Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Police sound Alert after Naxal attack

A poster pasted by suspected Naxals in Rayagada districtExpress News Service First Published : 14 Jan 2009 04:23:00 AM ISTLast Updated :

BARIPADA: Police today sounded a red-alert in North Orissa after Naxals triggered a landmine explosion in Jharkhand, along Orissa border, on Sunday night killing a CRPF jawan and seriously injuring another. The deceased has been identified as Sibpal Singh and the injured Jitendra Kumar. Jitendra has been rushed to a hospital in Jamshedpur.


Earlier on Friday, Naxals had killed Dhanio Kisku, general secretary of Nagarik Surakhya Samiti. SOG jawans and Naxalites cadres exchanged fire for four hours after the explosion, said Mayurbhanj SP Dayal Gangwar.

Police personnel have been deployed at all entry points and the border with Jharkhand has been sealed, said Gangwar.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Police arrest six Maoists, seize arms and ammunition

From ANI

Jahanabad (Bihar), Jan 11: Police arrested six Maoists and seized huge cache of arms and ammunition from them in Bihar's Jahanabad District.

Acting on a tip off, the police raided a residential building in Makhdoompur Mathiya village and arrested the Maoists and recovered the ammunition.

The police said that it recovered two country-made carbines and other ammunition.

"Along with them, we have seized two country-made carbine, a country made pistol and 28 rounds of ammunition including that of SLR, .2 mm and 315 bore," said Mannu Mahajan, Jahanabad district's superintendent of police.

One of the arrested Maoists said that the arms were kept at his aunt's house.

"I had come to visit my maternal aunt's house. I did not bring any arms and ammunition with me. They were kept there at my aunt's house. There is oneistol," said Uday Yadav, the arrested Maosist.

The Maoists are highly active across a wide swathe of India, including Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. They are also active in some areas of Orissa, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Maoist rebels say they are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless labourers and regularly attack government property and policemen.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had earlier described the four-decade-old Maoist rebellion, which has killed thousands, as the single biggest threat to India's internal security.


Copyright Asian News International/DailyIndia.com

Naxalism of the 60s subject of Goutam Ghosh's next film

Kolkata (PTI): Rallies, agitations, street violence, student unrest, processions .... Bengal has seen it all and is still seeing them. But what was it like in the tumultuous 60s and early 70s, and does it have any relation with today's Nandigram and Singur?

Eminent film-maker Goutam Ghosh wants to explore the truth in his next venture 'Kalbela' which is based on a novel of the same name on the violent Nalaxism of those days.

The feature film, produced by NFDC and scheduled to premier on January 16, is based on the academy ward-winning novel of eminent Bengali writer Samaresh Majumder which is one among many written on those uncertain days.

The film seeks to present the then Bengal in the grip of Naxalite movement by tracing the principal characters from the sylvan, but simmering Dooars forest to the political cauldron of College Street, Presidency College campus and university, recapturing the saga of the failed movement, imprisonment and police torture.

"In a sense I feel the film is more relevant today in the Kolkata of new milieu, of new priorities, new values and new perspectives which is re-witnessing agitations, movements and violence, on a smaller scale though.

The student violence these days remind me about the days of our youth," Ghosh said here.

Pledge against Terror abd Citizens Charter

WE,THE PEOPLE OF INDIA,
DECLARE WAR ON TERROR TODAY.

We face the gravest threat as a nation.
We pledge to
FIGHT against those who kill the innocent
SUPPORT measures that ensure our safety
EXPOSE corruption and incompetence that endanger our security
DEFEAT the enemy by having zero tolerance of terror
ELIMINATE the forces which propagate hate
BE united in our resolve
TILL VICTORY IS OURS


Over 95,000 people have taken the India TodayGroup’s pledge against terror.To sign up click on ...... www.indiatoday.in/war

CITIZENS CHARTER

Turn your concern into action. 20 simple things you can do now, that can make a significant impact in our War on Terror:


1 MARKET SURVEY
Check whether markets you go to are secure. Start a boycott campaign if they are not.

2 LEARN FIRSTAID
Enroll in a first aid course so you can help in an emergency till medical professionals arrive.

3 BADGER YOUR MLA
Push your local MLA for more public security measures.

4 COMMUNITY WARDENS
Volunteer to help in policing your neighbourhood by reporting suspicious activities.

5 DONATE FREELY
Look out for genuine charities that are supporting victims of terror and donate generously.

6 TAB ON THE POLICE
Visit your police station and check if it has proper facilities, manpower and equipment to meet the challenge.

7 BE WELL PREPARED
Undergo a drill on how to deal with terrorists. Check with your civic authorities where to go.

8 PROOF OF ID
Start a campaign to have every citizen register under a national ID card system.

9 REJECT CRIMINALS
Pledge not to elect a candidate with a criminal track record.

10 PAY YOUR FINES
Instead of bribing officials, pay the fine if you are penalised.

11 MONITOR SECURITY
Urge the management of your children’s school and your office to organise copies of
the buildings’ blueprints.

12 WATCH THY NEIGHBOUR
Create a neighbourhood watch. Report suspicious activities and people to the police.

13 BE WELL-EQUIPPED
Get the details of your Residents’Welfare Association for use in emergencies.

14 CREATE AN SOS HUB
Make a list of the emergency care centres in your area with addresses, contact numbers.

15 BE DOUBLY SURE
Employ people or rent out houses only after verification.

16 CREATE NODES
Define aggregation points in the neighbourhood where people can collect in emergencies.

17 MAP IT OUT
Develop alternate routes to and from work and school.

18 COME FORWARD
Depose as a witness if you have observed terror attacks.

19 BE PATIENT
Expect delays and baggage searches at public places and travel facilities.

20 EMERGENCY PLAN
Develop a family emergency plan and practice it with friends.

Securing the home front against terror


Securing the home front against terror

India Today Bureau
January 12, 2009

Union Minister of Home Affairs P. Chidambaram is acutely aware that he has very little time to deliver with the general elections due in May 2009. In a way it is fortuitous because what India needs after the Mumbai attacks is action, and fast. In the saddle for just over a month, Chidambaram at a meeting of chief ministers on internal security on January 6 said his immediate priority was to raise the level of preparedness to meet the increasingly sophisticated terrorist threats. Equally important was to enhance the speed and decisiveness of the response to a terrorist threat or attack.

Both these measures are key to inspiring confidence of the country that has been severely punctured after the Mumbai attacks. But even as Chidambaram gets cracking on the stiff agenda he has set for himself and the Government, he needs to examine the functioning of his Ministry more closely.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has to play a pivotal role if the war on terror has to be won. But in the past few years, the Ministry exemplifies what has gone wrong with the country’s management of internal security. In the six months, preceding the Mumbai attacks, there were blasts in Delhi, Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Guwahati that killed 215 and injured 1,000. Typically after these attacks, there were “security review” meetings which saw the buck being passed from one authority to another and no responsibility being fixed. Routine alerts were sent to states to tighten their security with no follow up.

After Mumbai, it was evident that the MHA had to radically change its approach. It has it hands in just too many issues. Apart from internal security and terrorism, its mandate is to tackle insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and the Northeastern states, Left wing extremism, border management, immigration, foreign funding, Centre-state relations, Union Territories, managing the Indian Police Service (IPS) and Central paramilitary forces, police modernisation and policy planning. Experts say, over the years the ministry has grown into a behemoth that is difficult to manage, has dragged its feet on key proposals like police modernisation, did nothing to sort out turf battles between intelligence agencies both at the level of the Centre and the states and has failed to come up with an effective anti-terror policy.

After 9/11, the George Bush administration decided that what it needed was a humongous Homeland Security Department that would, in the American President’s view, “make America safer because our nation would have one department whose primary mission is to protect the American homeland.” Bush decided that there would be only one department to secure US borders, transport sector, ports and critical infrastructure, apart from synthesising and analysing homeland security intelligence from multiple sources, training and equipping first responders and managing a federal emergency response.

Clearly, India can learn a lot from the American review of its homeland security. Given that bureaucracy tends to create more muddles in India, perhaps the solution lies in segregating the internal security aspect from other functions of the Home Ministry. The US Homeland Security Department does not deal with issues pertaining to police modernisation, procurement and other executive work. So it would probably help if there is a full-time Cabinet Minister to look after internal security, segregated from the MHA.

In the first flush of his tenure, Chidambaram has moved swiftly to get a National Investigative Agency set up to investigate terror cases across the country and also ensured greater co-ordination and sharing of information among intelligence agencies by reactivating the Multi-Agency Centre (MAC)and making it accountable. The focus now has to be firmly on prevention through enhanced intelligence coordination and sharing. He has also cut through the red tape and sanctioned long pending and muchneeded equipment for the paramilitary forces like bulletproof vests and rifles.

These would make a significant difference. But as important is pushing for fundamental structural and personnel changes in the Home Ministry. It could start by looking at the composition of those who head it. Of the eight special and additional secretaries in the Ministry, and 20 joint secretaries, only two are career police officers. Starting from secretary Madhukar Gupta, almost all in key positions are IAS officers with no experience of handling security issues. All officials handling key desks, including Kashmir, the Northeast, Naxals and Border Management are administrative service officers.

Learning from the US

Mandate of the MHA US Homeland Security
India’s Ministry of Home Affairs has its finger in too many pies that make it highly unwieldy and ineffective against terror strikes.
Among the MHA’s major tasks are law and order, police modernisation, border management, centre-state relations, official languages policy apart from Jammu and Kashmir, Northeast insurgency and Maoist Extremism.
In 2008 alone, there were 64 terror attacks across India.
In 2002, US President George Bush created a single, unified Department of Homeland Security to protect America.
The new department has only four divisions with a clear focus: border and transportation security, emergency preparedness and response, information analysis and infrastructure protection and counter measures against WMDs.
Since its formation, the US faced no major terror strike.


Modernisation has suffered because most officers handling the issue lack knowledge and field experience. The imbalance needs to be urgently addressed. The internal security division should be transformed into a body of experts capable of dealing with terrorism, insurgency and illegal infiltration.

There are other priority issues that the MHA needs to pursue. There is still has no system in place which can identify and weed out illegal immigrants. Starting in 2002, attempts were made to issue Multipurpose National Identity Cards (MNIC) to all bona fide citizens with the aim of enhancing national security, manage citizen identity and facilitate e-governance. With an estimated budget of Rs 5,000 crore then, the government has managed to issue only 12 lakh identity cards in the first phase of the pilot project. These should serve as the primary document to prove identity instead of a ration card, passport and others.

According to government sources, the project is stuck due to turf wars among the ministries of Information and Technology, Home and also the Election Commission. MNIC should be issued to all citizens within a fixed time frame. It should be the primary document to prove identity, instead of a ration card, passport, driving licence or PAN card.

The tardiness of the response of the police and security personnel were evident in the Mumbai attack. What is needed is urgent infusion of funds to beef up the existing police forces. The MHA had set aside Rs 1,300 crore for the modernisation of state police forces in 2008-09, an amount that has nearly doubled over the past five years. This money is meant to be spent on better mobility, modern weaponry, communication system, training, infrastructure facilities, forensic science facilities, strengthening of intelligence branches, security equipment, construction of buildings of police stations, and construction of residential buildings for lower level police personnel.

The problem is that there is no accountability on part of the states or, for that matter, the Centre. There is no system of a follow-up or to check what the states are doing with the funds. The MHA should have an annual audit whereby senior officers personally visit the states to see and inspect how the states have used their modernisation funds. This would also introduce accountability at the level of various secretaries and joint secretaries of the Ministry.

A foolproof system of fixing responsibility needs be put in place. The response of agencies and officials after the Mumbai terror attacks was typical— passing the buck among various agencies starting from the IB and R&AW to Navy and the Coast Guard. Till date it is still not certain who goofed up where. By now, accountability should have been fixed and some heads rolled. Ideally, there should have been a timebound Commission of Inquiry— much like what the US did following 9/11—to probe what went wrong and why the attack could not be prevented. Also, what measures need to be taken to prevent such attacks.

Not sparing anybody, the commission should push for action against officials who were slack in performing their duty. This would cover all agencies including the IB, R&AW, Maharashtra Police, Navy and the Coast Guard. Even politicians should be called in, if need be. Unless tough action is taken, the MHA will lurch from crisis to crisis and the Indian state would suffer.


EXPERTS’ OPINION

Former top police officials and intelligence experts want an overhaul in the country’s security.

G.C. Saxena
Former R&AW chief

Single counter-terrorism centre that deals with intelligence gathering, dissemination & coordination
Well trained and equipped QRTs at vital installations
K. Subrahmanyam
Security expert

A full time cabinet minister to look after internal security
A dedicated cadre of officers, specialists in national security in MHA
Gopal Sharma
Former DGP J&K

A national ID card for all Indian nationals within six months
Bring in meritocracy, specialisation and enhance the Special Task Forces
ACTION PLAN

GET experts and career police officers, with experience in security and counterterrorism, to head crucial departments in the Home Ministry, including the top job of the Home Secretary

ACT on reports on police reforms and also implement multipurpose national identity cards

ENSURE co-ordination among intelligence agencies and send a clear message that a terror strike must be avoided at any cost or heads will roll

RED TAPE needs to be cut in making purchases for internal security SACK top officials for negligence leading to terror strikes

SEGREGATE internal security from the other functions of the Home Ministry

DOWNLOAD: WHITE PAPER

ORISSA : What ails police modernisation?

Sanjeev Kumar PatroFirst Published : 11 Jan 2009 08:45:00 AM ISTLast Updated :

BHUBANESWAR: In ORISSA, the ‘Smart Cop’ is yet to arrive on the scene. And, the Government has to apportion a lion’s share of the blame because the three vital chips of a ‘Smart Cop’ - the state-of-art communication system, mobility and forensic-cum-investigation equipment are in a huge deficit.


Orissa has nearly 28,000 strong police contingent but the wireless equipment at their disposal stands at mere 4,140. With around 53,000 police strength in Karnataka, wireless equipments in their hands is around 42,000.

The reason is not far to seek. While Karnataka is spending over Rs 100 crore on modernisation, Orissa spares only Rs 30 crore. Even this amount is well below the Union Government’s norm of at least Rs 33 crore. It is startling to find that even Bihar police have more wireless equipment and transport vehicles in proportion to their Orissa counterparts.

The total estimated expenditure on Police has been Rs 614 crore for the year 07-08. Three per cent of the total funds is earmarked for wireless equipment and forensic and another 3 per cent for criminal investigation. This brings to the fore how little is being spent on vital sectors like communication and state-of-art investigation modules.

Similarly, for computerisation the amount has been fixed at Rs 1.1 crore in 2007-08. As a result only 45 police stations of the total 465 are computerised. The allocation for forensic science has been only at Rs 2.6 lakh.

It is noteworthy that the Centre has been providing funds since 1969 to modernise the State police force on share basis. The failure on the part of the State to provide matching share in 80s and 90s had hurt the modernisation processes the most.

Even now, the State provides only Rs 7 crore of the total Rs 30 crore modernisation plan. And, it is observed that most of the Central Assistance is for non-residential constructions, residential buildings and arms. Provisions for communication, computers and mobility are provided by the State only. The break up of the allocations shows that only Rs 1 crore is marked for security/intelligence equipment and only 0.40 crore for CID infrastructure.
Thus, the need of the hour is a substantial hike in the allocations. More so, when reports say Naxals have earmarked nearly Rs 200-300 crore for acquiring latest arms and communication equipment.

Suspected Naxal commits suicide in CRPF custody

11 Jan 2009, 1752 hrs IST, PTI



RAIPUR: A suspected Maoist has allegedly committed suicide in CRPF custody in Aranpur village in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district.


The Naxal, suspected to be a member of Jan Militia, an outfit established to spread Maoist ideology, committed suicide yesterday by hanging himself while in CRPF custody, Bastar IG A N Upadhya said.

The incident happened when the deceased, identified as Nanda, had gone to the back of the CRPF camp in the pretext of replying to nature's call and hanged himself from the threshold of the bathroom using his 'Lungi' (loin cloth).

His body, later detected by CRPF personnel in the camp, was taken to the hospital, where he was declare brought dead, the IG said. A judicial inquiry is being conducted into the matter, he said.

CRPF had rounded up eight persons near the village a couple of days ago and had seized small bombs from their possession.
During questioning, the men had admitted of being members of Jan Militia, Upadhya said

Maoist landmine blast kills CRPF jawan in Jharkhand

Jamshedpur, Jan 11: A CRPF jawan was killed and another suffered critical injuries today in a landmine blast triggered by Maoists at Gorabandha in Naxal-hit East Singhbhum district of Jharkhand.

"Shivpal Singh, a havildar, was killed in the blast at Rajabasa-Kirodari village and a constable, Jitendra Singh, was rushed to Tata Main hospital with critical injuries," Deputy Commissioner, East Singhbhum, Ravindra Agarwal told PTI. The CRPF jawans hit the landmine during a long-range patrol in naxal-hit areas of Ghatsila sub-division, where the forces launched a massive combing operation to flush out extremists.

Bureau Report

States asked to gear up, revamp intelligence

SOURCE: PTI

The Home Ministry has asked a special committee, set up earlier to come out with measures to strengthen local intelligence gathering units, to pull up its belt and act fast.

According to senior Home Ministry sources, the move comes following the Ministry's plan to modernise police forces to tackle future terror incidents by strengthening local intelligence gathering units, in the wake of Mumbai terror attack.


The committee for strengthening the Special Branches of police forces, was constituted by former Home Minister Shivraj Patil and included Directors General of Police of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Delhi Police Commissioner and senior IB officials.


It has now been asked to speed up its work of suggesting measures to revamp the intelligence units of state police forces Sources said the Committee, which is coordinating with the Intelligence Bureau, has been asked to submit a complete and actionable report as soon as possible.

The Centre has recently advised all states to speed up their efforts to modernise and enhance Special Branches of police forces.


"There is a focused scheme for strengthening the Special Branches of the state police forces and ensuring their systematic structuring, which is now lacking. The central government is providing all help to the states in this regard," they said.


The Special Branch in police forces work as local intelligence gathering agency to counter incidents like terror attacks, communal riots, counter-insurgency operations and work in coordination with Intelligence Bureau to avoid untoward incidents.


The Special Branch also assists local police in Passport and Employment verification at some states.


According to the official, the special branch at various states like Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, along with some north eastern states are somewhat lacking in their modernisation work.

"Some of the branches are running short of specialised staff and necessary equipment. We have asked state governments to overcome their shortcomings," the sources said.

The government has advised state governments to form and sanction a dedicated fund (up to 5 per cent of their annual allocation) under Modernisation of Police Forces scheme for strengthening of Special Branches.

"All state governments have been asked to submit their action plan and action taken report in this regard. Most of the Naxal-affected states have submitted their plans. The central government has also released funds based on their approved Action Plans," they said.

The states have also been advised to utilise services of retired Army, IB and police force personnel.

"We have advised state governments to hire retired policemen and other professionals to strengthen the intelligence gathering mechanism," a senior ministry official said.