Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pilot project to contain Naxal militancy soon

Saturday April 12 2008 05:54 IST

BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has decided to launch a pilot project in Malkangiri and Rayagada districts to contain Naxal militancy in an effective manner by a strong doze of security and development measures.

Official sources said that the scheme will be implemented in other Naxalite-affected districts in phases. As a beginning civic action programme has been taken up in the Naxalite-affected areas by organising public relations and health camps, sports tournaments and participation in tribal festivals.

There is a proposal to bring out publicity materials highlighting the futility of militancy and its negative impact on the development of the region to be distributed in the interior tribal dominated areas.

The modalities and framework of inter- State joint task force for Orissa-Andhra Pradesh has been worked out and a number of joint anti-Naxalite operations have been conducted. Besides, the modalities for inter- State anti-Naxalite operations in Orissa-Jharkhand border have been worked out.

The State Government has declared CPI (Maoist) and seven of its frontal organisations as ‘unlawful’ under Section 16 of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 1908, to crackdown on the ultras. Officials claimed that the activities of the over ground front organisations of the CPI (Maoist) and other allied groups have gone down significantly after the ban.

In view of the increased attack of the Naxalites on the trains and sabotaging of railway tracks, a State-level coordination committee for railway security has been set up under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary.

Official sources claimed that senior officials of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the Government Railway Police (GRP) are regularly meeting to chalk out strategies to deal with the threat from the Naxalites. The Intelligence Department has organised training for RPF personnel.

Four battalions of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been deployed in the Naxalite-affected areas of the State to counter the Left wing extremists (LWEs).

Out of the three, India Reserve battalion sanctioned by the Centre, one battalion has been raised and made fully functional. The recruitment for the second and third IR battalions has been completed and the personnel are undergoing training.

Oslo meet favours spreading awareness on Naxal threat

Oslo, April 12: Bringing together top leaders and experts from diverse backgrounds, a conference on peace and reconciliation in South Asia here has favoured efforts to spread awareness in Europe on the problem of Naxalism faced by India and ways to resolve it.

The conference, which focused on the internal armed conflicts in India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Nepal, concluded yesterday calling upon all the stakeholders to opt for peaceful means and restraint while dealing with their respective situations.

"The problem of Naxalism has grown exponentially in the past few years. It is being identified by the Indian government as the single most dangerous internal security threat and affects nearly one-third of the total districts," Spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, whose `The Art of Living Foundation` organised the meet, said.

"It is very important that it comes to the notice of international community, especially European nations, who can further help us in dealing with it," he said.

"Also, through this conference, we appeal to Sri Lankan government, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Buddhist monks in China, Chinese government, Myanmar regime...Everyone for peace and restraint, and to have a preference for coming to the table for resolution of issues," the Indian spiritual guru said in his concluding remarks yesterday.

He insisted that in present circumstances, "spirituality" was the only option left for a credible, long-term solution to the problems.

Bureau Report

Friday, April 11, 2008

BHOPAL :City becomes den of illegal business

By Our Staff Reporter

Bhopal, Apr 10: The capital city now a days has become a den for drug smugglers, illegal arms sellers, notorious criminals, prostitution related pimps.
The situation is that the women are being brought in this business through innocent children in illegal business.

The criminals taking advantage of negligence of police easily committing illegal work. This is the reason that the graph of criminal activities is increasing day by day.

Shelter to notorious criminals- There is no rule about giving information about the tenants the anti social elements from out side easily take shelter in the city.

House owners in greed of earning more money give their houses on rent without taking any information about the tenants.

Its recent examples are notorious criminal of LTTE, Chillakelli, Jatin Sirohi and his companions, the mastermind of gang who committed criminal activities and naxalites were caught running illegal arms factory.

These criminals were living in rented houses in the city.

Along with this three separate gangs were revealed last month in Ashoka Garden, Jehangirabad and Mangalwara police station areas. Police had recovered pistols, revolvers, cartridges and sharp weapons. Most of the members of these gangs belonged to out side of the district and state.

Drug smugglers increased- Business of drug supply is flourishing rapidly in the city. The police have arrested more than half a dozen drug smugglers with brown sugar, ganja etc.

Talaiya police recovered brown sugar worth Rs 20 lakh from Unus Lala, Nishatpura police recovered brown sugar from a woman Sunita worth Rs 5 lakh.

Along with this Bajaria police recovered 2kg ganja from Karan and Vijay.

Shahjehanabad police had recovered 6kg ganja from drug smugglers, Brijendra and Dilip and Gautam Nagar police had recovered 1kg Charas from Sayeed alias Tukmi.

Fake currency business on rise-
Criminals are using fake currencies at banks, petrol pumps, shopping complexes and at retail shops. These fake currencies are prepared cleverly that the businessmen and employees are cheated easily.

Last days fake currency worth Rs 3.5 lakh reached through different banks to Reserve Bank of India.

Manager of RBI, EM Kohilo had registered a case in MP Nagar police station in this connection.

Kotwali police on March 4,2008 had recovered fake currency worth Rs 7 thousand from Dharmendra Singh.

Ashoka Garden police on March 21 had recovered fake currency worth Rs 45 thousand from a woman, Shanno alias Shahnaz and her companions and Parvalia police had recovered fake notes and equipment from 4 accused on April 6.

Arms available easily- Notorious gundas to common people can easily take pistols, revolvers and cartridges like arms. But police intelligence remains unable to trace this illegal business. As a result criminal graph in the city increasing continuously.

Illegal arms are being brought by the smugglers from out side of the district and state.

Jail inmate 'keeps' cellphone

User Rating: / 0 Friday, 11 April 2008


Hyderabad, April 11: A cellphone recovered from a prisoner on Thursday has again put a question mark on security in Chanchalguda jail.
While prisoner Mohammed Nayeem was caught with the phone, he claimed that he was merely keeping it for his mate in the barracks, Vinod Singh, who had handed it over before going out for a hearing in Nampally court on Thursday.

"The phone was recovered from his pant pocket when we frisked him (Nayeem) around 11.30 am," Jail Superintendent M Chandra Sekhar said.

Singh is in jail for the May 2006 burglary at Alukkas Jewellery and Nayeem also faces 3 burglary cases.

Another notorious history-sheeter from Humayun Nagar, Kaiser, is also lodged in the same barracks.

Though all prisoners are frisked before entering the jail, officials still believe that Singh might have been able to smuggle it in on Wednesday after his return from a case hearing in Mumbai. He is wanted in burglaries in Mumbai too. Singh, however, flatly denied owning the phone and passed the blame on to another prisoner Mahmood.

Additional Inspector General (Prisons) M R Ahmed conceded that even in the past there have been instances of prisoners being found in possession of mobile phones. "Sometimes prisoners have been caught trying to smuggle ganja into the jail," Ahmed said.

Analysts said that the case raises security concerns as the jail lodges a motley crowd of ISI operatives and Naxalites. "Obviously some jail staffers are conniving and this is the worrisome part," a retired officer said.

"There will be an inquiry into the incident and if any jail official is found responsible, necessary action will be taken," DG (prisons) P Gowtham Kumar said.

--Agencies

Maoists unleash boycott campaign

Thursday April 10 2008 00:00 IST
Express News Service


BHUBANESWAR: Unnoticed, Laxmipur is witnessing a parallel campaign by the Maoists to boycott the poll. As the electioneering reached a feverish pitch, gun-toting left wing extremists (LWEs) have launched a strong parallel campaign in the interior villages where hardly any politician travels for canvassing.

And in the absence of any such political activity, reports say, Maoists are having a field day persuading the tribals against voting. Campaigning by the mainstream parties has picked up in the villages. But in the remote areas, workers or leaders of the political parties are yet to reach for campaigning though polling is scheduled on April 12.

DGP Gopal Chandra Nanda, however, denied reports of Maoists' propaganda. The State Government does not have any information in this regard, he said, adding Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's election meetings in the constituency passed off peacefully on Wednesday.

The DGP, however, maintained that elaborate security arrangements have been made as part of the constituency borders Andhra Pradesh from where the ultras generally sneak in.

As reports filter out, with familiar slogans like `take guns and skip democracy', the Maoists are trying to influence the voters in the remote corners of the consituency. About 50 percent voters of Laxmipur belong to Naxal-infested Narayanpatna, Bandhugam and Laxmipur blocks and most of the tribal voters of these inaccessible pockets are not yet aware of the election agenda of different parties.

Campaign by the Naxalites focuses on exploitation of tribals in the remote villages by the landowners and the administration's failure on the development front. Observers believe that the Naxalite campaign may result in low turnout on the polling day.

Meanwhile, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has alleged that the Congress has violated the model code of conduct by utilising over 120 vehicles for election campaign. In a complaint filed with the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) here, party general secretary Debasis Samantray has alleged that several Congress leaders are distributing liquor in pouches to influence the tribal voters.

Maoists gun down 6 Dalits in Rohtas

11 Apr 2008, 0331 hrs IST,TNN


SASARAM: In a bid to teach a lesson to deserters and also to convey a message, Maoists shot dead six Dalits in dense forests of Rohtas district late on Wednesday night.

Shahabad Range DIG AK Ambedkar confirmed the killing. He said that the victims were called to the spot, Dhansa Ghati, in the forest in good faith for a compromise and eliminated.

The bullets were pumped in the heads and chests of the deceased. This is the first major operation of the Maoists this year in Rohtas district. Last year, the Maoists had attacked Rajpur and Baghela police stations, killing nine police personnel and blowing up the buildings.

A massive manhunt has been launched to nab the culprits. The DIG said the deceased, who belonged to Gaya district, had been identified. They included Amit alias Fahendra Bhuinyan, Kuldip Paswan, Panjabi alias Gurujee, Dablu, Shambhu Yadav and Sheo Kumar Yadav. Police also found pamphlets on the spot.

The Maoists described the deceased as deserters and police informers. The deserters were indulging in anti-party activities and helping the government, the pamphlets claimed, adding that was the reason they were eliminated by the "brave winners of the party".

According to sources, the victims, after deserting the CPI(Maoist) last year, had formed an organization Sashastra Shanti Morcha (SSM) to take on the Maoists. Their information helped police nab some hardened extremists, thereby dealing a severe blow to the Maoist outfit.

The police said that the house of the two victims had been blown up by the Maoists some months back as a last warning. This is the first ever strict punishment to the deserters within the last 10 years in the district.

Naxal killed in gunbattle with police

A group of Maoists armed with sophisticated weapons, including AK-47 assault rifles, were engaged in a fierce gunbattle with a joint team of Bihar and Jharkhand Police near village Dhangain under the Barachatti police station of the district in Bihar-Jharkhand border area on Thursday afternoon.

At least one Maoist was killed in the encounter. The casualty figure may be on the higher side. However, the police recovered only one body of an unidentified Maoist. Empty cartridges of AK-47 rifle were found near the Naxal's body. Earlier, the police foiled an ambush attempt made by the ultras.

According to the Magadh Range DIG, police teams from Bihar and Jharkhand operating in close coordination moved towards the Bengu Tari hamlet in the Barachatti police station area following information about the congregation of a large number of heavily armed ultras.

The Naxals tried to ambush the police party but could not succeed in their design. The police team comprised two units of CRPF, besides the Special task Force and the district police. The gunbattle between the Maoists and the police lasted for over two hours. No report of any casualty on the police side was received.

Emboldened by the failure of the ambush attempt, the police force made a hot pursuit of the ultras. According to the DIG, the hot chase covered a distance of about 4 km.

According to police sources, more ultras might have been killed as the cops reportedly saw some bodies being carried out by the retreating Naxals on their shoulders. But in the absence of any concrete proof of the casualty figures, the somewhat repetitive stories about the ultras escaping with the bodies of their comrades is being taken with a pinch of salt.

The police will have to locate the place of cremation or disposal of the bodies to establish the casualty figures.
Asked about the identity of the suspected Maoist, whose body was recovered from the encounter site, DIG Perween Bashist said that the killed ultra could be an outsider as none of the area chowkidars were able to identify the body.

The killing of the Naxal and the Maoist's failure to execute their ambush plan is likely to demoralise the ultras, who appeared to have gone on the defensive.

Six Killed by Maoist Guerillas in Rohtas

Patna: April 10, 2008

Maoists extremists at Hasulian village in Rohtas district on late Wednesday night shot and killed six persons for going against the outfit and becoming police informant, officials in Sasaram said.

According to the Superintendent of Police (SP) G. S. Gangwar, the Maoist guerillas invited the six men to attend a meeting of the outfit to discuss party affairs. However, their real intention became clear when they shot all six in execution style for deserting Maoist organization and joining hands with the law in its ongoing efforts to crackdown on the ultras.

The victims were identified as former members of the People's War Group Sukhdeo, Shivkumar, Sahendra, Kuldeep, Panjabi, and Shambhu

All six victims were active in Naxal activities in Gaya district, the police said.

Before leaving they left Maoist pamphlets explaining their reasons to kill the six men.

Shahabad range DIG A. K. Ambedkar said a massive manhunt had been launched with the help of state police, CRPF, and Special Auxiliary Police (SAP) force to arrest the ultras.

No arrest has been made in the case yet.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Special Security Bureau to guard Chhattisgarh camps

Bombay News.Net
Thursday 10th April, 2008 (IANS)

The Special Security Bureau (SSB) personnel have begun taking over from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) the security of 23 government-run relief camps for villagers in the areas affected by Maoist violence in Chhattisgarh.

About 48,000 people, mostly poor tribals, are housed in the camps because of threats from Maoists.

A SSB battalion, which reached capital Raipur Tuesday, is now on way to the southern insurgency-hit region of Bastar to join another SSB battalion that has been in the Maoist guerrillas' hotbed since late last month.

'About 2,000 SSB personnel have begun taking over security of 23 government-run makeshift relief camps from the CRPF in extreme southern districts of Bijapur and Dantewada to protect about 48,000 camp settlers,' Girdhari Nayak, inspector general heading anti-Maoist operation in the state, told IANS Thursday.

Officials say at present 36,991 people from 201 villages in Dantewada district and 10,949 people from 275 villages in neighbouring Bijapur district are living in the relief camps.

The mass exodus of villagers from these two districts began after they launched a controversial government-backed civil militia movement, Salwa Judum, in June 2005 to take on the Maoist insurgents.

Sources at the police headquarters say the CRPF troopers to be moved from relief camps' security will be shifted to deep interiors of Bastar's 40,000 sq km forested area, where rebels are traditionally strong.

The CRPF troopers will team up with the Special Task Force, the Chhattisgarh Armed Forces and the local youths recruited as special police officers (SPOs) to combat decade-old Maoist terror network, and tackle dozens of training camps around which the Maoists have laid landmines.

The banned Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) carried out several deadly attacks on relief camps in both Dantewada and Bijpaur districts in the past two years and the government was forced to deploy the CRPF to protect the terrified villagers.

People’s army blames police, threatens to disband

RAJ KUMAR
Ranchi, April 9: Members of the Shanti Sena, a people’s army formed to counter Naxalite threat, are angry. They believe their founder Bhado Singh and seven others couldn’t have been butchered by rebels on Tuesday if the police paid heed to their renewed call for protection.

“The Shanti Sena, established six years ago with the help of senior police officials, will soon be dismantled in Gumla. From now, getting information about Naxalite activities in the area will be a challenging job for the police,” a member of the Sena said, requesting anonymity.

Even the people of rebel-affected Gumla have clammed up after extremists ambushed Singh and his compatriots on Tuesday morning when the rest of the state was celebrating Sarhul. They believe the police failed to help the very people who were cooperating with them in the fight against Maoists.

“Last year, Bhado Singh had sought adequate security when rebels killed a friend of the police, Praveen Sahu. But the police did not pay heed to his requests, leaving him in the lurch,” said another Sena member.

Vice-president of Jharkhand Teli Samaj in Gumla Heera Sahu echoed his sentiments. “An atmosphere of mistrust has grown in Gumla and no villager is ready to share any information with the police. All of them are tightlipped and are keeping a safe distance from any official visiting the spot,” he said.

A senior police official admitted to their failure. “How could the police be unaware of the plan of extremists in their area if the people were with them? It is a matter of shame that 150 Maoists laid ambush hardly 5km from Palkot police station and targeted a vehicle full of police supporters in daylight. This is bad policing,” he said.

Police spokesperson Raj Kumar Mallick, however, said it was not a serious problem. “Losing confidence in the police was natural after such a big violence. People will again gain confidence in them,” he said.

IG (home guards and fire brigade) M.V. Rao, who had succeeded in putting a check on Naxalite activities during his tenure as SP in Gumla six years ago, expressed concern. “It is the time to build confidence. Without people’s help, policing is not possible. Whatever I could do as a policeman in different districts was the result of co-operation extended by people who informed about crimes and criminals round-the-clock,” said Rao — the inspiration behind the Shanti Sena.

Sources in Gumla said director general of police V.D. Ram visited Semra village and met the residents. He also held a meeting with his officials and gave necessary instructions. He, however, denied existence of any Shanti Sena in the area.

Maoists gun down six rival Maoist outfit members in Rohtas district of Bihar

Maoists gun down six in Bihar
Sasaram (Bihar) (PTI): Banned CPI (Maoist) guerrillas on Thursday shot dead six persons of a rival naxalite outfit in Bihar's Rohtas district.

Six members of Sashastra People's Morcha (SPM), a naxalite outfit mostly active in Jharkhand, were shot dead in Tardih forest in Rohtas, AIG (operations) S K Bharadwaj said.

The victims, involved in armed resistance against the CPI (Maoist), were renegade members of the organisation, Bharadwaj said.

Those killed were from Barachatti and Mohanpur areas of Gaya district close to Jharkhand border, he said.

Bharadwaj denied that those killed were police informers.

_______



Sasaram (Bihar), Apr 10 (ANI): Six persons were shot dead in Maoist attack in Rohtas District of Bihar.

The slain were members of the Sashastra People’s Morcha (SPM), a Naxalite outfit mostly active in Jharkhand, local authorities said.

The victims, involved in armed resistance against the CPI (Maoist), were renegade members of the organisation, sources said.

Those killed were from Barachatti and Mohanpur areas of Gaya district close to Jharkhand border and were not police informers, sources added. (ANI)

_________

Indo-Asian News Service
Patna, April 10, 2008
First Published: 12:50 IST(10/4/2008)
Last Updated: 13:08 IST(10/4/2008)



Suspected Maoist guerrillas shot dead six people on Thursday in a Bihar forest. The victims belonged to an outfit that puts up armed resistance against the rebels.

The killings took place in Tardih forest of Rohtas district, about 150 km from Patna.

Additional Inspector General (Operations) SK Bharadwaj blamed the killings on the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist.

"All the victims were from Barachatti and Mohanpur in Gaya district," a Maoist stronghold, a police source said.

The victims were identified as members of the Sashastra People's Morcha (SPM), a counter-insurgency front made up of former Maoists and mostly active in areas bordering Jharkhand.

Police are said to have created the SPM on the lines of Salwa Judum, a counter-insurgency force in Chhattisgarh.

‘Naxals behind murder’

MALKANGIRI, April 9: One Madi Kama of Peta village of Motu police limits was allegedly murdered by Naxals in the wee hours today. His throat was slit and four round bullets were fired on his body. Though the murder was confirmed by the police, the reason behind the killing was not ascertained. Madi was said to be the “Sana peda” of Peta village.

Police rushed to the spot and had started investigation. It is learnt that Naxals are now carrying out these sorts of activities, even as police surveillance and combing operations have been intensified throughout the district. n sns

VHP leader detained in Malkangiri

Statesman News Service
MALKANGIRI, April 9: The Malkangiri district administration’s decision to detain VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati here and request him not to proceed towards the sensitive Kalimela area triggered with unrest and protests by his supporters.
The VHP leader who stays in Kandhamal district had come here for functions at Kalimela, Girikanpally and Podia areas. Most of these programmes were linked to laying foundation stone for temples or bhomi puja.
District authorities however tried to persuade the VHP leader not to proceed beyond the headquarter town of Malkangiri. The contention was that it was not safe for the VHP to move around the Naxal prone track of Kelimela or stay overnight at Podia to address a meeting.
Though police officers here said that steps to dissuade the VHP leader from proceeding to Kalimela and his detention at the circuit house were due to security reasons, speculations were rife that the district authorities were also apprehensive of a communal flare up in the region.
The possible breach of peace and communal harmony, under the backdrop of what had happened in bordering Kandhamal district, the base of the VHP leader in December 2007 prompted district authorities to take necessary preventive measures.
Irked by the administration’s decisions, the firebrand Mr Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati staged an impromptu hunger strike at the circuit houses saying he would not take food till such time as he is allowed to visit Kalimela and other areas as per his programme.
As reports of the hunger strike spread, VHP and RSS activists took to the streets blocking roads and demanding release of the VHP leader.
A harried administration buckled to pressure and allowed Mr Saraswati to visit Kalimela. He was provided with high security and was taken in an anti land mine vehicle accompanied by a team of policemen. The VHP leader held his programme at Kalimela and Podia.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Naxal Inc worth Rs 1,000 crore

9 Apr, 2008, 0344 hrs IST,Bharti Jain, TNN



NEW DELHI: The Naxalites-sponsored Terror Inc’s rogue chest is loaded with a whopping Rs 1,000 crore. The discovery of the Naxalites’ Rs 60-crore budget for weapons procurement during 2005-07, made during the interrogation of arrested Maoist leader Misir Besra in Jharkhand, was only the tip of the iceberg.

Intelligence agencies’ estimates put the overall annual budget of CPI(Maoist) well over Rs 1,000 crore, with Bihar contributing Rs 200 crore, Chhattisgarh Rs 150 crore and mineral-rich Jharkhand an even bigger sum.

The agencies’ estimates are based on inputs regarding actual spending of Maoists. For example, while the expenditure of the polit bureau may not be too high, the central military commission, R&D wing, arms procurement wing, information and publicity wing, state committees and dalams spend big money to arm the CPI(Maoist) with intelligence and sophisticated arms and ammunition for killing security personnel and civilians.

A good chunk is spent on publicity, both through the net as well as in-house publications. For example, one of their main publications, Awam-e-Jung, has a good circulation — comprising the 10,000 cadres and many more sympathisers — despite no advertising revenue to fall back upon.

Significantly, the Naxalites depend in a big way on their urban network to source and transport weapons, fight court cases for arrested leaders, arrange medical care for the ill and wounded cadres, source uniforms and material for IEDs and run cyber and psychological campaigns. The Chhattisgarh Police, as part of its recent crackdown on the urban support network of Maoists, seized the account books of urban wing of the state which puts the total outlay at Rs 5.43 crore.

Not only this, the Chhattisgarh Police, as part of their urban crackdown over the last couple of months, seized 82-84 small arms, 60 motorola sets, uniforms enough to clothe six battalions and 81 GB worth of Naxal material that they are yet to scan.

The urban network of the Naxalites in Chhattisgarh consisted not only of lawyers, tailors but an entire travel agency under whose cover 10-12 Naxal supporters were ferrying Maoist leaders from Raipur to camps in the interiors and transporting arms consignments and other material. The travel agency has since been busted and a good part of its staff arrested for abetting Naxal activities.

The main source of Naxals’ funds are extortion from
  • road contractors,
  • tendu patta contractors,
  • mining companies,
  • illegal mining activities and other
industrialists having operations in the Naxal-infested areas.
In Jharkhand, in particular, the Naxalites extort significant amounts of money from illegal coal miners.

The estimated Rs 1,000-crore annual budget of the Naxalites is an obvious source of worry for the Centre as it matches the police modernisation funds that it has been disbursing to the states. It also goes against the Union home minister Shivraj Patil’s recent assertion in Parliament that the threat of Naxalism was being exaggerated by the Opposition.

After all, with a generous budget of Rs 1,000 crore, the Naxalites are now no longer relying on weapons and ammunition looted from the police for their firepower. As evident from some of the independently-procured AK-47s seized recently, the Naxalites are now actually buying these sophisticated arms from around the world and having the consignments shipped clandestinely to India or picked up from the north-eastern borders.

According to sources in Chhattisgarh Police, interrogation of arrested urban supporters of Maoists have thrown light on an aborted bid to buy AK-47s from Australian dealers and have them illegally shipped to India via Malaysia. Similarly, West Bengal police have confirmed the despatch of an arms consignment from the north-east, via West Bengal.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

SAIL steps up security of its Chhattisgarh mines

Bhilai (Chhattisgarh), April 8 (IANS) Public sector major Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has strengthened security of its iron ore mining facilities in Chhattisgarh after Maoist guerrillas looted about 1.75 tonnes of explosives last month from one of its mines in the state, a senior official said Tuesday. “Security has been strengthened with additional forces deployed at the mines in the state’s Durg district to avoid such lootings in the future,” R. Ramaraju, managing director of Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP), the flagship unit of the SAIL, told reporters here.

About 100 heavily armed insurgents raided Mahamaya, an iron ore mine of SAIL, March 27 in Durg district and walked away with 1.75 tonnes of explosives.

Police officials said the looted items were gelatine sticks that could be used for landmine attacks. Gelatine was a mix of ammonium nitrate and sulphur that together make a devastating combination.

SAIL uses Mahamaya mine to feed BSP, also in Durg district. BSP alone contributes about 45 percent to SAIL’s profits.

“We were taken by surprise by insurgents when they raided Mahamaya mines. We had an extensive discussion with state police and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) after the incident and now additional force are deployed,” Ramaraju said.

He admitted that the police and CISF have so far failed to find the looted explosives.

He said BSP would soon begin excavation of a new iron ore block near its existing Dalli Rajhara mines in Durg district to meet increased raw material demand of the plant.

BSP has smashed its previous records during 2007-08 and raised its annual production to 5.3 million tonnes of hot metal, 5.1 million tonnes of crude steel and 4.43 million tonnes of saleable steel.

Ramaraju said BSP was now facing competition from private steel makers in long rail production sector but it would continue maintaining quality.

Nine killed in Maoist attack

Gumla (Jharkhand) (PTI): Nine persons, including three women and a child, were on Tuesday killed when Maoists fired at them and set afire their vehicle near Semra forests, about 12 km from the Gumla town.

Sub-divisional Police Officer Alban Tigga said another woman, Renu Devi, managed to escape the attack with her child even after suffering a bullet injury.

The Maoists had prior information that some members of the Shanti Sena -- a local resistance force formed in 2002 to combat Maoist activities -- including its leader Bhado Singh had set out in a vehicle for Gumla town from the district's Gumra village.

The ultras attacked the vehicle near the forests under Palkot police station. Singh and his associates retaliated the attack but they exhausted their ammunition and were numerically weaker than their opponents, Tigga said.

Later, the extremists huddled the bodies into the vehicle and set it on fire charring the bodies, some beyond recognition, he added.

The deceased were identified as Bhado Singh, Nakul Singh and his wife Phulmani Devi, Ranthu Turi and his wife Janki Devi, another woman Sumitra Devi, Ghanashyam Singh, Jharia Singh and a child, the SDPO said.

The ultras took away two rifles, two DBBL guns and a pistol, all were licensed to the Sena men.

According to Gurma villagers, the Shanti Sena, allegedly backed by the police, was formed with an aim to drive out the Maoists from the village and it 'managed' to resist Maoists to some extent.

Maoists kill nine including women and child in Jharkhand

Kumar Sarkar, 08 April 2008, Tuesday

Maoists gunned down nine persons of a resistance force - Shanti Sena in Semra forests near Gumla town in Jharkhand today. The dead included three women and a child. The bodies were piled into the vehicle the victims were traveling in and set ablaze.


MAOISTS LET loose bloody mayhem in Jharkhand today, in all probability in retaliation to eight of their men being killed by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on April 1 in the state. On Tuesday, Maoists opened fire killing nine persons, including three women and a child near Semra forests about 12 kilometres from Gumla town. Subsequently, the rebels set fire to their vehicle with the bodies dumped in it.

One woman, Renu Devi, managed to evade the attack with her child even though she suffered a bullet injury, Sub-divisional Police Officer Alban Tigga told the local media.

It is learnt that the rebels had learnt that members of the Shanti Sena including its leader Bhado Singh was heading for Gumla town from Gumra village. The Sena is a resistance group formed in 2002 to counter Maoists.

The Maoists lay in ambush and attacked the vehicle in the periphery of the forests under the jurisdiction of the Palkot police station. The Sena activists retaliated but were said to have run out of ammunition and were outnumbered.

Having gunned down the Sena activists, the Maoists piled the bodies of the dead inside the vehicle and set it ablaze. The rebels fled with two rifles, two double barreled guns and a pistol. These were licensed weapons that the Sena activists held.

The dead were identified as Bhado Singh, Nakul Singh and his wife Phulmani Devi, Ranthu Turi and his wife Janki Devi, Sumitra Devi, Ghanashyam Singh, Jharia Singh and a child, the SDPO told local reporters.

On April 1 in a fierce encounter the CRPF) killed eight Maoists in Mukato forest in Jharkhand's Garwah district. The dead Maoists included a self-styled sub-zonal commander and two area commanders. The Maoists had a brush with the 13th battalion of the CRPF.

Following the encounter a large cache of arms and ammunition, including 20 quintals of gelatine sticks were seized. Among the seized arms were a self-loading rifle, four .303 rifles, four rifles, a carbine, a pistol and a double-barreled gun. The CRPF, identified the bodies of the dead Maoists, as those of a self-styled sub-zonal commander called 'Basantji' while the area commanders were said to be known as 'Lalanji' and 'Rajendraji'.

Tuesday’s (April 8) attack on the police backed Shanti Sena could be in retaliation to the CRPF killings. Vendetta is something that Maoists understand well.

Countrywide protest by RSS against Kannur killings

By Pramod Kumar

Thousands of RSS swayamsevaks took to the streets all over the country and registered their protest against Marxist violence against swayamsevaks in Kannur, Kerala. Protest meetings and dharnas were organised at hundreds of places across the country from March 25 to 31.

It was part of the nationwide call made by RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Mohan Bhagwat at Akhil Bharatiya Partinidhi Sabha meeting held in Vrindavan recently to organise such dharnas, protest meetings and demonstrations against the communist violence.

In Delhi, dharnas and protest meetings were organised at 29 places in which leaders of various organisations addressed the protestors and warned the government to curb the communist violence. Speaking at a dharna organised in Karol Bagh, RSS Sahsarkaryavah Shri Madan Das said the communism is at the verge of political demise all over the world and now disturbed over it the communists of India have adopted the path of violence. He said the violent incidents of Kerala and West Bengal are evidence of it. He demanded the government to order a probe by an independent agency into the killing of RSS workers in Kerala. He also appealed to the National Human Rights Commission to visit Kerala and see the terror and violence of communists.

More than 4000 workers took out a march carrying black flags and tying black strips on their arms at Kirari Chowk. The speakers elaborated the anti-national history of communists and said they supported the British during the Quit India Movement in 1942; they called the brave and nationalist Subhas Chandra Bose as Tojo’s dog; they supported the Muslim League and helped India’s Partition in 1947; they supported the Chinese aggression in 1962; they supported the Emergency to defeat democracy in 1975 and presently they are supporting the Naxalites and Maoists in West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh where the innocent people are witnessing bloodbath everyday. The speakers also exposed the communists’ anti-Hindu agenda, which includes questioning the existence of Sri Ram, Sri Krishna and calling them fictitious; support to the Babri mosque and opposition to Ram temple; opposition to Ram Sethu, onslaught on Swami Ramdev; remarks against Satya Sai Baba, un-parliamentary remarks against Mata Amritanandamayi, who established an example of service par excellence during the tsunami, and attack on nationalist organisations against RSS.

Addressing the workers in Shahadra, Delhi, BJP president Dr Harsh Vardhan said the communists are attacking the workers of nationalist organisations due to the growing fear of losing their base. He said the workers of BJP and RSS would expose the communists all over the country. Shri Vikas Dahiya of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, addressing the protestors in Chandani Chowk, described the communists as anti-national. Senior journalist Shri Dinesh Sharma said the communists always take the help of violence to establish their control. He demanded immediate dismissal of the Kerala government. Shri Dinesh Chand Tyagi of Hindu Mahasabha demanded immediate action on the part of the central government against the Kerala government. Swami Raghwananda, president of Sanatan Dharma Pratinidhi Sabha, said the country would not tolerate the fascism of communists at all.

Shri Dina Nath Batra, national convener of Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti, said despite repeated provocations on the part of CPM goons the RSS stuck to its commitment of maintaining peace and never retaliated. But it resulted in losing a number of good activists and the CPM becoming more brutal. Whenever they are in power their brutality crosses all limits, he added. In Delhi, similar protest meetings were organised at Patel Chest in Delhi University, Nand Nagari, Shakarpur, Lajpat Nagar, Yamuna Vihar, Maujpur, Khajuri, Shiv Vihar, Kailash Nagar, Azad Nagar, Khanpur Chowk, Badarpur, Nehru Place, Delhi Gate, Avantika, Janakpur, Pashchim Vihar, Nangloi, Raja Garden, Chhatrasal Nagar, Model Town, Rohini, Kalkaji, etc. The workers of BMS, VHP, Bajrang Dal, Hindu Manch, Sewa Bahrati, Sanskar Bharati, Vidya Bharati, Dharmayatra Mahasangh, Rashtriya Sikh Sangat and BJP participated in the dharnas.

Meanwhile, thousands of Bangaloreans joined the protest rallies held at five different places in Bangalore on March 30 against the barbaric acts of Marxists at Kannur. More than 2,500 people came on the roads and shouted slogans against Marxists. The images of brutally cut portions of the dead bodies of swayamsevaks were exhibited at the venues, which caught full attention of the public and created strong protest in public mind. Speakers at various places include RSS Dakshin Madhya Kshetra Bouddhik Pramukh Shri V. Nagaraj, Canara Bank Officers Association’s national general secretary Shri Mohan Kumtakar, Karnataka Sah Prant Karyavah Shri Thippeswamy, industrialist Dr Shyamsundar and BJP state spokesperson Shri Suresh Kumar.

A similar dharna was organised at Town Hall in Ahmedabad on March 31.The protestors registered their protest by tying black strips on their mouths for half an hour. Prant Sanghachalak Shri Amritbhai Kariwala, Prant Pracharak Shri Pravinbhai Otiya, Vibhag Sanghachalak Shri Vallabbhai Savaliya, chairperson of Mahanagar Nigam Standing Committee Smt. Madhuben Patel, MPs Shri Surendra Patel and Shri Harin Pathak, Dr Kaushik Mehta of VHP, Dr Bharatbhai Amin of NMO, local MLA Shri Rakesh Shah, Subhadraben Devdhar of Rashtra Sevika Samiti, Kiranben Vaghela of Rashtriya Asmita Manch, former MP Bhavnaben Dave, former Minister Shri Kaushik Patel, Shri Bharat Barot and city BJP president Shri Jagdish Patel were present on the occasion.

Similarly, protest was organised at various places in Surat. Thousands of people of the city participated in the rallies and demonstrations.

The East Godawari unit workers of RSS in Andhra Pradesh also organised a huge rally in Bhimavaram against the CPM brutality in Kerala. Dr Sukumar, Prant Pracharak of East Andhra Pradesh, addressed the agitators and said the CPM is worried about the good works being done by the RSS workers. The speakers advised the CPM to behave like human and give up inhuman and violent measures otherwise there would be fatal reaction.

According to reports received from Shimla, hundreds of swayamsevaks and people belonging to various organisations staged a demonstration in Shimla and burnt the effigy of communist terrorism.

Red top brass hold strategy meet

OUR CORRESPONDENT
Bokaro, April 7: Pushed to the wall last week in the state, Naxalites summoned their top leaders from Calcutta, Birganj (Nepal), Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh to boost their morale and hold a strategy session.

Sources said the leaders came to Bokaro to reach Upar Ghaat and Jhumra by Shipra Express last Wednesday. They reportedly got down off at Jageshwarbihar and Dania railway stations the day after the landmine recovery at Palamau and convened a top-level meeting at Sarubera (Upar Ghat), about 2km from there.

Senior police sources told The Telegraph that the rebels had also “planted” correspondents in some national dailies to spread rumours and win back the sympathy of the rural masses. Citing an example of a “dubious report” published in a national Hindi daily stating that retired CCL employee Jairam Mahto was killed because he had “kidnapped and raped 21 girls”, police said the rebels were trying every possible trick to justify their inhuman acts.

Alarmed by the allegations in a section of the media, the IG of the coal belt, B.B. Pradhan, has asked the additional superintendent of police, Bermo, Vikrant Minz, to look into the matter.

“We will now keep a watch on those who file dubious, unsubstantiated reports,” IG Pradhan told The Telegraph.

Bokaro police have also initiated long-range patrolling in the entire area of Nawadih and Jhumra belt with the help of paramilitary troops, said Bokaro superintendent of police Priya Dubey.

Elaborating on the seizure of landmines, Dubey said it was for the first time in Jharkhand that explosives were planted not only in the middle of an uphill road, but also on its periphery spreading to about 1.5 sq km. Having come to know of the locations of the landmines, the police decided to seized them. This came as a big blow to the Maoists, forcing the red brigade to summon their top brass for a strategy session.

State gets a red alert from Chhattisgarh

Anupam Dasgupta
Tuesday, April 08, 2008 02:52 IST



Recent intelligence inputs suggest that Naxalites in Chhattisgarh are infiltrating Maharashtra and have been calling the shots in matters of the pro-peasant movement in the state.

Maharashtra anti-Naxalite officials told DNA on Monday that the developments are significant especially because militants have been found redrawing existing strategies and facilitate greater ‘synergy’ among geographically scattered units.

“Naxalites entering the state from Chhattisgarh may have an objective to carve out common resource structures spanning states,” said additional director general of police and head of the state anti-Naxalite operations (ANO) wing Pankaj Gupta.

Also heightened Naxalite activity in Maharashtra is a problem development as it comes at a time when the state is revising its August 2005 Naxalite surrender policy with a new focus on effective rehabilitation, said intelligence agencies. Intelligence sources said that Milind Teltumbde, the self-styled Maoist chief of Maharashtra, had hinted at devising “resource sharing formulae” with their Chhattisgarh counterparts.

Even prime minister Manmohan Singh had recently repeated that Naxalite insurgency is the most pressing internal security threat faced by the country.

In Maharashtra, however, there are no clear indications to suggest that recruitment has shot up in the violence-driven parts of the state, although the number of dalams (armed Naxalite squads) has gone up from 19 to 26 over the last few months.

Security officials believe that possession of sophisticated firearms has sort of “rejuvenated” the ultra-Left movement across Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Bihar and West Bengal.
d_anupam@dnaindia.net

BOOK : Comprehensive analysis of the issues confronting the Indian police system



Trapped in legacy


VENKITESH RAMAKRISHNAN


The book presents a comprehensive analysis of the issues confronting the Indian police system.








A NUMBER of former senior officers, who held important positions in India’s security and police systems, have written books on the basis of their experiences in “protecting the country”.

The memoirs of B.N. Mullick, Director of the Intelligence Bureau (I.B.) under India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, published in the early 1970s, was one such early work that brought out a senior security official’s perspective on issues relating to governance, politics and the management of the law-and-order machinery. In recent years, more and more retired senior officers have taken to recording their experiences.

Many of these publications have got noticed for their sensational disclosures about some phase in the nation’s history or about a well-known personality or a variety of personalities in the country’s social and political life. Some of them generated controversies arising from allegations that the writers had violated the Official Secrets Act (OSA). Cases in point are former I.B. Joint Director Maloy Krishna Dhar’s Open Secrets, India’s Intelligence Unveiled (2005) and Major-General (retired) V.K. Singh’s India’s External Intelligence: Secrets of RAW (2007).

But former senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer K.S. Subramanian’s Political Violence and the Police in India (2007, Sage Publications), does not fall into the category of controversial books on the Indian security system. It does not strive to make sensational disclosures or generate a shock. The book offers a methodical and near-comprehensive analysis of issues that confront the security of institutions which the author refers to collectively as the “Indian police system”. His analytical tools are manifold but inter-related.

Socio-economic problems such as terrorism, communal violence and naxalite extremism, which the system is compelled to tackle on a day-to-day basis, are discussed at some length. Along with it, the multi-dimensional structure of the system is examined with specific parameters. The net result is a unique historical perspective that brings together academic evaluation of the macro issues on the security front and a distinctive perspective that encapsulates an understanding of even organisational matters at the micro level.

More specifically, this is a perspective that could have been developed only by a person who knows the system from inside and at the same time has adequate academic credentials to advance a sociological discourse.

Subramanian has been associated for more than three decades with the system in various capacities, starting as an I.B. officer in the ‘B’ group (B for Bolshevik) that kept an eye on the activities of the Communist parties and later holding higher positions such as Director of the Civil Rights Cell in the Ministry of Home Affairs. All through his service he displayed a penchant for academic pursuits, doing stints in organisations such as the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, and the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, England.

Both the narrative and analytic components of Political Violence and the Police in India reflect Subramanian’s exposure to the academic and organisational streams as well as his deep concern for human rights.

EIGHT CORE ISSUES

The book addresses eight core issues confronted by the police system. It starts with a broad analysis of political violence and the state’s response.

This delineation leads to a discussion of the crisis in the system and highlights concrete issues such as communal violence, especially state-sponsored violence against the minority Muslim community, violence against Dalits and Adivasis, political violence in the north-eastern States, the growth of Maoist-naxalite violence in different parts of the country, the rise of the central paramilitary forces (CPMF) as a parallel police force and the use of I.B. as an instrument of partisan politics by those in power.

Subramanian defines political violence in “a double sense”. At the very outset, he points out that political violence “refers to violence that calls for a political response” and “implies that in a situation of large-scale institutional malfunctioning, politics acquires an appetite for all spaces, both public and private. Thus all violence becomes political, in a sense”.

Drawing upon earlier studies, including that of human rights lawyer K.G. Kannabiran, the author points out that terms such as “law and order”, “public order” or “security of state” are often used to unleash state violence with impunity. He also takes into account the points of the “subaltern perspective”, which views the nationalist movement as elitist and as having betrayed the interests of the popular movements, thus paving the way for political violence and violent political movements. The “subaltern school” holds the view that activities such as the naxalite violence are expressions of this “ontological divide”. Subramanian’s exposition of the idea of political violence in a double sense also underscores the view that this kind of violence calls for a political response.

However, successive Indian governments have relied on the police machinery not only for gathering information on social conflict and violence but also for analysing and interpreting the phenomena. The reason put forth by the book is that the Indian police system essentially reflects a process of continuity in the working of the police since the colonial period, with its emphasis on control, coercion and surveillance rather than crime prevention and public order management.

The book points out that the colonial Irish Constabulary became the model for the Indian police system, with the state even emulating it in the creation of the centralised paramilitary organisation. It also asserts that the CPMF has repeatedly failed to fulfil its specified tasks in various situations, which include controlling political and religious militancy in the north-eastern States and Jammu and Kashmir as well as those perpetrated by Maoists in different parts of the country.

Still, the book points out, the legacy of the system, its shortcomings, and the failures caused by these shortcomings have not been examined seriously in independent India. Subramanian makes out a strong case for the removal of the paramilitary and the repressive political-organisational features of the police structure.

He examines the historical perpetuation of the colonial legacy and analyses the manner in which it strengthened the urge to centralise. The author points out that the perpetuation process started right from 1947 on account of the imagined, motivated or real fear of fragmentation of India. An important revelation in this context is that it “was during the counter-insurgency operation in Telangana that the I.B. first emerged as an all-India agency for the collection of political intelligence”.

There is also the revelation that the Central Reserve Police Force was formed in 1949 as an organisational continuation of “the Crown’s Representative Police raised a decade earlier for the protection of law and order in the princely states”.


NISSAR AHMAD

At The Republic Day parade in Srinagar. The book asserts that the Central paramilitary forces have repeatedly failed to fulfil their specified tasks, which include controlling militancy in the north-eastern States and Jammu and Kashmir and the atrocities perpetrated by Maoists in different parts of the country.

This process got further strengthened as the Congress, under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, initiated manoeuvres to undermine the growth of Opposition parties. Subramanian points out that the role of the I.B. as an instrument of political disruption was developed during this period.

In this context, the book records the I.B.’s role in the deployment of the Army in the Naga areas in 1955 against the advice of the Army, the State Governor and the Ministry of External Affairs, the unconstitutional dismissal of the E.M. Sankaran Namboodiripad-led first Communist party government in Kerala in 1959, and the imposition of Emergency in 1975 by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, as cases in point.

The use of the police for propagation of communal violence led to another form of centralisation. Referring to the Gujarat police strikes of 1979-86, he says that fascist tendencies in Gujarat had their beginnings in the socio-political climate of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The author refers to the study by an Uttar Pradesh Police Officer, Vibhuti Narain Rai, who analysed the role of the police during 10 Hindu-Muslim riots between 1931 and 1993 and came to the firm conclusion that the police did not act as a neutral law enforcement agency but as a “Hindu force”.

In recent years, the book points out, the government’s counter-terrorism initiatives have become instruments to advance the process of centralisation. With particular reference to the naxalite movement, Subramanian points out that in spite of the talk of addressing the socio-economic conditions of the socially and economically deprived people in order to wean them away from the influence of Left extremism, the I.B. and the State governments continue to be the main official sources of information.

Given the “historical evolution of its organisational and political structure”, the intelligence system, the author says, has an inbuilt tendency to view militant struggles of the rural poor “as attempts at ‘incipient insurgency’ threatening the existing political order”.

He also points out that in their approach these agencies do not take into account the fact that “naxalite violence is, in part, a retaliatory violence against the increasing violence against Dalits and Adivasis”. Subramanian recommends a “mutual symbiosis of state and society” approach in order to address the problem of Left extremism.

Significantly, he says that “neither the implementation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes – S.C. and S.T. – (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, nor the S.C. and S.T. (Prevention of Atrocities), Rules, 1995, came up for discussion in the high-level meetings convened by the Ministry of Home Affairs to discuss the issue of naxalite violence in several States, which is rapidly growing with the support of the S.C.s and S.T.s.”

Subramanian has no doubt that reform is the only way to correct the maladies in the system. “However, he does not find the delineation of a correct line even in the eight-volume report of the National Police Commission in 1980 on police reforms. In his view, such Commissions would be of no use if the system “continues to thwart internal mechanisms that could help develop a social perspective”.

A case in point is the winding up of the research and policy division in the Ministry of Home Affairs. With its closure “additional inputs of knowledge, skill and vision from multidisciplinary research and policy analysis” were no longer available.

Subramanian has suggested several concrete steps to address some of the issues he raises in the book. One suggestion of fundamental importance is the creation of a National Commission of Violence in India on the model of the one set up in the United States after the assassination of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. The recommendations made in the book as well as its narrative and analysis will certainly take forward the public debate on police reform.

Undoubtedly, Political Violence is a kind of primer for any student of the Indian police system. However, Subramanian himself can think in terms of coming up with a more elaborate study of the issues and problems he has addressed through the present volume.

Cops dance their way into the hearts of villagers

Tuesday April 8 2008 11:03 IST
ENS


SAMBALPUR: After managing to halt the growing Naxal activities with a host of arrests and surrenders, Sambalpur police have now intensified the public relations campaign in interior pockets to woo the villagers and keep them off from ultras.

As part of the exercise aimed at bridging the gap between police and common man, Sambalpur SP Sanjay Kumar accompanied by police personnel, Kuchinda MLA Rabinarayan Nayak and Kuchinda Sub-Collector Bibhuti Bhusan Behera danced to the tunes of tribal music along with village youths in Sarada under Maoist-infested Jamankira block.

And, the campaign seems to have worked wonders as the villagers invited Kumar and other police personnel to their village again at the end of the day with a promise to arrange food for all of them.

Interestingly, it was only a couple of months back that the IIC was taken hostage by these villagers. Besides, fun and feast, a health camp and blood group identification camp were organised by the district police.

Kumar urged the villagers to stay away from the Maoists and impressed upon them that the Left wing extremists were least bothered about development of their area.

He also advised the villagers to contact the district administration directly in case they had any complaint, which was not redressed by the local officials.

Calling upon village youths not to hanker after government jobs, he advised them to go in for self-employment by taking advantage of various government schemes.

Speaking on the occasion, Nayak informed the villagers about various development projects executed in the district.

Sarada village has just three BPL families on record though the actual number is much more. The only road to Sarada has been repaired by the villagers after local government officials did not pay heed to their problems and demands.

They have also been running from pillar to post for renovation of the village pond before onset of summer to mitigate their water woes.

Besides Kumar and Nayak, Sub-Collector Behera also promised to look into their grievances on priority and called upon the misled Naxals to surrender. They also promised rehabilitation and security by the State Government.

Monday, April 07, 2008

AP Police delivers killer blow to Janashakti

DNA Correspondent
Tuesday, April 08, 2008 01:42 IST


HYDERABAD: With the arrest of Janashakti central committee secretary Amar alias K Devender in Pune on Sunday night, Andhra Pradesh (AP) Police have all but wiped out the extreme Left splinter group once second only to the dreaded Peoples War (PW).

“Talking peace with the AP government was the Maoists’ greatest mistake that led to their downfall,” Amar said after his arrest.

Janashakti, second only to PW in influence, firepower and resources at one time, is today confined to a few pockets and left with just four dalams consisting of around 18 armed members scattered in Karimnagar, Warangal, Khammam and East Godavari districts, police say.

Karimnagar district superintendent of police Y Gangadhar said a special team from Hyderabad went to Pune and took Amar into custody.

Produced before the media on Sunday, Amar said: “I have not surrendered but was arrested.” But police sources claimed Amar was in touch with Andhra home minister Jana Reddy and revealed his whereabouts only after he was promised good treatment.

Amar, Sagar and Riaz were the Janashakti representatives who joined PW leaders led by Ramakrishna (A Hargopal) for peace talks with the AP government in October 2004.

“The talks ruined the Maoist movement in the state,” Amar said detailing how almost all top Maoist and Janashakti leaders were traced and killed or coerced to surrender. He said Janashakti was to merge with PW and hence, had disclosed most of its activities, resources and manpower to it.

“But PW chose to merge with the Maoist Communist Centre in the larger interest of national hegemony,” Amar, who has written thousands of Telugu poems by the pseudonym MITRA, said. Amar married Vimala, an artiste of the Arunodaya cultural troupe of the party, and has two sons. He is wanted in 13 cases in Karimangar and Hyderabad. He was involved in the murder of five persons and the blasting of Mastabad Police Station.

Opium cultivation poses security threat to India

Md Mudassir Alam, 07 April 2008, Monday

Opium fields are commonplace in Afghanistan, but not so in India. So it is natural to feel worried if such a field is busted in India. The unearthing of opium fields in Kishanganj has raised doubts over the security situation in the country.

FOR THE past two decades, Kishanganj district of Bihar has been badly affected by the problem of smuggling, human trafficking and other unlawful activities. Kishanganj’s proximity to Nepal and Bangladesh is the main reason behind these activities. People of India, as well as of Nepal and Bangladesh are involved in such acts. Besides, militants from the neighbouring countries are also taking advantage of the security lapse in the border areas to infiltrate into India. From time to time, the Border Security Force (BSF) and the district police nab the smugglers and the people involved in illegal activities, but the fact is that the local administration is unable to put a permanent hold on these activities.

Last month, during my trip to Kishanganj, I was shocked to hear about the news of opium harvesting in some areas of the district.

Kishanganj police had discovered a five bigha plot of illegal opium cultivation in Simalbari village under the Kishanganj police station. Just few days later, a 50 bigha plot of opium, farmed between two streams of the Mahananda river, was also discovered by the police team headed by DSP Ravish Kumar on the borders of Kishanganj and Purnia districts. According to the police, the opium fields were obscured on the sides by the maize fields. Five landowners believed to be illegal immigrant settlers from Bangladesh owned the fields.

Reports of Simalbari opium catch spread like wildlife and stunned the local residents. In fact, residents feigned ignorance about the opium and said that the same cultivation had been done earlier in the locality in around 15 bighas of land.

The cultivation of opium is punishable under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS). Maoists, Naxalites and illegal immigrants from Nepal and Bangladesh are now targeting the remote areas of Bihar for opium cultivation. Districts of Kishanganj, Purnia, Katihar and Araria have become favourites with opium cultivators due to lack of security and unawareness among the local people. Most of the people in these areas think that opium is a flower, like sunflower or marigold, and is used to extract oil. In fact, the labourers working on the opium fields are also ignorant about the NDPS act. The opium growers offer good wages to the labourers, land owners and people looking after the cultivation. The lure of money makes it immaterial for the local people to ask the growers about the illegal cultivation.

After the raids in Simalbari and the border of Kishanganj and Purnia districts, the police team harvested the opium fields, but the growers are still at large. Police is suspects that there are more opium fields across the districts and the search is still on. As the cultivation of opium is done illegally in the remote areas of the district, there are fair chances that police team might unearth some more fields in the near future.

Of course, the Kishanganj police has achieved a big success in busting the opium fields in the districts, but the illegal cultivation of opium sounds an alarm bell for the future. A possible link between the cultivators and the terrorists cannot be ruled out. As Kishanganj is considered one of the most peaceful regions of the country, opium cultivation is a big threat to the region and the country alike.

The need of the hour is that the state government should appoint special force to nab the growers and raid the other areas where the cultivation is done. The district police also needs to keep their eyes open, because Kishanganj and nearby areas have become an easy target for militants and illegal immigrants from Nepal and Bangladesh.

Janashakthi gets another big jolt

Monday April 7 2008 09:34 IST
EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE


KARIMNAGAR: In yet another major blow to the CPI (ML) Janashakthi that has been almost wiped out in the district, party Central Committee member and in-charge secretary Kura Devendar alias Amar alias Shravan, was arrested by a special police party from his hideout in Pune in Maharashtra last night.

He was the party’s representative at the peace talks held with the State Government in 2004.

The arrested leader was presented before the media here this evening. Kura Devendar, the younger brother of the arrested Janashakthi Central Committee secretary Kura Rajanna, belongs to Shatrajpally, Vemulawada. He joined the party under the influence of his brother and went underground in 1983.

During his student days at the SRR Government Degree College here he had been a PDSU activist. According to Superintendent of Police Y Gangadhar, Devendar was district committee member (DCM) and district committee secretary (DCS) during 1994-96.

From 1997 to 2001 he worked as the party’s Telangana secretary, was appointed State secretary in 2002 and was member of the central committee at the time of his arrest.

Amar was involved in 12 cases in Sircilla division in the district which include seven murders, two attempts to murders, two cases of arson and one ‘‘conspiracy case’’.

The SP also said details were being sought of cases registered against him outside the district and in other States. Ten non-bailable warrants were also pending against him.

Gangadhar said the arrest of Devendar was another major blow to Janashakthi after the arrest of Rajanna in September 2006 in similar circumstances in Uttar Pradesh.

Speaking to reporters, Amar admitted that the party had indeed suffered major setbacks in the State after the peace talks with the State Government more than three years ago.

He also said that in recent times people had got alienated from the Janashakthi and other CPI-ML parties due to several factors and that his party was now analysing the causes behind it.

He denied that he had surrendered and insisted he had been taken by surprise and arrested. Meanwhile, Virasam leader P Vara Vara Rao alleged that Amar was picked up a few days ago but was ‘‘being shown only today’’. Though the police had violated all laws by arresting people in other States, the Janashakti leader’s arrest was ‘‘only to show that the killing of Naxalites in encounters was genuine, ’’ he said.

TN police to introduce e-governance

Madurai (PTI): Tamil Nadu Police is planning to introduce e-governance, including a facility to file complaints through e-mail in the cities under Commissionerate control, Director General of Police K.P.Jain said here on Sunday.

The e-mail facility was being introduced with the sole objective of creating confidence among the people and tell them that Police were with them, he, Jain who assumed charge of the office recently, told reporters here.

Though e-mail itself was not enough to register an FIR, it would help the people to bring to the notice of the higher officials problems faced by them.

Replying to a question, he said the 16 battalions of the Tamilnadu Special Task Force (STF) were enough to deal with any problem, including Naxalite infiltration though there was no such incident.

Coordination between the border states was also effective in checking any infiltration of Maoists.

The State police was also training police personnel from other states in jungle operations. A Special training in forest patrol and commando operation were being given to personnel of other states also at the Vandalur Police Academy.

The state government was also coordinating with the Karnataka police in the backdrop of the tense situation prevailing in the border areas following the Hoganekkal issue. It wanted to ensure that no property damage was caused to government or private properties on both the sides, he said.

Combing rise in Patamda hills

OUR CORRESPONDENT
Jamshedpur, April 6: Police have intensified combing operations in the hilly terrains of Patamda bordering Bengal following reports of existence of training camp for Naxalites.

Superintendent of police Naveen Kumar Singh, who is closely monitoring the combing operation, ruled out the possibility of Naxalite training camps but said that they have information of such camps.

“As of now we are yet to get confirmation of such training camps. Combing operation has been intensified. Three companies of police force comprising Special Task Force (STF) and Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) have been engaged in the combing operations,” he said.

CPI(Maoist) recently set-up a training camp for the regional committee on Dalma Hills in East Singhbhum. The rebels had also invited a section of the media to click pictures of the training activity.

However, the superintendent of police said that the information was not correct.

“We found no signs of training camp on Dalma Hills. It might be at Patamda on the Jharkhand-Bengal border,” he added.

Police sources revealed that long-range patrolling has also been intensified at Chandil-Chowka region, where the Naxalites had snatched three rifles from policemen on duty.

Spokesperson of Jharkhand police R.K. Mallick told The Telegraph that the STF has intensified search operations in that region.

Sources in the intelligence department said that they have information of movement of Naxalites in Patamda.

“Two squads of CPI(Maoist) have crossed over to Patamda region from Bengal. The rebels might have some definite plans. They need to be flushed out,” said sources in the intelligence department.

Sources added that the squads, which have crossed over to Jharkhand, have in their possession the Insas rifles snatched from policemen at Baghuria in Ghatshila sub-division, where the former JMM parliamentarian was killed on March 3 last year

Cops trapped in name game

OUR CORRESPONDENT
Ranchi, April 6: For Ranchi police, the adage of what is in a name is actually proving to be the difference between a prized catch and an innocent victim.

One Jeetan Marandi was arrested on the night of April 5 from New Market area when he was on his way to Kanke Road.

But police are confused about whether the man identified as Jeetan Marandi is the same person accused in the killing of 20 innocent people, including former chief minister Babulal Marandi’s son on October 26 last year at Chilkhari village in Giridih during a cultural function, or just another Naxalite.

The Ranchi police remained busy throughout the day to find out the number of cases pending against Jeetan at various police stations throughout the state.

Officer in charge of Sukhdeonagar police station Brahmadev Prasad confirmed the arrest.

“The Naxalite arrested has been identified as Jeetan Marandi. He is wanted in a case of Criminal Law Amendment Act registered at Kotwali police station. The case was registered in October last year after a group of para teachers laid siege at the chief minister’s residence,” he said.

Officer in charge of Kotwali police station Ram Rekha Singh said Jeetan would be forwarded to Birsa Munda Central Jail tomorrow after legal formalities.

“Many cases are pending against him. He will first be sent to judicial custody and then taken on remand by other police stations of the state, if required,” he said.

Sources in the police, however, said that the police believe that the extremist was also involved in the murder of former chief minister Babulal Marandi’s son.

But there was no proof to confirm it.

While Singh said that the fact could only be confirmed by senior superintendent of police M.S. Bhatia, the latter said that name and the fact could only be confirmed by Giridih police.

“The name of the accused Naxalite registered in the FIR after the massacre at Chilkhari by the Giridih police is same. But it is difficult to say whether this is the same person or not,” Bhatia said, amid reports that the arrested person is a theatre artiste from Jharkhand.

Sources said that the extremist was being kept at some unknown destination and senior officers are interrogating him.

“Officers are trying to know the status of Marandi in the extremist organisation. They are enquiring whether the person helped extremists or is directly involved in killing persons and hatching conspiracy against police,” a police official said, requesting anonymity.

Janashakti’s top leader, Devender alias Amar, arrested

Narendra Ch, 07 April 2008, Monday

In a deathblow to the CPI (ML) Janashakti, the Andhra Pradesh Police arrested the outfit’s central committee member Kura Devender alias Amar, 47, from a hideout in Pune, Maharashtra. His arrest has left the naxalite’s lose its entire leadership.


IN A deathblow to the Communist Party Of India (Marxist – Leninist) Janashakti, the Andhra Pradesh police arrested the outfit’s central committee member Kura Devender alias Amar, 47, from a hideout in Pune, Maharashtra, on Saturday night.

Amar, who is from Vemulawad of Karimnagar district in Andhra Pradesh, participated in peace talks with the Andhra government as the Janashakti emissary. His elder brother and top Janashakti leader Kura Rajanna, was arrested in Uttar Pradesh in 2006.
He is the party central committee member. With his arrest, the naxalite group is said to have lost its entire top leadership.

A police team arrested Amar in Pune based on a tip-off, said the Karimnagar SP, Y Gangadhar. He said Amar, who is wanted in over 30 cases including murder and arson, was nabbed while attempting to draft new recruits to strengthen the outfit, which has been virtually wiped out in AP.

According to the SP, Amar admitted that the Janashakti had suffered major losses in the aftermath of the peace talks with the government and said that he was now prepared to live as a “revolutionary democrat.” Gangadhar dismissed the earlier reports about Amar having surrendered as, baseless.

Amar, who had his primary education in Vemulawada, intermediate in Sircilla and degree in SRR Government Degree College in Karimnagar, went underground in 1983. He is popularly known as ‘Mithra’ due to his flair for writing revolutionary songs. Amar’s wife, Vimala, earned wide acclaim as a member of the Janashakti cultural wing. Amar and his brother Rajanna led the movement, with Sircilla division as its base.
The downfall of the Janashakti, which was launched 16 years ago, started with the surrender of 46 of the outfit’s members in 2002. This followed by the encounter killing of another top leader, Riyaz, and the arrest of Rajanna.

With the latest arrest, none of the Janashakti’s top leadership remains in its bastion of Karimnagar. A senior police official said, “The Janashakti has been wiped out totally except for a few small groups which are not ideologically committed but are common extortionists.”

Why Muslims are not part of Naxal outfits in Bihar

Sunday, 04.06.2008, 11:50pm (GMT-7)


Dalits and Muslims constitute more than 28 percent of Bihar's population. The two communities share a number of similarities being at the lowest level of socioeconomic development in the state. They are misused as votebanks by the political leaders and parties and their representation in the government services is far below their numerical percentages.

They often also bear the brunt of the tyranny by upper castes in the villages. However, there is also a distinct dissimilarity between them - while many Dalits have joined the Naxal outfits in Bihar to fight for justice or to seek alternative sources of income and social respect, the Muslim community has distanced itself from the Naxals.

Many reasons can be attributed for this phenomenon. Since Independence, Bihar has consistently ranked the lowest among India's larger states in terms of urbanization, production, and income. It has the highest number of very large landholders and one of the largest landless populations in the Indian states.

Agrarian issues have long dominated the state's political life as the feudal nature of landholding has remained unchanged despite legislation establishing ceilings on land-holdings by individuals. Naxalite groups, meanwhile, have advocated armed resistance, and have carried out targeted assassinations of landlords.

In turn, the higher-caste landholders have retaliated by forming private militias, known as senas (armies), to fight the Naxalites and terrorize and kill low-caste villagers, who they believe are providing the bedrock of support for the Naxalites. The Sachar Committee report is the first systematic study of Muslims in independent India.

The Committee dealt with core issues relating to security, equity and identity of the Muslim community and concluded that the condition of Muslims is no better than that of the OBCs and often as bad as that of the SCs and the STs.

Why then has the Muslim population shunned Naxal outfits in Bihar despite their poor economic conditions and the low social standing? There are many reasons. First, the main recruitment centers of the Naxals in Bihar are the rural areas, whereas the Muslims are basically city-based. Their strength has declined in the villages over the years.

There are very few Muslims who own land or are identified as landlords. So, they are out of the reckoning in the fight between Naxal groups and upper caste armed groups. Second, most Muslims are petty traders based in district towns or block level markets and do face ransom threats from Naxal outfits.

In a village called Pandura, where a handful of Muslims have their small shops in the block market Sandesh, they are quite often required to pay ransom amounts to the Naxal leaders, and this has become an established practice.

So, the Naxalites cannot be called friends of the Muslims. Third, the Muslim community is already under surveillance by the police and intelligence agencies for one reason or the other. Any involvement in Naxalite activities would further complicate their lives.

Many Muslims of Bihar believe that they are misused by the political leaders for their own ends, denouncing Laloo Prasad Yadav's MY (Muslim+Yadav) formula and squarely blaming the two decades of RJD rule for the poor state of Muslims in Bihar.

The Muslim community strongly believes that any linkage with the Naxals will bring many unforeseen troubles to the community. Fourth, elections are the real battleground for Muslims, which they use strategically for the betterment of the community.

On the other hand, the Naxal outfits boycott the parliamentary or assembly elections. Finally, Islam as a religion does not permit violence. Naxalism has become a symbol of violence, ransom and torture. Ideologically, therefore, Islam and Naxalism are two opposite poles of society.

However, Islam has been treated as a religion promoting violence, and jihad has been misinterpreted. Jihad was only used as a last resort to protect one's beliefs. Hence, those who follow these norms cannot use violence since there is no religious sanction behind it.

Overall, Muslims are not interested in participating in the violence between the Naxals and the upper castes. Unlike the Dalits, many Muslim youngsters are looking for alternative opportunities like migrating to the Gulf countries rather than joining Naxal outfits in Bihar.

The writer is PGT Teacher, Koilwar High School, Ara

Kamla Singh

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Boy kidnapped, rescued

Hyderabad, April 06: A boy Pradyumna, 6, who was kidnapped from his grandparents’ house at Kukatpally by a close relative who demanded Rs. 10 lakh ransom, was rescued by the police within hours on Saturday.

The alleged abductor, Venkat Raju, brother-in-law of Pradyumna’s maternal grandfather Krishnam Raju, was picked up by the Kukatpally police when he came to Borabanda railway station to collect the ransom. A car driver, Raju was reportedly in debts.

“He plotted to kidnap the boy and extort Rs. 10 lakh ransom from his family members to come out of his pecuniary problems,” Kukatpally Inspector V. Surender Reddy told reporters. Pradyumna’s father, Suresh Raju, working with Satyam as software engineer, and mother Sunitha, live in Chennai.

The boy was brought to Hyderabad by his grandmother three days ago to their house at KPHB MIG Colony for summer vacation. Venkat Raju used to come to the house of the boy’s grandparents now and then.

He casually came to Krishnam Raju’s house around 4 p.m. and took the boy out saying he would buy chocolates for him.

The boy’s grandfather, an industrialist, was away at his factory then. Two hours later, he rang up Krishnam Raju stating that he had taken away the latter’s grandson.

“Pay me Rs. 10 lakh to the boy free or else I will hand over him to naxalites or abandon him in Mumbai,” the abductor allegedly threatened. Krishnam Raju rushed to the Kukatpally police.

As the abductor continued to make calls, the police laid a trap asking Krishnam Raju to express readiness to pay the ransom amount.

Venkat Raju demanded that the money be sent to Borabanda railway station through one of his relatives, Sai.

The police sent a special team led by SI T. Ravinder to trail Sai.

As Venkat Raju came to the railway station, the police party rounded him up and took him into custody

Arms and the man

Hindustan Times
April 01, 2008
First Published: 22:36 IST(1/4/2008)
Last Updated: 22:40 IST(1/4/2008)



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When the state arms citizens to take on powerful opponents like the Naxals, it is admitting that it has failed in its role as the custodian of people’s security. The Supreme Court has come out strongly against the State’s nefarious role in setting up Salwa Judums in which arms are provided to civilians to fight Naxals in states like Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. The apex court has rightly accused the state of being an abettor to crime when it gives arms to citizens that they are meant to use to kill Naxals. The Salwa Judum project has been disastrous from the beginning. For starters, the State expects armed locals to take on powerful, ideologically motivated Naxals, a task that they are not trained to do. In other words, they are cannon fodder behind which the state can take refuge under the guise of passing power to the people. These hapless villagers and their families become easy targets for the Naxals as their casualty figures show. The other danger is that these Salwa Judums become a law unto themselves and begin to use their state-sanctioned extra-constitutional powers to terrorise other citizens.

Under no circumstance can the state be a party to encouraging vigilantism and this is what the Supreme Court has pulled it up for. Incidents of vigilantism have been recorded by a fact-finding team that visited Dantewada in Chhattisgarh and Khammam in Andhra Pradesh in January, 2008. It is now quite clear that these Salwa Judums are not spontaneous movements by people against Naxals. They are the result of coercion by the state of a people caught between the devil and the deep sea.

There are several mechanisms and institutions to deal with insurgencies. Should we believe that they are so ineffective as to leave policing in the hands of untrained citizens? Or could the more sinister motive be that the police, even paramilitary, do not want to be in the line of fire and would instead sacrifice the very people they are meant to protect? The verdict will play a significant role in affixing accountability for law and order. What has been going on so far in the name of the Salwa Judum amounts to criminalising society. The state must endeavour to get to the root cause of the disenchantment that attracts so many people to Naxalism. The court’s ruling is a clear signal to the State that it cannot abdicate its responsibility as law-enforcer any longer.

‘Turn non-violent Naxals to check graft’

Saturday April 5 2008 11:23 IST

Express News Service


WARANGAL: Lok Satta party founder Dr Jayaprakash Narayan called upon the people to become non-violent Naxalites to eradicate the rampant corruption in the society. An unrelenting fight is necessary to combat bribery, he said.

Narayan participated in several programmes in the district headquarters. He interacted with intellectuals and educationalists as part of the party’s ‘Swarayam-Surajyam’ movement. It was inaugurated in the Arts and Science auditorium. He also interacted with NIT students.

The Lok Satta party chief said that progress was impossible without elimination of corruption. Nearly Rs 2 lakh crore is swindled every five years in the State, he said adding that not less than Rs 100 crore is embezzled by political leaders every day.

There is no use of writing letters to the High Court seeking investigation into the property of legislators, he felt and suggested that the Chief Minister could himself constitute a special court for the purpose.

“It has become impossible to probe into the property of legislators since 1978,” he pointed out but felt that it would be sufficient if the property of legislators in earlier and present governments were probed to check corruption.

Special courts should be set up in each district to inquire into the property of legislators, he said and demanded that the corrupt MLAs be sent to jail. “At least 10 MLAs will go to jail if such an action was taken up,” he predicted.

Stating that the governments were neglecting graft, he said that the Jammu and Kashmir Government has made a law. The Lala Commission had prepared a draft on the same issue, nine years ago, he reminded.

He termed all the government welfare schemes from the EGS to the Rs 2-a-kg rice scheme as poll gimmicks. Continuing his tirade against the Congress Government, he wondered why more and more number of white ration cards were being issued even while the government was claiming about reduction in poverty.

“Earlier, the number of white cards issued was only 50 lakh, at present it is 1.95 crore and the government is ready to issue another 50 lakh soon,” he said.

Lok Satta district convener P Kodanda Rama Rao, State executive member Arjun, State secretary B Ram Mohan and others were present.

50 police stations to be fortified

Sunday April 6 2008 12:15 IST

ENS


BHUBANESWAR: Police stations and police training institutes being the primary target of the left wing ultras, the State Government is all set to fortify 50 police stations in the Naxal-infested areas in the next six months.

The Government has sanctioned Rs 40 lakh for each of the police stations to be fortified and strengthened with posting of additional police personnel specially trained to counter Naxalites, Home Secretary TK Mishra told mediapersons here on Saturday.

Specially trained police personnel will be posted in sensitive and important installations including Hirakud dam in view of threat of Naxal attacks.

The Government has decided to recruit ex-army personnel at the Special Operation Group (SOG) training centre, Chandaka and two of its satellite centres at Malkangiri and Rourkela to provide training to the SOG members on anti-Naxal operation.

The State will request the Centre to provide financial assistance to meet the training needs of the SOG personnel, the Home Secretary said.

A provision of Rs 10 crore has been made in the budget for supply of modern arms and ammunition to police stations in the Naxal-hit areas, special training to police and SOG personnel and other anti-Naxal operations, he added.

A two-pronged strategy has been adopted by the Government to effectively counter the Left wing ultras. Apart from creation of special intelligence wing, special security wing, SOG, two India Reserve Battalions and four special security forces, about 4,000 constables and sepoys have been recruited last during 2007-08.

The Government has also taken special measures to settle land disputes and intensified anti-poverty programmes in the tribal areas to discourage tribal youth from joining the Naxal groups.

Good entertainer for Pavan Kalyan’s fans

Sunday April 6 2008 14:39 IST

Y Maheswara Reddy


JALSA is a good entertainer for Pavan Kalyan’s fans. It is one of the few Telugu films that has created much hype prior to its release.

The pre-intermission session of the movie is full of comedy. It may not be an exaggeration to say that it is one of Pavan Kalyan’s best films that were released last year.

The movie begins with the generic voice of Mahesh Babu. It is all about Sanjay Sahu alias Sanju (Pavan) who is not only an intelligent student, but also a consummate alcoholic.

He falls in love with his classmate (Kamalinee Mukherji). She promptly introduces him to her father (Prakash Raj) who refuses to give his consent.

The chat between Kalyan and Prakash is a treat to watch. Kalyan’s dialogues and Prakash’s turbulence make the audience laugh.

As expected, Sanju has to forego his sweetheart who reluctantly marries another affluent person.

After a few months, Sanjay happens to rescue Bhagavathy alias Bhagy (Ileana) and her friend (Parvathy Milton) from rowdies. Impressed by Sanju’s courage, both of them fall in love with him. However, Bhagy succeeds to win over him.

Meanwhile, Sanju comes to know that Bhagy is the second daughter of Prakash who refused to give consent to his elder daughter’s marriage proposal.

At this juncture, the director introduces a flashback sequence that explains how Sanju got attracted by the naxal movement, how he surrendered to the police and got rehabilitated.

This movie consists of a number of comedy sequences. Comedians Bramhanandam, Sunil and Dharmavarapu Subramaniam vie among themselves to provide comedy.

Ileana is charming, and she is a good dancer too. Parvathy Milton is an added attraction, and her performance, especially in a scene where she threatens Pavan and criticises Ileana, is very good. Mukesh Rushi looks stylish.

Music director Devisri Prasad has provided lilting music. Among the songs, the title song is very good. Jalsa is a family entertainer, indeed.

'Naxals planning major strikes in UP'

Lucknow (PTI): Naxalites have set up new bases in Uttar Pradesh and are planning "major strikes" in the state, a top police officer has said.

"We have information that new entrants are being trained in the jungles and rugged zones. We are working to avert any strike," the senior officer, who refused to be identified, told PTI.

Quoting intelligence reports, the officer said the Naxals were planning to attack offices and camps of security forces besides planning to loot explosives from godowns of rock industry units and wholesale suppliers based in Sonebhadra and Mirzapur.

The last major Naxal strike in Uttar Pradesh was on November 20, 2004, when the ultras ambushed a police patrol party and killed at least 17 cops near a culvert in Chandauli district.

The incident occurred when landmines blew up the vehicle carrying Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel, who were proceeding towards Naugarh police station area for a combing operation.

Besides, the senior officer said that the Naxals were also using "money power" to recruit people from weaker sections of the society with the help of some NGOs and smaller political outfits.

Such recruits generally conducted single strike after which they returned to their native villages to evade any suspicion, he added.

Fortress for cops in red region

SUBRAT DAS

Bhubaneswar, April 5: Fifty police stations in Maoist areas across the state are being fortified, said home secretary T.K. Mishra, apparently waking up learning a lesson from the February 15 rebel attack on various police stations and the district armoury in Nayagarh.

Fortifying of 25 police stations is almost complete and the work on the remaining will be over within six months, he added.

A sum of Rs 40 lakh is being spent on each of these police stations, out of the police modernisation scheme shared equally by the Centre and state government, said Mishra.

The construction work has been entrusted with the state-owned Orissa Police Housing Corporation, which has expertise on this.

On February 15 night, the Maoists had run havoc on police stations, district armoury and the police training centre in Nayagarh district for several hours and looted arms and ammunition. Sixteen policemen were killed.

This had prompted the government to strengthen the vulnerable police stations and armouries in the Maoist-affected areas. Moreover, building high boundary walls and watch towers, manpower strength is also being augmented in the police stations.

Specially trained police personnel armed with sophisticated weapons would be posted in these police stations and armouries, said the home secretary, adding that these personnel would be sent for training to other major Maoist and extremist-affected states.

The government is also contemplating to engage retired defence personnel having experience and expertise in combating the extremists and Maoist rebels, he said.

The training centre of the Special Operation Group set up on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar would also be upgraded at a cost of Rs 10 crore this year, said Mishra.

Strengthening of the intelligence wing of state police by way of training and procurement of sophisticated gadgets, and raising of a special India Reserve Battalion to look after the security of VIPs and keep vigil on important establishments are on the anvil.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik had earlier said the government was working on the proposal keeping the Maoist menace in view.