Saturday, February 20, 2021

Gadchiroli officer takes CFR to Naxal hotbed of Abujhmadh

Soumitra Bose | TNN | Feb 21, 2021, 04:40 IST

Nagpur: Manuj Jindal, 32, a 2017-batch IAS officer, has ventured into the hilly and forested Maoist bastion of Abujhmadh — on the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border — to empower tribal population with community forest rights (CFR). In doing so, he has defied the threatening presence of the red guerrillas in a region where government officers rarely dare to go. 

Jindal successfully helped sensitive south Gadchiroli’s Bhamragad and Etapalli sub-divisions benefit from CFR. The area is as big as Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai combined. Jindal is in his first posting as a probation officer in the post of sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) in Etapalli.

After ensuring the state’s easternmost tribal hamlets — mostly accessible by foot — get their CFR, Jindal has ensured that almost 1.5 lakh people of 296 villages of Etapalli and Bhamragad get benefit from the forest produce paving for more comprehensive socio-economic developments. The IAS officer’s relentless toil has now helped the two sub-divisions set a nationwide benchmark. The tribal population here had been unable to use the forest-based resources as most of the forests are earmarked as reserved and protected.

Banker-turned-IAS officer Jindal said there was huge pendency in the distribution of the CFR which would help the tribals use the forest resources to create their source of livelihood instead of leading a traditional life of hunting. “The CFR would help them adopt several economically viable activities like cutting bamboos, collect tendu leaves, engage in fishing, gather mohua leaves and fruits and also medicinal herbs, plants and fruits with which they can boost incomes,” he said.

“In Binagunda, Kuwakodi, Permalbhatti and Fodewada, which are part of Abujhmadh, the CFRs were pending for the last 10 years or so with various issues hindering the process. We had to visit theses places, meet the tribal population and create awareness among them regarding CFR and also show them how to complete the formalities,” says Jindal.

“After the recession following Covid, we had started to work on the pendency of forest rights. The kotwals, tehsildars and gram sevaks were trained and groomed to manage the works of the CFR and also get the procedures completed to enable the tribal population receive the rights. The village-level forest rights committees too were taken into the fold and awareness was created among them regarding the formalities and benefits of the CFR,” said Jindal.

Jindal added that the stakeholders like forest and revenue departments were motivated to work collaboratively on the issue of helping the tribal population get the CFR processes completed. He now aims to ensure that the tribals are trained to better manage and conserve the forest while reaping the benefits of the produce

India’s biggest internal threat

9 hours agoMasud Ahmad Khan
The oldest racial group in India is the Adivasis, the aboriginals of India who live in areas from Assam in northeast to Kanyakumari in the south. Hindus strongly believe in the caste system and are divided into four castes, namely Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. Within these four castes there are 2500 to 3000 sub castes and one is Dalits, also known as the untouchables or the scheduled castes.

Scheduled castes are basically untouchables which constitute one-sixth of the Indian population. The Scheduled Castes Order 1950, lists 1108 castes and 744 scheduled tribes across India. Today, in India, the majority of who form part of Naxalites/Maoists are tribals and scheduled castes. According to the former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh, the Maoist/Naxalite insurgency is the biggest internal security threat.

Let us have a look at Maoist/Naxalite insurgency. The Indian Communist Party was formed in 1925 in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh and in 1962 split into the Communist Party of India (Marxist). In 1967, a new movement started in a village Naxalbari in Siliguri district (Chicken Neck) of West Bengal and the same year, CPI (Marxist) led by Charu Majumdar and associates started an armed uprising.

In 1975, a group known as Dakshin Desh was renamed as the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC). In 2004, the Communist Party of India (Maoist), CPI (M) was founded by merging other groups. They derive their ideology from China’s Mao Tse Tung and also follow his people’s war doctrine. Chairman Mao redistributed land from the rich to the poor, therefore CPI (M) also demanded distribution of land from landlords to lower class farmers.

The mission of Maoist/Naxal is to overthrow the government in states through people’s war and establish a Communist Society through revolution. The reasons which led to this armed struggle are the grievances of lower castes, scheduled castes and marginalised tribes who were treated as third-rate citizens and declared untouchables. Their women were raped/molested by upper class landlords and they are also not given their deserved share from crops by their landlords.

Besides this, marginalisation of the lower castes and scheduled tribes, deprivation and neglect, poverty and the miserable condition of formers led to the armed struggle against the state. The active strength of guerrillas who are fighting against security forces is in the thousands. The famous military leader, Koteshwar also known as Kishenji; according to one of his statements carried by the BBC, “India will succumb to a Moist revolution by 2025”. He was killed in a fake encounter with the police in November, 2011.

The tactics which they (Maoists) follow, is the use of the jungle as their hideout because the topography is known to them and the main tactic is hit and run, ambush, the use of improvised explosive devices (IED) and extortion. The CPI (Maoist) has a large number of armed guerrilla fighters and in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh alone, the strength is around 30000. Interestingly there is a good number of women fighters along with men and there are reports of exclusive operations undertaken by women.

The reason for women joining the guerrilla resistance is the result of extrajudicial killings and the molesting of their family members by government-sponsored militias and security forces. Therefore, they joined the armed struggle to take revenge for their loved ones. The armed resistance cadres have the latest weapon mostly snatched from the police or the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), smuggled from Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar and purchased from the black market.

The movement has taken a heavy toll on human lives and the Maoist guerrillas are involved in destruction of infrastructures, bridges, high tension electric towers and government property. According to Indian media from 2014 to 2019, there have been 942 attacks, killing 451 persons and injuring 1589 people. In 2019, the India media reported the introduction of a new dimension by Maoists; the use of a drone against a camp of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Chhattisgarh.

To counter the increasing attacks by insurgents, the government raised a militia of locals in the most-affected region led by one Mahendra Karma. The militia was accused of human rights violations, employment of child soldiers, sexual abuse and extra judicial killings.

In the areas which are dominated by Maoist/Naxalites, they have their own judiciary as they do not trust the Indian justice system. In the areas under Maoist control, there is no writ of central and state governments. According to Al Jazeera, “security forces are accused of committing mass sexual and rights abuses and extra judicial killings”.

The most-affected states are Karnataka, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. The other important stronghold after Bastar is the Karnataka-Kerala and Tamil Nadu tri-junction.

The insurgents are now operating in 13 of India’s states out of 29 and in 200 districts out of India’s 640 districts. Maoist-controlled area, called “The Red Corridor”, covers 40 percent of India’s geographical area and has influence over 92,000 square kilometres. The Red Corridor includes areas from Nepal across Bihar, Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh to Maharashtra, Karnataka to Kerala.

According to Dr Lakhan Singh, president of the People’s Union of Civil Liberties, “the Indian government refuses to declare this internal armed conflict perhaps to avoid monitoring by the UN’’. A report by Firstpost an Indian news site in August 2019, the Maoist of Bastar issued a two-page note on Vishwa Adivasi (World Tribal Day) “the 10 crore adivasis (Tribals) in this country are not Hindus but due to Hindu fascist and Brahminical forces, the identity, existence and rights of tribals are under sever threat. Therefore, this day should be observed as a struggle against this threat”.

The areas under the control of Maoists/Naxalites accounts for 91 percent of the total violence of India. Most of the troubled Red Corridor runs through some of the Indian nuclear installation areas, which risks the pilferage of nuclear material by the insurgents

Defying the odds

Sumit BhattacharjeeVISAKHAPATNAM 21 FEBRUARY 2021 03:38 IST

Tide turns in Agency as tribals defy Maoists to elect their sarpanch for the first time in 15 years

Gram panchayat elections were last held 15 years ago in Balapam panchayat, an interior area in the Andhra Odisha Border (AOB) region of Chintapalli mandal, in Visakha Agency.

Though Assembly and Lok Sabha elections were conducted here, tribals did not come out to vote for fear of reprisals from Maoists who have a strong presence in the region.


However, all that changed as tribals defied the Maoists to come out in large numbers and elect their sarpanch in the gram panchayat elections that were conducted on February 17 (Wednesday).

Fifteen years ago, the Maoists had killed the then sarpanch candidate, sending shockwaves among the tribals. The Chintapalli area is a stronghold of the Korukonda Area Committee of the CPI (Maoist) and is headed by Kora Nageswara Rao, who has a notorious reputation among the locals.

Even during the recently-held elections, the Maoists had given a call to boycott the elections and even held a meeting at Diguvalasapalli. They threatened the tribals with dire consequences, but despite that the tribals came out in large numbers to cast their franchise. Sources say that the tribals had even questioned Kora Nageswara Rao why he and the Maoists were opposed to the villagers casting their vote, which is a basic democratic right.

“This indicates that the tribals are rejecting the Maoist ideology and are wishing to join the mainstream. The tide is turning,” said Additional Superintendent of Police (Chintapalli) Vidyasagar Naidu.

Balapam recorded around 50% polling while Chintapalli recorded over 55%.

In Visakha Agency, there are 11 mandals, all of which are LWE-affected.

But despite the ban call from the Maoists, the 11 mandals recorded close to 70% polling, with Dumbriguda reporting the highest polling percentage of 81.13% followed by Hukumpeta with 78% and Araku Valley with 76.24%. Paderu mandal reported 73.42% voting. G.K. Veedhi mandal witnessed the least voting percentage of 56.09% among the other mandals.

After a long gap, the tribal areas witnessed a sizeable turnout, despite voting time being limited only till 1.30 p.m. In some areas, people were seen standing in the queues by as early as 6 a.m., before the scheduled time of 6.30 a.m.


The entire Visakha Agency covers about 6,200 sq km, which is thickly forested. There 3,637 tribal habitats, and 1,136 villages are inhabited by particularly vulnerable tribal groups or earlier known as primitive tribal groups.

Of the 3,637 tribal hamlets, around 1,200 do not have any form of road connectivity.

Of the 244 gram panchayats, 237 had gone for sarpanch polls, the remaining being elected unanimously. Polls were also held for 1,465 ward members. The total number of voters in Visakha Agency, which is categorised under Paderu revenue division, were 4,36,103.

The number of polling stations earmarked were 2,386 and in some of the panchayats, the nearest polling station was 5 to 6 km away.

Vehicles arranged

“Trekking long distances has become part of our daily life. We trek for over 20 km at times to reach a PHC (public health centre) or a shandy (weekly market) or to a ration depot. So, trekking a distance of 3 to 6 km was no huge task for us,” said Rama Rao Dora of Girijan Sangham.

According to District Collector V. Vinay Chand, over 543 vehicles were deployed for the polls. They were used not only to carry men and material for polling, but also to facilitate the movement of the tribals.

There were some difficulties faced by elderly and pregnant women, but wherever possible, we used our own resources to reach the polling stations, said Kilo Surendra of Girijan Sangham

Maoists issue appeal after protests over threat to journalists with ‘corporate link’

Journalists working in areas affected by Left Wing Extremism in Bastar plan to send a delegation to speak to the Maoists.

The masterplan will include strategies on town planning, transport, infrastructure, heritage, tourism, urban design and renewal.

Days after protests by journalists in Bastar division following a threat by Maoists, who accused them of corporate links, the ultras have released a letter and a press note appealing that the protests be stopped while stating that they advocate the freedom of press and none of the journalists will be harmed.

Journalists working in areas affected by Left Wing Extremism in Bastar plan to send a delegation to speak to the Maoists.


On Wednesday, the CPI (Maoist) Dakshin Sub Zonal Bureau issued a letter to the journalists, appealing to stop the protests and saying that any issue would be solved by talking. A press note was issued on Thursday by the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee spokesperson Vikalp. “We will find out the reality of the situation after listening to both sides… Due to technical errors, our meeting might take some time to be organised,” the note read. It stated that journalists working on the ground and for the people are welcome to roam around fearlessly in Dandakaranya.

This is the first time the Maoists have responded to a pushback after threats were issued to journalists.


“Years ago, Maoists had threatened and then killed a journalist. But this time, journalists from Bastar have taken a stand. We are targeted by police and Maoists alike just for doing our work with honesty,” said Ganesh Mishra, among journalists in Bijapur district who were named in the press note released on February 9 by the CPI (Maoist) Dakshin Sub Zonal Bureau.

After Mishra was named in the press note along with Leeladhar Rathi, Farukh Ali and Shubhranshu Chaudhari, journalists from Bastar held a protest in Bijapur’s Gangaloor before holding a meeting in Jagdalpur, where it was decided that a delegation would go to speak to the Maoists.


Mishra, who has been receiving support from journalists and scholars, said, “We will decide our delegation and they will then give us time and place.”

Bastar IG P Sundarraj said the police are prepared to deal with threats. “The incident reflects the growing frustration and madness in the Naxal rank and file. Rattled by the losing ground, drying down of recruitment, disassociation of general mass in recent times, Maoists are thoroughly confused about what to do and what not to. Maoists have fallen prey to the typical ‘if you are not my friend then you are my enemy’ syndrome. This thought and behavior of Naxal leadership would prove to be the final nail in the coffin,” he said.

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Transforming maoist hotbed into a tourist hotspot in Jharkhand

By Mukesh Ranjan| Published: 21st February 2021 08:24 AM

To check deforestation, villagers have been engaged in alternative livelihoods like beekeeping, bamboo craft and ecotourism. Some are employed by the forest department as fire watchers. (Photo | EPS)

JHARKHAND: In March 2017, soon after taking over as the divisional forest officer (DFO), Lohardaga, Vikas Kumar Ujjwal was on a field visit. A few metres from the Kuru Forest guesthouse, where he was staying, Ujjwal was taken aback when he spotted hundreds of villagers carrying illegal firewood from a nearby forest. When enquired, the locals told him that they didn’t have anything else to do for their livelihood and hence, were going to sell them at a local market. 

After a brief discussion with other forest department officials, Ujjwal realised that rampant forest fires, destruction of Salgi forest in Kuru range of the Lohardaga forest division, violence between government forces and Maoists were the issues that needed immediate attention in the region. In the next three years, this young 2014-batch Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer transformed this Maoist-infested jungle in Lohardaga in Jharkhand into a tourist destination that has led to a host of economic activities. 

Lohardaga district

Looking at the poor state of affairs, one thing that Ujjwal had committed to himself was to bring order in the area — in terms of forest management and the livelihood for villagers.  But he knew it very well that it was going to be an uphill task, to begin with. The Salgi protected forest was not in the best of shape. There was hardly any dense patch remaining; range staffers were reluctant to enter the forest, citing Maoist threat. These problems had drastically reduced the overall green cover of the protected forest, spread over an area of about 5,000 hectares, that dried up natural water streams.

Ujjwal decided to take the local community on board so that forest conservation and livelihood could go hand in hand. “I found that the people in the region were primarily dependent on forest wood. We picked the Salgi forest first as it was crucial for the water security of Jharkhand, since three important rivers — Damodar, Sankh and Auranga — originate from there,” says Ujjwal. 

He then organised several rounds of meetings with the villagers as most ideas were suggested by them. 
“Initially, they were reluctant. But gradually, after a few meetings, they agreed on protecting forest patches adjoining their villages. In return, we promised them to create livelihood opportunities,  and took up soil moisture conservation work in the catchment area of Namodag waterfall, conducted beekeeping training and distributed kit to 150 villagers, and held bamboo craft training programmes.

We also inducted a few villagers as fire watchers and for construction of check-dams and other entry-point activities as per gram sabhas’ recommendations,” says the forest officer.  He also points out that these activities would have been insignificant and futile without a sustainable plan that had the potential to address both forest management and bring a socio-economic impact of a bigger proportion. “Thus, the Namodag ecotourism was developed under which joint forest management committee (JFMC) members started managing every activity — from entry to exit of tourists.

A nominal fee is charged from every tourist and in return, members of the van samiti provide facilities such as parking, trekking, guide, etc. Active support from the district administration and engagement of local villagers has ensured direct livelihood to at least 40 people on regular basis,” says Ujjwal. There has been an increased patrolling by the forest department based on inputs from JFMC members to nab offenders involved in the illegal timber trade.

Interestingly, Ujjwal says, the registered count of tourists visiting the Namodag ecotourism crossed 2.5 lakhs since its inception in 2017, generating enough revenue for the local community. “Later, an awareness programme was launched for the conservation of forests and people started connecting themselves to the direct benefit of forest conservation. Gradually, the illegal felling of trees was reduced by 80-85 per cent due to rejuvenated JFMCs and the density of forest also started showing tremendous improvement,” says Ujjwal. 

Recently, there have been signs of the return of wildlife animals such as sloth bear, deer, porcupine, fox and other species, the officer adds. In 2017 itself, three lakh saplings of local varieties were planted across the forest land and nearly 20 check dams and man-made ponds were developed by the forest department. Locals say Ujjwal has transformed Namodag, known for having the highest railway bridge in Jharkhand, into a tourist hub. “Now, Namodag is on the tourist map of Jharkhand.

Several check-dams have been constructed all over the forest to provide drinking water to wild animals,” says a villager, Satish Shahdeo. The success at Namodag has inspired many other van samitis. They are now planning to replicate potential eco-tourism sites at Dhardharia, Lavapani, Chulhapani, Juriya and other places. Amidst the planning and execution, Vikas was threatened multiple times from anti-social elements. But that did not deter him from doing his job.


Best forest management committee
The Salgi joint forest management committee (JFMC) was awarded the best JFMC in the division in 2017-18 for its incredible work. The area, once degraded, has now known for its greenery as visible in the satellite imagery

Generating revenue for local community
Started in 2017, registered count of tourists visiting Namodag ecotourism has crossed 2.5 lakhs, generating enough revenue for local community to not only support remunerations to people engaged there but also to have a corpus fund for infrastructure enhancement

Friday, February 19, 2021

Maoist threat impedes vax drive among CRPF jawans

टाइम्स न्यूज़ नेटवर्क | TNN | Feb 20, 2021, 05:00 IST

Daltonganj: For paramilitary personnel posted in remote areas of Palamu district, turning up at the state health department’s designated Covid-19 


 centres means risking their lives. At a time when the state health machinery is inoculating security personnel to prevent them from contracting the life-threatening viral disease, 


 jawans camping at the forward posts in Left-wing extremism-affected Dagra and Mansurya areas are sitting tight at their posts as heading towards vaccination centres without proper security measures can make them vulnerable to ambush attacks by Maoists. 

“Security personnel posted at Dagra cannot move without a road opening party, where armed security personnel sweep their route for dangers such as landmines and ambush attacks,” Palamu SP Sanjeev Kumar said, adding, “We cannot vacate our posts and ferry all our men to vaccination sites for jabs at once. We have to move them in batches.”

The CRPF contingent deployed at Dagra will take their vaccines at the sub-divisional hospital in Chatterpur, which is 20km away. Likewise, the contingent stationed at Mansurya will have to go to Manatu community health centre after negotiating a route that has witnessed a string of violence in the past.

The exact number of CRPF personnel deployed at Dagra and Mansurya has been kept under wraps for security reasons.

Kumar said the district health machinery was requested to hold vaccination camps at the CRPF’s forward posts to save them the treacherous travel. “However, our request was not accepted. Completing the vaccination of our paramilitary personnel will take time as we have to dispatch them for jabs in batches,” he told TOI.

When contacted, Palamu civil surgeon Dr John F Kennedy said, “As per the health department’s instructions, health workers and frontline staff are to be administered the Covid-19 vaccines only at the designated sites, which are government-run hospitals, sub divisional hospital and community health centres.” As of Thursday night, only 52% of Palamu’s registered 9,426 frontline workers have taken the shot

Tamil Nadu: Salem police arrest Maoist sympathiser from Madurai

A Subburaj | TNN | Feb 19, 2021, 16:06 IST
Suresh was produced before the Salem principal district judge court on Friday evening and he was remanded in judicial custody.



 rural police arrested a Maoist sympathiser from Madurai for raising slogans against the Union government during the funeral ceremony of Maoist Manivasagam in 2019.

He was arrested and brought to Theevattipatti police station in Salem district on Friday.

The accused has been identified as R Suresh, 45, from Indira Nagar in Madurai.

He was accused number 11 for raising slogans against the union government during the funeral.

He was booked under sections 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by the public servant), 121 (waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against the Government of India), 121 A (conspiracy to commit offences punishable by section 121) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 10, 13, 15, 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The case was registered by Theevattipatti police on January 18, 2020.

Suresh was produced before the Salem principal district judge court on Friday evening and he was remanded in judicial custody.

Thunderbolt police team from Kerala state police encountered four Maoists, including Manivasagam of Theevattipatti in Salem district, Karthi of Pudukkottai, Aravind and Rema at Manjikkandi in Palakkad district on October 28, 2019.

Their bodies were preserved at Thrissur Medical College Hospital. The body of Manivasagam was brought to Salem district in November for funeral.

The Madras high court granted bail for Manivasagam’s wife and sister, who were lodged in Trichy central prison to attend the final rites.

The court also ordered that those, who were going to attend the funeral, should not raise slogans against the government and should not violate the norms.

However, around 15 Maoist sympathisers raised slogans against the Union government.

Following the incident, Theevattipatti police registered a case against the 15 of them. So far, 11 sympathisers have been arrested and four are yet to be arrested

Maoists, police, doctors — All are killing ex-Naxals’ fatherhood dreams

In 2012, I wrote about the first surrendered Naxal to undergo reverse vasectomy and 'reclaim the right to fatherhood'. Last month, I learnt he still couldn’t bear a child.


In the last 10 years of reporting from the Naxal zone of central India, I have extensively chronicled the tragedy that has befallen the forested zone connecting parts of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh. And yet, the sorrow of Chhattisgarh’s Bastar Adivasis continues to find new manifestations. One morning last month, I met a police patrol team in the jungle along the Sukma-Bijapur border. The policemen had detected an improvised explosive device less than 30 minutes before I took an adjoining lane. It was the most treacherous kind of an IED that didn’t require any trigger to explode. The pressure of an unsuspecting human step was sufficient to blow you into pieces.

As I asked them about the method of planting and detecting such explosives, it occurred to me that I had met one of them earlier.

He was a surrendered Naxal, like two others of the team that morning. I had met him in Rajnandgaon, some 600 km in the north, after he had surrendered with his partner in 2012 with an overwhelming desire to become a father. He was an Adivasi from the Gangalur region in Bijapur and had undergone the near-compulsory vasectomy at the age of 20, a little after he joined the Maoist ranks. Believing that childbirth and the subsequent childcare will be a hurdle for the revolution, the Maoists have prohibited sex between unmarried cadres and imposed strict control on the married ones — vasectomy is one way to ensure the goal.

But this man, having surrendered, now wanted to reverse the operation. In October 2012, I wrote a report on him — the first surrendered Naxal to undergo reverse vasectomy and “reclaim the right to fatherhood”. Soon, several other surrendered Naxals, with the Chhattisgarh Police’s help, underwent the reverse operation.

On that January morning, I learnt that he couldn’t bear a child. It seemed that he had developed medical complications either during the original operation or the subsequent reversal. Upon digging more, I found that he was not alone. Of the many Naxals who surrendered with their lovers and opted for the reverse operation, several couldn’t become fathers. The desire to raise a family that prompted them to come out of the Maoist ranks remained unfulfilled. They had believed all these years that vasectomy was reversible, but now faced some undiagnosed complications.

I then learnt from a doctor friend that the success rate of the reverse surgery declines with time. The later one goes for the reversal, lesser the chances of its success. And yet, it seemed that the Maoist leaders who forced their cadres to undergo this operation and the senior police officers supervising the rehabilitation of surrendered cadres were unaware of it. Worse, even the doctors who conducted the first and the reverse surgeries did not tell them about the declining success rate.

Also read: Chhattisgarh Maoists suffering from betrayal, fewer leaders and weapons, and too many roads

The tale of Hemalkasa

The doctors who conduct the first operation are mostly from Nagpur and Gadchiroli. One such doctor who conducted vasectomies on a large number of Naxals is Prakash Amte, the son of Ramon Magsaysay award winner Baba Amte. Prakash and his wife Mandakini are also Ramon Magsaysay awardees, making it the only family whose as many as three members have received ‘Asia’s Nobel’.

On the western edge of Abujhmad, the tribal village of Hemalkasa in Gadchiroli district borders Chhattisgarh and Telangana. Baba Amte set up Lok Biradari Prakalp, a project to serve the local community, in Hemalkasa in 1973. A year later, Prakash opened a medical centre in a hut and settled down in the village with his doctor wife Mandakini. The area came to be dominated by the Naxals in the 1980s. They visited the Amte’s centre for medicare and sometimes sought vasectomy for their cadres. The Maoists who underwent the surgery at Hemalkasa included teenagers. “I was only 18 when I was sterilised,” a cadre once told me.

Amte’s was the only clinic for tribals in a large area without any government health centre. While Baba Amte won the Magsaysay in 1985, Prakash and Mandakini won it in 2008 for “enhancing the capacity of the Madia Gonds through healing and teaching and other compassionate interventions”.

Speaking to me in 2012, Prakash admitted to have conducted the operations but said that he only performed his duty as a doctor and medically it was less risky compared to abortion. “Maoists came to me for abortion for their wives, and vasectomy of their cadres. Abortion was risky for women, it endangered their life,” he told me. “There was also a possibility that if we conduct abortion once, they may come again for another abortion of the same woman. It involved great health risk for her, so I opted for the lesser evil — vasectomy. Also, I knew vasectomy was reversible.”

Also read: I feed a surrendered Naxal mutton, liquor, track his woman. Dantewada is not Delhi

Fatherhood denied 

Prakash Amte perhaps didn’t tell them that the reverse operation had a limited success rate. Since these men are yet to learn that their fatherhood had, for all purposes, been snatched away long ago, some of them are still trying various options to become father, as well as to grasp the reasons for the inability thereof. Who is to be blamed for this absurd tragedy — the revolutionary ideology that snatched their right over their body and sexuality; the doctors who didn’t inform them about the exact consequences, knowing which at least some of them might have protested against their comrade bosses; or the police officers who didn’t know that the reverse operation had a limited success rate?

One can go on with this futile exercise of counting the lost possibilities. The only change the surrendered life of a decade brought to the man I met that morning was this: earlier he carried an AK-47 as a rebel, now he carried it as the state’s soldier; earlier he planted IEDs, now he detected and diffused them.

The author is an independent journalist. His recent book, The Death Script, traces the Naxal insurgency. Views are personal.

Chhattisgarh: Six Maoists including 4 women surrender in Dantewada

08:40 PM Feb 19, 2021 | AVDHESH MALLICK
Chhattisgarh: Six Maoists including 4 women surrender in Dantewada

Raipur: Six Maoists including five carrying cash rewards on their heads surrendered before police in the insurgency-hit Dantewada district here on Friday. Out of six, four were women Maoists, police said.

Of the surrendered ultras one carried a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh, two carried rewards of Rs 3 lakh each and two others carried rewards of Rs 2 lakh on their heads, an official press release from Dantewada police said.



The Maoists were deeply dissatisfied with the unnecessary violence perpetrated by their fellow cadre and the hardships of jungle.

The woman Maoist identified as Kumari Jogi Kawasi was a member of Maoist Katekalyan area committee and in-charge of KAMS. State government had declared a reward of Rs 5 lakh on her head.

Likewise, Kamlu alias Santosh Podiyam was a member of Maoist platoon number 16 and carried a reward of Rs 3 lakh on his head. Payke Kovasi was in-charge of Maoist’s Maad division tailor section and carried a reward of Rs 3 lakh. Bhume Uike, a member of Maoist platoon number 26 carried a reward of Rs 2 lakh on her head. Linga Ram Uike, a member of Maoist supply team, also carried a reward of Rs 2 lakh. Pande Kawasi a member of Maoist CNM too surrendered before police.

The ultras were also impressed by ‘Lon Varratu’ (homecoming in local language) programme of the Dantewada police.

They were provided financial assistance of Rs 10,000 and will be rehabilitated as per the policy of the state government

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Vehicles set on fire by Naxals in Chhattisgarh's Bastar

Vehicles set on fire by Naxals in Chhattisgarh's Bastar

Bastar (Chhattisgarh) [India], February 17 (ANI): Eight vehicles were set on fire by Naxals in the Malewahi area of Bastar on Tuesday.
Vehicles that were gutted in the fire were involved in road construction work, police said.
A former deputy sarpanch of Temrugaon village in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh was allegedly gunned down by Naxals on Monday, the police said. According to the police, the two others injured in the attack were admitted to a hospital.
The police team recovered the body of the former deputy sarpanch from the site.

Further investigation is underway. (ANI)

Naxals kill villager in Chhattisgarh's Rajnandgaon

ANI | Updated: Feb 19, 2021 02:37 IST

Rajnandgaon (Chhattisgarh) [India], February 19 (ANI): Naxals have killed a villager in Rajnandgaon district, police said on Thursday.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Jai Prakash Badhai confirmed the incident that took place on Wednesday night in Khursipar Khurd village under the Bortalav police station's jurisdiction.
According to D Shravan, Superintendent of Police, the villagers in the district are being regularly attacked by Naxals.
He said that four villagers were killed in the last one month. (ANI)

Gallantry medals presented to 127 CRPF personnel for anti-Naxal, anti-terror ops

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Director General of CRPF Dr A P Maheshwari


During the event, Maheshwari also handed over a citation for 'best forward operating base' (FOB) to its newly-operated base in worst Maoist violence affected Minpa area of Sukma district in Chhattisgarh.

A total of 127 CRPF personnel were decorated with gallantry medals on Thursday for undertaking operations in Naxalism-affected areas and against terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. The awardees included the family members of those personnel who were given the medals posthumously during the Independence Day last year and the Republic Day this year, a senior officer said.

During an event, Central Reserve Police Force chief A P Maheshwari awarded the medals to the personnel and to the family members of those who laid down their lives in the line of duty, the officer said.


Financial assistance certificates were also handed over to the families of the slain troopers, he said.

During the event, Maheshwari also handed over a citation for 'best forward operating base' (FOB) to its newly-operated base in worst Maoist violence affected Minpa area of Sukma district in Chhattisgarh.

"The FOBs are a part of three-pronged strategy that includes breaching enemy's core areas by sustained operations, establishing bases in remote areas to launch targeted strikes and gain operational ascendency in due course, and using mobile command posts headed by senior officers during operations to dictate and manage the battle scenario in real-time," CRPF spokesperson Deputy Inspector General Moses Dhinakaran said.

The CRPF is the country's largest paramilitary force with over 3.25 lakh personnel in its ranks and it is extensively deployed for anti-Naxal operations and for counter-terrorist and law and order duties in Jammu-Kashmir

Know where the Urban Naxal started?

 Know where the Urban Naxal started?

Zee News Feb 18, 2021, 23:49 PM IST,

 One of the words we often hear in India is the Urban Naxal, in the era of tool kit movement they known as Urban Gorilla. But why did these people become Urban Naxals? Know the thinking of the youth of Naxalbari. Know in this segment of DNA

DNA Special: Once the hub of Naxal movement, people of Naxalbari now want change

DNA Web Team | Updated: Feb 19, 2021, 06:17 AM IST

DNA Naxalbari movement

DNA Naxalbari movement

Naxalism started here and many from the older generations idolised the Naxal leaders. But for the new generation, these sculptures just stones.

The term "Urban Naxal" is used in common parlance these days and these days people who indulge in protests and movements are also being called "Urban Guerillas". But, who are these Urban Guerillas who reside in cities and have a detailed "toolkit" to express disagreement towards the ruling government?

To bring you a detailed analysis of the same, we visited Naxalbari in West Bengal. In 1962, when China defeated India in the war, many of our own people were supporting China in the name of left-wing ideology and opposing India. They also started the Naxalbari movement from Naxalbari village in West Bengal in 1967, five years after the war. 

Mao Zedong, the founder of the People's Republic of China, had once said, "politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed." The leaders who implemented Mao's idea in India were Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal. They believed in opposing the government with gun and gunpowder to give the poor their rights. These days, Urban Naxals have replaced the jungle with Twitter and the gun with the toolkit.

Bengal's Naxalbari still has Mao's statue in the village. Naxalism started here and many from the older generations idolised the Naxal leaders. But for the new generation, these sculptures just stones. 


The thinking of the new generation has compelled the older generation to think that the time has come to change the mindset. The youth of Naxalbari, who were once known for their anti-government activities, are now preparing for government jobs.

We don't want guns, we want computers. "I want to go to the Army. I am preparing for a government job and have to change Naxalbari,"  a young armed forces aspirant from the village said. People of Naxalbari now want peace and want to forget the violence of the past.  Atrocities and injustice were some of the reasons why Naxalism started from Naxalbari, now people here are seeking change.

The people of the village are working in big cities for the better future of their children. They have left the path of the bullets and have understood that democracy is important for their as well as the country's progress

Telangana: Manthani, once a Naxal den, is now a political cauldron

Koride Mahesh | TNN | Updated: Feb 19, 2021, 11:08 IST
Picture used for representational purpose only





, which was once a stronghold of naxalites in 1990s, has been in the news following the 


 of the lawyer couple G Vaman Rao and Nagamani.


 and residents say the murder is a fallout of political bickering and the presence of the sand mafia. The lawyer couple was fighting some politicians and had filed cases against them. A audio clip of a local leader talking about eliminating his rival just before 2018 


 was only the tip of the iceberg, believe locals.


Political volatility in the assembly segment — with just two lakh voters — reminds one of Rayalaseema factionism. “Manthani has always been politically active and people have immense political awareness. But, gruesome murders were never seen before,” Avadhanula Nikhil of Manthani town told TOI.

Former PM PV Narasimha Rao had represented the constituency thrice in 1950s and 1960s. Comprising dense forests, on the banks of Godavari with Chhattisgarh on the other side of the river, its topography made Manthani suited to the 

Naxal movement

, which peaked here in 1990s. Former AP assembly speaker D Sripada Rao, who is father of present 


 MLA D Sridhar Babu, was killed by 


 in 1999 at Annaram. There were several attacks on police by Naxals in those days. Constituency was represented by 


 party’s Putta Madhu between 2014-18. Madhu is now 


 zilla parishad chairman and aide Kunta Srinivas is prime suspect in the double murder

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

‘Maoist’ killing: Court seeks report from Collector


Staff Reporter KALPETTA17 FEBRUARY 2021 21:59 IST

Report on possibilities of a new magisterial report on ‘police encounter’ at Vythiri

The Wayanad District and Sessions Court has ordered the District Collector to submit a report on the possibilities of a fresh magisterial report on the death of the C.P. Jaleel, a suspected Maoist, in the wake of a petition filed by his brother C. P. Rasheed. Jaleel was shot dead at a private resort at Vythiri in Wayanad district on March 6, 2019, in an alleged police encounter.

While considering the petition, the court directed the Collector to submit the report before March 1.

Mr. Rasheed said in his petition that the magisterial report was an arbitrary one, giving clean chit to the police and the Thunderbolt commandos who had participated in the encounter. “The procedure adopted and the findings reached in the inquiry by the District Magistrate are incorrect, illegal, and improper. The relatives of Jaleel were not allowed to be present at the inquiry,” Mr. Rasheed said.



Scientific evidence, including the ballistic report and forensic examination report, was not considered in the magisterial report prepared by former Wayanad Collector A.R. Ajayakumar, Mr. Rasheed said. Moreover the report was contrary to the ballistic and forensic findings. According to recent forensic and ballistic reports, all cartridges used for firing were from service rifles and not from a smooth-bore breech loading (SBBL) gun allegedly found on Jaleel’s body, Mr. Rasheed said.

The report ignored the fingerprint expert’s statement that she could not find any fingerprints on the country-made gun allegedly used by Jaleel. This contradicts the police version that two ‘Maoists’ ran towards them wielding guns. The video visuals recorded in the DVR installed at the resort were not considered for preparing the report, he said.

Hence the court might direct the District Magistrate to conduct a fresh probe into the killing after repealing the former report, Mr. Rasheed said in the petition