Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cops training to include New Age crime

22 Feb 2009, 0551 hrs IST, TNN

Bangalore : It may not be immediately apparent but Karnataka police are changing. They're gearing up to deal with terrorism and cyber crime,
adopt technology and corporate management practices, follow ethics and respect human rights.

The state police are often criticized for lacking core competence in dealing with well-equipped terrorists, Naxalites and cyber crimes, poor intelligence gathering and poor knowledge about scientific tools for investigation and counter-intelligence techniques. They score poorly on public relations, corporate management, ethics and human rights too.

But, all that could change. The training module for sub-inspectors is being revised so they are well-versed to deal with all these problems. The director general of police (Corps of Detectives) D V Guruprasad has designed this module.

The increasing terror threat has made the police focus on internal security and intelligence gathering. Cops will be trained extensively on the security scenario, banned organizations and other critical groups, various legal provisions, Naxalism in India, with special reference to Karnatakam explosives detection, bomb defusion and disposal, collection of intelligence, (human and technical), counter-intelligence, case studies of terrorist attacks, interrogation of terror suspects, and VIP protection.

The extensive use of computers and mobile phones by criminals has made the police top brass equip their officers with knowledge about them. Besides lessons on basic computer applications, cyber crimes, forensic science, including brain mapping and narcoanalysis, the cops will be trained how to use laptops and GPS.

The module will have a huge impact on the ground as sub-inspectors handle police stations. The draft received a good response from other state police too.

Guruprasad said: "The module is better than IPS training. It has five phases, a right mix of theory and practicals. I have consulted over 100 people, from experts in the US and UK to senior IPS officers to inspectors. I'm happy it is being viewed as a model by other state police.''

The module currently followed is based on the recommendations of Prof M S Gore Committee, constituted by the Union government in 1971. ADGP (Recruitment and Training) S T Ramesh said: "We never heard of cyber crimes during our training. Things have changed so much. Training is a dynamic concept and hence needs to be revamped at regular intervals.''

86 pc naxal attacks in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa

New Delhi (PTI): Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa together account for about 86 per cent of incidents of naxal violence and casualties, both civilian and security personnel, in the country.

In the 1,591 incidents in the country in 2008, the number being slightly higher than those in the previous year, 231 security personnel and 490 civilians were killed, Home Ministry sources said.

Chhattisgarh accounted for the highest number of 620 incidents, followed by Jharkhand (484), Bihar (164) and Orissa (103), they said.

In Chhattisgarh, 85 security personnel and 157 civilians lost their lives in naxal violence in 2008, while in Jharkhand the corresponding figures were 38 policemen and 169 civilians.

Bihar accounted for the deaths of 21 security men and 52 civilians and for Orissa the respective figures were 73 security personnel and 28 civilians.

In fact, this year's figures available till first week of this month show that 53 incidents of naxal violence have already taken place in Chhattisgarh, followed by 48 in Jharkhand, 17 in Bihar and 10 in Orissa. Maharashtra has accounted for 15 incidents, including the most daring one in Gadchiroli early this month in which 15 policemen were killed.

Besides the four worst-affected States, naxal violence has been reported from Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, the sources said.

The total casualties of security forces in 2008 was 231, which was five less than the toll in 2007. Likewise, 490 civilians were killed in naxal attacks in 2008, compared to 460 the previous year.

While 199 naxalites were killed in police operations last year, the figure for 2007 was 141, they said.

Referring to the spurt in naxal violence in Gadchiroli district, a senior official said that the maoists operating in Chhattisgarh were reported to be moving to new areas.

"CPI (Maoists) cadres move from one state to another. Such movement of Maoist cadres usually takes place in the adjoining areas of the states affected by naxal problem," the official said.

He said such movements underline the need for joint operations — a suggestion mooted at a recent meeting of Chief Ministers of affected States chaired by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram.

The naxal Wing in the Home Ministry is monitoring on a regular basis the training being imparted to state police and para-military forces in counter-insurgency and jungle warfare. The Centre has sanctioned 10 Commando Battalions for Resolute Action (CoBRA) as a specialised anti-maoist force.

3,000 ex-Maoists line up to join Chiranjeevi's party

22 Feb 2009, 0840 hrs IST, TNN

HYDERABAD: Hundreds of former naxalites, who jettisoned the Maoist movement in the last ten years, will join the Prajarajyam Party on February 24.

According to party sources, around 3,000 former militants of various factions of the CPI (ML) and CPI (Maoist) will join the newly-floated party in Hyderabad in the presence of PRP chief Chiranjeevi and Yuvarajyam president Pavan Kalyan.

This was the culmination of around six months of hardwork to mobilise the former rebels and bring them into PRP. The association of Marxist-Leninist singer Gadar and other pro-naxal intellectuals with the actor are said to have coordinated the move.

First meeting of the former naxalites was organised in Guntur in December last attended by over 800 people. The meeting was addressed by Dr P Mitra, party’s senior leader.

“In fact we wanted to organise a meeting in each district. But, due to logistic reasons and lack of time, a state-level meeting is planned in Hyderabad on February 24,” former People’s War activist I Satyanarayana told STOI.

Satyanarayana, a native of Guntur, was a member of the erstwhile Radical Youth League. He quit the extremist organisation due to personal reasons. “Even though thousands of people left the movement long ago they are not able to lead a peaceful life because of the hostile attitude of the police and lack of support from the government. So, they feel only PRP can restore a sense

Soldier, dancer, doc: Many roles of women Naxals

22 Feb 2009, 0129 hrs IST, TNN

SOUTH BASTAR: Eighteen-year-old Radha looks too young to be called a comrade. But there’s no mistaking the gun she swings over her shoulder. Radha’s
desire to be a part of the ongoing festivities in Dandakarnya forest’s Bhumkal divas is almost infectious. But it is a measure of her guerrilla discipline that she skips the festivities until her sentry duty is over.

For all her teenager-enthusiasm, Radha carries the significant mantle of being a third-generation Naxal fighter. Her grandfather joined the rebels and his two sons followed suit. Radha, her older brother and a sister are gun-toting comrades, familiar with the terrain, comfortable with their way of life.

There are several young girl comrades in this group. On the one hand innocent, on the other trained to shoot and debilitate, these girls are a strange mix of girly behaviour and warrior grit. Comrade Soni, 18, transforms from soldier in olive fatigues to a dancer in a red-and-white sari, her gun resting on the ground as she takes to the stage, with the intensity of a focused soldier.

Not everyone is in fatigues here, although all the women are trained fighters. Comrade Sanjini for one doesn’t wear the olive uniform and could pass off as any other tribal woman if it weren’t for the black plastic holster she casually slings over her right shoulder. Sanjini heads the chetna natya manch. As head, she reworks traditional Gondi songs to include Red lyrics.

To each his peace, and these women find peace in their fight against the State. No matter the risk to their lives or the sacrifices they make, these women are almost fierce in asserting that this is the chosen way of life. Comrades Sanjeev, Sonai and Ranita were injured in an encounter. Comrade Janila’s was the first stop they made. Fluent in Gondi and barely able to speak Hindi, Janila is the resident doctor-nurse. As part of the Doctor Squad, she tends to the injured trio, dresses their wounds and gives them ‘‘ampicillin injections’’. She rejects a safer life.

‘‘I would never have been happy raising children and tending to the fields. I have greater control over my life here. Working for the party, for the people is the life I enjoy,’’ she states.

For the only married woman we met, Comrade Roopi is a picture in contrast. Tall and lean, the bespectacled Roopi is from Andhra Pradesh and her Naxal husband is with another cadre. She does not want to talk about the life she has left behind.

‘‘It’s been six years since I saw my mother. I do miss her,’’ she says but is quick to add that it would be the same if she were working in some other city. Her role as educator involves daily classes with the tribal locals, where she teaches Maoist philosophy. She tells them, she says, of how imperialist forces have oppressed them, looted their forests and destroyed their way of life. The present day government is equally oppressive, she adds.

Mahto: Maoist victim


Jamshedpur, Feb. 20: Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader and MP Sunil Mahto was killed by Maoists and was not a victim of a political conspiracy, the CBI has concluded.

Deputy superintendent of police (CBI) and investigating officer in the case P.K. Pandey shared this with The Telegraph.

According to him, the JMM leader’s killing was plotted and executed by a squad of dreaded Maoists led by Rahulji alias Ranjit Pal, who operates along the Jharkhand-Bengal border.

“According to the evidence gathered so far, it can be concluded that it was Rahulji who executed the murder of the JMM leader alongwith four others, including his three bodyguards,” said Pandey.

The CBI officer revealed the status of the investigation a day after he visited Baguria in Galudih under the Ghatshila sub-division, alongwith CBI joint director S.P. Singh.

Another CBI officer, D.P. Arya, had accompanied them to the spot yesterday.

The JMM leader was gunned down by Maoists at Baguria on March 4, 2007, while he was attending a football match. In the attack, one of his partymen, Prabhakar Mahto, and three security guards were also killed.

The police had made several arrests in this connection. The state government had assigned the case to the CID first and subsequently to the CBI. It has been almost two years since the MP was killed, but the leading investigating agency failed to make any dent in the case.

The investigating officer said that the CBI has identified Rahulji.

“We are in possession of the photographs. The case will be closed soon and hence we have expedited the investigation,” said Pandey.

Another Maoist surrenders

Statesman News Service

SAMBALPUR, Feb. 20: Sunil Tirki (24), a Maoist, surrendered before police yesterday. He also gave up country made firearms he was possessing.
Tirki hails from village Alighati and had joined the CPI-ML in 2006 after being motivated by area commander Damdeo and many others.
He was party to various crimes including the blast in the Sitlenpali farm house. He was also accused of abducting the DFO and ranger of Kenduleaf department and encountered police at Badmal the same year. Tirki also participated actively in circulation of Maoists’ leaflets and organising meetings in different villages to motivate and allure people towards the Maoists fold, the SP of Sambalpur, Mr Sanjay Kumar, said today.
“But after death of his colleagues in police encounter and arrest of many others, he had no option than to surrender,” the SP added.
With Tirki's arrest the number of Maoist arrest have gone up to 37, Mr Kumar said.

Surrendered top Maoist arrested, family cries foul

21 Feb 2009, 0519 hrs IST, TNN

HYDERABAD: Maoist top leader Sambasivudu who had surrendered on February 15 was formally arrested by the police on Friday.

Sambasivudu's family members, however, cried foul saying the police had earlier assured him that he would not be arrested. Soon after his surrender, Sambasivudu was allowed to go home but was called back on Wednesday night. The Special Intelligence Branch (SIB) on grilled him on Thursday and asked his brother and family members, who had come along with him, to go home. On Thursday night, he was handed over to Mahbubnagar police.

The Mahbubnagar police executed a non-bailable warrant pending against him in the murder case of one S R Kondal Rao of PK Pally in 2004 in which Sambasivudu is the prime accused.

He was produced in the Kollapur court and remanded in judicial custody for 14 days. Sambasivudu is to be brought to the Charlapally jail in Hyderabad.

"There are several cases and non bailable warrants pending against him, including in 10 murder cases in Mahbubnagar district. He will be arrested in all cases, including in the murder case of former Maktal MLA Ch Narsi Reddy,'' Mahbubnagar superintendent of police T V Shashidhar Reddy told TOI.

Following the arrest, Sambasivudu's brother Konapuri Ramulu met intelligence chief K Aravinda Rao along with BC Welfare Association R Krishnaiah on Friday afternoon and sought his release.

"Home minister K Jana Reddy and other SIB officials assured us during the surrender that Sambasivudu would not be arrested, but the cases would not be withdrawn. The surrender policy will be applicable to him, he had told us. But the police arrested him on Thursday night, acting against the assurance given to us," Konapuri Ramulu told TOI.

"Aravinda Rao told us the cases would continue. But he said they had never assured us that Samasivudu would not be arrested," Ramulu said.

Police officials, however say arrest in grave cases is mandatory. "Earlier `Tech' Madhu was arrested and produced in court in Mahbubnagar district for various offences after his surrender. Recently a DCM of Karimnagar district Vepula Rajeshwam, who had surrendered, was also arrested by Karimnagar police to be tried in various cases," a senior police official said.

Sambasivudu, who surrendered to the police on February 15, claimed that he had not executed the murder of former Maktal MLA Chittem Narsireddy in 2005 but had planned it.

Multi Pronged Programme to Combat Terrorism

16:54 IST
Rajya Sabha

Railway Protection Force (RPF), an Armed Force of the Union under Ministry of Railways, is presently supplementing the efforts of the respective State Governments in combating terrorist, naxalites and other disruptive activities over Railways. Although the maintenance of the law and order and to tackle the problem of terrorists, naxalites attacks and other disruptive activities over Railways is the responsibility of the State Government concerned through Government Railway Police (GRP). However, RPF is supplementing the GRP to tackle such problems. Following measures have been initiated for strengthening of RPF viz.
I. RPF/RPSF staff have been deployed at important stations and in trains and briefed to be prepared to tackle any situation.

II. Staffs have been put on alert to prevent such incidents.

III. GRP and State Police have also been asked to strengthen the security arrangements at Railway stations and in trains.

IV. Close coordination with State Police and Intelligence agencies have been maintained to share information of such acts.

V. Allocation of Rs. 60.76 crore for procurement of modern security equipment for RPF.

VI. Allocation of Rs. 14.26 crore for procurement of vehicles for RPF.

VII. Implementation of an Integrated Security System over all the railway stations of four metro cities viz. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata & Chennai and 140 other sensitive/vulnerable railway stations of the country. The above system consists of following four broad areas- (1) IP based CCTV surveillance System; (2) Access Control; (3) Personal and Baggage Screening System and (4) Bomb Detection and Disposal System.

VIII. RPF has been upgraded with modern weaponry/security gadgets like INSAS 5.56 mm rifles, AK-47, SLR 7.62 mm, Carbine 9 mm, Pistol 9 mm, Bullet Proof Jackets and Helmets, Walkie-Talkie, Hand Held Metal Detectors, Door Frame Metal Detectors, etc.

IX. It has been proposed to give commando training to 2 RPSF Battalions and deployment of trained staff at strategic locations. It has also been proposed to raise three additional Battalions of RPSF.

There is no separate Head for Security purposes. Funds are made available for the procurement of Security equipments and modernization/strengthening of the Railway Protection Force from appropriate heads of account like Works Programme, machinery & Plants (M&P) Head, Passenger Amenity Head etc. Allocation of funds for Security purposes is made as per requirement,.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Ministry of Railways, Dr. R. Velu in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.


Maharashtra demands Rs 1.5 crore from Centre

Published: February 21,2009

Mumbai , Feb 21 Maharashtra has made a strong case for devolution of about Rs 1,50,000 crore from the divisible Centre pool of taxes during 2010-2015.

Making a presentation to the 13th finance commission headed by Vijay Kelkar, the state government sought funding of Rs 16,000 crore for developmental needs of Mumbai during the five-year period.

State&aposs total demand is a five-fold increase as compared to the previous five years.

The finance commission recommends devolution of resources from the Centre to the state governments every five years and it is usually coterminous with the five-year plan.

" State plans to develop Mumbai as an international finance centre. For this we sought a special fund of Rs 16,000 crore," Finance Minister Dilip Valse-Patil told reporters after meeting the commission here.

Maharashtra has also suggested that a fund of Rs 50,000 crore be set up by the Centre for the states which are developing rapidly, Valse-Patil said.

For enhancing security apparatus, specially the coastal security, the state has demanded Rs 300 crore, while Rs 435 crore have been sought for improving road network in Naxalites-affected areas.

Memorandum submitted by the state to the commission states that Maharashtra has"serious issues"with the income criterion.

Under the criterion, Maharashtra is deemed to be a rich state (and devolution is reduced), but not all areas of the state are as developed as Mumbai or Pune, Valse-Patil said.

Source: PTI

15 Maoists caught in Maharashtra

February 20th, 2009 - 3:57 pm
Mumbai, Feb 20 (IANS) Fifteen Maoists have been caught in eastern Maharashtra during a stepped up offensive by police, nearly three weeks after the rebels brutally killed 15 cops in the same area, a top official said Friday.
The Maoists were caught by the police’s Anti-Naxalite Squad (ANS) from Gadchiroli district late Thursday, police said. Seven locally manufactured guns, bundles of wire and a mine were also recovered from the group.

This takes the number of Maoists arrested this month to 28, ANS chief Pankaj Gupta said. Thirteen Maoists were nabbed by the security forces Feb 6.

Gupta termed the development as ‘a significant step forward” in the police’s fight against Maoists in eastern parts of the state and surrounding central India.

“The operation is the outcome of accurate intelligence inputs which we garnered, strict road blockades and massive combing operations by security forces in two sub-districts infested with Maoists,” Gupta told IANS Friday.

Gupta said contrary to information coming in from various quarters, all the 28 Maoists have been found “very much from and around Gadchiroli.”

Gupta also dismissed as “baseless” reports that the group which attacked the 15-member police team and killed them Feb 1 was led by a woman Maoist called Narmada.

“These were attempts by certain elements to misguide us on the wrong track, but we continued undeterred,” he said.

The latest development has boosted the morale of the police and security forces as it comes 19 days after 15 police personnel were brutally killed by Maoists in Marke village in Gadchiroli.

This was the first time security forces suffered such a large number of casualties in a single attack by Maoists in the past three decades in Maharashtra, shocking the state’s political and security establishment.

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Home Minister Jayant Patil and other top officials had rushed to Gadchiroli Feb 2 and rushed additional security of over 2,000 personnel to help nab the culprits involved in the attack.

Gupta said in 2008, around 150 Maoists were either nabbed by the security forces or had surrendered.

Constable succumbs to injuries

21 Feb 2009, 0319 hrs IST, TNN

PATNA: A BMP constable, Rajesh Kumar, who received grievous injuries in the Naxalite attack on police force in Nawada on February 9, succumbed to his injuries at Delhi. Immediately after the incident, Kumar was flown to Delhi for treatment in AIIMS.
According to ADG (headquarters) Neelmani, the body of the deceased constable will be sent to his native home in Begusarai after a guard of honour.

Haryana: Villagers bid adieu to martyr

A large number of people gathered in the Khedi Hosdarpur village in Jhajjar on Friday to bid a tearful adieu to Constable Satyender Yadav. The policeman laid his life while fighting Naxals in Conked sector of Chhattisgarh..

THE MORTAL remains of Satyender Yadav, constable in Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), who lost his life during an encounter with Naxalites in Conked sector of Chhattisgarh, were consigned to flames at Khedi Hosdarpur village in Jhajjar, on Friday (February 20), with full military and civil honours.

A large numbers of villagers gathered to pay their last respects to this valiant soldier. Virender Yadav, elder brother of the martyr, lit the pyre.

A contingent of the CRPF and the Haryana Police reversed arms and fired a volley of shots in the air while bidding farewell to the departed army man. The SDM Satyender Duhan laid wreaths on behalf of the district administration on this occasion.

Earlier, the body of the martyr was taken to his village where the women members of the family and surrounding areas gave a tearful send-off to him. Heart-rending scenes were witnessed as women wailed and cried before the start of the funeral procession.

Ram Niwas Yadav, father of the martyr, said that his son was one of the many who had laid down their lives and he was proud of his son.

Yet another Naxalite surrenders

Express News Service First Published : 20 Feb 2009 05:24:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 20 Feb 2009 02:12:23 PM IST

SAMBALPUR: Naxal cadre Sunil Tirkey alias Shankar alias Sarpanch (24) surrendered before the police here today. With this, the number of surrendered Naxals reached four with three female cadres Deepti Naik, Scholestica Minz and Rashmita Naik surrendering earlier. Since November 14, 2007, 37 Naxals have been arrested. SP Sanjay Kumar said police are on high alert to thwart any bid by some of the old cadres to regroup.

Presenting Sunil before the media who surrendered with a country-made rifle, Kumar said Sunil was lured into Naxal fold in January 2006 by Damdeo, Benu Majhi and Ganesh Mirdha and since then he had been an active member of the outfit. He was involved in many criminal activities, circulation of leaflets, holding meetings besides blowing up of a farmhouse at Sitlenpali and an encounter with police team at Badmal. A resident of village Alighaty under Jujumora police limits, he was involved in the abduction of divisional forest officer and range officer of kendu leaf near Mochhudihi in March 2006.

Talking to the media Sunil said Damdeo influenced him to join the Naxal fold. He said after the arrest of Benudhar, Nirmal and Bablu he felt deceived and decided to surrender.

Aditi Phadnis: Guarding the home

Aditi Phadnis / New Delhi February 21, 2009, 0:24 IST

Someone's finally putting the home ministry together again.

On March 11, Home Minister P Chidambaram will complete 100 days in office. He has asked for 150 days to roll out his blueprint for the revival of the home ministry. India is willing to give him 1,500 days — so long as it is clear that India has a home minister who is ready to act.

Some evidence of action — and previous inaction — is there for everyone to see in the figures revealed by the Interim Budget. Most of the outlays must have been finalised before Chidambaram took over as Home Minister. More than Rs 1,000 crore was returned by the home ministry unutilised in the current year. Of this, Special Police accounted for the lion’s share. As this head includes charges to be reimbursed to state governments for expenditure incurred on the maintenance of border check-posts, etc., it is inexplicable why so much money was returned unspent. If the state governments are unable to even spend the funds, it’s hardly surprising that militant groups believe that they can subvert state governments almost at will.

That the home ministry under Shivraj Patil was ready to give assorted law breakers a second chance is clear from two incidents. After a particularly spectacular encounter between the security forces and Naxalites which left some militants dead last year, a TV reporter from that area requested the home minister for a quote. He assumed that Patil would rant against the militants which would send a strong message to the state. Instead, Patil asked him to come to his residence. The home minister explained to the reporter on the camera that it was considered improper to speak ill of the dead in the Indian culture. There was no story.

And when a large part of India was hit by repeated Naxalite attacks, the home minister, in April 2005, said: “The government is not interested in using weapons. They (the Naxalites) are our brothers and sisters and we know that this is a socio-economic problem rather than one of law and order. We can solve these problems through dialogue and discussions.” When criticised during a discussion in the Rajya Sabha for sympathising with Naxal terror, he said there was “nothing wrong in calling those born in India as our brothers and sisters”.

Sri Prakash Jaiswal, Patil’s junior minister, has nothing but regard for his senior colleague. Especially as Patil taught him several yoga asanas including the shirshasana or standing on one’s head.

Chidambaram is not quite as versatile or ambidextrous. All he’s been doing is coming to office at 9 am and leaving at 9 pm, which means his colleagues, especially bureaucrats, have to follow. In his four-odd years in office, Patil condemned 19 sets of bomb blasts. They kept happening, he kept condemning them. He also held many National Integration Days and led his colleagues to take oaths against terrorism every year without fail.

Chidambaram, in contrast, has spent a lot of time in his initial days in office boning up on the intelligence agencies. He holds a meeting with intelligence heads once a day, either at 12 noon or 3 pm. The national security advisor is invited to attend so that the home ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office are on the same page. This ensures that steps can be taken in anticipation of an event rather than retroactively. The post of Internal Security Advisor, which had remained vacant since MK Narayanan became the national security advisor in 2005, was filled by KC Verma, who has had a long innings as an intelligence administrator. Chidambaram’s Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Safi Ahsan Rizvi has also had an intelligence background.

Officers now know that they need to deliver conclusions. There are no ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. He has laid down clear timelines for targets. Patil would only meet officers above a certain rank. The message that has gone down in the home ministry now is: This minister will call an under-secretary if he has the answer to a question he has asked. This is keeping senior officers on their toes. Protocol no longer spells protection.

In pursuit of his goals, his attitude is: Kuchh bhi karega. He called on BJP leader LK Advani to get his ideas on the National Investigative Authority (NIA). When churches in Orissa feared they might be attacked over Christmas in retaliation to Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati’s murder, Chidambaram offered a helicopter to the Orissa government and spoke to Naveen Patnaik twice a day to find out what kind of security measures were in place.

When he talked to officers in Naxal-hit Jharkhand, he offered them the mobile telephone number of his OSD and encouraged them to call him at any time of the day. Again the message was: Don’t bother about protocol. Just get it done.

It isn’t that bomb blasts have stopped. Indeed, bombs went off in Assam hours before Chidambaram was to land there on New Year’s Day. But everyone — his officers, the government, even his colleagues (Pranab Mukherjee voiced a virtual panegyric on him in his reply to the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address in the Lok Sabha) — says that the message is out that those who have been behind such incidents will be punished. This is the change: The Chidambaram effect.

Karnataka sets up internal security cell

Bangalore,Feb 20 (PTI) Bracing itself to tackle threats posed by terror menace and Naxals, Karnataka Government today said it has set up an internal security cell with 475 staff.
Five new police stations were being set up in Malnad areas to strengthen security in the wake of increased Naxal activities, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said, presenting the budget in the state assembly.

In the coming days three more India Reserve Battalions will be established for improving the effectiveness of police forces, he said, adding, the state planned to recruit 3,840 more police personnel.

A sum of Rs 40 crore will be provided for improving traffic in Bangalore City through implementation of the 'B-Track project,'Yeddyurappa said. PTI

Maoists prefer to go childless

21 Feb 2009, 0344 hrs IST, TNN

NAXAL CAMP, SOUTH BASTAR: They live under the shadow of the gun and haven't heard of Valentine's Day. But that does not stop them from falling in
love. For the Maoists of the Dandakaranya forest, love is as real as their battle against the state. So is marriage, divorce and vasectomy. Yet, there are no children around in the camp. If that seems unreal, no one is saying so.

Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee's spokesperson Comrade Pandu smiles shyly on being asked about his wife. His ‘partner', he says, is also a gun-toting cadre member working elsewhere in Bastar. But he turns serious at the mention of children. "We are in the midst of war. The situation is not conducive to having children.
It would be unfair to bring them up in these conditions. I have had vasectomy done," he says.

Vasectomy in the middle of the jungle? "We get doctors here: either sympathizers or cadre members who operate," he replies. In the camp was a woman who had recently aborted. Naxals said she was being taken special care of and given egg curry to supplement the routine urad dal, rice, potato and papaya curry.

"Nothing is forced. We explain to comrades the difficulties of having children here. Most understand, but if someone still wants to have babies, they can do so," explains Comrade Pandu.

A collective decision is the norm when someone wants to get married as well. It's easy to fall in love when you live in close proximity in dangerous situations. But the party frowns upon ‘live-in' arrangements, so couples who want to tie the knot seek the blessings of party seniors.

"We are against sexual relations without marriage. Once a comrade turns 20, he or she can get married. In case they like someone but are hesitant, we put the proposal to the other person. If a person doesn't have a partner, but wants to get married, we ‘arrange' a suitable match," adds Pandu, formulaic in his approach.

The marriage ceremony is only a simple oath during a sabha vivah. The bride and groom stand on a makeshift stage in front of party members and pledge to live together while keeping the party objective top priority.

If someone wants to marry a non-comrade, elders explain the "difficulties". "Comrades can leave the cadre but re-assimilating into society after living in the jungle is difficult. They end up being victims of police oppression.
Though nothing is imposed, most comrades choose to marry within the party," says Pandu.

Divorce is also allowed. Promiscuity invites a trial before the janata adalat.

Pandu dismisses reports of widespread STDs and cases of HIV among cadres. He calls it government propaganda. "The only HIV positive case we have heard of is Comrade Shyam Rao who is in Nagpur Jail. We believe he got infected through an unclean syringe while he was in jail," says Pandu.

475-strong internal security cell to come up

Express News Service First Published : 21 Feb 2009 08:18:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 21 Feb 2009 10:34:09 AM IST

BANGALORE: After the constant threat of terror attacks, and links leading to the city and other parts of the state, the budget has focused on safeguarding the city and also the Coastal and Malnad regions of the stat e.

The much-talked-about KCOCA (Karnataka Control of Organised Crimes Act) and ESMA (Essential Services Maintenance Act) are likely to come into force this time as the government has announced that steps will be taken to implement their provisions effectively.

Also proposed is the establishment of an Internal Security Cell headed by an Additional Director General of Police with a staff strength of 475.

The cell will cater to the maintenance of law and order and control of terrorists and naxal-related activities.

The Fire Services is proposed to be strengthened at a cost Rs 35 crore.

Modernisation of jails with video-conferencing facility and new buildings has been allotted Rs 10 crore.

In a bid to strengthen the police force, about 3,840 new recruitments are proposed to be made. It is in addition to the 3,000 personnel recruited recently.

Five new police stations each have been proposed for the Coastal and Malnad belts.

Three more India Reserve Battalions will be established for improving the effectiveness of police forces shortly.

Clearing Bangalore’s traffic Compared to last year’s Rs 25 crore, this year’s budget has allotted Rs 40 crore for improving the traffic in Bangalore through B-Track Project.

In order to safeguard the monuments of the state, a police sub division has been proposed for Hampi, Rs two crore will be provided for establishing the N A Muthanna Residential School through the Police Welfare Fund at Dharwad.

An allocation of Rs 20 crore has also been made for constructing community halls and other buildings, and increasing the welfare fund for the staff of the State Armed Reserve.

Caught in the Naxal-government crossfire

Shai Venkatraman

Saturday, February 21, 2009, (Gadchiroli (Maharashtra))

A change of mood is evident in Gadchiroli district, once the heart of the Naxal movement in Maharashtra.

Villagers who at one time sent their sons into the Naxal movement are witnessing a change of heart. But the movement clearly does not seem to be weakening. It's acquiring a wider base going by the Naxal encounter in which 15 policemen were killed earlier in February. So where does Naxalism continue to derive its strength from?

"The Naxals have guns. So do the police. The Naxals come with guns and frighten us. So do the police. What have we done? We look after the jungles, we depend on it for our livelihood and we live in it," said Kanubai Shimpi, a resident.

The sentiment is not uncommon in Naxal terrains. A journalist travelling to these parts often hears how villagers are caught in the crossfire.

The situation is same in the red corridor of Gadchiroli, where for generations, families have sent their sons into the Naxal movement.

Since the Naxal encounter in February, eight villagers have been rounded up and the entire settlement is under watch.

"This is not our fault. It's the fault of the Naxals. We had nothing to do with this encounter. If we listen to the Naxals we lose out. We don't listen to them anymore. They punish us by not letting us cut bamboo from the forests," said Bainabai Husendi, resident, Markegaon village.

A reaction which until recently would have been unthinkable of from villages like Markegaon, which are traditional Naxal strongholds.

In neighbouring Mardya too, simmering anger against Naxal impositions.

"They don't let the roads get built. They don't let us earn a living. They prevent EGS Schemes from being set up. Because of them the road in this village is still not built. They have been around 25-30 years, but we have not got any benefits out of their movement," said Bhaskar Kadem, Mardya resident.

"Earlier they would come with guns and insist we give them food and shelter. We would agree out of fear. Now the village has decided that we will die but will not support them. They threatened us when we took this stand. But when they came to the village our women stood in front and said kill us but we won't let you harm our men. After some time they stopped coming," said Shivaji Norute, resident, Mardya village.

In this opposition by villagers, officers like Rajesh Pradhan, Superintendent of Police at Gadchiroli, have found a foothold.

"In the last four to five years, we have started many innovative concepts like 'Gaonbandi' and 'Jan Jaagran' where police camp in villages for 10 days with different government departments, and offer them schemes and certificates for jobs. Surrender policy had paid off, more than 140 had surrendered. This is not due to just administration. People have also realised that the talk which has been going on for 25 years has not happened on the ground, the Janta Sarkar, the Utopian ideologue, not happening," said Rajesh Pradhan.

Many Naxals like Suresh Harami have also left the movement.

"They give speeches on people's rights, but don't practice it. Earlier if villagers were suspected of supporting the police, they would be given a warning and then tried in a people's court. Now they just enter a village and kill them," said Suresh.

Then how has Naxalism not shown any signs of weakening, spreading its base, taking on the might of the state?

"Today no one can say openly they are associated with the movement," said Susan Abraham, Human Rights lawyer.

Susan Abharam spent nine years in the region as a labour activist. Her husband, now in jail, was accused of being a Naxal.

She says tribals and villagers continue to support the movement even if it is only because these regions are so underdeveloped.

"Why is it that you don't hear of starvation deaths in Gadchiroli, but you do from neighbouring Melghat. It may not address many issues but there is an emphasis on primary health, primary education and to oppose established levels of exploitation," said Susan.

"If development is coming in any form to this region, it's coming in the form of roads because it easier for security forces to move. But if there is development in terms of health and education, it's because of what the Naxals have been doing," said Bernard D'Mello, deputy editor, Economic & Political Weekly.

Whether the Naxals have done enough on the ground in terms of health and education is debatable, but the movement seems to have brought visibility.

"When I was a small girl there was no school and no hospital in my village. When someone fell sick they got no treatment. Now that has changed. They made the government aware that villages like ours exist," said Lakshmi, a surrendered Naxal.

When we visited Gadchiroli the villagers are angry that policemen have been killed on their land.

Just a few weeks later, many of them took to the streets, angry because Tribal Welfare Minister Vijay Wadettivar threw a file at a villager who was asking for her dues.

It's in this grey area, this sense that neither the government nor the Naxals will unconditionally support them; that Naxalism in former strongholds like Gadchiroli manages to find some shadow of support.

More Naxal penetration in state feared

Ajay KanthFirst Published : 21 Feb 2009 01:09:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 21 Feb 2009 02:36:55 PM IST

KOCHI: In the backdrop of the Centre launching an all- time high offensive to flush out Naxals from Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, fresh intelligence reports suggest that the Naxals have penetrated into the rural areas of Kerala in the guise of small-time labourers.

Reports had already pointed out that the top police officials of four states - Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh - had been asked by the Home Ministry to work out how much force they would require to launch a single massive joint-operation to crush the Naxals.

State intelligence sources said that Union Home Minister P Chidambaram’s decision to hunt the radicals down had forced the Naxals to take refuge in the neighbouring states like Kerala.

“Earlier, Naxal activities had been reported in the thick forests of the Western Ghats bordering Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. But with the police intensifying combing and monitoring in these parts, the Naxals have started to settle in labour-intensive rural areas in the state,” said an official of the state intelligence.

Sources said that there were reports that Kunnathunadu taluk in Ernakulam district had been attracting the insurgents as a perfect hideout because of the huge number of sawmills and quarries.
“As of now, there is no methodology to ascertain the identity of the workers in the sawmills and quarries.

The owners employ them without checking their whereabouts as the labour comes cheap,” the official said and added that the police had directed the quarry and sawmill owners to present a comprehensive list of workers of each quarry and sawmill.

Meanwhile, DGP Jacob Punnose said that the flush- out operation was in no way related to the state as it was meant only for the Naxal-infested states of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.

“We have not received any special alert from the Centre with regard to the operation. The Centre has been giving specific information on the operation only to the above four states,” he added

CBI Hyd DIG to head probe

Express News Service First Published : 20 Feb 2009 04:48:00 AM ISTLast Updated :

HYDERABAD: Maharashtra cadre IPS officer VV Laxminarayana, who is presently posted as DIG of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Hyderabad, is heading the probe into the Rs 7,800 crore Satyam financial fraud. The CBI team will take over the case formally from the Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department (CID) in less than 10 days.

Top police sources disclosed to `Express’ that as per the procedures, the CBI would register the offence and hold meetings with the CID officials, especially its IGP, VSK Kaumudi, in the next one week. They would discuss the progress, if any, in the case and the aspects which need a thorough investigation. “Simultaneously, all the records seized by the CID from Satyam offices, residences of B Ramalinga Raju and others, would be handed over to the CBI,” sources said.

While Laxminarayana would be heading the probe, his SP, Y Krishna, would be the investigating officer.

“Besides the entire team from the Hyderabad CBI office, officials from Visakhapatnam and Bangalore will also form part of the team,” sources said.

They, however, said no specific time-frame had been laid down for the CBI to complete its investigation.

Laxminarayana, known to be an upright IPS officer, previously worked with the Maharashtra Anti-terrorism Squad (ATS). He also worked in Naxal- infested areas like Gadchiroli and Nanded in Maharashtra.

He has also been awarded the President’s medal for meritorious services.

Money on dreaded naxalite's head to be increased

Published: February 21,2009

Ranchi , Feb 21 The advisory council to Jharkhand governor today approved a plan to increase the amount kept on the head of a dreaded naxalite, arrested or killed.

The advisory council of the Governor today decided to increase the amount kept on the head of a dreaded naxalite from the current Rs five lakh, Cabinet Secretary P K Jajodia told reporters here.

The eastern state is currently under the President&aposs rule. With such an approval, now it is upto the state police to ask for how much hike they want.

The advisory council had on February 13 announced a rehabilitation package including money, insurance, medical benefits, vocational training and land for the surrendered members of an outlawed Maoist group in the state.

Source: PTI

Orissa Govt asks forest, excise departments to surrender arms

Saturday, February 21, 2009
Report by Orissadiary correspondent; Bhubaneswar:

The Orissa government on Friday asked the forest and excise departments to surrender their arms in the wake of intelligence information that Maoists were eyeing them.

The direction came close on the heels of the attack by the Maoist ultras who looted guns and cash from a range office in Kandhamal district.

Briefing newsmen here, state home secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi said that instructions have been given to the forest and excise departments to surrender arms either at armouries or at nearby treasuries within a fortnight following intelligence inputs that the left wing ultras were targeting the non-police personnel.

Refusing to divulge the number of arms in possession of the forest and excise sleuths, Padhi said that the Maoists reportedly looted two guns and some cash from the forest range office at Karada under Raikia police station limits in Kandhamal district.

The Maoist groups operating in the state mostly meet their arms requirement by looting police stations and armouries.

They failed to loot any since the past one year as the security was tightened in different police stations and armouries in the naxal infested districts, the sources said.

Though the Maoists looted a large number of arms from one armoury and police stations in Nayagarh on February 15, 2008, they had to leave them in the forest due to the combing operation launched by the police.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Keying to combat Maoist problem

20 Feb 2009, 0432 hrs IST, Rajeev Dikshit, TNN

VARANASI: Have the UP cops got the key to combat Maoist problem?

If the sources are to be believed, after the director general of UP police Vikram Singh gave his presentation during the `Annual Conference of the Maoist and Terrorist affected states' conducted by ministry of home affairs in New Delhi on December 21 last, some central intelligence agencies were asked to cross-examine this claims by going through ground realities. And in their report, the sources claimed, it was mentioned that situation in the Maoist affected areas of UP was even better than the claims of the DGP. This report of intelligence bureau was submitted to the ministry of home affairs by the mid of January last.

Vikram Singh: Career profile

• Born on May 22, 1950, Vikram Singh has served the Uttar Pradesh Police in various capacities—including IG (Law and Order) from December 4, 1996 to March 22, 1997, IG (Crime) from September 30, 1997 to April 18, 1998 and IG (Special Task Force) from April 18, 1998 to July 24, 2001. He was also posted as Additional Director General of Police from October 8, 2002 to September 17, 2003.
• Later, the Mulayam Singh Yadav Government made him the ADG (Inter State Border Security Force of UP police) from September 17, 2003 to October 19, 2006. He went on Central deputation on October 19, 2006 and served the Central Industrial Security Forces as its ADG.

During his presentation, the DGP claimed, that the state police checked the spread of Maoists, confided the sources. But the intelligence agencies found that the UP police not only succeeded in checking the expansion of Maoist network but also pushed them back from the limits of state, said the sources mentioning the content of report. It may be mentioned here, that the Maoists had looted 14 self-loading rifles from PAC camp at Khoradih (Mirzapur) in 2001. The biggest mines blast at Hinaut Ghat in the jungle of Naugarh in Chandauli district on November 20, 2004 by Maoists claimed lives of 15 jawans of PAC and police. Besides, they also blew the office of the forest ranger in Naugarh area on November 18, 2004 killing three government employees.

After these incidents, the intelligence agencies found that a big group of Maoist ultras had assembled in the Maoist affected districts including Chandauli, Mirzapur and Sonebhadra of east UP region in 2006 but they could not execute their plan. The number of rewarded Moaist ultras that crossed the mark of 100 by 2005 also reduced as many of them including top commanders like Sanjay Kole, Ashok Kole, Girinath Kole, Chandrabhan Kole and Shatrughan were eliminated in encounter with police while dreaded ultras like Kameshwar Baitha were arrested. Presently the list of rewarded Maoist ultras is less than 10 names.

Sources said, that the moves of UP police compelled commanders like Lalvrat Kole and Ramvriksha to stay away from this region. The intelligence sources said, that these developments compelled the central and state committees of Maoists to review their strategy as their leaders from Bihar and Jharkhand were also not ready to take responsibility to restrengthen their network in this region. The agencies found, that the Maoists network, which had a spread in 26 police station areas of these district now existed in 5-6 police station areas only.

DGP Vikram Singh, when contacted by TOI, however denied having knowledge of any report of intelligence agencies. He said that during his presentation he had clearly stated that simultaneous bid to maintain area dominance, developing confidence among people and ensuring development in Maoist affected areas enabled the state police to check this problem. Appointment of the IG Zone Varanasi as the nodal officer to monitor the development works not only helped in ensuring development of basic facilities like roads, drinking water, schools and others in these areas but also brought the people close to the police and government.

Intelligence agencies also found that people in Maoist affected districts were coming forward to join hands with police and administration against Maoists

Squads to fight poaching


Jamshedpur, Feb. 18: The forest department has decided to set up an anti-poaching squad at Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary. The move comes close on the heels of the killing of a spotted deer at Bamni village in the foothills of Dalma.

Divisional forest officer (DFO), Dalma, Siddharth Tripathy said two five-member squads had already been formed and the number would increase after the animal census this summer.

The members of the anti-poaching squad will be armed not with guns, but traditional weapons such as spears and bows and arrows.

Sharing the operational details of the twin squads, the DFO said the guards would patrol the entire 192sqkm sanctuary to keep outsiders and suspected poachers at bay. “If they confront one, squad members will first offer resistance and then intimate forest officials for necessary police action,” said Tripathy.

All the present and prospective members of the squads are from the 82 revenue villages situated in the buffer zones of the Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary.

“We have engaged local villagers because they know the hills better than anyone else. Moreover, many local communities worship wild animals and tend to protect them,” said the DFO.

The Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary houses several species of deer, including the spotted deer, the barking deer and the sambar, which continue to lure poachers for their meat and skin.

Poachers also eye the over hundred elephants in the sanctuary. In 2007, a tusker was killed in Konkadasha village situated in the core area of the sanctuary. The forest department later probed into the circumstances and blamed Naxalites for the poaching.

Wild animals are also hunted in large numbers during the annual Bishu Shikar festival. Over the years, authorities of the Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary have observed that the number of tribals taking part in festival has gone up.

The anti-poaching squads are expected to check the menace to a large extent. Villagers from outside the sanctuary area will also be roped in for monitoring the forest.
Maoists loot forest office
PHULBANI, Feb 19: Suspected Maoists raided Karada forest beat house late last night and decamped with two fire arms and cash, said reliable sources.The incident is said to have occurred late last night 98 km from the district headquarters town of Phulbani.Assistant conservator of forest, Phulbani division, Mr Rajkishore Sarangi said that he was on way to Karada forest. "Preliminary reports reaching us said the beat house has been damaged and looted," he said.Interestingly, Raikia police station had no report of the incident till 9.00 p.m. today. When contacted policemen at Raikia said they had "only heard of such an incident". There is no complaint with us as yet, they added. The forest area where the incident occured borders Ganjam district. n sns

15 arrested in connection with cops killing in Gadchiroli

Tags: Nagpur

Published: Thu, 19 Feb 2009 at 22:21 IST

Nagpur, Feb 19 : At least fifteen persons were rounded up today in connection with the killing of fifteen policemen, including a sub-inspector in Gadchiroli district, police said.

Nearly 15 policemen were brutally killed by a Naxalites in Khurkheda area in Gadchiroli on February one.

The police launched a massive combing operation and arrested 15 persons in connection with the Khurkheda incident.

Those arrested were identified as Manku Nimbaru Kumoti (29), Patiram Lalsu Dhurve (49), Ramsingh Bahadursai Madavi (35), Muraha Nansai Holy (30), Udde Dharmu (45), Rajkumar Patiram Dhurve (23), Singram Dhobey Halami (40), Suraj Nehrulal Dhurve (21), Janu Vittal Potavi (20), Ravan Pandiram Ussendi (22), Rahidas Kanuram Shimpi (24), Parsuram Siduram Potavi (37), Amarsingh Potavi (35), Sukalu Dalsu Kulami (56), Ramsingh Navlu Naitam (60), they added.

Chidambaram specifies entities for CISF cover

Sujay Mehdudia

Priority to be given to airports, energy sector, ports

“It will not be extended to private sector as of now”

NEW DELHI: Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday said priority would be given to PSUs, government establishments and entities in petroleum, IT and power sectors while extending Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) protection to private and joint ventures.

“We have a number of requests. Priority will be given to petroleum and natural gas, IT, communications, airports, sea ports and power sector,” he said, winding up a brief discussion in the Rajya Sabha on the Bill to amend the CISF Act to extend protection to private and joint ventures. These sectors were most vulnerable and critical to the economy and a broad policy was laid down.

The Central Industrial Security Force (Amendment) Bill 2008, which was later passed by the House, seeks to replace an Ordinance to this effect promulgated during the inter-session period in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks.

Mr. Chidambaram pointed out that the government and public sector units would get first priority for deployment of the CISF for security cover even after its services are extended to the private sector.

“There will be no question of reducing the CISF cover to public sector units. The first claim will be from the government and public sector units,” he said.

Earlier, introducing the Bill, Mr. Chidambaram said the CISF cover would not be extended to the private sector overnight as the force had to be expanded. Its strength would be expanded to 1,45,000 from the present 1,12,534.
Risk analysis

The service would be available to the private sector after the government made a risk analysis. “We will do a proper risk analysis before providing the services.” Preference would be given to those areas vulnerable to threats from naxalites and terrorists.

RS clears bill for CISF cover to pvt firms

20 Feb 2009, 0406 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: With the Rajya Sabha passing an amendment bill providing for the CISF security cover to private and joint sector companies, the
government on Thursday said that the top priority would be accorded to establishments in petroleum, power and IT sectors to avail this facility.

The CISF has so far received a total of 47 requests, including Reliance Industries Limited, Infosys, Oberoi-Trident hotel and DLF, for providing security to its various units. Even Delhi Public School, R K Puram, and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital have also put in requests.

"We have a number of requests. Priority will be given to petroleum and natural gas, IT, communications, airports, sea ports and power sector," the home minister P Chidambaram said while winding up a discussion in Upper House on the Bill to amend the CISF Act.

These sectors were most vulnerable and critical to the economy, he said, adding mining and steel sectors will come next.

The CISF (Amendment) Bill 2008 seeks to replace an Ordinance to this effect promulgated during the inter-session period. Though the Bill was introduced in December last year in the wake of 26\11, it couldn't be passed due to paucity of time and was referred to the standing committee.

Chidambaram said that the attacks in Mumbai brought into the focus the threat to iconic institutions which needed to be protected.

Responding to a member's query whether the cooperative sector would also come under the ambit of the amended Bill, he said anything owned by a person other than the Centre or state governments would be considered to be in the private sector.

He also said preference would be given to areas vulnerable to threats from naxalites and terrorists.

Allaying apprehensions of members that CISF personnel would get embroiled in industrial and land disputes, he said it would not be the case as the paramilitary force would be deployed only to safeguard the units and their employees.

Responding to members' queries about the charges to be taken for providing such a facility to private sector units, the home minister said CISF would be deployed on cost reimbursement basis as in the case of public sector units.

He said that the CISF would be equipped with latest gadgets and weapons and the deployment in the private sector would be made after making a risk analysis of the Private sector units.

Earlier, while moving the Bill for consideration and passing, the home minister made it clear that the government and public sector units would retain the first claim on CISF even after its services were extended to the private sector.

Maoists march on, ambush to ambush, destination unknown


Dandakaranya Forests (Bastar): Every day is a mission trek for Bastar’s Maoists and every night a temporary station. This is not merely a journey without maps, it appears woefully lost on destination too.

For the third night in a row, the camp’s Red helmsmen have evaded addressing issues of where and how: What do they want to be? How will they get there? What happens if and when they do? “Charcha karenge,” (We’ll talk) — but that’s a promise forever postponed to the exigencies of wandering on in the jungles.

“Things are happening all the time,” Comrade Kunju tells us assuringly, “The surest sign of that is that the government is worried and it does not know what to do.” Kunju is a nondescript little man, stubbly, balding and reticent, but from what he has to say, he is evidently high in the Maoist scheme.

Any suggestion that he is on a march to nowhere sets his little round eyes afire. “So why are we such a huge problem for the government? Why is the State having to mount offensive after offensive? And still we have power to stun and run, you can’t say that’s getting nowhere,” he argues, a little agitated.

Kunju has a set of blistered datelines to certify success: the Jehanabad jailbreak of 2005; the chilling Manikonta massacre of Salwa Judum activists in 2006; Rani Bodli and the beheading of 77 policemen in 2007; the raid on the Nayagarh armoury last year; and recently the gory — and profitable — ambush of a police party in Gadhchiroli.

“Want more?” Kunju asks, fishing out a wad of stapled sheets from his shoulder bag, “There is lots more about the progress of our war in this, it would not have been so thick if we were getting nowhere.”

Little can take away from the significance of the Maoists’ spectacular expansion down the eastern flank of the country, which is also socio-economically the most exploited and backward. But it is equally apparent — and pertinent — that they are far from proving themselves a sustainable solution to problems they tear into. Naxalism is grand on principle and end — an egalitarian society — but deeply flawed in method and tactic.

It has often lost its way so grievously, even its articulate patrons in the civil liberties and human rights movement have stepped back to fault them. In the jungles of Bastar, as elsewhere, the Naxalite project has run into roadblocks it cannot negotiate. It is not powerful enough to overthrow the State, it is not resourceful enough to carve a constituency of its own — call it a parallel government — and sustain it.

Eventually, somewhere, Naxalite strategy came up against avowed Naxalite intentions. Naxalites stopped tribals from picking tendu leaves, a key occupation, because contractors would not up wages. Naxalites stopped tribals from picking contract jobs — roads, bridges, public buildings — because, again, the wages were not good enough. Eventually, there were no wages coming in.

The Bastar tribal has a reputation for requiring little more than his daily dose of mahua (a fermented drink off the fruit of the mahua tree) but that’s fable. How long would he go without work and money? How long would he pay for a war that nobody was winning? What good was the flaming red slogan of pride when there wouldn’t be a body to house that pride?

That is how Salwa Judum arrived sometime in 2005. At an angered meeting of starving tribals in Dantewada in southern Bastar. Defy the Naxalites, they said, defy and earn a wage. Counter-revolution. It didn’t have a name to begin with, nor any shape. But they were on the way. Mahendra Karma, Congress leader and himself a Gond tribal from Bastar, saw the possibility of a chink in the Naxalite ranks and rushed into it with gusto.

Within weeks, Salwa Judum had been institutionalised. And Karma wasn’t alone in this. BJP rival and chief minister Raman Singh was equally keen. This, after all, was an Establishment job, a front against a common enemy, the faceless menace who had stuck in the side too long.

Here was a ready instrument to fight a battle the State had only half-heartedly fought; here was a chance to finish. Use the anger. Set tribal against tribal, let them settle it amongst themselves. Bands of villagers — mostly young men but also, in some cases women — had been formed into vigilante groups. They had been funded, armed, assured of support and assistance.

The fires of Salwa Judum were lit and a devastating civil war unleashed. Hundreds have been killed in fratricidal battles Salwa Judum started, more than a hundred thousand tribals have been forced out of their moorings and packed into insecure camps. Bastar became an anarchy bleeding between deadlocked armies who regularly make dubious claims of victory.

East Bastar is a calmer theatre, less periled by the Salwa Judum fires than Dantewada in the south, and Kunju can make more realistic assertions of ascendancy. Even so, he won’t be drawn into discussing the future beyond tomorrow.

The Maoists claim they run more than a dozen local governments in Dandakaranya but they all remained headquartered in the knapsacks of mobile cadres. “True,” says Kunju, “We do not have the wherewithal to settle down, but that does not mean we never will.” For the moment, though, they must just walk on with no roadmaps at hand.

Three CRPF troopers killed, nine injured in Maoist attack

February 19th, 2009 - 6:43 pm ICT by IANS

Raipur, Feb 19 (IANS) Three Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed and nine others injured in a Maoist attack early Thursday morning in Chhattisgarh, police said.
The incident took place in the thickly forested Mahakal area of Kanker district, about 350 km from capital Raipur, in the state’s restive Bastar region.

“It was a Maoist ambush. The insurgents first triggered blasts and then opened indiscriminate fire on a joint patrolling team of the CRPF and the district force,” Pawan Deo, deputy inspector general of police, told IANS.

He said that the troopers belonged to the 111 CRPF battalion. The seven seriously injured men have been airlifted to Raipur while two were admitted to a hospital in Kanker.

Police officials said that a re-inforcement team of 100 policemen has reached the attack site within two hours of the incident even as the joint team was probably still engaged in a gunbattle with the guerrillas.

Chhattisgarh is one of the worst hit due to Maoist insurgency with nearly 1,250 people killed in attacks since 2004.

3 CRPF personnel killed in ambush with Naxals

Published: February 19,2009

Raipur , Feb 19 Three Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed and nine injured when Maoists ambushed them near Mankapal village in Kanker district in the state, police said today.

The CRPF officials belonging to the 111th Battalion were on a search mission when they were ambushed late last evening, DIG ( Naxal Operations) Pawan Dev told PTI.

This was followed by intense cross-fire resulting in the death of three CRPF jawans and injury to nine, the DIG said.

Naxalites had only a month ago offered to hold peace talks with the Raman Singh government which responded positively stating that the door for talks"had never been shut".

Source: PTI

One Naxalite surrendered before Orissa police in Sambalpur district

Thursday, February 19, 2009
Report by Orissadiary correspondent; Sambalpur:

One Naxalite surrendered before Orissa police in Sambalpur district on Thursday. The Naxal, identified as Sunil Tirkey (24) of Alighati village in Sambalpur district, surrendered before the police and submitted a country made gun, Sambalpur SP Sanjay Kumar said.
Tirkey, who had joined CPI(Maoist) in 2006, was wanted in various criminal cases including abduction of four forest department personnel from Redhakhol area, Kumar said. Following the arrest of several Maoist leaders in recent months, Tirkey and his associates had been making efforts to reorganise the outfit in the district, police said.

Commando only in name

Bharat Karnard

The leadership of India’s police and paramilitary forces is not interested in ending the Naxalite menace

In the absence of good ideas, the meeting of senior police and intelligence bureau officers called by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh soon after 26/11 recommended a “commission” tasked to come up, inside of “100 days”, with ways to stamp out the Naxal menace. It is another matter that there is no sign of any such body at work. In any case, it is unlikely that it would have suggested the one thing that can, in fact, beat the Naxals: genuine commando capability to hunt down and eliminate them.
Naxals are the greatest peril facing the country today precisely because they are virtually sovereign and cock a snook at the state in the Red Corridor stretching across the forested uplands and jungles of Andhra Pradesh and central India to Nepal, which they control. But the “commando” solution is just too onerous an option for the organizationally lazy and non-innovative Indian police and paramilitary forces to stomach. Commando life entails hardship and real danger. Why would the usually pot-bellied Indian Police Service (IPS) officers and the lower constabulary risk their relatively undemanding jobs for the horrors of the jungle and the joys of living on the edge and off the land? The average recruit to the state police is interested in his hafta (illegal weekly collection) and not in tangling with the Kalashnikov-carrying Marxist hotheads.

Photograph: Prakash Singh / AFPThe police brass, however, love the “commando” tag, the distinctive black dungaree uniform, and the specialized small arms and equipment that no self-respecting special forces can be seen without. Thus, the “commando” police units in many states have fanciful names (Greyhounds, COBRA, and the like) but rarely engage in anything arduous. They are perceived as endowing the police, the IPS-led paramilitary organizations and state governments with prestige rather than as effective and efficient instruments to deal with the Naxal terror. In the event, these “commando” police units get carted around in buses or lorries to their jump-off points, whence they thrash about the countryside during the “office hours” with breaks in-between for dal-roti from the mobile Mess, before returning to the barracks or armed camps at dusk. Whatever the contingency, they never stray far from the road or a township—just in case help has to reach them fast. This is the very antithesis of the commando operational philosophy.

By definition, a commando melts into the countryside—the proverbial “fish in water”, surviving on what’s available in the harsh terrain, and is on the job all the time. He relentlessly tracks the guerilla and should he run into Naxals in large numbers, tries to infiltrate the group, win their confidence and, having done so, secretly identifies them, follows their movements, studies their daily schedule and the individual habits of the leaders, discerns the operational pattern before eliminating them singly or arranging ambushes by the regular police and, ideally, he does all this without arousing suspicion. Not easy! Bereft of personal arms, communications paraphernalia, and the telltale signs of the logistics umbilical cord trailing after regular police forces in the field that are a giveaway, he acts on his own or in teams of two for maximum effect. In this job, knowledge of the local language and customs is a must. Once part of the scene, he can also discreetly provide field support for the activities of “indigenous” anti-Naxal outfits, such as the Salwa Judum in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, or of charismatic locals, such as Kukka Parray in Kashmir, whose allegiance has been turned and who can mobilize the alienated people against the rebels.

Recruits to the state police are interested in illegal pickings, not tangling with Marxist hotheads

Deployments of individual and teams commandos have to be for sustained periods—six months to a year or more at a time. Expected to operate by stealth, the commando must be undercover for most of his active service life and be rewarded by long months of “rest and recreation” with no contacts with the host police in and out of the mission area. Hefty remuneration and compensation packages and other inducements are an imperative to attract ambitious, hard-charging, adventurous, unmarried young men (and women?) able to live by their wits, and whose skills training, besides survival techniques and navigation, will mostly be in lethal unarmed combat. The bar for the entrants will have to be very high, with severe winnowing done at the training stage. The commandos are the elite, and necessarily few in number; if properly utilized, they can have disproportionate impact.

Able to out-guerilla the guerilla, the commandos, history shows, are hard to cope with. The FLN urban terrorists in Algeria had fought the French army to a standstill in the mid-1950s, but were bloodily dismantled by the commando unit of the French Foreign Legion in the famous Battle of Algiers. Elsewhere, the Viet Cong justly feared not the American conventional military, which it brought to its knees during the Vietnam War, but the elite US Special Forces—the lightly armed and foot mobile Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols operating autonomously, in radio silence, astride the Ho Chi Minh trail.

Bharat Karnad is a professor at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. Comments are welcome at

Women on top, even among Naxals

20 Feb 2009, 0047 hrs IST, Soumittra S Bose , TNN

NAGPUR: A recent survey has shown 74 women to be part of the approximately 290 hardcore Naxalites operating in the worst affected areas of the

They don't just make up the ranks. The women also account for three divisional committee members, nine commanders, three area commanders, and two deputy commanders. In fact, statistics show that the men are outnumbered by the fairer sex in commanders and deputy commanders' cadre.

Two women divisional committee members (Narmada and Tarakka alias Vimla Sidam) operate in the south Gadchiroli area while one (Sujanakka) in the north. "Narmada though has lost her physical aggression due to age but she is still a sound strategic planner owing to her years in the movement and knowledge of the topography," said a police source in Gadchiroli.

Some 57 others are form the support strength. Role of women had become a matter of speculation in the state's deadliest Naxal attack in the 01/02 carnage at Markegaon that claimed lives of 15 policemen.

Among recent Naxals attacks, there is speculation that Jyoti, commander of Tippagarh Dalam and wife of member of Dandakaranya special zonal committee Diwakar, was part of the team that butchered 15 policemen in Markegaon recently.

Women commanders are also leading dalams like Perimilli (Vijayakka), Chatgaon (Ranita), Kasansur (Dhani) and Surjagarh (Ranjita alias Ramko Rushi Hichhami), Korchi (Sujata alias Kanta Tekandi), Darekasa (Alida) and Malanjkhand (Saguna alias Jamuna).

Two more women (Girija and Batte) are known to be controlling two company dalams as sectional commanders. One of the posts of deputy sectional commanders is known to be occupied by a woman cadre (Watti).

“These women sometimes have to control both dalams and platoons together. Couple of them like Dhani also doubles up as area committee member (ACM),” said a source. Among others, Aruna controls Platoon dalam (No1) as sectional commander while Rajita alias Sukri Madavi Bheladi, another ACM, is in-charge of Kurkheda-Khobramenda dalam. Ramko alias Narote, who is also an ACM, is the commander of Bhamragarh-Gatta dalam.

“Though there are couple of sharp cadres among the women who have climbed their way up through sheer struggle, most of them have simply graduated to higher post due to their influential husbands,” said an insider.

'Area liberated... No Salwa Judum here'

20 Feb 2009, 0636 hrs IST, Soni Sangwan, TNN

BASTAR: It was early morning when the phone rang. "Do you still want to meet the Naxals?," asked the voice at the other end. For the past eight
months, I was waiting for this ''invitation'' to meet the Maoists of Chhattisgarh in their den: the Dandakaranya jungles of South Bastar.

We drove down to Kondagaon, a kasbah about 250 km from Chhattisgarh's capital, Raipur. Our local contact was scheduled to meet us there. Our codeword: ''Hello Mahendroo''. He turned up an hour late. For a while, we thought he never would come. We began our journey in a Scorpio. Expecting cops on the way, we had created an alternate identity for ourselves: we were NGO workers surveying the implementation of the NREGA.

Thankfully, nobody stopped us. It was dark by the time we made our first stop. After resting in a hut for a couple of hours, we took an hour-long motorbike ride over a winding forest dirt track under a full moon.

We rested for a few hours in another village before embarking on our final trek around 4 am. We must have walked for close to four hours across fields, forest and hills, before we finally reached a makeshift naxal camp. But for a small group of cadres in olive fatigues or saris, there was hardly anyone there.

We sat on blue plastic sheets and looked around. Nobody said this but we knew: this was ground zero of the red country. The jungles of south Bastar have their own unwritten rules. Government officials do not enter them. Few dare to file an FIR in the police station. And it is unlikely politicians will come here for votes in the coming Lok Sabha polls.

The Maoists have their own Jantana Sarkar, a parallel government in five surrounding districts: Bijapur, Bastar, Kanker, Narayanpur and Dantewada. Nothing angers them more than the mention of Salwa Judum, a movement guided by Congress leader Mahendra Karma to counter the rise of Left extremism. "He is public enemy no 1. We have attacked him many times and will continue to do so," says Comrade Pandu, the unit's spokesperson.

"Villagers do not support the Salwa Judum. No one wants to live in those camps, which are like jails. But this is a truly 'liberated' area. There are no Salwa Judum camps around," Pandu adds.

It's Tuesday, Feb 10. Thousands of tribals have gathered in the Dandakaranya forest away from the watchful eyes of Cobra, the paramilitary force set up to counter the Maoists. The forces patrol the highway but the deep jungles resonate with song and dance interspersed with Red propaganda speeches. On the day, the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee's leadership has organized the Mahan Bhumkal Diwas celebration. The programme is replicated in several other areas in the forest where tribals from 8-10 villages congregate at the closest venue.

With red banners all around, a memorial for tribal martyrs had been erected. It was little more than a red cloth wrapped around four sticks. A wooden bow and arrow atop and the martyrs' photos made it a memorial. A special red enclosure exhibited more photographs.

A Jantana Sarkar Swasthya Kendra dispensed free malaria, dysentery and headache pills. The Maoists' parallel government has eight departments: education and culture, finance, law, defence, agriculture, forest conservation, health and sanitation and public relations.

Comrade Pandu says no established offices exist yet, but their "mobile government" runs the show. "The
Jantana Sarkar is in an embryonic stage but when the People's Liberation Guerilla Army establishes control, we will form a regular government," he promises.

He explains why there is no land department. "We have already carried out land reforms and redistributed land such that you will not find a single landless person here," says Pandu. The Jantana Sarkar also settles family disputes. "In the past three years we have settled about 200 disputes between brothers, husbands-wives, neighbours. In fact, if you check with the local police, you will not find a single FIR filed," he claims.

Once the people's court pronounces a judgement, the guilty is held in custody and ''carried around'' in mobile jails till deemed fit to be released. The Maoists fund their government with tax collections from villagers. The amount is decided on basis of the crop. This year, for instance, no taxes were levied because the crop failed.

Local support is evident. Not that the villagers have a choice. In the absence of any other authority, they follow the naxals' bidding. There are no schools: only bombed ruins of what were once places of learning. The naxals claim they destroyed them because the government used them to house paramilitary forces. The celebrations began around noon and carried on till six in the morning when we left the camp. That such a grand festival can be organized without the official machinery being aware of it is proof of the naxal sway in the Dandakaranya region. They are the law here

Three CRPF personnel killed in Chhattisgarh naxal attack

Submitted by Mohit Joshi on Thu, 02/19/2009

Raipur, Feb 19: At least three CRPF personnel were killed and nine policemen injured in a naxal attack in Chhattisgarh's Kanker District last night.

The injured have been admitted to a government hospital in Raipur.

Over 70 districts in the country are affected by Left wing extremism, which has been described by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a "virus" and the biggest internal security threat.

In continuing naxal violence in around a dozen states, over 400 people, including over 150 security men, have been killed so far this year.

The Government recently approved formation of a 10,000-strong special anti-Naxal force "COBRA" - Combat Battalion for Resolute Action - to tackle the menace.

In another decision, the Union Cabinet approved creation of 48 new posts of Special Directors General, Additional Directors General and Inspectors General in various central police organisations keeping in view functional necessity.

These posts will strengthen the supervisory structure of these organisations for better command and control. (ANI)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ilaiah’s surrender dampens hopes of TDP, TRS

User Rating: / 0 Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Hyderabad, February 18: The surrender of naxalite leader Konapuri Ilaiah has not only shocked the ultra-left Maoist party, but has also come as a surprise to the Opposition parties, particularly the TDP and the TRS, which of late, have been sending out friendly overtures to the Maoists, obviously to woo them for the ensuing elections.

Notwithstanding the estimate of these political parties on the Maoists’ strength in the State, the fact remains, as admitted by Ilaiah himself during his debriefing sessions, that the Maoist base in Andhra Pradesh, especially in Telangana, had weakened considerably and is almost beyond redemption.

Though health problems seem to have triggered Ilaiah’s decision to surrender, the precipitator was his grudge that he had been sidelined in the hierarchy, despite his proven track record of inflicting severe damage to the enemy’s (the State) morale through various daredevil military actions. Ilaiah enjoyed the credit of escaping the hail of police bullets in close quarter battle conditions and several attempts to ensnare him in his jungle hideouts, while comrades of his stature lost their lives or were caught.

Ilaiah became the AP State Committee (APSC) secretary sometime in September 2006 after his predecessor Burra Chinnaiah was killed. He continued to call the shots till the end of 2007, when the Maoist leadership put him on the move from Andhra-Orissa Border (AOB) to Dandakaranya (DK) to Maharashtra to Karnakata.

The party had formed a three-member A.P. Special Committee to rekindle the embers of the revolutionary movement. (Later, the committee was neutralised with the arrest of its member Gopu Sammi Reddy and killing of Valluri Venkat Rao and Ramchandar). A disappointed Ilaiah was believed to have protested, but he was ordered to move to AOB area and lie low for sometime.
Looked down upon

That cooling off period continued endlessly during which he shifted bases to DK. Sources say he might have felt insulted, especially when he took shelter in AOB and DK areas where Maoists hold considerable sway. Maoist fighters in Chhattisgarh and Orissa, whose writ runs large in their respective areas, are known to look down upon their comrades from Telangana in view of the irreparable losses suffered by the party there in recent times. “There is a possibility that he could have felt slighted and this could have precipitated his decision making,” a senior officer involved in counter insurgency operations said.

More interestingly, the surrender comes at a time when the Maoists are trying to project an image that they are still a force to reckon with at least on the political scene and when the TDP has declared that its change in stance towards the Maoist issue, saying that it will view it as a socio-economic problem. That during election times, every political party, except the ruling party, tries to be on good terms with the Maoists is no secret, but such a stand is most surprising when Maoists themselves accept the erosion of their mass base in Andhra Pradesh.
Contrasting stand

Nevertheless, the Maoist had recently berated all the political parties on their support for statehood for Telangana and declared that the only way to achieve Telangana was by building a mass movement. A contrasting stand, because it is neither in a position to lead such a movement nor build one. Moreover, it was the same Maoist party which admitted to the fact that Telangana indeed had witnessed development in social, economic and political spheres between 1980 and 2000. If the conditions have improved ushering in a change, as published in Maoists’ document on ‘Social Investigation of North Telangana’, would it still require a ‘mass movement’ to usher in the same changes? If Maoists continue to enjoy the support of the people of Telanagana, wouldn’t it have turned into another Nepal by now? The question remains unanswered.


Shift from bullet to ballot, spritual guru asks Maoists

Wednesday, 18 February , 2009, 15:44
Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 February , 2009, 15:54

(Copyright AFP. Any unauthorised reproduction is prohibited.)
Ranchi: Saying that the Maoist youths were good at heart, as they were fighting against "corruption and disparity", Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar appealed to the Maoist rebels to shun bullets in favour of the ballot.

"I appeal to Maoist rebels to shun bullets for the ballot. Maoist youths are good at heart. They (Maoists) are fighting against corruption and disparity. There is need to bring them into the mainstream of society. The country needs their service," he said while addressing his followers here Tuesday night.

The spiritual guru is in Ranchi for four days. He arrived here Tuesday afternoon.

"Spiritualism will end terrorism in the world. Even Iraq is adopting spiritualism to end violence. In Iraq there are 700,000 widows and one million orphan children. Iraqi government has sent 50 people for spiritual training to India," he said.

Naxal-affected districts in Bihar to have buildings for cops

Published: February 18,2009

Patna , Feb 18 The Bihar government has sanctioned Rs 19.93 crore under police modernisation scheme for construction of buildings for the police in about half-a-dozen naxal-hit distrits.

The government released the amount for constructing buildings to accommodate around 300 police officials posted in naxalite-affected districts of Nawada, Jamui, Jehanabad, Arwal, Aurangabad and Bhabua, official sources said.

The amount was released eight days after the naxalites attacked the Mahuliatand village on February nine in Bihar&aposs Nawada district killing 10 policemen and looting their firearms.

Additional Director General of Police Neelmani told PTI that as per the plan, 184 and 108 lower grade and upper subordinate quarters under the separate family accommodation scheme would be constructed by the Bihar State Police Building Construction Corporation.

It may be recalled that Bihar Police Association (BPA) and Bihar Policemen&aposs Association (BPMA) had drawn the attention of the government on umpteen occasions towards the lack of quarters for the policemen posted in the naxalite affected districts.

Source: PTI

Schemes for dependents of Armed Forces Personnel killed in Naxalite attacks

17:14 IST

During 2008 one air warrior, 776951-B Sergeant Mustafa Ali of Indian Air Force (IAF) was killed in Naxalite attack at Pedia hill helipad on 14th November 2008. Besides the Family Pension and Death-cum-Retirement Gratuity (DCRG), the following facilities and benefits are provided to the family of the AF personnel killed in Naxalite attack: -

i) On receipt of claim from the claimant, the Pending Enquiry Award is given to the family

ii) Armed Forces Personnel Provident Fund is finalized on receipt of necessary documents.

iii) Group Insurance Society Grant is provided after receiving the request from the Next of Kin

iv) IAF Benevolent Association Rehabilitation Grant, as applicable

v) Ex-Gratia amount, as applicable, is sanctioned on finalization of the family pension and DCRG.

vi) The eligible family member is entitled to Liberalized Family Pension, as applicable

vii) Some additional benefits, as applicable, from Air Force Wives Welfare Association are also provided.

The benefits of all the schemes reach the dependents.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Sabir Ali in Rajya Sabha today.


Sambasivudu given 4 days to meet family

Express News Service First Published : 18 Feb 2009 04:11:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 18 Feb 2009 11:25:05 AM ISTHYDERABAD: Top Maoist leader Kunapuri Ilaiah alias Naganna alias Sambasivudu, who surrendered before the police a couple of days ago, has been given four days’ time to meet members of his family. Once this period is over, the police will take him back into custody.

Police officials told to The New Indian Express that it was on Sambasivudu’s request that the Government allowed him to meet members of his family. “Last night, he was allowed to leave and he has gone to his relative’s house in Vvanasthalipuram," officials said, adding that he had been asked to come back after four days. It is likely that Sambasivudu would visit his native village in Vvaligonda in Nalgonda district tomorrow.

It is learnt that security has been provided to him as police fear threat to his life. Officials, however, insist that granting temporary `relief’ to surrendered Maoists was a common practice. “Several surrendered Naxals have been allowed to spend a few days with members of their families as most of them stay away from their families for several years," officials said.

NIA may also probe naxal violence; 83 posts sanctioned

18 Feb 2009, 0145 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency, set up to probe terror-related cases across the country, may also take up cases of Naxal violence --
having inter-state ramifications -- for investigation.

This was hinted by Union home minister P Chidambaram while responding to supplementaries during question hour in Lok Sabha on Tuesday even as he made it clear that NIA would take up only the "gravest" cases.

Asked whether the NIA would probe Naxal incidents, Chidambaram said such cases might not be fit cases for NIA. However, the agency may take up cases of Naxal violence and a decision would have to be taken on a case-by-case basis.

He said only "gravest" cases of crimes would be taken up for investigation by NIA, which would operate in a concurrent jurisdictional framework.

"There is team in place to take up investigation into any case referred to the NIA," he said adding, "Happily, no such incident has occurred since the NIA was set up."

"NIA will take up cases referred to by the states and in rare cases take up cases in a suo motu manner," Chidambaram said.

Replying to a query, he said NIA would not take up the investigation into the Mumbai attacks case as the probe was "almost complete" and the Mumbai Police is "poised to file a chargesheet" in the matter.

Meanwhile, the government has sanctioned 83 posts -- including those of DIGs, SPs, and Inspectors -- for the agency. Three officers, including Swayam Prakash Pani and Sajid Farid Shapoo (both IPS officers), have been cleared to join the NIA, sources in the home ministry said.

While Shapoo, a 1998 batch IPS officer from Madhya Pradesh cadre, has had a long stint in tackling naxalism in the state, Pani, a 2000 batch IPS officer from Jammu and Kashmir, has been credited with the arrest of many terrorists during the heydays of militancy.

Couple held for supporting Naxalite movement

Published: February 18,2009

Raipur , Feb 18 In a crack-down on Naxal sympathizers in the urban areas, Chhattisgarh Police today arrested a couple from Bhilai for their alleged involvement in Naxal activities.

Senior police officials today told PTI that the couple was allegedly involved in several Naxalite activities in the state and the police were on a search for them ever since an arrested Naxalite, Rama, in Sarguja had given vital information about the logistic support she had got in Bhilai.

The arrested couple has been identified as Bhola Bagh and his wife Ruchi alias Sunita. They have a child aged about one and a half years.

According to police officials, Bhola and his wife had provided shelter to Rama for more than a fortnight at their residence at Maroda in Bhilai.

The couple was remanded to judicial custody till March 3, the police added.

Dreaded Naxalite Rama, who was arrested in Sarguja some weeks ago, during her interrogation had reportedly informed the police that she was given shelter by Naxal sympathisers at Bhilai.

Source: PTI

Karkala: Better Facilities for Residents of Naxal-affected Villages

Daijiworld Media Network - Karkala (RD/CN)

Karkala, Feb 17: State minister for rural development and Panchayat Raj Shobha Karandlaje, after attending the foundation-laying ceremony for setting up of Stree Shakti Bhavan on Tuesday February 17, said that the state had prioritized provision of basic amenities such as roads, foot over-bridges, and bridges in the Naxal-affected remote villages in Udupi district.

She said that the children of families living in these areas will be provided education and training to equip them for jobs.

Despite surveys for ration cards being conducted six times, there have been too many mistakes in identifying the beneficiaries for issuance of Below Poverty Level (BPL) cards. However, a provision has been made to issue temporary ration cards by submitting an affidavit on a Rs 20 stamp paper which will later be replaced with computerized cards, she assured.

State police ill-equipped to fight terrorists: Karkare's widow

Mumbai (PTI): The Maharashtra Government, reeling under criticism over handling of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, has received another jolt with the widow of ATS chief Hemant Karkare saying the state police force is ill-equipped to fight terrorists.

"The recent Naxal attack in Gadchiroli in which 15 policemen were killed is yet another example that shows how the police force is ill-equipped to fight terrorists," Kavita said in a letter to Chief Minister Ashok Chavan. Karkare was killed in the 26/11 terror attacks.

Home Minister Jayant Patil on Wednesday said he had not read the letter, adding that the government has embarked on a drive to modernise police force and give cops the latest weapons. The Naxal attack forced her to bring the issue to the government's notice, Kavita said in the letter.

The issue is not going to be resolved by honouring martyrs' with Ashok Chakras. If the government really wants to pay tributes to the 26/11 victims, then it should strengthen security agencies fighting terrorists and Naxals," she said.

"It is high time the government looked into the meagre salaries and poor condition of policemen," she said, adding the government should ensure proper accommodation for police personnel and quality education for their children.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Security up in Maoist-hit area for West Bengal chief minister

February 16th, 2009 - 6:17 pm ICT by IANS

Kolkata, Feb 16 (IANS) Security has been stepped up at West Bengal’s Maoist-hit Purulia district Monday, a day before Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s visit to the area, the police said.

Bhattacharjee would be laying the foundation stone for Shyam Steel’s 1.1 million-tonne per annum (MTPA) steel plant Tuesday at Raghunathpur in Purulia, about 200 km from here.

“As it is, Bhattacharjee always gets Z+ category security. Besides, we have already stepped up security across Purulia for the Chief Minister’s visit Tuesday,” state Police Inspector General (law and order) Raj Kanojia told IANS over phone Monday.

“We don’t want to give away the exact blue print of the security arrangements to the media for the sake of his (Bhattacharjee) security. But all we can say is there will be additional policemen - in uniform and casual dress - to tackle any untoward incident. Besides, arrangements have been made in a way that no suspected movement by any individual will go unnoticed,” Kanojia said.

Rajesh Yadav, superintendent of police of Purulia, said there would be an additional force of at least 800 armed police personnel Tuesday.

“We are on alert since Monday morning. Already police patrolling has started across the district. Every guest at the function, every bag and every vehicle will be thoroughly checked. There will be sniffer dogs and metal detectors,” Yadav told IANS over phone Monday.

Yadav said the police would keep an eye specially on any suspicious movement.

“We can’t divulge the details of security measures. But let me tell you one thing, if the police find anything or anyone suspicious during Bhattacharjee’s stay Tuesday, we may confiscate that thing or detain that person,” he said.

Purulia is one of the three Maoist-hit districts in West Bengal, the others being Burdwan and West Midnapore.

This will be Bhattacharjee’s first visit to a Maoist-hit area after Nov 2, 2008, when he and Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had a close shave as suspected Maoists triggered a landmine blast on the route of their convoy in West Midnapore district, leaving six policemen injured.

A landmine went off at Kalaichandi culvert near Bhadutala when the ministers were returning from the ground-breaking ceremony of a 10 million-tonne mega steel plant being set up by JSW Bengal Steel in the Maoist-hit Shalboni area.

Both Bhattacharjee and Paswan were unhurt in the blast.

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