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Archive for October, 2009

Court allows narco test of Kobad Ghandy

Posted by Admin on October 31, 2009



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A city court on Saturday allowed a narco test on Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) leader Kobad Ghandy.Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaveri Baweja allowed the plea of Delhi Police for conducting the narco test on Ghandy. The court’s directions came after a panel of doctors submitted their report stating that Ghandy is medically fit to undergo the test.The court had last week asked a team of doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to ascertain Ghandy’s health condition.Police had moved the application for conducting the narco-analysis test on Ghandy arguing that they could not extract useful information as he was not cooperating.Ghandy is presently in 14 days’ judicial custody.

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‘Stop killing tribals in the name of Maoists’

Posted by Admin on October 31, 2009


Manan Kumar

NEW DELHI: A fact-finding team of civil rights groups that recently visited some of the violence-infested villages of Dantewada has come out with certain searching posers which seem reason enough to inquire into the so called state action against the Maoists.

Picking up details of brutal repression by security forces against innocent tribals in villages of Gachanpalli, Gompad, Chintagufa, Mukudtong and Jinitong it asks that if the 17 villagers killed by the security forces in two recent separate encounters were Maoists, then why did the security forces leave the bodies in the villages? And what was the point of brutality that preceded killings?

According to the report of 15 member fact-finding team, seven villagers were brutally killed by the security forces on September 17 in Gachanpalli village.

“Kawasi Ganga, 70, who could barely see was stabbed and murdered in his bed while Madvi Deva, 25, was tied to a tree and shot three times and then beheaded.

Another villager Muchaki Deva, 60, of Onderpara who was grazing cattle was beaten and dragged into the village by security forces and then hung on a branch of a tree and pushed into a pot of hot oil and then pulled out and poured over with water..” the report claimed listing gruesome excesses committed against innocent tribals by the security forces in retaliation to Maoists’ violence against their men.

“Why we are being not told about the details of the Maoists killed in Operation Green Hunt? Why the Government flashes only their numbers. It is a deeply perturbing scenario,” said Sharmila Purkayastha, a member of the team. Express Buz

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Theatre of war

Posted by Admin on October 31, 2009


3434430668_Sankrail2.jpg

You’re free: Kishenji takes the ‘Prisoner of War’ poster off Sub-Inspector Dutta

NAXALISM

Action. Drama. Sentiments. Tension mounts as Maoists and the state gear up for more battles

By Rabi Banerjee

It was an eventful night. Chilling silence followed an armed Maoist’s shout in a part of Dohomina village in Lalgarh. The Maoist, in his mid thirties, asked the 50 journalists gathered there to sit quiet on the mud floor near a school ground.
“Do not shout. Do not click photos unless you are asked to. Just sit on the floor. We will show you something soon,” said a young gun-wielding rebel whose face was masked. His red eyes gleamed with intensity.

Silence prevailed. A life was at stake. The life of a police officer of the Left-ruled West Bengal. Sub-Inspector Atindranath Dutta had been kidnapped on October 19 after Maoists ambushed a police station, an act unheard of in the state.

About 50 guerillas led by a woman squad member had stormed the Sankrail police station in West Midnapore. They split into two groups. One killed the two policemen on duty, looted arms and ammunition and abducted Dutta, who was in his quarters opposite the station, on a motorcycle. The other robbed Rs 10 lakh from a nearby bank. Read the rest of this entry »

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Govt panel dubs Chhattisgarh industrial push as land grab

Posted by Admin on October 31, 2009


A government committee on land reforms has described the industrialisation drive in Chhattisgarh’s iron-ore rich Bastar, Dantewada and Bijapur districts as the “biggest grab of tribal lands after Columbus.” The committee’s observations are based on the move to displace 350,000 tribals from these districts for setting up steel and power plants with a total investment of Rs 20,000 crore.

The committee on State Agrarian Relations and Unfinished Task of Land Reforms said, “This open declared war will go down as the biggest land grab ever… the drama being scripted by Tata Steel and Essar Steel who wanted 7 villages or thereabouts, each to mine the richest lode of iron ore available in India.” They were referring to the clashes between Salwa Judum, a state sponsored anti-naxal movement and the Communist Party of India (Maoist).

The 15-member committee was constituted in January 2008 to examine issues relating to alienation of tribal lands including traditional rights of the forest-dependant tribals and to suggest realistic measures. It said private companies were encouraging Salwa Judum to gain control over these areas.

“The traders, contractors and miners waiting for a successful result of their strategy are behind the Salwa Judum. The first financiers of the Salwa Judum were Tata and Essar in the quest for peace,” it said. The panel said a “civil war like situation” prevailed in these districts.

“Villages sitting on tons of iron ore are effectively de-peopled and available for the highest bidder… Both Essar Steel and Tata Steel are willing to take over the empty landscape and manage the mines,” the committee said in its report. The report was submitted to Rural Development Minister C. P. Joshi, who then referred it to the National Land Reform Council, headed by the Prime Minister. Top News

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The mining company and the Indian PM

Posted by Admin on October 31, 2009


30 Oct 2009 14:52:17 GMT
Source: ActionAid
Reuters and AlertNet are not responsible for the content of this article or for any external internet sites. The views expressed are the author’s alone.

216723 logo

Bianca Jagger (Founder and Chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation) and tribal leaders of the Kondh people have been joined by 47 internationally respected opinion makers to send an open letter to India’s Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

Names include Judge Weeramantry, Former Vice President International Court of Justice, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Member of the House of Lords, Chair of Justice and President of SOAS and Julia Häusermann, MBE, Founder and President, Rights and Humanity Organisation.

The letter urges the Indian Government to consider the impact of plans by mining company, Vedanta Resources, to build an open-pit mine on Niyamgiri Mountain, the spiritual and ancestral home of the Kondh tribal people.

Add your name by emailing: BJHRFKondhcampaign Read the rest of this entry »

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Mr Chidambaram’s War

Posted by Admin on October 30, 2009


Out Look Magazine | Nov 09, 2009

A math question: How many soldiers will it take to contain the mounting rage of hundreds of millions of people?

Arundhati Roy
view_from_niyamgiri_20091109.jpg
Forsaken god: Will someone tell Copenhagen, leave the bauxite in the mountain

The low, flat-topped hills of south Orissa have been home to the Dongria Kondh long before there was a country called India or a state called Orissa. The hills watched over the Kondh. The Kondh watched over the hills and worshipped them as living deities. Now these hills have been sold for the bauxite they contain. For the Kondh it’s as though god has been sold. They ask how much god would go for if the god were Ram or Allah or Jesus Christ?

Perhaps the Kondh are supposed to be grateful that their Niyamgiri hill, home to their Niyam Raja, God of Universal Law, has been sold to a company with a name like Vedanta (the branch of Hindu philosophy that teaches the Ultimate Nature of Knowledge). It’s one of the biggest mining corporations in the world and is owned by Anil Aggarwal, the Indian billionaire who lives in London in a mansion that once belonged to the Shah of Iran. Vedanta is only one of the many multinational corporations closing in on Orissa.

Red terror?: A tribal woman with her children in Dantewada

If the flat-topped hills are destroyed, the forests that clothe them will be destroyed too. So will the rivers and streams that flow out of them and irrigate the plains below. So will the Dongria Kondh. So will the hundreds of thousands of tribal people who live in the forested heart of India, and whose homeland is similarly under attack.

In our smoky, crowded cities, some people say, “So what? Someone has to pay the price of progress.” Some even say, “Let’s face it, these are people whose time has come. Look at any developed country, Europe, the US, Australia—they all have a ‘past’.” Indeed they do. So why shouldn’t “we”?

The Niyamgiri hills have been sold for their bauxite. For the Kondhs, their god’s been sold. How much, they ask, would god go for if he was Ram, Allah or Christ?

In keeping with this line of thought, the government has announced Operation Green Hunt, a war purportedly against the “Maoist” rebels headquartered in the jungles of central India. Of course, the Maoists are by no means the only ones rebelling. There is a whole spectrum of struggles all over the country that people are engaged in—the landless, the Dalits, the homeless, workers, peasants, weavers. They’re pitted against a juggernaut of injustices, including policies that allow a wholesale corporate takeover of people’s land and resources. However, it is the Maoists who the government has singled out as being the biggest threat. Two years ago, when things were nowhere near as bad as they are now, the prime minister described the Maoists as the “single-largest internal security threat” to the country. This will probably go down as the most popular and often-repeated thing he ever said. For some reason, the comment he made on January 6, 2009, at a meeting of state chief ministers, when he described the Maoists as having only “modest capabilities” doesn’t seem to have had the same raw appeal. He revealed his government’s real concern on June 18, 2009, when he told Parliament: “If left-wing extremism continues to flourish in parts which have natural resources of minerals, the climate for investment would certainly be affected.” Read the rest of this entry »

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HM Should Coordinate Efforts Instead of Joining Issues: CPIM

Posted by Admin on October 30, 2009


police_brutality01CPI(M) today demanded that Home Minister P Chidambaram should coordinate efforts with West Bengal, Orissa and Jharkhand governments to contain Maoist violence, instead of “joining issues with us.”

“We request the Home Minister that instead of joining issues with us, he should coordinate the joint operations with the three states to contain and defeat Maoist violence,” CPI (M) Senior leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters here.

Earlier today, the Home Minister had said the CPI(M) thought that the Maoists were comrade in arms in their fight against “bourgeois” parties like Congress.

“But now they have realised that they were underestimating the gravity of the problem. It is a late wake up call but at least they have woken up,” he had said.

Yechury said his party’s prime concern was the political patronage given by the Trinamool Congress to the Maoists.

“When a member of the Union Cabinet Shishir Adhikari informs the media (after the Rajdhani hijacking) that he had prior knowledge that this would happen, the Cabinet should seriously investigate this,” he said, adding that it was a very serious matter.

“There have been earlier reports about political patronage being extended by Trinamool to the Maoists and this statement compounds the situation,” Yechury said. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Brutality’ in Chhattisgarh anti-Maoist offensive, say rights groups

Posted by Admin on October 30, 2009


2009-10-30 19:24:00

Civil rights activists Friday alleged ‘massive brutality’ in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada region during the offensive against Maoist rebels and demanded the operation be ended immediately.

A 15-member fact-finding team comprising members of civil rights groups including People’s Union for Civil Liberties in Chattisgarh, People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) from Delhi, Vanwasi Chetna Ashram (VCA) from Dantewada, Human Rights Law Network, international aid body Action Aid and others, claimed ‘large scale brutality’ was witnessed in the region on Sep 17 and Oct 1.

The team alleged on both these days, security forces charged with countering Maoist guerillas in ‘Operation Green Hunt’ went on a rampage.

The civil rights groups demanded that the government must accept responsibility for the murders and file complaints against those responsible and must also acknowledge instances of torture, illegal detention and destruction of property.

VCA’s Himanshu Kumar claimed that the tribals felt ‘attacked by the government’.

‘Along with this, there should be an immediate end to cordon and search operations carried out by security forces in these areas. Lack of rehabilitation and increasing size of paramilitary forces in such backward areas with low population raises fears of repeated atrocities,’ members of the fact finding team said. Sify .com

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Maoists did not detain the train: Kishanji

Posted by Admin on October 30, 2009


CPI Maoist Meeting, Image: Peoples March

CPI Maoist Meeting, Picture from Peoples March

Communist party of India (Maoist) Polit Bureau member Koteswar Rao alias Kishanji has justified the detention of the New Delhi – Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express by supporters of the Maoist-backed Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee (PSBJC) on October 27 in support of their several demands. He, however, clarified that the Maoists did not participate in the incident.

In a press statement issued by the CPI(Maoist) and signed by him, he said: “What wrong did the people do? Putting up blockades is a fundamental right of the people. In their attempt to deprive people of this right, the trio of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Mamata Banerjee and Chidambaram is deploying security personnel in the region, using misleading words like hijack, kidnap, etc. for the incident and wrongfully blaming the Maoists for everything.”

The Centre and the West Bengal government were trying to divert people’s attention from the “basic demands” of the tribal population by “branding the blockade incident as an act of terror,” he said.

Challenging the State government to make public the development projects it had “actually taken up” in the Lalgarh region over the past four-and-half months within the next four days, Kishanji claimed that the agitating tribal population too would prepare a similar list of development activities taken up by them during this time. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cops Gadchiroli action runs into protests

Posted by Admin on October 30, 2009


NAGPUR: With security forces gearing up for their all-out assault on Naxals, there are already reports of tension building up in certain affected
parts with complaints of police excesses too coming in. Superintendent of police, Gadchiroli, S Jayakumar however said that the reports are blown out of proportion as nothing controversial had taken place so far. "There is an exaggeration in the reports," he said.

According to a local resident, security personnel have warned villagers of uncompromising stand on tackling the Naxals and their supporters. The frequency of checking and frisking has gone up and a section of the villagers pointed out their movements in certain interior stretches have been restricted. Villagers were also petrified after rumours of security forces having "shoot-at-sight" orders for anyone found under suspicious circumstances began doing the rounds. "The poor peasants are unsure what to do. They need to go to the interiors for cultivating their lands and move inside forests for collecting firewood and graze cattle. The villagers are now feeling threatened," said a resident of Bhamragarh. Sources claimed that police stations across the district have been fortified with extra manpower. Jayakumar said he had not heard of any rumour but confirmed the additional deployment.

South Gadchiroli has seen some protests against security forces’ alleged thrashing of around 20 youths from Murangal, Mallampadur, Bhusewada, Koyar and other villages close to Laheri where the cops lost 17 personnel in a Naxal ambush recently. "We had to take some injured youths to Hemalkasa for treatment," said a resident angrily.

Jayakumar denying the police had beaten anybody up. "People were summoned at the police station for normal questioning regarding a case," he said. The security forces’ suspicion was that these people ‘helped’ Naxals before the attack on cops. One of the teenagers, Ramesh Murawadde from Murangal, was apparently picked up by police from Laheri market on October 18. Sources claimed that villagers will be meeting over the issue at Laheri shortly to protest the incident. Some local social workers have also helped the family members of the youths who allegedly faced police wrath to approach senior officers with the complaints. TOI

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Anti-Naxal operations to free mineral zones

Posted by Admin on October 30, 2009


Vedanta logo CMYKThe much talked-about joint operation against the Naxalite guerrillas will not only help solving the problem of Leftist insurgency but also free large area endowed with rich minerals.

The Centre is planning a major offensive against the rebels in central India. Since the security personnel are likely to enter into the forests, the “liberated zones” of the red army is likely to be freed and come under the control of government authorities. The “liberated zones” of the Leftist guerrillas in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh contain some of the most precious and valuable minerals. But the state authorities could not explore the minerals as the area had been under the control of rebels.

Sources in the state mineral resources department said that the interior areas of Bastar region– the worst Naxalite-infested pocket in the country—contained huge deposits of precious gem stone varieties including corundum besides rich minerals like tin ore, iron-ore, columbite and so on.

Some pockets of the region contain rich radio-active minerals of strategic importance. But the mining authorities are unable to use the mineral and even start the exploration work after Naxalite terror.

“The department knows about the deposits but is helpless to start work on the projects as Naxalites will not not allow us to enter into the area,” a senior official with the mining department told Business Standard requesting anonymity.

Though the rebels are not allowing officials to start work, even Naxalites cannot use the minerals. “For mining, heavy equipment and skilled manpower are required that Naxalites lack,” the official said. The rebels are holding the mineral-rich lands under their sway. Business Standard

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Rajdhani passengers say Maoists did not harm anyone

Posted by Admin on October 30, 2009


A much relieved lot after their five-hour ordeal which to many seemed endless, passengers on board the Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express reached New Delhi on Wednesday evening to be happily reunited with their families at the station.

The train from Bhubaneswar was detained for several hours from 2-35 p.m. on Tuesday by supporters of the Maoist-backed Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee at Banstala station near Jhargram in West Bengal.

Most passengers looked relieved and happy to head home instead of looking traumatised and shocked after the ordeal. Many said that after the initial shock and uncertainty they were surprisingly treated well by the Maoists.

Apart from a passenger whose one eye was damaged by a flying glass splinter, none of the other passengers sustained any major injury.

No cop present

A young pantry car worker, Dinesh Kumar, said he had just finished making a bundle of leftover food when the train suddenly braked followed by some stone-throwing. “Then the Maoists broke the glass windows and came in asking us to get down with our luggage. After standing out for two hours they again asked us to go and sit inside till 7-30 p.m. after which the security forces arrived. All the snacks including samosas, patties and sandwiches were taken away by them.”

Fifty-six-year-old Jay Mohanty said: “There were no policemen present right from 2-30 p.m. to 7-30 p.m. and we were all on our own. The Maoists very clearly told us that they had no intentions of hurting any passengers and simply instructed us to get out of the train so that they could set it on fire. But the fear-stricken passengers closed all doors, leading them to barge in with arms through the smashed windows.”

“However, on entering they did not try to hurt anyone and said there was no need for us to worry about our lives. They even helped us take our luggage out and also gave us food and water. We were only scared for the first half-hour. My daughter Maheshwari and I will never forget the way they treated us throughout the ordeal. We could have been beaten up or killed and tortured but no such thing happened,” he added.

Another passenger, Komal Sharma, an employee of the Chandigarh Education Department, said: “I had gone to Puri to attend a meeting and had a connecting Shatabdi train from Delhi to Chandigarh at 5-15 p.m. which I missed because of all this. Now I have no clue how to get to Chandigarh in the night as there is no one here to help the harried passengers.”

Another relative waiting at the platform, Prakash Mehra, said: “My young nephew was coming to Delhi to attend an NTPC training programme along with his two friends. We were in constant touch with them and thankfully none of them was hurt.” TT

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