Friday, December 26, 2008

Maoists appoint spokesman

Published: December 26,2008



Kolkata , Dec 26 With the West Bengal government not banning Maoists and instead proposing to tackle them politically, the ultras have appointed a spokesman to air their views.

Gour Chakraborty, a state committee member of&apos Ganapratirodh Mancha&aposresigned from his post to take up the new responsibility.

" They (maoists) have requested me to take up this responsibility and I have accepted it. I will try to air their political views publicly," Chakraborty told reporters here.

Asked if this meant the Maoists were coming overground, he said he could not comment on it as he was not connected with organisational matters.


Source: PTI

Maoists dare CPM near Jindal plant site

26 Dec 2008, 0252 hrs IST, Sukumar Mahato, TNN



SALBONI: In an open challenge to CPM, a band of 50 Maoists armed with rifles stormed Madhupur village near Sajjan Jindal's steel plant site in West Midnapore on Thursday and forced everyone to come out of their huts and parade with them.

All the villagers meekly followed them, except two local CPM leaders, who fled into a nearby forest. The Maoists barged into the duo's homes and set them on fire. Only a couple of days ago, Maoists had shot dead two policemen and injured a third in a crowded Purulia bazaar.

Thursday's show of strength by Maoists was apparently in response to CPM's comeback in Jangalmahal. The ruling party had drawn armed cadres from neighbouring Garbeta to re-establish its authority in the Maoist-dominated area. The guerrillas hit back to crush the resistance put up by CPM leaders Kamalkanta Singhadeb and Niranjan Debsingha in Madhupur.

It's the ordinary villagers who are caught in the tussle between CPM and police on the one hand, and the Maoists on the other.

The Maoist-led Committee against Police Atrocities is again on the warpath. Its spokesperson Chhatradhar Mahato announced on Thursday that they would resume the blockade of Jangalkhand from January.

"The government did not keep its promise. Police officers were supposed to go to Chhoto Pelia village to hold talks with the tribals. No one has even bothered to visit the village. We want the Lalgarh SP to apologize for the police repression," Mahato said.

Sensing the coming storm, a section of CPM wants Lalgarh SP Rajesh Sinha moved somewhere else, but the administration is dragging its feet because Sinha is apparently very close to CPM's West Midnapore district secretary Dipak Sarkar.

CPM's Debagram local secretary Bikash Ukil accused Trinamool Congress of joining hands with Maoists to terrorize villagers in favour of industry. "Worried by the impressive CPM rally here on Wednesday, Maoists retaliated a day later with the help of Trinamool. They have threatened villagers if anyone dares oppose them," Ukil said.

The Maoists are piling on the pressure. The Committee against Police Atrocities met Lodha Sabar Kalyan Samity leaders in Midnapore town on Thursday to up the ante against the government. They will start an indefinite fast in front of the DM's office from December 30. "The last time, we broke the fast in September when the DM gave us in writing that he would set up an eight-member panel to look after tribal welfare. The panel has not been set up yet," Samity vice-president Khagendranath Maity said. "No committee has been set up to probe the alleged torture on tribals, either."

Another Adivasi organization, Bharat Joan Gaonta, has called a 48-hour bandh in Jhargram town from February 9 to protest against police inaction in the murder of JMM leader Sudhir Mandi. "Police are adding to the scare by labelling people Maoists," Gaonta leader Munshiram Murmu said.

GRP escort killed in Naxalite swoop

OUR BUREAU

Patna/Bhagalpur, Dec. 25: Naxalites gunned down a GRP jawan, injured another and snatched away assault rifles and ammunition in a daring afternoon attack on the Bhagalpur-Muzaffarpur Intercity Express near Jamalpur, Bihar, today.

Police said at least 30 armed members of the CPI(Maoist) swooped on the train between Ghoghal and Jamalpur on the Jamalpur-Keul section of East Central Railway. They cut the vacuum pipe, bringing the Muzaffapur-bound train to a halt, and waited till the GRP jawans, on escort duty, alighted from the coach to find out what was wrong. As soon as they did, the rebels started raining bullets.

Munger superintendent of police Sunil Nayak said that though taken by surprise, the jawans retaliated. “The gunfight last for more than 30 minutes,” he said. More than 20 rounds were fired. While GRP constable Ganesh Singh was killed in the encounter, another jawan was wounded.

Though Nayak claimed that no passenger sustained injuries, an unconfirmed reports said two took bullets. A report also claimed that four GRP men were injured in the incident.

After overpowering the jawans, the Naxalites snatched away at least four assault rifles, a carbine and several rounds of ammunition.

Railway officials said the attack delayed the train for three hours. It resumed its journey at 6pm after senior GRP officers and railway officials inspected the site.

A senior railway official admitted that the CPI(Maoist) had spread its tentacles in large parts of the hilly Jamalpur sub-division in Munger district.

Villagers of Abhaypur and Dharhara said they had spotted unidentified people carrying arms on Tuesday. Naxalites often organise training camps on hillocks, they said, and blamed the police for not paying heed to the rising threat from the rebels.

Gumla deaths

Maoist guerrillas beheaded two villagers and shot dead a man and his son in two separate incidents in Gumla district of Jharkhand early this morning.

The first incident took place at Govindpur while the second occurred at Srinagar village, about 17km away. Two of the victims have been identified as former armyman Augustine Ekka (50) and his son, James (20).

Sources said the rebels suspected the father-son duo to be police informers.

Police spokesperson and I.G (provision) S.N. Pradhan said all the four bodies had been sent for post-mortem. Paramilitary jawans have been deployed in the area.

Gun battle

Police and suspected Maoists today exchanged several rounds of fire in Chichikala forest in the Katkamsandi police station area of Hazaribagh.

Though unofficial reports claimed that six members of the CPI(Maoist) were killed in the firing, superintendent of police Pankaj Kamboj did not confirm the toll. “There was a gun battle between our men and extremists, but we did not recover a single body from the site,” he said.

State raises financial aid to Naxal victims

26 Dec 2008, 0235 hrs IST, ET Bureau



MUMBAI: After years of dilly-dallying, the Maharashtra government has finally decided to raise the financial assistance and compensation to the next
of kin of policemen who lose their lives fighting the naxals. Now, this will be on par with those who lost their lives during the recent 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai.

The state’s newly-appointed home minister Jayant Patil made this announcement at Nagpur where the state legislature is currently in session. “Martyrs of naxal attacks in eastern Vidarbha districts would be entitled to monetary benefits equal to those being received by terror martyrs of November 26,” Mr Patil said.

The state government, which has already announced a compensation of Rs 25 lakh to the kin of policemen killed during the last month’s terror attacks in Mumbai, has also decided to pay the full salary till the date of retirement to the families of deceased officers.

Maharashtra has a large area infested with naxals. According to official records, nearly half a dozen districts located along the naxal-infested regions of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and eastern Vidarbha have already been declared naxal affected.

Gadchiroli is seen as the Red bastion in Maharashtra, whereas Chandrapur, Gondiya, Yavatmal, Bhandara and Nanded districts are declared “naxal prone areas.” Apart from a favourable geographical setting, the economic backwardness and undulating terrain of these regions act as a fertile ground for Left extremism.

Besides, some districts bordering Madhya Pradesh are on the radar of naxals who want to create a contiguous Red Corridor from Bihar to Gujarat. Urban centres such as Mumbai, Solapur, Nagpur and Aurangabad are also seen as possible shelters. The state has already announced plans to set up an elite force of specially-trained men who would be provided with state-of-the-art technology to battle naxals.

The government’s decision comes in the wake of a severe criticism it faced over its handling of violence from the extreme leftist organisations. While the naxals were making inroads into the eastern Maharashtra, the government initially was terming them as merely the ‘spill-over effect’ from Andhra Pradesh. According to current official records, there are 15 naxal dalams (groups) that are active in Maharashtra. Of these, three — the Platoon dalam, Tipagarh dalam and Khobramendha dalam — are more violent and have modern ammunition, including LMGs and other sophisticated weapons. The CPI (Maoist) has around 250 full-time armed cadres and a strong contingent of 3,000 local supporters.

In another decision, the state on Wednesday announced a drive to recruit 50,000 more security personnel in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks. “Altogether, 50,000 security guards would be appointed through the state security board and proper training would be provided to them,” the government said.

MAHARASTRA: State wakes up to khaki plight

26 Dec 2008, 0327 hrs IST, Sanjeev Shivadekar, TNN



MUMBAI: Policemen fighting terrorists, Naxals and petty criminals would now be treated at par.


After assuring support for the families of the policemen who lost their lives in the recent terror attacks on Mumbai, the state government wants to extend similar benefits to the families of the police personnel who fight with Naxals in the hinterlands of Maharashtra, dacoits, criminals and gangsters.

In a cabinet meeting held immediately after the terror attack on CST railway station, Taj hotel and Oberoi, the state government announced compensation for the families of the police personnel who lost their lives fighting terrorists.

Besides a compensation of Rs 25 lakh each for the kin of the deceased, the government has promised to give a flat, monthly salary till the time the deceased was due to retire, and a job to one of the family members.

Following this announcement, a similar package was suggested for the police force posted in the interior areas of the state to counter Naxals.

Acknowledging that the state is developing a special hi-tech force to deal with the Naxal problem, a senior home department official said, "If any police official loses his life fighting Naxals, the family of the deceased will receive the salary till the time the victim was due for retirement.'' This compensation will be, in addition, to the existing one provided by the state government. The Government Resolution (GR) to this effect was issued on November 29, he added.

Significantly, those police officials killed in the Naxal attack on October 27 at Gadchiroli will be entitled to similar compensation. In the attack, four of 23 policemen were killed on the spot.

Though the GR was issued after the incident, the state government announced that it would provide financial assistance to the relatives of these policemen. The announcement to this effect was made by the state home minister Jayant Patil at the ongoing legislative assembly session in Nagpur. "Those who have lost their lives in the Naxal attacks will be entitled to monetary benefits equal to those being received by martyrs of the recent terror attacks on the city,'' said Patil.

Welcoming the move, additional director general of police (anti-Naxal operation) Pankaj Gupta said, "Sacrifice is sacrifice, whether it is in urban or rural areas. Those who sacrifice their lives for the security of the nation should be given equal treatment.''

"Fighting dacoits and gangsters is also a service to the nation and any casualties in such incidents should be treated at par,'' the home department official added.

Significantly, in 2004, during her assembly election campaign in Gadchiroli, Congress president Sonia Gandhi suggested that the party should pay more attention to the Naxalite problem before it gets out of control.

26/11 Compensation criteria:
Those who want to claim compensation should be ready with the following documents:

Police Report / FIR, death-cum-post-mortem certificate in the event of death, medical certificate in the event of permanent incapacitation, birth certificate of the claimant (if minor)and other documents for determining rightful beneficiary

The Procedure:

Based on hospital reports, the district committee would send recommendations to joint secretary of MHA in New Delhi in the prescribed form, with a copy to the Home department of the state government

All the documents would have to be verified and certified by the district committee.

The cheque would be deposited in the FD account of the beneficiary, with instructions to the bank that no premature withdrawal may be allowed.

The kin of victims can inform bank account details to:

Y R Bhalerao, deputy collector, Old Custom House, third floor, Shaheed Bhagatsingh Marg, Fort, Mumbai 400 001.

For deaths (and injuries) at CST, one can file claims with the Railway Claims Tribunal. For assistance, former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya can be contacted at kirit@vsnl.in or on 21634152. Somaiya is volunteering to give free medical aid to all victims and their kin. He will assist victims/kin in getting a job in the railways.

Railways to beef up security

26 Dec 2008, 0005 hrs IST, TNN



PATNA: The railways would beef up security measures on Kiul-Jamalpur section under Malda division of the Eastern Railway (ER) in the wake of the
Maoist attack on the Bhagalpur-Muzaffarpur Jansewa Express on Thursday evening.

The railways would also hold a meeting with GRP officials to check recurrence of such incidents in future on this particular route, said ER PRO B K Sharma.

According to Sharma, though law and order is a state matter, the railways would co-operate fully with GRP and the state police in launching a joint operation against the banned Naxal outfit. The railways would ensure that each train passing through this route is properly escorted, he said.

He informed that the Maoists had also snatched walkie-talkies of both the driver and guard of the ill-fated train with an aim to disconnect any communication with the control room or the nearest station. The railways have put all security personnel on high alert following this incident, he said.

Land being identified to station NSG around Chennai

Coimbatore (PTI): The Tamil Nadu government is in the process of identifying the land to station NSG commandos in Chennai or closer to airport, a top state police official said on Friday.

The NSG team would be stationed to depute to nearby places and States, DGP K P Jain told reporters here.

Replying to a question on the need to create a strike force in Tamil Nadu, in the wake of recent terror attacks in Mumbai, Jain said that the State already has an exclusive and well trained Tamil Nadu Commando Force and Special Task Force to meet any eventuality.

However, there was lack of proper equipment and vehicles like the NSG and the State has sent a proposal to the Centre to provide additional financial assistance, besides the normal annual funds, to upgrade and modernise the force. It would take a little time to train the personnel to handle new equipments, he said.

The Centre recently included Chennai as one of the metros to station an NSG contingent.

Jain was here to review the law and order situation and also the progress of unsolved cases pending since last year.

On Naxal activities, Jain said police have identified Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Dindigul and Theni districts as the possible Maoist-infested areas. However, the department has successfully foiled their attempts to get a foothold in Tamil Nadu, he said.

"We are aware that Naxalites are making attempts to sneak into these districts. But we are proactive and would prevent any such move," Jain said.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Maoists kill four villagers in Jharkhand

Ranchi (IANS): Maoist guerrillas killed four people, including a man and his son, in two villages of Jharkhand's Gumla district, the police said Thursday.

"Four people were killed by CPI-Maoist (Communist Party of India - Maoist) rebels in two villages of Gumla district," S.N. Pradhan, Jharkhand police spokesperson, told IANS.

According to the police, Maoist rebels killed a man and his son early Thursday morning in Govindpur village of Gumla district, which is around 160 km from here.

A man and his nephew were killed in Srinagar village of the same district by Maoist rebels.

According to the police, around 15 to 20 activists of CPI-Maoist raided Govindpur village and abducted an ex-army man and his son. The rebels shot them dead.

The police have reached the spot to assess the situation and ascertain the reason for the killing.

Maoist rebels are active in 18 of the 24 districts of the state. In last seven years over 1,350 people, including civilians and Maoist rebels, have been killed.

Joint raids by WB, Jharkhand police on Maoist hideouts

Kolkata, Dec 24 (PTI) The West Bengal and Jharkhand police have jointly raided Maoist hideouts in Jharkhand following the December 22 attack on the Berada police camp in Purulia district that left two policemen dead and another critically injured.
"Our police, in coordination with the Jharkhand police, raided Maoist hideouts inside Jharkhand shortly after two of our policemen were killed in the Maoist attack," Home Secretary Asok Mohan Chakraborty said today, while refusing to divulge further the outcome of the raids.

To a query, he said the DGP and IGP (Western Range), who had gone to Berada village to enquire into the attack incident, were yet to submit a report to the state government.

Chakraborty, meanwhile, avoided queries about police failure in the incident, but said that had there been CRPF deployment at the spot, the attackers could have been tackled better.

The Home Secretary said that it was being probed why the police action was delayed against the attackers.

The state government has informed the Centre and Jharkhand government about the spurt in maoist activities in West Bengal. PTI

Hunt for Maoists involved in Purulia killings

KOLKATA, Dec. 23 : The state administration today launched an intensive man-hunt to nab Maoists responsible for the brutal killing of two policemen in Purulia yesterday.
Mr Rajesh Yadav, district superintendent of police, said a massive combing had begun throughout the bordering areas of Jharkhand as the Maoists were believed to have fled towards Jharkhand after the attack.
The inspector general (western range) Mr Kuldeep Singh said all the policemen posted in the Maoist-infested areas had been asked to be on alert to tackle Maoist attacks.
The policemen who fired three rounds at the fleeing Maoists would be awarded, while compensation would be given to the family-members of the two victims, Mr Singh said..
The chief electoral officer, Mr Debashis Sen, will visit Purulia tomorrow to review the law and order situation before the Para Assembly by-election to be held on 27 December. A large contingent of armed police have been deployed at all the nine check posts of Purila district, Mr Yadav said.
Condemning the killing of two policemen at Purulia by Maoists yesterday Trinamul Congress chief, Miss Mamata Banerjee today appealed to the outfit “not to kill innocent people who don't even know why they are being attacked and killed.” Mr AB Vohra, director general of police and Mr Kuldip Singh, IG (western range) visited the spot during the day.
The Trinamul chief clarified that her party was against the politics of individual killings. In the same breath she said certain forces were trying to take advantage of the pent-up anger of the people suffering three decades of CPI-M “misrule.”

Maoists caught jawans unawares

24 Dec 2008, 0506 hrs IST, TNN



PURULIA/KOLKATA: The jawans of the Specially Trained Armed Company (Straco) did not even get time to cock their rifles when the 30-odd Maoists
attacked them at Bereda in Purulia on Monday evening.

A day after the ambush, police have got some clues that suggest that the squad that was involved in this attack had come from Jharkhand. Probe revealed that the team was led by two women, masquerading as villagers and carrying gunny bags. The jawans were on their way to the camp when they were ambushed. The remaining Straco members did not come out of the camp, suspecting that they could be trapped.

"There were about 40 jawans with Insas rifles, but they decided not to come out," said Kuldeip Singh, IG (western zone). DGP A B Vohra and Singh visited the spot on Tuesday and held a meeting with senior police officers.

The Maoist squad had meticulously planned the attack, choosing a day when the maximum number of people will be on the road, blocking the police. "Once they moved out from the spot, it was difficult to select the targets. Monday was the haat day and there were hundreds of people on the road. Had the police opened fire, many innocent people could have been hit. It was a difficult situation," said a senior police officer.

Apart from the haat, a daylong programme celebrating the 50th year of Bereda High School close to the attack site was on. Several CPM leaders, including the party's Purulia district secretary Manindra Gope, were scheduled to attend the programme.

Three jawans were walking towards the community hall when they were attacked. They were going to relieve Toton Seth, Chinmoy Mandal and Nikhil Pandey. Police suspect that Seth, Mandal and Pandey had made some mistakes, which made them easy targets. "They shouldn't have left the camp before the relief team arrived. Also, they should have walked in a single file, not side by side," a senior officer said.

When the jawans were close to the community hall, two women who had been squatting on the road stood up and took out two small firearms from a bag. They aimed at Seth and opened fire. Across the road is located a closed-down mill, outside which a group of 14 lungi-clad men were sitting. Witnesses have told the police that they had been there for at least 45 minutes. Seconds after the two women shot at the jawans, the men surrounded them and started firing. Seth and Chinmoy were shot at from point-blank range and couldn't even raise their rifles. Pandey, the third jawan, who was critically injured, tried to take shelter behind the Maoists, thinking they were locals, and was stabbed on the back. Before falling to the ground, he managed to fire in the air, alerting his colleagues.

The relief team at the camp heard the shots, but was not sure about the origin. When the three relief members reached the spot, they found two of their colleagues lying in a pool of blood. The assailants had melted into the crowd.

Buddha likely to take up Maoist menace with PM

KOLKATA, Dec. 24: The chief minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is likely to take up the Maoists issue, particularly about their strategy of escaping to Jharkhand after attacking targets in the state, in the meeting called by the PM on internal security on 6 January at Delhi.
The state is perturbed with the attacks by the Maoists who have base in Jharkhand and escape to the neighbouring state after the incident. The state home secretary said that in the past months all the attacks by Maoists had shown the same pattern. “They come, cause some mischief here and then return to Jharkhand. We also have some information about their hideouts in Jharkhand but we have no jurisdiction in those areas,” he said. He also said that the director general of police would also inquire whether the specially trained armed commandos posted in the camps during the incident had remained inside deliberately during the attack.
Meanwhile, the tripartite meeting on Gorkhaland would take place on 30 December in New Delhi. n

Huge response to Orissa recruitment drive to combat Maoists

Bhubaneswar (IANS): Officials in Orissa's troubled Kandhamal district wanted to recruit 500 residents to combat Maoists. They received over 3,000 applications.

In five Orissa districts - Malkangiri, Koraput, Gajapati, Rayagada and Kandhamal - the state government is recruiting 2,000 special police officers (SPOs) to fight Maoist rebels.

"We have (received) tremendous response in Kandhamal district," district superintendent of police S. Praveen Kumar told IANS by phone.

Kandhamal district, about 200 km from here, witnessed widespread communal violence after the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides at his ashram Aug 23.

At least 38 people were killed in the state and thousands of people forced to flee their homes after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs. About 8,000 people are still living in government-run relief camps in the district. Maoists had claimed responsibility for the killing.

"The recruitment process is under way. The number of applications we have received were over 3,000 against 500 posts (in the district)," Kumar said.

"We want to fight Maoists. We are not afraid of them," said a resident who has been selected in neighbouring district Rayagada.

"The response we got in other districts was also good," said deputy inspector general of police Sanjeeb Panda.

"In Rayagada and Koraput, there were 1,800 and 1,200 applications against 400 posts each and we have completed the selection process," he said.

In Malkangiri, one of the worst Maoist-hit district, some 800 applications were received; 236 SPOs were selected.

Panda said if the authorities had lowered the eligibility criterion from those who had passed Class 8 to those who had passed Class 5, they would have got many more applications.

"We have requested the government to relax this norm," he added.

The officials said the selected SPOs would now be trained for three months before they were appointed.

Appointed on a contractual basis for the first three years, the SPOs would be paid Rs.4,000 per month in the first two years and Rs.4,500 in the third year.

Increasing Maoist-related violence over the past few years has become a major cause of concern for the government with officials expressing helplessness in tackling the situation.

The Communist Party of India-Maoist has influence in at least eight of the state's 30 districts. They are Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Gajapati, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Sundargarh and Mayurbhanj, an official said.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (Jana Shakti), another leftwing extremist outfit, has made its presence felt in the mineral rich tri-junction area of the districts of Keonjhar, Jajpur and Dhenkanal.

Fifteen out of 30 districts of the state have been affected by Maoist violence to some degree, the government has said.

But the recruitment has been slammed by human rights activists in the state as an attempt to replicate the controversial Salwa Judum movement of neighbouring Chhattisgarh.

Maoist rebels have appealed to the people not to join the special police force. They have appealed to the residents to join the Maoist movement instead.

"The spontaneous response by tribals despite the Maoist threat has established that tribals do not support the rebels," said another police officer.

Nurse missing, finger at rebels

OUR CORRESPONDENT
Jamshedpur, Dec. 24: It has been four days since a nurse of Tata Meherbai Cancer Hospital went missing but the family members feel that Naxalites may have a hand in it.

Pratibha R. Paul (50) took an off on December 20 to complete some pending legal matters at Jamshedpur court.

Before leaving for the court at 9am, she promised her son to attend a Christmas gathering that was scheduled at the local church in the evening. She finished her work and came back at 12 noon. After having lunch with her husband she left home at 2pm without informing anybody.

Late at night when she did not come back home, her son Sanjay went to Sonari police station and informed the sleuths about it. After three days when she did not come return Sanjay lodged a missing report with the police and said they suspect the involvement of Naxalites in the episode.

Sanjay said on that day his mother said she had some pending work which need to be finished soon and so she has taken a leave. She promised to be there at the musical programme in the church.

“When she came back in the afternoon, I was not there. But when she left she did not inform my father about it. When she did not come back at night I suspected she had gone missing,” said Sanjay.

He said his mother has not been to any of their relatives house on that day.

A senior police officer said in the past Naxalites have abducted people specially doctors and nurses to help them with medical aid. An officer, on condition of anonymity, said they are trying to find out if Naxalites are involved in the case. “Naxalites have kidnapped doctors and nurse in the past to help them with medical help or for treatment of injured rebels. But there has to be a motive behind it and we have to find it out,” said the officer.

Sub-inspector of Sonari police station Adikant Mahto confirmed that they have registered a missing report.

Police sources said on December 19, a cancer patient Raj Kumar Prasad was discharged from Tata Meherbai Cancer Hospital. Prasad is a resident of Lohardaga district, a red-hit area and they suspect that there might be a link between the two.

Arik Tirkey, a close relative of the nurse, had met the deputy superintendent of police (city) Madhu Sudhan Bari and apprised him about the matter.

Bari told the The Telegraph that they are trying to contact the Lohardaga police to get some leads into the case.

Maoists kill two in Pirtand

SHAHNAWAZ AKHTAR
Giridih, Dec. 24: In what seems to be a case of revenge killing, suspected Maoists maimed and murdered two villagers of Pirtand yesterday.

Investigations revealed that the two — one a resident of Masnatand and another of Palganj — were taken away by young men clad in military uniforms from their homes late in the night. It is suspected that they were taken to some undisclosed location were they were stabbed and their throats slit.

The bodies of Sunder Manjhi (57) and Bagga Majhi (37) were found on the Giridih-Dumri main road. Posters strewn around blamed the duo for the death of Maoist area commander Guru Manjhi.

Officer-in-charge, Pirtand police station, H.E. Siddiqui, however, claimed that Manjhi died after falling into a well.

There has been a spurt in crime and rebel activities ever since the transfer of former superintendent of police (SP) M.L. Meena here a fortnight ago. With the two fresh bodies, the toll rose to seven within a fortnight of the transfer.

Meena has been successful in pushing the Naxalites to the back foot by arresting several of their hardcore leaders. His forces have also killed rebels and confiscated huge cache of arm and ammunition.

In a separate incident yesterday, a gang of robbers attacked groups of Jain pilgrims hailing from Mumbai, Rajasthan and Gujarat, who were on their way to Parasnath hills. They snatched away belongings worth Rs 7 lakh from the pilgrims who were on their way to attend the Chaturth Mass festival that began in December.

The pilgrims were were robbed at Dhawatand under Nimiaghat police station area. The robbers also allegedly misbehaved with women pilgrims. Nimiaghat officer in charge Ratibhaan Singh, however, claimed that goods worth only Rs 2 lakh had been robbed and that no one misbehaved with the women.

Three robbers snatched a bag containing Rs 1 lakh from one Subhash Ram at Baniyadih under Muffassil police station area around 2pm today. Present Giridih superintendent of police A.V. Minz could not be contacted for his comments on the crime spurt.

Naxalites target mobile towers

SANTOSH K. KIRO

A mobile tower in Ranchi: Threat to Naxalites
Ranchi, Dec. 24: To stop the police from eavesdropping into their telephonic conversations and to send a warning to telecom operators keen on expanding their network in the state, Naxalites are blowing up mobile towers.

In the current year alone they have blown up well over seven mobile towers of various cellular operators across the state, including the December 21 incident in Palamau.

The police fears that this trend is bound to increase in the coming days. Reason: the police are tapping their cellular conversation and using the information to nab them.

The state police has arrested as many as 42 Naxalites — from area commanders to politburo members — mostly through intervening into their cellular conversations and mapping their locations.

“We tap their (Naxalites) cellular conversation and learn about heir location. Then we raid them and catch them,” said Palamau superintendent of police Deepak Verma. As many as four such incidents have taken place here.

Sources in the state police said that the rebels are now being careful and not exchanging information on phones. But they cannot resist using cellphones, sources added.

“They do not want to be covered under the mobile operation network. And their frequent attacks on mobile towers is stopping several cellular operators from continuing with their expansion plans,” said an official of a mobile operating company, requesting anonymity.

Now new mobile operators are also hesitant in making a foray into the region.

The state police recently introduced Terrestrial Trunking Radio (Tetra), which has a specific frequency allotted by the Union government. Unlike wireless radios, which can be heard by a third person, this device works like a mobile phone limiting the exchange between two persons.

“At times, Naxalites demand levy from telecom companies and, if refused, they blow up mobile towers,” said inspector-general S.N. Pradhan, police modernisation and state police spokesperson.

Mobile towers are being blown up in the neighbouring states of Jharkhand as well. According to a recent revelation from the Union home ministry, as many as 43 such incidents have happened in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Orissa, besides Jharkhand.

NAGPUR : Five new police stations in city soon

25 Dec 2008, 0200 hrs IST, TNN


NAGPUR: The city would get five new police stations by March, minister of state for home Nitin Raut announced in the state assembly on Wednesday.
The police stations would be set up in Bajaj Nagar, Somalwada, Rameshwari, Mankapur and Shanti Nagar.

Presently, the city has 21 police stations and the police has not been able to start the 22nd at Hudkeshwar due to non-availbility of space.

Replying to a discussion initiated by MLA Devendra Fadnavis on city’s law and order situation, Raut said the city police’ infrastructure would be upgraded and government would try to fill up vacant posts as soon as possible.

Raut promised to provide global positioning system (GPS) to city police. This would help police in rushing its forces to trouble spots quickly. He also assured to increase the strength of intelligence wing.

The minister came down heavily on civic agencies for increase in number of accidents. “The accidents have increased because till date there are no parking and hawker zones in the cities.”

Admitting to high crime rate in the city, Raut said that Nagpur was a sensitive city because of Deekshabhoomi and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters. He said that the city was witnessing increasing in covert Naxalite activity. The crime rate might increase as Mihan project develops, he said.

Fadnavis in his submission said that Nagpur had the highest crime rate among cities of Maharashtra. The police infrastructure has not been increased in proportion to the population growth. He said that 1,800 posts of policemen were lying vacant in the city.

Koyas – the most gullible tribe - II

The Koyas are a tribe inhabiting the hills in the north of the Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh and are also found in Malkangiri District. They have a tradition of about two hundred years old and believed to have been driven from the plateaus.

CJ: Kishor Kumar..

THEY CULTIVATE tobacco leaf, Mandia, Maize and Bhatta paddy. Mohula and Salap are their ideal drink. They are primarily into shifting cultivation. But, with the change in time they have taken to settled cultivation. The Koyas are fond of hunting. Most of the times, they are found inside the forests in pursuit of wild birds, hare, squirrels and wild animals. Hunting is also one of the favourite recreations of the Koya people. In the hot season and especially in the month of ’Chaitra’, organised beats are held in which all the men and boys armed with bows and arrows, axes or spears take part. Such expeditions, as a matter of course, culminate in a feast .They also catch fish from the nearest river and ponds. The Koyas seldom milk their cows and they are used as an item in bride price. The cows are also sacrificed as offerings in festivals and funerals. They rear pigs, goats, cows and poultry.


Koyas, the Naxal sympathisers:


It is a fact that some of the Koyas are either supporters or sympathisers of left wing extremists and the reasons are manifold. Koyas are even today far away from modern civilization. Various factors like low literacy, lack of access to resources, under development agriculture, geographical isolation and lack of land reforms are the reasons for the socio-economic backwardness of the Koya people who are said to be supporters of the Naxals. A low literacy rate of less than 10 per cent gives them no understanding of what the government machinery is. Lack of infrastructural development like road communication, electricity, health facilities, education and drinking water has kept them away from the mainstream in Malkangiri District of Orissa. Intellectuals say that extreme low literacy rate among the Koya people together with other problems are the major hurdles in joining the mainstream in Malkangiri. While many believe that as the Koyas speak and understand Telgu well, and the Telgu speaking Naxals belonging to A.P easily succeed in pursuing them about their ideology and movement.


Development a key factor to end Naxal menace:


The Koyas inhabiting the interior, inaccessible and remote pockets of the district are deprived of basic facilities like education, road communication, health facility, drinking water and electricity, said Malkangiri MLA Nimai Charan Sarkar. The government should look into all these problems to bring an end to the left wing movement. Empasising on the need for educating the Koya people in their own dialect, he opined that if the Koya people become literate and the socio-economic factors will be redressed, the Koyas would have no option but to join the mainstream. Stressing on land reform-the root cause of the left wing movement, Sarkar said the government should look into the matter. All round development of the Koya people holds the key to end the Naxal menace, Sarkar asserted.


Koyas are peace loving:


It is the low literacy rate as a result of which the Koya people do not understand what the government machinery is, said Malkangiri former-Zilla Parishad President Nanda Kumar Kartami. A man from the Koya community, Kartami said the Koyas are quite peace loving. Stressing on education and more developmental works in the Koya dominated villagers, he said with the education holds the key to the all round development of the Koya people.


Without the socio-economic improvement of the Koya peoples, their all round development would not be possible. Literacy which holds the key to success of all government sponsored developmental programmes should be promoted among the Koya community before the situation goes out of hand given that they support the Naxalites. To sum up, sincere efforts should be made to bring these gullible tribes to the mainstream by ensuring their socio-economic development. If we deal simultaneously on the political, socio-economic, security, development and management fronts in a holistic and coordinated manner, it will definitely yield positive results.

Five labourers killed in Jharkhand, police blame Maoists

December 23rd, 2008 IANS -
Ranchi, Dec 23 (IANS) Suspected Maoist rebels shot dead five labourers in the Gumla district of Jharkhand, police said Tuesday. “We suspect hand of Jharkhand Liberation Tigers (JLT) behind the killing,” Superintendent of Police Baljeet Singh told IANS by telephone.

The labourers, working in a power house, were returning to their village Monday evening when suspected rebels of JLT abducted them near Raidih block of Gumla district, around 160 km from here.

The dead bodies of the labourers were recovered Tuesday morning by the police. They belonged to the same village.

According to police sources, the killed labourers were resisting penetration of JLT in their village which might have caused their death.

Two 'police informers' killed by suspected Maoists

Agencies
Posted: Dec 24, 2008 at 1214 hrs IST

Giridih (Jharkhand) Suspected Maoists have killed two persons in Giridih branding them as "police informers".
The bodies with their throats slit were found on the Giridih-Dumri road near Palganj on Wednesday morning, police said.

The victims were identified as Bhubaneswar Sao and Sunder Manjhi, police said.

A note, found near the bodies, read that the Maoists have been successful in eliminating five persons whose tip-off allegedly led to the killing of the proscribed outfit's self-styled area commander Kawang in a police encounter earlier this month.

The Naxal-infested district witnessed eight people being killed by Maoists this month

Better police stations to help cops behave: DGP

25 Dec 2008, 0300 hrs IST, Gyan Prakash & Dipak Mishra, TNN



PATNA: All-out efforts would be made to improve the ambience of police stations so that both constables and junior police officials could live in a
hygienic condition and accordingly behave properly with people visiting them.

DGP D N Gautam, in his maiden media conference, said that the police headquarters' focus would be to improve the lot of police stations across the state so that the attitudinal pattern of cops could be changed. "I expect cops to behave properly with people and only then the face of the state police can improve," he said adding that charity begins at home and he expects all police officers to give due respect to constables.

In order to meet day-to-day exigencies, the government has sanctioned a "permanent advance" to police stations. While urban police stations would get Rs 25,000, those in Naxal areas would get Rs 15,000 while general rural police stations would get Rs 10,000. The respective SP of the district would give money to station house officers (SHOs). SPs would be given Rs 50,000 each for such purpose.

The DGP, however, ducked the question whether he succumbed to the political pressures in matters pertaining to transfers of SPs and also whether he was made the top cop in lieu of his favour to a former JD(U) MP who was facing criminal charges. Gautam gave a terse reply, "No comment."

Gautam said the Police Act is not being followed in totality in respect of transfers as there is an acute shortage of SP-rank officers in the state. He, however, did not spell out how this challenge could be overcome.

He urged people to shun negativity which most of the time unnecessarily created problems and presented a wrong image of the police. He said the police's work has widened so much that on the one hand they have to tackle terror while on the other handle mobs. Unfortunately, most of the time the police have to deal with uncalled-for mob fury which sometimes leads to burning of police stations.

The DGP directed the police officials not to come up with ifs and buts while lodging an FIR. Any such lapse would be dealt with severely, he warned.

At 67, he is the longest absconding naxal

24 Dec 2008, 0036 hrs IST, Radha Venkatesan, TNN



DHARMAPURI: He is perhaps the longest absconding naxal in the country. At 29, Nallapapillai Tamilvanan, a fierce naxal youth, went underground, and
38 years and four murders later, the Tamil Nadu police are still continuing their hunt for him.

Even the legendary bandit, Veerappan was caught and killed within 25 years, but Tamilvanan, who is wanted in four murder cases, continues to cock a snook at the cops for nearly four decades now. "We have specific intelligence that he is alive. And we are continuing our search for him. If we arrest him, it will be our major catch," Dharmapuri SP, Nazmul Hoda. While the police know he is alive and kicking, at 67, they believe he could be covertly operating in southern Tamil Nadu, where Maoists have found a new haven now.

The anti-naxal squad frequently visits his Panangadu hamlet, 10 kms from Dharmapuri, and questions his two brothers, who live there. "I saw him last when he came to attend my wedding nearly 40 years ago," says his brother Govindasamy, a small farmer.

As a student of Government Arts College in Krishnagiri, Tamilvanan, who was then called Ardhanari, was swayed by Communist ideology and met the Naxal leader, Charu Mazumdar, at a secret meeting at the famous Hogenakkal waterfalls, near Dharmapuri in 1969. From then on, Ardhanari turned into Tamilvanan and went on a killing or annihilation spree and Dharmapuri, which reeled under avaricious landlords and extreme poverty, became a naxal epicenter of south India. The Andhra naxal leaders too got their initial arms training in Dharmapuri.

On February 8, 1973, he along with five others stabbed to death a rich land lord, Dharmalinga Chettiar in Nagarasampatti, who exploited the farm labourers. His co-accused, Thimmakali, was convicted in the murder and spent 14 years in jail, and another accomplice, Dhanapal has died. "After I went to jail, I have not seen him at all," says Thimmakali, who is now 75 years, and manages a small farm in Tamilvanan's neighbouring hamlet, Puliapatti.
A year later, he struck at Nallampatti in Adhiyamankottai in Dharmapuri district, and hacked another landlord, Periyannachetti. As the police stepped up the hunt for him, he resurfaced in December

1976, and eliminated a mirasdar, Appasamy Chettiar in Athipallam. Two years later, he was arraigned in another murder case in Tirupathur in Vellore district.

But Tamilvanan has not been arrested even once in the last 40 years, though several naxals were killed and arrested in a ruthless police crackdown in the 1970s. And Tamilvanan is now said to be the "inspiring voice" for the emerging band of Maoists in Tamil Nadu.