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AP is a naxal Special Economic Zone: Jairam June 29, 2006

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[ Friday, June 30, 2006 02:24:46 am TIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

HYDERABAD: In a stinging indictment of the Congress-ruled state government, the Union minister and Rajya Sabha member from the state, Jairam Ramesh, said the biggest SEZ (Special Economic Zone) in Andhra Pradesh right now was the naxalite SEZ.

Naxalites were being exported from here to other states, particularly Chattisgarh, he added. The Union minister of state for commerce made these remarks while addressing a workshop on Land and Legal Assistance for the Tribals organised by the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) in the city on Thursday.

Pointing out that the root of the naxalite problem lay in land alienation, Jairam Ramesh said the state government had
failed to safeguard the tribal land. “It is a reflection on the sorry state of administration in Andhra Pradesh.

More than 50 per cent of the 72,000 tribal land-related cases were decided in favour of non-tribals,” the minister observed.

“The state has failed to protect the interests of the tribals. The administration should make efforts to get the cases re-opened and ensure that the tribals’ rights are protected.

One reason is that the High Court chief justice is very supportive and we have to utilise the opportunity,” the Union minister said. He directed the officials of panchayat raj and rural development department to ensure that the 2,000-odd pending cases were settled in favour of the tribals.

Noting that absence of land records, missing and tampered records have became a major problem, Jairam Ramesh wanted the officials to prepare foolproof records so that the tribal lands did not fall into the hands of non-tribals.

He said a “Para-Legal Army” of young lawyers could be created to fight for the tribals’ rights. The case of Kumra Manku Bai of Adilabad district should stand as a classic example in the protection of tribal lands, the Union minister said before felicitating the Gond woman who successfully fought legal battle to reclaim her land after 37 years.

“The kind of legal support Manku Bai got under the Giri Pragathi programme should be extended to all,” he added.

NAXAL SUPPORTER AJIT JOGI SAYS " Time to call off the Salwa Judum " June 29, 2006

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Time to call off the Salwa Judum

Ajit Jogi
Posted online: Friday, June 30, 2006 at 0000 hrs IST

In our tribal dialect “Gondi”, “Salwa Judum” means the “Path of Peace”.
But this “Path of Peace” is becoming more often the path to bloodshed, destruction and displacement.
Hardly a day goes by when the media do not report brutal killings of innocent and unarmed tribals deep in Bastar by this “peaceful” movement.
Popular movements, as a rule, are anti-establishment, which Salwa Judum is not. With the exception of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, one cannot think of any other mass struggle in contemporary history in which the state has played such a pivotal role.
Now, in a first, over 60,000 tribals have been uprooted from their ancestral villages and sent to live in makeshift camps.
The state government views this an “unfortunate” but necessary phase in the fight against Naxals. To me, it smacks of Hitler’s “Lebensraum”—his effort to repopulate an area with pure-bred Aryans.
There can be no justification for displacing thousands of tribals from over 700 villages they have inhabited for thousands of years. No pragmatism can defy the fundamental and inviolate principle that it is the state’s first duty to protect the lives and property of its citizens. The failure to do so cannot justify the uprooting of an entire people.
I feel aggrieved, deceived and cheated when the present collector of Dantewada, a tribal himself, tells a magazine, “either they are Salwa Judum or they are Naxalites”. The third option of just going about the business of living no longer exists for the tribes of Bastar. They must fight or die.
When a correspondent asked the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao how could he justify deployment of 3,00,000 troops to Kashmir, he curtly replied that it is for the state to decide what it takes to protect its citizens. He did not say that he expected untrained and unarmed Kashmiri civilians to do battle with the militants.
Here, instead of tribals taking the law in their hands, the state has virtually handed it over to them. Instead of the state protecting its people, it has pitted untrained, unarmed tribals against a remarkably sophisticated militant organization, in effect, condemning them (206 according to official estimate but thousands if first hand reports are to be believed) to their deaths.
A large number of tribals kept in the Salwa Judum camps now wish to go back to their villages. They are told that they would be shot if they did. By whom—Naxalites or SPOs of Salwa Judum? That is not made very clear.
It is ironic that Medha Patkar should be fighting the displacement of tribals in the name of development and Salwa Judum justifies it in the name of death.
Why is this government so keen on keeping them in camps?
More than security concern, this has to do with the politics—and economics—of displacement. Camps no doubt, are remarkably convenient incubators for the Sangh Parivar to indoctrinate thousands of unsuspecting tribals. RSS-run Shakhas, I’m told by a correspondent of a leading national daily, have already become a common camp feature as have Saraswati Shishu Mandirs, Ekal-vidyalayas and Vanwasi Kalayan Ashrams.
Furthermore, camps have given birth to their own peculiar industry: to sustain 60,000 tribals, the state has budgeted a daily expenditure of crores of rupees in the form of food, healthcare and education. As with every other government welfare scheme for tribals, its real beneficiaries are the middlemen. To maximize their profits, they are only too happy to inflate the number of “refugees”—this is precisely what the hon’ble home minister of Chhattisgarh called them. Naturally, the living conditions in these camps is atrocious, and in direct proportion to the “refugees” desire to risk return.
Thus, hitherto united tribals stand vertically divided—in every habitat, every village and every family.
The dense rain forests of Bastar, small, inaccessible villages inhabited by tribals (scared of or sympathetic to Naxalites) make intelligence gathering well nigh impossible. Hence the oft-repeated abductions and killings of tribals from the “well guarded and safe” Salwa Judum camps.
The strategy should be to reclaim territory from the Naxalites and not to hand it over to them. This cannot be achieved if the state thrusts the innocent tribals into the illusory safety and comfort of these camps.
To make matters worse, the state is recruiting Special Police Officers (SPOs) mostly from surrendering Naxalites and unemployed tribal youths of the camps. They are paid a monthly salary of Rs 1,500 and the state hopes against hope that one day these SPOs will move into their abandoned territory for an eyeball to eyeball combat with Naxalites.
The state erroneously presumes that the SPOs are better than the armed forces, because the later can differentiate between Naxalites and innocent tribals. But the fact is that these relatively untrained, armed men with an almost blanket license to kill, are busy settling personal scores, extortion and harassment.
Reminds me of Hiteshwar Saikia’s SULFA (Surrendered United Liberation Front of Assam) which, in the not so long run, came to be more dreaded than ULFA.
This has turned Salwa Judum into a campaign wherein innocent adivasis are being used as ammunition in a State-sponsored civil war. One of the most popular folk songs of bison horn Maria tribes says is all:

“Heaven is miles and miles of forest of Mahua trees and hell is miles and miles of forest of mahua trees with one forest guard in it”..

The most famous and successful peaceful mass movement was our struggle for freedom led by the Mahatma. National historian Bipin Chandra postulates the concept of STS (Struggle Time Struggle), describing the Gandhian strategy of freedom struggle. The protagonists and supporters of Salwa Judum, as a mark of respect to the master and pioneer of the most successful mass movement ever, should realize that after the killing of thousands of tribals, it is now time to call off the Salwa Judum.
It is unfortunate that our governance of tribal areas is mostly based on the presumption of dichotomy between tribals and their habitats. It reduces tribals to exiles in their own homes. It has also given rise to a new genre of environmentalism, that has become the greatest hurdle to the welfare and development of tribals.
This, more than anything else, explains the profligacy of Naxalism in recent times—from less than 100 districts in 1995 to over 170 districts in 15 states by April, 2004.
Which is why, I have strongly supported setting up of a new steel plant in Bastar, resumption of Bodhghat hydel power project, construction of Dondi Lohara—Jagdalpur railway line and most significantly, the enactment of new tribal bill already introduced in the parliament.
The bottom line is—restore tribals of Bastar as masters of their own destinies.

The writer is former chief minister of Chhattisgarh and currently a Member of Parliament

Spotlight on ghettoes after Naxal’s arrest June 29, 2006

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After arrest of former city mill worker turned Naxal in Nagpur, police probe extent of Naxal recruitment in Surat.

Express News Service

Surat, June 29: AFTER the revelation by one of the naxalites arrested by the Nagpur Police that he had stayed in Surat for one-and-a-half decades before joining the Naxal movement in Vidharbha region, the Crime Branch police has swung into action to collect more details about other Naxal supporters, mainly migrants from Andhra Pradesh, residing in the migrant-dominated areas of the city.

Sources said that the naxalite, 40-year-old Kataia Sayulu Kurma, was arrested by the Nagpur police from Rajaura, a couple of days back.

Kurma had revealed to the Nagpur police that before joining the Naxal movement in Nagpur, he had stayed in Surat for one-and-a-half decades where he was employed in one of the textile mills and was residing in a Gujarat Housing Board (GHB) society at Godadara in Limbayat area.

Crime Branch Sub Inspector L D Waghadia, who is investigating the naxalite movement in Surat, said, ‘‘We have received four to five names of naxalites active in Nagpur who were residing in the migrant-dominated areas like Limbayat, Udhana, Godadara. Whether they are still visiting the city for recruiting naxals is to be investigated.’’

Sources said that Maharashtra’s Vidharbha region, including the dense forests of Gadchroli, Chanrapur, Gondia and Bhandara districts, is considered as Naxal-infested.

There have been a series of violent incidents involving naxalites reported from the region.

Waghadia said that Surat could be a recruitment zone for the Naxals. There is a major population of migrants from Andhra Pradesh in the city and police believe Naxal supporters are picked up from here and trained for the naxalite movement in the dense forest areas in the Vidarbha region.

According to Waghadia, the recruitment process occurs with leaders of the movement arriving in the city and organising street plays in the migrant dominated areas.

The dominant theme of the plays is anti-establishment and the suppression of tribals, which is aimed at finding and picking up Naxal supporters.

After the selection process, the new recruits are taken to Mumbai where they are provided with reading material supporting the movement.

After the indoctrination, the recruits are sent to the filed to carry out Naxal activities.

Waghadia said, ‘‘We want to nip the naxalite movement in the bud. The survelliance activity has been intensified in the migrant dominated areas to keep tab on the movements of the migrant labourers.’’

Yechury meets PM, Pranab; to visit Nepal as interlocutor again June 29, 2006

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New Delhi, June. 29 (PTI): A day ahead of his second visit to Nepal after the new government took over, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the latest developments in the Himalayan nation.

During his two-day visit, Yechury would meet Nepalese Premier Girija Prasad Koirala and Prachanda, the General Secretary of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and other political leaders, as the interim government formation process in the country gathered steam.

The CPI(M) Polit Bureau member, who has been the interlocutor between the two sides, was not available for comments on his meeting with the Prime Minister. Later, he also met Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Favouring restoration of democracy in Nepal, India has said the roadmap to democracy, being charted out at the peace talks between the Maoists and the ruling Seven Party Alliance (SPA), should be decided by the people of that country.

Discussion on the interim Constitution of Nepal is slated to be taken up at the ongoing talks between the Koirala Government and the Maoists.

Yechury is likely to press both sides to take the international community into confidence so that global legitimacy is granted to the future shape of democracy in Nepal. The Maoists are also understood to have expressed willingness to manage their arms under United Nations supervision but not ready to lay them down at this stage.

For the first time in Nepal’s history, its Parliament members and ministers had yesterday taken a fresh oath of office in the absence of the King.

Four maoists arrested in Jharkhand June 29, 2006

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Press Trust of India

Bokaro (Jharkhand), June 28, 2006

Four hard-core extremists of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) were arrested from Sinduartand in Jharkhand’s Bokaro district, police said on Wednesday.

Acting on a tip-off, a team of district police and CRPF personnel raided an extremist stronghold on Tuesday night and arrested the four rebels, sub-divisional police officer, Bermo, Ashwini Kumar Sinha said.

Several others managed to escape, he said.

Two of the arrested rebels had been involved in the expansion of the Naxalite network in the district as well as in neighbouring West Bengal.

The team, which was led by Sinha himself, recovered one indigenous pistol, four live cartridges, four Naxal magazines and six hand written Naxal posters.

Four maoists arrested in Jharkhand June 28, 2006

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Press Trust of India

Bokaro (Jharkhand), June 28, 2006

Four hard-core extremists of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) were arrested from Sinduartand in Jharkhand’s Bokaro district, police said on Wednesday.

Acting on a tip-off, a team of district police and CRPF personnel raided an extremist stronghold on Tuesday night and arrested the four rebels, sub-divisional police officer, Bermo, Ashwini Kumar Sinha said.

Several others managed to escape, he said.

Two of the arrested rebels had been involved in the expansion of the Naxalite network in the district as well as in neighbouring West Bengal.

The team, which was led by Sinha himself, recovered one indigenous pistol, four live cartridges, four Naxal magazines and six hand written Naxal posters.

Killing of PACS president by Naxalites sends shock waves June 28, 2006

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Wednesday June 28 2006 15:38 IST

KHAMMAM: With just five days to go for the polling for the Panchayat elections, the killing of Satyanarayanapuram Primary Agricultural Credit Society president Datla Anjaneya Raju at Charla mandal by Maoists on Monday evening has spread a wave of terror in the district sending the Congress candidates for ZPTCs and MPTCs nominees in a tizzy.

The campaigning for the polls would end on June 30. “If the candidates ask for additional security, we would provide that,” superintendent of police RK Meena told this website’s newspaper. Some police sources viewed this killing as a retaliatory measure against the alleged encounter of Maoist district secretary Jagdish and his wife at Chinturu mandal.

Raju was reportedly involved in the sale of plots for the displaced people of Polavaram project. The killing terrorised the people so much so that many of them had already approached the district authorities to cancel their plots in the area.

An eyewitness told the this website’s newspaper that he heard the Maoists declare that they were killing Raju as an act of revenge for donating his site to the Polavaram project model colony.

This is the second such killing in the last 15 days. Suspected Maoists shot dead CPI New Democracy leader Pathan Kaja suspecting him to be a police informer. These two killings have triggered a red alert in the district and kept the police on the tenterhooks.

Meanwhile, highly placed sources confirmed to this website’s newspaper that Maoists warned Bhadrachalam sub-collector Yogita Rana that they would blow up the housing colony meant for the Polavaram oustees.

There are 277 Naxal-infested villages in Kothagudem, Yellandu, Bhadrachalam and Manuguru sub-divisions and most of the candidates have stayed away from campaigning in the villages.

“We have decided to refrain from direct campaigning and rather reach the people through our supporters,” said a Congress nominee for a ZPTC seat.

Meanwhile, the Police department is on high alert with indications of a few more strikes in the coming days. “We are keeping a close vigil on the movements of suspected extremists,” confided a senior police officer.

NO RESPONSE TO BANDH CALL: Meanwhile, the bandh call given by the Maoists on Tuesday evoked no response. However, as a precautionary measure, the RTC cancelled all services to the remote villages.

POLL ARRANGEMENTS: Arrangements for conducting orderly and peaceful polling in the division on July 2 are being completed, Sub-collector Yogita Rana told newsmen. In all, 208 polling booths would be set up, the Sub-collector added.

Naxalite shadow looms over Kadapa , AP June 28, 2006

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Wednesday June 28 2006 14:31 IST

KADAPA: Following the bandh call given by the Maoists for Tuesday and Wednesday, the police had intensified combing operations in the Naxal affected areas of the district.

Police parties were alerted in Rayachoti, Lakkireddipalli, Rajampet and Badvel Assembly constituencies and protection was provided to the contesting candidates in the panchayat elections.

Due to the bandh call and the appeal to public to boycott polls by the Maoists, police protection was being provided to candidates and all precautions were being taken to prevent any untoward incident, Superintendent of Police Y Nagi Reddy said on Tuesday

After the encounter two months ago in which nine Maoists were killed, there was a lull in the ranks of the outlawed outfit and the police suspected that they might take advantage of the polls and create trouble. Combing was intensified with the deployment of additional forces, according to the police.

Earlier two Greyhound teams and eight special teams were combing the Naxal infested areas and 30 additional teams had been deployed in last two days. Police identified 124 villages in 21 mandals on which Maoists have some influence, said Nagi Reddy.

The contesting candidates were advised not to move out at night in these areas and night bus services to remote villages had been cancelled, he said.

Naxalite movement leader Choman Mooppan dead June 28, 2006

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Wednesday June 28 2006 12:10 IST
MANANTHAVADI: The tribal leader of the Naxalite movement, Choman Mooppan died at his residence at the Varinilam Colony in Thrisslery here on Tuesday. He was 72.

A trusted lieutenant of Varghese, in both the Naxalite actions at Thrisslery and Thirunelly (1970) and attacks on the police stations at Pulppalli and Thalassery (1968), Choman Mooppan continued to be a true follower of the Naxalite movement till his last.He had also spent about 8 years in jail.

He was instrumental in the transformation of the otherwise passive tribal community into fiery activists, acting as a bridge between Varghese and the tribal folk.

He was the district committee member of the CPI-ML (Red flag) and the state committee member of the State Karshaka Thozhilali Union, the farmers’ arm of the party.

He is survived by wife Vella and daughter Mutha.

The body of Choman Mooppan will be buried on Wednesday at Cheevambam which was encroached and seized by the revolutionaries including him.

Old comrades of the tribal chief, Varinilam Gony, Chembaran, Kaithvally Kariyan and Kaithavally Koriyan among others paid last tributes to their leader.

K. Jayakumar, CPI-ML (Red Flag) national general secretary will participate in the meeting organised to commemorate the tribal leader.

Jogis have links with Maoists: BJP ( Ofcouse , Check all his statements ) June 28, 2006

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Raipur, June 28: The ruling BJP in Chhattisgarh today accused the former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi and his son Amit of having links with the Naxalites, with Jogi denying it.

“Both Jogi and his son Amit have links with Naxalites and they even tried to influence the result of the December 2003 assembly election with the help of the Maoists,” state BJP General Secretary and Spokesperson Saroj Pandey alleged here.

“If the allegations are false, then let Amit clarify as to why he had gone to the hyper-Naxal infested Bastar region to meet the Maoists; who had met the Naxalite leaders in Hyderabad and whether the news reports that Ajit Jogi met the Naxalite leaders at the cm’s residence, were false”, she asked in a statement.

BJP claimed that Jogi tried to influence the election results in the state with the help of Naxalites but other than Dantewada, Jogi failed to get success as Naxalites did not have influence in the rest of the areas.

One of the main reasons behind Congress rout in the assembly election was Jogi’s strategy to win the polls with the help of Naxalites, Pandey alleged adding that because of the `wrong policies’ of previous Congress government the Naxal violence had increased in the state.

However, denying the allegations, Jogi termed them as “totally baseless and false”.

“Even after crossing half of the mandated period, the BJP government in the state has failed to achieve anything and to hide that failure, the ruling party was taking help of lies and baseless allegations”, he told on phone from Delhi.

If the BJP’s claim of Naxal assistance for Congress was true, then how come Congress could win only three of the 23 Naxal-affected segments, he asked.

Bureau Report