Saturday, June 16, 2007

Maoists plan economic blockade next week

15 Jun, 2007 l 0140 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK

KOLKATA: Nandigram has stoked the embers and Maoists plan to take this agitation to a new height. CPI (Maoist) is preparing to launch an “economic blockade on June 21 and 22 in the state.

But it will not take the Medha Patkar route or the parliamentary path that is the mainstay of the Opposition parties. The Maoists want people to launch a counter-offensive against the CPM-led “repressive police force” as the Maoist squads have done in Lalgarh in West Midnapore, in the first week of June.

In a recent press release, CPI (Maoist) state secretary Somen has owned up responsibility for the mine blasts in Lalgarh and Chhurimara on June 7.

“It’s we who conducted the operations in Lalgarh and Chhurimara. The nine-member police team had a close shave that day. This was part of the democratic mass resistance against the police force,” said Somen, hinting that more such blasts were in store.

The CPI (Maoist) leader is not ready for peace talks or any negotiation with the LF government. “CPM leaders — Buddha, Biman, Nirupam — do not understand any other language,” he insisted. Explosion, he felt would pave the way for a protracted people’s war.

“Narmada Bachao Andolan has failed to yield fruits for the masses. The armed resistance in Nandigram is the model,” the Maoist release claimed.

Its militant stance has become a stumbling block for the Trinamul Congress to sit for peace talks. For the Maoists, in a limited way, have their presence in Nandigram and played a role in facilitating the armed offensive in the area.

CPM leaders are aware of the threat and have been campaigning against the Maoist hand in the Nandigram bloodbath.

Trinamul Congress leaders at the grass roots are in a fix. They can neither sever the informal understanding they had with the Maoists during the agitation, nor can they endorse the violent path in public

Crime Stoppers regional panel launched in Tirupati

User Rating: / 2 Thursday, 14 June 2007

Tirupqti, June 14: Crime Stoppers Foundation, an international non-profit organisation formed to prevent and control crime, has extended its operations to the temple city.

K.P.C.Gandhi, former Director of the Andhra Pradesh Forensic Science Laboratories and the founder-president of the organisation, formally announced the formation of a regional committee in Tirupati, which is the third in the State after Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam.

Modus operandi

Explaining the modus operandi of the Crime Stoppers, Dr. Gandhi said the system would work on tripartite relationship between the people, the police and the press to create a peaceful and harmonious society. “If people come forward to share any confidential information they know, Crime Stoppers will act as facilitators. They will pass on the same to the police at the appropriate level and ensure that suitable action is taken. In this process, media will play a key role in information collection and dissemination”. The scope of Crime Stoppers extends beyond traditional crimes like murder, burglary, rape etc. and covers even abuse of power, corruption, crime against women, children, wildlife etc., he added.

The foundation was also keen on encouraging formation of village-level societies by involving ‘citizen volunteers’.

Indicating that India was the 25th country to embrace the concept, he narrated how the system was successful in controlling crime in developed nations like the UK, Canada, Netherlands, South Africa, Central American and European nations.


The issues dealt with by the forum ranges from academic matters like question paper leakage, mass copying, fake colleges etc. to women and child issues like dowry harassment, eve-teasing, bonded labour, human trafficking, pornography etc. apart from terrorist/naxal activities, land disputes, corruption, environmental pollution, economic frauds, food adulteration, etc

Former Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Executive Officer MVS Prasad, former Chairman of Andhra Pradesh Press Academy P.Venkateswara Rao, and PASS voluntary organisation president G. Balakrishna were present.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Maoists damage telecom tower in Malkangiri

KalingaTimes Correspondent
Malkangiri (Orissa): Mobile phone service was affected in a vast area of Malkangiri district after Left wing extremists tried to blow up a mobile phone tower of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited in MV-79 area early on Thursday.

The incident took place around 1-30 am when the Maoists triggered a blast to damage the tower.

Although the tower was not fully damaged, mobile phone services were disrupted due to snapping of the cables. The explosion damaged the base of the structure.

About six gelatin sticks were recovered from the spot.

The areas where mobile phone services were disrupted include MV-79, Padia Block and Motu tehsil area.

Repair work had been started by the BSNL authorities.

Thursday's was the second attempt by the Maoists to damage telecom network in the district in less than a month. The attempt to blow up a tower Kalimela area had been foiled.

The MV-79 area has been witnessing frequent naxalite attacks in the recent months.

The district authorities said that special measures were being taken to protect the telecommunication network in the district.

Drama precedes surrender of naxalite

Special Correspondent

Konapuri Ramulu surrenders at the office of DIG (Hyderabad Range)


Konapuri Ramulu was an underground naxal
Participated in attack on Atmakur police station

SENSATIONAL SURRENDER: Underground naxalite Konapuri Ramulu seen with CPI MP Azeez Pasha in Hyderabad on Wednesday. Photo: Mohd. Yousuf

An underground naxalite Konapuri Ramulu, who is the brother of CPI (Maoist) State secretary Sambasivudu, surrendered to the police under dramatic circumstances here on Wednesday.

Unaware that Ramulu was proceeding to the office of the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Hyderabad Range) R. Easwara Reddy, to give himself up with the help of mediators, plainclothes policemen of the City Task Force kept a vigil for him at the residence of a civil rights leader Jaya Vindhyala, at Malakpet for two days. They chased the car in which Ms. Jaya and Ramulu set off for the DIG's office after prior appointment. She had been requested by CPI MP S. Sudhakar Reddy to help out Ramulu last evening.

As Ms. Jaya's car reached Putlibowli, about 20 policemen in three cars intercepted the vehicle and dragged out the driver Pasha. Six of them even squeezed into the car and took control of the steering. They drove the car up to Buddha Bhavan where they realised that Ms. Jaya was genuinely mediating the surrender after the CPI MP had contacted top police officials.

The policemen immediately reversed the car and dropped Ms. Jaya and Ramulu at the DIG's office at Lakdikapul.

A visibly harassed Ms. Jaya lodged a complaint with Mr. Easwara Reddy that she was intimidated by the policemen and that her purse, a cell phone and two credit cards were snatched.

She said the policemen verified the phone numbers on her mobile and later switched off the instrument. By then, CPI Rajya Sabha member Azeez Pasha also reached the DIG's office.

The DIG expressed regret over the inconvenience caused to her and attributed it to a `communication gap'.

Deepak Pandey is new Akola SP

13 Jun, 2007 l 0655 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK

NAGPUR: Even as the appointment of city’s new commissioner of police hangs fire, the state government on Tuesday has effected a reshuffle of 58 IPS officers of the rank of SPs, DCPs and additional SPs.

Arvind Giri, deputy commissioner of police (special branch), Nagpur police, has been transferred to SRPF unit no 12 in Hingoli.

Gondia SP Cherring Dorje’s wife Aswati Dorje who was the SP of anti-naxalite operations cell, has been moved to SP, (CID) Aurangabad rural. Sunil R Paraskar, SP of state police control in Mumbai, has been transferred to Nagpur as the principal of the Regional Police Training School. Taking over the charge of SP, Chandrapur, is Santosh Rastogi, who was serving as SP, Beed.

Controversial IPS officer Deepak Pandey who was suspended following allegations of domestic violence made by his IAS officer wife, finally got a posting.

Pandey who had been recently reinstated and was waiting for posting for an year will now be Akola Superintendent of Police.

Fifty-seven other senior police officers including 27 IPS officers were transferred within the state on Tuesday. Among those moved, Mumbai’s elite Deputy commissioner of police Naval Bajaj who was with the Anti-Terrorism squad (ATS) has been transferred to Thane as SP. DCP P S Pathankar who was recently sent to local arms in Mumbai has been transferred to Hingoli as SP.

DCP Manoj Lohiya (zone 3) will now be SP Gondia. DCP Naiknavre who was incharge of zone 10 has been sent on deputation as director of state excise department in place of S G Suryavanshi.

Suryvanshi has been sent to the SID Mumbai. DCP Pratabsingh Dighavkar who was in charge of zone 3 in Mumbai has been transferred to SP Raigad in place of R M Vhatkar.

Guns kept by Ultras seized from Ekul

Thursday June 14 2007 11:39 IST
DHENKANAL: The Special Operation Group (SOG) has seized three single barrel muzzle loading (SBML) guns from a house in Ekul, reportedly kept by the ultras, during a search operation in Kankadahada forest and nearby areas.

Although the SOG has intensified combing operation in Kankadahada forest following an encounter between ultras and security forces on Sunday, it is yet to confirm the number of casualty. No body has been traced so far.

Superintendent of Police Sanjay Kumar Kausal told this website's newspaper that police have asked the hospital administration to be alert in case any of the injured ultras come to hospital for treatment.

The villagers have confirmed that the ultras sustained injuries in the encounter. The Naxals are believed to have moved towards Jajpur border.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Chhattisgarh Maoists kill two hostages

Posted June 13th, 2007 by Tarique Crime/Terrorism By IANS

Raipur : Two tribals, who had been abducted by Maoists last week, were killed by the rebels and their bodies were found dumped on the roadside in Chhattisgarh's insurgency-hit Dantewada district, police said Wednesday.

The two men, part of nine tribal daily workers taken hostage by Maoists June 9, were axed to death, a police official said.

The tribals, including three women, were kidnapped from Konta area near the Andhra Pradesh border, over 500 km from here. Maoists had freed four men on June 10 and had not put forth any demands for releasing the remaining five.

"We found the bodies of two hostages early Wednesday from Konta area. They had multiple injury marks, mainly from axes, around the neck," the official told IANS from Dantewada.

He said three women were still being held captive and that state police teams, along with a Mizo battalion, were combing the forested hideouts of Maoists to secure their safe release.

According to police estimates, around 5,000 hardcore Maoists armed with AK-47 rifles and landmines, backed by nearly 20,000 cadres, are active in Chhattisgarh, mainly in the southern districts of Bastar, Narayanpur, Bijapur, Kanker and Dantewada districts.

Maoist menace spreads to North Bengal now

Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Wednesday, June 13, 2007 09:47 IST

KOLKATA: After having successfully established their strongholds in West Midnapore, Bankura and Puruliya districts of West Bengal, the Maoist forces for the past one year have concentrated on establishing their network in the closed tea gardens in north Bengal.

The rebel group is utilising the poverty of the people to shore up their base in the area. The Intelligence Branch (IB) of the West Bengal police has recently submitted a report to the state home department stating that the Maoist forces are gathering strength by roping in workers of the closed tea gardens under the banner of "Majdoor Kishan Sangharsh Samity" (Worker-Farmer Conflict Committee).

According to the report, the group is inducting locals for advanced guerrilla ambush training. Confirming the receipt of the report, state home secretary Prasad Ranjan Roy said the state government will take all possible steps to tackle the problem.

Read latest news at DNA
The areas where the Maoist groups have strengthened their network are Malkani, Kalchini, Bamandanga and Raymatang among others. Sources in the IB informed DNA that a four-member high-powered Maoist cell has been given the responsibility to organise their network among the workers of the closed tea gardens.

According to an IB official, the police gathered the information from secret Maoist documents discovered recently from a residence at the Malkani area.

"The intention is clear. The Maoists are trying to use the ire of the workers against the tea garden owners for organising and strengthening their network in the region," he said.

Naxal recruitments are nil, says Murli

12 Jun, 2007 l 0718 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK

NAGPUR: Police investigations have revealed that there was no fresh recruitment of naxals in Gadchiroli and Chandrapur districts.

According to inspector general of police (anti-naxal operations) Pankaj Gupta, divisional secretary of the naxal organisation Murli, who was arrested in the city last month, said that recruitment of cadres in the naxal-infested Gadchiroli and Chandrapur districts has come down drastically and, in fact, in recent months, there was no new recruits.

Gupta said the the naxals were possibly looking for a support base in other anti-national groups and even individuals with certain vendetta towards the government. But within the police circles the depletion of naxal outfits in Maharashtra is being viewed as a major achievement of the government’s drive to flush out the naxals.

“The naxals have lost several of its cadre in encounters and they are finding it difficult to recruit new men. A series of government initiatives has also led to naxals losing their hold in the villages.

Despite threats, youths from the villagers are coming forward to join the police force. About 20,000 people walked in at a recent police recruitment drive in Chandrapur district,’’ Gupta said.

We seized a pen drive from Arun Feriera which contained important details regarding naxal operations and meetings of various naxal committees, he added.

6 more C’garh dists to get anti-Naxal cells

Nitin MahajanPosted online: Wednesday, June 13, 2007 at 0000 hrs Print Email
RAIPUR, JUNE 12 : Accepting that the Naxalite menace has spread to almost the entire state, the Chhattisgarh Government has decided to establish Anti-Naxalite (Operations) Cells in six more districts, which were till now free from left wing extremism. The new cells will come up in Raipur, Kawardha, Rajnandgaon, Dhamtari, Durg and Mahasamund districts.

Road re-routed to bring Orissa’s Naxal heartland onto the map
After the establishment of these special units only four districts, Bilaspur, Korba, Raigarh and Janjgir remain classified as non-Maoist affected. Ten out of the 20 police districts, Bastar, Kanker, Bijapur, Dantewara, Narayanpur, Sarguja, Korea, Jashpur, Balrampur and Surajpur, already have cells to tackle the extremist menace.

The step comes after intelligence inputs and interrogation of top arrested Naxalites revealed that after strengthening its base in tribal areas, the Maoists were now planning to spread its base in the plains of Chhattisgarh.

Elaborating on the plan, Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam said the proposal was forwarded by late Director General of Police O P Rathore, who had feared that the Naxalites had started to spread their base to non-tribal areas of the state as well. “A proposal for creation of these units was submitted under Rathore’s tenure. It has been approved by the Government, as we want to be prepared to deal with extremists,” the Home Minister added.

Acting DGP S K Paswan said the Government has taken the decision after receiving intelligence inputs that Maoists were planning to spread to more parts of the state. “We believe these districts are next on target. The interrogation of Dandakaranya Divisional Committee chief Satyam Reddy, alias Gopanna, who was arrested in May has revealed that the extremists are now planning to spread their roots in these districts,” Paswan added.

Chhattisgarh Police had arrested Gopanna, along with two accomplices, Surendra and Suresh, from Gariyaband area of Raipur district. Gopanna has a Rs 5-lakh reward on his head.

Sources said Naxalite cadres had been visiting these areas regularly and were trying to woo the local residents with Maoist literature. “Naxal literature seized by the police also points towards the direction that Maoists are planning to spread to,” the sources added

“Once these Anti-Naxalite (Operations) Cells are established, additional police forces will be stationed. The district police in these areas will also be provided with specialised training to tackle with the Maoist menace,” sources added. The cells will be directly reporting to SSPs and SPs.

Power supply restored

RAIPUR: After 12 days of darkness, the power supply to Bastar, Narayanpur, Dantewada and Bijapur districts was partially restored on Tuesday. “It could take a few more days to complete the work as currently there is heavy rainfall in Narayanpur,” a spokesperson for Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board said. Normal life in the Bastar region was thrown into disarray after Maoist extremists blew up the Bhilai-Barsur high tension transmission structures near Narayanpur on May 31. The restoration of power supply was affected after Naxalites blew up a truck on June 5, killing three CSEB workers and injuring five security personnel

Naxal Menace: Adivasis in Bastar crossfire

Supriya Sharma
Tuesday, June 12, 2007 (Bastar)
The latest Naxal attack came after a year of more direct and bloody encounters. The hundreds killed in the attacks were not only Naxals or security forces but ordinary adivasis caught in a dangerous situation.

On March 15, 2007 - it was the bloodiest line-up in the history of Bastar.

Fifty-five people killed at Bijapur as Naxals stormed into a police outpost opening fire in the early hours of morning.

Those killed in the crossfire included 21 policemen - the usual target of the Maoists.

The remaining 34 dead were not men in khaki but ordinary adivasis camping there to be trained as SPOs or Special Police Officers.

On July 16, 2006 a camp in Errabore is attacked.

Naxals slit the throat of 31 men - all of them tribals training to be part of anti-naxal operations.

On April 29, 2006 - it was a bloodbath in Manikonta.

Thirteen adivasis killed. They were part of a group of 52 abducted from the village. They were returning from a camp also set up to train them in anti-Naxal combat.

Salwa Judum

Each time the Naxals trained fire on adivasis it's been explained as a backlash to the anti-Naxal movement - the Salwa Judum or peace mission formed in June 2005.

Initally celebrated as a spontaneous tribal upsurge against Naxal violence, which is now attacked as a state sponsored civil war.

Both extremes leave little scope to understand it's short but messy history.

Most think Salwa Judum was the brainchild of Chhatisgarh's BJP government.

But the architect of the movement was not the BJP but an opposition MLA - the veteran Congress politician from Bastar - Mahendra Karma.

Karma, a village headman by tradition led a group of mukhiyas.

They claimed that two decades of Naxal violence had crippled their region, bleeding it, depriving it of any real development.

They offered to mobilise adivasis into a trained and armed force - a proposal picked up by the state government that offered 2,500 rupees and arms to every tribal willing to become a police volunteer.

''Our critics had enough time to deal with the problem, but they did not. You don't like our arms, but the Naxal Movement was built as an armed struggle,'' said Mahendra Karma, the leader of the opposition.

''Whether or not we started Salwa Judum, Naxals would have gone on killing people. The regions where Salwa Judum does not exist, the Naxals are still murdering people to assert themselves. What do our critics say about that,'' asks Karma.

Soyam Erra, a Salwa Judum camp head says, ''earlier the police used to go inside forests only to get killed. What did they know of forests? Now our Special Police Officers go along with the force and we show them Naxal hideouts and we attack them''.

Naxal claims

The Naxals claim, the mukhiyas like Karma did not represent the true tribal and in fact were part of the social order they were seeking to demolish.

This had meant - in the past- in areas under their control, the Naxals had dismantled old tribal structures disempowering the mukhiyas often quite brutally.

But if this was just an elite adivasi uprising that hardly explained what followed next.

As Karma and his men began to organise tribals, thousands poured out from interior villages into special camps.

In one year the numbers had swelled upto 60,000 adivasis refugees in their own land.

Salwa Judum claimed this was a sign of the extent of victimisation felt by the ordinary adivasi stifled and oppressed by years of a Naxal writ eager to escape.

But the Maoists called it a forced exodus.

Either ways, violence escalated. To the already armed Naxal movement there was another violent counter face - this time more dangerously - one supported, trained and armed by the government.

''The Salwa Judum told us if army comes we would be killed. They threatened us to join Salwa Judum,'' a villager said.

''If you remain in the forests you would be beaten up and your limbs would be broken. Now Naxals say they would kill us if we remain here with Judum. We have been badly caught in between''.

Thats exactly what happened. Soon Naxals began to attack Salwa Judum camps and no longer killing security forces.

As violence escalated, the state government was accused of triggering civil unrest with ordinary adivasis in the line of fire pitting brother against brother.

But no one questioned the Naxal leadership, a self-professed champions of social justice but now cold blooded killers of Bastar's adivasis.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

500 maoists killed in two years, admit Chhattisgarh Maoists

12 Jun, 2007 l 1220 hrs ISTlIANS

RAIPUR: Maoists in Chhattisgarh have admitted that 500 of their rebels have been killed by cadres of anti-Maoist militia Salwa Judum movement in the last two years, a police official said on Tuesday.

The admission came through leaflets and posters found by police in Dantewada district, the worst hit by Maoist insurgency in Chhattisgarh.

"We recovered dozens of leaflets and posters in which Maoists said they had lost 500 fighters in the past two years," Sant Kumar Paswan, Chhattisgarh's acting director general of police, said.

He said the Maoists described their slain comrades as "martyrs" and have vowed to take "revenge" in the leaflets found in Bailadila hills, known to have one of the finest quality iron ore stocks.

National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), the largest public sector iron ore producer and exporter, has major mining facilities in Bailadila.

Last week, the rebels had set fire to a conveyor belt of NMDC, causing losses worth million of rupees to the firm.

"Maoists said they recently blasted power transmission towers to cause blackouts in four districts - Bastar, Dantewada, Narayanpur and Bijapur - as part of their revenge," a police official said.

The anti-Maoist Salwa Judum (Campaign for peace) movement was started by tribals in June 2005 and was later supported by the state government.

Human rights groups say the government is endangering the lives of civilians and special police officers (SPOs) by sponsoring the Salwa Judum and putting them in the line of fire.

Nearly 50,000 tribals have deserted their forest villages in the state after the government-sponsored movement was launched due to threats from Maoists

Land to curb Maoist influence

Statesman News Service
MALDA, June 11: To curb Maoist influence in Bankura, Purulia and Midnapore districts, the state government has plans to distribute more land among the landless of the three districts.
“Last year 3,000 pattas were distributed among the land less in the Maoist affected districts. Going by our experience it can be said, the exercise has made the people happy,” the state land commissioner Mr PK Agarwal, said during a distribution of records programme at Kaliachak today.
According to him, his department has allotted Rs 30 crore in the last financial year to all districts to provide land to landless cultivators but the project is yet to be implemented fully.
When asked about the system of returning land acquired by the state government to farmers unwilling to offer farm land for the Tata small car project in Singur, he said: “ It is not possible to return acquired land right now. But they can be rehabilitated.”
Addressing the “record of rights” (patta) distribution programme at Manikchak panchayat samiti today, Mr Agarwal said the state government has stressed to distribute land to landless farmers in West Bengal, the pioneer state in the country and the department achieved more than the targeted figure of 10,000 acres last year.” According to him a total of 85,000 pattas were distributed last year.
The government has planned to distribute 16 decimal lands to each landless person after buying land from others if there is no available vest land in the respective district. The Malda district has received Rs 1 crore for this purpose, Mr Agarwal pointed out.
The government has also launched a plan for the ‘record of right holders’ pattadar so that they can receive loan from the banks at four per cent rate of interest where private moneylenders generally claim 36 per cent interest.
The bankers would issue credit cards to them and based on the cards the pattaders would be able to buy seed, fertiliser and other components for cultivation.

Basu-Mamata ‘jugalbandi’ failed to address basic issues, say Naxalites

From our correspondent

12 June 2007

KOLKATA — Maoists have vehemently criticised a landmark meeting between Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee and Marxist elder statesman Jyoti Basu to sort out nagging differences between the opposition and the government over the state's controversial industrialisation programme.

“The Basu-Mamata jugalbandi left key issues in Singur and Nandigram untouched”, the CPM (Liberation) state secretary Kartick Pal said.

“The people of Nandigram and Singur are not bothered about who is holding meetings with whom. They want to know when those responsible for the March 14 genocide (in Nandigram) will be punished”, he added.

Stating that violence again erupted in Nandigram since Sunday night, he said people there would not accept "any decision taken at any peace meeting” unless Chief Minister, Buddhadev Bhattacharya, and local CPI(M) MP Lakshman Seth resigned.

Alleging that the state government had forcibly taken over land for the Tata Motors project in Singur under the Land Acquisition Act, he said "owners of 287 acre do not want to hand over their land. Besides 3,500 agricultural workers would be affected. They will not accept any meeting unless the land is returned to them."

Unless the government revised its land acquisition policy, any discussion on Singur would be fruitless, he said. Pal said his party would organise demonstrations in front of the offices of all district magistrates on June 26 to oppose the state government's policy and to demand the resignation of the chief minister.

Cops clueless about bodies

Our Correspondent and PTI
Bhubaneswar, June 11: Even as 24 hours have passed since the exchange of fire between police and Maoists at Kankadahada woods in Dhenkanal, bodies of the rebels reportedly killed in the encounter are yet to be recovered.

“We are yet to recover any body although we have intensified combing operations in and around the shootout spot,” said Dhenkanal superintendent of police (SP) S.K. Kaushal.

Yesterday, the special operations group of the state police had an exchange of fire with the Maoists. The police reportedly fired 120 rounds during the half-an-hour-long encounter.

Local people claimed two Maoists died in the shootout. “But the rebels seem to have taken away the bodies of their team members,” said the SP.

The police have recovered a cache of arms and ammunition, including a SLR rifle, a revolver, a flask bomb and 75 live bullets, from the spot. Food, medicines and uniforms of Naxalites were also seized.

Meanwhile, six hardcore Maoists, including a woman, were apprehended from the dense Saranda forest on Orissa-Jharkhand border last night, the police said today.

The Maoists were caught by a special task force and CRPF jawans conducting an intensified patrolling along the Orissa border to check infiltration. The police also seized few arms and four live bombs from the arrested Maoist’s hideouts.

The arrested Maoists were taken to an undisclosed place for interrogation.

While the securitymen in both Rourkela and Sundargarh districts claimed that they had intensified patrolling in the bordering areas, sources said it was being hampered by the lack of human resources.

The Naxalites have stepped up their activities along the Keonjhar-Jajpur-Dhenkanal border. On February 1, Maoists had struck at the beat house located inside the Kandahara forests where a forester, three forest guards and a cook were asleep. While the two forest guards and the cook managed to flee, the Maoists dragged the forester, Ghanshyam Behera (50), and the two remaining forest guards — Kumud Samal (24) and Nilamani Mallick (52) — to a secluded place a few yards away and killed them

Monday, June 11, 2007

Rebels, cops exchange fire- First crossfire at forest area

- First crossfire at forest area
Bhubaneswar, June 10: Two rebels are suspected to have been killed in an exchange of fire between a group of special operation police of Orissa and ultras at Kaliathala forest area in Kankadahada block on Sunday.

But the bodies are yet to be traced as per the last reports.

Today’s crossfire, the first of its kind in the district, happened nearly four months after three forest officials were killed by rebels there.

Police sources said the exchange happened when some members of the combing party of the special operation group of Orissa police went to fetch water at a spring in Kaliathala forests, not far from the place where the forest staff were killed.

On spotting the party, the Maoists started firing indiscriminately at the police, who then retaliated.

About 120 rounds were fired in an exchange, which lasted for 30-odd minutes. Afterwards, the rebels retreated into the forest.

“At least, two Maoists are suspected to be killed in the police firing,” said North Central deputy inspector-general of police (DIG) Arun Sarangi, who added that there were about 15 to 16 people in the red group, including women.

The police were upbeat about the fact that the some damage was done. “Their camp has been totally demolished,” claimed DIG Sarangi.

Police have also seized a heavy cache of arms and ammunition, including an SLR rifle, a revolver, a flask bomb, 75 live bullets, food, medicines and Maoist uniforms from the spot.

“The particular group has been active in the area for sometime and were involved in the forest staff killings. We also suspect that the same group was involved in the extortion cases at Keonjhar and destruction of mining equipment,” said Sarangi.

So far, the combing operation has been intensified and additional forces would be deployed if required, the top police officer added.

On February 1, Maoists had stuck at Keonjhar-Jajpur-Dhenkanal border at the beathouse located inside the Kankadahada forests where a forester, three forest guards and a cook were asleep. All five were woken up and summoned to the open.

While the two forest guards and the cook managed to flee, the Maoists dragged forester Ghanshyam Behera (50) and the remaining forest guards, Kumud Samal (24) and Nilamani Mallick (52), a few yards away. The men were first stoned and their throats were slit open before being gunned down dead.

Intelligence sources have also confirmed that another Maoist group managed to distribute leaflets at some villages in Thilanal gram panchayat of Deogarh districts on Saturday.

The 20-odd red rebels held a meeting and distributed leaflets in Derapathar village under Kisinda police station instigating people not to succumb to the “false” promises of the administration.

This was fourth such meeting in quick succession, the district police admitted.

Also, the rebels appealed to the residents not to work with officials of revenue department since they exploit tribals and poor people.

At Saturday’s meeting, out of the total 20 Maoist cadres eight were women. The ultras have reportedly also warned of violence unless Kendu-leaf pluckers were given their due wages.

However, DIG Sarangi said: “We have no such information.”

Police gear up to cover soft targets from Maoist attacks

Saturday June 9 2007 12:09 IST
GUNTUR/ONGOLE: With the reports of CPI-Maoist top brass calling for tactical counter offensive that involves lightning strikes on soft targets and remote and unprotected institutions like banks, industrial units and government offices, the police in Prakasam and Guntur district have gone into a tizzy.

As a precautionary measure, the Prakasam district police have advised the banks operating in Naxal dominated areas close to Nallamala to take adequate precautions.

As many as 45 banks have been identified as soft targets for the Naxals’ tactical counter offensive in Prakasam district.

“We have advised the banks to keep minimum amounts with them and deposit the balance in the main branches. Under no circumstances should they keep large amounts,” said Prakasam OSD RN Ammi Reddy.

Similarly, the banks have been told to install security alarms and keep emergency communication systems ready.

The protection to the banks has also been increased.

In the Naxal dominated areas like Bollapalli and Palnad, policemen have reportedly been planted in key areas.

Posing as farmhands and dailywage labourers, these personnel will act as embedded information gatherers on Naxalite movements, according to sources.

The police have also formed CATS (counter action teams) to tackle the latest offensive.

Also, a small booklet called Kavacham (protective armour) containing safety and security related tips has been circulated among all ‘soft targets.’

The booklet also has latest photographs of Maoist action team members which were obtained from the seized arms dumps in Vinukonda area.

Meanwhile, with the reports that Maoist State committee members Konapuri Ilaiah alias Sambasivudu and Sakhamuri Appa Rao are recruiting new cadres in Nallamala area, the police have intensified combing in the forest area.

On Friday night, the paths of the Naxals and the police crossed at Chinnamantanala village in Nallamala forest.

However, a face-off was averted as the Naxals managed to give a slip to the cops.

Expiry of cover ups risk for cops fighting Naxals

8 Jun, 2007 l 0303 hrs ISTlAmitabh Tiwari/TIMES NEWS NETWORK

RAIPUR: If governance in insurgency hit regions is about — among other things — boosting the morale of brave security men, then the Chhattisgarh government is faltering. About 24,000 security men engaged in operations against Maoists in Chhattisgarh are working at their own risk after their insurance cover expired on May 18.

The delay in renewal of insurance schemes has deprived families of at least 12 security personnel who were killed by Maoists after May 18 of the compensation due to them. Injured security personnel too face the same problem. Initially 10,000 security personnel were covered under the group insurance scheme which started in 2005. It was later extended to all the security personnel and policemen in 2006.

The problem is the National Insurance Company, which gets an annual premium of Rs 2.5 crore from the state government, is not keen to continue with the scheme because it had to pay around Rs 3.5 crore from April 2006 to May 18, 2007, as insurance claims. Even other companies are resisting the scheme because of high risk factor.

Under the insurance scheme, the family of a security personnel who died in the line of duty used to get Rs 10 lakh as compensation. Similarly, families of those with severe injuries got Rs 5 lakh each and those with minor injury Rs 1 lakh each. This amount was over Rs 6 lakh given by the state government to dependents of each dead security personnel.

Senior police officers now claim that a proposal for the renewal of insurance was sent to the home department in advance but till date no decision has been taken.

Naxals step up violence, attack PSU

11 Jun, 2007 l 0038 hrs ISTlPTI

RAIPUR: Stepping up their activities, Maoist rebels attacked the National Mineral Development Corporation on Sunday and carried out several strikes in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh.

A large number of armed naxalites attacked the Bacheli premises of NMDC in Dantewada district, about 410 km from the state capital, and burnt over 100 metres of a conveyor belt, a police official said.

The damage to the belt would affect exports and the transportation of iron ore from Bailadila for at least 10 days, resulting in losses to the tune of crores of rupees to the central PSU, officials said.

Over 27 lakh people of Bastar region have been going without electricity since June 1 after Maoists blew up three high tension towers in Jharghati jungle of Narayanpur district.

The Maoists stepped up their violent activities in Bastar since Saturday and abducted nine persons in Dantewada and three others in Narayanpur.

The rebels also set on fire bamboos worth Rs 5 lakh in a government godown in Bande area of Narayanpur on Saturday. In Tumakpal area of Dantewada, an earth mover and a mixture plant for road construction work were also set on fire on Saturday by the rebels.

In yet another incident, a truck was set on fire in Ponjer area of Bijapur district on Saturday, police said.

Joint command runs over Naxal camp

Monday June 11 2007 05:05 IST

BHUBANESWAR: The joint command, formed to track down Naxalites in the industrial hub, ran over a Maoist camp at Kankadahada forests in Dhenkanal district on Sunday. A fierce exchange of fire that ensued is believed to have left two ultras dead though police have not been able to retrieve any body yet.

Arms, ammunition and explosives were recovered from the camp. On Saturday, Dhenkanal police and a Special Operation Group (SOG) unit had come across Maoists movement in Kandhar area where three forest officials were brutally killed in January.

The joint squad, led by Dhenkanal SP SK Kaushal, combed the forests on Sunday and located the camp where at least 14 Maoists, belonging to CPI(ML) Janashakti, were stationed.

After heavy exchange of fire, the Maoists fled the area. Police said the extremists sustained bullet injuries during the encounter, while villagers saw bodies of a male and a female being carried back by the retreating ultras.

A self-loading rifle, a revolver, 75 rounds of ammunition, five detonators, six gelatin sticks, flash bombs, solar light panels and transistors were recovered from the camp. Besides, utensils and other belongings were seized.

DIG, North Central Range, Arun Kumar Sarangi said reinforcement has now been sent to the area. Four SOG units have been drafted into the operation. The DIG said police have alerted all the nearby hospitals and dispensaries to inform the local SP, if someone with bullet injuries comes for treatment.

‘We hope the injured ultras would come to the police net,’ Sarangi said. Last month, the State Government had floated the joint command comprising Dhenkanal, Jajpur and Keonjhar districts to track down ultras who, of late, have spread their tentacles in the industrial hub. This was the first operation of the command.

Police have detained four persons. The combing operation is expected to continue. With the increasing activities across the south and of late in north-western Orissa, the Maoists have been able to make a strong presence in the region.

With the frequent flushout operations in Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand, Orissa is turning into a hotbed of extremist activities.

LEADER ARTICLE: Naxalites Today

11 Jun, 2007 l 0208 hrs ISTlA Srinivas

Forty years after the Naxalbari uprising, it is remarkable that Maoism remains a potent political force. It has survived the disappearance of Maoism in the land of its origin and the collapse of the Soviet bloc. It has survived the retreat of the Left in academia and trade unions, which contributed to the rise of a middle class that was indifferent to politics in general and the Left in particular.

It has survived the rise of caste, as opposed to class, politics as well as the growing sway of the ideology of Hindutva. It has survived even the rise of the NGO sector, which, barring exceptions, provided a platform to those who sought to separate 'social' work from 'political' work.

While some Naxals of the 60s and 70s did an about-turn in their political beliefs and practices, the movement seems none the weaker for that reason. True, the far Left landscape is a minefield of splinter groups, but for all their differences these organisations pose a serious threat to state power. Therefore, when one takes stock of 40 years of Naxalism, one should understand it as a phenomenon of the present rather than the past.

The ideological underpinnings of Naxalism have not changed. Most parties to the left of CPM still believe in rural armies encircling the cities as the path of revolution. Despite their theoretical allegiance to Marx and Lenin, they have not made any serious effort to organise urban masses, instead evolving over the years as a political organisation of tribals, marginal peasants and Dalits in a corridor of about 150 districts from Bihar to Andhra Pradesh through Chhattisgarh and Orissa. Urban upper middle class ex-Naxals might laugh off the encirclement theory, but to rural cadres exposed to the excesses of urban India after the consumer boom of the 90s the Charu Mazumdar line remains plausible as ever.

The fact is that 'objective conditions' in certain pockets of the country are no different from what they were in 1967. Those who believe that economic reforms have delivered millions out of poverty should qualify their optimism. Amidst a steady reduction in poverty in the 80s and 90s, defined in terms of calories consumed or expenditures made, there is an alarming prevalence of malnutrition, as indicated by the government's National Family Health Surveys and NSS data on protein intake. This should lead us to broaden our definition of poverty to include access to healthcare, education and basic consumer goods. Health spending, in particular, contributes to a swift transition from subsistence or even comfortable existence to poverty, pushing families into debt; hence, focusing more on incomes than assets to measure poverty can be misleading. Calorie intake norms should be supplemented by measures of protein and vitamin intake, so that lower calorie consumption is not taken to mean that people have moved on to superior substitutes.

A triumphalist media, soaking in the success of India's economic growth, has missed or chosen to ignore these statistical gaps. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that a section of urban India does not understand the causes of Naxalism. Even if we take the current methodology of poverty estimation at face value and accept that the absolute numbers of the poor have fallen over decades, the statistics, being averages, do not capture the intensity of distress in certain pockets despite high growth in recent years. These are precisely the regions — eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bastar, interior Orissa, parts of West Bengal, Vidarbha — where the influence of Naxalism has increased. To be poor is one thing, and to seem condemned to one's fate quite another. Rising incomes in post-reform India have created a rapidly growing aspirational class, but they have also contributed to an army of socio-economic orphans — those who have been rejected by all mainstream political parties and adopted by a parallel network of Naxalites, Gandhians and socialists.

The 'problem' of Naxalism is as much a crisis of political empowerment as it is of sheer economic backwardness. It is hardly surprising that Naxal influence is strongest in tribal India. Tribals, more than any other oppressed category, have got nothing out of the Indian state, before or after globalisation. The Indian state has always taken land alienation of tribals for granted, as one of the consequences of 'progress' that must be put up with owing to a skewed pattern of land distribution, tribals and Dalits are at the receiving end of the land- owning castes.

In addition, a contractor-politician nexus controls the wealth of the forests and pushes tribals to the margins. A repressive state apparatus, represented by the police and the black laws they use to their advantage, helps keep this exploitative system going.

With the opening up of the Indian economy to trade and investment, the entry of mining companies in Orissa and Chhattisgarh poses a threat to the livelihood of tribals and their way of life. Naxalites are among those — though not the only, or even main, political force — who are with the tribals in this context. Even as their adherence to violence cannot be condoned, it is no worse than the violence of the state and oppressive forces in the region.
In a sharply unequal society, the line between peaceful and violent politics can turn into a blur. The way out is to address entrenched injustices rather than try to stamp out the responses to it. Should we give this effort another 40 years?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

India naxals turn to poppy for funds

By Amarnath Tewary

Rebels say the returns from poppy trade are handsome (Photos: Prashant Ravi)
Maoist rebels in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand have been growing opium poppies to fund their operations in the region, officials say.

The rebels have a presence in 18 of the 22 districts in Jharkhand.

The Maoists say they are fighting for more rights for indigenous people in at least five states, including neighbouring Bihar, which has a reputation as India's most lawless state.

What began as small scale poppy cultivation in the remote areas of Chatra and Katkamsandi in Hazaribagh district two years ago has now flourished into a booming activity spread over some 20,000 acres of land in over 300 villages.

Officials reckon that opium worth millions of rupees is traded during the five-month poppy growing season which begins in the region in October.

The police say that the Maoists are not only growing poppy, but also extorting "taxes" from farmers and opium traders.


"Maoists here are into poppy cultivation. This year, they have done poppy farming in my district on an experimental basis. But the situation is getting serious every year elsewhere," the police chief of Hazaribagh district, Pravin Singh, told the BBC.

In Chatra, one of the worst affected districts, officials say opium trading run and aided by the rebels is flourishing.

"Poppy cultivation has become a new raging trend among the farmers in the rebel affected areas of Jharkhand. It's become a booming business for the rebels," state intelligence officer Gariban Paswan said.

Mr Paswan has recently submitted a report on rampant poppy growing and the role of the Maoists in the trade in Chatra to the state government.

Vast swathes of Jharkhand are under poppy cultivation
I met Nirpendu Mahto, a rebel, in the village of Patthalgadda who said he had been growing poppy with fellow cadres for the past two years.

"We grow poppy as it brings us good returns and we need ready money to run our organisation. We do not force villagers to grow poppy, but we do motivate them and protect them from the police and greedy traders," he said.

"The police dare not visit these areas. It is the safest zone for poppy cultivation."

'High returns'

One rebel I spoke to said the returns from poppy cultivation were handsome.

Dipendra Dangi of Patthalgadda said a kilogram of poppy fetches anything between 20,000 ($476) and 25,000 ($595) in the market on an outlay of between 300 ($7) and 400 ($9) rupees on poppy seeds.

Such high returns have expectedly brought prosperity to the poppy growing areas, with concrete houses springing up in many villages, and many buying cars and motorcycles.

One poppy growing area, Patthalgadda, alone had eight cars and 150 motorcycles, according to a resident, Duryodhan Mahato.

In January, the police raided some villages in the area to arrest poppy growers but could not make any headway in the face of fierce resistance by the residents.

The police is unable to make much headway into the poppy growing areas
"The situation is quite alarming," superintendent of police A Natarajan said.

He said he had submitted a report to the government pointing out that the Maoists were not only growing poppy themselves, but also forcing other farmers to grow the plant.

The police in Hazaribagh have arrested about 20 people this year for growing poppies, but it is unclear whether they include any rebels. Now they have sought the assistance of the federal Narcotics Control Bureau to tackle the problem.

Maoists operate in 182 districts in India, mainly in the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal


Maoists Free Four Hostages In Chhattisgarh

Sunday 10th of June 2007 Maoist rebels Sunday released four of the nine tribals they had abducted a day earlier in Chhattisgarh's insurgency-hit Dantewada district.

The other five, including three women, are still captive, police said.

'At around 9 a.m., four of the tribal youths were released by Maoists. They are unharmed,' Rahul Sharma, superintendent of police (Dantewada), told IANS by telephone.

'Police are interrogating the tribals who were freed about what the Maoists asked them during their captivity,' he added.

Maoist rebels, who run a parallel government in the state's vast interior southern Bastar region, abducted nine tribal daily workers late Saturday from Konta area near the Andhra Pradesh border. Konta is over 510 km south of capital Raipur.

Sharma said Chhattisgarh police teams and Mizo battalion personnel had Sunday launched fresh search drives in the forested areas of Dantewada to ensure the safe release of the remaining hostages.

In a separate incident, rebels detonated two pressure bombs Saturday evening in the iron ore rich Bailadila hills in Dantewada, injuring two Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel. The two, who lost both their legs, were rushed to a hospital at Bacheli town.

Chhattisgarh police say Maoists, who claim to fight for the rights of poor peasants and landless workers, have killed over 200 people in the state since January.

Chhattisgarh: Head constable killed in encounter with Maoists

Raipur, June. 10 (PTI): A head constable and some naxalites were today killed in an encounter with Maoists in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh, police said.

However, the number of Maoists killed could not be known as the ultras took the body of their comrades, Narayanpur police told PTI over phone.

Besides the constable no other policemen was killed or injured in the encounter, which took place in Akkabeda jungle of Narayanpur district, about 270 km from the state capital.

The incident took place when the police party was on a search operation of the area and was challenged by the Maoists, they said.

A .303 rifle of the naxalites was also recovered and combing operation was currently under progress to trace the Maoists, they said.

Maoists have stepped up their violent activities in the entire Bastar region of Chhattisgarh in the past two days

Electricity not restored in Maoist-hit district

Raipur, June. 10 (PTI): The Bastar district of the state continues to remain in dark ten days after Maoists blew up three high tension electricity line towers in Narayanpur district with heavy rains hampering the repair work.

"We are not in a position to say how many more days it would take to complete the work as currently there is heavy rainfall in Narayanpur," state energy department officials told PTI today.

The Maoists had on June 1 last triggered land-mine blasts and destroyed three towers of the Chhattisgarh state electricity board in Jharghati jungle, about 250 km from the state capital, plunging five districts, Bastar, Dantewada, Bijapur, Kanker and Narayanpur in darkness.

"Work to provide power to over 27 lakh population of Bastar region was on war-footing but rainfall since yesterday was creating a major obstacle in completing the work," they said.

The chief minister Dr Raman Singh, after making an aerial survey of the area, had stated that with in ten days line would be charged to the dark area.

Meanwhile, water borne diseases had spread to many tribal areas of Bastar region due to lack of safe drinking water.

When contacted, officials in Bastar region admitted that the lack of power had virtually stopped everything and it was difficult to start pumps or filter the waters for people.

Medicines had been rushed to the region to check outbreak of any epidemic due to current situation, officials said here.

Entire Bastar region is infested with left wing extremism despite presence of ten battalions of police forces.

Outlawed Maoists kidnapped 12 in Chhattisgarh

10 Jun, 2007 l 1710 hrs ISTlPTI

RAIPUR: Outlawed Maoists kidnapped 12 people, including two women, from the disturbed Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, police said on Sunday.

"The Maoists kidnapped 12 people from Dantewada and Narayanpur districts of Bastar region on and police are still clueless about their whereabouts," a police source said.

Nine persons were abducted from Bande village of Dantewada district by about 25 armed Maoists when they were returning from a government-run employment generating scheme, police said.

"All the nine, including two women, have been staying in Konta relief camp and had gone to a spot about five km from the camp to earn a livelihood when the incident took place," a police source said.

A police party had gone to the jungle to search for them.

In Narayanpur district's Mahimagawadi village, three persons were kidnapped by about 35 members of the military dalam of the outlawed group, sources said.

Armed Naxalites went to the houses of the abducted persons and accused them of informing police about their movement and took them away, they said.

Maoists exchange fire with security personnel

Bhubaneswar, June. 10 (PTI): Suspected Maoists today traded fire with security personnel in the forests of the state's Dhenkanal district, police said.

The Joint Operation Command (JOC) of Orissa police, while on a combing operation in the Kankadahada block of the district, came across a Maoist camp in the Kanarapatharakata jungle area this morning. A two-hour gun battle soon followed in which it was suspected that at least three ultras were injured, the DIG of Police (north central range), Arun Sarangi told PTI over telephone.

The 17-member JOC, led by Dhenkanal SP Sanjay Kaushal, later seized 75 rounds of live ammunition, a self-loading rifle (SLR), a revolver, a landmine, five detonators, six gelatin sticks and a large quantity of personal belongings from the camp after the Maoists retreated into the jungle.

The encounter took place in the Kanarapatharakata jungle close to the area where the naxalites had abducted and killed three forest department employees including a forester and two forest guards recently. The killing was indicative of the fact that the ultras had recently penetrated into the areas.

For the JOC, which was set up to enhance vigilance in the industrially growing districts of Dhenkanal, Keonjhar and Jajpur recently, it was the first encounter with the Maoists.

The DIG said the police had alerted all the nearby hospitals and dispensaries to inform the local SP, if someone with bullet injuries come for treatment. "We hope the injured ultras would come to the police net", Sarangi said.

Naxal leader Varghese was murdered in 1970, says CBI

Kochi, June 10: The CBI special court here has directed two former senior police officers to appear before the court on June 16 when charges would be framed against them in connection with the death of Naxalite leader A Varghese in 1970.

Varghese, who police claimed had died in an 'encounter' 37 years ago in Thirunelli in Wynad district, was in fact murdered, according to CBI, which investigated the case.

CBI special court judge P Chandrasekhara Pillai directed B Vijayan and K Lakshmana, who retired as DGP and IGP respectively, to be present in the court on June 16 when the charges against them will be read out. The court will also decide when to start witness examination.

The plea of Vijayan and Lakshmana to discharge them from the case was rejected by the court on Friday.

Former CRPF constable Ramachandran Nair, the first accused in the case, died in November last year.

The case according to CBI is that on February 18, 1970, Naxal leader Varghese was shot dead by Ramachandran Nair allegedly at the instigation Vijayan and Lakshmana, the then DIG and Dy SP respectively of Kozhikode.

Wynad district was the helm of Naxal activities and Varghese was accused in many Naxal attacks, especially in police stations and had been evading arrest.

CBI stated that Varghese was arrested, brought to CRPF camp at Thirunelli and shot.

However, police claimed that Varghese died in police encounter which was confirmed by the Kozhikode Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) who conducted the autopsy.

The Mananthavady police, in whose jurisdiction Thirunelli falls, closed the case as police 'encounter'.

After a lapse of 29 years, in 1999, Ramachandran Nair, who had retired from service, approached the Kerala High Court with a prayer seeking inquiry into the death of Varghese, which, according to him, was not a police encounter but was instigated allegedly by Vijayan and Lakshmana. Nair filed an affidavit in the court to the effect that he shot Varghese, who was blindfolded and tied to a tree. He fired only one bullet and Varghese died.

The High Court then heard the state government, CBI and the petitioner.

The government stuck to its stand that Varghese had died in a police encounter and sought a judicial probe.

The court refused the government's plea for judicial probe and directed the CBI to inquire the matter on January 21, 1999.

CBI, Delhi, took up the investigation and filed first information report (chargesheet) before Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ernakulam, in March 2002.

However, as a result of the petition moved by Lakshmana, proceedings in the lower court were stayed. On April 4, 2007, the High Court rejected Lakshmana's petition and directed the CBI Special court, Kochi, to proceed with the trial.

There are 71 witnesses in the prosecution side, key eyewitness being Hanifa, a former CRPF constable at Thirunelli. (Agencies)

Published: Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bastar grapples with darkness : Naxal attack on high tension towers

Reetesh Sahu
Sunday, June 10, 2007 (Raipur)
For the past 10 days over 50 lakh people in Bastar have been living in darkness after Naxals blew up vital installations in the power grid.

But the fear is that this is only the beginning. Several other vital installations there are believed to be targets of the Naxals in this part of Chhattisgarh.

''The naxals will keep disrupting services like this. Earlier too they have been notorious for such incidents and inhuman acts. We do anticipate that sometimes they'll stop train services or damage railway tracks,'' said Ram Vichar Netam, Home Minister, Chattisgarh.

On May 31, Naxals attacked three high tension towers, supplying power to Bastar, plunging the entire region into darkness. It was a clear challenge to the government. But this was not an isolated incident.
The Naxals had blown up the bridge on the Indravati river.
ESSAR and NMDC's steel plants have also been in the line of Naxal fire. Any attack would threaten the livelihoods of the thousands who work there.
400 km of railway tracks in Bastar are vulnerable to Naxal attacks.
The Farasgaon Bridge, which connects Bastar to Raipur, has also been targeted by them.
Power to other parts of the state is also transmitted through towers in this region.
But the pace of Naxal penetration is furious and the government is running out of options.

''We have asked NMDC and ESSAR authorities to step up security. It is not possible to monitor the entire 400 km stretch of the railway track. We try and protect all possible places that could be targets of naxal activity,'' said Raman Singh, Chief Minister.

With attacks on villages and security personnel not generating the desired impact, Naxals in this area appear to be increasingly targeting vital installations, aiming to paralyse the state machinery.

Maoists trying to instigate police cadre to revolt

Nagpur, UNI:

This is probably the first time that the Maoists are directly trying to provoke the sentiments of the police and para-military forces, and marks a major shift from their policy of directing such efforts towards the general public.

Faced with a shortage of cadre and difficulty in making new recruitments, Naxalite organisations have focussed their attention on the police force itself and are making an attempt to instigate revolt among the men in uniform.

Pamphlets calling upon the men in the police department and para-military forces to take up arms against the very system for which they work have been found in parts of the Naxalite-infested areas in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.

This is probably the first time that the Maoists are directly trying to provoke the sentiments of the police and para-military forces, and marks a major shift from their policy of directing such efforts towards the general public.

The outlaws normally treat the law enforcement agencies as their prime enemy and make them a target of their violent activities.

Officials say the focus on the police force could be a strategy being adopted by the outlaws in view of dwindling cadre and poor response to recruitment drives.

The pamphlets, purportedly distributed by the Communist Party of India (Maoist), said the present situation of the police was no different than it was during the British rule, when a force consisting of Indian recruits was used to suppress the voice of their own countrymen.

The present rulers, it was alleged, were using the force to inhumanly stifle the voice of legitimate protests in all parts of the country. This had earned for the police nothing but the wrath and hatred of the commonpeople, the pamphlets said.

The police had to compromise with their conscience to use arms against their own brethren, and were also living a life full of tension and uncertainty, with no guarantee of their jobs, the pamphlets alleged.

Asserting that the party had full sympathy for the men in uniform, the pamphlets called upon them to take up arms against the system that exploited them and had ''made their lives miserable and filled it with depression, tension and problems.''

On a sentimental note, the pamphlets said the policemen were like the farmers and workers of the country, except that they wore uniforms provided by the government.

''Capitalist and imperialist powers had shaken their roots whenever soldiers fought against an unjust system together with labourers and farmers. History is abound with such instances,''
the pamphlets said, adding that the struggle to create a new social system would be ''incomplete without the participation of the police.''

Commenting on the content of the pamphlets, Special Inspector General of Police for Anti-Naxalite Operation (ANO) Pankaj Gupta told UNI that this was clearly an attempt by Maoists to divide the society and to create rift in it.

''For the naxalites, the police are enemy number one. They are,therefore, trying to instigate and divide the policemen,'' he said. The ranks of the naxalite cadre had decreased drastically because of the strict action by the law-enforcement agencies, Mr Gupta said.

In addition, the naxalite outfits were getting poor response to their own recruitment drives, and were finding it difficult to maintain the numbers of their cadre, he said. ''It appears that the Maoists have, therefore, adopted a policy of targeting the police themselves and decrease their morale. They seem to have adopted a ploy to influence the police adversely,'' he said.

The pamphlets appeared to have been issued by Maoist organisations since the issues raised in the content and the language used are similar to that of the outlaws, Mr Gupta said. However, the pamphlets were on plain paper and not on any 'stationery' or letterhead of any naxalite organisation, he pointed out.

Late last year, the police had found pamphlets purportedly distributed by the CPI (Maoist) in the district calling upon dalits to take to arms to fight against injustice. The pamphlets said armed struggle was the only way to stop the injustice against the dalits.

Mr Gupta said at the time that naxalites were trying to incite the passions of the dalit youths against 'injustice' and provoke them to take to arms. This could be a deliberate ploy to attract the youth to the illegal activity since naxal organisations had been finding it difficult to make fresh recruitments into the cadre, he said.

Shortly before that, the police had found a handwritten note in Gondi language in the pocket of a naxalite killed in an encounter in Gadchiroli district, calling for road blockades against the killing of four members of a dalit family by villagers in Khairlanji in Bhandara district of the region.

The note also mentioned that information of the Khairlanji incident had been 'sent to headquarters'. The note was found from the pocket of the naxalite identified as Chamru Gota, who was among the three naxalites killed in an encounter on December 22 last year.

Centre ready to help naxalite-hit states: Jaiswal

By Our Staff Reporter

Bhopal, June 9: Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal today assured that all possible assistance would be provided to naxalite-affected states. Jaiswal told reporters here today that naxalism had not been effectively controlled in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

However, good work had been done in development and security fronts in Andhra Pradesh to deal with the menace resulting in incidents of naxalite violence coming down. The Centre was fully prepared to fulfill the demands for police modernisation and for providing training and weapons besides other facility to naxalite-affected states.

Regarding the Supreme Court comment on agitation by Gujjars in Rajasthan, he said a political problem could be resolved on a political platform. The problem would not have aggravated if the Rajasthan Government had understood this earlier. He said the matter pertained to law and order and had to be tackled by the Rajasthan Government.

On frequent instances of communal disturbances in Indore, Jaiswal said, ''Unfortunately, such political parties are active that try to gain votes by spreading tension. Their vote bank does not get strengthened without such incidents taking place.''

He said no serious terrorist incident had taken place during the UPA tenure. He said attack on Parliament, Red Fort, Akshardham, Jammu Vidhan Sabha and other places had been carried out in order to disturb peace. The Minister asked terrorist and separatist organisations to understand the challenges of the 21st century and join the mainstream.

He said no opportunity to enter into peaceful dialogue with separatist organisations would be left out. However, security and armed forces were prepared to deal with them if they didn't believe in peaceful dialogue.

Large Cache of Explosives Recovered in Gaya

Gaya: June 8, 2007

The police in Gaya on Friday morning, following a raid at a rundown house in Sherghati, seized massive quantity of explosives and dynamite materials including 2600 detonators and over 400 meters of safety fuse wire meant to be supplied to the Maoist insurgents in the region, Gaya Superintendent of Police (SP) Amit Kumar Jain said.

Acting on an intelligence report, a team of law enforcement officials made up of local policemen and Special Auxiliary Police (SAP) jawans and led by DSP Baliram Chowdhary, raided an old, dilapidated house in Hamjapur area and recovered explosives hidden in a dark basement.

The police arrested two women, Roshan Ara and Salma Nishan, both believed to be the wives of one Mohammed Masuk Khan, the alleged arms supplier, who admitted the detonators and explosives were acquired from Maharashtra to be sold to extremists in Gaya.

Khan, however, evaded arrest as he was not at home at the time of the raid, the SP said.

The recovery of such a huge amount of explosives could mean the Naxal were planning to carry out violence at a massive scale in Bihar and Jharkhand, he said.

Attempts are being made to apprehend Khan who may have slipped out of state to avoid arrest.