Saturday, October 04, 2008

After MAD, terror outfits planned BAM

DNA Correspondent
Saturday, October 04, 2008 17:39 IST

MANGALORE: Some sketches and other incriminating documents seized from the four terror suspects arrested at Mangalore on Friday indicated they had been planning a BAM (Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Mangalore) blasts after the recent MAD (Mumbai,Ahmedabad, Delhi) blasts.

The joint-operation, the Mumbai police, Karnataka's police and anti-Naxal squad, succeeded nabbing four Indian Mujahidin activists with substantial cash, CD, explosives, Jihad material, credits cards and active mobile sets. In all, 11 people were picked up, of whom four have been placed under arrests, and the remainder let off after interrogation.

The arrested, Mohammed Ali (56), resident of Mukkachari, Jawed Ali (20), student of Quranic studies in Ullal, Naushad (25), a resident of Subhashnagar engaged in construction work, and Ahmed Bawa (33), a resident of Haleyangady, engaged in petty business have all been booked under Unorganised Activities (Prevention) Act and sections of IPC for anti-national activities and sedition. All of them are branded close allies of Roshan alias Riaz of Bhatkal. Bhatkal is a fast progressing port town in Uttar Kannada district on the coastal Karnataka. It has, however, been under the grip of communal clashes for the past several years.

Interrogation of the arrested has revealed that terror modules had planned more attacks on some religious places of Bangalore, Mangalore and Ahmedabad. This was to be followed up with a serial attack on some key security installations. However, no date or time has been marked. Riaz Bhatkal has emerged the most-wanted man for the anti-terror security forces after the Mumbai ATS earlier this month learnt from arrested IM activists that Riaz is the kingpin of the terror network. He emerged a terror figure after his suspected involvement in the killing of a BJP MLA and a medical practioner Dr.Chittaranjan at Bhatkal in 1996.

The Mumbai police had said that Bhatkal was a key person and had knowledge of all the blasts. Moreover, he was ranked very high in the IM hierarchy, the police had also said.

The Inspector General of Police (Southern Range) A M Prasad said the police were hopeful gathering crucial information after the examinations of the CDs, hard-discs and SIM cards seized from the suspects. The fact that over Rs.11 lakhs in cash were found on their possession indicated the deep pocket the terror network kingpins had developed, the police officer said.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Leftists are reaping what they have sown

4 Oct, 2008, 0439 hrs IST,

NEW DELHI: At long last, the Leftists are reaping what they have sown. Their relentless slander of the industry has come home to roost. Perhaps they
will finally understand that embracing extremist conspiracy-theorists and obstructionist policies have consequences for the body politic.

For the past 30 years, misery-mongering has been the standard fare from the Left. Wealth creation was a sin and industrialists were blood-sucking vultures. The commissar decided what was good for the people and the society. All those who spoke against are dangerous deviants, not even worthy of a hearing.

This suited the CPM just fine when Writers Building functioned as a collection agent of revenues and dispenser of central funds. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was different. A section of his party celebrated him as Bengal’s Deng. And it was said that just like Deng, Bhattacharya believed that “it doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice”. This must have encouraged Tatas and others to look at West Bengal even when many of their peers considered change was not possible in the Communist wasteland.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and his colleagues are right in blaming the Opposition’s brain-damaged approach for the current mess. For Mamata Banerjee, it was an issue to score a political point over her rival CPM; for CPM’s allies the issue had the potential to target the big brother; for the Naxalites, it was ripe for their devious politics; and for the Congress, it was an opportunity to get closer to Mamata.

But Communists cannot feign outrage over the development as they are the pioneers of obstructionism in the country. If the Leftists look at the developments in Kerala on Friday, they probably would have an answer.

The CPI, which has come out in the open against the Kerala government’s SEZ policy on Friday, has said that the new industrial policy will lead to revolt by workers. The CPI state leadership has also offered to lead a movement against the state’s industrial policy.

Unlike Bhattacharjee, Kerala chief minister VS Achuthanandan will not be a stressed man. He has been the biggest opponent of his government’s SEZ policy and has been refusing to clear 10 special zone proposals for the past two years.

Given this, it would be a stretch if the AKG Bhawan inhabitants now blame the political opponents alone for the anti-industry mood in West Bengal. It is this: the chickens have come home to roost.

Naxalites blast cellular phone towers in Bihar

Aurangabad (Bihar), Oct 03: In a determined bid to disrupt telecommunication links, CPI(Maoist) rebels blasted four towers of Cellular Phone Service Operators at Erauri and Ketki in Bihar's Aurangabad district late last night, police said on Friday.

Over 75 armed ultras detonated cane and petrol bombs to blow up one tower each of Reliance and Airtel at both the places, Superintendent of police Ganesh Kumar said.

Fifteen villagers were injured in clash with the naxalites when they resisted their bid, the SP said.

The injured villagers were admitted to a hospital at Deo where their condition was stated to be out of danger, he informed.

Earlier on September 28, CPI (Maoist) rebels have blasted three towers of private cellular phone service operators and set fire to a BSNL generator set in Gaya district in a bid to block the clues being received by the authorities about their movements.

In synchronised attacks, the Maoist guerrillas had blasted two towers of Reliance Communications at Bishunpur and Manjhaulia villages in the district just past midnight, DIG (Magadh range) Pravin Vashisht had confirmed.

He had informed that the naxalites of the proscribed organisation also blew up a tower of Airtel at Chaugain village in Roshanganj police station limits.

"The mobile phone network is proving to be a great nuisance for the naxalites as these give away vital information about their location and movements. Their action is apparently aimed at destructing this network to facilitate smooth conduct of their nefarious operations," Kumar said.

Bureau Report

Govt may not deploy special tiger force in Naxal-hit areas

New Delhi (PTI): The endangered tigers in the Naxalite-hit areas in the country may not get armed cover as the government fears that it may lead to skirmishes with the extremists.

The decision is being taken in view of threats from the Naxalites who, the government apprehends might not take well the "presence" of the Special Task Protection Force (STPF), according to the well placed sources in the Environment Ministry.

The dedicated armed force is being created to save the tigers from poachers and miscreants.

"In the Naxalite-infested reserves, it will not be easy for the armed forces to keep a tab on the tigers as they can come in conflict with the equally sophisticated equipped extremists," a top ministry official said.

This observation was discussed threadbare at a recent high-level meeting led by Environment Secretary Vijay Sinha and was attended by senior police officials from tiger range states as well almost all state wildlife officials, including chief wildlife wardens and chief conservator of forests.

The government would neither like to risk the lives of the personnel of the STPF nor aggravate the situation by drawing the ire of Naxalites who have presence in the deep forests, the official said.

The extremist-affected tiger reserves are Palamao Betla in Jharkhand, Kaziranga and Manas park in Assam, Nagarjunsagar tiger reserve in Andhra Pradesh besides Indravati in Bastar region in Jharkhand.

"Currently, such reserves are being taken care of by the local guards who have somewhat managed a cordial relation with the Naxalites," the official added

Create an environment of security: Patil

Special Correspondent

— Photo: ParvatHi Menon

Nowhere to go: Victims of the communal violence in Kandhamal at a relief camp at Phulbani.

NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Friday asked Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to implement a “strategy for creating an environment of security and confidence among all sections of the people.”

In a letter, Mr. Patil said some components of such a long-time strategy could be apprehending the trouble-makers and miscreants and strengthening the capabilities of the State police force. He asked why the State government could not raise all the five India Reserve (IR) battalions already sanctioned by the Centre. It had raised just one battalion.

The Home Secretary had already written to the Chief Secretary, asking the State government to firmly put down incidents of lawlessness in the State.

The Home Minister reminded the Orissa government that the Centre had been providing para-military forces since December 2007 when tension flared up in Kandhamal for the first time. Apart from 24 companies devoted to anti-naxalite operations, the State government had been given 53 more companies to control the violence targeting the minority community.

Mr. Patil said the Centre had “limitations” in providing para-military forces as there were other internal security commitments ranging from Jammu and Kashmir to the North-East and naxalite activities. He said Central forces were provided for “short duration” for aiding the State police force in law and order duties. He also pointed out that the MI-17 helicopter given to the State government for transportation of troops and evacuation of casualties was used only for reconnaissance.

“The Cabinet took note of the latest situation prevailing in Orissa and Karnataka and the Home Minister was asked by the Prime Minister to apprise the Cabinet of the situation at its next meeting,” Information and Broadcasting Minister P.R. Dasmunsi told reporters.

Criminal negligence, says Brinda Karat

R. Ilangovan reports from Namakkal, Tamil Nadu:

Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat said it was ‘criminal negligence’ for Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik not to initiate action in the case of rape of a nun and the burning of a disabled boy in Kandhamal district.

Ms. Karat told The Hindu that she met Mr. Patnaik on August 29, when he told her that he was “very well aware” of the two crimes and their details. “He assured me of stern action against the perpetrators of the inhuman acts as early as possible.”

She was here to attend the three-day State conference of the Tamil Nadu Tribal Association.


She said the Chief Minister’s reluctance to take action was perplexing. She came to know of these violent incidents when she visited Orissa in August.

The Christian community narrated the acts of inhuman violence against the nun and also the painful death of the disabled boy. “I met the brother of the deceased boy, but I could not meet the nun, who had by then left the place. With details I met the Chief Minister and urged him to take action. But he is yet to react.”

She accused the Centre of being ‘soft’ on Sangh Parivar outfits, such as the Bajrang Dal, reportedly behind the crimes against Christians in Orissa

Terror suspects caught in a joint operation

Harsha/ Naveen Ammembala | ENS04 Oct 2008 09:17:00 AM ISTMANGALORE/BANGALORE: Four men suspected of links with the Indian Mujahiddeen (IM) were held in a pre-dawn operation jointly conducted by the Mumbai Police, the Dakshina Kannada Police and the Anti-Naxal Force.

Mohammed Ali (56), his son, Jawed Ali (20), Naushad (20) and Ahmad Bawa (33) were taken into custody after five hand-made grenades and inflammatory jihadi literature were seized from them, among other things, in a raid that lasted nine hours. All four of them also had other occupations: while Mohammed Ali is a real estate agent at Ullal, his son is a student of Quaranic Studies; Naushad works as a contractor and Bawa owns a petty shop. IGP (Western Range) A M Prasad said that investigations will continue to unearth any possible links of those arrested with the blasts in New Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Some more suspects have been detained for questioning.

Interestingly, the arrests came as the joint operation attempted to track the movements of Riaz Bhatkal alias Mohammed Riaz, suspected to be a key representative of the Pakistan-based Laskhar-e-Taiba in India. Riaz is suspected to be sheltering in coastal Karnataka. Sources from the Bangalore Anti Terror Cell (ATC) said that Bhatkal (named after his native Bhatkala in the Karwar belt), might be in the region as he was meant to visit his two-month-old baby.

Riaz is suspected to have been a part of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) before it was banned in 2001. His name has featured repeatedly in interrogations conducted in the aftermath of the train blasts of July 2006 in Mumbai. A key accused in the serial train blasts at Mumbai, Shaikh Mohammed Ali Alam Shaikh told the police that it was with funding from Riaz that he trained in the use of arms in Pakistan in 2003. Investigations into the 2002-03 blasts at Mulund and Ghatkopar in Mumbai also revealed that Riaz was a key funding source.

Attempts to trace Riaz at Bhatkala soon after the Mumbai train blasts of 2006 revealed that he had left for Saudi Arabia. Riaz’s name has featured as a funding source in the course of recent investigations into the activities of SIMI in Karnataka, as also in the narco-tests conducted on PA Shibly, an engineer and SIMI activist suspected of involvement in the train blasts at Mumbai.

The Mumbai Police is also attempting to track another suspect, Sharukh, who is suspected to have supplied explosives for the Delhi blasts.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Health camp set up in Maoist ‘zone’

Statesman News Service

SAMBALPUR, Oct. 2: On the occasion of the Gandhi Jayanti and Sastri Jayanti, the Sambalpur district administration organised a mega health camp at Dakra, an inaccessible area under Maneswar block, about 40 km from here.
Dakra and the adjoining villages are marked as highly prone to Maoist attack.
"The entire local populace depends on a primary health centre. This prompted the district administration to opt for the health camp there," said collector Mr Pradipta Kumar Patnaik.
As many as 20 senior doctors including six gynaecologists and the chief district medical officer Dr PK Nayak and Prof. (Dr) Raseswari Panigrahi attended the camp for treatment of children and women.
"More than 1,000 patients availed the benefit of the camp where free medicines were distributed," informed Dr Dipti Patnaik, one of the organisers.
On this occasion, the collector gave Rs. 5,000 as revolving funds to 12 self help groups of different villages. “This is a non-refundable grant to the SHGs to strengthen grounds,” the collector said and appealed for proper utilisation of the funds. He also distributed mosquito nets to pregnant women and those having small babies.
In spite of Maoist fear, the administration preferred to conduct the camp without police help.

Gandhian philosophy has solution to Maoist violence: Raman Singh

October 2nd, 2008 - 9:27 pm ICT by IANS -
Raipur, Oct 2 (IANS) Gandhian philosophy has a solution to Maoist violence and rising terrorism activities worldwide, Chief Minister Raman Singh said here Thursday on the occasion of the 139th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.”Bapu’s non-violence theory and his philosophy has solutions to all kinds of problems, even the rising terrorism incidents worldwide and Maoist violence,” Singh said at a function organised here.

Singh and several of his ministerial colleagues besides top officials first garlanded a statue of Gandhi at the venue and then addressed a meeting with main focus on “how Gandhi’s philosophy is becoming more and more relevant in the world with each passing years”.

Police get electronic tracking gizmo


A policeman takes a look at the modern global positioning system handset. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Ranchi, Oct. 2: The police department of the state has introduced an electronic tracking system for its personnel and vehicles.

The department handed over Global Positioning System (GPS) handsets to its officers to help them locating a place and to keep a track on their movement.

At the same time it has started installing automatic vehicle locator system (AVLS) on its vehicles. The devices are expected to speed up the police movement, ensure safety, timely enforcement and transparency.

Superintendent of police (rural) Kuldeep Dwivedi said the GPS handsets were provided to the officers-in-charge of different police stations in Jamshedpur and Ranchi in the first phase.

He said that the device would be helpful in fighting the Naxalites.

“The GPS handset helps in navigation. The handsets keeps on indicating the direction with the help of an arrow and start beeping after reaching the destination,” Dwivedi said.

Senior police superintendent, M.S.Bhatia, supported Dwivedi saying that handset was used in “operation greyhound” against naxalites in Andhra Pradesh.

“We have provided the sets to our officers after a two-day training. Other than navigation, it can also help monitoring the movement of police officials,” he added.

I.G. (provision), S.N.Pradhan, said that the handset has trace back facility which helps a police team avoid a particular path while returning after an operation. “Returning from same path is not safe in jungle area. The device helps by giving the location of the path which a police team has to avoid,” he added

Officer-in-charge of Bero police station, S.C.Singh said that the electronic device was of great help for him. “Sometimes people are reluctant to help us in searching a location. The handset would ensure better movement of the police team,” he said.

While the police officials are being equipped with GPS, the vehicles of the department are being provided with AVLS

“With the help of AVLS system, a person sitting in a control room will be able to monitor and co-ordinate the police patrolling,” Bhatia said.

A public hearing for cops or tribals?

Police check a vehicle en route to Chintapalle in Visakhapatnam district on Thursday.VKL Gayatri I ENS03 Oct 2008 04:01:00 AM ISTCHINTAPALLE: Is it a calm before the storm? It appears so if one were to go by the unprecedented security measures –– despite the fact that no VIP is expected –– in place beneath the tranquil skies here in Chintapalle.

It will only be a few tribals who will attend the statutory public hearing on mining of Bauxite reserves in the Agency area on Friday.

But the police have sewn up all routes leading to this obscure village, a hot-bed of Naxalite activity.

The police have become hyper- senstive ever since the Maoists made their opposition to Bauxite mining crystal clear. In fact, they had exhorted the tribals to resist the attempts of the government to lease out large tracts of lands to outsiders.

The public hearing will be held on the premises of the Coffee Curing Centre here which can accommodate about 7,000 people. "We are literally sitting on a tinder box.

We do not know what will happen," says Borra Konda a pan shop owner. He is not excited about the mining of Bauxite and its attendant benefits. He is more worried about a possible encounter between Maoists and the police.

"The government says it will protect environment. Even if one spends one lakh crore rupees elsewhere, it would not be possible to raise a forest of this nature," Appala Naidu, a government teacher working in the Agency, observes.

Besides the Maoists, the CPI, CPM, a number of voluntary organisations and environmentalists are also opposing Bauxite mining which they say will result in the displacement of about 25,000 tribals and wipe out 60 villages in four mandals –– Chintapalle, GK Veedhi, G.Madugula and Malkangiri of Orissa.

"The affected villages are at least 10 km away from the venue of public hearing," said CPI leader JV Satyanarayana Murthy expressing apprehension that the security arrangements could well prevent tribals from attending the public hearing.

With the RTC reducing its services to Chintapalle and police disallowing private vehicles, it’s indeed difficult. But Visakhaptnam SP Sabharwal defended the measures saying, "We are not going to stop anyone. We want to ensure peace."

Maoists damage school building in Jharkhand

Chatra (Jharkhand) (PTI): CPI (Maoists) blew up a school building in Chatra district of Jharkhand late on Wednesday night.

A group of CPI (Maoists) arrived in the school with firearms and blew up the Satbahni Primary School, additional police superintendent Kumar Abhisekh told newsmen on Thursday.

While one room of the school building was razed to ground, four class rooms were completely damaged, Abhisekh said. Other rooms of the building developed cracks, he said.

Additional police force rushed to the spot on Thursday and a massive hunt was launch to flush out the extremists, who managed to flee.

The ultras were suspected to have blown up the building peeved over the police force occupying the school building for combing operation.

Earlier, the Naxals had blown up a school building in Chak village in Palamu district bordering Chatra on the night of September 28 last.

Editorial: Patterns in insurgencies

Business Standard / New Delhi October 03, 2008, 0:20 IST

Much of the discussion sparked by the 8th report of the Veerappa Moily-led Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) has centred on Mr Moily endorsing the need for tougher laws to deal with terrorism. While this gave the BJP’s tough law-campaign second wind, the presence of so-called tough laws did little to prevent serious terror attacks when the BJP-led NDA was in power — as Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal’s multi-part article in a national daily helped to establish. While this debate on cause and effect will go on (the BJP’s Arun Jaitley responded that the tough laws didn’t prevent the attacks but helped apprehend their perpetrators faster), it has deflected attention from some interesting facts that Mr Moily has presented in his report on India’s most troubled regions. The home ministry data that Mr Moily draws from say that there were a total of 1,597 terrorist incidents in 2003, in which 515 people died; the number of incidents fell marginally to 1,565 in 2007, but the number of those killed rose to 696. In other words, while the UPA’s performance on attacking terrorism has been under attack, the data do not suggest any dramatic deterioration in the over-all situation.

The more interesting picture is presented by the detailed break-up of the numbers. The data show that the number of terrorist attacks as well as casualties in Andhra Pradesh, long considered the home of the Naxal movement, have fallen from 577 incidents and 140 deaths in 2003 to 138 incidents and 45 deaths in 2007. The state government’s aggressive policy on attacking Maoists is clearly paying dividends. In Chhattisgarh, by way of contrast, the government has been encouraging the arming of citizens and herding them into artificial clusters, under the much-criticised Salwa Judum programme. This has not worked, because the casualties have gone up significantly, from 256 incidents and 74 deaths in 2003 to 582 incidents and 369 deaths in 2007. This also tends to support the thesis that, when it comes to dealing with Maoists, the real action has to be at the level of state governments.

The other point to note is that the situation has been steadily improving in Jammu & Kashmir, with a sharp decline in both the numbers of incidents and casualties. This is in contrast with the north-east, where there has been no improvement in the situation over the past four years. When it comes to Jammu & Kashmir, either the 2003 cease-fire with Pakistan along the Line of Control has made a big difference, or Pakistan has had other pre-occupations on its western border. Whatever the reason, the insurgency in India’s most troubled state was demonstrably losing steam—until the latest uprising occurred. Indeed, deaths from violent incidents are four-fold in the north-east (mostly Assam) when compared with Jammu & Kashmir. While 498 civilians died in 1,489 incidents in the north-east last year, the figures were 131 in 887 incidents for Jammu & Kashmir. So, while events in Jammu & Kashmir take up more mindspace and resources, the bigger battle is in the north-east. Meanwhile, since Pakistan needs to move more of its troops to its troubled western border, India could facilitate things by disengaging on the Line of Control in return for the closure of terrorist camps in Pak-occupied Kashmir. This could well be an opportunity to successfully wage peace with Pakistan.

COBRA : Anti-Naxalite force to start ops from Jan.

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New Delhi, Oct. 2: The proposed COBRA force to counter left-wing extremism in the country will become operational in January. Sources disclosed that the first two battalions of the special anti-Naxal force will be deployed in Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh and Koratpur in Orissa.

The process of recruitment for the force has already begun with sources disclosing that IG K. Durga Prasad, commanding the force, is visiting CRPF battalions stationed in various states to choose personnel already trained in anti-Naxal operations. Two battalions of the Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA), under the control and command of the CRPF, are being raised from within the force.

"A large number of CRPF personnel are coming forward to join COBRA since the allowances being given to personnel of the special anti-Naxal force will be more," sources said. The two battalions being raised in the current financial year will undergo a month-long training at the Andhra Greyhound Centre in Hyderabad in December. "While two battalions of the force are being raised in the current financial year, four battalions will be raised in the financial year 2009-10 whereas the remaining four battalions will be raised in 2010-11," said an MHA official.

"The training for two battalions of COBRA should be completed in November and December and the force will be ready for its first deployment in January next year," said a senior home ministry official.

"Chhattisgarh, worst hit by Naxal violence will get one battalion while Orissa, which has seen repeated Naxal attacks this year will be given the second COBRA battalion," he said.

The headquarters of the force will be in Delhi with the home ministry giving clearance for a new building for the force headquarters in the capital. IG (headquarters) K. Durga Prasad will thus command the force from Delhi besides paying regular visits to the COBRA battalion headquarters in every Naxal-affected state.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Naxal Terror-hit kids get a new life

30 Sep, 2008, 2001 hrs IST,

RAIPUR: Twenty- five children who have each lost one or both parents in Maoist-related violence in Chhattisgarh's Bastar region in recent years are now trying to rebuild their lives - far from areas effectively controlled by the insurgents.

Raipur-based orphanage Gurukul Ashram has adopted the 20 boys and five girls, saving them from the possible fate of being used as human shields by the Maoists whenever they attack police and civilians.

The Maoists have been waging a bloody war against the state for over two decades and run a de facto administration in large tracts of the thickly forested 3,900-sq km Bastar region, the main city of which - Jagdalpur -is about 250 km south of state capital Raipur.

"I had never attended school till late 2007 when I was adopted by the orphanage. Now I can write a small letter in English and do math tables up to five," Tati Rahul, 8, told IANS.

After Rahul's father was killed by insurgents, he was adopted by the orphanage from the Konta relief camp in the state's worst insurgency-hit district Dantewada, part of the Bastar region.

Rahul is now in Class 2 at the orphanage. "Before being adopted I knew just two words of English - A and B - and I was taught A for AK-47 and B for Bomb. But now I can write the real meanings of letters from A-Z," said Rahul.

The orphanage centre director, Narayan Rao, said that he adopted most of the children from Konta and Injeram relief camps, close to the Chhattisgarh-Andhra Pradesh border.

These are among the 22 camps set up by the state government in Dantewada and Bijapur districts. Nearly 50,000 people are living in these camps after being uprooted from their villages due to a government-backed civil militia movement called Salwa Judum, launched in June 2005 against insurgents.

Rao said these 25 are the most enthusiastic about studies among the 58 boys and girls in the orphanage, no matter that their day begins at 5 a.m. sharp.

He now plans to adopt dozens more of children orphaned by Maoist-related violence.

Pulli Laxmi, 16, aims to join the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). She was adopted by the Ashram last year from the Konta camp after her father was killed by Maoists and her mother moved to Andhra Pradesh to work on daily wages.

"I am in Class 8 and my teachers say I have the potential to become an IAS officer. I never dreamed about an IAS job when I was living in my village of Banda," she said.

"In fact, each day I thought that the Dadas (as the Maoists are known locally) would come and take away all of us village girls and train them to become part of their group."

Beltangady: Naxal Activities Getting Help from Attacks on Churches

Wednesday, October 01, 2008 5:31:38 PM (IST)

Daijiworld Media Network - Beltangady (SP)

Beltangady, Oct 1: There is a growing realization that the attacks on Christian prayer centres have helped naxals to spread their bases all over the district, with renewed vigour! Suspicions, that the naxals are spreading their tentacles further after the policemen are faced to concentrate on church security, have gained ground.

Anti-naxal force used to conduct combing operations to ensure that the influence of naxals does not spread and take people into confidence to make them realize the importance of staying away from naxal preaching. Since the last two weeks however, the policemen of the anti-naxal force have been drawn to provide security to prayer centres. Therefore, villages like Kuthloor, Savanalu, Shirlalu, Malavantige etc., are increasingly witnessing naxal movements,it is said. The naxals are reportedly contacting some trustworthy people from these villages for strengthening their network.

Similar situation exists in Karkala and Kundapur taluks too. Are the clashes between two communities help a third organization to reap benefits and rejuvenate its 'class struggle' again?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Maoists blow up school building in Jharkhand

Indo-Asian News Service

Ranchi, September 29, 2008
First Published: 11:53 IST(29/9/2008)
Last Updated: 12:01 IST(29/9/2008)

Maoist rebels blew up a school building in Palamau district of Jharkhand, police said on Monday.

Around 20 to 30 rebels of Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) surrounded a middle school in the Manatu block of Palamau district, around 190 km from Ranchi, late on Sunday night. The building was blasted using detonators.

No person has been injured in the blast, police said.

The school building was used by the security personnel while launching a combing operation against the rebels. Maoists cited that as the reason for blowing up the building.

Maoist rebels are active in 18 of the 24 districts in Jharkhand. In the last seven years, more than 1,300 persons including civilians, Maoist rebels and security personnel have been killed in insurgency-related violence.

Govt may amend Explosives Act

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30 September, 2008 12:39:25

To check rampant use of Ammonium Nitrate by terror groups for striking in various parts of the country, the Union Home Ministry on Tuesday discussed in detail certain amendments in the Explosives Substances Act.

The objective behind carrying out changes in the Act is to regulate use of the material often used in bombs by bringing Ammonium Nitrate under the purview of the existing law, a senior official said.

Tuesday's meeting of a working group formed in the wake of recent serial blasts in the national capital was chaired by Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta.

The group was mandated to frame elaborate rules under the Act to strengthen the framework for regulating manufacture, storage, transport and sale of explosives.

The meeting also discussed measures to strengthen administration and vigilance at the state-level and need to increase awareness among enforcement agencies in the states.

In this connection, a workshop of state police chiefs will be held soon.

The "in-principle" approval for amendment of the Explosives Substances Act has already been given by the Union Cabinet at its special meeting in the aftermath of the Delhi blasts.

Ammonium Nitrate is believed to have been used in recent series of explosions in Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Delhi and in many earlier blasts carried out including the serial train blasts in Mumbai, Malegaon and Mecca Masjid.

Security agencies have long been pressing for bringing a strong controlling regime to check misuse of the chemical especially in Naxal-affected states.

An official release said the meeting was attended by the Revenue Secretary and officers of the ministries of industry and defence, Intelligence Bureau and the Petroleum and Explosives Substances Organisation (PESO).

The meeting discussed recommendations of the Sub-Group which had been set up at the level of Joint Secretaries of the concerned ministries to examine the existing legal and administrative framework, it said.

Home Ministry sources said some suggestions have already been given to states to check use and trading of Ammonium Nitrate, which is commonly used as a fertiliser.

They said a strong controlling regime was needed to monitor the misuse of the chemical and ensure that offenders were booked under the Act.

The ministry feels that primarily it is the responsibility of transport, police and revenue authorities of the state governments to ensure that it does not land into wrong hands.

However, there was a laxity on part of these wings as Ammonium Nitrate continued to be smuggled out especially from quarries in Andhra Pradesh.

Ammonium nitrate is also a key component for manufacturing deadly RDX explosive. Though it is not a high-quality explosive like RDX, it can be used as a low-cost high-impact bomb by intelligent use of shrapnel, packing and proper fuel mix like diesel.

It has been used in terror attacks in Uttar Pradesh courts in November 2007 and subsequent bombings in Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmadabad and Delhi.

‘Cops torturing Naxalites’

Snehamoy Chakraborty
SURI, Sept. 29: The Birbhum district police have been accused of torturing CPI-ML activists in Rajnagar area in the name of carrying out investigations into the murder of two CPI-M leaders during the last six months. Maoists were suspected to be behind the twin murders.
Following the murder of CPI-M zonal committee leader, Nandalal Mistri on 22 September, police have launched several raids at Sankarpur village and arrested two people who were, as claimed by police, connected with the murder case. But, the CPI-ML has alleged that the district police have beaten up their party worker and activists, claiming that they were attached with Maoists activities.
Senior party leaders of CPI-ML claimed that they were not associated with the individual killing or violence in the area.
"After the CPI-M leader's murder police became suspicious about our party workers. They have often said during the raid that our party activists are attached with the Maoists. They are torturing our party activists including women at midnight in the name of raid. Our male party workers are forced to flee from the village. The torture began a day after Nandalal Mistri's murder," said Mr Sailen Mishra, district secretary of CPI-ML.
Senior party leaders also pointed a finger at the CPI-M. They say that as the CPI-ML is stronger than CPI-M in the Rajnagar belt, the ruling party wants to break their party organisation with the help of police.
"If our party activists fall prey to police regularly for no fault of theirs, locals will think that something is wrong with our party. But we are absolutely not attached with the violence. After CPI-M leader, Sridam Das's murder, police detained our party leader Mr Haribol Das, and released him soon after they found that he had nothing to do had with the killing," added Mr Misra.
District police, however, have denied the allegations against them. "We are not torturing the members of any political party. If we get clues that some people are spreading violence in that area then we have to take up the matter," said a senior district police officer. Birbhum's SP, Mr LN Meena said: "Bullets and weapons have been seized from Sankarpur village. Only the guilty persons are afraid of police and that is why they have fled from the village. Our goal is to trace the accused people in the murder cases and not to torture anyone."

Greyhounds officers to be quizzed

Vikram Sharma I ENS30 Sep 2008 05:43:00 AM ISTHYDERABAD: The Commission of Inquiry (CoI) constituted by the State Government to probe the sensational Balimela ambush by the Maoists leading to killing of 30-odd Greyhounds personnel on the Andhra-Orissa- Border (AOB) on June 29 — is going to be a high-voltage affair.

Senior officials from the Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB), Greyhounds and the Visakhapatnam police would be grilled on several issues, the important being — who received information about the presence of Maoists, who chalked out the plan of action and whether the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) as laid down by the Centre, were followed.

This only means that the axe will fall on any one of these officers, but not before each of these units of the State police indulge in some serious blame-game.

The IPS officers who would be grilled by the CoI are — Rajiv Trivedi (the then IGP, Greyhounds and later transferred), Govind Singh (then DIG, Greyhounds), DIG, SIB B Shivdhar Reddy, Visakhapatnam SP Akun Sabharwal and Group Commander (Greyhounds), Vineet Brijlal and some of the lower rung officials from these units.

Justice A Lakshman Rao, retired Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court has been appointed as COI.

Information available with Express suggests that the CoI will grill the police officials as to who gave instructions to the two units of the Greyhounds to take up combing operations in the AOB, despite sensing that the jeep-burning incident in AOB, reported a couple of days before the Balimela incident, could be a trap for the personnel.

The jeep belonging to a contractor had been set on fire by the Naxals.

The contractor promptly informed the police and the information was passed on to the Greyhounds.

In normal circumstances, the personnel would not respond to such incidents immediately, for, they see it as a ‘trap’ for the personnel by the Maoists (which eventually happened in Balimela incident) who resort to incidents like jeepburning, wait for the policemen to arrive and then ambush them.

But surprisingly, while some police officials were reportedly against the Greyhounds parties combing the area at that juncture (fearing a trap) and the proposal to send them was rejected initially, a day later, other officials intervened and insisted that the operation be taken up immediately, which ended up with the Greyhounds getting trapped.

Other important aspects the CoI will go into is which officer made the plan to send Greyhounds to AOB and sent a requisition seeking the same and to whom, whether he informed the senior Greyhounds officials as per the SOP, who arranged thepick-up and drop for the personnel, who evaluated the ground situation, what was the information with the SIB and most importantly, whether all these aspects are there in writing with the units concerned.

‘‘The CoI will probe into the loopholes, if any, on the part of Greyhounds, SIB and Visakhapatnam district police. This is the first time that the functioning of anti-Naxal forces will be discussed publicly,’’ remarked a police officer.

It is learnt that the CoI will start functioning in October.

Lack of funds affect police modernisation

Radhika Bordia
Monday, September 29, 2008, (Mumbai)

A class at the premiere National Police Academy in Hyderabad is teaching how to control the mob after a bomb blast at a place of worship.

It's a simulated response to a situation at Mecca Masjid blast last year.

"We give them inputs on left-wing extremism because that was the problem in many states. But only a brief introduction was given about terror attacks. It's this kind of policing which requires intensive training," said Ajay Kumar Nand, In-charge, outdoor training, NPA.

During the class, some officers ask that if an AK 47 could replace .303 rifle, then why can't training sessions alter or change with time and requirement of the field? If VIP duty can be part of routine police training, then why can't intelligence collection as part of communal terrorism?

Terrorism is not about one attack. It is a lot of supporting activity that precedes and goes on after it. Tracking that is what intelligence is about. This is where the police critically come into play because of its vast network and because it is right there among the people.

"A strengthened police force can effectively deal with these challenges. I will give you the three most dramatic cases of success against insurgency or terrorism in recent history -- Punjab, Tripura and Andhra Pradesh," said Ajay Sahni, a counter-terrorism expert.

KPS Gill can chart the Punjab story perhaps better than anybody else.

In the 90s, it was under him that the Punjab Police finally crushed the so-called movement for Khalistan which had bled the state for more than a decade.

Among his first steps after taking over in 1988 was a rehaul of the police force.

"We were sanctioned at that time about Rs 70 crore to strengthen the police. We gave bulletproof vehicles to the police stations. We took up the LMGs. We wiped the grease out of the LMGs and made them functional," he said.

A more recent example is Tripura where the police strength was nearly doubled from 13,659 in 2002 to 26,232 in 2006.

Militant violence instances also fell by 45 per cent in the same period, which is nearly half.

Another example is a well fortified and well equipped police station in the volatile Telengana region in Andhra Pradesh. It is only because of this that Andhra has been able to crush Naxalism.

And a state like Chattisgarh which has broken down and ill-equipped police station and totally understaffed is still battling the Naxal menace.

The bitter truth though is that most police stations across this country look like this.

And with 122 policemen per 100,000 people, India's abysmal police-population ratio is something that's been pointed out repeatedly.

Even this figure may be misleading as it is based on sanctioned posts and most states have deficits of between 20 to 30 per cent.

"Unless you put that kind of money into it, unless you create a model police force to fight modern terrorism you will fail every time because you must understand as far as a terrorist is concerned reinventing himself is a survival imperative whereas for the bureaucrats who run police departments or the policy bureaucrats above them this is just part of the job. So the kind of urgency that must address these issues is lacking," said Ajay Sahni, a counter-terrorism expert.

He further added, "You always have resources lacking way behind what is required. Also, crucially, we find that even where resources are made available, there is a such a rigid lackadaisical bureaucracy in place in utilisation of resources. Police modernisation funds for the entire country in 2006-2007 was roughly 63.7 per cent. Are you trying to tell me all the states did not need the funds allocated to them from the Centre for modernisation?"

These points have been made endlessly and are critical for just basic effective policing. But now, more than ever, at a time when India has been blasted into realising that it faces nationwide threat of terrorism can it really afford to neglect its first line of defence and offence any longer?

Patil pays homage to CRPF personnel killed in naxal attack

Raipur, Sep 29 (PTI) President Pratibha Patil paid homage to the four Central Reserve Police Force personnel killed in naxal attack in Bastar distirct today.
The soldiers have sacrificed their lives for the sake of national security. The country is always proud of such brave persons, she said while addressing the golden jubilee function of a government women's college here.

Four security personnel, including deputy commandant of CRPF's 49th battalion, were killed and three others injured in a landmine blast in Barsur area.

President was here on her two-day sate tour.

The incidence occurred when Patil was at famous Chitrakote fall, 30 kilometres from the spot. PTI

ITBP to raise women commando force

New Delhi, Sept 29: The country will soon have an elite women commando force specially trained in sniper skills for VVIP duties under the command and control of ITBP.

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which guards the country's borders with China besides crucial international security assignments, in a maiden venture, has decided to recruit 456 women constables in its combat ranks.

"For the first time we are recruiting women into our combat ranks. They will be trained in commando and sniper skills and will be put on VVIP security duties and frontier areas," Director General of ITBP Vikram Srivastava said.

The women company will be ready for combat by the end of next year.

A good number of these 18-23 year age group women would be recruited from the naxal and militancy affected states as per government rules, Srivastava said.

The ITBP which has almost 300 women personnel in its ranks are now engaged in different streams and cadres of the force like medical, education and group 'D' duties.

These new troops would perform combat duties as they will be posted on VVIP security duties and will also be deployed at Sikkim and Ladakh frontiers, Srivastava said.

The recruitment of these women personnel would be completed by January next year and then they would undergo their basic training.

Skills of mountaineering and other basic special skills, which the ITBP is acclaimed for, will also be imparted to these women.

"We were missing this essential component till now but with their induction the force we will be able to multiply its role," the DG said.

The Force which was raised in 1962, had been guarding 3,488 kilometres of the Indian border from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Diphu La in Arunachal Pradesh.

Bureau Report

4 CRPF men killed in Bastar Naxal attack

NDTV Correspondent
Monday, September 29, 2008, (Bastar)

There has been a suspected Naxal attack near the Chitrakote area of Chhattisgarh. Four CRPF personnel, who were conducting combing operations for the President, were killed.

A CRPF vehicle was blown up in a landmine blast. Two people, a Deputy Commandant and his driver have died. Five others were injured while securing an area for President Pratibha Patil.

The blast happened just over 30 kms from the Chitrakote falls which President Patil was visiting.

Patil, who was on a two-day visit to the state, is safe. She then went onto Raipur

Bastar: Naxal trigger landmine blast, 2 CRPF men killed

Zeenews Bureau

Bastar, Sept 29: Two CRPF men were killed and five others injured in a landmine blast triggered by Naxals here on Monday.

The Red Army targeted a CRPF vehicle, killing a Deputy Commandant and the driver.

In what could be a matter of concern for the security officials, the incident took place barely 35 kms from the Chitrakoot where President Pratibha Patil is currently on a visit.

“Insurgents blew up a Bolero vehicle at about 12:00 noon at a forested area near Mardum in Bastar. The driver and a CRPF deputy commandant were killed instantly,” Girdhari Nayak, chief of the state’s anti-Maoist operations, said.

The deceased Deputy Commandant, of the 41st CRPF battalion, was identified as Diwakar Mahapatra. All the victims are from the 41st battalion who were returning after a road-opening assignment in the area, some 340 km from state capital Raipur.

President Patil, who arrived in Chhattisgarh yesterday evening on a two-day visit, is in Bastar today to visit the famous Chitrakoot waterfall on Indravati river, just 27 km from the blast site

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Call for cash prize on Naxals

Ranchi, Sept. 28: The Special Branch has recommended names of about 60 extremists to the state home department for announcing cash prizes to people providing vital clues for their arrest.

The award would be given to people, policemen and chowkidars, among others, providing information about the extremists’ whereabouts.

Of the 60 names recommended, only one is of a woman. A cash award of Rs 2 lakh has been recommended as prize for helping police arrest sub-zonal commander Sarita, whose permanent house is in Simaria under Chatra district.

Peoples’ Liberation Front of India chief Dinesh Gope could soon carry a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh on his head. Following Gope are CPI(Maoist) zonal commanders Moti Singh Munda, Chhote Sarkar, Shushil Singh, Mahadev Singh Munda and Trilochan Singh Munda. All these CPI(Maoist) activists might soon carry a cash award of Rs 4 lakh each on their heads.

These rebel leaders are active in Tamar area of Ranchi.

The list also includes names of many sub-zonal commanders active in Gumla, Chatra, Lohardaga, Latehar and Hazaribagh districts, against whom cash awards ranging between Rs 1.5 and Rs 3 lakh have been recommended.

Additional director-general of police, Special Branch, Rajeev Kumar said that they have forwarded the recommendation to the state home department and it has to take a final decision on the matter.

A home department source told The Telegraph that state government would take a decision on the recommendation of the Special Branch soon.

“Announcing cash awards will help the police in nabbing extremists and other criminals. The state police was successful in nabbing Birbalji, a regional committee member of CPI(Maoist), after a cash award was announced for helping the police arrest the dreaded extremist,” said Kumar.

The CPI(Maoist) still reigns supreme among rebel outfits in 65 to 70 per cent areas, revealed a report sent by the state’s Special Branch to the home department today.

The Peoples’ Liberation Front has replaced Tritiyo Sammelan Prastuti Committee in terms of extremist-related activities, said Kumar.

“Compared to last year, activities of the front have increased manifold, that too in areas surrounding the state capital. After CPI(Maoist), the front holds the second position in terms of perpetrating fear among people,” Kumar told The Telegraph.

Police sources said the breakaway factions of the CPI(Maoist) had made their task harder.

Naxalites blast cellular phone towers in Bihar

Gaya (Bihar): CPI (Maoist) rebels have blasted three towers of private cellular phone service operators and set fire to a BSNL generator in the district.

In synchronised attacks, the Maoist guerrillas blasted two towers of Reliance Communications at Bishunpur and Manjhaulia villages in the district just past midnight on Saturday night, DIG (Magadh range) Pravin Vashisht told PTI. He said the naxalites also blew up an Airtel tower at Chaugain village .

Heavily armed extremists set on fire a generator at a BSNL tower at Maigra village, the DIG said. — PTI

Karat cry for protest


Firebrand: Prakash Karat
Raipur, Sept. 28: US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice will face CPM heat during her proposed visit to India in the first week of October to operationalise the nuclear deal.

“We have come to know that Rice is arriving on October 3 or 4, and the party is planning to lodge a protest against her visit that is aimed to sign the 123 Agreement,” said CPM general secretary Prakash Karat today.

The CPM will be calling a meeting of “like-minded” parties soon in New Delhi to give final shape to the strategy. “After discussion with other parties, we will disclose the nuclear deal protest details,” Karat said. The party would, however, not invite the BJP for the meeting.

The CPM boss said the protest would be nationwide and the party could observe a “black day” on the day Rice signs the agreement.

The CPM leader also added that he was “hopeful” that Tata Motors would decide to stay in Bengal and said that the ball was in Tata’s court now.

“Now, it’s not up to us. Tata Motors will take the final call,” Karat said today, when asked that the party leadership thought of the Bengal agitation.

“The Bengal government has done all that it could do,” Karat said.

The CPM general-secretary said the Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was making last-ditch efforts to retain the project and had written letter to Ratan Tata, who had agreed for parleys.

“The youth in Bengal are reeling under the unemployment problem,” Karat said, adding that only big industrial projects, such as the Tata’s Singur plant, could address the problem and the government understands that well.

Talking about the issue of land, the Left leader pointed out that in the past 25 years, the CPM government has distributed 11 lakh acres to the land-less people in the state.

“It is because of the state’s strong land reforms that Naxalites did not get room to grow in Bengal. Now, the rebels are coming in from the neighbouring states; committing crime and then returning to their states,” Karat said.

Tatas lose base, Didi loses weight


Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Monday, September 29, 2008 04:00 IST

As Tatas prepare to pull out of Singur, Mamata suffers setback in region.

KOLKATA: As hopes of Singur residents of a prosperous life die a slow death with the Tata Motors pullout almost certain, Trinamool Congress is fast losing the advantage it recently gained in the area winning the panchayat polls.

While Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee is still adamant on the return of 300 acres from the Nano project area, her trusted lieutenants in Singur are weighing options to protect themselves from the possible massive public backlash once the pullout becomes official.

In fact, many senior leaders are planning to quit the party. Highly-placed sources told DNA both the local Trinamool MLA, Rabindranath Bhattacharjee, and Save Singur Farmland Committee convener Bencharam Manna are extremely upset over the Naxal influence that has prompted Mamata to stick to her stand.

“Both have told us they are not ready to face the wrath of the public and pay for the Naxalite-influenced misjudgment. While the land-for-land demand can still be justified, the demand for 300 acres from the project area is too aggressive a posture, especially when the public sentiment throughout the state is against it,” a senior Trinamool MLA said.

He also revealed that when some party leaders in Singur raised the apprehension at a meeting, Mamata snubbed them. “Naxalites do not have any democratic compulsion, but we have it. We cannot take certain steps which they can,” the party MLA said.
Political analysts too are of the opinion that Mamata has fallen victim to the destructive politics certain Naxalite factions are known to practice.

“If you look at Mamata’s political career you will see this inherent spirit of destructive politics ruling her. The greatest example being, her quitting the post of railway minister in the NDA regime. She is following the same path in Singur as well. Only time will tell whether this movement translates into gains at the hustings, but one thing is certain, through this movement Mamata is distancing herself from the educated youth,” a senior analyst said.

Uttar Pradesh: 10 kg of crude bombs recovered

Posted: Sep 28, 2008 at 1739 hrs IST

Lucknow, September 28: A police team combing in naxal-infested Sonebhadra district recovered 10 kg of crude bombs and gelatin sticks in a container, home department said.
The recovery was made on Saturday when the team was combing in village Ranideeh under Kon police circle, it said.

An FIR against unnamed naxalites has been registered in this connection, it added

Orissa2 Maoists held, arms seized in Birmitrapur

Express New Service 27 Sep 2008 11:41:00 AM ISTROURKELA: Two Maoists along with their two aides were arrested and a huge quantity of live cartridges seized from them at Birmitrapur, police said Friday.

While checking vehicles last night in connection with a firing incident, the police swooped on a group of five youths travelling in a car bearing Chhattisgarh registration number. Two of them managed to flee. Later, one of the absconders was arrested in a combing operation. Police found a huge quantity of live cartridges from their bags. Sundargarh SP Narsingha Bhol said the Maoists had no criminal records in Orissa.

Those arrested included Ajit Ray, the gang leader and Bihar-based platoon commander who had been working for the People’s War Group for the past two years. He is from Maharashtra. Another Naxal, Raj Bahadur Singh of Bihar, is a close confidant of Ray and is also working as a platoon commander.