Saturday, March 10, 2007

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Sunil Mahto killing: Villagers questioned

[ 10 Mar, 2007 1334hrs IST PTI ]

JAMSHEDPUR (JHARKHAND): Jharkhand Police have questioned over two dozen residents of a village here in connection with the killing of JMM MP Sunil Mahto.

"We have been interrogating the villagers of Baguria regarding Mahto's killing but did not detain anyone," Deputy Inspector General of Police (Kolhan) Ramlaksham Prasad said.

Detention would be made if any concrete evidence was found against someone, he said. The investigation was moving in the right direction and a breakthrough is likely to be achieved soon, Prasad said.

He said no restriction was imposed on the movement of the villagers of Baguria, about 40 kilometres from here.

Maoists shot dead the MP, his bodyguards and a party colleague during a football match at Baguria on the occasion of Holi.

Meanwhile, a combing operation was launched jointly by the East Singhbhum district police and their West Bengal counterparts in the bordering areas of Ghorabandha and Dumria in the Naxal-infested Ghatshila sub-division to flush out the ultras.

The operation was being led by Superintendent of Police, East Singhbhum district, Pankaj Darad. Senior police officials were currently camping in Ghatshila.

Road work in Naxal zone is not encouraging: Minister

BHUBANESWAR: The State Governm
Saturday March 10 2007 10:06 IST

BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has admitted that the progress of rural connectivity under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) in the Naxal-infested areas is not very encouraging.

Rural Development Minister B B Harichandan said road and bridge construction works in the Naxal-affected areas are not progressing as per the schedule.

He reviewed the progress of the rural infrastructure projects taken up under PMGSY, Bharat Nirman Yojana and with financial assistance from Asian Development Bank and Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) of the NABARD.

While contractors are not willing to take up work in the Naxal-infested areas, engineers are also reluctant to be posted to those areas. Security provided to them is inadequate, official sources admitted.

Assuring adequate security to the engineers and contractors, the Minister said the progress of the rural infrastructure projects in the Naxal-infested areas largely depends on the cooperation of the local people.

Executive engineers have been instructed to hold regular meeting with contractors to sort out their problems.

Since huge funds are flowing under different schemes for construction of rural roads, the Government is planning to utilise the RIDF loan for construction of bridges. Twelve new divisional offices will be opened under the Rural Development Department for completion of rural infrastructure projects expeditiously, the Minister said.

The State has utilised Rs 1,546 crore out of Rs 1,804 crore released under PMGSY, Rs 70 crore out of Rs 95 crore RIDF fund and Rs 90 crore of Rs 135 crore awarded by the Twelfth Finance Commission.

Under PMGSY, 6,182 km of roads out of the 9,520 km have been completed so far, the Minister said and asserted that roads taken up in the third and fourth phases will be completed by March-end.

Red Card Offence

Who killed Mahto? Enraged Naxalites or envious men within his party?

Indrajit Singh

'Mess with us and you perish'. That seems to be the message from the Maoists who gunned down Sunil Mahto, the JMM MP from Jamshedpur. With the ultras claiming responsibility for killing the 41-year-old leader, the lid has blown off the Jharkhand government's tall claims of having reined in the Naxals with "effective" policing. Through Mahto's killing, the Naxals have once again tried to state that they are a force in the West Bengal-Jharkhand-Chhattisgarh corridor. Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda has recommended a CBI probe into the killing and sought the army's assistance to fight extremism in the state.

It wasn't that the police was unaware that Mahto was on the Naxal hit list. Yet security provided for the JMM MP was rather thin when he attended a football match at Bakuria in Ghatshila subdivision of East Singhbhum district on the day of Holi. Mahto, who was the chief guest, was personally not too keen for extra security since he saw no threat to himself, though Ghatshila is traditionally an area where Maoists are active.

The shocking killing, ostensibly masterminded by activists of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), took place as the MP was about to give away prizes to the winners of the football match. Eyewitnesses and police sources say a group of 15 Naxalites, disguised as participants at the function, went up to Mahto with garlands and opened fire—first they gunned down the bodyguards and then pumped seven bullets into the MP from close range. A party functionary, Prabhakar Mahto, also died in the shooting. The shooting killed five persons, including the JMM MP.

The Maoists had, at their 10th congress held recently in the forests along the Jharkhand-West Bengal border, resolved to vigorously pursue their "armed struggle". Reports had it that Mahto had been identified as one of the main targets. The JMM MP was put on the hit list for his campaign against the Naxals through his Nagrik Suraksha Sangharsh Samiti. Contractors, backed by Mahto, were refusing to give in to Naxalite demands for money. This apparently was seen as reason enough for the JMM leader to be taught a lesson. Mahto is the second high-profile politician to be killed by the extremists in Jharkhand. In 2005, CPI(ML) MLA from Bagodar Mahendra Singh too was shot dead by suspected ultras.

Though the Naxals have owned responsibility, a "political conspiracy" behind the murder cannot be ruled out, say police officials. Union minister of state for home Sriprakash Jaiswal also pointed to the possibility of Mahto being a victim of intra-JMM rivalry. With JMM's Shibu Soren in jail, convicted in the Shashinath Jha murder, it was widely recognised that Mahto would find a berth in the Union cabinet. An anti-Mahto lobby, unhappy with the MP's sudden rise, may have masterminded the killing, according to one theory.

Mahto was very much part of the agitation that eventually led to the creation of Jharkhand. As a student leader, he remained in the forefront of the All Jharkhand Students Union politics. A potential leader of the JMM, Mahto was known for his oratory and ability to connect with people. Being a man of the masses, his instruction to his guards was simple on March 4: let the people come in freely and have his darshan. It's now evident that this openness proved too costly for him.

Naxals? What Naxals?

Author: P R Ramesh

Publication: The Economic Times

Date: March 7, 2007

URL: http://economictime s.indiatimes. com/articleshow/ 1729297.cms

Introduction: * Mahato's killing has brought into sharp focus the folly
of trying to reform Naxals through dialogue and understanding

* But the hysteric liberals have chosen to reman silent over the murder
of Mahato

* A government that identifies emotionally with the liberals' fears and
prejudices is putting at risk the security of the citizens

By no stretch of imagination does Sunil Mahato fall into the category of
an exploiter or a class enemy. He did not belong to the landed or the
upper caste sections of Jharkhand who are blamed for the deprivation of
the local tribals.

If anything, Sunil Mahato was a success story of subaltern empowerment.
Naxalites targeted Mahato on the day of Holi. He was shot at point
blank. His fault: backing a project that drew tribals into a partnership with the government to fight Red terror. He was successful in mobilising people against the high-handedness of the murderous Naxals.

The killing of Mahato has once again brought into sharp focus the folly
of those who believe that these thugs can be reformed through "dialogue
and understanding" . The statistics tell the real story. In 2006, Naxalites slaughtered 678 civilians and police personnel. During the
same period, in one of the bloodiest theatres experiencing insurgency,
Jammu & Kashmir, the death toll was 20% less - 540. By the Manmohan
Singh government's own admission, 165 districts in 14 states of the
country are affected by Naxalite activities.
Security experts say that
what used to be guerrilla pockets have now been transformed into
full-scale guerrilla zones. It explains the rising tide of violence
waged by Naxalites across the country.

The traumatised masses have given up hopes about the government coming
up with any concrete action plan. Barring states like Andhra Pradesh,
whose 'grey hounds' are engaged in liquidating the terror merchants, and
Chhattisgarh, large parts of India are in a state of denial. And
competent life-savers in the forces often bear the brunt of our greatest
vulnerabilities - a disgraceful lack of clear and consistent policy.

In the current scheme of things of the Centre, loyalty to a family is
the chief consideration for selecting the person who occupies the
sensitive and crucial post of the home minister. Past experiences have
shown that cronyism and national security are a deadly mix. The country
rarely hears from the home minister when it faces war from Islamic
fundamentalists and Red goons. But he becomes quite articulate and
supports the fifth column when it promotes fear mongering and
misinformation about tough anti-terror laws. The result is profound bad

If you thought that the murder of a political peer would make a
difference, you are mistaken. On Tuesday Shivraj Patil read out a
recycled statement in the Rajya Sabha that was full of platitudes and
meaningless assurances: that a standing committee of chief ministers of
Naxal-affected states is constantly monitoring the situation; that an
empowered GoM is overseeing the action on the ground; and that the
government has a separate wing in the home ministry to plan offensive
against various groups. According to him, everything is in place. If the
matter were not so serious, Mr Patil would have made us all laugh.

What is equally nauseating is the stone-cold silence of a section whose
voice has been vulgarly voluble against anti-Naxal operations by cops
and popular movements against the menace.
Press corps in Delhi are
routinely entertained by the liberal chatterati with stories about the
State outsourcing law and order mechanism and how tribals are being
traumatised by movements like Salva Judum. Any voice against their
cynical project attracts the charge of being part of an insidious
attempt to chill free speech. They don't utter a word when Naxalites arm women and children to the teeth. They have a problem when the same people cross over the fence.

As expected, the hysteric liberals have chosen to remain silent over the
murder of Mahato
. There is no statement of condemnation from them. They
are not even paying lip service to the rule of law. These men and women,
who sit in Delhi's balcony seats, want us to believe that the problem is
not Naxalism. As a charade, this one cannot be bettered.

But make no mistake. The liberals are not harmless activists with good
hearts. A few weeks ago, the same gods of political correctness were
playing the victim card on behalf of a jehadi, who facilitated the
attack on Parliament. They are also waiting for the next opportunity to go public with their new set of stories against cops and Salva Judum activists based on dubious stories and spurious data.

A government, which identifies emotionally with the fears and prejudices
of this freelance crowd is risking the security of its citizens.
Naxalities, who are striving for the establishment of the dictatorship
of the party, will not change colours and swear by the Constitution. The
debate on monarchy in Nepal clearly points to this. Even G P Koirala,
who is no lover of monarchy, is tarred with the nasty anti-people brush
for asking the Maoists to wait till the constituent assembly elections
to decide on the status of the King.

The failure of the Manmohan Singh government to learn lessons from the
costly mistakes will only corrode our safety.
It's time that the country's
leadership responded to the cries of despair from the 165 districts of
India. It's these people who elect Parliament and not the ever-agitated,
bleeding heart liberals.

Friday, March 09, 2007

CPM leaders too are soft targets of Naxalites

B Vijay Murty

Jamshedpur, March 8, 2007

Naxalites determined to create Muktanchal in the bordering areas of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa while targeting the JMM leaders have also made CPM leaders their soft targets.

About 20 CPM leaders and 'influential' cadres living in villages spread across Jharkhand and West Bengal borders have fallen prey to Naxalite bullets since September 2005. In the last assembly polls in West Bengal, the Maoists used all kinds of pressure tactics to prevent the CPM leaders from participating in election campaign, killed some of the CPI leaders and cadres and even prevented CPM voters in their strongholds from casting their ballots.

Prominent CPM leaders killed along Jharkhand-Bengal border since September 2005 include Ravi Kar, Bhola Mahato, Kartik Mahato, Anandmayee Kar, Kamal Mahato, Mahendra Mahato and Ravi Das. The casualties from the JMM side include Sunil Mahto, Dhiren Mahto, Santosh Mahato, Prabhakar Mahato (All JMM leaders and sympathisers), Sahdev Khatri and Devraj Rai, Sunil Mahato's bodyguards. The Maoists have also looted in all six INSA rifles, four from Jharkhand and two from Bengal territory.

The bordering West Bengal districts of Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore and Ghatsila, Dalbhumgarh and Chakulia blocks of Jharkhand are the worst affected areas on the border. The West Bengal government has already acknowledged the 5000 square kilometer area stretching from Raniband in Bandwan to Binpur in West Midnapore districts as 'Red Zone' and declared 70 per cent polling booths in this area has been declared highly sensitive. The Maoists now desperately plan to declare it as Muktanchal (Free Zone), where they literally run a parallel government.

According to Kartik Mahato, resident of Narsinghpur in Jharkhand territory, his relatives in West Bengal often get threat letters from the Maoists to disassociate themselves from the CPM or else face death. "With the killing of Sunil Mahto, the Maoists have also begun targeting the JMM leaders," Kartik said.

Jharkhand police, however, has long been ignoring the gravity of Naxalite menace in the area till March 4 last when the Maoists gunned down Jamshedpur MP, Sunil Mahto. "The terrains on the borders are rough and inaccessible. The Bengal government has constructed several pickets to keep the pressure on the Naxalites. But we do not have any pickets in our territory. Still we have been ensuring minimum damage to our leaders and civilians from Naxalites," said Ghatsila SDPO, Sailendra Burnwal.

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Chhattisgarh to open police school in Maoist bastion

Mar 9, 2007 - 2:22:30 PM
He added that guerrillas would soon be ousted from Bastar too.

By IANS, Raipur, March 9 - The Chhattisgarh government is setting up a new police training school for constables in the Maoist stronghold of Surguja.

Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan laid the foundation stone of the school, the third of its kind in the state, at Manipat Thursday.

'Within five or six months, we will create infrastructure and start training constables with a focus on imparting skills for clamping down hard on leftist insurgents and to set a benchmark of human policing,' Home Minister Ramvichar Netam said.

'The government has an initial budget of Rs.100 million for the school. The funding will be raised once constables start getting enrolled,' Netam told IANS.

According to the minister, the police force had helped to stamp out insurgency from vast swathes of the state in the north -- Koriya, Surguja and Jashpur districts.

'Maoist violence has been confined to the hilly Bastar region - Dantewada, Kanker and Bastar districts. Though violence has surged in the last two years, it is a sign of the growing frustration in their ranks,' the minister said.

He added that guerrillas would soon be ousted from Bastar too.

Chhattisgarh has a police training school in Mana, near this state capital, and in Rajnandgaon, 110 km from here. There is also a Counter Terrorism Jungle Warfare College in Bastar's Kanker district.

India's Growing Kidnapping Problem

March 09, 2007 21 00 GMT

Indian Home Minister Manikrao Gavit told parliament March 7 that some 714 kidnap-for-ransom gangs, with a total of nearly 4,300 members, are operating in India, and that more than 12,700 children were abducted in the country between 2004 and 2006. Moreover, according to figures presented at an Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) seminar on kidnappings in India, the country has steadily moved up the list of the world's top 10 countries for incidents of kidnapping.
The upward trend in kidnapping cases, not only involving children, over the past three years has raised concerns among the executives of multinational corporations and other organizations operating in the country over the safety of their employees, their families and themselves. The highly publicized November 2006 kidnapping of the young son of a software company executive from a New Delhi suburb further increased these anxieties. Although the majority of kidnappings have occurred in underdeveloped areas of the country, particularly in the north-central region, it is likely that multinationals increasingly will be targeted by India's profit-motivated kidnapping gangs.

Figures presented at the December 2006 OSAC seminar show that India is now No. 6 on the list of the most kidnapping-prone countries -- having moved up the list over the past three years. Like in other places, abductions in India occur throughout the country, and for numerous reasons. Ransom is the most prevalent motivation, while politics, personal feuds, organized crime and human trafficking are other reasons. As elsewhere, sexual exploitation of children also is a motivation for kidnapping in India.

Some regions of India are known for certain categories of abductions. In the northeast, the United Liberation Front of Asom has waged a campaign against central government influence by abducting personnel working on infrastructure projects such as railroads and energy exploration. Kashmiri separatists also have been known to abduct government representatives and journalists in the region, while the Maoist Naxalites conduct kidnapping in order to raise funds for their continued operations. In addition, local elections in these politically volatile areas can lead to the abduction of candidates or campaign workers.

The interior states of Bihar, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in the north accounted for 50 percent of all reported abductions from 2004 to 2006. These states are populous but underdeveloped, and have more organized criminal activity than the rest of the country. Bihar was the site of a full quarter of all kidnappings in India during that period, while Delhi followed with 16 percent and Uttar Pradesh with 9 percent. Other peak areas for kidnappings are distributed throughout the country, from the commercially important centers of Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai to regions of militant activity such as Assam and Kashmir.

The scattered pattern of kidnappings in India indicates that the phenomenon is not centered on foreign operations. Among states that feature a significant presence of Western business interests, Maharashtra, home of Mumbai, accounts for 5 percent of all kidnappings; Karnataka, home of Bangalore, accounts for 6 percent; and Tamil Nadu, home of Chennai, accounts for less than 1 percent. This suggests that most kidnappers victimize those living at the lower end of the economic spectrum -- mainly because such victims tend to live in neighborhoods where these gangs operate, and thus are easiest to grab. However, foreign operations are contributing to India's growing middle class, meaning kidnappers could increasingly target these relatively wealthier individuals.

As in Latin America, the victims of kidnappings in India most often (55 percent of the time) are dependents of the household head, such as children, wives and extended family. The reason for this is that the head of the household most often has best access to the ransom money. Businesspeople, both native and foreign, make up the next most-targeted group, accounting for 13 percent of kidnapping cases nationwide. This group makes an attractive target because their multinational employers often carry kidnapping insurance, which would all but guarantee a payoff for the kidnappers.

As has happened in Latin America, Indian kidnappers are following a learning curve. Although they have not yet reached the level of sophistication and brazenness of kidnappers in Latin America, some will over time. One factor that could slow -- though not prevent -- that escalation is lack of direct participation in the crimes by Indian security forces. While Indian police can be incompetent and corrupt, the culture of civil service inherited from the British often prevents them from crossing the line and becoming outright criminals, which often is the case in Latin America.

India's large population, combined with poverty and a lack of a strong police force, makes kidnapping a growth industry. As India's middle class swells because of the influence of foreign investment in the country's high-tech sector, kidnappers increasingly could target the employees and families of multinationals and their subsidiaries.

Tension in Gadchiroli — Maoists call poll boycott

Pradip Kumar Maitra

Nagpur, March 9, 2007

Tension prevails in the tribal district of Gadchiroli, bordering Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, in the wake of "poll boycott call" given by the Naxalites of CPI (Maoist) on the eve of Zilla Parishad elections.

The Maoists have appealed to villagers to respond their call and ensure a total success. They have been making every possible effort to disrupt the elections process.

The ultra leftists on Thursday accosted a Tata Sumo jeep in which NCP workers were travelling and campaigning for the party candidate, Bandopant Mallelwar, the former president of Gadchiroli Zilla Parishad. At gunpoint, the extremists forced the NCP activists to get down from the vehicle at Kondawahi village and set the Sumo afire. They snatched two mobile sets from them. Similarly, the Maoist rebels stopped a vehicle at Karwafa in North Gadchiroli and asked the occupants of the jeep, Congress workers, at gunpoint to get down. They later took the vehicle to dense forests and set afire.

In another incident at Binagunda, just adjacent of Abujhmad of Chhattisgarh, the Naxalites attacked a police camp last evening. However, the security personnel retaliated promptly and a fierce exchange of firing from both the sides continued over two and a half hours. The district police claimed that a Naxalite was killed in the encounter. However, no dead body was found at the site.

The district administration has tightened the security arrangement in Gadchiroli on the eve of Zilla Parishad polls that is slated on March 11.

Moreover, the elected representatives and those on the Naxalite hit list were alerted about possible attacks in the wake of the elections. The then Congress legislator and now a minister, Dharmaba Atram of Gadchiroli was kidnapped by the Naxalites in 90s while the Gadchiroli district Congress president, Balu Kopa Bogami was killed by the left-wing extremists in last ZP polls. The district police has already been provided Z category security to the state minister, Atram, who is from the district while the former legislator, Satyabhan Atram was provided X category security

Asked about the Maoist violence in the district on the eve of ZP polls and the election boycott call given by the CPI (Maoist), Shirish Jain, the superintendent of police (SP), claimed that it would have little impact in the district. "It will only be limited to some interior areas," he further claimed.

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MPs jittery after Mahto murder

Kay Benedict
Friday, March 09, 2007 22:45 IST

NEW DELHI: Rattled by the gunning down of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MP Sunil Mahto, over three dozen MPs from the Naxal belt of Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Bihar and parts of Uttar Pradesh called on Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Friday, and demanded a spruce up in the security provided to them.

The MPs, who also met Rajya Sabha chairman Bhairon Singh Shekawat and parliamentary affairs minister Priyaranjan Dasmunshi, expressed fears that they may be targets of Maoist attacks when they move around in their constituencies in the Naxal belts of their respective states.

Both Chatterjee and Dasmunshi discussed the matter with Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil. Dasmunshi later said a confidential list of such MPs is being drawn to beef-up security for them.

Patil is reported to have told Dasmunshi that it was not possible for the Centre to arrange security from Delhi, but assured that he would talk to the concerned state governments to enhance security for those members who are under such threats.

Referring to the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Dasmunshi said even the security guards cannot be trusted. “Who will guard the guards?” he asked.

Backing the MPs from Bihar, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad said the Naxalite threat cannot be brushed aside. “Many are in the hit list. It is the responsibility of the state government to augment security for them.”

Lalu took the opportunity to slam his bete noire and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for not giving adequate security to Rabri Devi, his wife and leader of Opposition in the Bihar assembly.

He criticised the sacking of Rabri’s driver by Nitish Kumar, for blocking the chief minister’s cavalcade. “The driver is made a scapegoat,” Lalu said. Rabri had earlier said that her driver did not block the chief minister’s car and she could not move out on time because she was being mobbed by media persons.

The Jharkhand government, meanwhile, has made a formal request to the
CBI to investigate into the killing of Sunil Mahto near Jamshedpur on Sunday. Official sources said the state government’s request will be considered by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), as CBI comes under it.

Security for MPs in Naxal hit areas may be beefed up

Saroj Nagi

New Delhi, March 9, 2007

The Government is actively considering the demand for security made by more than a dozen MPs from naxalite hit Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and other states after their colleague Sunil Mahato became a victim of ultra-left violence in Jharkhand.

The apprehensions expressed by these MPs about their safety prompted Parliamentary Affairs Minister P R Dasmunsi to write to Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and Rajya Sabha chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat about it. On Thursday, the Speaker discussed the situation with Home Minister Shivraj Patil. Following this, Patil suggested that a list be prepared of those MPs who needed security.

"I will give the list early next week", Dasmunsi said, stressing that he had no intention of publicizing the names on the list.
Since security is provided to members but by the states the MPs belong to, the Home Ministry will, after vetting the list, forward it to the state governments for action.


12:19 IST

Railways have decided to put in place a counter strategy that would include raising additional manpower of the Railway Protection Force in the wake of the incident of detention of train on March 13, 2006 in Latehar district in Jharkhand and other naxal attacks on Railway property in Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal etc. and increased threat perception on account of activities of extremist groups in Jammu & Kashmir, North-East and naxal affected States. The idea is not to substitute Government Railway Police or the State police with Railway Protection Force but to deploy armed Railway Protection Force personnel, adequately trained and equipped, on escort duty in trains particularly on the sections identified as vulnerable in naxal affected areas, so as to act as a deterrent.

Naxalites activities is an ongoing problem. However, it is expected that training and modernization of Railway Protection Force personnel will yield fruitful results in near future for Railway security.

This information was given by the Minister of Railways Shri R.Velu in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.


Veteran Naxal leader dies in police custody

Abdul Qadir

[ 8 Mar, 2007 2046hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

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GAYA: Veteran Naxal leader Nathun Kahar, one of the prime accused in 19 different cases of Naxal-related violence including mass murder, died in police custody on Thursday morning. Kahar was earlier arrested from Khaira village under the Konch police station in Gaya district of Bihar on Tuesday.

Although Gaya SP Amit Jain confirmed Kahar's death in police custody, he did not spell out the actual cause of death saying that the autopsy report is awaited.

Magadh Range DIG Umesh Singh, however, said the Naxal leader suffered from asthma. He denied rumours making the rounds that Kahar died following "third-degree" method used by police during his interrogation.

Specifically asked if Kahar was physically assaulted while in police custody, the DIG did not rule out the possibility of the Naxal leader having received "some blows" during the execution of his arrest by personnel of Central forces.

Meanwhile, Zonal IG Rajvardhan Sharma has directed the Gaya SP to get a criminal case instituted against the Konch officer in-charge and other policemen concerned in connection with Kahar's custodial death. The IG has also directed the SP to ensure strict observance of custodial death norms as stipulated by the Supreme Court and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) including inquest by a judicial officer and videography of the autopsy process.

"A DSP-rank officer will be made the IO of the case against the OC and other policemen," Sharma said.

Police sources said Kahar was involved in several Naxal operations. These include the January 1996 attack on the Tekari police station in which four policemen were killed and the armoury looted; the Bara and Senari massacres in which altogether 70 upper caste male adults were butchered in two separate operations conducted in February 1992 and March 1999.

In 2003 the state government announced a hefty cash reward for the ultra's arrest.

Kahar's death put the district police in a spot given that it failed to comply with section 57 of the criminal procedure code which strictly prohibits detention in police custody for more than 24 hours and makes it obligatory for the police to produce the arrested person before the court.Asked why the police failed to produce Nathun in court within the stipulated period, the SP said he is trying to find out the reason.

In Kahar's death the police have also lost the opportunity to get important information about the banned outfit such as its strategy, future programmes, chain of command, armoury, 'tax' collection etc.

Mizo, Chhattisgarh jawans commit suicide in Bastar

Mizo, Chhattisgarh jawans commit suicide in Bastar

Press Trust of India

Raipur, March 8, 2007

Under mental stress over family matters, a Mizo jawan and a Chhattisgarh police constable committed suicide in two separate incidents in naxal-infested Bastar region of Chhattisgarh on Thursday, police sources said.

Constable Laltha Phasankima of Mizoram Indian Reserve Batallion shot himself with his sophisticated weapon in Konta of Dantewada district, Konta police sources said.

In another case, a constable of Bastar district police committed suicide by hanging himself over some family dispute, police sources said.

Mizoram and Nagaland police have been deployed in Chhattisgarh for anti-naxal operations.

The Mizo constable was under severe mental depression over some family matter, sources said, adding the bullet pierced his vital organs, including kidney.

"The jawan has left a suicide note written in Mizo language," police officials said.

Veteran Naxal leader dies in police custody
Abdul Qadir

[ 8 Mar, 2007 2046hrs IST TIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

GAYA: Veteran Naxal leader Nathun Kahar, one of the prime accused in 19 different cases of Naxal-related violence including mass murder, died in police custody on Thursday morning. Kahar was earlier arrested from Khaira village under the Konch police station in Gaya district of Bihar on Tuesday.

Although Gaya SP Amit Jain confirmed Kahar's death in police custody, he did not spell out the actual cause of death saying that the autopsy report is awaited.

Magadh Range DIG Umesh Singh, however, said the Naxal leader suffered from asthma. He denied rumours making the rounds that Kahar died following "third-degree" method used by police during his interrogation.

Specifically asked if Kahar was physically assaulted while in police custody, the DIG did not rule out the possibility of the Naxal leader having received "some blows" during the execution of his arrest by personnel of Central forces.

Meanwhile, Zonal IG Rajvardhan Sharma has directed the Gaya SP to get a criminal case instituted against the Konch officer in-charge and other policemen concerned in connection with Kahar's custodial death. The IG has also directed the SP to ensure strict observance of custodial death norms as stipulated by the Supreme Court and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) including inquest by a judicial officer and videography of the autopsy process.

"A DSP-rank officer will be made the IO of the case against the OC and other policemen," Sharma said.

Police sources said Kahar was involved in several Naxal operations. These include the January 1996 attack on the Tekari police station in which four policemen were killed and the armoury looted; the Bara and Senari massacres in which altogether 70 upper caste male adults were butchered in two separate operations conducted in February 1992 and March 1999.

In 2003 the state government announced a hefty cash reward for the ultra's arrest.

Kahar's death put the district police in a spot given that it failed to comply with section 57 of the criminal procedure code which strictly prohibits detention in police custody for more than 24 hours and makes it obligatory for the police to produce the arrested person before the court.Asked why the police failed to produce Nathun in court within the stipulated period, the SP said he is trying to find out the reason.

In Kahar's death the police have also lost the opportunity to get important information about the banned outfit such as its strategy, future programmes, chain of command, armoury, 'tax' collection etc.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

JMM leader`s son shot at in Jharkhand

Ranchi, Mar 08: Coming close on the heels of the killing of JMM MP Sunil Mahto, the son of another party leader was on Thursday shot at and injured by an alleged criminal near Chakradharpur railway station in West Singhbhum district.

The incident occurred when Sukhdeo Hembram went to drop his 25-year-old son Laxman at a bus stand near the station and noticed Ratan Tiu, an alleged criminal, sitting in a Chaibasa-bound bus, police superintendent Sudhir Jha said.

Sukhdeo, who unsuccessfully fought the last assembly election on a JMM ticket from Manoharpur constituency, immediately called his bodyguard and tried to catch him, Jha said.

Following a scuffle between the man and the bodyguard, Tiu snatched his service revolver and fired at his son who suffered bullet injury.

Laxman was immediately rushed to the railway hospital at Chakradharpur, where his condition was stated to be out of danger.

A police team, which rushed to the spot, arrested Tiu, Jha said and denied that the incident was politically motivated.

Naxals had gunned down JMM MP and party general secretary Sunil Mahto, two of his body guards and a party colleague during a football match to mark Holi festival at Bakuria, 40 km from Jamshedpur, on Sunday.

Bureau Report

Sunil Mahto : Cold trail greets cops


Jamshedpur, March 7: Almost 62 hours after Jamshedpur MP Sunil Mahto was assassinated, state police arrived at Baguria today with sniffer dogs to track down the culprits.

Sniffer dogs were pressed into service and a large number of villagers and organisers of the football match were interrogated. But the police, said East Singhbhum SP Pankaj Darad, drew a blank.

The delayed action once again drew flak from people and politicians alike, though chief minister Madhu Koda has tried to explain it away by pointing out that the bandh on Monday, VIP visits and the cremation of the MP on Tuesday had kept the police busy.

The SP said the investigation has been handed over to the CID.

A CID team, he said, would be camping at Ghatshila and look into the different aspects of the assassination while the district police would be left free to concentrate on anti-insurgency operation in the Naxal areas.

The police today confiscated photographs published by a section of the print media, which were claimed to have been taken minutes before Mahto was shot dead.

The picture shows the slain MP sitting in the middle, with the district JMM president sitting next to him. But while nothing happened to the two prominent guests flanking the MP, the JMM block president, Prabhakar Mahto, sitting next to the district president, was shot dead by the assailants.

Indiscriminate firing would have hit all the five people sitting in the first row, said CID officers, and not pick up selectively just two.

While the CID plans to interrogate the photographer, it has not yet got hold of the videographer. “We have definite information that a Ghatshila-based videographer had been engaged to record the proceedings,” said the CID official. The video footage, he hoped, would provide clues to the people milling around the small shamiana erected for the dignitaries.

The CID team led by additional director-general R.C. Kaithal noted that the tournament had also included women’s football, which drew a large number of women also. What’s more, it facilitated some of the women, among the assailants, to approach Mahto on the pretext of garlanding him.

While generally the police and politicians are quick to pin the blame for any kind of violence on Maoists, in this case both groups appear reluctant to swallow it. Both the wife and mother of the slain MP has hinted at a “political conspiracy” to do away with Mahto. Several cabinet ministers and the chief minister have declared that the possibility of a “political murder” cannot be ruled out.

Even a section of the JMM today scoffed at the Maoist claim, maintaining that Mahto was never in the Naxalite hit-list. That is why, they explained, he moved freely in the area even at night; that is also why he did not think it necessary to inform the police before venturing into the Galudih area. They, however, ruled out a tribal-Kurmi rift in the party triggering the assassination. Individual leaders, they felt, would have used a section of the Maoists to eliminate Mahto, whose political clout and popularity was becoming uncomfortable for them.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Paswan says troops not for fun in Kashmir

Faisul Yaseen

Jammu, March 7, 2007

Union minister for steel, chemicals and fertilizers Ram Vilas Paswan said in Jammu on Wednesday that the troops were not for fun in Jammu and Kashmir and the demand of complete demilitrisation was just of one political party in the state.

Paswan was referring to the coalition ally Peoples Democratic Party demand of demilitrisation during an interaction with media persons.

However, he said that reducing the number of troops was for New Delhi to see, which should not be politicised.

He differentiated the political violence of the suppressed castes from naxalite movement in northeast and insurgency in Kashmir.

Paswan who has been arrested forty times for taking up the cause of the oppressed and quit the union ministry feeling ashamed of the state-sponsored communal riots in Gujarat said that the Kashmir insurgency was not a movement against social justice but out and out militancy.

Earlier while delivering the inaugural address of the two-day national seminar on 'Ambedkar and Social Justice' in Jammu at the Jammu University, the union minister said that India could not flourish till the country doesn't show confidence among all religions and castes.

Paswan, the Lok Jan Shakti Party chief has twice broken the Guinness Book of World Records for winning the parliamentary elections with the highest ever margin first with a difference of 4.67 lakh votes and then with 5.14 lakh votes.

"India has the majority or Christians northeast, Sikhs in Punjab, Muslims in Kashmir and Buddhists in Ladakh. And if these four walls of our house is not concrete, it is hard for us to flourish," he said.

The seminar was organised by Dr Ambedkar Studies Centre, department of Sociology, Jammu University.

MoS School Education Manjeet Singh, vice chancellor Amitabh Mattoo, Anand Kumar of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, Director Dr Ambedkar Studies Centre, Abha Chauhan and Head of the Department Sociology, JR Panda also expressed their views on the occasion.

Email Faisul Yaseen:


15:10 IST

Government is aware of ideological/fraternal links between the Maoists of Nepal and Indian Naxalites. There is no evidence of any material relationship.

The weapons surrendered by the Nepalese Maoists are not likely to come to the naxalite- affected States of the country. The weapons are being monitored round the clock and are being placed in sealed containers in secure places under UN supervision.

Indo-Nepal border is being manned by the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and constant vigil is being maintained by them, apart from State police forces of the concerned States.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Home, Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.


Maoist violence may be spinning out of control

Mar 7, 2007 - 10:23:00 AM

Despite the money allocated for police modernisation and expansion, many states have simply been unable to fill up vacancies in police stations despite five rounds of meeting of chief secretaries and directors general of police last year.

By Murali Krishnan, IANS, [RxPG] New Delhi, March 7 - A surge in Maoist violence that killed nearly 750 people, including 520 civilians, in India last year threatens to explode with the brazen killing of Sunil Mahto, MP, during Holi festivities, demonstrating again that the ultra-left radicals have the ability and resources to attack at will.

This has been this year's first high-profile attack by Naxalites, or Indian Maoists. The security establishment insists the Maoist movement has consolidated itself and the Maoists hold sway over wide underdeveloped areas across the centre, east and south of the country, forming a strategic geographical corridor.

To substantiate their point, intelligence officials cite the instance of the killing of a Congress leader in Andhra Pradesh Monday by Maoists as he inspected a road construction project in Mahabubnagar district.

'It seemed like a coordinated attack,' one senior official told IANS. Prakash, a member of the Mandal Praja Parishad -, was shot in Marikal, about 150 km south of Hyderabad.

'It is obvious that there is coordination, especially after the merger of People's War Group - and Maoist Communist Centre some years back' to set up the Communist Party of India-Maoist, the official added.

Also the fact that the ninth congress of the CPI-Maoist met in an undisclosed forest area in Jharkhand less than a month ago would have helped the Maoists to close ranks and firm up their line of attack, the sources said.

At the end of January, there were 121 Maoist attacks across India with 27 civilians and 10 security personnel killed. And, like the previous year, both Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand bore the brunt of violence. Last year the two states alone accounted for a whopping 1,025 of the 1,509 attacks that left 512 civilians and security personnel killed.
That Jharkhand has been a perfect breeding ground for Left extremism is evidenced by the fact that almost 16 of the state's 22 districts have been hit by Maoist violence. These include landmine attacks, one of which killed 13 police personnel three months ago, the assault on a Central Reserve Police Force camp and the raid on a prison.

Although an Empowered Group of Ministers headed by Home Minister Shivraj Patil promises to evolve strategies to deal with what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh describes as the country's 'biggest internal security challenge', the rebellion continues to engulf huge swathes of the country's centre, east and south.

Just this year, the government deployed 33 paramilitary battalions on anti-Naxalite duty and sanctioned a further 29 India Reserve - battalions, besides setting aside Rs.3.71 billion under the police modernization scheme for weaponry, telecommunication equipment and other infrastructure.

Acknowledging that poverty in Maoist strongholds was still a serious problem, the government also sanctioned Rs.24.75 billion under the Backward Districts Initiative - to fill in critical gaps in physical and social development in affected states.

However, officials in the tribal affairs ministry admit that distribution of development funds still remains a challenge because the delivery system is corruption prone with earmarked monies not reaching the intended beneficiaries. Similarly, Maoist-affected states like Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar have some of the country's lowest ratios of police to population.

Despite the money allocated for police modernisation and expansion, many states have simply been unable to fill up vacancies in police stations despite five rounds of meeting of chief secretaries and directors general of police last year.

Counter-insurgency officials say that unless the government - including concerned state governments - redoubles its energies to contain the Maoist extremism, which currently affects 172 of the country's 602 districts, the crisis can only escalate.

Need to evolve law on interstate crimes: Patil

Mar 6, 2007 - 4:26:14 PM
Also, the state has been provided Rs.200 million under the security related expenditure - scheme, even as Rs.4.5 billion had been released under the backward district initiative - scheme.

By IANS, [RxPG] New Delhi, March 6 - Central Home Minister Shivraj Patil Tuesday reaffirmed the need for a law against federal crimes, saying that states must cooperate in making this a reality.

'Can we evolve a law on federal crimes?' Patil asked while making a statement in the Rajya Sabha, adding: 'We shall have to crystallise our views on this but the states should cooperate in this.'
Patil's statement came in response to members' concerns over the murder of Lok Sabha MP Sunil Mahto of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha - in Jamshedpur Sunday evening. In what the state government has called a retaliatory strike, Mahto and four others were killed by suspected Maoists while watching a football match.

'We should prepare a plan on how to deal with issues that also concern the centre or neighbouring states,' Patil maintained.

Admitting that some states had 'reservations' on the issue, the minister pointed out that a mechanism was already in place in which senior officials at the centre could speak to their counterparts in states if the need for coordinated action on a law and order issue arose.

However, he found himself on the back foot when angry opposition members repeatedly asked why he had not visited the site of the shooting and sent his deputy Sriprakash Jaiswal.

At one stage, while Patil was responding to queries raised by MPs on law and order situation in Jharkhand, an angry Sushma Swaraj - stood up to protest the 'casual manner' in which he was doing so.

Other BJP members supported her, prompting Patil to ask: 'You asked me for clarifications. I am giving them but if you do not want me to speak, I will sit down.'

Even as Chairperson Bhairon Singh Shekhawat urged the minister to continue, BJP members walked out in protest.

Earlier, Patil read out a 13-paragraph statement in which he dealt with the steps being taken to deal with the Maoist menace in Jharkhand and other states. He said the number of incidents had declined by 6.15 percent from 1,608 in 2005 to 1,509 in 2006.

'However, we certainly need greater concerted and cooperative efforts between the states, inter se, as well as between the centre and the states to achieve more acceptable results,' the home minister said.

'We expect that the motivation and dedication of the state police, coupled with financial and technical support that includes equipment and manpower support from the government of India, along with developmental programmes in Naxal affected areas will have a significant impact on this problem,' Patil added.

Speaking about Jharkhand, Patil said it had been provided Rs.1.82 billion in the past six years to modernise its police force. During the current year, the state would also receive a special grant of Rs.150 million for purchasing weapons as well as de-mining and communications equipment.

Also, the state has been provided Rs.200 million under the security related expenditure - scheme, even as Rs.4.5 billion had been released under the backward district initiative - scheme.

The statement, however, failed to cut much ice with the opposition. Brinda Karat - thundered: 'What consolation is all this for Mahto's widow?'

Naxals hold secret meet

Wednesday, March 07, 2007 06:51:53 pm

TIME NOW has access to information that clearly shows that Naxals continue to operate with impunity. In fact as late as February this year after 36 years, the 9th Unity Congress was held by Naxalites in India.

The Congress was held deep in the jungles of Jharkhand, which are controlled by the Maoists.

Over a 100 top wanted Naxal leaders of this movement made their way to this secret location avoiding police and intelligence agencies.

In the meeting, the Maoists vowed to intensify their arms struggle, presented a balance sheet for the first time ever, which shows how organised the entire set-up has become from the evolutionary days.

The Maoists decided that they will vehemently oppose Special Economic Zones (SEZs) with whatever way possible, highlighting a possible threat to SEZs.

The Maoists have also vowed to turn their guerilla war into a mobile war, and turn the guerilla zones into base areas.
“This is not the way in which political dispute or political issues can be settled. We have always been appealing to the Maosits that let us democratically discuss all the issues. We should learn from Nepali Maoists and no one can be more powerful in South Asia than Nepali Maoists," said CPI (M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury.

Bihar: Asthawan police inspector shot dead

[ 7 Mar, 2007 0140hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

BIHARSHARIF: The inspector of Asthawan police station, Shashi Shekhar, was shot dead by criminals on Monday night near the local railway crossing while he was returning to Asthawan from Biharsharif after Holi in his Maruti car along with a constable.

Police said Shekhar was shot dead when his vehicle appeared near the local railway level crossing where some criminals were looting passersby. On seeing the vehicle, the criminals opened fire killing Shekhar on the spot. The constable accompanying him, however, escaped unhurt. Shekhar is survived by his wife and two children.

Shekhar is the second police officer to have been killed by criminals in Nalanda district within a fortnight. On February 19, Rahui police station SI Shiv Ram was also killed by some criminals. No arrest has been made in this connection till date. The recipient of a gallantry award, Shekhar (42) joined the police service on September 5, 1994. An able officer, he had arrested many criminals in Gadhwa. To him goes the credit of killing three hardcore criminals at Masaurhi.

He had been promoted and had been posted to Asthawan from the Sihar police station. Patna Zonal IG Rajvardhan Sharma and DIG Central Range (Patna) Sunil Kumar who visited Biharsharif on Tuesday have instructed the Nalanda SP to arrest Shekhar's killers as soon as possible.

TNN adds from Patna: Meanwhile, CM Nitish Kumar has ordered a high-level inquiry into the murder of the Ashthawan inspector. An ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh has been announced for Shekhar's family.

Home commissioner Afzal Amanullah told The Times Of India, "It does not appear to be an attack on the police. In fact, Shekhar was in plainclothes and was in his private car. Unfortunately, he got involved in a road hold-up and the criminals shot him when he resisted." Amanullah said, "It appears to be the handiwork of a jittery gang that may be a new one. We already have definite leads and are hoping for a breakthrough in the next 24 hours."

He said apparently a gang of robbers had been active in this particular stretch in Biharsharif and three separate incidents of robbing had taken place in the last 30 days alone. He also said the earlier incident in which SI Shiv Ram was killed in the same area about a fortnight ago was not linked to Monday night's incident.

Tributes paid to slain cop: Bihar Police Association (BPA) general secretary K K Jha on Tuesday expressed shock over the brutal killing of Shashi Shekhar. Jha, while paying tributes to the slain inspector on behalf of the association at his residence in Police Colony, Anisabad, said that Shekhar was the 21st victim of the police force in Bihar so far.

He said about 264 police stations and 92 police pickets, which fall within Naxal areas, are still unsafe. The BPA has already submitted a report to the CM about the status of such police stations, he said.

Fake currency racket busted, five held

Wednesday March 7 2007 11:30 IST

WARANGAL: District police in Tuesday busted a fake currency racket by arresting five of its members and recovering fake currency worth Rs 3.5 lakh along with a scanner and printer.

Speaking to media here, District Superintendent of Police Soumya Mishra said the fake currency was seized just before its circulation in the market.

She said V Iylaiah, a native of Gorikothapalli village of Regonda Mandal, while serving a sentence in Warangal Central Prison on charges of ganja smuggling, came into contact with one Potti Raju imprisoned in a fake currency case and learnt the art.

As per the advice of Raju, the main accused Iylaiah purchased a printer and produced the fake currency in the denominations of Rs 100, Rs 500 and Rs 1000.

Naxalite violence


Premeditated violence by left-wing extremists, especially in the 165 districts characterised as ‘Naxal-affected’, has become so routine that it has lost much of its sensationalist sheen. And yet, the assassination of Jharkhand’s JMM MP, Sunil Kumar, Mahato by the Maoists has proved that such violence can still shock, especially by the ferocity and precision with which the murderous bands choose and hit their targets.

The Indian state needs to crack down on such dastardly acts of violence but that alone will not be enough. The least the state can do now is accord special focus to programmes such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and Bharat Nirman for strengthening physical infrastructure in rural areas, vis-a-vis the Naxal-affected districts. But that, by itself, might not be enough. Development, ultimately, is a question of political power. In fact, the success of government schemes is a direct function of empowerment at the grass roots. Naxal violence, to some extent, indicates the desperation of the wretched of the earth when democratic politics fails them.

That is particularly true for such tribal states as Jharkhand. It’s the failure of the tribal leadership — thrown up by the movement for a separate state — to fulfil the original promise of development that has led many among their own people to turn to Naxalism. It’s, indeed, unfortunate that the tribal leadership, which spearheaded such movements against the upper-caste contractor mafia, is today part of the same rentier socio-economic structure.

Clearly, such an economy, which place no premium on real productivity and accumulation of human capital, does not aid social development. More disturbing, it continues to engender social violence that aid the accumulation of wealth through forcible dispossession of the weak. Considering that now it’s their very own leaders, and not some outsiders, who perpetrate such iniquities, it’s only logical that some tribals have been attracted to Naxalism. Clearly, Naxalism will not disappear as long as politics fails to change the brutalising structure of the economy in those regions.

Naxal-hit states told to share intelligence, says Patil

Express News ServicePosted online: Wednesday, March 07, 2007 at 0000 hrs Print Email
NEW DELHI, MARCH 6: Under fire from MPs across party lines as well as Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat over the assassination of Jharkhand MP Sunil Mahato, a visibly harangued Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil today tried to assure the Rajya Sabha during Zero-Hour that the Centre has asked Naxal-affected states to reach an agreement for ensuring better coordination on intelligence to tackle the situation.

While Shekhawat was unimpressed with Patil’s vague responses to his query on whether Mahato had ‘adequate’ security, the Opposition walked out half-way through Patil’s reactions to their queries during the 90-minute discussion.

While Patil admitted that “Central intelligence only deals with a general direction of possible extremist attacks,” he emphasised that the measures taken by the Centre to help states tackle the Naxalite menace have “shown some level of containment”.

“In the country as a whole, the incidents of Naxalite violence declined from 1,608 in 2005 to 1,509 in 2006, signifying a 6.15 per cent decline,” he said in an attempt to assuage the House. Andhra Pradesh, he added, has achieved “note-worthy success in controlling the problem through Special Forces, namely, Greyhounds and other measures”.

In an unusual departure from his normally hands-off style of functioning, House Chairman Shekhawat intervened in the debate to ask Patil if he as the country’s Home Minister, was satisfied with the security provided to Mahato considering his high threat perception. Patil’s weak response: “When he was asked whether the security given to him was adequate, he said it was adequate.” Even though Shekhawat cross-questioned him on this, Patil’s replies remained evasive. (See box)

BJP’s Digvijay Singh led the Opposition’s charge in response to the Home Minister’s suo motu statement on the Naxalite attack, where he stressed that the Centre is “maintaining a close watch on the situation” and will “provide all possible support and assistance”. Taking Patil to task for not visiting the site himself, Singh said: “People are hurt that India’s home minister doesn’t have time for an MP’s murder.”
BJP’s Yashwant Sinha, who also hails from Jharkhand, took strong exception to the numbers cited by Patil showing a 6.15 per cent decline in Naxalite attacks. “Should we say this to Mahato’s widow? The Home Minister is trying to hide behind the numbers. Each time internal security and Naxalism is debated, the Minister has tried to underplay the problem,” Sinha charged.

“It’s an inter-state operation, everyone knows of the Red Corridor. If the efforts in Andhra Pradesh have been successful, why isn’t it being replicated in the other states? Last year, the Minister had met MPs and discussed measures to tackle Naxals. What happened to them?” Sinha asked.

Taking a potshot at the Congress for supporting the Jharkhand government led by Madhu Koda, Sinha pointed to the Treasury Benches and said: “Your own MP from Jharkhand has said that the state government cannot continue, ask her what she said. The Jharkhand government is a joke, parties supporting it should think again as they are doing grave injustice to the people of Jharkhand.” Later, BJP MPs demanded imposition of President’s rule in the state.

A visibly cornered Patil said the issue about offences with ramifications in other parts of the country was pending before the Supreme Court which has asked the Soli Sorabjee Committee to look into it. “We have to crytallise our views on federal crimes,” he said. All MPs who took part in the discussion asked the government to provide more security cover to them during visits to Naxal-affected states.

‘Was security adequate’

Shekhawat to Patil: I want to know if Mahato was given adequate security?

Patil: The security was given by the State Government

Shekhawat: You answer me if his security was adequate?

Patil: He had two PSPOs and five commandos. We cannot provide each MP such security

Shekhawat: I am asking only about Mahato

Patil: When we asked him, he said it was adequate. I can’t argue with you. All I can say is that when we asked him, he said the security was adequate

Shekhawat takes on Patil
Sanjay Singh
Tuesday, March 06, 2007 22:30 IST

NEW DELHI: Tuesday was a day Home Minister Shivraj Patil would like to forget.

Coming under sharp criticism across the political spectrum in Parliament over the killing of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MP Sunil Mahto, Patil also had a face-off with the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat for his unsatisfactory reply on the issue.

Shekhawat, who is also the Vice president, had decided to intervene on the security issue of Mahto and decided to intervene. The Chair had wanted to know whether Mahto’s security was enough and whether as Home Minister, Patil was satisfied with the security provided to Mahto when his threat perception was visibily high.

The Home Minister said: “When he (Mahto) was asked whether the security given to him was adequate, he said it was adequate.” This reply did not seem to satisfy the Chair, who repeatedly asked Patil whether as Home Minister he was satisfied with the security provided to Mahto. But Patil did not give a direct reply.

A suo-motu statement made by Patil on the issue turned into a heated debate as the MPs were enraged for the “casual reply laced with official statistics without going into the substance of the incident.” They sought various “clarifications” from the minister as permitted under the Rajya Sabha rules inclulding whether the security provided to the slain MP was adequate, what steps were being taken to counter naxal menace and why the minister did not consider making an on the spot assessment himself, particularly when a public representative who had challenged naxalites, was killed. CPI(M) member Brinda Karat also asked whether the incident was a result of an intelligence failure.

Observing that Mahto was provided with ‘Y’ category security with two personal security officers and five commandos, Patil said the district authorities did not have information about JMM leader’s programme near Jamshedpur. He said this is a different kind of conspiracy and that the prime concern of intelligence agencies was security of vital installations.

Agreeing with members on strengthening the intelligence machinery, he said the Centre had asked states to strengthen special branches responsible for collecting intelligence. He said the Central intelligence only deals with a general direction of possible extremist attacks. The Centre has asked affected states to reach an agreement among themselves to ensure better coordination to tackle the situation, he said. Patil said the issue about offences with ramifications in other parts of the country was pending before the Supreme Court which has asked the Soli Sorabjee Committee to look into it. “We have to crytalise our views on federal crimes,” he said.

Dissatisfied with the statement and reply, Opposition BJP members staged a walkout in the middle of Home Minister’s reply to a 90-minute discussion on the killing of the JMM leader. The BJP even accused Patil of dealing with the issue in a “casual manner”. BJP leader Yashwant Sinha alleged that the Home Minister was trying to soft pedal naxal violence by hiding behind figures. Congress leader Digvijay Singh also sought to know why he had not visited the scene.

Earlier, participating in the discussion, NDA members from the state demanded imposition of President’s rule in Jharkhand alleging failure on part of the state government to provide security to the MP. The Home Minister said families of two policemen killed in the attack would get a monetary benefit of Rs 10 lakh each.

The banned CPI-Maoist has claimed responsibility for gunning down Mahto, saying he was shot dead to avenge the killing of 11 cadres at Lango a few years ago. Posters put up by CPI-Maoist at villages in Hadia and Lango areas, claimed Mahto had instigated villagers to kill the Maoists and he was eliminated.

With inputs from Agencies

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Naxals vow to renew red terror

Naxals vow to renew red terror

Posted Monday , March 05, 2007 at 07:49
Updated Monday , March 05, 2007 at 11:55

New Delhi: On Sunday, Naxal rebels yet again depicted their ability to strike at will when they gunned down Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MP Sunil Mahato and three others at a crowded public function in Ghatshila near Jharkhand.

The daring attack was a grim reminder of the dreaded Red Corridor that runs through Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, all the way to Andhra Pradesh and to the upper reaches of Maharashtra.

Inside this Red Corridor, set up in the tribal forest lands of Central India and stretching from Nepal to Andhra Pradesh, the Naxalites run a parallel government and vow to continue their fight against the state - a full-fledged war they call "people's struggle".

It was somewhere along this corridor in the Jharkhand-Bihar border, that the flagship rebel party - CPI (Maoist) - recently organised its party congress after 36 years, amid lilting music and enthusiastic sloganeering.

However, the grim message running underneath the apparent gig and celebration was not lost on anyone.

Rather, it was reinforced with renewed zest – something that should worry the Union Home Ministry.

The red brigade reaffirmed that the people's war against the state all along the Naxal-dominated states in the heart of India is on.

“People need to be empowered with political and military, support to fight government policies,” said a Naxal.

The trained gun-toting extremists took their vow in the presence of senior leaders including general secretary Ganapathi in the undisclosed forest tracts.

They expressed their support for those fighting for their respective causes in Kashmir and Manipur, resolved to fight for Dalits and interestingly, swore to prevent SEZs from coming up.

The fact that the rebels even decided to video-record the proceedings showed that they want the government to know they mean business.

UP : Red alert in Naxal-hit areas Chandauli, Sonebhadra and Mirzapur

HT Correspondent
Varanasi, March 6

RED ALERT has been sounded in the Naxal-affected areas of Chandauli, Sonebhadra and Mirzapur.

The alert was sounded after the killing of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MP Sunil Mahto and three others by the Naxals in Jamshedpur on Sunday.

A massive combing operation has been launched in those areas of these districts that are adjacent to Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh.

Policemen continued the combing operation in hyper-sensitive forests of Chandauli, Sonebhadra and Mirzapur on Tuesday to check the Naxal menace.

Varanasi range DIG Rajendra Pal Singh said, “The combing has continued in Chandauli today.

A meeting was also held between the SP of Chandauli and his counterpart of Bihar Police. They discussed a strategy to check the Naxal menace in an effective manner.

SP (Sonebhadra) Raghuvir Lal has been supervising the combing operation in the Naxal-affected areas near the Chhatisgarh border.

Chandauli, Sonebhadra and Mirzapur are worst affected districts of Purvanchal.

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

Mahato’s murder puts Patil in a tight spot

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

NEW DELHI, MAR 6: Members of Parliament from Naxal-affected states demanded review of their security even as the Centre’s failure to tackle the Naxal problem came under attack from the Opposition. The Opposition staged a walkout in the Rajya Sabha protesting against Union home minister Shivraj Patil’s statement on the killing of JMM MP Sunil Kumar Mahato.
The demand to take a fresh look at security arrangements of MPs in the backdrop of Mahato’s murder was made to parliamentary affairs minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi by MPs from Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and UP, who promised to take up the issue with Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee.

The dissatisfaction over the home minister’s statement was taken up by chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. A visibly upset home minister responded by saying he would never like to join an argument with the chair. In his statement tabled before the house earlier, Patil claimed the Centre had initiated a strong mechanism for monitoring Naxal activities.

Politics or naxal rage?

Mahato killing: Patil reply fails to satisfy Opp

Statesman News Service

NEW DELHI, March 6: The sensational killing of the JMM general secretary and Lok Sabha MP, Sunil Kumar Mahato, by Naxalites in his Jamshedpur constituency today dominated the proceedings of both Houses of Parliament, with the Union home minister, Mr Shivraj Patil, drawing flak from the BJP-led NDA Opposition for dealing with the issue in a “casual manner”.
While the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day after paying homage to the slain JMM leader immediately after the House met, the Rajya Sabha took up a short-duration discussion on Mahato’s killing following Mr Patil’s statement on the incident.
Strongly condemning the “dastardly crime” and offering his tribute to Mahato, the Speaker, Mr Somnath Chatterjee, also said the incident “affected the proper functioning of the country’s democratic institutions” creating “insecurity and law and order problems”. Mr Chatterjee’s concerns were echoed by members in Upper House cutting across party lines, who wondered about the security of political leaders visitng Naxal-affected areas. Amid walkout by the BJP, Mr Patil told the Rajya Sabha that Mahato was provided security to the latter’s satisfaction. But he did not reply whether as the home minister he was satisfied with the security provided to Mahato facing high threat. This question was asked by the chairman, Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, even as BJP members staged a walkout in the middle of the home minister’s reply to the discussion on Mahato’s assassination.
After evading a reply to the question holding it was state’s responsibility, Mr Patil said “when he (Mahato) was asked whether the security given to him was adequate, he said it was adequate”. This reply did not seem to satisfy the Chair who repeatedly asked Mr Patil whether the home minister was himself satisfied with the security provided to Mahato.
Observing that Mahato was provided with ‘Y’ category security with two personal security officers and five commandos, Mr Patil said the district authorities did not have information about Mahato’s Sunday programme near Jamshedpur.

Patil: Mahato did not inform police

Special Correspondent

MP was provided with Y category security

NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Tuesday said the slain Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MP Sunil Mahato had not informed the police of his visit to a social function at Bakuria in East Singhbhum district, where he was shot dead on Sunday, allegedly by naxalites.

Giving clarifications sought on his statement in the Rajya Sabha, marred by a BJP-led walkout, Mr. Patil said though Mr. Mahato was provided with Y category security in view of a threat to his life, "I can categorically say that no information [about his visit] was given to the district police." The MP was surrounded by alleged naxalites including women and shot dead along with two security personnel and a party worker.

Acknowledging that inter-State police coordination would prevent naxalites from taking advantage of contiguous borders to escape after committing a crime in a State, he said the Centre had convened several meetings to deal with this problem. However, some States had reservations about a permanent coordination mechanism or listing certain offences as federal crimes, in solving which the Centre could take an active part.

"That is why we have asked for an understanding among States on the movement of the police from one State to another [in pursuit of naxalites]." The Soli Sorabjee committee had been asked to give its views on this issue and the Centre was keen on cooperating with the States in tackling certain types of crimes. "But finally the States would have to cooperate. If they don't, it will be very difficult." Earlier, Mr. Patil said the Government condemned the killing of Mahato and the Home Ministry was keeping a "close watch'' on the situation. He listed the steps taken to help the States counter naxalites.

Members seek security

Seeking clarifications, a large number of members including the former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha, sought enhanced security for themselves. Among the exceptions were Brinda Karat (CPI-M), Ram Deo Bhandari (Rashtriya Janata Dal) and S. S. Ahluwalia (BJP) with the latter opposing the plea on the ground that a tighter security cordon would cut them off from the public.

Ms. Karat referred to the problem of State boundaries and pointed out that naxalites from Jharkhand were targeting CPI (M) workers in neighbouring West Bengal for politically campaigning against them.

Digvijay Singh (Janata Dal-United) wanted to know why Mr. Patil did not visit the site of killing of a sitting member.

Replicate AP experiment

Mr. Sinha said that since Mr. Patil had acknowledged the success of the Andhra Pradesh police's anti-naxal squad `Greyhounds' it should be replicated in other States.

Arun Shourie (BJP) said it took an incident like Mahato killing to "change the Government's tune on matters like this."

Naxal issue discussed in Rajya Sabha

Srinand Jha

New Delhi, March 6, 2007

Amidst a walkout by the Opposition NDA, Home Minister Shivraj Patil informed the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that the central government had put in place a mechanism for monitoring Naxal activities to evolve strategies to counter and closely address the problem.

He, however, stressed upon the need for "greater, concerted and cooperative" efforts between the states inter-se as well as between the Centre and states to achieve results that are more acceptable.

In response to queries raised by Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, the Home Minister said that deceased Lok Sabha member Sunil Kumar Mahato had found his security arrangements to be "adequate". He had been placed under a "Y" category security and 2 PSOs along-with five commandoes had been attached to him, Patil said in a suo-moto statement on the attack on the JMM leader on March 4. Information received from the Jharkhand government, he said, was that Mahato had not informed the district authorities about his programme at village Baguria in East Singhbhum district.

BJP leader Sushma Swaraj — alleging that the Minister's response was of a "casual nature" — had earlier led the NDA walkout, shortly after the Minister had begun responding to clarifications from members on the incident.

Alleging that the Minister's response to issues and concerns raised earlier by members was of a "casual nature", NDA members led by BJP leader Sushma Swaraj had staged a walkout.

Responding to concerns expressed by members in the 90-minute long discussion, Patil said that it was for the state governments to take a call on the issue of providing enhanced security cover to MPs.

On police modernisation schemes for Jharkhand, he said that Rs 182.72 crore had been provided to the state in the last six years while, during the current year, a special grant of Rs 15 crore had been provided to the state for purchase of telecommunications, weaponry and de-mining equipment. Jharkhand has been provided Rs 20.92 crore under Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme until date, he added.

The Naxal problem is of a serious nature, but combined efforts of the state and central governments have shown some levels of containment, Patil said, adding that Andhra Pradesh had achieved noteworthy success in controlling the problem through specials forces called the Greyhounds. In the country as a whole, he said, the Naxal incidents declined from 1608 in 2005 to 1509 in 2006 - signifying a 6.15 per cent decline.

Earlier in the discussion, NDA members demanded imposition of President's rule in Jharkhand. Former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha desired to know why the Greyhounds model of Andhra Pradesh had not been replicated in other Naxal-affected states, while suggesting that armed helicopters should be provided to all "red corridor" states. Ravi Shankar Prasad — another ex-union minister — alleged a loot of government funds in the name of Naxalism, while elaborating that officials and others were actually misusing funds allocated for strengthening security. CPI(M) leader Brinda Karath wanted the government to conduct a review of the functioning of the intelligence gathering agencies.

Naxal violence : Statistics


* ) The overall quantum of naxal violence in terms of incidents has shown a decrease of 6.15 % in 2006 over 2005. State-wise extent of naxal violence during the year 2003 to 2006 and upto 31.01.2007 are annexed.

* ) 584 arms/weapons such as SLRs Sten Guns, .303 rifles, DBBL guns, grenades, landmines and detonators were recovered from the naxal outfits during 2006

* ) The Government of Andhra Pradesh and the CPI (Maoist) and CPML-JS-KR entered into a peace process and held on round of talks during October, 2004. Subsequently, the naxal leadership withdrew from the peace talks unilaterally. There were similar attempts of peace talks with the naxal outfits in Andhra Pradesh in 1995 and 2002 also.

* ) In order to supplement the efforts of the State, the Central Government has deployed 33 CPMF Bns on anti-naxalite duty, sanctioned 29 India Reserve (IR) Bns, released Rs. 296 crores in 2003-04, Rs. 459 crores in 2004-05, Rs. 506 crore in 2005-06 and Rs, 371 crores so far during 2006-07 under the Police Modernisation Scheme for modernization of State Police in terms of modern weaponry, latest telecommunication equipment and other infrastructure and also reimbursed Rs. 219 crore so far under the Security Related Expenditure Scheme for naxal affected areas.

* ) On the development side, Central Government has provided Rs. 2475 crores under the Backward Districts Initiative (BDI) to fill in critical gaps in physical and social development in the naxal affected areas. Funds are given now under the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) Scheme.

Only 10 Women commandos in the National Security Guards

NSG is a 100% deputationist Commando Force. There is no system of recruiting any Commando directly. There are 10 women Commandos in NSG against the authorization of 26. Efforts are made on regular basis to fill up these vacancies, personnel for which come only from CRPF Mahila Battalions & some State Police Forces. Due to stringent requirements of physical fitness for training, not many women police personnel opt or sponsored by the concerned organizations for deputation to NSG.

Sunil Mahato Killling is yet another example of urban guerilla warfare of Naxals

CPI-M officially confirms death sentence against Sunil Mahto

Debashish Sarkar

Jamshedpur, March 6, 2007
The CPI-Maoists on Tuesday officially confirmed that it had carried out a death sentence against Jamshedpur MP, Sunil Mahto last Sunday as per the dictates of its joint zonal committee overseeing operations along the Bankura-Purulia-West Midnapore-Ghatshila region.

The confirmation of naxal involvement in the gruesome murder of the MP and three others on Sunday came in the form of posters pasted in Hariyan-Kuriyan villages in Gurabandha on Tuesday. "We've taken the revenge for the Lango lynching of our fellow cadres by killing the MP," the posters claimed.

The action was ratified by the Central Committee as per the pamphlets issued in the Ghatshila areas of Jamshedpur on Tuesday.

The CPI-Maoist Central Committee has also authorised targeted attacks on politicians, police officials known to be stalling its own growth in the areas under command or countering the growth of the organisation in various ways.

In this case, Mahato was seen as the man mobilising the Nagrik Suraksha Samity set up by the state in Ghatshila-Lango areas and responsible for the deaths of squad members in the past.The operation was executed by the urban guerilla squad led by Deepak who had specially come from Andhra Pradesh.

NAXALWATCH NOTE : In the past Naxals were successful in killing SP Vyas (in Lal Bahadure Stadium Hyderabad) , Umesh Chandra while he was travelling in Car)

"Area commander Madan Mahato, Gurupado Kisku and women ultras Reena Mondal alias Kalpana Maity, Jamuna alias Jayanti, Jagori Baske and Khepi Singh appeared to have played the lead role in executing the MP assassination operation," intelligence sources claimed.

"The central committee had come out with a detailed 4-page action plan and guideline last year itself in this regard. They started with West Bengal by carrying out a series of successful attacks against influential CPM politicians. Now the focus has shifted to Jharkhand," sources claimed.

They further reminded of the intelligence input to the state quoting zonal commander Durga alias Dijen who had said recently that their action would now shift from Bengal to Jharkhand-specifically around MGM-Dalma, Chakulia, Ghatshila and Dhalbhumgarh areas.

Police officials said, that the recently concluded national conclave of the CPI (Maoists), held somewhere along the Jharkhand-West Bengal-Orissa border between January 11 and February 19, had resolved to turn the People's Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) into People's Liberation Army (PLA).

The conclave, which re-elected Ganapati as the chairman of the central committee (supreme leader) had also reportedly decided to turn the guerilla zone under their control into permanent base.

"No more hit and run. Now time has come to spread in the towns and identify specific targets, hit them precisely and with impunity," sources quoted Ganapati as saying in the resolution passed during the conclave attended by 100 top naxalite leaders from 16 states.

"Mahato was murdered along with his two bodyguards and a fellow party leader from point-blank range after stopping the former on the pretext of garlanding him. This only points to the cold-blooded planning and execution that the resolution talks about," a senior police official said.

He further pointed out that the PO too was neither far from the town nor from the easily accessible road. "No hide and seek, no hit and run in the jungles or hilly terrains. It was out in the open in full public view," reminded the official.

Email Debashish Sarkar:

Maoists claim responsibility for Mahato's killing

Posted at Tuesday, 06 March 2007 19:03 IST
Jamshedpur, March 6: The banned CPI-Maoist today claimed responsibility for gunning down JMM MP Sunil Mahato, saying he was shot dead to avenge the killing of 11 Naxalite cadres at Lango a few years ago.

The claim was made in posters put up by CPI-Maoist at villages in Hadia and Lango areas under the jurisdiction of Ghorabandh police station, Superintendent of Police Pankaj Darad said.

The posters claimed Mahato had instigated villagers at Lango to kill the 11 Maoists and he had therefore been killed.

Mahato, two of his bodyguards and a JMM worker were gunned down while he was watching a football match in Baghuria village in East Singhbhum district on Sunday.

On the other hand, amidst walkout by opposition NDA, the Home Minister Shivraj Patil today told the Rajya Sabha that JMM MP Sunil Kumar Mahato, killed in a naxalite attack, was provided security to slain leader's satisfaction.

But Patil did not reply whether as the Home Minister he was satisfied with the security provided to Mahato when his threat perception was visibly high.

This question was asked by the Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat even as BJP members staged a walkout in the middle of the Home Minister's reply to a 90-minute discussion on the killing of JMM leader.

When asked by the Chair whether Mahato's security was enough, the Home Minister said "when he (Mahato) was asked whether the security given to him was adequate, he said it was adequate".

This reply did not seem to satisfy the Chair who repeatedly asked Patil whether as the Home Minister he was satisfied with the security provided to Mahato.

Participating in the discussion, NDA members from the state demanded imposition of President's rule in Jharkhand alleging failure on part of the state government to provide security to the MP.

Earlier, dissatisfied with the Minister's statement and reply, BJP staged a walkout accusing Patil of dealing with the issue in a "casual manner".

AP Cong leader shot dead by Naxals
Posted Monday , March 05, 2007 at 12

New Delhi: A day after armed Naxals gunned down Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MP Sunil Mahato in a crowded function, they struck again, making clear their ability to attack at will.

In what seemed like a coordinated attack, armed rebels shot dead an Andhra Pradesh Congress leader on Monday.

District Congress leader and Mandal Parishad Territorial Constitutency (MPTC) Member Prakash was shot dead near Marikal Village of Peddakothpalli Mandal of the district.

Police say Prakash was gunned down when he was inspecting road construction works in the village on Monday morning.

The police have sounded an alert and launched search operations to nab the culprits.

Maoists go to town, say we killed MP
Posted Tuesday , March 06, 2007 at 17:11
Updated Tuesday , March 06, 2007 at 17:26 Email Print

TAKING BLAME: Maoists said they killed Mahato to avenge the killing of 11 Naxalite cadres a few years ago.

The claim was made in posters put up by CPI-Maoist at villages in Hadia and Lango areas under the jurisdiction of Ghorabandh police station, Superintendent of Police Pankaj Darad said.

Mahato was shot dead in Ghatshila near Jamshedpur on Sunday. Ghatshila Sub Divisional Officer Ramesh Dubey said that about 15 Naxals came to the venue of a football the match at Bakuria in East Singhbhum district ten minutes before its end and moved near Mahato on the pretext of garlanding him before opening fire on him and his guards from point blank.

While Mahato, who represented Jamshedpur constituency, and his bodyguards died instantaneously, Prabhakar Mahato succumbed to injuries on way to Tata Main hospital in Jamshedpur.

The naxals torched the MP's vehicle before fleeing the scene taking advantage of the commotion set off by the attack.

The lawmaker, who was also JMM General Secretary, was killed on the spot.

East Singhbhum Superintendent of Police Pankaj Darad said that seven bullets were pumped into the body of Sunil Mahato.

Raju Giri, general secretary of JMM's central committee, said that two other bodyguards of the MP had been taken away by the Naxals.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, who held a meeting with senior officials in Ranchi, ordered a CBI probe into the killing of the MP.

The Naxals looted the weapons held by Sunil Mahato's bodyguards before firing at them.

(With PTI inputs)

Patna (Bihar): Twenty-four hours after the murder of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MP Sunil Mahato, there are many theories doing the rounds on what could be the motive behind the murder.

While the widely accepted theory - which has been touted by the Union Home Ministry - is that the killing could be in retaliation to the government's crackdown on the Naxalites, many others believe that there could be a political angle to the murder.

So far, the motive for the Naxals seems to be money as Mahato had become a hurdle in the Naxals attempts to make more money.

Mahato and his men had stakes in many ongoing civil contract works.

The Naxals collect a levy from all civil contractors working in the area.

This levy constituted a major contribution to their kitty.

However, Sunil Mahato was an exception. Being a local MP, he refused to pay this levy.

Most JMM supporters are taking the Naxal view into account saying that most probably the murder took place because of a contract dispute.
Home Secretary V K Duggal told CNN-IBN, "Jharkhand should improve its performance in tackling the Naxal issue as recruitments in Naxal groups have gone up there. All the information of Naxals held in Jharkhand and Bihar was available with the Home Ministry. It is a hypersensitive area and the question of MPs' security will be reviewed again on a case by case basis. Necessary action will be taken against those accused of the murder."

However, sources have told CNN-IBN that this could also be an act of political vendetta.

With JMM Chief Shibu Soren languishing behind bars, Mahato had emerged as a strong successor, and his elimination would certainly benefit many in his party.

Minister of State, Home Ministry, Shri Prakash Jaiswal has said, "We believe it is a conspiracy. But what kind of a conspiracy - whether it's political or non-political - we are not sure yet."

On the other hand, Congress MP Furkan Ansari said, "This is not how a government is run. We want that this government should go in the interest of the people."

It's too early to veto any of these theories and all eyes are fixed on what comes out of the CBI probe.

Sunil Mahato, 41, was killed by suspected Maoist rebels on Sunday evening near Narsingh village of Jamshedpur district.