Maoist links: Bombay HC quashes Saibaba’s bail plea
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has rejected the bail application of Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, under arrest since May for his alleged Maoist links. Justice Sunil Shukre , while rejecting the argument of Saibaba that he couldn’t be branded a Maoist or even a sympathizer only on the basis of the resemblance of his social activism with Maoist ideology, said a prima facie case exists against him for involvement in Maoist activities and for his being a prominent and important Maoist leader, according to Government Pleader Bharti Dangre. Saibaba also cited his physical disability as ground for bail. That too wasn’t held valid by the court, according to Dangre.
His lawyer Surendra Gadling said, “we argued that mere resemblance of social activism to Maoist ideology isn’t ground enough to brand him a sympathiser or a Maoist. Also, we said the police don’t have sufficient material to substantiate their claim.” On court’s rejection of the disability ground, Gadling said, “the court accepted the police argument that he was being provided adequate assistance, facilities and medicines.”
Naxal threat: Red corridor expanding in Maharashtra, Odisha and Telangana
Even as the Narendra Modi’s government readies a new anti-Maoist doctrine, Maoist seems to be gaining ground in the districts of Maharashtra and Odisha, where they had considerably diminished under the previous regime. As per the half yearly report of the Central Intelligence Committee, accessed by India Today, the district of Gadchiroli in Maharashtra which was once cited by the Manmohan Singh government as the model for other Left Wing affected States has witnessed mass killings.
There were 44 incidents reported in which 22 lives including that of civilians were lost in 2014 as compared to 40 incidents and 8 deaths in 2013 during the same period, the report states. The red corridor has also made new inroads into the newly carved state of Telangana and renamed themselves as Telangana State Committee (TSC) replacing the erstwhile North Telangana Special Zone Committee (NTSZC). Similarly, Odisha has witnessed a surge with 65 incidents and 13 killings in 2014 as against 40 and 10 deaths in 2013. The note further remarks, “The CPI (Maoist) continues to maintain its dominance in the Koraput, Malkangiri and Rayagada districts of southern Odisha.”
The report also states that only 37 Naxals were killed in the first half of the year as compared to 52 last year during the same period. “The period witnessed increasing attacks on police post with 93 incidents in 2014 as compared to 65 such attacks during the corresponding period in 2013,” it stated. However, it was suggested in the report that overall violence has “marginally” declined with 597 incidents being reported from LWE areas as compared to 593 in 2013. The committee headed by cabinet secretary Ajit Lal also observed that security forces suffered set back on during the Maoist’s annual tactical counter offensive campaign (TCOC) which coincided the Lok Sabha elections.
“There were two major attacks one in Chhattisgarh in which 15 security personnel and a civilian were killed and another in Maharashtra in which seven policemen were killed. During this year TCOC, 26 weapons were lost by the policemen as against the target of 100,” the report stated. As per the report, the arrest and surrender of top Maoist cadres is also the reason of worry for the Maoist as the outfit discussed the decline in number of youth cadres. The deficiencies which were noted during the Maoist leaders meeting included, “desertion of cadres and increase in non-proliferation tendencies in both the party and the PLGA as well as in the People’s Revolutionary Committee. It was admitted that a bureaucratic approach towards people was eating at the base of party’s support among the people. This in turn has led to a decline in the recruitment, particularly in the Western and Northern region” it was noted in the report.
Naxals’ anti-bauxite meet pulls big crowd
VISAKHAPATNAM: Trouble seems to be brewing for security forces in Visakhapatnam district going by the huge turnout of tribals at an anti-bauxite mining meeting organized by the banned CPI Maoist party on the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB) on Saturday. Nearly 800 people from 25 villages attended the meeting organized by the Adivasi Viplava Raitu Cooli Sangham and Manyam Pituri Senathat, allegedly led by the Galikonda area committee secretary Gopala Krishna alias Azad and senior leader Krishna, who was reportedly sent to Dandakaranya. Though the main Maoist leaders were not visible, sources said they supervised the meeting with the help of active cadres and militia members.
The four-hour long meeting, held under the watchful eye of armed cadres covering the 4-5 km stretch from the venue, demanded that the government to withdraw its decision to mine bauxite reserves in Visakha Agency, failing which people would retaliate with a militant struggle. Such a big meeting was last conducted by the Maoists two years ago in the Korukonda area of Visakha Agency. That meeting was supervised by the east division committee member Narender, who was killed in an encounter in Koraput district on March 5 this year. It may be recalled that the Maoists killed a tribal of Killamkota colony in G Madugula mandal in the district on Thursday night by branding him a police informer.
According to sources, one of the Maoists, who addressed the tribals, said that with the government trying to loot the natural resources of the tribal areas, it was high time they gave a befitting reply to the government if it went ahead with the proposed mining. Those addressing the meeting asked the people to take up an armed struggle against the government and corporate giants like Jindal and AnRak as mining would prove costly for tribals even if it was done through ITDA or APMDC (Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation) because it would be sold to the same companies. They demanded that all mining licences be cancelled.
Alleging that ultimately tribals would lose their rights on forests, land and water sources, Maoists urged them to join the Manyam Pituri Sena in large numbers. Even people led by the Red guerillas raised their voice against the proposed bauxite mining during the meeting and announced that they were preparing themselves to take up an armed struggle against the state government. According to sources, the latest meeting indicates that Maoists are going all out to regain their lost glory through the bauxite issue, said sources.
Maoists organise meeting on bauxite mining?
The Members of the banned CPI (Maoist) reportedly organised a meeting at Garikabanda, a village bordering G. K. Veedhi and Koyyuru mandal, on Saturday, opposing bauxite mining proposed by the TDP government. According to sources, local area commander of Korukonda committee Jamri convened the meeting, which was attended by over 500 villagers and sympathisers. Nearly 30 Maoists and an equal number of militia members were present.
A unanimous decision was taken to oppose the proposed mining and that, if required, villagers would support the Maoists in an armed conflict with the authorities. The Maoists have been opposing the bauxite mining in the Agency area, ever since it was proposed by the TDP government during its earlier stint (1999-2004).
Red Ultras Find Refuge in Green Kerala
NEW DELHI: After 40 long years, the spectre of red terror looms over Kerala. And unlike in the past, efforts to contain a possible Maoist rampage are falling far short of what is the need of the hour. Facing the heat in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, the red terrorists are making forays into Kerala—the focus being on the three districts of Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur—in a bid to find a safe haven. A latest intelligence report reveals that the banned outfit is gradually expanding cadre strength in the tribal dominated region on the border of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
A senior intelligence officer said an assessment was launched by the Centre after Maoist leader Sinoj alias Ramesan was accidently killed while making IEDs at a Naxal hideout near the Karnataka border in June. The intelligence operatives came to know about the death only in July, triggering panic in the security establishment. Sinoj, who was also member of the Kerala state committee of the CPI (Maoist), was trained in Jharkhand in 2010.
Subsequently, he was entrusted with the responsibility of raising a guerrilla unit to dominate Tri-junction. Although the political leadership in Kerala has taken steps to flush out Maoists, intelligence officials said the police approach in dealing with the serious security issue was disheartening. “Several inputs provided by the intelligence agencies to check Maoist penetration in the region was not acted upon. Naxalites, who earlier possessed country-made pistols, now have acquired AK-47s from Naxal’s Technical Research Arms Manufacturing (TRAM) unit in Chhattisgarh. Though, dedicated armed cadre remain around 20-25, there is input suggesting more sympathisers are joining the outfit,” the officer added.
But, state police officers reject Central charges claiming that the anti-Maoist operations are going on in full swing and the state police is maintaining close tie ups with locals to monitor suspicious activities. “Police are maintaining a close rapport with the tribes living deep in the forest. We hope we can trap the armed persons roaming in the forest through them,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Perinthalmanna, who is in charge at police stations covering Nilambur forest region.
However, State Police Intelligence Unit conceded that ultras held a training camp in July first week in the Nilambur forest region in Malappuram district, hardly a week after state Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala told the Assembly about Maoist presence in the forest region of Malabar. Police officers claimed the local tribals had earlier identified a most-wanted Maoists leader when photographs were shown to them.
This further bolsters the Centre’s claims which suggested that Maoist have already set up camps in north Karnataka and were opening up a jungle route connecting the three states operations under Western Ghats Special Zonal Committee (WGSZC). “Maoists sympathisers have grown in the last 6 months, especially after merger of CPI Maoists and CPI-ML (Naxalbari) in May, 2014. CPI-ML (Naxalbari) is active in the state and we have noticed that a well- planned strategic campaign by distributing pamphlets, literature and other materials to lure local tribals into their fold,” intelligence sources said.
The report has also pointed out a supply-route between Maoists cadres in the three districts of Kerala and the outfit’s base in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Raichur and Bellary of Karnataka where ultras have been active for over a decade. The report also named Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) as the brain behind Maoist propaganda in Kerala and Karnataka besides other offshoots. Kerala was first penetrated by the Maoists in the late 60s and early 70s when Waynad became the foundation ground for Red Movement with K Ajitha, a Maoist leader and then the face of left-wing extremism in Kerala taking the charge of guerrilla movement in the forest region. Ajitha actively participated in guerrilla attack and was part of the team which attacked Pulpally police station in Waynad in late 1968. In the 1980s, the Naxalite movement was considerably weakened in the state but it remain the fertile ground for Maoists recruitments.
Chattisgarh: Naxal arms dump unearthed, ammunition seized
Security personnel unearthed an ammunition dump used by Naxals and recovered two firearms in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Kanker district on Sunday, police said. “On a tip-off, a joint team of district police force and Border Security Force (BSF) seized two single-barrel shot guns (SBSG) from the hilly terrain of Nalkasa and Kumudkatta region under Lohattar police station limits bordering Rajnandgaon district,” Kanker SP RN Dash said.
CRPF jawan injured in face-off with Naxals
Raipur, Aug 24 (PTI) A CRPF jawan was injured in a gun-battle between security forces and ultras in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Bijapur district, police said today. The jawan received bullet injuries in the face-off that occurred in the restive Lingapur forest under Basaguda police station limits late last evening, a senior police official said. A team of paramilitary forces was mobilised from Bijapur for an anti-Naxal operation in the interiors of Basaguda in south Bastar.
Three Maoists arrested in Patna
PATNA: Three members of the CPI (Maoist) were arrested from Jamal Road under Kotwali police station area on Saturday. Two of them were members of Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh special area committee of the CPI (Maoist) and the third was its zonal commander of the Son Ganga Vindhyachal committee. Patna SSP Manu Maharaaj said, “We received information about some members of the CPI (Maoist) assembled near the Chiryatand overbridge to commit some crime. A special police team led by ASP (operations) Anupam Kumar conducted a raid there and arrested the trio. The three admitted that they were instrumental in the killing of the 16 members of the Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC) in Jharkhand on August 8 this year.” The zonal commander was identified as Shambhu Kumar alias Sunil ji alias Lambu ji, a native of Kushi Nagar in Uttar Pradesh.
Shambhu is accused in over a dozen of murder, extortion, kidnapping and Arms Act cases lodged in different districts. The other two members were identified as Sanjay Kumar of Jehanabad and Sunil Singh of Patna. “Police seized 25 detonators, one compass, nine mobile phones, SIM cards, three radio, Rs 25,000, medicines and Maoist literature from their possession. Shambhu has been associated with the organization since 1994,” the SSP added. “A white coloured luxury car going toward Chiryatand overbridge was stopped on Jamal Road. There were four persons in the car, including driver Laxman Yadav of Rohtas. He was released after police interrogation but the car was seized. They also told us that they used to bag contracts for constructions from local companies and those refusing to award contract to them had to cough up huge amount as levy,” said ASP Anupam Kumar.
Three naxals held in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: Three naxals, including a woman cadre, were on Saturday arrested from different places in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, police said. “While one ultra was nabbed from Dantewada district, two others were picked from Kanker district,” DIG (SIB) Dipanshu Kabara told a news agency over phone. The naxal arrested from Dantewada is identified as Sanna Sodhi alias Sannu (38) and is suspected to have been involved in the attack in 2010 at the house of Congress leader Avdhesh Gautam.
“Sannu is also a close confidant of the commander of Malangir Area Committee, Deva. He was allegedly involved in triggering blasts at Kuakonda tehsil office and in a bus in Chingavaram,” Kabara said. Meanwhile, in a separate incident a joint squad of BSF and district police force arrested two ultras, identified as Umeshwari and Ramji from forest near Bhainsasur village in Kanker district. The duo have cases of arson, attempt to murder etc. registered against them in various police stations, Kabara said.
Govt goes for major overhaul of anti-Naxal policy
NEW DELHI: As home ministry officials go back to the drawing board to reshape contours of the anti-Naxal policy, there are indications of a tweaking of all existing schemes and initiatives in Left-wing extremism (LWE) areas. Some key proposals are allowing more flexibility to the home ministry to revise guidelines and update list of districts and items covered under the security-related expenditure (SRE) reimbursement scheme and empowering CRPF to restructure its dynamics to suit requirements of the LWE grid.
The revised draft anti-Naxal doctrine, which will be circulated to the affected states for their comments before being put up for Cabinet approval, will also propose raising of monetary incentive for surrenders by Naxal cadres as well as announcement of higher bounties by NIA on top CPI(Maoist) leaders. The draft of the new Naxal rehabilitation, surrender, neutralization, solatium and reward policy is ready, according to sources.
As of now, a surrendered higher-ranking Naxal leader gets Rs 2.5 lakh as an immediate grant and Rs 4,000 per month for 36 months. Importantly, the Centre, as part of its revised anti-Naxal policy, will bat for restructuring of CRPF to suit requirements of the LWE grid. This may entail autonomy for the CRPF to work out its own dynamics rather than turn to the home ministry for approval of the slightest change in organizational framework.
Earlier this year, CRPF had proposed a restructuring plan envisaging a single command system in conjunction with the area of responsibility. This, according to CRPF, was necessary as the concentration of troops in Naxal areas, northeast and J&K had resulted in group centres and range offices being far away from the battalions. The revised counter-Naxal doctrine may propose a standing mechanism comprising the home minister and chief minister of affected states to periodically review anti-Naxal policy.
The other initiatives that may see an overhaul are the scheme for special infrastructure (SIS) in LWE districts, under which funds are released to set up infrastructure for Greyhounds-like special forces and strengthen approach roads to police stations. The utilization of additional funds provided in this year’s budget for police modernization and implementation of scheme for construction and strengthening fortification of police stations will also be improved upon.
A central action plan to fight Maoists had recently suggested an advanced mine detection system, in use in Afghanistan, to tackle IED threats from the ultras. It recommended that CRPF’s Institute of IED Management, Pune, study the AN/PSS 14, developed by US-based L3 Cyterra, and make suggestions. Another idea is to focus on 35-40 worst-affected districts and reward the IAS/IPS officers who do good work there with preferential postings and foreign assignments. Taking a leaf out of Punjab’s success in beating Sikh militancy, the action plan suggests that a single IG/DIG exercise command over both the state police and central forces to ensure better coordination. Besides, inter-state border junctions in select places like Jamui-Giridih and Sukma-Malkangiri may be placed under the jurisdiction of DIG/commandants of central forces.
….The doctrine aims to set some ground-rules — like no talks with Maoists unless in a bleak scenario where they lay down arms, going after the top Maoist leadership by dedicated security teams, pushing in more security forces into worst-affected areas like Bastar and political commitment from all Maoist-affected states to eradicate the Left-wing extremism. A senior IB official told ET that the anti-Maoist doctrine will soon be circulated to all Maoist-affected states by the ministry for their comments and consent and subsequently an “in-principle approval” of the same will be sought from the Cabinet.
“Once the doctrine is in place, any wavering from it by any state will mean costs – in terms of funds being sent to the state to fight Maoists being curtailed,” a home ministry official said. BJP had earlier criticised the UPA government for not having a uniform anti-Maoist policy. Bihar has lately differed with the Centre’s stance against Maoists. The IB official said Singh has wished for an aggressive approach to eradicate Maoists after a recent presentation to him that said the violence levels were lowest in the last 14 years and Maoists were facing serious challenges like “decline of their base, loss of leadership, ideological dilution, increased desertions and weakening of urban movement”.
The presentation put the strength of CPI (Maoist) at 6,000 armed cadres and 36,000 Jan Militia and said they held 4,000 regular and 6,000 country-made weapons. It also pointed out that Sukma and Bijapur in Chhattisgarh and Gadhchirolli in Maharashtra were the worst-affected and the main hub of CPI (Maoist) and needed to be targeted. South Chhattisgarh is the “fountain-head” of Maoism with presence of large Maoist armed formations and location of the top leadership, it added. The presentation said the operations had yielded improved results “only in” Maharashtra and Odisha and that Bihar and Jharkhand had a “poor performance”.
Among other concerns flagged off to the home minister were “movement of large groups of armed Maoist cadres, massive collection of funds through extortion, inability of the security forces to take on large armed groups, heavy security force casualties in IED blasts and administrative vacuum in large areas.” Singh was also told that Maoists were planning to intensify guerilla and mine warfare against security forces, develop a second line of leadership and focus on issues of “Jal, Jungle and Zameen.” He was told Maoists planned more abductions — followed by short negotiations and killings of abductees if demands were not met.
Top Maoist Shambhuji arrested in Bihar
In a major catch a top Maoist, involved in several naxal-related incidents in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, was on Saturday arrested along with three accomplices, police said. Shambhuji alias Sunil Kumar alias Lambuji, member of Special area committee of the banned outfit in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhtisgarh, was arrested from Gandhi Maidan police station area here, a press release from the office of Senior Superintendent of Police Manu Maharaj said.
Acting on a tip off, the city police netted him with three aides when he had come here to collect levy money, the release added. The three others arrested were Sanjay Kumar, Sunil Singh and Lakshaman Yadav. ‘Shambhu ji’ was involved in brutal massacre of 16 members of TPC (Third Presentation Committee) in Jharkhand on August 8 this year, the release said. Several cases of loot, murder and extortion have been listed against him in the three states. A total of 25 detonators, 3 Chinese make radio sets, medicines to make someone unconscious besides Rs 25,000 were recovered from him, it said.
Maoists gun down farm labourer
VISAKHAPATNAM: After a nearly four-month lull, Maoists struck in the Visakha Agency again, killing a tribal at Killamkota in the mandal on Thursday night. However, the news came to light only on Friday evening after a villager came to the mandal headquarters and revealed the incident. The deceased was identified as 35-year-old farm labour B Balaraju. According to sources, a group of armed personnel allegedly entered the Killamkota colony, a Maoist stronghold area located around 30 km from the mandal headquarter, and dragged Balraju out of his house. They took him to the nearby village of Cherukubanda at around 7 pm where they opened fire at him.
Sources said after killing Balaraju the Reds told the villagers that he had been killed because he was a police informer and warned the other villagers with dire consequences if they informed the police. When contacted, police officials said they had no information about the incident so far as no one had lodged a complaint in this regard. A senior police official said the killing may have been prompted by the need of the Maoists to show their presence in the districtby terrorising people to carry out the ongoing anti-bauxite agitation.
Land-Dispute Villagers Protest Outside Cabinet Meeting
Three protesters were arbitrarily thrown onto municipal security trucks and driven away from a demonstration on Friday outside the Council of Ministers building, where Prime Minister Hun Sen had called a meeting to discuss how the government will manage protests in the city. Some 70 protesters from communities locked in long-running land disputes, including Boeng Kak and Borei Keila in Phnom Penh and Lor Peang village in Kompong Chhnang province, were met in the morning by riot police wielding shields and batons, who blocked them from delivering their petitions to the government leaders.
Big three to talk to Baidya-led Maoists
Seek their views on contentious issues KATHMANDU, Aug 23: Leaders from the major political parties have agreed to hold top-level talks with the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist on Sunday as the agitating party has refused to talk to the Constituent Assembly´s dialogue committee. The Baidya-led Maoist party, which boycotted the Constituent Assembly (CA) election late last year, has also refused to participate in talks to be coordinated by any CA body.
According to Nepali Congress Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel, the top leadership of the three major parties will hold talks with Baidya´s party on Sunday to seek its views on various contentious issues of the new constitution. UCPN (Maoist) Vice-chairman Narayankaji Shrestha said the three parties will hold a meeting Sunday morning to take some important decisions in connection with talks with the Baidya-led party.
“We have decided to talk to Baidya´s party without any further delay because they have rejected talks with the CA´s dialogue committee also,” Shrestha told Republica. The CA´s Constitutional Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee, which is chaired by UCPN (Maoist) leader Baburam Bhattarai, held talks with several political and other groups not represented in the CA, with a view to incorporating their inputs in the constitution-making process. But it couldn´t hold a dialogue with the Baidya-led party as the latter has refused to talk to the CA. Shrestha said the leaders decided to talk to the agitating Maoist party before the major parties reach any conclusion in connection with settling the major thorny issues in constitution making. “We thought that it would be better to make our talks decisive only after learning about the main concerns of some of the key political parties that aren´t represented in the CA,” said Shrestha.
Pvt sector fears labour militancy might strike back
KATHMANDU, AUG 23 – With the All Nepal Revolutionary Federation of Trade Union (ANRFTU), affiliated to the CPN-Maoist, disrupting various enterprises, including Kantipur Publications, the private sector fears militant unionism might rear its ugly head again. There has been a marked improvement in industrial relations over the last two years and industrial unrest has declined significantly. However, ANRFTU’s latest tirade against business enterprises has threatened industrial harmony.
The union has obstructed distribution of The Kathmandu Post and Kantipur dailies for the last two days. The Baidya Maoist-affiliated trade union has mainly targeted nine other enterprises, including CG Telecommunications, Nabil Bank, Hyatt Hotel, Pashupati Foods, Explore Himalayan Trekking Travels, Himalayan Expedition Ink, Peak Promotion Private Limited, Hari Shiddi Bricks and Tile Factory, and Sipradi Trading. Their demands include salary hike and reinstatement of their cadres removed from the job. The union has been protesting at Nabil Bank, demanding reinstatement of laid-off workers the bank had outsourced from a third company.
According to a senior Nabil official, they had outsourced the workers for a certain period. “As we announced that we did not need their services any more, the union members have been staging a sit-in before our office for the last 8-9 days, demanding we should hire them,” said the official. “How can we fulfil their demands as they are not our employees?” Private sector leaders say spoiling industrial relations for expanding political space is deplorable. Pradeep Jung Pandey, president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), said since the CPN-Maoist is making efforts to show their political presence, they are targeting business enterprises.
Former FNCCI President Suraj Vaidya termed the CPN-M act “unfortunate”. “Instead of joining the Parliament, the CPN-M is doing politics in the business sector to fulfil its political objective. “The government should take strong action against those disrupting industrial relations.” Business leaders say the latest attack by the trade union on various enterprises could deteriorate the business climate at a time when the private sector is looking positive on increasing investment. “Let us (private sector) work and expand our business when there is a positive buzz for investment,” said Vaidya. Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) Senior Vice-president Hari Bhakta Sharma said the action of the CPN-M trade union has created fear that the trend of labour unions competing for influence with unreasonable demands might come back. “The CNI is of the view that the political parties should be responsible to create congenial environment for the people to do their work,” he said.
20 injured as police, workers clash in Narayanganj
A clash between workers of a Narayanganj factory and police have left 20 injured in Bandar Upazila. The clash erupted when workers of Partex Particle Board factory in Madanpur put up a road blockade to demand hike in pay on Saturday. Traffic on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway was disrupted for almost one hour. The Partex factory workers have been agitating for several days, said Bandar Police OC Akhter Morshed. Police removed their blockade to ease traffic on the highway, he said.
Hundreds of the factory’s workers did not join work and began demonstrating at 8am, witnesses say. They moved to the highway and set logs on fire to stop traffic. Additional policemen were deployed at 8:30 am and they baton-charged workers when they refused to move away from the road. The workers fought back by pelting stones. 20 were injured in the pitched battle that lasted for half an hour. More policemen arrived at 9am to clear the highway.
Chhattisgarh: Naxal killed in encounter with security forces
Raipur: A naxal was today gunned down in an encounter with security forces in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Sukma district, police said. The face-off took place during a combing operation near restive Birabhati forests under Bhejji police station limits, Sukma Superintendent of Police D Shrawan told PTI. Representational image. PTI A joint team of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Cobra (Combat Battalion for Resolute Action), a specialised unit of CRPF and district force was carrying out search operations in the Bhejji region of south Bastar, around 500 kms from Raipur, Shrawan said.
When they reached Birabhati and Jaggawaram forests, rebels opened indiscriminate firing on them following which they retaliated. After a fierce gun-battle, the ultras retreated to the core area of the forest. Later in searches, body of a slain naxal in uniform and a SLR rifle was recovered from the spot, he said. The identity of the killed naxal is yet to be ascertained, he said adding his body was being retrieved from the forests.
Maoists look for new bases in Kerala, Karnataka
Mounting pressure of security forces on Maoists in the central Indian states of Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra is forcing them to look for new bases in far South. According to reports prepared by a senior officer of the union home ministry based the CPI (Maoist) is trying hard to establish new bases on the border of Kerala and Karnataka. The report based on IB inputs, interrogation reports of captured leaders, seized Maoist documents and intercepts also claims that the CPI (Maoist) is engaged in establishing a forest route from Wayanad district in Kerala to Mysore district in Karnataka. “Kerala wants a CIAT (counter insurgency and anti-terrorism school).
This should be considered as Maoists want to revive their South West Zonal Committee – at the tri-junction of Kerala-Tamil Nadu-Karnataka. Proactive steps should be taken lest Western Ghats become Bastar-Two,” the report prepared by a senior official says. There is a presence of over 100 battalions in seven central Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected sates of central India. It is going to be further beefed up with 10 more battalions of the CRPF and 37 India Reserve battalions thereby taking the total presence of security forces to close of 1.5 lakh pair of feet. “Despite being active, the CPI (Maoist) has not been able to establish themselves in these areas.
Adding to the worries of Centre is the newly created state of Telangana that being soft on Maoists can be used as a safe zone in times of counter insurgency operations. The Maoists plan to form a contiguous zone from Kerala-Karnataka-Tamil Nadu tri-junction to Bastar via Telangana. “This is a highly far-fetched scenario which can happen only if the security forces fail miserably and Maoists manage to get ample ground support,” said sources. “Our worries right now are Bihar and Telangana are the two soft spots where the Maoists could head to save themselves from the heat of security forces,” he added.
Towering bid to tame Maoists
BHUBANESWAR: Centre-owned telecommunications giant BSNL has decided to set up 253 mobile towers in Maoist-affected regions of Odisha. Nineteen districts are having Red rebel presence. Union cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval for providing mobile phone services at 2,199 locations, affected by Left-wing extremism, in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
The aim is to augment public communication facilities in the Red zone. “We will soon start the process of setting up of the towers. Sites are being identified,” said a BSNL officer. The ministry of home affairs has been pushing for installation of mobile towers in ultra-hit areas since 2010 even as the Left-wing extremists continue to target base transmission towers to disrupt telecommunication. Official sources said the Maoists blew up at least 60 towers in Odisha in the past five years. The extremists blasted seven mobile towers each in 2012 and 2013, whereas the number stood at 11 in 2011. Absence of cellphone services in Maoist-hit districts made it tough for security forces to operate and get timely help in critical situations, leading to loss of lives.
Student unrest at Yei health training institute
Calm has returned to the National Health Training Institute in Yei, South Sudan, after an outbreak of unrest among medical students. A local radio station reported that some students “held a rampage” demanding improvement of the facilities and increment of their transport fees. Damian Lemeri Frezer, an administrator at the health institute, said that the administration managed to calm the situation with the students after they held a demonstration.
Running battles rage across Cape’s Marikana
Cape Town – Rioters ran through the smoke carrying cases of Coca-Cola after looting a wholesaler in Marikana, Philippi, on Friday morning as the area once again flared into violence while evictions were under way. At the time of publication, running battles raged across several square kilometres as police clashed with angry residents. Small armies of rioters, carrying rocks and makeshift shields, kept police under constant attack. The police, who had a helicopter circling, retaliated with tear gas and thunderflashes.
At about 10.30am the crowd broke into a Cash&Carry building and raided a stack of crates of Coca-Cola, screaming: “Free drinks!” Police riot control vehicles raced to the site as looters sought new targets. A vehicle fleeing the violent mob at the wholesalers smashed into a metro police car. Shortly after 11am a lone police vehicle came under heavy attack, surrounded by hundreds of residents, some searching for petrol to make bombs. Sources said on Friday’s evictions would see more than 600 shacks demolished by teams. It will be the largest number taken down by authorities since evictions in the area began, with an average of 100 dwellings toppled daily during previous operations.
The current round of evictions are taking place on land bordering on contested property which over the past two weeks has been a hotbed of conflict as law enforcement officers, the City of Cape Town’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit and police have battled to remove squatters from private land in the Marikana township. Previous skirmishes have seen both residents and police injured as rubber bullets, stun grenades and rocks flew. Numerous rounds of evictions have been unsuccessful as defiant residents rebuilt their dwellings overnight. In the past, police have been recalled after the situation was deemed to be too dangerous.
Egypt: Misr-Iran Textile Workers Go On Strike
Cairo — Around 2,000 workers of the Misr-Iran textiles company went on strike on Thursday, halting production at the company’s six plants. “Workers were supposed to receive profits and delayed raises in June, but it was postponed by the manager who promised payment in September,” a labour leader told Aswat Masriya. The leader, who requested anonymity, said that although the company has experienced soaring profits due to its high exports, it is indebted to banks and insurance companies.
Mexican police arrest 13 activists at Maya Indian protest against water rate increase
MEXICO CITY – Police on Mexico’s Caribbean coast arrested 13 activists during a demonstration by Maya Indians against water rate hikes. The Mayas were the original inhabitants of the area, south of the resort city of Cancun. But they have been pushed into poor, dry farmland inland as resorts pop up along the coast. Households in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, the most important remaining Indian-majority town, had long paid a flat $5.20 monthly fee for water.
But the state water authority began installing water meters last year and started charging households more for water use of over 10 cubic meters (2,640 gallons) per month per family. The Quintana Roo prosecutors’ office said Thursday that activists took over the local water authority office Aug. 11 and held it for more than a week. It said state and local police forcibly removed the protesters Wednesday and arrested 13 activists. The water authority later said only nine were arrested and some of were not from Felipe Carrillo Puerto.
Maha Govt announces Rs 1 cr bounty for Naxal chief
Ganapathy In an unprecedented move, Maharashtra Government has announced a cash reward of Rs one crore to anyone giving crucial information leading to arrest of chief of CPI (Maoist) Muppala Lakshman Rao alias Ganapathy. Rs 60 lakh will also be given to the person who provides any information about any Politburo and central committee member of the Naxal group, which has been creating a reign of terror across nine states.
Official sources said the reward will be given by the Maharashtra government as per a latest policy. 65-year-old Ganapathy is one of country’s most wanted persons. Different states have announced different rewards for any information on him. Apart from the CPI (Maoist) chief, about a dozen Politburo and central committee members have been evading police arrest for long.
Cabinet Approves Mobile Towers in Naxal Belts at Cost of Rs. 3,216 Crore to the Exchequer
The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the long-pending proposal to install mobile towers in nine naxal-affected states by BSNL at cost Rs. 3,216 crore that will be borne by the government. “The Cabinet has approved setting up of 1,836 new base transmission towers (BTS) in Left Wing Extremist affected districts. People in these areas and security forces have asked to improve the mobile connectivity in these districts,”
Govt to acquire mine detectors for use in Naxal-hit states
Land mine detectors, similar to those used by the US forces in Afghanistan, will be acquired by the Government for use in Naxal-hit states as two-third of the casualty of security forces is due to IED explosions. As per a new action plan formulated by the Home Ministry to deal with Maoists, the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) which has a low intensity conflict division, will be asked to contribute much more to find solutions to the problem of Left Wing Extremism.
The Home Ministry has come to the conclusion that IED threats accounts for two-third casualty and hence it requires to obtain latest technology to defeat mines planted by the Maoists. The Ministry has zeroed in mine detector gadget- L3 Cy Terra- which is said to have been used in Afghanistan by the US and other western forces in their fight against Taliban. According to the action plan, a monitoring committee, comprising officers from state government, state police, central armed police force and Home Ministry, will be set up in each of the nine Naxal-affected states to review the progress of state-level anti-Maoist operations every month.
Out of the 106 Left Wing Extremism affected districts, security forces will focus on 35-40 “most red” districts where more funds will be allocated and IAS and IPS officers who have done well in the four years of their postings will be be rewarded with preferential postings, foreign deputations or foreign courses. Citing a model that was successful against terrorists in Punjab, the Home Ministry suggested that one IGP or DIG should be vested with the command of both state and central forces in operations against Maoists.
Maoist Insurgency Still Simmers in Modi’s India
Two Indian police officers were injured over the weekend when Maoist insurgents detonated a landmine below their convoy. In an email interview, P.V. Ramana, a research fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi, discussed the insurgency of Maoist groups, also known as Naxalites, and the Modi administration’s response.
WPR: What is the current status of the Naxalite insurgency in India?
P.V. Ramana: The Communist Party of India (Maoist) was banned in 2009 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967. The Maoist insurgents have a presence to varying degree—intense to negligible—in 182 districts across 20 states. However, of the 182 districts where they have a presence, only 76 districts have witnessed violence. The states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha account for an overwhelming majority of the violence committed by the Maoist insurgents. Not a day passes without some act of Maoist violence reported from one part of the country or the other, given their geographic spread. Nevertheless, there has been a perceptible decline in Maoist violence over the past four years, though their pan-India influence may not have been drastically reduced. Over the past year, the Maoists have not staged any massive attack.
This is, in part, because the security forces have maintained constant pressure on the rebels. The Maoists have been completely driven away from their flagship guerrilla zone, North Telangana in South India, and have merely a negligible presence in the northern-most pockets of what is now the state of Andhra Pradesh. Similarly, several Central Committee members of the Communist Party have been either arrested or killed in encounters with the police over the past seven years.
WPR: What is Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policy toward the Maoists and does it represent a shift from that of the previous administration?
Ramana: According to Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju*, “the government believes a combination of calibrated police action, focused developmental efforts and improvement in governance are effective instrumentalities” in dealing with the Maoist insurgency. Prime Minister Modi himself asked the Maoists to shun the path of violence and join the national mainstream. During his Independence Day address on Aug. 15, Modi called upon “misguided youth who had taken to terrorism or Maoism to give up violence and return to the national mainstream.” Before his election as prime minister, Modi said at an election rally, “Don’t arm the gullible youth with guns . . . Instead, pick up the plough and distribute it among youngsters for you need to feed scores of people who sleep hungry in this country. Also ensure the youth picks up the pen as only education can lead to progress and development in the villages.” However, the Maoist insurgency was not a major issue in the recent general elections of 2014.
WPR: Does the election of Modi change the Maoists’ view of the Indian government and are the Maoists likely to adapt their insurgency in light of the new administration?
Ramana: The Maoists have consistently held that elections are a sham and have never participated in any election at any level of government. Their avowed objective is the armed seizure of political power. These twin aspects of their ideology have never changed and will never change irrespective of which political party heads the government. The Maoists are quick to adapt their strategy and tactics depending upon the government’s policies and actions. Presently, they are adopting a wait-and-see strategy before planning their next moves. Hence, there is a certain stalemate in the insurgency and counterinsurgency operations.
NIA files supplementary chargesheet on links between northeast terror organizations and Maoists
KOLKATA: Two years after the National Investigating Agency filed a chargesheet against northeast terror organization PLA’s external affairs department chief N Dilip Singh alias Wangba and two other members from his outfit — identified as Senjam Dhiren Singh alias Raghu and Arnold Singh alias Becon — exposing the PLA-Maoists nexus in 2011, the NIA has now gone ahead and filed its supplementary chargesheet in the case.
The NIA has now named two new persons in the chargesheet. “Two accused persons namely Amit Bagch alias Alok and G Jiteshwar Sharma alias Gypsy has been charged under several sections of the IPC and UA (P). Bagchi is the central committee member of CPI (Maoist), while the accused Sharma is the senior member of RPF-PLA, a proscribed terrorist organization of Manipur. The NIA claimed to have established that the ‘nexus’ had taken root way back in 2006 and the two banned outfits held a number of meetings in Delhi, West Bengal, Assam, Mizoram, Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh for delivery of ‘consignments’ and ‘cash’ since then.
“The PLA used to provide the CPI (Maoist) arms, ammunition and communication devices – procured through a network of smugglers in China and Myanmar. The Red ultras, in turn, used to provide ammonium nitrate (explosive) and cash to the northeast outfit,” an NIA official said. He said the PLA had set up a base in Kolkata mainly to receive money, to coordinate meetings between the two groups and supplying arms, ammunition and communication devices. Leaders of both the groups used to meet in different states and also in the national Capital in order to avoid detection of the law enforcement agency, the official added.
The NIA had on July 11, 2011 registered a case on the basis of reliable information that PLA had links with CPI (Maoist). Its subsequent investigation in coordination with Delhi Police, Kolkata Police and central intelligence agencies resulted in the arrest of the three. “The case relates to a criminal conspiracy hatched by senior leadership of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and CPl(Maoist) to collaborate with each other in their struggle against the Government. The PLA and the CPI (Maoist) have been declared as terrorist organizations as per schedule I of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 (as amended),” a NIA spokesperson said.
Tribals’ Protest Rally against Decision on Bauxite Mining
VISAKHAPATNAM: The tribals of Agency areas in the district have launched a massive protest against the Telugu Desam government’s decision on the bauxite reserves. Thousands of tribals from various villages in GK Veedhi mandal, including Darakonda, Duppilavada and Gummarevula, took out rallies against chief minister N Chandrbabu Naidu’s announcement to lift the bauxite reserves. The tribals also observed a day-long bandh in the villages. The Maoists, who are eagerly waiting for a chance to win the confidence of the tribals, have announced that they would support any agitation against bauxite mining. Interestingly, tribals in the GK Veedhi mandal said that they welcome the support of any organisation including the Maoist part to their agitation against bauxite mining. The tribals raised slogans against the government’s decision and warned that they would never allow any mining activity to lift the bauxite reserves.
They pointed out that participating in the International Tribal Day celebrations, chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced an anti-tribal and anti-environmental activity. The tribals also pointed out that there was no difference between the Congress and the TDP government which were trying to kill the green environment in the Eastern Ghats and causing harm to lakhs of tribal lives. During his recent two-day visit to the district, the CM announced that the bauxite reserves would be lifted by involving the tribals in the project. In fact, during Chandrababu Naidu’s tenure between 1995 and 2004, the bauxite mining proposals were raised but were severely opposed by all political parties, NGOs and several other national-level environmentalists. The Congress government, led by late YS Rajasekhara Reddy in 2007, signed an MoU with two companies – AnRak and Jindal.
The government, while entering into an MoU, assured the two major players – Jindal South West Aluminium Limited and Anrak Aluminium Limited – that bauxite will be supplied through AP Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC). “The government has not consulted the Public Sector Unit NALCO which has shown much interest in setting up alumina refineries. According to the MoUs signed with AnRak and Jindal, neither the government nor the local tribal community stand to gain from the deal. It is true that both the companies will loot bauxite and leave the much-polluted mud here,” a senior IAS officer said, and wondered why the state government was not consulting NALCO and why it was inviting private companies.
Protesting against the CM’s announcement, the Left parties and NGOs have already warned that they would launch a massive agitation against bauxite mining. In the past two days, a large number of tribals, led by local leaders, staged dharnas and took out rallies. “When the TDP was in the opposition earlier, it had assured us that it would support the agitation against former chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy’s action against bauxite mining. After coming to power, Naidu is eyeing the bauxite mines. We are thankful to former Union minister Kishore Chandra Deo who had educated us on the issue. The agreements with AnRak and Jindal companies are illegal. We shall go ahead with our agitation come what may,” some sarpanches in GK Veedhi mandal warned.
Miners at KCM riot over pay
HUNDREDS of mineworkers from different companies contracted by KCM yesterday rioted in Chingola and destroyed property worth thousands of Kwacha demanding payment of salary arrears. But KCM says it has met in full all its obligations to contractors working at its mines. The workers, who operate mainly underground, refused to go to work in the early morning for their daily operations and alleged that they had not been paid by their respective companies because KCM had not released money for the works they had done for a long time now.
The protesting workers went to the main gate of the KCM plant in Chingola around 07:30 hours and later matched to the compound in Nchanga South where majority of Asian expatriates working for KCM were believed to be staying. The irate workers destroyed property worth thousands of Kwacha which included windows of vehicles that were found at the compound and windowpanes were also smashed. Riot police fired teargas to disperse the rioting miners.
Ningbo truck strike flares up again, becomes violent
Shanghai: The truckers’ strike in Ningbo has flared again, and this time the action has descended into violence. Up to 7,000 truck drivers, made up from smaller, independent trucking firms, have been campaigning for higher pay. They went on strike for one day on Monday before authorities came in promising to hike pay. With strikes and protests frowned upon by Beijing most local reports of the protest were then wiped from Chinese media the next day.
According to two freight forwarding sources in Ningbo contacted by SinoShip News today the truckers started a new round of protests today with far more people joining in. “The situation is a bit out of control now and they started to smash other trucks who continued to work,” one freight forwarder told SinoShip News. When the police intervened they were also attacked. A number of people have been arrested and there are plenty of police cars that have been smashed up too. The truckers are claiming they will continue to protest through the weekend.
About 5,000 miners in strike in Iran
About 5,000 iron ore mine workers in Iran’s central Yazd Province continue their strike which was started on Aug. 19. The workers of Bafq iron ore mine went on strike, protesting the arrest of two miners by police, Iran’s ILNA news agency reported Aug. 21. The arrested miners, Amir Hossein Kargaran and Ali Sabri are reportedly accused of organizing a 40-day strike which started on May 18 in protest of the privatization of the mine. They were arrested after their employer filed a formal complaint with the police. No further details have been released on the issue. Police failed to arrest the other 16 miners that the employer filed a complaint against.
Police officers are confronted with workers and students of Sao Paulo University (USP), during a strike and protest in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Aug. 20, 2014. The strike on the university campus began 84 days ago. The USP, the nation’s largest public university exceeded its budget and it was considering to implement a program of voluntary redundancies of approximately 3,000 workers and reductions in working hours of teachers.
Two Maoist guerrillas arrested in Latehar
Two Maoists, including a ‘zonal commander’ of the proscribed outfit, were on Tuesday arrested in Latehar district, the police said. The police raided a house around and nabbed zonal commander Ravindra Yadav and his associate Lavtesh Ganju from Kuriamakhurd village under Balumath police station after being tipped off, the police said adding a country-made pistol was seized from them.
STF team arrests wanted Maoist in Haryana
PATNA: A team of Special Task Force (STF) of the state police on Tuesday arrested an alleged activist of CPI(Maoist), Mahavir Saklani, from Haryana. He was wanted in over a dozen criminal cases lodged in various police stations of the state. IG (operations) Sushil M Khopde said Saklani had a reward of Rs 25,000 on his head. He is a native of East Champaran and had been active mostly in north Bihar districts. The first case was lodged against him in April 2001. Khopde said the police were yet to ascertain the reason behind his shifting to Haryana. “He might have gone there to work as a daily wager to earn some money during monsoon because the Red rebels hardly strike during the season. Or, he might have gone there to plan some attack as Maoists are also active in Punjab and Haryana,” Khopde said.
“The security forces are working in coordination with Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh police. Last year, we had successfully set up camps in the bordering areas of Gaya, Rohtas and Aurangabad districts,” he said. The security forces successfully set up base camps at Lutua under Banki Bazar police station area and Sewra under Imamganj police station area of Gaya districts. Two camps at the hilly terrains of Barha-Chakarbandha were also set up. The CRPF and civil police are also setting up temporary camps at several places to flush out the Naxalites from the area. A CRPF personnel said, “A new battalion camping site is being set up at Aurangabad to monitor the movements of the CRPF battalions in south Bihar. Currently, it is being monitored from Motihari in East Champaran. Three companies of CRPF will be staying at the site.”
Govt to raise 31 IRBs in J-K, NE, Maoist-hit states
To ease pressure on central paramilitary forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir, North East and left wing extremism (LWE)-affected states, the Centre will provide funds for raising 31 India Reserve Battalions (IRBs) there, sources said. “It will be a huge boost for the states battling terrorism and insurgency. The central paramilitary forces are already stretched to their limit for being involved in static as well as temporary deployment in these states. Once the states raise their own battalions, we will be able to move the central forces from there and deploy them more in line with their original mandate,” said a government official requesting anonymity.
The IRBs are raised by the states with initial fund fund coming from the Centre. At present, there are 145 IRB battalions with states across the country. “We got demands from the states for raising more than 50 fresh IRB battalions. But we have agreed for only 31 battalions (around 31,000 personnel) with priority being given to Jammu and Kashmir, northeastern states battling insurgency and LWE-affected states. The decision has huge financial implications for the Centre as the cost of raising one IRB battalion comes to around `50 crore. We have asked for views from all stake-holders including the finance ministry that has to approve the spending,” said the official. Sources said five IRB battalions have been approved for Jammu and Kashmir and 26 others for northeastern and LWE states. At the moment there are 37 IRB battalions with the 10 LWE-affected states. A cabinet note has been prepared in this regard and circulated to all stake holders. It will soon be put before the cabinet for final approval.
Maoists, police indulge in propaganda warfare in Bastar
The Maoist insurgency-hit Bastar region of Chhattisgarh is witnessing a propaganda war between the police and Maoists with both sides claiming to have inflicted heavy damage on the other. The outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoists) claimed that the party’s military wing, the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), killed six commandos of the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in an encounter in Bijapur district on August 10. In a handwritten press note from the South Bastar Regional Committee of the CPI (Maoist), the banned outfit claimed that the PLGA “shot dead” six COBRA commandos and inflicted serious injuries on four others in an encounter near Pawarguda village of Bijapur district.
“A police party took the dead bodies and the injured jawans towards Murdonda area. But the police and district administration remained silent on the incident. It’s not yet confirmed whether they handed over those dead bodies to the families of the deceased,” said the South Bastar Regional Committee. However, police denied the Maoists’ claims. “It is not possible for police to hide such a big incident because we have to do so many formalities. The Maoists are desperate and are on back foot. They (Maoists) are fighting a losing battle and are indulging in such false propaganda out of frustration,” reacted Mr. S. R. Kalluri, the Inspector General (IG) of Police, Bastar range.
In a similar incident, Chhattisgarh police and the CRPF had claimed that they killed “at least 10 to 11” Maoists” in Ramram village of Sukma district on July 28 only to be rebutted by the Maoists who instead claimed that the security forces killed “two civilians” in the village. The South Bastar Regional Committee press release has also appealed the security personnel to “stop sacrificing their lives for the capitalists”. “Don’t fight for the capitalists and imperialists. Instead join our people’s movement,” the banned outfit told the jawans.
Naxals shoot copter, hit tail
Raipur: A helicopter of the Chhattisgarh government came under attack by Maoists while it was flying over a hilly region in south Bastar in the state, but escaped the assault with a minor damage, a police officer said on Tuesday. The incident took place late on Monday evening and has been kept under wraps “for security reasons,” the police official confided. “The copter came under firing by Naxals while it flying between Pamed and Bhadrakali in south Bastar district of Bijapur. The pilot felt a minor jolt but could not assess the situation. That the Maoists tried to shoot down the copter was known after it landed at Jagdalpur airbase where the ground staff noticed bullet mark on its tail,” he revealed.
According to him, preliminary inquiry has revealed that light machine guns were used to target the copter. “A major disaster has been averted. The bullet missed the fuel tank and ro-tor by a few inches. Had it hit either of them, the copter could have crashed,” he added. This was the third incident of Maoist attack on a copter in Bastar in the current year.
Baidya spews venom against energy agreement with India
POKHARA, Aug 20: CPN (Maoist) Chairman Mohan Baidya has claimed that Power Trade Agreement (PTA) and Project Development Agreement (PDA) won’t be signed with India. Blaming that India is attempting to exploit Nepal’s natural resources in pretext of energy cooperation, Baidya on Wednesday announced that his party won’t let Nepal and India ink the agreement at any cost. “Our protest forced them to put off signing of PTA and PDA during recent visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he claimed, “They agreed to sign the agreement within 45days, but we won’t let this happen this time too.” On the occasion, the Maoist hardliner termed visit by Indian PM as a complete failure.
CPN-M worker union threatens to close trekking companies
KATHMANDU, Aug 19: Tourism workers affiliated to the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist has threatened to padlock more than a dozen travel and trekking companies. All Nepal Revolutionary Tourism Union (ANRTWU) has sent letters to different travel and trekking companies, urging them to provide all pending salary and benefits to workers at the earliest. It has also asked these companies not to adopt ´hire and fire´ policy and requested it to reinstate all the fired staff members.
The union has sent letters to 14 companies, including Himalaya Expeditions, Explore Himalaya, Peak Promotion and Himalayan Guides, among others. Avisekh Pande, deputy managing director of Himalaya Expeditions, said workers affiliated with the union chanted slogans at the company´s Sanepa-based office on Tuesday, asking the management to fulfill all their demands at the earliest. He also said the workers have been threatening to take life of the company´s legal advisor.
“As trekking and mountaineering activities are seasonal, we pay the workers accordingly. But they have been asking us to pay annual salary and benefits which is not practical,” Pande said, adding, “We can only pay the workers when they go on trekking or mountaineering expeditions.” Senior tourism entrepreneur Bikram Pande said threats and impractical demands will hamper the overall tourism industry. “Those who put forward such impractical demands cannot be called workers,” said Bikram. Meanwhile, Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) – the umbrella body of trekking agents in the country – has said it take appropriate decision to counter such threats.
Kantipur condemns Maoist attempt to obstruct publications
KATHMANDU, AUG 20 – The Kantipur Publications has expressed serious concern over the ongoing obstruction by CPN-Maoist-affiliated trade union with the intention to stop printing and distribution of its national dailies–Kantipur and The Kathmandu Post. The CPN-Maoist-aligned All Nepal Revolutionary Press and Publication Union has been trying to stop and obstruct the printing and distribution of newspapers, putting forth unfair demands, the publications said in a statement on Wednesday. Guided by political motivation, the trade union aligned to Mohan Baidya -led CPN-Maoist has been carrying out the unlawful practice with support from union members who are not affiliated with Kantipur Publications, it said.
The publications has urged the CPN-Maoist and its Chairman Mohan Baidya to stop the undemocratic and unlawful practices. The Kantipur management has always been ready to hold talks with the authorised trade union as long as they follow the due process, the statement said. “The group will be held accountable for any ensuing situation should it try to obstruct printing and distribution of the newspapers. Kantipur Publications will always remain committed to its responsibility of keeping the readers informed,” it added. The publications has called for solidarity from all against the undemocratic practices started with the intent of infringing on press freedom and serving certain political interest.
Baidhya suspicious of people’s statute
CHITWAN: CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidhya said, today, that the present Constituent Assembly would not be able to promulgate a people’s constitution. Speaking to media representatives in Bharatpur of Chitwan, Baidhya claimed that the present CA wouldn’t succeed in delivering a constitution as per the aspirations of people by excluding a major chunk of the decade-long struggle. He further said that CA members were performing orchestra in the name of drafting new laws.
He said promulgation of the new constitution was not possible without settling the ongoing conflicts through consensus. “The country can’t be relieved from the present political crisis because the parties are not ready to give up their interest,” he argued. Baidhya also said the major parties had not implemented any agreement they had reached in the past and that was the main reason behind failed consensus among parties. “The country can’t free itself from political deadlock without struggle. Hence, we are inclined towards the modality of a new struggle,” he said.
Baidhya further clarified that his party had reached consensus with the Unified CPN-Maoist only on national issues and not for drafting the constitution. He also warned the rival party that there was no chance of party unification if it decided to go ahead unilaterally.