Archive for the ‘Maharashtra’ Category

Naxals face cadre crunch in Eastern Maha, wind up four dalams

July 4, 2007

NAGPUR: The naxalite movement in most affected Gadchiroli and Gondia districts in Eastern Maharashtra has weakened with some of the `dalams’ operating in the area virtually winding up following a cadre crunch, police sources said.

The shrinking number of cadres has forced naxalites in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra to wind up four of its dalams including Gamini, Kotagaon, Dhanora and Jimmalgatta.

The naxal-quartet led by Murli alias Mahesh Reddy, arrested by city police on May 8, have also endorsed the intelligence inputs of the police confessing that there has been no fresh recruitment for quite a long time.

Confirming this depletion in the naxal cadre, Additional Director General of police (Anti-naxal operation), Pankaj Gupta said that in a desperate move, naxals are shifting some of their cadres from adjoining Chattisgarh.

Citing reasons behind weakening of naxal movement in Vidarbha, Gupta said the ‘gaonbandi’ (no entry in villages) scheme of Maharashtra government proved very effective as villagers are putting up a stiff resistance to their movement.

Besides, a number of naxals and their supporters have already surrendered to avail certain benefits including cash, while few of them are on their way to give up naxalism.

DNA India

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Maharashtra Terror Police continue to torture social workers

June 26, 2007

TORTURE

• Salekasa police had pumped 30 ml of petrol up Murali Reddy’s anus, which caused severe bleeding later. On Thursday, Adenwalla secured an order from the court to get Reddy examined by a civil surgeon in Gondia

• Arun Ferreira’s soles were whipped with batons while ice was kept on his genitals

• All four were subjected to third-degree torture during police interrogation.

Nagpur police prolonging Arun Ferreira’s custody: lawyer

IAPL member Maharukh Adenwalla is also arguing the case of Murali Reddy, who was held with Bandra resident Arun Ferreira (below) on charges of having links with Naxals

The International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) on Friday said the Nagpur police was wrongly implicating alleged Naxalite Arun Ferreira and his associates in several cases to prolong their police custody and torturing them.

Ferreira and his co-detenues will now undergo another narco-analysis test following the order of a magistrate’s court in Bhandara. The previous test was inconclusive.

IAPL member Maharukh Adenwalla, who is also arguing the case of Murali Reddy, picked up along with Ferreira, says, “Ever since their arrest on May 8, Reddy has been in police custody. [Bandra-resident] Ferreira, who remained in police custody till June 19, has only now been sent to judicial custody. The law allows police custody for only 15 days. That is why the police has been implicating them in different cases — if they get out in one case, they can be arrested in another.”

Nagpur police had arrested Ferreira, Reddy, Naresh Bansod and Dhanendra Bhurle for alleged links with Naxal groups on May 8. Adenwalla pointed to a 2005 landmine blast case in which the accused had already been arrested by the Salekasa police. Now, the police have implicated Ferreira and Reddy in that case. Interestingly, the FIR does not even mention them as accused.

“This is a serious infringement of democratic rights,” says Adenwalla, “in our June 8 petition, we asked the court to direct the police to give us details of all the cases in which the accused have been implicated.”

TORTURE ALLEGATIONS

• Salekasa police had pumped 30 ml of petrol up Murali Reddy’s anus, which caused severe bleeding later. On Thursday, Adenwalla secured an order from the court to get Reddy examined by a civil surgeon in Gondia

• Arun Ferreira’s soles were whipped with batons while ice was kept on his genitals

• All four were subjected to third-degree torture during police interrogation.

LEGAL TANGLE

* According to Adenwalla, the day after their arrest, Ferreira and the others were again arrested by the Dhantoli police.

* As soon as they were given judicial custody on May 20, the four were sent to Mumbai for narco-analysis tests.

* On May 23, when they returned from Mumbai, the Salekasa police applied to the magistrate for their custody.

* From May 28 to June 6, the four were in the custody of Salekasa police.

* Then, Bansod was sent to judicial custody, but the others were handed over to the Chichgad police till June 19.

* While Ferreira, Bansod and Bhurle are now in Nagpur jail, Reddy is with the Duggipur police.

mumbai news

Naxal leaders regrouping in city?

June 24, 2007

NAGPUR: After some turbulence caused by the arrest of four naxals near Deekshabhoomi on May 8, Maoist leaders and front organisations in the region are reportedly re-grouping in Nagpur. Sources told TOI that after Nagpur police arrested Arun Ferriera, Mahesh alias Murli alias Ashok Satya Reddy, Dhanendra Burle and Naresh Bansod, there were some waves of protest.

However, only Ferriera’s arrest created a significant impact. “Front organisations and sympathisers projected Ferriera as an activist and not a Maoist. Ferriera’s Mumbai-based wife Jennifer was instrumental in this and she even went to national media to prove his reported innocence,’’ said the source.

Meanwhile, a naxal-backed ‘fact-finding committee’ was also formed in yet another effort to prove the ‘innocence’ of Ferriera and others. Now, Nagpur police have reportedly learnt that top leaders of Maoists, their sympathisers and other front organisations have started regrouping in Nagpur. “Their so-called fact-finding committee has become active in recent times. They are holding meetings, preparing documents and gathering support to keep the issue on the boil. They want to exonerate Ferriera at all costs,’’ said the source.

Another issue cropping up often in the meetings is the ‘failure’ of the Nagpur police to find clinching evidence in the narco test of Ferriera and Murli. “This so-called failure of Nagpur police is being highlighted repeatedly in the meetings reportedly to form a negative sentiment,’’ the source added.

Meanwhile, there was reportedly a large presence of naxal sympathisers at the hearing of the four arrested naxals here on Thursday. “They were also trying to contact the media and may have intended to influence them,’’ the source said.
timesnagpur@timesgroup.com

Toilet Paper of India

Studying Networks- Naxalites eyeing Dabbawallahs

June 17, 2007

The pen drive seized from alleged Naxalite Arun Ferreira contained information about the operational details of the city’s dabbawalas, top officials of the anti-Naxalite unit of Maharashtra Police told DNA Wednesday.

Statistics about Dabbawala’s
1. DABBAWALA’S = lunch-box carriers
2. LOCATION : Mumbai , 120 years Old operation
3. ORGANIZATION : Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association (MTBSA)
4. MEMBERSHIP : 5,000
6. JOB : Deliver home-cooked food to offices in the western Indian city of Mumbai
7. REACH : 200,000 people
8. EFFICIENCY : Their life starts with braving Mumbai’s heat, humidity and peak-hour traffic, reaching the homes of students, entrepreneurs of small businesses, managers, especially bank staff, and mill workers.

Dabbawala’s pushing their cart on mumbai’s streets

Ferreira had been arrested from Nagpur on May 8, along with Murali alias Ashok Reddy, a Naxalite divisional commander. The dabbawalas have strongly reacted to their trade having anything to do with police and security affairs. Raghunath Dhondiba Medage, president of dabbawalas’ association, said, “Ours is a clean and totally transparent system. We don’t tolerate anything even remotely suspicious.”

Anti-Naxalite unit officials have communicated the development to higher-ups in the Home department.


What intrigued the police and security officials was the “interest” of the Naxalite-Maoist cadre in the functioning of dabbawalas — a network which has access to almost every home in the city and suburbs.

“Ferreira’s pen drive contained information about how dabbawalas operated flawlessly within a systemic framework. The information is exhaustive and also lists how the system runs and makes profits,” said Pankaj Gupta, Special Inspector General of the anti-Naxalite unit.

Police claimed that Ferreira, a Bandra resident, was an active Maharashtra state committee member of the Communist Part of India (Maoist) and had considerable influence among the ultra-Left in the state. Other information contained in the pen -drive also revealed “his clear involvement” in the Naxalite-Maoist scheme of things, sources said.

“Information about this particular network (dabbawala) is a worrying development,” said Nagpur Police Commissioner SPS Yadav.

“Perhaps, the Naxalites were planning to infiltrate the dabbawala network and use it to their own advantage,” said a senior Intelligence official on condition of anonimity.

DNA India

Naxal recruitments are nil, says Murli

June 13, 2007

Naxal recruitments are nil, says Murli

NAGPUR: Police investigations have revealed that there was no fresh recruitment of naxals in Gadchiroli and Chandrapur districts.

According to inspector general of police (anti-naxal operations) Pankaj Gupta, divisional secretary of the naxal organisation Murli, who was arrested in the city last month, said that recruitment of cadres in the naxal-infested Gadchiroli and Chandrapur districts has come down drastically and, in fact, in recent months, there was no new recruits.

Gupta said the the naxals were possibly looking for a support base in other anti-national groups and even individuals with certain vendetta towards the government. But within the police circles the depletion of naxal outfits in Maharashtra is being viewed as a major achievement of the government’s drive to flush out the naxals.

“The naxals have lost several of its cadre in encounters and they are finding it difficult to recruit new men. A series of government initiatives has also led to naxals losing their hold in the villages.

Despite threats, youths from the villagers are coming forward to join the police force. About 20,000 people walked in at a recent police recruitment drive in Chandrapur district,’’ Gupta said.

We seized a pen drive from Arun Feriera which contained important details regarding naxal operations and meetings of various naxal committees, he added.

TOI

No threat of Naxal movement in Mumbai: Police

June 5, 2007

No threat of Naxal movement in Mumbai: Police

Mumbai, June 03: In wake of the arrest of a city- based person in Nagpur on charges of being a Naxalite, Mumbai Police claimed that the city does not have immediate threat of the movement taking roots here.

“Mumbai city doesn’t have immediate threat of that kind of movement taking deep roots here and I do not see it in the near future,” Mumbai Police Commissioner D N Jadhav told a news agency.

Jadhav said the Naxals will always be on the lookout for areas to “cool off” away from the eastern Vidarbha region where operations are on against them and then look for simmering discontent among the local populace to spread their philosophy.

“They are thriving in forests of central India. So far they haven’t succeeded in forested area like Thane or Dhulia and all that,” he said referring to the areas to the north of Mumbai.

When asked about reports which said the Naxals were preparing to create law and order problems during the tenth anniversary of the Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar firing incident on July 11, Jadhav said, “one agent can damage a statue and people can come out on the streets and cause disruptions or rioting. You don’t have to have a mass movement for that.”

Eleven Dalits had died in police firing on demonstrators protesting against the alleged desceration of a Ambedkar statue in Ghatkopar’s Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar on July 11, 1997.

Jadhav said there are “infinite possibilities” for the Naxals to find discontent within the people like the mill workers, the setting of SEZs on the city’s fringes.

Bureau Report

Narco tests on alleged Naxal turns out to be flop

May 29, 2007

Narco tests on alleged Naxal turns out to be flop
The narco-analysis tests carried out on alleged Naxalite Arun Ferreira, a Bandra resident who was arrested along with three others in Nagpur on May 8, at Kalina Forensic Science Laboratory have failed to yield effective results. This, even as the senior Naxalite cadre contradicted himself occasionally, said the police.

The police alleged that the tests did not throw up “clinching” results as no police officer was allowed in during the interrogation — something that marred the prospects of an “interactive exchange” between the police and the suspect.

According to sources, the police had prepared a pointed set of questions to be hurled at Ferreira during the narco-analysis tests. The question set was designed to make him admit or deny his recent involvement in the overall Naxalite-Maoist scheme of things across central India.

“But although Ferreira was found to glaringly contradict himself on a couple of occasions, there was no immediate reactive response (in terms of artfully framed questions) from the investigating officers (making the suspect speak his mind out) geared to elicit real information out of him,” said a senior anti-Naxalite unit officer who spoke to DNA on conditions of anonymity.

“We approached the director of the forensic science laboratory on the matter but the authorities chose to perform brain-mapping and polygraph tests on Ferreira instead,” the officer added.

DNA

Random access: Accused by the pen drive

May 28, 2007

Random access: Accused by the pen drive

Fear can be funny. Paranoia makes people do strange things, like that General Ripper in Dr Strangelove. In the terrible grip of a crazy idea that the Commies are poisoning “the purity and essence of our natural fluids”, the American General, fondling a phallic cigar and contorting his face, launches a nuclear strike against Russia on his own. To “save the precious body fluids of the American people,” the General presses a panic button that triggers a doomsday machine which destroys the whole world. Ripper’s fear was not funny. It was destructive. In this Kubrik classic, all the powerful people wearing funny hats were driven crazy by fear.

The fear of Reds crawling under your bed is making the police in India do strange things as well. People are being picked up and interrogated on the basis of the files in their computers and pen drives. And if the pen drive contains files about SEZs, land-grabbing, atrocities against dalits and communal riots, you are in big trouble.

https://i1.wp.com/www.dgreetings.com/gifts-to-india/newimages/big/Pen-Drive.jpg

Not only will you be taken to the police station, given a dose of truth serum and questioned in isolation, the police will also threaten to lock up anyone who dares to speak in your support.

We don’t know if Arun Ferreira from Bandra is a member of the CPI (Maoist) or not, or if he has been involved in any violent act, but the police have already passed a judgement: He is a seditionist — a Naxalite threatening the Indian state. Part of the “evidence” is in his pen drive which has some files on “sensitive issues”.

They haven’t produced any evidence of his involvement in any violent activity, but Ferreira is guilty because the police suspect he is guilty.

This is not funny. It’s scary. If people can be put behind bars for what they have saved in their computers, half the journalists, academics, social activists, NGO workers and writers in this country should be in the police station waiting for their turn to be jabbed with sodium pentothal and talk in a daze about the “seditionist material” in their computers.

And then they would throw you into a dingy cell where petty thieves, rapists and professional killers kick you day and night for being “anti-national”.

This is exactly what happened with Delhi-based Kashmiri journalist Iftikhar Geelani a few years ago. The police caught him under the draconian Official Secrets Act for some documents in his laptop which reflected “his inclination towards insurgency in Kashmir”.

The documents turned out to be a US State Department report which is available on the internet and had been published by at least one newspaper in India. But, for the police it was simple: a Kashmiri carrying information on the Indian army has to be a terrorist. So, Geelani was guilty because they suspected him of being guilty. It was the same story with B K Subbarao, a scientist with the Indian Navy who was in jail for 20 months because a paranoid establishment suspected him of selling off national secrets.

And they built a case against him on the basis of material he was carrying when they intercepted him at the airport. He was eventually absolved of the charge. Subbarao says that he was called a spy for carrying his own PhD thesis (from IIT-Bombay).

In the past few years, national security has become an obsession. As hundreds of social movements for empowerment — from dalits to tribals to women — gain strength every day, the establishment gets terrified. And it hits back with a vengeance, with national security as its weapon and its shield.

It is a mild reminder of a certain Mr Joseph McCarthy and the ministry of fear he created in the US in the 1950s.

Paranoid about social unrest in the US, McCarthy was convinced that “subversives” had infiltrated the American government and that they were disclosing secret information. Exaggerating the threat of communism, McCarthy claimed that there was a “homosexual underground” that was abetting the “communist conspiracy”.

He put many marginalised groups on his list of subversives. And the result was a crackdown on political opponents, writers, film-makers, social and civil rights activists.

We are witnessing something similar here now: the police picking people merely on suspicion, trying to build cases on the basis of emails, phone calls, SIM cards and pen drives.

The cases keep falling flat in the courts while real terrorists walk in and out of the country at will, blowing up common Indians on trains and buses, at mosques and in temples, in cinema halls and offices. The real perpetrators of these crimes almost never get caught, tried and convicted.

Catching people for carrying “sensitive information” can’t be a way of tackling national security issues. It has something to do with opinion. It has something to do with suppressing political opposition. It is all about trampling on liberties and stifling dissent. Governments around the world — from the US to China to Sudan to Colombia — have been itching to launch a war of terror on those who oppose them. And thousands of people with political opinions have been “fixed” through this “war on terror”.

In this season of suspicion, I check my personal computer at home. There are hundreds of reports on human rights violations in India, police atrocities, dalit organisations, transcripts of Al Qaida tapes, Abu Ghraib, Naxalite groups, and Nandigram, all downloaded from the net.

I don’t think it’s safe anymore to save those files on the computer or a pen drive. It’s better to keep all this in your mind. They don’t have a machine with which they can read your mind. Not yet.

TOI

Pro-Maoists come to aid of naxals

May 28, 2007

Why would someone come up with such a strange sounding headline ?

Pro-Maoists come to aid of naxals

NAGPUR: The arrest of yet another leader of People’s Union for Civil Liberties by the Chhattisgarh police has strong repercussion on the activities of the pro-Maoist groups in central India, including Maharashtra.

The Chhattisgarh police took into custody Adv Rajendra K Sail, the state president of People’s Union for Civil Liberties, at Raipur on Friday. Earlier, Dr Binayak Sen, general secretary and national vice-president of the PUCL, was held by Chhattisgarh police.

The act of arresting Dr Sen was picked up as an issue of police highhandedness. Several front organisations reportedly kick-started an active movement to gain support base in favour of four naxals, arrested here on May 8.

Highlighting the innocence of the two of the arrested Maoists from Gondia – Naresh Bansod and Dhanendra Bhurle – several voices were raised in Vidarbha too.

Reportedly Mumbai-based supporters of Arun alias Sunil Thomas Ferriera, who was held with Mahesh alias Murali alias Ashok Satya Reddy at Deekshabhoomi on May 8 by Nagpur police, tried to underline his role in the society as a social activist who has been associated with student movement.

Reportedly, some of the student organisations are under scrutiny as their roles and activities are often viewed as the reflections of the Maoists vision.

Apart from shadowing the activities of the alleged front organisations in the city, Nagpur police have reportedly stepped up its vigilance in various areas bringing the activities of different social organisations under scanner.

The outcome of narco-analysis test on the arrested quartet, conducted at Mumbai recently, could bring the role of several organisations both in and outside Vidarbha under close scrutiny of the police and different intelligence agencies in the both state and central level.

Toiletpaper of India

100 days of ‘torture’ for innocent poet by Maharashtra Terror Police

May 22, 2007

100 days of ‘torture’ for innocent poet by Maharashtra Terror Police

Shantanu Kamble proved he did not have links with Naxalities

Arrested as an alleged Naxalite, Arun Ferriera is still in police custody, though his friends claim he is innocent. Sunday MiD DAY talks to Shantanu Kamble, who was arrested by the Nagpur police in 2005 on similar grounds of suspicious Naxalite links, but later cleared by the court.

Kamble’s story

Twentynine-year-old Wadala resident Kamble was arrested by the Nagpur police who claimed he was a hardcore Naxal activist.

However, the court later acquitted Kamble and admitted that he is a poet, not a Naxal.

He was arrested in two murder cases of a sub-inspector and state minister. The police also charged him with involvement in other Naxalite activities in Chandrapur.

Recalling those 100 ‘horrible’ days of police custody, Kamble says, “During the interrogation, the police would tightly tie my hands in opposite directions, they would force my legs apart and two policemen would stand on my feet.

Almost everyday, they used these methods to torture me.” He goes on to add, “I was under tremendous psychological and physical pressure but during the medical check-up, the doctors declared us as fit without even bothering to ask us about our pains.”

Kamble claims that he is a poet (Shahir) and would attend cultural programmes whenever invited. “I always go with the person who contacts me.

In September 2005, I was supposed to go to Raipur for a programme arranged by the Adivasi movement. I left Mumbai for Raipur via Nagpur with V Shankar who, I later discovered, was a hard-core Naxalite.”

That night, the police took Kamble and Shankar for routine enquiry to the police station. “But even after couple of days there were no sign of release.

The police produced us in court surrounded by commandos. I was shocked at the treatment meted out to me, as I had nothing to do with any undemocratic activity,” says Kamble.

Mid Day

Police brought Ferreira and Murali at Mumbai for narco test

May 22, 2007

Police brought Ferreira and Murali at Mumbai for narco test
Police interrogators fail to break silence of man who they claim is a top functionary of the dreaded PWG

One of the four accused arrested by Nagpur police for alleged Naxalite activities

The Mumbai-based alleged Maoist, Arun Thomas Ferreira and top Naxalite leader, Murali Sattya Reddy were brought to the state capital from Nagpur under tight security on Monday morning to conduct narco-analysis, lie-detector and brain-mapping tests.

According to available information, both the suspected Naxalites may undergo the test at Mumbai on Tuesday or could even be shifted to Bangalore for the tests if it was needed. A team of senior police personnel, led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Surendra Mekala, had taken them to Mumbai by train. The duo was arrested with another two suspected Naxalites near Deekshabhoomi last fortnight.

Talking to Hindustan Times, Commissioner of Police (CP), SPS Yadav confirmed that the tests were not conducted on Monday. While admitting that both the Naxalites were taken to Mumbai, he refused to divulge the details. The duo has been brought to Mumbai to testify some valuable information the Nagpur police and the state anti-Naxal cell had gathered in the case.

The local court had allowed the narco and brain-mapping tests of both the suspected Naxalites when the police pointed out that it was essential to conduct such tests in view of their anti-national and violent activities. Both, who were booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, were not revealing their original plans and their purpose of coming to the city. Moreover, the police said that interrogation of Mumbai-based Naxalite Ferreira had become a challenge for them since he hardly disclosed anything to the police. He is proficient in computers and was the in-charge of propaganda and communication network of the CPI (Maoist).

Government pleader PK Sathianathan filed an application on Sunday before the local court to produce Ferreira and Murali in Mumbai for conducting the three tests. The court granted the permission and directed the jailer of the Nagpur Central Jail in Nagpur to produce them on Monday at Mumbai. And finally, the city police brought them to Mumbai on Monday morning.

Meanwhile, the court also granted the magisterial custody to four alleged extremists till June 2.

Hindusthan times

A Naxal: say police, a loving dad: say in-laws, a social worker: say neighbours.

May 16, 2007


Arun Ferreira with his son (centre) and a relative

Arun: The student

A brilliant student from St Stanislaus School, Bandra, and St Xavier’s College, near Dhobitalao, Arun is a first class BSc graduate.

His first brush with social activities came in the ’90s after the infamous Elphinstone College rape case (a student was raped by her classmates during a garba festival. The girl’s father withdrew the complaint bowing to pressure).

Arun led the protests launched by a students’ union Vidyarthi Pragati Sanghatana (a leftist outfit), who have now pasted posters at St Peter’s Church, Bandra, in protest.

Arun fell in love with Jennifer and married her five years ago. Jennifer teaches Sociology in a college in the western suburbs. They have a two-year old son.

MiD DAY talks to some people who have known Arun for years to find what he is really like…

Poster protest… Put up by the students’ union Vidyarthi Pragati Sanghatana at St Peter’s Church, Bandra

Neighbours say

“Arun wanted to serve society from a very young age. So, he wanted to become a priest.

He stayed at the Papal Seminary in Pune for a few months to pursue his dream, but did not want to be caged within the four walls of the church.

He wanted to work with the poor,’’ says a neighbour, who was also a close friend of Arun’s father Thomas.

The base: Arun Ferreira’s residence on St Martin’s Road, Bandra

Relatives in Bandra

His immediate family, including his uncles Hadrien and Mathew, know Arun as a brilliant boy who did “some kind of social work”.

He never attended family functions, but uncle Hadrien is sure his nephew cannot be a Naxal.

What people say: A Nagpur police officer takes notes based on Jennifer’s uncle Rudolf’s testimony

In-law says

Jennifer’s uncle Rudolf Coutinho doesn’t believe he is a Naxalite. “He’s a family man. Arun is very fond of his son.

He was in Thane with us and used to go to Pune, Nashik and Nagpur for social work. He was involved with issues of the scheduled castes and farmers,” says Coutinho.

The search is on… Yesterday, two officers from the Nagpur police visited Jennifer’s residence in Thane. Jennifer is in Ahmedabad, but they spoke to her uncle Rudolf. The police found 24 books on Sociology, a few books on social work, a CD on the life of revolutionaries and some documents

Police speak

The police insist Arun is the chief of communication and propaganda of the ultra Left wing of the Naxals.

He, along with three others — Murali alias Ashok Satya Reddy, the divisional commander of north Gadchiroli-Gondia-Balaghat and Rajnandgaon division, Naresh Bansod and Dhanendra Bhurle have been arrested.

They were trying to make Nagpur their headquarters and planning to create law and order problems on July 14.

The Nagpur police have booked him under sections 10, 13 and 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1969 and sections 353 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.

Naxalism at a glance

The term comes from Naxalbari, a village in West Bengal, where
a section of CPI (M) led by Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal led a violent uprising on May 25, 1967, to develop a revolutionary opposition against the party leadership.

Ideologically, they belong to various trends of Maoism. Initially, the movement had its epicentre in West Bengal. In recent years, they have fanned into underdeveloped areas such as Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.

The Naxalites intensified their insurgency this year and are now active in half of India’s states in an attempt to encourage a peasant revolt in response to a government plan to expropriate large tracts of peasant land in eastern India to create special economic zones.

Mid-Day

‘We don’t want to lose Arun in a encounter’

May 16, 2007

‘We don’t want to lose Arun in a encounter’
By: Alka Dhupkar
May 13, 2007


Arun Ferriera’s friends demand a fair trial; write letter to Home Minister R R Patil

The letter states

‘We cannot admit that Arun would engage in any activity which would hurt the interest of people.

Nor believe that he would engage in any undemocratic activity.

That he should be tortured and dealt with in such a manner at the hands of the police is entirely unacceptable. In the recent past there have been innumerable reports on the issue of fake encounters’….

Arun Ferriera’s friends from St Xavier’s College are a worried lot these days — fearing for their friend’s safety in the hands of unscrupulous cops.

Nine of them, who are working in different fields, have got together and sent a letter to Home Minister RR Patil on Saturday, requesting the Deputy Chief Minister to release Arun as they are scared that the latter could be bumped off in a fake encounter.

George Jose, consultant

What they say

Says Arun’s college friend Neeraj Sahay, who is a cinematographer and documentary filmmaker, “Arun always wanted to work for marginalised people.

He was very proactive during his college days and carried on spreading social awareness after he left the institute. Fighting against injustice was his main concern, but is that a crime?”

Sahay says that the government is bent on suppressing anyone who protests against them. “This is totally disgusting and undemocratic. Now we are scared, after reading reports that he will be handed over to the Andhra Pradesh Police.

We believe that the AP police could turn it into a fake encounter. The whole country is aware of what happened with Sohrabuddin,” said Sahay.

He feels the state home ministry should release Arun. “If not, we demand that he be immediately transferred to judicial custody and provided access to a lawyer. The police system is breaking down. We can’t trust them anymore,” adds Sahay.

Neeraj Sahay, cinematographer

‘Brilliant student’

Arun’s friends claim that he was a brilliant student, securing a first class degree in Mathematics (BSc). He was also a keen cartoonist.

However, he did not choose to follow a secure career as he was always interested in helping needy people. During his college days, in the 1990s, he was among the active students who fought against a rapist in Elphistone College, recall Arun’s friends.

Arun’s friends

Documentary filmmaker Surabhi Sharma, writer and journalist Sameera Khan, research fellow Rochelle Pinto, documentary filmmaker Kavita Pal, secretary of Forum for Medical Ethics Society Neha Madhiwala, Neeraj Sahay, editor of Savvy Cookbook Antoine Lewis, consultants George Jose and Raj Chaudhuri are the friends who have come together to write the letter to Patil.

Sameera Khan, journalist

The letter

The letter states, “We cannot admit that Arun would engage in any activity which would hurt the interest of people. Nor believe that he would engage in any undemocratic activity.

That he should be tortured and dealt with in such a manner at the hands of the police is entirely unacceptable.

In the recent past there have been innumerable reports on the issue of ‘fake encounters’.

We too view this practice with deep concern. Such extra-judicial killings are, in our view, unacceptable in any society.

It has also been reported that there is an attempt to transfer Arun’s custody to the Andhra Pradesh police. In the said context, our fear of Arun being treated ‘conveniently’ with extra-judicial practices, can only be well founded.”

What his friends want for Arun

Immediate medical examination by an independent team of doctors at a government facility
Transfer to judicial custody
Facilitate his access to a lawyer
Treatment with dignity as political prisoner

The story so far

Police claims Bandra-resident Arun Ferriera was the propaganda chief of Naxals in Maharashtra.

Pereira was arrested in Nagpur on May 8 where he had gone to attend an important meeting. He, along with three others, has been remanded to police custody till May 16.

‘The interrogation is on in a democratic manner,’ say cops

Nagpur cops deny Arun’s friends’ allegations against them in the letter to R R Patil. Said Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone 2, Amitesh Kumar Zone 2, “I have no knowledge about such a letter but the interrogation is going on in a very democratic manner. We have not at all tortured Arun Ferriera and the others.

His medical check-up was done at Government Medical Hospital in Nagpur on the same day of the arrest. The check-up is done every 48 hours.”

About Arun being handed over to Andhra Pradesh police, he said, “It depends upon the application put forward by the AP police in the court and the court is to decide on that.

We cannot say anything on that issue. There is a panel of advocates fighting for him and he is in police custody till May 16 for enquiry purposes.”

Mid-Day

‘We don’t want to lose Arun in a encounter’

May 16, 2007

Ferriera’s alleged accomplices

Bhurle
Murli

Murali alias Ashok Satya Reddy who was wanted by police is the divisional commander of naxal North Gadchiroli-Gondia-Balaghat and Rajnandgaon division.

He was operating in Salekasa and Darekasa terrain in Maharashtra’s Gondia district along with Naresh Bansod. He was allegedly heading a team of the four along with Arun Ferriera who is said to be the chief of communication and propaganda of the ultra Left wing.

The fourth man is identified as Dhanendra Bhurle, as working along with Murli.

Nagpur police have booked all the four under 10, 13 and 20 of the Unlawful Activities prevention Act, 1969 and 353 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.

Pune to get a dose of leftist revolutionary ideology with Gaddar

January 4, 2007

Pune to get a dose of leftist revolutionary ideology with Gaddar
To mobilise ‘anti-establishment rage,’ Telugu balladeer and Naxal activist to perform at Shaniwarwada on January 7

Prasannakumar Keskar


Gaddar – The revolutionary balladeer

Pune, January 01: SUGAR-RICH western Maharashtra will be in for a shock of sorts on January 7 as Gaddar, a revolutionary Telugu balladeer and Naxal activist from Andhra Pradesh, will perform at the Shaniwarwada. Known for his fiery performances, the stated aim of bringing the activist’s troupe to the city is to mobilise the ‘anti establishment rage’ amongst the masses over the Khairlanji killings, the quota controversy and acquisition of land for Special Economy Zones (SEZs) anti-labour policies and farmers’ suicides.

The Abhivyakti Swatantrya Bachao Samiti, a platform created by over a dozen leftist organisations a couple of months ago, has organised show, which is probably the first time that leftist organisations are organising a public programme in the region. The show will be free of cost and open to all.

Gaddar will arrive in the city from Hyderabad just hours before the show along with an associate, while the other members of his troupe will travel to Pune from Mumbai. However, the tour will not be a hasty one for the performer also plans to stay in the city for at least a day after the show.

Better known for his Telugu songs, Gaddar will perform in the city in Hindi.

Convener of the samiti, Sanjay Dabhade said that though Gaddar is little-known in western Maharashtra, his show is expected to draw huge crowds from the city and rural outskirts.

And with various dalit parties like Republican Party of India and organisations like Narmada Bachao Andolan and SEZ Virodhi Kriti Samiti associated with the Abhivyakti Bachao Swatantrya Samiti, the organisers reaching out to the slum dwellers may not be a difficult task.

But ensuring that the word is spread around, the samiti has printed over 10,000 hand bill and plans to put up posters and banners, besides using vehicles with loudspeakers to promote the show.

“Gaddar’s show is meant to be a public cultural protest against suppression of the masses by the State. It is also meant to give vent to the unrest amongst the masses,’’ Dabhade said.


(Gadar on stage , lakhs of people turn up whenever he performs anywhere in
Andhra Pradesh)

About Gaddar

* Gummadi Vittal Rao came to be know as Gaddar as a tribute to the pre-independence revolutionist Gadar party. Born in 1949 in Medak district, Gaddar comes from a poor dalit family. He dropped out of Osmania University after his first year of engineering to earn a living and in 1969, joined the struggle for a separate Telangana state and formed a burrakatha (a kind of folk art) troupe.

* In early 1970s, Gaddar got associated with ‘Art Lovers Association’, formed by Narsing Rao, who was linked to the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist). In the mid 1980s, Gaddar started voicing his protest against the killing of several Dalits by upper caste landlords in Prakasam district and went underground after the police raided his house.

* During exile, he started spreading the revolutionary ideology through folk arts, adapting folk forms such as Oggu Katha, Veedhi Bhagotham and Yellamma Katha.

* After four-and-a-half years of exile Gaddar emerged from hiding. He was shot at
on April 6, 1997, but survived. In 2001 and 2004, he was among those named by the Peoples’ War Group as its emissaries for peace.


Link

Three Maoist trainers killed in Maharashtra

December 23, 2006

Three Maoist trainers killed in Maharashtra
Subscribe India News
Saturday, December 23, 2006

Notching up a major success in their anti-Maoist operations, police in Maharashtra killed three hardcore guerrillas conducting an undercover training camp along the state’s border with Chhattisgarh.

Among the three Maoists, known as Naxalites, killed in the gunfight Friday in the Wangetura forest in this tribal district was a deputy commandant of the Maoists’ Platoon Dalam, Shamru Samru alias Chaitu, and two of his trusted lieutenants.

In a swift operation, three teams of the 360 Commands Force of the Gadchiroli police, joined by a team each of Chhattisgarh police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), struck at the ongoing training camp forcing the outlaws to dismantle it, Superintendent of Police (SP) Shishir Jain told IANS.

The Maoists would have had many more casualties but for a claymore landmine blast triggered by their sentries guarding the camp to enable them to flee, said Jain, Gadchiroli district SP.

Four police constables suffered minor injuries in the retaliatory fire by the fleeing Maoists.

The police, who used two-inch mortar bombs and grenades in the assault, found half a dozen abandoned tents, three boxes of explosives and a generator besides a TV set at the camp site.

The concerted police strike was based on a tip-off about the camp obtained from the State Intelligence Department and confirmed by the Intelligence Bureau, Jain said.

Kanker (Chhattisgarh) district SP Pradip Gupta coordinated the action with his Maharashtra counterpart under an overall supervision of the Special Inspector General of Police (Anti-Naxal Operations) Maharashtra, Pankaj Gupta.

Friday’s encounter was the 19th this year in which 20 Maoists were killed as well as three police officials as against 20 casualties suffered by the police last year, Jain said.

Link

11,000 police personnel to be recruited in Maharashtra

December 17, 2006

11,000 police personnel to be recruited in Maharashtra

Nagpur, Dec 16. (PTI): Admitting that the Maharashtra Police were “over-burdened” by a shortage of 55,000 personnel, the State Government on Friday said, it has taken remedial steps like the recruitment of 11,000 personnel every year.

The Government will also increase the allocation for security in the budget for 2007-08, Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil, who holds the home portfolio, told the Legislative Council here.

Replying to a resolution tabled last week by the opposition, he said the budgetary allocation for security in the State was 3.7 per cent, against a national average of 5.3 per cent.

Link

Naxalites strike again, this time in Maharashtra

December 14, 2006

Naxalites strike again, this time in Maharashtra

Pradip Kumar Maitra

Nagpur,, December 11, 2006

The Naxalites of CPI(Maoist) strike again! A group of armed Maoists stopped a Mumbai bound goods trains between Bortalao and Darekasa railway stations in Gondia district, bordering Chhattisgarh, on Sunday and set it afire.

According to reports reaching Nagpur on Monday, around 50 masked Naxalites stormed the area and forced one Mohd Salim, the gateman, to give them the signal light and red flag. As the goods train approached, they flashed the red light, bringing it to a halt.

After stopping the train, the ultra leftists asked the train driver, RN Gajbhiye, his deputy, Subbarao and the guard, MR Lajrath to get down. They, reports said, first tried to blow up the engine by using dynamite. When they failed to trigger the blast, they doused the engine with kerosene and set afire.

One side of the engine was totally damaged. The train was on its way to Mumbai from Raipur, via Nagpur.

This is a major Naxalite attack on public property. Earlier, the Maoists tried to torch a passenger train near Ballarshah in Chandrapur district, bordering Andhra Pradesh.

The Naxalites pasted posters near the railway crossing and called a bandh in Gondia, Gadchiroli and Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh on December 15 in protest against the police access in the region.

Meanwhile, the inspector general of police (IGP), anti-Naxalite cell, Pankaj Gupta was not available for comments.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1865841,000900040001.htm

Shameless Home Minister R R Patil admits arming the masses is the only solution

December 12, 2006

Chairman Mao once said

Power flows from the barrel of the gun

Since then the maoists/naxalites in India have been pursuing an
armed struggle after realising that only after arming the oppressed
masses can they truly liberate themselves from this inhuman
capitalist economic system and barbarian social order.

Recently, none other than the home minister of Maharashtra
R. R Patil himself was forced to admit that arming
the dalits and other oppressed masses is the only solution.

After the Kherlanji Massacre the shameless Maharashtra
government has been forced to admit that arming the dalits
is the only long term solution to persecution of dalits.

On the one hand they preach that arming the dalits is the only
solution, and on the other hand they kill Maoists in fake encounters,
who are only organizing the oppressed masses and distributing
arms among them for self protection !

This is nothing but pure hypocrisy on part of the Maharashtra
government and even now it continues to murder people
in several districts of maharashtra after branding them
as naxalites and criminals.

Shameless Maharashtra Minister R R Patil shopping for guns to be distributed to
dalits in Maharashtra.

If the Maharashtra Government is serious about liberation of dalits
then we strongly recommends that heavily subsidized
automatic and semi automatic rifles be distributed in PDS shops all
over maharashtra and dalits along with other oppressed minorites
be issued special ration cards with which they can recieve a monthly
ration of bullets and explosives.

Along with guns the government can also consider distributing
grenades by the kilo’s and rocket launchers by the dozen.

Considering that most government responsibilities are today
being outsourced to private contractors the government can
also approach the Maoists and use their superior network to
ensure the arms reach the people for whom it was intended.

Some people believe that the Maoists are running out of Arms
and are not able to meet the strong demand for
arms even though all their arms factories are supposed
to be working at full capacity.

In this scenario the Maharashtra Government’s decision
will surely provide some reprieve to the Maoists and take
some pressure of them.

Farmer shot dead for protesting against unfair cotton prices

December 9, 2006

1 killed in police firing on farmers

Yavatmal (Maharashtra) : One person died and six others, including a girl and a constable, were injured when the police opened fire to disperse cotton growers
at the monopoly procurement centre at Wani in this district on Friday.

Twenty others were injured in a stampede that followed the firing.

A group of cultivators became agitated, not being able to dispose of cotton because of the “adamant” attitude of a grader.

The cultivators locked over 22 persons, including policemen and federation employees in the office room.

The police claimed that they opened fire to release the captives. They fired a second time to disperse a violent mob of farmers who began throwing stones. The dead has been identified as Dinesh Gugul. — PTI

http://www.hindu.com/2006/12/09/stories/2006120919241700.htm