Saturday, December 15, 2007

West Bengal : IED threat sends cops scurrying to classroom

Statesman News Service

KOLKATA, Dec. 15: Recovery of posters of CPI (Maoist) in three places in the city, including the state's administrative headquarters ~ Writer's Building, seems to have prompted the police authorities to send junior officers to classrooms to learn about the modern use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), which Maoist insurgents often use as part of their war against the state. A day after six posters of CPI (Maoist) were found on a wall of Writers’ Building, the city police authorities have organised a special programme at Lalbazar today to make the cops aware about various uses of IED by Maoists insurgents. The directorate of security and the chief minister’s chief security officer, Mr Arvind Kumar Maliwal, who is considered to be an explosive expert, today delivered a lecture at Lalbazar today. He answered the queries of policemen regarding EID, said Mr Subrata Narayan Sarkar, the additional commissioner (I) of the city police. Officers-in-charge of police stations, assistant commissioners and deputy commissioners attended the programme. Mr Sarkar said that the presence of Maoist activists in the city has prompted the polic to sound a wakeup call to the junior officers. He, however, refused to relate Mr Maliwal's visit to Lalbazar with recent recoveries of posters of CPI (Maoist) from Writers’ Building, Presidency College and Coffee House. “Mr Maliwal's visit to Lalbazar was a scheduled one. He was requested to deliver a lecture on IED to make the city policemen aware of explosives being used by militant organisations,” Mr Sarkar said. When asked whether the police was going to form a new squad to combat the Maoists, Mr Sarkar said that they have already formed a few specialised squads to deal with serious law and order situation in the city. Meanwhile, departmental proceedings against policemen, who were suspended for negligence were initiated today, the police said. The security at the Writers Building and other vital government structures has been heightened. Jawans of the Special Action Force were deployed today at the Writers’ Buildings premises to thwart untoward incidents.

‘Cops pasted Writers’ posters’

Statesman News Service

KOLKATA, Dec. 15- Police were used to paste Maoist posters at the main gate of the Writers’ Buildings, Miss Mamata Banerjee, Trinamul Congress chairperson alleged today.
Her allegation comes at a time when the state administration is pulling up its socks over the security lapse. Four police constables have been suspended. CPI-Maoists comprises CPI-M dissidents, she alleged and stated that the CPI-M should make public its differences with the organisation. If the Maoists are a terrorist outfit, why is the state government not banning them, she asked.

The CPI-M dominated state government is following a hypocritical policy, she believes. Otherwise how can it persecute anybody for being a Maoist after Mr Sitaram Yechury, CPI-M Politburo member holds talks with them in Nepal.

Trinamul Congress activists will move different forums, challenging the state government notification banning the assembly of more than five people in different thoroughfares in the office district of the city, Miss Banerjee said.

The notification is a ploy to throttle Opposition activities by stopping political demonstration on Brabourne Road, Dalhousie Square (East), Old Court House Street, Government Place East, Fairlie Place and Rani Rashmani Road, she claimed.
The actions of the state government indicate that it has lost its self-confidence and is in fear of its own shadow, Miss Banerjee said. This is just another scheme to cover up its failure.

Barring photographers and camera crew of television channels from entering the Assembly building is part of the state government’s move to gag the media, she alleged. Throwing all norms to the winds, the CPI-M is keeping tabs on the Governor, she alleged, stating that otherwise how can senior CPI-M leaders know who is talking to the governor.

The issues would be raised by the Trinamul Congress Legislature Party during the Assembly session on Monday. A party delegation is scheduled to meet Mr Gopal Krishna Gandhi on Tuesday.

WEST BENGAL : Special force to combat Maoists

16 Dec 2007, 0240 hrs IST,TNN


KOLKATA: Kolkata Police is planning to set up a specialised force to combat the increasing influence of Maoists in the city. They are looking for young and energetic officers with a good academic background for the purpose.

The decision to raise the force was taken after analysing the recent incidents involving Maoists. It would be under the supervision of DC (special branch). The first duty of this core group will be to identify the activists who had pasted the posters on Writers’ Buildings walls. But it would be difficult to take legal action against them as pasting posters is not an offence and neither is CPI (Maoist) banned in the state.

Till the new force is in place, the police top brass is trying to bring about an improvement in the existing structure of the force. To begin with, there will be a reshuffle in the special branch (SB). Police are concerned with the Maoist posters on the walls of the state secretariat. While other wings of the city police are blaming SB for failing to provide information on Maoist plans, the latter pointed at the existing set-up for the failure.

SB officers have pointed out several problems as reasons for their failure. All the officers have to perform law and order duties on a regular basis and since they are in uniform, they are easily identifiable.

The officers further stated that the students’ cell at the special branch was inactive now, but an important wing to combat the Maoists is active in student organisations. Earlier, too, due to failure of the students’ wing, police had no information about the activities of ultra-Left students’ organisations before one of them ransacked a Tata Motors’ showroom on AJC Bose Road.

A few senior officers admitted that the SB had failed to inform them about the movement of Maoists in the city. Senior officers on Saturday discussed how to combat increasing Maoist influence in the city.

SB officers reportedly informed their seniors that Maoists have been active behind several frontal organisations at Beliaghata, Narkeldanga, Manicktala and Tollygunge.

A K Maliwal, director of the Special Security Unit, chaired a meeting at Lalbazar on Saturday. Officers from various police stations, special branch and other senior officers were present there.

Notorious criminal ,Maoist, Commits Suicide in Beur Jail




Patna: Dec. 15, 2007

40-year old Nagina Manjhi, a notorious criminal and an active member of the outlawed Maoist outfit in Gaya district, was found dead hanging from an iron gate of the Beur Jail infirmary where he was being treated for some minor ailment, officials in Patna said on Saturday.

According to the report, Manjhi, using his 'lungi' as a rope, made a noose and hung himself from the gate. By the time other inmates noticed him with the noose in his neck, he was already dead.

His body was sent to the Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH) for an autopsy.

The incident caused quite a stir in the jail where other inmates accused the prison officials of failing to provide Manjhi prompt medical help.

Jail Superintendent Dilip Kumar, while denying the allegations, said the prisoner was suffering from a case of depression and had talked about ending his life in the past.

Manjhi was brought to the Beur Jail after his dramatic arrest in Phulwarisharif last June, officials said.

Quality training the by word

Saturday December 15 2007 10:26 IST

ENS


BHUBANESWAR: Acknowledging the sophistication with which the AK-47 toting Maoists have been operating of late, the brainstorming session on the second and last day took note of imparting quality training to security forces engaged against the left wing extremists (LWEs).

The Union Home Ministry’s Task Force took stock of the challenges posed by the Maoists across the country. The meeting comes ahead of the chief ministers’ conference convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on December 20 in New Delhi.

Sources said the State Government has submitted a proposal to the Centre to provide Rs 60 crore for improving the training facilities for the Grey Hounds, a force created to fight the Naxalites.

The Centre is reported to have agreed to the proposal. Most of the States felt better training can substantially bring down the casualty figure of the forces engaged in Maoist-hit districts.

M.L. Kumawat, Special Secretary in the ministry, who chaired the meeting, told media persons that barring Chhattisgarh, Maoist-related violence and casualty rate have come down in all the States.

‘The meeting focused on comprehensive measures like giving equal importance to both the developmental activities and the security aspect,’ he pointed out. Claiming that the menace would come to an end ‘one day,’ Kumawat said more and more Maoist cadres are being arrested and the situation is improving in comparison to the previous years.

The officials, headed by Kumawat, inspected the training centre of the Special Operations Group (SOG) at Chandaka near the capital. DGP Gopal Chandra Nanda and Director (Intelligence) Harmohan Praharaj briefed the delegates about the training infrastructure in the State.

Top intelligence officers from nine Maoist-affected States — Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh — exchanged their views on the present situation and suggested modalities on how to combat the menace, sources said.

Maoist Uprising: A throwback to the sixties in Kolkata

Kumar Sarkar, 14 December 2007, Friday


Maoists posters appearing on the gates of the seat of power in Bengal, the Writers’ Buildings have sent alarm bells ringing and reminded people of the late sixties and early seventies when Naxalites went on the rampage.


THE LATE sixties, when Naxalites overran Kolkata and Bengal, seems to be coming back to haunt the state. In the aftermath of the Nandigram violence, Maoist posters appeared, in all places on the walls of the seat of power in Bengal --- the Writers’ Buildings. A shocked state administration sat up in alarm and pressed the panic button.

The black posters written in startling white in Bengali were first noticed opposite the famous India Coffee House on College Street in central Kolkata, on Friday, opposite the Presidency College, the hotbed of Naxalite activities in the mid-sixties. Later in the day it was noticed on gate number one of the state secretariat.

Outside Writers' Building the poster was discovered by a security personnel on duty. He in turn alerted policemen on duty.

Police personnel tore the poster at Writers’ Buildings. This is the first time that Maoists have pasted a poster bang on the gates of Writers’ Building. The police are puzzled as to how the Naxalites managed to sneak in and paste a poster in such a high-security zone.

The posters near Coffee House were found around 8:30 am, after it opened. A woman who had come out early in the morning told television channels that she had seen a number of youths turn around and walk from where the poster had been put up. She went to the extent of saying that she had seen at least two of them loitering around in Presidency College on several occasions.

The posters lambasted the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders, including Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, CPI (M) State Secretary and Left Front chairman Biman Bose and Politburo member Benoy Konar and blamed them for the violence in Nandigram.

The posters also demanded stern action against Tapan Ghosh and Sukur Ali, the two Marxist leaders who were active in Nandigram and who allegedly masterminded the Chhoto Angaria killings several years ago.

The police have had photocopies of the posters made for investigations.

That the posters, especially at Writers’ Buildings had created a flap was obvious. The State Home Secretary Prasad Ranjan Ray confirmed that the posters had been discovered. He said that the Commissioner of Police, G M Chakravarty was looking into it.

Asked whether there had been a security lapse at Writers Buildings he said, "The Police Commissioner will look into the matter."

Police taking AK 47-armed Maoists 'head-on' with batons

By Sujeet Kumar

Raipur, Dec 15 (IANS): Police in India's worst Maoist-hit state of Chhattisgarh have now been left with only wooden batons to defend themselves from attacks by heavily armed guerrillas.

On Wednesday, when a group of Maoists armed with AK 47s and landmines attacked the Vishrampuri police station in Bastar district, the five policemen there had only their batons as weapons of defence except for an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) who had a service revolver.

The rebels killed three policemen and blew up the police station.

The reason the police station, as most other police stations in Maoist-hit areas, had only batons is because all the weapons have been taken away for security reasons as the rebels are looting arms and ammunition from the police.

Now, it is only batons that the majority of low-ranked police officials and cops deployed in restive southern Bastar region are left with.

No wonder then that they are asking, "Will we have to take the rebels head-on only with batons as was the case in Wednesday's attack?"

This query can only be answered by the state government or by Director General of Police (DGP) Chhattisgarh, Vishwaranjan. The DGP, a former additional director, Intelligence Bureau, had called upon the police Tuesday to "take Maoist militants head-on in their hideouts". The rebels responded the very next day - with landmines, AK-47s and self-loading rifles (SLRs).

"The DGP wants the police to take on insurgents head-on, but only with batons. In dozens of police stations in Maoist strongholds of Bastar, arms and weapons have been taken back from police stations fearing the rebels may loot them. So the constables and head constables literally are left with only batons to counter the militants while the ASIs have their service revolvers," an ASI posted in the rebel-hit Dantewada told IANS by phone.

"Policemen deployed in Maoist-prone areas feel they are sent to Bastar region as a punishment posting and they are not useful and capable. This is really very discouraging and if the government wants to take the rebels head-on, it must take steps to lift the morale of the police and make them feel that a Bastar posting is actually a reward posting," said a Mizo jawan of the India Reserve Battalion, deployed in Konta area in Dantewada district.

He said that the "Chhattisgarh police force lacks commitment, motivation and backing up at the higher level".

Vishwaranjan was not available for his comments when the correspondent telephoned him on the reported taking away of arms and weapons from several police stations.

However, a senior official involved in anti-Maoist operations had this to say: "Human lives are more important than arms. But it's a fact that in certain vulnerable areas we have either not issued arms and ammunition to police stations or taken back ammunition as Maoists have a track record of looting police force weapons and ammunition for killing policemen."

Dantewada and its neighbouring Bijapur districts are the worst insurgency hit districts of India where over 50,000 people have deserted their forest homes and are living in government-run 23 makeshift relief camps ever since the June 2005 civil militia movement, Salwa Judum, was launched to counter the Leftist radicals.

About 900 people have been killed in the state since the government-backed Salwa Judum was launched. The killings included the brutal murder of 55 police in a single attack this year in March in Bijapur district.

Why WB not banning Maoists: Mamata

Published: Saturday, December 15, 2007


Kolkata, Dec 15: Under attack from the CPM which has accused her party of having links with Maoists in Nandigram, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today hit back at the Left Front government asking why it was not banning the Naxals in West Bengal if they were a threat to internal security.

"If the state government has information that Maoists are involved in terrorist activities, then why is it not banning it in West Bengal?" Mamata told a press conference.

She claimed the government was not banning Maoists and instead people were being branded as Maoists and being arrested.

"We will not take it lying down and protest against the indiscriminate arrests invoking the bogey of Maoists and seeking to justify the recapture of Nandigram" by CPM, she said.

"Who are the Maoists? It is an organisation comprising CPM dissidents. The party had good rapport with them once. How have they now become allergic to them?" she said.

Mamata said though Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf had lifted Emergency in his country, "an unofficial Emergency is in force in West Bengal to curb democratic rights."

On a Maoist poster pasted on the Secretariat wall, she alleged it was the work of the police. (Agencies)

Published: Saturday, December 15, 2007

This BAPS cop reformed Naxals



Yashwant Jethwa with Kalam

16 Dec 2007, 0000 hrs IST,Parth Shastri,TNN




AHMEDABAD: He is an IPS officer posted in the Naxal-ridden Sundergarh district of Orissa. Yashwant Jethwa is a rare breed of Gurjaratis who studied in a gurukul, took the UPSC exams and cleared the IPS and joined the Orissa cadre and has reformed Naxals.

Jethwa, 45, was felicitated at the centenary celebrations of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminaryanan (BAPS) by Pramukh Swami Maharaj. He told TOI, "I was baffled when I was initially posted in Sundargarh district of Orissa in the beginning of my career as this western-most district adjoining Madhya Pradesh border was a hotbed for Naxal activities. But now I am happy having converted some hardcore Naxal youths and bringing them into the mainstream."

Jethwa, the son of satsangi parents from a Gujarati family in Mumbai, had done his schooling in a BAPS Gurukul till Class XII. After that, he decided to join the police force and started preparing for the UPSC. He passed the examination with high grades in 1994.

Jethwa attributes a part of his success to his upbringing and environment in childhood. "You need that extra bit in you to clear the examination which I got from the group activities and constant exposure in BAPS functions - be it presentations, elocution, essay competition - it prepared me the future," he says.

The most interesting bit of his experience was as S P of Sundargarh district. "It was a Naxal-infested area when I took charge. There was a fear visible in the villagers. I gradually started involving the youth in group activities. Sundargarh is home of Dilip Tirkey, India's Olympic hockey team captain and Subhadra Pradhan, active women hockey player. I started promoting the game in a big way. I also indulged them in group activities like street plays, various competitions and group singing and dancing activities," he says.

Due to the popularity of such events, some of the Naxal youth also came out of curiosity and joined them. They enjoyed the activities and started relating to societal problems and tried to find the solution. "In such times, I used to approach them and try to understand their psyche". He says, "Of them a 16-year old Naxal girl who later became one of Jethwa's best informers also converted and later married a tribal youth and has left her past behind. There are several such cases in the district and I am happy I worked as a mediator between the youth and the almighty". He claims to have converted over 50 youth from Naxal camps.

Jethwa is currently serving as S P of Balasore district. He came down to Ahmedabad specially to participate in youth day on Thursday

Cut off Naxal supply chain: Centre

Statesman News Service

NEW DELHI, Dec. 15: With the increase in naxal activities and spreading of their network to populated areas, the Centre has asked states to make more concerted efforts and hit at the supply lifeline of naxal groups.

The main emphasis of security forces during anti-naxal operations in the country should be to cut the supply chain of left wing extremists and keep a check on their sympathisers and informers in towns, the Centre has told all naxal affected states.
At present, over 300 police stations are considered naxal-affected. However, the number is growing as the groups are spreading their network from remote towns to more popular and populated ones, intelligence agencies observed.

The analysis of naxal attacks carried out during the past two years suggests that they have built up strong information network in towns and are well versed with the planning of security forces, said an intelligence agency official. “They have also developed a strong supply chain for their logistical support, sometimes what they get in dense forests is not easily available in towns,” he said.

Intelligence inputs have revealed that some of the naxal groups are equipped with self-defence equipment like bullet proof jackets and night vision gadgets, which was unimaginable even in the late nineties, the official pointed out.
It is important to attack naxal groups in two ways: by taking actions against those who are acting as sympathisers and informers and to crack down on those who are supplying arms, ammunition and other logistical support to these groups, the Centre has told states.

It has urged states to adopt a three-pronged strategy:

gain confidence of local people by taking up more welfare related activities;

build up infrastructure in naxal-affected areas and generate employment;

and launch joint security operations with neighbouring states to eliminate left wing extremists

Friday, December 14, 2007

JCB, tractor burnt down by Naxals

Friday December 14 2007 09:50 IST
Express News Service


KHAMMAM: About 15 armed Maoists burnt down a JCB and a tractor at Gouraram village bordering the Chhattisgarh State around midnight on Wednesday.

They also roughed up the driver of the JCB and threatened him with dire consequences if he continued in the road-laying work.

Earlier, they went to Pydigudem sarpanch and CPM leader Midium Balaraju’s house and beat him holding him responsible for the road-laying works.

He escaped under the cover of darkness, when the Naxals were about to shoot him down. Felling of trees in the forest for laying the road sanctioned under the Prime Minister Sadak Yojana at a cost of Rs 1.6 crore has angered the Maoists, it is learnt.
The police intensified combing operations soon after the incident.

Police comb hills for suspected Maoists

Police comb hills for suspected Maoists
Friday December 14 2007 10:07 IST
ENS


MADURAI: Personnel of the Tamil Nadu Special Task Force (STF) have been combing the Megamalai Hills in Theni district for six suspected Maoists, after receiving information about their presence in Arugaveli village, located on the border of the hills.

The newcomers reportedly asked a farmer for directions to the Sundara Magalinga Hills, an important Saivite pilgrimage centre on Tuesday.

Villagers inform that the group also distributed pamphlets encouraging school children to take up arms against capitalists.

On being informed of the events, South Zone IG Sanjeev Kumar and Dindigul Range DIG Krishnamoorthy conducted enquiries at the village.

Subsequently, five STF teams, led by ADSP Tirunavukarusu, launched search operations along five routes, namely from the Pilavakkal dam to Jothi estate, Varusanadu to Pattupootchi and Varusanadu to Upputhurai, while a 30-member police team led by Theni SP R Sudhakar searched the villages in the valley, including Arugaveli and Atthuparai, on Wednesday.

“The combing operation for the suspected Maoists will continue till the area is declared free of extremists,” a highly-placed police officer said

Maoist posters at Bengal secretariat triggers alarm

Posted : Fri, 14 Dec 2007 11:54:05 GMT
Author : IANS


Kolkata, Dec 14 - Kolkata Police went into a tizzy Friday after Maoist posters condemning the violence in Nandigram were found plastered on the gate of Writers' Buildings, the high-security state secretariat.

Security personnel found the posters on gate no.1 and immediately removed them. Police have taken a photocopy of the posters for further investigation.

'Yes, Maoist posters have been found on the gate of the state secretariat as well in other places. The matter is being investigated by the police,' state Home Secretary Prasad Ranjan Roy told reporters.

He admitted the state intelligence department had no prior information about it.

Asked whether any action would be taken against the police for the security lapse, Roy said city Police Commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakraborty would look into it.

'We have already filed a case and the investigation is on,' Kolkata Police Deputy Commissioner (Head Quarters) Vineet Goyel told IANS.

The posters blamed Chief Minster Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, Left Front chairman Biman Bose and Communist Party of India - Marxist politburo member Binoy Konar for the March 14 firing and the spiralling violence in Nandigram.

Maoists posters were also found on the walls of a popular city joint - Coffee House - in central Kolkata.

At least 14 people had died and hundreds were injured in the March 14 police firing in Nandigram.

Nandigram, around 150 km from here in East Midnapore district, flared up over proposed land acquisition for a special economic zone (SEZ), including a chemical hub - a plan that was later scrapped by the state government in face of stiff resistance.


(c) Indo-Asian News Service

Synergy must to tame Naxalism: Task Force

Friday December 14 2007 08:26 IST
ENS


BHUBANESWAR: The Task Force on Naxalites on Thursday underscored the need for more synergy between the affected States and the Centre to effectively deal with left wing extremism which has spread to more areas in the country.

There was, however, no commitment from the Centre to the demands of the states for deployment of more CRPF personnel.

Instead, the States were asked to fill up the vacancies in different ranks of police administration.

The Task Force meeting was presided over by ML Kumawat, special secretary internal security in the Home Ministry.

Talking to mediapersons after the meeting, Kumawat stressed that the synergy required in all fields including development works and security aspects.

The meeting took stock of security preparedness as well as intelligence gathering network in all the affected States.

Nodal officers on Naxalites and intelligence representatives from nine States – Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal – attended the meeting.

Expressing satisfaction over the security preparedness in the states, Kumawat hoped that the problem will be finished one day if development works get a boost in these areas as well.

Naxalite violence, Kumawat said, has considerably gone down in the recent times.

In Orissa also these incidents have come down significantly as is evident from only two deaths of security personnel last year in Naxalite violence, he pointed out.

He refuted claims that in some areas of the States the Naxalites run a parallel administration. “The State is mighty and democratically elected governments can never be wished away like that”, he said.

DGP Gopal Chandra Nanda said the anti-Naxalite operations have been effective in Orissa as more and more ultras are surrendering.

He described the mine blast in Malkangiri district in which five special operations group (SOG) jawans were injured as a minor incident.

Kumawat and senior officials will review the anti-Naxalite training programmes in the nine states on Friday.

However, despite the optimism expressed by Kumawat, the number of deaths in Naxalite violence has increased.

Official sources said that till October 31, in 91 districts of 395 police station limits, there were 1,285 Naxalite related incidents with 571 casualties during last year. The number of casualties this year has gone up to 671.

2 women Naxals surrender

Thursday December 13 2007 09:45 IST
Express News Service


SAMBALPUR: Inducted into Maoist group through false assurances, two women cadres of Deogarh surrendered before Sambalpur police today.

Identified as Scholestica Minz alias Sujata (24) of Mendhiakani village under Deogarh police limits and Rashmita Naik alias Kabita (19) of Jadagola village under Reamal in Deogarh district took the opportunity provided by Sambalpur police to surrender.

The police aim to help the willing cadres return to the mainstream.

Laying down their rifle and five rounds of ball ammunition before IG (NR) Surendra Panwar, District Collector L N Nayak and Sambalpur SP Sanjay Kumar in the presence of mediapersons, the girls said they were lured into the banned ultra outfit.

While Scholestica, who completed her matriculation was promised higher education in Jharkhand, Rashmita, who is a Class IV pass-out was assured a job.

The two girls contacted the Officer-in- Charge of Sadar police station Manas Garnaik and got in touch with Kumar who paved way for their surrender.

Kumar outlined the rehabilitation package.

Centre plans consensus in Naxal-hit states

14 Dec, 2007, 0246 hrs IST,Bharti Jain, TNN


NEW DELHI: The Centre will exhort the four states worst affected by Left-wing extremist violence — Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Orissa — to seriously start implementing the ambitious police modernisation plans, including the separate plan for strengthening of their special branches, that they had submitted earlier this year and for which the Centre has already released funds.

The initiative, first taken by Union home secretary Madhukar Gupta who wrote to the four states in mid-2007 seeking dedicated and detailed plans for modernisation of their intelligence gathering mechanisms, was duly followed up by the states. So much so, the Centre even released the funds by September against the plans submitted by the states.

However, the states have been lax in utilising these funds and are yet to create more posts in the special branches or procure the additional surveillance equipment sanctioned by the Centre.

The strengthening of the special branches is seen as crucial to counter-Naxal operations since timely and actionable intelligence not only helps ward off potential attacks but acts as a force-multiplier in cracking down on the big fish in their jungle hideouts. The Centre has been taking up with the four states the implementation of their intelligence modernisation plans, reminding them that with December already on, there was little time left before the end of the financial year.

At the special taskforce meeting on Naxalism on Thursday and Friday, to be chaired by special secretary in the MHA M L Kumawat, the Centre will also try to evolve a consensus on smooth and barrier-free joint police operations involving contiguous districts of two or more states.

So far, a consensus has eluded the states on command structure for proposed joint, inter-state taskforce. While some of the states have suggested that the senior of the police officers of states involved in the joint operation head the command structure, there are also suggestions for a rotational command as well as for the more practical arrangement where the SPs of contiguous two states would co-ordinate to ensure smooth take-over once the Naxalites have crossed the border while on the run.

Among the other issues likely to be discussed at the special task force meeting is the need for state police to adhere to standard operating procedures while operating in Naxalite-infested areas.

It was only recently that the Centre had identified eight worst-affected districts of four aforesaid states for strong anti-Naxal action in a “holistic” manner. The eight districts — zeroed in after the Naxal situation was reviewed at the highest level at a meeting of the National Security Council Secretariat in August, presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — are Aurangabad and Gaya in Bihar, Bijapur and Dantewada in Chattisgarh, Chatra and Palamau in Jharkhand and Malkangiri and Rayagada in Orissa.

The strong and holistic approach means that not only will joint intelligence-based operations be stepped up in these districts to turn the heat on Naxalites who often cross over to one state to escape action in another, but even development schemes will be undertaken on a war-footing to loosen the Naxalite hold and make way for lawful administration.

The eight districts have been prioritised on the basis of violence levels, contiguity, geographical location, topographical conditions and strategic security considerations. They are among 33 districts identified by the Centre for special attention in the field of development.

While 32 of the 33 districts recorded Naxal violence in over 20% of their total police stations in 2006, extremist incidents were reported from 11-20% of the police stations in Rayagada. The STF meeting on Thursday and Friday comes close on the heels of the meeting of inter-ministerial group on development in Naxal-hit areas held here on Tuesday. The meeting had reviewed status of development schemes in 33 districts.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Maoists stop road projects in rural Bihar

Patna, (Bihar Times): Those who believe in the philosophy of first destruction, then construction once again seem to have the last laugh in rural Bihar.

Maoists have put a stop on road construction works in many parts of Bihar’s interior. Contractors engaged in several projects have abandoned work fearing for their lives. But then this is not a new phenomenon. In the decade of 1980s and 1990s many government works could not be completed because of the Maoist menace. Not only that at places they even blew up roads and bridges as they think that good communication network only facilitate the police to enter their hideouts.

The only difference now is that while in the past their terror was confined to the then central Bihar now it has spread to other parts of the state too.

According to reports no work is going on in over a dozen road construction projects in Gaya district, including those in Imamganj, the constituency of state Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary. Incidentally, Choudhary was earlier himself considered to be close to the Maoists.

It needs to be recalled that some weeks back Maoists demanded Rs 220 million from the Hyderabad-based company Engineering and Construction Inc. (ECI), which is constructing roads in Rohtas district.

But apart from Maoists there are several gangs––a couple of them led by ruling Janata Dal (United) MLAs––who extort money from various engineering firms engaged in the construction work.

Chhattisgarh police on alert following Maoist attack

Indo-Asian News Service
Raipur, December 13, 2007
First Published: 13:38 IST(13/12/2007)
Last Updated: 13:42 IST(13/12/2007)

Hundreds of police stations located in Maoist strongholds in Chhattisgarh have been put on alert on Thursday, a day after guerrillas blew up a police station and killed three policemen in Bastar district, official sources said.

"Police stations and guard posts in sensitive areas have been put on alert in the wake of a surprise attack by guerrillas on Wednesday evening," a home department official told IANS.

About 35 rebels armed with self loading rifles (SLRs) and explosives surrounded the Vishrampuri police station in Bastar district around 8.30 pm on Wednesday and fired over 100 rounds all around after snapping telephone and power lines and blocking all approach roads.

At least three constables were killed in the attack while two other policemen were critically wounded. The rebels, who came in four vehicles, blew up the police station before disappearing into the nearby forest.

The Vishrampuri police station is located some 225 km south of state capital Raipur.

"Thousands of policemen and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers have been asked to be in touch with police stations in Bijapur, Dantewada, Narayanpur, Bastar and Kanker districts for instant reinforcement in case of Maoist attacks," a police officer told IANS.

The attack is being seen as retaliation to Director General of Police (DGP) Vishwaranjan's statement to the media.

The DGP on Tuesday said: "Police will take the rebels head on in their hideouts."

About 900 people killed have been killed in Maosit related violence in Chhattisgarh since 2005.

CRPF jawan commits suicide in Chhattisgarh

13 Dec 2007, 2207 hrs IST,PTI


RAIPUR: A CRPF jawan, deployed for anti-Naxal operation, on Thursday committed suicide in Raipur district of Chhattisgarh, Police said.

The jawan committed suicide by firing himself from his SLR weapon near his neck in their camp near Mandir Hasoud town, about 30 km from the state capital, Raipur police sources said.

The jawan is from Hissar district of Haryana and was deployed along with his battalion for anti-Naxal operation in the state, the sources said.

When contacted, Raipur SP Amit Kumar said "primary investigations revealed family trouble could be the reason of his committing suicide".

Special force to combat Maoists in Jharkhand

Ranchi (PTI): Jharkhand government will raise a special task force to combat the growing threat of Maoists in the state.

The state cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Madhu Koda, has sanctioned Rs 104.89 crore to create the special force.

The force would come up on the lines of a special force in Andhra Pradesh 'Greyhound' which has been successful to a great extent in curbing Naxalism, a senior police officer said.

A police officer in the rank of inspector-general will command the 1,989-personnel strong force. A Deputy Inspector of Police, two Superintendents of Police and 22 Deputy Superintendents of Police will asssist him in the campaign to crush Maoists in Jharkhand.

The force would also comprise 155 Sub-Inspectors, 54 Assistant Sub-Inspectors, 315 Havildars, 1,295 Constables and other staff.

The police personnel in the special task force will be provided with automatic weapons and other gadgets. They will mainly remain engaged in busting Naxal hideouts in the jungles and difficult terrains of the state.

According to senior police officers, "Greyhound" special force successfully contained Naxalism in Andhra Pradesh.

Jharkhand has seen worst Naxal attacks on politicians and civilians in recent times. Eighteen out of 24 districts have been declared Maoist-affected.

The cabinet approval came in the background of the gunning down of sitting Lok Sabha member Sunil Mahato in March, this year and the killing of 20 villagers, including former chief minister Babulal Marandi's son, Anup, in Giridh in October

ORISSA : Naxals to face increase heat: Task Force

Thursday December 13 2007 09:36 IST
Express News Service


BHUBANESWAR: Shortly after the inter-ministerial group (IMG) on Naxalism, the Task Force of the Union Home Ministry will meet on Thursday in Bhubaneswar to firm up measures related to operations against the Maoists.

The meeting assumes significance as the Naxalites have spread their base in as many as 17 districts of the State.

The Task Force, headed by Special Secretary (Internal Security) of Home Ministry, M L Kumawat, is expected to take a closer look at the operations against Maoists.

It will also lay emphasis on better coordination among the affected States and stress the need for better collection of intelligence.

The Task Force, which last met in Ranchi some months back, consists of nodal officers from 14 Naxal-affected States and representatives from intelligence agencies, Central para-military forces and State police.

The meetings of the IMG and the Task Force come ahead of the conference of Chief Ministers on internal security convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on December 20.

The Home Ministry has identified 33 districts in eight States for paying special attention.

The States are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh. Jharkhand alone accounts for 10 districts followed by Chhattisgarh with seven.

Official sources said till October 31, in 91 districts of 395 police station limits, there were 1,285 Naxalite-related incidents with 571 casualties during last year.

However, the number of casualties increased this year to 671 with an equal number of incidents.

Naxals blow up police station in Chhattisgarh, killed policemen

Raipur, December 13, 2007
First Published: 09:15 IST(13/12/2007)
Last Updated: 09:19 IST(13/12/2007)


Three policemen, including an officer, were killed when armed Naxalites attacked the Bishrampur Police station in Bastar district of Chattisgarh.
"Over 50 armed Naxalites came in four vehicles to Bishrampur Police station last night and opened indiscriminate firing and then triggered multiple landmine blasts," Bastar Range Inspector General of Police, Rajinder Kumar Vij, told PTI over phone.

An Assistance Sub-Inspector and two Head Constables were killed on the spot while another constable was seriously injured in the attack, he said.

The extremists later set off three land mines and blew up the police station, the IGP said.

The police station was having 15 security personnel, but no weapons and ammunitions were issued to it fearing that the Maoists could loot that, police sources said.

After the incident, the Naxals went to Dhamtari district from where they could have slipped into Nabrangpur district of neighbouring Orissa, the sources said.

When the attack took place, Chattisgarh Director General of Police, Vishwaranjan, was present in Bastar district which is infested with naxal menace for the last two decades

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

CRPF to stay in Nandigram till Feb. 12, CPI(M) demands CM's intervention

Kolkata (PTI): West Bengal's ruling CPI(M) on wednesday demanded that West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee intervene against alleged atrocities perpetrated on its supporters in Nandigram by the CRPF even as the government said the central forces would remain there till February 12.

Home Secretary P R Roy said "the CRPF will stay in Nandigram till February 12 as scheduled." The CRPF were deployed in Nandigram on November 12 after CPI(M)'s recapture of the area.

Raising the issue in the house, senior CPI(M) MLA Robin Mondal alleged the CRPF during raids in Nandigram yesterday 'inhumanely' harassed women and children and a 90-year-old freedom fighter was also not spared.

"The people also complained that three CRPF personnel are supporters of Trinamool Congress and helping supporters of that party in unleashing atrocities," he charged.

The CRPF should act under strict guidance of the state police. It was a serious matter and the Chief Minister and the state administration should act against CRPF atrocities, Mondal said.

The CPI(M) attack of the central forces came after the Chief Minister had told reporters in New Delhi on December four that the CRPF were doing a good job in unearthing arms and ammunition stockpiled by Maoists in Nandigram.

Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi, who visited Nandigram on December two, had pitched for presence of CRPF for some more time.

Chief Whip of ruling Left Front Syed Md Masih said the Chief Minister would reply tomorrow to a call attention notice by a CPI(M) legislator on the role of the CRPF in Nandigram.

Missing CPM supporters return

12 Dec 2007, 0215 hrs IST,TNN



LALGARH: The 53 CPM supporters, who were suspected to have been kidnapped by Maoists at Lalgarh in West Midnapore on Monday evening, returned on Tuesday. They had fled on seeing the armed Maoists approach their bus.

A 15-member Maoist group, which included one woman, attacked the private bus carrying CPM supporters between Narcha and Sijua villages in Lalgarh on Monday evening. The incident took place barely three hours after chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee referred to the Maoists as ‘cowards’ at an open session of the CPM district conference at Kalaikunda in West Midnapore. According to police and political leaders, the main aim here was to prove the chief minister wrong.

"They (Maoists) are cowards. They live in jungles and flee to the jungles after committing their deeds," he had said. The Maoists chose a spot that is just 4 km from Lalgarh police station and 2 km from Kantapahari jungle to prove their bravery, police said.

The 53 people on the bus panicked at the sight of the Maoists and left the vehicle and ran. All of them returned to Lalgarh and Kantapahari on Tuesday morning. Only one, Murali Pal, was injured as he had tried to jump off the bus hurriedly, seeing the Maoists firing at them. Murali was admitted to Binpur-I block primary health centre, where he was interrogated by police.

Kalipada Murmu, one of the passengers, said: "The villagers did not open the doors though we screamed for help. We could not convince them that we were not Maoists. They had heard more than 20 rounds being fired. They panicked and put out the lamps."

Police recovered four packs of cartridges but no arrests have been made yet. Villagers alleged that the state armed police reached the spot only after an hour.

"It was decided that a force from Lalgarh police station would escort us. I thought I would drive the bus along with three others on the same route and reach Murar safely. But we got delayed as some of the leaders stopped for refreshments. When I saw the Maoists approaching, I stopped and tried to reverse, but a lorry was right behind. The Maoists started shouting "Run, run if you want to live" and fired at the wheels. A bullet hit the oil tank. We jumped out of the bus and ran," said Paltu Paria, the bus driver.

Sadhan Nandy, who was on the bus, felt the attackers had given the passengers the opportunity to escape. "They could have killed or injured several people," he said.

Arjun Mondal, the driver of the lorry that was behind the bus, said: "At first, I did not realize what was happening. But then I heard slogans hailing Maoists. I fled along with the bus passengers."

CPM’s Lalgarh zonal committee secretary Joydev Giri said: "We feared that the Maoists had abducted some partymen as 53 of the 107 went missing. The Maoists just tried to scare us. Earlier, they had threatened us to quit the party and not attend the open session." On Tuesday, the state armed police force brought an anti-land mine vehicle and blocked the road, causing inconvenience to students on their way to school.

Three suspected Maoists arrested in Tamil Nadu

12 Dec 2007, 1412 hrs IST,PTI


THENI: Three suspected armed Maoists, including a woman, were arrested from a remote village in southern Tamil Nadu while they were distributing pamphlets and holding roadside meetings calling for an "armed struggle".

The trio was held on Tuesday after residents of Siraiparai village near Varushanaadu in this district complained that a group of five Maoists were calling upon locals to take up arms, police said.

A police party that rushed to the village arrested three of the extremists, but two others escaped.

The Maoists wore blue uniforms, carried weapons and reportedly moved freely in the district which bordered Kerala.

Police suspect the trio belongs to a banned Maoist outfit, which is trying to revive its activities in the state.

The pamphlets distributed by them advised farm labourers "not to carry spade and crow bar if they really wanted to enjoy the fruits of their hard work".

In view of the increasing activity of Maoists, more than 100 police personnel from the striking force, bomb disposal wing and special police have been deployed in the area.

A top Maoist leader from Andhra Pradesh and his wife were arrested in Chennai a few days ago.

Activities of Maoists had subsided in Tamil Nadu over a decade ago after an intense crackdown.

Maoists invade north Bihar

Maoists invade north Bihar



PATNA, Dec. 11: In what is being considered a move by Maoists to get a foothold in north Bihar after they established their “domain” in large parts of south, central and western Bihar, armed extremists raided the house of a panchayat head at Sukki village in Vaishali last night, killing three villagers. The extremists set ablaze two luxury vehicles of the panchayat head who escaped death. The mukhia, Indra Mohan Singh alias Gugul Singh, who has more than 12 cases of kidnapping, extortion and loot lodged against him with various police stations, is alleged to have established a reign of terror and had been challenging the extremists' might. According to reports, about 80 Maoists, dressed in Army and police fatigues, swooped down on the village. Police said about 150 rounds of ammunition were fired. All the three who died were the mukhiya’s kin. Some others sustained injuries. Reports said the Maoists bade the villagers to stay indoors.

According to reports, many women took part in the operation that lasted for about an hour. Police said the common people were terrorised by the mukhiya. They have, however, launched a combing operation against the Maoists.

On Saturday, the extremists blasted an abandoned three-storeyed police outpost at Mahindbara in Sitamarhi. Maoists have gone on the rampage after a Banka court awarded death sentence to five extremists on 6 December, for killing three policemen two years ago. n SNS

Police start hunt for red killers

OUR CORRESPONDENT

Patna, Dec. 11: Vaishali district police has launched a massive combing operation after Maoists (reportedly ???) killed three persons and injured another in an attack last night.

Police believe that the Naxalites had primarily targeted the panchayat leader of Sukki, under Patepur block some 50 km from here. Adjoining police stations have also joined the search for the rebels in neighbouring villages.

Inspector-general (operation) S.K. Bhardwaj said a special force from Patna has been sent to the spot as there are possibilities of Naxalites targeting Singh’s house again. Mahua sub-divisional police officer Arvind K. Gupta conceded that since the headman was not at home during the attack, he survived, while indiscriminate firing killed three and injured another. The victims are Arun Kumar, Kapildev and Abhay Kant, all between 30 to 40 years.

The Naxalites, who put the headman’s jeep on fire, also asked the villagers to not be afraid, as they had come in “search of Singh”.

The villagers have reportedly said that Singh was targeted because he “dared” to challenge the Maoists and had countered some of their attacks. Police added that the headman had criminal cases pending against him and had engaged into property disputes with many people. Sukki is on the border of Vaishali and Muzaffarpur



Maoists invade north Bihar

http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=2&theme=&usrsess=1&id=180131

PATNA, Dec. 11: In what is being considered a move by Maoists to get a foothold in north Bihar after they established their “domain” in large parts of south, central and western Bihar, armed extremists raided the house of a panchayat head at Sukki village in Vaishali last night, killing three villagers. The extremists set ablaze two luxury vehicles of the panchayat head who escaped death. The mukhia, Indra Mohan Singh alias Gugul Singh, who has more than 12 cases of kidnapping, extortion and loot lodged against him with various police stations, is alleged to have established a reign of terror and had been challenging the extremists' might. According to reports, about 80 Maoists, dressed in Army and police fatigues, swooped down on the village. Police said about 150 rounds of ammunition were fired. All the three who died were the mukhiya’s kin. Some others sustained injuries. Reports said the Maoists bade the villagers to stay indoors.
According to reports, many women took part in the operation that lasted for about an hour. Police said the common people were terrorised by the mukhiya. They have, however, launched a combing operation against the Maoists.
On Saturday, the extremists blasted an abandoned three-storeyed police outpost at Mahindbara in Sitamarhi. Maoists have gone on the rampage after a Banka court awarded death sentence to five extremists on 6 December, for killing three policemen two years ago. n SNS

Maoists blow up railway tracks in Bihar

Patna (PTI): CPI (Maoist) guerrillas went on a rampage by blowing up railway tracks at two places in Bihar' Lakhisarai district in the wee hours to protest the death sentence awarded to five of their comrades for killing three policemen in Banka district last week.

The rebels blew up railway tracks near Bhalui halt station on Jhajha-Kiul section of East Central Railway around 2 am, disrupting train services on Patna-Howrah main line, EC railway Deputy General Manager and Chief Public Relations Officer, A K Chandra, told PTI.

The naxalites blasted the up and down tracks and also fired upon the locals who rushed to the spot on hearing the explosion but no one was injured.

RPF and GRP personnel have reached the spot and the up track has been restored, Chandra said, adding traffic would resume after police clearance. The down track would also be opened for traffic in the next couple of hours, he added.

Nearly 15 trains, including Hatia-Gorakhpur Maurya Express, Howrah-Danapur Express and Amritsar-Howrah Punjab mail were halted at several places under Danapur and Asansol divisions.
The maoists had blown up tracks near Bhalui halt during a bandh last month.

In another incident, the maoist rebels blew up the single line between Kajra and Urain stations on Kiul-Jamalpur section of Eastern Railway at 3.45 am, its Chief Public Relations Officer, Deepak Jha, said.

Track restoration work is on and it would be opened for traffic after police clearrance by 10 am, he said.

The naxalites had attacked Kajra station in January 2005, killing a policeman and injuring two others, besides looting firearms and ammunition.

Additional District and Sessions Judge of Banka fast track court, Gangotri Ram Tripathi, had awarded death sentence to five hardcore Maoists -- Ashok Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Naresh Yadav, Dhaneshwar Yadav and Suresh Yadav -- on December six for killing three policemen and wounding as many at a temple at Gaura village under Chanan police station on November 3, 2005.

The naxalites had circulated pamphlets in Banka and some adjoining districts, threatening to avenge the punishment meted out to their comrades.

Trains to remote areas of Chhattisgarh

Sujay Mehdudia


— Photo: Anu Pushkarna

DEVELOPMENT LINK: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh (seated left), Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers Ram Vilas Paswan and Minister of State for Railways R. Velu the during signing of an MoU in New Delhi on Tuesday.

NEW DELHI: In an attempt to take development to the interior areas, the naxalite infested areas of Chhattisgarh will now have train facilities following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the Railways, the Chhattisgarh government, the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) and the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC).

The move is aimed at connecting the mine-rich areas of the State with other parts of the State and country. The 235-km-long broad gauge line on the Dalli-Rajhara-Rowghat-Jagdalpur route will be constructed with the collaboration of other public partners at a cost of Rs. 968.60 crore in two phases with 10 stations on the entire route.

Earlier, a MoU in this regard was signed in 1998 but due to some technical reasons the project did not take off. The revised MoU will complete the project, Railway Minister, Lalu Prasad, said during the signing of the MoU. In the first phase, a 95-km line between Dalli-Rajhara and Rowghat would be constructed whose entire cost of Rs. 304.30 crore would be borne by the SAIL.

In the second phase, the 140-km-long line between Rowghat and Jagdalpur would be constructed at a cost of Rs. 664.30 crore which would be shared by all the partners. Forty-six road under-bridges, 16 road over-bridges, 42 major bridges, 303 minor bridges and a 460-metre long tunnel would be constructed within the project.

Iron ore, steel transport


Railway Board chairman K.C. Jena said the new railway line would ensure easy transportation of iron ore and steel in the country. Besides furthering the industrial progress in the State, it would also bring about socio-economic development of backward areas such as Bastar, Kanker and Narayanpur.

Others present on the occasion included Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Union Chemicals, Fertilizers and Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, and the Minister of State for Railways R. Velu.

COUNTRY EXPECTS UTMOST INTEGRITY FROM OUR PUBLIC SERVICES:PM

PM ADDRESSES IPS PROBATIONERS

The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh addressed the IPS probationers here today. Following is the text of his remarks on the occasion:

“I am very happy to have this opportunity to meet you. I have still memories of my visit to your academy fresh in my mind and last year when I went to Hyderabad I did get a glimpse of the type of training that you receive, the arduous work that you put in. I am confident that in you we have men and women who can rise to the occasion in the service of our nation in the chosen field that you are now entering.

Ours is a country, which is undergoing rapid transformation. Removal of mass poverty through sustained social and economic growth is the prime concern of our polity so that within a reasonable period of time we can soften the harsh edges of extreme poverty. Development however is never a smooth process. There are some people who gain in the process of development, there are some who loose and the task of heading viable polity is to contain the tensions that arise in processes of social and economic change bring about some disruptive features which are inherent in the processes of modernization and although we all seek rapid economic development, development cannot take place in political and social vacuum.

Law and order is the primary base on which civilized societies can function. If there is no stable law and order enforcement, the elementary functions of any market economy that is enforcement of contracts cannot take place. And therefore, great importance attaches to how our internal security organizations function, the dedication, the commitment, their knowledge with which they tackle the task for law and order enforcement is of the greatest concern to the success of this vast gigantic country moving ahead fast enough on the road to rapid social and economic development. And I am very happy to note that more and more women are now joining the police services. We have to understand the problems of disadvantaged sections of our communities be they dalits, be they scheduled tribes, be they women because we cannot have peace and security if large segments of our population are untouched by processes of change or our law enforcement agencies do not have adequate grip over what troubles these disadvantaged sections of our society and that is where I feel that in particular fields that you are dealing with, it is very important that our intelligence setup must be among the very best.

Information technologies, communication technologies to the extent that they can be used, there must be optimum use. And I would also like to say that we are now in an age where knowledge is advancing at a very rapid pace. So we cannot assume that what you have learnt today will stand you in good strength through out your life. I think in the fast changing world where knowledge is increasing at a phenomenal pace, constant learning and relearning is the road to success. Therefore, I would like you to imbibe in your career that life is one long process of learning and relearning. This is what I would say I have learnt in my life. As I get old I find there are limits to what I can imbibe afresh but at your age when you are beginning your careers I think you must have a zest for knowledge and that should be a strong motivating factor for all our national services and more so the police services. And I was saying that processes of development are never free of tensions. Some segment of society gains and some segments of society loose and there are always tensions. Therefore, I think the sociology of development, the economics of development, the political management and the processes of governance which we must handle with tact and care. These are also areas which you both in your capacity as police officers and also as concerned citizens must pay attention to every day.

We are today passing through difficult times. There are new crimes. The criminals are becoming more sophisticated. Cyber crimes, white-collar crimes and these would probably grow as our economy becomes more urbanized. There are tensions which arise in the processes of urbanization. We must understand that and how can our police forces acquire an image that they are the friend, guide and philosopher for our citizens that honest citizens can look upto any policeman on the beat as their friend. When I was a student some fifty years ago in the United Kingdom, the British policemen I was told had that reputation and I think we cannot be satisfied with anything less than that so our police forces performing their duties with dedication, with commitment without fear without favour at the same time must make every effort to acquire a people friendly image.

Over the years the administration of law and justice has experienced many tensions. There are problems created by terrorist elements, there are problems created by naxalite elements. These are of course tensions which have to be dealt with. Law enforcement, law and order enforcement must never be lost sight of. But there are also social and economic dimensions of the underlying discontent which sometimes drives people to unconstitutional paths and therefore this also must not be lost sight of. And as police officers you have certain advantages in creating a right atmosphere for social change to take place. I recall one of our great Cabinet Secretaries Mr. Shivraman who was once the Chief Secretary of Orissa and he narrated to us an instance where the whole country was trying to introduce the new miracle seeds, the new paddy seeds in the wake of the first flush of the Green Revolution and Mr. Shivraman said some innovative police officers came to him and they said well we should be given the responsibility to take this message that what is involved in these new seeds, what they can do to transform the life of the farmers and he said but you are dealing only with law and order machinery , how will you be able to carry conviction. Isn’t this the work of extension workers and all those associated with agricultural development to which these clever police officers said, we have a day to day contact with the ordinary people which very few other agencies have. Therefore if we enjoy their confidence. First of all if we take the message that police is as much interested in people’s development that will create lot more goodwill and at the same time when we speak to the people, we speak with authority, we speak with respect and the point that I wish to make is that you must look upon public administration as an integrated whole. There are areas of specialization in your own areas you must perform on the frontiers of knowledge but the inter-disciplinary aspect of the lives of our people must not be lost sight of.

It goes without saying that our country expects utmost integrity from our public services. You and I are both privileged that we have this great experience and great opportunity of serving our people. And the service of India means the service of teeming millions who suffer in silence and if each one of us can wipe off some tears from the eyes of this suffering mass of Indian people, I think you would have felt that this is a life well spent. I therefore urge you that in your dealing with the people of India you must deal firmly with criminals, those who are out to disrupt our societies. There can be no compromise with those who want to take the law into their own hand but at the same time for ordinary citizens, the law abiding citizens you must be full of compassion. You must ensure that our citizens are abled and helped through our public administration to lead a life of dignity and self-respect that no honest citizen should ever have any sense of fear from our various organs of public administration and since the police force comes in touch with the people so frequently, so intimately, I think your conduct, your behavior will be a mirror image of what people think of our public administration.

These are some of the things, nothing new, but I thought from my own experience these are the values which I believe our services must imbibe and I congratulate you for the training that you have received. I sincerely hope that this training has equipped you to perform your duties with aplomb. I wish you all success in the service of our people”.

Two Naxals die in ‘encounter’ in Warangal

Wednesday December 12 2007 08:42 IST
Express News Service


WARANGAL/GUNTUR: Two Naxalites of the Praja Pratighatana were killed while four Maoists, including a District Committee Member (DCM), surrendered before the police in Warangal and Guntur districts on Tuesday.

According to Mulugu (Warangal district) Assistant SP Naveen Gulati, the special teams conducted searches in and around Janagala Vancha Vagu hamlet after receiving information that some Naxalites were moving in the nearby Tadwai forests.

The police came across a group of Naxalites who opened fire at them. The police returned the fire, killing two members instantly. The exchange of fire lasted for 15 minutes and the police recovered two country- made revolvers and five bullets from the site.
Two senior leaders Ashok and Suresh along with 11 others managed to escape from the scene. The police suspect that the Naxalites were trying to collect ‘mamools’ from the contractors who were executing works for the ensuing Medaram jatara in February next.

Meanwhile two Naxals - L Raju alias Sampath, a member of Venkatapuram dalam of CPI (Maoist) in Khammam district and G Yakaiah, who was a member of Illendu dalam of Praja Pratighatana – surrendered before Warangal district SP Sowmya Mishra.

While Raju came out of the movement due to ill-health, Yakaiah was fed up as the party failed to solve his family problems.

In Guntur district, a Maoist couple - V Narasimha Rao alias Suryam alias Vamsi and his wife Velaga Lakshmi alias Jaya surrendered before SP Mahesh Chandra Laddha.

Narasimha Rao, a native of Regulagadda village in Machavaram mandal was acting as Krishnapatti area committee DCM while Lakshmi was a member of the Bellamkonda dalam.

They took permission from the CPI (Maoist) leadership to give up arms in 2005 following health problems and were recently permitted to leave the movement after going underground in Krishna and Nalgonda districts.

According to Laddha, the couple was part of the group which triggered a landmine blast killing a circle inspector Brahmaiah and his gunman in October 2002.

They were also involved in famine raids in Morjampadu and Vemavaram villages in Machavaram mandal in 2002.

Laddha said one more couple - M Prabhakar and Nagamani - were still in the party and wanted them to return to the mainstream.

Landmine blast injures three jawans

Statesman News Service
MALKANGIRI, Dec. 11: One Special Operation Group (SOG) constable KC Biswal was severely injured and two others Hrushikesh Patra and PK Sabat received minor injury while defusing a claymore mine near MPV 31 village under Kalimela police limits during the early hours today.

All the three injured jawans were immediately taken to the district head quarter hospital at Malkangiri.

Later they were air-lifted to Vishakapatnam hospital by two navy choppers in the afternoon. The condition of Biswal is stated to be critical.

Earlier on 7 December, Naxals had dug up State Highway-25 about three-feet deep during their continuing PLGA week from 2 to 8 December.

Combing operation by police had been intensified in this region and they had traced a claymore mine during the operation.

Sources said while defusing the claymore mine, another pressure mine, which was kept near it, blasted first and by the sound of the first blast, the clayore mine blasted in the hand of the Jawan KC Biswal.

Naxal Task Force to meet in Bhubaneshwar

New Delhi (PTI): Shortly after the Inter-Ministerial Group on naxalism, the Task Force of the Union Home Ministry will meet on Thursday in Bhubaneshwar to firm up measures related to operations against the Maoists.
The two-day meeting will be chaired by Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Home Ministry, M L Kumawat, an MHA spokesman said on Wednesday.

While the IMG meeting, chaired by Additional Secretary (Naxal Management) in the Home Ministry, focussed on development aspects while taking a holistic view of the problem, the Task Force is expected to take a close look at the operations against the Maoists.

The 19th meeting of he Task orce will also lay emphasis on better coordination among affected states and stress upon the need for better collecion of actionable intelligence.

The Task Force, which last met in Ranchi some months back, consists of representatives from intelligence agencies, central para-military forces and concerned state police.

The meetings of the IMG and the Task Force come ahead of the Conference of Chief Ministers on internal security convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here on December 20.


The Home Ministry has identified 33 districts in eight states for paying special attention. The states are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and Uttar Padesh. Jharkhand alone accounts for ten, followed by Chhattisgarh with seven.

Top Maoists in police net

Wednesday December 12 2007 10:16 IST
ENS


SAMBALPUR: In a major success, Deogarh police on Tuesday arrested top Maoists - Chintamani Patta of Sibapali and Sashi Bhusan Deb of Rangamatia. While Chintamani was arrested from the house of his maternal uncle at village Nagadihi under Deogarh Police limits where he had taken shelter due to his failing health, Sashi Bhusan, a sympathiser (Peoples’ Militia) was arrested from Rangamatia.

With this, all the founder members of the Maoist movement in the district have been nabbed. Top leaders Girish and Damdeo, who had come from Jharkhand to strengthen their base in the district, were earlier nabbed by Ranchi and Rourkela police respectively.

Chintamani, who is an orphan and a sharpshooter, said poverty led to his joining the Naxal ranks. Deogarh SP Shafin Ahmed K said Chintamani was involved in the murder of Harish Nayak, Bhubaneswar Nayak of village Raniguda and Prabhat alias Mahi Pradhan of village Telikusum on June 21.

He was also involved in the attack on OSAP personnel at Bana Durga Mandir at Badrama in October, 2005 in which one personnel was killed and weapons looted, Shafin added.
He further said Chintamani was also involved in the burning of earth-moving machinery at Sindurpank and an active hardcore member of the CPI (Maoists).

Earlier, Sambalpur police had arrested zonal secretary of Sundargarh-Sambalpur-Deogarh CPI (Maoists) Ganesh Mirdha besides seven Naxal cadres. Woman Maoist cadre Deepti Nayak had surrendered before police recently.

Moreover, one James, an explosive expert, has been detained by Sambalpur police. Such is his skill in explosives and IEDs that his services were sought in neighbouring Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

Girish, Damdeo, Goverdhan Budek, James, Chintamani, Dhanu Dehuri and one Robin are believed to be the top-rung leaders of the Left outfit operating in the districts of Sundargarh, Sambalpur and Deogarh.

Confessions by Ganesh led to the arrest of Girish and Damdeo while interrogation of James led to seizure of huge cache of arms, ammunition and explosives.

It is also learnt that two more hardcore Naxal cadres are detained by Deogarh Police and they are being interrogated.

Development projects in naxal-hit areas reviewed

Special Correspondent

It includes education, road construction


NEW DELHI: In a bid to speed up the socio-economic development in naxal affected areas, the Centre has focussed on 33 districts in eight States to swiftly implement schemes relating to universal education, adult literacy, mid-day meals in schools and road construction.

An Inter-Ministerial Group, set up to review and monitor the implementation of the projects, met here on Tuesday and took up a comprehensive review of the ongoing projects in the districts concerned.

The IMG has as its members senior officials of the rank of joint secretary from a number of Central Ministries such as rural development, education, health and family welfare, panchayati raj, environment and forests, agriculture and tribal affairs.

It is headed by Additional Secretary (anti-naxal cell) in the Union Home Ministry. Tuesday’s meeting was the fifth over the past one year.

Special attention


Official sources in the Home Ministry said the effort was directed towards paying special attention to monitoring the implementation of development projects in 33 districts in a time-bound manner.

Since the initiative would need huge resources, it was decided to concentrate on a limited area first and then take it to other districts.

Cops hunt for absconding Naxal

12 Dec 2007, 0335 hrs IST,TNN

NAGPUR: A manhunt has been launched to nab the absconding active Naxalite, Warlu Pansingh Madavi. The Nagpur police too have started searching for Madavi, a source said.

Police sources confirmed that Madavi had accompanied Surekha during her stay in Wardha for tumour treatment. However, a couple of days ago he left Wardha and Surekha was accompanied by Ramdas. Similarly, the Wardha and Gadchiroli police have also launched massive hunt to nab him.

Sources said that Madavi was active for spreading pro-Naxal activities in the region, particularly in Gadchiroli district. On Monday, in a joint operation, the Wardha and Gadchiroli police raided a hotel in Wardha and arrested Karuna alias Surekha Tanu Veladi and Ramdas Hichhami, both active Naxalites from Gadchiroli-based Maoist outfit Platoon dalam and residents of Bhamragadh. Meanwhile, when produced in court, both Karuna alias Surekha Tanu Veladi and Ramdas Hichhami were remanded to police custody till December 16

Centre for development

Statesman News Service

NEW DELHI, Dec. 11: The inter-ministerial group on Naxalism, which met here today to take stock of the implementation of developmental activities in the worst Naxal-hit districts, asked the representatives of such states to focus on their socio-economic development.

The IMG discussed in detail the progress and performance of the eight most Naxal-affected districts on the development front. These districts are envisaged to be developed as “role models” for other Naxal-infested districts across the country.
In September this year, the Centre had announced that two districts each in Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa would be made a “test case for the socio-economic development of naxal affected areas” as it believes that Naxalism, among other factors, is a consequence of lack of socio-economic development in various regions.

The two-hour long IMG meeting, chaired by Mr Vinay Kumar, additional secretary (Naxal management) in the home ministry, assessed the status of implementation of decisions taken for the development of 33 Maoist violence-hit districts of the country.

The meeting was attended by officials of various ministries and departments, besides their state counterparts, associated with developmental schemes. It was formed to take a holistic view of the Maoist violence, which the government considers not a mere law and order problem but one rooted in poor infrastructure and neglect by various government departments in developmental activities in such areas.

India holds meeting on Maoist issue

Add CommentsNEW DELHI, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- The Indian Interior Ministry Tuesday held a high-level meeting of officials to tackle the Maoist insurgency.
A ministry spokesman said the meeting was chaired by Vinay Kumar, additional secretary (Naxal Management Division) in the ministry, and focused on development issues and its relation to the insurgency.

"This is the fifth meeting of the group that the Interior Minister Shivraj Patil had constituted to formulate policies and action plan to check growing Maoist problem," the spokesman said. "The previous meeting was held in New Delhi in July this year where various development schemes were identified for Maoist-hit districts to wean away misguided youth."

Joint secretary-level officers from the ministries of Panchayati Raj, Rural Development, Tribal Affairs, Elementary Education, Health, Forest, Information and Broadcasting, Environment and Forest, Women and Child Development, and Agriculture attended the meeting.

According to the Interior Ministry, participants discussed various development schemes to be implemented in the poverty-hit districts of the 12 states that are affected by Maoist violence.

© 2007 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be reproduced, redistributed, or manipulated in any form.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Maoists terror in India :Killing of Innocent people



As per information available, in 2007, till 31-10-2007, there have been 1285 incidents and 571 casualties, as against 1285 incidents and 610 casualties in the corresponding period of 2006. In 2006, naxalite violence was reported in areas falling in 395 police stations in 91 districts in 11 States, out of a total number of 8488 police stations in those States. Government’s approach is to combat naxalite activities in a holistic manner, in the arenas of security, development, administration and public perception management. State Governments undertake necessary action to combat naxalite activities, with the Central Government supplementing their efforts and resources through a range of measures that include deployment of Central paramilitary forces, strengthening of the State police and intelligence agencies, reimbursement of security-related expenditure, providing training to State police forces, sharing of intelligence, bringing about inter-State coordination and assistance in development works. Close watch on the situation is maintained. Taking steps as appropriate and necessary, having regard to the situation obtaining, is a continuous process

Available inputs indicate that there are ideological and fraternal links between the Maoists of Nepal and Naxalite groups in India, but there is no specific evidence available of an operational or material relationship between them, including training

Maoists to remain on US list of terrorist organisations

Posted : Tue, 11 Dec 2007 04:56:00 GMT
Author : DPA



Kathmandu - The United States said the Maoists will continue to remain on its list of organisations supporting terrorist activities and blamed the former rebels for the postponement of the key elections. US Ambassador to Nepal Nancy Powell said there was very little that would inspire the US to change its policy towards the Maoists, according to the Himalayan Times on Tuesday.

"It means the US will continue with the policy of not carrying out any official communication with the Maoists," she said.

Powell said until there was substantial improvement on the part of the Maoists, the Communist party would continue to remain on the US government's terrorist watch-list.

"The newspapers carry listing of the various atrocities that have been committed by the Maoist group in one form or another," Powell said.

The "happenings in the past four months" do not indicate to Powell a continuing direction of improvement.
She also blamed the Maoists for the indefinite postponement of the elections that was scheduled for November to choose an assembly.

The election of the constituent assembly is a key component of the peace deal and the elected body was to draft the country's new constitution and vote on the future of monarchy.

"The Maoists got to admit the majority of the blame for the cancellation of the election with their demands and they are consistent that they could not go forward with the election," Powell said.

Powell called for the elections to be held as soon as possible and said the political parties must reach an agreement on the issue.

Powell's interview came amid Maoist claims that they are holding secret meetings with the US government and are hopeful of being removed from its list of terrorist organisations.

The Maoists, who were involved in a decade long insurgency to establish a communist republic in the Himalayan nation, have been vehemently critical of the US government and its support to Nepal in the past.

Powell also ruled out granting a visa to the Maoist leader Prachanda who has publicly said he wishes to visit the US.

"As long as he is part of a terrorist organisation, individual decisions are made on visas, but it would require us to issue a waiver and I don't think that would be forthcoming,"
Powell said.

The Maoist formally gave up fighting after signing a peace deal with the government in November 2006.

However, they have been accused of continued abductions, extortion and murder even after joining mainstream politics.

Maoists set ablaze school building in Chhattisgarh

Posted : Tue, 11 Dec 2007 09:10:02 GMT
Author : IANS

Raipur, Dec 11 -//IANS // Guerrillas of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) have set ablaze a high school in Chhattisgarh, police said Tuesday.

They first ransacked the building Monday night in village Sangam in Kanker district and then set the school on fire, reducing a major part of it to ashes, police sources told IANS.

The sources said the rebels had stepped up attacks on government buildings and health and education infrastructure in the interiors of Kanker, a part of the sprawling Bastar region.

The Monday incident is the third attack on a school building in a week, the sources said.

Chhattisgarh is one of the worst hit by Maoist violence. The guerrillas killed at least 55 policemen in a single attack in March in Bijapur district.

Maoists attack CPI-M bus, two injured in West Midnapore district

Posted : Tue, 11 Dec 2007 08:53:05 GMT
Source: IANS


Kolkata, Dec 11//IANS // - Maoist guerrillas have attacked a bus packed with around 150 supporters of West Bengal's ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in West Midnapore district.

Of the 155 passengers, two were injured while 60 have returned home, police said. The police were clueless about the other missing passengers. The bus was returning from a rally of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya late Monday.

The incident occurred between Ramgarh and Kantapahari area in West Midnapore, an insurgency hit district of West Bengal, the police said.

One CPI-M worker received bullet injuries in his head while another sustained a leg injury, police said. Both were admitted to hospital.

The attackers shouted slogans and fired at the bus and hurled crude bombs, police said, adding most passengers fled. Maoist posters were recovered from the spot.


(c) Indo-Asian News Service

Sagar leads cops to 'old' dump

User Rating: / 0 Tuesday, 11 December 2007



Ongole, December 11: Police on Sunday seized 9.475 kg of gold, Rs 7.41 lakh and ammunition cached by Sagar, the CPI (Maoist) special divisional committee secretary, at Chinthala Chenchududem village in Dornala mandal, Prakasam district.
Sagar, who was arrested and produced in the Markapuram court recently, coughed up details of the dump during interrogation.

Speaking to newsmen, Superintendent of Police V Navinchand said the Yerragondapalem circle inspector interrogated Sagar at the Kadapa central prison with the permission of additional judicial first class magistrate, Markapuram.

Sagar had earlier confessed to have dumped an AK 47 rifle, two magazines and 60 live AK 47 ammunition at Pamulapadu village in Podili mandal.

The SP said that during interrogation, Sagar also confessed that CPI (Maoist) State secretary Sambasivudu gave him the cash and jewels robbed during Vemavaram and Morjampadu famine raids under the Machavaram police station limits in Guntur district, property looted from the Chaitanya Grameena bank, Pedakodamagundla branch under the Karempudi police station limits in Guntur district in 2003 and the State Bank of Hyderabad, Dondapadu branch under the Mellacheruvu police station limits in Nalgonda district.

The superintendent of Police said Madhavi, a native of Nellore district and wife of Sagar, was arrested by Chennai Police. A production warrant was obtained form the judicial first class magistrate, Giddaluru to produce her in the court in the cases registered against her in Giddalur circle. She is being brought to Giddalur, he added.

--Agencies

Role of Rayagada police appreciated

Statesman News Service

RAYAGADA, Dec. 10: Deputy Inspector General (DIG), South-Western range, Mr Susanta Nath has appreciated the role played by the Rayagada district police in maintaining the law and order situation properly. They certainly deserve credit for arresting 21 Naxalites this year, he said. In a press meet organised in the Rayagada SP's Office, Mr Nath reiterated the success story of the Rayagada police.

Apart from Naxalite arrest, they also seized tusks amounting to Rs 50 lakh.
This is the first incident in Orissa where tusks were seized. Regarding the law and order situation in Rayagada, Mr Nath said 1,097 cases have been lodged and the police have arrested 1,337 accused.They have also seized 47 guns, 2 hand grenades, 10 clamour mines, 230 detonators, 3 kg of gunpowder. Seven cases of explosion have been registered and 27 gelatins and 5,250 detonators were seized. Besides these, 208 persons were arrested in connection with 187 liquor cases.


Seven sixty kg of cannabis have also been seized, Mr Nath seized. Two forty-four persons have been arrested on charges of gambling and Rs 2,86,066 has been seized. A total of 1,332 warrants have been executed. The Rayagada superintendent of police, Mr Asish Kumar Singh was also present during the press meet.

Modi hits out at Sonia again




Posted at Tuesday, 11 December 2007 10:12 IST

Ahmedabad, Dec 11: Hitting back at Congress President Sonia Gandhi for her "maut ke saudagar" remark, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today said it was the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre which was the protector of "merchant of death".

Modi said it has been one year since the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence on Afzal Guru, for his involvement in the attack on Parliament, but the Congress has been protecting him.

The Chief Minister was speaking at a well-attended election rally at Sola Road in Ahmedabad as part of his campaigning for the second phase of polling on December 16.

Modi said he had started his campaign by talking about the development in Gujarat, but after several pre-poll surveys revealed that the BJP would retain power, Congress felt that it won't be able to take on the saffron outfit.

"The Congress does not have the ability to fight the BJP on the issues of development," the CM said, adding this was the reason for Gandhi to call him "merchant of death".

He asked the people to vote for the BJP if they wanted to keep out Naxals, mafia and terrorists from the state.

Two Naxals killed in Andhra Pradesh

11 Dec 2007, 1417 hrs IST,PTI

WARANGAL: Two Naxals were killed in an exchange of fire with police in Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday.

A police team on routine patrolling came across the ultras belonging to Pratighatana group at Pasara village in the district and asked them to surrender.

However, they hurled a bomb on the police team following which the policemen retaliated.

Two Naxals were killed in the firing, police said, adding the bodies were yet to be identified.

Two ‘Tamanchas' (country-made revolver) were recovered from the slain ultras.

Naxals Kill 3 in Vaishali District

Hajipur: Dec. 10, 2007

More than 50 armed Naxalites in Vaishali district on Monday night, opened indiscriminate fire on a house they thought belonged to the Mukhia of Patepur Indramohan Singh killing three villagers in the process while injuring at least four others, officials in Muzaffarpur said.

As reported, the house was actually owned by a Singh's leaseholder Bachcha Singh where gun-toting ultras opened dozens of rounds. Some men who were sitting around a bon fire outside the house were hit and were rushed to nearby hospitals where three died of the injuries while four others remain in serious conditions.

The extremists also torched a Bolero and a Scorpio vehicle and dropped Maoist literature before leaving the crime scene.

Unconfirmed sources said that Bachcha Singh also opened fire at the Maoists in retaliation but the assailants managed to slip away by taking advantage of the night.

Senior police officers have rushed to Patepur to monitor the situation. Red alerts have been issued in many districts including on the Bihar-Nepal border where most Naxals make their hiding, IG (Operations) S. K. Bharadwaj said.

Mafia spells doom

Statesman News Service
KEONJHAR, Dec. 10: Rebena Reserve Forest has turned out to be a den for the timber mafia, who are taking advantage of the increased Naxalite activity which has affected the morale of the forest staff.

On 8 October, the Naxalites burnt a jeep, a drilling machine and a pressure pump of the Geological Survey of India at Mashinajodi village under the Bareigada panchayat. Since then, the staff staying in the beat houses are a frightened lot.
The timber mafia is undoubtedly taking advantage of this situation and are cutting down trees at the Rebena reserved forest.
The area stretches from Rebenapalaspal to Daitari, according to the information of the local people.
The locals that soon their source of income would come to stop. Sources said that in order to check the illegal activities of the timber mafia, the government has opened a new range office at Brahmanipal and a new forest office at Rebenapalaspal.
As the Rebenapalaspal forester's post has been lying vacant since the past one year, the timber mafia has become active. Speaking on conditions of anonymity, a forest department staff said that in the forests, both Naxals and the timber mafia are working in tandem.
Fearing counter attack, the forest department staff, who are posted at beat houses or other offices are silent.
The department has registered 127 cases during this year.
Moreover, because the Rebenapalaspal forester's post is lying vacant and the Anandapur wildlife DFO post is also lying vacant, no proper direction is being given to the subordinate officers.

MOU SIGNED FOR NEW RAILWAY LINE IN THE BASTAR REGION OF CHHATTISGARH

15:52 IST

In a significant move which will bring about socio-economic development of the backward areas of Bastar region predominantly inhabited by tribal population in Chhattisgarh state and further the industrial progress and mining activities in the region, Indian Railways have taken a momentous step to expand the reach of its network in this backward area meeting the long pending demand of the local populace. In a shining example of Public-Public Partnership, Ministry of Railways, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), National Minerals Development Corporation (NMDC) and State Government of Chhattisgarh have come together to construct a 235 kilometer new broad gauge railway line from DalliRajhara to Jagdalpur via Rowghat in Chhattisgarh.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in this regard was signed today among these four agencies in the presence of the Union Minister of Railways Shri Lalu Prasad, Union Minister of Chemical & Fertilizers and Steel Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Dr. Raman Singh and Minister of State for Railways Shri R.Velu. The signatories to the agreement included Shri K.C. Jena, Chairman Railway Board; Shri Shivraj Singh, Chief Secretary, Government of Chhattisgarh; Shri S.K. Roongta, Chairman, SAIL; and Shri Rana Som, Chairman and MD, NMDC. Senior officials of Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Chemical & Fertilizers, SAIL and NMDC were among those present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, the Union Railway Minister Shri Lalu Prasad said that this new railway line is an important project which will help to accelerate economic development in the country. Shri Lalu Prasad said that the railway line will pass through iron ore rich regions of Beladila and Rowghat, which will lead to the increase in the steel production in the country. The Minister pointed out that the new line will also facilitate the bulk transportation of forest products, in addition to transportation of ores and minerals. The new line will provide lot of employment opportunities to tribal and backward classes people and will lead to development of backward areas of Bastar, Narayanpur in Chhattisgarh, the Railway Minister added. Referring to the earlier MOU signed in 1998, Shri Lalu Prasad said that the project could not take off during the last decade due to some reasons. The Minister informed that the issue was resolved in a special meeting convened by his Ministry last month involving all the concerned agencies which paved the way for today’s revised Memorandum of Understanding.

In his address, Dr. Raman Singh, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh said that the new railway connectivity could be termed as the life line of the backward Bastar region. He said that it will also work as a bridge between North and South. Referring to the beautiful, highly dense and unique forests of the region, Dr. Raman Singh said that the new railway line will also be important from the tourism point of view. Dr. Singh said that the new line will substantially add to the earnings of the Railways also.

In his address, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister for Chemical & Fertilizers said that this new railway line will meet the long pending demand of the local people. He also pointed out that today’s MOU symbolizes best example of Public-Public partnership. He said that it is appreciating that Railway Ministry is continuing the concept of developing backward areas in the country. He said that the Public sector in the country is performing with efficiency and called upon them to spend a certain percentage of their profit to meet what is known as Corporate Social Responsibility.

In his welcome address, Shri K.C. Jena, Chairman, Railway Board said that there has been a huge turnaround of Indian Railways due to special initiatives taken by the Railway Minister. He said that the present MOU is a part of this initiative. He said that with the signing of this MOU, a new era will be heralded in the easy transportation of iron ore and steel in the country and bring about much desired socio-economic development of the tribal Bastar region.

The project will be constructed in two phases. The Phase-I is 95 kilometer from DalliRajhara to Rowghat whereas Phase-II is 140 Kilometers from Rowghat to Jagdalpur. The cost of this Project is Rs.968.60 crore at 2004-05 price level. The Phase-I will be completed in five years and the SAIL will bear the entire cost of Rs. 304 crore. The Phase-II will cost Rs. 640 crore which will be shared by Indian Railways (Rs. 376 crore – 57%) SAIL (Rs. 141 crore – 21%), State Government of Chhattisgarh (Rs. 76 crore – 12%) and NMDC (Rs. 70 crore – 10%). The process of land acquisition for the Phase-I has already begun.

The new railway line will include one tunnel of 460 meter length, 46 Road Under-Bridges, 16 Road Over-Bridges, 42 Major Bridges and 303 minor bridges. Railway has planned to construct 10 nos. of station initially. Nos. of Passenger Halt will be considered as per the needs of the local people and subsequent developments.

In addition to transportation of ores and minerals, which will form the core activity, forest produces, food grains, etc. of the local region is also proposed to be transported through this railway line. Adequate loading and unloading facilities will be provided to handle these commodities. For transportation of mineral ores like iron, dolomite, bauxite, etc., Railway has planned to run goods trains having 58 nos. of wagon with diesel traction. Provision of additional Private sidings can be considered on specific demands from the Industry.