Saturday, July 07, 2007

Maoists using weapons looted from cops: Chhattisgarh police chief

Raipur, July 7: Chhattisgarh's newly appointed Director General of Police Vishwaranjan Saturday said Maoist militants in the state mostly use weapons such as AK-47 rifles that are looted from policemen.

In his first interaction with the media two days after taking over as the state's police chief, Vishwaranjan said the rebels had set up a research and development (R&D) wing sometime back to become 'self-sufficient' in weapons.

They had also started setting up units at Rourkela in Orissa and at Bhopal to manufacture a missile rocket launcher, but their plan was exposed.

Commenting on weapons and arms strength of the Maoists as compared to police forces, Vishwaranjan said only in explosives did the Maoists have an advantage. "We (police) get trapped in their landmines, but it can be tackled by training policemen."

Vishwaranjan, a 1973 batch IPS officer of Chhattisgarh cadre, quit the post of additional director in Intelligence Bureau (IB) early this month before taking over as the police chief of the insurgency-hit state.

Responding to a question regarding the poor intelligence networking system in the state, he said: "Tactics and morale matter a lot more than intelligence networking."

He said he would visit the state's Maoist-hit southern Bastar region to boost the morale of police forces who are fighting the Leftist radicals.

--- IANS

Naxals want to be Robin Hood

Neelesh Misra and Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times

Imphal/Raipur, July 07, 2007
First Published: 02:04 IST(7/7/2007)
Last Updated: 12:24 IST(7/7/2007)



They arrest motorcycle thieves, treat patients, investigate rapes and murders, punish students cheating in examinations, pressure traders to give farmers better prices and help build roads. These are anti-India militants, not government officials.

Even as they fight gunbattles with the security forces, send grenades and bullets in the mail to threaten people and extort hundreds of crores of rupees, militants in many parts of India are doing what officials should have done.

Officials acknowledge that the trend is a reflection of the deep-rooted failure of the civil administration, police and justice system in these areas, where insurgent groups are taking advantage of the vacuum to spread their influence.

"People are going to the Underground to resolve disputes — in most parts of the state," said Yumnam Joykumar, Manipur’s director general of police. "Underground elements can give you instant justice, whether correct or not," Joykumar told the Hindustan Times. "We have to change the judicial system to make it more effective so that people have more trust in it."

Hundreds of kilometres to the west in Jharkhand’s East Singhbhum district, Sal forests dominate the lush green expanse and villagers collect and sell its leaves, which are used to make pattals (leaf plate).

But traders were fleecing villagers for years, giving them only Rs 23 per 1,000 leaves. The government had not revised the rates, apparently due to powerful traders’ lobbies.

This year, Naxalites put up posters that traders would henceforth pay Rs 75 per 1,000 leaves. Compliance was immediate.

"So now, no contractor is paying less than the new prices. People are thrilled. Earlier, if they got Rs. 100 a day, they now get 300 a day," said a government official, declining to be named.

Last month in Manipur, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested James Kuki, a man who had allegedly abducted and killed Lungnila, the eight-year-old daughter of the then education minister in 2003.

Mass protests had followed the killing, and police were unable to find the man after the body was found in a gunny bag. But the NSCN (I-M), the main Naga insurgent group, swiftly found the suspect, as in many such cases. The rebels "arrested" him, conducted an inquiry and then released him on "parole". Later, the CBI arrested him in Guwahati.

In Andhra Pradesh, Naxals maintain records of the land distributed by them to the landless poor in Telangana, coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.

"At times, there are disputes between the government records and those of the Naxalites, but the district officials do not persist, as they hardly visit villages, and therefore they know that their information might not be correct," said Vijay Naidu, a village headman in Mehboobnagar district.

"After independence, police is seen as an occupant force in the villages which serves the interests of business class and corrupt political class. The Naxalites are seen as saviours of the poor villagers and that is the reason for their increasing support," said Maoist ideologue GN Saibaba.

Official reject that claim. "The Naxalites are now resorting to cheap gimmicks and falsehoods to keep their cadres in high spirits, who are now thoroughly demoralised by the intense combing operations," said Chhattisgarh’s Director General of Police, SK Paswan.

Most rebel groups have structures that try to portray a parallel administration — with finance and education ministers or secretaries, armed and political wings, and representatives down to the town and village levels.

Last month, the United National Liberation Front (UNLF) named the alleged abductor of a valley student to release the boy and surrender within five days. Or else, it said, him, his family and his friends would be given “befitting punishment.” The boy, J Rengwin Lamkang, was released within two days.

The Meitei militant group Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) shot students in their legs to deter them from cheating in examinations. The Revolutionary People’s Front last month arrested a gang of vehicle thieves. In January, the UNLF, the power Imphal valley-based group, recovered Rs 47 lakh from government engineers that they had allegedly taken as bribes.

"In 99.9 per cent of cases, they are bang on," said a senior security official. "In the first instance, they are shot in the leg. The second time, they are killed."

"Any case — rape, murder, goes to the Underground, either directly or indirectly," said Naga youth activist Tuithing Zingkhai. "Here the police department is of no use.

Bihar Jails Put on High Alert Fearing Naxal Attacks

Patna: July 6, 2007

The state government has put all jails in Bihar on high alert following reports of ultra left wing Communist extremists planning Jehanabad-like attack on a number of state penitentiaries to free their incarcerated leaders after the Bihar police foiled two of their attacks in the last few days.

Sandeep Paundrik, IG Prisons, said there were substantial reasons to believe that the Maoists were planning a large-scale seize operation on the line of Jehanabad jail break of 2005 in which several prison officials were killed and over 300 inmates escaped.

All District Magistrates (DMs) and Superintendent of Police (SPs) have been directed to remain on high alert and enhance security at all jails in their districts particularly in the Naxalite-ridden areas like Gaya, Jamui, Nawada, Jehanabad, Motihari, and Begusarai.

Earlier last Wednesday, at a high-level meeting of the state's top bureaucrats and police officials, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar directed the administration to use all possible means to check the growing Naxal violence in Bihar that continues to embarrass the Nitish government for its failure to contain it.

Friday, July 06, 2007

100 kg explosives seized from Chhattisgarh Maoist hideout

From correspondents in Chhattisgarh, India, 05:01 PM IST


Police have recovered 100 kg of explosives from a forest hideout of Maoist rebels in Chhattisgarh, officials said Friday.

The explosives were seized late Thursday from a forest in Rajnandgaon district that borders Maharashtra.

'The explosives are very powerful and are basically used for making country-made bombs,' Amit Kumar, Rajnandgaon district superintendent, told IANS.

Police sources said the seizure, said to be the biggest in the state, was carried out after the interrogation of a Maoist commander, Aitu, who was arrested July 3 with an AK-47 rifle and explosives.

'Recovering 100 kg explosives from a single place is a huge success for the police force. We believe the seized explosives are part of about the 20 tonnes of explosives looted by Maoists in February 2006 from an explosives depot of the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) in Dantewada district,' a police officer said.

Thousands of people have been killed since the Maoists began their insurgency in 1967 from a village in West Bengal. Their activities have spread to at least 13 of India's states, with mineral-rich Chhattisgarh being the worst affected.


(Staff Writer, © IANS)

Bihar jails on high alert

Press Trust of India
Friday, July 6, 2007 (Patna)
All jails in Bihar have been put on high alert amid intelligence reports that outlawed CPI (Maoist) may carry out a Jehanabad style of operation.

In that operation the Maoists had freed more than 300 inmates.

Inspector General (Prisons) Sandip Paundrik said district magistrates and superintendents of police have been asked to beef up security of jails under their jurisdiction.

Extra vigil was being kept in Gaya, Beur, Jehanabad, Masaurhi, Motihari, Jamui, Bagh, Begusarai, Bettiah and Sitamarhi jails.

Several maoists, including their self-styled commanders, zonal commanders and area commanders are lodged at these jails.

Paundrik said there was proposal for shifting some top Naxalite leaders to other jails.

During the daring attack in Jehanabad jail in 2005, the Maoists had also killed three security personnel and supporters of rival Ranvir Sena, a private militia of landlords.

The decision came close on the heels of an attack on a police station in Rohtas district on Saturday in which nine people, including five policemen, were killed and several weapons looted

India, between nuclear euphoria and Naxalite insurrection

by Alberto Cruz

Global Research, July 5, 2007
CEPRID - 2007-07-18


India is the second most populous country in the world and at the same time one of the most unknown. While on the one hand China and Russia are courting India so as to create a real counterweight to the United States (1), the country's oligarchy want to break with that proposed alliance and to do so are using the issue of nuclear power. Still, US proposals to share technology and nuclear fuel with India lack India's agreement on a crucial matter : whether or not to carry out new nuclear tests. The US opposes them, while India thinks that agreeing to US demands would limit its right to process depleted uranium fuel, a key step to obtain plutonium and, thus, would limit its sovereignty.

This is not only the official government position but that of the opposition, on both Right and Left, and of scientists, who demand that the agreement not be ratified unless Parliament does so beforehand. On that, both the Communist Party of India (Marxist), with 44 seats of the New Delhi Parliament's total of 543, and the right-wing Bharatiya Janata (138 seats) agree and without them it is impossible to get a parliamentary majority. The pressure is such that if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ratifies the agreement without parliamentary approval it would bring down his coalition government. It is worth noting that the government is made up of a centrist three party alliance led by the National Congress Party of India (145 seats), the Rashtriya Janata Dal (21 seats) and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (16 seats), supported from outside government by the Left Front ( Marxist Communist Party of India with 44 seats, and the Communist Party of India with 10 seats) together with other regionalist and ethnic parties.

The Bush administration began the process of agreement with India on the nuclear issue in March 2006, at the same time as the beginning of the nuclear crisis with Iran.(2) That rapprochement consisted of the recognition by the US of India's nuclear capacity, justified as part of an effort by Bush to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons, avoid an arms race between India and Pakistan and reinforce India-US ties. It put an end to the 30-year embargo on nuclear material imposed on India in 1974 when India - which is a non-signatory of the Nuclear Arms Non-Proliferation treaty, while Iran is - carried out its first nuclear test. In accordance with the agreement, which is up in the air for now, India would accept the presence of International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) inspectors in 14 of its nuclear installations and would clearly separate the civilian and military aspects of its nuclear programme.

But the agreement went even further : it sought to have India break off all its energy and military agreements with Iran. The US offer included stronger trade links with Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, two Central Asian states with large energy reserves, especially gas, and likewise with Afghanistan and Pakistan to make good India's energy deficit if it were to break with Iran.

Both India and Pakistan have signed an agreement with Iran to build an oil pipeline, "the oil pipeline of Peace" worth US$7bn, to distribute gas to the three countries and this is expected to be formally signed on June 30th. This is something the US is trying to avoid at all costs since at the end of June it intended to return to the UN Security Council asking for a new set of harder sanctions against Iran for not halting its nuclear programme. Already early pressures are being applied by the US to the member countries of the UN Security Council so as to include gas companies within the sanctions.(3) As usual, US foreign policy carries an undeniable element of coercion and in this case more than usual : in exchange for the signing of a nuclear agreement, the Bush Administration would support India's entry into the Security Council as a permanent member, although without veto rights.

According to the UN reforms timidly initiated by Kofi Annan, the UN Security Council would be enlarged taking into account new global realities and would include as permanent members, without right of veto, Germany for Europe, Nigeria or South Africa for Africa, Brazil or Mexico for Latin America and India or Japan for Asia. The criterion used by Kofi Annan was demographic and economic weight, dressing it up with criteria of greater representation in the UN's executive body for different peoples and cultures.

Maoist insurrection and the struggle for land

India aspires to become an unrivalled regional power by 2015. But, to achieve that, guaranteeing its energy needs (oil and, preferably, gas) is vital and it is in this regard that nuclear energy plays an important role. Since its independence from Great Britain, India has tried to set out from what one might call "an economy of size", taking advantage, in other words, of its geographic and population potential. However, despite enormous social differences revolutionary forces, or the Left, if you like, have had difficulty making progress given that capitalism has developed slowly but constantly. The explanation for this situation is that since independence in 1947 India had relatively developed industry and a wealthy, powerful bourgeoisie very adept both at international politics (one should not forget India's importance in creating the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries) and national politics, integrating social measures - although without abolishing the caste system - with outright capitalist ones.

However, during the last 18 years, India has implemented neoliberal policies, gradually dismantling its centralized economy and privatizing its main sectors under the wing of a battery of laws to protect Direct Foreign Investments, especially those from the United States that have now increased from US$76m to US$4bn. At the moment, India's gross domestic product is about US$786bn, four times that of the rest of countries in South Asia.

This policy has led to an increase in the middle classes to around 300 million people, the Bollywood movie watchers and migrants to Europe or the United States and who are more and more isolated from disadvantaged classes not only along traditional caste divisions but in economic matters too. It is reckoned that more than 700 million Indians live in the most absolute poverty. Almost all of them are rural workers who live on small plots of land of less than one hectare and who depend on big private businesses for supplies of seed, fertiliser and other inputs. Furthermore they have to survive amidst impressive industrial projects (especially mining projects) and water projects that flood their land or else expropriate them at absurd prices. To that one has to add the traditional oppression that lower castes have suffered since time immemorial and the ever-increasing presence of paramilitaries in the service of big landowners.

So it is no wonder then that a Maoist insurrection is spreading across India like an oil stain across paper, already affecting 14 of India's 28 States (Chatisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Asma, Uttaranchal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra and Bihar). In figures, that means the Maoists are in control in 165 districts out of the total of 602 into which the country is divided. In fact in the last five states mentioned one can say that "popular new democratic power" is a reality, given that they are the ones who control the countryside, collect taxes from large businesses within their zones of influence, build dykes and irrigation systems, impart justice, decide land disputes among rural families and have suppressed, for example, child marriage. Prime Minister Singh recognised the Maoist advance on August 23rd 2006 when he declared solemnly to Parliament that the Maoists "have become the biggest internal challenge to security that India has." (4)

To deal with the Maoist surge the New Delhi government put into practice the well known US strategy from Vietnam, later perfected in Central America during the revolutionary processes in El Salvador and, above all, in Guatemala : the creation of strategic hamlets and the formation of paramilitary patrols to defend them (in Guatemala, the Civilian Self-Defence Patrols). In India they are known as Slawa Judum (that translates as "Peace Hunters") and have the status of "special police agents" in rural communities. They are especially active in Chatisgarh and it is against them that the guerrilla offensive is currently aimed. An ambush on March 15th killed 50 out of a joint force of police and paramilitaries.(5) The main activity of the paramilitaries is the forced displacement of rural families to "temporary camps" set up in the areas of Bhairamgarh, Gedam y Bijapur and in which 50,000 people are currently crowded. (6)

Paid by landowners and by the Indian government itself, the paramilitaries earn about 1500 rupees a month (about €26 or US$35). The counter-insurgency war, as in the Central American countries mentioned or in Peru or Colombia, uses terror to try and cut off the guerrilla advance. It is estimated that Salwa Judum has 5000 members and the ideologue, just as with the Colombian paramilitaries protected by current President Alvaro Uribe during his time as governor of the Antioquia province, was the main Congress Party leader in Chatisgarh. This is the party of Prime Minister Singh. To those 5000, one must add about 2000 "anti-terrorist " police who have undergone a similar training programme to that given to the Atlacatl battalion, in El Salvador, which committed countless mass murders, outrages, intimidation and forced displacements. In case this paramilitary force is insufficient to stop the guerrilla, the government also offers bounties of up to a million rupees (about €17,000 or US$23,000) for the betrayal of the main guerrilla leaders.

This strategy is favoured in the "red zone", a category applied by the Indian government to the states of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra y Bihar, although in the last few months an impressive guerrilla military campaign has begun in Chatisgarh which has made the new Delhi government focus on this state leaving its plans for the other states in abeyance. The reason the guerrillas are prioritizing Chatisgarh is that this state, along with Jharkand, is turning into the spearhead of the government's neoliberal policies following the signing of juicy, million-dollar contracts with big national and multinational industrial corporations, on steel, iron, coal and electricity, which presuppose a new wave of rural families in exodus to wretched slums in the cities. In fact, the most recent guerrilla attack was on June 3rd against the electricity plant of Narayanpur, a district of Chatisgarh. (7)

The Maoists say little when they carry out their actions. It is a fact that guerrilla control in this state is almost complete, with 10 of its 16 districts in their power (8) and that their military actions are more and more daring, including attacks against officials, police, politicians and strategic economic and industrial targets.

The government's aim is to confine the Maoist presence to that "red zone" and avoid it spreading with equal force to the rest of the country. Once that objective is achieved, repression will centre on what can be called "support bases" or liberated zones. Nonetheless, it is the different States that have responsibility for security matters, not central government, which explains why police implement the repression rather than the army, and there are different opinions about the best way to confront the guerrilla. In Andra Pradesh the tendency is to negotiate directly, while in Chatisgarh the paramilitary phenomenon is used, to mention the most extreme examples. These positions are influenced by the role the moderate Left has in different State governments and even in the central government which would collapse without the Left's support, as was pointed out earlier. This is the reason why timid agrarian reform is being advanced throughout India and which has as a pilot experience the one implemented in 2005 in the mother State of the guerrillas, West Bengal.

For the moment the guerrillas are ignoring the cities to focus on total control of the countryside, following the old strategy of surrounding the cities from the countryside. The strategy is to penetrate rural areas, consolidate in them and, once the bases of support are deemed secure, to go on building up effective and efficient links with different cells in other states. It is the classic strategy that has given such good results in Nepal. As with their Nepalese comrades, the Indian Maoists respect local officials - including the police - if the people think they are honest and not compromised by cases of corruption or repression. They also respect businesses established in their zones of influence but they collect from them a "revolutionary tax", which varies between 15% and 20 % of their profits, to fund their operations.

History of the Naxalites

The Indian Maoists are known as Naxalites from the town of Naxalbari in West Bengal, where the first armed actions occurred of an organization called the People's War Group, the armed wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) which, with the slogan of radical reform of land ownership, forced a stand-off through the 1960s with the Indian government. Although the rebellion they led - land occupations, burning of catastral property registers, forgiveness of rural families' mortgage debts and execution of the most important oppressors and usurers - only lasted three months, it ended with a very severe repression that caused more than 100,000 deaths and the virtual disappearance of the organization's members. But some groups carried on operating, although without mutual contact. This led to the fragmentation of the CPI-ML which lasted until 2003 when the Maoist Communist Centre and the Indian Revolutionary Communist Centre united to form the Maoist Communist Centre of India (CCMI) and, one year later in 2004, the integration of a tendency of the CPI-ML called "Popular War". That is how the Communist Party of India (Maoist) came into being with its main slogan as "the fight against feudalism and imperialism".

If one can believe reports of the Indian intelligence services, the country's Maoists have been tempered in the revolutionary popular war in Nepal where they have won greater political training and military experience. The intelligence services reckon that the People's Guerrilla Army (the Indian Maoists military wing) last year counted on 8000 combatants, 25,000 militia members - protecting support bases, carrying out intelligence work and logistic support for the combatants - and 50,000 political members. Small numbers if one considers that India is a country with 1bn inhabitants. But the rapid development of the Maoist movement has set off alarm bells among India's political elite.(9) The immiseration of two thirds of India's people and their social oppression counteract elite desires to turn India into a regional power via nuclear weapons and an agreement with the United States. Today the Naxalites are a reality that has to be taken into account. Perhaps westerners looking to India have been able to learn that "naxa" in the Indian vocabulary now means "rebel rural worker" and that the current and past struggles of the naxalites are part of modern Indian culture, even of its cinema.

Notes

(1) Rajiv Sikri, "Are the leaders of India, China and Rusia ready for radical development?

(2) Alberto Cruz, "India e Irán: otra muestra de la hipocresía occidental "

(3) Asia Times, 1 June 2007.

(4) Christian Science Monitor, 28 August 2006

(5) Agence France Press, 15 Marhc 2007.

(6) The Indian Express, 7 June 2007.

(7) The Hindu, 3 June 2007.

(8) Prensa Latina, 15 March 2007

(9) The Pioneer, 27 April 2006.


Alberto Cruz is a journalist, political analyst and writer specializing in International Relations - albercruz (arroba) eresmas.com

First published in Spanish by Centro de Estudios Políticos para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Desarrollo www.nodo50.org/ceprid. Translation copyleft by tortilla con sal.

Mangalore: Naxals take away gun, cash from house

The Hindu


MANGALORE: A group of people, suspected to be naxalites, barged into the house of Keshav Hegde at Hulgarbailu in the Sringeri police station limits in Chikmagalur district late on Wednesday. The 12-member group took away a single-barrelled breach-loading gun and Rs. 54,000 in cash from the house. The group also reportedly threatened the family against informing police about the incident.

Ashit Mohan Prasad, Inspector-General of Police (Western Range), said here on Thursday that the personnel from the Sringeri police station learnt of the incident on Thursday morning. The Anti-Naxal Force and the local police combed the region, but met with no success. Police had stepped up vigil in the area, he said.

Vipul Kumar, Superintendent of Police, Chikmagalur, said over phone that the group descended on Mr. Hegde’s house around 9.30 p.m. and knocked on the door for half an hour. Mr. Hedge did not open the door suspecting that they were naxalites. It was only when the group threatened to break down the door that Mr. Hegde let them in, he said.

The group, which had snapped the telephone wires before entering the house, is said to have talked to Mr. Hegde about their way of life before making good their escape with the gun and money. They also scattered pamphlets in and around the house. The place where the incident occurred is almost an hour’s drive from Sringeri and located in difficult terrain, he said.

Director-General and Inspector-General of Police K. R. Srinivasan reviewed the ongoing operations against naxalites, at Karkala on Thursday. Mr. Kumar, who was busy with the Hulgarbailu incident, could not attend the meeting.

Police strength for combing operations to be doubled

K.T. Sangameswaran


Searches are also on in Tiruvallur and Vellore districts



Navin Prasad absconding for past five years

Multi-pronged strategy to tackle naxalite menace




CHENNAI: It has been decided to double the strength of police personnel involved in combing operations against naxalites in various parts of the State, according to a police source.

Besides the hill ranges of Periyakulam, Kodaikanal and Western Ghats, the searches are on in Tiruvallur and Vellore districts. As of now, a little over 200 Special Task Force personnel of all ranks are engaged in the combing.

One of the three identified CPI (Maoist) cadres, who escaped from Murugan Malai near Periyakulam a few days ago, is wanted by the police in connection with the Uthangarai encounter in 2002. The source said Navin Prasad of Dharmapuri district was absconding for the past five years.

The others were identified as Kalidas from Paramakudi, against whom several cases were pending, and Ranjith of Tiruvallur district, who was absconding for the past four years. The police are continuing their hunt for seven more persons

Thanks to the timely information from the local people, the police were able to nab three naxalites from Murugan Malai. Rewarding the public in a suitable manner was under consideration, the source said.

One of the .303 rifles seized by the police had a specific mark in white paint. Following this, a police team had been rushed to Karnataka for verification.

The arms and ammunition were all country-made. The grenades did not contain any charge.

Director-General of Police D. Mukherjee told The Hindu that a multi-pronged strategy to tackle the naxalite menace was under implementation, particularly after the Uthangarai encounter. A constant effort was on to involve the impres sionable group in constructive activity. The police were organising sports activities and assisted the youth in the development of their skills. Mobile libraries had been started. The personnel of the special division visited the violence-prone villages and the absence of basic amenities there. The Superintendents of Police concerned were submitting reports regularly to the Collectors.

KARNATAKA : Intelligence gathering will be strengthened, says IGP

Mangalore, July 6: A credible information-gathering system on the illegal activities of anti-social elements, based on people’s participation in the process, will form the cornerstone of policing, Inspector-General of Police (Western Range) Ashit Mohan Prasad has said. Every effort will be made to elicit information and keep a tab on the activities of such elements in the four districts coming under the Western Range.

In an informal interaction with presspersons after assuming charge as IGP here on Wednesday, Prasad said that action against anti-social elements without intelligence inputs would result in ‘collateral damage’. This was all the more true when dealing with left-wing extremists or terrorist networks. It was important to install confidence in people about the department so that they came forward to share information, he said.

On his other priorities for the range consisting of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Chikmagalur and Uttara Kannada, Prasad said the police would clamp down on all illegal activities, especially rowdyism. Prasad, who during his tenure as the Superintendent of Police of the undivided Dakshina Kannada district in the mid ’90s is credited with setting up the anti-rowdy squad, said similar specialized squads would be set up if the need arose.

Prasad, who has worked in various capacities in the Intelligence Bureau for the past nine years, said efforts would be made to check the possible influx of terrorists through the coastal route.

Prasad has worked as Superintendent of Police in Dakshina Kannada, Tumkur and as the first SP of Chamarajanagar district. He has also worked as Deputy Commissioner of Police in Bangalore before leaving on Central deputation. He has served two of his nine-year stints in the IB in Jammu and Kashmir. Prasad said he would use his professional experience to improve functioning of police here.

Naxals attack farmer, loot cash

6 Jul 2007, 0114 hrs IST,TNN




CHIKMAGALUR: A group of Naxalites barged into a farmer's house at Heggarubylu, near Nemmar in Sringeri, on Wednesday night and snatched his double-barrel gun by threatening him and his family. They snatched Rs 65,000 and sought his support for their armed struggle, before vanishing.

A dozen armed Naxalites descended on the house of Keshva Hegde and forced him to open the door. On entering the house, they demanded his double-barrel gun and forced him to hand over the keys of the almirah. They decamped with cash to the tune of Rs 65,000 set apart to meet the educational expenses of the children. Hegde and his family pleaded with the Naxalites to spare the cash, but they did not heed. After much persuasion, the Naxalites returned Rs 10,000 and distributed pamphlets, before they fled. Hegde did not inform the police out of fear, but his neighbours did so.

This is the third such incident in 30 days in the Malnad, since they killed Venkatesh at Heggadlu, near Sringeri. Recently, they burnt a KSRTC bus at Hosagadde in Shimoga taluk. Police visited Hegde's house in the morning and recorded his statement. Armed police and the anti-Naxal squad have intensified combing operations in and around the forests near Hegde's house.

Deal with the Naxal Menace: CM to Top Officials

Patna: July 4, 2007

At a high-level meeting of the state's top bureaucrats and police officials at the residence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's house on Wednesday, the administration resolved to use all possible means to check the growing Naxal violence in Bihar that has taken heavy tolls on the police force as well as civilians in last few weeks.

Kumar, after consulting with all senior officials present at the meeting, directed the Director General of Police (DGP) and special intelligence officers to use every possible means to curb the extremist violence in the state while ensuring civilians were not harmed in any way.

The Chief Minister also emphasized the need for strengthening the intelligence and utmost coordination between the intelligence sources and Bihar police while also increasing the number of central para-military force in the state.

"Guns and raids alone cannot solve the problem of Naxals in Bihar. We will also have to resolve many problems being faced in the Naxal-hit areas. Road, water, electricity, land reforms, and implementation of various social schemes are some of the things that need to be worked on if we wish to tackle this problem in a serious manner," Kumar said.

Home Secretary Afzal Amanullah, DGP Ashish Ranjan Sinha, Chief Secretary A. K. Chowdhary, IG (Headquarters) Anil Sinha were among those who attended the meeting.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Police outcry in red raids

NALIN VERMA

Patna, July 2: Ruffled by the loss of six of their fellow members in rebel raids at two police stations in Rohtas district on Saturday night, the men in uniform are up in arms — they have threatened to desert the thatched and ill-equipped police pickets across Bihar.

“Maoists are well-armed and killing our jawans at will. It’s possible because we are posted at thatched police pickets that are vulnerable and devoid of adequate number of forces, sophisticated arms, bombs and grenades,” said Bihar Police Men’s Association member Jitendra Narayan Singh.

Over 50 angry policemen led by Singh today met the state chief secretary, A.K. Choudhary, and director general of police (DGP) A.R. Sinha to submit a memorandum warning… “We will withdraw from the unsafe police pickets across the state if our demand to arm us with better weapons and build pucca houses to accommodate the police pickets are not met by the next week”.

“Maoists find it easy to use petrol bombs on the thatched structures and roast our jawans alive,” fumed Singh.

As many as nine people, including six jawans, were killed in a whiplash strike by the Maoists on the Rajpur police station and Baghela picket in Rohtas district on Saturday night. The ultras lobbed petrol bombs on the thatched Rajpur police station to set it on fire.

The state government has sent an SOS to the Centre demanding at least 10 more companies of CRPF to deal with the stepped-up strike on the state by the Maoist guerrillas.

Though the police repulsed the Maoist attack on the Madanpur police station in Aurangabad district last night, home secretary Afzal Amanullah said: “We need immediately additional central forces to deal with the situation.”

Maoists gun down former naib sarpanch

Thursday July 5 2007 00:15 IST
BHUBANESWAR: Continuing their reign of terror, Maoists gunned down a former naib sarpanch in Malkangiri district’s Motu police limits late on Tuesday.

Sunani Jaga, 45, was pulled out of his bed and shot at by the Naxalites who descended in Kundapali village, 25 km from Motu, near Chhattisgarh border. It was not certain why Jaga was targetted.

DIG, South Western Range SK Nath said Jaga was a small time contractor after his stint as naib sarpanch. A joint team of Motu Police and CRPF proceeded to the spot and combing the area.

Sources said, the ultras suspected Jaga to be a police informer which is why he was on their hit list. He has six children.

In last one month’s time, four persons have fallen victim to Maoist violence in Orissa. Last month, the ultras had struck at Deogarh and killed three villagers in a brutal fashion.

The attack comes close on the heels of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s claim in the Assembly that Orissa is peaceful as compared to its neighbours.


Naxalites gun down one

http://www.thestatesman.net/ page.news.php?clid=9&theme=&usrsess=1&id=161699

Statesman News Service
BHUBANESWAR/JAJPUR, July 4: On a day when the chief minister Mr Naveen Patnaik was staking claims over the law-and-order situation in the state two incidents ~ Naxalites gunning down one person in Malkangiri district and industrial unrest in Jajpur and an incident of miscreants firing at a person in Jagatsinghpur district ~ reflected the ground reality. A former naib sarpanch S Jaga of Kondaguda villager under Mottu police station of Malkangiri district was killed by Naxalites who suspected him to be a police informer. The victim was reportedly whisked away last night and his body was found today.
At Jajpur tension prevailed for the fifth successive day as agitated villagers demonstrated and abused officers of VISA Steel at Kalinga Nagar, the much hyped steel hub. Company source said, the agitators prevented the officials and workers of the company from entering into it and demanded jobs for them.
“They prevented men and materials to enter into the company campus and abused our officials Being informed, senior police officers reached at the spot with armed forces and rescued them yesterday” said Jagat Parija, vice president (corporate) of Visa Steels.
“The village has over 5000 residents and a minor group is forcing us for engagement. If this trend continues, another group of the same village will demand employments in our plant and the system will go on unchecked. It is not possible in our part to absorb all the unemployed youths of the village,” Parija added besides alleging that the residents here were randomly abusing and threatening them with dire consequence.
“A steel unit can not run with all non-technical people. We will have to recruit some technical and experienced personnel with expertise for the smooth operation of our plant. How can we observe all the unemployed persons of a village in our plant?”, noted a harried Parija. The company is adhering to all that has been directed by the district administration and the state government in terms of RR policy, providing jobs etc, he asserted.
Sources said, the agitators were demanding job to the local unemployed people in the Visa Steels, safe drinking water, and pollution free environment and concrete roads in the affected villages. “The plant is located in close proximity of the villages and hamlets, as a result of which the dusts and other effluents from it are damaging our residential houses and crop fields and polluting water bodies besides spreading various diseases among the villagers,” alleged Anirudha Dhal, president of the association.
Contacted, Jajpur superintendent of police DS Kuttey told the situation is under control. “Two platoons of police forces have been deployed at the plant. Though some of the villagers are on dharna in front of the entrance gate of the plant, the work inside it is running smoothly.”
It is pertinent to note that both at Jajpur and Jagatsinghpur the two areas projected by the government as industrial hubs of the country , the administration has failed to make any impact. In fact, the administration has been debarred from entering certain villages in Jagatsinghpur while at Jajpur a highway was blocked for almost two years.

Citizens vs militants: a battle gone wrong

Raipur/Imphal, July 04, 2007
First Published: 23:55 IST(4/7/2007)
Last Updated: 03:40 IST(5/7/2007)




More than 50,000 people from 650 villages left their homes and now live in makeshift roadside shelters, guarded by police and paramilitary forces.

On the Andhra Pradesh border with Chhattisgarh, these are the haggard soldiers of a war gone wrong.

As insurgency spread, from Kashmir to Jharkhand to Manipur and Chhattisgarh, governments armed the people to fight militants and protect themselves.

The results have been mostly disastrous. Villagers have become vulnerable to gruesome revenge attacks by militants in the absence of training and guidance from the security forces.

In Chhattisgarh, the worst affected by Naxalites, a controversial two-year-old movement called Salwa Judum (People's Movement) has set off a furious cycle of conflict, with spiralling casualties.

It was aimed at preparing the mainly tribal villagers to fight Naxalites by vacating their villages and living instead in tents close to police posts.

"It is better to die from a bullet rather than die in such a camp where I have nothing."But hundreds have died in their clashes with Naxalites. Tens of thousands are staying away from their homes - and still losing lives to rebels and bullets of security forces.

"We have been facing Naxalite attacks regularly. They burnt the newly constructed houses in camps and have threatened to kill us," said Soyam Muka, president of the Konta Project, the biggest relief camp.

In the relief camps, residents sit idle with no source of income, surviving on government rations.

"I want to return to my village and see my land, but security forces tell me I will be killed by the Naxalites the moment I return to my village," said Mohammad Illyas, a middle-aged farmer in Dornapal relief camp in Dantewada district.

"It is better to die from a bullet rather than die in such a camp where I have nothing."

In Jharkhand, groups of armed citizens called Nagrik Suraksha Samiti were formed in 2003. Thirteen Naxalites were killed that year by village groups led by women in Lango village in Orissa.

"Since then, Maoists have not been spending too much time in villages. They do their business and leave," said Shailendra Singh Burnwal, deputy superintendent of police involved in anti-rebel operations. "It was the biggest experiment by villagers, it was their local initiative. We gave the arms licenses."

These villages soon became sites for bloodbaths. Many Naxalites were gored with arrows, and their bodies slashed with axes. The militants retaliated. In one incident that created waves across Jharkhand, tribal headman Jeevan Masih Bhuiyan was brutally beaten in public, his body hacked with an axe, and then burnt.

In Manipur, Village Defence Committees (VDCs) seemed a solution in the early 1990s. But eventually they provoked more conflict as armed tribal militias clashed with each other to settle scores.

The only place where the system has worked with relative success is Jammu and Kashmir, where villagers in remote Hindu-majority areas in Jammu were armed. But the concept failed in the hub of insurgency, the Kashmir Valley.

"The VDC system is working very well. We have not witnessed any terrorist activity in those areas," said Kuldip Khoda, additional director-general of police. "In the Valley, it did not take off."

The Salwa Judum movement, described as a spontaneous "people's movement", is fully supported by the Raman Singh government in Chhattisgarh and is being run under the guidance of Mahendra Karma, a powerful tribal leader of the opposition Congress. Some 57,000 villagers now live in 23 relief camps. In a series of clashes, 750 people died last year.

"Higher casualties in Chhattisgarh are due to the Naxalite-Salwa Judum confrontation and proactive counter-operations by security forces against Naxalites. Overall, Naxal violence in the country has shown a decline in 2006," the Ministry of Home Affairs said.

Karma dismisses the criticism. "Anywhere in the world where people have faced political terror, displacement has taken place. In Chhattisgarh, it is positive displacement that has strengthened the resolve of the people to fight Naxalites. We are fighting for victory and small things do not bother us," he said.

Many disagree. The move to recruit villagers as special police officers (SPOs) is especially running into tough opposition, and critics say that could pitch tribals against their own community.

Kerala HC rejects petition by former DIG in encounter case

4 July 2007

The Kerala High Court has dismissed a petition filed by former DIG P Vijayan, a third accused in the naxalite Varghese murder case.

Justice V Ramkumar dismissed the petition filed by the former police officer, challenging the order of CBI Special Court, Ernakulam, of June 8, 2007, dismissing his plea for discharge in the case.

Mr Justice Ramkumar observed that the affidavit sworn to and the extra-judicial confession by the first accused in the case could not be eschewed or discarded as worthless shred of evidence.

He also observed that in a country where the rule of law was supreme and courts existed for doing justice to mankind and truth could be unravelled through an impartial, blemishless and faultless investigation, criminal trial alone was the answer.

"I see no ground to interfere with the order passed by the trial court," he added.

According to the prosecution, naxalite Varghese, who was allegedly killed in a police encounter on February 18, 1970, was shot dead by the first accused, a CRPF Constable Ramachandran Nair, who is now no more. He was ordered by the then Dy SP Laxmana and then DIG P Vijayan to shoot Varghese.

The case was investigated by the CBI and the final report was laid before the Special CBI Court, Ernakulam, on December 11, 2002.

(UNI)

Cops to be insured to fight naxals

Sanjay Singh
Wednesday, July 04, 2007 10:35 IST



Rs 10 lakh will be provided to police deployed in naxal-affected areas

PATNA: Alarmed by the sudden spurt in naxal violence against the police in which many cops had been killed and the resultant resentment among the police force, the state had decided to provide an insurance cover of Rs 10 lakh to each police personnel deployed in the naxal affected areas.

This insurance cover would be in addition to the prevailing practise of paying Rs 10 lakh as ex-gratia amount by the state to the dependents of each policeman killed in extremist violence.

Director General of Police Ashish Ranjan Sinha confirmed that the police personnel deployed in all the 14 naxal affected districts of the state would soon get this insurance cover. Sinha was already negotiating with four different insurance companies and was quite hopeful of finalising the terms of the scheme very soon.

The policemen serving in the Special Task Force (STF) already have this kind of insurance cover, Sinha added. Bihar’s Principal Secretary (Home) Afzal Amanullah told DNA that expenditure incurred on paying premiums for this insurance scheme would also be shared by the centre as part of their expenditure on internal security.

Amanullah had already talked about the state’s plans to provide insurance cover to the policemen serving in naxal affected areas with the mandarins of Union Ministry of Home Affairs. The MHA officials had accepted the proposal.

The recent killing of five policemen in Rohtas in course of simultaneous naxal raids on two police pickets and the killing of another cop by the ultras in Jamui just a couple of days earlier had sparked strong resentment among the police force.

Agitated jawans had brought the bodies of their slain collegues to the police headquarters and gheraoed the DGP under the leadership of Bihar Policemen’s Association leaders. They were demanding adequate compensation for the family members of the slain cops besides proper infrastructure at all the police stations and pickets in naxal areas.

Nitish calls for 'action plans' in Naxal areas

Ramashankar

Patna, July 05, 2007
First Published: 18:48 IST(5/7/2007)
Last Updated: 18:52 IST(5/7/2007)



Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has called for concrete 'action plan' combining development initiatives with strong police action and intelligence gathering to check Maoists' activities in the state.

He was speaking at a meeting with top state officials in the wake of recent Naxal attack in Rohtas, in which nine persons, including five policemen, were killed.

Maintaining that it was the responsibility of the government to ensure safety of its people across the state, including in Naxal-hit areas, he directed the officials to build necessary infrastructure in the extremist-affected areas and equip the police to take on the Naxalites. He said the government has planned to spend Rs 178 crore on police modernisation.

The chief minister's remarks came when a senior official raised the issue of the severe handicaps with which the police worked in the Naxal-hit areas.

Nitish asked the chief secretary to direct the district magistrates to work in tandem with the SPs and look into the basic difficulties. "There is a growing need to accelerate the pace of development in Naxal-infested districts. The problem should be tackled in two ways ie by expediting development programmes and dealing sternly with the insurgents," he added.

A major decision taken at the meeting was to strengthen the intelligence-gathering network of the police and ensure security of police informers. This is part of a three-pronged strategy worked out to curb Naxal violence.

Home Secretary Aqfzal Amanullah and the DGP AR Sinha, who were present at the meeting, said the government would implement the 'Aapki Sarkar Aapke Dwar' in more blocks of Naxal-hit districts. The scheme bundles a number of development initiatives and has been in operation in a number of Naxal-hit blocks of the state with good results so far. They also said that redressal of public grievances would be speeded up.

They, however, declined to reveal details of police strategy against the ultras on grounds of operational necessity but added that the chief minister himself had reviewed everything minutely.

NAXAL LIST: HINDU SENA STAGES PROTEST

Mysore, July 5 (KCU)- Members of Rashtriya Hindu Sena staged a protest at K.R. Circle here yesterday condemning the cancellation of the Naxals' list by the Government.


"Bowing to the pressure of few people, the Government has cancelled the Nexals' list which was released. Kadidal Shamanna, Gowri Lankesh and others had nexus with the Naxals which are supported by available photographs. Despite the proof, the Government did not arrest them", alleged the protestors.


BJP MLA C.T. Ravi, Sunil Kumar and others from the Naxal infested area are remaining silent. This proves the lack of co-ordination in coalition Government. The members enlisted as Naxals and those in nexus with them should be arrested, urged the protestors.


Sena President M.K. Premkumar, Sunita Ranganath, Gadhadar and others participated.

Orissa to set up marine police stations to beef up security

Bhubaneswar, PTI:


Orissa will soon establish five marine police stations along the sea-front to strengthen coastal security, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said.

This was being done to prevent drug trafficking, terrorist activities, smuggling of contraband goods and infiltration through the water front, Patnaik said while replying to the debate on the budgetary demand relating to the home department in the state assembly last night.

Responding to criticism over his claim that Orissa registered less number of incidents of naxalite violence compared to neighbouring states, Patnaik said he referred to the statistics to explain that increase in naxal activities was a nationwide phenomenon and Orissa was not an exception to it.









"That we are better than all other states only reinforces Orissa's reputation as a very peace loving state", he said. This, however, does not lead us to any complacency and efforts would continue to maintain the high standard of peace and tranquillity the state had been maintaining so far, he said amidst slogan shouting by opposition members.

Stating that Orissa had 93 police personnel for every one lakh population which was much below the national norm of 150 cops per one lakh population, Patnaik said his government had recently relaxed the austerity guideline in respect of recruitment of police personnel.

Patnaik said a massive recruitment drive in the rank of constables and sepoys was undertaken in December last to improve this ratio.

Besides, creation of a large number of posts including raising of new armed police battalions, augmentation of the strength of the police personnel, upgradation of police stations in naxalite affected areas and industrial clusters and creation of security wing under state special branch had been undertaken.

To be precise, to combat the naxalite menace, 916 posts in different ranks in the civil police had been created. In order to guard six jails and upgrade the manpower in 83 naxalite affected police stations, 4157 posts of different ranks had been created for Orissa state armed police (special security) battalions, he informed.

In order to provide an impetus to the quality of policing and handling of law and order problems effectively in the industrial clusters, government had upgraded staff strength of 20 police stations, created required number of posts for establishment of three new police stations and upgraded five outposts to that of police stations.

The government had also decided to recruit 1652 ex-army personnel for their redeployment in the newly created OSAP (special security) battalions, Patnaik said.

"We are making provisions for completion of the ongoing Special Operations Group (SOG) complex at Chandka near Bhubaneswar and a new police station has been established at Markatnagar in Cuttack city for improved urban policing," he said.

Stating that effective steps had been taken to modernise the police force, Patnaik said out of the total allocation of Rs 318.24 crore for the period 2000-07 for modernisation of the force, funds to the tune of Rs 307.45 crore had been spent till May 31 last.

With the allocated amount, the mobility, weaponry, communications, training, equipment and accommodation of the state police had been substantially upgraded, he said.

Announcing several incentives for the police personnel to improve their efficiency, Patnaik said the special diet allowance paid to the constabulary and sepoys was proposed to be raised from Rs 250 to Rs 350 per month.

Similarly, the plain clothes allowance of police officers of the rank of ASI, SI and Inspector posted in the special branch, special intelligence wing and district intelligence bureau, was proposed to be enhanced from Rs 675 to Rs 1500 per annum.

Motorcycle allowance was proposed to be raised from Rs 300 to Rs 350 per month, he said. In order to provide officer-oriented and quality policing, a substantial restructuring of the police organisation was being undertaken with substantial increase in the ranks of ASI, Inspector and DSP.

Patnaik announced that each prison official would be paid a special fitness allowance of Rs 100 per month while the special diet allowance for fire service personnel would be increased from Rs 200 to Rs 300 per month.

Huge cache of arms seized in Chh'garh

Posted at Thursday, 05 July 2007 12:07 IST
Rajnandgaon, July 5: The Chhattisgarh police has recovered a huge cache of arms on the basis of the inputs received by the Maoist commander, Aitu Kursa, who was arrested from Dogargarh in Rajnandgaon district on Monday. Aitu is the Darrekasa dalam commander.

Inspector-General Giridhari Nayak said Subhas alias Aitu was taken into custody by a police team that went to Dongargarh town in Rajnandgaon district.
Police seized a number of sophisticated firearms and ammunition on the basis of his information.

The seizures include two AK-47 rifles, two self-loading rifles, three .12 bore rifles, 150 gelatin sticks, four wireless sets, 10 photography flashes and 10 bundles of wire along with large quantity of ammunition. The weapons were looted by naxalites after killing seven policemen in Gadchiroli in 2005.

Some Maoists literature has also been recovered.

Subhash was on the wanted list for over eight years and his arrest has come as a morale booster for the Chhattisgarh police.

The state police has decided to honour two police officials for the success of this operation. The team of policemen which was involved in this operation will receive certificates of appreciation.

They have also recovered explosives used for landmines from them.

ORISSA: More largesse

Thursday July 5 2007 11:21 IST
BHUBANESWAR: There is no stopping Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik so far as announcements are concerned.

Again, he came out with a series of announcements including establishment of five marine police stations to strengthen the coastal security.

Making the announcements amidst sloganeering by Opposition members, the Chief Minister said the proposed coastal police stations would prevent drug trafficking, contraband smuggling, infiltration and terrorist activities on the waterfront.

Fuel entitlement, telephone bill and entitlement of office stationary, contingent charges and impress money of all the police stations have been enhanced for improving the efficiency of the police force.

The Government has also enhanced the special diet allowance of constabulary and sepoys performing strenuous duties from Rs 250 to Rs 350 per month, plain-cloth allowance of ASIs, SIs and inspectors of police of Special Branch, Special Intelligence Wing and District Intelligence Bureau from Rs 675 to Rs 1500 per annum.

The motorcycle allowance of the three categories of police officers has been raised from Rs 300 to Rs 350 per month, he said. For the jail officials, who have a long standing demand for a special allowance, the Chief Minister announced that they would be given a special fitness allowance of Rs 100 per month.

The special diet allowance of fire service personnel has been enhanced from Rs 200 to Rs 300 per month.

A majority of the decisions was as per the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Home Department, the Chief Minister said and added that the outpost of the Jagannath Temple, Puri, would be upgraded to a regular police station during the current financial year.

Responding to the standing committee recommendation to increase the police personnel to population ratio from the existing 93 to 150 per one lakh population, the Chief Minister said massive recruitment drive of constables and sepoys was undertaken in December last year.

Besides, a large number of posts are being created, new armed police battalions are raised and police stations upgraded in Naxalite-affected areas and industrial clusters of the State for effective policing.

The Government has created 916 posts in different rank of civil police and another 4,157 posts in the State Armed Police Force to combat Naxal menace in 83 affected police stations.

The budget of the Home and General Administration departments was passed amid Opposition sloganeering.

A M Prasad takes charge as IGP

DH News Service, Mangalore:



How to improve intelligence network in the entire Western Range and coastal areas would be top priority, said Mr Prasad, who was serving as the deputy director of Intelligence Bureau in Delhi.

Mr A M Prasad took charge as the new Inspector General of Police (Western Range) on Wednesday.
Speaking to media persons soon after taking charge at the IGP’s office here, he said that strengthening the intelligence network in the entire Western Range (comprising Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Karwar and Chikmagalur district) would help in curbing the naxal menace and terrorist activities. “How to improve intelligence network in the entire Western Range and coastal areas would be top priority,” said Mr Prasad, who was serving as the deputy director of Intelligence Bureau in Delhi before being promoted as the IGP. Mr Prasad, who also served in the Jammu and Kashmir region for about two-and-a-half years in the intelligence bureau, opined that a good network of intelligence can reduce the collateral damage.
“We require good co-operation from the members of the public,” he said and stressed the importance of improving confidence of people in police.
When queried about the rise in naxal activities in the Western Range (killing of a person a month ago and burning a bus last week in Agumbe), Mr Prasad said he would hold a detailed discussion with the officials before making any comment on the problems of the region.
Rowdy squad
Mr Prasad also said that he would take steps to control rowdism, illegal activities and communal violence.
“A special squad or a dedicated team may be formed for the purpose,” he hinted.
Former DK SP
It may be recalled that the 1985-batch IPS officer, Mr Prasad, served as the superintendent of police in Dakshina Kannada 10 years ago.
During the 22 years of his service in the police department, Mr Prasad served as the Superintendent of Police for Dakshina Kannada, Tumkur, Mysore, Chamarajanagar and Deputy Commissioner of Police in Bangalore, before being deputed to the intelligence bureau of the Central government where he served for about 9 years. Superintendent of Police Satish Kumar H, Additional SP B S Lokesh Kumar, Puttur ASP Dr Harsha and other senior police officers were present.
Mr A M Prasad’s predecessor, H S Satyanarayana Rao has been transferred to Davangere as the IGP (Eastern Range).

BIHAR: Fresh govt move on Naxals

5 Jul 2007, 0431 hrs IST,Pranava K Chaudhary ,TIMES NEWS NETWORK




PATNA: The state government is in the process of preparing a fresh list of Naxals operating in the 14 Naxal-affected districts. A separate list of hardcore Naxals is also being prepared to counter their onslaught in an effective manner.

The exhaustive exercise has been undertaken to collect all the necessary details like their leaders' area of influence, their affiliation to various Maoist outfits and the preparedness of the police -- right from the grass roots-level to that of the district headquarters.

A daylong marathon meeting on law and order and Naxalism here on Wednesday took stock of the present scenario with a view to tackling the Naxal onslaught in the state.

Chaired by CM Nitish Kumar, the first high-level meeting on law and order stressed the need for launching the much-publicised "Aapki Sarkar-Aapke Dwar" programme in districts to tackle various problems at the grass roots-level. The CM said that the government welfare programmes should be properly highlighted.

Nitish also reviewed the law and order situation in the state and issued necessary directions to the officials concerned to control crime. Besides chief secretary A K Chaudhary, home commissioner Afzal Amanullah, DGP A R Sinha, ADG (special) Abhayanand, IG (headquarters) Anil Sinha and IG (operation) S K Bhardwaj also attended the meeting.
A second round of the meeting on Naxal problem was held under the chairmanship of CS Chaudhary in which IGs were also present. The meeting continued till late evening. It will continue on Thursday as well.

Although the officials remained tightlipped over the deliberations at the meeting, sources said that the various wings of the government, including the CID, intelligence and police stations, would exchange information on a regular basis. The existing operational gaps in sharing information and constraints would be removed, said an official.

Now onwards, police informers will be protected. The state intelligence wing will also be strengthened. The meeting felt that more Central Para Military Force (CPMF) needs to be deployed in the Naxal-affected districts. The Centre has already released two companies of the CPMF as against its demand for 10 companies. The Centre has asked for the location for the remaining eight companies, Amanullah said.

Nitish expressed his unhappiness over the internal bickerings and groupism in the police headquarters. "The government is determined to continue with its ongoing development and welfare programmes. There would be no compromise on this issue. The police have been given complete freedom to act in a befitting manner while protecting human rights," Amanullah said.

Ashit M Prasad Takes Over as IGP of Western Range



Daijiworld Media Network
Pics: Dayanand Kukkaje


Mangalore, Jul 4: “Communal harmony, intelligence and law and order in the western region of the State are the important areas to be given prominence.” said Ashit M Prasad, the new IGP of Western Range.



After assuming charge as an IGP here at Mangalore on Wednesday July 4, he said that it is after 11 years he is returning to Mangalore. After he was transferred from Mangalore, he had worked at Delhi Intelligence Bureau for 9 years and another 2 years in Jammu and Kashmir, he informed.

Commenting on the question on the Naxal problems in the Western Ghats, he said, "I have the experience in dealing with terrorists. Hence, naxal problems would be dealt with severely.”

All efforts would be made to control rowdies within his jurisdiction. Illegal activities would be eliminated. If necessary, special squads would be formed. he assured.



Earlier, he assumed charge from Satishkumar, SP of Dakshina Kannada. H S Satyanarayana Rao, immediate past IGP of western region was transferred to Davanagere, who left Mangalore a few days ago after transferring the charge to the SP.

Security measures up in Tirumala

Tirupati, July 4: Security has been tightened at the Lord Venkateswara Swamy Temple, following recent naxal encounters at Anantapur and Warangal districts and the arrest of a suspected ISI militant, Azad Ahmed Qureshi at Madanapalle in Chittoor district on July 2.

Andhra Pradesh Intelligence wing officials are expected to meet the police officers and the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam officials this evening to review the security of the temple, which has been declared as one of the possible terror targets, sources said here today.

The security measures at the temple premises had been intensified, following a naxal attack on former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu at Alipiri, the foot of the hill.

--- UNI

Pejawar Math to work in naxal areas

Special Correspondent


Bangalore: The Udupi Pejawar Math is conducting a survey in the naxal-affected regions of Karnataka to take up education and welfare programmes, said Visvesha Theertha Swamiji.

Speaking to presspersons here on Tuesday, he said that the survey is expected to be completed within a month and the nature of the programmes will be based on the requirements of people.

The swamiji also announced that the math plans to open hostels for poor children in various parts of Karnataka with a target to help 10,000 children within the next five years.

The hostels, which will provide 33 per cent reservation to Dalit and backward classes each, will serve the dual purpose of providing children Hindu “dharma samskara” and educational opportunities. Work on the hostel in Udupi is under way. There was support for this project from the leaders of all major political parties, he added.

While welcoming the decision to ban proselytising in Tirupati and Tirumala and other religious centres, the swamiji said that the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Board, with other religious organisations, will take up various projects to propagate Hinduism.

Naxal killings decrease by 45% during first half of 2007

New Delhi: In its latest issue of “Naxal Conflict Monitor” (http://www.achrweb.org/ncm/NCM-VOL-02-02.pdf) released to the media today, Asian Centre for Human Rights stated that a total of 249 persons including 69 civilians, 113 security forces, and 67 alleged Naxalites have been killed in the Naxalite conflict during January to June 2007. The highest number of killings were reported from Chhattisgarh (141), followed by Andhra Pradesh (39) and Jharkhand (29).

“There has been over 45% decrease in the number of killings in comparison to the same period in 2006, which saw the killing of at least 460 persons. However, the conflict is intensifying as reflected from the number of killing of the security forces.” – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

Lamenting the failure of the governments to implement the development schemes for the tribals, Asian Centre for Human Rights stated the “there has been no dearth of development schemes for the tribals but implementation perennially remained problematic. Implementation of the schemes in the Naxalite affected areas have almost come to virtual halt because of the increased conflict”.

An estimated amount Rs 6,500 crores meant for implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme were not spent during 2005-2006 and Rs 1,522.90 crores for development of the tribals could not be released by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs to various State governments by the end of December 2006 because of the failure of the State governments to submit utilisation certificates under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act of 2004.

The failure of the State governments to deliver basic services has been strengthening the support base of the Naxals, intensifying the conflict and causing gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the security forces and the Naxalites.

[Ends]

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Anti-terror training for railway forces

Sanjeev Kumar
NEW DELHI, July 3: With the threat of terror attacks on trains increasing, the railways have decided to give training to the Railway Police Special Force (RPSF) personnel to combat terrorist attacks on trains and decided to arm its personnel with anti-terrorist tactics. According to sources, the RPSF has sent its first batch of 179 personnel to the Counter Insurgency and Anti-terrorist Training School (CIAT) in Silchar, Assam, for a six week training programme. “After giving training to the security personnel, the railways will be able to improve the security of passengers and trains,” said a railway official adding that the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will impart the anti-terrorist training.
“It is the first time that such training has been imparted to our personnel. We have sent young and active members of security forces for the training because they are best suited to it,” said the official. He said the training would not only help the personnel to prevent bomb attacks but also give them an edge over terrorists while combating them. During the training period, the security personnel will be posted at some sensitive areas under threat from terrorists.
“Senior officials in RPSF have been stressing on the dire need for the force to be equipped against improvised explosive devises (IED) that are normally used to target passengers and railway lines,” the official said. They will also will be given training in jungle warfare because some railway lines pass through dense forest areas.

Sunil Mahto killing : JMM unhappy with CBI's investigation

Jamshedpur, July 4 (PTI): The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) yesterday alleged that the CBI's investigation into the killing of party MP Sunil Mahto was being conducted at a "tardy pace".

"I am really not satisfied with the CBI investigation into the incident as I am still in the dark who had perpetuated the killing and who are the conspirators behind it," Suman Mahto, wife of Sunil Mahto, said while addressing her maiden press conference after being nominated to the general secretary's post by party chief Sibu Soren.

Refusing to blame anyone till the any concrete breakthrough was made in this regard, Mahto said she had twice asked Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda to pressurise the Central government to accelerate the investigation.

Mahto asked why the eight persons arrested in connection with the killing of Sunil Mahto by the district police were kept behind bar for three months if they were not involved in the incident.

"I have not yet lost faith in the CBI but I certainly want to see the killers behind the bar," Mahto said.

"Yes, I am in favour of a dialogue with naxalites," Mahto replied when asked whether she was in favour of the state government holding talks with the naxalites to solve the menace. She said her husband had taken initiative to organise such talks but was gunned down even before anything concrete came out in this regard.

Making of a militant

News India Story
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July 03, 2007
Neelesh Misra and Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times
Email Author
Ranchi/Hyderabad, July 03, 2007
First Published: 23:24 IST(3/7/2007)
Last Updated: 02:44 IST(4/7/2007)





The story of the 20-year-old’s arrest began with a football match. Shiv Charan Soy had walked all day to meet his sister. He arrived at the Jharkhand village just in time for a game of football the village’s favourite pastime with a feast of goat meat awaiting the winners.

That evening set off a dramatic turn of events that catapulted him from being an ordinary village youth to a porter with Naxalites, to an overground worker for the rebels, eventually a police informer and finally arrested with sister Meera on charges of being a terrorist for possessing a camera flash and battery.

It is a story resonating across India. The state and guerrilla groups have ended up pushing hundreds of youths across 12 insurgency-affected states into becoming, or being called, militants.

Hours after the football match – in which Soy’s team won — and the goat feast, Naxalites appeared and forcibly took Soy, his sister and seven other youths with Many women are also joining the rebels. “The reasons behind this could be dowry demands, oppression by in-laws, sexual assaults and the need for revenge, etc,” said Jharkhand’s police intelligence chief.
them. Many women are also joining the rebels. “The reasons behind this could be dowry demands, oppression by in-laws, sexual assaults and the need for revenge, etc,” said Jharkhand’s police intelligence chief.

“They said they would take one boy and one girl from every home for their cause,” Soy casually said in his video-taped interrogation. He said he soon gave it up. A year later, he helped the police find bombs buried in forests across the Jharkhand-Orissa border. But now Soy finds himself in jail on terrorism charges.

“We know he is not guilty. He actually helped us. But other officers were keen to show results, and he got sucked into the system,” a police officer said on condition of anonymity.

In Ghatsila town, on Jharkhand’s border with West Bengal, lawyer Deepti Singh has ensured the acquittal of 26 people including three women all imprisoned on fake terrorism charges.

“People are being blackmailed. If someone has resources, he or she is threatened into either parting with money or being labelled terrorists,” Singh said.

There is a jigsaw of reasons actually: rage against Indian rule, forced recruitment by rebels, high-handedness of security forces, social discontent, unemployment, poverty, ethnic and tribal rivalries, and the promise of thrill and power for the adventurous.

Many women are also joining the rebels. “The reasons behind this could be dowry demands, oppression by in-laws, sexual assaults and the need for revenge, or the killings of a family member over property,” said Gouri Shankar Rath, Jharkhand’s police intelligence chief.

But there’s another side too. In Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district, when 22-year-old Sunita refused to return to the jungle to resume her “duty” as a Naxalite cadre, her 55-year-old father Lapasodi was killed.

“Lapasodi was murdered by the Naxalites to send a signal to the entire region so that nobody would dare desert them. The militants are getting jittery about retaining their cadres,” said local Superintendent of Police Ratanlal Dangi. Sunita fled the village.

In Chintoor in Andhra Pradesh, Firoz (28) lives in constant fear — he was forced to join the Naxalites after he offered them water in his village.

“I pleaded that my parents were old and could not take care of the fields, but they said my parents would be respected in the village if I was a Naxalite,” he said.

“I know I can be killed any day by the Naxalites … but I am prepared for that,” said Firoz.

And then there are those who join the rebel ranks to feel powerful. “For an unemployed man, if he gets guns, power, an aura and girls swoon over him, what else does he want?” asked a top military commander in Manipur.

M Inao (24) from the state’s Thoubal district did odd jobs with a passenger bus service until four and half years ago. His father and uncle taunted him for not earning enough, so he joined a Manipur Valley-based rebel group in sheer anger. Inao was arrested in 2005, released on bail the same year, but went underground again.

Traders earn CPM ire in Jhargram

Statesman News Service
MIDNAPORE, July 3: The traders of Belpahari, Binpur, Lalgar, Jhargram and Jamboni police station areas in Jhargram subdivision of Midnapore West defied the CPI-M’s diktats and earned Marxist ire by shutting down their business today. While inaugurating a function in commemoration to the 152th anniversary of Santhal Rebellion at Jamboni on Saturday, Mr Dipak Sarkar, CPI-M’s district secretary, asked the business community of the area not to close their establishments during bandhs called by the Maoists. He added that they will be provided with security during the bandh.
Bankura bandh
Major parts of south Bankura observed a 12-hour Naxalite bandh today, which was not called by Maoists. The Maoists have not taken responsibility of the bandh instead, the outfit has called a bandh on 5 July demanding chemical fertiliser and seed to be distributed to the farmers free of cost.

Intellectuals’ outfits incur Naxalite tag

Rajib Chatterjee
KOLKATA, July 3: A mass organisation opposing Singur “land grab” and Nandigram “genocide” under leadership of eminent persons like litterateur Mahasweta Devi and educationist Mr Sunanda Sanyal have been termed as “frontal organisation” of CPI-Maoist by the city police today.
The city police authorities stated in its website-www.kolkatapolice.org- that Sanhati Udyog a “frontal organisation of CPI-Maoist held a rally in front of coffee house on Bankim Chatterjee street near College Square in the city this afternoon. The litterateur responded strongly against such malicious “campaign against” of the city police. She sought an “apology” from city police commissioner Mr Prasun Mukherjee.
“Who gave him (Mr Mukherjee) the rights to say that Sanhati Udyod is a frontal organisation of an extremist group like CPI-Maoist. I will ask the police commissioner to apologise for calling us sympathisers of the extremist outfit,” the litterateur told The Statesman over phone.
It may be mentioned that the litterateur had gone to Singur on 27 September last year to attend a public hearing (gana sunani) organised by Sanhati Udyog, a forum of human rights activists. Social worker Ms Medha Patkar and educationist Mr Sunanda Sanyal had also attended the hearing where more than 3,000 farmers had gathered and expressed their unwillingness to give up land for the small car project.
When asked if she has ever attended any meeting of a frontal organisation of CPI-Maoist, the author replied in the negative. “Even a former magistrate of a court had attended the hearing. The organisation doesn’t have any links with any militant outfit,” she said. Mr Amitdyuti Kumar, joint convener, Sanhati Udyog, said human right activists and several other people from many democratic organisations belong to Sanhati Udyog which has no contacts with the CPI-Maoist. He demanded an apology from the city police authorities for tarnishing the image of Sanhati Udyog.
When contacted Mr Prasun Mukherjee, commissioner of the city police, said that he “doesn’t know” what “exactly” was posted in the website. The deputy commissioner (headquarters) called up this correspondent to tell “the Sanhati Udyog members may be sympathisers of the Maoists but the it would be wrong to brand the organisation as a frontal wing of the CPI-Maoists.”

Bankura marks partial bandh

Statesman News Service
BANKURA, July 3: Major parts of south Bankura observed a 12 hour Naxalite bandh today, incidentally that was not called by the Maoists. Traffic services, market places, educational institutions remained closed for the day and the even administrative offices marked poor attendance.
The Maoists have not taken responsibility of the bandh instead the outfit has called a bandh on 5 July demanding chemical fertilizer and seed to be distributed to the farmers free of cost.
Certain posters in favour of today’s’ bandh were stuck in a few locations of Khatra town, Ranibandh, Barikul PS areas few days ago. The posters were bearing the credit line in favour of PWG- an ultra naxalite outfit which incidentally has ceased operating since after 2002 and was merged to CPI (Maoist). The poster calling bandh had warned even the lawyers to take part wholeheartedly by boycotting court on Tuesday.
The district police and intelligence officials as well as the district administration didn’t pay any heed to the bandh called by the obsolete outfit.
The SDO, Khatra, Mr Sasim Kumar Barui said: “The outfit that has got no practical existence, what we anticipated wouldn’t have any impact and naturally we didn’t take any serious account of this.”

Insurance for home guards

Statesman News Service
RAIGANJ, July 3: The state government has introduced Rs 5 lakh insurance benefit to each home guard serving in the three Naxalite infested districts of Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore, the state civil defence minister Mr Sreekumar Mukherjee, said here today.
The state government’s decision has boosted the spirit of the home guards in the state and their families as well. “Now the state government provides home guards uniforms every four years.
We are trying our best to provide uniform each year, said Mr Mukharjee today at the foundation stone laying ceremony of a hostel for trainees at the Central Home Guard Training Institute at Gutlu in Itahar of North Dianjpur district.
Mr Mukharjee also said that before 1996, the home guards would receive Rs 33 per day against their duty where the Centre’ contribution was Rs16.5.
The Centre continues to pay the same amount to each home guard per day against their duty but the West Bengal government has increased the payment. Now home guards receive Rs 135, Rs140 and Rs 145 per day because of the state subsidy.
“Against this development, we would like to believe that a section of home guards, who stretch their hands to drivers for bribe would stop the practice,” the minister advised.
It was also learnt that the officials of the Civil Defence Institute in Kolkata and Gutlu in Itahar recently conducted a seven-day long disaster management training among 47 Rapid Action Force personnel at Kasba in Raiganj where the Rapid Action Force jawans learnt different technical rescue operation works.

Maoist leader held in Chhattisgarh

4 Jul 2007, 0214 hrs IST,TIMES NEWS NETWORK



RAIPUR: In a major breakthrough, Chhattisgarh police claimed to have arrested Maoist commander, Aitu Kursa, from Dogargarh in Rajnandgaon district on Monday and seized a number of sophisticated firearms and ammunition on the basis of his information.

The police said they seized two AK-47 rifles, two self-loading rifles, three .12 bore rifles, 150 gelatin sticks, four wireless sets, 10 photography flashes and 10 bundles of wire along with large quantity of ammunition.

Rajnandgaon SP Amit Kumar said he was arrested on the basis of a tip-off that he was undergoing treatment at a hospital in Dogargarh. Aitu is the Darrekasa dalam commander.

"Aitu was involved in several offences including an attack on a police party last year in which several policemen were injured and a DSP lost his legs. He was also involved in the attack on a goods train at Darrekasa railway station," he said.

Police said 28-year-old Aitu hails from Bastar area and was heading the Darrekasa Dalam operating across Chhattisgarh-Maharashtra border since 2005.

"Aitu had been recruited in 2003 and worked in Bastar region but was later promoted and moved to the Rajnandgaon-Gondia area," Kumar said.

Naxal leader held in Chhattisgarh

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: An important naxalite leader, believed to be responsible for many attacks on the police in Chhattisgarh and the adjoining areas of Maharashtra, was arrested on Tuesday.

A huge quantity of explosives and weapons was recovered at his instance, according to the Chhattisgarh police.

Inspector-General Giridhari Nayak said Subhas alias Aitu was taken into custody by a police team that went to Dongargarh town in Rajnandgaon district.

Police raided several places based on the information given by him and recovered two AK-47 rifles, two self-loading rifles (9SLRs), two shot guns, 150 gelatine sticks and a wireless set.

Mr. Nayak said the weapons were looted by naxalites after killing seven policemen in Gadchiroli in 2005.

Subhash was on the wanted list for over eight years and his arrest has come as a morale booster for the Chhattisgarh police.

Andhra: Maoist terrorist member arrested

User Rating: / 0 Tuesday, 03 July 2007



Visakhapatnam, July 03: The call for a State-wide bandh on Monday given by the banned CPI (Maoist) in protest against the killing of one of its top leaders, Rajamouli, received good response in the agency area of the district while a member of the armed militia of the party was arrested as he along with three others was fixing landmines on a road near Lankapakala village in G.K.Veedhi mandal on Sunday.

According to a press release from the district police on Monday, a case was booked against Korra Pandanna, 20, of Vanthala Mamidi village at the G.K. Veedhi police station on Monday for fixing the landmines and he was produced before a court. The other three had escaped.

The police seized a landmine, some letters and revolutionary literature from a kitbag Pandanna was carrying. During interrogation, Pandanna revealed that he was a member of the Galikonda local organising squad and participated in three training camps organised by the party. He was involved in the incidents of blasting a coffee pulper unit and murder of Gammili Venkata Rao of Pandirayi Kothagudem.

The agency roads saw no vehicular movement as the APSRTC had withdrawn its services and private transport vehicles also did not run.

Meanwhile, political party leaders, particularly of the Congress, were tense as the CPI (Maoist) was pressing them to come out openly against bauxite mining in the agency area. Congress leaders of Araku and Anantagiri areas were expected to hold a meeting on Tuesday and make a statement against bauxite mining.

There were reports from the agency area that Congress leaders of Sileru, Koyyuru and Chintapalli made statements opposing bauxite mining and requesting the State Government to drop the plans of mining. They would quit the party if the Government went ahead with its proposal, the Congress leaders had reportedly declared in their statements.

--Agencies

Nitish lacks solid strategy to counter Naxalites: Rabri

Patna, July 03: The main opposition RJD Tuesday charged Bihar's NDA government with 'lacking strategy' to rein in Maoists who on Saturday raided a police station and an outpost in Rohtas district in which nine persons, including five policemen were killed.

"The Nitish Kumar government lacks effective and solid strategy to contain the menace of Naxalites in the state," leader of the opposition and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi said today.

She alleged that in the last few months, the state had witnessed a spurt in Naxalite-related violence and Saturday's attack also highlighted intelligence failure.

She criticised the state government for not taking effective steps to increase the strength of policemen and equipping them with sophisticated weapons.

She demanded that the state government present a 'fool-proof plan' to tackle Naxalites during the forthcoming session of the state assembly.

Bureau Report

Sixty years of independence, 38 per cent of the country up in flames

Rupakjyoti Borah, Merinews
03 July 2007, Tuesday


While India gears up to celebrate 60 years of its independence, almost 40 per cent of the country is reeling under violence. It is therefore time to introspect and take course-correction measures before the situation spirals out of hand.





AS INDIA DECKS up to celebrate the 61st anniversary of its independence from the shackles of British rule, it is a time for us to reflect and ponder over what we have achieved in the last 60 years. These days India is the cynosure of eyes around the world, having been termed as an emerging economic superpower. Besides, it is the world’s largest democracy. But behind the shining exteriors, there are some bitter realities. The internal security scenario is one such bitter reality, which escapes the notice of many who are singing paeans to India’s success story. A study has estimated that almost 231 of the country’s 604 districts are afflicted by militancy, ethnic strife and terrorist violence. Some of the major areas of concern in the internal security front include:



JAMMU AND KASHMIR

Jammu and Kashmir has been the bone of contention between India and Pakistan right from 1947. The militants are still active and the militancy shows no sign of abating. Since the beginning of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989, almost 40000 lives have been snuffed out. In 2006 alone, around 1,100 lives were lost in this seemingly unending spiral of violence. The peace process between the two countries has run into rough weather with Pakistan harping on its one-point agenda on Kashmir. The effects of the militancy in Jammu and Kashmir have been felt in other parts of the country too with militants based in J &K targeting civilian populations in cities across the country.



THE NORTHEAST

Life in Northeast India has been torn asunder by a series of conflicts that have engulfed almost the entire region. The civilian population in the region has been caught between the proverbial devil and the deep blue sea, being at the receiving end of both the militants’ and the security forces’ ire. States like Nagaland, Manipur, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya are reeling under violence. The porous borders between this region and countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, China and Myanmar have further compounded the problem. Illegal immigration from Bangladesh has upset the demographic balance in many parts of the region especially Tripura and Assam. There is a great deal of unemployment forcing educated young men and women to take to guns. Around 620 people lost their lives in various incidents of militancy-related violence in the Northeast in 2006.



NAXALITES

The Naxalites are also proving to be a thorn in the flesh for the government. Almost fourteen states across the country have been affected by Naxal violence. Around 740 people lost their lives in Naxal-related violence last year. According to intelligence reports, Naxals have been working towards establishing a Red Corridor extending from Bihar to Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Some of the recent incidents of Naxal violence stand out for their audacity and brazenness. These include the attack on the Jehanabad jail, where Naxals freed around 340 prisoners including Naxal leader Ajay Kanu, the slaying of the MP Sunil Mahato besides the attack on a police camp in Bastar where they mowed down 56 policemen.



COMMUNAL AND CASTE-RELATED VIOLENCE

Communal and caste riots have reared their ugly heads time and again. The recent agitation by the Gujjars in Rajasthan and other states has seen the caste-cauldron simmering again. The Meenas and Gujjars are at loggerheads in Rajasthan in their claims for ST status. So is the case in many other parts of the country where people belonging to different castes and tribes are on the warpath against each other.



TERRORIST VIOLENCE

At least 270 people died in terrorist violence in India in 2006. There were a series of attacks on public and religious places. On March 7, 2006, around 21 people were killed and 62 others were injured in serial bomb blasts in Varanasi. Mumbai was the scene of horrific bomb blasts on July 11, 2006 when around 200 people were killed and over 700 others injured in serial blasts in Mumbai’s railway network, which is considered to be the lifeline of the city. Terrorists have not spared people of any religion. The dastardly bomb attacks of September 8, 2006 at Malegaon in Maharashtra snuffed out forty lives while injuring 65 others. On May 18, 2007, 13 people lost their lives in a bomb blast in Hyderabad’s famous Mecca Masjid and subsequent police firing.



THE ROAD AHEAD

So where are we heading? Is India moving away from “Bharat”? These facts point to some harsh realities, which the government much accept. The political leadership has to wake up to the fact that there are many genuine grievances within its populace, which have been shoved under the carpet. It has in many cases been taking the people for a ride. This is why people need to be educated, not just made literate. Only with the spread of education, will power devolve into the grassroots and it is from the grassroots that a new leadership will emerge which will take the country forward. The criminalisation of politics is a big deterrent to India’s march towards progress. Only with education will people be able to reverse this trend. What is needed is a new approach wherein the ordinary populace is taken into confidence. India’s economy is booming, however this “boom” has completely bypassed a large swathe of this population. Therefore the growth has to be more inclusive. As far as terrorist-violence sponsored by neighbouring countries like Pakistan is concerned, intelligence gathering needs to be spruced up and there should be more vigil at sensitive locations. As they say, the more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.

BIHAR: Lapse in Intelligence on Naxal Activities; Admits Home Secretary

Patna: July 2, 2007

The state government, alarmed by the recent surge in Naxal violence in Bihar, has summoned a high-level meeting of top cops and babus on July 4 to discuss strategies to deal with the menace that has clearly bolstered the opposition parties in its criticism against the Nitish government and has left the administration dumbfounded.

Director General of Police (DGP) Ashish Ranjan Sinha, Additional Director General of Police (DGP) Abhayanand, Superintendents of Police (SP) of terrorist-hit areas, Intelligence officers, and other top officials will attend the meet to formulate strategy to check Naxal-related violence in Bihar, Home Secretary Afzal Amanullah said on Monday.

Amanullah, however, conceded that the state intelligence had clearly failed in keeping tabs on Naxal extremists who have become bolder despite some strong measures taken by the administration against them.

Talking about the Naxal attack on a police outpost in Rohtas district during which six police officials were gunned down last Saturday night, the Home Secretary said it was abundantly evident that the station in-charges of Rajpur and Baghela police outposts were not on duty when the attack occurred.

"We are seeking a full report from the Superintendent of Police (SP) on the attack to get a better understanding of the unfortunate incident," Amanullah said.

Meanwhile, Anil Sinha, IG police headquarters, denied any lapse in police discharge of duties.

"We are neither weaker than the extremists nor we have any dearth of resources. However, the problem is that we have to exercise utmost caution in our operation so innocent civilians do not become the casualty in the police-Naxal war. The ultras, on the other hand, do not care about innocent human lives and that creates more problem for us than anything else," Sinha said.

Naxals face cadre crunch in Eastern Maha, wind up four dalams

PTI
Tuesday, July 03, 2007 14:46 IST



NAGPUR: The naxalite movement in most affected Gadchiroli and Gondia districts in Eastern Maharashtra has weakened with some of the `dalams' operating in the area virtually winding up following a cadre crunch, police sources said.

The shrinking number of cadres has forced naxalites in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra to wind up four of its dalams including Gamini, Kotagaon, Dhanora and Jimmalgatta.


The naxal-quartet led by Murli alias Mahesh Reddy, arrested by city police on May 8, have also endorsed the intelligence inputs of the police confessing that there has been no fresh recruitment for quite a long time.

Confirming this depletion in the naxal cadre, Additional Director General of police (Anti-naxal operation), Pankaj Gupta said that in a desperate move, naxals are shifting some of their cadres from adjoining Chattisgarh.

Citing reasons behind weakening of naxal movement in Vidarbha, Gupta said the 'gaonbandi' (no entry in villages) scheme of Maharashtra government proved very effective as villagers are putting up a stiff resistance to their movement.

Besides, a number of naxals and their supporters have already surrendered to avail certain benefits including cash, while few of them are on their way to give up naxalism.

As a result of weak naxal movement in Vidarbha region, the crime graph between January 1 to May 31 this year registers a decline as compared to same period last year.

On all heads including blasts, attack on policemen, and kidnapping the number of offences have come down.

There were just five blasts this year against eight last year and number of encounters have risen from 13 to 22, Gupta said adding the increase in number of encounters justifies the presence of police in naxal dominated areas.

The number of arsons which was quite high (20) in last corresponding period has dropped to five. The overall figure on nine important heads which was 60 has come to 54 this year, Gupta added.