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Archive for November 3rd, 2007

Citizen’s body opposes deployment of CRPF

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 3, 2007

Citizen’s body opposes deployment of CRPF

Statesman News Service
KOLKATA, Nov. 2: The Ganamukti parishad has urged the Union home minister not to deploy a battalion of Central Reserve Police Force at Nandigram as sought by the state government.

This, according to the parishad, is a trap for the UPA-government “the CPI-M is laying because it does not want to be seen firing on the innocent villagers of Nandigram any more and wants the Central force to do the dirty work.”
To achieve this end the chief minister has “cooked up” the story that he had definite information about a group of about 100 Naxalites moving in the area, the letter he has written to Mr Shivraj Patil stated.

The parishad alleged the CPI-M was now trying to ‘recapture’ Nandigram by using its musclemen and armed mercenaries led by the party’s local satraps. It has information that goons are being brought from Bihar and Jharkhand and other parts of West Bengal. On top of it, it wants an additional battalion of CRPF so that the blood it had spilled on 14 March stains the Central force now and the state administration can escape the guilt of killing innocent villagers resisting marauding gangs of armed CPI-M cadres.

The state government, the parishad wrote, has 19 battalions of armed policemen, in addition to its usual police force. In fact, it can restore peace to the 28 mouzas of Nandigram within an hour, but it won’t risk being branded once again as killers of innocent villagers which is why it still wants an additional battalion of CRPF.

The parishad pointed out that the chief minister’s reference to a wing of the human rights outfit, Association for the Protection of Democratic Rights, is politically motivated just as the attempt once made by the Kolkata Police to brand the octogenarian litterateur, Mahasweta Debi, as a “maoist”.

It contested the claim by the CPI-M state secretary, Mr Biman Bose, that Nandigram has a difficult topography which was echoed by the chief minister. This, according to the parishad, is a total misrepresentation of facts intended to misguide the Centre.

“Mr Bhattacharjee has already blood on his hands and now he intends to stain your clothes with it too,” it wrote to Mr Patil.

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Poor take up arms with rebels as guerrillas strike at heart of India

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 3, 2007


TWO years ago, Comrade Sunil used his given name and spent half the day at school, the remainder working the red fields of his ancestral village.

This all changed one night when he found his home torched and his brother dead outside, allegedly shot by state-sponsored civilian militia on the pretext of being a Maoist sympathiser.

Warming by a campfire deep in the mountain jungle of southern Chhattisgarh, the 18-year-old swears he will never give up his home-made gun. “I am prepared to stay out here and fight like this for the rest of my life,” he said. “And so are all the comrades of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army.”

There is a war in the heart of India, and it is spreading. In the shadow of Bollywood and the info-tech boom, Maoist insurgents, known as Naxalites, affect about one-third of the country’s districts. Manmohan Singh, the prime minister, has called them the “single greatest security challenge ever faced by our country”.

Over the weekend, Naxalite guerrillas in Jharkhand state gunned down 19 people at a village cultural event, including the youngest son of the former chief minister, the latest in a series of attacks targeting state officials and their kin.

It is no coincidence that the Naxalites’ strength is concentrated in the most backward states – Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa, and to lesser degrees rural parts of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra – where poverty and poor education offer fertile ground for recruiting.

Their name comes from the West Bengal village of Naxalbari, scene of an armed peasant uprising 40 years ago. Now estimated to have 20,000 hardcore fighters backed by a network of tens of thousands of village militia, Naxalite leaders claim almost 40 per cent of their ranks are women.

A steady crackdown by state authorities in Andhra Pradesh has killed hundreds of guerrillas and led to the arrests of top leaders thanks to special jungle commando units aided by paid informants.

But insurgents have regrouped in the dense forest belt in neighbouring Chhattisgarh, consolidating their foot-hold among dirt-poor tribal communities all but abandoned by the state. “The areas to which the Maoists have moved in to fight are in almost complete administrative neglect,” said Ajai Sahni, director of the Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management. “You couldn’t even keep cattle there.”

A report by the Asian Centre for Human Rights, a think-tank that monitors insurgent groups, said that out of 384 conflict-related deaths – civilians, security forces and insurgents – between January and September, Chhattisgarh accounted for 208, or 54 per cent.

The absence of capable security forces has emboldened Naxalites. In March, a pre-dawn raid on a police outpost in Rani Bodli left 55 security personnel dead.

Instead of bringing in suitably-trained reinforcements, critics say a foolish state campaign to arm civilian militia, known as Salwa Judum (“peace movement”), has made a problem worse.

The creation of special police officers – often no more than rifle-toting teenagers – to enforce security has opened the door to excesses such as rape and extra-judicial killings that have sent bystanders such as Comrade Sunil into the arms of the rebels. Villages, meanwhile, are under pressure to choose between the militia or the Naxalites. Hundreds have died in the crossfire.

Fifteen policemen were killed on Friday in an ambush by the Naxalites in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, police said.

In a surprise move, the 17-member police team from Pamed police station, were on a search operation this afternoon, when the waiting naxalite group fired indiscriminately and carried out landmine blasts on the police team, the Bijapur police said.

Ftfteen of them were killed, while two others luckily survived, who informed about the incident, police said.

The Pamed police station is around 400 km away from the district headquarters of Bijapur, police said.

Interestingly, the Pamed police station which is in the midst of a strong Naxalite area, does not have a telephone line, sources said.

Amongst the killed were a head constable and 12 constables from the district forces and one head constable and a constable from the Chhattisgarh armed forces, police said.

On October 29, five policemen were killed in Pamalway area in Bijapur district by the Maoists.

Posted in Chhattisgarh | Leave a Comment »

Train police in jungle warfare, Jharkhand told

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 3, 2007

NEW DELHI: With the recent upsurge in Naxalite violence in Jharkhand, including the killing of former chief minister Babulal Marandi’s son, exposing the ineffectiveness of the state police in pre-empting extremist attacks, the Centre has stepped up pressure on the state to make jungle warfare an intrinsic part of police training and deploy young personnel to take on the 20-something Naxal fighters.

A rise in local police component in counter-operations as against over-dependence on Central forces, the Union home ministry feels, would not only ensure greater success of counter-operations given the state police personnel’s knowledge of and adaptation to the local terrain, but help spare the Central forces for other theatres of insurgency/terror as well.

Though the Centre has been taking up the issue of compulsory jungle warfare training for young police officers in states affected by Naxal extremism, citing the successful case of Andhra Pradesh, several states are yet to take a call on the same.

Chattisgarh has taken the initiative and set up its own jungle warfare training unit in Raipur — College of Counter-Terrorism & Jungle Warfare. The institute offers 45-day training for police officials in dealing with harsh conditions in the jungle and taking on the Naxalites.

However, states like Jharkhand, Orissa and Bihar are yet to set up similar training facilities. The inability of Jharkhand police to ensure jungle warfare training for its police men seems to be costing the state dear: Naxalites have gunned down two prominent persons recently, MP Sunil Mahato and Mr Marandi’s son Anup Marandi, and are also killing police personnel.

The Centre, which itself is grappling with lack of actionable ground-level intelligence, has asked Jharkhand to treat as urgent its suggestion for making jungle warfare training compulsory for police personnel.

“Jharkhand should ensure that young police officials, preferably in the age group 18-25 and well-versed in jungle warfare, are deployed for counter-operations in Naxal-infested areas…the Naxalite fighters are in that age group and their agility and strength has to be matched by as young a force,” a senior Union home ministry official.

The ministry has also been prevailing upon the state to optimally use the Central forces and post young SPs in the violence-affected districts so that they can infuse young blood into local policing.

Though the MHA realises that a local jungle warfare training facility in all Naxal-hit states could take longer to materialise, it is mounting pressure on them to start training their police personnel in other states. Some of the well-known jungle warfare training schools are in Vairengte (Mizoram), Kaziranga (Assam), Raipur and Andhra Pradesh.


Posted in Jharkhand | Leave a Comment »

Maoists using SMS messages in psychological war

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 3, 2007

Ranchi, Nov 2 – Maoist rebels are using SMS messages to wage psychological war on Jharkhand police officials.Sukhdeo Singh, principal secretary to Chief Minister Madhu Koda, received an SMS Wednesday from the mobile number of Chatra district Deputy Commissioner (DC) Puja Singhal that Maoist rebels had killed the district superintendent of police (DSP) along with 25 security personnel in an ambush.‘When the Chatra DC was contacted it was found that the information sent through the SMS was wrong,’ an official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

The same evening, Singhal received an SMS from the DSP’s cell phone that said: ‘Please come, we are holding a janata durbar’. On contacting the DSP, Singhal realised that he had not sent any SMS. ‘It seems that Maoist rebels want to trap the officials by sending misleading messages and are trying to put psychological pressure on the government,’ said the official.Police sources said Maoist rebels tap the wireless messages of officials regularly.

In turn, police have arrested some Maoist leaders like Madanji by tapping their mobile phones. Since that arrest, the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has issued a circular banning the use of mobile phones by its cadres.Maoist rebels are active in 18 of the 24 districts of Jharkhand. More than 1,000 people, including 290 security personnel, have been killed in the last seven years in Maoist-related violence.

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Maoist presence in Nandigram, CRPF arrives next week: govt

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 3, 2007

Kolkata, Nov 2 (PTI) The West Bengal government today said it has information of a Maoist presence in troubled Nandigram in East Midnapore district for which it has requisitioned a battalion of the CRPF from the Centre.
“The government has information about the presence of Maoists in Nandigram. The CRPF will be arriving there by next week,” state Home Secretary P R Roy said here today.

To a question, Roy said the central paramilitary force would be deployed in Nandigram, adjacent to the CPI(M) stronghold of Khejuri and other places where violence has been continuing for the last 10 months between anti-acquisition ‘Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee’ backed by the Trinamool Congress and the CPI(M).

The exact deployment would be finalised after discussions, he said.

Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee had sought CRPF deployment for Nandigram on October 29 during a telephonic talk with Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil.

Roy said Chief Secretary A K Deb had discussions with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on the matter yesterday. PTI

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