Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jharkhand helicopter grounded after suspension of pilots

January 27th, 2009 - 2:06 pm ICT by IANS

Ranchi, Jan 27 (IANS) Jharkhand’s only helicopter, bought to deal with Maoist attacks, is lying grounded as there is no pilot to fly it, a senior official of the state civil aviation department said.After the Dhruva helicopter was grounded, Jharkhand is depending on the Indian Air Force to carry security personnel injured in Maoist attacks.

Two pilots, hired on contract, were suspended after they violated the rules of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on several occasions. They are charged with giving free rides to people they know and flying beyond the permissible time period.

Chief pilot A.K. Srivastav was suspended Dec 8 last year while his assistant A. Mukherjee was suspended Jan 5 this year.

The helicopter was purchased from the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) in 2007 by the state government at a cost of Rs.350 million.

Initially, the helicopter was grounded in the absence of trained pilots. When the pilots were hired last year, the helicopter meant for anti-Maoist operation was used by the chief minister and ministers of the state. Police rarely got it for anti-Maoist operations, the official said.

“We are looking for alternative arrangements. DGCA may revoke the suspension to allow pilots to fly the helicopter after warning them,” he said

Six Maoist rebels arrested in Jharkhand

January 27th, 2009 - 8:10 pm ICT by IANS

Ranchi, Jan 27 (IANS) Six Maoist rebels including an ‘area commander’ were arrested Tuesday in Gumla district of Jharkhand, police said.According to police, four Maoist rebels were arrested from the jungle area under Palkot police station of Gumla district, 140 km from Ranchi. Acting on a tip off, police raided the hideout and arrested four rebels of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist).

The arrested rebels include area commander Kamal Kharia. According to police, they were meeting to chalk out the strategy to ambush a police party in the district. Police seized two pistols and live cartridges, among other things, from the arrested rebels.

In another incident, police arrested two Maoist rebels belonging to People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI) from a jungle area under Basia police station of Gumla district. The arrested PLFI rebels were identified as Kuldip Minz and Pradeep, both hardcore activists.

Police seized a pistol, live cartridges and Maoist literature from their possession.

Maoist rebels are active in 18 of the 24 districts of Jharkhand. In the last seven to eight years, more than 1,450 people have been killed in Maoist related violence.

Gunrunners may have links with ordnance factory staff: Police

28 Jan 2009, 0641 hrs IST, TNN

The gunrunners held from Malda on Saturday night could have a nexus with some employees of the ordnance factories, say police. There were five
sophisticated rifles manufactured by Indian Ordnance Factory in the huge haul unearthed in Kolkata's Baguiati. CID officers have informed the top brass of ordnance factories to examine the weapons seized on Sunday night.

Apart from 25 guns, including five rifles, police found over 6,000 rounds of ammunition, three pen pistols and eight fake gun licenses. It was the arrest of Ashok Mondal and five of his aides that led police to a trader's house and one of the biggest arms haul in the country.

Investigators have found that the gang used fake gun licenses to procure sophisticated weapons from the factories. "Without help of some ordnance factory employees, it is impossible to smuggle out arms and ammunition," said an investigator. CID officers seized more than 6000 bullets of different calibres manufactured by ordnance factories, including bullets used in AK assault rifles.

A defence ministry official, however, said the possibility of such a nexus with ordnance factory employees was highly unlikely. "These ordnance factories are under the defence ministry and the employees are recruited after strict verification of their antecedents. Besides, with the stringent security system in place at the ordnance factories, it is almost impossible to smuggle out weapons," the official said. A senior OFB official added it was the responsibility of arms dealers to ascertain to whom the weapons were finding their way to, as the responsibility of the OFB ended after the weapons were supplied to dealers.

Investigation has revealed that Mondal used to collect arms and ammunition from Allahabad. "The gang used to pay in advance. Then, Mondal or one of his aides would receive the consignment in Allahabad. An SUV registered in Bihar used to carry the consignment to Mondal's hideout. The same car was used to delivery the goods to the customers," said Sidhhanath Gupta, DIG CID Operations.

CID sources said, in 2007, Mondal got in touch with Maoists through a mediator based in East Midnapore. The Maoists mainly purchased ammunition from Mondal. Police are looking for two other persons who are believed to be the kingpins of the racket pumping crores in the trade. CID sources said that one of them is Nemai Das, a group-D staff of Rajarhat Gopalpur Municipality and a resident of Kalipark near Baguiati. The second suspect is said to be the main agent of the trade and is a resident of Dum Dum Park. Since Sunday night, police have raided the homes of both the accused but the duo escaped.

"The Dum Dum Park agent had a set of customers who are important for us," said an investigator. CID officers said the bulletproof jacket recovered along with the arms haul is very advanced. " It is made of fibre and is very costly. Ordinary criminals would not use bulletproof jackets, nor do Maoists. Then, for whom was the jacket procured?" said a worried CID officer.

"The gang had delivered arms to Maoist mediators five times in two years on the banks of Hooghly river in South 24-Parganas," said a CID officer. Investigators have not ruled out the possibility of the consignment having been booked by militant organizations.

KCR denies receiving letter from Maoists

28 Jan 2009, 0608 hrs IST, TNN

HYDERABAD: TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday said that neither he nor his party leaders got any letter from the Maoists warning the
party against going for a tie-up with the TDP in the coming elections.

A controversy was raked up when TRS leaders and CPM state Secretary BV Raghavulu claimed that the letter allegedly written by Maoist leader Sudharshan to TRS MLA Harish Rao was an attempt by the Congress to sabotage the formation of a grand alliance.

Addressing a press meet at the Telangana Bhavan here, Rao said that Harish Rao did not receive any letter from the Maoist party. However, he maintained that Maoists have asked Telangana parties to defeat ruling Congress in the coming elections.

Playing rebels to generate awareness


Ghatshila, Jan. 27: East Singhbhum police have adopted a more moderate approach to take on the Naxalites.

The police have chosen street plays to sensitise people about Naxalite activity. The police effort are basically aimed at helping the rural people from being misguided. It also aims at making the educated people in urban area to understand the Naxalite problems and suggest ways on tackling it.

Bhatke Rahi, a 45-minute play staged by artistes from New Delhi, narrates the story of strong-arm tactics of the rebels and their diktat to bring innocent and unassuming people to their fold. It also shows police brutality on villagers who help rebels.

Directed by Dilip Pawle, a graduate from National School of Drama, the show was staged at Ghatshila sub-division. Bhatke Rahi was held at Tata auditorium on Monday.

The play attracted huge audience from rebel hit Gandhania in Ghatshila, about 70km from here.

In the play, the focus was on how a family is broken due to a spouse’s involvement in Naxalite activity and the plight of children as their parents are involved with the rebels. There is some optimism and there is change of heart among few Naxalites who later surrender before the police and return to the social mainstream to lead a peaceful life.

Sub-inspector D.K. Srivastava, who was part of the organising team, said: “We want Naxalites to return to the mainstream.”

Police and paramilitary forces were present at the area to prevent any untoward incident. They moved around the red hit areas of Dampara, Karadoba and Ghotiduba, and approached the village-heads to come to Gandhania and watch the play. Schoolchildren also attended the play.

“Full support to Salwa Judum”

The Hindu

Raipur: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Monday declared his government’s full support to Salwa Judum, the forest-dwellers’ peace movement against naxalites.

In his Republic Day speech after hoisting the national flag at Jagdalpur, the headquarters of Bastar division, Dr. Singh said, “It was because of such people and their movement that the country’s Republic is secure today.”

Dr. Singh said that the government would take steps to secure the livelihood of these tribal people and added that steps for their rehabilitation would be taken forward.

Dr. Singh said his government has fulfilled the promises it had made to the people. He called upon the people to take the maximum benefit of the government schemes to make Chhattisgarh as one of the leading States. Dr. Singh said the government had already distributed more than one lakh land right documents to tribal people under the Forest Dwellers Land Rights Act. An additional 1.5 lakh forest-dwellers would be given such documents soon. He also promised that farmers would be given loans at three per cent interest soon.

The Chief Minister spoke about schemes such as rice at Rs.3 a kg to about 37 lakh families, paddy procurement and major fund allocation for extension of irrigation facilities. These schemes had helped the State in securing livelihood of a large number of people, he added. — PTI

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Letter to Chief Minister of Orissa on Plans of Recruiting Tribal Youth as Special Police Officers

January 27, 2009

Chief Minister Navin Patnaik
Government of Orissa
Naveen Nivas,
Aerodrome Road,
Orissa 751001

Via facsimile: +91 674 2535100

Re: Special Police Officers

Dear Chief Minister:

Human Rights Watch is an international nongovernmental organization that monitors human rights abuses by governments and non-state armed groups in more than 80 countries around the world. I write to express deep concern regarding the Orissa Home Department’s plan to recruit an estimated 2,000 tribal youth as special police officers (SPOs) to counter Naxalite violence in the region. In particular, we are concerned about the use of SPOs for paramilitary purposes, and the possibility that children under the age of 18 may be recruited in violation of the Home Department’s stated age limits.

India’s Police Act, 1861, empowers local magistrates to temporarily appoint civilians as SPOs to perform the roles of “ordinary officers of police.” Such appointments are meant as a stop-gap measure where the police force is otherwise believed to be insufficient. However, the language of the statute does not envision the deployment of SPOs in roles comparable to those played by paramilitary police such as the Central Reserve Police Force and the Indian Reserve Battalions. Section 17 of the Act states that magistrates may appoint SPOs “for such time and within such limits as he shall deem necessary” when “it shall appear that any unlawful assembly, or riot or disturbance of the peace and taken place, or may be reasonably apprehended, and that the police-force ordinarily employed for preserving the peace is not sufficient.”
Home Department officials have been quoted by the press as saying that SPOs in Orissa will be “doing the same things that the SPOs in Chhattisgarh are doing.” An investigation conducted by Human Rights Watch in Chhattisgarh in 2007 and 2008 found that SPOs were routinely deployed alongside paramilitary police on anti-Naxalite combing operations. In fact, police officials in Chhattisgarh admitted that SPOs have been responsible for numerous human rights violations and disciplinary action had to be taken against them. Recently, an inquiry had been ordered into the killing of 17 alleged Naxailites in an encounter in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district. Human rights activists said that the encounter was faked and it was villagers that were killed. Several SPOs were involved in this operation.

SPOs received training that was far inferior to that given to civil police. Many SPOs in Chhattisgarh have been killed or injured in armed exchanges with Naxalites and in Naxalite detonations of landmines and improvised explosive devises (IEDs). We also found that SPOs were often targeted for Naxalite reprisals. (The full findings of Human Rights Watch’s report can be found in “Being Neutral is our Biggest Crime: Government, Vigilante, and Naxalite Abuses in India’s Chhattisgarh State,” online at http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2008/07/14/being-neutral-our-biggest-crime...)
While the Orissa state government has an obligation to provide for the security of the population against human rights abuses by Naxalites, measures to maintain law and order must be in accordance with both national and international law. However, Indian human rights lawyers who have studied the conflict in Chhattisgarh contend that “the Indian Police Act does not envisage en masse recruitment of SPOs,” and that the deployment of SPOs against Naxalites is a “blatant abuse” of the Police Act. We therefore urge the Orissa government to ensure that SPOs are not deployed in paramilitary operations against Naxalites.

We are also concerned about the possible recruitment of children as SPOs. Our investigation in Chhattisgarh found that police often recruited SPOs with little regard for minimum age standards, and that many children, including some as young as 14, were recruited and used for dangerous armed operations. In some cases, child Naxalites who surrendered to government forces were also used as SPOs, even though still under age 18. Such practices place children at grave risk, and violate India’s obligations under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, which sets 18 as the minimum age for any direct participation in hostilities. India became a party to the Optional Protocol in 2005.

We urge the Orissa Home Department to ensure that its age guidelines (stipulating that SPOs should be between the ages of 18-25 and have completed eighth standard) are strictly enforced. To avoid underage recruitment, the Home Department should insist on proper age documentation for all SPO applicants, and reject any applicants who cannot produce documents proving that they are at least 18 years of age.
While the Naxalites present a real security threat to the people of Orissa, the Orissa government should ensure that its response to this threat does not give rise to additional human rights violations.

Thank you for considering our recommendations. We would appreciate learning about any steps that you take in this regard.

Sincerely yours,

Brad Adams
Executive Director
Asia Division

Cc: P. Chidambaram, Home Minister, Government of India, North Block, New Delhi 110001; National Human Rights Commission, Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi 110001

Supplier to Naxals held, huge arms cache seized

27 Jan 2009, 0319 hrs IST, Caesar Mandal , TNN

KOLKATA: Ashok Mondol has been running an arms smuggling racket for the last five years and supplying arms to warring groups in Nandigram and

Acting on revelations made by Mondol and his five aides, arrested from Malda on Saturday, CID’s special operation group officials on Sunday raided a trader’s house at Baguiati in northern fringes of Kolkata and recovered a huge cache of arms — over 6,000 rounds of live cartridges of various types, 25 guns, including rifles, sten guns, pipeguns and muskets, and bullet-proof jackets. Mondol had taken the help of fish trader Anupam

Chowdhury, from whose house the arms were recovered, to store the arms, sources said.

The CID officials — probing whether the arms were meant to carry out terror strikes in Kolkata or elsewhere — on Monday said some staff of ordnance factories might also be involved in the racket. "Mondal and his aides used to supply sophisticated rifles manufactured at ordnance factories in Bengal to warring groups in Nandigram. They used to take the arms to Nandigram in ambulances and through the river route. We’ve seized three rifles made at the ordnance factories," said a CID officer.

The CID officials also said the consignment might have been meant for Maoists as criminals in West Bengal normally didn’t use bullet-proof jackets. "The jackets have come from Uttar Pradesh," a senior CID officer said.

Huge arms cache seized in West Bengal, kingpin arrested

Zeenews Bureau

Kolkata, Jan 27: The West Bengal Police CID arrested Ashok Mondol said to be one of the biggest arms suppliers in the eastern region from Malda.

As per the investigations, Mondol has been running very active arms racket and used to supply weapons and ammunition to Naxals on a regular basis. He is also thought to be the man behind the “armed” Nandigarm rioters.

The CID, acting on revelations made by Mondol and his accomplices, raided a fish trader Anupam Chowdhury’s house at Baguiati in northern fringes of Kolkata and recovered a huge cache of arms — over 6,000 rounds of live cartridges, 25 guns (rifles, sten guns, pipeguns and muskets).

As per investigators, Mondol had taken the help of Chowdhury to store the arms safely.

The CID officials are looking into the possibility of the gangs’ involvement in any of the terror strikes that have rocked the nation.

They also opined that some staff of ordnance factories might also be involved in the racket as some of the weapons recovered were made at the ordnance factories in Bengal.

Get ready to march past the job blues, literally

28 Jan 2009, 0427 hrs IST, Bharti Jain, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: Even as jobs thin out across sectors in due to global economic slowdown, the central para-military forces (CPMFs) may just be the right
career choice for those looking to join the Forces. Seemingly untouched by recession, the Central forces—BSF, CRPF, ITBP, CISF, SSB and NSG—are going in for a major expansion with the sanctioning of an additional 127 battalions, putting nearly 1.4 lakh jobs up for grabs in the immediate future.

In an exercise to strengthen the security apparatus post 26/11, the Union home ministry has put the reinforcement in numbers of various Central para-military forces on the fast track. In a recent decision, the ministry sanctioned 29 more battalions for the Border Security Force (BSF), 37 battalions for the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), 37 for the Sashastra Seema Bal or SSB (which will be raised in two phases starting first with 20 battalions); 10 each for Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP); and four battalions for the National Security Guard (NSG).

This adds up to a total 127 battalions, which are likely to be raised over the next 2-3 years. With each battalion roughly comprising 1,100 personnel, the total number of security personnel to be inducted into these CPMFs works out to nearly 1.4 lakh.

While the BSF is looking to utilise the additional battalions to raise its presence on the eastern border with Bangladesh, the CRPF hopes to add on to its specialised anti-Naxal Cobra battalions. The SSB, which is now only 41-battalion strong, is finding it difficult to effectively guard the Indo-Nepal border with the inadequate manpower. The additional 37 battalions will boost its presence on both the Indo-Nepal as well as the Indo-China border in Sikkim.

The CISF, too, is badly in need to augment its manpower in the wake of the additional responsibilities being included in its portfolio, such as guarding private and joint sector installations. The NSG, too, is in the midst of, expanding to regional hubs, starting with the four cities of Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata. The new battalions will generate the required manpower needed for these hubs.

At present, the CRPF comprises a total 201 battalions, the BSF 157 battalions, SSB 41 battalions and the ITBP 45 battalions. The additional battalions will take up the strength of the CRPF to 211 battalions, that of the BSF to 186 battalions, that of SSB to 78 battalions and of ITBP to 55 battalions.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Maoists' letter to TRS rakes up controversy

27 Jan 2009, 0354 hrs IST, TNN

HYDERABAD: The CPM and TRS claimed that the letter purportedly written by Maoists to TRS leader T Harish Rao cautioning him against a tie-up with
the TDP-Left alliance was an attempt by the Congress party to sabotage the alliance.

Harish Rao received a letter allegedly written by Maoist leader Sudershan in which the extremists questioned the justification of TRS in deciding to go with the TDP led by N Chandrababu Naidu who can never be trusted. They also criticised TRS for not taking up the agitation for a separate state instead opting for a softer way of poll alliance with the TDP and Left for narrow political gains. This amounts to cheating the people, the letter said.

Talking to the media on Monday, Raghavulu said that the party suspects the role of the Congress in the letter which appears to be "fabricated." The CPM state leaders met here at Makhdoom Bhavan to discuss the situation following the letter which had also made some critical remarks against the left parties.

Referring to the delay in seat adjustment with the TRS, he said there was nothing unusual about it as every party would like to get as many seats as possible and sometimes this takes time. Moreover, since there is enough time for the polls, the parties concerned would like to discuss in detail and arrive at a decision.

This does not mean that the alliance had developed cracks or collapsed. "We are confident that the TRS would remain with the grand alliance," he said. Meanwhile, TRS leader N Narsimha Reddy said that the letter appears to be an act of mischief by someone and a prank played by those who were opposed to the alliance. The TRS would go in for alliance with like-minded parties as per the wishes and aspirations of the people of Telangana. He, however, did not comment on the stalemate over seat adjustments with the TDP. He said that would be sorted out by party president K Chandrasekhar Rao as the TRS executive had authorised him to take a decision.

TDP leader N Janardhan Reddy exuded confidence that the matter would be sorted out by end of the month and the alliance would fight the polls together.

Police alarmed at increased naxalite activity

27 Jan 2009, 0409 hrs IST, Raghu Paithari, TNN

NIZAMABAD: The district police are on tenterhooks with increased naxalite activity in the Telangana heartland of Nizamabad district. Though
intensified combing operations are being carried out in Maoist-infested areas, the rapid movements of top Maoist and Janashakthi leaders in Kamareddy division have upset the police's plans to completely wipe out the Maoist movement, sources said.

The police authorities recently released wall posters carrying the photographs of Maoist district committee secretary Swamy alias Loketi Chander and five top leaders. "With the election season fast approaching, the police are very much worried over providing security to VIP politicians as most of them are in the Maoists' hitlist", a senior police officer told TOI.

With chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy's programme slated for January 30 and Prajarajyam party chief Chiranjeevi all set to begin his three-day Nizamabad tour on January 28, the police are laying special focus on the extremists' movements in interior areas of the district. Though the police officials have denied regrouping of various naxalite groups, they have not ruled out increased threat perception from the Maoists this time round.

Kamareddy DSP V Shyamsunder said the police forces are on complete guard to thwart any Maoist strike. Sources said the recent arrest of Kamareddy dalam commander Cheryala Laxmipathi and Janashakthi naxalite Ramesh has further strengthened the argument that the Maoists are back in the business.

The extremist movement suffered a major dent after the Manala encounter wherein 10 Maoists, including DCS Ramesh were killed on March 7, 2005. "With the then SP Madhusudhan Reddy developing a massive informer network, the Maoist cadre beat a hasty retreat as most of them shifted their base to nearby Chhattisgarh state," an officer involved in anti-naxal operations told TOI. There were nearly 100 informers working in the extremist-infested areas, he sadded.

Admitting that the naxal movement in the interior areas has seen a spurt in recent times, district SP N Suryanarayana said the police would not let their guard down in meeting the challenges posed by the Maoists.

DCP Himansu Lal gets Gallantry for fight against Maoists

Sunday, January 25, 2009

By Suchisimta Sahoo; Bhubaneswar: Deputy Commissioner of Police, Bhubaneswar Himansu Kumar Lal has been honoured with the Gallantry Awards for 2009. He will get this award for fight against Maoists. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs announced this on Sunday.
Himansu is 2003-batch IPS officer of Orissa cadre. The Government took note of Lal’s performance during a fierce encounter with the most wanted Maoists during the panchayat elections on February 12, 2006 in the dense forest of the Kalimela area of Malkangiri district.
The encounter, led by Lal, the then Superintendent of Police, Malkangiri, lasted for four hours. And finally, the deputy commander of Kalimela, Dalam Deva Madkami, was killed.
Other members of Lal’s energetic team have been also given Gallantry Awards. The team included Shahid Sharat Chandra Mishra, Inspector of Police, who laid his life for the nation during a land mine blast in Malkangiri last year.

Tribal leader shot dead

26 Jan 2009, 0416 hrs IST, TNN

BELPAHARI: A leader of Maoist-backed Committee against Police Atrocities (CPA) was killed on Saturday night while another was abducted on Sunday
next morning, a few hours before a meeting of the organization was scheduled at Chakadoba in the afternoon. In protest, CPA has called a bandh across Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore on Tuesday.

When the meeting finally took place on Sunday, CPA spokesperson Chhatradhar Mahato gave a war cry against the state and threatened an enormous movement against it. On Monday, members of the organization will gherao the Belpahari police station after which it will go big with Tuesday's bandh. More than 15,000 people attended the meeting at Chakadoba.

While goons shot dead Nirmal Sardar (36) at Talpukuria in Belpahari on Saturday night, more than 40 armed men kidnapped Himadri Mahato from his home at Keondishole on Sunday morning. Sardar's wife Shrimati said it was late at night when they heard a knock on their door. "My husband opened the door and found six men with their faces covered with mufflers, who told him to come out. He refused, but they dragged him out. When they threatened him against joining the meeting, he tried to flee. Then, I heard three gunshots," she said.

Mahato's mother Sushama fears he has already been killed. "Around 40-50 men came to our house and took Himadri out. I heard them telling him to sever ties with CPA, or they would kill him. When my son refused, they abducted him. I fear he has been killed," she said.

CPA spokesperson Chhatradhar Mahato claimed the murder and abduction was a conspiracy to stop the movement. "Police and ruling party leaders are trying to stop our movement and some Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leaders have joined them. But, we will spread our movement to entire south Bengal," he said.

Maoist's letter to TRS MLA causes stir among Andhra Oppn

Hyderabad, Jan 26: A letter purportedly written by a Maoist leader to Telangana Rashtra Samiti MLA T Harish Rao, asking him to revolt against his party chief and maternal uncle K Chandrasekhar Rao in case the party joined the Grand Alliance of TDP-Left, has caused a stir among the main opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh.

Related Stories
Orissa residents defy Maoist boycot call to take part in R-Day
Maoists set 20 vehicles on fire in Chhattisgarh to enforce shutdownWhile Harish Rao flatly denied having received any letter, the Left parties suspected the Congress hand behind the episode.

"I haven't received any letter. So I can't comment anything on the issue," Harish Rao said here today.

CPM state secretary B V Raghavulu said that they could not treat the letter as "genuine" as it was not written to the TRS party. "It was allegedly written to an individual, which gives no credence even if the Maoists had any reservations over the TRS joining the Grand Alliance," Raghavulu pointed out.

He said the Congress was adept at carrying out such amazing acts since it was the only party that would be happy if TRS stayed away from the Grand Alliance.

Even CPI state secretary K Narayana maintained a similar view and said the veracity of the letter has to be established.

The letter was reportedly written by Maoist Andhra-Orissa Border Committee member Sudarshan alias Sriramulu Srinivas to TRS MLA Harish Rao on January 17.

Sudarshan is currently lodged in the Charlapalli central prison here. The letter came to light only on Sunday when a Telugu news channel flashed it. The TRS leaders, in fact, denied yesterday itself having received any letter in the first place.

The Maoist leader allegedly asked Harish Rao to "revolt" against his maternal uncle and party chief KCR in case the TRS joined the Grand Alliance of TDP-Left.

"TDP president Chandrababu Naidu is an agent of the capitalist forces. He is a stauch opponent of Telangana. Both the TDP and the Congress have betrayed the people of the region for decades," Sudarshan reportedly said in the letter.

The TDP, Congress and CPI, CPM could be trounced if all pro-Telangana forces came together. Hence, the TRS would be committing a grave error if it joined the so-called Grand Alliance, the Maoist leader warned.

However, what caused suspicion about the genuineness of the letter is the language used by the writer. Sudarshan reportedly remarked that the CPI and the CPM were resorting to "political prostitution" by allying with the TDP.

"This kind of language was used only by the Congress against us. And going by the circumstances, only the Congress will be happy if TRS indeed stays away from the Grand Alliance as the ruling party is desperate to re-align with the pro-Telangana party. Hence, the letter should be the handiwork of the Congress," a Left party leader observed.

On its part, the Telugu Desam Party too brushed aside the letter and said nothing could come in the way of the TRS joining the "Grand Alliance."

"Once certain issues of contention are resolved, the Grand Alliance will take full shape with all the four parties," a TDP politburo member felt.

Bureau Report

Three naxalites killed in Orissa

Malkangiri, Orissa (PTI): Three naxalites, including a woman, were gunned down in Orissa's Malkangiri district by security forces from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, police said on Monday.

The naxalites were shot dead in an encounter near Kotpali village under Paparmatla police station area four days ago by jawans from Andhra Pradesh who were chasing the ultras, Superintendent of Police Satyabrata Bhoi said.

He said three rifles were recovered from the ultras who had been spotted during a combing operation by the security force in the neighbouring State.

Stating that information about the encounter was received late as the site was in a remote area, he said further details were being collected.

Two Naxals, accused in Tanti murder case, held

Express News Service First Published : 25 Jan 2009 09:34:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 25 Jan 2009 02:07:43 PM IST

JAJPUR: A few hours after two suspected Naxals, who were conducting a meeting with their state-level leader in Dumduma colony in Bhubaneswar, were picked up in a raid, the Jajpur police today revealed that the duo were members of CPI (ML) Janashakti, a left wing extremist outfit in the State.

Addressing a media conference at Jajpur Road, Jajpur SP D.S.Kuttey said the duo were identified as Chakradhar Haiburu (junior) of Ambagadia village in Kalinga Nagar and Paresh Mohanta of Kharkhari village in Kaliapani in Jajpur district. ‘‘Both Chakradhar and Paresh were the conspirators in trade unionist Rajesh Tanti murder case that took place in Tomka area in July last year. This apart, they are involved in two extortion cases under Tomka police limits here,’’ Kuttey said.

However, house owner Gopinath Mishra, state secretary of CPI (ML) Janasakti wing was managed to flee during raid, the SP added. The duo were produced before the court of JMFC at Jajpur Road today. Both were remanded in judicial custody after their bail pleas were rejected.

The state head of CPI (ML) Janashakti Anna Reddy has already come in police net in the past. He was held from a hospital in Bhubaneswar while attending his girlfriend. Besides running an extortion network in the mining belt, Reddy was accused in the murder of forest officials in Dhenkanal in 2007.

Naxalites challenge to Jharkhand security: Governor

Published: January 26,2009

Ranchi , Jan 26 Jharkhand Governor Syed Sibtey Razi today said Naxalite extremism was a challenge to the state&aposs security and a multi-pronged strategy has been drawn to deal with the menace.

"The Left-wing extremism is the main challenge for the state&aposs internal security. And under a multi-pronged strategy to face the challenge, security has been strengthened with modern weapons and other resources," Razi said.

Stating that several steps have been taken to strengthen the state police force, Governor said," Three companies of forces have been set up under India Reserve Battalion. Two more companies of forces comprising retired Army personnel and creation of Special Task Force would be raised to deal with the Naxalites."

"My efforts will be to take police reform till the police station level and instill among people a sense of security and consider the police as a friend," Razi said in his Republic day speech here.

Besides, the governor said proper infrastructure and employment opportunities were being made available in the rural areas of Jharkhand, which is now under President&aposs rule.

"The first condition for development is peace. Therefore, we have to take a pledge to keep the state and the nation peaceful at any cost," Governor said, adding that only a peaceful environment could help progress reaching to every individual of the society.

Source: PTI

Maoists attempt to disrupt celebrations in Malkangiri

Published: January 26,2009

Malkangiri (Orissa), Jan 26 Maoists attempted to disrupt the Republic Day celebrations in Orissa&aposs Malkangiri district by felling trees across roads and putting up black flags and posters at some places today.

Police sources said that though the district-level function was held smoothly with the state School and Mass Education Minister Sanjeev Sahoo, unfurling the Tricolour and taking salute, celebrations could not take place in some schools in remote areas following a call by the Maoists to observe the day as a&aposblack day&apos.

Black flags were put up by the ultras in areas like Kalimela, Motu, MV-79 and Chitrakonda where banners and posters displayed by the red rebels also asked the people to keep away from Republic Day celebrations.

While security force was deployed in strength in all sensitive areas of the Naxalite-affected district, the Maoists blocked several roads by felling trees in areas like Kusuguda, Motu, MV-96 and Kudikunda.

Source: PTI

Chhattisgarh Govt extends full support to 'Salwa Judum'

Published: January 26,2009

Raipur , Jan 26 Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh today declared his government&aposs full support to Salwa Judum, the forest dwellers&apospeace movement against naxalite violences, and promised to take steps to secure their livelihood.

In his Republic Day speech after hoisting the national flag at Jagdalpur, the headquarters of Bastar division, the Chief Minister said,"it was because of such people and their movement that the country&aposs Republic is secured today."

Raman Singh said that the state government would take steps to secure the livelihood of these tribal people and measures for their rehabilitation.

Singh said that his government has fulfilled the promises it had made to people and was able to maintain the confidence people had reposed on it.

The Chief Minister called upon people to take maximum benefit of the government schemes to take Chhattisgarh one of the leading states in the country. He reiterated his government&aposs promise to provide sensitive and co-operative administration to the people.

In his address, Singh said his government has already distributed more than one lakh land right documents to tribals under the Forest Dwellers Land Rights Act and said additional 1.5 lakh forest dwellers would be given such documents soon. Besides, he also promised that farmers would be given farm loan at three per cent interest soon.

The Chief Minister spoke about various schemes of his government like rice at Rs 3 per kg to about 37 lakh families, paddy procurement, Rs 270 bonus on paddy and major fund allocation for extension of irrigation facilities.

Source: PTI

Naxals release abducted policemen

Published: January 26,2009

Raipur , Jan 26 The three policemen abducted by the naxalites on January 22 in Kanker district have been released, police officials said today.

Pawan Dev, DIG ( State Intelligence Bureau) told PTI today that the three policemen were freed by the Left-wing extremists on Sunday evening and they reached Kanker yesterday night.

The DIG said the released policemen were being questioned to know how they were abducted, where were they kept, and how were they treated.

The released policemen said that they were abducted when they had gone to Sode village, four kilometres from Amabeda police station, to make telephone calls to their homes, Dev said.

The extremists also took their mobile handsets and two motor cycles from them. All the three policemen - Lakhan Netam, Chandrasekhar Thakur and Ramprakahs Tiwari were stationed at Amabeda police station.

According to the police, the extremists had taken them deep into the jungles, tied them in trees and threatened them to quit the police service.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh yesterday had ordered for a comprehensive search operation to trace the these missing security personnel.

Source: PTI

Naxals torch 28 trucks in Chhattisgarh

Raipur, Jan 26 (PTI) Armed naxalites torched 28 trucks and vehicles engaged in road construction work in Dantewada and Kanker districts last night.
Senior police officials said today that a large number of armed naxalites barged into a vehicle garage of a prominent contractor in Kirandul and torched 24 vehicles stationed there. Similarly, the extremists torched four tippers in Kanker district.

Dantewada SP Rahul Sharma told PTI today that more than 400 armed naxalites stormed the garage of prominent contractor K A Papachand and Company Limited (KAPCL) last night. They first threatened the family members of the contractor and his workers of dire consequences if they raised any alarm and then set afire the vehicles stationed in the garage.

On the basis of eye-witness accounts, Sharma said, the naxalites had also tried to set a fuel pump near the garage on fire but as it was empty they could not succeed in the task. The fuel tank was also owned by KAPCL.

Meanwhile, police said that a group of naxalites snatched mobiles from the members of Papachand family and their workers, the other group damaged the fuel tanks of the vehicles and set them on fire. After the incident, the extremists returned the mobiles to their respective owners.

In another incident, Left wing extremists torched four tippers of PCL Company engaged in road work between Bhanupratappur and Antagarh in Kanker district.

According to police officials in Kanker, more than 30 armed naxalites took control of the vehicles engaged in road construction work and then set them on fire.

The naxals had also taken the vehicle drivers along with them but released them later. PTI

A moment to cherish for Orissa Police

Express News Service First Published : 26 Jan 2009 04:28:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 26 Jan 2009 09:01:55 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: When Amita receives country’s second highest gallantry award Ashok Chakra conferred on her braveheart husband Pramod Satpathy at the Republic Day function in New Delhi tomorrow, it will be a moment Orissa Police would cherish forever.

Pramod, an assistant commandant with Special Operations Group (SOG), raised to fight extremists, laid down his life fighting the Naxals in February last year.

His brother Nirmal Satpathy, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) with the Commissionerate of Police, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack, will escort Amita to the podium.

Pramod had taken on an army of Naxals in the dense forests of Ganjam during a flushout operation that followed a Naxal attack on Nayagarh town where the radicals killed over a dozen policemen besides looting arms and ammunition.

The Assistant Commandant had led his team in pursuit of 500 ultras who took refuge in Ganjam’s Gasma forests. As the Naxals beat a retreat, Pramod along with his bike-borne team followed them into the forest. Despite coming under heavy fire, they took on the radicals. Pramod was fatally injured.

Born in 1964 in Jajpur, Pramod had joined Orissa State Armed Police in 1987 as Jamadar. He was posted as an Instructor at Armed Police Training College, Jharsuguda, in 1994 before being promoted as Subedar. Later, he was elevated as Assistant Commandant.

In 2005, Pramod joined SOG. “He was the first person to join SOG when this fighting force was created and he was part of it when the fighting force was built brick-by-brick. He symbolised Special Operations Group,” a senior police officer said. In fact, Pramod was to fly to Delhi on February 16, 2008 to visit an arms exhibition but as fate would have it, the Nayagarh mayhem took place the evening before. He had to stay back to lead the flushout operation.

Pramod was trained at National Security Guards Training Centre, Manesar, in 1989. He also underwent further skill upgradation at BSF Training, Hajiribagh, ITBP, Musourie.

Pune top target for Naxals: Kumawat

Sunday, January 25th, 2009 AT 3:01 PM

PUNE: Naxals have drawn elaborate plans to enter urban areas making slums, college campuses and middle class employee association their breeding grounds, Border Security Force (BSF) Director General M L Kumawat said in the city on Saturday. Speaking at a seminar on challenges of internal security, Kumawat said, “Pune is one of the top targets that Naxals had zeroed on, according to documents seized during recent investigations.”

The Border Security Force chief said that issues like globalisation and privatisation had been made the buzzwords of the Naxal movement to evoke involvement of the urban intelligentsia.

Kumawat said that it had become easy for Naxals to garner sympathy considering the issues they raise to get public support.

“We are always told that Naxals thrive in areas which lack development.

“But if observed carefully, we will find that they have destroyed every kind of development infrastructure like telephone lines, power generation centres, roads and school buildings," Kumawat told the audience.

The Border Security Force Director General urged people to be cautious about the evil designs of the Naxalites towards the country.

The Andhra Pradesh cadre officer was chief of the elite anti-naxal Grey Hounds force of that state.

Kumawat has also served as Central Bureau of Intelligence (CBI) joint director.

Maoist hoist black flags in some parts of Jharkhand

January 26th, 2009 - 7:34 pm ICT by IANS

Ranchi, Jan 26 (IANS) On the 60th Republic Day, Maoist rebels hoisted black flags in some parts of Jharkhand, police sources said Monday. According to police sources, black flags were hoisted by Maoist rebels in Palamau, Chatra, Chaibasa and in some other parts of the state.

“We have received reports that Maoist rebels at gun-point hoisted black flags in some schools and government buildings. The black flags were removed by the police after it was reported by the concerned authorities,” a police source said.

The source said: “Maoists unfurl black flags to express their dissent with the policies of the government.”

Maoist rebels are active in 18 of the 24 districts of the state. More than 1,450 people have been killed in Maoist related violence in Jharkhand in the last eight years.