Saturday, October 27, 2007

Maoists Blast Two Schools In Chhattisgarh

Saturday 27th of October 2007 Maoist insurgents triggered explosions at two government-run schools in southern Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district Saturday, though all the students are safe, police said.

'About 25 Leftist radicals stormed a school building at Chika village and then another, an ashram school run by the tribal department, around 2.30 a.m. Saturday and set off explosives that damaged large portions of the two schools,' a police official said.

He said the Maoists had asked the students to vacate the buildings before triggering the blasts in Bijapur district, about 500 km from here.

'All the students are safe but in panic,' the official added.

Last week, about 250 Maoists armed with axes, spades and other weapons had stormed into Murdanda village in the same district and badly damaged two school buildings and a small school-cum hostel.

Officials say over 100 school buildings, mainly of primary schools, have been blasted in Bijapur and its neighbouring Dantewada district in the past one year

Woman killed in Maoist-CRPF crossfire in West Bengal

Submitted by Mudassir Rizwan on Sat, 10/27/2007 - 09:50. India News Crime/Terrorism


Kolkata : A 27-year-old woman was killed and another critically injured in crossfire between Maoists and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in West Bengal's West Midnapore district, the police said Saturday.

The shooting occurred after a landmine blast by the rebels Friday afternoon near Tangbheda forest in Banspahari in the Maoist-affected West Midnapore district.

Though a CRPF jeep narrowly escaped the blast, a tourist bus plying on the Shilda-Chandrakona route was first damaged and then caught in the crossfire between the rebels and the paramilitary troopers.

Pramila Hansda (27), a resident of Bandwan in Purulia district, was killed. Another passenger, Susen Murmu, was critically injured in the landmine blast.

"We received reports that a woman was killed in the firing and another received serious splinter injury in the blast," inspector general of police Raj Kanojia told IANS Saturday.

According to media reports quoting West Midnapore police superintendent R. Rajshekharan, Maoist guerrillas fired about 40 rounds targeting the CRPF jeep. Two CRPF troopers were injured in the incident and rushed to a hospital.

Police said only one of the five landmines planted by the rebels at the spot exploded.

West Midnapore additional superintendent of police Bharatlal Meena has visited the site to take stock of the situation.

Two other districts of West Bengal, Bankura and Purulia, are also affected by Maoist violence

Woman killed in Maoist-CRPF crossfire in West Bengal

Submitted by Mudassir Rizwan on Sat, 10/27/2007 - 09:50. India News Crime/Terrorism


Kolkata : A 27-year-old woman was killed and another critically injured in crossfire between Maoists and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in West Bengal's West Midnapore district, the police said Saturday.

The shooting occurred after a landmine blast by the rebels Friday afternoon near Tangbheda forest in Banspahari in the Maoist-affected West Midnapore district.

Though a CRPF jeep narrowly escaped the blast, a tourist bus plying on the Shilda-Chandrakona route was first damaged and then caught in the crossfire between the rebels and the paramilitary troopers.

Pramila Hansda (27), a resident of Bandwan in Purulia district, was killed. Another passenger, Susen Murmu, was critically injured in the landmine blast.

"We received reports that a woman was killed in the firing and another received serious splinter injury in the blast," inspector general of police Raj Kanojia told IANS Saturday.

According to media reports quoting West Midnapore police superintendent R. Rajshekharan, Maoist guerrillas fired about 40 rounds targeting the CRPF jeep. Two CRPF troopers were injured in the incident and rushed to a hospital.

Police said only one of the five landmines planted by the rebels at the spot exploded.

West Midnapore additional superintendent of police Bharatlal Meena has visited the site to take stock of the situation.

Two other districts of West Bengal, Bankura and Purulia, are also affected by Maoist violence

Hunt on for Naxalite who killed former Jharkhand CM's son

Hunt on for Naxalite who killed former Jharkhand CM's son(Lead:Marandi's son)
From our ANI Correspondent

Kanpur/Ranchi, Oct 27: Condemning the killing of former Jharkhand Chief Minister Babulal Marandi's son Anup Marandi in the Naxal attack, Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal said that the culprits would not go unpunished.

"We condemn this attack. Whosoever is responsible, strict action will be taken against them. We are in touch with the Jharkhand Government. We are trying to stop such incidents from happening in the future at any cost," Jaiswal said.

Sixteen people, including son Anup Marandi, were killed by Maoists at Chilkhadia village in Jharkhand's Giridih District at around 1.00 a.m.

According to eyewitnesses, about 50 Maoists, including 12 women, raided a village during a cultural programme.

Deputy Inspector General of Police R K Mullick said the incident occurred during a cultural programme when heavily armed naxalites attacked and opened indiscriminate fire on the gathering.

Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Arun Kumar Singh said, "About 30 Naxalites had mingled with the crowd during the cultural programme organised by Nunulal."

While Marandi's son Anup was killed on the spot, his brother Nunulal managed to escape unhurt.

Four injured, including two women, are undergoing treatment at Giridih hospital.

Meanwhile, Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda also condemned the killing of Anup Marandi.

"It is a sad incident, in which Anup Marandi was killed. Such attacks and earlier ones were in retaliation of police action against them. In last few months, police has arrested a number of Naxals and destroyed their bunkers, training camps," Koda said.

Koda, who had spoken to Marandi, will also visit the village.

The Government announced Rs 1 lakh compensation for the families of all those who were killed.

Earlier in the day, Marandi blamed the Central and State Government for the attack and said his family was being targeted.

"I would say that today in the state and in the country such incidents occur at their (Naxalites) own will. It feels as if the government has no control over them. Yesterday's incident is a clear indication that my family is being targeted and that's why my brother and son were attacked," he said.

Earlier this year, the General Secretary of the Jharkhand Mukti MorchaJMM) and Lok Sabha MP from Jamshedpur Sunil Mahato had been killed by Naxalities about 40 km from Ranchi while attending a football match.

The Maoists looted the weapons held by the lawmaker's bodyguards and fired at them before torching Mahato's car.

Jharkhand is one of the 13 states hit by the Maoist insurgency that began more than three decades ago.

The Naxals say they are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless labourers and attack security forces, government officials, politicians and state property.

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


UPA's soft policies responsible for naxal violence: BJP

New Delhi (PTI): The BJP on Saturday blamed the UPA government's "soft policies" for the spurt in Naxal violence in the country as it condemned the pre-dawn rebel attack in Jharkhand which claimed at least 17 lives.

The saffron party also lashed out at the Madhu Koda government in Jharkhand, saying it has "overlooked" security concerns sparked by Naxal activities as also the interests of the state.

"The UPA government has to be squarely blamed for the naxal killings in Jharkhand. Due to the government's soft policies, naxal activities are spreading rapidly," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said here.

Asserting that the early morning attack on Saturday bore striking resemblance to the one in March that killed Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MP Sunil Mahto, he said the state and central intelligence agencies failed to pre-empt an attack of similar nature.

Maoists killed 17 people, including the son of former Jharkhand Chief Minister Babulal Marandi and two women and wounded four others in the attack at Chilkhadih village in Giridih district.

Training his guns at the state government, Rudy alleged that the Koda administration has diverted huge chunks of funds meant for police modernisation for purchasing vehicles for ministers and providing amenities for them.

"The outlook of the Madhu Koda government is limited to individuals and their constituencies and it has overlooked the interests of the state and security concerns. The government has no responsibility towards the people," he alleged.

"It is the complete failure of a government, headed by an independent MLA, supported by RJD, Congress, JMM along with other parties of the UPA," he charged.

Central team reviews situation in Chhattisgarh

Raipur (PTI): A high-level Central team, headed by Union Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar, on Saturday reviewed the situation in Chhattisgarh, including problems related to naxalites, Salwa Judum and development, officials said.

"The Cabinet Secretary has been reviewing the works of as many as 13 state departments, besides the protracted problem of naxalites, which is also the biggest obstacle to development in many parts of Chhattisgarh, and the most debated issue of Salwa Judum," a senior state government official told PTI here.

Chandrasekhar reached here last night along with Director Intelligence Bureau, secretaries and top officials from ministries of Home Affairs, Rural Development, Drinking Water Supply, Urban Development, Tribal Affairs, Panchayat Raj, Health, Road Transport, Highways, Power, National Commission for ST and Planning Commission, officials said.

The team is on a two-day state visit, they added.

Sending across a message that the delegation was here for business, the Cabinet Secretary, immediately after his arrival, had a discussion with Chief Minister Raman Singh on the issue of development and naxalites, sources said.

The Central team also called on Governor E S L Narasimhan, who had served as the Director Intelligence Bureau before taking up his assignment of the naxal-infested state. (

Ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh to naxal attack victims

Giridih (Jharkhand) (PTI): Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda on Saturday announced an ex-gratia of Rs one lakh each to the families of the 17 people killed by naxals at Chilkhadih village here.

Koda, who reached the spot in the afternoon, said the cowardly act by naxals is a reflection of their frustration and mounting pressure following the crackdown by the state police.

Recently the police arrested more than 20 top naxal leaders in the state, he said.

Former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi's son Anup was among the 17 persons killed in the naxal attack during a pre-dawn cultural programme after a football match in the village yesterday.

Nitish condemns Jharkhand naxal attack

Patna (PTI): Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday condemned the naxal attack at Chilkhadi village in Jharkhand which claimed 17 lives including that of former chief minister Babulal Marandi's son.

"There is no place for violence in democracy. Such elements should be dealt with sternly," Kumar said in a statement.

Earlier, he spoke to Marandi and his Jharkhand counterpart Madhu Koda to convey his shock and sympathies to the families of those killed in the attack.

An intensive search for the culprits has been launched in the area, which is near the inter-state border, by both Jharkhand and Bihar police.

NDTV Correspondent
Saturday, October 27, 2007 (Jharkhand)
Former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi's son Anup was among 18 people killed in a late night Naxal attack at Chilkhadia village in Giridih district.

Eyewitnesses say close to 50 naxals, including 12 women, raided the Chilkhadi village at around 1:00 am (IST) during a cultural programme.

The naxals mingled with the crowd and suddenly opened indiscriminate fire and exploded bombs killing 14 people on the spot. Three people succumbed to their injuries later.

Marandi's brother Nunulal, who was also present at the function, escaped unhurt.

Govt strategy

Marandi who represents the Koderma Lok Sabha constituency blamed the central and state government for the attack.

''My son and my brother were at a cultural programme. The Naxals came there dressed as CRPF, so no one realized they were Naxals. After a while, they changed their clothes and started firing at everyone.

''There is a Naxalite problem in 156 constituencies and neither the state nor the Central government have found a way of dealing with this.''

Lamenting the increase of Maoist violence, he alleged that neither the Jharkhand government nor the Centre had any policy to curb naxals or bring them back to the mainstream.

The naxals, he claimed, had spread their ''tentacles'' in all the districts of Jharkhand and in 156 districts across the country.

The Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Democratic), headed by former chief minister and Lok Sabha member Babulal Marandi, has called for a statewide bandh on Sunday.

CM condemns attack

Chief Minister Madhu Koda has announced a compensation of Rs one lakh for the families of victims and one government job for each family.

''The naxals have attacked villagers and in the incident, Babulal Marandi's son was also killed. This attack should be condemned in the strongest terms. Whether there was a system failure or not can be known only after a probe. Such a public function should not have been held after midnight when there is threat from naxals,'' said Koda.

In March this year the General Secretary of JMM and MP Sunil Mahato was shot dead by naxals in Ghatshila near Jamshedpur.

The naxals torched the MP's vehicle before fleeing the scene taking advantage of the commotion set off by the attack.

The Naxals looted the weapons held by Sunil Mahato's bodyguards before firing at them.

Chronology of Naxal attacks in recent years

Press Trust Of India
October 27, 2007
First Published: 12:46 IST(27/10/2007)
Last Updated: 12:48 IST(27/10/2007)

September 7, 2007: Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Janardhan Reddy and his wife N Rajyalakshmi, escaped unhurt while three Congress workers were killed in a Maoist attack in Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh.

July 10, 2007: Naxalites attacked a police team with light machine guns and mortar bombs in a dense forest area of Chhattisgarh, killing at least 24 security personnel.

July 1, 2007: Nine persons, including five policemen, were killed and as many were wounded as CPI-Maoist rebels carried out simultaneous attacks on a police station and an outpost in Sasaram in Bihar's Rohtas district and fled with arms and ammunition.

April 28, 2007: Five security personnel were killed in a landmine blast triggered by Maoist rebels in Michgaon village of Kanker district, about 175 km south of Raipur in Chattisgarh

Mar 16, 2007: Maoists attacked a police post in the remote jungles of in Rani Bodli in Chattisgarh with gunfire, hand renades and gasoline bombs, killing at least 49 people.

March 5, 2007: Naxalites shot dead Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's Lok Sabha MP Sunil Kumar Mahato. Two of his bodyguards and a party colleague were also killed in the attack when they were witnessing a football match organised to mark Holi at a village in Jamshedpur in Jharkhand.

July 17, 2006 : At least 25 people were killed and 80 injured, 32 of them seriously, while about 250 people were missing following an attack by some 800 armed Naxalites in Dantewada district of Chattisgarh.

February 9, 2006: Eight Central Industrial Security Force personnel were killed and eight others injured when naxalites raided a godown of the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and took away explosives from a village near Bailadila in Jagdalpur in Chattisgarh.

1 March 2005: In a major attack, naxalites shot dead eight villagers and blew up a forest rest house, injuring a CRPF constable in Andhra Pradesh.

November 13, 2005: Hundreds of activists of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) attacked the police lines in south Bihar's Jehanabad district.

17 including Ex-CM's son killed by naxalites

27 Oct 2007, 0800 hrs IST,PTI

GIRIDIH (JHARKHAND): Maoists killed 17 people, including the son of former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi and two women, and wounded four others in a pre-dawn attack at Chilkhadih village in Giridih district on Saturday.

"Armed naxalites opened fire when a cultural programme was on between 12.30 am and 1 am and killed 17 people, including Anup Marandi, the son of former chief minister Babulal Marandi," Deputy Inspector General of police R K Mullick said.

The injured were rushed to Giridih hospital, he said. Condemning the attack, Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda said, "It is a sad incident, in which Anup Marandi was killed. Such attacks, yesterday's and earlier ones were in retaliation of police action against them. In last few months police has arrested a number of Naxals and destroyed their bunkers, training camps."

Koda said he had spoken to Marandi and would visit the village.

Marandi's brother Nunulal, who was also present at the function, escaped unhurt, police said here.

The naxals mingled with the crowd that had gathered at the cultural programme before they attacked, additional superintendent of police of Giridih Arun Kumar Singh said.

The programme was organised as part of a local football match that was held on Friday afternoon.

Singh admitted to lapses by the police in the shootout. The in-charge of Deori police station, under which Chilkhadih falls, Virendra Singh was deputed along with police personnel for the football match and cultural programme

But he returned in the evening itself after prize distribution without waiting till the end. "It is a clear case of negligence on the police officer's part," Singh said.

The attackers could have sneaked back to Bihar as the village was on the border with that state, he said.

Jharkhand Director General of Police V D Ram has rushed to the spot and an intensive search and combing operation has been launched by both Jharkhand and Bihar police.

Marandi said he had received the information that his son was among those killed in the incident, in which according to information received by him some attackers were in CRPF uniform.

"My family is a target of naxalites. My son and brother should not have ventured out at night," he said.

He alleged that there was an increase in Maoist violence in Jharkhand and said the Chilkhadih incident was another "episode of a series of Maoist attacks."

"Neither the Jharkhand government not the Centre has any policy to curb naxals or bring them to the mainstream... The naxals have spread their tentacles in all districts of the state and 156 districts in the country," Marandi, who represents Koderma Lok Sabha constituency and heads Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Democratic) said.

The attack was reminiscent of the killing of former JMM MP Sunil Mahto on March four this year by the naxals at Bagudia village in East Singhbhum district during a football match organised to mark Holi festival.

Meanwhile, the Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda has announced Rs 1 lakh compensation for those who have been killed in the attack and a government job for each of the victim’s family members.

Naxal killing a conspiracy : Koda
Press Trust Of India
Ranchi, October 27, 2007
First Published: 12:12 IST(27/10/2007)
Last Updated: 12:17 IST(27/10/2007)

Jharkhand Chief Minister on Saturday termed the naxal attack at Chilkhadih, in which 17 people were killed including former Jharkhand chief minster's son, as a "conspiracy" and said he had spoken to his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar seeking assistance for joint raids as the spot is near the inter-state borders.

"The sequence of happenings emit the smell of a conspiracy. But it can be known only after a thorough probe. I have sent our Director General of Police (VD Ram) for a on-the-spot inspection," Koda told PTI at his residence in Ranchi without elaborating about conspiracy by whom.

Among those killed by the naxals was Anup, the son of former chief minister Babulal Marandi.

Koda iterated his resolution to root out extremism in Jharkhand and sought the help from the people.

Condemning the killing of innocent villagers, he said the naxals were frustrated following the recent arrests of its top leaders.

"The naxals are also frustrated as their two training camps - one at Latehar and another at Dalma were destroyed recently," he said.

Those people, including politicians, who face naxal threat should inform the nearest police station before going to any public function so that adequate number of policemen were deployed, Koda said.

Asked whether he saw any new strategy by naxals in attacking after football matches, which are popular among the people, Koda repeated his take on conspiracy.

Koda said he had spoken to Marandi whose son and brother, who escaped the attack, had gone to the cultural programme organised after a football match held yesterday afternoon.

The chief minister would visit the spot during the day.

JMM chief and former chief minister Shibu Soren condemned the incident.

Jharkhand Vikas Dal president Suraj Mandal, a former Lok Sabha MP, accused the government of failing to curb extremism.

Meanwhile, five companies of para-military forces from Jharkhand and Bihar are embarking on a massive combing operation in the contiguous areas of the two states to trace the attackers, Jharkhand DGP V D Ram said.

Ram visited the carnage site and told newsmen that he had spoken to his counterpart in Bihar after the attack.

Eighteen of the 24 Jharkhand districts are naxal-infested and the police had recently concluded two major combing operations, each taking three to four days, in Latehar, Garwah Palamau, Chatra and Gumla districts.

They arrested a couple of Maoist leaders and seized weapons and explosive materials including four quintal gelatine sticks on October 22.

The Tritiya Prastuti Committee, a breakaway group of the maoists, had on October 22 shot dead a local Congress leader Ram Narayan Yadav at Jhaltand in Palamau district.

Friday, October 26, 2007

New method to curb Maoist menace

Statesman News Service
MIDNAPORE, Oct. 25: Having failed to contain the Maoist activities in Midnapore West, Bankura and Purulia over the years by various means like organisation of football matches, setting up of health camps, construction of tube wells, opening up of schools and other projects to improve the police-public relations and to keep the people of the region happy, the police have now taken steps to choke the income line of the ultras.
According to the police, the Maoists thrive on money collected from businessmen, contractors and thikadars of the areas which are under threat.
The police have spread a dragnet to identify those businessmen who supply money to the Maoists and, if intercepted, stringent action would be taken against them.
But the leaders of the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) said that the businessmen alone should not be harassed for financially supporting the Maoists.
Apart from the ultras, the ruling party cadres also force traders, contractors and thikadars to give money to build up a buffer fund in order to organise massacre as they had perpetrated in Kespur, Garbeta, Nanoor, Nandigram and many other places, Mr Dipak Bose, a central secretariat member of the APDR, alleged.
“Then why do the police single out the Maoists and have set their guns against the traders and the contractors for helping the extremists?” Mr Bose asked. In fact, traders and contractors would not have yielded to the threat and the pressure tactics of the Maoists, if the police had come to their rescue in a big way, Mr Bose said. The truth is that the police are afraid of the Maoists themselves. A case in this point is the incident in which a Maoist squad stormed a contractor’s tent at Chhurimara in Belopahari on the Bengal-Jharkhand border on 22 November 2006.
The ultras torched four trucks, three pay loaders and a generator by pouring 12 drums of diesel stacked by the contractor.
They also took away two-wheelers and set fire to two thatched sheds, besides hitting his workers with rifle butts.
But the jawans of the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) did not dare to challenge the Maoists during the two-hour long operation, though they had camped barely 100 metres away.
The contractor allegedly did not pay the Maoists. He was engaged in the construction of a 14 km-stretch of road to Kankrajhore from Chakadoba under the Prime Minister’s Gramin Sarak Yojna. The work of the Rs 2.5 crore project has been suspended since the incident.
It has, however, been learnt that work will resume soon as the contractor has agreed to concede to the demands of the Maoists.

Komram Bheem : Too many claimants to Martyr’s legacy

Friday October 26 2007 13:02 IST
S Anil Kumar

ADILABAD: Komram Bheem, the iconic figure for all tribals in these parts, the martyr who fought against the unjust policies of the then Nizam government, now stands as a mute witness to the scramble for his ‘goodwill’.

His 67th death anniversary supposed to be observed tomorrow is embroiled in all sorts of controversies with the tribals charging officials of the Integrated Tribal Development Agency with negligence and political parties taking the opportunity to gain from the same.

The Naxalites have always been there trying their best to inherit his legacy.

In fact, the tribals had been observing his death anniversary since 1983 till 1988 largely on their own with perhaps the occasional support of the officials at Jodeghat in Karameri mandal – Komram Bheem’s native.

But, the Government, some allege, deliberately, tried to play down the Day and make it a low-key affair for its own reasons. They cite the apathy of the ITDA-Utnoor officials’ scant disregard for development in the region to buttress their argument.

Leave aside facilities, there isn’t even a proper road to speak of to the village.

In 1988, the Naxalites entered the scene and scared away the officials from Jodeghat with a bomb blast. For fear of the militants, the officials shifted the venue from Jodeghat to Hati village and managed to conduct the death anniversary of the martyr there from 1990 to 2000.

Following the demand from tribals, they were forced to organise the event back at Jodeghat in 2001 but were welcomed back with a bomb blast by the Naxalites.

The hapless babus this time observed the martyr’s day at Utnoor and after two years, shifted the proceedings back to Hati village.

This year, for some reason, they decided to hold it at Jodeghat, but as always failed to make proper arrangements.

Differences between the Komram Bheem Vardanti Nirvahana Committee and the ITDA led to the resignation of the committee chairman Sidam Bheemrao, who accused the officials of failing to give proper publicity and providing basic facilities. Further, he alleged that they had been misusing funds every year.

In the meantime, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president K Chandrashekar Rao, BJP State president Bandaru Dattatreya, CPM State leader Saibabu, Balladeer Gaddar and others are queuing up to take part in the event tomorrow for obvious reasons.

Leaders vie to pay tributes to Bheem
26 Oct 2007, 0146 hrs IST,TNN

ADILABAD: Various political parties are keen to cash in on tribal leader Komaram Bheem's 67th death anniversary, which will be observed at Jodenghat of Kerameri mandal in Adilabad district on October 26. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Bandaru Dattatreya, Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, balladeer Gadar and a host of other leaders are descending on the village to pay tributes to the tribal martyr.

Analysts say their visit is aimed at garnering the tribal votes in the event of mid-term elections.

"The leaders are out to utilise Bheem's death anniversary to their advantage," an analyst told TOI here.

He said the political parties are now singing in Komaram Bheem's praise, recalling his contribution to the region and how successive governments have neglected him. All for their selfish interests. Grandson of the late tribal leader Komaram Sonerao said tribals have been exploited by the political parties for their selfish interests. "There has been no change in the living standards of the tribals," he says.

Meanwhile, TRS MLA from Siddipet T Harish Rao said Chandrasekhar Rao will sleep in the tribal thandas during the nights to create awareness among them about the backwardness of the tribals and the region.

Speaking to reporters at Nizamabad on Thursday, Harish said KCR's 'night halts' will start in November from Mahbubnagar district.

"Tribal folk in the region have never been part of the developmental activities and KCR will stress on this aspect during his tours," the MLA said.

Commenting on the statements of AICC general secretary and in-charge of Andhra Pradesh affairs Veerappa Moily that the Telangana issue would be solved through second state reorganisation commission (SRC), Harish Rao blamed the Congress for changing its tack on the separate state issue.

"The Telangana state will be possible only through people's struggles," the TRS leader said and added that the party will launch 'Praja chaitanya sadassus' from November 2 to educate people on the issue.

'Create autonomous tribal council’

/Siasat/ Friday, 26 October 2007
Hyderabad, October 26: State BJP president Bandaru Dattatreya on Thursday urged Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy to create an autonomous tribal council for Adilabad district to oversee affairs of Gonds, Kolams, Pradhans and Chormatis and ensure self-rule.

Economic expolitation

In a letter to the Chief Minister on the eve of the 47th death anniversary of Komaram Bheem, he said the elected body of the tribal council should be vested with powers over to exercise control over bureaucrats in the revenue, forest and other departments.

This alone can liberate tribals from economic exploitation. Stating that the demands of Komaram Bheem remained unfulfilled even 47 years after his “martyrdom”, he said even recommendations of Austrian anthropologist Sir Haimendorf on land reforms remained a far cry.

Kashmir ultras using liquid explosives: CRPF

BS Reporter / New Delhi October 26, 2007

Insurgents in Kashmir have been found using liquid explosives - the kind used by the al-qaeda in triggering the serial blasts in London’s underground transport system in 2005 leaving 37 dead and nearly 700 injured.

Disclosing this here today, Director General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) S I S Ahmed said liquid explosives were used in at least two instances over the last few moths in south Kashmir. This, he said, was worrying the forces as liquid explosives cannot be detected with conventional detectors or the sniffer dogs.

Ahmed said the forces were looking for technology to detect and pre-empt the widespread use of this brand of explosives.

The CRPF chief said the spectre of insurgency and internal disturbances across the country has left the world's largest para-military force - originally raised to help the states tide over emergencies - with no time to rest and recuperate.

"We have 108 battalions and all of these are deployed all over the country with the majority of us in Jammu and Kashmir and the north east,’’ Ahmed said.

The situation has remained the same for 15 years with CRPF no longer remaining a "reserve force". The Ministry of Home affairs, he said, was considering raising more battalions of the CRPF to give relief to the forces.

On the situation in the north east, Ahmed said United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa) was getting support from the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). "We know for sure that Ulfa camps are run in Bangladesh where the ISI supports them directly."

In the Naxalite-infested states, Ahmed said CRPF would establish at least three permanent bases in Bastar region this year to curtail the free movement of the insurgents across the region. The forces, he said, were "trying to grapple with huge losses caused by the IED (improvised explosive devices) used by the naxalites. CRPF had suffered its worst losses in Chattisgarh."The stress levels of the forces are the highest in Chattisgarh."

Govt publication concedes Naxals control mines of Jharkhand

Patna, (Bihar Times): If the latest edition of the Indian Defence Yearbook is to be believed Maoists in Jharkhand earn Rs 320 crore as levy every year. This figure is almost 10 per cent of the total revenue of that state in a year.

The book, quoting Union Home Ministry sources, provides a detailed account of the movement of the Maoists in the state, its growth and activities and says it is eating into the country’s development. States like Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh are the worst hit.

The book says the Naxalites govern the mineral-rich countryside of Jharkhand, slap levy on coal firms, petrol pumps, transporters and contractors involved in building national highways, bridges, canals, forest trade and sale of kendu leaves.

Batches of 50 highly motivated, trained platoons of 35 to 40 men and women are enaged in this business of collecting levies. There are technical and surveillance support forces to back them. This is apart from the people's militia and local guerrilla squads, the book says.

The amount collected by them, according to the book, is used for running the Red Army. The soliddiers are paid the salary between Rs 1,000 and 3,000 per month. Besides, their families are also promised an insurance of Rs 1.25 lakh if they die in encounters.

The favourite weapons of Naxalites are .303 rifles, 7.56mm guns, 9mm pistols, Insas rifles and sten guns. Explosives seized or purchased from mine contractors and the Bharat Coking Coal Limited are also used, the book says. The figures suggest that Naxalites have a strength of 10,000 guerillas and possess more than 20,000 modern equipment, looted from security forces. Besides, they have arms procured from neighbouring Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
The book discloses that leaders of all political parties pay protection money to the Maoists. They generally charge Rs 70,000 per annum from coal firms and Rs 25,000 per annum from transporters.

Violence-level down in J&K; terror infrastructure intact: CRPF

New Delhi (PTI): Ruling out any reduction of its personnel in militancy-infested Jammu and Kashmir, the CRPF on Friday said the terrorist infrastructure in the state was intact though there was a slight decrease in number of violent incidents.

There has been a "slight" decrease in the number of terrorist-related incidents and reduction in civilian causality, CRPF Director General S I S Ahmed told reporters on the eve of 68th Raising Day of the para-military force.

"This does not mean that infrastructure of terrorists is not there. The grouping, planning and execution is there. I do not see a reduction in CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

Out of the 201 battalions, a maximum of 72, which is 40 per cent of the about 60,000-strong force, are deployed in the state, he said.

Till September 30 this year, the force had killed 71 militants and apprehended 206 others in militancy related cases in the state. Fifteen CRPF men were killed and while 106 others injured in 68 encounters, he said adding the recoveries included 127 weapons and 116 kg of explosives.

Commenting on CRPF deployment in naxal areas, where the para-military force faced some reverses this year, Ahmed put up a brave face saying the biggest problem faced in countering naxalite was that of improvised explosive devices and the force was being geared to counter that.

Maoist training centre busted in Latehar

Zee News, India - 21 hours ago
The operation, which ended today, was being carried out in naxal-influenced areas of Latehar, Palamau, Garwah and Gumla.


Faced with Losses, India's Maoists Shift Military Tactics, Step Up Internet Recruiting

Jason Motlagh Bio 25 Oct 2007
World Politics Review Exclusive

RAIPUR, India -- To reverse military setbacks in key backcountry areas, India's Maoist insurgents have adopted a new strategy that favors coordinated mass attacks over hit-and-run guerilla warfare, and they have stepped up their recruitment efforts on the Internet.

Pro-Maoist spokesmen say the move towards larger, less-frequent strikes is the result of recent setbacks in states like Andhra Pradesh, where police forces have killed hundreds of fighters and arrested top leaders since peace talks collapsed in late 2004. But they cite the spread of activities to more states as a sign the movement is down but far from out.

"The Naxalites have suffered some losses," said Varavara Rao, a revolutionary poet and Maoist representative at the talks. Maoist guerillas are called Naxalites after the West Bengal town of Naxalbari, where an armed communist uprising began 40 years ago. "However, there has been some progress in other states," he stressed. "The mobile war stage is moving forward [in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand]."

According to Rao, Naxalite units based in forest belts along state borders have withdrawn to consolidate their strength for bigger attacks that will involve hundreds of fighters. He added that bold strikes on police outposts -- including one in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada region in March in which 56 police and civilian militia were killed -- have already boosted morale, as have blockades that have prevented multinational companies from setting up in neighboring states.

This strategic shift was reportedly approved at the beginning of the year at the Maoist party's unity conference on the jungle border between the states of Jharkhand and Bihar. The two major guerilla factions, the People's War Group and the Maoist Communist Center, merged in September 2004 to form the Communist Party of India-Maoist.

"No more hit and run," Muppala Lakshman Rao (also known as Ganapathi), who was re-elected as general secretary of the organization, is reported to have said at the meeting. "Now the time has come to . . . identify specific targets, hit them precisely and with impunity."

The most recent high-profile attack came last month, when former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Janardhana Reddy's convoy was targeted by a landmine. He and his wife survived, though three escorts were killed in the attack. In March, Parliamentarian Sunil Mahato and three associates were shot dead while watching a village soccer match in Jharkhand state.

The guerillas claim to be waging a "people's war" on behalf of marginalized tribal people and the peasant underclass against the government and business interests. Roughly one-third of Indian districts are said to be under Naxalite influence.

The Indian government counters that recent attacks are more out of desperation than ingenuity, a telltale sign the movement has grown weaker in areas where it once had traction. One security official asserted that whatever pockets of Naxalites still exist owe their lives to the "inability of police in those areas to chase and eliminate them."

A report by the Intelligence Bureau of the Indian government's Union Home Ministry found that Naxalite-related violence plummeted last year. "The number of incidents declined by over 65 percent and the killings by 78 percent. The violent activities by other Naxalite groups also registered a sharp decline," the report said.

But Maoist supporters say that recruitment activities have increased, especially in areas where military capacity is not as strong. One state-level Maoist activist told the Indian current affairs magazine Frontline that increased recruitment is part of a broader campaign -- devised at this year's unity conference -- to extend the war zone to new areas such as Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in southern India.

Maoist guerrillas are active mostly in a swath across eastern India, from Bihar state in the north to Andhra Pradesh in the south.

"This war tactic has been evolved essentially because greater destruction of enemy forces is central to consolidate the gains made so far and advance further," the activist said.

Security officials say an Internet-based propaganda campaign is in motion to cultivate a fresh crop of young supporters across the country. So far they have identified nine pro-Naxal web sites, with names like "Naxal Revolution," "Peoples' March," and "Red Diary."

"These Web sites are being used to recruit youngsters by the Naxalites for their under-development intelligence wing," said a senior official on condition of anonymity. "We suspect that it is a well-thought-out plan because they are trying to diversify and want to target bigger cities to increase their area of influence."

This strategy was foreshadowed in the Maoists' 2004 Urban Perspective Document, which outlined plans to cultivate support in Indian towns and cities among students and the unemployed.

The government official said evidence has been gathered that indicates the Maoists are trying to form their own intelligence division in urban centers, which sends emails to potential recruits to ask for their qualifications and how they would like to lend support to the Naxalite movement.

Slicker Web sites are also being set up to appeal to a new generation of tech-savvy youngsters.

Jason Motlagh is a frequent World Politics Review contributor based in Delhi. This story was reported with a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Maoists inducting fresh blood to hoodwink police

Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Wednesday, October 24, 2007 05:28 IST

Intelligence reports say they are planning to launch fresh attack
KOLKATA: Maoist groups operating in West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand have reportedly reshuffled their rank and file. As part of the reshuffle, these groups have replaced their most-wanted guerrillas of the region with comparatively new faces from other zones.

The Intelligence Branch (IB) of West Bengal police suspect that this is not just a routine reshuffle aimed at bringing new leaders at the forefront. Rather, the reshuffle is aimed at organising a fresh series of insurgency attacks in this part of the country.

Since the security agencies would take some time to gather information and prepare record files on the newly-appointed core commanders and action-squad guerrillas, the Maoists can conduct insurgency action taking the security forces by surprise.

According to the information available with the IB, the core commanders of the action squads in the Maoist-prone districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Puruliya have already been replaced by comparatively new faces.

“The old commanders have been given new assignments somewhere else in India. Apart from commanders, some most wanted action squad guerrillas have also been replaced by new faces,” an IB official said on condition of anonymity.

The IB has recently submitted a confidential report to the West Bengal home department where it cautioned of possible Maoist attacks on different correctional homes of the state in a bid to free their comrades.

According to the IB report, the prime target of the Maoists is the correctional home at Krishnagarh in Nadia district, where most of the high profile Maoist leaders are currently detained.

The state IG (prisons), BD Sharma, said that security systems in all the correctional homes, especially the one at Krishnagarh, have been overhauled.

Maoists destroy school building

Giridih (Jharkhand), PTI:

Maoists destroyed a school building, often used by policemen as rest house during night, by exploding landmines at Sobaranpur in Giridih district early Thursday.

According to Superintendent of Police, Arun Singh the naxalites triggered the blast around 1.30 am.

The police super said the Maoists blasted the structure as security personnel often used it as rest house during nights.

India: Maoists eye Kerala state

Published: 24, 2007 at 10:59 AM
Print story Email to a friend Font size:NEW DELHI, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- India says Maoist rebels plan to expand their operations to Kerala state.

“Naxalites from other states were active in Kerala. The police had information that members of left extremist groups from neighboring states were using Kerala as a meeting point,” said K. Balakrishnan, interior minister of Kerala.

Naxalites is the term used in India for Maoists; it is named for Naxalbari, the region where the movement began.

"We are keeping a careful watch on their activities," he said.

The minister held a review meeting Tuesday on the state’s law and order situation with top police officers.

Maoist rebels are strong across much of central India, where poverty and government inefficiency have combined to give rebels a fertile recruiting ground. The government has begun a recent crackdown against the movement.

© Copyright United Press International. All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be reproduced, redistributed, or manipulated in any form

ORISSA: Landmine recovered

Wednesday October 24 2007 11:02 IST
Express News Service

BERHAMPUR: Police party engaged in search operations recovered a landmine along the road between Dahani and Souraguda in Gudari block of Rayagada district on Tuesday.
The party defused the landmine and seized wires and other materials used in previous blasts. On Saturday, six landmines set by the Maoists exploded near Dhepaguda in the block.

Though no one was injured in the series of blasts, but landmines targeted the policemen involved in combing operation in the area, claimed a senior official.

The cops, including that of India Reserve Battalion (IRB), CRPF and Special Operation Group (SOG), are on a joint combing operation in the area. Sources said radicals numbering about 30 had reached Dhepaguda village on Saturday night much earlier than the cops.

First they triggered a landmine blast near the UGME School in the village damaging its boundary wall.

As the combing party rushed to the village, the Naxals set landmines about five km from Dhepaguda along Raijhola - Dhepaguda road. However, the blasts took place around 50 yards away from the police team, but no one was injured.

On Monday, rumours spread in the area that many more landmines were set and the blasts would continue till the combing party returns. Immediately, the combing party with bomb disposal squads and sniffer dogs, started searching near Dahani village in the block.

Vidarbha and Marathwada: Police Wireless dept faces staff crunch

25 Oct 2007, 0301 hrs IST,Soumittra S Bose,TNN

NAGPUR: The wireless department of east zone comprising entire Vidarbha and Marathwada is functioning without a regular superintendent of police (engineering) for the last three years.

Additional SP (engg) M G Dehenkar, who is of the rank of deputy superintendent of police, is entrusted with the additional responsibility of a regular SP. Dehenkar who is posted at Nagpur Range has been also handling the responsibility of the SP (engineering).

Apart from the crisis at the top, the entire department of wireless which is entrusted with the significant responsibility of maintaining communication in both intra and inter-district and other departments of police are reeling under manpower crunch — which has reportedly hit the functioning of about 25 units including six districts of Nagpur range, five districts in Amravati range, four districts of Aurangabad range, five districts in Nanded range, five units of State Reserve Police Force and three commissionerates of Nagpur, Aurangabad and Amravati.

According to sources, four posts of deputy SP rank are still lying vacant. Similarly, one post of DySP (traffic) is also lying vacant since July 2007.

Manpower crunch in the ranks of police wireless inspector and police wireless sub-inspectors have also started adversely affecting the effectiveness of the department, claimed a reliable source in the department. Around four posts of PWI and six PWSI are lying vacant.

Sources also claimed that the technical wing in the wireless department has been also affected by shortage of manpower.

Around 52 vacant posts of radio mechanic of assistant police sub-inspector ranks have also crippled the maintenance work in several units. Sources also claimed that around 77 posts of wireless operators are also lying vacant in the entire zone.

"We have equipment but there is a shortage of personnel who can operate or repair these," said a senior officer adding the government should take up the issue to fill up the vacant posts in the wireless department.

"Viewing the rising threat perception from naxal and ant-national outfits, one cannot ignore wireless department," added the senior officer.

Illegality in an anti-insurgency college of Chhattisgarh

A journalist’s work is often frustrating. Leads are a plenty, but most get nowhere. Once in a while though, one does hit pay dirt. Here is one such experience. During the last two years I have had many opportunities to visit the College of Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare at Kanker in Chhattisgarh. I was always impressed by the chief of the college—Basant Kumar Ponwar—and his trained commandos.

After his retirement from the Indian Army, Ponwar is now on deputation with the Chhattisgarh police. Before this posting he was the head of the Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School in Warengate, Mizoram.

He says: “Chhattisgarh’s ex governor, K M Seth contacted me at Warengate one day.

He wanted to send over some candidates for commando training to deal with the increasing Naxal violence in Chhattisgarh. I suggested that a few training sessions would not be sufficient. The forces would need training on an ongoing basis. And this is how the Kanker college was set up.”

The ex-brigadier continues: “I teach the men to fight a guerrilla, like a guerrilla.” That is the main agenda of this jungle warfare college.”

Confident handshake
At Dantewada, I saw Ponwar’s wards in action: they provided an impressive contrast to the ordinary pot-bellied policeman.

• Those they arm

There was something reassuring about the confident way they shook hands with me.

Meeting the brigadier also left me with an overwhelming sense of pride. To see that to this day our country has officers like him: the dedication and integrity of his wards towards the task at hand was exemplary.

I kept up our acquaintance.

On one of my visits, Ponwar took me to the top of a hill. He told me, “I am having this hill dug up, to make a helipad.” The ex-army official shared with me the outline of a Rs 72-crore project to set up the College of Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare. He informed me about the elaborate plans for a swimming pool, an auditorium and a guesthouse.

“When you visit next, you will not have to look for another place to stay,” Ponwar told me in his inimitable style.

Digging the hill
As journalists we tend to dig wherever we can and the digging of the hill by Ponwar inspired me to do some on my own. I wondered if the law was being followed in setting up a huge project on what looked like forestland. I found out that the settlement for this land was made in 1921-22, when it was known as village Gadh Pichhwari, and Singarbhaat. According to the old settlement, the two villages comprised about 140 ha, of which 68 ha was a forest.

In the recent settlement, the name of village Patharri has been added, and the size of the forest has reduced to 45 ha acres (about 37.5 ha covered with large trees and 17 ha with small trees). The old records make no mention of this village. It seems Patharri village came into existence much later.

The process for transferring the land to the police department began on May 25, 1998, when Kanker’s superintendent of police wrote a letter to the district collector (reference 7/98). The department wanted this land for building a police residential colony. On December 4, 1998 the collector, changed the land-use status of this tract from forest to residential.

Anyhow, allotment to the police department was approved by the District Planning Committee in a meeting on April 4, 2001. Satya Narayan Sharma, the then Chhattisgarh minister for higher education, was present at this meeting. It was announced that the district forest officer (dfo), Kanker, had given a no objection certificate for the change of usage, vide letter reference 2578/4.8.98.

Karnataka : People may have to be armed against naxals: Nayak

Special Correspondent

‘There is a need for confidence-building in Malnad’

Bangalore: Karnataka State Human Rights Commission Chairperson S.R. Nayak has said that “a time may come” when people will have to be armed to counter the “naxal menace”.

Briefing presspersons on his recent visit to the site of the “police encounter” in Menasinahadya in Chikmagalur district, where five persons were killed, he said that there was a need for confidence building measures in the “once peaceful Malnad region”.


Besides reaching basic amenities to inaccessible and deprived villages such as Menasinahadya, local people also needed to be given adequate protection from “extremist elements”, he said.

Arming them may be an option in “effective confrontation”, he said.

Mr. Nayak cited the Salwa Judum in Chhattisgarh as an example of what he called people’s resistance to naxalism.


Asked if Salwa Judum, a counter-insurgency force, could be a model given its alleged human rights violations and the civil war-like situation it has resulted in, he claimed it was not an armed force.

Coming down heavily on naxalism, he said that nobody had any business to assume “extra-constitutional authority” in a democracy and it was against the “basic tenets of our civilisation”.

Speaking about the commission’s inquiry on whether the Menasinahadya “encounter” was a fake one, Mr. Nayak said that a final decision on it was kept in abeyance, since two inquiries were pending on the incident.

One was a magisterial inquiry ordered by the Deputy Commissioner and the other by the Superintendent of Police. They were also awaiting directions from the National Human Rights Commission, he added.

“Expressing any opinion now will be premature,” he said. The team may visit the village again, he added.


On the commission’s inquiry into the suicide by a Dalit student on the Indian Institute campus, allegedly due to caste harassment, he said that the Home Secretary had been instructed to institute an inquiry by an officer of the rank of the Inspector General of Police. A report was awaited, he added.

ORISSA: Serve in Naxal zone, get more

Wednesday October 24 2007 11:07 IST
Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The State Government is preparing an incentive package for its employees working in nine Naxal-infested districts to arrest the trend of a large number of vacancies.

A proposal will soon be submitted to the Government, sources said. With Naxals spreading their wings, Government employees are reluctant to get posted in ‘red’ zones. A large number of vacancies in these districts has become the major stumbling block in the process of development.
The issue was discussed at a high-level meeting chaired by Development Commissioner R.N. Bohidar here on Tuesday. The meeting convened by the Home Department was to deliberate on the proposed pilot project to be launched by the Centre in two selected districts - Malkangiri and Rayagada.

The State Government’s announcement of a special package for doctors and para-medical staff working in KBK districts had a positive impact. Similar incentives to other Government staff may help improve the situation, the meeting observed.

The Centre has selected 10 districts - including the two in Orissa - where the pilot project will be launched. This will be part of a two pronged approach to contain Naxalism.

While security will be strengthened in the Naxal-infested areas, thrust will be on socio-economic development. The Centre has asked the State Government to submit a special action plan under the pilot project. The entire cost of the project will be borne by the Centre.

Home Secretary T K Mishra told this website's newspaper that a holistic approach will be made in the action plan involving all the line departments to ensure speedier development and smooth functioning of the delivery system.

The State Government will request the Centre to relax the norms of PMGSY guidelines so that many road projects can be taken up in the Naxal-affected districts.

'Naxalism biggest security challenge’
New Delhi, October 05, 2007
First Published: 03:57 IST(5/10/2007)
Last Updated: 04:00 IST(5/10/2007)

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told police chiefs of naxal-affected states on Thursday to “redouble their efforts” in controlling Naxalism and showcased Andhra Pradesh – as a success story in handling the problem.

This is the first time that Singh – who had earlier described Naxalism as India’s biggest internal security challenge – sent out a clear message that stronger police action was needed.

Andhra Pradesh – that initially tried to hold talks with the Maoists – is considered the best example of a state where naxal activity has abated and the naxalites are on the run due to concerted police action.

In his speeches at the annual conference of police chiefs in previous years, Singh had made it a point to mention the need for a security response to Naxalism. He had also stressed the need to address the basic causes for alienation of the people and the lack of development.

Singh kept it straight on Thursday “I have said in the past that there are many dimensions to the problems of Naxalism. While concerted efforts are being made on the development front to remove any feeling of alienation, the police forces need to redouble their efforts to control this phenomenon,” he told the police chiefs unequivocally.

“Some states like Andhra Pradesh have demonstrated that where there is a will, there is a way forward,” Singh, who had spent several hours at the conference discussing internal security challenges earlier in the day, told the gathering.

“Other States need to work with determination and in tandem to eliminate this menace,” he added, asking the security establishment to work with “greater commitment” towards eliminating the threat posed by Naxalism.

Singh ran the delegates through a few terrorist and naxal attacks, saying that these incidents should make them aware of the formidable challenges that lie ahead and stressed on the need to improve the internal security machinery, a point that home minister Shivraj Patil had mentioned on Wednesday.

“We need better police forces – better in all senses… We need superior intelligence capabilities, which can alert us about looming threats. We need greater discipline, lesser politicization and zero corruption,” he said, asking the police chiefs to provide the leadership and direction to the forces under their command in this context.

Singh also pointed to the global face of terrorism, saying that the security agencies have the challenge of facing determined, committed and highly motivated adversaries working with an evil intent and design.

“We need to go far beyond conventional responses in facing terrorist threats”.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

5 cops injured in Naxal attack

23 Oct 2007, 1037 hrs IST,Vaibhav Ganjapure,TNN
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NAGPUR: The auspicious occasion of Dussehra turned out to be a nightmare for five brave policemen who survived a brutal attack by over 150 Naxalites in a dense forest near Roppi village, 45 km from Etapalli in Gadchiroli district.

In the process, the commandos from C-60 group of anti-Naxal special squad along with their 25 other colleagues thwarted a brutal attack of the Naxals, who were hiding in a forest.

The bloody hour-long gunbattle saw thousands of rounds exchanged with automated rifles like AK-47 and AK-56 that shattered the serenity of the otherwise calm and quiet forest. Though no casualties were reported from the police side, the cops claim to have killed a couple of the attackers and injured many—but the Naxals were clever enough to carry the bodies of their comrades with them.

The five policemen injured in the incident were Suresh Kowase, Bhayyaji Kulsunge, Harishchandra Pawar, Sudhakar Ishtam and Babarao Padda.

The injured cops were admitted to the Orange City Hospital and Research Centre on Sunday wherein emergency medical team (EMS) from the hospital treated them.

As per the police information, the encounter started at 9.15 in morning when two special squads of anti-naxal operations comprising 15-16 men each were combing the dense forest in Jarawandi post following a tip-off that Naxals belonging to Platoon, Etapalli and Gatta Dalams were hiding there.

The special squads going by earlier experience of Naxals using landmine as an effective weapon against them decided to conduct the search operation on foot.

It was then that the Naxals in their trademark style blew off a "Clamor" landmine. The splinters from the landmine hit Pawar on his eye, Ishtam on the ear and Padda on the head.

Simultaneously, they also started firing on the commandos and a fierce gunbattle ensued between the two parties. According to the policemen, two Naxalites were killed and scores of others were injured. After a lull, Kulsunge and Kowase went to collect the bodies of naxals, but their colleagues who were hiding in the vicinity indiscriminately fired on them.

Kulsunge (34) has fracture of the left humerus bone with bullets inside shoulder joint. He also has multiple injuries over left lateral chest wall. Kowase received multiple bullet injuries over chest near left collar bone. Surprisingly, the bullet was not traced in his body in the X-ray.

Speaking to TOI, Dr Mahesh Sarda, ICCU coordinator at OCHRI said that the injured commandos were brought from primary healthcare centre in Etapalli as their condition was worsening because of excessive bleeding due to bullet injuries.

"Though the condition of the patients is critical, it is under control and we are taking all possible measures to ensure fruitful post trauma rehabilitation . Our first challenge is to stabilise their condition before conducting surgery," he said.

Kulsange is being treated by consultant orthopaedic surgeon Dr Nirbhay Karandikar. He told TOI that his patient will undergo a complicated surgery to remove the bullets after initial stabilisation.

Pawar received left eye intra-orbital injury with foreign body inside eye. He had undergone an emergency eye surgery carried out by Dr Abhijit Deshpande . He is reportedly said to be out of danger.

On Kowase’ condition, Dr Sarda said he had undergone multiple blood transfusions due to profuse blood loss and has been kept under strict observation.

Padda (32) received scalp injury over frontal region. However, his CT scan is found to be normal and there are no internal injuries. Ishtam (35) has developed deafness in the left ear due to the impact of loud sound of blast and he will need minor treatment to recover, Dr Sarda said.

Naxal sympathisers' remand extended

NAGPUR: The judicial magistrate first class at district and sessions court here on Monday has extended police custody remand of alleged Naxal sympathiser Anil Subhash Mhamane (27) till October 26. However, the other three accused Bapusaheb Namdeo Patil (20), Yashwant Saimate (20), and Dinkar Maruti Kamble (23) have been remanded to judicial magistrate custody by the court.

The four Naxal sympathisers were arrested from Maharashtra Express at Ajni railway station following a tip-off.

Earlier, judicial magistrate first class K P Kshisagar had remanded all of them to PCR till October 22. The accused persons were represented by a battery of lawyers led by advocate Milind Khobragade, Anil Kale, Vikrant Narnaware, S P Tekade and Y I Gajbhiye. Assistant police prosecutor A Rathod appeared for the government.

Commandos tell their heroic tales

23 Oct 2007, 1026 hrs IST,TNN

NAGPUR: The C-60 commandos recuperating at a city hospital depicted nerves of steel while narrating their tales of bravery — thwarting an ambush of around 150 revolutionaries of three combined dalams near Roppi village in Etapalli town in Gadchiroli on Sunday.

Around five members of the two patrolling units of around 50-odds highly skilled C-60 commandos were gravely injured and had to be shifted to intensive care unit in a city hospital after the ambush in the Naxalinfested district bordering Chhattisgarh.

"We were expecting an encounter at some point or the other after seeing lot of Naxal posters between Kasanur and Jaramandi," said commando Suresh Kowase who has been hit by a bullet on his chest from the front.

Kowase has been serving in the C-60 commando unit since 1995.

"Battling Naxals is part of out duties and we often engage in these types of encounters but were never hurt before this incident. I am hardly concerned or thwarted," added the commando, who has a five-year-old daughter.

"Bhaiyyaji (Kulsinge) was first to get a bullet hit followed by me. I tried to remain strong even after the hit but could not stand the injury for long and collapsed," added the commando.

Another C-60 commando Sudhakar Isthamb — who too like Kowase was injured for the first time in an encounter— added that fighting Naxals in the forest are nothing new and is ready to resume his duty.

The father of three children has been serving in the Naxal den of Gadchiroli for the last four years. "I am confident of resuming my duty soon," said the 35-yearold commando who was hit by shrapnel on his head from the mine blast.

"We are neither concerned about our incentives or rewards as much we do care for our responsibility in the commando. We want to continue to serve the government expecting that we would be taken care of too," said Kowase.

Sub-inspector AM Malve, posted in the district special branch (crime) in Gadchiroli, added that motivation and courage is key to work in Gadchiroli.

"One has to be high on his passion and patriotism to work in a district like Gadchiroli where you cannot justify the working hours with pay and perks," said PSI Malve, who was accompanying the injured commandos.

Monday, October 22, 2007

ANALYSIS: China's communists inch away from ideological roots

Oct 21, 2007, 10:05 GMT

Beijing - China's Communist Party marked another short step away from its roots in Marxism and Mao Zedong thought on Sunday by protecting religion and business in its constitution.

Some 2,200 top party members approved the inclusion in the constitution of party and state leader Hu Jintao's 'scientific outlook on development' as well as the first mention of religion and a promise to promote private industry.

The delegates to the party's five-yearly congress agreed to 'unswervingly encourage, support and guide the development of the non-public sector' and allow market forces to play a 'fundamental role in the allocation of resources,' state media said.

The change follows a constitutional amendment in 2002, when former party leader Jiang Zemin persuaded the majority of members to accept his call to allow business people and other 'new forces' to join the party.

The controversial move changed the basic principles of the party, which had always claimed to represent workers and farmers since it was founded in 1921.

Jiang said workers and farmers would remain the backbone of the party but should be supplemented by entrepreneurs and professionals once dismissed as the 'class enemies' of communists.

'Since the 1990s, the Chinese Communist Party has changed its ideas, systems and approach from that of a revolutionary party to that of a governing party,' Xu Xianglin, an expert on governance at Beijing University, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

'It pays more attention to the interaction between society and government, and government accountability,' Xu said.

'Ideology is still important but it is not too forceful,' he said.

The party now promotes Hu's 'scientific outlook,' his 'people- oriented' approach and his call for a 'harmonious society.'

'These show that the Chinese Communist Party's ideology and political line have been adjusted,' Xu said.

The party said this week that nearly 3 of its 73 million members were classified as 'private sector' members.

State media said the party had also inserted its 'guiding principles and policies in religious work' into the constitution with the aim of meeting 'demands posed by the new situation and new tasks.'

China's national constitution gives broad protection to religious practice under state control, and the government has actively promoted Buddhist and other state-run religious bodies since it banned the Falun Gong spiritual movement in 1999.

The party made two major amendments to its constitution earlier in the 1990s, firstly to enshrine Deng Xiaoping's 'building socialism with Chinese characteristics' and later to elevate Deng Xiaoping theory to its 'guiding ideology' alongside Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong thought.

Its most important constitutional amendment arguably came in 1982. Changes were made to reflect Deng's efforts to correct the 'leftist mistakes' of the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution, eradicate the Mao personality cult and allow 'democratic discussion' of major issues by party leaders.

In the latest change, Hu's 'scientific development' requires China to move towards more sustainable growth and create a 'harmonious society' by reducing the economic inequalities that have resulted from 25 years of its 'development first' strategy.

Hu has also continued to prioritize the fight against corruption since Jiang made it a focus of his keynote speech at the last congress in 2002.

State media trumpeted the fact that Hu used the word democracy more than 60 times in his speech to the congress.

The party lauded the fact that about 8 per cent of candidates failed to win a seat on the 370-strong Central Committee on Sunday, claiming it as a reflection of democratic development.

In an editorial for the influential Caijing magazine last week, Hu Shuli quoted Hu Jintao as saying there could be 'no modernization without democratization.'

Hu Shuli outlined 'established roadblocks' to the process of gradually developing village elections, greater openness in governance, and democracy within the party.

She said political reform was held back partly 'because some groups with vested interests in the status quo have purposely hindered reform' and by an 'excessively cautious stance.'

Diehard Maoists and party members with corrupt business links are those most often blamed for opposing reform.

Yet despite vows to develop 'socialist democracy' and 'political restructuring,' there are no signs of any moves towards open national elections or multi-party democracy, which the party often dubs 'Western-style democracy.'

The party instead urges Chinese people to wait several decades for multi-party democracy and unite behind its economic modernization drive under 'socialism with Chinese characteristics.'

© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Maoists explode landmines in Raygada

Monday October 22 2007 13:56 IST

BHUBANESWAR: Maoists have spread panic in Rayagada district of South Orissa by triggering a series of landmine explosions on the road connecting karlaghati and gudari, nearly 135 km from rayagada town, superintendent of police A K Singh said on Sunday.

The ultras exploded six landmines at around noon but there were no reports of injury, Singh said.

He said the ultras had set a landmine at Podaguda school at Gudari with an aim to target some jawans who undertook combing operation in that locality.

They put a Maoist flag near the landmine hoping that the Jawans would come to remove the flag.

"Since we had prior information, jawans were cautious in removing the flag", the SP said.

Two Naxalite commanders held

Zee News, India - 10 hours ago
He was wanted in about two dozen cases of naxalite violence in Bihar and Jharkhand. A country-made carbine, pistol, can bomb, camera, mobile phone and 28 ...


Books on Naxals seized in Kolhapur

21 Oct 2007, 0203 hrs IST,TNN

Books and leaflets on Naxals were seized from the home of Anil Mamane, Dinkar Kamble in Kolhapur and from the residences of Babasaheb Saymathe and Bapu Patil in Sangli.

The four were arrested by the Nagpur police for alleged links with the Naxalite movement. After information from the Nagpur police, the Kolhapur police on Friday night swung into action and searched the home of Anil Mamane and Dinkar Kamble in Ujalaiwadi area in Karveer taluka.

In the search operation the police found the books on various topics most of them based on Dalit, Naxalite movement and Khairlanji incident. Sources revealed that Anil runs the book publication business through Nirmiti Publication. Anil and Dinkar share the same home.

The crime branch officials on Saturday searched Mahatma Gandhi Hostel in Sangli and seized books and leaflets which include periodicals of Gadar and communists.

Meanwhile, the local leftist leader Baburao Gurav visited the deputy chief minister R R Patil and requested him for immediate release of the suspects.

“The suspects don’t have any links with the Naxals and they are just book sellers and students travelling to Diksha Bhumi,” Gurav had said.

Patil assured a thorough probe in the case. “We have constituted a team of officers to look into the matter. The government will decide its future course of action after the probe,” Patil said.

Red Inferno

Mon, 2007-10-22 02:15
*By D. K. Arya - Syndicate Features

What afflicted Kolkata (Calcutta then) and its periphery, Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh and parts of Orissa in the late sixties and early seventies has now engulfed more than forty percent of the country. That fear was dimmed by passage of time but activists like SN Singh, Pulla Reddy, DV Rao, Vinod Mishra, and Venu have continued to keep the pot boiling. The internecine turf and ideological war between the PWG and MCCI was ended by the merger of the two in September 2004 into CPI (Maoist) doubling their material, financial, intelligence and organizational resources.

The Maoists are getting stronger by the day. There are suggestions that a linkage between Indian Maoists, Nepali Maoists, Punjab militants, ISI and the LTTE exists. Now over 125 districts out of 605 or so districts in 14 states are feeling the intense heat of Naxalism. Hundreds of lives have been lost and irreparable damage has been done to social fabric of tribal society besides causing great financial loss to the nation.

I had the opportunity to read over a hundred police case diaries of POTA cases pertaining to Jharkhand. It enabled me to comprehend the magnitude of the problem. Most of those arrested - they were in a large number- had hardly any ideological commitment. They belonged to lumpen category. Some had an axe to grind or retribution in their mind, were unemployed, or had nothing else to bring excitement to their otherwise insipid lives. Only a handful of them knew what they were doing and had the capability to carryout orders of their mentors.

Many such middle level or some higher-level leaders had amassed wealth through extortion or defalcations, and converted into personal property. All of them were ruthless, cruel, and inhuman and exulted in carrying out killing and maiming in the name of meting out social justice. They had surrendered merely to save themselves from severe punishment from the party.

Chhattisgarh region is no different and almost comparable to Andhra Pradesh. The Dandakaranya region of Chhattisgarh comprising of six southern districts of Bastar have average tribal population of 65% (Dantewada 79%- Kanker 56%) of which 98% live in rural areas. Naxalites have been able to make inroads in areas where the population mainly comprised of tribals, dalits and the landless. 90% of them live below the poverty line.

The causes which attract youth to Naxalism- socio-economic factors, social injustice, and discrimination, denial of access to land, want of livelihood, oppression by landlords, moneylenders, forest, revenue and police officials, and political neglect are all there.

Tribal region of Chhattisgarh makes a classical recruiting ground for Naxalism. In the ongoing Naxal related violence, over 271 people in 968 incidents were killed in 2004-2005. This included 175 civilians, 54 police personnel and 35 Naxals. 24 policemen were brutalized and killed this year in a mass attack.

An estimated 9.8 tonnes of gelatine and SLRs and ammunition was looted from the NMDC Baladila magazine after killing eight CISF jawans. Recently three power pylons were blasted disrupting power to a major portion of Bastar region. In the first eight months of 2007 alone, over 405 lives have been lost.

Most people in the country are unaware of the magnitude of the problem because it has yet to touch their lives.

The Salva Judam (peace initiative) movement, hyped as a spontaneous anti-Maoist reaction in Bastar has been castigated by the Maoist front organizations of all the Naxal infested states. For them, it is state ‘sponsored’ and state ‘managed’ enterprise. Maoists also go to the extent of charging that the Salva Judam’s core cadre comprises state paid Special Police Officers (SPO).

Maoists of all hues allege that about 60,000 tribal from about 500 villages have been displaced from their homes and were forcibly brought into roadside camps and that security forces kill those who resist the shifting. The front organizations have conveniently omitted to mention that the exorbitant cut levied by Maoist on contractors collecting Tendu Patta and their refusal to bid for the bidi leaf has robbed most tribals of their only source of living and that as a consequence the Salva Judam movement was born.

The so-called emancipators of tribals took away the ‘means by which they lived’. The attacks by the Naxalites to smother the movement made villagers to flee to camps that had to be set up by the state. Villages of the area today are bereft of population and the Maoists have ready built huts to live in and, in gloat, call it a liberated area.

The state has been accused of paying little attention to critical issues that allegedly sustain Naxalite movement, such as weakening of social roots and support structure, unemployment, non-upliftment of the poor, negative economic regeneration, absence of infrastructure, and the abysmal performance of the institutions of civil governance.

It is politically convenient to beat the government with these sticks but systematic destruction of roads, bridges, schools, canals, transport, railways, and most of the developmental activities is perpetuating the very conditions, which sustain the anti-state movement. There is a vested interest in creating chaos to enlarge recruiting base.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called the Maoist insurgency the biggest internal security challenge faced by India since independence. Addressing the Directors General of Police in Delhi on October 4, he urged the administration to take steps by all legitimate means to control the situation. Early this year, February to be precise, a brainstorming session took place in Hyderabad on means to bring normalcy to Naxal infested areas. Another such session was held a month ago in September.

But the fact of the matter is there does not appear to be a well thought of national doctrine to counter Maoist menace and to stop red advance. Knee jerk reaction and fire-fighting will not solve this massive problem. The Maoists are using variegated means of waging war against the state; it can be countered only with a variegated and holistic approach to the problem.

Naxalism is an ideology driven violence and it will be impossible to counter it by denigrating that ideology. The criminality of the violence must be exposed and fought.

The 14-point policy of Government of India advises states to adopt a collective approach and coordinated response to Naxalism. It advocates no peace dialogue without Maoists surrendering arms. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s readiness for peace talks is no doubt laudable but one must not forget that every time the Maoists are under pressure or want a breather they offer ceasefire and peace talks. They then use the lull to regroup, recuperate and reorganise.

Never forget Ho Chi Minh's famous words -"talk talk; fight, fight". Governments must talk from the position of strength. Political parties must fill the political vacuum by strengthening bases in the 'liberated zones' to wean away new Naxal recruits. Financial gains must be denied to them. Village volunteer groups must develop local resistance and the state must ensure their security and further improve police response.

Sustained police action, holistic approach to the socio economic issues, encouragement to surrender and genuine action for the rehabilitation of people will bring desired response.

Various committees have suggested new approaches: “Get tough. Forget talks until they give up guns. Choke off men and money supply. Wean away their support base among tribal and the poor through development and availability of jobs. Train local resistance groups (Salva Judam). Increase men, material, and training support to local police”.

Undoubtedly, the need for a coordinated and combined effort by affected states is imperative. Also, honest and better exchange of human intelligence (humint) can deliver. This is one most important area that needs unwavering focus.

From my experience of long years of policing in Naxalite and insurgency ridden areas, I can say one thing. That is that firm handling of the situation does not mean oppression by the state and its agencies.

The state must not fall for the justification of ‘moral construal in killing’ in response to the acts of terrorists. The state must maintain a dignified human face and ‘moral legitimacy’.

I can do no better than to quote Kofi Annan, former Secretary General, United Nations, who said, “We face a nearly unsolvable conflict between two imperatives of modern life - protecting the traditional civil liberties of our citizens, and at the same time ensuring their safety from terrorist attacks with catastrophic consequences”.

*D. K. Arya a former DG, BSF and ITBP, Presently a consultant with International Red Cross.

- Syndicate Features -

Seven cops injured in naxal firing

Nagpur, (PTI): Seven policemen were injured when a group of armed naxalites indiscriminately fired on a police patrol party in Gadchiroli district, police said Monday.

The incident took place in the interior areas near Jaravandi village on Sunday, they said.

Five cops, who sustained serious injuries were brought to a private nursing home here, while the remaining two are being treated in Gadchiroli, they added.

Senior police officials have rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation, they said.

Tributes paid to police martyrs

Monday October 22 2007 11:55 IST
Express News Service

GUNTUR: Rich tributes were paid to police martyrs on the occasion of the Police Commemoration Day on Sunday.

Inspector General Satyanarayan and Superintendent of Police Mahesh Chandra Laddha received the guard of honour before garlanding the memorial near the Police Control Room. Satyanarayan said that policemen always work to protect the law and order and in the process some cops die in the hands of anti-social elements.

He called upon the policemen to rededicate themselves taking inspiration from the slain cops.

The SP said Naxalites could be suppressed to a large extent in the district due to cooperation from the people and called upon his colleagues to pull up their socks to curb terrorist modules, if any, in the district and enlisted the cooperation of the people in this regard.

Since 1975, two CIs, two SIs and 19 constables were killed while discharging their duties in the district. Most of them fell to Naxal violence.

The IG and the SP called on the families of the slain cops and enquired about their problems.

When the family members of three cops who were killed in the attack on Chilakaluripet police station in March, 2005 complained that they did not get the promised house-sites, the IG directed the officials to hasten the process.

Earlier, The police organised a huge rally from the Police Control Room to the Police Parade Grounds.

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