Saturday, May 23, 2009

'Maoists using children as human shields'

Raipur, May 24: Maoists are forcibly taking away children from villages and using them as human shields against security forces, alleges a Chhattisgarh legislator, whose constituency is badly hit by Left extremist insurgency.

"Maoists are forcibly picking up boys and girls from their houses and schools in the interiors to use them as shields in the war against (security) forces," Mahesh Gagda, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Bijapur, said.

Gagda, 33, who has Z-plus security cover due to the Maoist threat, says that nearly 100-odd villages in his constituency are now considered rebel strongholds. He says that the rebels run a parallel administration in the region.

"Maoists have completely halted development in about 100 villages out of 272 villages that form Bijapur constituency," Gagda said.

Bijapur is part of the mineral-rich Bastar region, which is spread over 40,000 sq km in the state's southern part.

"Kids in Bijapur are carrying arms, even AK-47s. Maoists deliberately put arms on children's body and then cover these with a school dress or other simple clothes to dodge police security and frisking. Maoist leaders always keep armed kids around themselves and whenever they want to kill anyone, they use the weapon being carried by the kid," Gagda said.

"The Maoist menace has reached its flashpoint in Bijapur. They are forcibly recruiting boys and girls in their rank and file and generally girls are also sexually exploited."

With schools being targeted by the Maoist rebels for recruitment of children as human shields and child soldiers, Gagda said he will ask the BJP government to open more residential schools in insurgency-hit areas where police escort can be provided to the students.

Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has a separate unit for the child soldiers, called Krantikari Adivasi Balak Sangh. In April, the Chhattisgarh government extended the ban on the Maoists and its six frontal organisations, including the Sangh, till 2010.

The Maoist insurgency has been described by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as one of the gravest threats to the country's internal security. In Chhattisgarh, over 1,500 people have been killed in the insurgency since the state was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in November 2000.


Top Naxal Leader, Patel Sudhakar Reddy killed in Encounter

COMRADES IN ARMS: The People's War State committee secretary, Ramakrishna, seen with senior party colleague, Patel Sudhakar Reddy (standing behind), In the Nallamalla forest near Srisailam in this file photo.

Patel Sudhakar Reddy was killed in an encounter in warangal district.


Which of them is the most popular naxalite leader of our state?

Rama Krishna 23%
Patel Sudhakara Reddy 58%
Sakhamuri Appa Rao 17%
Amar 0%
Chandranna 0%

4 lakh tribals displaced due to Maoist activities

24 May 2009, 0933 hrs IST, PTI

NEW DELHI: More than four lakh tribals have been displaced due to extremists activists by Maoists in various parts of India, a non-government
organisation has claimed in its latest report.

"A total of 4,01,425 tribals have been displaced due to armed conflicts and ethnic conflicts across India," Asian Indegenous and Tribal People's Network (AITPN), which has special consultative status with the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), claimed in its report.

"These displaced persons (tribals) have been living miserable lives without basic amenities including food, water, shelter, medical services, sanitation and livelihood opportunities," it added.

About 1.2 lakh members of Gutti Koya tribes of Bastar and Bijapur districts of Chhattisgarh fled to Andhra Pradesh's Khammam between January to June last year to escape violence by the maoists and the salwa judum activists, the report said.

Initially, they were provided humanitarian assistance by the Andhra Pradesh Government and tribals benefitted from NREGA and were also provided with ration cards.

But, these benefits were later withdrawn by the Andhra Pradesh Government soon after maoists killed more than 30 Greyhound personnel in an ambush at Chitrakonda reservoir in Orissa on June 29 last year and police accused Gutti Koya tribals of being supporters of the maoists, the report said.

The AITPN said that about 36,991 tribals from 201 villages in Dantewara district and 10,949 tribals from 275 villages in Bijapur district are living in 23 government-run makeshift camps in the state following the armed conflicts in the region.

Over 96,000 tribals, mainly Bodos, are staying in relief camps since the communal clashes broke out between Bodos and "non-tribal" Muslims in Assam in August 2008.

In Tripura, 30,000 Bru tribals of Mizoram, displaced after an ethnic clash a few years ago, continue to languish in six relief camps and struggle for their basic rights, AITPN said.

Trees face Maoist axe during bandhs

Deba Prasad DashFirst Published : 23 May 2009 03:56:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 23 May 2009 09:55:59 AM IST

MALKANGIRI: Frequent felling of roadside trees during Maoist-sponsored bandhs has led to largescale deforestation in Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Gajapati and Ganjam districts of Southern Orissa over the years.

A top forest official said Maoist bandhs are one of major reasons for rapid loss of forest cover in the region.

According to him, more than 300 trees were felled by red rebels this year alone for blocking Malkangiri-Motu, Balimela-Chitrakonda, Jeypore-Govindpalli, Rayagada-Adaba-Koraput, Narayanpatna-Koraput, Baliguda-Bhanjanagar roads during the bandh calls given by them.

In Malkangiri district alone, more than 200 roadside trees were felled by the rebels during the two-day bandh on Wednesday and Thursday, he said. As large number trees was cut down, the road between Jeypore and Malkangiri could not be cleared till yesterday afternoon.

According to a forest department official of the district, huge number of trees along Govindpalli-Jeypore state highway have been felled by the Maoists since February 22 ‘Govindpalli Operation’ in which they killed a contractor P.K.Swain. Forest officials said the red rebels are cutting down the roadside trees as it is an easy way to snap road communication.

Regular night patrolling can effectively check the felling of roadside trees, but who will take the risk, the officials remarked. Can the unarmed forest officials take on the armed rebels, they questioned.

The environmentalists have expressed serious concern over the loss of green cover. If the cutting down of the trees goes on unchecked, it will have short and long-term impact on the environment of the region, they warned. Forest cover in South Orissa districts is fast depleting and the situation will deteriorate further if the massive felling of roadside trees goes on at an alarming rate, they remarked.

CPM member shot dead, cops suspect Maoist hand

Express News Service
Posted: Sunday , May 24, 2009 at 0313 hrs IST


In the fourth such instance in the last two months, alleged Maoists shot dead a CPM member in Purulia district on Saturday. Police said Dinesh Mahato (43), a member of the CPM’s Ghatbera local committee, was shot dead by a group of armed persons, who opened fire at him from a close range when he left his house around 6.30 pm. In protest, the CPM has called a 12-hour bandh in Balarampur on Sunday.

While the police have not blamed the Maoists for the murder, CPM state committee member from Purulia Munindra Gope said a section of tribals and the Maoists have been trying to create unrest in the area. “The Maoists killed Mahato,” Gope said.

Purulia Superintendant of Police Rajesh Kumar Jadhav said at least three miscreants were involved in the firing. “We believe the miscreants have left the area. A search is underway,” Jadhav said. Local CPM leaders said they suspected the miscreants were locals and not hardcore Maoist ultras from across the Jharkhand border.

Maoists blow up school building in Jharkhand

Garwah/Chatra (Jharkhand), May 23: Maoists kidnapped and killed two villagers and detonated explosives in a middle school building in Jharkhand's Garwah and Chatra districts in separate incidents.

Armed Maoists abducted two men from their homes at Bhandaria in Garwah last night and shot one dead one claiming he was a police informer and beat another to death for not paying for a new rifle, Garwah Superintendent of Police, Saket Kumar Singh, said.

The two were identifed as Tauswar Ansari and Maqsood.

A separate group of ten to fifteen armed Maoists set off explosives in the Kour Middle School building, which had housed security forces during the Lok Sabha elections in Chatra's Pratapur block in the wee hours, Chatra police chief, Akhilesh Kumar Jha, said.

The explosion destroyed three classrooms and also damaged an under construction building nearby.

Bureau Report

Home braces for taskmaster PC

New Delhi, May 23: Home ministry bureaucrats are bracing for a tough time when P. Chidambaram returns as their boss.

“He knows his subject, one cannot bluff to him,” a senior official said.

Chidambaram, who replaced Shivraj Patil following the Mumbai attacks, had ushered in a new work culture at the ministry, forcing senior bureaucrats to rush in by 9am for his first briefing of the day. PC rarely left before 7pm and worked on deadlines.

The pressure has been the heaviest on the secretaries, the chiefs of the Intelligence Bureau and spy agency RAW, and the additional secretaries and joint secretaries.

Chidambaram revived the multi-agency centre, which co-ordinates among the various intelligence agencies, so inputs from across the country and abroad got analysed regularly. That will continue, ensuring long hours in the intelligence establishment.

The senior officials may wince a bit, but from their juniors down to the sweepers and peons, the lower rungs are enthused by the new culture. Sources said that even if a Grade IV employee complained about a senior’s behaviour, the minister summoned the accused official directly.

“This happened several times in the past few months. Juniors sent a letter to the minister personally and he took action,” a source said.

Even those who find Chidambaram “arrogant” concede, however grudgingly, his efficiency.

Officials had earlier said that if Chidambaram returned as home minister, his priority would be streamlining the anti-terror mechanism and going hammer and tongs at the Maoists. The first step in that direction would be the choice of the next home secretary.

Madhukar Gupta retires next month and is likely to be replaced by either commerce secretary G.K. Pillai, a 1972-batch officer from the Kerala cadre, or revenue secretary P.V. Bhide, an Andhra cadre officer from the 1973 batch. Both have had stints in the home ministry and are known to be hard taskmasters like PC.

Chidambaram, buoyed by a terrorism-free election (although there was Maoist violence), would like to focus his attention on the promises in the Congress manifesto.

The party has guaranteed “maximum possible security to each and every citizen” and zero tolerance for terrorism “from whatever source it originates”, and pledged to “take forward vigorously” the modernisation of the security forces and capacity-building for special forces to tackle terror and Maoism.

Whatever of that is achieved, one thing that is expected is a change in attitude in the ministry. Just like the fresh paint on the walls of the North Block lobbies, and the new colours on the blinds, that will welcome the new government in.

Red rebels gun down two in Garhwa

23 May 2009, 2126 hrs IST, TNN

GARHWA/RANCHI: Armed Naxalites of the banned CPI (Maoist) killed two persons at Baghwar village, about 15 km from the Bhandaria block headquarters
in Garhwa district, on Friday evening, police said on Saturday.

The deceased have been identified as Maqsood Ansari of Ugra village and Manauwwar Ansari of Chhatwa village under the Bhandaria police station area of the district.

The Maoists also thrashed Manauwwar's elder brother Imteyaz Ansari. The police recovered a leaflet left behind by the Maoists near Maqsood's body in which the rebels accused the threesome of raping, committing dacoity and collecting levy in the name of Maoists.

Confirming the incident, Garhwa SP Saket Kumar Singh said that though Maqsood's name figured in the police record, Manauwwar did not have any criminal antecedent. He said Manauwwar was an innocent man and that the police do not have any clue to why the rebels shot him dead.

According to sources, a group of about 25 Maoists raided the residences of Maqsood, Manauwwar and Imteyaz on Friday evening and held them captive. Later, they took them to a forest at Baghwar village where they shot dead Maqsood and slit his throat with some sharp-edged weapon.

The Maoists then severely thrashed Manauwwar and his elder brother Imteyaz as a result of which the former died on the spot while the latter sustained serious injuries, the sources said.

In another incident, suspected Maoists blew up a school building and set ablaze two dumpers, a truck and an auto-rickshaw in separate incidents in Chatra on Friday-Saturday midnight.

Police said that the Naxalites went on a rampage in different parts of the state, including Simdega, Ranchi, Chatra and Garhwa districts.

Sources said that around 50 armed Naxalites blew up a portion of the government middle school at Pratappur village in Chatra on Friday-Saturday midnight. The Naxalites targeted the school because it was often used by security forces conducting long-range patrolling in the area during night.

Chatra SP Akhilesh Kumar Jha said that a portion of the school building was blown up because security forces used the place for night stay during the just concluded Lok Sabha elections. The school was used as transit camp for around two months.

In Ranchi and Simdega districts, the rebels torched two dumpers, a truck and an auto-rickshaw as the vehicle drivers defied the 24-hour bandh call given by the PLFI in the state to protest the killing of their zonal commander and two cadres at the hands of the Gumla police early this month.

Rebels strike again, 2 dead


Ranchi, May 23: Separate incidents of Naxalite violence in Garhwa, Simdega and Chatra districts during the past 24 hours have left two dead and parts of a school, that was used a polling booth, damaged by explosives.

Two persons were beaten to death by CPI(Maoist) rebels under Bhandaria police station in Garhwa district’s Banbar village last evening. According to Garhwa police superintendent Saket Singh, the rebels first asked one Paswar to provide them with a 9mm pistol. When he pleaded his inability to do so, he was beaten to death with lathis.

One Maqsood, too, was beaten to death in a similar way. A handbill left by the rebels at the spot stated that Maqsood used to extort money in the name of their party organisation and that he was also a rapist.

“Maqsood was a notorious criminal. He was released from jail about a month ago. But on what basis did the rebels demand a 9mm pistol from Paswar is rather intriguing. Both cases are being investigated,” said Singh over phone.

Jharkhand Liberation Tiger rebels set ablaze two dumpers near Hatihar village under Bano police station in Simdega district. Sources at the police headquarters maintained the incident was an outcome of a dispute over levy amounts.

In Chatra district, suspected Maoist rebels blew up two blocks of a middle school building in Kaura village under Pratapur police station. During the just concluded Lok Sabha elections, the police had put up camps in these buildings. Certain portions of Gumla, Simdega, Khunti, Ranchi, Latehar, Chatra and Palamau districts have been reeling from tension for the past few days, following the killing of two People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI) activists in Gumla district in a police encounter.

The PLFI had given a bandh call yesterday, alleging that the encounter was fake.

The bandh evoked mixed response, but the PLFI have sent a handout calling for an indefinite bandh, “if the errant police officers were not taken to task soon”. They have also demanded compensation for the aggrieved families.

Last month, five villagers were killed in Barhania village in Latehar district. Initially, the police claimed the victims were rebels, but “sustained efforts” by local villagers, coupled with Maoist-inspired bandhs, compelled Governor Syed Sibtey Razi to order a high-level inquiry.

In midst of polls, Air Force airlifted a village under Naxal fire

Manu Pubby
Posted: Sunday , May 24, 2009 at 0146 hrs IST

New Delhi:

This is a rescue story that went unnoticed in the deluge of election talk. Last month, an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter crew braved bullets and bad light to airlift a village in Orissa to safety after it came under Naxal attack.

The rescue mission, set to get into IAF’s record books, was carried out on April 17 by a single Mi-17 helicopter that was slotted for election duty. The routine task of ferrying election officers and ballot boxes to remote areas turned into a rescue mission after the crew was requested to evacuate people from a besieged village where a small group of CRPF jawans was holding up against a Naxal attack.

In a number of sorties where the helicopter made several landings, more than 240 villagers and an Election Commission observer were airlifted to safety while the encounter on the ground raged on. The mission was undertaken by an IAF helicopter piloted by Wing Commander Amit Vyas and Flight Lieutenant Nikhil Mehrotra. “From whatever time that was available to us till last light that day, we managed to evacuate 120 villagers in some quick shuttles. And from the very first light next day, we evacuated the remaining 120 civilians to safety, including the Election Commission observer,” recalls Wing Commander Vyas, an experienced helicopter pilot who has served on UN missions.

Maoists are using police sources to ambush cops

Once bitten, still not shy. This seems to be the principle of Gadchiroli police.

The killing of 16 policemen on Thursday in an ambush by Maoists in Gadchiroli exposed how it has still not learnt its lessons even after 15 policemen were killed more than three months ago in the same area and in a similar manner.

In both the attacks, Maoists had used police informers to feed information about their movement and then ambushed the investigating police party eliminating all the members.

On February 1, an armed police party was ambushed at Markegaon, 27 km from Tabitola — site of Thursday’s attack. The 15-member team was going to investigate a case of arson after a local informer provided the tip off.

“They have not only succeeded in penetrating the force but also our information and communication network,” said a police officer, who is part of the post-attack investigation but not authorised to talk to media.

According to investigations, Police Inspector Ashok Iyer — described by his colleagues as “dare devil who always reared for good information” — was called by one of his informers on Thursday morning.

“He came to the police station in the afternoon and ordered a team be prepared to raid a Naxal hideout,” said a policeman during the investigations to a senior officer. “He had information about a top woman Naxal who we suspected was involved in the February attack.”

The team left Dhanora in two jeeps and when they neared Tabitola, Maoists attacked.

“They struck with precision and with the knowledge of the police party’s strength and preparedness,” said the officer. “They first targeted the vehicles. There was no way they (policemen) could have escaped.”

Internal secuirity a big challenge for new govt

Mumbai: One of the challenges that the new government’s faces is Internal security.

In their latest assault, over 100 naxals gunned down a 16 member team of a police patrolling party near Muramgaon, including 2 officers and 5 women constables.

The police party was attacked while they were trying to clear trees fell by the naxal guerillas.

Apparently, the attack was to avenge the recent naxal deaths in the neighbouring state of Chattisgarh.

Home Minister, Maharashtra Jayant Patil said, "Naxals saamne aakar nahin peechey se waar kartey hain. Neighbouring states mein 8-9 naxali maarey gaye. Naxaliyon ne do din ka bundh rakha tha... unhone ambush mein hamare officers ko maraa hai (The naxals’ ambushed and killed the police)."

What went against the police team was that it had violated the rule of informing superiors before setting out in response to a call informing about the felled trees causing a roadblock thus virtually being lured into the naxal bastion.

Director General of Police, Maharashtra SS Virk said, “Specific information thee... socha time waste na ho... isiliye... nikal gayee.. superiors ko nai bataya aur trap ho gaye (No specific instructions were given. In a bid to save time, they went out and got trapped).

Just 3 months ago a naxal attack in the same district had claimed lives of 15 policemen in Markegaon and with this attack the toll has gone up to 33, reason enough for the state government to aggressively demand more battalions from the centre to counter the naxal menace.

(With inputs from Kalpana Nalaskar).

AU students highlight life in naxal-hit villages

24 May 2009, 0508 hrs IST, TNN

ALLAHABAD: Students and guest faculty of the department of anthropology, Allahabad University are back from naxal-affected villages of Simdega
district of Jharkhand. And it was time to report, in the form of papers, of their experience with the element of terror natives of this region have to live yet preserve their culture.

The department authorities arranged a programme at the campus wherein three papers, titled `A Journey from Sanskritisation to Desanskritisation: With special reference to Bhuiyas of Jharkhand' by Sonal Pandey, Naxalwaad: `Samasya ya Samadhan by Shishir Yadav', and `Belief in Supernatural' by Jay Prakash Tripathi were presented. Besides the aforementioned papers, a video footage of the Madai, a festival of Chattisgarh, was presented by Dr Priya Srivastava, guest faculty at the department.

The programme was attended by Prof K G Srivastava, Prof A D Sharma, Prof S C Dubey of department of English, registrar Firdaus A Wani, deputy registrar Harsh Kumar, Abhinav Gupta of Visual Arts and others.

Prof Vijoy S Sahay, head of the department, while welcoming the guests emphasised upon the importance of seminars. Thereafter, Anjuli Chandra, guest faculty, presented the profile and achievements of department during the last academic session.

Later, Prof K G Srivastava, in his presidential address, expressed overwhelming satisfaction over the quality of teaching and research conducted by the department. Registrar Firdaus Wani also expressed happiness over the activities of the department.

New Naxal front to spur activities

24 May 2009, 0344 hrs IST, Soumittra S Bose , TNN

GADCHIROLI: Naxals are learnt to have opened a new front at their stronghold in Gadchiroli called ‘Indravati Company,’ christening it after the
river that separates the states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The revelation has come to fore recently, among other inputs, after surrendered Naxals revealed crucial details on being interrogated.

Indravati Company, formed by amalgamating two platoon dalams having a strength of around 75 cadres, has been made functional to give impetus to the movement in the southern part of Gadchiroli, which is included in the ambitious Dandakaranya plan of the Naxals.

The newly formed company, which is placed under Gadchiroli-based senior cadre identified as Suresh, has been assigned special responsibilities along with strengthening the movements in the stronghold.

The company, active in Kotgul, Malewada and Bedgaon, is learnt to have been assigned duties like escorting cadres and guarding consignments during shipment. According to a source, the outfit is operating in such a manner that it gets strategic support and reinforcement in times of need from their cadres in South Gadchiroli, Madh division and west Bastar.

The interrogation of surrendered Naxals, it has been learnt through reliable sources, has brought a fresh perspective in the theory that local cadres have been reinforced with the inclusion of Maoist cadres, trained in sophisticated military skills, from Nepal. The theory was floated after C-60 commander Munna Singh Thakur and his team divulged the details of the opponents that they had to face during Mungner encounter in April last month. The fact that cadres, who were donning darkish outfits, had basically migrated to Gadchiroli to support the local cadre to execute an assault on police and commando party.

The interrogation details also threw light on the Markegaon encounter which left 38 cops dead in February. The attack was planned and executed by the active participation of Platoon Dalam no. 15, Tippagarh Dalam and Border Dalam formed by amalgamating strength of a couple of companies, out of five, that were part of the military strength of naxal base of Dandakaranya operating along Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Army to train Orissa Police to counter Maoists

Thursday, May 21, 2009 c

Bhubaneswar: The Indian Army has evinced interest to impart training to the Orissa police to tackle growing Maoist menace in the state. It was announced by Lieutenant General J.K. Mohanty, commanding-in-charge, Central Command at Bhubaneswar on Thursday. Mr. Mohanty said Army is ready to provide all required training to uproot the left wing extremism in Orissa. In fact, we have begun working on it.
However, the commanding-in-charge clearly denied to be engaged in a direct war with the red rebels as the state government is initiating steps to control the situation. "Two battalions of special strike forces have been established in the state and soon another battalion of COBRA force will be formed to counter the left wing extremism," Mohanty added.

Meanwhile, the special Army transit accommodation at 120 Infantry Battalion in Bhubaneswar will cater to the requirement of accommodation for officers, jawans and their families. Similarly, the state government has also allotted half acres of land for the establishment of a holiday home at Puri.

Setting up (National Counter Terrorism Centre ) NCTC a challenge

Economic Times, India
23 May 2009, 0236 hrs IST, Bharti Jain, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: Now that the multi-agency centre (MAC) is operating 24x7 to collate terror-related information, the Manmohan Singh government is all set
to create a National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) as well to take care of operational aspects of the fight against terror

The recommendation for setting up the NCTC was made by the taskforce on ‘developing an integrated capability to address internal security challenges’ headed by national security adviser MK Narayanan. Among the other key proposals — some with set deadlines ranging from one month to three months — are the creation of special crack units in the states to handle terror emergencies, especially in key urban centres where NSG cannot be immediately deployed. The taskforce has, in its report, also sought the creation of a CISF-like industrial security force in each state to protect economic and infrastructure assets.

In its report finalised recently, the taskforce recommended a joint police command to facilitate borderless operations against Naxalites operating in contiguous districts of the affected states. The modalities for such a proposal would however have to be worked out in consultation with the states as it involves jurisdiction issues. The taskforce comprising top intelligence officials also called for strengthening of the intelligence structure and better connectivity among MAC, SMACs and special branches to enable real-time data sharing and quick follow-up action.

The NCTC, which will have due representation of intelligence agencies, Central paramilitary forces and Army, will essentially focus on operational objectives. Proposed as a supplement to multi-agency centre (MAC) that would have access to all information collated by the latter, the NCTC would draw up operational plans to counter the “specific” terror threats.

It will also oversee the implementation of these action plans in close coordination with the Central and state police agencies. However, the NCTC proposal is still in a nascent stage and the new government will be discussing its possible legal backup with the law ministry. The options available include a special Act to empower the NCTC to plan and oversee counter-operations against terror or its creation by an executive decision.

The proposed state-level anti-terror crack units, which may be headed by the local police chief, will be located in vulnerable cities where NSG may not be hand during a terror crisis. The special units are proposed to be raised on the lines of the India Reserve battalions, with a Central component thrown in.

While special intelligence units are also proposed at the police station level in vulnerable cities to gather local intelligence inputs and anticipate terror threats, there will be collation centres at the district level which in turn will channel intelligence flow into the fusion centres at the state level. The same would then to routed to the subsidiary MACs to the MAC.

Interestingly, the taskforce has suggested a separate intra-state information-sharing network for the north-eastern region. Calling for a dedicated
action plan to counter the various insurgent threats, it has suggested electronic transfer of salaries and contractual payments to rule out their diversion for funding the rebel outfits.

In a recommendation that may not be very easy to implement, the taskforce has called for easing the NSG from VIP duties. It has also called for a time-bound plan for proper staffing, funds and manpower for NIA, strengthening of the authority under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, putting activation of the research and technology centre within the IB on fast track by giving it the mandatory clearances within a month and the creation of a special command within the BSF and CRPF.

Nepal hand in Naxal strike?

MUMBAI/KATHMANDU, 22 MAY: Maharashtra home minister Mr Jayant Patil today feared involvement of Maoists from Nepal in the Wednesday’s Naxalite attack on counter-insurgency commandos in Dhanora taluka of Gadchiroli district in which two officers and 14 constables including five women were killed by the insurgents.
Mr Patil told reporters after visiting the site of encounter between the police and Naxalites at Hattigota forests of Dhanora that the state police was collecting more information to ascertain the involvement of Maoists from Nepal. The police suspected such involvement since the frequency of attacks has not only increased in last few months but the insurgents were getting improved sets of weapons, the source of which could only be tracked down to the sympathisers from the Himalayan state. The state police have a special anti-Naxalite centre headed by an IG rank officer at Nagpur.
The minister spoke his mind after the funeral of the cops in Gadchiroli district. The Naxalites turned violent since their call for a two-day general strike (bandh) elicited just a modest response.
About 35 police personnel have been killed by Naxalites in four months. The last encounter took place on 30 January in the same Dhanora area in which 15 cops fell to the Naxalite bullets and mortars. In that attack mortars were used form the first time raising suspicion about the source weapon supply.
However, Mr Patil said the leader of Wednesday police team inspector Ashok Aiyar and sub-inspector Shantaram Ghorpade had rushed to take on insurgents without informing the Control Room. Apparently, they underestimated the number of Naxalites who were waiting to ambush the team of commandos. The team of 16 cops was vastly outnumbered by the attackers.
The minister has announced Rs 25 lakh in compensation to each family with government jobs for two besides free dwellings and medical care.
In Kathmandu, a 32-year-old Indian who had come to invest in Nepal only four months ago was killed in a remote town in the far west of the country, police said today.
Vishal Jain from Agra came to Nepal to invest in and help run a condiments factory in Mahendranagar in Kanchanpur district.
Jain was returning home from the Vaijanath Katha Factory he used to run with relatives Saturday when he was kidnapped, the police said.
His family received a call for ransom with the kidnappers asking for NRS 20 million. After negotiations, the family agreed to pay NRS 1.10 million but there was no trace of the kidnapped man.
On Wednesday, the police found his body in a forest. His hands and feet were tied, a gag was placed over his mouth and a blindfold over his eyes.
The body bore stab marks as well as bullet injuries. A port mortem report said he had died due to gunshot wounds.
No one has been arrested yet.

Special force will be set up for Naxal-affected areas: Patil

23 May 2009, 0452 hrs IST, Ramu Bhagwat & Mazhar Ali, TNN

NAGPUR/GADCHIROLI: Alarmed by three major attacks on the police in this Maoist-sensitive district in last four months, the Maharashtra government
has decided to set up a dedicated force of two to three battalions to tackle the Naxal violence and seek eight to 10 battalions of central paramilitary force to be stationed in eastern Vidarbha, state home minister Jayant Patil announced here on Friday.

After paying homage to Thursday’s 16 martyrs of Hatti Gota encounter, Patil struck an aggressive note. “Time for the ultimate battle with insurgents has come. From now on home department will take strong stand to wipe out the Naxal movement from this backward district and the state,” said Patil.

Returning to Nagpur after the state condolence ceremony for the martyrs, Patil told mediapersons that he will convene a meeting in Mumbai in first week of June to chalk out a joint strategy with home ministers of neighbouring Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Orissa. “We are already working in co-ordination with the Centre. But the Mumbai meeting will be to plan a fresh strategy for a joint action to give a fitting reply to the perpetrators of mindless violence,” said Patil.

When pointed out that the Maoists had called for a two-day bandh to demand status of ‘political prisoners’ to incarcerated Naxalites, Patil said if was for the Union government to take a decision on that, but as far the state was concerned it was against showing any leniency to those involved in gory killings of civilians and police personnel.
Earlier, talking to newspersons at Gadchiroli, Patil detailed the several initiatives taken by home department to tackle the rising Naxal activities. “The union government had approved the demand of providing helicopter for anti-Naxal operations (ANO) prior to Lok Sabha election. Earlier, it was suggested to keep the chopper at Nagpur, but we are discussing about keeping it permanently at Gadchiroli,” he said stating that long-pending demand of having permanent helicopter for ANO has been fulfilled.

Moreover, home department has decided to bring about major revamp in the ANO set-up, which includes shifting of ANO headquarters to Gadchiroli, he informed. “After reviewing the outcome of ANO’s work, we have concluded that the ground operations against the Naxalites need close watch and hence have decided to shift the ANO headquarters from Nagpur to Gadchiroli. After Hatti Gota carnage this issue needs to be addressed immediately,” said the home minister.
He further said that after the February 1 Markegaon carnage in which 15 cops were killed, the state government had taken few concrete steps to deal with Naxal movement. “We have placed orders for modern arms and ammunition along with other equipment to fight the outlaws. The amount for the same has been paid and delivery has started since last month. All these material will be readily available to the forces by next month,” he said.

Expressing immediate need of additional special forces from central government to deal with the Naxal activities in Gadchiroli, he said; “Chhattisgarh has 16 battalions of central forces posted in its territory, AP too has few such battalions, but Maharashtra have none. I am going to raise the demand with union home minister to deploy at least eight to 10 central paramilitary battalions permanently in state. Besides this, we (state government) will also raise two to three new battalions to deal with the Naxalites.”

Apart from this the government will ensure that all the officers being posted in Gadchiroli get transferred after two years. He also held that special action group - the specialist force developed to deal with Naxalites - will be further trained on grounds of elite Grey Hound force of Andhra Pradesh.

However, the minister rejected the theory of military solution to Naxal problem. “Military action at this stage is not acceptable. It will be the last resort,” he said.

Patil accompanied by other dignitaries paid homage to the martyrs at police ground at Gadchiroli.

‘Tainted cops may be helping Naxalites to avenge attacks’

23 May 2009, 0336 hrs IST, TNN

DHANORA (MAHARASHTRA): Are suspended or dismissed cops joining hands with the Naxalites? Villagers of Dhanora tehsil said a day after an ambush on
Dhanora-Murumgaon road claimed 16 cops on Thursday, said tainted cops may be avenging the action against them by helping out rebels.

‘‘It is high time police department kept a track of their suspended or dismissed personnel. We feel that Naxalites are receiving inputs or active help in terms of training from former cops,’’ a villager said.

‘‘The analysis of incidents at Markegaon (01/02) and the latest at Hatti Gota (25/05) shows up sabotage by some insider who may have tipped off Naxals that cops were approaching the ambush point.

Widowers present a new face of tragedy

23 May 2009, 0456 hrs IST, Soumittra S Bose, TNN

GADCHIROLI: Amid the wailing voices of 21/05 martyrs, Gadchiroli police headquarters ground on Friday had a new crop of mourners.

The men, whose wives in Khaki attained martyrdom along with their male counterparts after being trapped in the Naxal ambush on Thursday at Hatti Gota, added a different hue to the tragedy that is now almost becoming a routine affair in this Naxal-affected district.

Even as five women police constables entered the history books of police sacrifice while countering Naxal attack in the state, their husbands were gearing up to take up a new challenge of playing a dual role of father and mother to their children. The five women constables - Shakuntala Aalam, Gendkumar Umariya, Shobha Tade, Alka Gawde and Sunita Kallo - were part of the 16-member police squad, led by Dhanora police station in-charge senior inspector Ashok Aiyyar, killed in the Naxal attack on Thursday.

A pair of shoes, belonging to one of the women constables, was found below a tree at the ambush spot as a mute reminder to the horrific incident. The Naxals are learnt to have snatched away the gold jewelleries, including mangalsutras, from the bodies of the women before they left the scene of battle.

“I have no other option but to act as their mother too. I have to look after the children and try to ensure that they cope up with the loss,” said Jeetu Umaria, wife of Gendkumar. Jeetu and Gendkumar’s two sons - Ajay (6) and Sandeep (3) — were still to absorb the loss when TOI met the shattered family at the police ground here. “The police came home to inform that she was needed for an operation. She left home saying it is important to respond to the summons,” he added. Jeetu and Gendkumar had been married for 16 years and had celebrated Ajay’s birthday on May 20.

Among police personnel killed by Naxals are wives and mothers

Vevek Deshpande


In the thickly forested Gadchiroli district, they were no strangers to the dangerous ways of life. Even if they would have preferred to be only housewives, there wouldn’t have been any guarantee of peace and safety.

But that usually doesn’t prompt tribal women to join the police — a department that is most hated by the Naxals who have been active in this region for years. There are only 251 policewomen in Gadchiroli’s 2,500-strong police force. Little did the five policewomen, killed in a Naxal ambush in the district, know then that they would become the first women martyrs in the Red Corridor.

Shobha Tayade, Alka Gawade, Shakuntala Alam, Gendkunwar Faredia and Sunita Kallo, all tribals, were among 16 police personnel who died in the ambush.

On every such tragic occasion, the family enclosure at the gun salute function presents the familiar scene of widows wailing at the loss of their husbands. Today, while eleven widows of dead policemen wailed inconsolably, four husbands sobbed, trying hard to control their emotions.

Malkangiri sees red over Maoist-called bandhs

21 May 2009, 2326 hrs IST, Satyanarayan Pattnaik, TNN

KORAPUT: People living in the Maoist-stronghold of Malkangiri district on Thursday criticized the Red rebels for frequently paralyzing life in the
Orissa-Andhra Pradesh border areas by their frequent bandhs.

"Maoist violence has become a day to day affair in Malkangiri. It seems that the state government is not at all serious about what's happening here. We are fed up with these bandhs and protest weeks," was the refrain across the southern-most district.

The vocal displeasure of the people came even as Malkangiri remained cut-off from rest of the state for the second day on Thursday following a road blockade by Maoists at Govindpally ghat. The Red rebels had blocked the only road that connecting the district with Bhubaneswar by felling trees.

From Wednesday, the outlawed CPI (Maoists) is observing a 48-hour bandh demanding release of some of its cadres lodged in different jails in the state and stop to police atrocities on villagers during anti-Maoist operation.

No vehicle plied beyond Malkangiri town and on the 100-km road through forest areas to Motu. The entire stretch of road wore a deserted look. Traffic at Motu, Chitrakonda, Balimela and Bhenjagwada areas was paralyzed, making life miserable for commoners.

"It seems that the road from Malkangiri to Motu, the southernmost town of the state, is under Maoist control. We cannot even take patients to hospital or take buses from here to other areas. Its only those who have motorcycles can move from one place to another. But, everyone cannot afford a two-wheeler. Life here is miserable," said residents of Chitrakonda. Sources said Maoists calendar of events is filled with bandhs and protest weeks and the locals are hard-hit by these observations. Transporters are too scared to run their service during these days fearing that Maoists might have planted landmines on the road.

Police claimed that the Maoists have not demanded that vehicular movement be stopped during the bandhs but bus operators are not operationg beyond Malkagniri town out of fear. "There are reports of road blockades put up by Maosits at few places and we will clear the blockade soon. At present, the situation is under control and police is kept on high alert," Malkangiri SP Satya Brata Bhoi said.

Abducted CRPF constable freed in Dantewada

22 May 2009, 0253 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: A CRPF constable, suspected to have been abducted by Naxalites from Dantewada in Chhattisgarh last week, was on Thursday released and
brought to his battalion headquarters in the district.

T Rajendra of the 85th battalion was travelling in a private bus towards his home state of Andhra Pradesh on May 16 when suspected Naxalites stormed the vehicle near Manikonta village and abducted him along with three other passengers. Though the other passengers were immediately released, Rajendra was not spared when Maoists found him to be a CRPF constable.

He was finally let off on Thursday by the abductors near Erabore police station in the district and later brought to the battalion headquarters. Rajendra did not have any injuries but was tired and fainted on his return, said an official.

The official said: "Whether he was abducted by naxals or local goons can only be ascertained after he is questioned in detail."

KOLKATA: NSG hub in city by June

22 May 2009, 0401 hrs IST, Debashis Konar, TNN

KOLKATA: The state is going to have its NSG hub at Rajarhat by June. Senior NSG officials will be here next week to finalise arrangements with chief
secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti and DGP Sujit Sarkar on May 25.

NSG officials selected Rajarhat as it is close to the city airport. But details about land for the hub are yet to be finalised. As many as 250 commandoes would be stationed at this eastern base, which will also have an airstrip. And, in case of an emergency, they can be taken to any spot quickly. To set up the hub, NSG officials are going to instal a pre-fabricated structure to help set up the hub within a short span.

The facility will also have a training centre where NSG commandoes can upgrade their skills in shooting and combating terror. Even the state government has plans to utilise NSG commando instructors to train commandoes of the state and Kolkata Police.

Once stationed in the state, NSG can also be utilised in operations against Left wing extremists in West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts. The state government is planning a major strike against the extremists, operating mostly from Jharkhand. In Andhra Pradesh, the Grey Hound force has been successful in striking out at Naxalites.

The commandoes will be primarily taking care of VIP security, anti-hijacking operations, bomb disposal and counter-terrorism. There would be a small range where commandoes can practice firing from moving vehicles as well as from choppers.

The NSG team that is going to be stationed here will have a specialised control room so that it can co-ordinate regularly with other agencies. The NSG team would also be taking care of major bomb disposal operations and advise and train state officials about IED and other booby traps. The NSG officials are also expected to train the state commandoes on the use of technology and on evasive driving as well.

5 women among 16 cops killed in Maharashtra Naxal attack

Vivek Deshpande
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Battle Lines are drawn

Five policewomen were among 16 personnel killed today in a Naxalite attack, their first major strike after the Lok Sabha polls, near the Kala Ghoda hillocks in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra. This is perhaps the first instance of women police personnel being killed by Naxalites.

The dead included Inspector Ashok Iyer who had opted to give up a Nagpur posting to serve again in Gadchiroli, a Naxal hotbed which serves as a passage for armed cadres moving from Chhattisgarh to Andhra Pradesh.

The ambush on a busy state highway leading to Chhattisgarh was the second in less than four months in Markegaon in north Gadchiroli where 15 policemen were killed by Naxalites on February 1. It is suspected that both attacks were led by Diwakar, a top Naxalite.

At least 100 Naxalites were said to have participated in the attack today. They later fled with the weapons of the dead police personnel. Chief Minister Ashok Chavan has decided to cancel his trip to Delhi — he was to attend the swearing-in of the UPA government tomorrow — and head to Gadchiroli.

Chhattisgarh police beef up security in border districts

Published: May 22,2009


The Chhattisgarh police have beefed up security in the state following Naxalites gunning down 16 police personnel in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district today.

" Security has been beefed up in the Naxal-infested areas of Kanker and Rajnandgaon districts,"a top police official told media. During the last two days the Naxal leadership had given a'bandh call' in Chhattisgarh due to which the routine life was partially affected, police said.

Naxalites today indiscriminately fired at the police team when they were on a routine patrolling between Mumumgaon and Dhanora in the Gadchiroli district.

Source: PTI

Naxal killed in Gadchiroli

Published: May 21,2009

Nagpur , May 20 A 22-year-old Naxalite, Manohar Korke Madavai, who fell in love with a Dalam Commander&aposs wife Diwa and eloped with her to Andhra Pradesh, was killed by the Maoist leader, police said today.

Dalam Commander Sinu, on receiving information that Manohar is on a visit to Pattigai village in Gadchiroli, went to the spot with his associates last night. They dragged him and then pumped bullets into him, they said.

Manohar had joined the Naxal movement in 2004. It, was, however, not clear whether he had surrendered before Andhra Pradesh police, Gadchiroli police added.

Meanwhile, in another development, eight Naxals surrendered before the authorities in Gadchiroli, police said.

The extremists are in the age group of 21 and 28 and affiliated to various dalams (groups), they added.

Source: PTI

MHA plans multi-pronged offensive against Naxals

New Delhi, May 20 (PTI) Stung by spate of Naxal attacks during the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls, the Home Ministry is gearing up to launch a multi-pronged offensive against Left-wing extremists through joint operations with state police forces.
The Ministry has asked Naxal-affected states, especially Chhattisgarh, to increase presence of its state police along with the para-military forces during all combing and counter-offensive operations against the Left-wing extremists.

This follows complaints from central para-military forces that presence of state police, particularly in Chhattisgarh, was nil or minimum, official sources said.

An analysis of the recent attacks during polls, in which 32 central police personnel were killed, showed that central forces did not follow Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs).

The central forces like the CISF and the CRPF are also working on new SOPs to be followed in Naxal-infested areas.

Sources in the Home Ministry said six to seven months have been set for the results of the new policies, which would be put in place within a month of the formation of the new government.

Besides greater coordination between paramilitary forces and the state police, civil society's involvement in countering Naxal propaganda form a part of a strategy. PTI

16 cops killed in Maharashtra Naxal ambush

22 May 2009, 0105 hrs IST, TNN

CHANDRAPUR: Naxalite guerrillas on Thursday ambushed a police party after luring it into the jungles of Gadchiroli district, killing 16 cops,
including five women constables.

The Naxals had called for a two-day bandh beginning Wednesday in Bhandara, Gondia and Gadchiroli against the recently-held parliamentary elections. The bandh evoked a warm response in these districts, sources said, and as part of the bandh, Naxals had blocked several roads.

A police party led by inspector Ashok Aiyyar went to the hills of Hatti Tola to clear the Dhanora-Murumgaon road, which was blocked by Naxalites by felling trees. Dhanora police station had received information about the roadblock about 40 km away in the jungle and a 16-member police party left in two vehicles. As the police party reached the spot at about 3.30 pm and started clearing the roads, guerrillas hiding in the forest, opened indiscriminate fire. Police personnel returned the fire and a gunbattle raged for about three hours. But in the end, all the 16 cops were killed, reports reaching the district headquarters said.

No details of casualties on the Naxal side were available. Sources said the Naxals set the police vehicles on fire after looting the arms and ammunition and fled into the jungles.

It is the first instance when five woman constables have been killed in the encounter with Naxals in Gadchiroli.

Although the entire chain of events wasn’t clear, it appeared that the inspector who led the police party had violated rules by not informing his seniors before setting off on a dangerous mission.

'Inspector Iyer could have informed seniors of Naxal operation'
Nagpur (PTI) Maharashtra Home Minister Jayant Patil on Friday pointed out the lapse on the part of slain police inspector Ashok Iyer, who set out for the Naxal operation without informing the senior officers.

Police Inspector Iyer and 15 other police officials were killed in the Naxal attack in Gadchiroli on Thursday.

"Iyer was an enthusiastic officer, who had sought second posting in the Naxal-infested area, and when he got a tip off about road blockade on state highway in the weekly market in Dhanora, he instructed his team to get ready and set out for an operation," Mr. Patil, who visited the Gadchiroli District Head Quarters, told reporters here on Friday.

The police team fell into the trap laid by Naxalites on plain area on Dhanora-Murugaon road leading to Chhatisgarh and when Mr. Iyer realised it, he sent wireless message, but by this time, it was too late, the minister said.

Additional police force from Dhanora and Murumgaon had rushed to the site, but they too faced a road blockade as trees were laid on the road to restrict the vehicular movement, Mr. Patil said.

The Hindu

Meet new Palamau MP: ex-Naxalite commander in jail

In Jharkhand, one of the states worst hit by Naxalism, a former Naxal commander, currently lodged in jail, has been elected to the Lok Sabha on a Jharkhand Mukti Morcha ticket. Kameshwar Baitha’s supporters are already hailing his win as “the first success of our resolve to bring the Naxalites into the mainstream”.

Baitha defeated sitting RJD MP Ghuran Ram in Palamau, a Naxal hotbed, by 23,538 votes. This was his second attempt in Parliamentary elections. In a 2007 bypoll, he contested on a BSP ticket but was defeated. This time, he had the backing of not just the JMM and former Jharkhand minister Bhanu Pratap Shahi, who represents the Bhavnathpur Assembly seat in Palamau, but also a section of the Maoist outfit he once led.

Born to farmer Jadu Baitha in Garhwa, Kameshwar Baitha, after clearing his matriculation examination in 1975, decided against college and headed for the jungles to join the People’s War Group. He quickly rose up the ranks and became the Palamau head of the outfit. Confirming this, Palamau SP Ravi Kant Dhan said: “Everybody knows he was the zonal commander of the CPI(Maoist).”