Saturday, December 22, 2007

Naxalism - Fighting terror from within

By Deepak Kumar Mohanty
New Delhi

Dec 22: Citing Naxalism as the lone biggest threat to nation’s internal security, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday, while addressing a conference on internal security attended by chief ministers of all states, stressed the need of a special force for curbing the growing Naxalism and terrorism menace.

Talks were also made on the development and strengthen of police forces and intelligence machinery. With this there seems a good political initiative that has been lacking since time but “Is this the right answer” is still a question.

No doubt the Naxal problem is spreading across the country and hence PM’s statement to establish a trained force is apt at a time when a large number of people are living under naxal threat.

States are demanding more and more funds to deal with this problem but on the other hand the allocated funds by the central government goes unplanted.

States like Orissa urged the Central government to increase financial assistance to modernise police force that means earlier there was no such effort or if so then there must be an absence of better mechanism.

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi criticised ‘Centre’ for its soft policy on terrorism citing the earlier anti-terrorism law POTA and that is why BJP ruled states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh called for revival of POTA.

It shows a lack of coordination and consensus between states and central administration. Also leadership in different states somehow missed to address the basic problems in the naxal-affected regions: social inequalities, poverty, and unemployment that later in totality create disorder in law and order.

On one hand states demanded to set up a federal agency to tackle crime and terror but with political instability and differences this may later create another foray on the independence of state machinery, which can impose a bigger internal crisis.

Moreover, what the utmost need of the hour is to build a better Centre-State cooperation whether in terms of modernising security, economic development or a widely accepted anti-terror law. There should be a concerted effort to find out a long-term solution of this menace; law and order is only a short-term answer whereas development issue in those naxal affected areas is the only effective measure to counter the problem.

It seems that on one hand as some points out, the life of Naxals, which is grounded with land and unless there is policy on land reforms and equitable development there is no solution to this question. However, on the other half, politicians do come up with a different answer as according to them sometimes Naxals themselves oppose development policy as in case of the ‘Red Corridor’ project - aims a better connectivity in the Naxal distressed states. This creates a different scenario altogether but in a larger context development should be the key.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Naxalism And Terrorism


The deliberations at the chief ministers’ conference held on Thursday in Delhi were not different than the proceedings of the Hyderabad meet of the chief ministers held two years back. If the Hyderabad meet lacked a future perspective, the New Delhi conference was also not innovative. The chief ministers harped on the same old line: strengthening of the intelligence machinery, better Centre-state coordination and modernisation of police forces. At Thursday’s meet, the issue of development was raised but with the view to meeting the internal security threat from Naxalites, not to empower the rural poor.

The Delhi conference nevertheless witnessed a major departure in the approach of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh towards the Naxalite problem from the one he had espoused at Hyderabad. There, he had emphasised on a humane approach to the Naxalite problem in spite of the more or less consensual approach of the chief ministers to deal with it as a law and order problem. In Delhi, he called for raising a specialised and dedicated force to tackle Naxalism as it was a “virus” and the “single biggest” internal security challenge to the country.

Perhaps a few questions need to be addressed to the chief ministers: What have they done to strengthen the police force in their respective states in the light of the Hyderabad resolution? Have they brought about reforms in police administration to make it more efficient? Significantly only a month back, Dr Singh expressed his dismay at the lack of interest shown by state governments in strengthening and modernising the police in the background of escalating terrorist violence. The demand of the chief ministers to treat Naxalism as a law and order problem and tackle it with force is a diversionary ploy to conceal their failures as well as lack of understanding of the fundamental problems. Naxalism was born and has grown despite state repression, because the roots of it lie in the gross social and economic inequities in the rural areas as also in the general discontent with the way governments have functioned – i.e. corruption and collusion with the powerful sections of social and business elites.

It would be wrong to equate Naxalism with terrorism. Terrorists have no ideology and kill innocent people to promote their cause. Naxalites kill for political empowerment of the rural poor. As the two phenomena are different types, strategies to tackle them should be different.

Since terrorists have an international network and carry out coordinated strike, it is imperative that government set up an independent intelligence agency to monitor their activities inside the country and also outside. The recent terrorist attacks point to lack of better functional understanding between the Intelligence Bureau and state intelligence agencies. Since Thursday’s conference took place in the background of fresh terrorist threat perception, the Centre and the state governments must strive to strengthen and modernise the existing intelligence and police forces. What is imperative is not only to wean away the youth from the Naxalite ideology but also prevent them from becoming pawns in the hands of the terrorists. And this could only be achieved by speeding up development and making it equitable and non-discriminatory and by creating job opportunities and thus empowering the poor

Dantewada jailbreak: 25 inmates return

NDTV Correspondent
Saturday, December 22, 2007 (Dantewada)

Police have said that 25 prisoners, who escaped in the Dantewada jailbreak recently, have been recaptured. But none of them are Naxals.

At least 299 prisoners, most of them Naxals, had escaped from Dantewada jail on Sunday.

''We have been informing the Centre about the lack of security in the jail since the past three years. We told them that we needed more security since we are prone to Naxal attacks,'' said B S Mankad, Deputy Jailor, Dantewada Jail.

''The Centre is trying to evade responsibility by saying that we had links with the Naxals. All this is wrong,'' he added.

As many as 105 prisoners belonged to Naxal outfits

ANDHRA: 2 women Naxals killed in EG dist

Saturday December 22 2007 08:14 IST

Express News Service

MAREDUMILLI: Two women Naxalites, suspected to be belonging to CPI (Maoist), were shot dead in an alleged exchange of fire near Tiger Camp in the Agency area on Friday.

The police recovered five weapons, including three 303 guns and two 12 bore guns from the spot.

According to District Superintendent of Police B Srinivasulu, the police and the dalam members exchanged fire at around 4.30 pm in the forests under Maredumilli police station limits.

The police seized nine kit bags from the site. The deceased are yet to be identified.

As the encounter took place just a few kilometres away from the police station, the police sounded an alert in the area and intensified combing operations in Rampachoda-varam division.

J'khand wants 40 more paramilitary companies

Posted at Saturday, 22 December 2007 10:12 IST

Ranchi, Dec 22: Jharkhand has requisitioned 40 more companies of central paramilitary forces to combat Left extremist violence and the government is considering a special package to help Maoists join the mainstream.

On his return from the Prime Minister-convened security meeting in New Delhi yesterday, Chief Minister Madhu Koda told reporters here that the demand for more security forces was made in view of the fact that 18 of 24 districts in the state were affected by Naxal violence.

"Jharkhand is surrounded by West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, making it easy for Naxalites to criss-cross the borders after perpetrating crimes," he said.

Koda said that the Centre had approved 3,500 Special Police Officers to be deployed in the Naxal-infested areas and all state police personnel would be armed with modern weapons to combat the menace.

"It should be a multi-pronged strategy to control Naxalism. We are also considering a package that will help extremists join the mainstream," he said.

On the recent threat to target him, Koda said, "the extremists are just adding people to their list from the common man to contractors to police to politicians and ministers. JMM MP Sunil Mahto was one such case".

He said that the government was taking steps to meet such challenges.

CRPF jawan kills two colleagues, self

Saturday December 22 2007 08:17 IST

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan shot his two colleagues before killing himself in an anti-Naxal camp at Mayurbhanj district this evening.

The jawan opened fire at his colleagues killing them on the spot. Then he shot himself.

The incident occurred at about 8.45 p.m. at Jharpokharia, an area on Mayurbhanj border, where the para-military force is deployed to combat the left wing ultras.

The jawan, who opened fire, was identified as Bharmendra Kumar, while the two who fell to his bullets were Jaswinder Singh and Samsher Singh.

Mayurbhanj Collector S.K. Vasisth and SP Dayal Gangwar rushed to the spot. ‘It is too early to conclude what might have provoked Bharmendra to shoot his two fellow jawans, besides killing himself,’ Gangwar said.

The area has been cordoned off. Postmortem was conducted at Baripada while senior officials of CRPF would arrive on Saturday for investigation, the SP said.

Red corridor expands
12/22/2007 9:15:13 AM
Naxal cadres (file)

The Naxal movement of Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh has now found fresh breeding ground in states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala, from where it had once been completely uprooted. And this has becoming a matter of grave concern for the internal security of the country.

After a fierce gun battle, in the dense jungles along the Western ghats in Theni district five hard core Naxalites were nabbed by the Special Task force of the Tamil Nadu police on Friday (December 21).

Over the past six months, over 15 dreaded Naxals - all trying to spread their agenda in the border areas - have been arrested.

And now Tamil Nadu is finally waking up to the harsh reality: that it has become a haven for these dreaded extremists. This has been admitted by Chief Minister Karunanidhi for the very first time.

"The intrusion is upto Theni... So far, we have managed and they had been prevented from infiltrating further. When compared to other states, the infiltration is very less in Tamil Nadu," said Karunanidhi.

The Naxal tentacles have not just stopped with Tamil Nadu; in neighbouring Kerala, two members of the People's War Group of Andhra were arrested only a few days ago trying to move weapons and set up 'DALAMS' - or cells.

These incidents are a clear indication that Left-wing extremism. which was thought to be non-existent in the southern most states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala - is nowfast gaining ground.

This confirmation has come from none other than the Prime Minister himself. PM Manmohan Singh spoke yesterday at the Internal Security meeting of chief ministers, where he said: "Naxals have been achieving some degree of success in enlarging their areas of militancy... Not a day passes without an incident of the Left-wing extremism taking place somewhere or the other."

Clearly, the Naxal menace needs to be treated as seriously as terrorist activity.

On paper the Union government has called for "improved intelligence gathering" and better coordination between the Centre and states - but a situation check on the ground proves that the southern states are far from controlling Left-wing extremism.

The Naxal movement of Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh has now found fresh breeding ground in states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala, from where it had once been completely uprooted. And this is becoming a matter of grave concern for the internal security of the country.

(By Durga Nandini)

Red corridor

Red corridor
Amarnath K. Menon
December 20, 2007


Forty years after the Naxal movement’s chief ideologue Charu Mazumdar, acolyte Kanu Sanyal and hatchet man Jangal Santhal shouted slogans like “power flows through the barrel of the gun” and “China’s chairman Mao is our chairman”, their extremism continues to inspire many to subscribe, though mainly in thought, to their violent ways.

Naxalism gets its name from May 1967’s peasant uprising at Naxalbari in Darjeeling, West Bengal, which led to the founding of the CPI (Marxist-Leninist). It still thrives in the new avatar of Left-wing extremism.

It started when three sharecroppers lifted 300 mounds of paddy from the granary of a jotedar with the support of 150 CPI(M) workers armed with lathis, bows and arrows. The initial dithering of the authorities added momentum to the Naxalite movement, which lasted 52 days before the state came down heavily on the radicals, killing 20 of them.

With the Chinese communist newspaper, People’s Daily, eulogising it as “spring thunder” over India, the movement spread to new areas in other states. While sustained and strong police action kept it under check in West Bengal, the release of the Naxalite leaders after the CPI(M) tasted power at the ballot for the first time in 1969, gave the movement a fresh lease of life. On May Day in 1969, Sanyal announced the birth of CPI(ML).

Naxals wield power in 170 districts

In 1971, however, the government responded with Operation Steeplechase. This, coupled with Mazumdar’s death in police custody a year later, destroyed Naxalism in West Bengal. Sanyal, who had fled to Andhra Pradesh, made it clear that the Naxalite movement was “an armed struggle not for land but state power”.

The party programme, adopted in 1970, made no mention of the struggle for the socio-economic uplift of the poor, and focused instead on guerrilla warfare. The issues of landless labourers and poor peasants were a plank for the Naxalites to build up a support system.

The debate on the use of firearms in advancing the Naxalite ideology resulted in the formation of many splinter groups. By 1980, in the effervescence that followed the Emergency, there were 30-odd Naxalite groups bearing such names as the pro- or anti- Lin Piao factions and the People’s War Group.

The profile of the cadres also began to change from that of bright idealistic youth to rural masses, even as the leaders were high-caste Hindus.

In 2004, the two violent factions— the Maoists’ Communist Centre and the People’s War Group—joined hands to form the CPI(Maoist). Ever since, the Maoists have been operating as a unified force, setting off landmines, leading jailbreaks, assassinating politicians in and out of power and resorting to other extreme forms of lawlessness and violence. They adopt practices like torture, mutilation and killings after trials in kangaroo courts or the Jan Adalats. They are a regular force with squads patterned on army platoons.

The 15,000 Maoists in India, with about 10,000 firearms, pose a big internal security challenge. They are active and wield influence in 170 of the 602 districts spread over 16 of the 33 states. The backing of local tribes makes it difficult for the government to contain them.

Did you know?
749 people were killed in Naxal violence in 2006, with maximum deaths in Chhattisgarh.

With the radicals developing military capabilities like mobile guerrilla warfare, potential investment destinations—particularly for the mineral extraction industry—situated in Naxalite-dominated areas in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal may become unviable.

An unanswered question mark in India’s democratic polity, Naxalism is not merely a law-and-order problem. It has to be addressed simultaneously on the political, security, development and public-perception management fronts in a holistic manner. But as the government grapples with the challenge, Naxalites strengthen their sway.

PROFILE : Naxal Vishnu had vasectomy done to stay focused on ‘cause’

Vernon Gonsalves

The Naxal story

Vishnu had vasectomy done to stay focused on ‘cause’

Vishnu had vasectomy done to stay focused on ‘cause’ Man arrested from Govandi on Sunday was head of state Naxal unit and was regarded as a ‘professional revolutionary’ by comrades, say police

Back to Section Stories Posted On Thursday, August 23, 2007

Abhijit Sathe

The Naxal movement in Maharashtra has received a major jolt with the arrest of Vishnu alias Srinivasan alias Sreedhar, the police say.

Vishnu and Vernon Gonsalves alias Vikram, the other suspected Naxalite who was arrested, was part of the six-member CPI (Maoist) state committee that Police say Vernon Gonsalves was a top member of the Naxal state unit along with Vishnu supervised Naxalite activities in Maharashtra. Their arrest has weakened
Police say Vernon Gonsalves was a top member of the Naxal state unit along with Vishnu the state committee considerably because Vishnu was the secretary (in the Naxal set-up, a secretary heads the committee) and in charge of all activities, including collection and dispersal of funds.

Vishnu’s dossier prepared by the Anti-Naxalite Operations department has details of his background and personality.

The early days
Fifty-year-old Vishnu, a Tamilian Brahmin, was a student of Elphinstone College in the ’80s when he was attracted by the Naxalite movement because of its fight against exploitation of tribals. Dropping out of college, he joined the movement led by the People’s War Group (PWG) at the time. He was a staunch follower of PWG founder Kondapalli Seetaramaiah, and stayed loyal to the leader even after PWG broke into several factions.

Rise to the top
In his journey with the Naxal movement spanning over 30 years, Vishnu graduated from an ordinary member to state committee secretary and then member of the central committee of the movement. Among Naxal comrades, he is regarded as a ‘professional revolutionary’. So high is his dedication to the organisation that despite marrying a fellow Naxal member Neetu Hirani, Vishnu had a vasectomy done so as not be distracted from the ‘cause’.? “Vishnu chose not to have children as he wanted to be focused on the cause. Also, in Naxal organisations, the growth of an individual is largely dependent on his dedication to the cause,” ATS chief, K P Raghuvanshi told Mumbai Mirror.

According to police sources, Vishnu’s wife Neetu looks after the activities of the organisation in Nashik district. Vishnu, they said, looks after the Naxal dalams (groups) active in Bhandara, Gondia and north Gadchiroli districts of Maharashtra and Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh. Sources said his job was to provide strategic and tactical support to these groups, collect funds generated through extortion from Tendu contractors and utilise them for organisational activities.

He is also the lone leader of the Naxal movement who always had an armed bodyguard accompanying him on his visits to tribal areas in eastern Maharashtra, ATS sources said. The 9mm pistol seized by the ATS from Vishnu’s house in Govandi two days ago is suspected to belong to his bodyguard, who is absconding.

The Naxal crackdown

The recent arrest of several top Naxal leaders is the result of a nationwide crackdown on CPI (Maoist) operatives that started last year after the Union Home Ministry in its dossier on the Naxal problem in the country found the situation serious and sent feelers to states to crack down on them.

The Home Ministry report had followed a series of attacks by Naxals on state establishments in Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. A disintegrating Naxal force had recently consolidated its resources by coming together to form CPI (Maoists) with the merger of People's War Group and Marxist Communist Centre and hit the state with a vengeance. At the time the Home Ministry report came, the CPI (Maoist) claimed it had ‘liberated’ 165 districts in the country.? The state in response got back with Anti-Naxal Operations. In a span of one-and-a-half years several leaders were either arrested or gunned down by the police.

Efforts of intelligence, STF led to arrest of Maoists'

Friday December 21 2007 12:25 IST

Express News Service

MADURAI: Working in tandem by the Theni intelligence team headed by Superintendent of Police R Sudhakar and Tamil Nadu Special Task Force (STF) led to the arrest of the five Maoists, who attempted to establish a base in Varusanadu hills in the Western Ghats, said Vijay Kumar, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), here on Tuesday.

Speaking to this website's Newspaper over the telephone while visiting Pallathur in the dense Varusanadu forest, where the STF held a shoot out with the Maoists on Thursday, he said that by its prolonged combing operation over a week, the STF restricted the movement of the Maoists confining them within a limited area and surrounded them with consistent intelligence inputs from the local police.

“Despite incessant rains, the STF did not get down from the hills but had changed their shift periodically and continued the search operation,” said Vijaya Kumar.

In an act of appreciation of the cooperation of the villagers, Vijaya Kumar along with the STF personnel had lunch with people as the first phase of reward for their service.

“I will recommend to the DGP and the State Government to acknowledge their contribution suitably,” he said.

On the naxals' second attempt to establish a base in the area despite the STF camp in Kumabakarai near Periyakulam, he said, “It was only because of STF presence, they could not intrude into the Western Ghats.”

As Varusanadu hills shared boundaries with three districts, Theni, Madurai and Virudhanagar, and state boundaries between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the naxals had selected this area for their operation, he said.

The STF camp would continue in Kumbakarai and if necessary, they would search for naxals in Varusanadu hills, he added.

Earlier, Vijaya Kumar, along with Theni SP R Sudhakar, inspected the spot where the shoot out took place in Pallathur and examined the tent erected using polythene bags by Maoists and the seized revolvers and other arms.

Court directive on medical aid to suspected Maoists

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the Judicial Magistrate of Andipatti in Theni district to oversee the medical treatment given to three suspected Maoists arrested by police on Wednesday.

A Division Bench comprising Justice P.D. Dinakaran and Justice R. Regupathi, passing interim orders passed on a habeas corpus filed by advocate Haribabu, said: “We are of the considered opinion that the immediate medical aid is more necessary than permitting counsel (Government advocate) to get instructions.

“Hence, the respondent-authorities are directed to provide all necessary medical aid to the detenus immediately. The Judicial Magistrate of Andipatti is directed to oversee the medical treatment that would be given to the detenus,” they said.

According to the police, five suspected Maoists were arrested after an encounter on Varusanadu Hills in Theni district on Wednesday. Three of them, injured in the operation, are in the Madurai Government Hospital for treatment.

KERALA : A haven for outfits and separatists

Source: MeriNews
God’s own country: A haven for outfits and separatists

Vaatupura A. Jayaprakash, 21 December 2007, Friday

Kerala, once known as the seat of peace and prosperity, is fast becoming a safe haven for insurgent activities, and many remote areas, bordering with Tamil Nadu and Andhra, are reported to be housing members of Maoists guerilla insurgents too.

KERELA, ONCE known as the seat of peace and prosperity, is fast becoming a safe haven for insurgent activities, and many remote areas of the state, bordering with Tamil Nadu and Andhra, are reported to be housing members of Maoists guerilla insurgents too.

In the backdrop of such an uncertainty being spread in a state like Kerala, it is worth considering seriously the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s warning that the country is facing many internal threats, and he was asking the security forces to do everything possible to curb any activity that would ‘shake up the spirit of unity and peace prevailing in the state’.

Singh’s statements came as police reported they had arrested a top Maoist leader and a female accomplice Malla Raji Reddy who is accused of killing a former speaker of the Ahdhra Pradesh legislature and were in charge of the ‘revolutionary movement’ in India’s southwest.

Reddy, hailing from Karim Nagar District in Andhra Pradesh, is in charge of the revolutionary movement in the south-west regional bureau of the Maoists. The southwest bureau includes Kerala too; Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujrat and Tamil Nadu are the other states. Police say a 25 thousand US dollar reward had been issued for his arrest, which he had been evading for the last 39 years. He is reported as saying that he came to Kerala on the 24 of December to ‘take the revolution forward’.

Singh last year had described the ultra-leftist revolutionaries as the biggest single threat to internal security. He says the situation is like a virus, which needs to be eliminated. Meanwhile, the internal security mechanism has decided to mobilize 200 battalions of paramilitary forces to combat any eventuality that would surface out of this ‘extremely fluid internal security atmosphere’.

It all looks extremely sensitive as the country is currently facing threats from international terrorist outfits like Al Qaeda. There are fresh email threats stating that they would floor Taj Mahal, the Supreme Court and the Parliament. “We take these threats very seriously, and we are doing everything possible to contain this, and we ask all those who are involved the security machinery of the state to put in their best efforts to contain this threat to the state,” said a top official of the Home Ministry

Taslima under "house arrest" because of pressure from Left:BJP

New Delhi, Dec 21 (PTI) Taking strong exception to the travel curbs imposed on Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, the BJP today alleged that the UPA Government has kept her under "house arrest" under pressure from its Left allies.
The saffron party demanded that the controversial writer, a "victim of religious persecution in Bangladesh", be allowed to go wherever she wishes and given political asylum and security.

"The UPA government has placed her under house arrest under pressure from its Left allies to cling on to power and succumbed to Islamic fundementalists to win vote banks," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar alleged.

He said Taslima's "house arrest" was a "matter of shame" for the entire country, which takes pride in the philosophy of "Atithi Devo Bhava" and asserted that the Centre's decision reminds of emergency days.

"Neither has she the freedom to move around in Delhi, nor has the permission to return to Kolkata. What kind of secular democracy is this?" he asked and drew parallel between the Taslima affair and the Shahbano case.

The central government yesterday barred 46-year-old Taslima, who had been living in an undisclosed location here for the last one month, from coming out in public or freely meeting people. PTI

Naxalites incited Nandigram and Singur flare-up, Buddha tells PM

22 Dec, 2007, 0153 hrs IST,Manisha Choudhury, TNN

KOLKATA: West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has submitted a report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in which he has squarely blamed the Naxalites for inciting farmers not merely in Nandigram, but also in Singur, against relinquishing their land for industrialisation.

While the CPM and West Bengal government have always blamed the Naxals for the violence in Nandigram, this is perhaps the first time they have alleged their involvement in Singur as well. The note, which was submitted on Thursday, also talks about the alliance between Trinamool-backed BUPC and the Naxals.

"It may be noted that Left wing extremists (LWE) have stepped up their propaganda pertaining to the espousal of the causes of farmers by raising the issue of displacement of farmers from their own land for industrial and infrastructural projects. A frontal organisation of LWE activists named the Gana Pratirodh Manch carried out propaganda against the acquisition of land in Singur and have also generally opposed land acquisition for large projects throughout the state," says the report.

The note goes on to add that Maoist activities have spread rapidly to areas in and around Nandigram. "It has been confirmed that some CPI (Maoist) activists started arms training in Nandigram to build up a base there, and in this effort, they have also received necessary support from the Bhumi Uchhed Pratirodh Committee."

The chief minister's comments assume significance, especially in the backdrop of the ongoing CBI investigations in Nandigram. Bhattacharjee, on the sidelines of his meeting with the Prime minister, had also hinted that CBI had leaked information indiscriminately to the media about its report on the killings of the March 14 incident and that the state government would take up the matter with the Centre immediately.

Explaining the extent of Maoist menace in the state, Bhattacharjee said, "the major security threat being faced by the state in the past few years have been linked to left wing extremist activities largely in the districts of Purulia, West Midnapore and Bankura.

After the merger of the MCC and the People's War Group, the LWE activists in the state have become more active. All districts bordering West Bengal, who share a common boundary with Orissa and Jharkhand are worst affected by Maoist insurgent activities.

Laying down the details of Maoists in the state, chief minister stated that compared to other affected states, West Bengal has witnessed less of violent activities from the LWE groups. In 2005, there were 13 incidents of LWE violence in which 10 CPM activists and one policeman were killed. In 2006, there were 27 incidents in which 9 CPM activists were killed.

The report also says that LWE activists have been targeting prominent CPM leaders and some important civilians in the state. There are also suggestions of close linkages between Maoists and KLO/KPP groups of North Bengal, whose nexus with ULFA has already been established.

Naveen to keep Posco date


Bhubaneswar, Dec. 21: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik today exuded hope that the construction of the Posco plant would begin as per schedule, though land demarcation in affected areas has been deferred following resistance.

“The target date for the beginning of the construction has been given as April 1. We certainly hope that the foundation stone will be laid on the scheduled date,” Naveen (in picture) said after returning from Delhi this afternoon.

The proposed 12 MTPA steel plant, the biggest FDI project in the country, has been hanging fire for more than two and half years due to stiff opposition from those facing displacement due to the plant. Land demarcation, leaving aside land acquisition, could not be carried out due to the resistance.

The proposed $12 billion mega steel plant project has another roadblock with the pro-plant group insisting on the announcement of a special rehabilitation package.

Recently members of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) — constituted by plant supporters at Nuagaon, Gadakujang and Govindpur — announced they would not allow land demarcation to start unless the state government and Posco spell out the special compensation package.

Tamil Pradhan, a prominent JAC leader, said they had laid certain conditions before land demarcation and acquisition at a meeting convened by the district administration on December 6. Though a fortnight has passed, the authorities have not announced the special compensation package, said Pradhan. JAC has convened a meeting at Gadakujang tomorrow to discuss the issue.

The committee members had given a peace offer and invited the anti-Posco protestors to the meeting. However, anti-Posco protestors turned down the invitation.

“Those who have formed JAC and sent the invitation are doing so at the behest of Posco officials. They do not want to build relations with us but (want) to play tricks”, said a senior member of the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti.

This was the first peace effort by Posco supporters after the November 29 clash between the two groups, in which bombs were allegedly used.

State government’s Posco project nodal officer Priyabrata Patnaik, who had led the negotiation with plant supporters, said the next round of discussions would be held soon. Priyabrata said they have not received any proposal from JAC.

Cops tread slow, bodies ‘missing’


Raipur, Dec. 21: Chhattisgarh police have failed to reach the encounter site where Maoists and the police clashed yesterday evening and from where 12 personnel went missing.

An Andhra Pradesh regional news channel, however, aired clips in the evening showing 12 bodies lying on the spot.

The search parties from base camps located at Golapalli and Kisteram areas started off in the morning. However, till the evening, the Chhattisgarh parties had reportedly failed to reach the area, even after 24-hours. “The difficult terrain is causing problems, besides the search parties fear red ambush at places, which makes them move even slowly,” conceded Bastar inspector-general of police R.K. Vij.

The officer also admitted that the television crew could have reached the spot from Bhadrachalam or Khammam (both in Andhra Pradesh) — which is a quicker path.

“As far as the police are concerned, the parties are near the spot but have not reached the exact place,” he added.

Once the police parties confirm, he would be in a position to speak about the number of casualty officially.

Vij added that the search operation would be resumed again on Saturday morning and said it would take another 14 to 16 hours to get the “official picture”, and understand what had happened yesterday.

The dozen police personnel who went missing yesterday were a part of a 33-member police party that fell into an ambush laid by the rebels near Tarlaguda some 500-km south of state capital — in Dantewada.

While 21 jawans returned to the police station, there was no information about the 12 others.

The jawans were returning to Golapalli from Kisteram when Maoists attacked about 5pm. Of the missing jawans, eight are from the Special Armed Force, while four belong to the district force.

“But we do fear that the 12 men have either been killed or are being kept hostage by the Maoists,” said a senior police official in the police headquarters. However, another official ruled out the second possibility stating: “There is no top officer in the team who can prove to be of use to the rebels.”

In such cases, villagers usually provide information to the police if they discovered the bodies. But this time, that network, too, seems to have collapsed. The senior officers in Dantewada are still hopeful to get some clue by late night.

“Two to three search parties are still in the forests. We are hopeful that they would send us some message. But we are not expecting anything before late night,” the officer at the headquarter added.

Maoists begin 2-phase overhaul of operations

Ajoy K Das
Saturday, December 22, 2007 03:45 IST

KOLKATA: With the security beefed up in the wake of the Dantewada jailbreak, the Maoists active in West Bengal have initiated a two-pronged overhaul of their operations. First, the Maoists have decided to dig deep into their strongholds in jungles across Bankura, West Midnapore and Purulia, which even state home secretary Prasad Ranjan Roy has acknowledged the administration is unable to penetrate.

Secondly, the extremists are linking up insurgent and terror outfits along the Indo-Bangladesh border in North Bengal with the red extremists in Nepal. This will help them flee to Bangladesh after hit-and-run operations. The Maoists have already established such alliances with terror outfits in south Bengal districts such as Nadia and Murshidabad bordering Bangladesh.

The new risk assessment of Maoist extremism emerged at a series of meetings of various state intelligence organisations. The meeting was held at the same time when the National Development Council chaired by Manmohan Singh was deliberating measures to combat the “biggest internal security threat”, as the Prime Minister termed Maoists extremism, in Delhi.

Recently, a high-level meeting was also held in Siliguri in north Bengal between chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and RS Naluya, IG, North Bengal, and Gaurav C Dutt, IG, Intelligence Bureau.

A senior Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer of the West Bengal Police said, “Maoists links with Harkat-ul-Jihad Al Islam (Huji) have been established. Now, we have fresh inputs that apart from Huji, the Maoists have linked up with underground organisations in north Bengal to open up a second front after south Bengal.

The officer said while the Maoists planned to operate in alliance with Huji in south Bengal, they are expected to increase violent aggression in north Bengal with extremist elements of Kamtapuris and Bhupalis.

Bhupalis are Bhutanese of Nepal origin ousted from Bhutan and currently living in different refugee camps in Jhapa, Nepal and Kalchini, Looksan, Beerpara and Bagrakot in Jalpaiguri in north Bengal. Recently, the Bhupalis adopted an aggressive and violent posture against Indian border security agencies while trying to forcibly cross over into Bhutan.

IB officials said the Bhupalis are being sought after by the Maoists to help them find safe havens in the jungles along the Bhutan border. The IB has cautioned the state government that the next time the Bhupalis try to cross over into Bhutan, they are likely to be better equipped in terms of trained manpower and explosives, sources said.

KERALA : Arrest of Malla Raji Reddy , Migrant labourers under scanner

By T.K. Devasia (Our correspondent)

21 December 2007

TRIVANDRUM — The Kerala police have started gathering details about migrant labourers in the state after the arrest of a top Andhra Pradesh-based Maoist leader from Angamaly near Cochin.

Malla Raji Reddy, a Central Committee member of the CPI (Maoist), was arrested by a special police team from Andhra Pradesh along with Suguna (30), a tribal woman on December 17.

In charge of the revolutionary movement in Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, Reddy told reporters before being taken to Andhra Pradesh that he had come to the state on December 14 with the aim of taking the movement forward.

The statement confirms intelligence reports that the Maoists were trying to expand their operations in the state. Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had told the state Assembly recently that Naxalites from other states were active in Kerala.

The police had the information that members of Left extremist groups from neighbouring states were using Kerala as a meeting point. They suspect the involvement of Maoists in the struggles being spearheaded by the tribals for land. Reddy is the second central committee member to be nabbed in the state. Earlier in June, Sande Rajamouli was arrested from Quilon. Another Maoist leader Sundaramoorthy, who was arrested by Tamil Nadu police, had confessed that he had lived in Nedumkandam and other areas of Idukki district for eight months.

The police suspect that the Maoists from other states, who are trying to penetrate in Kerala, may have links with migrant labourers, who have been flowing to Kerala in large numbers in the recent years. They are trying to identify such migrants by collecting information about them.

The police in Ernakulam district have asked contractors, hotels and other institutions employing labourers from the other States to provide photos and other identification documents to the Special Branch office.

TAMIL NADU : No more Maoists in Western Ghats, says IG

Friday December 21 2007 12:18 IST

Express News Service

MADURAI: The Varusanadu hills are now free of Maoists, South Zone IG Sanjeev Kumar stated categorically on Thursday.

Nevertheless, there will be no let up in the combing operations by the Tamil Nadu Special Task Force, he said.

He was talking to reporters after enquiring about the health of the three Maoists, Muruganantham (27), Maruthu alias Lenin (27) and Mahalingam alias Nondi Palani (52), who were injured in the exchange of fire on Wednesday near Varusanadu, whom he visited at the Government Rajaji Hospital on Thursday.

Sanjeev Kumar also said that it was with the cooperation of public that police apprehended the Maoists.

Though naxals sought the help of the people, the public did not support them, he said.

He said that weapons, including 303 calibre revolvers, four muskets and single barrel guns, were seized from the Naxalites.

'Q' branch SP Ashok Kumar also accompanied Sanjeev Kumar to the hospital.

CPM back to Stalinist agenda: BJP

Saturday December 22 2007 00:00 IST

Anita Saluja

NEW DELHI: The BJP hit out at CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat for targetting L K Advani being anointed as the party's Prime Ministerial candidate and describing it as a return to the basics by the party.

The CPM, in its mouthpiece, People's Democracy, described it as a sign of growing insecurity in the BJP and charged the party with harking back to aggressive communal poloralisation, by trying to capitalise on Advani's Ram Rath Yatra in 1990 to consolidate the Hindu vote bank.

The BJP hit back at Karat and charged his party with returning to Stalinist agenda, in driving out Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen and in the Nandigram violence.

BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said, “The shocking news of the house-arrest of noted writer Taslima Nasreen is a matter of shame for the UPA Government, especially in a country that proudly propounds the age old philosophy of Athithi Devo Bhawa. It is even more shocking that for the sake of their political survival and acting completely under pressure from the CPM, the Central Government has gone ahead and conveyed to Taslima that she cannot go back to Kolkata, a city that she loves.”

The Centre's latest move, he said, has thrown up an extremely relevant and important question as to how a victim of persecution was being treated by a civilised State, in which the victim has sought refuge as an asylum.

The BJP condemned the CPM for their dismal role in Taslima episode. It clearly establishes their complete submission to Islamic fundamentalists; a continuation of their known behaviour since the days of Shah Bano case and following the policy of rank opportunism for mere political survival and vote bank politics.

The BJP demanded that the UPA Government should ensure freedom of movement, provide safety and just treatment to Taslima and allow her to follow her wishes.

Prakash Javadekar pointed out that Taslima was a victim of religious persecution in Bangladesh. Now she is a refugee in India. While the CPM Government in West Bengal forcibly ejected her out from Kolkata under pressure from Islamic fundamentalists, the Central Government was carrying out further persecution since fellow-travelling with the CPM and fundamentalists protects their survival and vote bank.

The BJP leader reminded the UPA Central Government and CPM Government in West Bengal that people were no longer living under the Emergency rule of 1975, when the then Attorney-General Niren De had infamously said, “Nobody has right to life if Government wishes so.”

The BJP noted that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has finally acknowledged the Left-wing extremism of Naxals was growing and their base was being enlarged. The BJP leader blamed it on the Congress brand of politics for the latest developments.

The Congress Government in Andhra Pradesh announced ceasefire in 2004, which was used by Naxals to regroup, reinforce and spread its tentacles. The Central Government discontinued the coordinated action plan and working group arrangement initiated by the Vajpayee Government to tackle Naxals, despite its success.

12 missing cops killed by Maoists in Chhattisgarh

Raipur: All the 12 policemen, who went missing after an encounter with Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada forests, had been killed by the extremists, police sources said on Friday.

The extremists looted 11 self-loading rifles and an AK-47 rifle from the policemen.

Among the killed were eight Chhattisgarh Armed Force personnel and four from district force, who got separated when a 28-member police party came under attack from the Maoists in the Golapalli forest, 450 km from the state capital.

Sixteen of 28 reported back to their base camp in Golapalli with the weapons
(Source : PTI )

Posted : Fri, 21 Dec 2007 16:48:03 GMT
Source: IANS

Raipur, Dec 21 - The 12 policemen who went missing after a gunfight with the Maoist guerrillas Thursday in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district have been shot dead by the rebels, a senior police official said Friday.'Missing cops had been killed but their bodies have not been recovered by the police. Search teams led by Dantewada District Superintendent of Police Rahul Sharma are still inside the forest area where the bodies are lying,' Chhattisgarh Inspector General (Maoist operation), Girdhari Nayak told IANS by phone.A local news channel showed footage of bullet-ridden bodies of the policemen who went missing after armed cadres of the banned outfit, Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) opened indiscriminate fire on a 33-member police team Thursday in Taragura under Konta block, around 500 km south of capital Raipur.All but 12 members of the police team returned in two batches safely after the gunfight by late Thursday night. The deceased cops comprised eight Special Armed Forces (SAF) personnel and four from the District Force (DF).'We hope to recover the bodies by the early hours of Saturday. The task is difficult because the forest area has been cordoned off by the rebels using landmines,' Nayak said.

(c) Indo-Asian News Service

Death shroud on kidnapped cops

Raipur, Dec. 21: Maoists kidnapped 12 policemen in Chhattisgarh last evening but officers don’t know if they have been killed — because search teams haven’t been able to cover the 15km to the spot till tonight.

A regional TV channel, however, aired footage of the bodies of 12 policemen and claimed it was reporting from the scene of the ambush in Maoist stronghold Dantewada.

Although senior officers wouldn’t confirm the deaths, PTI quoted an unnamed Dantewada police source as saying: “All the 12… are killed and their 11 self-loading rifles and one AK-47 weapon have been looted by the rebels.”

The police struggled to explain why their teams had failed to reach the spot after setting out from the Golapalli and Kisteram camps this morning when TV crew were apparently there long ago. Besides, of the 33 policemen ambushed, 21 made it to the Golapalli camp, negotiating the same terrain.

“The difficult terrain is causing problems. Besides, the ambushes laid by the rebels at various places makes our teams move with caution,” Bastar inspector-general of police R.K. Vij said.

He suggested the TV crew may have reached the spot from Bhadrachalam or Khammam in Andhra Pradesh.

Dantewada is the district where about 100 Maoists broke out of jail on Monday, and where most of the rebels’ central leaders are believed to be staying.

The 5pm ambush took place near Tarlaguda, about 500km south of state capital Raipur, while the jawans were returning to Golapalli from Kisteram. Of the missing jawans, eight are from the Special Armed Force and four from the District Force.

An officer said it was more likely the hostages had been killed “since there were no officers among them” who might have enabled the rebels to negotiate for a prisoner trade-off.

“The search parties are near the spot,” Vij said, adding that the combing would resume tomorrow. Once the teams reached the site, he said, he would be in a position to speak officially about the casualty.

Usually, villagers inform the police if they discover any bodies but even this network seems to have collapsed, a source said.

'Naxals prey on mine-rich states’

Himansu S Sahoo, Hindustan Times
Email Author
Bhubaneswar, December 22, 2007
First Published: 02:05 IST(22/12/2007)
Last Updated: 02:07 IST(22/12/2007)

The major mineral producing districts in India are also the poorest and the most underdeveloped districts of the country. Forty per cent of the mineral-rich districts are Naxal-affected, said a report prepared by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), released in Bhubaneswar on Friday.

According to the CSE report titled, “Rich Lands, Poor People,” of the top 50 mineral producing districts, as many as 34 fall under the 150 most backward districts identified in the country.

Besides, three states with substantial dependence on minerals - Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh - are today characterised by low per capita income, lower growth rates and higher levels of poverty and food insecurity.

While 19 districts out of the total 22 are identified as backward in Jharkhand, in Orissa 27 districts out of the total 30 are backward and in Chhattisgarh as many as 15 out of the total 16 districts are backward.

Trying to relate mining with poverty, the CSE report cites the example of Orissa’s Keonjhar district which produces almost 21 per cent of India’s iron ore, but here more than 60 per cent people are below poverty line (BPL) and it’s ranked 24 th out of the 30 districts in the state in Human Development Index (HDI).

Similar is the case of another Orissa district, Jajpur. Jajpur produces 95 per cent of India’s chromite.

Ironically, it's ranked 22nd out of the 30 districts of Orissa in the HDI.

Speaking to journalists, CSE director Sunita Narain said, another big problem in the mining areas has been the growing Naxal menace.

“Our study detected that 40 per cent of the top 50 mineral rich districts in the country are today affected by Naxalism. It's also a fact that the Naxals are gradually targeting mining establishments,” she said.

While there are controversies surrounding industrial displacement, the CSE report shows that between 1950 and 1991, mining displaced about 2.6 million people in India from which less than 25 per cent have been rehabilitated so far.

Associate director of CSE, Chandra Bhusan, said, “There has been no complete data on any agency on displacement due to mining. However, in most of the cases forest clearance and environmental clearances are granted despite the fact that public hearings have gone against the projects.”

The CSE report has made extensive analysis of environment degradation and pollution due to mining, wherein it has said, in 2005-06 alone 1.6 billion tonnes of waste and overburden from coal, iron ore, limestone and bauxite have added to environment pollution.

With the annual growth of mining at 10.7 per cent and 500-odd mines awaiting approval of the Centre, the pollution would increase manifold in the coming years.

HC respite for Naxal supporters Vernon Gonzalves and Shridhar Shrinivasan

Anshika Misra
Saturday, December 22, 2007 03:42 IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Thursday restrained the state police from transferring two suspected leaders of the banned Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (Peoples’ War) from Chandrapur in Vidarbha till the next hearing on January 11.

The Anti-Terrorism Squad had arrested Vernon Gonzalves and Shridhar Shrinivasan from Mumbai on August 19. They were handed over to the Anti-Naxalite Squad in September. Gonzalves’s wife Susan Abraham, a practising lawyer, filed a habeas corpus petition seeking to know the whereabouts of her husband and Shridhar.

While Shridhar is an alumnus of Elphinstone College, Gonzalves is a gold medallist from Mumbai University and a former lecturer at Ruparel College and HR College. Their family members have denied that they are Naxalites. The police, however, claim to have recovered incriminating documents and explosives from the duo.

Abraham’s lawyer Anand Grover told the court that the duo was being transferred from one police station to another and kept continuously in police custody for over 61 days. By law, police custody cannot exceed 15 days.

Walk The Talk

22 Dec 2007, 0002 hrs IST

The prime minister has identified Naxalism as the biggest threat to internal security and wants it eliminated. Official figures indicate that over 300 people, including civilians and security personnel, died in Naxal-related violence this year. Large areas in central India are under the control of Maoist groups. The PM, correctly in our view, sees it as a fallout of uneven development. But Maoist violence is a complex phenomenon and simple solutions, such as paramilitary might, alone can't guarantee peace. The prime minister sensibly suggests that a combination of development measures and security initiatives has to go together if Maoism is to be eliminated. That's been said before; the point is now to do it. But neither the prime minister nor the chief ministers who heard him out seem to have answers that go beyond expressing sterile intentions.

Maoist politics, from the time it began in the late 1960s, is restricted largely to underdeveloped, mostly tribal, areas. The forested regions of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Telangana and Vidarbha are the main centres of relatively successful Maoist activity. The absence of sufficient public intervention, especially in education, health and employment, allowed non-state actors to push their agenda among the tribals. The entire region under Naxalite influence desperately needs development. The question is what sort of development and how it should be executed.

Crony capitalism aided by corrupt politicians and bureaucrats is not the solution. Public utilities and institutions have to be built by the state to make development inclusive, because development is as much a perception as it is about improving economic indices. The government should not confuse development with building an egalitarian society - because all growth has to be iniquitous to some extent - but it ought to remember that noble public policies alone do not further resentment of inequality, even when average conditions of living visibly improve.

A vibrant civil society can ensure that development is relatively inclusive. States like Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are handicapped by the absence of an influential civil society. The Maoists have stepped into this space. The state machinery and Maoists compete to deny political space to the few independent voices that are courageous enough to criticise the endemic corruption and violence. The prime minister should perhaps begin here: tune public policies towards building a civil society. The government should build schools, universities and hospitals. Local entrepreneurs should be encouraged - through micro-finance initiatives as well as regular forms of banking - to create employment and an expanding market-based society. Maoists will then have very little ground to spread their poisonous ideology.

CRPF personnel kills two colleagues, self

Saturday, 22 December , 2007, 02:17
Last Updated: Saturday, 22 December , 2007, 02:22

Baripada (Orissa): A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, engaged in anti-Naxal operation in Orissa's Mayurbhanj district, allegedly shot dead two of his colleagues with his rifle before committing suicide on Friday night, police said.

The incident occurred at Dhangidsolo under Jharpokharia police station, about 25 km from here, where a company of the CRPF's 58 battalion was camping, superintendent of police Dayal Gangwar said.

He said Dharmendra Kumar opened fire from his rifle at Jasbir Singh and Samsher Singh. Jasbir died on the spot while Samsher succumbed to the serious injuries on the way to the district headquarters hospital here.

Immediately after the incident, Dharmendra committed suicide by shooting himself

MP CM calls for revival of 'POTA'

Submitted by Tarique on Fri, 12/21/2007 - 15:56. India News

By Pervez Bari,

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan called for the revival of 'POTA' (Prevention of Terrorists Act) at the meeting on internal security held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Thursday.

Chouhan also called for the enhancement of the limited resources of the state, keeping in mind the challenges faced because of threats to internal security. He felt that states should be granted greater central assistance and an overall improvement in the criminal justice system could be brought about by implementing the recommendations of the Justice Malimat Committee. He also felt that internal security should be brought within the ambit of plan expenditure instead of non-plan expenditure.

The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and the Chief Ministers of the concerned states also participated in it. Chief Secretary of Madhya Pradesh Rakesh Sahni and Director General of Police A.R. Panwar were also present at the meeting.

An official Press release here said that the states and the centre should jointly combat the threat posed by terrorism, Naxalism and other separatist movements, the Chief Minister reportedly stated. As for the revival of 'POTA' it could be done without being abused and provisions could be made for the same. The Chief Minister said that the state government is considering bringing in an act - the 'Prevention of Terrorist and Disruptive Activities and Organised Criminal Control Act and before tabling it in the Vidhan Sabha it would be sent to the centre for prior permission.

Chouhan said that Naxalism and terrorism are a threat to peace and development. There is need to put it down with an iron hand. There is need to get at the causes of these evils and to eliminate them. In Madhya Pradesh, development works are being done vigorously as part of measures to eliminate these curses.

The Chief Minister further said that in spite of limited financial resources efforts have been made to make the police force more dynamic. Balaghat, Mandla and Dindori are Naxal affected districts in the state and districts bordering Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh has also witnessed some naxalite related activities. Madhya Pradesh had 8.17 civil police for 10,000 citizens which was less than the national average. It is essential to increase the police force but because of limited financial resources this has not been possible. The Chief Minister made an urgent plea for more financial assistance from the centre.

Referring to the Justice Malimat Committee recommendations the Chief Minister said that these should be implemented as they would bring about a greater improvement in the system. Seeing the diversity of the country it is also essential to have special investigative teams for each state instead of a central agency.

The Chief Minister further claimed that as long as information from the police stations is not made available, the menace of Naxalism and terrorism could not be tackled. A special cell has been created in every police station for this purpose. A special task force/hawk force had also been constituted which is equipped with the most modern weapons. The members of the task force also get a special risk allowance of 70 per cent of their pay. In the year 2006, under the police Director General a special terrorist prevention squad has also been constituted.

To combat terrorism, the Chief Minister also emphasised the need for training of police personnel and said that at present to train 2000 police officers and employees there is the police academy and six police institutes. This was not really adequate. In the coming year the target is to train 3000 police personnel. Major cities, public places, religious places are the prime targets, and these need special attention. Anti-terror squads has to be made more effective. The training of police personnel is being seriously considered by the state government. The State Planning Commission is also considering making available funds for training, investigation, and security and for more police stations and buildings for the police department. (

India: Maoists' capabilities increased

Published: Dec. 21, 2007 at 9:32 AM

NEW DELHI, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- India says Maoist rebels have developed the capability to launch frontal attacks on police forces.

"Over the last year, the activities of Naxal groups have revealed new aspects. They seem to have developed the capability in some areas to launch frontal attacks on police forces and establishments," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at a meeting on internal security.

Naxal is the term used in India for Maoists.

He said the rebels are carefully targeting all aspects of economic activity so as to cripple transport and logistical capabilities and also slow down development activity.

"This helps them sustain their ideology of deprivation and neglect. They have even managed to eliminate important political leaders and their associates in some states," Singh said.

He said there also seems to be a consolidation of various groups with better coordination and strike capabilities, adding that although the notion of a red corridor from Nepal to Andhra Pradesh state is exaggerated, the government has to admit rebels have achieved some degree of success in enlarging their areas of operation.

© 2007 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

Naxal movement fading out in Karimnagar

User Rating: / 1 Friday, 21 December 2007

Karimnagar, December 21: The naxalite movement is fading out in Karimnagar district, which was once considered the strong fort for Maoists and other naxalite groups in the State.

The Karimnagar district Maoist group, which had several top cadre naxalites in its ranks in the last three decades, has been at the receiving end in encounters and arrests.

With the arrest of Maoist of central committee and Polit Bureau member Malla Raji Reddy alias Sayanna alias Sathenna of Sastrulapalli village of Manthani mandal in Ernakulam of Kerela State, the Maoists have suffered a deathblow in the district.

Against the 37 Maoist central committee members, including its Polit Bureau members, seven are from Karimnagar district.
Killed in encounters

Another central committee member Sande Rajamouli alias Prasad alias Krishna, a native of Gudem village in Odela mandal, was killed in an exchange of fire with the police in Anantapur district last year.

Maoists State committee secretary Burra Chinnanna alias Madhav alias Madanlal, who hailed from Mangapeta village of Kalwa Srirampur mandal, was killed in an encounter in July 2006.

In December 1999, Maoists central committee members of the then People’s War Group Nalla Adi Reddy, Yerramreddy Santosh Reddy and Seelam Naresh were killed in Koyyur encounter.

Other top Maoists killed in encounters include NTSZC members -- Padmakka and Vinod -- in Nerella and Maddimalla encounters.

Police sources say that the remaining small rung leaders hailing from the district have shifted base to Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra states.


Chhattisgarh: 12 cops killed by Maoists

Press Trust of India
Friday, December 21, 2007 (Raipur)

All the 12 policemen, who went missing after an encounter with Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada forests, have been killed by the extremists, police sources said on Friday.

The extremists also looted 11 self-loading rifles and an AK-47 rifle from the policemen, they said.

Among the killed were eight Chhattisgarh Armed Force personnel and four from district force, who got separated when a 28-member police party came under attack from the Maoists in the Golapalli forest, 450 km from the state capital.

Sixteen of 28 reported back to their base camp in Golapalli with the weapons.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Narendra Modi stole the show at CM's meet on Internal Security

India should have diplomatic channel with Pakistan to combat terrorism: Modi

Gujarat Global News Network, New Delhi

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has said that there should be diplomatic channel with neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal to check growing problem of terrorism. He said that terrorism was not nourishing because of poverty but it was a problem of an ideology and attitude towards life of intolerance.

Speaking at the Chief Ministers' meet on Internal Security here today he said that while anti terror mechanism are being strengthened and terror laws are being made stringent all over the world, our country has even abolished the existing law of POTA. The government should bring some another law instead of POTA. He also expressed his dissatisfaction regarding non-approval of GUJCOC, which is pending since long with the centre.

He said that Police Academy/Colleges should be established at the National and State levels for induction of youth who in turn can be recruited later on in the Police Force or in Private Security Agencies. He also suggested for a specialized national level service on the intelligence cadre on the pattern of All India Service like IAS and IPS.

"Unfortunately, the intelligence apparatus in most states leave much to be
desired. I strongly feel that matters pertaining to intelligence should be given
priority and the shroud of fanatical secrecy should be lifted so as to analyse
true worth of any intelligence agency. In order to create a cadre of dedicated
officers, I would recommend setting-up of an all-India service, which could be
called the Indian Intelligence Service. Members of this service should be in the
same manner as IAS, IPS and IFS. Be born on the cadre of a particular state and
then are available for service with the Central Government on deputation basis.
The advantage of such a system would be to have at hand the committed and
professional intelligence officers who could then be trusted to collect hard
intelligence competently
" ( AUGUST 2006 article Written by Narendra Modi)

Gujarat intends to establish a Gujarat State Police University to impart holistic knowledge on Police administration and criminal justice system. Modi urged the centre to provide support for the project.

Modi suggested Public Private Partnership to involve local public participation in crime management. He also suggested institutions which can issue certificate for forensic trained people. Gujarat is ready to work if Central Government gives financial support, he added.

Speaking on Naxalite issues, Gujarat Chief Minister said that it was high time that Government of India evolve a clear policy to deal with this issue as Naxalite movement is no more a local issue for which Union Government has greater responsibility as this situation may lead to subversion and crisis in the country. This is the proxy war and it should be handled more carefully. Gujarat is not affected by Naxalite movement so far. He suggested two strategies one for the naxalite affected areas and other to the potential areas where preventive measures can be taken in advance so that such menace may not spread there.

Modi suggested that Indian Evidence Act need to be amended and responsibility of current incumbent to a post be fixed for any Court matter concerning official action taken by earlier incumbent.

Emphasizing the need of improvement in the border security capacity including that of the coastal security, he stated that the security systems available with the ports are inadequate. Even the customs department has no such means to effectively check smuggling of any contraband item. He said that more shallow water boats for the coast guards which can work in the coastal areas where draft depth is not available should be provided by the centre.

The State Government has sent a comprehensive scheme on coastal security involving Rs.392.47 crores to the Government of India which included setting up of 51 coastal police stations in 11 coastal districts of the State against which only 10 police stations have been approved. Against the proposal of 70 out posts, only 46 posts have been sanctioned. Against Rs.393,47 crores perspective plans, the Government of India has approved only Rs.58.42 crores. He urged the centre to sanction Rs.393.47 crores to handle the coastal security effectively.

For news in Hindi see our Hindi news daily Chaupal Chronicle

Modi at meet, all guns blazing- Gujarat CM blasts Singh’s proposal for 15% funds for minorities


Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi at the meeting. Pictures by AFP and Rajesh Kumar
New Delhi, Dec. 19: Narendra Modi stole the show at the chief ministers’ meeting that some said he should not have attended, held forth on what he called “communal budgeting” and said he would speak to the media when he had something to tell the nation.

“Nation” — that word would have caught the attention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, shadow Prime Minister L.K. Advani as well as their parties.

When the BJP suddenly announced a day before the Gujarat polls that Advani would be its candidate for Prime Minister whenever general elections were held, Manmohan said the party had acted to pre-empt Modi who, he suggested, was eyeing Delhi.

Today, Modi was not expected at the National Development Council meeting. Chief ministers awaiting an election verdict rarely attend meetings where vital policy decisions are taken.

But not only did the Gujarat chief minister attend, he even tried to set the tone for the meeting by asking party president Rajnath Singh to issue a statement on “communal budgeting” — the BJP’s phrase to describe the proposed 15 per cent outlay for minorities.

Rajnath told his party’s chief ministers to oppose any attempt to introduce a special plan component for the minorities. But no BJP chief minister mentioned the subject in their speech, choosing to speak only before the media.

Except Modi. “Such discrimination, amongst the eligible beneficiaries, for flow of funds, based on minority status, will not help the cause of taking the people of India together on the path of development,” he told the meeting.

Modi, who will know on Sunday whether he remains chief minister, accepted the challenge of 11.2 per cent growth rate for the 11th five-year plan handed to Gujarat. He then went on to criticise the plan document, saying its strategy on tribals was flawed.

Trying to get back at the Prime Minister, he said Manmohan had identified Naxalite violence as the biggest internal security threat but had failed to evolve a focused strategy for improving the lot of tribals, whose neglect was the main reason for its growth.

Sources say Modi plans another attack on the Centre tomorrow when the meeting discusses internal security.

The Gujarat Congress had yesterday objected to his participation in the meeting on the ground that he is only a “caretaker chief minister”.

Naxal threat stalls road construction in Bihar

Nistula Hebbar / New Delhi December 20, 2007

On the eve of a meeting of all chief ministers on the issue of internal security, and in the backdrop of the daring jailbreak by Naxals in Dantewada in Chhattisgarh, comes a damning report by the Indian Railway Construction Company (IRCON) over the many road projects in Bihar being abandoned due to the threat by Naxals.

The report submitted to the rural development ministry looks at the projects under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), up to Novermber 30 this year. Under PMGSY, Bihar has a target to connect 9,600 villages.

This involves a road length of 27,000 km. Out of 38 districts, IRCON is taking care of eight districts, NHPC and NPCC will make six each, CPWD four while the remaining districts are managed by NBCC, officials said.

Out of nearly 57 such road projects initiated in the four districts of Arval, Gaya, Aurangabad and Jehanabad, nearly 23 have been abandoned due to the Naxal menace. Ministry officials admit that in most cases, extortion calls have been made to contractors on these roads leading to the abandonment of these projects.

The cumulative cost of these roads is around Rs 347 crore, but there are several roads where work has not even begun. For example, a series of six roads in Arval district have seen no work being done due to the Naxal threat in the area.

“In many cases, even after we have engaged the contractors, they have asked to be removed from the project since they have received calls for money. They tell us, why should we undertake the work, in the end we lose more money than we can make,” said a ministry official, adding, “There have also been cases of kidnapping.”

While there are no similar kind of studies available for other Naxal-affected states, the problems in these areas are similar.

While jail breaks and kidnappings make for sensational events highlighting the problems regarding Naxalism, the blocking of developmental work, points to the fact that these contribute to the perpetuation of these problems.

Same is the case in Aurangabad district where a series of eight roads have seen no physical progress in work, as the government has found it difficult to engage contractors willing to undertake the projects.

JOKE : Police have NO PHOTOS of Detained hardcore Maoists


Raipur, Dec. 19: Chhattisgarh police have revealed that they don’t have photographs of most of the hardcore Maoists detained in different prisons across the state.

The matter was exposed after the Dantewada jailbreak incident on Sunday evening in which 299 inmates, along with 100 Maoists, walked out of the jail after overpowering guards.

Of the 100 Maoists, 15 were top level officers. Security agencies scanning Dantewada forests for the rebels are finding it a daunting task, as they do not have photographs to identify them.

With no option left, the Dantewada district police administration has issued sketches of three of the most-wanted rebels, including Sudhir Kumar, alias Sujith, who masterminded the jailbreak. The sketch was drawn on the basis of inputs provided by the jail inmates and employees.

Usually, the police have photographs of hardcore criminals for record. But, the missing pictures point to a serious lapse.

“The police are supposed to keep the photographs of hardcore criminals. Sujith is one, as he faces charges on serious crimes. It’s surprising why the Dantewada police don’t have the photograph,” said Bastar inspector-general of police, R.K. Vij.

A senior police officer in the headquarters also admitted that the department does not have pictures of most of the hardcore rebels. About 100 Maoists besides 400 Sangham members (Maoist aides) are presently detained in jails in Chhattisgarh.

Govt mulls commando force to take on Naxals

Aloke Tikku, Hindustan Times

New Delhi, December 20, 2007
First Published: 03:45 IST(20/12/2007)
Last Updated: 03:55 IST(20/12/2007)

The Centre will explore the possibility of getting four Naxal-affected states to set up a specialised commando to deal with Naxalites patterned on the Grey Hounds of Andhra Pradesh Police.

Andhra's Grey Hounds are seen as the most successful initiative by any state government in dealing with Maoists from the security perspective and have been credited with keeping the Naxals on the run in the state. Officials at the Union home ministry said this would be one of the issues to be flagged by the Centre at the meeting of chief ministers to discuss internal security challenges on Thursday.

There is an overwhelming view at the Centre that one reason why the naxals had made peace overtures when the Congress government came to power a few years ago was due to intense pressure that the specialised commando force had put them under. In fact, officials hinted that the home ministry was also considering imparting specialised training to some battalions of the Central Reserve Police Force - the primary central force tasked with internal security duties - to fight naxals. "The CRPF has certainly does a good job… more specialised training on the lines of Grey Hounds would definitely make it more effective," an official said, pointing that the key to the success of the commando force was continuous training.

This is something that state police forces can hardly afford for the regular force, not with poor staffing patterns and the kind of vacancies that exist. In any case, the home ministry is also expected to highlight the importance of filling up the vacancies at the conference.

How safe is Sambalpur jail?

Thursday December 20 2007 12:20 IST
Express News Service

SAMBALPUR: The recent Dantewada jailbreak in Chhattisgarh in which 105 Naxals fled has put the spotlight on safety of Sambalpur Circle Jail here.

The jail houses 29 Maoists, 13 of whom have either surrendered or were arrested recently.

A closer look at the jail reveals it could be a soft target if the Maoists plan to strike to get their colleagues freed.

Built in 1852, the jail was planned to house 300 prisoners but today it is overcrowded with 702 inmates of which 267 are undergoing rigorous imprisonment.

And for all these convicts and Maoists lodged here, there are only 29 cells, which allow them to plan a jailbreak or regroup with hardcore Maoist and explosive expert like James who is among them.

The jail is badly in need of a second line of defence like a wire mesh or a second wall to prevent inmates from scaling the high boundary wall which has become weak over the years.

There is an urgent need to erect watchtowers to step up vigil and so also periphery lighting, CCTV and metal detectors.

Ironically, the jail does not have even an electric back-up, a VHF and as small things as searchlights.
Shortage of staff is another problem. Against sanctioned strength of 62 warders, it has just half that number - 31 warders and a few are always on leave.

Moreover, the old muskets are yet to be replaced with sophisticated weaponry and nor any orientation imparted to warders to face new challenges.

Contacted, Jail Superintendent B B Dharua admitted that there was need to strengthen the security in the jail in the changed circumstances.

He informed that SP Sanjay Kumar had been apprised of the needed measures.

However, Kumar said he had taken up the issue with the IG (Prisons) and the needful would be done

Intelligence warning of terrorist violence: PM

Posted at Thursday, 20 December 2007 19:12 IST

New Delhi, Dec 20: Noting that no one can say they are fully immune from terror attacks, the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today said intelligence agencies have warned of intensified terrorist violence with increased focus on soft targets.

At a chief ministers' conference on internal security, he also asked the states to establish specialised, dedicated forces to "cripple" Left wing extremism which he said continued to be the "single biggest security challenge" confronting the country.

"While Left-wing extremism may be restricted in its scope to some regions, the larger problem of terrorism affects all states equally. Terror attacks may have happened so far only in some locations. But the reach of terrorists is such that no one can say that they are fully immune from such attacks," Singh said.

The Prime Minister said "intelligence agencies warn of further intensification of violent activities by terror groups.

"While the actual perpetrators of terrorist violence may belong to a few known organisations, we need to guard against their attempts to recruit local sympathy and support", he said.

Referring to high-profile terror attacks this year in Hyderabad, Rajasthan, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, he said the terrorists were able to network across states and even international boundaries organising coordinated strikes.

Singh, who held a breakfast meeting with Chief Ministers of seven naxal-affected states, said "not a day passes without an incident of Left wing extremism taking place somewhere or the other". "We need to cripple naxalite forces with all the means at our command.......And we cannot rest in peace till we have eliminated this virus," he said while making a mention of the sensational Dantewada jailbreak in which 300 inmates including over 100 naxals escaped.

Admitting that naxal groups have succeeded in enlarging their base, Singh said "although the notions of a red corridor from Nepal to Andhra Pradesh are exaggerated, we have to admit that they have achieved some degree of success in enlarging their areas of militancy." Observing that over the last years, the activities of naxal groups have revealed new aspects, targeting vital economic establishments and eliminating important political leaders, he said "...We cannot rest in peace till we have eliminated this virus.

Seeking better coordination between Central and state intelligence agencies, the pri me minister said surveillance and preventive systems also needed to be improved to reduce the probability of terror attacks.

The conference, from which the media was kept away even during the inauguration, was organised by the Home Ministry and attended by Chief Secretaries, Directors General of Police, chiefs of para-military forces and intelligence agencies.


19:39 IST
Following is the text of the Prime Minister’s closing remarks at the Chief Minister’s Conference on Internal Security:

“We have come to the end of a long and rewarding discussion. My colleague, the Union Home Minister has summed up the proceedings in a detailed manner.

The purposes of Conferences such as this one is two-fold. One purpose is to go into the details of specific problems pertaining to each state, to promote knowledge and information sharing between states so that we can learn from each other and to develop common approaches to tackling shared problems. The other and probably the more important – purpose, is to generate the necessary political consensus among the top leadership of the Centre and the States so that we stand united in our efforts to enforcing the rule of law, fighting terrorism and naxalism and maintaining public order. Conferences of this nature serve to send a strong massage that the political leadership of the country can rise above our political and party affiliations when it comes to facing national challenges, particularly those concerning internal security.

We are all duty bound to uphold the values in our Constitution and to provide a safe and secure environment for our citizens. This is an essential obligation and I am reassured after hearing all of you today that we take this obligation in full seriousness.

The opinions expressed in this room today have been varied and reflect the local realities in this vast country. I am happy that there is general agreement on the approach to tackling the problem of naxalism. Chief Ministers of states affected by this problem have been unanimous in their resolve to fight this menace. A wide range of alternative strategies have been suggested. All of them are of value and I am confident that the Home Ministry will discuss these ideas further with each of you.

I believe that given the unique nature of this problem, it is time to have a dedicated force just to tackle naxalism. Affected states must set up Special Task Forces on the Andhra Pradesh pattern and the Centre will provide assistance for this purpose. I would also urge the Home Ministry to also consider establishing a dedicated trained force at the Centre either as part of an existing force or as a separate one. Such a trained, dedicated force would go a long way in assisting States tackle naxalite groups.

Naxalite groups feed on the perceived lack of development. Correcting this requires a lot of effort. It requires motivated government personnel to work in affected areas, improved road and rail connectivity and better delivery of basic services. I will ask the Cabinet Secretary to chair a Task Force to promote coordinated efforts across a range of development and security activities so that we can tackle the naxal problem in a comprehensive manner.

Terrorism continues to be a major concern. It is incumbent on all of us to be ever alert to this persistent threat which cannot the easily wished away. Facing this problem will require patience, alertness, constant vigil, coordination between agencies, cooperation of common citizens and most importantly, high level intelligence gathering capabilities. Each state must enhance its ability to counter terror threats and if this involves incurring costs, we will help them. Every possible step must be taken to free our citizens from the shadow of terror.

Very often, terrorist acts are designed to promote communal discord. It is important that all of us should be alert to this danger. I draw satisfaction from the fact that the Indian people have not allowed terrorist acts to disturb communal harmony. However, we must remain ever alert and deal firmly with these elements who seek to fan communal tensions and strife. Our strategies for internal security must also make effective provisions to curb and control violence against scheduled castes and weaker sections of society.

We have discussed a large number of other security concerns, including those arising out of ethnic tensions and some forms of militancy. There is no single cause for any of these concerns and there is no unique solution. Some areas such as hill states have unique connectivity problems. The North East has problems related to ethnic diversity and poor connectivity. Some areas suffer from lack of development. In others, it is not development but disaffection among some groups which is a cause for concern. We need to address these concerns collectively. Yesterday, in the National Development council, I announced the setting up of a Task Force to study the specific problems of Hill states, including those in the North East. Hopefully, this will lead to an improvement in the economic and security situation in these states.

Many states have emphasized the need for better trained security forces. I am happy that the Home Ministry will consider setting up a specialized training facility for training police trainers from across the country. This facility will be a mother institution for improving the training capabilities of state police forces. This would be a step forward.

Many other suggestions have been made, I believe that the Home Ministry will take on board all your views and work with you to identify common approaches to tackling internal security problems.

In conclusion, I thank you all once again for participating in this conference. I believe that we are all firm in our resolve to fighting all extremist and terrorist activities and to providing our citizens a safe and secure environment. With this, I bring this conference to a conclusion.”

Explosives seized from Naxals in TN

Madurai, Dec 20: As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke of eliminating the Naxal "virus' today, four tiffin box-type mines and an equal number of country-made pistols and hand grenades, explosive chemicals and detonators were recovered from the five Maoists arrested during a police encounter.

The items seized from the Maoists including sulphur and pottassium chlorate chemicals were secured and deposited in a safe place, officials said, adding Naxalite literature and pamphlets distributed by them have already been recovered.

Top police officials visited the three Maoists, injured in an exchange of fire with police and convalescing in the Government Rajaji Hospital here after surgery to remove the bullets from their bodies.

The condition of the injured, operated last night, was stated to be stable, police said.

Three Maoists and two policemen were injured in the exchange of fire at Pallathur in Varushanadu, near Theni, yesterday.The policemen were injured when the maoists resisted arrest, leading to an exchange of fire.

The five Maoists were moving around in villages in the area when they were challenged and arrested. Two of them were remanded to custody while three were hospitalised.

Talking to mediapersons, IG (South Zone) Sanjeev Kumar said they were able to arrest the Naxalites only because of the cooperation extended by the public in general.

Officials said the three had shouted pro-Maoist slogans even when the police brought them to the hospital, suggesting they were hardcore Naxalites.

Mahalingam (52) was injured in the the left shoulder while Maruthu alias Lenin Kumar's (27) left knee was pierced by the bullet. Murugananthan (25) suffered injuries in the stomach, officials said. Police officials said police came to know about the exact location of the Maoists through a farm worker grazing her cattle. She informed the people of Pudukottai, who, in turn informed the SP-CID. A police party, on reaching their hideout, asked the Maoists through the public address system to surrender.

But the Maoists, hiding in a sugarcane field at Pudukottai, near Varushnanadu, fired at the policemen, they said, adding police retaliated.

Police denied that it was an encounter, as alleged in a petition filed in the Madras High Court yesterday.

Two other Maoists, including Balamurugan (30) and Lokesh (31) of Chhattisgarh surrendered to the police.

Balamurugan and Lokesh were produced before the Andipatti magistrate and remanded to custody today.

Earlier, top police officials interrogated the extremists. Police said they had brought them to Madurai only because they felt that the Theni Government Hospital was not safe enough as it was a border district.

Police were confident that there were no more Maoist elements moving around in the hills bordering Kerala though search operations would continue in the area.

The Varushanadu area, a remote region bordering Kerala, witnessed a revival of Naxalite activity in recent months, leading to deployment of extra police contingents to contain their activities. (Agencies)

Published: Thursday, December 20, 2007

ORISSA: 4 bullets removed, but dead Naxal remains unidentified

Thursday December 20 2007 12:16 IST
Express News Service

Seized materials on display

GUNUPUR: Four bullets were removed from the body of the woman Maoist who was killed yesterday in a crossfire between police and the Naxals at Ladri forest under Gudari. The body of the Naxal was brought here today for autopsy.

Rayagada SP Asish Kumar Singh told mediapersons that Rs 10,000 cash was recovered from the pocket of the Naxal but her identity is yet to be established.
It is believed that she might be a part of the Chhattisgarh or Andhra Pradesh Maoist group, said Singh, adding, combing would continue in the area.

Police also seized two SLR magazines, one 12 bore gun, one hand grenade, 56 detonators, five gelatine sticks, seven kit bags, two radio sets, 30 CDs, Naxalism-related documents, landmine circuit checking meter and medicines from the spot.