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Archive for December 16th, 2007

105 ? Maoists flee after Dantewada jailbreak

Posted by Admin on December 16, 2007

Raipur (PTI): Amid a hail of gunfire, 299 inmates including 105 naxal activists escaped from the Dantewada jail in Chattisgarh after prison guards were overpowered in a daring jailbreak on Sunday in which three guards and two undertrials were injured.

In a major security lapse, the “pre-meditated” strike happened around 4.35 PM when the inmates were being served food during dinner time when a lone naxalite commandar Sujit Kumar overpowered a jail guard inside the prison and opened fire after snatching his rifle.

During the firing, three guards were injured, Dantewada jail sources said over phone. As many as 377 inmates are in the district prison, about 375 km from the state capital, which is located in a naxal infested area.

Principal Secretary(Home) N K Aswal said five jail officials including the jailer have been suspended in connection with the incident.

The naxals snatched one INSAS weapon, two .303 rifles and three muskets of the guards and one wireless set belonging before they fled, Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam told PTI.

Rahul Sharma, Superintendent of Police, Dantewada said the jail break was a “pre-meditated conspiracy” hatched by the undertrials, who were mostly naxal supporters.

“During the firing and clashes which lasted for about 15 minutes two naxal supporters were injured,” Sharma said.

To a question, Netam admitted there was a lapse in security in and around the Dantewada jail.

Police made some preliminary search operations in the jungle near the prison to nab the inmates but called it off as night fell. A major search will be resumed on Monday, police said.

The Home Minister said that Dantewada Superintendent of Police Rahul Sharma had informed him that they are facing problems in getting into the jungle in the night to look for the escaped inmates and are waiting for the crack of dawn to start a larger search.

The neighbouring states like Maharashtra, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh have been alerted along with other districts of the state, they said.

Director General (Jail) Sant Kumar Paswan had also been asked to rush to the spot to take stock of the situation, Netam said.

Meanwhile, official sources said the District Collector and the SP have been asked separately by the state government to submit reports on the incident and after that action will be taken against the officials who are responsible for the security lapses.

The officials also admitted that the local police of Dantewada were facing problem in the search operation to trace the inmates as the incident took place in the evening.

“The Maoists have planted landmines in many places of Bastar region, including Dantewada district, and entering the jungle in the evening will be directly getting into the naxal trap of ambush,” a top anti-naxal operation official said.

The Hindu

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Cut off Naxal supply chain: Centre

Posted by Admin on December 16, 2007

Statesman News Service
NEW DELHI, Dec. 15: With the increase in naxal activities and spreading of their network to populated areas, the Centre has asked states to make more concerted efforts and hit at the supply lifeline of naxal groups.

The main emphasis of security forces during anti-naxal operations in the country should be to cut the supply chain of left wing extremists and keep a check on their sympathisers and informers in towns, the Centre has told all naxal affected states.
At present, over 300 police stations are considered naxal-affected. However, the number is growing as the groups are spreading their network from remote towns to more popular and populated ones, intelligence agencies observed.

The analysis of naxal attacks carried out during the past two years suggests that they have built up strong information network in towns and are well versed with the planning of security forces, said an intelligence agency official. “They have also developed a strong supply chain for their logistical support, sometimes what they get in dense forests is not easily available in towns,” he said.

Intelligence inputs have revealed that some of the naxal groups are equipped with self-defence equipment like bullet proof jackets and night vision gadgets, which was unimaginable even in the late nineties, the official pointed out.

It is important to attack naxal groups in two ways: by taking actions against those who are acting as sympathisers and informers and to crack down on those who are supplying arms, ammunition and other logistical support to these groups, the Centre has told states.

It has urged states to adopt a three-pronged strategy: gain confidence of local people by taking up more welfare related activities; build up infrastructure in naxal-affected areas and generate employment; and launch joint security operations with neighbouring states to eliminate left wing extremists.

The Statesman

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West Bengal: Maoist’s IED threat sends cops scurrying to classroom

Posted by Admin on December 16, 2007

KOLKATA, Dec. 15: Recovery of posters of CPI (Maoist) in three places in the city, including the state’s administrative headquarters ~ Writer’s Building, seems to have prompted the police authorities to send junior officers to classrooms to learn about the modern use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), which Maoist insurgents often use as part of their war against the state. A day after six posters of CPI (Maoist) were found on a wall of Writers’ Building, the city police authorities have organised a special programme at Lalbazar today to make the cops aware about various uses of IED by Maoists insurgents.

The directorate of security and the chief minister’s chief security officer, Mr Arvind Kumar Maliwal, who is considered to be an explosive expert, today delivered a lecture at Lalbazar today. He answered the queries of policemen regarding EID, said Mr Subrata Narayan Sarkar, the additional commissioner (I) of the city police. Officers-in-charge of police stations, assistant commissioners and deputy commissioners attended the programme. Mr Sarkar said that the presence of Maoist activists in the city has prompted the polic to sound a wakeup call to the junior officers.

He, however, refused to relate Mr Maliwal’s visit to Lalbazar with recent recoveries of posters of CPI (Maoist) from Writers’ Building, Presidency College and Coffee House. “Mr Maliwal’s visit to Lalbazar was a scheduled one. He was requested to deliver a lecture on IED to make the city policemen aware of explosives being used by militant organisations,” Mr Sarkar said. When asked whether the police was going to form a new squad to combat the Maoists, Mr Sarkar said that they have already formed a few specialised squads to deal with serious law and order situation in the city. Meanwhile, departmental proceedings against policemen, who were suspended for negligence were initiated today, the police said. The security at the Writers Building and other vital government structures has been heightened. Jawans of the Special Action Force were deployed today at the Writers’ Buildings premises to thwart untoward incidents.

Statesman News Service

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West Bengal: Special force to combat Maoists

Posted by Admin on December 16, 2007

KOLKATA: Kolkata Police is planning to set up a specialised force to combat the increasing influence of Maoists in the city. They are looking for young and energetic officers with a good academic background for the purpose.

The decision to raise the force was taken after analysing the recent incidents involving Maoists. It would be under the supervision of DC (special branch). The first duty of this core group will be to identify the activists who had pasted the posters on Writers’ Buildings walls. But it would be difficult to take legal action against them as pasting posters is not an offence and neither is CPI (Maoist) banned in the state.

Till the new force is in place, the police top brass is trying to bring about an improvement in the existing structure of the force. To begin with, there will be a reshuffle in the special branch (SB). Police are concerned with the Maoist posters on the walls of the state secretariat. While other wings of the city police are blaming SB for failing to provide information on Maoist plans, the latter pointed at the existing set-up for the failure.

SB officers have pointed out several problems as reasons for their failure. All the officers have to perform law and order duties on a regular basis and since they are in uniform, they are easily identifiable.

The officers further stated that the students’ cell at the special branch was inactive now, but an important wing to combat the Maoists is active in student organisations. Earlier, too, due to failure of the students’ wing, police had no information about the activities of ultra-Left students’ organisations before one of them ransacked a Tata Motors’ showroom on AJC Bose Road.

A few senior officers admitted that the SB had failed to inform them about the movement of Maoists in the city. Senior officers on Saturday discussed how to combat increasing Maoist influence in the city.

SB officers reportedly informed their seniors that Maoists have been active behind several frontal organisations at Beliaghata, Narkeldanga, Manicktala and Tollygunge.

A K Maliwal, director of the Special Security Unit, chaired a meeting at Lalbazar on Saturday. Officers from various police stations, special branch and other senior officers were present there.


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India’s People’s War expands, Maoists seizing arms nation wide

Posted by Admin on December 16, 2007

Raipur, Dec 15 Police in India’s worst Maoist-hit state of Chhattisgarh have now been left with only wooden batons to defend themselves from attacks by heavily armed guerrillas.

On Wednesday, when a group of Maoists armed with AK 47s and landmines attacked the Vishrampuri police station in Bastar district, the five policemen there had only their batons as weapons of defence except for an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) who had a service revolver.

The rebels killed three policemen and blew up the police station. The reason the police station, as most other police stations in
Maoist-hit areas, had only batons is because all the weapons have been taken away for security reasons as the rebels are looting arms and ammunition from the police.

Now, it is only batons that the majority of low-ranked police officials and cops deployed in restive southern Bastar region are left with.

No wonder then that they are asking, “Will we have to take the rebels head-on only with batons as was the case in Wednesday’s attack?”

This query can only be answered by the state government or by Director General of Police (DGP) Chhattisgarh, Vishwaranjan. The DGP, a former additional director, Intelligence Bureau, had called upon the police Tuesday to “take Maoist militants head-on in their hideouts”. The rebels
responded the very next day – with landmines, AK-47s and self-loading rifles (SLRs).

“The DGP wants the police to take on insurgents head-on, but only with batons. In dozens of police stations in Maoist strongholds of Bastar, arms and weapons have been taken back from police stations fearing the rebels may loot them. So the constables and head constables literally are left with only batons to counter the militants while the ASIs have their service revolvers,” an ASI posted in the rebel-hit Dantewada told IANS by phone.

“Policemen deployed in Maoist-prone areas feel they are sent to Bastar region as a punishment posting and they are not useful and capable. This is really very discouraging and if the government wants to take the rebels head-on, it must take steps to lift the morale of the police and make them feel that a Bastar posting is actually a reward posting,” said a Mizo jawan of the India Reserve Battalion, deployed in Konta area in Dantewada district.

He said that the “Chhattisgarh police force lacks commitment, motivation and backing up at the higher level”.

Vishwaranjan was not available for his comments when the correspondent telephoned him on the reported taking away of arms and weapons from several police stations.

However, a senior official involved in anti-Maoist operations had this to say: “Human lives are more important than arms. But it’s a fact that in certain vulnerable areas we have either not issued arms and ammunition to police stations or taken back ammunition as Maoists have a track record of looting police force weapons and ammunition for killing policemen.”

About 900 people have been killed in the state since the government-backed Salwa Judum was launched

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