Peoples War in India Clippings 17/12/2012

Maoist problem is the biggest security threat: CRPF

AGARTALA: Maoist problem is the biggest security threat in the country now, DG CRPF Pranay Sahay said today. “Maoist problem is the biggest security threat in the country. Thirty-five per cent of CRPF forces are deployed in different parts of Maoist-hit areas for containing their militancy,” Sahay said. He met Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and Governor Dr D Y Patil here.

He said, “Thirty-five per cent of CRPF forces are in Maoist infested areas. Thirty-three per cent of the forces are deployed in Jammu and Kashmir and 28 per cent are in North-East India and the rest are in other duties.” He said CRPF was being modernised to face any challenge. “Now we have started using very sophisticated weapons and unmanned vehicles to detect mines as part of modernisation programmes so that we can face any eventuality,” Sahay told reporters. Sahay, who is also the former DG of Tripura Police said, “There has been a sea change in Tripura. It has emerged as the model state in the country in countering insurgency.” Tripura owned President’s Colour last year. It is an honour given by President for successfully countering militancy in the country.

Maoists backing Chhattisgarh teachers’ stir

The ongoing teachers’ strike in Chhattisgarh is snowballing into a major concern for the government as well as the local intelligence. While the teachers are refusing to go back to work till their basic demands are met, the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) has supported the strike. The strike, already in its second week, is growing by the day and the agitators are using newer methods, such as tonsuring each other’s heads, to embarrass the government while the Assembly is debating their demands. The government has, however, categorically refused to meet the demands. The agitating teachers, employed after 1998, are demanding employment under the Education and Tribal Departments, rather than under the panchayat, and a substantial hike in salary.

These teachers are appointed by the gram panchayat or the Municipal Corporation in order to strengthen the Panchayati Raj system. The panchayat teachers, about 1,50,000 in number, are paid a starting salary of Rs. 8,500 a month. They have not been working since December 3. “The teachers employed by the education department have a starting salary of close to Rs. 20,000. We should be given the same [salary] and allowed to work under the Education Ministry, rather than the panchayat,” said Sanjay Sharma, main coordinator of the Teacher Sangharsh Samiti, an umbrella organisation of nine panchayat teachers’ associations.

Turns Tahrir Square

Sapre School Ground in central Raipur has turned into the ‘Tahrir Square’ for Chhattisgarh’s teachers. More than 50,000 teachers and their families, including one-year-old children, are spending days and nights on the ground. Some have plastic sheets for shade, while some are sheltered under makeshift tents. Aggressive slogans are raised taking a clear dig at Chief Minister Raman Singh and his administration “The reason is simple,” said Sebak Ram of Baloda Bazar, while playing with his one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, “we have been seriously demeaned by this government.

Our salary is less than what the peons get and we report to the panchayat department despite being full-scale teachers.” But what is worrying a section of the administration more than the teachers’ demands is the armed CPI (Maoist)’s solidarity with the teachers’ movement. On Saturday, a bandh called by the CPI (Maoist) was observed in Narainpur district supporting the teacher’s demands. A couple of days ago, local newspapers reported that teachers were shouting ‘Lal Salam’ – the Red Salute – and ‘threatening’ to take up arms on the ground if their demands were ignored.

Red slogans

A Raipur-based intelligence official said: “This is nonsense, have you heard anything like that?” On Saturday afternoon, while no one shouted ‘Lal Salam,’ most of the speakers were closing their speeches with Inquilab Zindabad (Long Live the Revolution). Police officials refused to comment if such frequent use of a phrase, which hailed revolution, could provoke unrest in a State that was substantially controlled by an armed communist party strongly advocating revolution. The government, however, has clearly refused to acknowledge the demands of the teachers. At a meeting between the Education and Panchayat Minister and the association, teachers were told that their demands were “unreasonable.”

Maoists torch 18 vehicles in Jharkhand

Maoist guerrillas set 18 vehicles of a private company on fire in Jharkhand’s West Singhbum district, police said Monday. The firm was executing a project work for the railways.According to police, around 60 to 70 Maoist guerrillas raided a camp site of the private firm at Mahadeosaal village, within the Goelkera police station limits in West Singhbhum, around 160 km from Ranchi, Sunday night. The guerrillas asked staff of the company to turn off all mobile phones, and set the vehicles on fire before escaping. A combing operation has been launched to nab the attackers. There were no reports of injuries in this incident. Maoist guerrillas are active in 18 of the state’s 24 districts.

Security forces reinforced in Saranda forests

Security force has been reinforced in Saranda forests of West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand to flush out the dens of the Maoists completely.

The reinforcement of force was felt after the rebels torched six earth movers belonging to a road construction company on November 26. The six earth mover machines were engaged to build roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) which included Rs 249-crore Saranda Development Plan, launched by Union rural development minister Jairam December 2011. The Union minister (Jairam Ramesh) who visited the state capital on December 9 had said that Saranda was totally under the control of the sate government.

Construction of the eleven roads had been a part of the Saranda Development Plan. He said eleven roads are being constructed under Centre’s sponsored project to facilitate the movement of the security forces, civil authorities and the village people. He was confident that among the eleven roads construction of two roads would be completed within this month. Saranda, a forest of 700 small hills is considered as the largest sal forests in Asia, situated in West Singhbhum district, about 300 km from the state capital. Saranda had experienced highest level of retaliatory steps from the Maoists during November last year after killings of good number of rebels in combing operations by security forces in different parts of the country.

In order to free the Saranda forest from the clutches of the Maoists, Union rural development minister had given top priority for Saranda forest for its basic development like roads, employment, housing and enhancement of productivity to win over the confidence of the villagers. The fresh offensive against the Maoists in Saranda forest under Anaconda -11 has been launched last week after armed Maoists torched road construction equipments at Kiriburu block. In Anaconda -11 operation, 16 companies comprising 1,600 personnel of CRPF, Cobra,.Jharkhand Jaguar, Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) and state police force were taken active part in the operation. More personnel from the CRPF battalion will be tagged in the operation, sources said.

Forces, Naxals exchange fire in Gadchiroli

NAGPUR: A posse of Central Reserve Police Force and Naxals had a brief gun battle at the forest of Kucher under Dhondraj armed outpost in highly sensitive Bhamragarh tehsil of Gadchiroli district on Sunday morning. CRPF force, along with district police, later seized 23 rucksacks, two Bharmar rifles, ammunition, explosives, several other Naxal literature, first aid material and medicines.

It is learnt that CRPF, along with some district police personnel, had on Saturday undertaken a search and area domination exercise between Dhondraj and Laheri, a Naxal bastion. The stretch is also considered a crucial junction for anti-Naxal operations as this region serves as gateway to Naxal fortress ‘Abhujmadh’ from Maharashtra side. Naxals of Platoon 7 and local armed squad of Bhamragarh apparently opened fire on the CRPF men leading to gunfight. The Naxals retreated as the security forces retaliated aggressively. Inspector general of CRPF Nalin Prabhat said the ecounter site was densely forested and Naxals slipped away taking advantage of the tree cover.

“We feel the Naxals certainly have suffered casualties otherwise recovery of so many rucksacks, arms and ammunition would not have been possible. The forces had nearly got them this time,” he said. The top cop, considered a master tactician for field operations, said there had been five encounters in the span of one month in which CRPF had cornered the rebels. “In the same region, this is the second encounter since November,” said the IG whose induction has given an edge to the operation in Gadchiroli. Apart from the arms and ammunition, the forces also recovered improvised explosive devices (IED), considerable quantity of gunpowder and tiffin boxes meant for manufacturing bombs.

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