Friday, February 16, 2007

Landmine blasts marks polling

Friday February 16 2007 11:53 IST
MALKANGIRI: Even as the encounter between police and Naxals continued in Pusuguda forest area under Podia block on Thursday, the second phase polls in Kalimela zone 2 and Podia zone 2 passed off peacefully. Three landmine blasts were reportedly triggered by the Maoists in Pusuguda area.

Polling was held in 11 panchayats in Mallavaram, Maharajapalli, Tigal, Lugel, Manyamkonda and Nallagunthi panchayats under Kalimela zone 2 and Motu, Pusuguda, Similibanchha, Bhubanpalli and Tandbai panchayats under Podia zone 2.

Kalimela BDO said 70 percent polling was recorded in Kalimela. Election office sources said re-polling will be held in 10 booths under Kalimela block where polling could not be held due to landmine blasts.

NAXALS : DESTROYING THE FOREST TO SAVE IT

Naxals claim they protect the forests, but in Gadchiroli they have enlisted the local tribal population for cutting and smuggling teakwood

Shashwat Gupta Ray
Gadchiroli

The Maoist movement (also referred to as the Naxal movement) espouses the cause of protecting India’s forest resources and the Indian tribal population’s rights over the forestland they inhabit. However, contrary to these claims, Naxal groups in Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region are actively engaged in illegal felling of teak trees and in inter-state teakwood smuggling. The Naxals have co-opted the local tribal population in their illegal and environmentally damaging activities.

Teakwood smuggling has been going on in the area since 1993-94, but, until four years ago, it was sporadic and unorganised. Since then, the volume of teak smuggled has gone up substantially. Government authorities had long suspected that Naxals were involved in the smuggling and this suspicion was confirmed after two consecutive seizures of illegally obtained teakwood by joint teams of the forest department and the Maharashtra police.

Teakwood worth Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 13.5 lakh was seized on December 22, 2006 and January 14, 2007 on the banks of the Godavari River along the Maharashtra-Andhra Pradesh border. Those arrested during the seizures admitted that Naxal groups, which operated on both sides of the inter-state border, were involved.

DB Shrikhande, Deputy Conservator of Forest, Sironcha Division, south Gadchiroli, has no doubt that Maoists are responsible for the rise in smuggling. “Earlier, only a few villagers were involved. Now, with support from the Maoists, all 20 villages located on the 50km-long border are involved. They move in groups of 150 and are armed with axes and saws — not just for cutting trees but also to retaliate against attacks by forest guards. Many guards have been seriously injured,” he says.

Teakwood smuggling is lucrative — depending upon the quality, smugglers pay villagers Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 per cubic metre of teakwood. The rate can go up to Rs 10,000 per cubic metre. In the open market, the price of teakwood varies from Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000 per cubic metre. “The villagers get easy money,” says Shrikhande. “They get at least Rs 200 per person from every tree they sell. Hence they don’t feel the need to work and earn. The entire operation is encouraged by Naxals on both sides of the border. The Naxals are led by Sagar and Anil, commanders of the Pratighatna Dalam and the Jan Shakti Dalam respectively. The transaction takes place in villages in Andhra Pradesh, mostly under the jurisdiction of the East Karimnagar Division.”

The Maoists get a healthy cut. According to the anti-Naxal cell of the police in Gadchiroli, for a 3.70 metre-long plank of teakwood, members of the Pratighatna Dalam get Rs 200 each, those in the Jan Shakti Dalam members get Rs 300 and those belonging to the People’s War get Rs 500.

Shrikhande says that the forest and police departments are fighting against steep odds. “It is not possible for us to stop this on our own. We are understaffed and under-armed. Though our night patrolling party is able to locate them, we cannot apprehend them as they start pelting stones at us. If we manage to come nearer, we are charged with axes and saws,” he says.

Unless the government commits more resources to tackling the menace, Shrikhande sees no end to the problem. “For the last two years, we have been asking the state government for assistance from the SRPF (State Reserve Police Force) and CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force). Nothing has happened yet. All the seizures have been possible because of police assistance. The law is not strong enough. Even after being arrested in connection with teak smuggling, these Dalam leaders manage to find loopholes and secure bail. Then they strike back with a vengeance,” says Shrikhande.

The joint operations conducted by the forest and police departments have not been able to prevent illegal felling of teak trees, but they have been successful in seizing illegally felled teakwood. (see box) Describing the modus operandi of the smugglers, Shirish Jain, Superintendent of Police (SP), Gadchiroli, says that the felled trees are first cleaned and cut to different sizes. They are then taken to the bank of the Godavari in bullock carts, escorted by at least five people. The Maharashtra side of the riverbank is elevated and the logs are rolled down to the river after being unloaded. There they are loaded on to fishing boats, and the fishermen are made to transport them across the river.

Need to develop data to pre-empt terrorist strikes

Devesh K. Pandey

With globalisation, terrorists have now a trans-national reach



NEW DELHI: National Security Guard Director-General Jyoti Krishan Dutt on Thursday called for international cooperation to combat the menace of terrorism.

Releasing the National Bomb Data Centre's "Bombshell" magazine on the opening of a two-day international seminar organised by NSG at Manesar near here in Haryana, Mr. Dutt said terrorism until recently was considered a regional phenomenon but with globalisation and advancement in science and technology, terrorists have now a trans-national reach and their operations have become increasingly lethal.

"Terrorists have organised themselves in terms of both support structure and target. They are getting sophisticated," said Mr. Dutt. While car bombs have emerged as a recent potent threat, in Jammu and Kashmir terrorists have moved from mobile phone detonation technique to use of multiple detonators. "The fight against terrorism requires enhanced national and international cooperation," he said, adding that there was need for developing data collection and intelligence analysis systems which would help pre-empt terrorist strikes.

NBDC Director Lalit Kapoor said there was a spurt in attacks by naxalites in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand in the past few years.

"Chhattisgarh has witnessed an increase in bombing incidents from 51 in 2005 to 61 last year. In Jharkhand, 27 incidents of bombing were reported last year compared with 18 in 2005," he said. In most of the blasts, command wire mechanism was used for detonation of improvised explosive devices.

Drawing a pattern to the spread of naxal activities in the affected region, he said it was a real possibility that rail network would be their next target. Colonel Kapoor recommended ban on electronic detonators for commercial explosive use until stringent rules were in place to prevent their pilferage.

Aviation security expert Dr. T.V. Narayanan suggested five-layer security to prevent terrorist strikes at airports.

Australian Bomb Data Centre Director Terry Vincent informed the gathering of experts from the US, Russia, UK, Canada, Germany, Cambodia and the Philippines about the activities of the newly formed International Bomb Data Centre Working Group.

He said the Group, of which Indian bomb data centres are not a part yet, has been formed considering the requirement for a forum where the bomb data centres of various countries would be able to share their experience. Over 50 countries have either agreed in principle or have become members of the Group so far.

Naxalites take to folklore to propagate ideology among tribals

New Delhi, Feb 16: Naxalites in tribal-dominated states like Chhattisgarh are using folklore and street plays to propagate their ideas among the locals.

Though violence remains their forte in pressurising the 'adivasis' to adopt to their ideology, the Naxals are now adopting new methods to influence their targets, according to a research conducted by Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini, an NGO active in Naxalites-hit areas.

As 'adivasis' love folklore, music and theatre, ultras are using this new strategy in remote areas which have almost negligible access to modern means of communications and information such as radio and television.

The study group in its report "Development and Integral Security in Chhattisgarh: Impact of Naxalite Movement' has noted that this 'weakness' is exploited by the Naxalities who have a well chalked out strategy to influence tribals.

If in Andhra Pradesh, a popular singer going by the name of Gadar uses his ballads to instigate people against the government, Naxalities hold a 'people's court' in Chhattisgarh to draw the tribals to their ideologies.

The report notes, "in a typical language Gadar would begin with a popular folk song and then without changing the tune begin to exhort people to revolt against the government." In Chhattisgarh, the technique is slightly different.

Before holding a 'people's court' the Naxals organise a street play. In this they use the real names of officials and show the 'adivasis' punishing the enemy, says the report.

The naxal commander comes on the scene and carries out the wish of the 'adivasis.' And since, these shows are quite popular, they help in building the mood of the gathering. Concerned over the way the simple and impressionable minds are being brainwashed, the state government has realised the need for strengthening communication and information system.

Radio can be used effectively and intelligently to communicate with the adivasis to counter the Naxals' strategy, suggests the report.

"New radio stations should be established by the state government and programmes be produced and aired in local languages," it says.

Bureau Report

Naxal-affected states witness more blasts than J&K

Manesar (Haryana), Feb 16: Naxal-affected Chattisgarh and Jharkhand taken together witnesses more bomb blasts in 2006 than militancy-hit Jammu & Kashmir, a security expert said here Thursday.

Compared to 78 IED blasts in Jammu & Kashmir in 2006, a total of 91 explosions took place in the Naxal-affected regions of the two states, said National Bomb Data Centre director Col. Lalit Kapoor at a seminar here.

However, Jammu & Kashmir topped the list in terms of grenade attack incidents, with 151 cases reported in 2006.

Addressing the seventh international NBDC seminar at the National Security Guard camp, he said while 63 IED blasts were carried out in Chhattisgarh, there were 28 such explosions in Jharkhand.

There were 78 IED explosions in the same period in Jammu & Kashmir, he said.

Kapoor said the Left-wing extremists were in possession of as much as "19 tonnes" of explosive materials.

"We fear that the Naxalite groups will explode more bombs in other states because they have solid networking among themselves. Besides, they have enough of explosive material in hand," he said.

The country witnessed as many as 269 bombing incidents in 2006 against 233 cases in 2005, he said.

Bureau Report

New Police Reforms Act soon: Govt

Posted at Friday, 16 February 2007 11:02 IST
Ahmedabad, Feb 16: The Government is preparing a new legislation aimed at comprehensive police reforms and will try to get it passed in the budget session of Parliament beginning next week, Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal said today.

"The existing Police Act is more than 100 years old. So, the government is preparing a new one to replace it," Jaiswal told reporters here this evening.

The minister said the new Act, in which several reforms aimed at making the police force more effective has been made, will be tabled in the budget session of Parliament.

"We will be trying to get this new Police Act passed in the budget session." Though the Act has been changed to facilitate reform, it was up to the individual states to chart out their own police reforms, he said.

"Law and order being a state subject, it is up to the states to implement police reforms," Jaiswal said.

He pointed out that the Centre was already providing 75 per cent of the money needed by the states to modernise their police force, including Orissa and Chhattisgarh, where the Naxal menace has not been effectively plugged.

"Not much has happened to successfully contain Naxal activities in Orissa and Chhattisgarh," the minister noted.

"But good progress has been achieved in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal where Naxalism originated," he added.

The minister said lack of land reforms, development, unemployment and poverty were the main causes of Naxalism. The government was creating development opportunities and at the same time providing additional paramilitary force to firmly deal with Naxalism, Jaiswal stated.

IED haul puts focus on new terror hubs

Dipak Kumar Dash
[ 16 Feb, 2007 0100hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]


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MANESAR/GURGAON: It's no longer just Jammu and Kashmir, which is a cause of concern for security experts - the growing incidence of bombing in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand has now caught their attention.

The increased use of improvised explosive devices (IED) and the cache of 19 tons of stolen explosive in the hands of Maoists in Chhattisgarh has become an additional headache for them.

Disclosing this at the 7th international seminar by National Bomb Disposal Centre (NBDC) of National Security Guard (NSG) at Manesar, NBDC director Col Lalit Kapoor said that out of a total of 269 bombings have occurred in 2006, J&K has dominated the national scene with 78 bombing incidents.

Other states with appreciable number of bombing incidents were Assam, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

"The 19 tons of explosives with 1800 detonators stolen in February 2006 by the Maoists, Chhattisgarh still faces a major challenge. With that much explosive with them they can sustain for at least 9-10 years executing more attacks,"Col Kapoor added.

However, a home ministry official said that the explosives stolen had only six-months-expiry and that there was no threat involved with that.

But, "It's not like medicine having an expiry date and we have witnessed how such explosives have caused havoc in the country,"Col Kapoor added. Ex-member of International Explosive Technical Commission (IETC) Dr T V Narayanan said such explosives remain active from 1-40 years.

In his presentation Col Kapoor highlighted how IEDs have been responsible for hundreds of casualties in the terrorism-affected states.

"It's the large amount of explosives handled by industries which remains a concern. We need to plug the gaps so that explosives are not pilfered,"Col Kapoor pointed out.

As per the records available with the NBDC, in Chhattisgarh, the total number of bombing-incidents have increased from only 17 in 2004 to 51 in 2005, and 63 in 2006.

In Jharkhand the total attack have increased to 28 in 2006, in comparison to 18 in 2005.

In Chhattisgarh, 61 attacks were executed using IEDs, and only two with grenades. Though the figure of the total number of attacks is still highest in Jammu and Kashmir at 229, there is an additional increase of only 7 over the previous year - in 2005 the tally stood at 222.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Habib Bank manipulating Stock Market to raise funds for Terrorism


Speech at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy
02/11/2007

Source : http://www.securityconference.de


Speaker: Narayanan, M.K.
Funktion: National Security Advisor, Republic of India
Nation/Organisation

Listen : Click

I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak before this distinguished audience on an issue that is of direct relevance to India’s security. I propose to address the issue of financing of terrorism in the context of a sustained and multi-pronged combat against international terrorism.

International terrorism is recognized today as one of the gravest scourges facing mankind. Terrorism is not a new technique, and the view of many experts is that it may never be fully eradicated. What has made terrorism more lethal and widespread is the adoption of ‘suicide’ tactics, the availability of modern instruments, and global communications. The effectiveness of terrorism is often enlarged by the elements of theatre in it, magnified further by the reactions of targeted societies. The temptation to employ terrorist tactics is often derived from the comparative advantages that terrorism as a technique provides viz. the rapid spread of images, its immediate impact, and enabling communities that lie at the extreme edge of frustration to make their presence felt.

Admittedly, there is no one monolithic source of terrorism. The diversity of motivations becomes clear from an analysis of different geographical areas.

Undeniably, faith-based terrorism, which is sustained by strong external linkages and connectivity, is the defining global threat today. Intricate networking, connects vast numbers of radical Islamist terrorist groups, though any notion that Islam, the religion, is responsible needs to be categorically rejected.

World-wide, operations of terrorist groups reveal dangerous patterns. An entirely new breed of terrorists has emerged. Terrorist outfits today have a trans-national reach. New cells and new franchises are evolving. New support structures and financing mechanisms are being created. Passing of messages is becoming more sophisticated. Terrorist outfits are no longer tethered to geographical locations, or for that matter, even to political ideologies. Captured militants reveal that it has been possible to acculturate recruits coming from different climes, backgrounds, skills and countries. Such cross-cultural compatibility is paving the way for deadly attacks in unexpected locales in the future.

The fight against international terrorism is thus likely to be a long drawn out, and sustained, one. There are two major areas on which to concentrate: First, the hard-core of terrorist planning where actual operations are conceived and implemented; and Second, the manner in which sympathy is generated for the objectives of particular cells, where recruits are inspired to sign-up and where hiding places are created away from the rule of law.

For the panel discussion, I shall restrict myself to the First aspect. Reducing the flow of funds and money supply to terrorist outfits and organizations is perhaps the most vital aspect after penetration of these outfits. Reducing the flow of funds would limit terrorist capability to acquire weapons, recruit cadres, establish training facilities and state-or-the-art secure communications. The difficulty, however, is that terrorism is generally a ‘low budget’ enterprise. Not all terrorist acts require large funds. The need for and quantum of funds is determined by the size and area of the operation.

The more common methods employed by terrorist outfits to generate funds - as experienced in the context of South Asia - are:

Voluntary contributions: From individuals, members of expatriate communities, and organizations that sympathize with the broad objectives of the terrorist organization. The LTTE in Sri Lanka and the Al Qaeda, regularly receive sizeable contributions through such means.

Forced/Compulsory donations: Ethnic, ideological and religious terrorists are known to use the technique of forced or compulsory donations On special occasions such as religious festivals, sending round of ‘collection boxes’ is fairly common, and provides anonymity as well. Compulsory subscriptions to pro-terrorist publications have laterally become an important avenue for generation of funds. The Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toeba’s monthly, Majalah-al-Dawana, and its weekly magazine, Al Ghazwa, are two prime examples.

State support/sponsorship: The Lashkar-e-Toeba, the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Al Badr (which operate in India), are well patronized, including through provision of funds, by certain official agencies across the border. Shared objectives such as involvement in ‘Low Intensity Conflict’ provide the excuse for such official support. A tentative estimate of funds made available to such terrorist outfits annually is in the region of a few million dollars.
Extortion and use of coercive methods: Many terrorist outfits today imitate criminal enterprises. Intimidation of small businesses, individuals and even some State enterprises to extort funds has become common.

Association with Criminal Syndicates: Jehadi and non-jehadi terrorist outfits seek, and enter into, partnerships with Organized Criminal Syndicates, and outsource fund-raising to the latter. This is largely true of metropolitan cities. It takes many forms, but mainly bank robberies and kidnapping for ransom.

Utilisation of legitimate business enterprises: Terrorist outfits set up legitimate business enterprises viz. restaurants, real estate, shipping, etc. and utilize part of the proceeds to siphon off funds for terrorist activities. Among terrorist outfits, the LTTE has a very well-established network of legitimate businesses, which provide both funds as well as logistics for their activities. Jehadi terrorist organizations have begun to follow suit.

Stock market operations: Isolated instances of terrorist outfits manipulating the stock markets to raise funds for their operations have been reported. Stock Exchanges in Mumbai and Chennai (India) have, on occasions, reported that fictitious or notional companies were engaging in stock-market operations. Some of these companies were later traced to terrorist outfits.

Misuse of banking channels: Legitimate banking channels are regularly being used to fund terrorist operations. Many instances of funds received via banking channels from so-called safe locations such as Dubai and UAE intended for terrorist organizations have been detected by Indian Counter-Terrorist Agencies. Each individual transaction tends to be small so as not to attract attention and to avoid detection. Use of both real, and fraudulent, ATM cards has also been resorted to at times.

Narcotics: Funds from drug cultivation and trafficking in narcotics are extensively used to fund terrorist outfits. Both jehadi outfits and the LTTE rely heavily on such funds for their activities. The sharp rise in opium cultivation in Afghanistan - which has more than doubled during the past few years - raises concerns of more funds becoming available to terrorists. According to Indian Agencies at least 1/8th of their major interdictions reveal a drugs- terrorist nexus.

Counterfeit currency: Counterfeiting of currency is currently a favourite method being adopted (by Agencies across the border) to fund terrorist activities directed at India. Large amounts of high quality counterfeit Indian currency are detected each year - the normal route being via Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Charities: An important source of funds to jehadi terrorist outfits are religious charities. Sincere believers contributing to charities are perhaps unaware that a sizeable portion of the funds go to fund terrorist activities and terrorist outfits. Many of the charities are already designated as ‘Terrorist Front Organisations’; yet most continue to operate under new labels. The Al Rashid Trust went through several changes in nomenclature, while the banned International Islamic Relief morphed into the Sanabil Al Khir Foundation. Conduits through which such funds find their way to terrorist organizations include established banking channels such as the Habib Bank in Pakistan.

Moving funds for terrorist purposes to the actual locale where a terrorist act is perpetrated is a carefully executed exercise. Terrorist outfits, as a rule, employ money laundering techniques so as to evade detection by Enforcement Agencies. The most popular means employed in South Asia for laundering funds, is the ‘underground and parallel banking system’ which ensures placing of funds without actual or visible movement of money.

A combination of conventional money laundering techniques, with placement of funds utilizing the ‘underground and parallel banking system’ has made it extremely difficult to track funds utilized for terrorist purposes, since no audit or paper trail is available. The globalisation of terror, and the ability of terrorists to exploit state-of-the-art technology, thus further enhances their capability to move ‘hot money’ across international borders.

Even the most optimistic forecast is that terrorism as a form of asymmetric warfare will continue for the foreseeable future. International cooperation amongst States is, hence, a sine qua non. States still command larger resources than any terrorist group, and pooling of strengths by all concerned States is critical to defeat terrorism worldwide. Cooperation is needed both in the bilateral and multilateral spheres, including collective approaches through the United Nations. While some improvement has taken place in regard to bilateral cooperation, the role of organizations such as the United Nations becomes critical as terrorism becomes global. The 1267 Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the Security Council have a key role to play in this respect.

Many countries, including India, have already in place a legal framework for tackling terrorism. Several - India included - have specific legislations to prevent financing of terrorism. India has the: (a) Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, (b) Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 2003; and (c) Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2003 (which entered into force in July, 2005), apart from provisions in other Acts such as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967 as amended in 2004, to deal specifically with the threat of terrorism.

Adoption by the UN General Assembly of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in September last year, has enabled a global consensus to emerge on measures that States must undertake to prevent and combat terrorism. India is committed to fully implementing the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, including measures against the financing of terrorism. India has also joined the International Convention for the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism. We have established the necessary legal, regulatory and administrative framework for combating money laundering and financing of terrorism. A Financial Intelligence Unit-India is already in operation and will be the nodal agency responsible for receiving, processing, analysing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions to intelligence and enforcement agencies.

Conclusion

India has been working with its international partners and regional organizations to prevent and combat international terrorism. We have constituted Joint Working Groups with 25 States, and regional organizations like the EU and BIMSTEC, for coordinating and cooperating in our counter-terrorism efforts. These Groups meet regularly, and have proved useful in providing a forum for the exchange of information and experiences. In addition, India believes that there is need for far greater vigilance and stricter provisions so as to make off-shore jurisdiction more transparent. In addition, lifting banking secrecy and the corporate veil in terrorist-related cases would help. Some new and innovative disruption techniques could also be contemplated.

The importance of international cooperation in combating global terrorism, in all its dimensions, cannot be over- stressed. Only by showing zero tolerance to acts of terrorism committed anywhere in the world, and by working together, including sharing of intelligence on terrorist activities, can we effectively counter the terrorist threat. States must refrain from organising, instigating, facilitating, participating in, financing, encouraging or tolerating terrorist activities. They must take appropriate measures to ensure that their territories are not used for setting up terrorist infrastructures or training camps.

INDIA: PAKISTAN BANK EXAMPLE OF 'STOCK MARKET TERRORISM'



New Delhi, 15 Feb. (AKI/Asian Age) - Terrorists have manipulated the stock markets in India to generate funds and used legitimate banking channels to fund their operations. Conduits through which such funds find their way to terrorist organisations include established banking channels such as the "Habib Bank in Pakistan", India's national security adviser M.K. Narayanan has said. "Isolated instances of terrorist outfits manipulating the stock markets to raise funds for their operations have been reported..

"Stock exchanges in Mumbai and Chennai have, on occasions, reported that fictitious or notional companies were engaging in stock-market operations. Some of these companies were later traced to terrorist outfits," Narayanan told the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy

Narayanan delivered his speech on February 11, which was the last day of the three-day conference. His speech focused on the issue of financing of terrorism, which he said was "an issue that is of direct relevance to India's security".

"Legitimate banking channels are regularly being used to fund terrorist operations. Many instances of funds received via banking channels from so-called safe locations such as Dubai and UAE, intended for terrorist organisations, have been detected by Indian counter-terrorist agencies. Each individual transaction tends to be small so as not to attract attention and to avoid detection. Use of both real, and fraudulent, ATM cards has also been resorted to at times," he observed.

Narayanan said that the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Al-Badr "are well patronised, including through provision of funds, by certain official agencies across the border. Shared objectives, such as involvement in low-intensity conflict, provide the excuse for such official support."

He cited certain other means employed by terrorists, like utilisation of legitimate business enterprises. "Terrorist outfits set up legitimate business enterprises [like] restaurants, real estate, shipping, etc, and utilise part of the proceeds to siphon off funds for terrorist activities. Among terrorist outfits, the LTTE has a very well-established network of legitimate businesses, which provide both funds as well as logistics for their activities. Jehadi terrorist organisations have begun to follow suit."

Narayanan explained that the most popular means employed in South Asia for laundering funds is hawala. "A combination of conventional money laundering techniques with placement of funds utilising [hawala] has made it extremely difficult to track funds utilised for terrorist purposes. The globalisation of terror, and the ability of terrorists to exploit state-of-the-art technology, thus further enhances their capability to move hot money across international borders," he said.

Another important source of funds to jehadi terrorist outfits were religious charities. Voluntary and forced donations were also common, as was using charities to channelise funds. He said, "Compulsory subscriptions to pro-terrorist publications have laterally become an important avenue for generation of funds. The Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyaba's monthly, Majalah-al-Dawana, and its weekly magazine, Al Ghazwa, are two prime examples."

"India," Narayanan added, "is committed to fully implementing the UN global counter-terrorism strategy, including measures against the financing of terrorism. India has also joined the International Convention for the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism. We have established the necessary legal, regulatory and administrative framework for combating money laundering and financing of terrorism. A Financial Intelligence Unit-India is already in operation and will be the nodal agency responsible for receiving, processing, analysing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions to intelligence and enforcement agencies."


(Aki/Asian Age)

Tourist hub now a Naxalite haven

2007-02-14 20:58:42
Source : Moneycontrol.com

What was touted as Chhattisgarh's tourist hub is now a Naxalite haven. Thousands of villagers have been stranded for months together, reports CNBC-TV18.



300 kilometres south of Chhattisgarh's capital city – Raipur is it is tribal district Bastar. Known better for its unique art and craft, the district houses various tribal cultures across hundreds of villages. Some of these villages are part of the National Highway 43, which connects the capital city to Bastar. And on this highway, life has taken a positive turn.



Compared to three years back, both men and women have better clothes to wear. Literacy has also improved.



Bastar is being promoted as a tourism hub. And the state is said to be capitalising on this by promoting its dense forests, tribal culture and mining reserves .



But that is just one side of the story. On the other side, thousands of villagers, have been waiting for months together to go home. They say, they have been living in government protected camps because of the Naxalite problem in the region.



National Highway 221 connects Chhattisgarh to Andhra Pradesh via Jagdalpur in Bastar district. Villagers here claim that each time there is an attempt to build the highway - there's a Naxalite protest attack . And so, places like Dornapal, on this highway, still wait for basic facilities like power, water and better roads. Over the past few months, many villages in and around this area have been evacuated and villagers have been moved to state protected camps like this one.



These attacks have left the district far behind on the economic development curve. And so, the highway, which was supposed to be the backbone of Chhattigarh's tourism is now one of its poorest regions.

With Naxalites around, cops here have no time to track missing kids

Nitin MahajanPosted online: Thursday, February 15, 2007 at 0000 hrs Print Email


Raipur, February 14 : • Days before Holi in 2003, 5-year-old Anju went missing while playing with friends outside her home. Ever since, Sushila and Anil Tandi, her parents, have been making daily rounds of the Khamardih police station. Sushila now doesn’t let her other two children out of sight. Anil has searched Nagpur, Bhopal, Gwalior, even Delhi but has had no luck. “Whenever I approach the police, they tell me, ‘Tumhari beti ko dhoondhne ke alawa aur koi kaam nahi hai kya hamare paas’ (Do you think we have no other work than to look for your daughter?)”. So whenever Anil manages to save money, he sets out in search of his daughter himself.

• Six-year-old Sonia Rao went missing on August 14 last year while on her way home from school in Raipur.She was later found in Nagpur, where she had been sold by child-lifters within hours of her abduction. But it wasn’t the police who sniffed her out. Sonia’s mother, Sharda Rao, led a crowd from her colony to the Collectorate and police station for two days to mount pressure on the administration. “I was shattered but knew that if I didn’t act quickly chances of seeing my daughter again were slim.” The pressure tactics worked, teams went out and Sonia was traced to an orphanage in Nagpur where she had been kept by the Maharashtra Police. Three persons were arrested on charges of involvement in trafficking. It’s another matter that the Chhattisgarh Police learnt of Sonia’s return almost six days later.

The police do not maintain records on the number of children missing in Chhattisgarh. However, there seems to be a pattern in the disappearance of children there. Social activists confirm that most of these abductions are linked to the flesh trade and most of the victims are minor girls. “A majority of these children are taken to nearby towns where they are thrown into prostitution,” said Dr Ilina Sen, member of the Committee Against Violence on Women. “We have often demanded that policing should be increased in certain vulnerable areas of the state. However, the authorities plead there is a shortage of manpower,”

NGOs involved in women and child welfare estimate that only 10 per cent of kidnappings are registered with the police. Which means that the actual numbers could be much higher than the police figures of around 650 children missing during 2006 and about 620 in 2005. “As most complainants in tribal areas are illiterate, they cannot differentiate between lodging a complaint and a First Information Report. All that the police do is make a daily diary entry and issue the complainants non-cognisable receipts, telling them that a ‘case’ has been registered. Since an FIR adds to the crime statistics, the police tend to nip the trouble in the bud,” Anita Gupta, a social activist, alleged.

According to the police themselves, there are gangs in the state that lift children to be sold to brothels in other towns. The recovery of Sonia was a case in point. Tehrunissa, Sheikh Maksood and Ramesh, members of an inter-state trafficking gang, were arrested for kidnapping and selling Sonia. They confessed during interrogation that they were active in Chhattisgarh for the past couple of years. “The accused used to abduct children from Raipur and sell them in the red light districts of Nagpur and in other cities,” a senior police officer said. Since the arrest of the three, police have also decided to increase their interaction with their counterparts in neighbouring states to check the trafficking.

That may be an important step forward since there is no Chhattisgarh Police cell to deal with cases of missing children. The Chhattisgarh Police claims that its priority is the Naxal menace and child recovery isn’t high on their to-do list. This despite the Chhattisgarh Police circulating the Supreme Court guidelines on missing children, which directs the local police to act immediately in such cases. “Currently the local police has been entrusted with the job of locating missing children and we don’t think there is any need for a specialised cell to deal with the issue,” said Additional Director General of Police (CID) S K Paswan. He claimed that they were in the process of compiling the statistics and said the information would be available “shortly”.

When The Indian Express tried to seek the version of DGP O P Rathor, he refused to speak on the issue, firmly saying that no data could be provided on missing children in Chhattisgarh. “I do not want a Nithari-like panic in my state,” Rathor retorted.

Despite the constant reference to the chilling happenings at Nithari and the increasing incidences of crimes against children in Chhattisgarh, Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam also felt that there was no need for the creation of a separate cell to deal with such cases. “We need to understand that the local police is competent in handling the situation,” he said.

It is no wonder then that over 5,000 children have gone missing in Chhattisgarh in the past decade, an alarming 70 percent of them girls. The parents of the victims get very little help from the administration and the search for missing children is almost entirely a family pursuit. A lot of parents, especially in the lower rungs of society, have learnt to cope with the danger in the only way they can; they seldom allow their children to venture out alone.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Naxal surrender policy hit by fund crunch: Maharashtra DGP

PTI
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 20:25 IST


NAGPUR: There was a shortage of funds to effectively implement the Naxal surrender policy in Maharashtra, state police chief P S Pasricha said on Wednesday.

"No funds were released for implementing the surrender policy for Naxalites this year," the Director General of Police said.

The policy was introduced by the Congress-led DF government on August 29, 2005 and many ultras had surrendered to avail of the benefits provided under it. Some districts in eastern Maharashtra, especially Gadchiroli, are facing Naxalite activity for the last several decades.

He said the police will relax norms for providing arms licences to the forest staff who have procured firearms for self-defence while dealing with poachers and smugglers.

Pasricha, who presided over a meeting of the Tiger Cell as the Chairman of the state-level committee, said the police will train forest staff in handling weapons in Nagpur, Amravati and Gadchiroli districts.

To a question, the DGP said there were about 60 to 70 per cent vacancies of Deputy Superintendents of Police and Sub- Divisional Officers, but the administration was unable to fill them due to a petition pending in the High Court.

He assured to look into complaints of high-handedness by the Nagpur rural police while dealing with last week's arson and violence at Umrer town near.

The police chief, however, declined to comment on the ongoing ICC probe into the conversation between West Indian all-rounder Marlon Samuels and alleged cricket bookie Mukesh Kochar ahead of the India-West Indies one-day match on January 21.

Task Force in Naxalism mulls on improving situation in Chhattisgarh

New Delhi, Feb 13 (ANI): The 15th meeting of the Task Force in Naxalism was held here today with most of the time devoted to improve the situation in Chhattisgarh that has recorded maximum number of Naxal-related violence it the past year.


The officials accepted that situation in the tribal State was not under control and were of the view that the rise in violence was due to the greater participation of people to the anti-Naxal movement of Salwa Juddum.

"The increase in Naxal violence in Chhattisgarh was due to greater offensive by Naxal outfits to derail Salwa Juddum", the officials opined.

However, the situation in other Naxal-affected States continues to remain under control.

Today's meeting was chaired by the Additional Secretary (Anti Naxal Cell) of the Home Ministry and all nodal officers of the Naxal-affected States participated in the meeting.

The trends of overall Naxal situation during the year 2006 were also discussed in detail with the nodal officers and it was agreed that the States were able to improve police response and maintain pressure on Naxal groups and degrade their infrastructure.

The Centre also directed the States to further streamline inter-State joint operations and called for pinpointed intelligence collection and sharing.

The States were also directed to ensure full utilization of funds under the Police Modernisation Scheme, giving special emphasis on investigation and prosecution of cases of Naxal leader or cadres. The Centre also sought fine tuning of their action plans and filling up of the vacancies in those State Police in a time-bound manner.

Under the Police Modernization Scheme, Rs. 385 Crores have been sanctioned for Naxal affected States during this year. Another Rs. 100 Crores have also been earmarked for them.

Security Advisor to the Government of Chhattisgarh KPS Gill, had earlier expressed that the number of policemen in Chhattisgarh was not adequate enough to crush Naxalism in the State.

Gill had admitted that Chhattisgarh was a very "under-policed State" and it was becoming a" little difficult" to flush Naxals from the forest of Bastar region. (ANI)

14 advanced anti-Naxal bases set up in Chhattisgarh

New Delhi, Feb. 14 (PTI): In a bid to curb escalation of Naxal violence in Chhattisgarh, 14 advanced anti-Naxalite bases have been established in the targeted areas to provide security to people.

Security training to Village Defence Societies were being imparted at a few places as part of serious anti-Naxalite operations, according to State Director General of Police O P Rathor.

The Naxal problem in the state came in for a detailed review at a recent meeting of the Task Force on naxalism in the Union Home Ministry and it was found that barring Chhattisgarh, the situation was under control in other states.

Senior officials in the MHA dealing with Naxalism issue explained that Chhattisgarh accounted for rise in number of incidents and casualties in view of greater offensive by the ultras to derail 'Salwa Judum' movement against them.

The Centre has asked the state to streamline inter-state operations against naxalites, share intelligence and fine tuning action plans, besides filling up vacancies in the police in a time-bound manner, ensuring optimum utilisation of funds for police modernisation and speeding up investigation and prosecution.

Rathor said security measures had been tightened and development activities geared up under a two-pronged strategy suggested by the security establishment to deal with the menace.

"Development agencies have been geared up and Bastar Vikas Pradhikaran has taken a number of decisions to develop infrastructure in the areas," he said.

Woman Naxal surrenders in AP

Wednesday February 14 2007 13:40 IST
NIZAMABAD: A woman Naxalite of Jana Shakti group, Royyala Rajita alias Lalita, surrendered before Nizamabad DIG V Anjani Kumar and SP D L Sujata Rao here on Tuesday.

She is a native of Akkapur village in Machareddy mandal in the district.

A former beedi labourer, she joined Jana Shakti-Rajanna group in 2005 when she was 19 years old. She escaped unhurt in the exchange of fire with the police near Malkapur thanda in Domakonda mandal.

She surrendered before the Karimnagar SP in 2005 and started normal life. However, last year she was again attracted to the party and joined Kranti dalam.

Naxalism In India - A Review

February 14, 2007
Rahul Bhonsle
Counter Militancy and Militant Activities

Chattisgarh saw continued militant IED activity with a powerful explosion in Jharaghati, Narayanpur, and Bastar which killed 7 police personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Special Armed Force (SAF) on 16 January. The police patrol party was on foot as well as on motor cycles when the Naxalite activated the IED.

In another encounter in Chattisgarh in the dense forests of Timarpur in Bastar district the CRPF tracked down and killed three Maoists while two more were killed in another encounter in the same area. The Timarpur forest area located 520 kms south of Raipur is considered to be infested with Maoists.

In an encounter, in Andhra Pradesh (AP), the AP police stumbled on a Naxal hide out in Kotapalli forest in Khammam district on the AP Chattisgarh border. Two Naxalite were killed on the spot. Khamman district has also seen a large number of surrenders of Naxalite with over 23 militants surrendering over the past few weeks. Andhra Pradesh has seen a number of counter terrorist successes over the years as the state police have gained an upper hand through effective employment of surveillance and patrolling as well as creation of a special force, the Greyhound. The Greyhound has specialized in tracking and apprehending terrorists particularly in the forested areas of the state. However the AP Chattisgarh-Maharashtra and Orissa border areas continue to be a major hide out for the Naxalite over the years.

In the counter terrorism campaign the use of Army dogs in Naxal affected areas of Chattisgarh and Jharkhand is being planned in the near future. Some dogs were inducted in the area and a team from Chattisgarh police is being trained at the Remount and Veterinary School in Meerut. The dogs will be used for sniffing explosives and weapons in Naxal areas. The proficiency of Army dogs in this task was indicated by two dogs being awarded Chief of Army Staff's commendation badges for counter terror missions in Kashmir. (Indian Express, 20 January 2007).

Large scale felling of trees to the tune of 75,000 was reported in Chattisgarh on the road from Sukma to Dornapal and Konta to Bijapur, allegedly to avoid providing cover to Naxalite who attempt to ambush vehicle convoys moving on the roads. Indiscriminate felling of trees has come up for wide spread condemnation by environmentalists and appears to be the first such reported instance as such a measure has not been taken in other insurgency infested areas including Kashmir and the North East.

The institutionalized support network of the Maoists was evident with an arms supplier, apprehended from Khammam district in AP during the month. Arms reportedly from Nepal were being smuggled in vehicles when it was apprehended in Nagpur in December. Subsequent interrogation led to the arrest of the individual from Khammam. (Indian Express report 2 January 2007). The reach of Naxalite in Madhya Pradesh was also evident with apprehension of five suspected militants from the Satnami Nagar area of Bhopal, the state capital during the month. A number of weapons parts and literature was secured from the area. These personnel were reported from Andhra and had been working in Bhopal for some time. The apprehension also led to recovery of large quantum of arms and subversive material.

Madhya Pradesh has very low level of Naxal militancy with only Balaghat, Mandla and Dindori districts identified as Naxal affected. Sidhi district bordering Uttar Pradesh and Chattisgarh is also proposed to be denoted as Naxal affected. The number of incidents in Madhya Pradesh is also reported to be of minor nature since 1990 at approximately 390. (Indian Express report 13 January 2007).

Surrender of Terrorists

Surrender of Naxals in Chattisgarh was mired in controversy during the month with the state police having announced surrender of 79 militants retracting 19 names who had minor charges which could not be proved. (Indian Express, 15 January 2007). There were allegations that the police had deliberately enhanced the numbers to claim more surrendered Naxalite. Some members of the BJP, the ruling party in the state had claimed that these were not hard core militants and were in fact workers of the state unit as well as ordinary farmers. (Hindustan Times 9 January 2006).

The wheel of Naxalism in Chattisgarh seems to have turned a full circle. While surrender is one strategy which is generally used to provide militants who are willing to give up the path of violence back into the main stream, frequently the same is used as a ploy by the security forces to add numbers to the overall campaign. There were many instances in Kashmir, when even the Army considered as the most credible counter militant force in India alleged to have manipulated surrenders and later had to retract. In the instant case, judicial custody was granted to only 43 of the 79 surrendered indicating a clear inflation of 36 by the police.


Citigroup Advisory

Citigroup, a global financial services company indicated that Maoist challenge would be one of the key factors which will determine India's growth paradigm in the coming years. The adverse impact of Maoist activities spread in 165 districts, 14 states and 40 percent of the geographic area with 35 percent of the population in India will be greatly felt in some of the key states where industrialization is taking place such as Orissa and Chattisgarh. Orissa is of particular concern as the state has over 33 percent of India's mineral reserves and large number of projects including multi nationals as Vedanta and Posco are in the line up for development in the state. Chattisgarh is also a mineral rich area with Rs 13000 Crore ($ 2.95 billon) planned in investment in the state. The movement will as per the Report impact on overall investment in the country.


Rahul K Bhonsle is a veteran soldier and security analyst based in South Asia, specializing in strategic risk prediction, future warfare and human security. His web site is www.security-risks.com and can be contacted at rkbhonsle@gmail.com
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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Chief vows training, not raid

SUDHIR KUMAR MISHRA

Nandrajog in a meeting with chief minister Madhu Koda. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Ranchi, Feb. 13: General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Central Command Lieutenant-general O.P. Nandrajog today confirmed that though the army would give technical training to the state’s armed police in combat operations, it will not participate in the anti-Naxalite raids.


He said the rebel outfits operating in Jharkhand and other parts of the country had close links with Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

“The ISI activities along the Indo-Nepal border in Bihar and Indo-Bangladesh border in Jharkhand and Bangladesh pose a serious threat to our national security,” he said.

The governments of the concerned states should work out effective ways to combat the menace, he proposed.

In a 45-minute meeting with chief minister Madhu Koda, Nandrajog focussed on wide-ranging issues, including the local operational problems of the army and the welfare of service personnel. Rehabilitation of retired service personnel, transfer of army lands for the expansion of Birsa Munda Airport, the dispute over field-firing ranges, training to the state police and setting up of a new military cantonment in the state, too, were discussed at length.

The government offered to mediate army’s land negotiations with the villagers. “We have been giving regular training to the police since 2006. Eliminating the disruptive forces is the duty of the state machinery. We are here to support them. But, the army will not directly join the operations. The army is doing its job well at the borders,” he added.

So long, the army has been giving training to 500 JAP personnel every year.

During his meeting with the GoC-in-C, the chief minister proposed that the annual strength of JAP trainees should be raised to 1,000. He also proposed to start a new public school in Hazaribagh.

“My meeting with the army commander was cordial. He gave me positive assurances. I, too, agreed to form an auxiliary police force with the retired service personnel. This has already been done in Bihar and Orissa. The villagers need to understand that they will face an employment problem if the army takes away its training centres from the state. We will work out amicable solutions through mutual talks. Nandrajog also agreed to transfer army lands for the expansion of the Birsa Munda Airport,” said Koda.

'Naxal violence under control’

POLITICAL BUREAU
Posted online: Wednesday, February 14, 2007 at 0038 hours IST

NEW DELHI, FEB 13: While reviewing the status of naxal violence in the country, the home ministry on Tuesday said, except for Chhattisgarh, violence in other parts of the country was well under control. The exception was attributed to the naxalite attempt to derail the Salwa Judum movement against them in the state.
“During the meeting of the Task Force, which was also attended by nodal officers of nine naxal-hit states, it was found that barring Chhattisgarh, the situation was under control in other states,” a highly placed source in the ministry said.

The taskforce headed by the ministry's additional secretary (naxalism) Vinay Kumar, however, suggested the states streamline inter-state operations against naxalites, share intelegence and fine-tune their action plans to uproot the menace. The affected states were asked to fill up police vacancies in a time-bound manner and ensure optimum utilisation of funds for its modernisation. They also need to speed up investigation and prosecution of naxal leaders, it was felt.

The meeting of the Task Force, interestingly, comes ahead of the meeting of the empowered Group of Ministers (e-GoM) on naxalism here on February 19.

The eGoM, headed by Union home minister Shivraj Patil, comprises finance minister P Chidambaram and chief ministers of affected states as members. The meeting is expected to make an in-depth study of reasons behind the naxalism and suggest ways to check it.

Karnataka naxal movement splits

K. Srinivas Reddy




HYDERABAD: Sharp differences over the Maoist strategy of area-wise seizure of power led to a split in the naxalite party operating in Karnataka.

The ideologues, who disagreed with the Maoist principle of intensifying the revolution in rural areas first and then spreading it to urban centres, have floated a new party named the Maoist Coordination Committee (MCC).

The split in Karnataka has obviously turned out to be an `unpalatable' development for the party leaders, as it comes in the backdrop of intensified efforts to unite smaller naxalite parties in the country. With a majority of the cadres in Karnataka quitting the parent party and joining the MCC, the ideologues are worried. The name of the leader who engineered the split has not yet been announced. He is stated to be making serious attempts to contact the leaders in other states and mass organisations to woo them back into the MCC fold.

Alarmed over this, the CPI (Maoist) Polit Bureau has recently written to all its party members in the country `to expose their opportunistic and disruptionist activities'.

Sources say the split was discussed at length at the recent Polit Bureaumeeting held from November 16 to 24, 2006. The meeting attended by central committee secretary Ganapathi decided to step up efforts to convince their cadres on the futility of the `new line'.

The meeting felt that the central committee had failed to initiate steps to stem the dissent and ideological disagreements had accentuated after the killing of Saketh Rajan (February 6, 2005).

Maoist activity in varying intensities is seen in Bidar, Gulbarga, Bellary, Raichur, Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Hassan, Kodagu, Tumkur and Kolar.

Naxalite Movement in Bihar: A Domino Effect of Nepal?

Nihar Nayak
Article No:94, November 24, 2006

The Maoists (also known as Naxalites) in India are emboldened by the recent success of their Nepalese counterpart, who emerged as a legitimate power center after a decade of protracted people’s war. The effects are already visible in Bihar, the neighboring Indian State. Despite convoluted security arrangement by the Bihar Police, partial successful of the Bandh (general strike) on Oct. 30, 2006, by the Maoists indicated that they are capable enough to strike at their will. The Naxalites have managed to blow up a forest bungalow and triggered a mine near Chamua railway station on the Narkatiaganj-Gorakhpur section under the Samastipur division of the East Central Railway in West Champaran district of Bihar. The blast damaged a 200-metre stretch of the track leading to the derailment of the engine and six bogies of a passenger train.


The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) had called a 24-hour bandh in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh from Oct. 29, 2006-midnight to Oct. 30, 2006-midnight to protest the recent arrest of their leaders Narendra alias Osho in West Champaran district of Bihar and Sheela Marandi at Raniganj in Jharkhand. The strike by the Maoists spread over four States had affected general transport services. In Sitamarhi district, armed cadres of the CPI-Maoist set ablaze three private buses. Armed cadres descended on Balua- Gausnagar village under Runni Saidpur police station and set on fire three private buses parked in front of the house of former Sitamarhi block development committee chief Rameshwar Yadav. Of late, Railway has become a soft target of the Maoists. Despite Bihar Chief Minster, Nitish Kumar's fervent appeal to lay down arms and join the mainstream society, the Maoists continue to blow up railway tracks, police outposts and loot banks


Bihar is a fertile ground for the breeding of Naxalites due to poor governance, complex social structure, chronic poverty and formation of private armies. Starting their movement against feudal forces in early 1970s from Bhojpur, the Naxalites under the banner of erstwhile MCC (Maoist Communist Centre) and PW (People’s War) are now active in over 33 Bihar’s 38 districts and operate three fronts- CPI-Maoist, New Democracy and CPI (ML-Malay group). Apart from these groups Nepalese Maoists make their presence in the State taking advantage of 700 kilometers of porous border between India and Nepal. Although security personnel are manning the boarder, it is not possible to check the movements of the Nepalese Maoists in the border areas because of forests and inhospitable terrain. Districts like East and West Champaran, Sitamarhi and Sheohar in North Bihar have been facing a spurt in Maoist violence ever since the Maoists have become active in Nepal. However, according to a reliable sources, the Maoists of Nepal, India and Bangladesh use the Dharan-Biratnagar (Nepal)-Supaul-Purnia (Bihar, India) –via chicken neck of West Bengal-Dinajpur (Bangladesh) route to coordinate themselves for a ‘United Front’ against India.


However, despite peace talks with the seven party alliance and commitment to the Democracy, the Nepalese Maoists in a joint resolution together with its South Asian counterparts have vowed to “advance revolutions for the seizure of power by armed force” and "turn South Asia into a flaming field of Maoist revolutions." At the fourth conference of the Coordination Committee of the Maoist Parties and Organisations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA) in Aug. 2006, somewhere in Nepal, the Maoists of the South Asian counties vowed to advance the armed struggle for the seizure of power in the respective countries. General Secretary of Nepal Communist Party (Unity Centre, Masal), Mohan Bikram Singh, on Oct. 31 pointed out that the CPN-Maoist as one of the most unreliable political forces in Nepal and they would do anything to come to power. They once announced to dig bunkers to launch tunnel war against India but they have now established intimate relations with India to go to power, he added.


As India grapples with a difficult internal security situation in the wake of continuing Maoist attacks, the ‘United Front’ effort by the Asian Maoist outfits in general and linkages between the Nepalese Maoists and its Indian counterparts in particular have remained a cause of concern for India. The concern is obvious due to 1,690 kilometers of porous border with Nepal. In addition, internal security is in constant threat due to ideological, strategic and organisational linkages between the CPI-Maoist and the CPN-Maoist and misuse by the terrorist outfits. In late September, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Shriprakash Jaiswal expressed apprehensions that terrorists could sneak into the country through the open Indo-Nepal border. The evidence of linkages are also confirmed by the annual report of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) of India for the year 2004-05, which states that arms belonging to Nepali Maoists are finding their way to the underworld.


As a result, any qualitative development in the Maoists movement in Nepal has significant implications for India. A document on ‘objectionable’ moderate approach and its damage to the Maoists movement in Andhra Pradesh was circulated among the Indian cadres. They felt that the party should have followed the ‘militant’ line as practised by the Maoists in Nepal and the LTTE in Sri Lanka. A document of CPI (Maoist) titled "New Challenges: Our Perspectives", meant for internal circulation, has emphasised the need for an evaluation of the Indian scenario, and, then redefine its strategies and field tactics. With modernization of its weaponry by procuring new sophisticated weapons, the Indian Maoists are closely monitoring the developments in Nepal. The Maoists victory in Nepal has strengthened the morale of Indian counterpart to accelerate the activities in India.


While the Maoists in India are all set to start a United Front with the support of its South Asian counter parts, the state responses to the menace is incoherence and lackadaisical. Even the formation of Naxalite Coordination Committee and the Task Force comprising nodal officers of the nine Naxal-affected states have failed to coordinate between the states. Apart from so called multi-pronged actions against the Maoists, the authorities should take all necessary steps to check external influence over the Maoists.



[ Dr Nihar Nayak, Associate Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi ]

FIFTEENTH MEETING OF TASK FORCE ON NAXALISM HELD

The 15th meeting of the Task Force in Naxalism was held here today. The meeting was chaired by the Additional Secretary (Anti naxal cell) in the Ministry of Home Affairs. The nodal officers of the naxal affected States participated in the meeting.

The trends of overall naxal situation during the year 2006 were discussed in detail with the nodal officers. The naxal violence in all the States, except in Chhattisgarh has been under control. The increase in naxal violence in Chhattisgarh was due to greater offensive by naxal outfits to derail Salva Judum. The States were able to improve police response and maintain pressure on naxal groups and degrade their infrastructure.

After detailed discussion, the States were requested to further streamline inter-State joint operations, pinpointed intelligence collection and sharing, fine tune action plans wherever required, fill up vacancies in State Police in naxal areas in a time-bound manner, ensure full utilization of funds under the Police Modernisation Scheme, giving special emphasis on investigation and prosecution of cases of naxal leaders/cadres etc. Under the Police Modernization Scheme, Rs. 385 Crores have been sanctioned for naxal affected States during this year. Another Rs. 100 Crores are also being released for them.

RK:SK:CP:home(13.2.2007)

Monday, February 12, 2007

What Maoists Want

Ajai Sahni
Source : SAIR

Editor, SAIR; Executive Director, Institute for Conflict Management Revolutionary warfare is never confined within the bounds of military action. Because its purpose is to destroy an existing society and its institutions and to replace them with a completely new structure, any revolutionary war is a unity of which the constituent parts, in varying importance, are military, political, economic, social and psychological.

Mao Tse-Tung on ‘Guerilla Warfare'



The ‘Red Corridor’, extending from ‘Tirupati to Pashupati’ (Andhra Pradesh to Nepal), has long been passé in the Indian Maoists’ (Naxalites’) conception. Maoist ambitions in India now extend to the farthest reaches of the country, and this is not just a fantasy or an aspiration, but a strategy, a projection, a plan and a programme under implementation. A multiplicity of Maoist documents testify to the meticulous detail in which the contours of the current and protracted conflict have been envisaged, in order to "Intensify the peoples’ war throughout the country". These documents reflect a comprehensive strategy, coordinating all the instrumentalities of revolution – military, political, economic, cultural and psychological – harnessed through the "three magic weapons Comrade Mao spoke about": the Party, the People’s Army, and the United Front.


After a great deal of dissembling and vacillation, India’s security establishment, both at the Centre and in the ‘affected’ States, appears to have conceded, finally, that the Maoist threat is, in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s words, the country’s "single biggest internal security challenge." But the threat is still restrictively envisaged as afflicting only parts of those States where Naxalite violence is visible, and is assumed to follow the erratic trajectory of incidents and fatalities from year to year. However, as the Chhattisgarh Director General of Police, O.P. Rathor, recently observed at a Conference in Raipur, "Statistics of incidents never give a real picture of the ground. Whatever is visible is only the mere tip of the iceberg. Unless caution is exercised, volcanoes can erupt."


It is necessary to recognize, crucially, that the phase of violence, which is ordinarily the point at which the state takes cognizance of the problem, comes at the tail end of the process of mass mobilization, and at a stage where neutralizing the threat requires considerable, if not massive, use of force. Within this context it is, consequently, useful to notice not merely the current expanse of visible Maoist mobilisation and militancy, but the extent of their current intentions, ambitions and agenda.


Significantly, the CPI-Maoist has established Regional Bureaus across a mass of nearly two-thirds of the country’s territory (Map 1), and these regions are further sub-divided into state, special zonal and special area committee jurisdictions (Map 2), where the processes of mobilisation have been defined and allocated to local leaders. As these maps indicate, there are at least five regional bureaus, thirteen State committees, two Special Area Committees and three Special Zonal Committees in the country. This structure of organisation substantially reflects current Maoist organisational consolidation, but does not exhaust their perspectives or ambitions. There is further evidence of preliminary activity for the extension of operations to new areas including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Meghalaya, beyond what is reflected in the scope of the regional, zonal and state committees. A ‘Leading team’ recently visited Jammu & Kashmir to assess the potential of creating a permanent Party structure in the form of a State Committee to take the Maoist agenda forward in the State.

In 2004, moreover, the Maoists also articulated a new strategy to target urban centres in their "Urban Perspective Document", drawing up guidelines for "working in towns and cities", and for the revival of a mobilization targeting students and the urban unemployed. Two principal ‘industrial belts’ were also identified as targets for urban mobilisation: Bhilai-Ranchi-Dhanbad-Calcutta; and Mumbai-Pune-Surat-Ahmedabad.

Within this broad geographical spread, the Maoists include, in their inventory of "immediate tasks", among others, the following:


"Coordinate the people’s war with the ongoing armed struggles of the various oppressed nationalities in Kashmir, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and other parts of the Northeast.


"Build a broad UF (United Front) of all secular forces and persecuted religious minorities such as Muslims, Christians and Sikhs…


"Build a secret party apparatus which is impregnable to the enemy’s attacks…


"Build open and secret mass organisations amongst the workers, peasants, youth, students, women and other sections of the people…


"Build the people’s militia in all the villages in the guerrilla zones as the base force of the PGA (People’s Guerrilla Army). Also build armed self-defence units in other areas of class struggle as well as in the urban areas."







The Maoist strategy is clearly to fish in every troubled Indian water, and to opportunistically exploit every potential issue and grievance to generate a campaign of protests and agitations. The principal vehicles for these ‘partial struggles’ are ‘front’ or ‘cover’ organisations of the Maoists themselves, on the one hand, and a range of individuals and organisations best described, in a phrase often attributed to Lenin, as "useful idiots" – well intentioned and often gullible people who are unaware of the broader strategy and agenda they are unwittingly promoting through their support to specific and unquestionably admirable causes. As the Political and Organisational Review of the erstwhile Communist Party of India, Marxist-Leninist – Peoples War (CPI-ML-PW, also known as the Peoples War Group, which merged in September 2004 with the Maoist Communist Centre to create the Communist Party of India – Maoist) noted,

Cover organisations are indispensable in areas where our mass organisations are not allowed to functions openly…There are two types of cover organisations: one, those which are formed on a broad basis by ourselves; and two, those organisations led by other forces which we utilize by working from within without getting exposed.


This strategy has already contributed to the ‘eruption’ of a few unexpected ‘volcanoes’ in the recent past, with the role of Maoist provocateurs often discovered much after the event. Two of the most recent and impeccable causes that have been embraced in this cynical strategy include the caste conflict in Khairlanji and the escalating tensions and violence over the displacement and Special Economic Zones (SEZ) issues, including Singur and Kalinga Nagar. Sources indicate that current Maoist debates and documents condemn the "second wave of economic reforms" as a "violent assault on the right to life and livelihood of the masses", and call for "an uncompromising opposition to the present model and all the policies that are coming up." Internal debates on the issue have further underlined the "need to build a huge movement against displacement and the very model of development itself", and to unite all "genuine democratic and anti-imperialist forces… to create a tornado of dissent that forces the rulers to stop this juggernaut". The issues at stake envisaged for potential mobilisation comprehend "development driven through big dams, super highways and other infrastructural projects… gigantic mining projects, Special Economic Zones (SEZs), urban renewal and beautification".


Within the same pattern, United Fronts and Joint Action Committees have focused on "burning issues of the peasantry such as for water, power, remunerative prices for agricultural produce, against exploitation by traders, against suicides by the peasantry, against the WTO, and on worker, student, women, Adivasi and Dalit issues." Thus, "Issue-based joint activity with other forces has been the general form of UF (United Front) undertaken by our Party at various levels…" Suitable ‘issues’ are not picked up randomly or opportunistically, but are based on extensive ‘investigations’ into ‘social conditions and tactics’, and are meticulously reconciled with the broader Maoist strategy and agenda.


These various causes, as already noted, are impeccable, and no one can be faulted for extending support to demands for greater equity, justice and access in these various spheres. For the Maoists, however, these various causes, whether they relate to ‘oppressed nationalities’, minorities, caste excesses, or other social and economic issues, are an integral component of their strategy of political consolidation, leading to military mobilisation. In Maoist doctrine, these ‘partial struggles’ are no more than a tactical element in the protracted war, and they have no intrinsic value of their own. These ‘struggles’ create the networks and recruitment base for the Maoist militia and armed cadres. Where partial struggles thrive, an army is being raised. These ‘peaceful’ or sporadically violent movements are eventually and inevitably intended to yield to armed warfare and terrorism. Their objective is to "isolate the enemy by organising the people into various cover organisations and build joint fronts in order to mobilise the masses into struggles to defeat the enemy offensive." Army formation, the Maoists insist, "is the precondition for the new political power", and "all this activity should serve to intensify and extend our armed struggle. Any joint activity or tactical alliances which do not serve the cause of the peoples’ war will be a futile exercise." Moreover, the integrity of the ‘partial struggles’ and the overall aims of the protracted peoples war is underlined by the fact that cadres of the Peoples Guerrilla Army (PGA) are required to engage in these agitational programmes as well. As the PGA’s "Programme and Constitution" notes:

The PGA will participate in the propaganda and agitations programmes as directed by Party Committees. It will organize the people. The PGA will extensively employ people’s art forms in its propaganda. It will try to enhance the consciousness of the people.

The Maoists’ Urban Perspective Document, moreover, envisages the formation of ‘Open Self Defence Teams’ and armed ‘Secret Self Defence Squads’ in urban areas. The document notes, moreover, that for the Secret Self Defence Squads,

One significant form of activity is to participate along with the masses and give them the confidence to undertake militant mass action. Other tasks are to secretly hit particular targets who are obstacles in the advance of the mass movement.


It is useful to recall, in this context, that when talk of the ‘Red Corridor’ was first heard at the turn of the Millennium, most security, intelligence and political analysts simply scoffed, dismissing the very idea as a pipe dream and a propaganda ploy. Since then, however, the Maoist consolidation has occurred precisely along the axis of the then-projected ‘Red Corridor’.


If the state is to prevent a further consolidation of Maoist subversion and violence across the country, it is crucial that the futile debate on, and disputable enumeration of, ‘affected’ States, Districts and Police Stations, be abandoned, and the scope of the state’s defences be extended to cover the contours of the Maoist projections. The Maoists are – and have long been – working to a plan, and have explicitly rejected the ‘Left Opportunism’ which they believe led to the failure of the original Naxalite movement (1967-73). This gives the movement great strength – but to the extent that this design is well know – makes it enormously vulnerable. Regrettably, while there is a handful of officers in the security and intelligence establishment who are aware of the details of this design, the general grasp in the security and political leadership in the affected and targeted states (the latter category now comprehends the entire country) and at the Centre is, at best, poor. There is, moreover, the added constraint that the Maoist strategy exploits the vulnerabilities of constitutional governance and its freedoms to the hilt, and the security apparatus has only limited instrumentalities of containment available in the initial stages of subversion and mass mobilisation.


The Maoists believe that there is, at present, an "excellent revolutionary situation in India", and have clearly declared that "the seizure of state power should be the goal of all our activity". Building bulwarks against their complex strategy is a challenge, it would appear, that is yet to be imagined by the national security establishment. The fire-fighting responses of the past, the ‘battalion approach’ of deployment of Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMFs) from one theatre to another, and the preferential allocation of financial resources to ‘disturbed’ States and areas, may help fitfully contain the violence of Maoist armed cadres. However, if the nation-wide campaigns of subversion are not addressed, and if prevention, rather than containment, does not become the sheet-anchor of national policy, there will be a tipping-point beyond which national capacities for emergency management will begin to fall disastrously short. That is the Maoist dream; it could become the country’s nightmare.


Source:SAIR.

Six Maoists arrested in Chhattisgarh

By Indo Asian News Service

Raipur, Feb 12 (IANS) Six Maoist guerrillas were arrested and explosives seized in an overnight swoop on a militant stronghold in Chhattisgarh, said police officials Monday.

A police team combed the restive Narayanpur area near Abujhmad locality in the forested Bastar region Sunday night and arrested six members of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist).

'Six rebels dressed up in Maoist uniform surrendered to the police after a brief gun-battle in their hideout. We seized three tiffin bombs, one detonator, a 50-metre wire and Maoist literature from them,'
Bastar range inspector-general R.K. Vij told IANS.

Rebels had shot dead a tribal Sunday night in Ader village, under the Faresgarh police station in Bastar.

Chhattisgarh is one of the worst Maoist-infested states in India. Just last week, rebels killed four security personnel and a civilian in a landmine blast in Bastar forest.

Of the 749 people killed in India in Maoist violence in 2006, Chhattisgarh reported almost half the total casualties, said an Asian Centre for Human Rights report in January.

Copyright Indo-Asian News Service

Maoist killed on eve of Orissa polls

KalingaTimes Correspondent

Malkangiri: A suspected Maoist was killed in Malkangiri district on the eve of the three-tier panchayat polls in Orissa on Monday. The first phase of the polls is scheduled to be held on Tuesday.

The incident took place around 9-30 a.m. when a police party was heading for the Badigata polling booth under Kalimela police station of Malkangiri. A polling party expected to follow the police team later in the day.

As the extremists opened fire at the policemen from inside the Kurup forests, the security personnel fired at them killing the extremist on the spot. The exchange of fire between the extremists and the security personnel continued for nearly half-an-hour.

The police claimed to have recovered grenade, explosives, literatures, kit bags and polythene sheets from the spot.

Sources said that more number of extremists may have been injured in police firing in the encounter.

The Maoists had earlier given a call for boycotting the panchayat polls in the region.

The incident has created panic among the polling parties that were to conduct the polls at different polling booths in the naxal-infested areas on Tuesday.

The naxalites had killed a Havildar of the Central Reserve Police Force on January 26. The police had then intensified their combing operation and arrested several suspected Maoists.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Naxalites set afire two vehicles at the Harichandanpur area

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 11: Suspected Naxalites set afire two vehicles at the Harichandanpur area of the Keonjhar district last night.

The incident occurred when a dozen armed men approached a camp, where a private construction company was executing its project.

The Maoists quizzed the workers about their supervisor after they were asked to come out. “It seems they had earlier asked for some money from the supervisor. But he refused and they burnt the vehicles as an act of revenge,” Keonjhar SP Ghanashyam Upadhyay said.

Maoists' 23 kg of hidden gold, get stolen

[ 12 Feb, 2007 0117hrs IST PTI ]


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KATHMANDU: Some 23 kg of gold and other valuables worth $500,000 amassed by the Maoist rebels by looting banks and extortion and buried in a forest three years ago have been stolen.

The rebels had buried the trove of gold, cash and other valuables in Bagheshal Community Forest in Dang district of midwest Nepal, an area regarded as their stronghold. The loot from several banks in Jumla district was also part of the buried treasure, a media report said on Sunday.

However, the Maoists, who recently went back to retrieve the hidden loot from the site, got a taste of their own medicine when they found that their treasure had been stolen.

Since then, the rebels have been frantically searching for the missing cache, according to the Kantipur daily. The leader of the rebels in Banke district nicknamed Athak, claimed that the hidden haul vanished within 24 hours of being buried.

The incident came to light after the Maoists recently detained three villagers, including the chairman of the organisation running the community forest, on the suspicion of being behind the theft.

However, when outraged villagers protested, the guerrillas were forced to release them. To fund their activities, the rebels used to extort money and looted banks.

1,500 kg of explosives seized in Gaya

Posted at Sunday, 11 February 2007 12:02 IST

Gaya, Feb 11: The police today recovered 1,500 kilograms of explosives from a forest in the Naxalite-hit Gaya district of Bihar.

The explosives, concealed in two plastic tanks buried under the ground, were seized by the police from Kushatand forest in the Mohanpur police station area of the district, superintendent of police Amit Jain told reporters.

The SP said the explosives were used by the Naxalites for manufacturing can bombs and landmines. Asked if the material seized also included high-grade explosives like RDX or TNT, He said it could be established only after a forensic test.

It was not immediately known if the police stumbled on the massive storehouse of explosives accidentally or were tipped off about its presence in the jungles.

A police source on condition of anonymity said high-profile CPI (Maoist) commander Ajay Kanu, who was arrested from a place under Tankuppa police station of the district on February two, could have informed the police about the presence of the huge cache of explosives during interrogation.

Kanu, who carried a cash reward of Rs. 5lakhs on him and is currently lodged in Beur jail at Patna, had escaped from Jehanabad sub-jail on November 13, 2005 during the jailbreak in which nearly 400 inmates, many of them Maoist guerrillas, had fled.

Super Cop Gill wants more policemen in Chhattisgarh to fight Naxals

By Vikram Vishal


Raipur, Feb 11 (ANI): The man credited with eliminating terrorism from Punjab, KPS Gill, feels that the number of policemen in Chhattisgarh is not adequate enough to crush Naxalism in the State.

The former Director General of the Punjab Police, who has now been appointed as the Security Advisor to the Government of Chhattisgarh, has said that the policemen in this Naxal-infested State are facing difficulties in tackling the menace.

"Chhattisgarh was a very under-policed State. Bastar was mainly a forest area and Maoists made it their sanctuary and established bases there. And now, to flush them out of that area is becoming a little difficult", Gill told ANI in an exclusive interview.

However, he added that the State Government, with the help of the Centre, is raising new battalions and strengthening the police stations to effectively fight what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had termed as the country's "single biggest internal security challenge".

Pointing out that the situation arising out of spread of Naxalism is different in all 14 affected states, Gill said that Andhra Pradesh seems to be doing very well in dealing with the rebels at the moment, but other states, barring Chhattisgarh, are "still to respond" to Naxalism.

He said the killings of common people by Naxalites in 2006 were reportedly highest in Chhattisgarh. People, who felt insecure, responded overwhelmingly to the Salwa Juddum programme, which sought to counter Naxals.

"The spread of the Salwa Juddum movement was quick. Police thought it would not catch up so quickly, but the response was much larger than anticipated. Certain areas were not protected properly.

This is why there were more casualties during the initial phase of Salwa Juddum", he said, adding, "I would not continue in the same fashion in the future as more forces were being raised to protect people wherever this movement starts".

He said that alienation of tribesmen was not the reason behind rise in Naxalism; rather it was "administrative vacuum", which the insurgents occupied.

"The was no such alienation of tribals. The policy of the government was to leave them alone and let them develop according to their own culture. So, there was an administrative vacuum, which Maoists occupied. They brought in guns and their own philosophy. They forced tribals to join them", he said.

On being asked whether a separate Ministry for the Naxal-affected states was required, as recommended by the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR), Gill said there was no need for such a Ministry as the menace has different faces in different sates.

"Naxals are different in every state. They have different tribal cultures. It's a very disperse crowd. (So) to have a (separate) Ministry to tackle all of them is not a good idea," Gill said. (ANI)

Paramilitary forces seek hardship allowance

[ 11 Feb, 2007 0946hrs IST PTI ]

NEW DELHI: Facing the brunt of terrorism and insurgency in several states, paramilitary forces CRPF and BSF have sought grant of separate hardship and counter-insurgency allowances for their personnel to compensate the risk factor.

The demands were among a host of proposals submitted by the forces, engaged in counter-insurgency operations in the North-East, Jammu and Kashmir and Naxal-hit states, before the Sixth Pay Commission.

The suggestions, aimed at attaining parity with the Army, include increase of disability pension for injured personnel, hike in percentage of family pension paid to widows and change in pension rules.

In its presentation, BSF has sought hardship allowance amounting to 40 per cent of the basic pay to personnel posted in "extreme hard areas" like J and K and 35 and 30 per cent respectively for those deployed in very hard and hard areas.

The Force says its men posted in border areas face all sorts of hardships like "isolation, natural hazards, limited facilities and adverse climatic conditions." It views North-East as a "very hard area" and the western frontier as "hard".

Significantly, an internal survey conducted by the BSF has found that satisfaction levels among its personnel posted in border areas with regard to accommodation and working hours is just 12.5 per cent.

Similar demand has also been made by the CRPF which wants 10 per cent of the basic pay as hardship allowance to its personnel deployed in J and K and Chhattisgarh, which will in effect cover 86 per cent of the Force. It has also sought a hike in compensation package for its personnel dying in action to Rs 30 lakh from the present Rs 7.5 lakh besides increase in the pay-scale and provision of a pension scheme for them.

Both the forces were of the view that inclusion of its personnel who have joined the service on or after January one, 2004 in the new contributory pension scheme launched by the government was unfair.

These personnel are deployed in high-risk areas and their pension in case of death amounts to almost nothing as they hardly have two years service, they said and demanded that all personnel should be covered under the Pension Rules, 1972.

BSF also demanded payment of 35 per cent of the basic pay as counter-insurgency allowance to personnel engaged in anti-terror operations and 20 per cent of the basic pay as internal security duty allowance whenever they are called for performing tasks like election duty.

Other demands of BSF include increase of family pension to widows from 60 per cent to 75 per cent, 50 per cent from the present 30 per cent to fully disabled personnel, treatment of border areas as 'A' class regions.

It seeks increase in pay scale by four times, restoration of the ranks of Lance Naiks and Naiks and separate pay scale for the rank of Additional Director General, who at present carries the same scale of feeder post commandant.

CRPF sought increase in various allowances like those given to gallantry medal winners while BSF wants restoration of ration money during leave periods and their exemption from the purview of income tax.

MHA concerned over sprouting of madrasas, jehadi modules in North East

New Delhi, Feb 10: Sprouting of madrasas along the country's international borders, indications about presence of jehadi modules in the North East and infiltration through the coastal belt of Kerala have raised serious concern in the Union Home Ministry.

At an internal security review meeting chaired by Union Home Secetary V K Duggal last night, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the North East and the hinterland came up for close scrutiny as also Naxalism and communal violence.

The situation is being monitored closely, a top official in the security establishment said but declined to give details of the measures to counter the fresh challenges before the country's internal security.

Sources said the MHA was seized of, what they described as, population shift and growth of madrasas along the international border in Punjab, Gujarat and in areas along the porus Indo-Nepal boundary.

They said a close watch was being kept on the activities of the madrasas.

Taking a serious view of the fresh cases of naxalite attacks, the MHA has decided to give a further impetus to its two-pronged strategy of tightening security as also pumping more funds for development in the affected areas and for providing employment opportunities to the youth in those places.

A meeting of the Task Force on Naxalism followed by a meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers (e-GoM) on the issue is scheduled later this month, the sources said.

While the number of militants killed and casualties among security forces have come down, except in some states, the number of arrests have gone up during 2006. The security review meeting discussed the statistics available till December 31, 2006.

The sources said there were reports of infiltration through the coastal belt in Kerala.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil has already cautioned the security forces about the possibility of infiltration from the sea as terrorists could use uninhabited islands as their hideouts.

Some militant groups are said to be attempting to sneak into the country through eastern and western coasts following vigilance along the Line of Control and International Border, they said.

Concerns have also been voiced over the designs of some militant organisations to set up their bases in central and southern parts of the country.

The porus Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bangla borders were also being used by the militant groups to enter the country after which they could attempt to create "sleeper cells" in central and southern parts of the country.

The militants were choosing these areas for their activities as the police forces in these states were not geared up to meet the challenges of militancy, the sources said adding this was a move by militants to cause more damage with less causality.

The inputs suggested that the militant groups, sneaking into the country, were coming with specific purpose of targeting vital infrastructure and whip up communal passion in sensitive areas.

The sources said the border forces were asked to increase the vigilance along the areas in Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bangla border besides erecting more flood lights and complete the fencing work at the earliest.

Yesterday's meeting also came in the backdrop of recent communal disturbances in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh and spurt in ULFA violence in Assam besides fresh incidents of Naxal attacks in some places.

Among others who attended the meeting were Directors General of CRPF (acting) J K Dutt and senior officials from Military Intelligence, Director General of Military Operations, CRPF, SSB and Border Management.

Bureau Report