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CRPF chief raises Naxal-Mafia link January 31, 2005

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Govt talks peace, CRPF chief raises Naxal-mafia link

SUDHI RANJAN SEN

NEW DELHI, JANUARY 28 On the eve of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s meeting with Home Minister Shivraj Patil on reviving the Naxalite peace talks, CRPF Director General J.K. Sinha has pointed to the nexus between criminal mafia and Left-wing extremists in the state and wants the finances of the movement probed in order to control the menace.

Talking to The Indian Express, Sinha said: ‘‘Criminals and organised mafia are using the Naxal movement to make money. Timber mafia and the organised extortion racket of Bihar and Andhra Pradesh are not only posing as Naxalites but in many cases they are using the services of the Naxal cadre to extort money through kidnapping and smuggling… The money made through such means is in many cases shared by the organised mafia with the Naxals.’’

Sinha, whose 23 battalions are deployed on a long-term basis (three to five years) in Naxalite-affected states, joins a long list of sceptics in the internal security establishment who are bewildered at the now faltering peace dialogue.

The DG said that his force had come across several instances where the Naxalites were in cahoots with the organised mafia. ‘‘Either the Naxal cadre is being used or the money is being shared,’’ Sinha said. According to him, smuggling of ‘kattha’ from the Chatara forest in Bihar was one such example. ‘‘Local forest officials, Naxals and the organised mafia are all involved in this operation,’’ he said.

The CRPF chief said: ‘‘There is an urgent need to investigate the finances of the Naxals if the movement has to be controlled… as the extortion money runs into several crores.’’

His organisation estimates that the majority of timber smuggling in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh is now being run under the garb of the Left-wing movement. ‘‘There is a nexus between goverment officials… Forest officials and other local officials are in hand-in glove with these criminal groups who are using the Naxal movement for their own convenience,’’ he said.

While Sinha has his misgivings over the criminal-naxalite nexus, the UPA government is trying to revive the peace talks but with little success yet. Mediator K.G. Kannabiran of the Committee of Concerned Citizens told The Indian Express that the Andhra talks are in a deep freeze with Left-wing extremists today mining a bus carrying Greyhound commandos in Guntur district.

But with the Congress leadership supporting the talks, emissaries have been sent to top CPI (Maoists) leaders in order to bring them to the table and discuss the laying down of arms in the second round of peace dialogue. Kannabiran, however, maintains that the revolutionaries will not lay down arms and there will be no talks as long as ‘‘police violence’’ against Maoists continues.

URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=63637

Naxalites blew up Venkaiah Naidu’s helicopter in Lalu-Rabri’s Bihar January 31, 2005

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Naidu makes emergency landing, chopper blown up

[India News]: Gaya (Bihar), Jan 29 : Suspected naxalites today blew up former BJP President Venkaiah Naidu’s helicopter an hour after it forcelanded in a remote naxal-infested area of this district and the leader had left the spot.

The BJP leader’s helicopter was forced to land at Paralia village in Barachatti police station area after it ran out of fuel, Bihar Director General of Police Narain Mishra told PTI.

Naidu escaped unhurt in the forced landing but an hour after he left the scene and reached a police station 13 kms away taking pillion ride on a motorcycle, the helicopter was blown up by suspected naxalites who used petrol bombs.

Naidu was on his way from Ranchi to Vishrampur to address a rally at Simaria but the pilot was unable to locate the exact place.

“While trying to find the location where the rally was scheduled to take place, the pilot said the fuel was running out and made an emergency landing in a mountainous area” at around 3 PM, Naidu said.

The BJP leader said as soon as they landed, some locals collected there and warned that the place was not safe for him because of naxal presence and he should leave immediately.

“There was no arrangement for transport and one local gave me a lift on his two-wheeler bike till the police station about 13 kilometres away from the spot,” Naidu said.

Naidu said when he contacted the pilot of the helicopter, he was weeping and said that somebody had blown up the chopper by throwing a bomb. PTI

Venkaiah Naidu escapes bid on life:



[India News]: New Delhi, Jan 29 : Former BJP president and senior party leader M Venkiah Naidu today had a miraculous escape when his helicopter made a forced landing due to a technical snag in the Naxal-infested Gaya district of Bihar.

Nobody was injured in the accident, party sources said.

“Naidu is safe. Some miscreants threw petrol bombs and set the chopper ablaze as Naidu was addressing the public meeting,” party vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

Naidu immediately contacted party General Secretary Arun Jaitley who too was in Gaya.

Jaitley informed the District Administration and sought security arrangements for Naidu considering that it was a Naxal-affected area, party sources said.

But no security personnel reached the site for over an hour after, which Naidu left the place on a two-wheeler of a party worker, who had reached the spot on hearing the news.

Naidu was on his way to Jharkhand for election campaigning. (ANI)

http://www.newkerala.com/news-daily/news/features.php?action=fullnews&id=66567

Why Maoists are sparing RJD?

Statesman News Service

PATNA, Jan. 30. — Is there a “secret understanding” between the RJD and the CPI (Maoist) Naxalites who had threatened to teach Bihar’s ruling party a lesson just 55 days ago? What has put the rumour mills at work is the way the extremists have so far “spared” the RJD’s candidates and activists in the run-up to the Assembly polls, whereas Opposition leaders have been savagely dealt with by the Naxalites. Till date, it is only the Lok Janshakti Party, the BJP and the Congress’ leaders or Independents, all fighting against Mr Lalu Prasad, who appear to have been the targets of the Maoists. However, the RJD chief rubbishes such allegation of discrimination on the part of the Maoists.

The CPI (Maoist), in its hand-written posters pasted in large numbers in areas like Rohtas, Munger, Gaya, Aurangabad, Kaimur and Nawada, has announced its intention to enforce a poll-boycott, but their actions hint at other possible intentions.

Instead of targeting leaders irrespective of their party affiliations, the Maoist Naxalites appear to be carrying out their drive on a “pick and choose” basis. “It’s not apparently a law and order problem. There appears to be something fishy behind the incident,” was how former BJP president Mr Venkaih Naidu commented today while talking to the Press about his narrow escape yesterday when Naxalites attacked and damaged his chopper with petrol in Gaya district.

And Mr Naidu’s “doubt” does have a basis. On “Black Saturday” when Mr Naidu took a two-wheeler ride to reach safety after having to force-land on a strip of land in Barachatti village while Deccan Aviation helicopter was blown up, the ultras reached the site moments after Mr Naidu had left. And the entire Opposition has smelt a rat. “Why did the extremists not target two other candidates who too passed that route and killed only my party leader Rajesh Kumar? Why are they targeting only our partymen,” asked LJP chief Mr Ram Vilas Paswan who said he would call on the President over the issue.

http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=2&theme=&usrsess=1&id=67123

Venkaiah ridicules Bihar ‘gun culture’

Press Trust of India

RANCHI, Jan. 30. — After going through a nightmare when his helicopter was blown up by suspected Naxalites in Bihar, BJP leader Mr Venkaiah Naidu today said there was prevalence of gun culture in the state and the morale of the police was low.

“While gun-totting people move about freely, the morale of the police in Bihar is very low… I escaped by the grace of God,” he told a press conference here.

He alleged that the Bihar police failed to realise the gravity of the situation and were waiting near the national highway when he reached it by scooter from the spot where he had landed. “The road was one of the worst roads I have ever travelled through.” He also expressed surprise over the police claim that they had inadequate forces despite a BSF camp situated near Barachati police station, under which Paralia village, where he force landed, falls. “If this is the reaction of the police to rescue a national leader and former union minister, we can very well understand the plight of the common man,” Mr Naidu said adding he was undeterred by the incident and would continue his unfinished election meetings today at Gaya, Sasaram and Rohtas.

Yesterday’s incident, he said, was due to the “failure of the Bihar administration system”.

Charging the RJD government for not drawing a line between the party and the government, the former BJP president alleged that he had been informed that some people pose as political workers during the day and turn Naxalites during night in Bihar. He demanded adequate forces for Bihar and Jharkhand to ensure free and fair elections and the deployment under the supervision of the EC.

Claiming that a favourable atmosphere was building up in favour of BJP and JD(U) in Bihar and Jharkhand, Mr Naidu criticised RJD president Mr Lalu Prasad for portraying one side of the Gujarat riots during his election campaigns.

Rethink Naxal strategy, Advani tells Centre

Statesman News Service

RANCHI, Jan. 30. — BJP president Mr LK Advani today felt that the Centre should rethink its strategy to tackle the Naxalite menace. He said this in view of the attack on his predecessor Mr Venkiah Naidu’s helicopter in Bihar’s Gaya district yesterday.

Mr Advani told reporters at the Birsa Munda airport that Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh should immediately convene a meeting with the chief ministers of Naxal-hit states and also have a dialogue with the Opposition parties as well on the issue.

He said that the NDA government during its tenure had set up a co-ordination committee comprising of top administrative and police officials of all Naxal-hit states. This committee met once in three months to review the situation.

The UPA government has devised their own formula which is to initiate a dialogue with the Naxal groups, he said and added that he was not against having a dialogue with these groups provided they give up their arms.

http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=2&theme=&usrsess=1&id=67115

BJP condemns attack on Naidu’s copter:

[India News]: Jamshedpur, Jan 29 : BJP today condemned the attack on former party president M Venkaiah Naidu’s chopper by naxalites in Bihar calling it an “act of cowardice”.

Naidu was scheduled to visit Jharkhand to address a public meeting but his chopper had to make an emergency landing at Gaya in Bihar due to shortage of fuel when the naxalites attacked it. However, no harm had come to him as he was able to leave the place much before the incident, BJP General Secretary Rajnath Singh, who is also the party in-charge of Jharkhand, told a party workers’ meeting here.

”There is no place for violence in the country and such acts by extremist groups will not demoralise the BJP workers,” he said.

The spurt in naxal activities in Bihar and Jharkhand was due to the failure of successive Congress and RJD governments in undivided Bihar who ruled the state for decades without initiating any step to solve the extremist problem.

The law and order situation in Bihar had gone downhill since Lalu Prasad and his ‘family’ assumed power in the state and the condition of the state was known to all, he said.

The naxalite groups had now spread in other parts of the country, he said and lambasted parties for seeking the help of extremists for political mileage. ”BJP will never join hands with such forces at any cost.” PTI

http://news.newkerala.com/india-news/?action=fullnews&id=66707

Advani slams government for rebel attack on Naidu:

[India News]: Ranchi/New Delhi/Patna, Jan 30 : BJP Chief LK Advani has asked the government to rein in leftist rebels after Maoists burned down a chopper used by a top leader during campaigning in Bihar.

Former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu’s helicopter, which touched down at Maoist stronghold Barachatti because of a technical snag was reduced to cinders after the rebels hurled petrol bombs on it. Naidu escaped unhurt from the scene.

The Maoist rebels have vowed to disrupt polls.

“It was very fortunate that nobody got hurt when petrol bomb was hurled at the helicopter. After the incident, I would like to appeal to the Central government to rethink about their Naxal policy,” Advani, told a news conference in Ranchi.

India’s ruling Congress party favours talks with Naxalites. But the BJP says the government should not initiate dialogue unless the rebels lay down their arms.

Senior Janata Dal (United) leader, Nitish Kumar, has said that the Election Commission must step in to ensure free and fair campaigning in the state.

“This incident shows that all the anti-social activities are on in Bihar and the government is ineffective. In these conditions, the way the election campaigns are being held should be viewed properly. The High court has given some directions but it has no effect on the present state government,” said Kumar.

JD (U) president and NDA convenor, George Fernandes, said that another comeback for the ruling government would be a death knell for the state, which many analysts say is on the verge of an economic and social meltdown.

“If the ruling parties come back to power in Bihar, then there will be nothing left to discuss about Bihar,” Fernandes said in New Delhi after leading a protest march.

RJD Lalu Prasad Yadav, however, refused to accept responsibility, saying that the state government had warned leaders against venturing into Maoist strongholds.

“We have already warned them to boycott and not go to the areas. What can the government do about it? If anyone, even me, goes to remote and jungle areas, anything can happen,” Yadav said. (ANI)

Election Comm’n needs to review situation in Bihar: Naidu:

[India News]: New Delhi, Jan 31 : Terming Bihar a fit case for imposition of President’s rule as there was a “total collapse of law and order” there, BJP today said the Election Commission should review the situation in the state at the highest level in view of the forthcoming Assembly elections.

Just back from his election campaineering in Bihar and Jharkhand, BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu, who had a nightmarish experience in a naxal-infested area in Gaya district after his chopper had to forceland there, said, “There is a total collapse of law and order in the state. And the state government has neither the commitment nor the political will to tackle the situation.” “Taking note of this, the Election Commission needs to review the situation at the highest level and deploy adequate paramilitary forces in the state,” Naidu told reporters here.

He stressed that the deployment should be done by the Election Commission and not the state government.

Admitting that he was not the target in the attack on his helicopter in a remote extremist-infested area in Gaya district after it had to make a forcelanding after running out of fuel, the BJP leader said, “It was the election campaign which was the target of the extremist groups. They have given a call for boycotting the election.

“And when we landed there, they thought we were campaigning there and the helicopter was attacked,” he said.

Naidu also said that ideally the elections should have taken place under President’s rule as there was a total failure of the law and order mechanism in the state. PTI

AP politicians worried by Naxal threat

——————————————————————————–

NDTV Correspondent

Sunday, January 30, 2005 (Hyderabad):

The withdrawal of Naxals from the peace talks and the gunning down of Telugu Desam MLA in Anantapur has Chandrababu Naidu and other TDP leaders worried.

Naidu has now apparently asked for a renewal of the offer of NSG cover made to him in 2003.

When L K Advani made the offer of NSG protection soon after Naidu survived an assassination attempt on him by Naxals in October 2003, the then Chief Minister had declined.

Security concerns

Now Naidu thinks his life is at a greater risk. And he apparently does not trust the police in Congress-ruled Andhra Pradesh, with the job.

The request letter was apparently sent by the Telugu Desam to the Home Ministry soon after the Naxals withdrew from the peace talks on January 17.

But what has increased their fears is the manner in which their MLA Paritala Ravi despite having 10 gunmen, was killed.

The party is pointing fingers at the police alleging it helped the assassins.

“We have no faith. The police are under the control of the IG and the government. Where is the safety for our leaders under state security?” said Yerran Naidu, Leader, TDP.

Naidu still moves around in a convoy of six cars, which includes a jammer to detect landmines.

But he no longer gets the green channel which means traffic is not stopped for him.

“How many more lives will go? We don’t have any security. No one is safe,” said Chandrababu Naidu, former chief minister, Andhra Pradesh.

Living in fear

The state government says Naidu is already the most protected person in Andhra Pradesh.

“Chandrababu Naidu has not less than one hundred security personnel to protect him. My department says he has more security than me,” said YS Rajasekhara Reddy, Chief Minister, Andhra Pradesh.

Rajasekhara Reddy himself did not agree to the police proposal to increase his security cover after the Naxals declared all-out war after pulling out of the peace talks.

In these times of fear, politicians in Andhra Pradesh are keeping their fingers crossed while securitymen keep their fingers perennially on the trigger.

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template=Naxalviolence&slug=AP+politicians+

worried+by+Naxal+threat&id=67649&callid

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RANCHI JANUARY 30: A day after BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu’s chopper was set on fire by CPI-ML (Maoist) extremists at Pararia village in Gaya district, party president L.K. Advani today launched BJP’s campaign in Ranchi.

Despite the rain, the turnout at the rally was more than 10,000. Advani was accompanied by party national general secretary Rajnath Singh and candidates from Ranchi, Khijri and Hatia C.P. Singh, Karia Munda and M.M. Agrawal respectively.

Urging people to vote for BJP again, Advani said he often visited different states for work, ‘‘but whenever I go to Chhattisgarh, Uttaranchal and Jharkhand, I feel good because its creation is linked with the fulfilment of the party’s promise’’.

Earlier, addressing mediapersons, the BJP chief called upon Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ‘‘review’’ the Government’s approach in tackling Naxalite violence. ‘‘He (the PM) should immediately call a meeting with chief ministers of Naxal-hit states and also talk to Opposition parties,’’ he added.

Advani recalled a meeting of the CMs of Naxal-affected states in 1999 at Hyderabad, where a co-ordination committee headed by the Home secretary, with his counterparts from the states and their DGPs, was set up. The panel had resolved to meet every three months to take stock of the situation. ‘‘But the UPA Government has its own agenda and it sought to have a dialogue with the Naxal groups…We are not against a dialogue but we want that they give up arms and place their problems across the table’’.

Later, at the party office, Naidu alleged that the Bihar Police reached the spot where his helicopter was set ablaze after two hours. He also demanded security for the person who helped him, fearing that he may be killed.

http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=63732

Former Naxal shot dead in Andhra Pradesh January 30, 2005

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Former Naxal shot dead in Andhra Pradesh

Press Trust of India

Karimnagar, January 30, 2005|10:22 IST

Naxalites shot dead a former Maoist in Mahadevpur area at Begampet village, nearly 50 km from Karimnagar, police said on Sunday.

According to police, about five Maoists arrived at the house of one Vemula Ramesh, 35, on Saturday night and shot him dead suspecting him to be a police informer.

Centre chalks out a plan to tackle Naxal menace January 30, 2005

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Centre chalks out a plan to tackle Naxal menace

MAHENDRA VED

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ THURSDAY, JANUARY 27, 2005 04:18:36 AM ]

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NEW DELHI: In consultation with the Election Commission, the Union home ministry has finalised a detailed plan to intensify security in Bihar and Jharkhand, due for elections next month. A senior official told TNN that large-scale additional deployment was being made in the Naxal-affected areas to ensure that people were able to vote freely.

The move is being coordinated with the Sashastra Seva Bal (SSB) that guards the Indo-Nepalese border to counter the movement of the Maoists from Nepal.

Although Naxal-triggered violence and pre-poll clashes are not new to Bihar and Jharkhand, serious note has been taken of the abrupt rise in incidents of Left-wing violence this year.

The intensity and scale of violence has been high, particularly after the merger of the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI) and the Communist Party of India, Marxist-Leninist (People’s War) in the united formation, the CPI-Maoist, last September.

The pattern of violence, particularly the killings of Munger SP C P Surendra Babu and six other policemen in a landmine blast on January 5, shows that the Left-wing extremism has been spreading to new areas.

The Jharkhand Police foiled an attempt by the Naxalites to blow up a road bridge when they recovered three powerful landmines, switches, detonator wire and other equipment on the national highway under the Risiup police station on January 8.

Three days later, police recovered an unspecified number of landmines, five detonators, 10 bags containing gelatine and landmine equipment in Chitrakauli forest in the Nawada district. Police suspected that the Naxalites might have stored the explosives to create disturbances during the forthcoming assembly elections.

Maoist disturb measles immunization program — Shame, Shame ! January 29, 2005

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Maoist disturb measles immunization in Baitadi

KOL Report

KATHMANDU, Jan 20 – Children in the far western district of

Baitadi were deprived of measles immunization after Maoist rebels threatened

from the campaign being launched.

Our Baitadi correspondent reports nearly half of the children of

22 Village Development Committees (VDC) in the district could not be

vaccinated after the Second Phase of National Immunization Campaign was

cancelled owing to the Maoist threat Thursday.

Chief of District Health Office Dr Dipendra Amatya said that the

programme was cancelled under the rebels’ pressure.

The vaccination campaign had begun at 26 VDCs in the district on

16 January. (snn)

Time to rethink on issue of internal security : L K Advani January 27, 2005

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Intelligence agencies fear that discontinuation of the peace process with naxalites may be followed by an escalation in violence as the extremists may have utilised the ceasefire period to regroup and rearm themselves.

“Time has come for the government to have a rethink on the issue of internal security,” said Mr Advani.

“Apart from inspiring fear and terror, recent surge in Naxal attacks has also given rise to a feeling of respect for Naxalites among people, since they seem to be gaining attention with their activities,” the former deputy PM pointed out.

It may be recalled that the Centre had not only hailed the Andhra Pradesh government’s earlier decision to enter into a ceasefire with the PWG but also asked the other states to emulate the peace initiative.

However, with the Andhra-Naxalites ceasefire now falling through, the Centre has opted to stick by the YSR government.

“The Centre’s policy is to leave it to state regime to decide whether to talk of act against the extremists…the Centre will support the states in whatever way they wish to tackle the Naxalite problem,” explained Union home minister Shivraj Patil in a recent interaction with newspersons. (Source : TOI)

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-1001871,curpg-2.cms

TRS workers have Naxal links: Intelligence report January 25, 2005

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TRS workers have Naxal links: Intelligence report

Police report comes in wake of rift between Cong and TRS

PRESS TRUST OF INDIA

HYDERABAD, JANUARY 23 Amid the stand-off between ruling partners Congress and Telengana Rashtra Samiti in Andhra Pradesh over the Naxalite issue, the state police has come out with a report disclosing that several TRS functionaries had links with Naxalite organisations.

In a report submitted to Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, the state Intelligence Department has revealed that over 40 TRS functionaries had connections with extremist organisations in the past and some of them are still Naxalite sympathisers.

Among the people’s representatives who are either Naxal sympathisers or had worked with them in the past, according to the report, are TRS MLA K. Eswar from Karimnagar district and the party’s Adilabad district secretary Praveen, official sources said today.

Several TRS leaders holding elected posts in panchayat raj institutions including zilla parishad, mandal parishad and village sarpanch’s were found to have links with Maoist organisations, sources said quoting the report.

The police report comes in the backdrop of widening rift between Congress and TRS with the latter openly criticising the goverment’s handling of the Naxalite issue.

Condemning the recent spurt in police encounters in which several Naxals were killed, the TRS has demanded an immediate halt to encounter killings and combing operations.

Despite being a partner in the coalition governments at the Centre and in the state, the TRS has been organising demonstrations protesting police encounters and demanding immediate resumption of peace talks with Naxalites. The sub-regional party has also threatened to review the alliance with Congress if the government failed to concede its demands.

URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=63348

Naxal shadow grows

http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=63451

Rebels kidnap BSP candidate in Bagodar, pull out his nail

MANOJ PRASAD

Posted online: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 at 0107 hours IST

GIRIDIH, JANUARY 25: When BSP candidate Imamuddin Ansari votes on February 3, he will press the EVM button with his left thumb. Naxalites pulled out the nail from his right thumb when he was campaigning in Bagodar constituency.

Ansari is not alone. CPI (Maoist) and Jharkhand Jan Sangharsh Mukti Morcha have called for a poll boycott and mounted attacks on candidates and their supporters ever since the election dates were announced on December 17.

In his complaint to the police, Ansary says, ‘‘After campaigning in the morning (of January 20), we were going home in a Maruti van. Six armed men, riding on two Hero Honda motorcycles, intercepted us near Barmasia Chowk.’’

‘‘They compelled us to follow them to a deserted spot, where they assaulted us. They freed us only after pulling out my thumb nail with a plier. They also threatened us with dire consequences if we continued to campaign,’’ he adds. His driver still cannot walk without a stick.

A day before Ansari was attacked, Maoists had set ablaze an election office of the Rashtriya Janata Dal in Dumri and destroyed banners, posters and flags of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha at its Giridih office.

In neighbouring Lohardagga, Morcha activists had burnt some trucks and machines of the Elite Construction Company, which is building a railway bridge connecting Lohardagga with Tori station. Supervisor Ram Sagar Singh has now sought security cover for his company staff.

‘‘A dozen armed militants came to us late in the night. They made us sit under a tree. One of them asked me to hand over the key of the Pocklain machine. As I didn’t have the key, he fired at its fuel tank,’’ said supervisor Chandrashekhar Upadhaya.

In Dumri, the Maoists have circulated pamphlets, which say, ‘‘We warn traitors not to participate in the process of election which helps perpetuate the system of the capitalists.’’

The constituencies of Bagodar, Dumri and Giridih are represented by CPI-ML’s Mahendra Singh, RJD’s Lalchand Mahato and BJP’s Chandra Mohan Prasad respectively. Of them, Singh was shot dead recently and Mahato and Prasad are still in the fray. Although the state administration has provided security to every candidate, Mahato and Prasad have not held election meetings in any of the interior villages.

‘‘Jan bachegi tabhi na chunao ladenge ,’’ says Ansari. Most candidates don’t feel safe even after the deployment of more than 90 companies of paramilitary forces in the 24 constituencies going to polls on February 3. Chief Secretary P.P. Sharma says, ‘‘With 50,000 security forces, we hope to hold the polls peacefully.’’

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Naxal talks: PM may step in to break ice

AP govt informed the Centre that many Naxals, through intermediaries, said they’re keen to talk

SUDHI RANJAN SEN

Posted online: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 at 0213 hours IST

NEW DELHI, JANUARY 24: Concerted efforts are afoot to resolve the deadlock between the CPI (Maoists) and the Andhra Pradesh government with the mediators approaching Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to bring both the sides on the negotiating table.

Civil Liberties lawyer K.G. Kannabiran of the Committee of Concerned Citizens, which is mediating in the talks, told Express that his colleague and former Vice-Chancellor K. Jayashankar met the PM last week on the issue. He will apprise the committee on Wednesday.

According to Kannabiran, the YSR Reddy government’s attitude was ‘‘intransigent’’ and both sides will have to back off before the second round of dialogue begins.

This is not the first time that the PM has intervened. On December 22 last, Singh had in fact written to Kannabiran and the convenor of the Committee, S.S. Sankaran, assuring them that the government was serious about a dialogue.

‘‘There is no intention on part of the state government to discontinue the present understanding — neither side would undertake offensive operations against each other…The state government seems hopeful that this would have a beneficial impact and is preparing to discuss Clause 7 (display of arms in public) as an agenda item in the next round of talks …This seems an opportune moment to write a new chapter in the history of Andhra Pradesh,’’ Singh said in his letter.

Although talks broke down over police encounters in Mehboobnagar and Prakasham district last week, the state government has indicated to the Home Ministry that the second round will begin shortly.

The state is believed to have conveyed to the Centre that a substantial number of Naxalites have told its intermediaries that they were keen to talk.

‘‘Reports reaching us from the state and security agencies clearly indicate that talks will resume. Since the state is engaging the Naxalites we are not in a position to talk about the likely dates when the talks will resume’’ a Home Ministry official said. Security agencies in their report too have pointed to a large number of Naxalites are interested in a dialogue.

Naxal violence rages; 2 killed in Andhra

Press Trust of India

Karimnagar,

January 25, 200513:36 IST

Continuing its spree of violence in Andhra Pradesh, naxalites shot dead a watchman of state Warehousing Corporation and a TRS activist, both of them workers of PWG earlier, in the district, police said.

E Kistaiah, watchman of the Warehousing Corporation was gunned down by naxals in Huzurabad area at Chintapalli village about 55 km from Karimnagar on Tuesday morning, police said.

According to Huzurabad Circle Inspector V Seshu Kumar, the Maoists led by its Deputy Commander Dharmula Mallikarjun abducted Kistaiah from the godown and shot him dead, suspecting him to be a police informer.

Kistaiah was a Dalam member of the then outlawed PWG in Maharashtra. He surrendered to the police later and was working as watchman.

In another incident, S Venkati, a TRS activist, was shot dead by naxals in Jagityal area at Kancherla village on Monday night. He was suspected to be a police informer.

According to police, about 10 Maoists armed with weapons went to the house of Venkati at midnight and shot him dead.

Venakati also worked as a dalam member in the then PWG in the year 1990 for four or five years. Later, he surrendered to the police and joined TRS.

Sonia Gandhi favoured the resumption of stalled talks with the Naxals January 25, 2005

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Now that the naxalites have kept up their end of the bargain, by killing yet

anothert TDP activist, who was widely believed to be a social worker – the

Congress folks are ready to talk to the naxalites again….

In an effort to mollify the Telengana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS), the Congress

today expressed concern over the recent spurt in Naxalite violence while

declaring that both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia

Gandhi favoured the resumption of stalled talks with the Naxals in Andhra

Pradesh.
“Both the Prime Minister and the UPA chairperson have indicated that the

talks must continue. It is a commitment we have made to the people in the

state,” Mr Digvijay Singh, AICC in charge of Andhra Pradesh, said here

today. His remarks follow attempts to sort out the differences which crept

up recently between the state unit of the Congress and the TRS on the Naxal

issue.

Enraged by the recent killing of their office-bearer in what they described

as a “fake encounter”, TRS ministers had threatened to pull out of the

Andhra Pradesh Government.

TRS leader and Union Minister Chandrashekhar Rao even sought a meeting with

Congress President Sonia Gandhi in this connection.

Consequently, Mr Digvijay Singh was asked to broker peace between the two

parties. He called on Mr Rao yesterday and persuaded him to talk to AP CM

Y.S. Rajshekhar Reddy on the telephone in his presence. He also urged Mr

Reddy to continue with the peace initiative with the Naxals as “it is an

election promise”.

Following this fire-fighting exercise, the TRS has decided not to carry out

its threat while the chief minister has promised to initiate the second

rounds of talks with Naxal groups.

Talking to mediapersons today, Mr Digvijay Singh said he had also requested

the chief minister to send a police team to inquire into the recent

incidents of violence and find out if these were fake or genuine. He said he

would meet Home Minister Shivraj Patil to apprise him of the situation.

Expressing concern over the sudden increase in Naxalite violence, he said

the Congress favoured an early resumption of peace talks on the “basic issue

of governance, socio- economic development land reforms and rights to forest

dwellers”.

TRS workers had Naxal links: AP police January 24, 2005

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Sunday, January 23, 2005 (Hyderabad):

The Andhra Pradesh police have come out with a report disclosing that several TRS functionaries had links with Naxalite organisations.

In a report submitted to Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, the state intelligence department has revealed that over 40 TRS functionaries, holding different positions, had connections with extremist organisations in the past and some of them are still Naxalite sympathisers.

Among the people’s representatives who are either Naxal sympathisers or had worked with them in the past are TRS MLA K Eswar from Karimnagar district and the party’s Adilabad district secretary Praveen.

Several TRS leaders holding elected posts in panchayat raj institutions including zilla parishad, mandal parishad and village sarpanch’s were found to have links with Maoist organizations.

Widening rift

The police report comes against the backdrop of widening rift between Congress and TRS with the latter openly criticising the government’s handling of the Naxalite issue.

Condemning the recent spurt in police encounters in which several Naxals were killed, the TRS has demanded an immediate halt to encounter killings and combing operations.

The sub-regional party has also threatened to review the alliance with Congress if the Government failed to concede its demands. (PTI)

Naxals set telephone exchange on fire January 24, 2005

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Friday, January 21, 2005 (Hyderabad):

Stepping up its campaign against the government, Naxalites set ablaze a telephone exchange in Mehboobnagar district of Andhra Pradesh in the wee hours of today.

About ten armed Naxalites entered the small telephone exchange in Devarkadra area and after threatening the security guards poured diesel and torched the facility.

Matter of concern

Communication links to about half a dozen villages have been disrupted due to the incident.

“This was a peaceful area and no Naxal activities have been reported for the last three years. It is a matter of concern now that they have targeted and extended their activities in the peaceful areas,” said Vikram Singh Mann, Superintendant of Police.

“The situation was alarming as they are now freely moving with weapons in peaceful areas,” the official added.

Property worth an estimated Rs three lakh has been lost in the fire. (PTI)