Saturday, November 04, 2006

Delhi focus on "arrest of ideas"

Delhi focus on "arrest of ideas"

Special Correspondent

Free expression being stifled, complain thinkers


NEW DELHI: An echo of the anger being expressed on the Internet over "arrest of ideas" in different parts of the country — reflected recently by the detention of a publisher for selling books on Bhagat Singh, Marx and Lenin, and stoppage of a play dealing with the Mumbai mills — will be heard at the India Social Forum beginning here in the Capital this coming week.

This was decided at a gathering of activists who have been agitating for the past fortnight over the detention of Delhi-based publisher Sunita Narayan and confiscation of books from her stall at the Chandrapur Book Fair in Maharashtra on October 15.

Though they have been individually expressing their anger over the manner in which free expression was being stifled either by the State machinery or "vigilantism of right-wing non-State actors" over the Internet, the India Social Forum has brought them together in the hope of using the platform it provides to link up with similar endeavours across the country and build up public opinion against such attacks.

The immediate provocation is the experience of Ms. Narayan, the owner of Daanish Books.

Narrating what happened to her at Chandrapur in Maharashtra, she said the police confiscated books authored by Clara Zetkin, Bhagat Singh, Che Guevara, Baburam Bhattarai, Li Onesto, Anand Swarup Verma and Vaskar Nandy, though not one of the texts seized was proscribed or declared offensive by any State agency.

According to Ms. Narayan, the police insisted that she was Sunita, the widow of a slain naxalite from Jehanabad, and refused to accept her word that her husband was alive and that she was a native of Bhagalpur. "When I insisted that they were mistaking me for someone else, the police said that they would prove that I was Sunita from Jehanabad."

Though she was allowed to go after three days of detention, The police have registered a case against her under Section 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Give manpower to make police combative: Orissa Panel

Saturday November 4 2006 11:05 IST

BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Friday sought time to reply to the issues raised by the Assembly Standing Committee on Home regarding the steps taken by it to tackle Left-wing extremism in six Maoist-affected districts.

The Standing Committee, headed by former BJP minister Draupadi Murmu, had submitted a report to the Government after visiting the six districts, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh, Deogarh, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj.

A meeting was scheduled on Friday to discuss the issues raised by the Committee. However, the State Government officials wanted more time and sought postponement of the meeting.

The Committee felt that steps taken by the Government to tackle the Maoist menace in these tribal-dominated districts were inadequate. One of the major problems is the shortage of staff.

‘In many police stations, there is shortage of staff,’ Chairman of the Committee Murmu told this paper. Even sanctioned posts, which are vacant, have not been filled up, a member of the Committee said, and added that it is difficult to fight the Naxalites without adequate manpower.

Inadequate quantity of petrol for police stations is another problem, which has bogged down the force. Each police station is provided only 100 litres of petrol per month for maintaining law and order, regular patrolling, crime detection and VIP security.

Wondering how can police effectively function under these circumstances, the Committee has asked the Government to enhance the fuel quota for police stations.

Police stations also manage with outdated vehicles, Murmu said. New vehicles should be purchased and sophisticated weapons provided to make the force combative, she added. She underscored the need for opening of more outposts and training of personnel for tackling extremists.

Murmu, however, maintained that police stations have been fortified and modern weapons supplied. But there is need for more funds in these areas, she said, adding that 12th Finance Commission grants for this should be utilised fully.

The Committee also recommended that allocation per meal for persons detained in police haazats should be increased from the present Rs 2 to Rs 4 per day.

In its first report, the Committee had recommended that police stations in Naxalite-affected areas should have jeeps and bikes in excellent running condition and adequate fuel provision. Stating that modern weapons should be provided to police stations in Naxalite-hit areas to face any untoward incident, it had observed that these should also be fortified.

The Committee had recommended that austerity measures should be relaxed and more funds allocated to the department to cope with the problem of staff shortage.

Union Minister's mantra to wipe out Naxalites

Sanjeev Kumar Verma


RANCHI: Union minister of state for home Sri Prakash Jaiswal has urged the state governments, facing Naxalite menace, to adopt two-pronged strategy for wiping out the Naxalite problem from the face of the country.

On one hand, the state governments concerned should make full utilisation of central funds for undertaking largescale development works in Naxalite-infested areas so that poverty and unemployment, which are the root causes of Naxalite problem, could be minimised, and on the other hand, elaborate security arrangements should be made to counter forces which use violence as a means for creating hurdles in the way of these development works, Jaiswal said while talking to mediapersons at the Birsa Munda Airport here on Friday.


The Union minister was on his way back to New Delhi after a two-day visit to the state during which he campaigned for Congress candidate from Koderma parliamentary seat, Manoj Yadav.

The home minister opined that use of force against Naxalites could only be a short-term solution to the Naxalite problem and permanent solution was, he added, to remove the very causes, like poverty unemployment and regional disparities, which give birth to such problems.

Taking a dig at the tendency of state governments to post police officials in Naxalite areas as a punishment posting, Jaiswal said such tendencies could only aggravate the problem because it may hit the very morale of the officials who are posted in such areas.

"I think the most efficient officials should be posted in such areas so that Naxalite threat could be addressed properly," he added.

Commenting on the issue of alleged diversion of central funds meant for police modernisation by the previous NDA regime in the state, the Union home minister said instead of going into the misdeeds of the previous regime he was more interested in optimum utilisation of central funds by the present UPA regime in the state so that the police force could be modernised as per the exigencies of the time.

Replying to queries about his ministry's preparedness to extend help to state governments for launching air surveillance in Naxalite-infested regions so that security personnel could be well aware about the hideouts of Naxalites, Jaiswal said the Union home ministry was ready to fulfil all justified demands of the state governments in their fight against Naxalism.

IAF choppers to make rounds during Koderma bypoll IN Naxal-infested areas in the constituency

Koderma/Giridih (Jharkhand), Nov 04: Two Indian Air Force choppers would make rounds during the Koderma Lok Sabha bypoll on Monday with special vigil on Naxal-infested areas in the constituency.

"Booth-to-booth communication system has also been set up," Giridih Deputy Commissioner Vinay Kumar Ambast and Superintendent of Police Arun Singh told reporters at a joint news conference in Giridih.

The choppers would keep strict vigil on areas like Tisri Gauona, Devri (first zone), Bagodar, Birni, Saria (second zone), Pirtant, Nimiaghat, Dumri (third zone) to thwart any possible disturbance by the Maoist.

An estimated 13.49 lakh electorates are eligible for voting in 1443 booths spread across Bagodar, Gandey, Jamua, Rajdhanwar (in Giridih district), Barkatha (Hazaribag) and Koderma (Koderma) assembly segments.

Altogether 634 booths have been declared sensitive or hyper-sensitive where twenty seven companies of para-military forces were deployed, they said.

Prominent among the fourteen candidates in the fray are former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi (independent), Manoj Yadav of the Congress, Pranav Verma of the BJP and Rajkumar Yadav of the CPI (ML-Liberation).

Bureau Report

Stay in naxal-prone areas, kARNATAKA CM tells officials

Saturday November 4 2006 12:33 IST
SRINGERI: “Stay in naxal-prone areas and settle people’s problems,” Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy instructed officials. The Government is ready to solve any problem. I am also prepared to stay with the officials, the CM told reporters here on Friday.

He clarified that the government was committed to teach English from Standard I. It will not go back on its decision yielding to any pressure, he added.

The Government is ready for any discussion in this regard, he clarified. Replying to a question, he said the Congress is dreaming of the fall of the coalition government.

When his attention was drawn to the problem of areca growers, he said he had already clarified to the areca growers’ delegation that the Government would make all effort to help them.

He added that he would personally meet the Union Agriculture Minister and explain that the Centre must protect the interest of the growers.

No Naxal presence in dist: SP, Uttar Kannada

Saturday November 4 2006 12:12 IST

SIRSI: Ravi S, Superintendent of Police, Uttar Kannada district, has said that even though there was no presence of either Naxalites or terrorist activities in the district, strict and constant vigilance was being observed in the entire district, to prevent such possibilities.

He was speaking to reporters in the programme, ‘Meet the Press’, organised by DWJA, Uttar Kannada, at the DSP office, here on Thursday, after inaugurating the Traffic Safety week and release of CD and books relating to crime and others.

He said several checkposts were established at critical points of both, road and rail routes and with the help of Sea Bird authorities, ‘stray ship’ arrivals were being monitored through the radar system, to prevent the arrival of explosives in ships through sea routes. All illegal movements were being checked round the clock.

The SP said no proof was available regarding the stated roots and accomplice of Mohamed Riyaz of Bhatkal, who was wanted by the Mumbai police in the Mumbai serial blast case. He said it was true that Riyaz hailed from Bhatkal but had moved away a long time ago. No concrete proof were available regarding his base, he added.

Replying to a question, he said though the crime rate in the district, had reduced, the quantity and quality of brisk action, investigation and recovery had ‘doubled’.

Around 53 deaths and 22 injury cases had been reported in road accidents, due to iron ore transport lorries, in the last three years. To keep a check on the same, certain comprehensive plans and guidelines including ‘speed governors’, reflectors, indicators, etc, were prescribed/framed in the recent meeting held at Karwar recently, with the DC, transporters and others.

Parking lots for lorries at every stretch of 20 kilometres on highways, were also planned within the district boundaries, he added.

Ravi assured of fair investigation in every crime case and setting up women desks in the police stations as per the guidelines. He also stated that 69 different posts are vacant in the department, in the district, that would also be filled soon.

DSP Basha Sab, CPI N T Pramod Rao and DWJA president G Subray Bhat Bakkal, were present.

Red fight funds spent on cars

OUR CORRESPONDENT

Jaiswal:Against stringent laws
Ranchi, Nov. 3: Exploding a bombshell today, junior Union home minister Shriprakash Jaiswal accused the Arjun Munda-led previous state government of misusing funds allotted to Jharkhand for fighting the Naxalite menace.

Criticising the government for misusing funds, Jaiswal said: “The Munda government used the funds meant for fighting the Naxalites to buy swanky vehicles for the ministers and senior bureaucrats. It had nothing to do with the police modernisation programme. A huge amount earmarked for the purpose also remained unspent over the years.”

Jaiswal, however, remained tight-lipped when asked if the Centre would take any action against the previous Jharkhand government for misusing the funds.

“There is no point taking action now. This was done by the BJP-led government. It is already out of power. In democracy, masses are the supreme authority. Now that a new government has been formed here, we expect better results,” he said.

Jaiswal said there was a significant decline in the subversive acts of the rebels after the change of guard in the state and also praised the prompt police action.

Blaming poverty for the rebel menace, Jaiswal said the state government should focus on land reforms and ensure strict implementation of the Centre-sponsored poverty eradication schemes like Pradhan Manthri Gram Sadak Yojana and Rojagar Guarantee Yojana.

“The government should post competent officials to tackle the rebel menace. Posting in the Naxal areas should not be considered as a punishment,” he said.

Talking to The Telegraph this morning, Jaiswal, who was in Hazaribagh to campaign for the UPA candidate in the Koderma parliamentary seat, said the Centre would provide choppers for air surveillance in the states like Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh as part of the police modernisation programme.

“Our government believes in police modernisation through advanced training, sophisticated weapons and competent officials. We have given the rebel-ravaged states choppers on several occasions in the past to carry out air surveillance. But aerial attacks will be our last option. My government is competent enough to flush out rebels without stringent laws like Pota. We have already set an example by restoring normal situation in Mizoram without Pota or the likes,” he said.

The minister made a brief halt in Ranchi while returning to Delhi after campaigning for the Koderma bypoll. He claimed that UPA nominee Manoj Yadav was all set to win the elections.

Jaiswal said people would vote for Yadav because they know UPA is in favour of progress.

Physical test for SI selection from November 6

Saturday November 4 2006 00:00 IST
DHARMAPURI: A physical test for the post of Sub Inspector post of police in the district would be conducted in Salem from November 6 to 9.

The test would be conducted at the armed reserve ground, said Superintendent of Police H M Jayaram in a release on Friday.

The call letters have been sent to the applicants. In case anyone did not receive it, he could get the details from the administrative section of the district police office.

The candidates are requested to attend the test with required certificates, said the Superintendent of Police.

As many as 350 candidates including 120 girls, from the Naxal infested villages who were trained under socio economic development programme, sponsored by the District Rural Development Agency in the district, would also appear for the test, Jayaram added.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Police use dogs to fight Maoists

By C.K. Manoj , Correspondent



Patna: Bihar police are using stray dogs to counter ever-lurking attacks from well-equipped Maoist extremists.

Officers at Paraiya police station in Bihar's Gaya district, some 100 km from the state capital Patna, are sheltering as many as 36 street dogs to protect themselves from the trigger-happy Communist Party of India (Maoist) rebels.

The police spare a share of their daily food for the canines and in turn, the dogs are on round-the-clock patrol in and around the police station which is on the hit-list of the Naxalites.

"The dogs start barking the moment they sense any unusual activities around the police station and we become instantly alert.

"As such, their barks prove more helpful especially during night when the entire area remains engulfed in darkness owing to the poor power supply," said officer-in-charge of the Paraiya police station Arun Paswan.

The station does not have a generator while the power supply normally remains suspended at night.

In order to lure the stray dogs, officers have arranged a separate kitchen for them where they are served food in earthen pots especially brought for them every day. According to the officers, the dogs walk away after having their meals but return to do the "night shift" almost without fail.

"With limited manpower and resources, we can't keep vigil everywhere.

"So, we came up with the idea of taking the services of dogs and using their terrific smelling power in learning about the movements of the extremists in the region.

"What's wrong here? After all, dogs are men's best friend," said another officer Suresh Rajak.

Initially six dogs were "sheltered" inside the police station. Soon, more such dogs were 'tempted' to come in and allowed to take shelter, further boosting security.

Paraiya police adopted this idea after three policemen deployed at the station were killed in a Naxal attack last July, causing panic.

"The entire areas falling under this police station are considered an extremist belt that forced us to tame dogs inside to manage our own security," said a policeman.

Another one said, "There is a lot of hue and cry when the common villagers or leaders are killed in extremists' violence but has anyone ever cared about our own lives or security? We are obliged to make arrangements for our own security".

According to an official report, 17 out of total 38 districts of Bihar are badly infested by Naxal activities, the worst affected being Gaya, Aurangabad, Bhojpur, Jehanabad, Arwal, Kaimur, Rohtas, Nawada and Patna rural.

Central Bihar has an especially long bloody past.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Chhattisgarh home minister under attack for misconduct

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Controversy seems to dog Chhattisgarh Home Minister Ramvichar Netam. This time, he has attracted the ire of tribal legislators of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for allegedly abusing a senior.

Tribal leader and party MLA Devlal Dugga has alleged that Netam abused him this week when he brought up the law and order issue of Kanker district to the minister's notice.

The tribal leaders have threatened to launch a protest against Netam's misconduct with party leaders.

Netam is under flak within the party for failing to contain the spiralling Maoist violence in the state and the killing of civilians.

'Netam verbally abused me when I sought his help to tackle the crime graph in my home district Kanker. His misconduct with party leaders has crossed limits and it will be reported to the central leadership,' Dugga told reporters Thursday.

In August, relations between Netam and BJP state president Shiv Pratap Singh turned sour and the latter levelled serious corruption charges against him.

The BJP central leadership sacked Singh for showing his dissent against Netam in public and advised him to always report grievances to the party rather than going to the media.

Netam has always been in the thick of controversy for his conduct with party leaders and several times with media persons as well.

In late 2004, the party had stripped him of the revenue portfolio and retained him just as tribal welfare minister for hosting a dinner for BJP tribal MLAs in a bid to persuade them to rise in revolt against the party-run government.

Netam, a four-time party MLA and tribal leader from Surguja region, was elevated to home minister in June 2005.

Maoists block roads in Chhattisgarh to enforce strike

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Maoists of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) dug up roads and placed landmines at several busy areas in Chhattisgarh to enforce their weeklong strike to protest the state government's sixth anniversary celebrations.

The strike by the leftist extremist outfit in their hotbed in the southern parts began Nov 1, to coincide with the Nov 1-7 government functions at the headquarters of all the 16 districts. The functions are being held to showcase the development and progress achieved by the state since it was carved out from Madhya Pradesh in Nov 1, 2000.

Maoists have flooded the interior and inaccessible forested parts of the 40,000-sq-km Bastar region, that includes the worst-hit Dantewada district, with banners and posters asking people to boycott anniversary celebrations.

They have announced to completely halt normal life in Bastar during the celebrations and most transporters kept their vehicles off the road on the first day of the strike Wednesday.

According to home department officials, the Maoists have blocked roads in the interior Bastar areas with trees and dug up roads in some areas. They have also placed landmines at several busy places, especially where police and paramilitary forces are deployed.

'The CPI-Maoist asks people of Bastar not to join in the government's anniversary celebrations as it is fighting for a separate liberated Bastar state,' said banner and posters of the rebels.

Those going against the CPI-Maoist decision to boycott the functions will be produced at a `jan adalat', or public courts where Maoists punish people in public.

Chhattisgarh is among the worst Maoist insurgency hit states. Officials say 374 people, including 298 civilians, have been killed in the state in extremist violence till September.

Special Action Group to tackle Naxal menace in Vidarbha

Nagpur, Nov 02: A Special Action Group (SAG) of 300 specially trained armed police personnel would soon take on the Naxals in the extremist-infested districts of Eastern Vidarbha in Maharashtra, officials said on Thursday.

The SAG has been raised on the lines of 'Greyhounds' of Andhra Pradesh police to deal with Naxal violence, they said.

"After they complete their training, these police personnel would be deployed in most affected Gadchiroli, Gondia and Bhandara districts," Inspector General of Police, Anti-Naxalite Operations (ANO), Pankaj Gupta told a news agency.

Gupta said a total of 276 policemen along with 19 police sub-inspectors, four Deputy Superintendents of Police (DySP) led by an SP (Operation) are being provided special training.

The SAG will carry out intelligence-based operations against Naxalites in these areas.

It would be stationed in the city while about 15 to 20 teams would be sent to the affected areas for direct operations. These men are being provided training to combat Naxal terror through unconventional methods, Gupta said.

A training camp is in progress at Unconventional Operations Training Centre (UOTC) at the sprawling premises of State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) Group IV Centre at Hingana on the city outskirts, he said.

Gupta said the average age of the men in SAG is quite less and there is no inspector-level officer in it.

Bureau Report

Gunshots again in Nallamala

Thursday November 2 2006 10:49 IST
ONGOLE: The uneasy calm in Nallamala was once again shattered by the sound of gunfire on Wednesday evening.

The greyhound’s police and the Maoist Naxals engaged one another in an exchange of fire in Gurrapushala area of Yarragondapalem mandal that lasted for half-an-hour.

While unofficial sources claimed that three Naxalites had died in the encounter, the police did not confirm the deaths.

According to Markapur DSP RN Ammireddy, the greyhounds police, who were engaged in a routine combing operation in the area, were challenged by five Naxals, who were perched atop a hillock at about 5.30 pm. The police retaliated and the exchange of fire lasted for half-an-hour. Ammireddy said the combing operations have been intensified in the area to nab the fleeing Naxalites.

This is the third major Naxal-related incident in Nallamala region after the recent reversals for the Maoists.

Scam heat on Naga home minister

OUR CORRESPONDENT

Governor Shyamal Datta
Kohima, Nov. 1: Alleged violation of rules while awarding contracts for construction of permanent headquarters for 9 India Reserve Battalion (IRB) at Saijang, has brought home minister Thenucho and his department under the scanner. The Union home ministry has sanctioned Rs 92.64 crore for the project.

The anomaly was detected by Raj Bhavan. Governor Shyamal Datta later informed chief minister Neiphiu Rio about alleged violation of contract rules.

This was discussed at the State Level Project Implementation Committee (SLPIC) meeting recently, where the home department clarified that five contractors were shortlisted and work was allotted to the lowest bidder at 85 per cent above the Public Works Department (PWD) schedule of rate (SOR), 2004. The conditions were that work would be done on a turnkey basis and completed within 36 months from the date of issue of order. Another condition was that there would be no upward revision of estimates within the next six years.

It was accordingly approved by the departmental committee under the chairmanship of home minister Thenucho, when it should have been the chief engineer or head of the department concerned.

According to the SLPIC, work allotted at 85 per cent above SOR 2004 was on the higher side. After a marathon meeting, it had directed the department concerned to re-negotiate the rate with the contractor and review the terms and conditions of the contract as per norms before submitting it to the SLPIC at the earliest.

Reliable sources said the matter was most likely to be placed before the Union home ministry. They do not rule out a CBI probe. The home minister could not be contacted for his reaction.

Police chief faces flak

People’s Union for Civil Liberties has charged the Chhattisgarh government with misleading the people over the alleged atrocities committed by the Naga IRB jawans. Reacting to Chhattisgarh director general of police (DGP) O.P. Rathor’s letter to the Nagaland government, the PUCL said the reports it compiled were not false and baseless.

The Chhattisgarh DGP had written to the Nagaland government dismissing reports compiled by certain NGOs who have reportedly accused Naga jawans of mass atrocities such as rape, murder and other human rights violation on the pretext of flushing out Maoists in the Bastar area.

PUCL president, Rajendra K. Sail said reports of human rights violations in Chhattisgarh during the last 30 years have never been found to be false and baseless. “This is true not only in Chhattisgarh, but all over the country. These reports and record of the PUCL have stood the test of time and also the scrutiny of the courts of the country,” the human rights group said. It said various courts, including the Supreme Court, have acted on the PUCL reports and recommendation and passed landmark judgments upholding the findings. It charged Chhattisgarh with not adhering to any form of democratic process to find a peaceful solution to the “civil war- like situation” in Dantewada district.

It has demanded that the government stop using people as a shield and create armed village defence committees as part of its anti-Naxal operations. It has also called for withdrawal of all paramilitary forces from the Bastar and Dantewada areas.

The PUCL demanded that an FIR be registered for all crimes committed by Salwa Judum and security forces and the culprits be prosecuted. The PUCL has urged both the government and Maoists to find a political resolution to the problem.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"Raghu manufactured some parts of empty rocket shells in his Padi unit"

K.T. Sangameswaran

CHENNAI: Raghu alias Srinivasa Reddy of Nellore, a member of a Naxalite group who surrendered before the Andhra Pradesh police recently, had manufactured some parts of empty rocket shells and launchers in his unit, Bharath Fine Engineering, at Padi.

Initially, owners of six engineering firms located at Padi, Korattur and Mogappair were arrested for manufacturing parts of rockets and launchers for Raghu. In a bid to avoid suspicion, Raghu, an engineer, had "outsourced" some work to the six units. A senior police officer said Raghu was a key person in the naxalite outfit. His contacts with the banned outfit were mainly at the top level. He did not have any major contacts in Chennai.

Mixed lot


Police sources said since the components seized in the neighbouring State on September 7 were in a mixed form, it was difficult to distinguish those manufactured in Raghu's unit.

The rocket launchers were seized from Achambedu police station limits in Mehboob Nagar district of Andhra Pradesh. The Tamil Nadu Police are awaiting word from Andhra Pradesh on the future course of action. Bringing Raghu here is not ruled out, the officer said. The Andhra Pradesh police are yet to complete their investigation.

Naxalite's Red wrath whips mineral hub

- Production to be affected for 10-15 days
R. KRISHNA DAS

Raipur, Oct. 31: Suspected Maoist guerrillas late last night again raided National Mineral Development Corporation, the country’s largest iron ore producer and exporter, in Bacheli and destroyed the conveyor belt.

Production in the company is expected to remain affected for the next 10 to 15 days.

It is too early to calculate the loss. But it will be to the tune of crores,” an NMDC official said. The cost of the conveyor belt itself is reported to be in crores, the official added.

According to sources, armed rebels struck at the NMDC establishment in Dantewada district, around 450 km from here, around 8.45 pm and set the conveyor belt of Project 10 on fire. Unconfirmed reports said the rebels also triggered blasts. Sources said the kilometre-long belt was completely destroyed in the fire that could not be extinguished till late tonight.

NMDC officials, who did not wish to be named, said production would be affected for at least a fortnight as transportation at Project 10 would remain suspended.

This is the third major Naxalite attack on the corporation this year. In February, guerrillas had looted some 20 tonnes of explosives (unofficial reports said 50 tonnes) from the NMDC magazine and gunned down eight CISF personnel. In the last six months, the extremists have twice detonated blasts in the area surrounded by forest. Then too the conveyor belts were damaged, but only a portion.

Bastar inspector-general of police R.K. Viz neither denied nor admitted that it was a Maoist attack, stating that the officials would first investigate the matter.

The damage to the belt has come as another jolt for the NMDC management as the rebels have even cut off transportation facility by rail as well. Minutes after setting the belt on fire, the rebels removed a portion of track between Bhansi and Kamlur railway stations in Dantewada. A goods train with three engines and four wagons were derailed.

Sources said it would take at least two days to repair the fault as a major portion of track had been damaged besides overhead equipment. The transportation of iron ore to the Visakhapatnam port would be suspended for at least two days, causing severe losses to the corporation and railways, said an NMDC source.

Manhunt on to nab Naxalite who killed brother of MLA

Wednesday November 1 2006 11:50 IST

VIJAYAWADA: The police have launched a massive manhunt to nab the Maoist, who shot Pagadala China Rangaiah, elder brother of Giddaluru MLA Pagadala Ramaiah on Monday night.

MLA’s elder brother, who was a ration shop dealer and an agriculturist, was shot from close range in Chinaganapalli village of Racharla mandal by Maoists, who entered the village at about 9.30 pm on Monday night. The police suspect that the murderous act was the handiwork of the Maoist action team led by Nallamala East Area secretary Tallapalli Panduranga Reddy alias Sagar.

The attack came at a time when the Maoists had suffered some crippling blows. The Maoists had lost State Secretary Madhav and eight others in a major encounter on July 24 in Nallamala forests.

Earlier, they had lost State Committee member Matta Ravi Kumar and recently, top Naxal Samala Venkatesam alias Sudarsan was killed in Nallamala forests.

The recent uncovering of the rocket launcher supply chain and unearthing of several arms dumps had given the impression that the Maoist influence on Nallamala was on the wane.

However, killing has sent shockwaves among the general public.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Two Maoists killed in Chhattisgarh

Posted by admin on 2006/10/31 11:55:02
Raipur, Oct 31 (IANS) Two Maoists were killed and several others injured early Tuesday after a hideout in a forested stretch of southern Chhattisgarh was raided, police said.

"Two rebels were shot dead and many others sustained bullet wounds in a pre-dawn battle in Narayanpur area in Bastar region as police opened fire on a hideout," a senior police officer told IANS over telephone.

"We suspect the casualties in the enemy camp are higher as blood was found across the gun battle site, but we recovered only two bullet-ridden bodies," the officer added.

Chhattisgarh is the worst Maoist insurgency hit Indian state and officials admit that 374 persons, including 298 civilians, have been killed in Maoist violence till September.

Woman maoist killed in encounter

Tuesday October 31 2006 12:25 IST
UNI

WARANGAL: One woman naxal belonging to CPI (maoist) party was killed in an encounter with the police near Narlapur dense forest area at tadwai mandal in this district on Tuesday.

Police said the five naxals had opened fire on the special police while combing the forest. In retaliation, police opened fire and killed the maoist action team member Sulochana.

The slain naxal was the wife of maoist action team commander Kiran. Eight kit bags, one 303 and one carban were recovered from the place. The other four naxals escaped from the scene.

Maoists gun down MLA’s brother

Tuesday October 31 2006 11:49 IST

ONGOLE: Naxalites of the CPI (Maoist) gunned down Pagadala Chinna Rangaiah, elder brother of Giddalur MLA Pagadala Ramaiah, at Chinaganapalle in Racharla Mandal of Ongole district on Monday night.

Nine armed Naxalites came to the village around 9 pm and called out China Rangaiah, a ration dealer. Three Naxalites shot him from close range killing him on the spot. Rangaiah is survived by his wife and three children.

The Naxalites warned the villagers not to inform the police about the incident.

Incidentally, another associate of Ramaiah had been killed some time ago. Both incidents took place in the Giddalur Assembly constituency.

Earlier, Naxal-related violence was confined to Pullalacheruvu and Yerragondapalem mandals in Nallamala forest region of Prakasam district. But, of late, the Naxalites have shifted their operations to Giddalur region.

Monday’s incident was the biggest Naxal-related incident since the killing of top leader Matta Ravi Kumar.

Meanwhile, a red alert has been sounded in Kurnool district following the incident. Giddalur borders Kurnool district. Nandyal OSD, Rajasekhara Babu told this website's newspaper they had stepped up security for MLAs in Nandyal division.

Naxals Blow up Train Track; Blow up Building

Patna: October 31, 2006

Consistent with their history and philosophy of violence and terrorism, Maoist extremists in Bihar unleashed a reign of terror by blasting railway tracks, government building, and a series of explosions to mark the statewide bandh called by them to press for their demand of release of some of their arrested leaders.

Using a powerful remote-operated dynamite, the Naxals blew up a railway track on Narkatiaganj-Bagaha section in West Champaran district causing derailment of the 449 up Sonepur-Gorakhpur passenger train.

The incident occurred on early Monday morning causing a panic in the train. Several passengers were hurt in the melee as two bogies sustained some damages resulting in disruption in traffic for hours.

Following the incident, the authorities cancelled several trains on Mughalsarai-Barkakhana section though traffic on other lines remained unaffected.

In another incident, more than 50 extremists blew up a Forest Department building in Ramnagar after completely destroying the furniture and office equipment. A three-year old boy who lived nearby was said to be hurt in the blast.

Meanwhile, in Mahua in Vaishali district, the police recovered a number of fake bombs planted at strategic locations apparently to create terror in the region. The police also recovered Naxal literature from all crime scene.

Alarmed by the Naxal threat across the state and the upcoming 'Kranti Diwas' sponsored by them for November 7, the state government has cancelled all leaves for Bihar's top officials, Home Secretary Afzal Amanullah said on Monday.

Naxals Blow up Train Track; Blow up Building

Patna: October 31, 2006

Consistent with their history and philosophy of violence and terrorism, Maoist extremists in Bihar unleashed a reign of terror by blasting railway tracks, government building, and a series of explosions to mark the statewide bandh called by them to press for their demand of release of some of their arrested leaders.

Using a powerful remote-operated dynamite, the Naxals blew up a railway track on Narkatiaganj-Bagaha section in West Champaran district causing derailment of the 449 up Sonepur-Gorakhpur passenger train.

The incident occurred on early Monday morning causing a panic in the train. Several passengers were hurt in the melee as two bogies sustained some damages resulting in disruption in traffic for hours.

Following the incident, the authorities cancelled several trains on Mughalsarai-Barkakhana section though traffic on other lines remained unaffected.

In another incident, more than 50 extremists blew up a Forest Department building in Ramnagar after completely destroying the furniture and office equipment. A three-year old boy who lived nearby was said to be hurt in the blast.

Meanwhile, in Mahua in Vaishali district, the police recovered a number of fake bombs planted at strategic locations apparently to create terror in the region. The police also recovered Naxal literature from all crime scene.

Alarmed by the Naxal threat across the state and the upcoming 'Kranti Diwas' sponsored by them for November 7, the state government has cancelled all leaves for Bihar's top officials, Home Secretary Afzal Amanullah said on Monday.

NAXALS planted time bomb at BDO office gate

Alok Mishra
[ 31 Oct, 2006 0349hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]


HAJIPUR: Despite red alert sounded by the state government in Naxal-affected districts including Vaishali following 24-hour bandh call given by CPI(Maoist) to protest alleged torture of its leaders, CPI(Maoist) activists managed to plant time bomb on the main gate of the BDO's office, Mahua and Mahua police station besides pasting posters in the locality late on Sunday night.

Though the bombs were later found to be fake ones, it kept the officials including administrative and police on tenterhooks throughout the day on Monday.

However, Vaishali SP Anupma S Nilekar told TOI that they were not original bombs as later it was detected that the containers were filled with sand. She said this came to light when anti-bomb squad from Patna reached the spot and checked the bombs.

Nilekar said it would be investigated how the fake bombs were placed there.

Police sources revealed that they detected time bomb planted at the main gate of BDO office and one of the gates of Mahua police station in wee hours of Monday.

Posters carrying messages like "Mine bombs hai, aj Bihar bandh hai" (these are mine bombs as today is Bihar bandh)."

Panic prevailed among the policemen and officials when they came to know about the bombs, with a time device and wires fitted in it.

As news of the bombs spread, people assembled in large numbers to look at the two bombs. The cops had a tough time in controlling the mob.

Such was the terror that none of the policemen dared to put water on the bombs, Mahua SDO Udai Pratap Singh told The Times of India.

He said that people became panicky at ticking sound of the watch that was fixed on the containers.

Singh said that he informed Vaishali DM Lallan Singh and SP Anupma S Nilekar about the presence of the bombs.

A bomb disposal squad from Patna rushed to Mahua to defuse the explosives, the SDO said, adding that patrolling had been intensified and vehicles were being thoroughly.

Some of the staff at the BDO office and police station disclosed that this had to happen as there was no night-guard either in BDO or SDO offices.

Most of them have gone on leave on Chhath while homeguard jawans were on strike for a month.

This fact was also corraborated by Mahua SDO, who said that he had written letters to Vaishali district magistrate, apprising him about lack of manpower in the office.

Meanwhile, another such device was found right in the middle of the road at Chaksikandar in Biddupur block of Hajipur on Monday.

Maoist bandh in Jehanabad, Arwal peaceful

Satyendra Kumar

[ 31 Oct, 2006 0350hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]


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JEHANABAD: The bandh called by the outlawed CPI(Maoist) evoked mixed response in Jehanabad and Arwal and passed off peacefully amid tight security arrangements.

However, according to informed sources, little impact of the Maoists' call for bandh, particularly in Jehanabad and Arwal, which are considered strongholds of the CPI(Maoist), is attributed, in the main, to the change in police strategy. The police have changed their present pace of anti-Naxal operations to a more focussed one with the help of intelligence inputs received from across of the state on the Naxal activities.

Sources said the police are now in a better position to pinpoint the movement of Naxal squads due to an improved information network.

In the context of bandh of October 30, too, intelligence agencies had posed the Magadh range police with advance information that Maoists have, of late, stepped up their nocturnal activities in Jehanabad and Arwal and were planning to react violently to the recent arrest of some of their top leaders including Osho and Sheila Marandi sources said, adding it was due to advance intelligence reports that police personnel were put on high alert in the twin districts and security of the vulnerable police stations and pickets entrusted to SAP and STF.

In fact, it was on the basis of intelligence information that the Jehanabad town was literally taken over by the police since Sunday evening. The police under took massive cordon and search operations in both the districts besides intensifying mobile patrolling to deny entry to suspected Maoists. A senior official said the sensational Maoist attack on the Jehanabad jail on November 13, 2005, has, in fact, opened the eyes of the government to new possibilities and to the urgent need of a well-developed intelligence network which was the backbone of the counter-revolutionary operations.

Monday, October 30, 2006

24-hour naxal bandh

Monday, October 30, 2006 07:38:25 am

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The banned Maoist outfit, CPI (Maoist) has called for a 24-hour bandh on Monday (Oct 30) in 4 states-Jharkhand, Bihar, Chattisgarh and Orissa.

The bandh is called by the naxals to protest the recent arrest of its top Maoist leaders. While Shela Marandi of Nari Mukti Sangh was recently arrested by Orissa police, another top maoist leader was also arrested by the Bihar police.

The Bihar Police has sounded a high alert in the naxal-infested northern and southern parts of the State.

Jharkhand and Bihar police are taking adequate precautions in view of the bandh. Extra precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of railway lines since the railways are often targeted by the naxals

Security Tight for Bihar Bandh Called by Maoists

Patna: October 30, 2006

The state government has issued a high alert notice to all district officials in view of the Bihar bandh announced by the Maoists for Monday and has ordered sealing of Bihar-Nepal border to prevent influx of Maoist guerillas from the Himalayan neighbor.

Security has also been beefed up along the railway tracks in areas particularly prone to Naxal violence including Gaya, Jehanabad, Nawada, Madhubani, Sitamarhi, East and West Champaran, and Kishanganj.

Director General of Police (DGP) Ashish Ranjan Sinha, in a faxed notification to all district offices, ordered close vigil on all railway and bus stations and deal with any insurgent activity with an iron hand while also putting 23 companies of Central Reserve Protection Force (CRPF) and 5,000 Special Auxiliary Police (SAP) jawans on alert.

Sinha also appealed to the people to go about doing their businesses without any fear and asked them to contact police in the event of any untoward incident.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Hard-core Naxalite Sreenivas grilled

Sunday October 29 2006 11:41 IST

BELLARY: The hard-core Naxalite and one of the main accused of Paritala Ravi murder case, Sreenivas was thoroughly interrogated by the district police on Saturday.

The accused Julakanti Sreenivas Reddy alias Moddu Sreenu was brought to the city with tight security. He was taken to some of the secret places in the city.

He is one of the suspects in murder of R K (Rayalaseema King), a former PW leader of Anantapur district and mentor of Paritala Ravindra.

Sreenivas is facing murder charges of Malepati Venkateswara Rao, a close associate of Paritala Ravi and former hard-core Naxalite on October 9, 2004 in the city. Malepati Venkateswara Rao was gunned to death, when he was on his morning walk near VIMS, here. The accused, Sreenivas along with G Suryanarayana Reddy alias Suri, P Narayana Reddy, Damodar Reddy and others indiscriminately opened fire on Malepati Venkateshwara Rao that day, police sources said.

The accused was arrested recently in Andhra Pradesh and kept in the Fazal Haque sub-jail.

In last February, a police team from the city went there with a prisoner’s body warrant issued by the city local court and requested for Moddu Sreenu in connection with RK murder case.

But, the Superintendent of Sub-Jail Fazal Haque said the accused health condition was not good and he could not be handed over to them in the present condition.

That time doctors had advised complete rest for Moddu Sreenu for some more time. But, this time the officials of AP police handed over him to Bellary police, for one-day interrogation on the basis of prisons body warrant. After his interrogation the accused was handed over to AP police.

The accused was brought to city with tight security of over 100 police personnel, including the newly formed Anti-Naxal Forces.

Watch Tower: India on cross roads looking for a saviour

Any government in office will have to move fast to check growing divide between the poor and rich as well as bring about a second green revolution to feed the growing population and keep inflation in check- Brij Bhardwaj

India is a study in contrasts as it moves ahead in the 21st century to occupy its rightful place as a major power in Sough East Asia, as well as a major player on the international scene. It is taking rapid strides on the economic front, but with every step forward it is also facing a major handicap in terms of poor infrastructure, growing disparities in income and major divide between the rural and urban India.

While the urban sector is moving fast to catch up with affluent West in terms of consumption of luxury items, the rural India is being pushed deeper and deeper into bankruptcy as farming is becoming uneconomic because of dwindling size of land holdings, high cost of inputs and vagaries of weather which makes agriculture into a big gamble, absence of easy credit and dominance of middlemen who pocket major gains instead of giving a fair price to farmers.

It is a tragedy that after more than half a century of independence, the nation is facing serious food shortages, rising number of suicides by farmers and other signs of mismanagement of agriculture sector which can create serious problems in future. Agriculture is not the only sector facing crisis. Civic administration has virtually collapsed making our major metro cities into glorified slums, rising number of illiterates, poor health care crisis on power front as well as in supply of drinking water to our millions are other problems urging for solution.

It is feared that unless the country moves forward for drastic changes we may be faced with a major crisis in which a major conflict may develop between the haves and have nots. On one hand we find apartments costing few crores being grabbed even before they are ready for occupation while on the other we have over thirty per cent of population living below poverty line that is with a income of less than one dollar a day. It can be anybody guess how long the conflict between the poor and rich develop into an armed confrontation.

There are many sings of it on the horizon. The rise in Naxalite movement in different parts of the country where rural poor and tribals have taken to the gun having failed to get justice through normal channels.

The demands of tackling violent groups within the country as well as terrorism have stretched our Army and paramilitary forces to a point where they have to deal with growing unrest in lower ranks which lead in many cases to a jawan turning his gun on his superior officers instead of hunting the terrorists.

These are signs that normal remedies like providing opportunity to vote out any Government after five years in case they fail to deliver is no more acting as a safety device capable of keeping tempers within limits. In such a situation any government in office will have to move fast to check growing divide between the poor and rich as well as bring about a second green revolution to feed the growing population and keep inflation in check. The signs of this growing conflict cannot be missed and are obvious to every thinking person capable of analyzing the signs on the horizon. The contribution by our large educated middle class, the growing number of industrialists with international ability and ambitions, the growing number of people who make it into the super rich class may be a matter of pride, but it is also a cause of worry unless we move fast to check major imbalances.

To meet the needs of growing poor, mere slogan shouting or commitment to common man will not do as the crisis has become critical. It will be a tragedy if we miss the opportunity to take this country ahead as a modern nation with adequate service for all as advantages of largest young population, a growing economy and prospects of becoming a service center for the world are offering us an opportunity which comes very rarely in the life of a nation and if missed may turn us into a sick country and sick economy instead of a world power.

Indian budgets are reflecting a growing expenditure on security, but this instead of improving the situation on the ground is leading to greater unrest and fear among the population. The remedy is not easy as political parties have stopped thinking beyond the usual hackneyed schemes, which have not worked in the past and are not expected to work in future also. With political groups busy in nursing their constituencies based on religion, caste and tribal loyalties, any solution will not be easy. The only hope is that some well meaning young people will take up the challenge and try to break the shackles which have overtaken the existing political parties.

The few examples are available in different parts of the country where individuals working on their own have offered a better life to a particular group or community, but such examples fade into insignificance as compared to a large number of examples where people have been cheated or corrupt bureaucrats and politicians have robbed the nation. The country certainly needs someone who will lay more stress on means instead of achievement of goal like Gandhi, but such personalities are extremely rare, but India needs them badly at this crucial juncture.

NPA

100 Naxals on govt 'hit list'

Vishwa Mohan
[ 30 Oct, 2006 0041hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]


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NEW DELHI: Centre and Naxal-affected states have drawn a 'hit list' of 100 top Maoists who have to be neutralised as part of an aggressive strategy to tackle the serious internal security threat.

Law enforcement agencies have been asked to target the 100 'A List' red ultras on a priority basis in what also marks the burial of the earlier approach to engage the Maoists in talks.

The list, comprising Maoists engaged in a number of violent incidents, exchanged hands for the first time among senior police officers drawn from nine states worst affected by 'red terror' during a day-long meeting here on Friday.

Although names of the listed Naxal leaders were not immediately known, they were, sources in the home ministry said, mainly those identified by Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the respective intelligence wings of the nine states as members of 'military unit' of the CPM.

The group was formed in September, 2004, with the merger of two prominent Naxal outfits People's War Group (PWG) and the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC). "Nodal officers of the states discussed the strategy to neutralise all the listed extremists in a co-ordinated manner.

Since the Maoist leaders change their bases frequently, the states have been asked to follow them using each other's intelligence till the time they are nabbed," said an official .

Sharing of the list assumes significance in view of the Centre's insistence to launch a coordinated attack on extremists across state boundaries ever since the merger of PWG and MCC. It had been a major cause of concern for the home ministry as the states, so far, were not as forthcoming in sharing details as they did during Friday's meeting.

Besides sharing the list, officials of Chhattisgarh and CRPF were specifically asked to remain on high alert apprehending major attack on activists of 'Salva Judum' (people's movement against Naxals) in coming days.

"These documents listed 'Salva Judum' as the Maoists' number one enemy along with state police," said the official, adding that the prevailing peace could be dubbed the "lull before the storm".

There had been 1,149 incidents of Naxal violence till September this year. The figure, however, shows a slight decline in the number of incidents this year as there had been 1,274 incidents during the corresponding period in 2005.

Karnataka Intensifies Combing Operations in State

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UNI

Bangalore, Oct 29: The Karnataka Government has intensified combing operations across the state in the wake of the arrest of two Pakistani terrorists in Mysore yesterday, Home Minister M P Prakash said on Saturday.

Talking to reporters here after attending an official meeting on the Naxalite issue, he said, ultras might be planning to spread out to Mangalore, Hubli and Dharwad and hence the Government was conducting search operations intensively.

The Minister said some vital information was revealed by the terrorists during interrogation. However, he refused to divulge details, stating that it would not be proper to reveal all the information as it might hamper further investigation and some infiltrators could even escape.

''Mysore is now in an onward march in economic growth and is becoming an IT and BT hub...it's likely to be in the list of terrorists,'' he said.

Mr Prakash said the Government had appointed a committee of officials, headed by Revenue Principal Secretary S M Jamdar, to visit the naxal-hit district of Chikmagalur. The Committee would go to the district in a week and camp there to solve the grievances of the residents on the spot.

He said the Government was making all efforts to solve the naxal issue once and for all in the next few months.

The meeting on the naxal issue, chaired by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, did not take up the arrest of terrorists for discussion. It would take another day or two to gather more information and a discussion was possible only after that, he added.

Documents found from residence of terrorist's kin

UNI

Kozhikode (Kerala): Police on Saturday raided the residence of a relative of Muhammed Fahd, the suspected Al-Badr extremist arrested in Mysore, and confiscated some incriminating documents.

The raid by a joint Kerala-Karnataka police team was continuing at Kappad in the district, police said.

Fahd was arrested along with another terrorist, Mohd Ali-Hussain, in an encounter at Mysore early yesterday. Fahd is the son of Abdulla Koya, who migrated to Pakistan in 1971.

Koya was living in Kappad before he went to Pakistan.

Fahd, who was granted 45 days visa to see his grandparents one and a half years back, overstayed, violating the norms.

Mysore city corpotation issued birth certificate to terrorist

UNI

Mysore: Taking advantage of the loopholes in the system and greasing the palm of officials, one of the terrorists arrested here had procured a birth certificate from the Mysore City Corporation (MCC), while the other, a school drop out, had got a SSLC marks card.

The seized articles, which included Al-Badr letter heads, a laptop containing vital information about the terrorist plots and nearly 2,000 telephone numbers, CDs on how to make bombs, satellite phone, chemicals used in making bombs, AK 47 rifle and pistols, also included a birth certificate issued in the 'Indian' name of Mohammad Fahad.

The certificate was issued by the Mysore City Corporation on July 26 last, stating that the ultra was born in Mysore. It was given in the name of Mohammed Koya -- the name Fahad used in India. His passport, issued by the Pakistan Government, contained no stamping, indicting that the insurgent had sneaked into the country.

Many other documents in his possession were also fake. It included a fake identity card, establishing that Fahad was an assistant clerk in the Jammu and Kashmir Department of Education.

Despite being a school drop out, Mohammad Ali Hussain, the second ultra nabbed, could get a Secondary School Leaving Certificate from the Karnataka Secondary Education Board using fabricated records.

The seized articles also included three books -- 'Osama bin Laden I Know' written by Peter Burge, 'Guerilla' written by John L Anderson and an Urdu book. They also had in their posession a copy of the Holy Koran, besides many credit and debit cards, and bank pass books.

Police were yet to ascertain who helped the extremists locally in getting the certificates. ''It will take us at least four days to make these two reveal something substantial,'' a top police official said.

Suvarna, the owner of the two-room house, which the ultras had rented for Rs 1,200 with Rs 20,000 as deposit, was shocked to learn about the developments. She said some policemen had come in search of Fahad regarding 'visa matters'.

Guilty of complicity

October 30, 2006

http://dailypioneer .com/


KPS Gill

It is truly astonishing that a man who has lied so often and so obviously on the subject, should still be constantly sought out for his opinion and assessment on the course of terrorism in the South Asian region and, in fact, the world. It is, moreover, incomprehensible that world leaders still tolerate, acquiesce in, and even encourage this man's continuous mendacity, his baseless boasting, and his incessant and false posturing. Gen Pervez Musharraf must be one of the few dictators in the world who has made such an utter mess of his country, and of regions well beyond, during his tenure, and still gets such excellent Press globally, and constant support and praise from the leaders of the 'free world'.


In return, Gen Musharraf harangues and threatens the very leaders and nations that support him and his perverse regime and its monstrous intelligence wing, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), claiming that the West would be 'brought to its knees' by terrorism, if Pakistan and the ISI did not support the 'Global War on Terror'.


Gen Musharraf is, in fact, the most effective agency of Pakistan's propaganda machine, and has relentlessly propagated fabrications and half-truths, largely or entirely unrelated to the situation on the ground, and that prey on public, Western - and particularly American - ignorance. The sheer brazenness of these fabrications, and the Pakistani propagandist' s strategy of offence as the best form of defence, is illustrated by Gen Musharraf's recent counter to Indian allegations of Pakistan's role in terrorism, to which he responded, "There are 21 such places in India where violence continues. The situation in Assam is also visible. So New Delhi should first correct its own matters and then talk to Pakistan."


The reference to Assam is significant: First, it seeks to divert attention from the core problem of Pakistan-backed terrorism in widening areas of the country. Second, it brushes under the carpet the fact that the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), the principal insurgent group in Assam, and the lesser surviving groups in the State, all secure operational bases and safe haven in Bangladesh and also receive significant assistance, weaponry, training and tactical advice from the ISI-DGFI (Directorate General of Forces Intelligence, the ISI's Bangladeshi counterpart) combine that has kept these movements alive long after their complete loss of public support and their abandonment of the original ideology and mandate for which they were purportedly created. In this, consequently, Gen Musharraf is essentially pointing to problems that his country has at least some role in keeping alive.


The mischief and mendacity in Gen Musharraf's reference to Assam become clearer when they are taken in the context of an earlier statement (on August 28) by Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tasneem Aslam who declared authoritatively, "India remains afflicted with several insurgencies, including in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Bundelkhand, Gorkhaland, Bodoland and Khaplang, which are being suppressed by force."


The audacity of the statement is startling - not even the smallest effort has been made to check out facts before such a statement is issued at the level of the Government. For instance, Bundelkhand (in central India) has never been the location of an insurgency; 'Gorkhaland' is not a location, but was the demand of a brief movement by people of Nepali extraction living in a small area around Darjeeling in West Bengal, which was resolved as far back as 1988. The insurgents in Nagaland have been in a continuous cease-fire and process of negotiations with the Government for the last nine years.


The major parties to the Bodoland movement have settled for peace with the Government. And finally and most barefaced of all, Khaplang is the name of a factional leader of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim, one of the militant groups in Nagaland currently negotiating with the Government, and not of a place or even an insurgent movement. And yet, nearly two months after this statement was made, none of this has been publicly challenged, no call for explanations has been made by India or demanded by an alert and informed media. The statement, however, will have worked its damage, projecting the idea of an India that must answer for the multiplicity of insurgencies on its soil, rather than a Pakistan that needs to explain its role in a specific set of terrorist movements and actions.


The sudden emphasis on insurgencies in India's North-East, rather than any other regions afflicted by comparable problems, is not accidental, and is significant in both Ms Aslam's statement and Gen Musharraf's specific reference to Assam. This is evidently part of a strategy to shift focus towards an ethnically and geographically distinct region in India, and may well be a prelude for greater covert activity by Pakistani and Bangladeshi intelligence, through local militant groups including the ULFA, in the foreseeable future.


This brazenness is directly related to India's failure to expose Pakistani propaganda, and to adequately demonstrate to the world, Pakistan's continuing role as the source of Islamist terrorism in India and internationally, and of support to terrorist groups across India's North-East. This is despite the immense volumes of hard evidence that is available in terms of arrested cadres from Pakistan and their narratives of Pakistani military and intelligence involvement in their recruitment, training, arming and deployment; the thousands of clearly identifiable weapons and tonnes of RDX, detonators, communications equipment and other materials, overwhelming proportions of which could be traced back to Pakistan with sufficient forensic attention and international cooperation.


In effect, India is part of the conspiracy of silence and appeasement that has allowed Pakistani deniability and falsification to flourish. Through the current 'peace process' and the charade of the 'joint mechanism' for counter-terrorism India continues to provide international legitimacy to a terrorist state and Gen Musharraf's criminal regime.


These are the circumstances - our ignorance, our indifference, our pusillanimity, our inability to understand and neutralise the strategic intent of Pakistan's propaganda and terrorist machinery - that create the enveloping circumstances which allow Pakistan to remain the principal breeding ground of Islamist terrorism in south Asia. India's security forces are constantly called upon to make sacrifices for the defence of the country against Pakistan-backed terrorism; thousands of security personnel and even larger numbers of innocent civilians have lost their lives in Pakistan's covert war on India. To continue to give Pakistan and its leadership the latitude it currently enjoys is nothing less than criminal complicity in this enterprise of terrorism. India's political leadership and the higher echelons of its policy establishment are squarely guilty of this complicity.