Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Maoists' bid to loot bank

26 Feb 2009, 0517 hrs IST, TNN

MOTIHARI: Around two dozen Maoists surrounded the Bank of India (BoI)'s branch office at Sirsa village, some 10 km from East Champaran district HQ
Motihari, late on Wednesday night and were reported to be firing on the villagers to scare them away apparently to loot the bank.

District SP Umesh Kumar has rushed to the spot with reinforcements of CRPF jawans. Reached on his mobile, the SP said the para military forces are taking positions. He, however, refused to give details.

The building in which the bank is located belongs to one Ravi Kumar Singh who, along with his family members, lives in Motihari town. Villagers told TOI on phone that one set of Maoists was trying to break open the grill of the bank.

Maoists shoot RPF jawans on train in Purulia, loot rifles

26 Feb 2009, 0343 hrs IST, TNN

PURULIA: A Maoist team ambushed and shot four RPF jawans on an express train at Purulia's Barabhum station on Wednesday afternoon. Two of the jawans
died on the way to hospital in Bokaro. The guerrillas looted their weapons and cleared out of the station within minutes, leaving Maoist posters scattered on the ground.

Bystanders said that the attack was carried out by a team of 10-15 Maoists. They had broken up into smaller groups and had taken up position at least half an hour before the Tatanagar-Dhanbad Subarnarekha Express arrived at the station around 2.30 pm.

The four jawans N Singh, Mohammad N Ansari, Kesar Majhi and M S Shekhar were in the brake van, guarding Rs 5 lakh. "We had made the payments to RPF jawans at the station and were about to board the train when there were gunshots behind us. Before I could turn around, I felt a sharp pain in my back and fell unconscious," said Shekhar from his bed in Bokaro General Hospital. He has been admitted to the critical care unit with a fractured spinal cord. Ansari and Majhi died on the way to Bokaro.

As guns blazed and people scattered, some Maoists entered the brake van and stabbed the injured jawans. Constable N Singh was slashed a number of times but survived. The entire operation was over in five minutes. Before fleeing, the Maoists threw leaflets signed by the regional commander of Bengal-Bihar-Orissa.

The injured jawans were first admitted to Purulia Sadar Hospital. Three of them were later shifted to Bokaro and two died on the way.

CPM state committee member Manindra Gope said police would have to break the Maoist network.

Maoist’ train strike kills cops
- Afternoon raid at a Purulia station near Jharkhand

An injured policeman being wheeled into hospital. (Mita Roy)
Purulia, Feb. 25: Suspected Maoists boarded a train as it rolled into a Purulia station this afternoon, shot dead two Railway Protection Force constables, injured two others and snatched their weapons.

The constables were returning in the brake-van at the rear of the Tata-Dhanbad Subarnarekha Express after escorting a cash consignment to Jamshedpur.

The assailants, who apparently knew they were in that coach, ran up to it and started firing at Barabhum station in Balarampur, about 220km northwest of Calcutta.

A handful of passengers on the platform started running in fear. Schoolteacher Shamsher Khan, returning home after work, hid behind a wall.

“I was about to board the train around 2.20pm when I heard the shots. I first thought someone was bursting crackers. But then there were screams for help towards the end of the platform. Some of us ran for cover behind a building. A while later, we saw a group of men with rifles running along the tracks,” he said.

The rebels fired shots in the air while fleeing along the tracks. After running straight for some distance, they entered an adjacent forest that leads to the dense jungles of the Ayodhya Hills.

Barabhum station is about 10km from the Jharkhand border.

“There were about seven or eight of them,” said S.P Majumdar, the Purulia station manager, who came to the spot, 20km away. “The constables said the attackers shouted pro-Maoist slogans while fleeing,” he added.

The guerrillas took away two Insas rifles, a carbine and a 9mm pistol.

Purulia superintendent of police Rajesh Yadav said: “Our forces have joined the Government Railway Police and the RPF in combing operations in the region. The forces are following the escape route taken by the attackers. We are trying our best to trace them in the difficult forest terrain.”

Three days ago, the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, which is believed to enjoy Maoist patronage, had organised a rally in the area. About 6,000 tribal people from Purulia, Bankura, West Midnapore and Birbhum attended the rally in which CPI (Maoist) spokesperson Gaur Chakraborty was among the guests.

The dead constables were identified as S.R. Majhi, and N.B.N. Ansari. Majhi, 47, was declared dead on arrival at Bokaro General Hospital, about 75km away. Ansari, 27, died on the operation table.

A constable is in the hospital with bullet wounds. The other injured cop, who was apparently hit by rifle butts, is being treated in Purulia.

On December 22, the gue-rrillas had killed two constables in the district’s Barabazar block.

Three suspected naxalites lynched in Jharkhand

Published: February 25,2009

Khunti (Jharkhand)

Three suspected naxalites were lynched by angry villagers when they were allegedly extorting money in Jharkhand's Khunti district.

The three were beaten to death last evening when they were allegedly extorting money from shopkeepers at village market in Gulu, Deputy Superintendent of Police A K Rai said today. The bodies were recovered this morning, he said.

Source: PTI

1,550 Naxalites, militants surrendered in 2008

New Delhi, Feb 24: The Centre on Tuesday said its policies for rehabilitation of militants in Jammu and Kashmir, North Eastern and Naxal-affected states have resulted in surrender of more than 1,500 Naxalites and militants last year.

In a written reply to a Lok Sabha query, Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal said, out of 1,550 naxalites and militants who surrendered in 2008, a maximum of 724 were from Assam.

A total of 38 militants and naxalites surrendered in Jammu and Kashmir, 325 in Tripura, 197 in Andhra Pradesh and 150 in Maharashtra, Jaiswal said.

Under the policy for surrender-cum-rehabilitation of militants being implemented in Jammu and Kashmir and North eastern States, a monthly stipend of Rs 2,000 is being given to surrenderees for a period of three years after they give themselves up.

An immediate grant of Rs 1.5 lakh is also given to be kept in the shape of Fixed Deposit Receipts in a bank in the name of the surrenderee which can be drawn by him on completion of a three-year period subjected to good behaviour.

"Incentives for surrender of weapons are also given as per the prescribed rates. Besides, there is provision for vocational training for self-employment. The expenditure incurred by the states in this regard is reimbursed under the Security Related Expenditure scheme of the Government of India," Jaiswal said.

The Centre reimbursed Rs 0.71 crore and Rs 8.93 crore to Jammu and Kashmir and the North-Eastern states respectively.

"Some naxalite affected states also have their own state specific surrender and rehabilitation policy for naxalites who surrender. Expenditure is reimbursed to the naxalite affected states for various items, which include reimbursement of expenditure upto Rs 10,000 for a surrenderee without arms and upto Rs 20,000 with regular weapons under the SRE (Security Related Expenditure) scheme," Jaiswal said.

According to the government, a total of 254 militants and Naxalites have also surrendered in 2009.

This includes 154 from Tripura, 83 from Assam, 10 in Andhra Pradesh, six in Maharashtra and one in Meghalaya.

No militant in J-K has surrendered this year, he said.

"Thirty-three affected districts in eight states have been taken up for special attention on planning, implementation and monitoring of development schemes. 69 schemes of 20 development Ministries/ Departments have been identified," Jaiswal said.

Planning Commission has constituted eight Inter-Ministerial Groups to assist and guide the District Administration to formulate the District Plans, he added.

Bureau Report

'Naxalites will be answered in their language'

Published: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 at 12:37 IST

New Delhi: Making a strong statement against naxalites, Home Minister P Chidambaram said that they will be answered in the same language that they understand.

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Chidambaram said, ‘If naxalites will not stop using arms, we are ready to retaliate in the same way.'

P Chidambaram said that naxalites are the biggest obstruction in the way of development, but nation will not tolerate them any more.

No fake ‘encounters’ of Naxals if PRP comes to power: Chiru

Express News Service First Published : 25 Feb 2009 03:29:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 25 Feb 2009 11:05:44 AM IST

HYDERABAD: There would be no fake encounter killing of Naxalites if his party came to power, declared Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) president Chiranjeevi and assured that those who had left the Naxal movement would be employed.

He was addressing a Statelevel conference of former activists (Naxals) here today.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) went to the elections in 2004 on the issue of law and order but it was now stating that the Naxal issue was a social and economic problem, Chiranjeevi ridiculed.

The Congress, which held talks with the Naxals, latter changed its policy, he said.

He stated that people wouldn’t accept violence and added that social justice could be obtained through the ballot. The PRP president categorically stated that the Naxal issue was a socio-economic problem.

“The PRP doesn’t have an agenda... people’s problems are our agenda. Our aim is to do justice to as many people as possible,” Chiranjeevi stated. He said the Naxal movement was born out of people’s anguish and there was need to find the root causes and address them.

Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Yuva Rajyam president Pawan Kalyan demanded that the government should not harm surrendered Maoist leader Sambasivudu.

Addressing the gathering, former naxals E Sathyanarayana and Sambasiva Rao stated that it was only the PRP which had the will to secure separate Statehood for Telangana. Social justice as preached by the Congress and the TDP was confined only to the paper and it was the PRP which was really striving for it.

They stated that the present government was selling away all the lands. On this occasion, hundreds of former Naxals joined the PRP.

Seven naxals arrested in Chattisgarh

Published: February 26,2009

Raipur , Feb 25 Seven naxals, including four carrying cash reward or Rs five thousand each on their head, were arrested in Kankar district, police said today.

The rebels, identified as Kanglu, Sukalu, Satte, Kunjuram, Sadhuram, Binsar and Khemraj, were arrested at Koylibeda and Antagad of Kankar district, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Pawan Deb told PTI.

Among them, Kanglu, Sukalu, Satte and Kunjuram were wanted in several cases of murder and attempt to murder and carried a cash-reward on their head, he added.

Acting on a tip-off, the police team arrested Kanglu, Sukalu, Satte and Kunjuram at Koylibeda, while Sadhuram, Binsar and Khemraj were held from Antagad, the DSP said, adding that the trio also had several cases registered against them.

Source: PTI

Maoist splinters becoming cause for concern for India too

By Anand Gurung

The breakaway Maoist groups including the latest one led by fiery Maoist leader Matrika Yadav is not only a cause for concern for the ruling Unified CPN (Maoist) party and the country, but increasingly India too which is reeling under its own version of red terror.

Until recently, the Indian media was abuzz with speculation about breakaway Maoist group in Nepal collaborating with Indian Naxalites (Maoists). However, this serious issue concerning India’s internal security has now started to find its way into the floors of the Indian parliament – the Rajya Sabha.

This became clear after a senior Indian minister Wednesday denied rumors about Maoist splinters in Nepal collaborating with Indian Naxalites as baseless, saying that there is no valid evidence to suggest the same.

"There is no firm evidence of any breakaway Maoist group in Nepal collaborating with Naxalites here," Indian Home Minister P Chidamabram was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India (PTI).

Replying to a query on the issue during the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, Chidamabram also denied any Naxalite activities in the Indo-Nepal border. He, however, said the government is vigilant and “would take firm action against Naxals”.

The Minister further said the government would welcome and rehabilitate any Naxalite if he/she wants to return to the mainstream.

Chidamabram also said that the aim of Naxalites “is to overthrow an established government through armed struggle”, and they are not for development. “Naxalites are the worst enemy of development as they are targeting schools, telephone towers and other infrastructure,” he said, adding that they are motivated by "misguided" philosophy.

According to PTI, a BJP lawmaker also wanted to know how the government would fight “Left-wing extremism” when it took support of the Left, drawing protests from the Left parties in the Rajya Sabha.

Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has described the rise of Maoists – also called Indian Naxals – as one of the “gravest threats” to India’s internal security

It is worth mentioning here that India had played a major role in engineering the Delhi agreement back in 2006, bringing the underground CPN (Maoist) closer to the agitating seven political parties in Nepal. The alliance led to the overthrow of former king Gyanendra led royal regime and ultimately culminated in the country becoming a republic with the first elected Maoist government in South Asia at the helms.

Political observers say the Maoist insurgency in India is also shaping up as an issue ahead of the Indian general election due by May. The Maoist rebellion is spreading like wild-fire in India, with reports claiming that 22 of the country’s 29 states are affected by it.

The rebels claim to be fighting for the rights of the farmers and the poor who make up the majority in a country with the world's second largest population. Thousands of people have been killed since the uprising began in a village called Naxalbari in India’s West Bengal state in the late 1960s . Feb 26 09


Chiranjeevi woos former Naxals

25 Feb 2009, 0526 hrs IST, TNN

HYDERABAD: Prajarajyam president Chiranjeevi on Tuesday assured the Maoists in the state that if his party was elected to power it would end fake
encounter killings.

Addressing a gathering of former militants belonging to the CPI(ML) and Maoist groups, the PRP president said all the surrendered rebels would be properly rehabilitated and that his government would put an end to their harassment by the police.

“The proposal of general amnesty would be considered by the PRP as the rebels have eschewed the path of violence in preference to the time-tested democracy,” Chiranjeevi said from a dais in LB Nagar in the city which had as its backdrop a huge portrait of legendary guerrilla revolutionary leader Che Guevara.

We are better prepared to handle terror strikes now: Chidambaram

26 Feb 2009, 0544 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: Government on Wednesday claimed that it was much more prepared now to handle terror strikes than three months ago and said India would
try to replicate certain anti-terrorism strategies which the US had adopted after 9/11 in order to strengthen its security apparatus.

Replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, home minister P Chidambaram said, "Our level of preparedness is much higher than it was three months back and in the event of any attack, our response will be swift and deterring."

He added, "By March 31, there will be better coordination between multi-agency centre (MAC) and its subsidiaries and between MAC and special branch of police and various data centres. By May, all these agencies will be much better placed to reply to any kind of terror attacks."

Referring to the government's ongoing move to strengthen security apparatus, Chidambaram said India would try to replicate select anti-terrorism strategies which the US had adopted after 9/11.

"A team had gone to the US to study their anti-terror strategies, which they had prepared in the wake of 9/11 attacks. The team has come back and we are trying to replicate the strategies studied there, that suit our requirements," he said.

Allaying apprehensions of CPI member D Raja, he said security forces were well-prepared to thwart any kind of infiltration attempts by ISI agents, especially through the southern coast.

Chidambaram said, "I agree that ISI has a long arm but we have strengthened our coastal security in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, especially in the last two months. Though there are no reports of any ISI infiltration through southern coasts, it cannot be ruled out. We are doing our best to ensure that no ISI agent infiltrates through the southern coasts."

In response to another question, the home minister said there was no firm evidence of any breakaway group in Nepal collaborating with naxalites here. He also denied any naxal activities on the Indo-Nepal border and maintained that the government was vigilant.

Asserting that government would take firm action against naxals, Chidambaram said it would welcome and rehabilitate any naxalite if he wanted to return to the mainstream.

Naxalites were the "worst enemy" of development as they targeted schools, telephone towers and other infrastructure, he said, adding that they were motivated by "misguided" philosophy.

Top Maoist commander held in Bihar

Dehri-on-Sone (Bihar), Feb 25: A top commander of banned CPI (Maoist), wanted in several cases of naxal violence including the 2005 Jehanabad jailbreak, was today arrested from Dalmianagar by a joint team of Rohtas district police and Special Task Force.

Satyendra Kushwaha alias Naresh alias Dadan, a central committee member of the naxal outfit, was arrested by police while he was on his way to catch a bus for Rohtas.

Acting on a tip-off, the police intercepted a rickshaw carrying Kushwaha, who is the Songanga-Vindhyachal zonal commander of the outfit in-charge of Rohtas, Bhojpur, Kaimur and Buxar districts of Bihar, Superintendent of Police Vikas Vaibhav said.

The officer said Kushwaha was also operating in Mirzapur, Chandauli and Sonbhadra districts of Uttar Pradesh and Garhwa district of Jharkhand.

He is wanted in connection with several cases, including the Jehanabad jailbreak in which the naxalites had freed scores of their comrades on November 13, 2005, besides several others involving the killing of police personnel in encounters and landmine blasts.

Kushwaha is being interrogated and the police of Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand have been informed about the arrest, Vaibhav added.

Bureau Report

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chhattisgarh reluctant to take up Maoists’ peace talk offer

February 22nd, 2009 - 3:04 pm ICT by IANS -

Raipur, Feb 22 (IANS) Chhattisgarh’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is now reluctant to take up the offer for peace talks made by the Maoists twice recently, after the leftist rebels killed three CRPF troopers in an ambush Feb 19.
Spokesperson of Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), Pandu alias Pandanna, had offered twice within a month to hold peace talks with the government to find a solution to the decade-old Maoist militancy in the state.

“The government was seriously mulling the offer of the guerrillas but now we are least interested to pursue the peace talks offer as violence and dialogue can’t go together,” senior home department officials told IANS, while referring to the Feb 19 ambush in the state’s restive Bastar region.

Nine other CRPF personnel were injured in the incident.

The officials said top police officers and some security experts had serious doubts over the sincerity of Maoists’ peace talks, terming the move a ‘diversionary tactic’ by the rebels to buy time through persuading the government to halt anti-Maoist operations so that they could regroup and also reassess their strategy to overcome relentless police attacks on their bases.

Maoists have killed some 1,250 persons in the state since 2004, with the majority of casualties reported from the mineral-rich, forested Bastar.

100-day anti-terror plan gets green signal

Indian Express , India
Maneesh Chhibber
Posted: Feb 23, 2009 at 0323 hrs IST

Action unclear, Haywood case finds no mentionNew Delhi: A 100-DAY plan to make the country a safer place is ready and sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) say P Chidambaram has already ordered its implementation. The go-ahead was given at a high-level meeting chaired by him on Friday.

The plan was one of the first things that Chidambaram told bureaucrats to work upon after assuming charge as Home Minister of the country, after the Mumbai Terror attacks. His lead probably came from the speech of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a conference of state police chiefs recently, in which he suggested a 100-day plan to develop an integrated mechanism to fight terrorism and Naxalism.

The Indian Express was provided exclusive access to the blueprint of what is the biggest-ever exercise undertaken by the MHA to counter terrorism and give more firepower to the forces and other agencies.

Among other things, the plan aims to secure the country’s porous borders, make the state and central police forces better equipped to counter foreign terrorists and Naxalites, construct more roads along the India-China and India-Pakistan borders, develop more integrated border check-posts and immigration checks posts, fully activate the newly set-up National Investigation Agency by May 31, amend the Official Secrets Act, launch more operations in Naxalite-affected areas, operationalise the four new National Security Guard hubs and provide more personnel and better arms to the CRPF and SSB.

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RamadaBangalore.comAds By GoogleUnder the plan, the scheme for flood-lights for 2,840 km of Indo-Bangladesh border would be completed by January 20, 2012. This, the ministry, hopes would help check inflow of illegal Bangladeshis.

The ministry is also seeking the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for constructing 509 border outposts — 383 on the Indo-Bangladesh border and 126 on the Indo-Pakistan border.

To secure the coasts, the MHA plan provides for inducting the first batch of 24 interceptor boats by April. These would include 12 boats each of 12 tonne and five tonne capacity. Sources said the ministry had already started working on updating the standard operating procedure (SOP) for terrorist outrage under its crisis management plan. As part of this revamp, it also intends to upgrade the MHA control room.

To counter Naxalism, the ministry is reviewing its guidelines for incentives for surrender and rehabilitation of Naxalites under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme. It has also decided to include the Khunti and Ramgarh districts of Jharkhand in this scheme. Anti-Naxal operations have already been launched in Gadchiroli (Maharashtra) and Kanker (Chhattisgarh).

No funds crunch, Malkangiri ITI remains non-starter

Express News ServiceFirst Published : 22 Feb 2009 09:54:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 22 Feb 2009 02:02:20 PM IST

BHUBANESWAR: The State Government’s promises of giving tribal youth vocational training to prevent Naxals from luring them into their fold appear to be just rhetorics. And how.

The Industrial Training Institute (ITI) planned at Malkangiri by the Government has remained a non-starter three years after funds were released for the project. The admission of students for the academic session 2007-08 remained suspended for this reason. So much so for the cause of tribals. The ITI was planned under the Revised Long Term Action Plan (RLTAP) during 2006-07 and the Industries Department released Rs 5.12 crore to the Directorate of Technical Education and Training in January 2006.

In turn, the DTET placed Rs 3.37 crore with Executive Engineer (EE), R&B Division, Malkangiri, for construction of civil works which were targetted to be completed by April 2007. Similarly, Rs 1.75 crore was released to the Managing Director, Orissa Small Industries Corporation, Cuttack, for supply of tools and equipment by March 2006.

Pending completion of construction works and supply of equipment, DTET admitted 37 students during October 2006 in two batches. The students were, however, attached to the ITI, Ambaguda in Koraput district.

However, as per the latest CAG Report, construction works for the ITI were far from finishing line. By April 2008, staff quarters were only completed at an estimated Rs 20.43 lakh while other components of civil works such as administrative building and workshop remained incomplete despite an expenditure of Rs 1.52 crore.

Meanwhile, OSIC did not show any progress either. Of the 868 tools and equipment to be procured, the State corporation managed to purchase only 264 items at a cost of Rs 34.80 lakh by February 2007. The equipment were lying unused with ITI, Ambaguda. The rest of the amount remained blocked with OSIC for two years.

According to the report, DTET explained that steps had been taken to complete the civil work while equipment procurement was deferred due to high price and non-matching of specifications.