Saturday, December 01, 2007

Maoists to allot Rs. 30 cr. for weapons procurement

K. Srinivas Reddy

To manufacture rocket launchers, mortars & hand grenades



Extremists are also buying arms from gun runners

Running at least four weapon fabrication units



HYDERABAD: Maoists in India have decided to earmark Rs. 30 crore a year for improving the fire power of their fighters engaged in an intense guerrilla war in parts of five States — Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.

Security agencies have learnt that the extremists planned to spend a chunk of these funds for manufacture of rocket launchers, mortars and hand grenades. Called ‘Area Weapons’ in military parlance, they will enable the Maoists to attack security forces, without being seen.
‘3 battalion-strong’


With the information culled from Maoist documents and interrogation of recently arrested rebels, intelligence agencies estimate that the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), the main force of the Maoists, consists of more than 29 companies, equivalent to three battalions in military parlance.

This is in addition to thousands of secondary forces and militia members. The PLGA will be observing its seventh anniversary on December 2.

The Maoist documents in possession of The Hindu indicate that the decision on allocation of funds and fabrication of area weapons was taken at a meeting of the Central Military Commission (CMC) last February.

Meeting held


The meeting was held in the Bhimbandh Wildlife Sanctuary in Munger district of Bihar, about 200 km from Patna. The CMC meeting was preceded by the 9th Congress, attended by all the top rung Maoist leaders from January 28 to 31. Police believed that the meeting was held in the Saranda forests of Jharkhand.

Weapons looted



Maoists snatched as many as 529 weapons, 16,000 bullets and 19 tonnes of explosives between January 2006 and June 2007 in different raids on security forces. More than 100 weapons were looted since then, including 10 automatic weapons, during the Konta ambush in Chhattisgarh on November 29.

The extremists are also buying arms and ammunition from gun runners, especially from the militant outfits operating in the northeast.

Fabrication units


Security agencies believe that the CMC is running at least four weapon fabrication units in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and in some South Indian States. Some units in different locations fabricate the parts of rocket launchers, mortars and hand grenades, which are assembled later.
Seized


The earmarking of funds for weapons was done after the Andhra Police seized rocket launchers and unassembled parts and busted a fabrication unit on the outskirts of Chennai last year. Later, another arms-making unit was busted in Bhopal, followed by another similar raid in Rourkela by the Andhra police.

Rourkela setback


After the Rourkela setback, Maoists shifted a mortar-making unit from Bihar to Jharkhand, one of the seized documents mentioned. The Central Technical Team of the CMC, responsible for fabrication and procurement of weapons, consists of seven persons — all hailing from Andhra Pradesh

Maoists kill congress Mandal Parishad president in AP




Correspondent



Shell-shocked: Relatives of Amangal Mandal Parishad president Panthu Naik seen grief-stricken near the body of the Congress leader killed by Maoists in a temple, 90 km away from Mahabubnagar on Saturday.


MAHABUBNAGAR: After a gap of one year, Maoists struck once again in the district by killing another Congress leader and Amangal Mandal Parishad president, Panthu Naik, in broad daylight inside a temple complex on Saturday.

A two-member action team of CPI (Maoist) shot dead Panthu Naik at point blank range around 10.30 a.m. when he was perambulating around the Shiva Ramalayam temple complex in Mysigandi devastanam, about 90 km away from here. He is the second dalit leader to be eliminated by the Maoists in the recent past although they had pronounced that they would not target them. They had earlier killed Laxmaiah, elder brother of Achampet MLA Vamshi Krishna, at Yelmapally village of Amrabad mandal on October 21, 2006. Panthu Naik was the Chairperson of the APCC Scheduled Tribe Cell.

Forty six-year-old Panthu Naik, who was on ‘deeksha’ (penance) since forty days visited the Mysamma temple every day. As usual, he went there around 9.30 a.m. and after performing pooja, he walked to the Shiva Ramalayam temple that is situated towards the rear. Two Maoists, who were already present in the temple complex, suddenly opened fire causing injuries in his abdomen and the right temple. Both assailants were clad in civilian dress and were carrying an AK 47 rifle and a tapancha respectively.

According to eye witnesses, the extremists threatened the temple priests and followers of Panthu Naik when they tried to raise an alarm. While fleeing to the adjoining forest area, they handed over a slip disclosing the identity of one of them as CPI (Maoist) Mahabubnagar district committee secretary Santhosh Kumar Kiran.

District Collector V. Usha Rani announced Rs. 10 lakh as ex gratia and a job to the kin of deceased. Panthu Naik is survived by wife Chiroli, two daughters and two sons.


Maoists kill Congress leader in Andhra



Dec 1, 2007, 12:02 GMT

© 2007 Indo-Asian News Service
Hyderabad, Dec 1 (IANS) Maoist guerrillas in Andhra Pradesh Saturday shot dead Pantu Naik, a leader of the ruling Congress party, in Mahabubnagar district.

Three Maoists gunned down Naik, president of Amangal Mandal Praja Parishad, while he was praying in a temple in Maisigandi village, police officials said.


Before fleeing into the nearby forests, the attackers left behind a letter from the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), warning of more attacks to avenge the killing of its cadres by police in allegedly stage-managed gun battles.


The attack, which took place after a long lull in Maoist activities, sent alarm bells ringing in the top echelons of the police force as officials claim to have brought Maoist activities under control with the killings of several top leaders in the last two years.


Intelligence agencies had recently warned that Maoists could launch surprise attacks as documents seized from guerrillas in Bihar and Jharkhand mentioned the CPI-Maoist's plans of reviving the movement in the southern state.


Politicians and policemen on the hit list of Maoists have been asked to be vigilant while moving around, especially in the interior areas.


The failed assassination attempt on former chief minister N. Janardhan Reddy in Nellore district in September, the stepped up violence in the tribal areas of Visakhapatnam district, and the unearthing of a plot to attack Congress legislator P. Ramaiah in Prakasam indicate the Maoists' resolve of reviving the movement.


Maoist violence in the state has claimed more than 6,000 lives since 1969. The state has been Mamost stronghold and it was here that the People's War Group (PWG) took birth.

‘Constant vigil on inter-State borders’

User Rating: / 0 Saturday, 01 December 2007

Khammam, December 01: Minister for Home K. Jana Reddy said on Friday that the police had been maintaining constant vigil all along its border with Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Maharashtra.

Talking to media persons here after inaugurating a prison complex, he said the police had a watchful eye on the spurt in Maoist-sponsored violence resulting in heavy casualties in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh. There was effective sharing of information with the neighbouring States and the preparedness levels of the police was high alert and they were equipped to beat back any sort of onslaught.

While extending effective cooperating to the neighbouring States in combating the naxalites, he said the State would take every step to ensure protection of lives and properties of its people living in the affected villages along the border. The State could check the Maoist violence as well as activities considerably over the past four years, he claimed.

On the issue of paroles, he said that the government had been allowing it for 15 days for those going out for the first time. The Home Minister said that the new prison complex would be given full-fledged district jail status after posting sufficient number of employees. The new complex would help reduce the pressure on the jails at Warangal, he said.
Community service

Prison cells may not be much in demand in the days to come as the State government is contemplating community service sentence as an option for offences that are not serious in nature, he Minister observed. He said the government was keen on bringing in the community service Act by introducing a bill in the next session of the Assembly.

He said community service as a sentencing option was the new concept in the criminal justice system.

Those who were sentenced to less than one-year jail term could avoid it by giving an undertaking in favour of the community service order as a non-custodial punishment. The Cabinet had already approved the move and the Act could come into effect next year.

The State would be the first in the country to introduce community service order as a court sentence in place of jail term for non-serious offences. But those convicted in SC, ST cases and violation of civil rights would not have the community service option, he clarified.

Minister for Health and Family Welfare Sambhani Chandrasekhar, Minister for Vaidya Vidhana Parishad Vanama VenkateswarRao and Thammineni Veerabhadram and Ramreddy Venkata Reddy, both MLAs were among those who took part.

--Agencies

FIVE BLACK HOLES OF BENGAL

- Episodes of shame from the past
RUDRANGSHU MUKHERJEE


Burning questions


Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear too much reality
— T.S. Eliot, “Burnt Norton’’

People have episodes in their history that they try to forget but cannot. These episodes are ineradicably etched in historical memory. Bengal too has such episodes. I am not going back in time to rake up Mir Jafar’s treachery at Plassey or other such incidents. I am looking at more recent history and trying to list a few incidents that have brought collective shame and disgrace to those who live in Bengal.

There are three happenings which I want to put out of the way because they were too big and too momentous to bear any retelling. I also think there will be very little difference of opinion about the choice of these three events and their terrible significance.

First, the great famine of 1943: the horror of which remains as a permanent trauma in the consciousness of all Bengalis. The fact that it was manmade only adds to the horror. It was perhaps the first time that Bengal’s modern intelligentsia saw the reality of poverty and death move from the villages of Bengal into Calcutta. The second one came three years later and has come to be called the great Calcutta killing: the Hindu-Muslim riots that began in Calcutta on August 16, 1946. An outcome of the Direct Action Day called by the Muslim League, the riots, lasting for nearly a week, saw an orgy of violence on the streets of Calcutta. Suddenly, the people of the city saw the face of collective communal violence. The third is the most recent: the violence in Nandigram. By this I do not refer to only the violence in November, but to the sequence of events that began in early 2007 and made the area into a war zone while the government of West Bengal, by design or otherwise, passively stood by. Even the CPI(M) and its supporters, while they will differ with their critics about the responsibility of the violence, will agree that Nandigram was not an episode of which West Bengal can be proud.

I want to move on now to five more events that are not so much written about, but will continue to rankle in the conscience of the people of West Bengal.

First, May 1, 1968: the foundation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist). There was nothing wrong, of course, with the announcement of the formation of a new political party. It was what it signified and what it brought in its train that brings to mind those haunting lines of Yeats, “A terrible beauty is born.” It inaugurated the rule of terror in West Bengal and completely transformed public life in Calcutta and the districts. By rule of terror I refer, of course, to the killings carried out by the Naxalites and to the counter-insurgency measures that followed. The terror produced brutal killings on both sides, the Naxalites and the police. It also saw, in Baranagar and elsewhere, armed political cadre belonging to the Congress carrying out mass murders while the police looked the other way.

Second, at the end of January 1979, there took place a massacre of refugees from Bangladesh in an island in the Sunderbans called Marichjhampi. The Left Front had been about two years in power then, and it wanted to reclaim the island on which refugees had been settled. When the settlers resisted, the place was surrounded by the police, no food and drinking water were allowed to enter it, and then many of the refugees were shot as they tried to escape. The number of deaths is still unknown.

Third, on April 30, 1982 in broad daylight in Ballygunge about 18 Ananda Margis were burnt to death. What precipitated this act of brutality and who precipitated it remain a mystery even today. Reports at that time said that there had been rumours in the area about the kidnapping of small boys and the people of the locality suspected the Ananda Margis, who became victims of “popular anger”. The Ananda Margis were steadfast in their allegation that the CPI(M) was responsible for the act of savagery.

Fourth, the bewildering death of Rizwanur Rahman on September 21, 2007 and all that led to it. It might appear to be only the death of an unknown and ordinary young man, but the connivance of some police officers in the attempt to break up the marriage of two adults, the police officers’ defiance of the Constitution, the suspicion that money may have played a part in all this and the prolonged passivity of the government on the issue made it a cause célèbre.

Fifth, the hasty and undercover departure of Taslima Nasreen from Calcutta in the aftermath of the violence on November 21, 2007 and the CPI(M)’s shoddy complicity in her exit raised a big question mark about West Bengal’s commitment to secularism and freedom of speech. There was near-unanimity that it was a moment of disgrace for West Bengal.

Having made this list of five, let me now try and distinguish between the events and their impact. The Naxalite movement and its suppression produced a two-fold response. One was the outright condemnation of the police terror — the disregard for the rule of law, the faked encounter deaths and the not-so-tacit sanction given to Congress goons to kill. The other was a kind of romanticization of the Naxalites — in poetry, in plays, in films and other forms of art. An entire cult grew up around the Naxalites, and this cult ignored the terror the Naxalites had spread through their butchery, their destruction of libraries and laboratories in educational institutions, and the complete waste of a generation that the movement represented. It is now clear that despite the participation of many bright young men and women, the intellectual basis of the movement was shallow, if not non-existent. Beyond violence it had nothing. This celebration of violence by large sections of the Left intelligentsia is difficult to believe, coming as it does from a people that prides itself on its civilization and its learning. This is why the event is a big black blot on Bengal’s history.

The massacre at Marichjhampi and the burning of the Ananda Margis fall into a separate category. Not only did they represent an inconceivable brutality, but they were also remarkable for the muted response that they evoked from the society at large. There was no major hue and cry. No one went on a hunger strike. No major demonstrations took place. The intelligentsia that is crying genocide over Nandigram was not vocal in its condemnation of a Left government that killed refugees, and an administration that stood by to watch people being burnt in broad daylight. The two events have also made a quiet exit from public memory. Even members of the intelligentsia who walked in protest against Nandigram on November 14 did not dredge up the events of Marichjhampi despite some obvious parallels.

The responses to the death of Rizwanur Rahman, the departure of Taslima and, of course, Nandigram stand in sharp contrast to the situation described in the previous paragraph. In these three cases, the people of Calcutta — in Rizwanur’s case the ordinary city folk and in the other two the intelligentsia — raised their voice in protest to preserve West Bengal’s commitment to tolerance, secularism and democratic rights.

The contrast is significant because it points to an undertow of change occurring in Bengali urban society. Sections of it are being forced to drop its Left blinkers. Scholars writing on the 19th century have noted how the goal of social engineering eluded men like Vidyasagar because of the inadequacy of the civic-social forces of the time. That inadequacy has continued to haunt the history of Bengal. Are we seeing, at last, the emergence of a civil society that is conscious, self-reflective, responsible and open, a civil society not willing anymore to turn its face away from reality, even its own follies?

History’s dark patches perhaps hide sunlight. In the words of a contemporary writer, “We stand in darkness surrounded by light.”

Blowing in the wind

Right Angle

Blowing in the wind
Saturday December 1 2007 16:51 IST

Swapan Dasgupta

In the fortnight before Diwali, Kolkata hosted some unlikely visitors from the heartland of global capitalism. They came to the city for two reasons: First, to get a feel of a state that has monotonously elected governments headed by one of the most antediluvian Stalinist parties to grace bourgeois democracy. Second, to experience the interesting story of a Chief Minister who has embraced market economics with the passion he earlier reserved for socialist inefficiency.

On both counts the visitors had reason to return satisfied. Never mind the oddity of the American Consulate being located on a street named after Ho Chi Minh (the renaming was done as early as 1969), Kolkata was a far cry from the drab, grey provincial cities behind the Iron Curtain. On the surface it had all the symbols of cosmopolitan modernity; Stalinist austerity, if present, was definitely a receding phenomenon. The important thing was that West Bengal was burning with a fierce desire to be an integral part of the Incredible India story. On his part Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee lived up to his reputation as an enlightened pragmatist with a definite vision for West Bengal. “If you hadn’t warned me, I would never have guessed he is a Communist” was the telling remark of one distinguished visitor who has first-hand experience of an evolving world.

A week, unfortunately, is a long time in politics. Had the dignitaries returned to Kolkata after the Kali Puja fireworks, they would have noticed a city seething with anger at the same CPI (M) and the same Chief Minister. They would have experienced the latest of the interminable bandhs that have made life so painful in West Bengal. Turning on the TV they would have witnessed local celebrities — each one of them proudly flaunting the ‘progressive’ label — abusing the Chief Minister as a ‘liar’ and even comparing him to the ultimate ‘fascist’ ogre, Narendra Modi. They would have heard self-professed ‘intellectuals’ (an endangered specie that thrives in Kolkata) denounce the CPI (M) as a ‘terrorist’ organisation hell bent on appropriating the poor and enriching blood-sucking capitalists. For the children of the 1060s there would have been the additional attraction of protestors singing a local version of Bob Dylan’s immortal Blowing in the wind.

A spark, the Great Helmsman pronounced, can light a prairie fire. Were the events of the past week in Nandigram the proverbial flashpoint for an outpouring of accumulated grievances against a dispensation that is now perceived to be arrogant and intolerant? Coming within weeks of the middle class rage over the death of Rizwanur Rahman, there are grounds to indicate that after 30 years of uninterrupted dominance, anti-incumbency is finally catching up with the Left Front-and with a vengeance.

What distinguished the CPI (M) dispensation in West Bengal from other ‘normal’ state governments was its pretension of moral superiority. Any other government with such an abysmal long-term record of economic mismanagement would have been an object of ridicule in circles where these things matter. Yet, in a country where intellectual discourse till the mid-90s was dominated by a spurious deification of ‘equity’, Jyoti Basu became the icon of political sagacity on the strength of an Operation Barga that yielded windfall electoral returns. The other facets of his 23-year legacy — the destruction of education, infrastructural collapse, deindustrialisation and the exodus of the professional classes — were expediently glossed over by an intelligentsia that revelled in the celebration of morbidity and cussed militancy. A consummate practitioner of banality, Basu reduced a once-vibrant centre of cosmopolitanism into a provincial backwater, regulated by puffed-up, petty tyrants in local committees and coordination committees. Under him West Bengal became a nice place to get out of.

His successor was, by contrast, much more audacious. Buddhadeb was among the few Indian Communists who correctly saw in the collapse of the Soviet Union the larger failure of Marxist economics. On assuming office he began the slow process of reversing the Basu legacy. He wooed private investors of all shades assiduously; he realised the importance of a vibrant Kolkata in the process of economic regeneration; he tried to undermine the mindless glorification of a political culture centred on ‘struggle’ and disruption; and he accorded tacit intellectual validity to the principle of self-betterment, the driving force behind India’s economic resurgence.

Judged in terms of Stalinist orthodoxy, Buddhadeb was undeniably a heretic — maybe even a non-Leninist. However, in the aftermath of China’s endorsement of the free market, that didn’t constitute a heinous offence. Where the Chief Minister came to grief was in contesting the grievance-guilt syndrome that became the hallmark of Bengali ‘progressive’ culture since Independence. Although remarkably austere in personal life, he saw nothing wrong in associating the symbols of vibrant capitalism with economic growth. His logic was simple: If West Bengal was to be a partner in India’s resurgence, it had to accept the embellishments of modern capitalism, including lifestyle disparities.

To an intelligentsia nurtured on the romance of poverty and suffering followed by the exhilaration of struggle, it was not merely Buddhadeb’s policies that were construed as wrong; his values were deemed to be offensive. For those who had lived their adult lives shouting slogans at the gates of closed-down factories, the suggestion that ‘peasants’ should allow factories to be built on their pocket-sized holdings was a travesty and too reminiscent of Rabindranath Tagore’s Dui bigha jamin. An anti-CPI (M) blogsite of an ultra-radical Bengali ‘intellectual’, for example, equates parasitic decadence with New Town, Rajarhat.

The opposition of villagers in Singur and Nandigram to absorption into a manufacturing hub was based on fear and uncertainty — traditional peasant responses to modernisation. Their protests needed to be handled with care, sensitivity and even generosity. But Buddhadeb was in a hurry and this urgency rubbed off on the CPI (M) local committees. Intoxicated by the monopoly of power they reacted in the only way known to them — with an astonishing show of high-handedness. In the past this approach had always paid returns; in the age of intrusive 24x7 TV, however, this was no longer possible. Apart from its known political opponents, the CPI (M) now has to confront the fury of the very intelligentsia that was a co-conspirator in its crusade to transform Bengali Enlightenment into Bengali Endarkment.

It was the Left that introduced the culture of bloody retribution in West Bengal in 1967. Yet, the Bengali intelligentsia’s support for the Left and its demented offsprings was most pronounced when it coincided with relentless violence. The Naxalite movement received more intellectual, celluloid and poetic endorsements than any other murderous cult. The most important theoretical contribution of its bhadralok mentor was in advocating the elimination of the ‘class enemy’ with a knife or axe (rather than a gun) because physical contact facilitated a more meaningful outpouring of class hatred. The record of post-1947 Bengali intellectualism is disagreeable.

The spark from Nandigram may or may not engulf the formidable CPI (M) apparatus. However, its fallout on West Bengal is bound to be catastrophic. A vision for the regeneration of the state has been dragged into controversy and stands indicted for its underlying thuggishness.

West Bengal needs change. A change in political culture is, of course, obligatory. But this has to be preceded by a decisive rejection of the dominant intellectual legacy of the past 60 years.

Naxalite arrested

Posted at Saturday, 01 December 2007 11:12 IST

Lucknow, Dec 1: A woman naxalite carrying a reward of Rs. 50,000 has been arrested in Naugarh police circle area of Chandauli district, the sources said.

Kiran Kol alias Guddi was arrested yesterday on a tip off, official sources said here, adding she was wanted in connection with the murder of a district forest officer.

Kiran was among 23 people against whom CBI had filed a chargesheet in the murder case, they said.

Another bandh call by Maoists

1 Dec 2007, 0521 hrs IST,TNN




PATNA: Maoists have given a call for yet another bandh on December 2 to protest against "police loot and the arrest of their north Bihar-western zone secretary Bhaskar".

In a press note released here on Friday, the CPI (Maoist) said Saran, Tirhut and Champaran areas would observe bandh on December 2. It accused the police of "looting" its depot on November 22 and arresting Bhaskar, who was suffering from arthritis, when he was in the state capital in connection with treatment. The Maoists in a separate press note claimed that the Special Task Force (STF) had arrested Bhaskar and another local supporter from the Agamkuan area in Patna and presented a distorted picture of the whole affair to the media. It denied there was any move by the Maoists to trigger explosions in the secretariat, assembly, jail or any other place in the state capital.

The Maoists said that contrary to the claim of the police, Bhaskar’s associate Dhananjay had been arrested by STF even before November 22. They alleged the STF took away Bhaskar like kidnappers — by covering him and bundling him into an unnumbered jeep. Bhaskar was also allegedly tortured.

The Maoists claimed the police’s statement that a truckload of explosives had been recovered was aimed at "covering up the loot committed by policemen". The truck did not contain explosives as claimed by the police, they said adding it actually had a fan, bed sheets, sweaters, one bundle of cloth for trousers and another one for shirts, besides 200 trousers, inner wears, ayurvedic medicines and utensils. The truck also contained Naxalite literature and hard cash to the tune of lakhs. The Maoists claimed that the STF jawans had "looted all this and then cooked up a story to hide this loot".

Huge explosives seized in Chhattisgarh capital

Raipur (PTI): Police on Saturday seized a huge cache of explosives, including gilletins and detonators, from here and detained two persons from Orissa in this connection.

"From 14 boxes, 300 kg of gilletins and 3900 pieces of detonators, besides wires were seized from a car by the Amanaka police of Raipur city," District Superintendent of Police, Amit Kumar, told PTI.

"We have also detained one Gopal Agrawal and his driver Vijay Rajput of Khariar Road city of Kalahandi district of Orissa and they are being interrogated," he said.

The SP did not rule out naxal links, as the same type of explosives are used by the Maoists in Rajnandgaon district. "We are trying to confirm whether they have any links with Naxalites or not," he said.

Police on suspicion stopped the vehicle and asked its occupants about the boxes and when they gave contradictory statements, the vehicle was taken to police station and the boxes were opened.

Incidentally, the occupants had no documents of the explosives, which was being taken from Bhilai area of Durg district to Khariar Road area of Nuapada district in Orissa, police said.

During questioning, Agrawal said that he was running a stone crusher in Khariar and the explosives were meant for that, they said, adding details of both the persons were being verified.

Orissa Govt recasts police dists

Saturday December 1 2007 10:48 IST

Prasanjeet Sarkar


ROURKELA: The State Government, in a crucial decision, reorganised Naxal-infested Rourkela and Sundargarh police districts to improve policing.

The decision assumes significance in the wake of spurt in organised crimes including major heists apart from the outlawed CPI (Maoist) threat.

A top official declining to be identified confirmed that 10 more police stations carved out of the Sundargarh Police District (SPD) have been included under Rourkela Police District (RPD), taking the latter’s strength to 21.

These include the eight police stations in the far-flung Bonai sub-division facing the maximum Naxal movement.

This apart, Brahmani Tarang police station and the Bisra police station at the eastern end of Sundargarh revenue district have been also included in RPD.

Now, SPD has been left with 13 police stations. It used to have 23.

The officer felt the move would not only lead to ‘administrative convenience’ but also result in better policing by minimising distance. The proposal was pending since 2003.

IRB: 2000 selected to fight Naxalism

Friday November 30 2007 09:45 IST

ENS


JEYPORE: As a measure for combating Maoist activities in the State, the State Home Department has selected 2,000 candidates for the new armed force under third battalion of IRB in Koraput.

This is second such recruitment conducted by police agencies to counter Naxal insurgency. Two years back, the State Government had created the first armed battalion of IRB in Koraput which is presently camping in Rayagada, Malkangiri and Koraput districts.

The final list would be declared as per the quota fixed by the Government and about 675 candidates would be selected. Presently, about 30 companies of State Armed Forces, IRB and CRPF have been engaged for fighting Naxals in tribal areas.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fear stalks villagers as Maoist menace rises

Statesman News Service

BANDWAN (Purulia), Nov. 29: Villages in the bordering areas of West Bengal's Purulia district and Jharkhand's East Singhbhum district are in the grip of panic, due to the recent spate of killings by the Maoists in Purulia. This is specially true of Bandwan, Barabazar and Balarampur blocks,

The former sabhadhipati of the Purulia zilla parishad, Mr Rabindra Nath Kar and his wife, both CPI-M members, were brutally murdered by a gang of armed Maoists at the midnight hours of 31 December, 2005, at Bhomragaraha village in Bandwan block, nearly 17 km from the Bandwan police station and 106 km from Purulia town.
There were armed guards with Mr Kar who was sleeping in a room, but nothing could be done. The CPI-M local committee members of Barabazar and Balarampur, Mr Bhagirath Karmakar and Mr Sufal Mandi, were also murdered in Bhikharicheliama and Ghatbera respectively this month.

All the three villages of Bhomragaraha, Bhikharicheliama and Ghatbera share their borders with Jharkhand. As a result of this, armed Maoists find it easy to cross the border of Purulia easily and successfully carry out their operations. They enter the deep forests of Datma and Ayodhya hills. It is a peculiar corridor for the Maoist and they use it frequently.

The superintendent of police, Purulia district, Mr Ashok Kumar Prosad, expressed his displeasure at the mention of the Dalma Maoist squad. The Maoistst have fled to safer places. While talking to The Statesman here today, he said that Maoist activities are on the rise in the district.

Mr Nakul Mahato, a veteran CPI-M leader and secretary of Purulia district CPI-M committee admitted that panic has taken hold of the villagers in the border areas of Purulia and Jharkhand. “We have asked the police authorities to keep a close watch on the bordering villages during the night. Active members of the CPI-M have also been alerted on their movement and instructed to keep in touch with the security.”
“Beware of the CPI-M party.” These were the words of caution which the Maoists wrote on the leaflets and posters which were found last week at Ghatbera.

As a result of this, the villagers have become afraid. Now, most of the villagers who live in the bordering villages of Jharkhand and Purulia's Bandwan, Barabazar, Balarampur and Bagmundi have become silent on the political issue. They are reluctant to discuss anything related to politics.

It may be noted that those villagers who possessed guns for self-defence had sold off their weapons, fearing Maoist attacks for acquiring them. “Earlier the Maoist have looted many guns, even from the police outposts,” one of them said. The Maoists have attempted to steal licensed guns repeatedly.

A combing operation has been initiated by the security forces and a red alert has also been sounded in the border areas, specially in the Naxalite-infested blocks of Bandwan, Barabazar, Balarampur, Bagmundi, Jhalda, Boro, Joypur and Kotshila. “Night patrolling has also been strengthened,” an official of the state police said

‘Maoist’ calls to demand money

A STAFF REPORTER

The owner of a Shyambazar shop has been receiving extortion calls from someone claiming to be a Maoist.

The calls came on Tuesday and Wednesday, prompting shop-owner Arghya Kundu to lodge a complaint with Tallah police station.

“This is the first time someone claiming to be a Maoist has demanded money from a city-based businessman. Security around the utensil shop has been beefed up,” said a police officer.

“The caller first demanded Rs 20,000, saying the money was needed for a cause which he did not specify. The amount was scaled down to Rs 10,000 after Kundu said he could not pay more than Rs 500,” the officer added.

The first few calls on Tuesday were received by shop employees, who reported the matter to Kundu. On Wednesday, Kundu installed a caller line identification machine.

Three calls came on Wednesday, two of which were traced to a Sealdah phone booth.

“In the last call, the man asked Kundu to carry the cash in a bag and leave it near a lamp post at one end of Khardah station. The caller assured Kundu that there would be people to help him keep the bag at the designated spot. The man said he would make a call soon after, confirming whether he had received the money,” said a Tallah police station officer.

The police said they are trying to find out if the caller is a Maoist or a business rival of Kundu.

nCracker FIR: The state pollution control board on Wednesday filed an FIR against a city-based industrialist for bursting banned crackers within the East Calcutta Wetlands area during a wedding at a Bypass hotel. Environment secretary M.L. Meena said the cracker burst was reported from 9pm to midnight on Tuesday. “We inspected the site on Wednesday morning and found remnants of the banned items,” said a board official.

'Maoist threat' to trader

30 Nov 2007, 0253 hrs IST,TNN


KOLKATA: A trader lodged a complaint at Tala police station that some people claiming to be Maoists have demanded Rs 20,000 from him.

Amal Kumar Kundu received the threat call on Tuesday. The caller said he was a member of a Maoist organization and asked him to pay Rs 20,000. Kundu immediately disconnected the phone.

The caller re-dialled immediately and asked for Kundu again. He repeated the demand. The call came at least six more times.

Kundu told the caller that he could not pay Rs 20,000 and settled the deal at Rs 10,000. The money was to be kept at the platform of Khardah station on Wednesday. That was the last call he received.

Kundu decided against paying the money and went to Tala police station. From the CLI installed at Kundu’s residence, police traced the call to a telephone booth at Sealdah. Following the written complaint, police have provided Kundu with a guard while policemen in plainclothes are keeping a watch on the shop as well.

10 Mizoram jawans die in Maoist attack

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1071130/asp/frontpage/story_8610252.asp
OUR BUREAU

Aizawl/Raipur, Nov. 29: Ten personnel of the 2nd Mizoram India Reserve Battalion, currently deployed in Chhattisgarh, died as Maoist guerrillas blew up the jeep they were travelling in near Konta in Dantewada district this afternoon. Two civilians also died in the blast.

The jawans had boarded a private jeep in order to dodge the rebels and reach their base camp in Banda safely. But, they failed to breach the Maoist strategy.

Inspector-general of police R.K. Vij told The Telegraph that all the 10 personnel, who were returning to their station after duty in Konta market, along with the two civilians, died on the spot.

Of the two civilians, one was the jeep’s driver and the other could have been a helper or a passenger.

The jawans, despite strict warning to move on foot in the mine-infested state, had apparently “forced” the jeep driver to stop.

As the jeep reached Murliguda — 6km from Konta and 550km south of the Chhattisgarh capital of Raipur — the rebels detonated a landmine.

Sources said the vehicle was tossed several feet in air before it landed and broke into pieces. The bodies of the personnel were disfigured beyond recognition.

However, Adjutant Narayan Thapa from the 2nd Mizoram India Reserve Battalion’s headquarters in Sukhma said the vehicle tripped on a pressure landmine.

“They were travelling in a civilian jeep and the vehicle tripped on the landmine about 50km from Sukhma around 2.15pm. The vehicle was pulverised and all the occupants died on the spot.”

He said the Mizoram personnel belonged to two platoons of the battalion’s E Company, which has its headquarters in Konta. The jawans, he added, were returning to their Banda base after purchasing essential commodities from Konta when the incident occurred. He gave the names of the victims as havildars T.K. Chalapan and Ralliantawna, constables Vanlalhruaia, Thangkhangen, Giano Chakma, Zaihmingthanga, R. Laltlanzova, Laltleipuia, Biakrotluanga and a grade IV employee, Lalduhoma.

Vij said senior police officers from Dantewada and Konta have rushed to the spot, adding that security forces have launched a combing operation to trace the rebels involved in the attack.

Adjutant Thapa said Commandant P.C. Lalchhuanawma is among those who have rushed to the spot.Adjutant Thapa said the bodies would be taken to Raipur, 450km from Sukhma, for post mor-tem and then sent to Mizoram.

Today’s incident was the first major attack by Chhattisgarh Naxalites against the 2nd Mizoram India Reserve Battalion after the force was deployed in the state about a year ago to combat the red army. It was the rebels’ second major attack in a month.

Earlier, the rebels had disrupted the Chhattisgarh Foundation Day bash. They struck near Pammed in Bijapur district on November 2, killing 11 policemen.

The Nagaland Armed Police (India Reserve) Battalion had returned home in July 2007 after nearly two years of duty in the state.

12 killed in naxal blast , including 10 Mizoram Armed Force personnel

Agencies

Jagdalpur, Nov 29: Twelve people, including ten Mizoram Armed Force personnel and a 12-year-old boy, died after Maoists blew up a jeep by triggering a landmine at Murliguda village in naxalism-affected Bastar division's Dantewada district, police said.

The deceased included head constables Chalyan, Ralloman Tauna, constables Jaiming Thaga, Gyano Pauka, V K Kalulyang, T K Jena, Baglal Thoya, Lallatangjaba Puiya, Lalatlai Puiya, cook Aalalhua and driver Zakir Khan.

''The personnel were en route to Banda Post from Konta in a private jeep that was blown up by the rebels,'' Dantewada Superintendent of Police Rahul Sharma said.

After the attack, the ultras took away seven AK-47 assault rifles and a carbine. An AK-47 was recovered from the spot. Security personnel, who rushed to the spot after the incident at about 1430 hrs, collected dismembered bodies. The blast was so powerful that body parts lay scattered over a radius of about 200 metres.

Meanwhile, police said that paramilitary forces had been pressed into service for combing the entire area to flush out the extremists. Communist Party of India (Maoist) cadres stepped up violence in Bastar since June 2005 after local tribals launched Salwa Judum to generate awareness among the masses against insurgent violence and to isolate the Maoists.

However, the naxals retaliated by unleashing violence against those participating in Salwa Judum rallies and public meetings. More than 700 people, including several security personnel, were killed in rebel violence over the past two years while nearly 60,000 people abandoned their native villages and sheltered in relief camps set up by the state government in Bastar.

The ten policemen were part of the central forces deployed in Bastar forest to assit the Chattisgarh police in combating the maoist cadres. The bus driver, a civilian was also killed in the ghastly blast.

Paramilitary forces were inching their way into Gollapalli area, a stronghold of Maoists on the borders of Andhra Pradesh. The rebels had called for a Bastar bandh on November 30, two days ahead of the seventh anniversary of the formation of the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA).



Ejaz Kaiser, Hindustan Times
Email Author
Raipur, November 30, 2007
First Published: 03:09 IST(30/11/2007)
Last Updated: 03:12 IST(30/11/2007)





Ten jawans of an armed battalion from Mizoram deputed for anti-Naxalite operations in Raipur and two civilians died in a powerful landmine blast triggered by Maoists near Konta in the insurgency-hit south Bastar's Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on Thursday afternoon.

All were returning to Konta after some purchases from the weekly local market at Banda, about 570 kms from the state capital Raipur, when the ill-fated private jeep they were traveling in was blown to pieces by the explosion.

In November alone, 26 security personnel and 10 civilians were killed by the left wing ultras in hypersensitive southern districts of Bastar, taking the toll to 36.

Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) RK Vij told the Hindustan Times that the Maoists had intensified their attacks in the Dantewada and Bijapur districts to create terror among the masses and strengthen the confidence and morale of their armed cadres.

"We have recovered all the bodies and security forces have been pressed into a intensive search operation in the area," the IG said.

The Naxals who detonated the blast also looted arms, including seven AK-47 rifles, before escaping. The jawans killed in the blast were posted at Banda base camp. The civilians included the driver of the vehicle and an unidentified boy.

The police said the explosion was so powerful that the dead and mutilated bodies were traced in the vicinity of 300 to 400 metres from the blast site.

State Chief Minister Raman Singh and Leader of the Opposition Mahendra Karma condemned the attack and said such cowardly acts by the Naxals would not weaken the morale of the security forces.

The Mizo force is also referred to as a paramilitary force. The personnel have been deputed to Chhattisgarh under an agreement signed between the states of Chhattisgarh and Mizoram.

10 jawans killed in Naxalite attack in Dantewada

Zeenews Bureau

Raipur, Nov 29: 10 jawans were reportedly killed in a Naxalite attack on Thursday in Dantewada near Konta in Chhattisgarh. The incident occurred just a day after leading Maoist Salvam Dula surrendered before the Malkangiri SP Satish Kumar Gajbhiye yesterday.

Earlier in September, heavily armed Naxalites had attacked a patrol party of CRPF’s 51 battalion in Dantewada district. After a severe gun-battle, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel had managed to gun down three Naxalites in the encounter.

It should also be recalled that at least 12 policemen were killed as armed Naxalites attacked a police party in the region on August 29.

Dantewada is considered one of the most Naxal infested areas, not just in Chhattisgarh but throughout India. It is suspected that the central leadership of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) reside here.

An anti-Maoist Salwa Judum campaign, projected as a spontaneous “peace campaign” backed by the Government had taken effect here on June 2005. But it did not work and was suspended on April 10, 2006.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Jharkhand : Maoist shutdowns spell doom for weddings

Wednesday, 28 November , 2007, 12:23

Ranchi: Statewide shutdowns frequently called by the Maoists and political parties have made it difficult for weddings to take place in Jharkhand.

Some political parties and tribal organisations in the state called a shutdown on Monday to protest the violence against tribals in Assam. Several marriages were scheduled on the day and hosts found it difficult to arrange for vehicles to bring guests to the venues.

"We had put up a poster on our vehicle stating there was a marriage in the family but the strike supporters did not allow us to move. We could not attend the wedding," said Satish Kumar, a resident of Ratu in Ranchi.

Ravi Pandey, another resident whose brother was married on Monday, said: "We found it difficult to decorate the vehicle of the bridegroom. We managed to arrange some flowers only."



In the last 10 days, Jharkhand has witnessed four shutdowns. The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) called a two-day shutdown November 19-20 to protest the violence in West Bengal's Nandigram.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party had called a shutdown on November 22 to protest the killing of the party's Ranchi Mahanagar Scheduled Tribes cell president Anand Kashyap.

Long distance buses did not ply and railway services were affected. The shutdown crippled life in the state. Passengers remained stranded at railway stations.

"I could not attend the wedding of my brother. I remained stranded at Dhanbad and could not reach the wedding venue on time," rued Sabita Khare.

The worst affected were the families of the bride and the groom. "It was indeed difficult to purchase vegetables and meat as all shops were closed," said Gaurav Singh, whose daughter was married Monday.

After the creation of Jharkhand in 2000, the state has witnessed more than 130 shutdowns -- 40 called by the Maoists alone. According to an estimate, the state suffers a loss of around Rs 600 million per day due to shutdowns.

Even the businessmen are now calling for shutdowns in Jharkhand. In August, the Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industries called one to protest rising crimes against them and removal of anomalies in Value Added Tax (VAT).

"We do not support shutdowns. Since the inception of Jharkhand as a separate state, shutdowns have become the order of the day. Political parties and different organisations should seriously think over the issue," said Kawaljeet Singh, a businessman.

Blood On Their Hands

Wednesday 28 November 2007, by Praful Bidwai



West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s rationalisation of the violent “recapture” of Nandigram by CPM cadres as mere “retaliation” against their opponents, who were paid back “in the same coin”, is one of the most brazen defences by an Indian leader of the state’s abdication of its fundamental responsibility to protect the life and limb of all its citizens. What Nandigram witnessed was a CPM campaign of armed violence to regain control of two of the area’s three blocks, which it lost early this year owing to its abortive bid to impose a 25,000-acre Special Economic Zone on an unwilling population to favour Indonesia’s Salim Group.

Bhattacharjee didn’t speak like a responsible, democratically elected CM, but like a party apparatchik who reposes greater faith in its cadres and musclemen than in the rule of law. Indeed, he explicitly defended his decision not to send the police into Nandigram because “I didn’t want a repeat of the March 14 incident”, in which 14 people were killed. The firing wasn’t fluke. Citizens’ independent inquiries have established that armed pro-CPM cadres joined the police in that punitive expedition, some disguised in official uniforms. A People’s Tribunal, consisting of a retired High Court Chief Justice and social activists, documented this, after recording 174 depositions by the victims. Its chilling conclusions show close police-CPM collusion. The motive was to “teach” SEZ opponents “a lesson”.

The CPM just wouldn’t countenance that it would not be the people’s sole representative or lose its influence in Nandigram. To regain it, it started a systematic campaign of intimidation and eviction of ordinary people, turning thousands into refugees, and imposing collective punishment on them through a months-long economic blockade. The logic was that the anti-CPM Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) must be ousted at any cost so the party’s unquestioned supremacy could be re-established—even if that meant brutalizing innocents. In recent weeks, the impending arrival of the Central Reserve Police Force lent urgency to the task.





THE latest episode represents one of the darkest chapters in the history of the Indian Left. It has tarnished the Left’s, particularly the CPM’s, image as one of the few principled components of our political spectrum guided by an ideology and programme, which upholds constitutional values, public decency, and negotiated resolution of conflicts, represents the poor, and is an asset to democracy. Nandigram showed that the CPM can unleash, for entirely sectarian reasons, violence against farmers and other working people, in whose name it speaks-and from whom it derives its very rationale.

Going by well-corroborated reports, last fortnight’s armed invasion was meticulously planned. The police were confined to the barracks. CPM cadres from four districts were deployed, many of them trained in using firearms. The military-style operation had three components. On November 5-8, a multi-pronged offensive was launched by three attacking groups, each 200-plus-strong. On November 10, a second wave of attackers pushed BUPC supporters into CPM stronghold Khejuri, taking 600 of them “prisoner”. Finally, BUPC stronghold Sonachura was overrun, using the prisoners as a “human shield”. Within hours, the area was “liberated” amidst raucous celebrations by gun-toting musclemen.

This couldn’t have happened without the state’s complicity, indeed without the party suborning the state. This has disturbing implications. Any defence of such actions greatly weakens the liberal-secular-democratic argument against the communal Right, articulated ably by the Left too, that interference by political parties and their affiliates (for example, the RSS) with the state’s functions gravely undermines democracy.

However, several CPM members and supporters, including some distinguished academics, have turned a blind eye to this while rushing to the party’s defence-just when they should be counseling critical introspection. Their argument rests on presenting CPM cadres as Nandigram’s principal victims, and highlighting “infiltration” by Maoists, assisted by Trinamul Congress.

But evidence of such infiltration is of the same quality as the evidence about Saddam’s mass-desctruction weapons. Besides, it beggars belief that ousted/”dislodged” CPM cadres greatly outnumbered BUPC-supporter refugees. By all credible evidence, the latter (several thousands) outnumbered the former by a factor of 10 or more. The BUPC and Trinamul indisputably have their own thugs. They too practiced violence, but it’s hard to believe they matched the state-assisted clout of the domineering, militant, well-oiled ruling party machine.

Even assuming the BUPC “dislodged” CPM cadres, it’s for the state, not the party, to remedy this. Violent retaliation can only generate counter-violence, while breaching constitutional norms. Nor can Maoist “infiltration” justify indiscriminate attacks on adversaries or ordinary people.

Nandigram exposes the rot that has set into the West Bengal CPM in the form of criminalisation, pro-rich policies, corruption, reliance on muscle power, and arrogant disdain towards its own allies—the CPI, Forward Bloc and RSP. The three now say the CPM alone bears “responsibility” for the Nandigram violence and must rethink its policies. Their plea can only work if they quit the Cabinet while remaining in the Left Front.

(Courtesy : The Times of India)

The author is a distinguished political commentator.

‘Moddu Srinu’ gets 7-year RI

Staff Reporter
Reddy’s name figured in the killing of a surrendered naxalite K.Venkat Reddy, whose bullet-ridden body was found in Hayathnagar police limits in December last. His alleged involvement in this murder came to light after he created a sensation with his candid interview to a TV channel admitting to the killing of Paritala Ravi.


Allegedly involved in murder of Paritala Ravindra
HYDERABAD: A local court on Tuesday sentenced Julakanti Srinivas Reddy alias Moddu Srinu to seven-year rigorous imprisonment, in a case pertaining to the Explosive Substances Act and the Arms Act.

Reddy, who was allegedly involved in several murders and went into hiding after “gunning down” Telugu Desam MLA Paritala Ravindra, was caught in a lodge at Chandanagar having sustained injuries when a bomb he was making went off on November 17, 2005.

A revolver and some explosive material were seized from the lodge room.

Subsequently, Reddy’s six other associates with whom he allegedly conspired to kill an advocate Venkat Reddy were also arrested. While all of them were charged with criminal conspiracy, a separate case under the Explosive Substances Act and the Arms Act was registered against Reddy since he was found making a bomb and possessed the revolver. He was also accused of impersonation because he checked into the lodge with a fictitious name.

Hostile


As the witnesses turned hostile, the prosecution failed to prove the charges of criminal conspiracy against all the accused and that of impersonation against Reddy. Based on the material evidence collected from the scene, the court held Reddy guilty for making the bomb and possessing the firearm illegally.

From clashes during college days to alleged involvement in the murder of Telugu Desam MLA Paritala Ravindra, Reddy’s name was heard in several sensational crimes.

Hailing from Challagonda village near Narsaraopet of Guntur district, Reddy allegedly hacked to death a wine shop owner Bhaskar Reddy in Narsaroapet in March 2003.

Reddy’s name figured in the killing of a surrendered naxalite K.Venkat Reddy, whose bullet-ridden body was found in Hayathnagar police limits in December last. His alleged involvement in this murder came to light after he created a sensation with his candid interview to a TV channel admitting to the killing of Paritala Ravi.

Earlier, he allegedly shot dead a Telugu Desam leader Tagarakunta Prabhakar in Anantapur town.

Ex- college principal detained for Maoist link with explosives seized

Wednesday November 28 2007 09:25 IST
Express News Service


SAMBALPUR: A retired college principal and his son were detained for suspected links with Maoists and huge quantities of explosives seized.

Acting on a tip-off, a police team raided a house at Chauldhipa in Rengali area of Sambalpur district on Monday and seized 297 pieces of gelatine sticks, 37 kg power gel and another high explosive weighing 25 kg, Sambalpur SP Sanjay Kumar said on Tuesday.

The team also seized 34 detonators, 500 metres of fuse wire and 250-metre detonator charging wire during the raid, the SP said, adding those explosives could be meant for Maoists.

The retired principal of Surajmal College, Rengali, Tulsidas Mahana and his son Seshadev Mahana (26), have been detained for interrogation. Kumar said the family did not have the licence to store, buy or sell explosives.

He refuted claims that the explosives seized were meant for quarrying. There was every possibility that those could have been diverted to the Naxals, he added.

Arms recovered

Wednesday November 28 2007 09:26 IST
Express News Service


MALKANGIRI: In a major breakthrough, police recovered huge quantity of ammunition from Ramavarum area under Motu police limits, 25 km from here, on Tuesday.

Two claymore mines, two landmines, a tracer mine, some fuse wire and a pistol were seized from Ramavarum during a joint operation by the Special Operation Group and CRPF, Malkangiri SP S K Gajbhiye said.

The ammunition were supposed to be used by the insurgents during the Maoist-sponsored PLGA week beginning on December 2.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

CPI (M) leaders visit Nandigram

Nandigram (PTI): For the first time in the last eleven months, West Bengal CPI-M leaders on Tuesday visited Nandigram and alleged a 'false' propaganda has been launched against the party that it was unleashing violence to recapture the area.

"A false propaganda has been launched against the CPI-M that it is unleashing violence while our own partymen faced atrocities from Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee (backed by Trinamool Congress) who were joined by Maoists," Shyamal Chakraborty, a CPI-M central committee member, said after visiting Hazrakata and Osmanchak.

He also charged that Maoists were active in Nandigram and targetting CPI-M supporters.

Chakraborty, former Transport Minister, said they would submit a memorandum to the district magistrate of East Midnapore on 'atrocities' of CPI-M supporters by BUPC supporters and Maoists in Nandigram.

The CPI-M team comprising Chakraborty, Md Selim, MP and Shyamali Gupta, president of the party's state women wing, stopped at Hazrakata, Rajaramchak, Osmanchak, Garchakraberia and Sonachura among other places in Nandigram.

They were greeted with slogans by partymen who narrated the 'atrocities' of the BUPC.

People in Hazrakata complained about the Maoist presence in their areas. Maoist posters threatening CPI-M leaders were found in the village recently.

Some people at Sonachura said a Maoist leader from Chhatisgarh Sukumar Banerjee had camped at their village.

Some also complained that they were harrassed by CRPF.

The CPI-M team also visited Rajaramchak party office which was burnt down allegedly by BUPC and the house of a party worker at Bhangabera which was torched after he was killed.

The CPI-M has convened a public meeting in Nandigram tomorrow while state Congress has urged the administration not to give permission for such a meeting contending it might create fresh tension and peace process there.

Ultras poster

Statesman News Service

BALURGHAT, Nov. 27: Speculation is rife after posters apparently put up by the CPI-ML (Second Central Committee) were seen on the walls of the court at Jaloyog More and main bazaar of Balurghat town. The hand-written posters in black and red ink spoke of revenge vis a vis the Nandigram incidents.

The organisation through its posters held the CPI-M responsible for the Nandigram killings and threatened to target CPI-M leaders linked with the Nandigram incidents. With no one daring to pull down the posters, the posters caused a serious flutter in the town as people speculated regarding the presence and strength of the Naxalite forces in the region.

It was finally the police, who took off the posters from the court wall. Police officials, are however, tightlipped on the matter. According to police sources though, the Nadia based CPI-ML Second Central Committee led by Mr Subir Talukdar is trying to expand its support base to these parts of the state.

Cannabis plantations destroyed in Naxalite-dominated areas

PARALAKHEMUNDI, Nov. 27: On the directions of the district collector Mr D V Swamy, the Gajapati excise department have seized and destroyed cannabis plantations worth more than Rs 4 crore. This is the biggest single raid in Gajapati district in the past decade and can be termed as a success for the excise department. This is a part of the continuous raids against hemp plantations, especially in the Naxalite-dominated areas.

Today's raid was conducted in the tribal dominated Sialilati panchayat in the R Udayagiri block in the villages of Ramaguda and Dekai, which are totally inaccessible .One has to trek 15 kilometres, over rivers and roads along the mountain sides. Not a single person was present in the villages when the contingent of armed police, along with the excise staff and the labourers descended on the plantation area.

According to the excise department staff, hundreds of acres were lined with the cannabis trees , and it took the labourers more than ten hours to destroy more than 1.5 lakh trees in two patches. n sns

SOG & CRPF unearth explosives

Statesman News Service
MALKANGIRI, Nov. 27: Malkangiri Special Operation Group (SOG) and CRPF in a joint combing operation unearthed huge amount of explosives today.
Two clay ore mines, two landmines of 12 kg each, six electronic detonator, one pressure mine and one country made pistol were seized from the forests of Ramavaram under Motu police limits. The combing operation was stepped up in view of the fact that naxals observe a Gurellia army week from 2 December.

ORISSA : Centre gives Rs 14.91 cr to tackle Naxal problem

Tuesday November 27 2007 09:32 IST
EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE

Window2India: Sports News

BHUBANESWAR: The Centre has provided Rs 14.91 crore to Orissa during the current financial year for tackling the Naxalite problem in the State, which has spread to 16 districts.

In a written reply to a question from Tara Prasad Bahinipati (Cong), the Chief Minister said that the State Government had sought an assistance of Rs 1.09 crore in the supplementary budget in this connection.

The State Government has decided to include Rayagada and Malkangiri in the pilot project and expedited implementation of developmental projects in other affected districts.

As a part of its decision to strengthen security to tackle the growth of Naxalite activities in the State, the Government has decided to set up special intelligence wing, special operations group and special security wing.

Besides, police stations in Naxalite-affected areas are being repaired and strengthened, he said. Naveen said that jails in Left wing extremists (LWEs)-affected areas were being fortified and their staff being given special training.

Employees’ strength in 84 police stations in the affected areas had been increased and four special security battalions had been established. Police personnel are being given anti-Naxalite training gradually, he said.

Four battalions of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been deployed in the affected areas. The first India Reserve Battalion has already been set up while recruitment process of the second and third India Reserve Battalion has been started.

The State Government has already announced rehabilitation package to bring surrendered Naxalites to the mainstream. Besides, the State Government had announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh to families of Naxal victims.

It has also launched an insurance policy of Rs 10 lakh for 12,000 police personnel engaged in anti-Naxalite activities. Naveen said the State Government had banned CPI(ML) and seven of its frontal organisations.

It has also formed a committee headed by the Chief Secretary to formulate development projects for the Naxalites-affected areas.

Melsunka: A haven for Naxals



Tuesday November 27 2007 08:41 IST
Manjunath Hegde

Window2India: Sports News

SHIMOGA: Melsunka village in Hosnagar taluk has neither road connectivity nor power supply, but people still stay here as KPCL paid them compensation in instalments after the village became a restricted area in the backwater of Mani Dam of Varahi Power Project.

Away from the civilian world, lack of facilities and impenetrable rainforests have made this village an ideal hub for Naxalites. It is feared that the youth here are slowly turning towards Naxal ideology.

Melsunka village of Sulgodu GP in Hosnagar taluk has 87 families and they have to walk 18 kms to Yadur to buy something.

They are cut off from the outer world. The only entry to the area is through Mani Dam, with permission from KPCL.Villagers of Kumribailu, Ultiga and Melsunka depend on forest products like bamboo and a few are engaged in agriculture.

After the entry of Naxalites, villagers say that the Forest Department personnel have stopped harassing them. A village without any civic amenities, Melsunka has become a favourite hide-out for the Naxalites. Whenever there is a fight between the policemen and the Naxalites in Amasebailu area of Udupi district, it is said that the Naxals rush to Melsunka region which is just a one-hour walk away through the ghat section. Whenever the police head for the village, Naxals disappear into the forests.

It may be recalled that a pamphlet was recovered from a camp deserted by Naxalites near Amasebailu, which showed that they had plans to blast Mani Dam, which is very near to Melsunka.

However, Hosnagar CIP SK Prahlada said no untoward incidents were reported from the area so far. Residents of this hamlet do not say a word either against policemen or favouring Naxalites. Alarmingly, a couple of Naxalites including Parvati, who was killed in Idu encounter, were from this village. Police say that the Naxal team wandering in the surroundings of Melsunka is ‘Varahi Dalam’, and they often visit Melsunka whenever they need grain and vegetables.

Interestingly, the village which had roads and electricity 30 years ago, has nothing but backwater and forests everywhere today. The youth here get offers from Naxals to join their group.

NAxal Supporter , MLA takes oath in police custody

By Our Staff Reporter
Bhopal, Nov 26: The Samajwadi Party's Kishor Samrite, who was recently elected to the Madhya Pradesh Assembly from behind bars, was today brought to the Vidhan Sabha in police custody. As the House assembled for the brief winter session, Speaker Ishwardas Rohani called him to take oath. Samrite was elected on a SP ticket in Balaghat district's Lanji bypoll. This was the first time in Madhya Pradesh that a candidate won an election while imprisoned and was also brought to the Assembly in custody.

The young leader was languishing in jail for about ten months on account of several criminal cases registered against him for waging public agitations. Since he was denied bail, Samrite was brought to the Vidhan Sabha in custody on court order.

Samrite vanquished his nearest Bharatiya Janata Party rival Dhareshwari Devi by over 3,700 votes. Bhagwat Nagpure (Congress) and 16 others lost their deposits. After Samrite took oath, Dr Sajjan Singh Verma (Cong) recalled that the ruling party nominee was defeated in the bypoll. The remark was in response to Public Works Development Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya's comment that the Congress candidate lost his deposit.

Samrite took the oath in Hindi and was congratulated by the Speaker and other MLAs. Balaghat is a naxalism-affected district. The byelection was necessitated by the demise of BJP legislator Dilip Bhatere. Later interacting with journalists in the Assembly premises, Samrite trashed the allegation that he had rebel links and that was the prime factor behind his victory. ''Cases registered against me are based on false charges as I took part in sit-in and demonstrations,'' he alleged.

Samrite was brought here yesterday by police. Samrite alleged that the naxal links-charge was baseless, shameful and politically motivated. When asked whether he justified the naxal struggle, he said, ''every struggle against exploitation and atrocities is justified.

Five cases are registered against me. I am innocent and will prove it through a legal battle.'' SP Legislature Party leader Sunilam said that Samrite's bail plea was pending in the High Court and preparations were complete to take the case to the Supreme Court if the need arose. Samrite has been allowed by court to attend the Vidhan Sabha session, which concludes on December 7, and he will be lodged at the Central Jail.

Woman Maoist surrenders in Sambalpur

Monday November 26 2007 09:52 IST
EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE

Window2India: Sports News

SAMBALPUR: A Naxal cadre has surrendered before the police after the announcement of the rehabilitation packages by the State Government for the surrendered Naxals in 2006.

Naxal woman cadre Deepti Naik (18) of village Nuasahi in Penthabahal under Naktideul police limits surrendered before Sambalpur police on Reserved Police Lines premises here on Sunday.

Uniformed Deepti surrendered with a .303 rifle and four live bullets in the presence of IG (Northern Range) Surendra Panwar, Sambalpur Collector Laxmi Narayan Nayak and SP Sanjay Kumar.

Deepti confessed that the Naxal leaders lured her after assuring to provide jobs with healthy remuneration while she was in one of her relative’s house at village Jarang in Jujomura block.

She also admitted that she was working with the extremist group for past one year but decided to join the mainstream after the MCC leaders started torturing innocent people by extortion and sexually harassed girl members of the group, including her.

Kumar handed over an ex gratia of Rs 20,000 to her and assured her to provide homestead land of 4 decimal, Rs 25,000 for house building purposes, medical benefits and arrangement of bank loan up to 2 lakhs for her rehabilitation.

However, she would be forwarded to judicial custody for her involvement in torching a truck at Jujomura on NH-42 and possession of illegal arms.