Friday, September 21, 2007

New Police Station At Shamshabad Airport

User Rating: / 0 Friday, 21 September 2007

Hyderabad, September 21: In the light of fast developmental activities in the city particularly in Cyberabad area and increase in terrorists activities, Chief Minister Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy has approved the proposal to set up a new police station and a traffic police station at the International Airport at Shamshabad falling under the limits of Cyberabad Commissionerate.

According to a press release by the Chief Minister's Office here today, Dr. Reddy approved the proposal of the DG & IG of police for creation of a new law and order police station with one ACP, one CI, 10 SIs, 25 head constables and 90 police constables.

He also approved the proposal for a new traffic police station with one ACP, one CI, 10 SIs, 20 HCs and 60 PCs.

The approved proposals would have a total recurring expenditure of Rs.1.37 crores for law and order police station and Rs.1.03 crores for traffic police station with non-recurring expenditure of Rs.4.42 crores.

The Chief Minister agreed to have more policing at all vulnerale areas like airports, bus terminals, important places of worship etc. in order to counter terrorists and Maoists activities.

Dr. Reddy also approved the proposal for recruitment of 334 SIs/ RSIs (civil, armed reserve and APSP) with an expenditure of Rs.1.05 crores. Government has also decided to meet the training expenditure during the process of recruitment. A total of Rs.2.04 crores would be required towards stipend during the training period to be paid to SIs, RSIs and PCs, the release added. (NSS)

[Last Updated: ]

CPI-Maoist anniversary hits normal life in Bastar

Sep 21, 2007, 15:39 GMT

Raipur, Sep 21 (IANS) Roads wore a deserted look and normal life came to a standstill in the forest stretches of Chhattisgarh's Bastar region Friday as the radical Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) observed its fourth foundation anniversary.

The CPI-Maoist was founded Sep 21 2004, with the merger of the Peoples' War Group (PWG) and Maoist Communist Centre (MCC).

The group runs parallel government in the interior areas of the mineral-rich Bastar, spread across about 40,000 sq km in southern Chhattisgarh, bordering Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.

'The anniversary celebrations were totally peaceful though transporters kept vehicles off the road and people in the forest areas remained indoors fearing violence,' a police officer told IANS.

The weekly markets in tribal dominant areas were deserted Friday and the lone passenger train and a goods train plying on KK Line from Dantewada district's Kirandul to Kothavalasa in Andhra Pradesh were suspended for the day.

The Bijapur, Dantewada, Bastar, Narayanpur and Kanker districts of Bastar region have been Maoist terror nerve centres for decades.

Violence in the region has escalated since June 2005 when locals launched the Salwa Judum civil movement against Maoists that has forced over 50,000 people to desert their villages and live in government-run relief camps.

© 2007 Indo-Asian News Service

Rly celebrates RPF foundation day

Statesman News Service

BHUBANESWAR, Sept. 20: East Coast Railway today celebrated the 23th Railway Police Force foundation day. Speaking on the occasion, Mr SS Khurana, general manager of East Coast Railway urged the RPF to rise to the occasion and make every possible effort for the smooth running of the rail traffic duly ensuring safety and security of not only the passengers but also the employees.
Mr PK Agarwal, chief security commissioner, Railway Protection Force of the East Coast Railway described the proactive measures taken by RPF during 2006-07 in curbing crime against railway property by deploying patrols, surveillance and special watch. As many as 543 persons were arrested and stolen railway property worth more than Rs 14 lakh was recovered.
A major portion of East Coast railway is prone to Naxalite menace and is subjected to subversive and sabotage activities, he added. In 2006-07, railway property worth about Rs 5 crore was damaged including serious disruption in traffic movement and irreparable loss to national exchequer, Mr Agrawal stated.

Maoists give bandh call in three states

Posted at Friday, 21 September 2007 13:09 IST
Latehar/Chatra (Jharkhand), Sep 21: The outlawed CPI-Maoist on Thursday called a 24-hour bandh in Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh to protest against the arrest of one of its top leaders, Tushar Kant Bhattacharya alias Srikant, and another cadre.

Statements by the Maoists on this were spotted at Latehar and Chatra, reports said.

Bhattacharya, probably the biggest catch this year for police, and his associate were nabbed by a special task force in Patna on Tuesday.

He is the accused in a number of cases registered in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Dehi, Bihar and Chhattisgarh.

He is the chief of the group's "Triple U" unit that operates in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttar (North) Bihar and a member of the international department of the South Asian forum of Naxalite organisations.

Top Naxalite leader held in Patna
PATNA, Sept. 20: A top Naxalite leader, Tushar Kant Bhattacharya alias Srikant, was arrested from a rented house here yesterday. Intelligence Bureau officials from Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Delhi have gathered vital information during the interrogation of the leader associated with the Naxalite Movement since 1974. He has been sent to jail, police said. He is among 50 top Naxalites arrested in Bihar this year.

Bhattacharya, a member of the international wing of the South Asian Forum of Naxal Organisations, was wanted by the police in several states for his involvement in cases of mass murder. Police said the accused had been staying in Patna for the past two months to train cadres in manufacturing improvised explosives and use of explosives.

Acting on an Intelligence input, a police team raided a house in Buddha Colony and arrested Bhattacharya with another accomplice, Umesh. A huge quantity of explosives, timers, pen drives, satellite phone maps and training equipment were seized. n SNS

'No visible Maoist activities in TN'

Chennai,Sept 21: Tamil Nadu stood second in the country in the maintenance of law and order and there were no 'visible' Maoist activities in the state, Chief secretary L K Tripathy said today.

Addressing a press meet here, he said the Government was conducting close surveillance in backward districts like Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri and Vellore where naxal activities were witnessed before.

"The last semblance of Maoist activity in the state was the finding of a naxal,Sundaramoorthy, in Theni forest. Now, the Government is keeping a close watch and also initiating socio-economic development projects including employment in those areas," he said.

Tripathy said Government agencies had established rapport with the youth in order to wean them away from naxal activities and were providing training to them to help them get recruited in uniformed services.

Citing statistics,he said the crime graph had been dipping in the state compared to the last few years. (Agencies)

Published: Friday, September 21, 2007
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The Red See-Saw


The state advances, the Maoists retreat -- but despite several gains in counter-insurgency operations, the threat of the Maoists in Andhra Pradesh is far from over.

Ajai Sahni

The enemy advances, we retreat; the enemy camps, we harass; the enemy tires, we attack; the enemy retreats, we pursue.

Mao Tse Tung

Mao's dictum, ironically, as the example of the counter-insurgency (CI) response in Andhra Pradesh (AP) demonstrates, can apply equally to both 'revolutionary' and state forces.

AP has been a dominant locus of Left Wing Extremism (LWE, Naxalism or Maoism), for decades, well before the original 'Naxalite' movement was sparked in 1967 at Naxalbari in West Bengal. It has, furthermore, been the principal source of the resurgence of the movement since the late 1970s, particularly after the formation of the Peoples War Group (PWG) in 1980, and the wellspring of ideological, strategic and tactical leadership of the movement since then, so much so that the Telengana region, the Naxalite 'heartland' in northern Andhra, had become near-synonymous with the influence of the rebels.

In the late 1990s, the PWG had ranged out of its North Telengana heartland to execute an ambitious strategy of expansion across the entire state--and across state borders, into the neighbouring states of Orissa and (then) Madhya Pradesh. Every one of AP's 23 districts is afflicted by Maoist activities, with 12 districts falling into the 'highly affected' category, seven 'moderately affected' and the remaining 4 'marginally affected'.

The state, with occasional politically engineered variations--as in the disastrous 'peace talks' of 2004--has long accounted for a bulk of all LWE-related fatalities (civilian, security forces and LWE cadres). As recently as 2006, the state accounted for 147 of a total of 463 (31.75 per cent) LWE-related fatalities in the country; in 2005, this number was 320 of 717 (44.63 per cent). The numbers were often much worse in earlier years, with 508 fatalities in the state in 1998, and 483 in 1992, the worst years on record for LWE violence in AP. These numbers dropped to just 41 out of 463 in year 2007 (8.86 per cent, till September 13).

On their own admission, the Maoists have been forced into a phase of 'tactical retreat' in AP, and Communist Party of India--Maoist (CPI-Maoist) Central Committee documents recovered in July-August 2007 note:

We began to suffer losses soon after the breakdown of talks in 2004. Fortification of all police stations, multilayered in many cases, in all our areas of armed struggle is making it difficult to inflict serious losses on our enemy. We did not adopt the correct tactics to counter the enemy offensive in time. We suffered the heaviest losses in Andhra Pradesh part [i.e., Rayalaseema, the extensive Nallamala forest and south Telangana] during the enemy's action plan since November 2005. This led to a gradual decline of the movement, finally resulting in a temporary setback in the state as a whole.

The period after the breakdown of talks has been devastating for the Maoists in AP. Police sources indicate that the talks had created the opportunity for a radical expansion of the Maoist armed cadres in the state, from an estimated 650 before the unilateral ceasefire declared by the state government, rising to over 1100 by the time the talks collapsed. A little over two years later, these numbers have shriveled to under 400.

Maoist fatalities over the 2005-2007 period have totaled 316 (2005: 167; 2006: 122; 2007: 27, till September 13), but it is the arrests and, crucially, the surrenders, that have been infinitely more devastating to insurgent morale. Partial data for year 2007 alone indicates as many as 428 Maoists arrested and 138 surrendered.

Further, as a matter of deliberate policy, Police action has been focused on the rebel leadership and on active cadres, and not on the wider support base, or those who may be coerced into cooperation with the Maoists.

Among those killed in 2007, for instance, is Sendhe Rajamouli aka Prasad/Krishna/Murali, a member of the CPI-Maoist Central Military Commission and State Secretary for Karnataka, who was killed on June 22, 2007, in Anantpur district. Rajamouli ranked second in the Maoist hierarchy, just below Party General Secretary, Muppala Lakshmana Rao aka Ganapathi. Similarly, Settiraju Papaiah aka Venkataramana/Somanna, a member of the North Telengana Special Zonal Committeee, was killed in the Medaram Forest of Warangal district on July 1, 2007.

These killings came in the wake of a slew of Police successes in 2006, which claimed Madhav aka Gurra Chenniah, AP state Committee Secretary; Chandramouli, member of the Central Committee; Telugu Pochaiah aka Venu, the Nallamala Area Committee member; Madhu, the Karimnagar (East Division) Committee Secretary and Cherukuri Rattaiah, a Committee member; among a large number of other dalam and local commanders.

Among those arrested in 2007, there are at least three State Committee members and two district Committee Secretaries. Most alarming for the Maoists has been the surrender of a number of top leaders, including Naganna and Thota Kumaraswamy aka 'Tech Madhu', long-term and committed cadres whose contribution to the movement was well recognized.

The fiercest contest in the 2005-07 period occurred in the Nallamalla Forest area, spanning approximately 13,000 square kilometres across parts of five districts in Central AP--Kurnool, Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda, Guntur, and Prakasam. Under sustained pressure in their Telengana heartland at the turn of the millennium, the then PWG leadership had begun to shift attention to this dense forest region as a safe haven and command centre, and by 2003, had secured a significant concentration in the area. The 'peace talks' period, commencing May 2004, came as a boon for the Maoists across the state, and an intensive effort of recruitment and political mobilisation ensued.

The opportunities of this phase, however, also created extraordinary vulnerabilities, and the latter were assiduously exploited by the Police and state intelligence apparatus. As many of the top Maoist leaders and cadres began to move overground, to mobilize support and to recruit cadres, anonymity was lost, and discipline and established constraints were eroded, augmenting opportunities for intelligence penetration.

Significantly, the Police and intelligence apparatus remained highly active throughout the ceasefire period, trained continuously, consolidated the strengths and capacities of district forces, and passed on the operational lessons of successful campaigns in the Telengana region to forces operating in Nallamalla. The result was that, when the talks collapsed, the state's response capacities were excellent, and information flows were high--though familiarity with the ground within the forest areas was poor and theoretical.

Consequently, there were some initial setbacks, when it was found that available information and maps did not reflect ground situations in sufficient details, resulting in difficulties for the small units that were deployed to seek contact and engage with the Maoists. Within a year, however, every pocket within the Nallamalla Forest area had been covered, including some in the most difficult terrain, creating a comprehensive knowledge base for operations.

More significantly, Police outreach programmes reinforced public disenchantment with the Maoists--who had successfully projected a 'Robin Hood' image in early stages, but had progressively lost popular support--and information flows from the people enabled focused operations against hardcore targets. At the same time, a conscious decision was taken not to act against those who were on the periphery of the movement, providing food, safe haven or other services, which did not directly threaten public security or lives, often under threat from the Maoists.

The result was a series of military successes, including large numbers of arrests and surrenders which yielded additional and crucial information flows, and encouraged further public cooperation as the general confidence in Police capabilities improved. The result was that the Nallamalla Forest, which accounted for well over a third of the total Maoist armed strength of 1,100 in AP in early 2005, now has no more than 60-70 armed cadres dispersed across the area, with the entire top leadership of the Party relocating outside the state, particularly in the Andhra-Orissa Border (AOB) and Dandakaranya (DK) Special Zones, especially the Bastar Region, including the Abujhmadh Forest, of neighbouring Chhattisgarh.

The gains in AP are the consequence of sustained and focused Police responses--which contrast dramatically with the floundering incompetence encountered in other Maoist afflicted states--and of institutional capacities that have evolved systematically over the past decades, to crystallize into a model of decisive engagement with what is India's most strategically and tactically innovative anti-state movement. They have, moreover, been secured despite significant manpower constraints, and within exactly the same national policy environment on police management, modernization and upgradation, and the national policy vacuum on counter-insurgency (CI) and counter-terrorism (CT), that the other states operate under.

It is useful to note that the Andhra Pradesh Police-population ratio, like that of other Maoist-affected states, was well below the national average, at just 99 per 100,000 in 2004, slipping to 98 per 100,000 in 2005, as against a national average of 123 and 122, respectively, in these years
According to the Bureau of Police Research and Development data, significant recruitment has pushed this ratio up to 114 per 100,000, as against a national average of 143 per 100,000 in 2006--and while this is quite healthy in comparison to some of the other main Maoist-affected states [Bihar: 79; Orissa: 100] it lags well behind some of the worst responders [Chhattisgarh: 134; Jharkhand: 164 in 2006], and is also well below international norms, such as the UN recommended minimum ratio at 1:850 or 222 per 100,000 population.

The difference has been imaginative leadership, a succession of Police commanders who have not allowed the experiences of past campaigns to be forgotten, or past gains to be dissipated, continuously building strategic and tactical capabilities against a coherent assessment of the Maoist threat and a detailed understanding of Maoist ideologies, strategies and tactics--once again, contrasting significantly with the patterns of denial, incomprehension, indeed, stupidity, that characterize the orientation, not only of other affected states, but substantially of the Centre as well.

It is not possible, here, to document in detail the various dimensions of state response that have contributed to the striking successes in AP, but the operationalisation of the largest possible component of available forces, a high measure of efficiency in deployment and use, force modernization and the continuous upgradation of technical, technological and operational capabilities lie at the core of the process of sustained adaptation to the evolving Maoist challenge.

The raising of the Greyhounds in 1989, and the subsequent performance of this elite counter-insurgent and jungle warfare Force has been widely noticed and rightly appreciated. What is less known is the enveloping environment of Policing within AP, within which the Greyhounds operate. The Greyhounds do not exist in a vacuum, or in the context of the kind of degraded Policing systems that prevail in other states, but in a system where capacities of response have been reinforced at every level--down to each Police Station and Police Post in the districts.

In addition to the Greyhounds operating in response to specific information across the state, each District Superintendent of Police maintains several Special Teams--ordinarily seven or eight, but up to twenty in some cases--for CI operations within the district Police command structure. No Police Station or Post has been left vulnerable to attack, and it is noticeable that not a single such target has come under the pattern of 'swarming attacks' by combinations of Maoist armed cadres and militia that are occurring with increasing frequency in other states since 2004

The creation of widely dispersed, decentralized capacities of response in the districts has not only yielded significant operational successes within the districts, it has created a general environment in which the movement of Maoist armed cadre has become increasingly difficult, and large group attacks virtually impossible, across the state. Indeed, at one time, every major Police success would meet immediate retaliatory operations by the Maoists. Continuous studies of the sources of such retaliation, as well as the general augmentation of Police capacities, have so completely eroded Maoist cadres and command structures that such retaliation has become rare and at least occasionally, counterproductive, as in the case of the killing of the mother of a Sub-Inspector of Police, which provoked mass public revulsion.

Crucially, there has been tremendous cooperation between the district Police, the state Intelligence Bureau, the Greyhounds, and the senior-most levels of the state Police command, which has cut response time to a minimum, and maximized response impact.

Despite these several gains, however, the threat of the Maoists in Andhra Pradesh is far from over. The rebels retain significant operational capacities in four districts of the state the AOB region, and these are reinforced by the soft state borders and safe havens they enjoy in the neighbouring states. The AOB region occurs at the trijunction of three states--AP, Orissa and Chhattisgarh, within a wide swathe of hilly jungles. Active cooperation with the Orissa Police, and some joint operations across the Andhra-Orissa Border, have made the operating environment difficult for the Maoists.

However, there is a measure of impunity along the Chhattisgarh border, as the state is yet to deploy an effective Force or strategy to engage with the Maoists, and offers little assistance to AP forces against Naxalite operations across the state border. The AOB areas, moreover, have a harsh terrain and topography, with steep hills and dense forests, a very sparse population (many of the widely dispersed habitations consist of no more than four or five hutments), poor Police presence, and, currently, a very poor information and intelligence base.

This is also malaria country, and illness fells more men--both among the Maoists and the state forces--than actual conflict. Senior Police commanders, however, insist that, within a focused strategic context, these factors will work more to the state's advantage than to that of the Maoists. As one officer noted, "Life is very difficult for both the Maoists and our forces. But the forces have the entire machinery and infrastructure of the state at their disposal, and we can overcome the difficulties. It is just a matter of time before we establish dominance. Already, the Maoists in the AOB region are able to execute no more than random and stray attacks. No concentrated design or calculation is visible in their operations."

The Maoists also retain significant residual capacities to inflict dramatic attacks on critical targets across AP--and the failed attack on former Chief Minister, Janardhan Reddy, on September 7, 2007, is proof of these capabilities. The seizure of vast quantities of explosives, missiles, communications equipment and other instruments of war from Maoist cadres and dumps is evidence of the vast arsenal at the disposal of the Naxalites. Moreover, the Party's continuing efforts to recruit and train armed cadres and mobilize political support are still in evidence across the state, though these have been tremendously hampered by improved Police and intelligence penetration and dominance.

Rattled by the attack on Janardhan Reddy, as well as by the succession of Islamist terrorist bombings in the state capital, Hyderabad, senior Police sources indicate that the state government has approved the immediate recruitment of an additional 13,000 personnel into the Police--with a provision for further augmentation to 20,000, if the need is felt--principally to expand the Armed Reserves and the Intelligence capacities of the Police. At nearly 15 per cent of the existing force of 91,000 (in 2006), and complemented by a range of administrative, technical and technological force multipliers, this will constitute a tremendous surge in response capabilities.

Nevertheless, it is useful to recall that the AP Police has won many victories in the past, and has repeatedly cleared major areas of the state, only to see the movement revive after a while, under the shadow of political and administrative neglect, or of active political mischief, particularly when elections are around the corner.Moreover, the fundamental grievances and difficulties that afflict the poorer segments of the population--and that are exploited by the Maoist in their recruitment campaigns--persist, and the many developmental programmes that the state government and the centre have announced over the years, including ambitious plans under the present regime, have had a very poor record of implementation on the ground.

The Maoists have demonstrated their resilience, their capacities for resurgence after successive defeats, and a tremendous aptitude for adaptation and survival. The institutional transformations within the AP Police and Intelligence establishment, and enormous augmentation of state capacities of response will certainly act as powerful obstacles to any easy and overwhelming revival of LWE in the state, but cannot be absolute proof against the consequences of persistent state neglect, administrative decline, and political mischief.

Ajai Sahni is Editor, South Asia Intelligence Review [SAIR]; Executive Director, Institute for Conflict Managemnt Courtesy, SAIR.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Nine Ranvir Sena men get life term for massacre of 34

Posted : Thu, 20 Sep 2007 11:56:11 GMT
Author : IANS

Patna, Sep 20 - A Bihar court Thursday sentenced nine Ranvir Sena members to life imprisonment for the massacre of 34 people in 2000.

Aurangabad Additional District Judge Krishna Kant Dwivedi passed the sentence after finding them guilty of the massacre. Two other accused in the case were acquitted for want of adequate evidence.

According to the police, 34 people belonging mostly to the backward castes and dalits, including nine children and 13 women, were killed and 15 others injured by the armed men on June 16 2000.

Ranvir Sena, private militia of the landed upper caste, claimed responsibility of the massacre a day after the incident.

Miyanpur is an inaccessible backward village, barely 10 km from Senari village where the Maoists killed 34 upper caste villagers in 1999.

Jharkhand chopper for anti-Maoist operation remains grounded

Ranchi, Sep 20 : The Jharkhand government is raring to go after the Maoist guerrillas who have stepped up violence, but it has a problem. A Dhruv helicopter bought specially for anti-Maoist operations has remained grounded as the state government is yet to pay for the chopper.

The state government paid Rs.2 million to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), makers of Dhruv, for the helicopter a few months back. But it is yet to pay the HAL the balance of Rs.1.5 million towards the chopper price. Pending the payment, the state-run firm has asked the government not to fly the chopper.

"We will soon make the remaining payment and the helicopter can be used for the purpose it was purchased," Chief Minister Madhu Koda said.

Security personnel find it difficult to launch an operation against the rebels due to the topography of the state. Maoists use their knowledge of hilly, forest regions to their advantage.

Jharkhand wanted a chopper equipped with latest technology and weapons systems to help security forces tackle Maoists. Now it has one.

But not only has the state government failed to pay for the chopper, it also has no pilots who have experience of flying Dhruv.

Jharkhand has two pilots: chief pilot Ajay Kumar Srivastav and wing commander Animesh Mukherjee. They have routine flying experience, but they do not have any experience of anti-insurgency operations.

State officials also said Mukherjee was quitting the job to join a private company. Flying Dhruv requires two pilots, according to the norms, they added.

The state government would soon put out advertisements for pilots, and the process of hiring them would be completed with9in three months, a home department official told IANS.

But police officials doubt whether Jharkhand will get the pilots soon.

"The maximum package the state government can offer is Rs.800,000 per annum while private airlines offer a minimum package of Rs.1.2 million per annum," a police official involved in the anti-Maoist drive said, declining to be named in the report.

--- IANS

Maoists ask Bastar people to celebrate their anniversary

Posted : Thu, 20 Sep 2007 11:07:09 GMT
Author : IANS

Raipur, Sep 20 - The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), an outfit of Maoist insurgents with terror bases in at least 13 Indian states, has asked people in its stronghold of Chhattisgarh's Bastar region to celebrate the party's foundation anniversary on Friday, a senior police officer said.

'The outfit has pasted banners and posters in the interiors of Bastar region's Kanker and Narayanpur districts, asking people to celebrate the foundation anniversary on Sep 21, Friday,' Pawan Dev, Kanker Range deputy inspector general of police, told IANS.

The CPI-Maoist was founded on Sep 21, 2004, with the merger of the Peoples' War Group (PWG) and Maoist Communist Centre (MCC). The group runs parallel governments in certain interior forested parts of mineral-rich Bastar, which is spread across about 40,000 sq km in southern Chhattisgarh, bordering Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.

'Patrolling has been intensified and forces put on high alert after we recovered banners and posters of CPI-Maoist asking people to join in their foundation day anniversary celebrations,' Dev said, adding 'the rebels have not called for a strike Friday, but they might hold functions such as meetings and can target government installations.'

A source in the state home department said: 'Thousands of paramilitary troops of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and State Armed Forces (SAF) have been relocated to government facilities and strategic locations in Bastar, including the National Mineral Development Corporation's (NMDC) iron ore mining facilities at Bailadila hills in Dantewada district to counter Maoists' attacks during Friday's celebrations.'

In March this year, Maoist rebels massacred 55 policemen in Bijapur district in one of the worst ever attacks carried out on security forces since Maoists' armed struggle began in India in 1967 from a remote village in West Bengal.

The police estimate that about 5,000 Maoists armed with AK-47 rifles, rocket launchers, mortars and landmines are active in Bastar region, backed by about 20,000 cadres who carry self-loading rifles and traditional weapons like bows and arrows and sharp-edged weapons.

The Bijapur, Dantewada, Bastar, Narayanpur and Kanker districts of Bastar have been Maoists' terror nerve centres for decades. Tension in the region has escalated since June 2005 when locals launched the Salwa Judum civil movement against Maoists that has forced over 50,000 people to desert their villages and live in government-run relief camps.

NJR flays cops for not flushing out Naxals

Thursday September 20 2007 05:12 IST

NELLORE: Former chief minister N Janardhan Reddy was critical of the police for not taking effective steps to prevent Maoists from using the district as their ‘shelter zone’.

Reddy, who along with his minister wife Rajyalakshmi, narrowly escaped from the landmine blast triggered by Maoists at Chendodugutta near Vakadu recently was in the city to participate in the 10 th day ceremony of Nagarjuna Reddy, his close aide who was killed in the blast.

Reddy minced no words and said that, "it is an open secret that Nellore has become a haven for the Maoists and the police failed to flush them out from the dense forests in the district."Alleging that the apthy of the police has resulted in the killing of many innocent people, he said that the killing of three Congress men in the recent landmine blast was one of them.

Reddy further said, "I never thought that I will be targeted in my own village, though I had escaped earlier from Maoists attack in Guntur district."

Stating that it was inevitable for any chief minister to deal firmly with the Naxals, he said that he had imposed the ban on the Naxalites to save the lives of innocent people

Now FM radio to curb Red menace

Patna, September 20, 2007
First Published: 22:39 IST(20/9/2007)
Last Updated: 22:44 IST(20/9/2007)

Nitish Kumar government is planning to set up FM radio and local video centres in different parts of the State to curb the Naxal menace.

The government has urged the Centre to simplify licensing procedures for setting up FM radio and video centres and involve the Broadcast Engineering Consultant India Limited (BECIL) in providing technical support to the State in this regard.

Making this demand, the State Information and Public Relations Department Secretary Vivek Kumar Singh said Bihar was contiguous to the international border and many parts of the State were affected with Naxal activities. “It thus becomes imperative to spread awareness about the development activities and policies of the government among the masses. The FM radio and local network television would be useful in spreading such awareness and curbing Naxal activities,” he said.

Singh said the licensing procedures should be made easy and speedy clearance should be granted for setting up FM radio and video centres. He also demanded that DTH should be established and radio and TV sets should be distributed free of cost in the Naxal-affected areas

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Maoist leader's visit: Vigilance up in Kerala borders

Thiruvananthapuram, Sept. 19 (PTI): The Kerala Police has tightened vigil along the Kerala-Tamil Nadu borders following reports that Maoist leader Sundaramurthy from the neighbouring state visited Idukki district in Kerala before his arrest in July last.

Sundaramurthy, who was arrested by the Tamil Nadu Police, was learnt to have stayed in Nedumkandam, Santhanpara and Parathode, Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told the Kerala Assembly today.

He said a native of Vavunia in Sri Lanka, identified as Sadaratinam, was also held from Nedumkandam in Idukki district last month for not carrying required travel documents.

Considering reports of the visit of TN Maoists, having links with Sri Lankan terrorist groups, to Idukki district, police have been asked to enhance vigil on the state borders, the minister said in a reply.

Security has also been stepped up across the state, based on the central intelligence alert in the wake of the recent Hyderabad blasts, he said.

Police have been instructed to closely monitor foreigners visiting the state in general and Pakistan citizens in particular.

Look out circulars have been issued to airports and sea ports and police special branch has been asked to strictly check hotels where foreigners are staying, he said.

Naxalite commander held in Patna

Posted at Wednesday, 19 September 2007 20:09 IST
Patna, Sep 19: A top CPI (Maoist) leader wanted by the police of seven states was today arrested from his shelter here.

Tushar Kant Bhattacharya, accused in a number of cases of mass murders in naxalite violence-prone Karimnagar, Prakasam and Adilabad districts of Andhra Pradesh between 1974 and 1980, was arrested by the special task force and district police from a rented house in Dujra locality, IG (Operations) S.K. Bharadwaj told reporters.

Apart from AP, he was also wanted in connection with several cases in Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Delhi.

From Kagaznagar village in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh, Bhattacharya shifted to Maharashtra in the 1980s when police turned the heat on him. He was appointed a member of the state committee of the organisation then known as People's War.

Bharadwaj said at present he was the underground outfit's chief for ‘Triple U’ (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Uttar (North) Bihar) and a member of the international department of South Asian forum of Naxalite organisations.

Acting on specific intelligence input, a team led by Deputy Superintendent of Special Task Force (STF) Vinod Kumar raided Bhattacharya's hideout where he was living for about a month-and-a-half and arrested him without any resistance.

Though no firearms were recovered, police seized a huge volume of naxal literature, a pendrive and a timer used to detonate bombs.

He was produced before Chief Judicial Magistrate R.K. Singh who remanded him to judicial custody for 14 days, Bharadwaj said.

Andhra Pradesh extremist arrested in Bihar

Patna, Sep 19 : A Maoist, Tushar Kant Bhattacharya, considered to be a thinktank of the banned Maoist outfit and active in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra for the past 30 years, was arrested from Dujra Locality under Buddha colony police station here today.

Inspector General (Operations) S K Bharadwaj said here that the arrested had joined the banned outfit in 1974 and been operating all over the country using different names.

He said following a tip off, the STF raided a house in Dujra locality and arrested Mr Bhattacharya, who was living there in a rented house.

He said incriminating documents and literature of naxalites, pentimer and explosives in huge quantity were recovered from the house during the raid.

Police were searching the laptop of Tushar, missing since the raid, he added.

He said Mr Bhattacharya had been entrusted with the responsibility of the activities of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Uttar Bihar (UUU) committee of the outfit and was running the committee's mission from the rented house in Patna for the past several months.

Another extremist Brajmohan Ram of Piro in Bhojpur district was also arrested along with Tushar.

Mr Bhardwaj said 52-year-old Tushar was well versed in six languages - Telegu, Kannada, Bangla, Marathi, Hindi and English, and used to translate the naxalite-related literature in these languages to impart training to the extremists.

He said police teams from Delhi, Maharahstra and Andhra Pradesh had arrived here to interrogate Tushar, who carried cash prize on his head and was wanted by police in connection with several activities.

Police later produced Tushar along with Brajmohan Ram in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, who remanded them to judicial custody till October 3.

On the prayer of police, the court allowed ten days police remand for custodial interrogation of Mr Bhattacharya.

Soma Sen, wife of Mr Bhattacharya, was also made named accused in the case for actively assisting her husband in his activities.

Police also recovered of her some letters from the possession of Mr Bhattacharya.

--- UNI

Naxal threat: Cabinet secretary to visit Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh

Wednesday September 19 2007 00:00 IST
Manan Kumar

NEW DELHI: K M Chandrasekhar, Cabinet Secretary will take stock of developmental and security concerns in Naxal-hit states of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh this week.

This is perhaps the first time that country's topmost official, accountable directly to the Prime Minister, would visit the Naxal heartland to do some tough talking with top State Government officials.

Before having a stock taking meeting in Jharkhand on September 21, the cabinet secretary along with a battery of senior officials from the Union Ministries of Home, Tribal Affairs, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Environment & Forest and Planning Commission, is likely to assess the situation on the ground.

Both, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, are not only the worst affected among nine top Naxal-hit states, they also have a bad record on the development front. Figures of Union Home Ministry corroborate this. According to the data there were 1,509 incidents of Naxalite violence in 2006 as against 1,608 incidents in 2005.

Though this shows a marginal decline of 6.15 per cent in terms of incidents of violence, the casualties in 2006 were 678 as against 677 in 2005. Chhattisgarh alone accounted for 47.38 per cent of the total incidents and 57.22 per cent of the total casualties during 2006.

Until June this year, a total of 249 persons - 69 civilians, 113 security personnel, and 67 alleged Naxalites - have been killed. The highest number of killings was reported from Chattisgarh (141), followed by Andhra Pradesh (39) and Jharkhand (29). A major concern for the centre is that over 45 per cent of the casualties in 2007 are of security personnel. The killings of security personnel have increased in Jharkhand and Orissa -24 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

These figures, say officials, is one of the reasons why cabinet secretary has been asked by the Prime Minister to visit the two states. The cabinet secretary would also dwell upon issues relating to the development of infrastructure, creation of employment and improvement in the quality of life in the rural areas and tribal belts which have been witnessing violence by Naxalites.

"An important task at his hand would be to see how various schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, PMGSY, NREGS, BRGF and special schemes for tribal communities including implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Regulation of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 can be implemented and monitored in a focused manner, to defeat the Naxal agenda," said an official.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

MHA issues security alert to Indo-Nepal border states

New Delhi, Sept. 18 (PTI): The Union Home Ministry today issued security alert to all the five states along the Indo-Nepal border in view of political developments in the Himalayan nation.

The Sashatra Seema Bal (SSB), the para-military force guarding the 1,500-km border, has been asked to keep maximum vigil along the porous boundary to check movement of criminals and flow of arms, a senior Home Ministry official said.

Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim governments have been told to remain vigilant, he said.

Nepal today plunged into a political crisis with Maoists pulling out of the coalition government dealing a blow to the fragile peace process after their demand for abolition of monarchy was rejected.

Clouds of uncertainty over Nepal: Maoists quit

By NI Wire Views:14
New Delhi Comments:0

Sep 18: Monarchy or no monarchy? Abolition or retention? , one of the contentious issue among the parties in Nepal came to the surface and Maoists just decided to quit the Government pushing the country to another phase of uncertainty.

Since the constitution of the interim government Maoists are firm in demanding the abolition of the monarchy and are not ready even to settle with the constitutional monarchy on the British pattern. They want the end of monarchy before the constituent assembly elections which are scheduled to be held in November.

Ruling out any resumption of old methods of armed conflict Maoists told that they now will follow peaceful methods of protest. They blamed the Prime Minister and the foreign intervention for the break-down of talks over the issue of monarchy.

Prime minister opines that constituent assembly will decide the issue whether monarchy should be abolished or retained after the elections.

Maoists have arranged a rally in Kathmandu to decide their further strategy. Blaming that Prime Minister is trying to save the king Maoists pledged that they will start a new revolt against the retention of monarchy.

Maoist spokesperson told, “We have quit because there was no response to our 22 demands and it is going to create the political crisis in Nepal.” They also demanded proportional representation system for elections. Apart from these Maoists wanted that people from People’s Liberation Army should be accommodated in Nepal Army which was unacceptable to Army.

All the four ministers in the government have resigned. The step was taken when their demands of declaring Nepal a republic were not fulfilled on Monday. The step may reverse the progress achieved after a peace accord was signed between the Maoists and government ending years old insurgency.

Vinoba Bhave - An Entrepreneur or a Fool?

Shantanu Dutta
18 September 2007, Tuesday

The 112th birth anniversary of Acharya Vinoba Bhave has passed us by. Yet none remembered him; recently, V S Naipaul lambasted him. Dubbed, perhaps rightly, “Sarkari Saadhu”, people like Indira Gandhi got him to support unpopular decisions.

THE 11TH OF SEPTEMBER 2007 was the 112th birth anniversary of Acharya Vinoba Bhave. His name has now become so obscure that even the routine speech and garlanding of the statue has been dispensed with. In fact, it has been that way for many years now. Recently he was in the news because the well known author V.S. Naipaul lambasted him soundly, calling him a “foolish parody of Gandhi”. Yet in his time, he made it to the cover of TIME magazine, won the Ramon Magsaysay award for community leadership in its inaugural year (P. Sainath received it this year) and was called a great social entrepreneur by the Asoka Foundation, alongside the likes of Florence Nightingale. And to top it all, he was posthumously awarded the ‘Bharat Ratna’.

Was Vinoba a fool or an eccentric entrepreneur? By the time I came to know about him, he was past his prime and was derisively referred to as the “Sarkari Sadhu”, or the State-approved holy man who could be called upon to bless unpopular and controversial decisions. I remember two of them. When Mrs. Gandhi imposed emergency in 1975 and it was vehemently opposed by JP, Acharya Kripalani and a few other surviving Gandhians, she promptly paraded Acharya Vinoba Bhave who declared that the period of emergency was actually Anushashan Parva, a time of discipline. But because by then Vinoba Bhave had allegedly grown senile, his pronouncement carried little clout.

On many other occasions, Hindu sants would go on an agitation demanding a ban on cow slaughter. This was something that Vinoba Bhave too was passionate about. But while the other sants remained generally hostile to the government, Vinobaji, after a couple of days of token fast, would be placated with some vague assurances and a glass of lime juice. Often because Vinoba Bhave enjoyed a much higher stature than the typical Sadhu, the back of the agitation would be broken.

But there was a lot more to Acharya Vinoba Bhave than the eccentricities associated with his old age. He was the original “Padyatri”, a man who was deeply learned in Eastern philosophy and skilled in mathematics. His utter simplicity of manner and dress belied the fact that he was at home in 18 Indian and foreign languages, including Persian, Arabic, French and English.

Bhoodan is Acharya Vinoba Bhave’s lasting contribution, though in retrospect, it was a movement that failed. But it is the sheer effort of the man and the nobility of his motive that attracted attention. As far back as 1953, the TIME put him on its cover and said that his popularity ranked next only to that of Pandit Nehru in the post-Gandhi era.

Vinoba Bhave and his followers vowed to collect 50 million acres of land from India’s landlords by the simple process of "looting with love." The largest single gift of 100,000 acres was given by a Maharajah. The smallest was one-fortieth of an acre donated by a Telengana peasant who owned only one acre himself. By the time the Bhoodan movement petered out, Vinoba had walked for 13 years, over 36,000 miles, accepting over 4.4 million acres of land.

Vinoba was a communicator, simplifier and translator of Gandhian thought. Though nowhere near Gandhi in terms of humour or charisma, he could convince anyone. Bandits laid down their weapons at his feet and repented. As he said of himself and perhaps most of us – “Though we are small men we can stand on the shoulders of giants and perhaps see a little farther…” In today’s times, when so much of the unrest in our country is about land rights and unequal land distribution and an agitation is being fuelled by Naxalites and proponents, it is a pity that Bhoodan has not been given another chance.

Evolve a coordinated policy to fight terror

The frequency, as well as intensity of terrorist attacks in the country has steadily increased, despite promises by the Central and state governments to mobilize forces to effectively deal with them. The well publicized initial "breakthroughs" end up in the police trail going virtually cold.

We have not beard much about who are the real cuprites behind such motivated and senseless violence in the country because they are mostly foreigners with links to various jihadi organisation in the neighbouring countries and are never caught. Only the delivery boys who plant the bombs are sometimes caught, but their sponsors and the main players remain invisible.

The delivery boys are often themselves ignorant about their actual sponsors because terror planning takes place away from the intended scene of crime and the master-minds have enough time to cover up their tracks well. Official statistics show that after Iraq, India is the country that has been the victim of most terrorist attacks globally.

India lost 3,674 lives between January 2004 and March 2007. The terror groups have caused the highest number of civilian deaths in places, such as, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Malegaon, and Varanasi and in running trains.

The investigating agencies often blame jehadi organisation in Pakistan and Bangalore, such as Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Harkat-ul-jehadi-Islami being responsible, for these attacks, but most often fail to apprehend the foreigners connected with these and responsible for carrying out the attacks.

Lack of Centre-state coordination in tackling the menace is often blamed for fail-ure, with the states often ignoring warnings by Central investigating agencies about impending attacks and failing to discharge their primary law and order responsibilities. But, a basic, comprehensive and coordinated policy to fright the menace has yet to evolve.

For instznoe, classified report of the Central Government issued on August 21 has specifically listed three cities for possible attacks by Islamist terrorists - Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chandigarh, enough the last named city has so far been spared. It may well be a tactical decision on the part of the investigators to keep the actual number of unexploded bombs under wraps, but it is evident that the recent Hyderabad strikes were intended to be far more wide ranging and lethal.

The selection of targets, the types of exploded devices and the explosive material that had gone into their making and modus operandi provide a treasure trove of leads for the investigating agencies to locate the terror cell. The targets were unarmed, innocent civilian and provide the real motive behind the strikes. They were neither Naxalites, who are loath to attack soft targets, nor Al Qaida supporters, who believe in taking on high-profile targets.

The investigators are almost certain that the bombers were Islamist terrorists, whose objective was to set off a communal situation. The Mecca Masjid attack in Hyderabad three months ago too was part of the same strategy, who is interested in fomenting communal violence in India and why? Several guesses are possible, but it is for the investigators to find out who were responsible for the attacks and what was the motivation behind killing fellow Muslims.

The national focus ought to be on seriousness of the threat, its short and long-term implications, and our capacity to counter it, both in term of policy formulation and execution, and how to remove the deficiencies. This would involve considering ways to leverage civil society, the scientific community and religious leaders in order to neutralize the fast-expending domestic base of terrorism, including availability of hardware and human resources, collaborative linkages of the terrorists with organized crime, gun runners, drug syndicates, hawala operators, subversive radical groups and how to break the nexus.

This calls for a comprehensive approach with the involvement of several government agencies and not only the police and its intelligence set up. For many years Pakistan has pursued a policy of sending terrorists belonging to the various jehadi outfits patronized by its intelligence agencies to India to raise and train local terrorists, finance them and also manage to smuggle in arms and ammunition for carrying out assigned missions.

Even if they are present in India, they manage to slip out of the country a day or two before the actual blast takes place and are therefore very rarely caught. On April 1 this year, an ISI agent, Maqsood Ahmed was arrested while recruiting young men for sabotage and espionage activities. He was not interrogated thoroughly and none knows what happened to him.

One Mohammad Sayeed was arrested by the west Bengal police from Jharkhand Jantara district and he gave a lot of information about his links with terrorist modules in Hyderabad. On May 25, Shoaib Jagirdar, muttawali (custodian) of a local dargah, was arrested for sending RDX and young men to Hyderabad to execute terrorist act, but he was reportedly set free under political pressure. On June 15, Mohammad Abdul Sattar, an ISI agent, confessed he had received arms training in Pakistan along with Shahid who was responsible for the May 18 Hyderabad blasts. On August12, the Aurangabad police seized 29 kg of ammonium nitrate explosives, abandoned by a man who had come from Secunderabad but was never caught. Following up stepped up border vigilance; Pakistan has established cells in Bangladesh with the connivance of various terrorist organizations for strikes in India. This explains why the current phase of terrorism has distinct Bangladeshi dimension.

Most of the recent cases are linked to Harker-ul-Jihad-e-Islami, which has an extensive network. Al Qaeda's links with this organization are old and intimate with total ideological convergence. Though the organization is banned in Bangladesh, it continues to function as do most of the banned jehadi set-up banned by Gen Musharraf in Pakistan. Successive Bangladesh governments have denied the existence of any terror organizations, which operate inside India, including the ULFA top leaders who have established extensive businesses in the country and live in considerable luxury.

But, it is time to concentrate on the internal dimension of terrorist violence and try to control it. It is well known that the states have been frittering away resources and have not provided adequately for law and order responsibilities, the Central intelligence agencies are grossly understaffed and the state agencies grossly inefficient. The manner in which large groups of policeman, even up to several hundred, were easily massacred by naxalities in Chattisgarh proves how poorly trained and motivated they are.

The Centre should provide the needed assistance for upgrading their training and weaponry. There is little logic behind the BJP's demand for revival of POTA because rigorous laws are no substitute for good intelligence, policing and investigation. Inefficient state forces often misuse the draconian powers vested in them and routinely violate human rights without, of course, nabbing the real culprits. The piecemeal approach to fighting terror will not work because the phenomenon is multi-dimensional and calls for a multi-disciplinary approach. The problem has assumed such a dimension that the police and intelligence agencies cannot fight it out, relying solely on antiquated methods and equipment.

Importantly, there should be no political interference in investigations into activities of some militant minority organizations and their fanatical supporters, according to intelligence agencies, terrorist violence in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh has increased because the police is not allowed to probe terror links of some Islamist organizations in these states. Of course, no action should be taken in a spirit of vendetta, but inaction is a recipe for disaster as the recent bombings have shown. In this the active cooperation of the minority community and its leaders should be solicited so that terror does not grow and unemployment young men, who are religiously motivated, do not become terrorists for lure of money. While we much increase the manpower of the intelligence and police agencies, we must ensure that they are properly equipped and motivated. Their leadership should not be foisted according to the whims of politicians because that demoralizes the forces completely. Competent leadership is as important as competent and fully trained and equipped foot soldier. The Prime Minister's office should evolve a mechanism of content monitoring if intelligence inputs relating to terror and fellow up action by the states.

MK Dhar, NPA

No imposition of POTA in Punjab: CM

18 Sep, 2007, 1912 hrs IST, PTI

PUNJAB: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday ruled out imposition of tough terror law POTA, enacted during NDA rule, in the state saying it had no relevance here as people are firmly against terrorism and the fundamentalist forces.

Sometimes, the strict provisions of laws like POTA create fear psychosis and uncertainty in the minds of the people and it should be applied sparingly where the law and order situation was beyond any one's control especially in naxalite-infested states like Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand, Badal told reporters here.

He said the law and order situation in Punjab was absolutely fine and did not warrant such laws.

The people of the state had suffered the brunt of decade-long terrorism and the bitter memories of those black days were still afresh in our minds, the Chief Minister said.

"It was an unfortunate period in the history of Punjab that had retarded the process of development in the state from which we have yet not been able to recoup", he said.

Maoists allege arrest of senior leader

Andhra Pradesh - Hyderabad

K. Srinivas Reddy

HYDERABAD: Maoists have alleged that the Andhra Pradesh police had been illegally detaining Santosh, a senior member of the Central Technical Committee of the naxalite party, who was believed to be taken into custody in Mumbai on August 24.

In a statement here on Monday, Maoist spokesperson Azad alleged that the Special Intelligence Branch of the Andhra Pradesh police had picked up Santosh from his rented house in Mumbai.

Condemning the arrest and illegal detention, Mr. Azad demanded that he be produced in a court of law immediately. Apprehending threat to the life of Santosh, the Maoist leader warned of retaliatory attacks if any harm was done to him. He warned that the ruling party leaders would have to pay a price for any harm done to Santosh.

Charge dismissed

Meanwhile, contacted by The Hindu, a senior police officer dismissed the Maoists’ charge as baseless.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Maoists shoot on a crowd during a Hindu festival

Where are Human Rights groups ? Is it not attack on RELIGIONS FREEDOM , Or they say since Nepal is Hindu Kingdom it can be ignored or it applies only when minorities are Non-hindu ?????

by Kalpit Parajuli
Dozens of wounded among the worshippers above all women, who were celebrating the feast of Teej. Some speak of local conflicts, but Maoist militants say it is a strategy to force government decisions. Fears grow that they want to return to the use of violence.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Dozens of people were injured, some seriously when Maoist guerrillas opened fire at a Hindu celebration in western Nepal on Saturday. The guerrillas, following a minor dispute with local authorities and mainly women celebrating Hindu Teej festival, attacked the gathering at Arunkhola in Nawalparasi district, some 300 kilometer west from Kathmandu. Two of the injured are in coma.

Hata Maya Gurung says that “They attacked almost all they encountered on the way while brandishing their pistols". Surya Subba, 40, describes that," they put a pistol against my chest and beat me up”.

The Teej festival is dedicated to women who ask for a happy marriage, children and purify their bodies. For the first three days they were their best dressed and gather in ritual song and dance, often remaining together until midnight. This is why there were mainly women at the festival, who fled when the aggressors opened fire.

Protesting the incident, the locals obstructed the transportation demanding removal of Maoist cantonment that the Maoists responsible are brought to justice and compensation to the injured. The transportation was resumed after the Maoists signed a contract to compensate 200 US dollars to each of the injured and not to threaten the locals any more. Maoist chairman Prachand alias Puspa Kamal Dahal dis-associated himself from events. He also said,” We will investigate the incident and if we find any mistake by our combatant we will take action against the culprit”.

It seems, however, that the combatants were protesting against the government which also includes Maoist ministers, in order to “pressure the government into declaring Nepal a Republic”, as the division commander, Pratiksha alias Prakash Thapa, speaking to the Asianews confirmed.

But concerns are on the increase that the Maoists, despite being part of the government, do not want to respect democratic methods, or the signed peace accord.

The UN office monitoring arms management in Nepal has strongly condemned the demonstration.

Jharkhand police to guard against naxals

Bishwesh Arya
Sunday, September 16, 2007 (Tamar)
The new face of the Jharkhand police is armed with sickles, bows and arrows. These personnel are supposed to guard banks that are based in rural areas.

The so-called security measure has been put in place for those banks that have been either robbed or attacked by robbers in the past. No wonder bankers still feel unsafe.

''We are unsafe here and our customers also feel unsafe,'' said U K Sinha, Asst Branch Manager.

Tamar, located along the highway 60 kilometres from the state capital Ranchi, is a known Naxal stronghold and a robbers' paradise.

And the guards posted here are more concerned about their safety than the security of banks.

NDTV: Were you present when the bank was looted?

Tilak Mahto, Police Guard: Yes. The robbers had looted the place at gunpoint and we could only stand helpless.

In 2004, 18 bank robbery cases were registered in Jharkhand. The figure went up to 20 in 2005. Till July this year, 14 cases were lodged.

The state has nearly 1,300 branches of various banks and police say they cannot do much.

''There are too many banks in the villages and it is impossible for the police to track each one of them,'' said R K Malik, DIG, Ranchi.

As things stand, people may be better off keeping their hard-earned savings at home than bank on the security at their neighbourhood bank. They may miss out on the interest but that's in their own interest.

Don’t brand me a Naxal sympathiser, says Nagathihalli

Monday September 17 2007 10:44 IST

TUMKUR: Noted director Nagathihalli Chandrashekar was termed a naxal sympathiser during an interactive session on his latest movie ‘Mathad Mathadu Mallige’ at Vidyodaya Law College here on Sunday.

A freelance writer Sanjay alleged that Nagathihalli had projected MNCs as more dangerous than Naxals, thus indirectly sympathizing with the Naxals. He felt that the director should have understood that Naxalism was not the remedy to weed out corrupt system.

Nagathihalli said that his movie had depicted ‘reality’. He added that he felt immensely happy at having directed a film which is anti-establishment.

He explained that he faced several obstacles while making the movie as it speaks about the ‘unscientific policies’ of the government.

‘‘I hope the government does not brand me a Naxal sympathiser,’’ he replied to a query. District farmers’ leader Govindaraju appreciated the experiment of the director for picking up a relevant issue as rampant exploitation of natural resources in the name of mining is spoiling the lives of the rural populace.

Nagathihalli observed that politicians who had been minting money in the transfers of the government officials, are now looking for new sources of corruption.

‘‘After the iron ore mining, the politicians may obtain licence to exploit other natural resources such as diamonds which are said to have been found near Chitradurga.

Hence the movie has its relevance for future. The film will continue to motivate people to fight against the system’’, he said. Socialist leader turned cine actor Hanumantha Gowda charged the State government of remaining a mute spectator to the over exploitation of natural resources. Producer K Manju said that he had not felt let down by the initial failure of the movie as he was happy to produce a movie which had a social message.

Teens held at Naxalite training camp

16 Sep 2007, 0123 hrs IST,TNN

GADCHIROLI: The Gadchiroli police have, for the first time, stumbled upon teenage boys and girls being trained at the Naxalite training camps here.

Four teenage boys in the 12-16 years age group and three girls in the 17-20 age group were detained following a raid on a Naxal camp. Police sources said the group of youngsters was forced into joining the Naxal movement.

Police sources said a base training camp of Naxals was organised by the Maoists in Etapalli tehsil in Jambiagatta range in Gadchiroli district on September 13.

Acting on a tip-off, the Gadchiroli police attacked the camp at about 8.30 am the same day. The exchange of fire lasted about 15 minutes, before the Naxals fled into the thick forests.

The teenagers were brought to police headquarters, Gadchiroli DSP Rajesh Pradhan said. "We have informed their parents and are trying to know the exact reason as to who misled the youths into joining the Naxalite movement," he said

Now, Maoists zoom around in SUVs

16 Sep 2007, 0207 hrs IST,TNN

RANCHI: SUV owners in Jharkhand had better watch out: they could come under the scanner of the intelligence wing very soon. State police are keeping a close eye on SUVs following intelligence reports that these vehicles are being used by Maoists in remote areas.

"Of late, we are getting information about Maoists using these high-end four-wheelers for movement in remote and inaccessible areas," an intelligence official said, adding almost all Maoist leaders have started using SUVs.

Maoists, who until recently rented vehicles from travel agencies, have started using SUVs owned by sympathisers once they realised that hired vehicles were under police scanner.

"For the past few months, we've had reports of Maoists using vehicles of politicians and contractors who are sympathisers and offer moral and financial support to them," the official said.

Additional DGP special branch Gouri Shankar Rath admitted that SUVs are under police scanner as these were being frequently used by Maoists. "We are regularly keeping a watch on all SUVs moving in the state. The problem in our way is use of vehicle by influential people which sometimes creates problem for officials involved in such sensitive operations," said Rath.

Villagers in Naxal-hit areas also confirm that Maoists regularly use SUVs like Scorpio, Bolero and Safari for movement in rural areas.

Centre not providing adequate support for dealing naxalism: Raman

Bhopal, Sep 15 : Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh today regretted the lack will power on the part of the Centre to tackle naxalite menace.

Dr Singh said naxalism was a national problem and it was the responsibility of the Centre to solve the problem.

However, he assured that he would not shy to deal with the problem on its own.

He suggested that the Centre should chalk out and implement an integrated anti-naxalite joint action plan in consulation with naxal-affected state governments.

The Chief Minister pointed out that naxalism was against the democratic structure of the country and could be compared to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and formerly Punjab.

The Chhattisgarh Government had launched an intense campaign to fight naxalism through movements like 'Salwa Judum' involving tribals in tribal-dominated regions.

He claimed that naxalism was affecting about 140 districts in 12 states.

Dr Singh alleged that the Centre was discriminating states with regards to centrally-sponsored schemes.

He said the Centre had to provide 75 per cent contribution in education-related schemes, while state government had to provide the rest part. However, the Centre was desirous of reducing its share to 50 per cent.

The Chief Minister said adopting such measures would be a big blow for backward states like Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh and urged the Centre to continue the present arrangement and not impose additional burden on states.

He said the Chhattisgarh Government had maintained financial discipline despite challenging situations. Its establishment bill was not more than 32 per cent.

Dr Singh the next assembly elections would be fought on the poll plank of development and peace. He claimed that ninety per cent of poll promises had been fulfilled.

He added that the BJP was fully prepared for the Lok Sabha polls besides next year's assembly polls.

Urging the Centre to increase royalty on coal and iron ore, Dr Singh pointed out that Chhattisgarh is rich in natural resources and should get maximum benefit. Industrial units related to value addition to iron ore should also be established in the state.

The Chief Minister said the Railways earned a sizeable revenue from the state government. However, it received no cooperation for improving rail network. No meter gauge had been converted into a broad gauge since a long time.

--- UNI