Saturday, August 25, 2007

'Last Supper' Syndrome Plagues Nepal's Royal Family

'Last Supper' Syndrome Plagues Nepal's Royal Family

Saturday 25th of August 2007 Are Fridays and feasts unlucky for the royal family of Nepal?

Such a strong streak of superstition runs through the kingdom, nourished by history that shows that many of the momentous events concerning the royals either occurred on a Friday or after a feast, with the greatest catastrophe befalling after a Friday banquet.

The beginning of the end of Nepal's 238-year-old Shah dynasty of kings can be traced to June 2001, on a Friday when the then king Birendra went to attend a family dinner in his fortified palace.

The feast turned into a midnight massacre with the monarch and nine members of the royal family dying in a mysterious shootout blamed on the then crown prince Dipendra, who too perished in the national tragedy.

After inheriting his brother's throne, when King Gyanendra decided to take the reins of the country in his own hands, he sacked prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba after a lavish dinner with the unsuspecting premier and his wife.

During the 15 months that the king ruled Nepal with absolute power, many of his major decisions were taken during dinners with his advisors and generals, all of whom proved disasters and stoked public discontent that brought his downfall.

The palace's dinner diplomacy failed spectacularly this year when the royal family held three days' feasting to celebrate the king's 61st birthday.

All foreign diplomats, ministers and senior government officials invited to the black tie dinner last month turned down the invitation, deeming it politically incorrect to attend.

Besides the diplomatic snub, the palace also had to endure protests by the Maoists, who began a fresh campaign for the abolition of monarchy and curtailing of state budget for the royal family.

A tabloid even dubbed the birthday feasts 'the last supper', conjecturing that it would be the last birthday celebrated by Gyanendra as king.

A fresh turn of the screw followed this month after a dinner party thrown to celebrate the 80th birthday of Queen Mother, Ratna.

Soon after the celebration, the royal family was hit by a jolt from the blue. Under pressure from the Maoists, the government formed a ministerial team to nationalise the king's inherited property.

Though given 15 days to do its work, the team moved like lightning, beginning the takeover of seven palaces within 72 hours of its inception.

On Friday, King Gyanendra and Queen Komal left their official residence, the Narayanhity royal palace in the capital, to take up residence in the Nagarjuna mansion on the outskirts of Kathmandu valley.

One of the king's ancestors had received the land as dowry and the king's father, Mahendra, had begun building a mansion on the extensive property.

Soon after his ascension, King Gyanendra renovated the sprawling mansion, adding a swimming pool, tennis court and helipad.

Though the Nagarjuna residence is not among the seven palaces taken over by the government, it remains to be seen how long it would remain in the possession of the royal family.

There's one silver lining, however.

The crucial election on Nov 22, which will decide if the king keeps his crown or becomes a commoner, falls on a Thursday

Maoists blow CPI(M)'s party office India's West Bengal

Posted August 25th, 2007 by Indian-Muslim
India News

New Delhi, Aug 25, IRNA, Maoists today blew up the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M)'s office at Nadia district of West Bengal state.

The extremists triggered the explosion early this morning, UNI reported here quoting District Police Superintendent H K Kusimkar.

Police said several leaflets and pamphlets were recovered from the area.

However, there was no casualty or injury, police added.

A special police team has rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area for further investigation.

Red spells danger

My thick skull is nuclear-resistant.

Somehow, stuff like plutonium, uranium, curium, neptunium etc fail to make even a dent on my cranium. I guess it is so for many of you readers also with all this high voltage nit-picking on the the nitty-gritties of Indo-US nuclear deal passing way above our heads. Of course, if offered a mike, I too like many of you, will be able to muster a few jargon or at least some 'meaningful' pauses, but that would still be no match to the panache of those primetime pundits. These guys, who may not know how a gas stove works, however, seem to possess such boundless and intricate knowledge of nuclear science that we had better plead ignorance and scoot honourably. But we can certainly talk of the Communists' nuclear allergy and their history itself without we ourselves going nuclear.OK, let me make it clear.

We will begin at the beginning. Once upon a time a man called Karl Marx founded a religion, which later came to be known as Marxism, and also gave it a Book, Das Kapital plus some attachments called manifestoes. This Mr Marx was no fan of India. He had declared in 1853 that 'the golden age of India was a myth and that Indians were always starving'. He had even lauded the British for destroying India's village economy. A century-and-a-half later, today, though Marxism has itself joined its maker, Marx, in his grave, some Marxist ghosts and skeletons survive and India as a civilisation continues to score low marks with them too. So, even if the Left seems right to some on the nuclear deal, their anti-India genetics plus their pro-China leanings raise genuine suspicions about their motives.

I lay no claim to originality in detailing the Indian Left's duplicitous and dubious political dealings. Their utterings and actions are well-documented and quite an open book, a book of blunders really and that book too is in tatters now. But that does not deter the comrades from proclaiming and parading themselves as the guardian angels of all the lofty ideals that humanity is capable of. And being pastmasters of the art of dialectics and debates, they are quite adept at camouflaging their dark designs and deeds with the cloak of national interest. Really, their disdain for the nation and any form of nationalism is legendary. On the contrary, the vintage Leftists have always seen themselves as citizens of an international community that necessarily thrives on putting down local cultures. While in many countries, Communists tried and even succeeded in adapting Communism to local needs and realities, Indian Communists were steadfast in their refusal to sever their umblical chord with the Communist International.

The Communists' role during the freedom struggle was most sinister. For them India's fight for independence was no revolution at all when compared to the Russian or Chinese 'revolutions'.The Communists became British stooges at the behest of Russia when it was attacked by Hitler. Such was the zeal of comradeship with Stalin that they had no qualms in even betraying our freedom fighters to the British police who hanged them. Again, during the Chinese aggression, they had no hesitation in dubbing India as the aggressor. The Communist Party of India split after that, with the dominant pro-China comrades forming the CPI-Marxists, while the truncated core remained as CPI - and pro-Russia. But pro-India? Never! Moscow and Peking were just stone's throwaway. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Khruschev, Brezhnev and sundry other 'zhevs were their idols, while those like Netaji and Swami Vivekananda, heroes of their own fortress Bengal, were treated with contempt. Needless, to say there lurked a CIA agent on every treetop and street corner, nice bogeys that kept the comrades' charades going.

The Communists' continuing obsession with 'nuclear' China is most disturbing. Many observers have pointed out that CPI-M's Prakash Karat is just parroting what China has been saying about the Indo-US nuclear deal. An Intelligence Bureau official has also revealed that Sitaram Yechury, allegedly at the instance of the Chinese embassy, 'forced the Indian government to issue visas to over 1000 Chinese engineers for a project here thus denying jobs to Indian engineers who could have also implemented it'. Again, the Leftists are known to have influenced decisions relating to Chinese investments in sensitive sectors in India. China is also deeply concerned over a possible military axis between India, US, Japan and Australia and would not hesitate to use the willing comrades here to voice its concerns. It therefore seems naive to believe that the Left's current opposition to the nuclear deal is owing to its familiar habit of anti-Americanism. The Left, rather, seems to be willing partners in a larger geo-political game at China's instance. They may well tone down their protest to the deal if China finds some virtue in it! Our sovereignity would not matter then!

If the credentials of the Leftists as custodians of national interest is thus questionable, their commitment to certain other high sounding tenets is tenuous. They now talk of democracy, but that is something they have never cared for all through their history. In the roster of totalitarian regimes, Communist countries rank on par or even higher than some Islamist States. A recent book puts Stalin and Lenin on equal termswith Hitler. Naxalites and Maoists in India are only putting to practice the 'Revolution' that the Leftists of India have been craving for. Wrote late Mohit Sen, a die-hard Communist:' ..what crimes did we commit! Our cruelty was no less than that of the imperialists and fascists'. In many countries, 'liberal' leftists see no contradiction in finding common cause with rank Islamists. In India, the Mullah-Marxist axis is most pronounced. And this is passed off as secularism! Again, on economic policy, the Left's double standards are blatantly visible. For them, West Bengal and Kerala are special economic zones while the rest of India can reel under red rage!

It is said that history is written by the victors. But in India, history has been consistently hijacked by the Marxist historians, when Marxism itself has lost and lapsed. Their influence on media and academia is grossly disproportionate to their hold on the people. Moreso their virtual veto power today over every aspect of governance and policy. But real history is proof that national interest and Leftists never meet. So while the pundits look and relook at the nuclear deal, the people had better keep a watch on the Leftists.While we may not understand plutonium, we surely know our comrades.
e-mail the writer at
(Courtesy: Talk Media)

India: Threats Hit 'Off the Beaten Path'

Source: Stratfor
Stratfor's Free Intelligence Reports
August 24, 2007 17 13 GMT

High-tech companies in Chandigarh, in the northern part of India's Punjab state, went on alert late Aug. 21 after receiving information from Indian intelligence and police officials about a possible threat from a cell of at least six Kashmiri militants. Several large multinational corporations and Indian information technology (IT) companies are located in Chandigarh and the adjoining city of Mohali. Hutch operates in Chandigarh; Dell Inc., Quark Communications Inc., Punjab Communications Ltd. and Airtel have operations in Mohali. The area has a history of Sikh militancy, but Kashmiri Islamist groups have not had much of a presence there.

The Chandigarh alert shows that even though major IT hubs such as Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad and Mumbai might be associated with threats to India's high-tech industry, other less-prominent locations are even more vulnerable to attacks because of the perceived lack of threat.

Bangalore and Mumbai already have seen attacks and threats to IT sector targets. After all, Mumbai was the site of a major attack in July 2006, when several commuter trains were bombed. This history of threats and attacks has led the larger high-tech hubs to increase their vigilance and even develop special anti-terrorism police units to protect the IT sector, which is a valuable part of India's economy.

Though most people might not associate Chandigarh and similar locations with threats to India's high-tech sector, militants have. The relative obscurity of Chandigarh and other cities far from India's major IT centers would make them more attractive targets. They would be more lightly defended, and security forces in those areas might not be as well-equipped or vigilant as those in the main technology hubs.

Stratfor's annual and second-quarter 2007 forecasts said the threat to India's high-tech sector would increase. Maoist-influenced Naxalites, Kashmiri Islamist militants and any other groups that want to damage India's economy feel they can do so by attacking the country's valuable IT industry. As that sector of India's economy continues to spread to other locations, the threat will spread as well.

Furthermore, such threats could reach beyond the IT sector. The threat revealed Aug. 21 was real and specifically targeted Airtel, which is owned by Bharti Enterprises -- a well-known conglomerate widely considered for joint ventures with major Western companies trying to enter the Indian retail market. This could mean that major Western companies looking to do business in India could face the same kinds of threats the IT industry now faces.

To counter this threat, Indian intelligence and security forces -- along with companies' own security personnel -- must realize that the threat will follow the target wherever it is. Militants planning attacks can be adaptive and creative. If security planning is restricted by preconceived notions about militant operations and targeting, vulnerable areas will remain ill-prepared for threats and attacks

Naxals involved even in murder: ATS

24 Aug 2007, 0320 hrs IST,Mateen Hafeez,TNN

MUMBAI: The anti-terrorism squad (ATS) on Wednesday said that the two alleged Naxalites, Shridhar Srivinvasan alias Vishnu and Vernon Gonsalves alias Vikram, arrested on Sunday night, were also involved in murder, attempted murder and extortion cases.

The 50-year-old Vishnu has been shown as an accused in at least 16 cases of murder and extortion and the 48-year-old Vikram is alleged to have been involved in an attempted murder and extortion case in Gadchiroli. The duo was sent to police custody till September 3.

Officials said that they wanted Vishnu's custody for thorough interrogation in connection with the killings of over a dozen policemen and informers in Gadchiroli, Gondia and other Naxalite-affected areas. "Vishnu is a member of the politburo of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) and his questioning will throw light on the killings of policemen and villagers across the state," Additional Commissioner of Police (ATS) Param Bir Singh said. Officials said the duo had been active for the last 20 years and supervised 15 to 20 Dalams (groups) of Naxals.

The police claimed to have detailed records of how Vishnu had raised Rs 50 lakh "through extortion" in the last one year.

"He used to take one day's salary from sympathisers in the name of either fund collection or charity for a cause. We are now trying to establish the identity of the donors," an ATS official said.

The presence of Naxalites and their spreading network has given a wake-up call to the Special Branch and the ATS. "There are over 75 Naxalites who are not active but sympathise with the cause. We have come across several such people and will take action soon. We are in the process of identifying them and preparing dossiers on them," an officer said. A Special Branch report says the Naxals are spreading their network among lawyers, students, trade unions and have even established a legal cell in Mumbai. "We have to tackle their growing menace at any cost.

Over half-a-dozen lawyers are on our radar but we cannot arrest them if there is no offence against them," an official said

Tribal women allege gang rape by police

Uma Sudhir
Friday, August 24, 2007 (Hyderabad)
Activists are crying hoarse that the government is turning a blind eye to the reported gang rape of 11 tribal women in Visakhapatnam and are demanding a probe by a sitting judge.

Meanwhile, the alleged victims are facing a double tragedy.

They are reportedly not being accepted back home because tribal custom requires the guilty to be brought to book and the women to be cleansed after that as per tribal rituals.

An effigy of Andhra Pradesh police chief M A Basith was burnt before the Visakhapatnam Collectorate.

The police chief had dismissed the reported gang rape of 11 tribal women allegedly by special party police personnel early on Monday as a ploy by Maoists to discourage the police from carrying out combing operations in the agency areas.

''We demand a probe by sitting judge. The hearings should be held in the village and not somewhere else,'' said a tribal woman.

''When they are labeling me, Pasiya Padma, a Maoist for protesting atrocities, they can so easily label anyone of these tribal women and men as naxals and arrest them,'' said an activist.

Activists say there was a deliberate delay in getting the alleged victims medically examined. Samples have also been sent to the Forensic Sciences Laboratory in Hyderabad.

''Not a single responsible official has gone there. They are making all these comments sitting elsewhere. Can any woman come out and seek justice in such circumstances,'' said D Prabhavati, AIDWA.

The police have refused to comment on camera but a rape case is booked by a government servant and also of prevention of atrocities against SC/ST

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mystery shrouds ‘molestation’ of tribal women

Friday August 24 2007 10:51 IST

VISAKHAPATNAM: Mystery shrouds the alleged molestation of 11 tribal women at Vakapalli of G.Madugula mandal on Monday as no tangible evidence was found against the Special Party police.

Though several fact finding committees formed by various people’s organisations, political parties and journalists have been visiting the village, none could put forth an evidence against the accused.

The broken bangle pieces and snapped electric wires at agricultural fields and houses, as pointed out by the tribals, could only indicate an attack. Meanwhile, a 20-member fact finding committee of Human Rights Forum on Thursday visited the village, while CPM leader Punyavati demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident.

‘‘Though we are sure that the police assaulted the villagers, we can’t prove in the court that the women were raped unless the medical reports testify the same,’’ said a member from one of the fact finding committees, on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, police officials remained tight-lipped over the ongoing investigation. However, a senior police official said the police were being unnecessarily defamed. ‘‘As far as I knew, the police party went to the village on a tip-off about the presence of top Maoist leaders.The Maoists would have forced the villagers to make such allegations to divert the attention of the police. However, a conclusion can be drawn only after the investigating officials submit their report,’’ he asserted.

Rape victims face social boycott

G. Narasimha Rao

You are policemen’s women, husbands tell them

Photo: K.R. Deepak

MISSING HER MOTHER: Bharati, daughter of a rape victim, being consoled by a neighbour at Vakapalli on Thursday.

PADERU: Even as a strong wave of protest is sweeping against the gang-rape of 11 Girijan women in the Visakha agency area, and the police top brass fully denying the charge, more insult is heaped on the victims in the shape of a social boycott.

Since they have returned to their village Vakapalli in G. Madugula mandal, about 50 km from here on Tuesday night, the rape victims are not allowed into their home. “You are policemen’s women,” their husbands told them. The women watch their children from a distance. The victims are given shelter by village headman Korra Dumarayya.

The women faced “Keedu” (lost the honour as they were raped by other men) and redemption for them is only after those who brought them “Keedu” are punished. Then they will be purified according to Kondu rituals.

“This is our custom and decided by our elders,” said Dumarayya on Thursday at the village. However, he seems not too happy with the trauma the women are facing.

Among the women, Janaki has a small boy, Eswara Rao, who is still fed by his mother’s milk. Now, Janaki’s husband Masteswara Rao is giving gruel to his son.

Vantala Rendo has two daughters. When the younger one Bharati, just about two years, was brought outside her house by a neighbour she started crying after noticing her mother.

The rest of the women have school-going children. The children loiter around the headman’s house and their mothers watch them with pain in their eyes as they could not feed them after coming back from school, a daily chore a mother will not miss. Husbands of victims were in their fields on Thursday afternoon.

Pangi Sridevi, wife of Suryam who was picked up by the police for interrogation and brought to the village on Monday morning and was witness to the gang-rape, lost her one-and-half-month-old baby one week before the incident. But she was also subjected to the gang-rape in her house, which is at one end of the first row of houses.

The victims said 21 policemen entered the village around 6 a.m. while some others were positioned around the village.

The men folk leave the village around 3 a.m. everyday and the policemen gang-raped them, said the victims. Some broken bangles were still lying on the trampled plants in the fields adjacent to the village, where some women were raped.

On Thursday morning, Sub-Collector of Paderu, Lokesh Kumar, visited the village and assured them that many benefits like silver oak trees, bulls, sheep, loans, Anganwadi Centre, etc., would be provided to them. But he did not talk about the gang-rape incident, the villagers said. “No official visited us before,” they said.

Later, Member of SC and ST Commission Gummadi Sandhya Rani visited the village. State leaders of several peoples’ organisations and local leaders of political parties visited the village to console the victims and offered support.

Among them was Chandranna of Jana Shakti Party, who participated in the peace talks between the Government and naxalites a few years ago.

The village is located in a picturesque valley and provides a beautiful sight from the G. Madugula-Boithali road. But the 11 women in the village are facing a great insult of social boycott.

Public meeting

TDP, CPI and CPM organised a rally from Nurmati to Maddi Garuvu, a few kilometres from Vakapalli and forced closure of weekly shandy at Maddi Garuvu where a public meeting was held.

Former Minister M. Mani Kumari, former MLA K. Chitti Naidu and others addressed the public meeting and visited the village

MP demands action against Grey Hound commandos

New Delhi, Aug 23: A senior Lok Sabha member from Andhra Pradesh today demanded an inquiry by Central Investigation agencies into the alegation of rape of eleven tribal women by the commandos of the anti-naxal "Grey Hound" group in Visakhapatnam district.

Dr Babu Rao (CPI-M) raised the issue during the Zero Hour in the Lower House.

He alleged that the Grey Hound commandos visited the Vaakkappally village in the pretext of searching for naxalites, raped 11 women sheltered in a relief camp.

Dr Rao demanded that the guilty commandos should be booked under the SC and ST Atrocities Act, and the victims should be given a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each.

Earlier, CPI member Prabodh Panda demanded support price for jute to protect the jute farmers of West Bengal.

He said the jute farmers, numbering nearly six million, have been in trouble due to crash in the prices.

Member N N Krishnadas wanted the government to declare support price for coconut itself, instead of copra.

--- UNI

Tribals live in fear of midnight knock

Friday August 24 2007 09:11 IST

SRISAILAM: Palutla is a tribal hamlet deep in the heart of the Nallamala forests inhabited by about 375 Lambada and Chenchu families.

Lying 20 km from Ishta Kameshwar temple on the Srisailam-Dornala road, it lacks practically all amenities — roads, electricity, medical services and transportation. The locals have no choice but to trek the entire distance for basics like grocery and medicines.

This obscure little place, however, hit national headlines after outlawed CPI (Maoist) State secretary Madhav and seven others were shot dead by the police in an ‘‘encounter’’ in its vicinity on 23 July 2006.

This encounter enabled the police to gain the upper hand over their Red adversaries in Nallamala but the tribals have had a big price to pay.

They cannot enter the forests to collect minor forest produce nor venture out at night for fear of police harassment. From earning around Rs 100 a day by selling forest produce, they have now been reduced to agricultural labourers making Rs 25 a day.

What’s more, they are constantly under suspicion. For instance, any tribal with a Rs 500 note attracts the attention of the police who think the the money was given to him by the Annalu in return for food and shelter.

This website's newspaper correspondent, who visited Palutla a year after Madhav’s killing, found the tribals in the grip of fear due to frequent midnight knocks.

As if this harassment was not bad enough, the tribals have to put up with lewd remarks against their womenfolk too. ‘‘If a couple unwittingly enter the forest to collect minor forest produce, the police take them to different places and interrogate them seeking information about the Maoists.

For how long should we bear this torture?’’ an elderly woman in Palutla asked. Vexed beyond endurance, the tribals are now even ready to forgo their ethnic identity and relocate themselves in the plains but even for this the officials have kept them waiting for nearly a year.

‘‘The officials are reluctant to rehabilitate us by providing a suitable site,’’ Palutla Upa Sarpanch J P Kasi Naik told this website's newspaper. The tribals are demanding that each family be given Rs 15 lakh for relocation and two acres of wet or five acres of dry land, Kasi Naik said.

Meanwhile, a health worker’s remark indicates the state of affairs: ‘‘The police are accusing us of giving medicines to Naxals. Hence, we have reduced the number of visits to the hamlets.’’

Naxals involved even in murder: ATS

24 Aug 2007, 0320 hrs IST,Mateen Hafeez,TNN

MUMBAI: The anti-terrorism squad (ATS) on Wednesday said that the two alleged Naxalites, Shridhar Srivinvasan alias Vishnu and Vernon Gonsalves alias Vikram, arrested on Sunday night, were also involved in murder, attempted murder and extortion cases.

The 50-year-old Vishnu has been shown as an accused in at least 16 cases of murder and extortion and the 48-year-old Vikram is alleged to have been involved in an attempted murder and extortion case in Gadchiroli. The duo was sent to police custody till September 3.

Officials said that they wanted Vishnu's custody for thorough interrogation in connection with the killings of over a dozen policemen and informers in Gadchiroli, Gondia and other Naxalite-affected areas. "Vishnu is a member of the politburo of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) and his questioning will throw light on the killings of policemen and villagers across the state," Additional Commissioner of Police (ATS) Param Bir Singh said. Officials said the duo had been active for the last 20 years and supervised 15 to 20 Dalams (groups) of Naxals.

The police claimed to have detailed records of how Vishnu had raised Rs 50 lakh "through extortion" in the last one year.

"He used to take one day's salary from sympathisers in the name of either fund collection or charity for a cause. We are now trying to establish the identity of the donors," an ATS official said.

The presence of Naxalites and their spreading network has given a wake-up call to the Special Branch and the ATS. "There are over 75 Naxalites who are not active but sympathise with the cause. We have come across several such people and will take action soon. We are in the process of identifying them and preparing dossiers on them," an officer said. A Special Branch report says the Naxals are spreading their network among lawyers, students, trade unions and have even established a legal cell in Mumbai. "We have to tackle their growing menace at any cost.

Over half-a-dozen lawyers are on our radar but we cannot arrest them if there is no offence against them," an official said.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Withdraw support, Maoists tell Left

K. Srinivas Reddy

HYDERABAD: Maoists have urged the Left parties to withdraw their support to the UPA government in the wake of the nuclear deal with the United States, and warned that the Centre’s move to push through the accord would lead to a “perpetual dependence of our country on the U.S.” In a statement here on Wednesday, Azad, spokesman of the central committee of the CPI (Maoist), pointed out that the Left parties were crying hoarse against the 123 agreement but continuing to support the UPA government. The CPI (Maoist) demanded that the deal be scrapped immediately.

Mr. Azad termed the deal a “total sell-out’ of the country’s interests to the U.S. The deal, if fructified, would disturb the regional stability and widen the gulf between India and Pakistan. “By facilitating India to produce significant quantities of fissile material and nuclear weapons with the U.S.’ blessings, the deal would ignite an arms race in South Asia,” he said.

The spokesperson accused the MNCs, GE and Westinghouse, of playing a key role in pushing the deal on India’s back as they would derive huge profits from energy contracts.

The deal would make India totally dependent on the U.S. for nuclear fuel supplies and by giving the U.S. the right to terminate the agreement on a one-year written notice, the country would be pushed deep into the vice-like grip of the U.S., he said.

One more Naxalite held in Mumbai

Special Correspondent

MUMBAI: After the arrest of two naxalites from Mumbai on Monday, one more extremist was arrested in the city late in the night — this by the Andhra Pradesh Police with the help of the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra Police.

The police picked up D.T. Rao from the Young Men’s Christian Association here on the basis of incriminating documents seized from the first two —Vishnu alias Shridhar Krishnan Srinivasan and Vikram alias Vernin Gonsalves, top members of CPI (Maoist). The State ATS had called the A.P. Police to examine the documents. Rao, a lawyer, had gunned down a police officer of the Anti-Naxalite Squad and his bodyguard in the compound of a court at Talur town of Vijaynagar district in 2000.

A city magistrate remanded him to police custody till August 24. He would be taken to Andhra Pradesh for further probe.

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Varahi displaced seek rehabilitation package

Special Correspondent

Bangalore: A group of 400 persons of Chakra Savehaklu and Melsunka villages in Tirthahalli Assembly constituency, whose lands had been submerged under the Varahi hydel project, will present a memorandum to Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Energy Minister H.D. Revanna on Thursday seeking package for their livelihood.

Addressing presspersons, Janata Dal (Secular) general secretary M.G. Mani Hegde, Nakunji Sudhakar, Tirthahalli unit and Ramamanohar Shantaveri said that these people had lost their lands in the 1980s, but had been denied compensation.

They said that only 500 of the 1,500 farmers were given compensation as they had khata and other land records.

They said that the former Congress Minister D.B. Chandre Gowda had failed to help the others, who were tilling the government lands unauthorisedly on the premise that they were not eligible for any compensation, as they were not owners of the land.

Had the hydel project not taken up, they would have got the same lands.

These affected persons from Agumbe, Hosanagar and Nagara hobli did not have any support for their families, Mr. Hegde added.

He said that 40 families from Melsunka village, affected by the naxalite menace, should be given a compensation of Rs. 2 lakh each and three acres of land.

They should be provided with employment. He charged that senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Araga Gnanendra, representing Tirthahalli in the Assembly, was coming in the way of helping them.

They said that the displaced persons, mostly Janata Dal (Secular) workers would wait at the premises of the party office, here till they got justice.

Patil takes stock of NE violence

From Our Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Aug 22 – With the situation in the North-East heating up, the pressure is on the Prime Minister to intervene and take charge of the internal security matters. Leaders from the North-East who have met the Prime Minister in the recent past have been pressing the Prime Minister to directly monitor the situation, as violence threatens to spiral out of control.

The stalemate in negotiations with the militant outfits including the NSCN (I-M), the NDFB and other smaller outfits like DHD, UPDS and ANVC have led leaders to knock on the doors in South Block. These leaders were unhappy with the way additional central forces were being deployed in the trouble-torn states.

Significantly, as if on cue, the Ministry of Home Affairs has changed gears and there has been flurry of activities concerning the North-East. Today, Joint Secretary (North-East), Navin Verma held meeting with Assam’s Home Commissioner to review the security measures in Karbi Anglong.

The Centre has spelled out a list of measures to tackle the situation in the State in the aftermath of the violence in the district. They include creation of two police districts, new police stations, rushing of additional forces and relocation of Hindi-speaking people into clusters of 200-300 families.

Home Minister, Shivraj Patil has in the last couple of days met a number of Governors and Chief Ministers of the North-East. Yesterday, he met Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, after meeting Manipur Chief Minister, O Ibobi Singh and his Home Minister. Governor of Meghalaya also met him.

Today Patil had separate meetings with Chief Minister of Nagaland, N Rio and Governor of the State. Tomorrow, Chief Minister of Mizoram, Zoramthanga is meeting him, as is the Governor of Manipur.

On Monday, Home Secretary chaired a high-level meeting, on the security situation in Manipur. The meeting was chaired by the Union Home Secretary, Madhukar Gupta was attended by Chief Secretary and DGP of Manipur. Top officials of the Army, Central para-military forces, BRO and Ministries of Panchayati Raj, Railways, Food and Civil Supplies, Petroleum and Finance also attended the meeting

The officials of Manipur Government were summoned to Delhi by the Prime Minister’s Office after rebels were captured from houses of Congress MLAs.

The Centre has been alarmed by the sudden spurt in violence level in the North-East, with violence level in Naxal affected areas showing no sign of abating, the internal security scenario has the UPA Government worried.

In the Rajya Sabha, the Government today conceded that violence level in the North-East has been on the rise. The number of violent incidents last year was at the same level as that of 2005. However, this year till July, compared to relevant period last year, there has been some increase in violence.

This is primarily due to the step up in violent activities by ULFA in Assam and Meitei militant outfits in Manipur, Minister of State for Home Affairs, V Radhika Selvi said.

Mangalore: 'Additional Battalion of Anti Naxal Forces Soon'

Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore (NR)

Mangalore, Aug 23: At a media briefing held here recently, the home minister M P Prakash, informed that an additional battalion of Anti Naxal Force (ANF) with 1,117 new cops will be formed very shortly. A proposal in this regard had been sent to the Finance Ministry, which in turn has agreed in principle to sanction funds for the new battalion he informed.

"At present, the ANF has 543 cops which is insufficient,’’ he added.

Prakash further stated that the ministry has acquired 176 acres in Koppal district to form an Indian Reserve Battalion with 1,110 staff to prevent untoward incidents in North Karnataka and 50 per cent of the funds would be sanctioned by the Central government, he added.

According to Prakash the department would recruit 4,025 additional staff to make the state police the best in India and the 4,500 personnel recruited last year would be posted to various stations immediately after their training, he said.

Prakash also spoke of a few proposals sent to the finance ministry for approval one of which was for the opening of a new police commissionerate for Mangalore and the other for opening of a residential school for children of police personnel either in Mangalore or in Udupi.

Moreover based on recommendations of police officers, the department is planning to increase the amount of insurance paid to the police who die during police operations from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, he informed.

Giving another glad tiding, Prakash said that the local government authorities had sanctioned land for the Malnadu Karnataka State Reserve Police Battalion, which would be formed in Hassan. The Armed Police Training Centre in Hadagali and Kudremukh would also be started soon, he declared.

Men with Naxal links may be involved in killings, extortion’

Express News Service

Mumbai, August 22: The two alleged naxal leaders of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), arrested by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Monday night, are involved in 18 cases of extortion, killing of policemen and other offences in different parts of the country, claimed the ATS while presenting them before a city magistrate on Wednesday for seeking their further custody.

The ATS told the court that it requires custody of Shridhar Shrinivasan alias Vishnu and Vahernon Gonsalvis alias Vikram to further investigate the source of weapons and money recovered from them. The ATS had arrested the two in Govandi on suspicion of being Naxalites and had recovered Rs 6,09,600, two pistols, live cartridges, gelatine sticks, detonators, CDs, walkie-talkies and “incriminating literature”.

The two are suspected to be “high-ranking members” of organisations like ‘People’s War’ since the past 28-30 years, which is actively involved in carrying out “anti-national activities” in Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, MP, Orissa and Bihar, the ATS told the court.

The ATS further claimed that the two accused “have knowledge about the strategies and other associates of their organisation, who might have links to other anti-national groups.”

“We need their custody to investigate and identify the people shown undergoing training with highly modern weapons in the CDs and photos recovered from the two suspects as well as other incriminating literature like magazines which display their anti-national operations,” Senior Police Inspector Sunil Deshmukh told the court.

The ATS are on a look-out for their accomplices—Gajrala Saraya alias Azad (45), Milind Teltumbde alias Deepak (42) and one Ishkara (35).

Mahrukh Adenwala, appearing on behalf of the accused, requested magisterial custody for the accused as they were “regularly tortured and feared for their lives”.

Speaking to media persons outside the court premises, Suzan Abraham, wife of Vahernon and a lawyer herself, said, “I know for a fact that my husband was arrested by the police at Andheri and not at Govandi as claimed by the ATS. The police officials searched our residence from midnight till 6 in the morning and ransacked the place. All my books and papers have been taken away and I was not even allowed to make any phone calls. They even confiscated my mobile phone.”

On being asked whether her husband was a Naxalite believing in violent means, she countered, “How does one define a Naxalite? In our country, even a person like Medha Patkar has been labelled a Naxalite. As for the violent means, political parties in our country regularly use violent means to come to power.”

Both the accused have been remanded to ATS custody till September 3.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Top Naxalite leader held in Malkangiri

Wednesday August 22 2007 10:49 IST
MALKANGIRI: In a major breakthrough, the Special Operation Group (SOG) on Tuesday arrested Naxal Motu Dalam ‘deputy commander’ Nabeen from Tandabai village under MV-79 police limits.

Malkangiri SP S K Gajbhiye said acting on a tip-off, the SOG jawans raided the house of the Naxal leader and apprehended him. He was involved in a series of incidents in Malkangiri and Koraput during the last one decade.

The SP said Nabeen was involved in the looting of the Koraput armoury, blasting of former minister Arabinda Dhali’s residence in Malkangiri, murder of Motu police station inspector and attack on MV-79 police station.

On August 16, the SOG also arrested two Maoists from Parajaguda village under Balimela police station of Malkangiri district while five others escaped during a combing operation on Monday. They were later identified as Mati Deva and Padia Makami.

The police had seized some incriminating documents and rubber stamps from them. During the interrogation, the Maoists had admitted their involvement in the murder of one Mukund Madhi sometime back

Naxal plans for Bombay at nascent stage

BY A STAFF REPORTER | Wednesday, August 22, 2007 11:45:57 IST
Interrogations of a senior captured Naxalite indicate that the gang is taking preliminary steps to establish a presence in the city

Senior police officers believe that the Naxals are attempting to gain a foothold in the city. The officers formed this opinion in the wake of the arrest of two Naxalites in Bombay.
"Sridhar Krishnan alias Vishnu was incharge of the Naxalite movement in the state. He was also among the top 10 Naxalite policy makers at the central level in the country. We are now investigating to try to understand their method of operations. During the preliminary stage of our investigations we have not come across any dangerous and any major movements. Thus it can be assumed that they were at the very preliminary stage of their operations in the city," a top official from the ATS informed this paper.
Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh Police along with the ATS arrested K.D. Rao, a lawyer of the Bombay High Court outside the YMCA Hostel near Colaba on Monday night. He was charged under several cases including some where Naxalites were involved. The ATS produced Rao before the Additional Magistrate's court at Mazgaon, who later handed over Rao to the Andhra Pradesh police.
Andhra police officials informed that the advocate, K. D. Rao, was arrested for a case involving a policeman's murder at Vijaynagar. In September 2001, Rao along with other Naxals had killed
police Inspector Gandhi, informed police officials.
Shahid Azmi, Rao's advocate said, "There are allegations against Rao that he had murdered an officer and led a mob of 30 Naxals in the court." When he was produced before the Additional Magistrate's court, Rao said that he feared that the Andhra Police wanted his custody to kill him en route to Andhra Pradesh.
His lawyer also expressed similar fears. Shahid Azmi said, "The Andhra Pradesh police has a history of not producing the accused in the court. They are normally killed enroute to Andhra Pradesh."
The court took note of Rao's apprehension and asked police inspector V. Vijaykumar of the Vijaynagar rural police station to ensure the safety of the accused. The court also directed Vijaykumar to present Rao before the Vijaynagar District Court on August 24.
Azmi said that the Andhra Pradesh Police have given an undertaking to the court that they will not misbehave with Rao. Rao's case is expected to come up for hearing in the Vijaynagar Court on August 24. Azmi informed that Rao used to practice as a lawyer in Andhra Pradesh during the 1980s. He moved to Bombay some five years back, becoming a member of the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa about two years ago.

Naxals close to Angul border?

Wednesday August 22 2007 10:50 IST
ANGUL: The imminent threat to Angul district from Maoist infiltration appears now from Parjang side of Dhenkanal district rather than Rairakhol region of Sambalpur district where they are active.

With the Maoist cadres making further inroads into Parjang police station areas of Dhenkanal district, close to the border of Angul district, police have stepped up combing operations to contain their advances.

Maoist group Janashakti, which has established its base in 5000 area of the bordering forest regions of Jajpur, Keonjhar and Dhenkanal districts, has reportedly made inroads into Mahavir road areas of Kamakshyanagar police circle

Earlier, they were operating in parts of Kankadahada forest areas which witnessed killing of three forest guards last year.

Reports say the Maoist cadres taking advantage of lack of developmental activities in that part and monsoon have made advances into Chaulijharan, Khajurinalli, Baunsamunda, Karadapal and Phuljhari tribal villages of Mahavir road area.

This has led to fear of their next foray into Talcher-Angul industrial belt if unchecked, according to official sources. But this has been denied by DIG (North- Central) Arun Kumar Sarangi. He said some ultras, when under intense combing operations in Kankadahada areas, might have sneaked into some adjoining areas under Mahavir road outpost.

He said police are not taking any chances and have launched combing operations in villages of Mahavir road area as a precaution. He also ruled out any threat to Talcher industrial belt from Parjang side as police were keeping vigil.

Suspected Andhra Naxalite arrested from Colaba

Anupam Dasgupta
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 09:31 IST

In a joint operation on Tuesday, officers of the Andhra Pradesh police and the state Anti-Terrorism Squad arrested suspected Naxalite KD Rao from Colaba. The AP police team has applied for a transit remand to take Rao to Hyderabad for questioning. Rao, wanted by the AP police in connection with the murder of a security official, is allegedly a senior ultra-Left cadre. He is also a practising lawyer in AP.

On Monday, the ATS arrested Sridhar Srinivasan alias Vishnu, an alleged Politburo member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), and his aide Vernon Gonsalves alias Vikram. The two, booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Arms Act, have been remanded in police custody till August 22.

DGP and ATS chief KP Raghuvanshi said, “We are trying to find out if Rao has any links with Srinivasan and Gonsalves. We have enough incriminating evidence against the two; so the arrests are significant.”

Another ATS officer said an analysis of the laptop and the literature seized from Srinivasan and Gonsalves might help the police find the extent of ultra-Left penetration in Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Nashik. DGP PS Pasricha had said on Monday that Srinivasan’s arrest would weaken the ultra-Left movement in the state.

Mahrukh Adenwala, the lawyer representing Srinivasan and Gonsalves, said, “The loopholes in the case will be brought before the court in due course. But it is for the families of the accused to decide the next course of action.”

Gonsalves’ brother-in-law Thomas Abraham, however, refuted the police claims. “He was pretty much in the open in and around Mumbai. So, to say that he was living in Govandi with a Politburo member of a banned Naxal outfit and moving around freely strains credible logic,” he said.

Abraham even said that Gonsalves was arrested on Sunday at 1.30 pm when he had gone to buy some medicines near his house in Andheri (east). The police have said that Gonsalves had been arrested from Govandi on Monday.

High Court lawyer accused of Naxal links arrested in city

Express News Service

Mumbai, August 21: In a joint operation with the Andhra Pradesh Police, the Anti-Terrorism Squad of the state police on Monday night arrested a lawyer practising in the Bombay High Court for his alleged links with Naxals and involvement in the killing of a police officer six years ago. The police arrested K D Rao outside YMCA hostel near Colaba.

According to Andhra Pradesh Police officials, Rao was arrested for his alleged involvement in the killing of a circle police inspector at Vijaynagar in September 2001. Sources in the ATS said the information about Rao’s presence in the city and his alleged involvement in the police officer’s murder surfaced during the interrogation of Naxal leader Shridhar Srinivasan alias Vishnu, who was arrested by the ATS on Sunday night.

Rao used to practise law in Andhra Pradesh in the ’80s, the police said, adding that he moved to Mumbai five to six years back and became a member of the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa about two years back.

Commenting on the arrest, Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police said, “There was a pending warrant against him which we have executed.” State ATS chief, Additional Director General of Police K P Raghuvanshi, denied Rao’s involvement in any Naxal activities in the state. “We have yet not found him to have been operating in the state but as he was wanted by the Andhra Pradesh Police and we provided all possible help.”

Rao was produced before the Additional Metropolitan Magistrate at Mazgaon where the Andhra Pradesh police obtained his

transit remand.

But when presented before the magistrate, Rao expressed apprehension of being killed an encounter by the police. His lawyer Shahid Azmi said, “Andhra Pradesh Police have a history of killing accused arrested from outside the state while being taken back to the respective city. Rao was never named in the FIR. It is an open FIR that does not name any accused. It was an undetected case.”

The court took note of Rao’s apprehension and asked Police Inspector V Vijaykumar of Vijaynagar rural police station-head of the police team from Andhra Pradesh-to ensure the safety of the accused. The court also directed Vijaykumar to present Rao before the Vijaynagar district court on August 24.

HC dismisses Naxal's torture plea

22 Aug 2007, 0152 hrs IST,TNN

NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Tuesday dismissed dreaded outlaw Arun Ferreira's alias Sanjay Choudhary's petition alleging mental and physical torture by the police of four states - Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.

Earlier too, a division bench comprising justices D D Sinha and Bhushan Dharmadhikari dismissed dreaded naxal Murli alias Ashok Satyam Reddy's similar plea. Both petitions were dismissed on ground of lack of evidence from the side of petitioners. Murli and Ferreira were arrested by the Nagpur police along with two others - Dhananjay alias Dhannu Burle and Naresh Bansod - at Deekshabhoomi on May 8. In his petition, Ferreira said that during his stay at Amgaon lock-up, he was severely beaten up by the police along with intelligence bureau officials. He alleged that he was threatened by the police personnel that if his wife Jennifer, who is believed to be a Maoist sympathiser, would be arrested if she comes to Nagpur and his counsel Surendra Gadling would be implicated for defending naxals.

Murli had alleged that 30ml petrol was pumped into his rectum using a syringe while he was in custody at the Amgaon police station. As a result, he was under severe pain and bled while attending nature's call. To add to woes, the cops had not allowed him to sleep for six days on the trot under pretext of interrogation, Murli had claimed. However, all his claims fell flat when his endoscopy and colonoscopy test results revealed that he was suffering from piles and no apparent signs of torture as claimed by him were found in the test.

The policemen came under a barrage of allegations from the two outlaws. The accused duo claimed that they were threatened by the police that they will be subjected to slow poisoning with the help of some unknown chemical. Ferreira, who, according to the police worked as sales agent for a leading pharmaceutical company, claimed that he was being threatened by the Chhattisgarh police of making him 'infertile' by placing ice cubes in his under garments. The outlaws also complained of lack of medical aid from the doctors.
Advocate Anand Deshpande appeared for the state government.

Andhra Pradesh Govt promises justice for 'tribal victims

Hyderabad, Aug 21 : Taking a serious view of the reported rape of 11 tribal women allegedly by police personnel engaged in anti-naxalite operations in Visakhapatnam district on August 19, the Andhra Pradesh Government today promised to take action against those found guilty.

Talking to reporters here after a Cabinet meeting, Information Minister A Ramanarayana Reddy said Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy had asked the officials concerned to arrange a clinical test on the 11 women at the King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam.

After conducting tests at the Forensic Science Laboratory, action would be taken against those found guilty, the Minister added.

The Minister said the Government was ''sympathetic'' towards the tribal women.

It may be noted that the women had lodged a complaint with the revenue officials in Paderu against a special police party combing the naxal-infested agency area.

--- UNI

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Commentary: Chhattisgarh, casualty of chaotic modernization

An excellent article planted by vested intrestes in the guies of HUMAN RIGHTS

HONG KONG, Aug. 21

Column: Incredible India
What do Medecins Sans Frontiers, the international medical care organization, and Dr. Binayak Sen have in common? They have both been targeted by India's Chhattisgarh state government, which is obstructing the work that they are doing in favor of the state's tribal people.

Last week, the Chhattisgarh government ordered the closure of MSF's offices and a halt to all its activities in the state, which is located in India's heartland. It is alleged that MSF was providing medical help to Naxalite cadres in several villages. In a similar act, on May 14 the state government arrested and detained human rights activist Sen for alleged association with members of the Naxalites, an armed leftist rebel group.

Interestingly, the investigators have thus far failed to produce any evidence to link either MSF or Sen with the rebel group. It seems that anyone who cares for the rural populace and tribal people there becomes an eyesore for the state administration.

Ever since the state was created in 2000, land concessions and vital resources have been sold to corporate interests. As part of India's chaotic modernization, economic growth and business development are frequently pursued to the detriment of the human rights and even the lives of large numbers of India's poor population. Rivers and other natural resources are being sold off by the state government to the highest private bidder, leading to the tribal communities being expelled from their natural habitats.

None of these communities are consulted in the process. Once the resources have been sold, the state administration forces the inhabitants to relocate to camps. To prevent anyone from escaping, private armed militiamen guard the camps. MSF and Sen have been engaged in helping these people, who are being turned into aliens in their own homelands.

The role of a state government is to safeguard the interests of its people and to ensure the greater common good. However, in Chhattisgarh, the government seems to have embarked on a road that leads in the opposite direction. What is at stake here is not merely the ownership of natural resources, but the survival of the culture and identity of its people.

The Chhattisgarh government is facing opposition, with several communities conducting protests against its indiscriminate acts of exploitation of natural resources. Most of these people-centered movements are led by small NGOs and rights-based community groups. To keep opposition at bay, the state administration has resorted to various tactics, the worst of which was the passage of a draconian law, the Chhattisgarh Special Security Act, 2006. Even though this law violates several constitutional guarantees, the Supreme Court of India has been avoiding taking a decision concerning its validity by repeatedly adjourning hearings.

In the past, the court resorted to similar tactics while the validity of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 was being challenged. After several attempts to challenge this law, which began shortly after its creation in 1958, the court finally declared in the mid-1990s that the law as such could not be quashed, but passed directions on how it should be used. However, this law remains in force to date and is the most misused law in India's northeastern states. It has resulted in a large number of gross violations of human rights, including rape, torture, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings, all of which are carried out with impunity.

Under cover of such draconian laws, state governments are able to silence any opposition from within. It goes without saying that a law that bestows unbridled powers on any agency is bound to be misused. It is legally correct to say that legislation cannot be struck down on the basis of mere apprehensions of misuse. However, if a law is designed in such a way that its very existence will inexorably lead to misuse and rights abuses, the Supreme Court should exhibit the common sense and discretion to strike it down.

In Chhattisgarh at present human rights activism is at risk. Anyone who speaks up in favor of the victims of violations by the state is targeted and branded as an anti-state activist. The state, which is bound to protect and promote its people's rights and interests, has in practice turned into their foremost violator. Human rights activists who dare to raise their voices against this onslaught have been silenced, notably through the use of threats, arbitrary arrests and detention based on false charges, arbitrary branding as Naxalites, closures of NGOs and other hindrances to their day-to-day work.

The Chhattisgarh state government does not in any way resemble a democratic government. It is instead an autocratic state living under the guise of being a democracy. Democratic values have died there, and the entire state machinery is now geared to serve the short-term interests of the few individuals who are in power.

The international community and the national government can no longer be silent observers concerning what is happening in Chhattisgarh. A lack of action has engendered the creation of "disturbed zones" throughout northeast India, and similar inaction will soon turn Chhattisgarh into another casualty of the country's chaotic modernization.


(Bijo Francis is a human rights lawyer currently working with the Asian Legal Resource Center in Hong Kong. He is responsible for the South Asia desk at the center. Mr. Francis has practiced law for more than a decade and holds an advanced master's degree in human rights law.)

Tribal women raped by cops on ops????


Tuesday August 21 2007 14:04 IST
VISAKHAPATNAM: Special party police personnel engaged in anti-Naxalite operations allegedly abducted and raped 11 tribal women of Vakapalli village of G Madugula mandal in the agency area of Visakhapatnam district on Monday night.

However, Director-General of Police MA Basith termed the allegations as ‘‘baseless and a ploy by Maoists to discourage the police from carrying out combing operations in the agency areas.’’

According to the information reaching here, 21 special party police personnel abducted 11 women, all married, from their homes, accusing their families of having links with Maoists. All the abducted women were released this morning and the victims alleged that they were raped by the police personnel.

Accompanied by Paderu MLA L Raja Rao of Bahujan Samaj Party the tribal women met Paderu sub-collector and lodged a complaint with him. They also informed the sub-collector that the police had threatened them not to reveal the outrage to anyone.

While demanding an inquiry by a sitting judge of the High Court into the incident, the MLA called for immediate dismissal of all the 21 police personnel involved in the heinous act, and Rs 10 lakh each by way of compensation to the 11 victims.

The MLA also sought immediate release of two tribal youths — Suryam and Prakash, accused in the killing of zilla parishad vice-chairman Ravishanker.

However, Superintendent of Police Akun Sabharwal maintained that the allegations were baseless and were aimed at tarnishing the image of the police.

"Soon after coming to know about the alleged incident, I directed Chintapalli DSP Stalin to visit the village and ascertain the facts. No woman came forward and deposed before the DSP," he said, while adding that he 'failed to understand' why the MLA was making such allegations.

But some police officers are saying that it is pressure from Maoists that is compelling the legislator to make such accusations.

Meanwhile, in Hyderabad, Home Minister K Jana Reddy said he was not aware of any such incident. "If the allegations are true, I will have them looked into," he said.

For his part, the DGP maintained it was a stratagem by the Maoists to prevent police police from carrying out combing operations in agency areas.

"However, we will have cases booked against the accused police personnel under SC, ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act. We will also have the incident probed by an officer of the rank of additional SP," the DGP added.

Maharastra's worst fears confirmed

State’s worst fears confirmed

Anupam Dasgupta

The arrests of top state Naxalite-Maoist ideological strategist Sridhar Srinivasan alias Vishnu and his aide Vernon Gonsalves on Monday have confirmed the Maharashtra government’s worst fears.

The state has been crying itself hoarse trying to draw the Centre’s attention to the fact that Left-wing extremists have been largely successful in setting up “bases” in urban cities like Mumbai, Pune, Thane and Nashik.

Recent intelligence inputs had suggested that Naxalites had succeeded in “penetrating” major urban centres across the state.

Monday’s arrests will give the Vilasrao Deshmukh government sufficient ammunition to seek New Delhi’s help in effectively tackling the growing Naxalite menace. In May, the chief minister had officially sought the Centre’s help in combating the Maoists.

Another worrying fact for the government and security forces is that the state committee of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) operates clandestinely from Mumbai.

The arrests of Sridhar - state committee as well as a central committee member of the CPI (Maoist) and Gonsalves are indicative of the recent urban-centric activities and movements of a few ultra-Left cadre.

Security officials said brain-storming was being done in the cities and the “effects” (violence) was being felt in Gadchiroli, Amravati, Chandrapur and Gondia.

According to the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) officers, the two arrests also prove “beyond doubt” that the Naxalite leadership is desperate to infiltrate city-based social action groups, non-government organisations, environmentalists’ lobbies, students’ groups and other labour organisations.
It is now an established fact that Maoists have largely succeeded in registering their “proxy presence” through these social conglomerations.

This is because Leftist guerrillas have recently been found to tap issues that can generate sufficient discontent among the urban populace.

According to Anti-Naxalite Operations Cell officers, their worst fears may come true if Naxalites manage to forge “extra-territorial links” with other anti-national groups.

“We can’t discount such possibilities and interrogations of the arrested duo will consider all angles,” said a senior intelligence official.

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad on Sunday arrested two top Naxal

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad on Sunday arrested two top Naxal leaders from Mumbai.

“We have caught two Naxalites, who were in Mumbai, from the top cadre. It's a prized catch,” Maharashtra DGP, PS Pasricha said.

The two Naxalites – Vishnu alias Shridhar Krishnan Shrinivas, who is a member of the politburo and the Maoist Maharashtra state secretary, and Vikram alias Vernon Gonzalez, a Maoist National Committee member – were arrested from the outskirts of Mumbai after a 15-day operation.

“We have recovered six gelatin sticks, one hand grenade, revolvers and cash from them besides tons of incriminating documents, CD's and pen-drives,” Pasricha said.

But Vishnu and Vikram’s lawyer Mahruk Adenwalla claims that the two have been framed because of their interest in Salwa Judum or the people's movement.

“How can a person walk on the street with all the arms that they claim to have caught from them? They are being framed for being involved in people's movements and opposing the government on various issues like SEZ,” Adenwalla said.

The police claim the men had made the city a base for their operations but the stories of their arrests do not match. While the police claim to have arrested them from Govandi, Vikram says he was picked up from Andheri.

And that's not all, third degree methods applied on them were apparent when they took off their masks in court. “Third degree has been applied and they have been tortured,” Adenwalla said.

As the case comes up for hearing on August 23 the bigger question is that is Mumbai under the Naxal shadow or is it an effort by the police to nip the growing Naxal tide.

State arrests naxalites in a major scoop

BY A STAFF REPORTER | Tuesday, August 21, 2007 11:29:2 IST
A huge cache of arms and explosives recovered, vital information about Arun Farreira and People’s War Group revealed

The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Mumbai Police arrested two individuals on Sunday midnight for having links with the naxalite movement. The two accused Sridhar Krishnan alias Vishnu (50) and Vernon Stanilus Gonsalves alias Vikram (50) were arrested from the Municipal Colony at Govandi. They are alleged to have links with the Naxal movement at the national level.
ATS in its remand application stated that the two accused belonged to the People’s War Group and were planning to hold explosions in Bombay. The remand application further stated that the accused were executing the same in order to destabilise the government.
However, Marukh Edenwalla, the defence lawyer of both the accused claims that his clients are being framed. “By arresting them, the government wants to suppress the movement for the upliftment of the poor. In the past few days, influenced by the furore over the SEZ-Reliance issue, people like my client have been trying to create awareness amongst the masses. However, by arresting the activists the administration is warning the others againstgetting involved in these activities.”
Sources from the ATS revealed that during the arrest of Vishnu, the ATS team seized a US-made 7.65 mm automatic pistol with eight live cartridges. The police seized a grenade (not live), 20 gelatin sticks, nine detonators, six walkie-talkies, a laptop, a printer, 52 CDs, one DVD, pen drives, four antennas and Rs. 6,09,600 lakh in cash from his house. In addition, they also found documents regarding the financial details of the banned organisation, People’s War Group. “When the ATS team arrested Vikram they received a six-chambered revolver with six live cartridges. The team also got details of several bank accounts and computerised data that reveals vital information,” the ATS source added.
The accused have been booked under sections 120 (B) of the Indian Penal Code, sections 3, 24 of the Arms Act and other sections of the Explosives Act and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. The accused were remanded to police custody till August 22 by a holiday court. The ATS, however, had demanded custody for 14 days. One of the accused Vishnu complained that he was beaten up by the police and was threatened. Edenwalla requested the court for a fresh medical examination at JJ Hospital which was granted.
Maharashtra Director General of Police Dr. P.S. Pasricha said that Vishnu was the state chief of the Maharashtra chapter and member of the National Politburo and the Central Planning Committee of the CPI (Maoist). Vikram was the former chairman of the Maharashtra chapter who continued his association with the movement. “The detection happens to be very important as it is for the first time that such highly-ranked maoists have been apprehended,” said Pasricha.
“We have recovered important documents detailing their training camps and the details of bank accounts across the state. These details will help us to discover the source of their funding. Along with this we also recovered documents with details of the Bandra resident Arun Farreira and his wife Jennifer, who were arrested in Nagpur on May 8 and Madanlal, who was arrested from Nagpur last year,” said Pasricha.

Residents of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Teachers Colony at Deonar were shocked after sleuths from Mumbai police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Monday arrested two people who were staying as tenants in the colony.

According to residents, police told them that the arrested were suspected Naxalites.

The duo had been living in the colony for the past six months. Residents were alarmed to learn that the suspected Naxals were preparing bombs in the residential locality.

Eyewitnesses said police recovered a loaded bag from the house the arrested were residing in. Residents later learnt that the bag contained gelatin sticks, detonators and grenades.

“They were always seen simply dressed and carrying a handbag. We thought they were social workers. However, they never interacted with their neighbours,” a colony resident said.

Another resident said that though the police had arrested two suspected Naxalites, there were in fact three people living together; a woman who was residing with the arrested duo was absconding.

Kawakhali land row nearing solution

Bappaditya Paul
SILIGURI, Aug 20: The Kawakhali Purajhar Bhumi Raksha Committee has reportedly reached a compromise formula with the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority over the disputed land acquisition issue.
To announce the development, the Bhumi Raksha Committee is organising a public meeting at Kawakhali on 24 August, where the state urban development minister and SJDA chairman, Mr Asok Bhattacharya would be present as the main speaker.
Members of the Bhumi Raksha Committee held a closed door meeting with the SJDA authorities on 16 August. The meeting was attended by a 13-member Bhumi Raksha Committee team, which included vice-president Mr Jugal Sarkar, general secretary Mr Harashit Biswas and cashier Mr Gokul Sarkar. On the SJDA side, minister Mr Asok Bhattacharya, CEO Mr Paritosh Roy and the Siliguri deputy mayor Mr Nurul Islam were present.
“In the crucial meeting, the SJDA authorities, particularly the minister, agreed to bring about some changes in the rehabilitation package to our favour. Following the positive gesture, we consented settling the dispute on the Kawakhali land acquisition issue for good,” said Mr Jugal Sarkar, vice-president, Bhumi Raksha Committee.
He added that the urban development minister, Mr Asok Bhattacharya, would himself disclose the changes in the rehabilitation package at the open meeting scheduled for 4 p.m. on 24 August.
As per Mr Sarkar, the SJDA has agreed to offer two cottas of land at the acquired price to those owning land between two cottas and five cottas. Earlier, the SJDA had announced that it would offer two cottas of land to those possessing land excess to two cottas and upto five cottas.
The other change that has reportedly been made is that two students from each displaced families would get Rs 1,000 per annum as educational assistance instead of Rs 500 declared earlier.
Following the settlement with SJDA, the Bhumi Raksha Committee has suggested its followers to collect the payment notices. By now, more than 50 landowners have collected the payment notice and the disbursement of payments would begin from tomorrow.
Meanwhile, peeved at the development, Naxalite leader and the Bhumi Raksha Committee president, Mr Kanu Sanyal, has resigned from the committee. “I have no problem with the amicable settlement of the dispute, if it is in favour of the Kawakhali landowners. But I have heard that they have sacrificed the interests of the poor landowners, after getting job assurance and other benefits,” Mr Sanyal, said.
The veteran Naxal leader added that he could not even imagine that the Bhumi Raksha Committee, which pledged to fight against the arbitrary attitude of the urban development minister, would invite him in its meeting as the main speaker.
“They have not only betrayed me, but also the landowners of Kawakhali who backed them through the last eight months,” an aggrieved Mr Sanyal, said.

Two held with explosives, booked under Arms Act

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Mumbai, Aug. 20 (PTI): Two alleged naxalites, including a senior leader of the ultra-Left movement, were arrested from a north east suburb and arms and ammunitions seized from them, police said today.

Sridhar Krishnan Srinivasan, who is allegedly a member of the national politburo of the naxal movement, and Vernon Gonsalves were arrested by the Anti Terrorism Squad of the police in an operation carried out last night in the suburb of Govandi, Director General of Police P S Pasricha told reporters here.

"We have recovered two pistols, explosives like gelatine sticks, detonators, walkie talkies, 106 CDs with naxal literature, a laptop and a pen drive from them," Pasricha said.

He said data regarding the location of naxal training camps, being run by naxalites and their financial transactions, which ran into lakhs of rupees, were also recovered from the duo.

The literature and data are related to naxal leaders and alleged naxal activist Arun Pereira who had been arrested some months ago near Nagpur, he said.

The duo were produced before a court where they were remanded to police custody till August 22.

Magistrate P P Suroshe, while granting the police custody, also asked the police to get a fresh medical examination done for the duo following their complaint in the court regarding ill-treatment by the police.

The duo were booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Arms Act.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Two Naxals held with explosives

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Mumbai, August 20: Two suspected Naxalites were arrested from a northeast suburb here and arms and explosives recovered from them, police said today.

The duo were arrested from Govandi in an operation carried out by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) last night, Joint Commissioner of Police K P Raghuvanshi said.

The accused were produced before magistrate P P Suroshe, who remanded them to police custody till August 22.

"We also found some Naxalite literature in their possession", a senior ATS official added.

The court asked police to get a fresh medical examination of the duo done following their complaint that they were being ill-treated by police.

The two accused, identified as Shridhar Krishnan and Vernon Gonsalves, were booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Arms Act. (Agencies)

Maoists attack home of Bihar village official, kill three

From our ANI Correspondent

Saran (Bihar), Aug 20: Dozens of Maoist attacked the home of the head of a block in Bihar on Sunday night, and killed three persons.

Nearly 80 Maoists attacked the house of Guddu Singh, the head of the Makeir Block in Saran subdivision of Bihar, and killed his wife, uncle and a bodyguard.

They also burnt several vehicles, including two motorcycles and three cars belonging to the family.

Neighbours said they heard gunfire and saw several vehicles ablaze outside Singh's house. But they were not able to help the family since Maoists stood guard outside the house with guns.

"The sound of about 20 to 25 rounds of bullets and bomb were heard. After that we saw fire, the cars were set ablaze. We thought that the house was set on fire. According to people on the spot, there were 70 to 80 people," said Dhananjay Singh, a neighbour.

The police said the attack was planned by Singh's enemies, who hired the Maoists to settle a personal grudge.

"It appears that some people who animosity with the head of the village had called the Maoists and planned the incident," said Sanjeev Singh, Superintendent of Police in Saran.

Maoists operate in 13 of 29 states along what is described as the "Red Corridor", a stretch of land from the Indo-Nepal border to Andhra Pradesh.

According to the Home Ministry, 76 districts in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are affected by Maoist violence.


Chhattisgarh for chopper surveillance in Maoist den

Posted August 20th, 2007 by TariqueCrime/Terrorism By IANS

Raipur : Concerned by a surge in Maoist activities, the Chhattisgarh government has issued a tender notice to hire a helicopter for police surveillance in the worst hit Bastar region.

"Hiring a 20-seater helicopter is a strategic decision taken by the state government after formal approval of the union home ministry. We cannot afford to allow the extremists to consolidate their bases in thick forested areas where forces cannot reach by road as the area is cordoned off by landmines," home department sources told IANS.

The move is aimed at boosting surveillance in the interiors of Bastar, including the Abujhmad region where guerrillas have reportedly set up war training and explosives manufacturing units.

The tender issued Aug 13 says interested parties should submit their proposal within 10 days "with details of charges per flying hour, minimum flying commitment per month, agreement for stand by helicopter ... and compensation for non-availability of helicopter during urgent operational requirements".

Though the state government has issued the tender notice, the amount spent on the chopper will be reimbursed by the central government, the sources said on condition of anonymity.

Chhattisgarh currently has no helicopter facility to keep a watch on Maoists. There are no choppers to even carry leaders and VIPs on official visits after the state's lone helicopter 'Maina' crashed in a hilly region of neighbouring Madhya Pradesh's Balaghat district last month.

Maoists hold sway in Chhattisgarh's southern Bastar region where rebels have been running a parallel government in interior areas for decades.

The mineral rich state has emerged as the nerve centre of the radicals. In March, Maoists carried one of their biggest attacks on a police camp in Bastar where 55 police personnel were massacred. Last month, rebels killed 24 cops in a mortar attack in the same region.

Dragon tears, not national interest

Ram Madhav

August 20, 2007

Shri B Raman is right; the Communist parties' opposition to the India-United States nuclear deal smacks of utter dishonesty.
More than protecting the national interest, they seem to find vicarious satisfaction in the fact that by hitting at this deal they have succeeded in preventing India and the US from coming closer.

In Andhra Pradesh villages, one would find graffiti on walls by the ultra-Left groups, proclaiming, 'Naxalites are the real lovers of the country.'
The joke used to be -- 'lovers' of which 'country'?

Shri Raman answered that very aptly by referring to another graffiti that he came across in West Bengal -- 'Chairman of China is our Chairman.'

Anyone keeping track of the number of flights the Left leaders have taken to Beijing [Images] in the last three years will not find this observation any exaggeration.

Shri Prakash Karat, general secretary of the Communist Party of India-Marxist, who has become the de facto decision-maker for the United Progressive Alliance government, was, according to the media reports, very categorical in his opposition to the deal.

The late Shri Pramod Mahajan used to quip that the UPA government is run by not one, but three PMs -- PM Manmohan Singh [Images], super PM Sonia Gandhi [Images], and the CPM.

Shri Karat's counterpart in the Communist Party of India, Shri A B Bardhan, even declared that the honeymoon is now over and that it is time for a divorce. It is certainly a silly question to ask Shri Bardhan whether honeymoons are so long -- three years in this case -- and if there is nothing between honeymoon and divorce.

But the important point here is that both the Communist parties have registered strong opposition to the nuclear agreement, thus forcing the UPA government into a tizzy.

Many who were opposed to the deal in the present form were impressed by their strident opposition too. Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shri Lal Kishenchand Advani even went to the extent of calling up Shri Karat to seek floor coordination.

'India-US nuclear deal is not in the national interest,' declared Shri Karat. One of the Left's biggest problems with the deal is that it could restrict India's sovereign right to testing nuclear weapons. They say if India decides to test, the US will terminate the deal.

The Left wants India to obtain guarantees from members of the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group when it meets to ratify the deal. This means the NSG members should commit fuel supplies even if the US terminates the deal.

On the deal, Shri Karat reportedly said that while the 123 Agreement is being presented as a victory for New Delhi's position, 'we find that there are a number of issues on which it falls short of what the prime minister had assured the Parliament' on August 17, 2006.

Under the terms set by the Hyde Act, he said, 'it was clear that one of the key assurances given by the prime minister -- that Indo-US nuclear cooperation would cover the entire nuclear fuel cycle, would be violated.'

The primary concern, going by all these utterances of the Left, is that the deal will be terminated in the event of India going for further nuclear tests, and such a provision is tantamount to India's sovereignty being mortgaged to the US. It will suck India into the vortex of America's geopolitical machinations, the Left leaders thunder.

Good music for our ears.

But the problem is history, which puts a question mark on their intentions. Shri Raman took us back to the 1960s when the Left would pompously declare that Chairman Mao is their Chairman.

But we don't need to go that far back in time.

The great concern for the Left now is about our right to future tests. One of their fellow travellers, Justice V R Krishna Iyer, calls it 'nuclear swaraj.' So much concern!

But what were these Left worthies saying when we actually conducted the nuclear tests in May 1998 at Pokhran?

They organised a 'Convention against Nuclear Weapons' in New Delhi on June 9, 1998, less than a month after the Vajpayee government conducted the tests. In a rare expression of unanimity, eminent speakers from diverse walks of life unequivocally condemned the BJP-led government's decision to conduct nuclear tests, says the report published by the organisers -- quite gleefully.

According to that report, 'Shri H K S Surjeet (then general secretary, CPI-M) said that the tests conducted by the BJP government were designed to whip up jingoistic feelings to serve the narrow interests of a government that was struggling to survive. Shri Surjeet said that the prime minister and his Cabinet colleagues have been deliberately trying to instigate Pakistan through their provocative statements linking nuclear weapons to Kashmir and through overt invitation to Pakistan to engage in a war. He said that it should have been apparent even to the entirely naive, that these provocations would force Pakistan -- whose government is also under pressure in its own country -- to conduct tests of its own. As a result, the BJP government's action has only served to dangerously escalate tensions in the region. But, Shri Surjeet said, the BJP's ploy had actually boomeranged, as is evident from its complete isolation in Parliament when the nuclear issue was debated and its poor showing in the recent by-elections. This shows that the people of India do not want war. What they want from a government is peace and development.'

See the rhetoric?

The tests were 'designed to whip up jingoistic feelings.' They 'instigated Pakistan.' They were an 'invitation to Pakistan to engage in a war.' The tests 'only served to dangerously escalate tensions in the region.' And finally, they had even boomeranged because the BJP had been isolated in Parliament and lost by-elections.

This was the Left's famous line just nine years ago -- that the tests are bad. But now, for the same people, the tests are a symbol of our 'nuclear swaraj'!

Honeymoon specialist Shri Bardhan too was present at that 1998 conference. And the report details graphically what his views were on the tests: 'Shri A B Bardhan said that as a result of the government's action we now live under the shadow of fear, under the shadow of a nuclear threat. It was foolish, he felt, to believe that the proxy war being waged by Pakistan in Kashmir can be countered with nuclear weapons. Pointing out the fallacy in the argument that nuclear weapons act as deterrence against war, he said that after 1945 more wars have been fought on earth than ever before in human history.'

If tests are bad, if they are provocative, if they are foolish, if they epitomise jingoism, why this insistence on the right to test now?

The answer lies elsewhere, to which Shri Raman too tried to draw our attention. They are actually singing someone else's song, dancing to someone else's tunes. All this talk about nuclear swaraj, etc is only a veil. The real concerns are elsewhere.

In a tell-tale report in The Times of India with a Beijing dateline, Saibal Dasgupta quoted several Chinese dailies with an apt and insinuating headline 'China's happy that India-US deal's in trouble.'

'Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily said the US has disregarded international opinion to use India as a 'tool for its global strategic pattern' by supporting New Delhi's nuclear ambitions,' the report stated.

At the 'Anti-Imperialism Convention' in Thiruvananthapuram, Shri Prakash Karat thundered: 'The government will have to pay a heavy political price' if it went ahead with the deal. 'The nuclear deal is not an isolated incident. It is part of a strategic alliance between India and the US,' he said.

The CPI-M leader said the Left parties will oppose any move to make India a junior partner of the 'US-led imperialist alliance.'

How can you expect him to say anything different from the People's Daily?

At least the Congress is honest in its disregard for the national interest. It opposed the Pokhran blasts and decried the National Democratic Alliance government for their decision. Shrimati Sonia Gandhi, in the capacity of the president of the party, reportedly drafted a statement severely chastising the government for conducting the tests.

In the 1998 monsoon session their leader in the House Dr Manmohan Singh warned of the consequences of the tests and a costly arms race, which would send defence expenditure skyrocketing -- to a point where 'there would be nothing left to defend.'

Their later foreign minister Shri K Natwar Singh went to South Korea in 2004 only to regret that 'we hadn't crossed the threshold for 50 years. And the Congress Party didn't, it was the other party.' He then added: 'But regret would be futile... you can't put it back in the tube, it's out.'

No surprise that the government led by the very same people -- Sonia and Manmohan -- is letting India down by pushing for this dangerous deal.

But it is certainly dubious on the part of the Left to project their opposition to the deal as 'in the national interest.'

Ram Madhav is a memmber of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

Two Suspected Maoists Arrested In Mumbai

Monday 20th of August 2007 The elite Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Mumbai Police Monday arrested two suspected Maoists in the north central suburbs of the city and recovered a huge cache of arms and explosives from them.

'We picked up two suspected Maoists from a hideout in Govandi area. We are interrogating the duo and have seized arms and explosives including hand grenades from them,' said Joint Commissioner of Police Krishan Pal Raghuvanshi, who is also ATC chief.

While he did not disclose the identities of the two detained, Raghuvanshi said they would be produced before a local court soon.

Two arrested for naxal links from Govandi

Presley Thomas, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, August 20, 2007
First Published: 13:16 IST(20/8/2007)
Last Updated: 14:05 IST(20/8/2007)

The Mumbai police arrested two middle-class men from the eastern suburb of Govandi on Sunday afternoon for alleged links with the Naxal movement.

Two firearms, gelatin sticks and detonators were recovered from Vernon Gonsalves and Srinivasan Vishnu, said a spokesman of the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS).

The arrest of the duo brings into focus alleged naxal sympathies among a few of Mumbai's highly-educated, middle-class. In May, the police had similarily arrested Arun Ferreira, a science graduate of elite south Mumbai college St Xavier's and once a trainee Roman Catholic priest. Ferreira is still in police custody, charged with waging war against the state.

Gonsalves and Vishnu will be produced before the Esplanade Metropolitan Magistrate's Court on Monday afternoon. Sunil Deshmukh, ATS inspector with ATS said: "Vernon was found firearms and explosives and has been booked under the Arms Act, Explosives Act and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act."

The ATS has also recovered from Gonsalves' home literature from that indicates his links with the naxal movement in rural Maharashtra, said Deshmukh. A close relative of Vernon, requesting anonymity, told HT that Vernon and his wife Susan Abraham had worked among tribals in Chandrapur area between 1984 and 1994.

But Susan came back to Mumbai in 1994 after she gave birth to a son. Vernon, the relative said, then shifted his base to Nashik and had returned back to Mumbai last year. "Vernon was arrested when he went to buy some medicine from a chemist's shop near his house in Mahakali caves at around 1.30 pm on Sunday," said the relative.

The Gonsalves family, including his wife, was not informed about Vernon's arrest till 12.30 am on Monday. "A column of policemen in three Qualis jeeps came to the house with a handcuffed Vernon. It was only then that we were informed of his arrest," the relative said.

"The cops then went on a rampage searching all possible articles in the house. They finally left with the hard disk of his personal computer. We have been told that he was arrested with firearms. But ATS officials failed quantify their claims," the relative said.

His wife Susan was not allowed to call a legal representative and her mobile phone was confiscated. "The first call that Susan was allowed to make was at 7 am on Monday morning," added the relative.

In May, the Hindustan Times ran a nine-part nationwide investigation explaining how armed groups were spreading their influence over the lives of 170 million people across the country sprawling triangle of violence from Kashmir to Manipur to Andhra Pradesh. More than Rs 2,700 crores in development funds meant for extremist-affected districts were not spent in the past financial year.

Additional battalion of ANF soon: Prakash

Monday August 20 2007 10:55 IST
MANGALORE: An additional battalion of Anti Naxal Force (ANF) with 1,117 new cops will be formed very shortly, said Home Minister MP Prakash. Briefing media persons, Prakash said that a proposal in this regard had been sent to the Finance Ministry, which in turn has agreed inprinciple to sanction funds for the new battalion.

"At present, the ANF has 543 cops which is insufficient,’’ he added.

The Ministry has acquired 176 acres in Koppal district to form an Indian Reserve Battalion with 1,110 staff to prevent untoward incidents in North Karnataka, he informed, adding that 50 per cent of the funds would be sanctioned by the Central government.

The department would recruit 4,025 additional staff to make the state police the best in India and the 4,500 personnel recruited last year would be posted to various stations immediately after their training, he said. Talking about a new police commissionerate for Mangalore, Prakash said the proposal had been sent to the Finance Ministry for approval.

‘‘The Ministry has a proposal to open residential school for children of police personnel either in Mangalore or in Udupi,’’ Prakash said.

"As per the recommendations from police officers, the department is planning to increase the amount of insurance paid to the police who die during police operations from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh,’’ he informed.

Prakash said that the local government authorities had sanctioned land for the Malnadu Karnataka State Reserve Police Battalion, which would be formed in Hassan. The Armed Police Training Centre in Hadagali and Kudremukh would also be started soon, he said

Mangalore may get police commissionerate soon


Mangalore: The long pending demand for a police commissionerate for Mangalore may be a reality soon. “A proposal in this regard has already been sent to the Finance Department and the Finance Minister B S Yediyurappa is likely to give a positive response soon,” said Home Minister M P Prakash.

Speaking to media persons after chairing a police officers’ meet of the Western Range (comprising Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Chikmagalur and Karwar) at SP office here on Sunday, he said that there is a need for a police commissionerate for Mangalore as the area is fast developing as an industrial hub.

Armed training school
Plans are on the anvil to open a Armed Training School for police in Kudremukh and a KSRP battalion in Hassan, he said. There is a need to open the Training School in Kudremukh at the earliest as there is dearth of space to train the freshers. “The existing training centre is overcrowded and candidates are being sent to different districts for training,” he said and added that opening the School will help impart training to all the candidates at one particular point in the same time. Clarifying the government stand on evacuation, Mr Prakash said that no person holding ‘patta’ will be evacuated from Thathkola. “There is no question of evacuating any person who is holding a patta.”

Shifting of jail
Mr Prakash also said that land has been identified at two to three places for shifting of Mangalore jail and a decision in this regard will be taken soon. However, he did not disclose the area.

Welfare measuresStating that the 50 per cent of the KSRP personnel have been provided with housing facilities, the Home Minister said that steps will be taken to provide the facility to at least 55 per cent personnel, which is the national average.

Similar is the case with civil police wherein only 40 per cent of them have housing facilities.

Plans are also on the anvil to start a residential school for the children of police personnel either in Mangalore or Udupi on the lines of a residential school in Dharwad.

Plans are also on the anvil to increase the group insurance from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.