Friday, May 13, 2005

Cops in Maoist areas to get Rs.1 million insurance

Raipur May 12, 2005 3:43:49 PM IST

Raipur, May 12 : The Chhattisgarh government has announced that it will insure 11,000 police personnel posted in Maoist stronghold areas for Rs.1 million. The move, which will cover police posted in Surguja and Bastar regions, is aimed at boosting morale and providing security to family members of the police personnel."The process will begin this week," Home Minister Brijmohan Agrawal told IANS.In the last few days, hundreds of armed guerrillas razed a mining unit of aluminium giant Hindalco in Surguja, which borders Jharkhand. The next day, they set ablaze eight government buildings in Bastar adjoining the Maoist stronghold state of Andhra Pradesh.The home department had earlier provided insurance cover of Rs.500,000.

Explosives link in raid- Hindalco attack motive under scanner


Raipur, May 10: Police are investigating whether Saturday’s Maoist attack on a Hindalco mining unit in Chhattisgarh’s Saridih village was aimed at looting the company’s stock of mining explosives.

Having failed to locate the stocks, the rebels might have razed the buildings out of frustration, an officer earlier posted in the area said.

The theory is bolstered by the fact that a group of Naxalites had raided a Hindalco mining unit in October 2003 and taken away over 100 kg of explosives.

“The company, however, now keeps its explosives at a secret place and so the Maoists had little chance of success,” inspector-general of police, Sarguja range, A.N. Upadhyay told The Telegraph today.

Ever since the 2003 attack, the Hindalco unit had been storing its explosives somewhere in Kusmi, about 28 km from the village, from where consignments were ferried to Saridih every day.

On Saturday evening, about 200 Maoists, some of them wielding AK-47s, had swooped down on the facility, some 490 km from state capital Raipur, and used the company bulldozer to flatten staff quarters, a guest house, offices and a laboratory.

A preliminary probe had suggested that the reason for the attack was the Maoists’ resentment against the company for providing rooms to policemen patrolling in the area, an officer said.
But another officer said: “The Maoists’ aim was not only to unleash terror. If that were the case, they could have attacked the establishment much earlier.”

The deputy inspector-general of police (intelligence), Sanjay Pillai, said: “The police are investigating all aspects of the attack.”

This afternoon, security personnel fought a fierce gun battle with a group of Maoists in the Mahudera forests near Saridih. A huge quantity of arms, 23 detonators, two Motorola wireless sets and other equipment were seized from the spot.

The police have found vital clues that this particular group of Naxalites was involved in the Saridih attack, Pillai said.

Sources in Sarguja said the company, India’s largest producer of copper and aluminium, had resumed mining and transportation this morning.
Office work, however, is stalled because the Maoists destroyed buildings, burnt records and damaged the laboratory.

“It will take at least a month or two to resume normal work as there is no building left in the mine area,” a source said.

Dogs to become 'eyes and ears' on the streets

May 13 2005 at 04:25PM

Hyderabad, India - Police officers in India's Andhra Pradesh state have discovered what many have known for centuries - dogs are man's best friend.

Police in the turbulent region are using rice and meat to lure and befriend street dogs after the barking of one helped them fend off an attack by rebel fighters this week.

"The street dogs will become our ears and eyes and function more effectively as our sentries," Swaranjit Sen, director general of Andhra Pradesh police, said in Hyderabad, capital of the largely rural southern state.

A dog's barking in Durgi village, 340km south of Hyderabad, woke up police this week at a station, warning them of an impending raid by Maoist rebels who were later beaten back without either side suffering casualties.

Police in regions often attacked by the rebels have been ordered to feed street dogs to make them feel at home around their stations, which are often the targets of rebel attacks.

More than 6 100 people have been killed, including over 1 000 police officers, in a three-decade revolt by Maoist rebels who say they are fighting for land for poor peasants.

Naxalites use rocket launchers

Ramesh Susarla

Group spreads terror, blasts police station in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh

They claim rocket is indigenously made
It has a range of 500 metres
Roads blocked, landmines spread

DURGI: In what could be a major development in the ongoing saga of extremist violence in Andhra Pradesh, it has emerged that the Communist Party of India (Maoist), formerly the People's War Group, has acquired the expertise to cobble together rocket launchers with a range of 500 metres.

The police got a taste of this when the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), which is a part of the CPI (Maoist), hit the Durgi police station in Guntur district late on Tuesday night.

The PLGA commander of the `Liberated Palnadu' region, Suresh, who led the attack on the police station along with 30 others from a distance of 200 m, told The Hindu in an interview that what was "test-fired" at the police station was an indigenously made rocket launcher, the first of its kind according to him.

"The brain behind the development of the launchers, Madhu, the Nallamala region deputy commander (technical), is in the custody of the Nellore police for some days. If he is not released immediately such attacks will continue on all police stations in the district," said Suresh.

According to Suresh, the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Government is no different from the Chandrababu Naidu Government. Wrong government policies had led to 2,000 farmers committing suicide in the past year, he said. He threatened to "teach a lesson" to dealers of fake pesticides, fertilizers and seeds. The promissory notes lying with moneylenders charging high rates of interest would be torn up.

Against Pulichintala

"The PLGA will blast any structure that forms part of Pulichintala project, which is meant only for the third crop in the Krishna delta," Suresh said. He added that if the Government takes up the Dommarlagondi project that benefits the farmers of the Palnadu region, the Maoists would support it.

"The police are our main target and we will not torch RTC [State Road Transport Corporation] buses any more, but if the police try to use people as human shield, we will not hesitate to blow up buses as we did in Bandlamotu and Emmajigudem [in Bellamkonda mandal of Guntur district]," he said.

The war zone

The entire area from Durgi to Adigoppula in Guntur district was turned into a war zone on Tuesday night after Suresh, along with some 30 militants, attacked the police station.

They stopped all traffic on the Ongole-Hyderabad highway. They put up banners asking the police to stop their atrocities in the villages and even their visits to villages.

They planted landmines at culverts and along the roads, even placing some on the roads, and wired them up, linking them to remote controlled switches and other devices. They burnt vehicle tyres and put boulders on the State Highway. They planted more explosives in plastic buckets.

When news reporters, including this correspondent, arrived at one of the blockaded points early in the morning on Wednesday, three revolver-wielding Maoists emerged from the darkness.

They took the reporters to the Anjaneyaswamy temple, 1.2 km from the Durgi police station. Suresh was there to talk to the reporters. The cadres kept a watch on the movement of people who had gathered there. About 50 buses remained stranded nearby for a few hours.

Suresh, clad in a lungi, had several electronic gadgets around him. He was supervising the laying of wires and landmines.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Government wants to go after Maoist leaders

Indo-Asian News Service

New Delhi, May 12, 2005

Amid escalating violence by Maoist, the Indian government wants to go after their top leaders in a bid to paralyse the country's dominant underground leftist group.

There is also a growing feeling in the government that security forces need to step up their offensive against CPI-Maoist.

This follows concerns that the erstwhile People's War Group (PWG) and Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) have unleashed violence since their merger last year, particularly in areas, where they feel that state power is weak.

A special task force set up to tackle leftwing extremism in the Home Ministry has decided to zero in on big leaders of the CPI-Maoist.

"This might be a more effective strategy as it will weaken the organisational structure and may blunt their operations," said a ministry source.

The PWG and MCC together are known to command some 4,000 armed members, who are grouped in 'dalams', or action squads. Their support base is however much larger, and their influence extends to nine states.

They derive their dominant strength from Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand.

But in recent times Bihar has been quiet, and officials here believe this is because MCC is keeping it as a safe haven for escaping Maoists from Nepal.

The top PWG leader is Muppalla Lakshman Rao alias Ganapathi while MCC's leading figure goes by the nom de guerre Vinay. It was the MCC that hosted the first congress of the united CPI-Maoist at a secure jungle base in Jharkhand in 2004.

In recent days, the Maoist, some armed with AK-47 assault rifles, attacked a mining unit of India's largest aluminium and copper producer, shutting down its operations.

The raid took place over the weekend at the Samri aluminum mining unit of Hindalco Industries Ltd in Chhattisgarh.

Again, hundreds of CPI-Maoist rebels set on fire buildings belonging to the state's revenue and forest departments besides some banks in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh on Monday.

They first blocked all the roads by felling trees and then carried out the meticulously planned operation.

"At one level, the stepped up violence by them could be on account of the combing operations launched by police and paramilitary troopers," said a Home Ministry official.

Intelligence reports indicate that 17 "dalams", mainly of the erstwhile PWG, equipped with sophisticated weapons like AK-47 rifles, wireless sets and remote control devices, are active in Bastar, Dantewada, Dandori, Kanker, Rajnandgaon, Balaghat, Kawardha and Mandla districts of Chhattisgarh.

Attacks on police stations and government buildings by Maoist rebels have increased and home ministry officials say a better coordination between states is required.

The newly constituted standing committee on leftwing extremism, headed by Home Minister Shivraj Patil and comprising chief ministers of nine states, was set up for this purpose last month.

Some officials are happy that Andhra Pradesh is now thinking of banning the CPI-Maoist.

The Maoist rebellion in India broke out in 1967 in a village called Naxalbari in West Bengal, earning its adherents the name Naxalites.

Although the Naxalite movement was put down violently in the 1970s, MCC and PWG have carried on and have now joined hands with their counterparts in Nepal.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Court issued Search warrants on Naxal writer Varavara Rao

May 11, 2005 16:17 IST

A Hyderabad court on Tuesday night issued search warrants against revolutionary writer Varavara Rao in connection with letters seized from two arrested couriers of a top Naxal leader in Andhra Pradesh.

Gurajala Munsiff Magistrate in Guntur, K Subba Rao, issued the search warrants on an application by Guntur police that they wanted to search Rao's house. The police said the letters, which were reportedly written by Rao to CPI (Maoist) secretary Ramakrishna, had "incriminating" material.

Meanwhile, a police team led by a deputy superintendent of police is in Hyderabad to search Rao's house, police sources said.

Guntur police recently arrested two youths, alleged couriers of Ramakrishna, and seized two letters from them.

On the search warrant, Varavara Rao told, "It is ridiculous to search my house."

Rao, along with balladeer Gadar and Kalyana Rao, had recently pulled out as Maoist emissaries.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

200 Naxals raze Hindalco mining camp in Chhattisgarh; abduct 4

[1] Naxals raze Hindalco camp in Chhattisgarh; abduct 4

[2] Maoists attack government buildings in Chhattisgarh


Naxals blast Hindalco mines offices, government offices in Chattisgarh

200 Naxals raze Hindalco camp in Chhattisgarh; abduct 4

Ipsha in Bhopal | May 09, 2005 23:56 IST

Over 200 naxalites, belonging to the People's War Group, raided a mining camp of the aluminium major Hindalco in the neighbouring Chhattisgarh state and abducted four of its officials, besides setting ablaze the company's vehicles and documents and destroying buildings, the police said.

The attack on the Hindalco camp in the naxal-affected Surguja region started at 5.30 pm on Sunday and continued for more than six hours.

Tackling naxals is a formidable challenge for the state administration in all the 16 naxal-affected districts, as the naxals don't respect the Indian administrative system.

Naxals in Bastar take poll staff hostage
Hindalco Industries Limited, a flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group, is structured into two strategic businesses -- aluminium and copper -- and is an industry leader in both segments.

"To think that naxalites were the saviours of the downtrodden was looking at the issue merely at its surface. They just want others to subscribe to their ideology by spreading terror," opined officers associated with anti-naxal operations.

"About 17 gangs, mainly of the PWG, equipped with sophisticated weapons like AK-47 rifles, wireless sets and remote control devices, were reportedly active in Bastar, Dantewada, Dandori, Kanker, Rajnandgaon, Balaghat, Kawardha and Mandla districts," a police source said.

"Besides highly ill-equipped state police, lack of proper roads in most of the naxal-affected districts posed a major obstacle in the anti-naxal operation. The non-tarred roads were also making the police more vulnerable to landmine attacks by the naxalites," lamented a police official pleading anonymity.

As against 28 naxalites, as many as 98 cops, a dozen government employees and over 100 others have so far been killed in naxal-related violence in the past three years.

"In the present case, they first overpowered the security guards and some officials and asked them to use the company's bulldozers to raze the camp or be prepared to die. They forced the officials to raze to the ground the company's guest house, its mining monitoring office, at least seven staff quarters and the laboratory. Besides, they also set afire two Marshal jeeps, office furniture and documents," state Deputy Inspector General of Police (Intelligence) Sanjay Pillai said.

Pillai however said that further complete details were awaited as the police party is yet to come back from the site of incident.


[2] Maoists attack government buildings in Chhattisgarh

By Narad in Bhopal
Tuesday, 10 May , 2005, 15:31

Hundreds of armed naxalites of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) set on fire buildings belonging to the state’s revenue and forest departments besides some of the banks, in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh, on Monday.

The ultras armed with sophisticated weapons first blocked all the roads by felling trees on roads and then set the buildings afire.

The state’s home department attributes the stepping up of violence to combing operations launched by the police and paramilitary troopers against Naxals.

Maoist guerrillas command almost the entire rural area of Surguja bordering Jharkhand and Bastar, which shares a boundary with the other Naxal stronghold, Andhra Pradesh.

"About 17 Dalams, mainly of People's War Group (PWG), equipped with sophisticated weapons like AK-47 rifles, wireless sets and remote control devices, were reportedly active in Bastar, Dantewada, Dandori, Kanker, Rajnandgaon, Balaghat, Kawardha and Mandla districts," a police source said.

Only a day earlier, over 200 naxalites, belonging to the PWG, raided a mining camp of the aluminium major Hindalco and abducted four of its officials besides setting ablaze the company's vehicles and documents and destroying buildings, the police said.


Naxalites: biggest threat to Indian security


A nightmare is beginning to unfold in the heart of India: latest intelligence reports say that armed Naxalites have a presence in 170 districts in 15 states of India as of now, and spreading wide and far.

Just months back, the Naxals were present only in 156 districts in 13 states. Not just numbers, what adds to the administration's worry is that they are armed with sophisticated weapons.

From the peasant uprising in Naxalbari village in Darjeeling district of West Bengal in May 1967, the movement is today a complex web that covers some 15 states of India, and with active links to the Maoists of Nepal.

When the group started under the leadership of people like Kanu Sanyal and Charu Majumdar in West Bengal it was still part of Communist Part of India (Marxist), but split away, took to underground and stayed there to build a powerful network spanning hundreds of villages.

In 1969 they had floated the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist). The group has split several times and some of the have returned to the democratic process.

Security agencies began to worry afresh in September 2004 when two of India’s leading armed movements, the Maoist Communist Centre and the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), popularly called the People’s War Group, merged to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Multi-layered Operation

This united front of the armed movement is the deadliest that Indian police forces have ever faced. Today it is a "multi-layered operation", says a senior IPS officer involved in fighting the threat.

"A wide network of armed cadres, who takes guidance from ideologues, and both get unflinching support from ordinary villagers who have lost faith in the government and its machinery."

It is not surprising that the Karnataka government has re-routed the Special Task Force originally set up to hunt down forest brigand Veerappan to take on the Naxal movement.

It also exposes a major gap in the strategy of Indian states to meet the Naxal challenge and demand. This also shows in the response of the state police forces, acting with “abysmal crudity" to tackle the menace, says professor of politics Valerian Rodrigues.

There are dozens of complaints pending with the National Human Rights Commission and state human rights commissions against alleged fake encounters. In response, Naxals are toughening their stand and adding to the violence in an already volatile situation.

A cycle of violence and bloodshed is being unveiled across the rural landscape of middle-India. The result has been that rural India is as unruly as it has never been.
Government is worried

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has repeatedly expressed his concern over the Naxal spread, and recently referred to the "virtual collapse" of law and order in some parts of the country.

His home minister Shivraj Patil has been more forthcoming about the entire issue, arguing that there is a need to identify "causes" of Naxal violence.

Issues such as economic disparities, social injustice and lack of development are among the catalysts of naxal movements, Patil points out.

Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee lists Naxalism among the three important security threats facing India. He argues that there is no alternative to dialogue in a democracy. And dialogue is what the Andhra Pradesh government has been trying for the past few months with the Communist Party of India (Maoists).

The cease-fire declared between the government and the Naxalites is tentatively holding, but many accuse the state of being soft on the Naxals who they believe are resting and recuperating.

Former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani says there has been a sudden growth in Naxal activities ever since the new United Progressive Alliance government came up.

"Threat to internal security has increased manifold in the past few months with Naxalite activities on the rise in Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring states," Advani said recently.

It's another matter that as home minister, Advani could not figure out a concrete strategy to tackle the biggest challenge facing India from within.

Sophisticated Weapons, Growing Reach

Intelligence agencies in New Delhi say that they have been warning the Centre of further complications emerging in the Naxal activities. Among them is the easy access they have to modern sophisticated weapons from Europe and rest of the world.

On January 8 this year, some 200 ammunition cases with Pakistani and British markings were recovered in Indrakhori area of Balrampur district in Chattisgarh, where the Naxals have deep roots.

The state police claimed that local Naxal commanders who were interrogated admitted receiving arms from Pakistan, but did not disclose how it came in.

Sophisticated weaponry with Naxals "is scary", says a senior security officer in New Delhi, while admitting that there is no comprehensive input to prove such continuous flow of weapons.

There have been some unsubstantiated intelligence inputs about Naxals links with northeast separatists, ISI and so on, "but there is concrete evidence," says a senior intelligence officer.
Bigger worry than Kashmir?

The official says if the Naxal growth continues at the present pace then they could be much more dangerous than Kashmiri militants because of their extensive network in India’s hinterlands and loyalty they command among villagers.

Intelligence agencies have for long also been warning that Indian naxal groups are working with the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) to create a "Compact Revolutionary Zone" that spreads from Nepal into Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.

"That is a theoretical proposition but it definitely gives an idea of how wide-spread the Naxals are in the subcontinent," says a senior intelligence officer.

The "Combat Revolutionary Zone" spreads from Nepal through Bihar and the Dandakaranya region of Andhra Pradesh.

The naxals are now engaged in plugging gaps in north Bihar and North Chhattisgarh to complete the CRZ, says the officer.

In Jharkhand, ever since its creation in 2000, some 200 policemen and some 1,000 civilians have died in Naxal violence ever since the state was created.

Some 22 districts are affected in the state. In Bihar too the situation is not better.

The Naxal movement is also powerful in Orissa, Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and other parts of central India. These are also areas where India’s most precious assets are located.

“All these areas (are) where greater part of India’s mineral resources, hydro-electric and other resources are located,” Prime Minister Singh recently admitted.

Democracy will prevail, but when?

Ultimately the Indian democracy will prevail, believe analysts within the government and outside. Rodrigues, who believes that the present state tactics will not solve Naxal issue, says that ultimately India’s strong democracy will win.

"The movement cannot go beyond a point. It cannot reach out to peasantry where new forms of productivity and employment exist. Its ability to spread to urban centres is also questionable," says Rodrigues.

As of now, there seem to be no new tactics to fight the threat.

Some states like AP have initiated talks with Naxal outfits, but these have not yeilded any visible results. If indeed the government plays the waiting game in the hope that democracy will ultimately triumph, the cost that India pays will be very high.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Orissa villagers vow to fight Naxalites aka CPI-Maoists

Orissa villagers vow to fight CPI-Maoists

By Bibhuti Mishra in Bhubaneswar
Monday, 09 May , 2005, 08:20

In a rare show of courage, villagers of Redha, a bordering hamlet in Orissa's Sundargarh district, have united to fight the CPI-Maoist menace.

Redha is barely three km from the Jharkhand border. The villagers of this sleepy tribal hamlet have decided to brave the CPI-Maoist, sources said.

The Orissa government has allocated funds for the construction of a primary school in the village, under several development schemes in the CPI-Maoist-hit areas, the construction for which is on.

But CPI-Maoist cadres threatened the contractor involved in the construction of the building and demanded 25 per cent of the total cost of the project. They also warned him that he would have to bear the consequences if he did not pay up.

The contractor immediately informed the village committee of this. The committee got together to find ways to tackle the situation.

Finally, defying the threat perception in a rare show of courage, it was decided by the village committee that the contractor would not bow to the Maoists and that work would continue as usual.

The villagers, who are by now mentally prepared to face the wrath of the ultras, went inside the jungle of Saranda, the safe heaven for the CPI-Maoist, and informed them of their decision.

The CPI-Maoist warned that if the building was allowed to house the police, it would be destroyed and the villagers would have to bear the price.

Last year, in some of the interior villages bordering Jharkhand, villagers were united in not allowing illegal timber smuggling of the forest mafia in unison with the CPI-Maoist. The villagers formed separate squads to patrol the forest areas.

Redha villagers’ show of courage has come as a morale-booster for the neighbouring villages who have also been at the receiving end of the ultras' most unreasonable demands.

Cong govt has failed, lacks clear policy: BJP

Press Trust of India

Hyderabad, May 8: The BJP on Sunday charged the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre of ‘lacking’ a clear policy on various issues, including the Telangana and naxalite problem.
The state government, which completes one year in office on May 13, had ‘failed’ to perform due its ‘inefficiency’ in handling various issues, BJP national secretary and former Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said.

The strictures passed by state High Court on ten government orders (GoS) including reservation for minorities was a clear example of its inefficiency, he said.

On the separate statehood demand for Telangana, the senior leader said there was total ‘confusion’ on the issue.

While Congress leaders said they were committed for constituting a second State Re-organisation Commission, its ally the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has been claiming assurance of Congress high command and stating that the demand of Telangana people would be fulfilled soon, he said.

The contradictory statements of both parties were creating confusion among the people, he said.

"If government failed to have a clear policy on

Telangana and naxal issues, it would blow up as a major problem for the government as well as the people in coming days," he warned.

The ‘wrong’ policies of the government had claimed 160 lives in naxal related violence despite holding first round of peace talks with the Leftist ultras, Dattatreya said.


Sunday, May 08, 2005

Female naxal commander surrenders in Andhra Pradesh

Rajahmundry, May. 8 (PTI): A self-styled female deputy commander of Maoist naxal group surrendered to police in East Godavari district, a senior police official said here today.

Kadabala Lakshmi alias Vanaja surrendered to the police yesterday at Kakinada, Police Superintendant V Navenchand, said.

Lakshmi, hailing from Godumilly village of Kothaveedi Mandal in Visakhapatnam District, had joined the guerrilla group in 2001 and was recently transferred to Gurthedu area from Palakajedidalam, he said.

Lakshmi was part of the guerrilla squad which raided Chodavaram police station in 2003, he added.