Saturday, June 02, 2007

Four Maoist rebels killed in India's Chhattisgarh state

Posted : Sat, 02 Jun 2007 11:26:00GMT
Author : DPA
Category : India (World)

New Delhi - At least four Maoist militants were shot dead on Saturday in armed clashes with police in India's central Chhattisgarh state, IANS news agency reported. The gun battle broke out in the Sendra forests in the southern Bijapur district when the guerrillas fired at the policemen who were conducting counter-insurgency operations, IANS reported quoting police officials.

"The security forces retaliated and gunned down four rebels but several others managed to melt into the forests," an unnamed police official was quoted as saying.

The Bijapur district, which lies over 500 kilometres south of state capital Raipur, is one of the strongholds of the Maoists.

The Maoists currently have a presence in 13 of India's 28 states and seven federally-administered territories. They are most active in Chhattisgarh, eastern Jharkhand and southern Andhra Pradesh states.

The Maoists reject parliamentary democracy and aim to capture political power through an armed struggle based on guerrilla warfare. Although the Indian government has intensified operations against the rebels, Maoist-related violence is showing no signs of slowing down.

In 2006, 749 people including rebels, security personnel and civilians were killed in Maoist-related violence, while there were over 250 dead in the first four months of 2007.

Naxals blow up power lines in Chhattisgarh

Raipur, June 2 (PTI): Power supply to five districts of extremism-affected Bastar region of Chhattisgarh was hit after Naxalites blew up three high-tension transmission towers, officials said.

The Naxalites triggered landmine blasts and damaged three towers of high tension electricity lines yesterday in the deep woods of Narayanpur district, Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board officials said here.

"Although the damaged area had been identified, it would take at least 10 days to restore supply," they said.

Because of the blasts, power supply to entire Bijapur, Bastar and Dantewada districts and maximum areas of Narayanpur and Kanker districts are affected, the officials said.

The naxalites have damaged the towers in inaccessible and deep jungle area, which do not have roads, because of which the repair work was being hampered, they said.

Besides train movement, works in NMDC iron ore mines, located in Dantewada district have been adversely affected, officials said.

Naxals sneaking into City : Landlords to furnish details of Tenant

Police issue diktat to landlords
2 Jun, 2007 l 0314 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK

NAGPUR: Exactly a year after a terror bid at RSS headquarters in Nagpur, the local police has issued an order stating that "every landlord leasing out his flat/house in the Orange City will now have to furnish details of the tenant to the local police station".

Said joint commissioner S M Sayed, "This will be mandatory and failure to comply would mean facing punishment under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code." The police department has already issued circulars in this connection to all the zonal deputy commissioners, assistant commissioners and senior inspectors, asking them to strictly implement the order with effect from June 1.

Said an IPS officer, "In the past, there have been cases of terrorists/naxals sneaking into the city and taking shelter for a long time. They function like sleeper modules, stay as tenants in good localities and whenever their high command issues directives, they carry out subversive activities."

In order to prevent any further terror attacks, the cops now plan to keep a check on every tenant in Nagpur. Their personal details and bonafides need to be submitted to the station house officer of the nearest police station.

There are over a lakh tenants (families) in Nagpur and it is not clear whether there are adequate police personnel to check bonafides of every tenant. The Nagpur police has just about 6,000 officers and men.

Sayed said, "We also suspect that terrorist/anti-social elements may use second hand/used vehicles for carrying out attacks. We have issued another order on Friday which states that nobody can sell a two-wheeler or car unless he/she has furnished the particulars of the sale to the state house officer (of local police station) and made a declaration in form number 29 under rule 55 (1) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rule, 1989."

Sayed added, "Keeping in mind the prevailing situation in Nagpur, there is likelihood of breach of peace and disturbance of public tranquillity. There is also grave danger to human life and danger to public property. We are implementing the orders to ensure that there is no law and order problem. The public—which includes landlords, tenants and buyers/sellers of vehicles—should co-operate with us."

Said another officer, "There are intelligence inputs of certain anti-social elements seeking hideouts in residential areas in Nagpur.

IBNlive chat: How Sting Ops sting

Posted Friday , June 01, 2007 at 22:53
Updated Saturday , June 02, 2007 at 10:41

Sting operation and investigative journalism were the topics of discussion on the IBNLive chatroom on Friday, June 1, when VK Shashikumar, Editor, Special Investigations of CNN-IBN, fielded readers' queries.

Here we reproduce the entire chat with no editorial touch at all:-

Deepak: With the latest sting operation covering judiciary, don't you think the system will come with a law, making it illegal to conduct sting operations or at least requiring permission from the court before telecasting such things?

VK Shashikumar: There is no way that the press will ever allow itself to get muzzled. We live in a democracy.

Srini: Does the fact that India doesn't have a witness protection system hamper the results of your investigative journalism? Increasingly, the rate of scams being unearthed has not changed the number of those convicted.

V K Shashikumar: India urgently needs a witness protection programme.

Peerzada Ashiq: Your Goa story was brilliant? Goa has always been your baby. I remember your paedophile story two years back. Hope you remember my name.

V K Shashikumar: Of course, Peerzada, hope you are doing fine.

Kaartz: Hi Shashi, do you think that these sting operations will be effective in fighting against corruption? Can you tell me any one incident that corruption is eradicated because of a sting operation.

V K Shashikumar: Have given many such instances. Just scroll down to read my earlier responses.

Veritas: Dear Shashi, congratulations on some of your stupendous stories. Have you considered doing stings on either journalists who use their power to indulge in political blackmailing like --- etc or on corruption in corporate houses, which is a holy cow and till date no one has dared to go near it due to the advertising implications involved?

VK Shashikumar: Hey...I responded to a similar question much earlier. It’s been widely speculated that there is corruption in the media and the day is not far off when this too will be exposed.

DJ: But why don’t news channels cover positive stories. There are quite a few nice ministers in my state of Rajasthan, who are working towards the development of the state and have a great reputation. But never ever has anyone covered them?

V K Shashikumar: Who? Look at the caste conflict spreading in your state and the government’s utter failure to intervene and stop it.

Rajju: Your urban-oriented journalism is commendable, but don’t you think you have left 95 per cent of India uncovered/unreported, thereby confining yourselves to urban elite issue-based newsmaking limitations? Please broaden your mindset and expand your 'covering' area. Go and do some home (rural) oriented work!

VK Shashikumar: Yes. If you begin a channel that does that you can be sure that I will come to you for a job. And for your information, we have done superb investigations and exposes in rural areas. Haven't you seen our investigation, A question of land out of Orissa or our investigative series on child labour. Media is a favourite punching bag for armchair critics.

DJ: Hi, I have a weird question for you. It’s nice that you all cover sting operations etc and catch all corrupt politicians and officers, but how about giving the devil his due? There sure are many honest and educated politicians, why not show them on news? It sure will motivate others, won’t it?

VK Shashikumar: Yes, it’s always a good idea to do positive stories as well.

Tufail Shaikh: Sir, is it true that most of the sting operations are politically motivated?

V K Shashikumar: No, as far as CNN-IBN is concerned. I can't vouch for other channels.

Vicky: Narco-analysis and video sting operation are both questionable in the court of law? Courts say in narco-analysis, a person is drugged to reveal the truth, hence not enough strong evidence. On your stings, lawyers say the video is morphed? What is the other way to get the actual facts?

VK Shashikumar: Scientific evidence gathering. Most crimes in the West are solved by superb forensics.

Kumar: In your investigation, ‘Red Corridor’ when you guys can walk up to the jungle and talk to the Naxals scot-free. Why don’t you guys help our police and facilitate the police in finding the hideouts and bringing them to justice.

VK Shashikumar: We are a mirror that reflects the reality on the ground. We aren’t a substitute for the official law-and-order machinery.

A: OK up to some extent if I agree with you, then tell me what about legal laws. Because in recent days, we have seen that courts say that they don't believe on those evidences which are publicly known. Then what's the point of making all evidences weaker. I’m not against sting operations. I'm just saying that you people present these operation CDs directly to the honourable court, so that they can take fast decisions and after the decision you can claim that this proof was shown by so and so channel. What do u think?

VK Shashikumar: Media investigations are not admissible in the court as evidence. On the basis of the content generated by a media investigation, the court can order an enquiry.

Priya: Don't you think that overdose of sting operations among all media today is making people forget what good old real investigations were all about?

VK Shashikumar: Could be. But we live in extraordinary times. These are times of rampant corruption, where every citizen-government interface has been corrupted beyond repair. And so these are perhaps not the best times for good old investigative journalism. A whole lot of that still happens. But in extraordinary times, extraordinary methods must be employed to ensure the media continues to be the voice of the people.

Seshadri: It is true that sting operation is the best way to expose the so-called social activists or true politicians. Why do you limit yourself to the northern part of India and the southern side of our country. There is so much sting operation required in Tamil Nadu to expose the so-called rationalist and dirty politicians. Are you afraid of South politicians? .

VK Shashikumar: Our investigations will travel to South as well.

Sunny: What was investigative journalism in days when there was no hidden camera?

VK Shashikumar: There was superb investigative journalism in the days when there was no hidden camera and the tradition still continues.

Vishal K:Hello Shashi, nowadays media is somehow stuck to breaking news and some hot investigations, but whenever media has exposed something, after that it’s become an issue only for the two or three days. After that the media itself start ignoring the issue and later on it goes to the dustbin. Is expose the only duty of media? Why don’t you follow up all such things?

VK Shashikumar: Sometimes followup happens and sometimes they don’t. That’s one area that we are trying to improve upon.

Deepak Manoor: Is investigative journalism all about sting operations? Are there any other facets to it?

VK Shashikumar: Sting is only one minor facet. We do a range of investigations. And I have written about them in details earlier.

Peerzada Ashiq: Shashi, don't you think the sting operation which exposes personal life/sex life of a person should be avoided. That ways, every individual on earth has a story and a “bad back ground”? Do you agree?

V K Shashikumar: I don’t support stings on anybody’s personal life.

Rasa: Why did you not make sure that there are results out of sting operations? Still people go scot-free after sting operations. What has been done by your team to make sure that the purpose of the sting operation is achieved?

VK Shashikumar: Have answered this earlier. In some cases, we have achieved spectacular success in terms of impact. In some cases, we have been influential in changing policy. For instance, the withdrawal of subsidy to the tobacco industry in the Northeast in this year’s Budget was the result of our investigation, which was then filed as a PIL by Consumer Voice and the Delhi High Court gave a verdict striking down this policy.

A: What do you think about NDTV’s recent sting operation?I am asking you today in India everyone knows that our legal system is corrupt. So don't you think instead of applying your power on sting operations, you guys should help the victims by generating awareness in public?

VK Shashikumar: It was a fantastic investigation and will go a long way in keeping the spotlight on the need to clean up the criminal justice system.

Irshad: After the expose, nobody is punished. What’s the point?

VK Shashikumar: Stop being cynical.

Karthik: Like the one report in our open water along the Bay of Bengal wherein you guys exposed the way the waterfront is left unprotected and how boats used by the Navy are so outdated. But the true value of your investigation is only rewarded when you can take this to a logical conclusion.

No naxal threat, but extra cover for Dhoni

Saturday, June 02, 2007 17:00 IST

RANCHI: Even after denying any naxal threat to cricketer M S Dhoni, the Jharkhand police have decided to leave nothing to chance and provided complete security cover for the wicketkeeper-batsman.

Dhoni, who arrived here on Saturday after visiting Delhi and Mumbai, was given additional protection on his way from airport to his residence.

Besides gun-wielding state policemen, the Central Industrial Security Force personnel posted at the Birsa Munda Airport also joined to escort Dhoni till he got into a vehicle.

The vehicle, having one policeman inside it, was escorted by a police car carrying five security men.

Deepak Kumar Ambast, in-charge of Doranda police station under which Dhoni's house falls, said the procedure would be a routine from now on whenever Dhoni was in town.

"It is quite normal to provide security to all VIPs," replied Ambast when asked whether the extra cover was given in the wake of the reports of naxal threat on Dhoni.

"We will keep a strict vigil and accompany him wherever Dhoni visits," he added.

On May 27, Jharkhand Director General of Police J B Mahapatra had denied reports by a section of media that the cricketer faced naxal threat.

Dhoni gave a silent smile when he was told about it at the airport

Friday, June 01, 2007

Two Villagers shot dead by Naxaites in Giridih

1 Jun, 2007 l 1515 hrs ISTlPTI

GIRIDIH: Two villagers were shot dead while another was struck with an arrow by armed Maoists at Dummerjhar in Giridih district at midnight on Thursday.

About hundred Naxalites reached the village and started beating the villagers and shot down two of them who tried to flee, Superintendent of Police Arun Kumar Singh said.

Singh said a third villager was wounded by an arrow shot by the Naxalites who then sneaked into bordering Bihar. The police has started a combing operation

Crimes soar in UPA regime

Ranchi, May 31: Contrary to the claim of chief minister Madhu Koda, the law and order situation in the state is certainly a cause for concern.

Official figures available with The Telegraph contradict Koda’s tall claim that the state’s law and order situation was not an issue to worry about. In reality, crime has increased manifold after he took over the reins last September.

Sample this: At least 572 murders, 160 dacoities, 2,111 thefts, 278 rapes, 147 armed crimes and 113 Naxalite-related incidents have taken place across the state in the past eight months of the UPA regime.

Between September ’06 and April, 13,128 crimes were committed, about 3,077 cases more than what was registered between September ’05 and April ’06 under the NDA regime. Barring kidnapping, all other crimes, including murder, dacoity, loot, petty thefts, rape and burglary, have shot up in the UPA regime.

The state witnessed a whopping 113 Naxalite-related incidents compared to 86 in the corresponding period during the NDA regime. Rebels killed JMM MP Sunil Mahto during Koda’s regime.

Statistics regarding murders at major districts such as Ranchi, Bokaro, Dhanbad and Hazaribagh should be a concern for the police and the local residents. The only silver lining is East Singhbhum, where murder cases have plummeted.

But as far as rape cases are concerned, East Singhbhum tops the chart with 27 cases.

A section of police officials attributed the soaring crime graph in the state to non-seriousness on part of the political leadership to curb crimes. Besides merit, several other issues determine the posting of police officials. On several occasions transfers demoralise the upright police officials.

UPA partners like the JMM and Congress have expressed concern over the soaring crime graph in the state.

“If the statistics are true, the government has to pull up its socks and tackle the situation,” said state Congress president Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu. JMM MP Hemlal Murmu expressed similar views.

Deputy chief minister Stephen Marandi, however, said: “Statistics could be sometimes misleading. Except Mahto’s murder, the law and order situation has improved in our regime.”

Maoists to `champion' the cause of displaced

User Rating: / 0 Friday, 01 June 2007

Visakhapatnam, June 01: The CPI (Maoist) had prepared a list of its targets and constituted action teams to carry out the killings during its ninth congress held from January 20 to February 20 at one of its strongholds.

The conference was conducted on a major scale with the required amenities provided to the participants.

It was believed that a major exercise was carried out in this regard during the conference, which was attended by top guns and key functionaries from 17 States. The attacks would be carried out in phases, the party had reportedly decided.

No to entry of MNCs

It was significant that one of the issues discussed was the support to the struggles against the displacement due to major projects and the entry of MNCs and foreign companies into the country to set up industries. Bauxite mining and setting up of alumina refinery fall under this category.

Zilla Parishad Vice-Chairman S. Ravi Shankar, who was gunned down, might not be on the `hit list' but was killed, as he was one of the important leaders of the ruling party in the agency area where the Congress was keen on bauxite mining.

It is believed that Maoists would target top Congress leaders in a bid to force the Government to go slow on the bauxite mining and anti-naxalite operations.

It is also believed that ruling party leaders have been warned to be wary about the attacks. After killing Shankar, Maoists followed it up by blasting the control room of the hydel power generation plant late on Tuesday night.

The two events in quick succession prompted the district police to alert politicians. "We have alerted probable targets and asked them to be on alert," said Officer on Special Duty Ch. Srikanth over telephone from Narsipatnam.

"It is an act of mindless violence. Citing the reasons of Ravi Shankar helping in the recruitment of Girijan battalion or supporting bauxite mining are ridiculous. It may be part of their tactical counter-offensive campaign," Mr. Srikanth said.


Thursday, May 31, 2007

Maoists deny issuing death threats to Indian cricketers

Web posted at: 5/31/2007 9:8:48
Source ::: IANS

Patna • Maoist guerrillas have denied reports that they issued death threats to Indian cricket captain Rahul Dravid (pictured right), ace bat Mahendra Singh Dhoni and cricket board president Sharad Pawar.

“No such threat to the life of cricketers has been issued by Maoists,” stated a press released signed by Agni, spokesperson of the Communist Party of India-Maoist’s (CPI-Maoist) North Bihar-Uttar Pradesh-Uttarakhand Special Area Committee.

He described the widely circulated reports — based on a letter alleged to have been written by Maoists in Chhattisgarh - as a fraud by the state’s police to defame Maoists and paint them as “mindless killers”.

The story was planted to alienate the Maoists from “toiling people and a large section of lower middle class people” who are cricket lovers.

The statement makes a reference to the Chhattisgarh government’s Salwa Judum campaign against Maoists and their sympathisers.

Notwithstanding the assurance, Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda has asked intelligence officials to probe the threat and said that security for Dhoni, who lives in the state capital Ranchi, would be beefed up if necessary.

Sileru hydel stations vulnerable to Naxal attack

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Hyderabad, May 31: The blasting of the control room of Donkarai hydro-electric station by naxalites late on Tuesday night, highlights the vulnerability of the chain of the hydel stations built on Sileru river in the thick jungles bordering East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts.

There are four hydel stations on the river that flows down into Andhra Pradesh from the forest-filled hills of Orissa -- Machkhund (AP's share 84 MW), Upper Sileru (240 MW), Donkarai (25 MW) and Lower Sileru 460 MW).

In a similar incident last year, the ultras blasted a portion of Lower Sileru which could be restored only after a month.

In Tuesday's blast, an assistant engineer suffered a minor injury when a splinter of glass panel hit him. In fact, he came out of the station on being warned by the extremists that he would face repercussions otherwise.

As hydel stations can be activated by pressing the button, there will not be many employees at these places. Usually, an engineer and his assistant are available.

Security will also be minimal with only one or two men being posted for the purpose.

The AP Genco has so far avoided deployment of armed contingents, fearing the risk of the stations being attacked by naxalites to snatch away weapons.

"Any posting of armed police attracts more attacks rather containing them," a senior official said.

The Genco proposed an integrated security system to the hydel stations in risky areas with deployment of forces like CISF but the proposal has not been cleared by the Government.

Meanwhile, G. Adiseshu, director (hydel) A P Genco, rushed to Donkarai. Only five panels in the control-room have been found damaged. Main equipments like turbine have been spared.

Naxal threat spurs security step up

Ranchi, May 30: The suspected Naxalite plan to attack the Maithon power plant, an unit of Damodar Valley Corporation, has brought the security of half a dozen power installations under scanner.

Home secretary Sudhir Tripathy told The Telegraph that he had received a communiqué from the Union home ministry a few days back, directing the state government to tighten the security around vital installations.

“But the central government’s communiqué was in the context of the possible threat from the terrorists and not the Naxalites,” the home secretary added.

A meeting would be convened soon to review the security of various power and irrigation installations, he further said.

According to the home secretary, the security of all the plants was already placed under the charge of Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF). “I will not say they are unsafe. But the security arrangement could be upscaled, if we feel that the threat perception has gone up. Besides, the dummy drill of the security arrangement, too, would be undertaken,” he added.

State director-general of police J. Mahapatra said sabotage or attack on public utility projects should not be on the agenda of the rebels. “The extremist strategy is to make targeted attack; dominate the areas; demoralise the police forces and collection of levy. They will not resort to such attacks, which harmed the people in general. But, recently they have resolved to attack those who maintain public posture against left wing extremism,” he pointed out.

The director-general of police denied that the Naxalites had a plan to raze the Maithon installation.

“The CISF had spotted half a dozen persons on the hills and informed the police as well as their Bengal counterpart. They could not get any thing concrete after the search,” he said.

The intelligence agencies, too, ruled out such attacks from the organisation running a public-spirited movement. Senior power plant officials, however, said threat perception is always there as most of units are located in the extremist-affected zone.

DVC resident director K.K. Singh said they are aware of the problem and taking precaution.

India's silent war

by Jack Leenaars*


Life in a refugee camp.

Nepal's Maoists are known throughout the world for their liberation war. But who has heard of the 'red battle' being waged by their Indian comrades?

For 40 years, Maoist guerrillas, or Naxalites as they are called in India, have been using dense jungles and forests as a base for their operations against the New Delhi central government.
The struggle is centred in Chhattisgarh state, one of India's poorest states, where a violent campaign against the Naxalites was launched in June 2005. Both sides are guilty of human rights violations, and with more than 50,000 refugees, precious raw materials to exploit, and the local tribal population the biggest loser, the conflict has all the ingredients of a dirty war.

Dharma on patrol

In the line of fire
Between police troops and paramilitaries on one side and Maoist insurgents on the other, the Maraiguda refugee camp has been on the frontline of this silent but raging war in the tribal heartlands of India.
Sauntering past the barrier of the Maraiguda camp is 22-year-old Dharma. He has a rifle slung over his shoulder and a small radio in his hand. The sweet sound of Bollywood soundtracks seems out of place amidst the estimated 1300 villagers who have sought refuge here.

Although this morning's patrol was quiet, the dark nights can be quite a different story if the Maoist guerrillas in the adjacent forests decide on a surprise attack, as was the case last Saturday.

The road to the nearest village, Golapalle, about 25 kilometres away, runs along the camp's watchtowers. "It's very dangerous. The area is held by Naxalites," says Dharma, who has been in the anti-Maoist civilian militia for a month. He was born in the area but anyone who remains there is considered a Naxalite.

Rebellious beginnings
The name used for India's Maoist rebels refers to Naxalbari, the place where a local rebellion against landowners broke out in 1967. The insurrection was put down in the 1970s but splinter groups remained active. In September 2004 the most important groups fused to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist), an underground political movement that advocates an armed struggle to free India of all feudal and imperialistic influences.

The rebels' strength lies in the weakness of the state. In areas where the government is noticeably absent, the rebels fill in by setting up their own administrations based on Maoist principles.

Security service sources say a maximum of 15,000 revolutionaries are active in 13 of India's 29 states. They form a 'red corridor' stretching through nearly one quarter of India, from the far north to the south.

Contented paramilitary fights back
The explosive growth of the Naxalites has led to increasing confrontations with the security forces. The fighting in Chhattisgarh is more intense than anywhere else. It is here that the 'Salwa Judum' (peace mission), an anti-Maoist campaign, began two years ago. In June 2005, local people spontaneously joined the Salwa Judum to combat the Naxalites. The leader of the movement, Mahendra Karma, explains, "it's a people's campaign".

Opinions in Chhattisgarh are divided as to whether the campaign began of its own accord or not. Opponents of the Salwa Judum say that the police and local elite, who have been hard hit by the Naxalite insurgency, strategically established it in order to gain control of Chhattisgarh's natural resources (iron ore, coal and bauxite), which remain as yet unexploited. However, the Naxalites are against the utilisation of these resources, arguing that the local tribal people will be cheated in the process.

The government, however, has gratefully adopted the Salwa Judum as a paramilitary force. It is about 5,000-strong and its members are termed 'special police officers'. For the most part, they are young men like Dharma who, after a short period of training, are armed with rifles, knives or traditional bows and arrows and deployed against anyone that could be termed Naxalite.

More than 700 villages have been deemed Maoist and 50,000 villagers have been forced from their homes into camps. The Salwa Judum works on the principle that those 'who aren't with us, are against us,' and, thus, a Naxalite.

Lookout post with Krishna

Enduring conflict and corruption
A journey along National Highway 221, a sand road pitted with craters, shows the effects of the Salwa Judum campaign. Overflowing refugee camps alternate with ghost villages, whose residents have fled for fear of reprisals.
Human rights organisations have condemned the Salwa Judum. The Asian Centre for Human Rights says that 363 people were killed last year in the violence and 101 people were killed in Chhattisgarh during the first quarter of this year.

The Indian Supreme Court joined human rights groups this month, calling on the state government to review its support of the campaign against the Naxalites.

"In human terms, the situation is a tragedy," says activist Ilina Sen, whose husband was arrested last week on charges of having suspicious links with the Naxalites. "
But the backing of the Supreme Court is incredibly important. The government must listen to its advice and change its policy."
The question remains, however, as to whether the Supreme Court's decision will provide a solution for the civilian population caught up in the conflict. For the time being, it seems they will remain in the line of fire.

* RNW translation (mw/tpf)

Maoists sneak into South Orissa

Thursday May 31 2007 12:58 IST
Click here to get the latest Orissa news on your BSNL mobile for Re.1 a day.

JEYPORE: The reported sneaking in of over 100 hardcore Maoists from neighbouring Chhattisgarh to Malkangiri and Koraput districts has put the cops on their toes.

A red alert has been sounded in the tribal pockets of these districts. Four days back, police received an intelligence input from Bastar district of Chhattisgarh that armed Maoists are moving towards Malkangiri and Jeypore subdivision in Koraput.

The subdivision had been considered a non-Naxal bastion till now. Sources said the Naxalites had entered Jeypore sub-division through the river route near Ghadaghat, bordering Orissa and Chhattisgarh.

Although the motive of the Naxalites is yet to be known, police are apprehending attacks in major establishments. The region has seen several major attacks over the past few years and cops are not taking any chances.

Armed police have been deployed at check points and patrolling increased Boipariguda and Kundra areas where the ultras are reportedly camping now.

The Maoists are likely to hold a meeting to spread their tentacles in the State to create an ‘administration-free zone.’

Naxals Kill Two in Munger District by slitting their throat

Munger: May 30, 2007

Once again exposing the state government's utter failure in containing Naxal violence in Bihar, over 200 armed Maoist guerillas in Satgharwa village in Munger district on late Tuesday night dragged two persons from their homes and slashed their throats killing them on the spot.

Another person who was also pulled out of his home was, however, beaten but spared by the terrorists, reports said.

According to the police report, over 200 Naxal guerillas, including many women, all wearing army fatigues, stormed into the village and dragged out Ramchandra Yadav, a Janata Dal (U) activist, Anil Yadav, and Ranjan Kumar from their homes after taking them to the market chowk, slashed Ramchandra and Anil's throat.

Ranjan Kumar, the nephew of Ramchandra Yadav, however, was spared his life but not before he was given a serious beating, the police said.

The victims were believed to be police informants that turned out to be fatal for them. The police, however, deny that the two were secretly working for them.

Senior police officials including the Superintendent of Police (SP) and Dharhara police station in-charge are camping at the village where panic prevails among the residents.

No arrest has been made in the case yet.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Armed groups are responsible for violations police firing endemic

From our ANI Correspondent

New Delhi, May 30: Asian Centre for Human Rights in its "India Human Rights Report 2007" stated that during 2006, the armed opposition groups were responsible for more violations while the police wereesponsible for widespread, indiscriminate and disproportionate use of firearms.

"Among the armed opposition groups, the Naxalites stood out as the worst violators of international humanitarian laws and the chilling massacres perpetrated by the Naxalites such as the Darbhaguda massacre of February 28, 2006, Monikonta massacre of April 2006, Errabore massacre of July 17, 2006 and Halewada massacre in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra on May 16, 2006 - clearly stood out as the worst cases of the violations of the right to life." - stated Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre foruman Rights.

The police were responsible for killings of civilians in indiscriminate use of fire-arms. The killings of civilians which were hitherto common in insurgency affected areas were reported from across the country. The major incidents of killings of civilians in fire-arms in 2006 were killing of 14 civilians in Kalinganagar of Orissa on 2 January 2006, eight civilians at Kakopathar and Makum in Tinsukia district of Assam on 10 February 2006 and killing of four civilians at Seelampur in Delhi on 20 September 2006.

There were rampant reports of custodial killings. In the first three months of assuming office by the V.S. Achuthanandan-led governmentin Kerala on 18 May 2006, about 14 persons reportedly died in police custody across the State. On October 2006, the State government of Kerala instituted a commission of inquiry headed by Justice R Rajendra Babu but the opposition parties were not consulted.

The conditions of the women and children remained deplorable and they were subjected to violence both by the security forces and the armed opposition groups.

The Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes continued to face atrocities. However, the conviction rate for crimes against the tribals remained extremely low. According to the latest available figures, the conviction rate for crimes against Scheduled Tribes was 28 per cent while corresponding overall conviction rate under Indian Penal Code was 40.1 percent and under Special Local Laws was 88.9 per cent.

The government authorities failed to take appropriate actions against human rights violations by the security forces. In the case of extra-judicial killing of Ajit Mahanta of Kakopathar under Tinsukia district of Assam, a military court in July 2006 found two soldiers - Nishant Sharma and Sudip Gurung - guilty of killing Ajit Mahanta. "But the sentence was too lenient and was not commensurate with the crime of violation of the right to life. While Nishant Sharma was suspended from his service for one year, Sudip Gurung was merely sentenced to two months' rigorous military imprisonment", Chakma said.

Human rights defenders continued face atrocities from the security forces and the armed opposition groups. In 2006, Habel Koloi, Chairman of Borok Peoples Human Rights Organization of Tripura and Umakanta Meitei, General Secretary of Threatened Inidgenous Peoples Society faced incarcerationnder the National Security Laws before being released by the courts. On the other hand, 78-year-old Rev. Dr Tongkhojang Lunkim, Chairman of Kuki Movement for Human Rights was abducted by the Kuki Liberation Army (KLA) and Elvis Chorkey, President of Mizoram Bru Displaced Persons Forum was abducted by Bru Liberation Front of Mizoram.

"Unless the government of India ensures accountability for human rights violations by the security forces, common citizenry is unlikely to see any distinction between the armed opposition groups and the security forces. This poses more serious threat to human rights and democracy," said Chakma.


Naxals trigger blast at power plant in East Godavari

30 May, 2007 l 0615 hrs ISTl PTI

HYDERABAD: An assistant engineer sustained injuries when the main control room of state-owned GENCO power plant was blasted by Maoists in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh tonight, police said.

About 20-30 armed naxalites went to the control room of the power plant at Donkaraye and blasted it using detonator after asking the employees on night duty to come out.

It was not yet clear whether the engineer was injured in the explosion or in the melee.

Maoists blast hydel power plant in AP
Hyderabad, May 30 (PTI): Maoists in Andhra Pradesh triggered a blast at the control room of the state power generation company's mini hydel power plant in East Godavari district, police today said.

The Maoists blew up the control room of APGENCO's 24 MW plant at Donkarayi late last night by using explosives affecting the power production and power supply to nearby villages.

On Monday, the ultras gunned down the vice-chairman of Visakhapatnam Zilla Parishad S Ravi Shankar.

Police said about 50 armed naxalites went to the control room of the plant and blasted it after asking the employees on night duty to come out, police said.

In the blast, an assistant engineer sustained head injuries when he was hit by the glass piece of a window. The injured engineer was rushed to a nearby hospital and his condition was stated to be out of danger.

APGENCO Managing Director, Ajay Jain, said today that control panels of the hydel power plant were damaged in the blast which are yet to be replaced.

"We have already rushed a team of engineers to take up the work," Jain said adding a team of senior officials led by him is leaving for the site.

As the hydel power plants were located in remote villages, there was a need to strenghen the security at each plant, Jain said.

"It was a disturbing trend as the naxalites had also blasted Sileru hydel project in 2005," the MD said.

PUDR blacklists ministers, but fails to explain violence

Rajendra Khatry

Chandigarh, May 29: While People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), Delhi, was quick to lambast the Haryana police for falsely implicating student activists on seditious charges and branded two Haryana Ministers, Finance Minister Birender Singh and Transport and Public Health Minister Randeep Surjewala, as “anti-Dalits who were out to suppress voices of the landless”, it failed to justify the violence unleashed by naxals in various parts of the country or their stoic silence most of the time when innocent people were targeted by the Maoists.

Two activists of the human rights organisation PUDR, Harish Dhawan and Sharmila Purkayastha, who were in the city to release a recent report on the sedition charges slapped on 13 allegedly Maoist activists arrested by the Haryana police, charged the two ministers from the Jat community of being landlords who were out to suppress the Dalits.

“The two prominent leaders of the Haryana Congress who hold ministerial posts in the present government are steadfast in suppressing any possibility of resistance that challenges their hegemony . They have the support of other big landowners from among the dominant class,’’ they said.

When asked how could they justify the violence by the Naxals in which a lot of innocent people get killed, and why do they keep silent most of the time after every such violence, the PUDR activists blamed the media for this. “We too are against bloodshed and advise everybody against it, but the media never highlights these points,’’ they said.

While demanding dropping of the sedition charges against the 13 alleged Maoists activists arrested by the Haryana Police, the PUDR representatives also failed to explain the presence of arms in the possession of some of them. No wonder they did not demand their release, but only that sedition charges be dropped against them

'Withdraw charges against Maoists’ ????

Express News Service

Chandigarh, May 29: People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), Delhi, has demanded an unconditional withdrawal of the charge of sedition on all the 13 alleged Maoists activists detained by the Haryana police. It has also demanded an immediate end to the “witch-hunt” against all mass organisatins in the state, implementation of minimum wages and measures to end the illegal appropriation of common resources by the dominant class.

Addressing a press conference here today, two activists of PUDR, Harish Dhawan and Sharmila Purkayastha, said there was no evidence to prove the charge of sedition against the 13 suspected Maoists activists detained by the Haryana police from Narwana, Kaithal and Yamuna Nagar recently.

Releasing a fact-finding report: “Silencing dissent: Caste oppression, People’s movement and charge of sedition in Haryana”, prepared by the PUDR here, Dhawan said the PUDR team had investigated recent alleged incidents of sedition against three mass organisations, namely Jagrook Chhatra Morcha (JCM), Krantikari Mazdoor Kisan Union (KMKU) and Shivalik Jan Sangharsh Manch (SJSM) in Kaithal, Jind and Yamunanagar. The team visited five villages in the three affected districts, met numerous residents and officials, including the SP, Yamunanagar, journalists and lawyers, to get behind the facts.

“False cases of sedition have been made against the 13 activists. The JCM has been raising issues of university students, while the KMKU and the SJSM have taken up issues arising from caste and gender oppression, as well as issues of land distribution and condition of labour in the rural areas. The sedition charges therefore do not stick,’’ said Dhawan. For more than a month the Haryana police has unleashed a reign of terror in Yamunanagar, Kaithal, Jind and Kurukshetra, which must end immediately, he added.

Sharmila Purkayastha said during earlier struggles on these issues, activists of these organisations have faced arrest on criminal charges, but they had been acquitted of these charges on every occasion.

Security forces recover 8 bodies from Bastar forest

K. Srinivas Reddy

One fleeing policeman is believed to have been lost in jungle


Maoists mined 300-metre stretch of road
5 assault teams opened fired from strategic positions

HYDERABAD: Security forces on Tuesday moved into the dense Bastar forests and recovered the bodies of eight policemen killed in Monday's Maoist ambush near Kudur village in Chhattisgarh.

Police officials said while three Chhattisgarh police jawans managed to escape, one of their colleagues Suraj Netam was believed to have been lost in the jungle. "We hope he is alive and will reach any of the security camps," Jagdalpur Superintendent of Police G.P. Singh told The Hindu on the phone from the attack site.

It took nearly 18 hours for the paramilitary forces to reach the place where more than 300 Maoists, armed with automatic weapons and grenade launchers, ambushed the 12-member, motorcycle-borne police team.

The team, Mr. Singh said, was headed for another village, but changed course to Kudur after it was tipped off about the possibility of Maoists visiting a nearby shandy.

The Maoists had mined almost a 300-metre stretch of road, with hills on either side. The landmines, claymore mines and directional mines turned the stretch into a killing zone. The rebels, forming five assault teams, positioned themselves strategically behind rocks.All the mines were detonated as the police team entered the road stretch. While some policemen appeared to have died instantly, the others fired back at the naxals. The policemen were armed with Kalashnikovs, SLRs and a grenade launcher.

"The Maoists too were armed with similar weapons, but they heavily outnumbered the policemen. The terrain was extremely hostile to us, but my jawans put up a brave fight. They fought until they exhausted their ammunition," Mr. Singh said.

Some casualties among the naxals were also suspected, as the rebels were seen carrying away bodies, Mr. Singh said quoting the injured constables.

Centre reviews Chhattisgarh situation

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Tuesday despatched a helicopter to Chhattisgarh to assist in the rescue operations in the Bastar forest region, where stepped up Maoist violence claimed the lives of 10 policemen on Monday.

Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta on Tuesday reviewed the situation in the State following the landmine explosion in the Bastar area.

All agencies concerned, including officials from the anti-naxal division of the Ministry, were present at the review meeting. The Home Secretary recently wrote to the State Government, stressing the need to tighten the intelligence network.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Maoists shoots ZP Vice-Chairman to death in AP

Tuesday May 29 2007 11:22 IST

VISAKHAPATNAM: The banned CPI (Maoists) shot dead Zilla Parishad vice-chairman in the presence of hundreds of devotees during the "Modakondamma Jatara," a local festival at Hukumpeta late on Monday night.

According to police sources, more than a dozen armed Naxals emerged from the forest and shot at S Ravi Shankar (28), a tribal leader, who came to inaugurate the Jatara from close range. The insurgents escaped in the darkness after committing the crime. Shankar succumbed to injuries on way to Paderu hospital.

The extremists, suspected to be members of an action team of the Pedabayalu dalam of the banned outfit are moving in the area to attack leaders of the ruling party. They killed the tribal leader to protest against the State Government's decision to allow bauxite mining in the agency area, police added.

The slain leader was closely associated with Andhra Pradesh Commercial Tax Minister K Ramakrishna.

State Tribal Welfare Minister D S Redya Nayak, Civil Supplies Minister K V Krishna Reddy and Commercial Tax Minister K Ramarkrishna, rushed to the tribal village and strongly condemned the slaying of Shankar.

Children at war in insurgency zone

29 May, 2007 l 0000 hrs ISTlJoyce William John

Heinrich Wolfgang of Germany was kidnapped by activists of Kuki National Army in 2003 when he visited Manipur for inspection while working with an NGO. Wolfgang was in captivity in Manipur jungles for 18 days. After his release, he said what he feared most during captivity was not the unfamiliar environment or wild animals, it was the thought of the rifle in the hands of his guard misfiring. Wolfgang was being guarded by a 14-year-old, whose rifle was taller than him.

Poor children in states like Manipur, Assam, Nagaland, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir have an umbilical association with insurgency, having been in the face of armed conflict for years now. Pushed into the vortex of an unending armed conflict, child soldiers in these regions fight alongside their grown-up comrades in the thick of battle. Many are indirectly involved with militant groups, used as decoys or scouts to spot movements of security forces, transport ammunition, for money laundering and cooking.

Worldwide figures by Unicef estimate that 2,50,000 children have been recruited as soldiers in various capacities, laid bare to physical and psychological trauma. A report brought out by the International Committee of the Red Cross recently said, "Armed with lethal weapons, plied with alcohol and drugs to incite them to violence and fearlessness, forced into dependence on the group that has recruited them, children become loose canons, a danger to themselves and others."

Though rights activists in India say child soldiers are not as wide a problem here as in some neighbouring countries, they agree it needs to be tackled before it snowballs to proportions in Sri Lanka and Nepal. Activists, however, also add that figures are difficult to establish and any that would be quoted would only be rough estimates.

Talking to TOI on phone from Chhattisgarh’s Jagdalpur district, SP G P Singh related an encounter between police and Naxals about two months back near Dhanora village. "Two girls, about 14 to 15 years old, who were dressed in uniforms were caught. They were not well-trained and hiding in a crevice during the encounter. When we tracked them down, they started crying, thinking they’ll be killed. They said Naxalites had picked them up from school." On investigation, police found that powerless due to their extreme poverty and fear, parents of the girls had not even lodged a complaint of missing persons or kidnapping.

According to the police, Naxalites have a military wing of children called Bal Militia. They indoctrinate children and train them in handling arms. Rebels then use children dressed in school uniforms, so that they do not arouse suspicion, to attack unsuspecting policemen.

"Curiosity, poverty, lack of opportunities and dearth of recreation opportunities, push children into joining rebels. The situation of abnormality has become a part of conflict zones, where there is constant tension because of bandhs and combing," said founder-secretary of Control Arms Foundation of India (CAFI) Binalakshmi Nepram.
"Rebels share the feel of a weapon with kids. They allow them to touch and handle it. A nine or 10 year-old gets attracted and is eventually using weapons for killing people," she added.

According to sources, police usually do not register cases against child soldiers caught during raids or encounters. The reason is they are very young and usually not part of rebel groups voluntarily. However, though the children are returned to their parents, there are no guarantees that they will not be picked up by the rebels again.

About North-East, Nepram, said, "The number of adolescents involved in militancy is growing because they are constantly exposed to violence, death, encounters and loss of parents."

There is no way of ensuring a better chance at life for these children. Official sources said there was neither any policy at the government level nor any official guideline to direct what should be done with child soldiers.

Rights activists in Chhattisgarh allege even security forces use children and adolescents as special police officers. A report by Asian Centre for Human Rights said a team visited Bangapal relief camp in the state and interviewed nine minor girls, who were recruited as SPOs. These girls reportedly told the team that they were being trained in fighting tactics.

Officials deny the allegations. "No children have been recruited by security forces. The basic built of tribals and undernourishment makes them look younger," said K P S Gill, ex-security advisor to Chhattisgarh govt.
What children who drift towards violence and conflict need is more opportunities to education and recreation. Government policies too must take this alarming trend into account while formulating policies, and encourage villagers to report missing children

Maoists kill 10 policemen in Bastar

K. Srinivas Reddy

35 civilians escape unhurt in landmine explosion triggered in Orissa


The policemen riding motorcycles were ambushed at Kudur village
Many automatic weapons were looted in the raid

HYDERABAD: Maoist violence claimed the lives of 10 policemen in the Bastar forest of Chhattisgarh, while more than two dozen civilians had a miraculous escape in a landmine explosion triggered by the extremists in Malkangiri district of Orissa abutting the strife-torn Bastar area on Monday.

Monday's attack in Bastar comes shortly after the blowing up of the railway track at two places at Bhansi and Bacheli villages effectively cutting off transport of iron ore from the Bailadilla mines in Chhattisgarh.

Policemen riding motorcycles became sitting ducks for the Maoists, who lay in wait near Kudur village and blasted 20 mines while opening fire simultaneously. Nine security force personnel, including a sub-inspector and two havaldars, were killed in the operation that lasted an hour.

The other members of the police patrol team escaped and reached the nearby police station, about 20 km away, and alerted the higher-ups.

"The police team had rushed to a location on receiving information about the movement of the Maoists. Possibly, the Maoists passed on false information to lure the policemen to the heavily mined area," Giridhari Nayak, IG of SIB, Chattisgarh told The Hindu over telephone.

Police contingents from nearby districts were being rushed to the area. Though it was not clear how many weapons were looted, sources in Raipur said many automatic weapons were lost in the raid.

Another exchange

In another exchange of fire between security forces and the Maoists in the Gangalur police station area falling in neighbouring Bijapur district, a CRPF jawan was killed.

Elsewhere, security forces exchanged fire with the Maoists in the Bedre camp area in the same district, where a jawan was injured.

Mr. Nayak said the security forces raided a naxal hideout and a serious gunbattle ensued. He said at least half-a-dozen naxalites could have been injured in the firing that lasted for more than an hour.

In the neighbouring Malkangiri district, the Maoists triggered a landmine and a claymore mine targeting a bus carrying about 35 people. However, all civilians escaped unhurt.

The Chhattisgarh incidents are believed to be part of a tactical counter offensive campaign launched by the Maoists ahead of the anniversary of Salwa Judum, an anti-Maoist people resistance movement launched by Mahendra Karma, leader of the Opposition and Congress MLA from Dantewada.

As part of the June 4 anniversary, Mr. Karma is planning a huge rally against the Maoists in Bijapur.

Nine policemen killed in landmine blasts

11 killed in Chhattisgarh blast

Nine cops killed in Chhattisgarh blasts
Maoists trigger a series of landmine blasts targeting a 12-member police party in Bastar's Kudur area.

Raipur, March 25, 2006
First Published: 00:00 IST(13/1/2007)

Eleven persons were killed and four others injured on Saturday in Kanker district in Chhattisgarh in a landmine blast triggered off by Naxalites. Five Maoists have also been killed in Bastar district in an encounter.

"Mistaking a private jeep taxi to be a police vehicle, the Naxalites triggered a landmine blast near Ghodagaon village under Pakhanjur police station area, about 250 km from the state capital," Kanker District Superintendent of Police Pradeep Gupta said.

Six persons were killed and four others were injured, the SP said, quoting primary reports. He added that a police party had already left for the spot and further details were awaited.

Meanwhile, Bastar SP Gurjinder Pal Singh said a police party had killed five Naxalites, including a 'deputy commander' in Dhanora jungle area, about 400 km from the state capital in a fierce encounter.

All the Naxalites were killed in an encounter on Friday and the dead body of the 'deputy commander' has been recovered while the Maoists have taken the rest of the bodies with them, Singh said. Search operations are continuing in the area, he added. Nine policemen killed in landmine blasts

Raipur, May. 28 (PTI): Nine policemen were killed when members of the banned naxal outfit CPI(Maoists) triggered a series of landmine blasts targeting a 12-member police party in Bastar district of Chattisgarh, police said today.

The maoists carried out two dozen blasts this evening when the motorcycle-borne policemen during an anti-naxal operations were passing through the Kudur area, about 435 capital from here.

Police said three cops who survived the attack returned to the Mardapal police station, 22 km from the scene of the attack, and informed the station incharge about the incident.

The maoists also looted weapons belonging to the policemen, police said.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Maoists presence in Rajasthan: Jaiswal

Jaipur, May 28: The Centre on Monday said the presence of Maoists have been reported in tribal belts of Rajasthan's Udaipur division and has asked the state authorities to deal with the problem.

There have been intelligence reports of Naxalite presence in some areas of Rajasthan, Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal told reporters here.

He said Naxal groups were holding meetings and started their activities like organising agitations, creating law and order problems and carrying out extortion in tribal belts specially in Dungapur, Banswara and Udaipur districts.

"We have alerted the state government to be prepared to meet the danger," he said.

Jaiswal accused the BJP-government in the state of not utilising central funds provided for police modernisation.

Expressing concern over the presence of illegal Bangladeshi migrants in Rajasthan, Jaiswal said the Centre was taking steps for their deportation.

He said the Centre has preparing a new police act in compliance to the Supreme Court's order and it was up to the state governments whether to accept it or adopt a new one, as done by the Rajasthan government.

Later, PCC president B D Kalla submitted a memorandum to Jaiswal highlighting the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.

Kalla told the minister that the Vasundhara Raje government was working on a "hidden agenda of Hindutva in which minority communities specially Christian missionaries were attacked and harassed".

He demanded that the Centre should direct the state government to improve its governance, "which was feudalistic on certain fronts".

Bureau Report

Jharkhand police chief rules out Naxal threat on Dhoni

From our ANI Correspondent

Ranchi, May 28: Jharkhand's Director General of Police J B Mahapatra has denied reports that cricket star Mahendra Singh Dhoni faced any Naxal threat.

"There is no danger or threat to Dhoni," Mahapatra said.

According to a report published in an English daily, Jharkhand Police were probing the authenticity of a letter that stated that Naxalites from Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh intended to eliminate skipper Rahul Dravid, Dhoni and three Indian Cricket Board officials -- Sharad Pawar, Niranjan Shah and Rajiv Shukla for promoting an upper class sport like cricket, which was affecting development.

The letter was found during a raid on a Naxalite hideout in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada last Friday.

"We don't know anything about it," the DGP said when asked whether any such letter was being scrutinised by the State police.

The Union Government had last year spelt out a policy to combat the challenge posed by Naxals. The 14-point policy calls on States to adopt a collective approach and pursue a coordinated response to counter it.

It also emphasises that there will be no peace dialogue between the affected State Governments and the Naxal groups unless the latter agree to give up violence and arms.

The affected States have also been told to further improve the police response, pursue effective and sustained police action against Naxalites and their infrastructure individually and jointly.

According to the Government, Naxalism is not merely a law and order problem.

"The policy of the Government is to address this menace simultaneously on political, security, development and public perception management fronts in a holistic manner," the policy says.

The counter-strategy also refers to modernisation of the State police, revision of security-related expenditure, supply of mine protected vehicles, long-term deployment of Central Para-Military Forces, deployment of Sashastra Seema Bal along the Indo-Nepal border, revision of guidelines to permit 40 per cent recruitment in Central forces form the border areas and naxal-affected areas.

Dwelling upon the social, developmental and political measures, it said the Centre has provided financial assistance of Rs. 2,475 crores for 55 naxal-affected districts in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal under the Backward Districts Initiative (BDI).

On the incidents of violence, the White Paper shows while 515 people died in 2003, the number of deaths went up to 566 in 2004, 669 in 2005 and 749 in 2006

Narco tests on Naxalite Arun Ferreira

Narco tests on alleged Naxal turns out to be flop
Anupam Dasgupta
Monday, May 28, 2007 09:03 IST

The narco-analysis tests carried out on alleged Naxalite Arun Ferreira, a Bandra resident who was arrested along with three others in Nagpur on May 8, at Kalina Forensic Science Laboratory have failed to yield effective results. This, even as the senior Naxalite cadre contradicted himself occasionally, said the police.

The police alleged that the tests did not throw up “clinching” results as no police officer was allowed in during the interrogation — something that marred the prospects of an “interactive exchange” between the police and the suspect.

According to sources, the police had prepared a pointed set of questions to be hurled at Ferreira during the narco-analysis tests. The question set was designed to make him admit or deny his recent involvement in the overall Naxalite-Maoist scheme of things across central India.

“But although Ferreira was found to glaringly contradict himself on a couple of occasions, there was no immediate reactive response (in terms of artfully framed questions) from the investigating officers (making the suspect speak his mind out) geared to elicit real information out of him,” said a senior anti-Naxalite unit officer who spoke to DNA on conditions of anonymity.

“We approached the director of the forensic science laboratory on the matter but the authorities chose to perform brain-mapping and polygraph tests on Ferreira instead,” the officer added.

When contacted, Kalina Forensic Science Laboratory director Rukmini Krishnamurthy, however, said, “The tests were carried out scientifically and yielded good results which even satisfied the police. We stuck to all standard protocol during the tests.”

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pro-Maoists come to aid of naxals

27 May, 2007 l 0215 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK

NAGPUR: The arrest of yet another leader of People's Union for Civil Liberties by the Chhattisgarh police has strong repercussion on the activities of the pro-Maoist groups in central India, including Maharashtra.

The Chhattisgarh police took into custody Adv Rajendra K Sail, the state president of People's Union for Civil Liberties, at Raipur on Friday. Earlier, Dr Binayak Sen, general secretary and national vice-president of the PUCL, was held by Chhattisgarh police.

The act of arresting Dr Sen was picked up as an issue of police highhandedness. Several front organisations reportedly kick-started an active movement to gain support base in favour of four naxals, arrested here on May 8.

Highlighting the innocence of the two of the arrested Maoists from Gondia - Naresh Bansod and Dhanendra Bhurle - several voices were raised in Vidarbha too.

Reportedly Mumbai-based supporters of Arun alias Sunil Thomas Ferriera, who was held with Mahesh alias Murali alias Ashok Satya Reddy at Deekshabhoomi on May 8 by Nagpur police, tried to underline his role in the society as a social activist who has been associated with student movement.

Reportedly, some of the student organisations are under scrutiny as their roles and activities are often viewed as the reflections of the Maoists vision.

Apart from shadowing the activities of the alleged front organisations in the city, Nagpur police have reportedly stepped up its vigilance in various areas bringing the activities of different social organisations under scanner.

The outcome of narco-analysis test on the arrested quartet, conducted at Mumbai recently, could bring the role of several organisations both in and outside Vidarbha under close scrutiny of the police and different intelligence agencies in the both state and central level.

Report: Indian police investigate letter by Maoist rebels threatening cricket stars

Report: Indian police investigate letter by Maoist rebels threatening cricket stars

The Associated Press
Published: May 27, 2007

NEW DELHI: Police are investigating a letter allegedly written by Maoist rebels threatening to kill two of India's top cricketers because they represent the "elite class," a newspaper reported Sunday.

The letter singles out captain of the Indian team Rahul Dravid and wicketkeeper Mahendra Dhoni, as well as three top cricket officials, and was found Friday during a police raid on a rebel hideout in the eastern state of Chhattisgarh, the Hindustan Times reported.

The handwritten letter said a group of rebels from Chhattisgarh and neighboring Jharkand state had decided to kill the cricketers, and that rebels had tracked the movements of Dhoni in his hometown of Ranchi, Jharkand's capital, the paper said.

The threatened officials were Sharad Pawar, president of India's cricket board and federal agriculture minister, and Niranjan Shah and Rajiv Shukla, both well-known officials of the cricket board, it said.

"All five are promoting cricket, a sport of the elite class, and also leading a luxurious life at the expense of the hard-earned money of the common man," the letter said, according to the newspaper.
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Madhu Koda, the chief minister of Jharkand, said the letter was being taken seriously.

"But before providing more security to Dhoni, the government will like its agencies to find out whether the letter is genuine," Koda said, according to the report.

The Maoist rebels have fought a decades-long insurgency out of India's impoverished forest communities and farming villages largely left out of the country's economic boom.

The insurgency has spread across 13 of India's 28 states and the rebels are believed to have about 6,000 fighters in an increasingly well-armed force.

The conflict has become steadily more brutal over the past two years.

In March, Maoists killed at least 49 police officers in Chhattisgarh weeks after they killed Sunil Mahato, a prominent lawmaker in Jharkand.

The year before, they killed at least 50 people in Chhattisgarh when they set off land mines under four trucks carrying civilians returning from a rally held by an anti-Maoist militia state.

Jharkhand Cops Unaware Of Maoist Threat To Cricketers

Sunday 27th of May 2007 Jharkhand police Sunday said they were unaware of any death threat issued to Indian cricketers by Maoist rebels.

A news channel has claimed that Maoist guerrillas have issued death threat to Indian cricketers like skipper Rahul Dravid, wicket-keeper and local boy Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sharad Pawar besides other board officials 'since cricket is a game of the elite class and cricketers lead a lavish life'.

'We have no information regarding any threat to Indian cricketers, including Dhoni. Unless we get any letter or pamphlets we cannot say anything,' Jharkhand Director General of Police (DGP) J.B. Mahapatra told IANS here.

Asked whether security of Dhoni would be beefed up, he said: 'First let us get such information, only then we will do the needful'.

Chief Minister Madhu Koda has asked the intelligence officials to probe the threat. 'If needed, security of Dhoni will be beefed up,' he told reporters here.

State intelligence officials are baffled by the news of Maoist threat to cricketers.

'Till now Maoist rebels have not indulged in such kind of threats. However, they issue threats to police and politicians on a regular basis,' said an official of the state intelligence department.

Chhattisgarh Naxals damage railway bridge, Essar property

Raipur, May 27: Activists of banned Naxal outfit CPI (Maoist) on Sunday triggered two landmines blasts, blowing up a railway bridge and track, and burnt properties of Essar Steel in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh as part of a bandh.

However, there were no reports of any casualties during the bandh in the Bastar region, police said.

A group of armed Naxalites triggered landmines blasts and damaged a railway bridge between Bacheli and Kirandul, about 425 km from here, Dantewada police told reporters by phone.

Due to the damaged bridge, three wagons of a goods train derailed, they said.

When the train stopped, about 15 Naxalites surrounded the driver and the guard and took away their walki-talkies (wireless sets). They also left behind pamphlets demanding a probe into the "fake" encounter in Bijapur district and action against the superintendent of police Ratan Lal Dangi.

In another incident, the Maoists damaged the railway track between Bhansi and Bacheli by landmine blast, disrupting transportation of iron ore from Dantewada to the rest of the country, they said.

The ultras also burnt down some machineries at an Essar Steel facility in Maddadi, police added.

The Maoists were observing bandh in Dandakaranya area of Bastar region of Chhattisgarh and parts of Orissa, Maharashtra and Madhya pradesh to protest alleged fake encounters by the police.

Bureau Report

Six Maoists surrender in A.P.

User Rating: / 0 Sunday, 27 May 2007

Warangal, May 27: Six naxals, including two top Maoist cadre wanted by the Maharashtra and Chattisgarh police, surrendered in the presence of Superintendent of Police Soumya Mishra.

Maddela Raju alias Ajay, deputy commander of Prathighatana, surrendered with his 8 mm rifle. Kodepaka Rajamouli alias Ravi (35) who was involved in 29 offences, including seven `attacks' on public properties and four police stations in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, was the other top leader.

He is currently the Maoist party divisional committee member operating in Gadchiroli of Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee (DKSZC) in Bastar forest

No threat to Dhoni: Jharkhand DGP

Ranchi, May 27: Jharkhand Director General of Police J B Mahapatra today denied reports that cricket star Mahendra Singh Dhoni faced Naxalite threat.

"There is no danger or threat to Dhoni," said Jharkhand's top police officer.

Mahapatra was responding to a query as to whether Dhoni had become a target of Naxalites as published in a national English daily here today.

According to the report published in the daily, Jharkhand police were probing the authenticity of a letter that stated a joint group of Naxalites from Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh intended to eliminate Team India skipper Rahul Dravid and three Indian Cricket Board officials - Sharad Pawar, Niranjan Shah and Rajiv Shukla - besides Dhoni.

The letter, the report further claimed, was found during a raid on a Naxalite hideout in Dantewada region in neighbouring Chhattisgarh on Friday.

"We don't know anything about it," the DGP told newspersons when asked whether any such letter was being investigated by the Jharkhand police. (Agencies)

Grenades recovered from Chhattishgarh temple

Raipur, May 27: Two live hand grenades and one air gun were recovered from the premises of a temple in Naxal-infested Dantewada town, about 370 km from here in Chhattishgarh.

"Hand grenades were recovered from the temple premises and a subsequent search resulted in the seizure of the air gun," a police official told.

The grenades are live and bear the mark of ordnance factory, while the gun was also of good quality, the official said.

The police were carrying out further search of the temple premises. No one has been arrested as yet, he added.

Bureau Report

When Mao ruled hearts in Delhi University

Posted May 27th, 2007 by Tarique

By Sri Krishna


New Delhi : Armed only with idealism and Mao's Red Book, some of the brightest in Delhi's colleges embraced Maoism four decades ago, determined to usher in a communist revolution in India, even at the cost of their career. Many of these 'revolutionaries' wonder today if it was at all worth the pain.

When the peasants of Naxalbari village in West Bengal revolted in May 1967, sparking a violent movement that soon had India in its grips, those who took to the ideology included young men and women from Delhi University.

"It was idealism which made students take to Naxalism. They felt that through this ideology they could bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots," recalled Novy Kapadia, a deputy proctor at Delhi University who studied English at St. Stephens College in the 1970s.

St. Stephens, one of the oldest and best colleges in Delhi, was the hotbed of Naxalites - as the Maoist came to be called after Naxalbari village - in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Pushing the students to Naxalism were the revolutionary and mainly anti-American movements around the world, mainly in Vietnam. "The Vietnam war had aroused a hatred towards the Americans and support for the Vietnamese," Kapadia told IANS.

In no time, the little Red Book of Mao - which summarized the saying of the legendary Chinese leader -- became a bible for the young revolutionaries in the colleges of Delhi University.

Its popularity exceeded the appeal of even the Naxalite literature - and black and white photographs of Charu Mazumdar, the frail man who wrote the script for the Naxal uprising.

Journalist Swapan Dasgupta said that most students in the Naxalite cause -chiefly from St. Stephens or Miranda House -- even went "underground for a while". But after some time, "they were thoroughly traumatized", Dasgupta told IANS. Miranda House is an all women-college while St. Stephens was then reserved for men.

Describing the Naxalite movement in Delhi University as a "passing cloud", Dasgupta said that by 1971 the entire movement appeared to have faded out in the national capital. One of the major factors leading to this was strict policing within the university campus and of course student disillusionment.

Most activist students were from the middle class and children of senior civil servants. So they were able to get themselves freed after being caught for their Naxalite connections, said Dasgupta, who was in St. Stephens in 1971-76.

A student of La Martinere School in Kolkata, Dasgupta joined Delhi University in the 1970s when the violence Naxalite movement was at its peak in Kolkata and "I didn't want to lose out on my academics", he said.

A senior government officer who did not want to be identified explained to IANS what happened in the 1970s - which came to be known as the decade of revolution.

"Another reason which attracted students to Naxalism was the romanticism attached to being with the movement. But since most of them belonged to middle class families and were seeking to make a career, the movement gradually faded," the officer said.

Political analyst Mahesh Rangarajan said the anti-establishment feeling ingrained in the young also pushed them to the Naxalite movement, which by early 1970s suffered serious setbacks.

The patriotism triggered by the 1971 India-Pakistan dealt death blows to the Maoists, who were physically sought out and killed in hundreds in West Bengal as well as in other parts of India.

In the process Charu Mazumdar's Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist split into several groups and began attacking one another when they were not taking on the state.

"The Maoist movement's entire focus has today shifted to rural areas, especially in tribal belts of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar and Jharkhand," Rangarajan said. "It is assuming more dangerous proportions due to economic disparities in these regions,"

By July 1972, when Mazumdar died in police custody, the Naxalite movement in the University of Delhi also died a natural death

Maoists smuggling teakwood from Maharashtra

Mumbai, PTI:

Pushed to the wall by an incisive police, the Maoists in a desperate bid to regain lost ground are now smuggling teakwood from Gadchiroli forests in Maharashtra primarily to fund their cadre, according to a top state police official.

"In past one year, we have been able to eliminate 20 naxals. This has virtually broken their back. Now, in a desperate bid to regroup themselves, they have started teakwood smuggling. The money received is used mostly to buy weapons to fight the police," Special Inspector General of Police, Pankaj Gupta told PTI from Nagpur.

The Naxals are led by Sagar and Anil, commanders of the Pratighatna Dalam and the Jan Shakti Dalam respectively. The transaction takes place in villages of Andhra Pradesh, Gupta, who heads the Anti-naxal Operations in the state, said.

Teakwood smuggling is much more lucrative than extortion from beetle leaf and bamboo contractors, the traditional methods of fund raising, he said.

In the open market, the price of teakwood varies from Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000 per cubic metre. From 2003 to 2006, 7,370 teak trees have been felled illegally worth Rs 4.63 cr.

"While bulk of the proceeds is used for purchasing arms and ammunition, the remaining is distributed amongst the cadre," Gupta said.

According to the anti-Naxal cell, for a 3.70 metre-long plank of teakwood, members of the Pratighatna Dalam get Rs 200 each, those in the Jan Shakti Dalam members get Rs 300 and those belonging to the People's War get Rs 500 each.

According to Gupta, the smuggling epicentre is on the banks of the Godavari River along the Maharashtra-Andhra Pradesh border in south Gadchiroli.

D B Shrikhande, Deputy Conservator of Forest, Sironcha Division, south Gadchiroli, has no doubt that Maoists are responsible for the rise in smuggling. They have the local support too.

"Earlier, only a few villagers were involved. Now, with support from the Maoists, all 20 villages located on the 50 km border are involved. They move in groups of 150 and are armed with axes and saws, not just for cutting trees but also to retaliate against attacks by forest guards. Many guards have been seriously injured," he says.

The villagers get easy money. They get at least Rs 200 per person from every tree they sell. Hence, they don't feel the need to work and earn. So, they too support the Maoists.

According to Gadchiroli District Collector N K Sudhanshu, the implementation of Forest Working Plan could stem the rot. Under this, selected trees are allowed to be cut and sold legally by the forest department.

"People would have a regular source of legal income. We also want to widen the scope of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) by increasing the wages from the current Rs 50-60 per day to around Rs 100-120 per day. Combining it with legal action, we could end the local involvement," Sudhanshu said.
Along with focused patrolling of sensitive points on the 50km border stretch, these methods could alienate the naxals and help in controlling the problem, he said.

Naxal plan' to kill Dravid, Pawar, Dhoni unearthed

Madan Kumar
Email Author
Ranchi, May 27, 2007
First Published: 01:06 IST(27/5/2007)
Last Updated: 11:13 IST(27/5/2007)

The police in Jharkhand were on Saturday investigating the authenticity of a letter that speaks of Naxalites sending death squads to kill Team India skipper Rahul Dravid, wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and three Indian cricket board officials.

The handwritten letter, suspected to be an internal communication, was found during a raid on a Naxalite hideout in Dantewada region in neighbouring Chhattisgarh on Friday.

It says that a joint group of Naxalites from Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh has decided to kill Dhoni, Dravid and BCCI chief Sharad Pawar. The board’s Niranjan Shah and Rajiv Shukla were also named. “All five are promoting cricket — a sport of the elite class — and also leading a luxurious life at the expense of the hard-earned money of the common man,” the letter says.

The letter speaks of a strike team that followed Dhoni in his hometown Ranchi recently. Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda said the letter was being taken seriously and Dhoni’s security would be reviewed, if necessary. “But before providing more security to Dhoni, the government will like its agencies to find out whether the letter is genuine,” Koda said.

Naxal plan to kill Dravid, Pawar, Dhoni unearthed
May 27, 2007

Naxal threat to Dravid, Pawar, Dhoni
A letter, found during a raid, speaks of Naxalites sending death squads to kill them, reports Madan Kumar.

June 06, 2006
First Published: 00:00 IST(13/1/2007)

There is a disturbing pattern in how governance seems to work in our country these days. Substantive problems — widespread and persistent illiteracy, collapse of state authority in Naxal-infested states, trafficking of women, widespread corruption — are ignored. Instead, the instruments of the State take recourse to periodic grandstanding to divert the attention from the real problem on hand. So dance bars are banned in Mumbai but the not the brothels, caste quotas are instituted in place of providing universal primary education. The Chattisgarh government’s Salva Judum anti-Naxalite campaign falls in this wool-over-your-eyes category, but in some ways it is actually worse since it actually aggravates an already serious problem.

If the State has one defining attribute, it is that of inflicting legal organised violence. But Chattisgarh has, with the active encouragement of the Union Home Ministry, allowed a motely crew of private individuals to unleash war on the Maoists in the state. According to estimates, this has led to a sharp escalation of violence in which the hapless tribals have been ground between the stones of Maoists and the state-sponsored militia. Tens of thousands of people displaced now live in some 27 state-run camps. By creating conditions in which non-combatants are being pushed into harm’s way, the state is abdicating its own role in fighting the Maoists. Regrouping villages is a tactic tried out in Malaysia and Vietnam. It is more brutal than ineffective and in the case of Chattisgarh, is being applied with characteristic incompetence, leaving the villagers with no livelihood and hence prey to Maoist recruitment. The reason why the British won in Malaya in the Fifties was not because of the forced relocation of villages, but because they successfully turned the majority Malay community against the minority Chinese, who formed the core of the communist guerilla movement.

The issue of Maoist violence and its spread in several Indian states is a serious matter. There is no doubt that it has to be tackled urgently. It requires good governance, employment opportunities and an effective law and order machinery. Needless to say, all this is easier said than done. But one thing is certain, responsibility for the task rests firmly with the government — at the state level and the Centre — not the hapless villagers.