Peoples War in India Clippings 2/12/2012

Maoist link to explosives recovered from Musabani?

In a major breakthrough the district police on Saturday recovered a substantial quantity of high power explosives from the premises of an ancient building in Musabani town of East Singhbhum district.

Office In-charge AK Dubey said altogether 275 pieces of detonator was found lying in the bushes behind the old palatial building situated in Bhatti area of the town on Saturday. He said the unclaimed explosives were most likely meant for use by nearby stone crusher units. Police were investigating the matter. However, sources informed that the ultras belonging to the banned out fit CPI (Maoist) have been active in the Ghatshila subdivision that comprises of areas like Dumaria, Musaboni, Chakulia, Bahragora and Ghatshila.

“We are leaving no stone unturned to make sure that the explosives do not have a link with the ultras. Since the area falls under the Naxal-infested area we are taking extra care and engaged in thorough investigation,” said a police official. Meanwhile ultras of banned Naxal outfit CPI-Maoist on Saturday also pasted posters at many places in Chowka area of adjoining Saraikela-Kharsawan district, police sources said. Several posters urging people to strengthen self styled Jan Mukti Sena (People’s Liberation Army — PLA) of the organisation were found near Chowka crossing and in a few schools in the area.

Acting promptly the police and para military forces removed the posters, the sources said. Sources informed that the police have decided to ensure strict vigil and deploy additional security forces in the fringe areas. Police said that the security has been beefed up in the area and they were keeping strict vigil on movement of the Naxlites. “There has been a substantial increase in Maoist activities in this. We are not much concerned about small acts of violence because these activities can be controlled by us, but the bigger attacks are worrisome,” said a security official.

Bhilai Steel Plant building barracks in Maoist belt

Housing for paramilitary forces meant to provide security, to cost Bhilai Steel Plant upwards of Rs. 250 crore

The public sector Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) is going to extraordinary lengths to ensure that its Rs. 5,000-crore plan to extract quality iron ore from mines located in the Maoist hinterland in the Rowghat hills in south-central Chhattisgarh goes without a hitch. BSP will spend more than Rs. 250 crore on setting up 22 barracks between Bhanupratappur and Rowghat. The cost could go up as the project moves forward. Top sources in Steel Authority of India Limited said BSP is funding the construction of 22 barracks for five or more paramilitary battalions along a 95-km stretch between Dalli and Rajhara and Rowghat. Six of these will be placed around Block F, allotted to BSP.

“One paramilitary battalion has started constructing barracks between Rajhara and Raoghat,” said an officer of SAIL. Without referring directly to the issue of funding the housing facilities, BSP Chief Executive Officer S. Chandrasekaran said a planned rail line would also benefit local residents, and BSP was supporting its completion. The steps are aimed at improving the quality of life of the people of the region and not at fuelling conflict, the CEO added. “We’re creating a win-win situation, winning the hearts of the people.” Senior officers of the Border Security Force said its 24 battalion had been moved to Korar in Kanker district to facilitate ore extraction at Rowghat.

“The strength of a few companies will be enhanced, and they will be placed at Rowghat, besides 24 battalion,” one officer said. Six BSF battalions have already been deployed in Kanker, where Raoghat is situated. Sources in the Central Reserve Police Force told The Hindu a few weeks ago that they were also gearing for operations at Rowghat. Seemingly choosing not to discuss the issue of barrack-funding, Mr. Chandrasekaran said: “The top priority will be development of the Dalli-Rajhara-Rowghat rail link. It will not only ease the civil transportation in the region but will also be used to transport ore from Rowghat to Rajhara.” The BSP was allotted Block F spread over 500 hectares about two decades ago.

Rowghat has two hills. One has Block F, and the other, northwest of it, has five blocks — A, B, C, D, and E. Block F, sub-divided into seven more blocks, and with total deposits of 511 million tonnes of good quality ore, is getting ready for phase-wise extraction. The modernisation will lead to the doubling of capacity for hot metal, the purer form, and crude iron.

By current rates, Block F’s raw ore can fetch nearly Rs. 30,000 crore in the global market. But there are apprehensions among both workers and the management about the future of the BSP itself. They worry whether it would remain in the public sector or get disinvested, once public money is spent to set up infrastructure for extraction in Rowghat. The Chhattisgarh government website claims that while Block F has been allotted to SAIL, for blocks A to E “numbers of prospecting licence and mining lease applications are there.”

Bastar deserted during PLGA week

Raipur,Dec 2 — Violence-hit Bastar region wore a deserted look as the PLGA Week observed by the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) commenced Sunday, police said. The PLGA (People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army) Week is observed Dec 2-8 by the rebels in remembrance of slain leaders of the CPI-Maoist’s armed wing.

Authorities and people are wary that the week is likely to see a spurt in attacks on paramilitary forces, particularly CRPF, on trains, railway tracks and other government infrastructure. People remained indoors and roads in forested areas were deserted in all seven districts of Bastar region as well as in Rajnandgaon and in certain areas of Gariaband district.

The East Coast Railway announced that it would not ferry cargo at night during the PLGA Week on Kirandul-Kotavalasa (KK) line in Dantewada district. Maoists have routinely targetted the KK line railway tracks in recent years. Police here said Bastar had been reeling under fear after guerrillas blew up a panchayat building at Nilavaram village in Sukma district Saturday night. Hundreds of state policemen and para-military forces were relocated to boost security in areas vulnerable to Maoist attacks in Bastar, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Kanker, Sukma, Kondagaon and Dantewada districts.

MHA for combat vehicles info online

In an alarming move, the Union Home Ministry has asked the paramilitary forces to put up the specific details of qualitative requirements of all purchases including those of the specialised combat platforms like Mine-Protected Vehicles (MPVs), bulletproof vehicles and all terrain vehicles on their official websites.

Sections within the paramilitary forces have raised reservations in internal meetings over the Union Home Ministry’s order to make public specifications of such specialised vehicles as the same will compromise their security. Besides the QRs, the paramilitary forces have also been asked to make public comparisons depicting the responses received from various vendors on paramilitary websites. The officials are concerned that the QRs of specialised vehicles and combat platforms like mine-protected and bullet proof vehicles will be fodder for the Naxals who will research ways to successfully blow them up.

The CRPF has seized Naxal literature including Awam-e-Jung, a magazine published by the Central Committee of CPI (Maoist), that suggests the ultras have studied in detail the shortcomings of the MPVs in service with a view to destroy them during encounters with the security forces. The cover page story of Awam-e-Jung, Volume 2, Issue 1 for the period between January and June 2005 titled “Mineproof vehicles cannot destroy guerilla war, People’s war will destroy them” has studied the lacunae of MPVs to the minutest detail. The details include the ratio of the weight to engine output, the functioning of the machine guns on top of the MPVs, lacunae of the bullet proof windshields and the like. As many as 427 CRPF personnel have lost their lives as a result of IED detonations by Naxals, including on MPVs between 2004 and 2011.

On October 18, the Naxals had blown up an MPV at Imamganj in Gaya, killing eight CRPF men including Deputy Commandant BK Singh, who succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment at the AIIMS here. Extensive damage suffered by the MPVs during operations is a clear pointer to the Naxal’s increasing expertise in carrying out such blasts. The CRPF presently has 100 MPVs and will procure 400 more in the near future. Purchases of such vehicles will form the bulk of the acquisitions by the paramilitary forces as the Centre has sanctioned Rs 11,009 crore for modernisation of the Central forces during the 12th Plan period (2012-17). Officials in the paramilitary forces said that putting in public domain such sensitive information is not only outlandish but also defies basic sense of security. The officials argued that the procedures for procurement of such specialised vehicles should be segregated from routine purchases like weaponry and uniform as the combat platforms are the prime targets of the Naxals.

Through an office memorandum issued in June this year, Joint Secretary (Police Modernisation) in the Union Home Ministry Bhagwan Shankar told the Directors General of the paramilitary forces including the CRPF, BSF, NSG and ITBP among others, “Every procurement must be preceded by laying down the Qualitative Requirements (QRs) of the equipment/system to be procured… The QRs should be put on the website by the sub groups and the comments/suggestions should be incorporated before finalizing the QRs…..Comparison depicting the responses received from various vendors to the QRs to be hosted on CAPF (Central Armed Police Force) websites” The Ministry has also informed the paramilitary forces that sub groups of experts will be designated for framing QRs to assess the viability of suggestions made by the user (paramilitary forces).

The sub group will inter alia analyse such suggestions taking into account technological advancement in the field, availability of products and its operational requirement. The suggestions should not be vendor specific but generic in nature. In case of the requirement of measurements and tolerance of equipment, it should be mentioned in the QRs to avoid litigations at later stage. The latest circular has been made mandatory for all acquisitions by the paramilitary forces and will include weaponry, bullet resistant protective gear, bomb detection and disposal equipment, communication and information technology, surveillance equipment and special purpose vehicles like MPVs and bulletproof vehicles.

Ramesh asks Centre to declare Tinsukia, Dibrugarh as Maoists-affected districts

Guwahati:Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has asked the Centre to declare upper Assam districts of Tinsukia and Dibrugarh as Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas. Ramesh told media here that as per intelligence, there is evidence about the presence of Maoist activities in Tinsukia and Dibrugarh and he has suggested the Prime Minister after his visit to declare the two as LWE affected districts. “The Prime Minister has reacted positively.

And we are now expecting the Planning Commission to make a formal announcement very soon. Special Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGYS) norms would be extended to Tinsukia and Dibrugarh,” Ramesh said. Ramesh asks Centre to declare Tinsukia, Dibrugarh as Maoists-affected districts He said the Maoists and the militant-outfit ULFA (United Liberation Front of Assam) had capitalised on the poor infrastructure in these regions to set up their sanctuaries, particularly in Tinsukia. “I think the remoteness of Tinsukia, particularly Sadia block, and the poor infrastructure, particularly roads and bridges have allowed both Maoists and the ULFA cadres to set up sanctuaries,” added Ramesh.

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