Anti-Naxal Force mistakenly kills a Muslim cattle-trader; bandh called in Mangalore
Mangalore: The Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) personnel have reportedly shot dead a Muslim cattle trader suspecting him to be a Naxalite on Saturday, April 19. The ANF officials were on night vigil when the incident took place near Shringeri check post on the Chikmagalur-Karkala state highway. The deceased has been identified as Kabeer (23) , a resident of Krishnapura in Suratkal. Kabeer, along with five others, was transporting cattle when the incident took place. The ANF sleuths opened fire when the vehicle did not stop at their instructions thereby killing the youth, a source said. The ANF personnel have also arrested a man, identified as Farooque in this connection and other three are reportedly absconding.
Bandh called in Mangalore
A bandh was also called in Mangalore today afternoon to protest against the killing of the youth in which all shops and business establishments were closed. Furious on this, the locals have demanded a CBI enquiry in this connection.
On a war footing for peaceful polls
NEW DELHI: More than 2.1 lakh armed men, moving over 100 trains, 10,500 vehicles and 21 choppers could look like an army on the march. But this is no war. This is what’s needed to organize polls in the world’s largest democracy. Getting over 80 crore to vote in over 8 lakh booths across 543 constituencies, each unique in caste composition, religion mix and ethnicity, is a task. Add to this the threat from insurgents and it’s a logistical nightmare.
‘Man killed by police in N’Patna not Maoist’
Social activist Prafulla Samantray today demanded a judicial inquiry into the killing of a suspected Maoist in Narayanpatna in Odisha’s Koraput district on April 13, claiming that the slain person had little to do with Maoists. “While the people in Narayanpatna area have all along participated in the democratic protests peacefully, the police have tried to create disturbance in the region and conducted a false encounter to kill an innocent person Purno Ulluka. We want a judicial inquiry by a sitting High Court judge and compensation of Rs 20 lakh to his family,” said Samantray at a press conference here.
However, the police claimed that the Maoist who was shot dead in an encounter near the Forest Range office in Narayanpatna on Sunday night was a wanted ultra and was involved in a number of civilian killings in Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon area in recent months. The slain Maoist, identified as Purno Ulluka hailed from the nearby Basanaput village and was an active member of the Koraput-Srikakulam division of the outlawed CPI-Maoist, police said.
The encounter took place when a group of 12 or15 Maoists were reportedly found moving towards the venue of Thakurani Yatra which was being celebrated in Narayanpatna, allegedly to punish some local leaders who were instrumental in encouraging people to vote in large numbers in defiance of the Maoist call for poll boycott.
Hardcore Maoist arrested in Bihar
PATNA: A hardcore Maoist was arrested today by Special Task Force (STF) from Buxar and a levy money of Rs 63,000 recovered from him, a senior police officer said. Acting on a tip off, the STF team arrested Azad Paswan from Sikaraul police station of Buxar, Inspector General of Police Amit Kumar said. He was accused in 10 cases in Buxar and Rohtas districts.
…Meanwhile, in Birbhum district of West Bengal a villager recovered a live bomb lying on the road side, about which he later informed the concerned authorities.
The first time when the bourgeoisie attacked by imprisoning people was in 1596 in Amsterdam. This kind of attack or praxis was named the “Flemish model”. The imperialists and their collaborators attack, imprison, and give heavy punishments like death penalty to the revolutionaries and patriots in order to protect their heaven, which is created over the exploitation of labor and nature. Including US imperialism the western imperialists want to hinder the advancement of socialism and for this reason the ruling classes have increased their aggression on class struggle including national and social liberation struggles.
Further they use practices on revolutionary and patriotic prisoners in countries that they have occupied like the US in Iraq in the Abu Gahrip prison or Guantanamo, but this is just an example. One of the first countries that implemented the isolation and Tretman policies that were used against the prisoners in Korea in 1950 was the US. Today it is used in an extended way all over the world. In 1970 it was used in Germany against RAF militants, in England in the 1980’s against IRA militants. In Turkey many year the plans of the state to bring the isolation system into the country failed due to the resistances of the political revolutionary prisoners, but in the year 2000 the state made a massacre on December 19th and with this massacre the F-type prison system was implemented. The essence of this policy is to isolate, weaken, and enforce obedience, de-personalize and take the identity of the prisoners and finally make them capitulate.
We have witnessed many long and honorable resistances in our country. Especially after the military coup in September 12th 1980 in the dungeons of Diyarbakir and other prisons many revolutionary opponents stood against death, torture etc. that period which can be considered the most darkest page of the prison history in our country made the prisoners lay a significant milestone for the traditions of rebellion by resistances, hunger strikes, death fasting.
1989 Eskişehir-Aydın, 1995 Buca massacre, 1996 Diyarbakir massacre, January 4th 1996 Umraniye massacre, 1996 unlimited hunger strike and death fast resistance, 26th September 1999 Ulucanlar massacre, and December 19th 2000 massacre. With these massacres the stated aimed to eliminate the revolutionary movement. To distribute papers, or to participate on May 1st at the demonstrations or to go to rallies, which are a natural legitimate, right is considered a crime and results into punishments like “hundreds” of years in prison. The practice of heavy isolation treatment against prisoners with life sentences continues. The prisoners face all kind of suppression, cameras are installed in their cells, and they get discipline punishment. Many prisoners are not allowed to receive their urgent medical treatments and this actually sentences them to death.
With such practices they continue the death penalty, which has officially been abolished. There are 620 ill prisoners and 202 of them are very ill. According to the information of the ministry of justice between the years 2000-2013 2.304 people have died. Besides the general impact of the F-type isolation, for woman, LGBTI’s and children the reality of isolation brings other forms of attacks as well.
Woman, children LGBTI’s face sexual harassment, rape and other forms of oppression. As we said in the beginning, these attacks towards prisoners are not just a fact of our country; all over the world there are similar practices and policies used against opponents, revolutionaries, communists and progressive prisoners. For this reason international solidarity, a common struggle on the prisoners issue is from great importance. It is clear that there is a urgent need to organize our common struggle and share our experiences. For this purpose, we invite you to the symposium which will take place on April 26-27th in Istanbul.
Program of the Symposium
10:00 am Cinevision Opening
1st session: reports on the situation of the countries prisons/ the impacts of isolation over the prisoners: 11:00 am
Moderator: Akın Birdal (Former chairperson of the Human Rights Association and MP) (DHF-ESP-Partizan) representatives joint presentation International participants Open microphone
2nd session: reports on the situation of the countries prisons/ the impacts of isolation over the prisoners:
14:00pm Moderator: Ümit EFE (İHD Human Rights Association/Istanbul Chairperson) International Participants Hasan Gülbahar (former prisoner) Open microphone
10:00 am 1. Session: Woman, LGBT’s, children and prisons time:
10:00am-12:00 Moderator: Ayşe Berktay (writer, translator, former prisoner Elif Avcı (Lambda representative) Çiçek Otlu Attorney Hasan Erdoğan (İHD Human Rights Association speaker for the closing of children prisons) Open microphone
Session International Execution Systems and Law.
Time: 12:15-14:30 Moderator: Lawyer Begüm Yıldız (Istanbul Bars Prison Commission) Lawyers from Iran, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, Brazil and Turkey Open Microphone
3. Session: The Formation of an Regional and International Joint Workshop
(15:30-17:30) Presentations of countries and proposals of organizations and presentations
Place: PETROL-İŞ (Altunizade Mh., Kuşbakışı Cd No:23, 34662 İstanbul)
Date: 26-27th April
ESP (Socialist Party of the Oppressed),
DHF (Federation for Democratic Rights),
SKM (Socialist Woman’s Council),
The Voice of the Martyrs and Prisoners Platform,
SGDF (Federation of Socialist Youth Association),
YDK (New Democrat Woman),
DDSB (Unity of the Revolutionary Democratic Trade Union),
PŞTA (Families of the Partizan Martyrs and Prisoners),
DGH (Democratic Youth Movement),
YDAB (New Democracy Families Unity),
DKH (Democratic Woman Movement),
ATIK (Confederation of Workers from Turkey in Europe),
YDG (New Democratic Youth),
ADHK (Federation of Democratic Rights Europe),
ADKH (Democratic Woman’s Movement Europe),
ADHG (Democratic Youth Movement Europe),
Alınteri, Revolutionary Proletariat (A world to Live),
Aveg-Kon (Federation of the Oppressed Migrants Europe),
AÖTDK (Solidarity Committee of Free Prisoners in Europe),
AGIF (Migrant Workers Federation Germany),
ACTIT (Workers Cultural Association of Workers from Turkey in Paris),
IGIF (Federation of Workers from Turkey in Switzerland),
GIK-DER (Migrant Workers Cultural Association London),
VEK-SAV ( Vardiya International Culture and Art Foundation Holland),
Migrant Workers Initiative in Austria,
EGA-BIR (Unity of Migrant Families Edinburgh),
BGK (Migrants Collective Belgium),
SKB (Socialist Woman’s Unity),
YS (Young Struggle)
FEKAR (Federation of Kurdish Culture Associations),
Proletarian Revolutionary Posture Switzerland),
Political Newspaper Switzerland,
ADDBF (Federation of the Democratic Dersim Unities in Europe),
TUAD (Association of Imprisoned Families),
DISK Limiter-Is trade Union,
Civil Society in a Punishment Executive System Association,
General Center of the Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Association,
Munzur Environmental Association,
Peoples Democratic Party,
Human Rights and Justice Commission,
IHD (Human Rights Association Istanbul Office
AHM-ATİK News Centre
SOLIDARITY WITH THE POLITICAL PRISONERS IN INDIA!
Naxals fire on polling party in Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon
Rajnandgaon: An exchange of fire took place between the security forces and the Naxals in the insurgency-hit Rajnandgaon Lok Sabha constituency of Chhattisgarh where polling was held today. No causalities were reported. “The incident took place under Khadgaon police station limits of Rajnandgaon district while a polling party escorted by joint team of ITBP (Indo Tibetan Border Police) and the district police force was returning after polling in Kamkasur region,” a senior police official said. After the polling concluded at 3 pm in the Mohla- Manpur assembly segment of Rajnandgaon parliamentary constituency, the polling party escorted by security personnel was heading back when Naxal opened fire from a distance.
Polling booth relocated fearing Maoist landmine in Jharkhand
Jamshedpur (Jharkhand): A polling booth has to be relocated in Naxal-affected Kasiabeda area in Ghatsila sub-division on suspicion that a landmine was planted near the original venue by Maoists to disrupt parliamentary elections. The building where the polling was to be held was sanitised after the security personnel detected a wire near it, Senior Superintendent of Police A V Homkar said.
Three Maoists held in Bihar’s Aurangabad
AURANGABAD: Three Maoists, including a self-styled zonal commander was arrested on Friday from a village under Daudnagar police station area in Bihar’s Aurangabad district, a police officer said. Acting on a tip-off, the police raided a hide out in Chaudi village and arrested a hardcore CPI(Maoist) ultra Kailu Prajapati alias Akashji, who carried a reward of Rs three lakh, with his two other associates Munna Rajak and Munna Prajapati, the Superintendent of Police (SP) Upendra Kumar Sharma said.
Kailu Prajapati, said to be the self-styled area commander of the CPI(Maoist) of Rafiganj-Goh zone, was wanted in connection with over a dozen cases of naxal violence in the district, he said. A country-made stengun, a pistol, besides 16 ammunitions of AK-47 gun and pistol and three uniforms of the STF were recovered from possession of the ultras, who have been sent to jail, Sharma said.
Maoist Arrested With Cash in Jharkhand
A Maoist, with a huge amount of money was arrested today at Ranka in Jharkhand’s Garhwa district. The Maoist, Babulal Sao, was arrested from a place under Ranka police station, Superintendent of Police Sudhir Kumar Jha said here. The Rs 79,500 in cash, extorted from a contractor, was for handover to a subzonal commander, he said.
Four including three cops injured in Maoist encounter
Ranchi: Four persons including three CRPF jawans were injured in an encounter between Maoists and paramilitary jawans near Lugu Hills under Gomia police station area of Bokaro under Giridih Parliamentary constituency on Thursday. A civilian was also injured in the incident. Sources said a patrolling team of CRPF jawans was passing by Lugu Hills when Maoists triggered an explosion to blow up the police vehicle.
But the vehicle somehow escaped the attack. The paramilitary jawans took their positions. Maoists opened fire on the jawans who retaliated promptly. Three CRPF jawans including one Pratap Singh were injured in the incident. They were taken to Apollo Hospital, Ranchi. Dr Sanjay Kumar, commandant of CRPF, confirmed that three jawans and a civilian were injured in the incident. The victims were taken to Ranchi in a helicopter, he said.
CRPF jawan injured in gunbattle with Maoists in Bokaro during polls
New Delhi, April 18: A CRPF jawan was injured during a gunbattle with ultras of the CPI (Maoist) in the forests of Bokaro district on Thursday. According to CRPF (26th Battalion) Commandant Sanjay Kumar, the encounter took place near Tulbul village during a long range patrolling at Jhumra Hills under Gomia police station of the district. He said a jawan suffered injuries in the encounter.
Maoists abduct polling officials for an hour, release them with a warning
According to a belated report, a group of armed Maoists abducted a team of polling officials in the cut-off area of Chitrakonda in Odisha’s Malkangiri district on Thursday afternoon but released them later with a warning. The incident came to light when the polling team revealed this to the media after reaching the district headquarters on Thursday night. According to reports, the team had gone to conduct repolling in the 15 booths in Chitrakonda where the polling was disrupted by the Maoists during the first phase polls on April 10.
After the polling got over at 3 PM, the polling team despatched electronic voting machines (EVMs) in a helicopter and boarded a motor launch for Chitrakonda on their way back to the district headquarters. As soon as the launch arrived at Kunturapadar village on the banks of the Chitrakonda reservoir, a group of armed Maoists asked them to get down and follow them. The team members were then taken to a forested area where they were produced before a kangaroo court in which nearly a hundred armed ultras took part.
The Maoists grilled the poll officials with a volley of questions in presence of their leaders Rukdhar and Udaya and asked them how they dared to venture into the area despite their call to the people to boycott the elections. Later, they asked one of the team members to write a letter to the district collector as dictated by them.
The letter contained 7-point charter of demands of the Maoists including improvement in education and health services, solution of land related problems and drinking water supply, end to the ongoing victimisation and arrest of innocent tribals by branding them as Maoists and the immediate release of arrested tribal people from jail. In the letter, the Maoists have also asked the district administration to stop engaging the teachers in non-teaching jobs such as election duty. The draft letter was then signed by Maoist leader Rukdhar.
Four IEDs found from unused polling centre
Jamshedpur: Four Improvised Explosive Devices were Friday recovered from an unused polling centre in Maoist-affected Kasiabeda in Singbhum East district, the police said. Led by Musaboni Deputy Superintendent of Police, Bachandeo Kujjur, a bomb disposal squad searched the polling centre in Jamshedpur Lok Sabha constituency and found the four IEDs each weighing between two-and-half kg and three kg.
Kujjur said the polling centre was shifted to a nearby building at the last minute before starting of voting yesterday after securitymen found a wire near the centre. However, search operation could not be carried out there yesterday as the bomb disposal squad were engaged in other parts of the sub-division.
Seven Herders Held After Inner Mongolia Clashes
Chinese authorities in the northern region of Inner Mongolia are holding seven ethnic Mongolian herders after clashes with a mining company they said polluted their grazing lands, local residents said on Thursday. The detentions came after around 150 herders from Chagaan-oboo Gachaa in Heshigten Banner (in Chinese, Keshiketeng Qi) to the north of Chifeng city staged a sit-in protest in front of the Inner Mongolia Yindu Mining Co. on Wednesday. Herders told RFA that the company had been dumping toxic waste onto their grazing lands in since January, causing the death of livestock. “They were afraid of trouble, so they just called in the riot police from Heshigten and detained eight people,” a local herder who declined to be identified said.
Thousands march across West Bank, Gaza to mark Prisoners Day
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — At least ten Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces on Thursday as thousands participated in protests across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to commemorate the annual Palestinian Prisoners Day. Large demonstrations took place in Hebron, Gaza City, Jenin, Nablus, and Ramallah to mark the day of solidarity with the more than 5,000 Palestinian prisoners currently being held in Israeli prisons. The demonstrations took place amid a major row with Israel over its failure to release a batch of prisoners held for more than twenty years as previously agreed upon as a part of ongoing peace negotiations.
Protesters clash with police in Algeria over Bouteflika’s re-election bid
The state murders’ – that was the rallying cry for hundreds of young protesters in Algeria on Thursday to demonstrate against the country’s presidential elections The unrest around 120 kilometres east of Algiers in the village of Rafour, saw small scale clashes against the authorities. ‘‘We are not supporting anyone, we are neither with the candidate (Abdelaziz) Bouteflika nor with (Ali) Benflis. We are fed up with this authoritarian system, we are fed up with everything in Algeria,’‘ said one young man.
Another nearby town reported burnt ballot boxes. The protest area is a stronghold of the RCD opposition party, which boycotted the vote. One protester said: ‘‘People completely reject this election. It is not an election, it’s a farce.’‘
70 wounded as anti-vote Algerian youths, police clash
Clashes in Algeria’s restive Kabylie region between security forces and youths opposed to Thursday’s presidential election wounded around 70 people, AFP reports according to local sources. Separate groups of youths seeking to disrupt voting in the Bouira region, southeast of Algiers, ransacked polling stations in three localities shortly after they opened at 0700 GMT, with riot police firing tear gas to disperse them.
At least 70 people were injured, including 47 policemen, and voting was temporarily suspended in Raffour, M’Chedellah and Saharij, the sources said. In Raffour, anti-regime sentiment was palpable, with masked youths armed with slings and chanting hostile slogans confronting police who fired tear gas canisters, an AFP photographer reported. Slogans they shouted included “Ulach smah” (“No forgiveness” in Kabyle, a Berber dialect), the cry of revenge for the bloody suppression of protests in 2001, in which more than 100 people were killed. Graffiti scrawled across a metal barrier read: “No to Bouteflika, no to Benflis, yes to a democratic transition,” referring to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who is seeking re-election after 15 years in power, and his main rival Ali Benflis. In Ighrem, also in the Bouira region, young men armed with clubs blocked off the exit to the town, burning tyres in the street, before police intervened to reopen it.
Maoists struggle to enforce election boycott in Jharkhand
A dirt track winding through sal-covered hills of Porahat forest give way to a trail deeper into the forest. The steep trail, accessible only on foot for several kilometres, goes past hamlets scattered over the ara serang, red hills, as the tribal villagers refer to the iron-rich earth of Porahat. It opens into a valley where two squads of the banned CPI (Maoist) halted for the day. The Maoists have frequently used Porahat, a fragmented forest contiguous with Saranda forest, as a shelter since the Centre launched Operation Anaconda in 2011 to flush out Maoists from Saranda, which served as their eastern regional bureau headquarters and where several training camps were held.
The paramilitary operations went on several months, and ten Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camps were set up in Saranda as part of a Rs. 250-crore Saranda Development Plan, pushing the Maoists to move northwards into Porahat. The Maoists who called for an election boycott in late February have pasted public notices in villages in several districts. Singhbhum constituency reserved for Scheduled Tribes, where former Chief Minister and Independent Madhu Koda is the sitting MP, will go to polls on Thursday. Mr. Koda’s wife Geeta Koda is contesting in his place. The Congress and BJP candidates are campaigning at a hectic pace in Chaibasa, and other towns.
There is little sign of the approaching elections in the villages. In one remote forest village in Porahat, the squads’ leaders addressed villagers to propagate an election boycott. “They wish to elect a Lok Sabha for the 16th time, but has any election changed gareebi (poverty), mehngaai (price rise), atyachaar (repression)?” Mahesh Pahan, in his early 30s with a short athletic build, who led both squads, began. “Why did they think of Saranda Development Plan now, decades after independence? Because 90 per cent of villagers there had started supporting the party (Maoists). Villagers do not have even five dismil land, why is government giving land in excess to industries?” he said, as men and children listened attentively sitting on a platform, and the women listened from afar.
Mr. Pahan recounted he spent three years in jail but resumed his role after the cases against him were dismissed a few years back. He has since been in the “technical side” he said, alluding to training in making explosives. He comes from a family of tribal priests from Khunti, and is one of five brothers of Bihar Jharkhand North Chhattisgarh Special Area Committee member Kundan Pahan, top among the list of ‘most wanted’ Maoist leaders in Jharkhand.
The Porahat village is among the few the party counts among its base here. After Mr. Pahan had finished addressing the meeting, the village elders came and discussed village matters with the rebels, and children played in the vicinity. Mr. Pahan, however, admitted that it was becoming more difficult to find area where the rebels still had a committed base, where the people thought of the party “as their own.” He explained this as both a result of intensified paramilitary operations and attacks by People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), a splinter group. In December, the CPI (Maoist) had offered yuddhviraam, ceasefire to PLFI citing both parties’ cadre were from the same socio-economic class, but the latter rejected it, say the Maoists.
So far, the poll boycott too has had limited success. Palamu, Chatra, Lohardaga constituencies which went to polls on April 10 saw an increase of nine percent in turnout. “In Saranda, 30 villagers came to meet us and said they will encourage the poll boycott in their areas, but we are not sure how effective this will be. We should have put up more posters, distribute pamphlets. But the CRPF have been carrying out operations even at night, we are unable to hold longer public meetings or long training sessions,” said Mr. Pahan. As the evening drew near, the squad prepared to leave. Sukru Munda, who accompanied this reporter to the village, said he expected the people to back the boycott.
Six Maoists Arrested in Bihar
In a joint operation, the CRPF and the Bihar Police today arrested six Maoists in East Champaran district, police said. Acting on a tip-off, a joint team of the CRPF and the district police raided areas under Rajepur and Patahi police station and held six Maoists for allegedly hatching a plan to trigger violence during the elections, SP Operation Rajiv Kumar said. Those arrested included Viyonath Manjhi alias Sanjay, wanted in several Naxal-related incidents, he said, adding two countrymande pistols, ten live bullets and Naxal literature have been recovered from them.
About 55% polling amid Maoist violence in Jharkand till 3 pm
…Five persons, including four CRPF personnel, were injured in attacks by Maoists, who also blew up railway lines in separate places in the state. A CRPF patrol was attacked by Maoists who exploded two land mines at Lalpania near Maoist—affected Jhumra Hills in Bokaro district, CRPF (26th Battalion) Commandant, Sanjay Kumar said. Three CRPF men, Pratap Singh, Surendra Kumar and P.C. Mandal besides driver Ranjit Kumar were injured.
Maoists fired on another CRPF patrol at Tulbul village injuring one of the men and a brief encounter took place before the ultras retreated. Maoists also blew up a stretch of railway lines between Dania railway station in Bokaro under the South Eastern Railway disrupting train services, Bokaro Superintendent of Police, Jitendra Kumar Singh said.
A pressure cooker bomb was recovered near a polling booth in Naxal-hit Saranda forest range of the State, an hour before polling began in the Singhbhum (ST) constituency, Superintendent of Police, N.K. Singh said. A report from Giridih said that the Maoists exploded ten bombs at separate places in the Giridih Lok Sabha constituency where polling was on. The rebels also exploded a bomb at Ghamaria Bharati Chalkari and two at Harladih around 1.30 a.m. The first phase of the polls was held in four constituencies on April 10. The third and last phase would be held on April 24 in four seats.
Four IEDs recovered from polling booths in Chhattisgarh
RAIPUR: Barely 12 hours before the commencing of polling for the second phase Lok Sabha elections in Rajnandgaon and Kanker constituencies of Chhattisgarh, security forces have thwarted a major attempt of the Naxals to blow up two polling stations with the recovery of four Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) late on Wednesday evening. According to EC officials, while three IEDs were recovered from the booth at Edasara school, Tadoki, Kanker, one was found at Sharda booth in Rajnandgaon, the home constituency of Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh. Each device reportedly weighed 5 to 7 kg.
Officials said investigations were on and a thorough search of the booth had been ordered. When contacted, ADG, naxal operations, RK Vij, confirmed the recovery of four IEDs. He revealed that the IEDs were concealed in a banner. He said investigations were still in progress. Incidentally two tiffin bombs were also earlier recovered during the day in Kanker.
Naxals trigger landmine blast in Kanker; none hurt
Raipur: Naxals triggered a landmine blast on Thursday in insurgency-hit Kanker Lok Sabha constituency of Chhattisgarh when a polling party escorted by security forces was returning after conducting elections in the region. However, no injuries or causalities were reported in the blast. “The incident took place under Bhanupratappur police station limits of Kanker district when a polling party was returning from Parvi booth,” Additional Director General of Police (naxal operation) R K Vij told.
After voting concluded at 3 pm in the Bhanupratappur assembly seat of Kanker parliamentary constituency, the polling party escorted by security forces was heading towards Bhanupratappur when the naxals struck. Security forces and polling party were safely evacuated from the spot, he said. Polling ended at 3 pm in the seven naxal-hit assembly constituencies in three Lok Sabha seats of Kanker, Rajnandgaon and Mahasamund.
Maoists may target ‘soft’ areas today: Intelligence agencies
NEW DELHI: Even though polls in core Maoist areas in the country are over, intelligence inputs have warned of the possibility of spectacular attacks in areas under mild Maoist influence that go to polls on Thursday. Intelligence agencies have spotted movement of Maoist cadres from core Naxal areas to non-core areas, suggesting that the ultras would try to take advantage of the thinly spread-out force and its lack of alertness in what are being seen as ‘soft’ areas.
Inputs have been received about movement of cadres from Bastar towards Kanker and from Bihar and Jharkhand towards Sarguja in Chhattisgarh. Similarly, movement of Naxal cadres has been spotted in Odisha shifting from Malkangiri to Nabrangpur. Polls in core Maoist areas such as Bastar, Malkangiri, Jamui, Aurangabad and Gaya (in Bihar), Chatra, Palamu, Lohardaga (in Jharkhand) and Gadchiroli in Maharashtra were held together on April 10. The next set of Naxal areas (softer in nature), including Giridih, Hazaribagh and Khunti in Jharkhand, Kanker, Mahsamund and Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh, Jahanabad and Munger in Bihar and Nabrangpur in Odisha will go to polls on Thursday.
None turn up to vote in 8 booths in Maoist-hit Malkangiri
Though there was peaceful repolling in 15 booths in Maoist-hit Chitrakonda Assembly seat in Odisha’s Malkangiri district today, no votes were cast in eight polling stations mostly due to fear, official sources said. No votes were polled in the seven booths in cut-off areas of Balimela reservoir — Andrapalli, Sanyasiguda, Handikhol, Panasput, Sirongi, Gorasetu and Jantri and one booth in Mathili area. Kamarpalli booth, one of the two polling stations in Mathili area also witnessed nil voter turnout.
The officials attributed it is the fear of Maoists and the long distance to the polling stations discouraged voters. A total of 11,433 voters were to cast their votes in the 15 booths. The repolling was ordered in the 15 booths as the Maoists had snatched away EVMs and set them on fire during the April 10 polls.
12 hour bandh concludes peacefully
IMPHAL, April 16: The 12 hour bandh called by the Maoist Communist Party Manipur affected normal life in the state as the two twin markets of Imphal remained closed for the day. All the inter-district passenger services remained off the road. However there were no reports of any untoward incident during the bandh. All shops and business establishments in both Paona and Thangal Bazar and the three Ima markets remained closed during the 12 hour bandh from 5 am to 5 pm.
Vehicular traffic along the roads in the state capital remained negligible with only a few private vehicles seen plying along the road. Most schools, colleges and other business establishments also remained close during the bandh. The bandh was called by the Maoist Communist Party Manipur alleging the sitting MP Th Meinya of misusing his MP Local Area Development Fund for the last ten years.
Detonators, explosives recovered in Keonjhar
Bhubaneswar, Apr 17 (PTI) Security forces today recovered a cache of detonators and other explosives in poll-bound Keonjhar district of Odisha. The recovery was made by a joint squad of forces led by paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force from Dheri village in Nayakot area of the district. Ten detonators and 11 gelatin sticks have been recovered from a suspected Maoist hideout in the area, a senior official said. A search operation is on in the area to look for ultras, the officials said.
IEDs found in Hazaribagh on poll eve
Five IEDs planted by the Maoists to target polling personnel were today recovered in Hazaribagh, which is going to the polls tomorrow. The explosives, which were planted under a culvert in Ambatanr forest area under Bishungarh police station, were discovered by the security men accompanying the polling personnel, Superintendent of Police Manoj Kaushik said here. The IEDs, which weighed two kg each, were defused, Kaushik said, adding they were planted by the Maoists to target polling personnel and security men. “We have intensified combing operation in the Maoist belt,” he added.
Residents boycott polls in Imphal West district
People in five polling stations in Imphal West district boycotted the Lok Sabha polls held on Thursday. The voters in four polling stations at Oinam Assembly constituency did not turn up for casting their votes. This is in protest against the manhandling of a woman allegedly by a police official under Nambol station limits. The people have been demanding the transfer of the police officer. One woman activist told The Hindu that they met Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam Gangmei, who is in charge of Home Ministry on the issue.
The activists told the leaders that unless the police official is transferred, they have no option but to boycott polls. Despite the assurance by the Mr. Gangmei to address the issue within a week, nothing has happened, they alleged. Meanwhile, Chaoba Thounaojam, the state unit president of the BJP deplored the lapses of the Manipur government in this regard. He said that after a preliminary inquiry the officer should have been transferred away to mollify the people.
He added that it is not too late now to transfer him if he is found guilty and then fix a new date of polling for these polling stations. In a separate development, voters at Lambal in Imphal West district boycotted the elections on Thursday. The voters were angered over the arrest of a driver by personnel of 10 Assam Rifles.
CPN-M preparing for “peoples’ revolution”: Thapa
MAHENDRANAGAR: CPN-Maoist General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa said that his party is gearing up for historical revolution against status-quo and regression, that, according to him, came to rise after the second Constituent Assembly. Speaking at a press conference organised in Mahendranagar on Thursday, he said that the party has been organising district conferences in all the districts of the country, for the same.
He was of the opinion that the protest would intensify prior to the promulgation of the constitution. “Country is lurking through political crisis. The crisis will come to an end after the revolution of the CPN-Maoist,” he said. According to him, the longstanding political standoff should be resolved through all party political assembly.
Mass squatter eviction in Rome causes riots
Riot police have dragged away some 350 squatter families from abandoned offices in Rome amid violent clashes which are the latest to come in a rising tide of forced evictions in Italy fuelled by the economic crisis. Several people were injured on Wednesday as police used truncheons to break through a large group of protesters outside the building, where squatters had barricaded themselves in. An AFP photographer saw between 100 and 150 officers then entering the building – a former state-owned insurance agency – and escorting the residents out, nine days after the occupation began. The families were loaded into around 10 waiting police vans in the area south of the city centre, which was entirely closed off to traffic for the operation. “They clubbed us wildly, it was brutal,” Cristiano Armati, a member of the Co-ordinamento association which had helped occupy the building, told AFP by telephone from hospital.
Rights groups, leftists blast protest bill
Kirchnerites propose measure to differentiate between ‘legitimate,’ ‘illegitimate’ demonstrations
Government allies are trying to make good on President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s vow to issue “guidelines for urban co-existence” with a bill to regulate street protests that is likely to become the latest move that deepens divisions between Kirchnerism and left-wing groups that have long been part of its base of support. Staunch Kirchnerite lawmakers Carlos Kunkel and Diana Conti have presented the draft bill that, among other things, establishes procedures to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate protests.
Sent to the Lower House of Congress on Tuesday but coming to light yesterday, the bill’s authors present the bill as not seeking to limit the right to protest by criminalizing it but rather as an effort to find ways for protests to continue as part of urban life. The bill specifies that protests will be considered legitimate as long as they do not affect public services — particularly those relating to health, education and public safety — do not totally obstruct traffic of persons and vehicles in any given direction and that authorities are duly notified of the protest at least 48 hours in advance. Public protests that do not meet these criteria would thus be considered “illegitimate.”
The bill was met with strong opposition from several groups, including the Centre for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) and members of the Socialist Workers’ Party (PTS), who criticized the fact that the draft appears to limit the right to public assembly and protest. The bill specifies when a protest can be forcefully broken up by security forces. “An illegitimate protest that also affects the rights of third parties may be dispersed by security forces in order to guarantee those rights,” according to the procedures set out by the bill. These establish protocols for mediation and limits the use of force that the security forces can employ.
Anti-vote youths, police clash in Algeria’s Kabylie
ALGIERS: Clashes erupted in Algeria’s restive Kabylie region between security forces and youths opposed to Thursday’s presidential election, leaving around 40 people wounded, local sources said. Separate groups of youths seeking to disrupt voting in the Bouria region, southeast of Algiers, ransacked polling stations in three localities shortly after they opened at 0700 GMT, with the police firing to disperse them. Forty-one people were injured in the unrest, including 28 policemen, with voting temporarily suspended in the affected voting centres, the sources said. In the capital, where security forces have been heavily deployed, police arrested five protesters shouting anti-regime slogans, an AFP journalist reported.
54 detained in anti-World Cup protest in Brazil
SAO PAULO — Police say that 54 people protesting against the World Cup have been arrested in Brazil’s largest city. The police department says on its Twitter page that they were taken into custody during Tuesday night’s demonstration in Sao Paulo, which will host of the first game of the World Cup on June 12. Police said Wednesday that at least 1,500 people participated in the protest, which saw the windows of three banks smashed and one subway station damaged.
All set for general strike: Maoist
IMPHAL, April 15: The Maoist Communist Party Manipur has in a press release said that preparation for the April 16 general strike called against the misuse of Local Area Development fund of the MP Dr Th Meinya Singh for ten years all set ready and further disclosed that 15 important locations have been identified for it and 15 Demolition Squad Units have also been deployed with bombs and necessary equipments so as to make a ravage strike. The release mentioned that the Congress rule in India will come to an end and also of the O Ibobi led Congress government in Manipur and further appealed the people of Manipur to support general strike and at the same time, to stay alert of the bomb attack.
Voting time reduced in Naxal-hit areas of Bihar
Fearing threat from Maoists during the second phase of Lok Sabha polls in Bihar tomorrow, Election Commission has decided to cut polling period by two hours in Naxal-hit areas of Ara and Jehanabad Lok Sabha constituencies. The voting time in Agiyaon and Terari Assembly segments in Ara, and Jehanabad and Makhdumpur in Jehanabad will now be from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Additional Chief Electoral Officer R Lakshmanan told reporters here. The DM and SP of Ara and Jehanabad had sent proposals to the EC to curtail the polling period in the two Maoist-hit areas. “The EC today approved them. We are publicising the changed timings among the voters there,” Lakshmanan said.
2 tiffin bombs found in Chhattisgarh on poll eve; 2 Naxals held
RAIPUR: Two tiffin bombs, suspected to be planted by Maoists to target security forces and polling parties during Lok Sabha elections, were found in the insurgency-hit Kanker district of Chhattisgarh. Kanker is among the three Lok Sabha seats going to polls on Thursday in the second phase of Chhattisgarh elections. Besides, two Naxals involved in several incidents of crime were nabbed in Narayanpur district, police said.
“Two tiffin-bombs of 10 kg each were found at separate places on Mandagaon-Mendra road under Badgaon police station limits last evening,” a senior police official said on Wrnesday. The joint squad of 127 battalion of Border Security Force and a team of local police was on a demining exercise to ensure security ahead of polls in the region, located around 200 kms away from the state capital Raipur. During the operation on restive Mandagaon-Mendra road, the security personnel found two tiffins containing improvised explosives device (IED) placed underground at separate places. Later, the bomb disposal squad defused the explosives, he said.
In a separate incident, two Naxalites, carrying reward on their head, were arrested from Narayanpur district on Tuesday evening. The cadres – Rajman Salaam (35) and Vinod Korram (26) – were nabbed by the joint team of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and district force from the forests under Jhara police station limits, the official said. The security personnel were on a combing operation in the region when they rounded up the duo on suspicion near Kausalnar village, he said, adding that later they admitted to their involvement in the Naxal movement. They were carrying reward of Rs 5,000 each on their head and were involved in several incidents of crime including loot, arson and murder, he said.
Maoist arrested in Hazaribag, cops intensify search operation
HAZARIBAG: Police arrested Maoist cadre, Ramu Manjhi, son of Budhan Manjhi, from Telaiya village under the Bishnugarh police station on Monday night. Acting on a tip off, officer in charge of Bishnugarh police station, Dinesh Kumar Singh raided Ramu Manjhi’s residence with his team and succeeded in arresting him. Dinesh Kumar Singh said security has been beefed up in the district before the polls.
Police have been conducting regular search operations in the locality to keep a check on illegal activities. After Maoist posters calling for poll boycott were noticed in the area, police intensified its search operation. Singh said, in Bishnugarh alone, Manjhi was wanted in 13 cases and police suspect he was here to interrupt poll proceedings on April 17.
‘Maoists’ Bid to Disrupt Polls Foiled’
Maoists had grouped in Sunabeda wildlife sanctuary in the district aiming to disrupt the poll process in neighbouring Chhattisgarh, scheduled in two phases on April 17 and 24. This was revealed by IGP (South-Western) Range YK Jethwa, a day after a woman Maoist was gunned down in an exchange of fire between police and Left wing ultras inside the sanctuary on Monday morning. Addressing mediapersons on Tuesday, Jethwa said a group of 40 heavily armed Maoists including their military platoon were present in the sanctuary.
On Sunday, following intelligence inputs on movement of Maoists in large numbers in the area, the security forces launched an operation and came face to face with Maoists between Sonbahali and Junapani under Sunabeda gram panchayat on Monday morning resulting in an exchange of fire. Although the Maoists had laid an ambush, the security forces got wind of it and foiled the attempt. The IGP said the spot of encounter was located in Bijadungri between Sonbahali and Junapani which is three to four kms from Gariabandh district in the neighbouring Chhattisgarh.
“The deceased woman Maoist has been identified as Jayanti who belonged to Mainpur-Nuapada Divisional Committee of the CPI (Maoist) outfit and hailed from Chhattisgarh,” Jethwa said. Lauding the small group of SOG comprising about 15 to 16 personnel, Jethwa said when the Maoists fired at them, they retaliated instead of looking for cover. It seems many Maoist cadres have been killed or injured as they were seen dragging some bodies. Combing operation has been launched by Chhattisgarh cops from their side of the sanctuary.
Maoists attack Border Security Force camp in Malkangiri
KORAPUT: A major mishap could be avoided at a Border Security Force (BSF) camp in Malkangiri district due to the alertness of sentries late on Monday. Police said some 100-odd Maoists fired at the camp around 1 am at MPV 21 village under Kalimela police limits. “As the sentries were alert they retaliated. Soon other BSF men present in the camp joined the gun-battle which continued intermittently for two hours.
Had the sentries not fired back then a major mishap could have taken place. No injury or casualty from our side has been reported,” said IG (south-western range) Y K Jethwa. He said though the exact number of Red rebels, who attacked the camp, is yet to be ascertained, there number could be very high as they attacked from three sides. “Unable to stand our heavy firing, the Maoists retreated. We have started a search operation in the area,” he said. Police said at least 100 personnel are there in each BSF camp.
Maoists blast bridge in Jharkhand
Maoist guerrillas blew up a bridge in Jharkhand’s Giridih district Wednesday, a day ahead of the polling for six Lok Sabha seats from the state, police said. Guerrillas blew up the bridge near Padnatand village, around 190 km from Ranchi. Giridih will go to the polls Thursday. Police said the bridge was blown up to disrupt the movement of security forces during the polling. Police Wednesday also found five landmines from Ambatar village in Hazaribagh district, around 140 km from Ranchi. Polling will also take place Thursday for the Hazaribagh Lok Sabha seat.
U.S. Supports Arrest of Movadef Members
The United States government saluted Peru on its arrest of almost 30 members of a political group that had close ties to the Shining Path rebels.
In a statement, the U.S. State Department said it “congratulates the Government of Peru for last week’s arrests of at least 28 leaders and members of a front organization for the Shining Path terrorist group.” “Under the leadership of President Humala, this successful effort exemplifies an admirable commitment to respect for the rule of law and human rights, to patient and persistent criminal investigation work, and an effective ‘whole of government’ approach featuring coordination among judicial, police, armed forces and intelligence elements,” the state department said.
War-era cases being revived to wipe out Maoists: Thapa
KATHMANDU, APR 16 – CPN-Maoist General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa has claimed that attempts are being made to wipe out the Maoists by reviving the conflict-era cases. Organising a press meet at Tikapur of Kailali on Wednesday, Thapa, aiming at the Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML, alleged them of trying to eliminate the CPN-Maoist by raising the cases of insurgency. “Holding the local body elections now would be tantamount to institutionalisation of status-quoism.
The conduction of local elections without drafting a federal constitution is to forestall state restructuring and federation of states,” said the CPN-Maoist leader. Thapa further said that it is the policy of the status quoist forces not to allow the institutionalisation of the new structure desired by the people through the people’s war. “The dissolving of Constituent Assembly (CA) and dominance of status quoist in the current CA proves this fact,” said Thapa.
CPN-Maoist’s prophesy that the second CA election was a conspiracy and it would only invite further crisis is being proven, he claimed. “Transitional period has come to an end. Crisis is deepening further,” he said. The second CA might promulgate the new constitution sooner or later but it would not be people-centric, the CPN-Maoist leader claimed. “The ruling class will promulgate the constitution as constitution is needed for smooth functioning of government administration,” he added.
Govt accused of ‘terrorising’ the Maoists
KATHMANDU: The CPN-Maoist has accused the government of terrorizing the party by enforcing ‘unilateral’ decision to arrest its party leaders and cadres against the spirit of Interim Constitution and Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA). In a strong worded statement released today, the party condemned the government’s recent efforts stirring up war-era cases. The party also demanded the immediate release of its cadres booked on charge of 2004 murder of Krishna Prasad Adhikari of Gorkha in Chitwan.
According to the CPN-Maoist, no war-era cases should be dealt by the judiciary until the formation of Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Commission on Inquiry of Enforced Disappearances (CID). Chitwan District Attorney on Sunday had filed murder charge-sheet against 13 Maoist cadres on charge of murdering Adhikari of Gorkha. The party has also said that the peace process has come to a halt with such unilateral actions of the government. The party further demanded that the cases registered against its cadres be withdrawn at the earliest. “If not, the government will be solely responsible for the potential consequences,” the disgruntled party warned.
MCP calls for 12 hr general strike in Manipur
The Maoist Communist Party (MCP) is calling a 12 hour general strike in Manipur on Wednesday ahead of the polling in the general Inner Manipur Parliamentary seat. Its demolition squads have planted 15 bombs at strategic places to make the strike a success. This was stated in a press statement issued by Nonglen Meitei, secretary publicity and propaganda of the MCP on Tuesday. Making a frontal attack against the Congress and its MP for the last two terms, Meinya Thokchom, the MCP statement said that the MP Areas Development fund for the last two terms has not reached the people.
Under the Congress Ministry led by Okram Ibobi a number of persons had lost their close family members. The days of the Congress rule in India and Manipur are coming to an end, it said. Earlier the MCP had warned the people not to venture out during the general strike as they may get injured. The strike however does not cover press, essential services and those who are participating in socio-religious functions. However, the threat that the bombs will be detonated here and there comes as a damper and most sections of the people including presspersons may not stick out their necks. The MCP had blasted several bombs in the past few days.
They had targeted Meinya Thokchom, MP, Mirabai Akoijam, Social Welfare Minister. Police and security forces are not taking the bomb threat lightly. On April 9, the Deputy Speaker Presho Shimray had a narrow escape when militants carried out an ambush while he was returning to Imphal after casting his vote in Ukhrul district. Though the accusing fingers had been pointed to one armed group there has been no claim.
In view of the threats, Mr. Thokchom moves out and attends some campaign meetings only when there are adequate security coverage for him. He could not participate in the interaction programmes organised by the Editors’ Guild – Manipur and a news channel, probably on security grounds. Meanwhile, police have beefed up security measures throughout the three valley districts which go to polls on Thursday. Though some armed persons are reported to have been rounded up, the big fishes are still at large and this is causing sleepless nights to the law enforcing agencies. Efforts are on to locate some of the bombs using sniffer dogs and metal detectors. However so far there is no success.
Plan to ambush Manipur MP foiled
A meticulous plan to carry out an ambush on Meinya Thokchom, the sitting Congress MP of Manipur, was foiled by police with the timely detection of a very powerful foreign made bomb which was planted a little distance away from his house at Khumbung in Imphal West district. Police detected the bomb buried at the roadside at 11:30 am on Tuesday. Police bomb disposal squad neutralised it. Though the accusing finger is pointed at the Maoist Communist Party, so far there is no claim.
Police have also not arrested any of the MCP insurgents in this connection. Apart from blasting several bombs in the past few days it announced that it had planted 15 bombs at 15 different places as a part of the 12 hour general strike it is calling on Wednesday. Police sources said that perhaps the rebels were planning to ambush the MP and his entourage when they return home after campaigning which ends at 4 pm on Tuesday. In case of ambush there would be casualties since it was within the Khumbong village. Police dragnet has been spread wide to comb the areas. Besides the paramilitary, personnel guarding the MP have been put on red alert. However, in view of the shortage of security forces since polls will be held on Thursday, the government cannot increase his security guards as yet.
LS polls: Security beefed up in Kanker, Rajnandgaon and Mahasamund
Security has been stepped up in three poll-bound Maoist infested constituencies of Kanker, Rajnandgaon and Mahasamund in Chhattisgarh amid inputs that naxals may foment trouble in these sensitive areas on April 17, when voting be held there during the second phase of Lok Sabha elections. According to Intelligence Bureau sources, around 500 cadres of PLGA (Peoples’ Liberation Guerrilla Army)- a military wing of CPI (Maoist)- have been mobilised in these areas to create disturbances in the electoral process.
“We were already having inputs of naxals may obstruct electoral process in the conflict zone. But after the recent attacks on security forces and polling parties in Bastar Lok Sabha constituency, we are more cautious,” an Intelligence Bureau Official told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
Naxal arrested after encounter in Chhattisgarh
Bastar Superintendent of Police Ajay Yadav said that the Ultra was arrested following the gun-battle between rebels and the joint squad of Special Task Force (STF) and district force in Chandameta forests under Darbha police station limits.
Aerial surveillance in Red-hit constituencies
RANCHI: To ensure peaceful polls during the second phase, the Jharkhand police has arranged for aerial surveillance over the six Maoist-affected Lok Sabha constituencies that will go to polls on April 17. Police, armed with high-definition binoculars will hover over the hills and forest areas, believed to be the possible hideouts of the Maoists. Six choppers will be pressed into service to keep a close watch on the Maoist activities in the six constituencies – Giridih, Singhbhum, Khunti, Jamshedpur, Hazaribag and Ranchi. Confirming the development, DGP Rajiv Kumar said,”It is one of the several measures we have taken to ensure free and fair election.
The first phase was hassle-free and we would want that trend to continue.” Giridih’s Jhumra area, Ghatshila in Jamshedpur, Murhu and Torpa in Khunti, Bundu and Tamar in Ranchi need special attention as Maoist activities are often reported from these areas, he added. Kumar, along with ADG (JAP) Kamal Nayan Choubey and IG of North Chottanagpur Zone, Laxman Prasad Singh, visited Jhumra hills in Bokaro, Madhuban in Giridih and Churchu in Hazaribag on Monday to review the security arrangements in these regions.
“We did a recce of the area to ensure that a comprehensive security arrangement is in place. We are ready to give a befitting reply to the Maoists, in case they try to disrupt the election procedure,” a confident Kumar told media persons in Ranchi. A series of explosives have been recovered from Khunti and Chaibasa in the last one week following which sense of fear has gripped the electorate in these areas.
Three bombs recovered in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh district
At least three bombs were recovered on Tuesday from a jungle in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh district, police said. According to the police, the bombs were found in a jungle near the national highway connecting Ranchi to Patna in the Kuju area of the district, 55 km from Ranchi. They were recovered after villagers informed police about them. Ramgarh falls in Hazaribagh constituency which will go to the polls April 17.
Maoist’s warning to polling officers in Bengal
KOLKATA: In a press release issued by the Dankaranya Special Zonal Committee on Monday, Maoists have warned people, polling personnel and journalists, not to travel in vehicles of paramilitary or police personnel. This comes after Maoists killed 14 people, including seven polling officials, at Bastar in Chhattisgarh on Saturday. The release is a clear indication that during the election, the rebels might target many parts of the country.
In West Bengal, where five Lok Sabha constituencies, Ghatal, Midnapore, Jhargram, Bankura and Purulia, have been labelled as Maoist-infested, security arrangements are not adequate. Senior police officers did not take the release seriously but chief electoral officer Sunil Gupta admitted that there was a threat perception. “There is a Maoist problem in Jangalmahal even now and the Election Commission will do everything to make this election peaceful.
The voting time in these six assembly constituencies have been cut short. Polling will take place from 7am to 4 pm in assemblies like Binpur, Jhargram, Bandowan, Bagmundi, Joypur and Balarampur,” Gupta said. Apart from this, the Election Commission allotted ten satellite phones for the ten sector offices in Jangalmahal. “These areas fall under the shadow zone and therefore, there will be no IT enabled application.
To stay in touch with these polling stations, the EC has sanctioned these SAT phones,” Gupta added. But is that adequate? When polling stations all over the country will have the latest IT facility like web-casting, mobile live tracking and will get android base mobiles to keep themselves updated, the nearly 3,000 sensitive and 3,900 highly sensitive booths of Jangalmahal will have to rely on traditional methods.
According to an EC official, “The vulnerability mapping of the villages of Jangalmahal is going on and we have identified sensitive and highly sensitive villages and accordingly, we have sent our report and our requirement to the commission. Now, the EC will decide about the allotment. So far, there has been no specific instruction for the area. As the districts will go for polls on May 7, there is very less time. Let’s see what can be done”. However, sources in the Election Commission indicate that the requirement list includes helicopters, anti-landmine vehicles, more Sat phones for better communication, satellite-based tracking system and UAVs, so that the entire polling process can be monitored properly.
When asked about it, DIG (Midnapore Range), Ajay Nanda said, “We will have to work with whatever we have got. We are relying more on source-based information network and will arrange our forces according to that. We have also asked for helicopters but that has not been sanctioned yet”. According to a senior cop of the district, Maoists like Shyamal and Madan in Belpahari and Bikas and Jayanta in Jamboni are traced in and around Jhargram and Purulia. “Some unknown group members are also moving around Nayagram and Gopiballavpur. They are coming in plainclothes and talking to the villagers,” he said.
Heavy movement of Maoists in regions polling on April 17 in Chhattisgarh: Intelligence
RAIPUR: Two days after Maoist attack on CRPF jawans and polling party, state intelligence bureau has received inputs about reds’ movement in large number in parts of Mahasamund, Kanker and Rajnandgaon that goes to poll on April 17 indicating another attack in the offing. According to a senior official at state intelligence bureau, department has been alerted about intense Maoist movement in Kanker and Rajnandgaon districts which are among red-dominated regions after Bastar.
“Inputs received indicate the presence of over 150 Maoists on the border of Rajnandgaon and Gadchiroli. They have distributed themselves in groups. Kanker is comparatively more sensitive with nearly 500-700 cadres active in the region,” the official said. He added that they may again target road opening parties (ROPs) who have to walk on road. Security forces have been alerted and plans are being made to add more security personnel and conduct polling amid heavy security cover to avoid any more incidents. Security personnel of Special Task Force and Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) would be deployed at affected regions.
Of the three districts going to polls in second phase are Mahasamund, Rajnandgaon and Kanker which have 442 sensitive and 431 hyper-sensitive polling booths. Rajnandgaon’s Manpur-mohalla and Aundhi, Mahasamund’s Sihawa, Borai and Khallari while Kanker’s Antagarh, Abujhmar, Keshkal and Bhanupratappur are among the worst Maoist affected areas. Rajnandgaon has suffered attacks during previous polls and has 240 sensitive and 106 hyper-sensitive polling booths.
An effort on search operations for recovery of IEDs and landmines planted by reds is on. Subsequently, in Kanker 36 booths have been shifted to safer places. The region has 129 sensitive and 301 hyper-sensitive polling booths. Moreover, the greenbelt there provides a good cover for Maoist movement and attacks. Mahasamund’s 24 polling booths have been declared as hyper-sensitive. Forces have started settling in the region for peaceful and safe polls.
Labour Unrest at Nike and Adidas Supplier Yue Yuen Industrial Persists
Thousands of workers at a giant Chinese shoe supplier have rejected an offer for enhanced social benefits, extending one of China’s largest strikes in recent times. The nearly 10-day-long strike at the $5.59bn (£3.3bn, €4.05bn) Yue Yuen Industrial, which manufactures shoes for Adidas, Nike and Converse, has revolved around issues such as outstanding social insurance, improper labour contracts and low wages. Employees have demanded improved social insurance payments, a pay rise and more evenhanded contracts, Reuters reported. Pursued by the news agency, a spokesman for Yue Yuen said the firm had approved an improved “social benefit plan”, and added that the business impact of the strike had been “mild” so far.
However, thousands of workers, dressed in casual clothes but with factory lanyards and ID cards around their necks, hung around the industrial estate, refusing to return to work. Riot police were stationed at the estate.
China convicts hospital workers after high-profile labour protest
(Reuters) – A Chinese court on Tuesday convicted 12 hospital security guards of “disturbing social order” after staging a labour protest last year, sentencing several to light jail terms in what was seen as a test case for labour rights in China. The guards had been part of a group of more than 100 healthcare workers embroiled in a months-long dispute with the Guangzhou Chinese Medicine University Hospital over labour conditions and compensation.
Cut out of a deal that was eventually struck between the hospital and other workers, the guards on August 19 threatened to jump off the hospital building and were detained by police. The ruling by the district court in the southern city of Guangzhou, convicting the guards of “gathering a crowd to disturb social order”, comes against a backdrop of growing labour activism in China and was calibrated to send a message, said Duan Yi, a labour lawyer and counsel for one of the guards. “They are sending a signal to society at large which is that as workers protect their rights, if they are even slightly extreme they could receive criminal punishment,” he said.
Thousands Clash With Chinese Police in Crematorium Protests
Residents of a city in China’s southern Guangdong province clashed with armed police on Monday during a mass protest at government plans to build a crematorium, protesters and officials said, amid reports of one death and multiple injuries in the violence. Thousands of people—some of whom skipped work and cut classes—took part in the protest, which began at the weekend over the planned construction of the crematorium in Ligang near Huazhou city, which is administered by Maoming city, even after official media reports said that the project will be shelved.
The opposition to the crematorium came as popular anger with the authorities over a planned petrochemical plant in Maoming had hardly subsided following demonstrations, clashes and riots earlier this month. On Monday, angry protesters gathered outside municipal government buildings carrying banners, one of which read “Civilized Protest: Crematorium Get the Hell Out of Ligang.” Photos of the protests taken by participants on Saturday showed riot police in full armor lining streets packed with civilians, in what appeared to be a relaxed atmosphere. But hundreds of armed police arrived at Monday’s protest and began using force to break it up, eyewitnesses said.