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CM’s son Jaganmohan Reddy Lives in a fortress in Bangalore April 12, 2007

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AP CM’S SON LIVES IN A FORTRESS IN B’LORE

CM’S son Jaganmohan Reddy Lives in a fortress in Bangalore

Bangalore, Apr. 14 (NMG)- Jaganmohan Reddy, son of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Dr. Y.S. Rajashekar Reddy, is living in a virtual fortress in the heart of Bangalore city since two years.

Jaganmohan Reddy’s fortress is located in the II sector of HSR Layout. Not a fly can sneak into it. The reason for this is learnt to be that Reddy is in the hit list of the Naxalites. He is living in the BDA house No. 52, which was converted into a fortress, with his two children.

Everyone, including the neighbours, vegetable, fruit and milk vendors who visit the house are searched. Even the vehicles and pedestrians who move on the road in front of the house are subjected to scrutiny, it is learnt.

If someone visits the house, even the pens in their pockets are seized by the Police at the gate.

Reddy is being provided ‘Z’ category security by 11 Policemen from Karnataka and 30 from Andhra Pradesh.

Star Of Mysore Online

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AP : Maoists planning to strike during Prajapatham April 12, 2007

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Thursday April 12 2007 12:01 IST

KADAPA: The presence of Maoists in some parts of Kadapa district has put the district police on tenterhooks, who were of the opinion that Maoists were wiped out from the district after the Badvel encounter.

Till recently, there was a high alert in Kalasapadu, Kasinayana, Porumamilla and other regions, as the Naxals were using these places as shelter zones after they felt the heat of police in Anantapur, Prakasam and Nallamala areas.

During DGP Swaranjeet Sen’s service, notable progress was made in the elimination of Maoist cadre in the district and its border villages with Nellore, Anantapur and Prakasam districts.

During an encounter in Seshachalam forest area at T Sundupalle in April, 2006, seven Maoists were killed and close on its heels came the Badvel encounter wherein the top Maoist leaders Madhav and Obulesu were killed.

This incident forced some Maoists to surrender to the police.

Police declared that the Maoist presence in the district was eliminated and thus relaxed the guard, but reports of Maoist movement again in Kalasapadu, Kasinayana, B Matam, Porumamilla, B Koduru areas, some ten days ago had put police back on alert.

It is learnt the Maoist cadres were dormant and did not resort to any activities, as the police vigilance was high.

According to sources, the Maoist cadres are planning to make their presence felt again during Prajapatham programe, which is scheduled to commence on April 14.

Based on intelligence reports, special parties started combing operations in those areas and the security at police stations of Kalasapadu, Porumamilla, Kasinayana, B Mattam, B Kodur, Veeraballi, T Sundupalle, Chinnamandem, Galiveedu, Lakkireddipalle and Chakarayapeta has been increased, with a possible Maoist threat.

However, Superintendent of Police Y Nagi Redy said that there was no presence of Maoists in Veerabali, T Sundupalle, Rayachoti and other areas.

He said that every measure was being taken to ensure Prajapatham programme was a success without any untoward incidents.

Charu’s house in promoter’s hands April 12, 2007

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Charu’s house in promoter’s hands

Bappaditya Paul

SILIGURI, April 11: The ideological hub of the landmark Naxalbari Movement, the house of legendary Charu Mazumdar, is set to all but disappear except, perhaps, from the memories of a section of the elderly populace in the state. Struggling to cope with economic needs and those necessitated by changing lifestyle, the heirs of the late Naxalite ideologue have sold a portion of his Siliguri home to a private developer.

NAXALWATCH : May be today’s naxals do the same thing after acquiring all the prime lands from the industrialists . If readers recollect the demands of the Naxal leaders few years back , they demanded the starting point of implementing land reforms was to distribute lands under possession of these influential persons to the landless .

The `comprehensive list’

According to the naxalites, the following are the major occupiers of prime land in the twin cities:

1. Ramoji Film City (2,000 acres). 2. Sanghinagar (1,500 acres). 3. Satyam Computers, Byrraju Foundation and other groups (2,000 acres). 4. Dr. Reddy’s Labs (1,000 acres.) 5. Jana Harsha (2,000 acres). 6. Narne Estates (2,000 acres) 7. GPR Estates (1,000 acres). 8. Sri Mithra Real Estates (1,000 acres). 9. Devender Goud family (1,500 acres). 10. Sreenidhi Real Estates (1,000 acres). 11. Jayabheri Estates (Muralimohan and Chandrababu Naidu benami) (2,000 acres). 12. Raheja Estates (1,000 acres). 13. L &T (Chandrababu Naidu benami) (1,000 acres). 14. Jana Chaitanya Real Estates. 15. Sai Chaitanya Real Estates. 16. Venkata Chaitanya Real Estates. 17. Ramanaidu Studios. 18. Annapurna Studios. 19. Padmalaya Studios. 20. Ramakrishna Studios. 21. CC Studios. 22. Green City Township. 23. Engineers Syndicate. 24. Mayuri Real Estates. 25. Amaravathi Real Estates. 26. Suryavamshi Real Estates. 27. Maxima Real Estates. 28.21st Century Builders. 29. Shilpa Real Estates. 30. Lahari Estates. 31. Ajay Chaitanya Real Estates. 32. IIIT. 33. IMG Bharata Academy (800 acres). 34. Indian School of Business (250 acres). 35. AWARE (500 acres). 36. Sylvan University (200 acres). 37. Genome Valley (ICICI Knowledge Park, Shapurjee, Pallomjee Biotech Park (3000 acres). 38. IMAX. 39. Snow World. 40. Ilabs. 41. Wipro, Infosys, Microsoft, Oracle and other IT companies (1,000 acres). 42. Farmhouses, resorts, guesthouses, clubs and other luxury houses. 43. Lands alienated to commercial and trade organisations.

Originally from Jalpaiguri, Mazumdar shifted base to DL Roy Sarani (Mahananda Para), Siliguri in 1952 and lived there till his death. It was here that the prominent, radical Communist completed his historic Eight Documents, which later laid the ideological base for the Naxalbari Movement that began in 1967. During the trouble-torn days of the Naxalbari Movement, Mazumdar guided his fellow revolutionaries from this building.
After his death in 1972 in Kolkata police custody, the family of the Naxalite leader continued living in the house. After his wife’s death, his two daughters and son are the legal heirs of the property. Stretching across 16 cottahs until recently, an RCC-type house stands on the property.
“We have sold seven cottahs to a private developer, who is now constructing a multi-storied residential building on the plot. But to preserve our father’s memory, a portion of the old house has been kept intact,” Mr Abhijit Mazumdar, political activist and college teacher, said.
Mr Mazumdar said that apart from paying adequate monetary compensation, the private developer would also hand over to them a furnished apartment in the new residential complex.


Naxalites give new dimension to land issue

By Our Special Correspondent

The Hindu

HYDERABAD, OCT. 17. Naxalites created a flutter in political circles today when they released a list of 43 individuals who had allegedly encroached upon prime land in and around the twin cities.

The list reads like a who’s who of persons in the fields of real estate, film industry and information technology.

The naxalites caught the Government off-guard with their demand to re-take these lands. The official side had expected Maoist and Janashakti leaders to highlight injustices in distribution of Government land under various categories and had even come prepared with its responses.

Sources said the `wish list’ was meant to be a symbolic attack against what they describe as `neo-landed gentry’ which was dictating terms to the Government with its political clout. The naxalites reportedly told the Government delegation, led by the Home Minister, K. Jana Reddy, that the starting point of implementing land reforms was to distribute lands under possession of these influential persons to the landless.

By setting right past injustices of the past, the Government would not only send out a strong signal about its intentions but also prove its sincerity and commitment to the cause of land reforms.

YSR’s caution

Meanwhile, during his daily review of the peace process, the Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara

Reddy, advised the Home Minister not to allow differences to derail the talks. Both sides must spell out their respective frameworks on each issue and then make a sincere attempt to find a meeting point.

The DGP, S.R. Sukumara, raised many an eyebrow with his statement in Nalgonda that the naxalites had no right to comment on the pay structure in the police force. Congress leaders felt that the top police officer had rubbed the naxalites on the wrong side by ignoring their plea that police officers should not issue statements that might affect the peace process.

The `comprehensive list’

According to the naxalites, the following are the major occupiers of prime land in the twin cities:

1. Ramoji Film City (2,000 acres). 2. Sanghinagar (1,500 acres). 3. Satyam Computers, Byrraju Foundation and other groups (2,000 acres). 4. Dr. Reddy’s Labs (1,000 acres.) 5. Jana Harsha (2,000 acres). 6. Narne Estates (2,000 acres) 7. GPR Estates (1,000 acres). 8. Sri Mithra Real Estates (1,000 acres). 9. Devender Goud family (1,500 acres). 10. Sreenidhi Real Estates (1,000 acres). 11. Jayabheri Estates (Muralimohan and Chandrababu Naidu benami) (2,000 acres). 12. Raheja Estates (1,000 acres). 13. L &T (Chandrababu Naidu benami) (1,000 acres). 14. Jana Chaitanya Real Estates. 15. Sai Chaitanya Real Estates. 16. Venkata Chaitanya Real Estates. 17. Ramanaidu Studios. 18. Annapurna Studios. 19. Padmalaya Studios. 20. Ramakrishna Studios. 21. CC Studios. 22. Green City Township. 23. Engineers Syndicate. 24. Mayuri Real Estates. 25. Amaravathi Real Estates. 26. Suryavamshi Real Estates. 27. Maxima Real Estates. 28.21st Century Builders. 29. Shilpa Real Estates. 30. Lahari Estates. 31. Ajay Chaitanya Real Estates. 32. IIIT. 33. IMG Bharata Academy (800 acres). 34. Indian School of Business (250 acres). 35. AWARE (500 acres). 36. Sylvan University (200 acres). 37. Genome Valley (ICICI Knowledge Park, Shapurjee, Pallomjee Biotech Park (3000 acres). 38. IMAX. 39. Snow World. 40. Ilabs. 41. Wipro, Infosys, Microsoft, Oracle and other IT companies (1,000 acres). 42. Farmhouses, resorts, guesthouses, clubs and other luxury houses. 43. Lands alienated to commercial and trade organisations.

`Security situation continues to be grave’ April 12, 2007

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Staff Reporter

ISI posing serious threat to internal security, says Major General Sivasankar

BONHOMIE: (From left) Vatsala Vatsa, Principal Secretary (Home); P.B. Mahishi, Chief Secretary; M.P. Prakash, Home Minister; B. Sivasankar, General Officer Commanding, Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala Area; and Clement Samuel, Commander, Kar nataka and Kerala Sub Area, at the Civil Military Liaison Conference in Bangalore on Wednesday. — Photo: K. Gopinathan

BANGALORE: Security continues to be grave as there are continued attempts to infiltrate through the line of control as well as the coastal region for terrorist activities in the hinterland deep into the south, Major General B. Sivasankar, General Officer Commanding, Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala Area, has said.

Speaking at the Civil Military Liaison Conference here on Wednesday, Major General Sivasankar said these were the inputs notwithstanding substantial improvement in interaction/communication with “our neighbours” on the western border.

“Willingness to discuss sensitive issues and all other confidence building measures are positive developments indeed,” he said.

Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was posing grave threat to internal security.

The recent arrests of ISI operatives and recovery of large cache of arms, ammunition and explosives in southern States added credence to these fears.

Against this background there was need to keep a constant vigil on the developments in neighbouring countries, States and within Karnataka.

Major General Sivasankar said with the naxal violence in the north and central India likely to have repercussions in the South there was need to adopt proactive measures to prevent the growth and eradicate the menace.

The sudden spurt in terrorist activists in Assam was also a serious cause of concern.

On the sensitive issue of acquisition of Defence land by the Karnataka Government, Major General Sivasankar asked the Government to appreciate the difficulties of the Defence forces to surrender large tracts of land, especially where the Defence Ministry had not issued directions.

The Major General asked the State Government to play a major role in addressing the concerns of serving soldiers, armed forces veterans and their dependents over issues such as rehabilitation, education of children, property disputes and legal cases.

Home Minister M.P. Prakash said the State Government was duty bound to address the problems of the Defence forces, including the one about Defence land acquisition.

Any legal impediments coming in the way would be removed.

Now, Naxals take arms delivery from govt factory April 11, 2007

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Rajesh Sinha
Thursday, April 12, 2007 01:53 IST

NEW DELHI: A large cache of government-issue explosives seized recently from Maoists by the Jharkhand police has unnerved the security establishment.

The explosives were reportedly obtained by the rebels from the defence ministry’s ordnance factory in Wardha, Maharashtra.

The revelation has exacerbated security agencies’ anxiety, which was initially brought by the discovery that the Maoists had ready access to the government’s secret anti-Naxal deliberations.

DNA had reported on March 31 that government forces had recovered classified documents from a guerrilla unit after an encounter in Chhattisgarh.

The documents contained minutes of two meetings held last year in which anti-Maoist operations were discussed. One of the meetings was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The recent seizure of explosives affords more insights into rebel operations. First, the Maoists’ supply of arms and explosives is not limited to those looted from police and security forces or procured from mines, or from crusher operators. Security agencies are worried that Maoists seem to have fixed conduits in sensitive government organisations and the defence establishment.
Second, the haul reveals a link with Maharashtra, and a network so efficient that it facilitated untraced procurement and delivery to Jharkhand.

The haul included gelatin sticks, fuse wire, and electronic detonators — in sufficient volumes to produce hundreds of landmines.

The menace from the growing capability of Maoists is exemplified by a string of almost daily attacks in Jharkhand, Bihar, and Chhattisgarh. The most recent incursion was recorded last week. The large number of Maoist cadres involved in these incidents has worried security agencies. The numbers indicate the expansion of Naxal influence and support base as well as the failure of intelligence agencies to obtain information.

After slaying Sunil Mahto, a Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MP, and launching other attacks, the Maoists gained enough confidence to issue a threat to Jharkhand Deputy Chief Minister Sudhir Mahto. They warned him against making anti-Maoist speeches “cooked up on the dictates of corporate houses, native and foreign, and the landed gentry to cover the failures of your government”.

The rebels’ communication says: “How can you justify the wealth amassed by Sunil Mahto? Sunil was born poor family and became a millionaire.” Concerned by the intensifying activity, the Union home ministry has called for three meetings in April to take stock of the situation.

DNA – India – Now, Naxals take arms delivery from govt factory – Daily News & Analysis

JMM cadres to take on Naxalites head on : Sibu April 11, 2007

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Sibu calls upon JMM cadres to take on Naxalites head on
Ranchi, April 11, 2007
First Published: 19:31 IST(11/4/2007)
Last Updated: 19:39 IST(11/4/2007)

Taking a strong exception to the threats issued by Maoists to some of his party’s top functionaries, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Sibu Soren has exhorted party cadres to “be prepared for taking the ultras head-on at the grassroots”. The call has surprised one and all in the corridors of power in Jharkhand.

Soren, presently lodged in the prisoners’ ward of RIMS, has sent the message through some of his trusted lieutenants.

“Guruji has given a call for a direct confrontation with the Naxalites. He has at the same time cautioned party leaders and cadres against deviating from issues, which form the core of JMM’s agenda,” JMM central committee secretary Suprio Bhattacharya told the HT.

“Guruji was shocked to know that Naxalites had killed Jamshedpur MP Sunil Mahto. He had, in fact, never apprehended that Naxalites would target his party cadre. But now that the Maoists have targeted Sudhir Mahto, the Deputy Chief Minister and party MLA, Soren has asked us to be ready for a showdown with outlawed outfits,” Bhattacharya said.

He added that the party was also buoyed by the call for Sendra (war) given by the Nagrik Suraksha Samiti members in Baguria to avenge Sunil Mahto’s killing.

Sudhir Mahto said he was yet to receive Soren’s message. “I will comment only after I discuss the issue with Soren,” he added.

Soren’s call has, nevertheless, alarmed the state police in particular, which fears it could lead to bloodbath between die-hard JMM cadres and the ultras. “Chances of JMM cadres, armed with traditional bows and arrows, suffering heavy reverses in the hands of heavily-armed ultras can’t be ruled out in such a scenario. In fact, more innocents too could be killed in the process,” said a senior IPS official.

Jharkhand Yuva Morcha Chief Binod Pandey too admitted the fact. “We can not challenge them (Naxalites) physically. But our strategy will be to ensure people isolate them, particularly, in rural areas. The cadres will now have to work harder for expanding the party base at the grassroots,” he said.

Police officials felt Soren’s call has come at a time when the Naxalites attitude towards him has changed. “The ultras had earlier refrained from issuing statements against Soren. But now, they have started targeting him as well,” they pointed out.

Naxals: United in violence April 11, 2007

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Sampad Mahapatra
Tuesday, April 10, 2007 (New Delhi)

If the Kuki rebels are coming together in Manipur, in India’s heartland the dreaded Naxal militants are also forging new links, which many say is behind the new and bloody chapter of Naxal violence.
But is the unity real or is it to conceal personality clashes and competing violence between these groups in India’s red corridor?

Inside the forests along the borders between Jharkhand and Orissa, Naxal leaders from across the country are once again displaying their new unified strength.

In September 2004, the two biggest Naxal groups, the People’s War led by Andhra Naxalites and MCC or Maoist Communist Centre, the Jharkhand based Naxal outfit, formally merged.

The merger created the CPI Maoist – an umbrella Naxal force stretching from Andhra, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Orissa to Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh – literally a red corridor through the heart of the nation.

This comes after decades of factionalism in the Naxal movement.

Armed revolution

The Communists in West Bengal soon after coming to power in 1967 faced a revolt by the radicals.

Opposed to electoral politics and inspired by Mao’s violent revolution, leaders like Kanu Sanyal and Charu Mazumdar triggered strikes – the first one in the village of Naxalbari.

What was born was Naxalism or a call for armed revolution that intially organised as CPI-ML.

Later, the CPI-ML did an about turn, returning to parliamentary politics.

But by then, the Naxal upsurge of West Bengal had spread to several other states.

The People’s War Group, born in Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, has for decades struck terror in the forests of Chhattisgarh and bordering Maharashtra.

But in Orissa, it’s restricted only to the southern districts as in the north, the rival Naxal outfit, the MCC, has been making inroads.

Intelligence sources say, post merger, the two have been working together – the PWG relying on the MCC for arms supplies.

“Post merger, the two Naxal groups have begun working in tandem,” said Amaranand Patnaik, DGP, Orissa.

Propaganda?

But many believe this new found Naxal unity is nothing but propaganda – an attempt to conceal a history of personality clashes and splinter groups, each trying to be more radical and violent than the other.

In Orissa, a third Naxal group, the CPI ML Janshakti, is believed to have been involved in extremely violent incidents, including extortion. It is condemned by both the People’s War Group and MCC as mindless and unwanted.

In fact, for long, the debate has raged over whether Naxal violence is less about organisation and more about anarchy.

Whether it’s the murder of an MP in Jharkhand or the killing of more than 50 policemen in Chhattisgarh or speculation that Naxals were also present in the mobs in Nandigram: Is this evidence of a regrouped, unified and strengthened Naxal force?

NDTV met Naxal leaders in Jharkhand a few days after MP Sunil Mahato was killed. This is what they had to say:

Q: Doesn’t the guerilla zone come under your committee?

A: We formed the Bengal-Jharkhand-Orissa border area regional committee. We took the decision along with them to eliminate Mahato and they executed the decision.

Many believe dialogue between Naxal leaders is easy to achieve, but uniting military might may not be.

Or at least that’s what intelligence agencies are hoping in what’s become India’s bloodiest internal war, which in the last one year has left more than 600 people dead.

(With inputs from Rajesh Ramachandran & Supriya Sharma)

NDTV.com

Jharkhand villagers ready to take on Maoists April 11, 2007

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From our ANI Correspondent

Baguria (Jharkhand), Apr 11: The people of Baguria village in Jharkhand have joined a movement named ‘Nagrik Suraksha Sammittee’ to fight against Maoists.

The movement was launched by Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader and MP Sunil Mahato, who was killed by Maoists in March.Mahato’s supporters took out a campaign to woo villagers in their fight against Maoists.

Calling out villagers to take arms to fight the Maoists, the members shouted slogans against them.

“We are organising this programme to help people get the courage to face the Naxalism. We want them to stay in the village. The villagers have received a threat against their participation in the meeting but that does not mean that the villagers are supporting the Naxalism,” said Shankar Hembrom, President of the NSS. Several villagers in the state have been killed, kidnapped or maimed by the Naxals, for supporting security forces.

“The villagers here are not supporting the Naxalism. There may be a fraction of them who are supporting them. The people here are living under threat though the situation is not as bad as Langor,” said Dhanai Kisku, General Secretary of the NSS.But the villagers are wary of an open confrontation with the Maoists, who are armed with sophisticated weapons and highly motivated.”We are scared to attend the meeting. Naxalites have pasted a poster in the village saying that those who will attend the meeting will be met with dire consequences. So, I will stay away from the meeting,” said Sukhdeo Mardi, a villager.On of the deadliest attack that was carried out by Maoists was happened last month, when they attacked a police post in Chhattisgarh, killing 55 people. It was carried out by some 350 heavily armed Maoists.

It took place in Rani Bodli police outpost, in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada region, some 525 kilometres from Raipur.

Of the 55 killed in the attack, 16 were members of the Chhattisgarh Armed Police. The rest were Special Police officers – tribals who were part of the government-sponsored civil militia, the Salwa Judum.

Salwa Judum is a civil militia supported by the State Government in Chhattisgarh. It was formed in 2005, to bring the area infiltrated by Maoist Naxalites under control for economic development.

The assassination of Mahato and the attack on the Rani Bodli police outpost signal a sharp escalation in the Maoist insurgency.

Ministry’s annual report said that in 2006, the Maoist violence reduced by over six per cent compared to the previous year.

While, 1,608 incidents related to Maoists were reported in 2005, the number came down to 1,509 last year.

The report further said that out of total 8,252 police stations in the country, Maoists are present in at least 508 with considerable strength.

According to Home Ministry, 76 districts in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are ‘badly affected by Maoist violence’.

Maoists operate in 13 of 29 states along what is called a “red corridor” stretching from the border with Nepal to Andhra Pradesh.

The Maoists have pitted their campaign against landlords and the state administration whom they accuse of exploiting the poor.

In 2006, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called them the biggest internal security challenge facing India since independence.

Copyright Dailyindia.com/ANI

Chhattisgarh accounts for 70% of Naxal related killings April 11, 2007

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Chhattisgarh accounts for 70% of Naxal related killings in the first quarter of 2007
Centre asked to evaluate Chattisgarh’s anti-Naxal programmes

New Delhi: According to the latest issue of “Naxal Conflict Monitor” of the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) released today, 144 persons including 27 civilians, 80 security forces and 37 alleged Naxalites were killed between January and March 2007 in 10 Naxal affected States. Out of these, 101 persons or 70% of the total victims were killed in Chhattisgarh, followed by killing of 25 persons in Andhra Pradesh.

“For the first time, the number of security forces killed in the Naxalite conflict surpassed the number of civilians or alleged Naxalites. This indicates the increasing striking capability of the Naxalites, intensification of the Naxalite conflict and therefore its disastrous consequences on the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms” – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights

Asian Centre for Human Rights stated that since over 50% of the Naxal-related killings and incidents of the entire country have been consistently reported from Chhattisgarh alone in the last two years, there is a need to evaluate the anti-Naxal programmes of Chhattisgarh and take corrective measures.

Instead of learning from the failures of the Chhattisgarh government, State government of Maharashtra launched a programme in January 2007 to support formation of the Village Defence Committees (VDCS) to counter the Naxalites. Each village are being offered Rs 2 lakh for formation of VDCs and the proposals of 28 village have already been approved.

“It is unfortunate that the State governments have been using common citizenry to counter the Naxalites and this will only lead to more killings.” – Stated Mr Chakma.

[Ends]

Encounters, arson mark bandh called by Naxalites April 11, 2007

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Anupam Dasgupta
Wednesday, April 11, 2007 01:19 IST

MUMBAI: Twin encounters with security officials at Gadchiroli and another incident of Maoists trying to burn records inside a panchayat office, marked the bandh called by Naxalites in Maharashtra on Tuesday. However, no casualties were reported.

The Communist Party of India (Maoist) had called the bandh across Gadchiroli, Gondia and Chandrapur to protest against the death of their 22 comrades, killed in police encounters in the state last year.

In another major breakthrough, four top Maoist guerrillas surrendered on Sunday, taking the total number of extremists, who have given up their arms, to 146.

Intelligence inputs had warned that the Left-wing extremists could trigger large-scale violence using automatic rifles, imported pistols and even mortars against the police and paramilitary forces.

“We were on maximum alert to ensure that the bandh was observed peacefully. It was significant since four Maoist extremists have surrendered in the past two days,” special inspector general of police (anti-Naxalite operations) Pankaj Gupta told DNA.

The Maoists said the bandh was called to protest against the alleged fake encounters against their comrades. They further incriminated the police saying the latter never bothered to check the antecedents of those killed.

But according to a senior security official, all those who were killed in the encounters were hardcore Naxalites. “Before we launched the attacks, we checked details of each one of them. In some cases, offensive literature and weapons were seized from the victims,” he added on condition of anonymity.