Friday, November 02, 2007

Maoists threat : MLA 'shelters' in Circuit House

MLA 'shelters' in Circuit House
2 Nov 2007, 0220 hrs IST,Priti Nath Jha,TNN

MUZAFFARPUR: Threat to his life by Maoists has forced the JD(U) MLA from Meenapur, Dinesh Kushwaha, to flee from his village and take shelter in the Circuit House of this town.

An intelligence report had said recently that the MLA is on the hit list of the Maoists for countering the activities and criticising the expansion policy of the Naxalites.

On the basis of intelligence reports, he had requested the DM, Vinay Kumar, to allot a suite for him in the local Circuit House.

The district magistrate told TNN on Thursday that he has already allotted accommodation in the Circuit House for him on temporary basis.

The DM also admitted that Meenapur has been a hotbed of Maoists these days because of its proximity to Sheohar. "The Maoists have no ideology but to overthrow the democratically-elected government and run a parallel government of their own. All possible measures are being taken by the government to counter their influence," he added.

Meanwhile, reliable reports from Meenapur say that Maoists have collected a huge amount as levy from Turki Bazar under Meenapur police station.

Moreover, the donors have been given computerised receipts to show that they have accepted the membership of CPI(Maoist).

A special feature of the story is that nobody is being coerced to increase the amount of donation. Whatever is given to them is being gladly accepted. Villagers have begun thinking that it is better to part with some of their earnings than to invite the wrath of the extremists.

The Maoists have opened their office somewhere inside the inaccessible areas of the neighbouring Sheohar district, reports said. They have some computers there and in a way, they have started running a parallel administration in some belts of Sheohar district, reports added.

Maoists using SMS messages in psychological war

Fri, 02 Nov 2007
Source : IANS

Ranchi, Nov 2/IANS/ - Maoist rebels are using SMS messages to wage psychological war on Jharkhand police officials.

Sukhdeo Singh, principal secretary to Chief Minister Madhu Koda, received an SMS Wednesday from the mobile number of Chatra district Deputy Commissioner (DC) Puja Singhal that Maoist rebels had killed the district superintendent of police (DSP) along with 25 security personnel in an ambush.

'When the Chatra DC was contacted it was found that the information sent through the SMS was wrong,' an official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

The same evening, Singhal received an SMS from the DSP's cell phone that said: 'Please come, we are holding a janata durbar'.

On contacting the DSP, Singhal realised that he had not sent any SMS.

'It seems that Maoist rebels want to trap the officials by sending misleading messages and are trying to put psychological pressure on the government,' said the official.

Police sources said Maoist rebels tap the wireless messages of officials regularly.

In turn, police have arrested some Maoist leaders like Madanji by tapping their mobile phones. Since that arrest, the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has issued a circular banning the use of mobile phones by its cadres.

Maoist rebels are active in 18 of the 24 districts of Jharkhand. More than 1,000 people, including 290 security personnel, have been killed in the last seven years in Maoist-related violence.

Maoist landmine blast kills 10 policemen in Chhattisgarh

Fri Nov 2, 2007 7:23pm IST

RAIPUR, India (Reuters) - Maoist rebels set off a landmine in Chhattisgarh on Friday, killing at least 10 policemen, an officer said.

The policemen were in a vehicle when the ambush took place in a jungle stretch of the state, where large rural swathes are controlled by the rebels.

A police officer said he expected the toll to go up, as information from the attack site was slow in reaching the state capital Raipur.

Maoist militants, who launched an armed movement in 1967 claiming to fight for the rights of poor peasants and landless labourers, are active in at least 13 of India's 29 states.

The conflict has killed thousands of people, including hundreds of policemen.

Islamist-Communist Alliance in South Asia: Hyperbole or Hazard?

Sanjay Upadhya | Bio | 01 Nov 2007
World Politics Review Exclusive

Patterns of a resurgence in cooperation between Islamic extremists and radical communists -- faint in some places, more pronounced in others -- are emerging. While much of the current focus is on parts of Europe, South Asia could emerge as the principal arena for a communist-jihadist alliance.

Depending on whom you talk to, an alliance between Islamic extremists and radical communists is either more sinister war-on-terror hyperbole or a clear and present danger. At the most basic level, the two groups are divided by their outlook on the supreme being. For Islamist extremists, killing in the name of and dying for God is an investment in the hereafter. But the communist's variety of death and destruction is motivated by a worldview rooted in materialism.

Yet the two philosophies clearly have much in common. Both profess a disdain for the excesses of Western capitalism packaged as globalization. Like Marx and Lenin of the last century, today's jihadists have a utopian vision of a chaste internationalism. Their glorification of death is an act of piety.

Both groups also are strategic pragmatists. They have a history of joining hands with unlikely allies to destroy the primary enemy of the day. Like Joseph Stalin's alliance with America and Britain to defeat Hitler, jihadists had worked with the United States to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Earlier this year, media organizations in India's Jammu and Kashmir state received a video recording in which al-Qaida purportedly declared war on the country. New Delhi has long blamed the Pakistani military's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) for fomenting violence in the Himalayan territory, which Islamabad has claimed since both nations gained independence from Britain 60 years ago. But the timing of al-Qaida's threat worried many Indians. It came amid a resurgence of a Maoist insurgency across vast swathes of the world's most populous democracy.

Known locally as "Naxalites," after the district of Naxalbari in the northern state of West Bengal where they mounted an uprising in 1967, Indian Maoist rebels were virtually wiped out in a massive government crackdown in the 1970s. Since last year, however, they have spread across rural and impoverished hinterlands in at least 11 of India's 28 states, prompting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to equate Naxalism with terrorism as the two big threats to the country's internal security.

Indian Maoist groups have strenuously denied ties to Islamist extremists. Skeptics contend that Indian law-enforcement authorities may be whipping up fears of a non-existent alliance to bolster their authority and influence. In May, India's Home Minister, Shivraj Patil, acknowledged his government had no hard evidence of a formal association. But, he said, the government possesses enough circumstantial information to suggest coordination.

A report prepared by Indian security agencies two years ago suggested the Maoists may be using other Indian separatist groups to get arms and ammunition from the ISI -- a link that continues to be highlighted by the Indian media with each rebel attack.

As India and Pakistan trade tirades, the issue has gone beyond the two nuclear-armed rivals. Some Indian analysts claim that almost all recent terrorist strikes on their country had links to neighboring Nepal, where Maoists have such sway that the country's mainstream political parties invited them to join the government earlier this year. Islamic militants involved in terrorist attacks in India, the South Asia Terrorism Portal points out, either used Nepal as a transit point between Pakistan and Bangladesh or masterminded operations from Nepalese towns.

Days after deadly bombs ripped through commuter trains in India's financial hub of Mumbai in July last year, Nepalese police arrested two Pakistani nationals in a Katmandu hotel for their alleged involvement. New Delhi regularly accuses Pakistan of using Bangladesh and Nepal as bases for anti-India subversion, a charge Islamabad, Dhaka and Katmandu deny equally assiduously.

Bangladesh, which won independence from Pakistan in 1971, has seen a growing Islamist presence in politics. Indian officials accuse that country's intelligence services of promoting armed wings of these political parties to perpetuate hostility toward their giant neighbor.

Although Nepal is a predominantly Hindu nation, its small Muslim population is heavily concentrated along the 1,000-mile open and largely unregulated border with India. Meanwhile, Nepal's decade-long Maoist insurgency claimed 13,000 lives before a tentative peace was reached last year. After signing a peace treaty with the government, Maoist leader Prachanda conceded at a conference in New Delhi that Pakistan had offered to arm and train his group, which he said he had declined.

In the past, however, the Maoist leader's rhetoric has been similar to the pronouncements of Islamist groups like al-Qaida. Two years ago, while still fighting to overthrow Nepal's monarchy and multiparty democracy, Prachanda called his struggle "a totally new 21st century war [against] the evil of the imperialist world, the hypocrisy of so-called democracy that a superpower like the U.S. represents." He enjoined like-minded groups from around the world to join in his epic struggle.

That kind of summons has largely ebbed. But after joining the peace process, some reports indicate the Nepalese Maoists continue to attend secret meetings of South Asian allies, joining in pledges to turn the region into a revolutionary zone. The former rebels may have laid down their guns, but Nepal's mainstream political parties as well as principal donor governments accuse them of continuing a campaign of abduction, extortion and intimidation.

Some Indian security officials believe former Nepalese insurgents are actively involved in Maoist attacks in their country. By making new demands in Katmandu earlier this month that have delayed previously scheduled elections, the Maoists have bolstered suspicions of their real motives.

In February, Indian police arrested an alleged Nepalese Maoist gunrunner who, they said, offered clues of ties between the Maoists and Islamic militants. Although the Nepalese Maoists denied having ties with the man, Indian security agencies consider him a key link to a network of terror in and around India.

One arrest, to be sure, may not amount to definitive proof. Yet the motive and opportunity for cooperation between Islamist and communist radicals may be too compelling to ignore.

Sanjay Upadhya is a Nepalese journalist who divides his time between the United States and Nepal. A Fulbright Scholar at New York University from 1993-96, he has worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation, the Times of London, Inter Press Service and the Khaleej Times.

Footwear giant co-owner shot dead in Jamshedpur

Shyamal Sarkar, 02 November 2007, Friday

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UNIDENTIFIED motorcycle borne assailants shot dead Ashis De, co-owner of Srerleathers, the footwear giant, on a road in the Sakchi area in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. The Bengal shoe company has many franchise outlets in Jharkhand, Bihar Uttar Pradesh. Ashis lived in Jamshedpur.

Ashis had come out of his home in Jamshedpur at 8.40 am and was riding his motorcycle to the shoe shop in the town when two motorcycles carrying four people approached him from the opposite direction. The pillion riders shot Ashis and got away. He was killed 50 yards from his home.

He had been received receiving threats and extortion calls for some time now and had informed his elder brother Satyabrata De. The family informed the Bengal administration which in turn got in touch with the police authorities in Jharkhand. The police offered Ashis security but he apparently refused. He presumably thought he could take are of himself for he carried a licensed pistol wherever he went, the Jharkhand police told the media.

There are unconfirmed reports that Ashis was asked to pay Rs. 3 crores in extortion money.

The police are yet figure out who killed the businessman. It is learnt that one of the threat calls was made from Nagaland in the Northeast. Jharkhand’s notorious underworld could also have been involved in the crime. The police are not ruling out the hand of Naxalites who are active in the Sakchi area. It can be recalled that on October 28, in a daring attack on a tribal cultural programme, Naxalites killed 17 people including former Jharkhand Chief Minister Babulal Marandi’s son in Chilkhadi village, Giridih district. Four people were injured.
The killing could have been carried out by insurgent groups in the Northeast if the call from Nagaland did indeed come. Rebel outfits in the Northeast are known to demand large sums in extortion money.

The firearms used in the murder are yet to be identified.

Satyabrata who was New Delhi was informed of his brother being shot and he has rushed to Jamshedpur.

Narendra Modi on Naxal terror

“Do you know there is a Red corridor from Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh) to Pashupati (Nepal) and that 30 per cent of India’s districts are ruled by the Naxalites? We have given a stable government for six years and brought peace and calm to the people of Gujarat. Do you want to be held at gunpoint or have a sword hanging over your head by voting out stability?”

CPM leader shot dead

CPM leader shot dead

Maoists attack purulia village, set house ablaze
Statesman News Service
BARABAZAR (Purulia), Nov. 1: A gang of 50 armed Maoists, including six women, shot dead a CPI-M local committee member and razed to the ground many houses at Bhikharicheliana village near Barabazar in Purulia district early today.
The Communist Party of India -Marxist local committee member Bhagirath Karmakar (45) was shot dead by the Maoists and his house was set ablaze. The radicals later set off a bomb near his body also.
The Maoists also attacked one Kiriti Gorai and he was admitted to a local primary health centre with serious injuries. The gang attacked three more houses and left with three guns.
After carrying out the attack, the Maoists fled towards Jharkhand. A large police contingent led by Purulia SP Mr Ashok Kumar Prasad rushed to the site.
He said that a red alert had been sounded and combing operations had begun. He added that neighbouring districts in Jharkhand had been alerted.

The body of Karmakar was sent to the Purulia Sadar hospital for postmortem.
Condemning the murder of Bhagirath, a top leader of the CPI-M in the district, Mr Monindra Gope, said that it was for the first time that Maoists had carried out an attack in the area. Police have set up a camp in the village to instill confidence in nervous people and are keeping a close watch on the area.

Sabhadipati of Purulia zilla parishad Rabindranath Kar and his wife were murdered by Maoists at their village in Bandwan, a Naxalite-infested area, on 30 December 2005. Kar was the district committee member of the Purulia Communist Party of India -Marxist

Orissa :Naxal terror tops cop agenda

- New DG Nanda to focus on recruitment drive

Orissa’s new director-general of police Gopal Nanda takes charge at the police headquarters in Cuttack on Thursday. Picture by Sanjib Mukherjee

Nov. 1: Senior IPS officer Gopal Chandra Nanda who assumed charge as the state’s director-general of police (DGP) on Wednesday conceded that countering the Naxalite menace and maintenance of law and order were the twin challenges before him.

Nanda, who met chief minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar after assuming charge at the state police headquarters in Cuttack, told newspersons that he would be concentrating on the two problems , while keeping an eye on the police-public relation.

However, before he starts work on either of the two problems, his priority would be to fill up vacancies in the police department, especially higher-up.

“How can we counter ultras, control crime and maintain law and order without adequate personnel?” the DGP asked. Around 7,000 to 8,000 posts of constables, assistant sub-inspectors and sub-inspectors are lying vacant, official sources said.

While speaking from Cuttack, where he assumed charge yesterday at the state police headquarters, Nanda admitted that personnel were often de-motivated by the lack of development.

He felt that this problem would be sorted soon after recruitment at the lowest rung was over.

In order to increase efficiency, he would concentrate on procuring sophisticated gadgets, stress on computerisation and updated training, he added.

Physical fitness, too, would be on the agenda.

Nanda, a 1974 batch IPS officer of the Orissa cadre, succeeded Amarananda Pattanayak at a time when the later was on leave.

Pattanayak, who was scheduled to attend the Interpol meet in Morocco in the first week of November, went on a month-long leave on “personal grounds” on October 30.

Nanda was confident of providing adequate security and protection to firms in sensitive areas such as Jagatsinghpur, if help was sought.

Shortly after assuming office at the state police headquarters in Cuttack, Nanda praised the Orissa force and told newspersons that “pro-active measures” adopted by the police had brought down extremist violence in the state.

“In fact, the situation here is much better than other Naxalite-hit states,” he added.

He added border patrols to prevent rebel mobilisation from Naxalite-hit areas, proves to be effective in the long run.

Will power required to curb Naxalism: Sinha

Hazaribag (Jharkhand) (PTI): Unless effective steps like coordination between the administration and the police were taken, it would be difficult to curb Naxalism in Jharkhand, the BJP's national vice-president Yashwant Sinha said on Thursday.

"Apart from coordination, modernisation of the police and strengthening of the intelligence wing are some other effective steps required to be taken to face Naxalites who are equipped with sophisticated weapons," Sinha said.

He alleged that the state government had no will power to challenge the Naxalites who recently massacred 19 villagers at Giridih's Chilkaridih.

Sinha, who is participating in the two-day state executive committee of the BJP at his home town Hazaribag, said the need of the hour was to enact a strong law to root out the Naxal scourge.

Criticising the Centre for scrapping the POTA, the former External Affairs minister claimed the erstwhile law had been effective in dealing with such problems.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Maoists blow up CPI (M) leader in Purulia with CAN BOMB
Kumar Sarkar, 01 November 2007, Thursday

The Maoists in West Bengal are striking in rapid succession. A local committee member of the CPI (M) in Purulia district was blown up with a can bomb tied to his body.

A HUNDRED armed Maoists killed a Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader in Bhikaricheliana village in Barabazaar, about 50 kilometres from Purulia on the West Bengal-Jharkhand border early on Thursday morning. He was blown up after the rebels tied a bomb in a can to his body. This is the first time that the rebels have used a can bomb.

The Maoists raided CPI-M local committee leader Bhagirath Karmakar’s post midnight. Alerted by his family Karmakar tried to escape. The rebels caught up with him, tied the can bomb and triggered an explosion, senior police officers told the local media. The CPI (M) leader’s family was not harmed. The raiders fled towards Jharkhand after looting three licensed guns from the village. Senior district police officials have rushed to the spot. An alert has been sounded in the district and the police is combing the area.

Karmakar was said to be on the hit list of the Maoists. CPI(M) leaders in Purulia, Bankura and Midnapore districts of West Bengal have been prime targets of the rebels for a couple of years now and quite a number of important Marxist functionaries have been killed.

Early this week Maoists tried to blow up a police jeep carrying CRPF personnel in East Midnapore. While none of the security personnel were killed, a woman passenger travelling in a bus just ahead of the jeep was killed and six injured.

1 Nov 2007, 1158 hrs IST,PTI

PURULIA (WB): Suspected Maoists killed a local CPM leader after raiding his house at Barabazar, about 50 km from Purulia, early on Thursday morning and fled towards the Jharkhand border, a senior police official said.

A gang of armed Maoists threw bombs at the CPM leader Bhagirath Karmakar's house and killed him on the spot, Superintendent of Police (SP) Ashok Kumar Prasad said.

It was not known whether they looted any thing from the CPM leader's house, he said, adding other members of Karmakar's family were not touched by the Maoist.

Karmakar was in the hit list of the Maoist.

Senior police officials have rushed to the spot.

Police launched a combing operation and have sounded an alert all over the district which borders Jharkhand, the SP added.

Police Seize Mobile Phone From Jailed Maoist Leader

Thursday 01st of November 2007 A mobile phone has been seized from Maoist leader Narayan Sanyal who has been imprisoned at the Bilaspur Central Jail for almost two years, police officials said Thursday.

Police alleged that the 70-year-old Sanyal alias Vijay Dada, who was arrested in January 2006, started the use of landmines by Maoist cadres. He is the lone surviving contemporary of Charu Majumdar who began the violent Maoist movement at Naxalbari in West Bengal in 1967.

'We seized a mobile phone from Sanyal Wednesday. When a jail staff spotted a mobile set in Sanyal's hand, the Maoist leader immediately hid the phone in his clothes but we seized it,' Pradeep Gupta, superintendent of police of Bilaspur district, told IANS.

Sanyal is facing charges of masterminding an attack on former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu in October 2003 and the escape of prisoners from Bihar's Jehanabad jail in November 2005. He has also been accused of being involved in about 10 other terror attacks across the country.

'The mobile set has no SIM card and I believe that the Maoist leader had taken it out immediately from the set when the staff spotted and hidden it somewhere,'
Gupta said.

'We even performed a X-ray test soon after the recovery of the mobile set amid speculation that he had swallowed the SIM card but found nothing,' the police officer added.

Help in fighting terrorism, youth told

Thursday, 01 November 2007

Kadapa, November 01: Kadapa Zilla Parishad Chairperson D. Jyothi Reddy on Wednesday called upon youth to gear up to root out terrorism.

Addressing a ‘Rashtriya Sankalpa Divas’ meeting at Kalakshetram, she lamented that terrorists were claiming lives of innocent persons by their mindless acts of destruction.

Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, an epitome of courage, fell prey to extremists’ bullets in 1984, she said.

Recalling the recent blasts at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat at Hyderabad, she said terrorists were targeting the youth and wondered what their goal was.

Terrorists must realise that their acts yield no benefits to the people and should shed the mindless violence, Ms. Jyothi Reddy said.
‘Black day’

Indira Gandhi strived for eradication of poverty with the slogan ‘Roti, kapda aur makaan’ and the day she was gunned down by terrorists was a black day, Kadapa MLA Mohd. Ahmedullah said. Joint Collector M. Girijasankar called for countering terrorism with united efforts. Terrorism was growing all over the world. He suggested counselling of youth to prevent them from aiding terrorists and naxalites.

Poverty was driving youth to terrorism and naxalism, he observed.

The Indian Army, police and the Government were striving to root out terrorism and youth should extend a helping hand, Kadapa DSP D. Narasimha Reddy said. Youth should not ruin their lives by abetting terrorism, but emerge as good citizens, CEO of Society for Training and Employment Promotion (STEP) B. Maheswara Reddy said. Students participated and recited the national anthem at the end of the meeting.
Rich tributes

Congressmen garlanded the portrait of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at the District Congress Committee office on Wednesday and paid rich tributes on her 23rd death anniversary.

DCC president A. Amarnath Reddy, Mahila Congress district president A. Prabhavathi, DCC general secretary M. Venkataramana Reddy, city Congress president T. Sivasankar and others also condoled the death of P. Chandrapratap Reddy, brother of Mayor P. Ravindranath Reddy and seven bus passengers at Chitvel by observing brief silence.

ZP chairperson D. Jyothi Reddy, Kadapa MLA Mohd. Ahmedullah and MLC Shaik Hussain were also present.

Maoist rebels kill politician in eastern India

Suspected Maoist rebels killed a politician after raiding his house in India's eastern state of West Bengal on Thursday, a news agency reported.

Police told the Press Trust of India (PTI) that the Maoists carried out the attack at the house of Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Bhagirath Karmakar in the western Purulia district early on Thursday.

Senior police official Ashok Kumar Prasad said that an armed group of militants threw bombs at the house of Karmakar - who was on the hit list of the rebels - killing him on the scene.

The guerrillas later fled toward the neighbouring state of Jharkhand, one of the hotbeds of Maoist insurgency in India.

Police sounded an alert in the district and launched search operations to track down the militants.

The killing came shortly after the Maoist insurgents killed the son of a former chief minister and 16 others in Jharkhand on October 27.

Maoist rebels operate in 13 of India's 29 states, are most active in states like Jharkhand, central Chhattisgarh and southern Andhra Pradesh, and claim to fight for the rights of the rural poor and tribal people.

According to New Delhi based Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) at least 384 people including 129 civilians, 162 security forces personnel and 93 Maoist rebels have been killed during January to September 2007.

Jharkhand is among the states worst-affected by the Maoist violence, accounting for 44 of the deaths in the conflict.

ORISSA: BRO to lay roads in Naxalite areas

Statesman News Service

BHUBANESWAR, Oct. 31: The Border Road Organisation (BRO), will be entrusted with the task of laying roads in Naxalite areas of Malkangiri and Rayagada district where contractors are reluctant to take up such work fearing threat from the ultras.
In fact the same organisation has been asked to lay roads in 8 districts of the four Naxalite states of Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh revealed home ministry sources today. Orissa will also develop a holistic plan involving socio-economic measures, filling up of critical gaps and security related steps for Rayagada and Malkangiri districts within a fortnight said state home secretary Mr TK Mishra.
Decisions relating to the ultras affected areas were taken at a meeting attended by state home department officials, union joint secretary Mr Dinesh Singh and joint director Intelligence Bureau Mr DP Sinha today.

The holistic plan and approach for such areas was discussed in a threadbare manner with all the developmental department secretaries of the state.

Critical gaps in road connectivity, education, health, social security and food security were deliberated upon.

It was suggested that norms relating to old age pension, appointments of anganwadi workers, police constables and all other schemes should be made for candidates of these tribal dominated districts. Population norms linked to various schemes will also be relaxed since most of the Naxalite pockets are scattered over small hamlets. So be it PMGSY roads or digging of tube-wells or for that matter providing electricity connection the population norm needs to be dispensed with.
Officials of the state government iterated their demands for additional CRPF battalions and funds from the centre. They also wanted five more districts ~ Sambalpur, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, Jajpur and Kandhamal to be included in the security related district funding programme. As far as the implementation of the holistic plan which is to begin on an experimental basis in Rayagada and Malkangiri, the state will fund it from its own resources. But if, required it can seek additional funds from the centre, said home department sources here today.

Jharkhand: Maoists wanted to kill Babu Lal Mirandi’s brother
Ashwini Ahuja, 01 November 2007, Thursday

The purpose of the Maoists behind the killing of Nunulal was his activities against the Maoists. Nunulal had been raising his voice against the revolutionary movements of outlawed CPI-Maoist.

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IT IS a new revelation with outlawed communist party of India Maoist (CPI - Maoist) taking the responsibility for the massacre of 18 people, including Anup Mirandi - a newly wed son of former Jharkhand chief minister Babu Lal Mirandi, were killed in a concluding cultural function of football match in Chilkhari village of Giridih district.

In a statement issued by Avinash, secretary of Banka, Bhagalpur - “our main target was Nunulal Mirandi, the brother of Babu Lal Mirandi.” It is to be noticed that Nunulal Mirandi had also attended the function but he escaped, someway.

Babu Lal Mirandi too wanted to attend the function but he could not do so because of some engagements. The purpose of the Maoists behind the killing of Nunulal was his activities against the Maoists. Nunulal had been raising his voice against the revolutionary movements of outlawed CPI-Maoist. They claimed that Nunulal was instrumental in the killing of several CPI Maoist members.

It is also pertinent to mention that Maoists knew that the brother of Babu Lal Mirandi was the organiser of the concluding function. Therefore they came dressed in CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) uniform and fired indiscriminately at the gathering, where 18 innocent people were killed including Anup Mirandi, the son of former chief minister Babu Lal Mirandi.

After lodging a FIR against 20 Maoists rebels and accusing 10 for the attack, the police have to do a lot to curb the terrorism in the state. As Chilkhari lies near the Jharkhand-Bihar border, police forces of both the states are undertaking a joint search for the Maoists involved in the attack. Also, as per police report, paramilitary forces are also involved in the joint operation.

Maoists fail in A.P., though successful in other States

K. Srinivas Reddy

With police maintaining continuous pressure, they move to other States

Maoists snatched 529 arms in two years in other States killing 392 security personnel

The Andhra Police have seized 201 weapons this year alone, besides 250

HYDERABAD: It’s like watching the two ends of a spectrum. If the Maoist movement appears to be advancing unbridled in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa, it’s the reverse scenario in Andhra Pradesh.

If the Maoists have succeeded in involving ‘People’s Militia’(people who are involved in full time revolutionary activity) in raids conducted in towns in other states, in Andhra Pradesh, it’s the police which conduct raids in interior forest areas, which were hitherto billed as ‘Red-bastions’.

Seizure of arms

The Maoists have snatched 529 weapons during the last two years all over the country after killing 392 personnel of the security forces, according to a latest Maoist document. The statistics with the Andhra Pradesh police too are eye-openers. The Andhra Police have seized 201 weapons this year alone, not to speak of about 250 rockets in battle-ready condition and rocket components which could make another 200 rockets, if assembled. That would mean that Andhra had reclaimed close to 40 per cent of the weapons lost in other States, if not the same weapons.

People’s role crucial

Crucial to success of both the police and the naxalites is one component, that of people’s participation. Naxalites have been involving general public, called ‘People’s Militia’ in their surprise attacks in urban centres in other States. A raid on home guards training centre in Giridh, Jharkhand, yielded them 190 weapons in November 2005; R. Udayagiri town raid in Orissa in March 2006 (33 automatic weapons looted0; 18 weapons were lost in Jashpur raid in Chhattisgarh in February 2006 (18 weapons).

Precisely, it’s this people’s participation in the counter-ops, which helped Andhra Pradesh police unearth the arms dumps.

With relentless pressure being maintained, Maoists cadres have moved away to neighbouring states and obviously, they cannot carry their weapons.

These weapons, neatly greased and packed, are stored in plastic drums and buried in interior areas. Invariably, the police continue to get information about the dumps and seizure of weapons and explosives has continued with unfailing regularity.

In Mahabubnagar district alone, the police have seized 50 weapons, including automatic weapons like Kalshnikov rifles, SLRs and carbines, when they unearthed nearly two dozen dumps in Nallamala forests. 32 weapons were seized in Guntur district in addition to 600 rocket launchers, 50 anti-personnel pressure activated mines and 50 landmines. In Prakasam, 14 weapons have been seized followed by seven in Nalgonda this year.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

CPI-Maoist takes responsibility for massacre of 18 people

Ranchi, Oct 31 : The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has taken responsibility for the massacre of 18 people, including former chief minister Babulal Marandi's son, in Chilkhari village of Jharkhand's Giridih district.
"Our main target was Nunulal Marandi, the brother of Babulal Marandi. Nunulal was instrumental in the killing of several CPI-Maoist members and he has been raising his voice against our revolutionary movement," Avinash, secretary of Banka, Bhagalpur, Jamui and Munger area committee, said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Maoist rebels dressed in Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) uniforms Saturday attacked Chilkhari, about 290 km from here, while the villagers were engrossed in watching a cultural programme organised by Nunalal Marandi.

Babulal Marandi was also expected to attend the programme but wasn't able to do so. However, his younger son Anup attended the event and was killed along with 17 others when the guerrillas fired indiscriminately at the gathering.

Police have lodged a First Information Report (FIR) against 20 Maoist rebels and accused 10 of them for the attack.

As Chilkhari lies near the Jharkhand-Bihar border, police forces of both the states are undertaking a joint search for the Maoists involved in the attack. Police sources said paramilitary forces are also involved in the joint operation.

According to sources, a central team that is visiting the state to take stock of the situation has expressed unhappiness over the deployment of paramilitary forces.

--- IANS

WB minister opposes CRPF deployment in Nandigram

Kolkata (PTI): Two days after Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee sought the deployment of CRPF forces to restore peace in Nandigram, his cabinet colleague and senior RSP leader Kshiti Goswami on Wednesday opposed the move saying it would send a "wrong message" to the people.

"CRPF deployment in Nandigram will send a wrong message to the people and the issue should be discussed in Left Front," Goswami, the PWD Minister told reporters.

He claimed that the CPI(M) wanted to discuss the issue bilaterally and not at the Left Front.

Stating that his party had resisted CRPF deployment during the last elections in the state, Goswami said, forces available in West Bengal would be able to tackle the situation "if properly utilised".

Bhattacharjee had on Monday spoke to Union Home minister Shivraj Patil and sought CRPF reinforcement from the Centre to contain violence in Nandigram

Red Terror

31 Oct 2007, 0042 hrs IST

This seems to be the season for Maoist strikes. Last Saturday night, the son of Babulal Marandi, former chief minister of Jharkhand, was gunned down at a football match along with 18 others, including women and children. Naxalites continued the killing spree by shooting to death four people in a Jharkhand village on Sunday and five policemen in neighbouring Chhattisgarh on Monday. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh once described Naxalites as the most serious security threat facing the country. That statement is worth thinking about as it elevates Naxalites above other threats more often in the public eye, such as extremist movements in the north-east or fundamentalist terrorism that's catapulted across India's borders.

According to a home ministry assessment, 160 districts are Naxalite-affected, which is more than one-quarter of the total number of districts in India. Given the magnitude of the problem we should be addressing it much more, instead of brushing it under the carpet. Local mobilisation drives such as Salwa Judum or Nagrik Suraksha Samiti are ways of privatising the response to Naxalism by shrugging off the state's responsibility. They are doomed to fail. Salwa Judum separates and arms anti-Naxalite villagers. But, besides encouraging thuggish behaviour, it makes anti-Maoist groups easy to identify and attack, not to mention drying up the flow of intelligence from Naxalite-controlled villages.

There's need for a concerted strategy that coordinates among beleaguered states and draws maximum assistance in fighting Naxalite terror from the Centre. The Naxalite movement typically recruits as its foot soldiers poor tribals living in forested areas, where the topography makes it possible to set up armed camps and conduct guerrilla warfare. It's necessary to be clear-headed here. While many may be swayed by the Robin Hood-like image of Naxalites, they in fact indiscriminately murder civilians. Violence has no place in a democracy. The first job of the state is to establish its authority, short of which people will do the Naxalites' bidding simply out of fear.

But the state is not just a punitive presence. It has to be a positive and enabling presence as well. Naxalite pockets, mainly tribal inhabited areas, lack roads, electricity, schools, hospitals and commerce. So long as the state fails to facilitate these, Naxalite hubs will continue to thrive on the resulting discontent. Failing to check the Naxalite threat could make a chunk of India go the way of Nepal

Shivraj Patil calls for pro-active ?? approach to policing

— Photo: Mohammed Yousuf

THE BEST: Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil presenting the Prime Minister’s baton and the Home Ministry’s Revolver to the best-all-round IPS Probationer, Shashank Anand of the Haryana cadre, in Hyderabad on Tuesday.

HYDERABAD: Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Tuesday called upon IPS probationers to change the public perception that police were reactive instead of pro-active. Police stations, which formed the backbone of policing, deserved greater attention, he said.

Mr. Patil was addressing the 59th batch of IPS probationers after reviewing a passing out parade at the Sardar Valabhbhai Patel National Police Academy here. A record number of 18 women were part of the batch.

The need of the day was a pro-active approach to policing. The common man expected immediate and effective response when he approached a police station, he said.

Community policing

The traditional delivery mechanism of police and public services that comprised concerned citizens and officers alike needed a re-think in the new millennium. Police forces the world over were adopting community policing schemes for improving the quality at the local-level.

“We do need to go back to our roots to a time where there was no chasm between the police and the public.”

The operation of rule of law was the most important component of democracy. The weaker sections that comprise women, children, the aged, the poor, the less privileged and the challenged, needed the support of police more than others.

Best probationer

Shashank Anand, who belongs to the Haryana cadre, was declared overall best probationer. He received the Prime Minister’s baton and the Home Ministry’s Revolver.

Ruchi Srivastava (Madhya Pradesh cadre), the second best all-round probationer, won the Bhubanananda Misra Memorial trophy.

Earlier, director of the academy G.S. Rajagopal welcomed the gathering.

Woman CPI(Maoist) member arrested

Gaya (PTI): A woman member of the armed squad of the banned CPI(Maoist) was arrested in the district on Wednesday.

Suchita Devi, a resident of Paroria village, had visited Deputy Superintendent of Police Saurabh Kumar on Tuesday to lodge a complaint against her husband Raj Ballabh for allegedly torturing her.

A police team rushed to her village for inquiry where they were told by her husband and others about of her naxalite links. The villagers claimed that it was the woman who tortured her husband and not the other way round, Kumar said.

On interrogation, Suchita confessed to her links with the underground outfit, the officer said.

She was wanted in connection with incidents of violence at places under Chauparan and Barhi police stations of Hazaribagh district in Jharkhand.

The woman was formally arrested on Wednesday and the Jharkhand police was informed, he said.

A weak Home Minister cannot handle naxals: Lalu

New Delhi (PTI): In an oblique attack on his cabinet colleague Shivraj Patil, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad on Tuesday said a weak Home Minister cannot handle the Naxalite activities, which are fast spreading in many states.

"Initially I wanted to become Home Minister or Defence Minister, who could handle the situation of riots or Maoists. A weak Home Minister cannot handle Maoists, who are fast spreading their activities from Chattisgarh to Nepal border", he said at a function organised by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India.

However, he did not take any names.

Apparently taking a dig at the Left, over food riots in West Bengal, Prasad told the Marxists that people would not get food by raising 'revolutionary' slogans but only through investments in power and other infrastructure that would create jobs for the rural people.

Prasad said in West Bengal people were indulging in violence due to mishandling of the Nandigram controversy over acquisition of land for industries.

"Although it is (Trinamool Congress chief) Mamata Banerjee who is instigating the people, but if the people are forced to surrender their land without adequate compensation, they would be attracted by the Naxalites," he said.

Maoists plan attacks in Bihar, Jharkhand

Published: Oct. 31, 2007 at 12:20 PM
Print story Email to a friend Font size:NEW DELHI, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Indian intelligence agencies say Maoist rebels are planning attacks on government property in Bihar and Jharkhand states.

“The Naxals are planning attacks in Bihar. Among the places that are on the hit list are government establishments, railway stations and jails,” an Intelligence Bureau spokesman said.

In India, Maoists are called Naxals, for the Naxalbari region in West Bengal state where their movement began.

In a Naxal attack in Jharkhand last week, 18 people, including the son of former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi, were killed.

The spokesman said Saturday’s attack was the biggest civilian killing in the state since it was carved out from Bihar in November 2000. Maoist rebels are active in 18 of the 24 districts of Jharkhand. Nearly 950 people, including 310 security personnel, have been killed in the state in Maoist-related violence, Interior Ministry data say.

© 2007 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be reproduced, redistributed, or manipulated in any form

Three Naxals arrested for Chilkhadih massacre

31 Oct 2007, 2037 hrs IST,PTI

GIRIDIH (JHARKHAND): Three Naxals, allegedly involved in the Chilkhadih massacre, were arrested by police in Jharkhand's Giridih district in intense combing operations on Wednesday.

A total of 19 people, including the son of former chief minister Babulal Marandi were killed in the pre-dawn Naxal attack during a cultural function on October 27.

Giridih Additional Superintendent of Police Arun Kumar Singh said the three persons were identified as Kishun Rajwar, Manoj Rajwar and Rahmat Ansari.

CPI (Maoist) have claimed responsibility for the massacre and that they had targeted Nunulal, the son of Babulal Marandi.

Those arrested on Wednesday were not named in the FIR that had been filed by the bodyguard of Nunulal Marandi, who had survived the massacre unhurt, Kumar said.

The bodyguard had named ten persons in the FIR filed two days ago

Why Jharkhand failed to curb Naxal terrorism?

Ashwini Ahuja, 31 October 2007, Wednesday

The massacre of 18 civilians including Anup Mirandi, the son of former C.M, Babu Lal Mirandi, tells the story of escalating terrorist violence. The terrorists kill with impunity and are better equipped than the police in terms of weapons and strategy.

THE VERY DAY after the massacre of eighteen civilians (including Anup Mirandi, the newly-married son of Jharkhand former Chief Minister Babu Lal Mirandi), the Maoist rebels daringly wiped out four more. They strategically abducted four persons from Boda village of Latehar district and then killed them in a nearby jungle. This killing occurred the very same day when the JVM (Jharkhand Vikas Morcha) called for a bandh to protest against the killing of the former Chief Minister’s son and seventeen others at a function held at the conclusion of a football match.

Before the government of Madhu Koda could act, they unleashed another act - slaughtering four persons and conveying that they are determined to fulfil their mission, come what may. It evidently shows that Naxal terrorism in the State has been fast escalating; the government and the police administration have totally failed to curb the escalation. It is cent percent true today that the Maoists are more dynamic, better equipped and strategically wiser and stronger than the State’s police force.

Here, it is relevant to mention that Mr. Anup Mirandi was killed at a cultural func-tion held at the conclusion of a football match at Chilkhadih village of Giridih district. Similarly, in the month of March, this year, the General Secretary and MP of JMM (Jharkhand Mukti Morcha), Mr Sunil Mahto was killed at the conclusion of a football match.

The repetition of the incident shows that the Maoists’ strategy is very clear; but the question is why did the State government fail to discern the strategy? Why did a similar killing take place? Why did not the government take preventative measures to ensure recurrence of the incident? It only shows that the police ad-ministration in the State is in a shambles.

Only the Deori police station in-charge, under whom Chilkhadih falls, had been deputed to the venue with some police personnel in tow; but the police force re-turned in the evening, after the prize distribution ceremony. The force did not wait for the function to end. Such security lapses are unacceptable particularly at a time when the Naxal ultras are posing a serious threat.

Mr. Mirandi has rightly lamented the lack of a holistic policy on the part of the government to tackle the Naxal menace. It is no more a secret that the police force is under-equipped and under-staffed. Officers in charge of police stations are deputed elsewhere and assume no responsibility whereas the Naxalites are well-resourced in terms of weapons and strategy. They have spread their tentacles all over the State. Owing to political reasons and security lapses, they have pervaded the entire State.

It is also rumoured that the massacre of 18 civilians in which the son of Mr. Mirandi was also killed is in retaliation for an earlier police action against the ultras. If it is true, the police administration should take serious note of it. The Chief Minister Mr. Madhu Koda has smelt a rat – he believes there is a political angle to the killing. It may be recalled that Mr Mirandi floated his own party, the JVM (Jharkhand Vikas Morcha), after quitting the BJP.

However, it is the prime duty of the State government to seriously view the escalating terrorism in the State instead of indulging in mutual recriminations and concentrate on improving the law and order situation.

Now, the governments of both Jharkhand and Bihar have joined hands and initiated a massive combing operation. It is a late start. Had such efforts been made earlier, some breakthrough will have been achieved by now. The Naxalites, well aware of the flaws in the State’s security arrangements, have taken advantage of it. If the government of Jharkhand really intends to rid itself of the stigma of failure attaching to it and its police administration, must take some preventive steps immediately. It should do its best to bring the killers to book, forgetting political rivalry and mutual recriminations for the moment. In the process, it will be sending a clear message to all concerned!

UPSC exam put off due to naxal violence

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 10:04 IST

Rajesh Sinha and Baljeet Parmar

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: Naxal violence in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh forced the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to postpone the civil services (main) examinations scheduled for October 31. The call for West Bengal bandh by the Trinamool Congress (TC) was another reason, according to an official from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

The UPSC said fresh dates for the public administration/political science and international relations papers would be announced later.

According to sources, the exams may be held any day between November 5 and 10.

More than 95,000 candidates had appeared for the preliminary examination held on May 20. Of these, around 5,000 qualified for the mains that started on October 26.

The DoPT official said the papers had to be postponed due to the West Bengal bandh call on Wednesday and disturbance in naxal-affected states as several candidates could have faced problems in reaching the examination centres.

He denied reports that papers were deferred because of a leak.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cop suspended for Maoist strike, starts fast unto death

Ranchi, Oct 30 / Indo-Asian News Service/- A Jharkhand policeman has protested his suspension for alleged dereliction of duty after Maoists killed 19 people in Giridih district of Jharkhand, and has gone on a fast unto death.

Vidhu Bhushan Dwivedi, a police inspector, said he has been made a scapegoat in the incident and Sunday sat on a fast in the same field where the massacre occurred. His wife and his 16-year-old son are also protesting with him.

'Why am I being made a scapegoat? I am being targeted at the behest of the Giridih superintendent of police (SP) Arun Kumar Singh,' Dwivedi said Tuesday.

'If my suspension is not revoked, I will end my life here,' he threatened.

Dwivedi said he has had to face problems in the past as well.

'My son underwent a kidney transplant and I had to fight in the court to get the reimbursement from the government. I have to fight for everything.

'I have to spend Rs.15,000 per month on my son's treatment. How can a suspended person afford such an expensive treatment?' he asked.

Dwivedi was suspended along with three other policemen for dereliction of duty.

At least 19 people, including son of former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi, were gunned down early Saturday at a function in Chilkhari village of Giridih district. When the incident took place, no security personnel was present at the spot. The suspended policemen had reportedly left before the function ended.

INTELLIGENCE: Maoist network spreads to Nandigram

Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 12:41 IST

According to intelligence reports, the rebels are helping out villagers with arms and ammunition

KOLKATA: In a significant breakthrough, the intelligence branch (IB) of the West Bengal police have come to know how arms and ammunition are being sent to activists of Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee (land eviction resistance committee) that is spearheading a movement to retain control over Nandigram.

What is even more alarming, according to IB findings, is that their firepower has increased significantly over the past three months. This is due to uninterrupted supply of sophisticated arms by Maoist guerrillas. The IB report has further pointed out that a group of six Maoist explosives and firearms specialists have already reached Nandigram to train the activists.

According to IB sources, all six members of the group are in the most-wanted category, with several cases of murder against them. The six-member team includes Ranjit Pal, Gauranga Chakraborty and Sangita Pal, all of whom are wanted for a series of insurgency activities in the districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia.

As per the IB findings, apart from country-made single shooter guns, muskets and revolvers, the committee is in procession of at least two AK47 rifles, three self-loading rifles and over 60 mortars of various ranges. “All of these came into Nandigram is different consignments along with the Maoist guerrillas. We suspect that these Maoists have also brought to Nandigram the high quality explosive Neogel 90 along with them,” a senior IB official said.

The IB has also secured information that these sophisticated arms are not supplied free by the Maoists. “We have come to know that Maoists are selling these items at a nominal cost to the committee activists. However, we are not yet sure who is proving the funds,” the IB official said.

Maoists blast on Bihar railway track

30 Oct 2007, 1705 hrs IST,PTI

PATNA: CPM guerrillas on Tuesday detonated a bomb on the railway track in Bihar's Begusarai district, resulting in disruption of train traffic for over seven hours on the Barauni-Katihar section.

The Maoists, who have called a bandh in Bihar and Jharkhand to protest police action against their cadres, used a timer device to detonate the blast near Tilrath station twisting the track, officer in-charge of Barauni government railway police O A Khan said.

A three feet crater was created due the impact of the explosion.

Khan said railway protection force personnel also recovered a live can bomb from tracks near Nawada halt and a country-made bomb from a platform at Barauni railway station.

One person has been taken into custody in connection with the seizure of the bomb at Barauni station, he said.

The banned outfit has called the bandh to protest police action against their cadres following the killing of 18 persons, including a son of former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi by the Maoists on October 27.

PATNA, India, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Maoist rebels blasted railway tracks and disrupted traffic in eastern India on Tuesday during a day-long strike to protest the forced acquisition of land for industrial projects, officials said.

The insurgents used powerful explosives to blow up railway tracks running through a rural stretch in Bihar state and blocked roads and trains in neighbouring Jharkhand state.

The strike by the Maoists who control large swathes in rural eastern and southern India had little impact elsewhere.

"The police were taken by surprise, but we have intensified security after the blast," Chet Ram, a senior railway official, told Reuters.

Land has been at the centre of tense stand-offs between farmers and government agencies trying to acquire farms for industry, a problem that some analysts say threatens India's attractiveness as an investment destination.

The Maoists, who say they are fighting for the rights of poor peasants and landless labourers, routinely call strikes, attack government property and target local politicians, in signs of their growing influence. (Additional reporting by Sujeet Kumar in Raipur)

Nandigram: Buddha wants Central forces

Nandigram: Buddha wants Central forces
Express news service

Posted online: Tuesday , October 30, 2007 at 12:00:00
Updated: Tuesday , October 30, 2007

Kolkata, October 29 Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today said he had asked for the deployment of Central Paramilitary Forces in Nandigram to bring law and order under control.
The CM confirmed that he had called Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil asking for the forces.

“I do not want a repeat of March 14 by once again sending state police forces,” said the CM.

In a fresh bout of violence between CPM and Bhumi Ucched Protirodh Committee (BUPC) cadres — a conglomerate of different outfits fighting the CPM — about half a dozen people have died in Nandigram this week.

“I have not yet thought of calling in the Army, though I have asked for CRPF personnel. However, I want to clarify that police or Army action will not solve the problem. There has to be a political solution. I have patience and I exhort the Opposition to respond to my call for a political solution,” Bhattacharjee said at Writers’ Building today.

He admitted there was no rule of law in Nandigram. “Nandigram has become a liberated zone. Police cannot move in there. No development work is taking place. But it is the people who are suffering. How long will the government tolerate this?” the CM asked.

Bhattacharjee said a number of groups, including Naxalites, were inciting violence in Nandigram. “I have definite information that a group of about 100 Naxalites are moving around Nandigram freely. Ranjit Paul, principal accused in the murder of Sudhir Mahato (Jamshedpur JMM MP), is there. The Bandi Mukti Morcha of Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (a human rights organisation) is also there,” he said.

The CM said the government had already conceded the demands raised by the BUPC. “They had four demands — compensation to police firing victims, withdrawal of all police cases against BUPC members, withdrawing Nandigram from the purview of Haldia Development Authority and overall development of the area. I have rejected none of them. We can always talk about those demands. But for that they have to come forward. I don’t understand what Mamata Banerjee wants. What is her agenda? That is the main impediment (in solving the problem),” the chief minister said.

He, however, made it clear that compensation would be given only to the kin of those who died on March 14.

Bhattacharjee also said Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s claim that her convoy was attacked yesterday in Nandigram was baseless. “I have received the reports. The allegation has no basis. However, the police have started a case,” he said.

He further said that he fails to understand why Nandigram was going through a tumultuous time even after the government had declared that no land would be acquired there. “We have decided that the chemical hub, that was originally proposed for Nandigram, would be set up at Nayachar. So why this unrest and violence?” asked Bhattacharjee.

Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee, yet again, spurned the offer for talks with the state government today and said it was the CPM, which was creating tension in Nandigram.

CPM state Secretary Biman Bose, however, welcomed the chief minister’s decision to call in the CRPF.

“The state government should bring back peace in Nandigram, and we think Central forces are required to do this,” Bose said.

However, Bose refused to accept that Central paramilitary forces are being called in because the state’s police force has failed to establish the rule of law at Nandigram.

Bose said: “Topographically also, it is difficult for the state police to function properly at Nandigram, because it surrounded by water on three sides. If needed, the Coast Guard might also be called in.”

Land panel balm for marchers


A Foot forward for land: Women activists march peacefully through a street in New Delhi. (PTI)

New Delhi, Oct. 29: The Centre has decided to set up a high-level panel chaired by the Prime Minister to formulate the national land reforms policy and supervise its implementation.

The move comes amid a rally by 20,000 tribals and landless labourers in Delhi demanding a comprehensive land policy.

The decision to constitute the National Land Reforms Council (NLRC) was taken at a meeting between Manmohan Singh and rural development minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh today.

The government will also set up another panel — the Committee on State Agrarian Relations and the Unfinished Task in Land Reforms — which would carry out field surveys, collate the data and make recommendations to the NLRC. The rural development minister will head the committee.

“The committee will be constituted in a month’s time,” the minister said, adding that the NLRC would take into account its recommendations while formulating the land reforms policy.

Raghuvansh Prasad said the committee would look into all land-related issues, including reforms, and make specific recommendations on policies, disposal of cases on time and computerisation of records.

The minister said land being a subject on the Constitution’s state list, the Centre would consider the committee’s recommendations for appropriate action and advice to governments.

The land protesters have been camping on the Ram Lila grounds, in the heart of the capital, for the last two days after a 350km trek from Gwalior. The rally will continue till tomorrow.

Activists called it the biggest display of satyagraha in recent times.

“Most land struggles of this scale have been controlled by Naxalites. This is the first time such a massive movement demanding land rights has been staged using Gandhian values,” said Magsaysay award winner Aruna Roy.

“It is important that the government seizes this opportunity now. If they continue to neglect the demands of these people, they will turn to violence,” she warned.

Roy and five other social activists met Raghuvansh Prasad after his meeting with the Prime Minister.

P.V. Rajgopal of Ekta Parishad, one of the organisers of the rally, said “it has been decided, in theory at least, that all our demands will be taken into consideration”.

“There is a time frame to facilitate this. In one month, the committee will be appointed and, in three months, the policy will be formulated,” Rajgopal added.

Buddhadeb seeks Delhi force

CM seeks Delhi force

Calcutta, Oct. 29: The Bengal government has sought deployment of central forces to contain violence in Nandigram but at the same time iterated the need for a political solution.

If the state eventually deploys the CRPF in Nandigram, it will be the first time a central force will be stepping into the troubled zone, though the Maoist-affected areas of the state already have such security presence.

“Union home minister Shivraj Patil telephoned me yesterday and I told him about our requirement of CRPF personnel,” chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said at Writers’ Buildings today.

The disclosure came in the wake of a fresh flare-up in Nandigram over the weekend that claimed at least four lives.

Home secretary Prasad Ranjan Ray has sent a letter to his counterpart at the Centre, Madhukar Gupta, seeking a CRPF battalion (about 600 personnel) for deployment. “We expect their arrival in a week,’’ Ray said.

A 400-strong force is now deployed in Nandigram. The personnel are drawn from the State Armed Police, the Eastern Frontier Rifles and the Rapid Action Force. The CRPF presence — numbering 450 jawans — in the state is limited to West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia — all districts facing Maoist trouble.

The chief minister, however, turned down the possibility of army deployment in Nandigram, saying he was still open to dialogue with the Opposition.

“I feel that the Nandigram issue has to be solved through political will and discussions with the Opposition parties. I am ready to open a dialogue with them on all aspects to ensure restoration of normality in Nandigram and its adjoining areas. For this, letters need not be sent,’’ he said.

Asked whether tougher action was needed, Bhattacharjee said: “It’s not a question of the army or police being asked to move in. The issue is more of political will. Armed men, aided by Naxalites, are operating there.”

Bhattacharjee also touched upon some of the key demands of a Trinamul Congress-led outfit spearheading the agitation in Nandigram. “I am willing to talk on the compensation issue, the demand for withdrawal of police cases and that Nandigram be kept outside the Haldia Development Authority’s purview.”
He did not refer to another demand — that action be taken against police officers involved in the March 14 incident. Compensation has been announced for the 14 deaths on that day but the outfit wants all casualties since the clashes broke out in January to be covered.

‘Bandh’ panic strikes trains

- Wrong information leads railways to divert routes along sensitive Dhanbad division

Ranchi, Oct. 29: A “goof-up” by the Mugalsarai division of East Central Railway about a “Maoist bandh” in Bihar-Jharkhand today led the authorities to cancel and divert several trains plying along the Dhanbad division.

Railway authorities in Dhanbad, unwilling to take chances following Saturday’s carnage in Giridih, hurriedly announced cancellation of one passenger train and diverted routes of half-a-dozen express trains after receiving a communiqué from the East Central Railway warning them of a two-day Maoist bandh beginning today.

The sensitive Dhanbad division was instructed to take precautionary measures.

Apparently the railway authorities were apprehensive that Maoists could target the trains that pass through the vulnerable Coal India Chord (CIC) where the Maoist guerrillas have a strong presence.

Trains have in the past been targeted by the rebels during bandhs. The Naxalites are also known to blow up tracks.

The express trains were diverted through Gomoh instead of Barkakana.

Authorities of important stations under Dhanbad division like Daltanganj, Tori and Barkakana put up notices informing passengers about the cancellation and diversion of the trains following the “Maoist bandh”.

Even the Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel deployed at different stations under Dhanbad division since yesterday owing to the RJD rally in Patna were directed to stay put due to the Maoist bandh.

“It was the Mugalsarai division that misinformed the East Central Railway headquarters at Hajipur yesterday about the Maoist bandh from today. Its information was based on some inputs sent by its intelligence wing,” said a railway official.

When the railway officials in Dhanbad received the communiqué from Hajipur, they reverted back claiming that no such bandh of the Maoists was planned for today and hence there was no need to panic. “But since the Mugalsarai authorities insisted that they had firm information, we made preparations for the bandh,” said an official.
Railway officials admitted that the goof-up by the Mugalsarai division caused lot of inconvenience to passengers travelling on those trains whose routes were changed.

“We were not told anything about the route change. The railway officials should have made some announcements or made some arrangements,”
said Rafiq Ali, a cloth trader.

State police officials claimed that whenever there is a Maoist-sponsored bandh, a press statement is issued. But there was no such press statement about any such bandh today.

The state police spokesman, R.K. Mallick, maintained that there was no Maoist bandh today. Normal life remained unaffected.

Even bus owners, who always refrain from plying vehicles during any Maoist bandhs, operated their buses.

“There was a lot of confusion this morning after we came to know that the railways had cancelled a few trains due to the bandh. But after we cross-checked with the police and other government officials, we decided to continue to ply buses,” said K.M. Singh, leader of the state bus owners’ association.

CPM wakes up to ‘pariah’ force virtues


Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at Writers’ on Monday. (Bishwarup Dutta)
Calcutta, Oct. 29: The CPM would not mind tapping the might of central forces if they help restore rule of law in Nandigram and allow party supporters to return home.

“For 11 months, every administrative and political effort to ensure peace in Nandigram has been foiled. Now that the chief minister has asked the Union home minister to send a force to break the impasse and bring back peace, we have no other option but to support it,” CPM state secretary Biman Bose said.

Aware of the party’s his-tory of viewing central forces with suspicion, Bose painstakingly listed the “failed peace efforts” since violence broke out on January 3.

The party had been wrestling with a big concern — whether the request for central forces would be construed as an admission of the failure of the state administration — which made it rule out a similar proposal a few months ago.

However, the panchayat polls next year and the possibility of general elections made the party make up its mind that Nandigram cannot be allowed to remain a “liberated zone”. The party also seems to be hoping that the spectre of central forces might goad the Trinamul Congress-led Bhoomi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee to the talks table.

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee concurred with the “liberated- zone” tag. Asked if Nandigram would turn into a “liberated zone”, he said: “What’s new in that? The police can’t make any movement there now.”
Bhattacharjee wondered why the Pratirodh Committee was still in place, though the government had declared that there would be no land acquisition in Nandigram.

In a bid to buttress his belief that Naxalites were fomenting the unrest, the chief minister gave specific details. “There is one Ranjit Pal, who is an accused in the murder of MP Sudhir Mahato, and the Bandimukti Committee, an APDR outfit, is moving along with the Naxalites there. Can this continue for long?”

Bose portrayed the decision to seek central forces as a purely administrative measure. “The government and not Alimuddin Street will decide about the deployment.”

He added that the government might require help from the coast guard”. Nandigram “is accessible by water from three sides”.

Bose justified the CPM’s armed “resistance”. “If bombs are hurled and bullets fired from Nandigram, our supporters in Khejuri are not expected to throw rosogollas,” he said.

Ginger group split

The CPM’s major allies are divided on whether to deploy central forces in Nandigram.

Out of the three partners that make the anti-CPM ginger group within the Left Front, the RSP was opposed to the plan while the Forward Bloc supported it. The CPI declined comment on the deployment, but preferred the renewal of the political process.

“The government will only emulate the Congress regime of the 1970s by deploying central forces to bring back peace. We have to face public wrath if the CRPF commits excesses. It will also tantamount to the failure of the police,” RSP leader Kshiti Goswami said.

Forward Bloc leader Hafiz Alam Sairani differed. “Our leader, Ashok Ghosh (who had led a peace initiative) yesterday urged the chief minister to normalise the situation at any cost. The chief minister promised to do so. We have to administer medicine according to the the disease,” he said.

No police action for now: Buddhadeb

Maoists blamed for nandigram violence;CRPF requisitioned; Mamata firing trashed

Statesman News Service

KOLKATA, Oct. 29: Holding the Maoists responsible for the recent trouble in Nandigram, chief minister Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today said the state government had requisitioned Central forces to establish a rule of law in the trouble-torn area (The Union home minister called the chief minister last night to take stock of the situation). But at the same time, Mr Bhattacharjee, made it clear that the state would not initiate police action at the moment as he did not want to repeat the 14 March incident in which 14 people were killed in police firing. He preferred to deal with the situation politically instead. He said the Opposition parties lacked political will to solve the problem and trashed Miss Mamata Banerjee’s claim that her convoy had been fired upon yesterday.

He said that the state government’s writ had not run in Nandigram for the past 10 months, despite an announcement that no land would be acquired there for a proposed chemical hub. (In fact, the Centre too got into the act today to try and calm the situation, stating that there was no proposal to set up an SEZ at Nandigram. A Union commerce ministry statement said: “No SEZ is being set up at Nandigram. Also, there is no application proposing to set up an SEZ at Nandigram”).
The chief minister said no development work could be undertaken in Nandigram-I block and in parts of Nandigram-II block. Block development officials were coming to work but have failed to operationalise, as it were, any development plans. Panchayats had the money, but no work could be undertaken, he said. A police station was there but policemen were prevented from moving freely, he added.
“But armed persons and Naxalites are moving freely there (in Nandigram). We have specific information of the Naxalites. Maoist leader Ranjit Pal who is accused of killing Sudhir Mahato, is present there with his group. APDR's outfit Bandi Mukti Committee also has a presence there. But we want peace. We are appealing to the Opposition to hold talks with the district authorities so that problem could be solved,” Mr Bhattacharjee said.
“People are suffering as no developmental work could be undertaken. 1,500 CPI-M supporters are yet to go back to their villages. They had been driven out of their homes early this year. But we are still willing to talk to the Opposition,” he added. When asked why the state government had failed to straighten the law and order situation in Nandigram,
the chief minister said: “I won’t call it a failure of the state government. Inhospitable terrain helps the gun runners. I have not thought of deploying Army because I believe good sense will prevail.
Union home minister Mr Shivraj Patil had called me yesterday to find out how things were in Nandigram. I told him that the state has requisitioned one battalion of CRPF personnel,” Mr Bhattacharjee added.
The chief minister also questioned Trinamul chief Miss Mamata Banerjee’s will to solve the problem. “We have declared no land would be acquired there but still the Bhumi Uchched Protirodh Committee exists. I ask why? If there is a political will, the problem can be solved.” Referring to reports of an attack on Miss Mamata Banerjee’s motorcade in Nandigram, Mr Bhattacharjee said: “There is no basis of her allegation. She had adequate security.”
The West Bengal Human Rights Commission suo motu sought a report from the chief secretary on the recent violence in Nandigram.

Will the bull run on stock market help the poor?

Sensex has touched a new High. It has crossed the 20,000 mark. Mukesh Ambani has become the richest man. So, India is riding high on industrial development and growth. However, will it help the 64 per cent of the country's population which goes to sleep on hungry stomach? This 64% is not an imaginary figure but is based on a survey conducted sometime back.

Well, this 64 per cent who go to sleep on hungry stomach actually fall outside the ambit of the tremendous progress achieved in industrial sector because they are either dependent on agriculture where there has been hardly any progress or they are people in the unorganized sectors such as rickshaw pullers, small vendors, etc.

So, the first and foremost task of the government is to treat agriculture as industry and corporatize it and thus increase the purchasing power of the people dependent on agriculture. With regard to the condition of people in the unorganised sector, they would continue to languish because of competitiveness and their huge population.

We cannot expect to feed our teeming millions unless we control our population. With the gradual conversion of agricultural land into residential, commercial and industrial complexes, we can provide food security for a limited number of people only and certainly not for the huge population, which is added to our population every year (the size of the whole population of Australia).

Therefore, besides industrialising agriculture, there is an urgent need to control the population. Both these steps are hard to take but if our governments of the day show no concern in this regard, very soon we are going to have anarchy because a hungry man knows no rules and is liable to become a Naxalite for the sake of bread and butter.

Satbir Singh Bedi

Dangerous disconnect

October 29, 2007
First Published: 23:54 IST(29/10/2007)
Last Updated: 00:12 IST(30/10/2007)

Going by the latest spate of Naxal attacks in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, one would think that India’s most potent perpetrators of terror have raised their ugly head once again. The fact of the matter is that the proverbial ‘ugly head’ has hardly been out of view in a while. If the gunning down of a former Chief Minister’s son and 17 others last Saturday in Giridih, Jharkhand, has led to a flurry of activity touted to be a more pro-active approach in the battle against the Naxals, it still hasn’t amounted to the State machinery being firmed up to fight this asymmetrical war with success. The three main Naxal-hit states, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, have practised an ad-hoc, reactive policy when it comes to fighting the terrorists. We see compartmentalised fire-fighting in which not only is there little coordination between the states’ security forces, but there is also the more worrying disconnect between methods of gathering intelligence at the ground level.

Much has been written about the failure of Chhattisgarh’s Salwa Judum policy. The aspect of bringing together locals from Naxal-infested areas and providing them ‘shelter’ in camps has proved to be a serious risk in terms of protection — the Naxals being able to clearly identify non-sympathetic targets in these camps — and has also made intelligence gathering that much more difficult. While initially the authorities managed to gather information from the locals about Naxal movement, that conduit of information has dried up as the locals are now no longer ‘in touch’ with Naxal activities.

Apart from these practical, and thus vital, matters, the stop-start character of anti-Naxal operations is an invitation to terrorists to attack, lie low and regroup. Then there is the bigger issue of Naxal sympathisers. It is an unpalatable fact that the violence wreaked by the Naxals is grudgingly accepted by many locals as they have no option when it comes to a support structure. Displacement is only one part of this lack of State concern. And where the State doesn’t bother to tread, others with a fierce agenda against that State are bound to rush in. To drive out the terror that affects 13 states, the authorities do not have the luxury of focusing on development or taking on the Naxals with guns. It is imperative that the states learn to multi-task effectively.

Tight security for Lanji bypoll

By Our Staff Reporter
Bhopal, Oct 29: Elaborate security arrangements have been made in naxal-affected Lanji constituency in Madhya Pradesh's Balaghat district, where polling will be held tomorrow for Assembly by-election, official sources said today. Five companies of Central Reserve Police Force and three companies of special Armed Force would be deployed to ensure security in 148 booths, including 86 identified as sensitive, where a total of 1.21 lakh electorate, including 60,196 female, were listed to cast their votes between 0700 and 1700 hours.

A total of 19 candidates are in the fray though the main contest is between BJP's Dhareshwari Bhatere and Bhagwat Bhau Nagpure of Congress. Janata Party's Kankar Munjare, Bhartiya Jan Shakti nominee Badhuram Devgadhe and Gondwana Gantantra Party's Rajeshwar Choudhary were other prominent candidates.

Lanji seat fell vacant following the death of former minister Dilip Bhatere (BJP). His wife is the BJP nominee.

Union Ministers Kamalnath, Suresh Pachouri and Kantilal Bhuria(all Congress), Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his cabinet colleagues (BJP), BJS President Uma Bharti and Samajwadi Party leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh were among the prominent campaigners in this rural constituency.

The din and bustle of the campaign for the October 30 assembly by-elections in Lanji constituency of Balaghat district came to an end at 1700 hours on October 28 and soon after several candidates started going door to door for campaigning. The BJP is harping on the development works carried out by it in the past four years.

On the other hand, main opposition Congress blames the government for deteriorating law and order situation, slow pace of development and rampant corruption.

Besides Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and state party President Narendra Singh Tomar, about six ministers canvassed votes for BJP nominee and former minister late Dilip Bhatere's wife Dhareshwari Bhatere.

On the other hand, Union Ministers Kamal Nath, Suresh Pachouri and Kantial Bhuria and state Congress President Subhash Yadav campaigned for Congress candidate Bhagvat Bhau Nagpure.

Altogether 19 candidates including Bharatiya Janshakti (BJ) candidate Badhuram Devgadhe, Janta Party's Kankar Munjare and GGP nominee Rajeshwar Choudhary are testing their electoral fortunes from this constituency, which has an electorate of about 1.21 lakh, including 60,196 women. SP President Mulayam Singh Yadav and senior SP leader Amar Singh had already addressed public meetings in support of SP nominee Kishore Simarte, who contesting the bypoll from jail.

BJ President Uma Bharti had addressed public meetings for her party's candidate.

In the last election, Bhatere polled more than 29,000 votes as against about 15,000 secured by Nagpure. The by-election was necessitated due to the demise of Bhatere.

Police in control of naxal situation, says Basith

Tuesday, 30 October 2007


Hyderabad, October 30: The outgoing Director-General of Police M.A. Basith has said that the State police were totally in command of the Naxalite situation in the State, but for the attack by Maoists on former Chief Minister N. Janardhana Reddy in Nellore district which did not have a notable history of extremist activity.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, ahead of laying down office on October 31 on superannuation, Mr. Basith said extremism continued to engage the attention of police though they were faced with several other challenges.

Salary bait for Naxal surrender

Ranchi, Oct. 29: Shaken by the Giridih carnage, chief minister Madhu Koda today said the much-awaited surrender policy would be announced within a month.

“The extremists who surrender will get a monthly salary besides the one-time package,” he said.

Koda said the policy adopted in 2002 by the then government of Babulal Marandi, whose son Anup was among the 19 gunned down by the Maoists on Saturday, was not in tune with the times. It did not spell out an adequate package to wean away the rebels, he pointed out.

The chief minister, whose government is under considerable pressure following the spate of Naxalite killings, said the surrender policy would be backed by stringent police action. “A proposal is under consideration to appoint a ‘supercop’ from outside the state as security adviser. We will soon take such a decision to check the growing Naxalite menace,” he said.

Asked why the rebels would lay down arms simply for the sake of money, when they earn crores (an estimated Rs 320 crore every year) through levy, Koda said: “They might be earning mega-bucks, but they don’t enjoy a peaceful life. Otherwise also, an extremist does not survive beyond 10 to 15 years. So, the government would ensure them peace as well as livelihood.”

“If the Maoists are still not convinced, they would no longer feel safe in doing the business of levy,” he said.

There are about 8,000 rebels active in the state, including 3,500 described as “hardcore”. About 200 Maoists had surrendered after the creation of the state in November 2000.

The chief minister, however, did not agree that the police were not combating the rebels in an effective way under political pressure. “At least, the intelligence wing had not submitted me any report suggesting that the Maoists were enjoying the support of MPs and MLAs,” he said.

Koda backed the district police chiefs but admitted that the morale of the force needed a lift. “It is wrong to say that the SPs are incompetent. The extremists are the ones who have no system. They are not bound by any principle. They are solely in the business of killing innocents to collect levy. Their talks on development are an act of fraud in order to fool the public,” he said.

“On the other hand, the police have to act under a manual. The morale of the police needs a boost,” he added.

Police officers, however, said the force was locked in an uneven war with the extremists. “They are highly motivated and strike with a long-term plan. The police are demotivated,” said a senior official.

They pointed out that the Maoists, in February this year, had decided to develop Jharkhand along with Bihar and Chhattisgarh into a base area after facing reversals in Andhra Pradesh. They even announced their plan through their mouthpiece “People’s March”. But eight months was not enough for the Jharkhand government to prepare a plan to counter them, said the officer.

Centre plans to increase number of women in armed forces, police


New Delhi, Oct 29 The government is contemplating increasing the number of women in police, paramilitary and defence forces in the next ten years.

“There is a need to increase the strength of women security personnel. The government plans to increase the number of women in police and other security forces by ten per cent in next ten years,” the Union Home Minister, Mr Shivraj Patil said addressing the 69th Raising Day of CRPF here.

The ministry is committed to the welfare of women personnel, he said commending the CRPF women’s battalion, which is currently part of UN mission in Liberia.

Two months ago, the Women and Child Development Minister, Ms Renuka Chaudhury had approached the ministry demanding 33 per cent representation to women in police force.

Mr Patil had then told Ms Chaudhury that his ministry would consider her proposal.

He asked the paramilitary forces and security agencies to devise new ways to counter terrorists who were bringing in newer technologies to create disturbances.

“The face of terrorism is changing. Terrorists are now using new technologies to create panic. Unconventional things like cosmetics are used for making bombs,” the Union Home Minister said.

“In the present scenario, the problem of terrorism is not going to go easily. The forces have to devise new techniques to counter their strategies,” he said.

Commending the CRPF, he said the government was actively considering increasing the strength of CRPF which is “over burdened” with a number of assignments inside the country.

“The CRPF, which is into counter-insurgency action in the country, is over burdened with a lot of assignments. A number of states are seeking CRPF personnel.

“There are new challenges for this force and the government is planning to increase its strength considerably,” he said.

Mr Patil also announced special allowances to CRPF personnel deployed in 13 Naxal-infested states and said they were doing a commendable job in difficult terrains. The CRPF has deployed about 40,000 personnel in the Naxal-hit states.

Mr Patil presented the President’s Police Medals for Distinguished Services and Meritorious Services at the function.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Reprisal for anti-Naxal stand

28 Oct 2007, 0115 hrs IST,Ashish Sinha,TNN

NEW DELHI: Mainline politicians are rarely the target of Naxalites in trouble-torn Jharkhand, where Maoists run a parallel show in 18 of its 24 districts -- and, the reason is not far to seek. Most politicians have now accepted Naxalites to be an inseparable part of the system at grassroots.

So much so that poll-time boycott calls of the extremists are often "bought off", whatever their party affiliation.

Jharkhand is reeling under abject poverty, which, along with its hilly and forested topography, offers the Naxalites a conducive environs to spread their wings, and the number of affected districts has grown from eight in 2000 to 18 now.

The family of former chief minister and Koderma MP Babulal Marandi, whose 21-year-old son was killed, along with 18 others, in the anarchic Giridih district, has been on constant target because he is the only leading politician to have openly spoken out against the Maoists.

Marandi admitted as much on Saturday evening: "It is true that my family and I have been on their target because I have opposed the violent ways of the Naxalites."
"Had the other politicians been honest enough in fighting the reign of terror with some degree of unity, I would not have lost my son, who had nothing to do with the Naxalites," the state's first CM told TOI from Giridih.

When contesting the Lok Sabha election in 2004, and later a by-poll for the same seat in 2006, Marandi made anti-Naxalism his major campaign plank.

He had escaped an ambush by the Maoists in 2003 in which three persons, including two policemen, were killed. The Maoists continued their campaign in Giridih, Marandi's home district, and killed 16 people in Bhelwa Ghati in September 2005.

A senior police officer, who has served in Naxalite-affected districts of the state, agreed with Marandi. "He is the only politician talking against them, and very openly at that.

Most politicians have a pact with the extremists during elections. That is why boycott calls are not enforced in areas for which the Maoists have been compensated," the police officer said.

"A former MP CM, during his campaign for polls, started speaking against the Naxalites. The local candidate panicked so much that he later asked the politician not to utter a word against Maoists or else he would lose the race," the police officer recounted.

During the cultural programme on Friday, the Maoists had actually come looking for Marandi's brother Nunulal, whose conduct, according to them, had not been good.

They announced this from the stage in presence of a large crowd. In March too, the Maoists killed JMM MP Sunil Mahto because he was "anti-people", and not due to his political activities or for taking an ideologically opposed stand. CM Madhu Koda said his government would look for a solution in a new surrender policy and by speeding up development work in the affected regions.

JMM chief Shibu Soren pinned his hopes on the large-scale intake from the rural areas in the proposed police recruitment plan. Clearly, they are not talking Marandi's language.

400 kg. explosives seized in Bihar

Gaya (PTI): Over 400 kg of explosives, including high powered gelatin sticks stacked by the Maoists, was on Monday seized by the police from a hut in Ghurenabandh jungle under Barachatti police station in Bihar's Naxal-hit Gaya district.

"Acting on a tip-off, that the naxalites were clandestinely transporting the explosives in two bullock-carts to the jungle for a major operation, police raided the hut and seized the explosives," Superintendent of Police, Amit Kumar Jain told PTI.

One Ramswaroop Bhuiyan was also arrested in this connection, he said.

Jain said the seized explosive includes high-powered gelatine sticks

5 policemen killed in naxal attack, 12 missing

Raipur (PTI): Five policemen were killed on Monday and three seriously injured and 12 others are missing after naxalites surrounded a police party in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh and opened indiscriminate firing, police sources said.

About 200 naxalites surrounded a 20-member police party from all sides and opened fire killing five special police officers and wounding three others, about five km. from Bijapur district headquarters, police told PTI.

The incident took place when the police party was proceeding from Bijapur to Pallabaya on a road opening operation, they said.

Twelve policemen are missing following the confrontation that took place about 425 km from the state capital, sources said adding naxalites have also decamped with some weapons of the security forces.

The seriously injured include a constable and two special police officers, while the team consisted of four constables and 16 Special Police Officers, they added.

Armed policemen have been rushed to the spot.

Raipur, Oct 29 /Indo-Asian News Service
/ -
Maoists killed at least five special police officers (SPOs) and injured three in a gun battle in Chhattisgarh's southern Bijapur district, even as security was beefed up in Bastar region ahead of the Oct 30 strike called by the rebels.

'We have five casualties, all SPOs,' Ratanlal Dangi, the Bijapur district superintendent of police, told IANS by telephone from Pamulvaya village, about 500 km south of Raipur.

Dangi said two SPOs and a police constable received bullet injuries in the battle that began in the morning. The injured have been rushed to a government hospital in Bijapur.

SPOs are youths recruited from the local tribal population to assist the police in the campaign against Maoists.

The fighting erupted Monday morning when a joint patrol of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the police and SPOs went to the village and were attacked by about 200 heavily armed leftwing radicals.

Meanwhile, thousands of policemen were relocated and deployed at strategic locations in the interiors of Chhattisgarh's southern Bastar region ahead the strike called by Maoists.

'Extra policemen have been deployed near government installations and key buildings in the Maoist-dominated forested interiors of southern Bastar region to deal with any situation Tuesday,' Pawan Dev, deputy inspector general (DIG) of police deployed in Bastar, told IANS on phone.

'Patrolling has been intensified and police have been put on high alert with sufficient numbers of cops pumped in interiors to counter the Maoist strike,' he said.

Maoists have been running a parallel government of sorts in hilly interiors of Bastar, spread out in about 40,000 sq km.

Dev said that police had recovered Maoist leaflets Sunday, calling a strike Tuesday in protest against the government's move to allow state-owned Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) to mine the iron-ore-rich Rowghat hills in Bastar.

Rowghat is located in a forested stretch of Narayanpur district and has an estimated 500 million tonnes of fine quality iron ore deposits. SAIL, the railway ministry and the state government will soon sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for laying rail tracks to allow SAIL's flagship unit Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) to mine iron ore.

Maoists have appealed people through banners, posters and leaflets to protest the government's 'meaningless industrialisation at the cost of the local impoverished tribal community'.

(c) Indo-Asian News Service

Maoists in CRPF uniform kill five in Chhattisgarh
Submitted by Mudassir Rizwan on Mon, 10/29/2007 - 14:03. Crime/Terrorism

Raipur : About 200 armed Maoist rebels, a majority of them women, clad in paramilitary force fatigues shot dead five special police officers (SPOs) and critically wounded three others Monday in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district.

The Maoists were wearing the uniform of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) when they attacked the SPOs at Pamulvaya village, about 500 km south of Raipur and seven km from Bijapur town, the district headquarters.

"We have five casualties, all SPOs," Ratanlal Dangi, the Bijapur district superintendent of police, told IANS by telephone.

The injured were rushed to a government hospital in Bijapur and then taken to to Raipur by air for medical treatment.

SPOs are youths recruited from the local tribal population to assist the police in the campaign against Maoists.

The fighting erupted Monday when a joint patrol of the CRPF, police and SPOs went to the village and were attacked by the armed leftwing radicals.

Dangi claimed that police had inflicted heavy injuries on the rebels but was unable to give a count.

The CRPF and state police have started a search for the attackers.

Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in the Bastar region ahead of the Oct 30 strike called by the rebels against the government's move to allow state-owned Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) to mine the iron-ore-rich Rowghat hills in Bastar.

"Extra policemen have been deployed near government installations and key buildings in the Maoist-dominated forested interiors of southern Bastar region to deal with any situation Tuesday," Pawan Dev, deputy inspector general (DIG) of police deployed in Bastar, told IANS on phone.

Maoists have been running a parallel government of sorts in the hilly and forested interiors of Bastar, spread out in an area of about 40,000 sq km.