Saturday, March 01, 2008

Maoists kill Congress worker

Hyderabad (PTI): A Congress party worker was shot dead allegedly by Maoists in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, police said.

A group of extremists went to Baleru village late Friday night and asked G Prakash to follow them, Srikakulam police told PTI over phone.

Later, on reaching village outskirts near the forest, the Maoists opened fire at him killing him on the spot, police said.

Palamau frowns at tiger shield


Ranchi, March 1: Animal lovers may have welcomed P Chidambaram’s announcement of a grant of Rs 50 crore to raise an armed special tiger protection force, but those at the Palamau Tiger Reserve here are not impressed with the finance minister’s gesture.

Local forest officials believe that while a tiger force was an effective antidote to the dwindling numbers of big cats in other reserves, Palamau was different as it has always been under the grip of extremists.

So, an armed force would only escalate tension and invite further trouble, feared officials at the reserve that was one of the first to be brought under Project Tiger in 1973.

The Palamau reserve, according to the latest census, has 17 tigers. The Dehradun-based World Wildlife Institute is, however, yet to approve of the claim.

Forest officials said the dwindling number of tigers at Palamau should not be attributed to poaching, a problem being faced by the remaining eight other tiger reserves.

“The decreasing number of tigers in Palamau was more due to the shrinking base of prey animals who do not have proper food for survival,” said a senior forest officer. The number of domestic animals has increased alarmingly, sharing the available fodder in the sanctuary.

Illegal felling of trees wasn’t a factor for the falling numbers either. For, such activity was restricted to teak only. “Teak isn’t native to Jharkhand. So, its felling does not make much of a difference,” the officials said.

“Moreover, unarmed forest officers, who usually go on patrolling in the jungle during daytime, may attract the attention of Naxalites once they are armed,” they added.

Palamau required a different approach. “We must increase the area of grassland to supply fodder to the carnivores,” said a senior IFS officer.

Union finance minister P. Chidambaram, while introducing budget 2008, said the number — 1,411 — of the big cat in the country should ring alarm bells. “The tiger is under grave threat. There is the need to redouble the effort to protect the tiger,” he said, proposing a one time grant of Rs 50 crore to the National Tiger Conservation Authority to raise, arm and deploy a special tiger protection force.

The number of tigers at Palamau has always been a matter of dispute. Since the first census in 1934, its population showed a steady decline till 1972 when it touched 17. After being declared a sanctuary in 1973, the number rose to 55 in 1989. The 1991 census pegged the tiger population at 54 and in 2005, it was 38. Trackers say there are seven tigers now.

R.N. Prasad, senior conservator of the Palamau tiger project, however, agreed that the armed force would serve one purpose. “It will at least stop the felling of trees.”

Long arm of law gets some muscle

1 Mar 2008, 0109 hrs IST,TNN

Budget for the central police forces, which have of late become the backbone of the internal security instruments in fighting terrorists and Naxalites, has witnessed an increase of over Rs 4,041.25 crore from last year's allocation of Rs 17,674 crore.

Interestingly, for the first time, the government allocated a separate Rs 100 crore to develop critical infrastructure — mainly police stations and connectivity — in "extremist-affected areas".

In a clear signal that there would be no let-up in augmenting the strength of paramilitary forces and modernisation drive in the CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF and SSB, the government allocated Rs 21,715.25 crore for the year 2008-09 — which is an increase of nearly 23% from the last fiscal.

The increase is an indication of the government's concern over the deteriorating internal security situation, which faces new challenges from the growth of Maoists whom the PM Singh had called the biggest threat in the country.

The increase of over Rs 4,041 crore for central police forces is substantial if one compares it with the hike in India's defence budget which, despite having an allocation of Rs 1,05,600 crore, recorded an increase of Rs 9,600 crore.

The amount allocated under the head will also be used for modernization of state police forces. Under this scheme, assistance is provided in cash and kind to states and Union Territories in the form of 100% grant-in-aid to be utilised for purchase of vehicles, wireless and sophisticated equipment. A sum of Rs 1,340.63 crore has been allocated for this purpose in the Budget.

A separate allocation of Rs 210 crore has also been made for training of state police personnel in counter-insurgency and anti-terrorist schools run by central agencies.

The Special Protection Group (SPG), which guards the prime minister and his family, has seen an increase of 45% for the next fiscal. The budgetary outlay for the elite force has been pegged at Rs 170.79 crore from last year's Rs 117 crore.

From Communism to carpet-beggars CPM tracking Communist Party of China’s economic line


From Communism to carpet-beggars CPM tracking Communist Party of China’s economic line

By Ashoke Dasgupta

The CPM was begotten in 1964 by those hard-liners who believed in Stalinism and Maoism as well. The abnormal chemistry of Stalinism and Maoism of opposite matrices let Naxalites grow from within the party just by three years (1967). The CPM party, along with other comrade-parties, sprang to land grabbing bedlams in the name of distribution of Zotedars-Zaminder’s land and Khas land to landless peasants.

Marxist vandalism, courtesy CITU trade unionism, just as Mao’s China did under Mao’s economic policies. Naxalites and CPM followed a line to devastate existing academic system in West Bengal since 1969-70 following cultural revolution of Maoist China.

HU Jintao, the supreme leader, presided over the Congress of Chinese Communist Party in Beijing Great Hall of the People from October 15, 2007 attended by 2217 delegates officially chosen by rigged elections from the party members. Such delegates said nothing to point that Hu did naught for ‘greater democracy within the Party’ which he and his politburo members had repeatedly promised since 2002 party Congress. Delegates, meekly submissive to the party, were wise enough to know the communist party dictums-promise to the people in abundance, do whatever required to keep people under iron grip.

China now claims of a booming economy leading to be a super-power. The claim is substantial to an extent only. Hu has identified two major points of concern, as that were done in earlier Congress too; the expending gap between mostly rural poor and typically urban rich and the ‘absence of internal democracy in the party’. The Party Congress, addressed neither of the two points, rather accentuated both to be more acute. Chinese people do not vote, no system as that exists in China, nor 1.3 billion people have any role in the conclaves that mean for the party Congress. 700 million of poor peasants in rural China are treated, in the economy, as left-over. China’s fast developing economy is a pervert kind of fast growing, highly imbalanced and repressive. It has multitude of problems; majors are, rampant corruption, want of independent judicial courts to uphold the rule of law, feeble banking system, and devastating pollution. The slogan get rich quick’ coined in 1980s China, flowing till date has divided the country between urban people of upward affluent mobility and vast number of rural people, peasants arrested in near economic stagnation. The gap is widening gradually.

The income disparity between China’s growing rich people who have meanwhile already become a distinct capitalist class and millions of poor is so overwhelming that even the modern capitalists will fell shy to accept it. Chinese Communist Party agreed to let the people have property right in a very limited sphere having policy departure from Mao’s commune days, but that too affected lopsidedly in favour of the city dwellers, rich and growing affluent middle classes as they had the sell-buy-earn-invest scopes and the millions of slum living people and peasants had little benefit as they have no right on their land, they are only something like the lessee, who cannot put land as collateral security for loan even. The new property policy further encouraged the land grabbing by developers who hunt land driving out the peasants. Deng Xiaoping initiated reforms in China before thirty years, the poor people and peasants are witnessing since then their city compatriots have been amassing riches in short time and the nation seems to have been divided in two economic social divides. The Tiananmen Square happened in 1989 because disgruntled workers joined students crying for democracy. Well, it will take a long way to narrate what have been happening in deep and down China by last decades.

The CPM was begotten in 1964 by those hard liners who believed in Stalinism and Maoism as well. The abnormal chemistry of Stalinism and Maoism of opposite matrices let Naxalites grow from within the party just by three years (1967). The CPM, along with other comrade-parties, sprang to land grabbing bedlams in the name of distribution of Zotedars-Zaminder’s land and Khas land to landless peasants. The landgrabbings of 1967-69 period and, then, since 1977 onwards under the Barga-patta schemes caused the rise of small and marginal peasants in West Bengal who have some similarities with the conditions of Chinese peasants so far the right, title of land are concerned. The Chinese peasants, in general, and the Barga-patta marginal peasants in West Bengal are only able to lease out their land as they have not the right of ownership titles. In this way, resourceful peasants in West Bengal have been wiped out, instead a new class of weak peasants encircled by Bargadars and controlled by CPM Panchayets constitute the bulk of West Bengal peasants. Adding salt to injuries, about eighty lakh people of majority community of Bangladesh have massively infiltrated in West Bengal by last decades and that further have complicated the nature of rural/urban population in West Bengal. The central report estimates such infiltration to be of 1.5 crore, 70-80 lacs of which have dispersed in other states in India.

The CPM has ruined industrial enterprises in West Bengal since 1970s. More then sixty thousand small, medium, large factories got closed by 1990-95

Marxist vandalism, courtesy CITU trade unionism, just as Mao’s China did under Mao’s economic policies. Naxalites and the CPM followed a line to devastate existing academic system in West Bengal since 1969-70 following cultural revolution of Maoist China. West Bengal is a state in India, hence, the CPM couldn’t move here as much as they wanted following big-brother China. Jyoti Basu, for this cause, insidiously used to argue for a Kendra Virodhi Andolan—anti-centre movement-by a routine way till 1990s. Marxists advocated for very loose federalism in India for this purpose, though they, as if the magician that brings out a cat from a handkerchief, applause for highly unitary government without democracy in China.( as it is their own creed.)

Singur—Nandigram—Dinhata are the results, not the causes, of CPM’s endeavour to follow economic model pursued in China.

The same policy of creating an urban rich floating class who ‘get rich quick’, licensing and participating in real estate booming, shopping malls, expensive dance-bars, high fee westernised schooling (neglecting the well spread existing academic institutes), offering vast lands to high capitalists and FDIs driving away the peasants, rogue like insistence for dubious company’s chemical hub discarded in developed countries, attempt to handover interior agri-markets to monopoly—all those and many more are but big brother foot steps followed by the tiny revolutionaries who end their ‘revolution’ in worst types of opportunism. While millions of peasants in China under totalitarian party—state machinery have to submit abjectly to repressive governance, West Bengal peasants can rally protesting the government actions as it is a democratic country.

Buddhadev could not understand it, here he failed to repress the people.

60 per cent of China’s 1.3 billion people still reside in rural china, but the contribution to GDP from agriculture has fallen to less than 12 per cent while in 1990 it was more than 25 per cent. Central government spending on Agriculture and rural welfare too has fallen by 3 per cent by last years. China’s budgets are increasing phenomenally, but outlays in health care and education are decreasing proportionately than those that had been even before a decade. The West Bengal Budgets also has been reflecting the same trends though Dr. Asim Dasgupta, the finance minister has the expertise to put distasteful facts in budget cupboards.

People, however, are not worried with what fate waits for CPM V.S. Achyutanandan and P. Vijayan groups are in loggerhead in Kerala centering the same ‘get rich quick’ adventure and landgrabbing operations. One knows well this feuds will end following dislodgement of Marxists from the governance in Kerala.

The Chinese economic model followed by the CPM in West Bengal is certain to face a doom. Yet, no one may remain supercilious noting China still has an eye on Arunachal Pradesh and West Bengal borders Nepal and also Bangladesh that lavishly offers hospitality to ISI, Huji and other terrorists.

(The writer is a senior journalist and thinker and can be contacted at 59/B, Kankulia Road, Kolkata-700029.)

Bomb scare in Presidency college in Kolkata

1 Mar 2008, 1920 hrs IST,PTI

KOLKATA: Normal work in the elite Presidency College in Kolkata was disrupted for a few hours following an anonymous phone call that a bomb has been planted in the college building.

Police said a caller telephoned the college at around 10.30 am to say that a bomb has been planted in the building.

The college authorities immediately informed the police who arrived there along with a bomb squad.

Students were evacuated from the building and a thorough search carried out with the help of sniffer dogs but nothing was found, police said.

The 151-year-old college had become a hotbed of Naxalite activities in the late 1960s through the early seventies. Its students union is now held by Independent Consolidation, a Naxalite faction which defeated pro-CPM SFI in the last union elections.

What is the truth?

Karan Thapar
March 01, 2008
First Published: 22:33 IST(1/3/2008)
Last Updated: 22:39 IST(1/3/2008)

Pronouncements have a way of sticking and becoming established truths. If no one questions them they become unchallengeable. Thereafter they’re simply reasserted to prove their own veracity. Is that true of the Naxalite threat India faces?

I ask not because I know the answer but because it seems to have created a significant but perplexing divide at the very top of our government. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister have come to contradictory conclusions.

As far back as 4 November 2004, Dr Manmohan Singh described the Naxals as “an even greater threat to India than militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and the North East”. Last December (20th) he said it again. He told the country’s chief ministers: “Left wing extremism is possibly the single biggest security challenge to the Indian state”.

The Home Minister differs. In 2005, he said of Naxals, “These are our children gone astray”. Last month, he categorically and repeatedly refused to accept they constitute the “single biggest security challenge”. And he stuck to his line when told he was contradicting his own PM.

So who’s right? That depends not just on the facts but, I suspect, how you interpret them.

The Home Ministry’s latest annual report (2006-07) says Naxal violence in 2006 was reported from only 395 police stations out of a nationwide total of 12,476. That’s not only down from 460 the year before but represents just 3.1 per cent of the country’s police stations.

Other sources, by no means lacking in credibility, suggest a vastly different picture. The Institute of Conflict Management claims Naxal violence affects a total of 192 districts in 16 states. Ajit Doval, the former head of the Intelligence Bureau, has written that it affects nearly 40 per cent of India’s land mass and 35 per cent of its population.

Are these facts saying different things? Or could it be that the 395 police stations the Home Ministry is looking at are spread across 192 districts in the 16 states the Institute of Conflict Management is talking about? Is that how Mr. Doval concludes that Naxal violence affects 40 per cent of the country’s land mass and 35 per cent of its population?

That, it would seem, is the Home Minister’s answer. He says if you look at Naxal violence in terms of the states affected, it covers 40 per cent of India, if you see it in terms of districts affected it’s 30 per cent, but seen in terms of police stations reporting Naxal activity the figure shrinks to just 3 per cent.

So is the PM scare-mongering? The problem is if you think so, you also have to conclude the same of experts like Ajit Doval and Ajai Sahni of the Institute of Conflict Management, Ved Marwah, former Governor of Jharkhand, who agrees with this line, and former Home Secretary N. N. Vohra, who does too. So are they all out to frighten us? Why? And what on earth do they gain from it?

What makes the differing pronouncements from Race Course Road and North Block perplexing is that no attempt has been made to reconcile them. If you push the Home Minister he simply says don’t ask me to comment on the PM. And, unfortunately, you can’t ask the PM because he isn’t available for questioning.

However, the Home Ministry’s figures could suggest a possible explanation albeit a bit convoluted. They state that 67 per cent of all incidents and 76 per cent of all casualties occur in just 2 states — Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. This means only 33 per cent of incidents and 24 per cent of casualties occur in the rest of India.

So could it be that the Naxal threat is the single biggest challenge in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand but not the rest of India? If you accept my interpretation you might say yes. But I’m only trying to find an explanation that allows both the PM and HM to be right. What if I’m wrong?

Frankly, we need the government to clarify the situation. To leave us to sort out the confusion they’ve created is a bit much.

Rahul Gandhi to begin his India tour from Orissa

KalingaTimes Correspondent
Bhubaneswar, Feb 29: Congress workers in Orissa are now in an offbeat mood. All-India Congress Committee general secretary Rahul Gandhi will start his Discovery of India journey from the State on March 7.

The young Congress leader will spend four days in Orissa and address a series of rallies and public meetings. At many places he is scheduled to interact with the youths.

Gandhi will visit as many 13 of the total 30 districts of the State and several of districts were tribal dominated and witnessing the growth of naxal menace.

Gandhi aims to visit interior areas of the State to understand and feel the problems being faced by the farmers and tribal people, according to Youth Congress president Ashok Tanwar.

This All-India tour of the Congress leader would begin from Nuapada district, one of the poorest districts of the country, in the western part of Orissa.

Tanwar told reporters in Bhubaneswar on Friday that the other district Gandhi will visit during the four days include Khurda, Cuttack, Jajpur, Angul, Mayurbhanj, Sundargarh, Sambalpur, Ganjam, Kalahandi, Koraput, Rayagada and Nawarangpur.

Although it is being said that Gandhi was embarking on the nationwide tour to know the country and its people, Congressmen in Orissa are hopeful that his visit would help in strengthening the party's base in the State.

With the elections scheduled to be held next year, Gandhi's visit certainly carries importance for the faction-ridden Orissa unit of the Congress, according to political observers.

But one thing is clear. Gandhi spending four days in the State would make the leaders of the ruling Biju Janata Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance jittery.

State police to be trained by army

Statesman News Service
BHUBANESWAR, Feb 29: New recruits to the police force of the state is likely to be trained by para military personnel. The trainers can be from the Assam Rifles, Indo-Tibetan Border Protection Force, BSF or CRPF, as the additional India Reserve battalions are created to combat the Naxal menace.

Home Minister Mr Shivraj Patil is reported to have agreed to send para military personnel to train the recruits in Orissa.

Official sources said Mr Patil gave his consent to a proposal made in this regard by the chief minister Mr Naveen Patnaik when the latter met him at Delhi today. Mr Patnaik iterated the need to have five more IR battalions in the state and also requested for a long term deployment of at least two battalions of CRPF to deal with left wing extremism.

Raising of the IR battalions will not only enable the state government to combat Maoist and extremist activities effectively, but also provide substantial employment opportunity to the local youth, officials said.

Mr Patnaik also informed the home minister that the state government is recruiting over 10,000 police personnel within a few months.

The chief minister has also asked the centre to include six more districts ~ Deogarh, Kandhamal, Jajpur, Sambalpur, Dhenkanal, and Nayagarh under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme. He also requested the centre to increase the scale of allocation of funds to at least Rs 20 crore per annum.
The CM wanted the allocation under police modernisations scheme to be revised from Rs 27 crore to Rs 60 crore and sanction of at least Rs 10 crore for the Commissionerate of Police set up for the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack as quick as possible.

Mr Patnaik also reminded the Home Minister to allot 1.87 lakh MT of food grains to the state for undertaking relief employment work in the flood affected districts without further delay in view of the ongoing working season. Mr Patil is reported to have agreed to release cash assistance in lieu of food grains for the purpose.
It may be noted here that the state has not yet been able to raise the second IR battalion sanctioned to it since long.

The 15 February attack of Maoists in Nayagarh district where 15 policemen were killed and the armouries looted had prompted the state to voice demands for more IR battalions and inclusion of more districts under the SRE scheme.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Fake news confuses police

Nani Gopal Pal
ARSHA (Purulia), Feb. 28: Police have called media reports that nine unidentified bodies of Maoists were found lying in Bagmundi forest area on 19 February "bogus".
According to Mr Ashok Kumar Prosad, SP of Purulia, police "had no definite information" when electronic media outlets were circulating this report.
While talking to The Statesman, he said: "We had nothing to say when the channels were telecasting and a few Kolkata daily newspapers, except The Statesman, published the news of Maoist bodies."

Mr Prosad said the combing operations were a routine. Even so, security forces led by the DSP (Purulia), headquarters, Mr Joy Biswas, continued search operations till 10 p.m. on 19 February and additional SP of Purulia, Mr Pranab Kumar Das, conducted operations on 20 February until 6 p.m."We had doubtful information from some villagers and so police had to investigate," an official of district police said. "We had forces searching for any information regarding super-sensitive nine Maoist bodies."

Two news agencies, PTI and UNI, were also puzzled by the telecast of various channels. Both agencies refused to publish the "bogus" news, since the SP and additional SP had told their correspondents: "No information so far".
A few local CPI-M members were informed by some villagers about nine unidentified bodies in two separate places at Dhanchatani and Shilingdah. They informed the local police of Arsha and Bagmundi respectively. The officers-in-charge of both police stations of Arsha and Bagmundi searched the areas first and reported the matter to their higher officials but did not find anything to confirm the rumours.

Police conducted combing operations, reportedly, on the pressure of CPI-M members of the local committee. "It was the hallucination of the CPI-M activists, who were earlier responsible in creating problems and torturing innocent villagers," alleged opposition leaders, including the Trinamul Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (Soren) and Congress. They also expressed their displeasure regarding a section of media who blindly support the CPI-M and are not neutral news sources. Police said they are keeping a close watch for situations of such “hallucinations” and fake news.

‘People’s March’ magazine banned by Ekm district administration

Friday February 29 2008 09:59 IST
Express News Service

KOZHIKODE: People’s March magazine, which is suspected to be the unofficial mouthpiece of the CPI (Maoist), has been banned by Ernakulam district administration.

The notice announcing the ban of the magazine was pasted on the door of the house of P.Govindan Kutty, the editor of the magazine, at Thripunithura on February 14.

Govindan Kutty has been in jail after he was picked up by the police on December 19, on sedition charges. He was released on bail the other day.

He came to know about the ban only on Thursday when he went to his house at Tripunithura.

Ernakulam District Collector banned ‘People’s March’ following a report given by the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Thrikkakara) in this regard.

The district administration found that the magazine contained seditious material.

The Additional District Magistrate has written to the Registrar of Newspapers, India, requesting for an all-India ban on the magazine.

The Centre banned the website of ‘People’s March’ on May, 2006, as part of the drive against pro-Maoist websites and blogs. Since then, ‘People’s March’ has been uploaded into peoplemarch.

Police initiated action against Govindan Kutty after the arrest of CPI (Maoist) central committee member Malla Raja Reddy on December 17. Govindan Kutty was on an hunger strike till he was released on bail.

‘People’s March’ was published from Kolkata and New Delhi before it was shifted to Kochi. The magazine is printed, published and owned by Govindan Kutty.

After his release on bail, Govindan Kutty has said that he will continue publishing the magazine till it is banned.

The magazine has published extensive reports on the Maoist movements in various part of the country.

One article on the last issue was on the developmental activities carried out by the Maoists in the Dandakaranya region.


Meanwhile, human rights activists and writers have condemned the ban on the magazine.

Poet and activist from Andhra Pradesh Varavara Rao told this website’s newspaper over phone that there cannot be a blanket ban on a magazine.

Deputy general secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF)G.N.Sai Baba said that the ban was an undemocratic and fascist act.

“If the government finds things which are against its policies it should go for a debate rather than banning a magazine.”

Porattam general convener M.N.Ravunny urged all mediapesons to come forward and condemn the attack on the freedom of the press.

Maoist posters on top cop home wall

Statesman News Service

KOLKATA, Feb 28: Tension ran high after police spotted some posters put up by the CPI (Maoists) on the boundary wall of the bungalow of superintendent of police at Barasat in North-24 Parganas (photograph right). The Maoists have demanded the release of their leader Somen, who was arrested from the area a few days ago.
A senior police officer said the posters had been put up last night. The posters have created panic at Barasat.
A police officer said the details of how the posters were put up despite high security is being looked into. Following the incident, security measures around the superintendent of police's office and bungalow have been tightened. The bungalow is situated in the heart of North 24-Parganas district headquarters.

Police raided some houses after the arrest of Himadri Sen Ray alias Somen from Nabapalli off Barasat and recovered many incriminating documents a few days ago. Police also came to know about some of the Maoist hideouts in and around Barasat. "We are keeping a close watch and have requested people to inform us if they spot anyone moving suspiciously in the area,” said the officer. Meanwhile, police have asked house owners who have rented out their property to inform the local police station of their tenants' names and their whereabouts.

Maoist scent in CPM murder


Poragachha (Nadia), Feb. 28: A CPM leader was shot dead in Nadia, hours after suspected Maoists burnt down his party colleague’s house 80km away to avenge the arrest of state chief Somen.

Amanul Haque Biswas’s son alleged that the killers were Maoists, saying villagers had heard them shout slogans.

But police said they could not confirm the claim yet. “It’s too early to say. Our officers have gone to the spot to investigate,” Nadia police superintendent H.K. Kusumakar said.

Amanul’s son Mamud Hasan was indoors when the 58-year-old local CPM committee leader was gunned down outside his house in Nadia’s Karimpur this evening.

“Villagers later told me the assailants had said that they were Maoists and had come to teach my father a lesson,” Mamud said.

A gang of around 10 marched to Amanul’s house at 7pm, the police said. “He was sitting outside, speaking to some local people. They surrounded Amanul and fired twice from a revolver at point-blank range. The bullets hit him below his right ear. When he slumped to the ground, one of them pulled out a sickle and hacked him to make sure he was dead,” an officer of Karimpur police station said.

In Poragachha village in the same district, the Maoists are believed to have carried out their first revenge strike since Somen landed in the CID net on Saturday.

A group set fire to the house of Narayan Roy Biswas, a member of the CPM’s Krishnagar (west) local committee, last night. Biswas, however, escaped as he spent the night in Krishnagar town.

The rebels left behind leaflets and pasted posters on the walls of the charred house. “If Somen is not set free, many houses in Bengal will burn like this,” they warned.

Some posters told villagers to observe the 24-hour bandh the Maoists had called in Nadia and Murshidabad today “to protest the arrest of our leader Somen”.

Biswas, 45, is thanking his lucky stars. “Had I stayed back, I would have been burnt alive. The Maoists knew that I often stay in my ancestral home alone,” he said.

Suspected Maoists torched a CPM branch office at Chandpur village, 5km from Biswas’s house, around 11 tonight. Pamphlets, demanding Somen’s release and warning of more strikes, were strewn around the office.

Budget fails to address Maoist menace: Raman Singh

February 29th, 2008 - 9:13 pm

Raipur, Feb 29 (IANS) Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh flayed the union budget presented Friday, saying there was no provision for a joint action-plan to deal with the Maoist problem, which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had identified as the biggest internal security threat. “The union government has failed to address the problem by making no provision to deal with the Maoist problem even as several states reel under the threat of the red army,” Singh, who heads one of the worst Maoist insurgency-hit states, told reporters.

But the state’s opposition Congress welcomed the budget, especially hailing the Rs.600-billion loan waiver announced for farmers.

“It has taken care of all sections of society but the farmers got the deserving benefits,” the party said.

“The loan waiver for farmers has reflected how Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are concerned about the problems of farmers,” Congress leader and former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi said in a statement.

The Chhattisgarh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) also appreciated the budget.

The CCCI in a statement said it “welcomes the budget proposals, mainly for focusing on health, education and irrigation sectors with allocation of increased funds, but infrastructure sector too should be taken care of with topmost priority”.

Remarks on Vallarpadom evictees: VS clarifies stand

Friday February 29 2008 09:18 IST
Express News Service

T’PURAM: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan clarified that he hadn’t described any of the evictees in Vallarpadom as `Naxalites’ but some Naxalites were compelling the locals to create problems in the area.

“Some families are resisting the acquisition for constructing road and rail route to the Vallarpadom container transshipment terminal when the majority had already surrendered their land.

The locals say that they are doing so at the instance of Naxalites. I neither endorse nor deny that report,” said Achuthanandan while replying to a submission by K. Babu.

Babu said that nobody was against the Vallarpadom project. But, those who were evicted should be given a humanitarian package for rehabilitation.

“The CM said that Naxalites were behind the issues regarding eviction. It is very unfortunate. In fact, Justice Krishna Iyer, Sara Joseph and Sukumar Azhikode were leading the protest there,” said Babu.

Opposition leader Oommen Chandy also suggested that a humane solution is necessary for the Vallarpadom rehabilitation issue.

VS replied that the package worked out by the Cabinet sub-committee was very much humane.

“They are given alternate land for constructing houses, reimbursement of 8 months’ rent and jobs as compensation.

The decision was taken in a meeting convened by Prime Minister’s principal secretary T.K.A. Nair. We didn’t give such a generous package even for the smart city project,” said the CM.

Kidnapped engineer, supervisor rescued

29 Feb 2008, 0258 hrs IST,PTI

SASARAM: An engineer and a supervisor of a private road construction company, kidnapped by armed activists of proscribed CPI (Maoist) in Rohtas, were rescued from neighbouring Kaimur district.

Engineer Sanjay Singh and supervisor Dharmendra Singh of a Jharkhand-based firm were kidnapped by a group of about 24 Maoists who had raided their camp office at Chhotki Chenari on Tuesday night, additional superintendent of police P Kannan said.

Police launched a rescue operation, he said, adding the kidnappers freed them at village Belao in Kaimur district on Thursday morning following mounting police pressure. Four persons were detained, he said.

"The Naxalites have demanded ransom but as we refused to oblige, they abducted our employees," company's general manager Anjani Kumar said

Orissa puts forth wish-list of wants from centre

Friday February 29 2008 10:34 IST
Bijay Chaki

BHUBANESWAR: The Orissa Government has put forth a long list of wants from the Centre even as Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram gets ready to place his budget for the next year tomorrow.

Containing the growing Naxalite activities in the State has assumed top priority in the aftermath of the brazen attack by the ultras on Nayagarh town and other areas. “The State expects a special package from the Centre to enable it to effectively tackle the Left wing extremists (LWEs),” Finance Minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadei said.

The State Government had demanded a special plan for upgradation of roads in Naxaliteprone areas, fortification of police stations and armouries. The Government has already submitted a list of sensitive police stations and armouries to the Centre.

However, there is no response from the Centre on this score till now, he said and added that the State Government expects some announcements in this regard in the budget.

Ghadei said that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has demanded enhanced allocation for the Ranchi-Vijayawada highway which will pass through 13 tribal-dominated districts of the State. This highway will pass through many inaccessible under-developed areas and help the administration reach the backward people.

The State Government expects more allocation in the budget for infrastructure development in view of the large-scale industrialisation. Besides, sufficient funds should be provided for the all-round welfare of Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes.

The Finance Minister, however, observed that the Centre has ignored the rights of the State for long.

“The Centre did not even consider the State’s demand for special category status. Though Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had sought a special package of Rs 13,000 crore from the Centre, there has been no response.

On the other hand, it had announced special packages for Bihar and some other states,” he said. The allocation for the KBK special plan should be enhanced from Rs 250 crore to Rs 500 crore and all the 30 districts should be brought under the Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF). Besides, the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Bidyut Yojana should be extended to all the districts, he added.

Other expectations include announcement of an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) for the State and fund provision for All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to be set up near the Capital City.

The State Government expects the Centre to compensate it for deleting 10 lakh families from the BPL list. Besides, there should be more allocation for the health and education sectors.

‘Farmers’ plight due to CPM’s partisan politics’

Statesman News Service

SILIGURI, Feb. 28: Reacting to the police atrocities against potato farmers at Gangarampur in south Dinajpur district yesterday, political leaders of different parties stressed on the need of constructing more cold storages in the state and transparency in managing them to avoid such incidents in future. Some of the leaders also alleged that the CPI-M's complete hold in the state administration and its partisan attitude in every aspect, were responsible for growing violence, particularly in the agriculture sector, in West Bengal.

The state jail minister, Mr Biswanath Chowdhury who also hails from south Dinajpur district today said that the Gangarampur incident was a serious one and the government should do something to redress the farmers’ grievances. “More cold storages are required to meet the growing demand of the potato farmers. Besides, the police must be cautious while dealing with farmers’ agitation,” Mr Chowdhury added.

Veteran Naxalite leader Mr Kanu Sanyal held the CPI-M’s unimpeded interference in every aspect of the state’s life responsible for such incidents. “What happened at Gangarampur is a direct outcome of the CPI-M's partisan politics in the state. It is a known fact that farmers not affiliated to the CPI-M are being denied access to the government facilities like cold storage, loan, ration card and BPL card. As for the cold storages, they are being sold to influential businessmen and the farmers are being denied access. The problem aggravates if the farmers concerned are not connected with the CPI-M,” Mr Kanu Sanyal said.

Senior Congress leader Mr Somen Mitra also held the CPI-M's partisan politics responsible for the growing violence in the state. “There is every reason to believe that the poor potato growers not connected with the CPI-M were deliberately denied access to the cold storages by the Gangarampur Agricultural Marketing Society. Whenever the state gets a bumper production, the CPI-M with the help of the politicised administration jumps to corner everything for itself and its cohorts,” Mr Mitra said.

Agreeing to the view of the Opposition leaders Mr Manohar Tirkey, PWD minister of state, said that his party, the RSP's experience was the same. “The CPI-M has a tendency to bring its brand of partisan politics everywhere,” Mr Tirkey said.
Steering clear of controversy, the state food minister Mr Paresh Adhikary, said today that the government would build up more cold storages to meet the growing demand.

Dreaded Naxal leader surrenders in Gaya

29 Feb 2008, 1859 hrs IST,PTI

GAYA: A top leader of the CPI (Maoist) surrendered before district magistrate Jitendra Srivastava with weapons and cartridges at the district collectorate in Gaya on Friday afternoon, the police said.

Basudeo Rikiyan, wanted in connection with several criminal cases, gave himself up before the DM, the sources said.

He also deposited an automatic rifle and a regular rifle and their over 100 rounds of ammunition, they said adding he was later sent to jail.

Orissa to recruit 10000 police personnel

KalingaTimes Correspondent

Bhubaneswar, Feb 29: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday urged Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil to consider the State government's proposal for long term deployment of two battalions of CRPF in Orissa to deal with the left wing extremism.

Patnaik, who met the Union Home Minister in New Delhi , also sought Central government's assistance in raising additional five India Reserve Battalions.

Home Minister agreed to the demand of giving adequate CRPF force and five IR Battalions, according to an official release.

Raising of these battalions for the State will not only enable the Sate government to combat naxal and extremist activities effectively, but also provide substantial employment opportunity to the local youth, Patnaik told Patil.

The Chief Minister also informed the Union Home Minister that the State government is recruiting over 10000 police personnel within a few months.

Patnaik further asked Patil to provide services of experienced para-military personnel of different categories on deputation basis from Assam Rifles, Indo-Tibetan Border Protection Force, BSF or CRPF for interim deployment and training of the newly recruited personnel.

The Chief Minister urged the Centre to include six more districts namely, Deogarh, Kandhamal, Jajpur, Sambalpur, Dhenkanal, and Nayagarh under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme.

He also requested the Centre to increase the scale of allocation of funds to at least Rs 20 crore per annum.

The Home Minister agreed to provide necessary support for training of the Police personnel and increase the allocation of funds.

Patil was also requested to increase allocation under the Police Modernisation Scheme for Orissa from Rs 27 crore to Rs 60 crore and sanction at least Rs 10 crore for the Commissionerate of Police set up for the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

Patnaik also reminded the Union Home Minister to release 1.87 lakh MT of food grains to the state for undertaking relief employment work in the flood affected districts without further delay in view of the ongoing working season.

The Home Minister agreed to release cash assistance in lieu of food grains for the purpose early, according to the release.

Red Tide Rising

The latest Naxal attack in Orissa shows a reach that extends beyond strongholds, reports BIBHUTI PATI

Combing operations by the Special Task Force in the forests of Daspalla
Photo: Bibhuti Pati

Known for its mountainous terrain and scenic beauty, the recent Maoist attack on Nayagarh has left this Orissa town shaken. But the fact is that with virtually no police preparedness, it was a sitting target for the rebels. “There was no inkling of a Maoist attack because they did not have any base here”, told a police officer after Nayagarh’s attack. According to local vilalgers, “ They sneaked into town at different times before this attack. They were seen at various strategic places in the town.”

Although more than two weeks have passed since the attack, at the dozen operation zones in Nayagarh, Ganjam, Kandhamal and Gajapati districts, scores of security personnel are on a grim pursuit to track down the Maoists. But so far, there is no sign of the culprits, and there is a strong possibility that they now have slipped successfully into safe places.

In the state assembly, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that “an intensive combing operation is on and it will continue for a long time. We have arrested many Naxals and we hope to arrest more soon. 20 of them were killed. The current operations are the biggest ever anti-Naxalite offensive in the country, backed by IAF choppers on constant watch from the sky. The police station will fortified and the vacancies filed up very soon.”

The security arrangements and preventive measures in response to such an attack on police stations in the state have always been inadequate. Going by sources contacted by TEHELKA, the attack on Nayagarh has not just exposed seriously chinks in the state’s intelligence armour, but also the government’s failure to take timely steps even though the warning bells have been ringing for some time now.

A few months back, the police learned that the Maoists were planning to target Bargarh and Nabarangpur. This information was given by an arrested Maoists leader Misir Besra, who was caught in Jharkhand in Sept. 2007. Besra’s revelations apart, police and intelligence agencies in different states had also got information and recovered material that pointed towards the Maoists Central Military Commission’s intention to conduct ‘something big’ in Orissa.

A senior IPS officer who spoke to TEHELKA says, “ We had information about Maoists movement in Daspalla area of Nayagarh district and certain other issues, but not actionable intelligence on Nayagarh.” Susanta Panda, s local journalist, said, “Movement of ultras had been reported to the police by villagers and social workers during the past two years. What does one mean by ‘actionable intelligence’ when the locals have repeatedly informed police? Even the vernacular newspapers repeatedly reported on the rebel movement spreading in Nayagarh. But the state administration turned a blind eye to this.”

After the Nayagarh incident, in an exclusive discussion with TEHELKA, Naxal leader Prithvi (name changed), said, “ The administration and police thought that we were demoralised after the arrest of some Naxal leaders in Sambalpur and of Anna Reddy (leader of CPI(ML-Janashakti) in Orissa), but we still managed to do a successful operation in Nayagarh. Some IPS officers are spreading rumours that we eat human flesh, that we are looting the poor and worst of all, that we are raping tribal girls. We proved them wrong and now the people are with us.”

The Naxalite movement is undoubtedly the most talked about internal securities issue in the country right now. It’s a conflict that has clear and deep-rooted connections with right of people over natural resources. The game plan of the Naxals from the very beginning was to earn the sympathy of the poor and operate out of hideouts in jungles and it worked wonders for them. With most tribals being too ignorant to understand ‘development’, except that they are now being denied of their rights over ‘jal-jameen-jangal’ (water-land-forests) which they have been enjoying for generations, the ultras continue to act as their saviours by enrolling them and providing them with means of survival.

Now with the tribal people already under their sway, the attack on Nayagarh looks like an attempt of the Naxals to woo the middle class, and particularly the lower middle classes, which seems to be caught between the rich and poor. Richard Mohapatra a research scholar on Naxalism says, “ it is an attempt by Naxals to spread beyond the tribal belt and venture out to non-tribal areas with a sizeable middle class population. There is no denying that it’s the crisis over livelihoods that spread Naxal activities into 16 states.”

From the siege of Koraput town in 2004 to the ransacking of the jail in R-Udayagiri in 2006, to the attack in the Anugul-Sambalpur stretch of NH42 in 2007 to the latest strike at Nayagarah each successive operation has emboldened the Maoists. The Nayagarh attacks especially were clearly intended as a statement by the Naxals that no part of the state is beyond their reach.

It’s a threat to which the state government seems clueless how to respond to. The government seems to have surrendered to the extremists who are virtually running a parallel administration in Orissa. With the chief minister holding the Home Department portfolio, there can be no shifting of the blame. But it is clear that the Orissa Police is ill-trained and ill-equipped to deal with the threat, and the center must chip in with help.

The Maoists have steadily gathered strength converting themselves from a ragtag group of rebels to a highly organised, motivated and dangerous force. The collapse of development systems in the interior, and poor health, education and growth parameters have created a fertile ground for the Naxals’s growth. At this rate their next target could well be the state capital. If there’s a lesson from Nayagarh, it’s that “Bhubaneshwar ab door nahin”. Bhubaneswar’s not far away.

Posted on February 29, 2008

Desperate cops label villagers as Naxals, nab them

Jajati Karan / CNN-IBN
Published on Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 08:43 in Nation section

Tags: Naxals, Orissa Human Rights Commission , Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Naxal militants or innocent victims of a police force desperate for quick results?

Orissa police arrested several men from Bodangia in Orissa, accused of being Naxalites and thrown into jail, like hundreds of other people picked up by the police since February 15 in their anti-Naxal campaign.

Their relatives have now come to the state Human Rights Commission in Bhubaneswar, seeking justice, they say, for their brothers.

"My brother is a poor farmer. All in the area know him for his good conduct. We have never seen Naxals in our life. Then why is the police unnecessary harassing us,” says victim's brother, Basu Majhi.

Police say the men were arrested after they were spotted “moving around suspiciously”. The police then produced them before a district magistrate who sent them to a jail in Phulbani. The State Human Rights Commission has taken cognizance of the matter, and asked the Orissa Director General of Police to submit a report on the arrests

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Naxalism will never die: Book

New Delhi, Feb 28 (PTI) Naxalbari has not died and it will never die. Charu Muzumdar, founder of the Naxalbari movement wrote in 'Liberation' in 1971.
Naxalbari lives and Maoist strikes have been adding up in the new millennium. And with extreme inequity, the 'two Indias' will irrevocably remain two. And often, at war with each other, says a new book.

From 2004 Maoist strikes have been spectacular even before their two dominant groups- CPI (ML) Peoples War and Maoist Communist Centre India (MCCI) joined together to form the agglomerate that now controls the show across the country: the Communist Party of India (Maoist) or CPI (Maoist), the book 'Red Sun, Travels in Naxalite country' by journalist Sudeep Chakravarti says.

Nearly every other week there is news of strikes and counter strikes by the Maoists and the security forces. But what stands out is are the precisely planned and focused Maoist attacks on the security, on vigilante groups like the Ranvir Sena and Salwa Judum. In Maoist parlance this is known as Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign or TCOC.

They (the Maoists) carry, according to intelligence estimates, between six and seven thousand regular weapons-AK series of automatic rifles, INSAS rifles used by the army, ancient .303 Enfield, and a range of revolvers and pistols- some bought, but mostly grabbed from polie and paramilitary personnel or guards at railway stations in snatch-and-run or kill-and-take strikes.

(About the book: Red Sun, Travels in Naxalite Country by Sudeep Chakravarti, Penguin Viking, pages 352, price Rs.495)PTI

Threat from all quarters

Kanwar Sandhu, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 27, 2008
First Published: 02:20 IST(27/2/2008)
Last Updated: 09:35 IST(27/2/2008)

With increasing evidence of trans-border complicity in the deteriorating internal law and order situation, a proactive border sentinel policy becomes imperative.

India has nearly 15,000 km of land border with its neighbours — Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan. A travel along the border in Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya and West Bengal by a team of intrepid correspondents of the Hindustan Times during the last fortnight reveals how dangerously porous are the borders.

Though Jammu and Kashmir makes headlines, borders with Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar too are active. At a seminar in New Delhi recently, a senior army officer said that while there may be a drop in infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir, influx into other states continues, resulting in increase in terrorism. In the wake of this, there is a feeling in certain quarters that a new Central agency like the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the US is required to check trans-border and inter-state crime.

The 1,690 km India-Nepal border appears the most dangerously active, despite the two countries enjoying a special relationship. Trafficking in arms, explosives, drugs, counterfeit, contraband goods and even women is unchecked through the “open” Bihar and Uttar Pradesh borders.

Mushrooming madarassas and increasing Maoist influence in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are worrying security agencies. Young Communist League activists have added another dimension to it by claiming some parts of India as disputed territory. And with the Naxalite problem having touched menacing proportions in many parts of the country and fundamentalism being on rise in South Asia, officials warn that ignoring the borders would be dangerous.

On the 605-km Bhutan border, for example, the Indian security forces face the twin problem of containing northeastern militants and the Maoists. The threat from the latter can be imagined from the fact that the area between Nepal and Bhutan is referred to as the “red corridor”.

The Bangladesh border adjoining Meghalaya and Assam is no different. A fence was erected in 1999 but it has either snipped or rusted in many places. The result: smugglers, militants and bandits move across borders without much trouble.

All this when the western front, including the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan, is far from quiet. During the past two years, there is evidence of a reduction in infiltration. This is primarily because of fencing, proactive military stance and continuing ceasefire with Pakistan since 2003.

Security officials and analysts say there is need for a multi-pronged strategy. They point out that on the Nepal border, there is need to put up a fence to check free movement of nefarious elements across the “open” border. They point out that even in the case of US and Canada, which enjoys a special relationship, the US Customs and Border Protection has issued a list of 10 documents of which at least one must be carried by frequent crossers.

Series concluded

Moolampally incident: CM blames Naxals, over-enthusiastic officials

Thursday February 28 2008 12:21 IST
Express News Service

T’PURAM: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said instigation by Naxals and the over-enthusiasm of certain officials had led to the violence surrounding the eviction of ten families at Moolampally on February 6 for the Vallarpadam terminal project. “The things which happened at Moolampally can never be justified,” the Chief Minister added.

“The Collector had talked to all the families there (Moolampally) before the compensation amount was fixed. But some families, instigated by a small group of Naxals in the area, refused to cooperate and created a tense atmosphere,” Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said at a post-cabinet briefing here on Wednesday.

The over-enthusiasm of certain officials and their eagerness to please the higher-ups further vitiated things, the Chief Minister said.

The officials, according to the Chief Minister, were pressured into action by the statements of people like the Prime Minister’s special private secretary who kept telling that the project was getting delayed and that it would be lost.

“To make things happen, officials threw all human considerations to the wind,” Achuthanandan said. He said that the State would not lose the Vallarpadam project under any circumstances.

Aid for Rajani kin:

The State Government will offer financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh to the family of Rajani S. Anand who committed suicide while she was student of IHRD Engineering College, Adoor.

NREG Coordinator:

A coordinator will be appointed at a non-gazetted level in all panchayats to help in the implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREG), the Chief Minister said. The scheme will be implemented in all districts from April 1.

Abkari Act ‘08:

The Cabinet, which met here on Wednesday, gave its approval to the Abkari Act 2008. There will be no changes whatsover from last year, Achuthanandan said.

Posco: Villagers obstruct survey work again

Thursday February 28 2008 11:11 IST

PARADIP: Tension mounted in Dhinikia village on Wednesday when survey teams started work on the pending cases at Gobindapur village.

According to sources, the villagers of Gobindapur, Polang, Nuagaon and others had requested the district administration for a survey on pending cases in the villages.

The team started the survey work yesterday on the periphery of Dhinikia village but the efforts of police to enter the village failed as the villagers had formed a boundary with bows and arrows.

Earlier, Posco Pratirodha Sangram Samiti (PPSS) at a meeting discussed strategies on countering forceful entry by police in the name of Naxal intrusion. PPSS leader Abhaya Sahoo warned that the situation will intensify if police attempted to enter the village in the name of Naxals.

Kujang tehsildar Debasish Singh said there was no proposal to enter Dhinkia village for survey work.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Somen’s arrest to hurt Maoist plan

Anjan Chakraborty

KOLKATA, Feb. 26: The Maoist plan to set up an Eastern Regional Command, covering the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chattisgarh and West Bengal has suffered a major setback with the arrest of their West Bengal state committee secretary, Somen, two days back, senior state Intelligence Branch (IB) officials said.
Somen was nabbed by CID sleuths from Hridaypur railway station in North 24-Parganas on Saturday.

According to senior Intelligence Branch (IB) officials, the 9th Congress of the Maoists, held in the Bheemband forest on the Bihar-Jharkhand border in January 2007, saw over 100 delegates discuss the road ahead. They decided to form an Eastern Regional Command that has more than 19 platoons of 20-odd armed members each and enrolment of new members is continuing.

The Maoist state units of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chattisgarh and West Bengal were to play a key role in establishing this Eastern Regional Command. The organisation, which also has its own MI (Military Intelligence) and Central Instructors Team, had recently established a network in Assam to procure arms and ammunition.

These arms and ammunition were to be transported to its armed cadres through West Bengal. The state unit and its secretary, Somen were asked to play a key role in facilitating transportation of this consignment. Somen was also a key member of the Eastern Bureau of the Maoists, who have four regional bureaus in all. The other three being North, South-West and Central.

The four regional bureaus were looked after by the 17-member Central Committee of the CPI (Maoist), which is headed by Ganapathi.

The Eastern Bureau handles lower Assam, West Bengal, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand. The Northern Bureau is called 3U since it covers Uttar Bihar, Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh and also handles Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. The Central Bureau is in charge of Andhra Pradesh, including North Telangana and parts of AP bordering Orissa. Operations in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat are looked after by the South-West Regional Bureau.

Below the regional bureaus are the 17 state bureaus. And then there are committees and groups that look after specialised tasks.

According to CID sleuths, Somen was involved in training the young cadres of the outfit. He is also the mastermind behind several Maoist actions in the neighbouring states of Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh. "Apart from facilitating transportation of arms consignments from Assam to other states, Somen and some other senior state committee members of West Bengal were assigned the task of recruiting young men into their fold so the Eastern Regional Command could be made stronger,” said a senior IB official.

Weapons upgrades to tackle Indian rebels

Published: February 26,

NEW DELHI, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- India said its paramilitary forces will soon be equipped with higher-firepower, anti-materiel rifles for anti-Maoist operations.
The new weapons will give special units of the Central Reserve Police Force a decisive edge over Maoist rebels, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday.

These sophisticated weapons, which are ideal for busting caves and concrete hideouts, have so far only been provided to the army, the ministry said, adding the AMRs are designed for damage and penetration.

According to an Interior Ministry official, large-caliber AMRs can also be used for remote explosive ordinance disposal. Special disruptor rounds filled with water, aerogel or foam may be developed for this role and these are the requirements the paramilitary forces are looking at, he said.

"These ultramodern rifles have been provided to the paramilitary forces for evaluation," said Sadpita Ghosh, chairman of the Ordnance Factories Board. He said the CRPF officials have told him they would submit their report about the evaluation shortly.

He said that initially around 2,000 specialized rifles could be provided to CRPF. The CRPF said these weapons could also be used by its forces in Jammu & Kashmir state.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

Maoist structure, fund-raising process revealed

Posted at Wednesday, 27 February 2008 10:02 IST

Kolkata, Feb 27: Police has claimed that the structure and fund-raising process of the CPI(Maoist) was revealed during the interrogation of its West Bengal secretary Somen.

Somen has revealed during interrogation that Rs 60 lakh was budgeted annually by the party for salary and daily expenditure, DIG, CID (Special Operation Group), Rajiv Kumar said.

The Maoist leader was responsible for operations in West Bengal, Orissa and Jharkhand. Somen alias Himadri Sen Roy, who was arrested last Saturday, has also confessed that he used to get a salary of Rs 3000 and the other arrested along with him, Deba, got Rs 1500, Kumar said.
Arms were mainly bought and supplied by its Central Military Commission, he said.

Meanwhile, special teams from Mayurbunj and Jamshedpur have arrived in the city to interrogate him, while another from Chhattisgarh will arrive soon, Kumar said.

Special teams from Special Branch, Special Intelligence Branch, Intelligence Branch of Kolkata Police have been interrogating Somen for the last three days.

"It is very hard to break a hardened Maoist leader. We are following a three tier interrogation process to break him," said a CID source.

Vigil stepped up at Udupi, Mookambika temples

Udupi (PTI): Police have stepped up a vigil at the famous Sri Krishna Temple and the Goddess Mookambika Temple in Kollur as a "precautionary measure" while ruling out any specific intelligence alert about possible terror attacks on them.

"The district police have not received any specific intelligence information on these two temples facing any threat from terror groups," Superintendent of Police Devajyothi Roy told reporters here replying to a question.

However, as a precautionary measure, patrolling had been beefed up in Udupi and Kollur and vigil was being maintained, he said.

He said police had submitted a security plan to the Sri Krishna temple authorities to step up internal security, install CCTV cameras at entry and exit points three years ago, but no action had been taken to implement it so far.

He said there was movement of naxalites in the forests of Western Ghats in Karkala and Kundapur and said the Anti-Naxal Force had been undertaking regular combing operations.

Key accused in Kandhamal riots arrested

Balangir (PTI): Two months after the communal violence in Orissa's Kandhamal district, one of the key accused who allegedly engineered the riots was arrested from a village near here, police said on Tuesday.

Aibar Naik, a resident of Barakhamar village in the district was apprehended on Sunday from Kendumundi village where he had taken shelter in a relative's house to evade the communal backlash, police said.

Naik, who was staying at Kendumundi village along with some family members, has been handed over to Baliguda police in Kandhamal district where a case had already been registered against him.

While it was alleged that he was part of a violent mob suspected to have been involved in the killing of a Hindu at Barakhamar, Naik refuted the charge and claimed that he was one of the victims of the communal and ethnic violence.

Naik's arrest came during search operations by the police in the area following information about the possibility of some naxalites sneaking into the region, police added.

Crumbs for Orissa, says Naveen

Wednesday February 27 2008 09:32 IST
Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Even as allocation for Orissa in the Railway Budget increased by more than 50 percent, the State Government described it as disappointing.

The allocation for Orissa increased from Rs 606.51 cr in 2007-08 to Rs 972.34 cr this year. A major chunk, Rs 641.2 cr has been allotted for 18 doubling projects as against Rs 449.51 cr in the last Budget.

The demand of the State Government for doubling of railway lines was Rs 500 cr. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said Orissa had again been neglected.

Though the State Government had made a demand of Rs 1,330 cr, the allocation is much less. Last year, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav announced Bhubaneswar- Ranchi ‘Garib Rath’, but no allocation has been made for this. Where is the ‘Garib Rath’? he asked.

Besides, no new railway line has been announced for the State. Alleging that the KBK area has been neglected, he said no extension of lines has been sanctioned.

The Government, he said, had requested the Railway Ministry for extension of lines to Naxalite-affected areas of Jeypore, Malkangiri, Nuapada and Gunupur. The Ministry has also ignored this demand.

State BJP chief Suresh Pujari said though the State Government and the Assembly Committee represented to the Ministry several times about Orissa’s needs, Lalu has ignored these by announcing only a couple of new trains for the State.

Alleging that Lalu has discriminated against all NDA ruled states, Pujari said the State Government’s demand for allocation of funds for Talcher-Bimlagarh and Khurda Road-Balangir projects has been ignored.

Describing the budget allocation as ‘unfortunate’, Minister of State for Commerce and Transport Jaynarayan Mishra said most of the allocation is for electrification of inter-state railway lines and doubling.

Only token allocation has been made for the ongoing projects.

Somen ‘admits’ Nandigram hand


Improvised arms found in Sonachura in November

Calcutta, Feb. 26: Maoist guerrillas had started entering Nandigram last February to join the Trinamul Congress-led anti-land acquisition movement there, the arrested state chief of the rebels has apparently told interrogators.

“The CPI (Maoist) leader also said that his men left Nandigram in the first week of November following a tip-off that CPM supporters were armed with sophisticated weapons,” a CID officer said.

The CPM recaptured Nandigram, which had been in Bhoomi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee control since January 2007, in the second week of November.

Somen apparently told the CID that the decision to move into Nandigram was taken at a central committee meeting in January 2007. “The committee granted Rs 8 lakh for this,” he told the sleuths.

The Maoists’ Nandigram mission was meant to “gain people’s confidence”.

“A part of our troops had been deployed before the March 14 police firing. But we were handicapped because many of our guerrillas were yet to reach. That is why we failed to put up adequate resistance against the police and the CPM, who operated jointly,” Somen said.

After the police firing, the Maoists realised that the CPM would some day try to recapture the area at any cost.

“The leaders then decided to supply arms to the fighters there. In the first phase, five .315 and two semi-automatic rifles bought from Munger in Bihar were sent,” an officer said.

The weapons were allegedly smuggled into the area through the “river route”. The police would not reveal the route.

Police said the Maoist leaders found it difficult to send more arms and ammunition because CPM cadres had started keeping round-the-clock vigil on all routes to Nandigram.

“We then decided to set up a small factory to make arms in Sonachura,” Somen told the sleuths.

He explained why his men fled Nandigram. “In November, we came to know that thousands of CPM cadres had assembled in their strongholds around Nandigram with sophisticated arms and ammunition. We realised that fighting them with improvised arms would be impossible. We tried to ferry semi-automatic weapons from our Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh units but it was not possible,” said Somen.

“Our men then took the river and fled, dumping their weapons in the Haldi.”

Somen also revealed that he was scheduled to meet Jadavpur University and Presidency College students soon, said an officer.

Somen, 52, was grabbed by plainclothes detectives on a railway platform in North 24-Parganas’ Hridaypur, 25km from Calcutta, as he was talking to associate Dilip Mandi alias Deba on Sunday evening.

CID special inspector-general Rajeev Kumar said the police had got a scent of the outfit’s financial prowess. “The CPI (Maoist) central unit allots Rs 60 lakh to every state unit annually for members’ remuneration, hideout and other expenses. There is a special allowance for buying arms and ammunition. Somen said he used to get Rs 3,000 a month as remuneration and his associate Deba Rs 1,500,” said said.

Police officers from Orissa and Jharkhand came to CID headquarters Bhabani Bhavan today to question Somen.

Organisations known to be CPI (Maoist) sympathisers held an open meeting near Jadavpur station and took out a rally from College Street demanding Somen’s release.

Maoists in jails across Bengal will go on a hunger strike on Thursday demanding the status of political detainees, said the leaders of the Bandimukti Committee, a pro-Naxalite organisation.

Maoists protest Somen’s arrest

Statesman News Service

PURULIA/KRISHNAGAR, Feb. 26: The first day of the Maoist sponsored four-day bandh in Purulia passed off peacefully without any untoward incident being reported. The bandh has been called in protest against the arrest of the CPI (Maoist) state secretary, Himadri Sen Roy alias Somen.

Meanwhile, the Maoists have given a bandh call in Nadia and Murshidabad on 28 February, protesting against Somen’s arrest. Maoists leaflets, informing about the bandh in the two districts read: “Under the leadership of Rajiv Kumar, a police officer and an eminent follower of the CPI-M party, Tathagata, Pallab, Koushik, Arijit and Joy have formed a special anti-naxalite force to demolish our party. They are spending a lot of money to know our whereabouts and then are attacking our party members. We strongly oppose these activities of the administration.” Few posters were also found in Purulia town on the bandh day today. The leaflets found in Nadia also read: “The CPI-M government does not have the courage to ban our party in this state. They have arrested our leader and have harassed him both physically and mentally. We strongly protest against these tarnished activities of the police and CPI-M government.”

Gun culture: Psychology behind buying a gun

2/26/2008 8:20:37 PM

In a shocking revelation, TIMES NOW's Jagori Dhar uncovers mushrooming of gun culture in Bihar and unravels as to how easy it is to procure an arm in Bihar. Our reporter visited an undisclosed location near Patna where fire arms were available at throw away prices. The place appeared like any other cowshed, however, on closer look it was unveiled that the undisclosed location was the heart of the gun culture in Bihar. Our investigation indicated the fact that gun culture is mushrooming by leaps and bounds and it has become easy to procure a gun.

The cowsheds were located just 30 kilometres away from the city of Patna, where right under the heaps of hay mushroomed a thriving 'industry'. Our investigation revealed that the local arm dealers offered array of products - right from country made pistols like sixers, 36mm, and Mowger to sophisticated rifles. Ironically, country made pistols are available for a paltry Rs 500, while for the 'trained' hand, there are muskets - both single and double barrel -- which are sold in the range of Rs 5000 to Rs 8000.

When probed about the booming industry, the arms dealer, who had covered his face to protect his identity, said:"We are running it as an industry. We have our own factories and have equipments there. We keep on changing our locations. We are more resourceful than the police."

A claim, which should put the state's authorities to shame, a statement, which undoubtedly demands immediate attention of the law makers to enforce stringent measures to curb the growing menace. However, it doesn't come as a surprise especially in a state where politicians themselves have openly demonstrated use of guns and have been caught on camera for breaking norms.

A case in point is the RJD Rajya Sabha MP and brother in law of the Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad -- Subhash Yadav -- who was caught on camera for using the gun openly while celebrating a local festival. While the other brother in law of the respected minister -- Sadhu Yadav -- reveling at a party held at his residence also openly used the product.

Suprisingly, the moot question is from where do these arm dealers get their supplies from. While most of them are locally produced in factories run by local men, the guns are even sourced from anti- nationalist outfits from across the border of Nepal. Ironically, some products are even looted from the police armory.

On the condition on anonymity, the arms dealer said:"We are not scared of the police. We are safe here. We have good customers and everyday we are able to sell arms. Some people take it for self defence, while others buy from here to sell it elsewhere."

According to the reports, the state of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar top the list with the maximum number of licensed arms. Around 40 million firearms in the country are said to be in civilian possession of which nearly 9,00,000 arms license holders hail from Uttar Pradesh. It is estimated that there are around 1,400 arms dealers in the state of Uttar Pradesh, a state which has an inherent gun culture and has amongst its customers -- locals, ganglords, goons, naxals, and even politicians.


Ministry of Home Affairs
15:28 IST
Rajya Sabha

Although violence and militancy has continued in some parts of the country, the overall situation remains largely under control. In fact, there has been a significant improvement in so far as the situation in Jammu & Kashmir is concerned, and even in the North Eastern Region, the situation has improved considerably in some States such as Tripura and Meghalaya, while co-ordinated measures are being taken to check and control the activities of militant groups in the other affected States in the region viz., Assam, Manipur and Nagaland. In the naxal affected areas also the overall level of extremist violence has, more or less, remained at a similar level in the last few years and, has in fact, shown improvement in a number of areas, but for a few major incidents in some States like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, etc. The State Governments have been urged to take focused and coordinated measures to deal with the situation, and all possible help and assistance is being provided by the Government of India to them in this regard.

As far as terrorism in the hinterland is concerned, although some incidents have occurred in different States, close coordination is being maintained between the Central and State agencies, including regular sharing of information and intelligence. As a result, a large number of terrorist modules have been busted and possible major terrorist incidents averted. Institutional arrangements have also been put in place so that sharing and analysis of information can be done on a continuing basis in a systematic and coordinated manner. The State Governments have also been urged to strengthen the State police forces, by filling up vacancies and improving the police - population ratio, as also to take special measures to strengthen their intelligence set up. Assistance for these purposes is also been given under the Police Modernisation Scheme, under which the States have also asked to prepare sub-plans for strengthening the intelligence related arrangements for which the assistance of Central agencies is also being provided. All this is in addition to deployment of Central forces to assist the civil authorities in the States, liberal sanctions for raising of India Reserve (IR) battalions and assistance for general and specialized training for the State security forces.

This information was given by Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs in reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.

Security plan for Udupi temple: SP

Wednesday February 27 2008 09:29 IST

UDUPI: A comprehensive security plan for Sri Krishna temple has been chalked out by the police, in the wake of threats, said District Superintendent of Police Devajyothi Roy.

Speaking to reporters here on Tuesday, he said: ''As Sri Krishna temple is not under the Endowment Department, the responsibility of the internal security lies with the temple administration. It has been advised to implement security programmes.

The pecial security measures include installing CC TV cameras to monitor movements inside the temple and metal detectors to frisk people at the entry and exist points.''

No intelligence report had particularly pointed out any specific threat to the temple, Devajyothi Roy clarified.

Udupi: Efforts on to Convince Youth Not to Join Naxalism - SP

Daijiworld Media Network – Udupi (MM/RD)

Udupi, Feb 27: The difficulties of people living in Naxal affected areas have been addressed regularly by paying frequent visits to their household, said Devjyothi Roy, superintendent of police.

Speaking to media persons on Tuesday February 26, he said that the difficulties of people living across the Naxal affected areas are being brought to the notice of the government, thus ensuring that measures are taken to provide basic amenities to them.

Meanwhile, efforts were made to convince the youth not to be lured into Naxal movement. At the same time, youth were taken into confidence to co-operate with the police in tackling Naxal menace in the district, SP informed.

If any Naxal wants to surrender his arms and wants to come back to mainstream, police department will definitely help them, he assured.

He also said that some organizations in the district are trying to take advantage of minor incidents to get publicity for Naxal movement. Therefore, the people should be aware of such organizations, he cautioned.

Udupi: Naxals will be welcomed if they surrender

Udupi Feb 27: The Udupi district Superintendent of Police Devajyothi Rai has stated that if the Naxals surrender to the police, he will try to integrate them into the mainstream society.

Speaking to the presspersons here today Mr. Rai stated that there are packages that have been designed to give maximum benefit to the naxals if they chose to surrender unconditionally to the police.

He said the government has understood and studied the various lack of facility at the naxal affected areas like roads, street lights and various other economical factors that affect life in those areas.

The Anti Naxal Force which is working in the district will intensify its combing operations with anti naxal squad. He said Krishna math will get three thronged security process which included traffic regulation, scanning of the devotees and if need be frisking them bodily will also be taken up.

He told the presspersons that there was no great threat perspective to the temple but the police was not taking any chances with the security of the temple

As a “precautionary measure” we have stepped up the vigil and security especially at the Mookambika temple in Kollur and at Sri Krishna temple here, he said while at the same time ruling out any specific Intelligence alert about terror attacks.

In order not to create any panic amongst residents the SP clarified that the district police have not received any specific Intelligence information on these two temples facing threats, however as a precautionary measure this step is being taken, he added.

Our Correspondent

PPSS fears police action in disguise

Statesman News Service

JAGATSINGHPUR, Feb. 26: The Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti ( PPSS) which has been leading the anti-project movement for over two years is apprehensive of the police storming its stronghold at Dhinkia village on the plea of possible Naxal intrusion.
The PPSS leader Mr Abhay Sahu held a meeting at Patana village recently to discuss strategies on countering any such forceful entry by the police.
It may be noted here that the administration has not been able to enter Dhinikia for more than two years and the police deployment is limited to the periphery of the village.
Mr Sahu and other activists are virtually holed up in Dhinkia. But with the deadline for commencement of ground leveling work for the project approaching the PPSS cadres are edgy. The government has announced that work will commence on 1 April 2008 and now that it sees the ghost of Maoists in every peoples movement, it may push the police force to Dhinkia, remarked PPSS activists.
The meeting held at Patana recently decided to battle it out and warned the police against any such misadventure.
It is true that at least 80 police cases have been registered in the area and not one of them has been investigated over the last two years. These include cases of kidnapping, assault, attempt to murder, torture etc.
The law enforcement agencies have remained mum allowing the situation to worsen over the last two years and now things seem to have gone out of hand, remark local people.
Some of these people, widely regarded as pro-Posco groups, note that one cannot rule out the infiltration of Naxal elements. They note that recent raids conducted by the police has revealed that a lady Maoist cadre Manju hailed from this district.
Meanwhile, police has tightened the security in the prop osed Posco site area by deploying five platoons of police force.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Darul Uloom non-Fatwa on Terrorism reference to Naxal terrorism

Naxalite leader Rama Krishna welcomes Maulana Naseeruddin and Lateef Khan in 2004, Hyderabad Source:

NAXALITE - MUSLIM romance at low ebb


Darul Uloom non-Fatwa on Terrorism referring to Naxalites aka Maoists says

“……those spreading terror, attacking police stations, killing the police in broad daylight and showing illegal arms are roaming about freely with no effective and preventive steps being taken by the government to check their acts of terrorism and violence. This partial attitude has put a big question mark on the secular character of the government posing great threats to the country. Therefore, this All India Anti-Terrorism Conference strongly condemns this attitude and expresses its deep concern on this partiality of government officials and declares its continuous joint struggles for domination of law, justice and secular system.”

Naxalite leader Rama Krishna having Biryani with Muslims in 2004 in Andhra Pradesh said Maoist forces have “always supported Muslims” . Ramakrishna also said Gaddar ” routinely attends Muslim events and was instrumental in Jamiatul Ulema’s Dalit-Muslim communal meal programs which were designed to foster brotherhood between Muslims and other communities. ”


Ramakrishna said that Muslims are being treated like outsiders in their own country and blamed the Hindutva forces for creating divisions in the citizenry which have led to tragedies like Gujarat. He further claimed that Maoist forces have “always supported Muslims” and said that Naxalites support an eleven percent reservation policy for Muslims. He said the “revolutionary forces” are totally committed to secularism and are the only ones who can effectively combat the Hindutva organizations. His appeal for the Muslim community was to join their struggle and work unitedly on a single platform.

While the Naxalites’ sentiments and concerns need to be appreciated, it would be suicidal for Muslims or anyone else to join an armed struggle. Whatever grievances there might be they should be addressed within the democratic framework of the country in ways that are legitimate and non-violent and which do not violate the sovereignty and integrity of India. Naxalites have already proven their point and highlighted the exploitation and oppression that is rampant in the country. Now is the time for them to hang in their guns, join the mainstream and bring in the desired change through democratic and non-violent means. They are disciplined and committed and can make ideal politicians. However, this scenario seems highly unlikely at least in the near future. This does not mean that there is no scope for Naxal-Muslim cooperation. Muslims can still work and cooperate with “overground” Naxalites like Gadar. He routinely attends Muslim events and was instrumental in Jamiatul Ulema’s Dalit-Muslim communal meal programs which were designed to foster brotherhood between Muslims and other communities. Efforts should be made to increase the occurrence of such constructive social justice and equality campaigns

Covering up Naxalism : Bias in "The Hindu"

The bias shows in a Chennai-based national newspaper

The Darul Uloom at Deoband is one of the most influential Islamic institutions in India. Since Deobandi militants have been responsible for much of terrorism and violence, in Afghanistan, Pakistan and in India, it is natural to take notice when that institution organises an “All India Anti-Terrorism Conference”. According to the Indian Express the Deoband Declaration strongly condemned terrorism and urged “all Muslims to rise above sects and denominational differences to close ranks and fight terrorism”. Predictably, it blamed the government for unduly targeting Muslims “while letting Naxalites get away with their “acts of terrorism”.

The Hindu carries a report on the Deoband conference too. It starts with the complaint about Muslims being ‘hounded’ by intelligence agencies in the name of terrorism, mentions that the UPA’s “tilt” towards the West was assailed, cites the marginalisation of Muslims, calls India a “police state”, before finally telling us that the convention condemned terrorism. Conspicuously though, The Hindu’s report does not say anything about the Deoband gathering’s mention of Naxalites.

All newspapers—more or less—report what they wants their readers to hear. The Hindu hides what it doesn’t want them to know.

Naxalites killed

MUMBAI: At least eight naxalites were killed and five others injured in a series of skirmishes with the police in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra during the past one week. One policeman was also killed in action.

Maharashtra Director General of Police P.S. Pasricha told reporters on Monday that the action was executed by the Anti-Naxalite Operations (ANO) Cell of the state police.

He said that he could confirm that eight naxalites’ death but the toll could be higher on their side.

Cops mug up before Maoist quiz

- Rush to gather rebel reading material

Calcutta, Feb. 25: If you catch a CID sleuth leafing through a Maoist magazine, don’t think he’s getting into guerrilla garb — he is only preparing to question Somen.

The CPI (Maoist) top gun is giving Criminal Investigation Department officers a tough time as they have no clue about what to ask him.

“Before replying to our questions, he is measuring our knowledge about his or-ganisation. He has realised our ignorance,” an officer admitted.

Embarrassed, the sleuths are now burning the midnight oil devouring books and magazines on the Naxalite outfit. A bunch of books was brought to the CID’s Bhabani Bhavan headquarters today.

The officers are also making use of little magazines seized from a house in Howrah where Somen had allegedly been staying over the past three months.

“We are trying to collect books that have updated information about the outfit. Officers have been told to read thoroughly,” said Rajeev Kumar, the CID special inspector-general (operations).

An officer said being well-versed with the organisation’s structure and members of its politburo, central and state committees was a must before questioning a “top leader like Somen”.

“Besides, we must know the history of the outfit. We are also surfing the Net.”

With only 10 days to question the Maoist leader before he is produced in court again, the officers have decided to streamline their reading on Somen.

“We are trying to find out the power a CPI (Maoist) state secretary wields and how much priority his opinion gets in central committee meetings,” an officer said.

Somen has told the CID that he had been hiding in and around the city for the past four months.

“He rented a house in Howrah’s Shibpur with one of his associates, who fled within hours of his boss’s arrest. We found magazines, torches, a solar panel and an empty container in the house,” Kumar said.

Somen had also taken refuge in Metiabruz and Kasba, a CID officer said. “He wanted to melt into the crowd and make identification difficult for us. He knew we did not have a clear photograph of his face.”

Naxals burn jeep

Suspected ultras burn jeep
Tuesday February 26 2008 15:27 IST

JEYPORE: Suspected armed Naxals reportedly burnt a jeep near Bargi panchayat last evening even when police were on alert in the area due to combing operations.

Panic button was pressed in the entire tribal belt with the tribals suspecting that Naxals of bordering Naryanapatana block are on the prowl. According to reports, the suspected ultras allegedly stopped the jeep near Pegaitee area and vacated it. The passengers were on their way to a nearby village. Later, they burnt the jeep. Police got the news late in the night as the villagers were scared to inform them.

Sources said that the jeep was burnt allegedly as a mark of protest against the owner of the vehicle, who is being considered a police informer. In fact, as per reports, since Friday the Naxals have been gearing up activities despite the combing operations in Naryanapatana and Bandhugam areas.

Earlier, they reportedly looted a landlord in Manjulguda village and raided house of another landlord in Alubadi village. The occurrence of such incidents notwithstanding the fact that two company armed police including CRPF personnel have been camping in Naryanapatana and Bandhugam areas has put the police officials in a fix.

Police sources said since most of the Naxal ‘strikes’ take place in inaccessible pockets, it is not easy for the cops to curb them immediately. Meanwhile, senior police officials rushed to Naryanapatna areas to inquire into the matter. Security has been tightened in the nearby localities.

Maoist menace looms large over industrial dist

Tuesday February 26 2008 15:22 IST

ANGUL: The industrial district of Angul, which borders Maoist-infested districts of Sambalpur and Dhenkanal, is no less vulnerable than Nayagarh to Maoist attacks.

In December last, people residing under Prunagarh police limits in Satkosia forest region, close to Nayagarh district reported several times about the movement of a group of uniformed strangers in the jungle talking in ‘different’ languages. Armed police contingents were pressed for combing operations on the basis of the reports but the presence of ultras could not be detected. However, the local people are sceptical since the police forces hardly check the exact locations where the Left Wing extremists reportedly hide.

Now, the nagging question is if the Naxals had targeted Angul instead of Nayagarh, whether the present security staff could have been able to challenge the attack? The fear factor has intensified more so because of the fact that the Angul police has not launched any search operations in Satkosia jungle after the Nayagarh mayhem though it borders Nayagarh.

Meanwhile, the police authorities are worried about the reserve office, housed in a rented building in Nalco Township. For the last several years, police authorities have been asking successive state and district revenue authorities for at least eight acres of land in the town areas to set up their own reserve office and armoury.

But no step has been taken in this direction. Concerned over non-availability of land for the reserve office, Additional Director- General of Police P.C. Mishra reached here two days back to take stock of the situation. Several alternative proposals to shift the office from Nalco have been mooted, said SP Pratik Mohanty.