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Naxal couple’s remand extended November 30, 2006

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Thursday November 30 2006 10:47 IST

BHADRACHALAM: Surrendered Maoist couple, Suryam and Santhakka, were produced before the judicial first class magistrate today on the expiry of their remand period in Warangal central jail. The judge extended their remand period. They were sent back to the Warangal central jail.

Both Suryam and Santhakka, against whom 48 cases were pending, applied for bail on Wednesday. Suryam is well-known all over the agency as Maoist squad commander in Charla area.

They were arrested recently in Bhadrachalam agency area.

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Chinese ‘gifts’ worry Indian intelligence November 29, 2006

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Ramananda Sengupta November 29, 2006 12:56 IST

A senior Indian intelligence official has expressed concern over what he described as the “dramatic increase” in Chinese attempts to woo Indian politicians and business leaders with gifts, some of them “phenomenally lavish.”
Reacting to a story in Businessworld magazine, which refers to Chinese attempts to buy influence in India, the Indian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said while this is nothing new, what is of concern is the sudden and dramatic increase in the number of “influential Indians” being tapped by the Chinese.

The recipients of these gifts “spanned the political spectrum”, the official said, expressing his “serious worry over this alarming trend, which has increased in leaps and bounds over the past three or four years.”

Indian intelligence agencies, however, could do nothing much beyond “keeping an eye on the recipients” and bringing this to the attention of the Prime Minister’s Office and the National Security Council, since there were “major political implications,” the official said.

The remarks are significant as they come soon after Chinese President Hu Jintao visited India last week.

Admitting that this had been going on for “quite some time”, the official said of late, there has been a dramatic surge in such incidents. Politicians in India’s northeastern states and West Bengal are among the recipients of Chinese largesse, he said.

While most of the gifts involve large sums of money and other incentives, leaders are also invited to China, ostensibly on lecture and “get acquainted” tours, and “treated like royalty there,” the official said.

The money involved is so large, the intelligence official charged, that it would “certainly influence the political scenario not just at the provincial level in some states close to the Chinese border, but even during the next Indian general election.”

Most of these attempts are made by “so-called” private concerns in China, though all of them are actually Chinese government funded, and the main objective so far seemed to be to acquire “lucrative telecom and infrastructure contracts, among other things” in India, he said.

Indian leaders known to be sympathetic to the Tibetan cause are also being targeted, he claimed.

“The point is, you cannot blame the Chinese,” he said. “They are doing whatever it takes to buy influence in India, mostly for economic, but also for political and strategic reasons,” he said.

According to the official, who has been studying China for over two decades now, this influence had already led to strange spinoffs, including the government’s reticence “to support serious studies” on the border dispute with China.

“While there are several Chinese think tanks which are studying the issue for a long time, in India, there is not one Indian scholar that I know of who is engaged in similar studies,” he said, “simply because the government discourages such efforts and is reluctant to fund them.”

Another Indian specialist on China, however, played down the extent of Chinese influence, saying while it is true that the Chinese have no qualms about buying influence, “if the Chinese have actually penetrated our political establishment in such a massive way, Hu Jintao would have addressed a Joint Session of Parliament during his visit. He did not.”

A Chinese business leader, who accompanied Hu during his visit to India, put it differently.

“India and China are friends. We are also business partners. Sometimes it is necessary to express our admiration and respect for our friends through gifts. They are not aimed at ‘peddling influence,’ as you describe it. Besides, even your businessmen bring gifts for Chinese officials. Should we start looking at them as bribes, or attempts to influence Chinese interests?” asked the man, who identified himself only as Zhao.

Quote of the Day : The greatest enemies of India November 29, 2006

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“The greatest enemies of India are not White missionaries or Chinese Communists but Indians who continue to spout Marxist jargon when it has lost credibility all over the world. Then there are second generation converts who espouse a fundamental Christianity which is no more prevalent even in the West. Also there are academics in the US who rant in mainstream American papers against Hindu fundamentalism” – Francois Gautier (French Author)

Henry Kissinger’s Hell November 29, 2006

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…..there is little of the evil in U.S. foreign policy which cannot be traced back to the influence of Kissinger, as a leading representative of the Anglo-Dutch imperial outlook, on the American body-politic. In addition to his Middle East policy, which was dedicated to maintaining a permanent state of warfare between various groups in the region, Kissinger in 1974 put in place the infamous National Security Study Memorandum 200, which declared that it was in the U.S. “strategic interest” to contain the population growth of states which controlled raw materials to which the West wanted unrestricted access—a policy that has amounted to outright genocide against minerals-rich African nations, among others. This policy is still in effect today!


Henry Kissinger’s Hell

Lyndon LaRouche summarized the immediate global strategic situation thus, in a memo issued Nov. 25:

“The best chance for extricating the U.S. military forces from an unimaginable debacle in Southwest Asia, is to scrap every shred of the relevant policies of the current Bush Administration so far, and bring together a concert of key governments of Southwest Asia for a coherent stabilization of the relations among and within the nations of that region. This must include opening immediate normal diplomatic relations with the group of keystone nations Iran , Syria , and Turkey , and, must include informing Israel ‘s current government that there must be an immediate end to Israel ‘s evasion of a constructive détente with the Palestinian people.

“It is the U.S. obligation, therefore, to acknowledge the prudence of saner voices among Israeli leaders, who do not propose to jump from the cliff into doom once again. The U.S. must immediately state and assist a U.S. lobby-proof, full commitment to a successful early conclusion of a Madrid II process. Otherwise, there is no safe route for extrication of U.S. forces from an increasingly desperate situation within Iraq itself.

“Otherwise, there is no hope of a foreseeable future for any part of that region of the world as a whole.

“At the moment, the greatest single threat to the U.S. military forces trapped in President Bush’s wildly irrational evasion of elementary truths of the region, comes not so much from the addled head of the President himself, as from the same perennial menace to civilization, de facto British agent Sir Henry A. Kissinger, whose direction, assisted by the British intelligence service’s (Arab Bureau’s) Dr. Bernard Lewis, launched the beginning of the generalized warfare throughout the Southwest Asia region, with the launching of religious warfare within Lebanon, back in April 1975.

“What Kissinger is doing, in concert with Sister Lynne Cheney’s mad-dog husband, is to attempt to enflame a Sunni-versus- Shi’a conflict within the region, thus seeking to foment a more or less immediate locking of the U.S. forces deployed in the region into a situation as hopeless for them as for the people of the Southwest Asia region in general.

“Although Kissinger was never exactly a ‘Dorian Gray,’ the evils of an ill-spent life in public service afford viewers today a clear view of the man’s lack of humane character drooping from his dew-laps today. Perhaps Sister Lynne Cheney has an extra leash or two, for both Dick and Henry, next to the tethered dogs on the hillside of the Naval Observatory. Perhaps the fashion-conscious Secretary of State might bring out her famous high boots, and, grasping a blacksnake whip to match, march up to the Observatory to administer a relevant lesson in diplomacy to the snarling pair of Dirty Dick and rumpled Henry.”

Indeed, there is little of the evil in U.S. foreign policy which cannot be traced back to the influence of Kissinger, as a leading representative of the Anglo-Dutch imperial outlook, on the American body-politic. In addition to his Middle East policy, which was dedicated to maintaining a permanent state of warfare between various groups in the region, Kissinger in 1974 put in place the infamous National Security Study Memorandum 200, which declared that it was in the U.S. “strategic interest” to contain the population growth of states which controlled raw materials to which the West wanted unrestricted access—a policy that has amounted to outright genocide against minerals-rich African nations, among others. This policy is still in effect today!

Perhaps most notable in summarizing the intent of Kissinger’s policy was his May 10, 1982 speech at Chatham House, London, where he took direct aim at the American “idealism” of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and declared himself in favor of the Churchillian approach—that of a Hobbesian (each against all) imperial balance of power.

Can anyone deny that American foreign policy under Kissinger’s Hobbesian hand has been nothing short of disastrous? We now stand at the brink of irreversible disaster. Both Henry, and his cohort Cheney, have got to be removed from positions of influence—now!



Kissinger’s 1974 Plan for Food Control Genocide

by Joseph Brewda
Dec. 8, 1995

On Dec. 10, 1974, the U.S. National Security Council under Henry Kissinger completed a classified 200-page study, “National Security Study Memorandum 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests.” The study falsely claimed that population growth in the so-called Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs) was a grave threat to U.S. national security. Adopted as official policy in November 1975 by President Gerald Ford, NSSM 200 outlined a covert plan to reduce population growth in those countries through birth control, and also, implicitly, war and famine. Brent Scowcroft, who had by then replaced Kissinger as national security adviser (the same post Scowcroft was to hold in the Bush administration), was put in charge of implementing the plan. CIA Director George Bush was ordered to assist Scowcroft, as were the secretaries of state, treasury, defense, and agriculture.

The bogus arguments that Kissinger advanced were not original. One of his major sources was the Royal Commission on Population, which King George VI had created in 1944 “to consider what measures should be taken in the national interest to influence the future trend of population.” The commission found that Britain was gravely threatened by population growth in its colonies, since “a populous country has decided advantages over a sparsely-populated one for industrial production.” The combined effects of increasing population and industrialization in its colonies, it warned, “might be decisive in its effects on the prestige and influence of the West,” especially effecting “military strength and security.”

NSSM 200 similarly concluded that the United States was threatened by population growth in the former colonial sector. It paid special attention to 13 “key countries” in which the United States had a “special political and strategic interest”: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Turkey, Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia. It claimed that population growth in those states was especially worrisome, since it would quickly increase their relative political, economic, and military strength.

For example, Nigeria: “Already the most populous country on the continent, with an estimated 55 million people in 1970, Nigeria’s population by the end of this century is projected to number 135 million. This suggests a growing political and strategic role for Nigeria, at least in Africa.” Or Brazil: “Brazil clearly dominated the continent demographically.” The study warned of a “growing power status for Brazil in Latin America and on the world scene over the next 25 years.”


Food as a weapon

There were several measures that Kissinger advocated to deal with this alleged threat, most prominently, birth control and related population-reduction programs. He also warned that “population growth rates are likely to increase appreciably before they begin to decline,” even if such measures were adopted.

A second measure was curtailing food supplies to targetted states, in part to force compliance with birth control policies: “There is also some established precedent for taking account of family planning performance in appraisal of assistance requirements by AID [U.S. Agency for International Development] and consultative groups. Since population growth is a major determinant of increases in food demand, allocation of scarce PL 480 resources should take account of what steps a country is taking in population control as well as food production. In these sensitive relations, however, it is important in style as well as substance to avoid the appearance of coercion.”

“Mandatory programs may be needed and we should be considering these possibilities now,” the document continued, adding, “Would food be considered an instrument of national power? … Is the U.S. prepared to accept food rationing to help people who can’t/won’t control their population growth?”

Kissinger also predicted a return of famines that could make exclusive reliance on birth control programs unnecessary. “Rapid population growth and lagging food production in developing countries, together with the sharp deterioration in the global food situation in 1972 and 1973, have raised serious concerns about the ability of the world to feed itself adequately over the next quarter of century and beyond,” he reported.

The cause of that coming food deficit was not natural, however, but was a result of western financial policy: “Capital investments for irrigation and infrastucture and the organization requirements for continuous improvements in agricultural yields may be beyond the financial and administrative capacity of many LDCs. For some of the areas under heaviest population pressure, there is little or no prospect for foreign exchange earnings to cover constantly increasingly imports of food.”

“It is questionable,” Kissinger gloated, “whether aid donor countries will be prepared to provide the sort of massive food aid called for by the import projections on a long-term continuing basis.” Consequently, “large-scale famine of a kind not experienced for several decades—a kind the world thought had been permanently banished,” was foreseeable—famine, which has indeed come to pass.

Police destroy Maoist hideout in Chhattisgarh November 29, 2006

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By Indo Asian News Service

Raipur, Nov 29 (IANS) Police destroyed a Maoist hideout in Chhattisgarh’s mineral-rich Dantewada district and detained a rebel commander, an official said Wednesday.

The camp on Bailadila hills, 400km south of here, was destroyed Tuesday night.

‘The Chhattisgarh police force led by O.P. Pal, Dantewada superintendent of police, raided and destroyed the terror camp at Bailadila hills Tuesday night,’ Inspector General Girdhari Nayak told IANS.

Nayak said the rebels managed to escape but Maoist area commander Sonu Telam was apprehended within a few hours. Police seized a grenade, two bombs, arms, medicines, cash, photographs of senior Maoist leaders and Maoist literature from the camp, he added.

The state-owned National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) has iron ore facilities for import and domestic supplies located in the region.

In February, rebels raided an NMDC explosive store in Bailadila hills and killed eight paramilitary troopers of the Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF). They escaped with at least 20,000 kg of high-powered explosives, which has not yet been recovered.

At least 400 people, including 321 civilians, have been killed in Maoist violence in the state since January. Maoist rebels claim to be fighting for the rights of poor peasants and landless labourers.

Copyright Indo-Asian News Service

‘Police force will be strengthened’ November 29, 2006

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Wednesday November 29 2006 15:56 IST

TUMKUR: Director General of Police B S Sial here on Tuesday said that the police force in the State would be strengthened to counter the terrorist and Naxal activities.

Speaking to newsmen after taking part in the annual sports meet of Bishop Sargant school and PU college, he informed that the commando training will be given to all the police officers above the sub-inspector cadre of below 35 years of age.

The sophisticated weapons will gradually replace the traditional ones and already the police were equipped with the AK 47 and the SLR-7.62 rifles, he said.

Two more KSRP batalion head quarters will be created at Hassan and Koppal districts to cover the entire State and combat the Naxal activities more efficiently. Both the Chief Minister and his deputy have agreed for it and the land is being sanctined at Hassan, he added.

Indian Maoists sulk as Nepali comrades make peace November 29, 2006

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Indian Maoists sulk as Nepali comrades make peace

29 Nov 2006 02:31:27 GMT
Source: Reuters

By Simon Denyer

GARHWA, India, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Maoist rebels may be laying down their weapons in Nepal, but over their border in India their ideological brethren are still talking the language of armed revolution and the destruction of capitalism.

Maoists from both countries formed an alliance in 2001 against “feudal exploitation” and “American imperialism”, but these days the relationship is showing serious signs of strain.

Nepal’s rebel chief Prachanda signed a peace deal with the government last week that paves the way for his forces to disarm and join an interim government.

Elections will be held for an assembly meant to draft a new constitution and, the rebels hope, abolish the monarchy.

Nepal’s people are rejoicing, but in the forests and villages of eastern India, Maoist rebels, known as Naxalites, sound distinctly disappointed.

“Prachanda made a big mistake by deciding to share power,” said a underground Maoist leader, who spoke to Reuters in a remote village in the Garhwa district of the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand.

“The Maoists of Nepal should have killed King Gyanendra and taken power.”

“They were going well, but at the last minute they compromised with the imperialist powers,” he added, accusing Prachanda of “selling out”.

Officially the two movements say they share only “ideological links”, but another underground Naxal leader admitted that Nepali Maoists “may have” come to India to help train rebels.

India’s Naxalites were hoping that “victory” in Nepal, and a Maoist revolutionary government, would have given a huge boost to their own four-decade-long struggle.

“They have bowed down before the government,” said Jiten Marandi of the Maoist-backed Revolutionary Democratic Front in the state capital Ranchi, who has been jailed three times.

“Their armed squads were their main source of power. Now they have surrendered their weapons, they will have a lot of problems.”

CHAMPIONS OF THE POOR?

India’s Maoists trace their armed struggle back to an uprising in the eastern town of Naxalbari in 1967.

Today, their guerrilla squads operate in 13 of India’s 29 states and around 165 of the country’s 602 administrative districts, from the south through the central and eastern forests and up to Nepal.

In April, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the uprising “the single biggest internal security challenge” faced by India.

In rural, impoverished and tribal-dominated Jharkhand, Maoists drew support in the 1980s by chasing away landlords, redistributing land and ending a system of bonded labour.

Today, they try to tap into discontent over the displacement of tribespeople to make way for mines throughout mineral-rich eastern India, and also lead campaigns for rural labourers to be paid the legal minimum wage.

But quite how many people truly support the Maoists’ revolutionary agenda is hard to tell.

Fear certainly plays a large part, analysts say, and the Maoists themselves occasionally sound frustrated at the locals’ lack of revolutionary fervour.

Over in Nepal, Prachanda is remodelling himself as a political leader rather than a fearsome guerrilla. He insists he is a “21st Century communist” not a dogmatic one, and says India’s Maoists have not “evolved” with the times.

It is not hard to see why he would want to dissociate himself from his Indian comrades, who want to chase away foreign investment and set up a socialist economic system.

“Parliamentary democracy has failed to bring change,” said Marandi. “It is only possible through armed revolution.”

Left Wing Extremism in India :Evolving Strategies for Containment November 28, 2006

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Left Wing Extremism in India :Evolving Strategies for Containment

Ajai Sahni*

[Published in CRPF Samachar, New Delhi, October 2006]

1. THE THREAT
Left Wing Extremists, progressively united under the banner of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) see themselves as engaged in a classic Maoist ‘protracted war’ in India, whose eventual and unambiguous objective is the seizure of state power. This is a well-planned and calibrated attempt by an organized and ideologically motivated political grouping to wrest power through “the barrel of the gun”. The strategies of protracted war seek to harness all instruments, military, political, economic social and cultural, to the objectives of the war, and the Maoist campaign is a complex and severely underestimated mix of all these instrumentalities. The complexity and intractability of this conflict has been substantially compounded by conflicting and contradictory assessments emanating principally from official sources, and a persistent and misguided effort to underplay the risks and dangers of the Maoist threat in India.1

In his classic, On War, Clausewitz noted, “The first, the supreme, the most far-reaching act of judgment that the statesman and Commander have to make is to establish… the kind of war on which they are embarking: neither mistaking it for, nor trying to turn it into, something that is alien to its nature. This is the first of all strategic questions and the most comprehensive.”2 Regrettably, there is little evidence that India’s security establishment has even begun to make this ‘act of judgment’ or display the capacities to arrive at an accurate determination of the nature of the ‘protracted war’ in which the Maoists are engaged, and to which they remain unswervingly committed.

In the meantime, the Maoist threat appears to be overtaking all other insurgencies in the country on available objective parameters – geographical spread and number of fatalities. At least 165 districts in 14 States, out of a total of 602 districts in the country, were affected by various levels of Maoist mobilisation and violence by the end of year 2005. Terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) affects 12 districts, while the combined influence of the multiple insurgencies in India’s Northeast afflicts, in various measures, 51 Districts. Over the past years, moreover, while fatalities in various other insurgencies have tended to decline consistently (with the exception of Manipur) fatalities as a result of the Maoist conflict have continuously augmented, and appear to be fast approaching levels of the high-intensity conflict in J&K.3

It is, within this context, necessary to decide how we are to assess the threat of the Maoist insurrection. Data relating to the numbers of districts affected has been repeatedly contested by the Government, even as the nomenclature shifts. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) report now speaks of just 76 ‘badly affected’ Districts, excluding all information relating to other intensities of impact. The Home Minister has argued, further, that “Not all districts mentioned are affected. One affected village or hamlet does not mean that the entire district is affected.”4 Thus, in addition to the fig leaf of ‘badly affected’, there is also the oft-repeated quibble over the fact that only ‘parts of’ these districts, and not the ‘entire districts’ are, in fact, affected. These ‘parts’ are then defined in terms of numbers of Police Stations affected. Thus the Ministry of Home Affairs Annual Report, 2005-06 claims that just 509 police stations in 11 States were affected by “Naxal violence” in 2005, underlining further that the “Total number of police stations in the country is 12,476”. But this is specious at several levels: first, on the same argument, the entire jurisdiction of these Police Stations is not affected, only parts are under Naxalite influence and activity, and we would need, then, to perhaps further disaggregate to village or household level; moreover, the same arguments applied in the preceding year when the much larger numbers of districts were being enumerated as highly affected, moderately affected, marginally affected and targeted; the same argument, further, applied to earlier periods when the total number of ‘affected’ districts was much smaller. Crucially, the threat of the Naxalites is not limited to the areas of immediate violence, nor does this threat vanish if violence is not manifested at a particular location for a specific period of time. It is in the complex processes of political activity, mass mobilisation, arms training and military consolidation that the Maoist potential has to be estimated. While incidents of violence and fatalities would be crucial in any threat assessment, they cannot exhaust its entire content.

“Revolutionary warfare”, Mao Tse-Tung noted, “is never confined within the bounds of military action. Because its purpose is to destroy an existing society and its institutions and to replace them with a completely new structure, any revolutionary war is a unity of which the constituent parts, in varying importance, are military, political, economic, social and psychological.”5 Within this broad objective of destruction and reconstruction, India’s Maoists seek to create a network of local ‘people’s Governments’ (Janathana Sarkar), and to gradually integrate these across wider areas, to replace what they perceive as the existing ‘semi-feudal, semi-colonial’ system. These Janathana Sarkars are to create the framework that will eventually overthrow the existing state structure, leading to the seizure of power and the establishment of ‘people’s Democracy’, as against the existing ‘comprador bourgeois democracy’. This objective is to be secured in a phased, well-planned progression, which involves the following processes:

The study and documentation of local issues, grievances, and social and political power distribution

Political mass mobilization around these grievances, and the organization of protests and cooperative activities often though front organizations to raise the political awareness of the people. This phase is further complemented by

social and economic activities and establishment of cooperatives

Cultural activities, ‘re-education’ of support base and creation of ‘revolutionary solidarity’.

Holding of ‘Jan Adalats’ and dispensation of ‘justice’

gradual and systematic introduction to the Maoist ideology, and later by the identification and selection of cadre, their training and deployment in the ‘people’s war’.

The phase of violence, which is ordinarily the point at which the state takes cognizance of the problem, consequently, comes at the tail end of the process of mass mobilization, and at a stage where neutralizing the threat requires considerable, if not massive, use of force, and carries further risks of significant collateral damage and disruption both of the lives of large populations, and of the capacities of governance. Within this context it is useful to notice not merely the current expanse of visible Maoist mobilisation, but the extent of their current intentions and ambitions.

Significantly, the CPI-Maoist has established Regional Bureaus across a mass of nearly two-thirds of the country’s territory (Map 1), and these regions are further sub-divided into state, special zonal and special area committee jurisdictions, where the processes of mobilisation have been defined and allocated to local leaders. This structure of organisation substantially reflects current Maoist plans, but does not exhaust their perspectives or ambitions. There is further evidence of preliminary activity for the extension of operations to new areas including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Meghalaya, beyond what is reflected in the scope of the regional, zonal and state committees. In 2004, moreover, the Maoists also articulated a new strategy to target urban centres in their “Urban Perspective Document”, drawing up guidelines for “working in towns and cities”, and for revival of mobilization targeting students and the urban unemployed. Two principal ‘industrial belts’ were also identified as targets for urban mobilisation: Bhilai-Ranchi-Dhanbad-Calcutta; and Mumbai-Pune-Surat-Ahmedabad.6

Map 1: Regional Bureaus of the CPI-Maoist

2. CAPACITIES FOR CONTAINMENT

Regrettably, there is no foreseeable strategy or policy for complete neutralization of the Maoist threat in India. The continuous erosion of governance and administrative capacities; the degradation of grassroots politics and of cadre based political organisation; the enormous expanse and growth of inequalities and inequities, particularly, but not exclusively, in rural India; and a range of demographic factors create vast opportunities for Left Wing Extremist (LWE) mobilisation. Naxalism, in its early phases, is expanding principally into spaces that have essentially been vacated by governance. The restoration of the authority and functions of governance, including development, health, education and basic social and human security, is consequently imperative, and must constitute an integral part of any comprehensive approach to the Maoist doctrine and strategy of protracted war. It must, nevertheless, be recognized that this can only be done after the restoration of a modicum of law and order, and hitherto unavailable efficiency in the operation of the justice system. The essential axiom, here, is that you cannot develop what you do not control – and domination is, therefore, the first objective of any effective strategy to neutralize the Maoist onslaught.

Demographic trends auger a troubled future for India, and will progressively undermine the State’s capacities to neutralize the recruitment base and operational freedom of the Naxalites. India’s population is projected to grow from 1.03 billion in 2001 to 1.30 billion by 2020. The urban population will rise from 27.8 per cent to 40 per cent of the total over this period, but in absolute terms would actually almost double, from 285 million to 540 million. This, however, offers no relief whatsoever in rural India; though the rural population declines in percentage terms from 72.2 per cent to 60 per cent, it rises in absolute numbers from 742 million to 810 million. The current patterns and policies that promote narrow and focused development in a handful of priority sectors in the hi-tech arena will further widen urban and rural-urban disparities, aggravating social tensions. There appears, at this juncture, to be no envisaged set of economic policies that can create a life of dignity and adequate prosperity for a rural population of 810 million by 2020.

There is, furthermore, an insufficient understanding within the national, state and security establishment of the details of Maoist strategy and tactics, and the imperatives of the character of response. It is useful to note, within this context, that the Union Government has failed at the planning and strategic level itself. The deficiencies of perspective and design are visible in the fact that no comprehensive strategy has yet been articulated to deal with the Maoist challenge; coordination and ntelligence sharing between States at the operational levels poor; while the Security Forces have, at great cost in lives, made dramatic gains from time to time, there have been continuous reversals at the tactical level, usually as a result of repeated political miscalculations and the refusal to provide the necessary mandate to the Forces operating against the Maoists.

Great faith has repeatedly been placed on ‘developmental initiatives’ in Maoist-affected regions to neutralize recruitment base of and sympathy towards the Maoists. There has been a regular reiteration, at the highest levels of the national Government, of the need for ‘speedy land reforms’ and ‘streamlining the delivery mechanisms for implementation of various developmental and poverty alleviation schemes. These exhortations, however, neglect fundamental realities of the ground in areas of conflict, where the delivery mechanisms and administrative machinery of the state cowers under the shadow of violence, with Government officials often paying extortion sums and ‘revolutionary taxes’ to the Maoist. The much-vaunted ‘land reforms’, moreover, can have little impact in regions where a red flag on a piece of land conclusively alters its title. And funds flowing in for various developmental schemes in Maoist afflicted areas have no channels for productive utilization in the rural hinterland, where the civil administration has vanished and only the para-military column dares to venture.

One of the consistent feature across all the major Maoist-affected States is that they have extraordinarily poor policing capacities. As against a national average of 123 police personnel per 100,000 population, and some peaceful States with rations as high as 760/100,000 (Mizoram) and 602/100,000 (Sikkim), Bihar has just 56, Jharkhand – 74, Chhattisgarh and Orissa – 92, and even Andhra Pradesh, just 99 per 100,000 population. Worse, there is ample evidence that large proportions of the Central allocation for police modernization and upgradation remain unspent or are being diverted or mis-spent. At the local level, the lack of proper arms and equipment have hampered the police’s ability to tackle the Naxalites. For instance, in Bihar, sections of the Police continue to use the antiquated World War I vintage bolt-action .303 rifles and other obsolete equipment, as compared to the foreign made guns and sophisticated Chinese-made communication equipment that are used by Maoists.

Political mischief and collusion have also been essential elements in the survival and growth of the Naxalite/Maoist movement. Political parties have often flirted with the Maoists for electoral gains and in doing so have provided adequate space and time for the Maoists to expand their areas of operation and to consolidate their influence.7

The problem cannot, moreover, be dealt with by mere tinkering – which appears to the principal pattern of response at the national level, as well as in most States. The Group of Minister’s Report of February 2001 clearly noted that constitutional, legal and structural infirmities had “eroded the Union Government’s authority to deal effectively with any threat to the nation’s security”, and called for “appropriate restructuring of the MHA”. The GoM Report also underlined the need for “a federal agency to deal with grave offences, which have inter-state and notion-wide ramifications” as it becomes “increasingly difficult for the State Governments to handle such crimes entirely on their own”.8 After the UPA Government came to power, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh repeatedly emphasized the enormity of the crisis and, in June 2004, promised a “comprehensive approach” which would “create greater synergy between our intelligence agencies, closer coordination between internal security structures”.9 Regrettably, little of this promise has since been fulfilled.

As the problem of Maoist mobilisation and violence extends and integrates itself across State boundaries, a surprising establishment delusion continues to persist – that the existing legal and legislative framework has sufficient power, flexibility and scope to tackle the emerging complexities of response. A great measure of faith is, in this context, placed on the capacity of the Constitution’s Article 355 to empower the Centre to generate the adequate and permanent mechanisms for a coordinated counter-terrorism offensive already spanning as many as 14 Indian States. Law and order, however, remains firmly a State subject in the Constitutional scheme, and the history of coordination between States has been abysmal. Article 355 may give the Centre overriding powers to “protect the States… against internal disturbances”. But this is an emergency power that suffers from all the documented infirmities of Article 356, and will probably prove more effective in its abuse than in its use. Crucially, it cannot constitute the legislative basis of a permanent institutional mechanisms required for a protracted war against the Maoists, including the establishment of central agencies with standing powers to act across State boundaries over extended periods of time, with or without the assent of (potentially politically hostile) State governments. It is clear that little thinking has gone into the framework of legal and constitutional changes that will be needed to effectively tackle a coordinated insurgency that already afflicts over a fourth of the country.

The utilization of available forces and resources has also not been reconciled with any comprehensive counter-insurgency strategy or plan, as such a strategy or plan does not, currently, exist. To the extent that this is the case, the Naxalites are in substantial control of the initiative and are in a position to set the agenda of the conflict in the State and in its enveloping environment. The situation is compounded further by the fact that the availability of intelligence on the ground is insufficient for focused, intelligence-led operations, and systems of sharing intelligence remain bureaucratic and sub-optimal. Basic geographical, topographic and demographic information is, moreover, not available for significant areas, particularly the increasingly important Central Guerrilla Zone in the Dandakaranya region, specifically including the Abujhmadh area.

Facilities available to personnel of the Police and CPMFs operating in the State, especially in rural and remote areas, are very poor and often insufficient even to effectively secure their own protection, particularly in terms of living quarters, sequestering and fortification of camps and Police posts/stations, and access to various resources within such camps and posts. Basic equipment, transportation, communications and available technologies require generational upgrades. Force augmentation and modernisation is an urgent imperative across wide parameters.

Within the broader context of the absence of a comprehensive strategy or plan for counter-insurgency is the lack of a strategy of information, perception and media management, and a coherent strategy for the exploitation of public opinion and resentment against the Maoists. The present strategy of management of popular resentment has been undermined by haste, internal inconsistencies, politicisation, and excess publicity.

STRATEGIES OF CONTAINMENT

It is evident, from the preceding assessment of capacities, that urgent initiatives are required to create adequate capacities to generate and execute a sustained and effective war against the Maoists. A piecemeal approach cannot work. Each of the Maoist Guerrilla Base Areas has its own independent capacities and military, political and administrative structures. The degradation of any one area will not affect capacities in other areas, or significantly undermine overall capacities. Any ‘squeeze’ on a particular area would, moreover, tend to result in a escalation of violence in other regions, and, to the extent that such a ‘squeeze’ is effective, in the tactical withdrawal of the Maoist leadership and forces from such an area. A coordinated strategy of bringing the Maoists under pressure in all areas of activity, compounded with a strategy of containment to ensure that they are not able to ‘leak’ or ‘overflow’ into other areas, is consequently necessary.

The counter-insurgency campaign against the Maoists must be conceptualised as a ‘protracted war’ intended to systematically degrade the strengths and exploit the vulnerabilities of the Naxalite military and political apparatus. If effective operations are to be designed within this context, officers of the State Police establishments and para-military forces must develop a full and detailed understanding of the ideological and operational bases of Maoist mass mobilisation and the strategic underpinnings of their military operations and tactics in order to tailor counter-insurgency practices to secure maximal impact.

The state must establish complete dominance over its entire jurisdiction. There can be no areas of ‘non-governance’, no ‘neglected hinterlands’, no safe havens for subversives, insurgents and terrorists, and no ‘natural’ recruitment pool for the Naxalites to exploit. This requires, as a first stage of response, the creation of a number of strongly held bases, strategically located to dominate the total currently non-policed areas which are available to the Naxalites for training and rest. Such bases would have to be of sufficient strength – at least two-company bases, of which at least four platoons are available for operations round-the-clock. The provisioning of some of these bases may initially have to be done by air-drops, and suitable capacities must be established to this end.

In the medium term, however, such bases should be conceived of not only in the context of security and policing, but as administrative bases which carry forward the integrated tasks of security management, administration and development. The current debate – to develop and then secure, or to secure and then develop – is futile and misdirected. Both these tasks need to be undertaken together, though a modicum of security and stability is a necessary condition for administrative efficacy and developmental works. Moreover, the State’s developmental focus must not be exhausted by areas of present violence – this allows the Naxalites to dominate the State’s agenda again. There are vast areas of the country and in affected States which are not afflicted by Naxalite activities and violence, and where developmental activities can even now be efficiently executed. By improving administration, bringing in necessary reforms, and efficiently delivering public services, including improvements in rural health, education, sanitation, water supply, and a range of developmental programmes in such areas, the State denies the Naxalites a ready base for further expansion. Successes in such areas can simultaneously be extended, under security cover, to areas of some Naxalite violence, to systematically and gradually roll back the ‘red carpet’ that has come to cover large parts of the State.

A comprehensive plan for the operationalisation of the police forces in the country needs to be prepared. Such a plan must include a phased and sectoral long-term projection of capacities required to confront the Maoist threat, and must comprehend, among others:

Manpower requirements and profiles.

Infrastructure requirements

Weapons, transport, protection and equipment

Communications

Technological upgradation and technical force multipliers

Police reorganisation

Expansion and deepening of intelligence structures and capacities

Capacities for Specialized Training

Adequate capacities, including helicopters, for emergency deployment of troops, emergency relief and medical evacuation.

Laboratories and workshops to develop, assess and produce appropriate technologies.

A permanent structure of media, information and perception management targeting both the regional and national media.

India’s country’s counter-insurgency strategy for the Maoists must be a comprehensive design intended to utilize all agencies and capacities of the state – including security, administrative, developmental, economic and public instrumentalities – to secure the neutralization of the Naxalite threat within the context and concept of a protracted war. Such a strategy would need to neutralize both the military capacities of the insurgents as well as their ‘mass base’ and political outreach into the population, particularly, though not exclusively, in rural and remote areas. To this end, security and administration must extend to the remotest villages and settlements to engage with the villagers, settle grievances, provide relief, and create a vested interest among the entire population in the State and in its structures of administration.


Dr. Ajai Sahni is Founding Member & Executive Director of the Institute for Conflict Management at Delhi; Executive Editor, Faultlines: Writings on Conflict & Resolution; Executive Director, South Asia Terrorism Portal (www.satp.org); Editor, South Asia Intelligence Review; and Founding Member and Associate Director of the Urban Futures Initiative. He has written extensively on conflict, politics and development in South Asia; has jointly edited (with K.P.S. Gill) Terror & Containment: Perspectives on India’s Internal Security; and The Global Threat of Terror: Ideological, Material and Political Linkages. He received a Ph.D. from Delhi University for his thesis on Democracy, Dissent and the Right to Information. He has worked in the print and electronic media, and research.

Quote of the Day November 28, 2006

Posted by naxalwatch in Uncategorized.
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India’s supreme operational challenge is and will be the maintenance of internal security. Just last month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated this ground reality. The Infantry is at the heart of counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism operations and may well get sucked into anti-Naxal operations as well. Keeping the Army operationally ready for both conventional and unconventional missions is imperative but the emphasis has to be on the business of the day: CI and CT.

Naxal group behind Kherlanji protests November 28, 2006

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Naxal group behind Kherlanji protests

Jaideep Hardikar
Tuesday, November 28, 2006 23:50 IST

NAGPUR: An outlawed naxal organisation has admitted to its involvement in the current struggle against the September 29 Kherlanji Dalit massacre for the first time.

“We have nothing to hide about this association. We pledge to stand by the Dalit masses and help them punish the real culprits,” Maharashtra State Committee General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Maoists), Chandrakanth, has said in a letter drafted in English but signed in Hindi. The letter, dated November 18, has been circulated to a few local dailies and correspondents of national dailies based in Nagpur.

The letter has hailed “the heroic militant struggle” of Dalit masses against the Kherlanji killings and dared the Dalit leaders “to resign from their parliament and assembly seats if they were sincere to the Dalit cause.”

“Traditional Dailt leadership has sold itself in service of Brahminical upper castes and the reactionary classes. These leaders are ‘subhedars’ of the ruling elite,” the letter said. It has warned of intensifying the struggle to punish the political leaders behind the Kherlanji incident.

The chief of Anti-Naxal Operation Pankaj Gupta, told DNA on Tuesday that his office is examining the veracity of letter but “from the style and content the letter looks authentic.”

The open admission by the naxals vindicates deputy chief minister R R Patil’s statement when he linked the protests to a naxal hand. Patil had later retracted his statement.