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Archive for December 17th, 2007

Over 100 Naxals escape from Chhattisgarh jail

Posted by Indian Vanguard on December 17, 2007

Posted in Chhattisgarh, Videos | Leave a Comment »

Mass jailbreak by Maoists

Posted by Indian Vanguard on December 17, 2007

Mass jailbreak by Maoists

Bhopal/Raipur, Dec. 16: About 100 imprisoned Maoists snatched their guards’ guns and broke out of a Chhattisgarh jail this evening in a 15-minute operation timed perfectly between the chaos of dinner and the evening security drill.

The rebels shot and injured two guards and ran out of the Dantewada district jail, the highest-security prison in the Maoist-hit state, and were followed out by nearly 200 other prisoners.

Dantewada, about 450km south of state capital Raipur, is one of the Maoists’ strongest hubs in the country and the CPI (Maoist) top leadership is believed to be hiding in the area.

The first move was made around 4.45pm by a Maoist prisoner named Sudhir Kumar, who took advantage of the general laxity in security during dinner, said R.K. Vij, inspector-general, Bastar.

Kumar bent down as if to pick up his thali (plate) but suddenly snatched the lone sentry’s rifle. A group of Maoists then raided the armoury, grabbed the weapons and rushed towards the main gate, guns blazing.

They broke the gate open, fired at a guard and disappeared into the forests, carrying half-a-dozen .303 rifles. They left behind two injured guards, a bleeding non-Maoist inmate, and empty plates signifying the rebels had made sure they finished what could be their last meal for some time.

“It was all over within 15 minutes. Security personnel from Dantewada (about 5km from the jail premises) had reached by 5pm,” Vij said, adding 299 of the jail’s 373 inmates had fled.

At 5pm, the jail’s security would anyway have been taken over by a special armed police contingent.

Sources said that according to the jail manual, 16 sentries should guard the prison but just five were assigned for the task today. Only the two injured guards were found inside the premises after the jailbreak, and there’s suspicion the other three never turned up for duty.

The state government has suspended the jailor and five others, and ordered a magisterial inquiry. Embarrassed senior officers tonight spoke of a “well-planned conspiracy”.

The jailbreak is the Maoists’ biggest since November 2005, when 1,000 guerrillas held Bihar’s Jehanabad town hostage, freed nearly 400 jailed comrades and kidnapped two dozen Ranbir Sena prisoners.

The Naxalites later almost took over an Orissa town, R. Udaygiri, while freeing 40 prisoners in March last year. Today’s operation, however, did not involve a siege by outsiders.

“We have scattered the Maoist prisoners among the various district jails in Jagdalpur, Bijapur and Dantewada; but with so many Maoists being arrested, such division is difficult,” an official said.

He added that the need to present the prisoners frequently before trial courts was an obstacle to shifting them to faraway districts.

Vij said no hardcore Maoists were detained in the jail — a claim questioned by other sources who insisted that at least 15 inmates fitted that description. “A senior Maoist commander identified as Sunil is the suspected mastermind,” an official said.

Sources quoting eyewitness said the prisoners had fled towards Faraspal. The Dantewada-Faraspal stretch is completely under rebel control.


Posted in Chhattisgarh | Leave a Comment »

Guerrilla warfare training needed to tackle Maoists: expert

Posted by Indian Vanguard on December 17, 2007

By Sujeet Kumar
Raipur, Dec 17 (IANS): Police in the worst Maoist-hit state of Chhattisgarh need to be trained in guerrilla warfare in order to tackle the armed rebels or they will just end up being outsmarted and killed, feels a top counter terrorism expert.

As many as 90 percent casualties of policemen in the state are of cops lacking in guerrilla warfare techniques, said B.K. Ponwar, director of the Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College (CTJWC), Kanker.

“When Maoists attack the untrained cops, they are simply outsmarted by the insurgents and get killed,” Ponwar, a retired army brigadier, told IANS in an interview.

Concerned over the increasing attacks by the Maoists and the need to beef up counter-terrorism measures, the state government Friday approved Rs.28.9 million for construction of CTJWC’s own building, which is currently housed in a small police line building.

The government plans to pump in more money to create high-class anti-terror training and guerrilla warfare infrastructure facilities at CTJWC, which will be further developed on a 150 acre land.

Ponwar was called by the Chhattisgarh government in August 2005 to head the CTJWC, which is set up in Maoist-hit Kanker district in Bastar region. Bastar has been the epicentre of Maoist violence since June 2005 when a civil militia movement, Salwa Judum, was launched against the banned Maoist outfit Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist).

Since June 2005, about 900 people were killed in the state in Maoist violence of which nearly 322 belonged to either police rank or special police officers (SPOs).

“The high casualty rate of policemen will continue till we don’t train the policemen and forces in guerrilla warfare. The cops are getting unnecessarily killed by not having the skill to tackle guerrilla attacks,” Ponwar said.

Before joining in CTJWC, Ponwar was head of the Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School in Mizoram.

He said that since August 2005, around 5,800 policemen were trained in guerrilla warfare, including 4,700 from home state Chhattisgarh. Policemen from Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, Maharashtra and Kerala also underwent training.

“Policemen who undergo guerrilla warfare training rarely get killed by the Maoists. Once you gain mastery over anti-terrorism combat techniques and guerrilla warfare skills, it becomes virtually impossible for the Maoists to overpower you,” Ponwar said.

The CTJWC trains policemen in how to survive flash attacks in hilly terrain where the enemy is strategically perched higher up and can see any movement easily. They are taught how to hide in hilly areas and hit the enemy, how to negotiate their way through difficult hilly and forested terrain and even to handle snakes – such as found in the interiors of Bastar. They are also taught how to defuse bombs.

Kalinga Times

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Jail security across Chhattisgarh increased

Posted by Indian Vanguard on December 17, 2007

Raipur, Dec 17 – A day after Maoists managed to break free from a jail in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada, jail security across the state was tightened Monday.Raipur and Bilaspur central jails housing several dreaded Maoist militants have also been put on high alert. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh held an emergency meeting late Sunday night here and asked top police officials to plug jail security loopholes in the state and announced a magisterial inquiry into the incident.He also suspended five jail officials, including Dantewada jailer KL Mankar, with immediate effect Director General (Jails) Sant Kumar Paswan, who termed the incident ‘shocking and surprising’, left here for Dantewada Sunday night.

The state government has sought help from neighbouring states like Orissa, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh to apprehend the escaped Maoists.‘The Government has launched an operation at war footing to track down the Maoists who escaped from the jail,’ Paswan told IANS. Officials said that just two guards were on duty around 5 p.m. when a group of jailed Maoists led by Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) commander Sujeet Kumar executed the jailbreak.The entire drama was over in just 10 minutes.

The reinforcement took 35 minutes to arrive, but by the time all the Maoists had fled.State Home Minister Ramvichar Netam left here Monday morning for Dantewada with the state’s director general of police to boost the morale of thousands of police and para-military troopers deployed in the district for counter-insurgency operation.

Indo-Asian News Service

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Alert against Maoists in three Bengal districts

Posted by Indian Vanguard on December 17, 2007

Kolkata, Dec 17 – Alarmed over the jailbreak by Maoist inmates in a Chhattisgarh jail, the West Bengal government Monday sounded an alert in all three Maoist-affected districts – Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore – against a possible attack by the rebels.

‘We have alerted Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore districts, which share border with Jharkhand,’ Home Secretary Prasad Ranjan Roy told reporters at the state secretariat Writers’ Building.To a query, he said: ‘The state government has no plan yet to declare the Maoists as a banned organisation in West Bengal.’ On the Maoist posters found plastered on the gate of Writers’ Building on Thursday night, Roy said: ‘The police are investigating how the Maoists managed to come there and paste posters since the area is prohibited to outsiders.’City police commissioner Gautam Mohon Chakraborty said the police were probing the matter and also the role of the police officials on duty at the time.

Four constables on duty that night at gate No.1 of Writers’ Building have been suspended. Maoist posters condemning the violence in Nandigram were found on the walls of the high-security state secretariat.The posters blamed Chief Minster Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, Left Front chairman Biman Bose and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member Binoy Konar for the March 14 police firing in Nandigram in which 14 people were killed.

Earth Times

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Maoist Press releases make rounds in state

Posted by Indian Vanguard on December 17, 2007

Statesman News Service

PARALAKHEMUNDI, Dec. 16: After a few months of dormancy the CPI (Maoist) have started circulating Press releases to a few select reporters, indicating their presence in Gajapati. Since the past one-and-half years there have been no major Naxalite activities as far as Gajapati District is concerned, though there have been reports of some incidents from the neighbouring Rayagada District, ~ the maximum mayhem being reported from Malkangiri .

The first letter, allegedly signed by the Secretary of CPI (Maoist)(Orissa State Organisation Unit) Sunil had lambasted the Central government and state government for falling prey to the dictums of World Bank.

The Press release has condemned the state government for using excessive force for implementing industrialisation and liberalisation at the cost of the common people.

“The CM Mr Naveen Patnaik, the finance minister Mr Prafulla Ghadei and the BJD strong man Damodar Rout are hell bent on bringing in Posco and TATA even though there is massive resistance from the people, especially the local residents who are being displaced to meet the whims of big industry houses,” said Sunil in the letter. The CPI(Maoist) will continue to assist the poor, innocent, down trodden people whether it is at Nandigram or Kalinganagar said this letter.

Another letter received only a couple of days after the first one has a more aggressive tone and in stringent voice threatens to start a war against the state if the government does not change its industrialisation policy. This letter spits venom blasts Orissa and Chattisgarh police for killing innocents in the name of Naxalite supporters, and cites the name of Nandalal Mirdha, Anil Khes and Dasarthi Pradhan who were abducted by the armed police in the Deogarh and Sundergarh zone and were later produced before the Press as surrendered naxalites. The Press release also points out that one of their cadres Giresh alias Dhiren Das alias Moharu Mohato from Jharkhand last month and also the couple James and Sujata arrested from Sambalpur this month are being tortured for information and not been treated as prisoners.

The letter reveals that their cadres have been instructed to attack police and politicians who supported the industrial houses who are hell bent in displacing thousands of poor in Orissa. The letters are dated 8th and 9th of this month, typed in Oriya and has been posted locally .

Posted in Orissa | Leave a Comment »