Saturday, December 13, 2008
Women head to Mandi’s house to mourn with his widow. (Swarup Mondal)
Belpahari, Dec. 12: The tribals of Belpahari are hesitant to hold a second anti-Maoist meeting in the area after one of the organisers of the first rally was butchered last night.
The slain Sudhir Mandi was the prime mover behind the December 18 meeting at his village, Jordanga.
“We will have to think twice now. Villagers are panicky after the killing. The Maoists had been threatening them for some time. They had asked the villagers not to attend the December 18 meeting and dissociate themselves from the Bharat Jakat Majhi Marwa,” said Baburam Mandi, a Majhi Marwa leader from Belpahari.
Sudhir, a Binpur-II panchayat samiti member, was a leader of the Santhal body Majhi Marwa.
The West Midnapore police chief had yesterday said he believed Sudhir’s murder was “the handiwork of Maoists” because he had organised the December 9 rally at Bhulabheda village in which tribal lea-ders dubbed the rebels killers misleading the community taking advantage of its poverty.
Sudhir was shot and his throat was slit, about 150 metres from his hut, while he was returning home with his wife on a cycle from the weekly bazaar.
Three posters were pasted on trees near the spot. “They said Sudhir Mandi was killed for working as an agent of the CPM and the police,” a Belpahari police officer said.
Sudhir’s wife Chhitamoni, 40, who was dragged away from the scene when Sudhir was being killed, said: “As we approached a culvert, I saw three men sitting. They ordered my husband to get down from the cycle. As my husband put his cycle on its stand, five more men, some of them masked, emerged from behind the bushes with guns in hand. Two of them dragged me away.”
She saw Sudhir talking to them. “I sensed trouble and ran towards my husband. They tried to take him away but I pulled at him. It was then that they shot him five times. One of them slit his throat.”
Others returning from the bazaar alerted the village.
Singh said: “We had once held Sudhir for Maoist links. But he got bail and was lately leading anti-Maoist rallies.”
BELPAHARI: Bodies of two women, lying along the forests at Loboni village in Belpahari on Saturday has triggered panic in this Maoist-dominated
region. Villagers fear fresh violence along the Jharkhand border, just a few days after the murder of Jharkhand Janamukti Morcha leader Sudhir Mandi.
One of bodies clad in a black T-shirt and olive trousers, made the locals believe that the middle-aged woman was an outsider who crossed over from across the Jharkhand border. Villagers feared that the body could be that of a woman member of the Maoist squad active in the area. They informed the police that recovered the body in the afternoon. The other body could not be found when the police team went there.
Police, however, rubbished the claim of the villagers. "It's just a rumour. We have recovered the body of a middle-aged woman. Her name is Koroli Sabar who hailed from Loboni. She had been suffering from tuberculosis," said West Midnapore superintendent of police Rajesh Kumar Mishra.
Villagers, however, have doubts over the identity of the woman, especially because of her attire. Jharkhand Janamukti Morcha leader Babu Bose endorsed the locals' view.
Armed Maoists kidnapped villagers Mansur Ansari, Gulam Ansari and Mateen Ansari from their homes at Haladih-Betiatand village and shot them dead last night, police spokesman S N Pradhan said.
The Maoists supected that the four had tipped-off the police which led to last month's killing of their self-styled area commander Kawang, in an encounter with the pollice, Pradhan said and added the trio were never known to the police.
In a similar incident at Gopilo village under Saria police station, a separate group of Maoists last night abducted Keshav Yadav from his residence and bludgeoned his head with a stone, the police officer said.
All the bodies were recovered this morning.
This is the fifth killing by the Naxalites in about a week. A few days ago the extremists had killed another villager on same charge.
SIVAKASI: Officers of the ‘Q’ branch and the Krishnagiri district police have increased patrolling in the State border, including check posts in several pockets such as Virudhunagar, Varamanagunda, Doddamanju, Peddamugalalam in a bid to prevent any naxalites from entering into Tamil Nadu from Andhra Pradesh.
‘Q’ branch officials said that Maoist extremists, who have their headquarters in Assam, have spread out to various states and were engaged in sabotage and other activities.
It was reported that many Maoists had entered Virudhunagar district and were luring students to their movement by brainwashing them. They were also offering financial assistance to poor students.
Some men suspected to be Maoists who were roaming at the Virudhunagar railway station were questioned by the police.
Inspector Sethumani Madhavan of ‘Q’ branch said that these Maoists did not openly say that they belonged to the movement. There were reports that these men have moved up to Kovilpatti and the ‘Q’ branch was investigating.
Meanwhile, police sources at Krishnagiri district in Hosur said that it was a routine combing operation to check naxalites as well as any illicit liquor brewing activities in the forest area. The police has advised people to inform them about the activities of any strangers in the region.
Last week, the officials said, Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri district police had conducted combing operation in the forest region following reports of suspected naxalites. They had distributed pamphlets and books in the Peddamugalalam area in Denkanikotta taluk recently. However the police found no naxalites movement in Krishnagiri forests.
Ranchi/Giridih, Dec. 13: In an orgy of Maoists-inspired violence at least eight persons were killed in Gumla and Giridih districts last night, while two suspected Naxalites were lynched after villagers retaliated when they were threatened with levies.
In Gumla’s Kurkura village under Kamdara police station limits, some 70km from the state capital, four persons were gunned down by Maoists. According to police reports reaching Ranchi, around seven armed men entered the village around 7.45pm and “ordered” one Sufal Surin to lead them to the house of Jiten Surin.
As soon as Jiten opened the door, they riddled him with bullets, killing him on the spot. By then, Sufal had begun to flee, but the rebels fired at him as well. He was injured, but died this morning.
Two passersby, one of whom was identified as Uday Surin, also died in the firing.
Today, angry villagers of Kurkura staged demonstrations with the bodies of the victims and demanded that chief minister Shibu Soren visit them to take stock of the situation. “One person died today due to excessive bleeding. He could have been saved provided the villagers informed the police last night. Two among them were criminals,” said Gumla superintendent of police Baljeet Singh.
In Giridih district, around 8.30pm, Maoists gunned down three men identified as Gulab Ansari, Mansoor Ansari and Matin Ansari in Dudhania village under Pirtand police station limits, around 150km from Ranchi.
According to villagers, the rebels believed them to be police informers, but Pirtand officer-in-charge H.E. Siddiqui maintained they were daily wage labourers and had nothing to do with “passing on any type of information” to the police.
One Keshar Yadav was shot dead near the Chaki railway station under Saria police station limits in Giridih district. Details were sketchy, but the police said the victim had a criminal background.
Bangalore: State to Create Separate Internal Security Department
Daijiworld Media Network - Bangalore (SP)
Bangalore, Dec 12: Home minister Dr V S Acharya revealed, that the state government has decided to create a separate internal security department for affectively curbing terrorist and naxal activities. He was speaking after taking part in the march past programme of the Home Guards, organized on the occasion of the Home Guards Day.
The Coastal Security Force that has been functioning in the state's coast and also the intelligence network will be strengthened. This force will also be brought under the jurisdiction of the new department. Divisive forces, terrorists, naxals and all activities that threaten the internal security will be contained through the internal security department, he narrated. The government has taken steps to ensure that an environment of peace and harmonious co-existence settles in the state. Commandoes are being provided training needed to fight the terrorists, naxals etc., he said.
The internal security department will be provided with trained personnel capable of affectively using modern arms. The Coastal Security Force will be strengthened further, with central aid, he said.
Ships and boats that frequent the state's ports are being subjected to thorough checking, he said. The minister also promised to revise the daily allowance being paid to the home guards and to utilize their services along with the policemen for security arrangements. "Our government is committed to provide all necessary facilities to the Home Guards," he added.
Director General of Home Guards Jija Harisingh and senior officials took part in the programme.
WARANGAL/HYDERABAD: Rights activists and opposition parties cried foul on Saturday after three youths, arrested for attacking two engineering
college girls with acid, were gunned down by the police in an encounter.
But public, baying for the blood of the acid attackers, applauded the extra judicial killing. As the news of the encounter trickled down, a large number of jubilant women and girls thronged Mamnoor, the encounter site off Warangal, to get a glimpse of the three. "It is only right that they have been eliminated,'' remarked Anil Reddy, a student.
However, main opposition party TDP called it a cold-blooded murder and said the encounter would usher in the law of jungle. "This is a political killing. The ruling regime wants to prove its macho credentials,'' a TDP leader, who did not want to be quoted, said.
The three youths identified as main suspect were S Srinivas (25) and his accomplices Sanjay (22) and Harikrishna (24). The father of the prime accused refused to take his body and justified his elimination as "justice done for the crime''.
The body had to be cremated by the sarpanch of Srinivas's village. The reaction of the family members of the other two was different: the father of Sanjay had a heartattack on hearing about his death in the encounter and the parents of Harikrishna said their son had been murdered.
The wto girls had filed complaints with the police about the harassment by the accused weeks before the acid attack. But the police did not act. K Swapnika, 24, who suffered acid burns on her face, chest, back and thighs in the attack that took place on Wednesday evening, is battling for her life in a Hyderabad hospital. The second victime, T Pranitha, is out of danger.
The main accused, Srinivas, had been turned down by the girls. He along with his two accomplices, drove a bike and threw acid on the girls last Wednesday. The girls were returning home in a scooter.
The police arrested Srinivas late on Wednesday night and picked up his two associates on Thursday. All the three were produced before the media on Friday evening. Warangal SP V C Sajjanar had told reporters the three had confessed to attacking Swapnika and Pranitha. However, Srinivas maintained he was innocent.
Around 11.30 pm on Friday, the three accused were taken to Mamnoor, near Warangal. According to the police, Srinivas and his accomplices had claimed that they had hidden the acid bottles used in the attack and the motorcycle in which they committed the crime in Mamnoor. "While we were searching, Srinivas took out a country-made pistol and the other two whipped up knives and acid bottles. In the retaliatory action, all the three were shot dead," SP Sajjanar said on Saturday morning in a version that nobody believes.
Hyderabad: Warangal, once a hotbed of naxal activity, has seen an increasing attacks on women. Encounter deaths too are rising. Since last December, at least eight youths accused in crimes against women were shot dead by the Warangal police. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)'s statistics for 2007 revealed that the maximum number of crimes against women have taken place in Andhra Pradesh.
Speaking to the reporters on Friday, he informed that 75% of the work has been taken up at a cost of Rs 26.09 crore. Drinking water problem in the district has been given top priority and Rs 11 crore has been earmarked for the same.
“Construction works have been designed according to the sketch planned for the 800 water linkage programmes. The Centre has allotted Rs 3.85 crore and State has provided Rs 2.81 crore for the purpose. A proposal has been sent to the government urging for additional funds of Rs 45 crore to provide drinking water facilities in Nitte, Hebri of Karkala taluk and Kalyanpur, Brahmavar, Barkur Mandarthi, Saibarakatte and Katpadi of Udupi taluk,” he added.
Mr Poojary informed that Rs 1,392.13 has been earmarked for the maintenance and upgradation of the rural roads. Construction works are implemented through package tenders. The Centre has allotted Rs 32.29 crore under Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana in the 8th phase of the project.
As many as 14,249 employment cards have been distributed and about 18,213 BPL families have registered for the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. As many as 76 Self Help Groups are assisted to take up self employment by utilising Rs 90.57 crore under the Swarna Jayanthi Gram Swarojgar Yojane for the year 2008-09.
A sum of Rs 782.28 lakh is used for the purpose of providing family toilets for about 63,477 houses under the programme of Sampoorna Swachatha Andolan.
Proposal to govt
A proposal demanding Rs 18 crore for the development of naxal prone areas in the district has been sent to the Government. A sum of Rs 26.92 lakh is sanctioned for the repair of school buildings and providing infrastructure for 35 high schools and 32 primary schools.
As many as 1,48,672 students are the beneficiaries for the mid-day meal scheme.
A sum of Rs 781.39 lakh is allotted for the programme. A sum of Rs 13 crores has been sanctioned under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, out of which Rs 6 crore is utilised for various educational programmes and the remaining sum will be utilised by the end of March, he added.
A sum of Rs 15.20 lakh is earmarked for the revamping of hospital buildings and the construction works for the Primary Health centres at Edu and Kandlur under RIDF programme will be completed by the end of the current fiscal year.
A sum of Rs 158.96 lakh is allotted to provide loans and helping funds for 763 beneficiaries under Ganga Kalyana yojane.
Mr Poojary also informed that as many as 30 Gram Panchayath staff are promoted to Grade-2 category employment under ZP jurisdiction and about 22 Grade-2 Secretary level staffs are promoted for Grade-1 level jobs.
Mr Poojary urged farmers to make use of ‘Athma’ programme set up under Centre and State partnership. About 90 per cent of the project expenses is borne by the Centre and remaining 10 per cent by the State.
The project is designed to provide farmers a helping hand assisting them in the field of horticulture, fishing, social forestry, agriculture, animal husbandry and so on, he added.
Zilla Panchayat CPO Vijay Kumar Shetty, Agriculture Department Joint Director Gadadh, Janardhan Thonse and others were present.
Friday, December 12, 2008
The nearly 55% voter turnout recorded in Naxalite-infested pockets on November 14 is an indication of the electorate’s defiance of the CPI(Maoist)’s
poll boycott call and the comfortable victory of the Raman Singh government here cocks a snook at allegations by rights activists that the BJP regime was using Salwa Judum to create a private army of local tribals against Naxalites.
Dantewada, the district where Salwa Judum is concentrated, returned BJP candidates from two of its three assembly segments. So much so, even the original brain behind Salwa Judum, Congress leader Mahendra Karma, lost to the BJP in Dantewada.
The tally of BJP in Naxalite-infested Bastar region improved from nine to 10 seats, with adversaries managing only the remaining two of the 12 seats in the region. In the other tribal belt of Ambikapur and Surguja, the BJP walked away with 12 of the total 14 assembly seats. The impressive show by the BJP in the Naxal belt is a signal to the state Congress that its attempts at painting Salwa Judum as an anti-tribal, rather than an anti-Naxal campaign, has not gone down well with the electorate.
Incidentally, a recent NHRC inquiry into alleged excesses by Salwa Judum activists, including killings and rape, had failed to substantiate the charges. The NHRC report said: “Allegations against Salwa Judum of killings are not true. During the inquiry of some specific allegations, the inquiry team also did not come across any case of rape which could be substantiated.
“On the other hand, Naxalites (Maoists) have not only selectively killed Salwa Judum leaders and supporters, but they are also responsible for indiscriminate killing of many tribals and security personnel.”
For the Raman Singh government, credited with several surgical strikes on Naxal hideouts across south Chhattisgarh, its tough approach against red terror seems to have reaped electoral dividends. Incidents relating to Left-wing extremism have come down in the state since 2007, as have killings of civilians and security forces.
Incidents were down from 436 between January and August 2007 to 363 until August this year. Fatal casualties among security forces fell from 148 in the corresponding period of 2007 to 49 this year, as did civilian killings from 139 to 95.
NEW DELHI: Raman Singh's return to power in Chhattisgarh will give a further fillip to the strong anti-naxal stance his government had taken in the
previous five years.
The ayurveda doctor's gentle countenance won him a battle against anti-incumbency and Ajit Jogi just as much as his stern response to naxalism helped the `chawalwale baba' make further inroads in the tribal districts of the state.
The consequences of his victory might be less significant in the run-up to the general elections in comparison with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi but the thumbs up to the doctor for his firm handling of Red terror is bound to impact the larger fight against naxal violence throughout the country as well as the attendant arguments.
In the north, BJP won a symbolic victory against the `king' of Sarguja, defeating T P Singh Deo alias Baba in Ambikapur just as it swept 10 out of 12 seats in the region that has traditionally been a Congress bastion. In an area where naxalism has only begun to take root and remains largely limited to the interiors and the border with Jharkhand, Jogi's election promise to end Salwa Judum seemed to have worked in BJP's favour.
With a large non-tribal vote in the region inherently against any political establishment going soft on naxals, Raman Singh pulled in additional tribal votes to thwart any hopes of a return by Jogi.
In the south, even as the `founder' of Sulwa Judum, Congress's Mahendra Karma lost due to local factors, BJP went on to win Bijapur, a naxal dominated constituency -- just as iconic a victory as Ambikapur in the north. Its sweep over the tribal belt in south was more emphatic as it took Bastar, Chitrakoot and Dantewada -- the heart of the Red zone in the state.
The statements from BJP as the results came in were along expected lines. "It's people's response to terror with the weapon of democracy and a win over the motivated campaign of some liberal intellectuals," Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP general secretary in-charge of Chhattisgarh, said.
Reports that could not be confirmed independently had come in a night before that further charges had been pressed against Binayak Sen, imprisoned by the state government and an icon for those opposed to Sulwa Judum.
"Sen might have become an icon for those ideologically opposed to the (Sulwa Judum) movement but the demographic break-up of the state, Jogi's image as being soft on naxals and a general exhaustion with the high level of violence, all these factors helped BJP," a party leader from the state said.
Midnapore, Dec. 11: A tribal leader who had played a leading role in an anti-Maoist protest in Belpahari two days ago was shot dead this evening.
Sudhir Mandi was returning home with his wife on a cycle from the weekly haat (bazaar) when eight masked men armed with single-barrel guns and daggers pounced on him.
They had apparently been waiting for him behind a clump of bush along the bumpy road lined with thick forest. “Two of them dragged Mandi’s wife away. The rest shot him and slit his throat. Mandi died on the spot,” a Belpahari police officer said.
The residents of Jordanga — 250km from Calcutta — rushed in as Mandi’s wife raised the alarm.
“A week ago, Maoists had asked Mandi to dissociate himself from the Bharat Jakat Majhi Marwa, which organised Tuesday’s meeting. Mandi refused to do so,” said a district leader of the Jharkhand Janmukti Morcha.
Elected to the Binpur-II panchayat samiti as an Independent in May, Mandi, 46, had joined the Morcha, formed after a split in the Jharkhand Party (Naren). He was also an active member of the Majhi Marwa.
“We believe today’s murder was the handiwork of Maoists. Sudhir Mandi was one of the organisers of the rally against them at Bhulabheda village on December 9. Another anti-Maoist rally was supposed to be held at Chakadoba, close to his house, on December 18,” said West Midnapore superintendent of police Rajesh Ku- mar Singh. Mandi, he added, was the driving force behind next week’s rally.
At Bhulabheda, Mandi had slammed the rebels for “trying to mislead tribals by taking advantage of their poverty and the lack of development in the area”. He was not alone. Another leader, Manasaram Mandi, said: “These people (Maoists) have repeatedly killed tribals and blown up roads. Don’t give them shelter. Just drive them away.”
The tribals had launched an agitation last month in protest against alleged police atrocities after raids in the wake of a blast targeting the chief minister. The reins of the protest had slipped into the Mao- ists’ hands until the tribals accepted the government’s peace overtures this week.
“The rebels wouldn’t have liked the thaw in relations between us and the tribals,” a police officer said.
This is the first time Maoists have killed a non-CPM leader in West Midnapore, Bankura or Purulia.
Last updated: 12/11/2008 19:30:44
The injured Jawan in the Maoist attack shifted to medical at Rayagada on Thursday. (Photo: Pramod Sahukar)
Bhubaneswar (Orissa): Security forces manning the Southern Police Range on Thursday launched a massive search operation to nab the fleeing armed militants belonging to the outlawed CPI (Maoists) in leftwing insurgency infected district of Rayagada, about 300 kilometers away from here.
“We have launched the operation after a group of militants while triggering landmine blasts, attacked a police outpost in Muniguda , some 100 kilometers away from the district headquarters,” Deputy Inspector General, SPR, RP Koche told over phone from Berhampur.
A Jawan of the Indian Reserve Battalion was on Thursday critically injured in the blasts and was admitted to Christian Medical Hospital at Bisamkataka where his condition was stated to be critical, he said.
The Maoists put up banners and posters near the police outpost and also attacked a liquor godown, sources said. When policemen reached the outpost, the booby trap left by the rebels in a leaflet exploded,” District Superintendent of Police A.K. Singh informed.
Inspector-in-Charge of Muniguda Police Station Asit Kumar Mohanty has rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation, he added.
VISAKHAPATNAM: Maoists, who have lost their grip over the Agency areas of this region, are determined to get back their hold. This became evident when they started a door-to-door campaigning, warning tribal people against joining the police department and other security agencies.
They tell the tribals to ask their children who are working as a constable, Home Guard or even as a security guard to resign from their jobs. If the children do not comply with their diktat, they would kill the parents and their near and dear, they threaten.
The campaigning is in full swing at GK Veedhi, Koyyuru, Chintapalli, Hukumpet and Paderu mandals in Visakhapatnam district, and in Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts as well.
According to the information reaching here from Vizianagaram district, the threat is showing its impact and three tribal youths have quit their jobs. The frightened tribals are not willing to send their children for employment in urban areas.
Though the Maoists have been issuing warnings for the past two years it was only recently that they launched a campaign and started collecting data on tribals working in urban areas. The movements of tribal politicians are also under watch. According to the information from Agency areas, the Maoists are ticking off the sarpanches of some villages and asked them to resign.
The State Government is implementing various programmes for the welfare of tribals. Several government departments are providing training to the tribal youths to help them hone their skills and get jobs in urban areas. Engrossed in their work and leading a cozy urban life, the tribal youth are no longer interested in ideological revolution.
Sensing the danger and fearing loosening of their grip over the Agency areas, the Maoists are now holding out threats to people.Very recently, Lotugedda village sarpanch M Babu Rao and the panchayat ward members announced that they were resigning from their posts. The Maoists sent a group of people headed by Babu Rao to one Prasant, who is working as a Home Guard at the Narsipatnam police station, to resign.
But Prasant rejected the demand and said that even if he quit the job, the Maoists would kill him.
The Maoists are collecting the names of people using mobile phones and having good contacts in the urban areas.
The Maoist leaders strongly believe that the police succeeded in making a large number of tribals as informers. In Visakhapatnam district this year Maoists killed eight tribals, branding them as police informers.
They were identified as Sammireddy Ganeswara Rao and Sammireddy Pentayya (Pulusumamidi), Pangi Nageswara Rao (Peddalanka), Pangi Krishna (Boosiputtu), G Janakiram (Boddapadu), G Subbarao (Boddamanupakala), Killo Sona and Vantala Ramarao of (Ramaraopalem).
In Bhamini and Battili mandals in the Palakonda sub-division of Srikakulam district, the Maoists killed three tribals _ A Sannai, A Illamma and Rajesh. One man, Tirupati, was killed in Nilakantapuram mandal in Vizianagaram district.
He said that Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand are areas where Maoists have a strong presence. This is leading to problems like killing of innocent policemen in areas near the Jharkhand- West Bengal border.
The chief minister also questioned the need of having a National Human Right Commission (NHRC) for matters relating to the state when a state level organisation ~ WBHRC~ was performing the same function. n SNS
Confirming the incident, police sources said over 30 armed Maoists had attacked a liquor outlet and destroyed it late last night. They also looted the property belonging to the owner of the liquor outlet. On their way back they attacked a police outpost and ransacked it.
The police which reached the spot early this morning was caught in an explosion when one of the IRB policeman walked over a booby trap set by the fleeing left wing extremists.
The injured policeman was rushed to a hospital at Bissam Cuttack. Security forces launched a combing operation in the nearby forests. n sns
LUCKNOW: Principal secretary, home, government of UP Kunwar Fateh Bahudur Singh has sent a letter to home secretary, government of India, demanding
central government's financial assistance for strengthening the police force of UP. In view of the increasing incidents of terrorism activities and naxalites violence in the state, the state government recently took a decision to modernise its police force.
The letter said that the state government took the decision to create 1.58 lakh posts of police personnel and prepare a force of 2000 commandos to tackle the terrorists menace. Besides this, a plan was also in the pipeline to replace the obsolete weapons with the latest ones.
The state government requires an amount of Rs 250 crore to provide latest Insas rifles and its cartridges to about 25 per cent PAC personnel and civil police. Besides this, Rs 120 crore is required for providing helmets and bullet-proof jackets to 30,000 policemen of various districts of the state and a further amount of Rs 125 is needed for giving communication equipment, specialised vehicles, security equipments and weapons to the 2000 commandos, said the letter. Thus the state government has requested the central government to sanction a total amount of Rs 555 crore for the modernisation of the police force.
"The ultras attacked the Dangosoroda police outpost in Muniguda, about 100 km from here, after triggering explosion of one of the several landmines planted around the post. A jawan of the Indian Reserve Battalion was seriously injured in the explosion," Inspector-in-Charge of Muniguda police station Asit Kumar Mohanty said.
Rout was admitted to Christian Medical Hospital at Bisamkataka where his condition was stated to be critical, he said.
The Naxals put up banners and posters near the police outpost and also attacked a liquor godown, police said.
A police man was seriously injured when Maoists exploded a landmine near a police outpost in Orissa's Rayagada district early Thursday.
Maoists set afire a police outpost at the Danga Sorada village, two houses of policemen and an ale house, locally known as Mada Bhati, where country liquor is served.
"When policemen reached the outpost, the booby trap left by the rebels in a leaflet exploded," District Superintendent of Police A.K. Singh told.
The injured jawan was admitted to Christian Medical Hospital at Bisamkataka where his condition was stated to be critical.
The Naxals put up banners and posters near the police outpost and also attacked a liquor godown, police said.
The naxalites were gunned down by a police search party in retaliatory fire in the Kandulnar-Adhed forest area, 400 kilometers from State capital Raipur, when the duo opened indiscriminate firing, they said.
The police also recovered two loaded pistols, two hand grenades and daily utility items from the spot , they added.
Reports of Maoist movement in the state have resurfaced after a lull when a Naxal Naveen alias Sundar was killed in an encounter with police at the hills in Kodaikanal in April.
The Maoists are also reportedly on a recruitment spree which the police have not entirely denied.
Three suspected Maoists were gunned down recently by the Karnataka police at Chikmaglur in November.
Police sources told PTI that the rebels could try to recruit persons to increase their slender number as the organisation was believed to have been working with 12-15 operatives.
The sources added that though there were reports in a section of the local media that the Maoists had organised a meeting to spread their ideology and attract persons into their fold, but, investigations revealed that no such meeting had taken place.
However, police are taking no chances and are doing thorough search operations, they said.
Police are also conducting enquiries in the area following reports that the Maoists, in the guise of journalists, had tried to instigate them against the government, highlighting issues like unemployment.
Various wings of the Tamil Nadu police, including the Special Task Force and personnel of the Forest Department, will penetrate deeper into the forests in Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri in the coming days as part of intensified operations, the sources added.
"As per the information available, in Chhattisgarh, CPI (Maoist) have constituted special squad of minors," Minister of State in the Home Ministry Sriprakash Jaiswal said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
He added, "The state government has banned 'Krantikari Adivasi Balak Sang', an organisation of minor child soldiers created by the Maoists." In reply to a separate question, he said naxals are trying to expand their activities to northern states like Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab among others.
Jaiswal, however, said, no instance of naxal violence has been reported from these states during the last one year. PTI
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
KOLKATA: Leaders of a section of tribals at Belpahari in West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district on Tuesday cautioned locals against attempts by Maoists to induce them to take to militancy.
The region was hit by an agitation, lasting more than four weeks, against alleged police excesses before it was called off on Sunday.
Addressing a rally at Belpahari, leaders of the Bharat Jagat Majhi Marwa condemned the Maoists’ attempts to extend their sphere of influence by making political capital out of locals’ grievances against authorities and their protests against alleged police atrocities last month in the adjoining Lalgarh area. “They [the leaders of the organisation] warned the gathering against being used by the Maoists, we are told,” District Magistrate N.S. Nigam told The Hindu over telephone from Medinipur.
The ultras had tried to take control of the month-long agitation resulting from the protests, the leaders at the rally said. The agitation led to parts of the district remaining cut off. Now, the process of restoring normality in the areas that had remained virtually inaccessible has begun.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008, (Hyderabad)
At a time when the nation is living under the shadow of fear, especially after the terror attacks in Mumbai, people across the country have pointed fingers at VIP security.
However, the debate continues as others say that downing that VIP vigil could only be more disastrous.
One of them in former Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu. He is the only politician in Andhra Pradesh who is guarded by NSG Black Cats ever since he survived an assassination attempt by Naxals in 2003, says the government is duty-bound to provide him security.
"I was the chief minister and as chief minister I performed my duty. Due to that a lot of security threats have come. So in that angle government has to provide security," he said.
Nearly 1,000 VIPs in Andhra Pradesh are protected by the state police force. Their annual bill is estimated at Rs 100 crore. Due to this, many argue that there is a case for review.
"A lot of manpower is wasted. It becomes more a status symbol rather than security given by a strong threat perception. We will have to reduce that," said C Anjaneya Reddy, former DGP, Andhra Pradesh.
There are others who say that letting down the security vigil could prove disastrous given the peculiar nature of Maoist terror in Andhra Pradesh.
"There should be eternal vigilance as far as Naxal or Maoist is concerned. At that level only can we contain them," said MV Bhaskar Rao, former DGP, Andhra Pradesh.
Experts propose that a trained cadre should be raised and VIPs should be encouraged to avail the security guards on payment basis so that the burden on the state in minimised.
MUMBAI: The state home department is working on the final modalities of setting up a training centre on the lines of the National Security Guard
(NSG) which will provide exclusive training facilities to combat terrorism.
26/11 exposed the state police department's inability to handle such terror attacks as its personnel were both badly underarmed and underprepared to take on armed-to-the-teeth terrorists.
"The average cop on the road who had so far dealt with nakabandis and petty crime came face-to-face with terrorists who had not only sophisticated weapons but even the mind-set of a suicide bomber,'' a senior police official admitted.
The state home department has now decided to pull up its socks and is planning a comprehensive draft proposal which will increase the efficiency of its 42,000-odd police personnel. "A training centre that will be on par with the NSG will be set up on an emergency basis. We are giving it a deadline of 2-3 months,'' Mumbai police commissioner Hasan Gafoor told TOI.
The department is also mulling setting up the training centre in Pune or Mumbai. "We feel it should be based near Mumbai as there will be easy accessibility in case of an emergency,'' a senior police official said.
The state will take assistance from the NSG based in Gurgaon, Haryana, while setting up the centre. "We will send our trainers to the NSG so that they get expertise in areas like neutralising specific threats on buildings, handling hijack situations in air or land and defusing sophisticated bombs,'' the official said.
The trainees will be recruited from wings like State Reserve Police Force and will have to undergo strenuous physical and awareness tests. "The modalities are being worked out,'' said a senior official.
Former police officials welcomed the recruitment pattern but said these postings should be for a longer tenure rather than a three-year deputation. "The SRPF has a good track record in curbing the Naxal menace in areas like Gadchiroli. But if the posting is for a short period, then dedication levels may not be that high,'' said former IPS officer Y P Singh.
The NSG in Delhi was set up 22 years ago and modelled on the pattern of the SAS in the UK and the GSG-9 of Germany. It is a task-oriented force and has two complementary elements, the Special Action Group (SAG) and the Special Rangers' Group.
NAGPUR: Intelligence agencies are learnt to have received an input about Naxal top brass urging their cadres to gear up for a major operation
involving abduction of VIPs during forthcoming winter session of state legislature likely to start in city from December 15.
Though city police deny receiving any such input from intelligence, sources in intelligence network speak of special input received that attempts of kidnapping ministers or influential MLAs could be made to ensure release of top Maoist cadres lodged in different jails in the state.
Speaking to TOI, joint commissioner of Babasaheb Kangale said that city police were unaware of any such input. “We have not received any such information so far,” said Kangale. Intelligence sources said that Anand, secretary of North Gadchiroli-Gondia-Balaghat division, instructed his cadres to target VIPs for abduction in a meeting deep inside forests between Mayalghat and Kodedo (bordering areas of Gadchiroli and Gondia). A special report regarding the meeting is being studied.
It is learnt that Maoist ultras have decided to use their city-based cadres to spot ‘soft and vulnerable’ targets that can be picked up from areas with low security cover. Sources hinted ministers attending private functions and having low security were among the targets.
According to sources, manpower-crunch and leadership crisis had recently taken the steam out of Maoist movement in the state. Surrender of leaders like Suresh Harami and open rift between local and Andhra Pradesh-based cadres also weakened its base. Another blow was the arrest of several top-cadres like Arun Thomas Ferreira, Murli alias Ashok Satya Reddy, Vernon Gonsalves and Vishnu Sridhar. Sources said that Maoist want to get the top cadres released and hence desperately want a VIP to be used as bargaining chip.
Exclusive Interview with Florine Roche - Daijiworld Media Network
December 10, 2008
The recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai have exposed the vulnerability of the country’s coastal region to such attacks. Mangalore being a coastal region with its underworld links and proximity to Mumbai is certainly susceptible to Mumbai-like attacks. The developments of the recent past establishing the involvement of locals and their links with the terrorist outfits have traumatized people to a great extent. The city is agog with rumours of all sorts keeping people on their tenterhooks.
In a free-wheeling chat with Daijiworld's Florine Roche IGP (Western Range) A M Prasad delineates the preparedness of the police force to deal with the risk posed to this part of the region.
Is the coastal city of Mangalore vulnerable to terrorist attacks?
Being a coastal region with a good network of connectivity, Mangalore is no doubt vulnerable to attacks. It has the Kaiga Nuclear Plant, has many religious places of importance and houses offices of some IT giants. But the police are making every effort to neutralize such attacks.
What are the measures undertaken to face such an eventuality?
We have initiated joint patrolling with the Customs Department to patrol in the shallow waters. The Customs Department has given us 2 boats and Coastal Security Police Force (CSPF) is going to patrol the area. The Coast Guard and the other security agencies will guard the deep waters about 4 to 5 nautical miles from the coast. We are also undertaking aerial survey in these areas. Minor ports such as Bunder, Malpe, Kundapur, Ganguli, Bhatkal, Kumta and Karwar are guarded by police personnel from the local police stations to watch unauthorized movements of vessels and men.
What are the long terms measures undertaken to safeguard the coastal region?
The Ports and Fisheries department has been instructed to issue identity cards to all the fishermen who go out in the sea. It will be done by December 2008. About 25,000 fishermen have to be issued the identity cards and so far only 3000 cards have been issued.
What steps are initiated to counter terrorism per se?
We have a long coastline and this region is a part of terrorists’ network. I agree there are some lacunae particularly with regard to the preparedness in dealing with terrorism. We are taking all precautions by setting up an Anti Terrorist Cell (ATC) and Quick Reaction Team (QRT) who will be trained in sharp shooting and other necessary skills. They will be reserve police to be used only when required. These sharp shooters will be drawn from local police and Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP). Coastal policing will also be strengthened and through ATC we will give importance to improve intelligence gathering.
Is the police force properly equipped to face such a challenge?
We will provide the QRT with AK-47 rifles and they will be trained by KSRP. They will also be provided with bullet proof jackets and other equipments so as to make them a formidable force to offset set terror attacks.
Do you have sufficient police force to meet the new challenges?
As of now there is one police for every 150 people who will be brought down to 100 and we are working on that count. The police in this region have been constantly facing challenges such as underworld nexus, terrorism, naxal menace, communal disturbance etc. There is no doubt the job pressure has increased but we are prepared to face any challenge efficiently.
CSPF is said to be facing staff shortage…..
CSPF has been functioning for the past 4 years with five police station limits of Mangalore, Malpe, Bhatkal, Karkal and Kumta. 4 police stations are occupied. There is a 50% shortage of sanctioned strength of staff in CSPF but the local police will assist them. We have ordered speed boats for CSPF which are expected to come by May 2009. Once these boats are arrived coastal patrolling will be better and foolproof.
Any measures to strengthen security in hotels, malls, markets and public places….?
We want to help and sanitize the security arrangement in hotels. We will soon be holding a meeting of hoteliers and apprise them about the need to inform the police if they suspect anything amiss or suspicious among its customers. We have also requested the mall authorities to install Access Control Door Frame Metal Detectors and also conduct physical search of people on entry points.
What role can the public play in preventing any acts of terror?
People’s co-operation is a must to effectively face any challenges posed by the forces inimical to the security of the region. The perception of the general public has to improve and they have to report anything strange or suspicious to anyone in the police hierarchy. The police will ensure confidentiality of their identity.
After the death of top police officials in Mumbai attacks how are you going to keep the morale of the police force and that of the general public high?
A good catch and good detection can build up the morale of the police force and also create confidence among the police force. We had good success in countering terrorism, naxal problem and underworld activities. But we are not complacent with that success and the police force is aware of its responsibility of providing security to the people.
People can dial 100 or contact police control room on telephone number 2220500, which are operational 24 hours.
UDUPI: Home Minister and District In-Charge Minister Dr V S Acharya on Tuesday visited the house of Keshav Yadiyal, who was killed by naxalites on Sunday evening, at Hallihole and handed over a cheque of Rs 5 lakh from the state government to his family.
Keshav's wife Kanthimathi received the cheque from the Minister. The Minister also handed over a letter of condolence from Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa.
Dr Acharya refused to disclose any of the details of the operations of Anti-Naxalite Force to the media. Byndore MLA Laxminarayana, Kundapura MLA Haladi Srinivas Shetty, IGP A M Prasad, Deputy Commissioner P Hemalatha, SP Pravin Pawar and others accompanied the Minister.
Mangalore Dec 8, 2008: With the mounting need for security in the Karnataka coast the Mangalore city will get a modern coastal police station.
The police station which is under construction at Tanneerbavi will be ready for inauguration in less than three weeks time according to the sources in the Coastal Police.
Presently the Coastal Police station of Mangalore is functioning from a small two room accommodation located in the precincts of the district police headquarters at A.B.Shetty circle.
The new police station will have several other facilities including motorcycles, jeeps, telecommunication hub and the support of the Coast Guard, local police and the intelligence connection.
Coastal security police station, Udupi (File Pic)
Speaking to the Mangalorean.com the sources stated that coastal police force bears a special responsibility of guarding the coastal areas not just for ordinary criminals alone but also infiltrators from the sea. The special duties of the coastal police makes the sea coast safer he added.
The first local coastal police station will have a strength of 20 policemen while its headquarters in Udupi has been headed by an officer of the rank of a DIG and a SP.
Though the Coastal Police should have got their equipment like the speedboats, weaponry and infrastructure long back, the government is now making efforts to get the Coastal Police its due share only after the attacks on Mumbai by terrorists. According to the sources, the coastal police will keep in touch with the Coast guard on a daily basis and will also have close check on vital coastal installations like industries, petroleum storage facilities, port and other chemical industries situated near the coast.
Anti Naxal Force in bad state
MANGALORE: The elite Anti Naxal Force (ANF) is in a bad shape.. The only police station it possesses in Belthagady taluk has only 8 persons and has no vehicles, no modern weaponry and no advanced telecommunication set up.
Following the killing of Mr. Keshava Yediyal in Kundapur taluk on Sunday things about ANF was coming light. There are only 8 persons in the Force and this force has to do so many other things like security cover for VIP visits, work as anti terrorist squad and one of the constables in the force also works as the driver for the only jeep that is provided to them.
Though the firce has AK 47 they do not have mandate to fire unless it is ordered by the superior officers. The ANF has a large area to cover under the Nexalite infested locations. The police has identified nearly 70 villages in the Kudremukh National Park area, including Malvanthige, Kuthluru, Navooru, Naravi, Mithabagilu and many others. Due to multiplicity of jobs the ANF is not able to take up patrolling the area.
Yeddyurappa announces Rs 5 lakh aid to Yadiyala family
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa today announced an aid of Rs 5 lakh to the family of Keshava Yadiyala Strongly condemning the dastardly attack of the Naxals, Mr Yeddyurappa expressed his profound grief over the death of Mr Yadiyala.
Home Minister Dr V S Acharya, who is also the Udupi District Incharge Minister, will handover the cheque to the family members tomorrow. Dr. Acharya has stated that the government will not hold talks with the Naxalites unless they give up arms. If the Nexalites wanted confrontation the government was ready for that also. Dr Acharya said unlike other States, the naxals problem in Karnataka was not related to any socio-economic issues, but only a law and order situation.
He alleged that outlawed group, which had been reduced to a handful and operating from the deep forests in Chickmagalur, Dakshina Kannada and Shimoga districts, were indulging in a false propaganda that the region had remained backward due to negligence of the BJP Government.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
The disgruntled villagers also decided to put up a united front against the Maoist guerrillas and vowed not to cooperate with the separatist forces, which were active in the violence-hit West Midnapore district.
"Nearly 10,000 people, mostly tribals, gathered at Bhulabheda area of Belpahari to protest against the growing Maoist terror in the district. They held a public meeting where many tribal representatives said they would not give any food and shelter to the Maoist rebels," West Midnapore police superintendent R.K. Singh told IANS by telephone.
"The villagers openly made it clear that they will chase the Maoists and also help the police arrest them. They said they would not hesitate to kill these extremist elements, if needed," he said.
The public meeting at Belpahari was jointly called by tribal organisations Bharat-Jakat-Majhi-Marwa organisation and Jowan-Gaonwa organisation. Villagers from various parts of the district participated in the rally with improvised weapons and drums and demonstrated in front of the makeshift podium as part of their token protest against the Maoist atrocities.
"The tribals have admitted that they're misled by the Maoist leaders into standing up against the district administration and the police," said Singh.
Belpahari, a forest area under the Dama Hills, is about 45 km from Jhargram town.
Trouble erupted in West Midnapore district after the district police allegedly arrested some school students and heckled tribal women after an attempted landmine ambush of the convoy of West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at Bhadutala near Salboni last month. Union ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitin Prasada were also in the convoy. Four policemen were injured in the blast.
Participating in a violent protest, the tribals dug up metalled roads and placed large tree trunks across them, virtually cutting off the region from the rest of the district.
The region witnessed a series of protests, as the villagers had demanded a public apology from the district police for the alleged excesses committed against them during the course of investigation into the landmine blast
MANGALORE: The heightened naxal activity has not only instilled fear in the minds of villagers residing close to Kudremukh National Park (KNP), but also has ensured that there are no takers for the vacant posts in the Forest Department.
the acute shortage of forest officers and guards has severely crippled the normal activities of the Forest Department, sources told to this website’s newspaper.
Tthree among the four existing regional forest offices in KNP, do not have range Forest Officers (RFO).
Kollur, Karkala and Kudremukh regional forest offices which are infested with naxals have no Forest Officers. Only Belthangady office has a RFO.
the posts have been lying vacant for six months. Sources informed that a new batch of officers appointed to the posts have not assumed charge fearing their safety. absence of motivation and incentive packages have discouraged candidates to take up jobs in forest department.
On the other hand, Anti-naxal Force (ANF) personnel, besides sophisticated arms also receive an attractive pay package. demand for an incentive package on the lines of ANF has been pending with the government for three years now, sources informed. department, due to old vehicles requiring frequent repairs, is often grounded.
Naxals say he was a police informer
Did being a police informer cost Keshav his life? “Yes”, say the villagers. the hand bills left behind on the assassination spot by the naxals hint at the same. ‘Devarabalu encounter: Police mahithidara Keshavanige takka shikshe’ (Tthe right punishment to police informer Keshav), read one of the hand bills found at the residence of Keshav Yadiyala, who was shot dead by a group of four naxals, at Hallihole, near Devarabalu of Kundapura..
He wasn’t, say police
A a ccording to Udupi SP Pravin Pawar, the naxals fired four bullets - three on Keshav’s rib and one on his hand. Though the naxal hand bills claimed that Keshav was a police informer, the SP said he was not
NEW DELHI: It was, once again, the tribal votes that helped the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) win the Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh. The party managed to bag 23 of the 29 reserved Scheduled Tribes seats in the State, leaving six to the Congress, including the former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi’s Marwahi seat.
The BJP did incredibly well in the Bastar division where it won 11 of the 12 seats as against nine in the 2003 elections. The show in the northern part of the State was equally good as the BJP put 10 of the 14 Assembly segments into its kitty.
The surprise for the BJP in the naxal-affected Bastar division came from Dantewada and Bijapur seats, which it wrested from the Congress. Dantewada was, for years, considered a stronghold of the Congress stalwart and champion of ‘Salwa Judum’ movement Mahindra Karma who was a strong contender for the Chief Minister’s post. The contest here was believed to be between Mr. Karma and the Communist Party of India candidate Manish Kunjam.
BJP’s Bhimram Mandavi was a surprise win but certainly not a fluke as he secured 12,000 votes more than his nearest CPI rival.
An analysis of the results shows that the controversial Salwa Judum movement (government-sponsored anti-naxal group) did not actually impact the poll outcome. If it had, either Mahindra Karma or ‘Salwa Judum’ opponent Manish Kunjam would have won. It was, in all probability, the BJP’s stand on the naxal movement coupled with the subsidised rice and the influence wielded by the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram networks of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) that earned them votes.
In 2003, the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashrams — providing education (including religious knowledge) and hostels — to children from the tribal areas had made the BJP popular in the tribal belt. This time, subsidised rice and implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme gave a further push. The lack of a united stand on naxalism pushed the voters away from the Congress.
Had Salwa Judum been the issue — though naxalism was — the voting pattern would have been decisive either for Mr. Karma or Mr. Kunjam. It would also not be correct to say that the BJP received the votes of the Salwa Judum-displaced people living in the government camps because a majority of them could not vote as they had no photo identity cards.
Also, the BJP’s impressive performance in the northern part cannot be explained on the basis of Salwa Judum because there is no such movement in Surguja region.
The Congress also faced a crisis of tribal leadership. Mr. Jogi did project himself as the tribal leader and the prospective Chief Minister but when people compared him with Chief Minister Raman Singh’s image of a “thorough gentleman,” he lost out, due to the numerous controversies surrounding him.
Keshav Yadiyal was killed by a group of suspected naxalites at Yedageri on December 7.
Dr. Acharya also handed over Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s condolence letter to Keshav Yadiyal’s family members.
Kundapur MLA Halady Srinivas Shetty and Byndoor MLA K. Lakshminarayana, Inspector-General of Police (Western Range) A.M. Prasad, Deputy Commissioner P. Hemalatha and Superintendent of Police Pravin Pawar were all present on the occasion.
NAGPUR: Naxal cadres from Chhattisgarh, according to intelligence input, in substantial numbers have been transferred with arms and ammunitions to
join their counterparts in Maharashtra. Sources in Gadchiroli police said that the Chhattisgarhi cadres are joining to strengthen the depleted Maharashtra dalams facing acute manpower crisis and to make their presence felt.
Of late, it has been learnt that Naxals are trying to adopt traditional strategy of targeting the unguarded or remote-located government institutions, administrative offices and organistions to pick up their nose-dived tempo of anti-government works.
Officials of the Gadchiroli district police, labelling the recent approach as a reverse-geared act, said that the Maoists seem to have reverted to their old tactics of setting afire village schools run by government, gram-panchayat, tehsil or other taluka-level offices, forest department godowns, towers of telephone and electricity and others public properties to destroy government moves to initiate developmental works in the interiors.
“At present, they have no strength of manpower after two mob surrenders, encounters and arrests to conduct any major operation targeting police stations or other establishments. Maoists have no other option but to attack soft targets in remote villages. In fact, the local dalams have come under threat of existence due to drying up of manpower pool and other resources. I have heard that they are transferring their cadres from Chhatisgarh to sustain operation here,” said Rajesh Pradhan, superintendent of police, Gadchiroli.
Pradhan also pointed out that a recent document seized in the operation has indicated that out of 13 recruits have joined the movement in last two years but 10 of them have deserted it too by now. “We are taking guard against the Maoist strategies of targeting the government institutions. This is merely a nuisance step to keep their presence alive in public memory. Though they consider police and other government forces as most prominent enemies, government institutions remain easy targets to ensure their image of terror remains alive on the public psyche,” said Pradhan.
Recently, Maharashtra and Chhatisgarh police conducted a week-long intelligence-based joint combing operation of area dominance along the state borders to flush out the jungle-based cadres. Around 300 personnel were deployed to undertake the operation in the last week of November.
Congress leaders claim that it was the result in Bastar, located in the state's southern part and having 11 seats reserved for the Scheduled Tribes candidates, which denied the party a chance to stage a comeback.
Iron-ore rich Bastar region comprises five districts - Dantewada, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Kanker and Bastar, and is under the influence of Maoists, who run a parallel government in the thickly-forested interiors. Since 2004, the rebels have killed over 1,100 persons including 726 civilians.
Congress held complete sway over the region in the 1998 poll but the party was stunned in the 2003 assembly election when it only managed to win only three seats while being defeated on the other nine by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which formed its first government in the state Dec 2003.
However, the 2008 poll was the worst-ever performance for Congress in Bastar, with the party only winning Konta in Dantewada district, where its candidate Kawasi Lakhma won for the third consecutive time, but only by a margin of 192 votes.
Even, the efforts of Congress general secretary and party MP, Rahul Gandhi, who addressed a public meeting at Jagdalpur, the district headquarters of Bastar district, did not help the party avoid the debacle.
"The party has never thought Bastar will hand over such a worst defeat to Congress. It seems unbelievable that people dumped Mahendra Karma, the leader of the opposition and architect of the civil militia movement 'Salwa Judum'," Congress spokesman Ramesh Varlyani told IANS.
Karma, who was expecting to register his third consecutive victory from Dantewada, was defeated by his rival from BJP, which won the seat for the first time. He came third, even trailing the Communist Party of India candidate.
The BJP has won 50 seats in the state with Congress settling for 38 while the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) bagged two.
"I accept the peoples' verdict and we will play the role of a responsible opposition party but the most stunning factor of 2008 results is Congress getting wiped out from Bastar," Ajit Jogi, Congress leader and the state's first chief minister, told reporters Tuesday.
State Congress president Dhanendra Sahu faxed his resignation to party president Sonia Gandhi Tuesday owning moral responsibility of the party's defeat. Sahu, who contested from Abhanpur seat in Raipur district -- his home turf -- lost the election too.
Monday, December 08, 2008
In the wake of the Nov. 26 attacks in Mumbai, India’s ruling Congress party is desperately trying to demonstrate at home and abroad that concrete steps are being taken to improve India’s national security. After Home Minister Shivraj Patil was replaced Nov. 30, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pledged to strengthen maritime and air security, expand the National Security Guard and create a Federal Investigating Agency. Playing political musical chairs and expanding an already bloated bureaucracy, however, are unlikely to assuage the fears of Western corporations who now seriously doubt the capabilities of India’s internal security forces.
As the blame game in India intensifies, reports are now emerging that the Indian authorities actually had received intelligence from the United States more than a month in advance that warned of a pending attack by sea on Mumbai. Additionally, a pair of Islamist radicals from the Kashmiri group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) captured in early 2007 reportedly revealed during their interrogations that they and six other LeT members had arrived in Mumbai from Karachi via boat, split into pairs, headed to safe-houses provided by local supporters, and conducted pre-operational surveillance on a number of targets including the Oberoi and Taj Mahal hotels. Even an Indian fishermen’s union has now claimed that it warned the government that militants were using sea routes to smuggle ammunition beginning in September. Despite these warnings, the security forces in Mumbai were extremely ill-prepared to pre-empt the attack or to respond rapidly to contain the operation once it was in motion.
From a broader perspective, the Mumbai attacks are a stark demonstration that India’s security and counterterrorism assets are simply too poorly funded and organized to comprehensively address the militant threats faced by the country.
The Indian Threat Environment
India has a number of internal security threats that continue to drain the nation’s resources. In the Northeast, porous borders and the general lawlessness enable foreign intelligence agencies and other militant organizations to funnel people and weapons into India proper. Scores of tribal-based separatist movements in this region have long waged militant campaigns against each other and against the state. The most notable of these groups is the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), which, alongside other militant outfits in the region, gets backing from Pakistan’s and Bangladesh’s intelligence agencies, who have an interest in keeping India’s hands tied.
India’s most active militant threat comes from Naxalites, or Maoist rebels, who have been waging a 40-year popular insurrection against the government. The Naxalites have a force of approximately 15,000 cadres spread across 160 districts in the states of Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka and West Bengal. They operate primarily in the lawless, densely forested areas of India’s interior and use populist issues such as land acquisition for special economic zones, farmer rights, infrastructure development and opposition to corporate expansion to justify their militant campaign. Due to their strong support networks and proven ability to outmaneuver Indian paramilitary forces, the Naxalites have in many ways lived up to Singh’s claim that they represent India’s most serious internal security threat.
The threat that receives the most attention, however, is concentrated in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, where Islamist radicals aim to coerce India into ceding Muslim-majority Kashmir to Pakistan through a militant campaign. The Kashmiri Islamist groups have operated under a variety of different names, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami and al-Badr. Many of these groups were developed and nurtured by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, but were forced to go underground after the Pakistani state came under pressure from both India and the United States in 2002 in the wake of a major attack on the Indian parliament. Since then, the links between the Pakistani state and its proxies in India have become murkier, with many of these groups becoming more autonomous and more closely linked to elements of al Qaeda in Pakistan as well as so-called ISI rogues who long ago had gone native with the jihadist ideology.
The Director of National Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency's Office of the Chief Scientist have announced the 2009 IC POSTDOC competition.
Through this competition, OCS expects to make awards in specific research topics. All submissions undergo a rigorous competitive evaluation and are selected on merit, relevance to the Intelligence Community (IC) mission, and available funding. Depending on the quantity and quality of proposals received, OCS may not make award(s) under a particular research topic. If more funds become available, additional awards may be made at a later date based on initial evaluation results. Typically each award will be for a period of two years (funded incrementally). A third year may be awarded based on continued relevance of the topic, as well as progress and participation of the recipient.
The full announcement lists all of the many specific research areas the community is interested in funding in 2009, but here is small sample of topics that caught my eye:
- Predicting How New Internet Technologies Will Enable the Formation of Groups and Their Subsequent Collective Actions
- Mobile Technology Applications, Social Networking and Behavior Change within the Socio-cultural Context of Emerging Economies
- Social Science Modeling in Tribal Regions
- Group Behavior, Socio-cultural Variables and the Internet
Methods and Techniques for Computing Pairwise Similarity on Large Text Collections The cutoff for questions is January 9, 2009, and best of luck to those that are considering applying.
About a dozen posters by an ultra group - 'Krantikari Kishan Committee' - were pasted at different places at Bisra including the wall of the police station last night, causing panic among the people.
Police had seized about 20 similar Maoist posters written in red ink from Orissa-Jharkhand boardering villages of Tulsikani, Jharbera, Kokerama, Bhalulata, Kaliaposh and other rural tribal villages under Bisra police limit five days ago.
The ultras have wanted capital punishment to those indulging in smuggling, gambling, crimes against women and encouraging superstitions.
Police has strengthened its patrolling in the entire Bisra police limit under Rourkela police district.
Jamshedpur, Dec. 7: Four railway stations under the Chakradharpur division of South Eastern Railway (SER) — Tatanagar, Chakradharpur, Jharsuguda and Rourkela — are set to get extra security cover as part of the Integrated Security System (ISS), an initiative of the Railway Protection Force (RPF).
RPF officials at Tatanagar said that the four stations would get a number of security equipment at a cost of around Rs 5 crore per station.
Work for implementing the ISS is expected to start in a month’s time.
RPF commandant in the Chakradharpur division Abhishek Kumar said that the ISS system would ensure foolproof security at the important railway stations in this division.
Some of the proposed components of the new system include closed-circuit televisions, sniffer dogs, baggage-screening system and explosive detection and disposal systems.
All the important railway stations would be equipped with electronic surveillance, hand-held and door-frame metal detectors, X-ray baggage scanners and quick response teams to meet any kind of terror attack in the future.
Specially trained RPF personnel would be deployed for better handling of the new system.
The new system also envisages better co-ordination between the Railway Protection Force, the Government Railway Police and the state police for thwarting any kind of attack on these sensitive platforms.
Ensuring that the important railway stations have only single exit route would be one of the major initiatives of the RPF for ensuring that the system works effectively.
“Presently, there are a number of exit routes from the platform. These would be plugged to ensure proper implementation of the security system. There would be a single exit route at these platforms from where we would check the passenger and their luggage,” said an RPF official here.
Boundary walls would also be constructed around the stations to ward off both terrorist and Naxalite threats, he said.
The Chakradharpur division of the South Eastern Railway is significant as a number of important trains to Mumbai and New Delhi pass through this route. After the Mumbai terror attack, the RPF had increased the security at Tatanagar and Rourkela railway stations.
Kundapur, Dec 8: Naxals gunned down a local BJP leader and farmer Keshav Yadiyala, at Hallihole, near here, on the night of Sunday December 7.
Sixty-year-old Yadiyala, a resident of Aksharapalu in Hallihole, was watching TV with his family when four armed naxals including two women arrived at his house. The naxals dragged Yadiyala out into the courtyard and tied him to a tree and the two women gunned him down. Meanwhile, the other naxals locked the entire family in a room, searched the house, and took away mobile handsets and money.
The naxals then dumped Yadiyala’s body in their own jeep and set it ablaze. One of them reportedly, later informed the media about the incident and said Yadiyala was slain for being a police informer. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, and two sons.
It is said that Yadiyala had provided police with information that led to a police encounter in 2005 at Devarabalu and the murder is in retaliation
Assam’s new director-general of police (DGP), Mr G.M. Srivastava, who took charge recently, said the Assam police had received information that around 70 Ulfa members are now in China’s Yunan province. This, however, is yet to be confirmed. Confirming the DGP’s claim, highly-placed security sources in the home ministry said it had specific information that at least 20 Ulfa men had entered Yunan, and that this number could have gone up.
VISAKHAPATNAM: Tribal youth and children are on the run. While Maoists have let loose a wave of terror in tribal villages as part of the ongoing
People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) week celebrations, parents are worried as Maoists have come out with a recruitment scheme forcing villagers to give one child --either boy or girl --in the family to join them.
Though increasing use of child soldiers has been reported from Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Jharkhand in the past, this is for the first time that Maoists are recruiting tribals in the age group of 10-18 years along the Andhra-Orissa Border. "With Tamil Tigers successfully using this strategy in their war against the Sri Lankan government, the Maoists have also started banking on children heavily,'' an analyst said.
Sources said the Maoists have specifically targeted Pappuluru, Kappatotti, Naguluru, Tarigetta, Chintagunnal, Kuntawada, Sanyasiguda, Nimmalapadu, Doraguda, Gassiguda and Allurukota villages located on the other side of Sileru river and near to G K Veedhi mandal for their recruitment drive.
Worried over the depleting cadre strength, the party's Malkangiri division has decided to fill up the vacant slots in the platoons and area committees. The Maoists have threaten villagers and ask them to send a minimum of 10 children from each panchayat to join them.
"If the parents ignore their call, the Maoists swoop on the villages in the night and take away kids,'' sources said. "If we refuse to join the rebels, they will beat us. No place is safe for us,'' a teenager said.
Nearly 100 children fled to neighbouring villages of Sileru, Koraput, Jaipore and Viskhapatnam. "Some parents have sent their wards to remote places to safeguard them against the Maoist move,'' the sources said.
The sources said the Maoists gave training to kids to collect information on cops, handle sophisticated weapons and plant mines. "The young recruits are also engaged to collect intelligence inputs on police stations, deliver messages and procure food,'' a police officer involved in anti-Naxal operations said.
Stating that 90% of the members of the cultural outfits of Maoist wings are below 16 years, a senior cop in anti-insurgency operations said: "Maoists use kids in their propaganda war against the government and security forces.''
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Rahe (Ranchi), Dec. 5: In a first-of-its-kind attack in the state, Maoist guerrillas stabbed five special task force (STF) jawans before shooting them at a village market here this afternoon.
Around 2.15pm, the jawans were returning to Rahe outpost of Bundu police station after finishing duty at the State Bank of India branch here, about 6km from the market, when 25-odd rebels — all in plain clothes — ambushed them.
According to police, the jawans were stabbed with knives before being shot.
The jawans — identified as Bhalku Lakra (26), Pintu Kumar Singh (27), Vinod Kumar Oraon (29), Ranjeet Kerketta (26) and Vishnu Dayal Yadav (29) — had joined the force about four years ago.
“At least five Maoists were there to take on each jawan, returning from the bank to the outpost on foot. The rebels dragged the jawans to different places in the market, stabbed and shot them before the men in uniform could even react. We are not certain whether the Naxalites used looted Insas rifles from the jawans or brought firearms,” senior police superintendent M.S. Bhatia said.
Bhatia added that at least one rebel sustained injury during the scuffle with STF jawans. “We noticed bloodstains on the path leading to the Rahe river, about 500 metres from the market, which has about 60 shops. It appears that the rebels rescued some of their injured friends from the spot before the police could reach them,” he added.
Even at 4pm, bloodstains were clearly visible at three places at the Rahe market, about 47km from Ranchi (picture by Prashant Mitra on left). “While we recovered bodies of two jawans at one place, bodies of three others were found some metres away from the first spot,” one of the police officers said.
The police said the villagers were not co-operating in the investigations. None of them were there when the police team reached the spot, about 15km from Bundu. “A shop owner at the market did not even hesitate to say that it was not his duty to help the police in the investigation,” said Bundu police station inspector Vijay Kumar.
Kumar added that Yadav was to go on a five-day leave from tomorrow. “The leave had been granted as his wife was seriously ill at his village in Buxar,” he said: “but he could only perform the duty of a policeman, not a husband.”
Late in the evening, director-general of police V.D. Ram visited the spot.
BHADRACHALAM: Andhra Pradesh Police averted a Maoist attack with the arrest of three extremists from whom a large cache of explosives was seized on
Khammam District Police recovered 50 gelatin sticks and 50 detonators from Madavi Pandu, Madakam Joga and Kovvasi Somda, who are commanders of different Maoists groups active in Chattisgarh state, Bhadrachalam sub-divisional police officer Shashidhar Raju said on Sunday.
The three ultras confessed that they were on their way to plant land mines on Dummugudem-Maralgudem road on Andhra Pradesh-Chattishgarh border with an intention to kill police parties traveling through the road, he said.
The three ultras were arrested by Dummugudem Police during a routine security check-up in view of the observance of black day near Mulakapadu cross roads yesterday.
They were earlier involved in land mine blasts on December 20 last year that claimed lives of 12 police personnel near Tharlagonda village under Gollapalli police station in Chattisgarh, the police official said.
The three ultras reportedly told police that they were on a mission to plant land mines on the instructions of Alem Bhaskar alias Sukdev, Venkatapuram Area Committee secretary. Further investigations were on.
Sunday, December 07, 2008, (Hyderabad)
As many as 63 surrendered Naxalites on Sunday met Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and complained of "continued harassment" by the police.
These former Naxalites from Guntur district told the Chief Minister that they had given up arms and surrendered before the police to join the mainstream of society a few years ago.
However, police continued to pick them up and harass constantly. "Some cases have also been filed against us even after our surrender," they lamented. They sought a "general pardon" like the one granted to surrendered militants in Nagaland and lifting of all pending cases against them.
The Chief Minister promised to look into their grievances, according to official sources.
Chief minister Shibu Soren pays homage to the slain jawans during their funeral in Ranchi on Saturday. Picture by Manik Bose
Ranchi, Dec. 6: Seven persons were detained today in connection with the Naxalite attack at Rahe market yesterday afternoon.
A massive manhunt too was launched to arrest the killers of five special task force jawans. But no significant breakthrough has been made as yet.
Sources in the special branch said that the rebels executed this attack to avenge the killing of their leader Ghasi Ram Munda in an encounter with the police in Nawadih village last Saturday. His two associates too were arrested.
“We have detained seven persons. They are being interrogated. The combing operations too are on,” said police spokesperson S.N. Pradhan.
Maoists, suspected to be linked to Kundan Pahan group, attacked the special task force team while they were walking back to Rahe outpost after finishing duty at the SBI branch. All the five jawans were first stabbed and then shot dead with their own Insas rifles.
Ranchi senior superintendent of police M.S. Bhatia said Ghasi Ram was the mastermind behind the killing of JD-U MLA Ramesh Singh Munda. He was also involved in the Rs 5.07-crore loot of ICICI Bank on May 21 and the landmine ambush killed Bundu sub-divisional police officer Pramod Kumar.
Senior officers at the police headquarters said that lack of regular training and over-confidence of slain jawans proved to be nightmare again.
The victims had also flouted safety measures, said one of the officers.
They admitted that running regular training programmes for all the jawans was not possible because of shortage of workforce.
“The jawans were repeatedly told that they should avoid moving on foot at crowded places with weapons. Under extreme circumstances, if they have to do so, more precautions should be taken,” said another senior officer.
Chief minister Shibu Soren today paid homage to the slain jawans. He termed the incident “unfortunate” and added that the rebels have changed their strategies. A considerable political significance is being attached to Soren’s “mysterious silence”, also because he is likely to contest the Tamar bypoll
PATNA: In a major haul, the Patna police seized a big cache of ammunition of various calibre and arrested five persons engaged in clandestine
supply of these to naxalites, police said.
Acting on a tip-off that some smugglers engaged in supply of illegal firearms and ammunition were trying to sneak into the state capital, the police late last night intercepted three vehicles at the Zero Mile near Mahatma Gandhi bridge over the Ganga, senior superintendent of police Amit Kumar said.
During the search of the vehicles, 500 cartridges of .315 calibre rifles, 400 of .32 pistols and 11 rounds of 12 bore shotgun, besides one 9 mm pistol with an additional magazine were seized, he said.
The smugglers identified as Rajiv Kumar Singh, Arvind Kumar Singh, Ajay Kumar Pandey, Rakesh Kumar Pandey and Merazul Haq were arrested and being interrogated.
The city police had on November 17 arrested ten members of a gang of firearms smugglers near Gandhi Maidan and seized three rifles, besides Rs 5.2 lakh cash from them.
The inter-state gang was involved in supplying weapons and ammunition to various naxalite outfits, including CPI (Maoist), Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC) as also criminals.
Malkangiri, Dec 6: Four personnel of Odisha State Armed Police (OSAP) have been abducted by armed Maoists in this naxalite-infested district of Odisha.
The policemen were taken away by a group of armed extremists on Friday evening, according to the police.
The four jawans were travelling in a private Commander jeep from Chitrakonda market to reach their camp in the cut-off area under Tapadamatla police station when about a dozen armed men stopped the vehicle near Panasgandi forest and asked about the identity of those inside the vehicle.
On knowing that four of the passengers were policemen, the extremists took them away at gun point while allowing the vehicle to proceed forward on its route carrying others.
A search operation has been launched in the area and coming operation had been intensified to trace the missing jawans, according to Satyabrata Bhoi, Superintendent of Police in Malkangiri.
There was no information about the abducted jawans till Saturday noon.
The Maoists are observing the People Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) Week from Tuesday.
Two Naxalites were killed in a gun battle with the police near a village in Bijapur area of Chhattisgarh on Friday.
The exchange of fire took place when the extremists were trying to attack a police camp near Pamalvaia village in Bijapur area, Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) A N Upadhya said.
A rifle and explosives were recovered from the site, he said.
The Naxalites attacked the Chhattisgarh Armed Police Force (CAF) camp, following which the police returned fire, killing two of them, Upadhya said.
Chhattisgarh is one of the most naxal affected states of India.
BHUBANESWAR: First came the Maoist posters. Then their movement on City outskirts.
Rumour mills were only waiting to go on the overdrive on Saturday. City Police had a tough time answering queries on Maoist movements in malls, super markets and even in residential areas.
It started when Kharavela Nagar Police received a call over such activities. Then more calls followed and then the rumour mills started working overtime. From Big Bazar to Vishaal, from Sahid Nagar Police limits to Airfield Police Station, there was no end to it.
Posted: Dec 07, 2008 at 0027 hrs IST
Hemant Karkare (1954-2008)
‘Every time we had to make a presentation before the Pay Commission, he would be called upon. He was a classic orator.’
Additional commissioner of police, ATS, Sukhwinder Singh recalls asking Hemant Karkare, on their way back from a press conference on the Malegaon blast investigation, how he kept his temper under control in the face of allegations hurled by the press on national networks. “I have become sober after working with him for five months,” says Singh, “He never lost his cool. I never saw him angry.”
Today, the entire force, from the IPS to the constabulary, recalls the man who stood for them and always “led from the front”, as Singh puts it. Something that Karkare did that fateful night too, when Terror struck Mumbai. Officer Dinesh Aggarwal, who called him immediately after the ATS controls got the alert, cannot forget the last call: “I immediately called him to update him, and told him that I was leaving for the spot with arms, to which he replied, ‘Aggarwal, I am at the spot.’ ”
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www.Livemocha.comAds By GoogleWhile the family hasn’t yet emerged from the shock, close colleague Parambir Singh, additional commissioner of police, ATS, still can’t believe that the man who always called him on the office phone in the morning and simply said “Haan, main bol raha hoon (yes, it’s me),” is no more. Parambir was at the Oberoi when he heard firing coming from the direction of Vidhan Bhavan. He rushed to find a bleeding constable who told him that three officers, including Karkare, had been shot.
It has been a week and Parambir still can’t gather words to describe his “guru”. Parambir’s association with Karkare goes back to the 1990s, when Karkare had joined as SP at Chandrapur, and Parambir as ASP. “Even today, if the department has photographs and leads on the naxalites, including names like Kranti Randiv, it’s because of the operation we did when he was SP at Chandrapur. I have done the maximum operations under his tenure and we have conducted raids as far as Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. Before the raids, everyone knew the naxal leaders as Annas, it’s only under his tenure that we finally put faces to them.”
For Parambir, the “loss is huge”, as he recalls his “workaholic” colleague with great fondness. Even when Karkare was in RA&W, and posted in Vienna, he was in touch with him for errands like school updates of his children. “He was artistic and very systematic in his approach to work,” Parambir says—every day would begin with “to-do lists” with accurate briefings and updated comments. The only time a smile breaks across his face is when he recalls the erratic eating habits of Karkare. “I would see him skip his lunch or dinner sometimes. Once he got engrossed in work, there was no stopping him. There have been days when I told him to pack some sandwiches and snack on them between breaks. He would listen politely, but skip his lunch again for another meeting.”