People’s War in India Clippings 12/8/2015


Madhya Pradesh to form its own force for internal security, fight naxalism

Madhya Pradesh has decided to form a Special Indian Reserve Battalion (SIRB), a force, that can be deployed across the country for maintaining law and order and fighting naxalism. A total of seven companies and 1,107 posts will be created in the special force. “The SIRB is being established in MP to combat the naxalites. Its headquarters will be at village Kanki of Balaghat district, neighbouring naxal-hit Chhattisgarh,” state Home Minister Babulal Gaur told reporters here. 20 kg


Cylinder bomb recovered from Baharagora

Jamshedpur, August 11: District Police led by Rural SP Shailendra Kumar Burnwal on Tuesday recovered Cylinder bombs planted on the concrete roads of Pitajuri under Shayam Sunderpur Police Station of Bahragora Block. According to police naxalites planted cylinder bombs on the roads. Rural SP Shailendra Kumar Burnwal said that police got the information about cylinder bomb after a farmer was ploughing his fields with his tractors near the road.


If you can’t change ’em, change village – Govt seeks to snap ‘helpline’ to Maoists by relocating all families from a Purulia hamlet

Kalabera (Purulia), Aug. 11: British officer Harold Briggs tried it in Malaya in 1949. The Bengal government is doing so now. The government wants to shift a village of 32 families from the slopes of the Ayodhya hills in Purulia to one-room concrete houses in the plains, a strategy to stop Maoists from accessing the forested settlement. Some security experts said the move to relocate Kalabera village in Purulia was a “panic reaction” to intelligence that Maoists were regrouping in some areas of Jungle Mahal. Going by history, the state’s idea of relocating settlements has several precedents. P.V. Ramana, a fellow at the think tank Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis in Delhi, said: “Relocation has been done elsewhere in the world to put down communist insurgencies.” Ramana, who has been writing on the Maoist insurgency in India for many years, gave the example of the Malaya insurgency in 1949, which was combated by the British using a similar strategy.

It was known as the Briggs Plan as it was devised by Lt General Harold Briggs. The plan was to create new villages surrounded by fences to cut off supplies to communist insurgents. The residents of Kalabera would have to move about 2km down the slopes of the Ayodhya hills to a plains area where the government has built the settlement for them. They are loath to relocate as the one-room structures don’t have toilets and kitchens. Nor are there shelters to keep farm animals.

The second example of community relocation, done in India not too long ago, was during the Salwa Judum movement in Chhattisgarh. The Salwa Judum was an anti-Maoist militia accused of a six-year reign of terror in Bastar’s villages before being disbanded in 2011 on the Supreme Court’s orders. The Judum began as a spontaneous movement of tribals tired of constant harassment by police looking for insurgents. So, the villagers decided to hunt the rebels out themselves.

The state government provided funds to set up camps for villagers coaxed or coerced by the Judum to join up. For two years, the government provided free ration and medical facilities to everyone in these camps, which at one point housed 70,000 to 80,000 people. Around 5,000 people from these camps were trained to use firearms and were given the label of special police officers. But the results of the movement proved disastrous as it pitted tribal against tribal.

The Bengal government has not cited any elaborate goals like setting up state-funded camps, but the effort to break the Maoists’ supply chain is a common thread with the Judum. If the Judum camps are compared to the Briggs plan, it did not work well in the wake of allegations of human rights violations and resentment among the local population. “The Bengal government should consider the fallout in Chhattisgarh,” said a security expert, unwilling to be named. Asked if the relocation strategy was a good one, Vishwaranjan, a former director-general of police in Chhattisgarh, said: “It is no strategy. It is panic. If one village is relocated, they (Maoists) will go to some other place.” Kalabera is tried and tested territory for the Maoists. The village in Purulia came under the security forces’ scanner during the Maoist movement in Lalgarh in West Midnapore and Purulia in 2009.

Maoists destroy homes of APMDC staff

The banned CPI (Maoist) which is strongly opposing bauxite mining in the Agency areas of Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts, destroyed houses of three contract employees of A.P. Mineral Development Corporation which is the nodal agency for bauxite mining. A group of Maoists reportedly led by a senior leader Naveen, destroyed the houses of three employees at Jerrela village in G.K. Veedhi mandal late on Tuesday night, for not quitting their jobs. The three employees, who are among the 18 staff members of APMDC’s bauxite project, had earlier received a warning from Kailasam, another senior leader of the party, not to help bauxite mining which is against the wishes of girijans.

The three then shifted to Chintapalli. Maoists stepped up the anti-bauxite mining campaign in the recent past in the Agency areas to increase their influence over the girijans. The local girijans are opposing bauxite mining as it would uproot them from their traditional habitat and they would lose their livelihood through agriculture, gathering of forest produce. On the other hand bauxite mining would also destroy the rich and unique flora and fauna of the Agency area located in the Eastern Ghats. The mining of huge deposits of high quality bauxite would also lead to drying up of several hill streams and ultimately water would be a scarce commodity for Visakhapatnam city and a large area in the plains.

Maoists end fast

Maoists Roopesh, Shyna, Anoop and Veeramani, who were on a fast inside the Coimbatore Central Prison, gave it up after writers and civil society activists assured to take up their case, said lawyer S. Balamurugan. Roopesh was on fast for the 19th day on Tuesday. His wife Shyna was on fast for the third day, Anoop for the ninth day and Veeramani for the fourth day, Mr. Balamurugan said and added that their demands were that they be treated as political prisoners, they be not charged under draconian laws like the National Security Act and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and that the Kerala Police come out in the open with the list of cases registered against Roopesh.

Mr. Balamurugan said that the Kerala Police were releasing one case after another to take Roopesh into their custody and pointed out that in the last couple of months, the Maoist leader had spent 45 days in their custody. Letter After they took the letter, signed by Arundhati Roy, Prabhat Patnaik, Meena Kandasamy and others, and after Roopesh’s elder daughter Amy met them, they gave up the fast, the lawyer added.

‘Fake encounter’: Rights panel tells Odisha to probe killing of Dalit couple

The Odisha Human Rights Commission has asked the state government to conduct two separate probes — one by an additional DG and the other by a revenue divisional commissioner — into the alleged murder of a Dalit couple by police in Kandhamal, under the cover of anti-Maoist operations. On July 26, Dalit Christian Duba Nayak, his wife Budi Nayak and three other couples had gone to Ladima hills in Maoist-affected Kotgarh block to talk to their son Rahul in Kerala as they were unable to get network on their mobile phone in their village.

While the three other couples returned to Pangalipadar village, the bullet-ridden bodies of Duba and his wife were found the next day. The villagers later alleged that some CRPF and SOG personnel had killed the couple, branding them as Maoists.

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