Saturday, February 07, 2009

13 Maoists arrested for Gadchiroli attack: POLICE

Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times
Email Author
Nagpur, February 07, 2009
First Published: 14:48 IST(7/2/2009)
Last Updated: 14:50 IST(7/2/2009)



The Gadchiroli police have caught 13 Maoists who were involved in the attack that killed 15 policemen on February 1. Rajesh Pradhan, Superintendent of Police, Gadchiroli district, told HT on Saturday that, “They were nabbed during the combing operation launched last Sunday afternoon immediately after the attack.”

According to Pradhan, the Maoists were arrested from three villages in the area, including Markegaon, where the incident occurred.

Sources said around 200 villagers from Markegaon have gone missing since the attack and the subsequent police action.

Three dalams (squads) of Maoists, comprising over 150 people, armed with AK-47 rifles and other sophisticated weapons, had attacked the police squad last Sunday and killed them after a two-hour encounter.

Red storm risingRed storm rising

Presley Thomas, Hindustan Times
Email Author
Gadchiroli, February 07, 2009
First Published: 22:08 IST(7/2/2009)
Last Updated: 00:12 IST(8/2/2009)




At the ramshackle teashop in Gadchiroli, where locals gather for their morning tea and the town's favourite snack, poha, local banter is run-of-the-mill. Most of it is centred round Bollywood's latest action adventure, Chandni Chowk to China and with the cinema house as a backdrop just behind the teashop, villagers dissect Akshay Kumar's antics in the movie. “How about a ticket for the afternoon show? I want to see the movie again,” says a young man. The film may have been declared a flop but it sure is a hit in this outpost, even if Gadchiroli has seen enough adventure and violence around it in the last few days.

Gadchiroli town, a three-hour drive from Nagpur, is the headquarters of a district spread across 15,000 sq km, where left-wing extremists have been waging an ‘armed struggle’ for close to 30 violent, bloody years now. Last Sunday's massacre of 15 policemen was just the latest in a disturbing list of incidents that have all but wiped out the rule of law in this desperately poor, exploited part of India.

The local populace has long learnt to balance those on either side of the law. When we ask taxi driver Pavan if he will take us into the hinterland, he looks at us warily, weighing the profits and dangers of the trip. “What time will you return?” he asks. And doesn't wait for an answer as he declares, “Nobody travels on those roads after 6 pm. We’ll have to come back before that. Only then will I take you.” Before we can indicate our assent (we have no ch Growing influence 1980 :Kondapalli Seetharamaiah, legendary Naxalite leader, sets up the Peoples' War Group of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist). It infiltrates Gadchiroli after a police crackdown on Naxalites in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and makes news in September when activist Peddy Shankar is killed in a police encounter near Sironcha, near the AP border.
1990 :Ten years after the Naxalites’ entry, the movement has taken hold and 113 incidents of violence and 16 deaths are reported.
1991:The number of violent incidents drops to 96, but deaths shoot up to 30. Naxalites kidnap Dharmarao Baba Atram, former Maharashtra minister, who was compelled to resign for poaching chinkaras near Etapalli. He is later let off in exchange for the release of their leader, Shivanna. In November, 10 SRPF jawans are killed and 13 policemen injured in a landmine blast triggered by Naxalites near Etapalli.
2003: A landmine blast kills five policemen near Hemalkasa in Gadchiroli district.
2005 :Seven police personnel killed and six injured on February 22, when a landmine is triggered near Bhamragarh, bordering Chhattisgarh.
2006 : Seven police personnel killed in a landmine blast in April at Bewartola village in Gondia district, adjacent to Gadchiroli.
2007: Naxalite leader Shivanna, now secretary of Gadchiroli division, killed in a police encounter. Murali alias Satya Reddy, divisional secretary of North-Gadchiroli, arrested along with Mumbai professor Arun Ferreira. Two more leaders, Vernon Gonsalves and Sridhar Srinivasan, are arrested in Mumbai.
2008 : Four policemen killed on October 26 in an ambush near Korepalli village in the Aheri tehsil.
2009: Fifteen policemen killed in an ambush on February 1.
oice anyway) he adds, “And I will charge you extra because I'm risking my life to take you into Naxalite territory.”

THE INVISIBLE PRESENCE

To begin with, the tarmac laid out across the countryside is a joy to ride on. Then, we notice that the forest has become denser. And when we spot a milestone that tells us we’re 70 km away from Gadchiroli town, we realise we have not seen a single human being for the last few kilometres. In fact, we’ve barely seen any signs of habitation.

The turning point, literally speaking, comes at Gyarapatti, where we take the diversion into red territory. “Here, it is the Naxalites who call the shots,” Pavan tells us, and then goes silent as he keeps a sharp eye on either side of the road. Any new person or vehicle entering this region is monitored. And we have to be prepared to step out of the car for an interrogation at any point.

Fear hangs heavy in the air here and villagers have been forced to choose between the law and the outlaws. They most often tilt towards the Naxalites. At Bhurgi village, some 150 km from Gadchiroli, for instance, a tribal youth was hacked to death before a numbed village audience. Those who witnessed the incident are reluctant to speak about it, much less identify themselves. “I just know that there was a fight between two parties, and in the morning I saw the boy murdered,” says one woman. Probe further and she replies, “I will have to bear the consequences if I open my mouth. ‘They will be at my doorstep in 10 minutes.”

At Tumbargunda village, five kilometres away from Bhurgi, the panchayat office was blown up. With it perished all the villagers’ precious documents. “They want to keep a gap between the locals and the political set-up,” explains a police officer.

Tumbargunda is just 10 km away from a police station. But villagers sneer, “The police do not dare enter this area.” Even vehicles rarely pass through the 200-km long Ettapalli-Pendri-Michgaon-Lekha-Dhanora stretch in which the village sits.

THE SPILLOVER EFFECT

The guerilla zone or ‘liberated zone’ is one that the Naxalites have carved out systematically since 1980. It was easy for them: Gadchiroli district is sandwiched between the Naxalite-dominated areas of Rajanandgaon, Kanker, Dantewada and Bijapur in Chattisgarh; and Karimnagar and Khammam in Andhra Pradesh.

The Intelligence Bureau estimates that about 500 full-time CPI (Maoist) cadres are active in Gadchiroli district and have a base of nearly 4,000 to 5,000 local supporters.

The Naxalites have divided Gadchiroli district into three operational divisions: South Gadchiroli, North Gadchiroli and North Gadchiroli/Gondia. The divisions have under their command more than 20 guerilla squads and platoons. Though they earlier operated in ‘dalams’ of 15 to 20 cadres, they’ve switched to a military-style hierarchy now, of local guerilla squads, platoons, battalions and divisions.

And there is hardly any police presence to deter their operations. One senior police official who has spent almost his entire tenure in the Naxalite belt admits that the problem could have been contained much earlier. “When the Naxalites entered Maharashtra from Andhra Pradesh (see ‘Growing Influence’), our government chose to see it a just a ‘spillover’. And we are paying the price now.”

Governmental apathy continues. And the Centre seems to have its head buried in the sand even now — the turbulence in the underdeveloped tribal pockets of eastern Maharashtra is conspicuously absent in the Ministry of Home Affairs’s Annual Report (2007-2008).

And the state government has yet to respond satisfactorily with enough development plans for the region. It has taken some measures, though. Pankaj Gupta, chief, anti-Naxalite operations, states that a cash reward of Rs 3 lakh has been announced for villages that follow the Gaon Bandhi scheme in which villagers opt not to provide any support to Naxalites.

“When the programme started only a few villages came forward,” admits Gupta. But now, he says, “More than 500 villages in Gadchiroli district have done so.”

Gupta also claims that the government’s surrender policy done well. “About 145 Naxalite cadres, including a divisional committee member, have surrendered. They have been rehabilitated and given police protection,” he says.

And Rajesh Pradhan, superintendent of police of Gadchiroli district, claims, "We have managed to restrict the Naxalites to the fringes of Chattisgarh and the Andhra Pradesh border. He adds, “Strategies are being revisited and revised, to counter the leftists’ plans.”

How successful those plans will be is a matter that, unfortunately, the police alone do not decide.

FIR mandatory in encounter cases: HC

7 Feb 2009, 0453 hrs IST, TNN



HYDERABAD: In a landmark judgment in a state where naxal activities and encounter deaths are rampant, a larger bench of the A P High Court on Friday
ruled that it is mandatory for the police to register an FIR under the relevant sections of the law whenever an encounter death takes place.


Thereafter, it is the magistrate, and not the police, who has to decide whether to continue the trial or to close the case after hearing the police argument.

Delivered after much deliberation, the judgment was welcomed by several human rights organisations who claimed that this would put an end to the practice of the police closing encounter cases on the plea of self defence. Police officials, however, termed the verdict as disturbing as in the days of terrorism, policemen would be more worried about legal consequences of their actions rather than tackle the threat.

The five-judge bench comprising Justices Goda Raghuram, V V S Rao, R Subhash Reddy, Ramesh Ranganathan and G Bhavani Prasad, pronounced the verdict after hearing a petition filed by the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee which sought the names of the police personnel who participated in an encounter on July 23, 2006, in which 8 Maoists were killed. The petitioners had sought the information in order to file a case against the police officers who were involved in the incident. "It is necessary to examine the larger issue of the powers of the police and the rights of the civilians in such cases," the bench said in its 150-page order.

The bench made it clear that the magisterial enquiry (inquest), generally done by a revenue authority immediately after such deaths, is not an alternative to the obligation to record the information in the FIR and to conduct investigation and arrest the offenders, if necessary.

"The opinion on such deaths recorded by an investigation officer (IO) and forwarded to a magistrate is only an opinion of the IO and such an opinion shall be considered by the magistrate in the context of the record of the investigation together with the material and evidence collected during the course of investigation," the bench said. The magistrate, it said, shall critically examine the entire evidence to ascertain whether the opinion of the IO is borne out by the investigation. The magistrate has the discretion to disregard the opinion and take cognizance under section 190 of CrPC, it said.

On the issue of the investigating officer's role, whether or not he should reveal to the complainants the names of the police personnel who participated in such encounters, the bench said it is not an issue before them. The bench, however, made it clear that the identity of such personnel should be disclosed to the investigation officer. This is absolute and there is no immunity whatsoever from this obligation, it said.

Naxal-hit states to form Greyhound-like force

7 Feb 2009, 0354 hrs IST, Amitabh Tiwari, TNN


RAIPUR: Six Maoist-hit states — Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra — are developing special forces on the lines
Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh to tackle red terror.

Chhattisgarh DGP Vishwa Ranjan told TOI that Chhattisgarh would become the first among the six states to raise a 13,000-strong crack commando force to tackle Left-wing violence. He said the existing Chhattisgarh Armed Forces, with its headquarters at Amleshwar in Durg, has been converted into Chhattisgarh Commando Battalion. The battalion will be deployed in rural and forested areas to check the Maoists.

The state government will also raise an anti-terror squad (ATS) on the lines of Maharashtra and UP to counter terror attacks in urban areas. In Chhattisgarh, the ATS would be geared up also for taking on Maoist acts of terror in urban areas.

These steps were taken after Union home minister P Chidambaram’s recent visit to Raipur. Chidambaram, while reviewing the preparedness of Chhattisgarh police, had stressed on the need for separate forces to tackle Maoists and terrorists.

A senior police officer told TOI, ‘‘Young and active boys will be recruited and trained by experts imparting training to commandos of National Security Guard and personnel of Border Security Force and Indo-Tibetan Border Police. Search for a suitable office for the new unit is on and a final decision will be taken soon.’’

While 400 personnel would be picked up from the third battalion of Chhattisgarh Armed Forces, another 600 would be recruited. The DGP said the first batch of Chhattisgrh ATS would come into force after a rigorous training of 90 days. About 700 specially trained commandos would remain as a standby to face any terror attack

Home Ministry mulls anti-Naxal plan

NDTV Correspondent
Saturday, February 07, 2009, (New Delhi)

A week after 15 policemen were killed by Maoists in Maharashtra, close to the Chhattisgarh border, the Home ministry is gearing up for taking the lead in anti-Naxal operations instead of leaving it to states to carry out uncoordinated and rudderless operations.

The ministry is planning an all-out simultaneous operation in all Naxal-affected states.

Initially, the emphasis will be on common boundaries of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, considered the core areas of the Maoists. The idea is to deny them space.

Simultaneously there will be operations in Bihar and Orissa.

States have been told to plan for manpower that would be needed to carry out the operation. But there are some grey areas as well.

An operation of such magnitude which aims to capture and hold Maoist territory will require a huge police force, something that may not be possible, especially with general elections round the corner.

Also, West Bengal is not ready for any such coordinated police action. It wants a political solution to the Maoist problem.

Bihar objects to shifting of Gaya military centre to Karnataka

Published: February 7,2009

New Delhi, Feb 7 Strongly opposing any move to shift the military centre from Gaya in Bihar to Karnataka, Bihar Assembly Speaker Uday Narain Chaudhary today said the state, sharing international border with Nepal and Bangladesh, needed more such units.

During a meeting with Defence Minister A K Antony here, the Speaker said that after its bifurcation, the state was left with only two military centres at Gaya and Danapur, near Patna, a Bihar government press release said.

" This is negligible from the point of view of Bihar&aposs location and Naxal problem,"he said, adding that there was no justification behind shifting the Gaya centre to Karnataka, where seven such units already exist.

He said the Gaya centre offered employment to youth from 19 neighbouring districts.

"Hence, the Gaya centre should not be shifted. Rather, new units should be opened,"he said.







Source: PTI

Friday, February 06, 2009

Central team to come today to assess funding for 5 Maoist districts in Orissa

Friday, February 06, 2009

Report by Suchismita Sahoo; Bhubaneswar:

A Central delegation led by the Joint Secretary in the Union Ministry of Agriculture Shovan Kumar will arrive in the State on Saturday to review the economic conditions of the tribal people. The team will assess socio-economic changes and how to enhance the standard of livings of tribals in the Maoists-affected districts.
Five Maoists-hit districts, Malkangiri, Rayagada, Gajapati, Deogarh and Sambalpur, will get special funding to take up various developmental programmes. The delegation comprised senior officials of the Planning Commission, Ministry of Rural Development, Agriculture, Secondary Education and Home Affairs.
The delegation will interact with State and district-level officers and analyse the critical gaps. The critical gaps would be funded by the commission in undertaking developmental projects in the Maoist-hit areas. Education, Rural Development, Agriculture, Horticulture and other developmental projects would be taken up in these areas.
On behalf of the State Government, Development Commissioner TK Mishra will present a plan on how funds can be utilised for growth of livelihood of the tribal people of the five Maoists affected areas. Chief Secretary Ajit Tripathy will remain present in the meeting, sources said.

01/02 carnage: Cops round up 13 villagers

7 Feb 2009, 0444 hrs IST, TNN




NAGPUR: Gadchiroli police have placed 13 Area Rakshak Dal (ARD) members under arrest for their alleged role in the 01/02 carnage at Markegaon where
15 policemen were brutally killed. The cops zeroed in on the 13 for allegedly actively supporting the Naxal’s attack team. They were identified by the villagers.

Naxal guerillas, led by Diwakar, his wife Jyoti, Rakesh Lekami, Vilas Kohlla, Shekhar alias Chandranna and other top cadres, had taken support of the local villagers to trap the policemen from Gyrapatti Armed Out Post (AOP). The arrested ARD members are learnt to have played a key role in helping the attack team with security and logistic support. Sources said they were also present at the spot when the carnage took place.

The investigation into the crime began immediately even as C-60 commandos and Special Action Groups fanned out into the adjoining forests to trace the Naxalites. TOI learnt that the local villagers who helped the Naxals admitted that the rebels were present in the area since January 27. On January 30, they torched two vehicles knowing this act would draw in the cops. The Naxalites waited in ambush at Markegaon village and Kosmi until February 1 when the police party went in.

Malkangiri needs special package’

Express News ServiceFirst Published : 06 Feb 2009 08:23:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 06 Feb 2009 10:15:39 AM ISTBHUBANESWAR: Former minister Arabinda Dhali today urged the Centre to sanction a special package for rail and road infrastructure development for the Naxal-infested Malkangiri district.


As a scheduled areas having 63 per cent tribal population and 33 per cent Scheduled Caste people, the district deserves special treatment as per the constitutional provision.

However, the Congressled UPA Government has not sanctioned a single road or rail project for the district, Dhali rued at a media conference here today.

Dhali who is making a serious bid to join the Biju Janata Dal told mediapersons that during the NDA government he had submitted a proposal for a rail link to Malkangiri from Jeypore to Khammam district in Andhra Pradesh.

The then railway minister Mamata Banerjee had approved the proposal. But the UPA Government has pigeonholed it, he alleged.

The few National Highway projects sanctioned by the NDA government for the district are also facing the same fate, he said.

Although the district has a huge deposit of limestone, a key raw material for cement industries, it could not be exploited due to lack of communication facilities.

People of the Naxal-hit tribal district will be forced to launch a movement if the Government continued to neglect the district, he cautioned.

Maoists Posters at Jeypur Bust Stand(!)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Report by Manoj K.Dash: Berhampur/Jeypur: Most surprising local public of Jeypur town under Koraput district found three wall posters pasted at rest shed of New Bus Stand-In the poster the under signed name also took place named Comrade Suresh (Maoist-Maovadi).n these posters they have mentioned many warnings including categorically threaten to MLA ,Rabi Naryana Nanda and F.Dhan Khara of Jepore Police Station. In other side they have demanded to provide Private Bus Service to Village Bhejangabeda under Malkangiri District. Unless the administration will not take this demand seriously we shall smash the Bus. While this message spread over Jeypur town immediately Jeypore Town P.S.,IIC mr.S.N.Sathpathy with his team went to the spot.



From a reliable source it came to notice of orissa diary that, C.P.I (Maoist) given a letter in their letter pad to the Transport Officer of Jeypore though govt.declared the village Bhejangabeda as Naxal prone zone we are not in a position to compromise the Bus communication to this Village.



In a separate letter they have written that Jeypur MLA Mr.Nanda was harassing the poor people, low grade development work, Taking percentages from Contractors etc..



In this matter Police administration deciding to provide security provided the Police H.Q given permission.

South Orissa Bureau,e-mail:manojdash.k@gmail.com,Mobile:09861774700

Intensive combing in Naxal affected areas

6 Feb 2009, 2058 hrs IST



MYSORE: Police supported by the anti-Naxal squad are combing the entire Naxal affected villages in Theerthahli taluk from past two days to nab the
suspected group which attacked a villager in Bidargodu tow days ago.

Members of the squad are searching all homes and vehicles in suspected problematic villages Hosagadde, Karekumbri, Malndur, Balehalli, Gardergadde, Nemmaru and Bukkibyle in Agumbe belt.

Similarly all vehicles running between Agumbe and Shringeri have also been subjected to through checks by the police to trace the culprits. Authorities said a special civil and ANF squad will be shortly constituted in all affected villages to prevent any attack by Naxal groups. IGP western range Prasad who visited the Naxal attacked village said that they have received some valuable information about the attack and are sure to nab the group shortly.

13 Maoists arrested for Gadchiroli attack: Police

Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times
Email Author
Nagpur, February 07, 2009
First Published: 14:48 IST(7/2/2009)
Last Updated: 14:50 IST(7/2/2009)



The Gadchiroli police have caught 13 Maoists who were involved in the attack that killed 15 policemen on February 1. Rajesh Pradhan, Superintendent of Police, Gadchiroli district, told HT on Saturday that, “They were nabbed during the combing operation launched last Sunday afternoon immediately after the attack.”

According to Pradhan, the Maoists were arrested from three villages in the area, including Markegaon, where the incident occurred.

Sources said around 200 villagers from Markegaon have gone missing since the attack and the subsequent police action.

Three dalams (squads) of Maoists, comprising over 150 people, armed with AK-47 rifles and other sophisticated weapons, had attacked the police squad last Sunday and killed them after a two-hour encounter.

Naxal-hit states to form Greyhound-like force

7 Feb 2009, 0354 hrs IST, Amitabh Tiwari, TNN



RAIPUR: Six Maoist-hit states — Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra — are developing special forces on the lines
Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh to tackle red terror.

Chhattisgarh DGP Vishwa Ranjan told TOI that Chhattisgarh would become the first among the six states to raise a 13,000-strong crack commando force to tackle Left-wing violence. He said the existing Chhattisgarh Armed Forces, with its headquarters at Amleshwar in Durg, has been converted into Chhattisgarh Commando Battalion. The battalion will be deployed in rural and forested areas to check the Maoists.

The state government will also raise an anti-terror squad (ATS) on the lines of Maharashtra and UP to counter terror attacks in urban areas. In Chhattisgarh, the ATS would be geared up also for taking on Maoist acts of terror in urban areas.

These steps were taken after Union home minister P Chidambaram’s recent visit to Raipur. Chidambaram, while reviewing the preparedness of Chhattisgarh police, had stressed on the need for separate forces to tackle Maoists and terrorists.

A senior police officer told TOI, ‘‘Young and active boys will be recruited and trained by experts imparting training to commandos of National Security Guard and personnel of Border Security Force and Indo-Tibetan Border Police. Search for a suitable office for the new unit is on and a final decision will be taken soon.’’

While 400 personnel would be picked up from the third battalion of Chhattisgarh Armed Forces, another 600 would be recruited. The DGP said the first batch of Chhattisgrh ATS would come into force after a rigorous training of 90 days. About 700 specially trained commandos would remain as a standby to face any terror attack.

Sringeri: Naxals Visit Begar Village, Paste Wall Posters

Daijiworld Media Network - Sringeri (SP)

Sringeri, Feb 6: On the morning of Thursday February 4, the villagers from Begar, a tiny village some distance away from here, found wall posters pasted by naxals in their village. The naxals through the posters, not only justified their recent assault on Arun, a landlord from Bidragodu village, but also invited the college students to join the naxal movement.

The college administration, which found the said hand-written wall posters pasted on the walls of the government PU College building in Begar, informed the police. The naxals have explained therein, that they had attacked Arun's home and torched the house of Dr Kiran Shetty, who they term to be a quack who was involved with lending money at exorbitant interest rates. “Both of them were punished for not paying heed to our warnings and mending their ways,” the naxals have explained. The posters have vehemently criticized the operations of brothers Arun and Kiran from Bidragodu.

The naxals have said that they took away Rs 6,000, two mobile phones, two guns and 12 cartridges. Reportedly, they have kept silent on the gold ornaments supposedly taken away by them. It is gathered, that the posters have hailed slain naxals Ravi, Devaiah, Manohar and Saket Rajan, wishing that their souls will rest in eternal peace.

The naxals have exhibited their audacity by visiting Begar, notwithstanding the tightened police vigil and the camping of police teams in Bidragodu, about four kms away from that village. Police officials from Sringeri, Hariharapura and Agumbe visited the spot and conducted investigations. Police officials from Chikmagalur, Shimoga and Udupi districts participated in a meeting organized at Agumbe on Thursday, for chalking out an affective strategy to browbeat the naxals.

Govt to improve road network in naxal-affected areas

6 Feb 2009, 0417 hrs IST, Mahendra Kumar Singh , TNN



NEW DELHI: With one eye on the coming polls, Congress-led UPA government is planning to pump nearly Rs 1,000 crore to revamp the crumbling road
network in naxal-affected states.

The Centre seems to have finally wisened to the poor road infrastructure in these states. Top government sources told TOI that money was being arranged to execute road projects under the EPC mode, meaning the implementation will be done by government agencies.

The move comes as there is growing realisation in government that PPP mode is not possible owing to the reluctance of private players to execute such projects considering security threats.

Officials said the finance ministry and Planning Commission had indicated to the road transport and highways ministry that around Rs 500 crore would be made available in the vote-on-account to construct roads in the seven naxal-affected states — Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.

An official said with this, the total allocation for road construction will touch Rs 1,000 crore as Rs 500 crore has been made available for the purpose through stimulus packages announced by the Centre.

As lack of development is considered the main cause of the naxal menace, the government was seriously considering ways to ensure better connectivity to naxal-infested areas, an official said.

The latest Planning Commission report on naxalism has highlighted that in some cases, the naxals have exerted pressure for better infrastructure like roads and schools but, most of the time, they have obstructed construction of roads as it would increase police and paramilitary raids.

The report said various research studies had revealed that one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce poverty was to ensure that rural roads connected to markets. Therefore, the central and state governments need to improve connectivity by building all-weather roads to all villages with a population of 500 (250 in the case of hilly and tribal areas) in the next four years, the report said.

The failure to provide infrastructure and services as per national norms was one of the many discriminatory manifestations of governance here. These disparities resulted in non-availability or poorly provided services. The removal of these disparities should be among the top priorities to convince people living in these areas that they are equal citizens and that they matter in national life, the report said.

Orissa‘Malkangiri needs special package’

Express News ServiceFirst Published : 06 Feb 2009 08:23:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 06 Feb 2009 10:15:39 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: Former minister Arabinda Dhali today urged the Centre to sanction a special package for rail and road infrastructure development for the Naxal-infested Malkangiri district.


As a scheduled areas having 63 per cent tribal population and 33 per cent Scheduled Caste people, the district deserves special treatment as per the constitutional provision.

However, the Congressled UPA Government has not sanctioned a single road or rail project for the district, Dhali rued at a media conference here today.

Dhali who is making a serious bid to join the Biju Janata Dal told mediapersons that during the NDA government he had submitted a proposal for a rail link to Malkangiri from Jeypore to Khammam district in Andhra Pradesh.

The then railway minister Mamata Banerjee had approved the proposal. But the UPA Government has pigeonholed it, he alleged.

The few National Highway projects sanctioned by the NDA government for the district are also facing the same fate, he said.

Although the district has a huge deposit of limestone, a key raw material for cement industries, it could not be exploited due to lack of communication facilities.

People of the Naxal-hit tribal district will be forced to launch a movement if the Government continued to neglect the district, he cautioned.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Mobiles phones help fight Maoists in Jharkhand

Ranchi (IANS): Police in Jharkhand are taking on gun-toting Maoists by equipping villagers with mobile phones - and the move is sure helping strengthen the information network against the rebels.

Ever since they started distributing mobile phones free of cost in the West Singhbhum district last month, police say they have received valuable information from villagers about the whereabouts and movements of Maoists.

"The main aim is to distribute mobile sets free of cost to improve the information network in remote rural areas where Maoist rebels operate. The villagers are responding to our initiative in a positive way," Sudhir Kumar, superintendent of police of West Singhbhum district, told IANS.

Police distribute mobile sets to village heads free of cost. The village head buys the SIM card at his or her own cost and is also free to use the mobile for personal use. They are given the police numbers so they can pass on information about the movement of Maoists.

"Our plan is to distribute at least one mobile set in each village of the district. Till now we have distributed more than 200 mobile sets covering more than 220 villages of the district," Kumar said.

Encouraged by the response, the state police plan to distribute the phones in other districts also.

"We will not hesitate to bear the monthly expense of the mobiles. The response is encouraging. With the help of villagers we can uproot the Maoist problem in the state," said a senior official in the Jharkhand police headquarters.

The villagers too are happy with the police move.

"We appreciate the police move. Earlier it was difficult for us to inform police about the movement of Maoists. Police officials react fast on our information," said Ganesh Hembrom, a village headman.

Maoist rebels are active in 18 of the 24 districts of the state. More than 1,450 people have been killed in Maoist-related violence in the last eight years.

Wife of suspected Maoist area commander arrested

Published: February 5,2009



Udhamsingh Nagar (Uttarakhand), Feb 5 The wife of a suspected Maoist area commander who is lodged in prison has been arrested in the district and was sent to jail today.

Chandrakala, wife of suspected Maoist area commander Prashant Rahi, and who carried a reward of Rs 10,000 on her head was arrested yesterday at the bus stand here when she was waiting for a bus to Haldwani, Deputy Superintendent of Police Pramod Kumar said.

She was produced in a court in Khatima, which sent her to jail, he said.







Source: PTI

Top Maoist arrested in Jharkhand

Special Correspondent



HYDERABAD: One of the senior-most Maoist leaders hailing from Andhra Pradesh, Mohd. Hussain, was arrested in Ranchi by Jharkhand police on Wednesday, the police here said. Hussain, who went by the name of Sudhakar in his party circles, was looking after the trade union activities in north India for the CPI Maoist party.

He was one of the founder members of the Singareni Karmika Samakhya (Sikasa), a trade union started by the erstwhile CPI-ML People’s War (PW). Hussain, a native of Mandamarri in Adilabad district, was a coal miner and went underground in early `80s to build up a militant worker’s movement which provided a fillip to the revolutionary movement in the State. Hussain’s wife, also an underground Maoist, was shot dead in an encounter at Sundilla village of Karimnagar district.

Tempt Maoists if you can't beat them

Amitabh Srivastava
Patna, February 4, 2009




CloseIndia Today expert view on Tempt Maoists if you can't beat themIf you can't beat them, join them. Or better still, make them join you!

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram perhaps wants the Jharkhand government to try exactly this by formulating an attractive surrender policy for the Maoists, one which can make the rebels join the mainstream.

So far, almost 100 Naxalites have surrendered in Jharkhand during different regimes. But, in the absence of their proper rehabilitation, the remaining Maoists rebels have shunned the state's offer.


Chidambaram, who was in Jharkhand recently to review the state's preparedness against the Naxalites, has suggested Jharkhand to work out its own surrender policy, "as only a state can evolve specific policy keeping in mind its specific geographical and social landscape".

Obviously, the argument in favour of states preparing their own policies was that a national policy on surrender cannot carry the weight and complication of the extremist problem having local overtones. Chidambaram, however, clarified that the Centre may provide financial assistance to the states.

This was Chidambaram's first visit to Jharkhand since he became the home minister late last year.


In terms of strategic realism, the Centre seems convinced that now was the right time to introduce a surrender policy because unlike 2007-08 when the country witnessed and withstood a sharp rise in extremist activities, the security forces have gained an upper hand in 2008.

"With their back to the wall, the Naxalites may now see some reasons to accept the surrender policy," said a senior Jharkhand IPS officer.

No wonder Jharkhand officials are busy giving final touches to the draft of a new surrender policy, which they believe would motivate the Maoists rebels to abhor violence and return to the mainstream.

The Jharkhand police headquarters is believed to have supported continuance of hard anti-Naxalite operations to go along with the surrender policy because such policies work only when police are in a position of strength and the Naxalites are on the run.

There are, however, just too many questions over the efficacy of a surrender policy because the "bait" of a fixed monthly salary is unlikely to lure the rebels just because the Naxalites earn crores in the form of "levy".

According to sources, the new surrender policy draft has borrowed heavily from a similar draft prepared in 2006 but could not be implemented because of serious difference of opinions within the then cabinet under Arjun Munda government.


The policy had then promised extremists cash compensation, reward, land, employment, free housing, healthcare and education, life insurance, monthly stipend, vocational training, fast-track courts, provision to condone sentences, reimbursement for firearms, a mechanism to settle land disputes and financial inducements to villages and NGOs motivating surrender.

Incidentally, the proposed policy has been left hanging by previous governments for quite some time now. The successive governments led by Arjun Munda, Madhu Koda and Shibu Soren have been dilly-dallying the finalisation.

Beyond surrender policy, Chidambaram was informed that as many as 145 police stations in Jharkhand were located in areas heavily infested by the Maoist rebels. The home minister also issued instructions to set up police stations in 25 blocks of Jharkhand, which do not have any.

The minister's visit to Jharkhand also assumed special significance since this was one state where Chidambaram's idea of inter-state join operation against Naxalites has failed to fructify because of a neighbour's reluctance.

In fact, Chidambaram admitted that the hot-pursuit and barrier-free crackdown on Maoists was being carried out by the police forces of various states except West Bengal, which has not allowed the Jharkhand police to enter its territory. In fact, Jharkhand has lodged a formal complaint with Chidambaram on this issue.

"We told the Union home minister that West Bengal's reluctance to be part of any joint operation against the ultras has turned out to be a stumbling block in the fight against Naxalism," said a Jharkhand IPS officer.

The minister has promised to work it out with West Bengal, adding that Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar were already carrying out joint operations.

Earlier on January 7, when Chidambaram had a meeting with chief ministers of all the Maoist-hit states, a consensus was reached on conducting joint operations against the Maoists rebels.

The minister's maiden visit, however, failed to lift the veil over the fate of Jharkhand's suspended assembly, as he said it was for the political parties in the state to decide in which direction they wanted to go.

President's rule was clamped in Jharkhand on January 19 after the UPA alliance partners failed to reach a consensus over Shibu Soren's successor, as the JMM chief had to resign from the chief minister's chair following his defeat at the January 8 Tamar bypoll.

Govt cannot arm people in Naxal-hit areas: SC

5 Feb 2009, 1921 hrs IST, PTI




NEW DELHI: The government cannot arm common men or those associated with Salwa Judum, a people's movement to combat Naxalism in Chhattisgarh, to
curb the unlawful activities of Naxalites, the Supreme Court said on Thursday.

"We do not underestimate the enormity of the problem (Naxalism). But state should not encourage the common man by arming them to fight Naxalites," a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam observed.

The bench said that "arming common men will create a dangerous situation...unless legal powers are vested, you can't arm people."

The bench expressed its concern that such has been the law and order situation in the Naxal affected areas that the common people are virtually in a dilemma on how to tackle the problem facing them.

"Common men are under dilemma whether to support the government or Naxalites," the bench observed when senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for Chhattisgarh, said that "Naxalites are running a government within the government".

The court made the observations while perusing the action taken report (ATR) filed by the Chhattisgarh government on the recommendations made by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in its report.

The NHRC had probed the alleged human rights violation by Salwa Judum in Chhattisgarh and had pointed to incidents of burning and killing on which FIRs were not registered and cases of high-handedness of the special police officers, civilians armed with weapons to fight Naxals.

MHA asks Naxal-hit states to carry out coordinated operations

Tags: New Delhi

Published: Thu, 05 Feb 2009 at 20:05 IST

New Delhi, Feb 5 : Days after the killing of 15 police personnel by Maoists in Maharashtra, the Union Home Ministry today directed Naxal-affected states to carry out coordinated operations to deal with the menace effectively.

The direction was given at a high-level meeting of the Home Ministry to review the situation in the badly-hit states of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.

Special Secretary (Internal Security) Raman Srivastava, who chaired the meeting, asked the top police brass of these states to assess the requirement of security forces for it.

During the two-hour meeting, the Home Ministry took stock of the security situation of the states and suggested a number of measures to check Maoist activities, an official said.

The meeting came close on the heels of the encounter in Markegaon in Gadchiroli district on Sunday in which 15 policemen were gunned down by the Naxals.

While Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa were represented by their police chiefs, Maharashtra was represented by its chief of anti-Naxal operations Shivanandan.

Though the Maharashtra police chief A N Roy was in Delhi and was seen in the Home Ministry around the time of the meeting, he did not attend it.

Earlier in the day, the Bombay High Court set aside the appointment of Roy as Maharashtra DGP, saying the selection process was "arbitrary", violative of constitutional principle of equality and the Supreme Court's guidelines. (More)

CoBRA reaches Bastar to join anti-Naxal ops

CoBRA reaches Bastar to join anti-Naxal ops
Font Size Express News Service
Posted: Feb 05, 2009 at 1227 hrs IST

Raipur: Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) personnel have reached Chhattisgarh's tribal Bastar region, one of the worst Maoist affected regions in the country, to join the anti-Naxalite operations.

As many as 400 personnel of the CoBRA force are now based at a camp of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at Masgaon and the remaining 657 personnel of the battalion are expected to be in Bastar by April this year, official sources said.

The Centre has agreed to provide two battalions of this newly raised commando force to tackle the growing Maoist threat.

The new force has young personnel with peak combat fitness have specialised training and carry modern equipment for guerrilla tactics and jungle warfare.

The Bastar region, in the southern part of Chhattisgarh, has emerged as the epicentre of Maoist activists with the rebels stepping up violence in the region since June 2005 following the launch of anti-Naxalite movement Salwa Judum by the locals which enjoys the support of the state Government.



Official figures indicate that more than 1,400 people, including civilians and security personnel belonging to the state police as well as para-military, have lost their lives in Naxalite-related violence in this region during the last three years.

Maoists have their presence in all the five districts of Bastar region while they are proactive in south Bastar - the areas bordering neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

A major portion of Dantewada district falls under the so-called "liberated zone of Dandakaranya", where the rebels are said to be virtually running a parallel Government The government, however, describes the region as an "area dominated by the Maoists

Naxal activities push Malkangiri to bottom

Express News Service First Published : 05 Feb 2009 04:24:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 05 Feb 2009 09:18:06 AM ISTBHUBANESWAR: The increased Naxalite activities in the State have started having its impact on the welfare programmes.


This has come to the fore from a review of the implementation of the Biju Gram Jyoti Yojana (BGJY) by Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy. Malkangiri district, one of the hotbeds of Naxalite activities, has the dubious distinction of achieving only 5.04 per cent of the target under the scheme.

Official sources said that out of the 119 villages identified for electrification in the district, only six could be electrified. The State Government had launched the scheme in 2007-08 aiming to cover 10,000 habitations during the 11th Five-Year Plan.

It was announced that villages or habitations having less than 100 persons would be covered under the scheme. However, the slow pace of progress of the scheme in backward districts, including Malkangiri, has derailed the State Government’s plan.

Presence of Naxalites is creating problem in construction of roads in backward areas. This had prompted the State Government to request the Centre to identify an agency to take up construction and building activities. Situation has deteriorated to such an extent that the State Government raised the issue during the consultation meeting of the Commission for Centre-State Relations held here recently.

While implementation of the scheme is 23.43 per cent in Keonjhar, it is 38 per cent in Gajapati and Mayurbhanj. All these districts are affected by Left wing extremism. Out of 239 villages targeted in Keonjhar, only 56 have been electrified while 48 out of 127 villages were electrified in Gajapati district. Similarly, in Mayurbhanj district 144 out of 377 villages were covered under the scheme.

However, in Rayagada only implementation of the scheme has been nearly 70 per cent. Implementation was more than 80 per cent in Bargarh, Angul, Bhadrak, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Khurda, Kendrapara, Sonepur and Nuapara districts. All 20 villages targeted for electrification in Deogarh district were covered.

Official sources maintained that 4,555 villages in 30 districts of the State were targeted to be covered under the scheme.

Out of this, electrification has been completed in 2,884. In the 2008-09 budget, Rs 157 crore was provided for the scheme of which Rs 51 crore has been utilised.

In shadow of Naxals, the light of education

5 Feb 2009, 0341 hrs IST, Soumittra S Bose, TNN

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DHONDRAJ (GADCHIROLI): For them, spreading education is more than just earning a livelihood. Ramesh and Nirmala Shete have toiled hard for the past
decade to usher the dawn of education in Naxal-infested Gadchiroli district where development is a distant dream.

Ramesh is a headmaster and Nirmala, a teacher, with Dhondraj zilla parishad school, around 350 km from Nagpur. In the small ZP school, where absence of power supply has kept the computers and television set packed on the shelves for more than two years now, around 79 students from nearby Hindewada, Medhapalli and Dhondraj villages come to study.

The school is situated at Dhondraj, which has a population of around 500, and offers education from Std I to VII. It was opened in 1965 but could not be started till late 90s for want of students and infrastructure.

“The Maoist movement is not hurdle for us. But, teachers who falsely claim threat to their lives and don’t accept postings in Gadchiroli district is the bigger problem. Though the Maoist issue is also a reality, we have nothing to do with them,” said Ramesh Shete.

“Our work is certainly more challenging than our counterparts elsewhere in the state. We have to go to families in the villages to convince them to send their children to schools. Our duty also requires us to stay in the villages where we are supposed to teach. If the students fail to turn up at the school for a couple of days, we visit their homes to inquire,” said Shete, who himself struggled for his education before clearing higher secondary examination and completing a diploma in education to become a teacher.

Girl students here from std I to IV get a special grant of Re one per day while those from standard five to seven get Rs 50 per month as a special aid. Boys from std V to VII also get Rs 40 per month as part of the grant. “Even monetary assistance do not push the students from backward areas to come to school until we keep pursuing them to remain present regularly,” said Ramesh.

Ramesh shifted from different villages from time to time, wherever his assignments would take him. His arrival at Dhondraj’s ZP school changed his life too. Apart from being promoted as a head master, Ramesh also met his better half Nirmala at the school. Nirmala, who had to break the shackles of tradition to complete her matriculation and get a postal diploma in education, has been associated with the ZP school at Dhondraj since 1992.

“We have been supported by some police officers who have come forward to sponsor three girls from the school,” said Nirmala.

“Villagers are waking up to the need of sending their children to school. Government too has responded to the change. Education is the only tool in the villages to remove backwardness,” said Ramesh.

4000 gelatin sticks seized in Gaya, three held

5 Feb 2009, 0455 hrs IST, TNN



GAYA: In a major catch, the police on Wednesday morning seized a huge cache of explosives meant for supply to Maoists. The seizure was made from a
jeep on GT Road under the Naxal-affected Barachatti police station of Gaya district. Three persons, including the driver of the vehicle, have been arrested in this connection.

The explosives contained about 4000 gelatin sticks weighing about 600 kg. Confirming the seizure, officiating SP Saurav Kumar said even two gelatin sticks are enough to cause major damage.

The explosives bearing production marks of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh were seized following a tip-off. The delivery was to be made to a Maoist area commander, said Kumar adding the arrested men, residents of Koderma and Ranchi of the neighbouring Jharkhand state, are being intensively interrogated.

Andhra Pradesh, from where the explosives were being brought, has a strong Naxal presence. A few years back, the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) having its presence mostly in Bihar and Jharkhand and People's War Group (PWG), the equally dreaded Naxal outfit of Andhra Pradesh, merged to form CPI(Maoist).

Of late, the Maoists have upped the ante in several parts of Gaya and neighbouring Aurangabad districts, targeting mainly communication channels, bridges and road/rail construction equipment. More than a dozen mobile phone towers of BSNL and private telecom companies have been blown up by demolition squads of the Naxals in operations usually conducted around midnight.

Incidentally, on October 2, 2007, the Gaya police had found explosives weighing about 1500 kg from two fibre body water containers dumped under the earth near Kusha Tand under Mohanpur police station of the district. Again, on December 19, 2008, five tubefuls of explosive gel manufactured in Gomia in the neighbouring Jharkhand were seized from Raghunathpur village under Fatehpur police station of Gaya district

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Chhattisgarh seals Maharashtra border after Maoist ambush

By Indo-Asian News Service on Monday, February 2, 2009

The Chhattisgarh police Monday sealed off the border with Maharashtra, where Maoist radicals ambushed a police search squad in Gadchiroli district Sunday, killing 15 state police personnel, officials said.

“The Sunday attack took place very close to Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon district border in Maharashtra and we sealed off the forested border because Maoists may sneak into Chhattisgarh following stepped up drive by the police from the other side of the border,” Pawan Deo, deputy inspector general of police, said here.

Maoists killed 241 people in Chhattisgarh in past one year

February 3rd, 2009 - 10:51 pm ICT by IANS - xSend to a Friend:

Raipur, Feb 3 (IANS) Maoist insurgents killed 241 people, including policemen, in Chhattisgarh between Jan 1, 2008, and Jan 12, 2009, state Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar Tuesday told the state assembly.In a written reply, the minister said that Maoists had killed a total of 241 people since Jan 1, 2008, till the last report complied by police Jan 12 this year. He added that state government had paid compensation of a little over Rs.8.82 crore (Rs. 88.2 million) during the period to families of those who lost their members in Maoist violence.

Kanwar said the police too killed 82 rebels during the period and arrested 164 Maoists besides 431 village level cadres called `Sangham members’

Lalgarh cut off after violence

Marcus Dam


KOLKATA: Road blocks were put up on Tuesday at several places by a section of the tribal population in Lalgarh area in West Bengal, virtually cutting it off from the rest of Paschim Medinipur district. On Monday, three persons were killed in violence there.

Leaders of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities – a resistance group set up in November 2008 to protest against alleged police excesses on local people – have claimed that the victims, all tribals, were their supporters.

The obstructions on the roads leading to the area, where the Maoists have a presence, will remain for an indefinite period as part of the committee’s protest against what it alleges an attack on their supporters at Ramgarh in Lalgarh by activists of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) with the connivance of the police on Monday.

The committee spearheaded a month-long agitation in November-December 2008 against alleged police excesses on local villagers that rendered large parts of Lalgarh inaccessible to the civil and police administration. Shortly after the stir – that had the support of the Maoists – was withdrawn, its leaders called for a boycott of the police in the region until an unconditional apology was made for the excesses committed.

Parts of Lalgarh have remained out of bounds to the police since then. The police were absent during Monday’s violence in Ramgarh that involved two groups when a funeral procession of a local CPI(M) leader, who was shot dead the day before, was on its way to the crematorium. Maoists are suspected to be behind the murder.

The committee leaders said the boycott of the police would continue. Road blocks would be set up at new places to make areas beyond Lalgarh inaccessible to the “police as well as supporters of the CPI(M).”

They also have called a 48-hour bandh from Wednesday across Paschim Medinipur and its adjoining districts – Purulia and Bankura – in protest against the Monday’s violence. The Communist Party of India (Maoist) has also called a 24 bandh in the three districts on Thursday. Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee will be visiting Ramgarh on Wednesday.

Combined action needed against Naxalism: Chavan

Mumbai (PTI): In the wake of a major attack by the Maoists in Maharashtra that left 15 policemen dead, the government today said that combined action is required by the Naxal-affected states in the region to effectively fight the menace.

"The (Naxal) problem is confined to border areas of Maharashtra and that is why we are formally talking with Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh to launch a joint operation against Naxalism," Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said here.

"Cooperation from neighbouring states is important considering the inter-state movement of the Naxalites," he said.

About 125 Naxals attacked a police patrol party at Markegaon on Sunday. Chavan, accompanied by some Ministers and senior government officials, yesterday visited the Gadchiroli district headquarters and paid homage to the martyred policemen.

Maharashtra has noticed a drop in Naxal violence over a period of time, but the Gadchiroli incident was unexpected and shocking, he said.

The State cabinet, which meets tomorrow, is expected to announce additional financial assistance, besides the stipulated compensation, for the families of the policemen who died in the February 1 ambush at Markegaon.

Nearly half a dozen districts in Eastern Maharashtra are affected by the naxal problem. Gadchiroli is the worst-hit district in the state.

College attacked, furniture torched

VISHVENDU JAIPURIAR
Hazaribagh, Feb. 3: Unidentified men ransacked St Columbus College, a BEd institution affiliated under Vinoba Bhave University (VBU) close to the Hazaribagh lake, and set furniture on fire.

An almirah containing answer sheets of the second terminal examinations and papers related to the on-going students’ poll was gutted.

Though before leaving, the men pasted posters indicating that the act was by Naxalites, police ruled out the red angle. They believe that the fire was the handiwork of those whose nomination papers were cancelled for the VBU students’ union polls. The men reached the spot sometime around midnight and tried to damage the college walls besides breaking the locks.

The posters that were posted read, “lal salam,” “dhobi sangh jindabad”, “ABVP jindabad”, “St Columbus College mei election dubara ho”. Some claimed that the students’ election would not “benefit” anyone.

A police team recovered hammers and adhesives that hinted that the mischief-makers had reached the spot prepared. SP Pankaj Kamboj said the “lal salam” was used to divert the direction of the investigation. College principal Kedarnath Dubey agreed and added that those responsible for the fire knew exactly where the documents and answer sheets were kept.

He added that three days ago, a few youths had tried to mount pressure on candidates to withdraw their names from the poll fray.

Wanted women barbers for force

RAJ KUMAR
Ranchi, Feb. 3: The Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) are scouting for women barbers for giving its fairer battalion a trim.

This is for the first time that the state government has decided to appoint four women barbers to groom the constables and officers of JAP’s women battalion.

And the barbers will be no ordinary ones. They must be skilled to run one mile in 10 minutes and at the same time, be experienced in facial and cosmetic care. They are also required to have attained school till Class VIII.

A test for the selection of these barbers is likely to be held this month.

Candidates will have to come with scissors, facial cream and other cosmetic products to appear for a practical examination. The four final candidates will belong to four different categories — general, backward class, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe.

The government has also invited applications to recruit eight cooks, five water carriers and three sweepers. The idea is to promote healthy living conditions for JAP women personnel.

Commandant of women battalion Sambhu Sharan Thakur said the last date of submission of application forms for the posts was January 30.

At present, the strength of women battalion of JAP is around 1,000.

Formed in 2004, the force’s services have been roped in some Naxalite-hit districts such as Bokaro, Dhanbad, Hazaribagh and Ranchi.

Besides, personnel of the battalion also guard important government buildings such as Project Building (Jharkhand Mantralaya) and other places. One company of the battalion has been rendering its services at Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi for a long time.

CCL to fund road network in red zone

SUMAN K. SHRIVASTAVA

Ranchi, Feb. 3: The economic meltdown doesn’t matter. At least to “mini-Navratna” Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) which has loosened its purse strings to invest Rs 575 crore for building 450 km of roads in the Maoist belt.

Both a social as well as business move, CCL’s decision to prioritise its ambitious road plans was based on feedback that its long-pending open cast mining projects — Ashoka, Magadh and Amrapali — would now receive forest clearances with the state under President’s rule.

The PSU, granted mini-Navratna status by the Indian Department of Public Enterprise, now wants to kickstart its road project so that the network is ready by the time the mining projects are commissioned.

CCL chairman-cum-managing director R.K. Saha told The Telegraph that they had tried to persuade the Border Road Organisation (BRO) to take up the job. “But the BRO declined because it is busy with other projects for the next two years,” he said.

“However, we have requested the government to take up the issue with the BRO and help us expedite the job.”

One of the early pioneers in mining, CCL is a leading supplier of coal to the power and steel sector.

Saha explained CCL’s road project hoped to serve two purposes — primarily, create a network of roads in the coal field area and link them to the main arteries in the districts of Palamau, Hazaribagh, Ranchi and Chatra.

Its second purpose was to provide employment opportunities.

“Since these are rebel pockets, we want to offer villagers employment — honest means of living, and wean them away from Naxalite influence. Also, we hope the projects will open new vistas for the development of the region,” he said.

“We are keen on the BRO for the sake of transparency. Moreover, we believe their job would be better than others. In case, it refuses again, our second option would be Sainik — a construction company run by former servicemen,” Saha said.

Significantly, Governor Syed Sibtey Razi has also asked government officials to get in touch with the BRO to try and convince them to take up the job.

Saha said CCL hadn’t been hit hard by the economic slump.

“There is no dearth of demand in the market for coal. In fact, the demand is still higher than supply. Our major consumers are power stations. A large number of power projects are coming up in Jharkhand and elsewhere. The only bad thing that has happened is that our prices have gone down due to the slowdown,” he said.

It was however, clear that processing of files — either for forest clearances or any other job — had gained momentum under President’s rule. Saha also lauded the efforts taken by chief secretary A.K. Basu and forest secretary Sukhdev Singh to grant clearances to the road projects.

“The ministry of forest and environment is equally keen to clear our projects. We expect project Magadh, linked to North Karnpura thermal power station, to take off by 2010-11,” he said.

“Out of the eight road projects, the Tandwa-Charhi road will encircle CCL’s coal fields like a close-ended circuit and will facilitate speedy transportation at a later stage,” he said.

The partiality of media and news channels

By Nirmal Laungani

When Narendra Modi had won a very convincing victory in Gujarat, despite being declared “enemy number 1” by the media, secular establishment, NGOs/human rights groups, and even party rebels, channels did not feel compelled to express similar feelings on him being the “ideal leader”, as they did for Sheila Dikshit.

I was watching Zee News all the day, against the backdrop of the assembly elections to the four states, and one could literally feel the anti-BJP feelings in the interviewers/commentators. It was almost as if Congress spokespersons were asking questions. Just a short time after the counting commenced, we learnt that the Congress was going to “crush” the BJP in Rajasthan – right until the time that final election results were declared, and it was found that in reality, the Congress had failed to even reach the half-way mark (96 out of 200), this feeling of them having received a “massive mandate” was not moderated.

Then, Sheila Dikshit was made the new “poster-girl” of the media, having performed a hat-trick and that too against the BJP. Our learned Congress spokesman, Abhishek Singhvi, never correct with either his facts or judgement, claimed that Sheilaji was the only CM outside West Bengal who had won more than two times in a row. I think Pawan Kumar Chamling, the Chief Minister of Sikkim, who won the elections in 1994, 1999 and 2004 in a row, ought to sue Abhishekji. For that matter, Congress’s Gegong Apang also held the Congress flag high in Arunachal Pradesh for 19 years non-stop till 1999. Anyway, for the meantime we can ignore this claim, and continue with how Zee News went wild over Sheila Dikshit. In fact, in his interview with Sheilaji, the anchor Prasoon Vajpayee put her forward as the “Ideal Chief Minister”, someone whom every Chief Minister/politician should emulate.

No doubt, Sheilaji deserves to be commended, after all this victory is her’s and not the Congress’s. But, exactly a year ago, when Narendra Modi had a very convincing victory in Gujarat, despite being declared “enemy number 1” by the media, secular establishment, NGOs/human rights groups, and even party rebels, Zee News did not feel compelled to express similar feelings on him being the “ideal leader”, as they did for Sheila Dikshit. Opinion polls/exit polls had virtually said that the Congress would give a very tough fight to the BJP, and many claiming that the BJP was on its way out in Gujarat. Yet, despite their best efforts, nothing of that sort happened, and Modi had the last laugh. In fact, the BJP in Gujarat has been winning non-stop in all the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections held from 1991 onwards. Last year, he won with an astounding 49 per cent majority, way ahead of any of the current victors of the present state elections.

But alas! Narendra Modi’s fault, 1) He belongs to BJP 2) He is perceived a Hindu hardliner, and 3) He is not going to appease the media people to further his interests.

Anyway, coming back to the current state elections, the media reports that the Congress, buoyed by its “successes” in these elections, are thinking of bringing forward the Lok Sabha elections, taking a leaf out from a similar scenario 5 years back, when BJP’s clear victories in 3 states ruled by the Congress saw the Lok Sabha elections taking place earlier than usual.

But, of course, nobody thought it wise to tell the media or the Congress that, at that time, the BJP wrested 3 out of 4 states ruled by the Congress; in the present scenario, BJP failed to wrest Delhi, Congress failed to wrest Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Only, in Rajasthan, they scored some semblance of a victory.

In totality, out of a total of 629 seats (including Mizoram), BJP is in the 1st place with 294 seats, and Congress with 279 seats. If one does not count Mizoram, then BJP stays at 294 seats, but the Congress is down to 247 seats. Not a very good basis for calling early Lok Sabha elections.

The way Prasoonji, the anchor of Zee News asked questions from Tarun Vijay, were astounding and shocking. They were all provoking, so much so that when Tarunji gave his opinion that he didn’t believe that the Delhi elections were won by the Congress on the strength of their performance, Prasoonji was the one to get provoked (wonder why!), and started accusing/taunting Tarun Vijay that perhaps he (Tarunji) was recommending that democratic values should be given up and even the Constitution should be burnt! What a link, and what a connection?

So, for the BJP to even hint that Sheilaji did not win because of development is blasphemy, because it goes against what Zee News was trying to portray, but when Digvijay Singh claims that the people in Madhya Pradesh were angry with the BJP and that the BJP did not win for development, it was considered a reasonable comment!

“Terrorism as an election issue failed completely” so said our media analysts. However, none of these news channels bothered to point out that in Chhattisgarh, right in the heart of Naxalite/Maoist stronghold of Bastar, the Congress won just 1 out of the 12 seats over there, while the BJP won 11. This, in a place, considered their stronghold. Nobody bothered to connect these results with the fact that the soft spoken Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh had matched words with action in dealing with the Maoists, through his “Salwa Judum” campaign, in which Vanvasis themselves were armed to fight against the insurgents. Ajit Jogi had promised to scrap this campaign, and ‘go soft’ with the Maoists, but the Vanvasis, having enough of Naxalites and Ajit Jogi, voted handsomely for the BJP.

Isn’t there a lesson in this for the Congress, that acting tough on terrorism is important? But, then who could blame our ruling party, when the news channels were convincing them that the most important news was Sheila Dikshit’s win and Vasundhara Raje’s loss.

It is therefore, very important that Hindutva groups get their act together and establish their own English-language newspapers, and news channels. It is the need of the day. Otherwise, many laymen Hindus, not having another medium, will believe in the trash that these people speak and write. We need to have our own voice for those English speaking Hindus, and those who are accustomed to watching these 24/7 news channels.

EDITORIAL : Internal terror

Tuesday, February 3, 2009 21:03 IST Email


For some time now, attacks by Maoist groups have been limited to parts of Central India -- Maharashtra, where Naxalites are known to operate has been quiet. This changed on Sunday and in a most brutal manner when a large group of well armed Naxalites stormed a village and massacred a posse of 15 policemen who had come to the village.

Eyewitness accounts of the incident are chilling -- the Naxalites fired indiscriminately on the policemen and killed them; the bodies found were mutiliated with their eyes pierced and hand or legs chopped off. Some reports have claimed that women Maoists led the group.

Chief minister Ashok Chavan has bravely claimed that the state will retaliate and that the army need not be called to manage the situation, but his words mean little if his police department finds itself without the weapons or strategy to fight back. Experts have talked about a 'Red Corridor' extending from Andhra Pradesh to Uttar Pradesh.

While Naxalite groups in different states may not always coordinate with each other, there is no denying that large swathes of the hinterland are out of the state's control. Clearly this is an untenable situation in need of quick resolution.

The Salwa Judum, or so-called self-protection groups promoted by the Chattisgarh government have proved to be unpopular and ineffective and state police units have found themselves out of their depth in understanding, much less handling Maoism. A proposal to have a special task force has been a non-starter.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's description of Naxalism as a "virus" is apt and this virus is spreading rapidly.TheIndian state has become preoccupied with externally-sponsored terrorism but internal terrorism is no less a scourge.

There are socio-economic reasons why Naxalites thrive; they are seen as helping tribal and disadvantaged groups in rural areaswhere the state's delivery systems have failed. There are political issues too, because Maoists propogate an ultra-left ideology. All these should be incorporated in any strategy to deal with them. Not much thinking seems to have gone into this.

But it is also a major security issue and even here, worryingly, the states have failed as many such spectacular attacks in recent years show. Maharashtra and the Centre must see this incident as a major wake up call and refurbish their tactics in tackling Naxalism before more such attacks occur.

Free mobile phones to fight Maoists in Indian state

Tue Feb 3, 2009 8:57am GMT By Nityanand Shukla

RANCHI (Reuters) - Authorities in an insurgency-hit eastern Indian state are distributing free mobile phones to villagers to provide information about Maoist rebels, officials said.

The heads of about 220 villages in Jharkhand have been provided with a mobile phone each and users are provided with a list of police numbers to call as part of the latest strategy to fight Maoist insurgency.

"The idea of distributing mobile sets is to strengthen our network system in remote villages," Sudhir Kumar, police chief of the state's East Singhbhum district, a Maoist hotbed, told Reuters. "We are getting a good response."

Maoists, who have been running an almost four-decade-long insurgency, control vast tracts of rural land in about a dozen states in east, central and parts of southern India.

They say they are fighting for the rights of farmers and the poor. The insurgency has claimed thousands of lives and has been described by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as the country's gravest internal security threat.

Villagers say the mobile phones are a useful tool in the fight against the Maoists.

"One night we saw a few Maoist rebels roaming around our village. We used our mobile to pass on information," said Antu Hembrom, a village headman.

"Police reacted fast and the rebels were arrested."

(Editing by Krittivas Mukherjee and Sugita Katyal)

Free Phones Given to Indian Villages to Fight Naxalite Terrorists

­Villagers in the north-eastern Indian province of Jharkhand are being given free mobile phones so that they can call for assistance if Maoist terrorists are in their vicinities. Around 220 villages have been given a single handset each which is preprogrammed with the contract details of the local police services.



Jharkand is one of the thirteen states in which the Naxalite Maoist terrorists have considerable influence. Since 1996, according to government figures, over 4,500 civilians and police have been killed due to terrorist action.

"One night we saw a few Maoist rebels roaming around our village. We used our mobile to pass on information," said Antu Hembrom, a village headman.

"The idea of distributing mobile sets is to strengthen our network system in remote villages," Sudhir Kumar, police chief of the state's East Singhbhum district, a Maoist hotbed, told Reuters. "We are getting a good response."

However, the terrorists also have a modus-operandi of attacking mobile phone networks and taking down their towers - after claiming that the police use the networks to track their mobile phones. A group of Maoists set fire to a Airtel mobile tower in Chatra district's Arugerua village earlier this week - and attacks occur on an almost weekly basis.

Posted to the site on 3rd February 2009

Between krantigiri & Gandhigiri, some Naxals choose the latter

4 Feb 2009, 0339 hrs IST, Sunil Warrier, Soumittra Bose & Ranjit G Deshmukh , TNN


GADCHIROLI: Until August 22 last year, they lived in mortal fear of being targets for the police. Since the last five months, they have been living
in fear that the Naxals may get them.

Meet Suresh Haarami (38), Raju Korcha (35), Ramji Haarami (22) and Budhram Lakda (19) — all former Naxals — who are trying to clear the Maoists muddle in their heads and seeking to lead a normal life. Suresh, who was a divisional committee member (equivalent to a general manager in the corporate world), reported directly to the state committee.

He had an army working under him. Suresh decided that he had enough of the other world and surrendered. He brought along platoon member Ramji, commander Sunita (26), Yogesh and Maini too.

Seeking protection in numbers, they are taking shelter with Sukhlal Aatla (40) and his wife Ramka (32) who surrendered a couple of years ago. To Suresh’s chagrin, Yogesh and Maini left on Monday. “We can only protect ourselves if we are together,” says Suresh, clearly the leader.

With money from government, the Aatlas bought a house and some land. They have taken the first step on the road of survival. Suresh & Co too got compensated last year. However, for them, the road ahead is a blank. “I am good at agricultural work,” he says. “I hope to find some job soon.”

On crossing over to reality, the Naxals share a matchbox apartment in the police quarters. The same people who were gunning for them are now protecting them. They are kept here maximum for a year after which they are on their own. Suresh was confident, he moved out. Ramji, who pretends to be SRK, is still here.

None of them travel into Gadchiroli frequently. Once a week, sometimes even not that. “We will be targeted by the Naxals,” says Raju. “If we are attacked here, we can defend ourselves,” adds Suresh, showing the power of the gulel (slingshot). “Even if they have revolvers, I’m confident that I can defend myself. I am trained for that.”

Naxalism is dying in the state, says surrendered Naxal Suresh, supporting chief minister Ashok Chavan’s statement about this. The 01/02 carnage, when 15 policemen were ambushed, is a stray incident, he says. “The Naxals are so few in numbers that they move around together just to show their strength. I had just 70 members in my platoon when I decided to surrender.”

What forced him to move to the world of the Naxals then? “At 8, I was studying in a adivasi school. The food was terrible, full of insects. My anger against the establishment began to take root. The Naxals would freely roam villages, giving fiery speeches and singing stirring songs. I was enamoured by the life they showed us. I was hooked at 18, but got involved full-time at 22.”

Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh launch operation against naxals

The Hindu



Rahi Gaikwad



15 police personnel killed in Sunday’s attack in Maharashtra


Police-naxal battle lasts for over an hour

We will intensify anti-naxal operations: Chavan


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Mumbai: Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh have launched a joint operation to track naxals who killed 15 police personnel in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district.

In a most brutal naxal attack till date in Maharashtra, 15 police personnel were ambushed and killed by a hundred-strong group of naxals at Marke village, Dhanora taluka, around eight km from the Gyarapatti Katgul police outpost.

Around 11.15 a.m., a 15-member police party went to investigate an incident of arson by the naxals along the Sawargaon-Katgul road. The naxals had burnt down a roller and a tractor, where an overbridge is under construction. When the police entered the area, about five squads of naxals, with 20 cadres in each squad, started firing from all sides, said Vijay Chafle, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Headquarters), at Gadchiroli.

The police, who were armed with eight AK 47s, two INSAS (Indian National Small Arms System), six self-loading rifles, one two-inch mortar and one pistol, retaliated, and a heavy exchange of fire followed. The battle lasted for over an hour, in which a sub-inspector and 14 constables lost their lives. The bodies of the slain policemen were badly mutilated.

During the course of the encounter, the police had sought reinforcements, and a second team of police officers set out on a rescue operation. However, they could not reach on time. “The area lies out of coverage and signals are very weak,” said Mr. Chafle. The naxals fired on the second team too, but no one was injured.

A helicopter belonging to the Chhattisgarh government was also commissioned. It reached around 3.30 p.m. whereas the encounter ended by 12 p.m., said Gadchiroli Collector Niranjan Kumar Sudhansu.

No arrests have been made so far. A police team is searching the area and combing operations are on at Dhanora, bordering Chhattisgarh, according to Mr. Sudhansu.

“Forces have been mobilised to track the attackers,” said Sandeep Bhaji Bhakare, sub-divisional police officer of Gadchiroli.

Chief Minster Ashok Chavan visited the district on Monday to offer his condolences. He said that at a recent Cabinet meeting in Delhi, it was perceived that naxalism in Maharashtra was on the decline. However, the recent incident was a sad development. The State would now intensify anti-naxal operations, he said.

Sunday’s attack is believed to be in retaliation to the arrest of 15 naxals last week by the Anti-Naxal Squad at Ettapalli taluka in Gadchiroli district. The district, a naxal stronghold, borders Chhattisgarh, and it has seen many a deadly attack. In 2008, four police officers were killed in the Rajaram Khanla region of south Gadchiroli. In 2006, seven police officers were killed in a landmine blast at Bewartola in Gondia district. In 2005, blasts in Gadchiroli and Gondia districts killed 14 police officers.

Multiple ambushes the new naxal strategy

4 Feb 2009, 0148 hrs IST, Vishwa Mohan, TNN



NEW DELHI: Maoists have devised a new operational strategy of laying "multiple ambushes" and the Maharashtra incident, which left 15 cops killed in
Gadchiroli district on Sunday, was testimony of the gameplan to trap security personnel in big numbers.

A shocked government, which had an inkling of the Maoists' new strategy as it observed a trend elsewhere in the past couple of months, has called a meeting of police chiefs of four states — Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Chhattisgarh — on Thursday to devise a "counter-strategy" so that the Red ultras' next such attempt can be tackled.

Detailed report of the incident sent by Maharashtra to the home ministry on Tuesday highlighted how the Gadchiroli incident caught the policemen off-guard.


Referring to the report, sources in the ministry said that as against the Maoists' earlier practice of quickly moving out of the area after any attack, hundreds of Red ultras had, in fact, stayed back after the incident along the Sawargaon-Katgul road and waited for police to come for another ambush a day after.

Under a well-planned strategy, the Maoists had burnt down a roller and a tractor injuring construction workers. They knew that the police party would come and therefore they stayed in the vicinity. When the local police entered the area, they engaged them till the time enforcements reached. The final assault came when the bigger force reached, leaving 15 of them dead.

"The move to hit soft targets, including construction workers, is seen as a ploy to con the cops to the site of attacks so that they can be trapped," said a senior official, adding the meeting on Thursday will see how the states are prepared to handle such situations.

The states will be asked to devise a counter-strategy, besides being asked not to take chances when any incident takes place and only send reinforcements after some time, that too after gauging the situation.

The report on Gadchiroli incident said how the Red ultras had engaged the police party for nearly one-and-a-half hours. They waited till the cops exhausted their ammunition and then attacked them, killing 15. The report, however, denied presence of women ultras during the attack.

The incident was the biggest in terms of death of cops in a single naxal incident in Maharashtra. The state had, in fact, witnessed killing of 10 policemen in different incidents in the past three years. While four cops were killed in 2008, three each died in 2007 and 2006.

Naxal threat persists

Today India is facing violent protests on many issues. These agitations have their own demands concerning regional or separatists issues. The so-called seven sisters (north eastern states) periodically face this situation but when we talk about Naxalism it is totally a different issue. Naxalism has transformed into armed guerilla group and carries out its operations within the country harming the internal security. Few years back Naxals attacked a jail in Jehanabad in Bihar and freed their men, it was considered the operation just as the military organisations of a country does. Naxalism originated from Naxalbadi, a small village in West Bengal as the farmer's agitation. It was started by a communist Charu Majumdar who was dismissed from the party on some issue. At present it has no ground in West Bengal but has spread to Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Warangal in Andhra Pradesh is the most affected. From Warangal it spread to Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra where at present its grounds are not so deep rooted as in Bihar, Jharkhand. Some time an arms unit run by the Naxalites was unearthed in Bhopal. Naxals have intensified their attacks in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. The most problematic thing is that their demands are not clear and there is not a single leader to be talked with. In recent years it has come to be known that the various groups indulging in violence are doing so with their main aim to carry on with the drug trade rather than any political issues. Talking about Afghanistan, it seems that the conservatives are also carrying out their violent operations just for the sake of drugs. Everyone knows that drugs are harmful. Despite this fact there is no curb on production of drugs in Afghanistan.

Airstrip in Gadchiroli to curb naxal menace

Mumbai, Feb 03: Maharashtra Government on Tuesday decided to construct an airstrip in Gadchiroli, where 15 policemen were recently ambushed by naxals, as part of its efforts to rein in the Maoists.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan directed officials of the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) at a meeting here to begin the process of land acquisition for the purpose.

Earlier in the day, BJP state president Nitin Gadkari had lambasted the state government for its inability to provide copters to the security forces fighting the naxals.

Terming the massacre of 15 police officials in Gadchiroli district as the state government's "biggest failure" in the anti-naxal movement, he alleged that naxals and terrorists were more equipped than the police force due to "inefficiency of the state government".

In a statement issued here, he claimed that it has come to light that the policemen were murdered by the naxals after their ammunition stock got over.

"Police force is provided low quality bullet proof jackets and helmets and this has been proved in the recent terror attacks in Mumbai. The condition of police officials fighting naxalites is no good," Gadkari said.

Bureau Report

Gadchiroli massacre: Sena targets Mah Home dept

Font size: NEWSX
02 February, 2009 08:49:15

The Shiv Sena Tuesday held Maharashtra Home Secretary Chitkala Zutshi responsible for the "callous" approach to law and order in the state that led to the recent barbaric killings of 15 policemen in Gadchiroli by Naxalites.

An editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamana said the Gadchiroli massacre, after the November 26 Mumbai attacks, had once again shown total inefficiency and irresponsible attitude of the state home administration towards the law and order problems affecting both common people and security personnel.

"No help reached the 15 policemen who were ambushed by the Maoists as the emergency helicopter in the difficult terrain could not be pressed into service due to a lapsed contract," it alleged, adding that the state Home department was in the hands of a woman (Zutshi) who was more interested in "going places and swimming".

"Chitkala Zutshi is free to pursue her hobbies. But she should have been aware of the hardships being faced by police doing their duty in the Naxal infested region of Gadchiroli," the editorial said, claiming that the Home department had not even bothered to pay premiums for insurance of policemen.

"After the November 26 Mumbai attacks, Maharashtra Home minister R R Patil had to resign. But Zutshi, who is a 'Special' secretary, has all along been protected and has remained unaffected," it said.

The paper also condemned the State Director General of police Anami Roy saying he would be quick in passing on the buck to the Anti-Naxalite cell, disowning his own role in law and order scenario.

"Roy was in the hiding when the Mumbai attacks took place because according to him, fighting terrorists was responsibility of the ATS," the paper said.

"Since the Gadchiroli killings involved poor policemen in Naxal dominated remote area, and did not happen in the five star hotels, media coverage will last a couple of days and there will not be any candle lighting at the Gateway of India," the editorial said.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Bengal's Lalgarh on the boil again, 3 killed in firing

3 Feb 2009, 0415 hrs IST, Sukumar Mahato, TNN



LALGARH (WEST MIDNAPORE): Jangalkhand is once again on fire. Three villagers were killed and three others injured in firing that took place at
Khasjangal on Monday afternoon after a procession carrying the body of slain CPM leader Nandalal Pal was stopped by members of the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA).

Who fired the shots is still a mystery. Police blamed the PCPA, CPM blamed the Maoists and the PCPA blamed the administration.

Two persons died on the spot and the injured lay writhing in pain for more than three hours before the first ambulance arrived. One person succumbed to injuries at Midnapore Medical College and Hospital. Three CPM supporters were hit by arrows shot by the tribals. Three vehicles, carrying CPM supporters, were set ablaze and a police vehicle was damaged.

West Midnapore SP Rajesh Kumar Singh said the PCPA had attacked the procession. “More than 1,000 supporters of PCPA attacked the convoy. Suddenly, there was a gunshot. Who fired it has to be inves-tigated, but police did not open a single round of fire,” he said.

By Monday night, blockades were back in Lalgarh, with villagers throwing boulders and trees to cut off road links. The PCPA, which is supported by Maoists, has threatened to renew its stir in the rest of West Midnapore as it had done three months back.

Lalgarh was on edge since Sunday after CPM’s Lalgarh zonal committee member Na-ndalal Pal was killed. Trouble broke out on Monday while the slain leader’s body was being taken to Murar, his village, from the Lalgarh CPM office.

Around 3.30 pm, PCPA members stopped the procession and demanded to know why a procession was passing through the forest area. The area has a CRPF camp but negligible police presence. Suddenly, someone opened fire and within minutes several people were lying in a pool of blood on the ground.

The dead were identified as Rajaram Mandi, his son Lakhiram Mandi of Gopalnagar and Gopinath Soren of Kamaladanga. Khasjungle’s Basanti Mandi and Ramesh Murmu were among the injured.

CPM’s Lalgarh zonal committee secretary Anuj Pandey claimed the Maoists had led the attack on the procession. “There was no provocation. The Maoists attacked our supporters,” he said.

By late on Monday night, PCPA supporters had put up blockades at Khairashuli, Birmadol, Baropelia and Dalilpur. Sidhu Soren of PCPA said the tribals were being provoked. “For all these months, there has been no bloodshed in the villages, but now we are going to retaliate,” he warned.

Senior CPM leader Shyamal Chakraborty said there was anarchy in the district. “The procession was attacked without provocation. The Opposition is trying to create jungle raj in the region.”

Informer lured police into Maoist trap in Gadchiroli

Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times
Email Author
Nagpur, February 03, 2009
First Published: 01:28 IST(3/2/2009)
Last Updated: 02:25 IST(3/2/2009)



A woman named Narmada led the deadly Maoist attack that killed 15 policemen in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district on Sunday. Her deputy was also a woman named Taraka alias Vimlaa. That’s what intelligence sources speaking on the customary condition of anonymity told HT on Monday.

Narmada, a 44-year-old college dropout from Andhra Pradesh, has been leading the Maoists’ Gadchiroli unit since shortly after the death of its last leader, Shivanna, who was killed in a police encounter in Chhattisgarh last year. The sources said the attack in the jungles of Markegaon village about 300 km southeast of Nagpur was a joint operation of the North Bastar and Gadchiroli units of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Narmada, a 44-year-old college dropout from Andhra Pradesh, has been leading the Maoists’ Gadchiroli unit since shortly after the death of its last leader, Shivanna, who was killed in a police encounter in Chhattisgarh last year. She is married to Maoist leader Sudhakar alias Kiran who works for the outfit’s publicity wing, say sources.
Her deputy Taraka, a tribal girl from Gadchiroli, is also the wife of a senior Maoist leader, Bhupathi. He is a member of the group’s central committee.

Since she took charge, Narmada has entrusted key posts to women. Most of her local organisational squads, which consist of 10-15 armed Maoists, are headed by women.

The Maharashtra Police have launched a massive search to find the group. More than 2,000 heavily-armed police personnel have been deployed for combing operations in the area, which is 80 km by road from the district headquarter, Gadchiroli town. Seventy policemen have been killed by Maoists in Gadchiroli and Gondia districts of Vidharba since 2002, according to the Anti Naxal Operations unit of Maharashtra Police. Naxalites of the People’s War Group, and later, the CPI(Maoist) have been active in this area since 1980.

Maharashtra Police chief AN Roy denied media reports that the bodies of the policemen who died in the attack had been mutilated. “This is absolutely false,” he said.

Agencies investigating the attack say the Maoists used a police informer to draw the policemen to their deaths. The attackers knew of the movements of the policemen, who were on their way to investigate the burning of a tractor and a road-roller by Maoists, investigators said.

Villagers lynch three Maoists

Ranchi (IANS): Residents of a Jharkhand village lynched three Maoist rebels who attempted to abduct a contractor but failed, police said Monday.

The rebels abducted Sanjay Mahto, a contractor involved in constructing a panchayat building, Sunday night from Hesalpidi village, around 45 km from Ranchi district headquarters. They demanded extortion money, but Mahto managed to escape and informed the villagers, a police official said.

Hundreds of villagers came to the contractor's aid and prevented the Maoists from escaping. The rebels opened fire, injuring two people. Angry villagers then surrounded the trio and beat them to death. They later informed the police about the incident, the official said.

The injured have been admitted to hospital and are said to be critical.

In a separate incident, eight rebels belonging to the People's Liberation Front of India (PLFI) were arrested in Khuti district, an official said.

Maoist rebels are active in 18 of Jharkhand's 24 districts. In the last seven to eight years, more than 1,450 people have been killed in Maoist related violence

Eight suspected PLFI activists arrested

Published: February 2,2009


Khunti (Jharkhand), Feb 2 Eight suspected activists of the People&aposs Liberation of India (PLFI) were arrested from Duli forest area of Jharkhand&aposs Khunti district, police said today.

Police conducted raids in the forest area yesterday and arrested eight persons, Superintendent of Police Prabhat Kumar said, adding cartridges, uniforms and Naxal literatures were recovered from their possession.

The arrested persons were identified as Jitan, Vineet, Jeeran, Anthony, Palous, Sanjay, Prabhu and Anup, the police officer said.

The arrests took place close on the heels of four persons being shot dead in Khunti on January 31 by Naxalites, with the PLFI prima facie suspected to be responsible for the killing.

The PLFI, which was earlier known as Jharkhand Liberation Tigers, is active in Khunti and Gumla districts.



Source: PTI

hree naxalites lynched in Jharkhand

Monday, 02 February , 2009, 13:53


Ranchi: Three naxalites were lynched by villagers near here after the ultra-left extremists had injured two locals, police said today.

Three naxalites of the banned Jharkhand Prastuti Samiti went to Korbar village in Ranchi district, about 25 km from here, demanding extortion from a person last night.

The villagers overpowered them after the naxalites fired at them injuring two villagers, the police said.

15 policemen killed in Naxal firing

A pistol, two cell phones and a bike were recovered from the spot, the police said.

In another incident, a group of Maoists set fire to a Airtel mobile tower in Chatra district's Arugerua village last night, Superintendent of Police Akhilesh Jha said.

Maoists had left a note claiming responsibility, he added.

Maoists blow up bridge in Bihar

Aurangabad (PTI): Suspected Maoists blew up portion of a bridge over a canal in Bihar's Aurangabad district on Monday apparently to obstruct movement of police vehicles.

The Naxalites blew up with dynamites a part of the bridge on Deo-Baluganj Road near Berhni village in the wee hours, Superintendent of Police Ganesh Kumar told PTI.

The SP said though small vehicles could still negotiate the bridge, no big vehicle can now pass over it.

Even though no ultra left organisation had claimed responsibility, it was suspected to be the handiwork of the CPI(Maoist), he said.

The bridge was blown up apparently to prevent police vans and armoured vehicles from reaching Maoist strongholds of Baluganj and Ketaki as the stretch became non-motorable, he said.