Friday, May 08, 2009

Maoists kill liquor trader

Express News ServiceFirst Published : 08 May 2009 03:28:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 08 May 2009 10:24:25 AM IST

PHULBANI: After a lull Maoists struck again in trouble-torn Phulbani district late on yesterday night killing a liquor trader of village Gasapanga under Bamunigaon police limits.

Sources said, around midnight 12 armed uniformed Maoists forcibly took away petty country liquor trader Kaluka Beheramajhi (50) and his two sons Pupura Beheramajhi and Gora Beheramajhi to the nearby jungle. In the morning, the body of Kaluka was found lying on a road with deep cut marks on his neck. Pupura managed to escape from the clutches of the Maoists but Gora is yet to be traced. The incident has created panic in the village. The Maoists warned that other villagers would meet the same fate if they sell illicit liquor in the locality. Earlier in January, Maoists had threatened the deceased to desist from the business and cut his ear as a warning. When a police party was going to the village, a landmine went off near a small bridge, but there was no casualty. Security has been beefed up and combing operations have started.

In another incident, a Maoist poster was found in a godown in Gutingia panchayat under Sarangada police limits where the Maoists had warned of capital punishment to seven activists of Hindu Jagaran Sammukhya of Gutingia village for allegedly doing politics in the name of religion,

11 killed as Maoists explode landmine in Chhattisgarh

2009-05-06 20:40:00
Last Updated: 2009-05-06 20:57:44

Raipur: As many as 11 people were killed and two injured on Wednesday in a powerful landmine blast triggered by Maoists in Chhattisgarh's restive southern Bastar region, police said.

The explosion took place in Dantewada district's forested Injeram area, about 500 km south of capital Raipur. The victims include five special police officers (SPO), two Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers and four tribal civilians.

'The policemen were travelling in a tractor trolley when the insurgents blew it up with a landmine at village Sirguda. As many as 10 people were killed on the spot while an SPO succumbed to injuries later,' Pawan Deo, deputy inspector general (Maoist operation), said.

Also read: 'My party won't tolerate any kind of interference'

Deo said that two SPOs who sustained multiple injuries in the attack were rushed to Dantewada.

Officials in Dantewada district say that a tractor trolley was coming back after supplying ration to a relief camp when the CRPF troopers and the SPOs boarded it though there are clear instructions to policemen in this forested area to move on foot to avoid ambush by rebels.

Chief Minister Raman Singh has condemned the killing and said in a statement that state government will boldly face the violent activities of Maoists with the help of security forces and will ensure that common people lead a safe and peaceful life in the Maoist-hit areas.

The killing came a day after the Maoists shot dead a senior leader of state's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state.

About 1,500 people have been killed in Maoist violence in the state since it came into existence in November 2000.

Most of the violence has been in interiors of Bastar region, spread out in about 40,000 sq km area, where outlawed Leftist insurgents outfit, Communist of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), runs a parallel government since late 1980s.

Orissa Govt to take special operation against Maoists to flush out from Malkangiri

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 Report by Orissadiary correspondent;

Bhubaneswar: Orissa government spruced up to launch a final assault to root out the growing left wing extremism in the region. On Wednesday state Home Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi informed that a ‘special operation’ would be launched to flush out the ultras from the region.
He also informed that steps were being taken to flush out Maoists from Malkangiri. "We will take the help of Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh for this purpose," he said, indicating that the State Government would make serious efforts to flush out the ultras from Malknagiri.
Padhi further said the police has been successful in its bid to extract secret information from the arrested Maoist leaders about their movements and plans. It may be noted here that the police have already arrested prominent Maoists leaders Udaya and Azad. These two were responsible for carrying out a number of attacks in Orissa.
The state government is also contemplating to strengthen security at various jails, police outposts and armouries in the region. “Fortification process is almost over and we are also contemplating to strengthen security for the various developmental activities like construction of roads and bridges in the area,” Padhi told.
Taking a note of the major Maoist attacks, including the Nayagarh and two other attacks in Malkangiri that saw the death of many cops, the home department is on the process of formulating a plan to minimise casualty rate of the law enforcing personnel.

Police wireless set gets stolen in Maoist belt

8 May 2009, 0518 hrs IST, TNN

MIDNAPORE: The West Midnapore district police has stopped wireless communication with four police stations in the heart of Maoist country. The
reason: a wireless set got stolen a few days ago, and police apprehend that it can be used to tap into their communication.

"We have stopped wireless communication with four police stations Lalgarh, Binpur, Belpahari and Jamboni since Tuesday because a wireless set of Binpur got stolen a few days ago. We are concerned because these wireless talkie sets are very powerful, and anybody can use these to tap into all police messages. We do not have the technology to lock only the wireless set from Binpur, which is why the district police has stopped all communication with all fours police stations," said a district police source.

In the absence of wireless communication, mobile phones have come as the only means of communication. "Our seniors are now keeping in touch with us through mobile phones. That is a problem, as some of the jungle areas of Belpahari do not have proper network coverage. Also, we are being compelled to keep our mobiles switched on 24X7," rued an officer of Belpahari PS.

Manoj Verma, the West Midnapore SP, confirmed that they were not communicating via wireless. "It is true that a wireless set was snatched on Saturday night from Binpur police officers and that we have stopped wireless communication for the last three days," he said.

Verma said that the wireless set was stolen by Maoists and maoist-backed PCPA members when they had held hostage four police officers at Shirshi for five hours and snatched their rifles. It was later that Binpur OC Kushal Mitra rescued his colleagues.

Govt to review security arrangements in Nalco

8 May 2009, 2039 hrs IST, Rakhi Mazumdar , ET Bureau

KOLKATA: The Union ministry of mines has convened a top level meeting in Delhi on Friday to review security arrangements in National Aluminium Co
Ltd (Nalco) following last month’s Maoist attack on its prized bauxite mines at Damanjodi. The audacious attack that had led to loss of 10 lives has disrupted Nalco’s operations for nearly a month.

"We had a meeting between top officials of the mines ministry along with secretary, mines and our officials. We discussed various suggestions made by the CISF which is responsible for security of our installations and the progress of different measures that were taken after the Maoist attack at Damanjodi," C R Pradhan, chairman and managing director of Nalco told ET from New Delhi.

"In today’s meeting, we have agreed on the need to have regular meetings and interactions with the CISF based on various intelligence reports they prepare for us. This would help us review the situation on a regular basis, every 15 days or so," he added. A copy of the minutes of the meeting would also be sent to the union mines ministry.

On its part, Nalco has entrusted B L Bagra, director (finance) with the responsibility of supervising CISF activity across the company’s installations. He is supposed to carry on his responsbility till further notice. Incidentally, it is also the first time that a director level person has been given the job of spreaheading and monitoring security across the company’s units.

The ghastly Maoist attack on its bauxite mines in Orissa has induced Nalco to start thinking about setting up a full-fledged department to monitor security arrangements on its own. The department will involve a strength of 20-25 personnel who will be responsible for monitoring the CISF activity across the company’s mines and installations. "We would require approval from our ministry and also from the company’s board before we can take it forward," Mr Pradhan said.

This marks a significant departure in Nalco’s security plan. The company has so far relied on a sole security consultant based at its corporate headquarters at Bhubaneswar to monitor and supervise CISF activities for which Nalco spends nearly Rs 24 crore every year.

Woman Maoist arrested

7 May 2009, 2316 hrs IST, TNN

HAZARIBAG: Shanti Devi (35), an active Maoist Mahila Morcha member, was arrested by a team from Hazaribag Mufassil police station following a
tip-off received by Hazaribag SP.

Producing the arrested activist at a press conference here on Thursday, Hazaribag SP Pankaj Kamboj said Shanti joined the Maoist organization around four years ago on coming into contact with Churchu-Jhumra Pahar area (of Hazaribag and Bokaro districts) Maoist commander Dharmendra following the death of her husband, Sahdeo Tiwari. The SP added that Shanti was used for spying on police movement and to pass items required by Maoists.

Shanti told newsmen how she and other women Maoist members were sexually harassed by their male colleagues at regular intervals and on refusal, they were tortured. Dharmendra even raped her several times. She also confessed how were forced to take up arms and provided training for killing police personnel. The SP said though no arms were recovered from her possession, the police recovered some incriminating documents, including an LIC receipt issued against Rs 36,000 she deposited in cash in April. Shanti kept mum when the SP asked how she got such a huge amount of money for investing in LIC.

Kamboj later said that investigations would continue about how money was deposited in LIC.

Maoist papers in Writers’ Buildings

Calcutta, May 8: CPI (Maoist) leaflets demanding the immediate release of a dozen of its jailed leaders were found inside Writers’ Buildings today.

About 30 of them had been folded together and placed on a locker in the press corner on the first-floor, which also houses the chief minister’s office. A peon saw them.

Police could not say how the bundle reached there. Gaur Chakrabarty, a spokesperson for the Maoists whose signature followed the demand on the leaflets, said: “They had been distributed during a procession taken out by the Bandimukti Committee (a pro-rebel outfit). Someone, who could be our sympathiser, must have collected the leaflets and kept them in Writers’.

Among the jailed leaders named are Maoist politburo member Sushil Roy, who has been charged with triggering blasts in West Midnapore, and Somen, a former Bengal chief of the rebels accused of waging war against the state.

Maoist posters urging lower-level police personnel to defy their superiors had appeared on Writers’ walls last year.

Naxalism a national threat: governor

Naxalism a national threat: governor
Dhanbad, May 8: Governor Syed Sibtey Razi today termed Naxalism as a national problem and said that 17 states in the country were grappling with the menace.

“The problem is not confined to Jharkhand,” said the governor, blaming a number of reasons, including adverse geographical conditions, for the rise of Maoists.

Razi, who was in the district to review development works undertaken by different departments at the divisional level, was responding to a query on the deteriorating law and order situation in the state. His attention was drawn to the spate of Naxalite attacks during election.

On the imposition of VAT on food grains and the consequent rise in prices, he said it was the decision of the Centre. He added that steps were being taken to keep prices of essential items under control by launching a crackdown on hoarders of food grains.

Earlier in the day, Razi reviewed works carried out by several departments such as water supply, energy, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, food supply and road construction. “More than 6,890 hand pumps in the division are lying defunct. They should be repaired before June 10,” said Razi.

He added that steps were being taken to provide the benefits of NREGA schemes to registered families to check their migration to other states. Social audits and independent surveys will be promoted to maintain transparency.

Expressing concern over power crisis, Razi said Chatra district was the worst affected. He added that instruction had been given to the deputy commissioner to make land available for the establishment of a grid station. Two power stations will also be set up at Tundi and Topchanchi blocks in Dhanbad before June while renovation of 24 bridges and 700km of road would be completed before June 24, he added.

Razi held poor revenue realisation responsible for the abysmal state of infrastructure in the two districts.

IPS crunch in Maoist hotbed

Cuttack, May 8: The Indian Police Service (IPS) is 109 officers short of its sanctioned strength in Orissa.

Approximately 57 per cent of these vacancies — 62 officers — are in the direct recruitment quota.

The Orissa government had urged the Centre to allot eight officers every year to fill up the vacancies, but the ministry of home affairs (MHA) on May 4 had allotted four IPS officers from the 2009 batch.

“MHA’s allotment in 2009 is contrary to what Union home minister P. Chidambaram had assured while reviewing the Naxalite menace in Orissa,” said a top officer at the state police headquarters here on condition of anonymity.

Filling up the sanctioned posts has become imperative to combat the Maoist extremism in Orissa.

Though top officers offer no details, it now looks as though 12 direct recruit IPS officers of the Orissa cadre are away on central postings. Chief minister Neveen Patnaik has put an embargo on further deputation.

Figures updated on May 1, 2009, show that there are 98 IPS officers in Orissa against the sanctioned strength of 207. There are 97 officers in the direct IPS cadre against 159 sanctioned posts.

Bidya Bhusan Mohanti, the senior most IPS officer of 1972 batch, is under suspension for over a year now after his son jumped parole after being charged with rape of a German woman.

The case with N.K. Kanodia, IPS officer of the 2003 batch, is similar.

He has been under suspension for eight months now in connection with the murder of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati.

As for the 48 sanctioned posts for promoted IPS officers, 47 are vacant. B.P. Mohapatra, the lone promoted IPS officer in the state, is scheduled to retire by next month.

“Discontinuance of the direct recruitment of Deputy superintendent of police through Orissa Police Service Examination since 1976 had resulted in the reduction in the number of promotional quota of IPS officers over the years,” said the senior IPS officer.

Top Maoist leader in police net

Siba MohantyFirst Published : 08 May 2009 03:06:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 08 May 2009 08:42:41 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: Bhaskar, the man who led a series of Naxalite attacks in Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) during March and April, has been caught in Keonjhar. Originally Pravakar Patra, Bhaskar is a member of Kalinga Nagar Area Committee (KNAC) of CPI (Maoist) and responsible for the growing Maoist activities in Jajpur, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal and some parts of Mayurbhanj districts.c

With Ashutosh and commander of Bansadhara Dalam Uday in the net, the arrest of Bhaskar has come as a major boost to the police in the anti-Naxalite operation.

Reliable sources said, Bhaskar orchestrated the series of attacks in STR. The radicals had blown up a number of forest offices and communication facilities in the tigerland, robbed tourists and even targeted elephants engaged in anti-poaching operations.

Such was the terror spread by the Naxalites over a period of three weeks in the national park that it was closed for tourists and central paramilitary forces along with Special Operation Group units had to be deployed.

‘‘Bhaskar had mobilised armed platoons from Kalinga Nagar to carry out the series of attacks. That he was active in Harichandanpur, Daitari, Ghasipura areas of Keonjhar and bordering Mayurbhanj, it helped him in his activities,’’ sources said. He was also wanted in the recent murder at Keshaduarapal in border areas of Keonjhar and Jajpur. In fact, the successful operation against Ashutosh (in Sundargarh) and Uday (in Rayagada) contributed to a fairly peaceful election in the Naxal-infested southern and northern districts. While neighbouring Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar experienced a spurt in Naxal violence during elections resulting in deaths of security and poll personnel, Orissa managed it without any loss of life.

Trapped In Naxal domain

8 May 2009, 2009 hrs IST, Rajiv Mani, TNN

ALLAHABAD: Imagine a situation wherein around a dozen students, including three girls, are camping in a primary school located at a hill top with
thick forests around and no provision of electricity or portable water. To make things more frightful vigilant eyes of naxals watching their every move.

No, we are not talking of a scene from a Hollywood thriller, but the first hand experience of postgraduate students of the department of anthropology, Allahabad University, who had gone on a 15-day field trip to Simdega district of Jharkhand — a naxal stronghold — where all terms of personal chores and public governance are dictated by the whims and fancies of Maoist guerrillas sitting snug in the thick forest cover around Ramrekha Dham of Simdega.

"We were sure that we were watched by naxals as every now and than young men, with faces covered, visited the site on jeeps and motorcycles. We made sure that none of us would utter the word Maoist, as it could land us in trouble instead we called them `tare' (read stars)," said Pankaj Upadhayay, one of the PG students who accompanied the group of 12 persons including three girls and six boys apart from head of the department VS Sahay and two guest faculty members. "Once naxals started haunting our days and nights all the natural beauty spread around us became sour to the eyes," he said.

It is worth mentioning here that the students of MA final of anthropology, AU, undertake an excursion of fortnight for which they had chosen Ramrekha Dham of Simdega this time. Of the 18 students, nine went on the tour, which started on April 20. Prior to landing up at the site, the head had contacted the district collectorate and Simdega SP as the area is known to be dominated by naxals.

But it so happened that after landing at the Dham, the team was confronted with the inhospitable conditions wherein there was no electricity and water was filthy. Immediately after arriving (on April 21 ), the team was confronted with Jharkhand bandh which went on for the next four days. Since, the team had to stay at a school, which itself was not cleaned for years together and was located on a hill top with minimal amenities and the market on the foothills, the team was virtually trapped. Mobile being the only connection with the civilised world, which was charged through the solar panel installed at rooftop of the Dham, news of naxals blowing stations or police van made things worse for the students. On April 23 the Mahant, Haridwar Das, told, "Commander baba had come in the afternoon and inquired for you people but nothing to worry, yet no one can predict the nature of these men."

It was only on April 25, that the 'bandh' was called off and the team left the inhospitable place and continued their study at Banstoli village where they stayed for rest of the time before returning to AU on May 6.

"I had personally spoken to the district collector and SP of Simdega who had assured us that there would be no problem with naxals. Had it not been the bandh, we would have shifted the same day of our arrival," said the HoD.

NAGPUR: 'Maoist 'secret cell' operating in city'

9 May 2009, 0316 hrs IST, Soumittra S Bose, TNN

NAGPUR: State Anti-Naxal Operation cell (ANO) is concerned that secret cells of Maoists may be working in city to recruit and mobilise cadres. State
ANO chief Pankaj Gupta said that there should be proper clamp down on the Naxal urban cadres to counter their strategies to drum up support for their ideological struggle.

Naxal literature, seized during an operation, exposed the rebels' strategy of keeping urban centres active to ensure recruitment and leadership which they feel is 'essential for people's war and establishment of liberated areas'. It says that urban movement complements rural struggle. The literature clearly indicated that the Naxals depended on the urban revolutionary movement for provision, supplies, tech-support, information and other needs to sustain their so-called war. It also lays equal importance on the movements revolving women, dalit, and religious minorities for mobilising them for revolutionary struggle. The strategy also calls for building a united front in the cities.

Apart from Mumbai, the economic capital, Naxal cadres are learnt to be focusing on their activities through the front organisations in Vidarbha too. Sources claimed that cadres have different identities for various places where they operate to confound the security agencies. The Orange city, which is strategically positioned, always remained a preferred venue for the cadres for meeting.

Gupta said, top cadres operate from 'safe-houses'. Medical facilities available in Nagpur also attracted Naxal cadres from everywhere. City police, after being alerted by intelligence agencies, have started keeping a watch on the medical institutions. The urban cadres, eyeing the youths, try to penetrate the educational institutions. The youths are roped into the movement of the front organisation under the garb of socio-cultural movement. Gupta pointed out that the cadres many times enrol into colleges as students and carry out their activities.
"The physically fit youths are tactfully shifted to hinterlands for armed struggle, the mentally tougher lots are retained in the cities to carry out agitations and propaganda in the masses," he said. Gupta cited the case of Manoj Sonule in Chandrapur as an example. Sonule and his aides were part of the Chandrapur-based 'Deshbhakti Yuva Manch' which indoctrinated the youths. He was also paid to smuggle arms and ammunitions. He was inspired to join the movement by Arun Thomas Ferreira and present secretary of Maharashtra state committee Milind Teltumbde.

Jharkhand police granted transit remand of suspected naxal

Published: May 8,2009

New Delhi, May 8 A Delhi court today granted transit remand of a suspected Naxal, who was allegedly involved in 17 criminal cases in Jharkhand, to the state police to produce him before a Chatra district judge.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaveri Baweja directed the Jharkhand police to produce Yogendra Singh Bhokta alias Soren (26) before the court in Chatra district on or before May 12.

Jharkhand police filed an application before the court to take custody of Yogendra, claiming he was wanted in 17 cases including that of murder.

They also submitted that a Chatra district court had issued an arrest warrant against Yogendra.

The Delhi police had arrested Singh, a self-styled zonal commander of banned CPI (Maoist), and two others Satish Kumar (20) and Sheetal (19) on May three.

Yogendra was recuperating in the capital after receiving bullet injuries in a gun-battle with the police in Jharkhand.

All the three accused were produced before the court here following the end of their five-day custodial interrogation.

The Delhi police also registered a case against the three accusing them of being members of a terrorist organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Meanwhile, the court remanded Satish and Sheetal to judicial custody till May 12.

Source: PTI

CRPF jawans open fire after Naxal scare

Express News ServiceFirst Published : 08 May 2009 03:34:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 08 May 2009 10:26:52 AM ISTJEYPORE: CRPF personnel opened fire at a site near Tangniguda under Boipariguda police limits today after a powerful blast.

According to sources, the security personnel were on the way to their headquarters after completing election duty in Malkangiri when the blast occurred near the vehicle carrying them.

Anticipating Naxal attack, the CRPF men sprayed bullets on the blast site. Seeing no firing in retaliation, the CRPF jawans started combing the area immediately. They found three tribal men carrying explosives meant for blasting stones and rounded them off.

Later the CRPF men took the trio to Jeypore police station and lodged a case alleging that the armament carried in the truck was damaged due to the explosion. Jeypore police said a case has been registered and further investigation is on. Senior police officials from Koraput rushed to the spot.

Ten killed in landmine blast in Chhattisgarh

6 May 2009, 1611 hrs IST, PTI

RAIPUR: Ten people, including two CRPF personnel and four special police officers, were killed in a landmine blast triggered by naxalites in
Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district, police said.

The incident occurred at Sirguda village in Bastar region under Injram police station area, when naxals blew up a tractor carrying the special police officers (SPOs) and jawans, Bastar IG A N Upadhyaya said.

Those killed included four civilians. Three other SPOs were injured in the naxal attack, he said.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Nalco alumina production hit

Satyasundar Barik

If the mining operations are below capacity, it would affect refinery output

DAMANJODI (ORISSA): National Aluminium Company (Nalco) on Monday expressed fears that its alumina production might come down by 35 per cent following a drop in bauxite supply from its Panchpatmali mines in the aftermath of the Maoist attack.

Addressing visiting reporters at the mining site, Nalco General Manager (Mines) A. Chakraborty said production had gone down by 35.71 per cent to 9,000 tonnes from 14,000 tonnes a day in the last 13 days. The mining operations came to a grinding halt for nine days after Maoists staged attack on the Panchpatmali mines on April 12. The General Manager said that if the mining operations continued below the capacity level, it would surely affect refinery production.

Nalco refinery produces about 4,500 tonnes of alumina a day by using about 14,000 tonnes of bauxite from the Panchpatmali site.

Nalco Chairman and Managing Director C. R. Pradhan reviewed the situation by holding meetings with workers and officials here. The CMD had given his consent to make adjustments in the working hours to maintain the production level at the site, Mr. Chakraborty said.

As per the immediate plan, three shifts of operation had been converted into two shifts.

Maoists inch towards their goal

If Nandigram and Singur have leapt into fame or notoriety as a symbol of the Bengal Marxists’ war against poor farmers in the name of development, the Lok Sabha polls have thrown up another part of the state ~ the Purlia-Bankura-Midnapore belt ~ as a testimony to the raw deal the Marxists have given to the rural poor all these years.
If Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamul Congress-led Opposition is responsible for turning the first two places into what they now stand for, it is, by a queer coincidence, Rahul Gandhi and the Maoists who have brought Purulia and its adjoining areas into sharp focus.

Rahul Gandhi ranked Purulia as worse than Kalahandi (the ultimate metaphor for starvation and squalor) in terms of poverty index and the Marxists didn’t waste a minute to pillory him and laugh him out of court. CPI-M state secretary Biman Bose took pains to collect information about Mr Gandhi’s stay in Purulia, minute by minute, to demonstrate the impossibility of passing such a scandalously negative judgment on Purulia after having been there for a brief while.
Mr Gandhi’s blow was so stunning and unexpected that the CPI-M was initially found to be without words. It took 48 hours for its state secretary to collect data about his movement in Purulia before he could launch into one more inane propaganda exercise to remind the people what the Congress couldn’t do for Purulia during its tenure till 1977 and what the Marxists did for the uplift of Purulia’s poor during its 32-year rule.
Mr Bose recounted that Mr Gandhi had alighted at a helipad, I km from the venue of his election meeting, and spoke for 12 minutes. Hence, he argued, it’s not possible for him to understand the problems of Purulia which has 20 blocks and 170 gram panchayats. Mr Gandhi, he concluded, spoke on the basis of wrong briefing. In fact, he said with a tone of finality, Purulia is far better than his Lok Sabha constituency, Amethi.

Such political rhetoric during election time is only natural. But the Marxists have long adopted an ostrich-like policy so as not to see the colossal neglect of the rural poor and the endemic corruption among its party functionaries at different levels who have become party card holders only for cornering the privileges of power.

The non-partisan people of the state don’t need a Rahul or a Sonia Gandhi to enlighten them about the deprivations and abject poverty that the Marxists have left the rural population in, particularly in the Purulia-Bankura-Midnapore belt and the tea garden areas of the Terai-Dooars region. Starvation deaths in Amlasol and the tea gardens are only recent examples.

What the Gandhis and later Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated about the Left during electioneering in the state has added a new dimension to the expose of Marxists’ misrule.

If one accepts the Marxists’ charge that Amlasol is a gross exaggeration and a canard against them, why is it then that the Maoists are thriving in the Purulia-Bankura-Midnapore belt?

The Maoists’ penetration and consolidation in these areas have assumed such proportions that they first triggered a landmine blast on the convoy route of the chief minister and two Central ministers and then followed it up with a largely successful poll boycott call in 18 police station areas and one more landmine blast killing three polling personnel at a time when security presence in the zone was the maximum that the administration could provide!

The heartrending spectacle of the elder brother of one of the victims wailing and holding the state chief electoral officer and home secretary responsible for the deaths, as the latter had assured the polling personnel of adequate protection, should shock the conscience of the Marxists ruling the state. The distraught, inconsolable brother asked who would look after the two children of the victim and why there were no police or security personnel near the mutilated body hours after the blast.

Surely, the CPI-M would once again launch one more propaganda onslaught against the Maoists’ cult of violence as they have all along been doing without addressing the root of the trouble ~ poverty.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee can only pound his fist on the podium during electioneering and call the Maoists “cowards and devils who kill people in the darkness of night and then escape in the jungles of Jharkhand.”

The plain truth is the Maoists are ominously inching towards their goal of carving out a corridor from Nepal to Andhra Pradesh via Purulia-Bankura-Midnapore. Nandigram, Singur and the poverty in Purulia and adjoining districts have only propelled them to enlist the support of the poor whom Rahul Gandhi equates with the skin-and-bone destitutes of Kalahandi.

Neither the chief minister nor his party colleagues can get away by merely alleging a nexus between the Maoists and Trinamul or wishing away the growing influence of the Maoists in those areas. For, without the support of the people the Maoists wouldn’t have been able to detonate landmines on the chief minister’s convoy route and later on polling personnel.

If the Maoists exploit the abject poverty and the administrative excess on the poor to get entrenched, the fault lies with the Left rulers far more than with anyone else.

All these years, the chief minister and other CPI-M leaders were pretending that the Maoists operating in the state had no popular support and were merely armed brigands from Andhra Pradesh targeting only CPI-M cadres at the behest of right reactionaries. They believed their task ended by mouthing such rhetorical froth.
The rot that has set in the CPI-M and a heavily politicised administration it controls to further its agenda of loot is far too deep and the situation is doomed to drift away.

(The writer is Special Representative, The Statesman, Kolkata)

Lord of the jungles

4 May 2009, 1338 hrs IST, ET Bureau

Strap: To an inadequately-equipped police force, they are the scourge of the the southern districts. But to hopelessly poor adivasis who have lived
in the area for centuries and have forever been deprived, the Maoists’ anti-establishment acts are a way of redressal of their own grievances against the administration.

"The guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea.": Mao Zedong

He moves through the dense jungles of Malkangiri and Koraput districts bordering Andhra Pradesh like a panther -- lean, mean and savage. The Kalashnikov-47 assault rifle slung around his shoulder, a magazine dangling carelessly at the waist and a bag of provisions on the back of his military fatigues, he moves with his followers from one scene of crime to another. He is the Sarkar, the Boss. He is also the Anna, which in Telegu means brother.

Anna is a master at guerilla warfare and he is chief of Maoist operations across the inhospitable jungles of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. His methods are characterised by lightning fast precision attacks with matching firepower on individual groups of police or para military forces, or on government or business installations that leave the administrative counter-offensive pretty flat footed.

Every operation of the Sarkar embarasses the Naveen Pattnaik government, although hundreds and thousands of Orissa’s impoverished tribals just love the action. In the wake of the formation of the CPI-Maoist in 2004, two zonal committees of the outfit have been responsible for activities inOrissa: the Andhra Orissa Bihar Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) and the Jharkhand-Bihar-Orissa Special Zonal Committee (JBOBSZC).

These two, function in close co-ordination with the CPI-Maoist Central Committee and the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee. The AOBSZC, which covers the Maoist districts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Gajapati, Nabarangpur, Rayagada and Ganjam, has a bureaucratic organisational structure, and is divided into two bureaus. The South Bureau includes the Malkangiri Division and the North Bureau comprises the Banshadhara Division.

They have created the Orissa-West Bengal-Jharakhand Special Zone. Police sources said the Maoists have of late established Gumusur division covering Bhanjanagar, Soroda, Kotagarh, Daringibadi and G Udayagiri with an ambitious plan to create a long-term guerrilla zone. This zone is headed by Sabyasachi Panda, who is said to have masterminded the Nayagarh attacks and killing of Swami Laxmanananda last year, making international headlines.

Maoists typically function through their dalams (armed squads). In Malkangiri district, there are several dalams, including the Kalimela dalam, the Poplur dalam, the Motu dalam, the Jhanjavati dalam and the Korkonda dalam. In Rayagada district, there is the Udaya dalam among others.

These dalams recruit locals and send them to various Maoist training centres in Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The insurgents even use high-power jammers and filters to block mobile and wireless services in the Maoist "zones". They also use satellite phones.

According to a top Orissa government official : "They came earlier in hundreds. Now, if need be, they can come in thousands. Anna has emerged the saviour of adivasis who are the original inhabitants of this region. The absence of tribal-centric development, lack of governance, the laidback attitude of bureaucrats and politicians have all been responsible for creating this very complex situation. We should be prepared for a long haul."

Undoubtedly, Orissa Police lacks requisite infrastructure and manpower to check Maoists in the southern districts. State Director General of Police, Manmohan Praharaj admits: "We are handicapped by manpower shortages and infrastructure needs much improvement. We have the sanction for 2000 constables for Special Operation Group (SOG) but we can’t fill up the vacancies." What is worse, is the fact that at least 57 IPS posts remain vacant in Orissa, which has a sanctioned strength of 159 such officers.

Orissa currently requires modernisation and upgradation of the remaining 400 police stations. Orissa Police currently has over 5,000 vacancies while 5,000 more await training. "Whereas there are 142 policemen per one lakh population on average across the country, Orissa has only 102 policemen per lakh of population," Mr Praharaj said.

This casual approach towards strengthening the state’s police force has severely hamstrung counter insurgency operations. Two years ago, the state government had submitted a proposal of Rs 550 crore to the Centre for overall development of districts affected by insurgency and government circles say that the state will prefer to continue with its strategy of giving priority to developmental issues rather than strengthening its police force. "We plan to ensure rural connectivity, health facilities and employment in tribal-dominated districts where Maoists lure people to their groups," a top government official said. Officials feel that if the corridor passing through the Maoist-affected states of Jharkhand, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh is constructed, it would usher in economic development in the region and reduce the intensity of ultra Left Wing extremism.

That is all very well, except that vis-a-vis the needs, nothing much of development ever seems to happen.

Maoists hold industry at gunpoint

4 May 2009, 1343 hrs IST, ET Bureau

To them, corporates are evil, period! Even the country’s largest aluminium maker and Orissa’s pride, Nalco is seen as an MNC that is out to exploit
the state’s mineral reserves for the benefit of the rich.

And to prove this, they managed to effortlessly seize Nalco’s famed Damanjodi bauxite mine on April 12 night for eight long hours. The ease with which the Maoists staged an operation of this magnitude — and at a time when security has been tightened for the general elections — has sent shockwaves across India Inc and driven home yet again that it is the writ of the Maoists, and not the government’s, that runs in this part of the country.

In a written statement in Telugu (a copy of which is with ET) issued on Thursday, the Andhra Orissa Boarder Special Zonal Committee, state military commission of CPI (Maoist) has said: "This is just the beginning and other plants coming up should take note of the raid on Nalco. We will continue such raids. We are opposed to the displacement of tribals by the government. We extend our cooperation to the people of Kashipur, Kalinga Nagar, Singur, the entire eastern Coastal Corridor covering bauxite mining and processing plants proposed in the Eastern Ghats.

"In the (Nalco) operation, we lost 4 members, 3 from Dantewada and one from AP. On the other side, they lost 11 constables while 9 others sustained serious injuries. We seized sophisticated weaponry and two tons of explosive material. While the war was continuing, some constables surrendered before us. On purely humanitarian grounds, we let them off. This proves our courageous fight with the armed constabulary," the statement added.

At the 9th Congress in January-February 2007, the Maoists had asked all "forest dwellers to resist till the end, the massive displacement taking place and to protect their land and forests from robbers and looters."

Small wonder then that after years of low intensity warfare, even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recognises them as the "single biggest internal security challenge." Emerging stronger in Orissa, Maoists have now started targeting top corporates, which together have submitted investment proposals of a whopping Rs 6 lakh crore. A few large ventures on the cards include Posco’s 12 million tonnes Paradip Steel Plant, ArcelorMittal’s 12 million tonne steel plant in Keonjhar, Tata Steel’s six million tonne steel project at Kalinga Nagar, as well as other mining and large enterprises.

Maoists maintain that government policies will lead to further marginalisation of tribals and forest dwellers in the Orissa and it is a well-known fact that industrialisation on this scale will inevitably lead to massive displacement of resident population in those areas.

Guru Mohanty, senior lawyer and Peoples’ Union of Civil Liberties secretary who had volunteered to hold talks with Maoists said : "When the central government speaks of Maoists obstructing development such as in tribal areas, it means that Maoists’ presence obstructs corporate exploitation of minerals, forests, water and land resources of adivasis. Corporations come with capital intensive, low job creating investments, which entail import of skilled labour from outside and token employment for locals as members of an unskilled low wage labour force."

Incidentally, Mohanty has been closely monitoring resistance movements in the state right from the days of Baliapal, the Balco agitation to recent ones against displacement in Kalinga Nagar, Kashipur and Jagatsinghpur.

"People are unwilling to give up their land to MNCs as they have seen their brothers and sisters turn to begging or pulling rickshaws in neighbouring states after handing over their land to industries that had come up earlier in the region," he said.

Maoists had infiltrated even in the area where the Posco investment is due to come up. Undeterred by what is touted as the largest FDI investment in the country, Maoists had successfully orchestrated a revolt by uniting locals. Police, however, claimed that the protesters have been driven out and their leaders arrested. Maoist frontal organisations are also currently opposing the Tata Steel project in the Kalinga Nagar area of Jajpur District.

Between the two extremes of justifying war and abhorring it, there lies in the ultimate analysis, a zone of social reality. As in Orissa, so in Jharkhand, Bihar and somewhat in West Bengal too, the Maoist menace has been largely seen by the administration as evil. Might has been used to combat might. The underlying picture, however, is the same everywhere. Maoists have taken root in precisely those areas that have been long neglected by the administration. Whether in West Bengal’s Purulia district or the tribal areas of Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa, near inhuman poverty has been allowed to thrive through the decades, while successive governments irrespective of party colour, have remained content doing lip service. The centuries’ old resident population in these areas therefore do not quite think of the Maoists as evil. The Maoist movement therefore grows with local help. Much therefore will hinge on future policies that can ensure the resident population in these areas a life that has dignity and freedom.

Naxalites blow up culvert ahead of repolling in Bihar

Press Trust of India / Aurangabad (bihar) May 5, 2009, 13:37 IST

Naxalites blew up a culvert connecting a polling booth in the district just before repolling for the Lok Sabha elections started there today, police said.

The naxalites, who have given a poll boycott call, blew up the culvert connecting booth number 207 at a middle school in Deora village under Aurangabad Lok Sabha seat and placed a land mine at the gate of the booth, police said. The landmine was later defused by the security personnel.

Fearing more such mines on premises, the authorities shifted the repolling venue under a tree outside the school building.

Repolling in 75 booths that went to the hustings in the first phase on April 16 are being held today. The booths comprise 21 in Jehanabad, 18 in Aurangabad, 16 in Nawada, 6 in Saran, 5 in Maharajganj, 4 in Karakat, 3 in Jamui and two in Buxar.

Election office sources said that repolling at other places was peaceful so far.

Throne Of Blood: Maoists' threat in Orissa

4 May 2009, 1341 hrs IST, ET Bureau

Strap: In 261 BC Emperor Ashoka invaded Kalinga, an event that was a watershed in world history. Thereafter, Orissa has been attacked innumerable
times by aspiring emperors, kings and ganglords, but has never lost its identity. In this concluding part of the ET series on Terror in the eastern states, Nageshwar Patnaik takes a look at Orissa’s latest factory-fresh tormentors, the Maoists, who threaten to challenge the sovereignty of the state...

Back in 1931, a young Mao Zedong stole into the heart of China’s remote Jinggang mountains to orchestrate Spanish guerrilla-like operations by his famed Red Guard. He would eventually go on to lead the Communist Party of China (CPC) to victory in a historic civil war and become the epicentre of power in China. Much later and during his last days in hospital in September 1976, Mao was as much aware perhaps of approaching Death as he was of the rising discord against his rule. In the post-Mao phase, China went through an epic catharsis that perhaps culminated in the Shanghai government issuing new history textbooks in 2006, that omit Mao almost altogether.

Nonetheless, Maoism and more specially his military writings continue to influence ultra Communists across the world, from Cambodia and Peru to Nepal and more recently, to the heartland of India, where insurgents take his name to spread terror throughout Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, where the southern and north-western districts are almost entirely in their grip.

For one, the total number of districts in the Maoist loop in Orissa has nearly doubled in less than three years. Back in June 2006, only 14 of Orissa’s 30 districts were stung by Maoist strikes. Today, as many as 22 districts are vulnerable to Maoist violence and the number is growing, according to latest intelligence feeds.

Six south-western districts — Malkangiri, Koraput, Raygada, Kandhamal, Nayagarh and Gajapati — accounted for a whopping 60% of all incidents in calender 2008. And if these reports are true, these mercenaries are silently penetrating into urban centres by wooing the college grad and the Genext to their cause.

The Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management also confirms that the total number of Maoist incidents in Orissa nearly doubled to 129 in calender 2008 from 67 in the earlier year. While the total number of fatalities suffered by securitymen shot up to 76 from a mere two in 2007.

Back in June 2006, the Naveen Patnaik government retaliated against the Maoist menace by banning the CPI (Maoist) and even declaring seven of its front organisations unlawful.

But a mere ban perhaps will no longer wash with the public or business houses operating in Orissa as the overwhelming nature of the threat literally burst to the fore after April 12’s unprecedented siege by a 200-strong Maoist gang at Nalco’s bauxite mines in Damanjodi, which houses Asia’s largest bauxite reserves.

At the root of the malady are the continuing socio-economic woes of the tribal flock who lie scattered among the state’s densely forested southern districts with hardly anything to eat. If anything, Maoists have managed to derive maximum mileage by playing the poverty card and capitalising on the deep sense of alienation that runs through the heart of tribal Orissa.

The Maoist threat to the economy is particularly huge since Orissa is a Fifth Schedule state with a high concentration of tribals inhabiting the hills and forest tracts, where most of the mines, dams, factories and other mega projects are also located.

State circles privately concede that alienation of tribal land perhaps is the single biggest reason behind the dismal economic lot of the state’s tribal community. Land lost is often the most productive kind, leaving the tribals with scarcely any option but to till low grade land that is vulnerable to the vagaries of weather. So much so that land transfers have wreaked havoc on an already fragile tribal economy and to compound matters, the massive inward migration of non-tribals has altered the land ownership matrix in Scheduled Areas, much to the disadvantage of the tribals.

State government circles seem flummoxed specially since Maoists have actually managed to create an exclusive jungle corridor between Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to facilitate rapid movement. Orissa’s principal secretary (home) AP Padhi confirms this. "Most Maoists active here are from outside the state, largely operating in the districts bordering Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. They invariably exploit the advantages of the inhospitable hilly terrain to launch their attacks. Lately, their mission is to stall all development activities in the state, be it construction of roads, buildings or tanks. Our Special Operations Group is doing its best to acquainted with the region and flush them out," he says.

But in the same breath, Mr Padhi concedes that "the governance failure coupled with the lack of development in the backward zones has stoked Maoist intrusion" in a large number of areas across Orissa."

For one, Maoist bands have managed to brazenly cash-in on the vacuum created by functional inadequacy of field level governance structures and take advantage of the deep dissatisfaction and feeling of neglect that is palpable across the underprivileged and remote segments of Orissa’s population.

However, state officials also assert that the Maoists, while playing the poor man’s ally, are leaving no stone unturned to prevent execution of mega development projects, be it linked to critical infrastructure like the railways, roads, power and telecommunications.

"And their modus operandi is invariably a deadly blend of terror and violence. Nor surprisingly, prevailing governance structures at the field level in these sensitive pockets are shown as ineffective," points out a state official.

According to the Planning Commission, the "incidence of poverty among the tribal population is nearly twice that of others in Orissa." And the incidence and persistence of poverty is even higher in southern Orissa, which comprises the Kandhamal, Gajapati, Koraput, Balangir and Kalahandi (KBK) districts. These southern districts have remained underdeveloped largely due to a mix of lack of political involvement and bureaucratic apathy.

The much touted ‘inclusive development’ has also remained a distant thought. The situation in southern Orissa is even worse with nearly 87% of the Scheduled Tribes living below poverty line, and the socio-economic indicators in some pockets is ever worse than in sub-Saharan Africa.

"Things haven’t changed much ever since the Naxalite movement took off in 1968 in the undivided Koraput district. And tribals remain without the pattas of land they have been tilling for generations. Tortures by police and officials also continue and the tribals have no access to drinking water. In truth, they remain deprived of the fruits of development. Unless the basic issues of hunger and livelihood are addressed by the state government, the Naxal or Maoist menace will continue to haunt the region", warns Rabi Das, a former front ranking Naxal leader turned social activist.

It is in this glaring backdrop that the Naveen Patnaik government has sought to project Maoist subversion in Orissa as a spillover of the violence from its neighbouring states.

And lately, there have been reports of Maoist incidents from coastal and central districts like Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Khurda, Angul and Dhenkanal too.

Of the four high-profile Maoist strikes of 2008, three were targeted at security forces. Something that brutally exposed the failure of the intelligence and the pathetic state of the police, not to speak of the lackadaisical approach of the state government.

Besides the Damanjodi mine siege, perhaps the most serious Maoist attack was the near simultaneous raids on the District Armoury and the Police Training College at the District Headquarters town of Nayagarh, which is barely 80 km west of Bhubaneswar.

While the state police claimed to have killed three Maoists, not a single dead body was recovered. On the contrary, the Maoists managed to get away with 1,100 items of weaponry, including rifles, light machine guns, single loaded rifles, AK-47s and pistols. Four guns were also removed from each of the three police stations.

The other deadly attack transpired on June 29 when 38 securitymen, including some 36-odd belonging to the elite anti-Maoist Greyhounds from Andhra Pradesh, perished at the Chitrakonda reservoir of Malkangiri district, near the Andhra Pradesh border.

CPI-Maoist cadres had sprayed bullets from hilltops on an Andhra Pradesh-Orissa joint police party, which was returning after a combing operation based on an intelligence tipoff.

But it’s the recent Maoist strike on Nalco’s prized bauxite mines that appears to have given fresh resolve at the state level to grab the Maoist menace by the horns.

"The Maoist attack on Nalco’s bauxite mines on April 12 in which 10 securitymen were killed only confirms the sophistication of their firepower. It is evident that the Maoists have set their sights on Orissa’s prized resources and unless the government declares an all-out war on these rebels, one must be prepared for more mindless violence and bloodletting. The state government needs to plug all leakages in the development projects in the backward areas," says ex-state police chief Amiya Bhusan Tripathy without mincing words. Only time will tell the wiser.

Seven held in Orissa district for Maoist links

Staff Reporter

BERHAMPUR: Seven persons were arrested from different parts of Rayagada district in south Orissa for Maoist links.

Three of these arrested persons were hardcore naxals. They are Madhab Tukuruka, Jara Tukuruka, D.Tukuruka.

Speaking to The Hindu, Rayagada district Superintendent of Police Ashis Kumar Singh said it was suspected that these three naxals were involved in several major violent incidents including Maoist attacks on Nayagarh.

Police hoped that their interrogation would spill some beans regarding the Maoist activities in south Orissa.

It is also suspected that these persons may have taken part in the killing of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati in adjoining Kandhamal district.

Two key informers of naxals Dasarathi Hikabadika and Asu Mamalka were also on the list of arrested persons. They were members of area committees of Maoists and were organising ‘praja courts’ in remote areas.

The other two persons who have been arrested for naxal links are K.M.Prasad and Dama Sambutika. These two persons were contractors who according to police had helped naxals in different incidents.

All these persons were arrested from different places during combing operation in naxal-infested areas of Gunupur, Chandrapur, Gudari areas of Rayagada district.

Mr Singh said these arrests were made on the basis of definite intelligence reports. Many hardcore naxals have been arrested in Rayagada district during last few weeks.

It may be noted that on Apr 21, four Maoists including a member of the core group that masterminded the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati in Kandhamal district were arrested in Rayagada district.

The prize catch was P.Rama Rao alias Uday, a ‘commander’ of the Basadara Dalam of the CPI-Maoist party, which is active in Rayagada, Kandhamal and Gajapati districts of south Orissa.

Naxals using tunnels to escape

3 May 2009, 0139 hrs IST, Soumittra S Bose, TNN

NAGPUR: Recent analysis of Naxal's combat style has revealed new methods which could prove to be a dampner to the security forces. There has been
evidence of modern military techniques being used as well as sophisticated weapons. More interestingly, it's also come to the fore that the Naxals are using tunnels for quick exits and bunkers as temporary shelters in the jungles of Gadchiroli.

Two seized Naxal literature -- one believed to be a modern military manual and the other a booklet on proposals of Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee's third meeting in September 2008 -- has given the police a fresh perspective to Naxal outlook.

This analysis formed the core of the debate in a recently concluded meeting of police officers from Maharashtra and Chhatisgarh, and the officials from Central government held at Jagdalpur.

The 332-page seized military manual (Buniyadi Sainik Pathyakram), published by Awami Jung Prakashan, has brought to the fore that Naxals may be gearing up to launch a full-fledged war on the government security forces. The manual, replete with military diagrams and illustrations, has detailed descriptions about aspects like principles of war zones, troupe formation, firing area, deployment, command, control, communication, identifying of targets and such aspects.

Security agencies feel that there might be manuals of further advanced warfare technique for Naxals which already has a central military commission (CMC) and state military commissions for grooming cadres into combat techniques.

According to a highly placed source in the police department, the recent Mungner encounter in Gadchiroli had laid the fact bare that the Naxals are shifting to military-trained positional warfare with sophisticated automatic assault weapons. They are fast distancing their traditional styles of shoot-and-scoot Guerrilla warfare as well as planned mobile warfare for positional warfare. Unlike in the past, black-uniform clad Naxals showed surprising tenacity in the Mungner encounter, where three commandoes were killed, to fight for more than two hours. The C-60 commandoes were pummelled relentlessly with sophisticated weapons.

The Naxals also displayed highly developed military skills and ferocity to take on the might of the mighty C-60 commandos. Nepali-looking fighters and their skills had also left the Naxals stunned. In fact, the Border Security Force chopper used to ferry polling parties was also hit by Naxal bullet during the recent election.

The seized literature, where the plan to have tunnels was found, fell into the hands of the security forces during an encounter at Gadchiroli during the recently concluded 'Operation Parakram'.

Destroying the tunnels and bunkers constructed by the Naxals is likely to be the main aim of the combined security forces during the forthcoming joint operations. Security forces are likely to renew their joint operation along Maharashtra-Chhatisgarh border soon.

During 'Operation Parakram' launched to flush out the Naxals from Gadchiroli jungles after their 01/02 Markegaon carnage that killed 15 cops, security forces were often left foxed by the sheer quickness with which the Naxals would be giving the forces a slip. In fact, senior officials had claimed that security forces have often failed to capitalize on opportunities to trap or eliminate Naxals on several locations even after reaching close to a victory.

Naxals not only have made safe exits from encounter spots but also managed to carry away the bodies of dead or injured. The chopper, used during Operation Parakram, too failed to trace the Naxals during its air-surveillances.

Naxals likely behind Chennai train mishap: Cops

2 May 2009, 1841 hrs IST, PTI

CHENNAI: Preliminary investigations into the April 29 mysterious train mishap here point to the likelihood of a suicide mission by Naxalites, top
police officials probing the case said on Saturday. ( Watch )

"Ramming a train at 90 km/hr (into the goods train)... there are all chances of the incident being a suicide mission. We are also probing whether the person jumped off the train at the last minute. We are keeping our options open to take the investigation in all possible angles," a senior official of the CB-CID wing, which is investigating the case, said.

He said the investigators are also looking into the possible involvement of Naxalites in the incident, though the Naxals are generally not known to use such modus operandi.

The investigation agency was keeping all options open to probe a possible Naxal hand into the incident since one of the deceased was found with a mark in Telugu tattooed on his hand and his body was yet to be claimed, he said.

Meanwhile, police today announced a reward of Rs 25,000 for information on Raju (alias) DogaRaju, whose dead body was found at Vyasarpadi Jeeva railway station.

Police have taken the tattoo mark as one of the leads to probe the cause of the mishap and have sent special teams to Andhra Pradesh.

Four persons were killed and 11 injured in the mishap in which unauthorised persons commandeered a surburban train from Chennai central station to nearby Vysarpadi Jeeva and rammed into a moving goods train.

Andhra doesn't have more than 150-160 Maoists: Home minister

4 May 2009, 2114 hrs IST, PTI

HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh home minister K Jana Reddy has said not more than 150-160 cadres of the CPI (Maoists) could be present in the state.

"We have very effectively tackled the Maoists over the past few years and now they have been reduced to nothing. At best, there could be some 150-160 cadres of the outlaws hiding underground in the state," Reddy told reporters after a high-level review meeting on the post-election law and order situation at the secretariat on Monday.

That not a single incident of Maoist violence was reported during the two-phase polling last month in the state clearly indicated that the outlaws had lost ground, Reddy said and added that states like Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh witnessed Naxal violence during the elections.

To a question, Reddy said the talks initiated by the Congress government in late 2004 proved effective in tackling Naxal menace.

"Though the talks failed, we could very effectively curb Maoist activity in the state. Many of them have given up arms and surrendered before the police while many more are willing to give up," he added.

3 Naxals held, outfit was planning base in capital

5 May 2009, 0251 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: Just two days before the capital goes to polls, the special cell of Delhi Police arrested three members of a banned Naxal outfit,
including a zonal commander, in the Badarpur area of south Delhi. The accused reportedly confessed that thy were trying to set up a base in the city, sending the security agencies into a tizzy.

The three arrested are from banned Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) and were identified as Yogendra Singh Bhokta (26), Satish Kumar (21) and Sheetal Kumar (19) while other members of the outfit are on the run, said police.

"We have received inputs in February this year after which their movements were being tracked. Further intelligence revealed that they were hiding in the Badarpur area after which a raid was conducted and all three were arrested from a house there,'' said DCP (special cell) Alok Kumar.

Police said Yogendra was the zonal commander of the MCC and was wanted in connection with several cases in Jharkhand. "In 2007, he sustained bullet injuries on his thigh during a shootout with a rival Naxalite group. After this, Singh came to Delhi and assumed a fake identity of Shiv Kumar and was under treatment at a south Delhi hospital,'' added Kumar.

Satish and Sheetal are allegedly involved in several criminal activities, including attack on police parties. Police added that Yogendra was trying to re-organise his group in the capital. All three have been remanded in police custody for four days.

Yogendra, the police added, is a school dropout and joined the Naxal outfit in 1999. In 2001, he became the area commander of Tandwa and Balumath in Jharkahnd. Later, he started extorting money in Palamu Chhatarpur area. In February 2004, Yogendra allegedly killed a police informer, Pawan Singh, in Simaria in Jharkhand. He had been involved in several shootouts with police and a rival Naxal organization.

Police added that acting on the directions of other Naxal leaders, Yogendra was first taken to Danapur near Patna where he remained under treatment for six months. Later, he moved to Delhi in November 2007 and was under treatment. They first stayed near Yusuf Sarai in south Delhi and then shifted to Badarpur and Faridabad, said the police.

Jharkhand police said that Sheetal's father was arrested twice for allegedly providing help to the banned outfit. Two others, identified as Ram Kumar and Shashi, who were helping the outfit financially are yet to be nabbed.