Friday, March 03, 2006

Naxals attacks outpost in Bokaro , one policeman killed

Bokaro (Jharkhand), March 3 (PTI): At least one policeman was injured in a naxal attack on a police outpost on the Bokaro-Dhanbad border in Bokaro district, 25 km from district headquarters today, a top police officer said here.

According to preliminary reports, the in-charge of the outpost, D N Tiwari, was injured when naxalites exploded dynamite, Insepect General of Police Rajiv Kumar told newsmen.

Superintendent of police Manvendra Singh reached the spot.

The police was also looking into the reports of a similar attack taking place on a CISF camp at BCCL's Damoda project, Kumar said.

Naxal leader acquitted

Friday March 3 2006 10:44 IST
RAICHUR: Naxalite leader Ujjain Gouda was acquitted of the charges on Thursday in a case of land dispute at Jegarkal village.

The police in the chargesheet charged 20 people including Gowda of involving in a conspiracy against the State, provoking farmers of Jegarkal to wage an armed-struggle against some land lords.

Naxal leaders Ujjain Gouda and Ramesh had addressed an illegitimate gathering, according to the charge sheet.

All except Ujjain gouda were acquitted some time ago by the court saying that the prosecution failed to prove the charges. As Ujjain gouda was absconding, the police again filed the case against him.

Principal Sessions Judge Basavantraya Patil on Thursday issued acquittal orders.

Security beefed up at porous Indo-Nepal Border following explosive recovery

Indo-Nepal Border: A chance seizure of heavy explosives laden on a truck meant for Maoists in Nepal earlier this week, has led to massive hold-ups of commercial vehicles on the porous Indo-Nepal Border.

Hundreds of trucks remained stranded for the second day on Thursday as Nepalese police insisted on off-loading every single truck coming into its territory and allowing them to pass after strict checking.

Serpentine queues of Indian trucks heading towards Nepal was seen on the Indo-Nepal Border post, as drivers got increasingly restive with the delay.

Some drivers complained the search was “highly superficial” in nature and they was causing an unnecessary delay for them.

“We have brought furniture here. Goods that need to be checked are allowed to leave after only a superficial checking but they are unnecessarily troubling us,” Mahendra Kumar, a truck driver from Gorakhpur, said.

Other drivers wondered where Nepalese custom officials would get the required space to unload to check every vehicle, some of which were carrying hazardous goods.

“They need all the space to offload these goods also. I don't think the people are going to bear all the dust that will come out,” said Vijyender.

On Tuesday, Nepalese Police seized a huge quantity of arms and explosives from a border district apparently smuggled from Jharkhand, a naxal-affected State.

Officials said the seizure hinted at a growing nexus between Maoists in both the countries.

The explosives included about 10,000 electronic detonators, 475 kilograms of Neogel and 2500 kilograms of Gelatin, in what is considered to be the biggest ever seizure in the region.

The explosives were seized from a truck, bearing Indian registration, at the Sanauli border with India. The explosives were hidden inside two layers of coal.

Ambitious plan to weed out Naxalism in Bihar: Nitish

Patna: In a bid to curb the growing Naxal problem in the state, the Bihar government will seek a special central package of Rs 21,000 crore to speed up execution of various development schemes, undertake massive police modernisation and improve condition of prisons.

"We have formulated an ambitious plan to weed out Naxalites in Bihar for which we are seeking a special package of Rs 21,000 crore," Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told reporters today.

Kumar said he would be leaving for New Delhi later this afternoon and request Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil to grant a special package for the state at the earliest.

He said he would make a formal request to the Centre for long-term help to check extremist activities in the state.

Kumar said sincere efforts were underway for massive police modernisation and help improve condition of jails in Bihar.

The NDA government has already launched 'sarkar apke dwar' (government at your doorstep) programme aiming accelerated development in Naxal-hit areas of the state while asking ultras to eschew path of violence and cooperate with his government to give fresh impetus to development.

Earlier, Patna High Court had asked the state and Central government to take serious steps and preventive measures to tackle the Naxal problem and undertake police reforms in the state.

The court had also asked both the state and Union governments to furnish action taken-cum-progress reports in this regard by March 28.

Karkala: ANF Intensifies Combing Following Naxal Attacks

News -- Karkala: ANF Intensifies Combing Following Naxal Attacks

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Karkala, Mar 3: It seems quite clear that the Anti Naxal Force (ANF) needed an attack to wake up from their slumber. After the Naxal attack on Sadanand Shetty's house at Mutlupady on Monday February 27, the ANF has now intensified its combing operations in the area. The security that was provided to the Sadanand Shetty's house at Mutlupady has been withdrawn.

The ANF troops led by Karkala circle inspector Timmayya and SI Srinivas Raju continued combing operations in the Naxal hit areas of the taluk on Thursday March 2 too. However, they are yet to nab or spot any of the Naxals going around in the area.

At the same time, both ANF and police are not giving out any information to people and scribes as in which place they are carrying out the combing operations. This is primarily done to protect themselves from being spotted by Naxalites. There is also a growing feeling that locals are supporting the Naxalites in various ways. One among them is by constantly keeping the Naxalites informed about the ANF and police movements.

So the police are not revealing any information about their whereabouts too. This means only the time can tell whether they will be able to attain success in their mission or not.

Keep anti-naxal campaign away from politics: Raman

Raipur, Mar 2 : Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh today appealed to all the political parties to keep anti-naxal campaign away from politics, amid pressure from main opposition Congress and the Centre on the state government over the killing of 26 tribals in Dantewada district on Tuesday by naxalites.

"No one should engage in politics over the killing of the tribals otherwise the Salwa Judum campaign will be the bigger casualty," the Chief Minister told PTI in an interview.

"Everyone was welcome to the state to strengthen campaign against naxalites. But no one should say or do anything, which would affect adversely the anti-naxal campaign," Raman said referring to the visit of the AICC delegation and the team of Union Home Ministry.

The Chief Minister said "he was sure the main opposition Congress would support the stand of the security forces and government as the Salwa Judum (peace camapign) was led by none other than the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly and Dantewada Congress MLA Mahendra Karma."

PUDR condemns naxal attack

Home Secretary Duggal to visit Naxal-hit Chhattisgarh
New Delhi: Union Home Secretary, V.K. Duggal, will visit Chhattisgarh on Friday to review the Naxal situation in the State particularly in the wake of the violence near Darbhaguda village in Dantewada district.

Twenty-seven people were killed and 29 others injured, some of them seriously, in the incident.

Duggal will be accompanied by the Director General, CRPF and senior officers of the Home Ministry. He will hold discussions with Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, other ministers and senior officers of Chhattisgarh.

The Centre has viewed the incident very seriously and condemned it in the strongest terms. Duggal has sought an urgent report on the incident from the DGP, Chhattisgarh.

PUDR condemns naxal attack

Staff Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) has condemned the landmine attack in Chhattisgarh by naxalites, in which 26 persons were killed and several seriously injured.

In a statement on Wednesday, the PUDR said the administration was responsible for the loss of life and creating a situation of widespread insecurity. It pointed out that since June 2005, an undeclared war was on in Dantewada district between the administration and naxalites under the name of `Salwa Judum.'

The PUDR called upon all sides in the conflict to immediately stop the violence, put an end to `Salwa Judum,' register and investigate all killings and enable people to return to their villages and lead normal life.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Agenda for internal security

Agenda for internal security

The first tattva
By Varun Gandhi

Over the past millennium, India has been continuously invaded and her cultural representations devastated. Indians at the time did not look beyond their immediate neighbourhood and failed to augment their military strength. They had an insular domestic policy, and did not review military developments and social changes occurring beyond their horizon.

Modern India stands tall among the world's great nations, but the thousand years old mentality of military nonchalance continues to influence the non-violent Indian mind. On the one hand, Pakistan spends nearly five per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on defence and China nearly $ 70 billion (Rs 308 lakh crore), while India on the other hand spends a conservative 2.9 per cent of her GDP or $ 18.86 billion (Rs 83,000 crore). The Indian reluctance to aggressively build-up military strength has haunted India in the past millennium, and will continue to haunt her in the new one as well, if India's policies do not change.

In the Art of War, Sun Tzu, the Chinese General considers security preparedness to be of vital importance to the state. He views it as a matter of life and death for the state, an important subject of inquiry which cannot be neglected. India is surrounded by nations that have a past history of aggression against her. They have seized her territories, continue to aggressively arm and rapidly modernise their armies. Even though relations may improve, nonetheless the military arming goes on unabated. A non-violent India cannot afford to sit back quietly and remain a mute spectator. India should confront these scenarios, not from the docile platform of the past 50 to 60 years, but from a new dominant stage of her own making. India needs a dynamic agenda for her national security. An agenda that is bi-focused to take care of India's immediate needs, yet cater to a far focussed vision. It should be strategic and dominant by nature.

In a 1909 essay titled, "The place of India in the Empire", the former British Viceroy, Lord Curzon of Kedleston writes, "It is obvious, indeed that the master of India, must, under modern conditions, be the greatest power in the Asiatic Continent, and therefore, it may be added, in the world. The central portion of India, its magnificent resources, its teeming multitude of men, its great trading harbours, its reserve of military strength, supplying an army always in a high state of efficiency, and capable of being hurled at a moment's notice upon any point either of Asia or Africa. All these are assets of precious value. On the West, India must exercise a predominant influence over the destinies of Persia and Afghanistan. On the North, it can veto any rival in Tibet; on the North-East and East it can exert great pressure upon China, and it is one of the guardians of the autonomous existence of Suam. On the high seas it commands the routes to Australia, and to the China Sea." Of course, it was in British India's interest to arm India militarily to protect their trading routes. Nonetheless, this statement reflects upon the dream of patriotic Indians, who have long desired a more assertive India. However, this legacy of imperialist Anglo-Saxon tradition was not followed by an Independent India believing in the principles of non-violence and non-alignment.

The failure of India in creating a strategic culture was suited to her extraordinary influence in her neighbourhood, but now a new agenda for the 21st century is required. India must step out of her self-imposed limitations arising out of post-Partition geography, and define her role prominently in her neighbourhood. The rise of India in this century is intricately linked to various factors that include her economic development, social stability, fiscal expansion towards infrastructural development, raising the human development index of her masses, and importantly increasing her security preparedness.

I would divide India's security agenda into five basic elements-the panch-tattvas. They are internal security, external security, dominance and missile arsenal, border security, and intelligence gathering. The most potent attack is an internal attack that weakens the State from within. For an internally weakened State, external aggression is an expected reality. India needs to be strengthened from within. Therefore internal security becomes our first tattva.

The greatest threats to India's internal security are from the rise of extremism propagated by agencies across our borders, the spread of the Naxalites, the demographic morphing of India's North-East by illegal migrants from Bangladesh, deterioration of our urban police force, estrangement of the public from the police due to police cruelties, and the increase in organised crimes. The attack on the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, the bomb-blasts in Mumbai's Gateway of India, in Delhi's markets, and the attack on Indian Parliament highlight a nefarious agenda. What can India do to prevent these occurrences? Some would say better intelligence gathering. But no amount of intelligence gathering saved the US from 9/11, or Israel from the suicide attacks. Therefore, India must evolve a strategy of immediate counter response, everytime Indian interests or citizens are targetted.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

WEST BENGAL : Cops caught off guard


Belpahari, March 1: Even in this Naxalite stronghold, police had least expected the rebels to ambush them in the precincts of a village far from any forest that could provide cover.

The landmine explosion at Hatidoba on Sunday that blew up a police vehicle and killed four people, including two policemen, was a bolt from the blue, the West Midnapore police conceded.

Senior police officials said this is the first time that the Maoists have detonated a landmine in open space next to paddy fields. “We never imagined that such a massive explosion could be triggered at a place like Hatidoba. There is no rough terrain or dense forest there. Villagers frequently use the road (used by the van that was blown up). Now, we have to think of a strategy to tackle Maoists outside forest areas,” said Ajay Nanda, the district superintendent of police.

His jeep had travelled on the road some two hours before the blast. The police believe that he was the real target.

A CPI (Maoist) activist with whom this correspondent was able to establish contact claimed: “This attack was to prove that our operations are no longer limited to hills and forests. The police thought we only strike in the jungles and on rugged terrain. Sunday’s blast was to prove them wrong.”

Experts from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Calcutta went to the blast site in the Belpahari area of West Midnapore, 230 km from Calcutta, yesterday.

They collected strewn debris to ascertain the nature of explosive used.

Hatidoba is part of a cluster of villages in a 3-4 km radius that includes Bankshol, Barshol, Shyamnagar, Jamboni, Nischintipur, Palashboni, Bhuladhora and Tarafeni.

In October 2004, the Maoists blew up a jeep killing six Eastern Frontier Rifles jawans at Bankishol in Lalgarh, about 180 km from Calcutta.

Bankishol was also on the plains but was surrounded by dense forest. The police have learnt that the blast was the handiwork of not more than one or two extremists.

Inspector-general of police (western range) Banibrata Basu said the area is open and it is not possible for a group to operate without being noticed.

The Maoist confirmed that a duo carried out the Sunday strike.

At Jamboni, less than a kilometre from where a village mart was in progress, villagers saw two men covered with dust and guns slung on their shoulders. “We knew who they were and drifted to a distance. They went to a thatched shed where hanria (a local brew) was being sold, took a cycle and pedalled away,” said Basanta Tudu (name changed).

A police officer said the extremists who planted the mine fled towards a forest in Barikul in adjoining Bankura, about 6 km from Hatidoba. “We are combing Sarengi and Barikul in that district,” he added.

Chhattisgarh to launch major offensive against naxals: Raman

Raipur | March 02, 2006 1:42:10 AM IST

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh tonight hinted at the possibility of launching a major offensive against Naxalites in the wake of yesterday's landmine blast at Dantewada.

''We are determined to take toughest possible action against the Maoists,'' he said while talking to newspersons at his residence after visiting those injured in the yesterday's landmine blast triggered by the naxalites at Darbhaguda in South Bastar in which 27 people were killed and 40 others injured.

''The killing of innocent villagers has exposed the real face of Maoists before the world. The incident is unfortunate,'' he said adding it also indicated that the local population of Bastar were not not safe in their own villages because of the Naxalite threat.

Pointing out that Maoists had pooled all their resources and strength in Chhattisgarh to unleash terror so as to supress the peoples' movement against extremist violence, the Chief Minister said it was for the first time that the people of a Naxalite affected state have come out in open against the Maoists.

''The Naxalites want to supress this movement so as to prevent the possibility of peoples' revolt against them in other states as well,'' he said adding that the Maoists from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh were also active in the border areas.

Replying to a question about the ongoing 'Salwa Judum', the peoples movement against Naxalites in Bastar, the Chief Minister said, in a democracy everyone has the right to raise their voice against any injustice. ''The movement is the outcome of a spontaneous reaction of the people against the three-decade-old problem of Naxalite violence in the region,'' he said adding despite such incidents the morale of the people was high and they would continue their struggle against Naxalism.

However, Mr Singh did not not rule out the possibility of changing the concept and pattern of ongoing 'Salwa Judum' in view of the recent incidents of violence. ''Its a peaceful struggle by the people and it will definitely continue,'' he added.

When his attention was drawn towards Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil's reported statement that Chhattisgarh government had 'definite' intelligence inputs about Naxalite attack in the region, the Chief Minister said there were no such specific inputs.

''Naxalites had laid landmines at different places. Its a difficult task to identify those places,'' he added.

Asked whether the doors were still open for talks with the Maoists even after such incident, Mr Singh said any such initiative for talks should come from the Centre as Naxalism was a national problem affecting a vast population spread over in several states. ''If the Centre takes initiative to hold talks with the Maoists, we are ready to join,'' he added.

RAW had prior information about attack : conducted reconnaissance

NEW DELHI: The killing by Naxals of tribals belonging to the Salva Judum (an anti-Naxal movement) in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday once again exposed the chinks in security armour.

The Naxals not only dodged the police and para-military personnel but also India's external intelligence agency RAW.

A report sent to the Union home ministry says the incident in the area took place barely hours after RAW conducted a massive reconnaissance exercise through a helicopter belonging to its Aviation Research Centre.

Showing how poorly the security agencies work at the ground level despite having 'specific' intelligence of such attack in the area, the report sent to home secretary V K Duggal reveals that the security forces the state police and CRPF were withdrawn from Darbagura and nearby areas just two days before the attack, which left at least 26 tribals dead and 40 injured.

The classified report also pointed out that the incident in Dantewada district took place even though the authorities there had 'specific' intelligence about such an attack, said sources in the ministry.

RAW personnel were in the area for reconnaissance and assisting their internal counterparts, Intelligence Bureau (IB), for gathering further information on the Naxals' hideouts.

The report also pointed to holes within the entire intelligence sharing mechanism. Meanwhile, the Centre on Wednesday asked the state government for a detailed report on the incident.

As has become a routine, Duggal spoke to Chhattisgarh DGP R P Rathod, asking him to explain how such an incident took place when the IB had shared its information with the state police much in advance

Chhattisgarh CM visits naxal attack victims

Rajahmundry | March 02, 2006 1:39:48 AM IST

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh today said 26 tribals were killed and 30 injured in the landmine blast triggered by Naxals at Erraboru village in the Dantewade district of his state.

Addressing mediapersons at Madurapudi Airport, about 25 km from here, after visiting the victims Mr Singh said the injured were admitted to hospitals in Bhadrachalam, Khammam and Hyderabad.

Mr Singh also announced a compensation of Rs two lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs 30,000 for the injured.

He said since Naxalism was spread over 140 districts of neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand covering 30 crore people, the menace could be solved only through joint action plan.

The peace talk intiative of some states did not bear fruit, he admitted. The Chief Minister said security forces were being adequately equipped to deal with Naxalism.

Mr singh said protection would be given to 'Adivasis' and those living in the border areas. While condeming the incident, he said it only showed the Naxals' frustration.

To a question, he said the Polavaram project which will submerge some land in Chhattisgarh will be discussed with the Andhra Pradesh Government.


Grieving villagers blame leaders for Maoist massacre

Web posted at: 3/2/2006 2:51:59
Source ::: IANS

DANTEWADA: Grieving villagers whose relatives were killed by a Maoist landmine attack in remote central India hit out yesterday at local officials they say have brought them into the frontline of a worsening conflict.

Maoist insurgents in Chhattisgarh state set off a landmine under a truck on Tuesday as members of the government-backed Salwa Judum (March for Peace) group were returning from an anti-Maoist rally, killing at least 50 people and wounding another 20.

“The (state) government has killed my all three sons, not the Maoists,” wailed 52-year-old Sulekha Banu, who has refused to receive the dead body of her youngest son while those of her other two children remain missing.

Last year, the local Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party state government set up and started funding the Salwa Judum to counter the growing influence of Maoists in the state, especially among poor tribals. It has also started arming some villagers.

The blast took place in the heavily forested Dantewada district, 500 km (300 miles) south of Raipur, the state capital. All the dead and wounded came from impoverished tribal communities.

It was one of the biggest attacks in 30 years of leftist violence in India.

Local residents and officials say 43 bodies—some badly mutilated by the powerful blast—were handed back to relatives by early Wednesday. But witnesses to the blast said several bodies had been buried in nearby forests.

“The state government has to tell me where it has dumped the bodies of my two sons,” Banu told officials in Arabore village.

Maoist rebels, who operate in at least nine Indian states, mainly in the east and south of the country, have stepped up attacks in the past year, targeting police and government sympathisers.

The guerrillas, who claim to be fighting for millions of India’s poor peasants and landless labourers, number around 9,300, according to official estimates.

“We are losing four or five tribal people almost every day in Dantewada due to Naxal (Maoist) violence for supporting the police,” 48-year-old villager Orchha told Reuters, blaming police for failing to offer protection.

“The government has left us at the mercy of the guerrillas.” The state administration announced it would give 200,000 rupees in compensation to the families of those killed.

Last week, India’s federal home (interior) ministry said that Maoist violence in the country killed at least 892 people in 2005 compared to 653 in 2004.

Security analysts say that New Delhi and state governments are not doing enough to tackle the growing power of the Maoists. “It is criminal irresponsibility on the government’s part. It has abandoned these people to Maoist depredations,” said Ajay Sahni of the New Delhi-based Institute of Conflict Management.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Naxals target tribals 100 dead, 60 abducted

Naxals target tribal army: 20 dead, 60 abducted

Wednesday March 1 2006 00:00 IST

Atleast 100 feared killed in Naxal landmine blasts in C’garh


Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh), Feb 28: Atleast 100 people were feared killed as Naxalites triggered a powerful blast, targeting two trucks, in which more than 100 villagers were returning after attending an anti-Naxal meeting at Darbaguda on the Sukma-Konta National Highway this morning.

High alert sounded in Andhra

Inspector General of Police (Bastar) range M W Ansari confirmed that the blast took place at around 1130 hrs but refused to give the exact number of casualties, saying more details were awaited.

A report from Jagdalpur said the ultras ambushed at NH 43 the two trucks carrying villagers who were returning from Dornapal after attending a meeting of ongoing 'Salwa Judum', the peace movement launched by the tribals against the Communist Party of India (Maoists).

Meanwhile, official sources in state capital, Raipur, said a helicopter has been sent to Dantewara to airlift the injured to nearby hospitals in order to provide them early medical assistance.

A large number of villagers had gathered at Dornapal yesterday at the 'Salwa Judum' meeting where the villagers had motivated 128 Naxalite 'Sangam members' to surrender and return to the national mainstream.

The tribals of south Bastar, reeling under Naxalite violence for over three-decade, launched 'Salwa Judum' (fight for peace movement) more than six months ago.

As the campaign against Naxalites is spreading, Maoists have stepped up attacks against those associated with the movement, claiming it was state sponsored.

According to reports, over 60 people were abducted by the Maoists after they triggered the blast targeting the vehicle they were travelling.

"The Maoists stopped five trucks, which were carrying people and exploded one of them near Darbhaguda, about 500 km from the state capital and burnt four other trucks," the sources said.

In many places of the area police and Naxalites are engaged in gun battle, although police party have reached the spot and injured are being shifted to Konta for treatment, they said.

BJP accuses Centre of failing to check Naxalism

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused the UPA government at the Centre of failing to check the surge in Naxalite violence in the country.

Interacting with mediapersons in Jaunpur (UP), former Union Minister of State for Home Affairs and senior BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand said that at the time the NDA government lost power at Centre a total of 55 districts in eight states were affected with the activities of the Naxal extremists.

Chinmayanand, however, claimed that since the UPA government came to power, the number of Naxal affected districts has shot up to 215 spread in 13 states.

Bureau Report

RAIPUR: With the Chhattisgarh Government and the Opposition both backing a tribal Army battling Left wing extremists, Maoist cadres struck back in a big way, killing at least 20 people and leaving another 40 injured in a landmine blast in the Dantewada district.

Reports reaching Raipur said the Maoists abducted another 60 people and headed for Oria across Sabri river. The Maoists targeted trucks carrying over 100 people who were returning to Konta from Errabore after attending an anti-Naxal campaign in the Dornapal area.

The spot where the attack took place is just 35 km from the Andhra Pradesh border.

“The Maoists stopped five trucks and exploded one of them near Darbhaguda, about 500 km from Raipur and burnt four other trucks,'' officials said.

The police and Naxalites were engaged in gun battles at many places. The injured were being shifted to Konta for treatment.

Scores have been killed in Chhattisgarh's war between Naxalites and the government-backed tribal army, the Salva Judum. In cooperation rarely seen between political rivals, Chief Minister Raman Singh and Leader of Opposition Mahendra Karma of Congress have joined hands to beat the Naxals at their own game - winning over the tribals, by any means.

Following Tuesday's incident, Andhra Pradesh has been put on high alert. The Centre, while asking Chhattisgarh to strengthen security arrangements in Dantewada, said it was ready to deploy more forces if the state wanted.

“I would like to ask them to strengthen security even more and if they need any assistance in that, we can look into that,'' Minister for State for Home S P Jaiswal said in New Delhi.

He said the Home Ministry had been telling the state government that “the area is very sensitive and security arrangements there need to be strengthened''.

“Somewhere they must have failed which is why such a big tragedy has taken place,'' he said.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 (Dantewada):

Over 50 people are believed dead after a landmine went off in Dantewada district on the Chhattisgarh-Andhra Pradesh border.

Those killed are said to be adivasis returning from a meeting organised by the anti-Naxal tribal movement Salwa Judum.

Atleast 40 people were injured in the attack in Darbhaguda. They were flown by helicopters for treatment in Bhadrachalam in Andhra Pradesh.

Security arrangements

"The Home Ministry told the government that the area in Chhattisgarh is very sensitive, and security should be strengthened," said Prakash Jaiswal, Minister of State for Home Affairs.

"If they need any help from the central government they will get it".

According to police the tribals were traveling in three open trucks when the convoy was attacked.

The Maoists allegedly blew up one truck using an explosive device and opened fire at those fleeing into a nearby forest.

Police said it was a reprisal attack on Salwa Judum, which the Maoists perceive as a threat to their traditional support base.

Darbhaguda nightmare: Chhatisgarh calls for joint op
Jagdalpur Chhattisgarh February 28, 2006 10:42:53 PM IST

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh today urged the Centre to adopt an initiative to launch a joint anti-Naxal operation.
''There has to be a joint operation by states concerned to effectively deal with rebel violence,'' he told mediapersons here after returning from Darbhaguda where Naxals triggered a landmine killing 25 persons and injuring 40.

Reiterating that insurgency was a national challenge as it affected a population exceeding 30 crore across eight states, he said Chhattisgarh was suffering in the absence of such a joint operation as Naxals unleashed violence here and sheltered in neighbouring states.

Acknowledging a spurt in violence, the Chief Minister admitted that several persons fled their villages in south Bastar because of terror unleashed by Maoists.

Mr Singh said the Naxals were adopting tactics of violence as they were becoming ''isolated'' following the success of 'Salwa Judum', an ongoing people's campaign in South Bastar.


25 killed, 35 injured in landmine blasts triggered by Maoists

Raipur, Feb 28 (PTI) Naxalites today set off a landmine killing 25 tribal villagers, who joined an anti-Maoist rally, and wounding 35 people at a village in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, police said.

"So far, 25 people have been killed and 35 injured, including two PAC personnel when the Naxalites exploded their vehicles," Additional Director General of Chhattisgarh Police S K Paswan said.

Over 60 people were abducted by the Maoists after they triggered the blast targeting the vehicle they were travelling.

Making a statement on the incident in the state assembly, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ajay Chandrakar said the Maoists abducted some people who were returning from an anti-naxal campaign in Dantewada district.

The Maoists took the abducted people towards Oria across Sabri river, police sources said.

The incident prompted Andhra Pradesh government to put on high alert its police forces as the spot where Maoists triggered a landmine in Chhattisgarh was just 35 km away from the Andhra border. PTI

Death dance at Darbhagarh: Chhattisgarh assembly adjourns
Raipur | February 28, 2006 8:46:57 PM IST

The Chhattisgarh assembly today paid tributes to villagers slain in the naxal landmine blast in South Bastar district and adjourned the houre for the day as a mark of respect.
As soon as the house assembled after the lunch recess, Legislative Affairs Minister Ajay Chandrakar made a suo motu statement on today's explosion in Darbhagarh.

Quoting reports, the minister informed the Vidhan Sabha that 23 persons were killed and 33 injured in the assault at around 1130 hours along the Sukma-Konta road, about 15 km from Konta town.

''This is an act of cowardice,'' he said while condemning the blast and denouncing it as an ''inhuman act.'' Mr Chandrakar said Chief Minister Raman Singh spoke to Union Home Minister Shivraj V Patil and other senior leaders.

Congress Legislative Party Deputy Leader Bhupesh Baghel said the incident brought into focus the government's failure to provide security to those who emerged into the open against the rebels by participating in an anti-naxal campaign.

Urging the government to apprise the assembly of all details, he also sought to know what steps were being taken to rescue scores of villagers reportedly abducted by insurgents after the explosion.

Mr Baghel requested Speaker Prem Prakash Pandey to adjourn the house after paying tributes to the victims. The vidhan sabha paid homage to the victims and observed a brief silence.


Police alert in MP after C'garh blast
Bhopal | February 28, 2006 3:38:06 PM IST

Police have been alerted in naxal-affected areas in Madhya Pradesh in view of deadly attack in Chhattisgarh's Dantewara district.
Senior police officers told UNI here that police have been asked to remain alert in naxal-infested Balaghat, Dindori and Mandala districts.

Police have been asked to take additional precautionary measure in Sidhi district, due to an increase in naxalite activities there.

Besides CPI(Maoists) cadres, Malajkhand, Tanda Dalam and special squad ultras are active in the state.


PM condemns Chhattisgarh attack
New Delhi | February 28, 2006 10:42:46 PM IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today condemned the Naxal attack in Dantewara district of Chhattisgarh in which at least 25 people were killed.
In a message, Dr Singh also expressed grief over the loss of innocent lives.

Meanwhile, Congress president Sonia Gandhi also expressed her anguish at the tragic killing of tribals in the Naxal-triggered landmine blast.

The Centre and state government must combat the menace together, she said.

''While the underlying socio-economic causes have to be addressed meaningfully, there can be no two opinions that law and order has to be maintained and that the central and state governments must unitedly combat this menace,'' she said in a statement here.

''I was extremely pained and astonished to learn of the tragic killings of a large number of innocent people,'' she said.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

3 CRPF men killed in mine explosion by NAXALITE TERRORISTS

Statesman News Service

MIDNAPORE, Feb. 26. — At least three CRPF jawans and a civilian were killed and eight other policemen injured in a landmine blast triggered by Maoists at Nakrachara, near the Tarafeni barrage in Bhelaibiha gram panchayat, about 8 km from Belpahari in Midnapore West, this afternoon.
The injured were first admitted to Belpahari hospital and later shifted to Jhargram sub-divisional hospital in a critical condition.
The incident occurred around 5 p.m. when the jawans were returning in a vehicle from Barsul where a medical camp was organised by the police earlier in the day. The Midnapore West SP, Mr Ajay Nand, and other senior police officers of the district attended the camp.
According to reports, the bodies of the three jawans were being searched in the area as they were thrown apart under the impact of the explosion.
Mr Soumen Khan, an injured policeman who was admitted to Jhargram sub-divisional hospital, said casualties could be much higher as a total of 16 policemen were in the vehicle.
Locals in the area believe that the blast is a sequel to a gun battle between the police and the Maoists at Bangbuta forest in Belpahari on 8 February. Some Maoist cadres were reportedly injured in police retaliation.

Chhattisgarh : Salva Judum poro poro, Naxalwad Addi Addi

War in tribal heartland

Chhattisgarh is waging an all-out war against Naxalites — by local tribals, ‘backed’ by an unusual alliance of the BJP govt and the Opposition Congress. VIVEK DESHPANDE travels to the battlefield deep in the forests of south Bastar

Salva Judum poro poro, Naxalwad Addi Addi (Salva Judum up, Naxalism down). Dhol Ke Wende Dholakar, Pondi Ke Roma Kal (We will die, but only after we kill them)

An army of over 3,000 tribals led by a bearded man called K Madhukarrao is marching briskly towards the tribal hamlet of Farsegad in the Bijapur police district of southern Bastar.

Brandishing bows, arrows and rifles, they march as heavily armed guards of paramilitary forces provide a safety cordon. The seven-hour ‘‘victory’’ march, which began at Sapimarka village about 20 km away, comes to an end after ‘‘winning’’ a battle against an enemy they were accused of supporting till the previous day.

Sapimarka has been successfully ‘‘annexed.’’

Welcome to the land of Salva Judum in the dense forests of Bastar. The government says it’s a peace movement to free the tribals from the clutches of Naxalites. The Naxalites say Judum means hunting and Salva means group and it’s a group hunting of innocent tribals supporting the ‘‘people’s movement.’’

But what began in June, 2005 as a small protest against Naxalites at Karkeli village near Farsegad has now turned into a frenzy in South Bastar, once the ‘cherished zone of the Left-wing extremists. The government-sponsored and Opposition-supported campaign called Salva Judum has turned the entire tribal belt from Gidam to Bijapur and Bhopalpatnam in the revenue district of Dantewada into a battleground—police and paramilitary forces are swarming the region.

Boards of Salva Judum have come up all along the roads. Hundreds of villages have been vacated since June, 2005 and scores of ‘‘relief camps’’ have been set up for the tribals brought into the Salva Judum fold. Barricades have been erected at all vantage points for screening of vehicles and individuals.

But that hasn’t stopped the Naxalite attacks—in fact, they have been striking back with vengeance. Several tribals have been killed by Naxalites and thousands have deserted their villages and paddy fields fearing retaliation.

Konda Madhukarrao, a 32-year old non-tribal teacher from Kutru village, who spearheads the movement, says: ‘‘People were tired of Naxalites. For long, the Naxalites have used the poor tribals as their weapons and have prevented all kinds of developmental activities. Those opposing would get killed in the name of being police informers. We all thought enough was enough and we must end their reign of terror.’’

Led by him, the villagers approached Dantewada MLA Mahendra Karma, who had run two anti-Naxalite campaigns in the early and mid-90s. Karma, leader of the Congress and Leader of the Opposition in Chhattisgarh Assembly who has lost at least four of his relatives in the Naxalite violence, seized the chance. Taking Chief Minister Raman Singh into confidence, he took over the leadership of what he calls ‘‘aar paar ki ladaai’’ (all-out war) on Naxalites.

‘‘We have been marching to deep interior villages calling for support against Naxalites. People are voluntarily joining in huge numbers. Those not falling in line are being handed over to the police,’’ says Madhukarrao. Hundreds of tribal boys and girls are now being appointed as Special Police Officers (SPOs) at the Salva Judum camps, with the promise of Rs 1,500 per month as salary. They are being trained in gun-handling and anti-insurgency operations.

‘‘People have been mutely supporting the so-called people’s movement of Naxalites, who have entirely destroyed the traditional socio-cultural, economic and administrative fabric of the tribal society at the point of gun. We are trying to channelise that frustration through Salva Judum,’’ says Karma.

What’s happening in the camps isn’t any different, but Karma calls it ‘‘sacrifice for the people’s movement against Naxalite violence.’’ CM Raman Singh says, ‘‘People have come together against the terror of RDX and AK-47s.’’

The Leftists have accused the government of starting a civil war in Bastar. The CPI (Maoists) literature cite Salva Judum as another proof of state repression and term the relief camps as ‘‘concentration camps.’’

At a ‘‘relief camp’’ in Farsegad, 50 km from Bijapur on the Kutru-Sendra road, Pandri and Narendra Benja, siblings in their mid-teens, share a 10ft by 10ft tent with five others. They came here about four months ago along with a Salva Judum procession, leaving behind their parents. Try asking them if they are happy, they keep quiet.

At the Cherpal camp on the Bijapur-Gangalur road, Sukku Korsa Munga stares blankly as if in a state of shock. He has come from a village three km away with his family, but has nothing to eat. ‘‘We haven’t got the promised rice. I am fetching it from my village where I now fear to go,’’ he says.

‘‘He is among those who were not ready to join Judum. Some of the villages are very stubborn,’’ says Parsul Chandrayya, the local Judum president.

There are about 4,000 tribal boys and 400 girls doing the security duties as SPOs in the 16 camps in Dantewada district. Every morning and evening, they have to line up for a training drill. They are being trained in gunfight. They are taken on a foot patrol around the camps and have to retaliate in case of a Naxalite attack. They also have to go out into the jungles to protect the Salva Judum march from the Naxalites.

Apart from the regular state police, there are around 9,000 paramilitary personnel from Central and State Reserve Police, Chhattisgarh Armed battalion and Nagaland Armed Police giving them cover. The NSG too also arrived last week. But the tribals, by virtue of their knowledge of the deceptive terrain, have to be a part of most of the anti-insurgency operations undertaken by the police. So, it is not surprising they are falling to Naxalite bullets.

At Gangalur village on January 29, Naxalites posing as Judum workers first cleverly mingled with the processionists. At midnight, along with their 500-odd supporters, they laid a siege to the police station and massacred eight tribal activists of Salva Judum, four of them SPOs. No one has the count of Judum supporters killed by the Naxalites since June, but the figures run into hundreds, locals say.

‘‘The government is just pulling it on. There are not many who have joined it willingly and the police are using tribals as pawns against the Naxalites,’’ says an activist. ‘‘Of course, the Naxalites are getting paid back on the same coin but the fact is the poor tribal pays the price in both cases.’’

Salva Judum leaders, however, are emphatic in calling it a popular uprising against Naxalism. Says Karma: ‘‘Some of our people had strayed out of the mainstream. We are trying to bring them back.’’

Shankar Nag and Mohan Mandavi from Farsegad say Naxalites are the enemies of humanity. ‘‘They have made our life miserable. They must be dealt with sternly,’’ they said. Many are happy that they have got a gun and a police job for Rs 1,500 a month, but not all have yet got their money.

The biggest question is how long can the camps be sustained? ‘‘Till the battle is won,’’ says Karma. But with the paddy season just three months away, the inmates will need to go back to their villages. ‘‘Yes, they will have to, but providing them security is our top priority,’’ Singh says.


NAXALITE accused in MLA C Narsi Reddy's murder killed in encounter

Main accused in Reddy murder killed in encounter

Mahbubnagar, Andhra Pradesh 26 Feb (UNI) Maoist leader Karrem Narsappa, suspected to be the main accused in the Maqtal Congress MLA C Narsi Reddy's murder, was killed along with other Maoists in an encounter with police party near Buddaram forest area in this district today, police said.

Mr Reddy, who was on the panel of chairmen in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, was killed in the naxal attack on August 15 last year, along with 11 others, including his son C Venkateshwar Reddy, the district Youth Congress leader.

After the incident, the Andhra Pradesh Government imposed a ban on CPI (Maoist) and its seven other affiliated organisations.

Later, Narsappa was also involved in the murder of CC Kunta Police station sub-inspector Moinuddin. Narsappa alias Satyam was Panagal Dalam commander and CPI(Maoist) district leader.

According to sources, a special police team from Hyderabad picked up track of Narsappa when he was going on a motorbike along with other naxal near Wanaparty. An encounter ensured in which Narsappa and his associates were killed. An AK 47 rifle was seized. There are also reports that the spcial police team also took into custody one lady naxal Devendramma, who is Maoist action team member.

Woman naxal surrenders in Vizag district

Visakhapatnam | February 26, 2006 9:40:45 PM IST

A 22-year-old woman naxalite belonging to the CPI (Maoists) surrendered before the police in this district today.

Superintendent of Police V V Srinivasa Rao said Shyamala of Muragadapalen village of G K Veedi Mandal cited health problems before surrendering.

He said urging from her parents and the way some other women members who surrendered recently were leading a peaceful life had prompted Shyamala to surrender.

Shyamala worked in Chitrakonda Dalam in the neighbouring Orissa state. Earlier, she was active in Korukonda Dalam and an active member of Koraput Zonal Technical Committee. Trained in using firearms, she had taken part in many exchanges of fire incidents in East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts in Andhra Pradesh and also in Orissa, he added.