Monday, December 31, 2007

Former Andhra Congress legislator escapes bid on life


1 January 2008

HYDERABAD — One person was killed and four people, including former Congress legislator C.K. Jayachandra Reddy alias C.K. Babu, were injured yesterday when a bomb exploded in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district.

The person killed at Chittoor’s Kattamanchi area, about 600km south of here, was Babu’s guard. Babu was injured along with his associate, district youth Congress chief Siva Reddy, his driver and another guard.

Police said the bomb, planted near a drainage canal, exploded when Babu was on his way to a temple in his vehicle, which was damaged in the blast.

The injured were rushed to the Government Hospital here, where one of the guards succumbed to injuries.

While Babu and Siva Reddy are out of danger, the condition of his guard and driver is stated to be serious.

Our Hyderabad correspondent adds: This was the second time during 2007 that the controversial legislator narrowly escaped in an attack. On February, 9 last year, five gunmen had opened fire on him. Four persons including an assailant were killed during the exchange of fire.

Interestingly, it was the 18th bid on the life of Babu, who also has several criminal cases against him including a case of murder.

The Chittoor district Superintendent of Police TV Seshidhar Reddy said that one police guard Suryanarayana was killed and four others including another gunman were injured when the bomb kept under a small bridge near his home, exploded. The explosion occurred when C.K. Babu’s car was crossing the culvert.

Apart from the political and business rivalry, the police have also not ruled out the possibility of Maoists’ hand in the incident. Such is their modus operandi to plant bombs and the land mines. The blast was so powerful that the car was thrown up several metres away.

As the news of attack on Babu spread, hordes of his supporters came out on the streets shouting slogans. With tension gripping the town, people downed the shutters and roads became deserted.

Babu was suspended from the Congress party after he was arrested on charges of burning an Engineering student alive in Chittoor town in June 2003. But he rejoined the party in 2004 after the Congress returned to power as he is seen as a loyal supporter of Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

The victim was 22-year-old Ravishankar Chowdhry, son of the Chittoor district chief of the women’s wing of Congress party, Rajeshwari. She and C.K. Babu belonged to the rival groups in the Congress party.

PROFILE : Bastar handicrafts to enter global market

1 Jan, 2008, 1120 hrs IST, IANS

RAIPUR: After decades of neglect, traditional handicrafts from the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh such as those made of wood, terracotta and bell metal will now be globally marketed by the central government.

The move will also ensure that artisans benefit directly from it.

"The central government has entered into written agreements with hundreds of artisans along with four organisations involved in handicraft production for direct marketing of Chhattisgarh's famous traditional Bastar products," Jairam Ramesh, union minister of state for commerce, told media.

He said a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the central government, Bastar district panchayat and artisans, besides four artisans' organisations Sunday at Kondagaon in Bastar district, some 225 km south of capital Raipur.

"It's a historic MoU for setting up six rural business hubs (RBHs) in Bastar district, mainly around the Kondagaon area, the main production centre of Bastar handicrafts," the minister said.

The MoU for bell metal, terracotta and wooden handicrafts is a part of the RBH concept initiated by the ministry of Panchayati Raj.

The Bastar-based RBHs will be built on a public-private panchayat partnership model to utilise locally available resources and skills and provide sustainable employment opportunities to rural artisans through larger market access in domestic and export markets for exquisite Bastar hadicrafts, Ramesh said.

He said India's handicraft products, excluding carpets, touched $3.8 billion in fiscal 2006-07 but only Bastar handicrafts that had great potential to dominate the world market.

"About 20,000 artisans' families are involved in Bastar handicrafts. They produce wonderful pieces but their products hardly get access to domestic and global markets. Now with the agreement for setting up RBHs, Bastar will rule the domestic as well as global markets," Ramesh said.

He said the government would ensure that middlemen have no role in marketing of Bastar handicrafts and artisans' families should get the profits directly.

The minister said the insurgency hit Bastar district would get over the Maoist violence, as the RBHs would revolutionise the socio-economic set-up of the poverty-hit region

Abhijit Mazumdar: CPI-ML founder's son gets place in key panelCPI-ML founder's son gets place in key panel

1 Jan 2008, 0236 hrs IST,Pranava K Chaudhary,TNN

PATNA: The CPI-ML (Liberation) has projected Abhijit Mazumdar, 47, son of legendary Naxalite leader Charu Mazumdar, as its future leader by inducting him in the central committee at its recent party congress in Kolkata.

Abhijit, who is urbane and teaches English in a Siliguri College, is currently party secretary of Darjeeling in West Bengal.

Charu Mazumdar, who led the Naxalite movement, died in 1972, but his legacy of ultra-left politics continues through the party, the CPI-ML (Liberation), led by Dipankar Bhattacharya -- a Marxist-Leninist outfit that has evolved significantly in the last three decades. The descendants of Charu still live in Darjeeling area and are fighting to take his legacy forward.

"We participate in parliamentary democracy, but we don't believe -- as CPM and other Left parties do -- that the total and necessary change can come only through participation in the parliamentary process. Our's is a tactical position, not a strategy," Abhijit told TOI.

"My mother, who was an LIC agent, sold all her property to raise us. She died in 1995," he said.

"After my father's death in 1972, we lost contact with the party due to state repression. Finally, we came in contact with party whole-timers in 1986. Since then, I am in constant touch with the party," he said.

"We have tried to mobilize people in Siliguri and Darjeeling, particularly among tea garden workers. Poor peasants have already raised protests against SEZs," he said.

"My father's views -- just like thoughts of Marx and Lenin -- are as relevant today as they were 35 years ago," he stressed. In order to mobilizse urban youth, the CPI-ML has also inducted two young party cadres, Kavita Krishnan and Sanjay Sharma, in the central committee. Kavita and Sanjay are both known among the youth in Delhi.


Charu’s house in promoter’s hands

Source : The Statesman , April 11 2007
Bappaditya Paul

SILIGURI, April 11: The ideological hub of the landmark Naxalbari Movement, the house of legendary Charu Mazumdar, is set to all but disappear except, perhaps, from the memories of a section of the elderly populace in the state. Struggling to cope with economic needs and those necessitated by changing lifestyle, the heirs of the late Naxalite ideologue have sold a portion of his Siliguri home to a private developer.

Originally from Jalpaiguri, Mazumdar shifted base to DL Roy Sarani (Mahananda Para), Siliguri in 1952 and lived there till his death. It was here that the prominent, radical Communist completed his historic Eight Documents, which later laid the ideological base for the Naxalbari Movement that began in 1967. During the trouble-torn days of the Naxalbari Movement, Mazumdar guided his fellow revolutionaries from this building.

After his death in 1972 in Kolkata police custody, the family of the Naxalite leader continued living in the house. After his wife’s death, his two daughters and son are the legal heirs of the property. Stretching across 16 cottahs until recently, an RCC-type house stands on the property.

“We have sold seven cottahs to a private developer, who is now constructing a multi-storied residential building on the plot. But to preserve our father’s memory, a portion of the old house has been kept intact,” Mr Abhijit Mazumdar, political activist and college teacher, said.

NAXALWATCH : May be today's naxals do the same thing after acquiring all the prime lands from the industrialists . If readers recollect the demands of the Naxal leaders few years back , they demanded the starting point of implementing land reforms was to distribute lands under possession of these influential persons to the landless .

The `comprehensive list'

According to the naxalites, the following are the major occupiers of prime land in the twin cities:

1. Ramoji Film City (2,000 acres). 2. Sanghinagar (1,500 acres). 3. Satyam Computers, Byrraju Foundation and other groups (2,000 acres). 4. Dr. Reddy's Labs (1,000 acres.) 5. Jana Harsha (2,000 acres). 6. Narne Estates (2,000 acres) 7. GPR Estates (1,000 acres). 8. Sri Mithra Real Estates (1,000 acres). 9. Devender Goud family (1,500 acres). 10. Sreenidhi Real Estates (1,000 acres). 11. Jayabheri Estates (Muralimohan and Chandrababu Naidu benami) (2,000 acres). 12. Raheja Estates (1,000 acres). 13. L &T (Chandrababu Naidu benami) (1,000 acres). 14. Jana Chaitanya Real Estates. 15. Sai Chaitanya Real Estates. 16. Venkata Chaitanya Real Estates. 17. Ramanaidu Studios. 18. Annapurna Studios. 19. Padmalaya Studios. 20. Ramakrishna Studios. 21. CC Studios. 22. Green City Township. 23. Engineers Syndicate. 24. Mayuri Real Estates. 25. Amaravathi Real Estates. 26. Suryavamshi Real Estates. 27. Maxima Real Estates. 28.21st Century Builders. 29. Shilpa Real Estates. 30. Lahari Estates. 31. Ajay Chaitanya Real Estates. 32. IIIT. 33. IMG Bharata Academy (800 acres). 34. Indian School of Business (250 acres). 35. AWARE (500 acres). 36. Sylvan University (200 acres). 37. Genome Valley (ICICI Knowledge Park, Shapurjee, Pallomjee Biotech Park (3000 acres). 38. IMAX. 39. Snow World. 40. Ilabs. 41. Wipro, Infosys, Microsoft, Oracle and other IT companies (1,000 acres). 42. Farmhouses, resorts, guesthouses, clubs and other luxury houses. 43. Lands alienated to commercial and trade organisations.

Mr Mazumdar said that apart from paying adequate monetary compensation, the private developer would also hand over to them a furnished apartment in the new residential complex

Orissa CM under fire, cops blame Naxals


Published on Tue, Jan 01, 2008 at 10:33, Updated at Tue, Jan 01, 2008 in Nation section

Tags: Orissa, Hindu-christian Riots , Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Orissa woke up to a bleak new year on Tuesday as tension continued to simmer in the riot-hit Kandhamal district.

Three people were killed and several injured in the clashes between Hindus and Christians in Kandhamal. Christian groups claim that nine people were killed in the attack by Hindu groups in the tribal dominated area.

According to the Catholic Bishops Conference of India - the premier Christian organisation in the country - five parish churches, 50 village churches and six convents and other Christian institutions were destroyed or damaged in the violence that began on December 22.

The pressure is also building on Orissa CM Naveen Patnaik as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Minorities Commission prepare to send their teams to Orissa.

On Monday, Patnaik announced a compensation for the victims. “Rs 1 lakh compensation for the dead, Indira Awas Yojana houses for those who lost houses and Rs 10,000 for partially affected,” he said.

But the victims are far from satisfied. Many who fled to jungles fearing for their lives are yet to return. For these people, whether Hindus or Christians, tribals or dalits, the government's promises mean little.

"I have lost everything in the riots. After the riots my sons are all missing leaving their family behind, starving,” says a victim Shanker Nayak.

Christian activists are also in no mood to relent. On Monday, CBCI sought an "unbiased" inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation. They also want an explanation for government inaction despite the warning of violence.

Christians blame Hindu fundamentalists for the riots. “After Gujarat, it is Orissa's turn. Only in one place the Hindus have been attacked. Christians have not attacked Hindus anywhere else,” says Archbishop, Bhubaneswar, Rapheal Cheenath.

However, the state government has a different story to tell.

"We suspect Naxal involvement in the attacks, but we are not yet confirmed. Even yesterday we found guns from ordinary people in that area,” says DG Police, Orissa, Gopal Nanda.

But the question remains why Naveen Patnaik government could not contain the violence for five days.

Meanwhile, the CBCI has warned the situation would worsen unless immediate and urgent steps are taken

ORISSA: Eventful for Malkangiri

Tuesday January 1 2008 08:10 IST

Deba Prasad Dash

MALKANGIRI: The year 2007 saw beginning and completion of some major development projects in Malkangiri.

The most-awaited Vijaywada-Malkangiri-Ranchi national highway project got administrative approval and long pending demands of locals for construction of a Kendriya Vidyalaya, DRDA hall and blood bank were also fulfilled.

Besides, the administration approved other development projects to be carried out in all seven blocks of the district and work for the same started.

For the district police, the year saw arrests and surrender of some of the most wanted criminals. Maoist leader Ramla Srinivas alias Sudarsan who carried a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh was nabbed by Malkangiri police in July.

He was reportedly the mastermind behind the assassination attempt on former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and was also involved in more than 120 criminal cases in both AP and Orissa.

Malkangiri police received a shot in the arm with the surrender of many Naxal cadres and arrest of AOB deputy commandant Lucky alias Rina, Motu dalam deputy commandant Nabeen who was also involved in Koraput armoury attack and destruction of a Maoist camp and simultaneous recovery of huge explosives.

On the flipside, some Maoist cadres were successful in looting the house of a trader Lucky Biswas at MV-72. For Judiciary, the year was eventful as the prime accused in the ‘Tanduri’ case, Rama Swamy, was awarded death sentence.

The year also saw the tragic death of 10 Koya tribals after consuming poisonous ‘salap’ in Mortelguda village under Korukonda block.

NSA alerts TN Govt on extremist attacks

Tuesday January 1 2008 00:04 IST


CHENNAI: National Security Advisor MK Narayanan has alerted the Tamil Nadu Government to possible extremist attacks targeting senior political leaders and important places in the state.

Following this, the police have asked political leaders to strictly adhere to the security arrangements while participating in public functions or going to crowded areas. The decision to alert them was made at a meeting CM M Karunanidhi had with police officials on Monday evening.

“We have asked senior politicians to adhere to the security arrangements. The main aim is to ensure that they avoid unwanted risks. We have told them to be extra careful,” a senior police official told this website's newspaper.

However, an official press release, issued after the CM’s meeting, made no reference to the alert sent by the NSA, but said the CM had discussed the security arrangement for leaders, in the light of the recommendations of the MA Farooqui committee.

The release said some leaders had accepted the government offer for security, while some others had turned it down. A few others had not responded to the offer.

Jail shift to stall Naxal threat


Patna, Dec. 31: Bihar government has been periodically shifting prisoners to high-security jails because of the “growing red threat” inside prison premises.

So far, authorities have shifted 22 prisoners to different jails across Bihar. The prison administration decided for the shift after recent protests by 300-odd prisoners at Beur jail following the suicide of Nagina Manjhi at the Buer jail hospital. The authorities had lost control of the prisoners for eight hours.

The recent Dantewada (Chhattisgarh) jailbreak also forced administration to “de-concentrate” the presence of Maoist prisoners in one jail.

Beur jail superintendent D.K. Singh today said: “We have already shifted 22 prisoners from Beur to Buxar and Bhagalpur jails, the two high security prisons in the state.”

Singh added, as there were security concerns, the shift took place secretly and stressed that he had “no knowledge” of the second or third phases of shifting.

The superintendent also confirmed that Ajay Kanu, the mastermind behind the 2005 Jehanabad jailbreak, continues to be lodged in Beur. He did not say if Kanu would be shifted at all. Beur jail has over 100 Maoist prisoners. The jail has 2,560 prisoners as against its capacity of 2,560 prisoners.

“Shifting Kanu has not been discussed so far,” said Singh without adding more.

But inmates are happy that the “conflict” has made the authorities “behave” with them. The inmates add that the jail superintendent has been behaving well with them and have promised them “special” menu for the year-end.

Inspector-general (prisons) Sandip Poundrik, right after the jailbreak, had conceded that some of the Maoists lodged in several jails would be shifted. Bihar jails have over 700 Maoist prisoners with Bhagalpur central jail alone housing over 400. Poundik had added that hardcore Maoists needed to be shifted to prevent jailbreaks and creation of “liberated” zones in jails.

The inspector-general said close circuit television sets would be soon installed in the jails for monitoring of prisoners’ activities. Though the government has sanctioned Rs 20 crore for the purpose, the process is yet to start. Beur jail superintendent admitted that augmentation of facilities would take some time.

“Beur jail houses most of the convicts with a death sentence. We have over 5,000 prisoners in our two jails. We need to shift at least 500 prisoners to other jails,” he said.

Poundrik said the jail administration would also improve sanitation, drinking water and provide regular health check-up in jails.

Gandhian award to a “Naxalite”! JOKE OF THE YEAR

PUCL activist Dr. Binayak Sen in detention was honoured with gold medal

(Ch. Narendra)

Publication Date 31/12/2007 8:18:15 PM(IST)

Dr. Binayak Sen, General Secretary, People''s Union Civil Liberties (PUCL) - Chhattisgarh has been given the prestigious RR Keithan Gold Medal instituted by the Indian Social Science Congress at the SNDT University, Mumbai on December 29, 2007 in recognition of his service to the community.

The Award was given at a function chaired by Dr. B N Mungekar, Member, Planning Commission, and Chairperson of the Indian Academy of Social Sciences, and received by his wife, Dr. Ilina Sen, on his behalf who also made the acceptance speech.

Dr Binayak Sen was kept in the prison since seven months by the Chhattisgarh government. He was arrested on May 14, 2007 under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2006 (CSPSA) which gives the state sweeping powers, for allegedly being in contact with a naxalite leader who is in jail.

The Award was instituted in the memory of the noted Gandhian activist R. R. Keithan by the Academy. The Citation given to Dr. Sen mentions that: "the Academy recognizes the resonance between the work of Dr. Binayak Sen in all it's aspects with the values promoted by the Father of the Nation.

Photo: Dr. Binayak Sen, besides doing stellar work in the fields of public health, is a strong proponent of peace and has repeatedly condemned naxalism as he did violence of any type

In bestowing the Award on him while he is incarceration and unable to receive it personally, the Academy expresses it's solidarity with people's movements and defenders of human rights. In so doing, it would like to recall what Gandhiji refer to the true meaning of Swaraj. 'The real Swaraj will come not by the acquisition of authority by a few but by the acquisition of capacity by all to resist authority when abused'. "

According to PUCL Chhattisgarh unit president Rajendra Sail, the irony of the situation was that while the BJP led State Government in Chhattisgarh has falsely implicated Dr. Sen under the anti-democratic and Black Law called CSPSA for allegedly assisting the 'naxalites". However, the highly reputed association of Social Sciences in India had conferred on him this prestigious Award in recognition "for his lifetime association with people's movement for health and justice and equity".

According to the citation, "His work offers fresh and radical interpretation of Gandhiji's core concerns, and his present personal predicament is a poser to all who profess and practice similar ideals. He has rendered a valuable service in the spirit of antyodaya to those of our people whose lives are at the margins of our consciousness, while also creating with them opportunities for their development in the truest human sense of the term".

The Citation states categorically that Dr. Sen, a pediatrician by training, graduated as one of the top students from one of our most prestigious centers of medical education and research, the Christian Medical College, Vellore. His social concerns were evident early in the work in his M.D. thesis, which was on malnutrition, and his prize winning essay on Medical Education, which addressed the gulf between the healthcare needs of our people and the present system of medical education.

Rather than use his professional skills as a passport to personal success in urban India or abroad, Dr. Sen took the dusty road scarcely traveled by people of his ilk to rural India, to parts of rural Madhya Pradesh and present-day Chhattisgarh, which have absorbed his energies since then."

Dr. Sen maintains that these meetings occured with the express written permission of the state. The State is yet to provide a single credible piece of evidence or a specific charge. A graduage of CMC Vellore, Dr Sen is a public health/social activist of repute, he has been working in Chhattisgarh on health, social and human rights issues for over 25 years.

He is responsible for stellar contributions to the cause of healthcare for all in Chhattisgarh including setting up the Shaheed Hospital for Mine Workers in Dalli Rajahara and the establishment of the Mitaneen program, a pioneering model putting the Village Health Worker at the forefront of rural healthcare.

Dr. Sen during his PUCL work brought to light the human rights situation in Bastar and Dantewada districts of the state, where a civil war like situation has been prevailing, even as the state propped up by providing money and arms, an organization called the Salwa Judum to supposedly counter the attendan naxalism.

In a petition submitted to the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Dr. Raman Singh, prominent citizens and civil society activists expressed their deep disappointment at the rejection of bail for Dr. Binayak Sen, by the Supreme Court of India.

More than seven months since his arrest on vague and unsubstantiated charges under a draconian law, the State of Chhattisgarh is yet to produce any semblance of evidence against Dr. Sen and continues to drag its feet at every opportunity.

NAXALWATCH READERS : We wish to refresh your memory that On December 10, 2007 , Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhan and D K Jain DISMISSED the bail petition of medical practitioner and PUCL activist Binayak Sen .Mr.Sen filed a bail petition in the apex court after the same were turned down by first by the Sessions Court and later by the High Court of Chhattisgarh at Bilaspur

Justice Ashok Bhan said: "It did not agree with the grounds raised by Sen for enlarging him on bail."

COURIER MAOIST DOCTOR : The police claimed that they had recovered letters in possession of one Piyush Guha that established that he was acting as a courier for the Naxalite movement

Supreme Court Bench
"You are emphasising too much on PUCL. This does not mean that you are immune. This also does not mean your are not associated with banned activities,"

STATUS : Police have documentary evidences which will soon be brought up before the special court at Raipur where a chargesheet has already been filed against him before a chief judicial magistrate

This was evident several times during the last seven months, most notably when the government only brought charges, which at best can be described as baseless, on the 89 th day of his arrest, barely meeting the 90 day limit.

Even as the State holds Dr. Sen with no credible case or evidence against him, the actual naxalite problem has only worsened in recent weeks and months. The recent escalation of violence and rise in death toll as well as the security breach in Dantewada prison, being the latest events in an increasingly violent state. Innocent people of Chhattisgarh continue to suffer even as the situation worsens.

Dr. Binayak Sen, besides doing stellar work in the fields of public health, is a strong proponent of peace and has repeatedly condemned naxalism as he did violence of any type.

In the petition, the prominent citizens demanded that Dr. Sen be immediately released and all cases against him be dropped. They urged that the Chhattisgarh Government take immediate steps to restore peace and end the violence by the naxalites as well as the Salwa Judum.

They asked the State Government end its support of the Salwa Judum immediately and the Government should looks after the interests of all citizens of Chhattisgarh including understanding the underlying reasons why the naxalite movement is gaining strength in regions of the state.

A battle ahead

Hindustan Times
January 01, 2008

There are certain things that simply go away if one looks the other way. The menace of Naxal terror is not one of them. Only a few days after the Dantewada jailbreak in Jharkhand last month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh uncharacteristically described Naxal terror as a “virus that needs to be choked and crippled”. He was right to have sounded alarmed and that is because as we enter a new year, the situation could grow more alarming. Four Maoist extremism-affected states — Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh — have finally decided to share information and coordinate with each other. The fact that they didn’t earlier has a story of its own to tell, but as the saying goes, better late than never.

There is much catching up to do. Apart from the Naxals’ use of guerrilla warfare tactics against the State and its people, this war is asymmetrical on multiple fronts. For one, unlike the security personnel in Naxal-affected states, the Maoists are generally equipped with not only superior weaponry, but also with a superior communications and information network. For another, the state governments and the Centre have, for far too long, played ‘passing the pillow’ when it comes to taking on the Naxals in any meaningful way. The Centre wants the states to ensure that there are dedicated — and motivated — forces, on the lines of Andhra Pradesh’s anti-Naxal unit, the Greyhounds. The states, on their part, want a Central Task Force.

One would have thought that the Indian State would have learnt by now how to deal with such ideological terrorism. A draft report of the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the United Nations Security Council has found India to be seriously deficient in its anti-terror capabilities. Governmental authorities still lack an up and running database — necessary for various states to confirm the presence of new suspects, movement of Naxal forces and other vital ever-changing information. The agreement between the four states will finally allow police to move freely into each other’s territories — an advantage that the Maoists have had a headstart with for years. The year 2007 saw the highest number of casualties of security forces in encounters with Maoists in years. Mr Singh stated that Naxals present “the single biggest security challenge to the Indian State’. He is right. The question is whether the torpor that affects the Indian State and the ad-hoc nature in which it fights the Maoists will finally be replaced by something that has force as well as direction.

Will Bastar tribals ever see the end of tunnel?

By Sandeep Datta
New Delhi, Dec.31 (ANI): Though known for its rich natural resources like iron ore and thick forests, Bastar region in Chattisgarh has invariably remained deprived of development and benefits from various government schemes due to Naxalite campaigns.
Hopefully, the situation is going to change, if one goes by the assurances made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while addressing a conference of Chief Minister in New Delhi.

Dr.Manmohan Singh stated that in the last few years, the activities of naxal groups had revealed new aspects: targeting vital economic establishments and eliminating important political leaders. He said: “…We cannot rest in peace till we have eliminated this virus. We need to cripple Naxalite forces with all the means at our command.”

Asking the States to set up specialised and dedicated forces to combat extremism, Singh said: “We also need to ensure that essential economic infrastructure is protected and the tempo of development activities is increased.
Present condition can be empathised from the fact that people have paid a heavy price all these years due to inaccessibility of basic healthcare facilities. Even diseases like malaria turns an epidemic and affects thousands of people because of poor healthcare.

Both–the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR)–are much above the national average. People migrate to far off places in search of bread and butter.

If National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) could do a lot of good this region, if implemented effectively. People, especially youth will then stop migrating and taking up employment locally.

The major production is agriculture. But the expanded families have led to small share of land-holdings for individuals on an average in ones family. Today, it doesnt surprise, if one is told that a majority of these residents live under the poverty-line and survive on BPL (below-poverty-line) benefits .

The land is non-irrigated and alkaline. It does give good yield for the sustenance of the farmers and agriculture labour.

The attention of the State government is being drawn to the plight of the people. Some industrialists too are keen to improve their lot.The establishment of a steel plant will help. Iron ore is available in abundance locally.

Local residents have always demanded that their area should be developed through the establishment of industries. It will provide employment to the local people and the steel plant and mining activity will also help in developing subsidiary enterprises. There will be more opportunities for self-employment.

People are looking forward to the early establishment of the steel plant,, proposed by the Tatas.Peoples keenness for the establishment of a steel plant is demonstrated at the Gram Sabhas meetings (village meets), workshops, seminars conducted in the town of Jagdalpur and surrounding areas.

Over 65 per cent of the people have already taken compensation for their land and homesteads while a big number of people are in the process of receiving compensation and other benefits.

But some individuals, led by vested interests who have links with mining corporates, are interested in exporting iron ore to other countries and are working against the establishment of a steel plant.

They are trying to brain-wash people and are being induced to oppose the steel plant. The movement is being supported by some political leaders for their own benefit. False sense of insecurity and arguments against the government and industry are being propagated.

The vested interests are trying to start a Nandigram like movement in Bastar.
Their activities needs to be exposed. The situation calls for a support of the intelligentia and all concerned people who believe that tribals of the area should be given an opportunity to have access to a better life. (ANI)

Naxals gun down TRS man

Monday December 31 2007 11:21 IST

Express News Service

KHAMMAM: In what is being seen as a revenge killing of CPI-ML (New Democracy) leader Pulusu Venkanna, the New Democracy dalam activists gunned down Telangana Rashtra Samiti activist and alleged Maoist supporter Banothu Pulia (35) at Survey Thanda in Yellandu mandal in the wee hours of Sunday.

Six members of the New Democracy dalam descended on Survey Thanda this morning and found Pulia working in the fields. They overpowered him, dragged him to a school building, attacked him with pickaxes before firing at him from close range, killing him on the spot.

It may be recalled that four Maoists barged into the house of Pulusu Venkanna at Polaram village and shot him dead. In another incident, the Maoists also shot at V Venkanna, a Progressive Youth League leader while he was waiting for a bus at Polaram bus stand in Yellandu mandal.

He has since been shifted to Hyderabad for medical treatment. A New Democracy Naxal was also shot dead in an encounter at Lattavaram.

In another Naxal-related incident, Maoists barged into a school teacher’s house at Tippapuram village in Venkatapuram mandal took away Rs 1.50 lakh and his cellphone. According to Bhadrachalam DSP Udayabhaskar, teacher Chandra Rao had kept the money that he got by selling his paddy.

Tough time for Orissa Police

Monday December 31 2007 11:19 IST

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The year 2007 is something Orissa Police would like to erase the memories of. A bloody trail of Naxal strikes, sensational robberies, two high-profile IPS officers found on the wrong side of the law....The list just refuses to end.

Though the Government can take heart from the fact that Left wing extremists are not as belligerent in Orissa as in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, the radicals made their intentions pretty clear: They just can’t be taken for granted.

At the fag end of January, Maoists struck at Dhenkanal’s Kankadahada forests brutally killing three forest staff. In May, a forester was targeted in Mayurbhanj, with the gory end.

Deogarh, where security personnel had pushed the extremists on the backfoot last year by striking successfully, again saw a chilling bloodbath.

In June, the extremists killed three villagers of Ranigola within hours sending a wave of panic.

Down south in Malkangiri, a former naib sarpanch was killed after a ‘Praja Court’ of the Maoists. A police sub-inspector also met the same fate a few days later.

But police tasted success when a joint team of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh did blow the lid off a gun-manufacturing unit near Rourkela. Top cadres like James, believed to have killed at least 62 cops and Ganesh Mirdha, found themselves in police net.

If Naxals were not a handful, robbers were. The cops were openly challenged. And how. During the year, at least a dozen bank robberies saw a whopping Rs 4 crore looted, the biggest being Rs 2.21 crore at Barbil in Keonjhar.

Criminals were not alone cops had to worry about. DG-ranked officer B.B. Mahanti, father of rape convict Bitti Hotra, and IG Sanjiv Marik made it to the headlines for wrong reasons.

Accused of aiding his son jump parole and evading police arrest, Mahanti saw the long hand of law catching up with him.

After a Rajasthan court issued a warrant, he was placed under suspension and became untraceable soon after.

Then there was Marik who found himself in the eye of a storm after allegedly ‘helping’ a group of criminals meet the accused of a bank dacoity and murder in Bhadrak district during February.

Once Krushna Chandra Sahoo, the man whom Marik allegedly sent as an escort with the criminals, spilled the beans, an inquiry was initiated and the IG was suspended.

The success stories of police included the unearthing of a massive fake drug racket in Balangir and similar cases of adulterated food in Sambalpur.

However, two incidents of gangrape - in Konark and Bhubaneswar - left a huge question mark on policing in general though culprits were booked later.

Biranchi Das, coach of boy wonder Budhia Singh, was arrested soon after his protege accused him of physical torture and abuse.

Besides, there was Nayagarh which shot to headlines over a spate of foeticide reports.The police found themselves entrusted with a different job - keeping a tab on the erring government doctors. The Crime Branch is now probing the issue.

WARANGAL : Naxal violence declines, other crimes go up

Monday December 31 2007 11:09 IST

K Mahender

WARANGAL: Naxal violence was on the decline but domestic crimes were on the rise during this year in the district.

As any as 862 Naxalites, including Maoists and Naxalites of other groups, were arrested in the district, a stronghold of Maoists. Another 57 Naxalites laid down arms. Interestingly the first case under the newly-introduced Domestic Violence Act in the State was registered in the district.

Of those surrendered, eight were district committee members and 12 were dalam commanders. Nearly 57 weapons and 2,138 rounds of ammunition were also seized.

Briefing mediapersons about the crimes in the district during the year ending, Superintendent of Police Soumya Mishra claimed that counselling held for families of Naxalites had led to several of the extremists to lay down arms.

The fall in Naxal activity allowed police to focus on other issues. The first case booked under Domestic Violence Act is in the court. An officer of a private bank, Satish, threw his months-old infant against a wall killing her on the spot. His wife Maheshwari lodged a complaint with the police on her husband under the provisions of the new Act and he was immediately arrested and produced in court.

The cops conducted mega health camps in remote villages, as part of their endeavour to become peoplefriendly. Even rice and clothes were distributed to the families during 2007, she said.

The district is leading others in recovery of property stolen in the district, this year. Nearly 57 per cent of the property stolen was recovered, the SP said.

Significantly, crimes relating to women were on the rise during this year. As many as 1,218 cases were registered against the 1,040 during last year. The crimes included rapes and domestic harassment.

However, the rise does not really mean an increase as even petty crimes were registered following orders to the extent, the SP explained.

Touching upon court cases, the SP said that the number of non-bailable warrants (NBW) pending has reduced to 404 when compared to 1,619 pending last year. Interestingly, all the pending warrants are related to underground Naxalites, she said.

As many as 443 people died and another 2,307 were injured in the 232 road mishaps on national highways, 201 on State highways and 912 on other roads during this year.

The kidnap of 11-year-old Manisha at the end of this year, has drawn criticism against the cops following the death of three main accused in police firing. Of the 137 kidnap cases registered in the district, 135 were found to be false during probe, she said.

Mishra said that Matwada police station was getting ready for the International Standard Organisation (ISO) certification next year. The Department had sent proposals to the government and soon after release of funds, all facilities necessary for the certification will be provided, she said.

A new traffic police station will be set up at Intezar Gunj Mills Colony in addition to the existing three in the city, she added.

‘Naxal activities not strong in state’

Monday December 31 2007 10:16 IST


KOZHIKODE: National Security Advisor M.K.Narayanan, on Sunday, said the Naxalite activities have not strengthened in Kerala and the they do not pose a threat to the state.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a private function in the city, he, however, said states have been alerted about the possibility of the Naxalites setting up camps in forests and hilly areas.

Coast Guards have been asked to keep extra vigil in view of the threat of increased extremist activities along the coast.

Two cops ‘stoned to death’ in Naxal-hit area in UP

By Anand S. Raj (Our correspondent)

31 December 2007

LUCKNOW — Two policemen were reportedly stoned to death in Naxal-affected area of Panchsheel in Mirzapur district on Saturday, according to reports reaching here.

The bodies of the victims, identified as Mahavir Yadav (52) and Pankaj Kumar Singh (32), were recovered from the dense forests falling in Panchsheel area under Madioan police circle. Both cops, posted in Ahrauna police station, were missing since Friday night. Their faces had been smashed with blunt objects. Sources in the police said that on Friday night, the constables had gone to Janki village, which falls under Ahrora Police Station, on a motorcycle and had taken a resident, Birju with them.

Birju, meanwhile, told the police that the policemen took him near the forest and told him to wait outside.

He said the two went into the forest but did not return for hours. Birju returned to his village and narrated the incident to some people there. On Saturday morning, the constables were found dead in the forest by some villagers. Police suspect it could be the handiwork of poachers, who are active in these forests. Mirzapur Additional Superintendent of Police Ram Swaroop was quoted as saying that he did not suspect the involvement of Naxalites.
However, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Brij Lal said they were yet to establish the identity of the killers

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Extreme Souvenir : How I handed money to Maoist insurgents

Extreme Souvenir
How I handed money to Maoist insurgents, and lived to worry about it

Boston Globe
By Sacha Pfeiffer
December 30, 2007

DHAMPUS, NEPAL - On a foot-worn path in the Himalaya Mountains, there is a small checkpoint. Set up alongside a busy trekking route banked by terraced fields of grain, it consists of a stone wall used as a table and a red hammer-and-sickle flag drooping from an old shed. It demands money to pass: 300 rupees, the equivalent of about $5.

Aside from that Communist flag, the makeshift operation has all the menace of a high school car wash. The young Nepalese who staff it - three men and a woman no older than their 20s - are an amiable bunch, greeting hikers with smiles and making small talk with trekking guides. They even issue handwritten receipts, documents thanking the bearers for their "voluntary donation."

The name at the top of the receipt, printed in bold red lettering, is the United Revolutionary People's Council. The $5 payment funds a Maoist insurgency group formed to wage a guerilla-style "people's war" in Nepal.

For the growing number of tourists who visit this Asian nation each year, encountering Maoists on the popular Himalayan backpacking circuits has become a rite of passage of sorts. The checkpoint fee is a minor expense, like a tip for a cabbie or a trip to Starbucks. The experience becomes a travel war story; the receipt goes in the scrapbook of cool, adventurous things.

I was one of those tourists.

Six hours into a three-day hike in the Annapurna Circuit in October, accompanied by a friend and a Nepalese guide, I hit the checkpoint. While the Maoists describe the donations as voluntary, hikers who have resisted paying have had their guides detained, so we didn't really consider saying no. My friend, a government health worker fluent in Nepali, negotiated a two-for-one rate. After handing over the cash, she was given a payment slip torn from a small booklet. Then we hiked on.

At the time, I was almost giddy about the whole encounter. I'd never felt unsafe, and I now had a sensational souvenir: a personalized memento from guerilla fighters! The leaf of paper wasn't just from another place; it was a sliver of obscure political history. The Maoists, barely past puberty, even let me snap a few pictures of them wearing their red lanyards and holding their receipt book.

But with time something began to gnaw. That little receipt really did mean we had kicked in funds to an armed insurrection.

To me, five bucks is small money, but it's a significant sum in Nepal, and the Maoists aren't exactly a charity. Their decade-long civil war, fought with the help of child soldiers, ultimately claimed about 13,000 lives. Their arsenal includes self-loading rifles, hand grenades, and light machine guns. I wondered: Would our $5 purchase a firearm for a 12-year-old?

As travelers push into ever more remote and unstable places, thorny ethical dilemmas are often placed squarely in their hands. With package tours, you rarely know who gets paid off behind the scenes. With solo adventure travel, on the other hand, requests for baksheesh are made directly to your face.

Roy Peter Clark, who started the ethics program at the Poynter Institute, a media think tank, calls my dilemma "the problem of invisible consequences." Thinking optimistically, my checkpoint fee could end up buying a warm meal for a hungry Nepali family. Or it could be used to acquire an AK-47.

When I tried to boil it down to strictly legal terms, my $5 receipt remained murky. The US government sees the Maoist rebellion as flat wrong, and the State Department considers the Communist Party of Nepal a terrorist group. In theory, this could expose me to prosecution, since multiple laws, including the USA Patriot Act and something called the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, prohibit US citizens from funding terrorism.

I made a round of calls to the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the State Department to ask about my legal status. They squirmed a bit, told me Americans are advised not to travel to Nepal, mentioned the Maoists' terrorist status, and noted the relevant statutes. But their underlying message was this: Don't worry about it.

Ethically, though, I didn't feel in the clear. I was flaunting my Maoist receipt to co-workers like a show-and-tell item, but then wringing my hands - not quite because I felt guilty, but because I didn't think I felt guilty enough.

I started to realize I had brought back another souvenir, an invisible one: the lingering uncertainty about what, exactly, I should be feeling about that money and my decision to pay it.

Maybe I should chalk it up to the mind-expanding effects of travel. That's the value of going to new places, right? To discover the unfamiliar and, in that discovery, learn more about yourself? Or maybe I needed to put this in wider perspective. After all, whether it's a carbon footprint or a payment to a Maoist, the effect of traveling is never purely neutral.

"It affects the environment, it affects culture, it affects the people around you," said Greg Benchwick, who authored a Lonely Planet guidebook to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and says he's had to pay bribes to cops and at border crossings around the world.

Occasionally paying to grease the skids is "part and parcel of travel," he said.

Clark, of Poynter, notes that I've also found myself ensnared by a long human tradition: the attraction to forbidden objects. Americans who visit Libya buy anti-US stamps as a novelty. Allied soldiers brought home Nazi memorabilia after World War II.

My hiking companion suggested that the Maoists know this. They offer a receipt not because they're meticulous record-keepers, but because they're savvy marketers, and they're aware tourists will want the souvenir. Those kids on the stone wall, posing for my camera, knew that I would pay if I got something out of the deal, and, at some level, I did too.

Ultimately, my encounter with the rebels was a little creepy, a little unresolvable, and - as my receipt still reminds me - a little thrilling.

"We do find ourselves sort of surprised and delighted by our own bravado," Clark said. And, truthfully, my family, friends, and co-workers would rather hear about my illicit mountaintop payment to Maoists than my predictable reminiscences about Himalayan vistas.

After all, Clark added, "the villain is always much more interesting than the hero."

Sacha Pfeiffer, a member of the Globe staff, can be reached at

Jails can't wait to be broken


In what may be regarded as the biggest incident of jailbreak in the country, at least 303 prisoners, many of them Maoists, escaped from the Dantewada district jail on December 16. At least 105 Maoists were among the escapees along with many others who are believed to have been in custody for related offences. The jail is about 9 km away from the Dantewada town and is located at a secluded spot. There were just four guards on duty (instead of the usual 16) when the prisoners escaped.

The incident occurred in broad daylight at about 5 pm and not in the dark of the night. The prisoners looted half a dozen rifles from the security personnel in the jail. The police chased the prisoners and, in the process, 12 policemen went missing after an encounter with Maoists in Dantewada's forests. They were killed by the extremists. The extremists also looted 11 self-loading rifles and an AK-47 rifle from the policemen. Among the killed were eight Chhattisgarh Armed Force personnel and four from the district force who got separated when a 28-member police party came under attack from the Maoists in the Golapalli forest 450 km from Raipur, the State's capital. The 16 who survived reported back to their base camp in Golapalli with the weapons.

The Maoists had publicly vowed to free their jailed comrades. In February, the Maoists in their ninth congress on the Jharkhand-Orissa border had resolved to free their comrades languishing in jails in several States.

Encouraged by their successful jailbreak operations in Jehanabad, Bihar (November 2005), and R Udaigiri, Orissa (March 2006), the Maoists said in the resolution that they intended to carry out similar strikes in Chhattisgarh where their comrades were behind the bars. The resolution said; "This congress resolves to strive to carry out every possible means to free our comrades from jails... with support from the masses we had carried out historic actions such as the Jehanabad and R Udaigiri jailbreaks."

According to an estimate, there are 15,000 Maoist activists with 10,000 firearms. They pose the biggest inner security challenge to the country. They wield influence in 170 of the 602 district of the country. Their sphere of influence covers 16 of the 32 States.

Bihar has a total of 54 jails including the six central prisons which house over 42,000 prisoners against the total capacity of 19,000. None of the jails in Bihar has jammers, close-circuit cameras or X-ray scanners. The security personnel do not have even basic equipment like walkie-talkies. In Beur Jail of Patna alone, there are over 2,600 prisoners against a capacity of 1,400. Only 100 guards are deployed to supervise the hardcore inmates even though the total sanctioned strength is 200. Around 300 Maoists including some dreaded commanders were lodged there. They virtually took charge of Beur prison on the outskirts of Patna for nearly eight hours on December 18. The tragedy began early around 6:30 am when 150-odd inmates went on a hunger strike demanding action against officials responsible for the recent suicide by a Maoist. They stormed into the jail's five kitchens, damaged the vessels and roughed up security men and hounded them away. The administration literally yielded, agreeing to pay compensation for the family of the prisoner who committed suicide. As a result of negotiations, including a judicial inquiry and action, the prisoners agreed to call off the protest.

Among scores of cases of jailbreaks, there was the scandalous escape of three persons accused in the assassination of Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh from the Burail Jail in Chandigarh in 2004. Inspection of the jail showed that the high profile prisoners were not only leading a luxurious life but also had enclosed their cells. This was used to dig a tunnel to escape.

The pitiable condition of Indian prisons is not beyond remedy. The number of prisoners in our jails is small as compared to that in many other countries.

India's prison population is a little under 340,000. It is not a big deal for a country of a billion plus. The US has nearly 1.5 million prisoners and another three million under penal control outside the prison. In 1995, Russia had 687 prisoners for 100,000 people; in India there are about 25 prisoners for 100,000 people.

The most disturbing aspect of Indian prisons is the presence of under-trials. They constitute 75 per cent of the country's prison population. In many jails they constitute about 90 per cent of the prison population. In Meerut, the NHRC found that against the authorised capacity of 650 prisoners, there were 3,000 prisoners and 90 per cent of them were under-trials.

Indira Gandhi had appointed the Justice AN Mulla Committee to review the jail system nationally though law and order and jails are State subjects. The committee recommended in 1983 that the Constitution be amended to shift the subject of prisons from the State to the Concurrent List. That never happened. The Centre at present has no say in the matter of State's jails. In Union Territories including Delhi, where the Union Government is the authority, the jails are far from being models. Jails continue to be governed by an outdated law enacted by the British in 1894. We have no national policy on prisons.

A recommendation of the Mulla Committee was to classify prisons into special security prisons, maximum-security prisons, medium-security prisons and minimum-security prisons. Such a classification can safeguard against the kind of jailbreaks and jail riots seen all over the country. If terrorists and all those accused of similar offences can be segregated for special security arrangements, the mortification of seeing high profile prisoners escaping would become a near impossibility. But the recommendations of the committee are gathering dust for the last 24 years.

Official indifference and lethargy emboldens the criminals. We need to decongest the prisons with the help of a responsive judiciary. Unfortunately, that is not the priority of the Government. Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan said, "India has only 12,000 judges -- 2,000 short of the sanctioned strength of 14,000. As a result, there are over 2.5-crore cases pending in the lower courts, 37-lakh in High Courts and 46,000 in the Supreme Court. He added, "We need one judge for (every) 500 cases to clear the backlog -- that would mean 77,664 judges. At best, however, the judges' strength can be pushed up a few thousand more. We need more courts and more Budget (allocation) for the judiciary." It is time for the introduction of jail reforms as well as a guarantee of prompt justice.

Maoist whiff in Kandhamal violence

31 Dec 2007, 0005 hrs IST,Sandeep Mishra,TNN

BHUBANESWAR: Ethnic, communal, political and extremist factors can by any standards prove to be a heady cocktail.

And for the Orissa government, it is this deadly combination of factors that has made Kandhamal what it is today -- ethnically disturbed, chronically communal and politically charged.

Though the current spate of violence hasn't come as a surprise to many, what is disturbing is reports of Maoists too throwing their hat in the ring.

"Maoists from neighbouring Gajapati and Rayagada districts have been making forays into interior parts of Kandhamal in the past few years. We've launched operations in the past. What is worrisome, however, is the spotting of some men in Olive Green outfits during the attack on Brahmanigaon police station last Thursday," a senior police officer said.

"The fierce gunbattle and Maoist statements against VHP have made their role apparent. We have intelligence inputs that Maoists from Chandrapur could be involved in fomenting trouble in Brahmanigaon. We warded off the onslaught only after a special operations group, specialising in anti-Naxalite operations, reached the police station. The feeble police presence in certain parts seems to have encouraged the rebels to take advantage," he added.

"We don't rule out the possibility of Maoists taking advantage. The area is vulnerable. We are on an alert," DGP G C Nanda said.

While Kandhamal is known for being ethnically divided for decades, with the Kandh tribals and Panas -- a Scheduled Caste community -- being at loggerheads, the gradual polarisation of the region on communal lines, courtesy Christian missionaries and saffron activists, has turned the area into a virtual tinderbox.

According to official sources, the problem escalated in the early nineties when the Scheduled Tribe list was amended with enlistment of Kui, Kuvi, Kuee, as ST in addition to the original Kandhs.

The ethnic split widened with Christian and Hindu groups beginning their work in the area. "Many Panas have converted to Christianity.

ANDHRA : Tension in two Khammam mandals

The Hindu

Staff Reporter

KHAMMAM: Tension gripped the forest villages in Yellandu and Gundala mandals as a Maoist sympathiser was gunned down reportedly by underground cadres of the CPI (ML New Democracy) in retaliation to the killing of their party leader, Pulusu Venkanna, in Polaram village late on Saturday night.

According to reports, armed members of the Madhu dalam of the New Democracy whisked away Banothu Kolia, a tribal youth from his farm around midnight and fired three rounds into his chest killing him in the forest. Kolia was reportedly identified with the Maoist activities in the area and had been at loggerheads with the New Democracy activists for quite some time.
Lull shattered

The long lull in the tribal habitations was shattered with the two killings. A ninth standard girl, Mukti Soujanya, and another tribal youth Vankudothu Venkanna sustained received bullet injuries in the Maoist attack on Polaram village on Saturday. While Soujanya was battling for life in a private hospital in Khamam, Venkanna was shifted to NIMS as his condition was deteriorating.

The New Democracy cadres geared up to defend themselves in their party’s strongholds as their Polaram village committee secretary, Pulusu Venkanna, was shot dead by the Maoists.

A police outpost was put up in the village and additional forces were deployed in the area.

Six held for realtor's murder , a surrendered naxalite

31 Dec 2007, 0203 hrs IST,TNN

HYDERABAD: Six persons were arrested on Sunday for their alleged involvement in the murder of a realtor at Kushaiguda on December 21. The victim was a surrendered naxalite who was threatening a realtor to extort money from him which led to his killing.

The victim, Y Chandraiah alias Ramchander, 47, surrendered before Warangal police 15 years ago. He settled in Jai Jawan colony of Kushaiguda and was into real estate business. On December 21, Chandraiah went to supervise the construction activity of his new house at G R Reddy Nagar. While on his way back to his home at Jai Jawan Colony in Kushaiguda, he was attacked and stabbed to death.

Investigations revealed that Chandraiah was demanding Rs three lakh from another realtor, Mallesh, who is a resident of the nearby Jammigadda locality.

Mallesh gave Rs 20,000 to Chandraiah, but the threats, demanding more money, continued. Unable to bear it, Mallesh, along with his friends, conspired to eliminate Chandraiah, and also hired an assassin gang.

As per the plan, they eliminated Chandraiah and later burnt down the blood-stained clothes on the outskirts of the city, police said.

Mallesh and five others —Praveen Kumar, Chinna Sai, Sainath, Vinod and Ravi Goud— were arrested and a four-wheeler used in committing the offence was also seized, police said.

Security in Ayodhya temples, railway station to be stepped up

Press Trust of India
Posted online: Monday , December 31, 2007 at 12:00:00

Updated: Sunday , December 30, 2007 at 11:04:36

Faizabad, December 30 The security of Hanuman Garhi and Nageshwarnath temples and the railway station, which are located close to the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid complex in Ayodhya, will be upgraded on par with the dispute structure. Efforts are on, Inspector General of Police A K Jain said on Sunday. “A special security force would be constituted to protect Allahabad High Court, its bench in Lucknow and some other courts in Uttar Pradesh.”

Jain, who was in Faizabad today to review security situation in the district, said the charge of the police out posts would be handed over to young sub-Inspectors and every police station would have an intelligence officer.

He said strict instruction had been given to all senior police officers of the zone to maintain communal harmony. “In case of communal tension, SSPs and SPs will be held responsible as strict instructions have been given to them to remain vigilant.”

Jain, who also heads the newly formed Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS), claimed there were no naxalite movements.

“We don’t have any threat from naxalite as it is confined to hamlets of some district,” he said.

ORISSA: Red fury on rise, top cop says no


Cuttack, Dec. 30: The last 12 months have been what can only be described as a year of consolidation and expansion of Maoist areas of operation and growth in their activities in Orissa.

The year witnessed rise in rebel activities in Malkangiri district in particular. The Naxalites made their presence felt in the district when they observed People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army Week (December 2-8), forcing police to issue a high alert in the district, especially in Kalimela, MV79, Motu, Bhejanwada and the Chitrakonda areas and seal borders with Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to prevent rebel influx.

The Maoists also struck thrice in major setback to the administration. While suspected Maoists in Dhenkanal killed three forest employees on January 31, a CRPF sub-inspector and two suspected Maoist cadres were killed during an exchange of fire near MV79 village in Malkangiri on April 29. In another major attack on June 22, the rebels hacked three persons to death in Deogarh district after dragging them out of their houses and tying them in a rope. A contractor was also killed in a similar fashion.

Director-general of police Gopal Chandra Nanda, however, sees nothing “abnormal” about the Naxalite problem here. “In fact, the situation now is much better as compared to other Naxalite-hit states,” he claims, adding measures adopted by the police had brought down rebel violence.

Chhattisgarh: Rebels ruled this, Raman ready for polls next year

Raipur, Dec. 30 (PTI): Chhattisgarh continues to be in the “war zone” of the Maoists as they kill security personnel at will and free their comrades from jails.

On March 15, about 700 Maoists raided the Rani Bodli police station in Bijapur district and when policemen came out of their rooms for safety, the rebels killed them with axe and other traditional weapons and then blasted landmines leaving 55 security men dead.

On December 16, in connivance with jail officials, 300 inmates, including 105 Maoists, escaped with six rifles and one police wireless set from the Dantewada district jail.

The rebels also damaged power transmission towers in Narayanpur district on June 1, pushing 27 lakh people of Bastar region into darkness for 12 days. The government has so far incurred a loss of Rs 2,000 crore on account of such attacks.

The state government has been seen as a mute spectator to the violence on most occasions. As the state goes to the polls next year, the faction-ridden BJP government headed by chief minister Raman Singh tried to initiate several social welfare schemes.

The chief minister has personally drafted a policy providing for Rs 3 per kg rice to the poor. This covers 65 per cent of the total population of the state. This is in addition to the government’s scheme of providing 25 paise per kg iodised salt, free shoes to tendu leave pluckers and free cows and bulls to the tribals.

The Naxalite attacks came as at least 200 villagers died this year of water-borne diseases and in the absence of any government-sponsored healthcare in the villages. The government was shown in poor light when 400 people were found hidden in a container vehicle in what appeared to be a human trafficking racket. The government admitted that the incident showed that the rural employment guarantee scheme was not functioning properly.

The scale of Maoist violence also proved that the rebels have become more violent after the start of salwa judum or anti-Naxalite campaign launched in June 2005.

In the last three years, 1,000 people have been killed, including 200 security forces. Over 600 villages have been deserted and about 60,000 people of those places have taken shelter in state government run camps.

On the political front, the year started with the resignation of Amar Agrawal as the finance minister from cabinet in January. A couple of months later, an honest but ambitious tribal leader Nanki Ram Kanwar was removed from the cabinet hitting the BJP’s image.

There was every reason for Amit Jogi, son of senior congress leader Ajit Jogi, to smile as 19 out of 31 accused got life imprisonment in the Jaggi murder case of June 4, 2003.

The CBI had made the junior Jogi as the main accused. Special judge B.L. Tidke, convicted 28 others, including four congressmen, and three police officers.

The judge said since the involvement of Amit was not proved, he was declared not guilty.

Complainant harassed, cop suspended

31 Dec 2007, 0135 hrs IST,Faizan Ahmad,TNN

PATNA: When Dharmendra Das of Rohtas 'dared' to lodge a complaint against a police officer with chief minister Nitish Kumar at the janata Durbar, he hardly expected to face more problems back home.

But that was exactly what happened.

For, Das was implicated in a false case by the same police officer a few days after he returned home.

But no sooner the CM came to know about the fresh bout of trouble that came Das’ way following his complaint against the police officer, the latter was served with a suspension order at the behest of none other but the CM himself.

Das’ is not an isolated case. A woman from Patna City narrated similar woes before the CM. She told him at the durbar she was threatened by some policemen and they stormed her house and even arrested her son. She could get relief only when she met CM again and told him about the unending police terror.

Following the growing number of public complaints lodged with the CM at janata durbar against harassment by police and civil officials, the government has decided to initiate stringent action and punish the guilty. It has been found that mainly thana-level officers are responsible for harassing the complainants and booking them under section 107 of the Cr PC.

Taking the matter seriously, the personnel department directed the DMs and SPs in all districts to take note of such incidents and initiate action at their level before the matter is brought to the notice of the CM or higher authorities.

Personnel department sources said recently over a dozen such complaints were received by the department and it has been viewed as attack on the peoples’ right to air their grievances before the CM and seek his help.

Nitish is of the firm view that once the people’s issues are honestly taken up, the system will start working smoothly and strengthen public faith in the governance. On each Monday when janata durbar is held, the CM dedicates himself to the task hearing out complaints of the public no matter how long it takes. "I take up each complain and go through it. Even a single complain can inspire the government to take a decision or formulate a policy," he said.

BIHAR : CM to seek report from DMs today

31 Dec 2007, 0139 hrs IST,TNN
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PATNA: On the last day of the year, chief minister Nitish Kumar will speak to all district magistrates on Monday through video conference and seek report on certain issues from them. The main issues will be law and order situation and crime graph in various districts during 2007.

According to official sources, the other issues on which Nitish will seek information include construction of boundary walls of graveyards, working of the public distribution system, availability of food grains, kerosene and fertilizer, progress on rural employment guarantee scheme, success in pulse polio campaign and working on disaster management.

From Naxalite-affected districts, the DMs will be required to report on the progress on “Apki Sarkar Apke Dwar” programme which provides for overall development of the Naxalite-affected areas.

The government is likely to remodel its policies and programmes for the next year after getting reports from each district, the sources said

KARNATAKA : Communal violence will be dealt with sternly: Ms.Vatsala Vatsa

Communal violence will be dealt with sternly, says official

S.O. News service, Sunday, December 30, 2007:

Mangalore: Developments in the district are being watched with concern by the Government, Vatsala Vatsa, Principal Secretary of Home Affairs, said here on Saturday. She was referring to the recent spate of communal violence in Dakshina Kannada.

She was addressing presspersons after a review meeting with A.M. Prasad, Inspector General of Police (Western Range) and M. Maheshwar Rao, Deputy Commissioner on the law and order situation in the district .

Sources in District Police Office said that Ms. Vatsa was on a personal visit to Mangalore and the meeting was convened in the wake of violence in Bantwal town on Friday.

Stating that people inciting communal hatred would not be tolerated, she said that members of both groups would be dealt with sternly. On the cow slaughter and the resultant violence, she said that it was a sensitive issue and had to be handled carefully.

In the same vein, she lauded the district administration for their prompt action in restoring normalcy, whenever there were large scale violence.

With reference to the infiltration of extremist elements through the coastline of peninsular India, she reiterated the State Government's commitment to expedite the deployment of a coastal security force.

“The approval of filling up 320 vacant posts for the coastal security police should come anytime now,” she said.

She dismissed concerns over the shortage of police personnel in the district and said that the bi-annual recruitment had effectively addressed the problem.

However, she agreed that the highly specialised Anti-Naxal Force was facing shortage of staff and that the problem was compounded by a similar situation in Home Guards.

A.M. Prasad, IGP (Western Range), said that three criminal cases had been registered by the Bantwal Police and ten people had been arrested in connection with Friday's violence. He said two teams of special police had been formed to investigate further.

The Police Department would invoke the Goonda Act against the habitual offenders of law, he said.

Although the town remained peaceful on Saturday, there was no let up in the police patrolling in Bantwal.

Official expresses concern over communal clashes

By Team Mangalorean
Photographs: Rajesh Shetty

MANGALORE, Dec 29, 2007: The Principal Secretary (Home) of the government Vatsala Vatsa said that people should not do anything that will hamper the development of the state. She was speaking to the presspersons after meeting with the Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada and reviewing the law and order situation in Bantwal where communal clashes had broken out two days ago.

Ms. Vatsa said that inciting communal violence on a hate campaign will not be tolerated by the state administration and appropriate steps will be taken to curb it with a heavy hand she added.

Ms Vatsa was in the city to meet Inspector General of Police (Western Range) A.M. Prasad and Deputy Commissioner of law and order and Mangalore DC M. Maheshwar Rao on the wake of Bantwal violence. She lauded the District administration and Dakshina Kannada police for handling the situation carefully by averting any breaking out of violence and maintain normalcy in the district.

Answering queries of the presspersons on the infiltration of extremist elements through the coast Ms. Vatsa said the state administration would expedite the security measures to the coastal areas. The approval of filling up 320 vacant posts for the coastal security police should come anytime now and work on construction new police station is also on progress, she added. She said that DK Police force is well equipped to combat any communal incidents and there is no shortage of staff in the department however there were few vacancies in Home guards and Anti Naxal force.

A.M. Prasad , IGP (Western Range) said that ten people had been taken into custody relating to the violence in BC Road on Friday and three criminal cases were registered by Bantwal police and the investigation was on. He also added that Goonda Act would be invoked against those criminals indulging in frequent criminal offences.

Driven by Naxal threat, Kerala maps migrants

DNA India
Don Sebastian
Monday, December 31, 2007 03:56 IST

The govt to survey labourers from other states after a top Maoist leader was arrested near Kochi earlier this month

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala government, which woke up to the problem of a floating population swarming its developing cities and suburbs after a top Maoist leader was arrested near Kochi earlier this month, has decided to strictly survey the labourers from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and other states.

The southern state, which has a prominent share of expatriates working abroad, especially in West Asia and the United States, has turned the favoured destination for manual labourers from other states in India. A preliminary estimate by the labour department puts the number of migrant labourers in Kerala at 1,15, 584.

Spotlight turned to the large workforce, who rides on the construction boom in the state, when a special team of the Andhra Pradesh police nabbed Malla Raja Reddy, a top leader of the People’s War Group, from Angamaly, near the Cochin International Airport. Reddy later confessed that he and his aide had come to Kerala in early December.

Reddy and his associate, remanded in judicial custody since December 19, had been working on a network of Maoists activists in Kerala, the police believe. “Maoists are using the state as a hide-out. They may be working among the migrant workers. We are going to strictly monitor the workforce,” home minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said.

The labour department has instructed its district offices to compile the data of workers from other states. “We have done a preliminary survey in March. But it’s not enough to have a clear picture. We expect to complete a detailed survey within a month,” joint labour commissioner MK Balachandran Nair said.

Their task becomes tedious since most of the workers simply migrate to Kerala while others are brought in by contractors, who are bound by law to keep a tab on the floating population. The labour department is planning to give all of them ID cards. The police have already instructed the employers to submit a complete list of workers who come from outside the state.

Four states join hands against Naxals : Agree to share information

Agree to share information
Ambarish Dutta
Tribune News Service

Patna, December 30

The recent meeting of Chief Ministers’ on internal security convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi in the backdrop of the unbridled Naxalite violence in 13 affected states seems to have finally sounded the alarm bell for four states in eastern and central parts of the country.

In a decision supposedly aimed at checking Left-wing extremism, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have reportedly agreed to share information and coordinate with one another in adjoining border areas to crush the ultras.

Sources in the intelligence here were upbeat over the success of such arrangement after the biggest explosive seizure in the Naxal-infested Sonebhadra district of eastern UP bordering Bihar and Jharkhand yesterday.

It was learnt that acting on a tip-off, a combined operation of the UP Police-PAC, the Bihar police and the CRP was launched in the Lekherula jungles on eastern UP’s border with Jharkhand and Bihar. Subsequently, 11 kg of RDX was seized from the tri-junction of UP, Bihar and Jharkhand.

The team reportedly stumbled upon a Naxal hideout under the Machi police station area. “Extensive search led them to a cache of explosives, including 11 kg RDX, 176 gelatine sticks, 10 bundles of fuse wire, dry cells and 10 container bombs. Besides, Naxal literature was also seized”, the police said.

Sources claimed it as the biggest-ever explosive seizure in the past in the region.

And close on the eve of the combined operation by Bihar, Jharkhand and UP, the West Bengal and Jharkhand police has decided to get rid of the barrier of jurisdiction in adjoining Naxal-hit areas to take faster action against the rampaging ultras. Reports reaching here said following the arrangement, policemen now can move freely into each other’s territory. The Naxal affected belt of six districts in Jharkhand-West Bengal border included three of Kolhan range of Jharkhand and three districts of West Bengal.

The decision reportedly was taken to check the ploy of the Naxals, who after launching an attack in one state usually flee to another through the forest covered border. “Till the other day, the police failed to chase them due to the jurisdiction barrier”, sources pointed out.

But with the new arrangement that came into effect from yesterday, if a police station of West Bengal has some information on Naxal activity, it can directly tip-off the respective police station in Jharkhand instead of getting the same information routed through the higher-ups, as had been the earlier rule by only delaying the process of crackdown.

The decision, which was expected to reduce the time gap significantly in chasing Naxals, was taken at the joint meeting of the DIG of Kolhan range of Jharkhand and his West Midnapore range counterpart in West Bengal at Kharagpur on Friday.

Sources said Jharkhand was now planning to workout the same arrangement with Bihar too after the two states recently had conducted joint raids against the Naxals following the killing of the son of the former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi, Anup Marandi, on October 26

Cops took a bigger hit than Naxalites in 2007

Aloke Tikku, Hindustan Times

New Delhi, December 31, 2007
First Published: 00:50 IST(31/12/2007)
Last Updated: 00:53 IST(31/12/2007)

More than 200 policemen lost their lives fighting Maoists in central India’s killing fields this year. The number of Naxalites they killed was a little above half this figure, according to official records.

The year 2007 saw the highest body loss suffered by security forces in many years in the battle against Maoist guerrillas, whom Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called ‘ the single biggest security challenge to the Indian state’.

Singh told a conference of ministers this month that the Naxals – who were consolidating, getting stronger and more confident – had developed the capability in some areas to launch frontal attacks on police forces and establishments.

Official figures complied by the Union home ministry for this conference indicate that 214 policemen lost their lives in the first 11 months this year, up from 133 policemen killed during the same period last year and 105 killed in 2003. The number of naxals killed had, however, declined from last year’s 239 in 2006 and 216 in 2003, to 129 this year.

The union home ministry has explained the larger number of deaths to better coordinated attacks by the Maoists who have access to enhanced fire power, a militaristic strategy and an enviable ability to analyse adverse situation and devise strategies for counter them.

Vishwa Ranjan, director general of police of Chhattisgarh, where 181 policemen were killed this year, attributed the higher casualties to the series of operations undertaken by the security forces.

“We are trying to enter areas dominated by them… it is natural that the force entering an area held by the other side would have to take a heavier toll,” he said, pointing out that the casualties would increase, on both sides, as security forces push their way in.

But the sacrifice, he emphasised, was not in vain. “We reported 66 casualties among naxals as we had to go by the body count. But their literature seized recently indicates they loss about 180 people in the operations,” he said.

Combing operations halt temporarily after RDX found in Sonebhadra

Express news service
Posted online: Monday , December 31, 2007 at 12:00:00

Varanasi, December 30 A day after 11 kg of RDX was recovered from Sonebhadra, Uttar Pradesh police went on the defensive, halting forest combing operations on Sunday, fearing reprisal by Maoists.

Also, four police stations — Kone, Machi, Raipur and Pannuganj — have been put on high alert to deal with any reprisal attack by naxals.

“Combing operations have been halted temporarily in the jungles on the tri-junction of UP, Bihar and Jharkhand under the Machi police station area as the naxals could launch a reprisal strike against CRPF, UP Police and PAC,” SP (Sonebhadra) Ram Kumar said on Sunday.

“We have a strong belief that part of the explosive hidden in Lekherula forests has been taken away by naxalites before the police raid. In 2004, following recovery of explosives, an IED blast was triggered by naxals near the Salkhan area of the district resulting in the death of a police driver and injuries to an Additional Superintendent of Police.”

Maintaining that the police was still clueless on how explosives reached the naxal hands, the SP said: “May be they are planning some big recruitment drive to be followed by major strikes in the area. We have received information about naxal extremist leaders like Munna Pal, Lalvrat and Shatrughan’s movement in the region, ” Kumar claimed.

Meanwhile, central intelligence agencies are still reluctant to buy the claims of Sonebhadra Police.

“How can the cops claim that the recovered powder is RDX and not any other explosive? If at all it is RDX, then there is a possibility of the explosive substance coming to naxalites from Nepal,” a central intelligence official said.

The SP, however, said, “CRPF personnel are sure of the recovered off-white powder being RDX. The Bomb Disposal Squad will arrive shortly to take samples for further testing.”

Around 11 kg RDX, 176 gelatin rods, 10 container bombs, 10 bundles of fuse wire and dry cells from a naxal hideout. Naxal literature was also recovered from the spo

Maoists have cops in a web

Deccan Chronicle

Hyderabad, Dec. 30: The cyber duel between the police and the Maoists has turned into a cat and mouse game. Every time the police gets a website or a blog closed, Maoist sympathisers set up another one and continue as before. The cyber catch-me-if-you-can hotted up last week after the police got Peoples March, the most popular pro-Maoist site, blocked through Central agencies. Its editor Govindan Kutty was arrested in Kerala.

The website used to carry interviews with top Maoist leaders including Ganapati and spokesperson Azad. It was blocked an year ago but emerged again and was blocked last week. The Special Intelligence Branch says Peoples March and other websites act as communication link between the underground cadres and sympathisers.

The service provider has left a message stating that the action was taken for violation of programme policies. Following this, however, Maoist sympathisers set up The new site carried a warning to the police to release Kutty or he would go on a hunger strike. A senior police official said, “Maoists are using the internet to propagate their ideology. The network is big.” The Maoists are under pressure in the AP with the police evicting them from most of their bases. The internet offers a safe way to get the Maoist message across.

“Several Maoist sympathisers from AP are writing columns using pennames,” the official said. State police suspects that Maoist leaders who are in hiding in Andhra Pradesh are frequently visiting Kerala, where most of the pro-Maoist bloggers are based. Sources pointed out that Maoist leader Raji Reddy was picked up in Kerala earlier this month. Following this, the Revolutionary People’s Front complained to the Kerala government which resulted in the police announcing Raji Reddy’s arrest.

Pointing out to the close links, police noted that the AP Revolutionary Writers Association had condemned the arrest of Kutty of Peoples March. Sources in the police said that the bloggers have close links with Maoist sympathisers and this has been detected by sniffer software. Resistance, a Mao-ist blog, was hacked in August, and the role of the law enforcing agencies is suspected. Following this, the Maoist sympathisers created Police has also blocked Naxal revolution.blogspot but expect another blog to replace it. From the police side,, an anti-Maoist website supported by AP-based police, is a popular anti-Naxal blogspot

Two cops found dead in forest

Manish Sahu
Posted online: Sunday , December 30, 2007 at 12:00:00

Lucknow, December 29 Two police constables were found dead in a forest in Mirzapur district on Saturday. The body of both the constables, Pankaj Singh, 50 and Mahaveer Yadav, 35, were found in the Panchsheel Ki Dari forest on Saturday morning. The area falls under the Madioan police circle.

The faces of both the cops had been smashed with a blunt object.

Sources said, on Friday night, the constables had gone to Janki village, which falls under Ahrora Police Station, on a motorcycle and had taken a resident, Birju, with them.

Birju, meanwhile, told police that the cops took him near the forest and told him to wait outside.

Birju said the duo went inside the forest but did not return for hours together. Birju said he returned to his village and related the incident to a few people. On Saturday morning, the constables were found dead in the forest by some villagers.

Police suspect it could be the handiwork of poachers, who are active in these forests. Additional Superintendent of Police, Mirzapur, Ram Swaroop ruled out the involvement of Naxalites.

Additional Director General (Law and Order) Brij Lal said they are yet to establish the identity of the killers.

Circle Officer, Mirzapur, Om Prakash Rai, said, “The constables were deployed at the Ahrora Police Station. Thye had gone missing on Friday night.”