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Naxals target tribals 100 dead, 60 abducted February 28, 2006

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Naxals target tribal army: 20 dead, 60 abducted

Wednesday March 1 2006 00:00 IST

Atleast 100 feared killed in Naxal landmine blasts in C’garh

ZEENEWS

Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh), Feb 28: Atleast 100 people were feared killed as Naxalites triggered a powerful blast, targeting two trucks, in which more than 100 villagers were returning after attending an anti-Naxal meeting at Darbaguda on the Sukma-Konta National Highway this morning.

High alert sounded in Andhra

Inspector General of Police (Bastar) range M W Ansari confirmed that the blast took place at around 1130 hrs but refused to give the exact number of casualties, saying more details were awaited.

A report from Jagdalpur said the ultras ambushed at NH 43 the two trucks carrying villagers who were returning from Dornapal after attending a meeting of ongoing ‘Salwa Judum’, the peace movement launched by the tribals against the Communist Party of India (Maoists).

Meanwhile, official sources in state capital, Raipur, said a helicopter has been sent to Dantewara to airlift the injured to nearby hospitals in order to provide them early medical assistance.

A large number of villagers had gathered at Dornapal yesterday at the ‘Salwa Judum’ meeting where the villagers had motivated 128 Naxalite ‘Sangam members’ to surrender and return to the national mainstream.

The tribals of south Bastar, reeling under Naxalite violence for over three-decade, launched ‘Salwa Judum’ (fight for peace movement) more than six months ago.

As the campaign against Naxalites is spreading, Maoists have stepped up attacks against those associated with the movement, claiming it was state sponsored.

According to reports, over 60 people were abducted by the Maoists after they triggered the blast targeting the vehicle they were travelling.

“The Maoists stopped five trucks, which were carrying people and exploded one of them near Darbhaguda, about 500 km from the state capital and burnt four other trucks,” the sources said.

In many places of the area police and Naxalites are engaged in gun battle, although police party have reached the spot and injured are being shifted to Konta for treatment, they said.

BJP accuses Centre of failing to check Naxalism

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused the UPA government at the Centre of failing to check the surge in Naxalite violence in the country.

Interacting with mediapersons in Jaunpur (UP), former Union Minister of State for Home Affairs and senior BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand said that at the time the NDA government lost power at Centre a total of 55 districts in eight states were affected with the activities of the Naxal extremists.

Chinmayanand, however, claimed that since the UPA government came to power, the number of Naxal affected districts has shot up to 215 spread in 13 states.

Bureau Report


RAIPUR: With the Chhattisgarh Government and the Opposition both backing a tribal Army battling Left wing extremists, Maoist cadres struck back in a big way, killing at least 20 people and leaving another 40 injured in a landmine blast in the Dantewada district.

Reports reaching Raipur said the Maoists abducted another 60 people and headed for Oria across Sabri river. The Maoists targeted trucks carrying over 100 people who were returning to Konta from Errabore after attending an anti-Naxal campaign in the Dornapal area.

The spot where the attack took place is just 35 km from the Andhra Pradesh border.

“The Maoists stopped five trucks and exploded one of them near Darbhaguda, about 500 km from Raipur and burnt four other trucks,” officials said.

The police and Naxalites were engaged in gun battles at many places. The injured were being shifted to Konta for treatment.

Scores have been killed in Chhattisgarh’s war between Naxalites and the government-backed tribal army, the Salva Judum. In cooperation rarely seen between political rivals, Chief Minister Raman Singh and Leader of Opposition Mahendra Karma of Congress have joined hands to beat the Naxals at their own game – winning over the tribals, by any means.

Following Tuesday’s incident, Andhra Pradesh has been put on high alert. The Centre, while asking Chhattisgarh to strengthen security arrangements in Dantewada, said it was ready to deploy more forces if the state wanted.

“I would like to ask them to strengthen security even more and if they need any assistance in that, we can look into that,” Minister for State for Home S P Jaiswal said in New Delhi.

He said the Home Ministry had been telling the state government that “the area is very sensitive and security arrangements there need to be strengthened”.

“Somewhere they must have failed which is why such a big tragedy has taken place,” he said.


Tuesday, February 28, 2006 (Dantewada):

Over 50 people are believed dead after a landmine went off in Dantewada district on the Chhattisgarh-Andhra Pradesh border.

Those killed are said to be adivasis returning from a meeting organised by the anti-Naxal tribal movement Salwa Judum.

Atleast 40 people were injured in the attack in Darbhaguda. They were flown by helicopters for treatment in Bhadrachalam in Andhra Pradesh.

Security arrangements

“The Home Ministry told the government that the area in Chhattisgarh is very sensitive, and security should be strengthened,” said Prakash Jaiswal, Minister of State for Home Affairs.

“If they need any help from the central government they will get it”.

According to police the tribals were traveling in three open trucks when the convoy was attacked.

The Maoists allegedly blew up one truck using an explosive device and opened fire at those fleeing into a nearby forest.

Police said it was a reprisal attack on Salwa Judum, which the Maoists perceive as a threat to their traditional support base.


Darbhaguda nightmare: Chhatisgarh calls for joint op
Jagdalpur Chhattisgarh February 28, 2006 10:42:53 PM IST

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh today urged the Centre to adopt an initiative to launch a joint anti-Naxal operation.
”There has to be a joint operation by states concerned to effectively deal with rebel violence,” he told mediapersons here after returning from Darbhaguda where Naxals triggered a landmine killing 25 persons and injuring 40.

Reiterating that insurgency was a national challenge as it affected a population exceeding 30 crore across eight states, he said Chhattisgarh was suffering in the absence of such a joint operation as Naxals unleashed violence here and sheltered in neighbouring states.

Acknowledging a spurt in violence, the Chief Minister admitted that several persons fled their villages in south Bastar because of terror unleashed by Maoists.

Mr Singh said the Naxals were adopting tactics of violence as they were becoming ”isolated” following the success of ‘Salwa Judum’, an ongoing people’s campaign in South Bastar.

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25 killed, 35 injured in landmine blasts triggered by Maoists

Raipur, Feb 28 (PTI) Naxalites today set off a landmine killing 25 tribal villagers, who joined an anti-Maoist rally, and wounding 35 people at a village in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, police said.

“So far, 25 people have been killed and 35 injured, including two PAC personnel when the Naxalites exploded their vehicles,” Additional Director General of Chhattisgarh Police S K Paswan said.

Over 60 people were abducted by the Maoists after they triggered the blast targeting the vehicle they were travelling.

Making a statement on the incident in the state assembly, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ajay Chandrakar said the Maoists abducted some people who were returning from an anti-naxal campaign in Dantewada district.

The Maoists took the abducted people towards Oria across Sabri river, police sources said.

The incident prompted Andhra Pradesh government to put on high alert its police forces as the spot where Maoists triggered a landmine in Chhattisgarh was just 35 km away from the Andhra border. PTI


Death dance at Darbhagarh: Chhattisgarh assembly adjourns
Raipur | February 28, 2006 8:46:57 PM IST

The Chhattisgarh assembly today paid tributes to villagers slain in the naxal landmine blast in South Bastar district and adjourned the houre for the day as a mark of respect.
As soon as the house assembled after the lunch recess, Legislative Affairs Minister Ajay Chandrakar made a suo motu statement on today’s explosion in Darbhagarh.

Quoting reports, the minister informed the Vidhan Sabha that 23 persons were killed and 33 injured in the assault at around 1130 hours along the Sukma-Konta road, about 15 km from Konta town.

”This is an act of cowardice,” he said while condemning the blast and denouncing it as an ”inhuman act.” Mr Chandrakar said Chief Minister Raman Singh spoke to Union Home Minister Shivraj V Patil and other senior leaders.

Congress Legislative Party Deputy Leader Bhupesh Baghel said the incident brought into focus the government’s failure to provide security to those who emerged into the open against the rebels by participating in an anti-naxal campaign.

Urging the government to apprise the assembly of all details, he also sought to know what steps were being taken to rescue scores of villagers reportedly abducted by insurgents after the explosion.

Mr Baghel requested Speaker Prem Prakash Pandey to adjourn the house after paying tributes to the victims. The vidhan sabha paid homage to the victims and observed a brief silence.

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Police alert in MP after C’garh blast
Bhopal | February 28, 2006 3:38:06 PM IST

Police have been alerted in naxal-affected areas in Madhya Pradesh in view of deadly attack in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewara district.
Senior police officers told UNI here that police have been asked to remain alert in naxal-infested Balaghat, Dindori and Mandala districts.

Police have been asked to take additional precautionary measure in Sidhi district, due to an increase in naxalite activities there.

Besides CPI(Maoists) cadres, Malajkhand, Tanda Dalam and special squad ultras are active in the state.

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PM condemns Chhattisgarh attack
New Delhi | February 28, 2006 10:42:46 PM IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today condemned the Naxal attack in Dantewara district of Chhattisgarh in which at least 25 people were killed.
In a message, Dr Singh also expressed grief over the loss of innocent lives.

Meanwhile, Congress president Sonia Gandhi also expressed her anguish at the tragic killing of tribals in the Naxal-triggered landmine blast.

The Centre and state government must combat the menace together, she said.

”While the underlying socio-economic causes have to be addressed meaningfully, there can be no two opinions that law and order has to be maintained and that the central and state governments must unitedly combat this menace,” she said in a statement here.

”I was extremely pained and astonished to learn of the tragic killings of a large number of innocent people,” she said.

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3 CRPF men killed in mine explosion by NAXALITE TERRORISTS February 26, 2006

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Statesman News Service

MIDNAPORE, Feb. 26. — At least three CRPF jawans and a civilian were killed and eight other policemen injured in a landmine blast triggered by Maoists at Nakrachara, near the Tarafeni barrage in Bhelaibiha gram panchayat, about 8 km from Belpahari in Midnapore West, this afternoon.
The injured were first admitted to Belpahari hospital and later shifted to Jhargram sub-divisional hospital in a critical condition.
The incident occurred around 5 p.m. when the jawans were returning in a vehicle from Barsul where a medical camp was organised by the police earlier in the day. The Midnapore West SP, Mr Ajay Nand, and other senior police officers of the district attended the camp.
According to reports, the bodies of the three jawans were being searched in the area as they were thrown apart under the impact of the explosion.
Mr Soumen Khan, an injured policeman who was admitted to Jhargram sub-divisional hospital, said casualties could be much higher as a total of 16 policemen were in the vehicle.
Locals in the area believe that the blast is a sequel to a gun battle between the police and the Maoists at Bangbuta forest in Belpahari on 8 February. Some Maoist cadres were reportedly injured in police retaliation.

Chhattisgarh : Salva Judum poro poro, Naxalwad Addi Addi February 26, 2006

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War in tribal heartland

Chhattisgarh is waging an all-out war against Naxalites — by local tribals, ‘backed’ by an unusual alliance of the BJP govt and the Opposition Congress. VIVEK DESHPANDE travels to the battlefield deep in the forests of south Bastar

Salva Judum poro poro, Naxalwad Addi Addi (Salva Judum up, Naxalism down). Dhol Ke Wende Dholakar, Pondi Ke Roma Kal (We will die, but only after we kill them)

An army of over 3,000 tribals led by a bearded man called K Madhukarrao is marching briskly towards the tribal hamlet of Farsegad in the Bijapur police district of southern Bastar.

Brandishing bows, arrows and rifles, they march as heavily armed guards of paramilitary forces provide a safety cordon. The seven-hour ‘‘victory’’ march, which began at Sapimarka village about 20 km away, comes to an end after ‘‘winning’’ a battle against an enemy they were accused of supporting till the previous day.

Sapimarka has been successfully ‘‘annexed.’’

Welcome to the land of Salva Judum in the dense forests of Bastar. The government says it’s a peace movement to free the tribals from the clutches of Naxalites. The Naxalites say Judum means hunting and Salva means group and it’s a group hunting of innocent tribals supporting the ‘‘people’s movement.’’

But what began in June, 2005 as a small protest against Naxalites at Karkeli village near Farsegad has now turned into a frenzy in South Bastar, once the ‘cherished zone of the Left-wing extremists. The government-sponsored and Opposition-supported campaign called Salva Judum has turned the entire tribal belt from Gidam to Bijapur and Bhopalpatnam in the revenue district of Dantewada into a battleground—police and paramilitary forces are swarming the region.

Boards of Salva Judum have come up all along the roads. Hundreds of villages have been vacated since June, 2005 and scores of ‘‘relief camps’’ have been set up for the tribals brought into the Salva Judum fold. Barricades have been erected at all vantage points for screening of vehicles and individuals.

But that hasn’t stopped the Naxalite attacks—in fact, they have been striking back with vengeance. Several tribals have been killed by Naxalites and thousands have deserted their villages and paddy fields fearing retaliation.

Konda Madhukarrao, a 32-year old non-tribal teacher from Kutru village, who spearheads the movement, says: ‘‘People were tired of Naxalites. For long, the Naxalites have used the poor tribals as their weapons and have prevented all kinds of developmental activities. Those opposing would get killed in the name of being police informers. We all thought enough was enough and we must end their reign of terror.’’

Led by him, the villagers approached Dantewada MLA Mahendra Karma, who had run two anti-Naxalite campaigns in the early and mid-90s. Karma, leader of the Congress and Leader of the Opposition in Chhattisgarh Assembly who has lost at least four of his relatives in the Naxalite violence, seized the chance. Taking Chief Minister Raman Singh into confidence, he took over the leadership of what he calls ‘‘aar paar ki ladaai’’ (all-out war) on Naxalites.

‘‘We have been marching to deep interior villages calling for support against Naxalites. People are voluntarily joining in huge numbers. Those not falling in line are being handed over to the police,’’ says Madhukarrao. Hundreds of tribal boys and girls are now being appointed as Special Police Officers (SPOs) at the Salva Judum camps, with the promise of Rs 1,500 per month as salary. They are being trained in gun-handling and anti-insurgency operations.

‘‘People have been mutely supporting the so-called people’s movement of Naxalites, who have entirely destroyed the traditional socio-cultural, economic and administrative fabric of the tribal society at the point of gun. We are trying to channelise that frustration through Salva Judum,’’ says Karma.

What’s happening in the camps isn’t any different, but Karma calls it ‘‘sacrifice for the people’s movement against Naxalite violence.’’ CM Raman Singh says, ‘‘People have come together against the terror of RDX and AK-47s.’’

The Leftists have accused the government of starting a civil war in Bastar. The CPI (Maoists) literature cite Salva Judum as another proof of state repression and term the relief camps as ‘‘concentration camps.’’

At a ‘‘relief camp’’ in Farsegad, 50 km from Bijapur on the Kutru-Sendra road, Pandri and Narendra Benja, siblings in their mid-teens, share a 10ft by 10ft tent with five others. They came here about four months ago along with a Salva Judum procession, leaving behind their parents. Try asking them if they are happy, they keep quiet.

At the Cherpal camp on the Bijapur-Gangalur road, Sukku Korsa Munga stares blankly as if in a state of shock. He has come from a village three km away with his family, but has nothing to eat. ‘‘We haven’t got the promised rice. I am fetching it from my village where I now fear to go,’’ he says.

‘‘He is among those who were not ready to join Judum. Some of the villages are very stubborn,’’ says Parsul Chandrayya, the local Judum president.

There are about 4,000 tribal boys and 400 girls doing the security duties as SPOs in the 16 camps in Dantewada district. Every morning and evening, they have to line up for a training drill. They are being trained in gunfight. They are taken on a foot patrol around the camps and have to retaliate in case of a Naxalite attack. They also have to go out into the jungles to protect the Salva Judum march from the Naxalites.

Apart from the regular state police, there are around 9,000 paramilitary personnel from Central and State Reserve Police, Chhattisgarh Armed battalion and Nagaland Armed Police giving them cover. The NSG too also arrived last week. But the tribals, by virtue of their knowledge of the deceptive terrain, have to be a part of most of the anti-insurgency operations undertaken by the police. So, it is not surprising they are falling to Naxalite bullets.

At Gangalur village on January 29, Naxalites posing as Judum workers first cleverly mingled with the processionists. At midnight, along with their 500-odd supporters, they laid a siege to the police station and massacred eight tribal activists of Salva Judum, four of them SPOs. No one has the count of Judum supporters killed by the Naxalites since June, but the figures run into hundreds, locals say.

‘‘The government is just pulling it on. There are not many who have joined it willingly and the police are using tribals as pawns against the Naxalites,’’ says an activist. ‘‘Of course, the Naxalites are getting paid back on the same coin but the fact is the poor tribal pays the price in both cases.’’

Salva Judum leaders, however, are emphatic in calling it a popular uprising against Naxalism. Says Karma: ‘‘Some of our people had strayed out of the mainstream. We are trying to bring them back.’’

Shankar Nag and Mohan Mandavi from Farsegad say Naxalites are the enemies of humanity. ‘‘They have made our life miserable. They must be dealt with sternly,’’ they said. Many are happy that they have got a gun and a police job for Rs 1,500 a month, but not all have yet got their money.

The biggest question is how long can the camps be sustained? ‘‘Till the battle is won,’’ says Karma. But with the paddy season just three months away, the inmates will need to go back to their villages. ‘‘Yes, they will have to, but providing them security is our top priority,’’ Singh says.

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NAXALITE accused in MLA C Narsi Reddy’s murder killed in encounter February 26, 2006

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Main accused in Reddy murder killed in encounter

Mahbubnagar, Andhra Pradesh 26 Feb (UNI) Maoist leader Karrem Narsappa, suspected to be the main accused in the Maqtal Congress MLA C Narsi Reddy’s murder, was killed along with other Maoists in an encounter with police party near Buddaram forest area in this district today, police said.

Mr Reddy, who was on the panel of chairmen in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, was killed in the naxal attack on August 15 last year, along with 11 others, including his son C Venkateshwar Reddy, the district Youth Congress leader.

After the incident, the Andhra Pradesh Government imposed a ban on CPI (Maoist) and its seven other affiliated organisations.

Later, Narsappa was also involved in the murder of CC Kunta Police station sub-inspector Moinuddin. Narsappa alias Satyam was Panagal Dalam commander and CPI(Maoist) district leader.

According to sources, a special police team from Hyderabad picked up track of Narsappa when he was going on a motorbike along with other naxal near Wanaparty. An encounter ensured in which Narsappa and his associates were killed. An AK 47 rifle was seized. There are also reports that the spcial police team also took into custody one lady naxal Devendramma, who is Maoist action team member.

Woman naxal surrenders in Vizag district February 26, 2006

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Visakhapatnam | February 26, 2006 9:40:45 PM IST

A 22-year-old woman naxalite belonging to the CPI (Maoists) surrendered before the police in this district today.

Superintendent of Police V V Srinivasa Rao said Shyamala of Muragadapalen village of G K Veedi Mandal cited health problems before surrendering.

He said urging from her parents and the way some other women members who surrendered recently were leading a peaceful life had prompted Shyamala to surrender.

Shyamala worked in Chitrakonda Dalam in the neighbouring Orissa state. Earlier, she was active in Korukonda Dalam and an active member of Koraput Zonal Technical Committee. Trained in using firearms, she had taken part in many exchanges of fire incidents in East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts in Andhra Pradesh and also in Orissa, he added.

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Chhattisgarh focus on development to tackle naxalism February 25, 2006

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Raipur | February 25, 2006 4:43:42 PM IST

Focussing on socio-economic development of naxalite infested areas, Chhattisgarh’s budget for fiscal 2006-07 earmarked more funds to improve education and health facilities.

”Our effort is to remove the regional imbalance and to give priority to development of naxalite areas”, Finance Minister Amar Agrawal told newsmen after presenting the budget in the Vidhan Sabha.

He said adequate funds have been earmarked for development initiatives to be taken up in naxalite infested tribal Bastar and Sarguja regions. He said these funds would be utilised for improving education and health facilities besides taking up construction of roads and bridges, electricity, irrigation and other basic facilities.

Pointing out that the budget allocation for education was proposed to be increased by 20 per cent, Mr Agrawal said 4000 new school buildings would be constructed. As many as 120 new primary schools and 1200 middle schools would be opened and 127 high schools would be upgraded to higher secondary schools.

Stating that budget allocation for health has been increased by 39 per cent, the minister said a target of energising one lakh agricultural pumps in next three years has been fixed.

In the first phase, he said, a subsidy of Rs 50 crore would be provided to the state electricity board for energising 25,000 agriculture pumps. Besides, Rs 100 crore has been earmarked for the construction of seven medium irrigation projects, 118 small irrigation projects and 89 anicuts.

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‘If we had to, we could have had killers all over the state’ February 25, 2006

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Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police Swaranjit Sen is an expert in dealing with Naxalites. Some of the other ‘Maoist-affected states’ seek his help in setting up anti-Naxalite commando forces or training personnel for anti-Naxalite operations. However, the inability of the state police to nab the Cobras, who are on a killing spree, has earned him the wrath of civil rights activists. They have accused the state police of connivance with the Cobras. Tehelka spoke to Sen on issues relating to the Naxal problem in the state and its lethal fallout, the Cobras. Excerpts:

By PC Vinoj Kumar

Not Our Men: DGP Swaranjit Sen

‘Civil rights groups are a nuisance as far as Naxalites are concerned. They should back down when the government is sincere in its efforts and the police is acting with restraint’
How have you dealt with the Naxal issue?

I firmly believe that we can root out Naxalism. This has been my attitude since the time I became dgp, and earlier too when I was home secretary. In my view, Naxalism cannot sustain for long. Times are changing very fast and nobody wants to remain in the forest and be deprived of the fruits of development. Highly qualified people are not joining the Naxal movement anymore. There are only a handful of them controlling the organisation. We estimate the total strength of the Maoists in the state to be about 850-900. Naxalism is definitely a socio-economic problem. This government is quite serious about improving the plight of the downtrodden. On our part, we are very careful about whom we arrest. We made a decision to arrest only hardcore Naxals and not those who might have helped Naxals by providing them food or shelter out of fear. In the last four months we have recruited about 3,000 tribals from Naxal-affected areas in the Andhra Pradesh Special Police Battalion. Physical and educational requirements were relaxed for them. Such measures would further dry up the recruiting ground for Naxals.

What about civil rights groups?

Civil rights groups are an absolute nuisance as far as Naxalites are concerned. They are doing a fine job otherwise. I’ll probably join them after my retirement from service. As for the Naxalite issue, they should back down a little, when they see the government is sincere in its efforts and police is acting with restraint. I am not saying that the police should be given an absolute free hand. But don’t discourage them by spreading false stories and glorifying the deeds of the Naxals. They should apply human rights equally to the police and Naxals. But they are not being objective. There are a number of organisations, which are actually fronts of Naxalites. VIRASAM (Revolutionary Writers Association) was one such outfit, which is now banned.

What about allegations of Police-Cobra nexus?

There is absolutely no truth in the charges. The police is a disciplined force. There is an established command structure in place. We, as leaders of the police force, can control the emotions of our men. But we have no control over the people. The so-called human rights groups find it convenient to blame the police for everything.

Why haven’t you made any arrests so far in the Cobra-related cases?

There were just four incidents (of murder) in a whole year (2005). Investigations are underway and they are proceeding on correct lines. We will make arrests once we gather evidence. It is not an easy thing. We have not apprehended the culprits in many murders committed by the Naxalites too. If we had to, we could have had Cobras all over the state.

A suspended police constable, Javed, was arrested in 2004 for threatening activists in the name of Green Tigers. How do you explain that?

In a 90,000-strong police force, you may find one person who is a deviant. It is like a drop in the ocean. You cannot paint an entire department with the same brush. There are so many good officers. It is neither fashionable nor profitable for the media to present the government or police in positive light.

Mar 04 , 2006

Former Naxalites are being armed in Andhra Pradesh to take on underground Reds February 25, 2006

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EXCLUSIVE: ANDHRA’S SECRET WARS

The Cobra Fields

Former Naxalites are being armed in Andhra Pradesh to take on underground Reds. Civil rights groups allege this is a covert war being waged by the State. PC Vinoj Kumar’s report

Civil rights activists are in the grip of terror in Andhra Pradesh. Scores of them are on the hitlist of killer gangs freely roaming the state. Operating in the names of Nallamalla Black Cobras, Kakatiya Cobras, Naxalite Victims Association and Narsa Cobras, these gangs have already killed four activists, made abortive attempts and issued countless threats to many others. Those targeted include lawyers, writers and left-wing intellectuals. The police is yet to make a single arrest in connection with the incidents so far.
Mar 04 , 2006

396 Naxalite crimes in last two years in Chhattisgarh (News Kerala) February 25, 2006

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Raipur, Feb 20 : The Chhattisgarh government today informed the state assembly that the Maoists had committed 396 crimes in the state in the last two years.

Claiming that the law and order situation was under control in the state, Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam told the house during the Question Hour that the Maoists had committed 182 murders, 176 dacoities, 23 loots, five cases of assault and ten kidnapping cases from January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2005.

Replying to questions of Motilal Devangan and Mahant Ram Sunder Das of Congress, he said at present 56 blocks spread over 12 districts, including four police districts, are infested by Naxalite menace in the state and all steps are being taken to curb ultras’ movement.

Replying to a question of Dharamjeet Singh of Congress, Netam said since January 1, 2005 to January 27, 2006 there were 1081 cases of murders, 1059 cases of rapes, 220 cases of dacoity, 263 cases of abduction, 6094 cases of theft were registered in the state.

Similarly, 2062 cases were registered in 2003-2004 for atrocities against SC, ST and OBC. On 2004-2005 it was 2885 cases and in 2005-2006 a total of 2245 cases have been registered in the state, he added.

Anti-naxal operations to be intensified in states February 25, 2006

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Raipur | February 24, 2006 12:46:22 AM IST

The Joint Task Force of eight naxalite-affected states today decided to intensify the operation against Communist Party of India (Maoist) cadres, who had stepped up violence in few states, including Chhattisgarh.

Talking to reporters here, Union Special Secretary (Home) A K Mitra said the task force meeting reviewed the Naxalite activities, particularly the recent spurt in Maoist violence in Chhattisgarh.

”Joint operations in the border areas would be intensified,” he said, adding that a strategy was also in place to have better coordination between the states in Anti-naxalite operations.

He said senior officers, including from the intelligence wing, from Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa and Maharashtra attended today’s task force meeting.

Replying to a question, Mr Mitra admitted that there has been no major success in cutting off the sources of funding of naxalites.

He also admitted that of late, the Maoists had acquired large number of sophisticated weapons.

When his attention was drawn towards the controversy over the Chhattisgarh Special Peoples’ Security Bill, which was passed by the state assembly mainly to deal with Naxalite problem, Mr Mitra parried the question saying, ”I have not read it. I can’t say whether it was draconian or not.” Mr Mitra said it was the declared policy of the Centre to deal strictly with the ultras indulging in violence and to tackle the problem on operational as well as developmental front, as the Centre considers it as not merely a law and order problem.

He said the Centre was also of the view that the states concerned must adopt a collective approach to deal with the problem.

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