Friday, May 16, 2008

Jaipur Blasts expose - More Useful Idiots and still more Dangerous Consequences

No I am not referring to the newly christened Indian Mujahideen. Nitin has done a good job taking on their now confirmed cyber habits. Perhaps Sriprakash Jaiswal would like to comment the foreign nature of the otherwise “Indian” mujahideen. In the aftermath of the Hyderabad Blasts, Offstumped had warned of the Rd-X. It appears that our worst fears of the hunt for the unknown radical mind are coming true.

The public e-mail message from the Indian Mujahideen and a not so public e-mail from a section of the Psuedo-intellectual brigade bear an eerie similarity. It is this expose that Offstumped is focusing on in this post.

So who exactly are these “Useful Idiot” Apologists for the Indian Mujahideen ?

Offstumped today was alerted to an e-mailer titled “Jaipur Blasts Statement” signed “Concerned Citizens” which was circulated interestingly to the International Human Rights Organization, IRHO by an entity called the NAPM - National Association of People’s Movements.

Before we get to the identities and the backgrounds of the Useful Idiots who scripted this e-mail, let us focus on the dangerous consequences of their mischief mongering.

The e-mail from the Indian Mujahideen specifically calls out as its chief grouse India’s “support” for the United States in the International Arena. A match of the time-stamps of this e-mail from the Mujahideen and the other one by their apologist Useful Idiots should make for an interesting topic in another post. But for now it is pertinent to point out relevant text from the Apologist e-mail which after the usual sanctimony gets to the root cause, and surprise surprise ….

These acts of terror have deeper political causes. These causes relate to U.S. lust for oil, its help in forming Al Qaeda and local rise of communal politics around issues of religious identity.

Any guesses for how telepathically the Indian Mujahideen and the “Concerned Citizens” zeroed in onto the exact same root cause. They say great minds think alike, well idiots think alike too and dangerously so.

But the mischief mongering of this pack of Useful Idiots does not stop there. These Idiots then go on to lay out far deeper root causes, and as evidence they manufacture the mythical bogey of “Hindutva Terrorism”. Yep, the same myth that The Hindu first tried to peddle unsuccesfully after the Malegaon Blasts and then Digvijay Singh tried to peddle during the Gujarat elections campaign.

The present theory of investigating agency deliberately overlooks the case of two Bajarang Dal workers getting killed in Nanded in April 2006. It also does not want to give serious thought to the narco-analysis of one of the survivors of the Nanded episode who said that now we Hindus should also do the acts of terror, in front of crowded mosques, else we will be regarded as eunuchs.

The e-mail further goes onto make a very serious and dangerous allegation against the BJP

In a way, now communal violence is being substituted by the acts of terror to consolidate the electoral base by communal party.

These Useful Idiots then go on to remind us why they are “Useful” to Terrorists and more importantly “what makes them idiots” when they make this seemingly silly but profoundly subversive demand

There is a need to have a National body with due representation from the socially concerned citizens and Human rights activists who can have a say in these matters and also who in an unbiased way can go to the truth of these acts

So who are these Useful Idiots who lost no time in issuing an apology for the Indian Mujahideen ?

Well leading the pack of Useful Idiots is retired IIT Mumbai Professor and known Communal Socialist Ram Puniyani who is the author of the original e-mail. Keeping him idiotic company are fellow Useful Idiots and known apologists for all things leftist, maoist and jihadist - Asghar Ali Engineer, Digant Ozha, Shabnam Hashmi, M Hasan, L.S. Hardenia, Irfan Engineer.

Now some background on Useful Idiot-in Chief Ram Puniyani. Since yours truly is an almnus of IIT Mumbai I have had first hand experience of Ram Puniyani’s Left wing Acitivism and Political Correctness during the 1990s which he pursues with Taliban like Fanaticism. This is the same guy who amongst others ensured that IIT Mumbai disrobed Swami Vivekananda from Saffron to Blue for fear of hurting Muslim sentiments. This is also the same guy who amongst others pressured the IIT Mumbai Administration from denying permission to Chandraprakash Dwivedi of Chanakya from speaking on Campus on grounds that it would vitiate the atmosphere.

That the IIT Mumbai Administration allowed a Left wing extremist like Ram Puniyani to pursue his activism on campus while snuffing any kind of intellectual challenge speaks to the insipid and moribun intellectual environment in the IITs for all the academic excellence. It also is a reminder that JNU is not the only intellectual wasteland where Left Wing rodents breed.

Offstumped Bottomline: We may not know who the Indian Mujahideen are or where they are holed up. But we now know who their Useful Idiot Apologists are and how dangerous their agenda is. Perhaps some Narco-Analysis of Ram Puniyani and Co. would be in order to aid in the Hunt for the Unknown Radical, RD-X

Two Maoists killed in encounter

Malkangiri (Orissa) (PTI): Two maoists were gunned down in an encounter with security forces in the forest of Tamkelguda, about 110 km from here on Friday, police said.

Acting on a tip-off, a joint team of the elite Special Operation Group (SOG) and district police raided a training camp of the ultras in the forests, district superintendent of police S K Gajbhiye said.

In the ensuing gunbattle two maoists were killed but the rest managed to escape. Later two rifles, a grenade and a kit bag were recovered from the site.

Two SOG jawans sustained minor injuries during the operation as they fell from a height in the hilly forest areas, police said.

Combing operation and patrolling has

KalingaTimes Correspondent
Malkangiri (Orissa), May 16: Two suspected Maoists were killed during an encounter with police in this tribal dominated backward district of Orissa on Friday.

The Maoists were killed when a police team led by Superintendent of Police Satish Kumar Gajbhiye raided a training camp of the extremists in the forests near Tankelguda village under Motu police station limits about 110 km away from the district headquarter.

As police opened fire at the training camp around noon, the started retaliated with fire.

The gun battle between the security personnel and the extremists continued for nearly three hours and a total of around 120 rounds of bullets were fired from both sides, police sources said.

The two Maoists who were killed in police firing were reportedly manning the entry point of the training camp. They had not been identified till late in the evening and it was being suspected that they hailed from neibouring Andhra Pradesh.

The bodies of the two rebels killed in the encounter had been brought to the district headquarter town of Malkangiri, and the post-mortem would be conducted on Saturday.

As the remaining Maoists managed to escape and went inside the forests, police recovered two gun, one grenade and about 500 gm of gun powder from the spot.

Two policemen, who were part of the team that raided the naxal camp, sustained injuries while treading in the hilly terrain in the region.

The killing of the extremists was taken as a morale booster for the police as the Maoists had killed at least six innocent people in the district during the past one month branding them as police informers.

Combing operation had been intensified in Motu area to nab the fleeing Maoists, police said.

India's real terrorists

By Chan Akya

It has not been a good week for Asia. Even as the region was already confronting the problems of food shortages and natural calamities, the earthquake in China early in the week caused thousands of deaths, following which came the horrific terrorist acts in Jaipur and the breakup of a coalition government in Pakistan.

A combined death toll of over 200,000 from the aforementioned calamities is bad enough, but it showed that at least some non-democratic countries can get their act together when rescuing their citizens from natural calamities - in sharp contrast to tyrannies such as Myanmar and democracies such as America

following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The relative optimism of seeing China assign the right priorities to events and act on them efficiently must be counterbalanced by Myanmar, which seems to have no clue in this regard. Strangely and tragically, China was dealing with events beyond its control while Myanmar was clearly ambivalent about events very much under its control.

The communists of China have managed to move mountains to rescue their fellow citizens. Conversely, following the terrorist blasts in Jaipur, Indian politicians have quickly returned to the practice of calling for peace while blaming Muslims in Pakistan and Bangladesh for their misfortunes. The main story in Indian newspapers appears to be that the "intelligence" agencies in these countries that broke away from India over 60 years ago now harbor enough talent to occasionally wreck havoc on Indian cities, based on their common religious agenda. In the midst of all this, perhaps the real culprits are quietly standing in the crowd and perhaps even smiling, but that's a story for later in this article [1].

While there is perhaps little doubt that many citizens in South Asia wish to harm their neighbors, I find a lot of these conspiracy stories incredible to say the very least. For example, reading online versions of various Indian and US newspapers this week, the conclusion appears to be that an al-Qaeda offshoot of Bangladeshi extremism (or is it the other way around?) was behind the attacks in Jaipur.

Somehow, the idea of Bangladesh, a country whose government can barely collect taxes in the capital city and where the idea of an exit strategy for citizens usually involves annual floods, as the epicenter of Asian terrorism does not present a compelling picture. Bangladeshis appear confused enough about whether they are Muslims or Bengalis first, let alone on any questions on what kind of government they would like to have; it seems implausible that this country's indigenous fundamentalists somehow pulled off a complex operation thousands of miles away in a city where no one really speaks the language nor shares their version of Islam.

Then comes the usual finger-pointing at the Pakistani establishment, and here perhaps the Indian media is on firmer ground. There is certainly a strong statistical relationship over the past 20 years between terrorism aimed at India and the presence of democratic governments in Pakistan. In other words, barring the notable exceptions of December 2001 when Muslim militants almost succeeded in attacking the Indian parliament, terrorism against India always increases when democratic governments assume power in Pakistan. On the other end of the scale, I noted last year that both China and India owed a debt of gratitude to the strong economy of Pakistan [2] that came about under the stewardship of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.

Then again, the ephemeral nature of Pakistani democracy can be compared with dewdrops on the morning rose: gone before you can get the camera ready to shoot. Perhaps there has simply been enough Pakistani-inspired terrorism against India.

Bad intentions, but so what?
Even if we were to convince ourselves of the above, proving a direct link between bad intentions and harmful actions isn't quite so straightforward, unless you happen to be US Vice President Dick Cheney. For anyone else, the key question would involve how and why the enemies of the state can actually gain enough ground to stage attacks on one's own country. In other words, why should a bunch of citizens take up arms against their own country or provide support to any foreign agenda?

Here is where India's curiously chaotic democracy fails to deliver. Despite boasting a plethora of religions and races represented in parliament, every single politician in the country seems to be cut from the same old socialist cloth that the Soviet Union produced in mass numbers a few decades ago and then discarded quickly in its new (old) avatar of Russia in the past decade. It is that very same socialism that feeds the beast of terrorism in India, be it Islamic or the even-more-sinister Maoist embrace being felt in some states.

Most other Asian communists have accepted the principles of market capitalism with notable success, including China and Vietnam. Yet, the clutch of Indian communists rules on, preaching egalitarian values that essentially distribute misery across the country. In the past few years, communists in India have risen from being mere nuisances to a more significant threat due to the coalition governments now in vogue. In using this bully pulpit to support the central government India's communists have started wrecking real damage on the economy.

Indian communists - and I tend to regard the entire ruling coalition as a bunch of communists - wear their opposition to economic reforms like some kind of medal secured for valiant combat in battle. In fact, all it represents is utter pigheadedness. By preventing the privatization of state-owned companies and banks, all they have achieved has been a rapid slowdown of infrastructure spending in the country, which has in turn pushed back the potential development of rural areas.

Farm productivity in India remains abysmal, and cities complain of rampant labor shortages in sectors such as construction. Instead of standing back and allowing market forces to assert themselves, communists have prevented labor mobility to the urban areas through a system of government subsidies.

The worst of these has been termed the Rural Employment Scheme, under which the government guarantees minimum employment for villagers, in situ. That last detail is most striking, as it shows the extent to which communists can take their stupidity, in this case expecting jobs to find people rather than the other way around as it has been for the past few thousand years in any economy.

Communist opposition to the nuclear deal with the United States, instigated by the historic opposition of the communists to Western powers, will help ensure that India does not produce enough electricity for its next phase of growth, thereby accentuating the wealth and development gap. For the country's poor at least, the phrase "With friends like these ..." should ring a bell.

On the other side of the scale, communists have prevented any potential for reducing various government subsidies on fuel, electricity and even the purchase price of grain (which has rocketed far higher than the government price). Every one of these things has contributed to inflation, in both rural and urban areas.

As the rural poor are unable to make ends meet due to rising inflation, they inevitably have to endure the squalor of urban slums in addition to the daily problems to be expected in large cities across the developing world. That includes corruption, crime, indifferent government services and the like.

A recent example highlights this nexus between communist thinking and corruption. Even as the Indian government swiftly banned trading in commodity futures as the prices of various food grains rose, it was clear that the communist belief that "markets are evil" was applied in full.

But then came revelations in Indian newspapers this week that the government had overpaid on tenders for imported wheat that was found to be of such poor quality it was unfit for human consumption. Unfazed, the government announced that the wheat would be sold to Indian companies making white bread rather than the traditional Indian bread, as if the magic of baking in large stainless steel drums could somehow render such wheat now fit for people's plates.

The key source of frustration for many Indians is the unholy combination of corrupt government officials and staid communists who between them have choked off many pathways to economic progress. This frustration all too often boils over, and results in terrorism of the sort witnessed in Jaipur.

You can accuse me of oversimplifying matters, but the main point is that only a people without hope would sacrifice themselves for ends of the sort that terrorists espouse. That leads us to conclude that India's terrorist masterminds do not sit in foreign capitals but in the country's own communist parties.

1. Some of my previous articles touched on related subjects - the importance of government investment in education (The jihadi ate my homework Asia Times Online, February 27, 2007) and the economic underpinnings of terrorism (India's muslim 'problem' Asia Times Online, September 1, 2007). The second article dealt with the increased visibility of Muslim crime due to its prevalence in cities rather than rural areas.
2. Lessons from Kashmir and Xinjiang touched on the success of the Pakistani economy robbing terrorist movements of their chief source of cannon fodder namely unemployed youth.

(Copyright 2008 Asia Times Online Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)

Maoist strike call evokes mixed response in Bihar

Patna, May 15 : A strike call by Maoists evoked mixed response in Bihar Thursday. While normal life was hit in some rural areas, urban areas were largely unaffected.

Till Thursday evening, no major incident except for a rail line being blown up was reported from across the state during the state-wide 24-hour strike that started late Wednesday night, a police official said.

The police said the strike call given by the Maoists has so far passed off peacefully except for stray incidents.

Maoists blasted a railway line near Jaimurtinagar railway station on the Sitamarhi-Raxaul section Thursday. Railway sources said the blast disrupted rail traffic on the section for several hours and traffic resumed after repairs were carried out.

State police spokesperson Anil K. Sinha told newspersons here that a red alert has been sounded and police officers were asked to keep extra vigil.

Maoists had given the strike call to protest against the arrest of senior Maoist leader Ramparvesh Baitha, who is wanted in 34 cases of violence. He was arrested from Golghar here May 9.

Official sources in the home department said the Maoist strike call evoked no response in urban areas but normal life in some rural areas, regarded as Maoist strongholds, was affected.

East Central Railway announced the cancellation or diversion of several train services passing through north Bihar including 1448 Howrah-Jabalpur Mail, and 8611/8612 Varanasi-Ranchi-Varanasi Express.

Railway stations across the state have been alerted and the railway police told to increase patrolling and deploy additional forces.


Two Maoist rebels killed in Orissa

Bhubaneswar, May 16 (IANS) The police have killed at least two Maoist rebels in a gun-battle in Orissa’s Malkangiri district, a police official here said Friday. “The gun fight took place in the forests near Tankelguda village when a police patrol raided a Maoist training camp,” senior district police official S.K. Mishra told IANS.

The police have seized some arms and ammunitions from the spot, he added

'India ranks fourth in list of terror-hit countries'

Iraq, May 15: The recent serial bomb blasts in Jaipur have only reinforced India's position of being one of the worst terrorism-hit countries in the world. Barring trouble-torn nations like Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, terrorist violence claims more lives in India than in any other nation.

According to the 2007 Report on Terrorism brought out by the National Counter-terrorism Centre, a US Government agency, 1,093 people were killed in terrorist incidents in India last year. These also included the killings of Hindi speaking people in Assam by the ULFA activists and the deaths caused in Naxalite violence in Chhattisgarh.

The report also listed 13 high-casualty incidents of terrorist violence in the country, including the serial blasts in UP and Hyderabad and the Samjhauta Express blast.

Worldwide, 22,685 people were killed by terrorists in about 14,000 terrorist strikes. Iraq alone accounted for 13,606 of those deaths. Afghanistan with 1,966 casualties and Pakistan with 1,335 deaths were the other countries to have witnessed large number of killings by terrorist organisations, the report, released on April 30, said.

While Pakistan recorded more than 850 major and minor incidents, not all of which led to casualties, Iraq had more than 6,200 incidents of terrorist violence.

Maoists blast track, kill rebels

K. Balchand

24-hour bandh in Bihar, Jharkhand to protest against arrest of top leaders

— Photo: PTI

HAZARDOUS JOURNEY: Passengers travel dangerously on a local train in Patna on Thursday. Few trains were running due to the 24-hour bandh called by the Maoists.

PATNA: The 24-hour bandh called by the CPI (Maoist) in Bihar, Jharkhand to protest the arrests of top naxal leaders, Pramod Kumar Mishra (in Dhanbad) and Ramparvesh Baitha (in Golghar) was marked by stray violence and factional killings. The bandh began on Wednesday night.

Maoists blasted a railway track in Bihar’s West Champaran district and killed two rebels on the Bihar-Jharkhand border on Wednesday night.

As a portion of the Sitamarhi-Narkatiaganj section of the East Central Railway was damaged, traffic was affected.

The rebels were killed on the Bihar-Jharkhand border in Aurangabad district. Since the bodies were recovered on the other side of the border the Jharkhand police have taken possession of them.

3 women cadres held

PTI reports:

Important trains were running with pilot engines for the safety of passengers and East Central Railway announced cancellation or diversion of routes of several trains because of the bandh.

Three women naxalite cadres were arrested following an encounter with Maoists in Chatra, Jharkhand as the bandh affected normal life in rural areas in some districts.

A ‘firing squad’ of the CPI (Maoist) confronted security forces around 10 a.m. at Gheighat village in Chatra district and both sides traded fire for half an hour, Superintendent of Police Akhilesh Kumar Jha said.

“Some Maoists fled the area following the strong retaliatory action, but three women extremists of the firing squad were overpowered and apprehended along with two rifles, 42 bullets and Rs. 10,000 in cash,” Mr. Jha told newsmen.

Rural areas hit

Though the bandh remained peaceful its impact was felt in the rural areas of Chatra, Hazaribag, Gumla, Simdega, Latehar, Palamu, East and West Singhbhum where shops were closed and vehicles did not ply, according to reports.

Long distance buses also remained off the road while the bandh affected despatch work at several collieries and other mining sector.

Superintendent of Police, Hazaribag, Praveen Kumar Singh said police operated a couple of vehicles to help commuters at Keridari and Barkagaon in the district.

The security forces patrolled vital installations, including railway tracks, according to police sources in Ranchi.

NAXALS blasted railway Tracks

Tracks blasted
- Shutdown peaceful in Jharkhand
- Bihar railways bear Maoist brunt

Mango bus terminus in Jamshedpur wears a deserted look on Thursday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Patna, May 15: Maoists blew up a portion of railway tracks between Jaimurti Nagar and Ghodasan stations on the Raxaul-Sitamarhi section of East Central Railway during the 24-hour north Bihar bandh today.

The bandh was called to protest against the arrest of Naxalite leader Rampravesh Baitha here on May 9.

Police said that the rebels detonated dynamites blowing up tracks on a 15ft stretch near Jaimurti Nagar station, about 200km from here, around 5 this morning disrupting railway traffic on the section for hours.

Railway officials said that engineers and workers had been pressed into service to repair the tracks and restore traffic.

The police said that with an exception to the “stray incident of blasting railway tracks”, the Maoist bandh remained by and large peaceful with police on “high alert” across the state.

In the wake of serial blasts in Jaipur, security has been stepped up which have also acted against the rebels.

Additional director-general of police (law and order) Anil Kumar Sinha said: “The bandh was peaceful. We have put the police stations across the state on maximum alert

Mill manager lynched by labourers

16 May 2008, 0545 hrs IST,TNN

KOLKATA: In a gory reminder of the labour violence of the Seventies, workers of a jute mill in Titagarh, North 24-Parganas, battered a manager to death in the factory on Thursday following a dispute over dues. The victim, 65-year-old Apurba Roy Chowdhury, was a resident of Behala.

According to sources, members of Sangrami Mazdur Union staged a demonstration at the mill gates on Thursday afternoon demanding better pay, gratuity and provident fund. The mill management called the protesters to personnel manager Apurba Roy Chowdhury's chamber for talks.

But members of the rival unions - formed only on May Day this year - failed to reach a consensus and clashed. The scuffle triggered a major flare-up. Without warning, a mob burst into the chamber and started beating up Roy Chowdhury with iron rods. He received grievous wounds in the head and collapsed but the beating continued until some workers intervened.

Roy Chowdhury was taken to hospital where he was declared dead.

The mob ransacked several offices of the mill and destroyed furniture and important documents. It is not sure which group led the attack. The Sangrami Mazdur Union's rivals are reportedly backed by Citu but both have denied any involvement in the incident.

In fact, officials of the jute mill suspect the violence was triggered by Naxalites. "We believe Naxalite supporters from outside were involved. Our workers do not have the guts to enter Roy Chowdhury's room and lynch him," said a senior official.

The mill authorities even blamed police for failing to prevent the mob violence. "Police were callous. We apprehended a brawl and asked for a police picket to be deployed. But they did not listen to us, thinking it would be a peaceful meeting," the official added.

Citu state committee member Gobindo Guha said: "We don't have any role in this incident. It was a fight between members of the existing unions but that wasn't the cause for the murder. Outsiders took full advantage of the situation."

Some policemen were also beaten up by the workers. Fifteen persons have been detained for the incident.

Top cops to quiz Maoist leader Pramod Mishra

Bokaro, May 15: Purulia superintendent of police Ashok Prasad rushed to Bokaro yesterday to interrogate dreaded Maoist leader Pramod Mishra, who was lodged at the CRPF camp in Chas.

Pramod was questioned in several phases for more than 12 hours since yesterday.

Though he was reluctant to talk initially, high level police sources said the Naxalite leader later did open up and shared some valuable news.

The rebel was brought to Bokaro yesterday afternoon under heavy security and lodged at the 26th CRFP battalion camp in Chas — said to be one of Jharkhand’s most secured places.

The Purulia superintendent of police then questioned the rebel commander on several issues, particularly rebel activities in Bengal with special reference to Purulia.

On May 3, Pramod’s son Sudhir was arrested from Kasmar, hardly 30km from Purulia.

Sudhir used to supply shoes, stationery, police uniforms and medicines worth crores to Naxalites.

DIG of coalbelt Anurag Gupta refused to give more information but said: “We have got some useful information from Pramod. We will get more out of him soon. He will be taken to Ranchi and after returning will be interrogated again.”

This morning, the Maoist leader was taken to the residence of Bokaro superintendent of police and then taken to Ranchi.

Sources said director- general of police V.D. Ram, top police officers from other states and a team from the Intelligence Bureau would also interrogate the arrested rebel leader before he was brought back here on Friday or Saturday.

Senior police officers, including Gupta, were part of the interrogating team here.

The others in the team were superintendent of police, Purulia, his Bokaro counterpart Priya Dubey and inspector of special task force Vijay Kumar.

Karkala: Good Response to Polling Despite Naxal Attack

Daijiworld Media Network – Karkala
Pics: Shekar Ajekar

Karkala, May 16: Former MLAs Sunil Kumar and Gopal Bhandary of this constituency, union minister of state for labour Oscar Fernandes, district Congress president M A Gafoor and others visited the bereaved family of Bhoja Shetty and Suresh Shetty, on Friday May 16 morning, who were killed by Naxals between on Thursday May 15.

Despite the terror tactics pursued by Naxals in some of the areas in the taluk, voting was in progress as normal, without the occurence of any untoward incidence. Naxals were known to have distributed handbills in some of the small towns urging the locals to boycott the polls. However, they were targeted by the personnel of central paramilitary force and Anti-Naxal Force (ANF), thereby providing maximum security to polling centres to enable free and fair polling by the voters.

Moreover, all the constituencies across the taluk recorded excellent voters' turnout despite the Naxal attack.

A certain voter Appy Moolya (65) died of cardiac arrest at the polling centre of Nallur Pucchebettu.

Voters' turnout was fairly good at Muroor polling centre which comes under Ajekar in the taluk.
Police personnel were cited all along the state highway leading to Agumbe from Ajekar, to thwart any intrusion by Naxals to nearby villages.

Naxals fired from AK-47 rifle: Police

Udupi (Karnataka) (PTI): Police suspect that the naxal gang which shot dead two persons near Hebri on Thursday night in the district used AK-47 rifles in the attack.

A six-member gang of Naxals barged into the house of Bhoja Shetty and fired indiscriminately.

Shetty, a school teacher, was killed along with his brother-in-law Suresh Shetty in the attack, police said.

While Bhoja Shetty, who received at least six shots died on the spot, Suresh breathed his last on way to a hospital.

Following the attack, anti-naxal police force launched combing operations in the area. The incident took place on the eve of second phase of assembly elections in Karnataka.

Bhoja Shetty's house was raided by Naxals last year, warning him against supporting BJP, a threat he chose to ignore, police said.

Bhoja Shetty had also brought the threats to the notice of police.

Udupi: Naxalites shot dead two persons

By Team Mangalorean, Udupi

HEBRI, May 15, 2008: Two persons have been shot dead by suspected naxalites at Nadpalu near Hebri on Thursday night. The dead have been identified as Bhoja Shetty(50) a teacher by profession at Someshwara Govt Primary School and another Suresh Shetty(45) a farmer, both are stated to be in the range of 40 years. Bhoja Shetty died on the spot and Suresh Shetty on his way to the hospital. The shots were fired at point blank range.

According to police the incident happened at about 8.35pm on Thursday when both victims were returning home together after having a tea at the local eatery. According to the local people who were in the area the assailants later shouted some slogans and spilled some pamphlets which had literature to prove that they were from Communist Party of India (Maoists) organization.

The Police team headed by Debajyothi Ray Superintendent of Police Udupi reached the place within next one hour and began the combing operations and set up a camp of Paramilitary forces and Anti Nexalite Force unit at Hebri and Sitanadi. According to Mr. Ray intensive combing has been taken up right from the night.

The killing came just 10 hours before the polling began. The police have told that adequate security arrangements have been made for all polling booths in the Udupi district specially in the naxalite prone areas. However the reports received from Hebri, Hiriyadka, Perdoor, Bailoor, Karkala, Someshwara and adjoining places the turnout for voting was normal, only at two polling booths in higher primary school in Sitanadi the polling was a late starter.

According to local people which interviewed Naxalites were moving around freely in Udupi district, especially in Karkala taluk and were distributing Pamphlets with literature on Maoist movement. The pamphlets were found in Naravi, Shringeri and Agumbe (Chikmagalur district) earlier. The Inspector General of Police Western Range Ashith Mohan Prasad has rushed to the spot and has directed the combing operations along with the Superintendent of Police.

Karkala: Naxals Strike in Western Ghats; Duo killed at Sitanadi

Karkala: Naxals Strike in Western Ghats; Duo killed at Sitanadi
Pics: Shekhar Ajekar

Karkala, May 16: Reports of a suspected Naxal attack killing two persons at Sitanadi near Hebri was reported on Thursday, May 15. The victims are identified as Bhoja Shetty (57) and Suresh Shetty(50), both residents of Sitanadi. The incident occurred while Bhoja Shetty and Suresh Shetty were returning home after visiting a shop at Tingale

The Naxals suddenly attacked the duo when they were opening the gate of the house . It is believed that about 4 to 5 persons suddenly opened fired and emptied about 10 15 rounds on them. They later they fled the scene after throwing some handbills on their bodies. Sources informed that Bhoja Shetty succumbed to injuries on the spot and
Suresh Shetty died on the way to the hospital.

A few years ago Naxals had attacked Bhoja Shetty alleging that he was a police informant. But somehow he escaped with his life. This time he was not lucky. He fell prey to the assassin’s bullets. Bhoja Shetty was a school teacher in Seetanadi. He was also a BJP activist in the area. He had infact breeded an enmity with the naxals who had cautioned him not to inform the police about their movements. Call for Boycott:

Recently, Naxals had asked the locals there to boycott the assembly elections. Therefore, the Election Commission has deployed additional forces which include Anti Naxal Forces and central paramilitary forces in the Naxal infected areas of the state. These forces carried out a march-past in Hebri town on Wednesday, May 14. But the Naxals proved the existence of their strong base at the bottom of Western Ghats by killing two persons.

IBNLive Chat: 'Need a law tougher than POTA to fight terror'

IBNLive Specials

Published on Thu, May 15, 2008 at 18:55, Updated at Fri, May 16, 2008 in Nation section

TALKING TOUGH: Former BSF DG Prakash Singh feels India needs a tough, no-negotiator leader like Vladimir Putin to combat terrror.

Tuesday's serial blasts in Jaipur once again reared the country's ugly face of terror. It also reiterated that terrorists need no stereotypes or pre-identified targets to attack. A hitherto unknown terror group, Indian Mujahideen, meanwhile, has claimed responsibility for it and warned of more such attacks.

As a developing nation, why can't India have a sound non-negotiable, anti-terror policy in place?

Why do we have a soft-pedal approach when it comes to tackling terror at home? Why is India soft on terror? organised a webchat with Prakash Singh, former DG, Border Security Force on India's soft approach towards terror and terrorists. A distinguished police officer, Singh has had an excellent track record of combating terrorism in the turbulent parts of the country including Nagaland, Assam, Punjab, UP and J&K. He has also served as the Police Chief of UP and Assam.

Reproduced below is the full text of the chat.

Neeraj: Why can't we have a policy and law against terrorism that should be political party, central government-independent and only managed and controlled by a central agency like RAW and special designated courts to manage terrorism-related cases?

Prakash Singh: All that is possible. Wish we had a leader like Putin or Ho-Chi-Minh or even Mao.

Chandra: Why doesn’t India strike on terror camps? What is the use of Agni missiles if not used for such things?

Prakash Singh: Weak leaders, devoid of guts.

K Rao: In many countries which are facing the scourge of terrorism, like the USA & the UK, one terrorist attack is all it took for the countries’ lawmakers to wake up and deal with the situation. Do our lawmakers lack the courage? By not addressing this are they not becoming silent accomplices to this menace?

Prakash Singh: Our leaders will wake up only when a couple of MPs get killed. As long as the common man is getting killed, they are not bothered.

Sunil: Sir, you have been active in the service and you seem to agree with common people like me that we should combat terrorism more aggressively. So does it mean that senior personnel from security forces, such as yourself, are advising the government to take this approach, and the government is not doing it?

Prakash Singh: The Government does not listen to people like me. They like chamchas.

Indian: Is it not shameful that Chinese guys hack our websites. In the era of technology revolution why we do not push for strong technical capabilities in lines of NSA?

Prakash Singh: Even Pakistanis hack our sites. We lack the aggressive instincts.

Sunil: Sir, where in the system is the first weak link ? Is it that we do not have enough intelligence, or is it that the government is ignoring such intelligence?

Prakash Singh: Weak links are - inefficient police, poor intelligence, court delays, hypocrites who masquerade as human rights activists and of course, leaders who cannot see beyond their nose.

Jassi: How serious is the threat of Naxal movement and why is the government not talking about it? Do they also have foreign support?

Prakash Singh: Threat is serious. The Government is doing a lot of talking. Action is not commensurate. They have foreign linkages.

Kaviean: You mentioned in an answer "Detect them, try them and hang them." so, you believe in blood-for-blood? Don't we have any other option to stop terrorism...after all, Mahathma Gandhi is the father of our nation...

Prakash Singh: Gandhigiri will not work against terrorists. It worked against the British, who were a civilized people. Terrorists are monsters.

Amal John: Sir, I would like to know whether we have the capability to protect our country from terrorism.

Prakash Singh: Yes we have the capability. But unfortunately our leaders do not take the necessary hard decisions - clear policy, firm laws, prompt conviction, prolonged detention, appropriate action against neighbours sponsoring terrorism.

Ashwin: Is it possible to maintain one single main database having information about all the fellow citizens for each state so that it becomes easy to track the outsiders?

Prakash Singh: We should have a national register of citizens. That would make the job of tracking easy.

Ajai: Why are we not being pro-active instead of always being reactive?

Prakash Singh: We need strong leaders who would place national security above every other consideration. Unfortunately we have leaders for whom votes and office are more important.

Sachin: What is this Central Govt going to do about Terrorism? Congress has ruled India for last 50 years, why are they not able to act on terror?

Prakash Singh: We don't have a policy to deal with terrorism. We have no law to deal with terrorism. Very few terrorists are convicted. Those ordered to be hanged are not sent to the gallows.

Abhinav: What holds us on being tough –lack of will or lack of sight?

Prakash Singh: Lack of will. We are a strong nation burdened by weak leaders.

Deepak Yadav: Why are we called a soft state, is it just a political word used by parties against each other or does it have some relevance?

Prakash Singh: We are called a soft state because our response is soft. We only condemn the terrorist, announce financial relief and that is the end of it. No strong steps are taken against the organization or the country sponsoring terrorism.

Chan: How will India stop terrorists coming into the country and indulging in such devastating activities? What immediate steps should government take to avoid terrorist activities in India?

Prakash Singh: Detect them, try them and hang them.

Tapan: So what is the constraint in hot pursuit or responding to terrorism the way Israel does?

Prakash Singh: No constraint, so long as you have the upper hand. Could be done vis-à-vis Bangladesh.

Neeraj: Should we adopt policy to eliminate terrorists leaders on foreign soil like Mossad?

Prakash Singh: Why not, but you need a leader like Putin for doing that.

Saswata Gupta: Sir, why cannot we do surgical strikes? Look at Israel - if such a small country can do it with all enemy states around it then what are our decision makers afraid of? Our intelligence is expected to know the exact locations of the terrorists in Bangladesh and POK. So why cant we take the other powerful countries into confidence and strike. It will put our country into a war situation for sometime but after that atleast for sometime the peace will be there because these terrorist training & logistic support camps are to be rebuilt.

Prakash Singh: The last time we could do a surgical strike was when the Indian Army was mobilised on the Pak border in the wake of attack on Parliament. NDA leaders unfortunately developed cold feet. Pakistan has since then made considerable progress in missile technology. A surgical strike could be carried out against Bangladesh which has about 200 camps sheltering terrorists from India.

Neeraj: Can't we have policy like other foreign intelligence agencies like Mossad to eliminate terrorists on foreign soil. Like Dawood, IC-814 hijackers Maullana Masood. What’s wrong in it? What we are waiting for? They attacked our Parliament and killed people all over India. If it is enough then why terrorism can't be stopped and still people are getting killed? America has destroyed the whole of Afghanistan when terrorists killed around 2000 people there even when most of them were not US citizens. It is shameful that our PM is having sleepless night when a terrorist's brother is jailed for killing people and he has sound sleep when innocent people are dying. Indian is shining, India is next super power in Asia, India has a growth rate of 8%.

Prakash Singh: We have a very weak leadership which is obsessed by political consideration of continuing in power. National security consideration takes a back seat. Hence these problems. RAW should be more aggressive. Our leadership has blunted its sharpness.

Viswanath A: Do you think is it high time to revive tough laws like 'POTA' ? How can intelligence inputs be strengthen to tackle terrorism?

Prakash Singh: We need a law tougher than POTA today. The situation is much worse. Intelligence will have to become professional. Presently, they are spending much of their time in political intelligence concerning the adversaries. RAW has been almost castrated, thanks to Mr. Gujral and some other prime ministers.

Balbeer Tiwari: Do you think an increase in terror attacks is due to lack of the Centre’s intention to tackle the issue?

Prakash Singh: Terrorist incidents are increasing because we are soft in dealing with them. We do not go to the root of the problem and are diffident in exercising diplomatic and other pressure on Pakistan and Bangladesh. Besides, we have no stringent anti-terror law. The terrorists have no fear of operating in India.

Prashant Kumar Gupta: Is resilience to terrorism, the only answer to we Indians?

Prakash Singh: No, terrorism should be firmly combated. We need to give a strong response. Unfortunately, that is not happening, and so we have a recurrence of such incidents.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Chopper fails police in fight against Naxalites


Dhruv: Will it ever help in rescue operations?
Ranchi, May 12: CRPF jawan Prashant Patil and Charhi police station officer-in-charge Vijay Thakur may not have bled to the death while fighting Naxalites yesterday if the state government’s chopper reached the hills of Hazaribagh on time to evacuate them.

The state’s Dhruv helicopter, meant to be used in relief and rescue missions and anti-Naxalite surveillance operations, couldn’t even take-off from here as it had developed a malfunction.

Deputy inspector-general (Hazaribagh) Ajay Kumar Singh said that they had indeed made several requisitions for a helicopter to expedite rescue operations soon after yesterday’s encounter.

“But we were informed the helicopter had developed some mechanical snag and it couldn’t be sent. I cannot comment whether the lives of both the policemen could have been saved or not. But it is for sure that it would have helped a lot,” he said.

But eyewitness and CRPF constable Ramanand Kumar Singh believed a chopper would have definitely saved them. Carrying a wounded colleague behind his back, Singh was lucky to have missed the bullets that zipped passed his shoulder not once but many times.

Fellow constable Patil of the CRPF’s 190 battalion and Thakur weren’t that lucky. “Both started bleeding profusely near me… one of the bullets fired by the Maoists hit Patil on the head and his cap fell off,” said Singh, now at the ICU of Abdur Razzaque Memorial Apollo Hospital being treated for “brachial plexes injury”. “They were writhing in pain without much help for the next three to four hours. If police reinforcements in form of a helicopter reached the spot, the lives of Patil and the police officer could have been saved,” added Singh, who has been with the CRPF since 1995.

This wasn’t the first time that the Dhruv helicopter has failed the police who need it most. According to sources in the state aviation department, it was at the hangar throughout the day as “roter blades which weren’t functioning were under repair”.

The sources added the copter had flown for over 160 hours in last the two months and on most occasions chief minister Madhu Koda, his ministerial colleagues and senior police officers were on board.

Home secretary Sudhir Tripathy conceded that since Dhruv had developed a snag they could have used the services of an Air Force helicopter.

However, he doubted whether the two could have been saved as Patil had a fatal head injury and Thakur was shot in the chest.

Ironically, Tripathy said they would be using the Dhruv chopper tomorrow at 8.30am for a review meeting of the “pilot project for intensive security and development action” for rebel-ravaged Chatra and Palamau districts.

“I will be accompanying senior police officers to Chatra and Palamau,” he said.

Members of the Jharkhand Police Association, who visited Hazaribagh today, blamed senior police officers for failing to arrange a helicopter for an operation that involved the police of three districts: Chatra, Hazaribagh and Ramgarh.

“This is abject failure on the part of the state government. Why is Dhruv being used for everything else other than anti-Naxalite surveillance and rescue operations? The helicopter belongs to us but it is managed either by the home department or the chief minister;s secretariat,” said Ashok Pathak, vice-president of the association.

“We demand an immediate stop to this practice whereby ministers and senior officers are using the helicopter for minor things,” he added.

Referring to Singh, he said it was shameful on part of the state that he could be brought to Ranchi after six hours of the encounter.

Dhruv, the twin-engine chopper, is manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s Bangalore unit. It touched down at the state hangar in 2007.

The spacious flying machine has capacity for nine passengers, apart from the pilot and co-pilot.

Cops ‘kidnap’ son to catch Maoist boss


Pramod Mishra (face covered by red towel) being taken to court on Tuesday. Picture by Gautam Dey
May 13: Police faked a kidnap in an eye-for-an-eye tactic to draw out and catch a top Maoist leader who was trying to take the Red Corridor to New Delhi’s doorstep.

Pramod Mishra, 50, was arrested in Dhanbad on Sunday, a week after his son went missing. Sudhir alias Prakash, 27, had been picked up on May 3 from Bokaro, police sources said. Thereafter, the police spread the word that the son of a top Naxalite leader had been kidnapped for ransom.

Pramod, said to be the country’s No. 2 Maoist, came out of hiding in Dehra Dun to get in touch with confidants all over the region. Calls to Ranchi, Patna and Dhanbad were intercepted, the police said.

A week after Sudhir’s “kidnap”, the police intercepted messages on his mobile phone that his father would be in Dhanbad on Saturday night for a medical check-up and that he would get him freed.

Police officials from Ranchi and Bihar, together with Intelligence Bureau officials, zeroed in on the precise location and arrested Pramod from brother-in-law Jairam Mishra’s house. He was sent to 14 days’ judicial remand today.

“The message to states affected by Naxalite violence is clear — it is an all-out war against Left-wing extremism and the best way to curtail it is to get the top leaders. The focus has shifted to the main CPI (Maoist) leaders as they are the brains behind all Naxalite operations,” a senior intelligence official in Delhi said.

In response to the buzz that the arrest was not “clean” — the trap laid to draw Pramod out mirrored tactics used by the Maoists against security forces — sources in Delhi said there was nothing wrong with it.

Sudhir, too, has now been formally arrested because he is a suspected Maoist assigned to Orissa and Jharkhand. “The arrest of his son cannot be questioned since he too was wanted in some cases. His son was arrested once in 2003, while he was part of an underground meeting with Nepalese Maoists,” a senior Union home ministry official said.

Bihar inspector-general (operations) S.K. Bharadwaj said Pramod was wanted in at least two dozen cases of murder, including police killings, as well as arson and looting in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

One of the 14 main politburo members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), Mishra was in charge of spreading the movement to the north, including Delhi, Haryana, Punjab as well as Jammu and Kashmir.

Intelligence officials had information that he was focusing on making inroads into the capital for maximum impact. He had already set up a state committee of the party in Delhi and enrolled some active members. A home ministry intelligence report also indicated that Maoists were trying to engineer caste conflicts in states like Haryana.

Mishra’s name figured in the US Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism, 2006.

He was part of the central committee of the Maoist Communist Centre — he was said to have headed the group — which merged with the People’s War group to form the CPI (Maoist) in 2004. Ganpathi of People’s War is general secretary of the CPI (Maoist).

Another politburo member, Misir Besra alias Sunirmal, who was arrested by Jharkhand police in March, had provided useful information about his colleagues, sources said. “It was Besra who provided the police with the whereabouts of Mishra’s son,” the home ministry official said.

Senior police officials from Delhi, Patna, Ranchi and Calcutta have rushed to Bokaro.

Rajiv Kumar, IG (special operation), said Mishra was not wanted in Bengal. He is a prize catch for Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, not to speak of the Centre which has identified Naxalites as the single biggest threat to the country’s internal security. The Bihar government had even announced a Rs 3-lakh reward on the man whose aliases include Bibiji, Agni and Ban Bihari.

Bihar and Jharkhand police collaborated with central intelligence officials for the arrest. Local policemen, except DIG, coal belt (Dhanbad and Bokaro), Anurag Gupta, were kept in the dark. A laptop, diaries and Maoist literature were found on him.

Bharadwaj said Mishra had committed his first murder in the late seventies when he killed the mukhiya of a village in Aurangabad (Bihar), where he is from.

“Mishra is a man of millions and owns real estate in cities of Delhi and Calcutta worth crores which were collected in the name of levy from contractors and businessmen,” he said. “I have proof that he has put in several crores in a non-banking (financial) company,” the Bihar IG (operations) said.

Bharadwaj said Bihar police would seek Mishra’s remand, the hearing for which is to be held tomorrow.

Anti-red drive to get bolder

New Delhi, May 13: The Centre has decided to adopt a more aggressive and proactive approach in dealing with Left wing extremism, even if it means going around the law a little bit.

This approach was more than visible in the arrest of Pramod Mishra, a top-rung Maoist leader, from Dhanbad two days ago. In response to the buzz — that Mishra’s arrest was not a “clean” arrest but the result of a trap laid by the Jharkhand police who picked up his son to draw the Naxalite leader out — sources said, there was nothing wrong in using such tactics.

“The message to states affected by Naxalite violence is clear — it is an all out war against left-wing extremism and the best way to curtail it is to get the top leaders. The focus has shifted to the main Maoist leaders as they are the brains behind all naxal operations,” disclosed a senior intelligence official.

Mishra was one of the 14 main politburo members of Maoists, and in charge of spreading the movement to northern India which included Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. Intelligence officials had information that Mishra was focusing on making inroads into the Capital for maximum impact. His name also figured in the US State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism, 2006, as one of the important leaders of CPI-Maoist.

While Ganpathi, the PWG leader from Andhra Pradesh, was the general secretary of CPI-Maoist, Mishra was one of the 14 politburo members below him in the hierarchy. Other permanent politburo members included Mallojula K. Rao, Cherukuri Raja Kumkar, Prashanth Bose, Nambala Keshavarao, Sumanand Singh, Katakam Sudershan, Akhilesh Yadav and Balraj. Another politburo member Nathuni Mistry was arrested by Jharkhand police in 2002.

Another politburo member Misir Besra alias Sunirmal was also arrested by Jharkhand police earlier in March, and according to sources, he had provided useful information about the other top leaders and their functioning. “It was Besra who had provided the police with the whereabouts of Mishra’s son, also a CPI-Maoist member,” defended a senior home ministry official.

Mishra, originally from Aurangabad, had succeeded in making some inroads into Delhi which included setting up of a state committee of the party.

Naxals threaten villagers to boycott polls

Manipal (PTI): Naxals have distributed pamphlets in Andare village of the district asking locals to boycott the Assembly polls in Karnataka, police said on Wednesday.

The pamphlets were distributed in every house of the village, police said, adding they have intensified combing operations in parts of Karkala and Hebri to crack down on Naxal activists.

A senior police official said a dawn to dusk combing operation was being undertaken now.

The official said a vigil is also being kept on naxal infested areas, including in parts of Chikmagalur and Udupi.

Areas like parts of Shimoga and districts of Bellary, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Chikmagalur, where naxal activities have been reported, will go to polls in the second phase of assembly elections on May 16.

Fight Naxals effectively: New force mooted


Naxalism has become a cancer for the country now. In some districts of 7-8 states of the country their terror is prevailing. In several districts they are running parallel government. The naxals do as it pleases them in these districts. They have made the administration sick in some areas of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhatisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. According to a recent news report, Naxals turnover of recovering money has touched Rs 100 crores. And now this money is also being used in share market. In today's scenario there is need to curb this menace taking effective strategic decisions. In this connection a special force (SAF) is proposed to be formed under the control of CRPF. It is waiting for final approval from the Union home ministry. According to the proposal, 10 battalions (10 thousand jawans) would be in new the force and it would be formed on the pattern of Greyhound of Andhra Pradesh police. It is noticeable that the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh recently in a meeting with Chief Ministers of the states had told that Leftist extremists are the biggest menace for Indian internal security. He had told all the state chief ministers to form a special unit to face naxal activities. People killed in Naxal attacks are more than those who were killed in north-eastern states due to extremist and terrorist activities. It means naxalism has taken form of terrorism. So the preparation to curb it should be on a large scale. There is need for a joint command of states along with forming SAF which can face naxals with their best efforts. This work force should be given cooperation at the local level and information system should be strong only then the cancer of naxalism can be rooted out. The new force should be provided helicopter along with modern means of communication. Because the naxals might have everything which an Army possesses.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Intelligence: Bhutan Maoists infiltrating State

By Sanjoy Ray

GUWAHATI, May 11 – Conceding that the infiltration of the Bhutan Maoists along the porous Assam-Bhutan border is on in an unprecedented manner, the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) has expressed concern over the possibility of the ISI and the insurgent groups active in the North East, including the banned United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), cashing in on the Maoist infiltration to further their nefarious designs. Highly-placed sources in the SSB, which is entrusted with the job of manning the Indo-Bhutan border, told The Assam Tribune that the SSB, following some confirmed intelligence inputs about increasing Bhutan Maoists’ presence along the Assam-Bhutan border, has intensified vigil along the border.

“According to our intelligence report, hundreds of suspected Bhutan Maoists have crossed the Assam border in the last few months and most of them have mingled with the local population of the border areas which are mostly dominated by the Indian Nepali population,” the sources revealed.

“The trend of Bhutan Maoists’ infiltration seemed to have picked up, especially after the elections in Bhutan,” the sources opined.

“On one hand, where there are possibilities of the ISI using the Maoists’ infiltration into Assam as a tool to dilute the relationship between Indian and Bhutan, and on the other hand the banned ULFA and other NE-based insurgent groups, according to our reports, are trying to use the Maoists’ presence in carrying out for subversive activities in the State,” the sources said, adding that the recent instance where two Bhutani Maoists’ were arrested in Nalbari district, has indicated that the Maoists are taking interest in Assam and have entered in the Indian domain via Assam border.

Moreover, as the ULFA is facing the heat of a continued crackdown by the security forces, there are substantial chances of the banned outfit taking the help of the Maoists in adding teeth to its dwindling force.

The Indo-Bhutan border, it may be mentioned, comprises a stretch of 699 km covering four States including Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim.

The sources further informed that the SSB, in a special move, is monitoring the activities of several hundred suspected Maoists, who are trying to settle along the Assam-Bhutan border.

“We have kept them under surveillance and necessary action would be taken once their identity is proven,” the sources reiterated, adding that the process of identification is on.

“At this moment, the scenario is not very sensitive but in the long run this might take an alarming turn,” the sources pointed out.

“We have informed the civil administration about the matter and accordingly steps are being initiated,” the sources stated.

Indian Maoists cautiously support Nepali Maoists
Urge to stay out of govt

By Gopal Khanal

New Delhi, May 11 - Indian Maoists have said the present verdict expressed through the Constituent Assembly elections in Nepal may provide 'mammoth' possibilities to establish revolutionary authority in the country.
The Indian Maoists, however, have cautioned their Nepali comrades against joining the government and have urged the latter to "continue with their class struggle until and unless such a complete revolutionary power is snatched."

In a resolution endorsed by its central committee, the CPI (Maoist) has termed the victory of Nepali Maoists as ''a verdict against feudal monarchy, Indian expansionism and US imperialism''.
Cautioning the Nepali Maoists ''not to become dizzy with the success'' and to be wary of possibility of coups and assassinations, the CPI-Maoist said the real test would begin once the CPN-Maoist took over the reins of power.

''Survival of such regime depends on taking a conciliatory stand on several crucial matters'' the party has said, "hence to over estimate the prospects of radical restructuring of the society by a Maoist government would be illusive''.

Low turn-out in Maoist-hit Bankura

Bankura (PTI): Only 22 per cent votes were polled till 1500 hours in the Maoist-hit areas of Bankura district following a poll-boycott call by the ultras.

Official sources said areas under Barikul and Ranibadh police station areas witnessed about 22 per cent of turnout till late in the afternoon. The Maoist call for poll boycott seemed to have deterred the people from coming to booths, the sources said.

Meanwhile, CPI(M) supporters reportedly looted more than hundred ballot papers from Punisole polling booths. The matter came to light on the complaint of RSP workers. The District Magistrate, Surendra Gupta has ordered reelection in the booth following the complaint.

Incidentally, the RSP and CPI(M) are partners of the ruling Left Front and they have reached an understanding on the poll strategy at the top level, although discontentment has been running high among grassroot workers mainly on the issue of farmland acquisition for industrialisation in West Bengal.

CRPF alleges victimization by state

13 May 2008, 0603 hrs IST,Vishwa Mohan,TNN

NEW DELHI: The verbal spat between CPM MP Lakshman Seth and CRPF DIG Alok Raj is likely to snowball into a major controversy with the paramilitary force on Monday lodging a strong protest against the West Bengal state machinery, alleging "deliberate victimisation" of its personnel.

Though the Centre sought a detailed report from the West Bengal government over the confrontation between Seth and Raj in Nandigram during the panchayat polls, the preliminary report from the state is learnt to have indicted the DIG at least on one count - for deliberately making the spat public.

The state's report shared with home secretary Madhukar Gupta also denied any interference in the functioning of the CRPF. The paramilitary force, however, termed the state's preliminary report as biased when the issue was discussed between Gupta and CRPF director general V K Joshi and requested the Centre to refrain from taking any action unless a detailed inquiry was made.

Seth reportedly questioned Raj over the jurisdiction of the paramilitary force and also about a molestation charge against the latter. It led to a heated exchange between the two and the verbal spat could be heard as Raj had kept his phone on loudspeaker mode.

Seth was shown on television asking the CRPF official not to venture out on patrolling during election time. He virtually ordered Raj to stay put in his camp, which was ignored by the officer, who said he could not be directed by the MP. The state has, meanwhile, initiated an inquiry over the spat.

The DIG has already denied the molestation charge.

Although officials in the home ministry remained tight-lipped over the tough stand supposedly being taken by CRPF in its report to the home secretary, they hinted at some kind of disciplinary action against the DIG - to the extent of even removing him from Nandigram amid pressure from the state which is, incidentally, being ruled by the UPA's key ally CPM.

Officials in the CRPF, however, said any such move would be demoralising for the force, which has been assisting the state police in restoring peace in Nandigram for the last six months.

A senior official said: "Any action against the DIG before a detailed investigation will not augur well, particularly when the CRPF will have to do its duty even during the second and third phase of panchayat polls till May 18."

Sources in the home ministry said the Centre would wait for the final report and also check the details from the state election commission about the deployment. Since no MLA or MP can issue instructions to any officer during the election process, action against Raj, if any, will be taken after considering all the facts, they added.

They did not rule out the possibility of repatriating Raj to his parent cadre (Bihar), considering the end of his five-year tenure with the CRPF in two months.

Currently, nearly 500 CRPF personnel are deployed in Nandigram. Besides, five companies of the force (nearly 625 personnel) have also been given to the state in view of the panchayat elections in remaining 13 districts on May 14 and May 18. These are in addition to the two battalions of CRPF (over 2,000 men) stationed there to assist the state in fighting Naxalites.

India special force to fight Maoists

Published: May 12, 2008 at 7:02 PM

NEW DELHI, May 12 (UPI) -- India's Interior Ministry is planning to set up a special action force to combat Maoist violence in the country.

The ministry said the new force would be under the control of the Central Reserve Police Force, an elite paramilitary force. According to an Interior Ministry official, the government made the decision following a sharp increase in Maoist-related violence in the country.

The official, who declined to be quoted, said the proposal is awaiting final approval from the interior minister.

The new force would comprise 10 battalions (10,000 personnel) and would be set up on the pattern of the Greyhounds of the Andhra Pradesh police, The Economic Times reported Thursday.

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while addressing state chief ministers, called left-wing extremism a virus and the single biggest threat to internal security. He asked all states to set up specialized units to counter Maoist activities in the country on the pattern of the Greyhounds.

Maoists in India are called Naxalites, as their armed fight began in Naxalbari, a region of West Bengal, in the 1970s.

Injured BSF men flown to Kolkata

Purulia (WB) (PTI): Five Border Security Force personnel injured in Sunday's landmine blast here were on Monday to Kolkata by helicopter after their condition worsened.

The five belonging the the 39th battalion who were admitted to the Purulia Sadar hospital after being injured in the explosion were air-lifted to Kolkata by helicopter at 10:00 am, Purulia district superintendent of police Ashok Prasad said.

The body of the BSF man killed, Ali Akbar Sheikh, was sent to his home in Jammu and Kashmir, he said.

The explosion by suspected Maoists took place on the wooded road between Gangarampur and Sirka yesterday when the BSF was escorting polling personnel for the panchayat election at Naxalite-hit Bandwan in the district last evening.

A combing operation which followed the blast failed to trace any of the attackers, the SP said.

The administration of neighbouring East Singhbhum district in Jharkhand was alerted, he added.

'Bengal targeting CRPF'

13 May 2008, 0218 hrs IST,Vishwa Mohan,TNN

NEW DELHI: The verbal spat between CPM MP Lakshman Seth and CRPF DIG Alok Raj is likely to snowball into a major controversy with the paramilitary force on Monday lodging a strong protest against the West Bengal state machinery alleging "deliberate victimisation" of its personnel.

Though the Centre sought a detailed report from the West Bengal government over the confrontation between Seth and Raj in Nandigram during the panchayat polls, the preliminary report from the state is learnt to have indicted the DIG at least on one count — for deliberately making the spat public.

The state's report shared with home secretary Madhukar Gupta also denied any interference in the functioning of the CRPF. The paramilitary force, however, termed the state's preliminary report as biased when the issue was discussed between Gupta and CRPF director general V K Joshi and requested the Centre to refrain from taking any action unless a detailed inquiry was made.

Seth reportedly questioned Raj over the jurisdiction of the paramilitary force and also about a molestation charge against the latter. It led to a heated exchange between the two and the verbal spat could be heard as Raj had kept his phone on loudspeaker mode.

Seth was shown on television asking the CRPF official not to venture out on patrolling during election time. He virtually ordered Raj to stay put in his camp which was ignored by the officer who said he could not be directed by the MP. The state has, meanwhile, initiated an inquiry over the spat.

The DIG has already denied the molestation charge.

Although officials in the home ministry remained tightlipped over the tough stand supposedly being taken by the CRPF in its report to the home secretary, they hinted at some kind of disciplinary action against the DIG — to the extent of even removing him from Nandigram amid pressure from the state which is, incidentally, being ruled by the UPA's key ally CPM.

Officials in the CRPF, however, said any such move would be demoralising for the force which has been assisting the state police in restoring peace in Nandigram for the last six months.

A senior official said, "Any action against the DIG before a detailed investigation will not augur well, particularly when the CRPF will have to do its duty even during the second and third phase of panchayat polls till May 18."

Sources in the home ministry said the Centre would wait for the final report and also check the details from the state election commission about the deployment. Since no MLA or MP can issue instructions to any officer during the election process, action against Raj, if any, will be taken after considering all the facts, they added. They did not rule out the possibility of repatriating Raj to his parent cadre (Bihar), considering the end of his five-year tenure with the CRPF in two months time.

Currently, nearly 500 CRPF personnel are deployed in Nandigram. Besides, five companies of the force (nearly 625 personnel) have also been given to the state in view of the panchayat elections in remaining 13 districts on May 14 and May 18. These are in addition to the two battalions of CRPF (over 2,000 men) stationed there to assist the state in fighting Naxals.

Naxals call poll boycott

Tuesday May 13 2008 09:53 IST
K Shivakumar

SRINGERI: AS the countdown for the second phase of elections on May 16 starts, handbills from naxal outfits and other Left-oriented organisations have surfaced across Sringeri taluk, particularly in the Kudermukh National Park and in tribal hamlets on the fringes of the forest.

Appeals, pasted near bus stops, school buildings and junctions by naxals, have put the tribal population and other voters in Sringeri constituency in a dilemma. The call for poll boycott has also created apprehensions among political parties.

Though the parties have not attached great importance to these threats, leaders campaigning in these areas are a worried lot. There are reports that the naxals have also launched a campaign against the BJP candidate Jeevaraj.

Many BJP workers have been threatened, warned not to campaign for the BJP candidate. However, the naxals have not issued any directions on whom to vote for.

This correspondent visited Kigga, Nemmar, Malandura, Bukkadi, Hemmige, Adi Kesadagodu, Kere Katte, Balakandi, Sirimane and Guraganjemane villages in and around the national park, all of which are in the grip of fear.

Thommu Gowda, a tribal with land in the national park, said he would take part in voting. “Why should we keep off from voting when it happens only once in five years?”

Ignoring the threat from the naxals, Jeevraj, a former MLA seeking re-election from the Sringeri, makes it a point to appeal to people to vote, telling them of his efforts to develop the constituency. Asked about the poll boycott call, Jeevaraj remains tight-lipped.

Meanwhile, BJP leaders accuse the naxals of supporting the Congress candidate. The president of the Kuduremukh Rastriya Udayana Virodhi Ookkuta, Vittal Hegde, feels that the tribals are against the BJP as they have branded adivasis as naxal supporters in the last couple of years.

Centre to build police infrastructure in state’s Naxal-affected Sonebhadra

Express News Service
Posted online: Tuesday , May 13, 2008 at 03:09:44
Updated: Tuesday , May 13, 2008 at 03:09:44

Lucknow, May 12 In its bid to counter the growing influence of Naxals in Uttar Pradesh, the Centre will bear all the expenses for developing police infrastructure in Sonebhadra district.
The government will constitute two committees, including one high-level committee under the chairmanship of the principal secretary (home) of the state government, Kunwar Fateh Bahadur, to finalise the schemes for the development of infrastructure.

The other committee will be a district-level one and will be headed by the district magistrate.

This committee will oversee the implementation of the schemes.

This was decided at meeting of the state home department and senior officers of the union home ministry held here on Monday. Besides principal secretary Bahadur, DGP Vikram Singh, senior officers of the union home ministry, including additional secretary Vinay Kumar, joint secretaries (anti-naxal management), Dilip Kotiya and Dr Kashmir Singh, Inspector General (CRPF) Karamvir Singh and DIG (SSB) Anil Agrawal attended the meeting.

The Superintendents of Police (SP) of three naxal-affected districts — Chandauli, Sonebhadra and Mirzapur — were also present at the meeting. It was decided that an additional fund of Rs 2 lakh would be given to each of the three naxal-affected districts.

The state government’s decision to give an additional allowance of 30 per cent of their salary to those policemen who are posted in the Naxal-affected areas was also appreciated.

The officials from the union home ministry said that it should be implemented in other such states that are facing Naxal problem, a press release issued by the state home department stated.

It was also decide to set up a Group Centre of the CRPF in Sonebhadra district.

“We have proposed the name of Sonebhadra. The state government would provide land for the same,” said Secretary (home) Mahesh Gupta.

The state government has also decided to send a proposal to the Centre requesting the latter to provide Rs 10 crore for purchasing equipments to strengthen the Special Task Force and the intelligence wing.

The Centre also directed the state government to keep a close watch on the transportation of explosive materials in the Naxal-affected districts.

Karkala: Naxals ask People to Boycott Polls

Daijiworld Media Network – Karkala (RD)

Karkala, May 12: In the midst of assembly poll campaign, Naxals were spotted in the dense woods at Andaru, in the taluk on Saturday May 10.

Naxals with patronage to CPI (Maoist) pasted handbills in prominent places around the locality, such as bus stand, on the walls of shops and water tanks, urging the residents to boycott the assembly polls.

Naxals urged the locals to boycott the assembly polls under the pretext that it would not bring relief to their miseries since all the political parties involved in the polls are only after their gain. "Only the Naxals can assure support to the peasants in their struggle against Special Economic Zones and eviction of forest dwellers," they stated.

Six members of Naxal team dared to roam through the area, tying banners urging the residents to boycott the polls and seeking support of farmers for Naxal ideologies.

Meanwhile, Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) personnel continued their combing operations in search of Naxals were spotted in the locality. ANF is also busy convincing people not to heed the Naxals and their ideologies.

Risk-fraught campaign in naxal areas

Tuesday May 13 2008 09:35 IST

SRINGERI: AS the election campaign carries over into naxal territory, in villages in Kerekatte, Kigga, Beggar hoblis of Sringeri and parts of Koppa taluks, the question arises of whether campaigners will be given adequate police cover.

The BJP candidate Jeevaraj of Sringeri constituency was seen campaigning in the presence of a personal gun man in naxalite affected Melmmar village, which falls on the fringe of the forest.

Candidates and party men admit that the police should extend security to those campaigning, as there are more than 40 villages suspected to have naxalites in Sringeri and Koppa taluk.

When contacted, Inspector Sudhakar Nayak at the Sringeri Police Station said that they had provided security to the BJP candidate for a day, to enable him to campaign in the forest area.

He said police would provide adequate security if a request is made in time by the candidates.

Monday, May 12, 2008

'Persistent surveillance' is the need of the hour

Siddharth Sivaraman

Churchill said India wasn't a nation, just an "abstraction". John Kenneth Galbraith, more affectionately and more memorably, described it as "functioning anarchy". Both of them, in my view, underestimated the strength of the India-idea. It may be the most innovative national philosophy to have emerged in the post-colonial period. It deserves to be celebrated-because its is an idea that has enemies, within India as well as outside her frontiers, and to celebrate it is also to defend it against its foes.Salman Rushdie

India's stature on the world stage has risen significantly in recent years after the country moved on to a high-growth trajectory. It now commands a much bigger say in the global affairs. However, its internal security remains a serious concern in the face of growing activities of Maoists and secessionist forces in a large swathe of the country. Aided and abetted by powers inimical to the Indian interests, these forces are constantly defying the State's authority. Underlining the gravity of the situation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently said the Maoist threat is the single biggest security the country has faced since Independence.

It is not that the government has been lax in dealing with this security threat. It has ordered military operations whenever these forces seem to be going berserk. However, this strategy has so far proved ineffectual in eliminating the security threat as these forces go underground and wait for the operations to be over. Once the military offensive is over, they resurface and start their activities. Since there is no surveillance mechanism in place to monitor their movement on a regular basis, they get enough time to replenish their depleted resources and attack and massacre innocent civilians.

It is in this context that the need to adopt the emerging 'persistent surveillance' technology assumes urgency.

Maoists are now active in a large swathe, ranging from Nepal to southern India. India’s chaotic democracy and the lackadaisical attitude of its elected leaders towards economic development are driving the disenchanted poor rural youths to join the Maoists movements. For these young men who never had any support in life or access to jobs, power certainly flows from the barrel of a gun.

In recent years, India has been a safe place for Nepal's Maoists leaders like Prachanda to plan and run campaigns against the Monarchy and the government of Nepal. In King Gyanendra's death, India lost an important ally. And now that Maoists have taken over the reins of power, India risks losing the traditional influence it has wielded with the Nepal State. If that happens, China will be only too happy to fill the vacuum created by India.

In India, the states of Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh are vulnerable with the Maoists in a position to launch attacks with absolute impunity. In recent years, their attacks have led to the death of hundreds of policemen, paramilitary forces and innocent civilians. The Maoists' ability to get away with misadventures like prison breaks, raiding of police stations with the sole intent of killing policemen for their weapons, smuggling of narcotics clearly point to the fact that the governments in states and at the centre are unable to maintain the constant vigil required to take effective pre-emptive action.

India also suffers recurring attacks in the North East from groups like the ULFA and NSCN, which are believed to operate from their camps in Bangladesh and Myanmar. The militants have in the past promised to stop their activities several times after negotiations with the central and state government. However, they have failed to keep their word.

It is because insurgency in the North East is no longer driven by secessionist goals. It has now become a business, with groups like ULFA indulging in kidnapping of local businessmen, hijacking of trucks and passenger buses for extortion on a regular basis.

The Maoists and the secessionist groups are getting support from neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, all of which harbour deep distrust of India. The militants are openly operating from their bases in these countries. But when confronted by the Indian government at the diplomatic level, they deny the existence of militant camps. Perhaps, no other country in the world except Israel is faced with such serious threats on all its borders.

Because of the flagrant proliferation of nuclear material and technology by the Dr. A.Q. Network and Pakistan government's inability to safeguard the same, the threat of nuclear devices falling into the hands of terrorists has become real. And India cannot afford to turn a blind eye or maintain wilful ignorance about this grave danger.

The perpetual low intensity conflicts that affect India are also a result of local politics in neighbouring countries to gain votes, political mileage and the simple geo-political design of draining India of its wealth. Under these circumstances, it is naïve to assume that these troubles will go away anytime soon.

We would expect the Chinese to act with magnanimity of a great power towards its neighbour after it tasted economic success. But that has proved wrong. China is still harassing India through serious border incursions and the sale of weapons to militant groups operating in the North East. Not only that, China also wields influence in the internal politics of India through it proxies. It is feared the Left parties are working to scuttle the nuclear deal just to protect the Chinese interests. Otherwise, why would they oppose a deal which is so vital to India's infrastructural development.

India has nearly 5422km of main coast line. It shares around 3310km of border with Pakistan and nearly 3917km with China. India also shares borders with Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh. The terrain is also highly diversified -- marshlands in Kutch, shifting desert sand dunes in Rajasthan, network of canals, rivers and rivulets in Punjab and the most difficult terrain the Himalayan mountain range which covers the entire nation in the north from the state of Jammu and Kashmir to the North Eastern States of India. In south, the Indian mainland is separated only by a few dozen miles from Sri Lanka.

With this varied nature of terrain, which is also extremely porous, the need of the hour is “Persistent surveillance”, also known as persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); persistent stare; and pervasive knowledge of the adversary. This is an often-used term to describe the need for and application of future ISR capabilities to qualitatively transform intelligence support to operational and tactical commands.

Sun Tzu observed: “The highest realization of warfare is to attack the enemy’s plans”.

The idea of PS surfaces in many forms, but each idea envisions a system with the ability to achieve near perfect knowledge of the enemy or the target area, thereby removing any uncertainty in war. Persistence surveillance, essentially a concept envisioned for the military, has equally important and numerous civilian applications. Monitoring natural disasters, providing real-time imagery and communications for law enforcement agencies, detailed telemetry for urban planning, High-speed broadband communication links are some of the non-military applications that are also part of PS systems concept. PS can play a crucial role in assisting GOI agencies such as the NTRO, BSF, RAW and other law enforcement agencies to effectively monitor actionable intelligence and take timely action. The role of persistence surveillance can dramatically increase the efficiency of the disaster recovery management systems that come into effect once a disaster has taken place. If a PS system were to be put place in a holistic manner, an ideal PS environment data could be shared in parallel with other users including the ones at the lowest level in the organization. No longer will lengthy reports on actionable intelligence be sent up the chain of command instead the end users can demand the type data needed to make informed and on-the-spot decisions. Networking tools will connect analysts and end users.

Elements in the persistent surveillance network can also provide a robust alternative communications infrastructure during breakdown, damage or even total annihilation of the existing communication system as a result of a terrorist attack, man-made or a natural disaster. The use of High-altitude Airships with large communications payload can be used to re-route internet traffic in case of a disruption in underwater fibre optic cables, in a situation similar to the one that occurred recently affecting large parts of India. Week-long disruptions can cause huge losses to the tune of millions of dollars a day.

'Persistent surveillance' is not just the development of the various intelligence gathering elements but a sustained government initiative to implement a policy that would integrate the proposed surveillance systems and the ones currently deployed to arrive at a common operating picture (COP).

India is now firmly entrenched in the information age with the world's second largest and the fastest growing mobile and fibre optic network. It can make use of its large enterprise systems and integrate them in a holistic manner with the existing and proposed surveillance systems to arrive at a COP. All the connected analysts and end users will look at one single COP and access tailor-made information most relevant to each agency. India will have to design it own COP relevant to its threat scenario and surveillance capability.

India has various systems in place for surveillance of its borders. Apart from forces like BSF, the coast guard and the Navy, India also boasts of an ever-growing constellation of satellites and aircrafts guarding the airspace and maintaining constant vigil on strategic assets. There are also several other technologies that come into play starting with unattended ground based sensors, which can be planted on the ground individually or as a network of cheap and robust UGSs to detect incursions by utilizing infra red, sound, seismic, magnetic and other sensing methods and relay information to the control station linked via satellites. Ground-based sensors have been traditionally used to detect the movement of the enemy forces, friendly or enemy fire, trajectory of artillery shells at the edge of the battle fields.

India also has at its disposal a combination of space and airborne technologies for surveillance and recently India has joined a select group of nations to deploy dedicated military satellites for surveillance. But despite their successes, the scope of surveillance through satellites is limited because of the low rate of revisit which varies from a few days to a week. And sometimes, many passes over a target zone have to be made to obtain a proper imagery.

The latest tool in collection of intelligence data is the space-based radar system -- which can, in consonant with a GPS system, provide 24-hour surveillance of target area. The use of the latest in Infrared (IR) or synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors gives satellites an all-weather capability. The only catch in deploying a space-based radar system is that enormous financial resources are required to put in orbit such a system.

India has also recently acquired a number of aircraft such as the PC-3 Orion for maritime surveillance and Israel will soon be delivering to India its own version of the AWACS, also known as Phalcon. Meanwhile, the DRDO has also revived its AWACS development program and it is only a matter time that India will boast its own capability.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are the hot items on any countries defence list, UAVs have the ability to stay aloft over designated areas for extended periods of time with minimum visibility to the enemy air defences. UAVs are deployed along the border with Pakistan to procure real-time information on infiltration. Pakistan deploys its own UAVs to counter India’s deployment. The success of UAVs during operation Parakram means they will have a significant role to play during military operations in the near future.

The outcome of space warfare in the future will depend upon who gets first actionable intelligence. After gathering actionable intelligence, armed predator UAVs can also verify the threat and eliminate the threat. UAVs have played a crucial role in the global war on terror and perhaps they are one of the main reasons that the Osama Bin Laden and his men have their movements severely curtailed.

India has also recently fielded aerostats, helium-based tethered airships with a surveillance capability ranging from a few dozen to 200 miles. Aerostats are, however, severely restricted by line of sight, weather and have limited deployment capability in mountainous terrains.

In the near future the world will witness the launch of an entirely new communications platform based on cutting edge high altitude airship (HAA) platform technology, a variant of UAV. These HAAs will be able to carry large payloads at the heights of 65,000 feet and remain geostationary over a designated area to carry round the clock persisted surveillance of the target area for up to a year or more. These airships can fly in all weather and serve multiple users spread over large areas. These airships will be able to generate their own power using a combination of solar and fuel cells, thus eliminating the need for refuelling. A HAA stationed over the state of Jammu and Kashmir will be able to provide surveillance and communications capability over the entire state and keep an 'unblinking eye in the sky. A network of up to 11 airships will be able to provide coverage to the entire nation of India. HAA can also provide a robust alternative communications infrastructure and help ease the burden of the ever-increasing traffic on the existing fibre optics network, satellite and the plain old telephone system.

An airship stationed over Bangalore can provide imagery of real-time traffic conditions, radio communications, television and high-speed broadband connectivity for industry and private customers. The deployment of HAA can turn an area with zero or no communication capability to an area with cutting-edge wireless connectivity. No longer will money have to be spent on acquiring land and permits etc. for erected cell phone towers or digging the ground to lay fibre optics cables. With each user connected directly to the airship, there is no need for the “last mile solution”. The HAA could be the end game in surveillance for years to come. Besides, it also has the potential to become the backbone of a large WI-FI network system envisioned by the EU. Consortiums such as the CAPNINA based in Sweden have conducted extensive tests with high-success rates to test broadband connectivity of payloads that will deploy on airships. The U.S. has offered India to be a partner in this dual-use, cutting edge technology. The HAA project in the U.S. is being pursued by Lockheed Martin under the advanced concept technology demonstrator (ACTD) with the first prototype flight expected by the end of 2009.

India simply cannot afford to reject this offer that should propel her years ahead of its adversaries in surveillance and communications capability. India must consider the emergence of persistent surveillance in the context of future combat and national-security capabilities and so, persistent surveillance should be nested in the higher operational capability it serves. Form follows function. The guiding vision—a globally coherent national-security system—requires a coherent operational system to exercise all elements of national power.

2 Cops killed, 5 injured in encounter with Maoists

Monday May 12 2008 00:45 IST

HAZARIBAG: Two security personnel, including a police officer, were killed and five persons, including two CRPF personnel, were injured in an encounter with Maoists at Dahudag, 30 km from Hazaribag on Sunday.

The Maoists, led by self-styled regional commander, fired at the joint patrol of CRPF and police killing officer-in-charge of Charhi police station Bijay Kumar Thakur and a Jawan of CRPF 22nd battalion P K Patil on the spot.

Three other CRPF personnel were injured prompting the security personnel to return the fire and the encounter lasted for an hour, superintendent of police Praveen Kumar Singh said.

The two sides traded over 400 rounds, he said adding one of the seriously injured Jawans had been shifted to a private hospital in Ranchi. The other two Jawans were admitted to a hospital in Hazaribag.

Two girls Anju and Manju also suffered bullet wounds as they were caught in the cross-fire. They were looking after sheep close to the encounter spot, sandwiched between two hillocks, when hit by stray bullets, the SP said.

The forces launched the raid after tipped off that 50 naxalites headed by the self-styled regional commander, Navin Manjhi, ordered the villagers to serve them lunch.

This is the second encounter within a week in which the police suffered casualty. On May 7, a wireless supervisor had died and three policemen were injured when Maoists attacked their vehicle near Tatijharia in Hazaribag.