Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wary of Maoists, Abhijit group seeks security from Guv

TNN 8 September 2009, 10:43pm IST

RANCHI: A delegation of the Abhijeet Group of Companies met Governor K Sankaranarayanan on Tuesday and sought adequate security for its employees
working at the Chandwa power project site in the wake of increased Maoist activities. The company is setting up a 1,200 MW power plant there.

The team, led by the group's chief executive officer Arun Gupta, told the Governor that their employees were in constant danger of CPI(Maoist) and its splinter groups like the Jharkhand Prastuti Committee (JPC). Four security guards of the company were gunned down by JPC activists at the power project site on April 6.

"The employees frequently get threats from various rebel outfits and that has hampered work. A few days back, the rebels threatened the employees with dire consequences if their demands were not met," said a source. The team told the Governor that if the employees are not given proper security cover, it would be difficult for them to complete the project on time. The company plans to finish the first phase of the project by 2011.

"After getting details of recent incidents and problems faced by the company, the Governor has assured proper security cover for the employees," said Raj Bhavan PRO S N Jha.

Despite the deployment of special auxiliary police, consisting of former armymen, to combat the Maoist menace, the problem still seemed to persist. For, as many as 10 workers of aluminium major Hindalco were abducted by suspected Maoists last month and later released after the latter were hemmed in by security forces.

Maoists slaughter students, 3 others

Rinki Devi, wife of Prahlad Sahu, with her one-year-old daughter at Pundidiri village in Tamar on Monday. Picture by Prashant Mitra


Tamar (Ranchi), Sept. 7: In a grim reminder of the bloodletting modus operandi in red strongholds of neighbouring Bengal, five Tamar youths, including two teenaged students, were dragged out of their homes by Maoist guerrillas and shot dead half a kilometre away, on the Kharkai bridge, late last night.

Though the exact reason behind the massacre is not immediately clear, old enmity and hate campaign against police informers are not being ruled out.

The incident took place at Pundidiri village, 70km from the state capital, in the Tamar police station area. A squad of 20-25 Maoist rebels, armed with AK 47s and semi-automatic weapons, descended on the village at 9.30pm. They picked up Subodh Kumar Gautam (38), Gaur Singh Munda (35), Prahlad Sahu (28) and brothers Amit Prakash (19) and Sunil Singh Munda (17) at gunpoint and herded them to the Kharkai bridge. Around 11pm, each was shot once and left to die as heavy rain made rescue impossible.

Tension was palpable in Pundidiri and its neighbouring areas today. Shops and business establishments observed an unofficial bandh while villagers chose to stay indoors. The only people outside were CPRF and district armed police jawans.

Police have, so far, failed to establish concrete rationale behind the murders. DGP V.D. Ram told The Telegraph that two of the victims were former CPI(Maoist) members. “Subodh and Prahlad had left the outfit, but reportedly collected levy using the name of the organisation,” he said.

Unconfirmed sources, on the other hand, claimed that the slain were cadres of Jharkhand Liberation Tigers (JLT), a breakaway CPI(Maoist) faction, and were helping the police in operations against the parent outfit. Senior superintendent of police Praveen Kumar claimed that the Maoists killed the five to make their presence felt in the area.

Villagers said the rebels wore uniforms and communicated in several languages, including Hindi, Mundari and Panchpargania, a local dialect. They first raided the house of Subodh, a supplier of building material. “We heard them say that they would not let police informers live in the village,” said a villager who saw the extremists dragging the men to the bridge.

At Prahlad’s house, the rebels came looking for one Suku, but picked up the cosmetic shop owner apparently in the latter’s absence.

Amit and Sunil — the first a college student and the other a school-goer — took bullets that were probably meant for their farmer father. “The armed men came looking for Manoj, but took away his sons instead,” said a neighbour.

The raid at the house of Gaur Singh, a mason, was equally ambiguous. “They (the rebels) spoke in Mundari and said, ‘Dada dwar nigem (elder brother, open the door)’. He was asked to follow them. They had guns, my brother thought it wise not to hesitate. They said they would only ask a few questions,” said Sushma, Gaur’s elder sister.

Subodh’s father, Kailash Nath Gautam, a retired headmaster of Tata Workers’ Union High School, said his son would have survived if the extremists hadn’t noticed his slippers. “Subodh hid on the rooftop, but they found his slippers and dragged him out. My son never had any Maoist link,” the elderly said.

Prahlad’s wife Rinki Devi was in a state of shock. Their one-year-old daughter Ria on her lap, she only mumbled that her husband was “innocent” and his death was an “injustice”. The couple had let out space to Suku for a cycle shop.

Police said the bodies had been sent to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences for autopsy.

Chhattisgarh steps up anti-Maoist operations

(Source: IANS)

Published: Tue, 08 Sep 2009 at 12:54 ISTF Prev Next LRaipur: Chhattisgarh has stepped up its anti-Maoist operations in the forests of Rajnandgaon district on the Maharashtra border after an attack by the guerrillas in the region killed a top police officer in July.

"Our anti-Maoist operation has so far been focussed in the 40,000 sq km in southern portion of the Bastar region, considered the stronghold of the ultras since the late 1980s but now we have turned the heat on the rebels in the western region bordering Maharashtra," a senior police officer, who oversees the anti-Maoist operation in the state, told IANS.

He said the rebels had grown stronger in the vast forested stretch of Rajnandgaon near Maharashtra's restive Gadchiroli district in recent years, evident in the repeated strikes by Maoists in the district, included the deadly attack on the police force July 12 in which an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer was killed.

The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist's (CPI-Maoist) military wing, People's Liberation Guerrillas Army (PLGA), had shaken the state's police with the July 12 attack that killed 29 policemen, including Rajnandgaon district police chief V.K. Choubey.

"The July 12 attack had alarmed we have begun hitting the bases of the guerrillas in Rajnandgaon in coordination with Maharashtra police to ensure that rebels do not cross the state border and escape," the police official said.

Due to the fear of Maoists in Rajnandgaon, 13 policemen trained in jungle warfare skills refused to fight against the rebels in the district last month, forcing the home department to dismiss them.

Chhattisgarh, which was carved out from Madhya Pradesh in November 2000, has witnessed over 1,600 deaths in Maoist-related violence so far.

'Curb Maoist Menace' mission gathers steam

Gyan Varma / DNAWednesday, September 9, 2009 2:27 IST Email

New Delhi: The BSF will use the experience and expertise of people who worked in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab to gather information on Maoists in Chhattisgarh. This is being done before the BSF launches a massive crackdown on extremists later this year.

The intelligence-gathering operation will be concentrated in the jungles of Abhuj Maad, where the Maoist headquarter is, sources said. The BSF has built a core team of 15 intelligence operatives to run the show. The Centre is also sending 25,000 personnel to surround the 7,000 sq km area in Abhuj Maad. Five field units of 10-12 members each are also being dispatched to help the core team.

"We have seasoned experts who were active in Punjab and J&K, which is why they have been called in to form a strategy. We have a proven track record of collecting intelligence, so we'll be able to give results. This is a new area of operation and the terrain and culture is completely different. It'll take some time before results start showing," a senior BSF officer said.

Senior home ministry officials said the first priority of these units would be to create "human assets" or a network of local informers and give them protection. "We can't produce results immediately. It is a time-taking exercise but we'll succeed," he said.

The additional forces will be posted in the tri-junction of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa, being used by the Maoists to plan, consolidate and move between states. At present, there are 35,000 security men in Maoist-dominated states spread over 39,000 sq km.

Apart from the CRPF, the Centre has roped in BSF and ITBP to secure the area. The border force has been asked for 5,000 personnel and the ITBP 2,000.

Maoists gun down 7 J'khand villagers

Manohar Lal, TNN 8 September 2009, 03:29am IST

RANCHI: Maoists gunned down seven persons in Ranchi and Latehar districts within a span of a few hours.

Within days of killing four people, including a minor girl in Ranchi's Bundu area on August 27, around 25 of them stormed into Pundidiri village under Tamar police station in Ranchi district around 10.30 pm on Sunday.

Villagers were fast asleep when the Maoists in uniform came to the village. They abducted five villagers from their houses and killed them outside the village, suspecting them to be supporters or workers of Jharkhand Liberation Tiger, a breakaway faction of the Maoists.

They knocked at the door of Subodh Paramanik (45), a petty contractor of NREGA, and took him away. "Only the sound of their footsteps rent the air as they moved around, knocking at the doors of their targeted enemies," said Mukul Munda, a villager.

The Maoists also took away Amit Patar and Sanju Patar, both in their thirties, Prahlad Sahu (35) and farmer Gaur Singh Munda (30) from their homes. With their hands tied, they were brought near a culvert and shot dead from point-blank range.

Incidentally, this was the same spot where deputy superintendent of police Pramod Kumar and five other policemen were killed in a landmine blast on June 30 last year. SSP Praveen Kumar, however, said the five killed were suspected to be police informers by the Maoists.

The rebels also killed Sajjad Khan and Dinesh Dusadh at Chutwag village in Latehar district on Monday afternoon. Superintendent of police Kuldeep Dwivedi said forces have been rushed to the dense forest area where the killings took place.

Maoist Mayhem

* Sept 7: 5 villagers killed in Bundu area of Ranchi district

* Sept 4: Barahatu police picket attacked; no casualty though

* Aug 27: Four people, including a minor girl, killed in Bundu town

* Aug 26: A villager killed and a cop injured in an attack on a CRPF camp at Nawadih in Bundu

* Aug 25: Four vegetable-laden trucks set afire on NH-33 in Bundu

* Aug 17: Maoists open fire on a jeep, kill a 6-year-old girl in Bundu

Network tips for police to fight rebels - DIG holds workshop


Hazaribagh, Sept. 7: Reformulating strategy and sharing information with the last line of defence can only result in effective campaign against extremism.

On the instruction of director-general of police Vishnu Dayal Ram, superintendents of police of seven districts, deputy superintendents of police and inspectors today became a part of this unique information sharing workshop under the guidance of deputy inspector-general M.S. Bhatia.

In the workshop, which went on for nearly four hours at Town Hall, participants were told about basic guidelines for anti-Naxalite operations besides outcome of previous incidents were shared.

Bhatia said that “temporary setbacks” occur but the force should not get demoralised. He said that techniques were changing with modern gadgets being introduced.

He said that information sharing was the important aspect in anti-insurgency operation and it was necessary to take it to the last line of defence. Bhatia said that 80 per cent of men-in-uniform comprises constables and if they would not get updated accordingly then it will result in loss to them in the fight against rebels.

Bhatia talked in length over Naxalite problems and dos and don’ts during any operation.

He said that it was really impossible to carry the operation effectively unless and until jawans knew about their enemies and what kind of threat they were facing.

He said that it was not possible to pass this message to each and every one of the department by organising such workshops. “But I expect that you all will move to your areas concerned passing the information gathered from here to your subordinates,” he told them.

Bhatia said that it was a brainstorming session with field officers where several issues were taken up and feedback came in return. He said that audio-video sessions were also held to make the workshop more effective. “We also put the case study of previous incidents in front of them in which we had suffered losses. We worked on lacunae in all that cases and made our team to avoid such mistakes in future,” he said.

Bhatia said that the last line of defence remained away from the media and they did not get several information. “Our aim was to pass valuable information to them through these officers, who will visit police stations and pickets under their jurisdiction besides remote areas where jawans are deployed,” he added.

Without feedback and information sharing, chances of losing the war is always high, Bhatia added.

According to Bhatia, Ram failed to come to this workshop but he had sent his message telling in details about modernisation plans besides schemes for welfare of jawans and surrender policy for Maoists. Ram urged officials to utilise the information gathered from this workshop by sharing with their subordinates. He hoped that this would strengthen the force in return.

Maoist diktat to buses, taxis: Don’t take security personnel

Joseph John
A new diktat of the Maoists to bus and taxi operators, ordering them not to carry any security personnel or face consequences, has put the police in a tight spot with securitymen posted in the remote Naxal-infested tribal areas of Bastar finding it difficult to travel out of the region while proceeding on leave.

The rebels have been regularly searching vehicles plying on several routes in the remote Bijapur and Narayanpur districts to identify security personnel traveling to their hometowns in civilian dress.

Officials worry that these unarmed security personnel, who either travel alone or in small groups of two-three men, could become soft targets for the Naxalites. The situation is such that both bus operators as well as other passengers are scared when security personnel board the buses or taxis plying in the Naxalite areas of Bastar.

The impact of the Naxalite threat is more visible in Bijapur, Narayanpur and Dantewada districts, particularly on Bijapur-Konta, Narayanpur-Orchha and Bhanupratappur and Jagdalpur- Hyderabad routes.

“Bus and taxi operators are requesting us with folded hands not to board the vehicles, saying it would not only risk their lives but also that of other passengers. Many security personnel posted in the remote areas of Bijapur, Narayanpur and Dantewada districts are facing this problem. It’s taking more than two days to cover 100-150 km to reach Jagdalpur,” a police source said.

In one instance, sources said, security personnel had to alight from a bus at Narayanpur bus stand after its owner requested them not to travel. When they later boarded the same bus on the town outskirts, the driver and conductor refused to carry them and fled, leaving everyone stranded. In another incident, all other passengers refused to travel in a bus when security personnel boarded the vehicle.

A group of six security personnel, belonging to the CRPF and Chhattisgarh Armed Force, posted at Usroor in Bijapur district had to request police stations of areas between Bijapur and Jagdalpur for use of vehicles deployed on official duty to reach the divisional headquarters. It took them three days to reach the state capital from where they proceeded to their hometowns.

“Bus operators are scared after the Naxal diktat. Last week, the Maoist rebels hijacked a bus at gunpoint and took it to the forests. Before letting them off, both the driver and conductor were warned that their hands would be chopped off if any security personnel were found travelling in their bus. This incident has set off panic among the bus and taxi operators,” said a prominent bus service operator of Bastar.

Before proceeding on leave, security personnel too are taking precautions to evade the possibility of being identified by the rebels during journey. Apart from growing beard and avoiding haircut, they wear clothes and shoes similar to those normally used by the locals. Besides, they carefully hide their identity cards and all other materials, including travel warrants, to avoid being identified till they move out of the Naxalite area.

Inspector General of Police R K Vij, who is also the spokesman for the state police, said: “Naxalites have been searching vehicles even in the past. We are working on how to deal with such situations.”

Low-flight alert over red zones


Raipur/Ranchi, Sept. 8: The Chhattisgarh government has issued a directive to chopper and aircraft pilots not to fly too low over Maoist-hit areas of the state.

Pilots have been instructed to keep to 8,000-10,000 feet during normal days, or fly as low as 500-1,000 feet during inclement weather.

Though the decision was taken while reviewing the air-worthiness of the state’s chopper in the backdrop of YSR’s helicopter crash, officials attributed the decision to the Maoist menace.

Besides Bastar, the region of Sarguja adjoining Jharkhand is often a target of Maoist attacks. “There shall be a ban on flying too low in Maoist-hit areas,” confirmed a senior official with the aviation department.

The state has also decided to set up a high-frequency satellite phone in the chopper that usually flies chief minister Raman Singh. The double-engine, seven seat Agusta that the state possesses has an FM transreceiver system, used when the craft loses contact with Air Traffic Control.

The state has received inputs that rebels are planning to use hi-tech weapons as anti-aircraft guns. “Since Maoists strategically place themselves behind thick foliage or rocky outcrops, low-flying choppers are soft targets,” said an intelligence official talking to The Telegraph.

However, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh’s neighbour and a Maoist-hit state, does not have any such prohibitions. “The guidelines issued by the director-general of civil aviation are good enough to ensure safe flights. So, we don’t need to issue separate norms,” said inspector-general (modernisation) and police spokesperson S.N. Pradhan.

“But a chopper is prohibited to fly below 2,000feet. It is only in special circumstances that it is relaxed,” Pradhan added.

Incidentally, Jharkhand received two Dhruv choppers from the Centre to run its anti-Naxalite operations. The previous Dhruv, which former Governor Syed Sibtey Razi transferred to civil aviation department, is being sent back to the home department. Effectively now the state has three choppers to run its operations. “We will be hiring pilots soon,” said Pradhan.

Police sources stressed that pilots flying the Dhruv choppers earlier often violated safety norms. In fact, two pilots, Ajay Srivastava and Animesh Mukherjee, were also removed for violating DGCA guidelines, sources added.

Maoist shadow looms over national games

B Sridhar, TNN 9 September 2009, 07:47pm IST

JAMSHEDPUR: The National Games Organizing Committee (NGOC) has expressed deep concern over the Maoist dominance of National Highway (NH-33)
connecting Ranchi with Jamshedpur. The Games are slated to be held here from November 21 to December 5.

So, the NGOC executive body has requested the state government to take stern steps to check the Naxalite dominance on the highway, an important route for ferrying players between the two cities.

The NGOC security wing, headed by home secretary J B Tubid, has convened two rounds of meetings to discuss various security measures that will be enforced on the Bundu-Tamar stretch of NH-33.

"We are worried about the sudden spurt in violence on NH-33 and held a meeting with government officials to discuss the issue. In fact, the security wing of the organizing committee has held two rounds of preliminary meetings, where we shared some important points regarding security arrangements," said Madhukanth Pathak, the NGOC treasurer.

The national highway, especially the 70-km stretch between Bundu and Tamar falling between Ranchi and Seraikela-Kharswan districts, is prone to Maoist attacks. In the last 12 months, following the killing of JD(U) MLA Ramesh Singh Munda in Tamar, the area has virtually transformed into a Red zone.

"The home secretary is the chairman and DGP vice-chairman of our security wing. All information about security requirements has been forwarded to them," Pathak added.

Sources said all participants, including officials, will be ferried on Volvo buses to the Steel City from Ranchi and a dozen other buses will be pressed into service for the purpose. Besides, senior officials of the Indian Olympic Association and VIPs such as Union ministers, MPs and MLAs will be provided air service to move between the two cities.

Even though Ranchi will be hosting a large chunk of the 34 events, Jamshedpur will also host four important events, including women's football, archery, weightlifting and boxing. Dhanbad is the third venue for the proposed Games.

"The safety and security of every participant is our primary concern and we are going to take all possible steps to ensure the 35th national games culminate on a peaceful note," said Pathak.

Suspected naxalite arrested with explosives

Lucknow, Sept 7 (PTI) A suspected naxalite allegedly operating in the state and adjoining Bihar was arrested with explosives from Sonbhadra district.

Police today said Raju alias Raj Mohan was arrested near Bewdar village last evening with 20 gelatin sticks, 10 detonators, a country-made revolver and cartridges.

Police claimed that he confessed to have been an active member of Munna Vishwakarma group. Vishwakarma is a wanted naxalite and he was allegedly going to meet his boss at the time of his arrest.

Three naxalites arrested after encounter in Ranchi

PTI 8 September 2009, 08:43pm IST

RANCHI: Three Naxalites of the Jharkhand Prastuti Committee (JPC), a breakaway group of the CPI (Maoist), have been arrested after an encounter at
Churugarha, about 70 km from Ranchi, the police said on Tuesday.

"One of the three arrested Naxalites, identified as Raj Kumar Ganju, is a big catch for the police," senior superintendent of Police, Praveen Kumar, said in Ranchi.

Ganju was allegedly involved in a number of cases. The police reached the spot after getting a tip-off that a group of JPC members had assembled at Churugarha to plot a crime last night.

The JPC activists started firing as soon as they spotted the police, triggering a two-hour long gunbattle before the Naxalites tried to flee.

The police, however, chased and caught three of them. Three rifles and some ammunition were seized from their possession, the police super said.

Over 150 bullets were fired by both the sides, he said and claimed that some of the Naxalites had suffered bullet wounds, but they managed to flee.

The JPC, one of the six Naxal groups operating in Jharkhand, is active in Ranchi and Gumla districts.

Naxal deputy commander shot dead in Dantewada

Raipur, Sep 7 (PTI) A top Naxal was shot dead by police while four other extremists, including a school student, were arrested in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district today.

Raju, the self-styled deputy commander of the Bhansi guerilla squad, was killed during an operation near Raja Bangla village in the district, Superintendent of Police, Dantewada, Amresh Mishra said.

Police had received information about a Naxal camp near Raja Bangla village, 370 km from here. "However, when the police squad reached near the village, the Naxals opened fire on us and we retaliated. Raju was killed in the encounter," Mishra said.

"After Raju was killed, his accomplices tried to flee but we managed to arrest them," he said.

police arrested Deva, Bheema, Radhe and Vinod

According to Mishra, Vinod is a school student, who was allegedly abducted from Jangla village by the naxals.

Ex-gratia to parents of jawans killed in naxal attack

New Delhi, Sep 8 (PTI) CISF has given Rs 2.5 lakhs each as ex-gratia on humanitarian grounds to the parents of ten jawans killed in a naxal attack in Orissa in April, in addition to Rs five lakh each paid to their next of kin.

As per the present practice, ex-gratia amount is paid to the 'next of kin' (NOK), which in maximum cases are the wives of the jawans.

While the CISF had already paid Rs five lakh each to the NOK of the these jawans, killed in a naxal attack on NALCO mines in the state, the force has now paid Rs 2.5 lakh each to the parents of the personnel.

"The money was given to the parents because in some earlier cases, it had come to light that most of the parents were dependant on their son

Naxal suspects skip hearings, court wants them shifted to nearby jail

Sukanya Shetty
Posted: Sep 09, 2009 at 0507 hrs IST

Mumbai After a series of warrants issued by the Gondia sessions court against suspected Naxalites Vernon Gonsalves and Shreedhar Shrinivasan — they have not been produced in court for several hearings—a sessions court has directed the state to shift them to Gondia jail, from Taloja jail in Thane district.
The Gondia police have filed chargesheets against them in three cases so far. There are around nine cases pending against them in Vidarbha alone.

The duo have been charged for waging war and indoctrinating men to wage war against the country. They along with two other accused— Arun Ferreira and Murali Sattya Reddy— were also charged for secession and collecting money for hatching a criminal conspiracy along with continuing with activities of organised crime syndicate. Maximum punishment for waging war is death penalty.

Gonsalves and Shrinivasan, who are presently at Taloja jail in Thane district, will soon be shifted to Gondia jail to expedite the case pending there.

“It will help us expedite the case. As the cases are heard in routine courts, there has hardly been any development. Also, Ferreira and Reddy, who were charged in similar such cases in Gondia, have been acquitted. So we are hopeful now,” said Gonsalves’ wife Advocate Susan Gonsalves who filed a petition before the Bombay High Court.

The police had acquired warrants under Section 267 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) from different courts after arresting Gonsalves and Shrinivasan in 2007.

Susan has challenged this in the court alleging that it violates their fundamental rights and that such custody could be sought only by a magistrate for producing an accused for a case registered in his jurisdiction.

However, the Bombay High Court has reserved the order on this petition.

On May 8, 2007, the Nagpur police had arrested Ferreira and Reddy.

According to the police, Ferreira was a Maoist communications and propaganda strategist, and Murali was the Maoist ‘divisional secretary’ from the Deekshabhoomi area in Nagpur.

The police also claimed that Ferreira had a seven-year long history of mobilising support and organising Maoist activities in Vidarbha.

Three months later on August 19, the police had arrested Shreedhar Shrinivasan, allegedly the outfit’s Maharashtra state secretary and a member of the central politburo, and Vernon Gonzalves, a state committee member, from the outskirts of Mumbai.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Maoists kill more CPM men

Express News Service
Posted: Sep 07, 2009 at 0251 hrs IST

Kolkata The ongoing joint operation by state and central forces in the Lalgarh area notwithstanding, killings continued unabated with the murder of two CPM supporters in Belpahari and Jamboni on early Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, two more unidentified bodies were found on Sunday evening from Dherua. In the past 24 hours, the body count has risen to four.

“We have initiated a probe and an extensive search to arrest those involved in the incidents,” said SP (West Midnapore) Manoj Verma.

Locals spotted the bullet-ridden body of Satish Singh Sardar at Chotopukuria in Belpahari on Sunday morning.

According to the police, an armed Maoist squad entered Chotopukuria village around 3 am and gathered in front of Satish’s house.

He was called outside and taken to a desolate house before being shot dead. Satish was also the member of Gana Pratirodh Committee (a panel formed by the CPM in the area to resist the Maoists).

According to sources, Maoists had earlier warned Satish, who was believed to be an informer of police. Meanwhile, another squad attacked Narendranath Mahato, another CPM supporter’s house in Jamboni. He was hit with sharp weapons.

As Mahato remained lying in the pool of his own blood, the Maoists thought that he was dead and left the place. He was rescued by villagers later and rushed to Midnapore in a critical condition where he died later. The Maoists also ransacked a ration shop in Jamboni on Saturday night.

‘Political factors in Bengal govt affecting anti-naxal operations’

NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has said that “political factors in the West Bengal government” were affecting anti-naxal operations in the state. “There are a number of factors. The way state police have been organised, the way they are deployed is a factor. I think, there are political factors in the West Bengal government which is affecting the command and control of the operation,” he told NDTV.

Asked why the Centre cannot carry out anti-naxal operations in West Bengal, Chidambaram said, “I cannot, unless the state government says we cannot do it, you do it. They have not said that yet.” He also said the talks could be held with naxals if they abjure violence.


Pro-China Maoists attacked Indian priests?

TIMES NEWS NETWORK & AGENCIES 6 September 2009, 02:18pm IST

NEW DELHI: Even as the Nepal government assured protection to Indian priests at Pashupatinath temple, there is a strong China connection emerging Protesters chant slogans against the appointment of two new Indian priests to the Pashupatinath Temple.
into the attack in Nepal. ( Watch Video )

Highly placed sources close to the investigations in Nepal told TIMES NOW on Sunday that the Maoists, who attacked the Indian priests, were Chinese sympathisers.

The source has also added that the Maoists are working to a plan to try and supplant India with China to further their own political ends. The Maoists are also stoking anti-India sentiments in Nepal so that China can step in and take advantage of the situation, added sources.

This is incidentally happening in the backdrop of China trying to sign a number of key agreements of the type India enjoys with Nepal.

This comes after two newly-appointed Indian priests at the famous Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu were on Friday beaten up by a group of Maoists.

A group of 25 to 30 Maoists went inside the temple pretending to be worshippers and attacked the two new Indian priests from Karnataka -- Girish Bhatta and Raghamendra Bhatta.

However, Nepalese culture minister Minindra Rijal assured that full protection has been provided to the priests in the temple and that their security is of prime importance.

He also went on to rubbish reports that suggested that the two priests attacked were likely to flee Nepal.

He also condemned the attacks on the Indian priests and assured that necessary action will be taken against the attackers.

He said, "reports of the priests fleeing is absolutely untrue. I have spoken to them personally and have assured them that security will be provided to them. The incident that happened is deplorable and the government stands behind the priests. Ties with India are very critical for us and Nepal will take the necessary steps to protect them. Based on the rule of the land, those who have done this will be brought to book."

"I visited the shrine yesterday along with the Indian ambassador and we spoke to the priests and assured them that full protection will be provided to them. The government is responsible for their security and that is being taken care of," added the minister.

Assuring that Nepal is in constant touch with the Indian government, Rijal said there are over 1000s who visit the temple on a daily basis and after the attacks there is a tight vigil in an around the shrine

Maoists resort to contract-killings in Jharkhand

Maoists resort to contract-killings in Jharkhand

Posted: Saturday , Sep 05, 2009 at 1755 hrs
Loto Village (Jharkhand):

The Maoists have been claiming to be the voice of the poor and helpless, but it doesn’t seem to be the reality.

Maoists in Jharkhand have started resorting to contract killings and ensure an extra income for themselves in the name of carrying their ‘fight for social justice against administration.’

Naxalites are on the look out for any quarrel or dispute among villagers. They intervene in such matters and threaten the other parties and extort money.

"For money, the Maoists have formed a new methodology. The Maoists unnecessarily interfere in the matters of the village and are trying to spoil the village culture and the relations cherished for generations," said a villager.

The latest methods have created a fearful environment. The fear of being threatened and killed by the rebels has made many of the villagers flee their native village.

Maoists even extort money from Government and private bodies and schools.

The local administration has extended its full help to the scared villagers, but the residents feel helpless as they fear Moaists.

"The administration is very serious and alert about helping villagers. There is no lack or negligence from their side. The administrative authorities have even given full assurance to the villagers, but the villagers are helpless," said Rajneesh Singh, another local.

"They mainly raise funds through extortion. All those who are working in those regions, be it a government worker, forest contractors, or road construction workers, they extort money from them. They obtain money in this manner for running their operations and purchasing arms and ammunition," said Prakash Singh, Former Director General of Police.

The Centre recently banned and formally labelled Maoist insurgents as a terrorist group, hoping it would give security forces more enforcement powers.

Maoists kill five people in Jharkhand

Ranchi, Sep 7 - ANI: At least five people have been killed by naxals at Pundigiri village, about 60 kms from Ranchi this morning.

According to police, activists of banned group Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) entered Pundigiri village in the Tamar block, abducted five villagers and took them to a forest where they were shot dead.

This is the second attack by the Maoists in the same area in the last 11 days.

On August 27, the Maoists had killed four villagers, including a girl, at Bundu, near Pundigiri village. - ANI

CRPF to get intelligence unit

Manish Tiwari , Hindustan Times
New Delhi, September 07, 2009
First Published: 00:01 IST(7/9/2009)
Last Updated: 00:04 IST(7/9/2009)

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will soon have its own intelligence wing.

“We have started the process,” said A.S. Gill, CRPF Director-General, confirming the decision.

The para military force, expected to begin playing a enhanced role in countering the Maoist threat, will have 10 intelligence officers per battalion, attached to 150 of its battalions.

The CRPF currently relies on state and central agencies for intelligence inputs.

The home ministry has also approved a proposal to add 38 new battalions -- or more than 38,000 men and women -- to the 60-year-old CRPF, which is already the country’s largest paramilitary force with 2.7 lakh personnel.

In the revamp planned, the CRPF, which earlier worked to supplement the state police and took directions from the latter, will now do so at an equal footing with the state police in Maoist dominated states. “A coordinated offensive is needed to clear the areas where left wing extremists have built their bases,” said Gill.

The Maoists have killed 249 security personnel in the last six months, more than eight times the number killed by militants in Jammu and Kashmir.

The CRPF counts the flushing out of Maoists from Lalgarh in West Bengal as one of its major successes. “We have arrested 34 listed Naxals in the past one and half months of operations being jointly carried out by the CRPF, the BSF and the West Bengal police,” Gill added.

Centre moots sops for surrendered Naxals

7 Sep 2009, 0241 hrs IST, Bharti Jain, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: Vocational training along with a monthly stipend of Rs 2,000 each for up to three years, Rs 1.5 lakh in fixed deposit with a three-year
maturity and additional incentives up to Rs 25,000 for each surrendered weapon or ammunition.

These are some of the key benefits on offer under the Centre’s new surrender-cum-rehabilitation guidelines for Naxalites finalised on August 26.

The Centre, as part of its multi-pronged conflict management and resolution strategy, has designed the surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy for Maoists to provide gainful employment and entrepreneurial opportunities to the surrendered Naxalites and also ensure that they do not find it attractive anymore to return to the Naxal fold.

Importantly, the policy will be implemented along with firm action by the counter forces against Naxalites who indulge in violent acts.

The surrender-and-rehabilitation guidelines for Naxalites will apply to the hardcore, underground Naxalite cadre, both with or without arms, as well as Dalam members. The overground supporters and sympathisers can avail of the benefits under the scheme “only in exceptional cases”.

The eligibility of surrendering Naxalites for assistance under the Central scheme will be subject to scrutiny by a screening-cum-rehabilitation (S&R) committee to be constituted by the state government concerned. While ADG/IG of the Special Branch or CID will act as S&R officer, each of the security forces deployed in the anti-Naxal operations will identify a DIG or equivalent rank officer as its nodal officer. The state police and administration will also be involved.

The authority will ensure that a surrenderee is a genuine Naxalite and the Naxalite should make a clear confession of all the criminal acts committed by him/her, including the names of planners, other participants, financiers, harbourers, couriers, details of Naxal organisations, arms/ammunition and property looted by the Naxalite and the organisation to which he belongs. This may be suitably verified.

The benefits under the Central surrender-cum-rehabilitation scheme — which will not be available to a surrenderee who has already availed of a similar existing scheme in any of the Naxal-hit states — include the following:

(i) Training of eligible candidates in a trade or vocation as per their liking or aptitude, along with a monthly stipend of Rs 2,000 each for a maximum period of 36 months.

(ii) Immediate grant of Rs 1.5 lakh to be kept in a bank fixed deposit and which may be withdrawn three years after surrender, subject to good behaviour to be certified by the authorities designated by the states concerned. This money can also be used as collateral security against bank loans to be taken by the surrenderee for self-employment.

However, there is a rider to these benefits accruing to the surrenderee. While the stipend will be discontinued as and when the surrenderee secures a government job or gainful self-employment, the fixed deposit money too will not be transferred if the surrenderee gets employment with the government ahead of maturity.

The armed Naxalites will get additional incentives for surrendering weapons and ammunition. While each UMG, GPMG, Picca, RPG or sniper rifle will fetch him Rs 25,000, an AK-series gun will get him Rs 15,000 each. The surrender of SAM missiles would earn a Naxalite Rs 20,000 and that of a satellite phone, Rs 10,000.

The incentive fixed under the Central scheme is Rs 3,000 per pistol or revolver surrendered, Rs 1,000 per rocket or IED, Rs 500 per grenade, Rs 3,000 for a remote controlled device or landmine, Rs 3 for every round of ammunition, Rs 1,000 for every kg of explosives, Rs 5,000 for every long-range wireless set and Rs 1,000 for the short-range ones, and Rs 5,000 for each VHF/HF communication set.

Even this monetary incentive will be deposited in a fixed deposit in the joint name of the surrenderee and state government nominee and will mature at three years after surrender.

The Naxalites can surrender before the Central para-military forces, district magistrate, DSP, Range DIG, IG (Operations), DIG (Special Branch), SP (Special Branch), SDM, sub-divisional police officer or any other officer notified by the state governments.

The details of the surrenderee would have to be forwarded by the receiving officer to the S&R officer and nodal officers of all forces. The nodal officer will verify the antecedents and activities of the Naxalites from his/her own sources and send back specific recommendations to the S&R officer on whether the individual can be taken in as a surrenderee.

The surrenderee will be provided security by the receiving officer, before being put up in a transit camp. While the heinous crimes committed by the surrendering Naxalite will continue in the courts, plea bargaining can be allowed in minor offences if the state deems fit.

Free legal services and constitution of fast-track courts to try their crimes are the other benefits that the states concerned may extend to the surrendered.