Saturday, February 24, 2007

30,852 ex-rebels held in Kathmandu camps

Web posted at: 2/25/2007 2:14:8
Source ::: AP

kathmandu • Some 30,852 former communist rebel combatants have been registered in camps where they are confined as part of a peace process to end conflict in Nepal, a senior UN official said on Friday.

Ian Martin, UN's chief official in Nepal, also said 3,428 weapons held by the Maoist rebels have also been locked up as part of the peace deal between the guerrillas and the government. The arms included automatic weapons, mortars, rifles and machine guns.

The rebels agreed to a peace process last year and joined a temporary parliament in January. They are set to join an interim government that is to conduct this year's elections.

Martin said the first phase of the registration of these combatants have been completed and the second phase is expected to begin soon.

"The weapons and ammunition stored at the seven Maoist army main cantonments are locked in storage containers furnished with shelves for safe weapons storage and easy control with a complete inventory," Martin told reporters in Katmandu. However, he said there were concerns some facilities might not have adequate security.

Earlier this week, hundreds of these former combatants stormed out of one of the main camps in south Nepal, protesting lack of shelter, food and supplies. Most returned back to the camp on Friday.

Abhiral, a local rebel commander who goes by one name, said all those who had left the camp in the southern town of Chitwan on Wednesday had returned after receiving instructions from their leaders.

Abhiral said the living conditions were miserable, and it had become impossible to remain at the camp. Many former guerrillas have been living in shelters made of straw and leaves, he said. Heavy winter rains last week worsened conditions.

But Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat said the government has already $5m for food, clothing and other essentials, and another $4.2m for infrastructure such as roads, electricity and drinking water.

"The money is enough to feed and maintain the Maoist combatants for months," Mahat said. "We have provided the basic facilities in the seven main camps, but work is progressing in the satellite camps."

Security stepped up in Naxal-hit areas

HT Correspondent
Varanasi, February 23

SECURITY FORCES have intensified combing operation in the Naxal-affected areas of Chandauli.

According to reports, on receiving a tip-off that the naxalites have stepped up their activities in Naughar area, the district police swung into action.

The security forces led by SP (Chandauli) Pravin Kumar launched a massive operation in the dense forest on the Chandauli-Sonebhadra border on Friday.

The reports said following the pressure from security forces, naxals have moved to some other places in the dense forest of Chandauli.

Besides, security forces were deployed at sensitive police stations to meet any eventuality, the reports said.

Earlier, the Naxals had killed 14 jawans of PAC by blowing up a landmine at Hinaut village under the Naughar police station in Chandauli three years back.

Three killed: Three persons, including a textile trader, were killed in separate road accidents during the past 24 hours in Chandauli.

According to repots, a truck ran over a 40-year-old old man identified as Ramkesh Patel.

The accident took place on the highway in Katesar village under the Mughalsarai Kotwali police station.

The man was coming to Varanasi on his bike. The truck fled from the scene.

Another person was crushed to death by a truck in Dheena area.

In another accident, a textile trader Girdhari Lal was killed after his scooter collided against a stationary tractor in Hathiyani village under Chandauli police station on Thursday night.

Gelatin sticks seized near Berhampur

KalingaTimes Correspondent

Berhampur: As many as 400 gelatin sticks were seized on the outskirts of this south Orissa town on Friday afternoon creating suspicion that the area was being used as a transit point for transporting explosive materials to the neighbouring naxalite-hit districts.

The sticks, weighing about 50 kg, were seized by the city police from near Pokudibandh while they were being illegally transported in a hired auto-rickshaw.

Driver of the hired auto-rickshaw that was used for transportation of the explosive and a worker of the godown to which
the explosives were being transported have been arrested. The owner of the godown was absconding, police said.

The gelatin sticks were being transported hidden under bags of Urea. Urea bags were also seized from the godown. Gelatin and urea form an explosive combination that was integral part of landmines used by naxals.

According to Berhampur Superintendent of Police Dayal Gangwar, the seized gelatin sticks were manufactured by a firm in Nagpur. Investigations are on to find the network behind its transportation from Nagpur to Orissa and the ultimate users in the State.

Berhampur is a suspected key point for Left wing extremism due to its direct road transportation links with naxal infested districts of Gajapati, Malkangiri and Rayagada. Several suspected Maoists arrested from different areas of south Orissa are also lodged in the Berhampur circle jail.

The gelatin sticks are also used in stone quarries in parts of Ganjam district. But illegal transportation of the material and its storage on the
outskirts of the city was surely a cause of worry.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Indian Army claim on Maoist-Lashkar nexus fictitious: Indian media

By Special Correspondent

KATHMANDU, Feb 23 - The Indian media quoting investigators on Friday ruled out the Indian Army's claim that a Nepali national, Pasang Lama, who was arrested in Kashmir 10 days ago, was a Maoist and that he had a nexus with the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba.
The Indian police had detained Lama on Feb 13 from Baramulla, Kashmir and had claimed that Lama was a member of the CPN-M and that he was trading weapons with the terrorist group Lashkar.

The Indian media today stated that Lama was neither a Maoist nor was he in Kashmir for the alleged arms deal.

"The claim (by the Indian Army) is not true. There was no deal at all. We have asked local police to reassess the case filed against him (Lama)," reported Hindustan Times, one of the top English dailies in India, in its Friday's edition quoting a security personnel involved in the investigation.

The Maoists have already dismissed the Indian Army claim.

Spokesperson of the Indian Army, Lt Col VK Mathur had said on Feb 13 that Lama was arrested by the Indian police along with Md Yunus, a member of the banned terrorist group Lashkar. Mathur had also mentioned that Lama, when nabbed, was making an arms deal equivalent of IRs five hundred thousand.

Lama was immediately sent to judicial detention.

In the investigation report, Lama has been described as a businessman dealing in Pashmina raw materials. The report also added that Lama exports the raw material to businessmen in Kashmir.

Lama was reported to have told the investigators that he was asked to accept an AK-47 rifle instead of his outstanding cash, which Lama rejected.

When he was arrested, the Indian Army however was not in a position to verify his involvement with the Nepali Maoists and the Maoists in Nepal had ruled out the claim laid by the Indian Army. Nonetheless, the Indian Army is still maintaining its claim that Lama is a Maoist and has links with Lashkar.

Mathur said, "Criminals never admit their crimes. We did not find any weapon on him but he has confessed that he came to make an arms deal."

Posted on: 2007-02-23 07:06:37 (Server Time)

'Naxals no longer AP's headache'

[ 22 Feb, 2007 0354hrs IST TIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

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HYDERABAD: The Maoists no longer seem to be Andhra Pradesh Police's headache anymore.

The state police is chuckling over the fact that Maoists chose to hold their Ninth Congress in January-February 2007 after a gap of 37 years not in AP but deep in the forests elsewhere in the country.

"We suspected that they would hold the meeting. It definitely was not held in the state. Our guess is it was held either in Jharkhand or Chhattisgarh,"K Aravinda Rao, additional DG, intelligence, told TOI.

The underlying message being that the Maoists have now become the problem of these new states where their base has been steadily growing, thanks to the "police raj"in AP.

The meeting elected a new Central Committee which in turn re-elected Ganapathi as the general secretary of the CPI (Maoist).

The meeting passed a number of political resolutions on numerous current events, said the release signed by Ganapathi.

Resolutions were passed on world people's struggles, support to nationality struggles, against Indian expansionism, on post-Khairlanji Dalit upsurge and caste oppression, against Hindu fascism, Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and displacement.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Maoists vow to intensify movement

From correspondents in Bihar, India, 06:05 PM IST

Maoist guerrillas will intensify their militant movement by increasing their mass base across the country and strengthening their army, the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) declared at a leadership conclave held after 36 years.

The '9th Unity Congress', attended by over 100 Maoist leaders from 16 states, was held deep inside a forest in January-February, said a statement from the outlawed organisation.

According to the release, signed by the party's general secretary Ganapathi, the last such meet was held in 1970.

'The main focus of the CPI-Maoist would be on setting up base areas,' the statement said.

It said the congress had resolved to advance the people's war throughout India by strengthening the army and mobilising more cadres through militant mass movements against the neo-liberal policies of globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation.

The congress also adopted resolutions against special economic zones, caste oppression and Hindu fascism.

According to the central government's latest report, Maoists are active in 15 states and control nearly 165 of India's 602 districts. The worst hit states are Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa

Terrorism:The Angry Men of Mao

India’s internal security crises are crises of neglect. Despite decades of dealing with insurgency and terrorism, the state still lacks a coherent doctrine, perspective and strategy to counter extremist violence. The permanent internal security apparatus — the Police — is in a state of disrepair, and ‘emergency’ mechanisms — the deployment of paramilitary forces and the Army — have become the staple of internal security management. Official attention fixes essentially and fitfully on the most recent acts of terrorism, but is ever surprised by each new manifestation.

In the late 1990s, when a fractious and often fratricidal Maoist (Naxalite) movement first began to articulate the idea of a ‘Red Corridor’ along India’s eastern board, from Andhra Pradesh to the border with Nepal, the intelligence and security establishment scoffed and dismissed this as a pipe dream. At that time, the Maoist influence was restricted to two principal and mutually antagonistic pockets in Andhra Pradesh and Bihar, with a peripheral ‘overflow’ into neighbouring States. Today, a substantially united Communist Party of India (Maoist) has consolidated its influence across and beyond precisely the swathe of territory that had been marked out as the prospective ‘Red Corridor’.

The state’s peculiar and selective blindness persists today. The ‘Red Corridor’ is now thought by many to mark the limits of the Maoist ambition, and it is principally in the ‘affected States’ that an incipient strategic discourse is being articulated. While elements in the establishment, led by the Prime Minister, now acknowledge that the Naxalite movement constitutes India’s greatest internal security challenge, there is little evidence of a detailed recognition of the dimensions of this challenge. Crucially, the Maoist threat is still being assessed in terms of visible violence and subversion.

The Maoists have on their part have made no secret, in their internal documents, that they intend to fish in all available troubled waters in their bid to ‘intensify the peoples’ war throughout the country." The objective of this war is unambiguous: "the seizure of state power should be the goal of all our activity." To this end, they propose to "build open and secret mass organizations amongst the workers, peasants, youth, students, women and other sections of the people and establish a strong mass base."

It is useful to note that the phase of violence, which is ordinarily the point at which the state takes cognizance of the problem, comes at the tail end of the process of mass mobilisation, and at a stage where neutralizing the threat requires considerable, if not massive, use of force, and significant collateral risks. It is useful, consequently, to take cognizance not merely of the current expanse of visible Maoist mobilisation, but the extent of their current plans and projections.

Significantly, the CPI-Maoist has established Regional Bureaus across at least 15 States, and these regions are further sub-divided into state, special zonal and special area committee jurisdictions, where the processes of mobilisation have been defined and allocated to local leaders.

This structure substantially reflects current Maoist plans, but does not exhaust their perspectives or ambitions. There is evidence of preliminary activity for the extension of operations to new areas including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Jammu & Kashmir and Meghalaya, beyond what is reflected in the scope of the various Maoist ‘committees'. In 2004, moreover, the Maoists articulated a new strategy to target urban centres in their ‘Urban Perspective Document’. Two principal ‘industrial belts’ were identified as targets for urban mobilisation: Bhilai-Ranchi-Dhanbad-Calcutta; and Mumbai-Pune-Surat-Ahmedabad.

As the country experiences the most fundamental transformations across a wide range of parameters, a churning process is exacerbating tensions between classes, castes

and communities, creating what Maoists describe as an "excellent revolutionary situation" in the country.

The inability to comprehend the logic of the Maoist ‘protracted war’ underlies the pervasive incoherence of policy and the constant vacillation between ‘negotiated', ‘political', ‘developmental’ and ‘law and order’ solutions. If such an orientation persists, there is a danger that the quiet Maoist consolidation will continue to the point where the entire country is pushed into a crisis beyond its capacities of emergency management.

(Published in Daily News & Analysis, Mumbai, February 4, 2006)

Voters brave Naxal threats

Thursday February 22 2007 11:06 IST
JAJPUR: Braving Maoists threats and poll boycott call by them, about 63 percent voters exercised their franchise in Kalinga Nagar in the fifth and final leg of the three-tier panchayat polls on Wednesday.

Polling which was held in two blocks, Sukinda and Danagadi, was peaceful barring some stray incidents. Jajpur district administration had stepped up security and declared Chingudipal, Kanas, Lembu, Kuhika, Pimpudia, Kaliapani and Ranhansola panchayats under Sukinda block as Naxal-infested following threats by the Maoists to disrupt elections. They had also hung posters at public places asking people not to participate in the election.

At booth 9 under Gobardhanpur GP of Sukinda block, Congress supporters were attacked by BJD activists when they protested rigging by some BJD activists. Four Congress supporters sustained injuries.

Jajpur District Congress Committee president Srinath Mishra alleged that BJD supporters were involved in rigging at many booths of Gobardhanpur GP.

As many as 400 voters of the displaced families, who were rehabilitated in the Sansailo rehabilitation colony under Tata Parivar Scheme, could not exercise their franchise due to non-availability of an auxiliary booth.

Earlier, the displaced persons met the State Election Officer at Bhubaneswar and demanded an auxiliary booth suspecting violence by the activists of Visthapan Virodhi Jana Manch, which is leading the anti-industrialisation movement in Kalinga Nagar.

The SEO had directed the district administration to provide adequate security to the displaced persons during vote. Despite security arrangements the voters of Tata Parivar could not venture out of the rehabilitation colony fearing attack by the activists.

On the other hand, about 300 voters of Jakhapura village on the outskirts of Kalinga Nagar industrial estate boycotted polls protesting non-implementation of development schemes in the village

Rebels hunt for ‘traitor’ after leader arrest

Hazaribagh, Feb. 21: Naxalites have started a hunt for insiders, who allegedly played a role in the arrest of zonal commander Bhagirath from Bundu of Keredari yesterday.

Bhagirath’s arrest came as a big blow to the outfit as he was a “pillar” of the organisation.

After the arrest of Sunil Ganjhu, Bhagirath had re-organised and strengthened the outfit in Hazaribagh, Giridih, Chatra and Latehar districts.

Police officers said Bhagirath was not only known for his toughness but also for his social activities in areas under his jurisdiction. He never hesitated to help villagers when needed. Bhagirath was also credited for the construction of an 11-km road between Hingwahi and Mandu.

According to the police records, Bhagirath was first arrested in a bus robbery case. Within few months, he came out of jail but was again accused in a number of cases. In 1996, he joined the outfit under the leadership of Ganjhu. But after the arrest of Ganjhu, he was made the area commander.

Sources said Bhagirath had taken several harsh decisions to strengthen the organisation during his 12 years’ stint in the outfit. He had passed order to kill three popular area commanders — Rahul, Bhim and Basarat — for misusing funds collected from levy.

Superintendent of police Praveen Kumar Singh today admitted that 10 rifles were recovered by the police following a tip-off by Bhagirath.

Singh said Maoists had looted a trunk from armoury, which had rifles in it and was recovered now by police from Hafua village of Keredari.

Singh said the information about presence of Bhagirath was result of timely information, which resulted in arrest of this dreaded Maoist.

According to the police, Bhagirath was sleeping in a house at Bundu, when the police team reached there. One of his associates, Shyam Thakur successfully escaped.

The police also recovered Rs 3.90 lakh, gold ornaments worth Rs 2 lakh, one pistol, a revolver and three mobile sets from Bhagirath, Singh added.

Deputy superintendent of police Mani Lal Mandal said: “We moved towards Bundu village to avoid any loopholes. Prize of Rs 1 lakh was announced on him. He was accused in more than 100 cases around Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Chatra, Bokaro and Giridih.”

Naxalite top gun, booty in police net

Hazaribagh, Feb. 20: In a surprise raid in small hours today, police arrested a zonal commander of Maoists with six of his associates at Bundu village, about 70 km off the district headquarters.

A huge cache of arms and ammunition as well Rs 10 lakh were recovered from their possession. The arrested persons include a schoolteacher, who allegedly possessed the cash collected by Maoists as levy.

Even as police officials declined to speak in details on the arrests, Hazaribagh superintendent of police Praveen Kumar Singh confirmed the arrest of Maoist zonal commander, Bhagirath, and his associates.

Sources said Bhagirath was being interrogated at Barkagaon police station.

Bhagirath, said sources, used to take the final decision on all issues in Giridih zone, which includes Hazaribagh and Chatra districts.

Acting on a tip-off last night, a team was constituted under Keredari police station officer-in-charge Amarnath Thakur.

The team, including assistant sub-inspector R.B. Ram, set off for Bundu village around midnight. According to sources, Bhagirath alias Raghunathji was sleeping, when the police team swooped down on the house where the Naxalite zonal commander had taken shelter around 4 am.

On the basis of the statement of Bhagirath, six others, including two women, were arrested.

The persons nabbed have been identified as Jagdish Mahto, Rajkumar Mahto, Kailash Mahto, Meena Devi and her daughter and Paulus Oraon, a government schoolteacher.

The sources said Rs 4 lakh was recovered from their possession, besides self-loading rifles and carbines.

The schoolteacher was arrested after Bhagirath told the police that Paulus was given Rs.5.67 lakh to keep at a safe place.

The police immediately nabbed Oraon, who told them that Vipin Singh, another teacher, had kept the amount at his house in Huntergunj of Chatra.

Immediately, Chatra police was contacted and the amount was recovered from Vipin’s house.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Maoists snatch ballot papers

Monday February 19 2007 00:00 IST

SAMBALPUR: Armed Maoists snatched ballot papers for panchayat elections from a polling booth at Panduakhol village in Sambalpur district early on Sunday, police said.

The rebels numbering 14, including two women, woke up poll personnel at the booth, located about 90 km from here, at around 2 am and directed them to hand over ballot papers to them, superintendent of police s Debdutt Singh said.

They disappeared with the ballot papers into dense forests. Phase four of the five-phase panchayat polls, now underway in Orissa, is scheduled to be held in the area on Monday.

Maoists had hung banners in the industrial estate of Sambalpur city and at Sambalpur road railway station recently, asking people not to participate in the polls. Leaflets with the same plea were distributed at several places.

Posters also appeared at Tampersingha village of the district urging the electorate not to exercise their franchise.

First E-GoM on Naxalism focuses on intelligence gathering

New Delhi, Feb 19: Against the backdrop of Left-wing extremism in some parts of the country, the Empowered Group of Ministers (E-GoM) on Naxalism at its first meeting on Monday focused on strengthening intelligence gathering and better coordination among affected states.

At a two-hour meeting, chaired by Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, it was also decided to provide better training to police personnel and furnish the states with latest equipment to deal with the menace, sources said.

Devoting most of the time on the need for better intelligence gathering, the meeting felt that since the ultras escape to neighbouring states after unleashing violence, there should be close coordination between the affected states.

The Centre was prepared to provide helicopters to them as and when the need arose, they said and added that armoured and anti-mine vehicles would also be provided to them.

The meeting was attended by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Law Minister H R Bhardwaj, Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal, Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and home ministers and representative from half a dozen Naxal-hit states, including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Chhattisgarh.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Maoists take away ballots

SAMBALPUR, Feb. 18: Maoists took away ballot papers from a polling booth at Panduapali under Sadapali grama panchayat under Naktideul police station jurisdiction, nearly 90 km from here, yesterday. They also asked the polling staff present at the booth to leave the place and said that they would not allow the fourth phase of polling to take place tomorrow. Maoists, numbering 15, overpowered the polling officials and took away the ballot papers in spite of massive police patrolling in the nearby areas, sources said.
After getting the news, senior police officers and collector of Sambalpur rushed to the spot to make polling arrangement in Panduapali and other booths of Naktideul block. “There is no reason to bow down before the Maoists. Further, police and the CRPF are ready to face any eventuality and tackle any situation during the fourth and fifth phases of polling,” Sambalpur collector Mr LN Nayak said. “Moreover, there is no reason for the polling staff to get panicked as they would be provided with adequate security,” Mr Nayak added.
After the incident, all the senior police officers of Sambalpur and Rairakhol, collector of Sambalpur, sub collector of Rairakhol, Rairakhol SDPO, tehsildar and BDO of Naktideul rushed to the spot to chalk out the action plan for the smooth conduct of polls in Panduapali and other places of the Maoists-infested areas, Sambalpur SP Mr S Devdatt Singh said. “Patrolling will be intensified from Sunday afternoon till the completion of the poll on Monday. Polling process will never get disrupted and Maoists would not be successful in their mission to stop the poll process and prevent the citizens from exercising their franchise,” the SP said.
New ballot papers were delivered to the affected booth for tomorrow’s poll. Police will keep a watch on the sensitive booths and places. A total of 58 booths were treated as highly sensitive in the Maoists-infested areas and the polling has already been completed smoothly in more than 60 per cent of such booths in the last three phases, Mr Singh said. n SNS

Bihar Maoists threaten jailbreak to free rebel leader

Indo Asian News Service

Patna, Feb 17 Maoist guerrillas have threatened yet another jailbreak to free Ajay Kanu, the suspected mastermind of the sensational Jehanabad jailbreak in 2005, according to intelligence reports.

Kanu, who was arrested Feb 2, is currently lodged at the Beur jail here in tight security.

Intelligence reports have warned the government about a possible Jehanabad-like attack by Maoists to free Kanu, official sources in the state home department said.

'The top officials had a marathon discussion in the last two-three days over the Maoist threat and ways of countering it,' an official source said.

Kanu, who is in his late 30s, hit the headlines after the jailbreak in November 2005 when about 1,000 Maoist guerrillas freed him and other prisoners and dragged away a few inmates belonging to the Ranvir Sena, a private militia of the landlords.

The rebel leader was arrested from a village in Gaya district, about 100 km from here, by a joint team of the Special Task Force and the district police.

Kanu was shifted from Gaya to Beur Jail after Gaya jail officials requested the police headquarters to shift the Maoist leader to a high security prison to pre-empt a possible second jailbreak attempt by the rebels.

The government was also mulling shifting him to the Bhagalpur jail in view of the Maoist threat, the source added.

However, security has been tightened in Beur Jail after Kanu was brought here with the deployment of additional security personnel.

'The security forces have been deployed inside and outside the jail to foil any attempt to free him,' a senior official said.

Like most of the 54 jails in Bihar, Beur jail is also overcrowded and lodges hundreds of Maoist guerrillas.

Kanu hails from Chauhar village in Arwal district, a Maoist stronghold. He is considered second in command in the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist in Bihar after its top leader Arvind.

(c) Indo-Asian News Service

Security tightened in Naxalite affected areas for fourth and final phase

Monday February 19 2007 00:00 IST

BHUBANESWAR: Security has been tightened in the Naxalite affected areas of the State for the fourth and final phase panchayat polls on February 19 and 21 respectively even as Maoists snatched away ballot papers from a booth in Naktideul block of Sambalpur district late on Saturday night.

About 15-armed ultras escaped with ballot papers from the booth in Panduakhol village under Sarapali gram panchayat of Naktideul block. Likewise, left ultras distributed leaflets and handbill in Sankhabhanguni village under the jurisdiction of Kisinda police station in the district.

Polls will be held in the fourth phase to elect 153 Zilla Parishad members, 1098 panchayat samiti members, 1104 sarpanches and 15643 ward members.

Over 41.78 lakh voters would exercise their franchise in 15643 polling centres. As many as 662 candidates including 231 women are in the fray for the Zilla Parishad polls.

The State Election Commission (SEC) has ordered repolling in 39 booths for violence and other disturbances in the last phase poll held on Saturday. Of these, repolling would be held in 38 booths on February 20 and the rest on February 21.

Repolling would be held on February 20 in booth number six and seven in Karada panchayat of Dhamnagar block and 17 in Tesinga panchayat of Bhandaripokhari block of Bhadrak district, 8,9,13 and 14 of Galapada panchayat of Hindol block in Dhenkanal district.

Nine in Burujhari panchayat of Beguniapada block in Ganjam district, two in Jajpur panchayat, six and eight in Bari panchayat, six and seven in Saikhand panchayat, one and two in Bhanra panchayat, 12 in Amathpur panchayat and 10 Bainsiria panchayat in Jajpur district.

Ten in Basupur panchayat, 17 in Janrabarimul panchayat and 14 Talchua panchayat of Kendrapara district, five in SS Nahandasel panchayat in Mayurbhanj district, one in Dharanikud panchayat, one, two and three in Kahalapada panchayat, four and five in Badabenakudi panchayat.

Nine in Bramhania panchayat, 3, 14, 15, 16 and 17 in Gadardang panchayat and one in Bramhagiri panchayat of Puri district.

Repolling in booth number six in Peteru panchayat of Patangi block in Koraput district would be held on February 21.

According to reports reaching here, the third phase polls recorded 74.11 percent polling. The highest 82 percent polling was recorded in Boudh and Gajapati districts while the lowest 65 percent was recorded in Ganjam district.

Polling recorded in other districts are: Angul (77%), Balasore (76%), Bargarh (74%), Bhadrak (70%), Balangir (75%), Cuttack (73%), Deogarh (74%), Dhenkanal (79%), Jagatsinghpur (70%), Jajpur (69%), Jharsuguda (78%), Kalahandi (79%), Kondhmal (76%), Kendrapara (70%), Keonjhar (78%), Khurda (74%), Koraput (74%), Malkangiri (71.5%), Mayurbhanj (76%), Nabarangpur (70%), Nayagarh (74%), Nuapada (77%), Puri (72%), Rayagada (72%), Sambalpur (74%), Subarnapur (73%) and Sundargarh (70.5%).

Naxal-hit states may get more funds

Vishwa Mohan
[ 19 Feb, 2007 0252hrs IST TIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

NEW DELHI: In order to complement tough police action against naxals with a political outreach in areas affected by Red violence, backward districts in naxal-affected states are likely to get enhanced central assistance in the forthcoming Union budget.

The government is expected to increase the budgetary allocation for the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) scheme in the next financial year.

The matter, aimed at fighting the naxal problem through greater development, will be finalised after the first meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), which includes finance minister P Chidambaram. The EGoM is to meet on Monday.

The idea was to raise this allocation from the existing nearly Rs 4,000 crore to Rs 5,000 crore in the next fiscal (2007-08), thereby giving an additional Rs 4 crore each district to fill in critical gaps in physical and social development in the naxal-affected areas.

After the EGoM, it will, however, be the finance ministry which will take a final call on the matte

Ten Naxals surrender in Andhra Pradesh

Warangal, Feb. 18 (PTI): Ten Naxalites, including two senior functionaries, today surrendered to the police in this district of Andhra Pradesh, and the government has assured to provide appropriate rehabilitation package to them. The Naxals, who surrendered before District Superintendent of Police Soumya Mishra, cited various reasons for their decision.

Assuring a rehabilitation package and necessary help from the state government, Mishra asked the underground cadre to come out and join the national mainstream. A Srinivas alias Babanna, who was a member of Warangal and Khammam districts area committee of the Janasakhti group, said he decided to surrender due to crisis in the leadership of his outfit and misuse of funds by the leaders.

P Ravinder alias Sampath, a self-styled deputy commander of Praja Prathighatna, said he had joined the outfit along with his wife in 2005 after a family dispute. But he now wanted to lead a normal life due to the leadership crisis in the Naxal group.

The SP added that the leaders of the Naxal groups were engaged only in fund collections for their selfish interests and killing innocent people in the name of revolution.

Terrorists in Kashmir using mobiles to trigger blasts: Army

Srinagar, Feb 18: Army deployed in Jammu and Kashmir have found that the terrorists operating in the State are now using mobile phones to trigger bomb blasts.

During investigations into a roadside explosion in the valley in December last year, security forces chanced upon the use of mobile phones by the terrorists to trigger blasts from far off places.

"On 27th December a explosion was done using a mobile phone. It was a mobile phone blast. When further investigation was done, it came to light that the SIM used in the mobile phone was issued on a fraud name of an army man," said, Lieutenant Colonel A. K. Mathur, spokesperson of the Indian army.

The improvised explosive device (IED) blast aimed at an army convoy passing through Baramulla on 27 December 2006 had left three civilians injured.

The modus operandi of the rebels is to plant explosive-laden mobile phones at strategic places and call on the number from a remote phone to trigger it.

Last year police in Srinagar, the summer of Indian Kashmir, had unearthed two IED using mobile phone as triggers, which lead to a blanket freezing of signals on 15 th August.

Mobile telephony was not permitted in Kashmir valley, until 2003, as security agencies feared that militants would misuse it.

Bureau Report

Four Andhra Pradesh police injured in Orissa blast

Sunday February 18 2007 00:00 IST


BHUBANESWAR: Four security personnel were injured in a landmine blast triggered by Maoists in Orissa's Malkangiri district on Saturday evening.

The Orissa police and Andhra Pradesh police, involved in anti-Maoist operations, were combing the jungles near Poplur village in the district, some 400 km from here, when the mine went off, a police official said.

The injured have been moved to the nearest government hospital at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh for treatment.

The condition of the injured men is stated to be critica