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War Against Maoists In India
<b>Naxals growing on large-scale extortion</b>

Devesh K. Pandey

Sunday, Mar 23, 2008

<b>Chatra (JHARKHAND) : Extortion has become a major source of revenue generation for the naxals operating from the hilly terrains and dense forests of Jharkhand, one of the most natural resource-rich States of the country. Even though relentless police action has dealt a heavy blow to their expansion plans in the area, efforts to throttle their money supply lines have not succeeded so far.</b>

The naxals here have strategically targeted every source of wealth generation in the State such as government-contracted construction works, auctions, coal and mineral mining, and brick kiln business. The police have reason to believe that the naxals raise as much as Rs.350 crore per year, nearly double the annual budget of the Jharkhand police!

The most important source of the naxals’ income is levy-collection from “tendu patta” (the leaf used for making beedis) and “kattha” contractors. The money generated through these two sources only is estimated at about Rs.57 crore per season.

Lately the extremists have also started raising funds through cultivation of opium and by extorting money from opium growers. The police said such activities were going on in Chatra, Latehar, Giridih, Hazaribagh and areas along the Jharkhand-West Bengal border. Besides, the police have information that Government employees working in remote areas are also being forced to part with “protection money”.

Intelligence inputs gathered by security forces have revealed that at least on paper, 70 per cent of the revenue collected by the naxals from various districts, which is done by zonal commanders, is forwarded to the higher level functionaries for the “party fund”. The rest is used for day-to-day expenses. <b>“However, there are instances where zonal commanders have been found leading a lavish life and buying properties, whereas the lower-rungs live in pitiable condition. In many cases, top naxal leaders have vanished with the collection amounts running into crores,” said a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officer.</b>

The officer said the lure of money was so strong within the cadres that the fight for retaining the levy amount had led to a rift among various groups and eventual parting of ways. Tritiya Sammelan Prastuti Committee, which has emerged as a powerful outfit giving a tough fight to its parent group, and Jharkhand Liberation Tigers are two such examples.

While the CRPF along with the police has managed to contain naxal activities to a great extent, the Administration has failed to put a check on the system of levy collection. “The government-contracted works are their main source of levy collection. We try our best to convince the contractors to lodge complaints against any threats from the naxals, but rarely do they come forward,” said a senior police officer.

<b>“It may sound weird but at times we feel that all the government-funded developmental works should be frozen to ensure that the money meant for infrastructural development does not get diverted to the naxals who use it for procurement of weapons,” said the officer.</b>
<b>Rs 500 cr for Naxal-hit areas </b>

New Delhi, Mar 23: Concerned over growing Left wing extremism in various states, the Centre has decided to allocate Rs 500 crore during the 11th Plan for development of infrastructure in naxal-hit areas.

<b>The new scheme aims at providing critical mobility to the police by upgrading existing roads and tracks in inaccessible areas and securing camping grounds and helipads at strategic locations in remote and interior areas, Home Ministry sources said.

Helicopters have been provided to affected states for rushing central para-military forces and evacuating injured people and security personnel, but in the absence of helipads state governments are unable to make right use of the machines.</b>

The scheme, which is fully funded by the Centre, also seeks to provide security to police stations and outposts by strengthening those at risk of attack due to their dilapidated condition, the sources said.

There have been several incidents of naxals storming police stations in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa in which personnel have been attacked and arms looted.

Through the plan, to be implemented by concerned state governments, the Centre intends to upgrade and strengthen approach roads to police stations and outposts where there is risk of attack by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and landmines.
Separate items:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->April 1: At least eight Naxalites were killed in an encounter with Central Reserve Police Force personnel in Jharkhand's Garwah district, official sources said.

Reports from the CRPF headquarters said that eight Naxalites were killed in an encounter between the Naxals and the 13th battalion of the CRPF late on Monday night in Garwah district, official sources said.

A huge quantity of arms and ammunition, including 20 quintal of gelatin explosive, were recovered from them. http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/apr/01naxal.htm<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Surrendered Maoists escape with AK-47s
Indo-Asian News Service

Gondia, March 30: Two surrendered Maoists in Maharashtra decamped with a couple of AK-47 guns and ammunitions from a heavily guarded police sub-divisional office, police sources said today.

The incident occurred at Deoli police sub-divisional office in east Vidarbha last night when Maoists Arjun and Korcha escaped on a police motorcycle carrying two guns, a hand-grenade and seven magazines.

The Maoists had surrendered to the police last year and were supposedly under constant police surveillance, sources said.The incident created embarrassment for the police top brass as chief minister Mr Vilasrao Deshmukh was also visiting the district today.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Maoist leader, wife killed in Warangal encounter </b>
Omer Farooq | Hyderabad
The outlawed CPI (Maoist) on Wednesday suffered yet another major blow when one of its central committee members was getting killed in an encounter with the police in Warangal district on Wednesday morning.

The Warangal district superintendent of police CV Sajjanar said two were killed in an encounter near Kuntanpally village under Eturunagaram mandal in early hours of Wednesday. Those killed were identified as G Saraiah alias Azad, the member of Maoist central committee and central military commission and his wife Padma.

This is the second major setback for the organisation with in a fortnight. <b>Seventeen of its members were killed on Andhra-Chhattisgarh border on March 18 </b>in a joint operation by the police of the two States.

The police said that the encounter took place during a routine combing operation by the Special Police Force Greyhounds in the area. They said that when asked to surrender, a group of Maoists opened fire at them and when the police returned fire, two of them died.

While police insisted that <b>the deaths were results of an encounter, a pro-Maoist poet Varavara Rao alleged that Azad and his wife were caught by the police elsewhere, but police dumped their bodies in Warangal after killing them</b>. "The presence of a central committee member of CPI Maoist in Warangal makes no sense," he said.

He told the media in Hyderabad that it was clearly a case of cold blooded murder. "The postmortem should be carried out only after the family members identify the victims", he said.

<b>Meanwhile Azad's son Naveen has also approached the district court in Warangal seeking the postmortem of the bodies at the MGM Hospital in Warangal. Azaad, who belongs to Warangal district, had started as a lower level activist in the People's War Group and went on to become one of its top leaders over a period of two and a half decades. </b>He was seen as a key figure in the organisation as he was part of the central commission which carries out major attacks against the targets of the organisation.
<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Apr 3 2008, 10:05 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Apr 3 2008, 10:05 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Maoist leader, wife killed in Warangal encounter </b>

This is the second major setback for the organisation with in a fortnight. <b>Seventeen of its members were killed on Andhra-Chhattisgarh border on March 18 </b>in a joint operation by the police of the two States.

While police insisted that <b>the deaths were results of an encounter, a pro-Maoist poet Varavara Rao alleged that Azad and his wife were caught by the police elsewhere, but police dumped their bodies in Warangal after killing them</b>.

Varavara Rao the habitual liar
is known to make such allegations
when the police eliminate any one of his top maoist boss.
X-posting here, since this news is more relevant here.

<!--QuoteBegin-"dhu"+-->QUOTE("dhu")<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Maoists open doors for NRIs</b>

Dhanbad: <b>The Communist Party of India (Maoist) has opened its doors to non-resident Indians (NRIs) and foreign nationals living in India.</b> “An Indian residing in a foreign country and otherwise fit for party membership, may be given membership, <b>a foreigner residing in India permanently can also be given membership</b>,” reads the new constitution of CPI (Maoist) released recently.

The outfit has also resolved to be more stringent on international issues. Further, it has decided to recruit full-time members at 16. The number of child recruits, it may be mentioned, is already on the rise in the twin states of Bihar and Jharkhand due to malnutrition and acute poverty in the villages.

Interestingly, the outfit envisioning a classless society has fixed separate norms for membership to people belonging to different classes with a clear bias in favour of the working class. It has prescribed six months obervation period for members coming from working classes and agricultural labourers; one year for middle peasants, petty bourgeoisie and urban middle class; and two years for other classes.

The outfit further clarifies that no one from the exploiting classes (read rich and upper caste people) will be admitted into the party unless he or she hands over his or her property to the party. There is no such bar for the rest.

The outfit’s new constitution reflects a marked change in their strategy with greater focus on the armed struggle. "Armed movement will remain the main form of struggle and the army the main form of organization. Mass organizations and mass struggles are necessary and indispensable but their purpose is to serve the war. The immediate and most urgent task is to establish a full-fledged people's liberation army (PLA) and by developing and transforming guerilla zones and guerrilla bases," the constitution reads.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-"Mudy"+-->QUOTE("Mudy")<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->
Dhanbad: <b>The Communist Party of India (Maoist) has opened its doors to non-resident Indians (NRIs) and foreign nationals living in India.</b> “An Indian residing in a foreign country and otherwise fit for party membership, may be given membership, <b>a foreigner residing in India permanently can also be given membership</b>,” reads the new constitution of CPI (Maoist) released recently.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Not clear whether FOSA, FOIL, ASHA etc had to re-apply or not.
<b>Maoists kill villager in Orissa</b>
Apr 5, 2008
Malkangiri (Orissa), April 5 - Maoists shot dead a villager in Orissa's Malkangiri district accusing him of being a "police spy".

About four maoists shot dead Sayam Lachha, 40, while he was attending a wedding in Ragadpali village, about 700 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, late Friday.

The maoists disappeared after committing the crime.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Naxals planning major strikes in UP</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Apr 6 2008

<b>Naxalites have set up new bases in Uttar Pradesh and are planning "major strikes" in the state, a top police officer has said.</b>

"We have information that new entrants are being trained in the jungles and rugged zones. We are working to avert any strike," the senior officer, who refused to be identified, told PTI.

<b>Quoting intelligence reports, the officer said the Naxals were planning to attack offices and camps of security forces besides planning to loot explosives from godowns of rock industry units and wholesale suppliers based in Sonebhadra and Mirzapur.

The last major Naxal strike in Uttar Pradesh was on November 20, 2004, when the ultras ambushed a police patrol party and killed at least 17 cops near a culvert in Chandauli district.

The incident occurred when landmines blew up the vehicle carrying Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel, who were proceeding towards Naugarh police station area for a combing operation.</b>

Besides, the senior officer said that the Naxals were also using "money power" to recruit people from weaker sections of the society with the help of some NGOs and smaller political outfits.

Such recruits generally conducted single strike after which they returned to their native villages to evade any suspicion, he added.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Hitech action against Maoists yields results - Pioneer</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Rakesh K Singh | New Delhi

67 Maoist terrorists killed, 176 surrender in 3 months

Actionable intelligence, surveillance on the movement of the cadre of outlawed militia through helicopters and satellite images are helping the security forces in flushing out militants from the jungles in large numbers through well-coordinated anti-Maoist operations.

In the first three months this year, anti-Maoist flush-out operations launched after the Nayagarh raid by the ultras, as many as 67 Maoists have been killed, 6,230 kilogram of explosives and about 39,000 live ammunition and 1,157 arms have been recovered in 40 encounters with the security forces.

While 176 extremists have surrendered before the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) till March 31 this year, the paramilitary forces have also sustained losses, including 12 casualties, injuries to 10 personnel, loss of 10 arms and over 900 rounds of ammunition.

The CRPF has also recovered 252 grenades from the Maoists in joint operations in the Maoist-affected States of Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

While 20 Maoists were eliminated by the Orissa police after the operations launched against the ultras after the Nayagarh incident, another 18 militants/Left extremists were killed in joint operations by the security forces of Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The CRPF has eliminated another 29 Maoists in anti-Maoist operations from January to April 1 this year.

Apart from satellite images, helicopters are being used to trace the movement of Maoists in dense forest areas for carrying out the flush-out operations, a senior CRPF official said, adding that instructions were issued by the Central Government following the Nayagarh incident and a noticeable increase in the casualties of the security forces at the hands of the ultras last year.

As many as 236 security force personnel were killed last year in contrast to 105 such casualties in 2003, 100 in 2004, 153 in 2005 and 157 in 2006. Conversely, the number of Maoists eliminated by the security forces reduced from 274 casualties in 2006 to just 141 in 2007.

However, civilian casualties decreased slightly from 521 in 2006 to 260 in 2007, according to the latest status paper on internal security of the Union Home Ministry.

In 2007, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand together accounted for 68 per cent of the total incidents (1565) and 76 per cent of the total casualties. Higher number of incidents and casualties in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand is attributed to increased use of improvised explosive devices by the Maoists.

Anti-Maoist drive
In 40 encounters, 6,230 kilogram of explosives and 39,000 live ammunition and 1,157 arms have been recovered from Maoists.

CRPF lost 12 jawans; injuries to 10 personnel, loss of 10 arms and over 900 rounds of ammunition.

Apart from satellite images, helicopters are used to trace Maoists.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Maoists on the run</b>
The Pioneer Edit Desk
Coordinated counter-attack pays dividends
The war between the Maoists in central India and the Indian security forces has intensified. It is a positive development that the police have taken the initiative in engaging with the country's nefarious internal enemy. Till recently, the Maoists used to select the time and place of combat and were especially delighted in making the police and other symbols of the Indian state their target. In the last few months, however, the security forces, to their credit, have been successful in flushing the militants out through well coordinated anti-Maoist operations in large numbers from the jungles which formed their hideouts and training grounds. In the first three month of this year, such operations have resulted in the death of 67 ultras and the seizure of 6,230 kg of explosives, 39,000 live ammunition and 1,157 arms in 40 encounters. In another mark of success, 176 extremists have surrendered before the CRPF by March 31. An important aspect of these operations has been the co-ordination between the police forces of Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, as also with the Central forces as well in the States of Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Earlier, operations against the Maoists used to be hampered by the absence of fine-tuned coordination, and the extremists make good use of State boundaries, as part of their hit-and-run tactics, to escape. A novel feature of these operations is the use of technological resources by the Government forces, which has given them an edge. The flushing operations have been aided by surveillance on the outlawed militia cadre through satellite imagery and helicopters. These are all signs that the Government has at last begun to take the Maoist threat with some of the seriousness it deserves.

These operations have not come early enough. The Maoists have taken a particularly vicious toll of the security forces over the last year with as many as 236 security force personnel killed. This was an alarming rise over the figures for such deaths over the previous years and was in contrast to the decline in the number of Maoists eliminated over the same period. It was clear that Maoists had gathered strength and were confident in their plans to rollback the Indian state. The successes of the security forces in the early months of this year, though commendable, should not make them complacent. The Maoists remain well-entrenched in several States and have access to funds, weapons and technological resources. They have reportedly also developed international links, including with several jihadi outfits. It is not going to be easy to root out 'red' terror from the Indian countryside and will require a sustained effort over a period of time

Too soon they had started celebrating, till UPA and Commies are in power this is just a eyewash.
<b>Maoist terrorists brutally kill 7 villagers including women and children in Jharkand</b>

Ranchi, DHNS:
Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Seven villagers were killed in an ambush by terrorists of the banned CPI (Maoist) in Jharkhand’s Gumla district on Tuesday morning.

Confirming the incident, Senior IPS officer and (Jharkhand) police spokesperson R K Mullick said the deceased included <b>four men, two women and a child.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Bloody coward maoists killing women and children. Let these maoists flesh rot.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> “A combing operation has been launched in the area to nab the Maoists involved in the incident,” he said.

According to police, as a vehicle carrying Bhawdeo Singh along with three other men, besides two women and a child was crossing a forest area near Semara village under Palkot police station limits of Gumla district, armed Maoists appeared from the forest and began spraying bullets on the vehicle.

The Maoists later burnt the vehicle using petrol bomb. Bodies of the three victims were charred beyond recognition.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Maoists attack GRP outpost, kill 5 cops</b>
Amarnath Tewary | Patna (Pioneer)

Hundreds of Maoists on Sunday evening attacked a Government Railway Police Force (GRPF) outpost at Jhajha in Jamui district of Bihar. 

According to Kamai Superintendent of Police Vinay Kumar, six people were killed by the Maoists. Among those killed were five policemen - two SAP jawans, two GRP cops and one sub-inspector of GRP. One porter at the railway station was also killed in the exchange of fire.

The Maoists fled after looting arms and ammunition from the police outpost.

The SP said it is yet to be confirmed how many arms and ammunition have been looted. The identity of the porter is also yet to be verified, he added.

He said there was no casualty from the Maoists' side. A massive combing operation is going on, according to the SP.

Jamai along with bordering districts like Lakhasarai and Munger are considered Maoist strongholds. It is a hilly terrain that gives safe passage to Maoists.

It is after three years that Maoists have made a major attack on the police in the State.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Gumla in Jharkhand resists Naxal violence</b>

Apr 14 2008
Gumla (Jharkhand),

For centuries, the place where today's Gulma district of Jharkhand exists, was a rendezvous for people from the hinterland who converged here to exchange goods under the barter system.

The place was then known as Gaw-Mela in which the "Gaw" stood for cows and the cattle and "Mela" for fair. But today, it is a tribal-dominated Gumla district and spread over an area of 5,327 square kilometers.

Having a populace of about 700,000, the place attracts attention, as almost every family here survives on traditional means of livelihood like agriculture. But the locals are affected by Naxalites.

As, it happened recently when the <b>Naxalites attacked the villagers in Semra-Bhandratoli area and killed nine individuals, which included a child and three women.</b>

The deceased are reported to be members of a local peace group, the Shanti Sena, whose chief Bhado Singh was also killed.

<b>"I saw people crying and wailing. I asked them what was the matter. They told me that Naxalites had killed Bhado Singh and other people. The Naxalites also set on fire the vehicle of the victims with their dead bodies," said one villager.</b>

Shanti Sena is determined to continue its work and help people of the area see a ray of hope in Shanti Sena.

They live with the hope that the Naxalite, who profess to be fighting for villagers' rights, will give up violence.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Maoists hike their levies too</b>

Naxals earn Rs 1,000 cr in '07;  Increase levies to set target of 1,125cr for '08

A revenue collection of Rs1,000 crore in 2007 and a target of Rs1,125 crore for 2008 with a 25% increase in levies.

These innocuous-looking figures are not part of the yearly fiscal report and projections of some government agency, but ominous snippets from the annual Maoist budget.

Recent documents and hard disks seized from Misir Mishra, a central committee member of the CPI (Maoist) arrested in Jharkhand last month, reveal that the naxals not only run a parallel government in certain pockets of the country but also have a well-organised `finance ministry' which maintains a record of every penny earned and spent, hikes taxes and sets targets.

According to Mishra's revelations, Maoists collected over Rs1,000 crore in 2007 through their state committees and have set a target of Rs1,125 crore for 2008.

<b>The Andhra Pradesh police have discovered a long list of donors, contractors and industrialists who contributed to naxal coffers. Article 60 of the constitution of the CPI (Maoists) lists membership fees, levies, donations, taxes, penalties and wealth confiscated from enemies as the source of revenue.

According to the police, the last congress of the CPI (Maoists) held at Abujmad in Chhattisgarh fixed a revenue target of Rs1,125 crore for the current year and, accordingly, increased the levies on the state committees by over 25%. The documents showed that Andhra Pradesh had gone down in the fund raising ranking from the second to third spot after Bihar and Chhattisgarh.

Mishra is learnt to have told his interrogators that while Bihar raised Rs200 crore, AP's collection came down from Rs300 crore to Rs100 crore last year.

Jharkhand raised Rs75 crore in 2007 and would raise Rs110 crore in 2008. Maharashtra raised Rs100 crore while Karnataka contributed Rs78 crore and Tamil Nadu pitched in with Rs35 crore in 2007.

Mishra reportedly told the police that some prominent Maoists leaders like Sambashivudu alone raised over Rs80 crore and party secretary Ganapati raised Rs285 crore in 2007.

"All the leaders operated their own bank accounts, funded their units and operations but reported to the central committee. They also contributed to the corpus fund of the central military commission separately for the maintenance of the provincial guerrilla army," Mishra is learnt to have revealed.</b>

Major sources of income for the Maoists were road contractors, contractors for forest produce like tendu leaves (beedi leaves), bamboo and wood. They have reportedly made deals with poachers, smugglers and liquor and timber runners in the forests. In the areas under their control, including district towns, Maoists levy a tax on small enterprises like spinning mills, beedi units, rice and flour mills, kirana, medical, cigarette, liquor shops and private doctors. All illegal operators, including private schools operating in villages and district towns, are coerced to pay.

On the expenditure side, police sources reveal, the Maoists spent over Rs175 crore in 2007 for purchasing weapons, including AK-47, landmines, rocket launchers, vehicles, uniforms and medicines.

<b>An Australian arms dealer has struck a deal with Maoists to supply via Malaysia-West Bengal drug route, a record 200 AK-47s by the end of 2008, they say. They have also acquired motorcycles with special tyres to make travel easier in dense forests and tough terrain.</b>

Publicity and propaganda is another major head on which the Maoists spend considerably, according to the seized literature. Besides maintaining web sites, publishing party magazines Awam-e-jung (Hindi) and the CPI Maoists (English), they also operate a low frequency radio in the jungles to campaign against police and the administration.

The CPI (Maoist) also spent huge sums on communication equipment with mobile and satellite phones being the common issue. Very recently, Raipur police raided an urban Maoist network centre and seized account books for collection of Rs5 crore. The raid had also yielded receipts for purchase of uniforms for nearly six battalions supplied by a Mumbai-based textile unit.

CPI (Maoists) was born in September 2004 with the merger of Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) of Bihar and the Communist Party of India (ML) also called the Peoples War Group (PWG) of Andhra Pradesh. The group, based predominantly on the Maoists Leninist (ML) ideology, has operations in 12 states and has a mission to form a Red Corridor from Dandakaranya (AP-Chhattisgarh-Jharkhand) to Nepal.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Maoist pig killed in Tamil Nadu</b>

Sat, Apr 19 2008
Dindigul (TN)

A Maoist terrorist was killed on the spot and another injured when a Special Task Force team surrounded five maoists and fired at them at Vadakavunchi near Perumpallam on the Kodaikanal-Palani road, 80 km from here early today, police said. Police said Naveen Prasanth (30) was killed on the spot.

Three others managed to escape. Naveen Prasanth had received arms training at a Maoist camp at Dharmapuri and was an expert in handling various sophisticated arms.

The name of the injured Maoist was not known immediately. Police had launched a massive hunt in Kodaikanal and Periyakulam hill areas following reports that Maoists were roaming around the area with the intention of setting up a base for arms training, the sources said.

The Maoists had even celebrated the victory of the Maoist party in Nepal by distributing sweets at Maruga malai near Periyakulam,police said. 'Q' branch police said search for other Maoists was on.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
came in email


MAY 7, 2008

In India, Death to Global Business
How a violent—and spreading—Maoist insurgency threatens the country’s runaway growth

by Manjeet Kripalani

On the night of Apr. 24, a group of 300 men and women, armed with bows and arrows and sickles and led by gun-wielding commanders, emerged swiftly and silently from the dense forest in India’s Chhattisgarh state. The guerrillas descended on an iron ore processing plant owned by Essar Steel, one of India’s biggest companies. There the attackers torched the heavy machinery on the site, plus 53 buses and trucks. Press reports say they also left a note: Stop shipping local resources out of the state—or else.

The assault on the Essar facility was the work of Naxalites—Maoist insurgents who seek the violent overthrow of the state and who despise India’s landowning and business classes. The Naxalites have been slowly but steadily spreading through the countryside for decades. Few outside India have heard of these rebels, named after the Bengal village of Naxalbari, where their movement started in 1967. Not many Indians have thought much about the Naxalites, either. The Naxalites mostly operate in the remote forests of eastern and central India, still a comfortable remove from the bustle of Mumbai and the thriving outsourcing centers of Gurgaon, New Delhi, and Bangalore.

Yet the Naxalites may be the sleeper threat to India’s economic power, potentially more damaging to Indian companies, foreign investors, and the state than pollution, crumbling infrastructure, or political gridlock. Just when India needs to ramp up its industrial machine to lock in growth—and just when foreign companies are joining the party—the Naxalites are clashing with the mining and steel companies essential to India’s long-term success. The threat doesn’t stop there. The Naxalites may move next on India’s cities, where outsourcing, finance, and retailing are thriving. Insurgents who embed themselves in the slums of Mumbai don’t have to overrun a call center to cast a pall over the India story. "People in the cities think India is strong and Naxalism will fizzle out," says Bhibhu Routray, the top Naxal expert at New Delhi’s Institute for Conflict Management. "Yet considering what has happened in Nepal"—where Maoists have just taken over the government—"it could happen here as well. States, capitals, districts could all be taken over."

Officials at the highest levels of government are starting to acknowledge the scale of the Naxal problem. In May a special report from the Planning Commission, a government think tank, detailed the extent of the danger and the "collective failure" in social and economic policy that caused it. The report comes five months after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh shocked the country with a candid admission: "The Naxal groups…are targeting all aspects of economic activity…[including] vital infrastructure so as to cripple transport and logistical capabilities and slow down any development. [We] cannot rest in peace until we have eliminated this virus."

Why such rhetoric now about a movement that has coexisted with the rest of India for more than 40 years? One reason is the widening reach of the Naxalites. Today they operate in 30% of India, up from 9% in 2002. Almost 1,400 Indians were killed in Naxal violence in 2007, according to the Asian Center for Human Rights.

Collision Course

The other reason for sounding the alarm stems from the increasingly close proximity between the corporate world and the forest domain of the Naxalites. India’s emergence as a hot growth market depended at first on the tech outsourcing boom in Bangalore and elsewhere. Now the world is discovering the skill and productivity of India’s manufacturers as well. Meanwhile India’s affluent urban consumers have started buying autos, appliances, and homes, and they’re demanding improvements in the country’s roads, bridges, and railroads. To stoke Indian manufacturing and satisfy consumers, the country needs cement, steel, and electric power in record amounts. In steel alone, India almost has to double capacity from 60 million tons a year now to 110 million tons. "We need a suitable social and economic environment to meet this national challenge," says Essar Steel chief Jatinder Mehra.

Instead there’s a collision with the Naxalites. India has lots of unmined iron ore and coal—the essential ingredients of steel and electric power. Anxious to revive their moribund economies, the poor but resource-rich states of eastern India have given mining and land rights to Indian and multinational companies. Yet these deposits lie mostly in territory where the Naxals operate. Chhattisgarh, a state in eastern India across from Mumbai and a hotbed of Naxalite activity, has 23% of India’s iron ore deposits and abundant coal. It has signed memoranda of understanding and other agreements worth billions with Tata Steel and ArcelorMittal (MT), De Beers Consolidated Mines, BHP Billiton (BHP), and Rio Tinto (RTP). Other states have cut similar deals. And U.S. companies like Caterpillar (CAT) want to sell equipment to the mining companies now digging in eastern India.

The appearance of mining crews, construction workers, and truckers in the forest has seriously alarmed the tribals who have lived in these regions from time immemorial. The tribals are a minority—about 85 million strong—who descend from India’s original inhabitants and are largely nature worshippers. They are desperately poor, but unlike the poverty of the urban masses in Mumbai or Kolkata, their suffering has remained largely hidden to outsiders and most Indians, caught up as they are in the country’s incredible growth. The Naxalites, however, know the tribals well and have recruited from their ranks for decades.

Judging from their past experience with development, the tribals have a right to be afraid of the mining and building that threaten to change their lands. "Tribals in India, like all indigenous people, are already the most displaced people in the country, having made way for major dams and other projects," says Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia chief researcher for Human Rights Watch, which is compiling a report on the Naxal movement. The tribals are supposed to be justly compensated for any land used by the companies, but the states’ record in this area is patchy at best.

The Biggest Threat

This creates an opening for the Naxalites. "If there is a land acquisition issue over a project, the Naxals come in and say, ’We will fight on your behalf,’" says Anami Roy, the director general of police for Maharashtra, the western state that has Mumbai as its capital. Upon his appointment to the post in March, Roy declared Naxalism to be the biggest threat to the state’s peace.

For those who see things differently from the Naxalites, the results can be terrifying. In January in Chhattisgarh, a village chieftain, suspected of being a police informer, was kidnapped, mutilated, and killed with a sickle—an example to any of the villagers who dared to oppose the Naxals. Company executives talk sotto voce about how dangerous it is for a villager to support business projects. "No villager has the courage to stand up to the Naxalites," says one manager who is often in the region. The possibility of violence has contributed to the slow progress of many mining projects. Nik Senapati, country head of Rio Tinto, which has outstanding permits for prospecting in eastern India, knows the threat. "It’s possible to work here," he says. "But we avoid parts where there are Naxals. We won’t risk our people."

The Naxalites often don’t hesitate to kill or intimidate their foes, no matter how powerful they are. Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, who is credited with turning the state capital of Hyderabad into a tech center, narrowly avoided death at their hands.

Targeting Cities

But the Naxalites can offer their followers clear benefits. Lakshmi Jalma Khodape, 32, alias Renuka, a petite tribal from Iheri, Maharashtra, was just 15 when she joined up. "I had no education," she recalls. "My father was a guard in the forest department. The Naxals taught me how to read and write." Eventually disgusted by the Naxals’ violence, Lakshmi surrendered to the state police and now lives under their protection.

Undeniably, the Naxals are viewed as Robin Hoods for many of their efforts. "The tribals have benefited economically thanks to the Naxals," says human rights lawyer K. Balagopal, who has defended captured Naxalites in court cases. In Maharashtra, tribals pick tender tendu leaves, which are rolled to make a cigarette called a "bidi." Contractors used to pay them the equivalent of a penny for picking 1,000 leaves from the surrounding forest. The contractors would then take the leaves to the factory owners and sell them for a huge markup. But the Naxals intervened, threatening the contractors and demanding better wages. Since 2002 the contractors have increased the price to about $4 per 1,000 leaves.

According to the Institute for Conflict Management, the Naxalites are now planning to penetrate India’s major cities. Ajai Sahni, executive director of the Institute, says they are looking to encircle urban centers, find sympathy among students and the unemployed, and create armed, "secret, self-defense squads" that will execute orders. Their targets are the two main industrialized belts that run along the east and west coasts.

That’s an ambitious plan, but the Institute estimates there are already 12,000 armed Naxalites, plus 13,000 "sympathizers and workers." This is no ragtag army. It is an organized force, trained in guerrilla warfare. At the top, it is led by a central command staffed by members of the educated classes. The government also fears the Naxalites have many clandestine supporters among the urban left. The police have recently been rounding up suspected allies in the cities.

Ready Recruits

The Naxalites are already operating on the edge of industrialized Maharashtra state, about 600 miles from Mumbai. The litany of complaints from village women in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district is endless and is one reason the Naxalites find ready recruits here. The teachers don’t come to teach in the government school, and when they do, say local parents, they drink and gamble on the premises. In one village, the sixth-graders don’t know how to read and write despite the fact that the state pays teachers 20% extra for volunteering to work in Naxal-infested areas. In the civil hospital in Gadchiroli, poor villagers have to purchase all the equipment for treatment themselves, from scalpels to swabs. (The hospital says it’s well stocked.) "This is what happens in nontribal villages," says Dr. Rani Bang, a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine physician who runs a popular tribal hospital in the nearby forest. "You can imagine how bad it is for tribals."

Despite the need to ease the tribals’ poverty and blunt the appeal of the Naxalites, New Delhi still treats the insurgency largely as a law-and-order problem. States like Chhattisgarh, whose ill-trained police force is overwhelmed, have unleashed vigilantes on the Naxalites and the tribals and given the force arms and special protection under the law. The vigilantes, called Salwa Judum ("Peace Mission"), have made homeless an estimated 52,000 tribals, who have fled to poorly run, disease-infested government camps. Allegations of rape and unprovoked killings have dogged the Salwa Judum. Efforts to reach Salwa Judum were unsuccessful, but the state government has vigorously defended the group.

The problem is so severe that, in March, a public interest lawsuit was filed in India’s Supreme Court by noted historian Ramachandra Guha, who demanded an investigation into Salwa Judum’s activities. The court granted the request in April. Guha himself is not sanguine about the state’s ability to address the Naxal issue. "The problem is serious, it is growing, our police force is soft," he says. "Thousands of lives will be lost over the next 15 years." <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Truck with explosives seized in Raipur </b>
Pioneer News Service | Raipur
A truck loaded with about nine tonnes of gelatine explosives was seized by the police on the outskirts of Raipur.

Police claimed that the explosive was stolen. The truck was found abandoned on Thursday from near national highway, police said on Friday.

The seizure has alarmed the police as it is the biggest recovery of explosives after a huge cache of arms and ammunition was recovered abandoned from a Raipur posh locality. Police sources did not rule out the possibility of explosives likely to be meant for carrying out a terror act or for the Left-wing guerrillas, though a probe has been ordered into it.

The explosives, police said, were ordered by a Nagpur-based coal mine company. The vehicle carrying the consignment containing explosives to Nagpur from Jharkhand, was stolen in Chhattisgarh's Janjgir district. However, how it reached the State capital is still unanswered. "The truck driver left the vehicle at Janjgi and went to Korba for some work, when it was stolen" city Superintendent of Police Lal Umed Singh told The Pioneer. He informed that Janjgir police had registered a case of theft of the same vehicle. A hunt is on to nab the driver.

Praise of Che by a Naxal sympathizer
Last month's news. Terrorists kill another terrorist.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>CPM savours the taste of Jihadi violence</b>
24/07/2008 02:10:04  HK

Kannur: CPM who nurtured NDF terrorist’s as a tool to annihilate Hindu organisations from Kerala is now facing the results of their own Karma.

A CPM activist Salim was killed by NDF terrorists following a dispute over sticking posters near a Madrrassa.

CPM has called for a shutdown in the area<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

From what I understand, Mathrubhumi is a communiterrorist paper in Kerala, DYFI a communist org and NDF an islami org there
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>`Mathrubhumi' office attacked by Muslim League in Retaliation to DYFI attack!</b>
23/07/2008 15:08:21 

KOZHIKODE: Muslim League activists pelted stones at the head office of Malayalam daily 'Mathrubhumi' in Kozhikode, Wednesday evening.

The incident occurred around 5.30 PM when the League volunteers, who were taking out a march in protest against the attack on the `League House' by DYFI in the morning stoned the newspaper office.

The attack happened at a time when involvement of NDF terrorists in IUML is reported by intelligence agencies.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->(Comments show how some islamiterrorist papers of Kerala have Hindu names. I think islamis' papers would sound better in the mangled Arabic of Mohammed. No disrespect meant to the original Arabic of the heathen Arabians.)
Maoists gun down girls.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Suspected Maoists on Saturday night gunned down at least five persons at an ashram for girls in Orissa's Kandhmal district and prominent VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati could be among the dead.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


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