Saturday, November 01, 2008

Is Orissa creating militia to fight Maoists?

November 1st, 2008 - 3:04 pm IANS -

Bhubaneswar, Nov 1 (IANS) Human rights activists have reacted strongly to the Orissa government’s move to recruit tribal youths to fight Maoists, alleging it is trying to replicate the controversial Salwa Judum civil militia of Chhattisgarh.The government on Oct 24 put up a notification for the appointment 2,000 tribal youth in the age group 18-25 as special police officers (SPO) in five Maoist-hit tribal districts - Malkangiri, Koraput, Gajapati, Raygada and Kandhamal.

On Saturday, the government said the tribal youths would be trained and used on various duties that average policeman do.

However, human right activists say the government is trying to create its own Salwa Judum - an anti-Maoist movement started in Chhattisgarh in 2005 - that has invited much criticism.

“The move is intended to provide employment to tribal youths and expand the police intelligence network,” a police official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

“The government has not decided yet if the tribal youths would be given arms,” he said.

However, human rights activist and lawyer Biswapriya Kanungo said: “The government is trying to create a second edition of the Salwa Judum in India which will not only create civil war but also lead to more trouble in the tribal belt.”

“A step like this is an admission that the situation is very bad in the tribal belt. Instead of finding out the root cause of the problems, the government is trying to pit tribals against their own people,” Kanungo told IANS.

“If the government wants to provide jobs to tribals there are other areas where it can appoint them. It seems the government does not want to solve their problems,” he said.

Human right groups have been opposing the creation of Salwa Judum in Chhattisgarh. The Supreme Court in March had disapproved the formation of the civil militia. Since its inception, over 50,000 villagers have been displaced from their homes and deprived of their source of livelihood. Large parts of Chhattisgarh are in a state of civil war.

According to the Orissa government notification, those recruited would be appointed on a contractual basis for the first three years. The youths need to pass at least Class 8. The government will provide them training in arms and ammunition the way it does for policemen.

According official sources, a special police officer would get a consolidated honorarium of Rs.4,000 per month in the first two years and Rs.4,500 in the third year.

The government may absorb them as constables in the police force on the basis of their performance.

Increasing Maoist-related violence over the past few years has become a major cause of concern for the government with officials expressing helplessness in tackling the situation.

According to official sources, the Communist Party of India-Maoist has influence in at least eight of the state’s 30 districts. They are Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Gajapati, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Sundargarh and Mayurbhanj.

Another group, the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (Jana Shakti), a left wing extremist outfit, has made its presence felt in the mineral rich tri-junction areas of three districts, Keonjhar, Jajpur and Dhenkanal.

Fifteen out of 30 districts of the state have been affected by Maoist violence to some degree, the government said.

Maoists kill CPM leader before CM’s visit

Statesman News Service

MIDNAPORE, Nov. 1: Amidst police claim of having put to an end Maoist activities in the region, the latter made their presence felt by killing a senior CPI-M leader, Indrajit Mura, of Banspahari area of Belpahari Block just ahead of chief minister Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s visit to adjoining Salboni. The Maoists claim to have done so to set out signals to police, CPI-M and the Jindals together.

The Maoists called a bandh in Midnapore West, Bankura and Purulia district on 23 October protesting against “setting up industries by the Jindals on agricultural land in Salboni without giving the farmers adequate compensation.”
Security measures were beefed up with the deployment of around 1,000 CRPF jawans in and around the site, since the past three days, where foundation of the proposed steel plant would be laid by the chief minister on Sunday.

Special Task Force, headed by the CM’s security officer, Mr Arvind Maliwal, who was engaged to ensure security of the CPI-M’s high-risk politburo members, had already visited the area while other officials of DIG rank were keeping round-the-clock close watch on the spot with mine detector and sniffer dogs. A lot of Central and state ministers would be present at the programme.

Initially, the foundation of the Rs 35,000-crore mega steel project, one of the biggest in Asia, was to be laid by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh but the programme was rescheduled following CPI-M’s rift with the Congress over the nuke deal.
The CPI-M’s district committee secretary, Mr Dipak Sarkar, was seen going round the project site and supervising construction work of the dais yesterday and the red flags along the stretch of NH-60 from Midnapore Town to Salboni gives an impression that the programme is more of CPI-M than it is of the Jindals.

Red terror clouds fest


Giridih, Oct. 31: Undeterred by Naxalite terror, the state government has sanctioned funds for the three-day tourism extravaganza Shikhar Jee Mahotsav from December 21, but the recent killing of social activist Ajay Tuddu has exposed the security chinks in the district.

Even as the Giridih district administration is confident about hosting the event peacefully on the stipulated date, the officials preparing for the festival since last month are sceptical about the security.

The security concerns frequently kept propping up during the meeting of the managing committee of the festival today under deputy commissioner Vandana Dadel. Some officials also argued that Dadel should request the government to defer the festival.

They cited reasons that the killing of Tuddu had panicked the local residents and intensified anti-rebel operations by police could lead to retaliatory action from the Naxalites.

Telecom towers in remote south districts sans power

Express News ServiceFirst Published : 01 Nov 2008 07:01:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 01 Nov 2008 10:15:44 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: The much-awaited rural telephony facility to provide basic telecom services to people in rural and remote areas at affordable and reasonable prices might not deliver the goods as the power connections to towers and law and order problems — especially in the Naxal-hit southern districts — are yet to be addressed.

The facilities to be extended to the remote localities for mobile services under the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) boasts of the dream to even make available broadband access with induction of new technology.

But for strange reasons, out of 45 mobile towers erected by Reliance Communications and Infrastructure Limited, only three have power connections and the rest 42 are running on ‘engine alternate’ mode.

Not only that, law and order problems have added to the woes as at two places the towers were blown up by the ultras and engineers beaten up, security guard killed and equipment stolen or vandalised. But still the RCIL guys operating in Nabarangpur, Koraput, Malkangiri, Rayagada and Kalahandi are ahead of BSNL — what the public utility is doing in the coastal sector.

At a time when a construction company had left its site without building a bridge, the efforts of the private company is laudable. ‘‘But, we may not be able to complete 10 towers in the area as they are extremely remote and nothing can actually reach there. So in total we have to go for 106 towers in stead of 116,’’ says RCIL project manager Pallab Kar.

According to Controller of Communications Accounts (CCA), Orissa Circle Prahallad Singh, though coordination meetings are being held to address these shortfalls, many problems still remain to be solved.

IT Secretary Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra says the power connection and other problems were discussed earlier and the ‘present status’ will be discussed in the ‘November meeting’. However, he feels that as it involves the role of Energy Department, distance from the available power source and other infrastructural issues, things are to be seen from various perspectives.

Joint CCA and USOF project incharge for Orissa Kashinath Jha adds after the Phase-I, Phase-II will include 1,175 more towers. The wireless broadband service will cover block headquarters within 10 km of radius and free connections will be provided to schools and health centres as their monthly charges will be reimbursed through the USOF.

Currently, RCIL is getting Rs 1,59,000 subsidy per tower in Orissa whereas BSNL is getting Rs 75,000 as the former’s work relates to remote areas only.

Top Naxal arrested ahead of CM visit

Express News ServiceFirst Published : 01 Nov 2008 07:21:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 01 Nov 2008 10:02:29 AM ISTJEYPORE: A top Naxal cadre of Malkangiri dalam was arrested by the police a couple of hours before the arrival of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday.

The Naxal leader was moving suspiciously in Jeypore town to assess the CM’s visit, said Koraput SP Sanjay Kumar. He was taken away from Jeypore to Malkangiri district for inquiry to defuse the tension ahead of Naveen’s visit.

Sources said the Naxal groups of southern Orissa are on a ‘do or die’ mission to upset police arrangments after the arrest of a top cadre Digal,who masterminded the recent Alampeka operation which killed 36 policemen.

Meanwhile, Sunabeda DIG S. Panda reviwed the security arrangments with SP’s of Koraput, Malkangiri and Rayagada districts and a red alert has been sounded in all parts of Naxal infested pockets in the wake of fresh threats from Naxal outfits on Friday.

Scheme to root out naxal influence

1 Nov 2008, 0343 hrs IST, Satyendra Kumar, TNN

Now on the threshold of its third year, Aapki Sarkar Aapke Dwar, a pioneering scheme aimed at rooting out Naxal influences through development — has
emerged as one of the most successful programmes of the state government in Jehanabad district.

Conceived by the then home secretary H C Sirohy and launched by chief minister Nitish Kumar at Sikariya village on January 21, 2006, Aapki Sarkar Aapke Dwar (Asdwar) programme has brought down considerably cases of naxalite violence in the region and also won acceptibility among rural folk, police, academics and social organisations. This is something which is a huge feat considering that several such programmes launched in the district in the past like the Operation Rakshak and Operation Siddhartha were virtual non-events.

The success of the programme — both in winning critical acclaim at various local and state-level platforms and producing outstanding results at the ground level lies in its integrated development approach and sincere efforts of the district administration to sustain the programme despite all odds.

The Jehanabad district magistrate Sanjay Kumar Agrawal, who is working with a missionary zeal to impart a new tone and content to the whole programme, said the scheme envisages to bring development to the grassroots. Under Aasdwar programme our main objective is to sanitise the Naxal-affected panchayats in the distirct first and then saturate them with development in a phased manner, he added.

The scheme is currently underway in five naxalite affected panchayats of the district Viz Sikariya, Sewanan, Mandebigha, Surungpur — Bhawanichak and Jamuk, all in Jehanabad Sadar block. All villages under these five panchayats are witnessing a flurry of developmental activities on a war footing. The state government has come out with a liberal package of Welfare Schemes under Aasdwar including construction of Cement - Concrete lanes, drains, chaupals and link rods in these panchayats worth over Rs.29 crores. Other works include construction of buildings for schools and Aanganbadi centres, culverts and individual toilets.

Also resurrected is the Dangar reservoir project which wa slong confined to the dusty files of the water resources development department.

Doles under various welfare schemes to the tune of Rs.1 crore have already been distributed at mega development camps organised in these panchayats during the past two years.

Under the plan the state government has decided to construct panchayat Sarkar Bhawan in all these five panchayats at an estimated cost of Rs.2.20 crore. Work on them is likely to commence soon.

Sikaria panchayat once considered the naxalite capital of the state, now wears a completely changed look. Sikariya today boasts of being the first panchayat in the state with its own website: The website features all the information relating to the panchayat and the Aasdwar programme.

Sikariya panchayat headquarters in currently housed in a sprawling builidng complex . The panchayat office located in this unified campus offers single window system facilities to the local people. There is a village knowledge centre with Internet facility which offers computer training to the educated unemployed rural youths including girls.

The panchayat office is fully computerised with information felating to various state and Centre sponsored schemes. The office is manned by Assistant Project Officer, Rojgar Sevak, Panchayat Sevak and revenue Karmachari during working hours. There is provision for instant issuance of job cards to the landless labourers under the NREGA. A separate police post with 20 SAP jawans is also stationed on the panchayat office campus to look after the security needs.

There is a six-bedded additional primary health centre with two doctors and paramedics. The Sikariya panchayat building complex also houses a computerised extension counter of the Madhya Bihar Gramin Bank (MBGB), an artificial insemination centre, two PDS shops and a 500-ton capacity warehouse of the state food and civil supplies corporation. The Sikariya panchayat is also all set to win Nirmal Gram Panchayat Puruskar with work on most of the toilets to be completed in the next couple of months.

Parchas, pension benefits for the old, destitute, widows and the handicapped and cycles and scholarships to the students of weaker sections are being given within the shortest processing time in the Sikariya panchayat office. Jehanabad Dm Sanjay Kumar Agrawal has been regularly visiting all these five panchayats where Aasdwar programme is underway along with a large entourage of officials and employees.

The people at large seem to have embraced the state’s Aasdwar programme in a big way. What is most unusual is that the government officials now move around freely in these villages where once every government programme was boycotted by the villagers under threats from the banned Naxalite outfit, the people’s war group (PWG). There was a time especially during the stormy 1980s when there was no direct contact between the government and the people for years together.

The locals joined forces with the Naxalites in the hope that it would alleviate poverty. But with the changing times, the people seem to have realised that the Aasdwar programme offers all that the naxalites had promised an end to poverty, homestead land, drinking water and self-employment opportunities.

Once a dreaded and inaccessible place, Sikariya boasts of many economic activities-poultry and dairy farming, horticulture, Bindi and toy-making which fetches the locals considerable monthly income. Coordinated efforts are also being made by the district rural development agency to train men and women belonging to the under privileged section and promote entregreurship among them.

To begin with, at least 100 women from the most economically backward families of Sikariya panchayt have formed three self help groups (SHGs) to augment their income. In the first phase, 30 women have been given training in Bindi making. The district administration is extending financial and marketing support to promote various economic activities among these women.

However, this charge has not come without a stiff resistance from the naxalites. Even now, the naxalites tries to put spokes in the wheel of progress rolling in the area. But thanks to the rare show of solidarity of the local people for the Aasdwar programme , the naxalites have been left with no option but to bow under the popular pressure.

17 cops injured in landmine blast

Font Size Express news service
Posted: Nov 01, 2008 at 2240 hrs IST

Raipur: : Even as security apparatus is gearing for next month's Assembly elections, 17 personnel of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and district police had a miraculous escape on Friday when a powerful landmine blast triggered by the Maoist rebels missed the target near Gudumkodo village in Naxal-infested Narayanpur district in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh. However, almost all the security personnel sustained minor injuries.
Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) A N Upadhyaya said the security personnel were returning to district headquarters at Narayanpur when the rebels made an attempt to blow up their vehicle. The blast missed the target, as the explosion took place 10 feet away from the vehicle. He added that the security personnel have been admitted to the district hospital.

These security personnel were returning from Benur after night patrolling, which has been intensified in all Naxal-infested areas in view of the forthcoming Assembly polls scheduled for November 14. A massive security cover is being provided in all Naxal areas, particularly in Bastar, where the rebels have given a call for boycott of elections.

Out of the 10 districts where Assembly polls are scheduled for the first phase, Maoists have a strong presence in Bastar, Dantewara, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Kanker and Rajnandgaon districts.

Intellectuals on Maoist pay roll?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Giridih (Jharkhand): The Giridih police have seized papers from two arrested Maoists revealing that many intellectuals were on the pay-roll of naxalites.

Addressing a press conference here today, Giridih SP M L Meena said the police had arrested two Maoist ultras on the charge of killing JMM leader Ajay Tudu on October 26 and sezied ammunition, explosives and some documents from them.

The documents, Meena said, had names of doctors, teachers, lawyers and journalists, purportedly on the pay-roll of the Maoists. The police super has mentioned names of two Jharkhand-based scribes whose names found mention in the documents.

Meena, however, did not disclose whether the other intellectuals were based in Jharkhand. "We have been verifying the facts and would initiate action against them, if found guilty," Meena announced.

The district police of Giridih have recommended to the state government for announcing rewards against seven hard-core Maoists active in the Naxal-hit Giridih district.

The seven included Navin Majhi, zonal commander of North Chotanagpur division of the CPI(Maoist), Meena said.

IPS officer serves legal notice to Bihar minister

Patna (PTI): An IPS officer has served a legal notice to a Bihar minister allegedly for making 'derogatory' remarks against him at a public function and his 'political victimisation' thereafter, causing a major embarrassment to the Nitish Kumar government.

"We have served a legal notice to Urban Development and Housing Minister Bhola Singh under section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure," said Ritesh Kumar, advocate for the IPS officer Paresh Saxena, who is known for his honesty.

According to Section 80, 60 days notice has to be provided before moving a defamation suit against a public servant.

Saxena, till recently the SP of Gaya, had stirred a hornet's nest when he sought permission to reopen the murder case of former Gaya RJD MP, Rajesh Kumar during the 2005 Assembly elections to look into the alleged role of State Assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhry.

Rajesh Kumar, at that time, was contesting as an LJP nominee against Choudhry from naxalite hit Imamganj seat. Saxena was shunted out and posted as AIG (inspection) Patna.

The legal notice, a copy of which has been despatched to Chief Secretary R J M Pillai, alleged that "the officer was insulted and demoralised in front of the public and his subordinates by Singh who used offending, libellous and defamatory statements against Saxena at last month's Pitripaksha Mela (fair) at Gaya".

The annual mela organised by the government commenced on September 14 and Saxena, as SP Gaya was in-charge of the security and safety of the dignitaries, was rebuked by the minister who in his public address said "Shashan hum karte hain, adhikari nahin (We rule the State and not the officers)".

Saxena who gave result oriented performance in naxal-affected district during his short stint of six months was unceremoniously shifted to the headquarters after he sought permission to reopen the Rajesh Kumar murder case. Saxena's lawyer Ritesh Kumar said the action did not go well in the corridors of power and the SP was given indication from different quarters including the speaker that he (Saxena) might not be able to continue on that post due to that report.

Saxena was transferred in gross violation of the Police Act, 2007 which stipulates a tenure of at least two years despite performing well, the counsel said.

He also referred to his client's frequent premature transfer from post of SP Buxar to Gaya and then to the headquarters as AIG (inspection) about which he never complained.

The officer had to pay a heavy price for his honesty, the lawyer said.

"His son had to change school mid session from Gaya to Patna causing monetary and study loss.... The entire family of my client was facing demoralisation in appearing before the public and his subordinates due to that incident and felt that the words like honesty, sincerity and dutifulness has proved to be a waste," the lawyer said.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Andhra cops ‘arrest’ 5 Maoists in Silk City

Express News ServiceFirst Published : 31 Oct 2008 10:37:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 31 Oct 2008 01:00:26 PM IST

BERHAMPUR: With arrest of five suspected Maoists from Gosaninuagaon area of the city reportedly by Andhra police last evening, experts believe that the red rebels are spreading their network in Silk City secretly.

Acting on information provided by an arrested Maoist Soma Reddy in Andhra, a special police team was keeping a constant vigil on a house here. Later, they raided the house and reportedly arrested five Maoists. Guns, sketch maps, booklets of Operation Ropeway, pamphlets and books in Oriya and Telugu were seized from them. According to sources, Maoists had been residing in the rented house for past four months. Earlier three groups had visited the house. Andhra police had certain information regarding the network of the Maoists who were planning to raid a large armoury in Berhampur. Since Berhampur has huge arms and ammunition stocked in the armoury, DIG and SP police offices, reserve police barrack and NCC office, Maoists may have targeted the facilities. After getting confirmed information regarding the Maoists’ presence, the Andhra police team informed it to their DGP who in turn informed his Orissa counterpart and finally police besieged the area. The raid was kept secret till completion of the operation. Even the local police had no clue. The arrested have been taken to Bhubaneswar for further interrogation by special investigation wing. However, Berhampur SP’s office denied the arrest of Maoists.

Maoists nabbed near Orissa-Jharkhand border

30 Oct 2008, 1412 hrs IST, PTI

ROURKELA: Three Maoists were nabbed from Raibaga area near Orissa-Jharkhand border in Sundargarh district when they were planning a major strike,
police said on Thursday.

Five ultras, including three from Jharkhand, were planning to strike at a house at Jamapani village in Jharkhand when they were caught last night.

Acting on a tip-off, police raided a house and nabbed three of them, while two escaped, the police said.

The Maoists belong to 'Jharkhand Badsha' group, mainly operating at Raibaga area and were involved in many criminal activities, the police added.

Maoist trio held in Sundergarh

ROURKELA, Oct. 30: The Sundergarh police claimed to have achieved a major success as it arrested three top-rung Maoists yesterday. The trio was believed to be connected with the Jharkhand Badshah group.
Sources said that Sundergarh SP Mr Narasingha Bhol had acted on a a tip-off that some members of the group are holding a meeting in a remote village near the state borders. He alerted the Raibaga police and accordingly, a team rushed to Jampani village under Theteidang police station and surrounded the house of one Phiru Badaik.
When the ultras were asked to surrender, at least two of them managed to flee from the spot, while the trio was captured. They included Bisu Bhagat, a member of the Andali panchayat samiti and Lugei Soreng. Police sources said that the Jharkhand Badshah, a breakaway faction of the MCC, is mainly involved with extortion and looting. Its members were involved in a spate of crimes like the murder of the son of businessman Basu Jaiswal, looting of his brother’s shop, attack on a missionary and others.

The Maoist Maniacs Of Manipur

October 31, 2008: India believes it has defeated the tribal separatists in its northeast, except, perhaps, for the state of Manipur. Throughout the northeast, there are still thousands of armed rebels out there who, while no longer fighting to throw off Indian rule, are now making a good living as bandits. But in Manipur, violence from a combination and tribal and political rebels continues to grow.

There has been rebel activity in the seven states of northeast India (Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya) for over 60 years. The total population of this area is 39 million, with most of it (72 percent) in Assam. Despite peace breaking out in most of the region, Manipur continues to smolder. On October 21st, a bomb went off in a gambling hall there that left 18 dead, including three policemen. The local communist rebels claimed responsibility for this, claiming that they were trying to eliminate the vice of gambling from Manipur.

The war with the communists has been bloody. Four years ago, several thousand Indian troops cleared two thousand communist rebels out of camps in Manipur. The operation uncovered about a hundred camps. About 25 rebels were killed and 34 captured. The rest fled, some into neighboring Myanmar. But there, they often encountered Myanmar troops, who have been newly stationed along the border to try and prevent the communist groups from freely crossing. The communist Maoist rebels have increasingly built up their system of camps in Manipur, and this recently reached the point where the Indian government considered it more than just a nuisance.

Over the past five years, the government has eliminated rebel sanctuaries in neighboring Bhutan and Bangladesh. But the rebels have adapted, and continued to operate, especially the Maoist communists. Although Manipur has a population of 2.5 million, it suffered more dead (314) last year than neighboring Assam (209 dead and a population of 27 million.) For the last five years, terrorist violence has left over 300 dead each year in Manipur (which has over 30 tribes, but tribal rebels are much less of a problem than the Maoists).

The energetic counter-terror efforts of the last five years has led to the various political and tribal rebel groups in Manipur to join together (rather than sometimes fight with each other, as in the past.) The battle is intense, with nearly 500 clashes so far this year. Manipur has four times as many police per 100,000 people (554) than the Indian average (127). The main problem is the same as the rest of the northeast; the movement of people from the rest of India into the area, without the native tribes having any say in the matter.

Inept local government, and the influx of poor outsiders and ancient tribal animosities have led to over half a century of rebel activities. Most of the rebels rely on banditry (theft and extortion) to sustain themselves, and most Manipuris just want peace. But now the Maoists are seeking to establish a communist dictatorship, and that idea has caught on with many young men who are willing to die, and steal, for it.

India Under Siege

31 Oct 2008, 0013 hrs IST

Blasts in Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Malegaon— the list goes on. We perhaps believed the worst of the terror run was over. But the pre-Diwali lull
proved false. Yesterday, several blasts struck Assam — in Guwahati, Bongaigaon, Barpeta and Kokrajhar — leaving scores dead. Spread over almost the entire state, the horrific attacks proved yet again that enemies of India’s territorial and emotional integrity have organisational and technical capabilities that our law enforcers repeatedly underestimate.

While fanatics demonstrate with sickening regularity their power to strike at will, the official response is invariably an assertion of renewed resolve to fight terror. Assam’s tragedy shows up, damningly, the government’s failure to deliver on that promise.

There were recent warnings that Assam was on the radar of a United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA)-Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) combine. It should have been on high alert, more so given recent ethnic strife between Bodo tribespeople and Bangladeshi migrants. The north-eastern state’s strategic importance in terms of resource wealth — oil, in particular — and security cannot be overstated.

More, its social fabric has long been stretched thin by students’ movements against ‘foreigners’, fears of demographic change, ULFA’s secessionist violence and ethnic strife fomented by the National Democratic Front of Bodoland. Pakistani and Bangladeshi militants have long been known to be fishing in these troubled waters; home-grown terror in the form of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) has only helped their agenda in the north-east and elsewhere.

In September, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh insisted that the UPA wasn’t soft on terror. This had gone along with a frank admission of gaps in our intelligence network. It may be asked what the home ministry has done since then to reinforce preventive intelligence and law enforcement mechanisms. When it comes to anti-terror combat, it seems India can no longer afford the growing perception of being led by an excessively gentlemanly prime minister and a dandy but weak home minister. For, the prevailing sense of drift has only served to embolden all kinds of challenges to the Indian Union.

Terrorism is now a pan-India phenomenon, with terror recruits being traced to even Kerala. Home-grown extremists — whether of the IM or of the saffron variety — are deepening religious divides. At the same time, Naxalite carnage is beating previous records. Now, regional chauvinism of the Raj Thackeray kind threatens to blow up into an interstate conflagration. People’s representatives can no longer wink at the fact that India’s unity is under siege or play games of electoral one-upmanship.

The prime minister must immediately do something. He should call an all-party emergency meeting, so that the entire political spectrum stands — and is seen to stand — united against balkanisers and hate-mongers of every stripe

Counterterrorism in India


Authors: Eben Kaplan, Associate Editor
Jayshree Bajoria, Staff Writer

A spate of bomb attacks (BBC) across India's cities in 2008 that killed more than 160 people once again exposed India's vulnerability to terrorism. According to the latest report on global terrorism by the U.S. government's National Counter-Terrorism Center, more than one thousand people died in India because of terrorist attacks in 2007, ranking India fourth behind only Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. India, a nation of a billion people, has been confronted with terrorism since its birth, and currently contends with a variety of regional groups mainly intent on separatism.

Why is India the target of so many terrorist attacks?
India is embroiled in a number of low-intensity conflicts throughout its territory. Many terrorist incidents are the products of these clashes. The regions most affected are:

Jammu and Kashmir. Located at the northern tip of India's territory, this state has been the focal point of a territorial dispute dating back to 1947—when British colonial rule ended—involving India, Pakistan, and China. India claims the entire region as its sovereign territory, though it controls only about half of it. A third of the land is controlled by Pakistan, and China controls the remainder. The quarrel between India and Pakistan has touched off a number of military showdowns. Since the late 1980s, the region has been home to a number of militant groups seeking independence for the region. Experts say these groups have extensive support networks in Pakistan, and some accuse Pakistan of using these insurgent groups to wage a proxy war in the region. Over the last decade, this conflict has been linked to some two-thirds of all fatalities from terrorist attacks in India.
Andhra Pradesh. Andhra Pradesh state along the Bay of Bengal coast has endured a number of attacks linked to a group known as Naxalites. Named for the town of Naxalbari where their movement began in 1967, Naxalites are revolutionary communists. Though not all are militant, Human Rights Watch estimates some 10,000 are members of armed militias, which continue to wage a low-intensity insurgency that claims hundreds of Indian lives every year. In areas under Naxalite control "people's courts" prosecute individuals deemed "class enemies" or "caste oppressors." The U.S. State Department reports Naxalite terrorism "is growing in sophistication and lethality and may pose a significant long-term challenge." Indian officials have reportedly organized vigilante groups to help oppose Naxalite influence, and human rights groups have criticized the government's methods. Over the years, the Naxalite influence has spread to thirteen of India's twenty-eight states. The swath passes through the woods and jungles of central India, where the group takes refuge and recruits from the region's impoverished population. The states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Orissa have witnessed high levels of Naxalite activity, but Chhattisgarh witnessed the most Maoist-related violence in 2006 with more than 360 deaths.
Northeastern states. Violence has plagued several states in northeast India ever since the country now known as Bangladesh was partitioned off in 1947. Fighting has been particularly bad in the states of Assam and Nagaland, which over the years have received a large influx of immigrants. Shifting demographics in an area already prone to tribal friction have helped touch off a number of religious and cultural conflicts. Poverty is endemic in the region, and many groups are demanding independence, citing neglect and discrimination on the part of the Indian government as grounds for separation. Militant groups like the United Liberation Front of Assam have targeted politicians and infrastructure in an attempt to force out government influence.

What groups are involved in terrorism in India?
There are scores of insurgent and terrorist groups operating in the country. Those recognized by the U.S. State Department as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) or other "groups of concern" are:

Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), whose name means "Army of the Pure," is a militant Islamist group operating in Pakistan as well as in Jammu and Kashmir. The group reportedly received funding from Pakistan's intelligence services until 2001, when the United States designated it an FTO and Pakistan froze its assets. LeT, which has ideological, but unconfirmed operational ties to al-Qaeda, aims to win sovereignty for Jammu and Kashmir and spread Islamic rule across India. The group is blamed for some of the most high-profile terrorist attacks in India, including the July 11, 2006 bombing of the Mumbai commuter rail.
Jaish-e-Muhammad, meaning "Army of Mohammed," is another Pakistan-based terrorist group operating in Jammu and Kashmir. Founded in 2000 by the former leader of the now-defunct group Harkat-ul-Ansar, Jaish-e-Muhammed seeks to drive India out of Jammu and Kashmir and transfer control of the region to Pakistan.
Harakat ul-Mujahedeen (HuM), or the "Islamic Freedom Fighters' Group," was founded in 1985 as an anti-Soviet group fighting in Afghanistan. When Soviet forces withdrew in 1989, the Pakistan-based HuM shifted its focus to Jammu and Kashmir. HuM seeks to battle "anti-Islamic forces" and its members have helped carry out operations as far away as Myanmar, Tajikistan, and Bosnia.
The Communist Party of India was formed by a merger of Naxalite groups in 2004 after talks between the Indian government and the leftist militants broke down. The group seeks to establish a "revolutionary zone" of control extending from the Nepalese border down to the southern part of Andhra Pradesh that would ultimately become a sovereign state.
Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami (HUJI) was founded in 1980 to fight Soviets in Afghanistan but has since concentrated its efforts in Jammu and Kashmir. HUJI, which is based in Pakistan and Kashmir, primarily attacks Indian military targets, but it is believed to be linked to the abduction and slaying of five Western tourists in Jammu and Kashmir in 1995.
Jamiat ul-Mujahedin is a small group of pro-Pakistan Kashmiri separatists operating in or near Pakistan. It is thought to be responsible for a pair of 2004 grenade attacks against political targets in India.
The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) has sought to establish an independent socialist state in Assam since its founding in 1979. In the 1990s, ULFA's attacks on political leaders, security forces, and infrastructure provoked a harsh response from the Indian government, causing it to lose some support among the residents of Assam. The U.S. State Department reports a December 2003 attack on a ULFA base by Indian forces caused the group's numbers to drop from more than 3,000 to several hundred.

What agencies are responsible for fighting terrorism in India?
A number of intelligence, military, and police organizations within the Indian government contribute to counterterrorism efforts. These include state-run police forces, special security forces to guard airports and other high-profile targets, and paramilitary forces that patrol the borders and assist the police when necessary. These paramilitary groups, such as the 165,000-strong Central Reserve Police Force, have been accused of committing human rights violations, especially in Kashmir, where they are particularly active. The army usually participates in counterterrorism operations as a last resort, though in Jammu and Kashmir they play a more consistent role. India's closest structural equivalent to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is the Ministry of Home Affairs, which oversees national police, paramilitaries, and domestic intelligence gathering.

India has several intelligence agencies that monitor terrorist activities. The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is the external intelligence agency and the Intelligence Bureau (IB), a division of the Home Affairs Ministry, collects intelligence inside India. A Joint Intelligence Committee analyzes intelligence data from RAW and IB as well as from a handful of military intelligence agencies, which usually provide tactical information gathered while carrying out counterterrorist operations.

The IB oversees an interagency counterterrorism center similar to the CIA. The Ministry of External Affairs oversees its own counterterrorism body, much like the U.S. State Department, which oversees diplomatic counterterrorism functions such as briefing other nations on suspected Pakistani sponsorship of terrorism in India.

How does the government react to terrorist attacks?
Experts say the government's response to terrorist attacks have been episodic; soon after an attack the government appears to take short-term measures. "India lacks a coherent strategic response to terrorism; there is no doctrine (BusinessWeek), and most of our responses are kneejerk," says retired Major General Sheru Thapliyal, who works at the Center for Land Warfare Studies in New Delhi.

Indian security officials usually focus their investigations on the country's Muslim minority following such attacks. India is home to 150 million Muslims, the second largest Muslim population in the world. But a large percentage of them feel disadvantaged and discriminated against by the government and the security forces.

How have India’s counterterrorism agencies performed?
Some Indian journalists called the July 11 Mumbai bombings a failure of the country's intelligence community. Stephen P. Cohen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, says that within the ongoing debate over the effectiveness of India's counterterrorism apparatus, "there's general agreement that the old institutions can't cope with the new pressures." Wilson John, a senior fellow with the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, writes in the Terrorism Monitor the problem is an intelligence structure which has yet to emerge from its "debilitating colonial legacy and a complementary stranglehold of bureaucracy." John argues the state police and intelligence units are mostly structured as agencies to protect law and order and spy on rivals rather than act as investigative and intelligence units. He says there is reluctance, and even refusal, to share information among the intelligence and security agencies.

Others counter that the intelligence agencies are performing well, but politicians too often shy away from making tough security decisions for fear of angering their constituents. Jeevan Deol, a lecturer in South Asian studies at the University of London, says, "There may well be occasions where elected politicians may not see it in their interest to isolate insurgent groups." He says their actions are nothing "too unusual for an elected democracy."

India's counterterrorism measures have often been the subject of appeals by human rights organizations. Deol says Indian officials have a higher tolerance for collateral damage than counterterrorism authorities in many other nations. In an example of such tactics, he says, "Agencies and arms of the state have been accused of turning a blind eye in order to run rival gangs that would be tasked with killing other insurgents, but would also kill innocent people." Such tactics have been effective in the past, says Cohen, but only when coupled with political accommodation.

Does India have antiterrorism legislation similar to the U.S. Patriot Act?
Not anymore. In 2002 India passed the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), expanding the government's powers in combating terrorism. Some measures, such as the ability to keep terror suspects in custody without bringing them to trial, met with objections, and the law was repealed in 2004 after allegations that officials were abusing their powers. However, after the recent spate of bombings, some Indian politicians are calling for the law to be restored.

Some Indian states such as Karnataka and Maharashtra have other laws, Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) and the Karnataka Control of Organized Crime Act, that are used to try suspected terrorists. The MCOCA was also extended to Delhi in 2002. Some lawyers have alleged that MCOCA is even more draconian than POTA and has often been misused by the investigative agencies. Other states like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are also seeking similar anti-terror laws.

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BDO prey to Maoist diktat

Statesman News Service
MIDNAPORE, Oct. 30: The Block Development Officer, Mr Bhaskar Pal, appeared to be quite the dare devil as he didn’t take any escort with him, a must in the Maoist corridor, when he ventured to Chitamati, a Naxalite den in the dense forest about 40 km from Belpahari, where even the CRPF who are always equipped with sophisticated arms fear to tread.

In fact, the Maoists themselves were guarding him. The BDO went to this remote and impregnable tribal hamlet under the Banspahari gram panchayat in the Bengal-Jharkhand border on the eve of Pujas to distribute clothes among the adivasis reportedly going by the ‘diktats’ of the extremists. However, no panchayat functionary was allowed to accompany the BDO as is the custom in such welfare programmes resulting in mysterious speculations. Some activists of the outfit present on the occasion, including Mr Uday Mahato, a Maoist loyalist and contractor by profession, who was arrested twice in 2006 and 2007 on charges of having extremist links, also took part in the relief distribution programme for 180 Adivasis, it was learnt.

Since the BDO has allegedly exploited the private photographers of the locality, the Maoists blackmailed the BDO by forcing him to make a deal with the photographers. They were engaged to take pictures of the people living below poverty line (BPL) who are required to prepare their job cards which will enable them to get jobs under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA).

However, against the government rate of Rs 15 for four copies of photographs of about 50,000 beneficiaries in the block, the photographers were given only Rs 7.50. This massive underpayment to the poor photographers by manipulating the rest of the NREGA funds annoyed the Maoists. Hence, to appease them the BDO had to arrange relief distribution at Chitamati, it was further alleged.

Also, by yielding to their pressure tactics the BDO allegedly made a deal with the Maoists by which he would cough up some “levy” (money) to them against each scheme by “overestimating” them. Not only that ~ the work of all the schemes would have to be done by the contractors nominated by them under the overall supervision of the tainted thikadar, Mr Uday Mahato, it was further learnt.

Surprised over the BDO’s secret deal with the Maoists and manipulation of the NREGA funds, the Belpahari CPI-M leaders moved the party hierarchy to relieve the BDO from his post.

Cops sniff Bengal rebels in state

Jamshedpur, Oct. 30: East Singhbhum police have intensified anti-insurgency operations following intelligence reports that a squad of armed Naxalites from Bengal has sneaked into the Ghurabandha jungle.

An intelligence source confirmed at least one squad, led by Naxalite leader Jayanti, has entered Jharkhand through Dhalbhumgarh block and, subsequently, Ghurabandha block of East Singhbhum. Sources maintained that after a brief stay in Ghurabandha, the squad is now inching towards Mayurbhanj district in Orissa. “The squad has about 20 armed rebels. It is heading towards Orissa,” said the intelligence source.
Confirming the presence of Naxalites, superintendent of police Navin Kumar Singh said that the movement of rebels in Ghurabandha jungle appeared to be nothing unusual. He said the squad might have come here from Purulia or West Midnapore districts of Bengal.

Talking to The Telegraph, Kumar said: “Recently, we recovered some posters from a place close to Barsole on the Bengal-Orissa border.” The Bengal squad evidently has been helping the Ghatshila Maoists in spreading their wings to new areas.

Sounding an alarm, he said if the Naxalites succeed to make inroads in this stretch of Bengal-Orissa, then the security scenario in this region might worsen.

“Naxalites from Bengal will find it easier to cross over to Orissa for shelter if they are chased by the Bengal police,” Kumar said.

Whether it is Bengal, Jharkhand or Orissa, forests provide good camouflage to Naxalites. Jungles have always been the favourite haunt of the rebels. They will take refuge in some forest or the other, said the police chief.

A potent cocktail inside the state fuels the rebels

Orissa’s complex mix of religion, caste and tribal loyalties forces the Naxalites to remap their strategy here

Priyanka P. Narain

font size Kandhamal, Orissa: For close to four decades, armed rebels have been gathering deep in the Dandakaranya forest that sprawls over parts of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa to plot strategies to promote their cause of violent revolution.
Spearheaded today by the Communist Party of India (Maoist), an underground political party with no representatives in the world’s largest democracy, the movement has grown from a peasant uprising of the 1960s in the small town of Naxalbari in West Bengal into a deadly conflict spread over several Indian states.
Troubled times:Inmates at Lakshmananda’s ashram. Naxal leader Sabhyasachi Panda owned responsibility for his killing. Indranil Bhoumik / MintOrissa is the latest target of the Maoists, whose movement has claimed up to 50,000 lives by official count since its outbreak. This impoverished state sits in the middle of what Maoists envision as a “red corridor”, running from neighbouring Nepal—where former guerrilla leader Prachanda became prime minister in August—to Tamil Nadu in India, says A.N. Sinha, deputy commissioner of police in Cuttack.
Sinha served for three years in Gajapati, an Orissa district where Maoists are active and which borders Kandhamal, the site of anti-Christian violence in recent months.
While its geography and demographics have the usual features of a Maoist haven—thick jungles, mountains, dilapidated roads, angry and unemployed youth—Orissa’s complex mix of religion and caste and tribal loyalties are forcing the rebels to rewrite their playbook.
Once upon a time, for example, the Maoist doctrine dismissed religion as “the opium of the masses” and steered clear of religious leanings or alliances.
But investigators of the 23 August murder of Hindu monk Swami Lakshmananda, a vocal opponent of conversions to Christianity, say they are sure the Maoists played a role in the killing that sparked the attacks on Christians that left at least 35 people dead.
“We know that they supplied guns and bullets to the men who killed the swami. We know that they helped execute the plan as well,” says a police officer who is close to the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.
If they were indeed involved in the killing of Lakshmananda, it would be the first Maoist attack in Kandhamal district and their first ever on a religious leader.
P. Govindam Kutty, editor of the People’s March, a Kerala-based pro-Maoist magazine, says he would not be surprised if the rebels were involved in the murder of Swami Lakshmananda, and “as such, they have already claimed responsiblity on television for it. I don’t see any reason to doubt that.”
Earlier this month, the Maoists’ Orissa leader, Sabhyasachi Panda, a mathematics graduate who had once aspired to contest state elections, appeared on the news channel NDTV. With a towel draped on his face, he owned responsibility for the attack on Lakshmananda. It was not possible to contact him for comment.
Intelligence officials say the Maoists have 15,000–20,000 recruits in India. Comprised largely of tribals and villagers from the country’s most backward regions, these rebels believe they are fighting imperialism, feudalism and capitalism. In largely hit-and-run attacks, they raid police stations, state armouries and security convoys, blow up rail tracks, kill government officials, attack mining industries for explosives and intimidate villagers who refuse to give them shelter and money. They have a foothold in half of the country’s 28 states including West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh that border Orissa.
Those familiar with the region say a strategic motive rests behind the attack. So far, the Maoists, who have established a presence in half of Orissa’s 30 districts, have failed to make inroads in Kandhamal.
Here, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Swami Lakshmananda acted as unexpected buffers between the rebels and tribals, says Sujeet Kumar, who runs Kalinga Kusum Foundation, a non-governmental organization that is trying to nurture young rural entreprenuers in Kalahandi, one of Orissa’s most backward districts, neighbouring Kandhamal.
The Hindu nationalist RSS has been working with the Kandha tribal majority here—setting up vanvasi kalyan or tribal welfare ashrams, schools and medical centres— to prevent tribals from converting to Christianity.
In the process, it achieved an unintended result and became a barrier to Maoist entry in the area. “When you work for the tribals, they trust you and bond with you,” says Kumar.
And while the non-religious Maoists are an anti-establishment group waging a violent war against the Indian state, “the RSS is a solidly establishment organization rooted in Hinduism”. “It is the ideological opposite of the Maoists. And this is the organization that the tribals here are close to. The Maoists are not able to bond with tribals because of this affiliation,” adds Kumar.
Lakshimananda had a formidable following among the tribals, said Krishnan Kumar, the collector of Kandhamal.
The murder of Lakshimananda, locals say, helped remove the Maoists’ main obstacle between them and the tribals. It also consolidated their popularity with the largely Christian Pano community.
“We are not sure what the Maoists plan to do next,” said a government official in Kandhamal, on condition of anonymity. “Normally, they exploit social faultlines and generate a sense of relative deprivation. I think they plan to do that in Kandhamal.”
Officials privately admit that Kandhamal risks turning into a Maoist stronghold.
“We have not discussed these issues and all these questions need to be deeply thought about. There is no point speculating, but understanding this change is becoming very important,” said Sinha, the deputy commissioner of police in Cuttack.

Police on alert on alert in Purulia after Maoist blasts

Nani Gopal Pal

PURULIA, Oct 30: Purulia district police officers are cautioning residents to beware of Maoist movements in the district following the landmine blasts in the Belpahari area of Midnapore West last week.
They specifically highlighted Naxal-infested areas of Bandwan, Manbazar, Jhalda, Boro, Kotshila, Joypur, Barabazar and Balarampur. Armed security forces are keeping close watch on border areas of Jharkhand and Purulia district.
The superintendent of police, Purulia, Mr Rajesh Yadav has surveyed the border areas. There are nine police check-posts between Purulia and Jharkhand. He passed an order to increase vigilance at all check-posts, to combat sudden untoward situations because the ultras have taken shelter in Jharkhand. The Maoists easily crossed the border after the operation in West Bengal. He also alerted all 21 police stations of the possibility of an attack.
Meanwhile, police recovered leaflets and posters on the eve of a bandh called by Maoists last week, at Hattala of Arsha, 40 km from Purulia town. As a result, the bandh was peaceful and total in Maoist-prone areas of the district. There were mixed reactions in non-Maoist areas at Hura, Kashipur, Raghunathpur, Para and Purulia town.
However, there were no reports of Maoist operations in Purulia district during the past five months, since June 2008. Police forces have said they are ready to tackle any case. Police authorities have also sounded the red alarm in Naxal-affected areas.

Orissa to launch its own Salwa Judum to fight Naxals

Font Size Debabrata Mohanty
Posted: Oct 31, 2008 at 2329 hrs IST

Bhubaneswar, October 30 : Taking a leaf out of the much-criticised Salwa Judum campaign of neighbouring Chhattisgarh, the Orissa Government would start a similar scheme of deploying 2,000 armed tribal youths as special police officers in five Maoist-infested districts to fight the Naxals.

Salwa Judum, an anti-Maoist movement, was started by the Raman Singh Government in 2005 to bring the area dominated by Naxals back under Government control. Chhattisgarh Police employ SPOs, essentially tribal civilians who have been armed with .303 rifles.

The Orissa campaign which is yet to be named, possibly due to the controversy surrounding the three-year-old Salwa Judum, got the official stamp in a state Home Department resolution (No 47958 dated October 25, 2008) last week. The resolution says tribal men and women in the age group of 18-25 years from Maoist-infested districts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Gajapati, Raygada and Kandhamal would be appointed on a contractual basis for the first three years. Required to pass at least Std VIII, they would be made to undergo training in arms and ammunition like a regular policeman. As special police officers, they would be paid Rs 4,000 in the first two years and Rs 4,500 in the third year after which they might be absorbed as sepoys or constables in the regular police vacancies, said a senior home department official.

“It’s just like Salwa Judum. They will be doing the same things that the SPOs in Chhattisgarh are doing. The aim is to let the tribals defend themselves against the onslaught of Maoists,” said the Home Department official on condition of anonymity.

BharatDefence.comAds By GoogleWhile a senior police officer posted in the Maoist-affected districts said there was nothing wrong with Salwa Judum, Orissa Director General of Police Manmohan Praharaj said there was no ad-hocism in Orissa Government’s plan of recruiting tribal youths unlike the Salwa Judum in Chhattisgarh. “The SPOs are not extra-judicial appointments and can’t be compared to Salwa Judum of Chhattisgarh,” he added.
Orissa has seen the maximum casualties in Naxalite-related violence this year among all the Naxalite-affected states with three daring attacks on the police, including the one on Greyhound police of Andhra Pradesh whose motorboat was sunk in the Balimela reservoir of Malkangiri district in June this year. Thirty-eight policemen, most of them Greyhounds, died in the attack.

In March this year, the Supreme Court had expressed its disapproval of Salwa Judum formation by the Chhattisgarh Government and giving them arms to tackle the Naxal menace.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Police arrest five Maoists in Ranchi

October 29th, 2008 - 10:47 pm ICT by ANI -

Ranchi, Oct 29 (ANI): The police has arrested five people allegedly owing allegiance to a Maoist outfit, People’’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), in Ranchi on Tuesday.

The accused have been charged of trying to get a foothold in the city and establishing a base for their outfit in the city.

The accused have been involved in unlawful activities like extortion, murder, and putting up posters with threat messages across the city, according to the police.

The arrested include, the city area commander of PLFI and his four associates. The police also seized a large numbers of mobile phones and a country made revolver from them.

“We have arrested five members of PLFI including their city area commander Rama. Besides, Mahesh, Dheera, Haria, and Naru have also been arrested,” said M.S. Bhatia, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Ranchi.

The outfit had been reportedly active in the city for the past six months.

Police said that such arrests would prevent others from joining the Maoist ranks.

“Such arrests have a good impact, as it prevents other people from venturing into such activities. The arrest marks the end of a case and then a new chapter opens up, we work on that case,” said Bhatia.

The PLFI, earlier known as Jharkhand Liberation Tigers (JLT), has a strong presence in the rural areas of Jharkhand and is also trying to gain a foothold in Chhattisgarh. (ANI)

Shed fear & fight Maoists, says DC --Vandana Dadel

DC Vandana Dadel. Telegraph picture

- Progress pledge with plea to people

Giridih, Oct. 29: For the first time in the history of Jharkhand, a deputy commissioner spoke in a language patented by politicians and urged people to co-operate in the development of Naxalite-hit areas.

In a two-page communiqué, Giridih deputy commissioner Vandana Dadel urged the people of Pirtand to “take on the rebels who are hindering development”.

In an attempt to instil faith in people after social activist Ajay Tuddu was assassinated on Saturday, Dadel released a rather emotional message stating that the district administration was with them in this period of crisis.

Dadel, in her statement, not only showed her helplessness to implement development works in Maoist stronghold areas, but also praised the role of Tuddu as a “true social activist”.

Tuddu was killed a day after he had met chief minister Shibu Soren on the development of Pirtand in the district. On Monday, police claimed that the Maoists had killed Tuddu, as he was taking several measures for development of the area.

“It has been four months since I joined as deputy commissioner of this district. I remember when I had got information for official posting in Giridih, I was not happy, as Giridih was more known for Naxalite acts than its industries, its scenic beauty and mica business,” Dadel began the communiqué with a personal note.

“After taking charge, I have taken it as a challenge. But it is not hidden from anybody that in some areas of the district, officials could not venture freely without proper security arrangements. When I travel to such areas, it makes me feel sad that I am still far away from the downtrodden and needy tribal people. I was feeling helpless to bridge the gap created by Maoists in the backward areas. In these conditions, there were no direct talks with people of these areas,” she said in the release.

“Amid these, when Ajay Tuddu met me on the issue of taking Pirtand’s Dak Bangla on lease, it sprang surprise as well as made me happy also that one person was working there without any hue and cry and there is one person who wants to bring change in such areas.”

“He met me on several occasions and discussed the issues of Pirtand in detail. I found truth in his words and that he is dedicated for the uplift of tribal community,” Dadel added.

Further, the deputy commissioner called upon people, especially of Pirtand area for realising the dream of Tuddu and not to succumb before the rebels.

“The decision is at your hand. No messiah would come from outside but you have to take responsibility not to succumb before these people. I appeal to Pirtand people to gather and rise up against such killings,” she added.

Maoists resent Hinduism among tribals

Tuesday, 10.28.2008, 11:29pm (GMT-7)

In an interview given to a private television news channel in Orissa, the Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), Orissa State Committee, Sabyasachi Panda, claimed that it was the CPI (Maoist) who had killed Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four others in Jalespata Ashram in Kandhamal district.

In the same interview, the mastermind of many Naxal attacks in Orissa also warned that they would kill around a dozen people who he alleged were responsible for the communal tension in Kandhamal unless they stopped their activities.

Sabyasachi Panda deserves to be taken seriously for his close proximity with Ganapati and other top leaders of Central Committee and Central Military Commission of the CPI (Maoists). Since August 23, the day when Swami Laxmananda Saraswati was killed, Orissa's Kandhamal district has witnessed an unprecedented and diabolic attack on Christians.

With 4,000 houses burned, 300 villages set on fire, 60,000 refugees and over 30 people dead, even today the ground reality in Kandhamal shows no signs of normalcy. In this chaotic situation the interview of Sabyasachi was aired on October 5, seeing which many may ask why has it taken so long for the top leader of CPI (Maoist) in Orissa to speak to the media and take responsibility?

Some may also wonder what Naxals would gain from killing an old Hindu priest? Yet others may also suspect his claim on the grounds that Naxals have no history of interfering in religious matters. Sabyasachi claimed in the interview that "Naxals had left two letters claiming responsibility for the murders, but the state government suppressed both."
There seem to be some truth in his claim, because within the half an hour of the gruesome murder of Swami Laxmananda the then DGP of Orissa said to the media that the government suspected Naxal involvement in the incident.

A few days after the incident, the SP of Sambalpur, Sanjay Kumar, revealed that Naxals, Prasanna Pal alias Pabitra and Ranjan Rout alias Robin, who were brought on remand from Jagatsinghpur, had confessed to Naxals' plan to eliminate Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati.

The job was taken up by Bansadhara division of the banned Left ultra outfit headed by Sabyasachi Panda and the decision taken after the communal flare-up at Brahmanigoan, Kumar added. All these facts substantiate Sabyasachi's claim.

The politics of Naxalism understands neither religion nor does it understand caste; however, growth of Naxalism in Bihar may mainly be attributed to caste factors. For some years now, the issue of conversion and re-conversion has become a driving force in Orissa politics.

Naxals may not have interfered in religious issues in the past but that does not prevent them from entering into the arena of communal politics. Naxalites aim at liberating the country by creating an atmosphere of chaos, terror and suspicion.

"The tribals are not Hindu. They are nature worshippers. There are now five lakh (half a million) Hindus in Kandhamal and this number has grown because of these forces," Sabyasachi alleged. This statement gives a clear indication of Naxal involvement in Swami Laxmananda's murder.

The Naxal movement in Orissa claims to be strong in tribal pockets, however over the past few years Swami Laxmananda had become an icon among Hindu tribals in and around Kandhamal. There was obvious pressure on the Naxal leadership to expand its support base in non-traditional Naxal areas and it is for this that the Naxals could have killed Swami Laxamananda to spread their message.

There are also reports that a few top ranking leaders of CPI (Maoist) from neighboring states of Andhra Pradesh and Chhatishgarh recently complained that Sabyaschi was going soft in Orissa and had confined himself to only the Gajapati and Rayagada jungles.

Sabyasachi might well have attacked the symbol of VHP in Orissa, to prove his detractors wrong. The Naxal brand of politics has changed course many times in the past; today, there does not seem to be any ideology left in their modus operandi.

The killing of Swami Laxmanananda may be an incident in isolation or it may also be the signal of new formations within Naxal politics. It is for the investigating agencies to find out the truth. At the moment, however, there are reasons to believe that there is no spokesperson of CPI (Maoist) in Orissa who is more authentic than Sabyasachi Panda.

The writer is Lecturer, G.M. College, Orissa

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Four Maoists killed in Andhra

Hyderabad • Four Maoist guerillas, including a woman, were killed in two separate gun battles with the police in Andhra Pradesh yesterday.

Two Maoists were killed in a gun battle with police in Vizianagaram district, near the border with Orissa, police said. The gun battle took place during combing operations by a police party in the forest area. The Maoists refused to surrender and reportedly opened fire on a police party, forcing it to retaliate. The slain guerillas include Mastan Rao, a member of central committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Chhattisgarh on high alert over possible Maoist attacks

Raipur (IANS): Thousands of policemen deployed in the forested interiors of Chhattisgarh's southern insurgency-hit area are on high alert following intelligence inputs that Maoist rebels have planned a string of deadly attacks ahead of the November Assembly polls.

In the first phase of the election, 39 seats including 12 in the Maoist terror-hit Bastar region, will go to polls on November 14 while balloting for the remaining 51 seats take place on November 20.

"The fresh inputs from Bastar's interiors suggest that rebels who killed 12 CRPF men on October 20 (when the filing of nomination papers began) have planned a string of deadly attacks in Bijapur and Dantewada districts," a source at the police headquarters in Raipur told IANS.

"The attack may be on cops (posted at police outposts in thickly forested hamlets) or on poor civilians (at government-run relief camps) in the two districts," the source added.

Other police officials said that cops deployed in the Bastar interiors are always on high alert due to fear of Maoist attacks but since the election date is less than a month away, insurgents might attempt deadly attacks on ill-equipped police outposts at largely inaccessible pockets.

Maoists have killed nearly 1,100 people, including 726 civilians, in the Bastar region since 2004.

The massacre of 55 policemen at Rani Bodli police outpost in Bijapur district in March last year was described the biggest ever attack by Maoists in India since the beginning of the insurgency in 1967.

Blasts-hit Railways to tone up security

K. Balchand

NEW DELHI: With trains and stations becoming soft targets of terrorists, naxalites and other disruptive forces, the Railways have drafted a multi-pronged programme to combat the menace.

According to railway officials, during the past four years 123 bomb blasts have been reported, leaving 304 people dead.

In 2005, nine people were killed in 20 blasts; the next year was a nightmare with 45 incidents, leaving 212 people dead. In 2007, the number of blasts was marginally lower at 38 and the death toll 75. During the first nine months of 2008, till September 20, the Railways were attacked with bombs on 20 occasions, and eight people lost their lives.

Apart from setting up a committee for preparing a composite security plan, the Railway Board has identified stations which are sensitive and vulnerable to acts of vandalism. It will fill vacancies in various ranks of its forces to combat the menace.

According to sources, the board is considering the proposals submitted by a committee comprising officers of the Railways, the Railway Protection Force, the Intelligence Bureau, the Central Industrial Security Force, the Delhi police and the Special Protection Group.

The board has accepted a proposal by a seven-member expert committee and decided to execute an integrated security system at 185 stations.

By the end of this financial year, all stations, including the suburban stations of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata will be fitted with CCTV systems, and will have electronic access control, a personal and baggage screening system and explosive detection and disposal systems. The other stations will be covered during 2009-10.


To tone up the Railway Protection Special Force (RPSF), which supplements the efforts of the State governments in providing security to stations and trains, the board has decided to fill the vacancies in its various ranks.

The board has decided to fill head constable, assistant sub-inspector, SI and inspector vacancies by promoting the staff in the lower rank to higher rank on an ad hoc basis.

There were 51 posts of inspectors, 273 posts of SI, 268 posts of assistant SI and 1,233 posts of head constable vacant in the RPSF.

For the other vacant posts of artisan (37) and followers (256), direct recruitment will be made.

Naxal hurdle to Mamata national alliance plans

Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Tuesday, October 28, 2008 03:27 IST

KOLKATA: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s plans for a national-level political alliance might face several hurdles before implementation following objections from her naxalite associates who backed her throughout the anti-Singur plant agitation.

Keeping the coming Lok Sabha elections and the minority vote bank in mind, Mamata is now keen to cementing a political alliance with the Congress at the national level, and Amar Singh’s Samajwadi Party (SP) could be the key medium towards this end.

However, highly placed Trinamool sources say Mamata’s naxalite confidants want her to go alone in the elections. “We had successive meetings with naxalite leaders who were in the forefront with us during the Singur movement. They have clearly told us if Trinamool expects their organisational support in the coming Lok Sabha elections, like they gave in Singur, we have to maintain equal distance with both the Congress and BJP. They clearly want Trinamool to concentrate on state-specific issues rather than be a part of any national alliance,” a senior Trinamool MLA told DNA on condition of anonymity.

He added that naxalites are not in-principle against any association with the SP if the latter does not officially have any connections either with the Congress-led UPA or the BJP-led NDA. The Suci and PDS, two other important associates of Mamata in her Singur venture, too want her to concentrate on land issues in Bengal in the Lok Sabha elections rather than attempt any national-alliance.

Political analysts say Mamata’s fate was sealed the day she accepted naxalite assistance in the Singur issue. “These naxalite leaders do not have any kind of democratic compulsion be it at the state-level or at the Centre. They just want their strong footing in Bengal anyhow and in this attempt the Trinamool was their ideal medium. Their organisational support to Mamata’s land-row movement was never unconditional. So it is natural that Mamata will now face difficulty in coming out of their support trap.

Naxalites would never want Mamata to be a part of any national-level alliance where they won’t be able to call the shots,” a senior political analyst here said.

He said it was similar story at work with the Suci and PDS, who are now trying to gain a footing in Bengal using Trinamool as the ladder.

'PRP if voted to power will talk with Maoists'

Tue, 28 Oct, 2008,11:26 AM
Holding out an olive branch to Maoists, the Praja Rajyam Party, floated by Telugu Superstar Chiranjeevi, today said it would revive peace talks with naxalites if voted to power in the next year's elections.

We will also put an end to fake police encounters, the party spokesman P Mitra told reporters here. Making a policy announcement on the key issue, he said his party would sincerely implement ceasefire and re-open the dialogue with Maoists.

'We consider naxalism as a socio-economic issue but not a law and order problem. We will make all efforts to bring Maoists into social mainstream,' Mitra said.

He said Praja Rajyam, if voted to power, would ensure that there would be no fake encounters. 'If at all there are any such instances, we will immediately order judicial probe,' he said.

The first ever direct talks with Maoist leadership, initiated by the Congress government in October 2004, had collapsed in January 2005 with the CPI (Maoist) pulling out of the negotiations, accusing the government of continuing fake police encounters.
After taking over the reins of the state in May, 2004, the Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy had announced lifting of ban on naxalite outfits and initiated peace talks with them.

But, the honeymoon did not last long. The government re-imposed the ban on CPI (Maoist) on August 17, 2005 following the killing of the ruling Congress MLA Ch Narsi Reddy and eight others by naxalites at Narayanpet in Mahboobnagar district on Independence Day.

The ban was first imposed in May 1992, coinciding with the first death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The former Chief Minister and TDP patriarch late N T Rama Rao announced relaxation in 1995 on the condition that extremists refrain from violence, extortion and acquisition of weapons. An year later, the Chandrababu Naidu government re-imposed ban in the face of growing extremist violence.

ORISSA: State says can't bear cost of security force

Express New Service First Published : 28 Oct 2008 10:57:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 28 Oct 2008 11:39:41 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: Orissa's heavy dependence on paramilitary forces has come at a huge cost. The Centre has sent a bill of Rs 95 cr to the State for deployment of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for tackling increased Maoist activities and riots in Kandhamal district which continued for almost three months after the killing of VHP leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati on August 23.

With the State Government demanding that the CRPF should stay till December-end, the cost will increase further.

The State Government today requested the Centre to waive charges towards deployment of paramilitary forces in the affected districts. The decision on demanding the waiver came after the State Home Department received a letter from the Union Home Ministry in this regard.

The Centre asked the State to make payment for deployment of four battalion of CRPF jawans in different parts of the State, including worst-affected Malkangiri district. While 53 companies of CRPF are deployed in Kandhamal district, 20 more companies are deployed in different Naxalite-affected districts.

‘We are again urging the Centre to waive the charges for jawan deployment as Maoist violence is part of the inter-State problem,’ Home Secretary T.K. Mishra told mediapersons. In fact, the Centre had earlier asked the State Government to make the payment and the latter had expressed its inability.

The State Government had maintained from the beginning that Maoist violence is an inter-State problem. It is strictly not a law and order problem but a socio-economic issue, he said and added that the Centre should not therefore ask the State to pay.

This is the sixth time that the State Government has made the demand. The Home Ministry had not taken the State Government’s demands into consideration on earlier occasions, an official said.

Besides, with the increase in the base of the Naxalites in 20 out of 30 districts, the dependence of the State Government on the CRPF has also increased over the years. When the BJD-BJP government came to power in 2000, only one company of CRPF was deployed in the State to protect Barabara forest. Now the strength of the CRPF has increased to 73 companies and the State Government wants more deployment

Manipur’s 1950 Revolution Revisited

By: Professor Naorem Sanajaoba

In the significant revisit, thee author holistically examines the local application in Manipur ,of the Asian communist revolutionary movement in 1950-1951, the inauguration of post-independence Manipuri armed struggle of the Manipur Communist Party, that transformed qualitatively, along with the Manipur- specific national question which had been subverted by the communist party of the annexing power and,that had been taken all the more seriously by the post- MCP Manipur national liberation movements.

In the conventional Manipuri revolutionary historiography, some of the historians are used to marginalise the role of the revolutionary party like the Manipur communist party [MCP hereafter] of which Mr. Hari or Jogeshwar i.e. Mr Hijam Irabot had been the uncontested supremo on the one hand, and the Red Guard Council [RGC hereafter] had been the military apparatus with five red guard commanders that struck militarily at the post- annexation Manipur state and the Indian administrative apparatus from 1950 to 1951. The 1950 MCP revolution was undoubtedly aborted for many a reason- the inevitable and the erroneous.

Communist parties of administering Indian state [which some authors endorse as colonial power] make festive celebration in the state by projecting the revolutionary party supremo Irabot alias Hari [his clandestine code name] as the electoral mascot by totally and systematically blacking out his revolutionary militancy and his revolutionary path, with a view to once again aborting the ongoing, deep- rooted political militancy in Manipur and misleading the people by way of the subverting the political objective of the RGC.MCP profiling has been defiled and distorted by the political opportunists.

Revolutionary Faith

Once, ex MP of Congress- Laishram Jogeshwar wrote that Irabot remaining the party supremo,N.Binoy,Ng.Mohendra,Th.Boro and M.Ibohal were ‘ riding on the crest of the revolution’. In Manipur, honesty and truth had been the first casualty at the hands of the incorrigibly crooked politicians.One can fool the people for some time, not for all time.

Many a scholar has disingeniously projected the MCP supremo as a multitudinous or a mulitfaceted person lacking a defined and single- minded direction of a committed political philosophy.It could have been possible that despite their studying two three books of Mao Tse Tung purchased from Silchar, the RGC leadership was not ideologically mature barring the supremo’s personal interface with Bengali speaking Marxians in Sylhet jail .The author would not revisit the hackneyed domain, and would love to address to two core issues- firstly, the centrality of the MCP armed struggle and secondly, the national question that the MCP had not literally addressed to.

Naturally, the MCP with its party supremo and the striking force- the RGC deserve the full credit for launching the post- independence armed struggle- the first ever in post-1947 Manipur in 1950.The front organizations had been outlawed before the revolution had been launched in no time.The Manipur State Council of sovereign Manipur by its resolution no.3 dated 21.9.1948made the order: “ _, the Manipur State Council declared the above associations[ read Krishak Sabha and Praja Sangha] to be unlawful under Section16 of the Manipur State Criminal Law Amendment Act,1948.”

In order to remove any confusion about the post-accession Manipur in 1947, the official letter of the dominion agent is cited. Dominion agent Debeswar Sarma replied to dictator E.Tompok Singh on 25 November,1947 after three months of Manipur’s accession to foreign state- India in August,1947,”Admittedly, Manipur is a Sovereign State.”Notwithstanding baseless and utterly whimsical opinions of diehard, biased individuals about the status of Manipur in 1947, the official position of the dominion agent as cited above is categorical ,and the author had been following the official position of the dominion agent, in total disregard of the private exclamations of untrustworthy, and,half-baked scholars.

Pro-revolutionaries and radicals show admiration for the methodology, revolutionary tactics he had taken care of, whereas revisionists and bankrupt opportunists capitalize on his name by undermining,ridiculing and omitting his revolutionism.Worshipping a wrong god or, barking at the wrong tree?.A leader or a revolutionary could be fully assessed, not in parts or piecemeal in order to suit the electoral market.At the same time, autobiography writers could do complete justice by covering the entire life span ,not a chosen piece.

The author would be doing complete injustice to Manipuri revolutionary historiography, if he does not acknowledge the commitment of Manipur people in 1953 towards undoing the disputed Manipur annexation and the subsequent post- MCP national liberation struggles that address fully to Manipur national question, which did not happen to be the cup of tea for the MCP in any sense of the term. The two major events are not inextricable,as we perceive of after considering the shifting political equations and agenda.

Definitely, certain confusions arose among the scholars due possibly to sentimental obsessions and lack of objectivity.The MCP had no business at all with the post- MCP armed national struggles in Manipur except that it has inaugurated the first primer of armed struggle for the liberation of the peasants and exploited Manipur people in 1950-1951, in conformity with the international communist movement led by the CPSU[ Communist Party of the Soviet Union] in a half –hearted way in Asia, while it had complete concern for Europe.
The author in his own humble way studied exhaustively strategic materials on CPSU,CPI of that era,published materials nearly all of them from Manipur , talked in 1992 to Ughor Debabarma[ a contemporary of Irabot who led the armed struggle in Tripura ], late leader Soyam Shatradhari who told me fifteen years back that he would publish all the epistles and communications of late Irabot at his disposal,talked to a Meetei state committee septuagenarian leader of 1960s at Nongmeibung,RGC commander N. Binoy [ alias Sunil in northern Manipur, alias Bipin in Southern Manipur] who single handedly collected 100 guns out of nearly two hundred guns for the RGC, L. Tiken of the RGC and also late Longjam Manimohon, who along with late Laishram Kanhai happened to be in the ranks of intermediate leadership of the MCP[ not within the top decision- making 5 red guard commanders;reportedly the two did not take up arms] and studied strong refutations in 1996-97, made by late MP- Ngangom Muhindra, one of the top five red guard commanders in the millennium CPI souvenir.

The ideological format of the 1950 armed struggles had been based on 1] Defeat of Hitler and Japanese fascism in world war II [ hence,Japan khurai thude-u song of Ms. Chandrakala; no chiding of the British colonialism,mark it please];2] a new ‘constellation of class forces’; 3]post-war colonies launching “ Armed Struggle against imperialists”; 4]Nehru’s government denied freedom to Indian people; 4]National government id.est. Delhi government collaborates with Anglo-American imperialism; and hence, the launching the democratic revolution by the CPI in 1950. The afoji did operate within these parameters.

Some of the MCP analysts, who along with another couple of scholars, who the late CPI MP had referred to in his refutations, did little source- verifications while jumping to Nongda hypothesis[ cited by V.V.Rao and Gangmumei Kabui] .Irabot epistles are yet to be published, made public by the custodian concerned, and we have to re-assess the MCP vis-a’-vis the CPI of the India-occupied Manipur after their publication.The author has no opportunity to read the unpublished Irabot documents, so far held up for unknown reasons for a long time, like many other scholars.

The writer does not think that the CPI leaders of occupied Manipur in the mid 1950s would have been appreciated in the unpublished Irabot epistles, as many of them surrendered after SP Palit’s racist crackdown on PDA detenues[ that matriculate coloured barbarian- looking gentleman was awarded IPS along with a reward -hunting Meetei officer for subjugation of Manipur people and the RGC], and disowned their MCP role and themselves too, for setting new agenda of political opportunism.

Cloak and dagger policy prevailed in the post- MCP CPI premises even by concealing for seven years, the news about the death on September 26,1951, of Hari or Jogeshwar, who the BCP called as AFOJI [ elder comrade in Burmese or, comrade Ahal to the armed Manipuri red guards ] .The foreign comrades called him peoples’ hero or , Jana-neta[ Meeyam luchingba in Manipuri free translation; the author has to look up a dictionary in order to decipher what a Jana actually meant].

Comrade Longjam Jyanendro of Kongba [ whose elder brother possibly maintains his jottings in a small notebook of about 30 pages approx ,about MCP and Irabot very privately] had to supply medicines and a few Akbar cigarrete boxes,but comrade ahal missed in his most difficult times, the complete attention of the party to his deteriorating health. Afoji wrote to L.Jyanendro-“ Eigee chaananaba hidak amatta leitre / Bismark Stomach powder nattaraga Maclean’s Stomach powder Liklee Aneekhakata Leiraga peeraku”. The supremo was in dire need of medicine for his last survival[the author may not be completely wrong to guess so] and the party with a huge network of activists missed the opportunity to give a chance to him to live a little bit longer, inspite of the inevitable personal differences.

A few good men could and might have existed by that time, inspite of capitalizing to-day his name for other purposes that Irabot would have not been comfortable with.Anyway,that was the past that nobody could alter.The full and comprehensive inside story has no space here and the author may be forgiven for the short shrift.

Core Issue I- Armed Struggle

A would- have-been congressman that afoji was at his first political stint, might not have been the harbinger of Manipur national question as much as the gen-next of post –MCP period, but had definitely been the political supremo of the RGC that inaugurated armed struggle for the liberation of the exploited in Manipur.International politics of the pre-and post-war period witnessed the communist polycentrism in the CPSU monolith to which the CPI belonged on the one hand, andYugoslav or, Communist China specific communist configurations, which the CPSU looked with mistrust and communist realities,not necessarily Bernstein or, Rosa Luxemberg or,Trotskyte brands.

The CPI monolith had suspected afoji to have taken recourse to Titoist line in deviation of the CPSU monolythism and hence, the dubious self-criticism episode.Khrushev had successfully mended the Soviet-Yugoslav ideological hiatus and in that context, Yugoslav –baiting lost its Stalinist ideological validity.
The CPSU within had been a bundle of competing political theses including Zhadnov thesis that prevailed upon others in CPSU’s expansion of communist ideology towards the east- particularly Asia.But for M.N. Roy in the 1920s and subsequently thereafter,India and the East might have missed a revolutionary experience; however, his overenthusiasm had overtaken Leninist objectivity of that age.The CPSU did not recommend its favourite, time-tested Bolshevik methodology,but recommended the then rising Maoist peasantry-led city encirclement armed struggle for Asia. Strategically, in the over all cold war situation, the communist targeted the end of what N. Lenin called imperialism and tactically, Mao Tse Tung’s tested peasant rebellion, particularly after its crowning success in 1949, had been more suitable for non-European eastern question.

Zhadnov thesis that had been approved by CPSU leadership for resolving the eastern, Asian question had been clandestinely endorsed by Asian conference and the second CPI congress in Calcutta, 28 February to March,1948 which bore an innocent façade exclusively for British consumption.The Asian revolutionary agenda had been set in Calcutta.[For details of Zhadnov thesis and CPI of 1947-1950, see N.Sanajaoba ed., Manipur Past & Present volume I, 1988,pp.246-252]
The CPI had, therefore, endorsed Calcutta conference resolutions[ read CPSU Zhadnov line,or, 2nd party congress] for triggering off armed struggle in India, which included, in CPI perception, India-administered Manipur,Tripura and British-annexed Assam as well.The cliché like Indian annexation would supposedly perturb the conscience of pandits and diplomats.The author, therefore,is put to task to clarify annexation issues.

In contemporary world, everyone is in the know of what annexation means to the polity after the world community rejected firmly any justification whatsoever- might be that of Kuwait in 1991,three Baltic states in 1939,East Timor in 1975,Montenegro, Kosovo,South Ossetia[2008 issues] and, many more- ad infinitum. Naturally, imperialists and colonizers _ might be in capitalist or communist camps whatever - or, puerile local scholarship in Manipur or the region, ought not relinquish their hard-earned gobbling up mind-set.Without the pitch- black darkness around, even a candle, let alone the sun, loses it shine and significance; they have to be there to make and impute a sense to history, although they make no history.The dialectics goes on.

Notwithstanding Manipur annexation issue that is too simplistic , homely and familiar to us all,Sikkim annexation had been denounced by top echelons of India ,who raise the human reason above native, embedded, inextricable prejudices of the broken psyche. What the MCP had not addressed to has been completely addressed by the new elites of Manipur with proven national and international performances.India has to be proud of them.Indian annexation of Sikkim in 1975 had been denounced by prime minister Morarji Desai, chief justice of India - M.Hidatullah,Nani Palkhiwala, Nari Rustomji, A.G. Noorani, Minu Masani so and so forth- all the legendary personalities in the hall of fame, and also in the UN Human Rights Committee.[ see Illustrated Weekly of India, May 13, 1984;April 21,1985;July 1,1984; and July 22, 1984, among others].

Chief Justice M.Hidayatullah’s article – ‘The Law’ demolishes Indian annexation of Sikkim by Hidayatullah’s own country India.[The Weekly, 22nd July, 1984, pp.42-45 and 62].Independent-minded scholars of history, diplomacy and law would appreciate the legal arguments , espoused against Sikkim annexation by chief justice[retd.] of India. With the setting up of universities in Manipur and the region, we are yet to evolve independent-minded, genuine scholarship, not the damp squip ,and horrible, irrational logicians of the below- the bottom order.Manipur is in search of persons capable of exercising independent judgement on puzzling issues of the day. The author is yet to search for mighty scholars in Manipur and the NE region,many of whom would hang on the unjustifiable annexations, for their personal opportunism and gains.

Till the CPSU clandestinely mandated CPI through top secret channels to abandon BT.Randive line[ read CPSU line ] of armed struggle for India in mid-1950, which afoji Hari could not receive through CPI Assam unit while in Burma, the RGC did the armed struggle in Manipur valley in 1950-1951.

Former comrade Satindra Singh had noted the critical 1950 in this way:

“ Although Ranadive had been replaced by Rajeswara Rao, the communists were unable to formulate a tactical political line on their own.They continued to grope for light until Stalin[sic.CPSU boss] summoned S.A. Dange,Ajoy Ghosh,Rajeswar Raoand Basayapunnaiah to Moscow.From their hideouts,they traveled in cognito to Moscow.According to well-informed sources,Stalin patiently listened to them, then ordered a map of India and asked them to show him the exact location of Telengana.When it was done,he angrily remarked: “ How could you think of organizing a guerilla revolt in an area which does not have a common frontier with any Socialist country ?”.Stalin then laid down the lines.”
[The Illustrated weekly of India,January 9,1977,p 15]

The CPSU, on the contrary, recommended that armed struggle would continue in other parts of Asia, including Burma that remained under sway of both the Soviet party and the CPC.This period has remained a puzzle to the rebels in Indo-Myanmar area of that period.A couple of works like-Charles B.McLane’s ‘Soviet Strategies in South East Asia’,Geoffrey Fairbairn’s Revolutionary Warfare and Communist Strategy’[1968],Jay Taylor’s ‘ China and South East Asia-Peking’s relations with Revolutionary Movements’[1976],C.P.Fitzgerald ‘s ‘ China and SouthEast Asia since 1945’[1975],Uma Shankar Singh’s ‘Burma and India’[1979] along with V.B.Sinha’s ‘The Red Rebel in India’[1968],Biplab Dasgupta’s’The Naxalite Movement’[1974],and M.N. Roy’s’ India in Transition’[1971], among others, would possibly remove the confusion a little bit.

Confusion arose in the Manipur rebels about the two-pronged CPSU tactical line and even the Assam unit with its envoy to Manipur DOC - Uma Sarma and Basna was not fully informed, because the route from Stalin to party chief,Dange to party leader, then to Assam unit and further down to the remote foreign DOC hideouts in that period happened to be an unending political circumnavigation.Besides, the 1950 armed struggle had not been supported by three top leaders viz., Ajoy Ghosh,S.A. Dange and S.V. Ghate for the simple reason that outside Telengana,Manipur, Assam and Tripura etc., Krishak sabhas or peasant organizations virtually did not exist in India and a civil war could not be triggered.B.T.Ranadive had to be ousted by Rao in the same way as Ranadive had ousted P.C. Joshi.

Heads rolled on and out in the CPI hierarchy, before parliamentary measures had been opted for in lieu of the revolutionary struggle that had been abandoned forever.Even violent Marxian class struggle or, Leninist anti-imperialism struggles have been literally cast out in the revisionist process; the house had been abandoned barring the imposing banner while rushing to the outhouse and mouth-watering slogans.The MCP had to rush in the queue.

The CPI had difficult times during Quit India movement while defending their pro-British political stand vis-a’-vis Gandhi-led independence movement.Tons of literature are available in defence of both sides.However, the CPI like the BCP [ both white and red flags] and smaller ones considered Indian independence as sham,and it had to take up armed struggle largely, for the independence of India, immediately after Indian independence.

In similar vein, the BCP did not consider Burmese independence from Japan in 1943 as proclaimed by Japan and the subsequent independence from the British in 1948 as the real independence.As soon as the party aborted their armed struggle, MCP too followed suit. The afoji did not quit the party,nor did he constitute another anti-CPI party to advance the supposedly Manipur nationalist cause that he did not address.However, his stature as the MCP party supremo that commanded the RGC is worthy of an historical space.

At the time when the afoji left for Burma by default in 1951, the Burmese communist insurgency was at logger heads and more complicated,because,in 1946, Trotskyte Thakin Soe split pro- Maoist ,Stalinist, all Burman BCP and formed the Red flag while, Thakin Than Tun and Ba Thienof BCP attended 1948 Calcutta conference. In March, 1948,BCP had started the armed uprising by way of implementing the thesis of H.N.Ghosal, CPI’s delegate in Burma. Ghosal who in Burma had enunciated Zhadanov line in his pamphlet-‘On the present political situations in Burma and Our times’was eliminated by Thakin Tan Tun a decade later , who in turn had also been liquidated , due to ideological reasons probably after some years-Ghoshal’s support to general Ne Win, known for his Burmese way to Socialism.

In early 1950,BCP deputed two central committee members to Peking that militarily helped BCP and stood for liberation of Burma.In 1951,Burmese army cleared the BCP from fertile lands; BCP was prepared for negotiated settlement. India ,on the contrary militarily and financially helped the Burmese government, which would enter into Indo-Burma agreements subsequently thereafter. In the most perplexed situation of Burmese insurgency politics, the afoji had no alternative than leaving Burma at the earliest without defining the next perspective in clear terms and 26 september, 1951 concluded the mission.

The rosy pictures painted by some writers about his Burma visit may not be fully true after considering the intra-insurgency feuds, interventions from China ,USSR, and India ,among others. The Manipuri afoji was small enough to bring to terms the irreconciliable forces, at at time when the BCP[ white flag] Thakin Than Tun strictly followed the Cominform line- the Zhadnov approach, re-enunciated by Ghoshal.

The confusion about afoji acting under MCP directive or, his choosing a personal anti-CPI Irabot line did not arise at all, as the supremo had been deputed by the MCP at the eleventh hour ,when Ng. Muhindro and Th.Boro ,who had been deputed officially for Burma access had been arrested by police, and by default, the supremo had replaced the two. In a sense, the afoji left for Maynmar absolutely by default. One of the leading informants revealed to me that the arrest of the two had been pre-arranged,however, multi-source confirmation is yet to be made.

After the bitter,possibly enforced self-criticism of October 10,1949, Irabot would have never gone against the party directive.Ng.Muhindra defended the said self-criticism as the routine socialist political culture; but unfortunately, the CPI in the entirety dared not take up a routine self –criticism repeat after they denounced armed struggle forever. The most misconstrued access of the supremo to Burma had actually been firstly to gain arms aid from Burmese insurgents, secondly, to move easily in liberated zone in Burma, as the party so directed.

The RGC striking force had 32 trained red guards, supported by about 500 village guards.Some writers had confused the 5oo village guards as the graduated red guards.The red guards had struck upon the Manipur police, Manipur rifles and 4th Assam rifles.[see the author’s article Hundred Guns Guerrilla war in 1949-1951 , The Freedom daily, 30.9.1996 & 1.10.1996 for details of the revolution] . In 1950, the inaugural armed struggle was considered to be an unprecedented event.
Even today the CPI/CPM of India had to fight out the Communist Party Maoists that sustain armed struggle in 15 more Indian states outside the NE region. The latter unwittingly snubs the anti-revolutionary CPI-CPM as opportunistic, reactionary ,social imperialists comparable to their counterpart - the American imperialism.

In West Bengal, the Congress and the CPM in their own turn,in greatest show of anti-revolutionarism, had successfully exterminated several thousands of communist revolutionaries after 1971, mostly the brilliant students of the Presidency college.It could be recalled that Peoples’ Daily of China,May 19,1967 and June 27,1967 had cited revolutionary struggles in India like those of Naga,Mizo and peasants revolutions in Darjeeling , among others.

Police commissioner Ranjit Gupta had recollected the 1970s : “When the CPI-M proposed that[sic. Ajoy Mukharji government] they would deal with the Naxalites politically, they meant violence and liquidation”.[ The Illustrated Weekly of India,April 21,1985,p.41] .The divide continues, possibly deeper.The author is yet to be educated if the present crop of CPI/CPM and their present day red- guards or, booth-capturing cadets of Nandigram style of to-day exactly implements what N.Lenin wrote,” Without a revolutionary theory, there cannot be a revolutionary movement “.They are left to introspect themselves. From committed anti-revolutionism to silent no-revolutionism could have been the long march of the official communist parties of the day.

We are afraid if the afoji had been alive to-day like his Tripuri co- revolutionary Ughor Debabarma, he might have faced the same ideological fury of the communist extremists . He had seminal national aspirations within his bosom not outside, but that remained implicit in both letter and spirit.Legends are born out of forelorn graveyards in distant lands.We hope some of their learned members might have read their literature as much as I do.

The MCP or, CPI later on, had never denounced Indian annexation of sovereign Manipur nor, did it oppose the humiliating, servile D.O.C.[ district status] of MCP under Assam unit of colonial CPI., unlike the socialist party or young socialist league or one of the two Congress factions in Manipur that strongly challenged the so called disputed merger of the country by a foreign power. That is why late MP Ng. Muhindra always like any other CPI members and the young ones too, who applauded one hundred national liberation armed movements elsewhere[see all party records without a blink] looked upon the national liberation organizations in Manipur as secessionist or terrorist outfits,unlike the CPSU veterans.Duplicity had been bequeathed to the successors to reprimand and frown upon liberation movements in the best political tradition of social imperialism, very very particularly in Manipur and the NE region as a perturbation to what guru Gowalkar in his imagined nationalism, calls akhandabharat.

The revisionist leaders had misread Manipur history for their post-facto political gains.They had no mistake in singing his master’s tune in total disregard for CPSU’s unrelenting, uncompromising struggle against colonialism and imperialism of all forms till 1991. For want of space,the morphology and anatomy of the RGC [estd. 3 March, 1950] revolution in 1950-1951 are not described herein.One had to admit that in that age that was a big event which no one could overlook even today.


Inspite of their inaugural adventurism that usually smacks of indiscipline, gross abuse of individual discretion in difficult times, the Red guards religiously complied with the script and manual , unlike the present day, mushrooming,de-humanised human clusters assuming revolutionary garbs ,in pursuit of their ambiguous or, rather counter-revolutionary man slaughters, here and elsewhere.

It may be stated that the hundred of thousands of Maoists in China worked under the gospel of the Red book; even the Sicilian Mafias had their own manuals[ text not flashed herein for want of space].Indian army is governed by Army Act, elaborate rules and above all, the” Ten commandments’ issued since 1993[ text with the author] to soldiers operating in the region. It might be recalled that the hero of French revolution- Robespierre had been guillotined by the French revolutionaries for commiting excesses.Manipuri Red guards in 1950 did not literally step outside the script, notwithstanding the terror they let loose against class enemies.

The tactical manual- ‘ Course for the Cadres of the Shock Brigade’ circulated by the CPI headquarter and seized by the government of India in 1950 had provided the elaborate instructions, which had been intended to reach the RGC command.The excerpts are:


1. This Shock Brigade cadres’ course is meant only for the cadres of the Shock Brigade.

2. This cadres’ course is made,basing on the guerrilla principles and tactics as enunciated by Mao[sic.Tse Tung]

3.—Everyday practical exercises on silent killing,night games on the last two days-one party Attacking a police station…

5. The weapons dealt with here are the rifle,shotguns and … handbombs. …

The guerilla activities mean the raiding of the police station,zamindar or jotedar’s houses;ambushing police parties to annihilate and collect arms from them…

— The basic unit of a guerrilla force ,or the shock brigade as we call it,will consist of five

Or ten cadres including the leader.


There shouldn’t be any particular badge or dress for the cadres,because…

CONCRETE TARGETS FOR RAIDING[ …precise instructions to follow in details]
The full text of the manual has been exhaustive and hence, the basic excerpts only are highlighted while revisiting the memorylane of the communist terrorists of the 1950.A bulk of Mao’s literature brought by air by a Manipuri student from Kolkata had been confiscated by the police.

Manipuri hillmen constructed guns from water pipes to provide for the equipments. Ex M.P. Ng. Muhindra,N.Binoy and Th.Boro imparted training to the members of the RGC at Keibi hillock.Interestingly, they called granade as mukphu, bullets as kolom machin so and so forth. Irabot’s code name changed annually.The supremo had sent from Burma, four guns,a type writer and gold bar. The RGC camps had been opened at Keibi,Modaipok,north and south Jiri.Kamong,Andro and Heirok as the strategic point.The RGC had created the revolutionary mechanism; however, the armed movement could not succeed in 1950.


The party supremo afoji and the MCP had given more emphasis on the Manipur revolution in conformity with the CPSU guidelines,CPI mandate than on the issue of Manipur annexation.Official records available till date do not reveal tangible MCP’s official vindication of Manipur national question during and immediate after the MCP ‘s aborted revolution.One need not reiterate the immense ideological thrust given by the leftists from Marx down to Lenin down to Stalin, and then to Gorbachev, to the need for addressing national questions along with the colonial and economic questions.They did never encourage return of the nations to re-tribalisation,but established nations and nationalities could not be left to the cold unattended.

The CPSU had been consistent in directly fraternalising national liberation movements in a large number of colonial situations, particularly in the third world.The historic de-colonisation UN, GA resolution no. 1514 of 1960 had been proposed by the USSR and seconded by India.CPSU’s fraternal party- CPI had espoused right of people to self-determination till 1951; CPI member Somnath Lahiri espoused right to secession of constituent states of India in the constituent assembly.How had the CPI chosen duplicity towards Manipur national question was enigmatic till 1953 and even beyond.It would be pertinent to cite that the CPI actively supported the right to self determination of Pakistan.

MCP was not honoured as a separate unit like Assam unit of the CPI, as it had been calculatively insubordinated to the inferior status of D.O.C.[ District Organising Committee] by the CPI of mainland India, possibly as a logical sequel to the disputed Indian annexation of sovereign Manipur. The mainland CPI, unlike the CPSU had been showing its colonial behaviour even to MCP.The RGC that struggled for the emancipation of the exploited in Manipur was not sponsoring the armed struggle with a view to undoing the disputed Manipur annexation.

The de- annexation agenda is invariably the interwoven,clearly worked out contribution of the post-MCP gen-next and their organized rebellion or insurgency, which the government of India is yet to fully address to as on to-day . They wish to plough the political field with a re-set national agenda, that the MCP missed out for one reason or another.

Certain issues like “ Purnadayitaysheel shashan” and “ Swadhin Bharatkee Manungda Swadhin Manipur” of a 1946 civil society resolution had created more confusion than necessary.The first political demand of the left-oriented party had never transcended the accepted Indian question and it had been a domestic Indian political arrangement. Purbanchal matter or its repudiation whatsoever was absolutely India’s domestic, internal affair.These petty matters, inflated as much as one can for diversionary purposes, do in no way distract the people and the movements from the major annexation imbroglio. The CPI demand was for a full responsible government within India,not a fair correction of the unfortunate annexation blunder.Some leaders thrive on and capitalize at someone’s big blunder, and the victim’s agonizing pain.The beauty of oppression lies in the loss of vision and sensibilities.

Barring the Praja Mandal & Nikhil Manipuri Mahashbha meeting resolution, dated 5-4-1946 which, for records’s sake,asked for independent Manipur inside independent India, holding plebiscite to decide the possible integration of Manipur with another Indian province, the MCP or its frontal organization did not ask for sovereign status of Manipur.The two major components are “ within India” and “ integration with another province within India”.In the broadest sense of the term, it was made out to be intra- Indian political affair.No activist movement advanced or pursued the resolution at all. However, the revolutionary élan survived on the Manipur soil[ for want of space,see the author’s articles published in the Freedom daily_’Meetei State Committee’, dt. 13 and 20 July, 1996;’Buffer state ultimatum’ ,dt. 2 August,1996…]

The RGC had never taken cognizance of even this resolution in private.Manipuri gen-next evaluated the afoji’s benchmarks without any inhibition.Edit-page of Resistance weekly,25 September,1979 ‘ Why Irabat failed’finds fault :”— Irabat underestimated the national contradiction between … people of this region[sic.NE region comprising seven states] and the Indians.” and “ Irabat failed to understand the enveloping Indian colonialism”.


A major political consequence of the aborted MCP revolution led by the RGC in 1950 could be located in the resurgent armed struggle that took care of Manipur national question, unambiguously addressed by the enlightened and highly informed , critical gen-next.

Surrenderees of the MCP had to join CPI..Charges of mutual betrayal and treachery had also been vigorously traded off between and among the ex MCP revolutionaries.One called the other as betrayer and the down the memory lane, the relic survives . Another important informant confided to the author that the afoji had been betrayed .Confirmations are being sought in more details. It might have been a vulgar tirade or, a bitter truth .The author keeps the statement open-ended.The relics of the trade off continued for long time.In 1952 election, the CPI had contested thereby keeping aside their revolutionary past like a mistaken romantic adventure.

The political by-products had been transformation of the red guards and the political supremo into the CPI in India-administered Manipur, eventual break up of the CPM on the one hand, and the involvement of some of the middle ranking MCP activists [ not RGC command] initiating the Meetei state committee armed struggle in 1960s with very much ambiguous confederal political arrangement with the Nagaland independence movement, under the leadership of Wangkhei Tomba [ Tomba’s diary had been recovered partially in 2007, some parts had been badly soiled], the grand initiative of Longjam Manimohon and Laishram Kanhai of the MCP in hatching after four prepcom.meetings held at the house of Ninghthemmacha Priyogopalsana at the very outset, the United National Liberation Front, among others, and the eventual ripening of the Manipur review committee of mid-1960s to an hierarchical set- up incorporating young blood of that age.

Political assassinations like that of comrade Thokchom Bira due to the lingering post- MCP confusion and also due to complete lack of transparency in the working of the party had unfortunately occurred in Imphal decades after. Subsequently thereafter, the next phase of guerrilla war of the PLA[ eastern division,till 1990] and PREPAK took place in the valley in 1978-79 in operation day break, supposedly, heavier in tone, ideology and texture than that of the aborted 1950 MCP revolution, to be followed by the MPA guerrilla offensives thirteen years subsequently thereafter.The rest is the recent story vividly unfolding frame after frame ,before our own vision and sensibilities.


The red guards revolution in 1950-1951 left a profound,indelible impact on informed Manipuri world view and onward progression of a composite, egalitarian history of the ancient Asian state.The colonial world view thrust from the top upon an unwilling Manipuri generation by way of mistaken political postulations of the administering power may not hold the future destiny of a people, committed to proven egalitarianism and equal friendly , national relationship in the community of nations.The MCP revolution remains a pathfinder in a re-defined , better articulated political landscape in the twentyfirst century..

[ The author- former Dean’s website < ttp//> and, university ebsite : author’s e-mail comments/criticism on this piece by politicians, scholars, dons and,editors etc. are welcome]