Saturday, May 26, 2007

Orissa ministers on Maoists' hit list

Orissa ministers on Maoists' hit list
26 May, 2007 l 0445 hrs ISTlPTI

SWAR: The Maoist ultras in Orissa have put two ministers of the state in their hit-list, causing a flutter in the state administration.

Though the Maoists had targetted civilians and low- ranking police personnel in the past, they had never made any politician or senior police official as the target in past, official sources said.

Finance Minister Prafulla Ghadei is one of the two ministers in the hit list and the other one is SC/ST Welfare Minister C P Majhi.

Ghadei has, however, declined to accept special security cover offered to him by state police.

The sources said state's intelligence department received information about the name of Ghadei figuring in the hit list a month ago after police interrogated some extremists operating in the state's industrial and mining belts.

"Though I have been asked to remain alert in the wake of the Maoist threat, I would not like to be surrounded by police personnel", the minister said.

Asked why his name figured in the hit list, Ghadei said that his anti-Maoist stand could have been one of the reasons. "I work for the people and they are my security," he asserted.

Majhi also said the police had alerted him to remain 'careful' while travelling in his home district of Mayurbhanj.

Naxalite faction vows to avenge Nandigram killings

26 May, 2007 l 1937 hrs ISTlPTI




SILIGURI: A faction of CPI (ML), led by Mahadev Mukherjee, on Saturday took a vow to avenge the death of 14 people in police firing in Nandigram on March 14.

Mukherjee, who is a staunch follower of party ideologue the late Charu Mazumdar, at a convention of the party here urged partymen to volunteer to avenge the Nandigram killings.

He said that major ruling Left Front partner CPI (M) and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee were 'reactionary forces' who were interested in remaining in power by any means.

Mukherjee also criticised Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for allegedly trying to derive political mileage from the 'mass killings' of Nandigram peasants

ANTI-TERRORIST: BOMB SQUAD


To Stop A Bomb
They have data from over 8,500 blasts. Sadly, more pours in daily.


Saikat Datta


Explosive Data

National Bomb Data Centre has been collating information on over 8,000 blasts. Here are its key conclusions:

Majority of the bomb blasts take place in Jammu and Kashmir. But Manipur, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Tamil Nadu also have high incidence.

The last two years have seen a perceptible shift from military-grade explosives to locally-procured material such as ammonia nitrate and plaster of paris

Time-delay mechanism favoured as it allows terrorists to escape before a blast


***
A bombed-out and mangled Premier Padmini occupies the pride of place on the manicured lawns outside the National Bomb Data Centre (NBDC) building on the sprawling campus in Manesar, 45 km outside Delhi. Inside the building, a team of officers pore over data every morning trying to understand how tiny mechanisms that cause massive explosions work. "Blowing things up is our bread and butter. The more we blow things up, the better we understand them and we could use the data generated to prevent further attacks," says Colonel Ajay Ahooja, the new director of NBDC, who took over last week.

Set up in 2000, the NBDC has used its limited resources at hand wisely. Placed under the National Security Guards (NSG), it became the repository for all bomb-making and disposal data. Every year, it collates material on nearly 250 bomb blasts across the country, hoping to spot emerging trends, new designs and "fingerprint" the bomb-makers.

"We don't have the expertise to track the actual bomb-maker yet," says Ahooja, "but we can broadly identify the organisation that is behind a blast." From studying printed circuit boards to detonators, trigger mechanisms, fuses, and battery cells, the NBDC has tried to build up a databank that is on the frontline of India's efforts to combat terrorism. Armed with information on 8,848 blasts since 2000, it is trying to crack the bomb-maker's code. For years they have been tracking trends, some discernible, some confusing and some ominous. Here are a few:
From 2004 the number of bomb blasts have gone down but the number of casualties has gone up; that is, the intensity of the blasts have increased.
From the crude IEDs of the early 1990s, bombs have become more sophisticated with intricate trigger mechanisms such as radio or remote control, with time-delay features.
While the early '90s saw a flush of weapons-grade explosives, indicating active support from across the border, the new trend is to procure locally available material.
The quantity of explosives used in cities is much less than the ones in rural areas. High population density in cities makes explosions more devastating.
The trigger mechanism for bombs for assassinating prominent leaders are far more sophisticated than the ones aimed at causing mass casualties.
Over the years, experts at the NBDC have been playing the cat-and-mouse game to stay a few steps ahead of the terrorists. But that happens rarely because the terrorist is only limited by his ingenuity. The best bombs, experts agree, come from the jehadi groups such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed. "They usually have the best circuitry and trigger mechanisms and have time-delay features to ensure that the terrorist can get away safely before the blast," says a NBDC official.

But new challenges have surfaced with spurt in bomb attacks by Naxal groups. While probing one on former Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu, investigators discovered some simple but startling implements. "They used a camera flash-gun to trigger an explosion that could almost bring a building down," says an expert.

The Naxal insurgent group used four 1.5-volt pencil cells to trigger off a sizable explosion. A rudimentary understanding of physics, says an analyst, helps the bomb-maker go a long way.



A worrying trend in the last two years is the use of locally procured ingredients. From Delhi's Sarojini Nagar market blasts to the Mumbai train explosions, there has been a growth of explosives made out of innocuous items such as fertiliser and plaster of paris. "It is a myth that RDX is the preferred choice of terrorists. Now they use material that could be bought over the counter and then put together." And how far are we from identifying the actual bomb-makers? "For that we will still have to fall back on good, solid intelligence," a senior intelligence official told Outlook, "but the more methodical we get, the chances of fingerprinting the bomb-maker improves substantially."

With the intensity of attacks going up, the NBDC is under pressure to upgrade its facilities. It has a fairly decent forensic laboratory but hasn't found a suitable scientist to run it. It does have a huge electronic database but the need for a wide area network is imperative. "Ideally we would like to have representatives in every district so that we get authentic data," says a senior NSG official. Such minor glitches continue to dog the NBDC's efforts. While it posts a 23-column "feedback" form for state agencies, it has not been able to augment its communication channels. For an organisation of its importance, it has a phone that is difficult to get through and an e-mail that does not work. This prevents the flow of information between different departments when a coordinated effort is the need of the hour.

But, despite these hiccups, the NBDC is learning and growing fast. It has been successful in recreating most of the major blasts in the country, adding valuable data that helps connect critical dots in an investigation. "Our latest challenge is the blasts in the Samjhauta Express. It had a printed circuit board and a timer-delay device that could be switched on or switched off by turning the lock key," says a senior NBDC official. This helps investigators understand the sophistication of the terrorists, their external linkages, if any, as well minute details such as the fact that the terrorists, in this particular case wanted to cause death by burning rather than through the blast.

While analysis is a constant activity at the NBDC, every new blast brings in fresh data. The latest blast at the Mecca masjid in Hyderabad is now on the radar. As analysts discuss possibilities with Andhra police, they are veering around to a few basic facts. "The bomb was ingenious but not very reliable. Cell phone signals can get jammed or you could fail to make the call. But a pattern will definitely emerge," a post-blast investigator told Outlook. And so, investigators are waiting for what the next blast will bring. At one level it's a depressing wait, but for them it could mean the difference between life and death.

Five Naxals surrender in AP

Saturday May 26 2007 12:29 IST

UNI



WARANGAL: Five Naxals belonging to various revolutionary parties including wanted Maoist Party divisional committee member and one deputy commander laid their arms before superintendent of police Soumya Mishra here on Saturday.

Speaking to newspersons here, Soumya said a most wanted CPI (Maoist) naxal by the Maharashtra police, K Rajamouli alias Ravi (35), who was Gadchiroli divisional committee member of Dandakaranya special zonal committee, which operates from Bastar forest and his wife Sushila alias Naveena, deputy commander of Sironcha Dalam surrendered before police.

Another top Naxal who was wanted by the Chattisgarh state police, a Srinivas alias Dilip (22), working as Shabhari local guerilla squad deputy commander of Maoist Party and two other Naxals of Praja Prathightana Party commander Ooke Raju alias Narender (38) and Maddela Raju alias Ajay (22), who was a Prathighatana Medaram deputy commander also surrendered.

Ms Soumya distributed cheques worth Rs ten lakh as compensation to the victims of naxal violence

Naxals fired at me: Injured cop

26 May, 2007 l 0411 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK



NAGPUR: "I kept firing for almost 15 minutes after I was hit, in my right leg, till all of them fled. I received two bullet injuries on the left, one on my calf and another on the thighs,"says police constable Ramesh Channe who was posted at Mohad village of naxal-affected Gadchiroli district. This is his second encounter with naxalites and the first-ever bullet injury the cop has taken during his career. He is presently recuperating at the Orange City Hospital in the city.

The naxalites had given a bandh call on May 24 when the encounter took place at around 1 am in Mohad village. The police team spotted around 20 naxalites at a distance of barely 200 meteres, and it was an eyeball-to-eyeball encounter, he remembers.

While they were close to 20, the police team consisted of 15 men. They (naxals) were armed with AK-47s, 12 bore guns as well as self-loading rifles. When police fired to intercept, they retaliated, and the gun battle lasted for quite a time.

"Each one took positions, while I lay down flat on the ground in open, and continued to fire with a SLR till I was suddenly hit on the lower leg and soon after on the thigh. It takes time to realise that a bullet has hit. After some time I felt a terrible burning sensation but I had to cling to my position. The naxals fired at me from the side while fleeing,"he says.

Meanwhile Channe also claims to have injured three of them. Three 12 bore guns and blood stains were found on the spot, which indicate that three of them must have been injured in the encounter.

Channe, who hails from Amora village in the Gadchiroli district, belongs to an agrarian family. When asked about naxalites'ideology, he says it’s easy to mislead innocent villagers and so are they doing it.

"They do not give a pitched fight too, and flee as soon as see us. Their position is weakening. However, they ensure that all the injured are evacuated."During the fist encounter, they just fled at the sight of police, he says

Anti-Naxal operation : 800 kg explosives seized from Jharkhand

26 May, 2007 l 0209 hrs ISTlVishwa Mohan/TIMES NEWS NETWORK


NEW DELHI: In one of the biggest ever seizures in the Red terror zone, the CRPF on Friday recovered nearly 800 kilograms of explosive material, including gelatine sticks, kept in eight plastic water tanks, from the Latehar forest area during an anti-Naxal operation in Jharkhand.

The paramilitary force, which carried out the joint operation along with the state police, also detected a huge cache of arms and ammunition from the area which was subsequently identified as a major 'arms dump' of Maoists in Jharkhand.

The seizure, which could just be a tip of the iceberg, was made following the arrest of a Naxal commander Abhishek who told the security agencies about the Red ultras' hideouts in the entire Latehar-Garhwa-Palamu belt. Though the Maoists managed to

slip away after a fierce encounter, they could not save their 'arms dump' having 12,000 rounds of ammunition, 15 rifles (SLR and AK-47), a huge quantity of detonators and a bagful of Naxal literature — comprising details of their recently held congress — from being seized by the security personnel.

CRPF inspector-general (operations) A P Maheshwari said: "We are putting pressure on Naxalites in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh by carrying out these operations. We have had good success recently in neutralising a number of Maoists in these states."

vishwa.mohan@timesgroup.com

Friday, May 25, 2007

BEHOLD, RED TIDE AT THE FLOODGATES

Overlook the poor peasantry. Ignore the legitimate demands of labour. Implement the neo-liberal project blindly. Naxalism is what you get, says Aditya Nigam

After the first burst of utopian energy in the late 1960s, Naxalism underwent a long period of silent transformation. The second phase, in the post-Emergency period, was one of intense churning and regrouping, a period of reflection on, and redefinition of, the various Naxalite groups’ relationship with democracy and democratic institutions. Most groups actually started limited participation in electoral processes and moved away from what had come to be known as ‘annihilation of the class enemy’ — that is, the killing of individual oppressive landlords. They started building organisations of democratic mass struggles like trade unions, peasant organisations and student organisations.

The current phase, in the form of ‘Maoism’, has been marked by the reassertion of the path of armed struggle and complete rejection of parliamentary participation. This is not an entirely new development. Rather, it represents the culmination of a long period of guerilla operations that have been carried out separately by three important groups in different parts of the country. The most important of these was the ‘CPI(ML) People’s War’ led by Kondapalli Sitaramaiah in Andhra Pradesh, popularly known as the People’s War Group (PWG).

Through the 1980s, the PWG built legal mass organisations of students, writers, peasants and other sections but soon moved into almost exclusively underground military operations and built up what turned out to be the most feared and awesome machinery of a guerrilla army. It was in the 1990s that the PWG moved away from mass struggles and became exclusively preoccupied with armed struggle.

It is in this period, especially in the 1990s, that the PWG expanded its guerilla operations in a whole belt extending from Andhra Pradesh to northern Karnataka and eastern Maharashtra as well as neighbouring parts of Chhattisgarh and Orissa. It also established relations with some important non-party organisations and movements such as Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha, and the Bharat Jan Andolan that was set up by BD Sharma, a former civil servant who began working with the tribals of that region after he gave up his job.

The PWG managed to draw these movements into its close circle of allies and expanded its influence quite rapidly, despite the fact that it gradually became reduced to a terror machine, often indulging in wanton killings and extortion to finance its activities. It would be wrong, however, to conclude that all these movements shared the PWG’s politics, its philosophy of violence or its methods.

It seems that this expansion of its influence became possible largely because it was precisely in the 1990s that the democratic space for raising questions of poverty and exploitation virtually disappeared. This is one of the relatively understudied ironies of the 1990s that have otherwise been described, correctly, as a period of democratic upsurge. In this period the virtual erasure of issues of the working class or peasantry from the media and public discourse went hand-in-hand with a massive neo-liberal ideological attack on trade unions and organisations of the peasantry. The cynicism and ruthlessness with which the non-violent struggles of the displaced people of the Narmada valley — to take only the most well known example — were treated by the power bloc (including the media and the judiciary, who are deeply implicated in the new nexus of power), produced the general scenario where the PWG began to seem to many of the poorest an attractive option.

Added to this was the complete abdication of the space of mass struggles by the entire mainstream Left and its confinement to the parliamentary arena. While the preoccupations of the mainstream Left in this period were with largely abstract macro issues like defence of the public sector and opposition to foreign investment, the real issues that were beginning to emerge on the ground related to accelerated dispossession in the countryside. In northern Karnataka for example, what gave the PWG popular support was its defence of tribals who were being uprooted from their habitat in the forests, to make way for the Kudremukh National Park. This dispossession also meant denying the tribals their traditional access to minor forest produce and eliminating a whole way of life that lives in symbiosis with the forest. Elsewhere, in parts of Andhra Pradesh, the PWG confronted the issue of imminent displacement of peasants from their land that the government had acquired for private corporations.

As the violent displacement of common people from their habitat assumes unprecedented proportions, and with no recourse to justice — the judiciary being complicit in this game of dispossession — Maoism seems to offer an increasingly attractive option to many.

In the second half of the 1990s, the PWG and two other groups that relied exclusively on armed struggle, namely the CPI(ML) Party Unity and the Maoist Coordination Centre (MCC), both of which functioned in central and south Bihar, came together to form a legal front called the All India People’s Resistance Forum (AIPRF). The AIPRF functioned as a legal coordination centre as well as a forum for joint activity in the middle class constituency and effectively laid the ground for the eventual merger of the three groups. The Party Unity and PWG merged in 1998 and functioned with the latter name till 2004, when it merged with the mcc and adopted the name CPI (Maoist).

Adopting the nomenclature of ‘Maoist’ helped in laying claim to a shared project with the powerful Maoist insurgency in Nepal which had by then made Maoism a household name in the region. Further, the merger of three groups that functioned in different parts of the country under the banner of Maoism, conjured up for the Indian power bloc a fearsome vision of the ‘Red Corridor’ — a corridor that, it believes, extends from Andhra Pradesh via Chhattisgarh and Orissa through the contiguous regions of Jharkhand and Bihar right up to Nepal. The success of this merger and of the semiotics of its naming is apparent from the fact that Maoism is once again seen as a power to reckon with by its enemies, including the government and the media.

Nigam is a Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies

Jun 02 , 2007

Maoist menace mounts in Purulia

Statesman News Service
PURULIA, May 24: The spate of Maoist activities in Purulia and its adjoining areas, especially in the villages, has terrorised the people of the district.

Two armed gangs of Maoist rebels attempted to murder Mr Gobardhan Majhi, CPI-M zonal committee secretary of Balarampur, Purulia; and Mr Manzoor Khan, a member of Purulia district CPI-M committee and a leader of CITU in Balarampur, 50 km from Purulia town, at their respective villages, Padamdih and Rasuldih, about 7 km from Balarampur town.

Mr Manzoor Khan is popular in the area not only as a political leader but also as a sports personality.

It is primarily because of his efforts that a local school became the champion in the prestigious All India Subrata Mukherjee Cup football tournament held in New Delhi.
After the attacks, both the politicians fled their villages, sensing danger. Disappointed at not being able to find Mr Gobardhan Majhi, Maoists rebels allegedly tied his relatives and went in search of him. They, however, fled when villagers arrived on the scene on hearing the relatives’ screams.
After three days of the incident, many Maoist leaflets were seized by police at Tentalo village of Balarampur. Thousands of leaflets were also found at Raidih, Berada and Baradih villages of Barabazar block in Purulia district last week. In those leaflets, Maoists threatened allegedly corrupt representatives of people, including MPs and MLAs. Maoists also warned against illegal activities like the country liquor trade.
Meanwhile, the CID submitted the chargesheets against Mr Dipanjan Mukhopadhyay, Mrs Kanika Debnath, Mr Pradip Saha and Mr Gaur Narayan Chakraborty, after three years of the murder of Nilmadhab Das, OC of Bandwan, Purulia.
He was brutally killed on 11 October 2003. The chief judicial magistrate of Purulia Court accepted the appeal of Mr Sagar Mondal, the advocate of the four accused and the hearing will be held on 11 June 2007.
However, Mr Ashok Kumar Prasad, SP, Purulia, ruled out the possibility of Maoist being behind the incidents in Balarampur and Barabazar, judging from the style of operation.
A police officer said: “Let us conduct an inquire first, may be others were behind the incidents”.

Two killed in random Naxal fury : Naxals become Mad Dogs ???

OUR CORRESPONDENT
Patna, May 24: Two persons were killed and another injured when over 50 suspected, armed Naxalites attacked Maniyar village under Raghopur police station of East Champaran last night.

Police said the suspected ultras attacked the village, about 220 km from here, around 10.45 pm. They were looking for two villagers, who were interrogated in the Maheshwar Prasad murder case, in which several Naxalites are facing trial.

When ultras did not get the two, they put a neighbouring house of one Mahesh Singh under seize instead.

Villagers believe that their failure to find the two angered the rebels, so much so that they randomly started firing, and claimed two victims — Laxmi Singh and Nandu Singh. The two in their forties were killed instantly.

Mahesh Singh, in whose house they were “resting” suffered serious bullet injuries.

Pakdidayal subdivisional police officer Bijendra Singh confirmed the two deaths and added that the police have been raiding possible hideouts in a combing operation. After the random attack the Maniyarpur villagers have sought adequate police protection. Villagers have added that the Maoists often threaten them at the slightest pretext and ask for levy on their harvests.

PUCL Chhattisgarh chief arrested

Majesty of Law ...........

Posted at Friday, 25 May 2007 16:05 IST

Raipur, May 25: In the second arrest of a Civil Liberties leader in ten days, Chhattisgarh Police today took into custody the state President of People's Union for Civil Liberties Rajendra Sail here.

"Sail was arrested here in connection with a contempt case, in which he had been sentenced to jail term," Raipur district Superintendent of Police Lal Umed Singh told reporters here.

Sail is the second top leader after state PUCL General Secretary Vinayak Sen to be arrested by the Raman Singh government in ten days.

Sen was arrested on May 14 last for his alleged links with Naxalites.

"Sail was convicted by the Supreme Court on April 21, 2005 in a contempt of court case," Singh said.

"It was a case of willful contempt of Madhya Pradesh High Court for which he had been sentenced to one week imprisonment and the Chhattisgarh Police yesterday got the orders from Madhya Pradesh to arrest him and Sail was today arrested here by Raipur police," the SP said.

After arrest, Sail was taken to the Raipur Medical college Hospital for check up, the police said.

Terror can't bring change, Kanu Sanyal says

May 25, 2007, 7:45 GMT


Naxalbari (West Bengal), May 25 (IANS) At his humble mud house here in north Bengal, Kanu Sanyal battles senility, age and a blurring eyesight. But the fire of revolution he and others lit in 1967 has not dimmed in his heart although he no longer supports his own anarchist past.

The recent peasant activism in West Bengal's Singur and Nandigram areas, where thousands protested the takeover of their farmland for industry, has only given a new lease of life to his revolutionary ideals.


Even as the bachelor 78-year-old founding leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) continues to believe in the ideology that led to what came to be known as the Naxalite movement in 1967, he abhors violence unleashed by today's Maoists though he passionately hates the mainstream communists as well.


'Terror campaign cannot solve problems. A single conspiratorial killing cannot bring change. Such actions only will cause harm to the movement and alienate the masses,' said Sanyal, who was once a key leader behind a peasant insurrection in this village 40 years ago.


May 25 is considered the birth anniversary of Naxalism. But Kanu Sanyal wants to correct some misconception about the date.


'May 25 is the martyr's day because on that day in 1967 the police shot dead seven women and a child to avenge the incidents a day before when the farmers attacked landlords. So May 24 is the birthday of Naxalbari movement,' Sanyal told IANS.


The peasant uprising in Naxalbari village - until then an unknown spot on West Bengal's northern map - became a revolutionary affair when radical members of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) broke away from the party in support of the revolt and two years later formed the CPI-ML.


In the communist world then where China and the Soviet Union never saw eye to eye, the Chinese promptly came out in support of the Naxalbari uprising, giving a new word to leftwing dictionary: Naxalites.


In no time, the Naxalite movement spread all over the country. Maoist groups even in neighbouring countries came to known as Naxalites. Sanyal was the right hand of CPI-ML's founder general secretary Charu Mazumdar, who died while in police custody July 28, 1972. By then, the Naxalite movement was in tatters.


Today, the dominant Maoist or Naxalite group goes by the name of the Communist Party of India-Maoist.


While Sanyal, now the general secretary of one of the factions of CPI-ML, shuns the violence adopted by Maoists in states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, he never regrets the path adopted 40 years ago.


Again and again he harps on the 'injustice' done to the poor set to lose land in places like Singur.


'Singur, where the government is bent upon handing over land to the Tatas by grabbing it from the farmers, proved the real face of CPI-M, which believes in capitalism. Both in Singur and Nandigram the CPI-M is following the path of America which grabbed land from Red Indians,' said Sanyal.


'While the Naxalbari movement was in the model of French revolution, the CPI-M is a follower of the British and American ways of land grabbing,' he went on.


'CPI-M is a party of the corrupt. Once (former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu) asked us to return to the party, but I said: 'We have burnt out bridges in 1967, we cannot go back.'


'The CPI-M did good work only in its first five years of ruling West Bengal and never after that. Actually, the CPI-M or the CPI (Communist Party of India) do not believe in total land reforms,' he said.


Sanyal also admits the mistakes committed by his party.


'The CPI-ML formed in 1969 was communist in name but anarchist in deeds just like the CPI-M which is communist in name but revisionist (modification of Marxism-Leninism) in deed,' he said. 'The CPI-ML I lead now is not the one of 1969.'

© 2007 Indo-Asian News Service

MNCs break youth away from ultra-Left bastion

SUBHOMOY BHATTACHARJEE
Posted online: Friday, May 25, 2007 at 0040 hours IST


HYDERABAD, MAY 24: It might shock many, but multinationals like McDonald’s and Dell and even domestic firms like Group 4 Securitas are seeking to employ people from naxalite-infected districts of Andhra Pradesh.

To utilise cheap labour that rural India offers, several companies have tied up with an Andhra Pradesh-based government organisation Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) to source employees from the districts. The tie-up had already generated 40,000 jobs for students of Rural Retail Academies in districts like Karimnagar and Medak and other places in 2006-07.



According to T Vijay Kumar, CEO of SERP, which runs these academies, the target for placement in 2007-08 is one lakh people. For companies, the reliance on SERP makes sense since the booming economy has made it difficult to procure employees for the less glamorous jobs from even the small towns.

Vijay Kumar says, based on the inputs provided by companies, the training centres seek enrolment of candidates. “The advantage of this approach is they already have an assured placement after their training in specific trades,” he said.

The first bout of recruitment was naturally for security guards (SERP is now running 22 security academies). But candidates have now moved up the value chain to include construction and other “soft skills” too. The institutes provide about three months of training to the youth. Since the job-profiles are known, the training focuses on specific skill sets.


The project director of Karimnagar district, T Chiranjeevulu, says about 1,000 young men and women were weaned from the naxalite-affected blocks of his district, adjoining Chhattisgarh, last year. He acknowledges that while the impact of the project will take time to be comprehended, the tales of job availability are spreading.

A look at the addresses of the men and women who have graduated from the institutes buttresses his claims. For 2006-07placements, the list of companies that visited these ‘campuses’ included Reliance Fresh, Food World, Trinetra Birla, Futures Group and the former Hindustan Lever.

Since most of those recruited have managed to retain their jobs, the companies are finding the route a viable alternative to the staid employment exchanges. SERP is also planning to target more districts in the state, and is banking on the robust growth rate of the economy to keep the demand for manpower flowing in.

Orissa : Joint command to track Naxals

Friday May 25 2007 14:08 IST


BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has set up a joint command to track down and chase the Maoists from the industrial hubs, particularly in Jajpur, Keonjhar and Dhenkanal districts.

The joint command would be headed by the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police (North Central range) Arun Kumar Sarangi. Admitting that the Left wing extremists (LWEs) belonging to the Janashakti group have strengthened their base in the three districts, Director- General of Police Amarananda Pattanayak said four special operations group (SOGs) have been deployed to track them.

While two SOGs have been stationed in Dhenkanal district, one each has been deployed in Jajpur and Keonjhar districts. The DGP admitted that lack of good road network in Keonjhar district has eased the pressure on the extremists somewhat.

He, however, maintained that police are after the Naxalites in these areas in a bid to prevent them from consolidating their base.

Sources, however, maintained that the agitation which started in the name of protection of tribal rights at Kalinga Nagar, has been completely taken over by the Left wing extremists from Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

After the anniversary celebration of Kalinga Nagar police firing incident in January, more than 200 outsiders infiltrated the area and have taken control of the movement.

Over a dozen companies, including the Tata Steel, have signed memoranda of understanding with the State Government for establishment of steel plants in the area.

In their memorandum to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the local people of Kalinga Nagar have alleged that the outsiders are collecting money from the poor villagers in the name of protection of tribal rights. Some of the tribal people are also under their influence and trying to create disturbance in the area, they added.

Most disturbing aspect of the situation is that Government officials and police are not allowed to enter the villages in Kalinga Nagar area.

Banned organisations like the Chasi Mulia Sangha and Sangrami Mahila are also regularly conducting meetings in the villages.

Desperate Naxals target schools?

Friday May 25 2007 12:04 IST
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ONGOLE: The Naxalites, who seldom targeted teachers and students during their three decades of chequered history, are now targeting them, apparently desperate not to lose ground in Nallamala.

Only twice or thrice did they attack schools and teachers. But the police now fear that the Naxals could go to any extent to make their presence felt.

The revelations of Nallamala Chandravanka Dalam member Kandra Yellaiah alias Sankar, who was arrested on Tuesday, have startled the cops. Yerraiah confessed that two landmines were planted in 2006 right under the chair of headmaster of a school at Ravulapuram in Bollapalli mandal.

He also admitted that the landmines were intended to be triggered during the MPTC elections to eliminate political leaders. The police recovered the landmines, but the teachers, students and officials of 143 schools in Nallamala area are now in grip of panic.

There are reports that the Naxals could have planted landmines on Dornala- Atmakuru, Dornala-Srisailam, Dornala- Bommalapuram, Dornala-Chilakacherla, Dornala-Nallagunta, markapuram- Yerragondapalem, Yerragondapalem- Pullalacheruvu, Yerragondapalem- Macherla and Pullalacheruvu-Bollapalli main roads.

Hundreds of landmines were recovered following the confessions of either the arrested or surrendered Naxalites. A police official admitted that they could unearth several landmines only after the Naxalites spilled the beans. Bommalapuram, Chilakacherla, Nallaguntla and Bollapalli are the strongholds of Naxalites.

An eerie silence is prevailing in Nallamala after the death of CPIMaoist State committee secretary Mavuluri Chinnanna alias Madhav along with seven others in the district.

Ten Naxal bunkers raided, 12,000 cartridges recovered

Latehar, May 25: A huge cache of arms were jointly recovered by the police and Central Reserve Police Force from bunkers in this naxal-affected district last night.

Acting on a tip-off by a self-styled CPI(Maoist) sub-zonal commander Abhishek arrested from Sakchi in Jamshedpur on May 21, raids were conducted jointly by a special police team and security forces in the forest near Sikid village under Balumath police station area, Suprintendent of Police Ravi Kant Dhan today said.

''About 12,000 cartridges, 30 gilletin sticks, three self-loading rifles, four rifles looted from police, a carbine and other explosives were recovered from 10 bunkers belonging to CPI(Maoist),'' Mr Dhan added.

He said no arrests had been made since the ultras had left the area after their sub-zonal commander was arrested by the police in Jamshedpur.

--- UNI

Thursday, May 24, 2007

NEPAL: Victims outraged as Maoists get salary

Published: Thursday, 24 May, 2007, 10:25 AM Doha Time

KATHMANDU: Rage glitters in Goma Khadka’s eyes as she recounts how she has been passing her days since the Maoists killed her husband Jeevan Khadka who worked for the Nepal Army.
“The Maoists abducted him and kept him their prisoner for a month. Then he was rescued by the army and went back to work,” she says with dry eyes.
“One day, they caught him again and this time, they killed him,” adds the woman who is amongst the hundreds of victims of Maoist atrocities asking the government for justice.
There is mounting outrage among the victims that while they are facing starvation, the government is not only feeding the Maoists but on Monday decided to give guerrilla soldiers a monthly allowance of Nepali Rs3,000 each.
“Is this justice?” asks Khadka with burning eyes. “I don’t have a roof over my head, my son can’t go to school while the people who spread terror and killed innocent people are being
pampered.”
“I am searching for the men who killed my husband,” she says. “I want to kill them or be killed.”
Widowed with a young son, Khadka ran from pillar to post in her home district Sunsari in southern Nepal to find a way to live.
“There’s no place for a married woman at her parents’ house,” she says. “My in-laws beat me and threw me out. And then the state forced me to flee at night with my child in my arms.
“I have been victimised by
everybody.”
In desperation, Khadka came to the capital where she was told there were others like her, people who were victims of Maoist atrocities.
Durganath Yogi, whose family ran a small shop in Dang in midwestern Nepal, a Maoist stronghold, saw his elder brother killed by the guerrillas and their property confiscated. He was told to leave the village or face severe consequences.
Yogi too chose to come to Kathmandu.
Like Yogi and Khadka, about 300 people with similar tales of suffering, banded to form the Nepal Maobadi Pidit Sangh - Maoist Victims’ Association - and sought to demand compensation and justice from the government.
However, the seven-year struggle has come to naught.
The Sangh says instead of justice, they have been further persecuted by the “democratic” multiparty government.
Three years ago, Maoists killed the head of the group, Ganesh Chiluwal, in one of the busiest areas of the capital. Though several organisations, including Amnesty International, have been asking Nepal’s government to punish Chiluwal’s killers, nothing has happened so far.
For three months, the victims had been camping on an open plot on the way to the airport, hoping their sit-in would move the government.
On May 17, when they sought to stop traffic on main roads as a protest, a vehicle was torched in the course of the protest.
“Police arrested 18 members,” says Nur Prasad Adhikari. “Though the majority were released, four are still in detention. They include a woman, Kalpana Bhandari.”
“And the same night, they came and razed our camp and took away all we possessed. The clothes I am wearing are all I have left now.”
Ironically, many of the victims’ kin who were killed by the Maoists either worked in the army or police, and some were members of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s Nepali Congress party.
Kalpana Bhandari, who is still in detention, for instance, suffered the killing of her husband Ram Bahadur, who worked for the Nepal police.
The growing frustration and rage among the victims is now making them think of other options.
Adhikari met the representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Kathmandu to ask ominous questions about victims’ rights.
“Will it be a violation of human rights,” the young man asked the UN official, “if the government ... forcing us to take the law in our own hands?” – IANS

Maoist inmate in Malda boos minister

Statesman News Service
MALDA, May 23: It was an embarrassing moment for the state jail minister, Mr Biswanath Chow-dhury, and officials present today when they were mocked by a Maoist under trial Animesh Chakraborty during an inauguration ceremony at the Malda correctional home.
Shouting ant-government slogans and criticising the role of the state government over political prisoners and a horde of other issues, the under trial flashed a poster at the minister that he had fashioned clandestinely inside the jail confines for the purpose.
There was further agony for jail minister Mr Biswanath Chowdhury when the local media persons intimated him that friends and relatives of under trials had to line the pockets of the jail staff to meet the prisoners.
The jail authorities, however, denied the allegation and said that a box to receive applications from visitors has been provided at the jail.
“We consider applications submitted by noon. No one is allowed to visit prisoners in jail by paying money to the jail staff,” they said.
Mr Chowdhury inaugurated a complex at the Malda correctional home for women prisoners today. The new facility, which according to the minister would be able to accommodate 50 inmates, has been named after Pritilata Waddedar.
Jail officials said that accommodation for women in the sub-jail was not sufficient earlier. In addition to the new facility, over Rs 15 lakh has been spent for renovation and construction of the jail’s boundary wall.
A block, which was outside the jail and was used as an office, has been converted into a women cell.
The inspector general prison, Mr BD Sharma, Malda zilla parishad sabhadhipati, Mr Goutam Chakraborty, Malda Ramkrishna Mission chief Swami Divyananda, additional district magistrate Mr Abdul Khaleque and the Malda superintendent of police Mr DK Mondal were also present today.

Maoists Kill Two Villagers In Bihar

Thursday 24th of May 2007 Two people were killed and as many injured when Maoist rebels attacked a Bihar village, police officials said Thursday.

Armed Maoists raided Maniyarpur village in East Champaran district, about 250 km from this state capital, near the Nepal border late Wednesday night, police sources said.

According to police officials, frightened villagers said over 100 armed Maoists attacked the village, killing two people and injuring two others.

'Maoist also set ablaze vehicles and looted some houses minutes before they fled,' said police officials.

'Maoist rebels attacked the village in search of a farmer who was a witness in a case related to killing by Maoists of a rich and powerful farmer Maheshwar Singh, two years ago,' police officials added.

Police have launched an operation to arrest rebels of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist).

In the past months Maoists have attacked several places in rural Bihar. They had killed a number of policemen and looted arms in the state. The Maoists' spreading network in districts along the Indo-Nepal border is causing alarm as it poses a serious challenge to the governments of both the countries.

Naxal-friendly scribes on cop radar

VISHVENDU JAIPURIAR

Getting helping hand from unexpected quarter
Hazaribagh, May 23: Believe it or not, some journalists are backing Maoists in the state. At least the police believe so. Arrest of Jahoor Ansari, a dreaded extremist, has turned the suspicion of the force into belief.

Ansari disclosed to the police the name of a journalist, who used to help him in several ways — right from collecting levy to providing information related to movement of the police. The men in uniform are now conducting raids to arrest the accused journalist, who according to the sources in the force, was a close associate of Ansari since long.

Ansari admitted that he was always helped by the journalist at the hour of need. Interestingly, the arrested rebel claimed that he was even accompanied by the journalist to collect the levy recovered from his possession.

This is not the first instance of police officials coming across the name of a journalist working as “informer” of Maoists. When a zonal commander of the Maoist outfit, Tilakji, was nabbed two months ago, he claimed a prominent journalist of the town used to inform him about the plans of the police in lieu of money. But the police did not take any action against that journalist, as he had strong connections with bigwigs of politics as well as the police force.

Hazaribagh superintendent of police Praveen Kumar Singh claimed that journalists of Naxalite dominated areas were providing information to Maoists. Investigations in this regard revealed that journalists initially try to befriend Maoists to get breaking news. But soon the scribes turn informers of Maoists for a premium. They provide extremists with the strategy of the police against monthly payment, he said. Such journalists maintain good relationship with lower-rung officers of the police and get information related to combing operations.

Sources in the police department said leak of information related to combing operations surprised them on several occasions. “Now it appears that some of the journalists were behind this. The practice will definitely bring disrepute to media,” a police official said.

Police officials admitted that it was not the first time when a rebel accused a journalist of passing on information to them. The police have decided to take stern action against the journalists hand-in-glove with rebels. They said efforts were on to nab the Keredari-based reporter, who helped Ansari to give police the slip on several occasions.

Naxals clash with cops in Gadchiroli

23 May, 2007 l 0234 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK



CHANDRAPUR/BHANDARA: The anti-naxal operation squad foiled an attack by naxals in Sironcha tehsil of Gadchiroli district near Andhra Pradesh-Maharashtra border on Tuesday.

According to the police, about 12 naxals, who were hiding in the forest near Ampetha village in Sironcha tehsil, started firing at the police team.

In the return police fired at them and the encounter lasted for about 20 minutes. However, the naxals managed to escape in the nearby jungle. No one was injured in the encounter, said police.

The police team have recovered a camera flash gun, nine batteries, a digital multi-meter, two radio sets, two pittus (bags), books and nine tarpaulin from the area.

Additional superintendent of police Anant Rokde immediately rushed to Sironcha and police have launched a massive combing operation in the area.

In yet another incident, naxals opened fire at a police party in Gondia district on Tuesday afternoon. No one was injured in the encounter. Police have seized naxal literature and other materials from the spot.

Meanwhile, in the wake of a proposed bandh call, the police officials have sounded a red alert in naxal-infested areas. All the precautionary measures have been taken to prevent any untoward incident, said a senior police official.

Maharashtra’s women in khaki are a ‘wonderful lot’

DNA
Wednesday, May 23, 2007 22:49 IST


Maharashtra, one of the most progressive states in the country, got its first woman IPS officer, Sridevi Goel, in 1977. Meeran Borwankar was the next in 1981 and five more followed suit over the years.

Sridevi Goel holds the rank of Additional Director General of Police and Principal of the Police Training Academy, Nashik. She earlier had a stint in Mumbai, way back in mid eighties as Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Port Zone.

Meeran Borwankar had been Superintendent of Police, Satara, DCP Zone-IV, Mumbai and now heads the crucial Crime Branch of the city police. She was also posted with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for nearly three years in between. Pradnya Sarvade is Joint Commissioner with the Anti Corruption Bureau and likes to keep a low profile.

Archana Tyagi heads the Thane Rural district, the most populated and one of largest districts in the country, in her capacity as Superintendent of Police (SP). She earlier did a stint at the Crime Branch as DCP, Enforcement.

Shobha Ohatkar is now posted with State CID, Crime at Pune, while Rashmi Shukla is posted with the State Police Headquarters as Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG). Aswati Dorji is handling the most sensitive job as SP of Anti-Naxal Operations. She was earlier DCP with Thane police.

According to State Director General of Police (DGP) PS Pasricha, all the women IPS officers are a wonderful lot. The boss was full of praise for the younger lot like Aswati Dorji, the brave Kerala girl who offered to take up the Naxalite infested area posting at a time when her child was just seven months old and Archana Tyagi, who accepted the challenge of handling Thane Rural police.

While the other women IPS officers went about their work and achievements silently Meeran Borwankar, by virtue of her postings always remained in the limelight. Said to be honest, hard working and a no nonsense officer she also invites criticism for being stubborn, arrogant and vindictive.

“She is more protective of her image, than that of the department. One has to be both firm and flexible at the same time. She is a good administrator but a bad manpower manager,” said a retired DGP.

But Meeran is not bothered about what others around her think about her. She did well during her earlier stints in the city. As DCP zone-IV, she handled the crucial fight against organised crime during the dreaded region of don Vardabhai. She decimated the organised gangs of dock thieves during her tenure with the Port Zone.

She still remains the most visible woman face of the Maharashtra police force.

Awate, Gupta contenders for CP's post

24 May, 2007 l 0015 hrs ISTlSoumittra S Bose/TIMES NEWS NETWORK



NAGPUR: Senior IPS officers Subhash Awate, Satyapal Singh and Pankaj Gupta are among the forerunners for the post of commissioner of Nagpur city police, leaving behind others like Anil Dhere and Shreedevi Goyal. Hassan Gafoor and Pravin N Dixit -- who are already of Additional DG ranks -- are also likely to be considered. Among the contenders, Gupta, belonging to the 1976 batch of IPS, is the most senior officer.

Though the top contenders have to be promoted from the rank of special IG to Additional DG, the speculation is still doing the rounds at a crazy pace. Following a proposal of the home department, around six new posts of additional DGs are likely to be created against the already existing 16 in the state. The names two joint commissioners of police -- Arup Patnaik and Subhash Awate -- are doing the rounds. IG Konkan Singh, ATS chief K P Raghuvanshi, SRPF chief Javed Ahmad and chief security officer B N Raut are on the verge of being promoted. Pankaj Gupta -- who heads the anti-naxal operation cell -- is also likely to be promoted to the rank of Additional DG. "Though Gupta may not be the first choice due to his unfavourable image among dalit population after the Khairlanji incident, he may get political support for the top post, which he has been eyeing since long," revealed a source in Mumbai.

The post of the chief of ANO -- which is designated for the spl IG rank -- is on the threshold of being elevated to the rank of Addl DGP, along with the posts of planning and co-ordination, administration, railways, SRPF, Traffic and anti-corruption bureau. "If Patnaik is not considered, Awate and Singh become the other choices for the post. Raut can be a surprise choice too," commented a source.

Though the state government machinery, including deputy chief minister R R Patil, assured to resolve the deadlock of almost three months, it may take longer for the issue to be resolved.

Following the refusal of K Subramanium to accept the posting of Nagpur CP on 'personal grounds', the stalemate was created in March. Since then, more than half dozen names popped up but till date none has arrived to relieve SPS Yadav, who is 'compelled' to continue till home department finalises a new candidate. Interestingly, with the promotion being due, all the contenders have sounded keen to take up the responsibility if entrusted to do the job by the government.

Awate and Patnaik -- both belonging to 1979 batch -- told TOI that they would rather follow the government's order even if it means to take up the assignment of CP Nagpur. Even Singh struck a positive note while commenting on the same issue.

According to a reliable source, the deadlock with the Nagpur CP is likely to end in June with the new posts being created and promotions are on threshold.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Young Communist League or Young Criminal League

May 22, 2007 at 07:46:11



by Rajat KC Page 1 of 1 page(s)

http://www.opednews.com




Despite the Maoists joining legislative parliament and government, the Maoists, in the name of Young Communist League (YCL), continue to engage in looting, vandalism, intimidation and hostility across the country.

Nepalnews.com, famous web news of Nepal mentioned the atrocities of YCL in one single news report, dated 20th May 2007 as following: "YCL cadres smeared the face of Narayan Bikram Rana, a resident at Khata of Dhodhari VDC-9 with tar and took him round the village yesterday. A local landlord, Rana was charged by the YCL cadres of exploiting people. They even forced his family members to take refuge in their neighbour’s house and padlocked it. Police later reached the site and freed Rana from YCL cadres." ..."In another incident the same day, cadres of the league mercilessly beat up ex-policeman Lokraj Regmi at Shantibatka, Ratnapark, after a heated argument among them on Saturday. A police team that reached the spot immediately after receiving the information about the scuffle found Regmi lying on the ground with injury marks all over his body." ..."Similarly, YCL activists brutally thrashed Prakash Pariyar or Pipaltari VDC-1 and broke his hands and legs, Friday evening. 35-year-old Praiyar who serves in the Indian Army, was home on a vacation and was thrashed for using “abusive language” against the Maoists’s area in-charge Prabahat. Badly bruised, Pariyar was rushed to Pokhara for treatment where he is said to be out of danger."..."Additionally, a group of YCL activists looted properties worth Rs 600,000 from the house of Ram Mani Nepane in Duwakot, Bhaktapur yesterday. According to police, a group led by YCL activist Ram Krishna Khadka overpowered the family members and made away with cash and other valuables safely locked in the cabinet. Police said the search is on to nab the culprits."..."In the eastern town of Biratnagar, YCL activists beat up two goldsmiths – Sanjay Devi Sutradhar and her son Manoj Sutradhar – after vandalising their shops at Thakurbadi road, Saturday. The Maoists were reportedly furious with them because they had opened their shop even on Saturday, the weekly public holiday."..."Meanwhile, due to Maoist threats, all work on the fourth phase of the Indo-Nepal joint effort to prepare Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Saptakoshi High Dam has been halted, the Kathmandu Post reports."


The above-mentioned activities of YCL are just a few examples. Similar incidents are happening daily in almost all parts of the country. Such types of activities are done by criminal groups, but not expected from a sister organization of a ruling political party. Surprisingly, YCL is fully involved in such activities. Seeing the criminal nature of the activities of YCL, people of Nepal are getting confused as to whether the YCL is Youth Communist League or a Youth Criminal League?

Most of the members of YCL are hardcore militants who are not registered in a cantonment. Recently, Sagar, so-called in charge of Kathmandu valley bureau of YCL, mentioned on a TV program that he was valley brigade commander of the Maoists' rebel force before he assumed his present assignment. This statement indicates that the Maoists are deceiving even the United Nations' mission in Nepal (UNMIN) that the real combatants are outside the camps. It has been said that more then sixty percent of rebel combatants are working as YCL cadre all over the country. Those who are kept in camps are mostly new or child soldiers, recruited during the post-ceasefire period.

This gives a clear picture to all of us that the government of Nepal and UNMIN are just legitimatizing duplicate combatants. People of Nepal believe that the government and UNMIN will seriously verify in second phase, and segregate those who do not meet the criteria of combatants.

YCL cadres are not only busy in criminal activity, but also are involved in anti-national activity by destroying historical monuments and statues. History can not be deleted or changed by destruction. YCL and their leaders should not forget that new history (good or bad) can be created, but history can not be changed.

If the criminal acts of YCL continue, then peace is far away in Nepal, and a free and fair election can not be held till the time such activities continue. The Maoists often blame the Prime Minister or royalist group for disturbing and destabilizing the peace, where as, in reality, they are the ones who are becoming hurdles in an ongoing peace process.

Probably, this is a unique example in Nepalese history that a political party is directly involved in crimes, smugglings and anti-people, as well as anti-national activities. Despite of all these happenings, no strong pressures have been given to Maoists to stop YCL brutalities. The reason could be that nobody wants to displease the Maoists, fearing that, if the Maoists are annoyed, then the fragile peace process will be in jeopardy.

The government and the United Nations should take serious action against this type of undemocratic and anti-social work. Otherwise, soon they will loose their credibility. At the same time, the Maoists must give clear-cut instruction to YCL to behave like a responsible political force. If the Maoists' leadership keeps encouraging YCL to work as a criminal group by taking the law into their own hands, then the people will give them necessary punishment on which YCL will be remembered in new history of new Nepal as "Young Criminal League".

Oppression will aggravate the land problem, say leaders

User Rating: / 0 Wednesday, 23 May 2007



Vijayawada, May 23: Attempts to thwart the `Bhooporatam' (land occupation movement) taken up by the Left parties will only aggravate the problem for the Government, said speakers at a round table meet organised by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on `Government suppression of the land occupation movement' on Tuesday.

They demanded that the Government unconditionally withdraw the cases booked against the activists who had taken part in the struggle.

Deploring the likening of the activists of land occupation movement to naxalites, Vijayawada West MLA Sk. Nasar Vali said that the activists were informing the authorities well in advance of the land occupation programme.

CPI (M) State committee member Ch. Babu Rao wondered why the Government was not so harsh with those who had encroached upon huge tracks of Government land and those who were in possession of assigned lands. He demanded that the Government issue a white paper on how much of land was available for distribution and the number of eligible families to which it could be distributed.

`A mistake'

Communist Party of India (CPI) city secretary Palla Surya Rao said the State Government was making a mistake if it was under the impression that it could thwart this movement by using force.

Telugu Desam Party city general secretary Nagul Meera condemned the police action against occupiers of Government lands and said that it was unbecoming of the police to send activists who were arrested to Rajahmundry central jail. Mr. Meera suggested that leaders of all parties meet the City Police Commissioner to lodge a complaint against the arrests.

Freedom Fighters' Association leader Satyanarayana Reddy, Vijayawada Tax Payers' Association president V. Sambi Reddy, Retired Government Employees' Association president Gandhi and People for India leader M.N. Patrudu expressed their solidarity with the activists of land occupation movement and demanded that those who were in police custody be released immediately.

--Agencies

Naxalites lend support to anti-Posco stir

STATE BUREAU
Posted online: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 at 0000 hours IST




BHUBANESWAR, MAY 22: Posco India's proposed Rs 52,000-crore steel project in Orissa is likely to face further hurdle as naxalites belonging to the CPI (Maoist) have urged the affected villagers to intensify their struggle against the project.
Intelligence reports have confirmed that Maoist leaders recently visited the villages affected by the project and distributed leaflets.


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Police sources said naxalites were trying to set up base in the area taking advantage of the tense situation in the three gram panchyats of Dhinkia, Gadakujanga and Nuagon. Villagers here are protesting the location of the proposed plant under the banner of the Posco Virodhi Sangram Samiti and the Naba Nirmana Samiti.

Meanwhile, the CPI (ML) general secretary, Dipankar Bhattacharya urged villagers to continue their struggle against the project. He cautioned the state government that unless the people's problem was taken care of, naxalites belonging to the Maoist group would certainly take advantage of the situation.

Police predict turbulent times

RANJAN DASGUPTA
Ranchi, May 22: Rebels in Jharkhand have never had it so good.

First, they have decided to expand their base in the “virgin” zone of Santhal Pargana, for which they have started covert exercise to scout talents. Secondly, they have earmarked the state for “core action” as they have several advantages — geographical, financial and mass support.

Police top brass predicts the state is heading for a turbulent phase if no proper measures are taken to counter the problem on a war footing.

For the last six months, three squads of the CPI(Maoist) are scanning different pockets of that region, organising night meetings with locals and leaving the villages before sunrise. They are targeting Paharia, Santhal and Ghotwals — the three most dominant local inhabitants in that zone.

The rebels here collect the highest levy of all the Naxalite affected states — about Rs 100 crore per year.

Moreover, surrounded by Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa, the state helps them give the slip since the police seldom frequent the inaccessible terrain.

Although large funds have been spent over the years to equip jawans with modern weapons, the state is unable to check the rising red rage or even give semblance of fight that could display the state’s readiness for war.

If the police sources involved in rebel operations are to be believed, the number of hardcore rebels is over 300, an increase of nearly 100 from two years ago. A thoroughly demoralised police force, poor development work and political vacuum in rural areas, the rebels are having a free run.

Over a year ago the state police had kicked off an operation to liberate eight Naxalite strongholds. The police operation at Jhumra Pahar was the first, where the police succeeded. But with change of guard among the top brass, similar operations in other seven zones could not begin.

Policemen’s association president Ram Kumar Singh alleged police pickets are unfit “even for animals to stay”.

“You have to blame the politicians, too, for the rise in rebel problem. Hardly any politician visits the rebel-affected areas regularly. The rebels are filling the political vacuum in these areas. The locals have more confidence in them than their political counterparts,” said a senior police official.

State home secretary Sudhir Tripathi admitted the rebels are trying to make inroads into the Santhal Pargana, but claimed: “The state government is aware of this fact and are taking steps to check it. There is no laxity on part of the government to tackle the rebel problem.”

March of the Red brigade ‘Naxalite bomb ticking’

MANAN KUMAR
New Delhi, May 22: The Centre’s barometer on ultra-Left militancy has just registered a quantum jump — Naxalites have widened their network across 183 districts in 16 states — more than three-times the geographical spread estimated two years ago.

An internal assessment report prepared by the Union home ministry on the Naxalite situation now lists Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi as the states where Naxalites have “established new bases by setting up regional and district-level centres”.

It is, however, strange how Kerala, which is known for having an established base of Naxalites for many years now, figured in the list of new areas of operation.

In a similar assessment in 2005, the Centre had estimated Naxalite presence in 55 districts in seven states.

The Union home ministry claimed only marginal increase in Naxalism in its status report on internal security released in April this year.

According to home ministry figures, incidents of Naxalite violence actually went down from a high of 1,608 in 2005 to 1,509 in 2006, though the number of police personnel killed registered a marginal increase — from 153 in 2005 to 157 in 2006.

The situation is becoming critical if one looks at the increasing sway of the red corridor. “Violence is not the immediate aim of the Maoists; they take it up as a last resort when their hegemony in an established area such as Chhattisgarh is challenged. The worrying factor is that the plan to increase their area of activity is working perfectly. It could become impossible to contain them once they decide to hit at many places suddenly,” said the senior home official.

Likewise, the strength of the armed Maoist cadre has also gone up phenomenally — from 8,000 in 2005 to 11,000 in 2006, to 15,000 in 2007. “Almost 90 per cent of the armed cadre strength is from the erstwhile MCCI and PWG, while the rest comes from 34 other organisations. These other groups are playing a crucial role in setting up the bases and enlisting new cadres in the new areas,” said the official.

Naxalites are looking at the issues of Dalits, minorities, tribals and women to increase their area of activity.

Naxals clash with cops in Gadchiroli

23 May, 2007 l 0234 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK


CHANDRAPUR/BHANDARA: The anti-naxal operation squad foiled an attack by naxals in Sironcha tehsil of Gadchiroli district near Andhra Pradesh-Maharashtra border on Tuesday.

According to the police, about 12 naxals, who were hiding in the forest near Ampetha village in Sironcha tehsil, started firing at the police team.

In the return police fired at them and the encounter lasted for about 20 minutes. However, the naxals managed to escape in the nearby jungle. No one was injured in the encounter, said police.

The police team have recovered a camera flash gun, nine batteries, a digital multi-meter, two radio sets, two pittus (bags), books and nine tarpaulin from the area.

Additional superintendent of police Anant Rokde immediately rushed to Sironcha and police have launched a massive combing operation in the area.

In yet another incident, naxals opened fire at a police party in Gondia district on Tuesday afternoon. No one was injured in the encounter. Police have seized naxal literature and other materials from the spot.

Meanwhile, in the wake of a proposed bandh call, the police officials have sounded a red alert in naxal-infested areas. All the precautionary measures have been taken to prevent any untoward incident, said a senior police official

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

BJP MLA sees reason for Maoist menace

Statesman News Service
BARIPADA, May 21: Chadipahadi, Sergada and Ladho have become hubs of Maoist activities and they are moving into Bangiposi, Karanjia, Jharpokhria and other areas of Mayurbhanj district due to maladministration and total neglected, observed BJP MLA and former minister Ms Draupadi Murmu.

She was visibly upset over the failures and the inability of the government to tackle the Maoist menace. Though she did not directly support the activities of Maoists, she observed they are fighting for the rights of the people in these backward areas. Since people in these areas have not received the fruits of freedom after waiting for over six decades, they tend to be swayed by the promise of immediate dispensation of justice and fulfillment of demands, she noted.
Villages around Similipal forest areas are yet to get basic amenities and they are deprived on every front. Basic needs relating to education, health and water have not been addressed. Blasting the government, she said thousands of projects for development of tribal areas are announced, but nothing is worked out at the field level.

Ms Murmu, who was a minister in the Naveen Patnaik government before she was replaced, said crores are misappropriated. Due to long years of harassment and the step-motherly treatment, tribals are supporting Naxalites, she said.
Decrying the police administration, she said they fail to provide security to the people and still worse they pick up innocent tribals suspecting them to be Naxalites or their supporters. This has further alienated tribals from the administration, she charged.

Ms Murmu was shocked at the recent spate of killings by Maoists in the district and had met top officials of the home department to register her displeasure.

Maoist Bandh disrupts life in Malkangiri

Tuesday May 22 2007 14:26 IST
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JEYPORE: The Maoist bandh was total in Malkangiri district on Monday. The bandh call was given by Andhra-Orissa Border Zonal Committee of Maoists.

According to reports, the Maoists had called for a bandh from May 21 to 27 in border districts of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, protesting police excesses in tribal areas and fake encounters in the Naxalite zones in the past.

Accordingly, normal traffic in and outside areas bordering Malkangiri, Kalimela, Chitrakonda and MV-79 areas was badly affected and there was no vehicular movement from Andhra Pradesh either.

The Naxalites were found distributing pamphlets and banners in different villages citing police high handedness on tribals in the name of ‘Maoist counter’. They demanded immediate probe into the arrest of Naxalites in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.

Elaborate security arrangements were made by the district administration with armed police and para-military forces patrolling sensitive pockets. No untoward incident was reported.

Naxal shadow on tourism : Picturesque Dalma hills

PINAKI MAJUMDAR

Tourists enjoy a boat ride in Ghatshila.
Jamshedpur, May 21: Red shadow seems to be clouding the picturesque Dalma hills and sanctuary.

According to figures available with the local administration, the flow of tourists to this part of the state has been gradually declining over the last couple of months reportedly because of Naxalite activities.

Tourism officials pointed out that the forest guesthouse at Makulakocha atop Dalma hills has failed to attract any tourist in the past two months.

The guesthouse, located at a height of 4,000 ft above sea-level amid the picturesque Dalma hills, was a major attraction for tourists from Bengal and Orissa.

Forest officials based at Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary said a large number of tourists, mostly from Bengal, visited the place during this time last year.

“Tourists come here to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Dalma sanctuary during summer vacations,” said Arjun Baraik, range officer of Dalma.

“But strangely, this year we have not received any enquiry or booking. The reason could be the rise in Naxalite activity.”

Situated about 45 km from Jamshedpur, Ghatshila used to draw several people this time of the season.

But this year is different. Going by the occupancy rate in the hotels there, tourists are giving this place also the skip due to the fear of Naxalites.

Police brought Ferreira and Murali at Mumbai for narco test

Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times
Email Author
Nagpur, May 21, 2007
First Published: 19:56 IST(21/5/2007)
Last Updated: 20:09 IST(21/5/2007)


The Mumbai-based alleged Maoist, Arun Thomas Ferreira and top Naxalite leader, Murali Sattya Reddy were brought to the state capital from Nagpur under tight security on Monday morning to conduct narco-analysis, lie-detector and brain-mapping tests.

According to available information, both the suspected Naxalites may undergo the test at Mumbai on Tuesday or could even be shifted to Bangalore for the tests if it was needed. A team of senior police personnel, led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Surendra Mekala, had taken them to Mumbai by train. The duo was arrested with another two suspected Naxalites near Deekshabhoomi last fortnight.

Talking to Hindustan Times, Commissioner of Police (CP), SPS Yadav confirmed that the tests were not conducted on Monday. While admitting that both the Naxalites were taken to Mumbai, he refused to divulge the details. The duo has been brought to Mumbai to testify some valuable information the Nagpur police and the state anti-Naxal cell had gathered in the case.

The local court had allowed the narco and brain-mapping tests of both the suspected Naxalites when the police pointed out that it was essential to conduct such tests in view of their anti-national and violent activities. Both, who were booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, were not revealing their original plans and their purpose of coming to the city. Moreover, the police said that interrogation of Mumbai-based Naxalite Ferreira had become a challenge for them since he hardly disclosed anything to the police. He is proficient in computers and was the in-charge of propaganda and communication network of the CPI (Maoist).

Government pleader PK Sathianathan filed an application on Sunday before the local court to produce Ferreira and Murali in Mumbai for conducting the three tests. The court granted the permission and directed the jailer of the Nagpur Central Jail in Nagpur to produce them on Monday at Mumbai. And finally, the city police brought them to Mumbai on Monday morning.

Meanwhile, the court also granted the magisterial custody to four alleged extremists till June 2.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Dera Sacha Sauda chief has links with Maoists, alleges VHP


From our ANI Correspondent

New Delhi, May 20: The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) has accused Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh of having links with Maoists.

"Dera is involved in many anti-religious and anti social activities. Dera's chief has links with Maoists," VHP president Ashok Singhal said, adding that Dera was infusing hatred between Sikh and Hindu communities.

"Hindu and Sikhs must beware of Dera's plot to infuse hatred between them," VHP president said in a release.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Police today registered a case in Bhatinda against Dera Sacha Sauda Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, just before the meeting of Akal Takht in Amritsar.

"The State Government has clamped a case under Section 295 (a), deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs, of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the Dera Sacha Sauda chief," Harcharan Singh Bains, media advisor to Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal said.

Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh has reportedly apologised to the Sikh community for hurting their sentiments.

"I had no intention of imitating or being disrespectful to Guru Gobind Singh. I had absolutely no intention of equating myself with Guru Gobind Singh," Ram Rahim said.

"We never intended to imitate Guru Gobind Singh and we are regretful of whole chain of event," the Public Relations Department of the Dera said in a statement issued last night.

The clashes began on Monday after the controversial leader of Dera Sacha Sauda sect, which combines social work with spirituality, dressed up as Guru Gobind Singh, the revered 17th century Sikh guru.


Copyright Dailyindia.com/ANI

Mystery shrouds twin deaths

OUR CORRESPONDENT
Ranchi, May 20: Members of Jharkhand Liberation Tiger — a criminal outfit with Naxalite dropouts — shot dead two brothers, Shiv Prakash Yadav (22) and Jai Prakash Yadav (25), in two different villages under Karra police station within a span of 15 minutes in broad daylight.

While the younger brother was shot at Gorai village at 10 am, the elder one was killed at Balsirin Chowk around 10.15 am. The distance between two spots is about 3 km.

According to police sources, the killing was the result of internal rivalry. “Both the brothers used to work for the organisation, a criminal gang led by Bimal Oroan. They used to collect levy from contractors on behalf of the gang. They might have been killed due to some internal dispute,” said officer-in-charge of Karra police station Anjani Kumar.

Shot at

Police today remained busy solving the mystery behind the firing on a Guru Nanak School student, Neeranjan Kumar (18), presently undergoing treatment at the intensive care unit of RIMS.

Though the student said he got injured trying to save his cousin when criminals attacked them to loot near BNR hotel on Saturday at 9 pm. But police have doubts about the student’s version.

Officer-in-charge of Chutia police station Moham med Nehaluddin said the criminals must have some other motive.

“Criminals first opened fire on Neeranjan and Ganesh without even trying to loot the bag they were carrying. The aim was not to loot the cash,” he said.

Ganesh, who is undergoing treatment at RIMS, said they were on way to the station to catch a train for Calcutta when the incident took place.

Chhattisgarh DGP Rathor died of cardiac failure

Raipur, May 21, 2007
First Published: 17:46 IST(21/5/2007)
Last Updated: 17:53 IST(21/5/2007)

Chhattisgarh's top cop, Director General of Police Om Prakash Rathor died after he collapsed while giving a speech on the occasion of Anti-Terrorism Day in Raipur, late Monday noon. He was rushed to Escort Heart Hospital in Raipur where doctors declared him dead after trying to revive him.

According to Dr Sandeep Shrivastava, chief cardiac surgeon Escort Hospital, there was no heart beat nor breathing when the DGP was brought to the hospital.

“We did our best to revive him”, said Shrivastava. The DGP was a diabetic and doctors suspect that he died of a massive cardiac failure.

Rathor, a 1973 IPS officer, was born in Himachal Pradesh on January 15, 1949. Originally from Madhya Pradesh cadre he joined Chhattisgarh after the division of the state.

He was appointed DGP of naxal infested Chhattisgarh state on July 15, 2004. He remained a supporter of Salwa Judum (tribal’s peace campaign against naxal menace). He is survived by his wife and two sons.

His body has been taken for post-mortem after permission from his son and wife who are presently in the United States.

His younger son Abhishek was with him when Rathor was admitted to the Escort.

Chief minister Raman Singh, Home Minister Ramvichar Netam and leader of opposition Mahendra Karma reached the hospital. “Chhattisgarh has lost a competent officer”, said the chief minister in his condolence message.

Email author: ejaz.kaiser@hindustantimes.com

Chhattisgarh DGP Rathor died of cardiac failure

Raipur, May 21, 2007
First Published: 17:46 IST(21/5/2007)
Last Updated: 17:53 IST(21/5/2007)

Chhattisgarh's top cop, Director General of Police Om Prakash Rathor died after he collapsed while giving a speech on the occasion of Anti-Terrorism Day in Raipur, late Monday noon. He was rushed to Escort Heart Hospital in Raipur where doctors declared him dead after trying to revive him.

According to Dr Sandeep Shrivastava, chief cardiac surgeon Escort Hospital, there was no heart beat nor breathing when the DGP was brought to the hospital.

“We did our best to revive him”, said Shrivastava. The DGP was a diabetic and doctors suspect that he died of a massive cardiac failure.

Rathor, a 1973 IPS officer, was born in Himachal Pradesh on January 15, 1949. Originally from Madhya Pradesh cadre he joined Chhattisgarh after the division of the state.

He was appointed DGP of naxal infested Chhattisgarh state on July 15, 2004. He remained a supporter of Salwa Judum (tribal’s peace campaign against naxal menace). He is survived by his wife and two sons.

His body has been taken for post-mortem after permission from his son and wife who are presently in the United States.

His younger son Abhishek was with him when Rathor was admitted to the Escort.

Chief minister Raman Singh, Home Minister Ramvichar Netam and leader of opposition Mahendra Karma reached the hospital. “Chhattisgarh has lost a competent officer”, said the chief minister in his condolence message.

Email author: ejaz.kaiser@hindustantimes.com

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Magisterial custody for naxals

21 May, 2007 l 0404 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK



NAGPUR: The four hardcore naxals, who were arrested at Deekshabhoomi, got some respite on Sunday after they were transferred to magisterial custody from police custody.

The court also allowed police to take Murli alias Ashok Satyam Reddy and Arun Thomas Ferreira for narco analysis test to be held in Mumbai on Monday.

The TOI first reported on May 15 that the police plan to take Murli and Ferreira, who are booked under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), to Mumbai for a narco analysis. Apparently, the naxals were not cooperating with the investigators and hiding vital information regarding naxalites movements and their purpose of assembling in Nagpur. Both the accused would also be subjected to brain mapping and lie detector tests.

The application was filed by assistant police commissioner at Sitabuldi division D D Gawande, who is investigation officer in the naxal case. The Sunday's hearing was held in a peaceful atmosphere unlike on other days when entire district and sessions court premises remains buzzing with scores of lawyers, policemen and others.

Counsel for state government public prosecutor P K Sathianathan informed the court that they have received the letter from Mumbai's judicial assistance forensic laboratory to produce the naxal duo for narco test on Monday.

Surendra Gadling, the counsel for naxals, also pleaded before the court to transfer these four naxals to MCR as they had been under PCR for long period. He also raised apprehensions regarding health, safety and security of his clients.

Advocate Tiwari from Gondia along with advocate M G Bhangde appeared for Dhanendra Bhurle who is believed to be a self styled-journalist of a leading vernacular daily from Gondia and staunch supporter of naxal activities. Advocate Tiwari
appeared on behalf of journalists from Gondia.

The judge after hearing arguments from both sides and taking views of all the four accused ordered to shift the naxals to MCR from Sunday. Naresh Bansod, president of Andha Shraddha Nirmulan Samiti in Gondia and a naxal sympathiser, was the fourth accused.

The court also allowed wives of Bhurle and Bansod, Prof Sarita Bedarkar and Kalpana Bansod, to talk to their husbands in the court premises. A similar appeal made by both these women during earlier hearing on May 16 was rejected.

Some well wishers of both Bhurle and Bansod also thronged the court. However, no one turned from both Murli and Ferreira's side.

Earlier, the police application stated narco analysis is must on naxal duo as both—Murali (divisional secretary of Maharashtra State Committee of Communist Party of India (Maoist) and Ferreira (resident of Bandra in Mumbai and believed to be a courier of Central Committee of CPI (Maoists))—are neither disclosing names of their associates nor their motive behind meeting at a religious place like Deekshabhoomi.

The four naxals were arrested by Nagpur police on May 8 when they assembled at Deekshabhoomi and seized material like pistol, two magazines, 16 rounds, naxal literature and diaries, pen-drive, two VCDs, MP3 disc and notepad.

BJD on a political high, but naxal thorn a sore thumb

DILIP BISOI
Posted online: Monday, May 21, 2007 at 0000 hours IST




BHUBANESWAR: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik last week completed seven years in office in two consecutive terms. And these seven years have been quite dramatic -- the state witnessed brisk activity on the political, industrial and law and order fronts.

Captains of Indian and international corporate houses flew in to Orissa to sign memoranda of understanding (MoUs) for investment. As many as 60 MoUs were signed, with a promise of investments of Rs 4 lakh crore.

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On political front, Patnaik stunned his critics by winning the 2004 Assembly polls for the second time, bucking the national trend. Then, at regular intervals, he dropped ministers for one reason or other.

If the CM was throwing one surprise after another, so were the naxalites. The ultras raided villages and towns and indulged in killings. People's movements against displacement added to the chaos.

Patnaik's move to make Orissa an industrially prosperous state brought accolades from all quarters. Lining up as many 45 steel projects, 13 power projects, three alumininum complexes, and half a dozen IT and ITeS projects, he created an atmosphere for economic activity in an otherwise sleepy state.

But the celebration proved premature. Some mega projects, like Posco, Vedanta Aluminium, Tata Steel are caught in a jinx.

The police firing in Kalinga Nagar, killing 13 tribals, further vitiated the atmosphere. The government beat a hasty retreat, leaving investors to fend for themselves at the project site. The government may be talking tough, but forcing people to let go off their ancestral land for private projects is not an easy task. Anti-Posco activists taking hostage of company officials clearly established that land acquisition is a major stumbling block for making memorandum of understandings (MoUs) a reality.

As these projects remain in limbo, the initial euphoria about industrialisation has started giving way to confusion and in some cases, despair too. As such, the government's writ doesn't run in many parts of the state. Naxalites are running parallel governments at least in 17 of 30 districts. Worse, they are spreading to other districts.

Even at the end of the seventh year, Patnaik, politically, has become stronger. He has sytematically removed all the thorns in his way. With ruling partner BJP becoming weak, and the Opposition Congress mired in internal squabbling, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is gaining strength. The BJD emerging as the largest party in the recent panchayat elections, pushing the Congress to second position and the BJP to third, clearly indicates that the party continues to enjoy the confidence of voters.

However, Patnaik, is apparently not complacent. The recent political trend of voting out of incumbent governments in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand has made him sit up and take stock of his party’s position.

Naxal threat scares sarpanches

Sunday May 20 2007 14:02 IST



ONGOLE: Peace in the mandals adjoining Nallamala is under threat what with Naxalites making threatening calls to the village sarpanches.

The immediate provocation seems to be the CPI-Maoist Naxalites’ suspicion that one of their key pointsman Yarraiah is in police captivity.

Yarraiah is considered an important operator in Tripurantakam, Pullalacheruvu and Yarragondapalem mandals abutting the Nallamala forests.

These mandals have always been problem zones as they are hotbeds of Naxalite activity.

For the past two months, the Naxals have been calling sarpanches over landlines and mobiles asking them to mediate with the police to secure ‘freedom’ for their key activist.

A sarpanch in Yarragondapalem confirmed on condition of anonymity that he had received a call from the Naxals.

The Naxals have reportedly threatened the sarpanches of dire consequences if they did not mediate.

However, Markapuram OSD ARN Ammi Reddy strongly denied the allegations that Yarraiah was in their custody. He said no Maoist is in their custody.

Meanwhile, most of the sarpanches in these three mandals have moved to safe zones like Ongole town as a precautionary measure. Some sarpanches have shifted to Markapuram town, which is close to their villages and easy to operate from.

A sarpanch from Madhurantakam mandal, who too had received a warning call from the Maoists, is taking shelter in his friend’s house in Ongole town.

It may be recalled that the Maoists have killed a couple of sarpanches and a few villagelevel Congress leaders alleging them to be police informers.

The kin of a local MLA was also killed by the Maoists in the recent past.