Saturday, January 24, 2009

Five Maoists gunned down in Chhattisgarh

National, Sat, 24 Jan 2009 IANS

Raipur, Jan 24 (IANS) Five Maoist insurgents were killed in a shootout with a police team in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh late Saturday evening, a top police official said.

The shootout took place when the joint team of the Chhattisgarh police and Special Police Officers (SPOs) came face-to-face with a group of Maoists in a thickly forested area under the Bhairamgarh police station of Bijapur district, about 400 km south of here, according to Director General of Police Pawan Deo.

'We have recovered five bodies including four in the uniform of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist. Some arms were also recovered from the insurgents,' he said.

In another development in the Maoist-violence hit Bastar region, police unearthed a gun factory run by the rebels in Narayanpur district.

Two Naxalites held

Published: January 24,2009

Bhubaneswar , Jan 24 Two Naxalites, wanted in many crimes, were arrested from the residence CPI (ML-Janashakti) functionary here today, police said.

The duo had been identified as Chakradhar Haiburu (junior) and one of his associates Paresh Mahanto.

A large number of cases including murder, extortion and kidnapping were pending against the two, they said.

Haiburu is also a close associate of hardcore Maoist leader Anna Reddy, who was arrested from a private hospital here last year when he visited his ailing girl friend there.

On a tip-off, a police team led by Jajpur district Superintendent of Police D S Kute raided the party functionary&aposs house in Dumduma area of the city and nabbed the two, police said.

Six bidders rekindle highway hope


NH-33 project makes headway
Ranchi, Jan. 23: The Ranchi-Rargaon-Jamshedpur 163.5-km road project, which is part of National Highway 33, found takers on the last day of the initial bidding.

The over Rs 1,400-crore project, which would be executed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) as part of phase-III of the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP), received bids from six construction majors, including many from south Indian states.

A Delhi-based NHAI official told The Telegraph that the six bidders include KMC Construction, IVRCL Infrastructure and Projects Limited, BSCPL Infrastructure Private Limited (all from Hyderabad), Madhu Con, DSC Limited and GVK.

Today was the last date to apply for the project being undertaken on Build, Operate & Transfer (BOT) toll basis. Sale for the bid papers started on November 20, 2008, with January 3, 2009, being the last date. This was extended to January 12 and finally to January 23.

NHAI sources said construction majors were earlier reluctant to invest in Jharkhand due to Naxalite threats, poor law and order situation and political instability.

NHAI general manager Lieutenant Colonel Chandan Vatsa, who is overseeing the project, told The Telegraph after initial hiccups six construction majors had finally sent their bids.

Vatsa said the authorities would now assess the technical bids and ultimately select construction majors to take part in the final bidding project some time soon.

NHAI has failed thrice to get a bidder in the past few years for the proposed four-lane project between Hazaribagh and Ranchi, a 75-km stretch within NH-33 itself under the BOT-toll basis.

Ultimately, the planning commission decided to convert the same under BOT-annuity. But the project, which is in the financial bidding stage, is taking time, as one of the three final bidders is Maytas Infrastructures, which at present is in a financial quagmire.

Under BOT-toll, the contractors are supposed to invest the entire project cost and realise the same by collecting toll taxes for the next 30 years.

Under BOT-annuity, although the construction company would invest the entire project cost, it will receive a fixed annual sum as annuity from the government, which would ensure that the former gets back its invested money.

NHAI has decided to extend the date for financial bidding of the over Rs 580-crore Hazaribagh-Ranchi project to January 27, which has been hanging in balance since 2000.

Naxalite bandh paralyses Palamau for days


A deserted bus stand in Chatra. Telegraph picture
Ranchi, Jan. 23: For the past three days, residents of Chatra and Palamau have been living an unusual life.

They have not come out of their homes, children are not going to school while shops and business establishments have remained closed. All out of fear of People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI) that has called a week-long bandh in the two districts. Though the bandh was called off today at Palamau, normal life continued to be affected in Chatra.

The worst affected areas in the district are Tandwa and Pathargadda. “Police tried to run buses, but the drivers and conductors were not willing to work while the passengers preferred to remain at home. People are so terrified of Naxalites that they are not willing to take any risks,” a resident said. Latehar MLA Prakash Ram admitted that he did not venture out of home while Daltonganj MLA and former assembly speaker Inder Singh Namdhari said: “I was asked to postpone programmes at remote areas.”

However, Chatra police superintendent Akhilesh Jha maintained that the bandh had no major impact on normal life. “Baring movement of buses, everything was normal. Shops, schools and government offices were open,” he claimed.

Sources said PLFI wants to continue the bandh in Chatra till Monday. “We want to prove our strength in the area as police in the area are patronising Tritiya Prastuti Committee,” a senior member of PLFI said.

Reclusive commandant who took on Naxals

M.F. Ahmed, Hindustan Times
Daltonganj, January 24, 2009
First Published: 00:53 IST(24/1/2009)
Last Updated: 05:16 IST(25/1/2009)

The explosion lifted the landmine-proof vehicle several inches up in the air. Though it withstood the blast, leaving its occupants unharmed, it refused to move once the wheels hit the ground again.

Inside was B.K. Sharma, commandant of the 13th Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force, along with four colleagues, including a state police DIG, Ramlakhan Prasad. The entire platoon was following in three more vehicles.

The platoon was stranded late in the evening of August 22, 2006, on the road from Betla to Garu, 190 km from the state capital, Ranchi.

Immediately afterwards, the firing began from behind the trees, then stopped.

Remaining inside the vehicle would have been suicidal. From his nine-year long experience in Jharkhand combating Naxalites, Sharma knew the firing would soon resume. If the Naxalites had quietened down, it was only because they were not sure how equipped the CRPF jawans were to hit back.

“What they didn’t know –– and thank God they didn’t –– is that we were short of ammunition,” said Sharma. “They would have massacred us otherwise.”

Speaking softly into his walkie-talkie, Sharma instructed his men to take shelter in the forests and use their firepower sparingly. Sure enough, the Naxalites soon began firing again.

“There must have been over 100 of them,” recalled Sharma. “We were about 30, but we had to give the impression that we had many more men and guns than they. While the Naxalites fired indiscriminately, our boys fired intelligently.”

Two jawans were indeed killed in the firing, and two more injured, but the casualties could have been much higher. “The Naxals exhausted their ammunition and ran away,” said Sharma. “We survived to tell the tale.”

This is only the most dramatic of the numerous close shaves Sharma has had during his nine-year stint in Jharkhand.

“What I feel really bad about is the condition of the villagers,” he said. “If they cooperate with us, the Naxalites terrorise them, and if they cooperate with the Naxalites, we have no choice but to be tough with them too.”

Sharma refuses to divulge any personal details. It is not as if he is publicity shy. It’s just that he fears any information he gives away could be used by his principal adversaries –– the Naxalites –– to target him. He is determined not to say a word about his children for fear they may be kidnapped or worse.

Arms factory of naxalites destroyed in Chhattisgarh

1/24/2009 5:45:31 PM

An arms factory being run by Naxalites was destroyed by security personnel in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh on Saturday (January 24), police officials said. Several arms and ammunitions were also seized from the factory premises in the deep jungles, they said.

IG, Bastar, A N Upadhya said that a joint police team comprising CRPF, STF and state police personnel were on a search operation when they sensed some suspected activities near Palebeda village in the dense forests. As they approached the area, extremists started indiscriminate firing on them and fled the scene after security personnel retaliated, he said.

When security personnel reached the village and carried out search operation, they stumbled across an arms factory of the extremists, he said. Police have seized a leth machine-meant for molding iron, a generator, 20 grenades and 10 gun barrels, Upadhya said. Security personnel have begun search operation in the nearby areas to nab the Naxalites, he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

Chhattisgarh: Five Naxals killed in encounter

Raipur (PTI): At least five Naxalites were killed on Saturday in an encounter in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, police said here.

Bastar division Inspector General (IG) A.N. Upadhya told PTI that the ultras had been killed in an encounter with the police in Gondmetta village under Bhairamgarh police station.

According to senior police officials, large quantity of arms and explosives were also recovered from the spot.

Acting on a tip-off, a joint team of the district police force and Special Police Officers (SPOs) reached the village this morning to carry out a search operation when the Naxalites opened firing on them, he said.

Five Naxalites were killed in the return fire, Upadhya added.

Four of the five ultras were found wearing uniforms and three loaded rifles, a 12-bore rifle and several hand grenades were recovered from them, he said.

Upadhya said there was no information about casualties to security personnel

Naxal menace "much bigger" than global terror: Orissa

Bhubaneswar (PTI): Seeking doubling of Central force deployment in extremist-infested areas of the state, Orissa government has described the naxalite problem to be "much bigger" than cross border terrorism.

This view was expressed at a two-day consultation meeting of the Commission on Centre State Relationship (CCSR) that ended here on Wednesday.

As the problem was serious, it was unjustified to leave the responsibility of tackling the menace on the state government alone, Orissa's Panchayati Raj minister Raghuath Mohanty said while presenting the state's case favouring a two-fold increase in deployment of Central forces in Maoist-hit areas.

"In many ways, naxal problem is much bigger than cross border terrorism...Therefore, the nation should tackle it with the same degree of seriousness as in case of terrorism," he said

"It was shocking to find that the Centre reduced the funds meant for modernisation of police in Orissa," the minister said, claiming that the amount had come down to Rs 35 crore from previous year's allocation of Rs 60 crore.

This apart, the state government said it has become difficult to arrange executing agencies and contractors to implement road connectivity works in naxalite-prone districts.

The naxalites try to ensure that no connectivity programme was implemented in tribal areas which have turned into havens for the out-lawed outfits.

"Executing agencies and contractors are unwilling to work in naxal-infested districts", he said adding efforts to provide road connectivity to all such areas had failed.

Chhattisgarh to recruit 4500 personnel to fight Naxalism

24 Jan 2009, 2329 hrs IST, PTI

RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh government has decided to recruit 4500 personnel in its armed forces to deal with Naxal menace in an effective manner, senior
government functionaries said.

State home minister Nankiram Kanwar said that 4500 new constables would be recruited into Chhattisgarh Armed Forces (CAF).

The process of recruitment has already begun and advertisement to this effect would be issued by the end of January, the minister said.

There are about 4500 vacancies lying vacant in various battalions and process has started to fill them up to help the armed force deal Naxal menace in a better manner, he said.

Meanwhile, senior officials with the home department said that Chhattisgarh has 13 CAF battalions out of which nine battalions have been stationed in the Naxal affected areas.

The rest of four battalions have been stationed to deal with the law and order problem in other areas.

Out of the 18 districts in the state, 10 districts are affected by Naxal menace and the state government has deployed more than 30,000 security personnel including CRPF, CAF, SPOs and district police here to deal with the Naxalites, they said.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Maoists wreak havoc in Bihar

PATNA, Jan. 22: Maoist rebels on day long strike in Bihar, set fire to 11 cement-laden trucks and blasted a mobile tower today. They had called for a strike to protest against police atrocities on its arrested cadres and price rise.
Police sources said heavily-armed Maoists in army outfits intercepted 11 trucks laden with cement bags between Tumba and Ranjeetganj villages under the jurisdiction of Tilauthu police station of Rohtas district this morning and set them on fire. Soon after the incident they fled the spot.
In another incident, the Maoists planted explosives near an Airtel tower at Maigra under the jurisdiction of Dumaria police station in Gaya district and then blasted it. Police have initaiated a move to arrest the rebels. n SNS

Sowmya Mishra’s gunman opens fire

Staff Reporter
Physical condition suggests he consumed liquor

The gunman suspended following the incident

HYDERABAD: Panic gripped the highly-secured Andhra Pradesh Special Police (APSP) Quarters at Kondapur in Madhapur on Thursday morning when DIG Sowmya Mishra’s gunman, Lokesh, went on a spree of firing in the air with his 9 mm service pistol.

Policemen initially thought Lokesh had successfully resisted a Maoist attack as he claimed to have seen some persons moving suspiciously. “After searching the area, however, we realised he was hallucinating apparently due to delayed influence of liquor he consumed the previous night,” Ms. Mishra said.

Ms. Mishra worked as SP of Maoist-affected Warangal district before being promoted as DIG and posted to the APSP. Lokesh was on duty from Wednesday morning and supposed to be relieved on Thursday. The DIG was busy getting her children ready for school when three gunshots were heard around 6.30 a.m. The stunned police officer alerted her security personnel even while occupants of other quarters too rushed out. But Lokesh, who was supposed to be standing guard outside the DIG quarters, was not there. Instead, he climbed the roof-top security post and fired six more shots in the air.

Meanwhile, another constable about to join guard duty in a building close to the DIG quarters picked up his service firearm, jumped over the wall and climbed the rooftop security post.

“I opened three rounds in the air outside the quarter and ran up to the rooftop security post to take the guard’s support after noticing suspicious movement. But there was nobody and I opened six more rounds,” Lokesh told his higher-ups. The constable was sent for medical examination.


Ms. Mishra explained that though the medical test report did not confirm he was inebriated, the constable’s physical condition suggested he had consumed liquor. Lokesh, who was suspended following the incident, had earlier worked as gunman for four APSP commandants, served the Greyhounds and also involved in exchange of fire with the Maoists.

SAP jawan, Maoists killed in encounter

23 Jan 2009, 0820 hrs IST, TNN

PATNA: A SAP jawan and a few Maoists were killed in a fierce encounter between the police and naxals at Chaturpatti village under Paro police
station in Muzaffarpur district.

"The deceased jawan has been identified as Om Prakash Tiwary. Some Maoists were also killed in the encounter," said ADG (headquarters) Neelmani. The body of one Maoist has been recovered so far and the search for others continues, he added.

The entire area has been cordoned off and Muzaffarpur SP Sudhanshu Kumar is camping at the encounter site.

Encounter takes place between naxalites and police

Muzaffarpur (Bihar), Jan 22 (PTI) An encounter took place between naxalites and the police here today after the latter raided a village following inputs that unspecified number of ultras were assembled there.
The police raided Chaturpatti village under Paroo police station after receiving specific information that naxalites in unspecified numbers had assembled there, Superintendent of Police Sudhanshu Kumar told PTI.

Naxalites fired at the police team from some houses in the village to which the police retaliated, Kumar, who rushed there with reinforcements from the district headquarters, said.

"The police have cordoned off the village and intermittent firing is on," he said, adding there was no report of any casualty so far.

Reinforcements have been rushed to the scene of encounter from adjoining police stations, he said.

Maoists had called a 24-hour bandh in Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Orissa today to protest price rise and alleged police atrocities. PTI

Maoists torch 11 cement trucks

23 Jan 2009, 0821 hrs IST, TNN

SASARAM: As many as 11 cement-laden trucks were set ablaze in Rohtas district and a mobile tower was blown up in Gaya by Naxalites early on Thursday
during a bandh called by CPI(Maoist).

In Sherghati sub-division of Gaya district, the bandh paralsyed normal life. The nearly 200-km-long stretch of GT Road passing through Gaya to Karmanash of Kaimur also wore a deserted look as there was a sharp decline in the number of heavy vehicles on the stretch which witnesses more than five thousand vehicles every day.

Despite being aware of the presence of Maoists in the area, no precautionary measure was taken by the Rohtas police administration. According to sources, about 50 armed Maoists, many of them females, torched the trucks at Ranjitganj village under Amjhore police station of the district. The trucks were coming after loading the cement from the lone industrial unit of the district, Kalyanpur Banjari Cement Factory.

The Maoists, who had come well prepared to take on the police, executed their operation with ease and did not leave until the trucks had been destroyed. They also shouted anti-administration slogans.

One of the drivers of the ill-fated trucks, Surshan Singh, said the Naxalites also assaulted them with the butt of their guns.

Later, they also blasted a generator set and the system room of a private company-owned mobile tower in the village.

Incidentally, Maoists have set ablaze more than two dozen trucks laden with cement in the last five years.

Shahabad Range DIG A K Ambedkar confirmed the incident and said a combing operation has been launched to nab the Maoists. No arrests have been made, though.

In a related development, the Maoists blew up a BSNL mobile tower in Nayakagawn village under Dumaria police station of Gaya district. SP Mallar Vizhi confirmed the incident. She, however, said the number of Naxals involved in the incident was yet to ascertained.

Feared cops launch tribal school in remotest WB terror area

Abhijit Dasgupta
Kolkata, January 21, 2009

The cops are not always unfeeling, nasty creatures as some of them have shown in Murshidabad district of North Bengal how to rise above the daily rigours of work and help the community. About 45 kilometeres from Murshidabad district and in one of the remotest tribal dominated and Naxalite infested villages, Hijol, the local constabulary have set up a school only for the local populace where they themselves will teach and not only nab criminals.

Basab Dasgupta, superintendent of police, Murshidabad, told India Today that he had been thinking of how to relieve the constables and other work force of the beat station at Hijol from stress and hit upon this idea. A month back, constables went from door to door arguing and convincing the apprehensive tribals to send their children to the proposed school.

"At first, they thought that this was some sort of a ploy as policemen are feared people. But we convinced them saying that it would be compulsory for the parents to be with the kids when they are in the school. √Źn a month, we have got around 200 students and the school was inaugurated officially on Tuesday. We have called it Savera," said Dasgupta.

Dasgupta said that Hijoli was one of the remotest areas of Murshidabad and was very prone to crime. "Also, whenever there are rains, the area is submerged and flooded. The school can only help to light up the lives of the poorest of the poor in Hijol," he said.

A constable and an ASI have been deputed to train the children in physical education, classes for which are held in the early evenings when the sun is still up. "We use texts trashed by students of the affluent schools in Murshidabad and other local schools and use them in Savera. Volunteeers from nearby villages are being approached to increase the teacher strength.

The youngest student was four years old while the eldest was 12 years. "The whole problem hinges on motivation. That is the toughest part, the tribals are scared of us and for them, education and schooling make no sense. We have to educate the parents first," said Dasgupta.

The school would also help the police force reduce the monotony of working in such a remote area. "This has worked. I can see a new enthusiasm among the work force. They feel they are achieving something," Dasgupta said.

He said the next step would be to teach the children the art of gardening. "That is a very invigorating exercise. I have asked some constables to learn how to handle nurseries from the traders in Murshidabad and teach the children various aspects of gardening. It will make the area look beautiful too," he said.

Another plan that Dasgupta has in mind is to get affiliation with another village school some kilometres away but not as remote as Hijol. "We can then begin proper graded classes and segregate the students according to age and intelligence. But that will take time," he said.

PROFILE: Rs 50 lakh: Maoist bounty on this policeman’s head

Ejaz Kaiser , Hindustan Times
Email Author
Raipur, January 22, 2009
First Published: 00:07 IST(22/1/2009)
Last Updated: 01:06 IST(22/1/2009)

The Maoists have put a price of Rs 50 lakh on Inspector Ajitesh Singh’s head. Some among them nearly claimed it on January 9, 2006. Singh’s team, riding on motorcycles, was ambushed. Splinters from five bullets struck him.

Two of them have been surgically removed. Three still remain lodged in different parts of his chest.

“The Maoists enticed us,” recalled Singh. “They set fire to the house of a panchayat leader in an area they largely controlled.” This was Shankarpur village north Chhattisgarh, where Singh was then posted. “Our team went to investigate. Nothing happened. On the way back, just as we thought we were safe, they struck.”

There were three landmine blasts. There were no casualties but they forced the team to halt. Immediately Maoists hidden around started firing. In the shootout, two Maoists were killed and three policemen injured. The worst hit was Singh.

It turned out to be his last encounter with the Maoists.

He has never been the same man since. He has breathing problems and recurring backache. Doctors have warned he’ll lose part of a lung if he undergoes more surgeries to remove the bullets. He might well become unfit for active police service.

Singh was promoted to inspector and posted at the relatively safe Akaltara town in Jangir district. He was recommended for a gallantry award after he was injured, but never got it.

His record comprises eight armed encounters with the Maoists. “It is the dedicated effort of policemen like Ajitesh Singh that has brought about a significant reduction in Naxalite activity in north Chhattisgarh,” said R. K. Vij, Inspector General of Police, Chhattisgarh.

Singh led his first encounter on March 4, 2004, during which the police made their largest ever haul of Naxalite arms and ammunition, and killed a leading member of the group’s state committee, Raman Kodaku.

Singh, 34, is married, with a three-year-old son. “Whether he gets an award or not doesn’t matter. I’m proud of him,” said wife Chhaya.

Born into a large, lower-middle class family of seven siblings, the son of a government schoolteacher, Singh once nursed a strong desire to join the army. He tried twice, but fell ill just before he had to take the physical fitness test. He then joined the state police in 1999. But he maintained his life had been no less dramatic than that of an army man.

“Fighting Naxals is just as demanding as braving the enemy on the battlefield,” he said.

Maoists burn 11 trucks, blow up mobile tower

23 Jan 2009, 0245 hrs IST, TNN

SASARAM: Maoists set on fire 11 cement-laden trucks and blew up a mobile tower during a day-long bandh call given by CPI (Maoist) in five states on
Thursday in protest against alleged torture of Naxals in jails.

The bandh paralysed life and the 200-km-long stretch of Grand Trunk Road from Gaya to Karmanash in Kaimur wore a deserted look as there was a sharp decline in the number of heavy vehicles on the stretch which gets 5,000 vehicles every day.

Despite the presence of Maoists in the area, the Sasaram district administration did not take any preventive measures on the bandh day. According to sources, about 50 armed Maoists, many of them women, torched the trucks in Ranjitganj village. The trucks were coming after loading cement from Kalyanpur Banjari Cement factory.

The Maoists, who had came well prepared to take on police, executed their operation with ease and did not leave until the trucks had been gutted. One of the truck drivers, Surshan Singh, said the Maoists also hit them with the butt of their rifles.

Later, they also blasted a generator set and the systems room of a private company-owned mobile tower in the village. Maoists have set on fire more than two dozen trucks carrying cement in the last five years.

Shahabad Range DIG A K Ambedkar confirmed the incidents and said a combing operation has been launched to nab the Maoists. No arrests have been made, though.

In a related development, the Maoists blew up a BSNL mobile tower at Nayakagawn village under Dumaria police station of Gaya district. SP Mallar Vizhi confirmed the incident. She, however, said the number of Naxals involved in the incident was yet to be ascertained.

The bandh hit movement of vehicles in Jharkhand, but had little impact in Orissa and West Bengal, the two other states where the Naxals had called the bandh

CRPF killed 218 terrorists, lost 67 men in 2008

23 Jan 2009, 0252 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: The CRPF, the lone counter-insurgency central force, killed as many as 218 terrorists, including 103 in Jammu and Kashmir, apprehended
over 2,200 suspected terrorists and recovered 8,744 kilograms of explosives during joint operations with state police forces across the country in 2008.

During the operations, CRPF lost 67 of its personnel.

Though ammonium nitrate and gelatin sticks constitute the maximum of the explosives recovered by the force, the deadly RDX -- which is mainly brought by terrorists from across the border -- accounted for over 800 kg of the seizures.

During the year, over 66,300 rounds of ammunition and 1,723 arms, including AK series rifles and Chinese pistols, were also seized by the force from J&K, the north-east and naxal-affected states.

Besides in J&K and the north-eastern states, CRPF -- the biggest paramilitary force in the country -- is currently deployed in a number of naxal-affected states, including Chhattisgarh, Jhrakhand, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.

"A maximum of 105 out of 270 encounters took place in Chhattisgarh where 26 naxalites were killed, 303 apprehended and two surrendered, followed by Jharkhand where 56 encounters took place, 33 naxalites were killed and 116 apprehended and 16 surrendered," said CRPF spokesperson Ajay Chaturvedi.

150 kg explosive seized, mixed response to Jharkhand bandh

Ranchi, Jan 22 (PTI) The police today recovered 150 kgs of explosive powder from Jharkhand's Chatra area and arrested two suspected ultras during the bandh by the naxalites, which had its impact only in naxal pockets.
The police raided the house of one Javed Khan in Chatra district's boura village, seized the explosive powder and arrested him, Superintendent of Police Akhilesh Jha said.

He said Khan was a sympathiser of the Maoists.

A separate police team arrested a suspected activist of the People's Liberation Front of India (PLFI), identified as Asif Kumar Bhagat, from Gumla district's Kanduatoli village, the police said.

A country-made pistol, cartridges, a mobile phone and PLFI literature were seized from his possession, they said.

Both the CPI(Maoist) and the PLFI have called for a Jharkhand bandh in protest against what the posters of the ultras alleged harassment of their cadets by the police.

The PLFI activists set on fire four motor-bikes on the border areas of Chatra and Balumath, the sources said.

In Palamau's Lohari village, the CPI (Maoist) and the outfit's breakaway group, the Tritiya Prastuti Samiti exchanged gunfire for about 90 minutes, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Palamau range) Nandu Prasad said.

There was no report of any casualties in their turf war.

Bus operators suspended long distance services in Chatra, Hazaribag, Palamau, Gumla, Latehar, East and West Singhbhum.

Some shops in some villages under Ghatsila sub-division in East Singhbhum district remained closed.

The bandh did not have any impact in the Santhal Pargana areas and in other towns of the state. PTI

SAP man, Maoist killed in encounter

Muzaffarpur (Bihar), Jan 22 (PTI) A Special Auxiliary Police (SAP) personnel and a suspected Naxalite were killed in a fierce encounter between the police and CPI(Maoist) guerrillas in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district during the 24-hour bandh called by the ultra-left organisation today.
Om Prakash Tiwari, a constable of SAP created for counter-Naxal operations and campaign against organised crimes, and a suspected naxalite were killed in the encounter at Chaturpatti village under Paroo police station, Additional Director General of Police (Tirhut range) Krishna Chaudhary told PTI.

Chaudhary said there could be more casualties among the naxalites as police had found blood trails in a mustard field, indicating that injured or slain Maoists had been dragged during retreat.

Though Chaudhary said the encounter which broke out in the evening was on till late in the night, ADG (headquarters) Neelmani said in Patna that the it was over and the police have begun a combing operation.

Chaudhary said Muzaffarpur Superintendent of Police Sudhanshu Kumar along with a strong contingent was hot on the trail of the naxalites and intermittent firing was still on.

The encounter began when police raided Chaturpatti village after receiving information that Naxalites in large numbers had assembled there and were planning an offensive.

The police team was fired upon by the Maoists from some houses in the village, drawing retaliatory fire by the police.

The village was cordoned off and, in a bid to break the siege, the naxalites engaged the police in a fierce encounter.

The Maoists called a 24-hour bandh today in Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Orissa to protest price rise and alleged police atrocities on their comrades. PTI

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Three Maoists gunned down in Andhra Pradesh

January 20th, 2009 - 7:37 pm ICT by IANS -

Hyderabad, Jan 20 (IANS) The Andhra Pradesh police Tuesday gunned down three Maoist guerrillas, including a woman rebel, in a shootout. The shootout took place in the agency area of Visakhapatnam district in north coastal Andhra pradesh, about 600 km from here.

The police said their patrol squad engaged in combing operations in the Aberupadu forests came face to face with a group of Maoists.

The guerrillas belonging to the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) opened fire on the police team, forcing them to retaliate.

Three Maoists were killed in the exchange of fire, which lasted for about half-an-hour. There were no casualties among the police. The police recovered three weapons and kit bags from the scene.

Maoists, whose movement has considerably weakened in the state during the past three years, are believed to be more active in north coastal region bordering Orissa.

A top police official said in end-December that the Maoist violence has touched lowest ebb ever in the state with 30 percent decline in the extremist activities during 2008.

More than 6,000 people have been killed in Maoist violence in the state since 1969, when Srikakulam district in north coastal Andhra witnessed the first armed uprising by landless peasants.

The CPI-Maoist lost over 300 cadres, including several top leaders, during the last three years.

The state has been a traditional stronghold of Maoists, who claim to be fighting for poor and oppressed in the rural areas.

Four Maoist rebels arrested in Jharkhand

January 20th, 2009 - 9:19 pm ICT by IANS - xSend to a Friend:

Ranchi, Jan 20 (IANS) Four rebels of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) were arrested from two places in Jharkhand Tuesday, the police said. According to the police, three Maoist rebels including the sub zonal commander of CPI-Maoist, Nitish Yadav was arrested from the Palamau district, some 190 km from Ranchi Tuesday.

The police said that Yadav alias Sanjay Yadav alias Mantriji was the mastermind behind the landmine blast in which six security personnel lost their lives in Latehar district last week.

The police seized Rs.130,000, one pistol, live cartridges from the three arrested rebels.

Another Maoist rebel, Ratu Badaik, was arrested from Gumla district. Police seized one country made revolver from Badaik.

Maoist rebels are active in 18 of the 24 districts of Jharkhand. In the last seven years, nearly 1,400 people including 744 civilians and 320 security personnel have been killed.

Biggest terror threat is from Maoists

Express News Service First Published : 20 Jan 2009 08:23:22 AM ISTLast Updated : 20 Jan 2009 03:24:01 PM IST

HYDERABAD: Why has terrorism become such an overarching concern in recent times when the probability of being hit by lightning is greater than dying in a terror attack? The remark was made by director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Santosh Mehra in his keynote address at the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (FAPCCI) panel discussion on `Current Economic and Security Scenario and Investor Confidence’.

Presenting more statistics, he said the number of people dying in road accidents in India in one year was higher than the 70,000 people killed in terrorist violence in the last 30 years. “The issue of Islamic fundamentalism is very small compared to internal terror threats. In fact, the biggest terrorist threat to India is from the Maoist Communist Centre,’’ said the ACB director.

Mincing no words, he said tackling terror required strong anti-terror laws.

“Since police confessions are not admissible in Indian courts, how can we ask Pakistan to accept Ajmal Qasab’s statements as proof,’’ queried Santosh Mehra. However, he did concede that certain police confessions were extracted in a questionable manner.

Going further, he said what India lacked was the will to take action. He said Israel’s actions in Gaza were possible only because a majority of the Israelis approved of them, unlike in India where “there was no consensus on strikes against Pakistan’’.

Illustrating the impact of terrorist attacks on economic activity, Santosh Mehra said the 9/11 attacks had cost America a trillion dollars.

Terror attacks, like those in Mumbai, make international investors wary of parking their investments there. The police is poorly equipped to deal with such attacks.

Other speakers agreed with the sentiment that India had to show a strong political will and project economic and military power. Ajay Gandhi, a Chartered Accountant, said the Mumbai terror attacks and the Satyam scam pointed to a systematic weakness.

“There will be more Mumbais and more Satyams unless we mend the system,’’ said Gandhi. Citizens could take a strong stand to push the political class into taking action, he opined.

However, other speakers expressed confidence in India’s business climate despite the recent setbacks.

Meera Lal, who teaches at Osmania University’s Institute of Public Enterprise, said India’s fundamentals were strong and added that “one Satyam wouldn’t deter investors’’. Former FAPCCI president B G Shastry said only strong political leadership could set the course for a strong country.

Maoist posters gun for support

Jamshedpur, Jan. 20: Maoists have launched a poster campaign in two villages near National Highway-33, around 12km from the city, seeking public support for the bandh on January 22.

The rebels put up eight posters in Phadlugora and Makulacocha. The local police removed them this morning.

The motive behind the poster campaign is to make the January 22 bandh across Jharkhand, Bengal, Bihar and Orissa a success.

In one of the posters, the rebels said that the bandh was a sign of protest against police atrocities on innocent youths, who are often suspected of being Naxalites.

Sub-inspector Dhananjay Singh said: “The posters were pasted on trees, walls and kiosks. But we removed them all as soon as we learn about them this morning.” Singh is also the officer-in-charge of the Chandil police station. He said the Maoists had probably gone there at night.

Maoists had put up posters in Ghatshila, too, and also in prominent places like Fuldungri Chowk, Kasda Chowk and Moubhandar, calling upon the people to make the bandh on Thursday a success. They campaigned at the Ghatshila township a first. Usually the rebels only targeted the interiors.

Meanwhile, vehicular movement on NH-33 remained disrupted for about three hours this afternoon, as people of three villages blocked the highway protesting the arrest of Khagen Mahto, from Dainmari village, about 65km away from here.

The police has suspected him to be a Naxalite.

Village heads of Dainmari and Basadera village participated in the blockade. Jamini Mahto, head of village-head of Dainmari, said if living in the village was tantamount to becoming a Naxalite, then the government should arrange for their rehabilitation in various townships.

The blockade was lifted after sub-divisional police officer of Ghatshila Anup T. Mathews assured the protestors to inquire into the allegation and release Khagen Mahto in two days if he was innocent.

A new chapter in Chhattisgarh: textbooks hailing Salwa Judum

Font Size Joseph John
Posted: Jan 20, 2009 at 0023 hrs IST

: The controversial Salwa Judum movement has now been incorporated in the Chhattisgarh school curriculum with a chapter on “Necessity of social security from problem of Naxalism” being included in the social science text book of class X of the Chhattisgarh Board of Secondary Education.

Describing the movement as a ‘peace march’, the two page chapter throws light on the anti-Naxal movement of Bastar and its objectives, causes for the spread of Naxalism, initiatives being taken by the Government to deal with the situation and the possible steps required to find a permanent solution to the problem.

“Naxalism is an ideology that aims at capturing political power. The most sensitive situation is prevailing in Bastar area as the Naxalites feel safe there because of the inaccessible terrain, located very far away from the state capital. The region remains backward and anyone could easily influence the gullible and peace-loving locals”, the chapter points out. It goes on to say that the Naxal presence in Bastar can be primarily attributed to the slow pace of development, the language problem and the forest terrain that prevents security forces from carrying out an aerial attack and facilitates the military and guerilla training of the Naxal recruits.

“Now tribals have become aware and they have stood up against Naxalism. People are getting themselves associated with Salwa Judum, ” says the text book.

“Nearly 70,000 people , affected by the problem of Naxalism, have taken shelter in the relief camps where the state government has been providing them with all necessary basic amenities. Non-government organisations are also associated for educational development of these people”, it said.

“ Naxalism can be solved through wisdom, sensitivity and mutual understanding and it requires awareness and peoples’ participation,” it said. The chapter, which did not mention the name of its author, refers to attempts like the first ever revenue survey of ‘Abujmarh”, a remote forest area, other welfare schemes, modernisation of police force and development of infrastructure in the region.

The Opposition Congress and CPI, meanwhile, criticised inclusion of issues pertaining to a controversial subject like Salwa Judum in the school curriculum.

Joint action tips to fight Maoists


State minister Raghunath Mohanty (right) greets Justice M.M. Punchhi at the conference in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Sanjib Mukherjee
Bhubaneswar, Jan. 20: Former Union home secretary and commission on Centre-state relations member V.K. Duggal today stressed the need for a joint action plan to be evolved by affected states to combat the Left-wing extremism.

“We will discuss the issue of Naxalism. Recently, the Centre has come up with a Rs 12,000-crore development package for the Naxalite-hit region,” said Duggal, while talking to reporters here on the sidelights of eastern and central region consultation on “Centre-state co-operation in combating Naxalism”, inaugurated here today.

The conference was attended by representatives from governments of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. “We will hear the states, which are hit by Naxalite violence. We will also hear the issues that how it all started, what the genesis of the problem was and what needs to be done,” said the former Union home secretary.

“You have to take a two-pronged strategy. You have to take development closer to Naxalite-affected areas; you have to bring social and economic equity. At the same time you cannot expect in a civilised society the rule of gun,” he said.

Provision of secure, stable and peaceful conditions is a prerequisite for social and economic wellbeing of country’s citizens.

It is in this context that the spectre of militancy and Naxalism demands priority attention of policy-makers and implementers, both at the central and state levels, said Justice M.M. Punchhi, the chairperson of commission on centre-state relations, while presiding over the conference.

Responding to a query as to whether the communal violence in Kandhamal would be discussed at the conference, Duggal said there was no specific agenda on the issue. But there was a question in questionnaire for maintaining communal harmony in the country and how best it can be ensured.

“The Kandhamal issue has of course national and international consequences. It is not either in the interest of the state, or the country. So the correct measures are warranted to ensure everybody live happily and peacefully,” he said. The purpose of this conference is to address the issues, which are germane to the region, he added.

This is the fourth such regional conference and there is one more for western region scheduled next month in Ahmedabad. The role of the mission is to propose constitutional amendments and bring in such other legislative measures, which can smooth the Centre-state relationship, said the commission member.

Naxal problem requires attention of policy makers: CCSR

Tags: Bhubaneswar

Published: Tue, 20 Jan 2009 at 21:25 IST

Bhubaneswar, Jan 20 : Naxalism had its genesis in protest against social and economic inequalities which demanded priority attention of policy-makers, the Commission on Centre-State Relations (CCSR) said today.

"Naxalism has increasingly become analogous to acts of terrorism which are characterised by outrightly irrational and heinous conduct, and are completely devoid of any semblance of human rationality," CCSR chairman Justice M M Punchhi told a gathering of policy-makers from six states in the central and eastern region at a two-day workshop here.

Asking the states and the Centre to desist from a blame game over Naxal activities, Justice Punchhi said both should find out short-term and long-term solutions to the problem.

The Centre has prepared a Rs 12,000 crore scheme for dealing with the Naxalite problem, CCSR member

States hit by Left extremism to take joint action: Chidambaram

Raipur, Jan 20 (PTI) All seven states hit by Left wing extremism have agreed on a "joint action" to confront the menace "firmly and decisively" and the Centre will provide them full support in terms of security forces and funds, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has said.
He said that all the seven states hit by Left wing extremism -- Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar and West Bengal -- had so far adopted different approaches but what was needed was a joint plan where the "principal focus is on confronting the extremists".

"Left wing extremists have to be confronted squarely and boldly. We have to deal with them firmly and decisively", Chidambaram told reporters here after his meeting with Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and senior state government officials on the naxal issue yesterday evening.

"Broadly, the strategy of Chhattisgarh, it seems, is working as I am told that nearly 40 percent of the area has been regained (from naxals' hold) whereas confrontation with the extremists are going on in another 20 percent area. However, the extremists have got an upper hand in the rest 40 per cent area," the home minister said.

He said chief ministers of all the seven states hit by Left wing extremism have agreed on a "joint action" to deal with the problem and said it was a significant development.

"I will be visiting all these states to know better about the problem of left wing extremism, Chhattisgarh being the first where I have visited today," he added. PTI

Naxalism a serious problem : Chidambaram

Jan 20

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has termed naxalism as a serious problem in some states and said it has to be dealt with a firm hand. Addressing a press conference in Raipur on Monday, he said the centre has been providing all support including money and paramilitary forces to all the naxal affected seven states. Assuring further help to the states in tackling naxalism, Mr Chidambaram stressed the fact that developmental activities in the affected area should also go on simultaneously. The Union Home Minister said that besides Chhatisgarh, he will be visiting other naxal affected states to take stock of the ground realities.

Maha DSPs' offices to be connected through video conferencing

Published: January 19,2009

Mumbai , Jan 19 With an aim to ensure better law and order across the state, all district police superintendents&aposoffices will soon be connected through video conferencing in Maharashtra.

"All district police superintendents&aposoffices will be connected through video conferencing to ensure better law and order across the state. Sufficient funds will also be provided for the maintenance of police offices and quarters," Chief Minister Ashok Chavan today said at a conference of senior police officials of the state.

" Creation of one security agency, registration of all boats and installing transponders on them and starting a unit of NSG were among a few demands put before the Centre over which a decision is expected soon," Chavan said, adding that the police department will be provided sophisticated weapons, explosives and other equipment.

Police officials should forget their differences and work towards providing safe and secure place for the people, Chavan said.

State Home Minister Jayant Patil, who was also present at the two-day function said," People will develop confidence on the police only after they take note of their complaints and address them."

Patil said that the government is also planning to provide helicopters in the Naxal-infected areas in the state.

Source: PTI

We have to squarely take on Naxals: Chidambaram

19 Jan 2009, 2215 hrs IST, PTI

RAIPUR: Union home minister P Chidambaram tonight advocated a strategy of "squarely" taking on naxalites and assured the Centre will provide full
support in terms of security forces and funds to all the seven states affected by Left wing extremism.

"Left wing extremists are to be confronted with squarely and boldly. We have to deal with them firmly and decisively", Chidambaram told mediapersons here after his meeting with Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh and senior state government officials on the naxal issue.

The union home minister said chief ministers of all the seven states hit by Left wing extremism -- Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar and West Bengal -- have agreed on a "joint action" to deal with the problem and said it was a significant development.

Chidambaram said all states have been adopting different approaches to deal with the problem and the central government is providing all possible support to these states.

However, the strategy adopted by Chhattisgarh after 2003 appears to be giving results, he added.

President's rule imposed in Jharkhand

New Delhi, Jan 19 (PTI) Jharkhand was today placed under President's rule, a week after Chief Minister Shibhu Soren resigned after losing a byelection in the state.
President Pratibha Patil gave her assent to Central rule after the Union Cabinet decided to recommend the measure at an unscheduled meeting here.

A Home Ministry notification later tonight said the 81-member assembly, which has its term till March next year, will be under suspended animation.

The decision was based on Governor Syed Sibtey Razi's report on the political deadlock in the state after the Chief Minister stepped down on January 12 when he failed to enter the state assembly through a bye-election within six months of taking over the reins of the state.

Soren had stepped down as chief minister after losing the Tamar assembly byelections, results for which were announced on January eight.

The state which went to polls in 2005 has seen three Chief Ministers with Soren becoming the Chief Minister on two occasions, BJP's Arjun Munda for 17 months and Madhu Koda, an independent backed by Congress and JMM, occupying the post for almost two years.

The Naxal-hit state has been in existence for the last eight years. The BJP came to power in November 2000 after the state's formation. The BJP government was headed by Babulal Marandi was replaced by Arjun Munda by the party in 2003.

UPA allies comprising Congress, RJD and JMM (Soren) were still hopeful of finding a consensus candidate to head the government. PTI

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Six policemen killed as Maoists blow up jeep in Jharkhand

Ranchi, Jan 17 (PTI) Maoists today blew up a jeep killing five policemen and a civilian in Jharkhand's Lathehar district.
The policemen were returning from a court when their jeep drove over the landmine planted by Maoists between Patki and Maneka and was tossed 30 feet in the air under the impact of the blast, police said.

Officer-in-Charge of Maneka police station K C Prasad and four policemen were killed on the spot, they said.

The civilian driver of the jeep succumbed to injuries at the hospital, they said, adding another injured policeman was also hospitalised.

After the explosion, a group of 150 Maoists looted six sophisticated weapons from the personnel, sources said.

When reinforcements arrived on the scene they were fired upon by the extremists leading to an encounter which stretched for two hours before the Maoists retreated.

Meanwhile, police claimed to have foiled an attempt to blow up Dania railway station in Bokaro district.

A police team nabbed seven Maoists who were attempting to plant seven landmines and a can bomb at the station in the wee hours, Superintendent of Police, Priya Dubey, told a press conference at Bokaro.

Those arrested were identified as Baburam Manjhi, Dasrath Manjhi, Talo Soren, Deepchand Soren, Gobind Marandi, Birju Marandi and Chanlal, she said. PTI

Can bombs recovered in Gumla; maoist arrested

Gumla (Jharkhand) (PTI): A hardcore maoist leader has been arrested and 16 can bombs recovered from Jharkhand's Gumla district, the police saidon Saturday.

Getting a tip-off that some maoists were spotted near Kotan village in Gumla, a police team raided the area last night and arrested the self-styled 'zonal commander', who was identified as Shusil Bhuyan, the sources said here.

Bhuyan guided the police to some places from where the bombs were recovered.

Two of the bombs weighed 20 kg, the police said.

Ten prisoners escape as Maoists attack Bihar court

16 Jan 2009, 2117 hrs IST, TNN

PATNA: Suspected Maoists Friday attacked a court in Bihar's Jamui district, leading to the escape of 10 under-trials including two Maoist
activists, the police said.

A group of armed Maoists attacked a police escort Friday evening in the Jamui court premises when over three dozen under-trial prisoners were being taken back to jail after hearing in the court, the police said.

Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) Neelmani said that at least 10 prisoners including two Maoists escaped in the attack.

"We have directed the district administration to inquire into the incident and alert the police to arrest all the escaped prisoners," he said.

Jamui district has been repeatedly targeted by Maoists in the last few years.

BJP-RSS team holds talks with CPC in China

19 Jan 2009, 0346 hrs IST, Mohua Chatterjee, TNN

NEW DELHI: The BJP may be ideologically opposed to the communists but the opposites finally seem to have struck a dialogue. In a first of its kind,
a BJP-RSS delegation was on a five-day visit to Beijing and Shanghai on an invitation of the Communist Party of China (CPC). It has returned with a resolution to work out "a mechanism for regular exchanges" from now on.

"This interaction has helped in opening a channel of dialogue between BJP and CPC and also helped in understanding each other's position with greater clarity," RSS leader Ram Madhav told TOI.

While immediate issues of concern like terrorism and the global economic meltdown -- that both China and India are concerned with -- dominated the talks, contentious issues between the two like "Tibet" and "border issues with India including Arunachal Pradesh" also came up for discussion, said Madhav, the only RSS member on the delegation led by BJP leader Bal Apte.

Interestingly, China disowned any connection with the Maoists in India. When asked about their views on naxalite activities here in the name of "Mao", the leader of the CPC denied any link and said that "to support what the Indian Maoists are doing (referring to the violence) is not the state policy in China and neither is it anywhere close to Mao's ideology".

In fact, CPC also said it had no relations with the Maoists in Nepal during their struggle but had now established relations with them when they came into legitimate government.

On Arunachal Pradesh, BJP delegates said the principal stand should be that populated areas should not be under contention and that Arunachal should not come up for discussion in the border talks, but the Chinese side maintained that there was a lot of history and sentiment attached to the region and this needed to be sorted out.

On Tibet, of course the two sides seemed to disagree completely and while it was communicated that the Dalai Lama is highly revered here, the Chinese side considered him to be playing politics.

On terror, one of the biggest concerns in the region, the BJP delgation told the Chinese that there was national consensus in India that "Pakistan is the epicentre of global terrorism" and "tried to prevail upon them" since they are considered friends of Pakistan.

The first interaction between CPC and BJP took place last year when a CPC delegation visited India and also met BJP leaders including party chief Rajnath Singh and extended an invitation to the party. But, "this was the first ever in-depth interaction on this level, where one of nine politburo members and the international department of the CPC held detailed discussions with the BJP-RSS delegation," said Rajya Sabha member Chandan Mitra, who was also part of the delegation.

In agreement with Mitra, Madhav said the Chinese communists attached a lot of importance to the visit. "For the first time, there was free and fair dialogue between the two sides and the CPC has to be complimented for it," both Mitra and Madhav said. In 1996, Jana Krishnamurthy, who was BJP chief at that time, had visited China.

4 land mines recovered in B'lore

Bangalore, January 18: Police today recovered four land mines concealed near a bridge at Kyatagana Perla village near naxal-hit Pavagada in Tumkur district, about 150 km from here.

Police said a hard core Naxal Peddanna, belonging to CPI(Maoist) group, who was in the custody of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh police had been brought by the Pavagada police for questioning in the Venkataramanahalli halli incident where nine policemen were shot dead by the Naxals.

Peddanna was suspected to be one of the key members of the group of insurgents that had raided a police camp in the village last year.

During questioning he revealed that he had concealed the land mines under a bridge.

A bomb disposal squad from the city left for the village, recovered the land mines and defused it, police added.

He took on Naxalites after their biggest attack

Soumyajit Pattnaik, Hindustan Times
Bhubaneswar, January 19, 2009
First Published: 14:49 IST(19/1/2009)
Last Updated: 16:27 IST(19/1/2009)

The SMS was blank.

It was a chilly February evening. Amita Satpathy had been waiting all day for word from her husband. Assistant commandant Pramod Satpathy, 43, was out since the previous night fighting Naxalites in what would turn out to be one of their biggest attacks anywhere in India in years.

“Around 4.30 pm, I received a blank SMS from him. I called him immediately and I could hear clearly that he was gasping for breath,” Amita said, her eyes lined with tears.

“I asked him whether he was okay, but he disconnected the mobile after speaking to me briefly. That was the last time I spoke to him,” she said, matter-of-fact. “At around 1 am, an SOG jawan informed me that my husband had been killed.”

Late evening on February 15, 2008, more than 200 rebels had raided the central Orissa town of Nayagarh, 70km south of Bhubaneswar. Cascading columns of rebels had looted armouries and killed 13 policemen in the deadly assault, when Satpathy, an officer of the Special Operations Group (SPO), rushed home briefly before going into the battle.

Danger was routine for Satpathy, a tall, muscular officer who had gone through several courses in combat and anti-Naxal operations.

Orissa was increasingly becoming a battleground for Naxalite militants, who now have a presence in more than 13 states across the country.

The Maoists had codenamed the Nayagarh attack Operation Ropeway, and according to a booklet published by the Naxals, the objective of the raid was to loot arms. The Naxals had fled with eleven AK-47s, 75 self-loading rifles (SLRs), 250 INSAS rifles, six light machine guns (LMGs), 65 9mm pistols, several .303 rifles and muskets and nearly 200,000 rounds of ammunition.

“I could sense that something was serious as he was armed with an AK-47 and grenades. He even called me to see him in his complete combat-gear, as we don’t get to watch him in his operational attire,” she said.

Then he left for Nayagarh, along with a team of 19 SOG men riding motorbikes.

He said he would be home early. He had to travel the next day to New Delhi to visit a weapons exhibition.

The motorcycle entourage of Satpathy and the 19 men was a stark tale of India's ill-equipped battle against terror in which policemen have to give their lives because they have poor weapons, or no helicopters to ferry bleeding men to hospital, or night vision devices.

Satpathy joined the Orissa Police in 1987 and was handpicked by the elite SOG in 2005 during a career that spanned 21 years. He rose swiftly, and was made the training-in-charge, holding the rank of an assistant commandant.

When not at work, he chased his two passions – gymming and cricket, and spending time with his two children. The 10-year-old son Soumya Ranjan is studying in the Class V; 12-year-old daughter Aparna is in class-VII.

After Satpathy died, Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik has said his family may retain their government-provided apartment for eight years, and has been offered a government job as compensation.

But Amita worries for the two children.

“My husband's dream was to see both of them in the IAS. I don't know whether his dream will come true now,” Amita said. “I haven not yet decided if I want a government job.”As he left for Nayagarh that night, Satpathy's orders were to follow the Naxalites and try to retrieve the weapons.

All night and well into the next morning, the team followed the trail of the ammunition truck. At 10.35 am the next morning, he called Amita, telling her to cancel his trip to Delhi.

Near the Gasma hill in central Orissa, he had found the abandoned hijacked bus that the Naxalites had used to flee, as well as half the weapons.

At this point, the assistant commandant was faced with a choice that could have saved his life. He could wait for reinforcements.

But he knew that every minute they lost waiting would mean more Naxalites — and government weaponry — vanishing into the forests. He signalled to his team to follow and set off into the woods.

Satpathy took down a few of the militants before he fell to their bullets, but the daring operation by him and his men forced the Naxalites to abandon nearly 75 per cent of their seized weapons as they fled.

Two days after he said he would be home early, he was back – draped in the Indian tricolour, in a coffin.

Land issue brought troubles for Raju?

Uma Sudhir
Sunday, January 18, 2009, (Hyderabad)
How much land does a man need? Wonder if Ramalinga Raju ever had a chance to read Leo Tolstoy's famous short story, people say if he had perhaps taken a lesson from there, he may not have landed in jail.

It was ironically the naxals, who were perhaps among the first to blow the whistle on what is for many an open secret today. When Maoists came in for peace talks with the Congress government in 2004, they pointed fingers at Satyam saying it was among the top corporate entities that had occupied 2000 acres of urban land in and around Hyderabad.

"We have specifically given a list of 20 people occupying 20,000 acres of land surrounding the city. In that Satyam is in the top two or three. And the land which we mentioned is 2000 acres he is occupying. When we took the names of some media houses and industrialists, they have seen that the talks are failed," said Varavara Rao, naxal representative for peace talks.

In the last four years, that figure is estimated to have grown to nearly 10000 acres. Apparently Ramalinga Raju was bitten by the land bug, so he acquired land - substantial chunks - at throwaway prices from the government, and a lot more from private sources in various forms. It's just like many others in corporate India who took speculative positions in the realty sector, hoping to benefit from the boom in the land market.

"I think the realty cookie crumbling is impacting most of the other corporates also indirectly. On their personal front, most industrialists are getting stuck and that in turn is going to affect companies' performances also. My own fear is more siphoning of funs or attempt to siphon funds from shareholders or from company books may be attempted by some more promoters, in some more cases and the at is not ruled out in the coming tough days also," said Kutumba Rao, market analyst.

Investigating agencies say there could be some 240 land-holding companies that the promoters of Satyam might have floated or invested into. Many of them either tagged to Maytas Infra or Maytas Properties. About 150 entities might have been registered in Andhra Pradesh alone. Investigating agencies now are in the process of tracking the source and transfer of funds to these companies.

This could hold the key to why a man like Ramalinga Raju was driven to a confession that brought him down from the IT czar's throne to a C class cell in Chanchalguda jail.

Associates say he possibly had gone too far and was under tremendous pressure. The word 'mafia' has come up several times in this context. The crash in the realty sector had rendered his financial position untenable, which was perhaps the last straw that broke the camel's back.

Top naxalite held in Jharkhand

New Delhi (PTI): An alleged self-styled zonal commander of Naxals wanted in several cases, including attacks on security personnel and a train bombing, has been arrested from Gumla district of Jharkhand by the CRPF.

Sushil Bhuinya (30), was handed over to the local police after he was nabbed by a CRPF patrol team from the outskirts of the district on Saturday..

"Bhuinya is involved in many incidents related to attacks on security forces. He was also wanted in a train bombing case that took place in 2005 in Latehar district of Jharkhand," a senior Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officer here said.

Bhuinya is the zonal commander of a local naxal group in the state and was caught after a brief exchange of fire with the troops yesterday, the officer added.

Some ammunition and a pistol has been recovered from him and further interrogation is on, the officer added.

Karkala: Two Gunmen Found in Forest Succeed in Escaping

Daijiworld Media Network - Karkala (SP)

Karkala, Jan 18: The policemen belonging to the anti-naxal force stumbled upon two gun-totting youngsters in the Nooralbettu forest, a naxal-infested area. Both the youths however, succeeded in giving the policemen a slip.

Reserve police sub-inspector Chandrashekhar H M was engaged in combing operations in the above area when he found two youngsters with guns in their hands. When questioned, the two introduced themselves as Dinesh Gowda and Sridhar, from the local village. They also said that they did not have the licence in their possession at the moment, but promised to bring them from their homes later.

They never came back. As such, suspicion among the policemen is gaining ground that they were naxal activists. The policemen have intensified their search operations to nab the two.

Anti-Naxal operations to get firepower

18 Jan 2009, 0343 hrs IST, Soumittra S Bose, TNN

NAGPUR: The underbarrel grenade launcher (UBGL), popular with many anti-insurgency forces around the world and nicknamed 'small artillery', would
soon be part of the state's security forces arsenal - particularly in anti-naxal operations. Around 87 UGBLs are likely to be commissioned soon.

The UBGL got its name as the grenade is attached to the assault weapon below the barrel. The multipurpose launcher, which can be used for simultaneous assault, can be put into action for both exposed and hidden targets like those behind barricades, trenches or bunkers and also on the other side of slopes or any other artificial or natural blockade. The weapon, which can operate best within the range of 50m to 400m, can be lethal within 6m radius.

According to senior officials, the launcher can be effectively used in those inaccessible areas like Abhujmarh where Naxals use the difficult hilly and forest terrain for launching assaults on security forces. The Naxal guerrillas, officers who have served in Gadchiroli say, are known to be scared of two-inch mortars which are lobbed at them by security forces during encounters.

"These two-inch mortars have a shortcoming of getting wasted if lands in soft or slushy areas. These grenades have a capacity of self-destruction within 40 to 90 seconds even if they lands in soft lands," said a senior officer.

Additional director general of police Pankaj Gupta (who also heads state anti-naxal operation cell), said that the launcher has been sanctioned on earlier occasions but for some reasons the plan could not materialise. "We hope that the launcher arrive soon. The launcher has been already known for its effectiveness," said Gupta.

Gupta had also recently ensured that some personnel and an officer from Special Action Group (SAG) engaged in the anti-naxal operation are trained at BSF camp at Meru near Hazaribagh. "There are pros and cons in every upgradation but it's important that we intensify our fight against the menace and for that forces need modern weapons," said Gupta.

Forest staffs go on mass dharana in Orissa

Thursday, January 15, 2009 Email StoryFeedbackPrint Story
Report by Deba Prasad Dash; Malkangiri: After remaining on mass leave in protest against the indifferent attitude of the state government over their 9-point charter of demands, all foresters and forest guards under the banner of the district unit of Orissa Non Gazeted Forest Service Association went on three dharana in front of the Divisional Forest Officer’s office here from today. They had also locked the DFO Office.
The association has alleged that though the Chief minister had announced to fulfill their demands on April 3 last year ,the same has not reflected in the sixth pay commission report declared by the state government recently.
The 9-point charter of demands includes, giving salary to the forest employees at par with the police personnel’s, formation of task force in each forest area, enhancement of number of deputy ranger’s post from 62 to 168, provision of special allowance for the forest employees working in the naxal infested areas, abolition of contractual appointment system and fulfillment of various vacancy posts.