Friday, December 04, 2009

Two naxals arrested, another found dead in UP

Lucknow, Dec 4 (PTI) Two naxalites were arrested while another was found dead by the police in Kon forest area of Sonebhadra district, Home Department sources said here.

Rakesh Mishra and Amarnath Khushwaha, who allegedly killed another naxalite Ram Briksha Kol, were arrested yesterday by the police team after an encounter in Kon area, Additional Director General (Law and Order) A K Jain told reporters here.

The body of Kol, who was carrying a reward of Rs 50 thousand was also recovered from the jungle, he added.

A self-loading rifle, a walkie-talkie, a number of cartridges of different bores were recovered from their possession, Jain said.

Jharkhand Campaign for 3rd phase intensifies

Published on : Friday 04 Dec 2009 16:17 - by ANI


Ranchi, Dec 4 - ANI: In Jharkhand, the leaders of the various political parties are leaving no stones unturned in wooing the voters for the third phase of the State elections.

The polling in this phase will be held in 11 constituencies on December 8.

RJD President Lalu Prasad Yadav, BJP President Rajnath Singh, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha Chief Shibu Soren, Janata Dal United leader Nitish Kumar and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha leader Babu Lal Marandi are addressing a series of meetings throughout the state to grab the attention of the voters.

The leaders are blaming each other as the battle draws closer, garnering support for their party candidate.

Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi also arrived here today to campaign for the remaining three phases of the Jharkhand assembly polls.

Rahul Gandhi was received by Union Food Processing Industries Minister Subodh Kant Sahay, Congress in-charge of Jharkhand K Kesavrao and other senior leaders at the Birsa Munda Airport here.

Rahul is scheduled to address rallies in Bermo, Latehar, Ghaghra in Bishunpur, and Simdega. He had visited the State before the first phase of polling.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to address rallies here on December 8. According to sources, despite tight security, violence continues unabated in the state. Polls for 26 Assembly seats were held on November 25 and 14 Assembly were held on December 2.

In third phase, elections will be held for seven seats, while 14 and 15 constituencies respectively will go for election in the fourth and the fifth phases.

Counting of votes will be held on December 23.

The Election Commission has deployed Central Police Forces (CPF) and the State Armed Police (SAP) drawn from other states for the Jharkhand polls, as it is one of the States most prone to Naxal violence. - ANI

Thursday, December 03, 2009

After Salt Lake posters, top cop admits to rise in Maoist activity

TNN 4 December 2009, 01:16am IST
KOLKATA: Director general of state police Bhupinder Singh on Thursday conceded that the Maoist menace had raised manifold in West Bengal in the last
ten years.

This is evident from the fact that the Maoists put up posters in a posh Salt Lake locality on Tuesday evening, which was the first day of the Peoples' Liberation Guerrilla Army's "raising week".

In the posters, they appealed to citizens to protest the price hike of essential commodities. They also demanded trial of both Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Mamata Banerjee in front a people's court and slammed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union home minister P Chidambaram alike for their "oppressive tactics" against their "mass movement".

Handwritten Maoist posters were found at the BD Market area, and the walls of adjacent the Bidhan Nagar Government school.

Body of Maoist ultra recovered from jungles

TNN 4 December 2009, 01:16am IST

VARANASI: Is the dreaded Maoist ultra Ramvriksha Kole dead?

With the recovery of a body in the jungles of Amila near Chakaria police outpost of Kone police station in Sonebhadra district on Thursday, the police were trying to find out an answer to this question. According to SP Sonebhadra Pritindar Singh, during the combing operation, the police succeeded in arresting two Maoist ultras. On their tip-off, the police recovered the body of another Maoist. The arrested terrorists claimed that the dead person was Ramvriksha Kole.

Singh said following the claim, efforts had been intensified to confirm the identity of the deceased. He told TOI over phone that the family members and neighbours of Kole, who hailed from Naugarh (Chandauli), had been called to ascertain the identity. He said the police would reach a conclusion only after completion of the exercise.

Kole had emerged as a major challenge for the police of Maoist-affected districts of the region in the past five-six years. He was not only active in the region as commander but his activities were also noticed in adjoining states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. The police had announced a cash award of Rs 50,000 on him.

It was suspected that Kole and another commander Munna Vishwakarma were present in the jungle of Amila on Wednesday. Following some altercation between the two groups, they indulged in firing. During the exchange of fire, Kole was killed. However, it could not become clear whether the arrested ultras belonged to Kole's group or Vishwakarma's.

Minister prod on rebel fight

SANKARSHAN THAKUR

P Chidambaram
New Delhi, Dec. 2: Union home minister P. Chidambaram sought to throw off political and civil society shackles on the anti-Maoist security offensive today, using their repeated refusal to abjure violence and negotiate to build a strong case for confronting them.

In an effort calibrated to secure a broad consensus behind him, Chidambaram told the Rajya Sabha during a short duration discussion on internal security this evening: “It is time for us, for those who represent the state and believe in the parliamentary system to take a stand. You, all of you who are part of the state and the parliamentary system must tell me what to do, how to respond... I have done what I could to talk to them, we are not at war with them, they are citizens of this country, but they don’t seem interested, they call the parliamentary system rotten, they call it a pigsty. You must now tell us what we should do.”

Underscoring the complexities of tackling the Maoist challenge, Chidambaram pleaded: “There are any number of civil society bodies that blame the government, they paint the government in bad light and say Naxalite methods have a justification. This is not true.”

Chidambaram’s tone today clearly suggests the home ministry’s anti-Maoist offensive — planned in collaboration with governments of Naxalite-affected states — hasn’t been able to get off the ground with the intended punch for lack of political endorsement.

The minister wouldn’t spell it out, but there are divisions within the Congress itself on whether the Centre should sanction a campaign to wipe out the Maoists militarily.

Top leaders like Digvijay Singh and Ajit Jogi are believed to cautioned Sonia Gandhi about the adverse political implications of opening a bloody front against the Maoists. Rahul Gandhi has hinted at a more political approach to corrections, saying the growth of Naxalism owes to lack of governance.

In articulating his helplessness Chidambaram was seeking to rebuild political support for a fight to finish.

Chidambaram quoted at length from the post-election (June 12) Maoist document on aims and intents to inform the House that the Maoist objective was to destroy the state and the system.

“They say this very clearly and repeatedly, that they will wage armed struggle, that they want the overthrow of this state, how is one to respond to this, you must tell me. I have tried to talk to them, and all the response I have got is that they will not give up violence, even temporarily.”

During the two months since Chidambaram first spoke of neutralising the armed Maoist challenge, there has been an active civil society campaign aimed at preventing armed confrontation. Other than a string of peacenik meetings and appeals to the Prime Minister, there has also been lobbying to put brakes on the offensive.

On his part, Chidambaram too has been on a propaganda overdrive, with a slew of television and print interviews in which he has posited talks to the Maoists should they agree to halt violence. Probably to lend credibility to his position, he has also spoken, lately, to civil society activists like Himanshu Kumar of Chhattisgarh, and promised to attend public hearings in Maoist strongholds like Dantewada. But meantime, his ministry has continued to make preparations for mounting an offensive on the Maoists’ jungle bases in central and eastern India.

A top officer from the home ministry is co-ordinating the anti-Naxalite operations between state-level forces and central paramilitary units, dispatched to affected states. In Chhattisgarh, for instance — where Operation Green Hunt is in low-key operation — a dedicated command and coordination centre has been set up and the first batch of paramilitary officers briefed on the offensive.

Red dens spurn boycott call

Better policing leads to 54 per cent polling
AMIT GUPTA

Voters at Rampur in Khijri on Wednesday. Picture by Manik Bose
Ranchi, Dec. 2: A wide security blanket comprising more than 40,000 state and central forces personnel, coupled with the genuine desire of people to participate in the election process, ensured a better turnout today in the second phase of voting in 14 constituencies, at least six of which are Maoist strongholds.

Barring a rebel blast in Pirtand in Giridih that killed a CISF jawan and another one that damaged a culvert in Dumri, voting was surprisingly peaceful throughout the seven districts, even though the run up to the second phase of elections saw a Maoist sponsored bandh that came with its share of violence.

The average polling recorded in the second phase was around 54.11 per cent, but poll officials cautioned the figure might change after more data came in from the remote areas.

A much relieved state chief secretary, Shiv Basant, told The Telegraph that elaborate security arrangements that included “pre-poll area domination by security forces” and the active role of the administration helped build confidence among people who ultimately came out to vote.

Defying a Maoist poll boycott call, voter turnout was high in as many as 12 constituencies. Most Naxalite-infested areas like Tamar — parts of which are under Ranchi and Khunti district — and Dumri in Giridih registered a turnout of 42 and 48 respectively.

In the remaining constituencies of Silli, Khijri, Mandar (in Ranchi district), Gomia (Bokaro), Gandey, Giridih and Dumri (Giridih), Barhi and Mandu (Hazaribagh), Barkagaon and Ramgarh (in Ramgarh district), Koderma and Khunti, polling was between 49 to 62 per cent.

Today’s turnout was better than the first phase of elections that registered 53.10 per cent polling in 26 seats that were relatively free from rebel influence. Moreover, urban centres registered abysmal polling on November 25 with Ranchi recording only 32.91 per cent, and Hatia and Kanke doing marginally better with 39.45 and 43.57 per cent respectively.

Both the urban seats of Jamshedpur also witnessed poor poll percentages. Ultimately, the seats in Santhal Pargana (Pakur alone polled over 72 per cent) helped shore up the overall figure to 53.10 per cent.

“The smooth and peaceful conduct of the second phase elections was a major concern for us but our arrangements proved to be fool-proof. Barring only one incident in Giridih, everything was OK,” said the state’s joint chief electoral officer, Ashok Kumar Sinha

Maoists set ablaze posters of JMM

Updated on Thursday, December 03, 2009, 21:40 IST Tags:maoists

Jamshedpur: Ultra outfit CPI (Maoist) have set ablaze the posters of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and blocked road between Chakulia and Sisakund in the naxal-hit Ghatsila sub-division of East Singhbhum district, police said today.


A group of Maoists blocked the road after allegedly ransacking JMM party offices last night, sub-divisional police officer Anup Birtheray said.

The ultras have removed posters and flags of the party and set it on fire. They have also pasted posters in JMM offices in support of their poll boycott call, he said.

A police team has rushed to the spot to investigate the incident, he said.

Of the six Assembly segments in the district, the remaining three assembly constituencies, Baharagora, Ghatsila and Potka (both reserved) under Ghatsila sub-division will go to polls in the fourth phase on 12th December.

Earlier, polling for the three other constituencies, Jamshedpur East and Jamshedpur West and Jugsalai was held in the first phase on 25th November.

PTI

Landmine weighing 50 kg recovered

TNN 3 December 2009, 12:05am IST

Hazaribag: Security forces on Wednesday recovered a landmine planted beneath a culvert at Zarzari village under the Bishnugarh police station of the district.

Briefing the media, deputy commissioner-cum district returning officer Vinay Kumar Choubey said that security personnel recovered the landmine weighing 50 kg while patrolling the Bishnugarh-Gomia road.

The DC said that the security personnel, who were patrolling the area on foot, heard the sound of an explosion and saw smoke billowing out of the culvert. Sensing danger, they conducted a thorough search of the culvert and found the landmine lying underneath it. A bomb squad, which accompanied the security forces, immediately deactivated the landmine, he added.

Choubey said that the security forces also recovered a pair of shoes and slippers from the spot which the Maoists had probably left behind after planting the landmine. "A major mishap seems to have been averted as polling personnel were supposed to return from the same route along with electronic voting machines (EVMs) after the commencement of polls," he added.

The DC said that an alert was sounded soon after the incident. He said that polling personnel and security forces, who were supposed to cross the Maoist-hit areas under the Bishnugarh police station of the district, were advised to move on foot as a precautionary measure. The police have launched a massive combing operation in the area, he added.

Cops on their toes to check Maoists

A Srinivas Prasad

First Published : 03 Dec 2009 04:01:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 03 Dec 2009 12:32:33 PM IST

ADILABAD: The district police are on high alert and have intensified combing operations in the forest areas of the district in view of the week-long celebrations of IXth anniversary of People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) that began Wednesday.


The district, which had once been the forte of ultras, witnessed a lull in their activity for the last four years.

And it was learnt that Maoists are putting in efforts to strengthen their cadre gradually.

For the last three months, according to sources, Maoists, through their party sympathisers and supporters, have been focusing on pulling tribal youths into their fold in several villages.

Maoists had celebrated the PLGA anniversary at their hide-outs during the last three years but this year they have decided to organise the celebrations in the tribal villages.

During their recent attack at the open cast mining project in Dorli of Tiryani mandal wherein they torched six vehicles, extremists appealed to the people, through posters, to observe the IXth anniversary of PLGA.

They also called upon the youth to join the party and serve the people. This was the first attack in the district after four years, probably taken up with inspiration from the incident at Lalgarh in West Bengal.

Maoists had attacked a camp of State and paramilitary forces at Dharampur, about 15 km from Lalgarh, despite presence of security personnel in July this year.

However, after setting ablaze the vehicles at Dorli, Maoists managed to escape deep into the forests bordering Andhra and Maharashtra.

SP Pramod Kumar has been camping in the eastern part of the district and inspecting Maoist-affected areas including Bejjur, Tiryani, Asifabad mandals for the last few days, on information that Maoists have been moving in the places.

Maoists' anniversary hits life in Chhattisgarh

2009-12-02 21:30:00


Normal life was hit hard in the interiors of Chhattisgarh Wednesday, the first day of the weeklong anniversary celebrations of the People's Liberation of Guerilla Army (PLGA), the military wing of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist).

Passenger buses were off the road and shops were shut in Rajnandgaon district bordering Maharashtra state and in the entire Bastar region comprising of five districts - Bijapur, Narayanpur, Kanker, Dantewada and Bastar - due to the fear of Maoist attack.


The state government has already sounded a high alert after police recovered a number of leaflets from Bastar, in which the rebels had asked people to observe the ninth anniversary of the PLGA Dec 2-8.


In the leaflets in Gondi language, the Maoists have also appealed to people to become members of the CPI-Maoist and get recruited as PLGA fighters.

Maoists spying on security forces

3 Dec 2009, 1152 hrs IST

Like the Indian state, Maoists too have their own well organized secret service. They call it PSS – the ‘Peoples Security Service’. TIMES NOW has exclusive access to confidential details of the Maosits spying on Indian forces and the State.

The spies are a new and critical tool in the Red Terror's deadly network, as Chattisgarh police DG Vishwa Ranjan explains. “Any underground movement will have to establish an intelligence unit for its own survival,” he says.

Accordingly the PSS’s mission is to penetrate government intelligence. By way of proof TIMES NOW has accessed a copy of the Maoist confidential handbook revealing the workings of the People's Security Service. One line in the handbook reads: “That you cannot know yourself completely without knowing about your enemy is a reality"

DG Ranjan feels that Maoists have been using their spies “very successfully”. “I think what they have been using very successfully is their scanners which catches the frequency of police wireless,” he says.

The documents reveal among other things infiltration guidelines to penetrate and extract information from the Army, the police forces and other central agencies.

Ranjan admits that the Indian government forces have never been able to apprehend so far, “someone who at a higher echelon of their intelligence service.”

Recently however police arrested three alleged Maoist spies. But they are comparatively smaller fry in the pond. There could be many more and spies and at higher levels, spread through various government bodies, plotting the next Maoist assault.

Maoists exchange fire with joint forces; Landmine recovered in West Midnapore

PTI

Maoists exchanged fire with joint forces in West Midnapore district on Thursday as the latter recovered a landmine in the town during patrolling.

The joint forces during normal patrolling noticed the landmine at Malbandi under Kotwali police station area, not far from the West Midnapore headquarters this morning, a senior district police officer said.

As the planted explosive was taken out and defused, a heavy exchange of fire between the Maoists and the joint forces followed in the jungles of Bakshibandh for nearly an hour.

“There has been an exchange of fire between the Maoists and the joint forces for nearly an hour but none has been killed or injured in the fighting,” the officer said.

Maoist accused of killing 10 cops held in Bihar

by IANS on December 2, 2009

Patna, Dec 2 (IANS) A Maoist rebel was arrested Wednesday for the killings of 10 policemen in Bihar’s Nawada district February this year, police said.

Nero Ravi Das, the main accused in the policemen’s killings, is also wanted in other criminal cases.


Ten policemen, including a police station chief, were killed Feb 9 when suspected Maoist guerrillas attacked a police team visiting Mahulitand village in Nawada district.


The state government had announced a compensation of Rs.2 million each for the families of the policemen killed in that Maoist attack.

Eight Maoists held in Bihar

PTI Thursday, December 3, 2009 16:03 IST

Aurangabad (Bihar): Eight Naxalites of the Communist Party of India - Maoist [CPI (Maoist)] were arrested today by the police from Bahuriabarma village in Aurangabad district,police said.


Acting on information that the Maoists had assembled at the village, a police team raided the area and caught them, they said.

The Naxalites were identified as Nawal Yadav, Kamal Chandel, Kamlesh Chandravanshi, Awadh Prasad Mahto, Bindeshwar Paswan, Ramdayal Sao, Vinay Yadav and Sanjay Mishra. The arrested ultras were wanted in connection with several criminal offences.

Rehabilitation of families of Jawans killed in naxl attacks

RAJYA SABHA



According to available information, the number of Security Forces (Police and Paramilitary force) that had to lose their lives in naxalite attacks during the last six months is as below:-



States Policemen killed (15the May to 23rd Nov. 2009)

Bihar 7

Chhattisgarh 74

Jharkhand 32

Maharashtra 34

Orissa 20

West Bengal 9

Total 176


Central, Government under the Security Related Expenditure Scheme provides ex-gratia payment of Rs. 3 lakhs to the family of security personnel killed during naxalite attack.



The Central Government assists efforts of the State Governments to deal with naxalites in the States. These include deployment of Central paramilitary forces (CPMFs); sanction of India Reserve (IR) battalions, modernization and uprgadation of the State Police and their intelligence apparatus under the Scheme for Modernization of State Police Forces (MPF Scheme); re-imbursement of security Related Expenditure under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme; assistance in training of State Police through Ministry of Defence, Central Police Organizations and Bureau of Police Research and Development; sharing of intelligence and assistance in development works through a range of schemes of different Central Ministries.



This was stated by Shri Ajay Maken, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs , in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.

India foils 12 terror attacks, says Chidambaram

2009-12-02 20:30:00
Last Updated: 2009-12-02 21:56:31


New Delhi: India foiled a dozen terror attacks in the last one year but it cannot afford to lower its guard as Pakistan has not changed its approach, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said on Wednesday.

'There has been no terror attack in the last one year and two days. In fact, we have foiled a dozen terror attacks,' he said while replying to a short duration discussion in the Rajya Sabha on the internal security situation.


'Against Pakistan, we have built capacity but we remain vulnerable as our adversary has not changed his approach,' the minister said. 'You will note that I have used the word adversary and not enemy.'


Chidambaram had referred to Pakistan during question hour too, saying the sub-continental peace process would not be resumed unless Islamabad took concrete action against the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai carnage that claimed 166 lives, including those of 26 foreigners.
Chidambaram spoke on a variety of issues including jehadi terrorism, the dangers of Hindu fundamentalism and ways to counter Maoist guerrillas.


He also offered to respond within 72 hours if the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) made a statement in the next few days offering talks with the Indian government on ending its violent insurgency in Assam.


It was the second time the country's internal security scenario featured in the house Wednesday, Chidambaram having spoken during question hour on the Maoist movement.


The debate generally went along party lines. But Rama Jois of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stunned everyone by praising the manner the defunct Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) helped restore order during the 1975-77 Emergency rule.


'Something like this is needed now,' he said.


During his half-hour reply, Chidamabaram said: '26/11 rudely shook the nation. In the last year, we have taken a number of steps (to increase preparedness). These include revamp of the intelligence agencies, sharing intelligence in real time and building the capacity and confidence of the security forces.


'The security forces have the capacity to prevent another attack. If god forbid, there is an attack, our responsive will be swift and decisive,' he said


However, his reference to countering jehadi terrorism and the variety spawned by Hindu fundamentalism drew flak from the BJP.


'There have been attempts by Hindu militants too. The investigations into a blast in Goa will reveal the mindset of that brand of people,' Chidambaram said, as BJP members were immediately on their feet shouting in protest.


'I am not blaming any community. Terrorism is inspired by religious fanatics. Therefore, it is important that all of us not only swear by secularism but also strengthen (the) secular fabric,' he contended.


On the Maoist menace, Chidambaram admitted that 'all of us are to collectively blame for being in a state of denial'. But he was critical of a section of civil society for supporting the ultras.


Detailing the steps taken in the last one year, he said the centre and the Maoist-affected states had agreed to act in coordination to control the menace.


'We are not at war with the Naxals (Maoists) or the tribals. Our only intention is to restore the civil administration and follow that up with development. We will use the security forces only to the extent of reasserting authority,' the minister contended.


At the same time, he said the government was ready for talks with the Maoists if they abjured violence.


'I have not asked them to lay down their arms because I know they will not do so. I have only asked them to abjure violence,' Chidambaram pointed out.


Speaking about terrorism in the northeast, the minister said: 'The real threat was from ULFA. Their leadership is in disarray. In the next few days, ULFA will make a political statement. We are prepared for talks if they formally abjure violence.


'I will respond within 72 hours if they do so,' Chidambaram added.


Sixteen MPs participated in the 195-minute discussion but at any one time, there were fewer than 50 members in the house.


Chidambaram was the only minister present throughout the discussion, with A.K. Antony (Defence), Vayalar Ravi (Overseas Indian Affairs) and Mallikarjun Kharge (Labour) intermittently keeping him company.

‘India as vulnerable to terror as before’

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times

First Published: 21:00 IST(2/12/2009)
Last Updated: 00:08 IST(3/12/2009)

Some terror groups operating in India may have linked up with al Qaeda, home minister P. Chidambaram told Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

The home minister said India remained vulnerable to terror strikes with jihadi groups coordinating their actions.

Replying to a discussion on internal security, he said, “We are as vulnerable (to terror) today as we were a few months ago. I say this with a sense of responsibility. The adversary has not changed its approach towards India.”

He said should there be any terror attacks, India’s response would be “swift and decisive.”

The minister said there had been no major terror attack in India after the 26/11 Mumbai strikes partly due to a revamp of the intelligence set-up, better sharing of intelligence and building confidence in security forces that they were capable of dealing with terror.

Luck, too, had a great part to play, Chidambaram said. The minister recalled asking a top US intelligence official as to why another 9/11 had not taken place. “The official said luck had been on their side. He was not being facetious. I have been reasonably lucky during the last 12 months,” he said.

More than a dozen terror attacks had been foiled during the last one year. He said religious fanaticism was the source of terror and there was no difference between terrorism inspired by jihadis or Hindu militants.

‘Minimum force against Naxals’
The minister stressed security forces would use minimum force against Naxals for reasserting authority in areas where the administration had lost control.

Allaying fears that the Centre would mount an all-out offensive against Naxals, he said, “We are not at war with Naxals or tribal people. We only want to restore civil administration and follow it up rapidly with developmental measures.”

He said India had collectively failed to assess the character of the Naxal movement, believing that it was confined to
small pockets. “We were all in a state of denial,” he said.

The minister said Naxals had expanded their area of activity and intensified their actions. He said it was time for everyone, including activists who plead the cause of Naxals, to decide whether they wanted to support democracy or the violent methods used by the Naxals.

‘Don’t create Frankensteins’
Taking part in the debate, CPM’s Sitaram Yechury accused a UPA ally of patronising Maoists. He was referring to the Trinamool Congress.

“Let us not create Frankensteins to remain in power. You already have a mandate to rule for another five years,” he said.

The BJP accused the government of rolling out the red carpet for US investigating agencies after 26/11 even though Washington had not provided access to Indian investigators in the David Headley case.

On Naxals, CPI’s D. Raja said, “We cannot treat our own people as aliens or use armed forces against them. Can you wage war against tribal people? The government should be realistic.”

Top naxal among two killed in Andhra Pradesh

K. Srinivas Reddy

Two top naxalites were shot dead in a gun battle with police in the remote Kerameri village in Adilabad district on Wednesday evening. Four weapons, an AK-47, an SLR, a sten gun and a pistol were recovered from the scene of gunfire.

Police suspect that one of the slain was Bhaskar, secretary of the Adilabad district committee of the Maoists.

Kerameri village is on the borders of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Of late Maoist presence has increased in Adilabad district which borders Gadchiroli in Maharashtra.

It was only last week, Maoist cadres attacked and burnt vehicles of Singareni Collieries Company Limited opposing the government policy of taking up open cast mining.

‘Govt ready for talks in 72 hrs if Naxals abjure violence’

TNN 3 December 2009, 03:58am IST

NEW DELHI: Days before the launch of its offensive against Maoists, Centre on Wednesday made one more pitch for dialogue with extremists, saying that it would respond within 72 hours if the ultras decide to talk after "formally abjuring violence".

Home minister P Chidambaram told the Rajya Sabha: "We are willing to hold talks with Naxal groups, facilitate their talks with state governments. But the condition is they should formally abjure violence."

Referring to his earlier offer, Chidambaram said he was asking Maoists merely to merely abjure violence without insisting that they laid down arms.

"I said abjure violence.... give me 72 hours to respond. I will consult Prime Minister and chief ministers," said the home minister, adding, "We can talk about any subject.. development, infrastructure, governance...we can talk any subject provided the Naxals abjure violence...but as long as violence persists, I see no scope for talks."

In fact, while extending the invitation, Chidambaram made a strong case for Centre's plans for an offensive against the Naxalites, asking for a strong political consensus and exhorting the civil society to stop painting the Maoists as victims and the state as the villain.

The home minister emphasized that the ultras were not in favour of abjuring violence. He, while replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha on internal security situation, said: "Their (Maoists) answer was abjuring violence is not on their agenda and they believe in armed struggle." He said if Maoists want they can contest election and come to Parliament. "They can sit on your chair," he said, pointing at Chairperson's chair.

Chidambaram said the country and Parliament have to decide whether the violence followed by the Maoists can be supported.

Quoting the CPI (Maoist) politburo resolution of June this year, the home minister said it showed that naxalites do not believe in the parliamentary system but in armed struggle and treat the state as enemy.

"I never used the word enemy to describe Naxals...we are not at war with Naxals or tribal people," he said.

"Is it not time to stand up and make a choice," Chidambaram asked members of all the parties in the Upper House.

He rapped the civil society comprising former judges, journalists, lawyers and other intellectuals for supporting the cause of naxalites.

Referring to the point made by several opposition members and also the civil society that development is the answer to the problem, the home minister said this can happen only when the civil administration is established in areas taken over by Maoists.

Earlier while replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, he said no Cabinet minister was a supporter of Naxal violence, apparently dismissing charges that railway minister Mamata Banerjee was sympathising with Maoists.

He said a group of people from West Midnapore district in West Bengal formed a group to protest against police atrocities. "One or two of my (Cabinet) colleagues visited the area in order to talk to that group to find out what their complaint was against the police," he said. Chidambaram, however, did not name the ministers.

He said the ministers had "never supported" Naxals. They are "totally against (Naxal) violence". The home minister said it was only a perception that ministers were supporting the Naxal movement.

During his reply to the debate, Chidambaram later said the Centre's priority is to coordinate with the state governments to reclaim areas under Naxal control as was done in Lalgarh in West Bengal.

Jawan killed in Naxal violence in second phase

3 Dec 2009, 0244 hrs IST, Navtan Kumar, ET Bureau

RANCHI: A CISF jawan was killed and several others injured in the second phase of polling in 14 Assembly constituencies of Jharkhand on Wednesday.
Voter turnout was 54%. The jawan, Harpal Singh, was killed in a landmine blast triggered by suspected CPI-Maoists at Pirtand in Giridih district. The blast was triggered when security personnel were patrolling the area while polling was on, a police official said. Maoists also blew up a culvert at Matiobera. Polling in other parts of the state was peaceful.

State joint chief electoral officer A K Sinha said 54% polling was recorded. There were sporadic incidents of group clashes and bogus polling, for which the police arrested 110 persons, he added.

The constituencies where polling was held on Wednesday were Tamar, Silli, Khijri, Mandar, Gomia, Gandey, Giridih, Dumri, Barhi, Barkagaon, Mandu, Ramgarh, Koderma and Khunti.

Prominent candidates, whose fate was sealed in the EVMs were Sudesh Mahto and Chandra Prakash Chaudhary (Ajsu), Sarfaraz Ahmed (Congress), Raja Peter (JD-U), Chandra Mohan Prasad (BJP) and Bandhu Tirkey (Independent).

Encounter on Maharashtra border: 3 Naxals killed

First Published : 03 Dec 2009 03:15:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 03 Dec 2009 12:29:36 PM IST

HYDERABAD: After a lull, intense exchange of fire took place between Greyhounds and Maoists in the dense forests of Adilabad, close to the Maharashtra border, which left at least three Naxalites dead on Wednesday.


The Andhra Pradesh police suspect that they could be part of the same group of rebels, which had ambushed C-60 commandos of Maharashtra at Gadchiroli killing 17 personnel.

One of the Naxals killed was said to be responsible for setting on fire seven vehicles of Singareni Colleries limited at Dorli open cast mining project. According to police sources, the exchange of fire began around 6.30 p.m as Greyhounds personnel were combing the area at Kallaygaon village in Kerameri mandal, north of Bheemangudi forests in Adilabad district. The exchange of fire took place four kilometres inside Adilabad district. The Greyhounds commandos had been combing the area for the last two days. Even as it was getting dark, the firing continued from both sides and as the police inched forward, they came across two dead bodies of extremists. Though some locals told the police about another dead body lying some two kilometres away, the police took no chances fearing it could be a trap. They will move forward only Thursday morning.

‘‘One of them has been identified as District Committee Secretary Bhaskar alias Adellu (50) while we are trying to identify the other extremist,’’ sources said.

Though sources said that the second extremist could be district committee secretary C Ravi, the police did not confirm it.

’’In all, we found 18 kit bags which means that the Maoists were moving in large numbers,’’ the sources said not ruling out the possibility of another exchange of fire as the Maoists had headed towards another area being searched by the Greyhounds.

ULFA chief nabbed

Indian government will have to rise above politics to wipe-out the menace of insurgency, naxaliam and terrorism from the country. Fallacies like non violence and offering invitation for dialogue will not work.

CALL IT cooperation or India’s rising international clout, Bangladesh a known heaven for northeast insurgents have nabbed the chairman of leading northeast insurgent group ULFA Arabinda Rajkhowa. He was later on handed over to the Indian security forces and flown to New Delhi for interrogation.

For India, nabbing northeast insurgents has always been a tough challenge, as leaders reigning these antisocial groups carry out their activities from neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Bhutan and infiltrate as and when they want. From their hideouts, they guide their cadres to indulge in looting and killing across North-East including Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura and disrupt law and order situation in the region. Further, they also lure young men and women to join them in their struggle, which is against the set norms of the country but sacred and judicious for them, like Al Qaida and Lashkar -e Taiba, they also wash minds of the youth and inculcate in them hatred against India, emotionally blackmailing them to plunge into bloody war with arms and ammunition.

Some of the other insurgent groups working in North-East with hideouts in neighbouring Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal apart from ULFA are NLFA (National Liberation Front of Arunachal Pradesh), NDFB ( National Democratic Front of Bodoland), BLTFS (Bodo Liberation Tiger Forces) UNLF (United National Liberation Front), PRA (People’s Republican Army), HRF (Hmar Revolutionary Front), ZRA (Zomi Revolutionary Army), HULA (Hajong United Liberation Army), NSCN (National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isac-Muivah), Kamtapuri Liberation Organization (KLO) and many more.

53-year-old Arabinda Rajkhowa was nabbed by Bangladesh authorities on Monday (November 30), and pushed inside Indian boundary through West Tripura, and there he was nabbed by Indian security forces. Rajkhowa’s arrest if handled properly can play a key role in dismantling the powerful empire of ULFA and through dialogue long standing issue can be resolved, paving the way for peace and prosperity across North-East.

Indian government will have to rise above politics to wipe-out the menace of insurgency, naxal and terrorism from the country. Fallacies like non violence and offering invitation for dialogue will not work; it was tough cop KPS Gill’s tit for tat strategy that worked in eradicating terrorism in Punjab, one of the worst affected States in 1990s. We need people like KPS Gill to answer mentally ill antisocial elements.

Elite Greyhounds take on Maoists in AP

3 Dec 2009, 1101 hrs IST
Andhra Pradesh's elite security force the Greyhounds have been engaged in an encounter with Maoists since Wednesday night (December 2).

Over 40 Maoists are said to be involved in the encounter in Asifabad forests in the Adilabad district. According to sources the Maoists are moving in a large group in the heavily forested areas adjoining Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Three Maoists were last reported gunned down in the encounter this morning, and till then lasted for nearly 12 hours.

Police suspect that one of the slain was Bhaskar, secretary of the Adilabad district committee of the Maoists.

Sources say that they have had a hand in killing over 60 police personnel in Gadchiroli district alone.

The operation to flush out the Maoists is expected to last for well over a week.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Talks with Maoists if they abjure violence: Chidambaram

New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) The Indian government reiterated Wednesday that it was ready to talk to Maoist guerrillas if they laid down their arms.
“There is no dialogue at the moment. I have offered talks if they abjure violence,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram said during question hour in the Rajya Sabha.

“We are prepared to talk about any subject provided they abjure violence,” he added.

Ghandy to be produced at court in Chintapalli

Special Correspondent

VISAKHAPATNAM: One of the top leaders of CPI (Maoist), Kobad Ghandy, will be produced in the First Class Magistrate’s Court at Chintapalli in the Visakha Agency area on Wednesday in connection with a case of conspiracy filed after the exchange of fire near Gunukurayi in the Visakha Agency area on May 28, 2008.

A constable and four Maoists were killed in that incident. According to information available here, Mr. Ghandy, member of the Maoist party’s politburo who was arrested in New Delhi on September 21, has been listed as one of the accused in the case registered at the G.K. Veedhi police station. Though he was not present during the incident, he was included in the case as an activist with a common objective. He is presently lodged in the Cherlapally Central Jail.

Maoists set ablaze to 2 vehicles

TNN 2 December 2009, 12:53am IST

MUNCHINGPUT (VIZAG): Maoists set ablaze to two vehicles and a chip-mixing machine engaged in a road construction work at Lakshmipuram, 35 km from

Munchigput, in the wee hours of Tuesday in protest against the alleged firing at the tribals in Pedapalli of Pedabayallu mandal on November 22.

Nine armed Maoists, including three women, were involved in the incident. The vehicles belonged to a private contractor who was building a road under the NREGS.

A tractor and a chip-mixing machine were fully damaged while the roadroller was partially damaged by the Maoists. At the time of the incident nearly 30 workers at near the site.

Maoists alleged that the police conducted fake encounters at Kotipalli of Orissa, a border village of Andhra, Annavaram in Visakha Agency and killed innocent tribals by branding them as Maoists.

Maoists behead teacher in Bengal

Agencies
Posted: Dec 02, 2009 at 1153 hrs IST


Midnapore (WB) In a barbaric incident in Midnapore on Tuesday, the Maoists beheaded a school teacher. The body of Satya Kinkar Hansda, the school teacher was found in the jungles of west Midnapore.

The Maoists had kidnapped Hansda, who lived in Sirisboni village, a few days back.

Hansda's body was found near Goaltore in Maoist infested West Midnapore district.

Hansda, who was a teacher at the Purulia Vivekananda High School, was an active member of Gana Pratirodh Committee, a rival of the Maoist-backed People's Committee against Police Atrocities.

The Maoists had earlier warned him in this regard.

Earlier in October, the Maoists had beheaded Francis Indwar, a special branch inspector of Jharkhand police and later threw his body on NH 33 that connects Patna to Jamshedpur.

ORISSA: Security beefed up for Red week

TNN 1 December 2009, 11:04pm ISTText Size:|Topics:Maoist
Koraput

KORAPUT: Security has been tightened in Malkangiri, Koraput and Rayagada districts with the Maoists observing People's Liberation Guerilla Army
(PLGA) week from December 2 to 8. The Red rebels included it in their calender after formation of PLGA on December 2, 2002.

The extremists have put up posters in different parts of Koraput and Malkangiri districts asking people to cooperate with them to make the PLGA week observation a success.

The Maoists have also opposed the Centre's proposed anti-Maoist operation. "Join PLGA and form a local militia in every village to fight against the exploitation of tribals," a poster at Kalimela in Malkangiri district read.

Malkangiri police on Monday seized a few posters from Kalimela, Chiktrakonda and Balimela areas. Police said security has been beefed up across the district. Strict vigil is kept along Malkangiri's boundary with Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to ensure that Maoists do not get a chance to enter the district.

"Additional security arrangements have been made in some of the sensitive areas. Police is kept on high alert and ready to face any eventuality. Though the situation is under control, we can't be complacent," SP (Malkangiri) Satya Brata Bhoi said. The Maoist celebrations comes close on the heels of the arrest of 15 rebels and recovery of a huge cache of arms and Maoist belongings from a village in Koraput district on Saturday.

The panic is understandable given that the police have launched a massive operation against the Maoist-backed Chasi Muliya Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) in Narayanpatna area of Koraput district.

Police have arrested 57 CMAS activists and a backlash from the pro-rebel outfit can't be ruled out. "Sufficient securitymen have been deployed to thawrt any Red attack," SP (Koraput) Deepak Kumar said.

Meanwhile, police have appealed to people not to confuse PLGA week with a bandh call. "Apprehending an attack, people may avoid coming out of their homes and vehicles may stop plying in the Maoist-dominated areas during PLGA week. We have asked the people not to confuse this with a bandh call," a senior police officer said here on Tuesday.

JMM leader killed, jawan hurt in firing

TNN 2 December 2009, 02:55am IST

MIDNAPORE: The body of a Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader was recovered from Kadasole jungle on Tuesday even as the five-day PCPA-sponsored bandh
started in Jangalmahal. In another incident, a jawan sustained bullet injuries in a shootout between the joint forces and Maoists in Salboni.

Suspected Maoists abducted and gunned down JMM leader Satya Hansda (38) from Shirisboni in Goaltore on Monday night. Police recovered his body on Tuesday morning. Hours later, a little after noon, there was an hour-long exchange of fire between the Maoists and joint forces near Pirrakhuli jungle. The forces were on patrolling duty when the shootout began. BSF jawan Chandrik Singh was injured in the firing.

Maoist leader Bikash said: "Hansda was a Gana Pratirodh Committee leader who was hand-in-glove with CPM. People decided to punish Hansda and we executed it."

SP Manoj Verma said: "We suspect Maoists gunned down Hansda. In the other incident, we admitted the injured jawan to Midnapore Medical College and Hospital."

Jharkhand polls: Policeman killed in blast

Posted: Wednesday, Dec 02, 2009 at 1028 hrs
Ranchi:

A policeman was on Wednesday killed in a landmine blast triggered by Maoists in Giridh district of Jharkhand where nine per cent turnout was recorded in the initial hours of voting in the second phase of polls for 14 Assembly seats.



Maoists triggered the landmine at Teliabahiar in Jharkhand's Giridih district when policemen were on a foot patrol, Deputy Commissioner, Vandana Dadil, said.



The polling process in three assembly segments in Giridih district, however, was unaffected by the blast. In a separate incident in Giridih, the Maoists blew up a culvert at Matiobera.



Long queues were witnessed in Khunti district while women outnumbered the men at Hutar, Kalamati and Dungra.



"We are voting for development, particularly electricity, drinking water and irrigation," one of the voters said.



Altogether 30,96,854 people are eligible to vote in Kodarma, Barhi, Mandu, Ramgarh, Gandey, Giridih, Dumri, Gomia, Tamar, Silli, Khijri, Mandar, Khunti and Pakur. Except Pakur, all other seats have Maoist presence.

Former ministers Bandhu Tirkey (Independent, Mandar), Chandraprakash Choudhary (Ajsu Party, Ramgarh) and Sudesh Mahato (Ajsu Party, Silli) are prominent among the 259 candidates whose electoral fate would be decided in this phase.



The five-stage polling in Jharkhand will conclude on December 18.

Maoists carry out another Taliban-style beheading

2 Dec 2009, 0948 hrs IST

Another savage killing by the Maoists, a teacher has been beheaded in West Midnapore district of West Bengal.

Police in the region recovered the body of a school teacher Satyanarayan Hansda who had been reported kidnapped allegedly by Maoists from his village near Goaltore in West Midnapore.

His decapitated body was found in a jungle close to his village. Hansda was not only a school teacher in his village but also an active member of the Gana Pratirodh Committee - a rival of the Maoist-backed People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA).

According to sources Hansda had been threatened by ultras because of his work against the Maoists.

The Superintendent of police in Midnapore, M K Verma, said yesterday a probe had already been initiated into the incident. He said police were trying to determine why the perpetrators killed the school teacher and dumped his body at Goaltore area when he actually hails from neighbouring Purulia district.

Savage killings by the Maoists have become an alarming trend. Maoists are continuing their cold-blooded killing spree in open defiance of the Centre's warnings. Barely two months ago Maoists butchered and beheaded Inspector Francis Induwar. His body was recovered almost a week later with a note from the Maoists claiming responsibility.

Just three days later on October 9, Maoists struck again this time in Maharashtra where they brutally killed 30-year-old Suresh Bajirao, a villager they suspected to be a police informant.

Govt seeks welfare plans to keep disadvantaged groups away from Naxalites

Tribal rejig to stop drift
- Govt seeks welfare plans to keep disadvantaged groups away from Naxalites
CITHARA PAUL

New Delhi, Dec. 1: The Centre is planning to revamp tribal welfare programmes to ensure that disadvantaged groups do not drift towards Naxalites because of lack of development.

The ministry of tribal affairs has invited expressions of interest-cum-proposals (EOPs) from NGOs and other agencies to design a plan to “improve and raise the level of tribal administration in scheduled areas’’ (SAs) — the official term for tribal zones. Similar proposals will be invited at the state level, too.

The notification calling for the proposals says “an in-depth situational analysis’’ of the administrative structure in the SAs, “covering all aspects of governance”, has to be done. Once this is over, a plan to upgrade and reorganise the welfare programmes will be devised.

The goal is to “facilitate the availability of best services and development inputs to the Scheduled Tribes within a defined time period’’, says the notification.

“We are reworking the tribal schemes to make them more people-friendly and effective. It is important to stop innocent tribals from falling into the trap laid by Naxalites who cash in on lack of development,” a ministry official said.

At present, nine states have such scheduled areas. These are Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The notification says a review will identify administrative procedures that are not benefiting tribals so they can be discarded. It seeks suggestions for better governance and grievance redress.

The goal of the welfare programmes should be to enable tribals to attain the same, if not higher, human development indices as in the developed areas of the country.

The efforts to counter Naxalites’ sway on tribals don’t end with the review of welfare plans. On the ministry’s table is a tribal exchange programme under which one group will visit another in a different area. The aim is “to cultivate the spirit of oneness’’.

“It is specifically aimed at knowledge-sharing and drawing lessons from the best practices and lifestyles (of groups) across states,’’ according to the guidelines for the exchange programme.

The official stressed that the programme was meant to blunt the rebel propaganda that “tribals are out of the development trajectory”. “We want the tribals to see for themselves the development in other areas through this programme,’’ he said.

The exchange programme will increase the awareness of tribals so they can better appreciate welfare and educational programmes and cultural and social practices across different states and groups.

Red flag fills red card vacuum

NISHIT DHOLABHAI


Barhait (Jharkhand), Dec. 1: Mansa Turi laughs and hammers home the role welfare — or the lack of it — plays in restive regions: “If you don’t have a laal card (BPL card), take up the laal jhhanda (red flag of the Maoists).”

The 40-year-old farmer hastened to add that “many of us won’t join the Maoists but there are others, including Muslims, taking up the gun”.

Barhait, about 40km from the district headquarters of Sahibganj, Jharkhand, has a sizeable Muslim population. Many here said they never got a BPL card but those with higher incomes flaunt it.

Any group joining the Maoists is a cause for concern but home ministry officials are particularly worried about towns like Barhait, where they feel that Maoists could exploit the disgruntlement of the minority community.

The increasing presence of Bangladeshis in Sahibganj and near the border areas of Bangladesh, such as Kishanganj in Bihar, is also stoking concern in the ministry that fundamentalist groups could fish in troubled waters, aided by the guerrillas.

Bihar and Jharkhand are among the seven worst Maoist-affected states with substantial populations of Dalits and Muslims. Thirteen per cent of Jharkhand’s population is Muslim. In Bihar, Muslims and backward castes make up over a fourth of the population.

In Andhra Pradesh, the Maoists’ Left-wing ideology found supporters among some Muslims in 2005-06. The Centre fears that the Maoists could be looking for similar support in the eastern states of Jharkhand and Bihar.

In 1992, Muslim landlords were said to be part of the Sunlight Sena in Bihar, an outfit engaged in frequent skirmishes with the Naxalites.

But poor Muslims’ problems are the same as those of the poverty-stricken tribals, among whom Maoists enjoy wide support.

“How long can one keep going to the block office? They tell us to go to Sahibganj (the district headquarters) where they make us run from pillar to post to get a job done,” said Sadiq, a small-time Muslim farmer in Barhait. But he kept mum when asked if Muslims were drifting towards the Maoists.

Maoist leaders have made no bones about their sympathies for Islamic groups, though they also said there were differences in ideology.

In 2007, CPI (Maoist) general secretary Ganapathy, asked why the outfit had not spoken up for Muslims, said: “It is wrong to describe the struggle that is going on in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Palestinian territory, Kashmir, Chechnya and several other countries as a struggle by Islamic fundamentalists or a clash of civilisations….

“In essence, all these are national liberation wars, notwithstanding the role of Islamic fundamentalists too in these struggles. We oppose religious fundamentalism of every kind ideologically and politically as it obfuscates class distinction and class struggle and keeps the masses under the yoke of class oppression. However, Islamic fundamentalism, in my opinion, is an ally of the people in their fight against the market fundamentalism promoted by the US, EU, Japan and other imperialists.”

In Nepal, the Maoists could not get a toehold in the Terai region till they got support from Muslims.

Punjab under Maoist threat: Police chief

December 1st, 2009

Chandigarh, Dec 1 (IANS) Punjab is facing a big threat from Maoists, who are gradually establishing their base in the state, feels the head of the state police force.

“Two years back a Naxalite (Maoist) leader Dubey had come to Punjab; he travelled all across the state and tried to form various committees. Recently we have rounded up one such zonal committee and we are trying to track others,” P.S. Gill, director general of Punjab Police, told reporters here Tuesday.

He added: “Naxalites have spread all across the state. In the past few months, Punjab has seen agitations by farmers and employee organisations and the left wing extremist (LWE) elements have made inroads into these organisations.”

Punjab Police has recently constituted a special cell in the intelligence wing for monitoring the activities of LWE elements in the state.

“The police response mechanism has been accordingly geared-up to tackle Naxalism. A few months back, we had arrested senior functionaries of the CPI-Maoist and unearthed the state and zonal Maoist committees,” pointed out Gill.

Police here has also busted nine terrorist modules and arrested 46 terrorists this year.

“Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) and Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) modules have been neutralised with the arrest of dreaded terrorists and recovery of rifles, revolvers, RDX, explosive material, detonators, and cartridges,” said Gill.

The police have also made sizeable recovery of contraband in 2009 up to October.

Gill stated: “We have seized nearly 140 kilograms of heroin and 593 kilograms of opium. The state special operations cell of the intelligence wing has busted several inter-state gangs of drug traffickers and also arrested foreign nationals involved in this illegal trade.”


Read more: http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/uncategorized/punjab-under-maoist-threat-police-chief_100282749.html#ixzz0YVcA6U3v



Punjab police creates special cell to deal with Naxalite problem
http://www.punjabnewsline.com/content/view/21443/38/
Satinder Bains
Tuesday, 01 December 2009

Naxalites have made inroads into farmers, employees organisations

CHANDIGARH: Alarmed at the increasing Naxalites threat, Punjab police has constituted a special Naxalite cell headed by SP-rank officer in the Intelligence wing for monitoring the activities of Left Wing Extremist (LWE) elements.

Punjab Director General of Police, P.S.Gill Tuesday said that the state has witnessed agitations by farmer and employee organizations and the LWE elements have made inroads in these organizations.

He said that the police response mechanism has been accordingly geared-up and recently the state police arrested senior functionaries of the CPI(Maoist) and unearthed the state and zonal Maoist committees.

Gill further disclosed that Punjab police has busted nine terrorist modules with the arrest of 46 terrorists in recent past. The two terrorist crimes which occurred on the same day i.e. July 28, 2009 the murder of Lilly Kumar of Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) and attack on Rulda Singh, the President of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat (RSS) have been worked out successfully with busting of associated terrorist modules thereby foiling all terrorist efforts at revival. The Punjab end of the explosives consignment recovered by Rajasthan police in September 2009 was also worked out with the arrest of the intended recipients.

Gill said that the Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) and Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) modules have been neutralized with the recovery of 3 rifles, 21 revolvers, 2.56 kgs RDX, 3.975 kgs explosive material, 9 detonators, and 176 cartridges.

Punjab DGP said that highly trained and specially equipped Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams of company- strength have been created in every range, and are being provided with dedicated transport.

These SWAT teams would enable the state police to discharge its responsibilities as the first responders in any terrorist or crisis situation. The SWAT teams are under the direct command and control of the range DIG. The team members will be armed with the best assault rifles and support weapons in the international market. The teams would be provided with bullet-proof transport, light weight bullet-proof jackets and helmets, and each member will have hands free radio set. The SWAT teams would be properly trained in all aspects of counter-terrorism.

Punjab Police has decided to raise special anti-riot squads for making available trained personnel for responding to law & order situations.

Gill stated that in the last five months, focus of the Punjab Police has been on building capacity and infrastructure for delivering better police services to the citizens and combating the menace of terrorism and drug trafficking in the state.

Suspected naxals destroy police barrack C'garh

Raipur, Dec 1 (PTI) One person was killed and an under-construction police barrack destroyed by suspected naxalites in two separate incidents in Chhattisgarh's Kanker district, police said today.

Accusing one Najuk Ram Koracha of being a police informer, the naxals dragged him out of his home in Thudhud village on Sunday night, Inspector General R K Vij told PTI.

His body was recovered by villagers the next day with his throat slit, he said.

In another incident, the ultras destroyed a police barrack in PV-34 village after they came to know about its construction here yesterday, Vij said.

Naxals kill two villagers in Chhattisgarh district

PTI Tuesday, December 1, 2009 16:31 IST

Raipur: A villager was beaten to death and another was hanged by Naxalites in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh


Anil was hanged in Daglipura village by the extremists in front of the residents yesterday, Bijapur SP Avinash Mohanty told PTI.

He was kidnapped by the extremists on November 23 and was subsequently hanged by the Maoists, who accused him of being a police informer, Mohanty said.

Anil, who was earlier working with the police department had later joined the Naxalites, the police official said.

He however, returned to the mainstream recently which infuriated the Naxals leading to his brutal killing, Mohanty added.

In another incident a villager was beaten to death by Naxals using lathis and rods in Pidiya village, police said

Pradhan report slams commando utilisation

Pradhan report slams commando utilisation
By: Vinod Kumar Menon & Ketan Ranga Date: 2009-12-02 Place: Mumbai


No target practice, less than optimum utilisation of funds and shortage of ammunition led to inadequate response to terror attacks

The elite commando force or the Quick Response Team (QRT) formed to counter terror attacks in 2003 has not carried out firing practice since 2007, says the Pradhan Committee report.

The startling revelation has come to light by the committee that was formed post 26/11 by the state government to investigate the role of security forces during the terror attacks.

It was learnt that the QRT commandos, who were otherwise expected to undergo target practice every four days, have not done so since September 2007 due to shortage of ammunition.

Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal who was instrumental in forming the QRT said, "Had the QRT been used efficiently and trained regularly they could have tackled the terror situation, for which they were actually formed.


Ready to Strike: The QRT force of eight officers and 48 men was created in 2003. They are posted for a period of three to four years, till a cutoff age of 35 years.


Nevertheless, every policeman should get a chance to attend refresher courses, including target practice.

Earlier funds were an issue, but now that is not the case and optimum utilisation of the funds should be done for the betterment of the department to face any eventualities in future."

Wrong facts

However, a senior IPS officer claimed that the facts were wrong and that post 26/11 elite policemen did target practice regularly. But the officer did not elaborate on how often the QRT practiced.

The QRT force of eight officers and 48 men was created in 2003 and are posted for a period of three to four years, till a cutoff age of 35 years. They work in two shifts four officers and 24 men at any given time.

The committee was even informed that QRTs were not used for the purpose they were created for and were split into small groups.

On 26/11 last year, the QRT was deployed in four teams. Two officers and eight men at CST, two officers and nine men at Cama, six men at Taj and two officers and nine men at the Oberoi.

Two QRT men were escorting late ATS chief Hemant Karkare along with personnel from the SPU (Special Protection Unit).

Since Karkare's vehicle was stranded at Haj House due to traffic, the SPU officer and the constable along with two QRT men accompanied Karkare on foot.

They, however, did not accompany him when he finally left by the Qualis.

The QRT team who had made their way into the Taj could seldom do much to fight the terrorist and a reason sighted for their ineffective response was that they had no leader to direct them, a fact recorded by the committee.

Rs 126 Cr
The amount allocated to the Mumbai police to buy new arms and modern equipment after 26/11

Rs 38 Cr
The amount the police have spent on all-terrain vehicles and arms like tactical machine pistols

350
The number of bulletproof jackets the police will soon get

Did you know?
The government has procured 314 bulletproof helmets for Rs 25 lakh and 97 walkie-talkies for Rs 1.11 crore.

The Ram Pradhan Committee formed by the state government post 26/11, has found instances of how red tape held up many police modernisation plans as well as the purchase of arms and ammunition.

According to the report, DGP AN Roy had informed the committee that the government resolutions (GRs) approving the purchases under modernization program were usually issued in November / December each year after a 13-stage purchase procedure needed to be followed.

The DGP said he was concerned over whether arms and ammunition would be available for the state police.

The committee found several reasons for this situation.

The basic weapons for district police (including city police) for law and order duties used to be 410 muskets, while for SRPF it was 303 rifles, but the Indian ordinance factories have stopped making them.

The Draft Weapon Policy of changing this into 7.62 SLR for law and order situations, 5.56 Insas Rifles, AK-47 rifles, 9mm carbines and 7.62 SLRs for Naxal areas, terrorist operations etc, was drafted and submitted to the government and the government approved this in principle on June 30, 2008.

Meanwhile, the yearly requirement shot up with the induction of 33,000 posts in 2005 out of 55,000 created to partly fulfill the shortage of manpower.

Prices also shot up but due to shortage of funds only Rs 15 crore was sanctioned during the last five years against a demand of Rs 66.14 crore.

This has created a serious shortage of arms and ammunition for the Maharashtra police.

The DGP also expressed concern that the lack of target practice due to shortage of ammunition has created serious disabilities in the offensive capability of the police.

However the Home Department statement received on April 6, 2009 has said that a quantity of 1,00,000 AK-47 rounds was received on December 2, 2005 as against an indent of 2 lakh for 2005-06.

The same statement has said that a quantity of 1,65,810 was received on November 24, 2006 and July 04,2007 against a demand of 2 lakhs for 2006-07.

For 2008-09 a demand of 16,16,160 was made but only 38,195 were approved which was not received as on April 6, 2009.

The Committee is unable to reconcile the differences in the reports between DGP and HD and would urge quick resolution of this problem so that supply would reach the police units concerned.

The Committee was also informed by the DGP that Maharashtra police needs Rs. 65 crores worth of ammunition, in case each policeman has to fire a mandatory 40 rounds each year.

But for the last five years they are getting each year only Rs 3 crores.

The available ammunition is required to be allotted on priority to the Naxal affected areas, special commandos etc. Hence no ammunition for firing practice was available.

Meanwhile a senior IPS officer told MiD DAY that the Mumbai police recently procured 32,000 imported ammunition for M4 weapons and that they had sufficient ammunitions needed by the force and in case of shortage they write to the DGP office.

While the Ram Pradhan committee has slammed the government for its handling of the 26/11 attacks, special mention has to be made about the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) formed to fight terror-related activities.

The Ram Pradhan Committee has noted that the structure of the ATS and its command and control has created confusion.

It was created on July 8, 2004 with the one Inspector General of Police, two deputy inspector general (Additional Commissioners of Police), two superintendents of police, eight inspectors, eight APIs and some clerical staff.

According to government orders, one DIG was to look after the work in Mumbai city, while the other will be for the rest of Maharashtra.

It was stated that the ATS would be under the control of the DGP (Maharashtra). It was laid down that the IGP would report to the DGP through the Mumbai Commissioner.

The commissioner of State intelligence department would supervise the ATS work outside Mumbai.

It was further stated that DGP would exercise supervision over ATS through the Mumbai commissioner.

Confusion

The problem that arose was about who supervised work outside Mumbai at the DGP level.

D Sivanandan, then Commissioner, State Intelligence Division (SID) told the Committee that although the outside wing was supposed to report to him, an executive order was passed by a former DGP, to put this squad under the Additional DG (Law &Oorder), Maharashtra State.

The Committee found that this dual control of the ATS was not working well. DGP AN Roy told the committee that he had proposed to the Government to restructure the ATS under an Additional DGP and upgrade its technical and research capability.

Suggestion

Presently Quick response TeamRT and Assault Teams are under the City Wing of the ATS.

If these units are removed from the control of the Commissioner of Police, it would severely increase ability of immediate response to any future terrorist attacks.

Perhaps the alternative is to create such teams specifically for stationing outside Mumbai and place them at the head quarters of the cities with Commissioners of Police.

According to the committee, the command and control can be worked by the DGP.

What is most important is to equip, train and keep them on toes all time to respond to emergencies and not treat as decorative units, as was done in case of Mumbai.

Air borne attack

While Mumbai have experienced, water and land attacks, the Committee hopes that authorities by now are aware of the fact that terrorist organizations/ units are becoming increasingly sophisticated in deploying innovative means/ techniques which is evident after witnessing 9/11 and 26/11 attacks.

Committee has stated that we have witnessed sea-borne attack.

One should not overlook possibility of air-borne attacks on targets in the city in future.

With increasing use of helicopters by the government as well as non-official parties one may conceive a helicopter being taken over.

As the Aviation Security is with the Central authorities, it is suggested that this matter may be taken up for studies and necessary security measures worked out.

Force

R.H. Mendonca former Commissioner and D. Sivanandan had told the Committee that in the 1990s Special Motor Cycle borne commandos in buddy pairs were raised and trained to deal with under world crimes and terrorist strikes. However the system of commandos fell into disuse after a certain period.

On February 11, 2000, 100 flying squads of two commandos each, for all the Commissionarates in the State were formed. Mumbai was allotted 46 flying squads, that is 92 policemen with 40 motorcycles. On 31/3/2006 the C.P.

Mumbai re-fixed its strength as 75 policemen with 30 motorcycles who were trained for three months in Karate, handling of wireless sets, rescue of captives, handling of weapons like AK-47, SLR, Carbines, 9 mm pistols etc.

The Committee was informed that presently 58 commandos are working under Assistant Commissioner of Police, Armed Police, Marol.

Out of these commandos, 4 are deployed at the office of DGP, 6 at CP's Office, 12 at Haji Ali Dargha, 12 at Sidhivinayak temple while 2 commandos are engaged with sports activities.

Out of the remaining 22, only 10 to 15 are available at Marol for any emergency duty, considering leave, sickness etc.

The Committee did not find that this force was used at any place for countering the terrorist attack on 26/11 attacks.

Naxals put the squeeze on transport of Jharkhand coal

Maoists have all but stopped CIL from carrying supplies, choking off plants, says the firm’s chairman

Utpal Bhaskar
New Delhi

India’s Maoist insurgency, which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called the country’s greatest internal security threat, is putting the squeeze on economic activity by strangling the transport of coal.


Movement stopped: CIL chairman Partha S. Bhattacharyya. The firm says the number of trains carrying coal has dropped precipitously. Indranil Bhoumik / Mint


Naxalite groups have choked movement of the commodity from the mines of state-run Coal India Ltd (CIL) India’s largest producer of the fuel.

CIL confirmed that it can’t transport coal from its Central Coal Fields (CCL) located in Jharkhand and admitted similar problems but on a smaller scale at Mahanadi Coal Fields in Orissa, Western Coal Fields in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and South Eastern Coal Fields in Chhattisgarh.

“I can produce the coal and keep it there but cannot move it. The whole CCL area is Naxal affected,” said Partha S. Bhattacharyya, chairman of CIL. “We are aiming at increasing our stocks” as despatches have come to a halt, he said.

India, which faces an acute shortage of coal, has 256 billion tonnes of coal reserves, of which around 455 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) is mined. The country currently imports around 40 mt of coal to try and bridge the demand-supply gap. Demand is expected to reach around 2 billion tonnes a year by 2031-32, around five times the current rate of extraction, with most of it coming from the power sector. The country expects imports to rise from 59 mtpa of coal now to around 100 mtpa by 2012, to plug the gap.

Shiv Basant, chief secretary of Jharkhand, rejected Bhattacharyya’s contention about coal transport.

“This is absolutely baseless. It is the responsibility of CIL’s subsidiary to bring any problem to our notice. There have been no such complaints by CCL,” he said. “There is no disruption in the movement of coal. There are proposals on the anvil to facilitate movement. There is a plan to construct a parallel road to the CCL section of the railway track to patrol it better.”

CIL says the number of trains carrying coal has dropped precipitously.

“We are transporting around 2-3 coal rakes in a day as compared to around 30 rakes,” said the CIL chairman. “This at a time when north Indian power projects are starved for coal. There were 36 bandhs called by the Naxals in this year alone.”

While the Union home ministry did not respond to questions emailed by Mint on 14 October, C. Balakrishnan, coal secretary, confirmed the government’s concern. “An action plan is being considered by the government,” he said.

While CIL is targeting a production of 435 million tonnes (mt) this year, against 403.73 mt in 2008-09, the offtake from CCL has dropped to 33.84 mt in 2008-09 from a high of 38.68 mt in 2006-07. It was 32.04 mt in 2007-08 and 24 mt in the April-October period.

Illegal activities in the mining areas, which have long been rife with criminal activity by organized gangs, include the theft of coal and explosives and illicit extraction of the fuel. Apart from coal mines being located in isolated and tribal areas, the socio-economic situation combined with exploitation of labour has created a fertile ground for Naxal activities, which have disrupted supplies.

“Had it not been for the Maoist problem, the offtake could have been more,” said a CCL spokesperson.

The Prime Minister has said that left-wing extremists are targeting all aspects of economic activity.

“It is not unusual in a conflict area for economic activity to be affected. Various projects...have not taken off because of the Maoist problem,” said Sudeep Chakravarti, who writes on issues related to conflict in South Asia and is a Mint columnist.

The Naxal-affected states include Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal and Maharashtra.

“Law and order issues are manifestations of sustainability risks in mining, when the communities around the mining projects do not seem to share the benefits from the economic activities but have to bear with adverse effects of the same, including displacements, pollution and change in lifestyles,” said Dipesh Dipu, principal consultant (mining) with audit and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. “The Indian mining sector, including private sector participants, is not known to be the best in this regard, and often times the efforts made in the respect of corporate social responsibilities are more in letter than in spirit.” There is no option but to engage in dialogue with the people of the area and making an attempt to better their lot, he said.

“There are some who have made sincere efforts but have been found lacking in communication with the stakeholders. The solution of the issue, which is likely to become more and more significant in light of the anticipated growth in the coal mining sector, is to partner with communities, address all their concerns, communicate to them the benefits, and be transparent to the core,” he said.

utpal.b@livemint.com

Tight security for second phase of Jharkhand polls

Ranchi, Dec 1 (PTI) Amid Maoists' call for poll boycott, elaborate security arrangements including air surveillance have been put in place for the second phase of elections to 14 assembly seats, most of them Naxal-hit, in Jharkhand tomorrow.

"There will be helicopter surveillance while adequate security forces are there at all sensitive booths," Inspector General of Police V H Deshmukh told PTI here today.

A total of 30,96,854 electorates are eligible for voting in Kodarma, Barhi, Mandu, Ramgarh, Gandey, Giridih, Dumri, Gomia, Tamar, Silli, Khijri, Mandar, Khunti and Pakur.

Except Pakur, all other seats have Maoist presence.

Polling for Barkatha, which was also scheduled for tomorrow, was tagged for December 18 in fifth phase polling after it was countermanded following the death of a BJP candidate.

Jharkhand is going for a five-phase polling to elect 81 members

BSF gets patent for IED jammer technology

PTI Tuesday, December 1, 2009 13:50 IST

New Delhi: The Border Security Force has bagged a patent for its 'Remote Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Jammer', the first paramilitary force in the country to be granted the unique distinction

The country's controller general of Patent had recently accorded the patent to the jammer device, which was built by the Research and Development Cell of the Communication and IT Directorate of the BSF.

The device can be fixed on a vehicle and protects the convoys it travels with or the area it is placed in by jamming remote controlled trigger devices, BSF officials said.

In the last five years, besides the RCIED (Remote Controlled Improvised Explosive Device) Jammer, the force's R and D cell has designed and fabricated various devices like RCIED Pre-Initiator, Universal Programmer, Laser Aiming Trainer, Mobile de-activator GSM band, Tresspasser alert among many others.

BSF officials said the force has also additionally filed for patent of two of its electronic devices - Morse Code Trainer-cum-Trans receiver and Laser Aiming Trainer.

In Jammu and Kashmir, Northeast and in Naxal-hit areas, the security forces had received high casualty primarily because of IEDs.

Officials said the jammer device was made on the experience and feedback received from the field units to further strengthen the operational effectiveness of the Force.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Maoists end Jharkhand shut-down with violence

Chatra (Jharkhand), Dec 01 (PTI) Maoists shot at and injured two persons, blew up a culvert and burnt down four vehicles at Chatra as they ended their two-day Jharkhand shutdown.

The Maoists opened fire on a truck injuring the driver and his helper at Bhuiandih in Chatra district a little before their shut-down ended last night, Superintendent of Police, D B Sharma, said here today.

The ultras also used explosives to blow up a culvert in the same village, disrupting traffic on the Chatra-Gaya route, besides setting ablaze four vehicles.

The Maoists, who indulged in massive destruction of public property during the shutdown, were demanding production of their cadre Ashok Mahato before a court,

The police have denied arresting any person by that name.

Maoists stop goods train

TNN 1 December 2009, 12:07am

RANCHI: Suspected Maoists stopped a goods train between Hatia and Barsling stations under Ranchi division on Sunday night. The rebels gave red signal to the drivers, threatening them with dire consequences for driving on bandh day. The drivers drove the train to the nearest Barsling railway station and halted there till Monday morning.

According to railway sources, the coal-laden goods train was going from Bokaro to Bhilai, taking the Ranchi-Rourkela route. As it crossed Hatia and was about to reach Barsling, the drivers saw someone showing the red light and stopped the train to find out what had happened. Before they could understand anything, some people boarded the train and threatened them for driving on bandh day. Threatening that moving ahead will be dangerous, they left.

The drivers, however, took the train to Barsling station and informed their seniors. Later in the morning, they reported to Hatia railway police. "We are not sure if they were Maoists or local unsocial elements. The incident has caused panic among drivers. We are inquiring into the matter," said Prabhat Ranjan, the senior divisional commercial manager in charge of Ranchi division.

Sources claimed the drivers could have fabricated the story out of fear of driving on the day of the Maoist bandh. Recent incidents of railways being targeted by Red rebels in Jharkhand have spread terror among drivers.

Four Maoists arrested in Orissa

Baripada (Orissa), Nov 30 (PTI) Four Maoists from West Bengal, allegedly involved in a recent attack on JMM leader Sudama Marandi, were arrested today from Orissa's Mayurbhanj district.

"The ultras were picked up during a combing operation in Bisusola forest in Suliapada police station area near West Bengal border," Superintendent of Police, Mayurbhanj, Dayal Gangwar told PTI.

The arrested have been identified as Jagat Soren (20), Rohia Soren (20), Bhujaram soren (20) and Tharahari Soren (25), all residents of Patharneta village in Gopiballabhpur police station area of West Bengal, he said.

"Preliminary investigation and interrogation showed they were involved in several incidents of violence including the attack on JMM leader Sudama Marandi on October 13 near here," he said.

Though Marandi escaped unhurt, an assistant sub-inspector of police and two jawans of special operation group (SOG) were killed in the attack, the police said.

Maoists target cops, school buildings

Manoj Prasad Posted online: Tuesday , Dec 01, 2009 at 0333 hrs

Ranchi : Maoist rebels exploded landmines, including one targeting a police patrol party, and demolished at least six school buildings, which were to lodge security personnel during the ongoing elections, as they continued to observe a two-day shutdown in the state.
The Maoists triggered a landmine explosion in Chatra district early on Monday, injuring three police constables. The condition of one of them was said to be critical. This came less than 24 hours after a landmine blast killed three villagers near Patmada village in East Singhbhum district.

The CPI (Maoist) cadres have been enforcing the 48-hour shutdown since Sunday night to press their demand for production of one of their comrades, Ashok Mahato, in court.

Maoist violence also cast its shadow on the ongoing election process. In Palamau, the rebels blew up five school buildings that were to house security personnel during the polls there.

They also looted the belongings of RJD block president Chandrika Yadav after forcing his family members to vacate the house. Yadav was not present during the Maoists raid, said Palamau SP Jatin Narwal. “There is no report of casualty,” Narwal told The Indian Express.

The rebels also destroyed a three-storied government school building located between Khunti and Rania village in Khunti district, which would go to polls in the second round on December 2.

Campaigning in all the 14 Assembly constituencies that will go to polls in the second round concluded Monday evening, with most candidates preferring to confine their electioneering to market places and colonies located along the highways in their respective constituencies. None of the candidates ventured into areas with Maoist presence. The rebels have given a call to boycott the polls.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission has issued a fresh notification giving a new date for polling in Barkatha. Following the death of BJP MLA Chitranjan Yadav, the polling has now been rescheduled to December 18 instead of December 2.

Maoists blow up govt building in Palamu

TNN 30 November 2009, 08:17pm

DALTONGANJ: Harihurganj block in Palamu district was again in the news for the wrong reasons when Maoists blew up yet another government building The under-construction panchayat bhavan at Kharagpur village of the block is now in ruins. The Maoists used two mine containers to blow it. Also, with the help of freshly cut logs from roadside trees, the Maoists blocked the main Daltonganj-Chhaterpur road.

Sources said with the blowing up of this building, the number of government buildings destroyed in Harihurganj block alone has gone up to eight. The destruction had begun on November 24 when the Maoists blasted two schools of the block. On Saturday, they blew up five government schools and on Sunday, a panchayat bhavan.

Confirming the incident, Palamu superintendent of police Palamu Jatin Narwal said police have lodged FIRs in all these cases. Strangely, CRPF has not been deployed at harihurganj block despite so many Maoist explosions. Only a small band of policemen are doing duty there.

The reason why the trees were felled to block roads was to prevent Congress candidate Radha Krishan Kishore from going to Chhaterpur to file his nomination on Monday. The extremists have this time decided to cause as much problems to Congress nominees as much as possible.

The Maoists had left a handwritten note there at the site of the blockade, warning that there could be explosions if any one tried to remove the logs. But police removed those and opened the road. Thereafter, Kishore went to Chhaterpur with his men and filed his nomination.

Blasts mark bandh end

OUR CORRESPONDENT

Ranchi, Nov. 30: On the second day of the Maoist bandh, Chatra additional superintendent of police Sunil Bhaskar had a miraculous escape even as a series of attacks rocked several other districts.

Two among Bhaskar’s four bodyguards and a police driver sustained injuries when the rebels triggered a landmine blast at Kharwanari village under Hunterganj police station area of Chatra district around 8.30am. Bhaskar was on his way to Hunterganj from Pratappur, about 200km from here.

Sources said the Maoists took advantage of dense forest cover near the village, around 10km from Pratappur.

Bhaskar survived the attack, as he was not reportedly in the vehicle that he usually used. “Bhaskar was sitting in an ordinary vehicle with his two bodyguards and a driver. He also asked the driver of the landmine-protected vehicle to follow him. He deputed two bodyguards in the landmine-protected vehicle. His strategy yielded result, as the extremists detonated the mines only after the ordinary vehicle crossed the danger zone,” a police officer said.

“The anti-landmine vehicle driver, Mashi Kachhap, and my two bodyguards, Mukesh Mishra and Vikash Paswan, sustained injuries. They were airlifted and admitted to a private hospital in Ranchi,” Bhaskar said, adding condition of all three was stable.

In another incident, the Maoists blew up the house of RJD leader Chandrika Yadav at Jodi in Chatra district’s Basisthnagar police station area around 11 last night.

The Naxalites also blasted a culvert near Kasaribera village under Arki police station area in Khunti district around 1.30am today.

In another incident in Khunti, Maoists blew up a school building at Sowde village under Rania police station area last night. In Palamau, they disrupted movement of vehicles on the Daltonganj-Aurangabad Main Road from 10pm yesterday to 10am today by felling three trees at Kanda.

Country registers growth in forest cover

Mail Today
New Delhi, December 1, 2009


India has registered a 0.18 per cent growth in forest cover between 2005 and 2007, according to the India State of Forest Report 2009. But the story doesn't end there. Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said the country needs to emulate the Chinese model of reforestation to dramatically increase its forest cover.

"Annually, India adds 0.3 million hectares to its forest cover as compared to China, which adds more than 10 times more - four million hectares. In the last decade, India's forest cover has gone up by 3.13 million hectares," Ramesh said while releasing the report.

India will forward a proposal at the forthcoming Copenhagen climate summit asking for a provision for financial incentives to all countries which are involved in reforestation.

The proposal on Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation by India pertains to conservation and enhancement of carbon stocks in existing forests. This means countries can enhance their stock by receiving carbon credits.

The Capital has shown a gain of 0.14 sq. km forest cover. Of the nine districts in Delhi, northeast (0.39 sq km added to forest cover) and north Delhi (0.04 sq km added to forest cover) districts have scored the highest owing to new plantations whereas east Delhi has shown a decline because of tree felling by 0.29 sq. km.

The recorded forest area in Delhi is 85 sq. km, of which reserved and protected forests constitute 91.76 per cent and 8.24 per cent of the total forest cover.

There is no change in the status of central, south, west, south-west and New Delhi districts.

The report credits Madhya Pradesh as continuing to remain the state with the largest forest cover of 7.77 million hectares.

But with regard to increase in forest cover, Mizoram (625 sq. km), Manipur (328 sq. km) and Jharkhand (172 sq. km) have shown the largest increase since 2005.

The increase is largely attributed to regrowth in shifting cultivation areas.

The states which have performed poorly on the forest report card are Nagaland, which lost 201 sq. km forest cover, Andhra Pradesh, which lost 129 sq. km forest cover and Arunachal Pradesh, which lost 119 sq. km forest cover.

The report attributes this decline to shifting cultivation, departmental felling of eucalyptus plantations etc.

What's worrisome is that Chhattisgarh has fallen victim to mining and encroachment, leading to a loss of 59 sq km forest cover.

While admitting that Naxalite extremism in certain reserves has taken a toll, Ramesh said, "There is an urgent need to monitor habitats in critical states with mining activities. These include Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh." The report also highlights inter-state variations in forest cover increase.

Jharkhand, Manipur, Mizoram and Meghalaya have gained more than 0.5 per cent forest cover while Haryana, Tripura and Nagaland have lost more than 0.5 per cent forest cover between 2005 and 2007.

CISF to hire over 6,000 from Naxal, militant areas

Raghvendra Rao

In an attempt to demonstrate to residents of areas affected by Naxalite and militant activity that the Government is serious about bringing them into the “mainstream,” the Centre has allowed Central paramilitary forces to fill an earmarked number of posts exclusively with people from these areas.



Following clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has initiated the process of filling up 6,507 posts of constables exclusively with candidates belonging to the 17 states currently affected by some form of Naxalism or militancy.



These posts are in addition to the 9,493 posts of constables that the CISF plans to fill up, recruiting people from all over the country. Around 40 percent of the 16,000 constables CISF will recruit will be exclusively from Naxal or militancy-affected areas.



Under the plan for Naxal-affected states, CISF will recruit 1,538 candidates from 16 affected districts of Andhra Pradesh, another 977 from 14 districts in Bihar, 666 candidates from 16 districts in Jharkhand, 572 candidates from nine districts in Orissa, 534 candidates from three districts in West Bengal, 251 from eight districts in Chhattisgarh, 169 from four districts in Maharashtra, 95 from three districts in Madhya Pradesh and 156 candidates from three districts in Uttar Pradesh.


Similarly, the recruitment plan for militancy-affected states envisages induction of 791 men from Assam, 339 men from Jammu and Kashmir, 126 from Tripura, 85 from Meghalaya, 68 from Manipur, 66 from Nagaland, 42 from Arunachal and 32 from Mizoram.



Officials said that besides employment, such a move also serves a strategic purpose since the recruits will be familiar with the terrain in these areas and will be an asset in fighting militancy.

Maoists attack on forest official exposes Naxal claims

Raipur, Nov 30 (ANI): As the curtains were down for the first phase of the Jharkhand elections and the security personnel were busy in protecting the state borders, a forest official in the remote Indagaon range along the Orissa -Chattisgarh border went down fighting the Maoists for the cause of protecting the environment.

The incident has exposed Maoists claims that they are fighting to preserve the forests in the interest of tribals. Villagers of the area are now aware that their objective is to ensure their rule in the forests, which they want to exploit for their purposes.

On Friday, on receiving information that smugglers are taking logs from the interior forests, Deputy Ranger of Indgaon forests, Gokul Tanday, along with two of his personnel went to the spot, which was deep inside the forest along Orissa border.

In this tough terrain Tandy and his men encountered the Naxalites. The Naxals asked Tandy to come with them and forced others to return back.

Next day the police recovered the body of Gokul Tandy body from the forest. The body had clear marks of injuries from sharp weapons, indicating brutal attack on him by Naxals.

The Maosits involvement with the forest mafia and smuggling the rich natural wealth has also become a big cause of worry for the tribals, who are known for worshiping Mother Nature. (ANI)



Source: Maoists attack on forest official exposes Naxal claims gokul, interior forests, state borders