Saturday, February 02, 2008

Naxalism recruits victims of progress

Crimson Concentrate
Naxalism recruits victims of progress . This is a warning.

Dilip Simeon

by Sudeep Chakravarti
Pages: 320; Rs. 495

Red Sun evokes a sense of distance. Not geographically—the author’s travelled widely in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bengal. He has interviewed activists, bureaucrats, policemen, businessmen and intellectuals. He has discussed Maoism with the legendary Kanu Sanyal and K.P.S. Gill, probed links between Nepali and Indian Maoists, met health ministers who want to solve the problem via vasectomies, security experts who want bigger budgets, and students convinced

that India will soon become their version of a People’s Republic.

Rather, it’s the distance that separates its readers from those he writes about; industrialising India from its victims; the dreams of middle-class youth from those of the impoverished cadres who look forward to an ideologically-driven dictatorship. The author’s investigations highlight the apartheid-like tendencies that have resulted in a spiral of violence, and the lackadaisical attitude of the political class to the administrative failures of which Maoism is a glaring symptom.

The writing is unpretentious and readable. Errors have crept in—the Khairlanji atrocities were committed by backward castes, not upper castes. Neither Saroj Datta nor Sushital Ray-Chowdhury ‘disappeared’. The first was found dead in the Calcutta Maidan and the second died a natural death. Chakravarti’s descriptions are interspersed with reflective comments, but no political theory. That is their strength, for the book raises grievous questions. Why has our political system created masses of desperate people? Millions of Indians have no idea what citizenship means. Development budgets for conflict-affected areas evaporate, with no benefit to the people. The judiciary has allowed lakhs of suits to accumulate—we tend to overlook how much this failure has contributed to the alienation of the poor. When even the middle-class despairs of justice, what might the poor expect? Andhra’s police (and not only them), Chakravarti reminds us, are notorious for their extra-judicial functioning. In a word, the activities of state personnel have undermined the Constitution and fostered the Maoist argument that the Indian state is treacherous. Chakravarti could have mentioned the acceptability of lawlessness when it follows a communal script. Major parties have used violence as a political tool. 1984 and 2002 are iconic years in modern India, yet some of our opinion-makers can denounce Naxalite violence in the same breath as they extol Narendra Modi’s bloodstained achievements. Chhattisgarh’s human rights activist Binayak Sen rots in jail while genocidal maniacs command state institutions. Our establishment couldn’t do more to assist Maoist propaganda.

There’s no end in sight. Maoists have concentrated on the mineral-rich forests in central and eastern India. These are home to tribal communities, prey to land seizures by corporates and real-estate sharks. Meanwhile, the war economy has spawned millionaires. Informal paramilitaries such as the Ranvir Sena (insufficiently dealt with) and the Salwa Judum (which enjoys semi-legal standing) have sunk roots. They habitually seize or receive resources, reportedly paying salaries and compensations. Scarred people acquire a psychological commitment to conflict—we could name this the ‘revenge investment’.

Chakravarti reminds us of the casual Indian yearning for extreme solutions. "Maoists are practising what we preach daily without a second thought." They build upon a philosophical tradition that grants the owners of great ideas the right to take unilateral action. Ideologically conceived revolutions derive their legitimacy not from democratic processes, but from their assumed intellectual superiority. Since there is no criterion by which this may be tested, debates are conducted at knifepoint.That’s why differences amongst revolutionaries lead to factionalism. Meanwhile, those who despise democracy demand the ‘right’ to murder whom they like. Democracy is the last hope of the poor, but both right- and left-wing extremists have undertaken to destroy it. And our establishment gleefully seizes the opportunity to turn authoritarian. Paramilitaries have emerged as capitalism’s loyal opposition.

Chakravarti foresees a polity of gated city-states with captive hinterlands; an India consisting of a privileged In-Land and a desolate Out-Land for the victims of development. (The Shiv Sena has long admired the Soviet and Chinese device of internal passports.) This forecast was also made by Aseem Shrivastava, when he argued that SEZs are the germ of corporate city-states, the first stage of an assault on agriculture that may entail the demolition of Indian democracy. With over 500 SEZs on the anvil, some 250 million Indians may be displaced in the coming decades. Naxalism will someday be seen as the stepchild of the Indian Constitution. Red Sun should be read widely, especially by those mesmerised by newfound wealth.

Maoists torch Indian vehicles after border row

Saturday, 02 February , 2008, 19:55

Kathmandu: A skirmish between Indian border security forces and Nepalis led by the Maoists' powerful youth wing worsened on Saturday with the rebels torching at least one Indian vehicle in eastern Nepal and Indians retaliating by blocking the check post and forcing Nepali vehicles to go back.

The Maoists have also threatened to start an offensive against Indian joint ventures in Nepal if the concerned Indian security personnel were not punished.

Nepal Police said a truck bearing poultry feed coming from India was stopped in an area called Roadshesh in Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's hometown Biratnagar in eastern Morang district and set ablaze.

For more news, analysis click here>>

Unconfirmed reports said a mob also stopped a jeep carrying a wedding party in Birtamod in Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula's home district Jhapa, forced the passengers to alight and set fire to the vehicle.

On Friday, Young Communist League (YCL) cadres had set another Indian vehicle on fire in Mechinagar.

As tales of the arson spread, angry Indian truckers blocked the check post at Biratnagar by parking their vehicles before it and forcing the traffic coming from Nepal to turn back.

The new violence came after India's Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB), that has earned a bad name in Nepal for crossing over and roughing up villagers as well as extorting money from travellers, clashed with the YCL, the Maoist strong arm that has recently started an anti-encroachment campaign along the Indo-Nepal border.

In the past few months, there are growing allegations in this country about India encroaching across the border with Nepal's parliament also taking up the issue.

The YCL has alleged that on Friday, the SSB barged into Nepal, abducted 35 cadres and marched them off.

They were released after being held captive for four hours, the YCL said.

The cadres were part of the team led by Maoist leader Dhruv Kumar Budathoki who had been sent to the area to assess the encroachment, the youth wing said.

The YCL has issued a warning, saying it would shut down all Indian ventures in Nepal if the abducted cadres' belongings, including money and mobile phones, were not returned by the SSB.

The threat comes even as ITC's tobacco factory was closed down last week by trade unionists loyal to the Maoists and Koirala's Nepali Congress party while a second major Indian venture, Nepal Lever, had its factory padlocked by Maoist-supported local youths

Naxaliism : From the editor-in-chief ( INDIA TODAY)

Aroon Purie
January 31, 2008

The threats to India’s internal security have been a matter of growing concern, from Punjab militancy to insurgency in the North-east, Islamic Jihadi groups, Dawood Ibrahim and his D Company.

But the one which is the longest running, least publicised and probably the most dangerous is by the Naxalites or Maoists. It is only in recent times, however, that the Naxalite menace is being treated by the Centre with the seriousness it deserves.

The prime minister, at a recent conference, stated, “It would not be an exaggeration to say that the problem of Naxalism is the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country.”

It has been 40 years since Charu Mazumdar laid the seeds of a peasant revolution in Naxalbari village in Darjeeling district. Since then the Naxalite movement has lost much of its intellectual attraction, but gained in strength and spread to over 160 districts cutting a swathe across the country. It has attracted disparate but highly committed elements who swear by violence.

The movement is now characterised by an army-style organisation, sophisticated weapons and expolsives, well trained cadres and an excellent intelligence network. They are, in fact, an invisible army in our midst.

Their attacks are well coordinated and they choose high-profile targets such as the then Andhra Pradesh chief minister who barely escaped with his life when his car was blown up in 2003. Over 2,000 people have been killed in Maoist violence between January 2003 and June 2007.

Bhattacharjya and Tankha with the Maoists
To get an inside view of how they operate, their training methods, ideology, arms, motivation and leadership, India Today’s Principal Correspondent Satarupa Bhattacharjya bravely used her communist contacts to get a message through to the main Maoist group in Chhattisgarh to allow her and Senior Photographer Ishan Tankha to spend time with them deep in the jungles where they have their camps.

They travelled to the Maoist hotbed of Dantewada and spent four days and nights in the forests of Abujmarh where entire villages are controlled by the Maoists. “Our main concern was that we may get involved in an armed encounter between the Maoists and the security forces but in the jungles they are supreme. Also their morale is very high”, says Bhattacharjya.

Our cover story goes beyond the exclusive inside look at the Maoist camps and analyses the extent of the threat emanating from the so-called Red Corridor, embracing the jungles of Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra and the tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.

The irony is that as the Indian economy booms many prosper but the ranks of the dispossessed are rising too. They are easy prey for the Naxalites’ call for social and economic justice. This story should serve as a reminder to the benefactors of economic growth that all is not well in their Camelot and many dangers lurk ahead.

Looking down Mao’s barrel

Sam Miller
February 1, 2008

Red Sun: Travels in Naxalite Country
by Sudeep Chakravarti
Price: Rs 495; Pages: 352

Significant areas of rural India are under the control of people who call themselves Maoist revolutionaries. This simple fact is often forgotten or deliberately ignored amidst the urban Indian hysteria over the Sensex or the Nano or the latest IPO.

And this is not for want of publicity. In April 2006, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared with disarming honesty that “the problem of Naxalism is the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country”.

He went on to describe, even more tellingly, how “exploitation, artificially depressed wages, iniquitous sociopolitical circumstances, inadequate employment opportunities, lack of access to resources, under-developed agriculture, geographical isolation, lack of land reforms—all contribute significantly to the growth of the Naxalite movement”.

But it is as if the rest of the country does not want to hear about poverty. And the states (16 of them, according to the Government) that are forced to deal directly with the Naxalites have each responded with different strategies, few of which address the economic roots of insurgency.

Tribal members at a Naxal meet in Chhattisgarh
The most controversial strategy is that of Chhattisgarh, where the bipartisan BJP-Congress policy has driven villagers and forest-dwellers out of their homes, forced them to take up arms against the Maoists and arrested the state’s leading civil liberties campaigner.

The middle ground has been destroyed. The Maoists, their reputation previously damaged by overconfidence, bullying and extortion, have regained some of their popularity in the face of the thuggery and destruction carried out by the state-backed anti-Maoist militia, Salwa Judum.

Most of the early chapters of Sudeep Chakravarti’s book deal with the situation in Chhattisgarh, particularly the southern Bastar region. Red Sun is deliberately impressionistic, not a history, but a travelogue, a largely successful attempt to “portray the everydayness of Maoism and the reactions to it”.

Chakravarti, a novelist and former journalist, is even-handed: “The climate is poisoned in Bastar, and the times vicious. For deterrence and revenge, people have been raped, beaten, murdered by the state, their homes reduced to ruin, food stock destroyed for even a tiny hint of collaboration—ready or forced—with Maoist rebels.

The Maoists too have done their dance, hacking to death suspected informants, blowing up both police personnel and members of Salwa Judum, as well as innocents who happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.” He describes how local journalists and NGO workers are trapped in the conflict and are forced to take sides. Only foreign journalists can visit Maoist camps and escape victimisation by the authorities.

This excellent book does have some minor problems—Asansol, not Siliguri, is easily the second biggest “urban sprawl” in West Bengal, and Mera joota hai japaani is from Shree 420, not Mera Naam Joker.

There is, incomprehensibly, no index; and the second half of Red Sun lurches and lunges about in a way that suggests the author did not know how to edit the huge amount of material that he had accumulated. There are large chunks lifted from Maoist propaganda, balanced by an execrable 30-line poem by a senior bureaucrat. There are too many names, too much detail, as Chakravarti follows the Naxalite trail in almost every part of the country and across the border into Nepal.

However, Red Sun is an important book, not only because it warns of the grave situation in Chhattisgarh and elsewhere, but because Chakravarti manages to humanise the conflict.

Rather than the tactics of guerrilla warfare or the euphemisms of the defence specialist, ordinary people, largely caught up in events over which they have no control, are at the heart of this book. It is ultimately an alarming picture, of an insurgency ignored by the urban elite because the violence has not come to the cities yet. It may still do so, if the economic and social roots of discontent are not tackled. Trickle-down is not working quickly enough.

Maoists to focus attention on welfare of prisoners in State

K. Srinivas Reddy

Decision follows a resolution passed by Maoist party at its ninth congress held in Bihar forests in 2007

Maoists to form ‘Jail Bandi Sanghursh Samiti’ to fight for the rights of prisoners

Party worried about the security forces winning over the jailed naxalites

HYDERABAD: After commencing sustained efforts to revive the naxalite movement in Andhra Pradesh, Maoists have now begun focussing on building a movement for the welfare of prisoners in the State.

The latest decision to organise a movement against the delay on part of the Government to release prisoners on good conduct on national days comes in the backdrop of a resolution passed by the Maoist party at its ninth congress meeting held in Bheembandh forests of Bihar in January last year.

Following the congress resolution on “Prisoners’ Struggles”, the Maoist party had organised one of the biggest jail breaks, when it’s fighting force, the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) and the People’s Militia carried out a surprise raid on the district jail in Dantewada of Chhattisgarh on December 16, 2007.

The Maoist raid led to the escape of 299 prisoners including 110 Maoists from the jail. The Dantewada jail break had indicated the resolve of the Maoists to get their jailed cadres released in consonance with the decision of the party to “carry out every possible means to free our comrades from the jails,” as enunciated in the resolution.

Though the Maoist movement is not strong in Andhra Pradesh, as it is in the Bastar forests, the party has been sparing no effort to revive the movement here.

In this backdrop, the North Telangana Special Zonal Committee (NTSZC) secretary, Chandranna, and the Godavari Valley regional committee secretary of Janashakti, Bharat, issued a joint statement condemning the “inordinate delay” in releasing the prisoners of good conduct in State jails.

Incidentally, the jailed Maoist cadres also issued a statement condemning the delay in the release of prisoners. The jailed comrades announced that the Maoist and the general prisoners had launched a hunger strike in Warangal jail from January 26.

The Maoist prisoners called upon other prisoners to join their agitation to force the government to release those who had been certified as having good conduct.

The release of prisoners has been hanging fire ever since a public interest litigation was filed in the Supreme Court alleging that the ruling Congress was trying to release some of its convicted leaders under the fig leaf of ‘good conduct’.

Controversy surrounded the reported move by the ruling Congress to release Gouru Venkat Reddy, husband of Gouru Charita Reddy, a ruling party legislator from Kurnool district.

The Maoist party has decided to form action committees (‘Jail Bandi Sanghursh Samiti’) to fight for the rights of prisoners.

One of the main demands is to force the authorities to keep all Maoist prisoners in one barrack.

The resolution says that “such action committees are quite helpful in further enhancement of the spirit of unity and sacrifice, and in identifying vacillators and coverts.”

Clearly the Maoist party is worried about the security forces winning over the jailed naxalites and using the information ferreted out to launch counter-strikes.

Binayak Sen : Police framed charges in local court

Case against PUCL leader
3 Feb 2008, 0147 hrs IST,TNN

RAIPUR: Police on Saturday framed charges against the national vice-president of People's Union for Civil Liberties, Binayak Sen in a local court. Sen was arrested on on May 14, 2007.

Sen has been booked for waging war against the State and under various sections of the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005 for indulging in suspicious and unlawful activities and criminal conspiracy.

"Besides Sen, Naxalite ideologue Narayan Sanyal and alleged courier Piyush Guha, have also been booked under the same charges," public prosecutor T C Pandya told TOI.

Top Naxalite leader surrenders

Special Correspondent

Surrender of Lanka Papi Reddy expected to jolt Maoist movement

Photo: Mohd. Yousuf

Turning point: CPI (Maoist) Central Committee member Lanka Papi Reddy surrenders before Home Minister K. Jana Reddy in Hyderabad on Saturday.

HYDERABAD: A Central Committee Member of the CPI (Maoist) Lanka Papi Reddy alias Ranganna surrendered before Andhra Pradesh Home Minister K. Jana Reddy in the Secretariat on Saturday.

The surrender of the top naxal leader is expected to provide a jolt to the Maoist movement in the Dandakaranya area. Papi Reddy served the banned outfit in various capacities in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chattisgarh before being made in-charge of Haryana, a position he held till the surrender.

The Maoist leader said he had surrendered on grounds of ill-health but refused to respond to the question whether he found the extremist movement useful to society. The Home Minister said Papi Reddy had sent feelers to the Government a week ago that he planned to surrender.

Forty-six-year-old Papi Reddy, who belongs to Mutyalapalli in Atmakur mandal of Warangal district, joined the underground movement as an Intermediate student. He went underground in 1980 and steadily rose in the erstwhile People’s War and went on to hold several key positions in the organisation.

He married another naxalite Saroja of Maharashtra. Efforts are being made to see that Saroja (38), being a member of Ahiri dalam in Maharashtra, also gives herself up. Their only daughter, Tejasri, has been adopted by the Warangal SP, and is studying in Class VII.

Full rehabilitation

Papi Reddy carries a reward of Rs. 12 lakh on his head and the Home Minister said the amount would be passed onto him as per the existing guidelines. He would be fully rehabilitated, provided protection from naxalites and steps taken to ensure that he was not subject to harassment by police.

The surrendered naxalite thanked the Government for the magnanimity shown to enable him to join the mainstream, while the Home Minister welcomed the development saying “it’s a good day for us”. He appealed to the Maoists to follow the example of Papi Reddy by eschewing violence. They could preach their ideology through democratic means and serve the people. A.K. Khan, Additional DG, Law & Order, who was present, said Papi Reddy was involved in cases of dacoity, abduction and killing.

4 CRPF personnel killed in Naxal ambush in Chhattisgarh

2 Feb 2008, 2201 hrs IST,PTI

RAIPUR: Four CRPF personnel, including a Sub Inspector, were killed on Saturday in an ambush laid by the Maoists in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh.

"When a CRPF party was on a combing operation, the Maoists triggered land mines blasts and opened indiscriminate firing in Brahmabeda jungle of Narayanpur district, about 275 km from the state capital," CRPF sources said.

A Sub Inspector and three constables were killed on the spot, they said.

Additional forces have been rushed to the spot, they added.

Including Narayanpur, central para military forces have been deployed in anti-Naxal operation in all the five districts of the Bastar region, where the rebels are in hyper active.

ORISSA: Cops vow to fight out Naxalism

Saturday February 2 2008 11:37 IST

CUTTACK: Buoyed by the recent successes against Left wing extremism, senior police officers have pledged to show no laxity in countering Naxal activities in any part of the State.

The officers, who came together here on Friday at the 53rd Senior Police Officers’ Conference, shared their experiences and strategies to combat Naxalism.

Field-level officers in the ranks of DIGs and SPs made their presentations on their plans of action, operations undertaken and the results in detail.

The SPs of Sambalpur and Deogarh, who have achieved marked success in tackling the Red radicals in the past one year, recounted their experiences on the occasion.

For the first time in the history of the IPS conference, the formatting was designed to lay more stress on sharing of experiences by the field officers.

Inaugurating the conference, Director General of Police GC Nanda laid emphasis on firm handling of the anti-socials and mafia elements and coordinated approach in anti-Naxalite operations.

The success stories and sharing of experiences can enable the police to evolve an effective way of countering the menace that is spreading to more and more parts of the State.

He also emphasised on modernisation of policing system, filling up of vacancies and called upon the personnel to strive to build a people-friendly image.

Deliberations were held on four modules on law and order, crime, Left-wing extremism and PR Management.

Issues like bank dacoities, tackling situations emerging from the industrial boom, improving communication system to ensure connectivity while combing operations, dealing with law and order problems like rasta rokos, dharnas, demonstrations were also discussed.

The officers were also in support on raising cash prize money to people, who assisted police in tackling crime, and informers, conference secretary Satyajit Mohanty said.

Resident Editor of The New Indian Express, Orissa, Srimoy Kar and NDTV Orissa Correspondent Sampad Mohapatra talked on police and media management.

Exposing the red corridor

2/2/2008 9:57:12 AM

Despite the Indian Govt's repeated attempts at making peace, naxal extremists is continuing to spread their web of terror across the country. And it is the state of Chhattisgarh, a breeding ground for over 20,000 naxal cadres that is the worst hit, with maximum reports of violence.

TIMES NOW travel deep into the epicentre of Maoist extremism in Chhattisgarh where Maoists fear nothing.

The rule of law doesn't exist here. The red brigade moves around without an iota of fear. They decide who enters and exits. They collect taxes from locals for using roads, doing business, or simply allowing them to live here.

It is deep inside the naxal territory. The journey begins in Jharghati in Narayanpur 350 kms from state capital Raipur.

16 out of 20 police districts in Chhattisgarh is naxal affected. The Maoists are mostly hidden in dense forest. They fight security forces with sophisticated Kalashnikov rifles, wireless sets and remote control devices a stark contrast to our under-staffed and ill equipped forces. There must be at least 70 paramilitary battalions on duty but only 13 paramilitary battalions they have.

Two years after security operations first began here, police authorities say they need more time to defeat naxals. Around 700 locals and policemen have been killed in two years span.

Avinash Mohanty, Addtl SP, Narayanpur, said, "This is a dangerous situation. No problem can be solved overnight"

As the red corridor stretches from Nepal right down till Tamil Nadu, Bastar is the point where naxals congregate.

"We still need to bring the area under control. It will take 20 to 30 years to take full control of the area," says Vishwaranjan, DGP, Chhattisgarh.

Bastar is today the bloody battleground in India's most naxal-infested state and it is people who're paying the price for it, every day of their lives.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Why do Naxals hate NGOs? A case study of Bihar

Kamla Singh

Naxalism is a grave problem in Bihar. According to a March 2007 document of the Bihar Police, 30 of its 38 districts have been affected by Maoist activities. Maoist violence is endemic across the state's territory.

The fight against the state by the Naxalites is explicable. But, why do they hate the NGOs? The ground reality provides many reasons for this hatred. First, the power of the Naxal outfits is the people, the masses. They fight for the downtrodden, the poorest of the poor, the lowest castes. For instance, the Naxals fight against the state to bring social justice to the Dalits. At the same time, the NGOs also work for the betterment of the downtrodden and poorer sections of society. Thus begins the rivalry for custodianship between the two. There are, however, fundamental differences in attitudes and approaches between them. The NGOs work at the grassrootes and associate themselves with the masses. They seek to empower the Dalits through non-violent methods. They inform the people about existing government schemes for the poor and often influence government officials to being proactive and helping the downtrodden. Through the Right to Information, many Dalits claim their rights to shape their future.

These initiatives by the NGOs delink the Naxal outfits from the masses. There are many such examples. The Musahar community is one of the most marginalized in Bihar that faces exploitation and discrimination. There are many NGOs working for their betterment in Bihar, but a number of them have received threatening calls to shut down their projects or face the consequences. A school run by an NGO was shut down in Gaya district for example. Children, who studied in the school, probably know nothing about the Naxalite movement, except that their school has been closed now because of the Naxals' frequent demands for money. "Naxals damage our school. We want to tell them not to snatch away our school life and let us study," said a student, Ramu Manjhi. Teachers also get extortion calls from the Naxals.

Second, the extortion money collected from the government officials is immense. There are many developmental projects for the poorer sections of the society such as old-age pension schemes, Annapoorna Yojna, mid-day meals and others. The Naxalites claim their share in almost all these schemes. Therefore, the developmental projects, which are run by the government, are convenient and easy prey for the Naxals to establish a channel for sharing this booty. Their muscle power, enormous presence at the grassroots and collusive arrangement with a section of the politicians, government officials and contractors provides a huge financial incentive to the Naxal groups. In addition, this is facilitated by the inability of the state to enforce its writ in the Naxal-affected areas. These collection programs target forest contractors, businesspersons, civil contractors, villagers and government officials, including the police, in some areas.

The developmental activities run by the NGOs do not share the booty with the Naxals. The Naxals cannot directly demand a share from the NGOs, nor can they directly threaten them, as this would expose their pretensions to provide social justice. The NGOs, therefore, become a consistent irritant for the Naxals.

Third, there are many cases where school-going children have been picked up by Naxal outfits from the Dalit community. They advocate that education will not bring any change in their future lives, but that the bullet can restore their lost social status. Therefore, these children turn out to become hard-core Naxalites. On the other hand, the NGOs and civil society organizations focus on education. Their ultimate aim is to empower downtrodden communities. Empowerment is not possible without education. It has been seen in many districts of Bihar that the Naxal-affected areas have a very low percentage of education among the Dalits.

Fourth, since the Naxal outfits are unable to fight the NGOs directly they have adopted a different strategy. They have started their own registered organizations. There is speculation that a number of NGOs in Bihar are funding the training of Maoist guerrillas. 22 NGOs in Gaya district have been issued show-cause notices for their Maoist links. According to the District Magistrate of Gaya, Jitendra Srivastava, "If it comes during the course of inquiry that Naxals are involved or they are running the NGOs that are funding guerrilla training, then it's a matter of huge concern. Even if Naxals are beneficiaries of NGOs, then it's a matter of concern for us."

If Naxal outfits are running the NGOs and are not accountable for the money they collect, it has grave social implications. It will affect the many civil society organizations which are sincerely working to improve the lives of the poorer sections of society.

Courtesy: IPCS, New Delhi.

Analysis: India sets up anti-Maoist cell

Feb. 1, 2008 at 11:07 AM
UPI Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Failing to control the growing network of Maoist rebels in the insurgency-hit northeastern states, India's Interior Ministry has set up an anti-rebel cell to ensure periodic review and close monitoring of rebel activities.

"An anti-Naxal cell headed by an additional secretary in the Interior Ministry has been set up with a view to ensuring periodic review and close monitoring of the action plans drawn up by the states to deal with the Naxal problem," an Interior Ministry's internal note said.

Naxal is the term used in India for Maoists; it comes from the village of Naxalbari where the movement began in the 1970s.

The note said the group has also been assigned the task of constantly monitoring the activities of Maoists and to coordinate with the federal and state intelligence agencies to prevent expansion of rebel activities in other states. The cell was established following the strong recommendations for the need of such an elite committee. The chiefs of the Intelligence Bureau and Research and Analysis Wing, India's external spy agency, have been appointed as members of the cell.

Worried over the expansion of the Maoist network in the northeast, the Interior Ministry has asked intelligence agencies to keep a close watch on the growing interaction between Maoists and separatist groups in the region.

Senior Maoist leaders from Jharkhand state have been making frequent visits to Nagaland and Assam, the two worst insurgency-hit states over the past six months. Indian security agencies said they have started scanning past connections of Maoists leaders to the tea gardens and hills of Assam. Security forces and intelligence agencies were surprised after they recovered Maoist publicity material from Nepalese youths belonging to the Gorkha Liberation Force from Dimapur in Nagaland. Security forces also made a similar recovery from a youth in western Assam.

The Central Committee of Communist Party of India (Maoists) in a recent conclave held along the Chhattisgarh-Andhra Pradesh border passed a resolution extending its moral support to the movement of tribal communities and tea tribes of Assam in their struggle for tribal status.

"The resolution passed by Maoists extending support to tribal communities in northeastern states is an early-warning signal for the government as the region is already hit by separatist violence. Maoists' presence there would further worsen the situation. The government should prevent such a situation from taking serious turn at this stage," said Kalyan Barooah, an expert on insurgency in the northeastern region.

He said the entry of Maoists into the northeast -- particularly in Assam and Nagaland -- could rejuvenate waning separatist movements.

"The central Interior Ministry has sent instructions to the intelligence agencies of different security forces seeking detailed information about the network established by the Maoists in several parts of northeast, especially Assam and Nagaland," said a top ministry official attached with the anti-Naxal cell.

Maoist rebels have caused a serious internal security problem for India as 11 of its states have been hit by Naxalite violence for more than a decade, killing more than 10,000 people and security personnel. The rebels have strengthened their presence in the poverty-stricken central, western and southern Indian states. Their expansion to the northeast would be bad for India as the region is affected by poverty and shares a porous border with Bangladesh and Myanmar.

With a view that poverty and non-development are major reasons for the expansion of Maoism in the country, the government earmarked an additional $100 million under the police modernization scheme. The fund was allocated to buy demining equipment, the latest telecommunication equipment and modern weaponry.

The government also constituted an interministerial group to review the implementation of centrally sponsored schemes undertaken in the rebel-affected areas.

"Naxalism is a social evil. It can only be tackled through social and security measures. The government should address the problem more seriously," said Tara Shankar Sahay, a security expert at the Center for Asian Strategic Studies, a non-governmental think tank.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Railways: Signal Failure


Since 2000, the Indian Railways has tracked some 860,000 instances of signals failing to operate effectively. This has led to 20 crashes and around 100 fatalities. In response, the IR has spent some Rs. 4,000 crore ($1 billion) to upgrade the platform - primarily manual signal-change levers.

Some of this can be attributed to aging railway infrastructure, as can a large portion given low quality control of localized equipment production but two other causes have a greater impact:

Lack of training. In the face of plummeting spending on signals staff, other organizations within the IR are providing individuals to operate machinery and technology they are simply not prepared for.
Theft. Accounts for half of the signals equipment that needs to be replaced. Metals and machinery are stolen by individuals lacking other sources of wages. (This has the potential to be insurgency-based as well as driven by the economic imperative.)
Signals are one of two sources of interoperability (the physical tracks are the other) within the railway platform. If they start firing at the wrong time, place, or wrong light, the results could be disastrous.

Chhattisgarh youth extort millions posing as Maoists


Thursday, 31 January , 2008, 10:06

Raipur: In the name of "donations to Maoists", hundreds of youths in Chhattisgarh who had no connection with the Maoist movement extorted up to Rs 220 million last year, police say.
Their targets ranged from businessmen to officials to even top policemen.

"Everybody knows in Chhattisgarh that Maoists annually extort millions of rupees as donations to the Maoist movement and major business players always donate generously to run their businesses. But now youths who are in no way linked to Maoists have also been earning big sums," a senior police officer in the Bastar region of the state told IANS on condition of anonymity.

"In 2006, police had received a few cases of extortions by fake Maoists but in 2007 it was a huge collection made by unemployed youths in the state's southern region of Bastar," the official said.

"I estimate the extortion in the name of Maoists was over Rs.22 crore (Rs.220 million) last year in the state with 90 per cent of the extortions made in Kanker, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Bastar and Dantewada districts that jointly form about 40,000 sq km area of Bastar," he added.

"The Rs 22 crore is an estimated figure as cases of extortion sought by fake Maoists are hardly reported because the affected people or firms are not sure whether the extortionists were genuine Maoists or they were just exploiting the terror of Maoists," he pointed out.

"Once business people receive a letter written in red ink in Bastar, they ensure that the payment is made immediately and without informing anyone, even close family," said a police officer posted in the Maoist hotbed of Konta in Dantewada district.

"This has encouraged hundreds of unemployed youths in Bastar and Rajnandgaon district bordering Maharashtra to operate a big racket in the name of Maoists," he added.

Sources say a majority of the fake Maoists are outsiders who settled in Bastar in recent years, though a few tribal youths who had past association with Maoists but have now joined the mainstream also extort occasionally to get over sudden family problems and other crises.

"Several unemployed youths became richer in 2007 just by posing as Maoists and extorting a huge sum from local transport operators, government officials including low-ranked policemen, shop owners, small businessmen, tea vendors and staff and contractors of the National Mineral Development Corp (NMDC) and Essar Steel," the source said.

NMDC and Essar Steel mine iron ore in Bailadila hills in Dantewada district and transport the ore to Visakhapatnam port in Andhra Pradesh.

"Extortion is a safe game in Chhattisgarh, mainly in Bastar, because your identity will never be exposed," said a police officer posted in the Pakhanjur area of Kanker district.

"Those who extort will also not mind paying some amount to Maoists to have friendly relations to operate their business. But the businessmen never know whether they are paying the money to genuine or fake militants," he added.

"In several recent cases, local businessmen paid extortion amounts to fake Maoists as monthly donation and within a week again received extortion letters for the same month's donation sent by genuine Maoists. Finally, the Maoists took the fakes to task," he said.

"With the rise of Maoist militancy in Chhattisgarh and India's two private steel majors' decisions (Tata Steel and Essar Steel) to install plants in Bastar, the extortion racket by genuine and fake Maoists will touch new heights in the coming years," said a senior police official posted at the state's police headquarters here.

CPI-Maoist declares its presence in state

Thursday January 31 2008 10:25 IST
M.P. Prashanth

KOZHIKODE: For the first time since its inception in 2004, the CPI-Maoist has come out in open with a statement from its state organising committee confirming the outfit’s presence in the state.

The statement from Mohan, the state organising secretary, says that many in the CPI and the CPM are co-operating with Maoists in Kerala and that they are covertly working for the organisation.

Till now the Maoists have been operating in the state under the cover of the Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF), the frontal organisation formed in July 2007.

But now they have decided to declare their presence after they found that the developments after the arrest of their central committee member Malla Raja Reddy are turning to their favour.

The CPI-Maoist formed its state organising committee way back in 2005. It has full-fledged district committees in Wayanad, Kozhikode, Kannur and Palakkad.

Raja Reddy, who is known as Sathyanna among Maoists, has been deputed to co-ordinate the party activities in Kerala.

He is the secretary of the party’s south west regional bureau which includes Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The Maoists do not intend to replicate the activities they are engaged in their liberated zones in areas like Dandakaranya.

In Kerala, the Maoists will be concentrating more on land agitations and price hike.

They feel that the supporters of Left parties are dejected over their stand on vital social issues.

The attempt is on to wean away the disgruntled elements in the traditional Communist parties.

The Maoists in Kerala are in the initial phase of the protracted people’s war which means that stress will be on party-building and squad work.

During this period the Maoists will be keeping a low profile and they would avoid any engagement with the security agencies.

The coming days will witness more activities on the part of the RPF which will be organising functions related to land issues at Ernakulam and Wayanad.

There are also attempts to form a students organisation to attract the the SFI activists who are at loggerheads with the official faction of the outfit.

Revolutionary Students Front
is the name temporarily suggested for the organisation.

The statement from state organising secretary says that the Maoist will be engaged in working against the pro-imperialist policies pursued by the Centre and the State Governments.

“Sixty years of parliamentary practice has only added to the woes of the people. The arrest of Sathyanna has been presented with an element of mystery by the government.

Maoists have been in contact with people from various segments of society who have realised the hollowness of both fronts,”
the statement said.

The statement says that People’s March editor P. Govindan Kutty is in no way related to the CPI-Maoist. People’s March is not the mouthpiece of the CPI-Maoist.

“Whether the CPI-Maoist is a banned organisation or not is not an issue to be discussed in connection with the arrest of Govindan Kutty,” the statement said.

Two arms dumps of Maoists unearthed

31 Jan 2008, 0401 hrs IST,TNN

GUNTUR: In yet another blow to the Maoist party, the district police on Wednesday unearthed two arms dumps from the reserve forest in the district.

Giving details of the discovery here at a news conference, SP Mahesh Chandra Ladha said special police parties carried out search operations following a tip-off and recovered a large quantity of arms from two separate dumps. While one dump was found in the Bollapalli reserve forests, another one was recovered from Papayapalem area, the SP said.

In all, the police recovered two .303 rifles, one .38 rifle, one 8 mm rifle, one revolver, one SBBL gun, two landmines, one apache, 10 kg gelatin sticks, 23 rounds of bullets of .38 rifle, 13 rounds of revolver and two empty magazines of .38 rifle from the two dumps.

The SP said the maoist activity has been more or less contained in the district and that they have no information about the entry of fresh teams into the district for taking up operations.

Maoist leader Anna Reddy arrested

Bhubaneswar, (PTI): A day after the arrest of four naxalites from a hospital here, the Orissa police on Thursday claimed that one of them was a hardcore Maoist leader, Anna Reddy, who was involved in anti-industry violence.

According to Jajpur District Superintendent of Police (SP), D S Kutte, the four were identified as Anna Reddy, Rani Jamuda, Manjeresh Hansda and Ramachandra Das alias Babuli.

Kutte said he along with a team of police personnel rushed to the private hospital in the state capital after receiving information that Anna Reddy was among the three persons visting a woman patient.

"We confirmed the trio as naxalites after verifying their movement and telephone calls," the SP said. Reddy was wanted in at least 14 criminal cases including murder, extortion and abduction for ransom. Reddy was also wanted for the killing of a forest guard in Dhenkanal district.

The three as well as the patient, Rani Jamuda, were arrested in a carefully executed operation, the police said.

Besides instigating the tribal people in Kalinga Nagar area in Jajpur district against industrilization, Reddy heading CPI(ML-Janashakti) in Orissa was also active in neighbouring Dhenkanal and Keonjhar district, the SP said.

"He was also supporting anti-Vedanta stir near Puri. The local people near Puri were opposed to the establishment of a world-class university by Vedanta," Kutte said. He was leading a faction of maoists who opposed to industrialisation in the state.

The man identified by the police as Anna Reddy, however, claimed that his name was Gumai Naresh Lu, a resident of Andhra Pradesh. He alleged that the police was 'falsely framing' charges against him.

Kutte said the police had evidence to prove that the man arrested was Anna Reddy.

The SP said Anna Reddy had gone to the hospital in the city to look after his 'close relation', Rani Jamuda, a woman associated with the anti-industry movement at Kalinga Nagar.

3 naxalites held from hospital

Thursday January 31 2008 07:51 IST

HURRY! GEMS Portfolio closing on 15th Feb'08

BHUBANESWAR: In a swift operation, police arrested three members of radical group CPI(ML) Janashakti from Kalinga Hospital here on Wednesday.

One of them is suspected to be Anna Reddy, leader of the outfit in the State, though police would not confirm. Unaware that Jajpur police was trailing them, the three were attending to a woman at the hospital.

The woman, Nanika Jamuda, 21, was admitted on January 28 after a bout of cerebral malaria. She is believed to be Reddy’s partner. The arrest, kept under wraps, has taken place exactly a year after CPI(ML) Janashakti cadres allegedly massacred three forest officials in Dhenkanal’s Kankadahad forests.
Police are hot on the trail of the radical group which is believed to be a major force in instigating violence at Kalinga Nagar where 13 tribals were killed in police firing in 2006. Though CPI(ML) Janashakti is a banned outfit in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa is yet to impose any restriction on it.

Police sources said a team of Jajpur police, led by SP D N Kutte, was in the city after getting intelligence inputs about these radicals. Police tracked them from their mobile phones. A senior IPS officer said: “Interrogation is still on. Their identity would be revealed only after we reach a conclusion.”

Childhood lost in India's war against Maoists

10 hours ago

DANTEWADA, India (AFP) — Asha and Ranu were just in their teens when they were given khaki uniforms and .303 rifles to help local police fight Maoist rebels in the forests of central India.

"We thought we should do the same as these Naxals do, who come with knives and catch hold of people and beat them up," said Asha, a member of India's escalating war on the Naxalites, as the Maoist rebels are known.

"So we joined the police," said the bright-eyed 17-year-old, who says she was recruited about two years ago as a state-supported backlash against the rebels in central India's forests got underway.

Ranu is a year younger and was also recruited as a "special police officer" in the tribal region of Dantewada, the epicentre of India's Maoist insurgency.

"Every house has to send one person, so I went in," said Ranu, who along with her family fled her village in Chhattisgarh state and went to a state-run relief camp where thousands of people live under police security.

Maoist rebels, who control large swathes of the impoverished state, made inroads here two decades ago by fighting for better wages for villagers who live by gathering leaves for Indian cigarettes for a pittance.

The rebels have now been branded by India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as the biggest single threat to national security.

With regular police shunning the combat zone in the south of Chhattisgarh, authorities appear to have enrolled child soldiers from the special security camps that now house 50,000 villagers who have fled or have been brought in from Maoist areas.

In the camps, officials urged families to send one member to the special police, a rag-tag force of 3,600 in south Chhattisgarh that outnumber the regular police.

Ranu, who, like other youngsters interviewed, is fearful of speaking out and does not want her full name used, said at first her task comprised of standing at a check post.

With rifle in hand, she asked people "where they were coming from and where they were going to."

As rebels began attacking the special police, she now mostly does guard duty in the camp. "We will be able to fire and we have fired," she said. But when asked when she had actually used her gun, she replied that she has only used it during training.

Officials, however, deny minors are fighting on behalf of the state.

"No minor as an SPO (Special Police Officer) is the stated policy of the Ministry of Home Affairs and we strictly adhere to that," insisted Dantewada superintendent of police Rahul Sharma.

"We have proper documented reports where their age is above 18."

Sharma also countered that the rebels recruit children as young as seven into their youth wing, using them as informants and to lay explosives.

But human rights groups say that youngsters in the police force appeared to be schooled to say they were eighteen in response to any inquiries.

And a lawsuit filed in India's Supreme Court last year by two noted academics and a former government officer called for an enquiry into human rights violations related to the state's anti-Maoist operation, alleging minors have been enlisted.

The SPOs, whose male members help guide paramilitary forces to remote villages to find Maoists, have been increasingly targeted by the rebels, with some 62 killed last year out of 188 security force deaths.

The young policewoman Ranu, who earns about 35 dollars a month, hinted that ages were indeed bumped up on paper.

"We have all been made 18," she said defensively.

Recruits are required to show that someone in their family lost their life or was hurt in some way by the Maoists -- implying that the authorities want a force that is bent on revenge.

Police say the requirement is needed to ensure their loyalty.

Munna, aged 18 and also living in a security camp, said he joined because his older brother was hacked to death with an axe by the Maoists two years ago.

"What was the point of just sitting around in the camp?" said Munna, dressed in a ribbed shirt and track pants, a self-loading rifle over one shoulder. "I needed to earn money."

15 Maoists arrested in Chhattisgarh

Posted at Thursday, 31 January 2008 09:01 IST

Raipur, Jan 31: Chhattisgarh Police arrested 15 Maoists from Kanker district and recovered explosive material and firearms from them.

The extremists were apprehended when they were holding a meeting with villagers at Jamdi, about 275 km from here, police said, adding detonators, bombs, three rifles, naxal literature and other material were seized from them.

Naxals are hyper-active in the entire Bastar region, including Kanker where paramilitary forces had been deployed.

15 Maoists held in Chhattisgarh, explosives seized


Raipur : Police have arrested 15 Maoist guerrillas in Chhattisarh's southern Kanker district and seized explosives from them, an official said Thursday."Fifteen leftist insurgents were arrested Wednesday night during police raid at two places in Kanker district's Koyalibera police station area with land mines, explosives and Maoist literature," Pawan Deo, deputy inspector general of Kanker Range, told IANS.

The police also seized an abandoned bag with 23 wireless sets and Maoist literature Wednesday night in state capital Raipur's Bhatagaon area.On Jan 21, police had seized eight bags with 91 country-made pistols and 26 foreign made wireless sets from Raipur's busy Dangania area.
On Jan 22, police arrested two women insurgents and their male courier in Bhilai and Raipur. Earlier this week, police seized cloth bundles worth Rs.700,000 from tailors at Bilaspur who were asked to stitch Maoist uniforms.

"Since Jan 21 there have been arms drops and subsequent raids at various cities. Police have got details about the Maoists' urban contacts and we are on the lookout for couriers of the terrorists who have been living in Raipur, Bilaspur and Bhilai cities for years," a police official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Chhattisgarh: Maoists kill sarpanch, release abducted villagers

Raipur, (PTI): Maoists killed a sarpanch in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh and released six villagers they had kidnapped while detaining three police officers abducted from the same district, police said on Thursday.

A large number of armed Maoists had on Wednesday raided Jaigur village and killed sarpanch R K Sonu, Bijapur police sources told PTI over phone.

After killing the sarpanch with sharp weapons, the rebels fled from the village, police said adding, combing operation was on in the area on Thursday to apprehend the Maoists.

Meanwhile, in a separate incident, Maoists on Wednesday night released six of the nine villagers abducted from the same district, sources said.

About 70 Maoists, including armed rebels, had stopped a vehicle near Bhogamguda village, about 575 km from the state capital, and took nine villagers at gun point to the jungle.

"The released villagers told that the remaining three persons are Special Police officers attached to Ganglur police station and are currently in the Maoists' clutches," the police said.

Naxalites murder former sarpanch

Statesman News Service

KORAPUT, Jan. 30: Naxalites belonging to Koraput area committee killed Mr Nalla Markanda Choudhury, a former sarpanch with an axe today. The ultras rounded up the entire village which witnesses the murder. According to sources, the 40-member Naxalite squad had entered Kesla, a village on the borders of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh yesterday and summoned five local businessmen belonging to a particular caste. They took all of them to Nangalbeda and also they picked up another businessman of Ulubadi village. After reaching Nangalbeda, which is the panchayat headquarters,

Mr Choudhury was dragged out from his house. He was also a businessman by profession. The Naxalites tied up his hands and started assaulting him as well as the other five.They ordered the businessmen not to sell liquor to the tribals in the region and to hand over the land which they had acquired from them.
They also told them not to use tribals to smuggle out timber from the forest. The survivors were threatened with dire consequences if their diktats are not heeded.
Before leaving the village, the ultras pasted posters and also cut down trees to delay the movement of police.

The special operation group and India reserve battalion have been pressed into service to launch combing operations.

Three ultras arrested

The Jajpur district police have arrested three suspected extreme Left wing activists from a private hospital here today. Police sources were tightlipped about the identity of the three, but said that the trio were attending an ailing person named Rani Jamuda who had been admitted to the hospital here since 28 January. Reliable sources, however, said that a prominent leader was among the three who were picked up by the police. The Jajpur police had been on their trail for the past couple of days. Today, they informed the local police station and sought their help.

The trio were taken away by the Jajpur police officers, while police guards were deployed at the hospital where the lady is undergoing treatment.In another incident in Malkanigiri district, police are suspected to have shot and injured a Naxalite late last night. Police sources said the incident took place near Motu where Naxals ambushed a police party as they were returning from a combing operation. After an exchange of fire, the Naxalites escaped. This morning, police found blood stains close to the spot where the encounter had taken place.

Naxals strike terror
Thursday January 31 2008 07:52 IST


BHUBANESWAR/KORAPUT: Left wing extremists, who struck at the bordering villages of Koraput, hacked a former sarpanch to death besides leaving a trail of terror late on Tuesday.

In a night-long operation, the ultras raided three villages, rounded up five persons before killing Markand Choudhury, a former sarpanch at Nangalbeda, 40 km from the block headquarters of Narayanpatna.

About 60 armed Naxalites arrived at Keshla village where they picked up four persons and headed for Ulabadi, another habitation a few kilometres away. The radicals then rounded up another villager from Ulabadi and reached Nangalbeda where they held a meeting and thrashed the five.

Before leaving, Markand (60) was hacked to death in full public glare by the extremists, sources said. Koraput SP Deepak Kumar rushed to the spot on Wednesday morning and a search operation has been launched.

Markand was apparently targeted because he was considered a police informer by the radicals. A few years back, he was served a warning too.

Blue Tigers must have killed Sambasivudu’

Thursday January 31 2008 10:02 IST

NANDYAL: Naxal movement has weakened in the State CPI (Maoist) Nallamalla Forest Division secretary and State Committee member Nagireddy Panduranga Reddy alias Pratap admitted and feared that Sambasivudu was dead, speaking to the media here on Wednesday.

Blue Tigers is a police outfit and they must have killed Naxal leader Sambasivudu, he charged terming Director General of Police’s statement to the State Human Rights Commission lies.

If Sambasivudu were alive why would ‘Blue Tigers’ not present him before media, he asked.

Maoists abduct 4 cops in Bastar

31 Jan 2008, 0146 hrs IST,Amitabh Tiwari,TNN

RAIPUR: Four special police officers (SPOs) and five villagers were abducted by Maoists on Wednesday evening while they were travelling in a jeep from Bijapur to Gangaloor in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh.

IGP, Bastar, R K Vij told TOI, "Additional forces have been rushed to the area to rescue kidnapped persons."
He said about a dozen Maoists were involved in the incident. "The Maoists stopped the jeep by felling a tree on the road. The SPOs and villagers were taken into nearby jungles," Vij said.

The Raipur police, meanwhile, recovered 23 high-frequency wireless sets, four bundles of fuse wires and five wireless chargers near Chingri nullah at Bhatagaon village, IGP, Raipur, Y K S Thakur said. "The police received the information from an anonymous caller that a sack was lying abandoned near the nullah," he said.

"Immediately a bomb disposal squad and sniffer dogs were sent to the spot. After confirming that no explosive was in the gunny bag, it was opened. We found the sets and other things and also Maoist literature," Thakur said.

He said police have increased surveillance on people with suspected links with Maoists after the recent arrest of Maoists — Malti, Meena Choudhary, Prafull Jha, Asit Kumar Sengupta and Siddhartha Sharma. They were arrested after the seizure of 100 pistols, 26 weireless sets from Dangania locality of Raipur on January 22

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Maoist nexus with NE ultras under scanner

SHILLONG, Jan 29 – Worried over the gradual extension of the ‘red corridor’ to the North-east, the Centre has asked the intelligence agencies to closely monitor the growing network of the Maoists and their nexus with the militant outfits of the region. “The Home Ministry has sent instructions to the intelligence departments of different security forces, seeking detailed information about the network established by the Maoists in several parts of North-east, especially Assam and Nagaland,” a top defence official told PTI here.

The Centre’s instruction comes in the wake of a revelation from an arrested senior Maoist cadre in Jharkhand that the rebel group has already formed units in different districts of Assam, including Karbi Anglong and Golaghat.

Defence sources confirmed that CPI-Maoist central committee member Mahru Mahto alias Narayan Mahto, who was arrested in November last from Bokaro, had revealed during interrogation about the growing network of the Maoists in the North-east, especially in Assam.

What is more worrying, according to the official, is the nexus between the Maoists and some rebel groups of the North-east like All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA) and the NSCN (IM).

“Inputs gathered so far suggest that the AANLA C-in-C Nirmal Tirkey is operating from Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh. A group of around 100 AANLA cadres are undergoing training somewhere in Jharkhand, while the NSCN (IM) is supplying arms to the Adivasi rebels,” the official said, while not ruling out the possibility the presence of Maoists in the North-east.

Formed in Golaghat district in 2003 to push the interest of the Adivasi or tea plantation workers’ community across the state, AANLA shot into the limelight after the group claimed responsibility for the December 13 bomb attack on a Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express train in Assam that killed five passengers and injured nine others.

Police say the AANLA is trying to capitalise on the Adivasi sentiments after the community’s agitation for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status has gained momentum following the November 24 rally in Guwahati that turned violent after protesters clashed with local residents.

Besides, according to police, the group was also mobilising support among the tea community.

During the initial days after its formation, the AANLA received patronage from the Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA), active in Karbi Anglong district. Later, the NSCN-IM took the group under its wings.

Police say the affinity of AANLA rebels with the Maoists is not surprising owing to the characteristic similarities between the rebel groups. – PTI

Maoist arms dump unearthed

Staff Reporter

GUNTUR: The Guntur police have unearthed two arms dumps belonging to the CPI (Maoist) at Bollapalli and Papayapalem reserve forest areas and recovered country made rifles, landmines and grenades.

The dumps were unearthed based on reliable information provided by a key ‘informant’, Mahesh Chandra Laddha, SP, told mediapersons on Wednesday.

The cache of arms included two .303 rifles, a .38 rifle, .8 mm rifle, country made revolver, a S.B.B.L gun, revolver rounds and .38 rifle spare magazines.

Police also recovered two landmines weighing 10 kg and three kg, respectively, and 100 books of revolutionary literature. Most of the arms which have been seized were in ‘working condition,’ the SP said.

Nine villagers kidnapped by Maoists in Chhattisgarh

Raipur (PTI): At least nine villagers were on Wednesday abducted by a group of armed Maoists at gun point in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, police sources said.

About 70 Maoists, including armed rebels, stopped a jeep carrying the villagers near Bhogamguda village, about 575 km from here, and asked for each one's identity, the sources said.

Subsequently, nine villagers were taken to a jungle at gun point in the Naxal-infested district, they said.

Police teams have been sent to the spot and combing operation was on.

Conversation between 2 Jihadis and their reference to Maoists

The Pioneer, Jan 27, 2008

The cutting ed: Chandan Mitra

This chat was downloaded from the web. It is a conversation that took place between the commander of a jihadi outfit and a middle-rung functionary operating somewhere in Jammu and Kashmir. To mask their personalities, we decided to call them jihadi 1(J1) and jihadi 2 (J2) respectively.

J2: Salaam Waleiqum Boss, I have bad news to report. Infidel dogs of the Indian security forces have mounted a great deal of pressure on our jihadi groups. As it is, the cold wave in the Valley is at its peak. It has snowed all over and made movement difficult. The local population is less scared of us than before, so we are having trouble finding safe houses. Worse, we are having great difficulty recruiting. In spite of all our brainwashing efforts and sustained Pakistani support, we aren't getting enough locals to act as informers or porters. Even our hardcore people are getting frustrated and want to go back home. Tell me, Boss, what should I do? Really need your guidance now.

J1: Waleikum Salaam. You have turned out to be a real bewaqoof! Whoever made you Area Commander? I need to have that fellow's head examined, besides yours. Obviously you don't follow the news. Haven't you heard what the Indian Government has announced to help our jihadi cause?

J2: Indian Government is going to help us? I don't believe this! What are you saying Boss? Please don't communicate in riddles. True, I have been too worried about logistics the last week, having lost several boys in encounters with Indian forces. So, I haven't been able to keep up with the news. Please tell me.

J1: Listen properly you idiot. The Indian Government has made recruitment much easier for us. They have offered such attractive terms for jihadis that we won't have to send you assorted Afghans, Chechens, Sudanese and other outsiders. You will be able to recruit all the boys you need locally. I think they will queue up to join your ranks after last week's announcement. You should go from village to village giving the good news and reassure families of the boys already with us, and those who are likely to join us soon.

J2: Sir, please don't keep me in the dark any more. Tell me what is the great bonanza the Indian Government has announced.

J1: The Indian Government has declared that it will pay compensation to the family of every jihadi killed in encounters with security forces. I don't know yet if this means that the families will get a monthly pension or a hefty one-time compensation. But whatever it is, do you realise its significance? In my 10 years of service in different countries, Afghanistan and Chechnya particularly, I have never come across a Government that actually rewards us for killing their boys! This is quite incredible. It can happen only in India. It will make our recruitment drive so much easier. Now you guys spread out all over and tell villagers that enlisting as a jihadi is as good as enlisting in the police or Army. The service conditions are probably better with us. They will not only get regular salaries from us, but also opportunities to travel the world. Whenever we plan terror strikes outside India, we will consider sending them to places like Spain, Britain, Australia and other such countries. Of course, they may have to do stints in Africa and Russia too, but we will ensure they don't only get hardship postings. And who knows, as our terror net expands and we succeed in infiltrating into the US in big numbers, they may even get a chance to take part in something like 9/11.

J2: But, Boss, these service conditions exist already. What's new? We are currently offering new recruits a great package, much better than what we got. In fact I have mentioned my salary hike issue to you several times...

J1: Khamosh, budtameez! How dare you bring up your salary issue now? You are supposed to be working for a Great Cause. When you die fighting in a jihad you will get to heaven and have a pick of the choicest houris. But think of the future recruits. Now they can join our ranks, kill Indian forces at will and when they are eliminated in encounters, they would have died happily in the assurance that the Indian Government will take care of their families.

J2: Yes, Boss. It is a great offer. You are right we will be able to cajole hundreds into joining the jihad from now. Potential recruits were always worried what would happen to their families when they got killed. That's a worry that's gone forever. But tell me, Boss, what's wrong with the Indian Government? How could they make a promise like that? Won't people in India get outraged?

J1: The Indian Government has always been very considerate to jihadis in Kashmir. Don't you remember the time when quintals of delicious, mouth watering biryani was ferried into the Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar where our boys were holed up for a few weeks? The boys got so used to biryani and kabab that they didn't want to leave! And as for public opinion, no Government in India cares about such things. Indian people are very docile. Everyday Maoists are killing dozens of security forces, but the Home Minister says that terrorists are poor, misguided youth! Remember the Parliament attack of December 13? So many Indian policemen died saving their leaders, but even now compensation has not been given, their family members don't have the jobs they were promised. Does anybody care? I am telling you, our sympathisers in the Indian media will soon start agitating to improve the compensation package offered to jihadis. They are all very considerate towards us and dead against their own security forces.

J2: You are right Boss. After all, when they released Azhar Masood Sahib, a top Minister even escorted him and his fellow jihadis back to Kandahar. I remember that very distinctly. Those who cried hoarse asking for his release, holding placards on Delhi's streets that time are now blaming the earlier Government for being chicken! It is a funny country, I must confess. Oh my God! Gunfire! I think the infidel dogs have discovered my hideout. I have to get out, Boss. Don't worry, I will launch a big recruitment drive very soon and explain the Government of India's generous compensation scheme. I assure you big success. Shukriya Boss.

J1: By the way, the State Government has started another programme to help us. It is going to kill 50 dogs in the next few days so that they don't bark and alert the security forces. I think they will gradually massacre all dogs in the Valley so our boys have a free run.

J2: Indian Government is great Boss! With enemies like them, who needs friends?

(The facts mentioned are real. The conversation, needless to add, is imaginary.)

Chhattisgarh Politicians Spend Nights In Maoist Terrain

Tuesday 29th of January 2008

They used to keep away from Maoist strongholds. But suddenly senior leaders of Chhattisgarh's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress are busy camping in the terror grounds of Bastar.

For, an assembly by-poll is to be held Feb 4 in the Keshkal constituency of Bastar district and these politicians are out seeking votes.

Home Minister Ramvichar Netam had never spent a night in a Maoist stronghold after being elevated from the post of tribal welfare minister in a June 2005 cabinet reshuffle.

But now Netam and Revenue and Forest Minister Brijmohan Agrawal are visiting each and every family in Keshkal. They will return to state capital Raipur only on Feb 4 when voting ends.

Minister of State for Women and Child Development Lata Usendi and Public Health and Engineering Minister Kedar Kashyap are there too.

They are all hoping to help the BJP retain the seat. The by-election was necessitated by the death of BJP legislator Mahesh Baghel in a car accident in August last year. The seat is reserved for the Scheduled Tribes (ST).

Those in the fray are BJP candidate Sevakram Netam and Congress candidate Budhsan Markam. There are also three independents, one of whom is backed by the Shiv Sena.

The counting will be held Feb 7. The by-election result will be an indicator of where the parties stand before the assembly poll to be held in October or November this year.

The area is a hotbed of Maoist insurgency. Last month, Maoists cordoned off the Vishrampuri police station in the Keshkal constituency, shot dead three policemen inside the building and blew it up with explosives.

But that hasn't prevented the politicians from going to Bastar now.

From the Congress camp, Leader of Opposition Mahendra Karma and state Congress president Charandas Mahant are camping in Keshkal.

Congress leader and former chief minister Ajit Jogi, Congress treasurer Motilal Vora and Chief Minister Raman Singh are scheduled to address public meetings in Keshkal later this week to woo voters for their party candidates.

'Police have always requested senior politicians and ministers to spend nights in Maoist bastions at least for a day or two to boost the morale of policemen fighting a losing battle against Maoists in Bastar, but they would keep their visits confined to an hour,' a senior Bastar police official told IANS on telephone.

'Even when 55 policemen were killed in Bijapur district in March last year, top politicians in the state and a few ministers visited the massacre site at Rani Bodli village barely for an hour for the sake of votes.

'But now ministers and senior leaders of both the ruling party and the opposition are camping in Keshkal,' the police officer added.

Court extends remand of women Maoist insurgents

Raipur, Jan 30 (IANS) A court here Tuesday extended the police remand of two top women Maoist militants, including a zonal commander of the outfit, till Feb 4 and their male associate's till Feb 2.

The women were arrested last week for trying to pass on a huge cache of illegal arms and ammunition to unknown groups here earlier this month.

The police brought Malti Usendi, 28, Meena, 28, and Prafulla Jha, 60, before the court of Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Pankaj Jain. They were first presented before the court Jan 23 and remanded in police custody till Jan 29.

The two women insurgents, while travelling in a car Jan 21, dropped eight bags loaded with 91 pistols and 26 wireless sets at Dangania area in Raipur. The ammunition and equipment were meant for unidentified groups. But the police recovered the cache before it was taken away.

Malti was arrested Jan 22 in Bhilai, 30 km from here, while Meena was detained in Raipur. Their associate Jha, who worked as a freelance journalist here, was later held for acting as a courier for the two Maoists.

Malti is the wife of Gudsa Usendi, spokesman of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist, while Meena is a zonal Maoist commander.


Police injure Maoist leader in gun battle

Bhubaneswar , Jan 30 (IANS): A Maoist leader was critically injured in an hour-long exchange of fire between paramilitary forces and Maoists in Orissa's Malkangiri district, the police said Wednesday. He was identified only as Ashok.

Satish Gajbhaye, the district police chief, told IANS that the gun battle took place late Tuesday at Kondapalli village under Motu police station, about 800 km from here, and continued for an hour.

The Maoists open fired on the soldiers of the special operation group and district voluntary forces who were returning to the district headquarter after a combing operation in the nearby jungles.

The soldiers retaliated and the gun battle lasted about 60 minutes. Ashok, the commander of a local faction of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) called Motu Dalam, was critically injured but the Maoists fled into the jungle with him.

On July 3 last year, Maoists had killed Jagabandhu Sunani, a village leader, at Kondapalli. Following his murder, the police had intensified combing operations in the area and arrested about 12 Maoist guerrillas.

Naxals blow up forest rest house

Munger (PTI): Heavily armed naxalites of the banned CPI (Maoist) blew up a Forest department rest house in Bihar's Munger district destroying property worth several lakhs of rupees, official sources said on Wednesday.

The extremists blew up the rest house at Sonarwa village in Kharagpur sub-division with dynamite and then set on fire the furniture late Tuesday night, Superintendent of Police Shalin said.

The over 20-year-old rest house, about 70 km from here, was rarely occupied over the last few years and nobody was present there at the time of the incident.

A police team has been rushed to the spot to carry out raids to apprehend the naxalites, the SP said.

CPI(ML) out to grab political ‘land’ in state

Wednesday January 30 2008 12:32 IST

KALPETTA: Realising the potential of land issues as a political tool powerful enough to grab a political space in the state, CPI (ML), one among the prominent far-Left groups having its origin in naxalbari uprising, is exploring all possibilities to expand its mass base organising series of land struggles across the state. The ongoing agitations in various districts including Wayanad, Thrissur, Kollam, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta are part of the state-level mass mobilisation which proved a success, according to the leaders of the organisation. The party aims at attracting the disillusioned tribal communities, dalits and other marginalised landless sections of society.

The central leadership of the organisation has evinced much interest in the ongoing struggles and expressed hope that within a few years through positively intervening in the land issues the party can expand its mass base.

An array of national leaders of CPI (ML) and many other naxal outfits sharing a national platform in the agitation have visited the state recently.

The party also plans to liberate the land bagged by the land mafia through shadowy deals like the Kinaloor Estate land at Thamarassery near Kozhikode, which was handed over to a Malaysian company. The state secretary of CPI(ML), P.J James demanded such deals be cancelled and the land be distributed to the landless.

Talking to Express on the sidelines of the agitation at Meppadi, he said a study conducted by the party found that one third of the population of the state are either without land or ‘owns less than three cents of land which is practically landless’.

“Through a series of agitations we aim at liberating the land kept in the custody of mafia groups, thousands of acres of lease land kept illegaly by the landlords even after the cessation of lease period, wasteland and excess land,’’ he said.

The HML Company alone has about 76,000 acres of excess land under its custody from which they sold out thousands of acres to various other groups, he said.

At present the land is not possessed by farmers and it is high time that the state took over the land and redistribute it among the farmers and landless, he added.

In the coming days ‘land’ would be the central political issue and the party is trying to address the problem, he added.

In India's jungles, villagers hounded by Maoists, police

10 hours ago

DANTEWADA, India (AFP) — White-haired Budhri thought her two children would take care of her in her old age. Instead she lost her daughter to the Maoists hiding in the forests of central India. The police took her son.
Thousands of tribal families in far-flung Chhattisgarh state have been torn apart by a vicious Maoist insurgency and a no-holds-barred crackdown aimed at suppressing it.

"My daughter used to go to Naxal (Maoist) meetings. After that they came to our house to ask for her," said the middle-aged Budhri as she lit a fire in her mud hut.

She said her husband and son fought with the Maoists to stop them from conscripting the teenage girl but they took her anyway.

Then a man was murdered in a neighbouring village, and Budhri's husband and son, hailing from a hamlet regarded as pro-Maoist, were suspected and carted off by police.

"I have a son in jail. I have a daughter who the Naxals took. How can I live?"
she said.

Chhattisgarh's landscape is placidly beautiful with carefully thatched huts nestled in thick forests of mango, tamarind and teak.

But any sense of tranquillity is regularly shattered by convoys of heavily armed police speeding along the one-lane National Highway 16 that cuts through Danteweda, the heart of the Maoist revolt.

The rebels control large swathes of forest north of the highway, a "liberated zone" where their state within a state collects tax and conducts trials as a first step in their ultimate goal of overturning capitalist India.

According to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the rebels are a "virus" and the biggest single threat to the country.

As the government struggles to keep the grindingly poor tribal villagers who live a world away from India's economic boom out of the ranks of the Maoists, some 50,000 people have been driven into state-run relief camps.

In the largest, Dornapal, 18,000 villagers who once lived in tiny hamlets spread spaciously over acres of land are crowded into a sprawling shanty of mud huts with tin roofs.

Some camp residents say they fled their homes for fear of the rebels, who first made inroads by fighting for better prices for villagers who earn a meagre 50 dollars a year gathering leaves used in Indian cigarettes.

But the Maoists also beat or killed those who flouted their orders.

"They wanted to make the village their own, and we had to do what they told us to do," said Lakmu, a boy in his late teens who, like everyone spoken to in the camp, asked for his full name not to be used.

But others said they were hounded out of their villages by police and members of the state-backed Salwa Judum which local leaders translate as "peace movement" but which observers say is little more than hired guns.

"The police and people beat us. They said we gave the Maoists shelter," said Dharma, an elderly resident of Bhairamgarh camp, adding that the rebels demanded food whenever they passed through his village.

Some locals said they were forced to go on Salwa Judum marches, where they saw police and camp residents burning houses and were threatened with the same fate.

The local police are afraid, too.

"We are getting hunted," Dantewada police chief Rahul Sharma told AFP.

The police official says he commands security forces of only 4,000, along with 1,800 temporary village recruits, against a Maoist army of 5,000 backed by a network of 15,000 supporters.

Policemen are regularly killed in ambushes and last month nearly 300 prisoners broke out of Dantewada prison -- including accused Maoists.

"We're at the receiving end," Sharma said. "Look at the state of the police -- they're terrified."

But perhaps no one here is as afraid as the villagers, forced to choose sides in a cauldron of suspicion.

"We used to be together. Now some of us are on one side and some of us on the other. And both have guns," said special police officer Ramesh, 22, adding that the Maoists particularly target tribals like him who guide the police.

"We are a worm that has a chicken grabbing at it from both ends."

Cop shoots self, claims naxal attack


GADCHIROLI: Desperate for a transfer from the naxal-infested part of Vidarbha, a police constable shot himself on Republic Day and tried to project it as a Maoist attack.

A departmental inquiry has been initiated against the constable, a senior police official said, adding that an offence has also been registered against the cop in question since it is a serious matter.

The constable, identified as Anand Kulkarni, 30, is posted in Etapalli village of the district for the last 10 years. He was reportedly disturbed about the health of his parents, residing in Pune.

The young constable created quite a flutter during a sports festival on Republic Day at around 11.45 am, when he limped into the ground from some nearby bushes and shouted that he had been hit by a Maoist’s bullet when he was answering nature’s call.

Police officers who were led to the spot by the injured cop grew suspicious when they found a bullet buried in the ground besides a cartridge, a water bottle and a bullet-riddled handkerchief. Meanwhile the constable was rushed to the District General Hospital.

When questioned at length later about how one bullet ended up buried in the ground, seemingly fired from high in the sky, Anand spilled the beans. He said he had fired a shot into his left thigh and another in the air in a disturbed state of mind.

"He was recently engaged to be married and apparently tried the trick in the hope of getting transferred to his home district," superintendent of police Rajesh Pradhan said. "The constable should have apprised his superiors of his problems through the laid down procedure; he could have received a personal hearing from me," said Pradhan. The SP clarified that a constable recruited in a district is normally supposed to serve his entire tenure there.

Additional superintendent of police, R M Rokde, said that the on-going sports festival was meant to be a confidence-building measure about government schemes in the district.

"The Maoists, who have recently surrendered before the district collector and are being rehabilitated, are specially participating in the festival," he added. Desperate acts committed during such occasions would send a wrong signal, he pointed out.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Reports of Communist Maoists Turning To Cannibalism In Orissa, India

Saturday 19th of January 2008

Maoists are turning cannibals. They eat human flesh to terrorize villagers. This was revealed by the residents of Bandiguda, 45 km from the district headquarters town of Malkangiri. The district police, under the leadership of daredevil SP Satish Kumar Gajbhiye, risked in organizing a community policing programme in a far-flung area, known as the Red Terror Zone of the district. On August 3, 2007, the people of Bandiguda saw Mukunda Madhi of their village being lifted by 'Papular Dalam Commander' Bhagat, as Mukunda was suspected by the Maoists as a police informer.

Next morning, Mukunda was brought back to the village, where he was killed in a most gruesome manner. And Bhagat even ate his flesh as the villagers looked on in horror. The reign of terror forced Mukunda's family members to keep telling the police for several days that he was not at home as he had gone to a relatives house. 'Commander' Bhagat was acting under the orders of Ganapathy, general secretary of the CPI(Maoist), according to sources. The Maoists, who had suspected Mukunda as a police informer, were taking the revenge on him for the arrest of their dreaded colleague Sriramulu Srinivas.

However, January 12 was a totally different day for the village, which is located between Balimela and Bejingwada. Gajbhiye made all efforts to ensure safety for the horror-stricken tribal villagers. With successful confidence-building operations by the police, the tribals came forward to organise a community policing programme in the village. More than 1,500 men, women and children gathered to participate in sports events, a cultural extravaganza and a health camp.

It may be mentioned here that under Security Related Expenditure (SRE) such programmes are being organised in the Maoist-prone district. Earlier, the police endeared themselves to the common men at Salimi and Bonda ghats through such programmes. SDPO Sanjeev Arora also joined the programme at Bandiguda. The lunch was sumptuous and the villagers immensely enjoyed the feast. It was celebration time for the innocent tribals, who have been trying to fight terrorism. Giving out the hard realities about the Maoists, a senior villager said the extremists were initially good as they used to take up their causes and highlight their plights. But they now have turned as a gang of robbers and killers.

The programme was also attended by the family members of Mukunda. Initially, the villagers were reluctant to attend the event, despite wide publicity. However, the crowd grew gradually with all the villagers joining the programme. The eldest resident of the village was felicitated as Bhumiputra along with others, who have extended support for the anti-terrorism drive. The most important aspect of the programme was the daring attitude shown by the district police since the area is considered as a 'den of Maoists'. Policemen and other officials do not even dare to go there in disguise.

Editorial Note
A truly shocking incident taking place in the heart of India. Surprisingly not given due coverage by the left leaning mainstream media, hopefully the state administration and nation in whole will wake up to the evil that engulfs us as we start out this new year.

(PNS 16th January 2008)


Monitor 'red corridor' in NE: Centre

Rituraj Borthakur, Press Trust Of India
Shillong, January 29, 2008
First Published: 11:37 IST(29/1/2008)
Last Updated: 11:38 IST(29/1/2008)

Worried over the gradual extension of the 'red corridor' to the Northeast, the Centre has asked the intelligence agencies to closely monitor the growing network of the Maoists and their nexus with the militant outfits of the region.

"The Home Ministry has sent instructions to the intelligence departments of different security forces, seeking detail information about the network established by the Maoists in several parts of Northeast, especially Assam and Nagaland," a top defence official told PTI here.

The Centre's instruction comes in the wake of a revelation from an arrested senior Maoist cadre in Jharkhand that the rebel group has already formed units in different districts of Assam, including Karbi Anglong and Golaghat.

Defence sources confirmed that CPI-Maoist central committee member Mahru Mahto alias Narayan Mahto, who was arrested in November last from Bokaro, had revealed during interrogation about the growing network of the Maoists in the Northeast, especially in Assam.

What is more worrying, according to the official, is the nexus between the Maoists and some rebel groups of the Northeast like All Adivashi National Liberation Army (AANLA) and the NSCN (IM).

Maoists kill two businessmen in Bihar


Patna : Maoist rebels dragged out two businessmen from their houses and shot them dead in Jamui district of Bihar, the police said Tuesday.

The victims, identified as Vishnudeo and Sukdeo, were killed Monday night at Bamdah Bazaar under Chandramandi police station in Jamui, about 150 km from the state capital here.

"Over 100 armed Maoists stormed Bamdah Bazaar locality and surrounded the houses of Vishnudeo and Sukdeo. They were then dragged out and shot dead," the police said.

The Maoist attack triggered panic among local people who locked themselves in their houses for safety.

Jamui, which is located close to the border with Jharkhand, is considered to be a stronghold of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist.

The police have begun combing operations to track the guerrillas who escaped into the neighbouring forests after the shooting.

Two days ago, a huge cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from a Maoist hideout in Gaya district of the state.

No info on Sambasividu: Jana

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Hyderabad, January 29: Home Minister K Jana Reddy on Monday categorically said that senior Maoist leader Sambasivudu was not in police custody and they had no information on his whereabouts.

‘‘Question of his picking up by the police on Andhra Orissa border recently does not arise,’’ he told reporters here.

Regarding a certain outfit calling itself as ‘‘Blue Tigers’’ which claimed that the Maoist leader was in their ‘‘custody’’ from a public telephone in Khammam and Mahboobnagar districts, the police traced the phone calls and the PCO owners who feigned ignorance on the identity of the callers.

Regarding the gunning down of three former Naxalites by the Maoists in Karimnagar district last week, the Home Minister said that they were resorting to such acts out of frustration and wanted to prove that they were still active.

The Naxal violence is on the wane since last one year as no major untoward incidents took place during this period, he said.

On the allegations levelled against him by the Telugu Desam president Chandrababu Naidu and other political leaders about grabbing of plot adjacent to his residence in Jubilee Hills, he reiterated that he would quit politics if the charges were proved.

When asked about DGP SSP Yadav’s reported refusal to meet family members of Maoist family member Sambasivudu, the Home Minister said that he will verify the same.


Naxalites threaten mining project

29 Jan 2008, 0219 hrs IST,TNN

CHANDRAPUR: Bloodshed in Nandigram over land acquisition for SEZ have sent shock waves throughout the nation -now naxalites in Gadchiroli are trying to exploit the issue to intensify their movements in the district.

The posters pasted by naxals on the gram panchayat buildings at Khutgaon and Mendhatola on Republic Day contained provocative statement, instigating the villagers to rage struggle against the government policy of acquiring land to set up industries.

The posters with slogans such as 'we will not give our land to Capitalists and Imperialists" (Punjipati-Samrajyawadiyon ko apni zameen nahin denge), 'we will sacrifice the lives, but will not leave the land, and take the path of farmers of Nandigram" (Jan denge par zameen nahin denge, Nandigarm ke Kisano ki rah par chalange) has already sent the administration and the police in a tizzy.

While commenting on the issue, SP, Gadchiroli Rajesh Pradhan said, the target of the naxals is to motivate people against the administration. “And this time they chose acquisition of land as an issue.

They are trying to hit the conscience of the locals by bringing in the Nandigram issue, since it is in news for quite some times," he said.

He further added that the members of CPI(Maoist), central committee, circulate such banners and posters to district committee and his department will shortly start investigating into the matter.

He however said that the his department didn’t receive any opposition from the rebels against the Surjagarh mining project in last six months.

Surjagarh region in Etapalli tehsil has vast deposits of iron ore and as many as five companies will be given the mining lease in this area in coming days. However to execute these mining projects the government will need to rehabilitate around 30 villages in the tehsil. This apart, Reliance has plans to set up a cement factory in Gadchiroli in days ahead.