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Archive for October 1st, 2009

Indian Air force seeks permission to fire at Maoists

Posted by Admin on October 1, 2009


IAFThe Indian Air Force has appealed to the government to allow its helicopters currently deployed in anti-Naxalite operations to fire in self defence. “We have put the case up to the Ministry of Defence to fire back in self-defence,” air force chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik said. The air chief was addressing the media at the chief’s customary air force week media briefing.

The IAF lost a flight engineer to ground-based Naxal fire in November last year after which the air force has been taking several tactical measures to protect helicopters and crew. Senior IAF officials said only the Russian-built Mi-17 medium lift helicopters were being used as they were armored. Crew have been issued bullet-proof vests.

The November 2008 incident occurred in Bijapur district in Chhatisgarh where an IAF Mi-17 deployed for state election duty came under machine gun fire from the Maoists. The bullets hit the rotors, engine and fuselage, killing a flight engineer Sergeant Mustafa Ali but the pilot managed to take off to safety. Senior IAF officials say the incident illustrates the vulnerability of helicopters to ground-based fire particularly during landing and take off. The measures being contemplated include fitting the Mi-17s with 7.62 mm Light and Medium Machine Guns to be able to return fire in self-defence or in the general area of the source of the fire to allow the chopper to land or take off safely. Read the rest of this entry »

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Court calls for medical records of Kobad Ghandy

Posted by Admin on October 1, 2009


Khobad Ghandy, the suspected Maoist in solitary confinement in Tihar jail, being taken to hospital in Delhi for medical check-up on Wednesday. (PTI)NEW DELHI – A city court Thursday called for the medical records of arrested Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy and also asked the Delhi Police to provide him a copy of the First Information Report (FIR).

While hearing Ghandy’s plea that he is not being provided medical treatment, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaveri Baweja also summoned the senior medical officer and Tihar jail superintendent to appear in person along with his entire medical record on Saturday.

Ghandy’s lawyer told the court that he was not being given the medicine for blood pressure that is very essential for him.

On this, the court asked the investigating officer to bring the entire medical record, which was recovered from the Maoist leader when he was arrested before the court.

Ghandy, in his plea, said he was suffering from prostate cancer and cardiac problems and should be referred to a specialised hospital.

The 63-year-old London educated Ghandy was arrested in New Delhi Sep 21, though the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) claims he was picked up by police four days earlier — Sep 17. The top Maoist leader is presently in judicial custody till Oct 6. Blog

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India needs an independent-minded news and analysis channel

Posted by Admin on October 1, 2009


By TREVOR SELVAM
Countercurrents.org

For the past several years I have watched — with some amusement, some intrigue and some sneaking admiration — the avaricious style of India’s advent into the CNN and SkyNews style of journalism.

I say avaricious, because Indians like to eat up everything they can watch, feel or hear. Like ice cream. If they could, they would eat up a flat panel TV set, right off the wall mounting, with cable, bolts and everything. Including Arnab Goswami, while he would be carrying on his mendacious, Fox-style blather.

India needs an independent-minded new channel. I am emphasizing the word Minded, because there is a wealth of minds in India, who are not being interviewed, asked to comment on critical issues.

Indians love two phrases to describe themselves. One is the collective version of Me, Me, Me Too-ism (more like Us too-ism), which drives most TV anchors to emulate a mode that makes a mockery of mimicry itself. We can do it too! Whatever they do, we will do also!

The problem is that neither CNN, nor Skynews, nor MSNBC are symbolic of any sober journalistic standards. The BBC, somewhat abstemious and even pious by contrast, is after all a preserver of a post-colonial dignity in the face of American trashiness. If there is any news and analysis channel that stands out for putting out sober, dignified and reflective journalism, it is Al Jazeera. And Indian journalists are not looking at Al Jazeera for inspiration, for sure. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kolkata City scribes slam cops’ TV plot to net Mahato

Posted by Admin on October 1, 2009


Chhatradhar mahato 22Journalists in Kolkata today strongly protested the state government’s decision to clear an operation in which policemen posing as journalists nabbed tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato.

At a meet organised by Press Club, journalists said the police action had maligned the profession and jeopardized the security of mediapersons engaged in news gathering in troubled regions.

The members of the fraternity demanded an apology from the state government and action against the guilty police officers.

A resolution adopted at the meeting will be sent to the Prime Minister, the President, the Press Club of India and also the International Federation of Journalists.

Legal action would also be considered, the members decided.

Senior members of the journalistic fraternity also criticised the way the undercover policemen first won the trust of reporters who had been in contact with Mahato and then used them as a part of their plan. IE

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AHRC criticizes advertisement campaign against Naxalites

Posted by Admin on October 1, 2009


PIC FROM VIZAG--- Two posters, part of the publicity campaign launched  by the district police against the CPI (Maoist) and to wean away Girijans from naxalites. The posters and a broucher are being released in the agency area while about 240 Girijans are being informed through post cards that cases against them have been lifted.---Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam. (Digital Image) 28/09/2005

PIC FROM VIZAG--- Two posters, part of the publicity campaign launched by the district police against the CPI (Maoist) and to wean away Girijans from naxalites. The posters and a broucher are being released in the agency area while about 240 Girijans are being informed through post cards that cases against them have been lifted.---Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam. (Digital Image) 28/09/2005

The following is a statement issued by the Asian Human Rights Commission, Hong Kong:

A newspaper advertisement published by the Government of India on Sunday, September 20, 2009, reads ‘Naxalites are nothing but cold-blooded criminals’. This advertisement is part of the government’s intensified campaign to combat Naxalite activities in the country. It comes a few weeks after the Prime Minister’s declaration–later confirmed by the Union Home Minister–that Naxalite activities are the single largest threat to India’s security.

Naxalite cadres in India have repeatedly resorted to violence, and their armed campaigns have resulted in loss of life and property. Their activities have intensified over the past five years, particularly affecting the entire eastern corridor; the states of Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and parts of Orissa, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh.

While exact data regarding Naxalite activities, including its manpower, is limited, it is estimated that at least 63 districts in the country are seriously affected. There is also no clear information regarding the movement’s sources of financial and logistical support. What is clear however, is the movement’s intense operations in India’s tribal areas. It is no coincidence that these areas are the most neglected and exploited parts of the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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