Saturday, April 28, 2007

Maoists halt transport services in Kathmandu

Kathmandu, April 28. (PTI): Maoists protesting against the police beating of a taxi driver today disrupted transport services in different parts of the Nepalese Capital during an indefinite strike called by the former rebels.

The vehicles were halted at different places including Kalimati, Kalanki, Tripureshwor, Koteshwor, Swoyambhu, Balkhu, Satdobato and Baneshwor.

The Maoists said, they were protesting against the beating of a trade union member belonging to their sister concern by the police yesterday and their strike will go indefinitely.

The Maoist cadres, wearing red caps, forcibly stopped taxis, cars, buses and motorcycles at various points in the city creating blockades and snatched keys from those who did not stop.

The policemen did not stop the former rebels from halting the vehicles in Kalimati, main market place of Kathmandu, eye-witnesses said.

This is the first time after joining the Government that a transport strike has been called by the Maoists.

Gujarat "fake encounter" resonates in LS

New Delhi, April 28 (PTI): The alleged fake encounter in Gujarat resonated in the Lok Sabha today with non-BJP members attacking the Narendra Modi Government saying a message was going round that minorities were being targeted there.

Participating in a debate on the Demands for Grants of the Home Ministry, members from Samajwadi Party, CPI(M), Congress, RJD and BSP termed as serious the killing of one Sohrabuddin allegedly in a fake encounter in the state.

Three senior IPS officers, including a Deputy Inspector General, had been arrested in connection with the case.

"It is not the issue of an individual being killed after being branded as a terrorist... If innocent people are killed in this way, it will be like inviting new terrorists and naxals," said Ramjilal Suman (SP).

"Gujarat appears to be becoming a terrorist manufacturing machine," he alleged evoking sharp protest from BJP's Ratilal Verma.

Suman said the gravity of the situation was more in view of reports that the Gujarat Home Minister might be involved in the incident.

The SP member alleged innocent people were being killed in Gujarat in fake encounters in a way similar to 2002 riots which were "organised".

"A message is going to the outside world that innocent people are being killed after being labelled as terrorists," he said adding it was not good for the country and sought the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard.

He also sought a CBI probe to unearth the truth.

Government denies taking soft approach towards terror

New Delhi, April 28 : The government Saturday denied it had a soft approach towards terrorism and that it adopted a middle path by bringing together all the sections in dialogue to deal with militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast.

Replying to a discussion on demands for grants for the home affairs, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said the government's approach has been proved a success and the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir has improved a lot.

Patil said the government was contemplating constitutional amendments to arm it with powers to send forces to troubled spots in states, but said a decision on such an amendment would be consensual.

Terming the issue "too delicate", Patil said the government would evolve a consensus on it. "No unilateral action will be taken by the government in this regard... It will be done only with consensus," he said.

Patil said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's policies have been able to bring in a "healthy and secure environment" in the trouble-torn regions. According to him, the round table conferences to bring peace in Kashmir have succeeded in bringing together different sections.

Explaining the steps taken by the government to tackle the Maoist rebellion in some states, Patil said the government has adopted a "balanced human approach." He said the central government had strengthened the force and upgraded their weaponry in Maoist rebellion-hit states. "It will take a little more time to show the results," he assured the Lok Sabha.

Earlier, the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) criticised the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-led government accusing it of making the country a "soft state", but the ruling party MPs attacked the opposition for "the communal politics" it has played.

In a lacklustre debate, initiated by Shahnawaz Hussain, the BJP reiterated its apprehensions over the repealing of draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), the Congress and the Left unleashed an attack on the BJP, citing the staged shootouts in Gujarat and its anti-minority stance.

Congress's Madhusudan Mistry, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)'s Mohammed Salim and Samajwadi Party's Ramjilal Suman were among those who took part in the discussions.

Putting demands for grants for various ministries, the Lok Sabha Saturday passed Rs.235.9 trillion relating to various ministries by voice vote.

The finance bill will be put on voting May 3. It will be taken up by the Rajya Sabha May 5.

--- IANS

Friday, April 27, 2007

Callous about Maoist terror

-- K P S Gill
Source: Daily Pioneer

There is much focus now on the Maoist threat in India and, despite entirely inconsistent assessments by various Government agencies, an increasing consensus around the view that this is the greatest internal security challenge confronting the country. At the same time - and particularly in the aftermath of the major incidents that are all-too-frequently engineered by the Maoists - there is rising concern at the 'police failure' or 'security forces failure' to contain this rising menace.

It needs to be recognised at the outset that a professional and motivated police force, with a sufficient numerical strength and adequate material and technological resources, and with a clear political mandate, can defeat any insurgency in India, including this latest bogey - the Maoist 'protracted war'. If there is a failure to contain and defeat the Maoists, it is because the necessary capacities and mandate are deliberately kept in abeyance; indeed, the limited and entirely deficient capacities that do currently exist are systematically undermined by a cabal of corrupt political, administrative and police leaderships that have developed a deep vested interest in the persistence of the Maoist insurgency. Unless the dynamics of the implicit or explicit nexus between this leadership group and Maoist violence is understood and neutralised, an effective strategy to defeat the Naxalites can neither be framed, nor implemented.

The reality of the situation on the ground - irrespective of the theoretical and supposedly ideological constructs that are given currency in the mock discourse among the 'intelligentsia' - is that this is a fight between two corrupt entities that find mutual benefit and enrichment in fake engagements which can be sustained in perpetuity. A few hapless members of the constabulary and subordinate ranks in the security forces, and equally luckless cadres of the so-called revolutionaries are, of course, killed off from time to time. But no one is really concerned about the occasional massacre - despite the brouhaha that is raised in the media after each major incident.

Fatality figures, in fact, can be used to support whatever thesis is calculated to augment the flow of funds to personal or party coffers. A close scrutiny of the operational situation and the conditions under which the forces are working will demonstrate unambiguously that, in most States and areas, nothing really changes on the ground in the wake of major incidents.

This is the reason why almost no State - and some have been at it for 40 years and more - has been able to entirely and permanently eradicate Left-wing extremism. The Maoist movement, over the past decades, has steadily augmented to attain the status of a massive trans-State exercise in organised extortion and protection racketeering. And everywhere, opportunistic alliances between the Maoists and 'overground' political parties and entities are in place, most visibly around each electoral exercise, but in a constant intercourse at all times.

Almost all political parties have become mirror images of each other in India today, but in this regard they are even more so, with a multiplicity of corrupt parties and organisations woven together in a complex tapestry of duplicity and fraud that entrenches the ruling elite - an elite that grows increasingly more dynastic in all parties over time. Small cabals of violently criminal adventurers manage to break into the charmed circle of political privilege, from time to time, by their sheer ferocity and lack of restraint. The Maoist leadership and the many criminals in the State and national legislatures fall, naturally, into the latter category.

Drumming up a sense of crisis has become an integral part of the efforts at 'resource mobilisation' in this broad enterprise, and that is why the 'developmental solution' to Naxalism finds such strong advocacy among political leaders and state bureaucracies everywhere. Long years ago, Rajiv Gandhi noted that barely 15 paisa in each rupee of developmental funding actually reached its intended beneficiaries; the rest was swallowed up by the black hole of 'power brokers'. In insurgency affected areas, the proportion of developmental funds that is actually utilised for intended purposes would be even smaller - virtually the entire sums, totalling thousands of crores, find their way into the pockets of corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and their hangers on, and through their symbiotic relationship with the 'insurgents' into the pockets of the Maoists as well.

Among the multiplicity of reasons for the military debacle in the Indo-China war of 1962, it was found that the Border Roads Organisation had 'constructed' many roads that existed only on maps, but of which there was no evidence on the ground. Forty-five years later, the same formula is now being applied in Naxalite areas, and it is difficult even to imagine how much of the exchequer's money has been spent on roads that were never constructed, but for which payments have been made and distributed among the local 'stakeholders', with the Naxalites cornering a considerable share to bolster up their 'revolution'.

The Centre now underwrites virtually all security related expenditure in Maoist afflicted States, providing support for police modernisation and force augmentation. Yet, States fail to create the necessary capacities to counter the Maoist threat. Even where significant disbursal of such funds occurs, their utilisation remains inefficient, and diversion to other, often unauthorised uses, is endemic.

The tragedy of existing or newly created capacities is as great. The State police leaderships are raising new battalions of armed forces, but recruitment is marred by widespread bribery. You cannot expect a man who secures his position in a police force through bribery to actually risk his life fighting the Naxalites. So the next stage is inevitable: Policemen pay bribes to the police leadership to secure postings outside the Naxalite affected 'conflict' areas, and in 'soft' areas and duties. The amounts collected through these and other 'administrative' channels - including the continuous business of transfers and postings - total in the hundreds of crores, and are naturally shared with the political leadership that enables corrupt officers to retain 'lucrative' positions, where they can continue with this despicable commerce. That is why, even in State's where there has been a visible augmentation of forces over the past years, deployment in the 'conflict' areas remains disproportionately deficient.

These are 'snapshots' of the objective situation on the ground. How are we to extricate the nation from this predicament? The cabals that are currently exploiting the situation to the hilt will have to be broken. The right individuals - from constables to the highest force commanders - will have to be identified and correctly located. Political leaders will have to look beyond party coffers and the next election, to a future in which people can live without fear. If this does not happen, the corrupt state will continue to fight the corrupt 'revolutionary', with mounting casualties in widening theatres, till the collapse of governance reaches a point where the venality of the national elite threatens its own existence.

Railways rapped for `deceptive practices'

Special Correspondent

Parliamentary committee faults ``safety surcharge''
Comprehensive strategy sought to improve security

NEW DELHI: The Parliamentary Committee on Railways has come down strongly on the Railways for adopting "deceptive practices" to impose financial burden on the passengers in an indirect manner by including "safety surcharge" in the actual fare.

The Committee also called for a comprehensive security strategy to deal with the menace of terrorism, naxalite attacks and other disruptive forces causing loss of lives and property.

Report tabled

In its 27th report tabled in Parliament on Thursday, the Committee said that out of the Rs. 17,000 crore allocated for the Special Railway Safety Fund (SRSF), Rs. 5,000 crore was to be mobilised by the Railways through levy of a "Safety Surcharge."

The Committee noted that after the expiry of the period of SRSF, safety surcharge would be subsumed in the actual fare and the revenue generated would be utilised for funding the construction of a dedicated freight corridor. "The Committee does not agree with such an arrangement. The Committee in this connection would recall its report on `Demands for Grants 2006-07' where it had disapproved of the policy of the Railways putting an indirect burden on the commuters. It strongly recommended that the Railways refrain from adopting such deceptive practices."

Noting with distress that the Railways had become a soft target for terrorists, naxalites and other disruptive forces, the Committee desired that the Railways in collaboration with State police, intelligence agencies and paramilitary forces evolve a comprehensive and coordinated strategy to strengthen and improve security.

Interestingly, the Committee noted that there were discrepancies in the documents presented to Parliament by the Railways.

The Railway Board Chairman during his submissions before the Committee indicated there had been an incorrect representation of information provided by the Railways to the Committee regarding budget surplus and net revenue.

Panel for unified command in naxal-hit states

New Delhi, April 27 (PTI): A Parliamentary Standing Committee has suggested creation of a Unified Command common to all naxal-affected states and implementation of a coastal security scheme in view of "greater risk" of infiltration from coastal belts.

"The naxal activities have spread to more than 12 states and are reported to be having links with external agencies including ISI," the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs said in its 126th report on Thursday.

The Committee in its 66-page report said taking into account the growth and influence of the naxal groups in several states and the grave threat posed by it to internal security, it is high time that the Ministry constitute a Unified Command to effectively tackle the menace.

Maoists prosper amid ‘prosperity’

Statesman News Service

KOLKATA, April. 26.- The twin districts of Purulia and Bankura, where the Maoists have made considerable inroads taking advantage of the abject poverty among sizable section of the population there, have ironically far less number of people living below the poverty line.

This startling revelation was made at a high power meeting at Writers’ Buildings today attended by the chief minister and the panchayat and food and supplies ministers, among others, to discuss the modalities for distribution of BPL cards.
The state government had made a door-to-door survey in all the districts for about a year to assess the extent of below poverty line population in the wake of complaints that many above poverty line had got cards while many others below poverty line had been excluded. The CM later told reporters he had instructed concerned departments to make the list as fool proof as possible. The assessment was made with the support of video footage on the basis of 12 items owned by the people. For each item 5 marks was allotted and those scoring up to 33 marks were considered to belong to the BPL group. Mr Paresh Adhikary, minister for food and supplies, said the findings for Purulia and Bankura had “really” been surprising. The number of people below poverty line in the two districts must be more than what the survey shows, he admitted. A fresh survey would be made there. The meeting decided that verification of the eligibility of over 2.5 crore people who have already got BPL cards would be made during May on the basis of the cut-off 33 marks. Those who would qualify would be allowed to use the cards, while those who won’t would be denied the benefit.
Fresh cards would be issued to those so long excluded, if their socio-economic conditions are within the BPL limits. Mr Suryakanta Mishra, minister for rural development, said the meeting also decided to review the coverage of 100 days work provided to the rural poor under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. Ten districts have been covered and the benefits are being spread to seven others, Mr Mishra added.

Cops death roll in Maoist attack rises to five

From correspondents in Chhattisgarh, India, 06:00 PM IST

One more policeman in Chhattisgarh succumbed to his injuries Friday, a day after four police personnel were killed in the state in a landmine blast triggered by Maoist militants.

The incident took place in Michgaon village in Kanker district, about 175 km south of Raipur late Thursday evening. As many as 18 policemen were injured in the blast.

'The blast destroyed the front portion of the bus, four policemen were killed on the spot while seven of the 18 injured cops were in a serious condition,' Kanker district police chief B.K. Choubey told IANS over phone.

In 2006, about 750 people were killed in Maoist violence across India and Chhattisgarh alone accounted 48 percent of the casualties.

(Staff Writer, © IANS)

Brakes on public meets

Jamshedpur, April 26: Apprehending Maoist attack on administrative officers, politicians and police, the government has asked the police to be extra cautious on conducting janata darbars in Naxalite-hit areas.

According to a senior police officer, the seriousness of the government’s instruction could be assessed from the fact that within 24 hours of the notice top officials of Singhbhum-Kolhan took part in an emergency meeting at the office of East Singhbhum superintendent of police.

The meeting, which lasted for over three hours, was chaired by deputy inspector-general of police (Kolhan) Ram Lakhan Prasad. Commandant of CRPF and West Singhbhum superintendent of police were also present.

The DIG declined to divulge the details of the meeting and the contents of the letter, but an officer present in the meeting said: “The letter which was received by the DIG had categorically mentioned that the police should reduce the number of janata darbars. If at all such meetings are organised they should be extra cautious,” said an officer present in the meeting.

The officer revealed that the government, based on intelligence reports, has informed the DIG that Naxalites were taking part in large numbers in all the janata darbars.

“The home ministry apprehends that the Naxalites might use these janata darbars to attack government officials and politicians,” the officer added.

He pointed out that the letter from the home ministry assumes more significance because the JMM MP Sunil Mahto was assassinated during the final of a football match.

“Since the letter is from the home ministry and referred to an intelligence report, everyone present in the meeting took it very seriously. Keeping in mind the ill effects of not holding janata darbars it was decided that its number would be reduced and the venues would be not deep inside Naxalite-dominated zone,” the officers added.

More firepower in kitty to fight Naxal terror

Bhubaneswar/Ranchi, April 26: The Centre today asked Naxalite-hit states to gear up their machinery to tackle the menace, which is posing a major threat to internal security.

Orissa would get a third India Reserve Battalion (IRB) to combat the growing Naxalite menace while Jharkhand was pulled up for not following proper procedures in combating the Naxalite menace at a day-long meeting of the Coordination Centre on Naxalism in Delhi today.

Union home secretary Madhukar Gupta, chairing the meeting, told the chief secretaries and directors-general of police of the Naxalite-affected states to keep a constant vigil on the movement of Naxalite groups, training camps, weapons, hideouts and sources of funds. Major Naxalite-hit states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Bihar made detailed presentations of their action plans to tackle the menace.

Orissa DGP Amarananda Pattnaik told The Telegraph the third battalion of IRB would be raised soon. It might be set up either at Keonjhar or Raygada district.

Orissa’s first IRB is located at Sunabeda in Orissa’s southern Koraput. The state government has decided to set up a similar battalion in western Orissa, for which Central nod has been received and recruitment started.

During the meeting, two glaring examples were cited wherein security personnel of Jharkhand failed to comply with procedures that led to deaths of civilians and jawans following attacks from rebels.

The Jharkhand representatives were told that when rebels attacked the slain JMM MP Sunil Mahto, the security guards were not organised in counter-attacking the rebels, the Coordination Centre on Naxalism. Similarly, the police failed to act although there were intelligence inputs that the CISF post at Bermo in Bokaro was on the rebels’ target.

“Centre wants the Jharkhand government to ensure that proper procedures are adhered to when it comes to take on the rebels. The state must see to it that all inputs are taken seriously and the security personnel work in a proper manner to repel rebel attacks,” sources said.

Some of the states, including Jharkhand, requested the ministry to allow states to take help of army in evacuating police personnel from venue of incidents, if the need arises.

“Sometimes, the choppers develop snags and cannot be used for rescue operations. In such situations, the state governments should be allowed to get in touch with army directly so that army personnel could be rushed immediately. The Centre has agreed to this proposal and assured to hold a dialogue with Union ministry of defence to work out the modalities,” sources said.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Four cops killed in Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh

Raipur, April 26: Maoist militants detonated a landmine blast Thursday evening in Chhattisgarh, killing four state police personnel and injuring 16, a senior police officer said.

The incident took place at Michgaon village near the forest belt of Durgkondal in Bastar region's Kanker district, about 175 km south of capital Raipur.

"The blast tore apart the front portion of the police bus. Four policemen were killed on the spot while seven of 16 injured cops were serious," district police chief B.K. Choubey told IANS by phone.

He added that the injured were rushed to local hospitals. "Extra reinforcements have been rushed to the blast site and a combing operation launched to apprehend attackers," Choubey informed.

In 2006, Chhattisgarh accounted for 48 percent casualties in the 749 people killed by Maoists in the country.

--- IANS

Centre asks Naxal-hit States to gear up machinery

New Delhi, April. 26 (PTI): The Centre today asked Naxal-hit states to gear up their machinery to tackle the menace, which is posing a major challenge to internal security.

This was conveyed by Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta to Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police of the Naxal-affected states at a day-long meeting of the Coordination Centre on Naxalism here.

The states were told to keep a constant watch on the movement of Naxal groups, training camps, weapons, hideouts and sources of funds. Areas of their current activities and places where they plan to spread violence were some other aspects which the states were asked to keep a watch. They were also asked to fortify police stations in view of frequent attacks by the ultras.

An official release said the states were advised to strengthen their security structures and intelligence gathering machinery and raise India Reserve Battalions. The need for police to adhere to Standard Operating Procedures was also stressed in view of some recent incidents in which security forces have suffered heavy casualties.

The states on their part demanded additional companies of para-military forces and relaxation of norms for sanction of roads and electricity connection to villages, sources said.

In the backdrop of reports that people, mostly tribals, uprooted by SEZ or industries were joining the Naxals, the states were advised to review their resettlement and rehabilitation policies on a priority basis. Special focus on developmental plans was also suggested.

Major Naxal-hit states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Bihar made detailed presentations of their action plans to tackle the menace.

Source: IANS
The central government Thursday asked the states facing violence by Maoist guerrillas to achieve better coordination between the police forces and security personnel to fight the menace.

Presiding over the Coordination Centre on Naxalism meet here, Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta told the chief secretaries and the directors general of police of the Maoist-hit states to religiously adhere to the Standard Operating Procedure, evolved for the security personnel, fighting radical Leftwing violence in border areas between the two states.

Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa are among the states most hit by the violence unleashed by Maoists, who claim to be fighting for the landless and the poor.

Gupta sought to impress upon the states that when a police party enters a neighbouring state while chasing Maoists, police in that state should extend cooperation and react to information with alacrity.

The states were also urged to keep a constant watch on the movement of Maoist groups, their weaponry, training camps, hideouts, sources of weapons and funds, areas of current activity and areas in which they plan to spread violence and activity, said a home ministry release.

It added that the states were also asked to strengthen their security structures and intelligence gathering machinery and raise India Reserve Battalions.

On the developmental front, the states were advised to review their resettlement and rehabilitation policies on a priority basis, said the release, adding that the states also need to expeditiously implement the projects under Backward Regions Grant Fund - and the rural job guarantee scheme.

They were also urged to fill vacancies at the lowest level of the district administration, especially in rural and tribal areas, through special recruitment drives to ensure that the developmental agenda of the government was not neglected due to the absence of the grass-root machinery.

Indians mull new strategy to counter Maoist threat


26 April 2007

NEW DELHI - Top officials from more than dozen Indian states met in New Delhi Thursday to construct a new strategy to counter a decades-old but worsening Maoist insurgency, home ministry officials said.

They said the government and police will “review and coordinate steps being taken by the affected states to effectively combat leftist guerrillas, a spokesman said.

The brainstorming meet comes just over a month after 55 policemen were killed by Maoists in central Chhattisgarh state in one of the worst ever attacks on Indian security forces.

The March 16 incident followed the assassination of high-profile federal MP Sunil Mahto by Maoists in neighbouring Jharkhand state on March 4. He was the first national-level politician to be assassinated by the left-wing rebels.

Maoists say they are fighting for the rights of neglected tribes and landless farmers. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in Chhattisgarh and are now living in tent shelters as Indian counter-insurgency forces operate in the countryside.

Officials have said the Maoist insurgency threatens huge swathes of India’s centre, east and south and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described the Maoists as the single biggest threat to India’s internal security.

A federal home ministry official told AFP that one of the issues on the table during the one-day meeting was “how to strengthen intelligence gathering at the ground level.”

“There are some lacunae that exist and we need to plug those. Another issue that we could discuss is better coordination between the affected states, between their intelligence and police personnel,” he said.

“Often Maoists carry out attacks in one state and slip across the border into others and the trail goes cold. We need to focus on this too.”

The rebels, who launched their armed campaign in 1967, operate in another 14 of India’s 29 states. New Delhi refuses to negotiate with them.

Some 669 people died in 2005 in violence linked to more than 9,000 armed rebels who have spread over 15 states, according to government estimates.
In 2006, there were 1509 cases of Maoist violence which claimed 680 lives including that of 157 security men, 251 civilians and 272 rebels, according to India’s home ministry.

Freedom fighters branded as extremists in textbooks, upsets patriots

Thursday April 26 2007 00:00 IST
BHUBANESWAR/SAMBALPUR: First it was NCERT, now it is the Board of Secondary Education (BSE). History justifiably repeats itself. In Class X books of the State, a group of freedom fighters have been termed extremists stirring the hornet's nest.

In the Social Studies book of Class X, a chapter on Bharata Re Swadhinata Sangram, mentions Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Chandrasekhar Azad and Rajguru as extremists who took to revolutionary activities to attain political goal.

The Chief Minister's Office has asked School and Mass Education Department to submit a report on how this error crept in.

While portraying Mahatma Gandhi as a believer of non-violence and his role in freedom movement, the chapter speaks about those who took to violence as a means to achieving the goal of independence.

Nationalist leader Surya Sen has been mentioned as Suryasena in the social studies book which says he accompanied by his cohorts attacked Chittagong Port with arms and ammunition.

The book makes a mention about Binoy Ghosh, Badal and Dinesh who had created uproar in Bengal after killing English officers there but unfortunately all these including Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukdev, who were hanged, have been branded extremists.

Even Chandrasekhar Azad who was killed in Allahabad while fighting against the Britishers has been put in the same league. In the concluding chapter, they are called martyrs.

Adding to the confusion is the definition of Santrasabad described on page No 141 in second section of the book. It has been explained that terrorism is a weapon to dethrone an established political organization forcefully from power.

In one chapter, the book terms the freedom fighters as extremists and in the same breath, in another chapter, talks about Al Qaeda, naxals, attackers of Parliament and World Trade Centre as examples of extremist activities. Osama in Laden has been names as an extremist.

The historical distortions have crept in despite the Board adopting a multi layer review system.

A syllabus review committee of BSE is in place and its members write books which then go to a review committee. Then the syllabus committee presents the book to the academic wing for its views only after which it seeks a nod from secretary and president. It is after all these levels of scrutiny the book is sent for printing.

The history and civics sections of the book have been penned by a group of writers comprising Nihar Ranjan Patnaik, Himansu Sekhar Patnaik, Purnachandra Das, Dr Pratap Kumar Patnaik and Jyotsnarani Sarangi.


17:28 IST
The 23rd meeting of the Co-ordination Centre was held here today to review the naxal situation in the country. It was chaired by the Union Home Secretary, Shri Madhukar Gupta. Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police of the naxal-affected States took part in the deliberations. Representatives from the Planning Commission and Central Ministries of Tribal Affairs, Panchayati Raj, Rural Development and Forests & Environment were also present to discuss the developmental strategy for these States.

The States were urged to keep a constant watch on the movement of naxal groups, their weaponry, training camps, hideouts, sources of weapons and funds, areas of current activity and areas in which they plan to spread violence and activity. The States were also asked to strengthen their security structures and intelligence gathering machinery and raise India Reserve Battalions. The need for police to adhere to the field-craft and Standard Operating Procedures was stressed.

On the developmental front, the States were advised to review their Resettlement and Rehabilitation policies on a priority basis. The need to put special focus on implementation of Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF), Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act ,1996 (PESA), NREGP and ‘The Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 was emphasised. State Governments were urged to fill vacancies in the Government at the bottom level of the district administration especially in rural and tribal areas through special recruitment drives to ensure that the developmental agenda of the Government was not neglected due to absence of grassroot machinery.

Some of the major States affected by naxal violence like Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Bihar made detailed presentations on their action plans to tackle the naxal menace and the steps taken and proposed to be taken by them. Progress of steps taken to fill up vacancies in police, fortify police stations, improve delivery mechanisms, etc. was intimated by the States.

During the first three months of 2007, 395 naxal incidents took place as against 431 during the corresponding period last year. 209 people were killed in these incidents during the current year as against 212 in the corresponding period last year.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Maoists behead two brothers in Jharkhand

Apr 24, 2007 - 11:42:30 AM

The Maoists left a pamphlet terming the brothers as police informers. When villagers tried to resist, they were silenced with threats that they would be killed too.

By IANS, [RxPG] Ranchi, April 24 - Two brothers were beheaded in their Jharkhand village by suspected Maoist guerrillas for allegedly being police informers.

According to the police, the macabre incident took place Monday night at Tamba village, about 70 km from here, when 20 activists of the Communist Party of India-Maoist - raided the home of Jagmohan Singh.

They took away Jagmohan as well as his brother and tied them to a tree. After beating them mercilessly, the guerrillas decapitated them with a sharp edged weapon, an official said.

The Maoists left a pamphlet terming the brothers as police informers. When villagers tried to resist, they were silenced with threats that they would be killed too.

More than 20 police informers have been killed in the last year in the state, where Maoists are active in 16 of the 22 districts. Nearly 590 people, including 290 security personnel, have been killed in the last six years in Maoist related violence.

Maoist fear closes down police station

Apr 24, 2007 - 12:55:25 PM

Sources told IANS that dozens of police stations in Lakhisarai district are on the hit list of Maoists. The rebels have threatened to loot arms and ammunition and kill the policemen in these places if they resist.

By IANS, [RxPG] Patna, April 24 - A police station in a Bihar village has simply closed down due to fear of Maoists, leaving the villagers insecure and at the mercy of the rebels.

Manikpur police station in Lakhisarai district, about 150 km from here, remained shut for over a week after police officials deserted it out of fear of Maoists.

'It was shut due to security reasons,' a police official said.

The official said the men posted at Manikpur were shifted to Suryagarh police station. Villagers allege that police officials had 'fled' in panic.

But Lakhisarai Superintendent of Police R. Malar Viji had a different view. He said the Manikpur police station was functioning from a rented house and it lacked adequate security.

'It is not proper to say that it was shut out of fear of Maoists,' he said. The station was established in 1971.

Sources told IANS that dozens of police stations in Lakhisarai district are on the hit list of Maoists. The rebels have threatened to loot arms and ammunition and kill the policemen in these places if they resist.

Guerrillas of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist attacked a police picket in the district on Feb 26-27, killed four Bihar Military Police personnel and looted weapons.

Maoists want to catch them young - at birth

Apr 25, 2007 - 9:13:41 AM
According to a report by the Asian Centre for Human Rights -, a total of 749 people were killed in India in 2006 in Maoist violence, with Chhattisgarh accounting for 48 percent of the casualties.

By Sujeet Kumar, IANS, [RxPG] Dantewada -, April 25 - Maoists here have ordered pregnant women to deliver only at makeshift camps run by women guerrillas so that the children can dedicate themselves to extreme left ideology.

'Pregnant women have been ordered to deliver only under the guidance of health experts of the Krantikari Adivasi Mahila Sangh,' Yelam, a 32-year-old Maoist leader, told IANS in the Abujhmad forest in Dantewada district.

The Sangh comprising women guerrillas is one of the frontal organisations of the Communist Party of India-Maoist -.

'The children - boys or girls - will be enrolled as new cadres and will be brought up in a culture that will help fulfil the long-awaited dream of liberating the red zone,' he added. Police say the 20,000 armed Maoists who operate in India have formed the 'red zone' from southern India to Nepal's border.

'The decision is intended to keep reminding these children as they grow up that they are born to the cause of Maoist ideology and the creation of the red zone,' said Yelam, who belongs to Indravati Dalam, an affiliate of the CPI-Maoist in Chhattisgarh.

The CPI-Maoist, an outfit formed in late 2005 with the merger of the Maoist Communist Centre - and People's War Group -, has a strong presence and terror network in 13 of India's 29 states.

'Our influence and support base is fast widening as police lack local support and their intelligence set up has entirely collapsed.'

The CPI-Maoist has set up several war training camps and explosive units in a forested stretch of Chhattisgarh's southern region of Bastar where they virtually run a parallel government.

The guerrillas have killed hundreds of civilians and policemen and bombed government buildings and establishments since 1967 when they launched an armed movement from a West Bengal village.

The rebels carried out one of the deadliest attacks of their four-decade-old armed struggle March 15 on a police camp in Chhattisgarh, killing 55 policemen.

According to a report by the Asian Centre for Human Rights -, a total of 749 people were killed in India in 2006 in Maoist violence, with Chhattisgarh accounting for 48 percent of the casualties.

The ACHR has said in its latest report that the state has reported 101 of the total 144 casualties of Maoist violence in India from January to March this year.

Four Maoists killed in Chhattisgarh

Raipur, April 25: Four Maoist guerrillas were shot dead in two separate overnight incidents in Chhattisgarh, police said Wednesday.

Both incidents took place in the southern tip of Bastar region, in the Maoist stronghold of Dantewada district.

"Militants opened fire Tuesday night on a police team. Two militants were shot dead on the spot," R.K. Vij, the inspector general of Bastar range, told IANS over telephone.

He said two other rebels, including a commander known as Ramdas, were shot dead in the Dhanora forested region, 392 km south of Raipur.

According to a report by the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR), Maoist violence killed 749 people in India in 2006, with Chhattisgarh alone accounting for 48 percent of the casualties.

--- IANS

Cops teach to mend image


Ways to make friends
Ranchi, April 24: Policemen are teaching schoolchildren in Simdega and selling vegetables on behalf of villagers in West Singhbhum.

This is part of the individual exercise by some of the superintendents of police to put behind the trigger-happy image of the men in khaki and as a confidence building measure to build bridges with the people.

Bullets, said Simdega SP Martin Pores Lakra, can never be an answer to extremism. “The police will have to first win the hearts of the people,” he told The Telegraph.

The first step he took after getting the new assignment two months ago, he recalled, was to prepare a dossier of police officers and constables about their educational qualifications and identify subjects, which they could teach to the school students.

They now compulsorily teach the students for one and a half-hours whenever the police are on the anti-Naxalite operation, the SP said.

Policemen now carry a bag full of instrument box, medicines, sports kits and so on. It is a kind of payback to the villagers for allowing policemen to take rest for some time in the school building, he said.

But don’t policemen scare the schoolchildren? “No. Rather, we have been successful in befriending hem,” he claimed.

“Besides, we are also doing a survey of persons afflicted with tuberculosis and carrying them to hospitals.”

Lakra recalled how his men played the good samaritan to three girls of Saranga village, who did not have money to fill up forms and appear at the secondary examination. All three appeared in the exam this year.

Policemen on patrol have also been instructed to pick up schools students and reach them home or to their schools.

In his district, Lakra said, policemen had also begun a campaign against liquor addiction.

Even more impressive is Lakra’s claim that the police on patrol have also been asked to prepare reports on the state of tubewells, hospitals and roads and submit their reports to the district administration for corrective measures.

Director-general of police J. Mahapatra said the SPs were encouraged to promote community policing and get closer to the people. Some of them have responded well, he said. Each SP, he claimed, has been given Rs 5 lakh under community policing.

On why police cannot attend to basic problems like absence of ration cards, the DGP said: “Government officials will resist the move, if we get into it.”

Five naxals, cop injured in Gadchiroli encounters

[25 Apr, 2007 l 1148 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK]

GADCHIROLI: About five naxalites and a policeman are believed to have been injured in two separate encounters in Gadchiroli district on Tuesday. Police sources said that the naxals belonging to Diwakar and Tippagarh dalams were camping in the jungles of the district.

In the first incident, the naxals opened fire at two police parties of the anti-Naxal operations and one party of the police health centre at about 7 am near village Kamkote (Jufragad hill), Korchi tehsil on the Chhattisgarh border. The police returned the fire and the shootout lasted for about 20 minutes, police sources said.

An 8-mm rifle, detonators, detonator wires, a walkietalkie, battery charger, hand grenades, claymore mines, puttu (a bag containing articles of daily use by naxals) and literature were recovered from the spot. The police claimed to have injured two naxals in the incident.

Superintendent of police Shirish Jain and SDPO Ravindra Pardeshi visited the spot and the police have launched a massive combing operation.

In the other incident reported from Murumgaon area of Dhanora tehsil in Gadchroli district, the naxalites opened fire opened fire at 2.30 pm at two police parties of anti-naxal operations between Ravitola and Katematka villages.

The police exchanged fire for 20 minutes and policeman Prabudas Madavi received bullet injuries in the neck and hand.

He was rushed to the Gadchiroli civil hospital, where he is reported to be out of danger. The naxals, however, escaped into the jungle.

The police recovered Bharmar guns, 3 kg gelatin, 2 kg gunpowder, 20 live bullets, puttu and naxal literature. Given the blood stains at the spot, the police feel that at least three naxalites might have been injured in the exchange of fire

Naxal threat forces closure of school

Naxal threat forces closure of school

Posted at Wednesday, 25 April 2007 17:04 IST
Aurangabad, April 25: A middle school at Usrumbha has been closed for two months following naxalites threatening, Sahara Samay sources said.

According to the channel, the school was closed after naxalites posted a pamphlet demanding levy on school walls.

The headmaster and other teachers were forced to close the school after receiving threatening.

Closure of the school is directly affecting the future of around 800 students but the district administration is unaware of the situation.

When approached, the District Magistrate Vinod Kumar Pandey assured proper action into the matter.

23rd Co-ordination Centre meeting on Naxalism tomorrow

From our ANI Correspondent

New Delhi, Apr 25: Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta will chair the twenty-third Co-ordination Centre meeting here on Thursday to review the Naxal situation in the country.

Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police of the affected States will attend the meeting besides senior officers from various ministries and departments of the Central Government.

The main focus of the security-related discussion will be on the States where the Naxal problem is of long gestation and where noticeable incidents of violence have taken place.

The meeting will also go into the implementation of the major developmental initiatives like the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF), Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act 1996 (PESA), NREGP and the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.

According to a report released by the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) early this year, 749 people were killed in the Naxalite conflict in 2006. These include 285 civilians, 135 security personnel and 329 alleged Naxalites.

The highest number of killings was reported from Chhattisgarh (363), followed by Andhra Pradesh (135), Jharkhand (95), Maharashtra (60), Bihar (45), Orissa (25), West Bengal (22), Uttar Pradesh (2), Karnataka (1) and Madhya Pradesh (1).

However, the number of killings in 2006 declined as compared to 2005 during which 892 people were killed, the report said.

In the year gone by, Naxalites killed 412 people, including 277 civilians and 135 security personnel. The security forces claimed to have killed 322 alleged Naxalites.


Centre to discuss developmental needs of Naxal-affected states

New Delhi, Apr 25: A crucial meeting of the Co-ordination Centre on Naxalism will be held here tomorrow amid the increasing focus of the UPA government on improving the developmental needs of the Naxal-affected areas as an effective step to wean away the youth from falling into the trap of the red ultras.

The meeting, to be chaired by Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, will review and coordinate the steps being taken by the 11 Naxal-affected states to effectively combat the menace.

Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police of the affected States and senior officers from the Ministries concerned and Departments of the Central Government will also attend the meeting.

The main focus of discussion at the meeting would be Chhattisgarh, which continues to be the epicenter of naxal violence claiming the highest number of incidents and deaths in 2006 and also in 2007 so far.

Naxal activities in Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and Maharashtra will also figure prominently.

As many as 304 civilians, 84 security personnel and 74 Maoists were killed in the highest of 705 incidents in Chhattisgarh in 2006.

Though the number of insurgency-related incidents has come down during the first four months of the current year, the situation has not improved on the naxal front.

However, there was a decrease of 6.15 per cent in the overall quantum of naxal violence in terms of incidents during 2006 over 2005.

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

--- UNI

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Two naxals killed in encounter

Posted at Tuesday, 24 April 2007 16:04 IST
Dantewada, (Chhattisgarh), April 24: At least two naxals have been killed in an encounter with the police team on Monday evening in Torasi area, Sahara Samay sources said.

According to the Buxar Police Superintendent, G.P. Singh, the encounter lasted for over one hour, the naxals ran away after being frustrated by the cops.

The remaining naxals were chased by the police party but they fled away taking shelter of the darkness.

Police have recovered the bodies and also recovered huge cache of arms and ammunition.

One naxal has been identified as Ram Das, who was an LGS commander.

Lands occupied by tribals will be regularised: CM

Tuesday April 24 2007 11:52 IST
ADILABAD: Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy has assured the tribals who are in the possession of the government, assigned and forest lands that they will be issued pattas.

Participating in the Prajapatham programme in the Naxal-affected in Tiryani mandal on Monday, he assured to take up the construction of Pranahita-Chevella project soon. He sanctioned a 33/11 KV sub-station and assured to construct a few hostel buildings in the mandal.

Earlier, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone for the 30-bed hospital and Kasturba residential school, and inaugurated a newly constructed MPDO office.

The district police has made elaborate arrangements to the CM tour to the interior and Naxal-affected villages Tiryani and Kannepalli.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Maoist Homophobia?


The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), leading what many have considered the most advanced Maoist movement in the world for the last decade, has recently been accused of attacks on gay people and of indulging in anti-gay rhetoric. Unfortunately the reports seem valid. In January a senior party leader, Dev Gurung, now Minister of Local Development in Nepal's transitional government, was quoted in the press as stating: "Under Soviet rule and when China was still very much a communist state, there were no homosexuals in the Soviet Union or China. Now [that] they are moving towards capitalism, homosexuals may have arisen there as well. So homosexuality is a product of capitalism. Under socialism this kind of problem does not exist."

The statement seems quite un-Maoist in its description of any twentieth-century socialist experiment as truly "communist." Mao broke from Stalin in emphasizing the long-term nature and fragility of the construction of socialism as a transitional stage between capitalism and the classless society of communism theoretically posited for the human future. And it seems oblivious to historical reality in denying the existence of homosexuality anywhere, anytime in human history. Dangerously foolish (if I can assume that it was indeed said), it was made in the context of reported abuses of gay men and lesbians by Maoists in areas under their control.

Such mistreatment has not been particularly associated with the Maoists in recent years, but indeed more with the old security apparatus of King Gyanendra. It's not clear that it represents a clear party line; Hisila Yami, a Maoist member of parliament, Minister of Physical Planning and Work and wife of party leader Baburam Bhattarai told a Nepali gay organization, the Blue Diamond Society in January that the party's policy was "not to encourage homosexual behavior but not to punish homosexuals either." But plainly there is cause for the sort of concern recently expressed by Human Rights Watch in a letter to Khadga Bahadur Biswokarma, a CPN(M) member and now Minister of Women, Children and Social Welfare. The letter claims that in December 2006, Maoists in Katmandu ordered homeowners not to rent rooms to gays or lesbians, and that Amrita Thapa, general secretary of the Maoist women's association, told participants at a national conference in March 2006 that homosexuals were unnatural and were "polluting" society.

I've sometimes been critical of Human Rights Watch, which has little sympathy for revolutionary movements and has sometimes sided overtly with repressive regimes. (It congratulated the government of Alberto Fujimori in Peru for capturing Maoist leader Abimael Guzman in 1992 and has done little to protect the human rights of Maoists imprisoned under successive Peruvian regimes.) But here HRW seems to be on target in its criticism.

The communist movement of course has a long sordid history of homophobia---just as does bourgeois liberalism. Up to 1962 homosexual sex was punishable by lengthy jail terms everywhere in the U.S., and it was only in 2003 that the Supreme Court invalidated the "anti-sodomy" laws operative in Texas and several other states. The sentiments expressed by Gurung and Biswokarma are obviously not unique to communists but part of an historical continuum of intolerance that crosses all kinds of ideological lines.

Marx and Engels themselves were, as their private correspondence clearly establishes, distinctly hostile to homosexuality, which they viewed as "unnatural." On the other hand, in the 1890s, the German Social Democratic Party leaders Eduard Bernstein and Karl Kautsky, and the socialist Reichstag deputy August Bebel, called for the repeal of the German statute criminalizing sex between consenting adult males. Bernstein called for "a scientific approach" to sexuality rather than one based on "more or less arbitrary moral concepts." (Meanwhile the British socialist Edward Carpenter, influenced by the work of German sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, argued that "uranians"--or members the "intermediate sex"--served in a positive role as a bridge between [heterosexual] men and women.) Adolf Thiele, a socialist deputy in the German parliament in 1905, declared that he "wouldn't even admit that [homosexuality] is something sick." It was, he opined, "simply a deviation from the usual pattern nature produces."

Between 1917 and 1933, the USSR pioneered in sexual legal reform. The Bolsheviks in power rescinded all the anti-homosexual statutes in the czarist legal code and sent Soviet delegations to international sexual reform congresses in Europe. The early Soviet state officially declared "the absolute non-interference of the state and society into sexual matters, so long as nobody is injured, and no one's interests are encroached upon." Soviet law regarded homosexual intercourse as the same as "so-called natural intercourse" and was far ahead of (for example) U.S. law at the time.

All this changed in 1933, when the Central Executive Committee of the Communist Party introduced a statute penalizing consensual homosexual activity (muzhelozhstvo or sodomy) between men; thereafter Soviet writers increasingly conflated male homosexuality as indeed "unnatural," and associated it with German fascism. Not all Marxist theorists followed the Soviet lead in castigating homosexual activity, but the most prestigious of Marxist psychoanalysts, Sigmund Freud's student William Reich, wrote in 1934 that men of a "homosexual tendency" were easily "drawn toward the right."

Gurung's association of homosexuality with capitalism echoes the Stalinist line that homosexuality represents "bourgeois decadence." But Gurung should realize that Maoists outside Nepal have largely abandoned the Stalinist legacy on this issue. The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, a close ally of the Nepali Maoists, up until 2001 stated in its program that under socialism "struggle will be waged to eliminate [homosexuality] and reform homosexuals." But the RCP now accepts homosexuality and renounces its past position on the issue (if without adequate self-criticism or explanation for why a bankrupt line was held so long). The Communist Party of the Philippines, another Maoist party with cordial ties to the CPN(M), officially recognized gay relationships among its members in 1998 and has been conducting same-sex marriages since 2005. The Nepali party lags embarrassingly behind.

Many have derived inspiration from the People's War in Nepal, which in a mere decade acquired control over about 80% of Nepali territory and proved to the world that revolutionary communism remains the hope of the hopeless. I myself was happy to endorse Li Onesto's first-person and very sympathetic account of her Maoist-sponsored visit to Nepal, Dispatches from the People's War in Nepal (Pluto Press, 2005). The party now shares power with its former foes, heading six ministries in the provisional government. Some who have supported the CPN(M) are expressing grave concern that the party is abandoning its commitment to socialist revolution by its deal with the seven mainstream parties and its abandonment of the People's War.

The Nepali Maoists deny that that's the case, and I'd just as soon withhold judgment on that issue. But if the sentiments of Comrades Gurung and Biswokarma are at all representative of party sentiment, and if measures against gays are part of the party's agenda, the outlook for a new revolutionary model in Nepal is looking worrisome.

* * * * *

Mao Zedong was all about struggle, always stressing that it's right to rebel against reactionaries. He saw inter-party two-line struggle as a good and inevitable thing. There is already some apparent struggle within the CPN(M) regarding gender and sexuality issues. Earlier this months Maoists protested the television broadcast of the Miss Nepal Pageant. But it went forward, with the support of the new Information and Communications Minister, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, himself one of the newly-appointed Maoist cabinet ministers. He argued "practical considerations" (including a contract between pageant sponsors and the state-run channel) did not allow cancellation.

So---so far---beauty pageant okay, homosexuality "polluting." May the Maoists of Nepal struggle these things out among themselves, with some input from the world, and the correct line win.

Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan; Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is also a contributor to CounterPunch's merciless chronicle of the wars on Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia, Imperial Crusades.

He can be reached at:

Maoist murder wanted held

Statesman News Service

BANKURA, April 23: A Maoist cadre was arrested in the Barikul police station area of Bankura this morning. The ACJM’s Court, Khatra ordered five days police remand.
Police said Krishna Singh Sardar was a member of the Belpahari-Ranibandh squad of the outfit and the police had information that he was about to return to his home village of Dhajuri this afternoon. A police team led by Mr Pathikrit Chatteree, IC, Barikul trapped Krishna near the jungle stretch. Police said he was wanted for the murder of Rampada Majhi, a CPI-M leader, in Rudra village in July, 2002.

Naxalites eye new areas for growth

Statesman News Service

JAJPUR, April 23: The Naxalites are eyeing the industrial belt of Kalinga Nagar and the mineral rich Sukinda Valley as they have already made their presence felt in areas such as Tomka and Kaliapani. The radicals are trying to make inroads into iron ore mining belt of Daitary in neighbouring Keonjhar district.
Some of them have started warning mine owners and contractors. Extortion by such elements often go unreported and local criminals are also helping them out, said reliable sources.

Mr Bilas Behura, a mining contractor of Kamarda mines in Kaliapani area, is the last victim of the Naxalites. He was threatened on phone by the radicals and asked to hand over an amount to their men in a particular place. When Mr Behura refused to pay the amount, they reportedly set ablaze six vehicles, including four tippers, owned by him.

“We are told not to divulge the name of Naxalites in our operation as they have threatened to kill us. If we collect an amount of Rs 5 lakh for the Naxalite leaders, we get a share of around Rs 50, 000,” says a local gang leader on condition of anonymity. The Naxalites are capitalising on the tribals’ outrage over Kalinga Nagar firing in which 13 tribals were killed over land acquisition protests. The Naxalites are now extending their full support to the agitating tribals who are spreading anti-industrialisation movement in the growing industrial areas.

“We are not Naxalites. We are innocent tribals and fighting for our livelihood. It is the district police administration that first started spreading rumours that Naxalites were involved in our movement. Till date, they have in no way involved in the agitation. If the government acquires our land forcefully and keeps exploiting us, we will not need the support of Naxalites. We ourselves will become Naxalites,” says president, Vistaphan Virodhi Janmanch, Mr Chakradhar Haiburu. The Orissa government hopes to wean displaced tribals away from the Naxalite movement by starting fresh discussions with them, and at the same time, dealing firmly with the radicals.

“We have information that the radicals are extorting money in this area. We will firmly take action against them whenever we get information and give protection to the people there,” says home secretary, Orissa, Mr Tarun Kanti Mishra. However, trade union leaders allege that industry and mine owners flout many laws and rarely do they approach the police for help.

“The industries are violating many norms prescribed by the government. When they themselves are at fault, they do not have the courage to lodge a complaint against the Naxalites who demand ransom from them,” says trade union leader Mr Mayadhar Nayak. Rehabilitation and resettlement remain to be the biggest challenges of the Orissa government as it industrialises the state. Until they resolve the issue with integrity, the Naxalites will find a plenty of support in these emerging industrial areas, he added.

Karnataka : 4,300 cops to be posted soon

Monday April 23 2007 13:43 IST

DAVANAGERE: Home Minister M P Prakash said that the recruitment of 4300 police constables in the final stages and that the appointment orders will be issued within a month. He was addressing the media at Harapanahalli, 50 km on Saturday.

The Minister said that the process of recruiting 333 police Sub Inspectors was also nearing completion.

During oral interview, video recording was done and carbon copies of answer sheets were taken for the first time to maintain transparency.

The Government has decided to open 20 new police stations in the state, of which seven will be opened at Bangalore. Holalu, Kudluigi and Hampi in Bellary, Chigateri in Harapanahalli taluk, Navnagar(Bagalkot), Hassan, Shikaripura, Shimoga and Shikaripura will get new police stations.

Five new police stations were proposed in Naxal affected areas, Prakash said.

The Home Minister said that providing telephone facility at the Central Jail in Parapappana Agrahara, near Bangalore, was commendable.

If the scheme become successful, it would be extended to Mysore and Bellary jails

Maoists' free run in democracy garb

By Sandhya Jain

Evidence of the growing differences between the Maoists and the original Seven Party Alliance government comes from the decision of Maoist ministers to walk out of the April 18, 2007 Cabinet meeting after Prime Minister Koirala objected to Forest Minister Matrika Yadav questioning the army about its activities in Shivapuri National Park.

Nepal’s ill-conceived and violent democratic “coup” against King Gyanendra appears grimly poised between the devil and the deep sea, with increased political and social instability unavoidable. Already, elections to the proposed new Constituent Assembly have been postponed, and now, Terai parliamentarians are headed for a confrontation with the Maoists on the issue of a fresh census for delineation of constituencies in the Himalayan country. Maoist rebels, it may be recalled, were permitted by Prime Minister G.P. Koirala to enter the interim government without surrendering arms.

The Madhesis (Terai residents) had previously been willing to accept an addition of 28 seats in the Terai districts to accommodate the larger Nepali population based there. But once the decision to postpone elections was announced, 26 Madhesi MPs jointly demanded scrapping of the Electoral Constituency Delineation Commission (ECDC) proposals to increase 28 seats in Terai districts. Led by Shri Bharat Bimal Yadav, vice-president of the Nepal Sadbhavana Party (NSP-Anandidevi), the Madhesi leaders want the government to hold a fresh census, following which alone the new constituencies should be delineated afresh.

By present indications, the Madhesi people are gearing up for fresh and prolonged unrest if their demands are not met, warning that the country could be headed for “disintegration” if the ECDC recommendations are implemented in the face of popular opposition. The ECDC headed by former Supreme Court judge Arjun Prasad Singh had proposed the addition of 35 seats in Parliament, 28 in the Terai districts and seven in hilly districts.

It is significant that the demand by the Terai MPs cuts across political affiliations and suggests the deepening of a political fault line with the Maoists led by Prachanda. The MPs include Shri Kailash Nath Kasaudhan and Shri Ajay Kumar Chaurasiya (Nepali Congress), Smt Chitra Lekha Yadav and Mr. Hari Narayan Chaudhary (Nepali Congress-Democratic); Shri Mahendra Prasad Yadav and

Shri Bansidhar Mishra (UML); Shri Hridayash Tripathy and Shri Bharat Bimal Yadav (NSP-Anandidevi); and Shri Ajaya Pratap Shah (Rashtriya Prajatantra Party).

The Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF), which spearheaded the Terai agitation, claims that the movement was not for a mere re-constitution of Terai or hill constituencies, but for “fully proportional representation-based elections.” Vice president Shri Kishore Kumar Biswas explained that the Terai people did not ask for an Electoral Constituency Delineation Commission (ECDC), and in fact wants it disbanded, as it will only provoke the people. The MJF also wants guarantees of ethnic self-determination rights with the formation of Madhesi autonomous region, and a declaration that Nepal is heading towards a federal democratic republican set-up. The MJF points out that the Maoists continue to be armed, and this was behind the incident of March 21, when 28 Maoist activists were killed by Terai agitators.

Evidence of the growing differences between the Maoists and the original Seven Party Alliance government comes from the decision of Maoist ministers to walk out of the April 18, 2007, Cabinet meeting after Prime Minister Koirala objected to Forest Minister Matrika Yadav questioning the army about its activities in Shivapuri National Park without informing him. Koirala chastised Shri Yadav for his “intemperate” language against the Nepal Army, and added that as Defence Minister, he (Koirala) should have been consulted before any minister spoke to the army. The minister reportedly alleged that the Nepal Army was involved in felling trees and killing wild animals, and when reprimanded, retorted that it was not the Prime Minister but his own party that had made him a minister. The Maoists walked out soon after, when other ministers objected to their demand that they be allowed to make all political appointments under their ministries independently.

The Maoists are also now keen on the resignation of Home Minister Shri K.P. Sitaula, whom they had initially supported when troops fired on Madhesi agitators some months ago. However, since the police raid on the office of the Youth Communist League, they are up in arms against Shri Sitaula.

Prime Minister Koirala has also to deal with the growing evidence that far from disarming their cadres, the Maoists may be trying to increase their revolutionary strength in the run up to the polls later this year. Shri G.P. Koirala’s own daughter and political heir, Sujata Koirala, has already publicly chastised Prachanda for carrying arms.

Meanwhile, Indian entrepreneurs continue to flee Nepal in the wake of extortions and kidnappings master-minded by the Maoist guerillas who continue to have a free run of the country. Prime Minister Koirala has virtually admitted that the eight-point and 12-point agreements between the SPA and Maoists remain paper declarations, and that the Maoist cadres are continuing the practice of extortion and use of force even after joining the interim government. Urging the Maoists to “stop extortion,” Shri Koirala said all parties in the government should abide by the rule of law. In rural Nepal where Maoists practice the gravest extortions, however, the warnings and pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

Other leaders have specifically targeted Prachanda’s young wing, the Young Communist League, whose offices were raided recently in search of arms. Calling upon the Maoists to dissolve this body, political leaders have expressed apprehensions that the young wing will be used to “influence” the elections to the Constituent Assembly, whenever they are held. But with Maoists having already joined the interim government without surrendering arms, the accusations are futile. Almost every week, police are called upon to take action against Maoist cadres holding illegal arms and getting involved in shooting incidents. The latest instance involves shooting at Birendra Mandal, an activist of the Nepali Congress (Democratic), at Rajgunj Sinwari, by Maoists Amresh Mehta and Shambhu Sharma. They were caught by local persons and handed over to the authorities—a grim portent of things to come.

Two naxals arrested

Posted at Monday, 23 April 2007 15:04 IST

Varanasi (UP), April 23: Two naxalites, including the wife of a slain ultra, of the banned MCC have been arrested from Sakaldiha area in the district while trying to flee to Bihar, police said today.

The arrest of Piyush Kushwaha and Usha, the wife of slain naxalite Sanjay Kol, came after a police team intercepted a jeep near Leva-Iliya road late last night, they said.

The duo, who were carrying a reward of Rs 10,000 on their head, were involved in at least 15 cases of murder and loot, they added.

Their arrest came within seven days of the killing of the Kol in a gunbattle with police.

Police complete training to counter Naxals

Rourkela, April 23 (PTI): As part of government's move to counter Naxal threat in the state, 53 police personnel of fourth battalion of the Orissa Special Armed Police (OSAP) have successfully completed training at the Anti- Terrorism Centre (ATC) here.

This is the first batch of trainees who underwent training at the newly established centre, officials said.

"The jawans had been trained on the lines of Grey Hound personnel," Inspector General of Police (Operation) S S Hansda said during the passing out parade.

The IGP, who took the salute, expressed hope that the jawans would boldly stand against the challenge of left wing extremism.

Hansda, during his two day tour to the area, also reviewed the security scenario in the Naxal-infested western range with senior officials.

The senior police officer underscored the need of strengthening surveillance and intelligence in the Naxal-hit Orissa-Jharkhand border areas to keep track of the movements of the ultras, sources said.

Karnataka: 4,300 cops to be posted soon

Monday April 23 2007 13:43 IST
DAVANAGERE: Home Minister M P Prakash said that the recruitment of 4300 police constables in the final stages and that the appointment orders will be issued within a month. He was addressing the media at Harapanahalli, 50 km on Saturday.

The Minister said that the process of recruiting 333 police Sub Inspectors was also nearing completion.

During oral interview, video recording was done and carbon copies of answer sheets were taken for the first time to maintain transparency.

The Government has decided to open 20 new police stations in the state, of which seven will be opened at Bangalore. Holalu, Kudluigi and Hampi in Bellary, Chigateri in Harapanahalli taluk, Navnagar(Bagalkot), Hassan, Shikaripura, Shimoga and Shikaripura will get new police stations.

Five new police stations were proposed in Naxal affected areas, Prakash said.

The Home Minister said that providing telephone facility at the Central Jail in Parapappana Agrahara, near Bangalore, was commendable.

If the scheme become successful, it would be extended to Mysore and Bellary jails.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Maoists trigger landmine blast in Giridih, five cops hurt

Giridih (Jharkhand), April. 22 (PTI): At least five policemen were injured when Maoists triggered a landmine blast near Urdango village in Giridih district today.

The condition of three of the injured was serious, Superintendent of Police Arun Singh said.

The vehicle in which they were travelling drove over the landmine, he said.

The vehicle was the last of five used by a police team returning from Urdango after distributing clothes and other articles to people as part of a community service scheme.

The incident came a day after police shot dead two Naxalites and arrested six rebels at Chandli village in the same district.

The Hindu News Update Service

Horrifying Brutality of the Maoists

Rajat KC

"Tempo," a Jeep was running towards the capital Udayapur Gaighat from Kadmaha of Saptari district in eastern Nepal. One of the passengers was Shyam Rai, who was the inhabitant of Khotang, north of Udayapur. He was carrying a small handbag which had some gifts in it for his children, wife and his parents. He also had some money with him which he earned while he was working as a laborer in a place called Koilakhat in Northern India.

He was very excited to return back home since it had already been almost two years since he had left his house and family. All past images of his family and his village came to his mind while he was getting closer and closer to his home. In fact, it is a normal trend that due to lack of infrastructure in hilly areas of Nepal, most of the young boys are leaving their homes to find jobs.

Some are considered lucky to get jobs in British Gurkha and in Indian Gurkha. Then only, they preferred to join the Nepal army, then the Police force. If not, they go to India and do labor jobs to make money. They and their families do not realize how much they miss each other, but when they arrive with some money and gifts they consider themselves very fortunate. People are considered fortunate and they are respected if they have a number of family members serving out side. They are well known by the word Lahure in Nepal.

Those families who do not have outside earnings are normally very poor and deprived. Especially, after the beginning of the Maoist insurgency in Nepal, this trend rapidly increased. The Maoists started applying enormous pressure on young people to join their rebel force, otherwise they are kidnapped from their school or villages and forcefully enrolled. Therefore, most of them preferred to flee from their villages rather than forcefully join the Maoists.

Shyam was also one of them when his parents were continuously facing pressure to provide at least one family member to join the Maoist. Hence, he was compelled to leave his family and went to India in search of an appropriate job. All of sudden, the Tempo was stopped by a group of armed elements near the place called Hanuman Chock, leaving all passengers stunned.

The Maoists carrying guns started to search the Tempo and passengers. They gave a suspicious look at Shyam and pulled him out of the Tempo. Initially, Shyam tried to confront them by saying there was no point in pulling him since he had not made any mistake. They dragged him to the middle of the village and called some villagers to be present at the site.

He kept on telling them that he was just a laborer, but they were smashing him badly instead of giving any attention to his words. They were torturing him by using Khukuri (Gurkha Knife) and with other shrapnel. He was pleading with them that he was just coming from India and he had nothing to do with the Maoists, but they were not shrinking to him.

Shyam was telling them that "he had not seen his family since long time, if once they allow him to meet his family he is willing to do whatever Maoists order him to do." But they told him that their party didn't need his job. Finally, Shyam gave up and said "please kill me by bullet but do not torture me like this."

In answer, they told him that "People's Liberation Army's bullet is not so cheap to be wasted on him." They kept on torturing him while he was bathing in his own blood. Shyam was whispering by his breath, asking for a sip of water but in instead of water, one of the rebels peed on his mouth.

All locals were watching that scene with full of tears and fears. One small kid, Raman Karki came in the front and requested the Maoists not to kill Shyam but that he was ready to die instead of him. They didn't even care about Raman's utterance. Rather, they were threatening villagers that if any body did not obey the order of the Maoists, they will face similar types of consequences.

Finally, they buried Shyam half alive and took all his money and valuables along with them. This incident took place in the first week of February 2005. The next day, a local Maoist FM radio proudly broadcasted the news that their commander of 16th battalion and DCM killed one of the policemen named Shyam while they were on patrol near Hanuman Chowk area.

Due to an ongoing peace process, the situation now is a little different. To some extent, people can raise their voices against the Maoist atrocities and brutality. Recently, in the same area the Maoist opened fire in a school area in small dispute. People of the village gathered around the school premises for a citizens' hearing program of the incident.

All local level politicians, human right activists and journalists were also present. A newly appointed Maoist Member of Parliament, Surya Prasad Yadav was also in attendance. When discussion began, Hari Sigdel, one of the locals, deviating from the prime agenda, mentioned the story of Shyam Rai in front of all the people. He was not the only eye witness present at that time; several others also gave a supporting voice to him.

Raman also appeared with tears and mentioned the truth. The crowds, with distress, asked the Maoists to answer the people about the incident. At that time, two main culprits of the incident Badri and Kanshi were also present. Maoist's district secretary named Amar excitingly told all that they had killed thousands of others, that includes several own cadres. He had no regret doing that because he performed his job as he received order from party high command.

All the people were stunned. The program was concluded with sorry words on behalf of the party by Mr. MP, but all human right activists, politicians from other political parties, and most of other journalists returned back to their own way without any words probably due to fear and possible threats of the Maoists.


Policeman killed in Jharkhand landmine blast by naxals

Apr 22, 2007, 15:30 GMT

Ranchi, April 22 (IANS) A policeman was killed and six others were injured Sunday in a landmine blast suspected to be detonated by Maoist rebels in Giridih district of Jharkhand, police said.

A police vehicle carrying seven policemen got trapped in the landmine near Urdano village, 190 km from state capital Ranchi, in the afternoon.

The condition of three of the injured was described as serious.

The policemen were returning after attending a community service programme organised to create confidence among people about security

Maoists trigger landmine blast in Giridih, five cops hurt

Giridih (Jharkhand), April. 22 (PTI): At least five policemen were injured when Maoists triggered a landmine blast near Urdango village in Giridih district today.

The condition of three of the injured was serious, Superintendent of Police Arun Singh said.

The vehicle in which they were travelling drove over the landmine, he said.

The vehicle was the last of five used by a police team returning from Urdango after distributing clothes and other articles to people as part of a community service scheme.

The incident came a day after police shot dead two Naxalites and arrested six rebels at Chandli village in the same district.

Kumaraswamy to stay in Naxal-infested areas in Udupi

Kollur (Karnataka), April. 22 (PTI): Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has said that he will stay in some of the Naxal-infested areas in Udupi district in the first week of May.

Kumaraswamy, who was speaking to reporters here last night after visiting the famous Kollur Mokambika temple here, said during his stay, he would try to know the problems of the local people.

Ever since becoming Chief Minister, Kumaraswamy has been staying at one of the houses of local people in a chosen village to acquaint himself with their problems. Asked about the "Vikas Yatra" being held statewide by the JDS' ruling coalition partner BJP, he said nothing could be achieved through such "yatras".

To a query, he said he would give up his post and hand over power to the BJP to lead the coalition after 20 months as part of their power sharing arrangement. The coalition would complete its 40-month term, he added.

Police organise camps to combat Naxalism in district

Sunday April 22 2007 09:59 IST

DEOGARH: Police continued with their multi-pronged offensive to combat Naxalism in the district.

Carrying on its interaction with villagers under Community Policing Programme, Deogarh SP Shafeen Ahmed K, on Saturday, said he dared to hold a function in the Naxal den of Jadagola in Tuhilamal gram panchayat under Reamal block of the district.

The villagers of Jadagola, Debtadhar, Gandasahi, Kisansahi, Baghmari, Pukutimal attended. Shafeen called upon the villagers, who have joined the ultra rank and cadres, to return to the mainstream.

Elaborating on the government benefits for the surrendering ultras, he assured them of all help and support. He also felicitated the headmen of villages on the occasion.

Major arms haul in Varanasi

12 NEWS VARANASI: The police have seized 6,000 detonators and 400 highly explosive gelatin rods from near the Ramnagar area here, suspected to have been transported by naxalites to disrupt the ongoing Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.

A police team on patrolling duty near the Vishwasundari bridge on the border of Varanasi and Chandauli districts found the explosive materials ying abandoned in a jungle area late Friday night, Ramnagar police station in-charge K.D. Tripathi told PTI. The seizure in the area, prone to naxal activities, pointed to the possibility the consignment having been brought for carrying out subversive activities and vitiating the election process in the region, he said.

The plans of the MCC to avenge the killing of its selfstyled zonal commander Sanjay Kol in Chandauli district earlier this week in a gunbattle could be another motive for the transport of the explosives consignment.

Naxals flex muscles

Abdul Qadir
[22 Apr, 2007 l 0218 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK]

GAYA: With no less than four operations to their credit in the last few days, the Naxals after remaining dormant for sometime, have once again gone offensive in the Imamganj area of the district, a favourite turf for the Red Army (armed squad of the Naxal outfit).

On Friday night, the ultras blew up the house of Pankaj, a former activist of the Maoist outfit who subsequently deserted to a group. A large number of ultra Leftists virtually invaded Pandhori village under the Imamganj police station area and blew Pankaj's house.

Pankaj, besides deserting the Maoist outfit, is alleged to have siphoned off a good part of levy (extrortion money) extracted by the ultras.

In another operation, the Naxals put on fire, the house of Ramanand Yadav of Barcheta village under the same police station. Like Pankaj, Ramanand's son Manoj, too, is said to have deserted the Maoist outfit.

These two incidents, besides the killing of Krishna Deo, another Naxal deserter and JD(U) activist Birendra Prasad, have once again brought the Dumaria-Imamganj area on the Naxal radar, thereby threatening peace in the area which witnessed lot of bloodshed in the nineties.

Insufficient accessibility and the areas proximity to Jharkhand have added to the woes of the police. Unlike the earlier operations of mass butchery, the Naxals have switched to the selective killing strategy and deserters and cops are the prime targets.