Friday, July 17, 2009

Remembering Brave Heart Umesh Chandra , IPS

From Naxal

From Naxal

Orissa intensifies combing operation to nab Maoists (Lead)

July 17th, 2009 - 11:15 pm ICT by IANS -

Bhubaneswar, July 17 (IANS) Police intensified combing operations to nab Maoists who shot dead a policeman and killed a paramilitary trooper in a landmine blast Friday in two separate incidents in Orissa’s Sundergarh district, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said.
“Reinforcements have been rushed to the area and combing operations have been intensified to track down the extremists,” Patnaik said making a statement in the assembly.

Announcing a compensation of Rs.8 lakh to the next of kin of the slain policeman Patnaik said the family will also receive Rs.10 lakh from the insurance company. He said a job would also be provided to one family member.

The next of kin of the paramilitary trooper will also receive Rs.10 lakh from the insurance company and other benefits as admissible from the central government, he said.

A group of 50 heavily armed Maoists forcibly stopped a mini truck at Champajharan village carrying explosive materials from Gulf Oil Corporation and hijacked it at gun point, Patnaik said.

The Maoists further searched other vehicles and found one police sub inspector Ajit Kumar Bardhan who was returning in a vehicle with three others after attending a court duty nearby. They kidnapped the sub inspector, Patnaik said.

Soon after the van was looted, the CRPF along with police launched a combing operation in the area during which one trooper was hurt in a landmine explosion. He succumbed to his injuries on the way to hospital, he said.

Further combing in the area led to the recovery of the dead body of the kidnapped sub inspector in the nearby area, he said.

The steel city of Rourkela is located about 500 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.


By Praveen Swami

Unless problems within India’s largest central police force are resolved, its presence in Jammu and Kashmir will be a persistent source of friction. Constable Ram Prasad Yadav has spent most of this summer peering out through the slits of his bunker, staring at an unremittingly hostile world.

Like other Central Reserve Police Force position in old-town Baramulla, the dank, sandbagged bunker has been under constant attack from small groups of stone-throwing protesters. “Spend a year here”, he says, laconically, “and you’ll be wanting to kill someone — or kill yourself.”

Evidence is mounting that growing numbers of CRPF personnel share that sentiment. Eight of fourteen people injured in CRPF fire during the recent rioting in Baramulla were hit above the waist — a sign that the bullets were intended to kill, not injure. In one instance, CRPF sources said, a constable is suspected to have fired to kill in response to communal taunts. In others, men hit by rocks retaliated in pain. Both the situations point to flaws in discipline and training.

Following the shooting of four protesters in Baramulla by the CRPF earlier this month, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah called for the withdrawal of the force. Unable to contain the violence that has scarred the State’s streets since last summer, Mr. Abdullah has since tempered his demand. But unless problems within the CRPF are resolved, the force’s presence in Jammu and Kashmir is likely to be a persistent source of friction.

Later this month, as the Amarnath Yatra ends, five of the 60 CRPF battalions located in the Kashmir division will be relocated to Chhattisgarh. Three more battalions, of the seventeen stationed in Jammu division, will also be moved to fight Maoist insurgents. But the bulk of the estimated 77,000 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir will stay on, at least for now.

Earlier this year, encouraged by the steady de-escalation of terrorist violence in Jammu and Kashmir, the Ministry of Home Affairs had laid out plans to pull out the CRPF from the State. The personnel were desperately needed in states like Chhattisgarh, which currently has just 17 CRPF battalions.

Planners hoped the Jammu and Kashmir police, supported by the Indian Army’s Rashtriya Rifles counter-insurgency formations, would be able to hold the ground. The 81,370-strong Jammu and Kashmir Police is supported by the 18 battalion-strong Kilo Force, the Rashtriya Rifles formation responsible for northern Kashmir, and the 14-battalion Victor Force, which operates in south Kashmir.

Mr. Abdullah hoped he could use the CRPF pullout to score points over the opposition People’s Democratic Party, which has been calling for troop cuts. The summer’s events, though, made clear the Jammu and Kashmir Police had neither the numbers nor will to deal with the crisis alone.

A fatigued force No great insight is needed, though, to see that the CRPF isn’t a solution, either. The force is under-trained, and under-equipped; its personnel fatigued, and their morale frayed.

In less than five years, the CRPF has more than doubled in size. Back in 2003, the CRPF had 120 battalions—approximately 1.2 million personnel—on its rolls. Figures released in 2007 show the CRPF had 201 battalions—or almost 2.5 million personnel—on its rolls.

But the rapid expansion has led to a crippling shortage of officers. The CRPF in Jammu and Kashmir is, sources in the force say, over 40 per cent short of Assistant Commandants, 60 per cent short of Inspectors, and over 20 per cent short of Sub-Inspectors. While it takes nine months to train a constable, officers typically require two years of instruction. Many frontline units, as a result, lack leadership.

Moreover, the CRPF has among the most punishing work-loads of any police force in the country. CRPF units guarding the road and railway line in south Kashmir, for example, typically deploy at 5.00 a.m. — which means waking up two hours earlier. Personnel are rarely pulled off duty before 9.00 p.m.Worst of all, the CRPF has less than 20 battalions stationed in non-combat locations, among them Chandigarh, New Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh. That means CRPF personnel can expect a two-year peace-station posting just once every two decades.

“When an army soldier finishes his tour of duty in Jammu and Kashmirsays one north-Kashmir based CRPF officer, “he’ll be heading somewhere quiet. At the end of bad day, a police officer goes home to his wife and kids. My next posting is going to be in Manipur or Chhattisgarh.”

But CRPF officers say the problems the force is facing in Jammu and Kashmir are also the outcome of a confused mandate.

According to Union Home Ministry’s 2007 Annual Report, the CRPF is expected to handle a wide variety of roles: counter-terrorism, static guard duties at key installations and offices across the country, riot control and even VIP protection duties. CRPF units especially trained for counter-terrorism duties are now being asked to contain urban rioting, a task for which they have been neither trained nor equipped. More than 1,300 CRPF personnel are claimed by authorities to have suffered injuries combating the summer protests.

New Delhi had decided to assign urban counter-terrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir to the CRPF in 2003, on the basis of recommendations of a Group of Ministers set up in the wake of the Kargil war. In time, the CRPF was to have replaced the Rashtriya Rifles and Border Security Force altogether, and transform itself into a dedicated counter-insurgency formation.

Late in August, 2006, days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met with leaders of the secessionist All-Parties Hurriyat Conference in an effort to push forward the peace process in Jammu and Kashmir, the BSF received orders to withdraw from Srinagar.

But New Delhi pumped in the CRPF into Jammu and Kashmir without the assets needed to make it an effective fighting force: among them, a theatre-specific training school, an intelligence service and communications-interception capabilities. Even as the CRPF struggled to fulfil its counter-terrorism mandate, it was given frontline charge of fighting the Islamist-led street protests that gathered momentum in Jammu and Kashmir last summer. Unless policy-makers address the multiple strains confronting the CRPF, the problems it has faced in Jammu and Kashmir are likely to be replicated in the new theatres it is being assigned

Left ultras suspected in attack on beat house

;Statesman News Service

BALASORE, 17 JULY: A group of around 50 armed people allegedly ransacked the forest beat houses at Purunapani and Jodachua under the Kuldhia area of Balasore forest division on 16 July.

With the Maoist mayhem which took place in various beat houses in the Simlipal forest in neighbouring Mayurbhanj district a few months ago still fresh in people's minds, it has been speculated that the Leftist rebels had started strengthening their position in the forests of this coastal district.

Whilst the forest officials neither confirmed nor denied the possibility, the district superintendent of police, Mrs Rekha Lohani, denied that it was a Maoist operation.

“We are investigating into the matter. All angles are being taken into consideration. The real facts will come to the fore once the investigation report is available,” she said.

Sources said a mob of around 50 armed people from Mankadapada village, under Kaptipada police station of Mayurbhanj, barged inside the beat house of Purunapani on the afternoon of 16 July and ransacked it.

They also went to Jodachua beat house, around 8 km away, where they destroyed the light point. The mob thrashed two forest guards in the beat house and allegedly kidnapped one of them.

Before leaving the beat house, they reportedly proclaimed that Kuldhia was their next target.

Another rumour currently circulating is that the incident was the outcome of the recent arrest by forest personnel of a father and son duo, Mr Mushu Kisku and Mr Kandira Kisku, who were attempting to carry out farming activities in the Kuldhia sanctuary area. The incident provoked the villagers, who attacked the beat houses in vengeance, some sources informed.

Following the incident, forest and police personnel of both districts rushed to the spot. One platoon of CRPF personnel were deployed by Mayurbhanj police.
The buffer patch between the two districts has been vulnerable to Maoist activities, where there are many sympathizers.

Nalco beefs up security to combat Maoist attack

18 Jul 2009, 0548 hrs IST, ET Bureau

KOLKATA: NALCO, the country's largest state-owned aluminium company, has stepped up security measures at its bauxite mines in Damanjodi, the site of
a ghastly Maoist attack last April. The measures include doubling of CISF deployment in the mines located in Panchpatmali hills of Koraput district. The company is also experimenting with the use of “blast free” mining methods in a determined bid to cut down the use of explosives.

The deployment of CISF personnel at the bauxite mines has also been more than doubled from 89 to 197 jawans. In particular, Nalco said security has been augmented at most vulnerable points—the magazine house, where explosives are stored. It was also the scene of some of the most fierce attacks on security personnel during the attacks in April.

Special emphasis has been given on fortification of magazine area by providing multi-layer protection systems like chain links, concertina, barbed wire, power fencing and brick walls around the magazine house at the mines.

Apart from these measures, the company has also drastically reduced the storage of explosives at the magazine house since the attacks. The stock of explosives is being kept for a bare minimum of about 4-5 days consumption. Nalco is exploring the possibility of "blast free" mining methods, where there is no use of explosives.

As construction of a permanent barrack or any construction in the vicinity of the magazine house is strictly prohibited, the CISF jawans have been provided with well equipped rest sheds near the magazine house for jawans deputed on duty to safeguard the explosives. These sheds are similar to the ones used by defence personnel. This is in addition to permanent barrack in two blocks that already exist at a distance of 700 metres from magazine house.

72-hr PCPA bandh in three districts

TNN 18 July 2009, 05:42am IST |

LALGARH: Both the People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) and the Maoists have called bandhs one after the other.

While the Maoist-backed PCPA has given a call for a 72-hour bandh in West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts from Sunday to protest the month-long operation and torture of innocent villagers at its core committee meeting near Lalgarh on Friday, CPI(Maoist) has called a bandh on July 22, immediately after this strike ends in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Bengal in protest against the price hike of petrol, potato and essential commodities.

"We saw police and CPM-backed goons torture innocent people in the name of anti-Maoist operation for the past one month. They even heckled women. Many villagers have even been forced to leave villages. So, we have called a 72-hour bandh, demanding a stop to such torture and immediate withdrawal of security forces from the area," said PCPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato.

"We have also decided to distribute farmlands among landless farmers and labourers of CPM leaders, who have left. Everyone knows that CPM leaders had encroached and evicted many farmers," he added.

For example, CPM's Binpur zonal committee secretary Anuj Pandey, who left Dharampur on June 14 following the exchange of fire between CPM and Maoists, used to possess two bigha vested land, after evicting the original patta holder.

According to PCPA, Anuj and his two brothers Ujjwal and Manas have 7 bigha cultivable land and 2 bigha vested land. Anuj's maternal uncle and CPM zonal committee member, Binoy Pandey, and his three brothers had 12 bigha in all. Binoy's brother Amal Pandey became Dharampur gram panchayat pradhan and owner of a 30-bigha plot. Another CPM leader, Dalim Pandey, and his three brothers have 12 bigha at Harina. All of them fled Dharampur and Harina on June 14.

CPI(Maoist) leader Bikash said: "Maoists will observe a bandh in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Bengal to protest the price hike of essential commodities like petrol and potatoes on July 22."

Fear of Maoists keeps school shut for 3 months

July 18th, 2009 -

Patna, July 18 (IANS) During the Lok Sabha elections in April Maoist rebels blew up a portion of a school building in Bihar’s Gaya district to prevent security forces from using it as a camp. Three months later, authorities of the Patluka Bunyadi (Basic) School are yet to re-open it.

“Fear of the Maoists kept the teachers from opening the school. They stopped coming to school,” said Rajendra Prasad, a resident of Patluka village, located under Barachatti police station in Gaya district, some 100 km from here.

Villagers have informed the local administration about the closure of the school due fear of the Maoists. But no step has been taken to re-open the school.

Parents are worried as their children’s education was being affected by the closure.

“We can only wait till it opens,” said Savita Devi, mother of a student.

Before blowing up the school building in April, Maoists told the villagers it was being destroyed to prevent security forces from using it in future.

Govt announces ex-gratia for slain SI, CRPF jawan

Published: July 18,2009

Bhubaneswar , July 17 The Orissa government today announced ex-gratia for the next of kin of slain sub-inspector Ajit Bardhan, who was killed by Maoists and CRPF jawan Mohammad Rafiq, who died in a landmine explosion during the combing operation today.
The government announced a job and an ex-gratia payment of Rs 8 lakh along with Rs 10 lakh insurance cover for the next of kin of Bardhan.

"Bardhan&aposs body was recovered during combing operation launched following last night&aposs Maoist violence," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told the assembly.

About 50 heavily armed Maoists forcibly stopped one mini truck carrying explosive materials at Champajharan in Banki police station in Sundargarh district, he said.

The truck was on way to Keonjhar district when it was hijacked by Maoists, Patnaik said, adding that he was informed that the company producing and transporting the explosives was not following the standard procedures for transporting explosives.

" Investigation is being conducted by the police into the case and strict action will be taken against those found responsible," Patnaik told the assembly.

Source: PTI

Maoists blow up police outpost in Orissa

July 18th, 2009

Bhubaneswar, July 18 (IANS) Maoist rebels have blown up a police outpost in Orissa’s Kandhamal district, police said Saturday.
A group of Maoists blew up the police outpost in Katingia Friday night, Kandhamal Superintendent of Police Pravin Kumar told IANS on phone. The district headquarters is about 200 km from the state capital.

Though local media reports said some constables were missing after the incident, Kumar denied the reports.

“No policemen are missing. We have already established contact with our personnel there and a combing operation is on to nab the rebels,” he said.

Armed Maoists blew up Katingia Police Out Post in Orissa
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Report by Orissadiary bureau; Bhubaneswar : Armed Maoists blew up Katingia Police Out Post under Brahmanigan Police Station in Daringbadi Block of Kandhamal District in the late night of Friday.

A large number of armed Maoists, including women blew up the Police Out- Post using powerful explosives .They fallen trees to blocked the road, for which the police could not abale to reach the spot yet. Details awaited.

Safe haven for Maoists

Rajaram Satapathy, TNN 17 July 2009, 11:04pm IST

BHUBANESWAR: Maoists take rest in police posts. Sounds incredible, but it was not long ago when these extremists from Andhra Pradesh and

Chhattisgarh trekking on hills, through forests and crossing rivers would enter Orissa, rest their arms on surveillance posts in remote areas set up exclusively to watch Maoist activities. They would visit villages, hold meetings and go shopping before returning to their camps back in Andhra Pradesh.

The lathi-wielding cops failed to recognize the traps the left wing extremists (LWEs) were laying for them. The bosses in Bhubaneswar never bothered to find out what was really going on in these far-flung southern districts. The official attitude was rather friendlier. The government came to sense only when the Maoists struck Motu and Kalimela police stations in Malkangiri district in 2001. For the unprepared state police taking on the well-trained, armed and organized Maoists was not so easy. Added to their woes was the government's apathy in taking more than five years to declare the Maoists as outlaws.

As the LWE attacks continued, the consequence is for anyone to see to believe. At one time, Malkangiri district was by far the only pocket synonymous with Maoist mayhem. They have since then, spread to more than half of Orissa's 30 districts. However, officially only 15 districts are listed as LWE-affected. After repeated attacks on the Similipal tiger sanctuary in Mayurbhanj district, the Maoists have virtually taken over the 2,750 sqkm forestland, forcing tourists to strike it from their itinerary.

In Malkangiri district, the cut-off area across Balimela reservoir is out of bounds for officials. A block office, built at a cost of Rs 3.5 crore to cater to the needs of nearly 25,000 people, is now lying idle. People avoid travelling in the southern districts even during the day. In the west, Maoists revived their operation recently, killing a police official at point blank during combing operations in Sambalpur district.

Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon blocks of Koraput district have all but slipped out of government control, where tribals backed by them have been on a land grabbing spree. Kandhamal district, which was, until recently, considered quiet and peaceful with its beautiful forests and hills, has become the latest hub of the Maoists.

The state government had all along put the onus on the Centre. But the recent statement of Union home minister P Chidambaram in the Parliament speaks volumes for the cavalier attitude of the state government in doing its part to contain the escalating violence by the Red rebels. He elaborated on how the Maoist menace had been underestimated at the state level and threw light on the alienation of people in the face of developmental programmes not reaching them. Officials here corroborate Chidambaram's statement, citing rampant misappropriation of development funds meant for ameliorating the nagging poverty of the region. Official inputs indicate that nearly Rs 1,704 crore had been pumped into the tribal-dominated region by the Centre, through the special KBK Yojana that was launched with much fanfare in 1998.

Amid raising public against gross embezzlement of funds when the Centre refused to extend the scheme, chief minister Naveen Patnaik launched the Biju KBK Yojana, which in the last three years has invested nearly 150 crore out of the sanctioned Rs 260 crore. But the tribals of the region continue to remain where they were.

At a recent meeting, only 14 per cent villages in Malkangiri were cited as electrified. "Road communication is still worse, which actually pose a bigger problem for police to reach the trouble pockets. When government has failed the Maoists have taken over governance on their own terms. The hapless tribals have no choice to but to turn to them without demur," said a Koraput district official. "The government's myopic outlook is evident from the kind of people posted in key posts like collector and SPs," he added.

Twin choppers for rebel patrol


In resscue act
Ranchi, July 17: Jharkhand will get the services of two helicopters, preferably Dhruv, from the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) for anti-Naxalite surveillance and rescue operations.

Home secretary J.B. Tubid told The Telegraph that the state could expect the services by the end of this month. “There will be no problem for anti-rebel operations in the future,” Tubid added.

Sources said that the helicopters would be stationed at Ranchi airport and used exclusively for policing. The MHA will arrange things from the security-related expenditure (SRE) fund.

Meanwhile, Governor Syed Sibtey Razi has decided to bestow the administrative control of the state’s lone Dhruv to the civil aviation department.

Born in a workshop of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Dhruv was purchased under the police modernisation fund by the state home department in 2007. But since then the chopper has been used more for ferrying VIPs than for surveillance in rebel pockets.“The Dhruv will no longer be looked after by our department. It will be the civil aviation department that will operate and maintain the armoured chopper,” the home secretary said.

However, voices of discontent were heard over the state’s decision to hand over the administrative control of Dhruv to the civil aviation department.

“The Dhruv was purchased by the home department under the police modernisation fund for a whopping Rs 30 crore. But over these years, either the civil aviation department or the chief minister’s office held control of the chopper for ferrying VIPs,” a police officer of inspector-general rank said, not willing to be named.

Home department sources said peeved over past arrangements, senior officials had suggested that the administrative affairs of Dhruv be either fully controlled by the home department or civil aviation department. The governor, finally, preferred the second option.

Although Dhruv is grounded since September 2008 in the wake of suspension of licences of its pilots by DGCA, a Raj Bhavan official maintained that the decision to hand over control to the civil aviation department was unanimous. “If required, the Dhruv will be available for the state police too,” he maintained.

Sources said the powers that be had realised that giving the control of Dhruv to the police would restrict its use for anti-Naxalite operations and it would become a Herculean task to use the same for ferrying VIPs. Moreover, the standard operating procedure (SOP) for Dhruv is still eluding the state.

At present, the state avails of the services of Indian Air Force flights during emergencies

Parliament approves President’s rule in Jharkhand

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Parliament approved the extension of President’s rule in Jharkhand, with the Rajya Sabha turning down a motion seeking its revocation after the government promised Assembly elections in the State at the earliest opportunity.

The Rajya Sabha also returned the Jharkhand Budget and the related Appropriation Bill to the Lok Sabha, which had earlier approved both this and the extension of President’s rule .

Initiating the discussion on his motion to revoke President’s rule in Jharkhand, Ravi Shankar Prasad (BJP) wanted to know who was responsible for the political stalemate in the State.

He also noted that in the six months of President’s Rule, the rate of urban crime had gone up with over 6,000 cases being registered in the four cities of Ranchi, Bokaro, Jamshedpur and Dhanbad.

In addition, 20 of the 24 districts were affected by naxalite violence with areas between Ranchi and Jamshedpur being controlled by naxals. “Jharkhand has become a sanctuary for naxalites,” Mr. Prasad said.

He said the government should inform the House as to what preventive action it had undertaken during the last six months, and said a decision regarding Jharkhand should be taken by rising above petty politics. Ramdas Agarwal (BJP), who initiated the discussion on the Jharkhand (Appropriation) Bill, sought to know why elections were not held along with the Lok Sabha polls since Parliament had already approved the move to bring the State under Central rule.

He said despite the State having abundant natural resources in the form of minerals, people continued to live in poverty while development lagged behind .

The BJP government in the State had entered into MoUs worth Rs. 1.98 lakh crore, but some parties had destabilised the Arjun Munda government. D. Raja (CPI) said the State Assembly should be dissolved immediately and fresh elections should be held. He said political opportunism on the part of several parties had led to the deterioration of the situation in the State.

CRPF-police dispute adds to Naxal-hit Chhattisgarh’s woes

18 Jul 2009, 0549 hrs IST, Bharti Jain, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: Chattisgarh may be bearing the brunt of most lethal Naxalite attacks, but the widening gulf between CRPF and the state police on operational matters has virtually jammed joint counter-strikes aimed at liberating Maoist strongholds.

At the centre of the dispute are a set of strict pre-conditions set by CRPF for deployment of its troops for anti-Naxal operations, which the state police say have made joint strikes virtually impossible. CRPF, which has lost several personnel to ambushes and landmine attacks during operations recently decided not to undertake any major operation in Chhattisgarh unless national security or multiple civilian lives were endangered.

The decision not to be involved in major operations for now stems from CRPF’s assessment that Naxalites have stepped up violence in the post-election scenario and are particularly targeting the security forces to avenge the recent killing of its Central committee member Sudhakar Reddy. This was evident from the killing of 11 CRPF personnel in an attack in Dantewada on June 20.

The Dantewada incident rattled CRPF headquarters enough to issue an immediate order on June 21, asking its commanding officers in Chhattisgarh not to be part of any major pro-active counter-operations unless national security was at stake. Instead, force commanders on the ground were told not to move beyond 5 km from their respective camps in Naxal-infested areas, and even within this distance, focus only on road opening and laying ambushes on the approach roads used by Naxalites.

The CRPF circular makes it clear that any violation or non-compliance of the instructions would invite punitive action against the defaulting officers. The 4-5 km limit set by CRPF for movement of its troops beyond their camps, a senior police official pointed, renders impossible any counter-operations in the Maoist heartland, which is located in the deep jungles, often requiring a trek of 15-30 km. Also, the fact that road-opening is done only up to 4-5 km from the base CRPF camp, has been exposing the state armed police undertaking operations on their own, to landmine attacks.

The second pre-condition for requisition of CRPF troops by the civil police requires the latter to match the numbers of central forces sought with their own men. Not only this, CRPF has made it clear that its troops would join the police contingent only if it is led by a senior officer who is not under the rank of inspector.
The requirement for matching participation of CRPF troops and police is viewed as impractical by the latter which is way short of numbers when compared with CRPF’s strength.

As against 13 battalions of CRPF deployed in Chhattisgarh, the state police has only 6 battalions of its armed police engaged in counter-Naxal
operations. CRPF’s insistence on a minimum inspector-level officer to head the civilian police party is also a tall order as several police stations in the Naxal-hit areas are short-staffed and often headed by a sub-inspector. Any CRPF participation in a counter operation is ruled out in these police stations. Even in police stations where an inspector level officer is available, only one operation can be undertaken at a time.

The Centre’s take, however, is that the rule for matching participation by the police in a joint operation with CRPF is also being followed successfully in West Bengal, with its state police contributing 50% of the forces engaged in the Lalgarh operation. Also, the presence of a senior police officer familiar with the local terrain is seen as crucial to averting casualties in a joint operation, especially when CRPF has lost several troops in earlier operations where only a couple of SPOs or constables made up the police contingent.

CPRF, in its instructions dated June 21, has also disallowed any movement of its troops outside the company area without approval of the DIG concerned. This is again seen as impractical in emergency situations as the DIG may not always be at hand to offer his clearance. According to a senior state police official, the pre-conditions only ensured that CRPF stays put in the safe zones around its camps, rather than risking the lives of its men to fight the real battle against the Naxalites.

Special armed force deployed in railways

Soumittra S Bose, TNN 18 July 2009, 05:50am IST

NAGPUR: The highly-trained 12th Battalion of Railway Protection Special Force, equipped with sophisticated arms, has been deployed in Nagpur division recently for the first time to beef up security between Nagpur, Raipur and Durg. Apart from securing the trains from gangs of dacoits, the latest deployment is also likely to act as a shield against the Naxal threat.

A special squad from the battalion, the origin of which can be traced back to the turbulent period of Indo-China war in early 60s, has been deployed on premium trains like Ahmedabad-Howrah Express, Mumbai-Howrah Express, Geetanjali Express and Shivnath Express. Model stations like Nagpur, Gondia, Itwari, Dongargadh and Rajnandgaon have also been secured with additional security by a company originally known as Special Emergency Force (SEF).

Though shifted recently from Mumbai for special duties, the force would also cater to several other trains and earmarked zones, which require intense vigilance including stretches known to be vulnerable to Naxal's sabotage attacks.

Senior divisional security commissioner of South East Central Railways K K Sharma said that additional walkie-talkies and dragon lights have been provided to each patrolling party comprising of eight personnel from RPSF assisted by two local Railway Protection Force jawans and headed by a nominated squad commander. The company is part of the battalion that has worked in security sensitive locations like Assam and Jammu and Kashmir, apart from Naxal hot spots in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

"This force is young, trained and tenacious. We can depend on their abilities," said Sharma, hinting that this force would engage in intense patrolling in trains and conduct thorough checking, while addressing personnel before they set off for assignment in the Geetanjali Express. The deployment would function under company commanders K K Tiwary of RPSF and Mohammed Riyazuddin of RPF.

Apart from sophisticated firearms, the special force would carry forms using which citizens can lodge FIRs while in transit, albums of known criminals and also feedback forms. Sharma also instructed the force to keep a close watch on the railway pantry vendors, coach attendants and linen supervisors. "Often, we have traced nexus between railway staff and the offenders," said Sharma.

The force has a double responsibility of tackling rising crimes like the latest robbery in a long-distance train, where valuables worth Rs 1.90 lakh were stolen, and also take care of the security of the railways against anti-national elements like the Naxals. "The force personnel would work in close co-ordination with the driver, guard and conductor of the train," said Sharma.

Be polite'

NAGPUR: Senior divisional security commissioner of South East Central Railway K K Sharma has reminded Railway Protection Special Force (RPSF) personnel that there is a need for etiquette and politeness in interaction with passengers. Sharma cautioned the young brigade of the company, during his address at the Motibagh company commander barrack on Friday, not to lose their tempers but to maintain calm. "Refer to your seniors rather than picking up a fight," said Sharma who stressed that personnel should also wish good morning' and good evening' while talking to passengers.

Nalco implements anti-Naxal security measures

Statesman News Service

KORAPUT, 17 JULY: In the aftermath of the Naxal attack on 12 April, Nalco has further strengthened its security measures in the bauxite mining areas in the Panchpatmali Hills in Koraput districts. Security arrangements have also been augmented at most the vulnerable points, like the magazine house, where explosives are stored.

CISF personnel numbers in the bauxite mines have been increased from 89 to 197 jawans. Special emphasis has been laid on the fortification of the magazine area by providing a multi-layered protection system, using chain links, concertina, barbed wire, power fencing and brick walls.

As the construction of a permanent barrack, or any construction in the vicinity of the magazine house, is strictly prohibited, the CISF jawans have been provided with well furnished rest sheds, near the magazine house, which are equipped with lighting systems, wall mounted fans, exhaust fans, air coolers and vinyl flooring to improve the living conditions for jawans deputed to safeguard the explosives.
Besides this, two new well-furnished sheds with cushioned folding beds, fans, lights, and toilets have already been installed. These sheds are similar to the ones used by defence personnel. An uninterrupted power supply has also been provided to the sheds used by CISF jawans, and an aquaguard with a cooling system bas been installed to provide safe and clean drinking water. The above measures have been reviewed and found to be satisfactory by the CISF authorities, Nalco sources said. Permanent barracks in two blocks, with all the required facilities, exist, 700 metres from the magazine house. In addition to the above facilities, Nalco has also drastically reduced the storage of explosives at the magazine house. The stock of explosives is currently kept at the barest minimum of explosives necessary for about four to five days work. Nalco is now exploring the possibility of using “blast free” mining methods, where no explosives are used. With these measures, the Navratna PSU hopes to significantly improve the security systems, reduce the Naxal threat, and carry out its mining operations in a secure environmen

Maoists kill abducted SI

Rourkela (Orissa) (PTI): Maoists shot dead a police officer they had abducted even as a CRPF jawan was killed in a landmine explosion during combing operation launched to rescue him at Chandiposh forest area, about 50 km from here, on Friday.

The body of sub-inspector (SI) Ajit Bardhan (30), abducted by armed Maoists late last night, was recovered during a combing operation at Jharbeda in dense forest of Chandiposh, police said.

Police said there was a gunshot mark on the head.

CRPF jawan, Abdul Rafiq (29) was killed in a landmine explosion during combing operation to rescue Bardhan at a place between Chandiposh and Jharbeda, police said.

More than 50 Maoists kidnapped Bardhan when he was on the way to work at Koida police station by a jeep.

The ultras also looted an explosive-laden van. Van driver Trinath Sahoo, who tried to speed away, sustained bullet injury and was admitted to a hospital.

The police said Maoists first targeted the explosives meant for mining activities on NH-23 near Champajharan and then kidnapped the police officer who was travelling on the route.

The ultras released the jeep driver when Bardhan requested them not to harm a private jeep driver.

A Year After- Orissa Govt forgets promises made to martyr’s family in Malkangiri

Friday, July 17, 2009
Report by Deba Prasad Dash;

Malkangiri: It seems that Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik has forgotten the promises made by him to the 17 martyr’s police families who lost their earning members in a tragic landmine blast triggered by the Maoists at M.P.V-126 on July 16 last year. It was said to be the state’s biggest Maoist attack.A year has been passed since than, however, the promises have not been fulfilled so far.

It is on this day on July 16 last year, 17 Special Operation Group(SOG) Commandos including Police Reserve Inspector Sarat Chandra Mishra were killed on the spot when the Mines Protective Vehicle carrying them were blown up following a high intense landmine blast triggered by the Maoists. The intense of the explosion was so high that,the vehicle was damaged completely. A year after the incident, the marty’s family member have not forgotten the tragic incident that snatched their family members from them. Emotions ran high here at the Police Ground on Thursday,when the district police were celebrating the first death anniversary of the martyrs.The wounds of the tragedy were still fresh in the minds of the family members on the occasion and many of them broke down when the Collector Nitinbhanudas Jawale and Superintendent of Police Satyabrata Bhoi walked to the Martyr’s Pillar to garland the photos of all the 17 martyrs at the ‘saheed Sthamba’ . Most of the family members turned speechless, their voices choked with emotions. The Anti-Extremists Training Centre situated at the police ground premises here was named after Police Reserve Inspector Sarat Chandra Mishra who laid down his life along with the 17 other SOG Commandos in the MPV-126 attack last year.

But unfortunately, a year after the incident, the package declared by the Chief minister Naveen Pattnaik here on July 22 for the martyrs family remains only in papers except the exgratia of Rs.4 lakh that was handed over to the family members by the Chief minister on the day. Neither any of our family members have been provided employment or nor four decimal homestead patta land which the Chief minister had committed to us here just a year back , told the grieved martyrs family members to this reporter.

The martyrs family members, said it was unfortunate that now politics had started affecting “our martyrs and patriotic police personnels, who lay down their lives for the country. We should avoid it and treat our martyrs, especially our deceased police personnel’s , as a glorious part of our history. Otherwise those who rule the country should remember that consequences would be too bad”.

With the total compensation amount yet to reach the martyrs family,many old and dependent parents who lost their only earning sons in the last years landmine blast , have alleged that they are leading a miserable life as they have not been given any amount of the exgratia received by their daughter-in-laws. However,the legal experts says that the parents are legally entitled to get due share of the exgratia and all other compensastions.Contacted, Lawyer Badal Panigrahi said as per the Hindu succession act, all the successors of the deceased are entitled for the benefits.

Maoist menace hit forest management centre, tourism at Saranda

Updated on Friday, July 17, 2009, 18:58 IST

Jamshedpur: The growing Maoist menace in Jharkhand's Saranda forest has not only claimed lives of people, it has dealt a big blow to the forest department whose century-old heritage guest house and a unique training centre was burnt down in the past seven years.

The thickly wooded single-stretch forest, which covers over 850 sq km and is famous for its saal trees, housed the erstwhile saal forest management centre in the picutresque Thalokabad area which used to attract trainees from across the country.

The management centre was one of its kind in the country where trainees underwent training on saal forest management till the rise of extremism till over a decade ago, A K Gupta, the Regional Chief Conservator of Forest (RCCF) said here today.

The management centre and the century-old Thalokabad guest house were burnt down in 2002 and the saal forest training came to a stop.

''It will not be possible to rebuild the guest house and the forest management centre unless extremism comes to an end in Saranda,'' said Gupta.

The forest, rich in natural beauty, was favoured by tourists from inside and outside the country till the Maoists began to make their inroads from 2000, Gupta said.

The Maoists dealt a blow to tourism by burning down and blowing up total ten forest guest houses, including the one at Thalokabad, in the past seven years, he said.

Unwilling to risk their lives, the tourists, who used to spend days in the forest for a feel of the nature, stopped coming.

The other guest houses were at Salai, Kumdi, Luiya and Chotanagra and provided accomodation to the tourists at nominal rates.

The divisional forest officer (Saranda), Natesh said ''We have only three guest houses left in operation including one at Manoharpur, set up by Britishers and another at Baraiburu was built after Independence.

The Kiriburu guest house of the forest department was built a few years ago, he added.

Bureau Report

Naryanpatna Repetition at Raikia of Phulbani - Orissa

Friday, July 17, 2009

Report by Manoj K.Dash;

Berhampur: One side Government neglecting Maoist activity and other side Maoist distributed 40 acres of cultivated land to Tribal at Raikia of Phulbani district. Every day Maoist activators capturing one after one area from undivided Ganjam, Koraput and Kandhamal Districts. In the name of “CHASI MULIA SANGHA” non Tribal people those have captured the cultivated land now those lands are under the custody of Maoists. Maoist activists were more alert after the 2007 violence in Kandhamal District. Although all the information’s are available with the Government but authorities are not much serious about it

Ranaba Panchyat an interior village of Kandhamal Maoist were captured 40 acres of land from two Mahajans and donated to landless Tribals. Now from Ranaba from Maharaja family 100 Varana (20 acres) and from a another family 200 Varana (40 Acres) of land distributed to Tribal family

Maoists loot explosive-laden vehicle, abduct policeman

Rourkela (Orissa), July 16 (PTI) Armed Maoists looted an explosive-laden vehicle and abducted a sub-inspector tonight by firing at a police van at Champajharan in Koida police station, about 100 km from here, police said.
Diptesh Patnaik, Superintendent of Police, Sundargarh, told PTI that over 80 Maoists looted the private vehicle on its way to Koida from Rourkela with the explosives meant for mining activities after opening fire at its driver.

The ultras then fired indiscriminately at a police van which was escorting it and abducted Ajit Bardhan, sub-inspector of Koida police station.

CRPF and senior police officers rushed to the spot, Patnaik said.

Koida is a Maoist-prone area near Jharkhand.

The driver of the private vehicle suffered serious bullet injury and had been rushed to a local hospital, he added

Exchange: India’s Maoists

Last Updated: July 16. 2009 3:58PM UAE / July 16. 2009 11:58AM GMT

Siddhartha Deb responds to Toral Gajarawala’s essay on the tendency of Indian authors writing in English to ignore the country’s Maoist rebels.

I found Toral Gajarawala’s review of Sudeep Chakravarti’s Red Sun (“The Hungry Tide”, June 26) interesting, engaging and well-written. I couldn’t agree with her more about the limitations, self-imposed and otherwise, of Indian English fiction when it comes to addressing movements outside the political mainstream. I also agree with her about the significance of the Maoist movement in India – a significance that has indeed been ignored by fiction writers (and, indeed, many Indian citizens).

I have a few thoughts, however, about her specific comments on my second novel, Outline of the Republic. She is right that the novel is far more focused on its middle-class, urban protagonists than the rebels he investigates. But the insurgents in Outline aren’t Maoists; though they might have been influenced by Maoists in their early formation, I make clear that they are ethnic nationalists more than anything else. As Gajarawala notes, Maoists are not ethnic nationalists.

Also, the novel was conceptualised and written in 2003 and 2004, when the Maoist movement in Central India had not yet made major inroads in Chattisgarh or neighbouring states. Until the Communist Party of India (Maoist) formed in late 2004, there was no strong “Red Corridor”.

Anyway, my own writing efforts have focused, for better or worse, on another world ignored by Indian writers, intellectuals and journalists: the north-east of India. In Outline of the Republic and my first novel, The Point of Return, I attempted to capture the region’s violence, ethnic nationalism and diversity – and the coexistence of Indian hegemony with a way of life heavily inflected by a sense of being peripheral to the Indian mainstream.

In Outline, this meant that the insurgent group was a fluid entity, penetrated or perhaps even formed by Indian intelligence groups. In addition to Amrit, the journalist, I also described Malik, the emissary from mainstream India to the periphery, Leela, a local woman caught up in Malik’s machinations, an Indian intelligence officer named Sharma and a Burmese democracy activist. It’s not for me to say whether this effort to blur lines (Who’s an insurgent? Who’s a soldier? Who is fighting for India and who is seeking to undermine it?) was successful or not, but it reflected my direct, painstaking experience travelling through Manipur. I did this travelling well before I had become a writer, and I did it with my own money. I had pitched stories about the north-east to several Indian newspapers, and failed to interest any of them.

I turned to fiction in part out of frustration at not being able to write about the north-east as a journalist. In an ironic twist (one that confirms several of the points made in Gajarawala’s piece), now that I have written two novels set in the north-east, and published them in the West, Indian publications constantly ask me to write about the region.

In short, I don’t think my refusal to directly portray the insurgents is the same kind of oversight as most Indian writers’ refusal to engage with the Maoists and similar movements. But Gajarawala’s larger point is significant and well made, and I wouldn’t argue that I have much to learn about how to write about India.

Finally, Gajarawala and readers of The Review may be interested to know that in 2004 I published a story, Nothing Visible, in the Australian magazine Heat, that is set in a coal mine in Bihar and in which the Maoists make a brief, fleeting appearance.

Siddhartha Deb, New York

Maoists kill police Sub-Inspector, CRPF jawan

KalingaTimes Correspondent

Rourkela/Bhubaneswar, July 17: A young police Sub-Inspector and a CPRF jawan have killed by Maoists in Sundargarh district of Odisha. The body of 30-year-old Sub-Inspector Ajit Bardhan was found at Jharbeda on Friday morning. There was bullet injuries on the body.

Bardhan was abducted by the naxalites on Thursday night when he was on his way to Koida police station.

While the CRPF men traced Bardhan's body during a combing operation, one of their colleagues Abdul Rafiq was killed in a landmine explosion. The mines were laid by the Maoists to prevent police from entering the area.

The extremists had also looted a vehicle carrying explosives meant for mining activities in the area while abducting Bardhan.

he incident has left people shocked in Sundargarh district. The family members of Bardhan were living in Bhubaneswar as Koida was a Maoist-infested area.

Naga groups rapped for fuelling terror

Kohima/New Delhi, July 16: The Centre has decided to come down heavily on the NSCN factions for allegedly turning Nagaland into a terror hub.

Union government officials will separately meet the leaders of the NSCN (I-M) and NSCN (K) to discuss sheltering of terror outfits from other states of the region by the two factions.

Leaders of both the factions have already reached New Delhi for the meeting. Nagaland chief secretary Lalthara and director-general of police K. Kire today had separate meetings with the officials of the home ministry on the issue.

Sources said home ministry officials would first meet the NSCN (I-M) tomorrow, where home secretary G.K. Pillai and other officials from the ministry, along with top military and intelligence officials would discuss the implementation of the truce ground rules.

Sources said the meeting would discuss the presence of several Northeast insurgent outfits operating in Nagaland under the patronage of the NSCN factions.

The sources said the Centre was deeply perturbed over the presence of proscribed outfits sheltering and operating from Nagaland taking advantage of the current ceasefire between Delhi and the two NSCN groups.

The Centre had asked the Naga outfits time and again not to harbour any militant outfit in their camps, but this has been ignored. “This has not gone down well with the Centre and it is likely to deal very firmly with the situation,” the source said.

According to the state government, there are over a dozen non-Naga outfits from the Northeast actively operating in the state in connivance with the NSCN factions.

Nagaland home minister Imkong L. Imchen said these outfits have “taxed” Naga people to a great extent and sought the intervention of the Centre to tackle the menace. He said to check this terror outfits the state government had decided to raise a commando battalion.

Assam-based militant outfits like Ulfa and the DHD (J) are believed to be using Nagaland for taking shelter and even carrying out operations in their home states from there.

Both the Centre and the state government are also concerned about the illegal arms trade from Dimapur, which, according to Imchen, has turned into a nerve centre of criminal activities.

The sources said during the meeting with the NSCN groups, home ministry officials would make sure that Naga outfits stopped harbouring other banned outfits, stop all sorts of criminal activities such as extortion, kidnapping and ransom.

On the eve of the meeting, Union home minister P. Chidambaram met top home ministry, defence ministry and state government officials, besides interlocutor K. Padmanabhaiah.

Chidambaram is understood to have told the state government that local police should crack down on extortionists and hardcore militants if they violate ground rules. The alleged involvement of the NSCN (I-M) in the ethnic disturbances between Nagas and Dimasas was also discussed.

Interestingly, Naxalite leaders had called on NSCN (I-M) general secretary Thuingalang Muivah two years ago.

The meeting will also discuss the setting up of more designated camps for the NSCN (K).
Both the security forces and the NSCN groups accuse each other of violating the truce ground rules.

The two groups have often engaged in bloody gun battles that have left several cadres dead.

Gadget supplier to be grilled in Ranchi

Ranchi, July 16: New Delhi businessman Praveen Sharma, nabbed by Delhi police for supplying latest communication gadgets to Naxalites in Jharkhand, is expected to reach Ranchi tomorrow and face tough interrogation.

Senior superintendent of police Praveen Kumar Singh told The Telegraph that they had received a transit remand from New Delhi’s Tees Hazari court to bring Sharma to Ranchi.

He hoped that Sharma’s interrogation would reveal the level of technological expertise of Naxalites in the state and in return would help the police prepare counter-defensive or offensive measures.

“We will try to find out the exact number of consignments that reached Jharkhand and its neighbouring states from Delhi in the recent past. We will also try to get word on the supplier’s plan for the future,” said Singh. The supplier will be grilled for the next three days.

Sharma was nabbed by New Delhi police on July 14 after Ranchi police tipped off their Delhi counterpart about a consignment of communication gadgets such as walkie-talkie sets, cellphones, transistors and compact antennae reaching Ranchi via an Indian Airlines flight.

The consignment was supposed to reach one Naresh Sharma, an employee of Shekhar Construction, supposed to execute road and irrigation projects worth Rs 50 crore and more in Palamau. Sharma, in turn, was to deliver the goods to Naxalites as “payment” for the rebels. In exchange, the Naxalites were allowing the firm to work in the area.

Praveen Sharma owns a shop in Palika Bazaar of New Delhi. Ranchi police believe that the businessman’s interrogation would spring surprises. Moreover, police would also look into the manner in which arms consignments were being allowed to cross highly strict airport checks.

On July 15, Naresh Sharma reportedly confessed that his firm paid over Rs 50 lakh to Naxalite leader, Sandeepji, whose men torched construction equipment and kidnapped company staff during the initial phase of the project.

Set up anti-terrorist military court: Bitta

Raipur, July 16 (PTI) Former union minister and head of the All India Anti-Terrorist Front, MS Bitta today urged the Centre and the state governments to work jointly to combat naxal menace and set up anti-terrorist military court for the same.

Speaking to reporters at Rajnandgaon district, Bitta said, "Attacks by naxals and terrorists are on a high, and the need of the hour is to set up anti-terrorist military court, which could give its verdict on terror accused within six months. Persons who give support to the terrorist should also be brought under the ambit of this court. This court should be free from any political pressure."
He also urged the state government to set up forces on the lines of NSG, which will be deployed only to combat the naxal menace.

Land mine recovered in Jharkhand

Ians July 17th, 2009
RANCHI - A 20-kg land mine, planted possibly by Maoists under a bridge on the outskirts of this Jharkhand capital, was recovered Friday, police said.

According to police, a search team was sent to the spot following an intelligence tip-off and it found the land mine near the Ganghat railway station, around 30 km from here. A bomb disposal team defused the land mine.

Police officials said the land mine could have been planted by Maoist rebels, who often place explosives at several places, particularly under small bridges to target police teams.

Opinion: How dangerous are India’s maoists?

By John Elliott, the FT’s first south Asia Correspondent (1983-88)

Published: July 16 2009 12:25 | Last updated: July 16 2009 12:25

From Riding the Elephant blog

I was planning to write a post last month (but was diverted by other subjects) about how the Indian government, led by home minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, seemed at last to be getting to grips with the spread of the country’s violent Maoist-inspired Naxalite rebellion.

Tough action was then being taken at Lalgarh, a tribal region just 100 miles from Kolkata (Calcutta), where there was a long siege till the rebels were driven out of the area by para-military forces.

Riding the elephant
For more comment by John Elliott go to his blog
In the past few days, however, there have been reports that show the task of controlling the Naxalite insurgency has scarcely begun. First there was news that the rebels had predictably drifted away from Lalgarh into nearby forest areas, belying reports that they had been defeated.

Then, last weekend, more than 30 police were killed in a remote Naxal-held part of the state of Chattisgarh. First two police were killed, then many more when a truck carrying reinforcements was blown up by a landmine.

It sounds like an all too familiar story – terrorists moving on to new areas when under attack, as the Taliban have done recently from Pakistan’s Swat area, and security forces travelling by road when they should be in helicopters, which is why eight British soldiers were killed at the end of last week (and many more earlier) in Afghanistan.

The Naxalites’ challenge to India’s national security has previously aroused little real concern in the country – and scant notice overseas – despite the fact that the rebels now cover over a third of India’s administrative districts.

They control large swathes of remote and often densely forested areas – especially where tribal people risk losing land to development projects – that stretch (see map) from the Nepal border down through West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.

This frequently threatens land communications between the west and eastern sides of the country because the Naxalites landmine roads and blow up railway tracks.

Last year they accounted for over 900 deaths. Prime minister Manmohan Singh dubbed them the “single biggest internal security challenge ever faced” by India – but few people seemed actively concerned.

I have always assumed that the reason for the complacency – both in India and terrorist-sensitive countries such as the US and UK – is that the Naxalites have never seriously attacked a centre of power.

There have been (unsuccessful) assassination attempts on state chief ministers, but they have not killed a prime minister or a national leader, as both Khalistani Sikhs and Tamil Tigers did in the 1980s and 1990s, nor have they mounted large-scale terror attacks on the capital of Delhi and the commercial capital of Mumbai, as Islamic terrorists have in recent years.

The Naxalite areas are also a long way from Delhi, and from the focus of the country’s national politicians, who are primarily preoccupied with Kashmir and Pakistan to the north and west, and with the politics of western and southern states.

“Congress and the BJP devote little attention east of Bihar because the eastern and north-eastern states have few votes, or mostly vote for regional parties, so the Naxalite problem is not receiving the political attention it deserves from the cabinet,” says Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad, who heads C4ISRT Group, a Delhi-based defence and security think tank.

And even when, as is happening now, the central government does try to take action, it is hampered by the fact that security is a state government subject, so cannot be directly tackled nationally by Delhi.

The problem is becoming more serious because the Naxalites are no longer just focussed on remote jungle areas, but are threatening economic development and maybe even urban centres. They played a significant role two years ago in the opposition to a now-abandoned special economic zone at Nandigram in West Bengal, where they are exploiting a vacuum left by the CPI(M)-led Left Front that has ruled the state for over 30 years but lost seats in the recent general election.

It was clear when I walked around the Barrackpur constituency on the outskirts of Kolkata during the election campaign that there was massive resentment about the CPI(M)’s failure to develop the area and protect agricultural land, and about the way it manipulated elections to stay in power.

“We will have an armed movement going in Calcutta by 2011, that’s for sure,” Maoist leader Kishenji claimed in a BBC interview earlier this month. “Oppression by the establishment Left and its police” at Lalgarh had given the Naxalites their first major base in West Bengal since the mid-1970s. “We have struck a place which is the weakest spot of the state and which automatically makes it our stronghold (and our) first major guerrilla zone,” Kishenji added. Though the area was freed by security forces after Kishenji made these remarks, the Naxalites are still active – they ransacked a CPI(M) leader’s house last weekend.

The insurgency started as a peasant revolt in West Bengal 40 years ago. It is significant that they are now back where they began – thanks largely to CPI(M) misrule. Resentment is growing both over the state government’s attempt to industrialise agricultural land that it had originally allocated to the rural poor under much-praised land reform – as happened both at Nandigram and Tata’s abandoned Nano car factory at Singur – and over the repressive and violent way in which the CPI(M)’s cadres maintain power.

Two years ago, India’s then ineffectual home minister described the Naxalite problem as “under control”. Chidambaram fortunately has dumped that approach and recognises that a mixture of tough police and para-military action needs to be accompanied by constructive economic development.

But the problem will not be solved till it is recognised as a major security threat – one that could be exploited by India’s less-than-friendly neighbours Pakistan and China.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

Bodies of SRPF cops not traced

Mazhar Ali, TNN 17 July 2009, 03:09am IST

CHANDRAPUR: None of the dead bodies of the four SRPF personnel washed away on Wednesday in the Pamulgautam river in Bhamragarh tehsil of Gadchiroli

have been recovered as yet, despite intense search operations over the last 36 hours by security forces. On Thursday, Gadchiroli police called in specialised national disaster management team camping at Bhandara to trace the bodies of the drowned personnel.

Sources in Gadchiroli police informed that as the accident spot is in Naxal-sensitive area, the search operation was stopped after dark on Wednesday. "However, the search operation resumed early on Thursday morning under tight security. Two more boats were sent to the spot to further increase the range of search for the bodies," said sources. More security forces have been deployed in the area to provide cover for rescue workers in light of probable Naxal attack, while additional SP Jai Kumar and SDPO Arti Singh are supervising the entire operations. Teams of security forces are patrolling along both banks of the river while rescue workers are moving in the river to search for the bodies.

In-charge SP Manoj Sharma said, "Even as the search operation by security forces is underway, we have sought the help of specialised national disaster rescue force (NDRF) camping in Bhandara. Heavy forces from Bhamragarh and Laheri police station along with four C-60 teams from Pranhita sub-headquarters in Aheri have been deployed to check the Naxal threat," said Sharma. The search operation is spread over 30 km from the accident spot to the confluence of Pamulgautam river with Parlkota and Indirawati rivers, he added.

Sharma said that the police department is optimistic about recovering the dead bodies with the help of NDRF team that played a key role in fishing out over 30 bodies in the boat capsize at Vainganga river in Bhandara recently. "If specialised team from Bhandra fails, we are pondering upon calling in the military from Kamptee camp near Nagpur for help. They have specialised divers who are handy in tracing and fishing out missing bodies," he said.

Chidambaram meets chiefs of paramilitary forces

New Delhi, Jul 17 (PTI) As the government is drawing up plans to launch a major offensive against the Maoists, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today held meetings with chiefs of two paramilitary forces -- CRPF and BSF -- and discussed their preparedness in the Naxal-affected states.

Home Ministry sources said Chidambaram had separate meetings with Director General of CRPF A S Gill and BSF chief M L Kumawat and discussed with them operational issues of the two forces.

The meetings came two days after Chidambaram's declaration that a joint action plan was being drawn up in the Naxal-affected states.

"Today they (Naxalites) pose a grave challenge ... We are preparing to take on the challenge. Details cannot be disclosed now," he said.

Around 35,000 personnel of CRPF are now engaged in anti-Naxal operations mostly in worst-affected Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Bihar.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

CPM leader shot dead

Purulia, July 15: A CPM leader was shot dead by suspected Maoists at Beldih More in the Barabazar area of Purulia this evening.

Gangadhar Mahato, 52, was the party’s local committee secretary. He was returning home from the apatite mine where he was a union leader when a gang stopped his motorcycle. A resident of Beldih, Haradhan Mahato, said he heard three shots being fired. After killing him, they took the two-wheeler away.

Lalgarh shootout

About 80km away, Maoists marching in a People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities procession tonight opened fire on the police camp at Dharampur near Lalgarh tonight. The gun battle went on for an hour.

Security tizzy after gizmo haul

SSP Praveen Kumar with the seized communication devices. Pix: Manik Bose
Ranchi, July 15: The largest haul of wireless gadgets in recent times from the cargo office of an airline in the capital yesterday has set off alarm bells in the state’s security circles.

Senior police officers today said that they were trying to locate the origin of the consignment and would request the Centre to crack down on illegal markets of sophisticated communication devices flourishing in several big cities, particularly Delhi.

About 60 mobile handsets, 60 wireless radio sets, 60 chargers, 54 battery sets, 10 transistors, two world band receivers, six micro cassette recorders, compact antennae and some bulletproof jackets were part of the consignment that was sent from New Delhi to Ranchi yesterday.

Two CPI(Maoist) sympathisers — Naresh Sharma of Bulandsahar, UP, and Praveen Sharma of Delhi — were arrested. While Naresh was picked up from a rented house in Daltonganj, Praveen was arrested from Vijay Marg by the Delhi police.

State police spokesperson S.N. Pradhan said that the consignment had proved that the Maoists were trying to adapt to latest technologies in its war against the state. “And this is alarming. Wireless gadgets will make them almost invincible and patrol teams all the more vulnerable inside dense forests,” he said, adding that a formal request would be sent to the Union home ministry for organised raids on illegal wireless gadget markets.

He said the recovered gadgets could well connect groups of rebels operating within a 5-10km radius inside the jungle. They will get every bit of information about the movement of forces through low-power transmitters.

“Once the security personnel enter the forest, they will be within attack range. But they will not be able to intercept Maoist conversation because the frequency of low-power sets will not match with that of the police.”

Pradhan said they were trying to find out from where the communication devices were purchased. He did not rule out the possibility of many such consignments having reached the rebels in the recent past.

Maoists have been using low-power communication sets of Chinese make since the past two decades, but adapting to latest technologies is a marked change in their strategy, said a special branch officer.

As far as their connection with building contractors is concerned, it is an established fact that they pay levy out of fear and compulsion. But this is probably the first case where a contractor’s men were involved in supplying communication gadgets to rebels, he said. Sekhar Construction, whose manager is Naresh, is a reputable firm that has bagged projects worth Rs 50 crore from the road construction and water resource departments.

The construction firm is currently executing the Daltonganj-Panki road project that falls under state highways. Police are apprehending that landmines may have been laid in the stretch during the construction phase itself.

Sources said Naxalism has been flourishing in the Ghatshila-Baharagora region under the influence of the multi-crore Subernarekha Multipurpose Project (SMP), a scheme to aid irrigation in Jharkhand, Orissa and Bengal.

Over Rs 2,000 crore has been spent in the past three decades to execute the ambitious plan and grapevines have it that the rebels extorted a good percentage of the amount as levy while the project remains far from complete.

Maoist commander held in Jharkhand

IANS First Published : 16 Jul 2009 06:04:44 PM ISTLast Updated :

RANCHI: A Maoist commander was arrested in Jharkhand's Ramgarh district Thursday, police said.

Area commander of Jharkhand Prastuti Committee (JPC) Ramanji was arrested from Burkunda area of Ramgarh district, some 80 km from Ranchi, police said.

Ramanji had come to the Burkunda area to extort money, police added.

Incriminating documents including Maoist literature were recovered from Ramanji, police said.

According to police, Ramanji was wanted in more than a dozen cases.

Maoist guerrillas are active in 18 of the 24 districts of Jharkhand. Nearly 1,500 people have been killed in Maoist-related violence in the last eight years.

Students forced to study under trees

Students forced to study under trees ever since Maoists destroyed school in Jharkhand
Latehar, Thu, 16 Jul 2009 ANI

Latehar (Jharkhand), July 16 (ANI): About 260 students of Jharkhand's Latehar district have been attending classes under trees in their school compound ever since Ghasitola school was blown Maoist rebels two months ago.

Students and teachers both complained of inconvenience that they have to face due to unavailability of a proper school building.

"Studying under the tree, we face many difficulties. When it rains during the rainy season, we have to run out in the middle of the class. We take classes according to the weather forecast," said Rajkumari Tirki, a teacher.

They even accused that Maoists blew the school as police had stationed their camps inside the school.

Meanwhile, students also complained that presence of police on the premises was hampering their study.

The Maoists have recently stepped up attacks against police, officials and civilians away from remote rural areas and closer to towns and cities across the country.

Maoists, who say they are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless labourers, are expanding their influence in east, central and southern India.

Thousands have been killed in the insurgency which began in the late 1960s and which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described as a grave threat to country's internal security. (ANI)

In Maoist Fortress of Orissa tribals seek Freedom from Forced Isolation

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Report by Deba Prasad Dash;

Malkangiri: More than twenty one thousand tribal people residing in the cut-off region ,just on the other side of the Chitrakonda Reservoir have sought freedom from the forced isolation.After remaining cut-off from the rest of the world for near about five decades,now the people of 151 revenue villages seems no more to find themselves in an absurd situation.In fact,they are planning for a major revolution against the state machinery under the banner of the newly formed “Cut-off Area Poor Tribals Association”.

The protest made at Chitrakonda by more than 300 tribals from the cut-off region on Wednesday gives a clear indication that a Lalgarh like situation is going to arise there with the tribals supporting the Maoists to get their problems redressed. The tribals led by Jodamba and Panasput Sarpances thronged to the Chitrakonda tehsil office on Wednesday and submitted their 8 point charter of demands to the Tehsildar under .Earlier,we had also drawn the attention of the administration but to no effect, rued both the Sarpanches.

“WE ARE waterlocked and look for freedom from our isolation”, said Bajana Sethi , a villager of Panasput in the cut-off area of Southern Odisha’s Malkangiri district.Sidelinedby fast-track development into what the state officially calls a “cut-off” region — hills submerged by the stilled waters of huge reservoirs; a space created by administrative fiat; a gap in the collective memory of the nation— more than 21,000 tribal inhabitants today find themselves in an absurd situation: while they exist, they don’t know how and where.They do not exist within any administrative calculation.

As there is no mode of communication other than lunch service to the cut-off villages,they have demanded daily motor lunch service to Jantri,Sindhiput,Kundrupadar,Janbai,besides one more lunch for transportation of luggages. The association has further demanded drinking water and health service facility,road communication and supply of electricity to all the cut-off villages.Recently,lack of communication forced two tribal students of Malkangiri Central School to discontinue their study.

Surprisingly, there is neither any Community Health Centre and Primary Health Centre for 151 revenue villages and the poor tribal peoples are suffering like anything.The inhabitants have not yet been served land pattas and education facility is also in shambles in the region.With the resentment among the water locked tribals is brewing fast,a Lalgarh like situation can not be ruled out in near future.

The Government’s performance on rehabilitiitation front can be termed as disastrous. One can hardly find any modern signs of governance in these tiny islands within the reservoir area. Basic necessities are still a far cry and to visit other parts of the district, the inhabitants solely depend on motor boats managed by the Balimela Dam Project Authority. For the people who gave up unflinchingly for development, the project does not even bring them any benefit in terms of a share in the electricity produced. Dams bring prosperity, but for the cut-off area people, the reservoir has only brought broken dreams and inert policy has forced them to remain outside the nation’s collective memory.

Maoist commander held in Jharkhand

Ranchi, July 16 (IANS) A Maoist commander was arrested in Jharkhand's Ramgarh district Thursday, police said.

Area commander of Jharkhand Prastuti Committee (JPC) Ramanji was arrested from Burkunda area of Ramgarh district, some 80 km from Ranchi, police said.

Ramanji had come to the Burkunda area to extort money, police added.

Incriminating documents including Maoist literature were recovered from Ramanji, police said.

According to police, Ramanji was wanted in more than a dozen cases.

Maoist guerrillas are active in 18 of the 24 districts of Jharkhand. Nearly 1,500 people have been killed in Maoist-related violence in the last eight years.


Sleeping govts let Naxals grow: PC

16 Jul 2009, 0202 hrs IST, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: Admitting that the gravity of the Naxal threat had been underestimated all these years, resulting in the Left-wing extremists' extending
their influence, Union home minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday informed the Rajya Sabha that an action plan was being prepared to counter the Maoists challenge.

A military advisor has been appointed to offer inputs on strategies to take on the CPI(Maoist), given the growing militarisation of the outfit. "Regrettably for many years we did not properly assess the threat posed by Left-wing extremism. We under-estimated the challenge and in the meanwhile they (Naxalites) extended their influence," he said while replying to questions in the Rajya Sabha.

Accepting that the Naxalites posed a grave challenge, Mr Chidambaram said a detailed action plan to counter them was under preparation. "Plans are being drawn up in close consultation with state governments... we have also appointed a military advisor (for inputs on dealing with Left-wing extremism)," he said.

Though Mr Chidambaram refused to share details of the plans, the Centre, according to sources, is planning a major joint offensive with the Orissa and Chhattisgarh governments, wherein it will bust the Naxalite hideouts dotting the tri-junctions of Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Jharkhand with full military might.

The operation, to be undertaken in the post-monsoon period, is likely to be led by the CRPF's special Cobra battalions and could involve the use of IAF helicopter gunships for precision aerial strikes on "mapped" Naxal camps.

As many as 1,128 Naxalite attacks have taken place until June 30 this year, causing 455 casualties in all. In what was the worst strike of the year so far, Naxalites last week killed 36 Chhattisgarh police personnel in multiple ambushes in Rajnandgaon.

Mr Chidambaram said he was in close touch with the chief ministers of the Naxal-affected states and would hold a meeting with them in August to discuss ways to counter Left-wing extremism. "State-level plans are being drawn so that they can be integrated with the Centre's plan," he said.

Incidentally, Mr Chidambaram digressed from the Centre’s stand so far backing Salwa Judum as a "voluntary people's movement." When CPI's D Raja asked about the movement in Chhattisgarh, Mr Chidambaram said the Centre was not in favour of non-state players.

"We are not in favour of non-state players taking on extremists. That could be a political party... that could be Salwa Judum or any other organisation. We are for the states dealing with Left-wing extremists," he said.

To this, BJP's M Venkaiah Naidu remarked that the Salwa Judum movement was headed by the leader of the Opposition in the Chhattisgarh assembly, Mahendra Karma of the Congress. "I salute him (for leading the movement)," he said. An unruffled Chidambaram replied that he was in close contact with the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister and he has “more or less accepted my line (on Salwa Judum)."

The home minister said the reason behind movements like Left-wing extremism was alienation of sections of people whose development needs have not been addressed.

Jharkhand police gets custody of man accused of helping Naxals

PTI 16 July 2009, 08:11pm IST

NEW DELHI: Jharkhand police on Thursday secured custody of a Delhi businessman, accused of supplying electronic equipments to banned Maoists


A police team from Ranchi arrived in the capital and obtained three days police custody of Praveen Sharma from a Delhi court.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sunil Chaudhary allowed the plea of Jharkhand police seeking remand of the accused for his production before a court in Ranchi till July 19.

The court, however, refused to grant transit remand against the accused after Jharkhand police failed to give any production warrant.

Sharma, 50, arrested on July 14 by the Special Cell of Delhi police on a tip-off by Jharkhand police, was produced before the court after a one day judicial custody.

He was arrested under Section 41 (a) of the Criminal Procedure Code, dealing with the power of a police officer to arrest a person, wanted in any cognisable offence, without warrant.

According to the police, the accused, who runs a shop at Palika Bazar here, had supplied walkie-talkie sets, world band radios, a bullet-proof jacket and other equipments to Maoist organisations active in Jharkhand.

Sharma's name was allegedly disclosed by one Naresh Sharma, director of Shankar Constructions Pvt Ltd, who was arrested by Jharkhand police for helping Maoists.

The Jharkhand police claimed that Naresh, a resident of Bulandshahr district in Uttar Pradesh, had made the disclosure statement, stating that the accused had supplied electronic equipments including binoculars to Maoists through him.

Naresh, who runs his construction business in Ranchi, had allegedly disclosed to police that he had come in contact with Praveen after Maoists operatives -- Sandeep and Prashant -- had forced him to obtain electronic items.

Sharma is wanted in a case registered with Chutia police station in Ranchi under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Two-pronged approach to tackle naxalism

Special Correspondent

We are not in favour of any non-state players, says Chidambaram

P. Chidambaram

NEW DELHI: The government on Wednesday told Parliament that the services of a military adviser had been enlisted to draw up a joint action plan (by States) to deal with the naxal problem.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram told the Rajya Sabha during question hour that the government would pursue a two-pronged approach to deal with the menace — first a police action to secure the ground and follow it up with development work.

Securing the ground was necessary as development works had become naxalites’ targets — they were blowing up communication towers, destroying school buildings and planting mines to prevent laying of roads, he pointed out.

The Ministry had underestimated the problem of Left-wing extremism and naxalites extended their area of influence. “Today it poses a grave challenge to the state. We are prepared to take on this challenge.”

Chief Ministers to meet

Mr. Chidambaram said he had personally visited all the affected States and was in regular touch with the Chief Ministers concerned to finalise a plan. Both States and the Centre had to collectively rise to the occasion to face the challenge.

A meeting of the Chief Ministers of the affected States would be held next month.

Responding to a query of D. Raja (CPI) on the Centre’s policy towards Salwa Judum, the Minister said: “We are not in favour of any non-state players,” be it from any political party or Salwa Judum. The problem should be dealt with by Chhattisgarh.

The Minister said even the Chief Minister “now more or less” accepted this viewpoint.

Mr. Chidambaram was responding to M. Venkaiah Naidu’s (BJP) statement that the Centre’s view could affect Salwa Judum, as people, including a prominent Congress leader in the State, were backing it.

Coastal vigilance panels in 591 villages

Express News Service
First Published : 16 Jul 2009 04:14:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 16 Jul 2009 09:49:13 AM IST

CHENNAI: Coastal vigilance committees have been formed in all the 591 villages along the 1067 km coastline in the State to detect and prevent militants’ intrusion through sea, said K P Jain, Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu here on Wednesday. .Brefing media persons on the law and order situation in the state during the last six months, Jain said that the recent Operation Barricade, held in collaboration with the Coast Guard and intelligence agencies to check the preparedness of the police, in case of a major terror attack, helped the police discover loopholes.

Fishermen in the coastal areas were involved in gathering intelligence, which played a crucial role in preventing terror attacks, he said.

CB -CID Additional DGP, Archana Ramasundaram said that the identity of the mysterious man, who rammed the EMU train into a goods train, was yet to established and investigations were still on, including the naxal angle.

“The naxal angle is still on and we are probing in that direction too,” she said. On April 29 incident in which an unidentified man hijacked a suburban Electric Multiple Unit from Moore Market complex near Chennai Central station before ramming it into a goods train at Vyasarpadi, five km away.

Pointing out the achievement of the State Police, Jain said that 24 forged passport cases referred to the CB CID were solved arresting seven accused from Chennai, Tiruchy and Thanjavur.

Jain also said that action has been taken to stop sand smuggling in the State. So far 860 cases had been booked, 527 smugglers held, 368 vehicles seized and two smugglers detained by the police.

Maoist conduit nabbed in New Delhi

Ani July 16th, 2009
NEW DELHI/RANCHI - Delhi Police Commissioner YS Dadwal has said that police nabbed a trader in New Delhi following a seizure of mobile phones and communication equipment in Jharkhand.

Praveen Kumar Sharma, who was arrested on Tuesday, was produced before a local court on Wednesday.

“His name is Praveen Kumar Sharma. His role was that some illegal equipment for operational use were provided to him by some other person for the Naxalites,” said Dadwal.

Dadwal said Sharma, who acted as a conduit for the Maoists, was detained on a tip off from Jharkhand police after they seized an air cargo in Ranchi on Tuesday.

The seizure includes walkie-talkies, radio sets, micro-tape recorders and signal receivers.

Dadwal said that Sharma would be handed over to the Jharkhand police for further probe.

“We have detained him and he is wanted by the Jharkhand police. They would be interrogating him,” said Dadwal.

At least 36 policemen were ambushed by Maoists in Chhattisgarh on Sunday.

The Maoists have recently stepped up attacks against police, officials and civilians away from remote rural areas and closer to towns and cities across India.

Hundreds of Maoists, who are expanding their influence in India, had declared the town of Lalgarh about 170 km from Kolkata, as a “liberated zone” recently before they fled in face of police action.

Maoists, who say they are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless labourers, are expanding their influence in east, central and southern India. (ANI)

Naxal violence claimed 3,300 lives between 2004 -2008

Updated on Thursday, July 16, 2009, 18:07 IST

New Delhi: More than 3,300 people have lost their lives in Naxal violence in ten states during last five years.

The annual report of the Home Ministry for 2008-09 says the killings in 7,806 incidents of Naxal violence took place in Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Karnataka.

The highest casualties were in Chhattisgarh where a total of 1,250 people lost their lives in 2,654 incidents that took place between 2004-08.

The state saw 242 deaths last year, 369 deaths in 2007 and 388 deaths in 2006, the report said.

The Naxal violence claimed 776 lives in Jharkhand, one of the worst affected states, in last five years. In 2008 alone, the state witnessed 207 deaths from 484 incidents of violence.

Altogether, 452 people lost their lives in Bihar in 915 incidents which took place in the last five years. Last year, the state saw 73 deaths in 164 incidents of Naxal violence while in 2007, there were 67 deaths in 135 incidents of violence.

Bureau Report

Maoists torch an excavator machine in Bihar

Posted: 2:6p.m IST, July 16, 2009
Niyamatpur (Bihar), July 16 (ANI): Maoists set ablaze a JCB excavator, an earthmoving machine at Niyamatpur in Bihar's Gaya District.

In the midnight hours of the intervening period of Tuesday and Wednesday, a group of Maoists raided a place near Niyamatpur and set ablaze a JCB excavator machine.

Police said that the rebels torched the excavator machine when they did not find anybody around.

Nearly 10 men came. When they did not find anybody around, they set ablaze a JCB excavator machine. Fortunately, the engine of the machine is safe, said Rajbansh Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police.

Niyamatpur halt is located along the Patna-Gaya railway line and work is underway for doubling the tracks.

At least 36 policemen were ambushed by Maoists in Chhattisgarh on Sunday.

The Maoists have recently stepped up attacks against police, officials and civilians away from remote rural areas and closer to towns and cities across India.

Hundreds of Maoists, who are expanding their influence in India, had declared the town of Lalgarh about 170 km from Kolkata, as a liberated zone recently before they fled in face of police action.

Maoists, who say they are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless labourers, are expanding their influence in east, central and southern India. (ANI

Nalco strengthens security at bauxite mines

KalingaTimes Correspondent
Bhubaneswar, July 16: In the aftermath of the naxal attack on April 12, the National Aluminium Company has further strengthened its security measures in its bauxite mines area located in Panchpatmali hills of Koraput. Security arrangements have also been augmented at most vulnerable points such as magazine house, where explosives are stored.

The deployment of CISF personnel has also been increased from 89 to 197 jawans in the bauxite mines, the company said on Thursday.

Special emphasis has been given to fortification of magazine area by providing multi-layer protection system, such as chain link, concertina, barbed wire, power fencing and brick walls around the magazine house at the mines.

As construction of a permanent barrack or any construction in the vicinity of the magazine house is strictly prohibited, the CISF jawans have been provided with well furnished rest sheds, near the magazine house, which are equipped with lighting system, wall mounted fan, exhaust fan, air cooler and vinyl flooring to improve the living conditions for jawans deputed in duty to safeguard the explosives.

Besides this, two new well furnished sheds with folded beds, with cushion, fans, lights with toilet has already been installed. These sheds are similar to the ones used by defence personnel. Uninterrupted power supply has also been provided to the sheds used by CISF jawans. Further, aqua-guard with cooling system bas been installed to provide safe & clean drinking water to the jawans. The above measures have been reviewed and found to be satisfactory by the CISF authorities, the company said.

Permanent barrack in two blocks with all required facilities exists at a distance of 700 mtr from magazine house.

In addition to the above facilities, Nalco has also drastically reduced the storage of explosives at the magazine house.

As per the latest measure, the stock of explosives is kept to the barest minimum of about 4-5 days consumption.

Nalco is now exploring the possibilities of “Blast Free” mining methods, where there is no use of explosives. With these measures, the company hopes to significantly improve the security system and reduce the Maoist threat and carry out its mining operations in a secure environment.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pay sops for rebel fighters

Raipur, July 15: The Chhattisgarh government has announced more sops for security personnel combating Maoists in the rebel zones of the state.

The move is been viewed as the state government’s desperate attempt to woo policemen to work in disturbed areas. Officers and policemen susually avoid postings in the red zone.

The state cabinet today approved a number of proposals of the state’s home department to give a better package to the policemen fighting the Maoist menace.

Sops come in the backdrop of Madanwada Maoist attacks that killed 36 jawans, including a superintendent of police, Vinod Kumar Choubey, on Sunday. “The government has decided to employ relatives of policemen killed in the Maoist attacks on compassionate grounds within 60 days (of the incident),” chief minister Raman Singh said.

Besides Choubey, relatives of inspector Vinod Dhruv, sub-inspectors Komal Sahu and Dhanesh Sahu are now slated to get a job, given according to their academic qualification and eligibility, Singh added.

The government has also decided to hike special Maoist allowance to be paid to policemen posted in the worst affected districts of the state. The jawans will now receive a special allowance of 20 per cent of their basic pay instead of existing 15 per cent.

Relatives of the personnel killed after April 1, 2009, would receive concession ranging from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 6 lakh to purchase houses from the Chhattisgarh State Housing Board. “If kin of a class-one officer purchase a house he or she will be entitled to a discount of Rs 6 lakh,” Singh said.

Family members of class-two officers would receive Rs 4 lakh concession, while class-three and four employees’ families have to pay Rs 2 lakh less.


Maoists kill CPI(M) leader in Purulia

Purulia (WB) July 15 (PTI) Armed Maoists today shot dead a CPI(M) Purulia district committee leader at Burrabazar, near here, a day after two CPI(M) activists were killed by the ultras at Salboni in adjoining West Midnapore district.

The police said that an 8-member bike-borne gang of armed Maoists shot at Gangaram Mahato (45), who was returning from market on his motorcycle, from a point blank range at Bediamore at Burrabazar. He died on the spot.

Mahato was stated to be in the hit-list of the Maoists, the police said.

The police arrived on the scene only after the attackers had fled to Jharkhand

29 policemen refuse jungle warfare training, suspended

Raipur, July 15 (IANS) Twenty-nine policemen have been suspended in Chhattisgarh for refusing jungle warfare training, just days after Maoists massacred 29 of their colleagues, an official said Wednesday.

The suspended policemen - all constables - were posted in Janjgir-Champa district and had been ordered to go for training at the Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College (CTJWC) in Kanker district.

“All the 29 men were reluctant to go for the 15-day orientation course at CTJWC before being deployed for four-month-long postings in areas effected by Maoist insurgency. I had no option but to suspend them,” Jangir-Champa District Superintendent of Police S.K. Jha told IANS on telephone.

On Sunday, 29 policemen were killed in three separate Maoist attacks in Rajnandgaon district. Those killed included Rajnandgaon Superintendent of Police Vinod Kumar Choubey.

The government had set up CTJWC in 2005 and appointed counter-terrorism expert Brig (retired) B.K. Ponwar as its director to train policemen to “fight a guerrilla like a guerrilla”.

Nearly 1,500 people have been killed in Maoist violence since the state was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in November 2000.

Chidambaram not understanding depth of Naxal problem: BJP

New Delhi, July 15 (PTI) BJP today accused Home Minister P Chidambaram of "not understanding the depth of Naxal problem" after he indicated in the Rajya Sabha that the Centre was not in favour of Salwa Judum, a movement against Maoists, to counter the menace.

"Home Minister today said that there was no review of the Naxal issue. He (Chidambaram) does not understand the depth of the problem," senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters outside Parliament.

Naidu said a meeting of all states was called during NDA rule and the issue was taken up seriously then, ruing that the Home Minister "ridiculed it" today.

"The present government does not understand the depth and seriousness of the problem. Naxals have spread in 135 districts of the country. It's no more a state-specific problem and there should be a national level coordinated approach to tackle it," Naidu said.

Boatmen stir strands 20000 in Malkangiri

TNN 15 July 2009, 10:03pm IST

KORAPUT: With motorboat employees going on an indefinite strike from Wednesday, about 20,000 people living in 151 villages in and around the

Balimela reservoir in Malkangiri district have been cut off from the world.

To tell the truth, the strike has made their life miserable, for they've got to go to Chitrakonda for everything, from healthcare to grocery. Three motorboats, which have been pressed into service by the Balimela hydro-project are the only mode of connectivity.

The villages have been cut off since the 1960s, when vast tracts of forest land and villages were submerged to make way for the Balimela reservoir. Officials said talks are on with the agitating employees.

The motorboat employees are on a dharna at the Chitrakonda ferry point.

The Motorboat Employees Association wants two motorboats in addition to the current two, more staff, regularization of jobs, glass fittings in the launches and extra allowance for night halt.

"We have submitted our demands many times in the last few months but there is no response. But, this time we are firm. We will not withdraw our strike till our demands are fulfilled," an agitating employee said.