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Anti-Naxalite operations : CRPF training woes April 30, 2006

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OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

New Delhi, April 29: The battle-worthiness of the Central Reserve Police Force for anti-Naxalite operations is in doubt even as the Centre is giving final touches to a major offensive against the rebels.

According to a recent presentation made by the CRPF to Union home ministry officials, only 7 per cent of its personnel — approximately 14,700 — were able to complete a two-month compulsory training this year because of constant deployment.

Even fewer personnel — 12,600 or 6 per cent — were able to take the training last year.

A CRPF official said the two-month training is considered sacrosanct to keep the forces fighting fit, as it not only provides relief from the fatigue that they undergo during deployment but also sharpens their skill in tactical warfare and use of weaponry.

Occupied with deployment duty, only a small fraction of the force is able to train for extreme challenges like fighting Naxalites or militants.

With about 2.10 lakh personnel at its command, the CRPF is the main central paramilitary force dealing with security problems arising out of insurgency.

So heavy has been the deployment of CRPF during the last four to five years that even its director-general’s reserve battalions, which are meant for recreational duty and emergency situations, had to be deployed for counter-insurgency duty.

“When deployed in anti-insurgency operations, CRPF personnel are considered to be on duty seven days a week and 24 hours a day. This drains them. The refresher training course provides them the energy to go back to their highly demanding jobs again,” said the official.

Officials also consider this as a major reason for not achieving enough success in their operations against Naxalites and insurgent groups in Kashmir and the Northeast.

In its presentation, the CRPF asked the Centre to allow it to keep one company in reserve in every battalion so that it could be spared for the two-month training. On a rotational basis, it would take a year and two months to allow all the battalions to undergo the training.

With demands for deployment of more central paramilitary forces coming from Naxalism-affected states, the home ministry has assured to consider this suggestion

Encounter’ claims 11 top Maoists in Andhra Pradesh April 29, 2006

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Saturday April 29 2006 14:56 IST
KADAPA: The CPI (Maoist) suffered a major setback with police gunning down as many as 11 of its cadres in the Bulusugunta forest of Tsundupalli mandal in Kadapa district this morning.

Though the slain radicals — six women and five men — were yet to be identified, police officials are of the view that some senior cadres of the outlawed Naxalite outfit could be among the deceased.

According to police sources, the joint committee of Kadapa and Anantapur district was camping at the site of the ‘encounter’, about 25 km deep in the forest from Tsundupalli, on the Kadapa-Chittoor border, for the last six days. Acting on information, Greyhounds teams had been combing the forest for the last two days.

This morning, around 8 am, the police team spotted about 30 Naxalites and there ensued a fierce exchange of fire lasting over an hour.

The encounter left 11 Naxalites dead while the rest managed to escape. The police suspect that CPI (Maoist) state committee member Ganesh and at least two other district-level leaders of the party could be among the dead, sources said.

Thirty kit bags, two self-loading rifles, five other weapons, Claymore mines, ‘tiffin’ bombs, six tents and Rs 3.5 lakh in cash were recovered, as also a map. However, sources did not reveal what the map was.

Though Tsundupalli is a Naxalite-affected area, it had not witnessed much activity during the last six months. This probably could be the reason for the Naxalites holding a camp deep in the forest. But police appeared to have received specific information resulting in the encounter, sources said.

Superintendent of Police Y Nagi Reddy rushed to the spot with additional forces to supervise the combing operations.

In Hyderabad, Director-Gerenal of Police Swaranjit Sen also hinted at the possibility of some senior Maoist leaders among the deceased.

“Police forces in Chittoor and Kadapa districts have been put on high alert. All the escape routes have been sealed to track down the fleeing Naxalites,” he said.

Police suspect that CPI (Maoist) state committee member Ganesh could be among the dead.

Naxals wreak havoc in some areas in Palamau: Jh’khand Minister April 29, 2006

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Ranchi, Apr 29: Jharkhand Minister Kamlesh Singh, whose ancestral house was raged to ground by ultras, today suggested immediate long-range patrolling and revival of police pickets as the Maoists are “wreaking havoc” in Hussainabad and Hariharganj in Palamu district.

“The Naxalites raged to ground three houses in these areas and are planning similar attacks. It is high time the security forces are sent for long-range patrolling and setting up pickets,” the water resources minister told reporters here.

The Maoists had on April 20 blasted Singh’s ancestral house at Karamgar village, destroying what the minister claimed property worth about Rs 45 lakh. Soon after, the ultras perpetrated two more such explosions in the houses of a trader and an ex-Mukhia in Palamau district.

Denying that it was a ‘caste war’, the minister said the Naxalites want to ruin the somewhat-well-to-do farmers to spread panic among the poor farming community.

“They want to create havoc among the people, so that they could dictate terms among them…I have sent a letter to the Director General of Police requesting him to step up patrolling and pickets to thwart the Naxalites’ evil designs,” he said.

Describing how the Naxalites have been taking advantage of the hilly terrains and close proximity with areas in Bihar, the minister called for joint operation by bordering states like Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal and Jharkhand.

“The joint effort will check Naxal activity in Hussainabad and Hariharganj as also other places,” Singh said.

Bureau Report

THIS IS CONGRESSWALA ! Ajit Jogi demands repeal of Public Security Act April 29, 2006

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Ajit Jogi demands repeal of Public Security Act

Raipur, Apr 29: Former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi today demanded repeal of the newly enacted Special Public Security Act, saying it was a draconian law.

”This legislation has every potential to be misused,” the Congress leader told reporters here.

Replying to a question, Jogi admitted the opposition Congress did not protest against the legislation as was required against any such draconian law. He said the people of Chhattisgarh would raise their voice against the new law.

The BJP government has enacted Special Public Security Act to contain unlawful activities, including Naxalism which has spread its roots in 10 out of 16 districts in the state. The state government recently appointed former Punjab DGP K P S Gill as its security adviser to stamp out the Naxal menace.

Bureau Report

Rail officials battle Naxal menace in Bihar April 29, 2006

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Prakash Singh

Saturday, April 29, 2006 (Patna):

Maoists in Bihar have been increasingly targeting Railway property.

The rebels have blown up several railway stations and tracks in the state in the last few months, and most of these attacks have been carried out during the night.

Tired of the lack of security personnel at several stations, the Railway authorities have now decided to suspend Rail movement in the Maoist-affected areas during the night. Naxal targets

Jan 25: Track at Paraiya
Apr 3: Rail post at Nadaul
Apr 8: Rail post, track at Bansinala
Apr 25: Narganjo station
Apr 26: Dasrathpur track

“I want protection for my staff and passengers, which is why we are trying our best to run the trains in the Naxal-affected areas with the help of RPF or GRP,” said K C Jena, General Manager, Eastern Central Railway.

“We will be forced to stop the rail services in the areas where we believe there is a lack of protection and security measures,” he added.

Passing the buck

Railway authorities feel it is the state government’s responsibility to provide security to trains running through Bihar.

But Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who once held the Railway portfolio, disagrees. He has instead advised Rail Minister Lalu Yadav to strengthen the Railway Police Force.

“Railways have adequate funds for security. The department should use the money to strengthen the RPF and the safety category vacancy should be filled so that the Railway tracks are properly manned and guarded,” Kumar said.

“Employment of the gangman in the Railways, which was started during my tenure as Rail Minister, has now been stopped,” he added.

The Naxal problem is only getting worse by the day, and it is now clear that passing the buck will not help improve the situation.

Naxalites killed 13 abducted villagers in Chhattisgarh April 29, 2006

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Raipur, April. 29 (PTI): Naxalites today killed 13 of the 52 villagers they had abducted last Tuesday and released 37 others in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh.

“We have recovered 13 bodies from near the Manikonta village of Erroabore police station, about 550 km. from the state capital,” Dornapal police station sources told PTI by phone.

The outlawed Maoists had killed two persons yesterday, they said adding, 37 villagers who were kidnapped from the village from opposing naxalites were released.

“The released villagers are in a state of shock and are not able to tell where they were and how they were treated,” the sources said.

Senior officials have rushed to the spot as Chief Minister Raman Singh and many of his Ministers and top officials are in district headquarters in Dantewada in connection with a meeting of the Bastar Development Authority.

About 60 villagers, who are staying in Dornapal relief camps, had gone to their Manikonta village to look after their belongings on April 25.

The Maoists, who were present in the village, surrounded them and assaulted them, police said.

Three men and five women escaped and ran to nearby jungles and reached Dornapal relief camp and then informed the police.

These villagers were staying in government relief camps after naxal threat and were participating in peace campaign against the Maoists in Dantewada and Bijapur districts.

Country Reports on Terrorism and Patterns of Global Terrorism April 28, 2006

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Excerpts from the “Background Information: Country Reports on Terrorism and Patterns of Global Terrorism ”

Naxalite (Maoist agrarian peasant movement) terrorism, which covers a broad region of
eastern, central, and southern India, is growing in sophistication and lethality and may pose a
significant long-term challenge. The Naxalites launched two mass attacks in the second half

of 2005, destroying buildings, capturing weapons, and killing several local policemen in an
attack on an Uttar Pradesh village. They also attacked the Jehanabad Prison in Bihar, killing
two persons, freeing more than 300 inmates, and abducting about 30 inmates who were
members of an anti-Naxalite group.

India’s counterterrorism efforts are hampered by its outdated and overburdened law enforcement and legal systems. The Indian court system is slow, laborious, and prone to
corruption; terrorism trials can take years to complete. An independent Indian think tank, for
example, assesses that the estimated 12,000 civilians killed by terrorism in Jammu and
Kashmir from 1988 to 2002 generated only 13 convictions through December 2002; most of
the convictions were for illegal border crossing or possession of weapons or explosives.
Many of India’s local police forces are poorly staffed, trained, and equipped to combat
terrorism effectively. Despite these challenges, India scored major successes, including
numerous arrests and the seizure of hundreds of kilos of explosives and firearms during
operations against the briefly resurgent Sikh terrorist group Babbar Khalsa International.
In August, the Indian Government announced a new policy on airplane hijackings that
included directing ground crews to obstruct a hijacked plane from taking off, and a clearance
procedure for authorizing the shooting down of a hijacked plane in flight that might endanger
civilians on the ground.

The Indian Government has an excellent record of protecting its nuclear assets from terrorists,
and is taking steps to improve further the security of its strategic systems. In May the Indian
Parliament passed the Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Delivery Systems (Prohibition
of Unlawful Activities) Bill, designed to prevent the transfer of WMD, delivery systems, and
associated technologies to state and non-state actors, including terrorists.

Link to the report

Indian laws a handicap: US April 28, 2006

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Indian laws a handicap: US

S Rajagopalan

Washington, April 29, 2006

India’s fight against terrorism is “hampered by its outdated and overburdened law enforcement and legal systems”, says the US State Department’s annual country reports on terrorism. But the report also praises India for improving its “tactics against terrorists and making significant arrests.”

While listing India as one of the worst victims of terrorism in 2005, it says militants staged “hundreds of attacks on people and property”. Unlike previous years, the report does not provide country-specific data on the number of incidents and casualties, but its South Asia section talks of increased activity by terrorist groups in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

While commending Pakistan for “significantly increasing the effectiveness of its counter-terrorism operation” by capturing or killing hundreds of terrorists, the report retains a host of Pakistan-based outfits including Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Tayyeba on the list of “Foreign Terrorist Organizations”. Indian outfits, the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and the Communist Party of India (Maoist), figure on a companion list “Other Groups of Concern” after being under the State Department’s scanner last year.

The report highlights the continuing activities of LeT and JeM in Jammu and Kashmir that also included attacks on politicians. “Hundreds of non-combatants were killed, most of were Kashmiri Muslims.”

Apart from the terror let loose by separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir, the report focuses on Maoists in the “Naxalite belt” in eastern India and ethno-linguistic nationalists in the North-East. Civilian fatalities in J&K, however, have continued a five-year decline, it says.

The report mentions that the growing sophistication and lethality of “Naxalite terrorism” may pose a significant long-term challenge.

Naxal areas need development April 28, 2006

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HT Correspondent
Varanasi, April 28

UNION MINISTER of State for Home Sri Prakash Jaiswal said on Friday that the solution of Naxalite menace in different parts of country was not bullet but implementation of development and land reform schemes and removal of unemployment.

“All those elements trying to trouble the tribal populace in the Naxalite-affected areas of Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, UP, Bihar and Jharkhand, must be dealt with strictly by the concerned State governments,” he said.

Talking to mediapersons at the residence of Bharat Ratna and Sehnai maestro Bismillah Khan here on Friday afternoon, the minister said, recently a meeting of chief ministers of Naxal-affected states was held in New Delhi in which they were asked by the Union government to deal strictly with the problem.

Speaking over the problem of electricity in UP, Jaiswal made it clear that the Union government was providing electricity to the State as per directions from the Centre. If it wants additional electricity, it should also suggest the centre for the specific State to be curtailed from the allotted electricity.

“UP government is itself fully responsible for the power crisis as no power generation unit has been set up in the State for last 15 years. Tall claims of State government to solve the electricity problem through the proposed Dadri Power Generation Project of Noida has proved to be flop show as not even a single brick has been placed on the site of the plant there,” he said. It would be cheating with the public if the UP government promised to solve the problem in next two years, he added.

The UP government should not blame the Centre for its failure on the matter of poor electricity scenario, he said.

Jaiswal said the Union government was ready to fulfill the desire of Bharat Ratna Bismillah Khan to perform at the India Gate. His performance would definitely strengthen the communal harmony, unity and integrity of the nation.

“Since Khan Saheb has devoted his entire life for strengthening the mutual harmony, unity and integrity, so the Union government would also felicitate him at the India gate on July 15. He had been making efforts to perform in New Delhi at India Gate for the last four-five years. Now the government has fulfilled his desire,” Jaiswal said. The minister, accompanied by local MP, Dr Rajesh Mishra landed at the Varanasi Airport by a special plane and directly went to Bismillah Khan’s house. The city president of Congress, Vijaya Shanker Mehta, Dr Daya Shanker Mishra, Javed Ahmad Faridi and Dr Om Prakash welcomed him.

Later, the minister also held a meeting with the officials of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at its office in Sigra.

17 senior police officers transferred in Chhattisgarh April 28, 2006

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RAIPUR, APR 28 (PTI)

A day after suspending Superintendent of Police (SP) for not joining duty after transfer, the Raman Singh government in Chhattisgarh today transferred 17 senior police officers, including six district superintendents of police.
In a late evening development, the state BJP government today shifted the Durg senior superintendent of police Ramesh Chandra Sharma to the police headquarters (PHQ) and in his place posted DIG-PHQ Rajesh Mishra.

Om Prakash Pal is the new additional SP of Dantewada and Dantewada SP Praveer Das is made the SP special investigation branch, looking after naxal event at PHQ. However, no one is made the new Dantewada SP, according to the transfer order.

Removing Raj Kumar Dewangan from Surajpur district S K Brahme is made the new SP Surajpur. Dewangan is posted in PHQ.

P S Gautam to replace B S Thorat as SP anti-corruption Bureau and Thorat is sent to PHQ.

Shifting Narendra Khare from Narayanpur, Sunderraj P is made the new Narayanpur SP. Khare is sent to eighth battalion.

After suspending Sanjay Tiwari for not joining at Bijapur, Ratan Lal is made the new Bijapur SP.

A M Juri is made new SP of Korea to replace H K Rathor, who has been made Jashpur SP.

N K S Thakur is shifted to PHQ from firth battalion, B P S Pousharya is shifted from sixth battalion to state human rights commission as SP.

Mohammad Hussain has been shifted from eighth battalion to ninth battalion and former Bijapur SP Dasrath Lal Manhar is posted in sixth battalion, the transfer order said.