Saturday, April 11, 2009

Maoists kill 9 CRPF jawans in Dantewada

Aarti Dhar

Raipur: In a major attack, suspected naxalites killed nine Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in an encounter at Sukma in Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh on Friday.

Three naxalites, in uniform, were also killed. The CRPF party was on a search operation duty for elections.

According to Pawan Deo, DIG (Naxalite Intelligence), a huge cache of arms, including an AK-47 and two wireless sets, were recovered from the spot after the encounter that lasted well over three hours. This is the first time AK-series rifles have been seized from the naxalites.

The encounter began at 12.30 p.m., when a 50-plus CRPF party was attacked. Among those killed was Deputy Commandant Diwakar Tiwari, Mr. Deo said.

K. Srinivas Reddy reports from Hyderabad:

Police sources in Raipur said nearly 200 Maoists ambushed the CRPF contingent, which went to Chinta Guppa village in Dantewada district on information of the rebels holding a meeting.

As the CPRF team was encircled by the rebels, the contingent alerted the base station near Dornapal, about 45 km away, and reinforcements were rushed.

Even as the gun battle with the patrol team continued, a reinforcement team led by Tiwari was also ambushed. In addition to Tiwari, a sub-inspector, four havaldars and three constables were killed.

Cops bust Maoist camp, three held

12 Apr 2009, 0703 hrs IST, TNN

KORAPUT: Three Maoists were arrested during a raid on a camp inside Kalipeta forest, about 140 km from Rayagada, on Friday night. They have been
identified as Tutu Palka, Bradi Pratinga and Jaga Ekabadi, all belonging to the Bansadhara Dalam. They had joined the Maoist movement three years ago.

"We had information that around 35 rebels were present in the camp. So CRPF and SOG jawans launched a joint operation. Spotting the security personnel, the Red rebels fled under the cover of darkness. We could only arrest three Maoists. Combing operation has been intensified in and around Chandrapur," Rayagada SP Asish Kumar Singh said.

Huge amount of materials used for preparing landmines, explosives, three guns, medicines, posters, kit-bags and Maoist literature were found on the spot. Most posters carried the poll boycott message. "The Maoists had gathered to plan out a major operation in either Gajapati, Rayagada and Kandhamal districts before the polls," the SP said.

The three arrested Maoists belong to the armed squad and were engaged as sentry of the camp. Security has been strengthened across the district to avoid any eventuality, Singh said. A few days ago, Red rebels through massive postering in Chandrapur, Gudari and Bissamkatak areas had asked people to boycott the polls.

Powerful IEDs recovered in Jharkhand, major disaster averted

Apr 12

In Jharkhand, a major disaster was averted when security forces recovered seven powerful wired Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), fitted by Naxalites in Khunti district, barely a few days ahead of the Parliamentary poll in the area.

Deputy Superintendent of Police A.K. Roy said the inter-connected IEDs were planted near a canal on Salgadih-Baridih path in the district. He said while one IED weighed a massive 60 kg, the other six were of 20 kg each and all connected with a 200 metre wire.

Trouble in tiger country

Trouble in tiger country


Six tiger reserves, over 6,000 sq km of protected forests and the highest numbers of tigers in any State in India. Those statistics would suggest that all is well with tiger conservation in Madhya Pradesh. Nothing can be farther from the truth…

Photo: Pankaj Sekhsaria.

Conflict of interests: Tourists at the Pench Tiger Reserve.

It is the heart of India and one of the prime destinations for tiger tourism in the country. With more than 6,000 sq km of forests protected as six tiger reserves and tiger numbers amongst the highest in any State, Madhya Pradesh’s claim to being the tiger State of the country might well seem justified. The latest tiger census conducted by the Wildlife Institute of India projected the tiger population in the State to be between 236 and 364 and it is not surprising that huge resources are being spent in the State for conservation and protection of wildlife in general, and the tiger in particular. In 2008 alone, the Central Government allocated nearly Rs. 25 crores to Madhya Pradesh for tiger conservation and the importance shown is evident from the fact that only Rs. Two crores were allocated to Tamil Nadu for the same period for the same purpose.

But is all indeed hunky dory for the tiger in the State of Madhya Pradesh? Scratch the surface a little and there is huge evidence of mounting trouble in the heart of tiger country. One only has to look at a range of related, but diverse, recent reports and the challenges that lie ahead loom larger than ever.

Panna goes the Sariska way

One of the most striking developments has been the official admission that the situation in the Panna Tiger Reserve is grim, resulting in a move in early March to translocate two tigresses, one each from Bandavgarh and Kanha to Panna. This is particularly significant considering that researchers studying the tiger here had been pointing out for sometime now that the situation was precarious and that Panna might indeed be going the Sariska way. Writing in the June 2008 issue of the wildlife periodical Sanctuary Asia, researchers Dr. Raghu Chundawat and Joanna Van Gruisen also pointed out that their research had shown that approximately 80-100 per cent of Panna’s breeding tigress population had disappeared fearing the creation of a “bachelor’s park”.

The translocation, however, has been mired in controversy. Locals, including villagers, tourist guides and taxi drivers in Kanha TR, went on strike to protest the move of the tigress to Panna. They questioned the logic of the translocation when resident tigers of Panna had been poached away with impunity and were also worried of the impact on their own business if tigers from Kanha were taken away to other parks.

In another related development, eight prominent tiger conservationists of the country, including Mr. Valmik Thapar, Mr. Bittu Sahgal, Editor, Sanctuary, Mr. P.K. Sen, Former Director, Project Tiger and Belinda Wright of the Wildlife Protection Society of India, have jointly released a statement expressing distress over the translocation carried out by the Madhya Pradesh authorities. “We are deeply concerned,” the statement says, “that there has been absolutely no evidence of any tigers in Panna Tiger Reserve for over a month. The last lone male tiger was sighted in December 2008. If the safety of this single male tiger cannot be secured, then what is the future for any introduced tigresses?”

The statement goes on to point out that the translocation operation was carried out even before the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) had completed the latest census report for the park; that advice from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) guidelines (which stress the need to identify and eliminate previous causes of decline) were not adhered to; and there has been no reference to any of India’s experienced and knowledgeable tiger scientists and experts. An application protesting the non-transparency of the relocation and the breaking of the NTCA guidelines is also said to be have been filed before the Jabalpur High Court.

Gaur relocation

Another development that has run into trouble is the MP Forest Department’s project initiated about a year ago to move about 20 gaur from the Kanha Tiger Reserve to Bandavgarh because the animals were not being sighted in Bandavgarh. The project was to be executed with the help of the Conservation Corporation of Africa which has set up the Taj Safari Company in co-operation with the Taj group and has tourism properties around tiger reserves in MP. Questions were being asked on the wisdom of spending huge resources (estimated to be Rs. 1.25 crore) on this translocation and, as if on cue, some gaur were spotted in August 2008 in forests adjoining those of Bandavgarh. While the FD confirmed these sightings, it also reiterated that it was going ahead with the translocation project.

Photo: Joanna Van Gruisen

Where is He now? The last sighted tiger of Panna, photographed in January 2008.

Unfortunately for them, however, the NTCA too has come out against the project now. Secretary NTCA, Dr. Rajesh Gopal, pointed to the fact that gaur had also been sighted in the forests here during the recent tiger census and that efforts needed to be made to revive the gaur population in Bandavgarh itself and to restore the wildlife corridors with adjoining forest areas. The Ministry for Environment and Forests (MoEF) has now asked the State government to re-examine the status of the gaur in Bandavgarh and plans for the translocation project have been put on hold for the present.

Road threat to Pench

Another project that the NTCA has helped put on hold in a similar manner is the widening of National Highway 7 (NH-7) in areas that adjoins the Pench Tiger Reserve. In a recent decision taken by the Supreme Court appointed Central Empowered Committee, the Chief Secretary of MP has been asked to halt tree cutting for the road widening project that is part of the government’s Golden Quadrilateral programme. The order came in response to a petition filed by the Wildlife Trust of India and following a strong recommendation by the NTCA that it must be stopped. The stay might be temporary but has been widely welcomed by the wildlife conservation community.

And trouble in Kanha too…

The same can certainly not be said of other reports from Kanha Tiger Reserve, perhaps the most famous and well known of India’s tiger habitats. In what seems like a bizarre set of developments over the last few months, the Forest Department and the Police have been accusing each other of neglect in matters related to those of tiger protection. This, even as six tiger deaths have been reported here since November 2008 alone (see box for details). In a letter to the NTCA in December 2008, Kanha Director R.P. Singh listed a number of concerns related to the working of the police: interference in the booking of forest rest houses inside the tiger reserve; not providing information about investigations into tiger poaching incidents; and even that the police seemed more interested in getting rewards for skins seized from poachers. He also expressed apprehension that the informers used by the police to fight naxalites in the region might actually be directly involved in cases of poaching.

The Police on the other hand have said that it is the forest officials who are not following correct procedures in dealing with cases of tiger deaths. It was, in fact, a letter sent in November to the National Wildlife Crime Control Bureau by the Superintendent of Police (SP), Mandla, that is said to have started this chain of responses and reactions.

Murky waters

When contacted, a senior wildlife official of the State sought to downplay the matter but it is clear that the waters are rather murky. There are fundamental issues of transparency, responsibility and accountability that are involved here and important questions that arise immediately. Can conservation succeed if the key agencies responsible for it operate in such a manner? How realistic would it be in a situation like this for the local communities and others to trust enforcement agencies, leave alone co-operate with them? There are many in the field, for instance, who would vouch for the fact that the involvement of enforcement agencies, be it the Police or even the FD in malafide and corrupt practices is much more common than we are willing to accept. The Kanha case is significant because differences between the agencies have actually forced the matter onto a larger platform.

When top agencies themselves seem to be floundering so badly in such high profile areas such as Bandavgarh, Kanha and Panna, what, one might ask, will be the situation in the lesser known forests and protected areas of the State? One can’t say for sure, but then, only the bravest is likely to hazard a guess of any kind.


Recent deaths
Confirmed tiger deaths inside Kanha TR. Information compiled by the Wildlife Protection Society of India

Adult male tiger electrocuted near Sautia village, Kanha TR – November 1, 2008

Two young tiger cubs found dead near Indri Camp, Kanha TR – January 3, 2009

Adult male tiger found dead near Salghat, Kanha TR – January 18, 2009

Adult male tiger found dead near Aurai Camp, Kanha TR – January 31, 2009

Adult male tiger found dead

Maoist leader shifted to Ranchi


Shankar Anna being taken to Ranchi jail from Bokaro on Thursday. Picture by Pankaj Singh
Bokaro, April 10: Acting on reports that Naxalites were planning to storm Chas jail to whisk away their leader, Mohammad Hussain alias Shankar Anna — lodged in the jail for 10 weeks — the Bokaro police shifted the prized catch to Ranchi jail last evening.

The operation was carried out in a highly confidential manner and under high security cover.

Anna, 58, who was carrying a prize money of Rs 10 lakh on his head announced by the Andhra Pradesh government, was arrested from Chas (Bokaro) on February 2. Since then, intelligence reports had been pouring in, warning the men in uniform that the rebels had masterminded a plan to break into the jail and secure the release of Hussain during the elections — sometime in the second-third week of April.

Highly placed sources said the final shove that got the men in uniform acting was the phone tapping of a Maoist, who was discussing the jail break with an aide.

According to reports, the Bokaro police on Thursday moved the court of Bokaro judicial magistrate B.K Lal, pleading him to allow them to shift Anna out of Chas jail before it was too late.

Soon after the court gave the permission, the police wasted no time in moving out Anna.

Though the direct and shorter route to Ranchi from Bokaro is via Petarwar- Gola-Ramgarh Road but as this zone is a Naxalite hotbed, the police took Anna through Purulia (Bengal) Road. Around 40 armed personnel had accompanied the prisoner.

BSF buys 8 Dhruv helicopters

S. Anandan

Kochi: The Border Security Force (BSF) has embarked on a major expansion of its air wing in a bid to give a thrust to its border patrol and internal security roles in a context of stepped up vigil along the country’s borders. The force intends to add eight helicopters and three fixed-wing medium lift transport aircraft to its existing fleet. The fleet now includes six MI-17 helicopters, an Embraer, two King Air and two Avro aircraft.

“We are acquiring eight Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH). Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) started deliveries in March and our pilots are training in various academies in the country…,” M.L. Kumawat, the BSF Director General, told The Hindu in Chennai during an exclusive interaction recently.

The Cabinet has given its nod for the BSF acquiring transport aircraft, and the force is considering its options. “In the meantime, we will hire aircraft from Air India to carry out the job,” said Mr. Kumawat.

Shortages overcome

The air wing had hit an air pocket owing to dire shortage of pilots. This brought down the serviceability of its choppers to an all-time low. “Unfortunately, we had a shortage of pilots and were not in a position to fly more than one of our six helicopters at any given time. But things have turned around in the last couple of months and the situation is now looking up,” said Mr. Kumawat.

“We have given our helicopters to the naxalite-affected States for surveillance and also to airlift counter-insurgency troops. They have also been used for action against Pakistan intruders, particularly fishermen who ventured into our territory regardless of warning. By means of slithering operations in the Sir Creek area, we have foiled their attempts and caught their assets. From intelligence gathered by the Air Force and the BSF, it is obvious that they are no longer coming into the Sir Creek area,” he said. However, the force continues to carry out aerial surveillance in the region to thwart attempts at seaborne infiltration.

Among the soldier-friendly measures that are under way is betterment of living conditions in the border out posts (BOPs). “BOPs are to BSF what police stations are to the police. We want to make them congenial, liveable and worker-friendly,” said Mr. Kumawat.

BSF foils Maoist attack on camp

12 Apr 2009, 0706 hrs IST, TNN

DALTONGANJ: Border Security Force (BSF) personnel repulsed a Maoist attack on their base camp at Furrow under the Bhandarya police station in
Jharkhand on Friday night.

Garhwa SP Saket Kumar Singh said the Naxals fired opened fire at the BSF camp from a distance in a bid to make their presence felt. However, the rebels failed to inflict any damage as the camp was beyond their firing range. All BSF men and officers are safe," the SP said.

The Maoists used AK 47, SLRs and 3.3 rifles during the 15-minute long attack which was retaliated by the BSF personnel present at the camp, the SP said.

He said security forces later detected a pool of blood at the site from where the rebels had attacked the camp which suggest that there were some injuries among the rebels.

The BSF later recovered five unexploded grenades lobbed by the Naxals, the SP added.

Furrow is a Red turf and the presence of BSF there is an eye sore to Naxals.

Jharkhand Governor calls for strong action to prevent naxal strikes

Ranchi (PTI): Expressing grief over the death of five CRPF jawans in Naxal attack on Saturday, Jharkhand Governor Syed Sibtey Razi has asked the police top brass to devise strategy for averting such attacks.

At a high-level meeting with Home Secretary J B Tubid, the Director General of Police V D Ram and Governor's Advisory council member T P Sinha, Razi called for chalking out a strategy to forewarn such game plan of the ultras.

The Governor also directed the DGP and other police officials to go to the spot where the encounter had taken place.

The encounter took place hours before Congress president Sonia Gandhi held a poll rally in the district.

The Governor directed the officials to ensure better treatment to the three injured jawans of the para-military forces.

Five Chhattisgarh Naxals hiding in Surat arrested

12 Apr 2009, 0554 hrs IST, TNN

SURAT: In a startling catch for the first time in Gujarat, five Naxalites hailing from Chhattisgarh were arrested on Friday from the industrial belt
of Hazira in Surat. The Naxalites were arrested in a joint operation by Chhattisgarh police and Surat crime branch.

They are alleged to be involved in a gruesome attack on a police van in Narayanpur district where 23 cops were killed in 2006. Top police officials said the Naxalites, including two women, were acting as a sleeper cell and used Surat and Hazira as a hiding place after carrying out attacks in Chhattisgarh. They were working as labourers in a construction company and living in the staff quarters near Singotar Mata temple.

The extremists - Arjun Ramlal Yadav, Surajlal Rupjiram Gond, Jankuram alias Dholuram Virsing Gond, Chandu alias Chanda Bavanji Gond and Sonmati Rasiya Gond - were all residents of Narayanpur district in Chhattisgarh. In Narayanpur, they have also been booked for offences under Arms Act and Explosive Substances Act.

The operation was planned after crime branch of Dhantri district of Chhattisgarh received a tip-off that the Naxalites were hiding in Surat. Deputy commissioner of police (crime) Subhash Trivedi said the group used to visit Chhattisgarh frequently.

The group had returned from Chhattisgarh around two months ago because their leader Arjun fell ill. Arjun was involved in several attacks on police and is believed to be the mastermind of artillery unit of Naxal movement in Chhattisgarh, police said.

"They used to return to Surat, either after carrying out attacks, or when any member fell ill," said Trivedi.
Crime branch sleuths also questioned them about their activities in south Gujarat region but Trivedi confirmed that being a sleeper cell, they were not involved in any nefarious activities in Gujarat.
Later, Chhattisgarh police took them to their state. Industries in Hazira employ a large number of labourers from Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and other Naxal-affected states.

(Inputs by Sandesh)

Top leaders fail to touch Naxal issue

Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Raipur, April 11
Saturday turned out to be an eventful day for both the BJP and the Congress in Chhattisgarh, slated to go to poll on April 16. Its top leaders landed in the state to woo the electorate, but none of them even remotely referred to, let alone make any strong statements, on either the problem of Naxalism or the Friday’s Naxalite incident in the state in which 10 CRPF personnel lost their lives.

Congress scion Rahul Gandhi addressed public meetings in Vishrampur in Naxalite-affected Sarguja and Navapara Rajim in the Mahasamund Lok Sabha constituency in his third visit to the state so far in these general elections. BJP’s prime ministerial candidate LK Advani landed in Raipur for his first general election rally in the state, where the BJP appears to be finding itself sitting relatively comfortable at this point of time.

Incidentally, Rahul is the only national-level star power to have represented the Congress in the state so far, though party sources say that party president Sonia Gandhi is likely to visit Chhattisgarh on April 14 in support of Bilaspur candidate and wife of former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, Renu Jogi.

Ajit Jogi is perceived to be very close to 10 Janpath, which is the reason that state Congress leadership is confident that Sonia will definitely make a visit to the state before electioneering ends.

Interestingly, on Saturday Rahul chose to spend maximum time in his short speeches explaining to the people as to why he preferred making short speeches. In his reply to the Opposition parties, which have been criticising him for giving brief speeches.

“The Opposition says I don’t give long speeches. I give brief speeches because I would rather understand and reach out to people than speak for two to three hours,” Gandhi said at a public meeting at Rajim, some 45 km from Chhattisgarh capital Raipur.

Advani in his speech focused largely on the issue of terrorism in the country, black money stashed in foreign accounts and the good governance during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

Five CRPF men killed in Jharkhand hours before Sonia's rally

Five CRPF men killed in Jharkhand hours before Sonia's rally

Khunti (Jharkhand), Apr 11 (PTI) Less than 24 hours after loosing ten personnel in Chhattisgarh, the CRPF today received another deadly blow with five of its men being killed in an encounter with the naxals in the dense forests here.
The encounter took place hours before Congress president Sonia Gandhi held a poll rally in the district.

According to sources, the naxals also managed to take away an AK-47 and an INSAS rifle of the CRPF personnel during the four-hour encounter.

One head constable and four constables were killed while three others injured during the encounter which ensued after jawans of the 133rd battalion of the force conducted a search operation following inputs of naxal presence in the area.

The team came under heavy gunfire as soon as they entered the forests under Adki police station to secure the area.

Gandhi's rally went off peacefully at the district headquarters of Khunti.

Today's incident comes within a week of another encounter in Jiliser village of Gumla district in Jharkhand where two naxals were shot dead following a tip off that around 10 ultras had assembled in the village.

Yesterday, the naxals had ambushed a CRPF party on poll duty in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh. Ten CRPF personnel including a Deputy Commandant lost their lives in the incident.

Jharkhand is slated to go to polls on April 16 and 23. PTI

Advani to visit naxalite-hit district

April 11, 2009
By Our Staff Reporter
Bhopal, April 11:

BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Lal Krishna Advani will address an election meeting in Balaghat district headquarters in the favour of party candidate tomorrow, party sources said today.
Advani will also take part in a mass marriage programme and bless newly-married couples. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will be present on the occasion. Official sources said tight security arrangements had been made in view of visit of Very Important Person (VIP) to naxal-affected Balaghat district. Security personnel had been directed to not be lax in any manner during the visit.
Advani will reach Balaghat from Kavardha district in Chhattisgarh in helicopter. He will address a public meeting at Mulna stadium here. Later, he will leave for Raipur from Balaghat.

Friday, April 10, 2009

'I pleaded with them not to kill my husband'

11 Apr 2009, 0529 hrs IST, Satyanarayan Pattnaik, TNN

KORAPUT: "It was around 2 pm when my husband returned home after a long day of campaign. He was very tired and told me that he wanted to take rest," Parvati Madkami, widow of Samrudha Odisha candidate Somnath Madkami, said on Friday, a day after she witnessed the gruesome murder of her husband by suspected Maoists.

"Some unidentified men came to our house and called my husband. The men said they were Maoist messengers and asked my husband to follow them. They said the Maoists wanted to discuss a few poll-related issues with him near MPV-35 village," Parvati said. "If I had known what was on their mind, I would not have allowed him to step out of the house," she added with tears rolling down her eyes.

Maoists summoning villagers to meetings are a regular affair in this part of the state. "My father willingly followed them. He did not fear anything because he was a Koya tribal and had never faced any threat from the Maoists. My mother also followed my father," Madkami's son Lalit, who is a clerk at the Malkangiri collectorate, said.

The couple trekked around 3 km to reach a spot near MPV-35 village. "A group of Maoists were waiting there for my husband. They surrounded him as soon as we reached the spot. They assaulted him and accused him of campaigning against the extremists and urging people not to cooperate with the Maoists," Parvati said.

"He tried to convince the rebels that he was not campaigning against them. He pleaded with folded hands to spare him. My husband even offered money to the rebels to spare his life. I fell at their feet and pleaded with folded hands to leave my husband. But the rebels remained unmoved. They kicked me when I requested them to spare my husband," the traumatized Parvati said. "The blood-thirsty men took out a big knife and cut my husband's throat. They, however, allowed me to return home," she added. A shocked Parvati, who will possibly never able to forget those horrifying moments, managed to reach Kalimela police station. Villagers recovered the body from the spot around 5 pm.

Villagers said Madkami was a two-time zilla parishad member and enjoyed good tribal support in the area. He has also written few books on Koya tribes.

On March 28, Maoists had gunned down a former BJP leader identified as Nanda Kumar Kirtani at Sikpali in the Kalimela police station area. Incidentally, Kirtani was a relative of Madkami.

Source: The Hindu

Maoists kill candidate in Malkangiri

Sib Kumar Das

BERHAMPUR: Maoists struck in Orissa’s Malkangiri district on Thursday, killing Somnath Madkami (55), a candidate of the regional ‘Samruddha Odisha’ party for the Assembly elections. The incident coincided with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s visit to the district to attend rallies at Chitrakonda and Malkangiri amid tight security.

The body of Mr. Somnath, who was to contest in Malkangiri, was found near Arshaguda village. His hands were tied and throat was cut with a sharp weapon.
Talking to The Hindu over telephone, his son Lalit Madkami said that around 1 p.m. some persons, carrying a letter, came to their house at Kalimela.

They allegedly called Mr. Somnath for a meeting with the Maoists inside the jungles near Arshaguda.

Mr. Somnath was a close relative of Nanda Kumar Kartami, former zilla parishad president of Malkangiri, who was killed by the Maoists on March 29.

Kartami had left the BJP ahead of the polls. In the past, Mr. Somnath was also associated with the party.

Mr. Lalit alleged that the murders of his father and uncle were part of a political conspiracy. But Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Malkangiri Anup Sahu said evidence pointed to the Maoists.

The Maoists have called for a poll boycott in the district, besides holding out threats to politicians not to take part in electoral process.

Samrudha Odisha demands CBI probe into candidate's murder

Published: April 10,2009


Suspecting role of political opponents in the killing of its candidate in Maoist-infested Malkangiri assembly segment, Samrudha Odisha today demanded a CBI probe into the murder and postponement of polls in entire Orissa.

Samrudha Odisha's candidate for the Malkangiri assembly seat Somnath Madkami was killed yesterday, sparking fear among candidates of various political parties. Though police attributed the killing to Maoists, the regional outfit did not accept it.

"It is wrong to dub all crimes and murders as acts of Naxalites", Samrudha Odisha Secretary General Prabir Mohanty said in a memorandum to the Governor.

Claiming that Madkami was confident of winning the elections this time, the party suspected that he might have been killed by political opponents.

This apart, Madkami was also not on the hit list of Maoists and had also never received any threat from the red rebels, he said.

Source: PTI

Karkala: Suspected Naxal Supporter Remanded to Judicial Custody

Daijiworld Media Network - Karkala (SP)

Karkala, Apr 11: Kuthloor Shashidhar Gowda, arrested from the Andar village bus stop in the taluk, was remanded to judicial custody till April 23. Gowda allegedly is an ardent supporter of naxals and naxal ideals.

Karkala rural police station sub-inspector Sandesh and his men had taken Shashidhar Gowda into custody from Andar village on April 8. Reportedly, they found pro-naxal pamphlets in his bag. He is from Kuthloor near Venur and is the brother of Dinakar, a naxal who died in a police encounter near Sringeri in 2006.

The policemen nabbed him during his visit to his brother's home in Kabbinale village near here, on April 8. During interrogation, he is said to have told the policemen that he gets the pamphlets from a man named Hoovappa from Sringeri and admitted to having pasted some pro-naxal wall posters at Mutlupady bus stand near Ajekar a few weeks back.

He also is said to have revealed, that he used to take about 10 to 15 people to meetings of naxals and that naxals Vasant, Sundar etc., visited his home often to collect food grains.

In the meanwhile, the police department has been warned by naxal outfits that naxal gangs are ready to retaliate if the policemen choose to conduct raids on them in Malnad region. The Maoist naxal organization has also called upon the people to boycott the coming Lok Sabha poll.

Maoist fix posters in Talsara Police Station

Friday, April 10, 2009 Report by Orissadiary correspondent;

Sundargarh: Panic gripped the district when the police found hand-written posters in Talsara Assembly constituency along the Jharkhand border areas .The Maoists even fixed a poster on the Talsara police station signboard. The posters were in Jharkhandi (colloquial Hindi) and stated the nine point charter of traditional demands of the Maoists and displayed the signature of Lal Salam on a letter head of ‘Maobadi Trishul Machdur’ and were pasted on the walls of Balishankara and Sabdega block offices. The posters reiterated the demands of Jal, Jungle and Zameen and threatened the tribals to refrain from liquor or else their hands would be chopped off.

They also warned the liquor vend owners that if they were found be carrying on their business they would be decapitated. But there was no call for poll boycott. The SDPO has rushed to the spot on the directions of Sundargarh SP Narsinga Bhol.

CRPF Dy commandant killed, 14 cops injured in naxal attack

Published: April 10,2009

Raipur , Apr 10 A CRPF Deputy Commandant was today killed and 14 other security personnel were injured when suspected naxalites ambushed them in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, in a major strike ahead of Lok Sabha polls in the state.

The CRPF team was patrolling in the forests of Kotampalli in the district when the naxals ambushed them killing Deputy Commandant Diwakar Tiwari and injuring fourteen others, including an Assitant Commandant, a senior CRPF officer said in New Delhi.

Dantewada Superintendent of Police, Rahul Sharma, told PTI that naxalites attacked a patrol unit CRPF&aposs 55th battalion near Minta village under Chintagufa police station, about 200 km from district headquarters.

The exact nature of the attack-- use of landmines or gunfire-- is still to be ascertained as the area is located deep inside the forest and proper communication is being established.

The area has been cordoned-off and a joint team of the state police and CRPF are combing the site to nab the attackers, the officer said adding that the injured were airlifted and have been admitted to a hospital in Jagdalpur.

Source: PTI

Maoist commander killed, four troopers injured

April 9th, 2009 - 7:23 pm ICT by IANS -

Ranchi, April 9 (IANS) A Maoist commander was killed in a gun battle with a rival group while a civilian was killed and four security personnel were injured in a bomb blast in Jharkhand, police said Thursday.
Krishna Yadav, a zonal commander of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist, was killed by a rival Maoist group, Jharkhand Prastuti Committee, in Hazaribagh district Thursday.

The incident took place near Kasamtandi village, a jungle area around 130 km from Ranchi.

In another incident, one person was killed and four security personnel were injured when a bomb went off in Palamau district.

The security personnel were trying to defuse the bomb when it exploded near Majholi village, around 190 km from here.

Maoists are active in 18 of the 24 districts of Jharkhand. About 1,450 people have died in Maoist-related violence in the last eight years.

Maoists attack security forces in Garwah

Garwah (Jharkhand): Armed Maoists attacked a make-shift CRPF camp at Ranpura in Garwah district, but failed to inflict any damage as the security forces beat them back on Wednesday .

Nearly 50 Maoists surrounded a middle school, where the CRPF personnel were camping, and fired about 200 rounds from all sides, police said here.

The rebels, however, retreated following the strong retaliatory action by the CRPF men, the police said. There was no loss of life on any side.

This was the first time the Maoists directly challenged the security forces. — PTI

Maoist leader killed in gun battle with rivals


Hazaribagh, April 9: Maoist leader Krishna Yadav, who had unleashed a reign of terror in Chatra and Hazaribagh, was killed today in a gun battle with a rival faction in the forest area of Angarha at Simaria, Chatra.

Deputy superintendent of police of Naushad Alam confirmed the killing and said the body of Krishna had been recovered. Alam said one more member of Krishna’s team, Uday Ganjhu, was killed while four others sustained severe injures. According to reports, the cadres of Jharkhand Prastuti Committee (JPC), a breakaway faction of CPI(Maoist), were involved in the killing.

Sources said Krishna, along with his hit squad of 11 members, was conducting a meeting at Tarar in Simaria when a JPC team led by sub-zonal commander Kaljeet reached the spot and opened fire. Krishna and his men had tried to retaliate, but the attack was so sudden that they couldn’t put up a fight. Later, a police team reached the spot and recovered the bodies.

Sources said Krishna was infamous in the area for his criminal activities. He had thwarted a number of projects in the districts, including the ambitious project of connecting Hazaribagh with rail line.

On a number of occasions, he went to the sites, especially Katkamsandi, with his hit squad and blew up expensive machines and construction equipment. Then superintendent of police Praveen Kumar Singh had laid several traps to arrest him but every time, he managed to give the police a slip.

Last year, he set ablaze an cellphone service tower in Katkamsandi and had damaged a bridge at Pathalgadda in Chatra thrice to prevent the police from entering the area. He also used to extort money from businessmen and contractors and killed many villagers on suspicion that they were working as police informers.

Red poster war on polls

Red poster war on polls
- Boycott cry in Giridih, candidates abort campaigns

A Maoist poster in Uparghat, Nawadih, issues a warning to villagers on Thursday. Picture by Pankaj Singh

Nawadih-Gomia (Bokaro), April 9: Nawadih, Upartaand, Dumri and Gomia, which fall in the Giridih parliamentary constituency, are going to polls on April 23. But the usual hustle bustle that is synonymous with an election is curiously missing in these villages.

The only sign — rather warning — that reminds one of the approaching polls are handwritten posters, cautioning the villagers against casting their votes. Right, the Maoists are at it again. They have issued an ultimatum to villagers, asking them to “boycott polls or get ready to face dire consequences”. This explains why no party posters adorn the walls of the houses or no flags are seen hoisted atop the roofs.

In fact, though all major political parties, including BJP, JMM, CPI and JVM (Prajatantrik), have fielded candidates from this seat, none dared to venture into the villages to conduct poll meetings. The residents are too scared to even utter the word election for fear that a Maoist in the garb of a common man might catch them speaking about the banned E-word.

There are 57 panchayats in Nawadih, Gomia, Dumri and Pirtaand blocks and the total number of voters has been estimated to be around 50,000.

On a tour of rural pockets, this correspondent reached a small tea shop, located about 10km from the Nawadih crossing and 55km from Bokaro steel city. A group of about 12 men, all local residents, was huddled at the shop, chatting in their local Khortha language. As soon as they saw an unknown face, they became conscious and treaded on safe issues such as underdevelopment of the area.

When this correspondent introduced himself and asked them about the approaching polls, the din was suddenly replaced by an uncanny silence, with most of the men getting up and leaving the place.

Those who chose to stay back advised this correspondent to not ask such questions as Naxalites have given a “poll boycott” cry. “If they catch you discussing elections with us, your life will not only be in danger, we will also land up in trouble. So, please keep these questions to yourself,” said a villager.

“It’s late afternoon and you should leave the place. You never know where will you bump into Maoists, who loiter around disguised as villagers,” said an elderly.

Talking to The Telegraph, the commandant of the 26th Battalion of the CRPF V.S. Sharma said it was true that no political party had held any publicity drives in these Naxalite strongholds. “It does not look like that Lok Sabha polls will be held in these villages in two weeks’ time,” he said, but assured a peaceful election.

Maoists kill Sambrudha Odisha Candidate Somnath Madkami in Malkangiri

Thursday, April 09, 2009

24/7 News Network: Breaking News! The Naxals struck in the Malkangiri district yet again. In a shocking development, the Maoists killed Sambrudha Odisha candidate Somnath Madkami, who was contesting the assembly elections from Malkangiri. Somnath Madkami was a former Zilla Parishad member. He was killed by the Maoists at Arshaguda at around 1 PM today.

Somnath Madkami was found lying dead in a pool of blood with his hands tied behind his back. The spot where his body was found, was just 3 km from his residence in Kalimela. His throat was slit by the Maoists.

Madkami's uncle and former Zilla Parishad President Nanda Kumar Kartami was killed at Sikhpalli near Kalimela last month. He was a senior BJP leader. People have blocked the NH 42 by putting his dead body on the road.

District administration has rushed the security officials to the spot. Elections in Malkangiri assembly constituency won't be postponed, confirmed the Election Commission.

Naxals nabbed, explosive recovered in Jharkhand

Dhanbad (PTI): The police claimed to have foiled a Maoist attempt to carry out disruptive operations in Dhanbad district during the forthcoming polls with the recovery of huge quantity of explosive materials.

Superintendent of police Manoj Kaushik said a huge quantity of explosive material, sufficient to manufacture 200 bombs, was seized from a bomb-manufacturing unit which was unearthed during a police raid at Virajpur village on Wednesday.

The police unearthed the unit during a raid in the house of Ambuj Pandey, a homeguard personnel and Ranjit Pandey, a post master, he said.

Both the brothers were not in the house when the police team raided the unit, adjacent to the house.

In a separate raid, the police also arrested two hard core Maoists, Sita Ram Majhi and Babu Lal Mahto, from Kotaladda village in the district, which is considered to be a naxal-stronghold.

Both the members admitted their involvement in a SLR snatching case in Katras colliery area ten days ago.

Naxal menace: Maha Govt asks Centre for extra force

Published: April 9,2009

Mumbai , Apr 9 In the backdrop of recent spurt in Naxal attacks in Vidarbha region, Maharashtra Government today asked the Centre to deploy additional security personnel in the area.

"We request Chidambaram to send additional security personnel to help tackle the Naxal menace," Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said during a meeting to review security situation in the state in the backdrop of Lok sabha polls.

Pointing to Intelligence reports of a spurt in Naxal activities in Gadchiroli and Gondia districts, Chavan said a special action plan should be prepared to tackle the issue.

" Battalions would be sought from the Centre depending on the need and helicopters of the Army and Air Force should also be on stand by to meet any eventuality in Naxal areas,"he said.

Ministers of state for Home, Naseem Khan and Nitin Raut, and Additional Chief Secretary Chandra Iyengar attended the meeting.

Source: PTI

Naxalite killed in police encounter in Chhattisgarh

Raipur (PTI): A naxalite was killed on Thursday in an exchange of fire in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh, police said.

The incident took place in the Kodenar jungle area after fire was opened on a police patrol party, by the naxals, DIG (Naxal) Pavan Dev told PTI.

Three tiffin bombs, a hand grenade, a detonator and a pistol was recovered from the spot, Narayanpur SP Amresh Kumar said.

The body of the deceased naxalite, who was killed in retaliatory fire has also been recovered, Mr. Kumar said adding further investigations are on.

Meanwhile, security has beefed up in the state in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Spectre of naxal violence looms

K. Srinivas Reddy

Andhra Pradesh, which was gripped by naxalite violence just a decade ago, is today a role model for other States on successful counter revolutionary warfare. However, the elections may provide an opportunity for the Maoist rebels to prove that they are not totally down and out and still capable of carrying out attacks in the State.

Though the possibility of a Maoist revival is remote in view of dwindling public support, there has been an increased movement of rebels over the last three months in at least 10 districts, seven of them on bordering either Maharashtra, Orissa and Chhattisgarh. Police suspect the increased activity could indicate a plan to strike during the elections.

Remote areas

The vulnerability of both police and politicians is high during elections, with the latter venturing into remote areas for canvassing, unmindful of security alerts. “The possibility of sneak attacks is high. We have information about Maoist action teams moving in the area,” say district police chiefs in naxalite-affected areas.

A naxal action team usually consists of two rebels armed with pistols and revolvers, who mingle with the crowds, choose their targets, and then “shoot and scoot.”

Wary of landmines, the police have taken up ‘demining operations’ on all rural and kuccha roads. But the Maoists have procured handheld drilling machines, which allow mines to be quickly planted on ‘sanitised’ routes. The Khammam district police recently unearthed three mines in Cherla and Chintur mandals on the borders of Chhattisgarh, and the Visakhapatnam police found six landmines in Annavaram, KD Pet and Koyyur forest areas.

The biggest concern for the police is the redeployment of Maoist cadres from Orissa and Chattisgarh, where they had earlier fled because of the police pressure in the last five years. A Maoist guerrilla platoon, comprising 25 heavily armed rebels, led by Bade Nageshwar Rao is reported to be moving in the forest areas of Karimnagar, Khammam and Warangal districts. Two more platoons are on the move in Visakhapatnam agency areas, police say.

Though there has been no violence so far, police believe the rebels could unleash a wave of attacks in the days before the first phase of polling on April 16, when North Telangana and the North Coastal Andhra districts go to the polls.

It is expected that the Maoists will focus on Visakhapatnam, Khammam and Warangal districts, which are adjacent to Orissa and Chattisgarh; the rebels can escape quickly across the border after striking.

Unlike in 2004, the Maoist problem is not an election issue. The previous elections were held soon after the October 1, 2003 Alipiri attack on former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. Hoping to cash in on a sympathy wave, Naidu dissolved the Assembly; the Congress too made Naxalism an issue by promising to hold peace talks with them. However, after the talks failed, the government ordered a crackdown.

Naxal threats may keep voters indoors

10 Apr 2009, 0106 hrs IST, Prafulla Marpakwar, TNN

MUMBAI: In view of the stepped-up Naxal violence, people in a section of villages in the sensitive Gadchiroli and Gondia districts may not be able
to exercise their franchise in the April 16 elections to the Lok Sabha.

A month after brutal killing of more than a dozen police officials in Gadchiroli, Naxalites have given a call for a week-long bandh and boycott of the Lok Sabha polls. Since April 1, the Naxalites have not just killed three police officials in Dhanora tehsil but also set on fire 15 trucks, private cars and transformers in the area.

What shocked the law enforcing agencies was the fact that the Naxal activists have dug up several roads, because of which neither the election officials nor the voters will be able to reach the polling booths on April 16. The local administration has already declared 356 booths as most sensitive, out of 800 in Gadchiroli district.

At a high-level meeting at Mantralaya, chief minister Ashok Chavan reviewed the law and order situation in Naxal-dominated districts, along with preparedness of the law enforcing agencies to tackle terror attack, particularly during the poll process.

In Gadchiroli, where additional director general of police (anti-Naxalite operations cell) Pankaj Gupta is camping since Sunday, the situation is tense, but under control. "It's a fact that Naxalites have stepped up violence in the district, but we will thwart their plan to halt the polling process. We have deployed several companies of the State Reserve Police Force and paramilitary forces to tackle the situation,'' Gupta told TOI.

Chavan has written to home minister P Chidambaram for 12 companies of the paramilitary forces exclusively for Gadchiroli and Gondia districts to take on the Naxalites. In addition, Chavan has asked home secretary Chandra Iyengar to draft a comprehensive action plan to tackle Naxal violence and also fix the responsibility for implementation of the proposal. "We have asked for four additional helicopters, which will be stationed at Gachiroli for quick movement of police and election officials,'' a senior IPS official said.

Along with the Naxal-dominated areas, Chavan has asked the home department to keep a special vigil on communally sensitive Thane, Akola and Yavatmal districts to ensure that the entire poll process is completed peacefully. Special measures will be taken to maintain law and order in Mumbai, particularly in the wake of the 26/11 terror attack.

On security measures for Mumbai, Chavan specifically told senior police officials that no stone should be left unturned to thwart any attempt by the terrorists to disrupt the poll process or create tension in the metropolis.

Chalk out plan to tackle Naxal threat, says Chavan

Surendra GanganFriday, April 10, 2009 3:16 IST Email

Mumbai: Increased Naxalite activities, communal tension in seven to eight districts and threat perception to the VIPs participating in the election campaigns have put security agencies on high alert.

Based on fresh intelligence reports, chief minister Ashok Chavan directed the home department to chalk out an action plan on immediate basis.

During the review meeting held with the top home department and police officials on Thursday at Mantralaya, serious law and order situation was clearly anticipated in the wake of the LS elections. Chavan was told that the Naxal activities in pockets of Vidarbha had gone up tremendously. Also they have issued open threats of disrupting the LS election scheduled next week in the region.

"Eighteen policemen and 16 civilians have been killed in 12 Naxal attacks in last three months. We need tight security to ensure that the elections can be carried out peacefully. Apart from the support from Chhatisgarh, the Naxalites are believed to be assisted by their counterparts from Sri Lanka and Nepal," a top official told Chavan during the meeting.

The state government demanded four helicopters and four battalions of central security agencies to be used for the election in Naxal-infested areas. Chavan also asked the home department to seek the Army's help if needed. "An action plan should be immediately chalked out and followed rigorously to ensure elections are conducted peacefully," he told the officials

Orissa CM Naveen Patnaik addresses election rally at Maoist bastion

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Report by Orissadiary correspondent; Malkangiri: Orissa Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik call to the electorate to vote for the BJD candidates for a transparent, corruption-free administration in Orissa while addressing an election meeting at Chitrakonda in Naxal-infested Malkangiri district of Southern Orissa on Thursday.
Chief minister Mr Naveen Patnaik assured that pending projects like Vijayawada-Ranchi Highway, Gurupriya bridge over the Janbai river and Motu bridge on the Saberi river would be completed soon after the elections.
Hitting the campaign trail, the BJD supremo addressed election meetings in Malkangiri, Nawarangpur and Koraput districts today. In Malkangiri, he spoke at Chitrakonda and DNK ground today.
Highlighting various schemes initiated by the state government, he said that the projects will continue if his party is voted to power.
Speaking on the occasion, former BJP MLA from Malkangiri and presently a BJD candidate from Jayadev Assembly constituency, Mr Dhali tried to woo the gathering with a few lines in Bengali.
Among others, party’s Malkangiri candidate Mr Mukunda Sodi, Nawarangpur parliamentary seat candidate Mr Damrudhar Majhi spoke on the occasion.

Candidate killed in Malkangiri by Naxalites

Express News Service First Published : 10 Apr 2009 04:18:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 10 Apr 2009 10:26:23 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: Hours after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik campaigned in parts of Malkangiri and Chitrakonda Assembly segments, a candidate was hacked to death by suspected Left-wing extremists near Kalimela putting a huge question mark on the security apparatus in the Naxal-hit districts.

Somanath Madkami, a candidate of Samruddha Odisha for Malkangiri Assembly seat, was killed in front of his wife at Arshaguda, some 3 km from his home at Kalimela. He belonged to the Koya tribe.

Collector and district election officer Nitin Bhanudas Jawale ruled out countermanding the election as Somanath belonged to an unrecognised political outfit.

He will submit his report to the Chief Electoral Officer Alka Panda.

Police said Somanath was asked to come over to Arsaguda to meet a group of Naxal leaders who wanted to hold election- related discussions. Reports said an unidentified person showed up at Somanath’s home at about 1 p.m. ‘‘The messenger told my father that the Naxals had sent for him and would like to discuss poll related issues at Arshaguda,’’ Lalit Madkami, Somanath’s son who works as a junior clerk at Malkangiri collectorate, told this paper.

Somanath, being a local, decided to accept the invitation and proceeded to the spot with wife Parvati. Little did he know he was walking into a death trap. He was brutally killed with an axe in front of his spouse. However, mystery shrouded the actual killer as his family members said it could be the handiwork of political rivals.

Since Somanath belonged to the Koya tribe, traditionally Naxal sympathisers, he was seen as one who could divide the votes of his rivals. Lalit alleged it was a planned political conspiracy. His uncle and former Zilla Parishad president Nanda Kumar Kartami was also killed in a similar fashion at Sikhpalli last month. Somanath had received a letter from the Maoists a few days back, the son said. South Western Range DIG Sanjib Panda said investigation would reveal if the Naxals are behind the killing or it was a personal vendetta.

The murder has once again exposed the vulnerability of the Naxal hotbed. As of now, nine companies of Central paramilitary forces are deployed in the district and another four will be mobilised soon.

Although the current scenario may necessitate more deployment, this is unlikely to happen given the constraints.

School building blown up by Maoists in Palamau

Medininagar (PTI): The Maoists blew up yet another school building in Jharkhand's Palamau district, taking the total number of government buildings destroyed by them to 10 in different districts within a week, police sources said on Friday.

About a dozen armed Maoists reached the Belhra high school at Bishrampur, packed dynamites in the rooms before triggering off the blasts late last night, the police said.

There was no loss of life in the incident, they added.

The Maoists left a note at the spot claiming responsibility for the blast.

Earlier, the extremist outfit had blown up schools, panchayat and community bhavans at Latehar, Gumla, Chatra and Palamau with an aim to prevent the security forces to take shelter during their operation for area domination ahead of the first phase polls slated for April 16 in six naxal-infested constituencies.

The Maoists had also burnt two campaigning vehicles in Palamau and Garwah in the last three days.

In a separate incident, the police were interrogating three constables following the missing of three Insas rifles from the police lines in the headquarter town here, Superintendent of Police Ravi Kant Dhan told newsmen.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Maoists blast another school in Bihar

Gaya (PTI): Maoist ultras blew up another school building in Bihar when they blasted two rooms of a school at village Baluar in Gaya district on Wednesday, police said.

Heavily-armed ultras numbering around 150 came to the village, under Banke Bazaar police station, and detonated dynamytes to blow up two rooms of the school building, also housing an anganwadi centre, in the wee hours on Wednesday.

Raids were on at various places to apprehend the activists of the proscribed ultra-left outfit, they said and adding that the school was hardly two kms from the ground where state Chief Minister Nitish Kumar addressed an election rally hours later on Wednesday, the sources said.

Armed naxalites had on April 5 descended on the primary school at Bhimbandh Wildlife Sanctuary under Kharagpur police station and blasted its newly constructed building in Munger district.

The next day, the outfit had swooped on Kataki village under Deo police station of Aurangabad district and exploded a dynamite at a state-run school. However, no damage was done as the explosive was low-grade, police said. They had, however, taken away the generator set at the school.

The Maoists, who have called a boycott of the Lok Sabha elections, also attempted to blow up two schools in Jamui and Gaya districts recently.

EC reduces voting time in naxal hit pockets of Bihar

Patna: The Election Commission has decided to reduce voting time in nine assembly segments spread over four parliamentary constituencies in Bihar which will go to polls in the first phase on April 16, official sources said.

A decision to this effect was taken keeping in mind the threat by the Naxalites in these areas.

"Voting in these assembly segments will start at 0700-hrs as is the case in other segments but it will conclude at 1500-hrs itself, two hours prior to the scheduled time of 1700-hrs", the sources said.

The assembly segments where polling time has been reduced are Chainpur and Chenari in Sasaram, Kutumba, Rafiganj and Imamganj segments in Gaya and Sikandra, Jhajha and Chakai in Jamui Lok Sabha constituency, they revealed.

Proscribed CPI (Maoist) has given a call for boycotting the polls in Bihar.

Source: PTI

Rebels torch teacher’s home

Jamshedpur, April 8: An armed squad of Naxalites torched the house of a parateacher at Motuda village in Chowka under Chandil police station area in Seraikela-Kharsawan district late last night.

Before setting the tile-and-mud house on fire just before midnight, the 12-odd rebels also thrashed parateacher Mundana Munda’s younger brother and subsequently sneaked into the nearby forests towards Khunti.

As this was the third such incident of CPI(Maoist)-sponsored violence in quick succession in Chandil and Nimdih areas, it has triggered a sensation across the region, gearing up for the Lok Sabha polls.

Munda, who used to teach at a primary school in Chandil, and his other family members had fled the village apprehending an attack. As none from Munda’s family turned up at the Chandil police station, the villagers informed the incident to the police later.

A police team also started search operations in Chowka and the nearby Hensakocha jungle. Sheetal Oraon, the Seraikela-Kharsawan district superintendent of police, said a combing operation had been launched at Hensakocha jungle.

“So far we did not get a complaint of the Naxalite attack from Munda’s family. We are trying to trace the Naxalites responsible behind the incident by conducting long-range patrolling,” he said.

Sources in intelligence department confirmed the incident and said that this was a targeted move of the Naxalites to disrupt the election process in Chowka and Chandil areas. According to sources, the rebels are trying to disturb the polling process by creating violence.

Earlier on April 5, the Naxalites called poll boycott at Chaliama and Baghadih villages in Nimdih block by conducting a poster campaign.

Last month, a squad of armed rebels exchanged fire with police and paramilitary forces at Chaliama and Baghadih. However, no one was injured.

Lalgarh face-off: Naxals take 9 CPM members hostage for hours

Express News Service
Posted: Apr 08, 2009 at 0156 hrs IST

Kolkata The stand-off between the state government and the Police Santrash Birodhi Committee (PSBC) at Lalgarh took a new turn after suspected Maoists abducted nine members of the CPM from Sarenga village in Bankura district on Tuesday morning.
The Maoists later escaped to Lalgarh. After day-long negotiations between the state administration and members of the committee, the CPM members were released in the evening.

“Nine people, one of them related to a panchayat pradhan, were kidnapped in the morning and later the police came to know that they were taken to Lalgarh. As the district magistrate and the superintendent of police tried to enter Lalgarh, tribal women, armed with weapons, blocked their way. Talks have been initiated with the committee members,” Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen said in the afternoon.

The PSBC members, however, said the CPM members had not been kidnapped at all. “They faced some problems and took refuge in our village. However, they were released in the evening,” Shyamal Mahato, a member of the committee, told The Indian Express. Inspector General, law and order, Raj Kanojia also confirmed that the CPM members have been released.

Two of the attackers were later apprehended by the locals and handed over to the police.

Maoists continue attacks ahead of LS polls in Bihar

9 Apr 2009, 0411 hrs IST, Abdul Qadir & Nishant Sinha, TNN

GAYA/AURANGABAD: In what appears to be an attempt to demoralize security forces in the run up to the parliamentary polls, Maoists carried out two
attacks on government and private installations in Bihar’s Gaya and Aurangabad districts in the past 24 hours.

In Gaya, the Maoist blew up a schiool building-cum-cluster centre at Baluar village under the Banke Bazar police station, about 4 km from the venue of CM Nitish Kumar’s election meeting scheduled to take place in the neighbouring Raniganj village, on Wednesday. The blast took place only a few hours before CM Nitish Kumar’s scheduled visit in the afternoon.

This is for the second time within the last 72 hours that the extremists have caused explosion in the area where CM Nitish Kumar’s election meet was scheduled. Earlier, the Maoists blew up a school building and cluster centre in the Barachatti police station area in a similar fashion.

According to reports reaching the district headquarters, the Maoists numbering about 100 ransacked the two-storey government school building, took away the school computer along with all the accessories and blew up the building and the adjoining resource centre using can bombs in the operation.

Confirming the blowing up of the government middle school-cum-cluster centre building, Gaya SP MR Naik said that there appeared to be a pattern in recent blasts as both the blasts were timed to precede the CM’s visit by a few hours.

The extremists on their part have also stepped up their anti-election campaign with wall writings in different parts of the district, exhorting and intimidating voters against the exercise of their franchise.

They have also reportedly distributed printed material claiming therein that “the election exercise was nothing but a sham and an eyewash and the real answer to the problems of the disadvantaged and deprived sections lied in the installation of a revolutionary people’s government”.

In a separate incident, Maoists attacked a mobile phone tower in the Naxal-prone Dev block of Aurangabad district at around midnight on Tuesday.

The mobile tower was located at Bishinpur Sagahan village under Dev police station. The tower, which torched by the Red rebels, belongs to a private telecom operator.

Sources said about 50 heavily-armed Maoists, some of them in police uniforms, surrounded the village around midnight and asked the chowkidar present to hand over the keys of the air-conditioned room of the tower. Later on, they blew the tower with crude bombs which set it on fire. The generator sets used for providing power to the mobile tower and other related equipment were gutted in the explosions. The extremists also shouted slogans “Lal salaam zindabad” after the attack.

However, no casualties have been reported from the attack.

The attack was ostensibly carried out to disrupt the communication system so as to deprive the police and other intelligence agencies of vital information regarding Maoist activities.

Aurangabad SP Ravindran Shankaran said apparently the attack had been carried out primarily to harass the common people and disrupt the communication system. “Raids are on to nab the extremists,” he said.

School blown up, 700 pupils left in the lurch

9 Apr 2009, 0603 hrs IST, Uttam Mukherjee, TNN

LOHARDAGA: About 700 students in Lohardaga are left in the lurch. Project High at Makka village has been shut down for indefinite period after
Sunday's attack by Maoists who razed two school buildings. The few classrooms which survived are in too crumbly to hold classes.

And with the district administration bogged down with poll arrangements, there's no quick solution in sight. "With the Lok Sabha polls knocking at the door, I'm too tied down. We'll make arrangements only after the polls are over," district collector M P Sinha said. No one from the education department is yet to visit the site of ruins.

The school have hundreds of students, mainly tribals, hailing from over a dozen villages, including Makka, Bariyatu, Lavapur and many more.

The villagers, whose children study in the school, are extremely sore. "We are very poor and somehow we try to give education to our children. Now with Maoists blowing up the school, we have become poorer," said Ganesh Bhuiyan a villager from Makka.

Lohardaga SP Subodh Prasad, who led a raid party in the area, visited the school on Monday. "Villagers are unhappy with the Maoists. They have shown anger against and have decided to oppose them. They also want a police picket at Makka," he said.

"This is an attack on the villagers' dreams. We all must condemn the act," added the SP. He said the villagers understood that the Naxals have no principle. "All they want is create terror and collect levy. Many villagers shouted anti-Naxal slogans and promised to take part in the coming elections," he added.

Naxalite killed in police encounter in Chhattisgarh

Raipur (PTI): A naxalite was killed on Thursday in an exchange of fire in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh, police said.

The incident took place in the Kodenar jungle area after fire was opened on a police patrol party, by the naxals, DIG (Naxal) Pavan Dev told PTI.

Three tiffin bombs, a hand grenade, a detonator and a pistol was recovered from the spot, Narayanpur SP Amresh Kumar said.

The body of the deceased naxalite, who was killed in retaliatory fire has also been recovered, Mr. Kumar said adding further investigations are on.

Meanwhile, security has beefed up in the state in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Naxals nabbed, explosive recovered in Jharkhand

Dhanbad (PTI): The police claimed to have foiled a Maoist attempt to carry out disruptive operations in Dhanbad district during the forthcoming polls with the recovery of huge quantity of explosive materials.

Superintendent of police Manoj Kaushik said a huge quantity of explosive material, sufficient to manufacture 200 bombs, was seized from a bomb-manufacturing unit which was unearthed during a police raid at Virajpur village on Wednesday.

The police unearthed the unit during a raid in the house of Ambuj Pandey, a homeguard personnel and Ranjit Pandey, a post master, he said.

Both the brothers were not in the house when the police team raided the unit, adjacent to the house.

In a separate raid, the police also arrested two hard core Maoists, Sita Ram Majhi and Babu Lal Mahto, from Kotaladda village in the district, which is considered to be a naxal-stronghold.

Both the members admitted their involvement in a SLR snatching case in Katras colliery area ten days ago.

1 policeman killed, 5 injured in Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh

7 Apr 2009, 1543 hrs IST, PTI

RAIPUR: A policeman was killed and five of his colleagues injured today in a land mine blast and subsequent attack by Naxalites in Bijapur district
of Chhattisgarh.

The Naxals attacked the convoy of the Superintendent of Police Ankit Garg, when it was passing through the Bijapur valley, about five kilometres from the district headquarters, DIG Pawan Dev said.

A policemen, Nand Kishore Sori, died on the spot while five others including Special Police officer Mohan, injured seriously, Dev said, adding, the vehicles in the convoy was also damaged.

The injured policemen were rushed to Bijapur hospital and later taken to Jagdalpur district headquarters by helicopter.

"Garg, who was leading the convoy to Bhopalpatnam, escaped unhurt in the incident," Dev said.

The Naxalites, who attacked the convoy after the blast, however, fled as the Jawans took position and countered them, he said.

The voting for the Lok Sabha election in the state is scheduled for April 16 and elaborate security arrangement has been made in view of the poll boycott declared by the Naxals.

Netam bros fought bravely against Naxals, younger died

8 Apr 2009, 0318 hrs IST, Soumittra S Bose

GADCHIROLI: C-60 commando Laxman Netam, 34, was right in front, his younger brother 30-year-old Gopichand was towards the tail of the combined
squad. Laxman was leading the onslaught on the rebels while Gopi was protecting the rear flank.

The Netam brothers left behind a true story of heroism in the heartland of Naxal terror that came alive for their squad near Mungner village in Gadchiroli’s Dhanora tehsil. The encounter claimed three cops but also inflicted high casualties on Naxalites who lost their 14 cadres.

Gopi, whose marriage was fixed for May 29-30, was hit on the head after he is believed to have gunned down four Naxals.

He had joined the force in 2006 and finally laid his life down fighting a grim battle with Naxalites. Laxman, who too was returning the enemy fire in front, also claimed to have killed three Naxals. He is older in the force too having joined in 1998.

“I came to know through wireless communication much later that Gopi was no more. I was leading the attack. Gopi kept the enemy engaged at the back not allowing them to surround us from all side,” said Laxman. He was piloting the combined squad of Commander Munna Singh Thakur on Monday evening.

Thakur’s party was patrolling along Mungner when a heavily armed group of almost 300 Naxals engaged them in a fierce encounter that lasted nearly three hours. Gopi’s aide Dnyaneshwar Seiph too was shot. Two more commandos from Special Action Group (SAG) were engaged in keeping the Naxals away from attacking the rear side of the patrolling party.

12 Naxals killed in encounter

Jaideep Hardikar

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 3:59 IST Email

Nagpur: Gadchiroli police on Monday claimed to have killed at least 12 armed Naxals, while losing three of its C-60 commandos in a fierce late evening encounter on the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border.

The police have been unable to retrieve the Naxals' bodies, but the chief of the police's anti-Naxal operation wing Pankaj Gupta said heavy casualties had been inflicted on the Naxal camp.

The police raided the spot near a village in the remote Dhanora tehsil following a tip-off. A party of 30 C-60 commandos engaged about 100 armed-Naxals for three hours, killing 12 of them, but losing three of its men in retaliatory gunfire.

Four commandos were injured by the Naxals who also threw grenades.

Two months ago, a group of armed Naxals killed 15 policemen, including a sub-inspector, in an attack in Gadchiroli's Markegaon.

After killing the policemen, the Naxals fled with their arms, including eight AK47s, two Insas self-loading rifles, four self-loading rifles, one pistol and a two-inch mortar.
There has been a rise in Naxal activity in Gadchiroli in retaliation to strong police crackdowns through 2008.

Over 20 days ago, at a village in Etapalli, Naxals in uniform attacked a woman ex-sarpanch and slit her throat -- the first such incident in the state in which a woman was targeted.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Maoists blast dynamite in Bihar school

Aurangabad (PTI): Suspected Maoists blasted dynamite on early Monday in a state-run school at Ketaki village in Bihar's Aurangabad district.

The police said more than 150 Maoist guerrilas raided the school and triggered dynamite blasts to blow up the school building.

But the school building was not damaged as the explosion was not powerful, sources said.

They took away a generator of the school before police reached the spot, sources said.

The ongoing school attacks by Maoists have been an attempt to foil administration's bid to house Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and other para-military forces in schools for deployment in Maoist-hit areas during Lok Sabha polls, police said.

Maoists have blasted two school buildings in Jamui and Gaya districts in Bihar recently.

Lalgarh tribal group warns of mass resistance

Special Correspondent

Police have not been able to enter Lalgarh for five months

Plan take out a procession here on Monday

KOLKATA: A local predominantly tribal resistance group of Lalgarh in West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district — the “Police Santrosh Birodhi Janasadharan Committee (PSBJC)” [People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities] — threatened a “mass resistance” if the State government goes ahead with its plans to send the police into the Lalgarh area in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

“We have learnt our lesson from what happened in Nandigram [where police entered on March 14, 2007 resulting in firing and subsequent violence in which 14 persons were killed] and do not want to make the same mistake,” Chhatradhar Mahato, founder-leader of the PSBJC said here on Sunday.

“We shall resist any such police move at Lalgarh and if there is any untoward incident the administration will be responsible,” Mr. Mahato said .

His warning came a day after State’s Home Secretary Ardhendhu Sen said here that the government was working on a plan of police action that was to be finalised shortly to enable security forces to enter the Lalgarh prior to the elections.

The police have not been able to enter the Lalgarh for nearly five months since the PSBJC was set up early in November 2008 to protest alleged police excesses on local villagers during raids to arrest those responsible for an IED blast that narrowly missed Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s convoy on its way back from Salboni.

Mr. Mahato said elections could be held without the police at the Lalgarh and that poll officials were free to enter the area for the purpose unescorted by police personnel. The PSBJC will take out a procession here on Monday to protest against the government’s plans to facilitate police entry into the Lalgarh.

In a bid to prevent the police from entering the area, the PSBJC, which has the support of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), has set up “check-points” near Lalgarh on the road that connects it with Jhargram. These “check-points” are being manned round the clock by PSBJC activists.

Maoists' strike Simlipal again

6 Apr 2009, 0423 hrs IST, TNN

BARIPADA: Peace continued to elude Simlipal with suspected Maoists going on the rampage inside the premier tiger reserve for the third time in a
week on Saturday.

Forest officials said a group of armed men looted and ransacked a forest rest house and a tourist complex at Jamuani in the Simlipal Tiger Reserve's Manda Range around Saturday midnight.

The attack came exactly eight days after Maoists went on a rampage at Chahala by setting fire to a forest rest house and assaulting tourists and officials.

Earlier on Saturday, another group claiming themselves to be Maoists had raided the forest range office at Pithabata. The suspected rebels took away two logs and pasted pro-Maoist posters in and around the range office. The posters warned forest officials of dire consequences if they did not quit Simlipal. The attackers also burst crackers in a bid to create a fear psychosis among the unarmed officials.

The forest department, however, suspects that the latest attacks were the handiwork of local poachers and members of the timber mafia. "The attackers appear to be emboldened by the previous Maoist attacks in Simlipal. They are trying to take advantage of the situation," a forest department official said on condition of anonymity.

The attacks coming just before the tribals' annual hunting ritual on the occasion Pana Shankranti has left animal lovers and conservationists a worried lot. They said the tribals armed with bows and arrows and hunting axes enter the reserve through hidden paths and indulge in indiscriminate killing of the animals as part of their ritual of "akhand shikar" (mass hunting excursion).

Conservationists said poachers may take advantage of the Maoist attacks to indulge in intensified hunting on Pana Shankranti day.

Maoists kill four guards of power plant firm

Ranchi (IANS): Maoist rebels have killed four security guards of a proposed power plant of the Abhijeet group in Jharkhand's Latehar district, police said on Monday.

Around 20-25 guerrillas of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) raided the proposed power plant situated in Chakla village in Latehar, some 140 km from Ranchi, at around 11.30 p.m. on Sunday and opened fire on the security guards posted there, a police official said.

Three guards died on the spot and one died on the way to hospital. One injured guard has been referred to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Science here for treatment.

According to informed sources, Maoist rebels had demanded a levy of Rs.2 million from the company. The Abhijeet group had apparently refused to pay the amount and guerrillas had even beaten up security guards of the firm a month ago.
"We had sought security from the police informing them about the levy demand. The temporary police picket situated near the proposed site was also withdrawn after the Lok Sabha elections were announced. The withdrawal of the police picket encouraged Maoist rebels to attack the company," an official of Abhijeet group told IANS.

Police have launched operations to nab the rebels involved in the incident.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) condemned the attack and demanded the removal of Governor Syed Sibte Razi.

"During President's Rule, such incidents are taking place in the state one after another. The central government should recall the governor to ensure free and fair election in the state,"said state BJP president Raghubar Das.

Maoists blow up school in Lohardaga

6 Apr 2009, 0407 hrs IST, Uttam Mukherjee, TNN

LOHARDAGA: About 40 members of the CPI(Maoist) blew up the Project High School at Makka village in the district in the wee hours of Sunday under the
leadership of their sub-zonal commander Sanjay Yadav.

The village is located on the borders of Lohardaga and Latehar districts. The incident appears to be a major challenge to the administration which is gearing up for the parliamentary elections scheduled for April 16. The Project High School is located less than a kilometre away from the village middle school where BSF personnel are camping these days.

SP Subodh Prasad said that the Maoists blew up the school in frustration as the police have sealed the entry points to the sensitive areas in the bordering areas of the district.

The Makka village was recently covered under the security net after the police learnt that the Maoists were planning to enter the village, the SP said, adding that the school building was partially damaged in the blast which the Maoists triggered during the night.

SDPO Ram Gulam Sharma said that only one room of the school building had been damaged in the explosion. Policing has been intensified in the area, he added.

Sources, however, claimed that the Maoists blew up both the old as well as the new school building in two separate blasts. The new building had been constructed recently at the cost of Rs 35 lakh.

Maoist outfit expels leader for contesting polls

April 5th, 2009 - 1:02 pm ICT by IANS -

Patna, April 5 (IANS) An outlawed Maoist outfit has expelled one of its senior leaders in Bihar for contesting the Lok Sabha elections, defying the group’s poll boycott call.
Ranjan Yadav alias Dinkar-ji, a member of the Bihar-Jharkhand-Chhattisgarh special area committee of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), was expelled for contesting from Chatra constituency in neighbouring Jharkhand, a statement issued by the outfit said Sunday.

Yadav is contesting as an independent from Chatra, which is one of the worst hit by Maoist insurgency.

The CPI-Maoist has declared Yadav as an anti-revolutionary, who has nothing to do with the outfit.

The Maoist rebels had last month called for a boycott of the Lok Sabha elections scheduled in April-May.

The rebels have also directed their cadres to mobilise public support to boycott the polls.

A CPI-Maoist spokesman, identified only as Gopal, said in the statement that the government would deploy central paramilitary forces in large numbers to suppress the boycott call, “but we will give it a befitting reply this time”.

Bihar has sought four Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters from the central government for aerial surveillance, particularly in areas hit by Maoist insurgency, during the Lok Sabha elections.

Cops sore over red den rallies

- Candidates ignore alerts, keep law-enforcers on tenterhooks

There was lack of activity at the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha office at Sarkar Building in Sakchi on Sunday. Campaigning is likely to pick up steam from Monday. Telegraph picture
Ranchi, April 5: State police have advised poll candidates not to venture out into far-flung Maoist-hit rural areas for campaigning without keeping them informed.

Apparently upset at a few instances of high-profile politicians and candidates venturing into Maoist dens in the rural hinterlands, the police are framing a strict advisory for poll nominees and have also decided to voice their concern with the Election Commission.

“This is very disturbing for us. There have been at least four to five instances when high-profile politicians who face a security risk ventured inside these areas without informing the local police,” said state police spokesperson Satya Narayan Pradhan, but refused to divulge who the leaders were.

“We have had to rush police teams at least four times after coming to know about the presence of these politicians in those areas,” he said, adding that all district superintendents of police had been asked to apprise candidates accordingly.

Maoist dens are understood to be primarily concentrated in Palamau, Chatra in the western part of Jharkhand, Giridih and parts of Koderma in the north and some areas of Singhbhum in the south.

Among those contesting from Palamau — some of whom may have begun campaigning — were JD(U)’s Radha Krishna Kishore, former BJP MP Brajmohan Ram (contesting as an Independent this time), MP Ghuram Ram and Kameshwar Baitha.

The Chatra nominees were former Speaker Inder Singh Namdhari (contesting as an Independent), RJD’s Nagmani, CPI(ML)’s Keshwar Yadav and Dhirendra Agarwal among others.

Camping in Naxalite-affected Chainpur block of the Palamau constituency, JD(U)’s Kishore disagreed it was dangerous for them to campaign in rural areas. “We do not see a problem in going to rural areas at least in the day time. We take precautions but we can’t afford to ignore far-flung rural areas while campaigning,” he told The Telegraph.

Over the years, several state politicians have been victims of ultra-Left terror. JMM’s former Jamshedpur MP Sunil Mahto, CPI(ML)’s former Bagoder MLA Mahendra Singh, and former Tamar MLA Ramesh Singh Munda, the son of former chief minister Babulal Marandi, were among those who had fallen to Maoist violence.

The killings happened both in far-flung rural areas as well as the suburbs — Munda was killed in Bundu even though he had armed bodyguards.

Pradhan said if the police had prior information about a politician’s plans, they could carry out a sanitisation drive to flush out criminals and Naxalite elements from the area.

In the run-up to the general elections — scheduled to take place in Jharkhand in two phases on April 16 and April 23 — Maoists gave enough hints that they might disturb the polling processes even though they haven’t issued a poll boycott call.

In fact, two former hardcore rebels were contesting elections this time. While Kameshwar Baitha was contesting on a JMM ticket from Palamau — he has over 55 criminal cases against him — CPI(ML) had fielded Keshwar Yadav, alias Ranjan Yadav, alias Dinkar, from Chatra — he faces over a dozen cases.

So far, Maoists have been making their presence felt fairly regularly.

In March, over 50 armed rebels blew up a village community centre in Bokaro district, barely 15km from where BJP MP Hema Malini addressed a public meeting the next day.

Moreover, a portion of a school building, a designated polling station, at Banalat village in Bishunpur in Gumla was blown up by powerful explosives.

Media’s close encounter with top rebel

Jamui (Bihar), April 5: On April 2, Masterji, the CPI(Maoist)’s eastern Bihar and Jharkhand division committee commandant, spoke to a group of reporters, on their way to Jamui headquarters from Jasidih (Deoghar).

When the seemingly frail man clad in a dhoti and khaki half-shirt offered to guide the media men through the forest and Naxalite politics, most were sceptical.

But, the man promised that “all of you will enjoy my company, as I can give you information about Naxalites,” while stopping the group’s car near Chakai.

What followed was a riveting conversation regarding poll and police from the perspective of the Maoist top man. “We are not going to target any polling personnel this time, because they come from the middle-class. But, we will not allow police and higher officials in the area and will target possible poll centres such as schools,” he calmly told the reporters.

Masterji also informed that armed squad members have been assigned to conduct surveys of possible makeshift police camps in schools or other government buildings. Police, too, have noticed increased Maoist activity in the area.

On April 1, police spotted armed dastas (groups) of Maoists near Datuna-Kaluamaran area in Chandramandi falling under Simultala police station jurisdiction. “In Noubakadehi village Maoists quizzed villagers about the places where paramilitary forces were being put up. The area is quite near to Giridih Jharkhand,” said Sakadev Yadav, the officer in charge of Chandramandi station.

According to the officer in charge of Simultala PS, Rajeshwar Ram, the terrain makes it almost possible to track the dastas down. However, police did conduct raids late in the evening on April 1. Near Batiya they were nearly succesful, too.

“The police are searching for me, but I will join my group in the Batiya valley forests,” Masterji had told the reporters.

On March 29, a government school at Chormara village near Bhimbandh wildlife sanctuary, falling under the Barhet block, was blown up by the Maoists.

Jamui superintendent of police Binoy Kumar said the school was under police radar along with police stations and camp. However, it seems that police attention was not strict enough.

Last year, Maoists blew up a forest bungalow located near Chormara village. The bungalow was used as temporary camps for the paramilitary from time to time. In recent past the rebels also damaged a government resthouse at Mohonpur under Lakshmipur PS, a government high school at Banhara hamlet on the border of Munger and a resthouse of the irrigation department at Garhi under Khaira PS. All the buildings were used as makeshift camps for the paramilitary at some time.

“Schools are captured by the paramilitary who create nuisance for villagers in the adjoining area. What is the need for such buildings?” asked Masterji, who vanished into the dense forests right after reaching Batiya valley.

Treat jailed candidates as ordinary prisoners: EC

5 Apr 2009, 2223 hrs IST, TNN

VARANASI: Election Commissioner Navin Chawla said the candidates contesting the Parliamentary elections from jails should be treated like ordinary
prisoners as mentioned in jail manual.

Chawla was here on Sunday to review the preparations for the election in 13 districts going for polling in the first phase on April 16. He said jail superintendents were responsible for the implementation of jail manuals and to take decisions in the matters of prisoners. He said video tracking of musclemen, prominent leaders and star campaigners had already been started.

He said the EC was in the favour of zero tolerance in the cases of violation of the model code of conduct. He denied that the EC had any report regarding postings of tainted policemen and administrative officials in Varanasi. He was satisfied with the preparations of elections in all the 13 districts. He said sufficient forces were being provided to all the districts while chopper would also be given to Sonebhadra for aerial monitoring of difficult terrain of this Naxal-affected area. He said borders of all those districts would remain sealed.

Chawla made it clear that those voters, who could not have succeeded in getting their election photo identity cards, would be allowed to vote with the help of identity proof used in past elections. He cautioned the dummy candidates to quit the electoral field, otherwise their expenditure would be added to the account of main candidates.
He said exercises like communication plan, vulnerability mapping had been completed. He said despite strict instructions, political activities, especially door-to-door canvassing by candidates, used to increase two days before electioneering. He said the district magistrates and police chiefs had been asked to increase patrolling