Saturday, September 23, 2006

‘No targeting of Muslims while dealing with terror’

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

Nainital - There is need to ensure that anti-terrorist measures do not create a sense of insecurity among the Muslims, both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi stressed Saturday while expressing deep anguish and concern over continued terrorist strikes in the country.

Addressing a two-day convention of chief ministers of 14 Congress-ruled states here, the prime minister stressed on the need for measures to instil confidence among the Muslims.

He said there was urgent need to ‘augment the number of personnel from the minority community in the police forces as well as intelligence agencies’. He also urged upon the necessity to re-deploy capable officers belonging to minority community in sensitive positions. Such a step, he said, would help in confidence building among members of these communities.

Gandhi said that police action should ’sensitise and mobilise local communities and tough police action should not lead to polarisation’.

‘While there can be no compromise on internal security, we must make sure that no community feels it is under siege or as automatic targets of suspicion,’ she said.

Gandhi urged chief ministers to upgrade the intelligence machinery with ‘diligence and urgency’. She said the ‘central government should also enable each state to have a fully equipped, properly trained and highly motivated anti-terrorism force’.

While insisting on ‘clear identification and isolation’ of ‘anti-social and anti-national elements’, she cautioned that police action should be ‘free from social bias and political pressure in dealing with any communal situation’.

Manmohan Singh emphasised that anti-terrorist measures should not alienate Muslims.

‘An underlying sense of insecurity among sizeable sections of the Muslim minority is one reason for continued communal tensions.’ He attributed this to ‘erroneous linkage made by the West to treat the actions by a few, as typical of the community as a whole’.

He called upon chief ministers to ‘take appropriate measures to dispel such misgivings’.

‘I think it reflects a great weakness of the law-enforcing mechanism when it lines up the entire population of a locality for questioning,’ Manmohan Singh stated.

Commenting on ‘externally sponsored terrorism’, the prime minister praised the improvements effected in the intelligence apparatus at the national level. He urged the chief ministers to tone up the intelligence machinery in their states and said there was need to generate intelligence inputs at the police station level by re-orienting the role of the beat constable.

‘Officers must be asked to explain whether all sensitive towns were covered by the intelligence agencies. It is not sufficient to react and make public pronouncements and take placatory measures. The entire bureaucracy should be made accountable,’ he said.

Highlighting the need for states to set up well-equipped and properly trained special forces to deal with terrorism as well as insurgency, including Maoist violence, the prime minister said: ‘Chief ministers must ensure that the best officers in the field of development administration are posted in such districts.’


urrently these postings are considered punishment postings,’ he said.

‘Chief ministers should personally monitor the problems of Naxalite (Maoist)-affected areas, including proper utilisation of the very large amounts of money provided for development programmes in these areas.’

The Maoist penetration among the industrial and agriculture workers as well as students could be tackled more effectively through political means, rather than by the police, he said.

Earlier, Gandhi said: ‘I am convinced that if we are able to ensure that the benefits of development projects are visible and reach the people, we can weaken the hold of militant groups.’

Emphasising that effective internal security was not possible without effective ‘border management’, the Congress president stated, ‘Our borders will not be allowed to be used as corridors for free movement of terrorists’.

Sonia on security

Saturday, September 23, 2006 12:32:25 pm

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At the Congress Chief Ministers’ Conclave in Nainital, on the agenda is a comprehensive action plan to deal with the agrarian crisis following a spate of farmers' suicides in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. While the Prime Minister spoke on areas of development however, Congress President Sonia Gandhi spoke on the issues of Internal Security in the wake of mounting threats posed by terrorism and naxalism. Both concerns set the tone for the meet attended by 14 Chief Ministers, some Central ministers and All India Congress Committee (AICC) functionaries.

“After one year, I noticed that we have begun well. In rural housing, rural telephony and rural drinking water, we seem to be doing well, having exceeded our target for the first year – two major elements of Bharat Nirman, which need to be pursued vigorously, are rural roads and rural electrification. We have provided adequate funds to the rural roads programme including Rs 16,500 crore from NABARD. In rural electrification, Rajib Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojna is our main platform,” said the Prime Minister.

Speaking on the issue of internal security, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said, “The continuing attacks on different parts of our country are naturally a source of anguish and concern. Clearly, our entire intelligence system has to be upgraded. This task must be carried out with diligence and with urgency.

Sonia on Internal Security

She however, stressed the need to ensure that specific minority communities are not targeted in the process of clamping down on terror.

“While recognising that there cannot be any compromise on internal security, we must make sure that no community feels itself under siege or as automatic target of suspicion,” said Sonia Gandhi.

The Prime Minister also stressed on the need to curb all forms of terrorism in the country including communalism, naxalism and the J&K insurgency.

“The growing complexity of internal security problems merits new thinking on our part. New ideas and concepts are of vital importance at the present juncture. They key challenge we face in dealing with internal problems is that while taking necessary steps to maintain order, we do not undermine the basic princeples and precepts on which our pluralistic democracy is based. Most of the problems we face today are not limited to one state. They encompass several states. This has greatly added to our difficulties in dealing with them. This is more true of terrorism, naxal violence and communal disturbances. Closer cooperation between states and between the states or the Center has hence become absolutely essential,” said Manmohan Singh.

The conclave is being held at the heavily-guarded Nainital Club where a special media room has been set up to cater to needs of over 100 journalists who have come from Delhi and other parts of the country.

The meet is being held at a time when a mid-course correction can be attempted and a greater emphasis could be given to agriculture and rural development in the 11 th five-year Plan which will come into operation from next year.

PM warns of terror strikes, tells CMs to tone up intelligence

Saturday, September 23, 2006 12:45 IST

NAINITAL: A grim warning about "further intensification" of terrorist attacks involving greater use of fidayeen elements to target religious, economic and other "sensitive objects" was the centrepoint of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's address to the conclave of Congress chief ministers here on Saturday.

The two-day meeting is being attended by Singh, several Union Ministers, 14 Congress chief ministers and senior party leaders.

He told the chief ministers to tone up the intelligence machinery in the states, concentrate on "actionable" intelligence and make the entire bureaucracy accountable.

At their two-day conclave presided by Congress President Sonia Gandhi here, he talked about the internal security situation mainly the issues of terrorism, communal tension and Naxalism.

He said the activities of externally-sponsored terror outfits were "equally worrisome" as their involvement in the country has grown.

"The concern is that there could be a further intensification involving greater use of fidayeen elements and targeting of a wider range of religious, economic and sensitive objects," Singh told the chief ministers of 14 Congress-ruled states.

He termed as disconcerting reports that suggest the existence of a number of terrorist modules and sleeper cells in some urban areas that provide the backup for foreign terrorist outfits.

He rejected the "erroneous linkage" made by the West in tarnishing the image of the Muslim community due to the actions of a few. He said that "pro-active" efforts were needed to address the underlying sense of insecurity among sizeable sections of this minority.
Singh said state governments should lay more emphasis on integration of rural India with economic development of the country by focusing on agriculture, drinking water and electrification of villages.

Expressing concern over the growth rate of agriculture, he told the states to make special efforts to ensure that schemes chalked out under the Bharat Nirman programme for uplift of rural India were effectively implemented.

Noting that targets set under Bharat Nirman programme had exceeded in the first year of its implementation, he cautioned the main challenges lay in the next two years.
Describing as "worrisome" the activities of externally-sponsored terror groups, Singh warned of a spurt in suicide attacks targetting religious, economic and sensitive institutions in the country.

Expressing anguish over terrorist attacks in the country, Sonia Gandhi cautioned the state governments to ensure that anti-terror measures should not lead to polarisation of society and no community should feel being under siege because of such actions.

She said there should be no compromise on internal security and all states should have fully motivated forces to combat terrorism.

Observing that the terror attacks in different parts of the country were a cause of "serious concern and anguish", she said the anti-terror measures should not lead to polarization of society and no community should feel being under seige.

The Congress president also spoke about Singh's recent peace moves with Pakistan, but expressed concern over terror strikes being carried out in Jammu & Kashmir by Pakistan-based outfits.

Recalling the Congress' support to the previous National Democratic Alliance government, she said as a political party Congress has always advocated dialogue with Pakistan even while being in Opposition.

Sonia insisted that the coalition government in Jammu & Kashmir was maintaining the tempo of development and that measures have been taken to increase people-to-people contacts across the Line of Control.

On the naxal problem, the Congress chief said the Centre should take a "more pro-active" role in dealing with it. The administration in tribal areas has to be more responsible in dealing with naxalism, a problem that she termed as a socio-economic and law and order issue.

Describing the spate of farmers suicides as a challenge to the nation's collective conscience, she said a package would soon be announced for states confronting the problem.

Sonia said farmers must get proper compensation and they be made stake-holders in projects coming up on their lands.

She emphasised that the system of land administration needs "complete overhaul" and new tenancy legislation in connection with the land holding should be in place.

Defending the government's decision to import wheat, she said procurement needs immediate attention and the public distribution system has to be strengthened.

Naxal sympathiser surrenders in AP

Saturday September 23 2006 08:48 IST

ONGOLE: A Naxalite sympathiser belonging to the Ambedkar Nagar in Cheemakurthi town on Friday surrendered before the Cheemakurthi police.

Chavabattina Yedukondalu, who had helped the Naxalites during the period when the government lifted the ban on the Maoists and had later gone underground once the ban was re-imposed, had on Friday gone to the police station and gave up.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Maoists planning fresh attacks, sabotage

Kolkata, Sept 22. (PTI): Maoist rebels are planning more attacks and sabotage in West Midnapore district after yesterday's bomb blast that killed two policemen and injured 29 others, officials said here today.

"The police is apprehensive that Maoists are preparing attacks and sabotage before the Durga puja festival," an official said in Midnapore, adding that special security is being provided to the areas under three police stations in West Midnapore.

Sources said that six squads of Maoists were reportedly active in the area.

After stepping up vigil along the border with both Purulia and Bankura districts, the administration of West Midnapore has urged the police in adjoining Orissa and Jharkhand to plug all entry points for Maoists who might seek shelter in the two States following combing operations launched at Lalgarh and Belpahari areas.

Both areas are close to the site of yesterday's blast at Jhitka forest range, the sources said.

"We have alerted the police in the two neighbouring States to coordinate with us and plug entry points," an official said.

Centre pins hopes on anti-Naxal cell

Subodh Ghildiyal

[ 22 Sep, 2006 0215hrs IS TTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

NEW DELHI: Not enthused by results from centralised mechanisms on countering the spread of Naxalism, Centre feels the dedicated anti-Naxal cell in Union home ministry will provide it a toehold in states for direct monitoring.

With New Delhi keeping a direct tab on states, laggard states may be forced to implement security and economic measures they have failed to take up to check the Naxal menace.

The view comes with the increasing feeling in MHA that central mechanisms — Coordination Centre, Task Force and Standing Committee of chief ministers — have not yielded the desired results as their decisions are left to states for action. The feedback on their progress, too, came from states.

Effecting a change, the anti-Naxal cell, set to be operationalised in North Block, will see officials from MHA reporting from the ground level on implementation of decisions and providing fresh inputs for policy changes in future.

Having suggested twin measures of strong police action to beat back advancing Naxals and development of backward regions to win back the poor, especially tribals, from the rebel fold, Centre feels it has to go hand in hand with the states.

As a senior official said, states have to ensure development in a pocket cleansed of Naxalites to ensure that it does not lapse into the rebel grip again. The anxiety over return of Naxals from cleared pockets is heightened in the wake of initial success in Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Going by evidence, states are ignoring development as a means of winning over rebel sympathisers. The use of funds under the Backward Districts Initiative (BDI) has been poor. Meant for 55 districts in nine states, only Rs 990 crore has been spent out of the Rs 2,295 crore available in the last three years.

Development and police response to the red brigade, will both be soon under Delhi's scanner. There will be officials from police to report on the armed strategy in naxal areas while non-police officials will report on development measures there.

An official said: "The meetings thus, have been failed primarily because of the states. Now, the idea is to go to the ground and have a direct feel of the situation."

The need for monitoring development was never greater. MHA has notified an Inter-Ministerial Group to review development schemes of central ministries in Naxal areas, like BDI and Backward Regions Grant Fund, and implementation of land reforms.

Three Naxals killed in shootout with police in Khammam dist , AP

Hyderabad, Sept. 22 (PTI): Three Maoist rebels were killed in a shootout with the police in Andhra Pradesh's Khammam district today.

The exchange of fire took place in a forest area near Regullagudem when extremists belonging to the Praja Pratighatana group were holding a meeting, police said.

About 20 to 25 Naxalites were meeting in a forest hideout when a special police team surrounded them, Superintendent of Police R K Meena said.

On seeing the policemen, the rebels opened fire. In the hour-long encounter that followed, three extremists were killed while the others managed to escape, he said.

Two rifles, two BBL guns and 15 kit bags were found at the spot, he said.

Transport co raided for Naxal arms in AP

Friday September 22 2006 13:43 IST

VIJAYAWADA: A joint team of the special branch of the city and Warangal police, raided Navata Transport here today on suspicion of the transport company being used by the Maoists to transport arms and ammunition. The police teams have begun searching the consignments at the main godown of the transport company at Kanuru, 10 kms away from here.

The police would later scan through the transshipment records of the last one year. The raids have come in the wake of the recent seizures of rocket launcher haul from the godowns of Kranthi Transport at various places in the State.

Recently, the city police recovered spare parts of rocket launchers and caps from the scrap dealers in Auto Nagar.

The raids followed information obtained from one of the arrested Maoist divisional commander, who was recently arrested at Warangal.

The Warangal SP had relayed the information to city Police Commissioner Umesh Sharaff, who ordered the raid. However, no explosives have been found so far.

5 Maoists surrender in AP

Friday September 22 2006 13:45 IST

VISHAKHAPATANAM: Five Maoists, two of them girls, surrendered before DIG (Visakha Range) Govind Singh here today.

Galikonda dalam local organising squad (LOS) members P Julumi alias Jaya (20) and Vanthala Singaraju alias Chandu (22, Kondabaridi area committee member Battina Mohan alias Rajendra, Marri Tirusu alias Sunju of Galikonda local guerrilla squad, and Deruvada LOS member Kadraka Seeta said they were disillusioned with the Maoist ideology.

No naxalite activities in T.Nadu: Police

Coimbatore, Sept. 22 (PTI): Ruling out any kind of Naxalite activity in Tamil Nadu's western districts, particularly Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts bordering Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, a senior police official today said that border stations have been amply fortified.

There is absolutely no naxalite activity inside Tamil Nadu, particularly Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts, he said.

"We have fortified on border police stations-- four on Andhra Pradesh and one in Karnataka-- and patrolling intensified to prevent any assault, as being done by Naxals normally," K Rajendran, IG, West Zone, told reporters here.

However, information on the movement of naxalites have been shared among the Naxalite Special Division, 'Q' branch, SBCID, District Special Branch and also Tamil Nadu Special Police, through strong intelligence network, Rajendran said.

On arrangements for the coming civic polls, he said that the zone has been provided with 20,000 personnel, drawn from Police, Home Guard, NSS, Ex-servicemen, Forest and Tamil Nadu Special police, for bandobust arrangements for two phases.

Stating that the zone has 19,027 booths, including 4,315 male booths, 4,307 female booths and 1,885 sensitive booths, Rajendran said there were no constraints regarding force and the department would manage the elections successfully.

Youth held for threatening to blow up Salem prison

Coimbatore, Sept. 22 (PTI): A youth has been arrested for writing a letter in somebody's name and threatening to release through 'armed revolution' some members of a naxal group lodged in the Salem prison, a top police official said today.

The prison authorities had received a letter a couple of days ago, purportedly written by a group of people, headed by one Palanisamy, in the name of 'Naxal Balan Ninaivu Sangham' blaming the officials for not releasing 21 members of Mao People War group, lodged in the jail, West Zone IG, K Rajendran told reporters here.

Seeking immediate release of those Naxalites, who are originally lodged in a jail near Chennai, the letter threatened to blow up the jail and release them with armed revolution, Rajendran said.

Investigation revealed that Palanisamy or any other member has not written such letter and further interrogation revealed that he has an enemy in one Siddaraju. When 30-year old Siddaraju was questioned, he said to have confessed to writing of the letter to implicate Palanisamy, due to previous enmity.

The sample writing of Siddaraju, native of Poolampatti near Salem, was tallying with those in the letter, which has been sent to further examination, Rajendran said.

Centre pins hopes on anti-Naxal cell

Subodh Ghildiyal

NEW DELHI: Not enthused by results from centralised mechanisms on countering the spread of Naxalism, Centre feels the dedicated anti-Naxal cell in Union home ministry will provide it a toehold in states for direct monitoring.

With New Delhi keeping a direct tab on states, laggard states may be forced to implement security and economic measures they have failed to take up to check the Naxal menace.

The view comes with the increasing feeling in MHA that central mechanisms — Coordination Centre, Task Force and Standing Committee of chief ministers — have not yielded the desired results as their decisions are left to states for action. The feedback on their progress, too, came from states.

Effecting a change, the anti-Naxal cell, set to be operationalised in North Block, will see officials from MHA reporting from the ground level on implementation of decisions and providing fresh inputs for policy changes in future.

Having suggested twin measures of strong police action to beat back advancing Naxals and development of backward regions to win back the poor, especially tribals, from the rebel fold, Centre feels it has to go hand in hand with the states.

As a senior official said, states have to ensure development in a pocket cleansed of Naxalites to ensure that it does not lapse into the rebel grip again. The anxiety over return of Naxals from cleared pockets is heightened in the wake of initial success in Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Going by evidence, states are ignoring development as a means of winning over rebel sympathisers. The use of funds under the Backward Districts Initiative (BDI) has been poor. Meant for 55 districts in nine states, only Rs 990 crore has been spent out of the Rs 2,295 crore available in the last three years.

Development and police response to the red brigade, will both be soon under Delhi's scanner. There will be officials from police to report on the armed strategy in naxal areas while non-police officials will report on development measures there.

An official said: "The meetings thus, have been failed primarily because of the states. Now, the idea is to go to the ground and have a direct feel of the situation."

The need for monitoring development was never greater. MHA has notified an Inter-Ministerial Group to review development schemes of central ministries in Naxal areas, like BDI and Backward Regions Grant Fund, and implementation of land reforms

Internal Security : Uphill task for Deshmukh at Congress CMs’ conclave

Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 21
Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh will have a lot of explaining to do at the seventh Congress CMs’ conclave being held in Nainital this week-end given his state’s poor track record on the agriculture and internal security fronts, the two issues on the agenda of the upcoming meeting.

In contrast, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Rajshekara Reddy’s successful efforts in handling the agrarian crisis in his state could well be held as an example for emulation by the other state heads although his handling of the Naxal violence is likely to come under the scanner.

Agriculture and internal security have been deliberately picked by Congress president Sonia Gandhi as the two key subjects for discussion at the conclave of party chief ministers.

Faced with Assembly polls in the four states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Punjab and Manipur early next year and mid-way through the UPA government’s term at the Centre, it became necessary for the party bosses to take a close hard look at the status of the agriculture sector in the various Congress states, their achievements, the problems they face and the remedial measures which need to be undertaken.

Mr Deshmukh, who will present a report card to the party leadership along with his other colleagues, will focus on the implementation of the special package announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the crisis-ridden Vidharbha region.

The Chief Minister and Mrs Margaret Alva, AICC in charge of Maharashtra, who have prepared elaborate presentations, are likely to make a strong pitch for waiving off farmers’ loans as opposed to rescheduling of their outstanding dues as announced by the Prime Minister as this concession had failed to provide any relief to the indebted farmer since banks were only adjusting old loans against fresh ones.

Blaming the tardy implementation of the PM’s package on the slow official machinery, the two leaders will ask the Centre to set up a special cell so that the implementation of the farmers’ package can be fast-tracked.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Naxals Deadly Arsenal

This is not the first time that the Andhra police recovered rocket launchers, but the sheer volume of the recent recoveries is overwhelming. Meanwhile, official skullduggery and apathy continues apace.


The sheer scale and expanse of the Maoist (also known as Naxalite) enterprise in India was revealed on September 8, 2006, when the Andhra Pradesh police in one of the largest-ever haul of weapons in the country, recovered 875 rockets, 27 rocket launchers, 70 gelatine sticks and other explosive material belonging to the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) from the Mahabubnagar and Prakasam districts. While 16 rocket launchers and 600 rocket shells packed in 53 gunny bags were seized at Jangireddypalli village in Mahabubnagar district, 275 rocket launchers packed in 27 bags were recovered from an unclaimed consignment in the Chennai-based Kranthi Transport Company, a private cargo mover, in the Giddalur town of Prakasam district. Further on, police at Vijayawada recovered 297 rocket shells and six rocket launchers from Autonagar on September 11.

Investigations revealed that parts of the rockets and launchers were manufactured at lathe workshops and foundries in the Chennai suburbs of Tamil Nadu at the Everest Engineering Company, Universal Casts and Bharath Fine Engineering, all located at Padi, Jai Tech Engineering Company and Shanthi Engineering Company, Korattur and Arun Engineering Company and Dhanalakshmi Foundry, Mogappair. According to Tamil Nadu Director General of Police, D. Mukherjee, a Maoist ‘technical wing’ member, identified as Srinivasa Reddy alias Raghu, came to Ambattur, another suburb of Chennai, in 2002 and gained the confidence of these companies by giving them small manufacturing orders. Thereafter, with their cooperation, he manufactured rocket components from 2003 to May 11, 2006. Later, these components were assembled and transferred to Andhra Pradesh.

Further, from the premises of Kranthi Lorry Transport Company at Ambattur, police recovered documents to the effect that three consignments had already been sent to Andhra Pradesh on August 10, 2005, May 6 and May 11, 2006. Police officials fear that the first consignment dispatched in August 2005, comprising approximately 600 rockets, may already have been distributed to Maoist cadres in other states as well.

This is not the first time that the Andhra police have recovered rocket launchers, but the sheer volume of the current recoveries is overwhelming. Some earlier recoveries include:

April 25, 2005: Police recovered crude rocket launchers among a huge quantity of arms, ammunition and explosive material from 13 Maoist dumps in Prakasam and three in Kurnool districts.

November 15, 2005: The police seized 11 powerful claymore mines, one rocket launcher and three boosters from Maoist dumps in Anantapur district.

December 10, 2005: Following an encounter in Pullalacheruvu mandal (block) of Prakasam district, police recovered four rocket launchers, four claymore mines and two single-loaded rifles from the scene of encounter.

The Maoist quest for acquiring indigenously-made rockets launchers and shells were first conclusively demonstrated on May 6, 2003, when police recovered documents and design layouts for rocket launchers and mortars from an erstwhile People’s War Group (PWG) hideout on the Andhra-Orissa border. Officials said that the PWG had been working on the designs of the anti-tank Rocket Launcher M-1 of the US and the RPG-7 of Russian origin.

Apparently, the Maoists have kept working on developing rockets based on these designs arduously as, over the years, there have been incidents of crude variants of these being ‘test-fired’.

April 28, 2004: PWG cadres fired rockets at the Bandlamotu police station in Guntur district and the camps of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Andhra Pradesh Special Police (APSP) in Dornala and Markapuram area of Prakasam district.

In all the three instances, the projectiles missed their targets by 30 to 100 feet. The projectiles were roughly 10 inches long, had a one-inch diameter and were fitted with four fins.

May 11, 2005: The Maoists attacked the Durgi police station in Guntur district using rocket launchers. A Maoist ‘commander’, Suresh, who led the attack on the police station said that what was ‘test-fired’ at the police station was an indigenously made rocket launcher, the first of its kind according to him.

February 6, 2006: In Prakasam district, police exchanged fire with Maoists at Darabayalupenta for an hour in which the latter used rocket launchers. However, no casualties were reported in this clash.

July 29, 2006: The Maoists used rocket launchers to attack the Yedulla Bayyaram Police Station in Manuguru Police Sub-division of Khammam district. The Maoists had targeted the Police Station but the rocket missed the building and crashed into a tree, 300 metres away from the station.

Following the April 25, 2005, seizure of rockets from the Anantapur district, Director General of Police (DGP) Swaranjit Sen had stated that the Maoists were in an ‘experimental stage’ of using rocket launchers made with crude technology. However, the rockets seized in the latest recoveries of September 8, 2006, shows a marked improvement. The DGP observed that the new weapons were shoulder-fired, and they had a manual triggering system instead of the earlier versions that were electrically ignited. Also, the warhead and propellant shell, the fin covers, trigger guard and the percussion cap were all very finely chiselled on a high-precision lathe machine, giving it the look of a well-made weapon.

Across the spectrum of the Naxalite affected states, the weaponry traditionally used by the Maoists mainly consists of weapons either looted from the paramilitary forces and the police or manufactured locally. Looting of weapons from security forces and their installations has been the easiest recourse available for the CPI-Maoist to arm their cadres. In one of the major incidents of this nature, on February 6, 2004, according to police sources, the Maoists looted approximately 200 weapons from different police posts in raids of Koraput town. A PWG press release on this operation claimed,
"weapons, ammunition, grenades valued at Rs 500 million were seized by the Naxalites of the People’s War. Among them there were 500 sophisticated weapons of different types (.303, LMG, SLR, Mortars, Stens, Revolvers, Pistols), along with more than 30,000 rounds of ammunition, number of Mortar shells and Grenades." A
gain, on February 9, 2005, the Maoists cadres attacked the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) store in the Hirauli area of Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh and looted 17 rifles and close to 50 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, an explosive used to detonate iron ore mines. On November 11, 2005, over a hundred Maoist cadres attacked a home guard training centre at Pachamba in the Giridih district of Jharkhand and looted 183 rifles, two pistols and 2500 cartridges. Most recently, on March 24, 2006, following an attack on the Ramagiri Udayagiri sub-jail and other government establishments in Gajapati district of Orissa, the Maoists looted 25 self-loading rifles, a pistol, a light machinegun and an AK-47 rifle.

Apart from looted weapons, the Maoists gain appreciably from weapons manufactured locally. According to intelligence reports, the Maoists are getting weapons from unlicensed weapon factories situated in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Bihar, while in certain areas of north Bihar, the Maoists have opened their own weapon factories.
In September 2005, the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) had conducted a raid in Ganauli forest area in West Champaran district of Bihar and recovered 42 locally manufactured 12-bore guns, a bolt action rifle and a large quantity of ammunition.

Easy availability of explosives at throwaway prices is another significant source for the Maoists. According to Inspector General of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) K.T.D. Singh, each bomb explosion by Maoists targetting security forces costs them no more than Rs 500. All that the insurgents need to do is to buy gelatine sticks from mining contractors for Rs 20 each and a detonator at no more than Rs two.

Despite these assured sources, the Maoists have also developed a focused approach to upgrade their weaponry to outstrip the security forces. Technical wings, which employ Information Technology (IT) experts on monthly payment, have been set up to draw up plans to develop more potent explosives, tap governmental messages and access the latest techniques on guerrilla warfare. According to a report of the Jharkhand state Intelligence (Special Branch), two technical wings have been set up by the CPI-Maoist – a southern and northern zone, with each zone under the guidance of four experts at the top level.

This stress on upgradation is already bearing fruit at the ground level, both in terms of weapons and force multiplier technologies. In Andhra Pradesh, the Maoists have long possessed the technology to manufacture claymore mines and detonate these with remote control devices from a distance of up to five kilometers, making use of US-made Icom IC-V8 wireless sets. Earlier landmines had to be detonated from relatively close proximity using a camera flash connected to the mine by a wire. Following the arrest of a Maoist electronic and communications expert, Nimmala Anji Reddy, from Akkannapet railway station on March 6, 2006, it was also determined that the Maoists were able to listen in on police communications through improvised communication systems manufactured by in-house experts.

Again, in May 2006, the Visakhapatnam district police recovered pressure mine shells near the East Godavari border for the first time. According to Superintendent of Police V.V. Srinivasa Rao, the Maoists "seem to have copied the model that the U.S. Marines had used in Vietnam in the past. These mines will kill anyone who steps on them."

In comparison to the sustained acquisition and upgradation plans of the Maoists, official skullduggery in certain regions continues to impede the modernization of police forces. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India’s report for 2005 pulled up the Jharkhand state government for diverting funds meant for modernisation of the Jharkhand Police. The CAG report revealed that the state-level Empowered Committee headed by the Chief Secretary purchased sports utility vehicles (SUVs) worth Rs 15.70 crore for VIP cavalcades during 2004-2005, using money meant for the police. The funds were intended for two projects: construction of police lines in Deoghar and Lohardaga districts and the replacement of condemned Police patrol vehicles.

At the 21st Coordination Centre meeting on Naxalism held on August 30, 2006, and attended by senior officials of 13 Maoist-affected states, an assessment was reportedly tabled suggesting that the Maoists were on the run in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. This assessment appears to be based on declining levels of violence in the southern states, especially Andhra Pradesh. An objective assessment and effective counter-insurgency operation, however, demands that a number of other indicators be taken into consideration before proclaiming such dubious victories.The sheer availability of weaponry, the continuous operation and extension of Maoist extortion networks, and evidence of political and front-organisation operation across wide areas suggests that Maoist capacities have not been substantially eroded, and such an assessment is confirmed by the shock of the recoveries of the haul of weapons, projectiles and rocket launchers on September 8, 2006.

Saji Cherian is Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management. Courtesy, the South Asia Intelligence Review of the South Asia Terrorism Portal

SSB deployment along Nepal border to be doubled: Jaiswal

Gorakhpur, Sept 21: The strength of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) along the Indo-Nepal border will be doubled, Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal said here today.

The porous Indo-Nepal border is an easy entry point for terrorists and the government will add new check posts and deploying more troops along the frontier, he told reporters here.

There are currently 41 border check points and an additional 72 will be established soon. The 41 SSB battalions now deployed would be doubled by the year-end, he said.

The Union Home Ministry is laying emphasis on training SSB troops posted along the border from Uttaranchal to Darjeeling, he said.

Jaiswal claimed the Centre has been successful in tackling Naxal violence in all affected states except Chhattisgarh, where the situation is still "bad."

Central assistance for programmes to modernise state police forces and to train them to tackle Maoist rebels has been increased from 50 per cent to 75 per cent.

The problem of extremism can be tackled easily by developing backward regions and better policing, he said.

Bureau Report

Landmine blast kills two cops in Bengal

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

Kolkata - At least two policemen of a bomb disposal squad were killed and several others seriously injured Thursday when a landmine planted by Maoists exploded in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district, police here said.

Additional Superintendent of Police Sumit Chaturvedi and three other policemen as well as four photojournalists were injured in the blast in the Jhitka jungles in Lalgarh. The explosion occurred around 1.30 p.m. when the bomb disposal squad reached the spot to diffuse the landmines.

Chaturvedi and another senior police official have been shifted to Kolkata for treatment.

The injured are in a serious condition, police said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya confirmed the incident at the state secretariat Writers’ Buildings.

Maoists have called a shutdown in three West Bengal districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia Thursday to observe the second anniversary of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist).

A Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader and his bodyguard were killed by Maoists Tuesday in the district.

Anil Mahato, 45, the local committee secretary of the CPI-M at Shilda in West Midnapore district and his guard Dinesh Baskey, 34, were gunned down by the rebels — in one of the most major attacks since the peaceful assembly elections in the district in April.

Moily blames weak governance for spread of naxalism

Special Correspondent

Calls for multi-pronged strategy to deal with the menace


Panel to submit report on public order and conflict resolution in November
ARC to come out with report on civil service reform
Call to give more powers to Lok Pal, Lok Ayukta

BANGALORE: Chairman of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission M. Veerappa Moily on Wednesday blamed weak governance and bad administration for the spread of naxalite activities in about 200 districts in the country.

Addressing presspersons here, Mr. Moily called for a multi-pronged strategy in the next three years to put an end to naxalism. The State Governments should deal with the situation on a "war-footing" by implementing development programmes in the naxal-affected districts. Effective implementation of welfare schemes would help in curbing naxalite activities, he said.

The commission in its report said: "Governance is admittedly the weak link in our quest for prosperity and equity. Our governance process must be redesigned to combat two scourges — unemployment and discrimination."

The former Chief Minister said the ARC was currently dealing with issues related to public order and conflict resolution and it would come out with the report in November. The ARC had submitted two reports to the Centre — Right to Information Act and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. It had completed discussions on Crisis Management and Disaster Planning and the report would be submitted by next week. He said corruption and ethics in governance was another report on which the Commission had commenced work.

The commission would come out with a report on civil service reform to tackle corruption and improve delivery of public services. The country should come out of the colonial legacy of civil services and it should be open to experts in other fields, who can be appointed on a contract basis as Secretaries to the Government. Even Britain underwent radical changes in the civil service during Margaret Thatcher rule, he said.

Mr. Moily said: "A comprehensive approach involving political, electoral, judicial, and police reforms coupled with decentralisation and accountability must be the essence of an all assault on corruption." Institutions such as Lok Pal, Lokayukta and other regulatory bodies need to be given more powers to punish the guilty and confiscate the property.

Mr. Moily said by September next year, the ARC would submit 17 reports comprising various issues referred in the terms of reference.

The reports have extensively dealt with implementation of various recommendations and had urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to put them on fast track for implementation.

There was no dearth of funds for implementing the recommendations, the ARC Chairman said.

Mega cities to come under Centre’s special protection

PANJIM, SEPT 20 - Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil nevertheless unveiled plans for providing special protection to mega cities in the country.
“This will require the States to prepare forward looking futuristic plans for providing the special security,” he said.

“This information will be examined by the Centre wherein the States seeking the assistance will also have to furnish details of their contribution,” he explained. It is learnt that after considering the plans and performance matching grants will be allocated.
Patil affirmed that this would help all those States, which have become the targets of crime and terror. The Union Home Ministry has assured help in the form of equipment, finance etc.
Replying to queries, Patil said “terrorism is not visible only in India but in all other parts of the world and appears to be increasing.”
While emphasising the need to be vigilant, the Union Home Minister
also opined that people should not allow terror psychosis to empower the thinking of human beings , which is the prime objective of the terrorists.
Replying to another query on naxal affected States, Patil said that the Centre is also concerned about the same and disclosed that nearly 35 battalions have been provided besides other assistance for which the government of India, he said is not charging anything. He also pointed out that the Home Ministry was interacting with chief ministers of the naxal affected States.
In a written communiqué released today, the Home Ministry has noted that law and order in the States of the Western Zone has been maintained properly. It has however also taken note of new crimes and has emphasized on the need for evolving new laws and new methods to tackle the same by the State Governments

Patil to implement report by McKinsey on police

BY A STAFF REPORTER | Thursday, September 21, 2006 10:45:33 IST
Special committee formed to study recommendations

The American consultancy firm McKinsey, which was appointed by the state in 2003 to suggest reforms and increase the efficiency of the police, presented its report to Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister R.R. Patil yesterday. Patil appointed a three-member committee comprising Principal Secretary of Home Chandra Iyengar, Special IG SRPF Ahmad Javed and Senior IPS officer Dr.V Venkatesham to study the recommendations and decide on their implementation.
Patil said, “This report has given its recommendations on reforms, increase in the number of police stations, holidays to the policemen, quality in service, modernisation of police, fast promotions, reduction in duty hours etc. We will study the report and accordingly implement the recommendations. There is modernisation in all aspects of crime so it has become necessary to modernise the police also.”
Patil also accepted that the Maharashtra Police is suffering from problems such as police stations and housing but it doesn’t mean that there are no funds for modernisation. He also said that police department is corrupt, but there are other departments which are more corrupt than the police, and the report suggests how to bring transparency in the police department.
On the question of modernisation, Patil said the state had demanded two helicopters for the police from the Centre for the Naxal affected areas and Mumbai.
As the report itself took three years in coming, how long would it be before the recommendations are implemented? Ahmad Javed said, “We have just got the recommendations and we will study them, very soon they will be implemented, one shouldn’t always consider everything negative.”
The state home ministry is also planning to review the security provided to politicians and others and accordingly will reduce, increase or withdraw the same. According to Patil most people have taken police security as a status symbol and they do not need any security.

Recommendations by McKinsey
Modernisation of Police
Increase in number of police stations
Fast promotion and assessment of the policemen
Holidays for policemen
Quality in service
Reduction in duty hours

RR Patil on ATS
R. R. Patil, while discussing the role of the Anti-Terrorist Squad, said, “The ATS’ investigation process is on the right track, we have arrived at a conclusion on the 7/11 blasts, but we cannot disclose that as it can hamper the investigation.”
Patil added, “The ATS will be further strengthened to curb terrorist activities and in this way three more units will be set up at Aurangabad, Pune and Mumbai.”
The government has become serious in the matter of intelligence gathering and now 50 per cent of the recruitment in the state’s intelligence department will be done directly.
After Ganeshotsav, security during Navratri is also like a challenge for the Mumbai police, Patil said. But if the public helps the police during Navratri like they had during ganeshotsav, there will be no untoward activity.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

E-GoM likely to deal with Naxal problem

New Delhi, Sept 20: Identifying infrastructure development as panacea for dealing with Naxalism, an empowered Group of Ministers (E-GoM) is likely to be constituted under the chairmanship of Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram with Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia as a member.

Since massive investments are needed for this purpose, the government is toying with the idea that the E-GoM should be headed by Chidambaram and Ahluwalia could play a major role, sources in the union home ministry today said.

The idea of having an E-GoM was mooted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he addressed a meeting of Chief Ministers on internal security here on September 5.

The E-GoM, meant to closely monitor the spread of Naxalite movement, will be in addition to the standing committee of Chief Ministers on the issue.

Efforts were also underway to set up a Naxal desk in the Union Home Ministry by deputing an additional secretary rank official to head it.

The unit, which will comprise an Inspector General of Police and two Deputy Inspectors General of Police, would travel around the country and monitor the implementation of development schemes in the affected areas.

Home Secretary V K Duggal had said at a recent meeting of top officials from Naxal-hit states that a an inter- ministerial committee would be constituted under the special secretary (internal security) for a detailed review of the schemes before the quarterly meetings of the coordination centre on Naxalism.

Bureau Report

The Naxal Quest for Fire Power

Rajat Kumar Kujur
Lecturer in Political Science email:

On 8 September 2006, the Andhra Pradesh Police recovered 600 unloaded rockets, 275 unassembled rockets, 27 rocket launchers, 70 gelatine sticks and other explosives belonging to the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) from the Mahabubnagar and Prakasam districts. This largest ever arm haul included two tonnes of spares to make 16 rocket launchers, high tensile springs used to propel explosives, fins that could be attached to shells, 500 live .303 rounds, detonators, wire, an electronic weighing scale and two digital thermometers. The ammunition was shipped from Chennai in May 2006 and reached Vijayawada and Proddatur, where it was re-directed to Achampet and Giddalur.

Since its inception in 2004, the CPI (Maoist) has been working on a terror strategy and has emerged as the most sophisticated armed group in India. As revealed in naxal literature, the CPI (Maoist) now has around 10,000 cadres who are adept in guerilla warfare, with another 45,000 over ground cadres. Over the years it has built up an arsenal of 20,000 modern weapons, which includes INSAS, AK-series rifles and SLRs, mostly looted from security forces. Use of fabricated rocket launchers has added to their fire power. Though the Naxals have not yet gained access to RDX, they have frequently used Gelatine sticks and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

In addition, the Naxals have a huge number of country-made weapons which they procure through a chain of underground arms production units. There are over 1,500 illegal arms manufacturing units in Bihar alone, mostly located in the Nalanda, Nawada, Gaya and Munger districts. Recently, Gorakhpur and Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh have emerged as Maoist centres for production and distribution of illegal arms. Naxals also have an undetermined number of arms manufacturing units in the dense forests of Sarnda (Jharkhand), Redhakhol (Orissa) and Dandakaranya (Chhatisgarh). A recent study conducted jointly by the Oxfam, Amnesty International and the International Network on small arms, estimated that 40 million guns out of the estimated 75 million illegal small arms worldwide are in Central India with the Naxals active in Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The report reveals that along with the mafias, the Naxals have become buyers of assault weapons like Kalashnikovs and M-16s.

The People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) of the CPI (Maoist) has developed into an efficient guerrilla force trained on the lines of a professional armed force. The CPI (Maoists) have an elaborate command structure; at the apex is their Central Military Commission followed by five regional bureaus. Under each regional bureau there is a Zonal Military Commission, which is responsible for executing armed operations. The people's militia is at the bottom of this structure. Naxals are now run at least 80 training camps all over India and each camp has the infrastructure to train 300 cadres at one time. Naxals, particularly in Andhra Pradesh, have been using wireless scanners, which can tap into the frequency of police communications. The big question is: who is providing such high-tech equipment and training to the Naxals? Though government are hesitant to provide information, it is speculated that the ULFA and some retired Indian Army officials are involved in training the Naxals. For long, ULFA has been a major source for supplying automatic weapons to Maoist cadres.

The recent operations of the Naxalites leave no space for ideological commitment. Indiscriminate violence in the name of revolution cannot be countenanced. The Naxals have repeatedly stated that "armed struggle" is non-negotiable. This position does not make sense. "Armed struggle" may be the means to the end, but it cannot be an end in itself. The Naxal brand of politics may highlight the evils of the Indian socio-political framework, but it will not able to eradicate these evils. On the other hand, the state cannot escape the blame for inflicting more violence and suffering upon its civilian population through counter violence.
In recent years, many high level meetings have been held to finalize a strategy to deal with the red terror. A number of decisions were taken in these meetings but the ground realities have not improved, rather they have worsened. In most Naxalite affected states there is absolutely no coordination among the police and administration. The frequent Coordination Committee Meetings convened by the Union Government may provide a broad understanding of the problem, but greater coordination is needed between the police and civil administration at the ground level for effective implementation of government decisions taken at the highest level.

Maoists kill CPI-M leader, bodyguard

India News
Kolkata, Sep 20 (IANS) Maoists in West Bengal killed a Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader and his bodyguard after dragging them out of a bus.

Police said Anil Mahato, 45, the local committee secretary of the CPI-M at Shilda in West Midnapore district and his AK-47-equipped guard Dinesh Baskey, 34, were gunned down by the rebels Tuesday evening, in one of the major attacks since the peaceful Assembly elections in the Maoist-affected district in April.

The incident occurred at Joypur in the district, about 230 km from here.

Mahato was provided an armed guard after a bid on his life in February.

The CPI-M leader had gone to attend a programme of the party's women's wing in Murari village of neighbouring Bankura district, also a Maoist-infested region.

Around 5.30 p.m., when the bus in which he was travelling was nearing Joypur, three rebels swooped down on him and snatched his bodyguard's weapon.

They dragged the two out of the bus where more rebels were waiting and gunned them down before the eyes of the other passengers in the bus, police said.

The CPI-M has called for a dawn-to-dusk shutdown in the Binpur Assembly segment of the district Wednesday.

Kumaraswamy regrets mistake

Staff Reporter

"I'd rather quit than hurt your sentiments," he tells Muslims The Muslim clergy is upset since Mr. Kumaraswamy's speech referred to a few madrasas in Karnataka as the point favoured by the Lashkar militants to infiltrate the State

BANGALORE: Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Tuesday apologised to the Muslim community for an offending paragraph in his speech at the Chief Ministers' meeting with the Prime Minster recently.

He said that he had not glanced through the speech prepared by the Home Department officials before the meeting on internal security, nor had he read out that speech at all, having chosen to speak extempore.

Mr. Kumaraswamy chose to attend a convention of Madrasas and Muslim Organisations Action Committee where he profusely apologised, and reiterated his abiding relationship with the minorities.

He said his mistake was that he had not gone through the prepared speech before the meeting. "You know very well that my father [the former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda] and I have the interests of the minorities at heart. I have chosen to come here today because making amends is very important to me. I'd rather quit than hurt the sentiments of your community," Mr. Kumaraswamy said.

Remarks on madrasas

The Muslim clergy and community leaders have been upset ever since Mr. Kumaraswamy's speech was reported in the media.

The paragraph in question refers to a few madrasas in Karnataka as the point favoured by the militant Lashkar-e-Taiba to infiltrate the State from Andhra Pradesh.

The community leaders have also said that the version of the speech delivered to them in Urdu did not contain that particular paragraph and they had to obtain a copy of the original speech after a great deal of trouble.

The Chief Minister's reference to madrasas was hurtful and disappointing, they said.

Mr. Kumaraswamy, who wedged in his attendance at the meeting between a day at Ramanagaram, his constituency, and plans to fly by helicopter to Ranebennur, said: "In New Delhi, I only made two points, and neither had anything to do with madrasas. I raised the issue of changes in forest laws to help deal effectively with the Naxal menace, and asked for two extra battalions for better security measures".

Security is high on Congress agenda

Javed M Ansari
Tuesday, September 19, 2006 23:06 IST

NEW DELHI: The two-day Congress Chief Ministers’ conference commencing on September 23 in Nainital is expected to focus primarily on agriculture and the internal security situation in the country.

The agenda for the party conference is likely to focus on how to get the agricultural sector up and running and to deliberate on the internal security situation in the country, the increase in the acts of terrorism and the threat posed by the Naxal movement.

There is serious concern in the Congress party over the sharp increase in the prices of food grains and the plight of the farmers. Hundreds of farmers have committed suicides in Maharashtra and AP, both Congress-ruled states.

The Congress leadership wants its state governments to go the extra mile in helping the farmers tide over the current crisis with relation to hardships faced in paying back their loans as well as ensuring that farmers get the maximum remuneration for their produce.

While the Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar is unlikely to be targeted, the Congress party certainly wants a clearer demarcation of priorities. “The agriculture minister is private-sector friendly, while the challenge in the agriculture sector lies in improving the Public Distribution System,” a senior Congress leader said.

Besides agriculture and the internal security situation, the two-day conference will focus on the strategy to be adopted in the states going to the polls in early 2007. Uttaranchal, Punjab, Manipur and UP go to polls in the first half of the year and they will be followed by Gujarat and Goa later in the year.

The conference will also provide an opportunity for the PM to bring on board chief ministers of border states like J&K, Assam and Punjab on his new policy of involving Pakistan in the fight against terrorism.

Home Minister reviews internal security situation

[ 19 Sep, 2006 2128hrs ISTPTI ]

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NEW DELHI: Ahead of the Congress Chief Ministers' conclave, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Tuesday reviewed the internal security situation in the country with senior officials in the security establishment.

Officials gave a detailed account of the current situation to Patil who will make a presentation on the security scenario at the two-day Congress Chief Minister's conclave at Nainital later this week.

With terrorist and Naxal violence posing a major security problem in the country, Patil took stock of the situation so that he can make a detailed presentation at the high-level session where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi will also be present.

Sources in the Home Ministry said that Patil was likely to take the opportunity to ask the Chief Ministers in the party-ruled states to improve the capacity of state police forces to fight terror. He is likely to draw the attention of the Chief Ministers to the fact that many states were slow in even filling up vacancies in the state police and in overhauling the state intelligence machinery.

The Home Ministry has already asked the states to utilise the funds given to them under the head of Security Related Expenditure (SRE).

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A strategic setback for India

A strategic setback for India

Ajit Doval The writer is a former director, Intelligence Bureau

Posted online: Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pakistan’s military leadership may consider Havana statement a dividend for the terror attacks in India

India has suffered its first strategic setback in the fight against terrorism by certifying that Pakistan is not an aggressor but a state aggressed upon. On the terrorism front it brings both countries at par. For a quarter of a century, we felt Pakistan was the aggressor — first in Punjab, then in Kashmir and now in rest of the country — leaving more than 60,000 dead. Perhaps India was right in the past to blame Pakistan but no longer, apparently. Pakistan might have done so much in the recent past that there is justification not to carry the baggage of history and grapple with the new positive realities.

Let’s examine the contemporary realities which overnight transformed our perception of Pakistan from a terrorist-sponsoring state into that of a counter-terrorist partnership state. In the past 12 months, Pakistan-sponsored terrorists struck across the country, killing nearly 400 persons (the heaviest casualties suffered in a year by independent India outside the terrorist-hit states).

In Kashmir, it has increased infiltration and upped the ante of violence. In fact, Kashmir chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said as much on NDTV 24x7’s Walk The Talk programme (published in The Indian Express on September 18). ISI-sponsored militants, he said, “have been let loose”, adding, “I don’t think this could be possible without the knowledge of Musharraf Sahab”.

Under the pretext of helping earthquake victims it handed over relief work and the funds that poured in to Lashkar-e-Toiba to enable it to entrench itself there. It still harbours Salahuddins and Dawoods, provides them Pakistani passports and identity cards and facilitates their anti-India activities. A decade and a half since the demise of Punjab militancy, the ISI still harbours more than a dozen top commanders of various Sikh outfits.

National Security Advisor MK Narayanan revealed that Pakistan supported the Taliban in the kidnapping and killing of Maniappan, an Indian worker in Afghanistan. In a post-Mumbai blasts interview he warned that Pakistan-linked terrorists could strike our nuclear facilities, scientific establishments and defence forces. The ISI has substantially upgraded its presence in Bangladesh and is increasingly leveraging fundamentalist groups for anti-India action. The CBI believes that fake Indian currency notes are being “supplied by the Pakistan government press at Quetta to Dubai-based counterfeiters who smuggle it into India”. It pegs the volume of such notes at Rs.1,69,000 crores.

By conviction and experience, Pakistan feels that once the dust settles and the ritual of brave statements is over, India eventually bends to coercive power. When asked, in June 2003, whether Kargil was a mistake, Musharraf told Gulf News: “We don’t trust India. Before Kargil, Kashmir was a dead issue. Bilateral talks started only because of Kargil. Another Kargil taking place would depend on how the peace talks proceed.” Pakistan’s army leadership may be considering the Havana statement as a dividend for heightened terrorism in the mainland.

Just a month ago the Prime Minister asserted that “We are certain that the terror modules responsible for the Mumbai blasts are instigated, inspired and supported by the elements across the border”. How do we reconcile this with India’s statement in Havana: “The fact is, terror is a threat to Pakistan. And it has been a threat to India. We need to have a collective mechanism to deal with it.” For Pakistan, using terror to achieve its strategic and political objectives is part of its state policy and that is what India is opposed to. If for reasons political, religious or otherwise Pakistan society becomes violence ridden it does not bring Pakistan at par with states it has continuously targeted and bled.

That Musharraf, who during the SAARC summit in Nepal in January 2002, said that the Kashmir issue “was linked to Indian terrorism and cannot be separated”, is now going to be our comrade-in-arms in our war against terrorism betrays both a lack of history and strategic vision. Pakistani commentator Ahmad Rashid told German newspaper Der Spiegel that “Pakistan remains the global centre for terrorism. The fact is that, after 9/11, despite the May crackdown by the Musharraf regime, we haven’t shut down Pakistani militant groups. The reason is that these groups are very closely tied with the military’s foreign policy, especially with respect to Kashmir and Afghanistan.” This holds good today — every indication points in that direction.

Musharraf is currently under heavy pressure from all sides. Domestically he has lost much of his credibility and legitimacy; democratic forces are ranged against him. The least that democratic forces in Pakistan expect is that India will not do anything that will strengthen the forces of totalitarianism. Baluchistan was in flames after the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti. Despite the recent accord, the Waziristan agency is still unstable. Was it for Indiato have given this breather to Musharraf?

If Pakistan was sincere and we were really strong and farsighted we should have demanded Pakistan rolling back its terrorist infrastructure lock, stock and barrel, hand over the people harboured to bleed India and stop arms, financial and logistical support to terror-linked collaborative networks. Giving a clean chit to Pakistan without any basis and at the most inopportune time is baffling.

Most likely, repeating history, Musharraf would have promised to bundle up the Salahuddins and Dawoods, close the camps, choke the financial channels or even stop ISI run printing of Indian currency. He may even deliver on some to give his Indian counterparts some mileage before the next Assembly elections. For a few months there might be a fall in acts of terrorism, which would only prove Pakistan’s tight control over the issue. However, Pakistan agencies will simultaneously redouble their efforts to establish new sleeper cells and strengthen the old ones, move and dump weapons and explosives in targeted parts of the country. There is no paradigm shift for Pakistan.

General Aziz Khan, Musharraf’s former Chairman Joint Chief of Staff, addressing an army function in Rawalkot on June 24, 2003, had said: “Pakistan not only knows how to tackle India but has leaders with the guts.” I wish we could say the same.

The writer is a former director, Intelligence Bureau

Police custody for weapons seizure case accused

Special Correspondent

Hunt on for Raghu and his wife Sudharani in Nellore district

LONG HAUL: Some of the accused in the case relating to the seizure of weapons in Andhra Pradesh, being brought to a court at Ambattur on Monday. — Photo: K. Pichumani

CHENNAI : Seven persons who were arrested in connection with the case pertaining to seizure of weapons in Andhra Pradesh a few days ago were on Monday remanded to five days police custody by a court in Ambattur, on Chennai's outskirts.

The accused Sivaji, Kumar, Ramesh, Arunachalam, Muthusamy and Annamalai, all owners of engineering firms, and Veerabadra Rao, agent of a transport company, which carried the consignments of empty rocket shells and launchers to Andhra Pradesh, were arrested on September 15 and remanded to judicial custody.

Police custody

With a view to getting more information regarding the case, the police moved the court seeking the custody of the accused. They were produced in the court in the afternoon and were remanded to police custody.

Police investigation revealed that the engineering firms, located at Padi, Korattur and Mogappair, on the city's outskirts, had manufactured the components in their lathe workshops and foundries.

"Spinning mill spares"

The components consignments were booked by one Raghu alias Srinivasa Reddy of Nellore as "spinning mill spares" in 54 gunny bags on August 10 last year, 53 gunny bags on May 9 this year and 32 bags two days later.

Initially, the case was registered by the Ambattur Industrial Estate police station under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 121-A (conspiracy to commit offences punishable by Section 121) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 8 (2) of the Arms Act.

Later, considering the importance and possibility of involvement of naxalites, the case was transferred to the `Q' Branch by the Tamil Nadu Director-General of Police, D.Mukherjee. Six special parties had been formed to investigate the case. A senior police officer said that the hunt for Raghu and his wife, Sudharani, belonging to the naxalite group in Andhra Pradesh, was on in Nellore district. No clues regarding their whereabouts had been known so far.

The couple escaped on September 9 abandoning their house near Ambattur and workshop, Bharath Fine Engineering, at Padi.

K.P.S. Gill set to fight Maoists in Chattisgarh

Dated 19/9/2006

After fighting insurgency in Punjab and Assam, supercop KPS Gill has now zeroed in on Chattisgarh to take on the Naxals. The man who became a household name across the country in the early 1990s is now the state's Security Adviser.

At his headquarters in Raipur, security is tight. A CRPF team is on alert. But Gill says the only way to end the battle is by outsmarting the Naxals.

"We are training the police. We are taking the help of the army and getting better equipment. We have posted young IPS officers to the affected districts. That's what I did in Punjab, soon you will see the results," said K P S Gill, Security Advisor, Chhattisgarh Government.

Part of the strategy is to consult the adivasis, already involved in an anti-Naxal movement. The Sulwa Judum is described by a local citizens group as the precursor to a civil war. But Gill is all praise for the adivasis.

"Never in the history of India have unarmed people stood up to insurgents, not even in Punjab and even the Naxals say it is the biggest setback to their movement since 1972," Gill added.

It is from the heavily fortified state police mess that KPS Gill plots and plans the fight against the Naxals. It is not an easy task. The Chattisgarh police is one of the most ill equipped forces in India, but the man who won back Punjab from the militants has taken the new challenge head on.

Orissa Government justifies ban on pro-Naxal group

Tuesday September 19 2006 10:38 IST
CUTTACK: The State Government on Monday reiterated that the Daman Pratirodh Manch was a frontal organisation of the CPI (Maoist) and justified its ban on it.

Filing its counter affidavit in the High Court in response to the writ petition filed by the Manch, the Government stated that after careful consideration of all the facts available in connection with the unlawful activities of the organisation, the ban under Section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908, was imposed.

The Manch was indulging in activities like sub-serving the interests and objectives of militant Naxal group CPI (Maoist) whose avowed objective is to overthrow the lawfully established Government by means of force and violence through terrorist activities.

The Government also charged the Manch of inciting gullible tribals and other weaker sections of society to take to violence, organising rallies, dharnas and other forms of agitation in support of the unlawful activities of the CPI (Maoist) and also organising agitations, demanding release of hardcore Left wing extremists lodged in jails either under judicial custody or on conviction.

‘The Manch, thus interfered with the administration of law and posed danger to public order’, the Government contended.

The petitioner Daman Pratirodh Manch had submitted that it had been illegally banned, as it was a social organisation formed with the objective of sponsoring the cause of tribals and weaker sections of society through democratic means.

This, however, was refuted by the Government which presented leaflets brought out by the Manch urging people to revolt against the existing system of governance and bring about a New Democratic Order.

Some other leaflets asked the security forces to oppose the existing system of governance and some others openly criticised the judiciary for convicting Naxalites.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Maoist leader arrested by West Bengal police

Chennai, Sept 18: Nepalese Maoist leader Chandraprakash Gajurel, who was on Monday released from the central prison here after a three year detention in a fake passport case, was arrested by the West Bengal police in connection with a sedition case.

Gajurel, a leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists), was arrested at the airport here by Tamil Nadu police in 2003, when he attempted to travel on a fake passport and was also detained under national security act.

The West Bengal police, waiting to execute a warrant against Gajurel in connection with a sedition case, arrested him immediately after his release. The case was registered against him in Bhakthi Nagar police station in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal in 2004.

Bureau Report

Fear of rocket attacks by naxals haunts police

G. Narasimha Rao

Immediate worry of police is the protection of their stations --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Huge quantity of rocket launchers suspected to have reached the banned naxalite outfit
Safety measures may not be effective now

VISAKHAPATNAM: With the CPI (Maoist) having made attempts in the paston a couple of police stations in the Agency area of the district with rocket launchers, an act which now can be construed as test-firing in the light of seizure of a huge quantity of rocket launchers, the immediate worry of the police is how to protect their stations.

Two advantages

The recent seizure might be a huge one but more than this quantity had already reached the banned naxalite outfit, especially the Andhra-Orissa Border Special Zonal Committee, which has considerable influence in the Agency area of the district and also neighbouring Orissa.

A successful attack on a police station will provide two advantages to the Maoist party: it will boost the morale of the cadre and create panic among the police. AOBSZC military commission's head Chalapathi is reportedly in the AOB area and is planning attacks, it is suspected.

Safety precautions taken in the past, like putting up a fence around the police station building, installing alarms, watch towers, etc, at a considerable cost may not be effective now. Discussions among top police officials in the past and also after the seizure of rocket launchers failed to find a solution.

One suggestion was to have a thick iron mesh over the police station building to block the rockets. It is a very expensive proposition and moreover there is a possibility of the rocket piercing the mesh or getting stuck in it and exploding.

Another suggestion was to plant landmines at some distance from the police station. The party's resolve not to allow the "enemy" (police) to have any bases in the area it has declared a guerrilla zone is clear from documents seized in the past.

The party enjoys almost absolute control over this area and G.K. Veedhi and Koyyuru mandals are considered a guerrilla zone. Police stations at four places -- G.K. Veedhi, A. Annavaram, Sileru and Koyyuru - are particularly vulnerable. Among them Koyyuru and Sileru had already been attacked.

The Moving Finger Writes : Seeing India in a new light

By M.V. Kamath

When Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh released the UPA Government’s Report To The People (2004-2006 ) in the first week of July, hardly any newspaper took note of it. It is a record more of intentions than achievements and while that is fair enough—the Congress-led government at the Centre has hardly been in power for two years—it is unconvincing. The damage done to the party by Arjun Singh’s Reservation Policy remains still to be assessed. Discreet rumours are afloat that the Prime Minister and the Congress President are frequently at odds with each other. For all the hype over the Indo-US Nuclear Agreement, Indian scientists are a worried lot.

On July 2, at a seminar organised by the Forum of Integrated National Security, defence analysts and nuclear scientists expressed serious concern over the India-United States deal, which, or course, has still to be passed by the US Congress. A senior scientist like Homi Sethna strongly advocates that India signs the Non-Proliferating Treaty which permits the exit of any signatory nation rather than accept the Indo-US Nuclear Agreement, which binds India for “perpetuity”.

Shri P.K.Iyengar, former Atomic Energy Commission Chairman is also against the Agreement on the grounds that it would cap India’s strategic programme for a minimum credible deterrent. If the Nuke deal worries the Indian scientific community,—and it has every reason to the Left parties are even more worried, judging from reports. And after all, the tall talk of fostering Indo-US friendship, Washington has no hesitation in supplying the deadly F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan in addition to some deadlier anti-missile equipment. Some friendship that. But almost overnight as it were, the western, especially American and British media is beginning to think highly of India. The days seem to be gone when India was seen as a beggar nation perpetually seeking aid, food and all sorts of help. All that the west knew of India was cows wandering in the metropolitan streets, holy men sleeping on beds of nails and beggars everywhere. The picture is now changing.

The British magazine The Economist (June 1) carried a special 14-page report entitled ‘Can India fly?’ and the conclusion was that India now boasts robust economic growth and is producing far more world-class companies than China. India was on the Time cover (June 26) which said that it was trying to find out “why the world’s biggest democracy is the next great economic superpower and what it means for America”. Very flattering.

The most prestigious American journal, Foreign Affairs (July/August) was even more generous. It said that “India is now the world’s fourth-largest economy and soon it will surpass Japan to become the third largest.” And what was “most remarkable” said Foreign Affairs, is that rather than rising with the help of the state, India is in many ways rising despite the state.” An Indian expert writing for the journal said: “Foreigners have invested in over 1, 000 Indian companies via the stock market. Of the fortunate 500 companies 125 now have research and development bases in India a testament to its human capital.” Well said—also true. But lest this goes to our collective heads, it is wise to remember some cold facts.

In many ways China is far, far ahead of us. Unbelievable but true. India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth rate in 2005 was 8.4 per cent while that of China was 10 per cent. The GDP as a percentage of worlds total was 6.2 for India and 14.00 for China. India has 44 per cent of its population living on less than one US dollar a day while the figure for China is 39. If we exclude agricultural work, India employs far less women (17 per cent) than China (39 per cent). India’s literacy rate is around 68 per cent while that of China is an unbelievable 95 per cent. Manufacturing as percentage of GDP is 16 per cent for India while its 37 per cent for China. India exports a mere $ 71 billion of its manufactured goods while China can boast of selling $ 713 billion worth of its manufactured goods. India has hardly 3,000 kms of 4 to 6 highway lanes while the figure for China is 25,000 kms. Hardly 37 per cent of Indian households have television set while in China the percentage is 91. India has 91 million mobile phone subscribers while China has 375 million.

True, India has done well in the last one decade, but it has a long way to go to beat even China, let alone the states of Europe, and forget the United States. Indeed, if we are to believe a Human Development Index Report, India ranks 127, which are just two rungs above Myanmar (or which India knows next to nothing) and more than 70 below Cuba and Mexico. And its per capita GDP of $ 728 is just slightly higher than that of sub-Saharan Africa. Revealing these figures is not an exercise in breast-beating but to remind our government and even more relevantly, our own selves that we have to do better. Why have over a lakh of farmers committed suicide in western India in just one decade? Why is there a parallel government in almost all the districts of lawless Bihar? Even ten years ago it was only in the central part of Bihar that the Naxalite-Ranveer Sena duo ran their own government. Now in all the 38 districts of the state, the Naxalites rule the roost reducing the Nitish Kumar government practically to a farce. Reportedly, the Bihar Police has willy-nilly accepted the fact that in extensive areas in Bihar, Naxalites and the Ranveer Sena collect their taxes, hold court to settle litigations, formulate strategies and run their own ‘senas’ efficiently. And Delhi looks away. This is the grim reality, even when one feels proud that Lakshmi Mittal has bought the world’s Number 2 steel maker Arcclor for $ 33.35 billion. It should make India proud but India could be prouder still if its cotton growers in Vidharba stop committing suicide and the government of India does not feel obligated to import food grains worth billions when our Green Revolution reportedly has enabled our farmers to grow three times more food grains that they did five decades ago.

It is nice to know that the western media is seeing India in a new light and is no longer treating India as a pariah. But let the UPA government know what the voter did to the NDA government when it spoke of India Shining. The voter even threw out Chandrababu Naidu who in his time was considered a top-ranking Chief Minister.

We should be proud of Infosys and be aware of the sapping poverty in the country. But our main concern should be the latter.

Death of Naxalite in Gadchiroli , Chhattisgarh put on high alert

[ 18 Sep, 2006 1728hrs ISTPTI ]

RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh Police on Monday issued a high alert in the state in the wake of the death of CPI (Maoist) Gadchiroli division Secretary Vikas in a shoot out with the police in Kanker district.

"Since he was the supreme commander of the Maoists in Maharshtra's Gadchiroli area, and working directly under the powerful Central Committee of the CPI (Maoist), most likely the naxalites would try to take revenge of his killing," Director General of Police Om Prakash Rathor said.

Keeping in mind the possible reaction of the ultras, the state police have been put on high alert, the DGP said.

"Vikas is involved in over 100 crimes of various nature in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, and when he was arrested in 1991, the Maoists kidnapped the then Sironja (in Maharashtra) MLA and secured the release of the rebel in exchange for the MLA," Rathor said.

Pradeep Gupta, the Superintendent of Police of Kanker district, who led the team that killed Vikas and three other Maoists in the encounter, said the police stations of the district and the bordering areas have been alerted and additional forces have been deployed to meet the situation.

Bastar SP Gurjinder Pal Singh said that the forces have been asked to intensify the combing operation to check any naxal movement and foil any strategy to attack police post or vital installations.

Naxals’ claim of swelled up ranks a farce: Surrendered cadres

By Vivek Deshpande

Naxalites over the past year have been adopting an intelligent redeployment strategy for deceiving the police giving them the impression that more members have joined their party—CPI (Maoists)—despite no additions in their ranks. This was revealed by some of the Naxalites, who surrendered recently.

Sources told The Sunday Express that Naxalites have been moving in groups comprising 50 to 100 members, instead of the usual Dalam strength of 12 to 15 cadres.

“What they have now done is divide the Dalams in four different groups. One is local guerrilla squad (LGS) and the other are local organisational squads (LOSs). The Dalam now takes along with it the LGS, which earlier used to be stationary at the respective villages for helping out the visiting Dalams. LGSs from different villages together make a huge crowd, giving the impression that their numbers have grown manifold, when the numbers are actually the same,” they added.

“Similarly, the LOSs too move in groups.”

The big gatherings on this side of the border were particularly surprising due to heavy concentration of Naxalite activity in the neighbouring Chhattisgarh in the wake of the state-sponsored Salva Judum campaign against Naxalites. “Of course, some recruitments have happened,” sources said.

The information given by the surrendered Naxalites and seized literature has also revealed a lot of other strategically important clues, which have led to highest number of encounters, about 25 in the last about one year. The police have had a good success in some of these, with bodies of nine being recovered against the estimate of over 15 Naxal deaths.

What has also helped the police is substantial increase in the secret source fund used for gathering intelligence. The fund, received in lakhs, is not subject to any audit.

Meanwhile, the first extension to the surrender policy expired on August 28 and the new extension hasn’t come despite assurance by the government. As it is, the first extension was due in March, but was actually announced in June. Over 83 Naxalites have surrendered between August 29 last year and till date.

Maharashtra Naxal leader, three others gunned down

Raipur: Four Naxals, including a senior member of the CPI (Maoist) operating in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli area, have been killed in a shoot-out with the police in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district, state’s Director General of Police Om Prakash Rathor said on Sunday.

“Gadchiroli division leader Vikas and three other Naxals were killed in a gun battle with the police in Kodakhurri jungle under Bhanupratappur police station area, about 225 km from here,” Rathor said.

From the encounter site, the police have recovered a .303 rifle, 16 ammunitions, Naxal literatures and a diary with notes written in Telugu, the DGP said.

“Vikas was the supreme commander of CPI Maoists in Gadchiroli area and was operating in both the Chhattisgarh and neighbouring Maharashtra,” the DGP said.

Vikas was arrested in 1991, but the Maoists kidnapped the MLA from Sironja Assembly constituency and secured Vikas’s release in exchange of the legislator, police said.

“Vikas was originally from Warangal area of Andhra Pradesh and was a dreaded Naxal involved in several crimes,” they added.

Naxal attacks hit investment plans

Sunday, September 17, 2006 (New Delhi):

Attacks by Maoist rebels on mining and other commercial activities in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa have cast a shadow on investment plans by private players.

Such is the reign of terror in these states, where the Naxalites carried out 18 attacks between January and July, that business house are said to be seriously re-considering their investment plans.

The attacks on mining and related activities could cost Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand dear as both the states have bountiful mineral resources that can boost their economy and generate employment opportunities, officials said.

Attacks grow

Statistics available with the Union Home Ministry reveal that between January one and July 31, Maoist rebels unleashed 18 attacks on mining and related activities in the three states.

Chhattisgarh bore the brunt, with 13 attacks reported from that state alone.

The fact that the Naxalites have been taking mineworkers as hostages has the potential to cause further worry to business houses, the officials said.

In Orissa, the Naxalites are agitated over an incident of police firing on tribals in January that left 13 people dead.

The police opened fire when the tribals were protesting their displacement by steel companies in Kalinga Nagar in Jajpur district.

The tribals are opposed to the exploitation of mineral resources in their areas and were protesting against the construction of a compound wall in their area by a steel company.

Big investment plans

Almost a dozen steel companies have plans to set up plants in Kalinga Nagar and the naxalites are engaged in championing the cause of displaced tribals.

Since private players are keen on making large investments in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa, the state governments are making efforts to tackle the activities of Maoists.

The railways too have been at the receiving end in these states and in West Bengal. Until July 31, the rebels carried out 26 strikes against the railways and the most of these was the detention of a passenger train for several hours in Jharkhand in March.

The incidents of Naxalite violence came up for review at a recent meeting of the coordination centre on Left wing extremism chaired by Union Home Secretary VK Duggal.

Taking a "pro-active" approach to tackle the naxalite problem, the Centre has announced it would provide air support to naxal-hit states for transporting security forces and allow use of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in Chhattisgarh for intelligence gathering.

A special anti-naxal combat force of nearly 14,000 personnel would also be ready by next year to tackle the ultra-Leftist insurgents in 13 states. (PTI)

Naxal attacks cast shadow on investments in eastern states

Press Trust of India

New Delhi, September 17, 2006

Attacks by Maoist rebels on mining and other commercial activities in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa have cast an ominous shadow on investment plans by private players in these states.
Such is the reign of terror in these states, where the naxalites carried out 18 attacks between January and July, that business house are said to be seriously re-considering their investment plans.

The attacks on mining and related activities could cost Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand dear as both the states have bountiful mineral resources that can boost their economy and generate employment opportunities, officials said.

Statistics available with the Union Home Ministry reveal that between January one and July 31,
Maoist rebels unleashed 18 attacks on mining and related activities in the three states.

Chhattisgarh bore the brunt, with 13 attacks reported from that state alone.

The fact that the Naxalites have been taking mine workers as hostages has the potential to cause further worry to business houses, the officials said.