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Archive for March 17th, 2007

Naxal killed in Chhattisgarh; looted weapon recovered

Posted by Indian Vanguard on March 17, 2007

Raipur, March 17: Chhattisgarh Police on Saturday killed a Naxal militant in a gunbattle and recovered a weapon which they said was looted after the recent attack on a police outpost in Bijapur district.

A .303 rifle, looted from the Rani Bodli police outpost after Thursday’s attack that left 55 securitymen dead, was recovered from the slain Naxalite in Pharsegarh area of Bijapur district, police said.

Since Naxalites are active in Pharsegarh, which is not very far from Rani Bodli, personnel of the Special Task Force (STF) and paramilitary forces had launched a combing operation during which the gunbattle took place resulting in the death of the ultra, they said.

The outpost is not far off from Abujhmad area, where the Naxalites have set up their headquarters. Since it was a difficult terrain and police face threat of landmines, security forces made an aerial survey on a helicopter provided by the Centre, they said.

After the survey they took into account intelligence inputs and prepared a plan for combing operations and dispatched teams to various parts of the region, surrounded by thick forests, they said.

Meanwhile, commandant of the 9th battalion of the Chhattisgarh armed police Mohammed Hussain, deployed at Rani Bodli, was suspended and the CRPF given charge of the outpost.

Although, he was not suspended for failing to prevent the attack, Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam, on his visit to Rani Bodli, found Hussain was on unauthorised leave at the time of the incident, they said. ZEE NEWS


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UAV useless with manpower crunch: Gill

Posted by Indian Vanguard on March 17, 2007

NEW DELHI: Deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the Naxalite-infested forests of Chhattisgarh appears to have been of little help in counter-operations given the serious security manpower crunch and the lack of reinforcements such as helicopters to para-drop forces for expeditious action on data collected by the UAVs.

This admission came from none other than the advisor to Chhattisgarh government on Left-wing extremism, Mr K P S Gill. In a telephonic interview to ET from Raipur, Mr Gill, who has been advising the state for more than a year now, conceded: “In view of the difficult terrain, which the security personnel can only cover on foot, UAVs by themselves may not be an answer for intelligence-based operations…They have to be reinforced with adequate security personnel or force multipliers like helicopters to speedily reach the troops to areas showing Naxal concentration.”

As of now, the state has a solitary MI-17 from the BSF air wing at its disposal. This, by no means, is enough given that the UAVs are equipped to cover 300 km in a single day.

The data collected the UAVs is of little value if not followed up with immediate operations: Naxalites have already taken anti-UAV precautions like camping under thicker foliage and keeping the camps mobile.

The ineffectiveness of the UAVs is best demonstrated by the fact that they were unable to pinpoint the location of the 9th congress of the CPI(Maoist) held in February this year somewhere in Chhattisgarh.

Incidentally, UAVs have not been in use in the state for the last 15-20 days due to some technical glitches. This essentially means that the concentration of Naxalites near the police outpost in Bijapur ahead of Thursday’s attack could not be mapped.

Not only this, as the hundreds of Naxalite cadres retreated into the jungles after killing 55 police personnel, having UAVs in action to map their escape route and helicopters to airdrop the forces could have raised the chances of intercepting the fleeing cadres.

According to Mr Gill, given the expanse of the extremist-infested Bastar region and its heavy foliage, the forces have no choice but to move on foot. The areas of Naxal concentration as mapped by the UAVs could be as many as eight days’ march away.

“It would make sense to airdrop the security forces at a site closer to the hideout, so that the forces may need to march only for a day…or better still, have them dropped in a way so as to surround the Naxalite camp,” said Mr Gill, explaining how the helicopters must be used intelligently so as to not alert the extremists.

The former supercop also complained that the 85 companies of security personnel at disposal of the state for fighting the extremists was “terribly inadequate”, given that several of these men were preoccupied with static duties like guarding the Salwa Judum camps across the Dantewada region.

As may be recalled, Mr Gill had earlier demanded 40 more companies for Chhattisgarh, a demand that was dismissed as highly exaggerated by the Centre. At present, 11 battalions of the CRPF and 2 battalions of armed police of other states are deployed for counter-Naxal operations in the state worst-hit by Left-wing extremism. Gulf News

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Naxal attack haunts hostel inmates

Posted by Indian Vanguard on March 17, 2007

DANTEWARA, MARCH 16: The horrors of Wednesday night will perhaps haunt six-year-old Pratima Mandal forever. As the Maoists went about killing 54 security personnel present at the Rani Bodli outpost, Pratima, along with 29 other girls, huddled on the floor in another wing of the same building, waiting for help to arrived

Chhattisgarh government policy, allowing use of community buildings to house security forces engaged in anti-Naxal operations, was the reason why the security men were staying within the same premises as the inmates of the SC/ST welfare hostel.

Most of the girls spent the entire night lying flat on the floor to avoid being caught by a stray bullet. Neeta Kudiyam, who had been staying at the hostel for the past few months, said she won’t ever be able to return to school.

“The bullets were flying everywhere, with bombs exploding at regular intervals. I almost cried,” she said. Interestingly, the Maoists only targeted the part of the building which was being used by the security forces and the entire section was set on fire. However, the adjoining section, which housed the girls, remained untouched. While windows of the section used by troops were blown off or burnt down, the windows and doors of the hostel section remained intact.

All through the night the students had an assistant teacher and two helpers posted in the hostel for company. “As our teacher told us to stay down and not make any noise we kept praying that we would be rescued from this hell,” said Sudfa Vachan, another student.

Finally, the group was rescued by “advanced” parties of troops which arrived at about 6 am. The girls had to wade through blood and scattered bodies as they were secretly shifted to another hostel at Somanpalli village, about five km away from the massacre site. The secrecy was to ensure that the media did not get to speak to the girls.

Following the incident, most of the children were taken away home by their parents.

Meanwhile, the Chhattisgarh government today suspended the officer in-charge of Rani Bodli police outpost in Bastar region. Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam has decided to give Rs 2 lakh to the family of slain Special Police Officers and about Rs 16 lakh to the Chhattisgarh Armed Force Jawans. The Indian Express

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Chhattisgarh DGP scripts ‘battle song’

Posted by Indian Vanguard on March 17, 2007

Raipur, March 16: Entangled in a seemingly losing battle against the Maoists, Chhattisgarh’s Director General of Police O P Rathore is working on a unique strategy. For the past few weeks, he has been busy composing a marching song to motivate his embattled troops.

Being the police chief of a state that is combating Naxalism in a major part of its territory and also has one of the highest casualty figures in the country — 65 police personnel have been killed in Naxal attacks during the past 12 months, apart from over 450 civilians — the DGP feels this may be the answer to boost the morale of his men. However, the move has come under severe criticism from several of his own senior officers and former police officers. Few of them have even questioned as to how the DGP of a state which has the highest casualty figures in the country in Naxal attacks can “indulge” himself like this.

“With his troops engaged in a constant battle against extremists how does the DGP find time to do such things? This shows that the entire police force is out of focus, and even senior police officers are busy doing work that is not in their job profile,” said a senior police officer.

But unfazed, the Chhattisgarh Police plans to distribute cassettes of the song to all police stations once the music is composed, so that its personnel can learn and practise marching on the song. Rathore himself too sees nothing wrong in his composing a song for his troops. “While most state police forces in the country march to almost similar songs, they also have some special compositions which are relevant and seek to invoke and involve local population,” he told The Indian Express.

“The song calls on the troops to battle the enemies of the state (in this case Naxalites) and to remove them from forests and cities of the state. It also calls on the Chhattisgarhi ethos to fill the police ranks with patriotic soldiers. How can this be termed as something wrong?” he asks.

The music for the song is expected to be composed within the next few weeks after which the police band is likely to perform the song before Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh. However, even the move to unveil the song in front of the Chief Minister is facing criticism from several quarters.

“Dr Singh and Home Minister Ramvichar Netam already suffered at the hands of some over-enthusiastic police officers during the Naxal surrender episode which was enacted in front of them earlier this year.

Some officers had tried to gain the limelight without checking the antecedents of the people who were being made to surrender before the Chief Minister,” said a senior official. Indian Express

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Nandigram violence: Top naxal reveals dark truths

Posted by Indian Vanguard on March 17, 2007


Rajesh Ramachandran Saturday, March 17, 2007 (Jharkhand):

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharya had claimed that cadres of the CPI-Maoists had organised the revolt against the police forces in Nandigram.

But in an exclusive interview with NDTV, West Bengal Secretary of CPI(Maoist) Somen, has an entirely different take on the events of Nandigram.

Somen laughs off the CPM’s allegation that Maoists are behind Nandigram violence.

“Maoist influence and involvement in Nandigram is extremely limited. We don’t have to use pipe guns now; we have automatic weapons. It’s people’s movement against land acquisition. Of course, we support the movement,” he said.

He also said that the Chhattisgarh attack was in retaliation to Salwajudam (local adivasi militia raised by the government to fight Naxalites).

“It was an attempt to fight the government. We want to convert the guerrilla war into mobile warfare,” he added.

He also expressed his opinion on JMM MP Sunil Mahato’s murder. “The decision to kill Mahato was taken at a very senior level in 2003. It was to stop Mahato from raising a Salwajudam-like militia,” he said.

The murder was more than a retaliation to Lango in which 14 Maoists were killed in 2003 by villagers. Lango is a village in the East Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. NDTV

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That Night in Nandigram

Posted by Indian Vanguard on March 17, 2007

Soumitra Basu, Editor, Anyaswar

Last night CPM called a local 12 hours Bandh in Nandigram. For the first time a bandh is called in the evening hours in such a remote place where as it is people do keep indoors. Why is that called then? 

After the first bout of Police action in the daylight when the news came that around 60 were killed, the second phase and the most horrendous phase that was planned in Writers’ building with our beloved Chief Minister, Health Minister, Chief Secretary and the Home Secretary, needed to be executed. 

Meanwhile the number game gave rise to enough confusion.

Dainik Statesman – the Bengali Statesman puts the number to 31. The TV channels [private] put it to 18, The sole BBC correspondent Amit Bhattashali openly put the number as 32 and then openly declared that as per the instruction from the government to BBC they are bound to quote only the government version and therefore he is putting the number as 11.

The TARATV correspondent Gourango, who was apprehended by the police, handed over to CPM goons and then on live TV thrashed and foul-mouthed by CPM, puts it off-the record as 100+ and on-the-record “could not count”. The TARATV correspondent Subrata who is accompanying Mamata in her tour, puts it as “uncounted” as he explains no one can say and know the exact figure. The great state government and Mr. VORA – the spokesperson goes back to the number of 6 and then says that is what he is informed and he will inform the press some time later! 

Subrata and Gourango of TARATV are in the field.

This is the horrendous story that they have to say. Before that let us listen to his version of self-imposed censorship that he follows… “I have stopped telling the media the story that I saw and ought to have told them, there is no chance people and our viewers would believe. There is a limit to human belief. They will take me as a mad babbler! I myself am not convinced of what I saw, heard and went through.. it was like a nightmare and how I wish all that I saw and heard was simply a delirium” As a matter of fact they threw up several times in the hotel they stayed, not because of the threats by the CPM goons but because what they saw and heard and the language of threats by the CPM goons who besieged them in CPM party office in Nandigram. 

”Bands of CPM goons aided by platoons of Eastern Frontier Rifles and Commando forces are entering every village and paras [mohollas].

They bring out the men folk, they take no prisoners, no witnesses, they shoot them, bayonet them, rip apart their stomachs and then lay them down the canal to the sea and confluence. They then bring out the young girls, gather them in open spaces, open gang rape them multiple times till the girls collapse, they then literally TEAR their limbs, in some cases cut them to pieces and let them down the Haldi river and/or Talpati canal. No witnesses and they know that this incident cannot leak out because the young girls in traditional Medinipur will never come out to say what really happened and who will believe? on top of it who will corroborate and those who will come out will be killed and tortured again.

CPM and police then wrapped the entire village with their Red Banners (sic!) showing that the area is secured and simply their writ will run. Those who fled the villages were mostly apprehended on the outskirts or on the boundaries and no one knows what happened to those poor souls. We could hear this stories only from those who could crawl the whole way out through fields and forests. Even that is difficult now as the fields are all dried up and the crops are already reaped. Anyone can see people coming out. Rapes are innumerable, officially the rape figure could be obtained as 6 because these are the ones who survived to tell their tales and they are around middle aged, so they somehow could not be butchered and minced to pieces.

Village after village this process is going on and to our utter astonishment the process is continuing even this morning. All the correspondents are removed. Sukumar Mitra the most coveted journalist from Dainik Statesman ran his way out amidst flurries of bullets. He was specifically hunted and somehow could manage to sneak out. The ferocity of this attack is so grizzly that the residents of that area simply do not believe that anyone will open their mouth. Fear is made a weapon and the highest fear is made the weapon for a social-censorship.

Haripur is a nearby subdivision. That area is earmarked for nuclear power plant. People of that region have also come up in protest. Most of them are fishermen. They have stopped going to the confluence and the sea because of two reasons. One they feel that human bodies are everywhere in the confluence and the worst is that the crocs and gharials and sharks are now rushing towards that spot from far away Sunderbans. These animals rush for fresh blood, the fishes will be eaten away by these reptiles and there is a high possibility of these getting netted instead of fishes.

Haripur will be out of livelihood for at least a week or so, and this was premeditated by the CPM administration to teach Haripur a lesson. Haripur is the place that shooed out even Central teams and even bigger police forces. This was a lesson to teach both Nandigram and Haripur together. No sign of any dead bodies will ever be found, no proof of rape would be there. They are not making the mistake of killing openly, like the Tapasi Malik murder in Singur. They have this model now.

The real death figure can only be revealed at least 3 months after, and that too if there is one, peace comes into stay, and if the residents could come back and then count the missing. But After CPM has “secured” and “liberated” those areas those who were evicted will not be allowed to come back and these properties will be given to the CPM goons from Keshpur and Garbeta and neighbouring places. The permanency of mopping up strategy is how CPM will ensure that Nandigram and Haripur will be secured for electoral battles in the future.”‘ 

This is more horrendous than partition story.

Journalists all know this but they cannot come out with these stories. CPM will ensure that these journalists are hunted down and wiped out of existence. They have already started to threaten all journalists and intellectuals who have gone against them. 

Let us not draw parallels from the history! I do not know who will believe how much, but I have mentioned the sources and you all are welcome to verify them through the references I have provided.

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