Saturday, November 27, 2010

Two hardcore Maoists held

Aurangabad (Bihar), Nov 27 (PTI) Two hardcore Maoists were arrested from Tetaria village in the district today, police said.

The ultras were involved in a blast at Pachokar in the district on November 21 in which eight persons, mostly children, were killed, they said.

The duo were also allegedly involved in burning of several equipment of a thermal power plant being jointly set up by the NTPC and Railways at Navinagar a couple of days ago, they added.

Chhattisgarh Police arrest Maoist rebel in Bijapur

Saturday, November 27, 2010, 14:00[IST]


Bijapur (Chhattisgarh), Nov.27 (ANI): Chhattisgarh Police on Saturday confirmed the arrest of a senior Maoist rebel during a routine operation near Bijapur.

The arrested Maoist was identified as Median Gucha alias Aitu. Police said that he has confessed to the killing of Special Police Officer Irpa Dinesh.

B. P. Raj Bhanu, Additional Superintendent of Police, Bijapur, said Gucha, along with his Maoist group, had abducted Dinesh and his family while they were travelling in a bus.

He said five members of the family were released one by one, but by the end of October, Dinesh was killed.

After being produced before a Sessions Court, Gucha was sent back to jail.

The Maoists have spread into rural pockets of 20 of India's 28 states. The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has termed the Maoists as India's gravest internal security challenge and threat. (ANI)

Voters defy Maoists in Jharkhand's first panchayat polls

Press Trust Of India
Ranchi, November 27, 2010First Published: 14:07 IST(27/11/2010)
Last Updated: 14:09 IST(27/11/2010)

Defying a boycott call of Maoists, voters started queuing up at polling booths early Saturday to cast their votes in Jharkhand's maiden panchayat polls. "I am standing here since 6.15 a.m. We have got a chance to elect mukhiyas (panchayat heads) and will not let go of this chance," said Jamunia


Devi, a resident of Ormajhi block of Ranchi.
Polling began at 7 a.m. amid tight security and by 11 a.m., 15 to 20 percent votes were cast, officials said.

Like Jamunia, thousands of voters were eager to elect their representatives for panchayats, the third, grassroots level tier of governance, irrespective of the Maoist threat.

"Maoists cannot decide everything. We have right to elect our mukhiya and sarpanch," said a voter who did not wish to be named.

Enthusiasm was visibly clear on the faces of voters, especially women.

"Mukiyas and sarpanches enjoy more powers and they will sort our problems," said a local, Malti Devi.

Jharkhand has reserved 50 percent of seats for women. The polls will be conducted in five phases.

A total 1,348 panchayats of 77 blocks have gone to polls in the first phase. There are 51,433 candidates in the fray, whose fate will be decided by 43,27,944 registered voters.

Five helicopters are being used for air surveillance. Besides, 426 companies of paratroopers and state police have been deployed to ensure peaceful polling.

The last panchayat polls were held in 1979 when Jharkhand was part of Bihar. After the formation of the state in 2000, the polls were delayed due to a legal battle over reservation to tribal people in scheduled areas (notified tribal areas).

Due to the absence of panchayats, the state loses out on more than Rs.300-400 crore annually in central assistance, which are provided to these local governments directly.

Police losing poster war with Maoists

TNN, Nov 25, 2010, 12.31am IST


BOKARO: Apparently the district police who have geared up for poster war against Maoists have failed to implement it.

In order to disrupt the election process, Maoists have given a boycott call by pasting posters in different areas of Gomia, Nawadih and others. To give a befitting reply to naxalites poster drive, the police displayed separate posters to be pasted across different corners in the district.

In the posters, the police administration planned to project woeful stories of Mako Devi, a resident of Mahuataad whose husband was killed by Maoists. The police are said to have printed around 6,000 posters and pamphlets to distribute among villagers before the election.

For that police have designed about two dozen different kinds of posters and pamphlets. But nothing so far has been seen distributed or pasted in the area, sources said.

Behind this, the police have a strategy to unmask the brutal face of Maoists in front of villagers so that they do not get motivated by this and participate fearlessly in panchayat election. Bokaro SP Saket Singh said they will definitely paste the posters in Maoist-hit areas while search operation is being carried out in Jhumra areas to ensure peaceful election. "Few of the pamphlets have been distributed and others will be circulated soon," said Singh.


Read more: Police losing poster war with Maoists - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ranchi/Police-losing-poster-war-with-Maoists-/articleshow/6984330.cms#ixzz16VDRdgG9

Maoists burn equipment of NTPC plant

AURANGABAD: Armed Maoists burnt equipment of a power plant being jointly set up by railways and NTPC at Nabinagar in Bihar's Aurangabad district, Superintendent of Police Vivek Raj Singh said today.

Over 50 naxalites raided the construction site of the proposed plant late last night and burnt several equipment including four dumpers, three hydra cranes and mixer machine worth lakhs of rupees, the SP said.

They also kept some of the workers present their captive for some time and assaulted them, he said.

A combing operation has been launched to track down the naxalites.

The railway and NTPC are jointly setting up a 2000 MW power plant at Surar village in Nabinagar.

'Naxals used library to spread their ideology'

Shailendra Mohan, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, November 24, 2010
First Published: 01:21 IST(24/11/2010)

The banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), dubbed as the single largest threat to India’s internal security by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had set up a base in the city to propagate their ideology and to connect with the youth. The naxalite allegedly used a reading library situated in the slums along the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) in the western suburbs for this purpose, a witness has told the police.

The witness in his statement to the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has named Surya Devra Prabhakar, an alleged naxalite leader who was arrested by the ATS on January 19. Prabhakar, a member of the politburo and one of the top most leaders of CPI (Maoists), was arrested from Kanjurmarg and he had been working in the city since 1991, trying to lure people towards the naxalite ideology, the witness has said.

Prabhakar had been a member of the organisation since 1978 and was a member of the Maharashtra State Committee of the CPI (Maoists). He allegedly controlled operations for Dahanu, Wada, Palghar and other rural areas and had, therefore, set up base in Mumbai.

“He used to preach his ideology before a group of people at the library. Prerna Wachnalay, situated on JVLR helped him get an audience,” said the witness in his statement.

According to the witness, whose testimony is part of the charge sheet filed by the ATS against Prabhakar in August, Prabhakar used to regularly visit the slums at JVLR and had developed friendship with locals by offering them help by paying their bills and performing their small chores. Prabhakar spoke of the naxalite struggle and activities of the erstwhile People’s War Group (PWG), the witness has stated in his statement.

When the Hindustan Times visited the library on Monday, it was found locked and locals there refused to say anything about it. “It opens at 7pm and people come here to read books,” a man in mid-20s, who was sitting nearby said. He refused to talk further.

On dialing a telephone number that was printed on a poster, which was put up outside the library, a man who identified himself as Milind (refused to give his second name) answered the call and said the library was recognised by the government. “There are all kinds of books here,” said Milind, adding that the membership fee is nominal.

Milind said he did not know who Prabhakar was. “There is no restriction on anyone becoming a member,” he said.

3 civilians dead as Naxals blast 'police vehicle'

TNN, Nov 26, 2010, 03.28am IST



CHINTAPALLI (VISAKHAPATNAM): Three civilians were killed when Maoists blasted a van in Chintapalli mandal in Vizag Agency, assuming it to be a police vehicle. Though the incident happened on Tuesday night, it came to light only on Thursday after some villagers ventured into Rallagedda hamlet on Balapam-Korukonda road where the rebels triggered a landmine.

The three civilians were heading to Korukonda in a 407 (usually associated with police vehicles) van to get ganja when the Maoists triggered the landmine blast, sources aid.

Though the villagers heard a deafening sound late on Tuesday night, no one dared to venture out into the heavily mined area. The deceased were identified as Deva Nookaraju of Ravanapalli of Golgonda mandal, Hassi of Narsipatnam and Nagaraju.

Sources said the Maoists in fact planned to blast Annavaram police station to send a warning signal to the cops combing the heavily Maoist-infested area. The impact of the blast was such that 10-ft crater was formed, while the bodies were flung to a corner, 200 metres away. Plastic bags, a pair of slippers and blood-stained clothes were found at the blast site, which is 40 km from Chintapalli.

District committee member Chedda Bhushanam alias Khatro, key leader Santosh and five other leaders from Chhattisgarh were present on a hillock where they had assembled to discuss preparations for PLGA fete when the blast took place, the sources said. Sources said top Maoist leaders could be camping there ahead of the Dec. 2 PLGA week celebrations and hence, the cadres must have planted the landmines. "It is because of this worry the cops did not visit the blast site till Thursday evening," a source said. Police said the rebels might have blasted the van in a case of mistaken identity.

The police department normally uses vans bearing 407 registration number to transport security personnel for combing operations. "But the private van had East Godavari registration number," a source averred. It may be recalled the Korukonda committee has been active in the area for the past few months and killed seven tribals, suspecting them to be police informers.

Meanwhile, security in all police stations in the Agency has been beefed up. Apart from deploying combing parties in big numbers, the police are planning to take up joint operations with Orissa cops. "Some choppers are likely to pressed into service to carry out aerial patrolling," a source said.


Read more: 3 civilians dead as Naxals blast 'police vehicle' - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/3-civilians-dead-as-Naxals-blast-police-vehicle/articleshow/6991938.cms#ixzz16VCMLrjO

Security forces to be moved out of government schools in Bastar

Published: Friday, Nov 26, 2010, 1:56 IST
Place: Raipur | Agency: PTI


Security forces will be soon moved out of government schools in the Naxal-affected Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, official sources said today.

The step is being taken to prevent Naxal attacks on these schools, which house security personnel engaged in anti-Maoist operations, they said.

Besides schools, the personnel reside in state-run hostels and other government buildings, which are often targeted by the Naxals, the sources said.

The security forces will be shifted out of these government facilities and accommodated in safer dwellings which will be built soon, they said.

Meanwhile, the government will remove hurdles coming in the way of filling up long-pending vacancies in Bastar, and if necessary, relax appointment rules, the sources said.

Bastar Development Group has been set up by the government to ensure faster growth in the tribal-dominated region, they added.

Shut shop in villages, Maoists tell MFIs

TNN, Nov 27, 2010, 03.33am IST



WARANGAL: Taking a tough stand against micro finance institutions (MFIs), the Maoists have asked MFI managements to close their operations in villages immediately in the wake of series of suicides by women.

Maoist party KKW (Karimnagar-Khammam-Warangal) secretary Sudhakar warned MFIs of dire consequences if they do not call it quits. In a statement here on Friday, he said agents and representatives of MFIs are humiliating rural women and insulting their family members because of which several villagers have committed suicide.

He termed the government ordinance on MFIs as a sham since agents continue to collect loan instalments from women forcibly. He also warned SKS Finance chief Vikram Akula, Share Finance company owner and member of Rajya Sabha V Hanumantha Rao, L&T, Swayamkrushi, Chaitanya MFIs' owners of serious consequences. "Followers of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are responsible for the spate of suicides in the state," he said in the statement.

Sudhakar said the government should grant five acres of agricultural land, an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh and employment opportunity to a person from the families of the deceased.

Making an appeal to the youth and women associations to fight against the mushrooming liquor and belt shops in the state, he said the government must take necessary steps to cancel the licences of these shops.

Sudhakar warned former Naxalites against acting as informers of police. "If you do not change your attitude, we will teach you a fitting lesson," he warned.

Meanwhile, four Naxals were arrested in Moranchapalle village in Bhupalapalle mandal. They were nabbed from the forest area. Fourteen country-made rifles were recovered from them.

Anti-terror commando force for Karnataka in 15 days

Published: Saturday, Nov 27, 2010, 8:34 IST
By Srikanth Hunasavadi | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA


Karnataka will get its own anti-terror commando force to tackle any eventuality on the terrorism front in the state. The proposed force is expected to be operational in another 15 days.

“We are not waiting for the central government to send commando forces to the state. Nowadays, terror and naxal activities are spreading alarmingly and underworld activities are also on the rise. So, we decided to set up a commando force consisting of 300 men who are being trained now. Within the next fortnight, we will exhibit their strength before the public,” said home minister R Ashoka.

Making the announcement on the second anniversary of 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, the home minister said that the 300 personnel were being given advanced training to tackle terrorist attacks. He, however, did not elaborate on the details.

Karnataka, particularly Bangalore is on the terrorists’ hitlist, but the city is not equipped to tackle any attack as the police are not trained to handle such situations. Besides Bangalore, Mysore, Hubli and Belgaum are also sensitive, the minister said.

Also, to enhance training skills of the police force, the government has decided to set up two training centres in north Karnataka, Ashoka said. He further said, “To streamline the police recruitment system, we will introduce a transparent policy. Every time we want to recruit police personnel, we have to take permission from the finance department. The process gets delayed. So we will take prior permission from the finance department and go ahead with the appointments. Such mechanism will be evolved in the new policy,” he said.

Central nod to Rs 25-cr scheme for Naxal-hit states

Nov 27, 8:43 PM
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved a special scheme for 60 districts in nine states affected by Left Wing extremism.

Giving details, Home Minister P Chidambaram said Rs 25 crore would be given to each of the district as grant for the current fiscal and Rs 30 crore in the next financial year.

He said the funds would be made available to a three-member committee headed by the District Collector. The committee will clear the project in consultations with other district officers and will be responsible for the implementation of the projects.

The State Development Commissioners will monitor the implementation of the projects in their states.
Chidambaram said development under the scheme should be visible by March.

Swayamsidha Raises Flag Against Naxalism

19:07 IST

Swayamsidha – A Girl on Red Corridor,

an Odiya film in the Indian Panorma depicts the Naxalite menace and how it devastates the lives of innocent men and women. Post its screening at IFFI 2010, Sudhanshu Mohan Sahoo, the film’s director and crew met the Press at the Media Centre here today. Briefing the press, he emphasized said that through his movie he want to stress that an opportunity should be given to those on the red corridor to return to the Mainstream. He said that they have tried to put both sides of the story to the public. Siddhanta Mohapatra, the lead actor of the movie and a sitting Member of Parliament said” Nobody is Naxalite by birth but is only the circumstances which makes a person Naxalite” and so they should be extended a helping hand to come out of the circumstances.

Prabhat Ranjan Mallick, the producer of the film informed the Press that the movie has been made in Bengali and is being released in Kolkata today. The film has been shot in 70 days out of which 50 days in Naxal affected Koraput.

The film sees the debut of Yukta in the role of the main protagonist Shreya who is educated and talented. But the negligent attitude of the administration, failed protests and unsuccessful appeals force her to the path of terror. Shreya, in her struggle to build a society free of exploitation, metamorphoses into Swayamsiddha. In her struggle, she comes across Raj who is a happy-go-lucky man kidnapped by her group. All-out efforts to secure Raj’s release end in vain. Raj comes to know about the sordid ordeals that had befallen Shreya. Raj tries to dissuade her which only ends in further devastation. Eventually, Raj gives a clarion call; Shreya hears it and her Swayamsidha-side steps out.

Govt unveils Rs 3,300 cr plan for naxal districts

PTI, Nov 26, 2010, 07.30pm IST


NEW DELHI: With an aim of tackling naxalism through development, the government has unveiled a special Rs 3300 crore action plan in 60 affected tribal and backward districts across nine states.

The Integrated Action Plan (IAP) is intended to provide immediate redressal to problems of the people in tribal and backward districts in the sector like healthcare, drinking water, education and roads.

The IAP would be given as an additional central assistance scheme on 100 per cent grant basis to be implemented in two years, Home Minister P Chidambaram said about the decision taken at the meeting of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs held last evening.

"In the current year (2010-11), a block grant of Rs 25 crore will be made available to each of the 60 districts for which the schemes will be decided by a committee headed by the distrcit collector with district SP and district forest officer as members," Chidambaram said here.

The projects would have to be completed by March in a "concrete" and "visible" manner, he said.

The works would be taken up by district collectors by December 1, he said, adding the block amount of Rs 25 crore will have to be utilised in the remaining four months of the current fiscal.

Elaborating on the action plan, he said the grant would be utilised by a committee headed by district collectors of the state to undertake doable projects like construction of link roads, Panchayat Ghar (office building) etc.

The government, he added, proposes to call a meeting of the collectors of the 60 districts shortly to apprise them about the scheme and also the urgency to complete projects within the stipulated time frame.

During the financial year 2011-12, the block grant will be raised to Rs 30 crore per district and it will be reviewed for implementation in the 12th Plan at a later stage.

"Construction of roads and schools and proper implementation of public distribution system will take place in all these Maoist-hit areas," Chidambaram said.


Read more: Govt unveils Rs 3,300 cr plan for naxal districts - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Govt-unveils-Rs-3300-cr-plan-for-naxal-districts/articleshow/6996094.cms#ixzz16VAkWH2f

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Maoists use teen girl as ‘porter’

OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Bankura, Nov. 23: Suspected Maoists forced a 13-year-old Bankura girl to carry landmines and kept her sleepless on night-long vigils after luring her with promises of a better life, police said today, claiming she had escaped from the rebels.

Bankura police chief Pranab Kumar, who held a news conference with the Santhal girl by his side, said that within a month of being drafted by the rebels this March, she was put through gruelling drills and had to learn how to use weapons like pistols.

The girl said she had decided to leave after a close shave in an encounter with the police on November 8. “A bullet whizzed past my head. I hid my pistol and ran away. That day I decided I would escape,” the girl said.

The police said they had rescued the girl on November 14, days after she had escaped and was going around villages in the area asking for food from residents who refused to help her for fear of being targeted by the rebels.

“We got to know that a minor girl had fled from the Maoists and was hiding in the forests. With the help of her parents, we found her,” Kumar said.

A source, however, suggested the girl was caught on the day of the November 8 encounter. “She could not flee with the others. Since then she has been with the police,” the source said.

The Maoists put the girl on sentry duty and made her carry heavy loads, including “Challenger” landmines that weigh up to 15kg, Kumar said.

It was in March that a youth named Chhotu — apparently a rebel recruiting agent — had first approached her in her village, Bagdubi, 310km from Calcutta. “He said he would get her money and new clothes if she came with him and performed some tasks,” Kumar said.

The girl is the eldest of five children. Her father cultivates his own small patch of land.

When Chhotu promised her a better life if she came away with him, she took the opportunity. But she didn’t realise then that she was being recruited as a potential Maoist squad member.

“When she came home (initially), she seemed happy and wanted to go back again. Later, we got to know that she was with the Maoists. We did not report the matter to the police for fear of reprisal by the Maoists,” said her mother, who was also at the news conference.

A child soldier of the Maoists caught

Anirban Roy
Kolkata, November 24, 2010
Updated 10:53 IST

Maoists 'hide' child cadre in school

The West Bengal Police have picked up a 13- year- old girl-said to be an active member of the Maoists' Raniband squad - giving credence to reports that the Maoists are recruiting minors in their ranks.

The girl Lakshmi (name changed) was picked up by the police from Bagdubi village in Bankura district, one of the hotbeds of Maoist activities in the state.

It was exposed by Mail Today on September 11 how the Maoists were recruiting children from schools in the remote areas of Purulia district.

Bankura SP Pranab Kumar said Lakshmi was lured by one Chhotu, whose identity is yet to be established, and handed her over to the Ranibandh squad last year. She was promised good food, new clothes and a prosperous life for joining the rebels.

" Even though she is young, Lakshmi is trained in guerrilla warfare," Kumar said, adding she has taken part in Maoist operations carried out in several places in Bankura district.

Kumar said Lakshmi was unable to bear the hardship of guerrilla life and had tried several times to leave the squad. She requested senior squad members to let her go home, but she was not allowed. Instead the rebels threatened her with dire consequences if she tried to flee.

" She gave a tragic account of her days with the Maoists," the superintendent of police said. The little girl was forced to perform rigorous physical exercises, sentry duties at Maoist camps and even forced to carry " challenger" land mines on her shoulders, he added.

Lakshmi had a miraculous escape when a bullet whizzed past her head during an encounter with the police on November 8 at Lithira forest near Ranibandh in Bankura.

During the encounter, she managed to escape.

A team of doctors on Tuesday examined Lakshmi in Bankura to ascertain whether she was sexually assaulted.

It is believed that Bankura police located Lakshmi based on information given by Maoist leader Kinkar Pal, who was arrested from Huangana forest in Barikul on Sunday.

Arrangements are being made by the district administration for Lakshmi's rehabilitation, including her education, vocational training and health care. A well- known NGO has been contacted, Kumar said.

" It is sad the Maoists are now forcing children to join their peoples' war," said a member of Bankura Mahila Samiti, requesting anonymity.

Shobha Mandi alias Uma, a Maoist squad member who had surrendered in West Midnapore in September, had alleged that she was sexually exploited by the Maoist leaders for two years.

Maoist ideologue Vara Vara Rao termed the allegation of recruitment of child soldiers in West Bengal as a " propaganda" by the ruling Left Front.

CRPF boss on rebel turf recce

SUMAN K. SHRIVASTAVA

DGP Neyaz Ahmed and CRPF DG K Vijay Kumar in Ranchi. (Prashant Mitra)
Ranchi, Nov. 23: Director-general (DG) of CRPF K. Vijay Kumar reviewed the ongoing anti-Naxalite operations in Jharkhand at a high-level meeting with the state and police brass today and said the offensive would be intensified.

The DG also made an attempt to bond with the jawans fighting the Maoists. Immediately after landing in Ranchi yesterday, Kumar went to Jhumra, Bokaro, and then to Garu in Latehar — two of the remotest areas where CRPF companies are stationed. He even spent the night with the forces in Garu. “It conveyed the message to the personnel that the top officers are with them,” said CRPF IG (operations) Alok Raj.

At today’s closed-door meeting, which continued for an hour at the state police headquarters, Kumar stressed on speedy development and strengthening of the police apparatus to check the Maoist menace in the state.

Promising every help to the CRPF for carrying out the operation successfully, chief secretary A.K. Singh, who was present at the meeting, said: “We should work in tandem.”

Kumar, a Tamil Nadu cadre IPS officer who had played a crucial role in the elimination of sandalwood smuggler Veerappan as the head of Special Task Force, also lauded the successful joint operation carried out by Gumla and Latehar police, CRPF and Cobra from November 19 to 21.

He handed over cash prize of Rs 1 lakh to the personnel who took part in the offensive in which a Maoist was killed and ammunition recovered.

Later, speaking to mediapersons, the chief secretary said it was a general review meeting. “Absence of BDOs and COs was cited as a factor behind non-execution of development plans. They will, henceforth, be compelled to stay at their headquarters once the panchayat bodies are in place,” Singh said.

DGP Neyaz Ahmed and IG (operations) R.K. Mallick were also present at the meeting.

2 jawans killed in retaliation to Naxal deaths

"The Naxals blew up the vehicle by setting off a landmine resulting in the death of the driver and a constable," he said.

Nine Naxals were killed in a fierce encounter with CRPF and state police personnel in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district, 383 kms from here.
Earlier report:

RAIPUR: Nine Maoists were Tuesday killed in a fierce gun battle with Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers in a forested pocket of the rebels' stronghold Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, police said.

The killings were reported from Jagargunda area of Dantewada district. The casualty site is located over 500 km south from here.

"It's a big success. CRPF's 111th battalion fought bravely with over 150 heavily armed Maoists. We have recovered bodies of all the nine rebels with their weapons," Dantewada's Senior Superintendent of Police S.R.P. Kalluri told IANS over phone.

A senior CRPF official posted in Dantewada said on condition of anonymity that the gun battle began when rebels opened fire on a strong contingent of the paramilitary force which was on patrolling from early morning.
"This time, we stunned them (Maoists). The personnel put the rebels' squad under heavy firing for nearly an hour. We successfully hunted nine of them. I believe many more received gun shots and probably were taken inside the forests," the officer informed.

The CRPF recovered many arms and explosives from the site. Senior CRPF officials and state police officers have rushed to the site which is not less than 200 km from Dantewada town - headquarters of India's worst insurgency-hit district.
For the paramilitary force, which has been put under repeated attacks in the sprawling 40,000 sq km mineral-rich, restive Bastar region, Tuesday's success is considered a big morale booster.

Maoists had been up against the CRPF in Bastar, mainly in Danteweda. They had killed 76 security personnel, including 75 of the CRPF, in a single attack in April this year.

'Maoists extorting from low-rung officials in Jharkhand'

Updated on Tuesday, November 23, 2010, 19:26



Ranchi: The Jharkhand Government Tuesday confirmed Maoists extorting money from low rung officials in rural areas, even as CRPF chief Vijay Kumar suggested speedy development in these places for curbing left wing extremism.

"Some Naxalites have been collecting levy from development programmes. They take it from contractors. We also got information from some areas that they (even) demand levy from officials at various level," Jharkhand chief secretary A K Singh told reporters here today.



The CRPF Director-General today met Home Secretary, the state DGP, besides him to discuss about extremism, he said.

"CRPF DGP also spoke to Superintendents of Police of Naxal-hit districts and reviewed his forces deployed in the state. He is of the view that development has a big role in combating extremism and benefits should reach to common man," Singh said.

Kumar was told that development works were being done expeditiously, the chief secretary added.

He, however, said that major success cannot be achieved unless block development officers, circle officers and doctors stay at their places of posting, Asked whether BDOs and COs were still flouting even after government's recent directive, Singh said the officers have started to stay.

"Now they have started to stay after clear instructions have been given," Singh said.

Stating that the Centre had been giving huge funds, much of which remain "unspent", he said the government was determined to utilise the funds.

The presence of BDOs and COs was necessary, he added.

Refuting reports that the state's surrender policy did not evoke much response from Maoists, Singh said several Naxalites had recently joined the democratic fold and changes would be made in the policy if it was necessary.

About frequent Maoist killings in Khunti district, he said securitymen were also achieving success, but it was a long-drawn battle against the left wing extremism.

"Yesterday, security forces arrested Maoists and police weapons were recovered at Ghatsila in East Singhbhum."

18 of the 24 districts in Jharkhand have been officially announced as Maoist-hit areas.

PTI

20 Naxals killed in Dantewada encounter

PTI First Published : 23 Nov 2010 08:45:07 PM IST

RAIPUR: About 20 Naxals were today killed in a fierce encounter with CRPF and state police personnel in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district. In another incident, two CRPF jawans were killed in a landmine blast triggered by the Naxals in Bijapur district.

CRPF Inspector General Pankaj Kumar Sinh said a joint team of CRPF jawans and state police deployed in Jagargunda area of Dantewada had gone for area domination exercise when about 200 Naxals started firing at them near Aasrampura village. The security forces returned the fire after which the Naxals fled.
Nine deadbodies of Naxals in ''green uniforms'' have been recovered by the security forces. The IG said the police also saw a pool of blood at the spot and there were certain marks which indicated that some bodies were dragged from there.
He said though bodies of only nine Naxals were found, possibly 20 Naxals have been killed in the firing. A team of the CRPF's 111 battalion accompanied by two special police officers (SPOs) and four state policemen made the first contact with Maoists at 7 AM and subsequently encircled the Maoists in the dense jungles of Jagargunda.

The security personnel also recovered nine weapons and explosives from the site and a search operation has been launched in adjoining areas, the officer said. Dantewada has been a Naxal hotbed and security forces have been trying to conduct successful operations here after 75 CRPF personnel and a state policeman were killed in a deadly ambush by the Maoists in April.

The second incident occurred near Murtanda village, 280 kms from the state capital, when a bullet-proof vehicle was on its way back from Awapally after ferrying jawans of Timapur-based 168 battalion of CRPF, according to Additional SP BPS Rajbhanu. "The Naxals blew up the vehicle by setting off a landmine resulting in the death of the driver and a constable," he said.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fate of Chandauli forest dwellers still undecided

Rajeev Dikshit, TNN, Nov 22, 2010, 10.40pm IST



VARANASI: The fate of around 4,000 people of Maoist-affected Chandauli district, who have lost the scheduled tribe (ST) status in the past 8-9 years, continues to hang in balance due to the indecisive attitude of the Union government. The state government has forwarded the recommendation to restore the ST status of these tribals but the Centre is yet to act on it. Due to the delay in the restoration of ST status, these people are still deprived of the benefits of the Tradition Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.

A tug-of-war between chief minister Mayawati and her arch rival and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had resulted in separation of Chandauli from Varanasi, re-merger and restoration of district in the past one decade. During her past regime, chief minister Mayawati had carved out Chandauli from Varanasi as a separate district in 1997. However, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav merged it again in Varanasi district after coming back to power in 2004. Finally a high court order helped in restoring the status of Chandauli district in July 2004. But in this tug-of-war, the jungle natives of Chandauli lost the status of ST and, in the lack of revenue records of past 75 years, proving them to be the traditional forest dwellers also became impossible. It also jolted the bid of the Chandauli administration to utilise this act as a major weapon against the Maoists.

On the basis of available revenue records and other evidences, only nine persons and their families of Chandauli district could be certified as the tradition forest dwellers. On May 22 last, social welfare commissioner and principal secretary Prem Narain visited the district and distributed the 'patta' of land among the same nine beneficiaries to provide them benefits as per the Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. If divisional forest officer of Kashi wildlife division PP Verma is to be believed, the benefits of community claims as per this act have also been given to the same beneficiaries.

According to Verma, over 14,000 claims have been received to seek the benefits of this act in the district. After proper verification, only nine applicants were found eligible for it. He said if the ST status of around 4,000 persons was restored, they could also be given the benefits of this act. During his May visit, Narain had disclosed that recommendation for the inclusion of 10 castes of Chandauli district on the list of ST had already been forwarded to the Union government.

District magistrate, Chandauli, VK Tripathi said the reminders were being sent to the Union government on regular intervals for taking decision on the issue. However, the Union government has not shown any interest in restoring the status of ST of the people of such castes. Verma said until they included in the ST list again, providing them the benefits of the act would be impossible. Members of the same castes are enjoying the ST status in adjoining Maoist-affected districts of Sonebhadra and Mirzapur, where a large number of the population has succeeded in getting the benefits of this act.


Read more: Fate of Chandauli forest dwellers still undecided - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/varanasi/Fate-of-Chandauli-forest-dwellers-still-undecided/articleshow/6971930.cms

Soft target & revenge whiff in 5 murders

Family members of Chunku Soren. (Samir Mondal)

Midnapore, Nov. 22: Suspected Maoists shot two CPM members dead today after a kangaroo court trial in West Midnapore, while the ruling party was accused of the revenge murders of two Trinamul Congress supporters with rebel links.

Paresh Rana and Sushil Mahato were dragged out of their homes in Sankrail and killed, raising the CPM toll in Maoist hands since Saturday to five. Intelligence sources explained that the rebels were going after stray “soft targets” after losing ground to the joint forces and a regrouping CPM.

The bodies of Chunka Soren and Kalipada Tudu, Trinamul supporters linked to the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, were found in Salboni just about 500 metres from the spot where the Maoists had yesterday murdered local CPM leaders Rahim Patar and Pashupati Singh.

The families of the Trinamul duo claimed CPM cadres had killed them to avenge the deaths of Patar and Singh.

In the first incident, the police said, the Maoists forced around 200 people from neighbouring villages to march to Jambedia and Murakati. While Rana, 35, was picked up in Jambedia, Mahato, 53, was dragged out in Murakati.

The bullet-riddled bodies of Rana, a CPM branch committee member, and Mahato, a local committee member, were found in Murakati today.

Patar and Singh were gunned down in Salboni, a day after Maoists beheaded a CPM supporter in nearby Binpur.

Intelligence branch sources said Maoists were targeting “unguarded” local Left leaders after the CPM’s armed recapture of Lalgarh and villages in Salboni and Goaltore. “It is not possible for the rebels in these areas to attack the CPM cadres because they mostly remain inside heavily guarded party offices,” an intelligence official said.

So, he added, the rebels are targeting local CPM leaders who don’t have security rings around them. The rebels believe these leaders “oversee work to strengthen the party’s organisation in the Maoist belt”.

The intelligence sources said the Maoists killed the CPM men in Sankrail and Salboni on the suspicion that they had provided “inputs” to the police which led to the death of eight rebels in an encounter in Salboni in June.

The families of Soren and Tudu said around 20 armed CPM goons picked the duo up from their homes along with five others. Soren’s brother Khudon said: “The CPM goons ordered the seven to attend a meeting. This morning, five of them returned but my brother and Tudu did not.”

Reds blame cops for Aurangabad blast

GAYA: The outlawed CPI (Maoist) has blamed the Aurangabad police for the tragic death of eight persons including seven children on Sunday and attributed the tragedy to a "police conspiracy" to malign the Maoists.

Paramjeet, the Maoist spokesperson who rang up TOI to make the allegation, said the Aurangabad police deliberately abandoned the live cylinder bomb to defame the Maoists.

According to Paramjeet, the Pachokhar villagers were given the impression by Aurangabad police that the cylinder bomb had been rendered ineffective and as such converted into an innocuous object inviting locals' curiousity. He claimed he was in possession of a vernacular daily published from Patna in which police officials were quoted as saying that the cylinder bomb has been rendered ineffective.

Paramjeet claimed the Maoists did not believe in killing innocent people.

Aurangabad SP Vivek Raj Singh vehemently denied that the police ever told the villagers that the cylinder bomb had been rendered ineffective.

Read more: Reds blame cops for Aurangabad blast - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/Reds-blame-cops-for-Aurangabad-blast/articleshow/6972193.cms#ixzz166L2jrKg

'Governmment taps 5,000 phones on average'

PTI First Published : 23 Nov 2010 09:01:28 AM IST
Last Updated : 23 Nov 2010 02:38:55 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Telephone calls of about 5,000 people are being recorded by central security agencies daily as part of security and preventive measures.
Government sources said on an average telephones of about 5,000 people are being kept under surveillance by intelligence agencies suspecting their linkages with terror activities, hawala operators and members of banned organisations.
Telephones of a number of people involved in various economic offences are also being monitored.

Sources said that conversations of terrorists and insurgent outfits in Jammu and Kashmir, Northeast and the banned CPI (Maoist) are mostly under the scanner of intelligence agencies.

"A lot of times the phone tapping is done for only sixty days. But when it involves persons who are facing any criminal case or are under the scanner of investigating agencies, their phones are kept under surveillance for a longer period," a senior Home Ministry official said.

As per official procedures, the phone tapping by intelligence agencies is done with the consent of the Union Home Secretary. The government can authorise tapping for 60 days which can be extended again as per needs.

The sources said that emails are also being monitored by government agencies after getting the consent of the service providers.

Sources said that tapping of telephone conversations of leading corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, whose name has cropped up in the 2G Spectrum row, with several influential persons were authorised by the government.

Joint operation to hunt rebels

TNN, Nov 21, 2010, 11.01pm IST


Read more: Joint operation to hunt rebels - The Times of India

BOKARO: The police and Central Reserve Police Force ( CRPF) are carrying out a joint anti-Naxalite search operation in Jhumra and its surrounding areas in Gomia block here.

The recent spurt in rebel activities has forced the men in khakis to start hunt for Maoists in jungles.

The area, which was in peace since past one year, has suddenly shaken with landmine blasts triggered by Maoists recently. Behind the rise in Maoist activities, the upcoming panchayat elections is one of the reasons, feel the police. Maoists want to disturb polling process to create dominion among the residents of Maoists prone areas, they said.

After announcement of panchayat polls, the Maoists have given a boycott call, but seeing that despite the threat residents are filing nominations and are keen to take part in the democratic process, the Red outfits just went overboard. However, security forces have taken up challenge to conduct the elections peacefully in Maoist-prone areas.

Observing three separate landmine blasts in the foothills of Jhumra in past 10 days that claimed one security personnel and injured five others, have made the security forces launching operations. A large numbers of paramilitary forces have been deployed in the Jhumra region, who are carrying out operation.

"The operation is carried out to flush out Naxalities so that panchayat elections would be conducted in peaceful environment. We have deployed specially trained forces for such operation. They are scanning the area to search Red outfits," said Saket Singh, Bokaro SP.

13-year-old girl detained for supplying arms to Maoists

BANKURA (West Bengal): A 13-year-old girl has been detained by the police after it raided a Maoist hideout at a village in Naxalite-affected Bankura district.

Acting on a tip off, Sukurmoni Soren was detained from Baghdubi village in the Barikul police station area on Monday night, district Superintendent of Police Pranab Kumar said.

Kumar said the girl was being interrogated by police officials.

Bankura is one among three districts in West Bengal where Maoists have been active for sometime, the other two being West Midnapore and Purulia districts.

MHA officer detained for leaking info to telecom company

New Delhi
The Special Cell of the Delhi Police on Monday raided the office and residence of 1994-batch West Bengal-cadre IAS officer Ravi Inder Singh, currently posted in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), for allegedly leaking sensitive information.

Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) P N Aggarwal denied reports that Singh had been arrested. Police sources said he had been detained for questioning. A case has been registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Singh is posted as Director in the Internal Security (IS) division and was allegedly passing on information to a telecom company. His office, it is learnt, was involved in granting security clearance to companies. He was under surveillance for over a month.

Union Home Secretary G K Pillai said the Delhi Police, acting on a tip-off, raided the North Block office of Singh. “The raid was conducted after complaints that the officer was leaking sensitive information to some corporates,” Pillai said. He denied that Singh was involved in procurement of arms and material for central police organisations. He also refused to say to whom Singh was passing on information, though raids are likely at the offices of this company.

The IS Division of the MHA is one of its most sensitive wings, dealing with crucial issues related to security, including the Naxal problem. “So far, it looks like a case of corruption. If required, the officer will be taken into custody,” said a source. Singh had joined MHA in January.

Maoist sub-zonal commander killed, 2 associates arrested

23 NOV, 2010, 12.17PM IST,PTI


JAMSHEDPUR: A self-styled sub-zonal commander of the CPI (Maoist) was killed while his two associates were arrested following a fierce encounter with the police at Bardi village in Naxal-hit Ghatsila sub-division of East Singhbhum district.

DIG (Kolhan) Navin Kumar Singh said that Dalma squad sub-zonal commander Arup Mochi was killed and two other Maoists - Maheshwar Mahto and Ganesh Chandra Tudu - were arrested in the encounter on Monday night.

Singh said one more person was detained for interrogation.

The police also recovered two police rifles, one 9mm pistol and one 7.65 mm pistol along with a large quantity of live cartridges and cash from the spot.

The encounter took place a day after suspected Maoists shot at and critically injured a villager at Sonahatu village under Chakulia police station

Naxal killed as mine being planted goes off

TNN, Nov 23, 2010, 03.26am IST


Read more: Naxal killed as mine being planted goes off - The Times of India

NAGPUR: A Naxalite was killed and a few of his aides injured when a land mine they were planting under a road went off accidentally near Eragatta in Sironcha tehsil on Saturday evening. The Naxalites were planting the mine under the road connecting Alapalli to Sironcha.

Unconfirmed reports claimed they were planning a big attack on a police patrolling party. It failed due to inept handling of the explosives. Patrolling parties of C-60 commandos and Central Paramilitary forces are at present combing the adjoining areas.

The Naxalites are generally trained in such activities and are not known to suffer such setbacks. They had recently killed four security personnel at Perimilli in a mine explosion and on the following day blew up a police vehicle in similar manner leaving several cops injured.

Rumours started doing rounds about the casualties though initially there was no confirmation. Till now, there is confusion regarding date of incident. While additional superintendent of police, Aheri, Rajesh Sharma claimed the incident took place on Saturday evening, a reliable source in Gadchiroli said it was on Friday afternoon. There was confusion regarding the numbers of casualties too.

Local police, opting not to take risk, ensured that a villager was sent to the area where the mine had likely gone off. "Blood stains were spotted in the forest adjoining the road. The place was close to the road. There was no crater formed. Shrapnel or splinters could not be traced. We cannot expect an expert's comment from the villager," said Sharma.

"Our police team would be there to inspect the spot in another couple of days as they are busy in patrolling at present," said Sharma. The senior officer also said that there was no official confirmation of the incident. "We have received no formal complaint. There was no trace of any injured persons or body found at the place," said Sharma.

The security agencies, based in Nagpur, were activated after the incident came to their notice. Sources claimed that the undercover sleuths had started visiting hospitals and nursing home anticipating that the Naxals may bring their injured for treatment here. Their counterparts in other districts were also alerted, it is learnt.

Nine naxals killed in Chhattisgarh encounter

Nine Naxals were killed today in a fierce encounter with CRPF and State police personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district.

Acting on specific intelligence inputs, a team of the CRPF’s 111 battalion accompanied by two special police officers (SPOs) and four state policemen encircled the Maoists in the jungles of Jagargunda around 9 AM.

So far, nine bodies of the Naxals have been recovered, Superintendent of Police, Dantewada, S R P Kalluri said.

He said the encounter had taken place in thick jungles and he had not received any report of any casualty among the security forces.

The security personnel have also recovered arms and explosives from the site and a search operation is still on, the official said.

Dantewada has been a Naxal hotbed and security forces have been trying to conduct successful operations here after 75 CRPF personnel and a State policeman were killed in a deadly ambush by the Maoists in April.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

How and why Narayan Murthy gave up on Communism

NR Narayana Murthy who was a staunch Communist in his early days reveals how he moved away from communism in this lecture given in 2007 at New York University's Leonard N Stern School of business.

Narayana Murthy on the lessons life has taught him

After some thought, I have decided to share with you some of my life lessons.

I learned these lessons in the context of my early career struggles, a life lived under the influence of sometimes unplanned events which were the crucibles that tempered my character and reshaped my future.

I would like first to share some of these key life events with you, in the hope that these may help you understand my struggles and how chance events and unplanned encounters with influential persons shaped my life and career.

Later, I will share the deeper life lessons that I have learned.

My sincere hope is that this sharing will help you see your own trials and tribulations for the hidden blessings they can be.

The first event occurred when I was a graduate student in Control Theory at IIT, Kanpur in India.

At breakfast on a bright Sunday morning in 1968, I had a chance encounter with a famous computer scientist on sabbatical from a well-known US university.

He was discussing exciting new developments in the field of computer science with a large group of students and how such developments would alter our future. He was articulate, passionate and quite convincing.

I was hooked.

I went straight from breakfast to the library, read four or five papers he had suggested, and left the library determined to study computer science.

Friends, when I look back today at that pivotal meeting, I marvel at how one role model can alter, for the better, the future of a young student. This experience taught me that valuable advice can sometimes come from an unexpected source, and chance events can sometimes open new doors.

Break with communism

The next event that left an indelible mark on me occurred in 1974.

The location: Nis, a border town between former Yugoslavia, now Serbia, and Bulgaria.

I was hitchhiking from Paris back to Mysore, my home town.

By the time a kind driver dropped me at Nis railway station at 9pm on a Saturday night, the restaurant was closed. So was the bank the next morning, and I could not eat because I had no local money.

I slept on the railway platform until 8.30 pm in the night when the Sofia Express pulled in. The only passengers in my compartment were a girl and a boy.

I struck a conversation in French with the young girl. She talked about the travails of living in an iron curtain country, until we were roughly interrupted by some policemen who, I later gathered, were summoned by the young man who thought we were criticising the communist government of Bulgaria.

The girl was led away; my backpack and sleeping bag were confiscated. I was dragged along the platform into a small eight-by-eight-foot room with a cold stone floor and a hole in one corner by way of toilet facilities. I was held in that bitterly cold room without food or water for more than 72 hours.

I had lost all hope of ever seeing the outside world again, when the door opened. I was again dragged out unceremoniously, locked up in the guard's compartment on a departing freight train and told that I would be released 20 hours later upon reaching Istanbul.

The guard's final words still ring in my ears 'You are from a friendly country called India and that is why we are letting you go!'

The journey to Istanbul was lonely, and I was starving. This long, lonely, cold journey forced me to deeply rethink my convictions about Communism. Early on a dark Thursday morning, after being hungry for 108 hours, I was purged of any last vestiges of affinity for the Left.

I concluded that entrepreneurship, resulting in large scale job creation, was the only viable mechanism for eradicating poverty in societies.

Deep in my heart, I always thank the Bulgarian guards for transforming me from a confused leftist into a determined, compassionate capitalist!

Inevitably, this sequence of events led to the eventual founding of Infosys in 1981.

For the rest of the article visit
http://sify.com/finance/Narayana-Murthy-on-the-lessons-life-has-taught-him-imagegallery-others-klmrm1cgdgi.html

Maoists are patriots of a kind: Arundhati Roy

PTI / Sunday, November 21, 2010 21:08 IST

Glorifying Maoists as patriots of a kind, controversial writer Arundhati Roy today accused the prime minister and the Union home minister of "violating the Constitution and PESA (Panchayat Extention of Scheduled Areas) act by allowing corporates to use tribal land."

"Patriots of a kind, they (Maoists) are. But here patriotism is very complicated. So at the moment what people are fighting for is to keep this country from falling apart," Roy told reporters after addressing a meeting on "Cultural resistance to war on people in corporate interest", organised by a magazine considered to be pro-left.

NAXALWATCH COMMENT

Going by her (Arundathy Roy) logic, some day we could expect a definition from her as 'Terrorists are "Super Patriots" of a kind who are fighting to keep the world from falling apart'.


To a question, the writer-cum-activist, however, said she did not think there could be only Maoist revolution for solving problems. "There will be a new kind of alliance of all kinds of people," said Roy, whose visit here was opposed by saffron outfits like RSS and ABVP for her remarks on Kashmir.

Stating that PESA Act was enacted to safeguard rights of tribals and others living in scheduled areas, the Booker Prize winner said that Prime Minister and home minister were saying that forest land was needed for other purposes.

"They (PM and HM) enact laws and violate it," Roy alleged claiming that local people, particularly tribals had every right over the land, forest and water in their areas.

Besides PM and HM, the police, CRPF and BSF also violate laws framed under the Constitution, she alleged.

Accusing successive governments at the Centre of "frequently" using military force in places like Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and the Northeast, Roy said while people in Pakistan are fighting against military rule, "some people here want to use brute force to suppress people's voice."

"Force was being used by the government and not the Naxalites," she alleged.

URL of the article: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_maoists-are-patriots-of-a-kind-arundhati-roy_1470033-all

'Polavaram project to serve capitalists'

PTI First Published : 21 Nov 2010 09:40:29 PM IST
BHUBANESWAR: Giving a new twist to the Polavaram controversy, Maoist ideologue and poet V V Rao today claimed that multi-purpose project was aimed to feed water to industries than irrigating land in coastal Andhra Pradesh.
"Polavaram project is being set up by Andhra Pradesh government to feed water to 23 industries for which MoUs are signed by the state government." Rao told reporters at the sideline of a meeting here.
Claiming that about three lakh people of 304 villages in Andhra Pradesh's Khamam and Godavari districts would be adversely affected by Polavaram project, Rao rejected the state government's claim that it would irrigate about 80,000 acre of land in coastal region.
"They (Andhra Pradesh govt) had already set up an industrial corridor in coastal region which required a huge quantity of water for their daily consumption," he said claiming "that late chief minister YSR Reddy had planned Polavaram project to meet the interests of corporate houses."
Stating that Maoists were opposed to Polavaram project, Rao said the dam over river river Godavari "would also affect tribal villages in Orissa and Chhattisgarh."
The revolutionary poet also accused "the governments both at the Centre and the state of working at the behest of corporate houses and not for the common man."
"All political parties participating in elections are working for corporate houses," he alleged.

Maoist threat to NE looming large

R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, Nov 21 – Though the Maoist rebel groups are yet to gain strong foothold in Assam and other parts of the North-east region to indulge in violence like in some other parts of the country, the threat to the region cannot be overlooked as there have been intelligence reports of the Maoists trying to establish roots in this part of the country.

Highly-placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that the Maoist rebel groups have already established links with some of the militant groups of North-east and there are definite inputs that they would try to establish their bases in the region.

Sources pointed out that the Maoists have already signed a joint agreement with the Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF) of Manipur to support each other and “honour the sovereignty of Manipur and India” and according to reports, members of Maoist rebel groups even visited Manipur and Nagaland. There have been reports of a few Maoist rebels visiting Myanmar where a number of militant groups of North-east have their strong bases. But it is still not known whether the Maoist rebels went to Myanmar just to meet the militant leaders of North-east or for training.

MHA sources said that the Maoist groups have links with the NSCN (I-M) and there were definite information of NSCN leaders attending a meeting of the Maoists in Chattisgarh. Security agencies also believe that the rebel groups of NE supplied weapons to the Maoists, but senior NSCN leader Anthony Shimrey, who has been arrested recently in Nepal by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) on charges of gun running, claimed during questioning that he was not involved in supplying of weapons to the Maoist rebel groups.

On the threat perception in Assam, sources said that the Maoist rebels have openly supported all the “nationality struggles” all over the country including in Assam and Jammu and Kashmir. Senior Maoist leader Kishenji had openly supported the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) in an interview to the mouthpiece of the Maoists. But it is still not known whether the Maoists managed to gain foothold in Assam. “But as it is an established fact that Maoist rebels visited Manipur, Nagaland and even Myanmar and one can only assume that they must have visited Assam at some point of time,” sources pointed out.

Sources revealed that in 2006, the Maoists formed a lower Assam committee but that could not be sustained. However, there were reports of individuals from Assam attending a meeting of the committee for release of political prisoners formed by the Maoist groups, which indicate that the Maoists have their connections in Assam, sources added.

Mass movements must fight corporates: Arundhati Roy

SATYASUNDAR BARIK


Writer Arundhati Roy, who faced an angry protest by Sangh Parivar activists here on Sunday, urged those involved in mass movements to oppose corporates which she said were eyeing the rich natural resources of tribal heartlands.

Ms. Roy came here to attend a meeting on ‘Cultural resistance to war on people in corporate interest.'

As soon as she reached the venue, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and Bajrang Dal activists waved black flags to protest her recent remarks on Kashmir, terming them anti-national.

They also started shouting that she should leave the venue immediately. Soon a scuffle broke out. The organisers chased away the agitators. The police took at least 10 of them into custody.

Unperturbed, Ms. Roy addressed hundreds of tribal activists from different parts of Orissa. “The number of poor people living in India will be more than that of the total poor in 26 African countries. The condition of poverty in Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal is critical. All the attention is, however, trained on these States, as these poor are raising their voice against land acquisition attempts by big corporates of the world,” she said.

She said the Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, prohibited land acquisition in tribal areas. “But now, people in power say it is imperative to acquire land from tribals for development. Those who frame policies are the violators.”

“Earlier people's movements had sprouted to get back excess land lying with zamindars. But the nature of the struggle has undergone a change. Now it is a fight not to let the land — whatever is left with the tribal population — be snatched by the corporate-backed government,” she said.

Ms. Roy alleged that leaders thought development was possible only when 80 per cent of the population started living in urban areas, and they wanted to vacate villages in the interest of corporates. “They are inviting the military to take over the affairs. Our States are becoming military States. Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Lalgarh have already been militarised.”

Maoist ideologue Varavara Rao and Oriya writer Bibhuti Patnaik spoke.

Villager beheaded, Maoists gun down two CPM

TNN, Nov 22, 2010, 12.41am IST




MIDNAPORE: Suspected Maoists shot a villager and then beheaded him near West Midnapore's Binpur. The body of Ganesh Ahir was found on State Highway 9 early on Sunday morning. The severed head was lying near his left hand. A bullet mark was found on the chest of the beheaded body, police said.

According to a senior police officer, Ahir a resident of Rashidpur village under Lalgarh police station had been working with local CPM camps which had been set up to fight the Maoists. "We have reasons to believe that Maoists are behind the murder," the officer said.

Locals said a group of "miscreants" raided Ahir's residence late on Saturday night. They had reportedly been looking for his nephew Madhu, who is an active CPM supporter. When they could not trace him, the took Ganesh away with them.

Later on Sunday, the Maoists gunned down two influential CPM leaders near Kalsibhanga in West Midnapore. Interestingly, the area is now known to be a CPM stronghold.

The CPM leaders, Pashupati Singh and Rahim Pathar pradhan of Garmaal panchayat of Salboni block and member of CPM's Salboni zonal committee respectively were going to their Bhadutala party office from Kalsibhanga area of Salboni block when the incident occurred.

Pathar and Singh were on a motorcycle and the two others party workers were accompanying them on another bike.

These to CPM workers later told police that it was around 2.30pm when they were passing through Kharikasuli forest near Kalsibhanga. When they reached an area between Kharikashuli and Godamouli, they heard gunshots and accelerated to leave the place as soon as possible. The CPM workers claimed that the guerrillas were firing on them from the forest.

Pathar and Singh, however, could not flee and were stopped by a group of suspected Maoists, who reportedly dragged them deep into the forest.

After local CPM leaders contacted police, a combing operation was launched and the lifeless bodies of Singh and Pathar were found inside Kharikashuli forest.

Syam Pandey, secretary of CPM's Salboni zonal committee, said: "They have been killed by the Maoists while on their way to our party office." Midnapore superintendent of police Manoj Verma confirmed the murders as the handiwork of the Maoists.

The attack is quite significant, as the area had been recaptured by CPM just a few months ago. Salboni area, which once was a CPM bastion, turned into a favourite hideout of the rebels, including their politburo member Kishanji. But since last June, CPM started regaining the turf. In the past couple of months, the party set up several armed camps in this area and police also started believing that Maoists have moved out of the area. For long, no major Maoist activity was noticed in this area, which encouraged the CPM leaders to enter the forest villages.

Sunday's double murder came as a big jolt for the CPM as the Maoists have proved that they are still active in the area and hold power to retaliate.


Read more: Villager beheaded, Maoists gun down two CPM - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata-/Villager-beheaded-Maoists-gun-down-two-CPM/articleshow/6966660.cms#ixzz15yvgTZwQ

Worried over setback, Maoists launch leadership training

K. SRINIVAS REDDY


Worried over the continuing loss of senior leadership and the revolutionary movement failing to strike root in urban areas, the CPI (Maoist) has begun a serious exercise train its leaders in identifying their mistakes.

The ‘Leadership Training Programme' is meant to help the Maoist leaders reinvent the ideological moorings of the Protracted People's War (PPW) and check ‘lethargy' — a direct offshoot of ‘years of stagnation' [in spread of revolutionary movement]. Intelligence agencies believe that this programme began last year.

The main purpose is to help the rebel leaders “change the direction of work from going in circles to going in spirals,” notes a seven-page circular on the programme, a copy of which is with The Hindu. It throws light on the Maoists' perspective on their inability to extend the revolutionary movement in many States.

The Maoist think tank's analysis is that the rebel leaders “tend to go about their work in a routine and mechanical way with little creativity and dynamism…Many comrades rest satisfied with petty achievements and mundane activities.” While many committed leaders continue against all odds, their dedication does not bear fruit. “What is the reason for this?” asks the circular. The decision to train leaders comes in the backdrop of some worrisome developments for the Maoists. Their movement failed to take off in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala and Gujarat, managed by the Maoists South Western Regional Bureau (SWRB. While some important leaders were arrested, some were shot dead by security forces and the movement in Karnataka suffered a vertical split on ideological issues. “In the XYZ region [possibly a reference to SWRB] in the course of just one year we have lost over two-thirds of CCMs [Central Committee Members] to encounter killings, arrests and untimely deaths. We have also witnessed the near wipe-out of an entire State committee due a series of arrests”.

The circular says: “Our very limited mass base and our weaknesses to conceptualise the changes in the enemy's methods are leading to heavy losses.”

Rebels behead CPM activist in restive zone

Midnapore, Nov. 21: A CPM supporter was beheaded near Lalgarh in the first such act by suspected Maoists in Bengal while two local party leaders were killed in a neighbouring pocket in separate incidents since last night.

The bullet-riddled body of Ganesh Ahir was found on a road near Binpur’s Paluidanga, around 6km from his home in Lalgarh’s Rasikpur from where he had been dragged away. The severed head had been placed on the right hand, police said.

The rebels appeared to have picked Rasikpur carefully. The Maoist-backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) is not strong there, with the villagers having made it clear that they are poor and cannot afford to turn up at the outfit’s rallies and meetings.

The village is in one of the pockets where the CPM has organised marches since the party’s recapture of Lalgarh town last month.

West Midnapore police chief Manoj Verma confirmed that it was the first beheading by Maoists in Bengal and put it down to frustration at the joint forces’ intensified offensive.

“The Maoists have not beheaded any victim before. But Ganesh was brutally killed and beheaded. The Maoists are trying to prove their existence which has been threatened by sustained raids by the joint forces and rejection by the people.”

The murder came as a chilling reminder of the manner in which Jharkhand inspector Francis Induwar was abducted and beheaded in October last year. Like Ganesh, his decapitated body was dumped along a road.

Ganesh’s neighbour Manoranjan Mahato (name changed) said the farm labourer was a widower and lived with his son and two daughters.

“A little before midnight, around 20 people with guns slung across their shoulders came to Ganesh’s house. Ganesh initially refused to open the door but relented after they threatened to kill his children along with him if he did not come out. Then, they took him away,” said Manoranjan.”

Mohammad Khaliluddin, a member of the CPM local committee in Rasikpur, said Ganesh’s family had long been supporters of the party.

“Ganesh’s nephew Madhu is a member of the branch committee of the party but he stays away from home because of rebel threats. In Rasikpur, the PCPA was never very strong. The Maoists killed Ganesh so brutally because they want to create panic,” said Khaliluddin.

In the other incident, which occurred this afternoon in Salboni, Rahim Patar and Pashupati Singh were waylaid and shot by suspected rebels while they were travelling on a bike to the local panchayat samiti office for work related to the revision of electoral rolls.

Rahim, 32, was a member of the CPM’s zonal committee in Salboni and a functionary of the panchayat samiti. Pashupati, 55, was a local committee member of the CPM and chief of the Garmal panchayat in Salboni.

They were riding along a forested stretch. Around 2pm, when they reached a spot between Kharikashuli and Godamouli, four youths armed with automatic weapons suddenly emerged from the forest.

“When the two leaders saw the youths blocking their path, they slowed down. The youths opened fire and the leaders fell on the ground with their motorcycle. Two more party workers had been following them on another bike. They turned around and fled,” said Meghnad Bhuniya, a district committee member of the CPM.

Police chief Verma said: “We have come to know about the murders of the two CPM leaders. A joint forces team has rushed to the spot.”

Bomb bungle kills 7 students

RAMASHANKAR MISHRA

Patna, Nov. 21: Seven students and a farmer were killed in Bihar when a Maoist bomb that police had failed to defuse yesterday and abandoned for the night in an open field went off while schoolchildren were passing by this morning.

The tragedy exposes numbing professional inadequacies in the security apparatus fighting the Maoists in the hinterland. The amateurish handling not only failed to avert deaths despite a bomb being found well in time but also snared victims who were not the original targets.

The toll is higher than that from any single incident during the month-long Bihar elections that passed off in relative peace and concluded yesterday.

The seven students killed in the 6.45am blast in Bihar’s Aurangabad district were aged between 12 and 18. They were walking to their tutorial classes past the bomb that looked like any ordinary cooking gas cylinder.

The farmer, the eighth victim, was heading for his fields in the village, Pachokhar, 180km south of Patna. The five injured — three are in serious condition — include four children.

The villagers demonstrated against the police today although officers claimed the bomb squad had yesterday alerted residents about the bomb they were leaving behind.

State police chief Neel Mani said the station house officers of Dev and Dhibra police stations, whose men were on poll duty at the site yesterday, had been suspended for dereliction of duty.

The police had detected the bomb, apparently planted by the Maoists to target security personnel during polling, but failed to defuse it despite their best efforts, Aurangabad superintendent of police Vivek Raj Singh said.

Ordinarily, they would have carried it to some safe place or dropped it in a pond, but a cylinder bomb weighs about 5kg and it would have been risky to try and move it, sources said.

Singh said the police warned some villagers about the bomb and left for the night, saying they would try to defuse it today.

The incident is the third in a fortnight to raise questions about the competence of bomb squads in Bihar. Last evening, the chief of a Bihar Military Police bomb squad and a home guard were killed while trying to defuse a Maoist landmine at Londa village in Gaya district.

On November 8, a pressure bomb had exploded while being defused at Banke Bazar, 30km from Londa, killing two military police jawans.

At Pachokhar today, villagers refused to let the bodies be moved till 3pm and relented only after the government announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh for the family of each of the dead and the suspensions of the station house officers.

The state government has ordered an inquiry and sought a report from development commissioner K.C. Saha and home guard director-general U.S. Dutt by tomorrow.

Orissa cops nab RK's close aide

TNN, Nov 22, 2010, 02.52am IST


VISAKHAPATNAM: Former Maoist state committee leader and Amara Veerula Bandhumitrula Sangham state president Ganti Prasad was taken to Koraput on Sunday by Orissa cops after he was arrested at Vizag railway station on Saturday night.

Sources said Prasad would be produced before the Koraput magistrate late in the night and sent to judicial remand on the charges of waging war against the state and conspiring against the government and police. Prasad is a close associate of top Maoist leader Ramakrishna alias RK, who escaped the Orissa police dragnet in Narayanpatna forest block recently.

Sources said the cops trailed Prasad from Vijayawada after he got into Janmabhoomi Express and once the train reached Vizag, they took him into custody. He was immediately whisked away to an unknown location. Later, it was learnt that he was taken to Sunebada. Police got information that Prasad has been maintaining contact with RK and Sudhakar, another top Maoist leader. "In fact, it was Prasad who had made all arrangements for the meeting of Sireesha alias Padma with her husband RK in Narayanpatna block before she was arrested by Orissa cops," sources said.

Police sources said Prasad was acting as a political tutor for the underground cadre Naxals. Civil rights organizations representatives said Prasad went missing after 6.30 pm while travelling in Janmabhoomi Express. "He had neither reached Visakhapatnam nor Komarthi village in Srikakulam where he resides with his family," they said.

Former Virasam president G Kalyan Rao said he had a telephonic conversation with Prasad at 5.30 pm. Virasam member Chalasani Prasad said he had called up Prasad's son around 6.30 pm. "After that his whereabouts were not known. We believe he must have been picked up between Tuni and Vizag," he said.

Prasad was one of the six accused in the Aurangabad conspiracy case in May 2005. All the accused were acquitted in August this year as there was no evidence to prove that they had hatched the conspiracy.

Prasad was an underground cadre of the erstwhile People's War Group. His brother Ganti Ramesh alias Rajanna, secretary of Srikakulam division, was among the 11 Naxals killed in the Kopardung encounter in 1998.

Earlier, Kalyana Rao and Chalasani Prasad demanded that the government produce Prasad before court immediately. "We fear there is a threat to his life from the police. Hence, we want the government to produce Prasad immediately," they said.


Read more: Orissa cops nab RK's close aide - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Orissa-cops-nab-RKs-close-aide/articleshow/6966531.cms#ixzz15ytTaKPf

Maoists abduct two more-teacher and woman social worker

Express News Service
Posted: Mon Nov 22 2010, 06:07 hrs


Two persons were abducted from West Midnapore in separate incidents on Saturday.

In the first incident, a woman employee of the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), Sampriti Mahato, has been reportedly abducted by Maoists. According to the police, Sampriti of Jamda village near Lalgarh was reported missing yesterday night. In another incident, a school teacher, Devendra Singh, was also allegedly abducted by the Maoists. Praveen Tripathi,

Superintendent of Police, Jhargram, said that Singh was reported missing on Friday evening. Police said that Singh went to his school at Kajla village yesterday and since then he has not returned home.

Meanwhile, the police have today arrested two Maoist squad members from Bankura and Purulia. Kinkar Pal, Bankura district president of Peoples’ Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), was arrested from a forest near Hijli village in Barikul. A firearm and 10 rounds of ammunition were recovered from him, said Pranav Kumar, Superintendent of Police, Bankura. In another raid, the police arrested Sudhir Hemram, a resident of Arsha, in Purulia, said Sunil Chowdhury, SP, Purulia.

Maoist RK’s close aide in police custody?

Express News Service First
Published : 22 Nov 2010 03:33:45 AM IST
Last Updated : 22 Nov 2010 07:53:42 AM IST

VISAKHAPATNAM: Police arrested Ganti Prasad, a close aide to Maoist top gun Ramakrishna, while he was travelling to Visakhapatnam from Vijayawada by Janmabhoomi Express yesterday, the Viplava Rachayitala Sangham has alleged.

But police are yet to make an announcement that Prasad is in their custody.
Speaking to Express, Virasam president Chalasani Prasad said here today that Ganti Prasad, who hails from Bobbili in Vizianagaram district, had been active in the people’s movement for several few decades buty the police detained the “Bobbili hero’’.

Ganti Prasad had joined the mainstream of life about ten years ago and his wife resides at Komarti village in Srikakulam district while his son Sujhir is studying law in Srikakulam.

According to the Virasam president, Ganti Prasad boarded the train at Vijayawada to go to his home town Bobbili but did not reach Visakhapatnam, giving rise to suspicion that police took him into custody as he was RK’s close aide. When contacted, police refuted Virasam’s charge of arrest.

Not black as he’s painted

A file picture of Subrata Mukherjee and Siddhartha Shankar Ray in 1990

Trinamul Congress leader Subrata Mukherjee pays tribute to “Manuda”, his mentor Siddhartha Shankar Ray, claiming it is wrong to call him the chief minister of the black era. Ray died in the city on November 6

After (former chief minister) Prafulla Chandra Sen, Siddhartha Shankar Ray was the most honest man I have seen in my life. Manuda never accepted his fees as a barrister without a cheque. He used to pay his household employees also with cheques. I never saw him clearing a file just by signing it. Before signing he used to write a note with his observations on the matter.

In 1972, the All India Congress Committee’s plenary session was to be held in Calcutta, at Salt Lake (Indira Bhavan was constructed then for Indira Gandhi). Manuda was the chief minister. He had asked Priya Ranjan Das Munshi, Arun Moitra and me to manage the event. One day he called us and said: “I can do everything but not raise funds.”

But after 1977 (when the Left Front came to power), when Chhatra Parishad fell on difficult days, he used to donate the entire amount of his honorarium as MLA and leader of the Opposition to Chhatra Parishad.

If he had not been the chief minister, neither Priya da nor I could have become ministers at that young age. In 1971, when he recommended my nomination I was so green that I used to believe that Bidhan Sabha had been named after Bidhan Chandra Roy.

Manuda would admonish me like an elder brother, but forgive me. One day on my way to Writers’ Buildings, I saw a policeman slap a cart-puller and take money from him. I got down from my car and slapped the policeman. Manuda called me to his room. But later when we were meeting Indira Gandhi at Hyderabad House, Manuda in a casual mood narrated the incident to her. Mrs Gandhi only laughed and said: “This is Subrata.”

Manuda was so averse to corruption that when he heard that Rajani Dalui (a Congress leader) had been taking money and giving jobs to Chhatra Parishad workers, he immediately advised the police to arrest him.

I think crushing the Naxalite movement and setting up of the Wanchoo Commission to investigate corruption charges against some of his cabinet colleagues and the three-tier panchayat system, consisting of gram panchayat, panchayat samiti and zilla parishad, are achievements of Siddhartha Shankar Ray for which he should be remembered. The Naxalites had held the entire state and its peace-loving people to ransom. The government had to issue a slogan like “Live and let live” (banchoon ebang banchte din) in Bengali. Trams would carry these words on them. Since people were scared to go out after sundown, night shows were discontinued and noon shows were introduced instead.

Siddhartha Shankar Ray was committed to bringing back the rule of law by crushing the Naxalite movement. The Left Front claims the panchayat system as its achievement. But the three-tier system was Siddhartha Shankar Ray’s work. He could not hold the elections as he feared these would spark violence in rural Bengal.

It was a blunder not to hold the elections. After coming to power, the Left Front held the polls. The panchayat elections gave the CPM the opportunity to destroy the traditional mass base of the Congress in the rural belt.

It is wrong to call Manuda the chief minister of the black era in West Bengal. The Left Front government instituted 13 commissions against him but none could find him guilty.

Ray should have been cremated with full state honours: Pranab

2010-11-21 16:50:00

Kolkata, Nov 21 (IANS) Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Sunday sharply criticised the Marxist-led West Bengal government for not according full state honours to former chief minister Siddartha Shankar Ray after his death, and regretted that such treatment of dead leaders has become a practice in the state.

'A former chief minister should always be cremated with full state honours. But those who are in government have not done this. But in every state of India, this protocol is being maintained,' said Mukherjee, addressing a condolence meeting for Ray here.

A lot of political furore was created over Ray not being accorded full state honours after his death. Ray, West Bengal chief minister (1972-77) and Punjab governor from 1986-89, was neither taken on his last journey on a gun carriage, nor was his body draped in the tricolour.

In contrast, Marxist icon and former chief minister Jyoti Basu was cremated with full state honours after his death in January.

'After independence the first chief minister of West Bengal Prafulla Ghosh, then first non-Congress chief minister Ajoybabu (Ajoy Mukherjee), then chief minister Prafulla Chandra Sen and now former chief minister Siddhartha Sankar Ray, if they are not given full state honours after their death, then we feel like there is a gap in performing our duty,' Mukherjee said.

'It hardly matters to the dead leaders whether state honours are given to them are not. Whether a gun carriage, gun salute and the last post is provided during the last journey, it hardly matters to the dead person. But we feel there has been a gap in performing our duty,' he said.

Mukherjee also lauded Ray's foresightedness for his iron hand dealing with the Maoist movement.

'He had successfully dealt with the Naxalite (Maoist) problem with his foresightedness. He firmly believed that if any power with the help of the gun challenges a government democratically elected by the people, then that was unacceptable and the state should fight back.

'In carrying out the task, he had to face heavy criticism, but that could not deter him, and he performed his duty successfully,' he added.

Sitting ducks in bomb den

JOY SENGUPTA

Special Task Force personnel with the recovered cylinder bomb that exploded on Saturday at Imamganj. Telegraph picture

Patna, Nov. 21: The death of seven students early this morning in Aurangabad and that of two cops in Imamganj yesterday exposed the lack of expertise of the police in defusing bombs.

Security forces posted in Naxalite-hit areas claim they are not equipped to handle the landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) they encounter in course of their daily patrol. The lack of equipment may have been the cause of the blast of the 5kg cylinder bomb that killed the home guard jawan and a bomb disposal squad member at Londa village, under Dumaria police station on Saturday, minutes before the polling came to a close.

A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan on guard at a polling booth in Imamganj constituency in Gaya said the landmines and IEDs were the most dangerous threats faced by the security forces in their campaign against the rebels.

The jawan said: “We can engage and defeat the Maoists in gun battles as we have better arms and fire power. But we can’t fight the landmines — they are difficult to find. Even if we spot them, defusing them is difficult.”

A Special Task Force jawan said detecting bombs was just a matter of chance. He said: “We try to look for wires on the road.”

That is what bomb disposal squad chief Anil Singh and home guard jawan Baleshwar Singh found out on Saturday. A source at Dumaria police station on Sunday recounted the incident that killed Anil and Baleshwar and injured seven others.

The source said: “The two of them tried to do all they could to defuse the bomb. First they tried to explode the bomb with extended wires and a battery. When that didn’t work, they tried using a car battery.”

When they found it was a cylinder bomb, they started digging for it.

The source said: “The bomb was then brought out and the wires cut. The security personnel, who had gathered around, thought the bomb had been defused. Photographers came close and started taking pictures. A camera flash caused the explosion.”

Dumaria police station officer-in-charge Ratan Lal Thakur told The Telegraph: “Five companies of Border Security Force are camping in the area. We have information of movement of Maoists in this area, close to the Jharkhand border.”

The source said Anil had asked his subordinate to get him wires but the two suitcases of equipment they had did not have any. Neither did it have any torch battery or larger batteries required to defuse bombs. Policemen arranged for the required equipment from nearby villages.

A senior police officer in the district said there was a serious lack of equipment as well as personnel. He said not all districts had bomb disposal squads and the local security forces had to wait for personnel to arrive from Patna when they detect a bomb.

He said: “This can be very frustrating as we have to wait for hours when even a minute’s delay can be catastrophic.”

Earlier, senior police officers maintained that the bomb disposal squads of Bihar Military Police had the required equipment to deal with the situation. Now even they accept the situation is serious.

A member of the bomb disposal squad based in Patna said: “I have been defusing country-made bombs for a long time. But I don’t have proper protective jackets or equipment. I have just been lucky.”

Director-general of police Neel Mani told The Telegraph: “It’s not that we don’t have equipment. But often the personnel of the bomb disposable squad do not wear protective jackets or equipment. We will look into this.” Mani said: “We have a meeting tomorrow. Senior officers will be there. A lot of changes will be introduced in it.”