Saturday, December 29, 2007

Man 'marries' hill to end Maoist menace

Submitted by Mudassir Rizwan on Sat, 12/29/2007 - 08:30. India News


Ranchi : A tribal man married a hill in a symbolic gesture to end Maoist insurgency in Jamshedpur district of Jharkhand. The man is already married with two children.

The 'marriage' was solemnised in Bomaru village of Ghatshila block in Jamshedpur on Thursday, 170 km from the state capital Ranchi. According to reports in the local media, Nandi Munda, 30, 'married' a hill named Lakhasaini to end the Maoist terror in the area.

Munda, dressed as a traditional bridegroom, went to marry the hill accompanied by hundreds of baratis (revellers). A tribal priest presided over the wedding rituals. The wedding was followed by a feast attended by hundreds of people. The menu included mutton and handia, a local rice brew that tribals love.

After the wedding, the local youths constituted a private army which will guard the villages against the Maoist rebels and fight them.

Munda said he 'married' the hill because he was told to do so by the goddess of the hills. "One day, the goddess of hill appeared in my dream. She asked me to marry her to end the menace of the Maoist rebels and help the villagers live in peace," Munda said. The villagers hope that the wedding will help them thwart the rebels.

"The goddess of the hill is very powerful. The area will be blessed by the goddess after this marriage," said Bishnoi Munda, another villager. Maoist rebels are active in 18 of the 24 districts of the state. Nearly 1,000 people, including 645 civilians, have been killed in the last seven years in Jharkhand.

Marrying a hill to end the misery is not new to Jharkhand. Two years ago, a youth had married a hill in the same district to cure his mother.

Naxalites abducted 7 villagers

Seven abducted villagers untraced in Chhattisgarh
Posted : Sat, 29 Dec 2007 09:34:03 GMT
Author : IANS

Raipur, Dec 29 - Seven male activists of the Salwa Judum civil militia group who were abducted by the Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district on Thursday are still untraced, the police said.The police and paramilitary troopers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) conducted intensive search in the forest areas of the district Friday and Saturday morning, but have been unable to trace the abducted men, Inspector General Girdhari Nayak told IANS by phone Saturday.The Maoist rebels took hostage the seven Salwa Judum activists in the Bhairamgarh block of the district when they were entering the forest to collect firewood. The abducted men were living in a government-run makeshift relief camp nearby.Over 50,000 people, mostly tribals, have deserted their villages following threats to their lives from Maoists since June 2005 when the civil militia movement was launched. The villagers have now settled in 23 relief camps in Bijapur and neighbouring Dantewada districts.
(c) Indo-Asian News Service

Maoist violence in Andhra Pradesh lowest ever in 2007

Posted : Sat, 29 Dec 2007 15:58:04 GMT

Hyderabad, Dec 29 - Maoist violence in Andhra Pradesh saw a 42 percent decline in 2007 from last year to touch its lowest ebb ever, a top police official said here Saturday.Director General of Police S.S.P. Yadav told reporters in a year-end press meet that the total loss of life on account of Maoist attacks on both sides - Maoists and police - had come down from 194 in 2006 to 87 during 2007.'The people at large are heaving a sigh of relief from this menace which has been haunting every one in the state for the last four decades,' he said.In 2007, 40 civilians, four policemen and 43 extremists died in 124 incidents, a decline of 42 percent compared to the last year, he said.The Maoist cadre strength has come down by nearly 50 percent, from 850 to approximately 400, the police chief said.'Maoists have become weak and are not getting any support from the villagers. I pay my gratitude to the people who have not been giving any support to the unlawful elements,' Yadav said.He claimed that nearly 80 percent of the Maoist cadre in Andhra Pradesh state committee area had been neutralized. He said 1,061 extremists were arrested and 119 surrendered and 43 died during 46 exchanges of fire during in 2007.Several top Maoist leaders were killed in gun battles while another top leader and Nallamalla forest division committee secretary Nagi Reddy alias Sagar was arrested earlier this month.More than 6,000 people have been killed in Maoist violence in the state since 1969, when Srikakulam district witnessed the first armed uprising.The state has been a traditional stronghold of Maoists. It was in early 1980s that Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist People's War Group (PWG) was formed. The dreaded of the Maoist outfit was active till 2005 when it merged with Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) of Bihar to form CPI (Maoist), the most powerful Maoist outfit in the country.
(c) Indo-Asian News Service

'The UPA will disintegrate' -- Narendra Modi

December 28, 2007

Chief Minister Narendra Modi says the BJP's impressive win in Gujarat is just the beginning of the end of the UPA government at the Centre. India Today Associate Editor Uday Mahurkar spoke to Modi soon after his swearing-in.

Q: So who has won? Moditva or Hindutva?
A: The term Moditva has been coined by enemies of our ideology after they failed to defeat Hindutva. There is no such thing as Moditva. No leader can rise without the help of party workers.

Q: But now you are seen as someone who is bigger than the party.
A: Absolutely false. Those who see me as bigger than the party fail to see the shoulders of the lakhs of BJP workers that I stand on. Is politics so cruel that it asks a son whether he is taller than his mother?

Q: Pundits now say your move to Delhi is not far away and that’s why your party nominated L.K. Advani as its prime ministerial candidate on the eve of the elections.
A: I am a man of mission and not ambition. Secondly, none can be compared with Vajpayeeji and Advaniji. They are our tallest leaders. After Vajpayeeji it has to be Advaniji, naturally. In fact, the move to make him the prime ministerial candidate was aimed against the Congress in the wake of fears expressed by CPI(M) that the Government will go ahead with nuclear deal talks after the Gujarat poll results.

Q: Many senior BJP leaders left you and campaigned against you but you seem ready for reconciliation. You even sought Keshubhai Patel’s blessings after the swearingin ceremony.
A: My voice has always been conciliatory. The only difference is, people have come to know about it this time. Now that elections have come to an end, we must be cordial.

Q: After initially talking about development, you had to ultimately fall back on Hindutva.
A: Let me be clear: our campaign was based on the twin issues of development and security. Development and security are complementary. Without security there cannot be any development. My strong anti-terrorist stand is perfectly valid. And when Soniabehn called me a “merchant of death”, I had to defend myself. I had to throw the ball back into their court and remind them that they were the ones who removed POTA and blocked the hanging of Afzal Guru despite the Supreme Court judgement.

Modi: 'The Congress has turned India into a soft state against terrorism'
Q: If there is one message from this mandate, what would it be?
A: This is a rare mandate for a Government on the basis of its performance and not just promises. It is a positive vote for governance on a developmental agenda. We want this to be a launch pad for Gujarat’s progress and prosperity. This is also a message for the anti-Gujarat bandwagon, which has been soundly defeated for the second time since 2002.

Q: You seem to connect with people quite well.
A: Others who have observed me are better placed to answer this question. But one thing that people don’t like in a leader is hypocrisy. It is possible that they don’t think I am a hypocrite and so connect with me.

Q: You have had a very uneasy relationship with the media.
A: Unfortunately, Indian politics today has become very media-centric. In fact, politicians have found shortcuts to political growth through the media. Some of them survive only because of media management. I am not into this game.

Q: When you took over as chief minister six years ago, you had no experience of electoral politics and administration. Now you are recognised as a good administrator.
A: I have worked with the same system and the set of bureaucrats that have been in place for years. The message is that if you have the will, determination and vision, you can succeed in governance.

Q: Why are you so misunderstood?
A: Democracy gives you the power to criticise and debate. But I am the target of allegations and not honest, democratic criticism.

Q: What will be the impact of BJP’s victory in Gujarat on the UPA-led Union Government?
A: The Government in Delhi is literally working on daily wages. Our win in Gujarat will spur its disintegration. The non-Congress constituents of UPA will grow bolder in their demands, which it will be hard put to meet.

Q: You claim to have controlled terrorism in Gujarat to a large extent when it is increasing in other parts of the country. What do you think of the anti-terror measures taken by the Congress-led UPA Government?
A: The Congress has committed the sin of turning India into a soft state against terrorism for the sake of its vote-bank politics. It has refused to hang Afzal Guru, removed POTA, compromised with Naxalites in Andhra Pradesh and with ULFA in Assam for the sake of votes. The war against terror can’t be selective. The need of the hour is to bring all human forces on one platform against terrorism.

A violent neighbourhood

Business Standard / New Delhi December 30, 2007

An idle mind, it has been wisely said, is a devil’s workshop. The point can be illustrated in several ways but altogether the best example is to be found in what is happening in South Asia. The region comprises India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan and Afghanistan. Almost 1.6 billion people live there. Amazingly, except for Bhutan and the Maldives, every other country has some sort of internal strife, accompanied by enormous violence.

In some places this strife is because of identity issues (Sinhala vs Tamil, Hindu vs Muslim). In others it is because of bad governance, the best example being Nepal but also perhaps Bangladesh and Pakistan. In yet others, it is because of deep-running political divisions (jihadists vs moderates in Pakistan).

These specific reasons aside, the main feature that stands out is the sheer scale of violence and mayhem that goes on, without let. The scale of killings in Jammu and Kashmir, for instance, or on the Pakistan-Afghan border, and of course in the civil war in Sri Lanka, perhaps dwarfs every other country except for Iraq and Sudan.

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto last Thursday is only the latest episode in this bloody opera. The only reason it is different is that it was not some poor citizen who was killed — 20 of them did die along with her but no one has bothered to name them — but a sort of modern-day princess.

The same thing happens elsewhere in the region. It is only when a VIP gets killed that there is a heads-up. Otherwise, violence has become such an everyday part of life the people just shrug and get on with their lives.

Should governments of the region also carry on as though all this is normal? Shouldn’t they be doing a great deal more to improve matters in what is arguably the world’s most dangerous region? When the question is posed, the answers come from the law and order and/or security side. That is, every government in the region sees the problem mainly as a policing problem.

While that is no doubt true in an obvious sort of way, such a limited approach does not help to get to the root of the problem, namely, the role played by low economic growth — an average of 6 per cent — and limited employment and business opportunities for ordinary people.

There are simply too many people wandering around with a sense of real or imagined grievance. The ground is so fertile that it has become possible for any half-credible ideological explanation and oriented towards a violent solution to have sufficient appeal. Ask the Naxalites in 160 of India’s poorer districts, and you will get the echo.

The economic problems are well known but worth repeating. The manufacturing sector contributes only barely 15 per cent of GDP, whereas it could well be at least twice that. Indeed, in India employment in industry actually declined between 1996 and 2002, which was a period of low growth. In Sri Lanka, far too many firms hire fewer than 15 workers so that they can avoid paying an average of 175 weeks of severance pay.

Even outside of manufacturing, far too many South Asians live in rural areas in abject poverty with no hope of a better life. China has shown how people will accept even the absence of civil liberties if the rulers ensure for them a better physical quality of life, and upward economic mobility.

In South Asia, which has mostly democratic regimes (however imperfect), the opposite is the case — and for the poor is at least as unsatisfactory as the Chinese option.

Naxals wage a war as ruling BJP eyes Assembly polls

Raipur (PTI): Chhattisgarh continues to be in the 'war zone' of the Maoists as they kill security personnel at will and free their comrades from jails.

On March 15 this year, about 700 Maoists raided the Rani Bodli police station in Bijapur district and when policemen came out of their rooms for safety, the rebels killed them with axe and other traditional weapons and then blasted land mines leaving 55 security men dead.

On December 16, in connivance with jail officials, 300 inmates, including 105 Maoists, escaped with six rifles and one police wireless set from the Dantewada district jail.

The Maoists also damaged power transmission towers in Narayanpur district on June 1, pushing 27 lakh people of Bastar region into darkness for 12 days. The government has so far incurred a loss of Rs 2,000 crore on account of such attacks.

West Bengal, Jharkhand police remove jurisdiction barrier in Naxal-hit areas

December 29th, 2007 - 7:09 pm ICT by admin - Email This Post

Kolkata, Dec 29 (ANI): West Bengal and Jharkhand police forces have decided to allow free movement of police officials in the Maoist-hit areas in the two states.
Three districts of Jharkhands Kolhan range and three districts of West Bengal are badly affected by Naxal activities.
Policemen can now move freely into the adjoining states, said West Midnapore Superintendent of Police (SP) R Rajsekharan.
This decision was taken at a joint meeting of the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) of Kolhan range of Jharkhand and his counterpart of Midnapore range in West Bengals West Midnapore District on Friday.
The ultras often escape into other state taking advantage of forest-covered border after attacking one State.
Now onwards the two States would not have to go through the long procedure of informing the DIG of another state about the movement of Naxalites. The information can be given directly to the respective police station.
According to the existing rule, only a DIG level officer could exchange such information with another DIG level officer.
This would save the precious time, police said. (ANI)

Major progress in blasts probe, claims Andhra police

Hyderabad (PTI): The Andhra Pradesh Police on Saturday claimed to have achieved major progress in the investigation into the three terror blasts that rocked the city this year.

"Our officers have done a wonderful job. They achieved a lot of success in the investigation," Director General of Police S S P Yadav said, addressing the customary year-end press conference here.

To several queries on the blasts, he said the investigators visited Uttar Pradesh and other states and obtained "some clues".

Refusing to divulge further details, he said, "we will shortly come out with details. The progress we have achieved so far is satisfactory".

To another question, the DGP said the investigation into the terror attack of such magnitude is a time-consuming process.

On the Naxal menace haunting the state for about three decades, Yadav asserted that there is a perceptible change in the entire scenario of extremist activities.

Eighty per cent of the Naxal cadre in the state was neutralised, he said. "Cadre strength dwindled from 850 last year to 400 this year".

"There is a decline of 42 per cent in the crime rate during 2007 when compared to last year. 1061 extremists were arrested, 119 had surrendered and 43 died in 46 exchange of fire. Out of 43 deceased, four are policemen," he said.

As many as 178 arms dumps of Maoists that contained a large quantity of arms and ammunition were found during combing operations.

Tribal killed, lorry burnt during Maoist bandh

Saturday December 29 2007 13:13 IST

Express News Service

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Maoist-sponsored bandh in protest against the Yedukulammakonda encounter, was marred by violence and arson on Friday.

A tribal tailor was killed and a wood-laden lorry was set ablaze near Peddagadda of Chintapalli mandal.

The Maoists picked up tribal youth Tambelu Betro (30), a tailor by profession and a resident of Bennavaram and shot him at Peddagadda, 30 km away.

They accused him of being a police informer. Immediately later, the Maoists set a lorry ablaze and left the place shouting slogans against the encounter.

Apprehensive of surprise attacks, the police and special parties stayed on an alert and intensified combing operations in all the three Naxal-affected districts of north coastal Andhra.

Political leaders, already on Maoist hit-list, have shifted to safe places and bus services to interior areas have remained suspended.

New Strategy Needed to Combat Naxalism

by Inder Malhotra

AT the recent day-long conference of state chief ministers devoted entirely to the Naxalite menace, there was no mistaking Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh’s deep and sincere agony over the persistence of this admittedly “biggest single” internal security threat to India. But at the end of the day the country was no wiser about what, if anything, the Union and the state governments are likely to do to make their hitherto ineffectual response to the spreading challenge, more vigorous and result-oriented than has been the case so far. There was doubtless talk of strengthening intelligence, encouraging the state governments to organise dedicated task forces modeled on Andhra Pradesh’s ‘greyhounds,’ raised during the time the Telugu Desam leader, Mr Chandrababu Naidu was in power, and so on. But this was little different from what has been said before, indeed year after year.

As it happened the discussion on Naxalism, though scheduled earlier, took place a few days after the stunning jailbreak in Chattisgarh, yet again masterminded by the Naxalites, which added to the embarrassment of all concerned, if only because the mass escape of nearly 300 prisoners, including 100 Naxalites in one of the worst-affected areas, was clearly pre-planned and executed seamlessly. The collusion between the Naxalite activists and the jail staff was also obvious. Indeed, the Prime Minister’s own description of the event was so chilling that it needs to be quoted at some length.

There were, according to him, only three warders to deal with the huge prison population at that time. He did not mention where the remaining nearly a dozen members of the jail staff had disappeared and why. All he said was, “Inadequate, ill-equipped, ill-trained, poorly motivated personnel cannot take on Naxal extremists who are increasingly better equipped and organised.” If this is the stark reality on the ground, then shouldn’t have something been done to rectify the horrendous state of affairs long ago? Or, at the very least, shouldn’t remedial action begin this instant so that there might be some impact of it at least a couple of years later, for that is the minimum lead time needed by even the most dynamic elements in the government?

After every Naxalite outrage, there is the usual brisk official announcement, “Security has been beefed up; a massive manhunt has been launched.” Hardly any of the culprits is ever apprehended, but never mind, officials must follow the routine, however laughable. In the present case of mass escape from the Dantewala jail in Chattisgarh, however, things took a different course. Rather than rush reinforcements to the surrounding forests to round up the Naxalites, the state government announced that its “combing operations” would begin three days later! Consequently, the Naxals, instead of fleeing, lingered on in the vicinity to ambush the force that came to apprehend them and killed at least 12 policemen. If this is not a casual approach to an extremely well-organised and increasingly ominous challenge, what else is it?

According to someone who has spent a lifetime serving the country in the arena of internal security, combating Naxalism calls for innovative strategic thinking and tactical surprise. But all one gets instead is a string of cliches, which just would not do. The government and its experts must think, and so should the Parliament because it is not absolved from the responsibility of safeguarding the country. Unfortunately, the parliamentary life is practically paralysed, thanks primarily to the implacable hatred between the two mainstream parties, the Congress that leads the ruling United Progressive Alliance and the Bhartiya Janata Party, the principal Opposition party. The saffron party constantly taunts the Congress for being “soft on terrorism” and for having “thoughtlessly repeated POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act),” without enacting any fresh law in its place. The Congress repays it in kind, blaming the BJP for the attack of Parliament even though POTA was very much on the statute book.

No wonder, the much-needed national debate never takes place on two crucial issues that the Prime Minister raised – not for the first time – at last week’s conclave. One, though extremely noxious, the Naxalite threat is different from other brands of terrorism afflicting this country inasmuch as it is completely devoid of any religious or ethnic connotations. It is based on both ideology and despair, bred by poverty and deprivation that is not just grinding but dehumanizing.

The government and indeed the country have every right to crow about the 9 per cent rate of growth. But it cannot be overlooked that this growth has taken place during the period when in the UN list of human development index, India has fallen two places - from 126th place to 128th. It is this that explains the tragedy that each year the Naxalites are able to widen both their recruitment base and areas of activity. The trickle-down effect has evidently meant nothing.

In 2003, the previous government had selected 55 Naxal-infested districts for accelerating economic and social development there. But rather than launching an imaginative scheme with its unique socio-economic needs, the Union government, in the best bureaucratic tradition, merged the new scheme with the Backward District Initiative (BDI) that is run by the Planning Commission under Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojna (RSVY) that embraces two other projects of a different nature. In the resultant alphabetical profusion and administrative confusion, almost all the so-called special schemes have suffered.

The second major issue that found a mention yet again is, in some respects, the heart of the matter. As one of the worst victims of terrorism of various brands and hues, India has the dubious distinction of not having a federal agency to combat terrorism. Consequently, some states start talking peace with the Naxals while some others, using organisations like Salwa Judam, outsource the fight against them, with catastrophic consequences. Attempts by both, the Vajpayee-led NDA government and the UPA to set up such a federal agency have failed because state chief ministers are jealous about “state rights.” National security thus becomes a victim of the “compulsions of coalition politics.”

It does represent a slight movement that this time around, the conference authorised the Cabinet Secretary to head a special Central Task Force on Naxalism – either as part of an existing organisation such as the Border Security Force or the Central Reserve Police Force or independently. But the authority of the CTF would be limited to “assisting and coordinating with” the state task forces to be raised with the Union’s financial assistance. In any case, only a few chief ministers have accepted the idea of a central task force. Others continue to harp on state rights. Why cannot the central government request these CMs to take on the responsibility for deciding how to combat terrorism countrywide and devise their plans accordingly?

Police presence keeps Gajapati calm

Statesman News Service
PARALAKHEMUNDI, Dec. 28: The communal tension that played havoc in the neighbouring Kandhamal district has failed to incite violence in any form in Gajapati much to the relief of the district administration.
Today, the road to Kandhamal district via Adava was cleared for traffic after the police and local labourers had put in hard work of the entire night yesterday. The road had been blocked by fallen trees alleged to have been felled by miscreants who wanted to slow down the police movement towards the Brahmanigaon village the centre of violence in the last four days.
According to the locals of Adava and Mohona, it is only the heavy police patrolling that is now discouraging the mischief makers from indulging in similar activities.
On the other hand, the police have to be extra careful as this entire stretch of road that leads to Kandhamal district is Naxal infested, and with the anniversary week of the Mandrabaj police firing starting from today, the CRPF and the armed police have been treading the routes cautiously using landmine detectors and anti-mine personnel to lead the way. Meanwhile Gajapati SP Mr Amitendra Nath Sinha who was injured in the mob violence yesterday at the Brahmanigaon was found to be out of danger.
On the other hand scribes had a field day with various persons handing out several versions which ultimately turned out to be false alarm.
Today there was violence in the Katigan and Gadarpur village in the Kandhamal district just across the Gajapati border, and again this led to more tension in the locality. But with police forces firmly entrenched in almost all sensitive areas there is less chance of the violence spreading to other parts of the district, but the locals say that the police have to be deployed for a minimum of 15 days to ensure that things do not go out of control.
The union minister for rural development Mr Chandra Sekhar Sahu who had come to Paralakhemundi to inaugurate the Gajapati Utsav has alleged that the state administration had failed miserably to tackle the situation. A prompt action by the district administration could have averted the untoward incidents, he said and demanded stringent action against the guilty.
“The union minister of state for home affairs, Mr Jaiswal has assured the state government that he will send para military forces as and when required, but the state administration has to deploy them diligently,” said Mr Sahu.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Naxalites visit villagers

Friday December 28 2007 09:37 IST

Express News Service

UDUPI: A six member naxalite team including three women on Wednesday midnight have visited the house of one Sheenu Naik at Thombattu in Kundapura, with a pack of rice and demanded the members of the family to boil the rice for them.

Police said that the same team distributed handbills, calling the villagers to boycott the forthcoming assembly elections, to press for the infrastructures like road, bridges and water.

The ANF team SP, Subhash Gudimani said that three teams of 20 police personnel each had intensified the combing operation.

Naxals distribute handbills

Udupi, Karnataka, UNI

A group of four to five suspected naxals, including a woman, entered an isolated house in a thick forest area at Thombattu, about 30 kms from Shankaranarayana Police Limits in Kundapura Taluk of the district in the wee hours on Thuresday and distributed handbills.

IGP (Western Range) A M Prasad told UNI the group entered the house of Mr Naik and stayed there for some time talking to the family members. Before leaving the house, the naxals distributed the handbills.

On information, the Anti Naxal Force (ANF) headed by Police Superintendent Labooram rushed to the spot and started combing operations in surrounding areas of Thombattu. However the naxals had returned to the forests.

According to reports received here, the naxals pasted posters on buses which had halted overnight at Thombattu and nearby houses appealing to the public to boycott the Assembly elections.

The report said the group came to Mr Naik's house late night and had their meal before leaving the house in the early hours.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Udupi: ANF intensifies combing operations in village

Udupi Dec 28: The Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) and the Udupi district police have intensified combing operations in and around Thombattu village in the Western Ghats and in the Shankarnarayana police station limits on Thursday, after suspected naxalites visited the village on Wednesday night.

In-charge Superintendent of Police Labhu Ram told The Hindu on Thursday that a group of five naxalites, including two women, visited the shop of Krishnayya Shetty at Thombattu junction between 11.30 p.m. and midnight on Wednesday. They told him (Mr. Shetty) that they would be pasting wall posters and putting up a banner there.

The naxalites pasted wall posters on four shops and on a private bus there, Mr. Ram said.

Mr. Ram said he visited the house of Sheena Naik, where, according to rumours, the naxalites had dinner on Wednesday night.

But Mr. Naik denied any such visit. Combing operations at Thombattu and Shankaranaryana police station limits were going on.

The operations would continue. The Udupi district police had also alerted their Shimoga counterparts after the incident, Mr. Ram said.

According to reports reaching here, the naxalites, through the wall posters, have urged the people not to vote for politicians who had failed to provide basic facilities to Thombattu village. They also urged the people to boycott elections.


Maoists vow to carry forward People’s March mission

Thursday December 27 2007 09:29 IST


KOZHIKODE: Maoists have vowed to carry forward the ‘mission’ of People’s March editor P. Govindan Kutty, who is in judicial custody after he was picked up by the Ernakulam police.

Govindan Kutty is on an hunger strike ever since he was arrested alleging that the police action is an infringement on the freedom of the press.

In a post on December 23, the blogspot maoistmovementinindia. com says, “People’s March will never die. It will continue and work against all oppressions.”

It gives a chilling warning: “Prisons will break, chains will break same as what happened in Dantewada, Jehanabad, Patna.”

Maoistsresistance, another pro-Maoists blog, demands immediate release of Govindan Kutty. “The so-called largest democracy in the world, with a gigantic army, para-military force and police, feels threatened by a monthly magazine with a limited circulation of few thousands.”

The Maoists are planning to raise the arrest as a human rights issue. The Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF), the frontal organisation of the CPI (Maoist), will stage agitations demanding Govindan Kutty’s release.

Ajayan Mannur, RPF state secretary, says the Maoists have their presence in 12 districts in the state. “The RPF is the right hand of the CPI (Maoist), engaged in propagating the ideology of the party among the masses.

It is the state unit of the Revolutionary Democratic Movement (RDF) led by G.N. Saibaba. We will continue to organise people in various agitations” he told this website's newspaper .

He said the Maoist leader Malli Raja Reddy has come to the state for party work. Andhra Police had tried to kidnap him. It was spoiled after our intervention. We have sent fax messages to the Chief Minister and the Home Minister,” Ajayan said.

There are indications that the Maoists will throw up resistance if the Andhra Police tried to pick up their comrades from Kerala in future.

“Andhra Police has worst track record in human rights violations. It is second only to the Assam Rifles in this regard,” he said.

The Maoists believe that the CPM is nurturing a strong hatred towards them as a fallout of the Nandigram issue.

They say the CPM is settling scores using the arrest of Malli Raja Reddy as a cover. “The Kerala Government wants to nip the bud and stifle all voices of dissent.”

Manisha’s murder mystery unravelled

Wednesday December 26 2007 09:15 IST

Express News Service

WARANGAL: The murder mystery of Manisha was unravelled by the police here today. The police, who had been groping in the dark for the past two weeks, at last cracked the murder mystery by nabbing the accused.

They arrested the seven accused, including a woman, and sent them to judical remand. All the held had close contacts with Manisha’s father Sadanandam.

Producing the accused before mediapersons, SP Soumya Mishra has said that the accused have confessed of having killed the girl without any strong reason.

The arrested included were rowdy sheeter Tokala Raju, Ladella Ashok, Bandi Naresh, Patti Rambabu, Patri Papa Rayudu, Pulikasi Gundamma and Gittaboina Kumara Swamy, all having a criminal background, she said.

It may be recalled that Manisha was kidnapped by unidentified persons two weeks ago and her body was found in a well.

Tokala Raju, a hamali in Warangal market, had an extra-marital affair with labourer Pulikasi Gangamma also working in the same market.

Gangamma sought some financial help from Raju to marry off her daughter.The duo drew a plan to raise the money and kidnapped Manisha on Dec 11.

Raju’s aides Bandi Naresh, Rambabu and Patri Papa Rayudu followed Manisha who came out of the school in the evening and asked her to show their house posing as their relatives. They took the girl into the auto in which they came and kidnapped her, the SP said.

The accused roamed across Hanamakonda with Manisha in their hands, called her father and demanded a ransom posing as Pratighatana Naxalites.

Later, they put Manisha in one Gundamma’s house at Shivnagar and later shifted her to Lingampally village in Station Ghanapur where Gundamma’s mother stayed.

Meanwhile, Manisha’s father lodged a complaint with the police suspecting his relatives involvement. Tokala Raju, feigning innocence, consoled Sadanandam while the girl was missing from home.

The kidnappers sensed trouble after widespread media publicity to the kidnap. They feared that they would be arrested once the girl was set free.

Incidentally, they did not get the ransom demanded. So, they changed the girl’s school dress and put on a silk dress and a sweater to mask her identity. They even torched her school bag on Dec 13.

Later, they took Manisha to a well near Tatikayala village and after smothering her dumped the body in the water, the SP said.

However, three days later, on Dec 16, one of Raju’s accomplice called up Manisha’s father and spilled the beans. Police retrieved the body and began the probe.

Raju is associated with three murders, Mishra said. Matwada and Hanamkonda crime inspectors K Dakshina Murthy, B Janardhan, SIs B Ravinder, T Madhusudhan were present.

From Green To Red Revolution - II

A more realistic appraisal of the Naxal problem is possible only if the MHA creates its own sources of information rather than depending exclusively on the reports of the IB."

B. Raman

An allegation often levelled by non-governmental analysts of the Maoist (Naxalite) insurgency is that one of the causes for the spread of Maoist influence in the tribal areas of central India is the anger among the members of the depressed classes due to their perception that the law and order machinery is sought to be misused against them when they try to ventilate their grievances against those exploiting them--whether they be rich land-lords, forest contractors, money-lenders or the so-called upper caste Hindus. According to them, it is this anger, which has over the years driven a large number of tribals into the waiting arms of the Maoists, who have been exploiting their anger for organising a Maoist revolution in the tribal areas, in the hope of thereby achieving political power through the barrel of the gun and not through the ballot box.

In this connection, there are two interesting incidents narrated by Shri K.S.Subramanian, which came to his notice, when he served as Director in the Union ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) between 1980 and 1985. To quote him:

" A particularly violent series of incidents of agrarian violence occurred in the central Districts of Bihar in the early 1980s, resulting in the killings in police 'encounters' of a number of the rural poor innocents. The Press was full of the details. This led the government of India to set up a central team of officials, including this author (Subramanian) led by the then Member-Secretary, Planning Commission, to visit the state for a first-hand assessment. On arrival in Bihar, the team met the aggressively self-confident District Administration proud of its record of maintaining order at the cost of many innocent lives. It took the District officials a while to come to grips with the fact that the purpose of the team was not to appreciate 'their good work', but to evaluate their success in implementing the declared policies of payment of minimum wages, protection of civil rights, distribution of government waste land among the poor--all impeccably constitutional tasks. The record did not stand up to scrutiny."

"The state police reported the number of deaths in police action as 12 persons, all of them 'Naxalites'. The IB, the main reporting agency of the MHA, repeated the figure. There was a gap between the figures reported in the press and those, which the government departments came up with."

"A meeting was later called in the union home secretary's room to discuss the Bihar situation. The chief secretary of the state frankly admitted that the number of persons killed in the violent incidents was near 60 and that none of them was a 'Naxalite'. Most were members of a local peasant organisation fighting for social justice under the Constitution and other laws of the land. The minutes of this meeting were classified 'Top Secret', since the matter under discussion was 'Naxalite Activities in Bihar', a top secret matter for the IB!"

"In another series of violent incidents in the Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu during the same period, which also came up for discussion in the MHA, it was found that most of those similarly killed in police 'encounters' were innocent persons, whose crime had been to demand minimum wages, social dignity and civil rights. The police officer in charge of the district , when confronted with this information, maintained that since the 'Naxalites' did not believe in the Constitution of India, the state police were not obliged to adopt strictly constitutional methods in dealing with them He later walked away with a police gallantry medal."

"The MHA, which in words accepted that the social base of the Naxalite movement originated from legitimate rural poor concerns, was, however, ineffective in preventing the misuse of police powers to suppress the so-called Naxalites. It was possible for the ministry to have advised the state governments concerned to deal with the socio-economic issues underlying the movement and address the ideological issues politically. However, the immediate issue became one of law and order."
Subramanian concludes as follows:

"The recent experience of Maoist violence in Chhattisgarh highlights the information gap in the ministry. While the intelligence reports on the situation in the state focus exclusively on the law and order and security angles, the reports emanating from concerned citizens, former civil servants and journalists tell a different tale from the perspective of the victims of violence. The state's response is essentially guided by classified intelligence reports. A more realistic appraisal is possible only if the MHA creates its own sources of information rather than depending exclusively on the reports of the IB."

"Former home secretary Srinivasavaradan (in 1992) had suggested that considering the multiplicity and complexity of the social conflicts emerging in the country and given the inadequacy of the existing information base in the government, the MHA should consider setting up inter-disciplinary study-cum-action groups of scholars, civil servants and social activists to go into conflict situations and produce reports for the government. The priority given to peace and order at the cost of law and justice has led to the re-emergence of a crisis situation in the MHA."
The Maoist (Naxalite) movement has two dimensions-- the socio-economic and the internal security. Both are equally important. Subramanian's book provides a valuable insight into the socio-economic dimension and the inadequacies in addressing it. I will be commenting on the internal security dimension in the next part.

To be continued

B. Raman is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai.

Maoists may ‘avenge’ Nandigram carnage

Statesman News Service
RAIGANJ, Dec. 26: The Maoists, on chairman Mao's 115th birth anniversary today, pledged to avenge the Nandigram killings. The pledge has come through the distribution of leaflets in Raiganj last night.

Two persons riding bi-cycles, spread the leaflets along the NS Road and MG Road, two of the major thoroughfares of the town. The contents of the leaflets prove the presence of Maoist forces in the region, particularly North Dinajpur district. It has caused concern among the common man.

The contents of the leaflets are a call directed at the people to avenge the “Nandigram genocide.” The Second Central Committee CPI-ML has taken responsibility of the leaflets, which were distributed on the streets and the shops along the two major thoroughfares.

In addition to urging the people to rise against the Nandigram incidents, the leaflets also claimed that December 26 was the 115th birth anniversary of Mao Tse Tung. “Followers of Naxalite leader Charu Majumder are preparing in every corner of West Bengal to take revenge against the mass killings in Nandigram,” the leaflets further read.

Informed, the police arrived at the scene and after inquiry learnt about the two bicyclists who had distributed the leaflets. A thorough search of the area, however, did not yield any result as the bicyclists had left the area by then leaving behind a commotion.

According to the North Dinajpur police superintendent Mr SB Purnapatra, the Naxalites were trying to regroup in the district. “The Naxalite had in the past succeeded in gaining some support in the two villages of Chhatraghati and Patirajpur in Itahar. But they had lost touch in the past few years. It is possible they are trying to reassemble in the district projecting the Nandigram happenings,” he said.
The SP added that the DIB has been asked to prepare a report on the situation and about last evening's leaflets after an investigation and the report would be taken up for discussion. “Measures would also be taken against those who created panic by spreading the leaflets,” he, said.

Police recover six crude bombs in bus

RAIGANJ, Dec. 26: The police recovered six crude bombs from a Raiganj bound bus on NH 31 near Panjipara under Goalpokhar police station of North Dinajpur district this morning. The bus was travelling from Siliguri.

According to the North Dinajpur police superintendent Mr SB Purnapatra, the police had prior information that criminals were importing arms and ammunition to North Dinajpur district from Siliguri to commit a major crime. “Accordingly, the police conducted the raid and recovered the bombs from an abandoned bag in the bus. The bombs have been defused. Interrogating the bus driver and conductor, the police learnt that the bomb carriers got down from the bus near the Islampur bus terminus.
There is rumour, however, that Maoist militants or some Naxalite groups may have been behind the act of importing the bombs to the district. The rumour has gathered force since Maoists posters urging the people to avenge the Nandigram killings were found all over Raiganj town last night.

The North Dinajpur SP, however, ruled out the possibility of Maoist involvement behind the recovery of the crude bombs today. The SP emphasised that it was the handiwork of criminals. “The police are sparing no means but to identify the carriers and arrest them,” he assured. n sns

2007 kept Home Ministry in tenterhooks

Wednesday, 26 December , 2007, 12:01

New Delhi: As violence hit several areas in the northeast and a spate of terror attacks struck fear across the country in 2007, the Home Ministry geared itself to face fresh challenges of terrorism and naxal menace in 2008.

The distant northeast kept hogging the headlines almost throughout the year for all the wrong reasons. It started with the massacre of nearly 70 Hindi-speaking migrant workers in Upper Assam in January 2007 and the killing fields of the State saw more bloodshed in the months to follow.

Trigger-happy ULFA activists kept security forces busy throughout the year, which saw a tribal upsurge late in the year in support of the demand of Adivasis that they should be treated as Scheduled Tribe. The bomb blast in Rajdhani Express train in December 2007 gave a gory end to the already blood-stained violence graph in the State.

The outgoing year saw terrorist attacks in Hyderabad, Ajmer, Ludhiana and in certain cities of Uttar Pradesh, even as naxals kept security forces on tenterhooks in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Orissa and some other States.

By torching public property, uprooting railway lines and laying landmines to target mostly securitymen, the Maoists gave the security establishment sleepless nights.

The Home Ministry was on its toes and held review meetings at regular intervals for fresh strategies to deal with the overall security scenario. It advocated better surveillance along the coastal areas to keep terrorists away and toyed with the idea of having a federal crime agency as suggested by various panels on police reforms.

The pattern of terrorist violence in the country this year showed that militancy was travelling towards the southern region as Hyderabad bore repeated brunt of terror attacks. Previously, terrorist attacks occurred mostly in north India.

In May 2007, the Mecca Masjid blast at the time of Friday prayers and the subsequent police firing left 14 persons dead and 50 others injured.

Barely three months later, in August, explosions hit two areas in Hyderabad again claiming 32 lives and leaving 35 others hurt.

Fears of Home Minister Shivraj Patil that militants might target innocent people in crowded and religious places came true again and again as terrorists carried out an explosion in the famous Dargah Sharif in Ajmer, killing three persons and injuring 17 others in October 2007. The hands of LeT and HuJI were suspected to be behind the incident.

The same month, militants detonated a bomb in a cinema hall in Ludhiana, in which Babbar Khalsa's role was suspected.

As the year was preparing to say good bye, a series of bomb blasts occurred almost simultaneously in three Uttar Pradesh courts at Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad, in November 2007. The incident came on the heels of Uttar Pradesh police busting a JeM module allegedly trying to target Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

Looking Back: The highs and lows of 2007

With these incidents having trans-border links and inter-state dimensions, suggestions of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Home Minister for having a federal crime agency got greater focus though many States have voiced reservations.

Gun-toting naxals had a field day in the most troubled states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa, shooting innocent people and killing security personnel to establish their reign of terror.

In Chhattisgarh, armed Maoists stormed a police camp in Ranibodli village in Bijapur district and killed 49 policemen and special police officers in one go in March 2007.

Latest data available with the security establishment shows that there have been 1,285 incidents and 571 casualties among security personnel and civilians till October 2007 against 1,509 incidents and 610 casualties in the same period last year, reflecting that the menace still continued despite efforts to contain it.

Among the 11 naxal-hit States, Chhattisgarh topped the list with 311 casualties, followed by Jharkhand with 123 and Bihar 53.

Issues like coastal security, terrorism, organised crimes and smuggling of narcotics topped the agenda during the Home Secretary's visit to Maldives in January 2007. Border management was the key topic of discussion at the Home Secretary-level talks India had with Myanmar and Bangladesh.

SAARC Home Ministers and Secretaries met in New Delhi to discuss the entire gamut of security-related issues and it was decided that actionable intelligence should be shared from time to time. India also hosted the Asia Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction which was attended by 50 countries.

The year also saw V K Duggal passing on the baton of Union Home Secretary to Madhukar Gupta on March 31, 2007.

ANF launches combing operations in Udupi district

Manipal (PTI): The Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) on Thursday launched combing operations in Thombattu, a thickly forested area in Kundapur taluk near here, following reports that a five-member naxal group had visited the place on Wednesday night.

The group, which included a woman member, stayed in a house and left after distributing pamphlets and pasting posters urging people to boycott the ensuing Assembly polls in Karnataka, Western Range IGP A M Prasad told PTI here.

Following a tip-off, the ANF led by its chief Labooram rushed to the area and launched combing operations, he said.

Centre finally moves on Maoist terrorism, to help raise 35 India Reserve Battalions news

Centre finally moves on Maoist terrorism, to help raise 35 India Reserve Battalions news

27 December 2007

New Delhi: An in-principle decision appears to have been taken by the Centre to recruit over35,000 personnel under the India Reserve (IR) battalion scheme for deployment in states affected by naxalite activity. The ministry of home affairs has apparently decided to rise from deep slumber with prime minister Manmohan Singh outlining a tough line to tackle left-wing extremism and terrorism at the conference of chief ministers last week.

The rise of left-wing terrorism, mainly through naxalite activity has been a cause of concern for well over a decade now, and security analysts have cried themselves hoarse over the issue only to find the central government mostly indifferent.

According to reports, these 35,000 security personnel will be in addition to the 26 such battalions (over 26,000 men) being currently raised by 10 states. The IR battalions are raised with central assistance with half the cost being met by the home ministry through grant and the remaining through loan.

The decision to raise 35 battalions has been taken with chief ministers revealing the fact there exist vacancies of one lakh police personnel in various states. The central government also took note of the fact that states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa, which reported relatively higher number of vacancies in the police force also witnessed maximum casualties through naxal-related violence over the past two years.

As per the earlier sanctioned plan, six IR battalions (over 6,000 personnel) are being raised in Andhra Pradesh followed by four in Chhattisgarh, three each in Bihar and Jharkhand, two in Maharashtra and one each in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Karnataka.

During the chief ministers conference held on December 20 it was mentioned that the Abujhmad area of Chhattisgarh for instance, which is considered a hive of naxal activity, alone would require about 10,000 security personnel to flush out red ultras from its forested interiors

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Accused tries Maoist twist, fails


Tuesday December 25 2007 12:12 IST

B K Rout

ANGUL: Hemanta Dehury (31), who confessed before police to have brutally murdered Nalco employee Krishna Nanda, had cunningly tried to give the entire 'episode' a Maoist twist by floating the abduction theory.

Had police not centered their suspicion on Hemanta, a neighbour of Krishna Nanda, they would have been groping in darkness till now.

“And combing operation might have been launched in Satkosia forest by now to trace Krishna,” admitted a police officer.

In wake of reports of appearance of suspected Maoist elements in Satkosia, Hemanta, who was working in a transport company at Faridabad in Utter Pradesh for eight years, wanted police to believe that Maoists might have abducted Krishna and killed him for ransom.

He first murdered Krishna and then informed his family that their son had been abducted for ransom and was kept at Satkosia.

But little did he know that his game plan would be exposed so suddenly. Hemanta has now claimed to have killed Krishna without the help of any accomplice.

On the fateful night, when Krishna was on his way to Nalco plant on his bike, he stumbled across some wire that had been laid across the road by Hemanta.

Krishna was badly injured after he fell down. Taking advantage, Hemanta tied his hand and dragged him to the dry pond near his home where he again tied him with poles that had been readied earlier.

He then tied his feet and hit his head and throat with a sharp-edged weapon till Krishna died. Investigating officials said both the families were bitter enemies for more than five years.

SP Pratik Mahanty said though Hemanta has admitted to have committed the act alone, further investigation is on.

The SP has termed the case an outcome of 'family animosity'.

Chhattisgarh chief minister asked to emulate Modi

Raipur, Dec 25 (IANS) Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has been advised to take a cue from Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the architect of the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) win in Gujarat, and script the party's success in next year's state assembly polls.

Several BJP leaders, including the party's national joint secretary Saudan Singh and state secretary Ram Pratap Singh, who held a meeting with Raman Singh at party state headquarters here Sunday night, asked him to learn from Modi, who made the party proud by retaining power in Gujarat.

The chief minister's two top cabinet colleagues, Home Minister Ramvichar Netam and Revenue Minister Brijmohan Agrawal, were also present at the meeting.

"Singh has been asked by party leaders at Sunday meet to be tough against bureaucrats to effectively execute development schemes at village levels, build up rural infrastructure facilities and also take bold steps to improve law and order situation in the state," party sources told IANS Tuesday.

Sources also said that Raman Singh was asked by the party leaders to invite Modi in the second week of January to attend a function to launch the ambitious Food Security Scheme of the state. The scheme is targeted to provide rice at Rs.3 per kg to 3.4 million families of the state.

Several state unit senior leaders and legislators have recently opposed openly to Raman Singh's style of functioning and accuse him of "being surrendered before bureaucrats", who have blocked key development schemes since party came to power in Dec 2003.

Another problem, the Raman Singh government is facing currently is the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.

According to official figures, the state has witnessed all time high 972 killings, including the casualties in Maoist-violence, in the first 10 months of this year.

About 857 rape cases, including 24 gang rapes, have been registered in this period, while 196 cases of kidnappings and 4,449 cases of theft have also been reported in the state.

However, the leaders are hoping the 'Modi effect' will help the party in Chhattisgarh to unite all its workers ahead of the next year's assembly polls.


KARNATAKA : Coastal police will be further strengthened

By Team Mangalorean
Photographs Rajesh Shetty

MANGALORE, December 24, 2007: The Coastal Security Police in state will soon move to its own premises. The Coastal Police will have five different stations all along with Coastal districts namely Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada in towns such as Mangalore,Malpe, Bhatkal,Karwar and Kumta according to additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order) Shankar M. Bidari here today.

Chatting with the press people here today Mr. Bidari said the work on the station at Malpe will start shortly for which the government had already sanctioned land to the extent of two acres.

Mr. Bidari said the central government had granted Rs. 27.12 crore for commissioning the Coastal Police. Mr.Bidari said the Coastal police will soon buy high speed interceptor boats at a cost of Rs. 25 crores and another five heavier boats at a cost of Rs. 10 crores. The government has granted Rs.200 personnel for the coastal police. Mr.Bidari said that a police force led by in-charge Superintendent of Police Labu Ram has already in Thombattu village in Udupi district to deal with the Naxalites who have been sighted in that village.

Mr.Bidari said the department has also directed the officials probing into communal riots of October 2006 to seek conviction and help the prosecution. He said 324 cases have been registered in this connection out of which 59 were yet to be detected.

The police had been directed to take up the work of issuing summons, serving warrants and lending assistance to the prosecution. "It will be our endeavour to aim at conviction in all cases and we will make honest efforts in that direction. The rest is left for judges to decide," he said.

Mr Bidari also visited the prayer hall that was attacked on Sunday and Kasaba Bengre area where violence was averted by the police three days ago. Regarding the attack on a prayer hall of End Time Full Gospel Harvesters of India at Kankanady on Sunday Mr.Bidari said the Mangalore East police have arrested 12 persons and investigation was on.

M'lore: Religious Preaching Allowed, But Not Forcible Conversion-ADGP

Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore (KM/RD)

Pics: Dayanand Kukkaje and Sphoorti Ullal

Mangalore, Dec 25: The Constitution allows for the religious preaching. But forceful conversion is not allowed as per the law. If anyone finds forcible conversion, one should inform the police instead of taking law into hands. Strict action will be taken, if anyone takes law into his hand in this connection, cautioned Shanker Bidari, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Law and Order.

Speaking at the press meet in DySP’s office, on Monday, December 24 evening, he informed that members of a specific organization have attacked the gatherings of Church of End Time Full Gospel Harvesters of India, on Sunday, December 23, by assuming that the church is being involved in conversion. A total of 12 persons have been arrested in connection to this incident, he added.

The arrested have been identified as Harish Kapikad-Akashbhavan, Tejkumar Navur-Bantwal, Harish Paduvanje, Mukunda Bantwal, Yashodhar Navur-Bantwal, Shashidhar Kaprigudda, Suresh Kannur, Ramesh Padil, Chethan Padil, Praveenkumar Attavar, Navin Kodical and Satish Kannur.

Commenting on the communal riots of October 2006, he said that a total of 324 cases have been registered in this regard. Out of them, charge sheets are being filed for 261 cases, he said.

Coastal police station:

A total of 5 coastal security police stations will be opened in the coming days. Mangalore, Malpe, Bhatkal, Kumta and Karvar will have these police stations. A speed boat of 10 to 15 tonnes capacity which would cost about Rs 25 crore will be provided to each police station, he announced.

Meanwhile, he confirmed that 6 Naxalites were spotted in the vicinity of Tombottu village, comes under the jurisdiction of Udupi district, few days ago. Udupi SP has already reached the spot, ADGP informed.

Earlier, Shanker Bidari paid a visit to the church located at Kankanady, which had been attacked by the miscreants.

KARNATAK : 5 new Coastal security police stations

Government sanctions Rs 27.12 crore for constructing five coastal security police stations in the state

Mangalore, December 25: The Sate government has sanctioned Rs 27.12 crore for constructing five coastal security police stations in the state to check illegal activities in the coastal belts, a top police official said.

The police stations, to be set up in Mangalore, Malpe (Udupi) and in Uttara Karnataka's Bhatkal, Kumta and Karwar, would be manned by 1200 personnel, Shankar Bidari, ADGP (Law & Order) told reporters here on Monday.

The police stations would keep a check on trafficking of explosives and arms and naxalite activities, he said.

Bidari said six suspected naxalites were spotted in Kambattu village in Udupi district yesterday. Following this, Udupi district Superintendent of police visited the village on Monday, he said.

He said 324 cases relating to communal clashes during October last year in Mangalore were registered out of which 269 are pending before the court for judicial enquiry, he said.

Twelve persons, allegedly belonging to a Hindu organisation, were arrested in Mangalore on Sunday for barging into a Christian prayer hall and assaulting the inmates, accusing them of religious conversion, Bidari said

Govt to keep shifting Maoists from one jail to another

Statesman News Service
PATNA, Dec. 24: Panicky about the unrest inside jails, the Bihar government will keep shifting the Maoists from one jail to another. The move is aimed at breaking their unity and preventing them from hatching conspiracies against the administration. There are more than 700 Maoists lodged inside the state's prisons.
The decision was taken after the Maoist revolt in Beur jail recently when they took control of the high-security prison for more than six hours, assaulted prison staff and destroyed the kitchen, forcing more than 2,800 inmates to go without food for a day.
What alarmed the jail administration was that the Maoists lodged in other jails, too, went on flash strike and forced the administration to dance to their tune. The Maoists have threatened to avenge the death of their comrade Nagina Manjhi found hanging from the iron gates of Beur jail. Maoist leaders believe Manjhi did not commit “suicide” as was being claimed by the jail authorities, saying Maoists are not known to throw away their lives in such a cowardly manner, rather he was murdered. “We will not rest until we avenge the killing of our comrade, who was sent to jail on trumped up charges”, said Prabhakar, secretary of the Bihar-Jharkhand-Frontier Uttar Pradesh Regional Committee of the Maoists. Though lodged in jails, Maoists have been posing problems for the authorities by hatching conspiracies and giving them shape from behind bars, sources said. It was in prison that the Jehanabad jailbreak plan was made by Ajan Kanu. The Maoists freed him under the nose of the administration. Kanu is lodged in Patna’s Beur jail.
Over-crowding of jails is another source of worry for the authorities. As per an official report, more than 44,000 prisoners are lodged in the state’s 54 jails which have the maximum capacity to house only 21,000 prisoners. The state authorities are worried about the rise in incidents of Maoist activities. According to an official report, 87 Naxalite-related incidents have been reported in the state in the last six months, against 63 reported last year in the corresponding period. Though the government blames it on the social-economic problem, the poor police-population ratio and untrained jail staff, the realty is different. The common masses simply link the growing Maoist menace to the state government’s failures to launch welfare work for the poor, the administration’s inability to tackle cases of the common people's torture at the hands of the police and the NDA government’s failure to keep its promises of development it made to the people before taking their support on the eve of Assembly polls.

TAMIL NADU : Police step up hunt for five more naxalites

K.T. Sangameswaran

CHENNAI: With the arrest of five suspected naxalites at Varusanadu in Theni district last week, the police have stepped up their hunt for five more, wanted in connection with various cases.

A senior officer said the search had been intensified for Kalidoss, Navinprasad, Rajah, Sekar and Velu. Steps were being taken to check the movement of Maoists in the State. Details about Yogesh, one of those arrested, would be sought from Maharashtra Government. Efforts were on to identify the weapons.

The officer said investigation had revealed that Nondi Palani alias Mahalingam, one of those nabbed after the Varusanadu encounter on December 19, was leading the team and acting as a coordinator. Mahalingam was injured in the encounter and is in hospital.

It was believed that after the detection of the arms training camp at Murugan Malai near Periyakulam in June this year, some of the naxalites had escaped and were camping in the Varusanadu area.

Police suspect the locations were chosen by the naxalites to make a quick getaway to Kerala, if necessary. All possible steps were being taken to curb naxalite activity in hill ranges, particularly Periyakulam and Varusanadu, the officer said. The ‘Q’ Branch was investigating the case relating to the arrest of five persons.

TN: Suspected naxals held

Coimbatore (PTI): Ten suspected naxals have been arrested from a city lodge, police said on Tuesday.

The arrests were made on Monday night following an anonymous call that some suspected naxals were hiding in the city.

A police team carried out searches in many lodges and arrested the 10-member gang.

Police said two rooms were booked in the name of one Lal Babu Prasad from Bihar. The gang members were being interrogated

Maoists attack Jagargunda police station

Raipur (PTI): Maoists attacked Jagargunda police station of Dantewada district in Chattisgarh on Monday evening but there were no casualties.

Naxals opened indiscriminate firing from all sides of the police station, about 450 km from the state capital, to which police retaliated, Dantewada police said.

They said all the police stations in the district had been alerted after noticing a large number of naxalites in the forest close to Jagargunda on Monday evening.

Around 7 pm, the Maoists opened fire and the exchange between them and police continued for an hour.

No one is injured from the police side nor any damage has been caused to the police station, police said

Naxals appear at Thombattu, ANF intensifies combing

Tuesday December 25 2007 13:21 IST

Express News Service

UDUPI: A team of nine armed naxalites, including three women, on Monday morning visited Thombattu village in Kundapura taluk and sticked posters and put up a banner on the wall of a house with a slogan against the police.

The banner reads in Kannada 'Polisarige sahaya madabedi, nammannu bembalisi' (do not help police, support us).

According to Superintendent of Police of Anti Naxalite Force, Subhash Gudimani, the naxals, in the poster, demanded the residents support naxal movement for getting roads, bridges and electricity.

“The matter of concern is that the spot of their visit is not beside the forest”, he said.

After Thombattu, they were later found by the villagers of Masthikatte and was trying to convince people about their ideology, it is learnt. Police have intensified combing and Banner and handbills were seized from the villagers

Maoists attack police station in Chhattisgarh

Raipur, Dec 25 (IANS) Heavily armed Maoists attacked a police station in Chhattisgarh's restive southern Dantewada district late Monday evening, but were repulsed by the police force.

The insurgents sneaked back into the forests without inflicting any casualty, police said.

"Heavily armed Maoists opened gunfire all around on a forested police station in Jagargunda late in the evening but police retaliated with heavy firing that forced militants to run for cover in the nearby forests," top police sources told IANS.

The official said the police were apprehending more attacks by the rebels late in the night as the Maoists had made a massive build up in a forested hamlet close to Jagargunda police station, some 460 km south of state capital Raipur.

Dozens of police stations in Dantewada district, mostly based in forested interiors, have been alerted after the failed rebel attack.


AP : OCTOPUS(elite anti-terrorist outfit) moving at snail’s pace

OCTOPUS (Organisation for Counter Terrorist Operations)

The outfit does not have full-fledged premises and the required staff

HYDERABAD: The elite anti-terrorist outfit, OCTUPUS, which was conceived following the twin bomb blasts at Gokul Chat and Lumbini Park here, is yet to take off and appears to be moving at a snail’s place.

Four months after Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy mooted the idea of constituting OCTOPUS (Organisation for Counter Terrorist Operations), the outfit does not have full-fledged premises of its own and is far from inducting the required police personnel, who need to be trained, leave alone the ministerial staff. The building currently housing Greyhounds near the Chief Minister’s residence at Greenlands has been allotted to OCTOPUS but the anti-naxal outfit is yet to vacate the premises.

Senior IPS officer A. K. Mohanty, who was posted as Director-General of OCTOPUS, is reportedly at his wit’s end in expediting the pace of constituting the organisation.

He took charge on October 31 but the Home Department issued an order sanctioning the required posts and outlining the organisational structure only on December 7. According to sources, more than 1,500 executive staff and 200 personnel have been sanctioned of whom 600 are expected to assume charge before March end.

Three wings

Tasked with carrying out intelligence and field operations to counter terrorist activities, OCTOPUS will have three IG/DIG rank officers to head an equal number of wings -- intelligence and analysis; operations; and administration, logistics and training. It will also have eight SPs, seven Additional SPs, 22 DSPs and 86 inspectors but so far only one DIG and six assistant commandants have been posted.

It is learnt that the emphasis of the organisation would be to combat urban terrorism with focus on ‘ISI-sponsored/abetted/ instigated activities’. The operations wing would have surveillance cells, expert teams and an independent assault and rescue unit.

One of the units would be declared as a police station under CrPC to carry out searches, checks, preliminary enquiries, arrests and register cases. When contacted about the organisation’s progress, Mr. Mohanty said, “It is in the process. No sooner than the manpower and logistics are positioned, the field activities will commence.”

35,000-strong force to fight Naxal menace

New Delhi, Dec 24: The Centre has in principle agreed for raising 35 new battalions (around 35,000 personnel) for eight severely affected Naxal states as the Central government plans to deal with the Left wing extremism with an iron hand.

Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs said 35 fresh battalions would be raised for Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

The move comes close on the heels of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declaring at the Chief Ministers Conference, Left-wing extremism as a "virus", and asking states to "choke" naxal infrastructure and "cripple" their activities through a dedicated force.

The Centre would be bearing bearing 50 per cent cost while another 50 per cent would be provided as loan to the states where the IRB was being raised.

Centre has already sanctioned 26 India Reserve Battalions for 10 Naxal affected states. While six of them were being raised in Andhra Pradesh, four each were being raised in Chhattisgarh and Orissa, three each in Bihar and Jharkhand, two in Maharashtra and one each in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Karanataka.

Bureau Report

35,000-strong force to fight Naxal menace
25 Dec 2007, 0147 hrs IST,TNN

NEW DELHI: With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh outlining a tough approach to tackle left-wing extremism and terrorism during the conference of chief ministers last week, the Centre has agreed to recruit over 35,000 personnel under the India Reserve (IR) battalion scheme for deployment in naxal-affected states.

These 35,000 security personnel will be in addition to the 26 such battalions (over 26,000 men) being currently raised by 10 states.

The IR battalions are rai-sed with central assistance where half the cost is met by the home ministry through grant and the remaining through loan.

Sources in the home ministry said an in-principle decision had been taken to raise 35 battalions considering the vacancy of one lakh police personnel in states. It was observed that states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa — which reported relatively higher number of vacancies in the police force — witnessed maximum casualties in naxal violence in the past two years.

As per the earlier sanctioned plan, six IR battalions (over 6,000 personnel) are being raised in Andhra Pra-
desh followed by four in Chhattisgarh, three each in Bihar and Jharkhand, two in Maharashtra and one each in
Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Karnataka.

The vacancy position was discussed by chief ministers here on December 20 when they assembled to discuss the internal security situation in the country. It was mentioned during the meeting that the Abujmad area of Chhattisgarh — which is considered a big naxal den — alone would need 10,000 security personnel to weed out red ultras.

Centre to raise 37,000-man force to fight Naxalism
Tuesday December 25 2007 00:46 IST
Manan Kumar

NEW DELHI: In a follow up action to Prime Minister’s war cry of “crippling the hold of Naxalite forces with all the means at our command” Centre has decided to raise 37,000 personnel strong India Reserve battalions for the Naxalism affected states.

The PM had talked about urging the Home Ministry to consider establishing a dedicated trained force at the Centre either as part of an existing force or as a separate one. “Such force would go a long way in assisting States tackle Naxalite groups,” the PM had said.

With 26 IR battalions already under deployment, the new addition will increase the presence of central forces in Naxal states to a whopping 80,000 armed personnel, which in ratio terms would mean almost 7 armed personnel after every single Naxal cadre.

This doesn’t include the state polices’ massive deployment in Naxal areas. The proposal was mooted by the Naxal-affected states at the Chief Ministers meeting on internal security held last week under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Union Home Ministry will help eight main Naxalism affected states raise these 35 battalions on 50 per cent grant and 50 per cent loan basis. “It would take about three years to train them in all aspects, including the guerrilla warfare techniques after which they would be posted in the affected areas of the eight Naxalism affected states.

We also plan to train some of these battalions on the pattern of Grey Hounds of Andhra Pradesh,” said a senior Union Home Ministry official. These battalions will be deployed first in 33 districts which the centre has picked up as the worst affected by Naxalism.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Pro Naxalite website PEOPLES MARCH is up and running

It was reported that People’s March, a pro-Naxalite blog hosted by Google has been shutdown. NOW IT IS BACK


Orissa govt to renegotiate Posco displacement problems

Written by

BHUBANESWAR: Worried over Posco project supporters stopping land demarcation and socio-economic survey of the area, the Orissa government on Friday decided to renegotiate the problem of displacement.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who returned from a three- day visit to Delhi, told reporters here that the problems of opposition from people considered supporters of the project, would be solved through negotiation.

"We are hopeful the ground-breaking ceremony of the country's biggest FDI will be done on the scheduled date, April 1," he said adding that the displaced people would be informed about the resettlement and rehabilitation package.

He said the project would generate a good amount of revenue for the state and create employment and things would improve.

Officials on the other hand said the Jagatsinghpur district administration failed to start land demarcation and socio-economic survey of the area scheduled from this week.

Government-appointed nodal officer for the Posco-India project P Patnaik said the people should not oppose the land demarcation and socio-economic survey as it would help the administration to announce R"R package for the affected.

Farmers Exploitation By Sugar Mills In UP " Maharashtra

Farmers in UP and Maharastra continues to be exploited by mill owners in UP and Maharashtra . Both private and co-operative mill owners are equally responsible. President, Agriculture Ministers at centre and state operate Co-operatives that exploit farmers in Maharashtra was covered in News Today.

Can you imagine very few farmers get bank credit and had to take money at over 36% to 120% rate of interest don’t get paid for their produce on time that delays sowing of wheat crop?

1. High Interest to moneylenders. 2. Less prices for their produce. 3. Delayed payments. 4. Delayed starting of crushing delaying wheat crop and 5. Poor quality of seeds and inputs etc.

Farmers are subjected to al kinds of harassment leading them to suicide.

In following story you will find Ambanis were richer by 150% in just 12 months without developing any technology or new product.

Ravinder Singh December16, 2007

Ore exports may not be the part of National Mineral Policy
NEW DELHI: The much-awaited National Mineral Policy is unlikely to address the contentious issue of banning iron ore exports with the Mines Ministry putting the onus of taking a decision on finance and commerce ministries.

"The issue of exports is not part of the NMP. It is a totally separate issue which would be decided by the Finance and Commerce Ministries along with the Prime Minister's Office," Minister of State for Mines T Subbarami Reddy said.

The issue was also raised by chief ministers of five mineral-rich states during their meeting with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on December 19.

In their memorandum, they had said: "We strongly advocate that the export of minerals should be phased out since minerals are non-renewable and finite resources."

While the steel industry has demanded banning exports to use the mineral for their expansion plans, the Anwarul Hoda Committee, in its recommendations for the mineral policy, had favoured removing quantitative restrictions on overseas sales. It had, however, said the issue could be reviewed after a certain period.

Reddy also said that the ministry would consider the demand of mineral-rich states to bar foreign direct investment in mining of iron ore, chromite and bauxite. "We have taken note of this issue and have assured them there concerns on the issue would be addressed," he said.

The CMs of Orissa, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh had opposed FDI in prospecting of iron ore, bauxite and chromite as a lot of local entrepreneurs are undertaking operations of these minerals.

Naxal menace: Naveen seeks Centre’s help

Special Correspondent

BHUBANESWAR: As the Maoist menace was showing no signs of decline in the State, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday sought assistance in a series of areas from the Central Government to cope with the situation.

Addressing the Chief Ministers’ Conference on Internal Security in New Delhi, Mr. Patnaik demanded sanction of five more India Reserve Battalions for the State.

The Chief Minister urged the Centre to assist the State in terms of manpower and financial resources to strengthen its internal security system.

He requested the Centre to expand the scope and coverage of the current police modernisation scheme. The size of police modernisation scheme for Orissa should be enhanced from Rs. 26.5 crores to Rs.60 crore, he said.

With a view to strengthening the police force, Mr. Patnaik demanded sanction of Central assistance for upgrading the capability of remaining 58 police stations located in the areas affected by naxalite violence. He also requested the Centre to consider on priority basis deployment of two more battalions of the Central paramilitary forces in the naxalite-hit regions. The Chief Minster also reiterated his demand for increased support for the proposed Vijayawada-Ranchi Highway to improve the communication network in 14 extremist-prone districts in the State. He further sought sanction of establishment of a coastal police station at Puri.

Plea for special grant

Mr. Patnaik asked the Centre to give a special grant of Rs. 30 crores for the Training Resource Centre of Special Operations Group that was coming up near Bhubaneswar. The Centre is being developed into a permanent training resource centre for counter terrorism, jungle warfare and anti-extremist operations.

With regard to the new police system that will be implemented in the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack on January 1, Mr. Patnaik urged the Centre to provide Rs. 15 crores to facilitate the launching of the new police Commissionerate system. Mr. Patnaik requested the Centre to develop and implement a composite socio-economic package for the naxalite-affected areas, and a comprehensive dialogue on the developmental issues to check the spread of Left wing extremism. There was a need for relaxation of existing norms of the ongoing schemes and creation of a special fund for direct and immediate intervention to fill up the critical gaps, he suggested.

Orissa Governor releases CSE's report on mining RSS

KalingaTimes Correspondent
Bhubaneswar, Dec 21: India 's richest lands – with minerals, forests, wildlife, water sources - are home to its poorest people. Mining in India has, contrary to government's claims, done little for the development of the mineral-bearing regions of the country, says the latest publication from New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

The first national release of the 356-page 6th State of India's Environment Report titled `Rich Lands, Poor People – Is Sustainable Mining Possible?' took place in the mineral-rich state of Orissa on Friday. The report was released by Orissa Governor M. C. Bhandare at a function held here.

CSE's 'State of India's Environment' reports have been widely acknowledged as the most comprehensive and authoritative series of publications on the subject of

environment and development in India. The report on mining lives up to the reputation and the promise of using knowledge for change, the organisation said in a press release.

Extensively researched and richly illustrated, the publication details the issues of mining in different states of the country, impacts on environment and people, and the policy reform that is essential to practice more 'sustainable' mining.

Rich lands, poor people
"If India 's forests, mineral-bearing areas, regions of tribal habitation and watersheds are all mapped together, they will overlay one another on almost the same areas," said Sunita Narain, Director of CSE.

The CSE report echoes her. "The three tribal-dominated states of Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are the most productive mineral-bearing states as well; also, the forest cover in these states is far higher than the national average," it says.

Orissa, for instance, accounts for 7 per cent of India 's forests and 11 per cent of its surface water resources – it also holds 24 per cent of India 's coal, 98 per cent of its chromite and 51 per cent of its bauxite. Mineral industries are, naturally, flocking to the state.

But for all its mineral wealth, the state performs very poorly in terms of human development indicators. The state has a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.404 – worse than that of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh or West Bengal.

The CSE report points out that Orissa's per capita income has actually declined during the second half of the 1990s – precisely the period when the state went on an industrial overdrive.

All the mineral-rich districts of the state feature in the list of 150 most backward districts of the country, says the report.

In Keonjhar, the most mined district in the state, 62 per cent of the population lives below poverty line. In Koraput, the bauxite capital of India , 79 per cent live below poverty line.

"Statistics indicate that the income from mineral extraction rarely benefits the regions from where these minerals come – in fact, poverty is increasing in many of these districts," point out the writers of the report.

Bearing the brunt: environment and people
The report paints a horrific picture of the devastation that has been wrought by mining in the country. The statistics are shocking:
* Between 1950 and 1991, mining displaced about 2.6 million people. Not even 25 per cent of these displaced have been rehabilitated.

* For every 1 per cent that mining contributes to India 's GDP, it displaces 3-4 times more people than all the development projects put together.

* Forest land diversion for mining has been going up. So has water use and air pollution in the mining hotspots.

* Mining of major minerals generated about 1.84 billion tonne of waste in 2006 – most of which has not been disposed off properly.

Orissa has the dubious distinction of clearing the maximum amount of forest land for mining in the country: of total forest land cleared for mining in India , Orissa accounts for 17 per cent. The state's water resources are as stressed, contrary to the belief that Orissa is water- surplus. The state's hilly terrains, with their natural springs, are being destroyed by mining, contends the CSE report. Orissa's second largest river, the Brahmani, is one of the 10 most polluted rivers in India – "due to the large-scale mining operations on its banks".

The state's 6 million strong tribal population has borne the brunt of these environmental impacts, says CSE, has displaced about 500,000 people (mostly tribals) in the state.

Employment is a promise not kept
All governments justify mining arguing that the sector will provide employment, but this is a chimera. The report using government data shows how employment has fallen in the mining sector as a whole. The fact is that the modern mining industry does not require people.

Between 1999 and 2005, the value of mineral production in the state increased three-fold - at the same time, employment reduced by 20 per cent.

In fact, says, Chandra Bhushan, CSE's associate director and the coordinator and co-author of the report, "Modern industrial growth requires resources of the region - minerals, water or energy. It does not require people.

"In other words, it does not necessarily provide local benefits. If it provides employment benefits, it is outside the poor region in which it is based. In other words, inclusive growth will require ways to value local resources - be it water, minerals or energy - so that it gives back more than it takes. The mineral industry degrades the land, uses local water, but does little to return back wealth. Worse, the royalty on minerals goes to state exchequers, not to local communities. This will have to change."

Is sustainable mining possible?
The CSE report points out that mining cannot be sustainable or truly environment-friendly: one, because all ore bodies are finite and non-renewable and two, because even the best managed mines leave "environmental footprints". But it also concedes that mining and minerals are necessary. "The issue is not whether mining should be undertaken or not. Rather, it is about how it should be undertaken. It is about ensuring that mining is conducted in an environmentally and socially acceptable manner," adds Chandra Bhushan.

The report goes on to recommend a range of policy initiatives that could help India meet this challenge. Some of its main recommendations include recognising people's right to say 'no' (mining should not take place without the consent of the people); independent, impartial preparation of EIA reports; disallowing mining in forests; framing stronger mine closure regulations; and "doing more with less – a key to sustainable development".

Andhra Naxalites vow to free leader from jail

By our correspondent

24 December 2007

HYDERABAD — Even as one of the top most leaders of the CPI Maoist Raji Reddy alias Sattenna was shifted to high security Charlapally jail near Hyderabad on 14-day remand, the outlawed Maoist organisation has vowed to get him released.

Raji Reddy, who was arrested by the police in Kerala last week was later handed over to Andhra Pradesh. The CPI Maoist spokesman Azad in a statement said that Reddy’s arrest was part of a massive counter-revolutionary campaign to suppress the ongoing ‘people’s war’ in the country. He alleged that the state and the central governments were planning to suppress the movement by eliminating the central and state level leadership of the organisation. However, these attempts will not succeed, he asserted.