86 pc naxal attacks in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa

24 02 2009

Source: PTI

New Delhi : Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa together account for about 86 per cent of incidents of naxal violence and casualties, both civilian and security personnel, in the country.

In the 1,591 incidents in the country in 2008, the number being slightly higher than those in the previous year, 231 security personnel and 490 civilians were killed, Home Ministry sources said.

Chhattisgarh accounted for the highest number of 620 incidents, followed by Jharkhand (484), Bihar (164) and Orissa (103), they said.

In Chhattisgarh, 85 security personnel and 157 civilians lost their lives in naxal violence in 2008, while in Jharkhand the corresponding figures were 38 policemen and 169 civilians.

Bihar accounted for the deaths of 21 security men and 52 civilians and for Orissa the respective figures were 73 security personnel and 28 civilians.

In fact, this year’s figures available till first week of this month show that 53 incidents of naxal violence have already taken place in Chhattisgarh, followed by 48 in Jharkhand, 17 in Bihar and 10 in Orissa. Maharashtra has accounted for 15 incidents, including the most daring one in Gadchiroli early this month in which 15 policemen were killed.

Besides the four worst-affected States, naxal violence has been reported from Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, the sources said.

The total casualties of security forces in 2008 was 231, which was five less than the toll in 2007. Likewise, 490 civilians were killed in naxal attacks in 2008, compared to 460 the previous year.

While 199 naxalites were killed in police operations last year, the figure for 2007 was 141, they said.

Referring to the spurt in naxal violence in Gadchiroli district, a senior official said that the maoists operating in Chhattisgarh were reported to be moving to new areas.

“CPI (Maoists) cadres move from one state to another. Such movement of Maoist cadres usually takes place in the adjoining areas of the states affected by naxal problem,” the official said.

He said such movements underline the need for joint operations — a suggestion mooted at a recent meeting of Chief Ministers of affected States chaired by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram.

The naxal Wing in the Home Ministry is monitoring on a regular basis the training being imparted to state police and para-military forces in counter-insurgency and jungle warfare. The Centre has sanctioned 10 Commando Battalions for Resolute Action (CoBRA) as a specialised anti-maoist force.

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100-day anti-terror plan gets green signal

24 02 2009

Source: Indian Express , India
Maneesh Chhibber
Posted: Feb 23, 2009 at 0323 hrs IST

New Delhi: A 100-DAY plan to make the country a safer place is ready and sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) say P Chidambaram has already ordered its implementation. The go-ahead was given at a high-level meeting chaired by him on Friday.

The plan was one of the first things that Chidambaram told bureaucrats to work upon after assuming charge as Home Minister of the country, after the Mumbai Terror attacks. His lead probably came from the speech of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a conference of state police chiefs recently, in which he suggested a 100-day plan to develop an integrated mechanism to fight terrorism and Naxalism.

The Indian Express was provided exclusive access to the blueprint of what is the biggest-ever exercise undertaken by the MHA to counter terrorism and give more firepower to the forces and other agencies.

Among other things, the plan aims to secure the country’s porous borders, make the state and central police forces better equipped to counter foreign terrorists and Naxalites, construct more roads along the India-China and India-Pakistan borders, develop more integrated border check-posts and immigration checks posts, fully activate the newly set-up National Investigation Agency by May 31, amend the Official Secrets Act, launch more operations in Naxalite-affected areas, operationalise the four new National Security Guard hubs and provide more personnel and better arms to the CRPF and SSB.

Under the plan, the scheme for flood-lights for 2,840 km of Indo-Bangladesh border would be completed by January 20, 2012. This, the ministry, hopes would help check inflow of illegal Bangladeshis.

The ministry is also seeking the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for constructing 509 border outposts — 383 on the Indo-Bangladesh border and 126 on the Indo-Pakistan border.

To secure the coasts, the MHA plan provides for inducting the first batch of 24 interceptor boats by April. These would include 12 boats each of 12 tonne and five tonne capacity. Sources said the ministry had already started working on updating the standard operating procedure (SOP) for terrorist outrage under its crisis management plan. As part of this revamp, it also intends to upgrade the MHA control room.

To counter Naxalism, the ministry is reviewing its guidelines for incentives for surrender and rehabilitation of Naxalites under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme. It has also decided to include the Khunti and Ramgarh districts of Jharkhand in this scheme. Anti-Naxal operations have already been launched in Gadchiroli (Maharashtra) and Kanker (Chhattisgarh).





internal terror

4 02 2009

Source: DNA INDIA
For some time now, attacks by Maoist groups have been limited to parts of Central India — Maharashtra, where Naxalites are known to operate has been quiet. This changed on Sunday and in a most brutal manner when a large group of well armed Naxalites stormed a village and massacred a posse of 15 policemen who had come to the village.

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Eyewitness accounts of the incident are chilling — the Naxalites fired indiscriminately on the policemen and killed them; the bodies found were mutiliated with their eyes pierced and hand or legs chopped off. Some reports have claimed that women Maoists led the group.
Chief minister Ashok Chavan has bravely claimed that the state will retaliate and that the army need not be called to manage the situation, but his words mean little if his police department finds itself without the weapons or strategy to fight back. Experts have talked about a ‘Red Corridor’ extending from Andhra Pradesh to Uttar Pradesh.
While Naxalite groups in different states may not always coordinate with each other, there is no denying that large swathes of the hinterland are out of the state’s control. Clearly this is an untenable situation in need of quick resolution.
The Salwa Judum, or so-called self-protection groups promoted by the Chattisgarh government have proved to be unpopular and ineffective and state police units have found themselves out of their depth in understanding, much less handling Maoism. A proposal to have a special task force has been a non-starter.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s description of Naxalism as a “virus” is apt and this virus is spreading rapidly.TheIndian state has become preoccupied with externally-sponsored terrorism but internal terrorism is no less a scourge.
There are socio-economic reasons why Naxalites thrive; they are seen as helping tribal and disadvantaged groups in rural areaswhere the state’s delivery systems have failed. There are political issues too, because Maoists propogate an ultra-left ideology. All these should be incorporated in any strategy to deal with them. Not much thinking seems to have gone into this.
But it is also a major security issue and even here, worryingly, the states have failed as many such spectacular attacks in recent years show. Maharashtra and the Centre must see this incident as a major wake up call and refurbish their tactics in tackling Naxalism before more such attacks occur.





Tempt Maoists if you can’t beat them

4 02 2009

Source: INDIA TODAY
If you can’t beat them, join them. Or better still, make them join you!
Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram perhaps wants the Jharkhand government to try exactly this by formulating an attractive surrender policy for the Maoists, one which can make the rebels join the mainstream.
So far, almost 100 Naxalites have surrendered in Jharkhand during different regimes. But, in the absence of their proper rehabilitation, the remaining Maoists rebels have shunned the state’s offer.
Chidambaram, who was in Jharkhand recently to review the state’s preparedness against the Naxalites, has suggested Jharkhand to work out its own surrender policy, “as only a state can evolve specific policy keeping in mind its specific geographical and social landscape”.
Obviously, the argument in favour of states preparing their own policies was that a national policy on surrender cannot carry the weight and complication of the extremist problem having local overtones. Chidambaram, however, clarified that the Centre may provide financial assistance to the states.
This was Chidambaram’s first visit to Jharkhand since he became the home minister late last year.

Jharkhand’s history of Naxal violence Click here

In terms of strategic realism, the Centre seems convinced that now was the right time to introduce a surrender policy because unlike 2007-08 when the country witnessed and withstood a sharp rise in extremist activities, the security forces have gained an upper hand in 2008.
“With their back to the wall, the Naxalites may now see some reasons to accept the surrender policy,” said a senior Jharkhand IPS officer.
No wonder Jharkhand officials are busy giving final touches to the draft of a new surrender policy, which they believe would motivate the Maoists rebels to abhor violence and return to the mainstream.
The Jharkhand police headquarters is believed to have supported continuance of hard anti-Naxalite operations to go along with the surrender policy because such policies work only when police are in a position of strength and the Naxalites are on the run.
There are, however, just too many questions over the efficacy of a surrender policy because the “bait” of a fixed monthly salary is unlikely to lure the rebels just because the Naxalites earn crores in the form of “levy”.
According to sources, the new surrender policy draft has borrowed heavily from a similar draft prepared in 2006 but could not be implemented because of serious difference of opinions within the then cabinet under Arjun Munda government.
The policy had then promised extremists cash compensation, reward, land, employment, free housing, healthcare and education, life insurance, monthly stipend, vocational training, fast-track courts, provision to condone sentences, reimbursement for firearms, a mechanism to settle land disputes and financial inducements to villages and NGOs motivating surrender.
Incidentally, the proposed policy has been left hanging by previous governments for quite some time now. The successive governments led by Arjun Munda, Madhu Koda and Shibu Soren have been dilly-dallying the finalisation.
Beyond surrender policy, Chidambaram was informed that as many as 145 police stations in Jharkhand were located in areas heavily infested by the Maoist rebels. The home minister also issued instructions to set up police stations in 25 blocks of Jharkhand, which do not have any.
The minister’s visit to Jharkhand also assumed special significance since this was one state where Chidambaram’s idea of inter-state join operation against Naxalites has failed to fructify because of a neighbour’s reluctance.
In fact, Chidambaram admitted that the hot-pursuit and barrier-free crackdown on Maoists was being carried out by the police forces of various states except West Bengal, which has not allowed the Jharkhand police to enter its territory. In fact, Jharkhand has lodged a formal complaint with Chidambaram on this issue.
“We told the Union home minister that West Bengal’s reluctance to be part of any joint operation against the ultras has turned out to be a stumbling block in the fight against Naxalism,” said a Jharkhand IPS officer.
The minister has promised to work it out with West Bengal, adding that Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar were already carrying out joint operations.
Earlier on January 7, when Chidambaram had a meeting with chief ministers of all the Maoist-hit states, a consensus was reached on conducting joint operations against the Maoists rebels.
The minister’s maiden visit, however, failed to lift the veil over the fate of Jharkhand’s suspended assembly, as he said it was for the political parties in the state to decide in which direction they wanted to go.
President’s rule was clamped in Jharkhand on January 19 after the UPA alliance partners failed to reach a consensus over Shibu Soren’s successor, as the JMM chief had to resign from the chief minister’s chair following his defeat at the January 8 Tamar bypoll.





Scheme to root out naxal influence

5 11 2008

source: TOI

1 Nov 2008, 0343 hrs IST, Satyendra Kumar, TNN

Now on the threshold of its third year, Aapki Sarkar Aapke Dwar, a pioneering scheme aimed at rooting out Naxal influences through development —

has emerged as one of the most successful programmes of the state government in Jehanabad district.

Conceived by the then home secretary H C Sirohy and launched by chief minister Nitish Kumar at Sikariya village on January 21, 2006, Aapki Sarkar Aapke Dwar (Asdwar) programme has brought down considerably cases of naxalite violence in the region and also won acceptibility among rural folk, police, academics and social organisations. This is something which is a huge feat considering that several such programmes launched in the district in the past like the Operation Rakshak and Operation Siddhartha were virtual non-events.

The success of the programme — both in winning critical acclaim at various local and state-level platforms and producing outstanding results at the ground level lies in its integrated development approach and sincere efforts of the district administration to sustain the programme despite all odds.

The Jehanabad district magistrate Sanjay Kumar Agrawal, who is working with a missionary zeal to impart a new tone and content to the whole programme, said the scheme envisages to bring development to the grassroots. Under Aasdwar programme our main objective is to sanitise the Naxal-affected panchayats in the distirct first and then saturate them with development in a phased manner, he added.

The scheme is currently underway in five naxalite affected panchayats of the district Viz Sikariya, Sewanan, Mandebigha, Surungpur — Bhawanichak and Jamuk, all in Jehanabad Sadar block. All villages under these five panchayats are witnessing a flurry of developmental activities on a war footing. The state government has come out with a liberal package of Welfare Schemes under Aasdwar including construction of Cement – Concrete lanes, drains, chaupals and link rods in these panchayats worth over Rs.29 crores. Other works include construction of buildings for schools and Aanganbadi centres, culverts and individual toilets.

Also resurrected is the Dangar reservoir project which wa slong confined to the dusty files of the water resources development department.

Doles under various welfare schemes to the tune of Rs.1 crore have already been distributed at mega development camps organised in these panchayats during the past two years.

Under the plan the state government has decided to construct panchayat Sarkar Bhawan in all these five panchayats at an estimated cost of Rs.2.20 crore. Work on them is likely to commence soon.

Sikaria panchayat once considered the naxalite capital of the state, now wears a completely changed look. Sikariya today boasts of being the first panchayat in the state with its own website: www.sikariyapanchayat.bih.nic.in. The website features all the information relating to the panchayat and the Aasdwar programme.

Sikariya panchayat headquarters in currently housed in a sprawling builidng complex . The panchayat office located in this unified campus offers single window system facilities to the local people. There is a village knowledge centre with Internet facility which offers computer training to the educated unemployed rural youths including girls.

The panchayat office is fully computerised with information felating to various state and Centre sponsored schemes. The office is manned by Assistant Project Officer, Rojgar Sevak, Panchayat Sevak and revenue Karmachari during working hours. There is provision for instant issuance of job cards to the landless labourers under the NREGA. A separate police post with 20 SAP jawans is also stationed on the panchayat office campus to look after the security needs.

There is a six-bedded additional primary health centre with two doctors and paramedics. The Sikariya panchayat building complex also houses a computerised extension counter of the Madhya Bihar Gramin Bank (MBGB), an artificial insemination centre, two PDS shops and a 500-ton capacity warehouse of the state food and civil supplies corporation. The Sikariya panchayat is also all set to win Nirmal Gram Panchayat Puruskar with work on most of the toilets to be completed in the next couple of months.

Parchas, pension benefits for the old, destitute, widows and the handicapped and cycles and scholarships to the students of weaker sections are being given within the shortest processing time in the Sikariya panchayat office. Jehanabad Dm Sanjay Kumar Agrawal has been regularly visiting all these five panchayats where Aasdwar programme is underway along with a large entourage of officials and employees.

The people at large seem to have embraced the state’s Aasdwar programme in a big way. What is most unusual is that the government officials now move around freely in these villages where once every government programme was boycotted by the villagers under threats from the banned Naxalite outfit, the people’s war group (PWG). There was a time especially during the stormy 1980s when there was no direct contact between the government and the people for years together.

The locals joined forces with the Naxalites in the hope that it would alleviate poverty. But with the changing times, the people seem to have realised that the Aasdwar programme offers all that the naxalites had promised an end to poverty, homestead land, drinking water and self-employment opportunities.

Once a dreaded and inaccessible place, Sikariya boasts of many economic activities-poultry and dairy farming, horticulture, Bindi and toy-making which fetches the locals considerable monthly income. Coordinated efforts are also being made by the district rural development agency to train men and women belonging to the under privileged section and promote entregreurship among them.

To begin with, at least 100 women from the most economically backward families of Sikariya panchayt have formed three self help groups (SHGs) to augment their income. In the first phase, 30 women have been given training in Bindi making. The district administration is extending financial and marketing support to promote various economic activities among these women.

However, this charge has not come without a stiff resistance from the naxalites. Even now, the naxalites tries to put spokes in the wheel of progress rolling in the area. But thanks to the rare show of solidarity of the local people for the Aasdwar programme , the naxalites have been left with no option but to bow under the popular pressure.





Red : The other color of terror

5 11 2008

Source: mutiny

The news that the convoy of Buddhadev Bhattacharya, the West Bengal chief minister escaped being mined and that naxalites are the ones being accused, will draw attention to Left wing terrorism once again. Although left wing terrorism and insurgency affects large pieces of the country, it has never had the kind of visibility that it needs to have, mostly because their terror is wielded largely in rural India where television cameras don’t whir.

This violence of course shows the level of fragmentation in the leftist movement within india over the decades and the “establishment” left – those who get to speak in parliament or the state assembly and become ministers and the others. The establishment leftists ride those white ambassadors, go to television studios and give press conferences and in states like West Bengal and Kerala, run industrial establishments that can give any traditional capitalist a run for their money.

The contradictions that are becoming evident between the ultra left and the left (ironically there was a time when the CPI (M) itself was considered ultra left!) will add another twist to the convoluted history of the communist movement of India. The Communist Party in India was founded in Kanpur on December 25, 1925 in the midst of an anti-colonial struggle which attempted changed India’s political landscape in a fundamental way. It placed on the agenda the creation of a state power of workers and peasants by workers and peasants to end all forms of oppression and exploitation.

The policies of the Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Communist Part of India (Maoist) and most other fragments of the communist movement that began 80 years ago is today a far cry from the revolutionary rhetoric posted in their web sites. The largest communist groups today are fine tuning their political positions to come to power just like any other bourgeoisie party that they supposedly have contempt for. The many fragments of the underground communists – supposedly allied to Maoist ideologies of various shades have only one thing in common – their penchant for violence.

Left wing violence( not calling it terrorism) is probably the oldest form of organized ideology terrorism that exists in India with its roots in the pre independence and immediate post independence era when BT Ranadive had launched an armed struggle in Telengana in the period around 1948-50. This was subsequently called off and Ranadive accused of “adventurism” but subsequently rehabilitated.

The next major bout of violence is now the subject of folklore and inserted the word”Naxalite” in the Indian political lexicon. It also was the first instance when insurgency and terror was successfully tackled by equally tough counter insurgency measures and state repression. State repression thought not new by this time – (it was always in use in the troubled North East), had matured enough.

Yet Naxalites were never completely wiped out, not quite. The Naxalite terror now extends to a dozen States, affecting 509 police stations. For the first time naxal activity has been recorded in two police stations in Haryana. The menace has spread to nearly 40 per cent of the country’s geographical area with the affected population going up to 35 per cent. Areas in many States, which looked too obscure to fall for naxal influence, are today witnessing naxal activity.

Although the cousins of the Naxalites in Nepal, the Maoists have been won over to the ballot, the Indian Maoists have so far resisted this – partly because they see the example of the main line communists which did join parliamentary politics and what they see of left front politics is not too inspiring or different from the bourgeoisie parties which they had sought to uproot.

Further more the government’s own response of treating this only as a law and order problem hasn’t helped very much, as it only made the Naxalites dig in their heels deeper and go further underground. One does not know where the left wing insurgents would be placed in the spectrum between cultural nationalists and plain terrorists given that this classification is religion based and the Naxalites are of course atheistic in their ideology. However, whatever it may be, given that this has been around much longer than most other forms of terror and insurgency, it wont get lost in the current melee where we seem to have time for only right wing terrorism and nothing else.





Naxals Attack Spiritual guru:: Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, 4 others killed in grenade attack in Orissa

24 08 2008

Source: Odissatoday.com
Bhubaneswar ( Orissa) :
In a sensational incident Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his close aids have been killed in a grenade attack by the suspected Maoists at around 9 PM at Jalaspotta Ashram, in Tumudi Bandh area in the tribal dominated district of Kandhamal in Southern Orissa on Saturday night.

According to the sources the suspected Maoist have hurled grenade on the Ashram resulting killing of five persons including Ashram chief, Swami Laxmananand Saraswati.

The other victims include two inmates of the ashram and all the victims have dead at the spot.

RSS has decided to block all NH running through the Orissa as mark of protest over the killing on Saturday night, sources said.

Meanwhile RDC Southern range Satyabrta Sahu, DIG Southern range, RP Kothe have rushed to the spot as the tension flare up in the district following this incident.

Additional security forces 12 CRPF platoon have also been moved to the spot to prevent any unpleasant incident in the district.

According to the sources in the police administration, the Orissa DG Gopal Nanda directly monitoring the whole situation.

Meanwhile in yet another significant development highly placed sources in the VHP says that VHP and other saffon outfits have called a emergency meeting at undisclosed place to decide future action over this issue.

VHP and other saffron partied have called a dawn to dush Bandh on Monday protesting the brutal killing of Swami Laxamananda Saraswati.

It may be noted here that the tribal dominated Southern district of Orissa has been under serious tension since Hindu and Christians clashed each other on December 25, 2007 in Phulbani district.

Since then, Central Para Military Forces have been camping at Kandhamal. Orissa Government has constituted a judicial commission under Justice Basudev Panigrahi to probe the December communal clash.

In protest against the attack on saint and illegal beef trading, members of RSS, Viswa Hindu Parishad and Bharatiya Janata Party led by Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati blocked the roads and demanding action against the accused.

Swami demanded a high level probe into illegal beef trading in Kandhamal. VHP has also called Kandhamal bandh on Wednesday over this issue.