Friday, December 29, 2006

Minor girl sustains injury in police-Maoists gun battle

By Indo Asian News Service

Malkangiri (Orissa) Dec 29 (IANS) A minor girl sustained bullet injury during a gun battle between the police and Maoists rebels here, police said Friday.

Acting on a tip-off, a special party of police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) raided a Maoist camp in Jineliguda forest near Motu police station, some 100 km from the district headquarter of Malkangiri, a senior district police official told IANS.

About 30 rebels opened fired on the police party which retaliated. Nearly 300 rounds of fire were exchanged between them.

Police spotted the seven-year-old girl identified as Basanti Madakami crying near the site. It was not immediately known who fired at her.

The girl was admitted to district hospital for treatment.

Police have seized three pairs of Maoists uniform and some other essential commodities from the site.


Copyright Indo-Asian News Service

Home Ministry kept on tenterhooks after Mumbai, Malegaon blasts

New Delhi, Dec 30. (PTI): The Mumbai serial train blasts that threatened to derail the Indo-Pak dialogue process and the Malegaon explosions kept the security establishment on tenterhooks during the bygone year, which also witnessed Naxal violence, insurgency in the North East and communal troubles.

After the investigations into the 7/11 train explosions in Mumbai, which left 200 people dead and hundreds injured, security agencies pointed an accusing finger at elements in Pakistan for their role in the blasts.

Pakistan, which denied the accusations, later agreed to the setting up of a joint working group with India on counter terrorism that led to the revival of the Foreign Secretary-level talks.

Jammu and Kashmir remained in the news for terror attacks on soft targets by ISI-sponsored Lashker-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Al-Badr and Hizbul Mujahideen terror outfits even as the Home Ministry reported a decline in 'fidayeen' (suicide) attacks during the year.

Security forces neutralised 516 terrorists including 45 top self-styled commanders and arrested 348 militants. The security establishment also found a decline in infiltration from across the western border though there was growing concern over the strategies being adopted by terror groups.

Militancy in the North East kept raising its head as extortions and bomb blasts in Nagaland, Manipur and Assam continued to give headaches to the paramilitary and armed forces. The Naxal problem was quite pronounced in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand causing higher casualties among civilians.

All these developments had an impact on the man heading the Home Ministry. Shivraj Patil remained a beleaguered Minister for a span of time amid growing demands for his removal by the Opposition and a not-so-favourable disposition towards him in sections within the ruling UPA.

Demolition of a 'dargah' by the authorities in Vadodara sparked communal violence that forced the Gujarat Government to deploy the Army after para-military forces and local police failed to contain the situation.

Desecration of a statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar in Kanpur led to violent protests in Maharashtra.

The Home Ministry grappled with terrorist violence in the hinterland by LeT and JeM, which use the territory and elements in Bangladesh and Nepal for movement of terrorists to target vital installations and economic infrastructure.

The terror attacks in Varanasi and the recent train blast in North Bengal pointed accusing fingers at HUJI of Bangladesh.

Besides, Ayodhya, Bangalore, Nagpur and Malegaon were in the news for some major terrorist incidents, which the MHA said, were caused by externally based and sponsored terrorist outfits with some local help.

New Delhi took up these incidents seriously during the Home Secretary-level talks with Pakistan.

Back home, the Centre initiated consultations with various political groups for all-round development of Jammu and Kashmir while the Prime Minister chaired the two Round Table Conferences on J and K. Five Working Groups were constituted.

The Prime Minister as well as Home Minister Shivraj Patil stressed the need for intelligence collection at the police constable level and asked States to strengthen special branches, which deal with intelligence gathering.


Barring ULFA violence in Assam, the overall security situation in the North East has shown signs of improvement.

The MHA expected the situation to improve further due to extension of ceasefire and Suspension of Operations agreements with NSCN(IM) and NSCN(K), National Democratic Front of Bodoland, United People's Democratic Solidarity and Dima Halam Dagoh in Assam; and Achik National Volunteer Council in Meghalaya.

As part of its peace initiative, the Centre held three rounds of talks with the People's Consultative Group set up by the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and suspended operations against the banned outfit.

However, the talks could not proceed as ULFA stuck to its demand that its five top detenues be released before direct talks could start.

While the number of violent incidents and civilian casualties in Manipur come down, violence has went up in Nagaland where there was also a slight increase in the casualty level of security forces and civilians.

The Home Ministry proactively engaged NSCN(IM) in observance of ceasefire ground rules. A Group of Ministers (GoM) was constituted to hold talks on substantive issues with NSCN(IM).

Meghalaya also witnessed a marginal increase in violence.

The overall naxal situation saw a decline in terms of incidents and casualties of police personnel. However, the marginal increase in casualties of civilians was mainly due to high violence levels in Chhattisgarh and to some extent in Jharkhand.

Chhattisgarh alone accounted for nearly 50 per cent of total incidents and almost 60 per cent of total casualties in the current year. The higher casualties in the State were mainly because of increased use of violence by naxalites to derail 'Salwa Judum '(movement against naxalism).

Naxal violence came down significantly in Andhra Pradesh in terms of incidents and casualties, though the seizure of huge consignments of rocket shells and rocket launchers became a matter of serious concern for the Centre.

To tackle naxal violence, all affected States prepared action plans for a comprehensive and coordinate response.

The MHA asked the States to formulate and implement an effective surrender and rehabilitation policy for naxalites. They were, however, asked not to have any peace dialogue with the ultras till they abjure violence and gave up arms.

The Home Minister asked the States to mount special recruitment drives to fill up all vacancies in the affected police stations and set up special intelligence machinery on naxal related activities.

On its hot pursuit strategy against naxalites, the Centre took a decision to deploy para-military forces at no cost basis and sanction additional India Reserve Battalions for the naxal-hit states.

Specialised training to the State police in guerilla warfare, supply of vehicles that could withstand mine blasts and setting up an anti-naxal unit in the MHA were some other proactive measures to deal with the problem.

To ensure faster development of naxal-hit areas, the Centre provided financial assistance of Rs.2,475 crore for 55 naxal affected districts under the Backward Districts Initiative component of the Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana.

The Home Minister cautioned that the coastal areas, particularly the long western coast, were vulnerable to terrorist attacks as threat perception through the sea route has increased following sealing of land borders.

The Centre sanctioned setting up of 73 coastal police stations at a cost of Rs.551 crore to be established in five years to nine States and four Union Territories. Over 200 boats and nearly 500 vehicles were being procured for the purpose. The MHA decided to fund Rs.342.56 crore for 15 interceptor boats.

"Operation Swan" was launched to strengthen security off Maharashtra and Gujarat coastlines in view of their vulnerability.

Under the Police Modernisation Scheme, the Government took a major decision to provide Rs. two crore annually to 76 districts seriously affected by the naxalite menace for strengthening basic police infrastructure. Besides, 30 districts on the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders would be provided Rs. one crore each for the same purpose.

A scheme for modernisation of BSF, CRPF, ITBP, Assam Rifles, CISF and NSG with an outlay of Rs.3,740 crore was also under implementation.

The security establishment was also working towards meeting the target of the police population ratio of 1:500 in the next three years from 1:728 now. While the ratio in Russia is 1:82, in the UK it is 1:290 and in the US 1:334.

The MHA was also actively considering bringing about police reforms by amending the obsolete Police Act of 1861.

Naxals kidnap five youths in Bihar

Ara, Dec 29: Armed Naxalites kidnapped five youths from Jagjivanpur village under the Imadpur police station in Bihar's Bhojpur district last night.

Superintendent of Police Umesh Kumar said the ultras numbering around 20 raided a place where the youths were watching videos and overpowered them.

They later took them to an unknown place, he said, adding all the entry and exit points of Bhojpur district have been sealed and raids are continuing at different places to rescue the kidnapped.

The names of the kidnapped youths were not immediately known, the SP added. (Agencies)

Naxals kill forest guard

Nagpur, Dec 29. (PTI): Naxalites slit the throat of a 30-year-old forest guard in Jambia village of Gadchiroli district in the wee hours, the police said.

The naxals suspected the forest guard Rajkumar Perchelwar to be a police informer and slit his throat at around 4 am, according to a release by the Gadchiroli police.

However, the police denied that he was an informer and added that the district Superintendent of Police Shirish Jain has sent personnel to the village to investigate the matter.

Four injured as Naxals fire at bus

Raipur, Dec 28: Maoists today fired indiscriminately at a moving bus in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district, injuring four passengers, police said.

"Four passengers, two of them women, received bullet injuries and one woman is in a serious condition," a police source in Bijapur said.

The incident occurred near the Bijapur district headquarters, about 550 km from here, when the bus was coming from Basaguda to Jagdalpur. The Naxalites then opened fire on the vehicle, officials said.

Though armed policemen were present in the bus, they did not retaliate as passengers were sitting atop the vehicle and any exchange of fire could have put the life of passengers at risk, police said.

The driver immediately speeded up and brought the vehicle to Bijapur, where the four injured persons were rushed to a hospital.

The seriously injured woman was referred to Bastar's divisional headquarters of Jagdalpur for further treatment, they said.

Police have launched a combing operation in the area to nab the Naxalites involved in the incident, police said. (Agencies)

Slain naxal Vadkapur Chandramouli alias Devanna was planning major attack

[ 29 Dec, 2006 0150hrs IS TREUTERS ]

HYDERABAD: Naxalite leader Vadkapur Chandramouli alias Devanna, killed in an encounter on Wednesday night, had as secretary of the Andhra-Orissa Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBZC), led attacks on Darakonda outpost and other station attacks in the Visakhapatnam agency area and Kalimela and Motu police stations in neighbouring Orissa.

"We suspect Maoist leaders of Andhra-Orissa Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBZC) under his leadership were holding a meeting or planning to hold a meeting to chalk out a major attack. But it was foiled,"police sources said.

To secure his release when he was arrested in 1987 along with four other naxalites, the erstwhile People's War (PW) kidnapped seven IAS officers in Gurthedu.

Devanna was the East Division secretary then. The East Division covers East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts.

A resident of Sultanabad in Karimnagar, Devanna joined the erstwhile People's War in 1980.

He became district committee member of Karimnagar district in 1984. He was shifted to the East Division in 1986 and was elevated to the post of secretary of the division after a year.

In December 2000, he was asked to head the newly-created Andhra-Orissa Border Special Zonal Committee. The Maoist leader was inducted into the Central Committee and made a member of the strategic Central Military Commission.

As he was overburdened with responsibilities, the PW in 2002 lessened his burden by moving him out of AOBZC.

After the merger of various revolutionary groups to form CPI (Maoist) in 2004, Devanna was made incharge of AOBZC as Central Regional Bureau head.

Every central committee member looks after the party affairs of regional bureaux in different parts of the country or states.

The naxalite top gun had a huge following and the credit of building the party movement in East Godavari and Visakhapatnam agency areas also goes to him.

He is reportedly said to have trained several tribals as party leaders in the Visakhapatnam agency area to carry out military operations for the naxalite group

Beltangady: Deceased Naxal’s Parents Demand Inquiry into Death

Daijiworld News Network – Beltangady (AF)

Beltangady, Dec 29: The parents of Dinkar, the Naxalite who was killed in an exchange of fire with police at Kigga near Sringeri recently, have appealed to the DG and IGP B S Sial to investigate his death.

In their letter, Koraga and Dejamma of Kuthloor here have expressed their doubt over the police version of the firing and demanded an inquiry in to the circumstances of his death.

Dinkar had been away from his family for well more than a year and it was suspected that he had joined the Naxal movement. In an encounter with the police recently, he was shot dead.

A copy of the letter has also been forwarded to the superintendent of Chikamaglur.

Take cue from Nepal: Duggal to Naxals

Friday December 29 2006 12:04 IST

BHUBANESWAR: The Maoists would soon come to the negotiation table. It’s only a matter of time, Union Home Secretary VK Duggal asserted on Thursday. Duggal drew his optimism from the recent developments in Nepal where Maoists decided to come overground and join the government. This, he said, will have a positive impact on the rebels active in India. ‘We are watching the developments’.

Asked if the Left extremists can be labelled terrorists, he said it will be difficult to brand them so. Duggal denied there is any link between the Maoists of Nepal and those operating in India. ‘There is no evidence of any logistics or physical support being extended by the former to radicals in India,’ he said. However, there has been an infiltration of criminals and infiltrators in the ranks of Left extremist outfits.

At the end of the two-day meeting of 22nd Co-ordination Centre on Left Wing Extremism, Duggal promised support to Naxal-hit states and announced an additional Central aid of Rs 100 crore during current fiscal for improved weapons, communication system and de-mining equipment to strengthen anti-Naxal operations.

But the aim is not to neutralise them but bring the ‘misguided youths’ back to mainstream as they are missing out on the growth opportunities, he said, quickly adding that there would be no let up in proactive action against them if they continued to indulge in violence.

Urbanisation and industrialisation throw up more problems for police while incidents such as Kalinga Nagar become exploitable for the radicals. Duggal ruled out human rights violation by cops during anti-Naxal operations.

Stating that 2006 has been a distinct improvement, Duggal said, inter-state coordination has improved and so has the performance of the joint task force. There were 317 encounters in 2006 as against 295 in the previous year. Informing that border fencing is going on in full swing, he said, the second phase work would be over by March 2007. ‘Apart from illegal immigrants, the Jehadi elements are taking to sea routes and as a preventive step, 70 police stations are being set up under the Coastal Security Scheme for 7,000 km long coastline’.

In Orissa, five such police stations will come up and Duggal said, he held talks with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to acquire land for these projects. To a question, Duggal said the Centre is ready to hold talks with the outlawed ULFA but the latter has to make a formal approach. ‘We are ready for talks with any group. Let them say where and when. There will be two preconditions for any kind of peace talks - no violence and no question on sovereignty issues.’

He categorically ruled out presence of al-Qaeda in India. ‘I say it with full responsibility that there’s no report of al-Qaeda presence in India though there are groups which target our economic, scientific and educational infrastructure during the occasion of Christmas, New Year and Republic Day,’ he said.

EAR END REVIEW - 2006 MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS - INTERNAL SECURITY SITUATION REMAINS UNDER CONTROL

EAR END REVIEW - 2006 MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS - INTERNAL SECURITY SITUATION REMAINS UNDER CONTROL

MAJOR INITIATIVES TAKEN FOR STRENGTHENING POLICE FORCES
13:10 IST

The overall internal security and law and order situation in the country remained largely under control during 2006, although there were some major terrorist incidents at some places including Varanasi, Mumbai and Malegaon. 21 ISI- backed espionage modules were neutralised during the year up to 21.11.2006 and 57 ISI-backed terrorist modules busted during the year up to 31.10.2006. A large cache of arms, ammunition and explosives was seized in Maharashtra. The level of violence in Jammu & Kashmir continued to show a declining trend. The security situation in the North Eastern States showed signs of improvement. The overall naxal violence was contained during the current year.

Jammu & Kashmir

The number of violent incidents declined by 15%, civilians killed came down by 28% and security forces killed decreased by 10% till November 2006, as compared to the previous year.

Prime Minister held discussions with APHC, led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on May 3, 2006. He also held talks with Chairman, People’s Conference, Sajjad Gani Lone on January 14, 2006 and Chairman, JKLF, Yasin Malik on February 17, 2006. A Round Table Conference was held on February 25, 2006 in New Delhi and another on May 24-25, 2006 in Srinagar. As a follow-up to the Prime Minister’s talks with various groups, 51 persons, detained under the J&K Public Safety Act, 1978 were released.

Honorarium for Special Police Officers has been enhanced from Rs.18,000/- to Rs.36,000/- per annum w.e.f. 01.09.2006.

5242 two-roomed tenements at a cost of Rs.185 crore are being constructed for accommodating all migrant families presently living in camps at Jammu. In phase-I, 1024 flats are under construction at Jammu. Construction of 200 flats at Budgam as transit accommodation for the return of Kashmiri migrants is nearing completion at a cost of Rs. 20 crore. Cash relief to migrant families has been enhanced to Rs.4,000/- per family per month in Jammu and Delhi w.e.f. 01.07.2006.

As part of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) with Pakistan, Poonch-Rawalakot bus service was flagged off on June 20, 2006.
North East

The overall security situation in the North-Eastern States has shown signs of improvement. There has been a decline in violence in Tripura, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. In Meghalaya, the violence has been contained. However, in Assam and Nagaland, the violence has gone up due to increased activities of United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and factional clashes between National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN)(I/M) and NSCN(K). Mizoram and Sikkim continued to be peaceful.

As per the revised policy on Modernization of State Police Forces, all the North Eastern States except Sikkim are eligible to receive 100% grant of the approved Annual Plan. For Sikkim, it is 75%.

The existing Suspension of Operations/Ceasefire with NSCN (I/M), NSCN(K), United Peoples Solidarity (UPDS), Dimah Halam Dagrh (DHD), ANVC and National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) have been periodically renewed

The Government also took initiative to start dialogue with ULFA in Assam and also declared unilateral Suspension of Operations. Since there was no direct response from ULFA, counter-insurgency operations have been resumed.

Naxal Situation

Except in Chhattisgarh, where incidents and casualties registered a steep increase, naxal violence in the affected States was contained during the current year.



The Central Government has ear-marked additional funds of Rs. 100 crore under the Police Modernisation Scheme for the naxal-affected States for purchase of de-mining equipment, latest telecommunication equipment and modern weaponry in vulnerable police stations.



An Inter-Ministerial Group has been constituted to essentially review the implementation of Centrally sponsored schemes undertaken particularly in naxal-affected areas.

An Empowered Group of Ministers, headed by the Home Minister and comprising some Union Ministers and Chief Ministers has been set up to closely monitor the spread of naxalism and evolve effective strategies to deal with the problem.



Recently, an Anti-Naxal Cell headed by an Additional Secretary has been set up in the MHA with a view to ensuring periodic review and close monitoring of the Action Plans drawn up by the States to deal with the naxal problem.

Strengthening of Police Apparatus


Under the Scheme of Modernisation of the State Police Forces (MPF Scheme), Rs.1,025 crore was spent in 2005-06 and the expenditure is likely to be over Rs.1,100 crore in 2006-07. Within the MPF Scheme, focus has been given on upgrading the standards of metropolitan policing and strengthening the critical police infrastructure in the 7 mega cities of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai. Starting from an investment of Rs.22 crore in 2005-06, expenditure of over Rs.100 crore is being undertaken in 2006-07 for modernizing the police in mega cities.

A Committee of experts, headed by Shri Soli Sorabjee was set up on 20th September, 2005 to draft a new Police Act to replace the Police Act of 1861. The Committee submitted the draft Model Police Act to the Ministry on 30.10.2006. Copies of the draft Act have been sent to State Governments for consideration, as they are competent to enact their own police laws.

A Core Committee constituted, to review VIP security issues, has finalized its report.

Government approved a modernization plan for 7 Central Para-Military Forces at an estimated cost of Rs.4,185 crore. The total amount spent so far is Rs.2,148 crore (51.3%). The forces have been equipped with 5.56 mm INSAS Rifles, bullet-proof jackets, night vision devices, AK-47 rifles, bullet-proof vehicles, various types of communication and surveillance equipment and various type of ammunition.

For strengthening the internal security scenario, Government approved raising of 79 battalions which includes 45 Battalions in the CPFs and 34 India Reserve Battalions. Cadres of CISF and CRPF have been restructured for improved effectiveness. Nearly 10000 posts have been added to the CRPF for meeting the needs of internal security and about 9500 posts to the CISF. 22 Battalions are being added to the ITBP to ensure better rotation and more diversified exposure to the new challenges of internal security. The Recruitment Scheme of Constables in CPFs has been revised so as to provide more job opportunities to youth of border States and militancy affected areas.



CPFs played a significant role in peaceful conduct of Assembly elections in Bihar, Jharkhand, Haryana, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and UT of Pondicherry.



A Centralized canteen facility for CPO personnel on the pattern of CSD has been introduced which will benefit more than 7 lakh CPF personnel immediately.

A long pending need of an Act to administer Assam Rifles in the present day context has been fulfilled with the passing of a new Assam Rifles Act which repealed the old Assam Rifles Act, 1941. The Sashastra Seema Bal Bill, 2006 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 28.07.2006 and stands referred to the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs for examination and report.

Management of Borders

The total length of Indo-Bangladesh border to be fenced is 3,286.87 Km. out of which 2,435 Km. of fencing has so far been completed. A pilot project for flood lighting along 277 Km. of Indo-Bangladesh border has also been completed. The work of construction of 1,902 Km. of fencing and 1,831 Km. of floodlighting has been completed out of 2,007 Km. and 1,989 Km. sanctioned respectively along the India-Pakistan border.

The Government has decided to undertake phase-wise construction of 27 roads links totaling 608 Kms. in the border areas along the India-China border in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarachal, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh at an estimated cost of Rs.912 crore.

Government has approved a proposal for setting up the Land Ports Authority of India for overseeing the construction, management and maintenance of Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) at identified entry points on the land borders of the country.

Disaster Management

During the year 2006, 22 States and 1 UT were affected by heavy rains, floods, etc. MHA, being the nodal Ministry, coordinated the relief, response and rehabilitation measures with the affected States/UTs, Central Ministries/Departments, other States and NGOs. A total amount of Rs.4557.53 crore comprising central share of the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) and releases from the National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF), has been provided to all the States during the year 2006-07 till 1st December, 2006 to mange the calamities.

Regional Response Centres (RRCs) are being set up at 15 places in different States and UTs. These RRCs are being equipped with a cache of essential equipment, which can be moved to the site of disaster so as to provide immediate relief to the affected people.



In recognition of the pioneering role and activities of the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), a SAARC Centre for Disaster Management was established in its premises at New Delhi. The Union Home Minister inaugurated the Centre on 10th October, 2006.

International Co-operation


Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) were initialed/signed with Spain and Bulgaria. MLATs with Mauritius and Belarus have come into force. MoU on combating International Terrorism, Crime and Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs was signed with Saudi Arabia.

During 2006, Home Minister visited Singapore and discussed issues of strategic interest with the President, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and other senior leaders. Home Minister also visited Bangladesh in May, 2006 to attend the 1st meeting of the SAARC Interior/Home Ministers and held comprehensive discussions with the Home Ministers of the SAARC countries on security-related issues.

A Chinese delegation led by H.E. Mr. Chen Zhimin, Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Public Security visited India in November, 2006. A Myanmar delegation led by their Home Minister, Major General Maung Oo visited India in December, 2006.

Miscellaneous

With effect from 2nd October 2006, the basic pension of freedom fighters and spouses of deceased freedom fighters was enhanced by Rs.2,330/- per month so that the total pension, inclusive of dearness relief, becomes Rs.10,001/- per month.

Long term tourist visa for five years’ duration with a 90 day stay stipulation has been permitted for nationals of 18 countries. Detailed guidelines have been issued simplifying the procedures for grant of visa to the Chinese.

The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Bill, 2006 seeks to repeal Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976 and replace it with a new law to regulate the acceptance and utilization of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality by certain individuals or organisations.

The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2006 seeks to amend various provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to improve the functioning of criminal justice system.

The tenth meeting of the Inter-State Council was held on 9th December 2006.

OK/RK

Encounter proves Coast's role in Naxalism

Mangalore Dec 28: The encounter in which a naxalite was killed near Kigga near Sringeri on Monday night though may not have been considered a major feat of the police, it has proved that coastal district is actively involved in naxal activities.

Dinakar, who was killed in the encounter on Monday night, was the first naxalite from the DK district to be killed in an encounter. Though two activists each were killed in two separate encounters in the Udupi district including Edu at Karkala and Devarabalu in Kundapur taluk in the past, until now, no person hailing from the coastal district of DK was killed.

Though the police had information regarding the people from DK district being involved in naxal activities, the death of Dinakar has proved that people of this region are active in the movement.

Dinakar is not an important leader in the movement as it was thought earlier. Earlier he was suspected to be Vikram Gowda of Hebri, Udupi, who is the leader of Netravathi Dala. Netravathi Dala is an active team of naxalites in the stretch of Malnad-Western Ghat section and comprises about 12 to 16 active members, police sources said.

The police earlier had information regarding three members of DK involved actively in the naxal movement from Venur region. The three were identified as Dinakar, his wife Sundari and his brother-in-law(Sundari's brother) Vasanth. Dinakar said to have taken up Naxal activities following the declaration of the Kudremukh park as a national park.

Police sources, who had kept a strict vigil on the movement of Dinakar, say that Dinakar and his wife Sundari were always together during their campaign and also in their operations. Thus, it is believed that Sundari nust have been with Dinakar when the exchange of fire took place between the naxal team and the police.

According to reliable sources, those who have joined the movement from DK are not active in the region. They are active in other districts and those who are form Sringeri and other region are active in Udupi and Belthangady region. Thus, Dinakar must have been in one such operation when he was killed near Kigga.

The police had known about Dinakar's active participation in the movement even earlier and had also got some information from one of the members of the movement, Kavitha, who was arrested by the police about a year ago.

Dinakar who hails from Bharadwaja near Kutlur in Belthangady taluk belongs to a tribal community and was missing.

Inspector General of Police(Western Range) H N Satyanarayan Rao opined that “the police knew that the people from DK are active in the movement. However, Dinakar was accidentally caught in fire and killed and was found to be form DK”, he said.
The naxal movement, however, is more active in Belthangady taluk of Dakshina Kannada.

Our Correspondent

Related News

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Mao's Cultural Revolution: CBC time line of China

In Mao's China, the peasant comes first. No longer do intellectuals and bureaucrats decide how things will be done in the factories: that power now lies with the workers. The image of Chairman Mao is everywhere, and his cult of personality has reached its apex. Even deafness is said to be cured by the faithful application of Maoist tenets and acupuncture. In this clip, a CBC crew examines the impact of the Cultural Revolution.

Click

Maoist movement suffers a setback



K. Srinivas Reddy
`Brain' behind high-profile attacks killed in encounter


HYDERABAD: The killing of top Maoist leader Wadkapur Chandramouli, in an alleged gun battle in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday, is likely to affect the movement in Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.

Chandramouli was believed to be the brain behind several high-profile attacks in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, in which civilian sympathisers were encouraged to participate. The involvement of people in such attacks symbolised the beginning of mobile guerrilla warfare in India.

In one attack in Koraput of Orissa, over 1,000 Maoists seized 524 weapons after raiding the police head quarters, an armoury, treasury, jail and a police station in 2004.


In Ramagiri Udayagiri town of Gajapati district, Maoists killed two constables and took away 28 automatic weapons, including an LMG, after carrying out simultaneous raids on police establishments.

In Jharkhand, in the Operation Jail Break in November 2005, rebels laid siege to Jehanabad town and freed their jailed leaders Ajay Kanu and others before snatching weapons from policemen held captive. In a raid on a police training centre in Giridh, rebels snatched 185 rifles.

Chandramouli, who had spent over 25 years underground, and his wife Jyoti were shot dead near Panasapalli hamlet near GK Veedhi village, where the Maoists continue to hold considerable influence.

Considered a confidante of the Maoist party chief Muppala Laxman Rao alias Ganapathi, the slain leader was a member of the Central Military Commission (CMC), since its formation in 2001.

The rebels held Chandramouli in such high esteem that they abducted seven IAS officers in Andhra Pradesh in 1987 demanding his release from jail and let them go only after he was freed.

Two Naxals killed in gun battle in Chhattisgarh

Raipur, Dec 28. (PTI): Two Naxalites were killed today in a gun battle with the police in Dantewada district, a top police officer said.

A police party raided a Maoist camp in Jagargunda jungle, about 450 km from the State Capital, and two Naxals died on the spot in the shootout that followed, Dantewada's Superintendent of Police Om Prakash Pal told PTI by phone.

Police seized seven transistor bombs, four rifles, ammunition and other explosive materials, he said.

'Naxalite' killed in encounter identified as Dinakar of Naravi

Confusion Over Identity: 'Naxalite' killed in encounter identified as Dinakar of Naravi



Sringeri Dec 27: A suspected Naxalite gunned down in an encounter by Sringeri police, in association with the anti-naxal force (ANF), at Kigga near Sringeri Chikamagalur district on Monday night, has now been identified as Dinakara Malekudia son of Koraga Malekudia of Kandlur Naravi, Belthangadi Taluk.


Dinakar's residence in Naravi

Initially the police had identified the person as certain Vikram Gowda of Hebri near Karkala. However, they retracted their statement after the parents of Vikram Gowda revealed that the body was not their son's. Even ADGP Shanker Bidri in his address to the media persons earlier said that the deceased was identified as Vikram Gowda.


Dinakar's parents reading the local news paper

But today Dinakar's brother Yashavanth and his close relatives went to Chikamagalur and identified Dinakar's body.

It is learnt that, Dinakar was missing since past 3 years and he had joined the Naxals.

The police upon receiving the information that naxalites had organised a meeting at the house of certain Yogappa at Kesumudi in Sringeri on Christmas night, swiftly surrounded the house of Yogappa at around 10.20 p.m. However, by then the naxalites had left Yogappa's house. A group of armed naxals after learning that they were surrounded, fired at the police. The police returned the fire in which one person was killed. On Tuesday morning, the police found the body of a man at the spot of the encounter.

This is the second encounter killing in Chikmagalur district, the first being the death of naxalite kingpin Saketh Rajan and his associate on February 6, 2005, at Menasinahadya. Senior police officers including IGP Satyanarayan and Mr. Vipul Kumar are camping in Sringeri. The police have intensified their search for naxalites in the region.

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Naxal activity on the decline, says Home Secretary

Special Correspondent




BHUBANESWAR: The naxal-affected States should make the optimum utilisation of funds under various Central schemes for development and improvement of connectivity in rural areas, Union Home Secretary V.K. Duggal said here on Thursday.

Expressing satisfaction over the decline in naxal activity, Mr. Duggal said focus on development would go a long way in containing the menace. The States witnessing displacement in the wake of industrialisation should have better resettlement and rehabilitation policies.

Addressing presspersons at the end of a two-day coordination meeting of the 13 naxal-affected States here, he said the Government's approach was to bring the Left wing extremists back into the social mainstream. However, firm action would be taken if they attacked police personnel or innocent people.

Mr. Duggal said the menace was now limited to Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, eastern Maharashtra and West Bengal. While a total of 510 police stations faced naxal problems in 2005, the number had decreased to 372 this year.

Responding to the demands by different States, Mr. Duggal assured them of additional Central support to help strengthen their police forces by improving the intelligence set-up and by imparting training to the personnel.

He reiterated that the Government was ready to hold talks with the naxalites if they gave up arms. He urged the affected States to adopt a surrender policy for naxalites on the lines of the one in Andhra Pradesh.

Naxalites would soon come to the negotiation table: Duggal

Friday December 29 2006 00:00 IST

BHUBANESWAR: The Left wing ultras would soon come to the negotiation table. It’s only a matter of time, Secretary in the Union Home Ministry V K Duggal asserted on Thursday.

At the end of the two-day meeting of 22nd Co-ordination Centre on Left Wing Extremism, he said, the last one year has witnessed a drop in Naxal violence. In 2006, there were 1457 incidents as compared to 1608 in 2005. Last year, a whopping 510 police stations were hit by Naxal violence which dropped to 372 this year, he informed.

Assuring support to Naxal-hit states, he said the Centre would chip in with an additional assistance of Rs 100 crore during current fiscal for improved weapons, communication system and de-mining equipment to strengthen anti-Naxal operations.

But the aim is not to neutralise them but bring the ‘misguided youths’ back to mainstream as they are missing out on the growth opportunities, he said, but quickly added that there would be no let up in proactive action against them if they continued to indulge in violence.

Stating that 2006 has been a distinct improvement, Duggal said, inter-state coordination has improved and so has the performance of the joint task force. There were 317 encounters in 2006 as against 295 in the previous year, while as many as 236 naxal elements were neutralised during the current year which is an improvement over 199 in 2005.

In Chhattisgarh alone, one of the most-affected states, 150 encounters were held and 900 cadres surrendered. Similar was AP’s performance. The Union Home Secretary expressed satisfaction saying that recruitment by the Red radicals has shown a significant drop.

Asked if the Left extremists can be labelled terrorists, he said it will be difficult to brand them so.

Duggal, however, made it clear that there is no link between the Maoists of Nepal and those operating in India. “There is no evidence of any logistics or physical support being extended by the former to radicals in India,” the Union Home Secretary said.

However, there has been an infiltration of criminals and infiltrators in the ranks of Left extremist outfits.

Duggal called for further strengthening of the existing training centres in the states. If they need support, Centre is ready to finance, he added. He also said that urbanisation and industrialisation throw up more problems for police while incidents such as Kalinga Nagar becomes exploitable for the radicals. Duggal ruled out human rights violation by cops during anti-Naxal operation.

Informing that border fencing is going on in full swing, he said, the second phase work would be over by March 2007. “Apart from illegal immigrants, the Jehadi elements are taking to sea routes and as a preventive step, 70 police stations are being set up under the Coastal Security Scheme for 7000 km long coastline.

In Orissa, five such police stations will come up and Duggal said, he held talks with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to acquire land for these projects.

Mangalore: Coastal Security Police Stations to be set up in State

Daijiworld News Network – Mangalore (VM), pics by Dayanand Kukkaje

Mangalore, Dec 28: In the background of the presence of Naxal and Militant activities in the State and especially in the Coastal region, the proposal to set up Coastal Security Police Stations (CSPS) in the region has been approved. This was informed by Director General and Inspector General of Police B S Sial on his visit to the city on Thursday


Sial who reached Mangalore on Thursday on a visit to the temples of the region also addressed the DK police in the Police Guest House.




Speaking to the press he said that a sum of Rs 16 lac has been sanctioned for setting up of CSPS. Among the five CSPSs that have been planned one will be set up in Bhatkal and another in Brahmavar, informed Sial.






He further added that the police will be given Commando training and also taught Yoga to be fit and be well equipped to face the naxalites.

On his visit, the DK police bade farewell to Sial on his retirement.

DK SP B Dayananda, Udupi SP A S Rao and Chikmaglur SP Vipul Kumar were also present on the occasion.

Attack on IISc: A year later

Thursday, December 28, 2006 02:37:32 pm



Senior scientist Dr. Munish Chandra died in the shootout at IISc, Bangalore

The IT city had become a soft target. A year later, police are still clueless about the attackers while a city tries to come to terms with what happened.

Till around a year ago, Bangalore was considered a safe city. But 28th December 2005 changed that; a terror strike at one of the symbols of India's advancement - the Indian Institute of Science.

Masked gunmen opened fire at scientists gathered for an international conference. Senior scientist Dr. Munish Chandra died in the shootout.

It was an attack that made the city and the scientific community soft targets. A year later, neither the police, the faculty, nor the students know why it happened; but on campus, there is a strong desire to move on. Students and faculty, it seems, simply want to move on.

Till this attack, police did not even have specific information on the growing network of jehadi groups like the Lashkar e-toiba and even Al Qaeda in the South.

Through 2006, alerts of possible terror strikes started growing. Airports across the south were put on alert after threats that Al Qaeda was planning to place car bombs at airports. Arrests of two suspected operatives from a quiet neighbourhood in Mysore made many realise that terror was no longer a word, but a reality that the South had to learn to live with.

South India has had constant doses of naxal violence in the past. But that December night changed the threat perception, perhaps for ever.

By Gargi Shastri

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Salwa Judum divides Congress in Chhattisgarh

Ejaz Kaiser

Raipur, December 26, 2006


The observations made by the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Salwa Judum has intensified the infighting within the Congress leadership in Chhattisgarh.

Now it seems that the report of NCW added ‘fire to the fuel’ and the already existing difference has become more apparent within the Congress Party on the Salwa Judum, a self-motivated tribal movement against Maoist violence.

After its visit to Bastar region, the Commission has expressed concern over the state of tribal women and girls in the government run relief camps in Dantewada district.

Former chief minister and Lok Sabha member Ajit Jogi has strongly opposed Salwa Judum campaign since its inception citing that the operation itself being poorly planned got derailed in which hundreds of innocent tribals are brutally killed either by the naxals or by pro-Salwa Judum activists, besides resulting into their large-scale displacement. Now the NCW’s concern at the increase in atrocities on tribals who are caught in intensified conflict between the naxals and Salwa Judum campaign has given fillip to his advocacy against the movement.

Reiterating his demand to call-off such movement, Jogi lashed out at the Raman Singh government for allegedly showing no concern over the plight of poor tribals.

However the leader of opposition Mahendra Karma has called the NCW report as farce and devoid of truth. It may be noted that Karma, a senior Congress leader, is leading the movement since it’s beginning. He is critical of Jogi’s observation on Salwa Judum also. "Jogi should better visit Bastar to find out the existing reality instead of disapproving the Campaign", said Karma.

PCC President Charandas Mahant outrightly rejected the NCW report stating that since the beginning of the anti-naxal movement the women are relatively safer in the region. "Earlier naxalites exploited and badly treated women and girls but now Maoists are not able to draw enough courage to repeat such misdeeds", asserted Mahant.

As things emerged out, it is now advantage for state BJP government in securing political benefit with two key office bearers from main opposition camp rejecting the NCW findings.

NCW Chairperson Girija Vyas admitted that the report has shown apprehension for the safety and security of women living in camps in future. "We are examining the recommendations and conclusions given by the members and accordingly will advice the State and Central governments with our own suggestions", said Vyas.

The Commission has urged the Chhattisgarh Government not to pressurise villagers to join the ‘Campaign’ for fighting naxalites in the state.

Antagonised on stern opposition of the campaign by Jogi, who has emerged stronger in state Congress Party after the victory in Kota by-election, several state BJP leaders have stated that those opposing Salwa Judum are anti-national

Mangalore: Naxal Killed in Police Firing in Sringeri

Naxalite gunned down in an encounter near Sringeri
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Sringeri Dec 26: Naxal Vikram Gowda was killed in an encounter at Kigga-Magebailu, 15km away from Sringeri at 11pm on Monday night 25 Dec 2006.

Anti Naxal Force (ANF) team upon receiving an information about the movements of Naxals in the region, was put into combing operation. During the search, the ANF team which came across the Naxals, opened fire at them. One person identified as Vikram Gowda was said to be gunned down on the spot in the fire exchange and some naxals have said to have injured in the operation.

Western Range IGP H.N. Satyanarayana Rao has rushed to the spot.




Daijiworld News Network – Mangalore (VM)

Mangalore, Dec 26: In an exchange of fire between the Anti Naxal Squad and a group of Naxals in Kigga near Sringeri, one naxal was killed.

According to sources the ANS, based on a tip off that a group of Naxals had visited the village, reached the spot. With the help of the local police, the ANS attacked the Naxals on Monday night. This is the eight instance where a Naxal was hunted down by the police.

According to sources, the Naxal group that visited the village comprised of seven persons.

The exchange of fire took place all night. However the Naxals fled away. The police found the dead body of one of the Naxals on Tuesday morning.

The dead person has not been identified.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Anti-India axis in Nepal

Nepal Prime Minister GP Koirala must be ruing the day he allowed his Seven-Party Alliance to be conned into negotiating with Maoist leader Prachanda. Mr Koirala has given respectability to a bunch of armed thugs, agreeing to bring them into an interim regime and allowing them to dictate an interim Constitution along with the timetable for the election of a new Constituent Assembly to decide the monarchy's future. Unease over the implications of such fundamental changes in the Nepalese civilisational template are now spreading, as evidenced in the rise of pro-monarchy sentiment.


The suspicions are not misplaced. The December 18 wildcat strike in which Maoists unleashed six hours of terrible violence in Kathmandu to protest against the appointment of envoys to 14 countries, indicates that Prachanda intends to dominate the Himalayan kingdom through the barrel of the gun. Any doubts on this score were settled three days later when 5,000 armed rebels walked out of their camps in Ilam and Morang districts in a show of strength that rattled the aged SPA leaders, who have realised that the forces that instigated them to unseat King Gyanendra have used them like a railway service to reach another station.


Those forces want the political dominance of Prachanda through the 'good offices' of an obliging United Nations, which helped the US break up Indonesia and create Christian East Timor. Their success is likely because of Ms Sonia Gandhi's total commitment to the intrinsically anti-Hindu Western agenda. Thus, a civilisationally Hindu India has abandoned a civilisationally Hindu Nepal, because a White Christian dominates an effete Indian Government and wants to help a covert Christian illicitly ascend the throne of Nepal.


Like India today, Nepal tomorrow will have a ruler who does not share the dharma of the people and does not respect their traditions and culture. Unlike Ms Gandhi, Prachanda is an ethnic Nepalese, but his ascension puts Nepalese civilisation in peril. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which has finally got its national agenda together under the promising leadership of Mr Rajnath Singh, would do well not to neglect developments in our neighbourhood. Prachanda is pressurising Mr Koirala to implement the interim Constitution in just 10 days, dissolve the SPA and form an interim Government with Maoist participation, failing which he will unleash mayhem in the Himalayan nation.


Under the November 21 peace accord, Maoists agreed to confine their cadres to 28 camps and lock up their arms under UN supervision. But the sudden violence of the past few days prevented a UN-Maoist joint monitoring team from beginning inspections, and now reports of extortion and intimidation are pouring in from all over the country. The most bizarre aspect of the truce is the SPA's agreeing to let UN monitor the arms of both the Maoists and the Nepal Army, putting the nation's legitimate security force on equal footing with a gangster mob. There is no justice in the demand to confine the Nepal Army to barracks, and obviously a dubious foreign hand is behind this mischief, which will deny Nepalese village folk the sense of security needed to vote freely in the elections.


Elimination of the Nepal Army from the national scene will give the Western-dominated UN a free hand to do as it pleases in the polls, a situation New Delhi must resist. India's Election Commission will not be able to ensure free and fair elections there unless the Nepal Army or the Indian Army keeps Maoist arms and cadre under lock and key; by current estimates Maoists can win just about 10 out of 205 seats in a fair election. The UN must either be kept out or its mission manned exclusively by adherents of non-monotheistic faiths. As the main Opposition party, the BJP must speak up for the civilisational integrity of Nepal and resist Ms Gandhi's subversion of our traditional foreign policy.


Given the steep rise in conversion activity in India since Ms Gandhi's ascent, the BJP would do well to scrutinise missionary activism among the capital's Nepalese population as well. According to reliable sources, Maoists in New Delhi have close links with Christian groups. In Baljit Nagar, Moti Bagh and Mehrauli areas, secret churches have been established in houses occupied by Maoists. One church, with a banner proclaiming 'World Unification Movement', was visited by an unidentified White man who spoke about the political situation in Nepal.


Sources suggest the gentleman could be from the US-based Republication International Movement (RIM), which is active in Asia. This seems likely because a Meerut school, Thomas Child Academy, which is caring for the orphan children of Nepalese Maoist cadre, is known to display the RIM flag on occasions. Nearly 100 Nepalis have been provided employment in Indian churches and are luring fellow Nepalis to the congregations every Sunday, where the Maoist newspapers, Dishabodh and Dishanidesh, are distributed free.


A Nepali attending a meeting was shocked to see the pujari of the Nepali mandir in Baljit Nagar, Mr Puran Sharma, who is close to the Maoists, leading Christian prayers in Moti Nagar! This kind of subterfuge permeates the movement. While second-in-command Baburam Bhattarai and his family are openly Christian, Prachanda does not proclaim his religious affiliations but his wife's entire family is Christian. His guru, Chandra Pradesh Gajurel, was a Christian preacher. Sources estimate that the 42,000-strong Maoist army would be 30 per cent Christian, but the cadre are kept in the dark that the top leadership is predominantly Christian.


Nepal's temporary Constitution recognises all religions, but Hindus are apprehensive about the changes desired by the rebels. A US-based organisation, Global Recordings, has intensified its conversion activities and is propagating the Gospel in all tribal dialects. Nepalis ask that if the Maoists are not Christian, why would they attack and close down all Sanskrit pathshalas (only a couple survive) and stop compulsory Sanskrit education in school? There is harassment at Hindu festivals and Brahmins have been forced to eat beef; who would kill the cow in a Hindu kingdom? Then there was the attempt to make the rhinoceros the state animal, instead of the holy cow. Unnerved, religious groups want Nepal to be declared a Hindu state again, and to retain the Hindu King, a demand India should heartily support in its own interests.

THERE IS A PARADIGM SHIFT IN DEVELOPMENT

Interview with Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh

THERE IS A PARADIGM SHIFT IN DEVELOPMENT

Tribals of Bastar region started self sponsored Salwa Judum campaign against violent activities of Naxalites. Peace march of thousands of tribals reminds us of ‘Civil Disobedience’ of Mahatma Gandhi. We are making all possible efforts for socio-economic development of people of Naxal affected areas of the State. Naxalism has been contained to a large extent in Sarguja region. We are also succeeding in Bastar region.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh has completed three years in office. During this period he has initiated a number of steps to put the state on a developmental fast track. His efforts have started bearing fruits. The State is now one of the major investment destinations in the country. There is a determined—in fact the first ever effort to combat Naxalite menace of organised mass movement with nominal state support, the State is attracting more tourists and the energy environment is improving by the day. Here in an interview to Organiser the Chief Minister expounds on his vision for his state. Excerpts:

What are the main achievements of your government in the last three years?
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was elected with a massive mandate and we were given an opportunity to serve people. BJP government is trying to live upto the expectations of people. Our government policies and programmes have led to the creation of favourable environment for development of villages, poor and farmers. We are committed to the welfare of all sections of the society. We only talk of development. We don’t purchase MLAs like the Congress but purchase paddy at support price to facilitate fair price to toiling farmers of the State. There is a paradigm shift.

What are your priorities for development of tribal areas of the State?
Development of tribal areas is our top priority. Chhattisgarh has backward tribal regions such as Bastar and Sarguja on the one hand, on the other has developed and prosperous cities such as Bhilai, Korba and Raipur. We have to bridge this regional imbalance. Our priority is to link tribal regions with mainstream of development. Constitution of Bastar and Sarguja-Jashpur Development Authorities and decisions taken by the authorities are example of this. Decision to open Government Medical College in Jagdalpur was taken in the meeting of development authority. Medical College has been opened in Jagdalpur. Tribal areas of Chhattisgarh are rich in mineral resources but irony is that apart from Bhilai and Korba, industries are not located in mineral rich areas. Therefore, these regions are not getting benefits of their mineral resources. Our government invited industrial groups to set up industries in Bastar and Sarguja. Tata and Essar were invited to set up steel plants in ore-rich belt of Bastar. IFFCO and Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board are jointly setting up power plant in coal-rich Sarguja. On the initiative of our government, National Mineral Development Corporation has formed a joint venture company with Chhattisgarh State Mineral Development Corporation for excavation of 350 million tonnes of iron ore from Deposit of Bailadila mines. Apart from industrialisation our objective is to generate employment opportunities for youths of the State.

Are your efforts bearing fruits?
Results are encouraging. Our government has designed an attractive Industrial Policy. Five years Industrial Policy is in force from 2004. Entrepreneurs have been ensured numerous concessions. At the same time recruitment of 90 per cent unskilled labourers from the State has been made mandatory. This new Industrial Policy has been welcomed by investors and in the first seven months of current financial year Chhattisgarh bagged maximum number of investment proposals in the country. We are ahead of all other states. According to Ministry of Industry, Government of India, Chhattisgarh bagged capital investment of Rs 37,715 crore in the first seven months of 2006 i.e. January to July.

You have announced that there would be no load shedding in Chhattisgarh from Diwali 2007. Will you achieve this target?
Definitely—Our target is challenging but not impossible. A number of power projects are coming up in the public, private and joint sectors. Chhattisgarh will produce 10,000 megawatts by 2010. 500 mw, Korba East, thermal plant of CSEB will be commissioned by next year. 2,980 mw NTPC power plant is taking shape at fast pace. Mega units are setting up their own captive power plants. A lot of activities are taking place in the power sector.

Your government won the election on the issue of village, poor and farmers. What have you done for them?
Betterment of villages, poor and farmers is our top priority. Immediately after assuming office, as per our resolution, our government waived off loans worth Rs 118 crore of 6 lakh small and marginal farmers of the State. Our government purchased 63 lakh metric tonnes of paddy in the past two kharif seasons and paid Rs 3,598 crore to the farmers. This year, we are purchasing 40 lakh metric tonnes at a cost of Rs 3,000 crore. Due to our administrative dexterity complaints regarding payments have been sorted out. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, State government’s Nirmalaghat Yojana, Sadhbhavana Bhawan Yojana, Chhattisgarh Gaurav Yojana, Muktidham Yojana, poverty alleviation projects Nava Anjore and other schemes demonstrate our policies and programmes for rural development. Distribution of iodised salt for just 25 paisa per kilogram and distribution of sleepers to 12.50 lakh tendu leave pluckers show sensitivity of government towards poor. We are distributing 85,000 pairs of bulls in 85,000 blocks of the State.

Congress ruled for three years and BJP under your leadership completed three years. What is the difference between first and next three years of State formation?
Difference is perceptible in policies, intent and decisions. In the past three years our government provided single point connections to more than two lakh poor families; whereas erstwhile Congress rule provided single point connection to merely 59,000 in its three years. In 2005-06, we launched campaign to energies one lakh irrigation pumps over a span of three years whereas in the 50 years of Independence only 72,000 pumps could be energised. BJP government has already provided connections to more than 40,000 farmers. This clearly shows difference between the two rules.

What is your achievement in the field of education?
Distribution of free course books to more than 40 lakh school students, free bicycles to girl students of Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribe communities of the high schools, computer education to more than one lakh girl-students under Chhattisgarh Soochna Shakti Yojana, opening of schools in tribal areas under Gyan Jyoti Yojana, recruitment of 40,000 Shiksha Karmis are our major achievements. We have opened Medical College in Bastar, three new universities— Kushabhau Thakrey Journalism University, Swami Vivekanand Technical University and Pt. Sundarlal Sharma (Open) University. We are going to start third Ayurveda University in Raipur after Jamnagar and Jodhpur.

Has there been progress in the development of roads?
Rs 3000 crore are being spent on construction of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, PWD and Asian Development Bank roads in Chhattisgarh.

Naxalism is a major challenge in your state. What are the steps taken to check Naxalism in the State?
Naxalism is not new but a 30-year old problem for Chhattisgarh. Naxalism is not only Chhattisgarh’s problem but neighbouring States of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra are also plagued by Naxalism. Naxalism is national problem. Centre should formulate integrated policy to contain Naxalism. Chhattisgarh government is treading cautiously in law and order and socio-economic front. Positive thing that happened is that tribals of Bastar region started self-sponsored Salwa Judum campaign against violent activities of Naxalites. Peace march of thousands of tribals reminds us of ‘Civil Disobedience’ of Mahatma Gandhi. We are making all possible efforts for socio-economic development of people of Naxal affected areas of the State. Naxalism has been contained to a large extent in Sarguja region. We are also succeeding in Bastar region. I firmly believe that with the help of the people we will establish peace and normalcy in Naxal-affected areas and the region will definitely move ahead on the path of development.

Tackling Naxalites: Increasing police strength

Naxal violence continues to be a curse for many states. Their sudden appearance is making news now and then. They have no religion as such and do not spare anyone even innocent women and children. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh police and administration are grappling with ways to curb their menace. in MP, the Balaghat range is most affected by Naxalites. Besides, Mandla and Dindori too are reporting Naxal activities regularly. Recently, the Director General of Police Anand Rao Pawar conducted a review of this district. It is learnt the DGP is abreast with the fact that there is shortage of police personnel to meet the Naxal challenge here. The police headquarters has taken the initiative to increase strength of force. Efforts are on for sanctioning of 500 new posts. There are many police stations, which in absence of adequate police personnel, face problems. The stations so affected include Roopjhar, Sonewali, Bithli, Songudda and Dambri. Here it needs to be pointed out that in the guise of Naxalites, anti-social elements too create problems. They have also started applying new techniques to achieve their ends. Hence the need is to devise a special strategy to curb the Naxal and anti-social elements. Imparting art of warfare and guerilla training to the cops is timely. The Naxals can be handled best in their own ways. The Naxals have always taken advantage of the geographical situation. The efforts of the State government to bring in new tougher laws, as in force in Maharashtra, are welcome. In no case the morale of the force should go down. It is a good sign that the DGP has started discussions with the police force to implement effective ways to tackle the menace

Cops destroy Naxal camp in Orissa

Monday December 25 2006 11:24 IST

MALKANGIRI: A Special Operation Group (SOG) team destroyed a Maoist camp in Puluguda reserve forest under Kalimela police limits on Sunday afternoon. The security personnel seized huge amount of detonators, transistor systems and Maoist literature from the camp, about 18 km from Kalimela.

A team led by Malkangiri SP Himanshu Lall detected the camp and an exchange of fire ensued. While the ultras fired 50 rounds, police fired 200 rounds in retaliation.

There was no report of any injury or casualty. Lall said, a VHF set too was recovered from the camp. This is the second such camp to be destroyed.

A couple of days back, police had gunned down two ultras at Tendimetla and nabbed two other Naxal cadres.