Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bridge blast kills 5 Indian police officers

1 day ago

NEW DELHI (AP) — Suspected communist rebels blew up a bridge in India's restive east Tuesday, killing five police officers who were escorting election officials, police said.

The election officials were not harmed in the blast, which also left one police officer wounded, said Amarnath Upadhyaya, an inspector-general of police. Officials from India's Election Commission are in the region to hold polls for the state legislature.

The rebels triggered the land mine as the police were walking across the bridge in Bastar district in Chattisgarh state, said Upadhyaya. The rebels then escaped into a forested area.

The rebels, who claim to be inspired by Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong, have been fighting for more than two decades in several eastern Indian states, demanding land and jobs for agricultural laborers and the poor. Thousands of people have been killed in the violence.

The rebels often target police and government officials, whom they accuse of colluding with landlords and rich farmers to exploit the poor.

The Golaband area where Tuesday's attack occurred is more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) southeast of the capital, New Delhi.

Raipur Seven policemen were killed on Tuesday and two others injured in a landmine blast triggered by Naxalites in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, police said.
The blast, that took place near Mardapal and Kondagaon areas of the district, blew up a bridge killing seven policemen and injuring, A N Upadhya, Inspector General (Bastar), said.

Naxalites triggered the blast when the securitymen were returning from election duty at polling booths in Tumdibala, Kudhur and Nahakanar in Narayanpur assembly constituency where re-polling was held yesterday, Upadhyay said.

The Naxalites had also triggered a landmine blast near Bintaghati in Bastar district on Monday in which a security personnel was killed and another injured as 33 polling booths went for re-polling under Bastar division on Monday.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh termed the incident as an act of cowardice by Naxalites.

Naxalites set ablaze JCB machine in Bihar

Gaya, Nov 26: Heavily armed activists of proscribed naxalite outfit CPI(Maiost) raided a construction site of a contractor and set ablaze JCB machine in Bihar's Gaya district on Wednesday, police said.

Superintendent of Police R Malar Vizzi told reporters here that the naxalites raided the site of Abhay Singh, a contractor, given the job of constructing the road between Imamganj and Baluara and set the JCB machine on fire.

Vizzi said the naxalites burnt the machine of the contractor as he failed to pay the extortion money to them.

The borders of the district has been sealed and search operations launched to nab the naxalites, the SP said.

Bureau Report

Naxal ops: Helmets for officers only?

27 Nov 2008, 0501 hrs IST, Rajeev Deshpande, TNN

NEW DELHI: In a striking example of bureaucratic callousness, a home ministry proposal to limit issue of special, reinforced helmets to just 10
personnel per battalion of the proposed new anti-Maoist COBRA unit has forced PMO to step in to ensure the recommendation is reconsidered

Home ministry's shocking suggestion was based on the presumption that only "leaders" needed the specially toughened helmets rather than all 900 personnel in a battalion. The COBRA force, which stands for Combat Battalion for Resolute Action, was cleared by the Cabinet and is in the process of being set up.

Given its tough mandate of taking on well-armed and organised Naxal groups using military-style tactics, the force, expected to be 10,000-strong, was to get equipment geared for guerilla warfare. But in an inexplicable instance of parsimony, the home ministry seemed to feel only officers and platoon commanders needed the helmets.
When questioned, the ministry took the view that personnel "leading" an operation were more vulnerable to enemy fire as they tended to stand out. It had been seen Maoist groups were adept at spotting commanders and targetting them. In response to this argument, it was pointed out that there was hardly any way to ensure no other personnel came in the line of fire.

An exasperated PMO felt the lives of officers, non-commissioned officers and men could hardly be valued differently in a combat zone. The Centre was ready to allocate a substantial budget for counter-insurgency operations, and in any case as the helmets did not have a exorbitant price tag at less than Rs 1,000 a piece.

Paramilitary personnel have standard issue helmets but those being considered for COBRA are more advanced and though perhaps not be capable of withstanding direct or close range fire, they offer improved protection during jungle operations and from sniper attacks. To restrict the issue of these helments to only a handful of COBRA personnel was absolutely discriminatory, officials felt.

Given the expense that the Centre was prepared to incur to ensure that COBRA became an effective unit, agreeing to even providing helicopters to aid its operations, the cost-cutting over helmets can perhaps only be seen as the result of proposals being framed by babus with little familiarity with counter-insurgency operations. The proposal is now being re-drafted with the home ministry expected to take a more generous view on the issue.

As defence minister, George Fernandes had once forced MoD babus sitting over procurement of snow mobiles for Army personnel posted at Siachen to visit the icy glacier to experience combat conditions. A similar sortie may not be out of place of babus who are far removed from Naxal-infested areas of Dantewara or Malkangiri.

Top rebel leader shot dead

Giridih, Nov. 25: An area commander of the CPI(Maoist) was shot dead in an hour-long battle between Naxalites and a joint team of police and CRPF jawans at Pirtand today.

Nunulal Soren, alias Kawang Da, involved in more than 12 criminal cases including murders, received three bullets while he was trying to help out a Maoist squad from his area.

Soren successfully managed to get his team out of the area before he died.

“Yesterday night after receiving an information about a Naxalite squad trying to cross Harladih, a company of CRPF jawans and Pirtand police were dispatched to the area,” said superintendent of police M.L. Meena.

Naxalites kill two

A 20-member team of Sangharsh Janmukti Morcha, a Naxalite outfit, shot two payload operators — Vakil Khan (20) and Raju Rajak (30) — at a coal dumping yard in the Khelari police station area of Ranchi district. The group also set the payloader on fire.

The murders, police believe, was committed to pressurise company owner Laxman Tekmani to pay levy to the group, instead of CPI(Maoist).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Maoists infiltrate TN colleges

25 Nov 2008, 0449 hrs IST, Jayaraj Sivan, TNN

CHENNAI: Two colleges in Madurai have come under the scanner of intelligence agencies as it has come to light that the CPI (Maoist) carried out a
massive recruitment drive there over the past two years.

Police were jolted awake when the probe into the shoot-out in Vadakaunji forests near Kodaikanal in April 2008 revealed that three of the eight who escaped were college students. A wanted extremist—Navin alias Prasad of Naickankottai in Dharmapuri district—was killed in that encounter. During further investigation, it was found that one of those absconding, Kathir, a student of a government college in Madurai, had not been attending classes since January 2008. The other two—Senthil and Meenakshi—are students of an aided college in the southern city.

All three come from a very poor background, which made them vulnerable to extremist thinking. Their parents had no idea about their activities. “They believed their wards were working for some voluntary organisations,” said a senior police official.

The Maoists had influenced scores of other students too. However, only three of them, after several layers of filtering, graduated to the level of undergoing weapons training. The official added, “Their base is quite big. We have identified more than 100 people, including many students, who were in the Maoist loop in Madurai region alone. This is the first case in which we have been able to establish direct links between Left extremists in the state and the CPI (Maoist) central committee. Mallaji Rao, a member of the central committee, who was arrested in Kerala recently, had visited Tamil Nadu camps too. So far, we had only suspicions about such links.”

Tamil Nadu is not yet on the red corridor map. Though there have been intermittent efforts by extremists to regroup with a view to creating compact revolutionary zones within the state—Uthankarai in Dharmapuri district in 2002, Murugamalai near Periyakulam in Theni district in July 2007 and Varshanadu in Theni district in December 2007—they were put down with an iron hand by the state police.

Still, the state is far from being a territory where Left extremism has failed. The Madurai module has come as a bolt from the blue for police. “Extremists have targeted Madurai for two reasons: It is an urban area where their activities will go unnoticed and more importantly, it has forests within reachable distance for organising arms training,” said an intelligence official.

Trinamool Congress demands ban of Maoists

Press Trust Of India
Kolkata, November 25, 2008
First Published: 18:38 IST(25/11/2008)
Last Updated: 18:40 IST(25/11/2008)

The Trinamool Congress on Tuesday demanded an immediate stop to police 'atrocities' on tribals in Jhargram in West Midnapore district and said the government should ban the Maoists.

Senior Trinamool Congress member Saugata Roy told the West Bengal Assembly that after the landmine explosion at Salbani on November 2, the police were committing excesses on tribals at Lalgarh which prompted them to block highways and dig up roads. This has led to the stir spreading to neighbouring Bankura and Purulia.

Asserting that his party does not support Maoists, he said that the state government should ban the ultra outfit.

He said that Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had suggested an all-party meeting on the Lalgarh stir as the state administration and the police had failed to tackle the situation.

Roy alleged that the tribals had been a deprived lot for a long time and that development work in their areas should be speeded up.

CPI-M members on the other hand charged the Trinamool Congress with being hand-in-glove with the Maoists and said that they were trying to create anarchy and terror in the state.

Maoists kill Odisha police jawan in Malkangiri

By Ratnakar Dash

Malkangiri, Nov 24: A jawan of the Special Operation Group of Odisha police was killed during a gun battle between Maoists and security personnel in this naxalite-infested district on Monday evening.

The encounter that started around 5 pm inside Sudhakunda forest under Kalimela police station limits continued till 7-30 pm. The identity of the victim jawan was not immediately known.

The SOG jawans had gone inside the Sudhakunda forest in the afternoon upon receiving information that a group of Maoists were holding a meeting there.

As the policemen opened fire at the Maoists, the extremists retaliated immediately. Firing between the two sides continued for nearly two hours before the Maoists stopped firing.

However, the Left wing extremists resumed firing again when the security personnel were returning from the forest. One jawan, who sustained serious bullet injuries, breathed his last while he was being brought by his colleagues for treatment.

District Superintendent of Police Satyabrata Bhoi said that additional forces had been sent the area and combing operation was intensified to trace the Maoists.

The Maoists have killed two persons in the district since November 16 branding them as police informers.

The extremists were likely to resort to more violence in the coming days as they were preparing to observe the foundation day of People's Guerrilla Liberation Army (PLGA) on December 2, according to sources.

Educational institutions to be sensitised on Maoist menace

25 Nov 2008, 0446 hrs IST, Jayaraj Sivan, TNN

CHENNAI: The state home department has cautioned the school and college education departments on suspected Maoist activities in educational
institutions across Tamil Nadu.

Home secretary S Malathi told TOI, “We have already alerted the school and college education departments. We will follow it up with more sensitisation programmes. Schools and colleges will have to keep a tab on students who stay back after class hours and those who do not attend classes for long. Authorities will also have to maintain contacts with the parents and inform them about their wards’ behaviour.”

In view of several students coming under the influence of Maoists, state police are also working on an advisory to be circulated in all educational institutions.

There have been recent instances of Left extremists trying their luck in schools too. On November 21, four cadres of the Revolutionary Students’ Youth Front (RSYF) assaulted Thirunavukkarasu, headmaster of the government higher secondary school at Thittachery in Nagapattinam district, when he refused them permission to enlist students in their movement. They were later arrested and remanded.

Making the task of the monitoring agencies difficult, Left extremists in Tamil Nadu have floated close to 50 local democratic organisations (LDOs) in Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Coimbatore, Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts. As these LDOs are independent entities, there is little coordination among them. Only the hard-core elements in these groups maintain contacts with the area and state-level committees of the CPI (Maoist). It is estimated that Tamil Nadu has roughly a dozen hard-core Maoists, who are still at large. “As of now, we do not have concrete evidence to link any of these front organisations with subversive activities and hence cannot ban them,” said a senior police official.

Tamil Nadu police have instituted Naxalite special divisions (NSDs) under the supervision of superintendents of police in Maoist-infested districts. In consultation with the Q branch of the state police, the government has also carried out socio-economic development programmes worth Rs 14 crore in Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts. The scheme is expected to be extended to other sensitive districts next year.

Also, police will take up the task of training forest personnel in intelligence gathering with special focus on CPI (Maoist) and its front organisations. Forest personnel form a vital link in the fight against Maoists because all over India, extremists have been using forests to consolidate their force.

The director general of police had a meeting with the principal chief conservator of forests two months ago to discuss the modalities of the training programme for forest personnel. The training is expected to start next month.

Encounter in Malkangiri forests

Express News ServiceFirst Published : 25 Nov 2008 07:27:01 AM ISTLast Updated : 25 Nov 2008 03:46:00 PM IST

MALKANGIRI/BHUBANESWAR: A heavy gun battle between Special Operation Group (SOG) and Maoists claimed the life of a security man in Sudhakunda forests, 14 km from Kalimela, this evening.

The Maoists too have suffered casualties, police sources said.

A joint team of SOG and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was combing the forest to raid a Naxal camp when the incident occurred. The gun battle took place at the foothills of Sudhakunda which comes under Madhumala forest range. It is a part of the Eastern Ghats and is Maoistinfested.

Police sources said the joint combing team had intelligence inputs about a Naxalite camp and was proceeding to run it down when they came under fire. In the heavy exchange of fire that ensued, an SOG personnel, K Anand Patnaik, was killed. His body, however, is yet to be retrieved since evening had fallen.

Though there was no official word on Naxal casualties, police sources said the extremists have suffered losses too. Back-up teams have been sent to Kalimela.

Seven policemen killed in landmine blast by Naxals

Raipur (PTI): Seven policemen were killed on Tuesdayand two others injured in a landmine blast triggered by Naxalites in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, police said.

The blast, that took place near Mardapal and Kondagaon areas of the district, blew up a bridge killing seven policemen and injuring, A N Upadhya, Inspector General (Bastar), told PTI.

Naxalites triggered the blast when the securitymen were returning from election duty at polling booths in Tumdibala, Kudhur and Nahakanar in Narayanpur assembly constituency where re-polling was held on Monday, Upadhyay said.

The Naxalites had also triggered a landmine blast near Bintaghati in Bastar district on Monday in which a security personnel was killed and another injured as 33 polling booths went for re-polling under Bastar division on Monday.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh termed the incident as an act of cowardice Naxalites.

Naxal menace

Monday, November 24, 2008 21:55 IST

Prime minister Manmohan Singh does not hide his disdain for Naxalites, whom he chooses to call, rather clinically, as Left wing extremists. That should cheer both the mainstream communist parties as well as the BJP. Addressing the senior police officers’ conference at New Delhi, he let his impatience and irritation show with the police failure to tackle the Naxalite issue. He berated the police in trenchant language: “The measures taken so far have not produced any results. The police need to demonstrate greater resourcefulness and strength on both the intelligence gathering and response time fronts.”

There is need for the police to think over about their inability to face the Naxalite challenge, across a wide swathe of India. It is not enough for Singh and his colleagues to describe Naxalism as the greatest security threat if money is not spent in mobilising the men and arms and state-of-the-art technology. One big reason for the police inability to respond to the Naxalites is their lack of preparedness. Of course, there are incidents like the one on the Andhra Pradesh-Orissa border when the Naxalites ambushed the Greyhounds — Andhra Pradesh’ special force meant to fight leftist militants — and lives of policemen were lost.

What’s missing is a plan to fight the Naxalite phenomenon. While at one end, they have to be countered with overwhelming force, that alone may not work. Experiments like Salwa Judum — creating armed militia of villagers to fight Naxals — have created problems. The prime minister may have to think about whether the major welfare initiatives of the UPA government – the loan waiver for the farmers and the national rural employment guarantee programme – are having their intended impact.

The root problem lies in the social and economic conditions of rural India where development has not reached or where it has been neglected. Naxals dominate those tracts which are the least developed, in places like Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. People are ripe fodder to be intimidated or indoctrinated by Naxalism. Where roads have been built, where there is access to schools, hospitals and there is a modicum of job opportunity in agriculture and in non-agriculture sectors, people are relatively less tempted.

Singh may want to chart a broader policy framework, of which fighting Naxalites is one of the components, while the other is social and economic development. While it is salutary for Singh to rap the police, it may not be sufficient. Singh and his colleagues will then have to think of broader strategies.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

One killed in police firing at Mohona

Statesman News Service
PARALAKHEMUNDI, Nov 23:The CRPF and the local armed police operating in Mohona block have reportedly shot one person dead and injured another in an "encounter" last night. Both the victims are from the Kutniganda village about 6 km from the Paniganda village and nearly 25 km from Mohona.
Agitated villagers staged road blockades and refused to hand over the dead body for postmortem. Tension prevailed in the area as tribals alleged it to be a "fake encounter". The victim was innocent and had nothing to do with any crime, let alone Naxal activity charged the tribals.
The police version is that the encounter took place when a police patrol party was confronted by armed people. Ten to twelve persons took position and fired at the police party which returned fire, claimed police officers of Adava police station. They confirmed that the dead and the injured did not carry any weapons but added that those accompanying the two did have fire arms.
According to the Adava police station IIC Mr Narbat Kiro a police party conducted combing operations near Kutniganda situated on Kandhamal-Gajapati district border.
The armed left wing extremist were reportedly conducting a training camp.
While most of the radicals managed to escape Junesh Raita was killed on the spot and another person identified as Karnal Badaraita sustained injuries.
Shops and business establishments in Mohona block remained closed today. Road blocks were staged at various points.
District officers including the Superintendent of police and district collector who were pre-occupied with the CM Mr Naveen Patnaik visit left for the spot only after Mr Patnaik’s programme was over.
Meanwhile human rights activists and general secretary of Orissa Forest Workers Rights Organisation Mr Dandapani Mohanty has demanded an impartial probe into the incident. He alleged that the two persons were innocent and were shot at by the police without any reason. He demanded adequate compensation to the bereaved family.
"Murder cases should be registered against the policemen involved in the incident," he said.

2 ‘Maoists’ held, had CM on hit-list

Font Size Express News Service
Posted: Nov 24, 2008 at 0319 hrs IST

Kolkata, November 23 : Two suspected Maoists were arrested from a village in Murshidabad district on Saturday night. Two sten guns, ammunition and incriminating literature and a hit-list — prepared in the form of a handbill with Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s name on top ¿ were also recovered from them, said Basab Talukder, SP Murhsidabad.

The two, identified as Tajuddin alias Chandan and Achintya Das, were caught in a raid on a house in Kodalkati village. The house belonged to Harman Sheikh, a leader of the state’s ruling Left Front constituent Revolutionary Socialist Party.

While Tajuddin is a resident of Dwarikanathpur under Nawda police station, Achintya is a resident of Tehatta in Nadia district. The two were remanded in police custody for 10 days by the ACJM court in Berhampur.

Interestingly, they were arrested from the house of Harman Sheikh, a leader of the state’s ruling Left Front constituent Revolutionary Socialist Party. The police raided Sheikh’s house in Kodalkati village under Nawda police station. “They were carrying 25 handbills which had names of several CPM leaders as their targets. Bhattacharjee’s name figured on top of the hit-list,” a police officer said. Police sources added that apart from trying to recruit cadres, they were also involved in snatching service weapons from policemen and cases of arson in Murshidabad.

Deadlock in WB's Maoist-dominated Lalgarh continues

Sougata Mukhopadhyay / CNN-IBN

Published on Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 11:48 in Nation section

Tags: Lalgarh, Tribals , Lalgarh
E-mail this report | Print this report

FIGHTING BACK: The deadlock in Lalgarh is unlikely to get resolved anytime soon because of the strong Maoist presence.

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Lalgarh: Tribals of West Bengal’s west Midnapore district have been protesting against the district administration and police brutality over the past fortnight.

The agitation has resulted in a deadlock and the district remains cut off from the rest of the world.

The deadlock in the region is unlikely to get resolved anytime soon as it has a strong presence of Maoists unless the administration plays a pro-active role.

Hundreds of tribals armed to the teeth marched to Dalilpur Chowk in the Lalgarh police station where the adivasis had summoned the police and district administration for an open meeting to resolve the Lalgarh deadlock over alleged police excesses on villagers.

The area has remained out of bounds for the police for over the past fortnight owing to the blockades and a threat of violent retort. Angry adivasis have steep demands from the administration.

Leader of People's Committee Against Police Action Sidhu Soren says, "The SP must do sit ups as a mark of apology. And his subordinates must rub their noses in dust from Dalilpur Chowk to Chhoto Pelia village."

However, the administration did not turn up at the meeting citing lack of security, not only from the locals, but more from the armed bands of Maoists whose domination in the area is nearly complete.

The absence of the police and district administration from this meeting clearly suggests that a strong fear psychosis still prevails amongst them.

However, for the villagers, that is getting interpreted as the lack of will to solve the current deadlock.

At the Chota pillaiu village in Lalgarh, villagers recounted the police raids that took place on the wee hours of the November 6 following a landmine blast in union minister Ram Vilas Paswan's convoy and one which, as per the official admittance of the Maoists, was aimed at chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

A villager of Chota pillaiu Sambari Murmu says, "They assaulted us, kicked us and hit us on our heads. A woman's eye was badly damaged."

District officials refused to speak on record but said off it that they are willing to have the meeting at a neutral venue.

However, with the tribals still adamant at their choice of venue and extremely angry at having been branded Maoists by the administration, a quick resolution of the impasse is unlikely.

(With inputs from Angshuman Roy)

Maoists are cowards, says Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee

22 Nov 2008, 2115 hrs IST, IANS

KOLKATA: Maoist guerrillas were fomenting trouble in West Bengal through hit-and-run raids from their bases in neighbouring Jharkhand, Chief
Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said on Saturday, adding "they're cowards".

"They're cowards. They're creating trouble. They hide in the deep forests and hills of Jharkhand. They make sudden raids, kill police personnel, our party men, and go back to the jungles," Bhattacharjee said a Communist Party of India-Marxist rally at Baruipur in South 24 Parganas district.

On the demand for inclusion of the three tribal dominated districts of Midnapore West, Bankura and Darjeeling in Jharkhand state, Bhattacharjee said: "Why should such a demand be raised? The condition of the tribals is the worst in Jharkhand."

The chief minister said the majority of the tribals in the belt were with the Left Front government.

Bhattacharjee alleged various forces in the state were trying to stop industrial growth by creating unrest. "We don't want that to happen. We want peace," he said.

On the trouble in the Darjeeling Hills and the demand for a separate Gorkhaland state, he said: "We do not differentiate between Bengalis, Nepalis and tribals. The state belongs to everybody."

Bandh call in Maoist-infested areas

Statesman News Service

BANKURA, Nov 23: The chief of Jharkhand Party (Aditya) today declared a 48-hour bandh in three Maoist-infested districts of south Bengal on 28 and 29 November.
“We don’t want to choose the path of violence. It’s the absolute negligence and continued apathy by the state that is inviting chaos in the jungle villages across Midnapore West, Bankura and Purulia. The atrocities by the Left Front controlled police is compelling the tribal community to wage war against the state,” alleged Mr Aditya Kisku, chief of Jharkhand Party (Aditya) at Khatra in Bankura today.
Mr Kisku’s party, incidentally, dominates the Binpur-I panchayat samiti, under which, Lalgarh is located. The party independently runs 12 panchayats in Midnapore West and two in Bankura. The party has got a stronghold in the jungle villages in these three districts.

Mr Kisku said: “We are calling a 48-hour bandh in these three districts (Midnapore West, Bankura and Purulia) on 28 and 29 November. Prior to that our cadres will hold agitation in the respective block headquarters in these three districts on the Lalgarh issue on 27 November. Even after that if the LF government doesn’t rectify itself, we shall wage war against the state. We have extended support to the movement lead by the tribals.

“However, we don’t approve the way they have accelerated their pressure group by choosing the war path. We rather want to mobilise in a democratic way by giving adequate time to the state for rectification.”

Mr Kisku said: “The tribal people have always been exploited by the LF. Whenever we raise our voice we are given different names like militia or Maoist. We don’t bother whatever they may say. We just want to let them know that the tribal communities won’t allow any more atrocity and exploitation.”

The tribal cadres have already started blockades in several new locations since 21 November. Fresh blockades have caused inconvenience in Sarenga, Raipur, Barikul PS areas under Khatra sub division in south Bankura.

Maoist wake-up call for cops

Biswabrata Goswami
BELPAHARI (Jhargram), Nov. 23: State Intelligence officers are worried over the efforts Maoist rebels are making to set up strong bases in the tribal hinterlands of West Bengal.

Security experts are analysing the possible ramifications of the move. An official said agencies are worried because the presence of Maoist rebels would further complicate the situation in the region. A report on internal security states: “The security situation in the Maoist-infested blocks of the district would further deteriorate if ultra-Left extremists succeed in getting their foothold in the tribal belts.”

According to the reports, the land-mine blast on the chief minister’s convoy is believed to have been led by a three-member Maoist action squad consisting of Dwijen Hembram and Jaba Hembram of Jharkhand and Chandra Sekhar from Andhra Pradesh. Chandra Sekhar is considered to be an explosives expert and was seen in the West Midnapore district few days before the explosion. Reports indicate that the Maoist duo from Jharkhand had entered the state a month back and were living near Salboni. They had adopted pseudo names for themselves. As, the state Intelligence had no adequate information about the Maoists, the security beef-up by the district police completely failed to assess the possibility of a such blast and so consequent raids in the tribal villages to arrest culprits ultimately boomeranged into a form of a tribal mass-movement against the police repression on them and the whole movement is currently under the grip of the Maoists.

A visit to the remote tribal villages in Lalgarh, Belpahari and Binpur bordering Jharkhand reveals that Maoists have already established strong bases among the tribals and they have many squads inside 700 square km forests of the district.

Mr Pashupati Mahato (name changed on request) of Belpahari said, “The Maoists meet almost every day in Laljol forest and a trained squad leader from Jharkhand was also seen recently. The Belpahari squad has recently recruited a few youths after giving them a short training in Dumka, Jharkhand. the Maoists are also eager to fulfill their long-cherished dream of establishing a Red Corridor from Andhra Pradesh to Nepal. The forest blocks of this district are gradually becoming a safe haven for the Maoists since six of eight districts of Jharkhand that border West Bengal ~ Dumka, Dhanbad, Bokaro, Ranchi, West Singhbhum and East Singhbhum are strongholds of the Maoists. A few months ago, some members of Belpahari squad were killed in a Orissa police operation and then this squad became weak but with the passage of time, they have freshly recruited some youths”.

Though, Chhtradhar Mahato, leader of the Police Santrash Birodhi Public Committee (PSBPC) denied accepting the presence of Maoists in their mass-movement, he conceded that if Maoists agree to support their movement under PSBPC banner, they will invite them.

Mr Babu Bose, general secretary of Jharkhand Jana Mukti Morcha said: “This movement is now not under control of the tribal organisations. Currently, Maoist leaders are dominating the movement and they may intensify the stir if the state government does not come forward to settle the impasse”.

Hill raid data to help cops tame red

Jamshedpur, Nov. 23: A day after destroying a transit camp of Maoists near Konkadosa on the Dalma hills, East Singhbhum superintendent of police Naveen Kumar Singh said today the rebels were supposed to hold camp on the hill and chalk out subversive plans to be executed in the Singhbum region.

The combing operation in Dalma hills is still continuing, though.

An upbeat Singh said: “We have gathered materials pertaining to the Naxalites' operational details in the region. The unearthing of the transit camp is thus an important achievement for the police department.”

Singh declined to disclose the operational details for strategic reason, but said that they had got enough information to corner the Naxalites in Patamda and Dalma.

The police and paramilitary forces had destroyed a camp on Dalma hills after an hour-long gun battle with the rebels on Saturday morning. Though no rebel was injured, the police succeeded in driving them away from their hideouts in Dalma hills.

Dalma, a wildlife sanctuary, has become a haven of Maoists over the years. Being located at a strategic point, Naxalites tend to use the hills as a transit point.

“With Seraikela-Kharsawan on one side of the hills and Ghatshila on the other, Dalma offers an easy passage to Naxalites for operating in the entire Singhbhum,”
said sources in the intelligence department. The sources said the Naxalites wanted to consolidate their position by bringing in more and more people in their fold. According to information, several residents of villages under Patamda police station and those on the foothills of Dalma support Naxalites in fear of backlash. Since year, the Naxalites have killed several people either for not paying levy, or suspecting them to be police informer

Slain cop’s mother left out in the cold

E xpress News Service First Published : 23 Nov 2008 04:25:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 23 Nov 2008 02:54:07 PM IST

KENDRAPARA: The fate 74-year-old Padmabati Pradhan, mother of a slain policeman of village Janhimula, 14 km from here, hangs in balance after her daughter-in- law left the in-laws’ house with about Rs 12 lakh compensation amount.

Padmabati’s younger son Chitaranjan Pradhan (29) was killed in village MV-126 in Naxalite-affected Malkangiri on July 16 when the radicals blew up an anti-landmine vehicle. After his death, the State Government and other private organisations granted compensation of about Rs 12 lakh to the widow Jayanti (27). The widowed mother hoped to live her last days peacefully as her daughter-in-law was awarded huge money as compensation. But last month all hopes of Padmabati were dashed after her daughter-in-law filed an FIR in the police station at Kendrapara. Jayanti alleged that Padmabati and her elder son are not allowing her to leave the in-laws’ house. In the presence of policemen, Jayanti reportedly packed all her belongings and left the house of her in-laws forever. Padmabati is now contemplating to move court to get her share of compensation. "As per the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, a father is not a class 1 heir for which he has no right over the compensation amount. But the mother being a class 1 heir is entitled to get a share of compensation amount," said Mrutunjaya Samal, a lawyer.

PM suggests setting up of a task force to deal with terror

Press Trust of India
Sunday, November 23, 2008, (New Delhi)

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday suggested setting up of a task force to initiate a 100-day plan to address "emerging challenges" in the areas of terrorism, naxalism and insurgency.

"I suggest establishment of a task force which would initiate a 100-day plan to develop an integrated capability to address emerging challenges in areas such as left wing extremism, terrorism and insurgency," Singh said addressing the conference of the country's top police officers in New Delhi. (Watch)

The Prime Minister said one of the areas in which the task force would look into will be developing a net-centric information command structure that enables both state and central agencies to access and exploit information in a secure manner and well in time.

Singh said the task force could be headed by the National Security Advisor with proper representation from state and central agencies.

"In the period of 100 days, the task force should come up with a road-map regarding the detailed steps to be taken immediately and also subsequent steps to be taken over the next several months so as to translate this vision of an integrated net-centric capability into reality," he said.

The annual two-day Directors General and Inspectors General of Police Conference, organised by Intelligence Bureau is being attended by the chiefs of police from all states and Union Territories, para-military forces and security agencies.

On the focus areas of the task force, the Prime Minister said the group could suggest ways to improve the ability to anticipate and prevent surprises through closely networked intelligence collaboration and upgradation of both human and technological intelligence.

Singh also favoured strengthening of inter-state and inter-agency cooperation besides ensuring innovative and technological leadership.

Concerned over the communal violence reported from different parts of the country, the Prime Minister said such incidents were threatening the secular fabric of the country and they must be nipped in the bud.

Singh also said the inability of intelligence agencies and police to obtain pinpointed and actionable intelligence in time has enabled naxals to carry out high profile attacks.

The Prime Minister said globalisation has led to a blurring of the distinction between external and internal threats.

"Globalisation of terror has made terrorism an all encompassing danger." he said.

PM sets 100 day-plan to tackle terror

Sunil Prabhu
Sunday, November 23, 2008, (New Delhi)
In election season, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh became face to face with the country's police chiefs. The Prime Minister had a reality check for them and asked the police to be fair in their investigations, be it in Malegaon in Maharashtra or Batla House in Delhi.

"Today, aspersions are being made regarding police impartiality and capabilities and while I recognise that much of this is motivated, you must face up to the reality that many are convinced that the police is less than fair. This is so even when policemen die in the line of duty," he said. (Watch)

With terror becoming a major issue in the elections, the pressure may be telling on the PM. He resurrected his old idea a 100 day task force headed by the national security advisor to figure out how to fight naxals, terrorists and insurgency.

"I suggest establishment of a task force which would initiate a 100-day plan to develop an integrated capability to address emerging challenges in areas such as left wing extremism, terrorism and insurgency," the PM said.

But in a little over a hundred days, the PM will be in the throes of a general elections. So with his government accused by the opposition of being soft on terror, the prime minister made it clear to police chiefs that tangible results are yet to be seen.

Police informer killed by Naxals

ENS First Published : 23 Nov 2008 04:04:00 AM ISTLast Updated :

MALKANGIRI: ACHI Ram of Katanpalli village was shot dead by the cadres of CPI(Maoist) at Pindikonda junction, nearly 8 km from MV-79 police limits, last night. Ram reportedly topped the Maoists’ hit list for acting as a police informer.

As per reports, Ram left his house and did not return till evening. He was later found dead at Pindikonda junction this morning. A poster left at the spot by the Maoists stated that Ram was killed for being a police informer. MV-79 police rushed to the spot.

The Maoists had killed headman Panda Reddy of Binayakpur village under Motu police limits on Wednesday also for being a police informer.

Mystery shrouds the missing naxal woman

Raichur Nov 24: A hunt is on for the mystery woman who has abandoned in a bus, two bags with books, CDs, button-knives, mobile without a sim card, clothes and other items. The bus was proceeding from Bangalore to Bidar. the woman got down at Sindhanur on Friday at 11.30 pm.

It is suspected that the young woman may be A Anita, the naxal who managed to give the police a slip during the Muttinakadave encounter in the early hours of Wednesday.

On noticing that the bags had been left behind, the bus conductor handed them over to the Sindhanur city police.

When no one claimed the bags till the afternoon, police opened them to find more than 60 CDs, books about naxals, two button knives, a Nikon camera and few clothes, district SP B A Padmanayana and IGP Gagandeep told Deccan Herald.


The police have made elaborate arrangements to trace the mystery woman and extra surveillance has been made at the border areas identified as naxal infested. The woman got into the bus at Tumkur and bought a ticket to Surpur but got down at Sindhanur.

Sources said that the conductor Kantappa told the higher police officials in Gulbarga division that he can recognise the woman even through photo. Following this the conductor and inspector Karunesh Gowda searched all around Sindhanur but were not able to find her.

Now it is inevitable to rely on photos of suspected naxals.

The officials have asked the naxal control squad to send photos.

It could be recalled that the Intelligence had already submitted a report that some youth in and around Sindhanur are actively participating in the naxal movement.


Manmohan, Patil differ on Naxal threat

24 Nov 2008, 0132 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and home minister Shivraj Patil seem to have vastly different perceptions of the threat posed by Left-wing
extremism in the country and also on the desirability of the police sharing details of investigations with the media.

While the PM on Sunday termed Naxalism as the "most serious internal security threat", Patil had pointed out on Saturday that the Naxal situation had been blown out of proportion. Similarly, while Singh insisted that media should be taken along and information shared on investigations, the home minister had asked the police to draw an iron curtain while dealing with the press.

Addressing the country's top police officers during a conference of DGPs on Sunday, Singh said, "The threat posed by Left-wing extremism is perhaps the most serious internal security threat that we face. It is evident that despite the efforts made, the measures taken so far have not yielded the desired results. The inability of intelligence agencies and the police to obtain pinpoint and actionable intelligence on time has enabled these outfits to carry out some high-profile attacks."
Patil had, however, told the same gathering on Saturday that the threat of Naxalism had been greatly exaggerated. "On occasions, it is said that ten states in India, nearly 180 districts, are affected. It means that one-third of the country is affected. If one village in a district is affected, it is treated that one district is affected. If one or two districts of a state are affected, it does not mean that all districts in the state are affected," he had said.

Although Patil had pitched for "extraordinary attention" to deal with Naxalites, he said they should not be presented in such a manner that they create a fear psychosis in society.

Even on the police handling the media during probes, there was apparent difference in the advice handed out by Singh and Patil. "Your work is with, and amongst, people, and you require their support, understanding and help. You need to win the trust of civil society. You need understanding from and rapport with the media," Singh said on the concluding day of a two-day conference.

To the police, he said, "An appropriate media policy which could assist the police in gaining public confidence through informing it about what it needs to know and avoiding random or baseless speculation is very important."
However, Patil had favoured shutting the doors on the media while investigations were on. "The easiest solution is not to speak to the media until you complete investigations. In enthusiasm, we show that we have done something and it creates problems," the home minister had said after Maharashtra police chief A N Roy had pointed out that mediapersons were "intrusive" during the ATS's probe into the Malegaon case. "They (media) may ask a thousand questions. If police keeps quiet, the severity of the problem can be reduced," Patil had said.

Government divided over tackling Naxalism?

Press Trust of India
Sunday, November 23, 2008, (New Delhi)

The venue is the same, the topic is Naxalism, but is the government at the top speaking in different voices? Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today termed Left wing extremism as "the most serious internal security threat", a day after Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil said that the Naxal situation is being blown out of proportion.

Singh, while addressing the top police brass of the country, said "the threat posed by Left Wing Extremism perhaps the most serious internal security threat that the country face.

"It is evident that despite the efforts that have, and are being made, the measures taken so far have not yielded desired results...the inability of intelligence agencies and the police to obtain pinpointed and actionable intelligence and in time - has enabled these outfits to carry out some high-profile attacks."

The remarks of the Prime Minister came a day after Patil had told the same gathering that the picture of Naxalism in India was not given correctly.

"On occasions, it is said that 10 states in India, nearly 180 districts in states, are affected. It means that one third of the country is affected. If one village in a district is affected, it is treated that one district is affected. It does not mean that all the villages in that district are affected.

"If one or two districts of a state are affected, it does not mean that all districts in the state are affected,"
the Home Minister had said.

Maoist couple held in Saraswati killing case

Rayagada (Orissa), Nov 23 (PTI) A Maoist couple, believed to have been involved in the Nayagarh mayhem, were arrested from Bissamkatak area here in connection with the killing of VHP leader Laxmananda Saraswati in Kandhamal, police said today.
Acting on specific intelligence inputs, the police held the couple when they were on their way to a hospital in Bissamkatak, about 55 km from Rayagada district, last evening.

The ultra couple, who are in their 20s, were believed to have been involved in the attack by Maoists on police armoury and other establishments in Nayagarh on the night of February 14 this year.

Both were interrogated to ascertain whether they had any role in the killing of Saraswati and to gather vital information about naxal activities in the state, police said.

The arrests were made ahead of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's visit to the region. He toured some places of Rayagada and neighbouring Gajapati districts today. PTI

Udupi: Naxalites condemn killing of colleagues

Udupi November 23, 2008: Naxalites have put up a banner, condemning the killing of three of their colleagues in an exchange of fire recently with Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) in Mavinahola forest in Chikmagalore district.

In the exchange of fire on November 19, one constable was also killed.

About 15 naxalites visited the naxal infected Thobottu village in Kundapura taluk of Udupi district last night and put up a huge banner condemning the killing.

Expressing their condolence to the three comrades, they alleged that the Yaddyurappa government was indulging in the killing of naxalites, who were fighting for a noble cause. The three comrades had sacrificed their noble life, the banner read.

The ANF squad rushed to the spot. It also recovered some handouts from them and intensified combing operation in and around Thobottu.

Our Correspondent

Patil concerned over State situation

Spl correspondent

NEW DELHI, Nov 22 – In a clear reflection of the Centre’s anxiety over the escalation of violence in the State, Union Home Minister, Shivraj Patil today admitted that situation in Assam does not indicate satisfactory improvement. The Home Minister, who was inaugurating the two-day conference of DGPs and IGPs here this morning, dwelt at length on the internal security situation of the country. He mentioned about threats from across the border, besides ruling out the possibility of enacting any special act to fight terror.

The conference, an annual event when the country’s top sleuths take stock of the security threats and chalk out strategies to tackle them would be addressed by the Prime Minister tomorrow. This year, the theme of the Conference is terror and a threadbare deliberation on terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, North Eastern States and Naxal infested States is high on the agenda.

Earlier in the morning, Union Home Minister gave away the Police Medals for meritorious service to officers and men of the Intelligence Bureau (IB). Those who attended the inaugural session included the Ministers of State for Home, Sriprakash Jaiswal, Dr. Shakeel Ahmad and Radhika Selvi,

besides National Security Advisor (NSA), M.K.Narayanan, Cabinet Secretary, K.M. Chandrashekhar, Union Home Secretary, Madhukar Gupta and Director, Intelligence Bureau, P. C. Haldar.

About the North Eastern region, he said situation in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram were quite normal and peaceful. Tripura has improved by nearly 40 per cent.

Assam, Nagaland and Manipur continue to suffer, as they used to do in the past. Nagaland and Manipur situations indicate slight improvement. “Assam does not indicate satisfactory improvement,” he said.

All the three states have common international border, he mentioned, without naming Bangladesh.

Patil’s reaction reflected Centre’s concern over the latest figures of violence. It has been revealed that of the 1276 incidents of violence recorded during the first 10 months of the year in the North-east, 1179 incidents took place in the three States of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland.

Terrorist activities are perpetrated in the areas, which are close to international borders, in the areas covered with thick forests, in the areas, which do not have good transport facilities and in cities. It is necessary to have plans and schemes to deal with them in these areas. Helicopter and planes can be made available to the forces to reach the places where they are needed in time, he said.

Cooperation between the States and their forces to control terrorism is necessary. Each State can have a nodal officer, who can deal with his counterparts in other States. If laws are needed to be amended for facilitating cooperation between the States that should be done. The neighbouring States can prepare plans to control terrorism in cooperation with one another, he said.

Religions or cultures do not preach terrorism. Terrorism is nothing but a kind of violent cowardice. It is different from taking a firm stand with respect to that on which you have full confidence and firm belief. But, terrorists want to use the psychology of unsuspecting and innocent persons to flare up communal disturbances. The police should never forget this and should take proper action, he said.

Terrorism need be tackled by using multi-pronged approach. Police forces can help. But, other methods to deal with it are also required. Less developed areas should be better developed. People should be helped to live better lives. No social, cultural, political and economic injustice should be done to any individuals or section of the society, he opined.

The cities are being attacked and are likely to be attacked more in future. So, plans to provide special kind of security arrangements for cities should be made and used.

Naxal camp destroyed following encounter with police

Jamshedpur (PTI): A Naxal camp was destroyed following an encounter on Saturday between a joint police team and CPI (Maoists) cadres at Dimna Hill in Patamda in Jharkhand.

The Maoists opened fire at the joint operation team of district police and CRPF when they were going to launch combing operation in the Naxal-infested areas of East Singhbhum district, Superintendent of Police Navin Kumar Singh said.

The combing team was despatched after receiving information that the Maoists were gathering at a place since last couple of days, he said.

No sooner had the patrolling team reached a place between Konkadosa and Koira village, the Maoists started firing indiscriminately forcing the combing team to retaliate, Singh said.

No casualty was, however, reported from the police camp and the Maoists made a hasty retreat in view of mounting pressure, he said.

Singh said a Naxal camp was destroyed and landmine making material, including flash gun, wire, uniform and literature were recovered from the spot.

He said his Saraikela-Kharswan counterpart had been informed about the incident and one team of district police was still chasing the Naxalites.

Modern gadget to help Jharkhand Police to track six naxalite groups

Ranchi, Nov 21: Jharkhand has procured an ultra-modern communication gadget to track down naxalites in the state where six different ultra wing extremist groups are active. Named 'Tetra', the device would help gather information on the activity of the extremist groups in most areas, the Inspector General of Police, S N Pradhan, told media in Ranchi on Friday.

Pradhan explained that 'Tetra' stands for Terrestrial Trunking Radio which has a specific frequency allotted by the Union government. Unlike wireless radios which heard by a third person, the new device works like a mobile phone limiting the exchange to the two persons only. He said that the gadget would be distributed to the patrol parties.

"The police stations in naxal-affected areas have been fortified while proposals are there to provide more equipment which can be of help to the security forces during raids in inaccessible areas," Pradhan said.

"Only a few areas in the hilly terrains, where the naxalites are active, now remain to be covered and Jharkhand is the only state to possess Tetra which will strengthen the communication network," Pradhan said.

The machine will for the start monitor Ranchi and Jamshedpur districts - two of the 18 districts where the maoists are active.

Unlike other Maoist-affected states, Jharkhand is grappling with six different underground outfits, most of them being breakaway groups from the CPI (Maoist).

"Whereas states like Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh are just tackling the CPI (Maoist), Jharkhand is the only state where the security forces are pursuing six different outfits," Pradhan said. Besides the CPI (Maoist), Jharkhand has to contend with with activists from the Tritiya Prastuti Committee, Jharkhand Prastuti Committee, the People's Liberation Front of India, Jharkhand Janshanghars Mukti Morcha and Sanyukta Pragatisil Morcha.

"We think the Sanyukta Pragatisil Morcha will fold up after the arrest of 16 of its activists on November 19 from dense forests in Hazaribag," he said.

But he added that it was too early to say whether the arrest of nine Maoists in Gumla on November 20 could have broken the backbone of the CPI (Maoist).

"Jharkhand is the only state to arrest about 42 hardcore naxalites from the rank of rural commanders to the politburo members.

"There is a long way to go before eliminating the menace and the security forces are raiding naxal hideouts almost on a daily basis," asserted Pradhan.

Saying that the police had spent 98 percent of Rs 350 crore on modernisation in 2006-07, Pradhan said efforts were on to purchase more equipment to aid the security forces in their drive against the extremists.

"We have migrated from .303 rifles to automatic or semi-automatic weapons, the security forces have been given night-vision binoculars, bullet-proof jackets, bullet-proof vehicles and mine-protected vehicles," the police officer said.

A 'bike-platoon' has been set up to enable the personnel to move on the two-wheelers on certain routes which are not motorable, he said.

Bureau Report

Hassan: Government Ready for Dialogue with Naxals - Acharya

Daijiworld Media Network - Hassan (SP)

Hassan, Nov 21: Speaking at Arasikere near here on Thursday November 20, home minister Dr V S Acharya informed that the government is prepared to talk to the naxals, provided they are ready to forgo their arms and be prepared for a dialogue.

Speaking to reporters during his brief stay at the town on his way to Chikamagalur from Bangalore, the minister said that the naxal menace so far has mainly bothered the coastal and Malnad districts of the state. "The government has made all preparations to face the naxal problem. We have supplied modern arms to the anti-naxal squad," he said.

After the BJP government was formed in the state, 40% of the arms held by the naxals have been wrested from them. This is an achievement of the new state government, he said. The government, in addition to regulating naxal activities, also is working to solve social problems faced by people living in forest areas and develop these hamlets, he said.

BJP leaders D B Gangadhar and A N Durgappa Shetty were present on the occasion.

Madikeri: Constable Gurprasad Cremated with State Honours

Daijiworld Media Network - Madikeri (SP)

Madikeri, Nov 21: The mortal remains of Guruprasad (29), resident of a village near Bhagamandala, who was killed during an encounter between the Naxals and police near Horanadu near Koppa on November 19, was cremated at around midnight on Wednesday November 19, after the body reached his native place, with full state honours.

Guruprasad was the only son and last of the six children of Mukkati Nanjappa and Lalita couple from Kundacheri village in Kodagu district. The family believes that Lord Bhagandeshwara of Bhagamandala had blessed them with a son after five daughters, paying heed to their prayers. He joined the KSRP fifth battalion in 1999 and took part in the anti-Veerappan operations.

Senior police officials including DIG Kempaiah accompanied the body. The family members were in a state of shock and grieving uncontrollably over the sudden demise of Guru, who supported his family.

On behalf of the state government, deputy speaker of the assembly K G Bopaiah paid last respects. Deputy commissioner (DC) M K Baladev Krishna, superintendent of police Suresh, headquarters assistant to the DC Chikkatimmaiah, various officials, villagers, friends and relatives had gathered for the cremation.

DIG Kempaiah said that Guru would have been saved if he had not got up from where he was squatting. "All the policemen were squatting on the ground to dodge the naxal bullets but Guru got up from his position when he was shot at. That mistake cost him his life," he explained.

K G Bopaiah reiterated the government resolves to decimate the naxals by strengthening and rejuvenating the anti-naxal force.

Guru's family was very much worried about the anti-Veerappan operation in which their son was involved, and heaved a sigh of relief when Veerappan was gunned down. They never thought that their beloved Guru would lose his life in this way. Guruprasad was to come home on leave for his cousin's marriage, scheduled for November 20 and 21.

Guruprasad cremated

Express News Service First Published : 21 Nov 2008 09:30:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 21 Nov 2008 11:13:21 AM IST

MADIKERI: Slain KSRP constable M N Gurprasad was cremated at his native village Kundacheri, near here, on Thursday with full police honours.

The mortal remains of the brave cop, who was gunned down by naxals in an encounter near Sringeri in wee hours of Wednesday, were brought here late night from Karkala by Anti-Naxal Force IGP Kemepaiah and other top police officials.

Assembly Deputy Speaker K G Bopaiah, Deputy Commissioner M K Baladevakrishna, ANF senior officer Madhukar Shetty, Kodagu SP T R Suresh, HQA Chikkathimmaiah and hundreds of people paid their last respects.