Saturday, July 04, 2009

4 more Maoists held in Purulia

5 Jul 2009, 0353 hrs IST, Falguni Banerjee, TNN

PURULIA: Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee may have restrained his police from booking Maoists under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act
(UAPA), but his government has kept the pressure on by arresting four more rebels on Friday night this time from Ghatberakerua near Purulia's Ayodhya hills. One of those arrested is a woman.

These Maoists were squad trainers, home secretary Ardhendu Sen said on Saturday. Malindra Besra, Gostho Gope, Haradhan Kumar and Mala Kumari (all in their early 20s) were picked up from Ghatberakerua under Balarampur police station late on Friday night. They were allegedly carrying pistols, landmine accessories and Maoist literature.

Purulia SP Rajesh Kumar Yadav held elaborate meetings in the district headquarters on Saturday morning to carefully frame charges against those arrested. The four are likely to be booked under various sections of the IPC and can only be booked under UAPA if the home secretary so orders.

The arrests have created quite a sensation in the area considering that five CPM leaders were killed in and around the Balarampur police station area in the last six months. Last month, Maoists had locked the Ghatberakerua panchayat office in an attempt to intimidate residents.

"We have been keeping a close watch on Maoists' movement here ever since the Lalgarh operations. The police were especially kept on alert because the Ayodhya hills are a convenient escape route from Lalgrah. We had information that those fleeing Lalgarh may take refuge in and around the Ayodhya hills," said a police official.

However, Nishikanta Mehta, district Forward Bloc president, felt that the police had reacted too late in the day. "We kept alerting the police about the rebels' movement since the last panchayat elections, but nobody heeded to our warnings," he said.

Manindra Gope, CPM state committee member, echoed: "Police should have been more cautious about the Maoists' whereabouts and their activities in Purulia." Trinamool Congress district president K P Singh Deo skirted the issue of arrest and preferred to talk about the "Left Front government's total failure in development". He said: "If people are starving, they would naturally resort to all sorts of crime."

Police said they have also beefed up security in Arsha and Bandwan, too, as they suspect that although some Maoists have fled to Jharkhand, a few have stayed back in Purulia.

The Maoist-backed People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA), meanwhile, has called a bandh across the three districts of Bankura, West Midnapore and Purulia on July 8. PCPA spokesperson Chhatradhar Mahato said on Saturday that the bandh has been called to protest the arrest of 30 PCPA workers, the warrant issued against him and the harassment of city intellectuals, who went to Lalgarh during the joint operations. PCPA has sought the support of all political parties.

Maoists, troop cut on PC plate


New Delhi, July 4: The home ministry has announced an ambitious 100-day agenda: “rationalising” paramilitary presence in Kashmir, a resolve for a “final settlement” with northeastern insurgents who have a cease-fire pact with the government, and intensifying the battle against the Maoists.

The ministry has set a September 30 deadline, which actually comes to 90 days since the announcement was made on Thursday.

In Kashmir, where some 70,000 CRPF personnel are now deployed, “rationalisation” will mean sending many of them back to the barracks if not pulling some out of the state altogether. The ministry has already announced it will take the CRPF out of Baramulla.

The rationalisation plan may also apply to the BSF personnel deployed away from the frontier in Jammu and Kashmir.

In Sheikhpura, Budgam district, the security forces have already been ordered out of the premises of the 200 flats being built for Kashmiri Pandits.

“Pending completion, the premises have been occupied by” the state police and the CRPF, the ministry’s agenda, labelled Action Plan II, says. “HM (home minister) has ordered vacation.”

Home minister P. Chidambaram has apparently taken a firm view against the security forces occupying public premises on a long-term basis.

In Maoist areas, the government plans an overhaul of the security set-up. It has promised an increase in security-related expenditure in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa in 2009-10.

Four more battalions of the CRPF’s elite anti-Maoist wing, Cobra, will be ready by 2010-2011, the ministry says. Orissa will get two ALF Dhruv helicopters to fight the Naxalites while insurgency-hit Tripura too will get two.

The ministry has pledged to appoint 6,666 special police officers (SPOs) in Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Orissa and Bihar.

Chidambaram also wants the National Counter Terrorism Centre set up by September 30, along with a tactical wing at the National Police Academy, Hyderabad, to counter rural and urban terrorism.

The national intelligence grid will be strengthened through sharing of inputs among the various agencies. The ministry wants to ready the scheme of central assistance to state intelligence wings by September 30.

The 100-day agenda says the government, within the same deadline, will firm up its views “on the proposals for final settlement” with northeastern militant groups with which it has cease-fire agreements. These include Naga, Garo, Bodo and Dimasa groups.

Such settlements — pivoted on the rebels’ acceptance of India’s Constitution and territorial integrity — aren’t easy as the years of talks with Naga militants have shown. Still, this is the first time Delhi has promised to put its stand in the public domain and spoken officially of a “final settlement”.

At the same time, the ministry plans to provide the Assam Rifles — a paramilitary force under the army’s operational command — with an intelligence wing and commando units.

Fencing and floodlighting of the country’s borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh will gain speed. By the September deadline, 383 outposts will be set up on the Bangladesh border and 126 on the Pakistan border.

Police honour bravehearts


Ranchi, July 4: Naxalites may have robbed them of their dear ones, but could break their spirit to fight back.

Widows and and relatives of Jharkhand Armed Police-I (JAP-I) jawans, who made sacrificed their lives in anti-Naxalite operations, today displayed rare courage by supporting the state’s fight against the outlawed outfit.

“I would like to join the Jharkhand Armed Police, just as my father had done,” said Akash Chhetri (6), the son of Suraj Bahadur Chhetri. A student of Firaylal Public School in the city, Akash probably does not remember having seen his father, who had died in a landmine blast along with three other JAP-I jawans on August 22, 2004.

Akash, along with the kin of eight other martyrs, were today felicitated by the home department at a function at JAP-I premises. Akash’s father, Suraj Bahadur and three others — Vikas Kumar Rana, Dhiren Tamang and Kundan Tamang — had died in the blast triggered by Naxalites in the forest of Rania in Khunti district.

“Life has been difficult after we lost the sole bread-earner of the family. But we pulled on somehow,” said Poonam Khetri, the daughter of Shadeo Khetri, one of the two bodyguards of Sunil Mahto, the MP killed by Naxalites on March 4, 2007. The other bodyguard, Deoraj Rai, also lost his life in the Naxalite attack.

The martyrs’ relatives, who recalled their dear ones with tears in their eyes, appreciated the gesture of the police department.

JAP-I commandant Suman Gupta had organised today’s one-of-a-kind function to share the grief of the family members.

“The sacrifice of family members can’t be even thought of. In due course, they feel neglected by the government. Such programmes are important for them to recognise their sacrifices,” said Hare Krishna Mishra, the inspector-general of police (JAP).

Deputy IG (JAP) Sampat Meena, who was also present, said she would ensure that other JAP battalions organises similar events for their martyrs.

“I urge the government to give a job to my daughter because after my son died no one is there to earn for my family,” said Sita Devi, the mother of Krishna Kumar Chhetri, who was killed in a Maoist landmine blast in Bokaro on May 2, 2005.

As he was unmarried, the police would have to find a way out to give a job to Krishna’s sister.

The relatives of Yam Thapa and Ram Bahadur Chhetri, who had also been killed in anti-Naxalite operations, were also felicitated.

‘There are no Maoists in Andhra’

HYDERABAD, 4 July: Chief minister Dr YS Rajashekar Reddy today attributed the absence of Naxalism in the state, both as an issue and a threat, during the general elections largely to the development in Andhra Pradesh during his first term.
“Soon after the Maoists walked out of the talks in 2004 their recruitment came down radically. Alongside there was considerable developmental activities. Most importantly farmers and their families were able to see the changes in their lives because of free power and emphasis on irrigation. Police too has done an excellent job in containing them consistently. Maoists had no option but withdraw from the scene”, Dr Reddy said in an exclusive interview to The Statesman.

“Despite Naxalism not being an election issue for the first time in over 25 years, I would still need to emphasise that we need to be on our guard. We just cannot afford to loosen our vigil even though we have gained the upper hand”, he said.
On what was the toughest part in this election, he said: “It was basically a straightforward election. Six months before the election, it was simple that we go through the motions, like campaign and candidates, correctly. But with the benefit of hindsight it does appears that we put in hard work. And that was only because of the new entrant ~ Praja Rajyam Party ~ which made it a triangular contest in some places”.

On the contrast in the election delivering a massive 33 Lok Sabha seats out of 42, but only 156 Assembly seats out of 294 to the Congress he said: “Six weeks after the results I can safely say that there is a common thread running through most of our certain seats we lost. All over it’s a couple of local factors that went against our candidates. In one instance if the candidate antagonised the cadre, in another the candidate detached from a particular community: He rejected the argument that it was a very close race between the Congress and the TDP-led Grand Alliance. “The TDP was never in the reckoning. All the six LS seats they won are by default. It was our mistakes that helped them win. Over half of the 90-odd Assembly seats they won, were again by default”.
On how he views the second term, he said: “There is plenty of work at hand. We have to stand up and deliver on welfare and development. We need to complete our irrigation projects without further delay”. When told that he appears to have set his eyes on the 2014 elections, he said, “That election would be much easier for us. But then we have just finished one election and it’s premature to talk of the next”.

Six Jharkhand-based Maoists held in orissa

Published: July 4,2009

Rourkela , July 4 In a major breakthrough, six hardcore Maoists belonging to Jharkhand Badshah group were arrested from different areas in Orissa&aposs Sundargarh district today, police said.

The ultras were nabbed during raids on their hideouts at several remote villages in the district, Sub-divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Biramitrapur, Suman Dutta said.

After thorough interrogation, their involvement was established in as many as 15 cases including robbery, dacoity and collection of ransom in Sundargarh district.

The red rebels were operating in Raibaga, Biramitrapur, Hatibari and Rajgangpur police limits, he said.

Source: PTI

Security forces reclaim more areas in West Midnapore

Lalgarh, WB (PTI): Security forces and police reclaimed two more areas from Maoists in West Midnapore district, officials said here on Saturday.

In a four-pronged attack, a team of security forces and police set out from bases in Binpur, another from Pirakata and one each from Salboni and Ramgarh to converge on Kalimudri and Madhupur villages, 8 km from these two villages, West Midnapore Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma who led the operations, told reporters.

The fifth-phase of the operation, entering its 16th day, was to clear the villages and forests by building a protective ring after capturing key locations to prevent movement by Maoists who might still be holed up.

"The forces met with no resistance and flushing out operations were conducted on an eight kilometer stretch," Mr. Verma said.

"The operations began at 6:00 am and the forces reached Kalimudri and Madhupur by afternoon," he added.

PLGA commander quits outfit

4 Jul 2009, 2204 hrs IST, Uttam Mukherjee, TNN

LOHARDAGA: Sub-zonal platoon commander of the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) Sanjay Yadav has parted ways with the outfit along with his
trusted lieutenants. PLGA, the ultra outfit of the CPI(Maoist), is quite active in the Lohardaga-Latehar-Gumla region.

Sources in the state intelligence claimed that Sanjay quit the PLGA due to his growing differences with the outfit's zonal commander Nakul Yadav. They said that although he has not yet announced his decision to either form a separate outfit or join hands with the People Liberation Front of India, it is probable in all likelihood that he may, indeed, form a separate outfit which would eventually be joined by other disgruntled Maoist cadres from Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh.

The sources claimed that some Maoist cadres from Orissa and Chhattisgarh have already joined Sanjay's group, which is currently camping in the bordering areas of Lohardaga and Gumla.

Lohardaga SP Subodh Prasad said: "We have reports that Sanjay and his close aides have parted ways with the PLGA along with a huge amount of money and arms. We also have information that Nakul's group is on the lookout for Sanjay's hideout. Police, of course, are looking for both the groups."


"If the Maoists are to be defeated, the state and its agencies will have to develop a detailed understanding of their strategies, tactics and underlying ideology. Such an understanding is now conspicuous by its absence, with the notable exception of the police leadership in Andhra Pradesh and a few officers in the intelligence establishment." -- K P S Gill

Crack tactics, tackle Maoists -- K.P.S. GILL

Wherever I have confronted terrorism and insurgency, from early encounters with Naxalism in Assam, through the multiple insurgencies in that state, then, in Kashmir, Punjab and, eventually, in Chhattisgarh, my first effort was always to develop a fair understanding of motive, intent and ideology of the groups. It is out of these that their strategies and tactics flow.

The degree of force, the nature of targets, the tactics and weapons deployed — each of these is defined by the underlying character and objectives of the group’s leadership.

Despite the fact that the Khalistani terrorists claimed to be fighting for Sikh rights, the reality was that this was an opportunistic platform for people who were trying to seize power through the use of limitless and indiscriminate violence. Significantly, a majority of their targets were, in fact, the very Sikhs they claimed to be “protecting”.

On the other hand, I recall, that when local explosives were used in the serial blasts in Hyderabad in August 2007 — at that juncture, for the first time — there was some speculation that the attack may have been engineered by the Maoists. This was a line of conjecture that I rejected immediately. The Maoists have many sins to their name, but putting bombs in public places to target random civilians are not among these.

There was evidently a comprehensive failure of assessment on the part of the Marxists, not only in Lalgarh, but in the preceding proclivity to deny or distort the reality of the Maoist gains in the state. This can partly be explained in terms of the utterly polarised and muddied discourse in India.

What we see is a whole spectrum of perspectives from the ultra-romantic to sweeping condemnation: intellectuals and political players have alternately projected the Maoists as heroic defenders of the oppressed masses, or as “mere” criminals, thugs and extortionists.

The reality lies elsewhere. This is an ideologically motivated grouping – though not all its members could conceivably have a full comprehension of ideology and strategy. This is no different from the agencies of the state: how many footsoldiers of the paramilitary forces or police, for instance, understand the Constitution of India? The core leadership of the Maoists certainly has a coherent vision of ideology and approach. At lower levels, what we have is the mobilisation of “grievance guerrillas”, people who join the ranks because of specific wrongs, deficits and needs.

The crucial element that must be grasped is that the Maoists have never been able to create a “liberated area” anywhere in India. Once the security forces enter, they simply cede territories. There is never a direct and wider confrontation, though small police parties may be opportunistically ambushed.

What was seen at Lalgarh — despite panicked assessments of a Maoist “liberated zone” being carved out — was a transient and tactical disruption based on a specific local incident and through the creation of militant front organisation activity.

Even here, the dominance of the Maoists was vastly exaggerated. While I was in Midnapore — though I was prevented from entering the affected areas — I was able to talk to several villagers coming from what was generally thought to be “Maoist-dominated” territory. Oddly, when they were questioned, the replies encountered were that their village was free from Maoist influence, but others “10 to 15 kilometres away” were controlled by the rebels. Those familiar with such matters will confirm that this is the standard response across India for all unverified rumours.

By and large, the Maoists are essentially making inroads into regions of governmental neglect by trying to dominate areas that are either very lightly governed as a matter of policy, or where the reach of governance has diminished. This was dramatically visible during my tenure in Chhattisgarh.

There was much talk about the situation in Bastar, and how the Maoists had established “dominance” across this vast administrative division — the heart of violence in the state. What I found, however, was that the total presence of police forces in the area was abysmal. Across 39,114 square kilometres was a total sanctioned strength of 2,197 policemen (5.62 per 100 square kilometres). Actual availability was just 1,389, yielding a ratio of just 3.55 policemen per 100 square kilometres.

I recall that I travelled long distances through Chhattisgarh, often late at night, but would not see a single policeman on duty. Another signal abdication was police officers turning up for meetings in civilian clothes to avoid detection by the Maoists.

Much of current discourse attributes far more popular support to the Maoists than is, in fact, the case. Thus, we are told (inaccurately) that the Maoists principally dominate tribal areas because these populations are among the poorest of the poor. What is ignored here is the sheer and demonstrative brutality of the Maoists — cold-blooded killings; the cutting off of limbs for the smallest of infractions; harsh and humiliating punishments for “co-operating” with the government, or otherwise acting against the will of the local Maoist leadership.

This, precisely, was what was on display in Lalgarh. No other tactical purpose was served through the killing of Marxist cadres and the macabre display of at least one corpse for days on end, other than to inspire widespread terror. It is notable that once the security forces had moved back into Lalgarh the thousands who had fled the Maoist terror quickly returned to their homes.

If the Maoists are to be defeated, the state and its agencies will have to develop a detailed understanding of their strategies, tactics and underlying ideology. Such an understanding is now conspicuous by its absence, with the notable exception of the police leadership in Andhra Pradesh and a few officers in the intelligence establishment. To my surprise, it appears to be evidently and abundantly lacking among the Marxists in West Bengal.

Black money, Maoist threat impede electoral process: EC

  • Role of black money in elections,
  • threat to voters from Maoists,
  • mushroom growth of political parties and
  • casual approach of urban voters

impede the electoral process in the country
, Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi has said.

"Role of black money is the biggest problem. We admit that we have failed to curb it. In the 30 days' of the election process we cannot contain black money," he said last night at a seminar on 'Indian Elections 2009 - Trends and Perspectives'.

Quraishi also spoke of the fire power of the Maoists, deterring voters from exercising their franchise.

He expressed concern over mushroom growth of political parties in the country and pointed out that at present there were some 1,200 small parties. "Some of these even run from betel shops," he said in a lighter vein.

Quraishi said the causal approach of urban voters towards elections was "a dangerous trend". "Voters do not have the right to criticise a government if they do not play a part in its formation", he said.

He expressed satisfaction over less violence during the recent Lok Sabha polls and said booth capturing has become a thing of the past, thanks to the strict measures adopted by the Commission.

Former Maoist bride thrown out by in-laws

3 Jul 2009, 2301 hrs IST, Mihir Ray, TNN

ROURKELA: Four years ago, Kandri Lohar made headlines across the state after she quit the Maoist camp and married a local youth. The ceremony was
solemnized in the presence of senior police officials and bureaucrats. She is in news again, but this time for not so happy reasons.

Mother of a two-and-a-half-year-old son, Kandri has been thrown out from her in-laws' house and is struggling to earn a living. Desperate, Kandri filed a complaint with the Rourkela police. They then arrested her husband Shankar Barua, mother-in-law Sita Barua and sister-in-law Sangita Barua under Section 498(A), 506 and 34 of the IPC for allegedly torturing her.

Since Kandri was brave enough to quit the red brigade and begin life afresh, her husband was promised a job and the couple a house under the Indira Awas Yojana and Rs 50,000 in cash. None of this materialized and people soon forgot her story.

"When I left the rebel gang and got married four years ago, I had lot of hope for my future. For a moment I thought the world is at my feet. Government officials assured me all support. But soon after the marriage, authorities forgot me. I kept reminding them about their promise but nothing was done," Kandri said.

"With time I became a victim of domestic violence in my family. My in-laws did not have much to fall back on and were expecting to reap the benefits from my compensation. They also demanded a dowry. Things became worse after the birth of my son. My husband and mother-in-law threw me out of their house and I was forced to come back to live with my parents," she added.

Kandri then met Rourkela SP Diptesh Pattnaik and narrated her plight. "He not only gave me a patient hearing but also assured me of all support. He has already initiated action against my in-laws and I am confident justice will be done," Kandri added.

Maoists extort Rs.300 cr annually in Chhattisgarh: Raman Singh

Raipur (IANS): Maoist rebels extort up to Rs.300 crore every year in Chhattisgarh from traders of forest products, transporters and iron ore mining firms, says Chief Minister Raman Singh.

"Maoists extort at least Rs.250-300 crore (Rs.2.5-3 billion) annually and their extortion business runs from the state's southern tip of Bastar to the northern Surguja district," Singh told IANS.

"They mainly extort money from traders of 'tendu' leaves, iron ore mining firms, small and big contractors and transporters," added the 57-year-old politician.

Tendu leaves, which are used to make bidis (leaf-rolled cigarettes), are one of the most important forest products of the Bastar region that has been considered the nervecentre of Maoist terrorism in India since the late 1980s.

The restive region spread across 40,000 sq km has deposits of about 20 percent of the country's total iron ore stocks and owners of the mines regularly face extortion demands from Maoists.

"The traders, businessmen, contractors and others who pay extortion money hardly have the courage to report it to the police because of the fear of Maoists and their own business interests in the region," said Singh.

Of the 1,500 casualties in Maoist violence since the state came into existence in November 2000 after splitting from Madhya Pradesh, 90 percent have been from Bastar.

"The Maoists also force people in the Surguja region to cough up money," added the chief minister.

The Surguja region is one of the most coal-rich areas of the country. It is home to several mines of the public sector Coal India Limited's (CIL) highest profit-making subsidiary, South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL).

Singh, who is serving a second consecutive term as chief minister, reiterated that Maoist militancy was not confined to Chhattisgarh and suggested that better coordination among states hit by the menace along with support from the centre might be effective in dismantling the rebels' terror infrastructure.

He praised the central government for having taking the "bold decision" June 22 to brand the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) a terrorist outfit.

"On the issue of taking on Maoists, there is no disagreement between the Chhattisgarh government and the centre. We both want to deal with it firmly and decisively," said the chief minister.

"The Chhattisgarh government is working on raising the strength of forces trained in jungle warfare besides modernising the police force to wipe out the Maoists," he added.

Naxalites abduct two buses with eight employees in Bihar

Gaya (PTI): Armed squads of proscribed CPI(Maoist) abducted two private buses along with eight employees in Bihar's Gaya district on Saturday.

Deputy Inspector General of Police(Magadh range) Anupama Nilekar said the passengers were forced by the ultras to alight before they sped away with the buses towards Jharkhand.

Efforts are on to trace the buses and the abducted employees, who comprise the two drivers, two conductors and four cleaners.

The owner of the two buses Ravi Ranjan Singh said the Maoists abducted the buses at Maigra and Phulwaria villages, about 70 kms from the district headquarters, when the vehicles were on way to Gaya from Dumaria and from Gaya to Kothi.

Mr. Singh said the Maoists had demanded a levy from him for allowing him to ply the vehicles and abducted the buses as he did not.

'Enhance public accountability of police'

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Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, July 04, 2009
First Published: 20:19 IST(4/7/2009)
Last Updated: 20:20 IST(4/7/2009)


Advocating speedy reforms in policing, former Chief Justice of India J S Verma and ex-CEC N Gopalaswami on Saturday emphasised on the need for enhancing public accountability of police.

Addressing a seminar on the 'Making our police effective and people-friendly' in New Delhi, Justice Verma identified "lack of political will" as the biggest stumbling block for carrying out police reforms in the country.

"We will have to build public pressure to force government to carry out police reform in the country as there is a lack of political will for police reforms," he said.

Gopalaswami said police should be given training to interact with the citizens in a polite and responsive way. "Carrying out police reform is very important to ensure police-citizens interfaces," he said.

The first session of the seminar chaired by Justice Verma explored different dimensions of effective policing in the context of human rights, needs of disadvantaged sections, naxal violence and imperatives of national security.

The second session chaired by Gopalaswami discussed ways of improving police-citizen interfaces and enhancing public accountability of the police. The seminar was organised by Common Cause, a public interest organisation established by late H D Shourie.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Intelligence input indicates terror threat to west coast: PC

PTI Wednesday, July 1, 2009 11:29 IST Email

Hyderabad/Chennai: Launching the NSG hubs, home minister P Chidambaram today said intelligence agencies have indicated a terror threat to the country's west coast but it did not mean that there will be an imminent attack.

"There is an intelligence input (and) as is the practice established recently, we share all inputs immediately with the state governments concerned.

There is an input that there could be a threat to the west coast. We have, therefore, shared it with (the governments of) Gujarat, Goa and Maharashtra. But that does not mean that there is an imminent attack," he said inaugurating a regional hub of NSG in Hyderabad.

Earlier, opening a regional hub of NSG in Chennai, the home minister said special forces of the army will be used to set up anti-terror hubs in Bangalore and Jodhpur.

He said setting up of NSG units did not mean there was an increase in terror threat to the country.

"We are also using special forces of the army. Bangalore hub is by the special forces of the army. I am trying to set up a special force of the army in Jodhpur and one in Guwahati using the border security force", he said.

"Establishing NSG hubs will increase its flexibility and reach and it does not mean that terrorist threat has gone up in the country", he told reporters.

Referring to the November Mumbai terror attacks during which it took more than 12 hours for NSG to arrive from Gurgaon, Chidamabarm said NSG hubs would decrease the response time and would enable it to reach any part of the country quickly in case of any terror threat.

Chennai NSG hub is the second to be inaugurated after the one in Mumbai yesterday, six months after the terror strike in the country's commercial capital.

The home minister also said another regional centre of the National Security Guard would be opened at Ibrahimpatnam near Hyderabad over the next few years.

He said the proposed regional centre would be a replica of the one at Manesar in Haryana and would serve as a major training centre for police forces in south India.

While the regional hub of NSG has been opened with 241 commandos, the regional centre would have 5,150 members of the elite force, the home minister said.

He said NSG was not meant for seek and destroy operations and was intended for specialist commando operations.

To a question, the minister said no city in the country was a hub for terror. "You can't brand any city as a terror hub," he said.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy said special forces would be deployed for providing security on Tirumala Hills, visited by lakhs of devotees every year.

NSG director general NPS Aulakh, Hyderabad hub head Lt Col Sandeep Sen, State home minister P Sabita Reddy and other top officials were also present on the occasion.

Chidambaram handed over a scroll to Lt Col Sen marking the inauguration of the NSG Hyderabad hub.

‘Villagers seek Maoist help’

;Statesman News Service

BARIPADA, 2 JULY: Telenga Ho and Kuju Ho, the two Maoist leaders who were arrested from Jenabila and Yamunagard villages yesterday evening, have reportedly admitted that some of the villagers inside the core area of Simlipal Tiger Reserve had contacted them saying they needed their “help” against the government decision to evict them from the forest.
The duo was arrested from Jenabila and Yamunagard villages in the forest core area, about 75 km from Jasipur police station. They were produced in a Karanjia court today.
Police sources said the duo has admitted to their role in the attack on the forest beat houses and guest houses, as well as in assaulting some tourists in the tiger reserve area in March. About 100 cadres have stormed these places and ransacked the government establishments. They had also allegedly hurled bombs in the forest area.
The duo, against whom at least four cases have been registered in Mayurbhanj, while three have been registered in Keonjhar district, have reportedly claimed that they were invited by the villagers to help fight against the government’s proposed eviction drive.
Sources said the administration had issued eviction notices to the villagers of four areas ~ Jenabila, Kabatghai, Bakua and Yamuna - in the core area of Simlipal National Park. As some of the villagers had solicited their help, the Maoists had also found an opportunity to strengthen their network in the dense forest, sources said.
The ultras had chalked out the forest attack plan about nine months ago and as the first step had strengthened their public contact and network, police sources said. The rebels had started provoking the villagers citing the lack of basic amenities like road connectivity and health services in their area.
Administration sources claimed that the eviction notice was issued as per government norms. They assured that the oustees would be rehabilitated and given due compensation.
However, they conceded that some of the villagers had been demanding a higher package for rehabilitation, and that it was possible that a few of them had contacted the Maoists to fight for their case. While 20 families of Jenabila and Kabatghai villages have been shifted, roughly 20 families of Kabatghai, 30 families of Bakua and 10 families of Yamuna village are reluctant to move off their habitation, official sources said.

Maoist onslaught unabated

;Nani Gopal Pal
PURULIA, 2 JULY: The state administration and police officers are very worried following Maoist attacks in four sites during four nights of Purulia district last week. Of them, three attacks were on three consecutive nights during a 48-hour Maoist bandh here.
Maoists attacked the Biramdih rail track, Bhabanipur village of Barabazar and two villages (Kurni and Malti) of Balarampur. In protest against the police operation in Lalgarh, they attacked CPI-M men. The Leftist ultras attacked the property of CPI-M leaders. They ransacked the home of a CPI-M local committee member and destroyed two liquor shops belonging to two CPI-M supporters.
They also cautioned the CPI-M leaders to leave the party as soon as possible. Meanwhile, a few leaders of the CPI-M local committee have already left the party distributing leaflets. Maoist also threatened them with consequences if they did not close down the liquor shops immediately. Following their warning, owners of the liquor shops are in a dilemma as to whether they should down shutters of their business, as their employees are also reluctant to continue. The owners and employees are very afraid of the Maoist threats.
Police failed to arrest anyone following these Maoist operations. The district police of Purulia admitted the presence of a Maoist squad belonging to the Dalma areas of Jharkhand state. The Dalma is a long forest range which touches the Ayodhya hill areas of Purulia district. The Maoist squad of Dalma flee easily towards their safe-shelter in Jharkhand areas, crossing the Purulia border before and after their operations.
Armed police of Purulia district are now keeping a close watch on the movements of the Maoists, and on the bordering areas of Jharkhand. Forces have been strengthened in all nine check posts between Purulia and Jharkhand state with mobile patroling. Police of Purulia and Jharkhand have started jointly searching the border areas.
Meanwhile, the chief secretary of West Bengal Mr Asok Mohan Chakrabarti visited Maoist-infested Bandwan, 90 km from Purulia town, by helicopter, during his tour of Lalgarh and Saranga. The district magistrate of Purulia, Mr Santanu Basu and the superintendent of police, Mr Rajesh Yadav, were also at the site. Mr Chakrabarti expressed his displeasure at the rise of leftist ultra activities in the Maoist infested areas of Purulia district.
He met district officials at Kuchia in Bandwan and discussed plans for follow-up action by joint forces, to be effected if the necessity arises. The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) are in four Kuchia police camps.
The chief secretary also stressed the importance of development in the area as most of the families are below the
poverty line.

‘Chhatradhar provided an open forum for Maoists’

Indrani Dutta

He might not be formally a Maoist, but he will be arrested when he is found: Buddhadeb

Following the operations, the Maoists are fleeing to Jharkhand

They have two training camps in that State

Kolkata: Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said that Chhatradhar Mahato has provided an open forum for Maoist activity in Lalgarh by forming the Sangram Committee (Police Santrash Birodhi Janashadharaner Committee).

Participating in a budget discussion on his department (Home and Personnel Administrative Reforms) in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, Mr. Bhattacharjee said: “Formally his name might not be on the [Maoist] organisation’s list, but by forming the Sangram Committee, he has provided an open-forum for Maoist activity in Lalgarh and its surrounding areas.”

He was replying to a point raised by the leader of the Congress Legislative Party Manas Bhunia, on the Home Secretary’s statement that Mr. Mahato was not a Maoist.

“While I do not think it is appropriate to take names of officials in the floor of the Assembly, I would like to mention in this context that the government has said that he will be arrested once he is found,” Mr. Bhattacharjee said. The police were now looking for him.

He added that the Trinamool Congress has been very closely involved with the Maoists. “They are intertwined. They [TC and Maoists] were involved in Nandigram, in Khejuri and in Lalgarh – but they [TC] are not Maoists.” Similarly, the Congress has involved Chhatradhar Mahato in their relief operations by distributing rice, but “that does not mean that one can label the Congress as Maoists,” Mr. Bhattacharjee said to buttress his argument.

He said that the sources of strength and support for the Maoists were in Jharkhand where they have two training camps. “Where are their arms, their explosives coming from?” Mr. Bhattacharjee asked saying that the Maoists had seized the opportunity provided by Jharkhand.

Following the operations in West Bengal, the Maoists are trying to flee to Jharkhand, he said. “We are trying to seal the exit points but there are many dense forests and we cannot seal all those exits,” he said.

In this context, he mentioned that while he had urged Home Minister P. Chidambaram to launch the operation in Jharkhand too , he (Mr. Chidambaram) had said that this was not possible during the monsoons .

On the relief operations launched in Lalgarh after the operations, Mr. Bhattacharjee said the people there are devastated.

“Ration shops, groceries are all closed and officials are trying to provide relief.” He added that for over a year, all sorts of activity – irrigation, forestry and road construction had been brought to a standstill.

He said departmental secretaries were being sent to restore and regain the people’s confidence .

After this a task force would look into implementing the development projects formulated for that region.

Railways announce raising commando battalions

New Delhi (PTI) With trains becoming the target of terrorists and Naxalites, the Railways on Friday announced raising of commando battalions and drawing up an integrated security scheme for 140 vulnerable and sensitive stations.

Presenting the Railway Budget for 2009-10 in Parliament, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said that she will also increase the number of women commandos.

Women RPF escorts are being deployed for security of women passengers, particularly in sections where a large number of women travel alone regularly.

Ms. Banerjee said security is priority area of Railways and even though law and order is a state subject, "we will work together with all agencies concerned to give passengers a safe journey".

Rising ambitions of India's Maoists

The Communist government has neglected tribals in Lalgarh, say analysts

Maoist rebels controlled a tribal area in India's West Bengal state for nearly eight months before a government offensive forced them out last month. The BBC's Subir Bhaumik in Calcutta explains why the rebels seized control of Lalgarh and what they plan to do now.

Why did India's Maoist rebels end up taking over a tribal-dominated area barely 250km from the eastern Indian city of Calcutta?

The Communist state government lost control of Lalgarh in West Midnapore district last November. It took all of eight months and paramilitary troops to drive out the rebels from the area late last month.

Lalgarh, an embattled forest enclave on the borders of the eastern Indian states of West Bengal and Jharkhand, has been described as "the second Naxalbari" by Maoist leaders.

This indicates how important it was for them to take control of this tribal-dominated area.

Naxalbari, the site of India's Maoist-inspired uprising in 1967, is now a sleepy village in West Bengal bordering Nepal. It is inhabited by smugglers or struggling tea garden workers.


The only thing that is common between Naxalbari and Lalgarh is that both have predominantly tribal populations who are alienated and have not benefitted from the land reforms of the Marxist government.

"The tribals in Bengal's Junglemahal area (in which Lalgarh falls) have been completely alienated because in the last 30 years, they have got nothing from the Communist coalition government here. The Communist rulers have taken the tribals for granted," says Ranabir Sammadar, director of the Calcutta Research Group, who has worked on the area.

The rebels took over the Lalgarh area last November
Maoist leader Kishenji claimed in a BBC interview that the mass movement in Lalgarh against "oppression of the establishment Left and its police" has given them a major base in West Bengal for the first time since the Naxalite uprising was crushed in the mid-1970s.

"We have 1,100 villages with us in the movement. The resistance they have offered in the face of massive state-led coercion has given us much hope, as did the mass boycott of the parliament polls in the area," he said.

"For the first time since the Naxalite movement, we have struck a place which is the weakest spot of the state and which automatically makes it our stronghold."

'Guerilla zone'

That is why the Maoists - who have already established their influence in eastern and central India - were keen to hold on to Lalgarh as their "first major guerrilla zone" in Bengal.

Federal security troops had to be brought in to wrest control of Lalgarh
"It was not a liberated area, as has been wrongly referred by the media. But it was surely emerging as an effective guerrilla zone, where we could undermine if not fully drive away the state," says Kishenji.

If Lalgarh was secured as a base, the Maoists could then spread their influence elsewhere in Bengal.

"They were already getting some sympathy from a section of the intelligentsia that is disillusioned with the ruling left after police excesses in the land rights movement in Nandigram," says political analyst Sabyasachi Basu Raychaudhury.

"Besides, they could also penetrate the disgruntled industrial workers unions which were upset with the Left's support for capitalism.

"Winning over the Bengali middle class through the intelligentsia and the industrial workers are key elements in the new mass line that the Maoists adopted in their last party congress."

But some feel the Maoists overplayed their cards.

They set alarm bells ringing by throwing out the local police and by staging random attacks against ruling left supporters in late May, says analyst Maj Gen KK Gangopadhyay.

The state government initiated a huge operation with federal paramilitary forces and state armed police to retake Lalgarh in early June.

'Human shields'

"The Maoists did not perhaps expect such a huge security response, such a big operation, against which they have no chance of holding territory," Mr Gangopadhyay said.

The rebels plan want to move forward
The BBC's Amitabh Bhattasali has been with the security forces from the beginning of the operation to retake Lalgarh.

"The state police is clearly not yet ready for counter-insurgency, they can just about manage riot control," says Mr Bhattasali.

"It was a strange sight to see so many policemen and policewomen enter the Lalgarh jungles with lathis (batons) and shields."

Maybe they were deployed to tackle "mass agitations" by villagers who, police alleged, have been used as "human shields" by the Maoists.

But security analysts agree that without the federal paramilitaries , the operation to cleanse Lalgarh of rebels would not have been successful.

Kishenji says that by the time Bengal goes to its next state assembly elections in 2011, the Maoists will have expanded their influence in Bengal, even as far as Calcutta.

"We will have an armed movement going in Calcutta by 2011, that's for sure," said Kishenji.

Control over Calcutta has been a key objective for Indian Maoists since the beginning of the movement in the 1960s - so perhaps Lalgarh is the half-way house to Calcutta.

KPS Gill reports on Lalgarh for The Telegraph

The suspension of common sense and the astonishing embrace of nonsense
KPS Gill reports on Lalgarh for The Telegraph, Armed with the experience that tackled Punjab militancy
Truth about Lalgarh1

KPS Gill at Bhadutala in West Midnapore on June 27.

K.P.S Gill, dubbed ‘Supercop’ for bringing the Punjab militancy to its knees, reached Calcutta on June 26 on the invitation of The Telegraph to assess the Lalgarh operation against the backdrop of his strategic and tactical experience in the field. Gill spent the day in Calcutta, doing “extended homework” on Lalgarh. “Till now, I have been watching the situation from afar. Now I will be following the developments more closely,” he said before interacting with some people in the city familiar with the Lalgarh operation. The next morning, when the security forces were trying to recapture Ramgarh that fell later in the day, Gill proceeded to Lalgarh. As Gill’s vehicle entered Midnapore town, police personnel waved the vehicle down and asked him to follow them to the police superintendent’s office. Gill was called in with a request to stay away from Lalgarh but soon the session became a full-fledged discussion with a steady stream of officers walking up to him, saluting him and sharing their experiences with him. The administration told Gill that he would be escorted back to Calcutta after lunch because of his Z-plus security tag and because the roads were heavily mined. However, setting out for lunch, Gill made a detour and travelled towards Lalgarh, interacting with several people on the way.
Eventually, at a check post, Gill ran into a wall of police and paramilitary personnel. By then, the veteran who once sent shivers down extremist belts had collected enough information to fulfil his assignment for The Telegraph.

As I briefly toured West Midnapore district during the police action in Lalgarh (I was prevented from going into the affected area on “security” grounds), the most dramatic lessons of the crisis, through all its phases — the slow build-up over seven months of state denial, appeasement and progressive error; paralysis in the face of rising Maoist violence; and the final, almost effortless resolution, as the rebels simply melted away in the face of the first evidence of determined use of force — were abundantly clear to me: the complete absence of historical memory in the institutions of the state, and the need for each administration to repeatedly reinvent the wheel.

The West Bengal government is not the first to go through this fruitless cycle; or the first to allow immeasurable harm to be inflicted on its citizens as a result of what is nothing more than the suspension of common sense. Right from my days in Assam, I have seen this cycle afflict virtually every administration confronted with the threat of terrorism across the country — even in theatres of eventual and exceptional counter-terrorism success.

After visiting Midnapore and talking to various people, including police officers, I learned that the operations essentially comprised marching into areas supposedly infested by Naxalites. In the early 1970s, when the Naxalites started setting up cells in the district that I was then heading in Assam, we had relied on building up intelligence so as to pinpoint the hideouts of the Naxalite leadership. I recall that we had identified 85 such places, and when we raided these places, we were able to arrest 74 Naxalites, virtually breaking the back of the movement in the state.

In the current situation, the operations are not intelligence-based but only aimed at area dominance. This is a strikingly inferior response to intelligence-based operations. I still remember a remark made by the last British inspector-general of Assam in an inspection note at the Sonari police station, that “one proper arrest is equivalent to six months of patrolling by a company of policemen”. This, incidentally, had been written shortly after a movement launched by the Revolutionary Communist Party of India (well known for the Dum Dum-Basirhat raid in West Bengal) had been put down by Assam Police.

The government and its agencies go into a state of denial during initial manifestations of extremist violence and terrorism — and “initial” here may mean years and decades. Administrative inaction is couched in a wide range of alibis; agencies connected with the state and the “intelligentsia” add to this by putting forward “solutions” which serve as apologetics for anti-state forces. The debate is taken over by these knee-jerk, inchoate “political” and “developmental” solutions and by the “root cause” argument: that extremism is the result of national issues like poverty and injustice rather than being driven by any ideological motive.

Indeed, the Marxist leadership in West Bengal has been exceptionally imaginative in the invention of false histories, claiming that the Naxalite movement of the 1967-75 phase was defeated by their government’s administrative and land reforms that cut away the Naxalite recruitment base (the CPM-led Left Front incidentally came to power in 1977). Anyone who is even superficially familiar with the history of that phase would, however, immediately recall that the Naxalites were crushed — indeed, brutally crushed — by the Congress government of Siddhartha Shankar Ray. If at all reforms had a salutary impact, it was only after the capacities of the rebels had been comprehensively neutralised by relentless police action.

As the Maoists now restore progressive ascendancy in parts of the state, however, such nonsense continues to be given wide publicity, not only by ill-informed “intellectuals”, but, astonishingly, by the Marxist party leadership as well, even as the real magnitude of the threat is denied, and the basics of policing and wide deficits in police and intelligence capacities are ignored.

I have seen this, again and again, in theatre after theatre. The state and police paralysis witnessed at Lalgarh was, for instance, much in evidence in the early phases of the Khalistani movement in Punjab. Among the hundreds of incidents illustrating the collapse of administration, perhaps the most humiliating was the February 1984 episode, when six fully armed policemen were dragged into the Golden Temple by militants. The response — 24 hours later — came from senior police officials who begged Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale to release the men and hand over their weapons.

After protracted negotiations, the dead body of one policeman was handed over, and five policemen were released. Their weapons were never returned. No action was ever taken on the murder of the policeman.

Andhra Pradesh has now become a model of effective police response to Naxalism, but few recall the decades of Maoist dominance in wide areas of this state, and the apologetics that were advanced in favour of the extremists in the highest echelons of government. Then chief minister N.T. Rama Rao, for instance, described the Naxalites as “true patriots”; he and his successors, across party lines, found it expedient (as the Trinamul Congress recently has), to form opportunistic electoral alliances with the Naxalites — to the inevitable advantage of the rebels.

Those who now celebrate the prowess of the Greyhounds forget that this force was created as far back as in 1989, and it is only under unambiguous political mandate after 2005 that an enormously empowered Andhra Pradesh police and this special force have been able to inflict near-comprehensive defeat on the Maoists in the state.

Political leaders in West Bengal must see through their own platitudes and falsifications to comprehend the core of state infirmity that constitutes the foundations of the Maoist power. The absurd alibis that have been advanced to evade the necessity of response must be abandoned at the earliest, and not after the sheer quantum of the loss of innocent lives — as has been the case in other theatres — simply forces the state to respond.

West Bengal should ban Maoists under 1908 Act: Chidambaram

2 Jul 2009, 0633 hrs IST, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: The centre feels that the banning of CPI(Maoist) as a terrorist outfit under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act notwithstanding,
the West Bengal government still needs to declare the outfit as an “unlawful association” under the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908.

“The grounds on which an association can be banned under the UAPA and the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908, are very different,” Union home minister P Chidambaram pointed out on Wednesday, adding that the latter had a much wider application compared to the UAPA.

“Therefore, we have suggested that the state government should declare CPI(Maoist) as a banned organisation under the Criminal Law Amendment Act,” he stated.

While the “terrorist outfit” under UAPA applies throughout India and entitles police to take penal action against the proscribed outfit, its members, supporters and fund-raisers anywhere in the country, an “unlawful association” under the same Act is defined as one that supports secession. The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908, however has a different objective and defines an unlawful association as one that encourages or aids persons to commit acts of violence or intimidation.

The power to ban an outfit under Section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act is vested in the state government if the object of the association is interference with the administration of law or interference with the maintenance of law and order or if the association constitutes a danger to public peace.

Such a ban makes it an offence to contribute or solicit a contribution to an unlawful association. Section 17A, 17B and 17E give the state governments special powers to enforce the ban.

Informing newspersons that the counter-operation in Lalgarh was nearing completion, Mr Chidambaram said it was duty of the civil administration to bring back the villagers who may have been inadvertently displaced from their homes due to the ongoing offensive. He added that he had gone through the letter of Trinamool chief and railway minister Mamata Banerjee to the prime minister regarding the Lalgarh situation. “I will look into the allegations (made by Ms Banerjee) and also have a word with her,” assured the home minister.

Naxalites ‘tamed’ in Andhra Pradesh, hub of the movement

K.P. Narayana Kumar

font size New Delhi: At a time when Maoist rebels are expanding their influence elsewhere in India and stepping up attacks, security forces in Andhra Pradesh claim to have finally gained the upper hand over the rebels they have been battling for two decades.

In fact, paramilitary officers and home ministry officials engaged in the fight against Maoists, known as Naxalites, say Andhra Pradesh can serve as an example for other states where the rebels are active.

Naxalites take their name from Naxalbari, a village in West Bengal where a violent peasant movement erupted in the 1960s and spread over the years to other regions of India. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described them as the biggest threat to India’s national security.

The Centre last month banned the Communist Party of India (Maoist) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, terming it a terrorist organization.
“There are disturbances in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar, whereas the Andhra Pradesh police seem to be more in control of the situation,” says director general of the Central Reserve Police Force A.S. Gill.
This is despite the fact that at least a third of the members of the central committee, the apex decision-making body of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), belong to Andhra Pradesh.

According to Gill, relentless counter-attack operations mounted by the state police had helped tame the Naxal menace in Andhra Pradesh. “The state police even made use of the talks with the Naxalites in 2004 to get more information and background on the Maoists. This helped immensely in tracking Naxals in later years,” said the CRPF chief.

“At this point, it would be unwise to talk to the Naxalites as they are relentlessly attacking the police as well as civilians in several states,” he added.
The number of Naxalite attacks in Andhra Pradesh, according to the home ministry, had declined from 577 in 2003 to 92 in 2008, while they have increased from 256 to 620 in Chhattisgarh and from 342 to 484 in Jharkhand, respectively. The number of Naxalite attacks in Orissa increased from 49 to 73 over the same period.
P.V. Ramana, a research fellow with the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, says the surrender and rehabilitation policy instituted by the Andhra government in 1997 also played a major role in drawing away recruits from Naxalite groups.
“Over 7,000 Naxalites surrendered since the time the policy was initiated while 2,500 have been rehabilitated and assets worth Rs20 crore have been distributed to them,” he says in a research paper titled A critical evaluation of Andhra Pradesh’s response to the Naxalite challenge.

A paramilitary officer with years of experience in anti-Naxalite operations says the formation of a specialized force called Grey Hounds in 1989 to counter Naxalites was a prescient move by the Andhra Pradesh government.

The Grey Hounds unit, which numbers around 5,000 men, has a separate intelligence wing whose personnel keep tabs on the movement of Naxalite groups.
“Some of the other states facing the Naxalite problem do not even have enough people to man the police stations. That is the first measure that needs to be taken in these states: to recruit more policemen,” said the officer, who didn’t want to be named.

However, a senior official with the intelligence wing in the Andhra Pradesh police, warns that the decline in Naxalite violence may be a temporary lull. According to this officer, Naxalites are still active in the border districts of the state. According to this officer, who also didn’t want to be named, Naxalites are active across the borders in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Orissa.

“It is not as if they have gone to rest or sleep. The Naxals are continuously visiting villages in the border districts,” he said. “They deliver their own justice system and are earning a tremendous amount of revenue from these areas through extortion as these places are heavy on mining.”

AP: Khammam cops plan 5 helipads

B Satyanarayana Reddy

First Published : 02 Jul 2009 03:41:00 AM ISTLast Updated :

KHAMMAM: The district police is actively considering construction of five helipads in the Naxal-affected forest areas, it is reliably learnt.

The helipads, to be constructed with funds from the Union Home Ministry, will facilitate faster movement of troops into the interior areas of Bhadrachalam, Kothagudem and Yellandu divisions of the district which share borders with three states - Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.

Three helipads will be built in Bhadrachalam division and two in Yellandu division, it is learnt.

According to informed sources, the Union Government has released Rs 6 crore after the district was identified as one of the 33 districts severely affected by Naxalism in the country.
The Union Government is understood to have chalked out a plan for socio-economic development of areas affected by Maoism. Police sources told Express that laying of internal roads in Agency areas will be given priority as this will help quick movement of troops.

Operation plan for Maoists to be finalised by Sept-end

New Delhi, July 02: As Maoists continue to rampage in different parts of the country, the Union Home Ministry has decided to finalize by September-end a plan for sustained operations against the ultra Left wing extremists.

The Centre has decided to give approval for the work plans under Security Related Expenditure scheme for Naxal-hit states Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa for the current fiscal by July 15, according to the Home Ministry Action Plan II released here on Thursday.

Advance funds related to the scheme will be given to the nine states by the end of this month.

The Centre has also set a target of July 15 for the finalisation of guidelines and issue orders for revised surrender/ rehabilitation packages for naxalites.

By the middle of this month, authorization for the appointment of 6,666 Special Police Officers in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh for 2009-10 will be issued, the Action Plan II said.

The Home Ministry will also evaluate the implementation of the Special Infrastructure Scheme by Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa by end of this month.

Bureau Report

National Intelligence Grid by September-end

New Delhi, July 02: The Centre would set up a National Intelligence Grid (NIG) and National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) by September-end this year with a view to strenthening the intelligence-sharing and analysing mechanism in the country.

According to the Action Plan II released by Union Home Ministry for June one to September 30 this year, the estbalishment of NIG would be completed by September 30 as the Multi Agency Centre (MAC), which shares intelligence information with states and the security establishment, had already come into existence in the first phase.

The proposed NIG was set up to get quick and seamless and secured access to desired information for intelligence and law enforcement agencies in the country.

The user agencies and the databases have been identified. The complete NATGRID programme is likely to be delivered in three phases within two years, official sources said.

The Union Home Ministry has also fixed September 30 for finalising proposal and obtaining necessary approvals for setting up of NCTC.

NCTC aims at creating a "National Network Security Architecture" to address a host of problems that plague the internal security structure.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his first stint, had directed National Security Advisor M K Narayanan to prepare a report having two important recommendations which includes setting up of a detailed reporting structure and creating joint commands with central and state representatives for Naxal-affected areas.

While NCTC will be the apex body, it will have "collation and fusion" centres down to the district level so that intelligence can be streamlined and relayed more effectively. Every state will have a subsidiary multi-agency centre that will be connected to the NCTC.

The other key recommendation of having joint commands in Naxal-affected areas is to facilitate easier access to central forces and, more importantly, conceive, coordinate, plan and execute operations more effectively.

Bureau Report

MHA sets deadlines for deployment of CoBRA

Published: July 3,2009

New Delhi, Jul 2 The anti- Naxal force - CoBRA - is likely to start its operation from October with the Union Home Ministry today issuing specific deadlines for completion of various activities of the force.

According to the Home Ministry&aposs Action Plan-II, September 30 has been fixed as the deadline for completion of the training of the first batch of Combat Battalion for Resolute Action.

It said the Standard Operating Procedures for the new 10,000-personnel strong force would be out by July 30.

The report said the deadline for identification and possession of land for all CoBRA battalions is September 30 and the deadline for construction activities at the current acquired sites is July 31.

The Action Plan II said the last deadline for the identification of land for four more Battalions to be raised next year is September 30.

Source: PTI

ORISSA: State seeks 7 more CRPF platoons

Express News Service First Published : 03 Jul 2009 04:18:00 AM ISTLast Updated :

BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reiterated the demand for seven more companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for deployment in the Naxal-affected districts in the State.

While four of these will be engaged in the Naxal-affected districts, three will be deployed in border areas of the neighbouring states, Andhra Pradesh, Chhatisgarh and Jharkhand. All the three states are Naxal-affected.

The issue was discussed between the Chief Minister and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram when the latter visited the State recently to review the security preparedness of Orissa.

Naveen has also strongly opposed the withdrawal of CRPF from Kandhamal. The two leaders had discussed the necessity for deployment of Central force in the riot-affected district during Chidambaram’s visit here. Naveen expressed his surprise over the fact that soon after his visit to New Delhi, CRPF has been withdrawn from Kandhamal. Naveen has demanded that central forces should be redeployed in Kandhamal immediately.

Maoist wanted in policemen killing arrested

Published: July 3,2009

Sasaram , Jul 3 A Maoist, wanted in connection with the killing of two police officials, was arrested in Bihar&aposs Rohtas district today.

The ultra, identified as Bajrangi Thakur was netted by the police, which had specific information that he would be at Nokha to collect&aposlevy&aposfrom brick kiln owners, Superintendent of Police Vikas Vaibhav said.

The police recovered Rs 10,790 in cash, naxal literature and receipts of levy collection from Thakur involved in naxal activities since 1993, he said.

Source: PTI

Ruckus in Bihar assembly over naxal ref of CPI-ML leader

Patna, July 03: Protesting against naming their senior leader Ram Naresh Ram as a "naxalite" in a criminal case, agitated CPI-ML MLAs along with their RJD colleagues, today created an uproar in Bihar Assembly, forcing a brief adjournment of the House.

As the House re-assembled for post-lunch session, the CPI-ML members, dissatisfied with the state government's claim that police had approached the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate in Ara for deletion of the word "naxalite" prefixed to Ram's name in a murder case in Bhojpur district, trooped into the well of the House and demanded that the state order "unconditional withdrawal" of the case.

They banged the reporters' desk and continued shouting slogans against the Government for falsely implicating the octogenarian leader.

Taking serious exception to the party MLA Amarnath Yadav's behaviour, who kept banging the desk despite repeated requests, Speaker Udai Narain Choudhary got him marshalled out.

But, the din continued unabated with RJD members too entering the well seeking withdrawal of FIR against Ram.

As the opposition members did not relent to his repeated requests to allow the slated business and continued shouting slogans, Choudhary adjourned the House for half-an-hour.

Bureau Report

Naxal leader 'picked up' by Andhra police

Hyderabad, July 02: A top Naxalite leader of outlawed Janasakthi group was reportedly whisked away by police from his residence here on Thursday.

Veeresam, state in-charge of the outfit, along with three others, was taken away by a police team from LB Nagar area on the city's outskirts.

However, when contacted, the police officials did not confirm the report.

Acting on a tip-off, the police team went to a house at NTR Nagar, where Veeresam was residing for the last two days, the report said.

Meanwhile, a former Naxalite leader, Kura Rajanna, told a regional TV channel that the Janasakthi leader had been picked up by the police.

Veeresam should be produced in a court if he is facing any charges, he demanded.

Bureau Report

Govt aims to promote tourism in naxal-hit states

2 Jul 2009, 0336 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: The government is keen to aggressively promote tourism in naxal-affected states to encourage employment and battle poverty.

Announcing that promotion of domestic tourism was a priority, tourism minister Kumari Selja said, "We would like to see more domestic tourism in areas affected by naxalism like Orissa and Jharkhand. There needs to be more constructive activity to wean away the youth from terrorism."

The minister's statement appears ambitious under the current circumstances when central forces are battling naxalism in several states.

Selja outlined her ministry's plan to boost the sector with niche tourism products like caravan tourism and heliport tourism. The minister said the new policy guidelines for promotion of caravan tourism and facilitating infrastructure for the project would be finalised soon. "It will be developed as a niche tourism product," she said.

Under the project, tourists can enjoy the countryside on a caravan -- a home on wheels complete with bed and attached bathroom. The policy will work out details related to licensing of such vehicles.

Caravan tourism is popular in Australia and New Zealand. The ministry hopes to target areas that have a good road network, picturesque surroundings but scarcity of accommodation. Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Western Ghats, Delhi NCR are some of the areas that are likely to make the cut. The ministry hopes that caravans will supplement the shortage of rooms for the Commonwealth Games.

Tourists can plan their overnight stay at places that have facilities for electricity, water and open area for parking the caravans. Ministry officials said several companies were keen on the project. About 25 acres is required for caravans that can be rented for Rs 3,000-Rs 5,000.

Noting that the ministry's focus would be on development of tourist places in a holistic and integrated way, the minister said inter-state regional conferences would be held at least once a year.

After witnessing a 10% drop in the flow of foreign travellers due to global economic slowdown and Mumbai terror attacks, the government hoped the inflow of tourists would pick up following announcement of innovative schemes for the revival of the sector.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Six Maoists held in Chhattisgarh

July 1st, 2009 - 7:56 pm

Raipur, July 1 (IANS) Six suspected Maoists were apprehended in a forested stretch in Chhattisgarh’s restive Bastar region with arms and materials used for making land mines, police said Wednesday.
The insurgents were held in the jungles of Narayanpur district when a joint team of the district police and the special task force encircled a meeting venue of the Maoist rebels, Deputy Inspector General of police Pawan Deo said here.

Police recovered two guns, six detonators, a huge stock of wires being used in making land mines and some Maoist uniforms, the official said.

Meanwhile, rebels killed an activist of the anti-Maoist civil militia Salwa Judum in Dantewada district.

Pando Bhima, who lived at a relief camp in Dornapal village, was clubbed to death Wednesday morning while on a visit to his village in the forest interiors, some 4 km away from the camp, police said.

Bastar region comprising five districts - Dantewada, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Kanker and Bastar - is considered a Maoist stronghold.

The region has seen 90 percent of the nearly 1,500 casualties reported in the state due to Maoist violence since Nov 2000

Report Card of Ministry of Home Affairs for June 2009

18:48 IST

The Union Home Minister, Shri P. Chidambaram presented here today the report card of the Ministry of Home Affairs for June, 2009. The following is the text of his statement:

“June was the first full month that the new Government has been in office. Hence, I thought it would be appropriate to submit a report on the activities of MHA in the month of June 2009.

The most important event in June was the operations launched in Lalgarh, West Bengal. The operations are still under way, but I am glad to report that the Central Paramilitary Forces have ably assisted the West Bengal Police in reclaiming most of the territory that had been dominated by the CPI (Maoist) for nearly 8 months. We reiterated the principle that the primary responsibility for maintaining law and order rests with the State Government and that after committing its own forces, if the State Government makes a request for assistance, the Central Government will provide an adequate number of personnel from the Central Paramilitary Forces.

Another important development was the operationalisation of the NSG hubs at Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata. We made a promise to establish these hubs by July 1, 2009 and I am glad that we have been able to fulfil the promise.

As you are aware, MHA presented its first Action Plan for the period February 21 to May 31, 2009. On a review, I found that the first Action Plan has been substantially implemented. A few items, however, have spilled over. In accordance with the directions of the Prime Minister, an Action Plan – called Action Plan II – has been drawn up for the period June 1 to September 30, 2009. The items that have spilled over from the first Action Plan have been included in the second Action Plan. Even while the second Action Plan was being prepared, many elements of the Plan were implemented in the month of June 2009.

The Disaster Management Division of the MHA and the NDMA worked together to rush relief to the victims of cyclone ‘Aila’ which had affected 63.9 lakh people in 26,240 villages.

The Central Government offered logistic support in the form of NDRF Battalions, helicopters, army assistance, essential medicines and Rs.414.70 crore from the CRF (Rs.282.74 crore as opening balance on April 1, 2009 + Rs.131.96 crore as the first instalment). An eleven-member Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) visited West Bengal on June 6-9, 2009 and the High Level Committee of the NCCF, chaired by the Finance Minister will meet at 6.30 p.m. today.

I visited Jammu & Kashmir on June 11-12, 2009. A decision has been taken to redraw the lines of responsibility among the Army, the para-military forces and the J&K Police. We encourage the J&K Police to take over more responsibilities concerning law and order.

I visited Orissa on June 25-26, 2009. We have requested the State Government to ensure the return of the remaining 1,477 internally displaced persons to their villages and help them re-build their homes.

Some of the specific steps taken by MHA in the month of June 2009 are:

(i) Coastal Security: Up to 31.5.2009, 8 boats were delivered by GSL, Goa and GRSE, Kolkata. In June, 2009, 3 boats were delivered by GSL and 3 boats were delivered by GRSE.

(ii) Coastal Police Stations: Under the Coastal Security Scheme, 73 Coastal Police Stations (CPS) have been approved in 9 States viz. Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal and in the UTs of Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. 59 out of 73 CPSs are functional. Construction work of new buildings has been completed in 33 CPSs and is in progress in 11 CPSs.

(iii) Border Security: 8 kms. of fencing and 5 kms of road works were completed on the Indo-Bangladesh border in June, 2009.

(iv) Immigration: 31 out of the 33 Immigration Check Posts (ICPs) have been provided with upgraded computer systems. 30 out of the 33 ICPs and all 5 FRRO offices have been networked to the Central Foreigners Bureau.

(v) National Investigation Agency: 3 cases were entrusted to the NIA under Section 6(5) of the NIA Act. 123 posts were sanctioned for the Intelligence and Finance wings of the NIA.

(vi) Security Plans for States: Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Committee approved the work plans for 2009-10 for the States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Maharashtra.

SRE Committee approved the inclusion of 1 more district of Andhra Pradesh (Nizamabad) and 5 more districts of Orissa (Deogarh, Jajpur, Kondhamal, Dhenkanal and Nayagarh) under the SRE Scheme.

(vii) Unlawful Activities Prevention Act: On June 22, 2009, ‘CPI (Maoist), all its formations and front organisations’ was included in the Schedule to the Act and thus named as a terrorist organisation.

(viii) CPOs: DGs of Central Paramilitary Forces were given enhanced financial powers for capital works and land acquisition.

A revised recruitment scheme for recruitment of Constables in CPMFs was approved.

135 support staff/officers were sanctioned in various Central Police Organisations for newly created senior management posts.

(ix) Police Modernisation: Orders were placed for supply of automatic grenade launchers, grenades and handheld thermal imagers.

(x) National Population Register: Work is under way for the creation of NPR in coastal areas/districts of the country. A conference of District Magistrates of the coastal districts was held on June 3, 2009. Officers of the Directorate of Census Operations were trained for field work for NPR in coastal areas/districts.

Shri Rameshwar Thakur was appointed as Governor of Madhya Pradesh and, in his place, Shri H R Bhardwaj was appointed as Governor of Karnataka. Shri Debanand Konwar was appointed as Governor of Bihar.

Mr. Justice G P Mathur was appointed as acting Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission.

The Liberhan Commission of Inquiry submitted its report to the Prime Minister on June 30, 2009".

West Bengal civic polls: Trinamool-Cong beat Left Front

1 Jul 2009, 2017 hrs IST, IANS

KOLKATA: The Congress-Trinamool alliance in West Bengal continued its victory march and crushed the ruling Left Front (LF) in the urban civic body
polls on Wednesday.

Out of the 16 municipalities which went to the hustings on Sunday, the opposition won in 13 while the LF triumphed in only three civic bodies.

"People of the state have reposed their faith in the Congress-Trinamool Congress alliance. The civic body poll result has once again proved that people do not want this Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM)-led LF government in West Bengal," Partha Chattopadhayay of Trinamool Congress, leader of opposition in the assembly, said.

Dedicating the victory to the common people, he said: "This state government has no moral right to remain in power."

Chattopadhyay also urged all party workers not to take out any victory rally and not to indulge in any kind of violence.

The opposition snatched six civic bodies in the south Bengal districts of North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas and Howrah, in a virtual replay of the parliamentary elections, with their votes increasing in several wards.

The opposition alliance also secured a good number of votes in several rural bodies that went to polls Sunday. So far, the LF controlled 11 of the 16 municipalities in the 10 districts. The Congress was in power in three municipalities, while Trinamool ruled only in one.

The LF, however, managed to retain the Rajarhat-Gopalpur municipality in North 24 Parganas, the combine's sole success in south Bengal. In the northern part of the state, the Mal municipality of Jalpaiguri district and Gangarampur municipality in South Dinajpur district provided the silver lining for the beleaguered LF.

The LF could only snatch the Mal municipality from the Congress.

Storming The ‘Red Fort’

Published by editor India Jul 1, 2009 By Chandrahasan – Syndicate Features

The security forces may have won the battle against the Maoists in Lalgarh (literally, Red Fort), a village in West Bengal, by driving them out of the village police station, but there is no sign that the more important goal of defeating the Maoists has been achieved. The message that the retreating Maoists left was: ‘We’ll come back.’

The Maoists need not make big efforts to ‘come back’ because their large support base among the villagers of Lalgarh and other areas where they operate is certainly not wiped out. Politicians in West Bengal are making the Maoists’ job easier by indulging in ‘blame game’ when the need is for them to unite to lure the people away from the Maoists’ cult of violence.

The ‘blame game’ in the state has a peculiar triangle. The (dominant) ruling party, the CPI (M), attributes all the trouble, including violence, in Lalgarh and similarly Maoist infested areas to its principal ‘enemy’, the Trinamul Congress of Mamata Bannerjee. The Marxists in Kolkata also blame the Congress but not so vociferously as the Trinamul Congress.

Mamata ‘Didi’ sees it all as part of the CPI (M) ‘drama’. Despite being part of a Congress-led coalition, she criticises the Congress, though only obliquely. She resents that her party was not consulted when Delhi dispatched paramilitary forces to launch a flush out operation in Lalgarh. It is obvious that she is looking to enlarge her following by reaching out to those—mostly Maoists—who are angry over the police action in Lalgarh.

The ‘blame game’ is not likely to end anytime soon. The malaise highlighted at Lalgarh–pockets of backwardness going out of state’s control—does not look like going away soon.

Undoubtedly, what has caused the Lalgarh ‘problem’ was the result of negligence and poor governance. What needs to be added here with equal emphasis is the culture of violence that has been the hallmark of politics in West Bengal for a very long time.

It is used to be alleged by the Marxists and their sympathisers at one time that the Congress was using the Naxalites to ‘eliminate’ them. The Marxists are accused by all ‘non-Left’ parties in the state of ruling by ‘terrorising’ people. Now the Marxists are talking about the Trinamul Congress resorting to violence to get to power.

It is hard to say whether all these accusation are true or false but what has been clear is that West Bengal has developed an unfortunate history of settling political differences with violent means. While the Marxists-led Left Front government may have brought about some ‘revolutionary’ changes in land reforms and introduced many ‘pro-poor’ measures it is not the only reason why they have stayed in power for so long.

About the first thing the Marxists and their allies did on coming to power in West Bengal years ago was to infiltrate all institutions of the state as well as the lower bureaucracy. Simultaneously, they raised well-armed cadres who enjoyed the licence to get rough and talk tough with critics and the opposition. The Marxists had begun on a high moral ground as they certainly had many men and women among their ranks and top echelons of their party who were seen as honest and upright. The Left parties in general were also able to attract the bulk of the intellectual cream of the state. In due course, lumpen elements elbowed them, if not all majority of them.

When violence was raging in Lalgarh one of the things that came to light was that the locals had attacked and destroyed their eye sore – a ‘palatial’ house of CPI(M) satrap who led and lived a lavish life even as the area continued to suffer on account of government’s neglect. The Bengal Marxists acted no differently from any bourgeois or capitalist party in selectively implementing development programmes. A local party satrap could prosper by leaps and bounds while the villagers around remained where they were, deprived of basic facilities and job security.

The Left government denied the fruits of the national scheme of guaranteed rural employment to the villagers. The police atrocities were allowed to reach a stage when the villagers had to resort to ‘social boycott’ of the policemen and their families to register their protest.

All this could not have happened in a year or so. It will be a surprise if the comrades in Kolkata say that they were not aware of the true picture in the countryside. A cadre-based grass-root party cannot say that its feedback system is faulty.

The Marxists surely knew what was happening. They perhaps assumed that if anything goes wrong their armed cadres, with help from the police, would take care of it. The intervention by the musclemen of the ruling party only broadened the conflict and caught the attention of the entire country, much to the embarrassment of the Left Front government.

It is deplorable but also natural for political rivals to gloat over the travails of the ruling party. That, however, will not help matters. It is truism to state that West Bengal needs better governance—all the states do. A necessary ‘pre-condition’ for a turn around in governance will be renouncing the culture of violence by all the political parties in Bengal and elsewhere in the country. That, unfortunately, appears to be a tall order.

It can be distilled from various reports that the hot-headed cadres of the Marxists and even some from the Maoists ranks are overtly or covertly supporting the Trinamul Congress, perhaps in the hope that the demise of the Left rule in the state is near and Mamata ‘Didi’s’ Trinamul is destined to be the next ruling party.

For the sake of West Bengal’s future, the Trinamul Congress has to shun the votaries of violence forcefully; it can do so because at the moment it does seem to enjoy spontaneous support among a large section of the state’s population.

- Asian Tribune –

Don't interfere with judicial process: CJI

Prabhakar Rao Voruganti
First Published : 01 Jul 2009 04:44:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 01 Jul 2009 08:22:05 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Chief Justice of India on Tuesday said Ministers should not interfere in the functioning of courts.

Justice K G Balakrishnan was reacting to allegations of a Madras High Court judge that a Union Minister, who he did not name, had tried to influence his decision on a bail plea of a doctor and his son charged with forging documents.

The Chief Justice told a TV channel that ministers should not interfere. “It is bad for the judiciary,” he was quoted as saying.

Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily, however, remained non-committal on the issue. “Let me verify the case first, then I can comment on it,” he told a television channel. Significantly, he stressed that his Ministry didn’t normally get involved in such matters. He said such issues would be looked into by the judiciary.

On Monday, Justice R Regupathi of the Madras High Court, revealed in open court that a Union Minister had called him up asking him to pass orders in favour of a doctor-son duo. The case relates to anticipatory bail sought for C Krishnamurthy and his son Kiruba Sridhar, a third-year MBBS student.

The CBI registered cases against them for trying to get Sridhar’s marks inflated.

Justice Regupathi has referred the case to the Chief Justice, for placing it before some other judge. He opted out from the case after accepting the apology from the counsel for the petitioners.

Sack the Minister, says SC Bar Association

Supreme Court Bar Association president M N Krishnamani called for sacking of the Minister who sought to exert influence over a Madras High Court judge.

Speaking to The New Indian Express, Krishnamani said, “Such a person has no business to be a minister. He doesn’t deserve to be a minister.

He should be sacked immediately. I would have been happy if the judge had disclosed the name of the Union Minister… We will all be with him. The entire country, the entire lawyer community will be with the judge.”

ANDHRA PRADESH: Two naxals killed in encounter

Published: July 1,2009


Two naxalites were today killed in an exchange of fire with police even as five others managed to escape in Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh, a senior officer said.

The encounter took place in Bhupathipuram forest area of Eturunagaram Mandal after naxals fired on the police party which was combing the area for past two days on specific information that a group of ultras was hiding there," Warangal District Superintendent of Police V C Sajjanar told media.

"We had to retaliate after the naxals fired on the police team. However, no police personnel were injured in the encounter,"the SP said. Some SLR rifles were recovered from the encounter spot, he said adding one of the deceased has been identified as Ashok, state secretary of Praja Prathighatna group.

Source: PTI

More than 7000 Maoist Naxals regroup in neighboring states

More than 7000 Maoist Naxals regroup in neighboring states to wage rebellion against West Bengal Marxist cops and Indian paramilitary forces

Preeti Singhani
Jul. 1, 2009

They fled well in advance as planned. They did not fight. They wanted the West Bengal Marxist cops and Indian paramilitary forces to come and conquer just like Sunnis allowed George Bush’s American military in Iraq in 2003. West Bengal Marxist cops and Indian paramilitary troops could not find any of the Maoist fighters. The whole youth generation of the tribal people have disappeared in a very preplanned way.

Finally Indian intelligence understand what really happened. India’s central Government in new Delhi has warned Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and Chhattisgarh, the neghiboring states, that more than 7,000 Maoists, many of them armed, have fled Lalgarh in Bengal to sneak into these states, forcing the East Singhbhum administration to step up patrolling in the Ghatshila sub-division bordering the troubled spot of West Midnapore.

The warning seemed to have an immediate effect at Chakulia on the Jharkhand-Bengal border, where the police had been put on high alert with jawans of Indian Reserved Battalion (IRB), Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) and district police dispatched on long-range patrolling.

The Bengal police have identified some CPI(Maoist) leaders who had apparently crossed over into Ghatshila from Lalgarh. They include Vikasji, the secretary of the Purulia-Bankura-West Midnapore zonal committee, Kishanji, the politburo member, Kanchan, the Bengal state committee secretary, and Rakeshji, a member of the Bengal-Jharkhand-Orissa border regional committee.

Security operation against Naxals in Lalgarh nearing completion: Govt.

July 1st, 2009 - 11:33 pm ICT by ANI -

New Delhi, July 1 (ANI): The Government on Wednesday said that the ongoing security operation against the Naxals in Lalgarh region of West Bengal was nearing completion while asking the State administration to motivate return of those people who have fled the place.”The operation is not yet complete. It, perhaps, is nearing completion,” said Union Home Minister P Chidambaram while adding that the objective of the operation was to recover territory dominated by the CPI(Maoists) and restore the rule of the civil administration, which had lost control.

“In the bargain, if some residents of the villages have left their homes, taken shelter in jungles or whatever, I think it is the duty of the civil administration to encourage them to come back to their homes and come back to their villages,” Chidambaram said.

On being asked about the probability of declaring the CPI (Maoist) as an outlawed organisation by the West Bengal Government, Chidambaram said the outfit had always been a terrorist organisation — in its previous avatar as well in its present avatar — and therefore the Centre had included it in the schedule of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Chidambaram said: “We have suggested to the Chief Minister (Buddhadeb) that the state government should declare it as an unlawful association under the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1908 (CLAA). That is where the matter stands.”

“The grounds on which an association can be declared as an unlawful association under the UAPA, the ground on which an association can be declared as an unlawful association under the CLAA are very different. There are significant differences between the provisions of the UAPA and CLAA. We think, therefore, we have suggested that the state government should name the CPI(Maoist) as an unlawful association under the CLAA 1908,” the Union Home Minister added. (ANI)

Central Act to be used only against Maoists

First Published : 01 Jul 2009 12:12:52 AM ISTLast Updated :

KOLKATA: The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act to contain Maoists would be used with care and only against those directly involved in Naxal activities, the West Bengal Government said on Tuesday. "The Central Act will be used carefully and only against those confirmed involved in Maoist activities," Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen told reporters.

"The new Act would only be applied against confirmed Maoist activists like Bikash, Sashadhar and Kishenji," he said.

"PCPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato is also not connected with Maoists and will be arrested only under provisions of the IPC," Sen said.

Earlier, CPI(Maoist) spokesman had been booked under the Act.

The state government, therefore, has decided to withdraw the case under the new Act against two tribals arrested for planting mines near Sarenga in Bankura district.

Armed movement in city before 2011 poll: Kishanji

1 Jul 2009, 0441 hrs IST, Jhimli Mukherjee Pandey, TNN

KOLKATA: The Maoist offensive will not be contained within West Midnapore for long. An interview with CPI(Maoist) politburo member Kishanji, printed
in the latest edition of the Maoist mouthpiece Gana Pratirodh Mancha, talks about the banned group's plan to start its movements in Singur and Nayachar soon. It also talks about an armed movement in Kolkata before the 2011 Assembly elections.

While the Lalgarh movement continues, it is possible that the movements might spread to Singur and Nayachar, the interview suggests. "Trinamool Congress will not be able to lead the Singur movement for long, as it has tied up with Congress. People in Singur are already seething at the present nonchalance of Trinamool. The latter is playing safe because any friction with Congress before the Assembly elections will prove fatal. The land movement needs leaders now and we are about to fill the vacuum," he says in the interview. After entering Singur, the primary objective of the Maoists will be to drive a wedge between the other political parties there, he adds.

Kishanji also quashes popular belief that it was Trinamool alone which was leading the people's resistance in Nandigram. He claims that the CPI(Maoists) did play a strong role in building up mass resistance in Nandigram, so much so that it has today become a model in the anti-SEZ movements. "We are now heading towards Nayachar because we will not let the chemical hub come up there. We are about to build up public awareness against such a chemical hub by sensitising people about the harms that it will cause to the environment and natural resources," he says.

He calls the Lalgarh movement a "second Naxalbari", because of the armed resistance that it has been able to offer in the face of "state-led coercion", adding, "We have 1100 villages with us in the movement. Even the mass vote boycott during the Lok Sabha elections was the first to happen since the days of the Naxalbari movement. Just like it happened in the earlier movement, we struck at a place which is the weakest spot of the state and which automatically makes it our stronghold."

For the past few days, since the state-led forces launched the Lalgarh attack, Naxal leaders of yesteryears have been accusing the Maoists of misleading tribals of the area. It has been said that their armed uprising negates the very purpose of a people's movement. Kishanji counters these accusations in the interview.

"Most Naxal groups of those days have chosen the easy path today that of the parliamentary system. Look at Santosh Rana, whose group actually swivelled from ultra-Left politics to help usher in Rightist politics in the country," accused Kishanji. He added that people like Rana could not be forgiven for leaving the Lalgarh movement in the lurch.