Saturday, January 22, 2005

India In the grip of Maoism

By Sultan Shahin

NEW DELHI - The Communist Party of India (CPI Maoist) and Janashakti,
the two main Maoist groups in the south Indian state of Andhra
Pradesh on Wednesday pulled out from the three-month-old peace talks
initiated by the state government, with the consent of the central
government. The blame game has since ensued, with both the state
government and the Maoists refusing to claim responsibility for the

A joint statement issued by leaders of the two Maoist outfits said
the decision to pull out was in protest against the intensified
combing operations by "Greyhounds", the elite force of the police,
and the "encounter killings taking place on a daily basis".
Denouncing the Congress Party-led coalition government's policies as
anti-people, they issued a call to the people to wage a war for a new
democratic society.

The strongly-worded statement came barely two hours after a cabinet
meeting chaired by chief minister Rajashekhara Reddy resolved to go
in for the second round of talks with Maoist leaders and initiate
other conciliatory measures, such as slowing down the combing
operations and asking the police to observe restraint.

Within hours of the announcement, however, state Home Minister K Jana
Reddy appealed to the Naxalites - as Maoists are called in India, as
the present phase of Maoist rebellion had started in a village called
Naxalbari in West Bengal in 1967 - to reconsider their decision, as
the government, he said, remained committed to continuing the peace
talks. Talking to reporters, he urged them to view the recent police
encounters as "unfortunate incidents". He assured them that there
would neither be combing operations nor any repression. Asserting
that the police had been instructed to avoid excesses, he said the
Maoists should also see that there was no loss of life or destruction
of property. They should also desist from carrying weapons while
visiting villages. The minister assured them that he would consult
political leaders and mediators in the talks to create a congenial
atmosphere for holding the next round. He asked both sides to observe
restraint as this process would take about a fortnight.

The Maoist statement was signed by top rebel leaders, the CPI
(Maoist) State Committee secretary, Ramakrishna, the North Telangana
Special Zonal Committee secretary, Jampanna, the Andhra-Orissa Border
Special Zonal Committee secretary, Sudhakar, the Janashakti State
secretary, Amar, and senior leader, Riyaz. Four of these leaders had
participated in the first round of peace talks held between October
15 and 18, 2004. They said they accepted the government's formal
invitation for talks for finding a solution to problems facing the
state, like restoration of democratic rights, land distribution, the
World Bank's diktats and a separate Telangana state to be carved out
of Andhra Pradesh. "But," they said, "the government did not conduct
itself with responsibility during the talks." These developments,
they said, proved that the ruling classes would not resolve people's
issues through talks. They accused the government of trying to
suppress the Maoist parties in the name of negotiations.

These developments came after three consecutive days of encounter
killings by police and reprisals by Maoists resulting in the death of
10 persons, including nine extremists and a village chief. Maoists
burnt a bus and destroyed two liquor shops in Guntur district. A
strike called by Janashakti evoked only partial response in several
districts; though, it was quite successful in Warangal. Once again,
with the Maoists vowing to avenge the killing of its cadre by the
police in alleged encounters, the police department is moving a
proposal to provide bullet-proof cars to the ministers from
Telangana. The previous Chandrababu Naidu regime, too, had provided
such facilities, though the chief minister himself had barely
survived an assassination attempt. As many as 50 bullet proof
vehicles had been bought to provide security to the ministers.

In another quick response, the central government is backing the
formation of state-level task forces that would be required to
coordinate operations "on both sides of the border", as a top Home
Ministry official put it on Wednesday, to curb the spread of Maoism.
The Maoist threat is widespread in nine states and growing in at
least six more states. The most affected are Bihar - the eastern
state bordering Nepal - Orissa, West Bengal, Chhatisgarh, Madhya
Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and now Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. "These
joint forces will be set up very soon," an official told reporters of
the outcome of the second meeting of the special task force on Maoism
held in Raipur on Tuesday. The center would foot the bill of kitting,
training and modernizing the special police force meant to fight the
Maoists for three years.

In another desperate move, New Delhi on Tuesday announced it is
increasing paramilitary forces recruitment from 10% to 40% in
militancy-hit and border areas. The cabinet committee on security,
which met in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh, cleared the proposal to streamline recruitment into
paramilitary forces in the special states. Speaking to reporters
after the meeting, Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that
recruitment in the special states will depend on the population. He
said that the states have been asked to prepare an action plan to
fight the Naxalites.

There is predictable gloating in the hardline-strategist circles at
the failure of these talks, as they can again say "we told you so".
Similar reactions had greeted the failure of talks initiated by the
previous government. But whenever meetings of the Home Ministry's
parliamentary committee are held, reports Kuldip Nayar, veteran
journalist and former member of parliament and former high
commissioner to London, the only solution suggested is to have "a
serious dialogue". "Even when there are talks - as those that took
place in Andhra a month ago," Nayar wrote recently, "the police
dictate the rules. There is no generosity, not even an attitude of
give-and-take. The Naxalites are treated as criminals, not rebels.
The government tends to end peace talks abruptly because it believes
that it can suppress such movements by force." Nayer thinks that the
Maoists have come to symbolize hope, however fleeting and however

The establishment attitude is symbolized by M K Narayanan, the
present officiating national security adviser and a special adviser
to the prime minister on internal security. He is a former director
of India's intelligence bureau famous in intelligence circles for
having been a brilliant officer.

Before rejoining the government, Narayanan wrote an article entitled
"How to contain the extreme left". His concluding remarks would show
the pious emptiness at the heart of the government: "With
'Bonapartism' riding roughshod over 'revolutionary' communism, talk
of peaceful conflict resolution has its limitations. The frustrating
experience of the aborted talks [2000-2002] between the Andhra
Pradesh authorities and the Peoples War [or PW, with the Committee of
Concerned Citizens acting as the mid-wife] - confirms this
hypothesis. Moreover, revolutionary movements that do not believe in
democracy, or so-called 'liberating movements' that do not endorse
democratic and civil society norms, are unlikely to accept an
agreement within a constitutional framework. Meanwhile, the fact that
the PW is currently engaged in eliminating some of its erstwhile
leaders, accusing them of having betrayed the struggle, does not
provide much comfort about the future of peaceful negotiations."

While accepting that "more than law and order issues are, hence,
clearly involved", Narayanan is unable to come up with any clear
strategy, except suggesting that human-rights groups should stop
highlighting police brutalities. He goes on: "What is needed is a
common strategy to deal with left wing extremism. As attacks on the
state apparatus multiply, they could further damage the foundations
of the democratic political system. A weakened state cannot possibly
deal with this kind of challenge, and this is precisely what constant
criticism and carping by human-rights watch groups tends to do. It is
not merely a question of demoralizing those engaged in countering
extremist violence, but of undermining the edifice itself."

Independent observers find it difficult to understand how the Maoist
problem would go away even if "constant criticism and carping by
human-rights groups" were to cease. What is apparently required is an
attempt to understand what makes the Maoists tick and formulate
strategies accordingly. After all, they are running parallel
governments in large parts of rural India. Nothing can happen in
rural and small town Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Andhra
Pradesh and parts of other states without Maoist permission.

One example would suffice. The political strongman of Bihar, union
railway minister and head of the ruling party in the second largest
state in the country, Lalu Prasad Yadav, was not able to hold a rally
in the state capital Patna recently, because, angered by his decision
not to allow a Maoist rally, the latter did not permit him to
organize a rally either. His party has been winning elections in
Bihar for four consecutive terms only because he is able to make a
deal with the Maoists before every election. If he fails to do so
this time, there is no way he can win the forthcoming state elections
in a few weeks from now. The same was true of Andhra Pradesh in last
year's elections: the Congress-led coalition won because the Maoists
decided not to enforce the election boycott they routinely pronounce
in the areas where people were going to vote for the Congress and its

The Maoist phenomenon

Asia Times Online made an effort to understand the Maoist phenomenon
at the ground level earlier this month. This correspondent spent a
week in the Maoist heartland of Bihar and Jharkhand, in the adjoining
districts of Aurangabad and Palamau. As the overwhelming majority of
the people in these states, as in other affected states, are just
trying to eke out a living and could be counted as have-nots, they
have no reason to fear the Maoists. Unlike in the big cities, where
the middle classes have something to lose, people here are too poor
to consider the Maoists a menace. Indeed, their own kith and kin are
joining the red brigade in ever-growing numbers, as other employment
opportunities are few and far between. Maoists look after these
frustrated youths and give them something to do. In fact the moment
it gets known that someone has turned Maoist, his stock in the family
and the village rises. He becomes a person to be feared.

The most shocking revelation for a city-dweller fed a daily media
diet of stories that depict the Maoists as terrible criminals is the
respect and awe in which these groups are held as providers of
justice and equality to the rural social fabric. In conversations
with the village folk, this correspondent asked repeatedly about the
so-called kangaroo courts through which the Maoists are said to
dispense summary justice. But people from different backgrounds and
castes were unanimous that the punishments meted out were just and
only to criminals who were known to have committed these crimes.
There is very little kept private in the countryside. Everybody knows
who is doing what.

Justice for the exploited is hard to come by through the judicial
system. Poor people accused of crimes for which the maximum
punishment on conviction would be a month in prison are known to have
languished in jails for as long as three decades and come out just
because some human-rights group noticed them and filed a
public-interest case in the supreme court. On the other hand, the
influential and wealthy would either never go to jail or even if they
do, they live a luxurious life even there: they simply put the
jailers on their payroll.

Also, India has always had a village judicial system called the
panchayats. This system can sometimes be very cruel and very unjust.
But it enjoys wide acceptability. The only difference between the
Maoist courts and panchayats is that while the latter is mostly run
by upper caste and influential Hindus, and usually perpetrate
injustices to the lowly castes, the former are run by the deprived
sections of society who mete out instant punishments to those who are
known to have either raped a low caste woman or exploited a poor
person in some way.

While the upper castes and the wealthy will not hear a good word
about Maoists, the local populace insists that Maoists do not engage
in indiscriminate killings and that punishments meted out to
individuals are well deserved. If it is illegal, it is only as
illegal as the judicial decisions taken by upper-caste run panchayats
that routinely order killing and the rape of lower caste men and
women if they try to step out of line. A dalit (untouchable) boy
seeking to marry a higher caste girl, for instance, would be
routinely ordered by the panchayat to be killed by his own parents.
In many cases parents of both the boy and the girl would themselves
kill their children if ordered by the panchayats. Panchayats can even
order women to be gang-raped if full view of the village if they have
caused them some offence like refusing to work in the fields or in
the household for free. But the power of such upper-caste panchayats
lies highly diminished in areas where Maoists rule.

Apart from being harsh toward the upper caste and wealthy in clear
cases of rape, exploitation or other crimes, the Maoists are also
unforgiving toward those who have the wherewithal but will not pay
taxes to the parallel government, or would try to hide their incomes.
No business or development activity can take place in these states
unless the businessman or the contractor has paid 10% of his income
to the Maoists. The road linking Daltonganj, the Palamau district
headquarters to a sub-division town Garhwa, for instance, could not
be repaired for years as the contractors was elusive and did not want
to share his income with Maoists. Traveling on this road last
fortnight, however, this correspondent found that the construction
activity has started now and roadside villagers infer that some deal
must have been made.

Many agree that criminal elements have infiltrated the Maoist
movement. As the movement has grown, it has inevitably become
somewhat unwieldy. But Maoist supporters say that crimes are
committed by criminal elements in the name of Maoism. Such criminals
are, however, never spared by the movement. They are invariably found
out and punished. It is only when the police commit crimes and
ascribe them to Maoists that the latter are unable to counter as the
police is a largely faceless force and its functionaries keep getting
transferred from one area to another. It is difficult to carry out a
vendetta against individual police officers. The continuing battle
with the police is of course another matter. Only a fortnight ago a
senior police officer and six of his colleagues were gunned down by
Maoists in north Bihar.

The Maoist phenomenon received a fillip from the lack of development
in rural areas. But now it has itself started promoting
underdevelopment. Modern communication facilities like telephone and
expanding road networks, for instance, are inimical to the Maoist
enterprise. Residents of an upper-caste and wealthy Brahmin village
called Ketat, for instance, feel safe because they have telephones
and are also situated on a road going to Garhwa Road which has a
police station. They have never suffered a Maoist raid.

Villagers of nearby Kamta say the same thing. Here the residents are
Muslim and a couple of them perhaps prosperous enough to be paying
small taxes to the Maoists; but again they are situated on the
roadside and have telephone connections which could be used for
calling the police; so they have remained safe so far. But what makes
them afraid is the proximity of Kothilwa Mountain. Hills and
mountains provide the best refuge and an impregnable defense to the

Maoist exploits and dare-devilry have become the stuff of legends in
the area. With nothing better to do villagers and shopkeepers in
small towns narrate detailed stories of how a certain person was
gunned down by Maoists and for what reason. One prosperous Muslim
resident of Chhatarpur, a roadside town on the Daltonganj-Aurangabad
road, for instance, was killed because he would not surrender his
licensed gun to the Maoists. But how the Maoists managed to eliminate
him is a story with several spins. Some tales focus on the bravery of
the Haji, who was finally killed while traveling in a jeep, some on
the effectiveness of the espionage network run by the Maoists, from
whose net few escape. As the overwhelming majority of people have
nothing to lose, except by accident if caught in some rare crossfire,
they seem to be enjoying the raging battle being fought between the
Maoists on the one hand and the police or the upper-caste militias on
the other.

On the growing spread of Maoism, a resident of Nawa, a small township
on the same road, said; "Virtually every family has a Maoist member.
If you stay the night here, and walk on the road after nightfall,
every passerby would greet you with the Maoist slogan "Laal Salaam"
[Red Salute] and you might face difficulties if you don't greet the
fellow back with a Laal Salaam yourself."

One thing about Maoists that has caught the imagination of many in
the areas this correspondent traveled thorough is their fierce
secularism and opposition to discrimination on grounds of caste.
Maoist, or for that matter other mainstream communist leaders, have
traditionally come from the upper castes and wealthy classes. But
they mix with the lowest of the low among India's numerous castes
without showing the slightest sense of superiority. Maoist cadres
come from all castes and communities, though it would be difficult to
find upper caste people except at the leadership level. In a country
where nearly all political parties have fixed vote banks among
certain castes and communities, many common people find it admirable,
indeed awe-inspiring.

Everything in India boils down to caste, in the final analysis. Upper
castes long for the time when the lower castes knew and were resigned
to their lowly place in society. They are determined to perpetuate
the millennia-old system of caste discrimination and appalling
exploitation of the poor for as long as possible. They have created a
whole host of militias to counter the Maoist onslaught. These
militias engage in indiscriminate killings of lower caste villagers
and display unspeakable brutality in killing women and children. A
vicious cycle of retaliatory killings goes on.

Thoughtful individuals in Bihar and Jharkhand's villages suffering
from the Maoist threat say that the only way to counter Maoism would
be to provide good governance, development and social justice. But
now Maoism itself would come in the way. Like everybody else in the
business of administering the country, Maoists, too, have developed a
vested interest. A civil war can be quite profitable for some.

Similarly, the police have a vested interest in the survival of
Maoism. It is this ongoing struggle with Maoism that brings to them
millions of dollars worth of arms and ammunition, part of which they
can sell to the Maoists and boost their income. Maoists have now come
to welcome encounters with the police as it is an easy way of
snatching sophisticated weapons and ammunition. All the licensed guns
in the countryside have either been taken back by the state or looted
by the Maoists. The citizenry is entirely at the mercy of the two
governments, one overt and the other covert, one rules by the day and
the other by night.

It is possible that M K Narayanan is right, after all, and the likes
of Kuldip Nayar wrong. What is there to talk about with the Maoists?
If good governance and social justice is impossible to provide, all
that governments can do is deal with the consequences of ill
governance, as best as they can and for as long as they can.
Apparently, India is in for a long-drawn-out and even fiercer battle
with the Maoists. If the government can draw together immense
firepower for the battles ahead, the Maoists have the resources to
either loot or buy the same firepower from the government forces
themselves. Corruption and caste supremacy can hardly go together.

Sultan Shahin is a New Delhi-based writer.

Nepal: People's War News: Ilam clash reports

Nepal: People's War News: Ilam clash reports

Ilam clash: 23 bodies of 'security' forces found, 22 missing

Bodies of 23 security personnel killed in a Maoist attack near
Puwakhola on the Mechi Highway in the eastern district of Ilam Wednesday have
been found by Thursday evening while 22 security men are still out of
contact. The area is 10 km northeast of the district headquarters, Ilam

Latest media reports said that 23 dead bodies -17 army men and six
policemen - were found at the incident site while five injured security men
have been undergoing treatment in Dharan. 22 security men who had gone
missing after the incident arrived at the District Police Office this

Army Captain Upendra Ranabhat is one of the killed. There were
altogether 72 security men fighting with hundreds of rebels for nearly three

Quoting a Maoist brigade commissar, Parwana, reports said no security
men were in Maoist captivity.

Six Maoists have been confirmed dead in the clash. Quoting
eyewitnesses, reports said that the rebels took away at least four bodies with them
while two bodies were found buried nearby the incident site. However,
the actual casualty on the Maoist side is not known.

Human rights activists who visited the area this afternoon said they
saw dozens of socket bombs and bullets strewn around the site, reports
said. Following the clash, schools have been closed down while
fear-stricken villagers have not dared to come out of their homes.

The Maoists had launched a sudden attack on security forces en route to
Puwakhoka to clear the barriers laid (by the rebels) on the highway
since last three days.

Search operation continues in and around Puwakhola. mbk
Jan 20 05

Foolish Andhraites get what they voted for - Naxalite Raj

Naxal extortion tales resound in CM court

Hyderabad, Jan. 21: The CPI-Maoists have stepped up recruitment
and extortion so much over the course of the last month, especially in
the coastal areas, that Ministers have taken up the matter with Chief
Minister Y S Raja-sekhar Reddy. The activity is vigorously on in
Visakhapatnam, both the Godavaris, Krishna, Guntur and Prakasam districts.

Several Ministers from coastal Andhra have complained to
Rajasekhar Reddy over the last four days about the pressure from the people who
are being targeted by CPI-Maoists. "Those who are prepared to pay up
are not bringing the matter to our notice. Only th-ose who cannot pay are
questioning us saying Maoists never entered towns and cities during the
TD regime," a senior Minister said. He said the Chief Minister had been
briefed about the situation.

State intelligence sleuths confirmed that recruitment was up even
in parts of Rayalaseema, like Dornala in Kurnool district. In Dornala
alone, over 400 youth have been recruited in the last 20 days. The
recruits are put on different pay scales ranging from Rs 3,000 to Rs 8,000,"
a senior Intelligence official said.

A senior Intelligence officer confirmed to Chronicle: "They are
offering Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 for direct recruits. Those recruited as
informers and workers in Maoist outfits like Adivasi Mahila Sama-khya,
outfits in Telangana are promised Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 a month."

Some Ministers told Chr-onicle that Maoists' have fix-ed amounts
for people in different professions and telling them to "pay if they
wish". Only, this is nothing short of a threat. The Maoist bill for a
farmer owning a tractor is
Rs 20,000. Farmers from coastal Andhra settled in Nizamabad
brought this to the notice of the Ministers.

Ministers from coastal Andhra are under tremendous pressure from
people holding small pieces lands, realtors, tour operators,
educational institutions and rice millers for being forced to pay to the Maoists.
In one instance, a farmer holding three-acre land found himself the
target. The farmer owing allegiance to the Congress has been making the
rounds of Gandhi Bhavan and Secretariat seeking protection. In Nuzvid in
Krishna district, mango farmers received oral "demand notices" for Rs
50,000 to Rs 2 lakh based on the area they held.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


(Paraphrased and compiled from various sources including
“The New Indian Express, Jan. 17, 05.)

* * *

A quick glance at the contents:

Her well-planned, determined bid to take over the Kanchi Math
She detains six persons under the Goondas Act
Her Special leave petition seeking cancellation of bail to Acharya
She is supported by the decaying atheist DK
An intelligence officer visits the Kanchi Math
* * *
Pious devotees throng Kalavai
* * *
(Tit bits from the public opinion, as reflected in the Newspapers)
* * *
Tamil Nadu "India's Nazi State"

Protest on a Global scale is required
to remove her evil designs on Hindu society
How Tamil Nadu Government Might Take Over Kanchi Mutt
She has takenover a VeeraSaiva Mutt in Kumbakonam
Ammas Kanchi bombshell: my govt may take over mutt
She sees red in Saffrons' demand
TN govt accused of trying to control Mutt
Jayalalithaa could be mulling an ordinance
to take control of the Kanchi mutt,
Jayalalithaa hits out at Kanchi seer
Jayalalithaa rules out withdrawal of cases
against Kanchi seer
Seer case Jaya stands her ground
We cannot leave Shankaracharyas in jail: BJP
Seer case BJP stays firm
SIT moves petition seeking police custody
of junior pontiff
SIT to file chargesheet on Jan 21
Beware of Nocturnal Raids!


Naxal refuses talks with Indian government

Voice of America Report

17 Jan 2005, 21:20 UTC

Click to Listen

Naxal refuses talks with Indian government

Monday, January 17, 2005

Jharkhand a Naxal hotbed

Parties wary of naxal threat

Saturday, January 15,2005

RANCHI: Extremism seems to be taking its toll on Jharkhand politics ahead of the assembly elections and khadi-clad workers of political parties are facing the brunt.

Political parties have expressed their concern over the reported incident of the rough up of three khadi-clad Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) activists recently in Vishnugarh block of Hazaribag. The three JMM activists were reportedly man-handled by naxalites for carrying out party activities.

While giving a call to boycott the assembly elections, naxalites have also warned the people of dire consequences if they participated in the electoral process.

Taking a strong exception to the incident, political parties, for now, have asked their cadres to wear casual dress and avoid use of party symbols or banners during party programmes in naxal strongholds.

“We cannot take any risk with regard to the safety of our cadres. Any untoward incident would only dampen the spirit of party workers. Therefore, we have asked party workers in the extremist infested areas to refrain from wearing khadi garment and revealing their identity,” said a leader.

It may be mentioned here that most of 24 constituencies that go to the polls in the first phase of elections are in the naxal hotbeds.

Maoists killed Sarpanch , Police killed 6 Maoists (Combined report)

Killings endanger AP govt-Naxal talks

Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | January 15, 2005 20:21 IST
Last Updated: January 15, 2005 23:40 IST


The peace talks between the Naxalites and Andhra Pradesh government is in danger of breaking down following the death of six Maoists in shoot-outs with the police in two districts in the state.

The police have sounded a red alert all over the state after the killings, which, they claimed, were in self-defence.

While three Maoists were killed in Prakasam district, three others were shot dead in Mahbubnagar.

Reacting to the incidents, Communist Party of India (Maoist) state secretary Ramakrishna, in a letter, a copy of which was released to the press in Hyderabad, said the killings have made the possibility of the peace talks continuing very remote.

He blamed the state government for trying to scuttle the peace atmosphere. The recent incidents prove that it is impossible to resolve the burning problems of the people through peaceful methods of dialogue, Ramakrishna said.

"We will retaliate the armed action of the police with arms itself," he said.

The Naxal leader appealed to all 'supporters of democracy' to strengthen the hands of the movement as in the present atmosphere it was futile to wait for negotiations to solve the peoples problems.

The Naxalites and the state government have been observing a ceasefire in the state for some months now. The first round of peace talks was held last October.

Giving details of the Prakasam district incident, Superintendent of Police Mahesh Chandra Ludda said Naxalites opened fire on a police party, which was on its way to Peddachima village from Chintala village after receiving information that Maoists were moving about in the area.

"Our personnel warned them not to fire and to surrender. Instead, they continued firing. Our police party fired in self-defence. The exchange of fire continued for 15 minutes. Some Naxalites fled the scene. The police party found the bodies of three Naxalites - one female and two males - after the firing ceased. Five weapons and five kitbags and a claymore mine were recovered from the site," the SP told over phone.

The incident, near Chintala in Dornala mandal, occurred between 1300 IST and 1400 IST, he said.

The second incident occurred between 1400 IST and 1430 IST at Bukkalingayapalli village, under Siddapur police limits, in Mahbubnagar district.

Superintendent of Police Vikram Singh Mann said a police party was on its way to the village to inquire into reports of extortions by the Maoists.

On seeing the police party, the Naxalites started firing on it and the police returned fire. In the exchange, three Maoists, including a woman, were killed, he told over phone.

The police are yet to establish the identity of the six slain Naxalites. But they are suspected to be members of the local armed squad (dalam) of the Communist Party of India [Maoist].

Earlier, on Friday night, Naxalites belonging to CPI [Marxist-Leninist] [Janashakti group] shot dead the Congress sarpanch of Rudrangi village in Chandurthi mandal in Karimnagar district.

Armed Naxalites barged into the house of Ganga Raj Lingaiah and forcibly took him to the village outskirts. Later, they pumped three bullets into him, killing him on the spot.

The Janashakti Naxalites, in a leaflet left behind at the spot, claimed that the killing was in retaliation for the killing of their comrade in a 'fake encounter' by the police in Warangal district a few days ago.

They warned they would kill 100 persons for every Naxalite killed in fake counters and declared that they would target Congress leaders with landmines.

With PTI inputs

Cong sarpanch killed; blow to naxal peace talks
Saturday, January 15 2005 18:15 Hrs (IST) - World Time -

Hyderabad: In a spurt in naxalite violence dealing a severe blow to peace talks, six extremists were killed in two separate encounters with police in Prakasam and Mahaboobnagar districts while a Congress sarpanch was gunned down by Maoists in Karimnagar district today (Jan 15, 2005).

Three naxalites, including a woman, were killed in an exchange of fire with a police patrol party near Chintala village in Prakasam district, police sources said.

The police recovered five rifles, five claymore mines and some kitbags from the spot.

In another incident in Mahaboobnagar district, three ultras died in an encounter with police at Pakkalingayapally village, police said.

In a first incident targeting a ruling party functionary since Congress took over the reins eight months ago, naxalites of Janasakthi group gunned down sarpanch Rajalingaiah (55) at Rudrangi village in Karimnagar district.


Top naxal leader held

By Our Staff Reporter

The Hindu

KARIMNAGAR, JAN. 8. The Karimnagar police arrested a top leader of the Janashakti, Pittala Ramesh alias Guttanna (25), in Suraram village of Mahadevpur mandal on Friday when he visited the village reportedly to extort money from the businessmen and traders.

Ramesh is the deputy commander of the Ramakanth dalam.

The police recovered one .45 loaded service revolver, 30 rounds of 12 bore cartridges, Rs. 1 lakh cash, olive green uniform and party flags, etc.

Disclosing this to newsmen here on Saturday, the Superintendent of Police, Rajiv Ratan, said a police party went to the village on a routine visit. On seeing it, Ramesh along with two other naxalites took to heels. The police gave a chase and succeeded in nabbing him.

On interrogation, Ramesh confessed to collecting about 50 metres of olive green uniform, 50 metres of red cloth for use as party flags. He said the Ramakanth dalam comprising of 12 members was actively indulging in extortions.