Saturday, July 11, 2009

PCPA activists, CPI(M) cadres exchange fire

Published: July 11,2009

Midnapore (WB), July 10 The People&aposs Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) activists and CPI(M) cadres exchanged fire at a village near Lalgarh in West Midnapore district tonight, official sources said here.

District Magistrate N S Nigam said a huge police force rushed to Sirsa village near Lalgarh after getting news that PCPA activists and CPI(M) cadres exchanged fire tonight.

PCPA sources alleged that CPI(M) cadres opened fire at their activists and have also kidnapped two of their activists.

The CPI(M) sources countered the charges and said that PCPA activists, supported by the Maoists, opened fire at them.



Source: PTI

Mahasweta Devi rallies for Lalgarh tribals

Express News Service

Author Mahasweta Devi led a rally in protest against the presence of security forces in Lalgarh on Saturday. Besides intellectuals like Sunando Sanyal and Pratul Mukhopadhyay, members of nearly 60 other organisations, including the Bhoomi Ucched Pratirodh Committee, were present in the rally.



“Why are the Central and state forces suddenly taking action against the people of Lalgarh, when for so many years nothing was done? For over three decades the government did nothing for the people, there has been absolutely no development in the area,” she said.



The author, who has lived and worked among the tribals for many years, added that they were still among the poorest people in the state.



“They don’t have BPL cards and do not get rice at the minimum rate. Now the government is trying to sell their land by giving them false promises of jobs and a secure future. The government is curbing all the protests in the area since they want to project a picture of calm to the Jindals,” she said.





Lawyer Sujato Bhadro, who was present at the rally, said after an organisation was declared illegal, there was always a review committee with a judge in whose presence people accused of being members of that organisation were supposed to be tried. “There is no such committee and the judge, the government has simply banned Maoists without forming this panel,” said Bhadro.

Eye of a storm

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EXCLUSIVE

A woman's blinding in police assault turned Lalgarh against govt

By Rabi Banerjee/Lalgarh

Chintamani Murmu, 55, would not come out of her thatched hut at Chotopelia in Lalgarh, West Bengal. She is blind and has no clothes to wear.
A mother of three, she was blinded by policemen hunting for Maoists following a landmine attack on Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's convoy in November last year. Chintamani's plight turned the tribals against the Left Front government. As the Maoist-backed People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PSBJC) clashed with security forces last month, Lalgarh became a war zone. The unrest left Chintamani's husband, Gauranga, 65, jobless. A labourer, he sold his wife's clothes to run the family. His sons dropped out of school.

When THE WEEK visited Chintamani's house, some women were guarding it. "Don't go to her. She is not at home. Even if she is in, she will not come out to talk to you," shouted a middle-aged woman. "You have no business to meet her. Let her live with whatever she has," another woman said. I waited for two hours, but the women did not relent. The hut was bolted from inside.

The next morning I met Gauranga at the village square. After much persuasion, he took me to his house. After 40 minutes, Chintamani emerged from the hut. She was wearing a woollen shawl, in 40 degrees Celsius. The shawl was all she had to cover her body.
"I protested the torture by the police. So I was blinded. I was made an issue and a war is being fought between the government and our tribal committee. I have been reduced to a beggar. I have nothing to eat, nothing to wear," she said, her voice choking. "It would have been better if I had kept quiet. At least the war would not have taken place and we would not have had to see more onslaught and torture by the police."

Activists of the PSBJC and their leader, Chhatradhar Mahato, fled after security forces advanced into Lalgarh. But Mahato told THE WEEK that the people's committee had not accepted defeat. "We will fight back when the time comes. Tribals cannot forget the outrageous acts of the security forces towards their women. We will give them a fitting reply," he said from a secret location.

Buddhadeb had sent officials to take stock of the problems of Lalgarh residents. But nobody visited Chintamani. It was on the night of November 5, two days after the landmine attack on Buddhadeb's convoy, that Chintamani's ordeal began. The police raided her house in Chotopelia village, a Maoist hub, after they heard about an outsider staying there. She protested the arrest of her guest. The policemen dragged Chintamani out and thrashed her. She lost her eyesight in the assault. As the other women protested, the police beat them up. Around 15 women were hospitalised.

The police action was seen as revenge for the landmine attack. The people's committee activists chased CPI(M) leaders and the police out of Lalgarh, which the Maoists declared as a "liberated zone". "Tribals could not take the assault on women easy. We had no option but to launch the movement," said Mahato.
The worst is not over for many women like Dumni Murmu, Chintamani's neighbour who was assaulted by the police on November 5. The doctor has advised her rest. "I have no option but to graze cattle as farming has stopped. We hear gunshots across the paddy fields. How can we work?" she said. Kalpana Hansda, 25, suffered spinal injury in the police assault. "I feel pain in my back. The doctor has asked me not to work. Still, I go 10km out of Lalgarh every day to work," said Kalpana.

Many youths have fled fearing arrest. Hundreds of women, who were beaten up by the state police and CRPF during the operation against Maoists, are staying at a relief camp run by the Trinamool Congress at Katapahari in Lalgarh. Among them is Bharati Mahato, who fled Kuldiha village with her three children. "The security forces entered our house looking for my brothers. When they did not find them, they hit me with the gun and wanted to know my brothers' whereabouts. I pleaded ignorance, but they kicked me repeatedly. I fled to this camp," she said. Rashi Murmu, 50, fled her village leaving her ailing husband. "I don't know if I will see my husband alive," she said, her voice choking.

The exodus of youths has raised fears of insurgency, like the one in Kashmir, where youths joined terrorists to escape state oppression. "The West Bengal government is also treating youths of Lalgarh like that. If these youths become terrorists, the government will be responsible," said Chunibala Hansada, local MLA, of the Jharkhand People's Party.

Even children live in fear, as they were not spared during the police raid last year. Three schoolboys-Ebhen Murmu, Buddhadeb Patra and Gautam Patra-were arrested on suspicion of being Maoists. Though they were released following protests, the boys left the village and are staying in the school hostel. "I do extra work to let him study in the hostel. If he stays in village, he will be branded a Maoist," said Ebhen's mother, Janani.
Some leaders of the ruling Left Front have criticised the government's actions in Lalgarh. "More than the police action, we need good governance in the area," said Khshiti Goswami, state PWD minister and RSP leader. A CPI(M) leader said, "The government was more interested in police action than letting development projects run smoothly in Lalgarh."

Narayan Soren of Narcha village has not got his wages under the NREGA despite working for five months under the scheme. "All these are fake promises. I ran from pillar to post, but failed to get the dues," he said. Jataram Murmu, 55, of Beledanga in Lalgarh sees no hope. His son has stopped going to school. His thatched hut could fall anytime. His family survives on a meal of boiled rice. His words point to the danger ahead: "Either we will face government neglect or my son would take up guns."

CPM cadres flee Lalgarh

KOLKATA/MIDNAPORE, 11 JULY: At time when joint forces are still conducting an operation to flush out Maoists from the Lalgarh area , ten CPI-M cadres of Sirshi village have already left the party fearing threat to life.
Threats from the Maoists has forced the cadres to issue a statement and put up posters which stated that ‘corrupt and fascist policies of the party’ was responsible for their quitting it.

Meanwhile, a day after two CPI-M cadres were abducted from Chandra area near Kotwali police station in Midnapore West and gunned down allegedly by Maoists on Friday evening, one person out of the four cadres is still reported to be missing.
According to the villagers, some 50 armed Maoists including seven women raided Chapashole, Bagghora Sundarlata and Sirshi villages under Chandra gram panchayat in Midnapore Sadar block yesterday and dragged several people out of their homes beating them up severely. Later, they took away Baren Mahato and Gurucharan Mahato at gunpoint and hacked them to death after the duo refused to pay the amount demanded by the Maoists.

The villagers alleged that a group of the Left-wing radicals raided the house of Baren Mahato ~ the modified ration (MR) dealer and demanded Rs 2 lakh. When the latter did not oblige their demand, they ransacked his house and dragged him out. Another gang went to Gurucharan Mahato's house, and not finding him there, they beat his wife Mrs Sulekha Mahato and dragged her out. However, on seeing her husband, the Maoists let her off and caught hold of Gurucharan.

They took the duo to the jungle, some 3 kms away from their village and beat them to death. The badly mutilated bodies of the two was recovered this morning, some distance from the area where they were abducted. Police also found several Maoists posters claiming responsibility of the killing. The bodies were later sent for autopsy to Midnapore Medical College and Hospital

The incident has triggered panic in the area with locals leaving their villages.. The CPI-M leader of the district said yesterday's incident proved that Maoists menace still remains unchecked even though the joint forces are basking in the glory of flushing them out from the district. Mr Manoj Verma, superintendent of police Midnapore West, declining to make any comment over the return of the Maoists said that the incident occurred some 10 kilometre from Lalgarh, where the joint forces are conducting the operation.

Meanwhile, the MR dealer association of the district have called a strike from Sunday onwards in protest against the killing of Baren Mahato by the Maoists. Also, the joint forces of the Central paramilitary troops and state armed police faced the fury of students and parents in four areas of Lalgarh over a demand that the security personnel vacate the schools where they are staying.

Mahasweta Devi slams police offensive

Police operation in Lalgarh was launched to allow the CPI-M to establish its control over the areas, alleged eminent writer and social activist Mehaswata Devi. Speaking to reporters after a demonstration in front of Metro Channel, she demanded the immediate withdrawal of joint forces from Lalgarh. She alleged that innocent villagers were been tortured and the joint police operation was ordered only to help the CPI-M regain Lalgarh.

3 Maoist aides held, ammo seized

SHASHANK SHEKHAR

Bokaro, July 11: Bokaro police have arrested three persons involved in supplying ammunition to Maoist groups that escaped from Lalgarh in Bengal and also recovered ingredients for making 2,000 hand grenades.

According to Bokaro superintendent of police Laxman Singh, besides this, they also recovered 2,000 units each of grenade strikers, grenade rings and other raw materials. This was supplied to them from a prominent office at Strand Road in Calcutta, where investigations have begun.

Police sources believed that the Maoists, who escaped from Lalgarh, were taking shelter in Palamau, Chatra, Latehar and Hazaribagh. They also said that 2,000 units of grenade covers and detonators had already been supplied to zonal commander of Maoists in Jharkhand Navin Manjhi, who was instrumental in the killing of 11 police officers at Bermo on June 11. Among the others who received the consignment are Navin’s associates Chotu Manjhi and Pandu Manjhi.

Those arrested include Ashwani Kumar, proprietor of Krishna Motors in Phusro, Baban Pandey, who transported ingredients and Yamuna Prasad alias Janki of Gomia, who has been supplying explosives to the Maoist leader personally for the past several years.

Police sources said they made the seizure after tapping phone conversations of all the three. Prasad was arrested on Friday, who led the police to Kumar. He was immediately arrested and some ingredients were recovered from his residence. The two also told the police that a consignment of raw materials was reaching Phusro on the Shakti Punj Express via Howrah this morning.

Pandey, who was bringing the consignment, was arrested at the station with all the explosive material. He also told the police that he had placed orders with the Strand Road office for 2,000 levers.

Sources said that detonators, fuses, levers, hammer strikers, rings, time killing pins and explosives were packed in small containers. Samples of these were sent from Calcutta and a retired military personnel from Andhra Pradesh had trained the rebels.

The trio was expecting to prepare the hand grenades within one week and supply them to 11 Maoist groups spread across the state.

The Bokaro SP Laxman said: “It is a big catch. The ammunition was to be supplied to Navin Manjhi in the Gomia forest area. We are on the trail and will make more arrests soon as we know who’s running the network from the state.”

On the run, Lalgarh Maoists turn extortionists

Express News Service

Even as the joint forces of the Centre and the state are carrying out operations to flush out Maoists from Lalgarh, the latter are extorting money from the locals. On Friday, two CPM cadres, one of whom is a ration dealer, were killed by the Maoists when they refused to pay money to them.

“The two were CPM supporters and ration dealers. Those who are behind the murders are extortionists, preliminary investigation has revealed,” Home secretary Ardhendu Sen said.


Fearing reprisals from the Maoists, many CPM cadres have been telling people and sticking posters that they have left the party due to its “corrupt and Fascist policies”.


According to the villagers, about 50 armed Maoists, including seven women, raided Chapashole, Bagghora, Sundarlata and Sirshi villages of Chandragram panchayat in Midnapore Sadar Block on Friday looking for CPM supporters who were earlier threatened for their involvement with the party. They dragged out several people and beat them up severely. They also killed Baren Mahato and Gurucharan Mahato after the duo refused to pay the amount demanded by them.




The villagers alleged that a group of Maoists raided the house of Baren Mahato, a ration dealer, demanding Rs 2 lakh. When he refused to pay up, they ransacked his house and dragged him out. Another group raided Gurucharan Mahato’s house. As he was not there, they severely beat up his wife Sulekha and dragged her out. However, finding her husband on the way, the group let her off and caught Gurucharan. They took the duo to the forest, around three km away from their village, where they fired at the two and hacked them to death.


At 10 am on Saturday, the police recovered the bodies from the spot and found several Maoist posters claiming responsibility for the killing.


Later, the bodies were sent for autopsy to Midnapore Medical College and Hospital.


Midnapore West Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma, who declined to say anything over the extortion by the Maoists, said the incident occurred some 10 kilometre from the Lalgarh police station. Meanwhile, the ration dealers’ association of the district has called for a strike from Sunday onwards in protest against the killing of Baren Mahato by the Maoists.

Maoists strike again, kill two CPM workers

Sukumar Mahato, TNN 12 July 2009, 02:12am IST


MIDNAPORE/KOLKATA: None of the family members is willing to take away the bodies of a ration dealer and a trader lying close to a CPM office in

West Midnapore district of West Bengal for the past 24 hours.

Maoists killed CPM members — ration shop owner Barendranath Mahato and his relative and another trader, Gurucharan Mahato — in retaliation to security forces’ recent Lalgarh operation in Jangalmahal, on Friday night. The bodies lay along the road with a poster pasted on Gurucharan’s corpse reading, ‘‘Eke chhoben na, bomb achhe (Don’t touch, there is a bomb).’’ The killings come days after security forces celebrated reclaiming police camps around Lalgarh, the Maoist stronghold.

Maoists had abducted six people, including CPM branch secretary Akshay Mahato and Gurucharan’s wife Sulekha from the village. They were made to stand in front of the CPM’s Sirsi party office with their hands tied behind for about two hours on Friday, while villagers along with 25 armed Maoists ransacked the party office. The police could not reach the place in the night.

Barendranath’s wife Arati was unwilling to put her signature after police inspector Pabitra Bandyopadhyay urged her to do so for sending the body for postmortem. ‘‘What’s the use of doing all these? I am not going to get him back. They (Maoists) will be coming to our place on Sunday again. We have been asked to leave this place. I don’t want to lose my sons,’’ she said.

Her eldest son Sasanka too was in no mood to invite trouble. ‘‘We don’t want the body. We are not supposed to talk to the police,’’ said Sasanka.

Barendranath, who was in this business for the last 22 years, owned a beautiful house — the only one in the village to have mosaic floors and a dish antenna. His second son works in Haldia Port and younger son Krishnaprasad owns a poultry farm. There were around 25 armed Maoists including five women. Villagers from neighbouring areas too reportedly accompanied them. They dragged Barendranath out of the house and went to Gurucharan’s house.

WB justifies chopper expenses

CHANDRAJIT MUKHERJEE
Ranchi, July 11: The state has once again tried to justify its stand on the use of government chopper by filing an affidavit in the high court.

Civil aviation deputy-general manager Amal Krishna Satyajit has stated in an affidavit filed today that the government has not misused public money for using the chopper against the norms.

The matter had come up in a PIL filed by Koderma-based social worker Bindu Bhushan Dubey, who had sought information from the government regarding the use of the helicopter. Dubey, based on official documents, levelled allegations of swindling of about Rs 34 crore between April 2005 and March 2008.

Refuting allegations, Krishna said that the government had spent money on buying Dhruv — a helicopter procured for the home department to counter Naxalite operations. Krishna gave details of expenditure incurred on maintenance of Dhruv, which was not the subject matter of the PIL filed by Dubey.

He accused the government of being misleading. While the petition has been filed seeking details of the chopper’s expenditure, the state was trying to cover up by giving details of Dhruv, Dubey added. The government, despite several court proddings, has still not furnished the required data and records of flights undertaken in the helicopter hired from private companies by the state during the relevant period.

The office of the accountant-general has also found gross irregularities in accounts maintained by the civil aviation department for the use of the chopper, he said.

Dubey promised to move the high court seeking a probe and request for initiation of CBI investigation.

Over 1 crore hemp plants destroyed last year

Express News Service First Published : 12 Jul 2009 03:14:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 12 Jul 2009 09:54:17 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: The excise administration in the State claimed to have detected and destroyed over 1.15 crore hemp plants last year. The estimated value of the plants destroyed has been put at Rs 1,158.43 crore at Rs 1,000 per plant.


The highest number of 95 lakh hemp plants with a value of Rs 950 crore were destroyed in the Naxalite-affected Malkangiri district. Hemp plants worth over Rs 74 crore were also destroyed in Gajapati district which also has a strong presence of Left wing extremists.

Other districts where rampant cultivation of hemp were detected include Angul, Sambalpur, Boudh, Ganjam, Kandhamal, Malkangiri, Nuapada, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Nayagarh and Deogarh.

Ganja cultivation has increased manifold in the Western Orissa districts of Sambalpur and Deogarh where the Naxalites are trying to have a foothold. Hemp plants worth Rs 60 crore were destroyed in these two districts.

Increased ganja cultivation and its transportation to Chhattisgarh clandestinely have been worrying the law and order authorities in the State as this has become a major source of funding for the Naxalites.

As the Excise Department is mostly preoccupied with detection and control of manufacture and sale of spurious liquor, other issues are neglected. The Assembly standing committee on the Excise Department headed by former minister Bijoyshree Routray took note of the vacancy situation in its report for 2009-10.

The Committee maintained that because of shortage of staff, enforcement has failed to be effective even though the Department is contributing Rs 850 crore per annum to the state exchequer. It wondered why the staff strength at the field level is not being increased.

Stating that the field administration should be strengthened by creation of more posts as per the requirement, the committee recommended that all vacancies in the department should be filled up expeditiously.

Underscoring the need for proper training for excise staff, it said that the department should have its own training institute in line with the police training institute. A proposal has been submitted to the Thirteenth Finance Commission (TFC) in this connection which is pending. The Committee recommended that necessary budget provision should be made to establish excise training facilities.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mumbai City team to take tips from Israel

Security issues: City team to take tips from Israel
11 Jul 2009, 0135 hrs IST, Prafulla Marpakwar , TNN
Times Of India


MUMBAI: Post-26/11, chief minister Ashok Chavan is dispatching a high-level team of officials led by additional chief secretary (home) Chandra
Iyengar to study the security model by Israel, which has witnessed the intense wave of terror since the year 2000.

Besides Iyengar, additional director general P K Jain, Mumbai police commissioner D Sivanandan, deputy commissioner S T Tamboli, naxal infested Gadchiroli superintendent of police Rajesh Pradhan and the newly formed force-I deputy inspector general K Jagannathan will be on a week-long visit to Israel from Saturday.

In the recent past, no other country, except Israel has seen intense wave of terror in the form of suicide bombings. Since the year 2000, a record number of 1000 innocent persons were killed in terrorist attacks. "Post terrorist attacks, the Israel administration has successfully built up its security force. Besides procuring the most modern equipment, it has provided specialised training to its officials. Our aim is to study the security plan developed by Israel and examine if we can implement in Maharashtra, particularly Mumbai,'' a senior official told TOI.

The official said, the delegation will particularly study the safe city model developed by Israel and effective use of electronic gadgets meant for protecting sensitive installations and VVIPs. "By and large, Israel has successfully stopped the entry of terrorists from the neighbouring countries,'' the official said.

The official justified the huge cost of modernisation to protect innocent lives and properties. "In terrorists attack, besides our police men, a large number of civilians were killed and huge property was also damaged. In addition, we have not taken into account the loss of business. According to rough estimated, the loss of revenue, business and property was more than Rs 5,000 crore in the terrorist attack on Mumbai,'' he said.

On the compensation for the victims, the official said, on an average, the government is paying nearly Rs 1 crore to the relatives of the police officials killed in action. "Under such circumstances, if we spend more on security, we will be able to save the lives of our officials,'' the official said.

Maoists warn V-B against administrative anomalies

;Snehamoy Chakraborty
SANTINIKETAN, 9 JULY: It seems that the Maoists have kept a close eye on Visva-Bharati’s administrative activities. Signed letters have been sent to senior officials of V-B including its Vice-Chancellor, registrar and principals of different Bhavans last Tuesday by the Maoists threatening action against senior officials if they do not take stride of V-B's administrative work.
This is the first time that Maoists have directly threatened the V-B’s Vice-Chancellor alleging that his shortcomings as a V-C and lack of foresight was affecting the university's functioning. Through the letter, Maoists have warned that if the university's functioning is affected by such irregularities, it would lead to its ruin soon.
They have accused the V-B administration, chiefly its V-C, of poor administrative skills. In a letter (a copy of which is with The Statesman) it has been written: “People have become familiar with the performance of the employees those have been selected by your (V-C) recommendation in the university.”
The letters were sent through courier on Tuesday to the principals of V-B’s different departments including Sikhsha Bhavana. In the letter Maoists have asked the V-C to rectify himself and to direct his employees to honour their duties. The letters have been addressed to the V-C and at the bottom bears the signature of one Laxman Murmu, and name of four districts including Birbhum, Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore.
The V-B authorities have kept mum on the issue, though senior officials discussed the matter yesterday. “It is true that the letter has been couriered to the different Bhavanas, including the V-C and the registrar. But, the administration has not paid any heed and ignored this sensitive matter. They are apprehending that it is a trick played out by some people,” said a senior V-B official on condition of anonymity.
V-B spokesperson, Mr Amitabha Choudhury told The Statesman that he was not aware of the incident, as the authorities have not informed him about this officially so far. But, police are mulling to start a probe in this connection after V-B officials reported the matter to them. SP, Birbhum, Mr LN Meena said that police will enquire into the matter. It may be recalled that seven Maoists’ posters protesting against police atrocity at Lalgarh were recovered from the university campus recently.

Maoist insurgency hurting industrial development in India

Friday, 10 Jul 2009

Reuters reported that the growing Maoist insurgency in India over large swathes of the mineral rich countryside could soon hurt some industrial investment plans just as the country suffers an economic slowdown.

While the economic impact may be small compared with India's trillion dollar economy, the insurgency and the sense that it is worsening signals that India does not fully control its own territory and adds to risks for companies mulling investments.

The Lalgarh incident worried the country's third largest steel producer, JSW Steel, which is setting up a USD 7 billion, 10 million tonne steel plant near Lalgarh. Mr Biswadip Gupta CEO of the company's West Bengal operations "We are waiting and watching, so are the others. On top of the economic woes, you have the problem of Maoists now. It is very jittery."

Mr PK Mahapatra executive the alumina company's executive director of mines and refinery said "We are more vulnerable and we have to remain alert."

Senior railway official said a strike by Maoists in east and central India, against police action in Lalgarh, it has hit supplies of iron ore and coal. Mr Soumitra Majumdar spokesman for the South Eastern Railways said "Exports have also been hit and if supplies get cut off in this manner, at least three steel plants in the region will be greatly affected soon."

Mr Anjan Roy analyst at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, referring to growth of industry said "It is still a law and order problem, but it has not been taken seriously and can have serious consequences if not dealt with properly."

The rebels, estimated to have 22,000 fighters, operate in large parts of the eastern, central and southern countryside and officials said they are now spreading to cities and bigger towns. The Maoists, who are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and the disenfranchised, regularly attack railway lines and factories aiming to cripple economic activity.

(Sourced from Reuters)

MLAs warned against contact with Maoists

Statesman News Service

KOLKATA, 9 July: The chief minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today iterated in the state Assembly that Police Santrash Birodhi Peoples’ Committee and the Trinamul Congress have links with the Maoists and appealed to the members of parties present in the House not to have any contact with the Maoists as the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act has stringent provisions.
However, Mr Bhattacharjee had stated in the Assembly last week that Mr Chhatradhar Mahato, chief of PSBPC was not a Maoist, though the committee itself is a frontal organisation of CPI-Maoists.
He said: “We have come to know from this joint action committee's raid that Maoists were involved with Trinamul in Nandigram and Khejuri.”
The chief minister's remark drew sharp reactions from Trinamul members who protested against his charge. Mr Sadhan Pandey of the Trinamul dared him to prove his claim before making uninformed allegations. Mr Bhattacharjee immediately accepted the challenge and asked him to meet him in his chamber where he would play recorded statements made by PSBPC activists stating Trinamul’s link with the Maoists. Mr Pandey countered the chief minister by saying that he would not go to his chamber alone but it is necessary that the other members of the House would also hear the tape.
The exchanges between the chief minister and the Trinamul members continued when Mr Pundarikakshya Saha of the Trinamul asked the chief minister how many of 323 arrested persons since 2005 were actually Maoists?
Mr Bhattacharjee challenged Mr Saha to mention some specific names who were arrested without being Maoists.
“I'm suggesting you to get those names in any day during the current Assembly session,” the chief minister said.
Soon after, Leader of the Opposition, Mr Partha Chatterjee, entered the House and mentioned two names ~ Ranjit Saha and Raju Bauri of Rajnagar in Birbhum ~ and told the chief minister that two persons have been arrested under UAPA ~ even though they were not even remotely connected with the Maoists.
The chief minister replied that he could not say anything about these two persons but assured him he would check the records and if possible would give him details later in the day.
During his reply in the budget session, he said that they were arrested in Arms Act case and murder case.
The chief minister said 39 Maoists were arrested during joint raid of which 30 alone arrested from West Midnapore.
Answering to a question of Mr Ashutosh Mukherjee, CPI-M member, the chief minister said that 54 people including 16 police personnel, 31 political activists and seven citizens were killed since 2006.
He said family members of the deceased police personnel will get a compensation as per government rule, respective political parties will have to take care of the families of political activists who were killed. He also said that apart from West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia, Maoists activities have been traced in districts of Nadia, Murshidabad, Burdwan, Birbhum and Malda.
While replying to RSP member, Md Refatullah, the chief minister said, “Central force and state armed police have set up Maoists prevention camps and special departments have started in state CID and Intelligence Branch to get correct informations about the Maoists.

Defence needs reforms, not just hike in funds

July 07, 2009
First Published: 00:09 IST(7/7/2009)
Last Updated: 00:11 IST(7/7/2009)

“We will fight with whatever we have.” This disconsolate remark made by VP Malik, our army chief during the Kargil conflict, remains as true as it was 10 years ago.

India’s security remains in dire straits, with China bearing down from the Himalayas (and soon from the Indian Ocean), Pakistan brazenly persevering with sponsored terrorism, and the Naxalites placing huge swathes of the country beyond the writ of the state.

The budgetary appropriation of Rs 1,41,703 crore for defence marks an increase of 34 per cent over last year’s allocation of Rs 1,05,600 crore, but a large chunk will be absorbed by Sixth Pay Commission liabilities. Usual carping about the dwindling share of defence notwithstanding, Pranab Mukherjee, as a former defence minister, knows money is the least of his successor’s problems.

The Service chiefs may put on a brave face, but there is no denying that the modernisation, re-equipment, and even spares and ammunition procurement for their services, remain stalled. The Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) outdated multi-layered structure and its Kafkaesque file-work continue to ensure that money voted by Parliament for defence of the nation remains unspent year after financial year.

The MoD has been unable to spend over Rs 7,007 crore of the total capital outlay of Rs 48,007 crore last year. It surrendered Rs 6,750 crore in the two preceding years.

The stasis that grips MoD is also attributed to allegations of corruption, which seem to dog every arms deal. With kickback allegations flying thick and fast, even reputed companies, with excellent equipment to offer, are now convinced that no Indian defence contract can be won without greasing palms, and are ready to stoop to bribery.

This phenomenon is steadily demolishing the fighting edge of India’s armed forces. Redemption for India’s security lies in the major political parties publicly declaring arms deals as “off-limits” for generating election funds — and then faithfully abiding by this renunciation.

There is worldwide recognition that the single most expensive item in defence budgets is manpower, with its “cradle to grave” liability. No wonder the revenue expenditure of Rs 86,879 crore for meeting the day-to-day expenses of the armed forces accounts for almost 62 per cent of the defence budget.

(The writer is a member of the National Security Advisory Board)

Wealth of CPI(M) raises a storm

Rajat Roy / Kolkata July 10, 2009, 0:36 IST



It’s a tale of two houses... or many more. On June 15, thousands of armed tribals ransacked CPI(M) party offices in Lalgarh, West Midnapore and then turned their attention to a white two-storied house in nearby


Dharampur. As the demolition squad got busy, crowbars in hand, hundreds watched on joyously, some others danced to the beat of the drums. The house belongs to one Anuj Pandey, the zonal secretary of CPI(M) in Lalgarh.

As the act of vandalism was telecast by several TV channels to millions of homes in West Bengal, a rather uneasy question arose: how could a party whole-timer possess such a house? The question must have put the party leadership in an awkward position, as this particular event did not find any mention in the state party organ.

But the reaction came from an unexpected angle. Ashok Mitra, a veteran Communist intellectual and critic of the present Left leadership observed in his column: When Naxalite mayhem was at its peak at Lalgarh last month, television cameras had occasion to zoom their sight on a particular event: a frenzied mob setting fire to an apparently newly built, dazzlingly white palatial building, standing in unabashed and isolated splendour in the midst of squalor and destitution all around: parched earth, dishevelled huts, rickety children with not a stitch on, men and women with sunken cheeks and deep hungry looks. Then came the astounding revelation: that mansion was owned by the CPI(M)’s zonal secretary — by profession, trader, and by caste, Brahmin; the party’s zonal office too was located there.

The anachronism would have ended there had it been an exception.

Unfortunately it is not. It is not that individual party members alone have built their houses in style, in almost all districts, sub-division towns and small towns in West Bengal. The ruling CPI(M)’s offices are grand structures. The new office building of the CPI(M)’s district committee in Burdwan is a case in point.

Built on disputed land on Parkus Road, the five story building is made of granite, marble, tiles and wood panels. Most of the office rooms at second and third floor and the 130 seat conference room are all fitted with air conditioners. The vulgar display of wealth in the party office has become a major cause of embarrassment for the party workers there. Interestingly, the old building, which used to house the district committee for long is nearby. That has also been developed into a five storied building, a part of it handed over to the party’s front organization

Krishak Sabha, and rest converted into a party commune. Traditionally,

Burdwan district remained a strong base of the CPI(M). In Burdwan town, the party has almost thirty buildings, which house its zonal office, a number of local and branch offices and various other frontal organizations like Krishak Sabha, CITU, DYFI and so on.

According to local party sources, very few of these properties are taken on rent, almost all of these thirty properties belong to the party. A member of CPI(M) Burdawn district committee (his name is withheld for obvious reasons) wondered sadly: “Was that accumulation of real estate needed at all ?”

The new building that houses CPI(M)’s Darjeeling district committee office in Siliguri matches its counterpart in Burdwan floor for floor. Built two years back on Hillcart Road, it is a four storey building which adequately shows that the Left leaders are no longer bothered about maintaining austerity in their public life.

Hannan Molla, a senior member of CPI(M) central committee, feels that this trend is only indicative of a serious problem plaguing the party: it has lost touch with the common people. He admits that as the party grew it might haverequired bigger office space. But that cannot be an excuse for this kind of vulgar display of wealth. But, the party old timers point out that the disease has already spread in almost all districts in West Bengal.





Tags : CPI(M) | Anuj Pandey

Maoists blow up Orissa forest office

Bhubaneswar (PTI): Maoists blew up a forest office and one person was injured in the blast at Gajapati district in Orissa where the ultras have given a state-wide bandh call on Friday.
A large number of armed Maoists, including women, struck the forest beat office in Paniganda in Adaba area of Gajapati district, about 300 km from here in early hours and dragged out the guard, Inspector-in-Charge of Adaba police station N Kero said.

They blew up the building using powerful explosives after tying the forest guard, he said adding a villager who arrived at the spot out of curiosity after hearing the noise sustained minor injuries.

The incident took place even as a state-wide bandh was observed in protest against ban on CPI (Maoist) and to demand that the arrested Maoists lodged in various jails be treated as political prisoners.

They also alleged that many people had been arrested on false charges and demanded their release. The ultras pasted posters in support of their demands in rural areas of Ganjam, Gajapati and Kandhamal districts, sources said.

Security has been tightened in Naxal-hit districts in southern and western parts to prevent untoward incident.

The bandh had little impact in urban centres and evoked mixed response in rural areas amid closure of shops and thin traffic.


Also see

2 killed by Naxals in Chhatisgarh

Raipur, July 09: Two persons including a senior police officer were killed by Naxals in Bijapur district, police said on Thursday.

"Mukesh Kudiyam, serving Special Police Officer and former SPO Suresh Chapdi were killed by the Naxals with a sharp-edged weapon at Usoor village in the district," DIG (Naxal) Pawan Dev told today.

Kudiyam of Usoor police station went to Chapdi's house when the extremists attacked them and slit their throat with a sharp-edged weapon, Dev said.

Later, Chapdi's family reported about the killing to the police, he said.

A case has been registered in this connection and search operation is on to arrest the culprits, he added.

Bureau Report

Understanding Naxalism….

Ritam Banati

The crisis in Lalgarh has once again brought to the forefront the menace of Naxalism in India which has aptly been called as the biggest internal security threat of the country by none other than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The recent ban clamped on CPI (Maoist) by the Centre is reason enough to contemplate about the genesis of the organisation. The roots of Maoists clearly lie in our neighbour China.

Mao Tse Tung was the founder of the Communist Party of China. His party worked for the betterment of the Chinese society like ridding the fields of opium cultivation. The poor peasants benefited from his first five-year program as land was redistributed in favour of the poor peasants. However his Great Leap Forward went wrong causing millions of deaths.

Mao’s ideology can be easily understood from his words that succinctly state, “Revolutionary warfare is never confined within the bounds of military action — its purpose is to destroy an existing society and its institutions and to replace them with a completely new structure.”

The peasant uprising in the Naxalbari province of West Bengal in 1967 was what sparked off the Naxalite Movement in the country. This was backed by the hardline faction of the CPI (Marxist) which later broke away from the main party and led the uprising under the banner of All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries. Its leaders were Kanu Sanyal and the late Charu Mazumdar.

Later the CPI (Marxist-Leninist) was formed out of the All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries after internal dissidence hit the latter in 1969. During this time, Sanyal was jailed for seven years and Charu Majumdar was killed in police custody when the government started the violent suppression of the Naxalite movement in Bengal.

CPI (M-L) too was ridden by factionalism and thus emerged the Peoples War Group or the PWG and the Maoist Communist Centre or the MCC. These two later joined to form the present day CPI (Maoists) which is even called CPI (M-L) by some unofficially.

The grievances of the rural poor, who stood up for their rights were genuine. But the means that they started adopting to achieve their ends were violent as they lent credence to Mao’s belief, “War can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun.”

They believed that they were at war with the government. Therefore they decided to pick up the gun. Had the government addressed their grievances properly then and decided to nip the movement in the bud itself by eliminating the cause which attracted scores of people to its fold, then Lalgarh would have been reduced to imagination gone wild. But Naxalism spread like wildfire and now the existence of the Red Corridor speaks for itself.


Starting from Andhra Pradesh, the 'Red Corridor' runs through Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Bihar.

It links what the Maoists call the 'liberated zones' of India with the territories of Nepal which are under their grip. It covers nearly a quarter of India’s territory.

When our website carried out an online poll, it found that out of Naxalism and terrorism, most people felt that the country faced a greater danger from the Naxalite forces than the terrorists.

The gameplan of the terrorist is to gain world attention. The aim of the Naxalite is to get noticed nationally. And therefore the jailbreak attempts and the train hijack cases.

This fact was once again brought to the forefront at the time of the Lalgarh violence. Encouraged by the debacle of the CPI (Marxist) in the Lok Sabha polls, the Maoists struck Lalgarh of West Midnapore district of West Bengal justifying it under the garb of protesting against police torture. But the weakness of their argument got reflected when they formed human shields of women and children in a bid to protect themselves from the police.

The question really is not that the Lalgarh crisis was because of the problem of Naxalism. But that Naxalism is itself a cause of something which we have not cared to pay much attention to. And that is abject poverty. This does not mean that the Lalgarh killings or any other killing by Naxals in trains etc are justified. Nor does it overlook the fact that Naxals are killing the tribals, whose cause they claim to be espousing.

There is an opinion that it was due to the tacit support of the Trinamool Congress that the Naxals were able to foment such violence in Lalgarh. But whatever the allegations and counter-allegations maybe, the fact remains that as of now Naxalism has been reduced to militancy. So any talk about its ideology is worthless in the contemporary era.

Unfortunately it is always the innocent, who are trapped in the crossfire and have to pay with their lives. Naxals kill them alleging they are police informers. Police torture them in custody alleging they are Naxal sympathizers like what happened with Dr Binayak Sen, who was jailed for a few years in Chhatisgarh for being a courier between a jailed Naxalite and a local trader.

But like nobody is a born criminal, similarly no one can be a born Naxal. It is mostly unemployment and extreme poverty that pushes the youth to this menace. And if ever anyone decides to get out of its clutches, then his life is at stake.

The issue has also become increasingly politicized, as parties try to delve into what best suits their political interests. The answer to this problem does not lie in the creation of organizations like the village security groups like Salwa Judum. Rather it worsens the situation further. And the worst part is that it is only the common man who ultimately bears the brunt either in terms of loss of life or otherwise.

For the solution, one needs to take up broader issues like ensuring basic employment and a fairer distribution of wealth. Thus, the issue first needs to be dealt with economically, then socially. Finally, a democracy like ours provides sufficient voice to those who want to be heard.



Ritam Banati

The crisis in Lalgarh has once again brought to the forefront the menace of Naxalism in India which has aptly been called as the biggest internal security threat of the country by none other than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The recent ban clamped on CPI (Maoist) by the Centre is reason enough to contemplate about the genesis of the organisation. The roots of Maoists clearly lie in our neighbour China.

Mao Tse Tung was the founder of the Communist Party of China. His party worked for the betterment of the Chinese society like ridding the fields of opium cultivation. The poor peasants benefited from his first five-year program as land was redistributed in favour of the poor peasants. However his Great Leap Forward went wrong causing millions of deaths.

Mao’s ideology can be easily understood from his words that succinctly state, “Revolutionary warfare is never confined within the bounds of military action — its purpose is to destroy an existing society and its institutions and to replace them with a completely new structure.”

The peasant uprising in the Naxalbari province of West Bengal in 1967 was what sparked off the Naxalite Movement in the country. This was backed by the hardline faction of the CPI (Marxist) which later broke away from the main party and led the uprising under the banner of All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries. Its leaders were Kanu Sanyal and the late Charu Mazumdar.

Later the CPI (Marxist-Leninist) was formed out of the All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries after internal dissidence hit the latter in 1969. During this time, Sanyal was jailed for seven years and Charu Majumdar was killed in police custody when the government started the violent suppression of the Naxalite movement in Bengal.

CPI (M-L) too was ridden by factionalism and thus emerged the Peoples War Group or the PWG and the Maoist Communist Centre or the MCC. These two later joined to form the present day CPI (Maoists) which is even called CPI (M-L) by some unofficially.

The grievances of the rural poor, who stood up for their rights were genuine. But the means that they started adopting to achieve their ends were violent as they lent credence to Mao’s belief, “War can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun.”

They believed that they were at war with the government. Therefore they decided to pick up the gun. Had the government addressed their grievances properly then and decided to nip the movement in the bud itself by eliminating the cause which attracted scores of people to its fold, then Lalgarh would have been reduced to imagination gone wild. But Naxalism spread like wildfire and now the existence of the Red Corridor speaks for itself.

Starting from Andhra Pradesh, the 'Red Corridor' runs through Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Bihar.

It links what the Maoists call the 'liberated zones' of India with the territories of Nepal which are under their grip. It covers nearly a quarter of India’s territory.

When our website carried out an online poll, it found that out of Naxalism and terrorism, most people felt that the country faced a greater danger from the Naxalite forces than the terrorists.

The gameplan of the terrorist is to gain world attention. The aim of the Naxalite is to get noticed nationally. And therefore the jailbreak attempts and the train hijack cases.

This fact was once again brought to the forefront at the time of the Lalgarh violence. Encouraged by the debacle of the CPI (Marxist) in the Lok Sabha polls, the Maoists struck Lalgarh of West Midnapore district of West Bengal justifying it under the garb of protesting against police torture. But the weakness of their argument got reflected when they formed human shields of women and children in a bid to protect themselves from the police.

The question really is not that the Lalgarh crisis was because of the problem of Naxalism. But that Naxalism is itself a cause of something which we have not cared to pay much attention to. And that is abject poverty. This does not mean that the Lalgarh killings or any other killing by Naxals in trains etc are justified. Nor does it overlook the fact that Naxals are killing the tribals, whose cause they claim to be espousing.

There is an opinion that it was due to the tacit support of the Trinamool Congress that the Naxals were able to foment such violence in Lalgarh. But whatever the allegations and counter-allegations maybe, the fact remains that as of now Naxalism has been reduced to militancy. So any talk about its ideology is worthless in the contemporary era.

Unfortunately it is always the innocent, who are trapped in the crossfire and have to pay with their lives. Naxals kill them alleging they are police informers. Police torture them in custody alleging they are Naxal sympathizers like what happened with Dr Binayak Sen, who was jailed for a few years in Chhatisgarh for being a courier between a jailed Naxalite and a local trader.

But like nobody is a born criminal, similarly no one can be a born Naxal. It is mostly unemployment and extreme poverty that pushes the youth to this menace. And if ever anyone decides to get out of its clutches, then his life is at stake.

The issue has also become increasingly politicized, as parties try to delve into what best suits their political interests. The answer to this problem does not lie in the creation of organizations like the village security groups like Salwa Judum. Rather it worsens the situation further. And the worst part is that it is only the common man who ultimately bears the brunt either in terms of loss of life or otherwise.

For the solution, one needs to take up broader issues like ensuring basic employment and a fairer distribution of wealth. Thus, the issue first needs to be dealt with economically, then socially. Finally, a democracy like ours provides sufficient voice to those who want to be heard.

Cops on guard as Naxals get into huddle

10 Jul 2009, 2231 hrs IST, Soumittra S Bose, TNN


NAGPUR: With the onset of monsoons, there has been a dip in Naxal activities as their top cadres have assembled at Abujhmarh. This meeting of Naxals
seems crucial in the backdrop of state minister of state for home (urban) Naseem Arif Khan announcing a major offensive to wipe out Naxal menace.

Considered as a vital red-corridor link in Dandakaranya, the rebels had recently began vigorous campaigns both in field operations and at organisational level in Gadchiroli. The movement seemed to have got a big boost after strikes at Markegaon and Hatti Gota this year. Naxal violence has already claimed 38 policemen in Gadchiroli since October 2008. Statistics show an increase of 60 cases related to Naxal movement in the corresponding first six months of 2008 and 2009 (see box).

Sources reveal that Naxals have started concentrating on attacking patrolling parties . "Though they could not do much during special week last year, this year they may try to do something to announce their presence. Only rain can deter their action," said a senior police officer.

Additional DGP Pankaj Gupta, head of ANO cell, claimed that Chhattisgarh has already been apprised of the situation. "Plans are afoot to conduct target-specific operations along the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border," said Gupta.

Over Rs 14 cr missing in name of Naxal war in Jharkhand

Manoj Prasad
Tags : Naxal war, Jharkhand, Secret Service fund

Posted: Friday , Jul 10, 2009 at 0926 hrs

In Naxal-hit Jharkhand, the first stop for 20 Union Secretaries working on a counter-Naxal strategy and where President’s Rule was extended for six months last week, the withdrawal of over Rs 14 crore Secret Service funds by Director General of Police V D Ram and other officials has been questioned by the office of the Accountant General which has called for an investigation saying rules were not followed and “the possibility of fraud, embezzlement and misappropriation of government funds cannot be ruled out”.


In one instance, DGP Ram withdrew Rs 5.60 crore in cash from the Secretariat branch of the State Bank of India on March 16, 2006 — a fortnight before he gave the withdrawal and disbursal power to the Additional DGP.


With the AG raising objections, Chief Secretary A K Basu has written to Ram: “DAG has raised certain objections regarding non-observance of provisions of Special Branch Manual and Bihar Financial Rules regarding Secret Service Expenditure. The objections are very serious in nature and it needs to be examined thoroughly. Please send a detailed up-to-date report regarding the steps taken by you in this matter so that further course of action can be decided upon.”




Money from the SS fund, according to Rule 4 of the Special Branch Manual (SBM), was to go to “informers who have given or are likely to give useful information of a secret nature, and whose identity must not be disclosed.” Jharkhand is one of the states worst hit by Naxal violence with large swathes under the control of ultra-Left extremists who regularly target police, politicians and the railways.


Although the SBM states that the Secret Service Expenditure (SSE) account is not subject to scrutiny by an audit authority, the Bihar Financial Rules (BFR), which still apply in Jharkhand, make it clear that “in respect of each officer authorized to incur secret service expenditure, Government will nominate a controlling officer who should conduct at least once in every financial year, a sufficiently real administrative audit of the expenditure incurred and furnish a certificate to the Accountant General”.


Copies of official documents in possession of The Indian Express show that the following withdrawals were made from the treasuries:


• July 2005: Rs 2.60 crore vide voucher no. 0092 from Doranda.


• March 2006: Rs 5.60 crore vide voucher no. 0025 from Secretariat.


• May 2006: Rs 60 lakh vide voucher no. 0080 from Doranda.


• June 2006: Rs 88.50 lakh vide voucher no. 0061from Doranda.


• May 2007: Rs 1 crore vide voucher no. 0082 from Doranda.


• September 2007: Rs 1 crore vide voucher no. 0044 from Doranda.


• March 2008: Rs 2.50 crore vide voucher no. 0021 from Doranda.


• Total withdrawal: Rs 14,18,50,000.


For none of these withdrawals, documents mandated by law were submitted to the AG and the amounts have been placed in the “objection” category and are being treated as outstanding against the officer(s) who made the withdrawals.


AG Rakesh Kumar Verma was not available for comment but Deputy AG M Roy Malakar pointed out: “It is a matter of concern that in spite of reminders, the provisions of the Special Branch Manual and Bihar Financial Rules are not being followed by the police department and the requisite documents mandated by these rules and manual have not been furnished to this office.”


Jharkhand follows the Bihar practice where the withdrawal and disbursal officer of the SSE fund is the Additional DGP, Special Branch and the Chief Secretary conducts an administrative audit and furnishes a utilization certificate to the AG.


Chief Secretary Basu did not conduct an administrative audit nor furnish the utilization certificate. Plus DGP Ram withdrew Rs 5.60 crore in cash from the Secretariat branch of the SBI on March 16, 2006 — a fortnight before Ram gave ADGP G S Rath the withdrawal and disbursal power on April 1, 2006 though Rath had been on the post since August 21, 2005.


Given this backdrop, Malakar drew the attention of the state government, stating that in accordance with the BFRs “a sufficiently real administrative audit” of secret service funds should have been done and a certificate furnished to the AG.


“This was not done. In view of the huge amounts involved and the inordinate delay in submission of the requisite documents, the possibility of fraud, embezzlement and misappropriation of government funds cannot be ruled out. In view of the seriousness of the matter, it is requested that immediate action may be taken to investigate the matter and ensure that the rules governing the accounting of the secret service funds are followed scrupulously,” Malakar wrote to Basu on June 17.


When contacted, DGP Ram, a recipient of the President’s police medal for meritorious service and another for distinguished service, said the utilization certificate was not furnished because the state government had not nominated any controlling officer. “The state government has been requested to do the needful to ensure compliance of the administrative audit provision,” he said.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Buddhadeb plans to tame Maoists hiding in Purulia

9 Jul 2009, 0555 hrs IST, ET Bureau



KOLKATA/RANCHI: After carrying out joint operations in Lalgarh and other pockets of West Midnapore district, the West Bengal government now plans to
concentrate the operations against the Maoists in some pockets of Purulia district close to the neighbouring state of Jharkhand.

The director general (DG) of state police, Bhupinder Singh, along with the inspector general of police (law and order) Raj Kanojia on Wednesday held a meeting in Purulia primarily to take stock of the police camps located in the Maoist infested areas, as the police have received information about possible attempts by the Maoists to loot these camps to collect arms and ammunition from the forces.

The DG also held a meeting with his Jharkhand counterpart V D Ram at Ranchi, as the two states are planning to destroy the Maoist hideouts located in the areas bordering these states. A number of Maoist leaders from Lalgarh have reportedly taken shelter in these bordering areas after the Lalgarh operations.

Sources said that these leaders are now camping at Raika Hills and Bhalopahar jungles under the Bandwan police station in Purulia district. Since the spot is very close to Jharkhand, there is every possibility that these ultra-Left leaders might flee to the neighbouring state in case of police action against them.

Have authorities in Bengal taken leave of their senses?

T V R Shenoy


July 08, 2009

The name Anuj Pandey has not received the acclaim that is due from economists. Should you be unfamiliar with his accomplishments, Anuj Pandey is the secretary of the Communist Party of India-Marxist's zonal committee in Lalgarh.

As a full-time worker, the CPI-M [Images] pays him the none-too-handsome salary of Rs 1,500 every month. And yet Anuj Pandey and his brothers somehow managed to put up a handsome two-storey house (as well as reportedly end up owning 40 bighas of land).

It is said to be the only two-storey house in the area -- one of the poorest in West Bengal [Images] -- and seemed to have been a handsome structure judging by its photographs.

A salary of Rs 1,500 a month is not exactly a generous amount, it works out to just 50 rupees a day. (Even less in months with 31 days!) Currencies fluctuate a lot but Anuj Pandey's salary puts him dangerously close to the often-quoted international definition of poverty as a 'dollar a day'. So how exactly did the Pandey family manage to put up a house, the finest one for miles around?

The Pandeys' not-so-humble abode does not exist any longer; its high roof, its railed balcony, and its marble floor now exist in memory alone. When the Maoists conquered Lalgarh one of the first places that was attacked was Anuj Pandey's house.
Intriguingly, the ones who pulled it down do not seem to have been the armed guerrillas themselves but the local tribals. Judging by the photographs taken on the occasion, the men were drumming and the women were ululating.

Those are the same rhythmic beats and the same high-pitched trills made in rituals like, say, weddings or birth ceremonies.

In fact, there seemed to have been much the same air of mingled solemnity and celebration when the Pandey dwelling came down as during any other mass religious rite. Some observers even say that there were the same calls to gather and bear witness.

The cynic in me says that at least some of this was stage-managed by the Maoists, people who know a thing or two about propaganda. But you cannot get away from the stark reality of the photographs, which showed a two-storey house towering up in an area where most other human dwellings were, to put it politely, rudimentary.

Those photographs give the lie to all the Marxist claims of development in West Bengal. Judging by Lalgarh, 32 years of unbroken Marxist governance has delivered little or nothing to the ordinary person with all the goodies being hogged by the Communist cadre.

That is no excuse for the violence unleashed by the Maoists in West Bengal or elsewhere but it helps to explain the environment in which they flourish.

I am sure the West Bengal authorities can put down the insurrection. But what comes after that, how does the ruling CPI-M propose to win the hearts and minds of the alienated tribal population? Does it really think that its zonal committee secretary, Anuj Pandey, is the right man for the job?
It is hard to exaggerate the extent to which the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee [Images] government and its minions are now alienated from the people. What was the first -- thus far the only -- case filed after the Lalgarh police station was 'liberated' from Maoist control?

It was, believe it or not, against the likes of director Aparna Sen [Images], poet Joy Goswami, actor Kaushik Sen, and five others for violating Section 144 (which prohibits unlawful assembly of five or more people).

The eight of them had apparently gone in a group to meet Chhatradhar Mahato [Images] and urge him to stop the violence. (Mahato is the leader of the Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner, the 'People's Committee Against Police Atrocities').

You cannot be blamed for wondering if the authorities in West Bengal have taken leave of their senses. One may have little sympathy for the drawing-room socialists of Kolkata [Images], one should have absolutely no sympathy for Maoists who worship violence, but is it truly the West Bengal authorities' highest priority just now to take actors and poets into custody?

Would the CPI-M ever demonstrate the same zeal in unearthing the mystery of how a man who earns 1500 rupees a month manages to put up a two-storey house?
Who are the beneficiaries of decades of Left Front rule? Not Muslims, according to the Sachar Committee. Not rural Bengal, judging by what happened in Singur and Nandigram [Images]. Not tribals, if we believe even a small fraction of the reports emerging from Lalgarh. Not even the intellectuals of Kolkata, whose disillusionment is now all too clear.

The stark picture coming out of West Bengal is of a vast wasteland of poverty and brutality broken only by the occasional symbol of prosperity -- such as Anuj Pandey's late, unlamented house.



T V R Shenoy

Police takes arrested minor to school

Published: July 9,2009

Hazaribag (Jharkhand), July 8 A minor girl, earlier apprehended along with three Maoist activists in Hazaribag district, has been admitted to a residential school by Jharkhand Police, a senior officer said today.

With a view to bring minors who were forced to join the Maoist cadre into the social mainstream, the 13-year old girl, arrested along with a front-ranking woman Maoist in Hazaribag 15 days back, was admitted to class VI of a residential school by the police, Superintendent of Police Hazaribagh Pankaj Kamboj told a press meet here yesterday.

The girl was initially sent to a women&aposs remand home which refused to accommodate her on the ground that she was a minor. She was then kept in the local women&aposs police station for four days and then taken to the school when her parents did not turn up to take her despite being informed.

The 13-year old girl was a member of the&apos Nari Mukti Sangh&aposwing of the Maoists but police did not press charges against her considering her age and future, the SP explained. The entire cost of the education of the minor girl will be borne by the district administration.

Three years back, in a similar case Hazaribagh Police enrolled a minor boy, apprehended from Ambateri jungle under the Chouparan Police station on March 19 2006, at a local school with the Deputy Commissioner meeting the cost.







Source: PTI

Maoists extort $60 mln/yr in mineral-rich state

Thu Jul 9, 2009 4:08pm IST
1 of 1Full SizeBy Sujeet Kumar

RAIPUR, India (Reuters) - Maoist rebels are extorting up to $60 million annually from business and industry across Chhattisgarh, home of one of India's largest mineral reserves, the state's chief minister said on Thursday.

The Maoists have recently stepped up attacks against police, officials and civilians away from remote rural areas and closer to towns and cities across India -- a worry to potential investors as the country grapples with the global slowdown.

"Maoists extort a whopping sum of at least 250-300 crore rupees ($50-60 million) annually in Chhattisgarh," chief minister, Raman Singh, told reporters.

State business leaders and politicians are jittery over Chhattisgarh, whose violence-wracked Bastar region is home to 20 percent of India's iron ore stocks and has attracted big hitters like Tata Steel and the Essar Group.

The extortion operation stretches from the state's southern tip near Bastar to the northern area of Surguja, which is rich with coal, he said.

The rebels demand cash from traders of Tendu patta (leaves), used to make hand-rolled cigarettes, mining firms, contractors and transporters, he said, adding many are scared to go to police.

The Maoists, who say they are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and the landless, feed off local resentment against industry and government in one of India's least developed states.

Businesses and politicians fear the mineral reserves in Bastar, where Tata Steel plans to build a steel plant, could fall into Maoist hands within a few years.

Steel is a key sector to India's economic growth, which has slowed to around 7 percent compared to 9 percent or more per year before the global financial crisis bit.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said the Maoist army of 22,000 fighters is one of the greatest threats to India's internal security.

The rebels killed 721 people, including members of the security forces, in 2008, mainly in India's eastern and central states known as the "red corridor", up from 696 in 2007.

McNamara wanted to nuke China to defend India

July 7th, 2009 - 6:28 pm
By Dipankar De Sarkar

London, July 7 (IANS) Former US defence secretary Robert S. McNamara, who has died in Washington aged 93, wanted America to attack China with nuclear weapons if it invaded India for a second time.

Although he became a hated figure among the world’s Left for his role as an architect of America’s war on Vietnam, one of his chief aims when he became the head of the World Bank in 1968 was to leverage the Bank’s aid to persuade India to tackle poverty more effectively.

McNamara was key to plans discussed by US President John F. Kennedy in May 1963 to defend India in the event of a Chinese attack just after the Sino-Indian conflict of 1962.

According to audio recordings released by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, McNamara tells Kennedy: “Before any substantial commitment to defend India against China is given, we should recognise that in order to carry out that commitment against any substantial Chinese attack, we would have to use nuclear weapons.

“Any large Chinese Communist attack on any part of that area would require the use of nuclear weapons by the US, and this is to be preferred over the introduction of large numbers of US soldiers,” the New York Times quoted McNamara as saying in the recording.

After hearing from McNamara and two other advisers, Kennedy declares: “We should defend India, and therefore we will defend India.”

The very next year, McNamara was equally blunt with Indian Defence Minister Yashwantrao Balwantrao Chavan who was on a visit to Washington with a ’shopping list’ of weaponry.

According to a book by Chavan’s then private secretary, civil servant R.D. Pradhan, McNamara at their first meeting “came down harshly” on India’s lack of defence preparedness, particularly in its air force.

According to Pradhan, the American told Chavan: “Mr Minister, your air force is like a museum. I wonder whether you are aware of the variety of aircraft in your force? You are still operating with Hunters, Spitfires, Vampires, Liberators, Harvards - exotic names of World War II vintage.

“All these aircraft are only worthy of finding a place in a museum,” he told Chavan, according to the book “Debacle to Revival: Y.B. Chavan as Defence Minister 1962-1965.”

In April 1968, Washington named McNamara as the President of the World Bank - a post that has traditionally gone to the US - and India was one of the first countries McNamara toured in November of that year.

It became a stormy event after McNamara - already a major hate-figure among Communists - chose to follow up his stay in New Delhi with a visit to Kolkata at the height of the extreme-left Naxalite movement in that city.

McNamara’s visit, aimed at offering aid to West Bengal, led to an outbreak of hostile demonstrations all over the city.

There was a “bitter clash” between police and protesters at Dum Dum airport, leading to many injuries and forcing authorities to ditch plans for McNamara to drive to the city.

He took a helicopter instead, but as the chopper flew over Calcutta University, said the Manchester Guardian on Nov 11, 1968, violence broke out in College Street - the academic hub of the city - where protesters burned tramcars and locked the Vice Chancellor in his office.

“McNamara has come to Calcutta to offer funds from the World Bank without which the city might literally die,” the paper said.

Two years later, at a World Bank meeting, McNamara referred to a statistic that more than 100 million Indians earned less than 32 dollars a year and asked several times “how are they really surviving… what is their future,” according to a history of the World Bank.

“Nobody really seemed to know, so the subject was closed,” said the minutes of the meeting.

Maken’s distress report

New Delhi, July 8 (PTI): Altogether 455 people have died in 1,128 incidents of Naxalite violence in 11 of the 13 states affected by the rebel menace in 2009, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.

Of the deaths reported between January 1 and June 30, 2009, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa accounted for 82.5 per cent of the casualties reported.

Minister of state for home affairs Ajay Maken said in a written reply that the Centre had adopted an integrated approach in dealing with Left-wing extremism, which was a continuous process.

He said the Centre was supplementing the efforts of state governments in several ways including deployment of central paramilitary forces and commando battalions for Resolute Action (COBRA), modernisation of police and up-gradation of intelligence.

Regarding a query on whether talks with Naxalites had been initiated in any state, the minister said the Centre did not have any information regarding this.

So far as the Centre was concerned, Maken said, it would welcome such talks between state governments and Left-wing rebels “provided they abjure violence and give up their so-called armed struggle”. However, there was no proposal from the Centre to hold direct talks with the rebels, he added.

Jharkhand, WB to launch joint operation against Maoists

Published: July 8,2009



Ranchi , July 8 Jharkhand and West Bengal today decided to launch a coordinated operation against the Maoists.

The decision was taken at a meeting between Jharkhand&aposs Director General of Police Vishnu Dayal Ram and his West Bengal counterpart Bhupinder Singh here.

"The bottomline of our discussion is to launch a coordinated operation against the Maoists", Ram told PTI.

Asked what plans they discussed at the meeting, the DGP said it was proposed that police forces of both the states would launch simultaneous operation against the rebels.

He said no decision has been taken when such operations would be launched.

"The modalities as to how to launch the joint operation had been discussed (at the meeting) but when it would be done has not been decided", S.NPradhan, IG of Police (Provision) and spokesman, said.

West Bengal police and security forces had launched an operation against Maoists in Lalgarh area and they did not want the naxals to take refuge in the neighbouring state.

The meeting between the police of the two states came close on the heels of the visit of union cabinet secretary K M Chandrashekhar to Ranchi on June 29. PTI PVR pkd pkd







Source: PTI

No direct talks with Naxals: Centre

New Delhi, July 08: The Centre on Wednesday said there was no proposal to hold direct talks with Naxals but it would welcome such a dialogue between the Left wing extremists and any state government.

"There is no proposal for the Central Government to hold talks directly with the Left wing extremists," Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Maken told Rajya Sabha today.

"State Governments have, from time to time, appealed to the Left wing extremists to abjure violence and hold talks with the government on any issues that are of concern to them...," he said.

The Minister said the Central Government does not have any information whether any state government is now engaged in any talks with the Left wing extremists.

"As far as the Central Government is concerned, it will welcome such talks between state governments and Left wing extremists provided Left wing extremists abjure violence and give up their so-called 'armed struggle'," Maken said.

"...the Left Wing Extremist groups, particularly, the CPI (Maoist) maintain fraternal links with communist parties of several countries. Government is maintaining a close watch on the situation and takes appropriate action as are necessary," the Minister said in reply to another question in Rajya Sabha.

Available intelligence inputs indicate that Naxals were involved in extortion from contractors, businessmen, industrialists and transporters among others in affected Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal and Maharashtra. "Exact quantum of extortion is not known," the Minister said.

Maken said government has adopted an integrated approach in dealing with such extremists activities in the arenas of security, development and public perceptions.

"State Governments deal with the various issues related to naxalite activities in the states. The Central Government supplements their efforts in several ways. These includes deployment of Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMFs) and Commando Battalions for Resolute Action (CoBRA)...," Maken said.

According to the minister, the action plan to strengthen police and intelligence machinery includes, inter-alia, initiatives for gearing up intelligence machinery, sharing of intelligence and operational coordination between different agencies of the Central and the State Governments.

Naxal activity in Delhi

Government today said intelligence inputs suggest Naxal activity in Delhi, Punjab and Uttarakhand.

"As per available inputs, certain Maoists activities have come to notice in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand," Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Maken said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.

He, however, said there were no reports of Maoist violence in these areas.

He said the government has adopted an integrated approach in dealing with Left Wing Extremism activities in the arenas of security, development and public perception.

The country has witnessed a total of 1,128 incidents of Naxal violence till June 30 this year which left 455 civilians and security personnel dead.

A total of 107 naxalites were killed and 861 arrested during the same period.

Bureau Report

Maoist sympathisers

8 Jul 2009, 2305 hrs IST, Sanjay Ojha, TNN


RANCHI: Senior CPI(Maoist) leaders have now started living in the post localities of the city by using fake identities.


This startling revelation was made during the interrogation of two Maoist sympathisers arrested from the Gandhi Nagar area following a raid conducted by the Special Task Force (STF) on late Tuesday night.

The duo identified as Sanjay Kumar Singh alias Manoj Kumar Singh and his wife Uma Minz stayed in a rented house. Singh, who posed as a transporter, used to give shelter to Maoists. His guests included sub-zonal commander Uday Ganjhu.

The STF recovered a huge quantity of ammunition, explosives, Naxal literature, films, compact discs, a computer, chargeable battery, blank audio cassettes and two multi-utility vehicles during the raid. The seized explosives included four kg of ammonium nitrate and 403 live cartridges.

Sources in the police said that the couple admitted during interrogation that the house in which they had been staying for the last one and a half years was taken on rent by Ganjhu.

"This is the second major arrest in the last one year. It proves that senior Maoist leaders have now started living in the city. Last year, politburo member Pramod Mishra was arrested from a house in Sukhdeo Nagar," a source said. He also quoted the couple as having disclosed before the police that a large number of senior Maoist leaders are living in the city in rented accommodations by concealing their real identities.

"Almost all the Maoist operations are now being monitored by them from city's posh localities. We will raid all such places," the source said.

Ranchi SSP Praveen Kumar said that the police are interrogating the couple and that more vital clues are expected from them. However, he declined to give the details of interrogation citing security reasons.

'Nagpur cops doing good job'

9 Jul 2009, 0101 hrs IST, TNN


NAGPUR: Minister of state for home (urban) Naseem Arif Khan on Wednesday patted the Nagpur police on its back for doing a good job. On his maiden
visit to the city after being inducted into the ministry four months ago, the minister held a meeting of the top police officials of the city to assess their work.

"The city police is doing an excellent work. The crime rate has shown dip every six months and the detection rate in major crimes is also satisfactory," he said. "But looking at the sensitive situation all over the state after the 26/11 attack, I have instructed the city police commissioner to submit a list of vacancies at all levels in the department so that the posts could be filled as soon as possible to make the police ready for any eventuality."
Khan announced that a major offensive would be launched soon by the state in co-ordination with the Centre and the neighbouring states with a view to wiping out Naxal menace. Similarly the state was strengthening its preparedness to counter terror attacks. "We have acquired new vehicles and latest equipment to modernize the police. A National Security Guards unit has been set up in Mumbai and Force 1, a 350-strong unit of best equipped and skilled officers, is getting ready in the state. In the next few months the state police will see a major transformation," he added.

About opening of five new police stations in the city with adequate staff promised by the government on the floor of the state legislature, the minister said all procedures would be followed to set up the required police stations in the city soon. About the drunk driving campaign, the minister said henceforth every police station would be held responsible for violations and offences in and around the licenced beer bars in its jurisdiction.

CRPF jawan shot dead by Maoists

LATEHAR: Maoists shot dead a CRPF jawan at Ninder in Latehar district of Jharkhand on Tuesday night.

The police said on Wednesday that Maoists knocked at the door of the house of the jawan around midnight. When Pitambar Kumar Singh answered the call, they shot him dead, Superintendent of Police Kuldip Dwibedi told journalists here.

Singh, who was posted at the naxal-infested Ghatsila sub-division in East Singhbhum district, was on leave.

His brother claimed he could identify one of the militants, Mr. Dwibedi said. An investigation is on. — PTI

Maoists issue fresh threat to transporter firm staff

9 Jul 2009, 0422 hrs IST, TNN

GAYA: Continuing their tirade against Maharani Transport, the biggest transport company of South Bihar, Maoists have issued a fresh threat to the
company staff and even passengers warning them against travelling in buses owned by the transport firm.

The fresh threat has come in the form of posters issued by the zonal committee of the Maoist outfit. The posters have been put up in several parts of the Sherghati subdivision in the district. The posters were seen on Wednesday.

A few days ago, Maoists hijacked two buses of the Maharani Transport and torched them. The Maoists charged the owner of the transport company with violating their dictates and not making payment of Rs 50000 per annum levy (extortion money) demanded by them.

No less than 25 buses of the transport company have been grounded as the staff have either deserted work or refused to operate the services in view of the Maoist threat. Passengers, too, have been warned against boarding buses owned by the Maharani Transport. The posters state that the buses owned by the transport company are on the hit list of the Naxal body and that "fauzi karwai (military action)" has been planned against the firm.

"Passengers will risk their life and limb if they ignore the warning," the posters read. Meanwhile, three of the transport company's buses are lying abandoned in Dumaria as drivers refuse to bring them back to the company headquarters.

Owner of the transport company Ravi Shankar Singh alias Munna Singh said that the petrol pump owned by him was also on the hit list of Maoists. He said police action in the matter is inadequate. "If the situation remains unchanged, we would be left with no alternative other than winding up our business," Singh said. He also suspects a clandestine deal between the Maoists and one of his business rivals.

Magadh Range DIG Anupma Nilekar said the Maharani Transport wants each of its buses to be provided with police escort which is not feasible. However, the police administration is contemplating special patrolling on highways to instil confidence among transporters and bus passengers, he added.

Asked about the possibility of a nexus between one of the business rivals of the Maharani Transport company and Maoists, the DIG said that the complaint lodged with the police mentions about this but the so-called nexus remains to be established.

Maoists inflict more damages in 2009 over last year

9 Jul 2009, 0613 hrs IST, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: Even though there has been a quiet on the terror front this year, Left-wing extremist violence continues to be a major headache for the
security agencies, having registered a rise of over 45% and 24% in incidents and deaths, respectively, in the first half of 2009 compared to the corresponding period of last year.

According to statistics furnished by minister of state for home Ajay Maken on Wednesday in the Rajya Sabha, incidents of Naxalite violence have soared to 1,128 till June 30 this year from 766 during the corresponding period last year.

Similarly, fatal casualties too have registered an increase from 368 in the first half of 2008 to 455 in 2009. Interestingly, as many as 1,591 incidents were recorded in the whole of 2008, as against 1,128 incidents already registered in the first six months of 2009.

Statewise, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa were the worst-hit and together accounted for 82.35% of the total incidents of Maoist violence and 77.58% of the resulting casualties.

Senior MHA officials attribute the rise in Left-wing extremist violence this year largely to the diversion of Central para-military forces from counter-Naxal operations to security duties for the 2009 Lok Sabha poll. A senior official pointed out that the Maoists took advantage of the security vacuum created by the departure of Central forces from Naxal-hit states to different parts of the country to keep guard over the April-May poll.

As per the statistics, Maharashtra was the state where Left-wing extremism grew most in percentage terms. While incidents in the first six months of 2009 were up by 300%, deaths rose by more than 600% over the corresponding levels in 2008.

Orissa too witnessed a rise in Naxalite violence, with incidents going up by over 25%, even though deaths slid from 72 till June 30, 2008, to 40 in 2009.

In absolute terms, Jharkhand recorded the highest number of incidents at 364, beating Chattisgarh which was the worst-hit state in the corresponding period of last year with 273 incidents. Until June 30, 2009, Chattisgarh had registered 285 incidents and 148 deaths. Jharkhand, however, had fewer deaths at 122 as compared to Chattisgarh this year.

Incidents in Bihar were up from 88 in the initial six months of 2008 to 118 this year, and deaths too rose from 35 to 43. West Bengal, which is now witnessing a major anti-Maoist operation in Lalgarh, too registered a rise in incidents from 26 last year to 56 this year, while deaths doubled from 17 to 34 till June 30 this year.

Andhra Pradesh continued to fare better in terms of extent of Left-wing extremist violence, recording just 34 incidents, down from 45 last year, and 10 deaths, down from 26 last year.

Meanwhile, replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Mr Ajay Maken clarified that the Centre had no plans whatsoever to open direct talks with the Maoists, even though it welcomed in principle any initiative by the state government to start such a dialogue. However, he added, the Centre was not aware of any move by any state government to open a channel of communication with the Maoists.

Rebels prey on wild cats

New Delhi, July 8 (PTI): In the absence of the promised central paramilitary forces, the Orissa government is struggling hard to protect the state’s wildlife from poachers, who, the state stresses, are backed by Naxalites, especially in the rebel-hit Similipal Tiger Reserve in Mayurbhanj.

At a May meeting between central and state representatives, the Union government had agreed to deploy 221 CRPF personnel in the reserve that has been facing acute infrastructure and staff problems after a Naxalite attack on March 23.

Fearing that rebels might strike again, the Orissa government had sought for CRPF deployment in the reserve that houses at least 32 wild cats. The state government had cited threats from poachers, who the government alleged were being supported by heavily armed rebels, as a justification for the demand.

“Though the Centre agreed to our demand and referred the matter to the ministry of home affairs (MHA) we are still waiting for the force,” said a senior official in the state forest department.

He added that the situation at the reserve was improving only slightly. Scared forest staff, who had run away after the March attack, were joining duty and two special striking force units of Armed Police and Special Operations Group Force were posted at the park. Despite that, the park was not completely secured.

“There have been reports that show that poachers have been receiving the support from Maoists. Hence another attack cannot be ruled out. To save the tigers we need to have trained personnel there,” said an official.

Naxal arms, explosives supplier arrested with huge consignment

Published: July 9,2009

Ranchi , Jul 9 Two persons, including an alleged arms supplier to Naxals, were arrested and large quantities of ammunition, explosives and Maoist literature seized from two Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV).

Official sources said, based on specific information, the CRPF 133 Batallion and local police intercepted a Chevrolet Tavera and a Mahindra Bolero bearing Bihar registration two days ago.

On inspection they found bags containing about 403 rounds of ammunitions, explosives and also Potassium Nitrate, a chemical used for making Improvised Explosive Devices (IED).

The personnel also seized a computer CPU, CDs and cassettes from the two vehicles.

The arrested persons were identified as 35-year-old Sanjay Singh, the alleged arms supplier who was travelling along with his wife Vima Minch.

Sources said Singh was earlier arrested by the Jharkhand police in 2008 for Naxal activity but he got bail in January this year.

They added that Singh used to operate in Bihar and Jharkhand and also provided logistical support to the left-wing extremists.



Source: PTI

Ancient wisdom guides India's future: Dr Manmohan Singh

Dr Manmohan Singh

http://www.rediff.com/news/column/2009/jul/07/guest-ancient-wisdom-guides-indias-future.htm

As we near the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the challenges of global governance in an increasingly inter-connected and multi-polar world are truly formidable. Our institutions of global governance, centred on what may be called the UN system, were designed for the most part at the end of the Second World War and reflected the politico-economic realities of that age. The world was then dominantly bipolar, in the political and military sense, international trade and international capital flows were low, the developing countries were not economically important, indeed most of them were not even independent.

There has been a sea-change since then. Bipolarity has given way to multi-polarity, the developing countries are not only sovereign states but some group of developing countries have gained in relative economic importance and this trend will only gain momentum. The world has also become much more interconnected through the expansion of trade in goods and services and expansion of financial flows generated by capital account liberalisation. Interconnection has in turn greatly increased problems of contagion and vulnerability especially through financial linkages.

Our established institutions of global governance have evolved to some extent in response to these changes, but much less than they should have and the pace of evolution is likely to remain well behind the rate at which the world is changing. The centre piece of the post-war global architecture is the United Nations, conceived originally as the Parliament of the nations with the Security Council at its apex. The size of the international parliament has of course expanded and while there is occasional cynicism about how effectively the General Assembly can reflect global opinion, and especially evolve workable solutions on key issues, there is no doubt that it serves a valuable purpose in giving voice to every country.

However, this is not the same thing as saying that we have a structure which is functionally efficient and capable of dealing with the complex challenges the world faces today. The Security Council has not changed at all and its present structure poses serious problems of legitimacy. The system of two-tiered membership, which gives a veto to the five permanent members, ie, the nations that emerged victorious after the Second World War, is clearly anachronistic. Germany [ Images ] and Japan [ Images ], which have significantly larger economies than Britain and France [ Images ], both permanent members, are excluded. China is the only developing country in the P-5 and it is there for historical reasons, not as a large and economically important developing country. It is obvious that if the system was being designed today it would be very different. However, while the problems have long been recognised, efforts to reform the system have made little headway.

The unworkability of the existing structures has led to greater reliance on plurilateral groupings. Some of these such as the G-7, later expanded to the G-8, are to be seen as a group of countries with common interest, not necessarily representative of the global community. The original rationale of the G-7 was the belief that it would evolve more effective consultation among the more powerful countries on one side of the bipolar world of the 1970s and 1980s. Its expansion to the G-8 reflects the disappearance of that particular faultline by the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, while the Group includes many of the economically powerful nations, it is obviously not representative as it does not include any developing country.

Some years ago the G-8 has been expanded into the G-8+5 by adding China, India, Brazil [ Images ], Mexico and South Africa [ Images ]. More recently, the group has been expanded even further to include a handful of countries in the name of achieving additional outreach. While these ad hoc expansions are a useful way of broadening the range of consultation undertaken by the G-8, it suffers from two limitations. The expanded group is not cohesive since the countries included for purposes of outreach do not participate fully in the proceedings, or the preparations, and the expanded group therefore does not have a composite identity. Second, these groupings do not have any special legitimacy within the UN system.

The deficiencies of the existing system of governance have been dramatically brought home during the recent international financial and economic crisis. The crisis has highlighted the fact that all economies are now highly inter-connected and problems originating in one part of the world economy can quickly snowball into a global crisis. It has forcefully exposed fundamental weaknesses in the approach to financial regulation which emphasised light regulation and greater reliance on inhouse controls and market discipline to control risk. This approach gained popularity in the 1990s and is now perceived to have been overdone. The issue has revealed the inadequacies in the existing domestic regulatory systems in the industrialised countries and also in the international institutions set up to police these areas and to take remedial action when needed.

Whatever the causes and specific failures underlying the crisis, the world was quick to realise that a global crisis requires a global solution. It was also realised that the existing institutions of global governance did not permit effective coordination of a global response. The world therefore responded not by working within the existing system, but by convening a meeting of the G-20 at the level of leaders. The G-20 was established in 1999 at the suggestion of Paul Martin of Canada [ Images ] and has a composition which is somewhat different from the IMFC which meets regularly at the finance ministers level. The G-20 has been meeting at the level of finance ministers since 1999.

Recognising the seriousness of the crisis, the United States convened a meeting of the leaders of the Group of 20 in Washington DC in November 2008. The Group met again in London [ Images ] in April 2009. Unlike the G-8+5, this group has a composite identity since all member countries participate on equal terms including in the preparatory process. However, the selection of countries remains arbitrary and can be questioned as to its representativeness, especially since it departs from the composition of the IMFC which reflects the representation on the Board of the IMF.

The G-20 meeting in London certainly achieved a great deal more than normal meetings of this type, especially in two respects. First, it succeeded in expanding the perimeter of financial regulation and endorsing the establishment of global standards to which national standards can be aligned. These standards will be developed by the Financial Stability Forum (now renamed the Financial Stability Board) which has been expanded to include all G-20 countries that were not members earlier. Second, it achieved a significant expansion in funding for the Bretton Woods Institutions. However, it did not achieve any significant reform of the international financial institutions. The Group has decided to meet again in September and it remains to be seen whether it will be able to evolve some ideas for making significant reforms by then.

The problems faced by the institutions of governance charged with handling the financial system are also relevant for other international institutions dealing with political and security issues, trade, climate change, etc. They need to update structures and upgrade work methods; reform decision-making and ensure effective delivery. They need to adapt, adjust and accommodate to adequately reflect ground realities, contemporary aspirations, and pressing requirements of developing countries including emerging economies.

India, as the largest democracy in the world and an emerging economy that has achieved the ability to grow rapidly, remains deeply committed to multilateralism. It has been an active member in global institutions -- the United Nations, Bretton Woods Institutions, World Trade Organisation, International Atomic Energy Agency and so on. It will continue to be so in the decades ahead, based on commitment to principles and values that define these institutions. India will seek its due place, play its destined role and share its assigned responsibility, giving voice to the hopes and aspirations of a billion people in South Asia.

It will continue to strive for the reform of the United Nations to make it more democratic; to fight against the scourge of terrorism and dismantling its infrastructures on the basis of zero tolerance; to fight piracy on the high seas; to restructure the Bretton Woods Institutions to create a new financial architecture; to achieve an early conclusion of the Doha Round of trade negotiations, with its development dimension, and to address climate change issues, guided by the principle of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capability.

India's view of the world has always been guided by the wisdom of that ancient Indian saying -- Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam -- 'the whole world is one family'. This idea found expression in Jawaharlal Nehru's very first address as prime minister: 'Those dreams are for India, but they are also for the world, for all the nations and peoples are too closely knit together today for any of them to imagine that it can live apart. Peace has been said to be indivisible; so is freedom, so is prosperity now and so also is disaster in this One World that can no longer be split into isolated fragments. That eternal message of the Indian people will guide us in our attempt to seek inclusive global solutions to intractable global problems, and give new hope to humanity.'

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's [ Images ] article was published in the compendium brought out by the G-8 nations on the eve of their summit in Italy [ Images ]

Dr Manmohan Singh