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Maoists observe fast in Coimbatore jail to protest Nilambur encounter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three of five Maoists lodged in the Central jail in Coimbatore observed a day-long fast today to condemn the ‘encounter’ killing of two Maoist leaders near Nilambur in Kerala.The three inmates, Roopesh, Anoop and Veeramani refused to take breakfast and lunch to protest the killings, which they termed as a “planned encounter,” jail sources said.However, two others, Shyna, wife of Roopesh and Kannan, who were arrested 18 months ago from Karumathampatti on the outskirts, did not not participate in the hunger strike, they said.Two Maoists, Kuppuswamy Devaraj (65), a central committee member of the outlawed maoist outfit and Ajitha (45), were killed in an encounter with the police in Nilambur forests in Malappuram district, Kerala, on November 24 during a combing operation.

Maoist sympathiser arrested while illegally exchanging banned notes

Raipur: A Maoist sympathiser, allegedly trying to illegally exchange over Rs one lakh in scrapped Rs 1,000 currency notes for the new ones, was arrested on Thursday from Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district.

Maoist rebels undergoing training. AFP

Maoist rebels undergoing training. AFP

Hemla Bheema, 40, was nabbed from Bhansi Police Station area, Dantewada Additional Superintendent of Police (anti-Maoist operations) Gorakhnath Baghel told PTI.

After receiving inputs that a suspect was trying to exchange Rs 1,10,000, in demonetised currency notes of Rs 1,000, in Bhansi area, around 400 km away from Raipur, a police team swung into action and the accused was apprehended with the cash, he said.

As per preliminary information, Bheema, a native of Masapara in Bhansi area, was active as a range committee member of Janatana Sarkar squad of the outlawed CPI(Maoist), the officer said.

During interrogation, the accused revealed that Sanjay Kadti, a senior member of Bhairamgarh Area Committee of Maoists, had given him the cash to get it exchanged with new notes, either through banks or with support of local traders, Baghel said, adding his interrogation is on.

First Published On : Dec 8, 2016 17:47 IST

Maoists shunning violence and joining mainstream society: Chhattisgarh education minister

Rameswaram: Chhattisgarh government’s efforts to make Maoists shun violence and join the mainstream of society are yielding positive results with several ultras laying down arms, Chhattisgarh School Education Minister Kedarnath Kashyap said on Saturday.

“Many Maoists are quitting Maoism to lead a normal life.” he said during a visit to the temple town.

Representational image. Reuters.

Representational image. Reuters.

The minister said the welfare schemes announced by the Raman Singh government have created a better environment for economic development of the tribal-dominated regions and also helped win the confidence of the people.

More and more children in these regions are now getting attracted to educational institutions as the government was taking steps to provide all kinds of facilities for them to pursue quality education, he said.

On the education front, Kashyap said development of any state depends on the quality of education being provided and to strengthen it, the administration was making concerted efforts.

“The state government is taking effective steps to provide quality education to the children, especially those belonging to the tribal community,” he said.

To ensure quality education to all, more schools were being set up every year by the government, he added.

First Published On : Dec 3, 2016 15:37 IST

Rs. 20 crore Naxals’ black money deposited in Chhattisgarh banks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>More than 50 banks in Naxal-hit areas of Chhattisgarh have recorded deposits of nearly Rs. 20 crores within two weeks. Based on an intelligence report, transactions in these accounts have been put on hold.Police suspect the money deposited belonged to the Naxals and that the latter is using the bank accounts of other people to escape the demonetisation drive.Police said they are not making the names of the account holders? public as of now, but if the money was found to be of Naxals, legal action will be taken against the latter for helping the former.Special Director General (Naxal Operations and Special Intelligence Bureau) Durgesh Madhav Awasthi said: “We have issued an instruction that after demonetisation. The Naxals will bring out huge hoarded money buried in the ground for mobilisation in a bid to save it from becoming illegal tender. They are applying two-way approach to save their money: first, they are returning old money to their contractors and asking them to provide new currencies after getting it converted; secondly, they are using their rural and urban networks to deposit their money in banks.””We are getting such information from all eight Naxal-hit districts. In the last three to four days, we have identified people in whose accounts money was deposited, and have sent their names to the SP (Superintendent of Police), Collector and banks, asking them to stop transactions in such accounts till it is established that the deposited money belongs to account holders. The depositors will themselves speak about the source of money. It is also possible, in some cases, that money belongs to the depositors,” he said.”However, as per information, Maoists have deposited big amounts in the accounts of people having very little transactions or having ‘Jan Dhan’ accounts. I have instructed Superintendents of Police and bank officials to inquire into such accounts. More than 50 accounts have been traced so far, but their numbers are increasing. We have information of Rs. 15-20 crore being deposited in such accounts,” he added.

Naxals’ diktat leaves Odisha villagers with no option but to flee for safety

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 30 people have recently fled Dabuguda village of Odisha’s Malkangiri district after Naxals, whose strength is dwindling after the September 24 encounter, issued a diktat that one member from each family will have to join their organisation. The Naxals have also opened recruitment camps in the forest area to ensure that the locals do not defy their diktat and one member from each family joins their organisation.The ultras are also forcing them to raise slogans hailing ‘martyrdom’ of their accomplices killed in a police encounter earlier on September 24. The locals, who found themselves in the midst of danger as they were afraid of being killed by the ultras if they refuse to comply with their diktat or being killed in police encounter if they join the ultras, found no option but to flee their villages.In search of a safe haven, 30 people of five families from Dabuguda village covered a distance of 40 km to reach Kudumulu Gumma Block.It is understood that after the killing of 30 Maoists in a police encounter on September 24, the strength of ultras has dwindled, and thus, they are launching recruitment drives and forcing the village residents in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to send one member of a family each to join their outfit.Malkangiri Superintendent of Police (SP) Mitrabhanu Mohapatra said: “Five families have come to us alleging that Maoists have displaced them. Maoists are using ‘fear’ tactics after losing public support here. Even as Mohapatra has made arrangements for their lodging and security, these displaced people fear for their lives and how long they will be sheltered under the top cop’s protection is also a big question.”

Demonetisation: How much unaccounted cash have the Maoists hidden in the forests?

Narendra Modi‘s stated objective behind the demonetisation exercise is to flush out black money and bring it into the system. But it would seem his police force in Chhattisgarh does not agree. And it has strong reasons to defy the order.

The police in this Maoist-hit state believe that a substantial sum of money, mostly in denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 is kept at safe dumps, buried under the soil in forest areas of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha. Now with the currency declared illegal tender, the security forces believe the Maoists will try to reach some of the safe hideouts where they have buried the money to take it out. The cops want to ensure they cannot do so. So entry points into the forest areas are under the radar.

Usually, the exact location of the dumps are known only to the top committee leaders of the Maoists. The Chhattisgarh police feel a desperate Maoist leadership may pass on the word to some of their trusted tribals to take out the money since their movement into the jungle would be fraught with risk.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The police believe much of this money is gained through extortion from contractors of tendu patta (used to manufacture beedis), infrastructure firms and levy from businessmen. They also accuse Maoists of extorting from illegal mining mafia groups. Another avenue of extortion is to collect what in local parlance is called Maoist tax from vehicles passing through ‘liberated zones’.

But how much money would really be inside the forest? No one quite has a clear idea since none of those who give money under duress speak out. Any guesstimate about the amount is usually pieced together based on the literature that is confiscated after an encounter.

The Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in a report in 2013 had pegged the money extorted at Rs 140 crore per year. But police officers on the ground consider this a conservative estimate.

The Chhattisgarh police has maintained that the outlaws who practically control the southern part of the state, collect up to Rs 2,000 crore through extortion every year. As a result of collections over the years, they believe that close to Rs 7,500 crore would be buried in Chhattisgarh at this point in time.

That this parallel economy thrives in the world of terrorism was clear when in 2007, Misir Besra, a central committee member of CPI (Maoist) was arrested. Besra reportedly revealed that the Maoists had earmarked that year Rs 42 crore for arms, ammunition and explosives, Rs 2 crore for intelligence gathering and Rs 16 crore for propaganda, computer training, documentation and transport. Besra was subsequently freed in 2009 during a daring attack on a police in the court premises in Bihar.

The Maoist extortion machine in Jharkhand also is believed to collect, according to the Union Home Ministry, close to Rs 320 crore every year. But whether it stays safe is a crucial question. In August this year, a bag containing Rs 29 lakh consisting of Rs 1,000 notes was eaten up by termites in the Chakri-Bakrakocha jungles of Jharkhand. It is believed that the bag was extortion money buried by Kanhu Ram Munda, who is one of the CPI (Maoist) leaders in Jharkhand.

Odisha and Maharashtra are other areas which yield a rich harvest though Maoist influence in these parts has been on the wane. The recent encounter last month in Malkangiri in Odisha in which 30 Maoists were killed is a pointer to the ability of the security forces to push them on the back foot and hit their leadership.

But given the expenditure incurred by the Maoists on intelligence gathering, weapons and ammunition and medical emergencies, it is not clear how much they would be putting for safekeeping in the forests. Police sources say Maoists are also reported to pay a monthly remuneration to their cadre in the range of Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 depending on their rank and tenure in the outlawed organisation.

Since 10 November, the police are also keeping an eye on banks in Maoist-affected areas for anyone coming with a large amount of money, which he cannot account for. But it is quite possible that forests are not the only hideout, given the risk of a Jharkhand-like termite attack. The overground Maoist sympathisers in villages, towns and cities could also be safekeepers of such unaccounted for cash. That will make the task of tracking down the cash trail tougher.

But if the Maoists are in possession of even a fraction of the amount estimated by the security agencies, they will be hit badly. It will cripple their operations more severely than any encounter has in the recent past as they would not be in a position to run the outfit. It is also likely to make them more reckless, going on an extortion overdrive to line their pockets with new cash.

The Prime Minister’s intention was also to track fake currency and cut off the supply to terror funding. The hit on the Maoists has been an unintended financial strike, which will bring the security forces much cheer.

First Published On : Nov 14, 2016 10:26 IST

No coercive action against DU professor ?Nandini Sundar, others till Nov 15: Chhattisgarh to SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Chhattisgarh government told the Supreme Court that no coercive action will be taken till November 15 against DU professor ​Nandini Sundar and others accused in Shamnath Baghel murder case. The apex court told that the Centre and the state to find a peaceful solution to Naxal problems.The Delhi University Professor and JNU professor Archana Prasad and others along with Maoists were booked last week on charges of murder of a tribal villager in the insurgency-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh. “An FIR was lodged against DU Professor Nandini Sundar, Archana Prasad (JNU Professor), Vineet Tiwari (from Delhi’s Joshi Adhikar Sansthan), Sanjay Parate (Chhattisgarh CPI (Marxist) State Secretary) and others along with Maoists for the murder of Baghel based on the complaint of his wife on Saturday,” said Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) SRP Kalluri.They were booked under section 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 and 149 of IPC at Tongpal police station, the IG said adding, “strongest possible action will be taken against those guilty after the investigation”.Armed Naxals had allegedly killed the villager, Shamnath Baghel, with sharp weapons on late night on Friday (November 4) at his residence in Nama village under Kumakoleng gram panchayat in Tongpal area, around 450 kms away from here. Baghel and some of his associates were spearheading the protest against Naxal activities in their village since April this year.His wife has sought action against Sundar and others accusing them of murdering her husband, Kalluri added.”As per the complaint lodged by the victim’s wife, her husband had been getting threats from Maoists since he and other villagers had complained against Sundar in May this year. Even armed ultras were referring to that complaint and anti-Maoist demonstrations while attacking Baghel on Friday,” the IG said.

‘Vicious FIR proves Chattisgarh is a police state’: Twitter outrages over murder chages against academic Nandini Sundar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A Delhi University professor and a JNU professor have been booked along with Maoists and others on charges of murder of a tribal villager in insurgency-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh. “An FIR was lodged against DU Professor Nandini Sundar, Archana Prasad (JNU Professor), Vineet Tiwari (from Delhi’s Joshi Adhikar Sansthan), Sanjay Parate (Chhattisgarh CPI (Marxist) State Secretary) and others along with Maoists for the murder of Shamnath Baghel based on the complaint of his wife on Saturday,” Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) S R P Kalluri told PTI last night. They were booked under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 147 (rioting), 148 and 149 of IPC at Tongpal Police Station, the IG said adding, “strongest possible action will be taken against those guilty after the investigation”. Delhi University professor Nandini Sundar strongly rubbished allegations of Chhattisgarh Police linking her to the murder of a tribal villager in Maoist-hit Bastar while a number of civil rights bodies called the charges a tactic of “revenge and harassment”. Reacting strongly, she said it was a clear case of being “framed” and that police have been forcing some people in Bastar to name her and others in someway. Meanwhile, others on Twitter outraged against the charges: Though the case was registered on Saturday, the matter came to light last night. Armed Naxals had allegedly killed Baghel with sharp weapons on Friday night at his residence in Nama village under Kumakoleng gram panchayat in Tongpal area, around 450 kms away from here. Baghel and some of his associates were spearheading the protest against Naxal activities in their village since April this year.”As per the complaint lodged by the victim’s wife, her husband had been getting threats from Maoists since he and other villagers had complained against Sundar in May this year. Even armed ultras were referring to that complaint and anti-Maoist demonstrations while attacking Baghel on Friday,” the IG said.The complaint also mentioned that during the attack on him, Maoists kept telling Baghel that he was being punished because he did not listen to Sundar and others, and continued opposing them. Baghel’s wife has sought action against Sundar and others accusing them of murdering her husband, Kalluri said.Baghel and other villagers of the region had earlier given a complaint to Tongpal police in May this year against Sundar, Prasad, Tiwari, Parate and an unidentified woman activist from Sukma for allegedly inciting innocent tribals against the government and seeking their support for Maoists. Villagers of Nama and the neighbouring Kumakoleng village (both under Kumakoleng village panchayat) had started a self-motivated protest against Maoist activities in their villages after forming its own security group named “Tangiya (axe) group” in April this year. “Following the development, according to villagers, Sundar and others went in the village to allegedly threaten them not to oppose the Maoists,” the IG said. Sundar had gone to the village with the alias Richa Keshav, he said. A letter was then written to the Vice Chancellors of both DU and JNU informing that Bastar police was conducting an inquiry against both the professors following complaint received against them, he added. With inputs from agencies

Nandini Sundar booked for murder of Chattisgarh tribal, calls FIR absurd, vindictive

Delhi University (DU) Professor Nandini Sundar along with other persons have been booked for the murder of a tribal person in the insurgency-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh.

According to police sources, apart from Sundar other people booked for the murder include Vineet Tiwari, a member of Joshi Adhikar Sansthan, a Delhi base NGO, Sanjay Parate, Chhattisgarh state secretary of CPI (M), and JNU professor Archana Prasad, along with other alleged Maoists.

Nandini Sundar. Twitter @nandinisundarNandini Sundar. Twitter @nandinisundar

Nandini Sundar. Twitter @nandinisundar

According to a PTI report, all the accused are booked under section 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 and 149 of IPC at Tongpal police station. The report further adds that the Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) SRP Kalluri had stated that“strongest possible action will be taken against those guilty after the investigation.”

According to another report in Hindustan Times, armed Maoists killed “Shamnath Baghel with sharp weapons late Friday at his home in Nama village in Tongpal area.”

It is alleged that Baghel and some of his associates were spearheading a protest against Maoist activities in their village since April and the accused in the case provoked the Maoists to kill him.

According to the report, Baghel and other villagers had lodged a complaint against Sundar and others in May for allegedly inciting tribals against police.

Sundar however, rubbished all allegations made against her stating that action against her was “patently absurd.” In an email reply to Firstpost, she said, “The FIR is patently absurd. How can we be charged with murder and rioting when we are not even there? This is clearly part of IG Kalluri’s attempt to intimidate and harass journalists, lawyers, researchers, political leaders and human rights activists who have exposed the reign of fake encounters, gang rapes etc. that are going on in Bastar.” ” In particular, this is a direct fall out of the CBI chargesheet of special police officers turned constables for arson in Tadmetla in 2011, an operation which Mr. Kalluri directed,” she added.

However, as reported by PTI , the Inspector General of Police, Bastar Zone has stated that strict action will be taken against the accused after due investigation.

Meanwhile, various public intellectuals have come out in support of Sundar. Historian Ramchandra Guha, attacking Chhattisgarh police in a tweet wrote, “This vicious and vindictive FIR proves beyond doubt that Chhattisgarh is a police state.”

Senior Supereme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan also backed Sundar in his tweet.

All the contact numbers mentioned on the official website of Chhattisgarh police were unreachable but when Firstpost contacted Niraj Kumar Bansod, Collector and District Magistrate of Sukma district, to enquire about the FIR, he said that he was unaware of the incident and needed to get in touch with concerned authorities to give any information regarding the case.

Delhi University Prof Nalini Sundar, Maoists booked for tribal man’s murder

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi University Professor has been booked along with Maoists and others on charges of murder of a tribal villager in the insurgency-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, police said on Monday.”An FIR was lodged against DU Professor Nandini Sundar, Archana Prasad (JNU Professor), Vineet Tiwari (from Delhi’s Joshi Adhikar Sansthan), Sanjay Parate (Chhattisgarh CPI (Marxist) State Secretary) and others along with Maoists for the murder of Baghel based on the complaint of his wife on Saturday,” said Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) SRP Kalluri.They were booked under section 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 and 149 of IPC at Tongpal police station, the IG said adding, “strongest possible action will be taken against those guilty after the investigation”.Though the case was registered on Saturday, the matter came to light late Monday evening.Armed Naxals had allegedly killed the villager, Shamnath Baghel, with sharp weapons on late night on Friday (November 4) at his residence in Nama village under Kumakoleng gram panchayat in Tongpal area, around 450 kms away from here.Baghel and some of his associates were spearheading the protest against Naxal activities in their village since April this year.”As per the complaint lodged by the victim’s wife, her husband had been getting threats from Maoists since he and other villagers had complained against Sundar in May this year. Even armed ultras were referring to that complaint and anti-Maoist demonstrations while attacking Baghel on Friday,” the IG said.His wife has sought action against Sundar and others accusing them of murdering her husband, Kalluri added.Notably, Baghel and other villagers of the region had earlier given a complaint with Tongpal police in May this year against Sundar, Prasad, Tiwari, Parate and an unidentified woman activist from Sukma for allegedly inciting innocent tribals against the government and seeking their support for Maoists.Villagers of Nama and the neighbouring Kumakoleng village (both under Kumakoleng village panchayat) had started a self-motivated protest against Maoist activities in their villages after forming its own security group named “Tangiya (axe) group” in April this year.”Following the development, according to villagers, Sundar and others went in the village to allegedly threaten them not to oppose the Maoists,” the IG said.Sundar had gone to the village with fake name Richa Keshav, he added.A letter was then written to the Vice Chancellors of both DU and JNU informing that Bastar police was conducting an inquiry against both the professors following complaint received against them, he added.

Delhi University Prof Nandini Sundar, Maoists booked for tribal man’s murder

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi University Professor has been booked along with Maoists and others on charges of murder of a tribal villager in the insurgency-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, police said on Monday.”An FIR was lodged against DU Professor Nandini Sundar, Archana Prasad (JNU Professor), Vineet Tiwari (from Delhi’s Joshi Adhikar Sansthan), Sanjay Parate (Chhattisgarh CPI (Marxist) State Secretary) and others along with Maoists for the murder of Baghel based on the complaint of his wife on Saturday,” said Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) SRP Kalluri.They were booked under section 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 and 149 of IPC at Tongpal police station, the IG said adding, “strongest possible action will be taken against those guilty after the investigation”.Though the case was registered on Saturday, the matter came to light late Monday evening.Armed Naxals had allegedly killed the villager, Shamnath Baghel, with sharp weapons on late night on Friday (November 4) at his residence in Nama village under Kumakoleng gram panchayat in Tongpal area, around 450 kms away from here.Baghel and some of his associates were spearheading the protest against Naxal activities in their village since April this year.”As per the complaint lodged by the victim’s wife, her husband had been getting threats from Maoists since he and other villagers had complained against Sundar in May this year. Even armed ultras were referring to that complaint and anti-Maoist demonstrations while attacking Baghel on Friday,” the IG said.His wife has sought action against Sundar and others accusing them of murdering her husband, Kalluri added.Notably, Baghel and other villagers of the region had earlier given a complaint with Tongpal police in May this year against Sundar, Prasad, Tiwari, Parate and an unidentified woman activist from Sukma for allegedly inciting innocent tribals against the government and seeking their support for Maoists.Villagers of Nama and the neighbouring Kumakoleng village (both under Kumakoleng village panchayat) had started a self-motivated protest against Maoist activities in their villages after forming its own security group named “Tangiya (axe) group” in April this year.”Following the development, according to villagers, Sundar and others went in the village to allegedly threaten them not to oppose the Maoists,” the IG said.Sundar had gone to the village with fake name Richa Keshav, he added.A letter was then written to the Vice Chancellors of both DU and JNU informing that Bastar police was conducting an inquiry against both the professors following complaint received against them, he added.

Naxal leader Rama Krishna not in custody: Andhra Police tells HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Top naxalite leader Rama Krishna is not in the custody of Andhra Pradesh Police, the Hyderabad High Court was, on Thursday, informed by the police.Following submission from the state police, the court asked the petitioner, who is Krishna alias RK’s wife, to produce before it any material with regard to him and gave her two weeks.A division bench of justices CV Nagarjuna Reddy and MSK Jaiswal had earlier directed the Andhra Pradesh government to file counter affidavit informing the court whether RK was in police custody or not, by Thursday while hearing a habeas corpus plea filed last week by RK’s wife Kandula Sirisha.In the wake of an exchange of fire on Andhra-Odisha border on October 24 in which 24 Maoists were killed, doubts were expressed by RK’s wife and relatives and party comrades that he might be in police custody.In the habeas corpus petition, RK s wife Sirisha sought directions to the state government to produce the outlaw before the court and to record his statement for appropriate action.Responding to the petition, Visakhapatnam Rural District Superintendent of Police Rahul Dev Sharma filed an affidavit before the court that the husband is not in the custody of police.”In fact the records reveal that the husband of the petitioner is a member of the Central Committee of CPI (ML), which is a banned Organisation and there are around 40 cases registered against RK at various police stations of Andhra Pradesh.”The police could not apprehend the husband of the petitioner till date in connection with those pending criminal cases,” the SP submitted.The senior police officer further submitted that the incident of exchange of fire has occurred in the territory of Odisha state and requested the court to dismiss the petition.Referring to the affidavit of AP Police that RK is not in their custody, the court told the petitioner, “In absence of material, if you (petitioner) have any material produce it,” after which the petitioner sought time to file reply.The court then posted the matter after two weeks to enable the petitioner to file material, if any with regard to RK.AP Police had on Wednesday informed the High Court that joint teams of AP and Odisha police had to “fire in self-defence”, which resulted in the death of 24 Maoists in Malkangiri district of Odisha area on October 24.

Chhattisgarh govt to suspend 8 cops indicted for setting houses ablaze in anti-Naxal operation

Raipur: Chhattisgarh government on Wednesday directed to suspend eight police personnel who were indicted by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for setting houses ablaze in Tadmetla area of south Bastar during an anti-Naxal operation in 2011.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

“The DGP has issued directives for taking action of suspension and line attach as per the rules against the then eight special police officers (SPOs — now turned assistant constables) of Dantewada and Sukma districts who have been charge sheeted by CBI in connection with Tadmetla incident,” an official statement said.

A letter in this regard has been issued to the superintendent of police of both, it said.

The statement was released late Wednesday evening.

According to a senior police official, CBI had filed its report in special CBI court in Raipur in the state capital last week in which it has charged SPOs with arson and causing grievous hurt for allegedly setting ablaze 160 houses of villagers during the anti-Naxalite operation in Sukma district (erstwhile Dantewada district) in March, 2011.

In another development, the state government has ordered a probe into the protest staged by assistant constables in Bastar on 24 October during which they burnt the effigies of some social activists and political leaders.

“Taking cognisance of the complaint that some police personnel and government employees burnt the effigies of the people associated with social organisations, an administrative enquiry has been ordered into it,” the release said.

Bastar division commissioner has been assigned to probe this incident.

Assistant constables (auxiliary personnel), many in uniform, had staged protest on the streets in Bastar region, shouting slogans and burning the effigies of activists and political leaders.

During protest they said they were “angry” because they risk their lives every day to fight Naxals, but they had to face “allegations due to the naxal sympathisers”.

As Greyhounds tackle Maoists on Odisha-Andhra border, government must push on

On 29 June, 2008 a team of 65 Greyhounds were on their way back to their base in Andhra Pradesh after an unsuccessful hunt for Maoists on the southern tip of Odisha. Their motorboat had entered the Balimela reservoir when it came under a barrage of fire from the Left ultras. Taking aim from a vantage position in the surrounding forests, they left little scope for the trapped personnel of the elite counter-insurgency to fight back. Finally, a grenade hurled from a launcher sank the boat. As many as 34 Greyhounds went missing.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

It took more than eight years for them to exact revenge. But the killing of at least 25 Maoists in a forest near Odisha’s Malkangiri district on Tuesday would have eased the pain of the long delay. Even sweeter would be the fact that they managed it in the Maoist stronghold where the state virtually ceases to exist. The dead Maoists included two of their top leaders, Chalapathi Rao and Gajarla Ravi, police sources say. The Odisha police too deserve credit for keeping the heat on the Red rebels and assisting the Greyhounds with actionable, pin-pointed intelligence.

However, it would be myopic to view the development as revenge play only. In the long-drawn battle between the Maoists and the state in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, it marks a significant achievement. It is possible that an entire ‘dalam’ – one of the several armed Maoists units operating in the area – has been wiped out in the operation. This means a severe blow to the ultra-Left movement in the region. In 2014, Sabyasachi Panda, one of their top leaders operating in Odisha was arrested in Ganjam district of the state. In 2013, the Odisha police had shot dead 13 Maoists in Malkangiri.

The latest killings suggest that the near impenetrable Red Corridor of the ultras maybe under threat of breach. Sustained pressure from the governments of Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh with active backing from the central government has started yielding results. Encouraged by the declining Maoist activity in the last couple of years, the government at the centre, according to media reports, has been mulling taking around a fifth of the 106 districts in the Red Corridor spanning 10 states out of its most affected list.

In Maharashtra there are signs of considerable weakening of the Maoist support base; it is similar in West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. A combination of government initiatives — Rs 30 crore a year for development in Maoist-affected districts — and effective police action leading to the arrest of several top leaders of the outfit has left it debilitated. It does not help that there’s a general loss of sympathy for the Maoists. Not many are convinced that they are fighting a moral battle in the forests by stalling the state’s initiatives to improve the lot of tribals. They are increasingly viewed as criminals and anti-national elements making ideology the cover for nefarious activities.

The earlier government had already branded them as the biggest internal security threat and the current dispensation is known for its antipathy towards the rebels. Perhaps it’s time to press home the advantage. The chances of them finding new converts to ideology are rarer now. Since they won’t join the mainstream it’s a good idea to take them head on. The Greyhounds and the Odisha police have done a brilliant job; it should be carried forward with no lapse in seriousness.

Maoist encounter in Malkangiri: Rajnath Singh assures Centre’s help to Odisha CM

Maoist encounter in Malkangiri: Rajnath Singh assures Centre’s help to Odisha CM

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New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday took stock of the situation along the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border where 24 Maoists were gunned down by security forces in a fierce gun-battle.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. File photo. PTI

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. File photo. PTI

Singh, who is in Bahrain, called up Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who apprised him about the incident and the prevailing situation in the state.

The home minister assured Patnaik of providing all central assistance in its fight against the Naxals, official sources said.

At least 24 Maoists, including their top leaders, were gunned down in a fierce gun-battle with security forces in Odisha’s Malkangiri district on the border with Andhra Pradesh on Monday, giving a major blow to the ultras.

A commando of the elite anti-Naxal force, Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh was also killed, while another commando was injured in the encounter that took place in the cut-off area of remote Chitrakonda on Andhra-Odisha border.

Pakistan and JNU: India’s bauddhiks never had it so good in their war on bhakts

Leave the alleged bhakts alone for a bit. They have taken enough of a beating. Let’s take a look at the ones who are giving them the beating. They are the bauddhiks — or intellectuals. So it’s ‘bauddhiks versus bhakts‘.

All bauddhiks are not of the same ilk, although all of them are united in their crusade against bhakts. There are bauddhiks and bauddhiks and bauddhiks. Some swear by the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. Some fashion themselves as liberal citizens. And there are some pretty good ones: Ordinary mortals with a love for secularism and with doubts about the government’s commitment to it.

Though bauddhiks come in different hues, those coloured red stick out prominently like monarchs looking over minions. The red ones are the bauddhiks among bauddhiks — or intellectuals among intellectuals. They are the Great Left Indian Bauddhiks (GLIB).

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

You would imagine that, according to bauddhiks, a bhakt is a Hindutva extremist. You’ve got it all wrong! The GLIB definition of a bhakt includes in its sweep all Indians who are not bauddhiks. That’s when things begin to get messy.

And the GLIB brigade never had as marvellous a time in the past as they are having now. They are kicking themselves with utter delight and exploding with wild laughter. That’s because the current India-Pakistan tension has presented them with unique opportunities to spit out their GLIB theories about everything that is awfully wrong with bhakts in particular and India in general.

They are almost grateful to Pakistan’s military boss Raheel Sharif; they must be mentally saluting him. If he didn’t despatch his jihadist goons to attack Uri, the “surgical strikes” and whatever followed them wouldn’t have happened. And it wouldn’t have helped bauddhiks prove to us that they are made of superior stuff. And it wouldn’t have led to the following GLIB questions.

“Were they really surgical strikes?”

“Weren’t such strikes done earlier during the Congress regime?”

“What good can such things do anyway? Will that stop terrorists from attacking India?”

“Shouldn’t Narendra Modi put an end to the Kashmir problem first?”

“Has Modi really isolated Pakistan?”

“Wait a minute! Isn’t it India that has been isolated by the threesome of Pakistan, Russia and China?”

Bauddhiks are always bursting with questions. They seldom run out of questions. When they do, one of their own ilk, like Najeeb Ahmad, drops out of sight in JNU. That sparks more questions beginning with: Why aren’t all the bhakts behind bars if they make men with lily-white innocence like Ahmad disappear?

Yet the GLIB brigade accuses Modi of stopping them from asking questions. You can see that they have the freedom to question why they can’t ask questions. That’s another matter.

And when some bhakts say really nutty things like RSS ideology was the driving force behind surgical strikes or that artistes from Pakistan should be bashed up and kicked out of India or that Chinese products must be avoided like the dengue, the bauddhiks are publicly furious but secretly delighted. That blesses them with fresh opportunities to debunk the bhakts and re-establish their cerebral one-upmanship. And between sips of coffee or scotch, they go on vomiting out their superior wisdom laced with morbid humour in bursts of 140 characters on Twitter.

So, like the Niagara Falls, the torrent of questions is unstoppable. But bauddhiks have no answer when you ask them how come they had never had so many questions in the past before or during the earlier UPA governments. Like, for instance, when the media dropped many stories or killed exposés under some pressure or own editorial judgment, or when India made many preposterous moves against Pakistan, or when people were massacred in West Bengal by Marxist thugs. And, of course, there are never any questions when Maoists butcher villagers, though there are plenty when the police gun down Maoists.

Now you know. Bauddhiks cherry-pick each question to embarrass only one man, and their fascinating quest for truth is targeted against that one single man.

You find that their enmity is not with terror, or Pakistan that exports terror, or with China that backs Pakistan, or with Russia that backs China, but their quarrel is with that one, single man.

You find that what they hate are words like America, Israel, India, Hindu and bourgeois; and what they admire are China, Russia, themselves, and anyone who makes jokes about nationalism and anyone who shouts for Kashmir’s freedom.

You find that, though some of their questions do make some sense, you feel a bit queasy because they are wrapped in GLIB ideas.

You find that they make it look as if Modi came to power by a military coup and not because India voted for him.

You find that they believe every Indian who had voted for Modi is a bhakt, which is false, and they refuse to accept that between bauddhiks and Hindutva extremists are a vast number of Indians who backed Modi.

You find that bauddhiks, who infest the Indian newspapers and social media in a big way, corrupt young minds by telling them that “Hate Modi” is the first commandment in “true” journalism.

You find that the bauddhiks have taken upon themselves a noble task of being the media watchdogs, but that their critiques are limited to a few English channels where bhakt voices are louder.

And then finally you find that bauddhiks are as nutty as some bhakts.

The author tweets @sprasadindia

Major blow to Maoists, 24 including top leaders gunned down in encounter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> At least 24 Maoists, including their top leaders, were gunned down in a fierce gun-battle with security forces in Odisha’s Malkangiri district on the border with Andhra Pradesh, giving a major blow to the ultras.A senior commando of the elite anti-Naxal force, Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh was also killed, while another commando was injured in the encounter that took place in the cut-off area of remote Chitrakonda on Andhra-Odisha border, Malkangiri SP Mitrabhanu Mohapatra said. “The bodies of 24 Maoists, including that of some women, were recovered from the site after the joint operation conducted by the Odisha police and Greyhounds, while a few of the rebels are suspected to have fled,” the SP said.He said two senior Greyhounds commandos, who were injured in the gun-battle in the wee hours, had been airlifted to Visakhapatnam for treatment and one of them, identified as Abubacker, succumbed to injuries in a hospital there. The other commando is undergoing treatment. Some high-ranking Maoist leaders, including Uday and Chalapati who carried heavy rewards on their heads, were suspected to be among those killed in the encounter that took place in a mountainous forest area between Bejing and Muchiputam under Panasput grampanchyat, the police said.Stating that the operation was launched on the basis of intelligence inputs, Odisha GDP K B Singh said 10 rifles, four AK-47 rifles, three SLRs, kit bags and huge ammunition have been recovered from the site and search operation was continuing. There was information about the presence of cadres of Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee in the area and Odisha police teams also got it verified that Naxal camps were operating there, the DGP said.”Since the area is located in the cut-off area on Andhra-Odisha border, the operation was launched from the other side and Greyhounds took the lead,” Singh said. Meanwhile, arrangements are being made to airlift the bodies of the slain Maoists to Malkangiri, the SP said adding that combing operation was also intensified in the forest in Andhra-Odisha border areas to locate bodies, if any, and the fleeing Maoists.Noting that the encounter site was located in a highly remote area which is accessible by road only through Andhra Pradesh, he said the bodies are to be airlifted by helicopter to Malkangiri.Malkangiri served as a major transit belt of the Naxals. In September 2013, as many as 13 Maoists were killed in an exchange of fire with the police in the Padia area of Malkangiri district. The operation is seen as a revenge of the attack on June 29, 2008 when Maoists had ambushed a boat carrying Greyhound jawans in the reservoir at Alampaka. Altogether 38 persons, including 35 Greyhound jawans from Andhra Pradesh, had been killed in the attack

Malkangiri encounter: Serious blow to Maoist leadership in Andhra-Odisha border zone

The cut-off area in Odisha’s Malkangiri district is a water-locked area, formed from the waters of two hydroelectric projects that came up in the 1940s and the 60s. But for roughly 20,000 villagers in 151 villages, basic facilities like electricity, healthcare and education remained a dream. Only recently, a few villages have been electrified. A 918-metre long bridge over the River Gurupriya is also under construction, and is expected to be open by next winter.

It is a fierce encounter here on Monday morning that marked the end of the Maoist leadership in the strategically important AOB (Andhra-Odisha Border) zone. In a joint operation by Andhra and Odisha Police, 24 Maoists, including the zone’s top leaders have been killed. So far, those who have been identified are: Appa Rao alias Chalapathi, the East Division Secretary of the CPI (Maoist); his wife and Maoist leader, Aruna; Gajarala Ashok alias Uday, the military head of the AOB zone; Munna, the son of top CPI (Maoist) leader and its central committee member, Ramakrishna alias RK. It is believed that RK managed to escape.

Representational Image. Getty ImagesRepresentational Image. Getty Images

Representational Image. Getty Images

From the late 2000s, the Maoists invested a lot in the AOB zone. It is from here that they hoped to revive their movement in Andhra Pradesh. The cut-off area in Malkangiri was also used as a safe sanctuary for senior Maoist leaders. In June 2008, in an audacious attack, Maoist guerrillas killed 38 personnel of the elite anti-Maoist force, Greyhounds. Within a month, they killed another 17 security personnel. As a result, the security forces were forced to stop operations in this area for several months.

In the absence of any police presence, the Maoists turned the cut-off area into one of their strongholds. Some senior commanders were put in charge, and from here, the Maoists began to reestablish their network in the neighbouring Visakha Agency area. Around the same time, in February 2011, the Maoists kidnapped the then Malkangiri Collector, Vineel Krishna, from the cut-off area. But Krishna was very popular among the tribals here; it is because of his efforts that the process of electrification of the villages in cut-off area took off. The tribals protested and the Maoists had to release Krishna; they got nothing out of it.

In the meantime, their high-handedness cost the Maoists dearly in the neighbouring Visakhapatnam. In February 2013, protests broke out in GK Veedhi after Maoists opened fire and beat to death three tribals. In October 2014, in retaliation to a similar act, the tribals in Korukonda block lynched three Maoist guerrillas.

Earlier, in 2012, Odisha’s top Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda fell out with the leadership and was expelled from the party. In a letter to the Maoist supreme commander Ganapathi, Panda accused the Telugu leadership of AOB of “superiority” and accused it of trying to keep Odisha committee as subordinates. Panda was responsible for ensuring the supplies of explosives. After his expulsion and subsequent arrest, that channel dried up.

In the last two years, the Maoists faced several losses in the AOB zone. The AOB military strategist, Ponoju Parmeshwar alias Nandu surrendered to the police and so did another senior leader, Sarita, who was the first woman commander of a company of the PLGA, CPI (Maoist)’s armed wing. In April this year, another senior leader Kudumula Venkata Rao alias Ravi died due to heart failure. In May, senior Maoist leader VR Gopal alias Azad and two other guerrillas were killed in an encounter with the security forces. From his laptop, the police recovered a selfie of his sister Aruna and her husband Chalapathi (both killed in the encounter on 24 October).

The Odisha Police also got its act together, and under the current Malkangiri police chief, Mitrabhanu Mahapatra, hundreds of Maoists and their sympathisers have surrendered in the last few months.

The CC member, RK, surfaced in the cut-off area on 1 October after a gap of two years. Believed to be suffering from severe spondylitis, the party had shifted him to Chhattisgarh. The police believes that he may have been injured in Monday’s encounter.

Pursued by security forces and not so welcome any longer in many of their erstwhile bastions, the Maoists have been pushed back. The encounter in the cut-off area is a serious blow, which the Maoists will find very hard to absorb.

Police attacked Maoist meeting near Andhra-Odisha border, killing over 20: Varavara Rao

Police attacked Maoist meeting near Andhra-Odisha border, killing over 20: Varavara Rao

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Hyderabad: Revolutionary poet Varavara Rao on Monday alleged that police killed Maoists after attacking one of their meetings near the Andhra-Odisha border.

Disputing police claim that Maoists were killed in an exchange of fire, he said it was deliberate attack on a Maoist meeting.

Representational image. CNN News 18Representational image. CNN News 18

Representational image. CNN News 18

Over 20 Maoists were killed in the alleged gunbattle in Malkangiri district of Odisha on Monday. The incident occurred during a joint search operation by police forces of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

Some top Maoist leaders are suspected to be among those killed. Most of the slain Maoist cadre hailed from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Varavara Rao demanded that a murder case be booked against the policemen involved in the attack.

“Did Maoists carry out any attack after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh? Then where was the need for this fake encounter?” asked Rao, a leader of Veerasam, a body of revolutionary writers.

Rao also demanded an inquiry into the incident by a sitting judge of the high court. He said the bodies of Maoists should be brought to Visakhapatnam.

India police kill ’18 Maoist rebels’

Police in India say they have killed at least 18 Maoist rebels in the eastern state of Orissa.

18 Maoists killed in encounter at Andhra-Odisha border

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 18 Maoists were on Monday killed in an exchange of fire with police on the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha Police border.Police attacked the Maoist camp in the early hours of Monday, where a meeting was being held. Two Greyhounds personnel were also injured in the encounter.According to The Hindu, the encounter took place at Jantri in Malkangiri district of Odisha, a few km away from the border with Andhra Pradesh.Key Maoist leaders of the regiment have reportedly been killed and police have seized ammunition and weapons.(More details are awaited)

Naxal arrested from weekly market in Chhattisgarh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Naxal was arrested from a weekly market in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Kondagaon district on Sunday, police said. The cadre, identified as Ghasiya Ram (26), was apprehended under Dhanora police station limits yesterday, Kondagaon Superintendent of Police Santosh Singh said. Weekly markets put up in interior parts of Bastar region serve as a good source for rebels to procure items of daily use. In view of it, the Kondgaon police has been carrying out a special drive to check the movement of ultras in these markets for past few days, he said. On Saturday, the police personnel spotted a suspect at Dhanora who was buying commodities while trying to cover himself. Soon, a team of District Reserve Group (DRG) and local police encircled the place and caught him, the SP said.During interrogation, Ghasiya, a native of Chikpal in Mardapal area, confessed to have come to the market to procure items for Kiskodo area committee members of Maoists and keep an eye on the activities of security personnel, he said.A knife, two Naxal banners, anti-greenhunt operation posters, medicines and other Maoist literature were recovered from his possession. His further interrogation may facilitate arrest of more local cadres involved in supplying general items to Maoists groups from markets in Dhanora region, Singh added.

Raipur: Naxal gunned down in face-off with security forces

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Naxal was gunned down in an exchange of fire with security forces in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Kondagaon district, police said on Monday.The face-off between rebels and a joint team of security forces took place near the jungles of Chheri village last evening, Kondagaon Superintendent of Police Santosh Singh said.A small party of forces comprising Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and local police was undertaking a search operation in the interiors of Bayanar, located around 300 kms away from here, yesterday.While they were advancing into jungles of Chheri, security forces came under heavy fire from a group of Maoists to which they retaliated in self-defence, he said.However, the ultras soon escaped from the place.During search, the body of a Maoist clad in uniform , a pistol with loaded magazine and many other items were recovered from the spot, the SP said.”The area could not be searched properly due to darkness, and prima facie it appears that more ultras were either injured or killed in the gunfight, he said.The patrol parties have safely reached back to camps, he said adding that identity of the killed Naxal was being ascertained.

Chhattisgarh: Naxal gunned down in face-off with security forces in Kondagaon

Chhattisgarh: Naxal gunned down in face-off with security forces in Kondagaon

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Raipur: A Naxal was gunned down in an exchange of fire with security forces in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Kondagaon district, police said on Monday.

The face-off between rebels and a joint team of security forces took place near the jungles of Chheri village last evening, Kondagaon Superintendent of Police Santosh Singh said.

A small party of forces comprising Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and local police was undertaking a search operation in the interiors of Bayanar, located around 300 kms away from Raipur, on Sunday.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

While they were advancing into jungles of Chheri, security forces came under heavy fire from a group of Maoists to which they retaliated in self-defence, he said.

However, the ultras soon escaped from the place.

During search, the body of a Maoist clad in ‘uniform’, a pistol with loaded magazine and many other items were recovered from the spot, the SP said.

“The area could not be searched properly due to darkness, and prima facie it appears that more ultras were either injured or killed in the gunfight,” he said.

The patrol parties have safely reached back to camps, he said adding that identity of the killed Naxal was being ascertained.

Chhattisgarh: Naxal killed in fire exchange with security forces

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A lower rung Naxal was, on Thursday, killed in an exchange of fire with security forces in a dense forest of Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, police said.The skirmish took place in the morning when a joint team of security forces was out on a search operation in Konta police station area, Sukma SP Indira Kalyan Elesela told PTI.Acting on specific input about the presence of armed Maoists in the forests near Neelamadgu and Velpochha villages, a composite team of personnel, comprising District Reserve Group (DRG), Special Task Force (STF) and local police, launched a combing operation in the region, located around 500 km from Raipur, he said.The security personnel were advancing into Neelamadgu village, when they came under heavy fire from a squad of the Maoists. The police retaliated, killing a Maoist while the others fled using forest as cover following an hour-long gun battle, he added.During search, the body of a Maoist, a muzzle loading gun and several other items were recovered from the spot, Elsela said.”The killed Maoist has been identified as Madkam Hunga, a member of Konta LOS (local organisation squad),” he said.

Chhattisgarh: Two Naxals killed in gun-battle with security forces in Sukma

Raipur: Two Naxals were killed on Tuesday in a gun-battle with security forces in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district.

“The encounter took place early this morning in the dense forest of Fulbadgi Police Station area while a joint team of security forces was out on an anti-Maoist operation,” Sukma Superintendent of Police Indira Kalyan Elesela told PTI.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Composite squad of District Reserve Group (DRG), Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and local police had launched the operation in the interiors of Fulbagdi, located around 450 kms away from Raipur, based on specific inputs, he said.

About 8 kms away from the police station, an exchange of fire broke out between both the sides after ultras opened fire on security forces, the SP said, adding, rebels soon managed to flee the spot taking the cover of dense forest.

“During search of the area, bodies of two male Maoists, beside a muzzle loading gun and one 315 bore gun were recovered from the spot,” he added.

The identity of the ultras will be ascertained once the patrol party will return to its camp, the SP said.

On Monday, three Naxals, including two hardcore commander rank cadres, were gunned down by security forces at separate places in Bastar division.

With Tuesday’s encounter, the number of Maoists having been killed in separate encounters in Bastar this year has reached to 99.

Chhattisgarh: Two naxals killed in encounter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Two naxals were on Saturday gunned down in a fierce gun-battle with security forces in a densely forested hill in insurgency-hit Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, police said.The encounter took place early this morning in restive Sanguel forest under Burgum police station area, Bastar Superintendent of Police RN Dash said. “There was input from local informers that a group of rebels was heading towards Bastanar valley after crossing Indravati river to receive a top Maoist leader. The same information was also collected by state intelligence branch,” he said.Acting on the inputs, a composite squad comprising District Reserve Group (DRG), Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and district force had launched an anti-naxal operation in the region, located around 400 kms away from here. Security forces confronted Maoists in the forests near Sanguel village following which a heavy gun-battle broke out between the two sides.The exchange of fire lasted for about an hour following which rebels escaped into the core forest area, he said. “After searches in the area, bodies of two male Maoists, one .12 bore rifle and one SBML (single barrel muzzle loading) gun besides several other items were recovered from the spot,” Dash said.The recovered items include explosives, detonators, pipe bombs, codex wire, bags, magazine pouch, battery, electric wire and others, he added.”As per preliminary information, the naxals group reportedly belonged to Barsur Area Committee of Maoists and the same squad with which police had another EOF in August last month,” he said adding that the identity of the killed ultras was being ascertained.According to the SP, the same group had allegedly targeted police personnel at the weekly market of Burgum on October 1, 2015 where a constable Manarau Benjam was martyred.

Chhattisgarh: 10 Maoists surrender in Bastar

In a boost to security operations, ten Maoists surrendered in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district on Monday.Bastar is a hotbed of Maoist rebels and security forces have mounted major operations against them throughout the years.Bastar Collector Amit Kataria and Superintendent of Police (SP) Rajendra Narayan Das awarded cheques to each surrendered Maoist. They assured them all necessary help for rehabilitation.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Those who have surrendered will be given INR 10, 000 (US $148) as per government’s rehabilitation policy,” said Kataria.According to police, about 350 Maoists from Bastar have surrendered since the launch of Mission 2016, a state-sponsored programme to end Maoism.The Maoists, also referred to as Naxals in India, are inspired by the political philosophy of China’s late Chairman Mao Zedong. They say they are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless labourers.The rebels have operated for decades across a wide swath of central and eastern India and have grown in strength during recent times in areas where poor, tribal villagers came into conflict with mining companies seeking resources for industrialisation.They have killed police and politicians and targeted government buildings and railway tracks in an insurgency that has killed thousands since the 1960s.

Rajnath Singh hopes to root out naxalism from Jharkhand

Ranchi: Rooting for complete eradication of Naxalism from the country, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday hoped that Jharkhand becomes the first state to be freed of extremism among other Naxal-affected states.

“Solution to the Maoist problem in Jharkhand will be found,” Singh said, adding that he was convinced of the capability of Jharkhand Jaguar (special force) to root out Naxalism.

File image of Rajnath Singh. PTI

File image of Rajnath Singh. PTI

Addressing jawans after inaugurating an administrative building, parade ground and other newly constructed buildings here, Singh appreciated the valour of the Jharkhand Jaguar force.

He said that the martyrs not only shed blood for Jharkhand but also for the country. He said even a single incident of killing in the hands of extremists had pained him and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Emphasising that infrastructure should be adequate so that the forces would not face difficulties, Singh regretted that the special infrastructure scheme (SIS) had been stopped two years ago.

He said he had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in this regard and noted that “they assured him of its revival”.

He said that Maoists were declining continuously in strength and their big groups had no capacity to work. He felt that the focus should be on the splinter groups. Wondering what ideology the Maoists professed, Singh said while the government intended to work for the poor, the rebels were putting hurdles.

“If anyone is the enemy of the poor and the people, it is the Maoists,” the Home Minister asserted. The Centre and the state governments are working for the poor to eliminate poverty and develop Jharkhand, but the Maoists are sabotaging it and yet claim they are the “well wishers of the poor”.

Branding Maoists as “anti-democracy and anti-poor”, Singh said, “To help the poor, the Prime Minister is giving free gas
cylinder connections but the Maoists are playing with their feelings.” He asked the Jharkhand government to initiate what he
called perception management or establishing communication with the poor.

The minister also lauded the effort of Jharkhand police chief DK Pandey in steering the anti-Naxal campaign and suggested that the state government coordinate with bordering states to surround the rebels.

Jharkhand Maoists acquiring lethal M-16 rifles

Officials of National Investigation Agency (NIA), who are probing arms smuggling in north-eastern states, have come across evidence that suggests Maoists operating in Jharkhand have been supplied with sophisticated M-16 rifles. dna has learnt that officials of anti-terrorism squads (ATS) and special task forces (STF) from almost half-a-dozen states have been called for a meeting with NIA’s top brass which is to be held in the first week of July.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The agenda of the meeting is to discuss the latest development and possibility of a joint force comprising NIA sleuths and officers of the state police with an expertise to counter multi-state arms smuggling.Official sources said that the sophisticated weapons are sourced from Nagaland and get transported to the armed CPI (Maoist) in Jharkhand by arm syndicates which are operational in multiple states. The agency, according to sources, is now in talks with ATS and STF of Nagaland, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand to chalk out a strategy from stopping the highly-sophisticated weaponry from reaching cadres of CPI (Maoist) operating in Jharkhand.The development has raised concerns within state and central intelligence agencies officials as the American-made sophisticated weapon can seriously effect operations of the security forces posted in Jharkhand where they are fighting an ultra-left armed movement.According to official sources, NIA sleuths have managed to identified individuals allegedly involved in the smuggling of M-16’s. The individuals, who are likely part of a single syndicate, belong to Punjab, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Nagaland. The agency is likely to share the information on these individuals with the state police in the coming week. Sources further said that investigators have come across transactions of 30-40 lakh rupees made into accounts of certain individuals who were already in radar for their alleged illegal activities.Official sources also said that Munger in Bihar, is somewhat becoming an important transit point owing to its existing illegal arms markets. Munger is also home to several freelancers known for servicing and repair of sophisticated weapons such as M-16’s. Agency is also looking at the possibility of the M-16’s in non-working condition being sent to Munger for servicing followed by its distribution in pockets where Maoists continue to operate.The CPI(Maoists) had quite a presence in remote regions of Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh, as well as in Bihar and areas in the borderlands of Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Odisha, but owing to anti-left operations of the security forces, their cadre strength has seen a steep decline. The armed group, formed in 2004 and headed by General Secretary Muppala Lakshmana Rao, aims to overthrow the Indian state and has claimed that it is waging a ‘people’s war’. Among the latest attacks of the armed group was the 2013 ambush of a convoy of Indian National Congress in Bastar which resulted in deaths of Mahendra Karma, the founder of a private militia Salva Judum.Karma’s group, which was backed by Chhattisgarh government in July 2011, was declared to be illegal and unconstitutional, by Supreme Court of India and ordered to be disbanded. CPI(Maoists) were also responsible two major ambushes on security forces in 2010. The same year in February women cadres of CPI (Maoist) killed 24 personnel of the Eastern Frontier Rifles at Silda in West Bengal and two months ambushed and killed 75 paramilitary personnel.In August 2014, the Ministry of Home Affairs has stated it might depute 2,000 personnel from the Naga Battalions of the Nagaland’s Indian Reserve Battalions (IRB) to counter Maoists in Bastar.

Two Maoist cadres, 6 other armed activists surrender in Malkangiri

Malkangiri (Odisha): Two hardcore Maoist cadres carrying rewards on their head and six other armed activists surrendered before the police in Odisha’s Malkangiri district on Thursday.

The eight, mostly from Kalimela area of the Naxal-hit district, were involved in Maoist activities for last few years and named in several cases, Superintendent of Police Mitrabhanu Mohapatra said.

The two Maoists were identified as Unga Madkami and Adma Kartami from Kalimela Police Station jurisdiction area.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

They carried Rs one lakh reward on head each, he said adding both were involved in a number of crimes including murder and blasting of panchayat buildings.

The six other activists also took part in rebel activities but were not regular Maoist cadre, the SP said.

The six were identified as Rama Urami, Padia Urami, Irma Madkami, Naka Madkami, Deba Sodi and Lachu Padiami, all aged 22-26 years.

The ultras stated they decided to surrender as they realised that the red rebels had deviated from their ideology and indulged in activities detrimental to the interests of the poor and tribal, the SP said.

They would now be rehabilitated as per the policies of the government, the SP said.

Naxals attack ITBP camp in Chhattisgarh; four rockets fired

Naxals fired rockets and opened heavy gunfire at a camp of paramilitary ITBP in Kondagaon district of Chhattisgarh in the wee hours on Thursday.Officials said the attack was launched at the company base of the 41st battalion of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force in Ranapal area after a large number of Maoists surrounded it from three sides.”The attack was launched at about 1240 hours and ended at 3 AM today. Four rockets were fired inside the camp. Both the sides exchanged about 600 rounds of bullets,” they said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Naxals later retreated in the jungles and no casualties were reported on the forces’ side.”It is estimated that about 100 armed Naxals launched the attack,” they said.

Naxals open gunfire, fire rockets at ITBP camp in Chhattisgarh

Raipur: Naxals fired rockets and opened heavy gunfire at a camp of paramilitary ITBP in Kondagaon district of Chhattisgarh in the wee hours on Thursday.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Officials said the attack was launched at the company base of the 41st battalion of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force in Ranapal area after a large number of Maoists surrounded it from three sides.

“The attack was launched at about 1240 hours and ended at 3 am today. Four rockets were fired inside the camp. Both the sides exchanged about 600 rounds of bullets,” they said.

Naxals later retreated in the jungles and no casualties were reported on the forces’ side.

“It is estimated that about 100 armed Naxals launched the attack,” they said.

Three women maoists surrender in Vizag

Three women Maoists, including a ‘commander’ involved in 20 incidents of violence, on Wednesday surrendered before the Visakhapatnam district police. The ultras turned themselves in before the Superintendent of Police Rahul Dev Sharma at his office at Visakhapatnam.”The Maoists who have surrendered are K Lakshmi alias Sarita, Commander of Central Region Command of the Andhra-Orissa Border (AOB), Area Committee Member B Ramulamma alias Bharati and Dalam member T Thummu alias Vijaya,” Sharma informed.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lakshmi, a native of Shyamgedda village, was carrying a reward of Rs 4 lakh on her head. She joined the Maoists movement in 2000 and was allegedly involved in around 30 incidents of violence including murders and attack on police stations, the officer said. “Some of the cases were also registered in Odisha and Chhattisgarh. Apparently, Lakshmi was promoted as the first woman Commander of the Central Region Command of AOB. She allegedly used to train the cadre”, he added.
ALSO READ 122 Maoists surrender in Chhattisgarh”Ramulammma, a native of Labadampalli village, was with the movement for the last 20 years and also carried a reward of Rs 4 lakh. She was allegedly involved in 34 incidents of violence including murder, attack on police stations and exchange of fire with police,” the SP said.According to Sharma, Thummu, a native of Thartal village, was associated with the Maoists movement since 2008 and carried a reward of Rs 1 lakh. Prima facie, health issues and difference with the leadership are some of the reasons for their surrender, he added.

Why journalists are leaving India’s Chhattisgarh

Raksha Kumar explains why journalists are feeling threatened in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh.

Nepal recalls envoy in India for alleged ‘non-cooperation’

Nepal has recalled its envoy in India, Deep Kumar Upadhyay, allegedly on the charge of ‘non-cooperation’. “I’ve been told to come back, yet to receive the order,” said Upadhyay. According to Kathmandu Post, Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused him of toppling the KP Oli government. He has also been accused of coming to Nepal without informing the ministry and meeting with Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae to visit Madhesi districts against government.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Upadhyay also opposed postponing Nepali President’s visit to India and personally called the country’s PM KP Sharma Oli.Nepal’s first woman President Bidhya Devi Bhandari had cancelled her visit to India, which would have been her first foreign trip after assuming office, in the wake of the political instability in her country.Bhandari was scheduled to visit from May 9 as the state guest at the invitation of President Pranab Mukherjee. She was also scheduled to participate in a ‘Shahi Snan’ in Ujjain’s Simhastha Kumbh on May 14.Government sources in New Delhi said, “We have learnt that Nepali President Bidyadevi Bhandari’s official visit to India has been postponed by the Nepali side. We understand that this is on account of the political developments in Nepal.” Earlier this week, UCPN-Maoist led by Prachanda triggered political instability by declaring the end of the coalition with the ruling CPN-UML.The Maoists and the opposition Nepali Congress have accused Prime Minister KP Oli for failing to implement the new Constitution, address problems related to Madhesis, expedite the post-quake reconstruction work, failing to check soaring prices and promoting black marketing and corruption.However, Oli yesterday survived a threat to his government after a U-turn by Prachanda-led Maoists who decided not to withdraw support to him “for the time being”. With agency inputs.

Three Maoists gunned down in an encounter in Andhra Pradesh

Three Maoists were gunned down in an encounter with police in Marripakala forests under Agency area of the district on Wednesday.The incident took place in on Wednesday evening when a team of Andhra Pradesh Special Police Force personnel was conducting a combing operation in the area under Koyyuru police station limits. At around 6:15 PM, the Maoists opened fire at the team and police retaliated, said Babujee Attada, Additional Superintendent of Police (Operations), Visakha Rural.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per preliminary information, three Maoists were gunned down by police whereas the other ultras managed to escape with injuries, Attada said, adding an assault rifle was recovered from the spot.Though the identity of the deceased is yet to be established, one of them is suspected to be a ‘commander’ of the Galikonda Area Committee of the outlawed CPI (Maoist), the ASP said.

West Bengal elections 2016: Rahul Gandhi and Buddhadeb Bhattacharya share dias at rally

To give a message to the grassroots before the last two phases of West Bengal assembly polls scheduled to be held on April 30 and May 5, the top leaders from the Congress and the Left, Rahul Gandhi and Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, came together at a rally in Kolkata on Wednesday.The alliance, which was formed due to pressure from Left party workers, truly reached its culmination with the top leaders sharing stage at the ‘jote’ rally in Kolkata. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Park Circus maidan, the venue of the election rally, saw a major show of strength as hundreds of Congress and Left supporters turned up to support the alliance. Both, Gandhi and Bhattacharya called for uniting against the Trinamool Congress and forming a government together in the state. “Hathodi haath me aa gaya, ab Trinamool Congress ko hatao (We have the hammer in our hand. Now let’s remove Trinamool Congress). Congress and Left alliance will bring back the glory of West Bengal. Five years back, Mamata ji had promised to give employment to 70 lakh youths. But the youths did not get employment. Jute workers lost their jobs. Congress had believed Mamata Banerjee and supported her, but she failed all of us,” said Gandhi, adding, “She did not deliver what she promised, as a result of which the state is lagging behind other states. When some women raised protest in Kamduni, the Chief Minister dubbed them as Maoists instead of giving them protection. This is not the Bengal people had wished for.” On the other hand, Bhattacharya remarked that such a rally was a rarity. “Such a rally is unseen in the history of our country. Our city, our state has never seen something like this before. In the last five years, Bengal has been ruined and destroyed. All the industries moved out and there are no signs of any new industry investing here. Till the time, Trinamool Congress will rule here, there will be no improvement. Removal of this government is the need of the hour,” said Bhattacharya, further adding, “Trinamool hatao, rajya bachao. (Remove Trinamool, save the state.)”

Naxals set ablaze vehicles, bridge building equipment

A group of Maoists on Wednesday set ablaze two vehicles and construction equipment used for building a bridge between Maharashtra and Telangana in Adilabad district, police said.The incident happened in the wee hours on Wednesday between 2 to 3.30 AM when the ultras set on fire a tipper, a tractor besides two construction machines belonging to a private company which had undertaken construction work on Bejjur-Aheri bridge near Gudem village of Adilabad in Telangana, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Kagaznagar Sub-Division) G Chakravarthi said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The tipper and tractor were partially burnt and the construction equipments were also partially damaged in the burning incident,” the DSP told PTI. “Maoists from Maharashtra are suspected to be behind the burning incident who fled after setting the vehicles on fire,” another police officer said adding they are in the process of registering a case. Further probe is on.

CoBRA jawan injured in face-off with naxals in Chhattisgarh

Raipur: A CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) jawan was on Tuesday injured in an exchange of fire with naxals in the dense forests of Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Bijapur district, police said.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The skirmish took place early this morning when a team of CRPF’s elite unit — CoBRA 204th battalion was conducting an anti-naxal operation in the interiors of Basaguda police station limits — a naxal hotbed, Bijapur Additional Superintendent of Police Indira Kalyan Elesela told PTI.

While cordoning off the region, located around 450 kms away from the state capital, when security forces reached Puvarti village forests, naxal opened indiscriminate firing on them leaving a constable Deepu Das injured, he said.

However, Maoists soon fled from the spot as jawans launched retaliatory attack on them, he said.

“Das, a constable belonging to CoBRA 204th battalion sustained bullet injuries on his back,” Elesela said.

Reinforcement was rushed to the spot and the injured jawan was evacuated from the forests, he said adding that he has been airlifted to Raipur for treatment.

Forces on extra vigil amid record IED seizure, rising casualties in Naxal zone

New Delhi: Security forces conducting operations in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected states have been directed to be extra vigilant in view of enhanced IED attacks and an all-time high recovery of over 5,000 kg of the deadly bombs in these areas.

With back-to-back incidents of security forces personnel and civilians being targeted by using these bombs in the affected states in the recent past, Central security agencies and the operations command of the CRPF have ordered a “strict observance” of operating procedures, usage of sniffer dogs, absolute discard of vehicles and effective gathering of intelligence every time a patrol goes out or an operation is executed.

Deadly zone. PTIDeadly zone. PTI

Deadly zone. PTI

A report prepared by these agencies states that as many as 1,702 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) weighing about 5,908 kgs have been recovered from the LWE-affected states last year.

The report, accessed by PTI, states that during 2014, only 523 IEDs were recovered and they weighed about half of what was recovered in 2015.

What has worried the security establishment is the fact that fatal injuries and casualties have occurred to the troops of Central forces like the Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force and those from state police units.

“Gun battles are reducing between security forces and Naxals. It has been analysed that Maoist cadres are low on weapons and obviously no match with the security forces when it comes to fire power. Hence, IED attacks of the deadly variety are increasing,” a senior official working in the anti-Naxal operations domain said.

While 19 troops lost their lives in the line of duty due to IED blasts and 67 got injured (with six amputations) in 2014, the next year saw three personnel getting killed and 47 injured (three personnel had to undergo amputation).

“Maoists have elevated IED warfare on the security forces using a cocktail of command wire IEDs to victim operated IEDs to radio controlled ones. They are capable of launching rocket attacks on camps of security forces, blowing mine proof vehicles apart and creating a minefield for targeting a foot patrol. So, wherever the forces are in conflict zones they can be targeted,” the report said.

The official added, “Now, in the first about four months of this year, we are witnessing a spurt in IED related casualties and injuries again. While nine personnel lost their lives, 13 have been injured and two had to undergo amputation during this time period. About 250 such improvised bombs have been recovered this year.”

The last year, the data said, also witnessed the recovery of the highest number of detonators—at 20,871—used to trigger these IEDs. In 2014, the numbers were a mere 6,643.

“An advisory has been issued again to the forces keeping in mind the spurt in these incidents. Every week, such incidents are happening with the maximum being reported from Bastar area of Chhattisgarh. Not only personnel of the security forces, civilians have also become a target of these deadly kill devices,” the official said.

The CRPF, mainstay for anti-Naxal operations in the country, has recently admitted that it has witnessed a smart technique of planting these IEDs deep inside ‘pucca’ roads with Maoists creating ‘fox holes and tunnels’ to plant these bombs.

One such technique of planting IEDs claimed the lives of seven of its men who were travelling in an un-marked vehicle in order to transport a cooler for a force dog in Chhattisgarh.

In 2015, a total of 41 such incidents of IED explosions took place which was the highest in the last five years, the data said.

In order to buttress the threat level of IEDs, the advisory specifically talks about two incidents where a seven-year-old girl and a woman were killed in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma due to IED blasts thereby underlining the fact that even civilians are not safe from the impact of these bombs.

PTI

Chhattisgarh: 122 Naxals surrender in Sukma

As many as 122 Naxals, including 11 women, surrendered before the police on Sunday in the insurgency-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh.Sukma Additional Superintendent of Police Santosh Singh said the Naxals surrendered at Dornapal police station in the district. As many as 51 member of Jan Militia, 33 of Dandakarnya Adivasi Kisan Majdoor Sangthan, 12 of Chetna Natya Manch, a cultural outfit of Maoists, and four members of Adivasi Balak Sangathan surrendered, he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Naxals told police they were tired of the exploitation, discrimination and “hollow” Maoist ideology and impressed by the government’s rehabilitation policy, he said. The ASP said the Naxals were given consolation amount of Rs 10,000 and will be further facilitated as per the government’s surrender policy.

122 Maoists surrender in Chhattisgarh

In one of the biggest surrender in the history of Chhattisgarh, as many as 122 Maoists surrendered on Saturday.The Maoists surrendered before Inspector General of Police Bastar range SRP. Kalluri and other senior officials of Police and district administration in Dornapal Police Station of Sukma district. According to police, the surrendered Maoists were involved in several incidents and were also carrying rewards on their head. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bastar IG said that surrendered Maoists will be provided necessary assistance as per the surrender and rehabilitation policy of the state government.

Concerns mount for security forces after Maoists acquire advanced tech to trigger off IEDs

New Delhi: The Maoists have acquired a new level of advanced technology to set off Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), which has left the security forces operating in the left-wing extremist areas worried. An alert sent by the Operations Directorate of the Border Security Force says that the Maoists have now got the know-how of using remote or combination of switches in IEDs that enables them to target security forces with utmost precision.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The BSF was alarmed by first such incident in January this year when an IED blast led to the death of its two personnel in Odisha’s Dandabari village, close to Chhattisgarh. About 20 BSF troops were returning on 10 motorcycles on the night of 7 January after tracking a group of Maoists when an IED set by Maoists blew up the first motorcycle carrying deputy commandant Sunil Behera and constable Sibasis Panda. After a thorough search of the site, the BSF troops found no wire on the either side of the road that is usually used by the Maoists to trigger off the IED from a safe distance.

After ten days, an operations party of the BSF conducted further searches in the area and recovered a black antenna unit normally used in two-wheeler’s anti-theft alarm system. The unit manufactured by a Coimbatore-based company, Roots Auto, was connected with two 6 volts battery on one side and with the IED on the other side. The recovery, says the alert, confirmed the use of remote along with combination of switches. The two switches are for “arming” and “firing”. In this case, the condition of the motorcycle suggested that the IED blasted when the motorcycle was exactly on top of the IED. The Maoists had switched the IED on by “arming” it with a remote just before the motorcycle arrived and the subsequent pressure led to the activation of “firing” switch, leading to the blast.

In another recovery, the BSF recovered a similar unit with number “128” on it, suggesting that many such switches had been assembled. The BSF alert has recommended that a special drive be conducted to train security forces about the new technology. It also says that while searching for IEDs, the troops should look out for antennas, especially those used in automobiles, toys and home appliances.

The achievement of new sophistication in IEDs acquires more significance in the wake of recent intelligence inputs that the Maoists have decided to target security forces through such blasts rather than using its cadre for guerrilla warfare. In the last three months in Bastar alone, the Maoists have carried out around three-dozen IED blasts. This change in the Maoist strategy has been attributed to increased security operations in left-wing extremist areas, leading to a significant reduction in the striking capability of the Maoists.

DU Prof GN Saibaba gets bail, SC reprimands Maha govt counsel for being ‘extremely unfair’

The Supreme Court has granted bail to DU Professor Saibaba in a sedition case. He was arrested in 2014 for alleged links to Maoists. The SC also reprimanded the counsel of the Maha govt saying: “You have been extremely unfair to the accused(Prof Saibaba), especially given to his medical examination” Earlier, lawyers of the wheelchair-bound Professor had pleaded for extension of bail on health grounds. Saibaba was arrested in May 2014 by Gadchiroli Police of Maharashtra for alleged active links with Naxals.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The wheelchair-bound prof is 90% disabled and was paralysed from the waist-downwards after contracting polio in his childhood.

Mobikes help CRPF jawans avert tragedy in Jharkhand

Even before the wounds inflicted in Dantewada attack could heal where it lost seven of its jawans, the central reserve police force (CRPF) again came under Maoist attack in Jharkhand in which four personnel were injured.A team of 25-odd jawans belonging to 154 battalion was going deeper inside the Topchanchi forest in Dhanbad district on bikes when series of powerful land mine blasts occurred.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>CRPF officials said a total of 52 IEDs blasts were triggered within a distance of 1.5 by the Maoists of which at least six were of high intensity but fortunately the jawans were following standard operating procedures and were on motorbikes instead of moving on a vehicle that minimised the losses.The CRPF suspects it to be the handiwork of zonal commander of Dhanbad and Topchanchi, Nunu Chand Mahato.The team that was attacked was being led by a senior officer in the rank of Second-in-command.Officials said the incident occurred near Topchanchi-Jitpur axis when troops of the force were out on patrol on 25 motorbikes in the Left Wing Extremism affected areas of Dhanbad district.Additional director general (Operations) and Jharkhand spokesperson S N Pradhan S N Pradhan said the injured jawans were evacuated and brought to Ranchi by a helicopter for treatment.”Had it been a heavy vehicle, it would have been blown up. The use of motorcycles in such conditions, which are lighter and move in a zig-zag fashion seem to have worked in favour of jawans,” added Pradhan.While the CRPF has taken the two incidents seriously, it is not linking it to any resurgence in Maoist activities.”These incidents only reflect that the Maoists are desperate to show their presence which is already on the wane. Instead of a direct face off they are now using typical guerrilla warfare techniques to save their dilapidated cadre strength and their morale,” said a senior CRPF official.

Information on troop movement in Dantewada was leaked: CRPF on blast which killed 7 personnel

Raipur: The CRPF believes that information regarding the movement of its troops, killed in a deadly landmine blast in Dantewada, was “leaked” and it has begun a probe to find out the mole who could be from “within or outside” the paramilitary.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“It is certain that the information about their movement was leaked. Somewhere or at some stage this has happened. The boys were doing a surprise non-operational movement and hence were in mufti. We are looking into it,” CRPF Director General K Durga Prasad told PTI.

Seven CRPF men were killed on Wednesday in a deadly landmine blast carried out by Naxals that also left a massive four-feet deep crater on the road in the worst Maoist violence-affected Dantewada district.

The DG reached Chhattisgarh late Wednesday night and will travel to the blast site near Melawada village in the said district where Naxals blew off a Tata-709 mini-truck being used by the CRPF men to go from one camp to the other.

A senior CRPF official said that apart from a Court of Inquiry instituted into the incident, the force is also probing the role of a “suspect mole who can be from either from within the force or outside.”

DG Prasad, who rushed to the state from a tour of Maharashtra, said they are working on the leak theory due to a number of facts visible in the incident.

“The men were travelling in normal, non-force vehicle and were not going for any operation. There has been no attack on that road and hence no advance road opening party used to be deployed there. But, information got leaked about their movement. We are looking into all the aspects,” he said.

The DG said the blast was “big” and it is suspected that about 50-60 kgs of explosive could have been planted beneath the ‘pucca’ metalled road to trigger the explosive.

Officials in the intelligence wing of the force indicated that about 2-3 Naxals were present in the vicinity of the blast spot and are suspected to have “joined the wires” to ignite the hidden improvised explosive device as soon as the vehicle went over it.

The force has called in a team of its bomb and IED experts from Pune to go into the details, the official said.

The attack occurred near the Basaras-Kuakonda axis in Melawada village when a Tata-709 mini-truck of the force went over a landmine at about 3.30 pm.

The troops, most of whom had just returned from leave, were going to their nearby camp.

A Court of Inquiry has been ordered by the force into the incident and to find out under what circumstances the troops were travelling in a four-wheeler, banned for force personnel in these areas due to the threat of hidden IEDs, and why were they not carrying arms as it is mandatory for them while even moving for non-operational tasks.

They said the troops belonged to the 230th battalion of the force deployed in south Bastar area for anti-Naxal operations.

PTI

‘Maoist attack’ kills Indian policemen

At least seven paramilitary policemen are killed in a landmine blast allegedly triggered by Maoist rebels in central India, officials say.

Soni Sori: Indian tribal activist

Indian tribal rights activist Soni Sori is an outspoken critic of police violence towards tribespeople in Chhattisgarh, which is facing a Maoist insurgency.

Mr Kanhaiya, your silence on the 8-year-old girl’s death due to a bomb blast is deafening

Somebody should ask all the Kanhaiyas of India how they justify the killing of an 8-year-old girl in Bastar region after she stepped on a Maoist-planted IED as she walked with her mum.

Thanks to the ubiquitous mobile phone, someone has plastered the picture of the mutilated body on the social platforms but there is nothing social about it. Skin crawls.

JNUSU President. Kanhaiya Kumar. IBNLIVEJNUSU President. Kanhaiya Kumar. IBNLIVE

JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar. ibnlive

Since these liberty seekers are now styled by some quarters as the new founts of knowledge and wisdom in the country, perhaps they could share with us what they would say to the parents of this child whose body was ripped apart. The image is burnt in the mind and you think, hey maybe she wanted azaadi too…azaadi to live her life, azaadi to get an education, become an adult, be someone, not pulp on the road.

So come on, Kanhaiya, don’t be bashful, you are the man of the moment, tell us, no strings attached, how you would explain the loss of this child to her family.

Aren’t these Maoists and their ilk the same people whose victimisation has been the cornerstone of your elocution? These are your heroes, right? Did you not martyr them and their sacrifices at the same level as those of our soldiers… That was a stunning comparison.

Now we wait for your assessment.

Would you say it is collateral damage, like sh*t happens. After all, people get killed every day, no big deal. Just one little girl, maybe we should look at the bigger picture, yes?

That could work. Maybe you could say it is unfortunate and condemn it like our politicians do, you know yell out their condemnation like they did when two cattle traders (one of them 15 for God’s sake!) were strung up and lynched by a mob in Jharkand last week and the predictable pattern of some arrests, some absconders and the end of this line, the train moves on, the story forgotten.

So, speak to us, ye of the silver tongue and the eloquence that has some folks mesmerised, without fear what explanation would suffice.

How about a candlelight vigil and another impassioned speech… would that make for a fitting farewell?

What about a debate on IEDs and their effectiveness?

Is it remotely possible that the publicity you have got has emboldened these rebel groups to up the ante? Think about it. Seeing as how it is not out of the realm of possibility.

You have been searching for salvation from all the ills that haunt our society, well, here is your opportunity to come forward and shine the light on our cruel world. You cannot just keep pumping the air with your fist and seeking freedom. That essay is into diminishing returns and pretty speeches don’t fill stomachs or bring to life dead girls.

Enlighten us over this girl’s death. Justify it, display your wrath, shed a tear, dammit, do something, say something. These are specific incidents and you have a chance to give us specific responses. Fifty days since you were elevated and we have no clue where you stand on issues.

Tell us it saddens you but the cause is bigger. That’s a good one, you can run with that.

And what do you want the armed forces to do with these Moaists who recently slammed a baby to death while the mother watched helplessly?

Should they invite them to their camp for a chat and chai? Tell us what action to take.

Take your love for azaadi and elaborate upon it for we are in the dark and seek your guidance. Break up the word into a road map, mate, you owe us that.

After all, we cannot trust our soldiers. So says you.

Please speak up…I didn’t hear you.

All Adivasis are not Maoists; they are patriots and should not be crushed: Rahul Gandhi

Raipur: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said the weaker sections, including Dalits and adivasis, are being crushed for raising their voices against injustice.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has got an opportunity to ensure relief to farmers as they need immediate compensation against crop loss caused due to heavy rainfall and hailstorm.

Addressing reporters at Swami Vivekanand airport at Raipur on Monday evening, Gandhi, who was on a day-long tour of Chhattisgarh, demanded that central teams be sent to different states to assess the loss caused to farmers due to natural calamity and they should be benefited as early as possible.

Rahul Gandhi. PTIRahul Gandhi. PTI

Rahul Gandhi. PTI

“It is very sad that we raised this issue in Parliament but discussion was not allowed over it. I want the government to fulfil the demands of farmers,” he said.

Gandhi alleged that not only in Chhattisgarh but in the entire country, farmers, adivasis, Dalits and other weaker sections are being suppressed.

“Wherever they wanted to raise their voices, they are being crushed. Adivasis are being suppressed, crushed and killed in the entire country.

“Every Adivasi is not a Maoist. Adivasis of India are patriots and they should not be crushed like this,” he said while responding to a query on alleged killings of tribals by branding them as naxals in Chhattisgarh.

The Congress vice-president visited Giroudpuri Dham, a popular pilgrimage centre of scheduled tribe Satnami community in Balodabazar district, as part of his state tour.

Before leaving for Delhi, Gandhi met with a delegation of Congress leaders from Bastar, including MLAs who have alleged that law and order situation in the area was deteriorating and have raised the plight of tribals.

Gandhi said he assured the delegation that Congress will fight for the rights of tribals.

On the loss incurred by farmers due to natural calamity, Gandhi said, “Owing to heavy rainfall in northern belt (of the country), farmers have faced a severe loss. This region had also witnessed hailstorm. (Prime Minister) Modi ji has said he wanted to work for farmers.

“Modi ji had promised that he wanted to correct his mistakes. Now he has got an opportunity to ensure relief to farmers at the earliest. Farmers should be provided compensation,” he said.

On the notice issued to him by the Ethics Committee of Parliament over allegations related to declaration of his citizenship in the UK, Gandhi said, “BJP has the habit of telling lies. We will deal with it (the notice) in Parliament. I have not come here to do politics but to pay my obeisance and I felt good here”.

When asked about the status of state Congress’ proposal to AICC to expel senior party leader and former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi over the leaked audio tapes row, Gandhi said, “The matter is pending with disciplinary committee of the party and is under consideration”.

Earlier, Gandhi visited Giroudpuri, located around 130kms away from the state capital, which is the birth place of Satnami Saint Guru Ghasidas. He also visited the temple of Guru Ghasdas and paid obeisance there.

Gandhi was accompanied by AICC general secretary and Chhattisgarh in-charge BK Hariprasad, treasurer Motilal Vora, state Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel and other senior leaders during his visit to Giroudpuri.

Meanwhile, a minor scuffle broke out between some Congress leaders and supporters of Ajit Jogi in Giroudpuri, which was brought under control.

PTI

57 Naxals surrender before police in Malkangiri

As many as 56 Naxals, including twenty five women, surrendered before the police in Odisha’s Malkangiri district. Around 56 Maoists belonging to the Odisha – Chhattisgarh Naxal Darava division – including 17 Maoists belonging to the Odisha cadre, surrendered before Chhattisgarh Bastar IG on March 11. Around 50 more Maoist sympathisers had surrendered before the Malkangiri Superintendent of Police on March 7. Earlier on March 5, 158 Maoists supporters, including a few militia commanders of the CPI (Maoists), had surrendered before the police in Malkangiri district.

Sukma encounter: Injured CRPF personnel brought to hospital in Raipur

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans, who were injured during a gun battle with the Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma District yesterday, were brought to a hospital here on Friday. CRPF’s CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) battalion personnel were trapped in violence-affected forests of Sukma for over 18 hours, after they were ambushed in the jungles of Dabbanarka. The encounter resulted in deaths of two CRPF jawans and left 14 injured.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to reports, as many as three rescue teams were rushed to get the ambushed CoBRA team to hospital. The difficult terrain of the area makes it difficult for the chopper to land and rescue the injured men. Officials said while two commandos, identified as constables Linju N and Fateh Singh had succumbed to their bullet injuries on Thursday, their colleague Lakshman Singh died yesterday. At least 15 others, including CoBRA Comamnder P S Yadav and the chief of the state polices’ District Reserve Group (DRG), have been injured in the encounter which ended early today.The patrol squad that came under fire on noon in the jungles of the district, has been brought to the Kistaram police station from the encounter site of Dabbanarka in Sukma early today by multiple Mi-17 helicopter sorties, they said.Inspector General (Bastar range) SRP Kalluri and Sukma Superintendent of Police D Shravan are camping at Kistaram, about 500 kms from the state capital to monitor the operations, they said. The others who sustained bullet and splinter injuries include Assistant Commandant Yogendra, Sub-Inspector Rajveer Singh, Head constable Santosh, Constable Sona Ram and some men of the DRG.The encounter began when personnel of CRPF’s exclusive jungle warfare unit CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) had the first exchange of fire with Maoists in the jungles of Bastar area. The CoBRA team encountered multiple ambushes and fire fights beginning 12.30 PM yesterday and while evacuating the area, heavily armed Maoists engaged them in intermittent gunfire, till late in the night.With ANI/PTI inputs.

We will fight govt to ensure justice for Rohith Vemula, promises Kanhaiya Kumar

Afzal Guru is not my icon. He was a citizen of this country and an inhabitant of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of the country. He was punished by the law of the land and the same law allows to speak about the conviction, said Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar in a cautious reply to the questions asked by mediapersons during a press conference on Friday evening.

He made it clear that he won’t talk about the merits of the case which is subjudice. Kumar is out on six-month interim bail in a sedition case filed against him and his fellow students in connection with the 9 February event organised on the campus where anti-national slogans were allegedly shouted.

“I can assure you that a JNU student can never indulge in anti-national activities. We want to assure the taxpayers that a JNU student can never be anti-national,” he said responding to the public opinion these days that the varsity be “shut down as taxpayers’ money cannot be spent on the hub of anti-nationals”.

Kanhaiya Kumar. PTIKanhaiya Kumar. PTI

Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI

He condemned the 9 February incident. Asked about his views on the alleged sloganeering, Kumar said, “It is for the court to decide and I believe in the judiciary. The Constitution is not a video that can be doctored.” He was taking a dig at some news channels that allegedly tampered with a video purportedly of the 9 February event to create a hysteria against these ‘anti-nationals’.

“We want to tell the nation that we are being lynched by mobs in trains and autos. Fabricated videos were used to malign the image of JNU, where 60 percent of the students are girls and majority of the students come from marginalised section of the society and have a humble family background,” said Kumar who was confidently facing tough questions and assuring every press man that they would get a reply.

He went on to add that Rohith Vemula, the PhD student who committed suicide at University of Hyderabad, was his icon. “Tum kitne Rohith maroge, har ghar se Rohith niklega (How many Rohiths will you kill, every house will produce a Rohith). We will fight the government to ensure justice for him. Our fight is long. And therefore, we hold unity march, not a victory march,” said the JNUSU president.

Asked whether he is planning to campaign for his party (the Communist Party of India) in the upcoming state elections, he said, “I am not a leader, just a student. I was elected as the president of students’ union at JNU. I work for them. I have to resolve their issues.”

He is pursuing PhD in social transformation at the Centre for African Studies and wants to become a teacher.

He sees the current political atmosphere as “dark cloud” but is hopeful that the same dark cloud will bring a heavy rain. “These dark clouds will go away,” he added.

Asked whether he justifies the alleged slogans raised in favour of a Parliament attack convict, he clarified that he does not endorse such slogans at all. “Raising such slogans is not justified,” he said. Asked why did not he intervene in the capacity of the JNUSU president when “anti-national” slogans were chanted on 9 February, he said, “I am not a permitting authority and stopping such events from taking place is not in my domain.” But “I urge the government not to use serious charge of sedition to ruin future of students”.

Asked whether he is afraid of the police in his fight against the state and common perception, the confident Kumar added that he used to be fearful but after facing the police, his fear vanished. “I am not afraid of the police or the state, but the RSS. But the more they try to make me afraid, the more I become stronger. My fight against the right wing forces which try to divide the society on the basis of caste, creed and religion will go on till my last breath,” he said.

Asked why he thinks there is a binary being created between “anti-national” students and those who die protecting the borders, Kumar added, “All our jawans are martyrs. Those who claim to be the custodian of nationalism should know my brother, who was serving in the CRPF, died while fighting Maoist insurgents… but at the same time, the farmers who are committing suicide and those who are killed in cold blood in the name of Maoists are also martyrs”.

Chhattisgarh: Woman Naxal killed in in Narayanpur firing

A woman Naxal was on Thursday killed in an exchange of fire with police in Abhujmad area of Chhattisgarh’s Maoist-hit Narayanpur district, police said.”The skirmish took place in Kasturmeta forests,” said Inspector General of Police, Bastar range, S R P Kalluri.Following the reports of killing of some tribals in Abhujmad by Maoists after accusing them of being police informers, security forces had been sent to the interior villages like Kutul, Parpa and Kasturmeta for getting more information, the IG told PTI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A police team spotted a group of ultras in Kasturmeta forests following which a gun-battle broke out but the Maoists soon fled taking cover in the forest, he said. Subsequently, during a search, the body of a woman Naxal wearing a uniform was found. A .303 rifle was also recovered from the spot, the IG said.”Her identity is being ascertained. Preliminary investigation showed that she was not a local. She could be from People’s Party Member (PPM) of Maoists,” he said.A police team was still pursuing some rebels who could have been injured in the encounter and fled towards Ketulnar village, the IG added.

Naxals kill 10 villagers in Chhattisgarh for being informers: Cops

Raipur: Maoists have killed at least ten villagers in the Abhujmad area of Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Narayanpur district after suspecting them to be informers in the last few days, police said on Tuesday.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

“The incidents took place at various villages located inside the core area of Abhujmad under Narayanpur and Orchha police station limits during the past week,” a senior police officer told PTI.

So far police had received specific information about the killing of ten villagers by the ultras, he said, adding that security forces had been rushed to these villages. The forces have been directed to be extra cautious while moving into the forests so as not to fall into any trap, he said.

“We have reports of the four murders in past two-three days in remote pockets of Abhujmad,” Narayanpur Superintendent of Police Abhishek Meena told PTI.

There were similar reports from elsewhere too and police teams had been sent to verify them, he said.

According to police sources, some senior Maoist leaders recently met in Abhujmad after the ultras suffered major
setbacks in encounters with police in the region.

“These killings are the outcome of the frustration of their senior leaders with the increasing pressure of security forces in their so-called liberated zone,” the SP said.

On February 27, a local man named Sukhram Poyam was shot dead by rebels at Kundla village under Kurusnar police station limits, who suspected him to be a police informer.

PTI

8 Maoists killed in gunbattle on Telangana-Chhattisgarh border; weapons recovered

At least eight Maoists were killed in a gunbattle with police near the border of Telangana’s Khammam district and neighbouring Chhattisgarh state in the early hours on Tuesday, police said.The exchange of fire took place between a team of Greyhounds — Telangana’s anti-Naxal force — and the rebels in a forest area bordering Chhattisgarh, a senior Intelligence official from Telangana Police told PTI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Telangana Maoist party Secretary Hari Bhushan and Divisional Commander Lachhanna were also neutralised in the encounter. An AK 47, two SLR and three 303 rifles were recovered from Putapadu near Cherla, reported ANI.Bodies have been recovered and the identification process is on, he said.Eight weapons have been recovered from the site, he said.Combing operation is on in the forest area, he added.

Beneath the word: What nationalism should actually mean to Indians

By Ajay Kumar

What is nationalism but an extension of one’s ego cast on the egos of others? Nationalism is taking the ego of one person and demanding that all egos comply in order to meet the identity. It comes from the idea of an “ideal citizen” and it expects every person to fall in line. Those that don’t are anti-national but nationalism does not give us a solution on what is to be done with them. Patriotism is very different though.

Understanding nationalism. AFPUnderstanding nationalism. AFP

Understanding nationalism. AFP

Patriotism is looking at things the way they are and resolving to fix them. Nationalism is trying to make everything else look the way a certain sector sees it. India does not have a nationalist constitution, thank heavens for that but what we do have is a patriotic one and the evidence of it stares us in the face.

India never had to crush a violent communist insurgency. Our Communists contested and contest elections. Separatist parties in Jammu and Kashmir contest elections as well. There is no armed Dalit revolution staring us in the face and quite frankly there probably never will be. The Maoists who continue to wage war against India are slowly finding out that they are fighting a losing battle. The rights of the Adivasis they claim to represent will be better won at the ballot box than through the barrel of a Kalashnikov.

By allowing people to air their grievances and showing them that there was a legitimate means to resolve them within the framework of our country, we secured our future. Pakistan did not do this and they fell into utter chaos. Burma did not do this and they fall into utter chaos. Bangladesh did not do this and they also fell into utter chaos. Nepal with the Madhesi revolt it is witnessing right now the problems with doing this, and they have like India been sensible and decided that accommodation was far better than confrontation.

For a country like ours to stay together, we have to reject the idea that we are nation. We are instead a diverse family united by common citizenship sharing a space we call India. From the kmountain peaks in Kashmir to the multi-coloured sands of the cape at Kanyakumari, India is one big diverse family that chooses every morning to live with each other. It makes life easier if a weaver from the South could sell his silk sarees in the North, and it makes life easier for a young person in the North East , if he can get a job in Delhi. It makes sense to have a Central government that handles things that makes this system possible and it makes even more sense to have a state government to take care of day to day issues. Our Constitution is structured in a manner that no one authority can ever possess all power, this way, everyone has a space.

Looking at India makes it apparent that there is no no Indian Nation, but there is an Indian Republic and there can be no space for nationalism of any kind in a republic. We live together not cause we have to , but we do so cause we consent to and it helps us with achieving true Swaraj.

Swaraj means many things, but at its core it means “Self-Rule”, the right of an individual to determine their own destiny. Our country can only stay together so long as each person has the freedom to do so and the moment we tell someone they do no have this right, we begin to see the tears in our fabric. Swaraj means letting the Maulvi in Uttar Pradesh, grow his beard three feet long and sacrifice animals at Bakrid, while also letting the Jain monk sit down and fast himself to death with a view of attaining liberation. Each person must experience Swaraj and that is the purpose of our Constitution that seeks to guarantee each person the right to achieve it. Our daily realities though make is aware of this fact that we are better off achieving Swaraj together than achieving it ourselves.

India is not a monolith nation, in fact it never was. There were always many nations united by one common idea. The idea that living together was better than living apart. That mutual cooperation was in all our interests and it was only through this cooperation that we could all attain Swaraj. India will always be many nations united under one Republic, there will be Tamils, Bengalis, Marathas, Malyalees, Konkani’s etc. They will all have one thing in common though, their citizenship which makes them all equal in front of each other.

Swaraj is my birth right so you can take your nationalism and put it where the sun doth not shine. I have my patriotism and that’s good enough for me. It’s good enough for the one billion odd diverse members of my family who each have their own ridiculous ideas on how the world should work. My patriotism lets me take no issue with them pursuing their own interests, for the unity of India is the fact that none of us can survive without the other. Let them be against the death penalty for the most heinous of terrorists, such is their right. Let them call out the discrimination they feel, that is their right. But so long as their means is the ballot box, it is a re-affirmation of the idea that we are a republic.

India stays together not because it is our divine destiny, we stay together, because it is the best way forward and it’s time the government understood that. If we are to have a “Nationalism” that this government claims we must, then let it be the kind that lifts our poor out of poverty, that builds and provides sanitation to all, the kind that guarantees health care to each citizen and the one that makes sure that there will be no hurdles in attaining individual self-realisation.

Let it not be the kind where a human resources minister denounces the beliefs of India’s most marginalised on the floor of the House of the People, let us not be the kind, where those who differ with their government are asked to move to another country and most of all, let us not be the kind where a government in a rush to cover its mistakes, has sacrificed its moral authority.

Let our nationalism be the kind that takes this country forward, each one billion odd of us, instead of trying to turn us into a historical ideal that only the government recognises and the common people resent.

BJP to brazen it out on JNU issue in Parliament; Opposition braces up to take on government

Sensing political mileage from the JNU episode, the BJP is all set to take a bellicose stand on “nationalism” in Parliament as the Opposition tries to corner government for “targeting” students.At a meeting of the BJP’s Parliamentary Party Executive on Tuesday night, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is understood to have asked party MPs to present their stand “effectively” in Parliament. Modi, who also chaired a meeting of the NDA parliamentary parties, said the BJP and its allies should take a united stand on issues, sources said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The meetings were also addressed by finance minister Arun Jaitley and BJP President Amit Shah. The crisp message from the leadership to the MPs was that the party was on strong footing on the issue and the facts should be placed before the House, sources said. The facts, according to them, showed that the JNU episode on February 9 when “anti-India” were raised was a planned strategy involving Jihadi groups who got support of Maoists.Jaitley, who briefed the parliamentarians on the sedition law, was of the view that while “Khalistan zindabad” may not attract sedition charges, saying “India murdabad” made a case for sedition, according to sources.The party leadership feels that the Congress, particularly its vice-president Rahul Gandhi who went for the students’ Rohith Vemula protest, was falling into the trap of the Left, which wanted to keep the JNU issue alive ahead of the Kerala elections.The debates on two universities– Rohith Vemula’s suicide in Hyderabad and JNU– have been fixed for Wednesday in Rajya Sabha and for Thursday in Lok Sabha. BSP supremo Mayawati is understood to have given a notice for an adjournment motion on the suicide of Vemula, a dalit student, an issue on which the Opposition has launched an offensive on the government.Just before the session began on Tuesday morning, the Prime Minister said “the country is watching eagerly…. I believe that Parliament’s time shall be utilised and constructive dialogue will take place.” He said the Opposition had shown positive steps.The Opposition has said that it would cooperate in smooth functioning of the House if the government gave priority to some crucial debates it was seeking. “We want Parliament to function. We should discuss dispassionately but some people are trying to whip up passions. The correct message should go to the people,” CPM MP Mohd Salim said.In his address to both houses of Parliament, President Pranab Mukherjee called for “debate and discussion and not disruption or obstruction”.The agenda for the week was decided at meetings of Business Advisory Committee (BAC) for both houses. The Lok Sabha will take up discussion on President’s address on Wednesday.The Congress had made it clear on Monday that the government should not take up contentious bills like GST in the first half of the budget session, which began on Tuesday.

Injured rights activist moved to Delhi

A prominent Indian tribal rights activist who was attacked with a chemical substance in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh has been moved to Delhi for treatment.

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