ushered in the habits of modern world. There is a great demand for tiklis (plastic bindis), soft drinks, beer, and gutkha at the three kirana stores that have sprung up in Gangapur. An enterprising tribal installed a dish antenna and wired up the entire village bringing it the soap operas. Three others followed suit.
There are now more than 100 colour TVs in the village. The residents mostly watch Telugu soap operas and movies on pirated VCDs bought in Kadam. "We have about 70 VCD players in the village," the tribals say.
The Maoists, however, have not taken kindly to the joint road-laying effort. Months after it was thrown open, an action team shot dead a resident, Damodar Rao, accusing him of playing a pivotal role in laying the road. But the villagers have not lost their nerve. They now want the Government to convert the kutcha road into a pucca road, since during the rains the bus cannot be run.
"If there is a pucca road, we need not depend on the RTC bus. We will buy some autorickshaws so that we can go to Kadam anytime we want," say the villagers
http://www.hindu.com/2006/06/10/stories/2006061004101100.htm

Govt sets up expert group to look into menace of Naxalism

New Delhi, June 07: The government has set up a 16-member expert group to go into the causes of naxalism and suggest remedial measures.

The group headed by D Bandhopadhyay, Chairman of Council for Social Development has been mandated by the Planning Commission to delve in to the causes contributing to continued tensions and alienation in areas of unrest and discontent, official sources said.

The group constitutes former Director of Intelligence Bureau Ajit Doval, Bharatiya Jan Andalon Chairman B D Sharma, senior advocate K Balagopal, former police officials and bureaucrats and representatives of civil society groups.

The Expert Group will look into issues like widespread displacement, forset issues, insecure tenancies and other forms of exploitation like usury and land alienation and suggest specific steps to reduce tensions and causes of discontent.

It will also identify the causes of persistent and abysmally low social and human development indicators and suggest steps for bringing these at par with the rest of the country in a time bound manner.

The group has also been asked to suggest measures to upgrade the levels of governance and strengthen public service delivery in these areas and also suggest ways for achieveing livelihood, health and nutrition security.

The Expert Group will also suggest changes in Central and State legislation coming in the way of achievement of these objectives.

Bureau Report

Chattisgarh Congress to discuss anti-Naxal campaign

Raipur, June 10: Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee (CPCC) will convene a meeting of the party's state leaders on June 19 to discuss the anti-Naxal campaign.

This was decided by CPCC at a meeting here today, its president Charan Das Mahant said, adding that over a hundred leaders of the state Congress will participate in the meeting, where the issue of `Salwa Judum' (anti-Naxal campaign) will be discussed.

District and block congress presidents, Zilla Panchayat presidents, PCC and AICC delegates have been invited for the meeting, to be held at Jagdalpur, the divisional headquarters of Bastar, he said.

After the meeting, the delegation of the state Congress would meet AICC president Sonia Gandhi, in which the stand of the party on the issue will be discussed and reviewed.

Congress is convening the meeting as the leader of opposition Mahendra Karma, the Congress MLA from Dantewada, is leading the `Salwa Judum' campaign, Mahant said.

Meanwhile, the other two patry MLAs Kawash Lakhma and Rajendra Pam Bhoi and former state Chief Minister Ajit Jogi have openly opposed the campaign saying over 50,000 people have been ousted from 644 villages and scores of innocent Tribals have lost their lives during the campaign.

"In such a condition, the party's stand should be clear, whether to go with Salwa Judum or not as the contradicting statements of Karma and Jogi are creating a confusion among the ranks and files of the party here," he said.

From June 4 last year, Salwa Judum was organised in Dantewada, led by Karma, with active support from the state government.

Bureau Report

Cops welcome Naxal ban as ‘timely reaction’ in Orissa

Saturday June 10 2006 10:07 IST

BHUBANESWAR: The Orissa Government’s decision to ban the dreaded CPI (Maoist) has been greeted with an ‘aye’ by the security forces in the State.

Top police officials on Friday termed the decision a ‘timely reaction’ after the R Udaygiri raid in March and gunning down of Motu OIC last week. “The ambiguity is now gone. For, the State Government’s stand on the Naxals is amply clear and gives security forces a correct direction,” a senior cop told this website's newspaper.

One of the major reasons why Government took this decision is because of the panchayat polls are round the corner. “The decision will send a signal that the Government means business,” the cop added. The BJP was vocal in its demand for a ban, while its ally BJD is now united in the decision. But other political parties are yet to react.

But make no mistake that it will improve the situation overnight. As per informed sources, there could be a sudden escalation of violence in parts of Naxal zone. The extremists would try to ‘greet’ the ban with renewed violence, but this will be a short-term one, the police officials feel.

One of the major advantages of the ban would obviously be the power to police to choke the financial tap to the ultras. Last month, Rayagada Police was tipped off about Naxals demanding a cut from the commission of two contractors and even two trucks. Police picked them up and the contractors even admitted that they were being asked to part with ten percent of their commission while the negotiation ended with just two percent.

Bail for Vyas murder-accused

Legal Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Tirupati Balaiah, accused in the sensational murder case of senior police officer K. S. Vyas, was granted bail by the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday.

Balaiah pleaded that for the last decade there has been no progress and he was put to great difficulty in the name of the case. Justice Gopala Krishna heard the public prosecutor at length, who said that Vyas was in the forefront of anti-naxal operations and if the bail is granted now it will not be proper.

The Judge agreed with the public prosecutor, but wondered how many more years the accused against whom no crime has yet been proved, has to undergo the detention. The court directed the petitioner to report to police everyday.

Maoists go soft on informers

Jaideep Hardikar
Friday, June 09, 2006 22:50 IST


NAGPUR: Perturbed by the loss of support among the locals and the attrition among their ranks as a result of the government's surrender policy, Maoists in the state are adopting new strategies in the war for the minds of people.

Maoists are playing the same coin to counter the Maharashtra government's surrender policy, which has been fairly successful in the Naxalite stronghold of Gadchiroli. DNA has learnt from state intelligence sources that the Naxalites have distributed pamphlets in Hindewada and Malampador villages of south Gadchiroli asking 'police informers' to surrender to Maoists-sponsored Lok Adalats.

"This alternative surrender policy is aimed to pressurise and terrorise villagers, who are losing faith in them," says Shirish Jain, the Superintendent of Police (Gadchiroli). "This policy has also been floated in the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh districts." Experts who have been following the strategy of the Maoists for several years say this is a departure from their usual strategy of eliminating 'police informers' and points to a recognition among the top leadership of the need to build up public support.

"Eighty-three top Naxalite leaders have surrendered before the police in Vidarbha over the past year after Maharashtra introduced the surrender policy. It has caused a considerable dent in the ranks of the Maoists," says Jain. Maharashtra introduced its surrender policy in August 2005.

The edict issued in Telugu, Marathi and Goendadi languages say the 'police informers' would be spared if they surrender before their Lok Adalats. "This as a sign of growing desperation among Maoists," says Jain. The Maoists have also threatened women self-help groups, which were formed with government help last year as part of its larger strategy to win public support. The police are worried as the threat seems to be working with 14 tribal self-help groups folding up in the Arjuni Morgaon block of Gadchiroli. "The next target seems to be the Village Protection Squads," an intelligence officer told DNA.

Experts say it is time for the government to start out-thinking the Maoists. "It's time to have a rethink," says Suresh Dwadashiwar, editor of Lokmat and writer who embarked on a peace rally to Asaralli in the Naxalite dominated tribal hinterland in March.

"If the Maoists are fighting an ideological battle, how do you justify their killing of civilians or rape of young women or edicts against sending children to schools? This can't be a revolution and this isn't. That is why we have to tell people about realities that defy Naxal romanticism," he says.

Maoists have killed over 150 tribals in the last three years and over 250 over the last decade for 'violating' their edicts and warnings.

Ban: Pro Naxal group Daman Manch to move HC

Statesman News Service
BERHAMPUR, June 9: The Daman Pratirodh Manch will use public platforms and the courts of law to challenge the state government’s decision to ban it in Orissa along with other frontal organisations of the Naxals. The convenor of the Daman Pratirodh Manch, Mr Dandapani Mohanty, said that their organisation will approach the Orissa High Court to contest the state cabinet’s decision to ban the organisation in Orissa.
It may be noted that the state cabinet decided to ban the Naxal organisation, CPI-Maoist and seven other organisations that are allegedly frontal organisations of the Naxals. These seven banned frontal organisations are Daman Pratirodh Manch, Kui Lewanga Sangh, Revolutionary Democratic Front, Chasi Mulia Samity, Jan Natya Mandali, Krantikari Kisan Samity and Bal Sangh.
Mr Mohanty said that the Daman Pratirodh Manch is a democratic organisation and that a ban on it is an undemocratic move.
When asked about his future course of action, he said his organisation will also try to garner the support of the oppressed and the intellectuals in the state to press upon the state government to lift the ban on the people’s organisations in the state.
Mr Mohanty said that organisations like Daman Partirodh Manch consider the Naxal problem to be a socio-economic one while the state government considers it to be a law and order problem. He added that these ban orders will be a stumbling block in the path of any possibilities of talks among the Naxals, the pro-people leaders and the state government.
Mr Mohanty declared that the Daman Pratirodh Manch had no links with the Naxals or the CPI-Maoist party. But he accepted that both the Naxals and the Daman Pratirodh Manch are tackling problems related to the downtrodden and tribals in the state. Both have voiced their opposition against the abuse of the downtrodden.
He said both organisations have a similar point of view but they have no connection.
It may be noted that since last year, the Daman Pratirodh Manch has organised massive pro-Naxal rallies in Bhubaneswar and Berhampur. It had organised a pro-Naxal rally last month at Berhampur. The rally was allegedly attended by many pro-Naxal activists of south Orissa.
Police and intelligence sources are happy over the ban decision taken by the state cabinet. According to them, these organisations have definite links with the Maoists.
The Jan Natya Mandali is active in south Orissa. Its members use songs and dances to attract tribals of the remote areas towards the Naxal philosophy. Members of this organisation have also taken part in the rallies of the Daman Pratirodh Manch in Bhubaneswar. Some of them have also been arrested for their Naxal links.
The teenagers who are part of the Bal Sangh, a frontal organisation of the Naxals in Malkangiri district, murdered the officer in charge of the Motu police station this month.

Friday, June 09, 2006

SP terms threat on court as mischief

Friday June 9 2006 15:16 IST
SHIMOGA : Arun Chakravarthy Jeji, SP, termed the alleged threat of naxals to throw petrol bomb on court building in Shimoga and Sagar as mischievous.

Speaking to reporters here on Thursday, he pointed out that letter contained contradictory points. Though the writer claimed that the letter was sent from Pavagad it was posted at Shimoga. Letter writer demanded that the courts should not hold proceedings on 8, 9 and 10.

But June 10 is a second Saturday, a holiday for the court, he added. Though letter is suspected to be written for a mischievous purpose Police Department had made all precautionary measurers at the court premises and the investigation was also going on.

Letters from naxal outfits used to come in the name of one Gangadhar. SP pointed out that there was difference between those letters and the one received a couple of days ago.

For the next three days protection would be given to the courts in Shimoga and Sagar.

Additional police was deployed and metal detectors were also fixed at the court entrances. Experts have conducted detailed investigation on Thursday to find out whether any explosives were planted in the court premises.

Orissa govt bans 7 naxal outfits

NDTV Correspondent

Friday, June 9, 2006 (Bhubaneshwar):


The Orissa government has banned the CPI-Maoist and seven of their front organizations. The state cabinet took the decision after an escalation in naxal violence.

However the state home secretary has clarified that this will not lead to arrest of the office bearers of the organisations or any raid on their offices.

But they will not be allowed to hold any more rallies or public meetings, although simultaneously the cabinet recommended a rehabilitation package for surrendered extremists.

The rehabilitation package includes cash incentives up to Rs 20,000, allotment of homestead land, bank loan and subsidy and withdrawal of cases involving minor offences.

The seven organisations which have now been declared unlawful in the state are: Daman Pratirodh Manch, Revolutionary Democratic Front, Chasi Mulia Sangh, Jana Natya Mandali, Krantikari Kisan Samiti & Bal Sangam.


Orissa to ban CPI (Maoist), 7 front forums
Bhubaneswar, June. 9 (PTI): The Orissa Government today decided to ban CPI (Maoist) and its seven front organisations.

The seven naxalite organisations are Daman Pratirodh Manch, Revolutionary Democratic Front, Chasi Mulia Samiti, Kui Mulia Samiti, Kui Lawenga Sangha, Jan Natya Mandali, Krantikari Kissan Samiti and Bal Sangam, Home Secretary Santosh Kumar said after a cabinet meeting.

The state cabinet has also announced a comprehensive rehabilitation package for naxalites who would surrender before the administration.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Former Naxal held for realtor's murder

5 held for realtor's murder
[ Friday, June 09, 2006 02:25:15 amTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]


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HYDERABAD: Police on Thursday took five persons into custody for the murder of realtor K Nageshwar Rao (45), who was shot dead at Saidabad late on Wednesday night.

Nageshwar Rao was killed when he was parking his car at his house at Laxminagar, Saidabad. Six bullets were pumped into him, while another one was found in the car. Police officials said that the assailants also used two pistols.

Those who were taken into the custody include Venkat Reddy, Teja, Phani Kumar and Kiran. The Central Zone police formed a special team to trace the kingpin, G S Rao, who is the owner of Vishwam School situated at Chaitanyapuri, and Patlola Govardhan Reddy, a former naxalite and chief of the Revolutionary Patriotic Tigers (RPT) group.

Meanwhile, the RPT had called up a Telugu daily and claimed responsibility for the killing, late on Wednesday.
The dispute between Nageshwar Rao and G S Rao was reportedly over the ownership of Vishwam School.

Nageshwara Rao reportedly invested in the school but recently G S Rao got a court order claiming that he was the only owner of the property. Things had only worsened during the past one month as both the parties began to threaten each other of dire consequences, the police said.

G S Rao reportedly fled to Nepal. The police suspect that the murder operation was hatched by Patlola Govardhan Reddy and another surrendered naxalite Mohan. However, Govardhan Reddy and Mohan are absconding.

India's Maoists step up rebellion

A 40-year insurrection rooted in poverty grows ever more deadly in rural states

JASON OVERDORF

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

DORNAPAL, INDIA — Madkam Devi, a pretty 19-year-old in a sari printed with pink flowers, shifted the thin-limbed infant on her hip and gazed into space as she described how she narrowly escaped being hacked to death by Maoist revolutionaries a month ago.

She and 51 other villagers of Manikonta, a village in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, had returned to their homes from a government relief camp on April 25 to collect cooking pots, plastic buckets and other household items they had left behind when they made their hurried departure for police protection from the guerrillas. Finding the village deserted, they quickly gathered their belongings and started back to the relief camp. They didn't get far before the Maoists ambushed them.

"Some people panicked and tried to run, but some of the Maoists were wearing uniforms and shouted to us that they were the police, and we shouldn't be afraid," Ms. Devi said.

The Maoists, including about 50 gunmen in uniforms and another 150 irregulars armed with axes and wooden staves, killed two villagers and captured the others, Ms. Devi said. Some were badly beaten, a taste of the treatment the prisoners would receive over the next four days. But the worst was to come. As an example of the fate that awaits villagers who participate in a government-aided people's movement against their rebellion, the Maoists executed 13 of the villagers.

The Maoists -- sometimes called Naxalites, in reference to an armed uprising in the village of Naxalbari in West Bengal, from which the movement began in 1967 -- have maintained a low-level insurrection in India for nearly 40 years, organizing uprisings among landless workers, hijacking trains, mounting frequent attacks on police posts and industrial facilities, and murdering their political opponents. Their rebellion is gaining ground, expanding across 14 eastern and central Indian states, running all the way from the Nepal border in the north to the southern coast, and becoming a major Communist force intent on winning control of the Indian state through military means.

And the war is growing ever more deadly. More than 700 people, 500 of them civilians, were killed in raids, land-mine blasts and other incidents in 2005. Provisional data from the past four months suggest the death toll will be higher in 2006.

The rapid increase in violence has prompted some experts, such as Ajai Sahni of the New Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management, to warn that the Naxalite insurrection has surpassed separatist terrorists in Kashmir as the largest internal threat to India's ability to govern its vast territory.

India's national and state governments have long refused to acknowledge the seriousness of the problem, because of what it says about their administrations, Mr. Sahni said. "Unlike the Kashmir issue, which we could blame on somebody else, this was entirely indigenous. It pointed to state failures."

The Maoist movement is rooted in the deep impoverishment of rural India. Although India's economy is growing at close to 8 per cent a year, nearly three-quarters of its people live in rural areas that continue to lag far behind the cities, especially in the problem states of north and central India. Just 20 per cent of rural people have access to basic amenities such as running water, compared with 70 per cent in urban areas. And poor nutrition and lack of health care mean that the infant-mortality rate for rural India is nearly 40 per cent higher than in urban areas.

In Chhattisgarh, the lack of local economic progress is obvious despite a huge influx of investment to develop the state's mineral resources. "Mining has been going on for three decades, but the only industry to flourish in the area is prostitution," a spokesman for the Maoists recently told local reporters.

In recent months, the rebel attacks have become more daring. In November, hundreds of Maoists stormed a jail in Bihar, freeing a captured Maoist leader and about half of the facility's 650 inmates. In February, the rebels raided a state-owned mining company in Chhattisgarh, stealing tonnes of explosives for the manufacture of crude bombs.

The violent attack on the villagers of Manikonta signalled a shift in strategy by the guerrillas, who previously had focused attacks on organs of the state. By brutalizing ordinary villagers, the Maoists are taking a dangerous gamble. Historically, they have embraced local causes and won respect, and sometimes support, through hard work and a dogged battle against social injustice and government corruption.

In Chhattisgarh, local observers say that years ago the Maoists forced contractors to pay tribal labourers the wages mandated by the state, rather than skimming from the payroll. They thrashed corrupt officials of the forest department, and forced truant government teachers to show up for their classes in the deep jungle, instead of merely drawing their salaries.

However, Chhattisgarh officials now say that the Maoists more often work to stop projects that would benefit the local poor.

"Contrary to what they [the Maoists] say, Naxalism is not growing, because there is no development in the state," said Chhattisgarh Home Secretary B. K. S. Ray. "Basically, this is a terrorist movement to gain political power through violence. Initially, they may have wanted land reform and equality, but now it's a gang of extortionists, gangsters and killers."

The tribal people of rural India need roads, schools and jobs. But the Maoists are committed to a full-scale Communist upheaval and radical redistribution of wealth, and believe that these incremental gains will never erase the gross inequalities of what they term India's "bourgeois comprador democracy."

"There is no dilution in the ideology," said Mr. Sahni of the Institute of Conflict Management. "There is absolutely no set of economic initiatives on the horizon that can give prosperity, dignity et cetera to 810 million people in rural India."

Special to The Globe and Mail

Narmada Dam should help tribals: B.G. Verghese

Posted by admin on 2006/6/8 14:41:24

Ahmedabad, June 8 (IANS) Senior journalist B.G. Verghese here Thursday suggested that a section of income from the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river be allocated to tribals. Else, Maoist violence will erupt.

"The rehabilitated tribals were uplifted in a single stroke from rain-fed subsistence level farming to the irrigated one, but those unaffected by the project witness no change," ardent supporter of dam Verghese said in his lecture on "Narmada, displacement and tribals" here.

"To eradicate the economic disparity among tribals caused by the dam, mainly among Bhils inhabiting the area above the dam, the government should initiate development measures by allocating a chunk of resources gained. Else, the Naxal (Maoist) violence might grip this part of the country too," he said citing an example of a dam in Ghana, where resources are allocated to project affected area and not to affected families only.

Verghese advised that institutions should be set up in Kevadia, Gujarat where the dam is situated, to ensure the development of tribals.

"Establish a university and name it after some social worker like Thakkar Bapa or any of the Bhil leaders," he said.

Narmada dam found itself in a storm of controversy after the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) allowed increasing its height from 110.64 to 121.92 metres a few months ago.
High school for policemen's children on the cards, says DGP
Staff Reporter


WELFARE MEASURE: DGP Swaranjit Sen after inaugurating the police model hospital at Nalgonda on Thursday.

NALGONDA: Construction of a good high school with boarding facility for children of policemen is on the cards, according to Director General of Police Swaranjit Sen.
Addressing a public meeting after inaugurating the police model hospital and human resource centre here on Thursday, he said that opening of such school was needed to ensure that frequent transfers of their parents did not hamper their studies.
Regional hospitals

Mr. Sen also revealed that regional hospitals for the men would be constructed one each in Telangana and Rayalaseema regions.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

IntelliBriefs: Combined Arms Warfare vs Terrorism

A thinning out of the Indian Army would result in the consolidation of control by the terrorists of significant portions of territory in J and K, says Vinod Vedi
The series of killings by terrorists before and during the roundtable conference called by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Jammu and Kashmir and the military exercises conducted by the Indian armed forces to hone combined operations techniques and the concept of "cold start" have together once again drawn attention to the efficacy of conventional warfare when confronted by the asymmetrical method of guerrilla warfare which led to the launch of Operation Parakram, the year-long eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation with Pakistan after the terrorist attack on Parliament.
IntelliBriefs: Combined Arms Warfare vs Terrorism

A Region's Independence Hampered by National Interest

India: A Region's Independence Hampered by National Interest
June 07, 2006 19 13 GMT


Summary

India's opposition Bharatiya Janata Party recently announced its backing for a Telangana state independent of Andhra Pradesh, reaching a rare accord with the governing Congress party, and challenged the latter to prove its commitment to the cause. The Congress party won the state of Andhra Pradesh in the 2004 general elections as a result of its alliance with the secessionist Telangana Rashtra Samiti party. Although Congress inserted Telangana independence into its election manifesto, it has not acted upon it in the two years since the election, and it has no incentive to do so.

Analysis

The Telangana region of India's Andhra Pradesh state has been campaigning for separation from the state for decades. The Telangana separatists claim that the 1956 decision to merge the region -- then known as Hyderabad state -- with Andhra Pradesh created a state too unwieldy to be governed properly. The movement believes the region has been shortchanged by policymakers and has not developed as the same pace as the rest of Andhra Pradesh. The secessionist movement gained a formal voice with the formation of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) political party, which developed a national presence when it allied itself with the Congress party and won 26 assembly seats in the 2004 general elections.

The Congress party formalized its support for an independent Telangana in its election manifesto, but supporters of the Congress-TRS alliance have been disappointed by the lack of progress towards that goal. As the Congress party itself won 185 seats in the 2004 state elections, it has no electoral compulsion to mollify the TRS. Though Congress won the state of Andhra Pradesh in 2004 as a result of the party's alliance with the TRS, the smaller party does not have sufficient strength to place any overwhelming political pressure on Congress.

Now, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced its support for Telangana's independence and challenged the Congress party to demonstrate its commitment to the cause. However, the Congress party has no incentive to seriously pursue an independent Telangana. Doing so would disrupt the party's larger national objectives because of three factors: the city of Hyderabad, Telangana's religious demography and the Naxalite problem in the region.

Hyderabad has been Andhra Pradesh's state capital since the state's formal creation in 1956. Today, it is one of India's major economic hubs and has developed into one of the country's two primary technology centers (the other being Bangalore). Many large multinational firms, such as IBM, Dell Inc. and Microsoft Corp., have established a presence there. In 2004, Hyderabad's software exports reached the $1 billion mark. The 2005 World Knowledge Competitiveness Index ranked Hyderabad the most competitive of Indian cities. Given Hyderabad's credentials, Andhra Pradesh would be loath to give up such an important source of economic power and prestige.

If Telangana secedes from Andhra Pradesh, the TRS would be pressured into boosting development revenue for the province's more rural districts. This could result in new economic regulations and tax laws affecting firms in Hyderabad -- which the Congress-led national government does not want. The government has had to strive to persuade international investors that despite its leftist tendencies, it is still business-friendly. Thus, changes that could affect large firms in Hyderabad would be discouraged in New Delhi.

The Telangana movement is predominantly Hindu-led, and local Muslims have been less than enthusiastic about the idea of the region's succession. Telangana was controlled by a succession of Muslim rulers for centuries before Indian independence, and though the region's Muslim population is around 12 percent, an estimated 40 percent of the population in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad are Muslim. Muslims in Andhra Pradesh are satisfied with the status quo, and talk of a separate Telangana is disquieting enough to them that an influential Hyderabad-based Muslim political party, the All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, has made an (unrealistic) call for the city of Hyderabad to be declared a state of its own in the event of Telangana's secession.

Indian Muslims have traditionally voted for the Congress party, as Congress is viewed as the more reliable guardian of India's secular traditions. Therefore, it would not be in Congress' best interests to weaken its support in this constituency. The party is unwilling to deal with the Hindu-Muslim tension that Telangana's independence would bring.

Yet another factor in Congress' lackadaisical approach to the Telangana issue is the Naxalite movement. Since the late 1960s, the Naxalites -- communist guerrillas -- have led a widespread insurgency in hopes of fomenting revolution across India. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has declared the Naxalites the country's biggest internal security challenge. One Naxalite group, the People's War Group (PWG), has an established presence in Telangana and has gone so far as to publicly support the region's independence. PWG claims to have established "special guerrilla zones" in both northern and southern Telangana, and many observers believe that TRS supporters are linked with the Naxalites.

New Delhi would not wish to be seen as caving in on the Naxalites' demands for Telangana's independence, especially since the Naxalite threat has consistently hampered India's ability to attract more foreign investment and continues to wear down domestic security forces. An unwritten rule of Indian politics states that allowing one separatist group's demands to be fulfilled would lead to a hundred more such groups coming out of the woodwork. Thus, the government's slow approach could be an intentional choice meant to give regional anti-Naxalite policing strategies time to work.

The BJP, meanwhile, is clearly attempting to win the support of regional parties like the TRS as part of its overall electoral strategy. Therefore, it is not clear that the BJP would be any more likely to move forward toward Telangana's secession if it were in power.

MP arms itself with development plan to tackle Naxal menace

Posted online: Thursday, June 08, 2006 at 0000 hrs
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BHOPAL, JUNE 7:Acknowledging that the near absence of basic amenities had made areas bordering Chhattisgarh vulnerable to the spread of left-wing extremism, Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday decided to launch a kind of development offensive in the districts of Balaghat, Mandla, Dindori and Sidhi.



Simultaneously, the government will make special efforts to dispose of cases registered under forest and excise laws as also pending revenue cases in a bid to win over the villagers. The decision was taken at a meeting Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had with senior bureaucrats and police officials from the Naxal-hit areas on Tuesday.

The meeting was told that despite several state and Central Government schemes, the areas had remained backward and inaccessible. Officials do not bother to visit interior areas and listen to villagers’ grievances giving rise to a sense of alienation among those who live in forest areas, and, hence making them easy prey for Naxals.

‘‘Frankly, the flow of funds is enough from existing schemes,’’ a district collector who attended the meeting told The Indian Express and added, ‘‘yet as many as 116 villages are without electricity in Balaghat district alone. There is simply no technical staff available should all the government schemes were to run together.’’ Balaghat is the worst-hit district in MP and traces Naxal activity to over a decade ago.

Chouhan told officials that all departments should work with proper coordination and make a genuine attempt to solve people’s grievances. ‘‘Create a sense of belonging among tribals by taking development to the grassroots and with active cooperation from elected representatives,’’ Chouhan told the meeting. Though Chouhan did not elaborate, he suggested that cooperation of all political parties should be sought at the state level to tackle the menace.

Chouhan said though the Naxal activities were under control in MP, the situation in neighbouring states warranted the need for an alert. The meeting was told to popularise schemes like Kanyadan, under which girls from poor families get Rs 5,000 to facilitate marriage. Hundreds of such marriages are taking place across the state, but they will be useful in winning the trust of tribals in affected districts, a senior officer said.

‘‘The amount sounds small, but it means a lot to families frustrated by their inability to raise resources for marriages in backward areas,’’ IG (Balaghat range) C V Muniraju said. IG (Intelligence) Vijay Yadav said the meeting discussed strengthening of border police stations.

The SP of an affected district said there were enough anti-landmine vehicles, but there was a need to upgrade other resources. The meeting also suggested sharing of intelligence with the affected states.

milind.ghatwai@expressindia.com

NAXAL SYMPATHISER Praful Bidwai on "Risk of Hardline Anti-Naxal Policy"

Risk of Hardline Anti-Naxal Policy

by Praful Bidwai

The Chhattisgarh government is about to launch a massive military operation against the Naxalites with more than a dozen Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) battalions under the command of the so-called ‘supercop’ and former Punjab director-general of police, Mr K P S Gill. The operation has been called the ‘ultimate’ blow or ‘knockout’ punch against ‘the Red Menace’ and will reportedly involve the use of helicopters. The CRPF will be assisted by special commandos from Mizoram, who have been trained in counter-insurgency operations by United States troops at Vairangte for more than a decade.

Mr Gill’s strategy, whose blueprint is with the Union home ministry, involves gathering reliable intelligence on the Maoists’ hideouts and movements, and hitting them hard, “In a sudden and well-coordinated attack”. According to a leak to the media, “The thrust of the Gill [strategy] is to launch a swift offensive, giving little time to [the] Maoist guerrillas to regroup and retaliate”. The plan also involves evacuation of a large number of people from the forests of southern Bastar and clearing them of mature trees.

It’s a safe bet that this operation will further brutalise the civilian population without being particularly effective against the Naxalites. The Union and state governments should call off the operation at once.

The operation is a sequel to a ‘people’s campaign’ called Salwa Judum (peace hunt or movement) launched a year ago by the state government, which has all but triggered a civil war in parts of Chhattisgarh. Salwa Judum (SJ) targets the Naxalites for violent attacks. Its members generally comprise the local elite, including wealthy Adivasis, traders and contractors. Formally, SJ is the creation of Congress legislature party chief, Mr Mahendra Karma, politically known as ‘the 60th member of BJP CM, Mr Raman Singh’s cabinet’. In truth, the SJ idea was conceived by the former Bharatiya Janata Party home minister, Mr Brij Mohan Aggarwal.

A group called Independent Citizens’ Initiative (ICI), recently released a fact-finding report on SJ which makes disturbing reading. It shows that SJ is not the ‘people’s spontaneous resistance or uprising’ against the Naxalites as claimed but a government-sponsored and funded organisation which has an armed wing consisting of 3,200 Special Police Officers (SPO).

In essence, says ICI, the Chhattisgarh government has ‘outsourced’ its law-and-order functions to an ‘unaccountable, undisciplined and amorphous group’ not trained to use firearms properly. SJ has been forcing tribals to take up arms against the Naxalites-on pain of being beaten up, illegally fined, or have their homes burnt down. SPOs are meant to work under the authority of the state police, but in Chhattisgarh’s Naxalite-affected districts, the regular police has ceded all power to them.

SJ’s violent operations have turned the tribal belt of Bastar into a virtual war-zone, in which Adivasis are pitted against Adivasis and forced to fight the Maoists to whose retaliation they become vulnerable. Scores of villages have been evacuated. The Adivasis’ social life has been destroyed. Officially, as many as 46,000 people have been compelled to move into so-called relief camps near highways. According to interviews conducted by ICI with local people, officials, journalists and foresters, the number of displaced people is as high as 70,000.

ICI found “evidence of killings, the burning of homes, and attacks on women, including gang-rape.” There are arbitrary arrests and “several people seem to be missing. The press is tightly controlled and intimidated...”

SJ is guilty of recruiting even minors as SPOs-a breach of the Geneva Convention and of several covenants on child rights to which the government is a signatory. Equally disturbingly, an attempt is under way to break up tribal communities into the equivalent of “Strategic Hamlets” which the United States (US) created in the 1960s in Vietnam in its brutal. Just last fortnight, two officials of the US embassy met the Chhattisgarh chief secretary (home), Mr B K S Ray to offer the state assistance in fighting the threat. Although the government has not accepted the offer, it’s clearly following the same militaristic approach that the US favours to deal with insurgents and guerrillas.

Ostensibly, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government advocates a “two-pronged” strategy: deal sternly with Naxalite violence; but simultaneously address the socio-economic sources of discontent underlying it through development programmes. In March, Union Home Minister, Mr Shivraj Patil tabled a status paper on the issue in which he spelt out a 14-point policy based on such a dual approach. In reality, the government has concentrated much of its effort on ‘modernisation’ of state police forces, long-term deployment of paramilitary troops, and use of modern lethal weaponry.

The bulk of the financial assistance of Rs 2,475 crore committed to the 55 worst Naxalite-affected districts is earmarked for police-paramilitary operations.

The government has concentrated only one thing: force. This approach springs from a ‘thanedar mentality’ or that coercion is the most effective way of dealing with social discontent. This approach fails to understand that Naxalite activity has spread to some 160 of India’s 600 districts because of rising agrarian distress, destruction of forests by the timber mafia, uprooting of Adivasis due to predatory mining, irrigation and metallurgical projects, and rapidly growing income and regional disparities. It’s not a coincidence that more than two-thirds of the 55 most severely Naxalite-affected districts lie in the tribal belt. In state after tribal state, the Adivasi economy has been squeezed and marginalised to a point where millions of Adivasis have ceased being an agricultural people.

More generally, Naxalite activity has grown-year after every single year-because of India’s jobless and destructive growth which benefits only a tenth or so of the population. It’s hard to defend the violent justice that many Naxalite groups readily hand out to their enemies. Some have even developed a stake in extortion.

However, the problem this poses cannot be resolved, even mitigated, by coercion, especially the lawless use of force without accountability. That’s precisely what SJ has practised. This cannot but further alienate Chhattisgarh’s Adivasis and throw even the more neutral of them into the Naxalites arms. Social discontent typically takes a violent turn when all peaceful avenues are closed.

Mr Gill is a dogmatic votary of the coercive approach. One of the greatest myths created about him is that he effectively, yet lawfully, crushed the Punjab insurgency. The National Human Rights Commission has just authenticated the judicial finding that almost 2,000 people were cremated without identification in a single year in Punjab. It has ordered compensation to the victims’ relatives. The Centre must radically revise its Naxalite strategy and open a dialogue with Maoist groups.If the Manmohan Singh government can hold round after round of talks with separatists from Jammu and Kashmir and with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, there is no reason why it cannot talk to non-secessionist groups which voice the grievances of the people.

19 naxals surrendered in Warangal , AP

Staff Reporter

SP appeals to them to contribute to society



WARANGAL: Nineteen naxalites belonging to different outfits surrendered to the police in the presence of Warangal range DIG Ravi Gupta here.

At a meeting held at the Tadvai police station premises on Tuesday, 12 Maoists, four members of Praja Prathighatana, two of Janashakthi and one of Prathighatana group gave up arms.

`Re-birth


Addressing the gathering Mr. Ravi Gupta described the surrender as their re-birth and urged the members to contribute to society's development. The youth would only be wasting their time and energy by leaving behind their families to join the extremist groups which would prove futile.

Superintendent of Police M.S. Ravindra advised the surrendered cadre to relate their experiences to their fellow villagers and how they were disillusioned with life in jungles.

Courts in Sagar, Shimoga provided security after Naxal threat letter

Wednesday June 7 2006 12:51 IST
SHIMOGA: Courts in Shimoga and Sagar were provided special security in the wake of a letter, purportedly written by naxal outfit, threatening to explode those buildings there.

Presiding officers in these courts had received the letter on Tuesday. Immediately they brought it to the notice of Superintendent of Police Arun Chakravarthi Jeji.

He had, in turn, arranged to provide necessary security to these structures.

Letters were written in the name of Pavagada Gangareddy. They were posted in Tirthahalli.

They complained in the letter that the members of naxal outfit were taken on false cases to Sagar and Shimoga courts and were unnecessarily harassed there.

It warned that no case should be heard on June 8, 9 and 10 in any court in Shimoga and Sagar. If heard, buildings would be exploded, it said.

They also recalled in the letter about the incidents of bomb explosion done at Narayanagowda’s house in Koppa and near Agumbe Forest Gate.

The Naxalites: A Big Challenge to India

By : Mamoona Ali Kazmi
(Ms Mamoona Ali Kazmi has done her M.Phil in International Relations from Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad. She specializes in India’s North East region.)


An important fact is that Naxals in India now model themselves on the Indian army, from training manuals to undercover training. The manuals translated into Hindi from Telugu by the security forces give a chilling insight into People’s Liberation Guerilla Army’s planning of military skills and motives.

A big portion of central India running from Gadchhiroli in Maharashtra to Abujmarh in Chhattisgarh is under complete control of Naxalites. They make the laws, and implement them. The state and its mechanisms are simply off the radar in these parts of India. Major chunk of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal are close to being completely overrun by Maoists. The red corridor, extending from Nepal to Andhra Pradesh has been categorized by the Union Home Ministry as “badly affected” by the Maoist violence. According to official figures the armed Maoist cadres estimate at about 10,000 and over ground workers to be around 45,000.

Last year Naxalites claimed as many as 700 lives and in first four months of 2006 killings estimated 130 persons, including security personnel and civilians. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh admitted that 160 districts across the country are slipping out of the government control. He reiterated that the Maoist problem has assumed proportions bigger than militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and insurgency in Northeast India due to its sheer spread and organized linkages. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while speaking at a meeting of Chief Ministers of 13 Naxal affected 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 the country”.

The failure and reluctance of state governments to recognize the Naxal threat and to deal with them immediately and effectively has permitted Naxalism to spread. On 4 September 1999, Chandala-Vada Umesh Chandra, a young IPS officer in Andhra Pradesh, famous for its anti- Naxal Operations was assassinated by Naxalites. In October 2004 the Peoples War Group marked out 5,000 acres of land for redistribution and threatened landowners. In January 2006, four Rajdhani Express trains were stopped due to 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 arsenal and freed their members from jails. Jail breaks by the Naxals is a grave challenge to India’s democratic institutions and territorial integrity. About 1,000 Naxalites attacked Jehanabad jail, Bihar on 13 November 2005 and freed more than 340 prisoners and one of the top Maoist leaders. Police constables in Chhattisgarh refuse to take posting in areas of Naxal dominance.

Naxalism is not only a law and order problem but a direct result of underdevelopment. More than 100 districts in the country are affected by Maoist violence. These are among the most backward areas of the country where poorest of the poor live. Civil administration appears to have withdrawn from seriously affected areas leaving the people to fend for themselves. There is an urgent need to improve the lot of the people in tribal and backward areas. One of the main reasons for the Naxalite problem is the absence of land reforms. The Maoist depend on the cadres of tribals and dalits (considered to be of the lower castes) who have been dispossessed of their lands with the indifferent state machinery adding to alienation. The police and the landlords remain the two biggest targets of the Maoists.

Naxalism is a problem that has haunted Bihar’s rural areas for years but now Patna is fast becoming a hot bed of Maoist activity. Of the 38 districts in Bihar 32 are Naxal affected. Recently, Naxalites captured a train with over 60 passengers in a remote part of Jharkhand. The passengers had a miraculous escape as it seems that the Naxals only wanted to convey a massage of the extent of damage they can inflict. In Jharkhand, some 200 policemen and some 1,000 civilians have died in Naxal violence ever since the state was created in 2000. In February 2006, Maoists attacked a truck convoy in Chhattisgarh, blowing up one of the vehicles and setting two on fire killing 24 people and 32 injured.

At least 12 members of a wedding party were killed in a Naxal attack in Maharashtra’s Gadchhiroli district on 16 May 2006. It is the second such incident within a month. On 19 April 2006 a police van was blown up in a land mine blast in the Phulbondi forest area in Gadchiroli that killed one and injured 17. In Chhattisgarh as many as 162 incidents have been reported in the first quarter of year 2006 as compared to 97 during the last year and country wide, the number was 391 against 476. The number of casualties went up from 114 to 157 and 47 security force personnel were killed as against 45. Four village Special Police Officers (SPOs) were killed and three other injured when around 300 heavily armed Maoists attacked a relief camp in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on 13 May 2006. After Naxalites increased their violent activities in June 2005, about 50,000 people had disserted their villages and took shelter in government relief camps in Dantewada district and about 6000 villagers are staying in such camps at Injeram. Recently, the moist have abducted 52 villagers of Manikonta in Dantewada district and killed 15 of them releasing the rest after threatening them not to participate in anti-Naxal activities.

A status paper presented to parliament in April 2006 by Home Minister Shivraj patil reveals that the total number of people killed by Naxalite violence rose by 30 percent between 2003 and 2005. The number of policemen killed jumped to an astonishing 53% between 2004 and 2005. Naxalite strength has grown over 50% since 2001.Till 2001, 60% of the weaponry was country made. Today they have AK series, grenade launchers, mortars, carbines etc. Their command structure has also evolved and modernized. Whereas, a Federal Home Ministry study said murders of police personnel by the guerrillas jumped 53 percent to 153 percent in the year to March 31, 2006. While 516 civilians were killed, an eleven per cent increase on the previous year. “As many as 76 districts in 9 states… are badly affected by Naxal violence although in a varying degree”. Naxal problem has claimed over 6000 lives since the 1960’s.

An important fact is that Naxals in India now model themselves on the Indian army, from training manuals to undercover training. The manuals translated into Hindi from Telugu by the security forces give a chilling insight into People’s Liberation Guerilla Army’s planning of military skills and motives. This is very similar to the training of a Jawan or even a JCO. The PLGA’s basic military courses begin with handling automatic weapons, compass and map reading, defensive and attack formations. The manual analyses Naxal operations since 1997 and suggests means to increase enemy casualty. It discusses how to collect intelligence, stalk the enemy, and lay an ambush and attack. It also instructs how to retreat when attacked, regroup later using coded communication and how to raid protection installations.

The fighting forces of Naxals are divided into three categories. The primary force is of extremely well trained personnel who spearhead any attack with superior weapons. The secondary force forms the bulk of a large group with less sophisticated weapons. Finally, the people’s militia comprises farmers, labourers and others. Their lethality and frequency of attacks is on increase. Naxals have over 80 training camps, each training between 200 to 300 people at any point of time. There are 84 training camps which are operating in several states such as Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Jharkhand.

Naxals in Bihar have threatened to blow up the state assembly on any black night between 28 May and July 29 and kidnap various key state politicians as an assertion of their opposition to the anti-people policies of Nitish Kumar government. Naxal accused the state government of harassing the poor in the name of combating Naxalism and protecting the interests of Ranvir Sina, a private militia of upper cast. Jail raids, train hold ups in Chhattisgarh and Bihar by the Naxals demonstrates their boldness. The basic cause of Naxalite violence is discontent and frustration among a section of the population, which needed to be redressed along with appropriate remedies measures of relief, rehabilitation and employment.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Development gun for Naxals

HT Correspondent
Bhopal, June 6, 2006




With Chhattisgarh bleeding in Naxalite violence, Madhya Pradesh has reasons to be alarmed. Particularly when Naxal dalams are reportedly active in four districts — Balaghat, Mandla, Dindori and Sidhi.

Inspector-General Vijay Yadav on Tuesday pressed the alarm bells at a high-level meeting on red terror at Mantralaya, presided over by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Yadav warned that the situation would worsen unless strategy belts were tightened.

As a pre-emptive measure to strike at the breeding ground of the Naxal menace, Chouhan emphasised development at the grassroots with active participation of people’s representatives so that tribals would not feel alienated.

Though Naxal activities are under control in the State, utmost alert should be maintained given the dangerous situation prevailing in neighbouring states, Chouhan said.

The meeting decided to step up development in tribal-dominated districts and Naxal-affected areas. At the same time strengthening of police force in the trouble-prone areas was emphasised. Maoists’ design to establish a Red Corridor from Nepal to south India (Pashupati to Tirupati) may suck the State into Naxal violence in the State unless pre-emptive measures are taken.

Report of Naxalites making inroads in Sidhi district is alarming as a series of development activities, including the recently signed Hindalco and power projects worth several thousand crores, is in the pipeline.

The meeting discussed measures to solve problems of forest dwellers pertaining to land and rehabilitation, improving roads and telecommunication and toning up administration at grassroots. Minister of State for Home Nagendra Singh, Chief Secretary Rakesh Sahani, Principal Secretary (Home) Satya Prakash, DGP Swaraj Puri and Range IGs, district Collectors and SPs of Naxal-infested area attended the meet.

It was decided that the fuel quota for police should be increased so that policing is not affected for want of petrol or diesel.

MP Govt to strengthen police force in four districts

Press Trust of India

Bhopal, June 6, 2006


Alarmed by increasing Naxal activities in neighbouring states, Madhya Pradesh government today decided to strengthen police force in its four districts and sought active public participation in spurring development activities.

"Government is responsible for ensuring that Naxalite don't misguide tribals. Development activities through active public participation should be spurred in a manner that tribals have sense of belonging to democratic system," Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said at a review meeting of Naxalit menace.

Since naxalites are mainly active in tribal and forest areas, government departments should co-ordinate with each other and pay special attention to redress people's grievances, he said.

Though situation was under control in Madhya Pradesh, naxal activities in neighbouring states have sparked a need for utmost alert, Singh said issuing directives to strengthen police force in naxal-infested Mandla, Dindori, Balaghat and Sidhi districts.

The meeting also discussed various measures to solve problems of forest dwellers pertaining to land and rehabilitation, improving roads and telecommunication network at grassroot level.

Three Maoists killed in encounter

Staff Reporter

Encounter with police in Y. Ramavaram mandal of East Godavari district

RAMPACHODAVARAM: Three suspected CPI (Maoist) naxalites believed to be members of the Andhra-Orissa Border Committee were killed in an alleged encounter with the police between Tangana Kota and Singana Kota hamlets of interior Patakota in Y. Ramavaram mandal on Tuesday, 110 km from Rajahmundry.

One of the victims was suspected to be Srikakulam Division Committee member Chandu. The identity of two others was yet to be established. The police recovered one Self-Loading Rifle (SLR), 303 pistol and carbine from scene of the encounter.

East Godavari SP B. Srinivasulu said that police parties, including Greyhounds personnel from Visakhapatnam, East Godavari and Khammam districts, had been combing the thick forest areas of Y. Ramavaram, Addateegala and Sileru in Visakhapantam district for the last two days. The police parties came across naxalites near a small stream and challenged them to surrender. The Maoists opened fire forcing the police to retaliate resulting in the death of three.

Visakhapatnam Special Correspondent adds:

Incidentally this is the second encounter near Thanganakota. During a joint operation by the Visakhapantam and East Godavari police in 2003, a deputy commander of Maoist party Rajesh was killed in an encounter.

Tuesday's encounter in East Godavari was a result of stepped-up combing operations to track down top leaders of the banned outfit. It was believed that chief of Maoist AOB Military Commission Chalapathi and in-charge of action teams Bhupati were reportedly moving in the agency areas bordering Visakhapatnam and East Godavari district as well as the AP-Orissa border.

Thanks to the presence of these leaders, there was increased activity of the naxalites in the area. The naxal leaders reportedly planned the recent sneak attack on CRPF constables at Sileru shandy last month, in which one constable died and also the gunning down of Motu SI in Orissa on the AP-Orissa border on June 3. The Maoists also lost two women cadres in an encounter at Tekuguda in Orissa, days after the Sileru incident.

We must fight Naxalism together: Chhatisgarh CM

Express News Service

SHIMLA, JUNE 5: CHHATISGARH Chief Minister Raman Singh today strongly favoured an integrated action, both by the Centre and Naxal-affected states, to root out the problem of Naxalism. He admitted that Naxalism has become a big challenge, especially for states like Chhatisgarh and Jharkhand.

Winding up his four-day trip of Shimla, Raman Singh however expressed satisfaction that Chhatisgarh’s fight against the problem has started yielding some results. ‘‘I am happy that the Centre has finally recognised Naxalism as a national problem, not merely a law and order problem of an individual state,’’ he said.



He said the state was getting full backing of the Centre to deal with the problem effectively. The CM claimed that he had two separate meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and succeeded in convincing him for a coordinated plan of action

Monday, June 05, 2006

All-party meet to beat red

OUR CORRESPONDENT
Jamshedpur, June 4: The state government has decided to call an all-party meeting to find a solution to the recent Naxalite attacks. No date for the meeting has been fixed.

The move comes in light of last week’s attacks on policemen and villagers in East and West Singhbhum districts.

“We have to strengthen our information network,” said home minister Sudesh Mahto to The Telegraph, adding that the meeting would take place “very soon”.

The Opposition, however, is not convinced that the government is serious about tackling the problem. “We’re sceptical about such meetings,” said leader of the Opposition, Sudhir Mahto.

A similar meeting was held during the last budget session, where leaders of various political parties offered their suggestions. “None of the ideas were implemented,” said Sudhir Mahto, who wants the state government to put fighting Naxalites as “the top priority”.

Meanwhile, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will start its own intelligence wing.

Jyoti Kumar Sinha, director of CRPF, said a unit would be formed “in a few days”.

Sinha was on his way back to New Delhi when he spoke to The Telegraph.

The director was returning from a spot inspection in Saranda where 12 CRPF personnel lost their lives last Thursday. Deputy inspector general GSL Saxena, who was travelling with Sinha, avoided a blame game in intelligence failure with the state police.

“There have been some problems, but we need to work together to eliminate Naxalites,” he said.

Sinha said the police force would manage the CRPF’s affairs until the finance department gives their go-ahead for the force.

CRPF officials said the state government’s intelligence had told the police about the landmines in the school building. “But they never told us about the landmines on the route taken for combing and we lost 12 of our jawans”.

Police suspect that the blasts were the work of a small group of people

Three suspected naxalites arrested in UP

[ Monday, June 05, 2006 02:21:43 pm PTI ]



VARANASI: Three suspected naxalites have been arrested and firearms recovered from their possession in neighbouring Chandauli district, police said on Monday.

Acting on a tip off, a police team nabbed the naxalites - Uday Bhan, Mangal and Ramkaran Singh - from near Navai culvert when they were trying to flee into the forests on Sunday.

A rifle and two pistols were recovered from their possession, police said adding that they were suspected to be members of the banned People's War Group (PWG).

The arrested were wanted in connection with "several subversive acts" in the naxalite-infested districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, they said.

CM Arjun Munda balm on red scars

SUDHIR KUMAR MISHRA


Patan (Daltonganj), June 3: In a bid to placate the residents of Naxalite-infested Palamau and in anticipation to former chief minister Babulal Marandi’s campaign in the region, chief minister Arjun Munda today inaugurated several bridges and roads in the division.

Promising jobs and assuring new blocks and subdivisions to the villagers for better governance, Munda held meetings with top officials to review the pace of progress of various welfare schemes in the area.

Munda is on a two-day visit to the division reportedly chalked out in a haste.

Chief secretary M.K. Mandal, development commissioner T. Nandkumar and secretaries of over a dozen of departments are accompanying Munda. Lack of development and growth of Naxalism was the theme of his discussions with the senior officials. During the course of meeting, Munda suspended a superintending engineer and an executive engineer for failing to reason their inability to complete rural roads. The chief minister has also asked the development commissioner to conduct a probe into the matter.

Water resources minister Kamlesh Kumar Singh and JD(U) legislator Radha Krishna Kishore were other important participants of the meeting.

“My Palamau tour has nothing to do with politics. I am here to discuss development of state. During my visit, I will try to work out how maximum development can be done here at the earliest,” Munda told The Telegraph.

Earlier, addressing a public meeting he said recruitment of primary teachers had been done. Constables are being taken in and recruitment of high school teachers would begin soon, he added.

“I am trying to improve the quality of governance too,” he said.

Munda firmly believes that there is no threat to his government since he has started plugging the loopholes. “Once the welfare schemes become functional, my political foes won’t be able to utter a word against me,” he added.

350 killed in year-long anti-Naxal drive, Govt claims success

Jagdalpur, June 03: 'Salwa Judum' the anti-Naxal campaign involving the tribals of Chhattisgarh ''Salwa Judum'', actively supported by the state government and the political class, has completed a year in the tribal dominated Bastar region.

With the government claiming the campaign a grand success, celebrations to mark the first anniversary are scheduled tomorrow at Karkeli village in Dantewada district.

State Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh, Home Minister Ramvichar Netam and prominent tribal Congress leader Mahendra Karma will grace the anniversary function. Over 200 meetings were held so far to mobilise people to attend the anniversary rally, police sources said.

On the other hand, CPI(Maoist) Naxalites had given a call urging the people to boycott the function.

One year from June 4, 2005 had seen a drastic change in the socio-economic scenario in sparsely populated Dantewada district, the nerve centre of the anti-Naxal campaign. People deserted more than 600 villages and took shelter in government-run 27 relief camps, which were also attacked by the ultras in retaliation.

Besides the district police, special armed force, CRPF and Nagaland armed police personnel had been deployed in the anti-Naxal campaign.

Hostilities between the Naxals and the government increased with the government-supported 'Salwa Judum' activists opening a new front against the ultras and more than 3000 local tribal youths being recruited as special police officers to assist the security forces in jungle clearance and local intelligence gathering.

Of more than 350 deaths reported in one year, 72 were police personnel, 50 special police officers and 30 Naxalites. Police claimed that 225 Sangham members, who are Naxalite sympathisers, had been arrested and several hundred surrendered during the Salwa Judum rallies in villages.

Bureau Report

Maoists strike again, kill three villagers

Jamshedpur, June 3 (PTI): In a vendetta killing, Maoist ultras slit the throats of three persons in Hadian village near here late last night, a day after the rebels killed 13 CRPF men in a landmine blast.

The incident, under the extremist-affected Ghorabandha police station, was to avenge the killing of 13 Maoists by villagers three years ago.

DSP (Ghatsila range) S P Burnwal told PTI the armed ultras in a group of 10 dragged Gurucharan Munda, Sukhra Munda and Sorai Munda from their respective houses late last night and slit their throats with sharp weapons after taking them to a hilltop.

The ultras had tied the hands and legs of the villagers before killing them. The bodies have been recovered and sent to the M G M Hospital here for post-mortem.

Burnwal said Police Superintendent Ashish Batra, Additional Superintendent of Police Sudhir Kumar Jha alongwith adequate police force have rushed to the spot.

In posters pasted on the walls of the victims' houses, the CPI (Maoist) owned responsiblity for the killings saying the three were executed to avenge the murder of 13 Maoists by the villagers in Lango under Ghorabandha police station three years ago.

Twelve CRPF personnel of bomb disposal squad were killed in a landmine blast triggered by the Maoists near Karampada in naxal-hit West Singhbhum district on June one.