Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Maoists ‘death sentence’ for

;Press Trust of India
Bhubaneswar, 17 Aug: Furious over killing, arrest and surrender of their members in Orissa's Rayagada district, the CPI(Maoist) has pronounced “death sentence” for the Superintendent of Police (SP) and two other policemen engaged in anti-naxal operations, official sources said today.
A seven-page letter signed by Mr Azad ~ self-appointed secretary of Bansadhara Divisional Committee (BDC) ~ sent to the local Press Club last night, accused district SP Asish Kumar Singh of launching a campaign against Maoists by staging “fake” surrenders.
Confirming receipt of the letter from the Maoists, the DIG, south-western range, Mr Sanjeev Panda said that the ultras resorted to the move as they were frustrated.
“The letter is an indication of the weakening of their organisation in the area,” the DIG told PTI over telephone, claiming that at least seven Maoist cadres surrendered and 30 of them were arrested by the police in Rayagada in the last three months.
The killing of three armed women cadre in an encounter with security personnel last week in Rayagada was also a blow to the outfit, a senior police official said.
“The SP is held responsbile for making false claims that certain Maoists surrendered before police,” the letter said, adding that innocent people were being harassed by police on the pretext of linkage with red rebels.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Narasingh seeks appropriate action

Express News Service First Published : 17 Aug 2009 04:22:00 AM ISTLast Updated :

BHUBANESWAR: The ‘denial’ of President’s Medal to senior IPS officer Vinaytosh Mishra has taken a twist with former Law Minister Narasingh Mishra demanding action in this connection.


In a letter to President Pratibha Patil, Mishra, who also is an All India Congress Committee member, said that it is the State Government which had recommended the IPS officer’s name and after scrutiny, he was nominated by the President for the medal. By ignoring him, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has not only insulted the person concerned but it also amounts to disregard to the President and Constitution of India.

“After a final selection by the supreme authority of the country, none else can be in a seat of judgment’’, he said.

“Once the State Government overrides the decision of the President, federal structure of India will collapse and there will be no rule of law’’, he added.

“By ignoring the Presidential notification, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has proved that there is no rule of law in the State,’’ he said and sought appropriate action.

ORISSA: Government humiliates IPS man


Express News Service First Published : 17 Aug 2009 04:16:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 17 Aug 2009 11:18:07 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: In what could snowball into a major embarrassment for the Naveen Patnaik Government, a senior IPS officer of the State was `denied’ the prestigious President’s medal, at the last moment, during the Independence Day function. DIG Vinaytosh Mishra, a 1993 batch officer and now on deputation to CISF in Bokaro, was present to receive the medal but his name was not called. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik went on to confer medals on two other officers of the same batch, while Mishra was ignored, much to his shock and humiliation.


His family was present at the function.

The incident led to outrage among the police officers many of whom saw it as a defiance of the Presidential order and violation of the Constitution.

Every year, the States recommend names of officers for President’s medal for meritorious service. After the President’s assent, the names are announced.

Thus, the State becomes a mere ceremonial representative to confer the medals. This time, Mishra, Susant Kumar Nath and R P Koche, three DIG-ranked officers, were nominated for the honour. In fact, till the last minute, everything was in order.

As part of protocol, Mishra was sent invitation for the investiture ceremony. He also attended the rehearsal on Friday, printed his signature on an official list and a chair in his name was designated at Jaydev Bhawan, where the function is held every year. It was when the names were read out as part of the citation ceremony that Mishra's name didn't figure.

The matter drew sharp reaction from the IPS officers' fraternity. According to a senior officer, who didn’t wish to be named, this is a direct defiance to the President and violation of Constitution.

``Since the medal is conferred by the President, nobody can take it away from Mishra. Besides, how can the Presidential order be flouted?’’ asked an officer.

Even as the issue has raised a serious row, the Government’s embarrassing move is aimed at pleasing tribal sentiments. In 2006, 13 tribals of Kalinga Nagar in Jajpur district were killed in police firing. Mishra then was the SP of the district.

While no reaction was available from the CM’s Office, Home Secretary A P Padhy was not available for comment. The IPS officer is believed to have lodged a protest with Chief Secretary Ajit Tripathy.

Maoists hoist black flag in Sunabeda sanctuary

Express News Service First Published : 17 Aug 2009 04:30:00 AM ISTLast Updated :

NUAPADA: Maoists hoisted a black flag inside the Sunabeda Wildlife sanctuary, 70 km from here as a mark of protest against the Independence Day celebrations.


After making their presence felt in the district on June 22 when they burnt down and ransacked a forest office inside the Sunabeda Wildlife sanctuary, the Maoists reportedly hoisted a black flag at Gatibeda under Sunabeda gram panchayat yesterday. It is learnt that about 32 armed Maoists, including seven women cadres, thronged the village and hoisted the flag. They also handed over gifts to the villagers and children.

While DFO (Wildlife) Biswaranjan Rout confirmed the incident, Nuapada SP Bibek Rath said no such report had been received.

JEYPORE: Despite Maoists’ call to boycott Independence Day celebrations across this tribal district, the 63rd Independence Day was observed with much pomp and gaiety. At Jeypore, Sub-Collector D Jagannath unfurled the Tricolour at Jeypore stadium and called for communal tolerance and development of the country. He also urged people to participate in the ongoing development works of the district.

Later, the Sub-Collector distributed prizes among winners of various competitions that were organised to mark the occasion. Earlier, the Maoists had called for banning the I-Day celebrations in Koraput, Malkangiri and Rayagada districts protesting government apathy. Black flags were seen in Maoist-infested Kalimela, Podia, Bandhugam, Narayanpatna, Gunupur, Muniguda and Bissamcuttack blocks.

Though elaborate security arrangements were made to avoid untoward incident, the Maoists managed to block the Narayanpatna and Bandhugam road.

PARLAKHEMUNDI: Minister of State for Handlooms Anjali Behera hoisted the Flag and took salute at the parade in Gajapati stadium on Saturday.

Addressing the gathering, the Minister recalled the contribution of freedom fighters and elaborated on various development programmes of the BJD Government.

As many as 19 educational institutions of the district participated in the parade. The Navy and NCC troupes of the local MRBH School were adjudged winner and runner-up respectively in the parade. Prizes were distributed to the winners of various competitions on the occasion. The Minister also flagged off `Janani Express’ for the benefit of pregnant women of the rural areas.

NABARANGPUR: Minister of State for Labour and Employment Puspendra Singhdeo unfurled the Tricolour and took salute at the district level Independence Day celebrations at the District Stadium.

Addressing the gathering, Singhdeo recalled the sacrifices made by people of Nabarangpur district during the Quit India Movement in 1942. He called upon youths to follow in the footsteps of the martyrs and involve themselves in nation-building.

He said unless there was socio-economic development of every citizen, political freedom holds no significance. Students of various schools performed cultural programmes to mark the Day.

Later, Singhdeo accompanied by District Collector Roopa Mishra visited hospitals, local jail and Utkal Bal Ashram and distributed sweets to the inmates.

Maoists call shutdown in three West Bengal districts

Kolkata, Aug 17 (IANS) The Maoists have called an indefinite shutdown in three tribal-dominated districts of West Bengal from Tuesday, police said here Monday.
“An indefinite shutdown has been called by the Maoists in three districts — Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore from tomorrow (Tuesday),” West Bengal Inspector General (Law and Order) Surajit Kar Purkayastha told IANS.

“We’ve already made adequate arrangements to maintain the law and order situation in all three districts,” he added.

Vote 0 CPI-M activist shot dead in West Bengal

Ians August 17th, 2009

KOLKATA - A Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) activist was shot dead by unidentified men Monday in South 24-Parganas district of West Bengal, police said.


“Madar Ali Mollah was shot in his head in broad daylight today (Monday). He died on the spot. The miscreants also went on rampage and damaged Canning zonal committee party office, injuring five others,” a senior police officer said.

The incident took place at Jibontala area of Narayantala village.

The ruling CPI-M claimed that Mollah was killed by the opposition Trinamool Congress supported men.

“With this, 74 CPI-M cadres have lost their lives in violent attacks launched by Trinamool workers since April-May general election this year,” CPI-M state secretary Biman Bose said in a press release.

Demanding immediate arrests of those involved in the murder, he said: “The opposition is trying to destabilise the law and order situation in the state. We’ll carry out state-wide protest rallies tomorrow (Tuesday) and the day after (Wednesday).

“I welcome all people to come forward and condemn such violent attacks which are being carried out in our state.”

Two held in Jharkhand with 210 kg of bomb-making chemical

Source: IANS

2009-08-17 14:50:00


Two people have been arrested while transporting 210 kg of ammonium nitrate in Jharkhand's Hazaribagh district, police said Monday. The chemical is a common ingredient in bombs and mines.

A truck laden with ammonium nitrate was seized Sunday night near Ichak block of Hazaribagh, around 120 km from here, and two people were arrested, an official said.


According to police sources, the ammonium nitrate was meant to be supplied to Maoist rebels to make explosives. Earlier, a truck laden with ammonium nitrate was stolen by the rebels in Ramgarh district.

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CMs Conference underlines need to strengthen police for improved internal security

CHIDAMBARAM SAYS, STATES HAVE PRIMACY IN MAINTAINING PUBLIC ORDER


18:34 IST

The day-long Conference of Chief Ministers on internal security concluded this evening with the CMs underlining the need to strengthen police force to ensure improved internal security environment. The Union Home Minister Shri P.Chidambaram summed up the issues on which the participants needed to reflect and take further steps. He acknowledged the primacy of State Govts. in maintaining public order. Following is the text of the concluding statement by the Home Minister.

“I am grateful to the Governors, Chief Ministers and other Heads of Delegation who have responded to our invitation and participated in the deliberations today. In my opening statement I had, towards the end, listed a number of key issues on which I requested you to make your observations. In addition, I wish to remind the Chief Ministers that only 12 State Governments/UTs have sent their responses to the questionnaire sent to them in preparation for this conference. Many Chief Ministers have, in their intervention, responded to these issues, and I thank them for expressing their views. The matters enumerated by me, among others, are important and deserve to be addressed with a sense of urgency. I, therefore, crave your indulgence to write to you on these matters so that we could have your responses in writing. Once we have your responses to the questionnaire and to the new issues, it would facilitate the formulation of policy, the allocation of funds and the monitoring of progress in strengthening the internal security system. I therefore request Chief Ministers to kindly give their personal attention to this matter.

2. As all of you are aware, every month since January 1, 2009, I have made a report to the people of India on the work done in the Ministry of Home Affairs during the previous month. Those reports contain an account of the implementation of Action Plan I for the period January 20, 2009 to May 31, 2009. After the formation of the new Central Government, the Ministry of Home Affairs adopted Action Plan II for the period June 1, 2009 to September 30, 2009, and that Plan is being implemented. There will be Action Plan III for the last six months of the current financial year. The monthly reports and the Action Plans are in the public domain. I would be happy to have your comments and criticism, if any, on the measures taken by the Central Government.

3. I wish to make a brief reference to the communal situation. While there is a vast improvement in the situation, there are still pockets of strife and disharmony. If numbers can tell a story – or at least point to trends – it appears that five States are rather sensitive. I intend to write to the Chief Ministers of these five States and request them to pay special attention to this matter.

4. On the basis of the observations made by you during the forenoon and afternoon sessions, I have culled out a number of issues on which we need to reflect and take further steps. Among these are –

i. While recruitment is the responsibility of the State Governments, the Central Government should step in, in a big way, to augment training capacity, especially for counter terrorism and jungle warfare;

ii. In order to quicken the procurement of weapons, the Central Government may consider central procurement of weapons on behalf of the States;

iii. While some States have set up a separate intelligence cadre, there are inadequate training facilities for intelligence gathering and intelligence analysis. The Central Government may consider setting up Regional Intelligence Centres to train State intelligence personnel in intelligence gathering and intelligence analysis.

iv. While I had indicated the vacancy position as on 1.1.2008 as 2,30,567 posts in all ranks, it appears that the vacancy level may have declined to about 1,50,000. Even this is too large, and State Governments must make every effort to recruit and begin training of police personnel at least to the extent of 1,50,000 vacancies before 31st March 2010;

v. There is a unanimous demand that the Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF) scheme should be continued for another 5 to 10 years and more funds should be allocated to this scheme;

vi. The strength of police stations, especially in rural and remote areas, ranges between 1 + 8 and 1 + 12. This is totally inadequate. For a police station to be effective, its strength should be at least 1 + 40. State Governments may augment the strength of police stations;

vii. Find a more effective instrument to expedite the road building programme both in border areas as well as in naxal affected areas;

viii. Address the issue of the porous nature of the India-Nepal border;

ix. There is a need to discuss megacity policing and desert policing and work out measures to improve policing in these areas;

x. The surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy is also some years old. In order to make it attractive in the present conditions, it may be necessary to review and improve upon the policy;

xi. The norms for financial assistance to establish coastal police stations are outdated and they need to be revised;

xii. Since the supply of high speed interceptor boats from the two ship building yards is limited, the Central Government may consider importing such boats;

xiii. The Centre may consider imparting territorial army training for a period of 4 months to fishermen during the period when they do not engage in fishing. These trained fishermen could be kept as reserve and summoned in case of need;

xiv. While laws may be passed by State Legislatures according to need, the State Government has the power to make Executive Orders pending enactment of laws. Such Executive Orders are as effective and enforceable as legislation as long as they do not interfere with the fundamental rights of any person. Hence, States may examine this option whenever it is necessary to put in place certain security arrangements, especially in order to provide security to places of historical importance, heritage sites, places of religious worship, iconic establishments etc.

I urge Chief Ministers to address these issues. On our part, I shall examine them and convey to you our views or decisions on these matters.

5. In my opening statement, I had pointed to the central role of the police in meeting the challenges to internal security. The police forces require strong leadership. How can an officer provide leadership if his or her tenure is precarious and uncertain? I urge States that have not yet established a Police Establishment Board to do so immediately. The Police Establishment Board will, in no way, diminish the authority of the Chief Minister or the Home Minister. On the contrary, it will greatly help the Chief Minister and the Home Minister in conveying the message of fairness and non-discrimination, and they can always intervene in exceptional situations.

6. In conclusion, I wish to assure you, once again, that it is my intention to work closely with State Governments and acknowledging the primacy of the State Governments in maintaining public order. I propose to resume my visits to the States so that the Chief Minister of the State and I could jointly review the security situation in that State and examine State-specific needs and issues in some detail and take many decisions on the spot. I have found this exercise useful and highly instructive and I seek your co-operation in making this exercise successful.

7. I thank you for your participation and wish you the very best in the discharge of your responsibilities.”

*****

Launch anti-Maoist operation in Jharkhand immediately: WB govt

Updated on Monday, August 17, 2009, 19:12 IST Tags:West Bengal, Maoist, Jharkhand, Chief Ministers` conference

New Delhi: The Left Front government on Monday asked the Centre to immediately launch an anti-Maoist operation in Jharkhand in tandem with the ongoing joint operations in West Bengal, saying the Left extremists were using their bases in the neighbouring state to launch attacks.


Noting that there was a "significant" increase in Left extremist violence in Bengal this year, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said as many as 18 police stations in three districts were affected by Maoist violence.

Bhattacharjee, whose speech at the Conference on Internal Security was read out in absentia by Chief Secretary Asoke Mohan Chakraborti, said there was "a need to launch such an operation without delay and to continue the operation in our state."

The Chief Minister said the Maoists operating in West Bengal were using their bases in Jharkhand to mobilise their squads.

"The joint operation (in West Bengal) can be successful only if a similar operation in launched in Jharkhand in collaboration with our state," he said, adding the operation by Central forces and the state police has been "acclaimed by a large section of the people."

He said it (anti-maoist operation) has "restored order in most of the villages and made it possible to restart development work."

Noting that 59 civilians and police personnel have been killed in Maoist violence this year as against only 29 last year, Bhattacharjee said the second phase of counter- insurgency operation was in progress and 67 Maoists have been arrested since the joint operation was launched on June 18.

"Intelligence inputs indicate that three squads of 20-25 armed persons are still in the area, staying mostly in the forests," he said.

The joint operations to regain control over Lalgarh has led to the completion of the road-opening phase, the Chief Minister said, adding that control has been established over the road connecting Pirakata, Bhimpur, Lalgarh, Kantapahari, Ramgarh, Kadasole, Pingboni and Goaltore.

"This had the effect of driving the Maoist squads out of their strongholds," Bhattacharjee said.

On relief and developmental activities being carried out in the affected areas by the Left Front government, he said a programme was launched for distribution of dry food to families who have lost income opportunities when the operation was launched.

"This was followed by a programme of expediting irrigation and forestry and the supply of drinking water and health services," he added.

Bhattacharjee could not attend the Conference convened by the Prime Minister due to fever. Chakraborti and Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen attended the meeting.

Bureau Report

Fill up glaring police vacancies, Chidambaram tells states

IANS 17 August 2009, 07:18pm IST


NEW DELHI: Exhorting chief ministers to enhance the capability of their police forces to meet internal security challenges and to ensure
preparedness to meet terrorist threats, home minister P.Chidambaram said on Monday their foremost responsibility was to fill up the glaring police vacancies.

"While I had indicated the vacancy position as on January 2008 as 230,567 posts in all ranks, it appears that the vacancy level may have declined to about 150,000. Even this is too large, and state governments must make every effort to recruit and begin training of police personnel at least to the extent of 150,000 vacancies before 31st March next year," Chidambaram said in his concluding remarks at the chief ministers conclave on internal security.

He made his displeasure amply clear when pointing that only 12 state governments had responded to a questionnaire that was circulated at a similar conference in January.

The questionnaire related to budget allocations for the police, recruitment, training, procurement of equipment, introduction of technology and personnel management.

Reiterating that the police was at the forefront to meet the challenges of internal security, Chidambaram said they required "strong leadership".

"The police forces require strong leadership. How can an officer provide leadership if his or her tenure is precarious and uncertain? I urge states that have not yet established a police establishment board to do so immediately," the home minister contended.

"The police establishment board will in no way diminish the authority of the chief minister or the (state) home minister. On the contrary, it will greatly help them in conveying the message of fairness and non-discrimination, and they can always intervene in exceptional situations."

Detailing a series of steps that needed to be undertaken to secure both the hinterland and the coastline, Chidambaram said both the centre and the state governments should step in a big way to augment training capacity, especially for counter-terrorism and jungle warfare, quicken the procurement of weapons and set up a separate intelligence cadre.

"There are inadequate training facilities for intelligence gathering and intelligence analysis. The union government may consider setting up regional intelligence centres to train state intelligence personnel in intelligence gathering and intelligence analysis," said Chidambaram.

Speaking at the inaugural session earlier Monday, the home minister bemoaned the fact that state governments were not pitching hard enough to the tasks ahead, especially the task of removing deficiencies.

Some of the pressing responsibilities included operational preparedness of Quick Response Teams, strengthening of state special branches and intelligence wings, development of guidelines for security of places with large footfalls, police reforms and better police-community interaction, besides issues of border management.

Chidambaram also pointed out that the strength of police stations, especially in rural and remote areas, was "totally inadequate" and there was a dire need to boost their numbers.

"This is totally inadequate. For a police station to be effective, its strength should be at least 41 personnel. State governments may augment the strength of police stations," he pointed out.

Chidambaram also listed other important steps that needed to be undertaken on a war footing, including road building in border as well as Maoist affected areas, financial assistance to establish coastal police stations as many were outdated and honing both megacity and desert policing.

He also said the central government would consider imparting Territorial Army training to fishermen for a period of four months when they do not engage in fishing.

While emphasising that the communal situation in the country had improved, the home minister there still were pockets of strife and disharmony.

"If numbers can tell a story - or at least point to trends - it appears that five states are rather sensitive. I intend to write to the chief Ministers of these states and request them to pay special attention to this matter."

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his speech, singled out Maharashtra and Karnataka and said they needed to be more vigilant.

Joint forces, Maoists clash over tribals’ meeting in Lalgarh

Lalgarh (West Bengal), Aug 17 (IANS) The joint security forces and suspected Maoist rebels Monday clashed near Gohomidanga area in West Bengal’s trouble-torn Lalgarh over a proposed meeting organised by a tribal body protesting police excesses in the region.
According to police sources, the Maoists opened fire at the central paramilitary force troopers and the police personnel when they tried to stop people from heading towards Gohomidanga locality to attend a gathering called by the People’s Committee against Police Atrocity (PCAPA) leader Chattrodhar Mahato.

The gun battle continued for hours between the two warring forces.

The central forces troopers also dismantled the podium set up to hold the meeting there. The district has already imposed prohibitory orders banning the assembly of more than four persons in and around Lalgarh to foil any gathering of tribals in that area.

Meanwhile, PCAPA activists had shifted to a nearby place and arranged the meeting there, within one kilometre from Gohomidanga where the rally was originally scheduled to be held.

“We were always with people and we’ll continue to stand by them. The joint forces are torturing villagers in the name of flushing out the Maoists. The government must stop this joint operation for the sake of people in Lalgarh,” Mahato told reporters.

“We’re carrying out our movement democratically. If the state government does not withdraw the central forces, this movement would further spread in other neighbouring districts,” he added.

The state government had launched a massive security operation June 18 to flush out Leftwing rebels who had virtually made areas in and around Lalgarh in the neighbouring West Midnapore district a “free zone” since November last year.

However, despite the nearly two-month-long security operation, the Maoist activities have been going on unabated, with several CPI-M cadres and tribals - whom the radicals have described as police informers - killed.

Maoists are active in the state’s three western districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia.

Sphere: Related Content

Minor girl among two killed in Maoist attack in J'khand

Ranchi, Aug 17 (PTI) Suspected Maoists today fired indiscriminately on a car, killing two persons, including a nine-year-old girl, and injuring three others near Duesiani area in Jharkhand's Ranchi district, police said.

"We found empty cartridges of self-loading rifle from the spot. Maoists only have SLRs in this area, which is a definite indication of the rebels being behind the incident," SP (Rural) Anup T Mathew said.

There were 13 persons in the car when the attack took place. The driver and his assistant were among the injured, he said.

After attacking the car, the Maoists struck a truck, injuring its driver, Mathew said.

Post attacks, CISF asked to ensure security of mines in Naxal areas

Priyadarshi Siddhanta Posted online: Monday , Aug 17, 2009 at 0238 hrs

New Delhi : Shaken by the increasing number of attacks by Naxalites on the explosive stockyards of mining companies, the government has asked the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to suggest methods to enhance overall security at the mines. The government has also decided to ask district magistrates of extremist-affected areas to inspect the mines at regular intervals.

The decisions follows a recent high-level meeting convened by union home secretary G K Pillai with the ministries of coal, steel, mines, besides the chief controller of explosives (CCE) and the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP). The meeting was held in the backdrop of attacks by Naxalites on the mines of National Aluminum Company Limited (NALCO) and the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC).

The major attraction that mining sites hold for Naxalites is their stores of high-value explosives. Mineral rich states like Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh are prone to naxalite attacks. Around eight CISF personnel are believed to haven been killed after more than 200 Naxalites stormed NALCO’s Panchpatmali mine — Asia’s biggest bauxite mine — at Damonjodi in Koraput district, Orissa, in mid-April. Since the attack, the navratna company has reportedly stopped storing large stocks of explosives fearing they could fall prey to a fresh naxal attack.

Responding to the demand of mines ministry officials that norms on shifting of barracks of security personnel be relaxed, its officials were told to send a detailed proposal to the DIPP and CCE. The home ministry has said that the proposal would be examined keeping international practices in view. The proposal would take forwarf the ministry’s view on relaxing explosive rules for construction/ shifting of magazines and distancing barracks/ bunkers from explosives. The home ministry has also asked the CISF to furnish its views on determinig secure locations for the magazines besides deployment of its personnel. The paramilitary force has been asked to send a detailed note to the mines, coal and steel ministries on the norms to be adopted for deployment of security personnel at these mines.

The ministry has also favoured that the CCE issue suitable instructions to district magistrates to undertake regular inspections of the mines as enshrined in the explosives rules as well as holding coordination meetings with mine owners, police, CISF and CCE representatives

Pak-based terror groups planning new attacks on India: PM

SOURCE: REDIFF

The Centre on Monday observed that the gravity of the threat of terrorism was undiminished and that the nation could not afford to lower its guard.

Addressing a conference of chief ministers in New Delhi [ Images ], Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [ Images ] said, "We have put in place additional measures after the Mumbai [ Images ] terrorist attack in November last year. But there is need for continued vigilance. There is credible information of ongoing plans of terrorist groups in Pakistan to carry out fresh attacks," the prime minister said.

"The area of operation of these terrorists today extends far beyond the confines of Jammu & Kashmir and covers all parts of our country," he added.

"In dealing with the terrorist challenge we need to be prepared for encountering more sophisticated technologies and enhanced capabilities. We also need to guard our sea frontier as vigilantly as our land border."

"Four regional hubs of the National Security Guard have been established and operationalised at Mumbai, Kolkata [ Images ], Chennai and Hyderabad. Two Regional Centres of the NSG will shortly be established at Hyderabad and Kolkata. A National Investigative Agency has been established. I request the chief ministers to extend all possible cooperation to this Agency to make it a truly effective instrument in our fight against terrorism."

"Quick Response Teams and Special Intervention Units are being set up at the state level to enhance the speed of response to terrorist attacks. A major effort is being made to improve Intelligence gathering and dissemination both at the Central and State levels."

"A well-calibrated Coastal Security Scheme is being put in place. But we obviously need to do much more and we shall. The challenges posed by asymmetric warfare and terrorism as also the Left wing extremism can only be met through new ideas and more resolute actions and determination. We need to be ahead of the curve if we are to succeed as we must."

On Naxal menace:

"There have been heavy casualties inflicted recently on security forces by naxalite groups. There are also indications of yet more offensive action by these groups. The problem of Left wing extremism is indeed a complex one. There is a need for a balanced and nuanced strategy to deal with it."

"On the one hand, the State should discharge its responsibilities and obligations and re-establish the rule of law in areas dominated by the Naxalites [ Images ]. At the same time, we should work towards removing the causes, which lead to alienation of people and problems like Naxalism," Dr Singh said.

On the situation in Jammu and Kashmir [ Images ]:

"The situation in Jammu & Kashmir has, during the past few years, seen substantial improvement. Figures of violence have been steadily declining and are today at an all-time low. But there are some disturbing trends on the horizon," the prime minister said.

"Levels of infiltration which had come down very substantially have seen a surge this year, alongside an increase in attempts at infiltration. The infiltrators appear more battle-hardened, better equipped, and in possession of sophisticated communications," he added.

"There are also signs of a revival of over-ground militant activities. Attempts are being made to link isolated and unconnected incidents -- such as those, which occurred in Shopian, Sopore, Baramulla -- to create an impression of a groundswell of anti-national feeling. All this shows that efforts to disturb the current status quo have not been given up. Fortunately, the annual Amarnath Yatra [ Images ] passed off without incident, a tribute to the secular character of the people of J&K."

On the situation in northeast India:

"There is an overall improvement but the situation in some northeastern states particularly in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland remains problematic and worrisome. Assam and Manipur account for a disproportionately large number of violent incidents reported from the northeast, with the latter's share being as high as 30%. In Assam, the Centre had sanctioned an amount of Rs. 750 crore for development of Bodo areas. But the utilisation of these funds remains unsatisfactory."

"The resettlement and rehabilitation of those affected by the violence in the Bodo areas and North Cachar Hills is a matter of concern. Manipur is plagued by a large number of militant outfits. The government of Manipur needs to put in place appropriate mechanisms for increased participation of people in developmental projects."

Requesting the chief ministers of all the northeastern states to pay particular attention to the implementation of infrastructure projects, Dr Singh said, "There is also a need in the northeast for more emphasis on pro-active state police forces rather than exclusive reliance on the central paramilitary forces and Army. The resources for policing need to be enhanced substantially. Manipur has increased the number of sanctioned posts at the police station level but a large number of them remain unfilled."
"All states in the northeast would do well to ensure the representation of all groups and communities in their police forces and carry out recruitment to these forces in a transparent manner."

On maintaining communal peace:



"As far as the communal situation is concerned, we have reasons for satisfaction. In the past five years, no serious communal incidents have occurred. But some states like Maharashtra and Karnataka need to exercise greater vigil to maintain communal peace," Dr Singh noted.

"Karnataka, in particular, has witnessed a number of communal incidents during this year. What is more worrisome is that the incidents were not limited to one or two districts. Like in other areas of internal security, we must all be on our guard against attempts by communal fanatics to accentuate communal tensions, disturb the peace and weaken the fabric of our inclusive society."

On Centre-state partnership:

"We are all aware that most issues pertaining to internal security require a coordinated response by the Centre and the states acting in concert. The importance of this cannot be over-emphasized. A piece meal approach will simply not work given the nature of challenges we face. Not only do we need more information sharing, we also need synchronized action. Let me assure all the states that the Centre will not be found wanting in this regard."

"We are committed to assist the states in all possible ways in dealing with the challenges of internal security. We will also do our utmost in facilitating inter-state coordination. I would urge states to take more initiative for coordinating action with other states."

"I do recognize that states often face constraints of resources. But ultimately we must all bear the burden of our shared sense of responsibility. It must also be recognised that there are limits to what the central government can provide. I hope that the expectations of the states from the Centre would be guided by a consciousness of their own obligations as well as a sense of practical realism."

Modi slams Centre for rejecting anti-terror bill GUJCOC

PTI | New Delhi

Hitting out at the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday accused it of playing politics while dealing with terrorism and said he "fails to understand" why it returned the anti-terror bill proposed by his state.

"When it comes to dealing with terrorists, we must draw a clear line between those who are on their side and those who are on the side of society," he said referring to the Centre rejecting his government's Gujarat Control of Organised Crime (GUJCOC) Act.

Modi said the anti-terror bill which had been pending with the Central government for a long time was returned to the state assembly recently with the directions to delete certain provisions.

"...I fail to understand why the central government should oppose provisions which are already part of the similar Acts in Karnataka and Maharashtra," he said while speaking at the Chief Minister's conference on Internal Security here.

The Chief Minister said, "even the so-called liberal democracies and proclaimed upholders of human rights like USA, Canada, Australia etc have enacted laws having more stringent provisions than the proposed GUJCOC Act."

Making a strong case for the proposed law, Modi said the need for such a legislation was not only for punishing the "perpetrators of terrorism" but also to prevent educated youth from being drawn into terrorist ideology.

Modi said it was "shocking and unfathomable" for him to understand the opposition from the Centre to the proposed bill, especially when the terrorists are getting support from across the border and working hand-in-glove with organised crime syndicates.

He also advocated "de-linking" the cases of convicted terrorists in death row from criminals involved in other crimes while considering their amnesty applications.

"Though I am of firm opinion that no such procedure of 'first in first out' need be followed in such cases, yet I would urge the Central Government to at least de-link the cases of such convicted persons who are involved in offences relating to anti-national, terrorist and subversive activities," he said.

"This the least that the sufferers of such terrorist attacks would expect from us as representatives of the States," Modi added.

The amendments by the Centre in the Criminal Procedure Code also came under criticism from Modi who alleged that these have tilted the balance in the favour of the "offenders and guilty".

"...The intention to carry out amendments may be noble to protect the innocent from harassment and to uphold the human rights, these amendments have somehow tilted the balance in favour of offenders and guilty," Modi said.

He also said it should be mandatory for the National Investigation Agency to seek consent of the state government before beginning the probe in any case.

Speaking on the left wing extremism threat in the country, Modi said some cadres from Naxal-affected states like Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa may be taking shelter in his state.

Modi said the state was developing its own Marine Reserve Police Battalion equipped with latest weapons like American assault rifles and sniper rifles for strengthening coastal security. It will be led by a Deputy Superintendent of Police-rank officer.

The Chief Minister suggested a number of measures like training the fishermen so that they could be used as informers, implementing vessel traffic monitoring system and improving security systems at ports and the 1600-km coastline in the state which lies in proximity with Pakistan.

Modi said the state has taken several steps to check terrorist activities which include raising its own Industrial Security Force, networking of the police stations, raising a separate cadre for state intelligence officers as well as modernisation of police force.

States not doing enough to strengthen police: Chidambaram

IANS 17 August 2009, 02:29pm IST


NEW DELHI: Home minister P Chidambaram on Monday expressed regret that the state governments had not done enough to strengthen the police force and
improve intelligence-sharing, which he said were key to fight the security challenges India faces.

"We had circulated a questionnaire to the state governments requesting them to indicate the present status under a number of heads and on a number of issues. I regret to point out that the response from the states is far from satisfactory," Chidambaram said in his address to the internal security conference attended by chief ministers here.

The home minister said the police reforms "have not received the attention they deserve" despite Supreme Court directions in that regard.

"I regret to point out that many state governments have not yet constituted the Police Establishment Board. Nor have they fully complied with the other directions," Chidambaram said.

The situation of vacant posts in police is "quite alarming", he added.

The home minister said that the setting up of the Multi-Agency Centre (MAC) and (state-level)-MACs had made intelligence-sharing better but "there is scope for more improvement".

The MAC, tasked to collect intelligence in real time and optimise intelligence flow between different agencies, was made operational in January this year after the terror attacks in November.

He added that the state governments needed to raise and deploy their own Special Intervention Units (SIUs) and Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) in as many cities as possible even as four National Security Guard (NSG) hubs have been set up in the country.

The central government had suggested that the states raise a State Industrial Security Force on the lines of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and "I would request the state governments to respond to the suggestion", the minister said.

Stressing that the government was focussing on coastal security and border management, Chidamabaram regretted that the construction of coastal police stations, outposts and check posts as well as border outposts (BoPs) was going on at a "slow pace".

PM calls for coordinated response on internal security

New Delhi, Aug 17 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today called for a coordinated response by the Centre and the States on issues pertaining to internal security.

Inaugurating the Chief Ministers’ Conference on Internal Security here, Dr. Singh said: “We are committed to assist the States in all possible ways in dealing with the challenges of internal security. We will also do our utmost in facilitating inter-State coordination. I would urge States to take more initiative for coordinating action with other States.”

Dr. Singh asked Chief Minister of states to extend all possible cooperation to National Investigative Agency that was established after the last conference on internal security.

“I request the Chief Ministers to extend all possible cooperation to this Agency to make it a truly effective instrument in our fight against terrorism. Quick Response Teams and Special Intervention Units are being set up at the State level to enhance the speed of response to terrorist attacks. A major effort is being made to improve Intelligence gathering and dissemination both at the Central and State levels. A well-calibrated Coastal Security Scheme is being put in place,” said Singh.

Coming to specific challenges, the Prime Minister said cross-border terrorism remains a most pervasive threat.

“We have put in place additional measures after the Mumbai terrorist attack in November last year. But there is need for continued vigilance. There is credible information of ongoing plans of terrorist groups in Pakistan to carry out fresh attacks. The area of operation of these terrorists today extends far beyond the confines of Jammu & Kashmir and covers all parts of our country,” he said.

“In dealing with the terrorist challenge, we need to be prepared for encountering more sophisticated technologies and enhanced capabilities. We also need to guard our sea frontier as vigilantly as our land border,” he added.

The Prime Minister Singh expressed a need for a balanced strategy to deal with Naxalism.

“There have been heavy casualties inflicted recently on security forces by Naxalite groups. There are also indications of yet more offensive action by these groups. The problem of Left Wing extremism is indeed a complex one. There is a need for a balanced and nuanced strategy to deal with it. On the one hand, the State should discharge its responsibilities and obligations and re-establish the Rule of Law in areas dominated by the Naxalites. At the same time, we should work towards removing the causes, which lead to alienation of people and problems like Naxalism,” he said.

Initially, the movement had its centre in West Bengal. In recent years, they have spread into less developed areas of rural central and eastern India, such as Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh through the activities of underground groups like the Communist Party of India (Maoist).

They are conducting an insurgency, typically called the Naxalite-Maoist insurgency.

Naxals hold sway in about 180 districs across ten states of India accounting for about 40 per cent of the country’s geographical area.

Their growing influence prompted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to declare them as the most serious threat to India’s national security.

The CPI (Maoist) and some other Naxal factions are now considered terrorists by the Government of India.

In February 2009, the Central Government announced its plans for simultaneous, co-ordinated counter-operations in all Left-wing extremism-hit states - Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal, to plug all possible escape routes of Naxalites. (ANI)

Karnataka wants Commando Training Centre

New Delhi, Aug 17 (PTI) Karnataka today sought Centre's assistance for establishing a full-fledged Commando Training Centre in the state as also meeting the expenditure on police personnel involved in coastal security and anti-terrorist cells.



Addressing the Chief Ministers' Conference on Internal Security, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said his government was contemplating establishing a Commando Training Centre to cater to the training needs of coastal security police, anti-naxal force, anti-terrorist cell and Quick Reaction Teams.



He said the Centre must consider bearing or at least sharing the burden of expenditure on police personnel for coastal security and anti-terrorist cells and the Modernisation of Police Force (MPF) scheme needs should continue at least for five more years.

Orissa CM asks for NSG to train its police personnel

New Delhi, Aug 17(PTI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today asked the Centre to provide at least 10 trainers of the elite NSG to train the state police personnel in tackling left wing extremists.

"The police has to undergo specialised commando training to tackle urban terrorism. I would request the Union Home Minister to make available at least 100 personnel including 10 trainers of the NSG to our state," he said at the Chief Ministers' conference on Internal security here.

Statistics show that in the first half of 2009, there has been a 47 per cent increase in the number of naxal related incidents in the country as a whole and 57 per cent in the number of deaths of security personnel.

Chidambaram’s surprise visit to GMC stadium

Vikram SharmaFirst Published : 17 Aug 2009 03:12:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 17 Aug 2009 03:13:34 AM IST

HYDERABAD: From the country’s financial aspects to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and safeguarding the Indian borders to the Maoist menace and internal security of the country -- he has spoken about it all, innumerable times.


But it was today that his `love’ for the game of badminton was made known to all. Union Home Minister P Chidambaram was seen discussing, at length, nuances of badminton including the volleys and smashes, that too for full five hours! But the `smash’ he himself delivered after his New Delhi office `orally’ communicated about his `secret’ visit to the GMC Balayogi stadium only to the State Intelligence wing was one aspect which took the Cyberabad police, including the senior officials there by sheer surprise.

Top sources disclosed to Express that though a battery of security personnel from the Intelligence Security Wing (ISW) were drafted to `cover’ the Home Minister (as per the usual security drill) and even the convoy of bullet proof cars in place for the high profile visitor ever since he arrived by an Indian Airlines flight at 12.10 p.m., the Cyberabad police did not have the faintest idea that none other than the Union Home Minister was to visit the stadium. Unconfirmed reports suggested that before going to the stadium, he attended an engagement function.

``His office in New Delhi had informed us that it was a private visit and unofficial. We were asked not to disclose the details of his visit even to the local police.

Simultaneously, we were making all the arrangements,’’ a senior police official who was in the know of the Home Minister’s visit told Express.

He said that his office had clearly instructed the State police that he intended to have a first hand feel of the security arrangements and watch the game without any `usual hungama’.

``He arrived into the stadium at 2 p.m, when the game started and discussed the nuances of the game. He discussed smashes, volleys and got excited just like any other visitor when a player delivered a smash. He did not mention anything about security aspects and was completely focussed on the game without any disturbance,’’ a source present at the stadium said. Even some MLAs present there just greeted him and left Chidambaram `alone’ to watch the game.

``It was only after he came inside the venue that we knew he was here. We made enquiries and later learnt that his office had also insisted that besides the security officials, the local police (Cyberabad) should not be informed about his visit,’’ a Cyberabad police official said.

Chidambaram left the stadium at 7 p.m. and drove straight to Shamshabad airport and boarded a Jet airways flight back to Delhi.

For his departure though, the Cyberabad police were present in large numbers escorting his convoy to the airport.

Maoists pronounce 'death sentence' for SP, two cops in Orissa

PTI 17 August 2009, 04:53pm IST


BHUBANESWAR: Peeved over killing, arrest and surrender of their members in Orissa's Rayagada district, the outlawed CPI (Maoist) has pronounced
"death sentence" for the Superintendent of Police (SP) and two other policemen engaged in anti-naxal operations, official sources said on Monday.

A seven-page letter signed by one Azad, self-styled secretary of Bansadhara Divisional Committee (BDC), sent to the local Press Club last night, accused district SP Asish Kumar Singh of launching a campaign against Maoists by staging "fake" surrenders.

Confirming receipt of the letter from the Maoists, DIG, south-western range, Sanjeev Panda said, "The ultras resorted to the move as they are frustrated".

"The letter is an indication of their organization weakening in the area," the DIG said over phone claiming that at least seven Maoist cadres surrendered and 30 of them were arrested by the police in Rayagada during last three months.

This apart, the killing of three women armed cadre in an encounter with security personnel last week in Rayagada had also come as a blow to the outfit, a senior police official said.

"The SP is held responsible for making false claim that some Maoists surrendered before police," the letter said, adding that innocent people were being harassed by police on the pretext of their alleged link with red rebels.

Maha seeks Rs 500 cr to fight terrorism, Naxalism

Published: August 17,2009


Maha seeks Rs 500 cr to fight terrorism, Naxalism New Delhi

Facing a threat from both urban and Naxal terrorism, Maharashtra today demanded over Rs 500 crore from the Centre for projects to strengthen and upgrade its capabilities to fight the menace.

" Maharashtra is under threat from urban terrorism on the west and Left wing terrorism on the East" Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said while addressing the Conference of Chief Ministers on Internal Security here. Listing his various demands, Chavan sought Rs 100 crores for upgrading and setting up training institutions such as anti-naxal training academy Alpha Hawks at Nagpur and Urban terrorism Institute at Pune.

Demanding choppers for carrying out aerial surveillance, he said,"given the length of the coastline, two helicopters having day and night flying capability may be provided to us for conducting aerial patrolling".

Seeking approval of Rs two crores for strengthening and equipping the Maharashtra Intelligence Academy at Pune and another Rs 23 crore for strengthening the State Intelligence set-up, Chavan demanded committed funding by the Centre for a five-year project to improve the Police Population ration in Maharashtra and grants for maintenance and replacement for equipment purchased under Modernisation of Police Forces programme for 10 more years.

Reminding the Home Minister of his promise to provide special additional grants under MPF to his state, he said," When a proposal of Rs 585 crores for the year 2009-10 was sent to the Ministry, it was reduced to Rs 175.02 crores I would request the Home Minister to make a special allocation, as promised, under the MPF.


Source: PTI

India to recruit 150,000 police: Home Minister

17 Aug 2009, 1955 hrs IST, AGENCIES

NEW DELHI: The Home minister said on Monday it would recruit 150,000 low-ranking police officers across the country by next March to boost a
depleted and overstretched force.

"We need to recruit 150,000 in the states. There is no substitute for putting men and women on the road," said Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram.

He urged India's state governments to take responsiblity for police recruitment and admitted that the central government did not "have the capacity to set up training schools" immediately.

The minister was speaking after a summit on internal security attended by state chief ministers.

Human rights groups have accused Indian police of using strong-arm tactics and violating the law to make up for a lack of proper training and outdated equipment.

A recent report by Human Rights Watched urged the government to undertake massive police reforms to improve public confidence in law enforcement authorities.

Chidambaram said police reforms "have not received the attention they deserve," and said part of the reason was lack of allocation of funds.

He added that a scheme aimed at modernizing the police force, which was due to end in 2010, would likely be extended for another five to 10 years.

Terrorism, insurgency, naxalism poses threat to internal security: Chidambaram

17 Aug 2009, 1522 hrs IST, AGENCIES


NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram cautioned states against losing focus about internal security, saying the nation continues to face
challenges from terrorism, insurgency and naxalism.

Chidambaram was addressing chief minister’s conference on internal security here on Monday.

Describing the police as a crucial instrument in tackling threats to internal security, Chidambaram urged chief ministers to speedily implement the modernization of police forces and fulfill the demands of the forces.

It was the police, which has paid the heaviest price in fighting off these threats, he noted.

Expressing concern over vacant police posts across the country, Chidambaram asked state governments to take necessary steps to recruit personnel, as the situation was alarming.

Noting that there was no major terror strike in the country after 26/11, Chidambaram credited better intelligence for the improved situation.

He cautioned that the threat of terrorism has not vanished completely.

He also mooted a plan to create a separate cadre for the intelligence services and appreciated the creation of a Quick Response Team (QRT) in most cities to tackle the terror threat.

Chidambaram made it clear that there was no illusion over the threat posed by naxals to the country, and added that the Union Government is serious about tackling the left- wing extremism.

Commenting about the insurgency situation in the country Chidambaram said while militancy was on the decline in Jammu and Kashmir, the situation in the north-east continues to remain volatile. (ANI)

Government to set up Regional Intelligence Centres: Chidambaram

New Delhi, Aug 17 (ANI): Union Home Minister P.Chidambaram on Monday said the Central Government is considering to set up Regional Intelligence Centres (RIC) to train personnel in intelligence gathering and analysis.

Chidambaram was addressing at the daylong chief ministers’ conference on internal security in the national capital on Monday.

“While some States have set up a separate intelligence cadre, there are inadequate training facilities for intelligence gathering and intelligence analysis. The Central Government may consider setting up Regional Intelligence Centres to train State intelligence personnel in intelligence gathering and intelligence analysis,” Chidambaram said.

Chidambaram informed that only 12 State Governments and Union Territories had sent their responses to the questionnaire sent by the Union Home Ministry asking about the preparation of the states for this conference.

He asked the others States to respond quickly so that the Centre could facilitate the formulation of policy, the allocation of funds and the monitoring of progress to strengthen the internal security system.

The Home Minister said to quicken the procurement of weapon, the Central Government might consider central procurement of weapons on behalf of the States.

He expressed concern over the large scale vacant positions in all ranks of the police forces and asked the states to speed up the recruitment process.

Chidambaram appealed to the chief ministers to find a more effective instrument to expedite the infrastructure building programmes, both in border areas as well as in naxal affected areas.

Noting the communal situation in the States, Chidambaram said, “…there is a vast improvement in the situation. There are still pockets of strife and disharmony. If numbers can tell a story or at least point to trends, it appears, that five States are rather sensitive. I intend to write to the Chief Ministers of these five States and request them to pay special attention to this matter.”

Chidambaram stressed on reviewing and improving the surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy for the naxals and terrorists so as to make it more lucrative than it presently is.

Chidambaram said, the Centre might consider imparting territorial army training for a period of four months to fishermen during the off season and these trained fishermen could be kept as reserve and summoned if the need arises.

“Since the supply of high speed interceptor boats from the two ship building yards is limited, the Central Government may consider importing such boats,” Chidambaram said.

Chidambaram asked the states to strengthen the security in the places of historical importance, heritage sites, places of religious worship, and iconic establishments.

He said the executive orders are as effective and enforceable as legislation as long as they do not interfere with the fundamental rights of any person.

Chidambaram urged the states to form Police Establishment Board so as to have a better coordination with the forces. “I urge States that have not yet established a Police Establishment Board to do so immediately. The Board will, in no way, diminish the authority of the Chief Minister or the Home Minister. On the contrary, it will greatly help the Chief Minister and the Home Minister in conveying the message of fairness and non-discrimination, and they can always intervene in exceptional situations,”Chidambaram said. (ANI)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Maoists hoist black flags

VISAKHAPATNAM: The CPI (Maoist) hoisted black flags in several villages in the area which it has declared as a “liberated zone” in the past, in protest against the 63rd Independence Day on Saturday.

According to reports reaching here, black flags were hoisted in 200 to 250 interior villages on either side of Andhra Pradesh border with Orissa, including Chintapalli, GK Veedhi, Munchingput and G. Madugula mandals of Visakhapatnam district, Y. Ramavaram and Maredumilli mandals of East Godavari and adjoining districts in Orissa.

This area was declared by the Maoist party, than People's War Group, as a liberated zone during 2002 and 2003. Also, it is for the first time after 2003 that black flags were hoisted in such a large number of villages.

Meanwhile, there was speculation that Modem Balakrishna alias Bhaskar, member of Maoists’ Andhra Orissa Border State Committee and Chamala Krishna Murthy alias Daya who is Srikakulam division secretary of CPI (Maoist) and four others were missing since the August 12 encounter near Ramannaguda encounter in Rayagada district of Orissa in which three woman naxalites were killed.

They are yet to be traced by the police.

Keywords: maoist, independence day, black flag

Maoists hamper development’

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said on Saturday that terrorism, Maoist activities and irresponsible politics were hampering West Bengal’s development.

In his Independence Day address here, Mr. Bhattacharjee said that in Darjeeling, separatist forces were coming in the way of the region’s progress. “The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha was blocking a development plan for the hilly region.”

The Chief Minister also spoke of the drought situation in the country saying the State government was taking steps to help farmers. He hoisted the national flag in front of the Secretariat.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee observed a ‘Freedom at Midnight’ programme, unfurling the tricolour at a major city intersection close to her residence in South Kolkata. “This has been her routine for the last few years,” said Mukul Roy, Union Minister of State for Shipping.

Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi visited ‘Gandhi Ghat’ in Barackpore in North 24 Parganas district. He also went to Haidar-e-Manzil, the house on the city’s eastern side, where Gandhiji sat in a 73-hour-fast to stop communal riots in August 1947. The Governor placed wreaths at the statue of the Father of the Nation in central Kolkata. At the Aurobindo Bhavan, he placed a wreath at Sri Aurobindo’s statue to mark the birth anniversary of the revolutionary.

The Kolkata District Left Front, under the leadership of Biman Bose, formed a human chain to ‘protect and uphold democracy.’

The city witnessed subdued celebrations as an overcast sky, intermittent showers, the scourge of swine flu and a security threat to the city confined people indoors.

Hosts tea

A tea meet hosted by the Governor in the evening at the Raj Bhavan was attended by Mr. Bhattacharjee; the former Chief Minister, Siddhartha Shankar Ray; and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Partha Chatterjee, among others. Ms. Banerjee did not participate in the the meeting where the Chief Minister and Mr. Chatterjee exchanged courtesies, Raj Bhavan officials said.

Maoist violence, coastal security to top chief ministers’ meet

New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has convened an internal security meeting of chief ministers here Monday, with a concerted strategy to defeat Maoist rebels, the state of coastal security, border management and modernisation of police forces top on the agenda.
The meeting, a follow-up to a similar assembly held in January, is expected to review the steps taken by states for improving both technical and human intelligence, procurement of arms and ammunition, and filling up of vacancies in forces.

The home ministry has already drawn up an elaborate counter-offensive operation in Maoist strongholds across central India where 26,000 personnel drawn from the Central Reserve Police Force, the Border Security Force, and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police will be involved.

The upcoming offensive against the Maoists in seven affected states is timed for a launch in October and the objective is to secure the Maoist belts and then govern.

Manmohan Singh has described Left extremism as the country’s biggest internal security challenge and also made a mention in his Independence Day address that the government would “redouble its efforts” to contain the rebels.

The rebels hold sway in nearly 170 districts of the country in varying degrees. Already, the country has witnessed 1,128 incidents of Maoist-related violence till June 30 that has left 455 civilians and security forces dead.

The government is also said to be keen on state governments strictly following guidelines on the security of places of worship, historical monuments, iconic buildings, rail and transport links and hotels.

Guidelines have already been circulated to the state governments and Home Minister P. Chidambaram is likely to stress on deadlines for implementing these and preparing model laws.

Home ministry officials said discussions will also focus on the scheme of community policing and statutory provisions in State Police Acts to facilitate it.

“Any discussion about the internal security in India has to essentially deal with policing. In this context, the idea of effective community policing will be talked about,” said a senior official.

The meeting will also focus on operational preparedness of Quick Response Teams, strengthening of state Special Branches and intelligence wings and steps to tackle the fake currency menace.

Issues of coastal security including operationalisation of new interceptor boats will also be discussed.

A separate session has been earmarked for discussion on issues related to Leftwing extremism where chief ministers from the seven affected states will interact with Chidambaram. The states are Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Bihar and West Bengal.

Amid spilt blood: A steady voice

HARSH MANDER


The gentle determined efforts of a citizen's enterprise trying to end the nexus of state and naxal violence continues to be ignored.



CEASELESS CONFLICT: Naxalites undergoing training


Large swathes of central India are today convulsed in unending cycles of brutal blood-letting, alternately by state authorities and radical left militant formations. A movement that started in Naxalbari in West Bengal four decades back has today penetrated vast impoverished forested regions - but also some more prosperous agricultural tracts - in 125 districts spread across 12 states.

The movement and its repression by the State have engulfed the lives of millions of people in the daily routinisation of brutal violence: of horrific killings, either at the hands of the police or armed cadres of Naxalites, who are usually organised into squads or dalams. People die every other day in police `encounters', assaults on police stations, reprisals, explosions, and murders of alleged informers. In 2006 alone, for instance, the government reported 1509 incidents of violence, in which 272 alleged Naxalites were killed, as were 157 policemen. In addition 521 civilians were eradicated, ordinary people entrapped helplessly in this incessant crossfire.


Climate of fear

The large majority of people whose lives are taken belong to indigent Dalit and tribal communities, and include many idealistic youth and some women. Many policemen killed are also young men, often from dispossessed communities, who have joined the security forces in search of livelihood and protection. The climate of fear is stoked further by State detention for long years of hundreds under terror laws. In addition in the Salwa Judum in Chhatisgarh, government arms tribal people to combat the armed might of the militants, in a kind of out-sourcing of dangerous policing to ordinary tribes-people, recklessly creating a civil war situation.

This ever-spiralling decline into ceaseless bloodshed is even more precipitous today with highly disturbing news reports that some governments are planning a military offensive `to the finish' this winter to crush the Naxalite insurgency, inspired by the military destruction of the LTTE in Sri Lanka. The governments wantonly ignore the lessons of history, of the futility of attempting to crush through the force of the State, struggles that arise from massive historical injustice; and the cataclysmic toll such an enterprise would take of human life and suffering. Meanwhile Naxalites continue powerful daring assaults on the police, targeting even senior officials.

Both sides would do well to heed instead a citizens' enterprise of great ethical significance which was undertaken to attempt to end these cycles of violence and suffering, and to restore the right of peaceful and normal living of common people. A group of citizens of undisputed high moral standing came together in early 1997, convened by S.R. Sankaran, a retired IAS officer who is universally respected for his contributions towards social justice for marginalised people, his personal integrity, humanity and the austerity of his lifestyle. The committee included Kannabiran, President of the People's Union of Civil Liberties, human rights' scholar Hargopal, and others. The committee they constituted expressed its opposition both to state impunity, and to what it described as the impunity of a revolutionary political movement which claims that its struggle is to provide an alternative and just system.

Unnoticed by much of the country, it doggedly persisted for more than nine years to try to restore peace and justice to the troubled districts of Telangana. Their efforts failed ultimately to bring lasting peace. But the process of dialogue with both the state and militants carries important ethical lessons, because the committee unusually applied the same democratic and moral principles in evaluating acts of violence by the State and by revolutionary parties.

The committee was unequivocal, firstly, in its condemnation of the killing of alleged Naxalites by the police in encounters, which it described as `targeted extralegal executions'. It documented unambiguously how the police have developed the `habit' of picking up people from their homes and public places and shooting them dead, sometimes in the vicinity of their own villages. It maintained that the State has shifted its political burden to the police, encouraging them to indulge in what are euphemistically described as `encounters'. These are custodial and targeted killings, extinguishing human life and the right to life itself. These encounter killings are not isolated aberrations or unintended transgressions of law by individual police personnel, but a deliberate systemic response of the State. The governments, particularly the police, believe that in case of encounters - irrespective of the law of the land - there need not be any independent investigation. These encounters `introduce terror as a component of governance and erode its very democratic essence'.

The committee is equally scathing in its condemnation of Naxalite violence, which unleashes indiscriminate violence and terror upon people `rather than on the mobilisation of people for social transformation'. Its strategies include physical liquidation of people, attacks on police stations and targeted killing of police personnel, killing of socalled informers and `coverts', exploding of landmines resulting in large scale deaths, destruction of public property and other forms of arbitrary actions including death threats, or even a `ban' on political parties.

These arbitrary and violent actions of Naxalite parties are seen to contribute to `further brutalise the society and lead to the shrinkage of democratic space'. Often, in public perception, the Naxalite movement has come to essentially connote a confrontation between the police and the Naxalites, each having its agenda of violence. `There is a general public feeling that people are sandwiched between Naxalites and police apparatus.'


Responses

The Naxalite groups have responded in writing to appeals issued from time to time by the committee, in fact with far more seriousness than the government. The CPI(ML) People's War declared, for instance, in a letter in Telegu to the committee, that `extremism (democratic struggles of the people) is inevitable in a situation of inadequately addressed social and economic problems'. They felt the committee wrongly equated police violence with Naxalite violence, and `isolated cruelty and violence from people's struggle'. They added: `It is the birth right of people to resist by legal or illegal means, peacefully or by arms, violence and atrocities on people, cruel exploitation of workers, peasants, students, intellectuals, women, minorities, dalit and adivasis by oppressive landlords, big capitalists, high officials, imperialists'. They admitted to what they described as `mistakes' causing suffering to ordinary people, but apologised to the people, and claimed to `correct immediately' these `unintentional mistakes' whenever they occurred.

To the government, the sane advice of the committee is that social peace can be restored and sustained only if justice and dignity is ensured for every person. The State must address the structural violence built into the societal system in regions torn by militancy such as inequality, exploitation and lack of freedom or democratic space. They must strive to strike at the root causes of violent unrest, including deprivation and assaults on land, human dignity, wages, employment, repression and harassment, particularly `encounters' and detention under terror laws.

The committee's humane and impartial pleas to both governments and militants to abjure violence are tragically lost in a wilderness of decades of mutually reinforcing violence. The government continues to act as `the prosecutor, the judge and the executioner' all rolled into one, continuing `extra-judicial killings with impunity'. In so doing, the State itself extinguishes the right to life, and from this there is no recompense. The Naxalites on their part continue to resort to military violence rather than mobilising oppressed masses to resist injustice, and they `attach no sanctity to human life'.

Today there seem none who is willing to heed the gentle and courageous counsel of this citizens' group. Their steady voice has been a lonely one in the brutalised cacophony and tumult of violence in these regions, and their respective supporters nation-wide. The impoverished people in large forested parts of central India seem condemned to continue to negotiate life amidst blood that is spilt everyday.

IRP battalions get pre-induction training in J-K

Jammu, Aug 16 (PTI) Ahead of the withdrawal of CRPF battalions from Jammu and Kashmir, two battalions of Indian Reserve Police (IRP) from Punjab and Haryana are getting "pre-induction" training, including on human rights, to adapt to the conditions in the state, a senior police officer said.

"Two battalions of IRP from Punjab and Haryana have come to the state to replace Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Kathua and Jammu districts," he told PTI.

They are undergoing pre-induction training at Police Training school (PTC) in Kathua, he said.

The shifting of the CRPF is part of Centre's plan to move out at least 23 battalions of paramilitary forces from the state and deploy them in Naxal-hit areas.

These includes 16 battalions of the CRPF -- 10 from Kashmir valley and six from other areas in Jammu--, five of Border Security Force and two of Indo-Tibetan Border Police.

Govt in final preparation stages of offensive against Naxals

Agencies Posted online: Sunday , Aug 16, 2009 at 1225 hrs

New Delhi : The Government is in the final stages of preparation for the launch of its "surgical" offensive against the Naxals, for which specialised training will be imparted to BSF and ITBP personnel soon. "Specialised training for BSF and ITBP personnel will begin soon. The focus would be on surgical operations and better intelligence," sources in the home ministry said.

"The already trained men will have to undergo further training which includes topography familiarisation, besides, more gruelling on guerrilla warfare and courses on improvised explosive devices, which cause maximum casualty to the forces in Naxal areas," they said.

So far, CRPF is the only main Central force along with the police forces from the affected states fighting against the menace. While the BSF had dealt with Naxals long ago, it would be for the first time that ITBP personnel would be facing the Left-wing extremists.

The home ministry sources said five battalions (5,000 personnel) of the BSF and four battalions of the ITBP have been shortlisted for the new offensive against the Naxals, which they believe will be a long-drawn fight against Left-wing extremism.

However, the sources did not indicate the time for the launch of the offensive. Government has earmarked an additional 24 battalions of the central paramilitary forces which includes some from the CRPF. The additional CRPF battalions, the sources said, would be made available by tactical withdrawal of its personnel from areas other than those which are Naxal infested.

The Centre's offensive against the Naxals would not just be purely militarily but would also involve its civil arms to work for the welfare of the people, the sources said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his address to the nation on the 63ed Independence Day, had said the Centre will "redouble its efforts to deal with Naxalite activities." "We will also do more to ensure better coordination among

states," he added. Slamming Maoist violence, Singh said, "Those who think that they can seize power by recourse to the gun do not understand the strength of our democracy."

On August 17, the Prime Minister will chair a meeting of chief ministers organised by the Union Home Ministry on internal security where Naxalism would be one of the primary issues. Later, a meeting is also scheduled between Home minister P Chidambaram and chief ministers of the seven most Naxal-infested states -- Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra – to discuss the new strategy.

Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrashekhar had in June visited Jharkhand along with about 12 secretaries of various central ministries and held a series of meetings besides visiting a number of affected areas. Sources said as per the plan, there would be coordinated offensives against the Naxals which would be led by the newly

set up elite force CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action).

After the forces would push the Naxals back and reclaim the areas, other paramilitary force personnel will take over and various ministries will then initiate development work.

Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrashekhar had in June visited Jharkhand along with about 12 secretaries of various central ministries and held a series of meetings besides visiting a number of affected areas. Sources said as per the plan, there would be coordinated offensives against the Naxals which would be led by the newly set up elite force CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action).

After the forces would push the Naxals back and reclaim the areas, other paramilitary force personnel will take over and various ministries will then initiate development work.

Prime Minister to inaugurate Conference of Chief Ministers on Internal Security tomorrow

A Conference of Chief Ministers on Internal Security will be held here tomorrow. The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the Conference which will assess the levels of preparedness to meet terrorism and other internal security challenges.

The Conference will review the steps taken in order to enhance the capability of security forces to meet internal security challenges as also the preparedness to meet any terrorist threats or attacks. The Conference will focus on operational preparedness of Quick Response Teams, strengthening of State Special Branches and Intelligence Wings, steps to tackle the fake currency menace, development of guidelines for security of places with large footfalls, police reforms and better police-community interaction besides issues of border management. Issues of coastal security including operationalisation of new interceptor boats will also be discussed.

A separate session has been earmarked for discussion on issues related to left wing extremism where Chief Ministers from seven naxal-affected States will interact with the Union Home Minister. The States are Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Bihar and West Bengal.

The day-long meeting will also take stock of implementation of the decisions taken at the Chief Ministers’ Conference held on 6th January this year.


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Bonda tribe policeman gets gallantry award

Bhubaneswar, Aug 16 (IANS) A police man from the primitive Bonda tribe in Orissa has been awarded a gallantry award by the government for his role in fighting Maoist rebels.
Constable Shiv Sankar Nayak of the Bonda tribe, who still live deep in the forests and whose women do not cover their bosom, was awarded the President’s Gallantry Award by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Saturday.

“I have been awarded for my role in a anti-Naxal (Maoist) operation in Feb 12, 2007, at Malegeta and Baligeta jungles in Naxal-infested Malkanagiri district. I was working as a scout of the team and showed the way from the front,” Shiv Sankar Naik told IANS.

“I am happy to be awarded with the gallantry award. It is a dream come true for me to join the police force as hardly anybody from my community prefers to come to mainstream. And I am happy to perform my duty for the state, and helping in weeding out Naxal menace in the state,” he said.

Nayak was recruited into the Orissa police in special drive in the tribal districts.

The government has set up a Bonda Development Authority (BDA) to bring the tribesmen into the mainstream. The group has maintained its distinct identity despite repeated efforts by the government.

Roy appointed as Maharashtra ACB chief

Mumbai, Aug 16 (PTI) Senior IPS officer A N Roy has been appointed as chief of the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB). The post was lying vacant following S Chakravarty's retirement this June.

Roy was awaiting posting since he returned from leave after a High Court ruling led to his exit as state police chief.

Senior IPS officers Himanshu Roy, S Ramanand and Ashutosh Dumbre have also been transferred, ministry sources said here.

Himanshu Roy, Additional Commissioner of Police (South region) will be the new Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order).

The 1988 batch officer replaces K L Prasad, who has been appointed Commissioner of the State Intelligence Department.

Ramanand, additional Commissioner of Police (Special Branch), has been put in charge of anti-naxalite operations.

The state government has stepped up anti-naxal operations in Gadchiroli, Chandrapur and Nagpur.