Friday, October 05, 2007

TERRORISM & NAXALISM : Oil firms look to step up expenditure on security

5 Oct, 2007, 0452 hrs IST,Rajeev Jayaswal, TNN



NEW DELHI: The impending threat of terrorist and naxal strikes on vital oil & gas installations looms large on domestic oil companies. While gas transportation major GAIL India plans to appoint an Indian Police Service (IPS)-rank officer as security advisor, ONGC has demanded a common fund to meet increased expenditure on security.

“The government is considering GAIL’s request to appoint an IPS officer on deputation as company’s security advisor in the rank of general manager for a period of three years,” a source in the petroleum ministry said. The petroleum ministry would have to seek the home ministry’s approval before giving a go-ahead to the public sector gas marketing firm GAIL’s request.

GAIL has a wide network of gas pipelines across the country and it is like a sitting duck for terror strike, an expert said. “GAIL has established a wide-spread gas pipeline network, gas processing units and a petrochemical complex across the country. The requirement of deputing an IPS officer to head our corporate security department as advisor (security) is of foremost necessity,” GAIL’s director of human resources, MR Hingnikar said. It is understood that the post of security advisor is at the rank of general manager.

Security of oil and gas installations is one of the major concerns of both companies as well as the government. “The situation is quite alarming in north eastern region where oil pipelines are soft targets for insurgents,” an executive in an oil exploration & production (E&P) firm working in the region said.

E&P companies are apprehending that their security costs will go up considerably in years to come. In the light of increased E&P activities in the country’s deep-water blocks, ONGC has requested the government to have a common pool to meet expenditure on security. Currently about Rs 100 crore is spent on monitoring existing offshore oil and gas assets, which is borne by public sector oil major ONGC.

There was a time when ONGC was the only major exploration and production (E&P) company having offshore oil and gas assets. Now there has been an increasing presence of private sector in offshore operations. Out of the total offshore exploration area, ONGC’s (including other PSUs) share is 57% (1,021,725 sq km), while the private sector’s share has gone up to 43% (758,789 sq km). As private sector’s presence is growing in offshore exploration, it is necessary that the cost for offshore security be shared by all players, sources in the petroleum ministry said.

It is learnt that officials recently held a meeting in the ministry to deliberate on the issue. “It is proposed that private operators should also share the capex and opex expenditures on offshore security,” an official source said.

‘Naxalism biggest security challenge’

Aloke Tikku, Hindustan Times

New Delhi, October 05, 2007
First Published: 03:57 IST(5/10/2007)
Last Updated: 04:00 IST(5/10/2007)


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told police chiefs of naxal-affected states on Thursday to “redouble their efforts” in controlling Naxalism and showcased Andhra Pradesh – as a success story in handling the problem.

This is the first time that Singh – who had earlier described Naxalism as India’s biggest internal security challenge – sent out a clear message that stronger police action was needed.

Andhra Pradesh – that initially tried to hold talks with the Maoists – is considered the best example of a state where naxal activity has abated and the naxalites are on the run due to concerted police action.

In his speeches at the annual conference of police chiefs in previous years, Singh had made it a point to mention the need for a security response to Naxalism. He had also stressed the need to address the basic causes for alienation of the people and the lack of development.

Singh kept it straight on Thursday “I have said in the past that there are many dimensions to the problems of Naxalism. While concerted efforts are being made on the development front to remove any feeling of alienation, the police forces need to redouble their efforts to control this phenomenon,” he told the police chiefs unequivocally.

“Some states like Andhra Pradesh have demonstrated that where there is a will, there is a way forward,” Singh, who had spent several hours at the conference discussing internal security challenges earlier in the day, told the gathering.

“Other States need to work with determination and in tandem to eliminate this menace,” he added, asking the security establishment to work with “greater commitment” towards eliminating the threat posed by Naxalism.

Singh ran the delegates through a few terrorist and naxal attacks, saying that these incidents should make them aware of the formidable challenges that lie ahead and stressed on the need to improve the internal security machinery, a point that home minister Shivraj Patil had mentioned on Wednesday.

“We need better police forces – better in all senses… We need superior intelligence capabilities, which can alert us about looming threats. We need greater discipline, lesser politicization and zero corruption,” he said, asking the police chiefs to provide the leadership and direction to the forces under their command in this context.

Singh also pointed to the global face of terrorism, saying that the security agencies have the challenge of facing determined, committed and highly motivated adversaries working with an evil intent and design.

“We need to go far beyond conventional responses in facing terrorist threats”.

Railways planning to install ATMs in trains - NOT IN NAXAL AFFECTED ROUTES

5 Oct 2007, 1019 hrs IST,PTI


NEW DELHI: With Indian Railways planning to install ATMs in selected trains, you may be able to withdraw money while travelling.

"We already have ATMs in many stations. Now, as a further step, we are planning to install ATMs in some trains as a pilot project," said a senior railway ministry official.

"We are in discussion with some banks to finalise the ATM project", said the official adding a feasibility study is also being commissioned to study the proposed ATM plan.

In the first phase, ATMs would be installed in popular trains and later on depending upon the success of the facility it would be extended to other trains.

However, trains passing through Naxal-affected areas are not being considered for ATM facility for security reasons, the railway official said.

"We have strengthened security measures at railway stations and trains by deploying explosive detection devices, doorframe metal detectors, CCTV and smart video cameras at sensitive stations. Beside acquiring modern security gadgets our dog squads have also been strengthened as there is a need for deploying sniffer dogs at stations", he said.

Steps have been initiated to operate Global Positioning System (GPS) in trains to improve our trains tracking system. A GPS-based system for rail navigation has been planned in coordination with IIT Kanpur. The system provides real time tracking system using GPS.

Beside ATMs and ATVMs, Railway Ministry is planning a major upgradation of entertainment in some inter-city super-fast trains.

As per the plan, the seats of the coaches will be equipped with flat-panel television touch screens with head phones offering passengers options of live and pre-recorded entertainment and movie channels.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Where The Farmers Commit Suicides...

Where The Farmers Commit Suicides...

And Naxals rule the roost: all the six Maoist-affected districts in Maharashtra fall in the Vidarbha region. And the recent police ‘successes’ do not mean that the Maoist challenge is over


Bibhu Prasad Routray




Considering the fact that only six of the state’s 35 districts are affected by Left Wing extremism (LWE), Maharashtra has, over the years, registered a significant number of extremist incidents and related fatalities. According to the ministry of home affairs (MHA), incidents of Maoist violence in Maharashtra rose from 75 in 2003 to 84 in 2004, to a further 94 in 2005 and 98 in 2006. Related fatalities were 40, 17, 56 and 61 in the corresponding years. 16 fatalities were reported in 58 incidents in the first six months of 2007.

Whereas the MHA designates Maharashtra as one of the states where LWE has been kept under control, these figures, at least for 2007, are certainly comparable with the states like Orissa where the problem is present in 22 districts out of a total 30. Between January and June 2007, Orissa registered 17 fatalities in 45 incidents. Similarly, Andhra Pradesh, where all 23 districts of the state are affected, though strong police action has brought the problem down to a low scale, registered 61 incidents and 40 deaths in the first six months of 2007.

All the six LWE affected districts in Maharashtra (Gadchiroli, Chandrapur, Bhandara, Gondia, Yavatmal and Nanded) are located in the eastern part of the state, in the economically backward Vidarbha region, sharing borders with Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. Geographical contiguity with, and the ‘spill over’ from, the Maoist affected districts of Adilabad, Karimnagar and Nizamabad in Andhra Pradesh, as well as Rajnandgaon, Bastar, Kanker and Dantewada in Chhattisgarh, have been described as the principal reason for the extremism in Maharashtra.

The Maoists have also exploited the geographical conditions and terrain of these districts for their activities. According to the Maharashtra state Forest Department, 47.08 per cent of the total area in Gondia district is designated as 'forest'; in Gadchiroli the forest area is 90.96 per cent; in Bhandara, 45.58 per cent; in Chandrapur, 46.69 per cent; in Yavatmal, 27.35 per cent; and in Nanded, 11.35 per cent. The scheduled tribe population – populations that have been highly vulnerable to Maoist mobilization – in these districts is also comparatively higher. With the state tribal percentage at 8.8 per cent, Gadchiroli's tribal population is 38.3 per cent; Yavatmal, 19.2 per cent; Chandrapur, 18.11 per cent; Gondia, 18 per cent; Nanded, 8.8 per cent; and Bhandara, 8.6 per cent.

Given the existing challenge, the Maharashtra police, especially its Anti-Naxal Cell overseeing counter-Maoist operations, has claimed to have secured several successes in the recent past. Arrests and surrenders of the CPI-Maoist cadres are said to have been a major accomplishment of the Anti-Naxal Cell. Some of the incidents in which Maoist cadres were neutralised in just 2007 include:

January 15: Seven Maoists were arrested following a joint operation by the Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh police in a border village in the Gadchiroli district.

April 8: Four senior CPI-Maoist cadres surrendered at an unspecified location.

April 14: CPI-Maoist cadre, Kata Mainu Zuru, involved in several cases, was arrested near Fulbodi in the Pendhari area of Gadchiroli district.

April 14: Three Maoists, identified as Chhaya, Dilip and Shiva, surrendered before the Superintendent of police of Gadchiroli district.

September 13: Police neutralised a base training camp of the CPI-Maoist in Etapalli Tehsil (revenue division) in Jambiagatta range in the Gadchiroli district and arrested four unidentified teenage boys and three girls.

The Maharashtra police have also claimed to have curtailed the flow of cadres to Maoist ranks.


Maoist recruitment in both Gadchiroli and Chandrapur districts is said to have been drastically reduced, forcing the outfit to wind up several of its dalams (armed squads) in the Gadchiroli and Gondia districts by June 2007 and shifting the existing cadres into Chhattisgarh. The dalams that have folded up include the Gamini, Kotagaon, Dhanora and Jimmalgatta.

Nevertheless, the Maoists have carried out attacks targeting not only state police personnel, government offices and infrastructures, but have also carried out a campaign against ‘police informers’ and their own surrendered colleagues. In the first three months of 2007, at least eight surrendered Maoists were killed by their former comrades in Gadchiroli, Gondia and Chandrapur districts. At least four incidents of suspected police informers being killed by the Maoists have been reported from Gadchiroli district in 2007 (till end-September).

Police ‘successes’ have, in fact, been largely incidental, and the state’s anti-Maoist policy suffers from several drawbacks. Each of these existing loopholes has the potential of allowing the Maoists to regain their lost bases.

Among the state’s initiatives is the Gaonbandi (no entry to the villages) scheme that has been implemented since 2003, to prevent the Maoists from exploiting, mobilizing and recruiting the villagers. As part of the Scheme, any local village body or panchayat passing a resolution barring entry to the Maoists, is provided with Rs 200,000, to be paid in two instalments. Regrettably, the implementation of the Scheme has been far from adequate. Till the end of 2006, only 112 of the total of 324 Gaonbandi villages (villages that had banned Maoist entry) had been given the assured funds. Of these, only 73 villages received the full amount of Rs 200,000. In November 2006, the Maharashtra government increased the reward amount to Rs 300,000, to be paid in one instalment. However, the Scheme continues to be marred by a poor record of disbursement of the promised funds.

The state police’s surrender scheme, introduced on August 29, 2005, has also faced problems of fund shortage. The policy offers Rs 200,000 for a dalam commander, Rs 100,000 for his deputy, Rs 75,000 for dalam members, and Rs 40,000 to Rs 5,000 to lower rank cadres who surrender. The state government had initially decided to keep aside Rs 50 million for the scheme, only to withdraw this amount, asking the perennially cash-strapped police department to meet the expenses from its regular fund. By February 2007, Maharashtra police chief, P. S. Pasricha, was expressing concerns about the shortage of funds and its negative impact on the surrender policy.

Similarly, little success appears to have achieved in terms of disrupting the Maoist network that has targeted the forest areas in the Vidarbha region through any state scheme to deliver financial benefits. Way back in December 2000, deposing before the Estimates Committee of the state legislature, then Principal Secretary (Home) M.R. Patil had stated that forest contractors, tendu leaf (leaves of diospyros melonoxylon used for rolling bidis) traders and local businessmen in the Maoist -affected areas of Maharashtra were being forced to fund the extremists in the state out of fear. According to state police officials, Gadchiroli district alone, had been coughing up nearly Rs 140 million every year from the trade in tendu leaves and bamboo produce. Of late, teakwood smuggling from Gadchiroli forests had overtaken extortion from tendu leaf and bamboo contractors, as the prime venture for Maoist resource generation. The largest proportion of this trade reportedly occurs on the banks of the Godavari River, along the Maharashtra-Andhra Pradesh border in south Gadchiroli.
Money passing into Maoist coffers ranges between Rs 200 to 500 for a 3.70 metre-long plank of teakwood.

The orientation of the anti-Maoist strategy in Maharashtra appears to be prejudiced heavily towards containing the violent potential of the outfit. Accordingly, the Maharashtra Police have invested substantially on augmenting the fighting capabilities of its force. At the forefront of anti-Maoist operations in the Vidarbha region is a Special Action Group (SAG) of 300 specially trained Armed police personnel, raised in 2006 on the lines of the Greyhounds in Andhra Pradesh. Trained at the Unconventional Operations Training Centre (UOTC) at Hingana on the outskirts of Nagpur, SAG personnel have been deployed in Gadchiroli, Gondia and Bhandara districts.

The Maharashtra Police can rightly take credit for having contained Maoist violence within manageable limits, but there appears to be a bigger challenge at hand: countering the emerging Maoist potential to carry out urban operations. Three arrests in 2007 have brought this tactic into the open, as the Maoists consolidate capacities in urban centres to station their propaganda units and middle and senior level strategists.

On May 8, the Nagpur police arrested Arun Ferreira, the Maoist communications and propaganda strategist, and a Maoist ‘divisional secretary’ Murali Sattya Reddy, from the Deekshabhoomi area, seizing a 9mm Chinese-made pistol, two magazines, 16 rounds of ammunition, two VCDs, an MP3 CD, and a notepad containing information on the manufacture of improvised explosive devices and the use of walkie-talkies in operations.

On August 19, two Maoists – Vishnu alias Shridhar Krishnan Shrinivas, Maharashtra ‘state secretary’ and a member of the central politburo, and Vikram alias Vernon Gonzalez, a National Committee member – were arrested from the outskirts of Mumbai. Six gelatine sticks, one hand grenade, revolvers and cash were recovered from them, in addition to incriminating documents, CDs and pen-drives.

On August 20, in a joint operation with the Andhra Pradesh police, the Anti-Terrorism Squad of the Maharashtra police arrested K. D. Rao, a lawyer practising in the Bombay High Court, outside the YMCA hostel near Colaba in Mumbai for his alleged links with the Maoists and involvement in the killing of a police officer six years ago.


Maoist mobilisation and networks have long been suspected in Maharashtra’s urban centres, including Nashik, Pune and state capital Mumbai. A large number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in these urban areas are believed to be funding and otherwise supporting the Maoists. In 2006, the state intelligence department had blacklisted 59 such Mumbai-based NGOs. Nevertheless, Maoist consolidation in urban Maharashtra is believed to be continuing apace, with the police handicapped by a wide range of legal and constitutional constraints that prohibit significant action against over-ground collaborators, and a conscious effort on the part of the Maoists to exploit every available democratic loophole.

Operational successes by the police are, no doubt, significant. Much more will, however, be needed in terms of a strategy of containment and defence against the creeping Maoist consolidation in widening areas of the state, and to plug the unique vulnerabilities of a democratic system, compounded by the structural infirmities and lack of resources committed to policing in the state, and across the country. The recent police ‘successes’ provide little grounds for the euphoric statements that followed, and the Maoists challenge can be expected to hang heavy over Maharashtra for some time to come.


Bibhu Prasad Routray is Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management. Courtesy, the South Asia Intelligence Review of the South Asia Terrorism Portal

Dealing with naxalism in Chhattisgarh

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by Praful Bidwai


RECENTLY, Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh described Naxalism as “the greatest internal security threat” facing India. Naxalism has struck roots in more than 150 of India’s 600 districts. Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have now decisively replaced Andhra Pradesh and. Between January 2006 and June 2007, Chhattisgarh recorded 529 deaths, and the displacement of nearly lakh people. Yet, Chhattisgarh provides terrifying lessons on how Naxalism should not be fought — by unleashing state repression against unarmed civilians, by creating, training and instigating bandits who target Naxalites, and by violating the citizen’s civil liberties, even while perpetuating gruesome injustices against the poor.

This conclusion, drawn by social scientists, jurists and civil liberties activists, was reinforced during a visit I made to Chhattisgarh last fortnight with Mr Mukul Sharma, director of Amnesty International-India. We made the visit to express solidarity with Dr Binayak Sen, a noted health activist, and general secretary of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties-Chhattisgarh, who has been detained since May 14 under draconian laws. We also wanted to investigate whether there’s anything in Dr Sen’s work which warrants such harsh measures. Besides Raipur, we toured parts of Dhamtari district, where Dr Sen’s organisation, Rupantar, has run a clinic for 10 years. Upon talking to more than 20 people in Bagrumnala, Kekrakholi and other villages, we failed to find any evidence of Dr Sen’s culpability in inciting the public to extremism or helping Naxalites penetrate the area. On the contrary, Dr Sen has been doing exemplary voluntary work in the Gandhian mould in providing primary and preventive healthcare to people long deprived of access to any health facilities.

Rupantar’s Bagrumnala clinic offers an extraordinary range of services at nominal cost, including rapid testing for the deadly Falciparum strain of the malaria parasite. Many of these services are provided through local volunteers and “barefoot doctors” trained by Dr Sen, who give the public invaluable advice on nutrition and preventive medicine. The Rupantar clinic caters to villages in a 40 sq km radius, which otherwise have no access to healthcare. Its work is irreplaceable and worthy of universal support. Its closure is bound to cause preventable loss of life and well-being among some of the poorest tribals of Chhattisgarh, many of whom suffer from chronic malnutrition and a host of infectious diseases.

People described Dr Sen’s role as a noble and selfless one. No one spoke of even the remotest sign of his instigating people to extremism or soliciting support for pro-Naxal ideas. However, it’s not an aberration that an outstanding activist like Dr Sen was detained under a nasty law like the PSA, which criminalises even peaceful activity and protest, by declaring it “a danger or menace to public order, peace and tranquillity”, because it might interfere with or “tends to interfere with the maintenance of public order… the administration of law or its… institutions”, and encourages or preaches “disobedience to established law and its institutions.”

There’s a clear purpose behind this legal monstrosity — to set a horrible example for all civil rights defenders and intimidate them. This isn’t the first time in India that trumped-up charges have been brought against an innocent person. But it’s probably the first occasion when a civil liberties defender has been explicitly and exclusively targeted, and that too, one belonging to a broad-church, inclusive and politically unaffiliated organisation like the PUCL, originally headed by Jayaprakash Narayan, which has defended people of all persuasions against the state’s excesses. Dr Sen was victimised precisely because he formed a bridge between the human rights movement and other civil society and voluntary organisations, and created a forum of empowerment for Chhattisgarh’s disadvantaged people.

The state government, whose very existence is premised upon the rapacious exploitation of Adivasis and the staggering natural wealth of Chhattisgarh—and whose primary function is to subserve Big Business, forest contractors and traders—, is loath to tolerate such organisations or individuals. If this sounds like an exaggeration, consider the following: One of India’s most remarkable and creative trade unionists, Mr Shankar Guha Niyogi, who founded the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha, and ignited a mass awakening encompassing a range of social, cultural and economic issues, was brutally assassinated at the behest of the state’s powerful and politically well-connected industrialists and contractors in 1991. Those who planned and financed the murder still roam scot-free. Chhattisgarh has among India’s worst indices of wealth maldistribution and income inequality. Raipur (capital), Durg and Bilaspur are veritable boom towns, parts of which would put even Bhopal (capital of Madhya Pradesh, from which the state was split off seven years ago) in the shade in their ostentatious affluence, spanking new hotels and glittering shopping malls.

At the other extreme are predominantly tribal districts like Dantewada (one of the three carved out from erstwhile Bastar), which present a dismal picture of malnutrition, starvation deaths, rampant illiteracy, and severe scarcity of health facilities and of safe drinking water. The literacy rate among tribals here is less than one-third the national average—just 30 percent for men and 13 percent for women. Of its 1220 villages, 214 don’t even have a primary school. Worse, 1,161 villages have no medical facility whatsoever. Primary health centres exist in only 34 villages. In Bijapur, the district’s most violent tehsil, where 55 policemen were gunned down in March, only 52 villages have 25 percent literacy; 35 villages have no literate people at all.

To make a stark comparison, the difference in life-expectancy between Kerala and tribal Chhattisgarh is a shocking 18 years. The two regions could well belong to different continents like Europe and Africa. Naxalism has thrived in Chhattisgarh as a response, albeit an irrational and violent one, to this obnoxious system of exploitation, dispossession and outright loot, along with the complete collapse of the state as a provider of public services and a relatively impartial guardian of the law. The Naxalites flourish because the state has failed. Yet, to defend the system of exploitation, the state is waging war against its own people through the sponsorship of Salwa Judum, a government-funded and -trained militia which is specifically meant to kill and incite violence against the Naxals. This is an extraordinarily predatory organisation. Its violence has uprooted and rendered homeless almost 1 lakh people, who are forced to live in appalling conditions in temporary camps.

Salwa Judum represents an unholy nexus between the Congress and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, buttressed by powerful entrenched interests of industry and trade. Its violence and atrocities only ensure that the Naxalite problem will never be settled. Chhattisgarh is rapidly getting polarised between “Red” (Naxals) and “Saffron” (BJP). It’s also divided between what Niyogi called mankhe gotiyar (the human species) and baghwa gotiyar (the bloodsucking clan), or the forces of human compassion/solidarity, and the forces of destruction. If the Chhattisgarh government has proved utterly bankrupt in dealing with Naxalism, the Centre has done no better. By solely relying on maximum, brute force to fight Naxalism, it’s inviting grave disaster.

Text Of PM's Speech To Top Police Officials



Thursday 04 th of October 2007 Following is the text of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's speech at the Directors General of Police and Inspectors General of Police conference in Delhi:


'Let me, at the very outset, extend my heartiest congratulations to the recipients of the President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service. This award is an acknowledgement of your dedicated contribution to the maintenance of law and order. I also take this opportunity to convey my deep appreciation of the police fraternity for their significant contributions in fighting the forces of terrorism and instability with determination. And all this, despite heavy constraints and scarce resources.

A policeman - like a farmer, a worker and a teacher - is an essential pillar of a civilized society. I believe that a nation and a society can be judged by how it treats each these professions. A nation that has diligent and productive farmers and workers, dedicated and committed teachers and policemen, is a truly fortunate one. The rule of law is the bedrock of any modern society. And as the key instrument for enforcing this rule, the police is one of the vital institutions of the state. I assure our police personnel that we are fully committed to their welfare and professional development. In turn we expect our police to be fearless, dedicated, competent and tough. At the same time, we expect them to be fair, humane and honest.

The internal security situation in our country continues to remain a cause for concern for both the Central and State Governments. I have often said that most of the challenges we face are at home. Among them, the internal security challenge is one of the key ones.

As we scan the internal security scenario, we notice a large number of incidents which should alert us to the formidable challenges we face. Hyderabad was witness to a heinous act of terrorism recently in which many innocent lives were lost. It was committed with an intent to terrorise ordinary citizens and demoralize our security apparatus. Naxalites attempted to eliminate a former Chief Minister in Nellore. Violent incidents continue in some states of the North East, particularly in Manipur and Nagaland. The ethnic overtones of violent acts in Assam are particularly disturbing. While the situation in Jammu & Kashmir has shown some overall improvement, violent incidents keep recurring. And last but not least, we are seeing many incidents of vigilantism and citizens taking law into their own hands, particularly in Bihar. While some of it could be a result of personal frustration, some of it also arises out of dissatisfaction over the functioning of the law enforcement and justice system.

These incidents - and many others you are well aware of - should only strengthen our resolve to constantly improve our internal security machinery. We need better police forces - better in all senses - be it training, skills, equipment, resources, mobility or attitudes. We need superior intelligence capabilities which can alert us to impending threats. We need greater discipline, lesser politicization and zero corruption. We are committed to supporting your efforts in this direction. However, you need to provide the necessary leadership and direction to the forces under your command.

We need to work with greater commitment to eliminating the threat posed by naxalism. I have said in the past that there are many dimensions to the problems of naxalism. While concerted efforts are being on the development front to remove any feeling of alienation, the police forces need to redouble their efforts to control the spread of this phenomenon. Some states like Andhra Pradesh have demonstrated that where there is a will, there is a way forward. Other states need to work with determination and in tandem to eliminate this menace.

Terrorism has become a global phenomenon of our times. In terrorist organization, you face determined, committed and highly motivated adversaries working with evil intent. We need to go far beyond conventional responses in facing terrorist threats.

The security problems of the North East and Jammu & Kashmir have many dimensions unique to these regions. The government is working on many fronts - through dialogue processes, through development activities and through improved communication links - to tackle the problems here. All the same, the police forces have an obligation to continually work towards a safe and secure environment for the ordinary citizen.

That brings me to an important issue which often gets neglected, is certainly not a high profile issue, but is of great concern as far as ordinary citizens are concerned. This is the maintenance of law and order on matters which directly impinge citizenry. This is the bread and butter work of any police which can get neglected due to other pressures. Each one of you should ask yourself - what are people's concerns as far as policing is concerned? What do people expect from the police. And are we effectively addressing their priorities?

It is my belief that citizens want a secure environment in which to live and carry out their activities. Safety of their bodies and their property is their priority. Their worries centre around petty nuisances, harassment by local criminals or gangs, goondaism, dadagiri, and in some areas, threats of violence and even kidnapping and extortion. Women and senior citizens are concerned about their safety. Girls worry about eve-teasing. Parents worry about child abuse. As we get more urbanized, these offences are increasing. White collar crime too is seeing a rise. Are we tackling these problems adequately? It is only by addressing these will police forces be able to reach out to citizens and win their confidence and affection. People should be willing to approach a policeman with the same assurance with which they visit a doctor. That should be your goal.

Coming to the urgent need for reforms in the Criminal Justice System, we have the report of the Justice Malimath Committee and also the work being done by the committee under the chairmanship of Dr Madhav Menon on preparing a 'Draft National Policy Paper on Criminal Justice'. I am happy that the Home Minister has initiated actions on these two reports. We must move speedily and with determination to make the required changes in the criminal justice system. The criminal justice system should facilitate the creation of a social climate conducive to equitable development and social justice.

Broadly speaking, these recommendations are in two categories - one requiring wider discussions and consensus and another that can be implemented in a shorter time frame. I am hopeful that there will be forward movement on a large number of issues such as multiple criminal codes, standard of proof, trial procedures, courts ordering further investigation, admissible confessions, protection of victims and witnesses, etc. I am glad that the Home Minister has chaired a meeting of the Steering Committee of the National Police Mission. This Mission should help us create a new vision for the police and bring about a paradigm shift in their working.

Through the Mission, we need to take a hard look at police functioning. We must make them more accountable, enhance skills and competency at the grassroots, where people come in contact with police. A culture of excellence must be developed in our police force. We must also make better use of science and technology in police functioning, making them more technologically capable and equipped.

The Police Mission needs to also study modern policing issues like community policing. I would like the mission to come forward with practical solutions to problems like non-registration of FIRs. The Mission may also examine new methodologies of crowd dispersal and develop a more user-friendly police uniform. The Mission must reflect on the new inter-state and trans-national ramifications of crime and also study the Centre-State dimension of internal security administration, especially with respect to what may be called 'federal crimes'. I would like Universities and Law Schools to be associated with these studies. The Home Ministry may consider funding Professorial Chairs and Research Projects in Universities and research institutions to promote research on such issues.

I will conclude by going back to what I said earlier. Seek out the citizen, identify his needs and expectations, address them on priority. Try to improve their satisfaction levels. The instruments and methods you decide to choose should be driven by this goal. Our government will support you fully in your endeavours in this direction.

I compliment and commend you once again on the vital responsibility you are so bravely discharging. I hope the conference will chart out new directions for you to work on and make the police an effective instrument of public service.

Intelligence Apparatus Must Improve: PM

Thursday 04th of October 2007 Underlining the need to shore up the country's internal security machinery, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday called for superior intelligence capabilities that could prove as timely alerts to impending threats.

Manmohan Singh also pointed to the global face of terrorism and how police forces needed to go far beyond conventional responses in facing terrorist threats.

'The internal security situation in our country continues to remain a cause for concern for both the central and state governments. I have often said that most of the challenges we face are at home. Among them, the internal security challenge is one of the key ones,' said the prime minister, addressing Directors General of Police and Inspectors General of Police here.

Detailing the brazenness of terror attacks in recent months including the twin blasts in Hyderabad that killed over 40 people in August, violent acts in Assam and the rise in Maoist violence, he said such incidents should not only prove as a wake-up call but strengthen the resolve to improve the internal security machinery.

'Hyderabad was witness to a heinous act of terrorism recently in which many innocent lives were lost. It was committed with intent to terrorise ordinary citizens and demoralize our security apparatus,' said Manmohan Singh.

'Naxalites attempted to eliminate a former chief minister in Nellore. Violent incidents continue in some states of the North East, particularly in Manipur and Nagaland. The ethnic overtones of violent acts in Assam are particularly disturbing.'

The prime minister was making a pointed reference to the attack on former chief minister N. Janardhan Reddy last month that came after a series of setbacks suffered by Maoists in Andhra Pradesh though there were clear indicators to show that cadres were regrouping.

A day earlier, home minister Shivraj Patil while addressing the same audience emphasised that new age terror was a grave problem to contend with and said police could not afford to lag behind and had to adopt newer methods and approaches to combat the threat.

While maintaining that violence level in Jammu & Kashmir was down and security on the ground had shown improvement, Manmohan Singh lamented the spate of vigilante justice incidents around the country, especially the four back-to-back incidents in Bihar last month.

'We are seeing many incidents of vigilantism and citizens taking law into their own hands, particularly in Bihar. While some of it could be a result of personal frustration, some of it also arises out of dissatisfaction over the functioning of the law enforcement and justice system,' he said.

'We need better police forces - better in all senses - be it training, skills, equipment, resources, mobility or attitudes. We need superior intelligence capabilities which can alert us to impending threats,' Singh exhorted the country's top police brass.

'We need greater discipline, lesser politicization and zero corruption. We are committed to supporting your efforts in this direction. However, you need to provide the necessary leadership and direction to the forces under your command.'

While pressing police chiefs to usher in better policing techniques and hone intelligence mechanisms, Manmohan Singh reminded them that maintenance of law and order should not impinge on citizenry.

'It is my belief that citizens want a secure environment in which to live and carry out their activities. Safety of their bodies and their property is their priority,' he said.

'Their worries centre around petty nuisances, harassment by local criminals or gangs, goondaism, dadagiri, and in some areas, threats of violence and even kidnapping and extortion. Women and senior citizens are concerned about their safety. Girls worry about eve teasing. Parents worry about child abuse.'

'As we get more urbanized, these offences are increasing. White collar crime too is seeing a rise.'

'Are we tackling these problems adequately? It is only by addressing these will police forces be able to reach out to citizens and win their confidence and affection. People should be willing to approach a policeman with the same assurance with which they visit a doctor. That should be your goal.'

Manmohan Singh also made references to the Justice Malimath committee on the criminal justice system and Dr Madhav Menon's draft national policy paper on criminal justice and how work was on to see the recommendations were acted upon soon.

Internal security still cause for concern: Manmohan Singh




Special Correspondent



Police asked to pay equal attention to concerns of the common man



Underlines need for improvement in training, skills

Says white collar crime is seeing a rise


— Photo: PTI/ Kamal Singh

Proud moment: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with his son-in-law and Joint Director of Intelligence Bureau Ashok Kumar Patnaik after presenting the President’s Police Medal for distinguished service to him at the concluding session of the DGPs/IGPs Conference in New Delhi on Thursday.

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said the internal security situation continued to “remain a cause of concern” and called on top police officials to pay equal attention to the concerns of ordinary citizens, in addition to combating the high-profile challenges of terrorism, naxalism and separatist violence.

Acknowledging that the security forces were maintaining law and order and fighting terrorism despite constraints and scarcity of resources, Dr. Singh underlined the need for an all-round improvement in training, skills, equipment, resources and attitude. India needed superior intelligence to remain warned of impending threats.

This required greater discipline, lesser politicisation and zero corruption among the police forces.

“We are committed to supporting your efforts in this direction. However, you need to provide the necessary leadership and direction to the forces under your command,” he told the country’s Directors and Inspectors-General of Police at their annual conference.

Variety of threats


The Prime Minister dwelt on the various threats to national security — terrorism as was recently manifest in the Hyderabad blasts, the challenge to the state structure by naxalites, violent incidents in the northeast and the incidents of vigilantism and citizens taking the law into their own hands, particularly in Bihar. “While some of it could be a result of personal frustration, some of it also arises out of dissatisfaction over the functioning of the law enforcement and justice systems.”

At the same time, he dwelt on non-high profile issues of great concern to ordinary citizens but which tended to get neglected due to other pressures. “The worries of the common man centre around petty nuisance, harassment by local criminals or gangs, goondaism, dadagiri, threats of violence and even kidnapping and extortion. Women and senior citizens are increasingly concerned at their safety. Girls worry about the growing practice of eve-teasing. Parents worry about child abuse. As we get more urbanised, these offences are increasing. White-collar crime too is seeing a rise.

“It is only by addressing these concerns will police forces be able to reach out to citizens and win their confidence and affection. Our people should be willing to approach a policeman with the same assurance with which they visit a doctor. That should be our common endeavour,” he said.

Need for reforms


Explaining the need for police reforms and listing the Centre’s initiatives, the Prime Minister concluded with renewing his call to the police to “seek out the citizen, identify his or her needs and expectations, address them on priority. Try to improve their satisfaction levels. The instruments and methods you decide to choose should be driven by this goal.”

Joyous occasion


For a family that is shy of the limelight, this one was unavoidable.

Dr. Singh could not hide his joy as his son-in-law and senior police officer Ashok Kumar Patnaik marched up to receive the President’s Police medal from him.

As the name of the 49-year-old IPS officer was called at the conference, the Prime Minister was all smiles.

After presenting the citation and medal, Dr. Singh patted his son-in-law on the back and the duo exchanged a few words, providing that rare moment to be frozen in time.

Mr. Patnaik is married to Dr. Singh’s second daughter.

CPI (Maoist) to hit back at police

G. Narasimha Rao



Meeting held to discuss plans to carry out ‘lightning strikes’



VISAKHAPATNAM: Concerned over the loss of some of its top leaders and cadre either in encounters or through surrenders, the banned CPI (Maoist) is reportedly making major efforts to strike back at the police and thereby instil confidence in its cadre, militia members and sections of people supporting the party.

One major issue the party is concentrating on is to hit back at the police and the Government. It killed Zilla Praja Parishad vice-president Samida Ravishankar in May. And in the distant Nellore district, they made an attempt on the life of former Chief Minister and Visakhapatnam MP N. Janardhana Reddy and his Minister-wife Rajyalakshmi. Both incidents are related to the naxalite party’s strong opposition to bauxite mining in the Visakha agency area and setting up of alumina refineries in Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts.

The CPI (Maoist) is determined to retain its hold over the Visakha agency area as it had lost a strong ground in the Nallamala region. Even as the State police was increasing its pressure on the agency area and recently killed four naxalites in an encounter in G. Madugula mandal, the Maoist party is making all efforts to strengthen its hold. It is also reported that cadre from Orissa and Chattisgarh are being brought to this area.

As part of its plans to strike at the police, the Andhra Orissa Border State Zonal Committee’s military commission head Chalapathi, considered as one of the top strategists of the party, organised a meeting on the banks of Sileru river in Malkangiri district of Orissa.

Strategy


About 30 persons of different cadre of the CPI (Maoist) from Andhra and Orissa areas had reportedly attended the meeting held from September 29 to October 1. Discussions were reportedly on strategy to carry out ‘lightning strikes’ against the police.

Internal security still a cause for concern: PM

New Delhi, Oct. 5 (PTI): Noting that the internal security situation in the country remained a "cause for concern", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday said there was need to go "far beyond" conventional responses in facing terrorist threats.

In his address to the top police brass of the country here, he made a special mention for the incidents of vigilantism and citizens taking law into their own hands, particularly in Bihar.

Doing some blunt-speaking, Singh shared concern over 'goondaism', 'dadagiri', eve-teasing and child abuse and wanted a "hard look" at functioning of police and making them more accountable to ensure a secure environment for the people.

"The internal security situation in our country continues to remain a cause for concern for both the Central and State Governments," the Prime Minister said at the four-day conference of Directors and Inspectors General of Police, organised by Intelligence Bureau.

"We need to take a hard look at the functioning. We must make them more accountable....," he said.

The Prime Minister spoke about the formidable internal security challenges in the light of recent terror attacks in Hyderabad, naxalite activities in Andhra Pradesh and violence in Northeast.

While situation in Jammu and Kashmir has shown some improvement, violent incidents keep recurring, he said.

"And last but not least, we are seeing many incidents of vigilantism and citizens taking law into their own hands, particularly in Bihar.

"While some of it could be a result of personal frustration, some of it also arises out of dissatisfaction over the functioning of the law enforcement and justice system," he said.

Naxalite strike alert for shrines

OUR BUREAU

Siddhivinayak temple
New Delhi/Mumbai, Oct. 3: Home minister Shivraj Patil today warned of Naxalite attacks at “religious places”.

One such reported target came under the scanner in Mumbai with the high court asking the Maharashtra government to produce documents showing intelligence warnings of a terror strike on the Siddhivinayak temple.

Addressing a conference of directors-general and inspectors-general of police in the capital, Patil said: “They (Naxalites) are likely to use modern technologies… (and) use publicity apparatus to mislead the masses.”

He added: “They are likely to create mischief and violence at places where innocent people congregate in large numbers. Religious places can be attacked. The police may become their targets. Politicians and other important persons may also be targeted.”

The minister said sleeper cells may be found in “mega cities” and fake currency notes used “to fund terrorism”.

Patil stressed on better intelligence and pulled up some states for laxity in police modernisation.

“I am sorry to say that the funds made available are not utilised by some states in the agreed time-frames. Our request to you and the state governments is that the deficiencies in this respect may be removed and utilisation of funds increased with determination and imagination,” he said.

The Maoist-hit states have been given special funds to fortify police stations and buy armoured vehicles and de-mining and communication equipment.

In Mumbai, people living close to the Siddhivinayak temple railed at the stepped-up security measures as Bombay High Court asked the state to produce evidence of intelligence reports showing the shrine was under threat from suicide bombers.

The order came on a PIL contending the construction of a “security” wall around the temple had caused inconvenience to Prabhadevi residents.

State advocate general Ravi Kadam submitted that Mumbai police had received intelligence warnings that terror groups could target Siddhivinayak, a favourite with Bollywood stars.

The bench asked if the wall provided “foolproof security” to the temple. Kadam replied that such security was not possible, but the wall had been built to stop suicide bombers coming in vehicles.

The next hearing will be six weeks later.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

India continues to be Al Qaeda's target: NSA

Posted : Wed, 03 Oct 2007 18:34:08 GMT
Author : Murali Krishnan


New Delhi, Oct 3 - India continues to be targeted by the Al Qaeda global terror network, National Security Advisor (NSA) M.K. Narayanan said Wednesday.

Addressing a three-day conference of Directors General of Police and Inspectors General of Police that began here Wednesday, Narayanan presented a detailed picture of threats from various terror groups, especially Al Qaeda, to India's national security.

In the closed-door session, the national security advisor also informed the country's elite police brass about strategies aimed at securing the country against terror threats.

Notably, Narayanan had in an interview two months ago talked about how Al Qaeda had thought of targeting the idyllic tourist destination of Goa though the plan was abandoned due to extraneous factors.

The national security advisor's address to the top police officials also echoed several themes touched upon by Home Minister Shivraj Patil in his inaugural address earlier in the day.

Patil noted the possibility of sleeper cells in mega cities and threats to religious places as well as politicians and important personalities.

However, Narayanan made no reference to reports of terror operatives using money laundering and havala channels and also making large-scale investments in India's booming stock markets - an issue he has referred to often in recent times.

Noting the danger of Maoist extremism that continues in vast swathes of the country's hinterland, Narayanan also warned against complacency in Jammu and Kashmir despite the dip in violence levels in the border state.

Huge Arms Haul In Chhattisgarh

Wednesday 03rd of October 2007 A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) team assisted by state police personnel unearthed a huge cache of explosives and grenades from a forest in Chhattisgarh, a senior police officer said Wednesday.

The arms were found Tuesday night in Kanshiwara area under Bakarkatta police station in Rajnandgaon district, 210 km from state capital Raipur.

'On a tip off from a Maoist rebel arrested recently, a CRPF and state police team raided Kanshiwara forest region and recovered the biggest ever explosives haul in recent times in the Rajnandgaon district bordering Maharashtra state,' district police chief Amit Kumar told IANS over phone.

The explosives recovered include at least two-dozen grenades and a huge quantity of blasting material, arms and parts of guns. The police suspect Maoists had stored the arms to execute a deadly attack on them.

'After recovery, we have stepped up combing operations early morning Wednesday in the Rajnandgaon forest stretches to locate and recover more such explosives if there are any,'
Kumar said, adding 'we believe leftists radicals might have set up an explosives factory in the district'.

Chhattisgarh is one of the states hard-hit by Maoist violence where about 50,000 people, mostly from tribal families, have been rendered homeless and settled in over a dozen government run relief camps due to threats from Maoists since tribals launched a civil militia movement, Salwa Judum, in June 2005.

Modi gives forest land to tribals






Manas Dasgupta


AHMEDABAD: Adopting a confrontationist course against the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi threw an open challenge to the Centre to take action against him for handing over ownership rights of forest land to the tribals in defiance of the Central law.

Launching his self-styled “civil disobedience movement” on Gandhi Jayanti, Mr. Modi handed over ownership rights to 30 tribals in the tribal belt at a function here. Documents to the remaining of the 2,204 tribals would be despatched to them soon, he said.

The handing over of the “sanands” (ownership rights) was in keeping with the promise Mr. Modi made on Independence Day that his government would go ahead with the plan if the Centre failed to give its approval for it by October 2.

Mr. Modi said the government had sent 3,355 applications of tribals for approval under the 1980 Forest Act. But the Centre so far it had failed to give its assent. He said the State government had already conducted the necessary survey and checked the relevant documents. Mr. Modi criticised the Congress and the Central government both on counts of “neglecting the tribals” and the “Ram Setu” dear to the hearts of the tribals. He said that while the Centre so far had failed to form rules for the implementation of the revised forest land act for the tribals adopted in 2005, it was also forwarding “lame excuses” for not sanctioning the allocation of land to the rightful claimants under the 1980 Act. “The Congress and the UPA government had no concern for the tribals,” he said.

Declaring himself as the “messiah” of the tribals, Mr. Modi said Gujarat was the only State to have handed over ownership rights of over 34,000 hectares of forest land to over 45,000 tribal families. He claimed that not a single Congress-ruled State had so far given “even an inch” of forest land to the tribals. This, he believed, was the root cause of the naxalite unrest in some States.

He said if the Centre had no concern for the tribals, the State government could not remain a mute spectator to the injustice done to them. “I have decided to go ahead with handing over the legal rights to the tribals. The onus is entirely on me and the Centre is free to take any action against me it deemed fit,” he said.

While Mr. Modi drew huge applause for his defiance of the Centre and his reiteration of the Rs.15,000-crore “Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana” for the all-round development of the tribals and doubling their income, the Chief Minister had to face women’s ire at an earlier function organised to greet the “anganwadi” (pre-primary schools) workers.

Mr. Modi’s announcement of a marginal hike in the salary from Rs.500 to Rs.750 and Rs.1,000 to Rs.1,500 in different grades of the women anganwadi workers failed to satisfy the audience. Many of them walked out of the meeting. A protest was lodged with Education Minister Anandiben Patel.

The government also launched a new all-tribal district named Tapi, bifurcating the Surat district with headquarters at Vyara.

Mr. Modi also attended a prayer meeting at the Kirti Mandir, ancestral house of Mahatma Gandhi in Porbandar, and also addressed a meeting of the fishermen there declaring the government’s resolve to develop the ports. Governor Nawal Kishore Sharma led a prayer meeting at the Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram here taking an oath to reconstruct the country based on the Gandhian values and ideals.

The Congress celebrated the day by taking out a silent “padyatra” from the Sabarmati Ashram to the Kocharab Ashram

Suspected naxalite arrested

UNI
Saturday, September 29, 2007 18:11 IST

SEHORE (MP): A suspected naxalite disguised as a Sadhu, along with his girlfriend was arrested from a temple in Nasrullahganj area of this district.

Police recovered a foreign-made revolver, cartridges and naxalite literature from the possession of Jeevrakhanlal Malekar, who was staying at the temple at Mandi village for about six months. He was arrested yesterday on the complaint of beating up another Sadhu.

Jeevrakhanlal, a resident of village Bharda near Dondi in Chhattisgarh, told police that he had distanced himself from other naxalites following differences. His lover hailed from Purvi Tola near Lanji in Balaghat district.

Police is investigating into their links with naxalites though both had been arrested under the Arms Act, Nasrullahganj police station incharge Umesh Tiwari said.

Naxals kill youth for seeking job in police force

Wednesday October 3 2007 00:00 IST
PTI

NAGPUR: A group of naxals killed a youth, who appeared for a recent police recruitment drive in Gadchiroli district, police said on Tuesday.

Some armed naxalites dragged Bandu Mainu Narote out of his house in Battewada village on Monday and asked him why he was seeking a job in the police force. They later stabbed him to death.
Police said tribal youths had shown a good response to the police recruitment drive, which probably irked the naxals.

Time of reckoning for the Congress

3 Oct, 2007, 0340 hrs IST,P R Ramesh, TNN




Things are going from bad to worse on the internal security front. There is trouble, and not just on the border but all across the hinterland. By the government’s own admission, 30% of the country is facing threat from various menaces — jehadis, Naxals and other freelancers. But the country’s leadership and its cheerleaders, who are obsessed with profligate spending on not-too-intelligent social programmes, the Indo-US nuclear deal and settling scores with Gole Market revolutionaries, rarely talk about the violence that is engulfing the nation.

The happenings in states like Assam, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh are the biggest advertisements of the rudderless central internal security establishment. While Naxals are killing innocents for the cause of the revolution in AP and Chhattisgarh, jehadi thugs have unleashed a war against Hindi-speaking migrants in Assam. Over 100 labourers, mainly Biharis, have been butchered in cold blood in various jehadi strikes in the past five months to force migrant labourers to leave Assam. Security experts say that it is being done with a view to intensify illegal influx from across the border.

If one expected these senseless murders to shake the government into action, then one is mistaken. The government, which is refusing to implement the Supreme Court’s order to throw out illegal aliens and forever willing to indulge in soft-headed pandering of the jehadis, is only paying lip service to action against the guilty.

That things are getting out of hand is clear from the government’s own statistics. Reports prepared by the government admit that the unabated influx of Bangladeshis would soon overwhelm the indigenous population. Although there are no official estimates on the number of illegal migrants, the government acknowledges that the figure could be close to five million. In the past 22 years, the government which spent a whopping Rs 4.05 billion to detect foreigners, has expelled just 1,864 illegal aliens from Assam.

A report prepared by former governor of the state Lt General S K Sinha for the President had said the Muslim population of Assam rose by 77.42% between 1971 and 1991, compared to 41.89% for the Hindus. The all-India increase in the Muslim population during 1971-91 was only 55.04%. The report of the governor had attacked political parties for indirectly encouraging infiltration with a view to building up vote banks. The report said the prophesy that except in Sibsagar district the Assamese people would not find themselves at home in Assam, was well on its way to becoming true.

Such statistics on the failure to crack down on aliens or reports about the massacre of innocents civilians in the recent months are barely a blip on the radar screen of the minister in charge of internal security. He gets worked up only when the gods of political correctness and the members of the grievance industry bare their cop-bashing instincts and shout about discrimination against a particular community. For him, jehadis are “boys led astray” and terror suspects are victims of discrimination. The minister cannot be blamed as he is only echoing the sentiments of his colleagues in the political fraternity.

But the Congress cannot afford to be equally casual. For, the recent State of The Nation surveys conducted by various organisations have shown that lack of adequate attention to tackle terrorism is worrying for the average voter. The findings are crucial as hyperventillating pundits, who conduct these polls, are often on the side of the politically correct who see terrorism as an overstated problem. Given this, the Congress will have to sit up and take note of the findings of the State of The Nation surveys.

If the reflexes of the Congress leadership are anything to go by, the party is not yet prepared to undertake any serious introspection. The party has repeatedly shown that it has no courage to confront the spread of religious hardliners in locales that are under its charge. For it, the only opinion that counts is the one that comes with the threat of a fatwa. And every announcement from the Centre is aimed at appeasing this section that has acquired a veto power.

But recent happenings clearly indicate that the political premium for such an approach is sliding at a rapid pace. The Congress, which has formed a “committee on future challenges”, will be better off if it decides to spare at least one sitting of the newly-formed panel to address the perversions that have crept in the party’s policy towards security issues. Successive elections have shown that empty rhetorical slogans don’t dictate the voting trend.

People vote for those who can make the country a safer place to live. Electoral victories are based on approval ratings from this voter who is traumatised and victimised by terror and not from Left liberals. Election is round the corner and the Congress cannot blind itself to reality for long.

Actionable inputs, modern tools: Patil's answer to new-age terror



Shivraj Patil ! Please read this

4 Oct, 2007, 0051 hrs IST, OUR POLITICAL BUREAU




NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Wednesday warned of terror strikes against religious shrines, crowded places, prominent political leaders and police personnel, emphasising that an effective counter-strategy should focus on gathering actionable intelligence and using modern technology to fight the tech-savvy terrorist.

Mr Patil, in his inaugural speech at the annual DGP/IGP conference being organised by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) here, cautioned that the terrorists are likely to use publicity apparatus to mislead masses and create violence at places witnessing large public gatherings. “Religious places can be attacked. The police may become their targets. Politicians and other important persons may also be targeted,” he told the country’s top police brass, adding that sleeper cells were existing in mega cities and being activated, as and when required.

Stressing on the need to improve intelligence gathering by strengthening special branches of the state police, the Union Home Minister noted that “no weapon or device is going to be as useful as intelligence to control and contain crimes, violence and terrorism”.

Suggesting new methods and systems as force multipliers, Mr Patil suggested using civil defence units to assist the police, besides drafting private agencies for protection and security. At the same time, he insisted on the states to fill vacancies in their cadre and utilised the funds allocated to them for police modernisation.

Commenting on the overall internal security situation in the country, Mr Patil claimed that violence in J&K had been controlled to a large extent and there should be no scope for complacency since infiltration was continuing. In North-East, he listed factional fighting among insurgent groups and extortions as security concerns. Even in Naxal-hit states, the home minister said while the situation was better in some states, it had worsened in others. He underlined the need for a coordinated approach among the affected states to fight Maoists, but was silent on whether the lead in this regard should be taken by the Centre.

Mr Patil said new technologies were becoming available to criminals to commit crimes with ease and lesser difficulties and risks. “Dealing with them requires newer methods and newer approaches and better training methods. The police cannot afford to lag behind the criminals in making use of new ideas, equipment, technologies and training,” he said. The home minister said lack of security could stop the flow of investment. “Development needs security, and security needs development. They should go hand in hand,” he said.

While lauding the role of central intelligence agencies, Mr Patil said the state governments have to contribute in a better manner in acquiring, analysing and using intelligence. “The special agencies of the states are not strong and adequate enough to meet the demands of the present and the future. They need to be strengthened,” he told the police chiefs present at the meet. Strengthening, according to him, should include ensuring a reasonable term as well as incentives for officers posted in the special branches. Besides, modern gadgets and technologies should be made available to the special branches to help them gather timely and actionable intelligence

384 slain in Maoist violence in 2007

Published: Oct. 3, 2007 at 12:56 PM

NEW DELHI, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- The New Delhi-based Asian Center for Human Rights says 384 people were killed in India in Maoist violence this year.

The figure includes 129 civilians, 162 security forces and 93 Maoists.

The highest numbers of killings were reported from Chhattisgarh, 208, followed by Andhra Pradesh, 59, Jharkhand, 44, and Bihar, 28.

“Chhattisgarh accounted for 54 percent of the total killings as a direct consequence of the Salwa Judum campaign, which made Chhattisgarh the epicenter of the Naxal conflict,” said Suhas Chakma, director of ACHR.

Salwa Judum is a campaign launched against Naxalites by the residents of Chhattisgarh state. Naxalites is the Indian term for Maoists, named for the village of Naxalbari where the movement began.

Govt warns of terror attacks on religious places

Wednesday, 03 October , 2007, 13:19

New Delhi: Warning that terrorists were using modern technologies to carry out attacks, Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Wednesday said religious places can become targets and suggested actionable intelligence for better policing.

"It is becoming obvious that more sophisticated weapons and devices may be used by terrorists. They are likely to use modern technologies in carrying out terrorist activities," he said inaugurating a three-day conference of Directors and Inspectors General of Police here.

Patil cautioned that terrorists are likely to use publicity apparatus to mislead the masses and create mischief and violence at places where innocent people congregate in large numbers.

"Religious places can be attacked. Police may become their targets. Politicians and other important persons may also be targeted," he told the country's top police brass at the meeting, organised by the Intelligence Bureau.

With intelligence reports suggesting that "sleeper cells" of Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed being present in the country, the Minister said "they can become active when needed by them (terrorist groups)."



Asking the participants to review terrorism minutely at the national level, the Home Minister said perfect, reliable and actionable intelligence was required to perform "policing in a proper manner".

Patil said new technologies were becoming available to criminals to commit crimes with ease and lesser difficulties and risks. Newer crimes were coming to notice in some parts of the country.

"Dealing with them requires newer method and newer approaches and better training methods. The police cannot afford to lag behind the criminals, in making use of new ideas, equipments, technologies and training," he said.

The Home Minister said lack of security could stop the flow of investment. "Development needs security, and security needs development. They should go hand-in-hand," he said.

Expressing concern over the "very low" police-population ratio in the country, Patil said many states have not increased the strength of policemen and officers for the last so many years. "To create new posts, the Governments may take time, but to fill up the vacancies, there should be no difficulties and delays," he said.

Patil also pulled up states, which did not utilise funds made available by the Centre to strengthen the police.

While lauding the role of Central Intelligence agencies, the Home Minister said the state governments have to contribute in a better manner in acquiring, analysing and using intelligence.

"The special agencies of the states are not strong and adequate enough to meet the demands of present and the future. They need to be strengthened," he said.

No weapon or device is going to be as useful as intelligence, to control and contain crimes, violence and terrorism," the Home Minister said stressing that intelligence agencies should receive first priority in budgetary plan for combating terrorism.

Suggesting new methods and systems to add to the police force to meet demands of the prevailing situation, he said members of the Civil Defence units can be used for policing purposes and added that the law in this regard can be amended.

He said police volunteers can be appointed in villages and felt that the concept of having security committees in all villages might prove to be useful. Besides, private persons and agencies may be encouraged to discharge duties to provide protection and security.

Commenting on situation in disturbed states of the country, Patil said the situation in Jammu and Kashmir has shown "definite" improvement and lauded the initiatives taken by the state police to fight against terrorism. "However, there is no scope for complacency when infiltration across the border continues and terrorist incidents are still taking place," he said.

Expressing concerns over continued violence in Assam and Manipur and persistent factional clashes in Nagaland, he said and these were causes for concern and called for synergy among various security forces in operations against insurgents.

"A proactive strategy and concerted action are also necessary to stop extortions in the region," he said.

On Naxal violence, Patil admitted that the problem had become "more difficult" in some states and a coordinated approach was needed to meet this challenge.

CONFERENCE OF DGPS/IGPS BEGINS HOME MINISTER CALLS FOR GIVING PRIORITY TO STRENGTHENING INTELLIGENCE

16:31 IST
Development and strengthening of intelligence agencies should receive first priority in any plan for combating crime and terrorism. The Union Home Minister, Shri Shivraj Patil said this while inaugurating a Conference of Directors General of Police and Inspectors General of Police here today. He said that no weapon or device is going to be as useful as intelligence can be to control and contain crimes, violence and terrorism. The Home Minister called upon the States to equip their special branches with modern advanced gadgets and technologies.

Shri Shivraj Patil said that crimes committed against weaker sections of the society should be handled with determination and constant vigilance. The demands of these sections to have a just share in the police should never be lost sight of while recruiting candidates for the police forces.

The Home Minister said that without a sense of security prevailing in the states, investments by entrepreneurs will not be possible. The strength of policemen and officers in the States is not adequate to meet the growing requirements of policing. In fact, the number should go up. The police cannot afford to lag behind the criminals, in making use of new ideas, equipment, technologies, and training.

About the situation in Jammu & Kashmir, the Home Minister said that it continues to show definite improvement. However, there is no scope for complacency when infiltration across the border continues and terrorist incidents are still taking place. About the North-Eastern Region, he said, the security situation in the States like Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh has been comfortable. However, continued violence in Assam and Manipur and persisting factional clashes in Nagaland are causes for concern. On Naxal violence, the Home Minister said that in some States, it has been contained, but in some others, Naxal problem has become more difficult. Since the problem cuts across State boundaries, the States would need to pursue a coordinated approach to meet this challenge.

The Home Minister also stressed the need for police reforms and reforms in the Criminal Justice System. He also drew attention towards the role of media in maintenance of peace and public order.

The Home Minister gave away the Indian Police Medals for meritorious service. 42 officers of the Intelligence Bureau have received the medals.

The Conference of DGPs/IGPs in India is being organized by the Intelligence Bureau since 1920. The conference has been held regularly in New Delhi. The Director, Intelligence Bureau continues to remain the ex-officio Chairman of the Conference. This year’s DGPs/IGPs Conference is the 42nd since Independence.

The Ministers of State for Home , Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal , Shri Manik Rao H. Gavit and Smt. V. Radhika Selvi; National Security Adviser, Shri M.K. Narayanan; Home Secretary, Shri Madhukar Gupta and Director, Intelligence Bureau, Shri P.C. Haldar were among those who were present on the occasion.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Kerala becoming a terror axis

By S. Chandrasekhar

Kerala has always been a safe haven for Islamic extremists, throughout the nation, thanks to the Muslim-dominated Malappuram district and the coastline which is predominantly under Islamic control. Many of the jehadi terrorists, including Kashmiri extremists, have one time or other, stayed in Kerala, without any hindrance.

With Islamic groups like NDF, PDP, SIMI, Islamic Students’ Movement (ISM), having links with several jehadi groups all over India and a pro-Muslim government in the CPM-LDF, the extremists never had it better. But, be it CPM-dominated LDF or Muslim League-dominated UDF, the field is open for jehadi operations. All the Al-Umma cadres of Coimbatore, who were involved in the attempt on L.K. Advani, were arrested from Malappuram.

Now in a startling disclosure, threatening the security of the state, Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has informed the Kerala Assembly that central intelligence agencies have warned the state of Islamic, Naxal and LTTE attacks and asked it to strengthen security.

Based on Home Minister’s statement and media reports, there is proof of jehadi-Naxal-LTTE axis. With a clear forest route available from Andhra Pradesh to Kerala, there is proof of ‘PWG’ movement in Kerala. A Tamil Nadu-based Naxal Sunderamoorthy, who was arrested recently disclosed his stay at Nedumkandam and Pullemedu in Idukki. An LTTE cadre Sadarathinam of Vavuniya, Sri Lanka, was also arrested in Nedumkandam recently. With a large Tamil population, it is easy for Tamil extremist groups to merge with the populace. There are also media reports that LTTE and Naxal/Maoists are using the huge estates, acquired by NDF, for training purposes.

ISI and Bangladesh intelligence are active in several pockets of Kerala. Lakhs of Bengalis who are involved in construction activities in Kerala are actually Bangladeshis and ISI is very active among them. Thousands of Pakistanis who are staying in Malappuram without any documents are allowed to roam free, due to LDF/UDF tie-up with Muslim groups.

LTTE is using the jehadi groups for logistic purposes, since they control the coast. Fuel, medicines and food supplies go to LTTE from Kerala/Tamil Nadu coast. The Maoists, Naxals and LTTE give explosives to jehadis in return. There are also reports that weapons to LTTE come in containers and they are handed over to them by jehadi groups.

Kerala has its cup of problems full, and if LTTE and Naxals join the jehadi groups, who will save ‘God’s own country’?

Naxal shadow over ryots ready to part with land

Tuesday October 2 2007 10:35 IST
B Satyanarayana Reddy

KHAMMAM: Fear stalks 223 villages spread over seven mandals in the district as Naxal threat hangs like a Damocles sword over farmers who have given consent letters to sell their lands to the State Government to pave the way for Polavaram project works. In all, 223 villages in seven mandals of the district face submersion due to the project.

Though farmers in these villages have initially opposed the project, they are now volunteering to hand over their lands to the Government which has come up with an attractive Relief and Rehabilitation package. It is estimated that 62,700 acres of patta land, 22,000 acres of government land and 7,500 acres of forest land would be submerged and 91,000 people displaced due to the project.

While 32,000 acres of land is required to rehabilitate the farmers, so far the district machinery could acquire only 6,500 acres as the farmers, though willing, are not coming forward openly to part with their lands due to the threat from Naxalites who have been opposing the construction of the Polavaram project from the beginning. They have also threatened the farmers with dire consequences if they handed over their lands to the project.

Last year, some farmers in Charla mandal and Satyanarayanapuram village gave consent letters to the Sub-Collector to sell their lands. As if sending a stern message to the villagers, the Naxalites gunned down Datla Anjaneya Varma who gave his land for the construction of a colony for the displaced persons. After the incident, the villagers of Satyanarayanapuram refused to sell their lands.

Then the officials focused their attention on Dummugudem mandal in Bhadrachalam division. Though the villagers in this mandal have come forward to sell their lands, they urged the officials not to divulge their names fearing riprisal from Naxalites.

Following Naxal threats, many farmers are not staying in their villages in the night. The farmers urge the officials to hasten the acquisition process and pay them the compensation to enable them to leave their villages.

Naxalites Blow up House in Gaya

Gaya: Oct. 1, 2007

Heavily armed Maoist guerillas in Gaya district on late Sunday night blew up a two-storied house with dynamites and set an adjacent house on fire while issuing threat of dire consequences to a local man who they believe is a police informant, officials in Gaya said on Monday.

As reported, more than a hundred armed Naxalites arrived at Navadih village under Mohanpur police station and immediately opened firing to terrorize the villagers. Looking for one Sanjay Yadav who they believe to be a mole in their outfit, the outlaws ordered women and children out of the two-storied building owned by Yadav and after rigging it with high explosives, blew the house to the ground.

Before leaving, they left Naxal propaganda leaflets and issued more threats to Yadav, who many said, has moved out of the village fearing for his life.

The police did not know about the incident until Monday morning.

Raids were being conducted to apprehend the ultras, the police said.

Now, withdraw money while on the move-- NOT IN NAXAL AREAS

2 Oct, 2007, 1310 hrs IST, TNN


NEW DELHI: The Indian Railways is planning to install ATMs in trains. For security, there would be separate bogey in each train guarded by security systems and personnel. Nationalised banks like SBI, which already has several ATMs at major railway stations, would be asked to install ATMs in the trains.

“We have commissioned a feasibility study to our design department. If implemented, it would be of great benefit for travellers. In first phase, the ATMs would be installed in popular trains. Later on, depending on the success of the facility, it would be installed in other trains also,” a Rail Bhawan official said.

According to Rail Bhawan sources, trains enroute Naxal-hit belts would not have ATM facility despite equipped with security apparatus and personnel. The Railways are also in talks with IT players to operate global positioning systems in the trains, so that through efficient tracking any security lapse could be avoided well in time.

Besides increasing the number of trained dogs in the existing dog squads, the Railways would deploy explosive detection devices, door frames and hand-held metal detectors are being installed to provide better security for trains and passengers in many sensitive divisions of the country.

In addition, equipment like CCTV and smart video cameras have been installed at sensitive stations. In consultation with security experts, an integrated extensive security and surveillance system will be developed for Mumbai Suburban Services which will be equipped with high quality security equipment. The Railways have allocated Rs 5,500 crore in lieu of Railway Safety Fund for the year 2007-08.

The Railways would meet the cost of security by spending from the safety fund. “As for the cost of installing ATMs inside the trains, it would not be that much,” an official said

Revamp in police dept

Statesman News Service
BHUBANESWAR, Oct. 1: The state government has effected a reshuffle in the district level police administration today, replacing SPs even in the sensitive districts like Jagatsinghur.
The Jagatsinghpur district is considered sensitive because some of the major industrial investments are lining up and the people’s movement has successfully stalled land acquisition for the proposed projects.
Mr YK Jethwa, SP, Jagatsinghpur was today transferred to Balasore and Mr RK Sharma, presently the SP of Ganjam was posted in his place.
The Balasore district, which is currently reeling under the effect of the floods will have a new Superintendent of Police(SP) as Mr PS Ranpise has been shifted to the vigilance department.
Changing Superintendent of Police(SP) and DMs of districts, where major industrial investments are in the process of taking place causes problems, in the sense that, the new officers will take time to acquaint themselves with the local people of the area and its particular issues.
It is well known that Mr Jethwa was working on a strategy of minimal use of force and yet was in the process of isolating the anti-project groups to just one village.
Keonjhar, another problem-prone district which has witnessed increasing crime rates, extortion, abduction, as well as Naxal activity has also been affected by the reshuffle.
Its Superintendent of Police Mr GS Upadhyay being transferred to the crime branch and Mr Y Koyal being posted in his place.
Quite surprisingly, Mr SS Dev Datta Singh who had been tackling the left wing menace in the Sambalpur district very well has been shifted to the Ganjam district.
Sanjay Kumar, presently the ADC to Governor has been made the SP of Sambalpur.
Mr Dayal Gangwar has been shifted from Berhampur and has been posted as the SP of Railway, Rourkela.
Mr Nitinjeet Singh, presently the SDPO of Berhampur has been made the SP in charge ofBerhampur.
Mr Bhagban Mishra, OPS, additional SP, Angul has been posted as the Superintendent of Police of Nuapada district.
Mr Subir Ghosh has been made the SP, Special Branch, Cuttack, and Mr R C Mohanty, the additional SP of Khurda has been transferred as the Superintendent of Police, SIW.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Top woman Naxal surrenders

Sunday September 30 2007 10:27 IST

ENS

KAKINADA: An important leader of CPI (Maoist) Gurthedu Area Committee, Kurra Manga alias Sirimi alias Kavithakka (35), wife of Chadda Bhushanam, surrendered to the police on Saturday.

Kavithakka, who was working as secretary of the Andhra-Orissa Border (AOB) committee, East Division, was wanted in several cases and carried a reward of Rs 2 lakh on her head.

Her husband, Bhushanam, is working as AOB divisional committee member.