Archive for the ‘News’ Category

High-level meet to review fast spreading revolutionary movement

August 2, 2007

I wonder if you get to eat free Samosas at these meets ?

High-level meet to review Naxal menace

New Delhi, Aug 2 : Amid raising concern that the Naxalites are penetrating into new states like Delhi and Punjab, a high-level meeting is being held here today to review the Naxal menace in different parts of the country.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who once described Naxalism as the single-biggest security threat to the country, is likely to chair the meeting.

Senior officials from the Union Home Ministry and intelligence agencies, and the National Security Council will attend the meeting.

In the last meeting, the Centre had sensitised the new states, including Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, about the existence of Naxalites in their areas.

The Centre developed a five-tier structure to deal with the problem. These include an Empowered Group of Ministers headed by Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil; a standing committee of chief ministers of Naxal-affected states; a Coordination Centre headed by the Union Home Secretary (chief secretaries and DGPs of 13 affected states); a Task Force headed by the Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Union Home Ministry and an Inter-ministerial group headed by Additional Secretary (naxal management) in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil recently said that force alone cannot be a solution to end Naxalism, which has affected around 13 states. He stressed on the need for a ‘holistic approach’ to solve the menace.

Maoists are said to be operating in 13 of 29 States along the ‘red corridor’, referring to a stretch from the Indo-Nepal border to Andhra Pradesh.

According to a Home Ministry report, 76 districts in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are ‘badly affected by Maoist violence’.

According to a report released by the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) early this year, 749 people were killed in the Naxalite conflict in 2006. These include 285 civilians, 135 security personnel and 329 alleged Naxalites.

The highest number of killings was reported from Chhattisgarh (363), followed by Andhra Pradesh (135), Jharkhand (95), Maharashtra (60), Bihar (45), Orissa (25), West Bengal (22), Uttar Pradesh (2), Karnataka (1) and Madhya Pradesh (1).

However, the number of killings in 2006 declined as compared to 2005 during which 892 people were killed, the report said.

newkerala

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Rebels are robin hoods – Public has more faith in Naxalites than rotten police force

July 7, 2007

They arrest motorcycle thieves, treat patients, investigate rapes and murders, punish students cheating in examinations, pressure traders to give farmers better prices and help build roads. These are anti-India militants, not government officials.

Even as they fight gunbattles with the security forces, send grenades and bullets in the mail to threaten people and extort hundreds of crores of rupees, militants in many parts of India are doing what officials should have done.

Officials acknowledge that the trend is a reflection of the deep-rooted failure of the civil administration, police and justice system in these areas, where insurgent groups are taking advantage of the vacuum to spread their influence.

“People are going to the Underground to resolve disputes — in most parts of the state,” said Yumnam Joykumar, Manipur’s director general of police. “Underground elements can give you instant justice, whether correct or not,” Joykumar told the Hindustan Times. “We have to change the judicial system to make it more effective so that people have more trust in it.”

Hundreds of kilometres to the west in Jharkhand’s East Singhbhum district, Sal forests dominate the lush green expanse and villagers collect and sell its leaves, which are used to make pattals (leaf plate).

But traders were fleecing villagers for years, giving them only Rs 23 per 1,000 leaves. The government had not revised the rates, apparently due to powerful traders’ lobbies.

This year, Naxalites put up posters that traders would henceforth pay Rs 75 per 1,000 leaves. Compliance was immediate.

“So now, no contractor is paying less than the new prices. People are thrilled. Earlier, if they got Rs. 100 a day, they now get 300 a day,” said a government official, declining to be named.

Hindustan Times

Related Post

Supreme Court showers veiled praise on Maoist Judicial System(Jan Adalats )

Naxal killings decrease by 45% during first half of 2007

July 5, 2007

New Delhi: In its latest issue of “Naxal Conflict Monitor” (http://www.achrweb.org/ncm/NCM-VOL-02-02.pdf) released to the media today, Asian Centre for Human Rights stated that a total of 249 persons including 69 civilians, 113 security forces, and 67 alleged Naxalites have been killed in the Naxalite conflict during January to June 2007. The highest number of killings were reported from Chhattisgarh (141), followed by Andhra Pradesh (39) and Jharkhand (29).

“There has been over 45% decrease in the number of killings in comparison to the same period in 2006, which saw the killing of at least 460 persons. However, the conflict is intensifying as reflected from the number of killing of the security forces.” – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

Lamenting the failure of the governments to implement the development schemes for the tribals, Asian Centre for Human Rights stated the “there has been no dearth of development schemes for the tribals but implementation perennially remained problematic. Implementation of the schemes in the Naxalite affected areas have almost come to virtual halt because of the increased conflict”.

An estimated amount Rs 6,500 crores meant for implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme were not spent during 2005-2006 and Rs 1,522.90 crores for development of the tribals could not be released by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs to various State governments by the end of December 2006 because of the failure of the State governments to submit utilisation certificates under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act of 2004.

The failure of the State governments to deliver basic services has been strengthening the support base of the Naxals, intensifying the conflict and causing gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the security forces and the Naxalites.

ACHR

Sreelatha Menon: Barefoot cops

July 1, 2007

Sreelatha Menon: Barefoot cops

From Andhra Pradesh’s Cobra squads to Bihar’s special police officers, the trend of recruiting poorly-paid, semi-literate people to fight Naxalites is leading to new forms of abuse.

Heard of Cobra squads? They are the ad hoc police in Andhra Pradesh, hired to target Naxalites. These squads have gained notoriety for acting as the state government’s hitmen, used to get rid of people on the government’s hitlist.

They are described as members of a mafia gang, called Black Cobra, which keeps issuing death lists in the media and proceeds to brutally finish those on the lists.

In Chhattisgarh, this work is taken over by SPOs, or special police officers, who in many cases are teenagers — tribal boys and girls in the Naxal-infested northern and southern districts of the state. They are paid a meagre Rs 1,500 a month and their lives are so worthless in the eyes of the government that it does not mind losing any number of them. And they are desperate to earn and so many in number that the areas they live in are a fertile ground for recruitment.

Bihar has, this year, introduced a new law, the Bihar Police Act, 2007, in response to last year’s call by the home ministry that the state respond to the Naxal menace by replicating the Andhra model. The new law empowers the Bihar government to recruit quasi-cops. So just as we have ad hoc semi-literate teachers, ad hoc barefoot doctors, and any variety of barefoot functionaries the government loves to provide to cut costs, the country is now rich in bare-foot cops as well.

The reason is not known, except that they come cheap as they are poor and can be easily turned into powder for the guns to target adversaries, in this case Naxalites.

When the British recruited Indians to fight their wars overseas, it was understandable. Loss of Indian lives didn’t matter much to the British. But why would a state push its untrained citizens to battle its own criminal elements rather than have a proper force to deal with the situation, which needs special socio-economic measures?

The Second Administrative Reforms Commission chaired by Veerappa Moily winks at this abuse of law by various states in the name of enforcing law. Its recent report on public order is silent on this.

In Chhattisgarh, the reason cited is shortage of police force and other resources. But for the public in such states, the police force becomes further alienated. So if a doctor in Bastar is forced to operate on a Naxalite, he dare not let the matter out, lest he be arrested too. Here, the law enforcement machinery works in black and white. It is the rule of terror on people who are already the victims of terrorism.

The Moily report on public order recommends an alternative: direct central deployment of forces. Moily says this should be done only when pubic order is under threat and even when the state does not want central intervention. Gujarat- and Ayodhya-like situations are cited as examples. But again, there is hardly any guarantee against abuse.

Moily and his team have also called for a kinder, gentler police and to make policing a service. The report, released last week, even talks of doing away with constables. It wants only graduate cops to raise the morale of the police. It is unclear how increasing the qualification for joining the police can raise the morale and if removing non-graduate constables will not remove the ability of policemen to connect with the people.

There is again no guarantee that it would stop states from recruiting quasi-cops.

Business Standard

Maoist Economic Blockade a huge success

June 28, 2007

Huge losses as Maoist ‘economic blockade’ ends

New Delhi, June 27 (IANS) A two-day ‘economic blockade’ called by Maoists in six states to protest special economic zones (SEZs) ended Wednesday on a violent note, causing losses of well over Rs.1.5 billion to the economy, officials said.

Although there were only a few incidents of violence, with a railway station torched in West Bengal, the protest crippled normal life in parts of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and West Bengal, proving the rebel clout in impoverished rural areas.

In West Bengal’s Purulia district, about 50 guerrillas set fire to the Station Master’s room at Biramdih railway station around 1.30 a.m. The attack destroyed the signalling system. Biramdih – on the Jharkhand-West Bengal border – is some 285 km from Kolkata.

‘The (rebels) came and scared us away. We watched from a distance as they set the station on fire and fired gunshots in the air,’ said Debasis Roy, a railway employee.

The Maoists shouted anti-government slogans and left behind leaflets and posters listing their demands. Three bombs were also found on railway tracks, a police officer said.

Train services between Bihar and Jharkhand, including the state capitals Patna and Ranchi, were cancelled. Normal life was disrupted in rural areas in four of Bihar’s districts, officials and news reports said.

In Chhattisgarh, now the bloodiest battleground between the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) and security forces, rail and road traffic were badly hit in the southern Bastar region.

Public transport went off the roads and movement of iron ore from Dantewada district’s Bailadila hills to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh was halted, Girdhari Nayak, the inspector general of police (Maoist operation), told IANS.

Maoists blocked interior pockets of Bastar, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Dantewada and Kanker districts by placing wooden logs on the roads.

In Bihar, shops were closed and buses were off the roads in rural parts of Arwal, Jehanabad and Gaya districts as well as a few pockets in Patna district.

But the protest had no major impact in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. A bus had been set on fire Tuesday in Andhra Pradesh, where the police have gunned down a string of Maoist leaders in recent times.

The blockade was an economic disaster, especially in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

In Jharkhand alone, official estimates put the losses at around Rs.1.5 billion, spread over two days.

The railways have reportedly lost Rs.300 million due to cancellation of goods and passenger trains. At many places the Maoists destroyed railway property. In Latehar district, they burnt two engines and damaged 12 goods train bogies.

Around 1,500 buses did not ply during these two days, causing a loss of Rs.15 million. Trucks stood idle, leading to a loss of Rs.30 million.

The economic blockade also disrupted coal and iron ore production and transport, leading to losses of around Rs.600 million.

Businesses in the state have also been derailed by the blockade. The import and export business has been frozen for the two days causing losses of around Rs.500 million to traders, said a member of the Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce.

In Jharkhand, for the second day, rail and road traffic came to a complete halt. In rural areas, schools as well as colleges remained closed. Ranchi University has postponed examinations for postgraduate courses.

The CPI-Maoist called for the blockade to denounce SEZs. The party said SEZs were coming up on land taken away from farmers and being given away to industry at throwaway prices.

The police in West Bengal hunted for the attackers of the railway station, according to Inspector General of Police Jogesh Chattopadhayay. Meanwhile, shopkeepers kept their shops shut in the state’s Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore districts.

Most of Left-ruled West Bengal was, however, unaffected by the blockade.

Orissa police chief Amarananda Patnaik told IANS Wednesday: ‘There is absolutely no incident. Everything is peaceful and normal today.’

Thousands have been killed by the Indian state since the Maoist rebellion began in 1967 in a village in West Bengal. The Maoists are now active in many states.

m&c

MARKED

May 25, 2007

MARKED

Widely believed to be the next targets of the Chhattisgarh government’s mission against Naxal “sympathisers” and “informants”, these four, like Binayak Sen, have dedicated their lives to working with the state’s tribals

Gautam Bandopadhyay
Nadi Ghati Morcha

Is the founder president of the Nadi Ghati Morcha, an organisation that has been opposing the sale of the Shivnath river to a company called Radius Water. He is very popular amongst adivasis and has been working with them for many years, especially in the Sitanadi area.

Rashmi Dwivedi
PUCL

An activist who has been working with the Baiga tribe for many years in the Lormi tribal area, which falls between Kawardha and Bilaspur. She is vehemently opposed to mining in Dulduli by the Vedanta group. The mining is resulting in large-scale displacement of the Baiga tribes, as is the policy of driving out tribals from the Kanha-Kisli and other national parks

Ratneshwar Nath
Parivartan

Married to Rashmi Dwivedi, Nath runs Parivartan, a non-government organisation based in Kanker, headquarters of what used to be the Bastar district. For over 30 years, he has worked on forest and rights issues. Trains tribals for self-employment since their land is being denied to them as part of the Malik Makbooja scam in which Salwa Judum leader Mahendra Karma is one of the accused

Rajendra Sail
PUCL

President of the PUCL Chhattisgarh, he is one of the founders of the civil liberties group. Founded in June 1977, PUCL is India’s foremost human rights advocacy group. Sail has also been associated with the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha. Shankar Guha Niyogi was a close associate of his. Niyogi was murdered in 1991, allegedly by an industrial group

Tehelka

March of the Red brigade ‘Naxalite bomb ticking’

May 25, 2007

March of the Red brigade ‘Naxalite bomb ticking’

New Delhi, May 22: The Centre’s barometer on ultra-Left militancy has just registered a quantum jump — Naxalites have widened their network across 183 districts in 16 states — more than three-times the geographical spread estimated two years ago.

An internal assessment report prepared by the Union home ministry on the Naxalite situation now lists Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi as the states where Naxalites have “established new bases by setting up regional and district-level centres”.

It is, however, strange how Kerala, which is known for having an established base of Naxalites for many years now, figured in the list of new areas of operation.

In a similar assessment in 2005, the Centre had estimated Naxalite presence in 55 districts in seven states. The Union home ministry claimed only marginal increase in Naxalism in its status report on internal security released in April this year.

According to home ministry figures, incidents of Naxalite violence actually went down from a high of 1,608 in 2005 to 1,509 in 2006, though the number of police personnel killed registered a marginal increase — from 153 in 2005 to 157 in 2006.

The situation is becoming critical if one looks at the increasing sway of the red corridor. “Violence is not the immediate aim of the Maoists; they take it up as a last resort when their hegemony in an established area such as Chhattisgarh is challenged. The worrying factor is that the plan to increase their area of activity is working perfectly. It could become impossible to contain them once they decide to hit at many places suddenly,” said the senior home official.

Likewise, the strength of the armed Maoist cadre has also gone up phenomenally — from 8,000 in 2005 to 11,000 in 2006, to 15,000 in 2007. “Almost 90 per cent of the armed cadre strength is from the erstwhile MCCI and PWG, while the rest comes from 34 other organisations. These other groups are playing a crucial role in setting up the bases and enlisting new cadres in the new areas,” said the official. Naxalites are looking at the issues of Dalits, minorities, tribals and women to increase their area of activity.

The Telegraph

‘Naxalites in touch with militants’

May 16, 2007

‘Naxalites in touch with militants’

NEW DELHI: The government on Tuesday informed Parliament that naxalites were working in close coordination with some terrorist outfits operating in J&K and were also in touch with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) of Sri Lanka.

“Though the government has no documentary evidence of any memorandum of understanding signed between international terror outfits with naxalites in the country, we have enough information suggesting that there is coordination between them,” home minister Shivraj Patil said in the Lok Sabha during zero hour.

Patil said it was difficult for the government to interfere in security matters in some states as the dispensation there did not take it very kindly. He said this in an oblique reference to the naxalite problem in Chhattisgarh, which, according to him, accounted for 40%-60% of all Naxal incidents in the country.

He said the government had provided UAVs to anti-naxal paramilitary forces deployed in the state which has so far only been used by the Army to gather intelligence on movement of ultras.

Meanwhile, minister of state for home Sriprakash Jaiswal said cases of foreign funding for terrorists in Kashmir had increased in the last three years. In a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha, the minister said some expatriate Kashmiri and other Muslim organisations abroad were involved in channeling funds to terrorist outfits in J&K.

According to the figures tabled in Lok Sabha, 16 cases of foreign funding were reported in 2006 against 12 in 2005 and four in 2004. Jaiswal said the government had constituted a Special Economic Intelligence Cell to obtain hard and actionable inputs on terrorist funding.

Toiletpaper of India

AITUC blames UPA for growing Maoist movements

May 16, 2007

India’s largest trade union blasts CPM and UPA government

The rapid expansion of the Maoist movement across India is not occurring without reason. The UPA government’s apparently pro-rich economic policies coupled with the failure of the Left parties to expand their support base have combined to a provide a surge to the violent movement, the Left-affiliated All India Trade Union Congress(AITUC)said on Tuesday.

The spread of “political extremism” was one issue discussed at general council meeting of AITUC, which is affiliated to the CPI and is currently the largest Left trade union, held in the capital on May 6 and 7. This is the first time that an affiliate of the CPI, which is considered to be more sympathetic to the Maoist movement compared to CPI(M), has connected the spread of Naxalism to the failure of the Left and trade unions to provide a platform to the poor.

“If organised democratic movement, trade union action, struggle of the peasantry cannot take meaningful shape, political extremism is bound to spread. What is alarming is that extremism has already been able to set its foot in about 168 districts out of 600 districts in the country,” AITUC general secretary and CPI MP, Gurudas Das Gupta, said.

Das Gupta said in a situation of growing dissatisfaction among the under-privileged, it is essential that a trade union movement spearheads the battle against unemployment and violation of labour laws among unorganised labour and farmers, which provide a catchment sectors for political extremism.

“If India has attained high growth rate of more than 9 per cent, the beneficiary is only 0.2 per cent of population. While the government claims that 47 million jobs have been created during the Xth five-year plan, unemployment has increased to 3.06 per cent. The manufacturing sector has lost over 3 per cent jobs and the annual growth of employment in the organised sector has turned negative and the same is the condition in the public sector,” Das Gupta said.

The council also discussed the waning of Congress’s influence and the consequent strengthening of BJP. “While BJP is seeking to exploit the discontent of the people, the Congress refuses to learn its lessons. It appears to be in disarray,” Das Gupta said.

Hindustantimes

MPs, MLAs on Naxal hit list

May 8, 2007

MPs, MLAs on Naxal hit list



New Delhi: The Naxal menace is spreading across the country. In March, this year Naxals gunned down Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s Lok Sabha member Sunil Mahto from Jamshedpur along with his two bodyguards and a JMM worker, when he was on a visiting Baguria village as the chief guest of an exhibition football match on Holi.

Now documents available exclusively with CNN-IBN show that the intelligence agencies have warned that Naxals have many more Members of Parliament and Members of Legislatives Assemblies of different states on their hit-list.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YSR Reddy and West Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee are some of the prominent names on the list.

The documents also show that the UPA government has admitted that it has failed to contain the terror of the Naxals.

But the flip side to the intelligence warnings is official figures which point to the fact that Naxal menace is on the decline.

Union Home Ministry’s figures say “Naxal violence has shown a decrease of 6.15 per cent in 2006 over 2005 and also in the first half of 2007”.

However, an internal note circulated within the government shows that the UPA government has admitted that despite police action Naxal activities are on the rise.

On the other hand the stain of Red terror is spreading on the ground – a truth that the government refuses to acknowledge publicly.

A secret document circulated in last week’s high-level meeting between the Union Government, and police chiefs of 16 Naxal-affected states in the country clearly admit that “despite concerted police action, several development initiatives, planned public perception management and people’s resistance, the Naxal activities are increasing.”

But Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta says, “These statistics does not really mean anything”.

And despite several such meetings over the past three years, no coordinated approach has yet been taken to tackle the spread of Naxal violence.

In fact the document clearly shows that the government is concerned that “Naxalites continue to carry out well-planned and coordinated attacks along military lines”.

It’s clear that the government is concealing a very grim reality, a reality that might soon force the government take a re-look of the policies to tackle the Naxalites.

US names ULFA, CPI (Maoist) as Groups of Concern

May 3, 2007

US names ULFA, CPI (Maoist) as Groups of Concern

Washington, May 2: The US has designated India’s banned United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and the Communist Party of India (Maoist) as Groups of Concern.

Besides these two, 41 other active groups from across the world figure in this list released by the US State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism, 2006 on Monday.

The report says that that Communist Party of India (Maoist), formed with the merger of the Maoist Communist Center of India (MCCI) and the People’s War (PW) in September 2004, continues to employ violence to achieve its goals of peasant revolution, abolition of class hierarchies, and expansion of Maoist-controlled “liberated zones,” eventually leading to the creation of an independent “Maoist” state.

It says that the CPI (Maoist) reportedly has a significant cadre of women. And, its important leaders include Ganapati (the PW leader from Andhra Pradesh), Pramod Mishra, Uma Shankar, and P.N.G. (alias Nathuni Mistry, arrested by Jharkhand police in 2002).

“Although difficult to assess (its strength) with any accuracy, media reports and local authorities suggest the CPI’s (Maoist) membership may be as high as 31,000, including both hard-core militants and dedicated sympathizers,” the report says.

It notes that the Maoist group has loose links to other such groups in the region, including the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), but does not appear dependent on outside sources of support.

dailyindia.com

Callous about Maoist terror

April 30, 2007

Callous about Maoist terror
Hyena Gill

There is much focus now on the Maoist threat in India and, despite entirely inconsistent assessments by various Government agencies, an increasing consensus around the view that this is the greatest internal security challenge confronting the country. At the same time – and particularly in the aftermath of the major incidents that are all-too-frequently engineered by the Maoists – there is rising concern at the ‘police failure’ or ‘security forces failure’ to contain this rising menace.

It needs to be recognised at the outset that a professional and motivated police force, with a sufficient numerical strength and adequate material and technological resources, and with a clear political mandate, can defeat any insurgency in India, including this latest bogey – the Maoist ‘protracted war’. If there is a failure to contain and defeat the Maoists, it is because the necessary capacities and mandate are deliberately kept in abeyance; indeed, the limited and entirely deficient capacities that do currently exist are systematically undermined by a cabal of corrupt political, administrative and police leaderships that have developed a deep vested interest in the persistence of the Maoist insurgency. Unless the dynamics of the implicit or explicit nexus between this leadership group and Maoist violence is understood and neutralised, an effective strategy to defeat the Naxalites can neither be framed, nor implemented.

The reality of the situation on the ground – irrespective of the theoretical and supposedly ideological constructs that are given currency in the mock discourse among the ‘intelligentsia’ – is that this is a fight between two corrupt entities that find mutual benefit and enrichment in fake engagements which can be sustained in perpetuity. A few hapless members of the constabulary and subordinate ranks in the security forces, and equally luckless cadres of the so-called revolutionaries are, of course, killed off from time to time. But no one is really concerned about the occasional massacre – despite the brouhaha that is raised in the media after each major incident.

Fatality figures, in fact, can be used to support whatever thesis is calculated to augment the flow of funds to personal or party coffers. A close scrutiny of the operational situation and the conditions under which the forces are working will demonstrate unambiguously that, in most States and areas, nothing really changes on the ground in the wake of major incidents.

This is the reason why almost no State – and some have been at it for 40 years and more – has been able to entirely and permanently eradicate Left-wing extremism. The Maoist movement, over the past decades, has steadily augmented to attain the status of a massive trans-State exercise in organised extortion and protection racketeering. And everywhere, opportunistic alliances between the Maoists and ‘overground’ political parties and entities are in place, most visibly around each electoral exercise, but in a constant intercourse at all times.

Almost all political parties have become mirror images of each other in India today, but in this regard they are even more so, with a multiplicity of corrupt parties and organisations woven together in a complex tapestry of duplicity and fraud that entrenches the ruling elite – an elite that grows increasingly more dynastic in all parties over time. Small cabals of violently criminal adventurers manage to break into the charmed circle of political privilege, from time to time, by their sheer ferocity and lack of restraint. The Maoist leadership and the many criminals in the State and national legislatures fall, naturally, into the latter category.

Drumming up a sense of crisis has become an integral part of the efforts at ‘resource mobilisation’ in this broad enterprise, and that is why the ‘developmental solution’ to Naxalism finds such strong advocacy among political leaders and state bureaucracies everywhere. Long years ago, Rajiv Gandhi noted that barely 15 paisa in each rupee of developmental funding actually reached its intended beneficiaries; the rest was swallowed up by the black hole of ‘power brokers’. In insurgency affected areas, the proportion of developmental funds that is actually utilised for intended purposes would be even smaller – virtually the entire sums, totalling thousands of crores, find their way into the pockets of corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and their hangers on, and through their symbiotic relationship with the ‘insurgents’ into the pockets of the Maoists as well.

Among the multiplicity of reasons for the military debacle in the Indo-China war of 1962, it was found that the Border Roads Organisation had ‘constructed’ many roads that existed only on maps, but of which there was no evidence on the ground. Forty-five years later, the same formula is now being applied in Naxalite areas, and it is difficult even to imagine how much of the exchequer’s money has been spent on roads that were never constructed, but for which payments have been made and distributed among the local ‘stakeholders’, with the Naxalites cornering a considerable share to bolster up their ‘revolution’.

The Centre now underwrites virtually all security related expenditure in Maoist afflicted States, providing support for police modernisation and force augmentation. Yet, States fail to create the necessary capacities to counter the Maoist threat. Even where significant disbursal of such funds occurs, their utilisation remains inefficient, and diversion to other, often unauthorised uses, is endemic.

The tragedy of existing or newly created capacities is as great. The State police leaderships are raising new battalions of armed forces, but recruitment is marred by widespread bribery. You cannot expect a man who secures his position in a police force through bribery to actually risk his life fighting the Naxalites. So the next stage is inevitable: Policemen pay bribes to the police leadership to secure postings outside the Naxalite affected ‘conflict’ areas, and in ‘soft’ areas and duties. The amounts collected through these and other ‘administrative’ channels – including the continuous business of transfers and postings – total in the hundreds of crores, and are naturally shared with the political leadership that enables corrupt officers to retain ‘lucrative’ positions, where they can continue with this despicable commerce. That is why, even in State’s where there has been a visible augmentation of forces over the past years, deployment in the ‘conflict’ areas remains disproportionately deficient.

These are ‘snapshots’ of the objective situation on the ground. How are we to extricate the nation from this predicament? The cabals that are currently exploiting the situation to the hilt will have to be broken. The right individuals – from constables to the highest force commanders – will have to be identified and correctly located. Political leaders will have to look beyond party coffers and the next election, to a future in which people can live without fear. If this does not happen, the corrupt state will continue to fight the corrupt ‘revolutionary’, with mounting casualties in widening theatres, till the collapse of governance reaches a point where the venality of the national elite threatens its own existence.

Pioneer

Panel for unified command in naxal-hit states

April 30, 2007

Panel for unified command in naxal-hit states

New Delhi, April 27 (PTI): A Parliamentary Standing Committee has suggested creation of a Unified Command common to all naxal-affected states and implementation of a coastal security scheme in view of “greater risk” of infiltration from coastal belts.

“The naxal activities have spread to more than 12 states and are reported to be having links with external agencies including ISI,” the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs said in its 126th report on Thursday.

The Committee in its 66-page report said taking into account the growth and influence of the naxal groups in several states and the grave threat posed by it to internal security, it is high time that the Ministry constitute a Unified Command to effectively tackle the menace.

The Hindu

The Traitor Inside

April 19, 2007

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

Patriotic Maoists

April 19, 2007

Patriotic Maoists

I have counted several former Naxalites as my “friends”. I got acquainted with them during my reporting stint and some of them became friends for life. I have hardly met any of them during my past decade-and-a-half of “editing” and have little idea if they are different from people I knew — though I doubt most of the leaders remain “similar”.

I have been fascinated by stories recalling their idealism and sacrifice, they went through, sacrificing a more comfortable life. They were, of course, incorrigible romantics who dreamt of a better India, who gnashed their teeth when they learnt of injustice. Many of them were highly educated and some came from affluent families.

An entire generation of students from Presidency College, Calcutta, became Naxalites in the sixties because they believed they should not take the easy way out and lead middle-class lives while fellow countrymen suffered.

I was moved, therefore, to read these lines on the website of People’s March, the Maoist mouthpiece, recently. “The notion that a Naxalite is someone who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is more likely one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen fighting for justice and equality.”

The home-page, ironically, carries a photo of former prime minister V.P. Singh, who is quoted as saying he would have liked to become a Maoist but for his failing health and age.

It has another statement by former police officer, Prakash Singh, quoted as saying he has no hesitation to declare that many Naxalites are highly motivated and believe they are fighting for their country. The website, finally, has a picture of Bhagat Singh, the martyr, from whom the Maoists seem to be drawing their inspiration. It is difficult to visualise Maoists as patriots today, if only because of the campaign to paint them as terrorists who loot, extort and rape.

By doing so, the government has ruled out all possibilities of a dialogue. A strong government would invite Naxalites to run the show in a subdivision or district — with help from the government — and show what they can deliver differently. A better “system”, after all, is to everyone’s advantage.Statesman

The author of this article has got some facts wrong.We repeat that his blog is an independent personal blog and is not connected to any political party or independent publication.
Please read our disclaimer

Centre spares Naxalite ‘friends’

April 16, 2007

Comrades the madness and paranoia that we keep whining
about on this blog is no figment of our imagination but is
spreading at an alarming rate throughout the rotten corpse
of the government,just like how rigor mortis spreads in a
dead body.

We estimate that an emergency like situation could emerge
towards the end of this year.

Link via Bhumkal

Centre spares Naxalite ‘friends’

MANAN KUMAR
New Delhi, April 10: A crackdown that might have been
labelled “India’s McCarthyism” was about to unfold early this
year but for a “top-level intervention”.

The home ministry came under intense pressure in February
to act against academics and bureaucrats perceived to be Naxalite
sympathisers, it emerged today. Those on the undeclared blacklist
included several senior serving and retired bureaucrats.

A section of the home ministry officials, advocating a tough line
against “overground” sympathisers of Naxalites, raised the
pitch after arming itself with a report on a seminar held in January
on the campus of a university in Delhi.

The report, drawn up by home ministry officials, said the
tenor of the seminar was “pro-Naxalite”. The participants, who included
bureaucrats, academics and students, engaged themselves in
“anti-state” discussions that seemed to justify armed uprising, it said.

By February, the officials behind the initiative had begun to
discuss specific punitive measures that could be taken against the
“sympathisers”. Penalties put on the table included shunting officials
to nondescript areas and cutting down retirement benefits.

However, “intervention from the top” — sources would not identify
the person but would only say no politician was involved — nipped
the plan.

A near-certain public furore and the ruling establishment’s
well-known eagerness to preserve its liberal credentials were the
primary factors that forced the rethink, the sources said.

A clampdown would have drawn comparisons with Senator
Joseph McCarthy’s communist witch-hunt in the US in the 1950s.
Then too, the prime targets were bureaucrats and teachers,
besides showbiz personalities.

Suspicion of growing Naxalite influence in urban areas had
prompted central intelligence units to draw up a list of 664
organisations and their functionaries for scrutiny.

The drive assumed urgency after pockets of protests began
mushrooming against land acquisition for industry in several parts
of the country.

The Centre feels that industrial belts such as Gurgaon and
Faridabad would become a fertile ground for Naxalites to strike root
with the help of the urban support groups.

Telegraph

Indian security forces to target Maoist leaders

April 14, 2007

Related Posts

Government policy of annihilating the Maoist leaders would be criminal. – Prakash singh (former director general BSF )

Indian security forces to target Maoist leaders

Rattled by unabated attacks by Maoist guerrillas, security forces are wondering if they should kill the long underground leaders of a four-decade-old insurgency that shows no signs of ending.

The home ministry has convened a series of meetings in south Indian city of Hyderabad to review the existing strategy that clear is not proving effective enough to tackle the rebel violence, IANS reported.

The most dramatic Maoist offensives in recent times have included a major attack on a Bihar jail, the assassination of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Sunil Mahto and the slaughter of 49 policemen and militia members in Chhattisgarh.

Following the Hyderabad meeting Friday would be similar conferences in Patna April 16 and in New Delhi April 24.

Attending these meetings would be members of the Anti-Naxal Task Force and the Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG).

An anti-Maoist Coordination Center meeting chaired by new Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta will be held in New Delhi April 24.

Informed sources said the ministry would take a fresh look at its counter-Maoist strategy and examine the feasibility and efficacy of the new doctrine to fight the rebels by increasing the number of security personnel in the affected areas.

The officials will also examine the feasibility of accelerating development work in the areas where the Maoists operate, drawing to their cause thousands of poor and landless workers.

Maoists, whose rebellion started in India in May 1967, are most active today in states of Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

They have refused to give up violence despite appeals from Maoist leaders in Nepal with whom the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has had long-standing fraternal links.

The meetings would also look at steps to strengthen security to irrigation works in Bihar.

One suggestion put up by some security forces that they need to ‘target’ the Maoist leaders — an official euphemism for killings as was done systematically in Punjab in the 1980s.

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has suggested that targeting prominent leaders would leave the Maoist cadres rudderless.

Additionally, by eliminating key leaders, the security forces hope to spark a leadership tussle among the cadres so as to further undermine the guerrillas, whose fighting strength is estimated at a few hundreds.

The home ministry also favors improving intelligence gathering in Maoist-infested areas to be one step ahead of the guerrillas.

The government’s strategies would get finishing touches at these three meetings

IRNA

Now, Naxals take arms delivery from government factory

April 14, 2007

Now, Naxals take arms delivery from government factory
Rajesh Sinha
Thursday, April 12, 2007 01:53 IST

NEW DELHI: A large cache of government-issue explosives seized recently from Maoists by the Jharkhand police has unnerved the security establishment.

The explosives were reportedly obtained by the rebels from the defence ministry’s ordnance factory in Wardha, Maharashtra.

The revelation has exacerbated security agencies’ anxiety, which was initially brought by the discovery that the Maoists had ready access to the government’s secret anti-Naxal deliberations.

DNA had reported on March 31 that government forces had recovered classified documents from a guerrilla unit after an encounter in Chhattisgarh.

The documents contained minutes of two meetings held last year in which anti-Maoist operations were discussed. One of the meetings was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The recent seizure of explosives affords more insights into rebel operations. First, the Maoists’ supply of arms and explosives is not limited to those looted from police and security forces or procured from mines, or from crusher operators. Security agencies are worried that Maoists seem to have fixed conduits in sensitive government organisations and the defence establishment.

Second, the haul reveals a link with Maharashtra, and a network so efficient that it facilitated untraced procurement and delivery to Jharkhand.

The haul included gelatin sticks, fuse wire, and electronic detonators — in sufficient volumes to produce hundreds of landmines.

The menace from the growing capability of Maoists is exemplified by a string of almost daily attacks in Jharkhand, Bihar, and Chhattisgarh. The most recent incursion was recorded last week. The large number of Maoist cadres involved in these incidents has worried security agencies. The numbers indicate the expansion of Naxal influence and support base as well as the failure of intelligence agencies to obtain information.

After slaying Sunil Mahto, a Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MP, and launching other attacks, the Maoists gained enough confidence to issue a threat to Jharkhand Deputy Chief Minister Sudhir Mahto. They warned him against making anti-Maoist speeches “cooked up on the dictates of corporate houses, native and foreign, and the landed gentry to cover the failures of your government”.

The rebels’ communication says: “How can you justify the wealth amassed by Sunil Mahto? Sunil was born poor family and became a millionaire.” Concerned by the intensifying activity, the Union home ministry has called for three meetings in April to take stock of the situation.

DNA

Naxals: United in violence

April 14, 2007

Naxals: United in violence

If the Kuki rebels are coming together in Manipur, in India’s heartland the dreaded Naxal militants are also forging new links, which many say is behind the new and bloody chapter of Naxal violence.

United in violence

But is the unity real or is it to conceal personality clashes and competing violence between these groups in India’s red corridor?

Inside the forests along the borders between Jharkhand and Orissa, Naxal leaders from across the country are once again displaying their new unified strength.

In September 2004, the two biggest Naxal groups, the People’s War led by Andhra Naxalites and MCC or Maoist Communist Centre, the Jharkhand based Naxal outfit, formally merged.

The merger created the CPI Maoist – an umbrella Naxal force stretching from Andhra, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Orissa to Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh – literally a red corridor through the heart of the nation.

This comes after decades of factionalism in the Naxal movement.

Armed revolution

The Communists in West Bengal soon after coming to power in 1967 faced a revolt by the radicals.

Opposed to electoral politics and inspired by Mao’s violent revolution, leaders like Kanu Sanyal and Charu Mazumdar triggered strikes – the first one in the village of Naxalbari.

What was born was Naxalism or a call for armed revolution that intially organised as CPI-ML.

Later, the CPI-ML did an about turn, returning to parliamentary politics.

But by then, the Naxal upsurge of West Bengal had spread to several other states.

The People’s War Group, born in Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, has for decades struck terror in the forests of Chhattisgarh and bordering Maharashtra.

But in Orissa, it’s restricted only to the southern districts as in the north, the rival Naxal outfit, the MCC, has been making inroads.

Intelligence sources say, post merger, the two have been working together – the PWG relying on the MCC for arms supplies.

“Post merger, the two Naxal groups have begun working in tandem,” said Amaranand Patnaik, DGP, Orissa.

Propaganda?

But many believe this new found Naxal unity is nothing but propaganda – an attempt to conceal a history of personality clashes and splinter groups, each trying to be more radical and violent than the other.

In Orissa, a third Naxal group, the CPI ML Janshakti, is believed to have been involved in extremely violent incidents, including extortion. It is condemned by both the People’s War Group and MCC as mindless and unwanted.

In fact, for long, the debate has raged over whether Naxal violence is less about organisation and more about anarchy.

Whether it’s the murder of an MP in Jharkhand or the killing of more than 50 policemen in Chhattisgarh or speculation that Naxals were also present in the mobs in Nandigram: Is this evidence of a regrouped, unified and strengthened Naxal force?

NDTV met Naxal leaders in Jharkhand a few days after MP Sunil Mahato was killed. This is what they had to say:

Q: Doesn’t the guerilla zone come under your committee?

A: We formed the Bengal-Jharkhand-Orissa border area regional committee. We took the decision along with them to eliminate Mahato and they executed the decision.

Many believe dialogue between Naxal leaders is easy to achieve, but uniting military might may not be.

Or at least that’s what intelligence agencies are hoping in what’s become India’s bloodiest internal war, which in the last one year has left more than 600 people dead.

(With inputs from Rajesh Ramachandran & Supriya Sharma)

NDTV

Mao Anqing, 84, Chairman Mao’s Second Son, Is Dead

April 3, 2007

Mao Anqing, 84, Chairman Mao’s Second Son, Is Dead

BEIJING, March 24 (AP) — Mao Anqing, the only known surviving son of Mao Zedong, has died, a government news agency reported Saturday. He was 84.

Mao Anqing died Friday, the China News Service said, without citing a cause. He had no role in government, suffered from psychiatric problems and was believed to have spent much of his adult life in mental hospitals.

Chairman Mao with his son Anqing

Born in 1923, Mao Anqing was the second son of Mao and his first wife, Yang Kaihui, while they were activists. Ms. Yang was executed in 1930 by the then-ruling Nationalist government.

In 1936, Mao Anqing and his older brother, Anying, were sent first to Paris and then to Moscow. They returned in 1947 before the Communists’ 1949 victory in a civil war that overthrew the Nationalists.

Mao Zedong also had two daughters, Li Na and Li Min. Some say Mao might have had other children while on the run from Nationalist forces in the 1930s and left them with peasant families. But none of those children have been found.

Mao Anying was killed fighting in the Korean War in the 1950s. Mao Zedong died in 1976

New York Times