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Communalism, extremism will be dealt with firmly: Manmohan August 31, 2005

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New Delhi | August 31, 2005 5:25:06 PM IST

Describing communalism and regionalism as persisting threats to India’s unity, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday warned that his government would deal firmly with extremism, separatism, communalisation and insurgency.
Addressing the reconstituted National Integration Council that is meeting after nearly 13 years, Manmohan Singh also stressed on eschewing extremism and divisive ideologies, while challenging political outfits to contest elections rather than use violence as an expression.

“While we promote national integration and our core value of tolerance, any overt challenge we face in the form of communalism, extremism, separatism or insurgency and violence will need to be dealt with firmly,” he said.

“Every political group that claims to represent the interests of any section of our people must test and demonstrate its popularity through the institutions of our democracy,” he urged.

In a warning apparently to separatist militants and Maoist groups, Manmohan Singh said there was no grievance that could not be redressed through democratic means and dialogue.

No civilised society can tolerate violence and extremism. No one has the right to take the law in their own hands. No society can pardon those who kill innocent people.

“Faced with such terror tactics, the government will have no other option than to fight such groups and their ideology of hatred.

“Extremism of any form, based on any divisive ideology, cannot be tolerated in any civilised, democratic society.”

The conference held at Vigyan Bhavan was attended by top leaders, including former prime ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee, I.K. Gujral and V.P. Singh, besides chief ministers and central ministers.

One of the key topics featuring in the meet is the challenge of communalism.

Vajpayee, the prime minister observed, was the only one to attend the first meeting of the council in 1962, when Jawaharlal Nehru was prime minister.

Recalling the ideals set forth by Nehru, the first prime minister, he remarked that the four threats of “communalism, casteism, regionalism and linguism”, identified by him remained.

Reminding that tolerance, diversity and open-mindedness characterised the Indian civilisation and nationhood, he asserted that any attempt to disturb India’s secular fabric had to be “nipped in the bud”.

He conceded the difficulties in dealing with covert threats to national integrity and said: “The ideologies of communalism, of casteism, of regional and linguistic chauvinism have to be fought in a more sustained and intelligent manner. We need a more humane, inclusive and liberal political culture.”

The prime minister reiterated his favourite theme of India as a confluence of civilisations as opposed to a clash of civilisations.

“Our educational system, our media, our popular culture must reinforce this civilisational commitment of India to pluralism and inclusiveness,” he urged, calling upon the legislature, judiciary and the executive to be conscious of the commitment to the basic principles of the constitution.

Manmohan Singh said the government was firmly wedded to its commitment to the social, political, economic and educational empowerment of scheduled castes and tribes, other backward classes, all minorities and all weaker sections of society, especially women.

“We cannot call ourselves an ancient civilisation and a modern nation if we cannot protect the life, the livelihood, the property and the liberty of every one of our citizens.”

The prime minister expressed concern about the “resurgence” of regional and sub-regional identities in a manner that he said was not conceivable 60 years ago.

“In the interests of national integration, the political leadership at the state level in less developed regions must pay greater attention to agrarian change and development of the rural economy.

“An improvement in the lives and livelihoods of the rural poor is an important element of national integration.”

Referring to his weekend visit to Kabul, he recalled that Afghan President Hamid Karzai had termed India’s democratic experience as a model for the Afghan people.

(IANS)

CPI (Maoist) denies hand in Bangalore blasts August 31, 2005

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Bangalore, UNI:

Communist Party of India (Maoist) on Wednesday asserted that it was not connected with the recent explosions in the offices of the Karnataka coalition partners Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress Offices here.

”The statements by Chief Minister N Dharam Singh and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President Mallikarjun Kharge holding naxalities responsible for the blast was far from truth and we are in no way connected with the incident”, Mr Gangadhar of CPI (M) State Committee said in a release here.

”CPI (Maoist) is not a terrorist movement, it is a revolutionary movement working for uplifting exploited class in democratic way.

We take arms into hand only if it becomes necessary to protect the interests of the underprevileged and downtrodden,” he added.

Anti-Maoist wave sweeps Baburam’s JNU August 31, 2005

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BY SURENDRA PHUYAL

NEW DELHI, Aug 30 – Maoist leader Dr Baburam Bhattarai completed his doctorate from here. So did veteran diplomat Dr Lokraj Baral. Nepali Congress Democratic leader Pradip Giri also came here for further education. Other renowned pass-outs include Indian communist leaders Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechuri, and journalist M.J. Akbar.
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is often described as one of Asia’s best academic institutions. Students and scholars like it as much for its open, democratic, ‘no-show-off’ and ‘anti-bourgeois’ environment. Yet some in Delhi’s security and defense establishments criticize it as the ‘haven for left wing extremists’ – and, worse, ‘terrorists’.

Amidst such admirations and criticisms, meanwhile, a new anti-Naxal (Maoist) wave is sweeping JNU. On a recent evening, dozens of pro-Congress students marched through the campus streets, condemning violence and chanting anti-Naxal slogans. And a prominently displayed banner on the campus reads: “Naxalbad ko jalado, mitado [Turn Maoism to cinders and destroy it].”

And this past week, days after the southern Andhra Pradesh state government imposed a ban on Naxalites there – apparently at the behest of the central government here, the pro-Maoist students were quick to hit back. They plastered JNU walls with posters opposing the ban, one of which read, “Can you stop the rays of the sun by putting up your hands? Can you stop the surge of popular waves by putting us behind bars?”
With different political players at constant play, the JNU campus gives an impression of a haven for democracy and pluralism – in addition to academic excellence. That may be the reason why there’s been no dearth of diverse groups of students here. With the new academic session commencing earlier in August, the nearly four-decade-old institution is attracting more and more students from around the world, including Nepal.

Interestingly, a few of those from Nepal also include the “victims of Feb 1” — meaning political leaders and activists, who moved to India to rally support for Nepal’s democracy.

Foreign Department Secretary of Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML), Rajan Bhattarai, who is enrolled for M Phil Ph D in international studies; and human rights activist Dinesh Prasain who’s enrolled for M Phil Ph D in political sociology belong to this category.

In all, there are about a dozen new Nepali faces on JNU campus this summer. They also include journalist Ila Sharma, who’s enrolled for M Phil Ph D in ‘World Trade Organization and development aspects’.

“You can study what you want to. It’s a perfect place for multi- and inter-disciplinary studies,” said Sharma.

Very true, nodded Tribhuvan University lecturers Deo Kumari Gurung and Beena Rai, who are on leave and are earning their doctorate degrees from here, respectively, on International Migration and Population and Maternal Health. Another TU academic, Prabha Kaini, is also receiving her doctorate from here.

“This is that rare place for learning. Here, you learn as much from on-campus discourses on contemporary inter/national issues as from classrooms,” said Hari Roka, a leftist political activist from Nepal, who is doing is doctorate in political economy.

Pro-Naxalite outfit to hold rally in Orissa August 31, 2005

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Statesman News service

Statesman News Service
RAYAGADA, Aug. 30. — The Daman Pratirodh Manch, a pro-Naxalite outfit, iterated its resolve to hold a rally at Bhubaneswar on 1 September in protest against persecution of “innocent” tribals, particularly the case relating to police firing at Mandrabaju in 1999.
Mr Dandapani Mohanty, leader of the Manch decried police excesses and the silence of the government which claims to be pro-adivasis. He referred to the case where four tribals were sentenced to life imprisonment in connection with the Mandrabaju firing case. “Eight tribals had died in the incident which had taken place on 30 December 1999,” he said.
“Strangely the police has been given a clean chit while tribals have been sent to jail,” he alleged.
“Police camps were established in order to provide security to zamindars when the adivasis were protesting to get back their lands.The adivasis protested and this resulted in indiscriminate firing by the police,” he said while recalling the five year old incident.
“While the government is saying that the cases pending against the adivasis are being withdrawn but the fact is more cases are being filed against them,” he stated.
The extreme Left leader was confident that these issues will be taken up in a big way at the 1 September rally in Bhubaneswar.

QUESTIONS and ANSWERS in Rajyasabha August 30, 2005

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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS
RAJYA SABHA
QUESTIONS and ANSWERS

(a) whether it is a fact that almost 9000 activists engaged in Naxal activities are active in the country at present;

(b) whether it is also a fact that out of them 6,000 activists are equipped with arms;

(c) if not, the facts in this regard;

(d) the region which have become the main Centres of Naxal activities now; and

(e) the reasons behind these regions coming under influence of Naxalism?

ANSWER

MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS

(SHRI SRIPRAKASH JAISWAL)

(a) to (c): As per available information, the present strength of hardcore naxalite cadres is around 9300. Their arms holding includes around 6300 regular weapons and a large number of country-made arms.

(d): 76 districts in 9 States, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are affected by naxalite violence/activity in varying degrees. Besides, naxalites are also trying to spread their influence in some parts of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Uttaranchal.

(e): Socio-economic disparities, some local issues such as threat of eviction from forest areas, lack of development, backwardness and inadequate/ineffective mechanisms for redressal of public grievances are some of the reasons, which are exploited by the naxalites in these regions in spreading their activities.


Whether Government are aware of this fact that the M.C.C. operating in the State of Bihar has nexus with the Nepalese Maoists thereby posing a grave threat to the security of the country;

As per available inputs, there are fraternal and logistic links between Nepalese maoists and naxalite groups in India. Keeping in view the CPN(Maoists) activities in Nepal and their likely impact on our security, SSB, the Border Guarding Force, has intensified vigil along the Indo-Nepal Border. The States bordering Nepal have also been advised to intensify vigil in, and patrolling of, the areas bordering Nepal to prevent ingress of the Maoist elements. Akhil Bharat Nepal Ekta Samaj (ABNES), a CPN (Maoist) front organization, continues to be banned as a terrorist organization under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, as amended in 2004. Both Nepal and India have resolved not to permit their respective territories for activities inimical to either country. SSB and State Police have so far arrested 36 CPN(Maoists)/their supporters in the current year mainly from Bihar.

STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO RAJYA SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.3039 FOR ANSWER ON 24.8.2005 REGARDING TRIBALS TAKING TO INSURGENCY AND NAXALISM.

(a)&(b): There is no perceptible increase in the strength of the tribals who are taking to insurgency in the North East or in the naxal affected States. The number of violence incidents in the North-East during the current year till 31st July 2005 has reduced by 5% compared to the corresponding period in 2004. The naxal affected violence has reduced by 8% during this period.

(c): Various steps have been taken by the Government to improve the conditions of the tribals in the North-Eastern States and naxal affected States. These interalia include following:

(i) The State Governments have accepted the policy of prohibiting the transfer of land from tribals and for restoration of alienated tribal lands to them. The States with large tribal population have since enacted laws for this purpose.

(ii) A scheme for raising non-timber forest produce has been formulated to benefit the tribal population who depend upon the minor forest produce. The scheme aims at conservation and improvement of the minor forest produce including medicinal plants by adopting effective production and appropriate silvicultural practices.

(iii) An Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) has been formulated. It, interalia, provides to include new Minor Irrigation Schemes with potential of more than 100 hectares in Non-Special Category States with preference to Tribal Areas and drought prone areas.

(iv) Naxal affected States have been asked to implement the land reforms and Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act expeditiously. Other measures taken are focused attention on integrated development of the affected areas and removal of socio-cultural alienation of people, gearing up of public grievances redressal system and creation of Local Resistance Groups.

(d): The Government has taken various steps to combat the problem of insurgency and naxalism, which inter alia include deployment of Army and Central Paramilitary Forces, coordinated action by the security forces for counter insurgency/naxalism operations, modernization/upgradation of the State Police Forces, reimbursement of security related expenditure and declaration of militant organizations as ‘unlawful associations’. The Government has also extended an invitation to all militant outfits to give up the path of violence and to come forward for talks within the framework of the Indian Constitution.

Andhra Maoists urge people to boycott polls August 30, 2005

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Hyderabad | August 30, 2005 4:55:07 PM IST

Maoists in Andhra Pradesh have called upon people to boycott the municipal elections to be held Sep 24.
Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) and CPI-ML Janashakti, the two biggest guerrilla outfits in the state, have appealed to people not to cast their votes.

Home Minister K. Jana Reddy has asked people not to respond to the election boycott call given by Maoists. Claiming that earlier attempts by Maoists to make people boycott elections had failed, he said the polls would go on.

According to police, the boycott call would not have much impact on the polls as Maoists do not have a strong presence in urban areas.

The state government re-imposed a ban on the CPI-Maoist Aug 17, two days after its members gunned down Congress legislator C. Narsi Reddy and eight others in Mahabubnagar district.

The State Election Commission Monday had issued notification for conducting elections to 96 municipalities and 11 municipal corporations Sep 24. However, elections will not be held for three other corporations and 24 municipalities.

(IANS)

Karnataka to seek Central nod for banning naxal outfits August 30, 2005

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NAXALS
BANGALORE, AUG 30 (PTI)

Karnataka Government, which has recently imposed ban on 32 extremist outfits, would soon seek Centre’s approval for banning more naxal groups, including the CPI (Maoist), to check the recent surge in their activities, Chief Minister N Dharam Singh said today.

The state has already banned 32 organisations, he told reporters here, adding Centre’s approval was required to ban the activities of any outfit.

Singh said the police and intelligence wings have been directed to monitor the activities of naxal groups in the state and check infiltration of naxalites in the wake of the ban imposed by Andhra Pradesh.

Karnataka shares a vast border with Andhra Pradesh

Two naxals shot dead: August 30, 2005

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Guntur: Two unidentified youths, presumed to be naxals, were gunned down by the police near Naragayapalem village of Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh last night.

Police said the youths, aged between 20 to 30 years on a motor cycle, tried to get away after noticing a police team in the naxal infested Vinukonda-golla palli road.

While trying to escape the motor cycle skidded and the youths ran through the nearby fields. When challenged they fired at the police, who returned fire killing both of them.

Police claimed to have found two pistols and some documents near their bodies.

”Their identities are yet to be established,” police added.

Superintendent of Police V C Sazzaanar told UNI that the documents found with the deceased clearly showed that they were active naxals.

Naxal attacked his mother, brother for money August 29, 2005

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DH News Service Bhubaneshwar:

The growing influence of Naxalites among the unemployed tribal youths in the interior and backward districts of Orissa has once again come to the fore after a young tribal in Keonjhar district attacked his mother and brother with a sharp weapon injuring both, as they had refused to pay him Rs 30,000 to buy a pistol.

The local police have already arrested the youth while a search is on to nab five of his associates. He along with a few other tribals had joined the Naxals five years ago.

Police sources said, in 2001 the Keonjhar police had arrested five youths from Haridaspur area of the district in connection with a Naxal incident. Six others, however, had managed to escape. One among them was 28-year-old Ajaya Munda, a resident of Banitang village.

Last week, Ajaya asked his mother and brother to give him the money to buy a pistol. Both refused and urged him to disassociate himself from the Naxalites. An enraged Ajaya attacked his mother and brother, and fled to the nearby Rebana forest.

Next morning, the villagers informed the police about the incident and he was arrested following a combing operation.

Maoists sent five-member "suicide squad" to assassinate YSR August 29, 2005

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According to Indian police sources the outlawed Maoist Communist Party of India has sent a five-member “suicide squad” to assassinate Andhra Pradesh’s Chief Minister Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy. According to police intelligence gleaned from the diary of top Naxalite leader Divakar alias Ravi, the action team is led by commander Ashanna alias T Vasudev Rao. Rao played a key role in the assassination of senior Telugu Desam minister A. Madhav Reddy in 2000. Three years later Rao was also involved in a foiled attempt on the life of the then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. Last week police killed Divakar, the Maoist Communist Party of India Nalgonda district committee secretary, during a gun battle in Mahbubnagar district. Police sources speaking on condition of anonymity say that the diary and the other documents recovered after the encounter laid out Maoist plans to carry out large-scale attacks on political leaders as well as police stations

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