The Traitor Inside

The Traitor Inside
It’s clear — somebody is passing counter-insurgency plans to ultras …

Bhavna Vij-Aurora
Maoists Accessed The Minutes

April 13, 2006
Venue: 7 Race Course Road
In the chair: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Attended By: Chief ministers of Naxal-affected states, senior security and intelligence officials.
Key points discussed:
* Possibility of penetrating the internal set-up of Maoist leadership
* Use of heliborne operations against the Maoists hiding in Kaimur Hills, Bihar
* Training of select paramilitary personnel in jungle warfare
* Redeployment and additional deployment of forces
(All detailed in the Maoist Annual Report 2005-2006)

August 29, 2006
Venue: North Block
In the chair: Union home secretary V.K. Duggal
Attended by: Home secretaries, directors general of police of the Naxal-affected states, chiefs of BSF, CRPF, SSB, other senior security and intelligence officials
Key points discussed:
* Ways to improve intelligence-gathering and sharing among various states
* Strategies to curb Maoist operations along the Nepal border
* Ways to disrupt the coordination among various Naxal groups across state borders.
* Level of increased deployment of security forces in areas identified as ultra-sensitive.
(All detailed in the Maoist Annual Report 2005-2006)

***

How did the Maoists operating from the hills and dense forests of Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh access the minutes of two crucial and secret meetings last year—one held by the prime minister at his residence and the other chaired by the home secretary at North Block? Both were focused on tackling the Maoist problem. The first was attended by chief ministers of Naxal-affected states and by senior intelligence and security officials. The second, which involved members of the Joint Operations Command of the security forces, dealt with strategy and deployment of forces.

The shocking truth that the Maoists had gained access to the minutes came to light after intelligence officials stumbled on an eight-page annual report (October 2005-06) of the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) during a recent operation. An explosive part of its contents, yet to be revealed to the media, relates to the outfit’s precise and detailed knowledge about what was discussed in the two closed-door and high-profile meetings.

Here is what the annual report has to say about the April 2006 meeting at 7, Race Course Road chaired by PM Manmohan Singh: “It is clear from the minutes of the April 13 meeting that the government is planning to infiltrate our ranks and use airpower in otherwise difficult and inaccessible terrains. The decisions at the meeting include penetration by intelligence agencies of Maoist leadership, use of heliborne operations against the Naxalites hiding in (the) forests of Kaimur hills, and training of select paramilitary personnel in jungle warfare.”

The second meeting on August 29, 2006, was held in the Union home ministry, and was chaired by then secretary V.K. Duggal. It discussed details of deployment of security forces. Several steps to improve intelligence-gathering and sharing it among various states were also deliberated. The meeting also mooted possible ways to curb Maoist operations in border areas and disrupt their coordination across inter-state borders.

All the details of what was discussed, intelligence officials say, were passed on to the Maoists. Which is why there is a conclusion in the report drawn after factoring in what was discussed on August 29. “We have to be careful. Don’t stay at one place for too long. Keep moving. Do not forget your tasks and do not forget your aim.”

The fact that the Maoists could lay their hands on the minutes of the two meetings has set the alarm bells ringing. Intelligence and security officials have expressed concern on what they describe as a serious security lapse.

The Maoist report cites only the main points of secretive government meetings; it’s feared the ultras have got access to finer details too.

A senior intelligence official told Outlook, “It’s clear the Maoists have access to secret information and plans—that too within days of being formulated. No wonder, there hasn’t been much success in our operations against them. Any action plan should have an element of surprise. That’s completely lost
in case of anti-Naxal operations.”

Only the main points at the meeting have made their way into the annual report, but intelligence officials fear the finer details too may have been passed on to the Maoists. They say it does not help the Naxals reveal all they know, but the subtle message has been sent out that the ultras know what had actually transpired at the two secret meetings.

The annual report brought out in September 2006 was updated till the August 29 meeting. Points out an intelligence official: “There’ve been meetings since. There was one on September 5, 2006, again chaired by the PM and attended by the chief ministers. Now we have to proceed on the assumption that the Maoists may know what was discussed.”

But how could the details of the two meetings have been passed on? It could have been leaked at the Centre or from officials of the states which attended the meetings or from security or intelligence agencies. Whatever, the Union home ministry feels steps have to be taken to ensure such access is halted. Which is why it has asked CMs of all Naxal-affected states to ensure there is no leakage of confidential information at their end.

The MCC report also lists the mining, irrigation and industrial projects it plans to target in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. It says there are plans to create “red terror” in Sitamarhi district of Bihar where the Kosi irrigation project is coming up. “The region needs attention not only for opposing government machinery but also for mobilising mass support.”

The other sites on the Naxal hit-list are the proposed bauxite mines of Jindals near Visakhapatnam, Polavaram irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh, the projects of Tatas, Jindals and Essar in Chhattisgarh, the Rajghara-Raoghat-Jagdalpur rail line, steel plants of Posco and Tatas in Orissa, power plants of Reliance and ongoing Narmada projects in Madhya Pradesh.

The rest of the report lists several successful operations. There are also details of the sophisticated weaponry the Maoists have acquired in recent times, including AK-47s and SLR launchers. There is also talk of expanding operations to urban areas in Haryana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. Delhi too is on the radar. But these are plans that the intelligence agencies already know about. What’s vital are the details of the two meetings. They prove the Naxals are one step ahead of the the government.

In fact, so embarrassed is the Union home ministry that no official inquiry has been ordered into the leak. But intelligence agencies are looking into who could have been the sources who passed on information to the Maoists. Many in the ministry feel identifying them is important if the government’s operation against what the PM described as the “biggest threat to country’s internal security” is to succeed.

Outlookindia

Comrades we can try and guess as to who is betraying the Indian Government…

I have a strong suspicion that it is none other than the Home ministerShivraj Patil himself
the father of all naxalites.

lol

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