Friday, February 08, 2008

Make Terror Victims the face of Anti-Terrorism Campaign


The Congres it appears is just simply not getting it if this press report is anything to go by.

In a move aimed at turning the tables on the BJP, the Centre on Friday said it would reveal details soon on how the erstwhile NDA government had released the Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru few months before the terror strike.

If yesterday it was that sychophant and clown Abhishek Singhvi making a mockery of Terror Victims pain, today it is that mercenary Sriprakash Jaiswal.

Replying to questions at a press conference, Jaiswal said he would provide ”within 24 hours” the details of Afzal’s arrest and release under the NDA rule two months before the terrorist attack on Parliament.

If only the Congress acted with the same sense of 24 hour urgency to pre-empt attacks and take the battle to the door step of the Terrorists.

The BJP needs to shift gears in its Suraksha Sankalp Yatra. Rather than harp on the delay in hanging Afzal or the scrapping of POTA it needs to make the victims of terrorism the face of its campaign.

Just like the “Know Pratibha Patil” campaign, the BJP must work to bring together all victims and kith and kin of deceased on a common platform of anti-terrorism. By putting a face and name to the nature of Terrorism, the campaign would be much more personalised and potent. Especially given the many Muslim victims of terrorism in recent times it would also raise troubling questions to those who have been pandering and appeasing to that community while doing precious little to deliver real justice.

By making the voice of the Terror Victims and the voice of those brave women and men in uniform who shed their lives fighting terrorism the Anti-Terrorism Campaign will not just have tremendous credibility but it would frame the public debate in the right terms.

It would no longer be about the BJP scoring political points but it would be a Campaign serving National Interest.

Such a campaign would remind the Congress that this is not about a political contest.

Such a campaign will tell the Congress in no uncertain terms that it is the Terrorists against who tables ought to be turned not political rivals.

Such a campaign will deliver the tough message to the Congress that this is not about who has a worse terror record but about the safety and security of the Nation and Justice to the victims.

Offstumped Bottomline: If only the Congress focused on turning tables on the Terrorists instead of the BJP the 200 odd victims of 7-11 in Mumbai and the many terror attacks across the nation would today be resting easy with a sense of justice having been served. By making this about a political contest on who has a worse terror record the Congress has insulted the memory of every one of those brave men and women in uniform who shed their blood defending our freedoms and the memory of those deceased law abiding citizens who defied the fear mongering to go on with their way of life despite terror threats. The victims of terror must speak up and demand answers and justice of the Manmohan Singh UPA Government. Tolerating this delinquency would be fatal to the nation.

Congress’ slap in the face to Terror Victims


209 Mumbaikars died on 11th July 2006 while over 700 were injured.

42 killed over 50 wounded in Hyderabad in August 2007.

Many more dead and wounded in Malegaon blasts, Samjhauta express blasts and the various blasts in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi over the last 3 years.

If you were one of those who lost a loved one or experienced terror first hand and have been staring yourself in the mirror every single day wondering if justice would ever be served, the Congress has provided the answer.

If you are still torturing yourself with questions on why these attacks took place under Manmohan Singh’s watch, the Congress wants you to take comfort in the fact that LK Advani’s track record in preventing terrorist attacks was as bad. You can now sleep tight with the cold comfort that your fate would be no different if the BJP was in power.

If you are still not reconciled to the fact that justice will never be served under the Manmohan Singh UPA Administration, the Congress wants you to take comfort that LK Advani instead of bringing terrorists to justice actually helped release them. That ought to give you peace of mind for even if the Congress brings any terrorist to justice the BJP might just release them, so why bother with justice anyway ?

For the rest of agitated and concerned on when and where the Terrorists might strike next the Congress has a prescription to soothe those anxious nerves. The Congress wants to remind you that it is pointless to fret over the next terror attack for even if the Intelligence Bureau picks an Afzal a few months before a terrorist attack it does little to deter him and his associates from striking. After all despire the best intentions there is only so much the agencies of the state can do to put the fear of god into prospective terrorists.

If all of this is not enough to cure you of your obsessing compulsively on Terrorism remember laughter is the best medicine and who better to administer a dose of it than that inscrutable sycophant, courtier, mercernary and clown Abhishek Singhvi.

It is a different matter that all mass terror attacks took place during the Congress rule and Manmohan Singh despite his insomnia and amnesia finds time to pay lip service to Anti-Terrorismm.

Offstumped hangs its head in shame bowing to all those who have suffered from the Congress’ delinquency in dealing with terrorism.


8 Feb 2008, 0200 hrs IST

A spectre is haunting India, the fear of Maoism. The thought of Maoist guerrillas encircling Indian cities is a fantasy entertained by many people including Maoists and security experts. That more than 150 districts in the country are affected by Maoist violence is touted as an indicator of the spread of Maoist ideology in India.

However, we should pause and look carefully at the numbers. Are all these districts under the effective control of Maoists? Are we looking at a map where Maoists control almost a third of the country?

Maoism is doubtless a threat, but it is hardly the threat it is perceived to be for a variety of reasons. One, Maoists are a strong presence in only a handful of districts and these districts have been outside the pale of the Indian mainstream for a long time.

Two, people in all the Maoist-affected districts have so far actively participated in elections despite the many flaws in the political process.

Three, efforts to spread the Maoist ideology and organisation outside districts that are economically and socially backward have been ineffective. The influence of Maoists is restricted to areas that have a significant tribal population, are usually hilly and forested, and are home to some of the poorest people in the country.

So, there is reason to believe that the right mix of state policies can contain and eventually counter Maoism, which is a rage only in a geographically contiguous slice of central and eastern India.

To start with, the government needs to make itself visible in the region. It has to convince itself that police stations can't be the only symbol of the Indian state. For that, it should begin by revamping the police force.

A modern force equipped with trained personnel, first-rate equipment and skills for intelligence gathering should be in place. At the same time, democratic structures of governance must be made an effective alternative to violence. State-sponsored vigilantism, as in the case of Salwa Judum in Chhattisgarh, promotes a cult of the gun and gives legitimacy to extra-constitutional methods of disbursing justice.

Schools, hospitals, communication facilities and access to markets should be treated as a priority in these areas. At present, few among the local population have a stake in state institutions. That must change.

Maoism can be exposed for the mindless cult of violence that it is only when the merits of a democratic alternative are accepted by the people. A coordinated set of policy options must be put in place to help people relocate to the democratic mainstream even as security measures against Maoists are efficiently tightened.

Madurai: Police on alert following reports maoists movement

Madurai, Feb. 07 Police are keeping a close watch on villages in the hills in Varushanadu, Periyakulam

and Bodinayakanur in Theni district following reports about movement of 'strangers', indicating a possible come back by Maoists in the areas.

According to Police, plainclothes policemen have been deployed in the villages near the hills to prevent

Maoists making a come back into the district.The residents of the villages also had been asked to keep a close watch on the movement of strangers.

A police camp had been set up near Kumbakarai Falls and special teams had been formed to tackle any situation.Check-posts also had been setup in the hilly areas and villages.

Three Maoists were arrested and large quantity of arms had ben seized from them at Marugamalai near Periyakulam about three months ago. - Agencies

Published: Friday, February 08, 2008

Anna’s confession creates fissures in Janmanch

Wednesday February 6 2008 07:00 IST

JAJPUR: Cracks seem to have developed in Visthapan Virodhi Janmanch (VVJM), the forum leading the antiindustrialisation movement in Kalinga Nagar following the revelations made by top Maoist leader Anna Reddy.

Anna, who was arrested along with his two other aides from Kalinga Hospital in Bhubaneswar on January 31, had disclosed before the police that he had links with the Kalinga Nagar tribals and was aiding the tribal movement in the steel hub.

VVJM, which claims to work for the interest of tribals in Kalinga Nagar, may now be linked with the Maoists. In fact, if reports are to be believed, many VVJM activists have reportedly gone underground fearing arrest after Anna’s revelation.

Sources said VVJM founder leader Chakradhar Haiburu (junior) was inclined t owards the Maoists’ organisation and had tried his best to bring VVJM and the Anna-led CPI (ML) Janashakti closer to each other.

VVJM president, Haiburu (senior) denied any links with the Maoists. The VVJM has no links with any Maoist outfit neither in the State nor in the country, he clarified.

Police fail to arrest tribal leader, chased away

Statesman News Service

JAJPUR, Feb. 6: Tension is running high in Kalinga Nagar since yesterday night, after police team who had gone to arrest a tribal leader for being involved in anti-industrialisation movement was reportedly chased away by the tribals.
Sources said that the police entered Chandia village under the Kalinga Nagar police station limit to search for the tribal leader for his allegedly link with the Maoists following the recent revelation made by Anna Reddy. Vistapan Virodhi Jan Manch (VVJM), which has been spearheading movement in the area since the 2 January, 2006 firing in which 14 tribals were killed by police while opposing land acquisition for the Tata steel project, today organised a meeting. They reportedly decided to gherao the police station for entering the village. They also decided to restrict media movement.
Security has been tightened in and around Kalinga Nagar, fearing possible attack of Maoist-supporting tribals to free their leaders.
The Jajpur superintendent of police, Mr DS Kuttey, said that five platoons police have been deployed in and around Kalinga Nagar area. Anna and his aide, Nanika Jamuda were brought to Kainga Nagar police station on a four-day remand for interrogation.

Don't Release Hardened Criminals: Supreme Court

Friday 08th of February 2008

The Supreme Court Friday censured the tendency of political parties in power to remit the sentences of hardened criminals on occasions like Independence Day, saying that even constitutional authorities cannot exercise their power to grant clemency illegally.

While hearing a public interest suit opposing the Andhra Pradesh government's move to free 1,500 prisoners last Independence Day, a bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan also sought the union government's stand on the issue.

The court also threw out the Andhra Pradesh government's plea to let it free the prisoners to mark the country's 60th Independence Day. It had failed to do so following the court's intervention last year.

'These orders (Andhra Pradesh government's) are virtually for wholesale release of prisoners,' said the court censuring the government's order, which had been stayed by the court on Aug 16 last year. The bench also included Justices R.V. Raveendran and J.M. Panchal.

'We know that it (release of prisoners) will be supported by all political parties that will be benefited by it,' said the chief justice.

As the Andhra Pradesh government counsel T.R. Andhyarjuna sought to defend the decision saying it was the governor's constitutional power to grant clemency, the chief justice ticked him off, with: 'Your clemency powers cannot be contrary to the law.'

'All the constitutional powers ought to be exercised in accordance with the law,' snapped the chief justice, adding: 'Let the governor exercise this power, we will see how he can act contrary to the law.'

Slamming the state government bid to free the prisoners, the chief justice said: 'Why are the prisoners in jail? So that people can live in peace.

'How can a person sentenced to life imprisonment be released after remaining in jail for merely six or seven years,' the chief justice asked.

'Normally for the offence of murder, death penalty is awarded. But now the death penalty has almost been abolished and only life sentence is awarded and the prisoners have to be in jail for at least 14 years,' the chief justice said.

He asked the union government's law officer, Solicitor General G.E. Vahanvati, to be present on the next date of hearing in the first week of March, saying: 'Let the union government too be made party to this case. It involves an important question of law.'

On Aug 16 last year, acting on a Pubic Interest Lawsuit by advocate R. Chandrashekhar Reddy, a bench of Justices B.N. Agarwal and D.K. Jain had stalled the state government's move to free 1,500 prisoners.

On Friday, the bench of the chief justice eventually modified the court's order last year and allowed the cases of prisoners with lesser sentences to be examined by the government's screening committee for release.

The bench slammed the state government for dubbing Reddy as a Maoist.

The Additional Superintendent of Police (Operations) of Medak district had on Oct 25 last year issued an order for 'surveillance over movements and activities of advocate Reddy', saying: 'he is among important cadres of cover/front organisations of the Communist Party of India-Maoist'.

'Somebody files a PIL and the next day you put him under surveillance,' remarked the chief justice, and issued notice to the state government seeking its explanation on why Reddy was put under surveillance.

Two killed, three injured in encounter

Giridih (PTI): A CRPF man and a suspected maoist were on Friday killed and three others injured in a fierce encounter that is continuing in the Jaradih forest in Giridih district.

The encounter took place when a group of CPI (Maoist) cadre fired at a police team fatally injuring a CRPF man, Superintendent of Police Muralilal Meena, who led the raid said.

The injured, Bagodar police station incharge Pramod Pandey, Jharkhand police sub-inspector J P Mahto and a CRPF man, were admitted to Bokaro General Hospital, Meena said.

Two CPI(Maoist) cadre, who were injured in the encounter, were arrested and a large quantity of explosives was seized, Deputy Inspector General of Police R K Mullick said.

The encounter was continuing.

No Maoist sympathisers:DGP

Statesman News Service

PARADIP, Feb. 6: The director general of police, Mr Gopal Nanda, today maintained that there is no reason to panic as there are no Maoists sympathizers in Paradip and other parts of the Jagatisnghpur district. In a Press meet, Mr Nanda said that though rapid industrialisation is taking place in Paradip and other parts of the district, there are no Maoist activities.

He said that the Posco steel project will be set up with cooperation of the villagers, but no force will be used for the establishment of the project.
While at present there are 505 police stations in the state, another 1,000 police stations are needed given the rise in population, urbanisation and industrialisation, he said.

Besides the setting of new police stations, the upgrading of the existing ones is also important, Mr Nanda said. The state will soon have five marine police stations.
The DGP reviewed the law and order situation of the proposed Posco area. Later, he held a discussion with the representatives of the different industries, including Posco and officials of the Paradip Port Trust (PPT).

The inspector general of police, Mr Santosh Upadhaya, IG (railways), Mr Gopabandhu Mallick, the district collector, Mr PK Meherda, SP, Mr RK Shrama, and other senior officers were present on this occasion.

Two security men killed in gun battle wit Maoists


Ranchi : At least two security personnel were killed and four policemen injured Friday in a gun battle with Maoist rebels in Jharkhand's Giridih district, a police official said here.

A police patrol was ambushed Friday by the guerrillas of the Communist Party of India-Maoist in the Madhuban forest area of the district, about 300 Km from the state capital here. The gun battle started Friday afternoon and was still going on Friday evening.

"Two security personnel were killed and four others injured in the encounter. We have sent additional forces to counter the Maoist rebels," said R.K. Mallik, spokesperson of the Jharkhand police.

Maoist rebels are active in 18 of the 24 districts of the state.

In last seven years, more than 1,000 people including civilians and Maoist rebels have been killed. Till now 614 civilians and 290 security personnel have lost their lives.

Spies for CRPF? No money

New Delhi, Feb. 7: More foot soldiers for the CRPF, not intelligence.

The finance ministry has shot down the force’s proposal for an intelligence wing, three years after the home ministry cleared the plan. The argument being advanced now is that the expenditure on creating new facilities, including a training school, will be prohibitive.

The refusal comes soon after the home ministry’s decision to raise 39 more battalions, adding to the existing 201. Most of these are engaged in fighting insurgency.

The need for an intelligence wing was strongly felt in Nandigram, where the central force had to entirely depend on local police for information in quelling the violence. “Our responses to the situation suffered because of this (the lack of own intelligence),” a senior officer said.

The problem has also come into focus in Naxalite-affected areas, where casualties in the force have been rising. Of its 201 battalions, 170 have been deployed in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir, the Northeast and states facing the Naxalite threat.

Apparently, the finance ministry has argued that since it is the state governments that requisition the CRPF, the force should use their police’s intelligence network.

Ironically, home minister Shivraj Patil has pointed out that the state intelligence units, on which the CRPF is being asked to depend, themselves need to pull up their socks.

Other crack forces don’t appear similarly hobbled. The Border Security Force’s G-wing is famous for its intelligence network, matching central intelligence agencies in areas that matter the most. In Kashmir, the BSF’s and army’s networks are considered critical to operations.

On the Nepal border, the Sashastra Seema Bal is on the prowl. It was set up in 1963, after the China war, and its Arunachal Pradesh wing is also known to be fairly efficient.

Officials feel a force as big as the CRPF not only requires an intelligence division but also needs to be decentralised and structured along the lines of the army.

Commandants in Naxalite zones have often complained about the lack of financial powers, suggesting that formalities to get basic facilities hampered their operations.

Another Maoist couple gives up

Thursday, 07 February 2008

Karimnagar, February 07: A Maoist harassment, shoots self couple, Ambir Kistaiah alias Shyam and his wife Alam Laxmi aka Sumalatha, have surrendered before Superintendent of Police Y Gangadhar here on Wednesday.

Kistaiah is the commander of the A Section of 15th Platoon, the protection platoon of North Telangana Special Zonal Committee (NTSZC) and his wife, a member of the same platoon.

Kistaiah, who joined the People’s War Group in 1995, worked as Chityal squad and was later elevated as the A section commander in 2003. A native of Kamanpur mandal headquarters in the district, Kistaiah was involved in six exchanges of fire.


Janamanch denies links with Maoists

By Amulya Pati
Jajpur (Orissa), Feb 7: Visthapan Virodhi Janamanch, the umbrella organisation of the tribals opposing displacement owing to industries in Kalinga Nagar, on Friday denied of having any links with the Maoists.

The clarification came in the wake of a statement made by Left wing extremist Anna Ready before the police that he was associated with a leader of the Janamanch.

"The Janamanch members or supporters are in no way involved with any naxal activities and have no link with the naxalites," Rabindra Jarika, general secretary of the Janamanch said at a press conference held at Kalinga Nagar.

"We are not connected with Anna Reddy. We have not seen his face. We even do not know who his supporters are," Jarika maintained.

"It is a conspiracy hatched jointly by the Finance Minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadei and Tata Steel to divide the local tribals who are fighting for their cause," Jarika charged.

The Janamanch has been strongly opposing the setting up of a steel plant by Tata Steel since January 2, 2006 when several tribals were killed in police firing while opposing land acquisition for the proposed steel plant.

More than one thousand activists of the Janamanch attended a meeting in the locality on Thursday and vowed to fight against land acquisition by any means in Kalinga Nagar. It was also resolved that their opposition against the Tata Steel project would continue.

"At any cost we won't give even an inch of land for any industry. We would fight for our cause till we are alive," Jarika said.

"Police have killed 14 of our fellow members. Still another 1400 are ready to sacrifice their lives for the cause we support. We have realised the return given by the steel companies like Mesco, Jindal
and public sector NINL for our land in Kalinga Nagar. So there is no question of giving land," he asserted.

"The persons who were displaced by the steel companies earlier in Kalinga Nagar are leading a pathetic life," Jarika observed.

Factionalism was right in 1968, but not now

Friday February 8 2008 03:54 IST
B Sreejan

T’PURAM: 'Factionalism' is a word that is most hated by CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

But, the veterans in the party still remember a factional fight in the Kannur district conference exactly 40 years ago, which was spearheaded by M V Raghavan. Pinarayi Vijayan, then a youth leader, was MVR’s right hand man in orchestrating a coup in the district committee. Circa 1968.

The CPM was gearing up for the second party congress after the split. A group of hardcore leftists had split away from the party to form the CPI(ML) only the previous year. The idea of Naxalism was a temptation hard to resist for many comrades in the CPM.

The factional fight, which is having the rare distinction of the first of its kind in the history of Kerala unit of the party, took place in the Kannur district conference.

Kannur was the strongest bastion of the party even on those days. As in every other place, there was a clear division among delegates in Kannur also.

Those who had a soft corner to the Naxalist ideology geared up to challenge the moderates in the party. Veteran leader A V Kunhanbu, who was among the 32 comrades who had come out of the CPI national council to form CPM, was the Kannur district secretary.

As per the practice, the state leadership proposed a panel led by A V Kunhanbu. Senior leaders C H Kanaran and Azheekodan Raghavan were in support of that. The opposition to the panel from the pro-Naxal group was voiced by firebrand leader M V Raghavan who challenged it.

He decided to contest against the official panel with a group of young turks. Pinarayi Vijayan was a strong face in the panel, which had the backing of AKG. All in the MVR’s panel won in the voting, giving a rude shock to the state leadership.

But, the state and central leadership of CPM didn’t bother to reconvene that district conference or revise the elected list, helping M V Raghavan to continue as the Kannur district secretary

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Maoists in comeback move in North Telangana

Updated: 02-07-2008

HYDERABAD : The CPI Maoists are planning to comeback with a vengeance in its erstwhile stronghold of Dandakaranya (DK) in the north Telangana region by committing major offences to make their presence felt.

The protection platoon of North Telangana Special Zone Committee (NTSZC) is moving in groups of 25 to 30 members to commit a major offence and regain their lost ground. Later, the platoon committee members would split into smaller groups and move separately to commit offences on individual targets.

These startling revelations were made by Ambir Kistaiah alias Krishna alias Shyam, commander of NTSZC protection platoon, who surrendered along with his wife, Alam Laxmi, a deputy dalam commander of Special Guerrilla Squad, here on Wednesday.

The naxalite commander said that the NTSZC meeting was held in November last and it discussed about the economic support and strengthening of the dalams. He said that there were about 50 naxalites in entire NTSZC including 28 in KKW (Karimnagar, Khammam and Warangal districts).

To a query, the surrendered naxalite said that the Chhattisgarh State police were not alert on par with the Andhra Pradesh police in tackling the naxalite menace. “The police stations in Andhra Pradesh are fortified perfectly to meet any eventuality,” he said.

BJP wins Keshkal assembly bypoll

Raipur (PTI): Ruling BJP on Thursday won the Keshkal Assembly bypoll in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh by a margin of over 21,800 votes, election office sources said on Thursday.

Sewakram Netam of BJP won the by-poll by a margin of 21,880 votes defeating his nearest rival Budhson Markam of Congress, where as all the three independent candidates lost their deposits, sources told PTI by phone from Jagdalpur.

Netam secured 58,362 votes while Markam got 36,476 votes. The independents, Sonu Ram Naik got 7,307 votes, while Nohruram Sorig and Mahesh Thakur polled 3,899 votes and 3,114 votes respectively, sources said.

The bypolls for the Naxal-hit assembly segment, held on February 4, were necessitated after BJP MLA from Keshkal and parliamentary secretary Mahesh Baghel died in a road accident recently.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Close shave for jawans as Naxalites trigger landmine blast

5 Feb 2008, 2332 hrs IST,PTI

BARIPADA (ORISSA): Eight policemen on Tuesday had a narrow escape when landmines planted by Naxalites exploded just after their vehicles passed the spot at Jamapani in Orissa's border with Jharkhand.

The explosion took place soon after the Special Operation Group jawans on four motor-cycles travelled along the place where the Naxalites had planted the landmines on the hilly road at Gorumahisani, Superintendent of Police Dayal Gangwar said.

The extremists present in the surrounding areas opened fire at the SOG personnel, after which the security men retaliated, triggering a gunbattle which continued for over half-an-hour, he said.

The exchange of fire stopped when the Naxalites escaped into Jharkhand. No security man suffered any injury in the gunbattle while it could not be ascertained if the ultras had suffered any casualty.

Combing operation and patrolling have been launched in the area to keep a tab on the movement of the Naxalites, he said.

Party supporters arrested

Statesman News Service

SILIGURI, Feb. 5: Incidents of violence rocked Siliguri and some areas of Jalpaiguri district today, as agitating Forward Bloc (FB) supporters clashed with police and ransacked government property at a number of places. A large number of FB supporters were arrested throughout Siliguri and Jalpaiguri district. They entered into a scuffle with the police in Siliguri after news of the Dinhata police firing in which 4 supporters were shot dead reached here.

According to Forward Bloc leadership, 12, 000 party supporters were arrested in Jalpaiguri district and over 400 in Siliguri. Around 10,000 FB supporters were arrested from Jalpaiguri town.

According to the FB leader and former MLA, Mr Gobinda Roy, the police ruined the prospects of a peaceful movement by killing four supporters in Dinhata. “We had issued strict instruction to our supporters to remain peaceful during the stir. We had also cautioned them against provocation, but the police seemed to have other ideas,” Mr Roy said.

In Siliguri, a scuffle broke out between FB supporters and police near the Siliguri court in which over 400 activists were arrested. Condemning the Dinhata incident, the Darjeeling district FB president, Mr Smritish Bhattacharya, said that the Dinhata firing incident is a slur on the image of the Left Front. “Buddha babu’s police have become desperate to finish off political dissident. We will not pardon them," Mr Bhattacharya said.
Three Naxalite factions, the CPI-ML, CPI-ML (Liberation) and the CPI-ML (Santosh Rana) have condemned the police firing at Dinhata and supported tomorrow's bandh call by the Forward Bloc

Congress responsible for inaction in Afzal Guru case: Advani

Posted February 6th, 2008 by Mohit JoshiBJP L K Advani India Jabalpur Jabalpur, Feb 6

: Leader of Opposition L K Advani on Wednesday criticised the Congress-led UPA Government for not putting Afzal Guru – the main convict in the Parliament attack case – to gallows.

Addressing a rally in Jabalpur as part of his Sankalp yatra despite terror threats to his life, Advani said: “Six years after the attack on the Indian Parliament, justice is yet to be done. The apex court of the country had awarded a death sentence to Afzal Guru, but he is yet to be hanged.”

“The Congress Government at the Centre will be held accountable for its inaction in the Afzal Guru case”, he added.

Advani demanded urgent explanation from Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, as to why his government was not implementing the orders of the Supreme Court.

He urged the UPA Government to respect the apex court’s verdict, and added that it will give a moral boost to the kith and kin of all the martyrs who laid their life while protecting the Parliament.

Advani assured the gathering that his party will resolve ongoing border disputes with neighbouring states like China and Pakistan.

Commenting on cross border terrorism and naxal violence, he lashed out at the Congress leadership for not dealing strongly with the issue.

Advani said that Jihadi terrorism and Maoist violence are biggest threats to the country.

He asked the Congress-led UPA Government to explain what steps have been taken to stop infiltrators from Bangladesh.

Stressing that the BJP will adopt a zero tolerance policy in dealing with terrorism, Advani blamed the Congress party for reducing the country’s image to that of a soft state.

He called upon the Congress-led ruling coalition to introduce stringent laws to deal with terrorism, while indicting it for not having a clear policy to fight terrorism in the country.

Earlier, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan met Advani on Tuesday and asked him to cancel his planned rallies across India due to security threats. The BJP then cut short his programme to three rallies.

Advani was to address 13 rallies in 12 states. It changed after Narayanan met Advani and told him that in January arrested Huji militants confessed targeting him.

Intelligence intercepts from LoC say that Advani could be the target of five terror modules.

Last month, intelligence agencies had warned BJP President Rajnath Singh that he is being targeted by Pakistan-based terrorists, which led the Centre to ask the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Government in Uttar Pradesh to beef up his security.

Both Advani and Singh have Special Protection Group and Z-plus security with National Security Guard cover.

The BJP has maintained that the UPA Government at the Centre does not having a clear policy to fight terrorism in the country.

The party has repeatedly called on the Congress-led ruling coalition to introduce stringent laws to deal with terrorism. (ANI)

Bangalore: Anti-Terrorist Force Caught in Red Tape

Bangalore: Anti-Terrorist Force Caught in Red Tape

Ramu Patil/Newindpress

Bangalore, Feb 6: Despite terror threatening to raise its ugly head in our backyard, a proposal to raise an Anti-Terrorist Commando Force (ATCF) in Karnataka remains entangled in red-tape.

Former Chief Minister SM Krishna had first made a proposal in the 2003 state budget (when he was CM) to raise the ATCF. This, over two years before the December 2005 terror attack at IISc.

During Dharam Singh’s regime it was partially approved and the Karnataka State Reserve Police Force (KSRP) was asked to raise the Force.

“The partial approval was the problem. Government asked the KSRP to raise the special force on the lines of NSG and SPG and rejected its request to give same privileges to the members of the force.

The privileges were meant to motivate quality KSRP personnel to volunteer for ATCF, but the government did not agree,” a senior police officer told this website’s newspaper.

“That was the reason why the force has remained on paper till date,” the officer added.

Sources said the KSRP asked for additional insurance cover, Rs 10 lakh exgratia and 50 per cent additional salary to the members of the commando force.

“NSG and SPG personnel get all these privileges. When we expect people to be part of a risk scenario, we need to give them these things and motivate them,” sources said.

Even Karnataka’s Anti-Naxal Force are given some of these facilities. However, it is very little compared to what the State Police is asking for the ATCF.

“The ANF gets 50 per cent more on their basic salary and what is being asked for the ATCF is 50 per cent more on their gross salary. The insurance cover and exgratia amount for the ANF is also too little,” sources said.

As per the ATCF proposal, the KSRP are expected to raise a unit comprising 120 personnel trained with NSG, SPG, Army and Paramilitary forces. Based in Bangalore, the team will be called in to deal with terror-related situations.

Currently, such situations are tackled by NSG commandos who have to be flown in from New Delhi in the shortest possible time. But that still takes time, and damage could have been caused by the time the NSGs arrive.

Therefore, the need for ATCF in Karnataka itself, sources said. Additional Director General of Police (KSRP) A R Infant said the ATCF proposal is still before the government. “Once approved we will raise the force,” he added.

Replicate Greyhound Commandos In Other States: YSR (Interview)

Tuesday 05th of February 2008

To counter the spread of Maoist violence in the country, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S.R. Reddy believes the 'Greyhound commando experience' in his state must be replicated in other affected states.

'It has worked well in the state and I think the time has come where the Greyhound experience must be replicated elsewhere. Strong policing with an effective socio-economic programme is the answer,' Reddy, addressed commonly as YSR, told IANS in an interview here.

'As far as I see it, things are more or less under control. Every now and then, they (Maoists) indulge in high-profile attacks but that is just to show their token presence,' said YSR.

The Greyhounds, an elite commando force of Andhra Pradesh that was raised in 1989, have been dealing effectively with Maoist extremist violence and the force has acquired credibility in anti-extremist operations.

Only the best policemen of Andhra Pradesh make it to the Greyhound squad, which is one of the highest paid in the country - even better than the elite National Security Guard.

The state has been a long-time guerrilla hotbed but in the last two years, the elite force prowling the backcountry and supported by paid informants at the village level have managed to arrest or kill several top rebels.

The force, which numbers around 2,000 in the state, moves around in small bands of 15-25 commandos. They are specially trained for deep forest pursuit and combat.

Over the past two years, the rebel ranks have fallen from around 1,000 hardcore members to some 400 today, according to YSR.

'As I have been stressing, Naxal politics revolves around rural and land related issues. Hence, a streamlined strategy and a national agenda are also required to deal with the problem,' YSR said.

Recently, he formed a Land Commission and a separate department called Remote and Interior Area Development.

'These beginnings could become effective if we carry them forward them till the confidence of the poor and marginalized is regained because these measures attempt at dealing with the basic problems of Naxalite movement at present.'

'Under-development, poverty and unemployment have been the breeding ground for the Naxal movement.'

In 2006, Maoist rebels killed political leaders, including Telugu Desam Party leader T. Nageswar Rao and Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) district committee leader Rupu Reddy Ravinder Reddy.

Last year, former chief minister N. Janardhan Reddy and his wife Rajyalakshmi escaped unhurt while three Congress workers were killed in a Maoist attack in Nellore district.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has on several occasions referred to the Maoist threat as the country's most serious internal security challenge. Home ministry reports indicate that armed Maoists numbering nearly 10,000 have a presence in 170 districts in 15 states of the country, as of now, and spreading far and wide.

YSR also pointed out that he would not want to initiate peace talks with the armed rebels as he had done in September 2004. 'They refuse to lay down their arms. It won't work if I start another round,' he added.

Armed rebels were splintered into various armed factions, of which the biggest were the People's War Group and the Maoist Communist Centre. These merged and formed the Communist Party of India-Maoist in September 2004 even as YSR held abortive peace talks with local leaders.

(Murali Krishnan can be contacted at

Naxal menace: Forest dept’s attitude flayed

Wednesday February 6 2008 08:24 IST
Express News Service

MADIKERI: The negligent attitude of the Karnataka Forest Department will help the naxals have their base in the Pushpagiri Hills, alleged Coorg Western Ghat Inhabitants Rehabilitation Organisation convener K U Ravi Thammaiah.

Addressing the media here on Tuesday, Thammaiah said that a group of thirteen naxals were sheltered in the Western Ghats of Kodagu for the last two to three months.

Despite it was brought to the notice of the Forest department, it didn’t initiate any action against them, he charged.

“The Forest department has converted 8,000 acres of revenue land as forest land at the Pusphagiri Wildlife division by erecting boards throughout the areas in Hammiyaala, Mandalapatti and Mukkoldu villages of Madikeri taluk.

Eventhough, the High Court has directed to maintain status quo, the department has violated the court directions,” he said.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Why should family of terrorists get compensation?

By a Special Correspondent

As though tackling terrorism was not enough, now comes another move which definitely borders on the ridiculous and the extent to which policy of appeasement is being carried by the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre, which is to support the kin of terrorists killed in Jammu and Kashmir.

There could be no better ammunition for the Opposition, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to buttress its argument that the ruling UPA has been soft on terrorism than by undertaking such an exercise.

The UPA government soon after coming to power did away with POTA describing it as being aimed at a particular community.

And now this move could only make matters worse in the country where the threat from terrorists has been growing almost day by day and till date no firm action has been taken nor any terrorist of repute been caught by the government.

The argument maybe that the kin has nothing to do with the killed terrorist but it definitely would encourage more youngsters to take to the gun against the State as their families would be supported by the State in case of their death.

With the elections to the J&K Assembly slated for later this year, what better sop to get votes than this.

It is definitely a ridiculous extent to which “policy of appeasement is being carried on by the government,” and if such a policy is put in place, it would only encourage growth not only in terrorism in J & K but also groups like Naxalites and Maoists whose families can demand compensation.

This recommendation by the working group on J & K has been justified by Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad whose line of argument is that the dependents of terrorists killed in police encounters should not be victimised and instead be rehabilitated so as to wean them away from militancy.

However, the move has been opposed by senior security personnel who say that when families of their personnel killed in encounters with terrorists are not adequately compensated then why should the members of families of those who have taken the violent path be given State support.

As one official said “such a move would only encourage more and more youth of the State to take to arms and follow the jihadi path in the knowledge that their families would be taken care of in case they are killed.”

As security personnel argued “why doesn’t the government first think of bringing the allowances of our men deployed in J&K on par with that in the Army?”

As security agencies rightly argue that extending relief to the dependents of Kashmiri terrorists would open a Pandora’s Box with the relatives of naxalites and the insurgent groups in North East states also seeking compensation.

The argument would be that the widows and orphans of militants should not be punished for no fault of theirs for after all they did not break the law but it was one of their kin.

Ironically, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had chaired a meeting to consider at the highest level such a suggestion but it continued to drag its feet over the demand of para-military forces for exemption from the new pension scheme.

India struggles for strategy in war on Maoists

10 hours ago

DANTEWADA, India (AFP) — Combining violence with rhetoric that appeals to the hundreds of millions living in poverty, India's Maoist rebels have left the government looking for an effective counter-insurgency strategy.

The dilemma boils down to two options: strike the militants hard in their strongholds or address the abject poverty that has created fertile ground for the Naxals, as the Maoists are known.

India says it is fighting on both fronts against what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called the greatest threat to domestic security. But observers say it is making little headway on either.

"The effective force actually engaging Naxals is not more than 1,800 to 2,000," said Ajai Sahni, executive director of the New Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management.

The numbers are quickly diluted in the epicentre of the Maoist conflict -- a 40,000-square-kilometre (15,500 square mile) heavily forested region in central Chhattisgarh state.

Police officials in the largely tribal region that includes Dantewada and four other districts, put the figures slightly higher -- but not by much.

According to Dantewada police chief Rahul Sharma, the area can count on about 15,000 paramilitary and state police personnel, although he admitted about half are engaged at any time in fighting a Maoist army of 5,000.
Estimates of the rebel army size nationwide range between 10,000 and 20,000.

Sharma said authorities in Chhattisgarh state have asked for at least 70,000 more police to knock out the guerrillas, but reinforcements are slow to arrive.

"This is their main belt," said Sharma. "If they are beaten here they have nowhere else to go."

Many, however, question whether simply dispatching more troops is the answer.

"If you have to put out a fire you have to remove the fuel first," said Dantewada social worker Himanshu Kumar. "Naxals get their fuel from government policies that are increasing the problems of the poor."

Their pro-poor platform is why Delhi is so worried about the Naxals, even though the 834 people killed in the 13 states that reported Maoist-related violence last year looks small when compared with the toll in Indian-ruled Kashmir.

But while the pool for converts to the Kashmir insurgency is limited, the Maoists could potentially attract millions of poor.

Rural tribal villagers in mineral-rich Chhattisgarh have no more than 35 cents a day to spend, the lowest level of any state in the country, according to official data released in January.

Their bare-bones existence largely involves gathering and selling leaves for Indian "beedi" cigarettes 12 hours a day -- a far cry from the boom being experienced in other parts of the country.

It is also far removed from the millions being made from the iron ore mined and smelted in Chhattisgarh before being sent to Japan.

India has further plans to mine its mineral wealth in the hinterland, with several companies setting up big plants, but analysts say these mega-projects will do little for the poor and may even displace them, leaving them worse off.

Such contradictions of modern India are being played up by the Maoists -- now reported to be spreading operations across the east and even in states around the capital New Delhi.

"We are seeing a process of very systematic extremist mobilisation which will translate into violence over the next five to 10 years," said analyst Sahni.

"You are talking about 10 percent (economic) growth, where 77 percent of the Indian population -- that is 836 million -- is living on less than 20 rupees a day, which is 50 cents," he said.

"The Maoists understand the contradiction."

Four Naxals held in Andhra

Posted at Tuesday, 05 February 2008 09:02 IST

Hyderabad, Feb 5: Four Naxalites, three of them from Chhattisgarh, were arrested while a woman was beaten to death by ultras in separate incidents in Andhra Pradesh.

Three Naxals, including a self-styled commander of Kunta platoon, were nabbed in the wee hours in Gathumalla forest in Khammam district bordering Chhattisgarh, police said.

The ultras, belonging to Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district, were identified as 'commander' Madkam Kosa alias Gangu, Deva and Sanna, police said.

Another Naxalite, Thummala Bhagavanthu alias Narsimha (35), a member of banned CPI (Maoist), was caught in Mahabubnagar district, they said. A 303 rifle, 55 live rounds and Rs 20,000 in cash were recovered from his possession.

Narsimha, 'commander' of Kalwakurthy dalam (group), was active in the Nallamala forest. He had joined the Naxal movement in 1989 and was involved in over 90 offences, including murders, they said.

A woman was beaten to death in Warangal district by extremists of Pratighatna group who suspected her to be a police informer, police said quoting reports reaching here.

About 10 Naxals went to Muttapuram village late last night and called P Sharda (28) out of her house.

Sharda, who ran a grocery shop in the village, was beaten to death by the ultras, police added.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Army to track Naxals, but not crack down


New Delhi, Feb. 4: The armed forces will keep a covert eye on Maoist rebels but not march into “Red” districts.

The military is training nearly 14,000 state and central police troops for counter-Naxalite operations in 12 states.

The air force has sent two unmanned spy planes to track down rebels in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. And the army has instructed its Central Command to draft strategies in the fight against the Maoists.

But defence minister A.K. Antony today insisted that the armed forces would not be deployed in zones where the rebels are active. “If we start using the army for every situation, it will become like another police or paramilitary force,” he said.

No appeal for the deployment of the army has been made publicly by affected states. But within the security establishment — including at an army commanders’ conference last year — a close watch is being kept on rebel activity.

The army has trained 13 companies and four core groups of the Central Reserve Police Force for Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

It also actively supports a counter-insurgency school in Kanker, Chhattisgarh, run by retired brigadier B.. Ponwar, who specialised in jungle warfare. The school is the main training ground for the state and central police forces.

But army headquarters and the defence ministry do not want the training courses they run to be made public. “I am totally opposed to the army being used against Naxalite elements. The army should be called in only as a last resort,” Antony said.

“Of course, we will support with logistics and with training. It (the army) is already coming to the aid of civil authorities.”

Army headquarters and its Allahabad-based Central Command have been keeping track of Naxalite activity ever since Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in 2006 that he considered the rebels the main threat to internal security.

The Central Command made a presentation on Naxalites at a commanders’ conference last year. The air force also moved two Israeli-made unmanned aerial vehicles to the Central Command area to help the police.

Brazen Chariots

The Indian Army will hold one of its biggest firepower demonstrations on March 19 in Pokhran in west Rajasthan.

Exercise Brazen Chariots will project the army’s effort to evolve a “manoeuvre warfare doctrine”. The army’s gun missile systems and T-90 tanks on the ground will be supported by the IAF’s Jaguar, MiG 27, MiG 21 Bison and Sukhoi 30 Mki aircraft from the air.

The army will invite defence attaches of “friendly foreign countries” to witness the demonstration.

The demonstration is an annual feature — defence attaches were invited for the first time last year — but the combination of combat equipment this year would be on a much larger scale.

The exercise will also showcase newly acquired electronic intelligence equipment like the battlefield surveillance system and the force multiplier command post

Incompetence - The new benchmark for social deprivation

So what is “Merit” anyway ?

If the CPI-Mafioso were to have its way it would give constitutional sanction to this new perverse definition according this to PTI report.

The CPI(M) on Saturday sought withdrawal of the government’s reported decision to set the criteria of 60 per cent marks for scheduled caste and tribe students to get post-metric scholarships, saying it was against the norms of social justice.

So what rationale is the CPI-Mafioso offering for this perversity.

“The Finance Ministry and Planning Commission who are instrumental in pushing for this decision are trying to impose their flawed understanding to cut subsidies, in this instance at the cost of dalit and tribal students,” the party Polit Bureau said in a statement here.

So let us get this right here. According to the CPI-Mafioso the Finance Ministry is trying to impose its “flawed understanding”.

So what would this “flawed understanding” be ?

That merit ought not to be measured by performance. Perhaps the flaw in understanding according to the CPI-Mafioso is not about performance being the criteria for merit but that SC/ST students dont perform.

So to all those SC/ST students who have been working hard to perform and realize their aspirations, the message from the CPI-Mafioso is very clear. It does not believe you are good enought to compete. It believes that the majority of you under-perform. Hence it does not want performance to be the criteria to assess merit.

How do you like being stereotyped, undermined in this manner ?

Well thats not all, the CPI-Mafioso wants to go further here.

Observing that the percentage of such students in professional institutions was already “dismally low”, it said such a decision was “against the norms of social justice” and would “lead to further marginalisation” of students belonging to the oppressed sections.

Demanding withdrawal of the decision, the party urged the government to bring an appropriate central legislation to bring private institutions under social control in key areas like fees and admissions.

So to the CPI-Mafioso Social Justice is not about ensuring more opportunities for SC/ST students to realize their aspirations but it is merely about making up numbers.

The CPI-Mafioso’s true intentions become clear with these remarks from Brinda Karat.

“This is part of the government’s drive to enforce subsidy cuts which will be at the cost of the dalit and tribal students. It is highly objectionable,”

This is not about Social Justice anymore. This is about making the SC/ST students dependent on its brand of entitlement so it can use them as a vote bank.

Offstumped Bottomline: Beware of the Communist bearing entitlements in the name of Social Justice. For these entitlements will lead to a perverse state of affairs where Incompetence becomes the new benchmark for Social Deprivation. The War on Social Justice must continue until the Congress’ brand of Communal Socialism and the Communist Culture of Entitlement have been soundly defeated.

Is the Indian Right upto the challenge ?

Tribals being used by naxalites

Monday, 04 February 2008


Nizamzbad, February 04: Deputy Inspector General of Police K. Rajaratnam Naidu has observed that the Manala area in Kammarpally mandal is deprived of any sort of development all these years as it had been in the grip of naxalites.
The tribal people who constitute a major chunk of population in the area were used by naxalites for their violent activities keeping them away from mainstream life.

Opening the mega health camp jointly conducted by the district police and the Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad at this village, tucked away in a hilly and forest region abutting Karimnagar border, some 110 km from the district headquarter, he appealed to the tribal youth not to fall prey to the naxalism.

The Government is committed to the welfare of tribal people and introduced several programmes which started yielding results.

The Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s visit to the area in April last year instilled confidence among the people of the backward region, he added.

Unlike the past the police now have been actively involving in social service activities like conducting health camps, donating blood and so on apart from discharging their regular duties.

Thus, the police personnel became closer to the people, he said.

About 5,000 tribal and general people belonging to Manala and peripheral villages attended the mega health camp in which nine expert doctors from Yashoda Hospitals examined the patients suffering from different ailments.

Medicines worth Rs.3 lakh were distributed free of cost to the patients.

Banswada MLA Bajireddy Govardhan attended as the chief guest.


Police arrest woman Naxal

Statesman News Service
KEONJHAR, Feb. 3: Three days after the arrest of the top extreme Left wing leader, Anna Reddy and his three associates, Keonjhar police have arrested a woman extremist, Sukumari Munda, (25) on 1 February.

Sources said that Harichandanpur police and the special operation group (SOG) went to Kadua Sahi of Kharaba village under the Harichandanpur police station area and arrested Sukumari, the daughter of Mangulu Munda. She had been recently expelled from a Left wing outfit.

Sukumari provided information about the activities of the outfit in the district. When she was shown Anna Reddy’s photograph on a local daily, Sukumari recognized him and told police that he frequently visited the Keonjhar district camp. She also told that there are about 50 cadets in 3 different camps. The camp where she was kept had 10-15 members.

Regarding Sukumari's role in Naxalite activities, Harichandanpur IIC, Mr Binesh Kumar Behera, said that she was not involved in any operation in the district.
It has been alleged that Sukumari had herself surrendered. She used to work as a cook. After using her services, the radicals had sent her back home on 23 January.When Sukumari returned, the villagers treated her family as an outcast. To clear up the situation, her mother encouraged her to surrender. The superintendent of police, Mr Yatindra Koyal, said Sukumari did not come to Harichandanpur police station on her own. So, there is no question of her surrender. The police arrested her from her village. He also said that police have received valuable information from Sukumari. Anadi Munda, (35) of Bani Tanger has been arrested. In 2001, Anadi was arrested for his involvement in Naxalite activities, but was released on bail after three and a half years.

Army can't be deployed to contain naxal threat: Antony

New Delhi (PTI): Government on Monday ruled out deployment of Army to contain rising naxal violence in the country, saying the forces' hands were already full.

"I am totally opposed to army being moved against naxal elements", Defence Minister A K Antony said, adding "Army cannot be used against everything....the forces are already coming in aid of civil authorities".

"Army should be called in only as a last resort", the Minister said in reply to questions on a sidelines of a Defence Financial Controllers' conference here.

However, Antony said the forces would not shy away in containing the menace and were already providing logistic support and training to police forces of naxal-affected states.

"Taking on the naxalites is the role of the police forces and whenever need arises para-military forces can be deployed", the Defence Minister said.

On recurring mishaps involving naval warships and submarines, Antony said "naval authorities had been asked to take necessary precautions to ensure that accidents do not happen as weapon platform come at a premium price tag".

He described the deaths of sailors on board the Navy's latest acquisition INS Jalashwa as "tragic and sad".

"Though preliminary reports suggest that the deaths occurred due to gas leaks", the Minister said investigations were on to unravel the cause of the mishap.

Asked about the reasons behind the recent spate of accidents involving naval warships - sinking of INS Prahar off the Goa coast and recent collision between the kilo class submarine and a merchant ship off Mumbai coast, the Defence Minister said these were all being probed.

He said recently navy had initiated a programme to upgrade the technical skills of its personnel in view of the top grade technology being inducted as part of its modernisation drive.

Turning to cross-border infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir, he said there was not much variation in the situation on the borders. "The situation by and large is peaceful and well under control".

On suicides and cases of fratricides in the armed forces, the minister said "there have been some visible improvements, though one should not expect miracles to happen in a short time".

"Our counselling efforts and other moves seems to be having an effect", the minister added.

The Defence Minister Mr. A. K. Antony said, the government attaches utmost importance to the welfare of ex-servicemen in the country. Inaugurating a three day conference of Controllers of the Defence Accounts Department in the capital, he urged the officers to meet the requirements of retired defence personnel sensitively and with a human approach. He said, besides managing , monitoring and auditing the defence budget of the country, it is equally important for the defence accounts department to see that the allocated funds are spent in accordance with the financial prudence. On the question of delegation financial powers to the three services, the Defence Minister said that the services should sit together with the accounts department to find practical solutions to the long pending demands.
Earlier, the Minister of State for Defence Mr. M. M. Pallam Raju said that greater thrust must be given for training in financial and auditing skills. He said, around 22 lakh ex-servicemen must get their pension and other benefits without any hassles and urged for the computerization and modernisation of the defence accounts department.

Speaking on the occasion, the Defence Secretary Mr. Vijay Singh urged the department to imbibe the best international practices in auditing and accounting besides optimum promotion of human resource development.

The government today said that it is totally opposed to the direct involvement of army for operations against the naxals. Talking to reporters on the side lines of a function in New Delhi, the Defence Minister Mr. A. K. Antony said, army should be used as a last resort for such insurgencies. He said the state police and para military forces are taking appropriate action against the naxalites. Replying to a question that the naxal menace has even spread to south India including in the state of Kerala, Mr. Antony said, at best the army can provide logistic support to the state machinery like training and other facilities to fight naxalism.
In reply to a question, the Defence

Minister said that an inquiry is on to ascertain details about the death of five Sailors on board the INS Jalashwa. Describing the accident as painful, he said the deaths were caused due to leakage of the gas. He said the Navy is taking all precautionary measures to prevent such incidents in future. On the question of infiltration across the border, Mr. Antony said, not much variations are being noticed but he added that by and large the border is peaceful. Expressing happiness over the counselling programme in the Defence forces, the Minister said that the suicide rates as well as the cases of mental disturbances are coming down.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Naxals gain, cops grapple


Cuttack, Feb. 3: Maoists are expanding their capabilities and operations while police are grappling with shortage of manpower and inferior infrastructure.

This was the summary of the two-day Orissa Senior Police Officers’ Conference, which ended here on Saturday.

Naxalism and the fact that the police are virtually dealing with the rebels on a daily basis in at least eight of the 30 districts in Orissa figured prominently at the conference, which was attended by about 80 IPS officers.

Explaining about the objective of the conference, inspector-general of police Satyajit Mohanty said: “Field officers were allowed to share their experiences and problems so as to take a holistic approach to solve the issues.”

Superintendents of police of the Naxalite-affected districts complained of serious shortcomings in communication facilities. Even the hand-held, battery-operated gadgets are reportedly not functioning properly.

The rebels have evidently spread their operations to Malkangiri, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Dhenkanal and Angul. They have also penetrated major development project areas in Jajpur and Jagatsingpur to foment revolts by taking advantage of displacement and rehabilitation issues, according to reports.

However, director-general of police Gopal Chandra Nanda said Naxalite problem was “under control” in Orissa. “We are facing a little trouble in the southern districts as some areas there are inaccessible. But we will tide over them soon,” Nanda said.

Senior officers discussed the problems with chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who attended the valedictory session of the conference on Saturday. Sources said Naveen promised a hike in homeguards’ budgetary provision and also that at least 40 outposts would be made police stations. He also gave the green signal for 30 more police stations.

The state has 482 police stations but senior officers said they feel there should be at least 1,000.

Guerilla warfare training for cops to combat Naxals

Sunday February 3 2008 10:43 IST

S Irshad Ahamed

THANJAVUR: Close on the heels of the recent crackdown on the Maoists in Varusandu and Murugamalai hills of Theni district, a 10-day intensive guerilla warfare training programme has begun for the 320 cops in the seven districts falling under the Central Zone.

A senior police official said interrogation of the arrested Maoist had revealed that they had planned to give arms training to the naxalites in various forests across the state.

The police had decided to equip the cops on a par with the Tamil Nadu Special Task Force (STF) personnel, an elite commando unit formed for combating insurgency in the state.

As part of the training programme, the commandos of the elite STF would provide specialised training such as sophisticated arms training, combing operation in reserve forests, setting up of temporary tents and bunkers to the 320 cops.

In each district, at least 40 cops, including 10 armed reserve police, would be provided training in the reserve forests located in their respective districts.

The training is provided to the cops at Puliyancholai in Tiruchy district, at Narthamalai in Pudukkottai district, Ponnaniyaru dam in Karur district, Naranamangalam in Perambalur district, Thachchankurichi in Thanjavur district and at Kodiyakkarai for the police serving in Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts, sources added.

Indian Maoists extend network to Myanmar

Daily Times , Pakistan

By Iftikhar Gilani

NEW DELHI: India’s Intelligence agencies here have revealed that armed Maoists, active in almost 11 provinces have extended their network to Myanmar.

Sources said that major raids conducted on Maoists in the densely forested tribal region of Bastar in Chhattisgarh in central India has revealed for the first time that the red corridor network goes not only up to Nepal but it also extends to Myanmar where they have struck links with the foreign terrorist groups through their North-eastern connections. Their links up to Myanmar is a matter of serious concern for the Home Ministry as it may fire up the northeast where the local rebel groups have already become more aggressive and active in the recent times. The rebels that regularly pour in from the Naxal-affected states, however, show that the Naxals will continue to spread their network unless they are tackled effectively in Chhattigarh that has become their breeding ground, with an estimated 20,000 cadres holed up in dense forests to make forays to other states.

After every major attack, these cadres run back to Chhattisgarh’s forests that provide them the best protection from the security forces, the home ministry officials admit. After two years of the security operations mounted against them in the state, officials admit that it would take many more years before the Naxals can be weeded out from the region. According to them, 16 out of 20 police districts in Chhattisgarh are Naxal affected and the rule of law does not exist in many parts of the state controlled by the rebels.

The state government officials are helplessness to establish the writ of the government as the Maoists fight the security forces with sophisticated Kalashnikov rifles and remote-controlled devices to blow off the search parties.

CPI appeals to Naxals to contest polls


Dantewada, (CG) Feb 2 Appealing to Naxalites to enter the poll arena in Chhattisgarh on the lines of Nepal, the CPI has urged the Raman Singh-led BJP government to initiate dialogue with the ultras in order to bring them back to the mainstream.

A resolution in this regard was adopted at the CPI’s two-day Dantewada district conference that concluded at Dhurli village today. Briefing reporters, CPI’s state secretary, Mr C L Patel and national executive member, Mr Chittaranjan Bakshi said the conference appealed the Naxalites to join the electoral battle.

It urged the Chhattisgarh government to suspend the anti-naxal ‘Salwa Judum’ movement launched since June, 2005 and invite the Naxalites for talks through some NGO as mediator. “Peace in Naxal-hit areas could be restored only after the ultras were brought to negotiating table”, said Mr Bakshi.

Declining to play the role of mediator due to ideological differences, the CPI leader said some NGOs were ready to act as mediator. Stating that backwardness and poverty led to the growth of Naxalism in the state, Mr Bakshi said the state government should initiate programmes for all-round development of the backward region. “The government is responsible for the backwardness,” he said, adding the government should also facilitate the return of tribals, given shelter in relief camps, to their native villages.

The conference also opposed preparation of voters lists at relief camps, where those displaced due to the ‘Salwa Judum’ movement had been given shelter. It took exception to preventing senior CPI leader, Mr Gurudas Das Gupta from addressing a public meeting at Lohandiguda.

Residents of about 600 villages and hamlets in Dantewada had been given shelter in about 23 relief camps close to police stations. About 300 schools in these villages had been closed down and teachers attached with the relief camps.

Rural economy is in shambles with fields left uncultivated and domestic cattle let loose in forest or sold in panic after the villagers were caught in hostilities between Naxals and government-supported Salwa Judum volunteers.

Children housed in relief camps were covered under the mid-day meal scheme meant for school children, while other camp inmates were initially given subsidised foodgrain as ration. Now they eke out a living by working in construction works occasionally.

GoM to look at demands of para-military forces

Press Trust of India
Sunday, February 3, 2008 (New Delhi)
The demand for separate hardship and counter-insurgency allowances to para-military personnel will come up for fresh scrutiny at a meeting later this month of a Group of Ministers (GoM).

The GoM, headed by Union Minister Pranab Mukherjee, will meet here on February 11 to consider the demand of the central para-military forces to treat them at par with the army, whose personnel are treated differently in matters pertaining to their post-retirement benefits.

They want their pension scheme to be commensurate with their difficult service conditions.

The last meeting of the GoM was held on August 31, last year but no decision was taken in this regard. It was only decided that the present pension benefits would continue till further orders.

Facing the brunt of terrorism and insurgency in several states, paramilitary forces CRPF and BSF have sought grant of special allowances for their personnel to compensate the risk factor.

The demands are among a host of proposals submitted by the forces, engaged in counter insurgency operations in the North-East, Jammu and Kashmir and Naxal-hit states, before the Sixth Pay Commission.

The suggestions, aimed at attaining parity with the Army, include increase of disability pension for injured personnel, hike in percentage of family pension paid to widows and change in pension rules.
The BSF has sought hardship allowance amounting to 40 per cent of the basic pay to personnel posted in ''extreme hard areas'' like Jammu and Kashmir and 35 and 30 per cent respectively for those deployed in very hard and hard areas.

The Force says its men posted in border areas face all sorts of hardships like ''isolation, natural hazards, limited facilities and adverse climatic conditions.'' It views North-East as a ''very hard area'' and the western frontier as ''hard''.

Significantly, an internal survey conducted by the BSF has found that satisfaction levels among its personnel posted in border areas with regard to accommodation and working hours is just 12.5 per cent.

Similar demand has also been made by the CRPF which wants 10 per cent of the basic pay as hardship allowance to its personnel deployed in Jammu and Kashmir and Chhattisgarh, which will in effect cover 86 per cent of the Force.

It has also sought a hike in compensation package for its personnel dying in action to Rs 30 lakh from the present Rs 7.5 lakh besides increase in the pay-scale and provision of a pension scheme for them.

Both the forces are of the view that inclusion of its personnel who have joined the service on or after January one, 2004 in the new contributory pension scheme launched by the government was unfair.

These personnel are deployed in high-risk areas and their pension in case of death amounts to almost nothing as they hardly have two years service, they said and demanded that all personnel should be covered under the Pension Rules, 1972.

BSF also demanded payment of 35 per cent of the basic pay as counter-insurgency allowance to personnel engaged in anti-terror operations and 20 per cent of the basic pay as internal security duty allowance whenever they are called for performing tasks like election duty.

Other demands of BSF include increase of family pension to widows from 60 per cent to 75 per cent and allowance to fully disabled personnel from 30 per cent to 50 per cent.

It seeks increase in pay scale by four times, restoration of the ranks of Lance Naiks and Naiks and separate pay scale for the rank of Additional Director General, who at present carries the same scale of feeder post commandant.

CRPF sought increase in various allowances like those given to gallantry medal winners while BSF wants restoration of ration money during leave periods and their exemption from the purview of income tax.