Saturday, August 08, 2009

Naxalite leader arrested

Ranchi, Aug. 8: Self-styled Naxalite regional commander Bhusan Yadav, alias Karanji, was arrested from Mandar, some 30km from here on Ranchi-Daltonganj road, last night.

Ranchi senior superintendent of police Praveen Kumar said that Yadav was caught by a police team when he was coming towards the state capital from Chanho on a motorbike. “Upon getting a tip-off, the police team chased him on motorbikes. Finally, at Mandar when he found himself surrounded by the police, he got off his bike and tried to run away,” said Kumar. Yadav also broke one of his legs while trying to escape.

A country-made rifle and 10 live cartridges were recovered from Semartand, a village in Chanho block, after interrogating Yadav, who was the regional commander of Jharkhand People’s Liberation Army, a breakaway Maoist group

Metamorphosis of the thanedar

Soumittra S Bose, TNN 9 August 2009, 03:19am IST

He's not the pan-chewing and pot-bellied man that Bollywood loves to portray. Today's senior police inspector is a fitter, trendy, helpful and
laptop operating man who will attend to your complaints with patience not seen in yesteryears.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Try equating thanedari to any art form and connoisseurs will instantly bay for blood for mixing the two. But, 49-year-old Mahesh Sawai believes that being in-charge of police station now has many role-plays moving far beyond the rustic caretaker of law as village kotwals, or even before that, monitor of the revenue department. Today the Genx Cop receives e-tapal through internet and also has an email id.

Gone are the days of an obese, pan-chewing and red-eyed burly man struggling to fit in a chair. The sight was enough to turn away a anyone, be it a complainant or a visitor, from the police station. Today, a senior police inspector is not just media-savvy but is also fitter, athletic, gym-going, with a smiling face, comfortable with Hinglish. He will even be sporting a trendy goggle.

A thanedar today is a senior police officer for the entire society. His multifarious role packs several responsibilities which includes that of a social-worker for the slum-dwellers, counsellor for runaway teens or frittering away couples, a good Samaritan for elderly couples, a shield for errant government officials facing public wrath, first-aid adviser for an accident victim lying unattended, peace negotiator between warring communities or political parties, friends of the media, a chief guest at local gully cricket's prize distribution ceremony, a real Robin Hood many times to bail out a cash-strapped father of a marriageable woman, rehabilitator of women, children and others in need who have been either left out from the family by choice or force, sponsor of needy but scholar students. Lastly, he is also an able organiser of health check-up camp, eye camp, blood camp and other welfare activities for both his department and citizens.

A senior PI also cannot to protect citizens in public space lest a 26/11 is repeated anywhere in India. Between the terrorists and citizens, a modern day thanedar needs to accept the newest challenge of being the commander of the first line of defence, motivating a bunch of constables to stand bravely facing bullets of the automatic weapon-wielding terrorists, until the specialised force equipped with modern arms and ammunition arrives.

The days of maintaining records of only criminals are a thing of the past. With the threat of terrorists and naxals looming large, the senior PIs, nowadays, also need to master the techniques of intelligence collection and create a deep-rooted network in the society to gather inputs. In order to face the front organisations of the antinational strengths, without arms and ammunitions, a modern day thanedar also needs to shape his strong lobby-supports among the citizens.

Similarly, the techniques of interrogation and recording statements have also witnessed a sea change. "A thanedar can still show his lathi but cannot actually use it even for the betterment of the society. The lathi has almost reduced to its symbolic status of authority," said a senior PI.

"In the past, no one would even think of meeting or greeting the thanedar who would work from his crammed cabin. Now, one needs to ensure that senior PI's chamber also looks like a decent government office chamber," said Sawai who is one of the cops who made the successful transition from a simple thanedar to a modern day cop. "The present day senior police inspector needs to meet people in his chamber. Our presentation goes a long way in shaping the image of the department. We have to greet visitors with a glass of water or at times even tea or chaas. Citizens walk into our chamber ignoring the station-house. We get calls on our private cells even at odd hours. This was not a thing in the past. Language has also to be controlled."

Retired police officer Sunil Bhute said that policing and thanedari have witnessed a sea change. "Today, a senior in-charge of police station is held responsible for every incident taking place in his jurisdiction and is expected to rush everywhere. Earlier, it was the beat in-charges or sub-inspectors who tackled and managed every incident in the locality where he or she was deployed. In fact, the present practice of completing the officer's training in one year is not as good as system when the training was imparted elaborately in two years. This has brought down the standard of policing and thanedari," said Bhute who retired as deputy superintendent of police.
Senior inspector Ashok Bagul, who's the in-charge of Hingna police station and is in his early 40s, presents a relatively younger face of the fresh crop of thanedars. Working on laptops, Bagul is passionate about his physique. Sporting jeans and T-shirts, Bagul talks about resource management and maximum output in stipulated time and believe in first impression theory. "The younger generation of officers believe in looking good and performing well just like any other senior-level executives in a private firm. Though we do not have facilities and infrastructure like private enterprises, we still want to believe in competency level and responsibility," said Bagul.

"Police department ends up as a favourite sandbag of everybody. Love or hate us, we are everywhere and available. Try contacting any other government department in the middle of the night, nobody will respond. But we will be there at your doorstep in 10 minutes. Police may suffer from typical idiosyncrasies but we are among the first responders who is by your side in crisis," said Bagul.

Three Maoist sympathisers nabbed

TNN 9 August 2009, 06:12am IST

HAZARIBAG: Hazaribag police have busted an gang which regularly supplied explosive materials to Maoist "zonal commander" Navin Manjhi who is active
in Giridih, Hazaribag and Bokaro districts of Jharkhand.

Stating this at a press conference here on Saturday, Hazaribag SP Pankaj Kamboj said police surrounded the Jama Masjid area here following a tip-off on Friday and arrested one Samsuddin Ansari alias Guddu and seized several pieces of detonators, dynamites, gelatin sticks from his possession.

The SP said the seized items were being kept by Ansari as samples to be shown to Manjhi.

Kamboj said Ansani, during interrogation, told police that he had procured the explosive materials from one Maqbool alias Uncle, a resident of Nawada district in Bihar. Ansari, a resident of Golabar village under the Vishnugarh police station in Hazaribag district, said he had been meeting the explosive requirement of Maoists for manufacturing various types of bombs and also for laying mines for the last five years.

Kamboj said on the basis of his confessional statement, police raided Maqbool's residence and arrested him. A huge quantity of explosives including 41 detonators and dynamite caps, gelatins sticks, grenade pins and huge quantity of cable wire, 400 kg of ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulphate, 4 kg fuse wire, a mobile phone SIM card and a motor cycle were al;so seized from his residence .

Both Maqbool and Ansari were presented before the newsmen at the Press conference.

DSP (HQs) Naushad Alam, who was also present, said on the basis of information provided by Ansari, police conducted a raid at Bagodar in Giridih and arrested Paresh Sao, another member of the gang. He said the quantum of explosive materials seized from Sao was being assessed.

Alam said the three arrested men, who are Maoist sympathisers, were wanted in over two dozen Naxal-related cases in Hazaribag, Giridih and Bokaro districts.

Central team to study rebel-hit Simlipal

TNN 7 August 2009, 10:30pm IST

BARIPADA: A central team will study the situation prevailing at Simlipal Tiger Reserve after the Maoist attack in March over the next few days. A
four-member team of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) will take up the five-day study.

The team is led by joint director (NTCA) S P Yadav. The other members are Suresh Mishra, M D Madhusudan and Bivash Pandav. The group said people, NGOs and forest dwellers can play an important role in protecting Simlipal, which is a national heritage site and help restore normalcy in the reserve.

"The need of the hour was to instill confidence among forest officials," a team member told different groups at the Salabani forest rest house on Friday afternoon.The team members visited Jenabil, Upper-Barha-Kamuda, Jamuna, Chahala, Joranda and other places where Maoists had gone on a rampage.

3 new police posts to tackle Maoists

Express News Service

To tackle threats from Maoists and terrorists, the state home department has created three additional posts in the Kolkata police ranks.

Noting that though Maoists may not target Kolkata but the threat persists, state Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen said the new posts — Special Commissioner of Police I, Special Commissioner of Police II, and Joint Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) — will help in better coordination while dealing with such threats.

While R K Pachnanda, Additional Commissioner of Police-I will become the new Special Commissioner of Police-I, Additional Commissioner of Police-II Bani Brata Basu and DC (Detective Department) Javed Shamim will take charge as Special Commissioner of Police-II and Joint Commissioner of Police Headquarters, respectively.

All the three officers have been promoted as the two special commissioner posts are in the rank of Additional Director General of Police.

The August 6 notification that appeared in Kolkata Police Gazette stated: “The situation arising out of increasing Left-wing extremism in some parts of the state and the threat of terrorist strikes in Kolkata has been under constant review by the state government. After carefully considering the need to meet these challenges, the government has decided to strengthen the higher ranks of the police for better supervision and coordination.”

The Home department has created the new posts in Kolkata police after keeping in abeyance the three posts in the West Bengal Police.

The posts of ADG and IG in West Bengal Armed Police and ADG and IG, Mordernisation and Coordination and DIG (Prosecution) are being kept in abeyance for the creation of the three new posts in Kolkata police, the notification added.

Hard-hitting West Bengal governor in line of Left fire

Kolkata, Aug 7 (IANS) A day after his hard-hitting remarks on the rising political violence in West Bengal, Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi Friday came under attack from the state’s ruling Left Front which asked him to “exhibit more apparent neutrality” while making public statements.
“We would humbly like to submit that the constitutional head of the state should exhibit more apparent neutrality while making statements in public,” the Left Front committee said in a press statement here.

“If worship of force in all its forms has to be eradicated, then the way the highest office of the state behaves should also call for a meaningful change,” said the Left Front, citing several instances to suggest the governor’s lack of neutrality.

Gandhi, in a strong statement Thursday night, observed that the state was witnessing a “veritable tandava of political violence”.

“The state too will, I am confident, (i) move swiftly to check the phenomenon of illicit arms; (ii) act to rapidly bring the perpetrators of violence to account; and (iii) instil confidence among the people that their politics and their security are not linked,” he said.

The Left Front in the statement claimed that the political violence started before the Lok Sabha polls and was targeted at “the CPI-M in particular” and the Left Front in general.

It said 74 CPI-M workers, two of LF constituent Forward Bloc, besides four of the Jharkhand Party (Naren) and two villagers have been killed since the declaration of the elections in April-May. Altogether 103 CPI-M workers were killed since Sep 1, 2008, it said.

“By asking ‘When the leading political formations of West Bengal have the same objective, why should violence not abate?’ and arriving at a conclusion that he believes ‘Those who can act are not doing so’, the governor makes no distinction between the killers and the killed,” the LF statement said.

“The perceptive Indian mentioned in the statement would not have missed this difference and that probably explains why the statement is shy of taking his name,” the LF said in a sarcastic reference to the governor quoting from Mahatma Gandhi without naming him in his statement.

The LF claimed that the role of some union ministers from the Trinamool Congress in encouraging the ‘tandava’ was explained in the memorandum submitted by its MPs to the governor. “We are not aware if the honourable governor has sent any report to the union government on the involvement of the union ministers in this matter.”

Blaming the Leftwing Maoist guerrillas, the LF said: “The self-styled Maoists take pride in openly claiming their ownership of most of these ghastly murders and their attempt to kill the chief minister of the state. We have no knowledge of any public statement releases from Raj Bhavan on such occasions,” the LF added.

Maoists Threaten Police Recruits

2009-8-7 11:111 E-MAIL THIS

Maoists have put up posters in various villages, warning people against joining the India Reserve Battalion, or IRB. Because of this, some young people are now skeptical and are rethinking their decision, or are waiting for their friends to decide.

[Jagarnath Sing, Potential Police Recruit]:
"I just read the poster, but I can't make a decision alone. If my friends do not go, I won't either."

The handwritten poster asks young people to boycott the recruitment.

Meanwhile police are trying to assure people that adequate security arrangements have been made to protect recruits.

[Vinay Kumar Singh, Policeman]:
"The superintendent of police has made adequate arrangements, all those who have applied should not have any problems."

India’s Jharkhand is one of nine states badly affected by decades of Maoist revolt. Last month Maoists threatened India’s Prime Minister and the Chief of India’s ruling Congress party.

The warning comes a month after the government listed the Maoists as a terrorist group.

Maoist leader warns West Bengal

Raktima Bose

KOLKATA: “The joint operation of the security forces has failed as it was bound to. The West Bengal government should brace itself for further failures in near future,” Maoist leader Bikas said on Friday, a day after the government admitted that the security operation for flushing out the Maoists could not achieve expected results.

Speaking over the phone from his hideout somewhere in the Lalgarh region, Mr. Bikas told The Hindu that the State took “too much time” to admit that what the Maoists have been claiming form the start. Holding out a warning against any “misstep” by the State government, he said: “It will not be easy for the security forces to go back from here [Lalgarh]. We will see to it.”

Asked about the tactics that they intend to adopt given the fact that the State government has decided to take up “area-specific strategies” within the next 15-20 days, he said: “We do not create unnecessary hype about our tactics. The government talks tall about its plans only to fail afterwards.”

Referring to the local support as the foundation of their success so far, he said the forces will continue facing resistance from the people.

Regarding the two policemen who have gone missing since July 30 and remain untraced till date, Mr. Bikas said the Maoists are not responsible for the incident. He, however, pointed out to the possibility of the policemen facing public wrath for their involvement in alleged atrocities against local people.

He also refuted the Maoists’ role in the recent spate of killing of supporters of Jharkhand Party (Naren).

Govt to fill up police vacancies by October

Express News Service First Published : 08 Aug 2009 09:09:36 AM ISTLast Updated : 08 Aug 2009 12:21:00 PM IST

CUTTACK: The State Government has decided to fill up all the 12,000 vacant posts at all the levels of the State Police by October. This includes 3,500 posts in the Naxalite affected districts.

A decision to this effect was taken at a high level meeting presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Besides fresh recruitment, vacancies will also be filled up through promotions.

It was decided that the sixth India Reserve Battalion (IRB) would be set up soon. About 1,000 personnel will be recruited for the IRB. Necessary training arrangements will be made for the newly-recruited force to make them capable of fighting the Naxalites.

The Chief Minister directed that a training institute having 1,000 slots will be set up in the State for the IRB personnel. The martyr’s week observed by the Naxalites in the State which concluded on August 4 had turned more violent this year compared to the previous years. During the week, Naxalites had attacked at will in several districts in the north as well southern areas.

Four police personnel were killed by the Left wing extremists (LWEs) in Sambalpur and Keonjhar districts during the last one month. Besides, one assistant sub-inspector of police and a homeguard were also killed in Bramhanipal area of Keonjhar during the martyr’s week.

The situation has become acute in Narayanpatna block in Koraput district where tribals belonging to the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha forcibly tilled the land belonging to the non-tribals. The white paper published by the Home Department also admitted that Naxalites killed 74 police personnel last year including 36 Grey Hounds of Andhra Pradesh in violent attacks. The number of major incidents recorded in the State also increased to 56 last year.

It was decided that along with augmentation of the staff strength, the intelligence wing would also be strengthened to keep a track on the activities of the Naxalites.

Naxals hold armed rally in Lalgarh

TNN 8 August 2009, 01:31am IST

LALGARH: A day after the West Midnapore district administration admitted its failure in tackling the Maoists, the Red rebels in a brazen show of
strength held an armed rally in Lalgarh about 200 km from Kolkata.

Attended by around 1,000 villagers, the rally was held on Friday evening at Domohani, barely 2 km from Dharampur police station, where the rebels assured people that they were completely prepared to take on the armed forces. ‘‘None of our people has been killed or arrested,’’ claimed Maoist leader Bikash.

Police, too, were busy devising a new strategy to counter the Maoists at a meeting in Lalgarh. With chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee scheduled to visit Jangalmahal on Tuesday, the meeting definitely sent out a strong signal to the administration.

Addressing the meeting barely a kilometre away from the spot on the Dharampur-Lalgarh road where the central forces marched on Friday, Bikash admitted to killing three CPM workers Jhontu Soren, Naru Samanta and Asit Samanta who have been missing since June 14.

‘‘We have served the death penalty on people who exploited and tortured tribals. Who started this violence? When the villagers started their movement at Sijua, Salboni and Khasjangal, who assaulted them,’’ asked the Maoist leader. ‘‘These are examples of peoples rage,’’ he said.

Bikash, however, denied their involvement in Wednesday’s murder of three Jharkhand Party (Naren) men. He also denied the Maoist hand in the abduction of two policemen from Brindabanpur. After targeting CPM leaders and party offices, Maoists seem to have trained their guns on Congress now. They have threatened to stop Congress leaders from opening their party offices and do any work.

'Vulnerable areas have fallen prey'

Express News Service First Published : 08 Aug 2009 09:15:43 AM ISTLast Updated : 08 Aug 2009 12:20:16 PM IST

BHUBANESWAR: Their stronghold increasing by the day, Left wing rebels are now capable of positional warfare in some pockets of South Orissa.

There are regions where they have moved to advanced guerilla stage and could hold parallel administration too.

Top officers of the State Police Friday dealt at length the growth of Maoist base in the State and said the vulnerable pockets have fallen into a vicious circle.

“Since there was under-development, Maoists were able to spread their base.

Now, that they enjoy stronghold, development is being blocked,’’ Director, (Intelligence) Prakash Mishra said, citing opposition to Gurupriya Bridge in Malkangiri district.

He was addressing a national seminar on “Human rights and counter terrorist operations,” organised by the Biju Patnaik State Police Academy with support from Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi.

In parts of Malkangiri and Koraput’s Narayanpatna, he said, the Maoists can actually engage security forces since they have developed hold. In the other regions, they basically adopt the hit-and-run tactics of guerilla warfare.

Presenting an overall scenario, Mishra said the Maoists are in perspective stage in Angul, Boudh, Kalahandi and Nuapada where they are creating base. In Jajpur, Keonjhar and Dhenkanal, they have reached the early guerilla stage.

The senior cop said, Maoist ideology is gradually breaking down with ransom becoming a major incentive for Red rebels and their presence in mining belts is an example.

The Dandakaranya Special Zone in Chhattisgarh is the manufacturing industry of hardcore criminal elements who have nothing to do with ideology while the Bengal- Jharkhand Orissa Border Committee controls the Saranda forest and its contiguous zone in Orissa where heavy Maoist movement is recorded. Explosive movements and extortions are highlights of the rebels in this zone.

Addressing the police and judicial officers as well as those from the civil society, IG (Operations) Sanjiv Marik said difficult terrains have proved to be a challenge for anti-Naxal operation in the regions under Andhra Orissa Border Special Zonal Committee.

DGP for greater emphasis on rule of law

Express News Service First Published : 08 Aug 2009 09:14:40 AM ISTLast Updated :

BHUBANESWAR: Director General of Police Manmohan Praharaj has laid a greater emphasis on the rule of law to tackle terrorism.

Comparing the pre and post 9/11 scenario in US, the DGP said it is through a greater application of the rule of law that America prevented recurrence of terrorist incidence. A lawless ambience is taken advantage of by the terrorists, Praharaj told the inaugural ceremony of a day-long seminar on “Human rights and counter terrorist operations,” hosted by the Biju Patnaik State Police Academy and Institute of Social Sciences.

Citing the case of Narayanpatna, where tribal uprising linked with Maoists rocked the State, Praharaj said, there is a need for using force, although within the ambit of law.

Saying that illegality, in the name of individual and group rights, should not be tolerated, the top cop said Maoists take benefit of such demands. The DGP slammed those who tacitly support such subversive forces and said there are cohorts in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack who provide logistics as well as legal support.

Illegality and violence in furtherance of such socio-political objectives is just not acceptable, he said.

The DGP called for a strong judicial process as there is a vast difference between what happens in the police stations and security agencies and what is there in the book.

There are certain laws which are aspirational in nature, he said and called for a change to deal with situations like militancy and Naxalism which are not normal in nature.

Speaking on the occasion, former DGP AB Tripathy said terrorists cannot have human right as they happen to be the biggest threat to a nation. Human rights of families and relatives of policemen killed in the anti-insurgency operations must be kept in mind, said, adding the number of policemen killed in such operations far exceeds loss of defence personnel. Senior fellow of ISS Shankar Sen also spoke.

Narrating their experience in the field, senior officials such as IG Yogesh Bahadur Khurania raised issues of challenges that police face while taking on extremists. He also made a strong call for improving the conditions of those working in the field.

DIG Sanjib Panda stressed on better management of evidence in anti Naxal operations so that police does not face human rights violation slur even in genuine cases.

Kandhamal SP Praveen Kumar said use of tribal women and children as human shields by Naxals are a major challenge for the security agencies. Director, Biju Patnaik State Police Academy Satyajit Mohanty spoke.

A host of senior police officials, judicial officers and civil society members were present.

Rajesh Pradhan takes over as Yavatmal SP

TNN 8 August 2009, 05:31am IST

YAVATMAL: Rajesh Pradhan on Thursday assumed the office of superintendent of Yavatmal on Thursday. He replaced Shivaji Bodkhe who has been
transferred to Mumbai as security head of the state legislative assembly.

Pradhan was the SP of Naxal-hit Gadchiroli district before being transferred to Yavatmal. The new SP said top priority would be given to maintaining law and order situation in the district and discussions held with senior police officials. "I have to get myself acquainted with the geographical contours of the district and sensitive locations," he said.

Pradhan said he will take stock of the recent communal riots and also the activities of SIMI across the district and ensure that such incidents are averted.

Earlier, outgoing SP Bodkhe was given a warm send off by the cops at a function held at the local police headquarters.

Orissa to recruit 12,000 police personnel by October

Bhubaneswar, Aug 7 (PTI) In a bid to expedite its fight against left wing extremists (LWES), the Orissa government today set a target of filling 12,000 vacant posts in the state police by end of October, official sources said today.

This was decided at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here. "Besides, steps will be taken to raise the 6th India Reserve Battalion (IRB) soon," an official attending the meeting said.

The fresh recruitment for 12,000 personnel include appointment of 3500 special police officers (SPOs) in naxal infested districts, they said adding steps would be taken to fill up some posts on the basis of promotions in the police department.

Elaborating on the establishment of new IRB, the official said 1,000 personnel would be taken in the new battalion.

'Ultras know the art of war’

;Statesman News Service

BHUBANESWAR, 7 AUG: The top brass of police administration, including a few from outside the state favoured enactment of special laws to combat the Naxal menace, which has grown and was now in a position to carry out "positional warfare" in certain pockets of Malkangiri and Koraput districts.

In certain pockets, they (the Maoists) have total tribal population with them, either by force or otherwise, and have started inducting children and women who are used as human shields, said a police officer at a seminar on Human Rights and Counter Terrorist Operations”.

The seminar organised by Orissa Police in collaboration with the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, had eminent participants in Mr Sankar Sen, IPS, who is a senior fellow, ISS, Mr DM Mitra, the additional DGP Madhya Pradesh and several others from Orissa. Mr Satyajit Mohanty, IPS and director of Biju Patnaik State Police Academy introduced the guest speakers.

Orissa’s excellent track record in terms of human rights was emphasised by DGP Mr Manmohan Praharaj who went on to say that he had lost more than 100 policemen during the last two years.

Speaking his heart out, the DGP said that one has to expect collateral damage while dealing with terror or Naxal situations.

He was strident in pointing out that often an ambience of lawlessness is created by groups and individuals with the support of political parties and Maoists take advantage of such situations. Referring to road blockade, torching of public property and other such group activities, he said that illegality is not acceptable even if it were under a socio-economic objective banner.

Citing the instance of Narayanpatna, the DGP said that “a section of the tribals are evicting people and forcibly cultivating land, if I go and there is firing, tribals will be affected”. The DGP also informed that the Maoists had the covert support of "certain people and groups staying in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, attending seminars". These people provide the legal and other logistic support whereas the police lack a strong legal backing. Some of the laws are aspirational in nature, they just cannot be implemented at the ground level and more so while dealing with abnormal situations like fighting terror or the Maoists.

Mr Sankar Sen strongly felt that terrorism is destruction of human rights. The ploy of the terrorist groups or Maoists is to see that security forces misuse their powers and this helps them drive a wedge between the forces and the people. Former DGP of Orissa Mr AB Tripathy was even more forceful in saying: "I feel terrorists should have no human rights". He said that one of the " cardinal blunders" was to book and jail policemen in connection with cases during the fight against terrorists in Punjab.

IPS officers of Naxal infested areas ~ Mr YB Khurania, Mr Sanjeev Panda, Mr Praveen Kumar threw up pertinent field based practical posers during their deliberations to hammer home the point at the shortcomings of existing laws in dealing with Maoists, the inadequacy of manpower and the strategies being adopted by Maoists.

Merely raising battalions or special units will not help unless we strengthen manpower in police stations, they said. They also called for special laws. Members of the civil society also participated in the seminar.

Maoists: A vicious circle

;Statesman News Service

BHUBANESWAR, 7 AUG: Maoists belonging to the Dandakaranya zonal division who intermingle with those operating in Chhattisgarh, which has become a ‘manufacturing industry’ for hardcore criminal Naxals, are trying to establish a corridor to Andhra Pradesh through Malkangiri, Nawarangpur and Koraput districts of Orissa.
Providing an elaborate picture of the Maoist menace, movement and strength in Orissa, Mr Prakash Mishra, IPS, director of intelligence, said that the Maoists at many places like Chitrakonda, Narayanpatna etc have the total support of tribals. In these areas, the police face a few armed cadres and an entire tribal population is used as human shield, he observed, explaining the enormity and complexity of the problem, particularly when keeping human right issues in mind.
The state is sandwiched ~ Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, AP and West Bengal are all infested ~ and Maoists shift from one place to another and take quick decisions by splitting into self-reliant groups, he noted.
Till the early nineties Orissa felt this was an Andhra Pradesh centric problem despite the fact that AP was keen that Orissa should take up counter-insurgency measures.
The Maoists are capable of engaging in positional battles in districts like Malkangiri whereas they are in a guerilla stage in districts of Jajpur, Keonjhar and Dhenkanal, he noted. Angul, Boudh, Kalahandi, Nuapada districts are presently areas where the Maoists are in what is known as a perspective stage as they are currently holding meetings, raising small local issues, punishing corrupt employees and indulging in publicity.
“It is a vicious circle - underdevelopment breeds naxals and because of the presence of naxals development cannot take place,” said Mr Mishra while citing instances of how a bridge was essential in Chitrakonda but could not be achieved due to intense protesting.
No developmental work is allowed and agencies are scared of venturing into taking up road or bridge building activities. The way out is to make police stations the nodal places for developmental work, he added.
Mr Sanjeev Marik, IPS, IGP (Operations) elaborated on the various Maoist divisions active in the state and the difficult terrain that poses problems in carrying out swift counter operations.
Mr YB Khurania and Mr Sanjeev Panda, both IPS officers posted in naxal infested districts, highlighted the complexities at the field level. They have started teaching children to hold guns and we will have to face such situations. The Juvenile Justice Act needs to be amended, noted Mr Panda. Women and children are the human shields, he noted.
Mr Khurania pointed at the case in Mayurbhanj where suspected naxals had been arrested. When the arrest was conducted nobody knew of their backgrounds or identity. It was much later that their naxal involvement was established but by then they had managed to obtain bail. It was only because the police impressed upon the lower court to seek local surety that they did not get out of jail. They were finally convicted, he said, but it had been a close call.
The present set of laws cannot deal with a war like situation or abnormal situation, he said.
The policemen and the naxals both give their versions of the operations and the police version is never believed, Mr Khurania furthered. There are no witnesses and we cannot detain a person for more than 24 hours, he said, while citing other difficulties. A suspect needs to be examined for a few days so as to elicit further information on the movement and presence of groups, but this is not done, he added.
Mr Khurania went on to pose questions concerning the human rights of the policemen, who are expected to work 24 hours in extremely trying circumstances. "Why can't their be shifts in a police station like in other 24 hour workplaces?" he asked. Special training, special laws and the strengthening of police stations - both in terms of manpower and infrastructure - is the need of the hour, concluded Mr Khurania.

Jharkhand demands special package of Rs 5,000 crore

New Delhi, Aug 7 (PTI) Congress leaders from Jharkhand today demanded a special package of Rs 5,000 crore for development from the Centre.

A delegation of leaders led by Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahay met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and submitted a memorandum highlighting problems of "disease, malnutrition, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, neglect and exploitation" faced by the people in the state.

"We have sought a special package for Jharkhand, time bound target specific programmes for development and relief measures for drought hit areas," AICC in-charge for Jharkhand K Keshava Rao told reporters after meeting the Prime Minister.

Sahay said the Prime Minister assured them that there would be no dearth of funds for the state.

The delegation also apprised the PM of problems like scarcity of drinking water, absence of health care facilities, deteriorating law and order, increased Naxal violence and rampant corruption in the state.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Money for the Maoists

Countering the Maoist insurgency that rages across India is one of those problems that receive attention in an on-off manner. The “latest of the best” to tackle the problem is the plan to offer Rs3 lakh to those ultra-Left insurgents who surrender. It is a bad idea that is least likely to deliver results.

Under the plan being considered, each surrendering insurgent will be given Rs3 lakh. This money will have a lock-in period of three years. While the erstwhile Maoist will not be able to touch the money, he/she will be able to take a loan against the deposit.

There are two issues at hand. At one level, the problem is that of policy efficacy and that of social incentives to abjure political violence. Incentives for militants who surrender have been tried for a long time in India. In Assam, for example, surrendered United Liberation Front of Asom (Sulfa) cadres were given money for rehabilitation. Soon the Sulfa men wanted guns to protect themselves from Ulfa. Gunfights in the towns and villages of Assam were the result. Soon enough, the Sulfa men took up petty crime to earn a living.

A linked matter is whether the government will offer such incentives to any group of citizens who take to crime and then become too big to be tackled by security forces. A surrender policy, instead of offering incentives to abjure violence, is likely to spur violence: the group taking up arms knowing well that money is out there just for the asking.

The second question is that of the capacity of the Union and state governments to tackle such violence. It is unsurprising that the scheme has found popularity in states such as Uttar Pradesh that have little or no ability to fight Maoists. Years of political interference and neglect in modernizing the police force have brought matters to such a pass. An interim solution, pending the larger project to destroy the social and political base of Maoism, would be to increase security spending. For example, the Rs3 lakh per surrendering Maoist (expected to cost Rs400 crore by one estimate) could be better spent on the badly equipped and demoralized policemen fighting Leftist militants in far-flung districts that few in Delhi have heard of.

Should Maoists be given money to surrender? Tell us at

Maoists kill three to spread terror

Shaktipada Murmu’s wife cries with her child in her arms. (Samir Mondal)


Binpur, Aug. 6: Maoists executed three Jharkhand Party (Naren) workers making them kneel and then shooting them in the head near Lalgarh in a move to spread panic among political forces and enforce “domination” over the area.

The three youths were from Binpur, where the Jharkhand Party (Naren) is said to have taken the rebels’ help to win in the state elections.

The CPM is usually the target of the Maoist bullet but the latest attack indicates that no political force will be spared by them.

Late last night, about 15 armed Maoists descended on Magura village in Binpur block, on the periphery of Lalgarh, and headed for a cold storage unit where three youths were watching television with a dozen others in their small party office on the premises.

On reaching the party office, the Maoists called out Shaktipada Murmu, Budheswar Hansda and Asim Soren.

Murmu, 28, was a farmer, Hansda, 25, and Soren, 24, worked in the cold storage.

When the trio emerged, the Maoists ringed them, then dragged them half a kilometre to Ankho village and shot them dead beside a village path.

The police, judging by the way they were found this morning, said the three were made to kneel down and then shot at the back of their heads.

“When I heard the shots, I realised that the Maoists were killing someone,” said villager Bireshwar Murmu.

The Jharkhand Party (Naren) said there was no reason for the Maoists to target the trio as they were neither police informers nor working against the Maoists.

Binpur MLA and Jharkhand Party (Naren) leader Chunibala Hansda said she had “no clue” on why the three were targeted. “They were just party workers, not prominent leaders,” said Hansda. “Now, our party workers are planning to flee in large numbers.”

The police said this was what the Maoists wanted.

When the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities was formed last November and the Maoists lent support to it, the Jharkhand Party (Naren) did not support it. Relations soured further when the rebels told the party to boycott the general elections but it put up a candidate in Jharkhand.

“We have learnt our lesson from Nandigram where Trinamul disowned us though we were part of the movement,” a Maoist leader said. “We want total area domination here.”

Indian extreme left-wing rebels acquiring equipment to blow roads 2009-08-07 19:21:51 Print

NEW DELHI, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- India's extreme left-wing rebels are acquiring equipment and boring machines that can dig up well-laid roads so that security forces are not able to get close to the areas where they operate from, said government sources on Friday.

Last year, the Home Ministry drew up the road construction plan with a view to enabling security forces to penetrate deep into the areas where the rebels, also known as Naxalites, operate from within short notice.

After they became aware that the government has sanctioned funds for developing roads and other infrastructure in states where they operate from, the Naxalite groups from various states made a decision to acquire equipment and boring machines, top level sources in the Home Ministry revealed.

The Naxalites have already acquired some of the machines and plan to get them in thousands. The plan will be executed after police and paramilitary forces leave the areas where roads will be constructed, said the sources.

The Home Ministry has already alerted the states to take adequate steps to ensure that Naxalites do not succeed in their plans.

It has also offered as much financial help and other facilities that they may need both during the time of construction and also after that.

Even during the road construction done under the "Pradhan Mantri's Gramin Sadak Yojana", a part of which was completed from last year to June this year, Naxalites had reportedly thought of the same scheme, but shortage of funds is believed to have desisted them from making such a move.

Editor: Bi Mingxin

7 Maoists caught in Paliganj

TNN 7 August 2009, 12:17am IST

PATNA: Patna police late on Wednesday night arrested seven Maoists, including the area commander of CPI(Maoist)'s Sone-Punpun area committee, from

Patna SSP Vineet Vinayak on Thursday said the Maoists were arrested while they were on way to Gurua in Gaya district, carrying sheets of bullet-proof jackets to show them to their seniors so that their outfit could procure it. He said besides the metal-sheets, Naxal literatures were also seized from their possession.

Vinayak said one of the arrested Maoists, Ganesh alias Ganesh Bhagwan, was an accused in a case of loot of five police rifles in Arwal in 1999. He was released from jail about ten months back and elevated to the rank of area commander. Ganesh was also involved in the blast of towers of a private cellphone company in Paliganj few months back, he added.

The arrested Maoists have been identified as Ganesh alias Ganesh Bhagwan, a resident of Imamganj, Manoj Kumar, Rajit Kumar, Upendra Kumar, Nand Kumar, Upendra Gupta and Ramswaroop Paswan alias Naresh Paswan alias Mahesh, all residents of Karpi in Arwal, and Kasinath, a resident of Begumpur in Patna City.

Forces getting ready to boot out Maoists

7 Aug 2009, 0248 hrs IST, Bharti Jain, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: Security forces are preparing for a long haul in the counter-Naxalite grid, with a good 26,000 personnel drawn from CRPF, BSF, ITBP and
Nagaland armed battalion joining hands to “liberate” Maoist strongholds over the next couple of years.

The upcoming offensive against the Maoists, timed for a launch sometime in October, will see additional deployment of nearly 16 battalions of CRPF, five of BSF, one of ITBP and two Naga battalions, to carry out surgical, intelligence-based strikes on their hideouts in strongholds like Abujmarh and Malkangiri.

The forces will be pulled out from J&K and the North-East, with some troops being disengaged from the international border as well.

The possibility of involving the Army at some point during the offensive is not ruled out either. Rashtriya Rifles, which is currently manning the counter-insurgency grid in Jammu & Kashmir, may be engaged as and when required. Any immediate move to involve the Army is, however, unlikely as the agencies feel that its presence would be required more at the border, J&K and the North-East in the wake of Central forces being pulled out from there.

The operational strategies for the anti-Maoist offensive are being finalised and will be fine-tuned in consultation with the seven Naxal-hit states at the upcoming chief ministers’ meet on internal security on August 17.

A separate session in the evening will be devoted to Naxal management, with the Centre enlisting the cooperation and participation of the police of the Naxal-hit states in the proposed counter-operation. “The police will not only be part of the operations, but will also need to set up new police stations,” an MHA official pointed out.

The plan is to carry out operations based on pinpointed intelligence regarding Maoist hideouts and camps. Armed with clear GIS maps, the security forces and state police will liberate Naxalite-infested areas and hold them until administration is brought in.

“It’s a long-term strategy...the forces will have to stay deployed for at least the next two years,” said a senior home ministry official.

The offensive will be massive in magnitude and will also involve air support for reconnaissance, besides evacuation and movement of the forces. It will also see a technical and equipment upgrade with more mine-proof vehicles, better bullet-proof cars and mine detectors being placed at the forces’ disposal.

The discussions at the upcoming interaction between the Prime Minister and chief ministers of the Naxal-hit states will essentially focus on operational matters, including whether the strategy should focus on pincer operations or pushing the Naxalites in.

The operational strategies may evolve as the offensive progresses, with the options being whether to first hit at strongholds like Abujmarh and Malkangiri or to reclaim smaller pockets of Naxalites’ influence like Lalgarh in West Bengal.

Maoist leader held in Bihar

Aurangabad (Bihar), Aug 7 (PTI) A Maoist leader was arrested with arms and ammunitions in Bihar's Aurangabad district today, police said.

"Acting on a tip-off, special task force personnel raided Misirbigha village and captured Satish Mishra, a commander of the banned CPI-Maoist outfit, SP Nishant Kumar Tiwari said.

Two rifles and 75 rounds of ammunition were recovered from his possession, he said.

Mishra was also wanted in several criminal cases, the SP added.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Moral lesson for Maoists

Raipur, Aug. 5: Not through the power of bullets alone, the state government is mooting a proposal to preach morality in the red zone to curb Maoist menace.

To help the government in its move, teachers working in the interior areas — where the rebels have their say — would be pressed into service. About 150 government teachers from the worst Maoist-hit districts of Dantewada and Bijapur are currently undergoing training to impart moral values, spirituality and humanity.

Though government teachers would attend the programme organised by the state’s education department, teachers from Maoist-hit Bijapur and Dantewada districts were selected for the first batch.

“After the programme, teachers will work for creating awareness about moral values, spirituality and humanity that can help bring ideological change in the society,” education department secretary Nandkumar said.

'Operation Lalgarh was a failure'

6 Aug 2009, 0125 hrs IST, TIMES NOW

In an admission which will leave the Centre red-faced, a report sent by the Superintendent of Police, West Bengal and District Magistrate to the Chief Secretary claims that Operation Lalgarh was a failure. The report accessed by TIMES NOW also claims that the Lalgarh operation by the joint forces has been overshadowed by the Maoist forces.

The report states, "We are afraid that the Midnapore, Jhargram town & Kotoyali police station may be attacked by the Maoists any time. Maoists have extended their base into forests like Manikpara, Rambasar and Sardiha. A group of seven to eight Maoist action squad members are moving around Lalgarh."

Reacting to the report, senior CPI(M) Politburo member Biman Bose said that he is extremely concerned with the situation, adding that he will ensure the issue is taken up with the administration as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, following the failure of the operation the SP has made certain demands from the government. Six more companies of central forces have been demanded to protect the Midnapore headquarters and a strategic review of the operation.

An emergency meeting has been called in Kolkata to review the situation after this report was received by the West Bengal government.

Three Jharkhand Party (Naren) members killed

Midnapore (WB), Aug 6 (PTI) Blood-soaked bodies of three members of a Jharkhand party were found on a road at Binpur near Lalgarh in West Midnapore district this morning, leading to tension in the area

Police said the bodies belonged to Shaktipada Murmu, Asim Soren and Budhu Hansda, all members of Jharkhand Party (Naren). They were shot dead and their bodies chopped with sharp-edged weapons before being dumped on the Binpur-Dahijuri road at Magura village.

Though the police could not say who were behind the killing, the Binpur MLA, Chunibala Hansda of the JP (Naren), alleged the CPI-M was responsible.

The killings led to tension in the area.

The turf battle that ensued after the joint security forces launched their anti-Maoist offensive in Lalgarh and adjacent areas on June 18 has claimed 19 victims so far.

Yesterday, three persons were killed two of them being CPI-M workers and one JP (Naren) member.

Elusive extremist in police net after 15 years

Chennai, Aug 6 (PTI) A Maoist, who had been absconding since 1994 in Tamil Nadu and wanted in various cases, has been arrested here.

Krishnan alias Santhanrajan, a member of the frontal organisation of People's War Group, "Uzhavar Uzhaippalar Mamandram", was arrested yesterday, a police press release said.

The Villupuram-based college dropout was at the forefront in running the PWG in Naxal-infested area of Dharmapuri between 1994 and 2004, the release said.

A total of six cases, including attempt to murder and keeping pipe bombs in possession, were pending against him, it said, adding that non-bailable warrants (NBW) were also pending.

Maoists torch mobile towers

TNN 6 August 2009, 10:37pm IST

KORAPUT: Maoists torched battery rooms of two towers of private cellular operators at Dandabadi and Kaliaatal in the district. Around 10 p.m. on
Wednesday, 15 Maoists reached Dandabadi, destroyed the tower and torched the battery room before heading towards Kaliaatal, that is seven km from Dandabadi.

"There is no report of assault or casualty. Frequent patrolling in the area is not possible because these are quite remote. The rebels have left a few banners and posters at the spot. We are investigating," sub-divisional police officer (Jeypore) Prakash Patra said.

On Sunday, the Red rebels had damaged a mobile tower at Bobaya. The extremists damaged there mobile towers, including a BSNL telephone exchange, at Kakrigumma, about 40 km from Koraput on June 26. On July 28, they had blown up two mobile towers in Malkangiri district.

Maoist attacks on security personnel, state-run vehicles and police stations are nothing new in this part of the state. But, towers of cellphones seem to be the latest target of the extremists. According to sources, Maoists are trying to destroy communication network in the district so that security personnel cannot get information regarding their movement.

Policemen engaged in anti-Maoist operations are worried over this disturbing trend. "The Red rebels frequently target electricity towers in Chhattisgarh but here they are targeting mobile towers to disable community network," said a police officer. The officer said it is quite difficult to provide round-the-clock security coverage to all mobile towers.

In another development, several Maoists posters and banners were found at Chitrakonda in Malkangiri district on Thursday. Sources said the rebels through the posters have asked locals to cooperate during Kranti Diwas that they are going to observe on August 9.

Seven Maoists held in Bihar

Patna, Aug 6 (PTI) Seven hardcore activists of the banned CPI (Maoist) were today arrested by the Special Task Force from Badauli village under Paliganj police station here, Senior Superintendent of Police Vinit Vinayak said.

Acting on a tip-off, STF men, assisted by the personnel of the Paliganj police station, raided the village and arrested them, Vinayak said.

Two life-jackets and several naxal literature were seized from them, he said adding that the naxalites were involved in several cases like attacking policemen, looting their rifles, and others

Maoists gun down 2 more in Midnapore

TNN 6 August 2009, 04:26am IST

MIDNAPORE: Two more persons were gunned down by Maoists in West Midnapore district between Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. While one of
the two killed was a member of the Gana Pratirodh Committee (GPC), the other was branded a police informer by the Naxalites.

The deaths have taken the toll of villagers kilkled by Maoists, since security forces launched their operations in June, to six.

Around 10 pm on Tuesday, an armed mob of about 30 pulled out Gunadhar Singh (40) from his home at Majugeria village under Belpahari PS and took him to the Bhulabheda forest, barely a kilometre away, and shot him twice. He died on the spot.

Villagers said Singh was earlier a member of the Jharkhand Party (Naren) and had recently joined GPC, an anti-Maoist organisation that is said to be backed by CPM.

Around 2 am on Wednesday, nearly 500 people some of them armed turned up outside Ramshankar Adhikary's house at Chilgora village under Kotwali PS on the outskirts of Midnapore town. When Ramshankar (37) emerged with brother Shaktipada, they were marched towards the road to Sirsi with their hands tied behind their backs. Shaktipada was allowed to return home but Ramshankar was told that he had been sentenced to death as he had informed police at the Chandra camp.

"We went to the Chandra police camp around 6.30 am and asked for help. The policemen told us: Amader ghar sansar nei naki (Don't we have families of our own).' They only came around noon to take away the body," said Renu Das. Police also retrieved a page from a diary, which mentioned that Adhikary was a police spy and the Maoists would carry out such strikes till the operations continued.

Shaktipada said he would leave the village. "My brother was a lorry driver, who had managed to buy a motorcycle after years of hard work. We have only 4-5 cottahs and can barely make ends meet. It is possible that my brother was mistaken to be an informer as his father-in-law is a policeman," he said.

However maoists, including their leader Bikash, maintained that Adhikary spent much time at the Chandra police camp.

Combing operation intensified in Patamda


Paramilitary jawans patrol in Patamda on Tuesday. Telegraph picture
Jamshedpur, Aug. 5: Police have stepped up vigil in the Lailam panchayat area and adjacent Patamda block where suspected Naxalites gunned down JMM leader Doren Singh Munda yesterday.

East Singhbhum superintendent of police Naveen Kumar said the rebels had neither claimed responsibility for Munda’s murder nor denied it. “We are investigating the case and trying to find more evidence,” he said.

Sources revealed that even a day after the JMM leader was killed, the police were clueless and struggling to find a lead in the case.

Patamda has seen a spurt in Maoist activities over the past few days. On August 1, rebels torched two trucks in Bhadodih village. Earlier, they had launched a poster campaign in Patamda and Nimdih blocks banning sale of marijuana and liquor.

“Naxalite-sponsored violence has become a frequent affair. It is difficult for us to live in this village. More so when the police swoop on our villages and pick up innocent people on the basis of suspicion,” said Ramesh Mahto, a resident of Lailam, who is staying at a relative’s house in Sonari since yesterday.

As police and paramilitary forces started combing operation in the villages of Patamda today, many, particularly youths, fled their homes fearing harassment. Police have denied the allegation of false implications.

Meanwhile, the JMM leader was cremated at his native village in Lailam.

Women power to take on rebels -- NSS

Jamshedpur, Aug. 5: Nagrik Suraksha Samiti (NSS), a citizens’ vigilante group, is re-organising itself with induction of women even as Maoists are getting ready for their Shaheed Saptah (martyrs’ week) from August 7.

The outfit that fights Naxalite terror has made Raimat, the widow of slain NSS leader Dhanai Kisku, one of the three general secretaries. The other two are Shailendra Baske and Vikram Tuddu. Shanker Chandra Hembrom has been nominated president again.

Since its inception in 2002, the NSS has kept itself confined to men. And Raimat has been inducted as the outfit wants to encourage more women like her to take part in their anti-Naxalite campaigns. The women who enrolled would get to participate at meetings and other NSS deliberations. “We want more women in the group and have, therefore, made Raimat Kisku a general secretary so that the outfit emerges stronger in the coming days,” said Hembrom.

He said the outfit had not only reorganised itself but also decided to strengthen its information network as Naxalite activities had increased in Ghatshila sub-division, especially in Ghurabandha and areas close to the Bengal border.

The rebels will observe martyr’s week somewhere in Ghatshila sub-division to commemorate the Lango massacre when nine of their cadres were killed on August 7, 2003 after an NSS operation.

East Singhbhum SP Naveen Kumar Singh said: “We will intensify patrolling in Ghatshila during the week. We will ensure that the rebels do not get a chance to assemble anywhere in the district.”

UP ready to dangle carrots to counter Naxal campaign

Posted: Thursday , Aug 06, 2009 at 0551 hrs

To discourage the unemployed youth of the Naxal-hit region of the state from joining the Naxal movement, the state Rural Development department is planning to promote region-specific employment generation programmes.

The Centre has asked the department to look for options under its employment generation schemes to target the problem of poverty in Naxal-hit districts like Sonebhadra, Chandauli and Mirzapur of the Vindhyanchal region.

The two successful Central government programmes generating employment are Swarnjayanti Grameen Swarozgar Yojna (SGSY) and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS). “We have been asked by the Centre to focus on Naxal-hit regions and create employment options. In our existing schemes, we have the option of creating enough employment,” said senior official of the department.

“We are trying to identify the best suited tasks that can be undertaken in these districts, which can generate maximum employment,” the official added.

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The Centre had recently announced that it will focus on curbing Naxalism in states like Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh by not just strengthening policing, but also providing more employment opportunities to the locals.

Since the three districts in the Vindhyanchal region happen to be in the list of the 100 poorest districts in the country, the focus on successful implementation of these schemes have become even more important.

While the Centre has agreed to provide more funds for these districts, the department already has enough funds under SGSY and NREGS to start new projects as soon as they are approved.

Of the available funds of Rs 344.68 crore under SGSY, the department has spent only 15 per cent so far. Similarly in NREGS, only 78 per cent expenditure has been incurred as yet.

The officials from the Rural Development department of all the five Naxal-hit states will soon meet senior officials from the Rural Development and Home ministries in New Delhi.

They will submit the details of the progress made in the two government schemes as well as the proposals enlisting the tasks that can be further undertaken.

The department has already started a baseline survey to collect data from the blocks like population details, number of people working as labourers, unemployment and gaps in infrastructure.

A few years ago, a similar programme to target the Naxal-hit regions was launched by the Centre. But the programme was primarily targeted at developing infrastructure in the region.

This time around, officials say, the programme aims at providing employment not just to eradicate poverty but also to stop the young from joining the Naxal movement.

Naxals warn liquor traders

;Statesman News Service
PARALAKHEMUNDI, 5 AUG: Posters and pamphlets warning the liquor manufacturing unit owners have been found near the Uppalad village, thereby putting pressure on the administration who have allowed the opening of the unit despite objections and protests.

In fact Uppalad village was the hot bed for Naxal activities in Gajapati district a decade ago and two constables had been killed in a attack carried out by the radicals. The Naxalites had also killed in broad day light one of their cadres who had become a police informer, and this had marked the advent of Naxalism in Gajapati .

But over the last few years, the Left wing extremists appeared to have abandoned the area and shifted to Mohona block. Locals apprehend that the anti-liquor movement and inaction by police may provide the scope for Naxals to return to Uppalad area.
The government had planned to start a country liquor manufacturing unit here as per their new excise policy, but persistent objections by locals had delayed the proposed project.

The licensee of the liquor unit had moved the law court and obtained orders prompting the district administration to allow the opening which again faced resistance.

Interestingly, the latest posters and pamplets are in Telugu and they warned the owner to close the unit of face dire consequences.

Govt to launch massive operation against Naxals: DGP

Nagpur, Aug 5 (PTI) Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP) S S Virk today said the government will launch a joint operation with naxal-affected states to get rid of the menace.

The government will launch a joint operation with Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh soon to curb the growing Naxalite menace in bordering areas, Virk told media persons after his visit to Naxal-hit region of Gadchiroli.

The DGP hinted that the joint operation would start after the monsoon, as it would be difficult for forces to cope with the jungle terrain during incessant rains.

He, however, refused to discuss the the issue in detail.

To a query about his visit to Naxal-infested region, Virk said he had gone to interact with police personnel fighting against left wing extremism.

Govt gearing for major anti-Naxal operation, mulling Army help

Govt gearing for major anti-Naxal operation, mulling Army help

Posted: Thursday , Aug 06, 2009 at 1948 hrs
New Delhi:

Gearing up for a major offensive against Naxals, the government is contemplating to involve the Army to deal with the Left wing extremism. Home Ministry sources said the Centre was preparing a major offensive against the Maoists, who have been involved in large scale violence including kidnapping and killing people, extorting traders and destroying infrastructure in recent past.

"The operation will be based on precise intelligence. We will have to discuss in details with the states. We will also have to see whether Army help could be taken,"
a senior official said.

Deployment of Army to deal with Naxals will not be a problem for the Home Ministry as the armed forces have been involved in counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir and the Northeast for a long time. Though no final decision has been taken yet on the scale and strategy of the operation, the Home Ministry will certainly take air support in terms of reece, evacuation of injured and quick deployment of forces in specific areas.

Help of modern technology, gadgets and vehicle will be taken adequately and the government has started procuring mine protected vehicle, mine detection equipments and maps of Naxal operated areas. "Next couple of months will be fully dedicated for preparedness and formulating the strategy. We have information about the areas of their presence. But, we need more specific inputs," the official said.

Kidnapped TN children forced to work in naxal-infested areas, says official

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Children are being kidnapped from Tamil Nadu and forced to work in naxal-infested areas, particularly Andhra Pradesh, Additional Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) M. Ravi said on Thursday.

He was speaking at a capacity building programme for police personnel on Child Protection and Childline Services jointly organized by the Department of Social Defense and World Vision India here.

Child trafficking is a matter of serious concern. We have information that children are being kidnapped and taken to naxalite areas for work. The role of NGOs is very vital in identifying vulnerable areas. A coordinated effort is required to eradicate child abuse in all its forms, Mr. Ravi said.

He said in many instances of sexual abuse involving children, the accused persons were known to the victims. Neighbours, relatives and school employees are often the culprits in such cases. Parents should be sensitised to the risk factors.

The Indian Council for Child Welfare Secretary Chandra Thanickachalam said child trafficking was prevalent in Tamil Nadu and Chennai was usually the transit point. When a joint operation was held a couple of years ago in Chennai where all incoming buses and trains were checked, 48 children belonging to the southern districts were rescued.

They were brought by agents for employment in Gujarat and some other northern States. The children were restored to their parents and legal action was taken against the agents who had bought them for work. At least 50 per cent of the children were aged below 14 years, she said.

Ms. Thanickachalam said Tamil Nadu was a source of supply (of women) to brothels in Mumbai. Participation of police was imperative when it came to rescuing children in brothels, industries, clandestine establishments and residential areas where they were forced to work.

In about 2,380 calls received by the Childline in the last 10 years in Chennai, children found to be victims of different kinds of abuse were rescued. Even when police are present during such rescue operations, they are insisting that the Childline should lodge a complaint. Our appeal to the police is that they should become complainants in such cases, she said.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Central) V.A. Ravikumar also spoke. At least 100 police personnel, including women, took part in the programme. They would be designated as Child Welfare Officers, police sources added.

He left tranquil backwaters for naxal-infested forests

By: Anshuman G Dutta Date: 2009-08-06 Place: Delhi

A native of God's own country, Constable S Babu joined CRPF and fought naxals and militants across the country

What could have led a man to leave soothing backwaters in his native Alleppy district in Kerala and go to some dense naxal-infested forest in Jharkhand risking his life?

"It was the urge to serve my country," said Constable S Babu of the Central Reserve Police Force.
A soft-spoken Babu has seen the worst face of naxal terror across ten states. From Warangal in Andhra Pradesh, Tripura in the northeast and Jammu and Kashmir, Babu has managed to survive one of the worst violence perpetrated by the red army.

"In Kerala life is very peaceful. No one from my family ever joined the armed forces. But since childhood I wanted to serve my country and joined Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) when I was only 23 years old," Babu told MiD DAY.

War for peace: Constable S Babu pic/mid-day

Babu, who is known for keeping his cool under difficult circumstances, soon found himself in the militancy-hit Tripura. "Life changed instantly. The peace and tranquility of my village backwaters were gone and I started waking up to blasts," he said.

The real rude shock came for Babu when he was posted in Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh in 2004.

"We got information about a few naxals hiding in a remote village. We had very little information and the operation had to be carried out before the daybreak. We marched entire night in the dense forest and reached the village periphery," he recalled.

The local police joined Babu's CRPF unit, acting as guides and helping in post operation search of the village.

Soon, they came to know that the rebels were heavily armed and hiding inside the village. The CRPF team realised they have to finish the operation before the village wakes up and Babu was part of the few people who were asked to go in for the first round of assault.

But as soon as the team reached the hideout, the naxals started firing heavily.

"We took our positions and there were several narrow lanes outside the adjoining houses. I along with few others managed to crawl towards the militants and took guard outside the walls of the house," Babu said.

Naxals were firing indiscriminately and the gunshots soon woke up the entire village. Babu returned the fire with his Self Loading Rifle (SLR) and managed to silence the naxal fire. The brief second for which the naxals took to reload their arms, Babu charged in and shot down two naxals. He had no idea about the number of militants hiding in the house yet he risked his life to clear the hideout. "There were total four militants inside the house and with two of their men down the other two ran away. I shot one of them but he managed to escape," Babu said.

He was awarded Police Medal for Gallantry (PMG) for his bravery and skills. He has served in all kind of militancy-infested areas in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), North East and southern states like Andhra Pradesh ever since.

Babu got married in 2006 and has a two-year-old daughter.

"It's not about killing militants by risking your life. The more important thing is that we should wake up to the challenges, which are plaguing the development of the country. I am happy I have contributed with my honest efforts. But the best is yet to come," he said.

Red death
1996: 156 deaths
1997: 428 deaths
1998: 270 deaths
1999: 363 deaths
2000: 50 deaths
2001: 100+ deaths
2002: 140 deaths
2003: 451 deaths
2004: 500+ deaths
2005: 892 deaths
2006: 749 deaths
2007: 384 deaths
2008: 938 casualties including (38 Maoists)
2009: Naxalites separatists struck at the first phase of elections on 16 April, 2009 in Bihar, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand killing 18 civilians and security forces. Later, on 23 April, 2009, they also struck in the second phase of polling in Jamshedpur and surrounding areas in Jharkhand injuring several member of the polling party. May 2009: 16 police die in suspected Maoist attack

(Source: Union Ministry for Home Affairs)

PM to chair meeting of CMs on internal security on August 17

New Delhi, Aug 6 (PTI) Naxal violence, activities of Pakistan-based terror outfits and situation in Jammu and Kashmir as well as the Northeast will dominate the day-long conference of all Chief Ministers convened here on August 17.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who will chair the meeting, is expected to hold threadbare discussions with the Chief Ministers on the country's security situation and measures to be adopted to maintain law and order.

A separate meeting of Chief Ministers of seven Naxal affected states will also be held later in the day to specifically discuss the situation arising out of Maoists violence.

The conference will review the information collection system -- both technical and human intelligence -- its proper sharing and necessary action, modernisation of police forces, procurement of arms and ammunitions, filling up of vacancies besides providing training to security forces.

"Naxal menace is primarily indigenous and home grown.

Induction of modern technology to boost anti-naxal operations

New Delhi, Thu, 06 Aug 2009 ANI

New Delhi, Aug.6 (ANI): The Ministry of Home Affairs is planning to equip the security forces involved in anti-naxal operations with modern technology which would enable them effectively combat the Naxalites.

Modern technology will help the security forces check infiltration along the line of control, and foil attempts by terrorists to stage attacks in metropolitan.

An assessment is being made of the threat perceptions. The Home Minister, P. Chidambaram, is expected to convene a meeting of Chief Ministers later this month.

According to senior officials, modern technology is going to be used in a big way to combat incidents of infiltration and terror-related incidents. By Ajay (ANI)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Killings: Maoists claim responsibility

;Statesman News Service
KOLKATA, 3 AUG.: Even as the Communist Party of India (Maoist) today claimed responsibility of the twin murder of CPI-M leaders in Junglemahal yesterday, Maoists shot dead another Gana Protirodh Committee member in Nishintapur, Belpahari this morning.
The outfit said the CPI-M leaders ~ Nirmal Mahato (56), the Amdanga branch committee secretary of the CPI-M in Lalgarh and Kalipada Singh (35), a resident of Chirugoda in Belpahari ~ were given death penalty for helping the “joint forces” carry out operation in Lalgarh. The militant outfit has issued a warning that anyone passing on information to the joint forces will be meted out the punishment.
Both Mahato and Singh were called out from their homes by a group of Maoists last night and taken to the nearby forest where they were shot dead. In what is seen as an attempt to stop CPI-M leaders and their followers from passing on information about Maoist hideouts to police, the banned outfit also threatened that those who would “dare” to help joint force will meet the same fate.
Members of the People Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) ~ the militant wing of the CPI (Maoist) ~ have given “proper punishment” to Singh for daring to help the joint force, a leader of the outfit said. Singh was a member of the CPI-M controlled Gana Pratirodh Committee (GPC) which was set up to oppose the movement being spearheaded by the people belonging to the tribal community under the banner of the Police Santras Birodhi Public Committee (PSBPC), he claimed.
Mahato had survived an attack last year. This time gano ray (people's verdict) had gone against Mahato for supporting the joint force, the Maoist leader said and added that the PLGA members have “implemented” the verdict by killing him.

Maoists shoot villager dead in Orissa

Bhubaneswar, Aug 4 (IANS) Maoist rebels Tuesday shot dead a villager in Orissa’s Rayagada district, police said.
A group of four-five rebels killed Gopi Lama at Gurukuda village, some 120 km from Rayagada, the district headquarters, and some 500 km from the state capital.

“The villagers have informed us about the incident. The details are awaited,” district police chief Ashish Kumar Singh told IANS.

Maoists are active in more than half of state’s 30 districts.

Maoists kill JMM central committe leader in Jharkhand

TNN 4 August 2009, 10:43pm IST

RANCHI: Maoist militants gunned down a senior central committee leader of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and wounded one of his associates at
Patamda off Jamshedpur in East Singhbhum district on Tuesday.

Doren Singh Munda (48) was a close aide of former state land revenue minister Dulal Bhuiyan and had an active role in the movement for creation of Jharkhand as a separate state in 2000.

Police said four motorcycle-borne militants raided Patamda village around 8.30 am, saw Munda and his assistant sitting outside the leader's house and started firing indiscriminately from their automatic weapons. Munda died on the spot.

"After killing him, the Red rebels fled the village. They took a road towards West Bengal. By the time the cops and CRPF personnel reached the spot, they must have entered Bengal. It's hardly a half-an-hour journey to the neighbouring state," a police official said.

Munda's body has been sent for post-mortem examination to the Jamshedpur-based MGM Medical College Hospital. His wounded associate has been taken to the steel city for treatment. CRPF sources said a massive manhunt has been launched to arrest the assailants.

JMM threatened to launch a massive agitation seeking the culprits' arrest. Bhuiyan said Munda's murder was a "plot" to deal a blow to the JMM ahead of the Assembly elections. He added, "Our party is not going to remain silent. We want the killers arrested at the earliest."

CRPF boss in red den

Bokaro, Aug. 1: Following directions from the Union home ministry, CRPF special director-general Vijay Raman made a recce to Jhumra Pahar, earlier known as Naxalite training ground, on a helicopter this morning.

Landing at the Jhumra Pahar hilltop near a CRPF camp set up five years ago, Raman held meetings with senior police officers and security personnel on Maoist activities in the zone.

Sources said that Raman directed the officers there to be on more alert and chalk out new strategies to counter the Maoists.

After coming to know about the recent attacks originating from Parasnath hills, Raman asked accompanying officers to give him an aerial view of the entire Parasnath and Madhuban hills, which link Bihar’s Jamui and Munger districts that have witnessed a series of attacks in the past six months.

Inspector-general (north Chhotanagpur) Kishan Singh Meena, deputy inspector-general (coal belt) Prashant Singh, CRPF deputy inspector-general (Ranchi) Alok Raj, Bokaro superintendent of police Laxman Singh and CRPF 26th battalion commandant V.S. Sharma accompanied Raman.

Laxman Singh later said that Raman discussed strategies on how to counter the Maoists, especially in case of sudden attacks.

Raman also gave a few vital tips to the security personnel after being “satisfied with the security” of Jhumra Pahar.

Coping with asymmetric violence

K.S. Jacob

Asymmetric conflicts demand a different understanding, alternative approaches and solutions.

Naxalite violence constitutes an asymmetric war that demands unconventional wisdom and responses. Employing traditional perspectives and using the armed forces is not the solution.
The realisation is dawning on the world’s most powerful armies that compared to conventional warfare, fighting insurgencies is a different cup of tea. The United States and its allies have not only burnt their fingers in Iraq and Afghanistan, but realised the limits of their power. Israel, despite its repeated failure to subjugate the Palestinian people, refuses to learn that military approaches will not break the struggle for freedom and justice and bring about peace.
Purely military strategies fail in the very different context and framework of such “asymmetric wars” between security forces and insurgents. This is also true of the naxalite violence engulfing some of the poorest parts of India. The asymmetries with regard to resources between the opposing sides, the government with its massive reserves and well-trained armed forces and the small and ill-equipped but ideologically driven insurgents, could not be starker. Asymmetric conflicts demand a different understanding, alternative approaches and solutions.
The changing scenario of armed conflicts: The days of conventional wars, between states and involving large armies, are numbered. Armed conflicts, more often, involve non-state actors. Insurgencies have replaced industrial-scale operations. The insurgents are embedded within populations and the war is fought amongst people. Technology, a force-multiplier in conventional wars, is of limited use in asymmetric warfare fought in densely inhabited theatres of conflict. Non-state actors with high mobility, using low-tech weapons and employing guerrilla tactics and who are unrecognisable from the local people are no match for traditional armies. Sophisticated military strategies developed for industrial warfare are hopelessly inadequate in tackling such asymmetric wars.
The context of asymmetric violence: The contexts of asymmetric wars are varied. Nevertheless, the common threads include occupation by foreign forces, chronic poverty, persistent alienation and the social exclusion of a significant proportion of the population.
Naxalite violence has taken root in the poorest regions of the country. The grinding poverty, the rising inequalities and the failure of successive governments to improve the lives of ordinary people have led to disenchantment with the democratic process. The lack of basic needs of water, sanitation, nutrition, housing, health, education, employment guarantees, and the social exclusion of the majority of the people, are major concerns. Corruption at different levels of government, the insensitivity of the political class, common instances of high-handedness and harassment that many poor people face at the hands of the police, and religious and caste bigotry set the stage. The situation is loaded with asymmetries, forms of structural violence that have become normal across the region. The disillusioned decide to move out of the establishment framework and take up arms as the only means to break down the insensitive system, which has not delivered an egalitarian society.
The conventional response: Armed attacks, hostage-taking, killing, suicide bombing, the destruction of infrastructure and the choice of soft civilian targets cause outrage. The round-the-clock media coverage brings the violence into homes, provoking indignation and producing demands for retaliation. The response involves security operations, political bans on suspected organisations and tougher legislation restricting human rights. However, the enemy has by then melted away and is practically indistinguishable from the local population. The task of the security forces can be compared to finding a needle in a haystack. Innocent civilians get caught up in such operations. The security response is usually disproportionate. Human rights are frequently violated, leading to further alienation of people. The might of the security forces has little impact on a few hundred insurgents. Conventional forces, accustomed to operating within the framework of traditional wars, are out of their depth battling unconventional opponents in such asymmetric conflicts.
Strategies of the underdogs: Underdogs acknowledge their weaknesses and adopt unconventional approaches. The only chance for a David to win against a Goliath is by not playing by the latter’s rules. T.E. Lawrence’s (Lawrence of Arabia) strategy against the Ottoman Army was a typical example. He did not train in a military academy and did not know the rules of war, but commanded a ragtag group of Bedouin tribesmen whose assets were courage, endurance and individual intelligence. Underdogs usually beat traditional champions by substituting effort for ability.
Insurgents do not adopt a military strategy. In fact, if they did so they would lose, as they are no match for the security forces. They attack where the opposition is weak and not where they are strong. There are many examples in military history where successful insurgencies turned to conventional warfare and lost the impressive gains made with the earlier strategy (for example, the LTTE in Sri Lanka).
Naxalites are outsiders. They challenge conventions of how battles are fought and will do socially horrifying things to achieve their aims. They attack and destroy symbols of government authority. Their energy and ambition overcome their limited ability for conventional warfare.
The foundation for victory: Winning asymmetric wars fought amongst people requires the support of the local population. The oxygen for both sides, the insurgents and the government, is the open or tacit support of the people. Those who win the “hearts and minds” will eventually be the victors in such conflicts. With the support of the people, the victors will ultimately attain their political goals and overcome the opposition. Garnering such support is always the key to success.
Acts of the government, such as the takeover of people’s lands for development without rehabilitation of livelihoods and the displacement of tribal people forcing them to live in camps, do not suggest that the administrations are serious about gaining public support. The war through the Salwa Judum, extra-judicial killings by the police and the use of draconian laws (for example, the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2006) fuel resentment. The abject poverty in the region and the insensitivity of governments are not circumstances that win people’s cooperation. Surely, this is no way to win hearts and minds. The status quo would mean prolonged insurgency.
The need for unconventional wisdom: The use of the security forces as a solution to the problem has not worked against the naxalites. Areas of insurgency have only increased over the past decade. The state and its security advisers need to come up with innovative ideas and move away from strategies, which seem to be firmly rooted in the past. Issues related to distributive justice and dialogue, for example, will eventually lead to lasting and permanent peace. The government should examine issues related to basic needs and social justice. If the hearts and minds of the people are won, if lives and means of livelihood are improved, then local support and sympathy for insurgents will automatically come down. Enlightened approaches should replace weak and chaotic strategic planning based on old military doctrines. Eventually we will have to negotiate our way out with just and political solutions.
Barriers to new approaches: Many military commanders now agree that military solutions are not the answer to conflicts in today’s world. Yet their political masters rarely concur, as it is easier to implement military responses than execute the necessary structural reforms within government and politics. Security solutions mistake activity for strategy and make war for an elusive peace.
The recent Maoist violence in West Bengal also suggests that opportunistic political alliances for partisan gains are obstacles to long-term solutions. Ideological arguments against negotiating with terrorists are used to stall dialogue. It is also rumoured that naxalite violence will not go away as the local police and politicians stand to gain from the unmarked government funds to recruit informers and gather intelligence. Extra-judicial killing by the police of “suspected terrorists” and collateral damage due to security operations alienate the local people while keeping the funds flowing.
In the era of “dumbing down” of news and analysis and of “sound bites,” we need a more comprehensive debate on the real causes of insurgency and on structural violence and their solutions. Military and security options are quick fixes, which always place lasting solutions on the back-burner.

(Professor K.S. Jacob is on the faculty of the Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu.)
Source: The Hindu

Naxals loot BJP youth leader in train

Prashant Dayal, TNN 2 August 2009, 12:07am IST

AHMEDABAD: BJP's Yuva Morcha's national president Amit Thakker was looted at gunpoint by 12 Naxals on the Barbil-Hawda Janshatabdi Express on
Saturday evening. The loot went on for nearly 40 minutes. The Naxals had targetted three AC coaches of the train. Thakker was travelling in one of the AC coaches.

Thakker had shot to fame after he led a mob at Gandhi Ashram to disrupt a peace meeting called by Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activist Medha Patkar.

Thakker's train had just started from Jamshedpur at 6 pm and reached a forest stretch near Jhargam. It was yet to catch speed when a group of armed Naxals hopped onto the three AC coaches. They first approached Thakker and asked for his belongings and even snatched away his gold chain, mobile phone and his bag. When Thakker resisted, the Naxals hit him with their rifle butt. The other Naxals continued to loot other passengers in the coach.

Thakker told TOI from Jamshedpur, "The bandits had entered my coach first and went on a looting spree in the other AC coaches too. The Naxals escaped after pulling the chain. The police here did not turn up even after the incident. I was attacked but I have received minor injuries. I have lost my belongings though."

Powerful Naxals vs a helpless govt

On Monday, August 03, 2009

Security has become one of the major concerns of the Union and the State governments today. India now faces threats not only from outside but also from Naxalite groups. This has also been accepted by the PM Dr Manmohan Singh.

Naxalites basically fight for their rights but in a violent way. The Indian Armed forces are not that compatible with them. The inefficiency is not in the police forces but the corrupt government officials and the ministers who are more interested in the vote-bank politics but not in the problems of the masses. It is not just a social problem as claimed by the politicians but a socio-political issue which has to be handled on priority.

Government officials being biased towards the low socio-economic class people, they are not allowed to exercise their basic human rights as prescribed in the constitution.
Only when the distinction between the caste and class will reduce, the problems facing the country will diminish.
The only way to reduce this socio-political issue is to improve and change the mindset and the working of the people in the administration and to create awareness among the civilians about the inequality and injustice that is prevalent in our country.
Prachi Majumdar, Bhopal

Top Maoist leader held

TNN 3 August 2009, 06:35am IST

RANCHI: In a major breakthrough, police arrested a Maoist commander of Bihar Regional Committee (BRC), Pradyuman Sharma alias Kundanji, while he was
travelling in a passenger train on Sunday.

Sharma, a hardcore Maoist operating in Gaya, Rohtas, Aurangabad districts of Bihar and Chatra, Latehar and Garhwa districts of Jharkhand, was earlier lodged in Gaya jail.

Sharma was travelling in Barkakana-Mughalsarai passenger train and had boarded the train at Dehri-on-Sone railway station on Sunday. Incidentally, it is the same train which was hijacked by the Maoists, with the support of villagers, in May.

The Latehar police had received information that Sharma had boarded the train which passes through Latehar district. The train was stopped just before Latehar railway station and each bogie of the train was searched by the CRPF and district police personnel.

Jharkhand police spokesperson and IG (provision) SN Pradhan said: "Sharma was likely to be promoted as Bihar-Jharkhand Special Area Committee (BJSAC) member soon. Apart from Bihar, he was operating in Chatra, Latehar and Garhwa districts in Jharkhand."

Sources said no arm was recovered from Sharma's possession. He is being interrogated at the CRPF camp. Sharma kept changing his identity during interrogation, but later succumbed to the police pressure and gave some important information about the outfit.

Police claimed Sharma is one of the biggest catches in recent times and the information given by him would help them in anti-Naxal operations.

Maoists ready with counter-strategies

Gyan Varma / DNATuesday, August 4, 2009 3:00 IST Email

New Delhi: The Maoists seem to have rightly calculated the possibility of the United Progressive Alliance government launching a major offensive along the red corridor, if their internal documents and actions are anything to go by. In fact, they have given paramilitary forces their bloodiest nose ever.

Documents recovered from the outlawed group in Chhattisgarh show a detailed strategy to counter the coming aggressive operations against them. According to the documents, the red brigade is recruiting more people and training them to widen the areas of operation to stop paramilitary forces from reaching their strongholds.

The documents, assessing the Lok Sabha elections and detailing the Maoists' plans, show that the underground group was expecting the centre to harden its stand after the polls.

They show that the Maoists plan to build a countrywide mass movement. Along with the movement, the Maoists plan to enhance the involvement of cadres in fighting paramilitary forces.

"To counter the advance of security forces, we have to expand our guerilla war to newer areas on one hand, and intensify mass resistance in existing areas," say the documents.

The Maoist literature also states that what is needed is meticulous planning against security personnel, special police officers and police informants, action against betrayers and arrested persons, and not maintaining party records. The documents say that there is not only a need to raise people's issues, but also to arm and mobilise people into mass militant movements.

Police closing in on Gadchiroli rape accused

Mazhar Ali, TNN 4 August 2009, 03:07am IST

CHANDRAPUR: Investigations into the kidnapping and molestation of staffers at a tribal ashram school by youths posing as Naxalites on Wednesday
night have reached the conclusive stage. Cops looking into the incident at village Rangi in Dhanora tehsil of Gadchiroli have reportedly identified the three accused involved in the act and are poised to arrest them.

Three youths reached the government-run ashram school in Rangi village late on Wednesday and claimed to be Naxals. They gathered all the staffers outside the school and thrashed the male employees for not "cooperating" with the ongoing Naxal martyr's week. Meanwhile, the three youths took three women staffers, including the school superintendent and two assistant teachers, into the jungle with them. While two of them were molested, one of the teachers was allegedly raped by the youths. The women staffers were allowed to go back to the school in a battered condition four hours later, in the predawn hours.

The formal complaint was filed on July 31, with SDPO Sandeep Bhajibhakre appointed to investigate the case. "The medical report of the victim women staffers suggests that one of them was raped that night. We have circulated sketches of the accused in nearby areas and the probe into the case has reached its conclusive stages," said the SDPO.
He refused to give precise details about the accused and the investigations, but said that the accused would be arrested soon. Sources in Gadchiroli police however claimed that all three accused have been identified and cops are poised to arrest them any time.

Key Maoist is gang-rape accused

Baljeet Parmar / DNATuesday, August 4, 2009 3:54 IST Email

Mumbai: In a major breakthrough, the Gadchiroli police have identified all the three top rung naxal leaders involved in the rape of three school teachers working with an Ashram at village Rangi, some 35kms from the district headquarters.
The breakthrough came after police nabbed one of the accused who revealed the identity of his accomplice. District Superintendent of Police (DSP) Rajesh Pradhan told DNA on Monday that one of the accused is a 'Dalam' commander and is involved in several naxal attacks on the police and locals.

Pradhan further informed that the three naxal leaders riding a motorbike barged into the state run school in the forenoon of July 29. They reprimanded all the school teachers for holding classes on a day when the ultras were observing a bandh in the area. Later they took the three victims to their party office and raped them in turns.

Lathis against Ak-47s: Chhattisgarh cops are sitting ducks

August 4th, 2009 By Sujeet Kumar

Raipur, Aug 4 (IANS) It could well be dubbed the capital of India’s Maoist country. But thousands of policemen in Chhattisgarh who take on the AK-47-carrying rebels are armed with the humble ‘lathis’ or bamboo staves.

It is an unenviable battle, so loaded against the policemen that many are refusing to fight the insurgents, preferring instead to get suspended from service, police sources say. But the state’s police chief denies that his men are demoralised.

“You can say policemen are demoralised only when we are not going for operations in areas of Maoist control. The fact is that we have taken the battle to their (Maoist) zone and are killing them,” Director General of Police Vishwaranjan told IANS.

Another officer claimed that the Maoists were on the run in Chhattisgarh.

Other police officers narrate a different picture.

Some of them told IANS that a section of policemen posted in the thickly forested Maoist strongholds have made peace with the guerrillas in order to stay alive.

The result? Maoists rule supreme in vast areas of Chhattisgarh.

A senior police officer with over 15 years of posting in Maoist areas told IANS: “The government has the will to crush the insurgents, but it lacks vision and a strategy. This has left hundreds of policemen in forested interiors at the mercy of Maoists.

“Believe it or not, some of these policemen daily salute local Naxalite (Maoist) leaders to ensure they are alive. But in Raipur, the police brass claim that Maoists’ days are numbered!”

On July 12, Maoists ambushed a police convoy and killed 29 policemen in Rajnandgaon district. The massacre took to some 225 the number of security personnel and civilians killed in the state this year.

If the killings are any indication, the Maoists appear to be going strong.

The worst ever slaughter of policemen in India at the hands of Maoists took place in Chhattisgarh in March 2007 when 55 police personnel died in Bijapur district.

Sources in the police headquarters say some 38,000 police and paramilitary personnel are deployed against the Maoists in the tribal-majority state. The rebels number 50,000, including 15,000 female ones.

The numbers don’t tell the whole story. Among the policemen are about 10,000 constables deployed in the worst-hit pockets, but all that they have are ‘lathis’ to counter AK-47s.

The Maoists are also increasingly flashing mortars and rocket launchers.

“If the government really wants to take the battle to the Maoist heartland, they must have a clear strategy, intelligence gathering network and proper coordination,” said an anguished police official.

“The biggest problem is that policemen in the war zone feel that they have been given ‘punishment posting’ and they can survive only by developing friendship with Maoists,” an official told IANS.

Many policemen also have self-loading rifles and pistols, but these are no match to the lethal AK-47s.

While the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has AK-47s, the police say the CRPF does not venture beyond a few kilometres of their camps.

In July, 29 policemen were suspended for refusing to attend the Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College (CTJWC) training before being sent to battle the Maoists.

Maoists are active in all 18 districts and can strike anywhere and at any time at will.

Said B.K. Ponwar, formerly head of the army’s Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School in Mizoram: “Policemen will remain at the receiving end because they are not ready to follow the jungle warfare basics.”

(Sujeet Kumar can be contacted at