Saturday, December 08, 2007

Remembering Umesh Chandra , IPS : A Martyr and Legend


Martyr Umesh Chandra, IPS was undoubtedly the most reputed police officer in the history of Andhra Pradesh police. He was loved by the people and the police where ever he worked. He was severe on antisocial elements and was very affectionate to the people. He created tremors in the backbones of the naxalites and factionists by showing them, what police are capable of. In his tenure as SP of Cuddapah district, which was considered as second most troublesome district in India, he restored normal conditions within no time, with his extraordinary abilities. He was called cuddapah tiger by the people of Cuddapah.

Farewell ceremony at Cuddapah




More : umeshchandra.org

‘Courier’ lodged in central jail

Saturday December 8 2007 10:31 IST

Express News Service


NELLORE: Pittala Srisailam, a TV news channel reporter, who was arrested yesterday, was lodged in the central prison here today.

The police arrested Srisailam suspecting him to be a courier of the banned CPI Maoist. He was remanded to judicial custody when the police produced him in court at Kandukur in Prakasam district.

However, Srisailam maintained that he has nothing do with the Maoists and came to Kandukur to interview an extremist. Emotional scenes were witnessed in the meeting hall of the prison where Krishnaveni, wife of Srisailam and his two daughters, who came from Hyderabad, met him.

Jharkhand police worried as Maoists use beacons on cars

Posted : Sat, 08 Dec 2007 07:59:01 GMT
Author : IANS


Ranchi, Dec 8 - Jharkhand police are facing a harrowing time as Maoist rebels have started moving around in vehicles fitted with red beacon lights, used only by ministers and senior government officials.State police chief V.D. Ram in a letter to police superintendents (SP) in 24 districts has advised them to keep a close watch on red beacon fitted vehicles. In his letter last week, Ram asked the officials to check such vehicles without any hesitation.'We have received reports that Maoist rebels use beacon-fitted vehicles to avoid police check. Police usually do not check beacon fitted vehicles,' a senior official told IANS Saturday.He said, 'The red and yellow light fitted vehicles are used by senior government officials and ministers, hence cops do not check those vehicles. It appears the Maoists now are taking advantage of this situation.'After Jharkhand state was created in November 2000, the number of beacon fitted vehicles increased many fold. According to an estimate, there are more than 1,100 beacon fitted vehicles in the state.What has compounded the problem is the use of new vehicles such as Tata Indigo, Tata Safari and Scorpio, by VIPs in place of traditional Ambassador cars. Even senior police officials use these vehicles, making it difficult for police to spot criminals.According to police, rebels use these beacon fitted vehicles to transport explosives and other materials. In the recent past, three Maoist leaders were arrested while moving around in red beacon fitted vehicles.Maoist rebels are active in Jharkhand's 18 of 24 districts. According to an official estimate, over 1,000 people have been killed in the last seven years in the state. Of the total, 645 were civilians and 290 security personnel.

(c) Indo-Asian News Service

Maoists attack combat police in Orissa

Bhubaneswar (PTI): Members of Special Operations Group (SOG) were attacked by suspected Maoists early Saturday morning in the forest near Gandima village in Orissa's Rayagada district, the police said.

"The SOG team came under a volley of bullets from the Maoist guerrilas when they were going out to search a place. Security forces retaliated. Attackers fled leaving behind two rifles and ammunition. No injury to anyone has been reported so far," Muniguda polie station in-charge A K Mohanty said.

The Naxalite-affected areas of Orissa have been put on high alert following the gunfight. Staray incidents have been reported from parts of these areas during the anniversary week of Praja Liberation Guerrila Army, a frontal organisations of Maoists.

In another incident in Malkangiri district, traffic came to a halt on the state highway connecting the district headqurter town with Motu on Andhra Pradesh border due to the Maoists' digging up the road, Malkangiri Superintendent of Police S K Gajbhiye said.

How chasing Maoists is making Jharkhand cops smarter...

Dipankar Bose

SARANDA, Dec. 8: Jharkhand police have always been in a quandary over this issue. Over the years, they have done their best to tackle the Maoists, but have failed to match the latter’s Intelligence-gathering abilities, guerrilla tactics and strategies that have converted the seven-year-old state into a Maoist den.
Lately, the West Singhbhum district police are facing their worst nightmare ~ a blackout of vital Intelligence inputs about Maoist movements in and around the Saranda forests, one of the several “hyperactive” areas of the extremists. The reason behind the blackout was a calculated move by the Maoists. It is paying rich dividends. After the Chilkhari massacre, where the youngest son of former chief minister Mr Babulal Marandi was murdered with 17 others in Giridih, the Jharkhand home department had issued orders to intensify patrolling and counter-offensive operations across Jharkhand against the Maoists.

Patrolling has been increased in such districts as Latehar, Chatra, Palamu, Lohardaga and parts of Ranchi, where the extremists have strongholds. Bunkers were being destroyed and frequent encounters taking place, with the police nabbing extremists of rank in the banned outfit and also confiscating arms and ammunitions. The tables seemed to be gradually turning against the Maoists but the extremists’ counter-strategy proved more effective, at least in West Singhbhum. Between 18 and 26 November, four people were shot dead by Maoists and all of them were branded “police informers” by the extremists. The persons killed were villagers from in and around Saranda. Two deaths were reported from Tetlighat village and one each from Hathnaburu and Dikubonge villages, all three in the Saranda forest area. Resentment grew in the villages against the police. District administrative bosses huddled to find a solution. Finally it was decided that the police would not entertain village informers here.

They would neither seek assistance from villagers nor take any sort of facilities from them during execution of duty. New guidelines have been issued for long range patrolling personnel here, Mr Sudhir Kumar Jha, SP, West Singhbhum, said.
The guidelines direct LRP personnel to always carry water bottles. The same is applicable for food items. In case of vigilance activities, steps have to be taken clandestinely and with caution. Personnel attached with an LRP group will not patrol the same route for more than two days at a stretch, so that villagers do not get familiar with them. “The recent killings by Maoists targetted policemen on patrol duty. The people murdered had no links with the police and were falsely branded as police informers to create resentment. But at the end, we have limitations and cannot carry out our duties without the local people’s confidence,” Mr Jha said, adding that one of those killed in Tetlighat and identified as Labia Sidue, a local Munda(headman), was a Maoist informer. He also gave them logistic support. The police were keeping a close watch on him and his murder was probably committed to create distrust against the police.

“The villager killed in Hathnaburu had his house on the village periphery. The LRP personnel may have asked for water from him on certain occasions and sought information from him. After the killings, I camped at four police stations in the highly sensitive zones,” Mr Jha said.

Maoists attack SOG in Orissa

Bhubaneswar: Members of the Special Operations Group (SOG) were attacked by suspected Maoists early on Saturday in the forest near Gandima village in Orissa’s Rayagada district, the police said.

“The SOG team came under a volley of bullets from the Maoist guerillas when they were going out to search a place. When the security forces retaliated, the attackers fled, leaving behind two rifles and ammunition. No injury has been reported so far,” Muniguda police station in-charge A.K. Mohanty said.

The Naxalite-affected areas of Orissa were put on high alert following the gunfight.

In another incident in Malkangiri district, traffic came to a halt on the State highway connecting the district headquarter town with Motu on the Andhra Pradesh border as the Maoists had dug up the road, Malkangiri Superintendent of Police S.K. Gajbhiye said. — PTI

Maoists blast abandoned police outpost in Bihar

8 Dec 2007, 1333 hrs IST,PTI

SITAMARHI: CPI (Maoist) rebels blew up an abandoned police outpost in Bihar's Sitmarhi district, Superintendent of Police M R Naik said on Saturday.

An unspecified number of Maoist guerrillas blew up the building of the outpost at Mahindwara under Runnisaidpur police station late last night, Naik said.

The force deployed at Mahindwara outpost was shifted to Koahi village about five months ago due to threats from Naxalites, he said.

Living next door to Naxals, for 41 days

Saturday December 8 2007 10:03 IST

G Saravanan


MINJUR: Lakshmi, a 50-year-old woman living in the northern suburbs of Chennai, will now think twice before getting tenants. In late October, she had let out a part of her house on Bhajanai Koil Street in Pungamedu locality, to a couple from Andhra Pradesh for a period of 45 days.

On the 41st day, however, it emerged that the couple — Pandu Ranga Reddy and his wife Mari alias Madhavi — were most-wanted Naxalites in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

They had rented the house saying the wife needed regular treatment in Chennai for her recurring stomach pain.

Last Wednesday morning, when the couple took a bus bound for the city, the Andhra Pradesh police intercepted it at Melur and arrested Pandu. The police, however, did not notice Madhavi and she was left behind in the bus.

When she got back home, the village head and the local councillor, P Durai, took her to the police saying her husband had been kidnapped.

After initial inquiry, the police said they could not trace any incident of kidnapping that had taken place on that day, and sent them back.

Around midnight on Wednesday, police surrounded the usually quiet Pungamedu locality. Acting on a tip-off from the Andhra police, they arrested Madhavi and sent her to Puzhal prison.

“It was the first time we had seen such a huge police presence, that too at midnight. People here usually don't let out their houses, but this couple managed because they said they were here for treatment,” Durai told this website's newspaper .

Kanmani, a teenager who lives next to Lakshmi, said, “Their activities were not suspicious, but her husband would go missing for a few days in a week.”

Said Veeran, another resident: “Lakshmi is the only one in the area who can speak Telugu. Maybe that is why she let them stay, even against the wishes of her daughter and son-in-law.” It was because of the language barrier that people there hardly spoke — and got to know the couple

Living with Naxal terror

Saturday December 8 2007 09:37 IST

Deba Prasad Dash


MALKANGIRI: Eerie silence prevailed in the interior villages of Kalimela, Motu and MV-79. These areas remain cutoff from the district headquarters town from Sunday, when the PLGA Week began.

The week would conclude tomorrow but the fear of Naxal attacks would remain forever for these villagers.

“We are staying in their kingdom and God knows what the Annas (Naxals) will do if we do not listen to them”, remarked a 22-year-old businessman of Kalimela. Why should we risk our lives, he questions.

The gun literally rules the land here. With the Government slow in acting against the Naxal menace, the villagers prefer to be loyal to the Naxals.

The villagers stayed back home, businessmen downed shutters and vehicles remained off the road for fear of landmines.

People did not find it safe to use private vehicles either. Vehicular traffic between Malkangiri-Kalimela-Motu was completely paralysed during the entire week.

With no option left people walked distances of nearly 100 km to reach their destinations. Patients were the worst affected.

Though ambulance service is available at Kalimela and MV- 79 at a minimum government rate, it was not sufficient to meet the demand.

If sufficient ambulances are not provided in these areas, the patients’ difficulties in the interior pockets may further worsen.

However, the district administration had made adequate arrangements for people’s safety.

Armed police personnel in plain clothes and in uniform have been deployed in various police stations and important installations of the district to avert any possible untoward incident.

Nagpur police rope in new detectives

Sanjay Tiwari
Saturday, December 8, 2007 (Nagpur)
Nagpur is Maharashtra's winter capital, fondly nicknamed ''Orange City''.

But on these innocent streets and in the city's by lanes lurk secrets that elude the Nagpur police - secrets at the heart of terror cells and naxal operatives who are increasingly using Nagpur as a transit point for subversive activities.

But now, a new group of recruits joins the fight against terror, students, rickshawallas and paanwallas, a new and unconventional network of informers roped in by the police.

''We have launched a new drive called 'Mission Mriytunjay' that includes people from all walks of life, especially those who move around a lot and mix with all sorts of people,'' said Babasaheb Kangale, Joint Commissioner of Police, Nagpur.

It's called 'Mission Mrityunjay', an attempt to strengthen the police intelligence network. What's more, it's a modus operandi that's gaining popularity among the recruits. Yes, it's nice to finally make friends with the police.

''Rickshaw-pullers are privy to a lot of interesting information, including illegal activities. For instance, who is involved, where drugs are sold, about illicit liquor and many other things,'' said Abdul Quadir, President, Rickshaw Chaalak Sangharsh Samiti.

But the Nagpur police don't seem to have worked out all the details. How will the police protect the informers, among them vulnerable school children?

And second, there are no incentives offered baring a blatant disregard for these operatives the police are calling their friends.

Friday, December 07, 2007

CPI (Maoists) blogspot blocked

CPI (Maoists) blogspot blocked
Friday December 7 2007 09:50 IST
M.P.Prashanth


KOZHIKODE: The blogspot of People’s March, the unofficial magazine of the CPI (Maoists) which has been publishing the Maoist literature from all over the country, was blocked on Thursday.

It is not immediately known as to why peoplesmarch. googlepages. com was disabled, but the service provider has left a message saying that the action was taken for violation of ‘program policies.’

According to the Google Page Creator, its service should not be used for unlawful activities.

People’s March is being published from Tripunithura in Ernakulam and is edited by P.Govindan Kutty. The print edition is not banned by the authorities.

“I had uploaded an item yesterday. But today I found the site blocked. Even my gmail ID has been disabled,” Govindan Kutty told this website’s newspaper.

The website of People’s March was blocked a year ago by the Centre for its alleged association with the Maoists.

The blocking of the blog is the latest in the series of the war of wit between the Maoists in India and the law enforcing authorities.

Maoists have been widely using the internet to propogate its ideology among the public.

Resistanceindia. blogsot.com, a Maoist blog was hacked in August this year.

Another blog naxalrevolution. blogspot withdrew after one year of operation.

But the supporters of Maoists have created another blog maoistsresistance. blogspot.com which is active now.

There is another blogspot naxalwatch. blogspot.com, which is believed to be hosted or supported by the intelligence agencies to spread the message among the public that naxalism is “pure and simple terrorism which disguises itself in terms like class struggle and social justice.”

People’s March has been a major mouthpiece of the Indian Maoists. It has carried articles on Maoist programmes and interviews with leaders including CPI (Maoist) general secretary Muppala Lakshmana Rao alias Ganapathi and spokesperson Azad.

One issue of the magazine was exclusively on Dandakarayna region where the Maoists are running a parallel government and another on the women martyrs of the Maoist movement.

It also carried extensive reports on the developments in Nandigram.

Security agencies feel that it is impossible for a single person to produce a magazine like People’s March.

They believe that there could be many behind the venture who are behind the curtain at present.

Kerala is a state where the Maoists are keeping a low profile unlike the Andhra Pradesh and some areas in the north.

But it is no longer a secret that senior Maoist leaders keep frequenting the state at regular intervals.

Maoists kill trader in Jharkhand

Posted : Fri, 07 Dec 2007 08:44:04 GMT
Author : IANS



Ranchi, Dec 7 - The body of a Jharkhand trader was found in a jungle Friday morning, a day after he had been abducted by suspected Maoist guerrillas.

According to police here, Chappu Sao's body was recovered from a jungle in Khunti district. He had been abducted Thursday night from Murhu village, 70 km from here.

Police officials said the Jharkhand Liberation Front (JLT), a splinter group of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), had been demanding Rs.1 million from the timber trader and was responsible for the killing.

Angry villagers Friday blocked the Ranchi-Khunti national highway, demanding the arrest of JLT activities and compensation for Sao's family.

More than 1,000 people, including 645 civilians, have been killed in the last seven years in the state where Maoists are active in 18 of the 24 districts.


(c) Indo-Asian News Service

The utopian myth of India's double dividend

REDIFF

Victor Mallet


December 06, 2007

Sheila Dikshit, chief minister of the Indian capital territory of Delhi, looks neither fat nor nervous, but she was disarmingly frank this week about the difficulties of coping with an annual influx of half a million migrants into her metropolis of 16m.

"I've put on some weight merely because I want to drown my anxiety by eating," she told a conference of the World Economic Forum and the Confederation of Indian Industry. If her administration did not meet the needs of Delhi's inhabitants, she warned, one of the world's largest cities would slide downhill. "Each one of them when they live in Delhi, they want more water, more power, they want more wages, more oil."

Her honesty was refreshing. It is slowly dawning on Indian policymakers that the country's much-trumpeted "demographic dividend" - the population surge that will increase the workforce to 800m by 2016 and make India the world's most populous nation - may turn out to be more of a threat than an opportunity.

Discrimination rife in Indian economy
Who will create the jobs to absorb the net increase of 71m young people of working age over the next five years? Most are poorly educated and only a fraction will find regular work.

Who will feed them and supply them with water and fuel? India has 18 per cent of the world's population but only 4 per cent of its fresh water and just over 2 per cent of its land area. Many of the country's groundwater aquifers are already in critical condition. Available per capita water supply has declined since 1975 and water demand is set to exceed all usable sources of supply by 2050.

The bulge of young people today, furthermore, will in time become a bulge of pensioners in a country where only 11 per cent of the working-age population have formal pension arrangements. India will thus face the same problems of ageing and high dependency ratios as Japan and Europe today, only on a larger scale.

Indian airline privatisation faces uphill battle
All six risks facing India identified by the WEF and the CII -- inequality within a rising population, water shortages, high oil prices, global protectionism, climate change and infectious diseases -- originate, at least in part, in the alarming growth of the Indian population.

Not to worry, say the optimists, for India enjoys a second dividend as important as the first: democracy. India, according to Kamal Nath, the ebullient minister of commerce and industry, is an "island of stability" in a region of turbulence and authoritarianism, "a large country with a large population functioning as a democracy, a country with a young workforce that is raring to go".

This is utopianism. While the national population explosion places nearly intolerable strains on India's physical and social infrastructure, the country's democracy is so dysfunctional that it is reasonable to ask whether it can rise to the looming economic and demographic challenges.

Hundreds of millions of ill-educated and underemployed Indians are easy prey for populist politicians with narrow ethnic or religious agendas, a trend that will contribute to the fragmentation already under way in Indian politics. (The current coalition government depends on two dozen political parties).

Outside formal politics, Naxalite rebels - home-grown Maoists - have exploited resentment over official corruption and the widening gap between rich and poor to extend their influence into large swaths of rural India.

The folly of Indian fuel subsidies is one example of how bad demographics and bad democracy jointly threaten the country's future. In this fiscal year, the Indian government - wary of popular discontent - will spend an estimated $17.5bn or 2 per cent of national output on fuel subsidies because it refuses to pass on the greatly increased world price of energy to its citizens.

In theory the subsidies go to the poor, but in reality they are often diverted to benefit the urban rich. Perversely, subsidies also counteract such feeble attempts as there are to improve energy efficiency, and they drain the budget of funds that could be used to improve India's woeful education and healthcare.

Such follies, it is true, are not unique to south Asia, and there is no plausible or desirable alternative to democracy as a political system for managing modern India. As Anand Mahindra of the eponymous industrial group phrased it this week when he advertised his country's "3D" advantages of democracy, demography and durability: "India seems to muddle through. By and large we remain a stable country."

Muddle, however, is the appropriate word. Sonia Gandhi, who leads the Congress party, and Manmohan Singh, the prime minister, have sensibly promised to pour money into education. Less sensibly, they are introducing necessary economic reforms only with the utmost caution and stealth for fear of a backlash. Neither India's 1.1bn people nor New Delhi's allies in Washington, Tokyo or Europe can take for granted the continued success of a country with such a fast-growing population and such a weak political system.

Intriguingly, members of the Indian elite have come to exactly the same political conclusion as the leaders of the Chinese Communist party. Both groups say that a continuation of rapid economic growth - in China's case about 10 per cent a year, and in India's perhaps 8 per cent - is essential to avert the threat of social upheaval and popular unrest.

An Indian economic slowdown, therefore, does not bear thinking about. If it happens, it would not just be bad for Ms Dikshit's waistline. It would be dangerous for India.

Five naxals get death sentence for killing cops

Banka, (PTI): Five CPI (Maoist) guerrillas were on Thursday awarded death sentence for killing three policemen in Bihar's Banka district two years ago.

Additional district and sessions judge of a fast track court, Gangotri Ram Tripathi, awarded capital punishment to Ashok Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Naresh Yadav, Dhaneshwar Yadav and Suresh Yadav for killing three policemen and injuring as many at a temple at Gaura village in the Chanan police station area on November 3, 2005.

The convicts, along with seven other naxalites of the banned outfit, had shot and hacked to death sub-inspector Bhagwan singh, in-charge of Anandpur police outpost, and two constables Nityanand Kumar and Brajbhushan Prasad and injured three policemen.

They had also looted four rifles, a revolver and 80 rounds of ammunition from them.

The police had chargesheeted 12 persons in the case, but seven are still absconding.


Sentence puts Bihar on alert
GAUTAM SARKAR
http://www.telegraphindia.com/

Banka, Dec. 7: Fear of retaliation has forced Bihar’s intelligence agencies and forces to sound a high alert after the Banka fast-track court awarded death sentence to five Maoists — all from the Yadav community — yesterday.

This was the first-ever death sentence awarded by a court in eastern Bihar. For now, intelligence department has alerted officials and officers of Jamui, Bhagalpur, Munger and Banka especially, and has kept a watch on vulnerable areas — railway property, police stations, government offices and public places.

On December 6, 2007, Banka fast-track court of district and sessions judge Gangotri Ram Tripathi sentenced Umesh, Naresh, Dhaneshwar, Suresh and Ashok to death for attacking Anandipur police outpost, under Chandan police station, on November 3, 2005.

The premeditated attack was made during the popular Kali Puja mela and resulted in the death of the outpost officer in charge, Bhawan Singh (a sub-inspector) and two constables Nityanand Kumar and Braj Bhusan Kumar. Three other constables sustained injuries, while Maoists looted pistols, rifles and cartridges. However, the attack’s lone survivor, police driver Uday Kant Jha, managed to escape unhurt and lodged an FIR with Chandan (Anandpur) police station.

Talking to The Telegraph today, Banka superintendent of police (SP) Dhrub Narayan Gupta said after the attack, the police nabbed five accused and filed chargesheets against 12. Seven accused are still absconding.

Gupta conceded that chances of a “retaliation” was possible as one of those found guilty, Dhaneshwar, is the son-in-law of Maoist leader, late Balgovind Yadav.

Balgovind was arrested by the police in 2006 and died under “mysterious” conditions in the Bhagalpur central jail.

After Balgovind’s death, Maoists damaged tracks on the Kiul-Bhagalpur loop and tried to damage Narganjo railway-bridge on the Kiul-Asansol main section of the Eastern Railway.

Dhaneshwar, hailing from Gouripur, was arrested with his two brothers — Suresh and Naresh. Police suspect that Ashok, a native of Jamui, was especially called in for the “operation”, while Umesh lured in the police to Goura Kali Temple on the fateful evening. “Arvind Yadav and Late Balagovind were the masterminds,” said Banka SP Gupta. Arvind Yadav, in his confession, admitted his involvement in attacks both in Bihar and Jharkhand. “With his statements we have more clues. We have already started to work on them to apprehend the culprits in other cases,” the officer added.

In Banka, high alerts have been sounded in Kotoriya, Chandan and Belhar police stations and also in Anandpur, Jaipur, Suia and Kesher out posts in the Naxalite-hit areas. Similar alerts have been sounded in Munger, Jamui and Bhagalpur.

Intelligence agencies have also received reports of a recent meeting organised in Bhimbandh sanctuary, once a popular tourist destination in Munger and where former superintendent of police K.C. Surendarbabu was shot dead in 2005. The major meet was reportedly attended by 200-odd Maoists from Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bengal, Jharkhand and Nepal. “It discussed strengthening the support base in eastern Bihar’s districts,” intelligence sources disclosed.

Sagar produced in court in Markapuram

Friday December 7 2007 10:55 IST
ENS


MARKAPURAM: CPI (Maoist) State Committee member Sagar alias N Panduranga Reddy, arrested by the police in Chennai on Wednesday, was on Thursday produced before Additional Judicial First Class Magistrate Ch Venkateswara Rao who remanded the Naxal leader to judicial custody for 15 days.

Sagar was immediately taken to Kadapa jail. The police, however, told the court that they arrested Sagar at Jarugumilli in Prakasam district.

A tense situation prevailed in the court since this morning as large number of people and police turned out to watch the proceedings.

Though the court was closd at 5 p.m., the Magistrate waited for the police to produce Sagar for another 40 minutes.

When the police failed to bring Sagar, the judge left for his bunglow.

The police, who came late by a few minutes, took Sagar to the Magistrate’s residence amidst tight security. In all, Sagar was charged with 24 cases (see box) including half a dozen murders and also blasting of three railway stations in the district.

Meanwhile a former journalist Pittala Srisailam was arrested at Kandukur last night on the charges of working as a courier for the Maoists.

The police produced him before in-charge additional district magistrate D Hemant Kumar at Kandukur who remanded him to judicial custody for 14 days.

Srisailam was initially taken to Ongole sub-jail but when the prison officials refused to accommodate him citing security reasons, he was again produced before the magistrate and sent to Nellore Central Jail.

According to Kandukur DSP Jayaprakash, Srisailam visited Kandukur to carry out the orders of Maoist leader Sambasivudu. “Srisailam came to Kandukur to collect Rs 10 lakh from a person and handover the amount to some others as per the directions of the Naxal leader,” the official told this website's newspaper .
The police have recovered Rs 4,085 and four credit cards from Srisailam.

Top Naxal leader held in Chennai

Press Trust Of India
Hyderabad, December 06, 2007
First Published: 14:50 IST(6/12/2007)
Last Updated: 23:13 IST(6/12/2007)


The Maoist movement in Andhra Pradesh received a major setback with the arrest of a top leader N Panduranga Reddy alias Sagar in Chennai.

Sagar, the CPI (Maoist) state committee member who was accused in the futile assassination bid on former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu four years ago, was picked up from his hide-out in Chennai yesterday following a tip-off.

A special intelligence team from Andhra Pradesh raided the hide-out and arrested him along with two others who provided shelter, police sources said.

A key figure in the Maoist movement, Sagar (45) is involved in 21 cases of murders and carries a reward of Rs 2 lakhs on his head. He had masterminded several attacks in the past targeting politicians and policemen.

He was also involved in the recent attack on former chief minister N Janardhan Reddy and his minister wife Rajyalakshmi in Nellore district.

Sagar was also invoved in the attack on former Prakasam district Superintendent of Police Maheshchandra Ladda two years ago.

A native of Prakasam district, Sagar was mostly operating in Nallamala forest area and was recently made the secretary of the Nallamala forest division of CPI (Maoist).

The Maoist leader is likely to be produced before a court at Markapur in Prakasam district later today, police sources said.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Maoist threat to project sites

Bhubaneswar, December 06, 2007
First Published: 01:32 IST(6/12/2007)
Last Updated: 01:38 IST(6/12/2007)


The whiff of Maoists getting involved in the land tussle over the industry zones in Kalinga Nagar and Jagatsinghpur district has alerted Orissa police.

Kalinga Nagar became news in January 2006 after 13 tribals were killed in police firing while protesting the erection of a boundary wall at a Tata Steel project site.

Jajpur superintendent of police D.S. Kuttey told Hindustan Times that "the CPI (ML) Janashakti is active in the Kalinga Nagar area”.

“Already, two leaders of the Visthapan Virodhi Jana Manch are supporting the radical viewpoint of the Janashakti to wage an armed struggle. The police are keeping a watch on the situation and we are taking the necessary steps,” he said. The Jana Manch is leading the tribal struggle against the Tata Steel project at Kalinga Nagar.

There are also reports that the Maoists have become active at the project site of South Korean steel major Posco in Jagatsinghpur district.

Anil Mishra, the inspector-in-charge of the project site, said: “Reports on the presence of outsiders in the area are being verified. Thirteen platoons of the police force have now been deployed in Nuagaon, Gadakujnga and Govindpur in Dhinkia panchayats. The situation is under control.” DGP Gopal C. Nanda said: “We are keeping a close watch. The law and order situation will be maintained at any cost.”

According to an intelligence official, Maoist ideologues have started speaking to residents in the area about the need for an armed struggle against Posco. "Normally, the ideologues arrive first, followed by their armed cadres," the intelligence official said.

The unsettling news has prompted the police to start random checks on vehicles entering the Posco zone. However, activists of the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti claimed the talk of Maoist presence in the area was an excuse to launch an attack on them.

Three Maoists killed in ‘encounter’

Staff Reporter


VISAKHAPATNAM: Three suspected Maoists were allegedly killed during an exchange of fire with police in Visakhapatnam agency region on Wednesday evening.

Quoting preliminary information, Superintendent of Police Akun Sabharwal told The Hindu that after the gun battle, three bodies of men were found near Edupulamma forest area in Mampa police station limits, about 130 km from here.

The encounter took place between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Due to sunset and thick forest terrains, none could reach the encounter site from the nearby police station.

Details would be available on Thursday morning, the SP said.

Two Maoists arrested in Malkangiri

Two Maoists arrested in Malkangiri RSS


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KalingaTimes Correspondent
Malkangiri (Orissa), Dec 5: Two suspected Maoists have been arrested in this tribal-dominated district of Orissa and a gun has been seized from their possession, police said on Wednesday.

The extremists were taken into custody while putting up banners and posters from Sikhapali area under Malkangiri police station on Tuesday. They were arrested after thorough questioning.


The suspected Maoists Basant Kumar Gawasi and Samay Madhi belonged to Koyagiri village, police said.

District Superintendent of Police Satish Kumar Gajbhiye said a fun a large number of posters and banners pertaining to the Maoists' campaign about the ongoing People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) week.

As the Maoists are observing the PLGA week beginning from December 2, police have intensified their patrolling and combing operation in the district as well as neighbouring Koraput and Rayagada districts.

The police had sealed the State's borders with Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh as they were apprehending Maoist violence during the PLGA week.

Meanwhile, roads continued to wear a deserted look for the fourth day on Wednesday in Kalimela, Motu, MV-79 and Padia areas of the district.

Top Maoist leader held in Chennai

Special Correspondent

ONGOLE: A top Maoist leader, Panduranga Reddy alias Sagar alias Pratap, operating in Nallamala forest of Prakasam district, was arrested in Chennai on Wednesday.

Confirming the arrest, Superintendent of Police Mr. Naveen Chand said Sagar would be produced in a court on Thursday.

Acting on some vital clues, Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB) officials reportedly laid the trap and arrested him in Chennai in the morning. Local police, however, said that they have no information about the arrest in Chennai.

According to reliable information available here, SIB officials arrested two persons at Kandukur Tuesday night, and got the information that led to the arrest of Sagar in Chennai. Interestingly, P. Srisailam, one of the two persons arrested at Kandukur was an electronic media journalist from Hyderabad.

Sagar (45), who hails from Lakshmipuram village of Ardhaveedu mandal in Prakasam district, joined the extremist movement some 15 years ago. He rose to become Secretary of Nallamala Forest Divisional Committee (NFDC) operating in Prakasam district. He played a key role in almost all incidents that took place in the district like murders, destruction of property etc. After Maoists blasted a landmine in the heart of Ongole town targeting the then SP Mahesh Chandra Laddha in 2005, police tightened the leash on the extremist movement.

In quick succession, all the five leaders who participated in the landmine blast, were killed by police in different encounters.

The entire family of Sagar was dedicated to the movement. His mother, Lakshmamma was killed by police in an encounter. His sister, Bhulakshmi, was also a dalam member. While police state that she ran away with huge cash, Maoists claim that she was also killed in an encounter. His another sister, Ramulamma alias Padma, is still active in the movement and works as NFDC district committee member.

Meanwhile, the police have arrested the journalist and booked a case against him under the Public Security Act.

Two suspected Naxalites held in Orissa

MALKANGIRI, Dec. 5: Malkangiri Police arrested two suspected Naxalites, Soma Madhi of Chidipally and Basant Kawasi of Koyagiri with one SBML Gun at Sikhpally under Malkangiri police limits yesterday. Sources said acting on a tiff-off; Malkangiri IIC Y Jagannath Rao led a team with CRPF jawans yesterday and arrested those sticking posters in Sikphally market complex. Malkangiri SP Mr Satish Gajbhiye maintained that they were not involved in any violent activities before.
The duo claimed that they are not linked with Naxalites and the gun was to hunt birds. Sources said Naxalites had earlier stuck posters and pamphlets inside the district headquarter for ongoing PLGA week of Naxalites from 2 to 8 December.
The Malkangiri SP Mr Satish Gajbhiye and SDPO Sanjeeb Arora visited sensitives pockets like Motu, Kalimela PS and Mallavaram and took stock of the situation. SNS

Naxals strike again in Nagpur

5 Dec 2007, 0403 hrs IST,TNN



NAGPUR: A third Naxal-related incident took place in a row in Gadchiroli district on Monday evening, since the people liberation guerrilla army (PLGA) week began on December 2.

On Monday evening, an encounter took place at a place called Katta in Etapalli tehsil. Police claim three to four Naxals have been killed in this encounter, though the bodies could not be recovered.

The incidents began on Saturday with the Naxals blowing up a cell-phone tower of a private company. This was followed by an encounter over Bandiya bridge in which two Naxals were said to be injured in the gunbattle a day later.

The Monday evening encounter is the third incident in a row. “This was a tough operation for the police party as the Naxals were in larger numbers. A strategic position helped the cops,” said a source. The police have recovered a single-barrel gun, and two blasts of 15-20 kg each, said the source. Although the bodies could not be recovered, the blood stains are indicative of the toll, say cops.

In fact, the Naxals ensure that the bodies are not retrieved by the police as once the toll on their side is publicised, it would bring down the morale of their rank and file. Once their fellow falls to bullets, others open a heavy fire preventing the cops from approaching the body, and the dead are carried away under heavy cover fire, said a senior officer. A few bodies have been recovered during encounters in the year, said a source.

In fact, each year encounters with Naxalites go up during October to February while their activities are at an ebb during monsoons and summers. Movements are hampered due to slushy terrain and overflowing of rivers during rains. In summers when green cover dries up, they avoid encounters as a clean ground provides easy visibility to the police. This year around 4-5 encounters have taken place since October. Moreover, the police have also beefed up the security and have increased their movements in order to flush out the Naxals from their hideouts.

Meanwhile, in a separate incident Naxalites burnt two tractors of a private contractor Maksood Ahmed, engaged in construction of a road near Bakrundi village in Kurkheda tehsil of Gadchiroli during wee hours of Monday night.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Nandigram is a failure: Buddha

cm regrets ‘paid back in same coin’ remark
Statesman News Service

NEW DELHI, Dec. 4: Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today admitted that Nandigram was an “administrative and political failure” and regretted his remarks that those opposing land acquisition there had been “paid back in the same coin”. “We have to ensure that Nandigram does not repeat itself. We have learnt lessons from Nandigram that we have to take people into confidence... We have failed in Nandigram. It was an administrative and political failure,” he told a Press conference here. Asked about his remarks after the recapture of Nandigram that those opposed to the CPI-M and land acquisition had been “paid back in the same coin”, he said: “I should not have said that. Now I want peace for all.”. To a question whether the process of industrialisation in the state had suffered due to the Nandigram situation, Mr Bhattacharjee said: “Nandigram or no Nandigram, the process of industrialisation in West Bengal cannot be stopped.”

He said no corporate house, business group or foreign company had said they would withdraw from the state. “In fact, major foreign companies from Japan, the USA, Singapore and Dubai have sent proposals” to invest in the state. On the chemical hub which was supposed to have come up at Nandigram, Mr Bhattacharjee said it was now being set up at Nayachar, which did not have any habitation nor was the land arable.

The chief minister said the situation in the troubled Nandigram blocks was “fast returning to normal” and most of those who had been evicted had already returned. A total of Rs one crore had so far been spent by the Left Front government for their rehabilitation, including reconstruction and repair of damaged houses, roads, bridges as also supply of clothings, utensils and fertiliser mini-kits for the farmers to sow the rabi crop, he said. (The home secretary said in Kolkata the state government was ready to implement a High Court order to pay Rs 5 lakhs as compensation to the relatives of those killed in police firing, though the government would move the Supreme Court against the order. The home secretary said a state police officer had been showcaused following CRPF complaints that the state police were releasing those who were being arrested by the CRPF). The chief minister said a senior official had been sent to the area to prepare a report on what kind of development projects could be implemented in the Nandigram area. “As soon as we get this report, I will announce the projects.” Asked when he would visit Nandigram, the chief minister said he would not do so now as his first task was to restore normalcy and the farmers were also busy cultivating the rabi crop. “Let the situation get back to normal.”

On Governor
To questions on his relations with Governor Mr Gopal Krishna Gandhi who spoke out against the CPI-M led government on the issue, he said the Governor was a “very nice man” and he has had very cordial relations with him. “There has been no problem (with him) at all. We not only discuss administrative and political issues but literature also. We also exchange books... he is a nice man,” he said, and denied reports of any no move to seek a change of Governor.

On Maoists
On Maoist presence in Nandigram, he said the bunkers and trenches dug up in the area, the mine and other arms found clearly indicated their presence in the affected area. He maintained that the Maoists had come from outside the state, including from Jharkhand. “The CRPF is doing a good job in unearthing the arms and ammunition piled up by them.”

On Intellectuals
Regarding the 14 May police firing on protesters in the area and the alienation of intellectuals from the Left, he said “no one can accept (police firing) ... intellectuals are very sensitive. My duty is to explain to all of them the actual situation. Many of them have now been convinced.”
On differences among the Left Front partners over the Nandigram episode, he admitted difference of opinion on some issues but asserted that the Front was “different” from the UPA or any other coalition cobbled before elections. “The Left Front has had a long history of struggle”. Asked about comparisons between him and former Chinese leader Deng Xiao Ping, Mr Bhattacharjee said he was a “great visionary and I am a small fry. The people will judge what I am doing.”

On Hill Council
As Lok Sabha deferred consideration of two Bills relating to the Gorkha Hill Council today and the government expressing readiness to refer these to a Parliamentary Standing Committee, Mr Bhattacharjee said major Opposition parties in Parliament, including BJP, were not opposed to the measure. He met Leader of Opposition Mr LK Advani last night and spoke to his Orissa and Bihar counterparts to elicit their support for the legislation. Regarding his meeting with Mr Advani, he told reporters that the senior BJP leader told him though he had no problem with the contents of the Bills, his party opposed the manner in which the UPA government wanted to push them forward. The chief minister told Mr Advani that he was well aware of the Gorkha issue as he had held the home ministry for long and sought his and the BJP’s support for passage of the legislation. He also spoke on phone to Orissa chief minister Mr Navin Patnaik and his Bihar counterpart Mr Nitish Kumar on the matter. Mr Patnaik, who also heads the ruling BJD, apparently assured him of support while Mr Kumar said he would discuss the issue with his party president.

On Taslima
He said he discussed the Taslima Nasreen issue with external affairs minister Mr Pranab Mukherjee and it was up to the Centre to decide on the matter. Mr Bhattacharjee said he would not comment when asked whether the visa of the controversial Bangladeshi writer, who was shifted from Kolkata following violence in the city over her stay there, be extended.
“I have spoken to Pranabda. Now, it is up to the Centre to take a decision on the matter,” he said. Referring to the anti-Taslima violence, he said some forces were trying to divide Bengal communally.

On Projects
Mr Bhattacharjee said he briefed the Prime Minister about the largest private steel plant of the country, to be established by the Jindal group, in the Salboni area. He said the Prime Minister had accepted his invitation to lay the foundation stone of the project in January end. On other industrial projects, he said while two more steel plants were coming up at Purulia and Bardhaman, a biotech park was being established by IIT, Kharagpur, in collaboration with the University of Berkeley. He also briefed the Prime Minister on the progress of the establishment of a deep-sea port in the state. Shipping and Surface Transport Minister Mr TR Baalu would soon visit Kolkata to discuss the project.

Maoists trying to induct tribal youths

Tuesday December 4 2007 08:11 IST
Express News Service


JEYPORE: As part of the ongoing People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) week, Maoist groups in southern parts of the State have geared up activities to lure youths, particularly from tribal pockets, into their groups.

As many as 2,000 youths had already been inducted into different Maoist groups in Rayagada, Malkangiri and Koraput.

Sources said like previous years, Maoists spread across Gudari, Gunupur, Muniguda, Bissamcuttack, Chandrapur, Padmapur pockets in Rayagada, Kalimela, Chitrakonda, Motu, Padia, Malkangiri pockets in Malkangiri and Bandhugam, Narayanpatna, Motu, Padua, Patangi chunks of Koraput are presently inducting tribal youths in the PLGA.

Locals said the Maoist leaders have clarified before the public that they had no intention to harm the public anywhere in the tribal areas during PLGA week but the Naxals have warned the security agencies through posters, banners and leaflets put up at Malkangiri, Rayagada and Koraput districts.

Despite ‘assurances’ by the Maoists for public safety during PLGA, the fear psyche still prevails among the transporters in Malkangiri and Rayagada districts.

On the second day of the Week on Monday, no commuters were seen in these pockets anticipating attacks. Police said that both police and para-military forces are on alert to check any untoward incident.

South-eastern range DIG S K Nath held discussions with the SPs of Naxal strongholds on Monday and directed them to closely monitor the situation.

Naxals cash in on lack of welfare

Tuesday December 4 2007 08:12 IST
Ratan K Pani


SAMBALPUR: Lack of development in Maoist prone areas and absence of measures to instil confidence among people are contributing to the growth of Naxalism in the district.

While a sense of alienation is growing among masses, Naxals are capitalising on the situation to woo vulnerable youths. Police’ good work is not backed by administration to win over the people, feel Naxal watchers.

A visit to Maoist-prone villages like Sarada under Jamankira police station, Gariakhaman under Kisinda police station, Sitlenpali under Dhama police station reveals how villagers are being alienated from the mainstream. None of the villages has electricity, road and drinking water.

In Sarada, only three villagers have BPL cards and a pond renovation awaits government nod for past couple of years.

Similarly, Gariakhaman is a hot bed of Naxal activities yet people are forced to drink water from a nullah running in the village and one can see wild pachyderms stalking people in the suburbs of Sitlenpali.

Even after killing of three in Burda village and five in Meghpal area in 2005, the road connecting Jujumora with Burda and Meghpal is yet to be laid.

Police pursued the matter with the district administration but in vain. The then SP Suresh Devdutta Singh had written to collector on May 6, 2007, demanding construction of a 75 km road in Naxal-infested Naktideul, Jamankira and Jamankira block under PMGSY.

With no action forthcoming, Singh had even written to RDC on September 9, 2007, but it proved futile.

This apart, Singh had also requested composite solar lights, a community hall, bore wells and roads in the four security camps in the Naxal infested pockets of the district.

However, the district administration is allegedly sitting over the proposals. Admitting it as a hindrance, Sambalpur SP Sanjay Kumar said a concreted effort is required to win back the confidence of the villagers being wooed by ultras.

He said kutcha roads expose the security personnel to the threat of landmines being laid by the ultras and make it difficult for them to negotiate during operations

Monday, December 03, 2007

'Maoists attempting to entrench themselves in WB evicted'

New Delhi (PTI): Apparently seeking to justify the recapture of Nandigram, the CPI(M) on Monday claimed West Bengal was the only state from where Maoists, who were trying to entrench themselves there, have been evicted.

The party, heading the Left Front, also utilised Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi's visit to Nandigram to project that all was well in the area.

"There are so many states like Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh, where vast areas have come under the control of the Maoists. No administration functions in these 'liberated zones'. West Bengal is the only state from where they have been evicted," Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury told reporters here.

Replying to questions on the Nandigram issue, Yechury said the party Polit Bureau was taking stock of the situation there on the basis of a report submitted by the party's West Bengal Committee on the matter.

"The question is to restore peace and normalcy there. People are returning to their hearths and homes after 11 months. They are being provided money by the state government to buy utensils and even seeds to help them start a new life."

To a question about Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi's visit on Sunday to Nandigram, he said it was good that the Governor had first-hand experience of the situation there.

"The fact that he played cricket there shows normalcy has returned. Where is the fear psychosis being reported by the media," he asked.

Asked in a lighter vein about the Governor getting bowled out on the first ball, Yechury remarked "those who do not know (how to play), should not try it."

Police intensify vigil

Statesman News Service
BARIPADA, Dec. 3: The Mayurbhanj police have intensified vigil, as Naxalites sneak into border districts of the state in order to observe the annual Peoples Liberation of Guerrilla Army (PLGA), which will continue till 8 December.

Security has been beefed up and round-the-clock vigil has been enforced along the border. The reports of massive rallies, meetings and recruitments held by the Naxalite outfit, CPI (Maoists), recently at Belphari in Midnapur district of West Bengal, had prompted the security alert, the police said.

The superintendent of police, Mr Dayal Gangwar, today said that para military personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Orissa Special Armed Police Reserve (OSAP) have been deployed in vulnerable areas of the district.
He, however, declined to divulge details on the size and area of deployment.
However the SP denied having any information, regarding the recruitment drive of the Naxalites.

No such activities have taken place in the district so far, besides the gun battle between the police and the ultras on 28 November, in which there no causality occurred.

The week long annual recruitment drive of the Peoples Liberation of Guerrilla have been held for the past five years since 1999.

Suspected Maoist activities around Satkosia

Statesman News Service
ANGUL, Dec. 3: Suspected Maoist cadres have reportedly been seen moving around the Satkosia forest area, 40 km from here.
Recently villagers of Laimunda, Kantapara, Baghamunda, Alaberi and Dandabahali reported district police about movement of many suspected uniformed people in the surrounding jungle. Police team led by local circle inspector of police here rushed to the area each time but returned empty handed describing the report to be false. They hardly went up to the suspected hideout locations in the jungle.
The first report came to them on November 20 when villagers of Laimunda said two unknown persons wearing black uniforms interacted with a villager. The second face off took place by some village youths of local village in Tainsi jungle with some strangers. People also saw fire and smoke from the forest located near Gojamundia hill in the night indicating cooking by those people inside the forest.
A couple of days ago a 12-year-old child from village Loiamunda was intercepted by a stranger in uniform near their village jungle who enquired about the movements of police in their village. The father of the child informed Angul police superintendent about the incident.
The ultras are reportedly trying to establish their base in the area as the villagers near the sanctuary are in distress and provide an ideal situation for Naxals to entrench themselves.

Maoists keeping cops on their toes

User Rating: / 0 Monday, 03 December 2007


Hyderabad, December 03: The State Police are on high alert to prevent any attack from the Maoists who are observing the seventh anniversary of the formation of the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) from on Sunday till December 8 in their strongholds across the State.

The Maoists, who recently said they were targeting government properties, killed Amangal Mandal Parishad President Ramavath Panthu Naik in Mahboobnagar district on Saturday.

They have warned tribals against snitching to the police who, for their part, have stepped up vigil on the borders of Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.

According to ENS reports, more forces have been deployed to protect government properties. And ministers and MLAs from the ruling Congress have been advised not to visit interior villages of their constituencies without prior intimation to the police.

“We know that the Maoists are observing weeklong programmes but we will not allow them to resort to violence,” Visakhapatnam range DIG Jitender told this website's newspaper .

In the agency areas of East Godavari district, the police have tightened security around all police stations, government installations and other vulnerable targets.

Police stations abutting Nallamala Forest have been fortified and the police have intensified combing operations.

Apprehending surprise attacks, the Prakasam district police have formed special parties in the Nallamala region where the party lost State committee secretary Madhav and 60 other activists in “encounters” in the past two years.

The police have also been conducting search operations in Markapuram and Donakonda areas of Prakasam district following information that Maoist action teams were moving about in those areas.

Funeral held: Meanwhile, the funeral of Panthu Naik was held this morning and was attended by around 20,000 people, including Union Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy, Home Minister K Jana Reddy, Municipal Administration Minister K Ranga Rao and Rural Development Minister G Chinna Reddy.

The people of Amangal, Kadtal and other areas observed a bandh to protest against the incident. Terming the killing as an act of cowardice, Jana Reddy said the Maoists were targeting public representatives “only to indicate their presence.”

Jana Reddy said he would request Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy to provide a job in Group-I Services to the slain leader’s daughter who is in her final year of BTech. Jaipal Reddy said Panthu Naik’s death was an irreparable loss to the Congress as well as for the tribals in the district.

Only 509 Maoists operating in AP

Updated: 12-03-2007


HYDERABAD : Home minister K. Jana Reddy said on Sunday at Guntur according to the estimation of his department sources only 509 Maoists were operating in various districts of the State. Among them, he said over 200 Maoists belonging to Chhattisgarh are taking part in Naxal activities in the State.


Maoists belonging to our State are also taking part in extremist activities in other states like Chhattisgarh and Andhra-Orissa border areas, he added.He said the police top brass is working in co-ordination with their counterparts in bordering states to check extremist activities.
Asked about Andhra Maoists, taking part in Maoist activities in Nandigram of West Bengal, he ruled out the possibility and recalled that home minister Shivraj Patil also denied the reports. The home minister condemned the killing of Ramawat Pantunaik, a tribal leader and MPP of Amangal mandal in Mahbubnagar district by suspected Maoists on Saturday.
"A detailed investigation began over the shooting of the tribal leader, who is non-controversial," Jana Reddy said and claimed that the Maoists were losing sympathy among people as well as in media in recent months. He said incidents of violence have declined in the State when compared to the last three years
The Home Minister said that the government would set up urban police districts in Guntur, Warangal, Rajahmundry and Tirupati in a phased manner after recruiting over 37,000 police personnel in the next four years.
As per the CrPC norms, the cities and suburbs with over 10 lakh population are eligible for upgradation to urban police districts. With the setting up urban police districts, the police department will be bifurcated into urban and rural areas, he said

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The dual danger~II

http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=3&theme=&usrsess=1&id=178936

Unfortunately, much blood has flowed in Nandigram this year accompanied by rape and humiliation of many women. Members of families are separated, not knowing whether the separated ones are alive or dead.
At the last count ten to twelve thousand families are scattered, mostly living with their relatives, after the CPI-M activists armed to the teeth stormed Nandigram, accompanied by wanted criminals like Tapan Ghosh, Sukur Ali and Salim Laskar.
This time they did not even feel the need for taking the police along with them. The CPI-M) has regressed into a more fascist force and has displayed political arrogance not seen since the time when Indira Gandhi imposed the emergency. Important party functionaries do not like the interference of the High Court or the Governor in their attempts to terrorise the society into subjugation.

Muscle power

It was expected that after the decision to withdraw the SEZ, the Chief Minister would apologise for the March action. However, as it turns out now, he allowed his cadres to gain muscle power to retaliate with a vengeance. That he had lost both political and administrative control over Nandigram was something which had become a matter of prestige for his government and the party. But we must remember that Midnapore, along with Ballia in UP and Satara in Maharashtra, had responded to the call of ‘Quit India’ given in 1942 by the Congress convention in Mumbai. It had liberated itself from British rule. The British recaptured the three areas later.
As the CPM-led Left Front government had lost its credibility in the area and did not have the face to carry out a negotiated settlement of the dispute, it had to engineer a recapture in much the same way as the British would have done by bringing in an army.
But let us accept the fact that the CPI-M cadres who were forced to leave the area were the ones who had been threatening people to agree to give up their land for the proposed SEZ and were involved in beating, killing and raping the people of Nandigram.
Rather than trying to resolve the dispute by bringing the culprits to book, the Chief Minister supported the policy of paying back the ordinary villagers ‘in the same coin.’ It has been alleged that Maoists had infiltrated the area. And as proof, some arms and Maoist literature published in Telugu was shown to be confiscated.
The common sense question that comes to mind is: What relevance can Telugu literature, believed to have been published 20 years ago, have in West Bengal? There is no other proof of Maoist presence in the area. But the Chief Minister’s statement implies that violence was used in response to violence. Can a democratically-elected CM justify the use of violence by a non-state actor?
The fact of the matter is that violence was used on both occasions, March and November, by the CPI-M cadres. The violence unleashed by the Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee, the organisation formed by villagers to resist the land takeover by the government, was in self defence. The CPI-M cadres had the backing of the government whereas the villagers associated with BUPC had to fend for themselves.
The police is believed to have looked the other way while the CPI-M cadres accompanied by the hooligans went on the rampage, in a manner reminiscent of Gujarat 2002.
The targeting of women by the CPI-M cadres is simply beyond comprehension. It is not clear what ‘coin was being paid back’ when women, some of them pregnant, were raped. Unofficial figures put the number of rape cases at more than 100. Even after the CRPF has entered the area, news about one or two rapes everyday continues to filter in.
Brinda Karat says that no rape has taken place in Nandigram. Either she is completely unaware of the ground realities or her transformation into an opportunist politician is complete. In a culturally more advanced state like West Bengal the indulgence of the CPI-M cadres, who are supposed to be sensitive, ideologically groomed and prepared to fight all manner of injustice, crimes against women has come as the most shocking aspect of the Nandigram violence. The All India Democratic Women’s Association, the women’s organisation associated with the party, will now fund it difficult to raise its voice against injustice to women.
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee should resign taking moral responsibility for the manner in which women have been made victims by his party cadres. But that is not going to happen. Neither will the UPA government dismiss him.

Unholy alliance

The turn of the events has resulted in a very unholy alliance between the UPA and Left Front. The Congress has decided to ignore the incidents in Nandigram in exchange for the much sought after support of the CPI-M and its allies on the Indo-US Nuclear Deal.
Immediately after the Nandigram recapture the Left Front gave its approval to the UPA government to proceed with its negotiations with the IAEA. Thus the two political groups, for their respective vested interests, are completely jeopardising the people’s interest.
The West Bengal government has given rise to a constitutional crisis by subverting the democratic functioning of the state and virtually handing over of the state to its party cadres. It has also created a political crisis for the people of this country.
Post-Nandigram, the Left parties have been bracketed with parties that rely on criminalisation of politics to win elections and are fascist in their thinking. With the essential character of all parties, from the political spectrum of the Right to the Left, having become anti-people and anti-democratic what choice do the people have in this democracy? Is it the end of democracy as we know it? Or is the civil society’s protest in West Bengal, backed by large number of common people, intellectuals, artists, writers and social activists going to provide a solution?

(Concluded )The dual danger~II

Unfortunately, much blood has flowed in Nandigram this year accompanied by rape and humiliation of many women. Members of families are separated, not knowing whether the separated ones are alive or dead.
At the last count ten to twelve thousand families are scattered, mostly living with their relatives, after the CPI-M activists armed to the teeth stormed Nandigram, accompanied by wanted criminals like Tapan Ghosh, Sukur Ali and Salim Laskar.
This time they did not even feel the need for taking the police along with them. The CPI-M) has regressed into a more fascist force and has displayed political arrogance not seen since the time when Indira Gandhi imposed the emergency. Important party functionaries do not like the interference of the High Court or the Governor in their attempts to terrorise the society into subjugation.

Muscle power

It was expected that after the decision to withdraw the SEZ, the Chief Minister would apologise for the March action. However, as it turns out now, he allowed his cadres to gain muscle power to retaliate with a vengeance. That he had lost both political and administrative control over Nandigram was something which had become a matter of prestige for his government and the party. But we must remember that Midnapore, along with Ballia in UP and Satara in Maharashtra, had responded to the call of ‘Quit India’ given in 1942 by the Congress convention in Mumbai. It had liberated itself from British rule. The British recaptured the three areas later.
As the CPM-led Left Front government had lost its credibility in the area and did not have the face to carry out a negotiated settlement of the dispute, it had to engineer a recapture in much the same way as the British would have done by bringing in an army.
But let us accept the fact that the CPI-M cadres who were forced to leave the area were the ones who had been threatening people to agree to give up their land for the proposed SEZ and were involved in beating, killing and raping the people of Nandigram.
Rather than trying to resolve the dispute by bringing the culprits to book, the Chief Minister supported the policy of paying back the ordinary villagers ‘in the same coin.’ It has been alleged that Maoists had infiltrated the area. And as proof, some arms and Maoist literature published in Telugu was shown to be confiscated.
The common sense question that comes to mind is: What relevance can Telugu literature, believed to have been published 20 years ago, have in West Bengal? There is no other proof of Maoist presence in the area. But the Chief Minister’s statement implies that violence was used in response to violence. Can a democratically-elected CM justify the use of violence by a non-state actor?
The fact of the matter is that violence was used on both occasions, March and November, by the CPI-M cadres. The violence unleashed by the Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee, the organisation formed by villagers to resist the land takeover by the government, was in self defence. The CPI-M cadres had the backing of the government whereas the villagers associated with BUPC had to fend for themselves.
The police is believed to have looked the other way while the CPI-M cadres accompanied by the hooligans went on the rampage, in a manner reminiscent of Gujarat 2002.
The targeting of women by the CPI-M cadres is simply beyond comprehension. It is not clear what ‘coin was being paid back’ when women, some of them pregnant, were raped. Unofficial figures put the number of rape cases at more than 100. Even after the CRPF has entered the area, news about one or two rapes everyday continues to filter in.
Brinda Karat says that no rape has taken place in Nandigram. Either she is completely unaware of the ground realities or her transformation into an opportunist politician is complete. In a culturally more advanced state like West Bengal the indulgence of the CPI-M cadres, who are supposed to be sensitive, ideologically groomed and prepared to fight all manner of injustice, crimes against women has come as the most shocking aspect of the Nandigram violence. The All India Democratic Women’s Association, the women’s organisation associated with the party, will now fund it difficult to raise its voice against injustice to women.
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee should resign taking moral responsibility for the manner in which women have been made victims by his party cadres. But that is not going to happen. Neither will the UPA government dismiss him.

Unholy alliance

The turn of the events has resulted in a very unholy alliance between the UPA and Left Front. The Congress has decided to ignore the incidents in Nandigram in exchange for the much sought after support of the CPI-M and its allies on the Indo-US Nuclear Deal.
Immediately after the Nandigram recapture the Left Front gave its approval to the UPA government to proceed with its negotiations with the IAEA. Thus the two political groups, for their respective vested interests, are completely jeopardising the people’s interest.
The West Bengal government has given rise to a constitutional crisis by subverting the democratic functioning of the state and virtually handing over of the state to its party cadres. It has also created a political crisis for the people of this country.
Post-Nandigram, the Left parties have been bracketed with parties that rely on criminalisation of politics to win elections and are fascist in their thinking. With the essential character of all parties, from the political spectrum of the Right to the Left, having become anti-people and anti-democratic what choice do the people have in this democracy? Is it the end of democracy as we know it? Or is the civil society’s protest in West Bengal, backed by large number of common people, intellectuals, artists, writers and social activists going to provide a solution?

(Concluded )

The strength of Indian Naxalites (Maoists) - PM Manmohan Singh’s massive failure

Balaji Reddy
Dec. 2, 2007



How powerful are those Maoists in India? The banned CPI (Maoists) have called for spreading the people's war to every corner of the country while celebrating the People's Guerrilla Army (PLA) week from Sunday.

The strength of these renegade outfit is spread across the country with special concentration in Chattisgarh, Bihar, West Bengal, MP, UP, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. They have secret pact with international arms smugglers. They control pockets of India where the Indian cops are scared to enter the dens of these Mosist rebels.

Can they ever become as powerful as the Maoists in Nepal? The international think tanks believe they cannot unless something drastic happens in India. But they can be a total nuisance.

The power and strength of the Naxalites (Maoists) in India has quadrupled since PM Manmohan Singh came into power. Maoists Communist Center of India (MCCI) and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) merged to form CPI (Maoists) on September 21, 2004, they converted the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) into People's Guerrilla Army (PLA) and vowed to step up their armed struggle.

It is a total failure of PM Manmohan Singh. He took control over the fight against these brutal Maoists but he failed miserably in containing their power base. The problems lie with DR. Singh’s and his party’s policies. India has neglected its countryside and farmers and opted for easy dollar and euros through Foreign Direct Investments and outsourcing money from abroad. The oligarchs control India. Common people are neglected. The suicide among the farmers has risen exponentially in the last several years. Neither BJP not Congress Party have taken the side of the common people. The mainstream communists and socialists are controlled by corrupt CPI(M) who have caused massacre in West Bengal killing innocent people in Nandigram and other places. The Congress party is in full coalition with the murderous CPI(M) seeking approval for India-US nuke agreement. Lots of money will be exchanged between India and US companies after the deal is signed. It is expected $100 billion will go to Westinghouse and General Electric as India buys nuclear reactors under the agreement. BJP also does not care. It is just waiting from the sideline when it can come to power, service the oligarchs and get their own commission.

This has allowed the ruthless Maoists spread easily across India. They are still powerless in true sense but theirs are doubling every year

Maoists call for spreading people's war across the country

2 Dec 2007, 2135 hrs IST,PTI

RAIPUR: The banned CPI (Maoists) on Sunday called for spreading the people's war to every nook and corner of the country while celebrating the People's Guerrilla Army (PLA) week from Sunday.

The Maoists have pasted posters in the Bastar region, urging activists to take their war to all the corners of the country, a top police officer said here.

On December 2, 2000, the Naxalites formed the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) in the memory of three of their Central Committee Members - Shyam, Mahesh and Murali, who they claimed were killed by Andhra Pradesh Police in fake encounters.

After the Maoists Communist Centre of India (MCCI) and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) merged to form CPI (Maoists) on September 21, 2004, they converted the PLGA into PLA and vowed to step up their armed struggle, police said.

During the PLA week, the Maoists had been specifically targeting security forces, but of late they have started attacking strategic installations like telephone exchanges, railway stations and tracks and electricity towers, they said.

Maoists kill policeman, derail goods train in Chhattisgarh

Raipur (PTI): Naxalites on Sunday killed a policeman and seriously injured an officer in Chhattisgarh where they also caused derailment of an iron ore-laden train in Dantewada district.

The Maoists' attacks came a day when they began celebrating People's Guerrilla Army (PLA) week from today in memory of their comrades.

Armed with sharp weapons, a group of Maoists attacked two policemen in front of a police station in Dantewada district, about 550km from here, and killed a Head Constable and seriously wounded an Assistant Sub-Inspector, Dantewada police sources told PTI by phone.

The extremists also looted an AK-47 and a .303 rifles from the policemen, they said.

In the other incident, a goods train derailed when the Maoists removed a portion of the track near Kamalur in Bailadila iron ore mining area in Dantewada, police said. The derailment badly affected railway traffic.

Meanwhile, about 150 armed extremists stormed the Rokel market of Chhindgarh police station area of Dantewada district but there was no report of any casualty, they said.

As Maoists began celebrating their PLA week, police are expecting more attacks in the coming days.

BSF plan to boost troops

- Gadgets to add teeth
OUR CORRESPONDENT

Silchar, Dec. 2: The BSF has drawn up an elaborate plan of action to prevent infiltration, mainly by Bangladeshis, and curb other crimes like cross-border smuggling.

At the BSF’s headquarters in Masimpur last night, the inspector-general of the BSF’s new frontier force in Mizoram and Cachar district in south Assam, Himmat Singh, said the thrust of the new border plan would be to increase its current strength from 10 battalions to 13 in the area.

Singh added that the gaps between two border outposts of the BSF along the Cachar-Mizoram border with Bangladesh would be reduced from the present distance of 5km to 3.5km to ensure better patrolling and surveillance.

The inspector-general said strengthening of the BSF troops along this frontier and minimising the distance between two border outposts were recommended by a group of ministers at the Centre.

He added that the Union home ministry is taking steps to execute the process.

Singh said the plan includes measures to shift the cattle markets from the border areas to the hinterlands for preventing unhindered cattle smuggling to Bangladesh from Assam and “sterilisation of the 150metre belt along the international border by getting the inhabitants there relocated to the other nearby areas”.

He added that the weaponry now being used by the BSF troops would also be modernised in tune with the requirements of the present times.

The BSF would be provided with state-of-the-art gadgets like hand-held thermal images, night-vision devices, battlefield surveillance radar and intruder alarm systems to prevent infiltrators and insurgents from sneaking across the border.

Other modern systems such as lightweight compass, laser range finder and global positioning system would also be introduced in phases.

Singh added that the BSF would set up a subsidiary training centre near this town soon for imparting in-service training facilities to the BSF on handling weaponry, firing skills, counter-insurgency, anti-Naxalite tactics, commando training and explosive management.

High alert sounded in Malkangiri

Malkangiri (Orissa) (PTI): A high alert was sounded in Orissa's Naxalite-hit Malkangiri district and its border with two states sealed after a Maoist frontal wing began a week-long campaign to mark its anniversary.

"A high alert was sounded throughout the district and police patrolling intensified in vulnerable areas after receiving report of the Maoist body's anniversary this week," Superintendent of Police S K Gajviye said.

As a precautionary measure, the borders with Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were sealed to prevent influx of Naxalite elements from the neighbouring states, while police force was deployed in sensitive points, he said.

As activists of Praja Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), a frontal organisations of Maoists in the district, put up posters and banners in different places including the district headquarter town on the occasion of their eighth anniversary, streets wore a deserted look, police sources said.

Vehicular movement on major roads in Motu, Kalimela, Padia and MV-79 areas virtually came to a grinding halt as people remained at home.

"We are keeping a close vigil all over and the situation is peaceful," Gajviye said.

Rebel armies tap into popular grievances in India

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/02/MN66T9EKQ.DTL

Jason Motlagh, Chronicle Foreign Service

Sunday, December 2, 2007


(12-02) 04:00 PST South Bastar, India -- Two years ago, Comrade Sunil spent his days studying in a school classroom and toiling in corn and rice fields in his ancestral village. But life abruptly changed one night after he returned to find his home torched and his older brother shot dead by a state-sponsored civilian militia on the pretext that he had been a rebel sympathizer.

Now, warming his hands by a campfire deep in the mountain jungles of southern Chhattisgarh state, the 18-year-old member of the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army promised never to give up the homemade rifle lying on his lap.

"The government does not care at all about the people here, and armed revolution is the only way to change this," said Sunil, who refused to give his real name. The movement "is getting stronger because they know we fight for them."

In the shadow of Bollywood and the info-tech boom, a little-known guerrilla war is being waged in at least 16 states across India by insurgents known as Naxalites. Estimated to have 20,000 fighters backed by a network of tens of thousands of villagers, they control about one-fifth of India's forests and are active in 192 of the nation's 604 administrative districts. Currently, 20 of India's 28 states are affected by separatist conflicts, with Naxalites fighting in about 16 states, according to the Institute for Conflict Management, a New Delhi think tank.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called these rebel armies "the single greatest security challenge ever faced by our country."

The word Naxalite comes from the West Bengal village of Naxalbari, where a rebellion against landowners broke out in 1967. After nearly being wiped out in the 1970s by security forces and waning popularity, the movement splintered into armed factions. The two largest groups, the People's War Group and the Maoist Communist Center, merged in 2004 to form a Maoist political organization called the Communist Party of India.

In the beginning, the Naxalites fought on behalf of the rural underclass against feudal landowners, but have since become adept at tapping into other popular grievances, said Srinivas Reddy, an expert on the Naxalite movement based in Hyderabad. One such grievance, Reddy pointed out, is the displacement of thousands of farmers by multinational companies intent on exploiting India's natural resources such as coal, timber and other minerals.

As a result, the guerrillas have opted to disrupt investment in resource-rich areas.

Posco, the South Korean steel company, planned to invest $12 billion in a new plant in Orissa state, potentially the largest foreign direct investment in the manufacturing sector. But Naxalite violence and local protests have kept the project at bay for nearly four years.

In five central states that account for about 85 percent of the nation's coal reserves - India remains highly dependent on coal - rebels have blockaded railroad tracks, causing an energy shortage in those areas. In June, a two-day rebel blockade shut down key rail links, coal and mining operations, leading to losses of about $37.5 million in Jharkhand state, according to state officials.

"Naxalism puts almost half of India's total energy supply at serious political risk," said a recent report by the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security in Washington.

Economic warfare is part of a broader strategy to carve out so-called liberated zones in the next 20 to 30 years that will become staging grounds for attacking major cities, rebel leaders say.

"This revolution will be carried out and completed through armed agrarian revolutionary war, encircling the cities ... and finally capturing them," Ganapathi, the secretary of the CPI, has said.

To be sure, most rebel-related violence occurs in remote areas inside the dense forest belt - sometimes referred to as the red corridor - that runs north from Chhattisgarh state to Nepal, where Naxalite rebels are consolidating their foothold among dirt-poor tribal communities, some analysts say.

"The Maoists have moved to fight in areas where there are almost complete administrative neglect," said Ajai Sahni, director of the Institute for Conflict Management, based in Delhi.

In March, a predawn raid on a police outpost in Rani Bodli in Chhattisgarh state left 55 security officers dead in a hail of gunfire and gas bombs. A new report by the Asian Center for Human Rights, a think tank based in New Delhi that monitors insurgent groups, said violence in Chhattisgarh accounted for 208 of 384 conflict-related deaths - civilians, security forces and insurgents - between January and September.

On Oct. 27, guerrillas shot 19 people at a village cultural event, including the youngest son of the state's former chief minister, the latest in a series of attacks singling out government officials and their relatives.

Analysts say it is no coincidence the guerrilla strength is concentrated in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and other poor Indian states such as Bihar, Orissa, and rural areas of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra - where poverty and high illiteracy rates among tribal and lower-caste groups offer fertile ground for recruitment.

The absence of trained security forces has also emboldened the Naxalites to switch from hit-and-run strikes to "swarming attacks" reminiscent of their Maoist counterparts in Nepal, according to Sahni.

Capt. Rajesh Pawar, a veteran of counterinsurgency operations, underscored the lack of manpower and munitions, saying at least twice as many men are needed than the 10,000 men he has to secure the region.

More important, Pawar says, soldiers must be trained to fight a guerrilla war. "The Indian army is not prepared for this," he said, standing by a roadside depression where a Naxalite land mine killed three of his men earlier this year.

Critics say the Chhattisgarh government's decision in 2005 to turn to civilian militias - often no more than rifle-toting teenagers - has been a huge mistake. A July report by the Asian Indigenous and Tribal People's Network, an alliance of rights organizations in New Delhi, says the so-called Salwa Judum (peace movement) militias are guilty of rape, extrajudicial killings, burning villages to the ground and forcing about 50,000 tribal villagers into nearly two dozen makeshift refugee camps of mud walls and sheet-metal roof barracks.

Dornapal, the largest refugee camp, is home to more than 17,000 tribal villagers who live under the supervision of police and militia members.

"We are scared to go back to our homes," said Kumar, a refugee who refused to give his last name for fear of reprisals. "The Naxalites come at night and the militia come by day. They both threaten us."

Back in the rebel's camp, a group of 30 soldiers belt out the daily war cry: "Long live the Maoist revolution, Long live those who died for the revolution, Down with Salwa Judum." The cadres then split into groups of six to conduct village-to-village patrols. Two hours later, in a quiet hamlet, farmer Gani Ram Baghel poured his guests palm-leaf cups of a milky liquid made from mashed corn and rice.

"We don't want to fight or leave our homes," Baghel said. "We only want to live like we always have, a natural life."

Comrade Sunil, however, does not share that sentiment, saying he won't be returning to his life as a farmer anytime soon.

"I am prepared to stay out here and fight like this for the rest of my life," he said, while a dozen other guerrillas nodded in agreement.

This article appeared on page A - 17 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Naxals blow up mobile tower

3 Dec 2007, 0247 hrs IST,TNN

CHANDRAPUR: In an attack to mark Peoples' Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) Week, naxalites blew up a mobile tower of a private service provider at Girola village here in the wee hours of Sunday.

Sources said around 30 naxalites belonging to the Chatgaon Dalam (group) held guard of the tower at gun point and went on destroying the tower by using detonators. Later they disappeared into the jungle.

It is a major setback to the private service provider considering the fact that they had started their operations only two years back. It is being feared that the attack will give sleepless nights to other service providers, who plan to launch their services soon. Sources in police department revealed that the naxals had targetted the mobile services tower as they felt it would be used by the security agencies to collect information.

"Through the towers the mobile service providers can easily issue alerts and tip-offs and can even tap the mobile communication quickly. So these have become the targets of the naxalites. We apprehend more attacks on such towers," police said.

Sources said that because the police is on high alert and keeps a strict vigil on the public meetings, the naxalites are searching for soft targets like mobile towers. "The naxalites celebrate PLGA Week every year to felicitate their great leaders of yesteryears. During this week they intensify their attack too," police sources said

Naxals blow up railway track in Bihar

Chapra (Bihar) (PTI): CPI(Maoist) rebels blew up a railway track at Rajapatti station in Bihar's Saran district early on Sunday during the shutdown called by them to protest the arrest of one of its leaders.

Armed extremists of the banned outfit descended on the station on Chapra-Gopalganj section of Northwest Railway, planted an explosive devise on the track near the outer signal and detonated it damaging about two metre stretch of the line, Railway Protection Force sources said.

However, there were no casualties in the blast.

Traffic on the metre gauge line, on which no express trains ply, has been suspended and repair work is on, sources said.

The north Bihar west-zone committee of CPI(Maoist) has called a 24-hour shutdown today in the districts of Saran, Tirhut and Champaran to protest the recent arrest of its secretary Lal Babu Sahni alias Bhaskarji and the alleged ill-treatment given to him in high security Beur Central Jail in Patna.

Sahni was arrested along with an associate from their hideout at Nayatola in Kumhrar locality of the state capital on November 22 with hundreds of claymore mines, hand grenades and other explosives.

Naxal PLGA week begins

MALKANGIRI, Dec. 2: Naxal PLGA week (Pupils Liberation of Guerrilla Army) began here at Malkangiri from today amidst posters and bandh. It would go on till 8 December. Police patrolling in and outside the district headquarters and combing operations in various sensitive pockets have been intensified. All vehicles are being checked at all entry points of the town. Besides this, Naxalites had succeeded in sticking posters and banners even inside the town for the first time. The police have recovered posters and banners from the DNK Parade ground which is just a few metres away from the SP office and the police reserve office. Thousands of posters have been been pasted all the way from Malkangiri to Motu. Traffic has been disrupted in this region. The Malkangiri SP, Mr Stish Ku Gajbhiye assured that necessary measures have been taken to resume traffic movement from Malkangiri to Motu and said that the security has been put on an alert.

The Naxalites has called for strengthening of the PLGA unit by joining in large numbers in the posters. After the formation of PLGA in 2000, Naxalites blasted the Potteru police out post and the Dhalis house at Potteru in 2001. A police vehicle was blasted in 2002, rice was looted from various GP godowns at kalimela and MV-79 and MV 88 outpost were blown off in 2003 and 2004 December. In 2005, Dhalis house at MV 55 was blown off and arms looted from the security personnel on duty. Keeping this in view, security has been beefed up at Malkangiri. n sns

States slow to beef up police, give Naxals more play

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/
3 Dec, 2007, 0046 hrs IST,Bharti Jain, TNN



NEW DELHI: The states’ casual attitude towards filling vacancies in police forces is pushing up levels of Naxal activity. This is borne by the fact that the four states worst-hit by Left-wing extremism — Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa — are also the ones with the largest shortfall in police personnel against the sanctioned manpower.

The four states bordering each other are conducting joint intelligence-based counter-operations to bust Naxal hideouts in the contiguous forests, but lag far behind when it comes to policing manpower, both at the officer and non-officer levels. The shortfall of officers/men in these states ranges between 1,452 and 5,185 officers, and 5,892 and 14,439 men.

Bihar, which has the lowest and most disturbing police to population ratio at 0.6 and a whopping 19,624 vacancies, is arguably the worst-performing of all the Naxal-hit states. Unfilled posts in the state police account for over 30% of the total sanctioned strength. Jharkhand comes second, with a 0.9 police-population ratio and a good 24% shortfall in police officers (1,452) and men (11,746).

Chhattisgarh and Orissa fare no better, although the former has of late been making an effort to make up for the shortfall with fresh recruitment. However, it has a shortfall of 1,749 officers and 5,892 men (21.54%). Orissa has vacancies translating into 19.93% of the total sanctioned strength (3,032 officers and 6,662 men).

For the other Naxal-hit states too, the existing police vacancies pose a problem. In Andhra Pradesh, they constitute 7.72% of the total sanctioned strength of 51,355 officers/men; in Madhya Pradesh, 5.99% of the 78,779 sanctioned strength, Maharashtra 7.36% and UP 9.30%. Interestingly, West Bengal is one of the poor performers, with 18.94% posts lying vacant.

As per statistics put out by the MHA in its last status report on Left- wing extremism, incidents during the first half of 2007 went up from 173 to 225 in Jharkhand during the corresponding period in 2006, from 63 to 80 in Bihar and from 24 to 45 in Orissa. In Chhattisgarh, though incidents fell from 374 to 343, police casualties shot up from 53 in the first six months of 2006 to 109 in the corresponding period of this year.

The Centre has reminded the poorly performing states to augment their police strength to the sanctioned levels. But even though Chhattisgarh and Bihar have moved in the right direction by restarting recruitment, Jharkhand lags , being slow to recruitment of officers for the past several years.

The low recruitment has also affected the intelligence operations, with special branches of the police in Naxal-hit states not only understaffed, but also bereft of competent officers and modern surveillance equipment. In May this year, the MHA, on its own, wrote to Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa governments on the need to spruce up their intelligence mechanisms by increasing manpower, inducting competent officers and procuring better surveillance equipment.

The states subsequently submitted plans for modernisation of their police, including a separate plan for strengthening the special branches, for which the Centre sanctioned funds in September. However, the states are yet to utilise the funds. Given that the counter-Naxal operations are not up to the mark due to lack of actionable intelligence, the Centre is keen that at least the intelligence modernisation plans are implemented.

Towards that end, the MHA has convened a meeting with representatives of the Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa government next month.