COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST) CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Press Release May 19, 2014
The victory of BJP in Narendra Modi’s leadership indicates the intensification of exploitation, oppression and fascism in the country!
Build a widespread struggle to fight back the threat from Brahmanical Hindu-fascists by uniting all the revolutionary and democratic forces!
The so-called largest democratic process in the world, the elections for the sixteenth Loksabha, has been conducted in an unprecedented manner extending over nine phases. For this, 70 lakh election officials and millions of armed forces were deployed. Public funds amounting to tens of thousands of crores of rupees belonging to the people of the country were spent on this exercise. The Election Commission claimed that it was done in order to ensure a “free, fair and impartial” election. There was great anger among the masses against these farcical parliamentary elections. Our party CPI(Maoist) and the national liberation movements of Kashmir and a few forces from North East particularly in Manipur called for a boycott of these farcical elections. It is only to suppress the growing anger of the people against these elections that such a large number of armed forces were deployed during the elections all over the country, and in areas of people’s struggles in particular. Elections were conducted like a war exercise under the supervision and control of the Indian armed forces.
The Election Commission in an unprecedented way have been carrying out many new kinds of maneuvers to entice the people of the country to vote and to increase the total poll percentage since the 15th Loksabha elections of 2009, which was continued in this year’s elections too. Behind the scene, all kinds of help were extended by the imperialist agencies to carry out the process and by taking this help the corporate sector of the country directly entered the electoral fray to drum-up the importance of “right to vote”. By using the corporate media, parliamentary parties as usual made false promises to the people.
A sort of illusion was created about the significance of parliamentary elections and a tempo was created around it. People were pressurized to cast their vote in areas where the masses are more critical of the parliamentary system. It is claimed that the Election Commission has put enormous efforts to conduct the elections successfully and has significantly curbed money and muscle-power. Disproving such claims, all the parties presented scamsters, gangsters and criminals as candidates before the people. Not a single party raised and brought forth the basic problems faced by the vast masses of the people and the country. During election campaigns, competing parties and candidates concentrated more on attacking one another, thereby exposing and unmasking one another’s anti-people character, reactionary and self-seeking activities, scams and corrupt practices.
Black money, muscle-power, religion, caste, regionalism, liquor, drugs and other enticements or coercive measures were used extensively by all parties and candidates. For instance, more than 200 crores of cash and over 2 crore litres of liquor were seized by the police across the country during the elections which were meant to be distributed among the electorate. As can be imagined, this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Corporate media itself has revealed that more than 30,000 crore rupees were spent to advertise and promote Narendra Modi alone. Flouting the official limit to election expenditure of 70 lakhs per candidate with impunity, each candidate in the fray spent an average of 8 crore rupees during this election. The farcical nature of the so-called largest parliamentary elections of the world can be perceived from such revealing facts.
The Congress played a most reactionary and anti-people and treacherous role while being in power for the last ten years and aggressively implementing pro-imperialist and pro-ruling classes’ policies in a big way. The Congress committed all kinds of crimes against the country and its people. As a result, its seats got reduced to less than fifty in an unprecedented manner in this election – the worst ever electoral defeat in its entire history. By using the people’s pent-up anger against the Congress, BJP and NDA under the leadership of Modi emerged as the first ever non-Congress party to win a clear majority in the parliament with 282 seats and together with its NDA partners captured 334 seats out of 543. Even before the announcement of the elections, a large number of additional paramilitary forces were deployed and the armed forces intensified cordon-and-search operations in all the revolutionary areas of 14 states, in areas of national liberation struggles in Kashmir and the North East and other regions where people’s resistance movements are going on.
The first countrywide week-long (26 December 2013 to 1 January 2014) suppression campaign was carried out in 9 states with 40 thousand additional paramilitary and state police forces. In the second suppression campaign that lasted from 19 March to 27 March 2014, more than a hundred thousand paramilitary troops and 6000 commandos, four Israeli spy aircrafts, a large number of mine-proof vehicles fitted with radars, etc., were used led by 70 Inspectors General (IG) in six states where the Maoist movement is active. These counter-revolutionary campaigns were aimed at suppressing the movement and create a white terror among the people to conduct their ‘democratic’ elections. In the areas of revolutionary and national liberation movements, tens of political activists, liberation fighters and common people were murdered by these forces.
A large number of people and political activists were captured and tortured. They did not spare even women, children and the aged. Villages were attacked and their residents were collectively punished through merciless beating. Elections were conducted at gunpoint by unleashing widespread state-terror. The statewide bandh in Kashmir called in protest against the detention of Hurriyat Conference leaders who had given a poll boycott call, was successfully observed on 21 April. Kashmir Valley was rife with bandhs and protests against the atrocities and repression by the Indian army and other state forces on the one hand and with state repression accompanied by curfew on the other. Kashmiris fought pitched battles against the gun-wielding army and paramilitary forces with stones by defying curfew and other prohibitory orders.
In spite of using coercion and threat to such a large extent and even after creating an atmosphere of terror, the polling percentage fell far short of the 90 percent target set by the Election Commission. Only 66% percent voters cast their vote as per official reports. The actual voting percentage, however, would be much less if we take into account the percentage of rigged and false votes among them. Money-power, muscle-power, the state machinery and the armed forces were rampantly used for such electoral fraud involving all the major parliamentary parties. Even after deploying innumerable helicopters and aircrafts of Indian Air Force and Indian and foreign private companies to transport election officials and material, many election booths were shifted to police stations and paramilitary camps in areas where revolutionary and national liberation movements are strong with the pretext that conducting polling in those areas would be difficult. Large-scale fake votes were cast in these booths.
Nevertheless, even 5-20 percent polling did not take place in Dandakaranya, Bihar-Jharkhand, Odisha and Andhra-Odisha Border and other areas where Revolutionary People’s Committees are present and the Maoist movement is strong,. In Kashmir, even after creating state-terror prior to elections, merely 27% polling took place as per official claims. In the context of elections, the slogan of Azad Kashmir once again reverberated across the valley. The ‘alternative’ of NOTA has been brought forward to deny the people the ‘right to recall’. Due to a lack of alternative and threats from the political parties and armed forces, more than one crore voters pressed NOTA button. This is primarily because those who chose not to vote are often branded as terrorists or Maoists.
In the revolutionary and nationals liberation movement areas, responding to the call of poll boycott, the people of these areas and in places where democratic movements and anti-displacement movements are going on, people in significant numbers have rejected these farcical elections in protest against the anti- people policies of the governments their repression. The CC, CPI(Maoist) extends revolutionary greetings to all of them for daring to defy the state and boycott the elections even while facing grave threats and intimidation. In defensive campaigns against the reactionary forces, the red fighters of our PLGA conducted many heroic attacks in Dandakaranya (Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra), Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Andhra-Odisha Border Area and other regions and inflicted a number of casualties to the enemy troops and seizing many arms and ammunitions.
It is a matter of great regret, however, that our PLGA forces ambushed vehicles carrying poll officials mistaking them to be police vehicles. Some employees engaged in poll duty died or got injured due to such mistakes. Concerned units of our party has already apologized for these unfortunates incidents. We once again extend our apology to the people for this and express our heartfelt condolence to the relatives and friends of the deceased. In the farcical elections, the BJP has claimed that it has won an unprecedented and historic victory. However, the total vote share they received is no more than 35 percent.
There can be no bigger bankruptcy in this so-called largest democracy of the world than to claim a ‘historic victory’ for a party that wins a mere 35 percent of the votes polled. One more time the scamsters, gangsters and criminals came to power, revealing the farcical nature of the parliamentary system. Narendra Modi was put forward as the BJP prime-ministerial candidate by the Sangh-Parivar and with its sponsorship and full involvement in the elections, BJP has gained an unprecedented victory under Modi’s leadership, however may be. On the other hand, the UPA-led by Congress had to suffer a humiliating defeat.
During the rule of UPA government, neo-liberal economic, political, social, cultural and ecological policies were implemented in a large scale, corruption and scams manifested itself in an unprecedented manner, price rise skyrocketed, access to healthcare and education became much more meager for the people, lack of accountability to the people, high rate of unemployment, retrenchment of workers, farmer’s suicide, atrocities and violence on women, gaping social inequality, starvation, atrocities on dalits by the Brahminical casteist forces, suppression of the rights of the oppressed nationalities, depriving the adivasis and the oppressed of their jal-jangal-zameen, haq-adhikar aur izzat, state repression on the anti-displacement movements and the separate statehood movements particularly in Telangana and Gorkhaland, rampant ecological destruction, etc., all of which are major reasons resulting in the accumulation of people’s anger against the Congress and its allies.
The mass anger against UPA government and the anti-corruption campaign initiated by Anna Hazare-Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has been successfully utilized by the BJP for electoral gain. By remaining behind the scene, BJP-RSS orchestrated anti-Muslim attacks and stirred-up Hindu religious chauvinism against them all over the country, particularly through the attacks in Muzaffarnagar and Samli, UP. RSS played a central role in this. In the North East, particularly in Assam, BJP could mobilize the Hindus to some extent against the perceived Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants and garner their votes. The above explains the hollowness of BJP’s claim that it has gained the votes from all sections and thereby the divisions of religion, caste, community and gender etc. It is a fact that BJP has not gained the majority of votes from the Muslims and dalits.
That behind BJP’s win there is no countrywide ‘Modi-wave’ is shown by the election results of Kerala, Odisha, Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Seemandhra, etc., where BJP did not perform well. In Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim too non-NDA parties have won. The so-called Modi-wave is the joint creation of the big corporations and its corporate media. Narendra Modi has been put forward by the imperialists, the MNCs, big comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and big landlords to divert the people’s wrath against the neo-liberal policies of the ruling classes and usher in fascism like Hitler to serve their interests more effectively. In fact, the Congress has been thoroughly exposed and discredited as an out-and-out anti-people, reactionary and corrupt party. Perceiving the people’s anger, the Indian ruling classes and imperialists have presented another ruling-class party in the form of BJP and Narendra Modi in place of Manmohan Singh as an alternative before the people, only to hoodwink them with parliamentary illusions for another five years.
In this election, UPA constituents and particularly Congress were wiped out in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Seemandhra, Delhi and in some other places. In most of the other states Congress was reduced to a very few seats. In spite of creating some reformist rhetoric, AAP could not perform well because it lacked a clear-cut position on the basic problems of the people and the country and even burning issues facing the people. SP, BSP, RJD, JD(U), DMK, the Left Front led by CPI(M) and other regional parties which championed the same policies of Manmohan Singh government and that were mired in corruption, exploitation and suppression and opportunism too had to suffer ignominious defeat. DMK, BSP and National Conference in particular have been washed out and have no presence left in the parliament.
In Odisha, BJD came to power for the fourth time due to the absence of any effective parliamentary opposition. In Andhra Pradesh, Telugu Desam Party and TRS took advantage of the people’s anger against the Congress and registered victories. In Kashmir, National Conference had to pay for its collusion with the Congress party and policies aimed at crushing and liquidating Kashmir’s national liberation movement. After securing a simple majority in the parliament under the leadership of Modi, BJP is acting magnanimous in victory and is promising to carry along its NDA partners. It has promised to work for even those voters and social sections who have not voted for it. Modi himself in his address to the people after the election victory has said that “It is a victory for Bharat”, that “India will be made self-reliant” and that “Acche din anewale hai” (“Good days are ahead”).
Hearing this, some people are under the illusion that this is a beginning of ‘good governance’ and that Modi will bring about ‘change’. Some also naively believe that BJP will not run its government on the basis of its Hindu-fascist agenda as in Gujarat but on the basis of a development agenda. Some believe that the days of the 2002 Gujarat pogrom have been left behind and that all sections and communities will be treated equally, corruption will be checked, unemployment opportunities will be created, women’s safety will be ensured, etc. under Modi’s NDA regime. However, Modi and other champions of Brahmanical Hindutva will never fulfill these aspirations.
On the contrary, the neo-liberal policies implemented by the UPA government will now be even more aggressively executed by the NDA government led by Modi. The conditions of the masses will further deteriorate in all fronts. NDA’s clear majority in the parliament under Modi’s leadership, absence of a strong parliamentary opposition, and most importantly RSS/BJP’s Hindutva agenda are indications of the coming fascist onslaught. It will not take long for BJP-led central government to reveal its fascist, pro-imperialist, anti- federal and Indian expansionist face while using the people’s mandate to justify its anti-people actions. Workers, peasants, Muslims, dalits and other exploited masses will soon find themselves amidst growing persecution as BJP’s government reveals its fascist face. Modi and co. and the big compradors and big landlords are promoting his ‘Gujarat Model’ in a big way in their attempt to create illusions among the masses.
The real meaning of this Gujarat Model, which has been said to be ‘the laboratory of Hindutva’, is the suppression of all forms of dissent, including that of the workers, peasants, religious minorities particularly Muslims, and other exploited and oppressed sections of the society. It means suppression and control of dissent coming from its opposition camp and even from within its own camp, opening the doors for the big domestic and international corporations to plunder and loot as much as they wish, and other similar measures. Combined with these, ‘Gujarat Model’ signifies the extensive use of mass media in a Goebblesian manner to present the image of an iron-willed leader and a strong party capable of resolving all of people’s problems. Modi’s Gujarat Model of fascist rule now extends to the entire country and amplifies the expansionist threat in the entire South-Asian sub-continent.
The election manifesto of BJP does not forget to present its anti-Muslim, anti-Kashmir nationality and Hindutva agenda. It promises to scrap Article 370, impose Uniform Civil Code and build Ram temple, among other things. This poses a threat to the people of India and an existential threat to the armed agrarian revolutionary war, religious minorities and oppressed nationalities and dalits and other oppressed communities. The emergence of fascism to overcome its crises and counter the growth of revolutionary, national liberation and democratic movements in the context of deepening imperialist crises worldwide is a growing phenomenon in the present times. To effectively implement the neo-liberal policies, imperialists and their allies seek to establish neo-fascist forms of rule. This can be seen in India as well.
This is a challenge before the revolutionary and democratic forces and the masses of our country. That is why the exploited masses of India, oppressed nationalities, patriots and pro-people individuals and organisations, students and youth, intellectuals and other progressive forces should comprehend the serious threat posed by the growth of the Brahmanical Hindu-fascists. Building broad-based and powerful mass movements by uniting all the revolutionary and democratic organizations, forces and individuals and the vast masses against all ruling classes, particularly against saffron fascism, is an important task before us. Simultaneously, struggles must be waged to resolve the day-to-day and the basic problems facing the masses. No right can be won by the people without struggles. Only by uniting all the struggling forces and defending, intensifying and expanding the protracted people’s war and the completion of the new democratic revolution with armed agrarian revolution at its axis can the basic problems of the people and our country be resolved and all reactionary, fascist and counter-revolutionary weeds be uprooted.
Spokesperson, Central Committee, CPI (Maoist)
MHA to name its Naxal wing as Left Wing Extremism division
New Delhi: Days after assuming power, the Narendra Modi government has decided to change the name of its Naxal wing to Left Wing Extremism division. The decision has been taken after discussions with all stakeholders including the Prime Minister and Home Minister Rajnath Singh. As Naxal is a very restricted term, the new government wants to give a much broader nomenclature, a senior Home Ministry official said on Friday. A notification to this effect is likely to be issued within a few days. Meanwhile, the government has decided to send 10,000 addtional paramilitary personnel to Chhattisgarh to augment the forces deployed there. There are around 40,000 paramilitary forces currently deployed in Chhatisgarh.
Two Suspected Naxals held, 5 kg IED Recovered in Chhattisgarh
RAIPUR: Security forces today apprehended two persons suspecting them to be Maoists and recovered an improvised bomb from them in the Naxal-hit Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh. Officials said an operation under the command of CRPF was undertaken early today around the Koyalnara village of the district in which the duo were nabbed and a 5-kg IED, three locally-made bombs, a mobile phone and some other material were seized from them. The duo are being checked for their links with Naxals, the officials said, adding they have been handed over to local police.
Maoist Posters Threaten Villagers
RAYAGADA: Maoist posters were found in Sirigumma and Bhalumaska villages in the district on Thursday. Both the villages come under Sirigumma panchayat of Kalyansinghpur block. Through the posters, Maoists threatened villagers of dire consequences if they worked as police informers. They also mentioned that the villagers found guilty in this regard would meet the fate of Gopal Chetty Gandhi, a contractor, who was killed by the rebels in Sikarpai village on Tuesday. Gandhi (48), also a Congress worker and panchayat samiti member, received three gun shots on his chest after which the rebels, belonging to the Basadhara-Ghumusar-Nagabali Division of the outfit, stabbed him with knife. A note found near his body said, “You swallowed money of tribals. So we killed you.” It was written by Umakant, secretary of the divisional committee, police said.
The note also stated that the decision to kill Chetty was taken in a kangaroo court. In fact, Maoist violence in Rayagada district has increased during the last 10 days when they committed one murder and set abalze two camps of a contractor. Through the posters and banners, Maoists have also threatened companies like RSB, Utkala Alumina, Vedanta and Aditya Birla groups which have their units in both Rayagada and Kalahandi districts. They directed the companies to cancel all the mining agreements with the State Government.
The Achilles heel of Telangana
If the Maoists were to try and re-establish their base, it could only be through Khammam district
If there were to be an Achilles heel for Telangana, it would be Khammam. . Currently, there is not much of Maoist activity in Telangana State owing to relentless counter insurgency operations and loss of people’s support for the revolutionary movement. But if the Maoists were to try to re-establish their base, it could only be through this district which shares border with Bastar, the red zone in Chhattisgarh. Khammam was to share borders with extremist affected areas of Odisha too, but Chintur mandal on the border was merged with the successor State of Andhra Pradesh by the Centre in view of the submergence of areas by Polavaram project.
This Chintur mandal now in Andhra Pradesh will share borders with Odisha, Telangana and Chhattisgarh and thus this tri-junction will be of crucial importance both for the red brigade and the police. In the post-bifurcation scenario, checking the spread of Maoist activity will be the biggest challenge to the security agencies in addition to keeping a constant vigil on the porous border and checking inter-state movement of Maoists, feel security experts. The inter-state border with Chhattisgarh runs across the tribal sub-plan mandals – Charla, Dummugudem, Wajedu and Venkatapuram mandals of the Bhadrachalam division.
These mandals are considered highly volatile due to their close proximity with the dense forest pockets in the core Dandakaranya forest belt falling in Sukma and Bijapur districts of Chhattisgarh. Police source say use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is the only solution for keeping a vigil on the borders. “Any deviation from the current counter-insurgency strategy may give scope for rebels to revive their base in the agency areas.
There is likelihood of rebels trying to win over the Adivasi youths by taking advantage of the widespread resentment among Adivasis against Polavaram project,” a police officer argues. Notwithstanding increasing number of encounters, arrests and surrenders of the Maoist leaders in the last few years, the rebels managed to carry out blast cell phone towers, equipment engaged in road construction works and their targets periodically in Bhadrachalam Agency.
Powerful landmine recovered during anti-Naxal operation, defused in Saranda
A powerful landmine was recovered during an anti-Naxal operation in Naxal-infested Saranda in West Singhbhum district on Wednesday, police said. The recovery was made while the district armed police and 197 battalion of CRPF were on Long-range Patrolling, SP NK Singh said. Security personnel detected and defused the explosive, weighing 15 kgs, underneath a road between Jambaibur and Karampada under Chotanagra police station, he said.
Naxal Commander Arrested in Jharkhand
Security forces today apprehended a suspected Naxal commander along with arms and ammunition from West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. Officials said a squad of forces led by paramilitary Central Reserve Ppolice Force (CRPF) apprehended the area commander of CPI (Maoist) Chokro Chaki (27) from Sonua police station area of the district. A pistol, three rounds of ammunition and a mobile phone were also recovered from Chaki, they said, adding he has been handed over to the local police.
Agri Dept misappropriates crores charge Maoists
IMPHAL, June 5: The Maoist Communist Party of Manipur has accused the state Agriculture Department of misappropriating thousands of crores meant for aiding farmers of the State. A release by the publicity secretary of the proscribed outfit Nonglen Meitei states that the National Food Security Mission (NFSM) was taken up by the National Development Council in its 53rd meeting held in 2007. The mission seeks to ensure better production of rice, wheat and pulses etc wherein the nine districts of Manipur are included. The financial help given by the mission to Manipur is mainly objected at providing rice seeds and irrigation facilities.
A total of Rs 1,21,628 lacs was sanctioned under the scheme for the financial year of 2012-13 and the utilisation certificate for the amount was given on May 9,2013. Unfortunately, the said amount was never disbursed to the farmers. Under the same mission, the state received a total of Rs 2,600.004 lacs for 2013-14 which also did not reach the targeted farming population. At present, another 1559.09 lacs has been approved for sanction by the ministry for the current financial year on May 21, 2014. The funds sanctioned for 2012 till 2014 has been prioritized at better rice production. But, the funds for the present year also targets at producing vegetables inclusive with rice, this was stated by the director of Crops ministry of Agriculture Department namely Reena Shah to the state Agriculture department in an approval letter.
The outfit states that a total of Rs 3816,28 lacs has been misappropriated by the concerned officials of the department. The funds meant for the current year will be checked by the Maoist party so that the farmers of the land will have their due benefit. A state like ours will benefit from the funds meant for helping the farmers which will ultimately lead to more food production and further attend self-sustainable status of Manipur.
The NFSM has been providing finances for procuring of rice seeds and irrigation facilities, but the officials of the Agriculture department have misled the public and kept the money for their vested personal purposes, it alleged. The Maoist will not take a silent stance when the public of the state has been robbed of their rights. The concerned department should take up necessary actions against the errant officials of the department by June 10, 2014 failing which the outfit will take up stringent measures, it said.
Maoists turn against Odisha tribal leader, ask people to reject him
Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Narayanpatna ( Koraput), June 5 : After using Nachika Linga, the undisputed leader of the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) of Narayanpatna in Odisha’s Koraput district, for years, to gain control over this backward tribal region, the Maoists have suddenly turned against him. In a release issued in Telugu on Wednesday evening, Daya, a member of the Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) and secretary of Koraput-Srikakulam committee of the outlawed CPI-Maoist party, has asked people in Narayanpatna to boycott Nachika and support the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) instead to take forward their struggle for justice. Accusing Nachika Linga of turning a renegade and striking a deal with the police to get rid of the multiple criminal cases pending against him, Daya, in his statement, has called upon the people in Narayanpatna to disown him as their leader for shunning his ideals to pursue his ‘selfish personal agenda’.
Striking Holcim workers in Sri Lanka occupy cement plants
Sri Lanka: Nearly 500 contract workers at two Holcim Lanka cement plants in the towns of Puttalam and Galle in Sri Lanka have been on strike since 19 May 2014 demanding job permanency, better wages and improved working conditions. The striking workers and their families are occupying the cement plant premises. The Inter Company Employees Union (ICEU) called the strike. The protesters at the Puttalam plant have blocked the main gate, halting the transport of cement. The company and contractors are trying to break the picket with the help of Sri Lanka’s president Mahinda Rajapaksa. The government is determined to end the strike and has deployed police and the riot squad.
The police are threatening to arrest union leaders and activists. On 1 June 2014 the striking contract workers and their families at the Puttalam and Galle plants were attacked by hired thugs with swords and clubs, allegedly organised by the local ruling party politicians. At the Puttalam plant nine people, including an eight year old girl, were injured and sent to hospital. Four are still hospitalised. Protestors asked for police protection, who were present during the attack, but their appeals were allegedly refused. At the Galle plant one protester was injured. The mother of the eight year old girl who was injured said that her daughter had been thrown to the ground by the thugs. “I’m afraid for my husband, who has been working for eight years as a contract worker. That’s why we joined the protest.”
Israeli soldiers disperse Naksa protests across West Bank
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces injured at least four protesters as they dispersed hundreds of Palestinians taking part in rallies across the West Bank on Thursday to mark the 1967 war that led to the occupation of the region by Israel. Protests marking Naksa Day, meaning “setback” in Arabic, took place at the Qalandiya checkpoint near Ramallah as well as in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. Four Palestinians were injured after being shot by rubber-coated steel bullets after clashes broke out at the Qalandiya checkpoint on Thursday. Israeli forces dispersed the rally by firing sound grenades and tear gas bombs as well, causing dozens to suffer from excessive tear gas inhalation.
Teachers, clerks baton-charged
ISLAMABAD: The capital city’s police used force against protesters from the All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA) and Punjab Teachers’ Union for allegedly violating an agreement with the capital administration and attempting to enter Red Zone on Tuesday. Teachers are respected in every part of the world, however, in Islamabad they, along with clerks, were badly beaten by baton-charging cops who targeted them with tear-gas and rubber bullets as they were protesting against the budget.
The demonstration was jointly organised by APCA and Punjab Teachers’ Union to protest the meagre increase in their salaries and medical allowance in the recent budget. Earlier, the capital administration had given them permission to assemble at National Press Club, the police said, adding that the protesters violated the agreement and started marching towards China Chowk.
CPI (Maoist) demands Sai Baba’s release
The Communist Party of India (Maoist) has condemned the recent arrest of suspended Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba and the other office-bearers of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) over alleged links with the banned outfit. In an open letter, the outfit’s spokesperson Abhay said the RDF firmly supported the ongoing “revolutionary movement”. “It is one of the hundreds of progressive and revolutionary organisations that denounced Operation Green Hunt [government’s military offensive against the Naxals] as a war against the masses. Therefore, governments at the Centre and in the States have started arresting RDF leaders on false charges. Saibaba is one among them,” he said. The CPI (Maoist) spokesperson said the arrest was an indication of what was in the offing under the new dispensation at the Centre.
DU serves Saibaba eviction notice, teachers’ body seeks V-C’s help
Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, under arrest for his alleged Maoist links, was served an eviction notice by the university on Monday to vacate his Gwyer Hall residence. The eviction notice followed a showcause notice from the university issued to the professor’s family on May 23. The notice, accessed by Newsline, asks Saibaba and his family to vacate the house on the grounds of “unauthorised possession of the premises in question since March 31, 2010 due to the absence of any valid agreement in the eyes of the law”. “Delhi University sent a showcause notice to G N Saibaba’s home on May 23, asking why he shouldn’t vacate the premises, and asking his representatives to appear before it on Monday. On Monday, Saibaba’s wife Vasantha and DUTA president Nandita Narain met the estate officer to explain that the matter was subjudice. In the evening, Vasantha received an eviction order from the university, which she refused to accept since it was undated,”
Karen Gabriel, associate professor, Department of English at St Stephen’s College, said. DUTA president Nandita Narain took up the issue with Vice-Chancellor Dinesh Singh during an interaction on Monday. “We appealed to the V-C to not evict him since the matter is currently subjudice,” Narain told Newsline. However, she claimed that the vice-chancellor was “unresponsive”. Meanwhile, a matter regarding a recovery notice issued to the professor earlier was taken up at Tis Hazari court on Monday. The court asked the university to respond by July 5 on “why any action was taken when a stay had been issued on the operation of the recovery notice”. “The court had earlier issued a stay on the process, after DU had issued a recovery notice. The court of district judge A K Chawla asked the university to respond on why any action was taken even though a stay had been issued on the operation of the recovery notice,” Saibaba’s lawyer Chandrashekhar Parashar told Newsline.
INDIA: TENTATIVE FLIGHT OF UAVS – ANALYSIS
Two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were deployed in Bihar on May 27 and 28, 2014, to monitor movement of Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres in Aurangabad, Gaya and Jamui Districts. Earlier, in February, UAVs had been used in Bihar in anti-Maoist operations for the first time. A senior officer associated with the anti-Maoist operations reportedly disclosed, after the induction of the UAVs, that security personnel had been able to pick up conversations and movements of the Maoists on the ground: “The drones flash real-time images of the movement and conversation of the Maoists and send the data immediately to the commandos. We can also get pictures of the exit routes of the rebels with the help of the drones and take action accordingly.”
However, optimism over the utility of the UAVs notwithstanding, there have been few operational successes to boast of on the basis of data provided by UAVs. Nevertheless, in May 2012, when Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon was abducted by the Maoists, UAV surveillance had spotted Menon and his Maoist abductors and even picked up some ground conversations. However, UAV surveillance was withdrawn as negotiations progressed. Again, in January 2013, when an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter hit by Maoist fire force-landed in Sukma District (Chhattisgarh), and was abandoned along with an injured radio operator by the IAF crew, UAVs reportedly maintained surveillance through most of the night, until Security Forces (SFs) arrived to secure the area.
The most dramatic failure of the UAVs came in May 2013, when they generated no specific intelligence before or after the Maoist attack on the convoy of the Congress party in Darbha Vally on May 25, which resulted in the killing of at least 28 persons, including Mahendra Karma, the controversial architect of the Salwa Judum, and other top Congress leaders. Nearly 300 Maoists had taken part in the attack, but their gathering and movement went entirely undetected. In this case, it was noted that whatever efficiency the drones could have shown, despite the technical weakness of not being able to penetrate foliage and not being able to distinguish a Maoist from an ordinary villager, was undone because of the location of the operational base of the UAVs. A pilot project to use aerial surveillance in anti-Naxal operations was started in 2006 in Chhattisgarh.
However, the UAVs, deployed in August 2006 at the Raipur airfield, were “forcefully grounded” after failing to collect adequate information about Maoist movements in the State. While it was officially claimed that the operation was withdrawn due to bad weather, there was evidence that UAV monitoring was being deliberately undermined by leaks from within the establishment. IAF officers managing the UAV operations in the State complained that ‘intelligence leaks on flight details’ had undermined the utility of the spy drones. Unnamed IAF officials hinted at a ‘lack of will’ in the State Government and problems of coordination with the State Forces.
In the initial months of UAV deployment, a number of Maoist ‘hotspots’ had been detected, but there were no follow-up operations by the forces. After the initial failure UAVs were again tested in 2009. The trials of the UAVs, developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), were conducted in Hissar and Delhi, while more trials were to be conducted in the jungles of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Then in 2010 a US Honeywell manufactured UAV, whose pilotless planes had reportedly been used successfully by Allied Forces in the hunt for targets in war-hit Afghanistan and Iraq, was tested from the Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College in Kanker, Chhattisgarh.
The test was witnessed by officials from Chhattisgarh, the Union Home Ministry, as well as Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh. The program, however, failed to take off. After many failed starts, 12 Israeli-made Searcher tactical UAVs were imported in 2012 for intelligence gathering over the Naxal areas of Chhattisgarh and Odisha. These were (and are still) being flown from National Technical Research Organisation’s (NTRO) base in Begumpet near Hyderabad. The Begumpet Airport from where the NTRO directs and flies reconnaissance missions, is more than 500 kilometres away from South Bastar.
As one official, on conditions of anonymity, observed, “The UAVs take 2-3 hours to cover 500 kilometres. Moreover, their range is 900-1000 kilometres, which means that an aerial vehicle flying from Begumpet would hardly touch South Bastar and would then need to fly back.” This has been one of the principal reasons why the utility of the UAVs has been severely restricted, and why they proved useless before and after the May 25 Darbha Valley attack. It is not that the issue of range of the UAVs was not given consideration while operation from Begumpet.
Rather, in 2012, the IAF reportedly rejected calls for the fleet to be relocated at Jagdalpur, in Bastar arguing that living facilities at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)-run airstrip in Jagdalpur did not meet the standards its pilots expected. Instead, the IAF suggested relocating the drones to an airstrip operated by the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) in Bhilai — some 250 kilometres from Jagdalpur, somewhat less than half the distance from Hyderabad. In April 2012, then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had directed that a UAV base be set up in Bhilai near Raipur in “less than two months”.
But even a year later (by May 2013) meetings continued to be held between MHA, NTRO and the IAF, but nothing was resolved. The then Union Home Secretary R.K Singh noted that “being a scare resource, optimisation of UAV effort for operations against left wing extremists is a critical need” and added, “more delays will not be tolerated.” The IAF, however, responded, “The IAF provides assistance in the form of training and augmented specialist manpower for operations at whichever base the NTRO operates from. The IAF recommends and is fully supportive of the move to operating bases closer to the affected areas.” Despite all these statements, things remain much the same even today. In the aftermath of May 25, 2013 Darbha valley attack, it was decided to expedite the process of setting up of Bhilai base.
Within a month an understanding was reached between the SAIL and the NTRO, which operates the UAVs. It was claimed that it was only a matter of a “short time” before UAVs started doing daily sorties from Bhilai. While none of the officials were willing to come on record regarding a specific date, it was believed that the shifting of the base would occur by the end of 2013. However, even in June 2014, the NTRO base at Bhilai is yet to become operational and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has ‘requested’ NTRO to expedite the process. According to some Police officers, the UAVs have become a “white elephant” despite the “fact that the UAV can be deployed to gather intelligence after an attack to quickly locate the retreating Naxalites. Besides capturing images, it is also capable of picking up voices.”
Critics also emphasize the technical limitations of the UAVs, particularly the fact that the electro-optical, thermal and radar sensors on the drones cannot penetrate the foliage of the primarily forested areas in which the Maoists find refuge. Large swathes of the afflicted territories on the Chhattisgarh-Odisha border are under dense forest cover, undermining the potential of the drones. Even outside of forested areas, drone sensors fail to distinguish between Maoist clusters and ordinary villagers. Crucially, the current misalignment of infrastructure and command and control systems for the UAVs have resulted in unacceptable delays in the analysis and transmission of intelligence to the responders.
The IAF passes on the data harvested by its drones to the NTRO for analysis. The NTRO, however, doesn’t have real-time access to the ground intelligence being generated by the Police and Intelligence Bureau. Meanwhile, the DRDO is developing UAVs for the for the field units of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). Giving details of the UAV project during a media interaction at Defexpo in February 2014, DRDO chief Avinash Chander said the vehicles being developed would be able to help the Forces trace and track down the ultra Left operatives even in thick forests. Chander said the scientists of DRDO have worked closely with CRPF in developing the UAVs.
“The two have worked closely on the configuration required for operation in such difficult areas.” He said for UAVs meant to work in thick Indian forests would operate on “lower frequency radars”. The DRDO Chief, however, cautioned, “No technology is available yet to penetrate the dense foliage of Indian tropical forests. We are working on lower frequency radars that will be able to penetrate foliage. Within a couple of years we will have a solution.”
Despite the limitations of the available technology, the UAVs offer a ray of hope to SFs operating in difficult situations, with an acute dearth of human intelligence. Even if greater efficiencies could be brought into their location, command and control systems, and a greater measure of coordination could be introduced into the analysis and dispersal of intelligence from diverse sources, their effectiveness could be enormously enhanced. The present and characteristic delay in implementation of projects, moreover, is entirely avoidable. Many lives will be saved if the concerned authorities respond with a greater urgency, before the Maoists deliver another brutal reminder of their intentions and capabilities.
Hardcore Maoist held in Bihar
Munger: A hardcore Maoist was arrested on Tuesday from Kharagpur police station area in Bihar’s Munger district, a police officer said. Acting on a tip-off, the police raided a hide-out and nabbed the hardened Maoist, identified as Manoj Yadav, the Superintendent of Police (SP) Barun Kumar Kumar Sinha said. Yadav was wanted in connection with more than a dozen incidents of naxal-related violence in the district, he said. He had escaped from Bhimbundh jungle during a massive combing and search operation by the security forces two months ago, the SP said, adding the wanted ultra was being interrogated for his involvement in various incidents. PTI
State Asked to Ensure Security for Power Projects
BHUBANESWAR: The Ministry of Power has asked the State Government to ensure implementation of standard security guidelines in all vital installations, including hydel and thermal power projects. Even as there are gaping holes in security arrangement of vital installations, the State Government appears callous to the emerging threat from Left Wing Extremists (LWEs). The Naxal attack at Balimela Hydro Electricity Project and Nalco’s explosive depot atop Damanjodi hill in 2009 had exposed the lax security in several key industrial units in the Maoist-affected southern Odisha districts. A couple of years back, miscreants stole copper cables from Indravati Hydro Electricity Project leading to total disruption of power generation for about 16 hours.
Following the incident, there were proposals to increase security cover for the hydel projects in the State. The hydel projects are still guarded by only a few unarmed home guards or private security personnel. A few remote places like tunnel camp lack security arrangement. The security personnel who are guarding these critical installations are not allowed to carry firearms and thus are no match for armed Naxals, sources said. “It is high time for the State Government to wake up after the Balimela incident and provide a security cover to its hydel projects,” the sources added.
The Odisha Hydro Power Corporation Limited (OHPC) manages seven hydroelectricity power projects, including Machkund (under erstwhile Andhra Pradesh) in the State. Even as the State Government passed a legislation in 2012 to raise a specialised force called Odisha Industrial Security Force to provide security to industries and other important establishments, nothing has been done on this front. Apart from Naxal threat, sustained resistance to displacement and relocation impinges on the security of industries and developmental projects. It becomes difficult for the State police to provide security to the industries, sources said. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Power has finalised a standard security guideline in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Naxal Held, IED Seized in Chhattisgarh
RAIPUR: Security forces today apprehended a suspected Naxalite and recovered a 5 kg improvised bomb from Maoist-hit district of Bijapur in Chhattisgarh. Officials said a patrol squad led by CRPF nabbed a wanted ‘Janmilitia’ section commander of Naxals, identified as Hapka Sannu, from Korma forests of the district during an operation. Some literature and a cash of Rs 10,000 was also seized from him, they said. Earlier in the day, troops of the paramilitary force recovered a 5 kg Improvised Explosive Device from Palnar-Gangloor area.
Securitymen await BJP government’s decision on using armed forces against Naxals
NEW DELHI: The security establishment at the Union Home Ministry is keenly watching if the Narendra Modiled government will bite the bullet on using the armed forces in its fight against the Naxals as proposed to the Cabinet by the Home Ministry under the tenure of P Chidambaram in 2012. The move was thwarted by the Defence Ministry then. ET has accessed a note put before the Cabinet Committee on Security by the Home Ministry in 2012 which had proposed using Indian Air Force gunships to strike against the Naxals if there was clear and specific intelligence of their presence in an area. It was proposed that in case there was specific intelligence that there was a “large congregation of armed military platoons” of Naxals in a particular area, IAF gunships could be used to attack them from air.
Three Villagers Killed by Maoists in Jharkhand
Three villagers were shot dead allegedly by Maoists, who suspected the trio of working against the banned outfit at Jojo in Khunti district, police said today. The deceased identified as Dubraj Manki, Nagi Manki and Surya Hansda were gunned down by the rebels who suspected them of being involved in anti-Maoist activities in the area last night, Deputy Inspector General of Police Praveen Kumar told reporters. The Maoists have in the past killed villagers after branding them as police informers.
Maoists Kill Cong Worker in Rayagada
RAYAGADA: Suspected Maoists killed a contractor in Sikarpai village here on Tuesday. Gopal Chetty Gandhi (48), also a Congress worker and panchayat samiti member, took three gun shots on his chest. The ultras, belonging to the Basadhara-Ghumusar-Nagabali Division of the outfit, then used knives to stab him. Sources said Chetty reached the petrol pump owned by him at 6 am and was waiting for a staffer when a group of five armed ultras attacked him. Before Chetty could realise anything, one among them fired three rounds at him. When he fell down, the Maoists stabbed him. Following the attack, they raised slogans in favour of the CPI(Maoist) and fled from the spot.
A note found near his body said, “You swallowed money of tribals. So we killed you.” It was written by one Umakant, secretary of the divisional committee, police said. The note also stated that the decision to kill Chetty was taken in a kangaroo court. Police recovered three cartridges from the spot. Combing operation has been launched in the area to track down the killers. Chetty, who was also a lawyer, was in the hit-list of the Maoists. The note warned that whoever is found exploiting the public or supporting multi-national companies would meet the same fate.
Five soldiers injured as clashes erupt during protests against security posts in Diyarbakır, Bingöl
Five soldiers were injured in clashes between gendarmerie officers and demonstrators protesting against the construction of a security post in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on June 4. Tensions in the province’s sensitive Lice district have been ongoing since last week, with three other soldiers injured during clashes May 31. Gendarmerie also raided a similar protest in the neighboring province of Bingöl. Protesters, including alleged members of the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H), a youth organization linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), blocked the road connecting Diyarbakır to the eastern city of Bingöl on June 4 by digging ditches of between two and five meters.
The gendarmerie launched a raid early in the morning, resorting to tear gas and water cannons as demonstrators responded by hurling fireworks and stun grenades, Doğan news agency reported. The five injured soldiers were transferred to a hospital. Construction workers were rushed to the area to close the ditches. A similar crackdown was also conducted against demonstrators who have been occupying the road between Bingöl’s Karlıova district and Varto in the neighboring province of Muş for two days to protest the construction of another security post. Around 1,000 protesters including locals from the Kargapazarı village and YDG-H members have also been protesting the building of a dam in the region. Meanwhile, unknown people have marked the doors of three specialist sergeants’ houses in Diyarbakır’s Bağlar neigborhood, where the soldiers have been living with their families.
District Gov. Berkan Sönmezay said a probe had been launched into the incident, while the houses were evacuated. The main Kurdish party, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), has repeatedly voiced its opposition to the construction of new gendarmerie posts across Turkey. A young demonstrator, Medeni Yıldırım, was killed by a soldier during a protest against the construction of a similar gendarmerie post in Diyarbakır’s Lice district last year during the nationwide Gezi protests. Yıldırım has been immortalized as one of the eight youths to fall during the Gezi crackdown.
Attack on PASOK HQ reveals police officers being placed at serious risk
When members of the urban guerrilla group Revolutionary Struggle fired Kalashnikov assault rifles at a riot police squad on duty outside the Ministry of Culture on Bouboulinas Street, central Athens, in the early hours of January 5, 2009, the officers thought they were being attacked with petrol bombs by self-styled anarchists from nearby Exarchia. “We put on our helmets, picked up our shields and ran out of the riot van. It was only when we saw [fellow officer] Diamantis Matzounis bleeding on the ground that we realized what was going on and ran for cover,” one of the officers on duty that night, who wished to remain unnamed, told Kathimerini recently.
The confusion was echoed in the early hours of Sunday, May 25, when gunmen opened fire on the headquarters of the PASOK party on Harilaou Trikoupi Street, also in Exarchia. “We heard the noise and thought it was firecrackers. That’s what we reported to headquarters. No one realized that it was gunfire from a Kalashnikov,” another officer who serves with the riot police said. Police unionists claim that riot officers are equipped and trained to deal with raids against potential targets like the PASOK offices, which are quite a common occurrence in parts of central Athens, but not with an attack using high-powered weapons, as was the case on May 25.
They also reveal that on the same night anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas was stabbed to death last September in the Piraeus suburb of Keratsini by a self-confessed member of ultranationalist party Golden Dawn, a squad of riot police was attacked in central Athens as it was leaving the PASOK headquarters post. According to the sources, unknown assailants poured gasoline onto the road at the corner of Harilaou Trikoupi and Arachovis streets and set it alight with Molotov cocktails after trapping the riot van full of officers over the spot by pushing metal garbage cans in front of and behind the vehicle. Numerous memos regarding this and similar incidents have been sent to regional and national police headquarters, while the issue has been the subject of meetings between representatives of the riot police and the chief of security at PASOK’s offices.
In one memo to the directorate responsible for the riot police, the Union of Police Employees stressed the need for measures to be taken so that officers’ safety is not endangered when they are on regular guard duty. Sources told Kathimerini that the PASOK offices are guarded by a regular squad, as well as an additional 25 officers who have been transferred to that particular security detail. During the May 25 attack, an additional four security police officers were on duty there, though they failed to notice that anything was amiss at the time of the shooting. The attack took place at 5.30 a.m., just an hour-and-a-half before Greek election centers opened for the polls, though police headquarters and the counterterrorism unit were not informed of the incident until 1 p.m., seven-plus hours later.
The gunmen also succeeded in getting close to PASOK’s offices from Mavromichali Street and fleeing the scene after firing two shots without being noticed even though a study was recently carried out stressing the security gaps in and around the building. According to a high-ranking Greek police official, the security plan for the PASOK offices foresees a regular foot patrol by plain-clothes policemen and surveillance of the building from the adjacent rooftops. These measures have not been implemented, however, because officers fear for their safety as attacks on police, particularly in Exarchia, are so frequent. It is worth noting that the May 25 attack on PASOK’s headquarters was carried out from a parking lot on Mavromichali Street and that the officers on duty in front of the offices do not have a view of this spot.
Bolivian transport strike causes chaos
A transport workers’ strike protesting against the local government’s plans to regulate public transport has caused chaos in the Bolivian city of El Alto. The demonstrators, who are also demanding higher wages, blocked a main avenue in the city on Tuesday. Riot police arrived on the scene and fired tear gas in a bid to disperse the protesters. Local media reported 58 drivers were arrested for damaging passing vehicles who would not support the protesters.
Some of the arrested drivers were led away with blood on their faces. Police managed to clear the roads after protesters set fire to tyres in the middle of the road. Local media reported that 1,200 police officers guarded the highways that lead to the city’s main airports. A leader of a drivers’ union in El Alto, Marcos Tito Cabrera, said drivers had charged the same ticket rate for the past few decades. The protesters – who run a network of privately owned minibuses – said the strike would continue indefinitely if the local authorities did not back down on their plans to modernise public transport systems
Four Police Officers Die in Guerrilla Attack in Colombia
BOGOTA – Four police officers were killed and another wounded on Tuesday in an attack by leftist ELN guerrillas in the northeastern province of Arauca, Colombia’s Defense Ministry said. The rebels used explosives to attack the vehicle in which five police were riding as they drove through the town of Saravena, one of the fiefdoms of the National Liberation Army (ELN). The police had received a “fake (telephone) tip” and upon arriving at the site mentioned by the tipster were ambushed by the rebels, who detonated the explosives, wounding the officers and then killing four of them execution style,” Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said in an appearance in Congress. The dead officers were identified as Cpl. Libardo Fabio Chachon Delgado and patrolmen Jose Dario Acuña Suarez, Yan Carlos Alviz Armenta and Alejandro David Maestre Alvarez.
Photo-studio Owner Held for Spreading Naxal Ideology in Bijapur
RAIPUR: A photo-studio owner has been arrested for allegedly propagating Maoist ideology in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, police said Sunday. Kulwardhan Prasad (29), who used to run Moeet photo studio near old bus stand in Bijapur town, was allegedly helping the rebels to circulate anti-government messages and pro-Maoist ideologies, a senior police official told PTI. Acting on a tip-off, a team of local police raided the shop of the accused yesterday afternoon and later nabbed him, he said.
“A laptop was also recovered from his possession which has enough evidence against him,” he said. While reviewing the contents of the laptop, publicity material of outlawed CPI(Maoist) and Chetna Natya Mandal – a frontal outfit of Naxals – was found. The publicity stuff included audio-visual presentations, Naxal literature, song and dance featuring message of the ultras’ movement, he said. Preliminary investigations revealed that Kulwardhan was allegedly downloading the pro-Maoist content on mobile handsets of people in the region, thereby helping ultras to propagate anti-state messages, the official said. Further investigation may reveal more crucial information in this connection, the official said. The accused was booked under sections of Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act-2005, he said, adding that the accused was produced in a local court of Bijapur which sent him to two-day police remand.
Maoist leader arrested in Odisha
Koraput (Odisha), June 1 (PTI) A hardcore Maoist was arrested today by security personnel during anti-naxalite operation in Odisha’s Koraput district, police said. The maoist identified as Mino Hikoka alias Bikas was the area commander of Srikakulam-Koraput divisional committee of CPI (Maoist) and involved in at least 10 murder and over 20 naxal violences between 2009 and 2014, they said.
Two policemen injured in Naxal attack
Two policemen were injured in an encounter with Naxals in a dense forest in insurgency-hit Narayanpur district of Chhattisagrh today, police said. The gun-battle took place late this evening when a joint team of the Special Task Force (STF) and district force was patrolling in the forests of restive Orchha police station limits, 400 kms from here, a senior police official said. According to the officer, the security personnel were on an anti-Naxal operation in the region since Thursday night in Orchha area of Abhujmad region. The search team was ambushed by a group of Naxalites when it reached the forests between Becha and Ilam villages.
Manipur Maost not related
Imphal, May 30: In a press hand out signed by Nonglen Meitie, secretary publicity and propaganda of the proscribed Maoist Communist Party Manipur has clarified that the party has nothing to do with the bomb blast that occurred in Singjamei May 29. The statement said the blast could be a handy work of some vested interest group with the intention of showing Manipur in a poor light. It further termed the incident as a sinister design of the state.
The party takes serious note of the incident that took place at Ikop Pat, it said, adding, the incident could be blown out of proportion if it is not properly handled, therefore, the party will give serious attention to it. It further said that license gun holders who are misusing their weapons will be under the scanner of the party.
ABVP national executive council worried about Maoist influence on campuses
MANGALORE: Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) at the conclusion of its four-day national executive council meeting on Thursday has expressed concern at recent arrest of JNU student Hem Mishra and the subsequent arrest of University of Delhi professor G N Saibaba. This, the council contended is an indicator to prove that Left winged extremists are running their activities in some educational campuses under disguise.
Briefing reporters on the various resolutions adopted during the course of the deliberations, Sreehari Borikar, national general secretary of the Parishad said many organisations such as Democratic Students’ Union, All India Student Association, Kabir Kala Manch and many activists in the garb of students and teachers are actively promoting naxal activities on the campuses. Central universities such as JNU, DU are attracting students to naxalism.
Claiming that these central universities are instigating ‘young, innocent students’ and linking them to with brutal and violent naxal activities, he said this should be dealt with a high powered inquiry. “The NEC has given a clarion call to its rank and file to ensure that there are naxal free campuses,” Shreehari said, adding that the thrust will be to expose such elements sympathetic to Left winged Maoist movement on the campuses
Fight continues for Dalit activist
Released from jail recently, Sudhir Dhawale is openly critical of reckless govt branding of activists as naxalites.
Sudhir Dhawale — the Dalit activist who recently walked free after two years in prison for allegedly being a naxal supporter — is back in Mumbai, where he edits a Marathi periodical Vidrohi; he says he is even more determined, after his acquittal, to continue his fight against caste discrimination in Maharashtra. The court in Gondia which tried him observed that the revolutionary material recovered from his house in Mumbai as a follow-up to the case was ‘open source material.’ The activist, who in 2007 had launched the ‘Republican Panther Jati Antachi Chalwal’ a movement for eradication of caste in Maharashtra, is acerbic about how the government comes down on such activists and books them by stamping them as naxal supporters.
He dismisses the ‘Tanta Mukt Gaon Abhiyan’ (disputefree village project) in the state, mooted by the Congress-NCP government, as nothing short of a ‘khaap’, dominated by the upper class or NCP workers who have a nexus with local police. “This ensures that atrocities against Dalits and the oppressed don’t get reported,” he told Mirror. A critic of both the Congress-NCP and BJP governments, Dhawale feels that Dalits and the backward people would find no change emerging with the arrival of the right-wing BJP government at the Centre. “Both the Congress and the BJP have fascist agendas and are casteist. While people criticise Modi for what he did in Gujarat, what the Congress did to Sikhs during 1984 riots is no different,” Dhawale says.
Campaign launched to release Saibaba
Police say govt has approved the DU prof’s prosecution for alleged Maoist links.
Even as police investigation is going on to establish that Delhi University Professor G N Saibaba, who was arrested by the Gadchiroli police, had alleged links with Maoists, a signature campaign has been initiated in his support, which will be submitted to the Chief Justice of India. Till now, the campaign has garnered 2,000 signatures across the country. The online campaign has been started by Karen Gabriel, an associate professor at St Stephen’s College in Delhi.
“Till now, around 2,000 people have signed up for the release of Saibaba. We will submit it to the Chief Justice of India R M Lodha in couple of days time. Anybody, who raises his voice against atrocities on tribals, is branded as a naxal. And the moment the authorities brand someone as naxal, he is denied of any help, it even silences the voices supporting that person,” said Gabriel. Saying that it violates freedom of speech, Gabriel added, “Soon, anyone disagreeing with the policies of the state will be labelled as naxal.” In the petition, Gabriel has stated that Ministry of Home Affairs has reportedly issued instructions that persons and organisations raising human rights issues in Maoist affected areas must be arrested and interrogated.
Greyhound unit of Andhra Pradesh to split between two new states but to function together
NEW DELHI: The Home Ministry has decided that though the elite Greyhounds unit of Andhra Pradesh will be split between the two new states next month, they will function jointly in operations on the ground against the Naxalites for the next three years to ensure there’s no revival of extremists there.
Doctor summoned as witness in Azad encounter case
Adilabad Judicial First Class Magistrate Mary Sara Danamma on Friday issued summons to a doctor, Neelakanteshwar Rao, the surgeon who had performed post-mortem on the body of Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad in July 2010, to appear before the court on June 11. The summons were issued after the Magistrate accepted the plea of petitioner K. Padma, wife of Azad, to include the surgeon as a witness in the case related to the alleged encounter of the top Maoist leader.
The petitioner had made the plea on March 27 but the CBI objected to it on the ground that no case was made out as the doctor had already been questioned as part of the investigation into the encounter. The petitioner, however, contested the contention of the CBI which resulted in the Magistrate issuing summons. Dr. Neelakanteshwar Rao, to be the 4th witness in the case, was asked to appear in the court with relevant records including the post-mortem examination report.
Ex-Office Bearer of Panchayat Samiti Shot Dead by Naxals
A former office-bearer of a village panchayat samiti in the district was killed by Naxalites, police said today. Around three-four armed Naxalites barged into the residence of Etapalli panchayat samiti’s former deputy chairman – Ghisu Mattami – last night, when he was sitting in the courtyard with his wife, and fired at him, they said. The Naxalites immediately fled from the spot. Mattami was admitted to a rural hospital at Etapalli where he was declared dead by doctors, police said. Mattami’s wife Lalita, the present chairman of Etapalli panchayat samiti, escaped unhurt in the attack. Police have launched a search for the assailants and are conducting further investigation. This is the third major attack by Naxalites in Gadchiroli district this month.
Top cops bank on SSB to take on Maoists in Santhal Pargana
RANCHI: Two major Maoist attacks in less than a year in Dumka division has prompted the state police to be alert and proactive in carrying on with the anti-Red operations. Instead of leaving it on district police alone, a battalion of the highly trained Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB) has been deployed in Dumka. Police chiefs of three districts – Dumka, Pakur and Godda – attended a meeting chaired by DGP, Rajiv Kumar to discuss ways to tackle Maoist menace in the state. Senior police officials, including IG (operations) ML Meena and DIG Dumka range were also present.
Naxals kill police constable in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: A police jawan was on Wednesday stabbed to death by Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Maoist-hit Bijapur district, police said. Constable Budhram Mudma (29), posted at Timed police camp, was stabbed to death by a group of Naxals with sharp edged weapons under Toynar police station limits in the wee hours, Bijapur Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Sukhnandan Rathore told PTI.
Three Maoists Arrested in Visakhapatnam
Three Maoists, who were part of a team tasked with disrupting just-held election here, were arrested today, while two other Naxals surrendered before the district police. Acting on a tip-off, police nabbed Chikkudu Praveen (24), Chikkudu Usha (20) and Killu Srinu from Kamayyapeta Road near Hukumpeta village, officials said. The trio was part of an “action team” formed by banned CPI (Maoist) to disrupt the just-concluded election and hit specific targets, including political leaders, in Vizag agency region, District Superintendent of Police (Rural) Vikramjeet Duggal told the media here. The police also seized a firearm from Praveen. The three were involved in various offences, including killing of a police constable and some locals, setting afire to road-laying equipment, causing damage to public and private property and looting of ballot boxes during the local body elections in 2014, among others, police said.
Maoists set ablaze vehicles, construction equipment in Odisha
In the latest incident of Maoist violence in Odisha, armed Maoists set afire several equipment and vehicles at a road construction site in Rayagada district, police said today. Police said there has been no casualty in the incident. A group of armed rebels set fire to three tractors, an excavator and a motorbike belonging to a contractor engaged in construction of a road between Guma and Khambesu village around midnight on Wednesday, police said. The rebels managed to escape into the nearby forested area immediately after the attack leaving behind a poster warning the contractor to stop construction of the road, police added.
Intelligence department to recruit youths to keep watch on Maoists
KOLKATA/ WEST MIDNAPORE: In an effort to keep a close watch on Maoist movement in West Midnapore, the IB has decided to recruit young persons from the bordering villages. They will be recruited in different central government departments and projects but their main work will be to keep a watch on the Maoist movement. This is a pilot project where initially 40 youths will be recruited. If the project becomes successful then it will be replicated in other districts also.
According to sources in the intelligence department, Maoist activities have increased not only in the districts like Purulia, Bankura and West Mindapore but also in the districts like Nadia, Birbum and Murshidabad. “Considering the increase of Maoists activities in the state, the intelligence department has decided to increase the information network and for that new people will be recruited mainly from the bordering villages of Gopillabvpur, Nayagram Jhargram and Binpur,” an officer in the intelligence department said. Sources in the district administrative department confirmed that they have received a letter from the intelligence department where they have been asked to train some youths so that they can work as a part of the concerned department. The intelligence department has mainly asked the civil defence, public health engineering, water resources department and public works department to train the youths.
“We have been asked by a central government agency to train some youths and engage them in different kinds of works,” an official in the public health engineering department said. “This is a pilot project where nearly 40 odd youths will be recruited from 18 bordering villages like Amjhuri, Adharkali, Atnasol, Sagarmoni, Adharia, Baghaberia, Bajuri under Gopiballvpur block, Amjam, Andharisol, Arra, Babuidanga, Malam under Nayagram block and Aguboni, Asnaboni, Asnapara Chotodigiha under Jhargram block. Apart from that, some recruitment will also be done from Binpur, Lagrah and Kantaphari. If the project becomes successful then the model will be replicated in other districts,” the officer of the intelligence department said.
According to senior police officers, the activities of the Maoists have increased in recent past and they are active in the bordering areas. “Two teams, one led by Madan and the other led by Shyamal are active in Belpahari area and one team led by Jayanta has been traced in Chakulia area in Jharkhand. Not only that, teams from Jharkhand and Odisha often cross the border and enter into Bengal. They don’t stay here but hold meeting and go back,” a senior district police officer said. When asked about it, IG (western range), Siddhinath Gupta said, “Maoists activities have increased in these areas and we are spreading our information network in different ways so that we have a first hand knowledge about their movement and for that we are making different plans which we cannot divulge.”
Wanted Maoist leader arrested in Bihar
Muzaffarpur: A Maoist leader, wanted in connection with the killing of a police officer in 2009, was arrested from a riverine area near Ghelpur Chaturpatti village of Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district Thursday. “We had intelligence inputs about Maoists assembling at a spot in the area. Accordingly we moved our forces to surround them and caught Santosh Ram, while two other Maoists managed to flee the place,” ASP (Operations) Rana Brajesh said. Ram was an accused in several cases of violence including the blowing up of a government school during 2009 Lok Sabha elections in which a police official was killed, he said. Ram was considered to be an expert in planting Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
In Bastar, the valley of death
A 40-km stretch has become the new hunting ground of Maoists
With Maoists inching closer to the key town of Jagdalpur, the new government at the Centre is confronted with a mounting challenge in Bastar. “A simple law and order approach to the Naxalite problem will not work. I only hope the new government is briefed properly on these issues,” E.N. Rammohan, former Border Security Force Director-General, said on what former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh termed the “biggest internal security threat”.
A 40-km stretch from the villages of Kamanar to Tahakwada on National Highway-221 has become the new hunting ground for the Maoists. In one year alone, over 60 people — including senior political leaders, security personnel and civilians — have been killed. The most recent Maoist attack, in which nine persons were killed, came two days after polling in the Bastar Lok Sabha constituency on April 12, just 35 km from Jagdalpur. “The attack was unexpected and shocking. We were manning all the sensitive points of the area and this blast took place on the main road,” said a Central Reserve Police Force official in the area. A month before the elections, the Maoists targeted a joint team of the CRPF and Police from the Tongpal station near Tahakwada, killing 15 personnel and one civilian. This area includes the dense valley of Jiram, where 28 people were killed last year, including former Union Minister Vidya Charan Shukla and Congress leader Mahendra Karma.
“The area hardly witnessed any activities until two years ago. So police presence was less here. This is a thinly populated area with hard terrain and the inter-State boundary only makes the situation complicated,” Bastar range Inspector-General Arun Dev Goutam told The Hindu. According to Kichhai Nanda, a former group leader of the Special Police Officers, the Maoists often target new areas where their presence is hardly expected by the police. “For over a year, Jiram Ghati has become their new target, so the security forces will also focus on this area. But it gives time to the Maoists to regroup in their strongholds deep inside forests,” Mr. Nanda told The Hindu.