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Archive for September 9th, 2007

peopele’s March September 2007 pdf version

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 9, 2007

Dear friends,

People’s March September 2007 pdf version

Download PM September 2007 pdf

P.Govindan kutty
People’s March

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An Appeal for Unconditional and Immediate Release of Sheila Didi

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 9, 2007

Dear Friends,

Please find an appeal enclosed in the attachment for the release of Sheila Didi, a senior activist of women’s movement, arrested in Orissa and has been imprisoned in Rourkela jail for more than six months. Now she has been incarcerated in Chaibasa jail in Jharkhand.

Kindly take a Print out of the appeal and get signatures of the prominent democrats in your area and send the same to Delhi.

In the last week of September, a delegation in Delhi will meet the chairperson of National Women’s Commission and submit the signatures.

268, Vasant Appartments
Near Vasant Vihar
New Delhi-57

Please sign the petition by clicking the following link. Do circulate this link widely after you sign.

An Appeal for Unconditional and Immediate Release of Sheila Didi



The National Commission for Women

Dear Madam,

Sheila Didi is a popular women’s activist among the most deprived women of Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, and Bihar. She was the former President of Nari Mukti Sangh, Bihar.

Sheila Didi was arrested on 7 October 2006 at Aamjhor Village under the police limits of Lathikata, Sundargarh district of Orissa. The police fabricated cases against her in the name of waging war against the state. After the arrest they immediately shifted her to a nearby CRPF camp where she was tortured physically and psychologically for two days. Later she was produced before a magistrate court which allowed four more days of police custody. She was once again tortured physically and psychologically. She sustained injuries on forehead and stomach during the police torture. The police brutally tortured her constantly by inflicting severe blows on her legs and the soles of her feet. The police, after blindfolding her, kept on shifting her from one place to the other. She was interrogated by the teams of police from West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Since then she has been incarcerated in Rourkela prison. Her health has deteriorated as she has been denied any medical care. She hasn’t been given even a pen or a sheet of paper, let alone books or periodicals to read. After she was given bail in all existing cases on 11th July 2007 she was arrested again as soon as she came out of prison with more cases being foisted on her by the Jharkhand police and shifted to Chaibasa prison.

Sheila Didi belongs to a poor Adivasi family. A woman of courage and conviction, she was convinced about the need for building up a strong women’s movement as she realized that women in our country had to fight every step for their rights and freedom, to do away with the customs and traditions that treat her as an inferior being, a second class citizen. The founding of Nari Mukti Sangh along with a host of other women was the result of this realization.

Soon this organization developed into a strong women’s organization. Thousands of the most deprived women today are conscious about their rights. This organization has been consistently fighting all forms of patriarchy while at the same time resisting any kind of exploitation, domination or discrimination. Hundreds of women, along with Sheila Didi have become literate in the due course of empowerment of this real and genuine movement.

The condition of women in our country is so pathetic and wretched that if they stand on their own legs in order to move ahead in their lives, patriarchic oppression along with all kinds of attacks of the contemporary society will brow beat them to submission. It is in this context that Sheila Didi has evolved as a valiant and uncompromising leader of the oppressed women and waged several struggles for the betterment of their lives in these regions. It is highly deplorable and is a grim reflection of all of our sensitivity that this women’s activist who has emerged from the most oppressed rungs of Adivasi life and who worked day in and out to awaken thousands of oppressed women, has been incarcerated in the jail.

We the undersigned demand that Sheila Didi be released immediately and unconditionally. In this context we urge you to intervene immediately and ensure that she receives proper medical care and relief. We also demand that she be treated as a Political Prisoner as she has been arrested and incarcerated for her convictions to fight for women’s rights.

In this connection, we also appeal to all democratic, civil and human rights organizations, women’s organizations, youth and students organizations, workers’ and democratic individuals to raise their voice against the continued incarceration of this senior women’s activist while demanding for her unconditional release.

Posted in Sheila Didi | Leave a Comment »

Andra Terrorist police squad with 13,000 personnel

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 9, 2007

HYDERABAD :The State government has earmarked Rs 300 crores to set up an anti-terrorist squad of 13,000 police personnel. The squad will comprise the cream of the cadre, with personnel picked from various wings of the police department, and 4,000 direct recruits and will be given specialised training in anti-terrorist operations and intelligence gathering.

Home minister K. Jana Reddy held a high level meeting with police top brass on Thursday at which the decision to establish the squad was taken.
Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy had decided to set up an anti-terrorist squad, special intelligence unit and counter-terror cell in the State after the August 25 twin blasts at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat Bhandar.

A committee of senior police officers will be constituted to give shape to the anti-terrorist squad and the other proposed units. The ATS would be on the lines of the specialised Greyhounds set up for anti-Naxal operations two decades ago.

The Greyhound commandos proved their mettle against Naxals in most parts of the State.

At present, States such as Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra and Karnataka have anti-terrorist squads. After the May 18 blast in Mecca Masjid and the recent twin blasts in the city, the police found sleeper terror cells in Bidar, Raichur and Gulbarga in Karnataka, Aurangabad and Nanded in Maharashtra, and Nalgonda, Karimnagar, Medak and Nizamabad in Andhra Pradesh.

The home minister said that the State government would counter terrorism with an iron hand and would provide all the necessary men and material to protect the lives and properties of the people in the State.

Andra cafe

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Salwa Judum & International Humanitarian Law

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 9, 2007

India may not be a party to the Geneva Convention Additional Protocols but it has a legal obligation to protect civilians caught in the cross-fire between the Maoists and state-sponsored vigilantes in Chhattisgarh. Siddharth Varadarajan writes in The Hindu

States have the right to wage war against one another and against armed insurgents who challenge them but it is a settled principle of international humanitarian law that the methods of warfare employed must at all times conform to the bounds of legality. While all societies have traditionally grappled with what is and is not permissible on the battlefield, the first systematic attempt to modernise the laws of war was made at the international Peace Conference convened in The Hague in 1899. The Conventions of 1899 that emerged were modest even by the standards of the time but the statesmen and jurists who met there had the foresight to acknowledge the limited nature of their initiative. A preambular paragraph known as the ‘Martens Clause’ was added unanimously to the Hague Conventions II of 1899 noting that the legal protection combatants and civilians were entitled to in a conflict could not be circumscribed by what countries were willing to accept either collectively or individually at any moment in time. “Until a more complete code of the laws of war is issued,” the clause said, “the High Contracting Parties think it right to declare that in cases not included in the Regulations adopted by them, populations and belligerents remain under the protection and empire of the principles of international law, as they result from the usages established between civilized nations, from the laws of humanity and the requirements of the public conscience.”

Neither the principles of international law nor the requirements of public conscience have remained static since then. Law may have always kept one step behind war but it has also tended to catch up each time the actual conduct of warfare outraged the conscience of humanity. The use of poisonous gas and chemicals during World War I led to the prohibition of chemical and biological warfare in 1925. The mistreatment of wounded soldiers and sailors as well as prisoners of war by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan during World War II led, in 1949, to the revision of the First and Third Geneva Conventions as well as the creation of the Second. The wholesale targeting of civilians by all sides during the war also led to the Fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians during hostilities.

In 1977, with the experience of American military tactics during the Vietnam war fresh in its mind, the international community adopted the two Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions. Protocol I relates to the protection of victims of international armed conflict and expands the protections provided by the Fourth Geneva Convention. Protocol II relates to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflict. It builds upon an article found in all four Geneva Conventions — Common Article 3 — prohibiting violence against civilians in conflicts “not of an international character” and expands the explicit prohibitions to include forcible displacement (Article 17) as well as “acts or threats of violence, the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population” (Article 13).

Adherence to the Geneva Conventions is now universal. However, despite the fact that more than 160 states have ratified the 1977 protocols, India has preferred not to accede under the belief that non-adherence to the protocols somehow frees it from the obligations enshrined within. This belief is morally unsound, legally untenable and politically unwise. Today, the Martens Clause has become, in the words of Judge Weeramantry, formerly of the International Court of Justice, an “established and integral part of the corpus of current customary international law” whose fundamental validity no state has repudiated. When it comes to the protection of civilians in an armed conflict of any kind, its meaning is clear: no state can cite national law or its non-adherence to an international convention as an excuse to derogate from its obligations.

As a country beset with “non-international armed conflicts” of one kind or another, India sees Protocol II as a burden that would somehow constrain the conduct of counter-insurgency operations. And yet, there is nothing in the protocol that prohibits states from meeting the challenge posed by armed insurgents. Indeed, Article 3 says there is no bar on governments using “all legitimate means, to maintain or re-establish law and order in the State or to defend the national unity and territorial integrity of the State.” But the emphasis is on “legitimate means,” as defined by national statute as well as international humanitarian law (IHL). The only bar, thus, is on illegitimate means, especially those which victimise civilians. For India to not formally enshrine this prohibition is politically unwise because the laws of war cut both ways. National adherence to the protocol would also make insurgents such as the Maoists or various groups in Kashmir and the North-East formally liable for their violations of IHL, which are legion.

It is also sometimes claimed that there are no “armed conflicts” occurring anywhere on the territory of India and hence the question of acceding to the protocol does not arise. This assertion is false. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has repeatedly said that the naxalite movement is the “biggest security threat” the country has faced since independence. Clearly, the threat posed by Maoists is not of “isolated and sporadic acts of violence” but of “armed” insurgency, which is why the government has chosen to deploy 33 paramilitary force battalions against them and is considering the additional deployment of another 79 battalions.

Indeed, if ever there was a textbook case of the kind of conflict envisaged by Protocol II, the tragedy that is playing out in Chhattisgarh is surely it. At the heart of this tragedy is the criminal vigilantism of Salwa Judum (SJ), a government-sponsored counter-insurgent ‘movement’ launched in 2005 with the aim of defeating the Maoists by targeting villages believed to be ‘pro-naxalite.’ Tens of thousands of adivasis have been uprooted from their villages and forcibly regrouped in new settlements or rendered internally displaced. According to official statistics, the total number of civilian deaths in Chhattisgarh in 2005-2006 was 243 while the number of security personnel killed by the Maoists was 65. In the first three months of 2007, as many as 226 civilians were killed in the State. By way of contrast, the official tally of killings by the Maoists in 2003 and 2004 — the years immediately preceding SJ — was 74 and 83 respectively, including policemen. If the idea is to counter naxalite violence, the strategy is clearly not working.

More troubling from the legal standpoint is the gross violation of IHL involved. The political leadership in both Raipur and Delhi cannot evade responsibility on the specious plea that the movement is “spontaneous.” Even if ‘spontaneity’ were conceded, the Union and State governments are legally liable for the consequences. In any case, there is a wealth of documentation establishing the close links between the Chhattisgarh government and the SJ. A 2007 memo by the Collector of Dantewara lists the number of Salwa Judum meetings held from June 2005 till January 2007, the villages which joined SJ and those which have not. Coupled with an earlier document from 2005 — which laid out a ‘work proposal’ for the SJ including identifying ‘friendly’ and ‘enemy’ villages, appointing Special Police Officers, dividing the entire area into clusters and permanently resettling villages next to police stations — the 2007 memo sounds like the report of work successfully done.

The fate of village Vechapad is typical. According to accounts provided by villagers to local journalists and activists, the Naga reserve battalion first came and burnt two houses. All the males in the village then went to Mirtur camp, 10 km away, while the women stayed behind. Slowly, the men fled in ones and twos back to the village. After that, the SJ repeatedly attacked the village. Seven people were killed, most of them old or infirm. Joga refused to join the others in the camp around October 2005 because his sulphi tree was in full sap, so the SJ came to find him. He ran towards the forest, but its members caught and killed him with an axe. In February 2007, Pandru Padami and his son Doga were killed by the SJ as they were cutting bamboo, while Sannu, another old man, was tied to a post outside his house and axed, ostensibly because he gave food to naxalites. Jagannath was killed by the naxalites for being an informer, while Samlu Telam, also an old man, was killed by the SJ and his body thrown into the jungle.

By using the Salwa Judum to target and terrorise so-called “pro-Maoist” villages such as Vechapad and scores of other settlements, and forcibly relocating thousands of civilians, the Government of Chhattisgarh is guilty of violating both Article 13 and 17 of Protocol II, quite apart from Article 19 of the Indian Constitution. Even if India is not a party to the protocols, Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions — to which it is a signatory — prohibits the use of violence against non-combatants in an internal conflict. And then there is the Martens Clause. To come back to Judge Weeramantry: “If, as is indisputably the case, the Martens Clause represents a universally accepted principle of international law, it means that beyond the domain of express prohibitions, there lies the domain of the general principles of humanitarian law … A legal system based on the theory that what is not expressly prohibited is permitted would be a primitive system indeed, and international law has progressed far beyond this stage.”

The learned jurist was speaking — in his famous dissenting opinion to the ICJ’s 1996 advisory opinion — about the illegality of nuclear weapons despite the absence of an international convention on the subject. In the case of Salwa Judum, however, the bar is explicit. The targeting of civilians in an internal conflict violates the public conscience and is expressly prohibited by customary law. There is no way India can claim immunity from its sanctions.

Posted in Salwajudam | Leave a Comment »

Cops to stop funds supply to Maoists

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 9, 2007

Joydeep Thakur

KOLKATA, Sept. 8: To beat the Maoist menace in the state, police are keen to cut off their funds supply. Intelligence Branch officials and the police of Midnapore West, Purulia and Bankura have prepared a list of private firms and businessmen who are suspected to have provided funds to Maoists over the past few years. These people have been put under surveillance.
A senior IB official said they have recorded telephonic conversations between Maoists and the owners of some private firms, including petrol pumps, and other businessmen. The ultras were found to be demanding and negotiating for funds.
The official said most of the funds come from businessmen who are engaged in illegal mining. Purulia, Bankura and Midnapore West have several abandoned mines where businessmen engage labourers to extract copper, lead and limestone, used in the cement industry.

These businessmen are the primary targets of the Maoists. They have no other option but to pay the “levy” as they are not able to lodge complaints with the police.
If they decline to pay, they are threatened and eventually eliminated.

“The telephonic conversations that have been obtained, however, reveal that most of the businessmen who had provided funds have been pressured and threatened by Maoists,” the official said. The police stations concerned have been alerted and a close watch is being maintained.

Some of the Maoist cadres who have been arrested over the past few years have also confessed during interrogation about such practices.
Police had also detained some businessmen and illegal mine owners for questioning.

The official said Maoists were forcing farmers in some remote villages of these districts to take up opium cultivation. They are then demanding a major portion of the harvest, which are sold in the market to raise funds.

If the farmers decline to hand over the crop, they are either killed or the harvest is taken way by the cadres forcibly.
The funds are used to acquire arms and infrastructure like satellite phones, sustain cadres, provide training, run propaganda campaigns, distribute and print literature.

Posted in West Bengal | Leave a Comment »

Cops in Maoist areas seek central deputation

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 9, 2007

Raipur, Sep 8 : As many as nine senior police officers posted in India’s worst Maoist insurgency hit state Chhattisgarh are reportedly lobbying to get central deputation, but the state government is reluctant to approve their applications.

According to sources in the state’s home department, nine Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, including those of the rank of director general (DG) and additional director general (ADG), most of them having long field experience in Maoist areas, have moved applications with the state government to get approval for their central deputations.

The officers who have reportedly sought deputation are S.K. Paswan, the longest serving IPS officer in Maoist bastion, R.K. Vij, currently posted in the Bastar region as inspector general (IG), M.W. Ansari, who earlier served as IG, Bastar, deputy inspector general (DIG) Pawan Deo, presently in charge of two Maoist-hit districts – Kanker and Narayanpur, and the state’s senior most IPS officer Rajiv Mathur, now holding the post of director general (prisons and home guards).

Other IPS officers seeking central deputation are ADG A.M. Nawani, IG Sanjay Pillai, now secretary, home, and IGs Mukesh Gupta and A.D. Gautam, the sources said.

But the state government seems to be in no mood to relent.

“The state is witnessing a series of cold blooded killings of civilians and forces in southern Bastar region and the government is working on a major counter-insurgency operation against the guerrillas. How the government can relieve the top cops in a such a crucial phase?” a top official in the home department told IANS Saturda

Posted in Chhattisgarh | Leave a Comment »

Maoists hatched plot in Chennai

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 9, 2007

HYDERABAD: The conspiracy to eliminate former chief minister N Janardhan Reddy was hatched and monitored from Chennai by the Maoist party’s central committee members.

The intelligence wing has gathered that top Maoist leaders take shelter in Chennai considering it to be relatively safe as the police in Andhra Pradesh are hot on their trail. Senior police officials involved in the anti-naxalite operation said they had information that even central committee members of the CPI (Maoists) would frequently visit Chennai. The AP State Committee of Maoists has its tentacles in Guntur, Prakasam, Nalgonda and all Rayalaseema districts, including Nellore.

Police believe the Maoists have chosen Nellore district for the attack on the former chief minister due to its proximity to Chennai.

“Since a former chief minister was the target, the central committee leaders themselves must have planned and monitored the attack from Chennai. We suspect those who carried out the operation might have escaped to Chennai,” a senior police officer said.

One top Maoist leader who was arrested on the Andhra-Orissa border reportedly revealed that the Maoists conducted a recce in Visakhapatnam last year as part of their conspiracy to kill N Janardhan Reddy and but could not execute the plan.

The police have come to an initial conclusion that a special action squad executed the Friday’s attack under the supervision of top Maoist leader Sakhamuri Appa Rao. Another expert in special assignments Ashanna alias Takkelapalli Vasudeva Rao had led the team.

The officers admit that the Maoists shifted their base from Nellore to Chennaiin 2004 and 2005.

Whenever AP State Committee of Maoists holds meeting in Nallamala, Nellore is the transit point for leaders to reach the venue.

Tech Madhu, who was the mastermind in the rocket launchers case, took shelter in Nellore along with another ‘den keeper’ Satyam alias Satyaraj. The police suspected some of the rocket launchers and weapons were made in Nellore district itself.

When Tech Madhu shifted to Chennai for manufacturing rocket launchers in Ambattur in north-western suburb of Chennai, Satyam was shifted to another den in Chennai. When the rocket launchers were seized in Giddaluru in Prakasham district, the police found that one consignment was booked from Vedayapalem in Nellore district.

Pressure mines, which were seized from a transport company in Vijayawada in October, 2006, were made in Nellore. The explosives were intended to be sent to Nallamala.

The intelligence officers dismiss the argument by the local police that there are no naxal activities in Nellore district. Sitaramapuram mandal, which has border with Kadapa and Prakasham district, Rapur, Venkatagiri, Pattapupalem and Allur mandals are naxal effected. In some villages in Dakkili mandal, CPI (ML) Janasakthi has dalams.

The slain top Janasakthi leader, Riyaz, was from Nellore district.

Times of india

Posted in Chennai | Leave a Comment »

Bomb team Naxal hitched ride in Reddy convoy!

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 9, 2007

Sunday September 9 2007 13:46 IST

M Srinivasa Rao

NELLORE: Incredible as it may sound, one of the special action team members of the CPI (Maoist) actually hitched a ride in the convoy of former Chief Minister N Janardhan Reddy and tipped off his comrades as they were nearing the spot.

This was confirmed by a cousin of the former chief minister, Hemakumar Reddy, who told the police that a youth showed up at the Vakadu residence of Janardhan Reddy when he and his minister-wife Rajyalakshmi were about to leave for Tirupati. Posing as a student of a nearby engineering college, he requested Hemakumar to let him come along with him in his car as he wanted to attend the SV University function conferring an honorary doctorate on Janardhan Reddy.

”I allowed him to travel in my car. En route, I recall him picking up his mobile phone and telling someone that he was ‘reaching the spot’,” Hemakumar told the police, adding that no sooner had the blast happened than the youth jumped out of the vehicle and vanished.

The police are seriously pursuing this line of investigation and trying to identify the numbers of mobile phones from which the calls originated and were received from various cell towers covering the blast site.

The police, who apprehended at the blast site a non-local moving under suspicious circumstances, are questioning him. But they have not been able to get much vital information from him.

Special Intelligence Bureau teams have taken up the investigation independent of the district police even as forensic experts identified the explosive material used in the landmine as Ammonium Nitrate and concluded that the bomb was placed a few hours before it was triggered.

On the hunch that the action team members might have stayed in the Nellore suburbs before carrying out their mission, police teams are checking some residential colonies.

Locals in Tailors Colony told the police of the presence of some strangers in the locality during the last few weeks. They were employed by a local contractor, who has since been questioned and has said that the strangers claimed to be migrant labour from Srikakulam district. Their descriptions are being compared with photos of Maoists available with the police.

Meanwhile, a former Maoist, Krishna Prasad, was picked up from Chavali of Pellakur mandal and some ‘incriminating documents’ seized from him. Greyhounds teams have begun combing operations in the forests bordering Prakasam and Kadapa districts on the assumption that the Maoists might have fled into Nallamala Forest.

New Ind Press

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