Saturday, April 04, 2009

CRPF vehicle damaged in landmine blast

5 Apr 2009, 0029 hrs IST, TNN

RANCHI: A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) vehicle was badly damaged in a landmine blast suspected to be triggered by Maoists at a forest area
near Bareni village in Jharkhand's Latehar district on Saturday.

The vehicle was ferrying luggage of CRPF personnel who were returning to their base after handing over charge to Border Security Force (BSF) personnel for poll duty.

Jharkhand police spokesperson Inspector General S N Pradhan said the CRPF personnel had a miraculous escape as they were walking beside the vehicle when the rebels triggered the landmine blast.

"The front portion of the vehicle was damaged and the driver suffered minor injuries. Intensive combing operations have been launched to flush out the ultras involved in the incident. The group of Maoists may also disrupt the polls," Pradhan said.

Naxalite surrenders after being charged with murder

RAJNAGAR, April 4: A 67-year-old Naxalite leader, Mr Horibol Mal, surrendered today in Rajnagar police station. Mr Mal is under suspicion of involvement in the murder of a CPM leader. Police have been searching for the Naxalite leader for the past six months.
Today, nearly 100 CPI-ML supporters - led by the district secretary Mr Sailen Mishra - agitated in front of Rajnagar police station, alleging that police have labeled their old party leader as a Maoist, following a directive from the CPM leadership.

“Today, our old leader, who is a cardiac and diabetic patient, was forced to surrender as police started torturing residents of Kushbani village from where he hails. Police have ridiculously labeled him a Maoist and claimed he was involved in the murder of a CPM leader, Nandalal Mistri, on 22 September, 2008. Today, we agitated in front of the police station against this unruly and ridiculous step by police. They are operating under the direction of CPM leaders,” Mr Sailen Mishra, district secretary of the CPI-ML, said.

Three months ago, police arrested Sainik Mal, son of Horibol, from his residence, on suspicion of his being a Maoist. According to police, the Naxalite cadre was wanted in the Nandalal Mistri case. Nandalal, a CPM leader, was shot dead - allegedly by Maoists - in Rajnagar, six months ago. Surprisingly, Horibol Mal's name was not included in the FIR registered in the case. SNS

Maoists loot Rs 99 lakh from security van

Tags: Malkangiri (Orissa)

Published by: Noor Khan
Published: Sat, 04 Apr 2009 at 20:16

Malkangiri (Orissa), Apr 4 : Staging a daring loot, armed Maoists robbed Rs 99 lakh from a van transporting the cash from one branch of State Bank of India to another in Orissa's naxal-dominated Malkangiri district today.

Malkangiri superintendent of police Satyabrata Bhoi said more than 12 armed ultras stopped the van carrying the money and ordered its occupants to get down.

"They beat up the occupants including the security men and took away the cash box", he said.

The looters disappeared into the near by forest area, police said, adding, that a hunt is on to nab them.

50 polling vehicles to have GPS tracking

5 Apr 2009, 0348 hrs IST, Soumittra S Bose, TNN

NAGPUR: Gadchiroli district administration, fearing Naxal interference in the polling process, is planning to ensure that maximum vehicles operating
in the highly-sensitive zones are equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS). District collector Atul Patne, also the returning officer, is planning to ensure a fleet of 50 vehicles with GPS facility during the polling period, especially those operating from the base camps which would be earmarked as highly vulnerable.

Apart from 15 GPS sets already present for the land measurement, the district administration aims at bringing in the ones that are in use in the police department. “There could be situations where the polling vehicles may come under siege or are hijacked. We should be in a position to know the location of such vehicles in case any untoward incident takes place,” said Patne. Patne is also planning to request police department to ensure their wireless communication system is extended to the 56 booths of the remote areas where connectivity is almost non-existent.

The plan of the district administration may, however, face some technical hurdles. “The efficiency of the tracking system depends on mobile phone signal connectivity. In remote areas, the GPS plan may face some hiccups as GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) may not work without mobile phone connectivity. Though GPRS is not the only option for the GPS to work, it is considered to be cheaper than other means,” said a senior police official.

Meanwhile, Patne said a decision has been taken to relocate around 15 polling booths in some of the heavily-affected villages where Naxal presence may pose a serious challenge to polling. An additional polling booth has been also decided to be set up at Charwahi in Gadchiroli to ensure that the villagers do not have to travel far to cast their ballot. The numbers of polling booths in the Gandchiroli-Chimur constituency would now be 839. There is also a plan to send polling parties through helicopters to sensitive polling stations.

Patne, who is to call for a co-ordination meeting of the senior officials of the police and district administration on April 6 next week, has complained of hardship to get the required numbers of vehicles needed for polling duty.
“I hope government vehicles would be available for Nasik and Marathwada divisions where election is in the later phase,” said Patne, who is also planning to open up to the option of inducting private vehicles for the polling duty too.

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Jail official held for assaulting IAS officer

4 Apr 2009, 0201 hrs IST, Amitabh Tiwari, TNN

RAIPUR: A young IAS officer on a snap inspection of a central jail in Chhattisgarh was assaulted by its superintendent who was annoyed by the sudden

Sources said P Dayanand, who is holding the additional charge of sub-divisional officer (SDO), was inspecting the Ambikapur central jail following complaints of irregularities. He found many banned articles like mobile phones and weapons inside the jail premises.

The SDO soon summoned jail superintendent Rajendra Gayakwad, who at that time was on a video-conference with his superiors. Dayanand then asked him to open the prison's chest for inspection. However, the superintendent refused.

After a heated exchange, Gayakwad assaulted the SDO. But the jail superintendent was overpowered and arrested by police personnel accompanying Dayanand. Soon DM Rohit Yadav and SP H K Rathore reached the jail.

But by that time, the jail inmates had gathered and started raising slogans against the district administration. They were pacified by CRPF and CISF jawans deployed in the state to control Maoists.

Ambikapur SP Rathore told TOI that the recovery of mobile phones and weapons was "disturbing'' in view of past incidents of jailbreaks in Chhattisgarh. As many as 1,534 inmates, including about 60 hardcore Maoists, are lodged in Ambikapur prison. Several serious incidents have taken place in the jail in the past.

One of the biggest-ever jailbreaks in India had taken place in Dantewada jail on December 16, 2007, when 299 inmates, including more than 105 Maoists and their sympathisers had fled. Inmates have also fled from Jashpur, Surguja and Surajpur and Durg jails.

According to a senior jail officer, the department drew up schemes to install jammers to prevent use of mobile phones. But so far, jammers have not been installed even in big jails where hardcore Maoists are lodged, he said.

Maoists target CRPF vehcile

Published: April 4,2009

Latehar (Jharkhand), Apr 4 A CRPF vehicle was damaged when it came in contact with a landmine planted by suspected Maoists at Bareni in Latehar today. No one is injured in the blast.

Superintendent of Police Ravikant Dhan told reporters that driver of the vehicle, which was transporting the luggage of the security personnel, escaped unhurt when it came in contact with the landmine which was placed under a culvert.

The front portion of the vehicle was damaged in the blast, he said.

Besides the driver, there was no other occupant in the vehicle at the time of the blast, police said.

Source: PTI

Maoists warn against temple inauguration

Express News Service First Published : 04 Apr 2009 11:22:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 04 Apr 2009 02:00:50 PM IST

BERHAMPUR: After the poll boycott call in Kandhamal district, the Maoists have gone a step further to terrify the people and pasted posters opposing inauguration of Jagannath temple at Kotgarh under Baliguda police limits. The temple is scheduled to be opened from April 26.

They also listed the names of 11 locals who would be facing the fate of Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati. Some locals informed the police who seized the posters.

Meanwhile Sunil, secretary, CPI(ML), Orissa State Organisational Committee in a press release criticised the police administration. In a letter he stated that on March 24 Rita Pal alias Rinki was killed by police at Kerubadi in Daringibadi block.

The release further stated that the Maoists were addressing a public meeting when police opened fire. To save the innocent public, Maoists instead of retaliating returned back into the forest. In the process Rinki was killed and two rifles were seized by police. ‘‘The claims of the police that we used people as a shield is false,’’ Sunil further claimed in the release.

Maoists blow up cellphone towers in Orissa

4 Apr 2009, 1252 hrs IST, PTI

MALKANGIRI (Orissa): Maoist ultras blew up two signal towers of a mobile phone service provider in Orissa's Malkangiri district, police said on

The towers were destroyed by the ultras using explosives at Kangrukunda and MPV-22 under Kalimela police station, about 30 km from here yesterday.

Large quantities of cables kept near the structure were also set ablaze by the Maoists, they said adding that the ultras are against spread of telephone network in the region as it facilitates sharing information with the police.

The Maoists feel that telephones, including mobile ones, enable police informers to pass on information about the movement and activities of the ultras, sources said.

Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Satyabrata Bhoi said though the police were yet to receive any formal complaint about the incident, it was aware of the attack and necessary steps were being taken.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Security upped along borders

BALARAMPUR (Purulia), April 3: Security has been tightened, even in the remote areas of bordering West Bengal and Jharkhand. Following intelligence inputs, the Centre has asked the state government to provide extra security to important political leaders under the high threat perception category during their campaigns for the 15th general election.

Intelligence inputs have also suggested that terrorists may strike during poll rallies addressed by the protected persons.

The Maoist infestation in Purulia, already a serious threat, appears to be worsening. About two weeks ago, the office of a brick kiln owner was set on fire by the Maoists. Around the same time, Maoists set the same man's truck on fire after setting off a landmine at Kerua-Ghatbera in Balarampur, 53 km from Purulia town. They were demanding an increase in the pay of daily mazdoors in the brick field.
A few days back, a gang of armed Maoists fired at four jawans of the Railway Protection Force at Barabhum rail station in Balarampur, in the same thana areas of Purulia district. Of the jawans, two died at Bokaro Hospital following the attack. The Maoists had decamped, taking arms and ammunition from the jawans. The jawans had cash at the time of attack, but cash does not appear to have been the Maoist target, and was untouched.
n Nani Gopal Pal

Maoists blow up BJP leader's house in Jharkhand

2 Apr 2009, 1212 hrs IST, PTI

CHATRA (JHARKHAND): The Maoists have blown up three structures, including the house of a local BJP leader, in Chatra's Moktama village, the police
said on Thursday.

About 50 armed Maoists reached the village late Wednesday night, asked family members of the BJP leader Mahendra Yadav to vacate the house and blew it up with dynamites, Assistant Superintendent of Police Jatin Narwal.

Yadav was not present in the house during the attack. The group latter destroyed the village panchayat hall and an anganwadi centre with explosives, Narwal said.

There was no loss of life in any of the incidents. A Maoist note pasted on the walls in the village claimed responsibility of the explosions.

BJP vows to neutralize terrorists

Tags: Malkangiri (Orissa)

Published by: Deepak Rana
Published: Thu, 02 Apr 2009

Malkangiri (Orissa), Apr 2 : Accusing the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre of failing to contain terrorism, BJP president Rajnath Singh today asserted that the NDA, if voted to power, would eliminate terrorists.

"UPA government has failed miserably on all fronts, particularly in controlling terrorism and price rise, causing enormous hardship to the people," Singh said while launching BJP's poll campaign in Orissa's Maoist-infested Malkangiri district.

Noting that the previous government headed by Atal Behari Vajpayee had effectively curbed terrorism, he said the activities of terrorists and naxalites would be dealt with a firm hand if BJP-led NDA regained power at the Centre.

Attacking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the BJP stalwart said the UPA government was being controlled by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

“Another Major Attack in India Inevitable”

Date Submitted: Thu Apr 02, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. - India faces the threat of another major terror attack after the audacious 26/11 Mumbai strikes with the “jihadist insurgency” intensifying along the western border and Pakistan seemingly losing control of its militant proxies, a leading US think tank has warned.

India already has “an array of militant threats” to deal with, ranging from Naxalites to northeastern insurgents to Kashmiri militants, Stratfor said in its latest analysis.

“Given the jihadist insurgency also intensifying along India’s western frontier and Pakistan seemingly losing control of its militant proxies, another major Islamist attack in India is inevitable,” it said.

“Regardless of whether the upcoming elections go off without a hitch, this is a reality Indian policymakers and security agencies will face for the foreseeable future,” the think tank said.

The Mumbai attacks last year, it said, had “exposed Indian security forces’ lack of preparedness and coordination.”

“The government responded to the (26/11) attack by announcing a slew of security reforms and by coordinating more closely with intelligence liaisons in London and Washington to improve Indian security practices and enhance intelligence sharing across state and national lines,” Stratfor said.

However, many of the “same critical flaws” in the security apparatus, including lack of money, manpower and management skills, remain, it said.

“The nature of India’s glacial-paced bureaucracy will greatly hinder New Delhi’s ability to overhaul the country’s internal security network effectively,” Stratfor said.
The Indian security apparatus, it said, “is already bracing itself for another major attack.”

Shifting the IPL tournament to South Africa gives the Indians more forces to secure the country for the national elections, “but this does not necessarily mean that the threat level during this time period has subsided,” it warned.

“The elections still provide Pakistani-based and indigenous Indian militants a good occasion to target politicians, government buildings, and voting booths — to say nothing of the usual soft targets like crowded marketplaces, movie theaters, hotels or religious sites,” the think tank said. (PTI)

Maoists kill kin of Congress leader in Chhattisgarh

April 3rd, 2009 - 8:17 pm

Raipur, April 3 (IANS) Three motorcycle-borne Maoists Friday shot dead the relative of a Congress leader who launched the Salwa Judum movement in Chhattisgarh’s restive Bastar region, police said.
Chhannu Karma, 45, the nephew of senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma, was shot dead in full public view just outside Dantewada town, 380 km from here, while he was on way to the town riding a motor cycle.

Three armed Maoists riding a motorcycle came from behind and fired at Chhannu, who jumped off his motorcycle and tried to flee. The Maoists chased him and pumped three bullets into him. “He succumbed to injuries on the spot,” Pawan Deo, deputy inspector general, police headquarters, told IANS.

Police rushed to the spot within

Salwa Judum activist shot dead

Published: April 3,2009

Raipur , Apr 3 Maoists shot dead a prominent activist of Salwa Judum, an anti- Naxalite movement, in Chhattisgarh&aposs Dantewada district, police said today.

District Superintendent of Police Rahul Sharma told PTI that around three Naxals shot dead Channuram Karma, the Sarpanch of Pharaspal village, while he was passing by a railway crossing.

Karma was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead, Sharma said.

The SP said since Karma was an active member of Salwa Judum, he was on the hit-list of the Maoists.

Karma is the nephew of senior Congress leader and former minister Mahendra Karma.

Following the incident, security has been beefed up in the Bastar area and investigation is on into the incident.

Source: PTI

Gadchiroli gets Red threat

Jaideep HardikarSaturday, April 4, 2009 1:35 IST Email

Nagpur: An uneasy fortnight begins for the Gadchiroli police and district administration in the run-up to the April 16 polling for general elections, with the rebel Maoists asking villagers to boycott the elections and install their own Jantana Sarkar.

General election 2009"Yes, we have discovered posters in some villages of the district, through which the Naxalite splinters here have asked people to refrain from voting," superintendent of police Rajesh Pradhan said on Wednesday. But that, he said, is not unusual. "It's been their strategy always and despite that the voting percentage in the district remains a healthy around 70% every time."
One poster reads: "Boycott fake Lok Sabha elections and create a people's government: Courtesy Gadchiroli Division Committee, Communist Party of India (Maoist)." Some of the posters ridicule police operations like Sarvodaya and Parakram and condemn police action against the people of few villages.

Amidst heightened Maoist activities over the past few months though, the police and district administration are leaving nothing to chance. Police said Naxals would try best to disrupt the process, but they are prepared to foil their attempts.

"We are prepared for the elections and we'll ensure that the process is peaceful," Pradhan said. The reinforcements of the state and central troops have begun to come ahead of the polling. "We have also demanded three helicopters for aerial patrolling and hopefully we'll get it," he said.

The splinter Maoist groups have given a call for Gadchiroli bandh on April 10 in what the police say could be pressure tactics to disrupt the polling process.

Pradhan says there has been a rise in Naxal activity recently in retaliation to successful police crackdowns in 2008 and surrenders. But, the police have counter-strategies ready, with "naxal-chasing" operations already on for a week now.

Meanwhile, the election commission has reportedly accepted the district administration's demand to curtail polling hours for the stations in the remotest corner of the district. The police and administration had written to the district magistrate to reduce the polling timings by two hours, similar to what the election commission has agreed for the Maoist-infested parts of Orissa.

Silence of Maoists baffles cops

4 Apr 2009, 0307 hrs IST, G Arun Kumar, TNN

HYDERABAD: Elections are close at hand but the silence of Maoists is deafening. While the sounds of AK-47s are muffled in naxal-dominated districts
all along Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra borders, AP police are worried it’s only a lull before the storm.

“The unusual lull is strange. The Maoists may resort to ambushes and stray attacks to bamboozle the cops and disrupt the poll process,” an apprehensive police officer told TOI. Heavy Maoist presence is evident in 10 to 15 assembly constituencies that share border with Orissa, 20 to 25 constituencies along the Chhattisgarh border and about 40 in Telangana districts that have borders with all the three states.

Top cops said that Maoist action teams could well aim at specific targets this time. Reports indicate that armed militia are already moving in companies (each comprising 90-100 members). Corroborating this, a DIG-level officer said the elections are the only means to strike terror and make their presence felt. “They may resort to tactical counter offensive by striking where it hurts the most,” an expert said.

Sources said with assembly polls having been over in Chhattisgarh, Maoists would be more than keen to disrupt the AP assembly polls. “We have specific information that the rebels are holding regular meetings in Khammam-Chhattisgarh border areas to foment trouble,” a senior cop said. Sources said local guerrilla squads (LGS) could enter from the Andhra Orissa Board (AOB) and Chhattisgarh and cause widespread destruction. Regrouping of Maoists in north Telangana districts has also not been ruled out. The massing (over 250 armed men) of Maoists in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra is another major concern.

While paramilitary, CRPF, APSP, Greyhounds and local police have been conducting extensive combing in the forest areas to flush out the rebels, field craft operations are being hampered because of the tough AOB terrain. “Coordination with neighbouring states and sharing of information on movement of naxals has been intensified,” a Maoist-hit district SP revealed.

Police are not only keeping track of movement of couriers and Maoist sympathisers in deep forest tracts but they are also binding over tribal youths having links with Maoists. The most vulnerable districts in AOB are Koraput, Rayagada, Malkangiri, Ganjam, Visakha Rural, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram, while the Khammam-Chhattisgarh border is another hot spot. Boycott calls have always been a feature of every election and the naxals coerce people against voting, but this time, the Maoists haven’t spread terror like they did prior to 2004 polls.

IG expresses concern over increasing crime in coastal belt

UNI, Thursday, 02 April 2009 - 13:31:20 IST

Manipal: Inspector General of Police (Western Range) Gopal B Hosur today expressed concern over increasing incidents of crime in coastal areas of Karnataka.

''The increasing incidents of communal disharmony, underworld activities and links, terrorism, moral policing and naxal activities have become the core issues of the coastal region,'' he said, addressing a press conference here after inaugurating two mobile security vans provided by the Manipal University with university security men and an armed policeman.

He said policing had seen a sea change in recent time and had become more challenging.

He said the challenge was stronger in the coastal region. Moral policing has made things tough for the police. Security personnel had to be on their toes round the clock. Of late, the coastal region was in news for wrong reasons.

While citing University's example of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in strengthening the hands of the police, he said the public in general could play an important role in bettering security.

Manipal University, Chancellor Dr Ramdas M Pai hoped that the venture would prove beneficial to the students of the two campuses and to the people of the area as well.

Pro Chancellor Dr H S Ballal said patrolling will help to beef up security cover on the two campuses. 'Eagle 1 and II' the two vans, are equipped with additional communications and other specialized equipment

Para military forces to get multi-role helicopters

New Delhi, Apr 3 (PTI) In an effort to intensify reconnaissance missions and give an edge to para military force operations in difficult terrains, the Home Ministry will procure eight multi-role helicopters from HAL worth over Rs 343 crores.
The ministry has signed a contract with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the supply of eight advanced light Dhruv helicopters which can be used for civil as well as military roles.
The first lot of four helicopters will delivered by the end of this month and the remaining in 2010-11, the ministry said in its report for the month of March.

For the first four months, these helicopters will be used for training before being pressed into operations.

Dhruv is a multi-role and multi-mission advanced light helicopter developed by the Helicopter Division of the HAL which can be used both during day and night operations.

The Central paramilitary forces have been demanding air-power from the ministry to give an edge to their counter-insurgency operations in various parts of the country, officials sources said.

CRPF's Anti-Naxal force Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) has also sought air-power to help it tackle the Left-wing extremism spreading across a number of states, especially in those areas where land movement is limited, the sources said. PTI

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

High-alert sounded in three Orissa districts

Rourkela (PTI): High alert has been sounded in Maoist-affected areas of Sundergarh, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj districts in Orissa in view of Wednesday's Jharkhand bandh.

Round-the-clock patrolling is on at the Orissa-Jharkhand border and other precautionary measures have been taken to ensure peace during the bandh, police said.

The bandh call has been given by the CPI(Maoist) to protest the re-arrest of their leader Bharat Mundari and his wife Premalata by Jharkhand police from their residence at Panchapoya village on Saturday night after their release from Bonai jail in Sundergarh.

Mundari, who was commander of platoon number 22 of the CPI(Maoist) group, was in Bonai jail along with his wife after their arrest on September 25, 2007.

Maoists killed village leader in Orissa

Wednesday, April 01, 2009 Email StoryFeedbackPrint Story
Report by Tapan Mallik, Baneigarh: Tuesday late night Maoists has murdered a village leader in Langalakanta village under K.Balang Police station. The police has not yet reached in the spot.

As per information Bedanath Singh ( 45) of langalakanta village under K.Balang Police Station and Sombamba panchayat of Sundargarh district is a village leader. Maoists had called a meeting on 29th March. In this meeting Bedanath was absent.So the maoists were angered with him. Tuesday in the midnight when he was sleeping in his house,the Maoists have called him and taken him to the forest. In the forest they murdered him .Wednesday the peoples were found the dead body of Bedanath in the forest and informed the police

Orissa Police seized Maoist posters houses in Similipal

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Report by Orissadiary correspondent; Baripada : Close on the heels of the recent attack by the Maoist ultras on the forest offices in Similipal reserve forest areas, the Mayurbhanj police on Tuesday seized posters on the walls of the three forest beat houses in Similipal. According to police, the posters, written in Hindi, Oriya and English, warned the police and forest department staffs not to harass the poor and innocent tribals. They also urged the tribals to boycott the ensuing general elections. Maintaining that the police has been arresting a number of innocent tribals suspecting them to be Maoists, the posters alleged that poaching, deforestation, illegal supply of tuskers, tiger skin, timber logs and valuable forest items are taking place in collusion with some unscrupulous forest and district officials and smugglers.

We are ready to fight the government to ensure the social and economical right for the poor people and destroy the monopoly system of the government, the posters reportedly mentioned.

Maoist threat looms large on 385 booths


Ranchi, March 31: The district administration today declared 385 out of 2,090 booths in the district as supersensitive owing to the presence of Maoists.

These polling stations fall under Ranchi, Lohardaga and Khunti parliamentary constituencies.

Out of the 385 booths, election will be held at 357 in the first phase on April 16 while the rest will host the polls on April 23. A majority of the supersensitive booths are situated in Bundu and Tamar under Khunti constituency, which will go to the polls on April 16.

Deputy commissioner-cum-district election officer Rajeev Arun Ekka and senior police superintendent of Ranchi Praveen Kumar said this today at a news meet.

Kumar said that to ensure peaceful elections, 32 criminals had been identified who would be booked under Crime Control Act, while 1,126 would be kept in judicial custody.

Kumar said help of NCC cadets would be sought to ensure free and fair elections. “We require 100 companies of Jharkhand Armed Police and central paramilitary forces, including Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force and Special Auxiliary Force. We have also asked the group captain of NCC to provide senior division cadets who will be posted in urban areas ,” he added.

Ekka said 144 sector officers would be deputed at different parts of the district to take stock of the situation before the elections. Each section officer will cover 10 to 12 booth areas.

Vehicles will be seized from April 10. “We require 250 buses, 150 trucks, 156 mini-buses and 112 small vehicles for deployment of forces and polling staff,” he added.

Suspected Maoists kill village head in Sundargarh

2 Apr 2009, 0348 hrs IST, TNN

ROURKELA: Suspected Maoists killed the head of Langal Kanta village under K Bolang police limits in Sundargarh district. The 55-year-old Deonath
Singh was abducted from his house on Tuesday and his body was found in a nearby jungle by locals on Wednesday afternoon.

A poster of CPI (Maoist) was found near his body. It said that Singh has been punished as he was a police informer. Police were yet to reach the spot till filing of this report. According to sources, Singh has been under Maoist threat for quite some time.

Sources said about 18 persons had come to his house on March 29 looking for him but left as he was not at home at that time. Late on Tuesday night, about 35 armed persons entered Singh's house and forcibly took him away to an unknown destination.

Afraid of the Maoists, Singh's family did not inform the police about the incident. According to eyewitness, there were deep cut marks on his throat and several injuries on his body. The incident came close on the heels of the murder of a CPM cadre under Koira police limits, about 10 days ago.

CRPF man hurt in Maoist blast

31 Mar 2009, 2309 hrs IST, TNN

BOKARO: A CRPF constable was injured when Maoists triggered a landmine blast near Aman village from atop Jhumra hills in Bokaro district late
Tuesday evening.

The Red rebels first triggered the blast and then opened indiscriminate fire on personnel of two platoons belonging to the CRPF's 26th Battalion at a place between Suarkatva and Aman who were returning from long-range patrolling, ASP Bermo Kranti Kumar said.

The CRPF men immediately retaliated. The injured constable has been rushed to hospital where his condition is stated to be critical, the ASP said

Sources said a large number of armed Maoists, including women cadres, were seen in the area in past few days.

Maoists with arms nabbed in Munger

MIDNAPORE, April 1: Three suspected Maoists were intercepted in Goaltore, West Midnapore carrying arms in a private car to Lalgarh from Munger in Bihar early today.The trio were identified as Bikash Mahato of Binpur, Inul Khan of Lalgarh and Saiful Rahaman of Munger.

A large quantity of arms, bomb-making materials and literatures belonging to the outfit were seized. The three men were charged under Section 121/121A/122/123 and 124A of the IPC and Section 25/27 and 35 of the Arms Act. They were produced before the judicial magistrate in West Midnapore today, who remanded them to 14 days in police custody.

Meanwhile, three days after the CPI-M declared that they would offer their full support to the Police Santras Birodhi Public Committee (PSBPC) and promised to fight in the latter’s battle over the Lalgarh issue, the PSBPC leader Mr Chhattradahr Mahato changed tack. He denied the presence of any Maoist leader at their rally at Simulpal in Belpahari on 29 March. This was despite the fact that he had repeatedly called the Maoist spokesman Gourmohan Chakraborty, and several other leaders involved in the mass movement for democratic values, to come over to the dais during the rally. Briefing the press, the Maoists declared in unequivocal terms that they would give “all-out support and cooperation to the PSBPC and build up counter-resistance,” if necessary, in their fight against police operations in Lalgarh on the eve of the Lok Sabha polls. n SNS

Suspected Maoists held, arms seized

Indrani Dutta

KOLKATA: In a pre-dawn operation, three suspected Maoist leaders were arrested and a huge cache of arms and ammunition and some literature seized from them, police said.

West Bengal Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen told reporters that the suspected Maoists were going from Asansol by car.

They were arrested at Goaltor in Paschim Medinipur.

They are believed to have been on their way to Lalgarh, which is at the centre of a tribal agitation on and off for quite some time now.

Experts review terror threats


Ranchi, April 1: A team of experts from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Special Protection Group (SPG) arrived in the state capital today to assess threat perceptions from Naxalites and Islamic fundamentalist forces, particularly Lashkar-e-Toiba (Let), in the wake of the general elections.

The security experts held a meeting with senior officials at the police headquarters to work out effective ways and means to face the challenges.

They are also likely to visit different parts of the state to evaluate the ground realities.

According to sources, several terrorist squads are believed to have entered the country with a mission to kill some top politicians during campaigns and disrupt the election process. Police suspect that a Let squad has entered Jharkhand too.

State director-general of police V.D. Ram has already directed the superintendents of police to ensure that the forces never moved in vehicles on kuchha roads.

An officer of the special branch said Naxalites are yet to begin their groundwork. “The rebels are either waiting to strike deals directly with potential candidates or something else is cooking in their minds,” the official added.

However, the police admitted that vague information was available on the presence of Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives in the state and tracking them was practically impossible.

Ironically, they seem to be banking on Naxalites to foil the nefarious designs of terrorists.

If the Maoists rise against the terrorists, the latter will never succeed in their mission in Jharkhand, pointed out a senior police official.

“The rebels should realise that there will be sympathy for BJP if the Islamic fundamentalist forces are able to prove their point during elections. And if the party comes to power, the Maoist organisations will face bigger threats from the official machinery,” said a senior official of the IB.

Never lower your guard, MHA tells 40 leaders

Font Size Express news service
Posted: Apr 02, 2009 at 0138 hrs IST

New Delhi: In the wake of intelligence reports that terrorist groups might try to target important political leaders during the elections, the Home Ministry has asked about 40 high-profile leaders to strictly adhere to the security drill prescribed for them and cooperate fully with the security agencies.

The Ministry has also written to the state governments asking them to ensure proper protection for these VIPs when they campaign in their respective states.

The 40 leaders, which include most of the NSG and SPG protectees, are said to be on the target of not just terrorist organisations but also of Naxalites and insurgent groups wanting to make their presence felt during the elections.

In a letter written on March 27, Home Minister P Chidambaram has advised all these leaders to follow the do’s and don’ts of the security arrangements made for them and stressed that it was better to err on the side of caution.

He said in case the leaders under threat had doubts over what security procedures needed to be followed, they were welcome to contact officials in the Home Ministry or even the Home Minister.

The ministry has also shared the information available with intelligence agencies on the threats posed to these leaders.

The intelligence agencies had last month picked up specific inputs which suggested that Terror groups were planning to attack popular politicians in the run-up to the elections with the aim of disrupting the election procedure in the country.

Chidambaram had recently also visited the border areas in Punjab and Rajasthan and urged the Border Security Force to step up its vigil in order to thwart expected attempts by infiltrators to enter the country ahead of the elections.

Naxalites attack school building in Bihar

Jamui (PTI): Armed activists of proscribed CPI (Maoist) blasted a State-run school at Chormara village in Bihar's Jamui district in the wee hours on Tuesday.

Around 50 heavily-armed ultras surrounded the Choramara Madhya Vidayalaya under Bhimbandh forest range and blew up the school building by using dynamites, police said. However, no casualties were reported in the attack, they said.

Raids were being carried out at different places to apprehend the naxalites. The Maoist operation was aimed at pre-empting the administration's plan to use the school building for the stay of the central para-military force personnel during elections, the police said.

Red block in rural campaign

Jamshedpur, April 1: With only weeks to go for the parliamentary elections in Jamshedpur, not a single candidate has tapped the rural belt here.

Fear of a Naxalite attack has so far kept star campaigners and candidates away from the interiors of Ghatshila, while Patamda and Potka wear a deserted look.

The streets of densely-populated Galudih in Ghatshila, too, missed out on the election buzz as none of the candidates in the fray for the Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seat has set up any party office here.

Former MP and JMM leader Sunil Mahto was gunned down by Naxalites two years ago in Galudih.

“We are aware that the Lok Sabha elections are round the corner, but the kind of activity that would be seen during the electioneering days earlier is absent this year,” said Sadashiv Murmu, a resident of Baguria village in Galudih.

Murmu, who is a teacher of a government primary school at Galudih, claimed that the leaders of political parties are not interested to visit Galudih or any other place in the interiors of Ghatshila.

“Maybe the JMM, BJP and Ajsu leaders apprehend threat to their while campaigning in Ghatshila interiors, but the reluctance of people to visit places like Galudih will take a toll on the development of the villages,” said Murmu.

Subodh Paramanik, a resident of Kesharpur, revealed that voters of this region may feel alienated from the election process if the trend continues.

“It is just not a candidate’s prospects that go up by campaigning in these villages. The voters living here also stand to gain later as the successful candidate has to fulfil his or her promises,” said Paramanik.

Of the total 13.5 lakh voters in Jamshedpur Lok Sabha constituency, only five lakh voters are from the urban areas under Jamshedpur East and West constituencies.

The rest of the voters hail from the rural areas spread across four Assembly segments, namely Ghatshila, Bahragora, Potka and Patamda-Jugsalai.

The prominent candidates for the elections include Arjun Munda, Suman Mahto, Shailendra Mahto and Arvind Singh.

Only Munda had addressed a public meeting at Ghatshila, but the area was inside Ghatshila township.

Maoist bandh a success


Policemen keep vigil on NH-33. Pix: Srinivas
Jamshedpur, April 1: Life in Ghatshila sub-division remained paralysed today as a Naxalite-sponsored 24-hour bandh evoked a near-total response in East Singhbhum and Mayurbhanj districts.

State offices, as well as private firms, remained closed in Ghatshila, Musaboni and Bahragora. Schools, colleges and training centres across the sub-division were shut.

Traffic was sparse on the NH-33 and in the Ghatshila township. There was heavy deployment of paramilitary forces and police on the township streets, on the NH-33 and along the Bahragora-Ghatshila-Jamshedpur stretch, that otherwise bore a deserted look with nearly no traffic.

The CPI(Maoist) had called the bandh to protest against police atrocities and to demand a hike in minimum wages. Posters that spoke of the bandh, however, refrained from mentioning specific cases of the atrocities. Sources said life in the interiors of Dumaria, Musaboni, Ghurabandha and Potka — which otherwise remain unaffected — also bore the brunt of the bandh today.

The bandh also left an impact on poll campaigns.

The JMM, JVM and BJP had set up camps in Ghatshila and Musaboni for campaign work. Except the BJP, the rest of the offices remained closed from the morning. “We cannot keep a camp office closed because of a Naxalite bandh. We cannot succumb to such demands,” said Godabari Mahato, a BJP activist

Naxalites raze public buildings to prevent make-shift camps

Published: March 31,2009

Bokaro (Jharkhand), Mar 31 With an aim to prevent the security forces from taking shelter in them during their anti-naxal operation ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Maoists blew up four public buildings at different places in Jharkhand, police said today.

A vacant community hall was blown up by Maoists at Penk village in Bokaro district after stuffing landmines in it late last night, Assistant Superintendent of Police Kranti Kumar told reporters here today.

Kumar said the Maoist strategy was to prevent security forces taking shelter during their operations against them.

A separate group of naxalites blasted two buildings housing primary schools in Latehar district&aposs Ghansitola village in the wee hours, according to Hemant Toppo, Superintendent of Police, Latehar.

The demolition could be a part of the naxalites&aposdesign ahead of the polls, the police officer said.

In the third incident which had occurred in Gumla&aposs Banalat area last night, the naxalites triggered blast in a primary school building, destroying a portion of the structure, the police said and added there was no loss of life in any incident.

Source: PTI

Naxalites blows up health centre

Published: April 1,2009

Latehar (Jharkhand), Apr 1 Naxalites today blew up a primary health centre here to stop security forces from taking shelter in the building during the anti-insurgency operations.
The naxals planted dynamite in the building located at Saryu village of the district and blew it up early this morning, police said.

A note left at the spot said the health centre was blown up because neither doctors nor nurses were visiting it and security forces had made it their rest house during anti-naxal operations, police said.

This was the fifth government structure to be blown up in two days. Yesterday the naxals had blown up health and educational structures at Bokaro, Gumla and in Latehar.

Source: PTI

Khammam police gearing up to meet Maoist threat

B Satyanarayana ReddyFirst Published : 01 Apr 2009 03:50:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 01 Apr 2009 12:56:48 PM IST

KHAMMAM: The district police, in collaboration with State’s top police officials, are preparing an action plan to put a check on Maoist activities in the border areas during the general election. The Bhadrachalam division has been given a special security status as it has been identified as a very sensitive constituency as most of the forest area in the district is situated in the district. Maoists have traditionally been strong in the Bhadrachalam division.

The Maoists, informed sources in the police say, have established permanent camps in the Dantewada and Bijapur districts of Chhattishgarh and planned to mar the elections, particularly in Khammam district and in Chhattisgarh.

With the Maoists calling for boycott of elelctions, the intelligence department has already washed its hands of with a warning to the police department that Maoists would resort to violence during the elections. The Maoists have even distributed pamphlets to people asking them not to vote and warned them of dire consequences if they did not heed their warning.

In this background, police officials held a meeting here recently to discuss the issue. Top police officials from Chhattisgarh and Orissa also particiapated in the meeting.

The police are keeping special focus on 237 polling stations in the border area and preparing a plan to ensure peaceful conduct of elections. Already, 121 extremist-affected villages have been identified in the border area, superintendent of police Mahesh Bhagat has told to The New Indian Express.

Bhagat says that two companies of the Border Security Force have been deployed in the border area and deep forests to thwart any attacks from Maoists. Besides, a few battalions of CRPF, APSP, Grey Hounds and Special Police have been deployed. And some more BSF companies are likely to be deployed in the border area. Combing operations began last month. Vehiclechecking has been going on extensively to keep Naxal material logistics in check.

Every possible step is being taken to put a check on Maoist activities. The borders with Orissa and Chhattisgarh have been sealed to prevent movement of anti-social elements and transport of liquor. The SP appeals to people to exercise franchise without fear or favour, assuring them of security to their lives.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Buddha to see the last of the Maoists

Published: March 29,2009

Siliguri (WB), Mar 28 West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today said he had all information on Maoist operations in the state and would see to the last of it.

Addressing a party meeting here, Bhattacharjee said the Maoists come from Jharkhand and return immediately after operation, he said." Everything is under my observation and I will see to the last of it,"he said.

Criticising Congress and BJP for their alleged anti-people rule, the Chief Minister claimed that a possibility of left -led Third Front to come to power appeared bright as Congress was deserted by almost all UPA partners and BJP was in the drowning stage.

On Darjeeling issue, he said he had talks with Gorkha Janamukti Morcha leadership several times and tried to make them understand that a separate state was not the solution." Unfortunately they did not not understand the fact."

He held Congress responsible for"encouraging"the GJM for Gorkhaland demand.

Left faces acid test in red terror zone

30 Mar 2009, 0336 hrs IST, TNN

Cross the Jharkhand-Bengal border at Katin and enter Purulia's Bandwan around 400 km from Kolkata and some 65 km from Purulia town and there's an
oddity that strikes you immediately. There is nothing to show that barely a month from now voters are supposed to be queuing up in the largest democratic exercise in the world.

Walls in Bandwan under Jhargram Lok Sabha seat are free of poll graffiti, except for a small patch near the police station. Forty kilometres away, in the interiors of Belpahari, the scene is the same. The reason? Since 2003, Belpahari and Bandwan have seen numerous attacks by Maoist guerrillas, who killed 57 CPM leaders and supporters and made a dent in the CPM votebank.

Lok Sabha elections 2009 is going to be an acid test for CPM which is fast losing ground in the 15,000-sq km Jangalkhand. For CPM, it is a deja vu. In the early '70s, party leaders were forced to hold small group meetings in villages in the light of a single lantern. In 2009, the dim-light huddles are back, thanks to Maoist fear.

Pulin Behari Baskey, CPM candidate for Jhargram, admits that campaigning is yet to start in the interiors of Belpahari and Bandwan. "How can we go there when the police cannot? The situation is not normal. The poll process has not taken off there. If police can make a move by next week, we expect to get a month for campaigning," he said.

Campaigning is tough in Jangalkhand. At least 30 CPM leaders have been provided with police bodyguards in Binpur I & II blocks, Bandwan, Balarampur, Barabazar and many other parts of the Maoist belt. Uddhav Mahato, CPM's Silda local committee secretary, couldn't wait for police security and has hired private guards. Prashanta Das, local committee secretary of Jhargram's Aguiboni and an employee of Jhargram Municipality, has stopped going to office. "I have asked police for security. They are yet to accept my appeal. I feel threatened every moment," Das said.

Police patrols are ambushed, CPM leaders hacked to death, traders terrorized Maoists have struck fear in everyone's heart. They even blew up a medical van in October 22, 2008, killing a doctor, a nurse and their driver, and ambushed the chief minister's convoy 10 days later.

For years, Jangalkhand has been a CPM stronghold, yet the 2008 panchayat polls showed an erosion in its support base. In Bandwan, Left partner Forward Bloc, too, sided with the Opposition. CPM holds only three of the eight panchayat samiti seats. In Binpur-I of which Lalgarh is a part Jharkhand party (Aditya) is at the helm. In Binpur-II, CPM could win only three panchayats and retained the majority in the panchayat samiti with the margin of only one seat.

The Maoist-backed People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA), too, is getting ready to take on security forces and the CPM. "If they come with police or security guards, we won't allow them to campaign," said PCPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato. CPM leaders, too, know it well that they cannot enter Maoist areas without security. "Many party workers have been hounded out. In some places, they cannot step out of homes after sundown. Thankfully, we still have an organisational back-up in every village," said Amiya Sengupta, CPM's Belpahari zonal committee secretary.

In Balarampur, Barabazar and Ayodhya Hill (Purulia Lok Sabha seat), the situation is better. Despite the attacks, CPM and FB workers have been able to paint graffiti. The standing instruction to party leaders and workers is to keep changing vehicles and never to stay in the same house for consecutive nights. But in Balarampur, CPM faces problems. Similar is the situation in Ghatbera-Kerua panchayat, a CPM-controlled one. The office was closed for three days by the Opposition. Panchayat chief Latika Hembram wouldn't admit she has ever been threatened but says some workers are under threat.

Congress candidate Shantiram Mahato denies Maoists are backing the Opposition against CPM. "People here want change and this is the best opportunity," Mahato said.

Unlike in Jhargram, leaders in Purulia are confident of taking on the Maoists' increasing strength. "They will not make any difference to us. Purulia is turning around. There has been development on many fronts. Industries are coming up. Agriculture has improved with rainwater harvesting," said Narahari Mahato, sitting Forward Bloc MP re-contesting from Purulia.

CPM state committee member Manindra Gope, who is also under threat, refuses to give much credence to the Maoists' impact on polls. "Where are their leaders? We have never seen them address any meetings. Supporters of Opposition parties and criminals have got together against us. We have asked our party workers to visit every household. This has been our stronghold and will remain so," Gope said. Gope's optimism could be misplaced since the ground reality here is different. If PCPA is successful in preventing the division of Opposition votes in Jhargram, CPM's poll prospects might be adversely affected.

CPM leaders are now waiting for a vote boycott call from the Maoists which may work in their favour.

CPI (Maoist) spokesman Gaur Chakraborty, meanwhile, said his party is still sticking to its vote boycott call. "It's always there. We have never withdrawn it."

It doesn't matter to the Maoists in whose favour the call works, he said. "It's always the same old bottle, only the cap changes. None of these ruling parties does anything for the common people. And there is another thing I would like you to highlight. There central government this time has taken away the people's right of not casting a vote. It's a conspiracy," he added.

Maoists gun down Ekka aide in Simdega graveyard

- Rebel strikes in Simlipal reserve forest trigger high alert in Ghatshila sub-division

Ranchi/Jamshedpur, March 29: CPI(Maoist) rebels shot an influential Jharkhand Party leader in Domtoli, about 150km from the state capital, in Simdega district late last night.

The bullet-riddled body of 60-year-old Yakub Kongari, known to be a very close associate of former rural development minister Anosh Ekka, was spotted around 10am in the Kolebira police station area today.

Police said Kongari, the panchayat president of Ekka-led Jharkhand Party, was sleeping in his room around 10.30pm when around 40 rebels barged in, dragged him to a graveyard, about 100 yards away, thrashed him with bamboo poles and pumped three rounds of bullets into his body.

Pamphlets strewn around his body read: “Police ke mukhbiro ka yahi hashra hoga (all police informers will meet the same fate).”
A neighbour, who was awakened by the screams for help and distant gunshots, said Kongari’s wife, two sons and two daughters were in the house when the Maoists attacked. “The rebels only took him (Kongari) away. They had, however, promised not to harm him,” he said.

Kongari’s elder son Habil has lodged an FIR at Kolebira police station. Police have sent the body to Simdega Sadar hospital for post-mortem and are combing the area for clues.

Simdega police superintendent Abhisekh Kumar said that though the rebel pamphlets branded Kongari an informer, the reason behind the murder was yet to be ascertained. “Preliminary investigations suggest dispute over payment of levy spurred the killing. But it is too early to draw such conclusions,” he said.

The incident has prompted several political leaders to postpone their poll campaigns in the area. Ekka has rushed to the spot to condole Kongari’s bereaved family.

Meanwhile, a triple Maoist strike in neighbouring Orissa has prompted the East Singhbhum police to put Ghatshila sub-division, a rebel hotbed, on high alert.

Early this morning, the rebels blew up two beat houses in a remote pocket of Simlipal in Mayurbhanj district. The blasts were followed by torching of vehicles in front of a range office, which doubles up as a tourist stopover, in Chahala. No casualty has, however, been reported.

“We have put the police on the high alert. The rebels may come in the direction of Ghatshila, which is also a tourist spot,” said East Singhbhum police superintendent Naveen Kumar Singh. He said a special task force was also combing the forested areas along the border.

Deputy inspector-general of police, Baripada, Orissa, Jaswant Jethua said that the Maoists had blown up the beat houses in Simlipal like they had done in Saranda in West Singhbhum in 2001 and 2002. This called for an alert in Jharkhand, he said.

He said the three-room range office at Chahala was a hunting hut of the British Raj. It was developed into an accommodation for tourists much later, he added.

Maoists blow up beat houses

Bhubaneswar, March 29: Maoists blew up two forest beat houses and attacked a range office in the Simplipal reserve forest area of Mayurbhanj district early this morning.

This is the first such attack on a tourist destination in Orissa, though no casualty has been reported.

According to a police source, more than a dozen rebels swooped on the Barahakamuda beat house around 1am. They used explosives, possibly crude bombs and landmines, to blow up the building. The group’s second target was the Dhudruchampa beat house, some 10km from Barahakamuda.

After the twin blasts, the rebels gheraoed the Chahala range office, another few kilometres away. They ransacked the building and torched three forest department vehicles, including a jeep. The entire operation, police said, was completed in three hours.

Talking to The Telegraph, Mayurbhanj superintendent of police P.K. Ranpise said that while Barahakamuda and Dhudruchampa beat houses remained inaccessible for tourists because of their remote locations, Chahala was frequented by adventure-seekers and often doubled up as a guesthouse. “Though there has been no casualty, we cannot overlook the fact that a tourist destination has been attacked. It is an issue of serious concern,” he said.

Since the beat offices are located in remote pockets of Simplipal, police could not confirm whether anyone was injured in the attacks. “We do not know whether any forest official — or for that matter tourist — has suffered any injury. A police team has left for the blast sites and we are awaiting details,” the SP said.

Police said it would take some time to reach the spot. “Our team is finding it hard to negotiate the terrain, particularly when they know that Maoists may have planted landmines,” said Jashipur inspector-in-charge Ranjit Sahu.

Last night, suspected Maoists shot the zilla parishad president of Malkangiri, Nanda Kumar Kartami, near Sikhpalli village. Police are yet to confirm whether the leader, who recently resigned from the BJP, was a victim of political rivalry or Maoist attack.

Maoists kill ex-BJP man
Report by Deba Prasad Dash; Malkangiri: As the polling day is coming closer, the Maoist violence is on rise in the district. The killing of former Malkangiri Zilla Parishad President Nanda Kumar Kartami by the suspected Maoists near Sikhpalli some 15 km from here on Saturday night has further aggravated the situation.
But, many still believes that political rivalry may be the reason behind the killing of Kartami as he was a good leader and had strong influence in the area. According to reports,Kartami who resigned from the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) recently was killed by a group of unidentified men on the Sikhpalli-Podia main road when he was passing the road by a motor cycle at about 9 pm on Saturday night.
The unidentified men were also set the motor cycle on fire. Kartami has received bullet injuries on his forehead and two bullets were also found lying near the dead body. As the suspension over the killing of the tribal leader continues, the locals have urged the police to have a enquiry into the matter to reveal the truth.

29 Mar 2009, 2346 hrs IST, Satyanarayan Pattnaik, TNN
KORAPUT: Continuing their well-calibrated offensive to destabilize the poll process in southern Orissa, Maoists gun downed a former BJP leader and
zilla parishad president in Malkangiri district on Saturday night.

Villagers recovered the body of Nanda Kumar Kartani (50) near Sikpali Chowck in the Kalimela police station area on Sunday.

According to police, Kartani was on way to his village Uskelbada from Malkangiri riding a motorcycle. A group of Maoists waylaid him near Sikpali just after 8 pm. The Red rebels pumped three bullets from a 9mm pistol into him from close range. The assailants also set fire to his motorcycle.

"The reason behind the murder is yet to be ascertained. The Maoists have not left any letter near the victim's body, which they generally do after they kill someone. We have recovered the body and investigation is on," SP (Malkangiri) Satya Brata Bhoi said.

Residents said Kartani was popular tribal leader. He was under the Maoist scanner because of his association with BJP, but he had severed his ties with the saffron party a few days ago.

Saturday's incident came close on the heels of a recent Maoist attack in Padia. The Maoists had destroyed a police outpost, set fire to a BSNL telephone exchange and damaged a government building during an hour-long mayhem on March 24.

In the past one month, Red rebels have attacked several government buildings, particularly schools and a couple of police posts which will house security personnel on election duty. The rebels had also eliminated a contractor in the district. They have also launched a poster campaign, threatening vehicle owners in the district not to use their vehicles in the poll process.

LTTE help for Maoists?

30 Mar 2009, 0149 hrs IST, Soumittra S Bose, TNN

NAGPUR: The Maoists’ plan to challenge the security forces during the forthcoming general election may turn ominous as the former are likely to get
support from various anti-national groups including a battered LTTE looking to create diversions. Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers have been a known ally of the rebels.

In the ballot versus bullet war, government security forces would possibly have to fight grim battles to ensure that citizens do not succumb to the boycott call of the Maoists and the polling is not disrupted. Though the effect of LTTE -support, according to the central intelligence agencies, is expected to be felt mostly down south and southeast, the repercussion cannot be ignored even in the central India.

Maharashtra state Anti-Naxal Operation Cell (ANO) has already issued an alert to the adjoining states to step up their border-sealing activities to prevent ‘crossing-over’ and ‘joint-operations’ of the Naxal outfits. The LTTE, which had earlier also supported Maoist with training and arms, is likely to play mischief in order to disrupt election. “LTTE is in a shambles but it would not leave any stone unturned to settle scores with India,” said a cop.

Intelligence agencies have often found evidence of joint training camps and meetings of the LTTE and Maoists in forests of south India. “We also have to disrupt these meetings in the jungles and hilly terrains,” the officer said. The threat in Gadchiroli, which shares borders with Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh that have large numbers of highly-sensitive zones, is also looming large.

Bihar to provide high security for star campaigners

Patna (PTI): Alarmed by reported threat to some high profile politicians during the campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls in Bihar, the State administration has decided to make special security arrangements at all meeting venues.

"The State police headquarters have issued necessary instructions to Superintendents of Police to chalk out details for the security arrangements to be made for high profile leaders in consultation with their respective district magistrates to ensure trouble-free meetings," official sources said.

Refusing to divulge the names of politicians, they said several leaders were in the "hit-lists of the naxal outfits, terrorists and other law-breakers."

"Though we will be providing required security cover in accordance with their security categories, it is also necessary to tighten security at the places where they are scheduled to hold meetings," sources said.

The special security arrangements were being made following intelligence inputs apprehending attacks on these leaders, they said.

Besides RJD supremo, Lalu Prasad, LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan, other top leaders who are likely to visit Bihar to mobilise support for their party candidates, include Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, NDA's Prime Ministerial candidate L.K. Advani, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and its general secretary Rahul Gandhi, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat.

Senior BJP leader Venkaih Naidu had a miraculous escape in the naxal-affected Gaya district during the previous Assembly elections in Bihar.

Mr. Naidu had to escape on the motorcycle of a local party worker to save his life after the naxalites burnt his helicopter soon after it landed at a field under Barachati police station in Gaya district when it ran out of fuel.

Similarly, a Lok Jana Shakthi Party candidate, Rajesh Kumar was killed in an attack by suspected naxalites under Imamganj police station in the same district during the 2005 Assembly polls in Bihar.

Senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Ravishankar Prasad was shot at and critically injured, while his party colleague Pramod Mahajan escaped unhurt when an anti-social elements fired at a public meeting at Nokha in Rohtas district during the last Assembly elections, sources recalled.

ADG (Headquarters) Neelmani said all SPs have been asked to provide security to the candidates keeping in view the threat perceptions.

The State administration has identified 19 extremist-infested constituencies and sought four helicopters from the Centre for aerial patrol during the polling in the areas to ensure free, fair and peaceful polls, sources said.

The Election Commission has directed the State officials to deploy central para military forces personnel in all the polling centres in naxalite-hit areas.

Naxalite infestation a social problem

By Team Mangalorean, Mangalore

MANGALORE MARCH 30, 2009: "Local communities traditionally depend on natural biomass and they must, therefore have the first lien on such resources, such benefits must be subject to assumption of a basic responsibility to protect and conserve these resources by suitably modifying unsustainable activities …’ says the 2002-2016 perspective plan on forest and wildlife conservation by the task force constituted under the guidance of A.B. Vajpayee when he was the Prime Minister of India.

But with the Naxalite problem going over the top, the Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency will have a major threat from the naxal forces operating in the region. There are already hand bills and writings on the walls circulated in various assembly segments in the constituency against elections, which is worrying the administration and the police. These naxalites are misled by the Maoist ideology which is a form of extremism have started visiting villages in at least three taluks namely Chikmagalur, Karkala and Kundapur. Hebri in Udupi taluk and Shankarnarayana in Kundapur taluk are the main areas where Naxalites roam free carrying on their anti democracy campaign.

While nobody knows the fate of such an elite report, people in conservation and environmental movements do know that the highhandedness of the establishment has reached out to the tribals to oust them from their pastures in the Western Ghats on the pre-text of “protecting” the forests. The result of the tussle between the conservation of livelihood and forests has now blown into the Naxalite movement in the western ghats as tribal youngsters find it an option.

The problem of Naxalism has entered the district in 2001 and their presence had come to open following a stray incident when an old tribal woman Cheeramma sustained a bullet injury in Menasinahadya village in the Western Ghats. After that the conservation groups working in the Western Ghats area have reported from time to time activities of naxalites.

One of the glaring incident was blockading the convoy of the forest officials in 2002 that included an outpost of the forest department was destroyed. Some of the NGOs functioning from the Western Ghat areas in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada district had observed from time to time that the question of livelihood was one of the reason behind youth in the tribal areas being weaned away into naxalism.

One of the main reason was that the tribals were being prevented from collecting Minor Forest Waste (MFW) and some of the tribal farmers were also being evicted from their small agricultural or horticultural pastures in the Kudremukh National Park (KNP) area. There was a demand from many tribal organizations and NGOs to either include the tribals as a bio-diversity factor in the KNP or carve out the KNP area without disturbing the tribal settlement.

The Rs. 60 crore package announced by the state government (announced during the time of Dharam Singh) for re-settling the tribals had also not achieved its target and many of the tribal families with lots of impressionable age group are still in limbo. They have been prevented from going to their dwellings located inside the KNP and their livelihood has been snatched by preventing them from collecting MFW.

The KNP has an area of 66,000 hectares spread out in 5 districts namely Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, Chikmagalur, Shimoga and Udupi and according to a survey made by the Nagarika Seva Trust of Guruvainakere there are about 6000 families of tribals living in this area. They belong to Malekudias, Naikas, Machars and several other tribal castes and sub castes. Many of them have small farms which they use for cultivation of grains. Others have forest land to the extent of 5 acres for which they hold pattas. Some of them are as old as 200 years says President of Nagarika Seva Trust K. Somanatha Nayak.

With the new Forest rights bill having adequate scope for recognizing ‘encroached’ land for Tribals, the conservationists and NGOs are studying the implications of the bill on the tribals in the Western Ghats. They are happy that the bill needs the ‘informed consent’ of the tribals before it becomes an act, but the clauses that express doubts on the ‘co-existence’ of tribals with the wildlife and bio-diversity worries the conservationists and NGOs working in the field of tribal welfare.

Slain Rinki was a top Maoist

Express News Service First Published : 29 Mar 2009 08:43:36 AM ISTLast Updated : 29 Mar 2009 01:24:00 PM IST

BHUBANESWAR: The woman radical killed in Kandhamal on March 24 during a police encounter was none other than Rinki Pal, a top Naxal leader.

Rinki, an area commander of CPI (Maoist), held a key position in the outfit. She originally hailed from Jagatsinghpur where the radicals had set up their base before it was busted last year.

After Ashutosh - who was arrested in Sundargarh earlier this month - Rinki is the second big success for State Police since she was ‘directly involved’ in two major operations of CPI (Maoist) in the State - the Nayagarh carnage and Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati murder.

Over a dozen policemen were killed in one of the fiercest Naxalite attacks in Orissa last year during February. The radicals had emptied the district armouries.

Later in August, VHP leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati and four of his disciples were gunned down in Kandhamal triggering a wave of communal riots in the district. CPI (Maoist) had claimed responsibility of the murder.

Police sources said, Rinki took part in both the operations and led from the front. ‘‘Besides, she was one of those rare Oriya girls to have jumped into Naxal fold and played a very important role in mobilising women cadres,’’ sources said. For records sake, the Nayagarh attack had witnessed a massive participation of women cadres.

Rinki who commanded Ghumsar area of CPI (Maoist) enjoyed tremendous support of Sabyasachi Panda, the Orissa Zonal Committee member of CPI (Maoist), the brain behind the two operations.

According to reliable sources, her death has come as a severe blow to CPI ((Maoist’s) operation in Kandhamal where the outfit had been active during the past couple of years and spreading the base.

With the two top leaders Azad and Sabyasachi still at loggerheads, Rinki’s killing may not have come at a worse time, analysts say.

Naxals burnt down a tourist lodge, wireless centre, looted tourists at similipal

March 29th, 2009 - 11:45 pm ICT by Lambodar Prasad Dash -

Bhubaneswar(orissa): Saturday late night more than 100 armed naxals burnt down a tourist lodge and a wireless centre inside the Shimilipal reserve forest area. They also looted several tourists who resided in the lodge.
According to the police sources on saturday night around 1am naxal including women maoists striked Barahakamuda, chahala and dhuduruchampa area of Shimilipal. one group aatacked the tourist lodge and evacuted the tourists and looted them, after they set ablze the whole building. Another group burnt down the wireless centre of a police camp and beaten the police personals and looted the arms and ammunitions.

Explosives recovered in Hazaribag villages

29 Mar 2009, 2326 hrs IST, TNN

HAZARIBAG: Police on Saturday night seized 60 quintals of ammonium nitrate from the houses of one Khyageshwar Mahato of Surajpuira and Prakash Mehta
of Suji village under the Padma police station of the district.

Briefing the media here on Sunday, DSP (headquarters) Naushad Alam said that the police also seized some bags containing sulphur powder from their houses.

The DSP said that the police conducted massive raids in the said villages following a tip-off received by Hazaribag SP Pankaj Kamboj in this regard. He said that the raiding team was headed by the officer in-charge of Padma police station, D D Yadav, and the officer in-charge of Ichak police station in the district.

Alam said that the explosives were supposed to be handed over to Maoists for the purpose of making bombs and laying land mines so that the entry of polling and security personnel in the remote areas of the district could be restricted during the elections.

He said that the police have launched a drive in the district to locate illegally stocked explosives so that the poll boycott call given by Maoists could be foiled.

Alam said that cases have been lodged against Mahato and Mehta under the explosives Act. He said that Mehta has been arrested by the Padma police.

Hazaribag SP Pankaj Kamboj said that the police conducted several raids in the district during the last fortnight to locate unauthorized explosives.

Meanwhile, in yet another raid conducted in village Chano, the police recovered 50 bags of ammonium nitrate and a 200-metre-long wire for laying land mines. Alam said that a hardcore Maoist Communist, who is a member of zonal commander Navin Manjhi's squad, has been arrested in this connection. Naxal literature and objectionable documents were also recovered by the police.

Naxal shadow looms over polls

Prafulla Das

The strong presence of Maoists in many interior districts of Orissa poses a serious challenge for authorities in the run up to the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. The police administration is scrambling to find ways to ensure trouble-free polls.

The authorities are apprehensive as the Maoists have put up posters calling for boycott of the polls in districts such as Malkangiri and Rayagada. Against this backdrop, the Election Commission has already issued orders reducing polling hours by an hour in 19 Assembly segments spread over Nabarangpur, Koraput, Berhampur and Kandhamal Parliamentary constituencies, going to the polls on April 16. The polling here will be held from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. instead of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Fourteen of the 30 districts in Orissa were affected by Left-wing extremist violence, when the government banned the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and declared seven front organisations unlawful in June 2006. The problem has only grown since, and the number of naxal-hit district has increased to 17.

The State witnessed a series of major attacks by the Maoists since February last year. These include the looting of a large cache of arms in Nayagarh district in February, the attack on a motor launch carrying policemen in Chitrakonda reservoir in Malkangiri district in June, the blasting of an anti-landmine vehicle in Malkangiri in July and killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Lakshmanananda Saraswati in Kandhamal district in August.

More than 1,4000 security personnel are already engaged in anti-Maoist operations. The State government has sought deployment of additional Central forces in the naxalite-infested zones during the polls.

BJP leader shot dead by Naxals

Statesman News Service

MALKANGIRI, March 29: Senior BJP leader and former chairman of the Zilla Parishad, Nanda Kartami was shot dead by Naxals at Sikhpally village yesterday. The Left wing extremists also torched the motorcycle in which Kartami was traveling.

It is learnt that the BJP leader was returning home from Malkangiri yesterday when he was waylaid by the armed Naxals. They shot him from point blank range and set fire to his bike. The body was left on the road till this morning.
Kartami is survived by his wife and four sons. No hand bill claiming involvement of any group was found at the spot. But two 9 mm live bullet and three empty cartridges were found near the body.

Police sources including the Malkangiri IIC Mr Ramakrishna Pati, who reached the spot today asserted that Naxals had killed Kartami.

The local BJP activists were shocked at the killing of their leader. They were quick to note that the law and order machinery had collapsed and the area was under Naxal control. We have been campaigning against the failure of Mr Naveen Patnaik who heads the home department and under whose regime Naxals have made deep inroads in the state, they decried.

The recent incident at Govindpally, the Podia outpost blast and now the killing of Kartami have established the fact that Mr Patnaik has failed to protect life and property of people in the state, they alleged.