Saturday, October 28, 2006

NAXAL MENACE: CRPF jawans get insurance cover

[ 29 Oct, 2006 0007hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]


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NEW DELHI: Union home minister Shivraj Patil on Saturday announced a string of welfare measures for CRPF, topping the list with an insurance cover for its personnel at par with the armed forces.

Patil promised better housing and medical facilities for CRPF jawans and officers deployed in varied duties inside the country, ranging from law and order to counter-Naxalite operations.


He announced a Rs 10 lakh life and disability insurance cover for jawans, in addition to the compensation they get in case of death or disability, while on duty.

Acknowledging the role played by the paramilitary force, Patil, who addressed its 67th raising day celebrations at the CRPF training camp at Jharoda Kalan, said facilities for the personnel should be at par with the armed forces.

"The ministry will take steps in this direction,"he said, adding, "Shelter is also a big problem for the CRPF personnel and the government is aware of it."

He said the government wanted to provide more insurance cover to CRPF and "something was being worked out on it". Patil said states which call the CRPF jawans for duty must give them livable accommodation and workable infrastructure.

He added that the government has sanctioned the use of security related funds for setting up of good quality, temporary structures at operational bases.

Earlier, he reviewed the CRPF parade along with DG, CRPF, J K Sinha.

Karnataka geared to meet any terrorist threat; general alert sounded

Special Correspondent

Chief Minister, Prakash hold meeting with senior officials



HIGH-LEVEL MEET: Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Home Minister M.P. Prakash (second from left) discussing a point at a meeting in Bangalore on Saturday. Chief Secretary Malathi Das (third from left), Principal Secretary (Home) Vatsala Vatsa and D irector-General of Police B.S. Sial are seen. — Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy


Bangalore: The State Government is geared to meet terrorist threats and a general alert has been sounded to the police in all districts and not just Mysore, where two Pakistani nationals were nabbed on Thursday.

A high-level meeting was held here on Saturday and it was chaired by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Home Minister M.P. Prakash. Others present included Director-General of Police B.S. Sial, Mysore Police Commissioner Pravin Sood and principal secretaries of Home, Revenue and Forests.

The Chief Minister and the Home Minister told presspersons that owing to the high level of economic activity in the State, particularly in Bangalore, it was natural that anti-national elements had an eye on the region.

In touch with Centre


The State Government was in touch with the Centre and this was one of the reasons that had enabled the Mysore police to arrest the alleged terrorists.

An intensive search was on in certain pockets of Mysore for some people who were believed to be part of the network or had extended support to them.

Mr. Prakash said the police had fanned out to various parts of the State to arrest the remaining members of the group that had apparently stayed in a house in Mysore. It was another matter that there was no clarity on the number of members of the terrorist group which had landed in Mysore. Security to some of the vital installations in the State had been stepped up.

The police had tightened security for the Vidhana Soudha and the Vikasa Soudha.

The Home Minister said there was also information that the alleged terrorists had taken shelter in Mysore as part of their plan to attack some buildings in Bangalore, since Mysore afforded a better cover to such elements.

In the view of the State Government, apart from taking preventive steps the Government could do little in preventing the movement of terrorists to these cities.

Plan against naxals


The Government has firmed up a plan to deter naxalite operations in the State. Apart from equipping the police better with arms and ammunition and motor vehicles, a decision has been taken to wean away the tribal people along the Western Ghats who were supporting the naxalites.

Over the past few years, naxalite operations in certain pockets of the Western Ghats have sincreased after they succeeded in luring the tribal people.

Mr. Kumaraswamy said towards a proper implementation of the plan, directions had been issued to senior officials of the departments of Home, Forests and Revenue to stay put in the peripheral areas of the forests in Chikmagalur and adjoining districts and solve the problems of the tribal people.

The team of officials would be led by Principal Secretary (Revenue) S.M. Jaamdar.

The officials had been empowered to provide alternative land to the tribal people, establish markets for the forest produce pooled by the tribal people, build medical dispensaries and schools etc.

Nikhil case


The case relating to Chief Minister's son Nikhil, who along with some youths had reportedly indulged in violence at a hotel on Thursday, took a new turn with Mr. Kumaraswamy stating that details of the "conspiracy" would be revealed in two days.

To questions by presspersons, the Chief Minister said, "It is a planted case. Those behind the attempts to defame us using the illegal mining case were the ones behind the attack on the hotel. The police investigation is on and the details would be given in two days."

Mr. Kumaraswamy said his son had been drawn into a conspiracy by some vested interests which included some of his son's friends.

"I spoke to my son on Friday. His innocence will be proved," the Chief Minister said.

Curbing terrorism not a priority for UPA

Curbing terrorism not a priority for UPA

Dina Nath Mishra

The UPA Government in general, and the Congress in particular, has "infinite tolerance" for terrorists. The Government talked about 'zero tolerance' time and again but its performance towards Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in its two-and-half-years tenure doesn't inspire confidence. Pranab Mukherjee as Defence Minister made a candid admission that Pakistan's ISI has penetrated into several organisations including the Indian Army. What Mukherjee has said is pregnant with symptoms of extraordinarily dangerous implications in matters relating to external and internal security. Pranab Mukherjee is an experienced administrator and knows what he is talking about.



India realised the danger when a couple of its Armymen handed over security-related documents to Pakistani Embassy. The density of ISI moles is really alarming in J&K, UP, Mumbai, Delhi, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, WB and the North-East. In fact hundreds of moles in sleep mode are in existence all over India. They can be activated as and when required for creating havoc with the internal security scenario. They have already done this on dozens of occasions in J&K, Mumbai and Delhi. Speaking at an ITBP function, Home Minister Shivraj Patil also warned the country about the growing acts of terrorism. What Patil has hinted signals towards the possible dangers of a civil war-like situation. These may be forthright admissions of the UPA Government's failures.



As a matter of fact, internal security is not of priority to this Government. Curbing terrorism is not their prime concern and they have declared it honestly in the Common Minimum Programme with the promise to repeal POTA. They didn't calculate what signal this will send to the Pakistan's ISI.



During the UPA regime, internal security has gone from bad to worse. Recent Mumbai trains blasts have proven that new terror modules have emerged. In these heated moments, they talk of zero tolerance but forget it as the situation goes off boil. Even the National Security Advisor MK Narayanan has weakened India's case when he stated that the Government had 'good' but not 'clinching' evidence of Pakistan's ISI hand in the recent Mumbai blasts. Prime Minister had to make amends to save the situation in international diplomatic circles. The UPA, particularly the Congress, has this type of flip-flop inbuilt in its thought process.



Recently, after meeting President Musharraf, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was led to the garden path of believing that Pakistan too has been a victim of terrorism. It seems he actually believed the story that Pakistan has been selling to the US and India that terrorists are beyond Musharraf's control. Should an Indian Prime Minister buy this theory? Haven't we suffered a well-planned terrorist attack at the behest of Pakistan for far too long now?



India has been major victim of cross-border terrorism for more than two decades. Till 2004, it had taken a toll of over 62,000 lives in J&K, Punjab, North-East and the Naxalite-affected States. Over 7,50,000 persons had been rendered homeless and forced to leave their homes in the wake of terrorist threats.



After bleeding India in Punjab for over a decade, Pakistan mounted a virulent form of trans-border terrorist offensive in J&K, using the infrastructure, terrorist hardware and trained cadres, which were raised with western support for anti-Soviet operations in Afghanistan. Besides J&K, it targeted other parts of the country for sabotage, subversion and espionage in collaboration with fundamentalist groups, organised crime syndicates, drug traffickers, gunrunners, fake currency racketeers.



Pakistan also made sustained efforts towards intelligence encirclement of India by establishing its covert action bases in Bangladesh, Nepal, and the Middle-East. Extensive networks of spies, saboteurs and subversive groups, launched and controlled by ISI station chiefs in Kathmandu, Dhaka, Dubai, Riyadh were operationalised to undermine India's security.



The ISI has been providing sanctuaries, camps for training, weapons and finances to different terrorist outfits. Financial, logistic and other supports were extended to them in proportion to their ground performance, thereby encouraging competitive violence. Covert offensive was carried out in a calibrated action plan at least till 2002, when under increasing Indian pressure and changed global scenario, it had to be more circumspect and cautious.



There is no denying that the state of Pakistan is extremely complex. But most of the acts of terrorism could not have been executed without the active support of the Pakistani Government. But the UPA Government has near infinite tolerance towards terrorism, nay, jihadi terrorism. This is clear from the Congress' attitude towards Afzal's hanging.

A comrade in Rashtrapati Bhavan?

Saturday, October 28, 2006 8:52:27 IST
When Mr. Kalam steps down in June next year, a comrade may become President of India. The Left’s choice is said to be Mr. Somnath Chatterjee, speaker of Parliament. The existing number equations make this a distinct possibility


for :

Watch out, the communists are coming. They are steadily making headway – wearing many and varied deceptive masks, and adopting seemingly innocent strategies to gain power.
Their presence even in the existing ruling set-up is considerable.
They have a big say in running the country because of the total defence of the UPA on their support at the Centre. The UPA will collapse the day the left front withdraws support.
They have cleverly evolved an arrangement – Common Minimum Programme – which helps them force the government to accept some of their policies or programmes. They have used the stick again and again to make the UPA change course. They have been putting a spoke in the UPA wheel of progress.
They have made a noise about joining the USA while dealing with Iran’s nuclear issue. They have been always allergic to the USA. If they had their way, they would scrapped the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal.
They criticise the UPA for its trade and foreign investment policy as well as sale of failing
public sector units.
Their effort at the Centre is to advocate such policies and programmes that would boost their image. And in this regard, they have succeeded to a considerable extent.
They are deriving maximum mileage from the bargaining power they have at the ruling set-up in Delhi. The UPA led by the Congress party is helpless. They have to constantly face the threat from the left front, which is giving the UPA support from outside: Do it or else…
The communists have flung this threat at the UPA dozens of times.
It is being made out that for the failures of the government, the UPA is responsible and for its success, the credit goes to – the communists.

A discreet understanding
between Naxalites and Lefts
The advance the left has made during the last 2 ½ years of coalition rule at the Centre is huge. It has consolidated its position in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura. And in quite a few states, it has made its presence felt.
The Naxalites also belong to the left. They are armed communists. And those sitting in legislatures without arms are silent whenever their comrades resort to violence. There is a discreet, secret understanding between the Naxalites and the left legislators.
When Nepal faced a crises and the King was thrown, the Maoists there agreed to hold talks. And who were those with whom they held talks? None other than with our communist leaders, some of whom are supporting the UPA from outside.
The Naxalite movement in the country is steadily growing. There is a Naxalite corridor starting from Andhra Pradesh, extending into Maharashtra, Orissa, Bihar and Chattisgarh.
Observe a significant happening: there are no Naxalites in West Bengal and Kerala.
This provides clear proof that the Naxalites and the Left Front folks are comrades. They are birds of the same feather. It is for our intelligence agencies to find out whether they are working together. It will not be a surprise if they find they are.
There is total sympathy, if not support, by the Left Front for the Naxalites.
That perhaps is one of the reason for the growth of the movement in recent weeks. The striking power of the Naxalites has enormously increased. They have now sophisticated, deadly weapons. A recent catch of rockets and missiles shows the Naxalites are now in a position to wage a tough fight with the establishment.
In fact, power may be seized in our country from the barrel of guns.
Looks like the communist take over the country is going on as per well-thought out plan. In the next Lok Sabha elections, the strength of the Left will definitely increase. Every effort is being made by the Left leaders to be seen as persons interested only in the welfare of the people and in removing poverty and in providing work for all etc.
It is a great strategy: MPs and MLAs swearing by democracy and quite a large number
taking to arms – out to great power. Immediately after India gained independence, there were a few labour leaders in some pockets of the country. They were however soon lost position and in cities like Mumbai, communism was eliminated.
They are back now in full force. The coalition reality at the Centre is the main reason for
the progress of the Left. The Left has gained ground steadily.
There is now a Left move to make a communist the President of India.
It will not be a surprise if this happens.
In June next year, President Kalam will step down as President. The choice of a President is engaging the attention of all political parties.
The number game puts the position of the two major political parties – the Congress and the BJP – on the back seat. They just do not have the required number to get one of their nominees as President.
The communists are seizing the chance to have one of their own men as President – a development which could never have been visualised all these years.
The Left’s candidate is Mr. Somnath Chatterjee, speaker of Parliament.
A comrade at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan!
It may happen. The political trends in the country point to such a happening.

Dangers of having a
communist president
The President in our country do not wield much power. He is only a constitutional head. He cannot veto anything but he can delay matters, make things difficult. A communist President has a big chance to propagate the Marxist ideology. The President is expected to address meetings all over the country. He is called to inaugurate many projects and programmes. He is called upon to make speeches and he has the freedom to express his views – Left views.
The occupation of the Rashtrapati Bhavan by a communist will be one more landmark in the progress of communism in the country.
And when it happens, there is likely to be a change in our democratic set-up. There may
not be a government run on Marxist ideology, but it will have no main features of democracy. There will be no freedom of the press; the constitution may not be scrapped, but will be suitably and hugely amended by the leaders. It may resemble the scenario, which exists in China today, where the state and not the rights of the individual is important.
Our political parties are so enamoured of power that they are ready to consort with the very devil to get it. That’s what has happened in the country today. Political parties like the Congress have walked into a Left trap, blissfully unaware of the danger of obtaining support from the communists who chase an ideology which has not the least resemblance to democracy. After the Lok Sabha elections, instead of deciding on getting outside support from the Left, the UPA should have opted for fresh elections.

Maoist bandh: Alert sounded in Bihar

Patna, Oct. 29 (PTI): Bihar Police has sounded a high alert in the naxal-infested north and southern parts of the State and intensified patrolling in view of the bandh called by proscribed CPI (Maoist) on Monday in protest against the arrest of its top leaders in the state.

The Bihar-Jharkhand Special Area Committee and the People's Liberation Guerilla Army have extended support to the bandh call.

All the Superintendents of Police in the zone had been asked to intensify patrolling in naxalite-hit areas, IG (Tirhut zone), Sumit Kumar, said.

Protection of government property, including railways and jails, would get special attention, he said.

"The SSB, which guards the Indo-Nepal border, has been asked to cooperate with the district police to nab ultras trying to sneak into Indian territory from neighbouring Nepal to create disturbances," Kumar said.

Security is also being tightened in Gaya, Jehanabad, Nawada and Aurangabad districts in south Bihar.

The ultras had targetted railway property in Bagaha, Samastipur, Darbhanga and Motihari (East Champaran) and Gaya during the bandh call in the past.

In north Bihar, Vaishali, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Sheohar, East and West Champaran, Samastipur, Darbhanga, Begusarai and Madhubani districts are considered vulnerable from security point of view.

The CPI (Maoist) is protesting against the arrest of its top leaders in Bihar and Jharkhand.

Mangalore: Police Resort to Art as Counter-Propaganda

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The Hindu

Mangalore, Oct 28: Men in khaki are often at the receiving end of some nasty criticism by naxalites operating in Malnad region of the State.

They manage to ransack some remote forest office or paste anti-government pamphlets at bus stops in the heart of Malnad town. And each time, they target the policemen.

Now the State Police Department has decided to take the naxalites head on in this ongoing propaganda war through the medium of drama. Sangama Kalavidar of Manipal will aid them in this task. Starting this Saturday members of Sangama Kalavidar will stage the drama "Haseeru Naadina Kempu Haadhi" (Red Path of Green Land) in nine places in Chikmagalur and Udupi district every weekend till November. The troupe had staged this drama in Bangalore.

The drama would be staged in Sringeri (October 28), Basarikatte (Ocotober 29), Kigga (November 4), Shamse (November 5), Shankarnarayana (November 11), Ajekar (November 12), Hebri (November 18), Siddapur (November 19) and at Amasebailu (November 25). These places in the two districts have been the centres of naxal activities in the recent past.

H.N. Sathyanarayana Rao, Inspector-General of Police (Western Range) told The Hindu the main aim of staging the drama in areas affected by naxal activities was to create awareness about the issue. Even the department had to present its side of the story before the people.

'Killers of innocents can’t be revolutionaries’

Pankaj Gupta, IG, Anti-Naxalite Operations, says the extension of government’s surrender policy for Naxals has revived hopes for peace

What is your opinion about the Maharashtra government’s decision to extend the Surrender Policy for Naxals in the state?

The extension revived hopes for peace in the region. This is important for the development of this region and would end the prolonged suffering of the
people.

But the Naxals have rejected the government’s offer.

They react to the Surrender Policy depending upon their own convenience. If they are outside the police loop, they are anti-surrender. But once they feel the heat, surrender becomes the most viable option for them, as they are aware that we will treat them leniently under the surrender package. Otherwise, death is the only option.

What has been the response to the Surrender Policy till now? Have any top commanders surrendered?

Though the Surrender Policy had failed to attract any prominent Naxals so far, the ultras at the level of deputy dalam commanders and others have surrendered. At least 90 ultras have surrendered.

What does the package consist of?

Ultras who lay down arms are given financial assistance. A dalam commander or those of high rank get Rs 10 lakh. A deputy commander gets Rs 1 lakh and an Area Rakshak Dal or Gram Rakshak Dal get Rs 75,000. Naxals surrendering with firearms like ak-47, self-loading rifles or light machine gun are entitled to greater benefits.

The Naxals insist that they are revolutionaries and not terrorists.

It is audacious of them to equate themselves with revolutionaries. Revolutionaries fought for the independence of the nation ruled by imperialists. But Naxals are fighting against their own country’s law disregarding the constitution. They kill innocent people without any cause. Such people are terrorists, not revolutionaries.

What about their allegations regarding police excesses?

I am not denying excesses. But there is proper grievance redressal mechanism existing in the country. We are a democracy, with operating judiciary and human rights organisations. They can easily approach them. If every aggrieved person in the country takes up the gun, the country will not exist. There will be mayhem everywhere.

Do you think the surrender policy would succeed?


Those in the prime of their youth have lost direction and want to lead a normal life once again. It is our duty to help these people.


Nov 04 , 2006

'Naxalism has lost direction’

Former leader says extortion, vendetta and personal fiefs define the Maoist movement

Naxals claim to be fighting for people’s rights, but a surrendered Naxal leader, Shriram Narote, says that the Maoist movement has lost its focus and become the personal fiefdom of the top Naxal commanders. “It is a dictatorship. One dare not protest any action of the top leadership. Otherwise he or she would be killed. I was trained in Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). Once, I wanted materials for making explosives. In spite of repeated requests, the materials were not brought. When I protested, the commander fought with me. Later I learnt the commander planned to kill me during an encounter,” says Narote who held the rank of a deputy commander.

After being in the organisation for six months, Narote escaped to save his life. He is still on the Naxal hit-list. The government has promised to “rehabilitate” him outside Gadchiroli. Narote says that the Maoists procure Ak-47s from police during encounters, while they get 12 bore guns and IEDs manufactured locally. Hand grenades are procured from Nagpur. Their main source of funding is through extortion of tendu-leaf and bamboo contractors.

Narote hails from Tipagarh village and says that he was forced by his fellow villagers to join the Naxals. Tipagarh was completely under Naxal influence, he says. But he realised that he had made a mistake soon after joining them. “We were completely dependent on villagers for food. This was unavailable many times as they feared police action. Even sleep was leisure due to continuous encounters,” he says. He is convinced that Naxalism is dead as an ideology and the movement has no future. “Today those joining Naxal groups want to settle personal disputes. They are mostly indulging in mindless violence and looting,” he says.


Nov 04 , 2006

REVOLUTION INTERRUPTED

The response to Maharashtra’s one-year-old surrender policy for Naxals has been tepid. But after two decades of violence, people in the Naxal heartland of Gadchiroli are willing to give government development schemes a chance

Shashwat Gupta Ray
Gadchiroli


Located in a remote part of the Vidarbha region, the tribal district of Gadchiroli has the lowest Human Development Index figures in Maharashtra. It also happens to be the centre of Naxalite activity in the state. Poverty, compounded by government apathy and neglect, has fuelled Naxal violence in the region for two and a half decades.

In a belated attempt to halt the cycle of violence between Naxals and the state police force, the state government launched a Surrender Policy in August 2005. The move was prompted by the realisation that establishing peace was necessary before the government could initiate effective measures to bring about development in this poor district, which borders both Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. The government offered a “special monetary package” as an incentive to Naxal militants to surrender. They were promised a lump-sum cash amount when they surrendered along with a rehabilitation package to bring them back into the mainstream.

One year after it was announced, the policy has at best been a partial success, in part because the details of the rehabilitation package were sketchy. Shirish Jain, Superintendent of Police, Gadchiroli, says, “In the first phase of the Surrender Policy, 68 surrenders took place, out of which 90 percent were fringe elements, forced to help the Naxals. But they had useful information for us regarding their hideouts. They were duly rewarded under the rehabilitation package. Seeing this, a few hardcore Maoists did surrender.” Jain admits that the government’s surrender policy has not been a huge success. “When the government announced the surrender policy on the lines similar to that of Andhra Pradesh, there were surrenders. But there was no comprehensive rehabilitation policy. We recommended that there should be a reward system and then rehabilitation. It took some time for the people to realise the existence of such a policy.”


Casualties of an internal war: IG Police, Anti-Naxal Operations, Pankaj Gupta honouring policemen killed in anti-Naxal operations

Superintendent of Police, Gadchiroli, Shirish Jain admits the ‘establishment made a mess’ of the Naxal problem
In September, the state government extended the Surrender Policy by a year, claiming that it was a success and needed to be continued. As part of the extension, the government plans to have a more effective rehabilitation package for Naxal militants who are willing to surrender.

The Naxal leaders active in the region have rejected the government’s Surrender Policy outright, calling it a complete sham. According to Suresh, a senior Naxal commander who operates in the forests in north Gadchiroli, bordering Chattisgarh, the government’s offer has no substance. Speaking to Tehelka, he described the surrendered Naxals as “fringe elements”. Suresh describes himself as the “in-charge of the Kobhra Mendha squad, Uttar Gadchiroli, Regional Gondia Division.” “The government says that 90 Maoists have surrendered. However, they are not the hardcore Naxals. They are mostly porters or innocent villagers who sympathise with us. Only a couple of real Naxals have surrendered, that too because they could not bear the hardships of forest life. The police have been unable to make the top commanders surrender,” he says.

“While the government is spending millions of rupees to quell the uprising, the (police) forces are unable to locate us. Rather, they are committing atrocities on innocent cattle grazers, labelling them Naxals. Recently three women were kidnapped in Tipagrah forests in Dhanora taluka in Gadchiroli. They were later raped and shot at. While two died on the spot, one was seriously injured,” Suresh says. “We are Maoists, fighting for the right of these oppressed people. It is the politicians who are the real terrorists. Not us. We are revolutionaries. In the name of globalisation and development, companies are on a land-grabbing spree, leaving the poor farmers helpless. When they rightfully demand their rights, they are either lathicharged or shot at.”

He holds a dim view of the development initiatives by the government. “Between Kurkheda and Botekasa blocks in northern Gadchiroli, the government is spending Rs 14 crore, constructing roads up to 50 km stretch inside the forest. This is not for development but to ensure that forest-wood is smuggled out and more troops can be sent in to kill us,” he says.

Jain admits that the “establishment made a mess” of the Naxal problem. “This has been a largely neglected area. There has been large-scale exploitation of the poor tribals by politicians, police and the forest department. Innocent people, who, out of fear, may have rendered help to Naxals, were arrested in hundreds and put in jail under POTA and TADA. After languishing in jails for two years, they obviously came out with vengeance on their mind. After the enactment of the Forest Act, forest officials refused the tribals’ access to forest produce on which they have been traditionally dependent. Deprived of their dignity and land, they were simmering with anger. The Naxals took advantage of the situation.”


Changing tactics: Naxals surrending before Sirish Jain, SP, Gadchiroli

The government has initiated development programmes in the region and change has been visible in the last two and a half years at the ground level
An AK-47 assault-rifle in his hand, Suresh promises intensified attacks. “We left our families to fight the corrupt system. With no social justice system for the poor in this country, there is no scope for talks now. It is a war against the establishment. We are not terrorists. People should not be afraid of us. Our ideology is action against injustice. The government cannot finish us. We are surviving in the forests because we have the people’s support.”

But many who joined the movement, and managed to leave it later, have been discouraging villagers from joining the Naxals. The representatives of Naxal groups come to the villages, especially those in the Korchi block in Gadchiroli, and try to garner support through their committee meetings. Korchi encompasses 10 villages with a combined population of 10,000 and is widely considered the epicentre of the Naxal movement in Gadchiroli. But attendance at these meetings is growing thinner. Though people no longer support the Naxal movement outright, they accept that the violence has succeeded in drawing attention of authorities towards their problems.

By 2000, the police realised that it had to do something about its image among the tribal population. “Since 1982, we have lost 76 men, 241 civilians and 62 Naxals have died. These deaths are painful irrespective of who dies. It is our own countrymen dying, innocent families getting destroyed forever. Civil property worth Rs 4.2 crore and government property worth Rs 6.3 crore has been damaged. Development and not bullet is the answer to this problem,” Jain says.

Suresh paints a grim picture of the government health and education facilities: “Children are dying due to malnutrition. There is high rate of infant mortality in the region. Adults are dying of malaria. But there are hardly any well-equipped government hospitals. The schools are either running without the teachers or the teachers are coming to class inebriated. This is certainly not development.”

According to officials, government has taken measures to alleviate the situation. NK Sudhanshu, District Collector, Gadchiroli says, “We are surveying the 350 villages in this region to identify the problems faced by people. Infrastructural gaps have been identified. We are constructing check-dams and tanks for water conservation and repairing existing water tanks... Such integrated efforts will bear results and break the spine of Naxal movement. We have to create a sense of belonging amongst the people and the government officials alike. Otherwise there will always be the excuse of fear factor for not working.”

Since 2003, the government has initiated numerous development programmes in the region in association with ngos, and, according to locals, change has been visible in the last two and a half years. According to NK Sudhanshu, District Collector, Gadchiroli, the Maharashtra government has released Rs 15 lakh under the Maharashtra Human Development Mission - 2006, for the initial process of development. Two of the most backward blocks in Gadchiroli have been selected for the purpose.

Through joint forest management, the state is making the tribal population joint-owners of the forest and giving it a share of revenue
Through its Joint Forest Management (JFM), the forest department is involving the tribal population by making it the joint owner of the forest. It is supposed to give them a share in the revenue earned through the sale of tendu leaves. The forest department recently disbursed Rs 30 crore as wages to tendu collectors in Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts. It has also declared a bonus of Rs 8 crore to the families — the first ever such initiative taken by the department.

Raju is a member of the Kobhra Mendha Local Organiser Squad, the local unit of the Naxals. He is convinced about the justness of their cause and the fact that they shall prevail in the not too distant future. “We are already present in 24 states. We are growing further by forming youth and women’s committees. We are forming special Revolutionary People’s Council which will join hands with us and fight the corrupt system.”

The government implemented the surrender policy in two phases of six-month duration each — from August 2005 to March 2006 and from April 2006 to September 2006. According to Jain, there has been no official intimation from the government yet on the extension. “We only know it from the media reports. But we have been assured that the extension is on and we will be intimated shortly,” he says.

The police changed its policy for the second phase. It became more selective in accepting surrenders — no porters this time for example, only active Maoists with a police record who had good information about the organisational set-up. “Due to this, the numbers came down drastically. But it was certainly an improvement is terms of number of hardcore Naxals surrendering,” says Jain.

Jain says that there is a big vacuum in the Naxal leadership after Vikas, alias Shiva, a “top leader” who was the Secretary, Gadchiroli Division, was killed. “Naxals are jittery. The lower and middle ranking cadres are sending feelers for surrender.”

Moving gradually towards self-sufficiency, the local people, on whose behalf the Naxals claim to be fighting, are now more inclined to participate in government development schemes. They realise that two decades of violence has not improved their lot.

Some of the measures by Naxals to help alleviate their economic situation have actually worked against them in the long run. “The increase in collection price (dictated by Naxals) from Rs 5 for a bundle of 20 bamboo sticks of six feet length to Rs 10 resulted in people rushing to cut bamboos. Now the bamboo tree is nearing extinction here. We don’t have enough bamboos in the forest to construct our huts. So now we have decided not to support them,” says Ijam Sai, a prominent social worker from Kale village in Korchi block.

“Earlier, the Naxals dictated the tendu leaves price. They hiked the wages for tendu collectors from Rs 70 to Rs 140 per bundle, saying that it was for our cause. But with the increase in tendu price, the cost of beedis also increased from Rs 2.5 per packet to Rs 5. This pinched us hard,” says Neel Kumar Madavi, a young resident of Korchi.

“Government and ngos are trying to develop the region. Two years ago, there was nothing here. But now with development work in progress, the unemployed youth have started getting work in villages. Earlier they had to go outside in search of work. They were exploited by contractors. This fuelled anger in them and they lost direction. But now both work and funds are available in the village,” says Dalsai Sattar Bota, deputy sarpanch of Navarangaon block Gram Panchayat.

“The JFM project has made us feel more reassured. When the villagers were bringing wood for personal use from the forests, they had to pay hefty bribes to the forest guards in cash or liquor. Now with development and growing awareness about JFM people are happier,” says Madavi.

Writer’s e-mail: sgr_in@yahoo.com

'Naxalism has lost direction'



Former leader says extortion, vendetta and personal fiefs define the Maoist movement

Naxals claim to be fighting for people’s rights, but a surrendered Naxal leader, Shriram Narote, says that the Maoist movement has lost its focus and become the personal fiefdom of the top Naxal commanders. “It is a dictatorship. One dare not protest any action of the top leadership. Otherwise he or she would be killed. I was trained in Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). Once, I wanted materials for making explosives. In spite of repeated requests, the materials were not brought. When I protested, the commander fought with me. Later I learnt the commander planned to kill me during an encounter,” says Narote who held the rank of a deputy commander.

After being in the organisation for six months, Narote escaped to save his life. He is still on the Naxal hit-list. The government has promised to “rehabilitate” him outside Gadchiroli. Narote says that the Maoists procure Ak-47s from police during encounters, while they get 12 bore guns and IEDs manufactured locally. Hand grenades are procured from Nagpur. Their main source of funding is through extortion of tendu-leaf and bamboo contractors.

Narote hails from Tipagarh village and says that he was forced by his fellow villagers to join the Naxals. Tipagarh was completely under Naxal influence, he says. But he realised that he had made a mistake soon after joining them. “We were completely dependent on villagers for food. This was unavailable many times as they feared police action. Even sleep was leisure due to continuous encounters,” he says. He is convinced that Naxalism is dead as an ideology and the movement has no future. “Today those joining Naxal groups want to settle personal disputes. They are mostly indulging in mindless violence and looting,” he says.


Nov 04 , 2006

Naxal activist Tech Madhu will surrender: Jana Reddy

Saturday October 28 2006 11:14 IST

VIJAYAWADA: Home Minister K Jana Reddy on Friday indicated that Naxal activist Tech Madhu and his wife Sridevi were planning to surrender to the police.

The Naxal couple, involved in manufacturing and transporting of rocket launchers to Maoists, have approached the government through some mediators indicating their willingness to give up.

“They have approached the government and we are talking through the mediators,” Jana Reddy, who briefly halted at Kaikaluru enroute West Godavari district, told reporters here on Friday.

He said the Naxal couple could surrender in a couple of days. He said the media was trying to blow up a simple issue. “The government has been adopting a three-tier strategy to tackle the Naxal menace and making key Naxals surrender and join the mainstream is a regular process,” he added.

The Home Minister, who participated in several programmes in Denduluru, Gopannapalem, Talla Gokavaram and Pedavegi in West Godavari district, further said the construction of 48 per cent of the police quarters have already been completed and the remaining quarters would be completed by the end of the year.

Earlier, he was received at Kaikaluru by Eluru MP Kavuri Sambasiva Rao and Kaikaluru MLA Yerneni Raja Ramchander. He also went to the residence of Denduluru MLA Maganti Babu.

Naxals to attack Govt Godowns , Govt to Insure : Intelligence

Govt to insure godowns against naxals


Reetesh Sahu

Watch story

Saturday, October 28, 2006 (Raipur):


The Chhattisgarh government was worried about providing a cover for its people against possible naxal attacks till now.

But there is a bigger concern to take care of.

If intelligence reports are accurate, government godowns where thousands of quintals of grain are stored could be the next big target.

"Their food supply has been cut off and many of the godowns are in naxal areas, so there are chances of them attacking these godowns. But we are alert," said Dr Raman Singh, Chief Minister, Chhattisgarh.

Two-thirds of the state's agricultural produce is rice and the Chhattisgarh government is concerned that there is no place safe enough to store the grain since most of these are located in sensitive areas.

The government now plans to step up security around these godowns and also get them insured.

Blame game

Meanwhile, the opposition holds the government responsible for the current situation.

"This is merely a temporary solution. If the government wants a permanent solution to this problem, it should engage in a dialogue with the naxals," said Ramesh Varlyani, Spokesperson, State Congress.

Insurance has always been provided against natural calamities and this is probably the first time that the Madhya Pradesh government has had to insure the people's crops against Naxals.

But that still isn't a long-term solution to the Naxal problem.

Friday, October 27, 2006

AP home Minister Jana Reddy `confused'

It pays to remember names. And of course, it pays to know what one is talking about.

Home Minister K. Jana Reddy learnt, this the hard way when he got confused between the `rocketman' `Tech Madhu' and another top naxalite Sudhakar.

Known to leave presspersons perplexed with the profundity of his language skills, Mr. Reddy was himself tied in knots, when he declared that `Madhu' and `Sudhakar' were ready to surrender to police.

While Madhu was already in police custody having surrendered himself after his consignment of rockets and rocket launchers being seized, there was intense speculation about Sudhakar being encircled by police.

Mr. Reddy dropped a bombshell when he said Sudhakar was likely to surrender.

But hours later, he took up the painstaking job of explaining to all the reporters that he thought that both Sudhakar and Madhu were the same and that he was mistaken.



K. Srinivas Reddy

Probe into DIG’s killing begins

Bhubaneswar, Oct. 26: Police today began investigation into the killing of DIG Jaswinder Singh allegedly by one of his two PSOs, facing charges of murder, who have been remanded to police custody.
A team of Crime Branch officers, who went to Koraput to probe Singh’s death, is examining whether it was a case of accidental firing by the PSOs or if there was any other motive involved, officials said here.
Inspector general of police (Crime Branch) Mr BK Sharma will monitor the investigation. The sources said the cell phone of the PSO Seshananda Sarangi, accused in the firing had been seized by the police. It was said that he had made calls from it after the shooting.
DGP Mr Amarananda Pattanayak said on Tuesday that the 9 mm pistol of one of the two PSOs accompanying the DIG had gone off “accidentally” killing the officer. The two had apparently panicked and fired at the windscreen of the vehicle from outside to cook up Naxalite ambush. n PTI
Another report on Page III

Task force on Naxalites to meet in Delhi

New Delhi, Oct 27: A meeting of the task force on Naxalites here today will review the situation arising out of spurt in violence unleashed by ultras.

Till August this year, 115 security personnel and 401 civilians were killed by ultra-Left insurgents compared to the figures of 94 and 364 during the corresponding period last year, sources in the Union Home Ministry said.

They said Chhattisgarh remained the most affected state where Naxal violence registered a sharp rise in the first eight months of 2006 - from 265 incidents last year to 469 till August this year.

Against such a scenario, the task force headed by special secretary (internal security) G S Rajagopal will meet to take stock of the situation and review the measures to contain the problem.

The task force was constituted in October 2004 to deliberate upon the steps needed to deal with the menace more effectively and in a coordinated way.

The members of the task force comprise nodal officers of the nine Naxal-affected states - Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal - and representatives of Intelligence Bureau, CRPF and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

With reports of inter-state arms procurement by ultras in Andhra Pradesh, the Union Home Ministry has recently constituted a special Naxal desk in the MHA headed by a special secretary, even as the Centre proposed to constitute an EGoM to take a holistic view of the problem and suggest infrastructure development in the affected areas.

Bureau Report

Eight naxalites surrender before police in Maharastra

Nagpur, Oct. 27 (PTI): Taking advantage of the Maharashtra government's surrender policy for naxals in the district, eight naxalites, including a 17-year-old girl, have laid down their arms here, police said today.

The state government had extended the naxal surrender policy for one year upto August 28, 2007.

The naxals, who recently surrendered before Gadchiroli police, are Ramlal (19) of Patnam Dalam, Mahesh (20) of Perimili Dalam, Naresh (19) Balaghat Korchi Dalam, Chaitu (18) of Sangam Dalam, Raju (18) who is the Gramrakshak Dal member and Pramila (17), the Gramrakshak.

Two other naxalites -- Babaurao (21) and Raso (23)--, who hail from Aheri Dalam, had laid arms before police on October 25.

While the eight had been active in the naxalite movement for the past two to three years, Baburao and Raso had been involved for past five to six years, Gadchiroli police said.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Crime graph in dist abnormal: DGP

HT Correspondent
Allahabad, October 26


DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF Police Bua Singh has admitted an abnormal rise in crime graph in the district of Allahabad.

The top cop expressed surprise when he was told that at least 19 murders had taken place in the month of October alone. DIG Akhilesh Mehrotra corroborated the figure when the DGP asked him about it.

In reply to a question over unprecedented increase in crime in the district he said that was why the State Government decided to shift SSP Vijay Singh Meena as he failed to contain crime in Allahabad.

The DGP directed DIG Akhilesh Mehrotra to expedite the inquiry ordered by the IG into allegation of corruption against the SSP after he was asked what action he was taking against the tainted officers.

The DGP, it may be mentioned, made the above remarks when he was told about the murder of Triveni Sheet Glass Works trade union leader Amrendra Pandey and also two subsequent inquiries ordered by IG Suvrat Tripathi into the same.

The DIG told the DGP that there were two inquiries being conducted in the murder of the trade union leader.

The corruption part was being investigated by him while the murder angle was being probed by a Jhansi-based DSP.

The DGP, however, said barring Allahabad there was 15 per cent decline in crime in other places of the State in comparison to previous year.

He said he had ordered all the district police chiefs to take preventive measures to contain crime in the State.

He said action against tainted cops was being taken and that was why 150 cops were sent to Jail.

He said, the police had launched 'Operation Dadua' to eliminate this dacoit, who had remained elusive for over two decades.

When asked about security measures for the Ardh Kumbh mela, he said adequate security arrangements were being made to keep all trouble makers at bay.

Commenting on Naxalite-affected districts in the State, he said the Naxlite menace had been contained to a great extent and there had been no major incidents during the past two years.

Ultras now more sophisticated: PM

Agencies
Hyderabad, Oct 26: Terming terrorism as the most dangerous threat to the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said there was an "external dimension" to the internal threat and called upon the police to gear up to meet the new challenges.

"There are subversive forces at work. Economic globalisation and technological development have altered the nature of crime, giving rise to new forms of criminality," he said after reviewing the passing out parade of the 58th batch of IPS probationers at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy on the outskirts of the city.

Calling for improved coordination among the states and the use of best technologies to face the multitude of dangers, Singh said, "Today's terrorists are most sophisticated having transnational linkages and adequate resources. Both knowledge and determination are required if we are to succeed against these elements."

The most dangerous threat to the country, he said, was terrorism.

"From an occasional footnote, it has become a hydra-headed monster. There are several strains of terrorism present and you will need to keep abreast of developments in this regard," the Prime Minister told the young officers.

Referring to the situation in the northeast, Jammu and Kashmir and naxal-hit states, he said that the problems in each of these regions were different and a skillful approach was needed to tackle them.

"All this will demand sensitive handling. Understand reasons for disaffection and alienation and you will find some answer to your challenges," he told the officers.

78 IPS probationers, including eight women, participated in the parade as a culmination of 45-week long training at the academy.

Four officers from the Royal Bhutan Police and three from Maldives Police also passed out today.

It was after a gap of 21 years that the passing out parade was reviewed by a Prime Minister. The earlier occasion was when late Rajiv Gandhi reviewed the parade in 1985.

Pointing out how the nature of crime and violence in the society had undergone changes, Singh said sophisticated instrumentalities were now available to criminals.

"This requires knowledge of new disciplines and new ways of tackling such crime. Only a deep understanding of the complexities of forces shaping our polity will enable you to handle your work in an efficient manner," he told the police officers.

Referring to the internal security challenges, Singh said, "We face not one single over-arching threat but a multitude of dangers. Problems are not confined to one state alone and often encompass several states. This requires not just improved coordination between states but also new modes of cooperation requiring the best use of technologies."

Union Ministers Shivraj Patil and S Jaipal Reddy, Andhra Pradesh Governor Rameshwar Thakur, Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, state Home Minister K Jana Reddy and Director of the Academy Kamal Kumar were also present on the occasion.

Gear up to meet new challenges to tackle terror, PM tells police

Hyderabad, Oct. 26 (PTI): Terming terrorism as the most dangerous threat to the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said there was an "external dimension" to the internal threat and called upon the police to gear up to meet the new challenges.

"There are subversive forces at work. Economic globalisation and technological development have altered the nature of crime, giving rise to new forms of criminality," he said after reviewing the passing out parade of the 58th batch of IPS probationers at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy on the outskirts of the city.

Calling for improved coordination among the states and the use of best technologies to face the multitude of dangers, Singh said, "Today's terrorists are most sophisticated having transnational linkages and adequate resources. Both knowledge and determination are required if we are to succeed against these elements."

The most dangerous threat to the country, he said, was terrorism.

"From an occasional footnote, it has become a hydra-headed monster. There are several strains of terrorism present and you will need to keep abreast of developments in this regard," the Prime Minister told the young officers.

Referring to the situation in the northeast, Jammu and Kashmir and naxal-hit states, he said that the problems in each of these regions were different and a skillful approach was needed to tackle them.

"All this will demand sensitive handling. Understand reasons for disaffection and alienation and you will find some answer to your challenges," he told the officers.

78 IPS probationers, including eight women, participated in the parade as a culmination of 45-week long training at the academy.

Four officers from the Royal Bhutan Police and three from Maldives Police also passed out today.

It was after a gap of 21 years that the passing out parade was reviewed by a Prime Minister. The earlier occasion was when late Rajiv Gandhi reviewed the parade in 1985.

Pointing out how the nature of crime and violence in the society had undergone changes, Singh said sophisticated instrumentalities were now available to criminals.

"This requires knowledge of new disciplines and new ways of tackling such crime. Only a deep understanding of the complexities of forces shaping our polity will enable you to handle your work in an efficient manner," he told the police officers.

Referring to the internal security challenges, Singh said, "We face not one single over-arching threat but a multitude of dangers. Problems are not confined to one state alone and often encompass several states. This requires not just improved coordination between states but also new modes of cooperation requiring the best use of technologies."

Union Ministers Shivraj Patil and S Jaipal Reddy, Andhra Pradesh Governor Rameshwar Thakur, Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, State Home Minister K Jana Reddy and Director of the Academy Kamal Kumar were also present.

Exhorting police officers to develop a strong sense of commitment to secularism and earn the name for being just, fair and firm, Singh said, "Our country is defined by its pluralism. It is this plurality of cultures, religions and ethnicity that make our society one of the most complex yet fascinating in the world."

He also asked the young officers to strive to change the image of the police, rising above parochial considerations and personal ambitions.

"Your understanding, your specialisation and your empathy will contribute greatly to our vision of an inclusive and prosperous India," the Prime Minister said.

While cautioning them about "immense resistance from vested interests" to their endeavours, he, however, said, "but, you must catch the bull by its horns and take charge of your destiny."

Singh also asked them to maintain high standards of professional excellence, integrity and honesty while discharging their duties.

The Prime Minister gave away medals to the meritorious probationers. Nishant Kumar Tiwary of Bihar cadre received the prestigious Prime Minister's Baton and Home Ministry's revolver for the best all-round probationer.

MAKE POLICE A FORCE THAT LOOKS AFTER ONE AND ALL : PM

PM’S SPEECH AT SVP NATIONAL POLICE ACADEMY

Terming the police work a “sacred” duty, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, called upon the young police officers to make all out efforts to change the image of the police and make it a force that looks after one and all. Addressing the Probationers of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad today, after the passing out parade of 58th batch of Indian Police Service Probationers, the Prime Minister said that the public administration in our country must have an in-depth knowledge and awareness of problems faced by our rural population. Particular attention ought to be paid to control caste based violence and atrocities against weaker sections, he said.

Stating that ‘terrorism’ is the most dangerous threat, the Prime Minister urged the Police Officers to keep abreast of developments in tackling this “great” danger. “Today’s terrorists are most sophisticated, have transnational linkages and have adequate resources. Both knowledge and determination are required if we are to succeed against these elements”, he asserted.

The Prime Minister observed that we need to be concerned about internal security perhaps even more than external aggression. Today’s problems of public order and peace are not confined to one State alone requiring not just improved coordination between States, but also new modes of cooperation and use of best technologies and management skills”, he added. Dwelling upon the situation in naxal-affected States, Dr. Singh emphasised that the young officers must appreciate and skillfully deal with the nuances of such situations which require sensitive handling. ‘Understand the reasons for disaffection and alienation and possibly, you will find answers to your challenges’, the Prime Minister said.

Stressing the importance of basic police functions, the Prime Minister exhorted the officers to create an atmosphere of security among all citizens including women, children and older citizens. ‘Your empathy would contribute greatly to our vision of an inclusive prosperous India’, Dr. Singh added.

Following is the text of the Prime Minister’s address on the occasion:

“I am extremely delighted to be with you today at this Passing Out Parade of the 58th Batch of IPS Probationers. This day is a momentous occasion that every member of a uniformed service cherishes all his or her life. I pay tribute to the memory of great Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, after whom your great institution is named. He was rightly called the Iron Man of India. He was among the tallest of the builders of modern India and our federal polity as we know it today.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had envisaged a uniform pattern of police training for the whole country that led to the birth of this magnificent Academy. You are products of his vision and his foresight. My heartiest congratulations to all the officers passing out today, for their immaculate turnout and for the excellent standard of parade. I compliment all those who have won medals and trophies. It is a recognition of your hard work and dedication in various areas of training.

I am extremely happy that four officers of the Royal Bhutan Police and three officers of the Maldivian Police Service are also passing out today. I have no doubt that the bonds forged during the training in this Academy will further strengthen the bonds between our nations and peoples.

The Police Service symbolizes courage, sacrifice and dedication. You have today become the proud bearers of the great responsibility Sardar Patel placed on your service when he created it. Remember that hereafter, your duty as an officer, and as a leader, would be far more important than anything else in your life. You must maintain the highest standards of professional excellence, integrity and honesty, making service to the nation and our people the guiding principle of your work. You will have to live up to the high expectations which our society, the polity, your own peers, and your own family has of you. There are going to be innumerable challenges and hurdles that will come your way; but you will have to show the courage, determination, steadfastness of purpose and the necessary resilience to meet those challenges. And all the while, not losing sight of the larger purpose for which we are all working, i.e., to serve the people of India with utmost dedication and commitment.

Our nation is on the march and is being transformed beyond recognition. Society is changing at a pace never imagined before. This is inevitably giving rise to tensions which are probably inevitable in a poor country trying to modernize itself. Nearly 70% of our people live in rural areas. As such, the public administration in our country must have an in-depth knowledge and awareness of problems faced by our rural population. Particular attention ought to be paid to control caste based violence and atrocities against weaker sections. At the same time, we have to recognize the growing pulls of urbanization. Large urban agglomerations are throwing up organized crime in a manner not foreseen in the past. White collar crime is taking on new dimensions. Sophisticated instrumentalities are available to criminals which need to be countered. This requires knowledge of new disciplines and new ways of tackling such crime. You will have to understand the complexity of forces shaping the march of our polity. Only such deep understanding will enable you to handle your work in an effective and efficient manner.

You have the primary responsibility of maintaining public order and peace and enforcing the rule of law. There are challenges to peace in numerous forms. There are subversive forces at work. Economic globalisation and technological development have altered the nature of crime, giving rise to new forms of criminality. Perhaps, even more than external aggression, we need to be concerned about internal security. In some instances there is of course an external dimension to the internal threat. But, it will be your responsibility to ensure internal security. You must all gear up to meet this challenge.

Internally, we face not only one single over-arching threat, but a multitude of dangers. Problems are not confined to one State alone and often encompass several States. This requires not just improved coordination between states but also new modes of cooperation requiring the use of the best technologies and management skills that are available.

The most dangerous threat today is Terrorism. From an occasional footnote, it has become a hydra-headed monster. There are several strains of terrorism present, and you will need to keep abreast of developments in tackling this great danger. Today’s terrorists are most sophisticated, have transnational linkages and have adequate resources. Both knowledge and determination are required if we are to succeed against these elements.

Many of you are being posted to areas like the North East, Jammu & Kashmir, or states where Naxalites are active today. The problems in each of these regions are different. The nuances of each situation have to be appreciated and skillfully dealt with. All this will demand sensitive handling of these complicated situations on your path. Understand the reasons for disaffection and alienation and possibly, you will find some answers to your challenges. In the final analysis, see yourself as the guardian of all citizens, including the alienated. Try to bring the alienated back to the path laid down by law of the land.

In our urgency to fight high profile crime, we sometimes tend to ignore some of the more basic functions of the police force. You need to create an atmosphere of security among all citizens. Increasingly, our older citizens are living lonely lives in cities as a result of nuclear families. You must make special efforts to make them feel secure. Women and children must be protected from harassment, exploitation, ill-treatment and crime. You must be particularly sensitive to the possibilities of caste violence and communal atrocities in many parts, both rural and urban. There are many forces driving these phenomena. Try to understand them before coming to valid conclusions.

You must have a humane attitude to all those who come in contact with you. Empathise with their problems. Be sensitive to their fears and aspirations. Make them your partners in your fight against crime. Develop a strong sense of commitment to secular values. Each one of you must be known for being just, fair and firm. Our country is defined by its pluralism. It is this plurality of cultures, of religions and of ethnicity which makes our society one of the most complex yet fascinating in the world.

Your understanding, your specialization, your empathy would contribute greatly to our vision of an inclusive prosperous India. I cannot think of any other organized segment of the Government that has so much responsibility put on its shoulders as is the case with our police forces. This is the challenge you face as you leave the portals of the magnificent Academy. I am sure that you will discharge your responsibility and view it as a sacred trust.

As young officers, please make all out efforts to change the image of the police. Make it a force that looks after one and all. A force that marshals the best that is there in modern science and technology for upholding the rule of law. And at all times, please remember that you are cast in the role of an investigator, not a judge. Rise above parochial considerations and personal ambitions. You have a sacred duty to perform.

At the same time, you must treat the men and women in your force with compassion, dignity and respect. We must end feudal vestiges in our services where lower staff are treated like menials. You must work towards making whatever force you command a first rate force, second to none. Value knowledge. Value the art of learning. Value training. Life is but one long journey of constant learning and we must continuously equip ourselves with the latest tools of the trade. The world is being changed rapidly by an explosion in knowledge. Go with the tide and do not remain prisoners of the past.

You will of course face immense resistance from vested interests in your endeavours. But you must catch the bull by the horns and take charge of your destiny. Today, you have taken a solemn oath to uphold the Indian Constitution while discharging your duties. I urge you to uphold the oath in its letter and spirit during your entire career.

The police are a manifest symbol of a State’s authority. If the police behave in that spirit and are seen as upholders of the Rule of Law, then their legitimacy and of the State itself is enhanced. I expect that as you step out of the portals of this hallowed institution today, you do so with a resolve that hereafter your every step will be to uphold the right to life, liberty and dignity of the people you are charged to serve.

I am sure, the rigorous basic training you have undergone in the last eleven months will hold you in good stead in the discharge of your duties.

This is a very special day for you, your loved ones, and your trainers. Family members of officers should be pillars of strength and support. The nation will watch you with great hopes and great expectations. Swami Vivekananda once said he looked forward to the day when our young men and women would be possessed of “muscles of iron and nerves of steel and a mind made of such stuff of which thunder bolts are made”. I hope the Academy has been able to impart this quality in each one of you.

Go boldly into your careers. Work for justice through just means. Defeat may sometimes test you; it need not stop you. The greatest mistake lies in giving up. Wishes alone will not bring success, but planning, persistence and burning desire will. Success is an attitude and I am very confident that each one of you will make it a personal enterprise to realize the dreams of our founding fathers of our Republic.

I convey my heartiest congratulations to each one of you, to your parents, to the Director of the Academy and all your instructors on the successful completion of your Basic Training. I am very happy that this institution is living up to its mandate. I compliment each one of you who has been associated with its commendable work.”

Security for senior cops: Issue still unaddressed

Thursday October 26 2006 11:31 IST

BHUBANESWAR: The Naxal angle may have been ruled out in DIG Jaswinder Singh’s killing but it has thrown up an extremely uncomfortable question.

A question no senior officer likes to pose but feels it needs to be addressed before the ultras actually strike.

Are the senior police officers sitting ducks in Naxal-infested districts? It’s an issue that has gone unaddressed so far. No one actually is willing to.

An officer in the rank of DIG mans Red radical infested South Orissa from Sunabeda where he has to operate from a premises that is not its own.

Even though South Western Range was created about 30 years back, the State Government has so far not deemed it necessary to create infrastructure for an office under which over 14,000 security personnel function.

The office has been running from Notified Area Council (NAC) premises.

With shops and other commercial establishments eating into the little space nearby there’s absolutely no scope for security arrangement for an officer who has to look after the entire Southern region.

Thanks to Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd it has made a provision for a quarter.

Appalling as it may sound but the residence has an undersized compound wall, ‘well protected by hedges’ though.

Not that the State Police Headquarters is not aware of the state of affairs.

“It’s not just about security cover for the senior officers but about standardising them and putting in place a mechanism for vulnerable areas such as Naxal-hit districts,” said a senior IPS officer requesting anonymity.

In neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, SPs of the ultra-affected districts enjoy more security than top cops of Orissa.

Here, the Director General of Police has just an ASI as escort.

In fact, standardisation of security boils down to the threat perception assessment (TPA) of an officer or a VIP.

Since an officer posted in a vulnerable region cannot seek more security for himself/herself sensing awkwardness, no one is willing to ask him either.

“TPA is reviewed at the State-Level Security Committee every three months but police, who are the prime targets of the Naxals, are never discussed,” sources added.

Another officer attributes it to a low level of security consciousness in Orissa.

“More security is seen as restriction but the perception needs a change. The quicker, the better,” he added.

DGP Amarananda Pattanayak said there are certain standard security procedures which are to be maintained by officers posted in vulnerable pockets.

But in the wake of Jaswinder Singh’s killing, a fresh set of norms could be in place.

“We have issued a set of corrective measures to the districts after the incident,” he told this website's newspaper on Wednesday

Orissa govt in the dock over new DIG's 'sick' leave

Rajaram Satapathy
[ 26 Oct, 2006 0228hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]


BHUBANESWAR: It seems nothing is going right for the Orissa police. Two days after the 'accidental firing' death of south-western range DIG Jaswinder Singh, who was heading the anti-Naxal operation, the administration's helplessness to find an immediate replacement for Singh has become a talking point of the state capital.

The reluctance of Singh's successor S K Nath, Rourkela-based special operations group (SOG) promoted to DIG rank, to take charge of the Maoist-infested region has put the government in the dock.

The Orissa government had promoted Nath on Monday, the day Singh was killed, and had asked him to join duty immediately. But Nath reported sick.

"It is a crisis situation and the DIG as the commander of the team claiming illness would demoralise the men in khaki fighting the Maoists," said a senior official.

According to another official, Nath reporting sick could send a wrong signal that officers hailing from Orissa are preferring to be in safer places leaving the 'tough jobs' to those from outside the state.

Singh's death has raised doubts on the skills of the security personnel and the quality of training they are given.

Two PSOs — who were arrested on charges of killing Singh — had undergone three-month anti-extremist greyhound training at Malkangiri, but one of them had failed to maintain even the basic rule of keeping a cocked pistol pointed towards the ground or the sky.

Government on Wednesday decided to impart training for PSOs on handling advanced weaponry. DGP Amarananda Pattanayak said: "We have been giving training to PSOs. But in the wake of the latest incident, we want to introduce training modules that would make them well-conversant with different kinds of automatic and semi-automatic arms and ammunition."
The state government has also sent a team of crime branch officials to Koraput to probe Singh's death.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

State Pulse: Chhattisgarh: Fighting the Naxals

Once in camps, people have no choice but to support the Salwa Judum. Some of them are forced to work as informers against members of their own Maureen Nandini Mitra
Errabore relief camp, Dantewada, September 2, 2006: Ramesh carries a .303 rifle. He's not sure of his age. "May be 16," he says doubtfully, and adds that he hasn't really shot anyone yet. The teenager has had only a week's combat training at the police barracks within the camp, but is officially a special police officer (SPO) of the Chhattisgarh government to fight the Naxalites for a monthly salary of Rs 1,500. Legally, he can't get married or vote, but the government thinks he can handle a gun. If you thought it only happened in Liberia or Congo, welcome to India's world of child warriors. Sponsored by the state.

Though there's currently a lull in offensives from both sides because of heavy rains and flooding, there have been rumours of an attack by the Maoists tonight. So groups of SPOs are making special reconnaissance trips through the camp. They don't want to be caught unawares as on the night of July 16, when about a thousand Naxalites ambushed the camp's southern flank, burning houses, shooting and hacking to pieces 42 people. "We had heard rumours that day too that there would be an attack but the thanedar wouldn't let us keep our guns. Back then we had to turn in our guns at the police station every evening, but after the attack they let us keep them," says Ramesh. Later, a senior security official said they didn't really trust the boys with the weapons because they tended to be brash and careless.

The Errabore camp is a fallout of the Salwa Judum movement. In Gondi, the local language, the term means purification hunt, rather than peace hunt or peace initiative, as it is often translated by the English media. Some say it started in Dantewada's Kerkeli village on May 6, 2005, when villagers stood up against Naxalites who had come to take a young girl into their fold. (The rebels have a policy of recruiting one cadre from every tribal family, if necessary, by force.) Taken by surprise, the Naxalites backed off. This emboldened the villagers. Others say the movement dates to a series of meetings in which villagers, who had suffered through a drought and had no rural employment schemes or development projects to see them through (since government projects tended to sweep around Naxalite-dominated areas), began questioning the rebels' enforced boycott of trade in tendu leaf. The Maoists had called tendu leaf boycotts in the past to force prices up, but this time it didn't work. The villagers were upset.

What is clear is that the movement took form only after word of the tribals' expressions of anger reached Mahendra Karma, a Congress MLA, who promptly cashed in. He held a massive rally in the area and urged the tribals to take up arms against the Naxals. Many tribals followed his urging. Armed with bows and arrows they set out in groups to hunt out the rebels in the jungles. Karma had led an earlier people's initiative against the Maoists, called the Jan Jagran Abhiyan. This movement began with the same name but was later re-christened Salwa Judum.

The Congress leader, a tribal himself, began going from village to village in Dantewada, holding rallies and exhorting people to join the movement. His initiative was publicly supported by Chief Minister Raman Singh and Salwa Judum became part of the state government's counter-insurgency strategy. Paramilitary forces were brought in to protect members.

New Delhi chipped in, offering help in the form of extra paramilitary battalions, vehicles, minesweeping equipment and technology to help locate Maoist camps. Several thousand Salwa Judum activists, many of them barely 16 years of age, were appointed SPOs, given some rudimentary training and arms and promised preference for permanent police jobs.

If the movement was ever a spontaneous peace mission, by the tribals, as the state government and Karma describe it, it very soon stopped being so. Most of the Salwa Judum leaders Down To Earth (DTE) met at the Errabore and Dornapal relief camps were either non-tribal or relatively-wealthy tribals. They were schoolteachers, village heads, traders and contractors, people who could be labelled the "local elite", those who suffered most at the hands of the Maoists.

Several detailed reports by human rights groups and independent observers have amply documented the state-sponsored human rights abuses of the Salwa Judum movement. An all-India fact-finding team, comprising members from Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand chapters of People's Union for Civil Liberties, People's Union for Democratic Rights, Delhi, Association for the Protection of Democratic Rights, West Bengal, and Indian Association of People's Lawyers, which visited Dantewada in November 2005, said it found "a pattern" in the displacements.

"When Salwa Judum meetings are called, people from neighbouring villages are asked to be present. Heavy security forces accompany the meetings. Villages that refuse to participate, face repeated attacks by the combined forces of Salwa Judum, district forces and a paramilitary Naga battalion, which is stationed in the area," the team's report states. "Once in camps, people have no choice but to support the Salwa Judum. Some of them are forced to work as informers against members of their own and neighbouring villages and participate in attacks against them, leading to permanent divisions within villages. Families are sometimes being split between Judum supporters and those who wish to remain in their villages."

-Down to earth feature

Private firms to supply copters for war against Naxal terror

Rajeev BhattacharyyaPosted online: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 at 0000 hrs Print Email
NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 24: In a development that could contribute significantly to the war against Left-wing extremism, the Centre has clinched a deal with a private company for the supply of helicopters to security forces in Naxal-infested states.

The Home Ministry has signed an agreement with M/s Vertex Ltd of Hyderabad for the supply of two helicopters on lease for non-military purposes to security forces deployed in Naxalite-affected states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. The CRPF has already used it on two occasions during the last couple of months in Chhattisgarh to air-drop personnel in remote areas for specific operations.

The Andhra government will be the nodal agency coordinating use of the helicopters among different states. According to sources, an expense of around Rs 8 crore per annum would be borne by the Home Ministry from security related expenditure (SRE).

The decision to rope in private players reflects the government concern to gain an upperhand in the situation that reveals a rising trend of casualties. Till August this year, 115 security personnel and 401 civilians were killed by Naxalites compared to 94 and 364 during the previous year.

The development comes close on the heels of private companies refusing to enter into the deal as they were expressing concern over the safety of the helicopters given the firepower of the millitants. The rockets recovered recently in Andhra Pradesh had the potential to inflict damage upto a distance of 400 metres.

The security forces are concerned since a part of this consignment of 850 odd rockets seized at Prakasam and Mehboobnagar have already fallen into the Naxalites’ hands, CRPF director general JK Sinha told reporters today. “They only have to fill the rockets with explosives and use them against security forces,” he said, adding that precautionary measures have been taken.

Another important development, said officials, was the launching of operations by the CRPF on its own against millitants in Chhattisgarh. Earlier, the role of the central police forces was mainly to supplement the efforts of the state police but the change was the fallout of a proposal mooted by security adviser to the state government KPS Gill that was supported by the Home Ministry.

“The G Branch for intelligence that was inaugurated five months ago for the CRPF has started giving results. Enough information is pouring in on the Naxalites that is supplemented by the state police,” a senior official said.

Brushing aside the controversy on the Salwa Judum movement in Chhattisgarh, Sinha said it was a “peoples’ movement” that needed to be supported. Asked about the possibility of infiltration by the ISI into the paramilitary organisation, he added that jawans did not have access to sensitive information and that an efficient surveillance system was in place to monitor the activities of senior officers.

rajeev.bhattacharyya@expressindia.com

Ailing cop seeks time to join duty

Wednesday October 25 2006 11:33 IST

BHUBANESWAR: IPS officer Susant Kumar Nath, who was promoted to the rank of DIG and asked to take over South Western range, is reported to have expressed his unwillingness to take charge immediately.
The 1993 batch officer is ailing and is believed to have reported sick. He has apparently asked for more time to join the place of posting, sources said.

But the State Government, reeling under the current turn of events in wake of Jaswinder Singh’s killing, wants him to take charge immediately.

Nath in the past has served in Naxal-affected districts such as Sambalpur and Nabarangpur.

Besides Nath, there are two officers in the 1993 batch of IPS - Binayatosh Mishra and RP Koche. While Mishra is SP, CID, Koche currently is serving as SP in Rayagada.

CRPF apprehensive of intensification of attacks by Naxals

New Delhi, Oct 25: The CRPF expressed fears of possible intensification of attacks by Naxals in Andhra Pradesh and its adjoining states amidst reports that some rocket shells seized by security forces there have found their way to Left-wing extremist groups.

"Though 800-odd rockets had been seized by the police forces of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, there is a credible information that some of the rockets have already reached the Left-wing extremist and this is definitely a cause of worry for us," CRPF Director General Jyothi Kumar Sinha told reporters ahead of 67th raising day function being held on October 28.

In a joint operation, the Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh police seized 875 rocket launchers and other ammunitions from different places in Mahabubnagar and Prakasam districts.

Sinha said though a husband-wife duo had been arrested, there was information that several rocket shells had already been smuggled to Naxals.

"The Naxals have only to fill in explosive material in these shells and use them against the security forces," he said, adding that precautionary measures have already been taken.

Brushing aside criticisms against the anti-Naxal 'Salwa Judum' movement in Chattisgarh, the Director General said such movements needed support from the Government as it was the people's voice against left-wing extremism.

"One should not think of scrapping the movement. If this movement is scrapped, people will never come forward and extend such wholehearted support," he said.

For the tribals involved in the movement, it would be either a meek surrender before the Naxal groups or fall prey to their bullets if the Government decides to withdraw support to the Salwa Judum movement, Sinha said.

The CRPF chief was responding to a question about the recommendations made by the Tribal Affairs Ministry to scrap the movement.

"In turn, we should be at the forefront of the movement which has seen a large number of tribals coming together on one platform against Naxals especially in the worst-hit Dantewada district of Chattisgarh," he said.

He said that with the expansion of CRPF role in counter-insurgency operations, the para-military forces had already operationalised a dedicated intelligence apparatus.

"We faced difficulties in getting intelligence inputs from various insurgency-hit states. Therefore, the CRPF decided to put in place its own intelligence wing as a "pro-active strategy" to minimise casualties and dependence on the state machinery," he said.

CRPF is fighting left-wing extremism in states like Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh and countering insurgency in several north-eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir.

It was given the task of tackling counter-insurgency following recommendations by the Subramanyam Committee, which went into the lapses of Kargil war.

Bureau Report

Anti-Naxal special desk set up in Home Ministry

New Delhi, Oct 25: To check Naxal activities in different parts of the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has decided to set up a special Naxal Desk and constitute an Empowered Group of Ministers (e-GoM).

The idea of setting up a Naxal Desk was put forth in August this year. The Desk will be headed by an Additional Secretary. Besides the Naxal Desk, there will be a mechanism for an inter-ministerial committee for carrying out a detailed review of the implementation of development schemes in the affected areas which will meet ahead of the quarterly meetings of the Coordination Centre on Naxalism.

The Task Force meeting on Naxalites scheduled for Friday will discuss the steps to be taken to combat Naxal violence. Till August this year 115 security personnel and 401 civilians were killed by Naxals as compared to 94 security persons and 364 civilians killed last year. Chhattisgarh, the worst affected state registered a sharp rise in the initial eight months of this year.

The Task Force on Naxalism was constituted in October 2004 under the aegis of the Special Secretary (Internal Security) to work out steps needed to curb the rise of Naxalism.

The Task Force comprises the nodal officers of the nine Naxal-affected States Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal and representatives of Intelligence Bureau, CRPF and Sashtra Seema Bal (SSB).

According to sources the idea of having an e-GoM was put forth by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to closely monitor the spread of Naxalite movement in the country. Many Naxal-hit states have decided to set up Special Forces for countering Naxal violence in their respective states.

Bureau Report

"Bullet from PSO's pistol killed Singh"

Prafulla Das

DGP rules out involvement of naxalites
The Hindu

BHUBANESWAR: In a clear shift, the Orissa Government said on Tuesday that Deputy Inspector-General of Police Jaswinder Singh, who was said to have been killed by suspected Maoists in Rayagada district on Monday, had fallen victim to the bullet of his personal security officer.

Director-General of Police Amarananda Patnaik told presspersons here that the DIG was hit by a bullet fired from the 9 mm pistol held by one of the two security officers who were accompanying the officer in a Bolero jeep.

The two PSOs were interrogated and it was revealed that a total of two bullets were fired. One of the bullets was fired from the pistol held by PSO Seshananda Sarangi. The second bullet was fired by the other PSO A.K. Sarangi from his AK-47 rifle.

"After the bullet fired from the gun of Seshananda Sarangi hit Singh, another bullet was fired by A.K. Sarangi to cover up the incident," Mr. Patnaik said. The Director-General said that both PSOs had been arrested and charged with murder. The police driver, who drove the vehicle, has been detained.

"The entire matter will be investigated by the Crime Branch to ascertain whether the firing was accidental or deliberate," Mr. Patnaik said, while completely ruling out the involvement of naxalites in the whole episode.

The body of the slain officer, who was in charge of the State's naxal-infested South-Western Range, has been sent to his native place, Hoshiarpur in Punjab.

The incident occurred around noon on Monday when the 1990 batch Indian Police Service officer was travelling from Sunabeda in Koraput district to Padmapur in Rayagada



Twist shocks DIG's hometown
I P Singh
[ 25 Oct, 2006 0155hrs IS TTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]



BODAL (HOSHIARPUR): The sudden twist in the Orissa DIG's killing, has his family members in this Punjab village fuming.

A day after Jaswinder Singh, southwestern range DIG who was heading the anti-Naxal operation, was killed while he was on his way to address a press conference in Rayagada district bordering Andhra Pradesh, Orissa DGP Amarananda Pattanayak on Tuesday said Singh was killed when his security guard's gun accidentally went off.

The shift in official version took Singh's family by surprise the 1990 batch IPS officer's death is just "an accident and he's not a martyr who died while combating Maoists". Orissa home secretary T K Mishra had said on Monday that an unidentified assailant fired two rounds on the DIG.

Demanding a probe into the matter, the DIG's father, honorary captain (retd) Hazara Singh said, "My son gave his life for the country. He (the DIG) had acted tough when he was the SP in the Naxal-infested area." Some relatives and villagers demanded a CBI probe into the incident.

Jaswinder's uncle Lashkar Singh wondered on the discrepancies between the two official versions. "May be the authorities are now trying to downplay the Maoist menace in Orissa," he said.

A day after the tragic incident, the shock and awe was palpable. Trying hard to come to terms, Hazara Singh recalled, "Jaswinder had told me about a month back that he was due for a promotion to the IG rank. We were expecting the good news of his promotion. But now our life is shattered."

Going down memory lane, the father narrated how Jaswinder made it to the IPS and before that to the bank probationary officer job. "His books are still lying here," he said. Jaswinder's friend Baldev Singh Balli, now PRO of Hoshiarpur, said Jaswinder was contemplating writing a book on Naxal problems.

Jaswinder's wife, Paramjit Kaur is an economic teacher in a college and their twins Prabh Simran Singh and Shubh Karman Singh are studying in Class XI. Jaswinder wanted to send the sons to the United Kingdom for higher studies, Hazara Singh said.



DIG was shot by his own PSO, say cops

Karn KowshikPosted online: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 at 0000 hrs

: Personal security officer confesses to shooting Singh in panic after fight with locals

HYDERABAD, OCTOBER 24: A day after Orissa Deputy Inspector General Jaswinder Singh was shot, and police claimed Maoists were responsible for the killing, his private security officer (PSO) has allegedly confessed to accidentally shooting Singh in a fit of panic.



Police have arrested Singh’s driver as well as the two gunmen assigned to him. Superintendent of Police (Rayagada) Arun Bhatia said: “During interrogations late last night, the guards confessed to having shot the DIG, and we have arrested them.’’ The man who allegedly pulled the trigger was Sub Inspector Sheshanand Sarangi.

Director General of Police Amarananda Pattnaik, who on Monday said Naxalites were behind the killing, said: “We are investigating the incident. They (the PSOs) say that it was accidental, but we are still investigating.” Pattnaik has ruled out any Naxalite involvement in the killing. Initial reports that Maoists had shot the DIG had set off a red alert, and neighbouring states had already started looking for his alleged killers.

Singh was travelling from Koraput to Rayagada in a Bolero jeep when the incident happened. Police officials said that he was stopped by some people demanding contributions for Kali Puja. The DIG reportedly stepped out of his car, and asked the crowd to disperse. Officials said that the crowd did not disperse, and there was an ‘altercation’ at the site. More locals gathered to around the DIG’s car, and since there were only four of them in the car, the locals got bolder.

People began pelting stones at the DIG’s group and his car. “Sarangi panicked and cocked his 9mm pistol,’’ said Bhatia. The DIG decided to get back into the car as his team was outnumbered. “As soon as they got back into the car, Sarangi pulled the cocked 9mm’s trigger by mistake. The bullet hit the DIG from a range of less than 12 cms.’’
While his driver rushed the DIG to a hospital in Rayagada, he was declared dead on arrival. The DIG’s guards first told the police that after the crowd threw stones, someone from the crowd also fired. As Rayagada and Koraput are Naxal-hit areas, it was first assumed that it was a Maoist trap. But police did not immediately believe the guards’ story, and detained the gunmen and the driver for questioning.

“These groups that collect funds are quite common, and are rarely armed,’’ said Bhatia. During the interrogation, the gunmen first had conflicting stories, but eventually admitted that the DIG had been killed by mistake. The other two policemen in the car were Ashish Sinha and Chandra Shekhar Behara.

A ceremony along with a Call of Honour was held for Singh today. His body has been taken to Vizag, from where it will be flown to Delhi on way to his native place, Hoshiarpur, in Punjab.

karn.kowshik@expressindia.com




'Friendly fire' killed Orissa DIG
Rajaram Satapathy

[ 25 Oct, 2006 0330hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

BHUBANESWAR: In a complete turn-around, the Orissa police chief on Tuesday said Jaswinder Singh, the southwestern range DIG who was heading anti-Naxal operation, was a victim of "accidental firing" by one of his personal security officers, and not "killed by Maoists".

The two PSOs, who accompanied Singh, were arrested and charged with murder. "Preliminary investigations indicate that the bullet was accidentally fired. But we are trying to find out whether it was intentional. Crime branch will take over the investigation," DGP Amarananda Pattanayak said in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.

The Orissa government on Monday had pointed fingers at Maoists for Singh's killing. Orissa home secretary T K Mishra had said an unidentified assailant fired two rounds at the DIG. Pattanayak, however, said, "We initially relied on the statements of Singh's PSOs. They attributed his death to the Maoists' firing."

However, Singh's family in Punjab refused to buy the DGP's version and demanded a probe. His father Hazara Singh said, "My son gave his life for the country. Earlier too, he had done a good job as SP in the Naxal-infested area."

According to the DGP, the incident took place around 11.45 am on Monday when the DIG's vehicle was stopped by some people demanding donation for a festival at Badakutinga village in Koraput. The DIG and the PSOs chased the people, who also threw stones.

While getting into the car, Singh was hit by a bullet from the 9mm revolver of one PSO S N Sarangi, the DGP said, adding that the revolver was not locked. Pattanayak said the PSOs then took Singh to Rayagada so that they could pass the blame on the Maoists.

"Two bullets were fired and the second one was fired from inside the vehicle to give credence to the Maoist angle," the DGP added.




Police probe motive in DIG shooting

Rakesh Padhi/Sampad Mahapatra

Watch story

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 (Rayagada/Bhubaneshwar):

SOURCE: NDTV

Investigators in Orissa are trying to find out whether personal bodyguards plotted to kill the DIG in Monday's fatal shooting.

It is still not clear just what happened and whether it was an accident or murder.

Initial reports said Naxal rebels shot at Jaswinder Singh, later reports said accidental gunfire from bodyguards killed him.

But the mystery surrounding the death of the DIG deepened with the police slapping murder charges against the two PSOs under section 302 of the IPC.

The driver who had misled the police by offering a concocted version of the incident is also under arrest.

The DGP who announced a crime branch probe into the matter refused to elaborate whether the gun went off accidentally or it was a pre-planned murder.

"Whether it was accidental or intentional is subject of investigation and it is unfair on my part to comment any further. Any negligence leading to death of a person can be termed murder," said Amaranand Patnaik, DGP, Orissa.

Fundamental questions

According to the police, one of the PSOs Sashanand Sarangi has confessed that the gun went off accidentally.

The second shot was fired from the AK-47 rifle at the disposal of the second PSO, Asish Sarangi apparently to give it an appearance of a naxal attack.

The DGP says it was the first shot fired by Seshanand, which had hit the DIG on his head.

However the incident raises fundamental questions at two levels. One, how reliable or skilled are these trained body guards and whether we can trust them to guard the VIPs or VVIPs.

Secondly, if it was a pre-planned murder what could have been the motive? Was it work-related stress or purely personal animosity?

There are also doubts in certain quarters about the new police version on accidental firing and the explanation forwarded by the police has only added to the confusion.

The slain DIG's body was given a martyr's honour before being sent to Visakhapatnam. It will be flown to Delhi.