Saturday, May 07, 2005

Maoist victims take out rally

Nearly two hundred Maoist victims took out a rally in the capital, Kathmandu, Saturday, demanding that the government make proper arrangements for their rehabilitation.

Talking to Nepalnews, acting president of Maoist Victims Association, Dharma Raj Neupane, said they had to take out rally since the government was ignoring their demands for long. “The government should provide us food, clothe and shelter or declare us as internal refugees,” he demanded.

Dozens of Maoist victims have been residing at the Open Air Theatre (Tundikhel) for nearly last one month by erecting make-shift camps. With the onset of pre-monsoon rains, most of the people taking shelter in the open camp had turned sick, according to Neupane.

Maoist victims, including senior citizens, those rendered disabled by the insurgents and children displaced along with their parents, also took part in their rally. They had carried placards that read: We want peace, Rehabilitate the displaced people and make provision of education for displaced children.

Studies say up to 200,000 people have been displaced within the country due to the nine-year-old Maoist insurgency. They say the number of people who have fled to India looking for employment and safety could be much higher than that. by May 07 05

Dealing with Naxal Menace: Assessing Centre's Initiative

Prafulla Ketkar
Freelancer based in Delhi

The failure of Andhra Pradesh Government's dialogue with the naxal organizations and the spread of naxal menace necessitated the Center to take cognizance of the problem. Accordingly, the Home Ministry organized the Chief Ministers' Conference on Internal Security and Law and Order in New Delhi in April. Among the new proposals that came up for discussion, the long-term coordination by the Center with the naxal affected states holds the key for successful implementation of those proposals.

The peace talks with the Andhra Pradesh government were skillfully utilized by the naxalites to regroup and regain their strength, lost in the counter naxalite operation started by the Chandrababu Naidu government. According to the Union Home Ministry estimates, during this period, the Maoists have increased their core strength of 6000 armed guerillas by another 1200. They managed to merge the CPI (ML), Peoples' War and the MCC to increase their manpower and firepower. The left wing extremism increased its spread from 12 states and 155 districts to 15 states and 160 districts.

In the Chief Ministers conference it was decided to constitute a high-power panel to tackle the problem. The proposed committee will consist of Chief Ministers of states that are the worst hit by the Naxal problem. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has rightly pointed out that insurgencies have political dimensions as well and that extremist violence needs a political management of the security situation. He has drawn a line between violence that is a law and order problem only and violence that has socio-economic and political underpinnings. This complexity of countering Naxal violence is widely recognized and the committee would need to address socio-economic, developmental and political factors.

Headed by Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, the committee will have nine Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttaranchal, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh. It will periodically meet and decide upon the steps to check naxal activity. It will take inputs from the Coordination Center headed by the Union Home Secretary and also take into account socio-economic and political factors behind the spread of Naxal violence. This was the first of its kind conference where the PM was present during the entire meeting.

Governments fighting Naxal extremism should bear in mind that their campaign will succeed only if the socio-economic roots of the crisis are addressed. If not, the revolutionary rhetoric of extremist groups will draw marginalized sections into their fold. There is a need for the state to be cautious in its use of the coercive apparatus. The people centric developmental activities are essential to counter the spread of Naxal violence and called upon the Centre to review existing forest conservation laws in order to protect the rights of adivasis in forest areas. Strict implementation of the Minimum Wages Act and the Land Reforms Act are necessary initial steps for this systemic overhaul.

The proposed committee will be successful in its task only if there is cooperation among the states. The area of operations of Naxal groups has grown rapidly over the past couple of years and this has been possible because states do not work together in tackling the problem. There has been a disagreement among the Congress-ruled and the BJP-ruled states over the policy measures to tackle the naxal problem. When under pressure in one state, extremists have been able to slip through the net and find sanctuary in neighbouring states. The Center should use its discretion by giving common policy direction to all the state governments regarding this. At the just-concluded conference, chief ministers were unanimous on the need for a committee to tackle Naxal extremism. There is need to show a similar unanimity of purpose and action in their operations against left wing extremism

Police get clue about Maoists' hideouts

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ FRIDAY, MAY 06, 2005 11:36:02 PM ]

PATNA: With the arrest of eight Maoists in extremist-hit Masaurhi area, police have reportedly got information about the hideouts and growing network of CPI (Maoist) extremists.

Sources said police recovered a diary containing information about the method of imparting training to Maoists during the raids conducted on Thursday in Gandhugarh village, situated on the border of Masaurhi and Bhagwanganj police stations of Patna district.

"One unit of armed squad comprises seven to eight persons. There are political advisors for various units. Besides, every unit has one 'anchalik Salahkar',"sources said, while quoting the information from the diary recovered from the possession of one of the arrested Maoists.

Earlier, a police team, led by officer-in-charge of the Masaurhi police station Sanjay Kumar, raided the house of one Police Roy and seized a number of weapons from there.

"I got information about the arrival of a group of Maoists in Gandhuganj village to attend the marriage ceremony of the daughter of Police Roy. The police team reached the village and waited for the 'vidai' of Police Roy's daughter in the morning. Later, we chased them and arrested eight persons, besides recovering the weapons,"the Masaurhi police station officer in-charge said. Meanwhile, addressing a press conference, Patna SP (rural) G P Sinha said the recovered weapons, included six aluminium plates meant to lay landmines.

"The police team also seized explosive powders,"he said. Other recovered weapons included two countrymade pistols, one pipegun, one countrymade carbine, khaki uniforms and 85 cartridges of SLR and police rifle.

He also said two top leaders of CPI (Maoists), Deopujan and Vidhayak, were also present in the village during the raid. "However, they managed to escape,"he maintained.

About one year back, police had raided the house of same Police Roy in Gandhugarh village and recovered a number of weapons. But,it had failed to arrest Police Roy on that occasion, Sinha said.

Rift among Maoist Naxalite emissaries?

Rift among Maoist emissaries?
Saturday May 7 2005 10:49 IST

HYDERABAD: Have differences cropped up between former Maoist emissaries -- Vara Vara Rao, Kalyan Rao and Gadar?

Indications to this effect are available in a letter purportedly written by Vara Vara Rao to Maoist State Committee Secretary Ramakrishna and other senior leaders of the party in which he allegedly made certain allegations against Kalyan Rao and Gadar. The letter, made on DTP, was said to have been recovered from a Maoist courier held by the police recently.

Confirming that he wrote the letter, Vara Vara Rao, however, accused the police of blowing the issue out of proportions. Certain sentences were interpolated in the letter with a view to creating a rift between them.

In the letter, Rao is understood to have alleged that Gadar and Kalyan Rao were still continuing to play the role of emissaries though all three of them withdrew from the task almost a month ago. He was also said to have been critical of the two meeting the Chief Minister Y S Rajashekara Reddy and senior government officials individually.

Significantly, Vara Vara Rao was also reported to have expressed unhappiness over some of the recent violent acts by the Maoists such as massacre of eight persons at Vempenta in Kurnool district and the attack on Chilkaluripet police station in Guntur district.

Vara Vara Rao, Kalyan Rao and Gadar had played a crucial role in bringing top Naxal leaders to the negotiating table when direct talks took place between the Naxal Groups and Government in October last year. However, the extremist groups withdrew from the talks process early this year accusing the government of not being sincere in pushing it forward.

2 CRPF men killed in Chhattisgarh, in blasts by NAXALITES aka CPI(M)

Two CRPF men killed in Maoist attack:-
Raipur | May 06, 2005 8:44:44 PM IST

Raipur, May 6 : Two paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed and seven were injured in two blasts triggered by Maoists in Chhattisgarh, police said.

Bastar police chief Girdhari Naik said Friday two troopers were killed in a blast late Thursday evening on the Antagarh-Narayanpur road, 230 km from here.

A sub-inspector was critically wounded in the blast.

In a separate incident, six CRPF troopers were seriously injured when Maoists set off a blast at their camp near Bijapur, 420 km from here and injured six cops.

Maoists guerrillas have stepped up attacks in the last one month. Eleven people, including two politicians from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, have been killed in Chhattisgarh since April 15.


Indian TV channel reporter has Maoist links: Nepal army

Kathmandu | May 06, 2005 9:44:04 PM IST

Kathmandu, May 6 : A Nepalese reporter employed by prominent Indian mediaperson Nalini Singh has links with Maoists and violated journalistic ethics, the army said here Friday.

The Royal Nepalese Army held a press briefing where a video clipping said to have been recorded by Nepal1, the TV channel owned by Singh's Delhi-headquartered TV Live company, was shown.

Nepal1, a news and entertainment channel in the Nepalese language, started broadcasting in 2003. Though intended for the Nepalese diaspora worldwide, its prime target till date had been viewers in Nepal.

However, the channel ruffled the feathers of the army after it reported a Maoist ambush of security personnel in central Nepal in November last year.

The guerrillas had called a shutdown in Dhading district, northwest of Kathmandu, and booby-trapped the highway. When the army sent personnel to clear the road, at least one vehicle was blown up.

Four soldiers were killed and one was allowed to return unharmed.

Singh's channel had covered the ambush graphically and highlighted the release of the lone soldier while ignoring the killing of the three, the army said.

The video it played portrayed the Nepal1 reporter as being in the know about the ambush, being present on the spot while it occurred and even pointing out the arrival of the three army vehicles to the gun-wielding Maoists.

The unidentified reporter, described as a Nepalese from Dhading, was questioned after the video was aired, but subsequently released, the army said.

"But in view of other incriminating photographs acquired Thursday, we are likely to start proceedings against him," brigadier general Dipak Gurung, spokesman of the army, said.

"You can see the reporter's involvement in the ambush. That calls for action. So we are looking into it."

Gurung said the army had come across photographs showing the soldiers were alive after being captured. They were all unarmed and one photograph showed a soldier with his arms raised in the classic pose of surrender.

"This is definitely a violation of humanitarian laws and we are going to take this up at the International Court of Justice," he said.

The Maoists had recently called for the formation of an international commission to look into over 30 deaths in Kapilavastu in southern Nepal after clashes with armed vigilante groups, who the rebels say are supported by the state.

Nepal1, with other Indian news channels, was taken off the air after king Gyanendra sacked the government Feb 1 and imposed an emergency with media censorship.

Though the emergency was lifted last week, Nepal1 remains unavailable in the country. The channel's reporters based in Kathmandu are no longer welcome at certain government programmes.

But Gurung said the army had no quarrel with Nepal1. "We object only to the activities of the reporter since he overstepped journalism," he said.


Anti-Naxal activities reviewed in Orissa

Saturday May 7 2005 11:12 IST

JEYPORE: IG, Intelligence Sanjeev Marik visited several Naxal-affected areas of Koraput and Malkangiri districts and reviewed the ongoing works of Special Intelligence Wing (SIW).

SIW deals with Naxal movements in southern Orissa. Sunabeda IG Pradeep Kapur and Korpaut SP Arun Bothra were present during a meeting with him. At least 100 police officials of different districts have been deputed in the newly created wing.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Maoists gun down top Hindu priest

May 06, 2005 12:35 IST

Suspected Maoist rebels on Friday shot dead a top Hindu priest while he was performing puja at a temple in western Nepal.

One of the priest's aides was also injured in the shootout.

Narayan Prasad Pokarel, president, Nepal chapter of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, was gunned down around 0630 IST at Ram Nagar near Butwal, 300 km southwest of Kathmandu, sources in the organisation said.

His body will be airlifted to Kathmandu for last rites, they said.

No rebel group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

'Grenade' war: Pomegranate to counter Naxals

'Grenade' war: Pomegranate to counter Naxals


BANGALORE: With every gun and grenade blunted by the Naxal menace, CM Dharam Singh and company have the French to thank, for providing an alternative weapon against the rebels. The innocuous pomegranate, which in French means grenade, will now be used in the war against Naxalites. It will undergo field trials in the Naxal-prone Pavagada area in Tumkur, where officials have battled Naxalites for decades using traditional weaponry.

For the first time ever, the state government is looking towards its horticultural arsenal for new and innovative weaponry. Horticulture minister Alangoor Srinivas visited Pavagada on April 24 and a horticulture team headed by director G K Vasanth Kumar went to Pavagada on April 30 to check out ground conditions, before bombarding Pavagada with pomegranate.

Pavagada will however, not be the guinea pig for testing this 'grenade'. It was tested in Kushtigi and Yelburga, where farmers have reaped a rich harvest from exports, overtaking Maharastra. Farmers have reaped rich dividends by growing pomegranate.

90 Naxal sympathisers, 15 Naxalite maoist ultras surrender in AP

Over ninety naxal sympathisers and 15 Maoist ultras surrendered to police in two separate incidents in Andhra Pradesh today.

As many as 92 sympathisers of Maoist naxals including 13 minor girls surrendered to Visakhapatnam range DIG N Madan Mohan at Parvathipuram in Vizianagaram district, police said.
The sympathisers, most of them tribals, surrendered due to personal problems and desire to lead a peaceful life, sources said.

We have been urging youths, who were misled by naxals to join the mainstream and it is yielding results, the DIG said. To a complaint by one of the sympathisers P Venkateshwerlu that police was harassing villagers for providing shelter to naxals, Mohan assured that there would be no harassment as police was to protect and not for harassment.

In a separate incident, 15 Maoist naxals, including two women cadres, surrendered to police in Guntur district.

The naxals belong to Maoist Chandravanka squad, Superintendant of police Jitender said.

The state government would help rehabilitate the naxals, the official added.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Indian police arrest 20 NAXALITE supporters over insurgent memorial

Twenty people were arrested Wednesday for trying to set up a memorial to honor Maoist NAXAL rebels killed by government forces over the past 12 years in a southern Indian state.

Defying a police ban on the assembly of more than five people, Maoist supporters tried to erect a "Martyrs' memorial" _ a small concrete structure with the names of slain communist insurgents on it _ on the outskirts of Hyderabad, the capital of southern Andhra Pradesh, said police commissioner Dinesh Reddy.

Those arrested included singer Gaddar and poet Varavara Rao who acted as emissaries for rebel leaders in organizing a peace dialogue with the state government.

Gaddar, who uses one name, accused the government of denying people their democratic rights.

The rebels, who claim to be inspired by Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong, have been fighting for more than three decades, demanding land and jobs for agricultural laborers and the poor.

They often target police and government officials, accusing them of colluding with landlords and rich farmers to exploit the impoverished.

The rebels were outlawed until May last year, when a new Congress government came to power in the state with support from leftist groups sympathetic to the Maoists.

But a six-month cease-fire between the two sides ended abruptly in December after the rebels refused to hand over their weapons and they later called off peace talks. Police say more than 175 people have been killed since negotiations collapsed.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

South Asian Maoists pose growing threat

South Asian Maoists pose growing threat
By Erica Lee Nelson
The Washington Times
Published May 3, 2005

NEW DELHI -- An indigenous Maoist movement known as the Naxalites has doubled its strength in two years, spreading over an area embracing roughly a quarter of India's population and posing a growing threat to democracy and stability.

The group's influence had expanded from nine states and 55 districts in 2003 to 13 states and an estimated 170 districts by February 2005, according to the South Asia Intelligence Review, published by an anti-terrorism think tank headed by a former top security official. Members account for many of the 518 fatalities linked by the Home Affairs Ministry to left-wing extremism in 2004.

The Naxalites' growth in strength has coincided with the rise of a Maoist movement in Nepal that controls much of that nation's countryside and threatens to topple the government of King Gyanendra.

Members of the two movements met four years ago in Calcutta, where they created their vision of a Maoist-controlled "compact revolutionary zone" to extend from southern India to northern Nepal.

The Home Affairs Ministry has confirmed reports of Naxalites offering training and medical care to the Nepalese Maoists and budgeted an additional $124 million in fiscal 2004 to 2005 to seal India's borders with Nepal and neighboring Bhutan.

The movement began as an armed uprising by peasants in the small district of Naxalbari in West Bengal in 1967.

In an interview with The Washington Times, former Naxalite emissary Varavara Rao, who resigned in late March, said Naxalbari initially "was a village, a small pocket. From 1978 to now, it has spread to 13 states. It is expanding despite the oppression of various governments."

The Naxalites' heartland lies in Andhra Pradesh, the state that includes Hyderabad, one of India's glittering, high-tech hubs. Unemployment, caste oppression and poverty in the state's rural villages offer fertile ground for turning young people into left-wing extremists.

"The presence of government is so nominal that whoever comes in with a gun and a little bit of money can dominate these areas," said Ajai Sahni, editor of the South Asia Intelligence Review. "They are people that have been effectively abandoned by modernity."

The Naxalites step into the vacuum, offering rudimentary social services and providing followers with food, housing and pocket money.

Some cadres are taught to read and write as well as handle arms, so that, in the absence of any government-sanctioned administration, the Naxalites become both the executioners of "class enemies" and the providers of water.

Naxalites traditionally have targeted local police officers and villager leaders and have been accused of beheadings and other gruesome killings of voters who supported opposition candidates.

They also have gone after bigger targets: In 2003, Naxalites tried to assassinate Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, leaving him with serious injuries.

The group raises money mostly through extortion, while getting food and shelter from sympathetic villages. Recently, retired intelligence director K.P. Singh estimated that the group raises $30 million to $40 million a year.

Indian authorities have focused more attention on fighting terrorist groups in Kashmir -- which they say are financed and organized in Pakistan -- while treating the Naxalites as a problem for state police officials.

But with their growing power -- estimated at 10,000 cadres and many more supporters -- the Naxalites substantially outnumber the Kashmir extremists and many experts see them as a significant threat to India's democracy.

Attempted negotiations with the Naxalites have failed repeatedly, and Mr. Rao acknowledged that the Maoists "never entertained any illusions that the peace talks would succeed, but they wanted to explore the option."

The Naxalites offered no concessions, simply demanding 3 acres of land for every poor family, and the talks broke down amid violence and mutual recriminations.

Now the federal government is turning to a multipronged strategy of police action, development programs and dialogue and is setting up a special task force to facilitate cooperation among state security forces.

Seven Naxalites, including two deputy commanders surrendered

PTI[ MONDAY, MAY 02, 2005 06:01:15 PM ]

HYDERABAD: Seven Naxalites, including two deputy commanders of CPI (Maoist) today surrendered before the police in Adilabad and Warangal districts of Andhra Pradesh.

A hardcore terrorist, deputy commander of CPI (Maoist) operating in Dantewada in neighbouring Chhattisgarh state and Andhra Pradesh, surrendered before Adilabad District Superintendent of Police Kripanand Tripati Ujela.

Pendur Nagorao alias Shivanna alias Sanjeev was deputy commander of Central Committee Platoon 6th and was allegedly involved in a number of henious crimes including blasts and killing of policemen in Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring states, Ujela said.

Nagorao joined Mangi Dalam Naxal group in 1991 and later worked for Singapur Dalam, Boath Dalam, Adilabad Military Platoon and 6th Platoon Central Committee, Bastar, Dantewada of Chhattisgarh, Ujela said.

In Warangal district, six naxals, including a deputy commander and a woman extremist surrendered before the police at Peddapuram village.

Of the six, the deputy commander belongs to CPI (Maoist) and four others including a woman to Janasakhti group.

The surrendered naxals included B Ramesh, deputy commander S Mahesh, RajiReddy, Ramesh and Vasantha.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Naxalites threatening workers of Archaeological Survey of India

Archaeologists seek security from Jharkhand Maoists

By Indo-Asian News Service

Ranchi, May 2 ,2005 (IANS) Maoist guerrillas are affecting not only development work in Jharkhand but are also threatening workers and officials of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) who are working to preserve monuments and other heritage sites in the state.

On April 27, ASI employees engaged in restoration and conservation work of Jami Mosque a Mughal monument in Sahebganj, 500 km from here were warned they would be kidnapped if they did not stop work.

The ASI's Ranchi circle has taken a serious note of the threat.

"This is the fifth time that ASI employees have been threatened by the extremists," said ASI superintending archaeologist O.P. Chauhan.

"In the past we had not taken the (Maoist) threat seriously, but now we cannot avoid it," he added.

The ASI had informed the district administration of Sahebganj, the state police chief and other officials about the threat.

ASI officials are feeling the heat after the abduction of some labourers employed by road construction companies last month.

The ASI is engaged in over a dozen of preservation projects, most of them located in the Maoist-infested areas of Palamau, Chatra, and Lohardagga districts.

Hunt on for Naxalite chief Ramakrishna

May 2, 2005

Consequent to the near successful attempt on the life of Prakasam District Superintendent of Police (SP) Mahesh Chandra Ladha, police are searching the Nallamala forests for CPI(Maoist) state secretary Akkiraju Haragopal alias Rama Krishna, whom they suspect to be hiding there and directing operations. Following the daylight landmine attack in Ongole town, headquarters of the district, police intensified combing operations in both Prakasham and neighbouring Guntur districts. The SP survived thanks to his bullet-proof vehicle. According to sources, hundreds of Greyhounds and special police personnel have been scouring the forests for the last few days for information or clues leading to Ramakrishna. Police believe he is hiding in Nallamalla based on information given by two couriers Ch Vineel Reddy and B Krishna, who were arrested near Kayya village in Guntur district on Friday. They were allegedly carrying letters to Ramakrishna from other Maoist leaders. Further to this, DGP Swaranjeet Sen made an aerial survey of the area yesterday by helicopter. The DGP, however, told reporters that police had no information about Ramakrishna's location except for some tip offs.