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Archive for October 18th, 2009

On War Footing

Posted by Admin on October 18, 2009


OutLook

The November Offensive

  • The offensive will be spread over the next five years
  • A special forces school, a special forces unit and an army brigade HQ will be set up near Bilaspur. The Bde HQ will participate in anti-Maoist ops in the future. The army is looking for 1,800 acres of land to set up the infrastructure.
  • The IAF is looking for 300 acres for its base
  • MHA is sitting on a plan to redeploy the Rashtriya Rifles
  • For now, 27 battalions of the Border Security Force and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police will be moved into Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Maharashtra
  • The paramilitary forces will be supported by six Mi-17 IAF choppers
  • The helicopters will have on board the IAF’s special force, the GARUDS, to secure the chopper and conduct combat search and rescue operations
  • The offensive will be in seven phases. Each phase has been marked areawise as Operating Areas (OAs).
  • OA-1 involves moving along a north-south axis from Kanker, Chhattisgarh, and on an east-west axis from Gadchiroli in Maharashtra and span the Abuj Marh forests used by the Maoists as a training centre and logistics base

***

Red hood: Locals pledge support to Maoists in the jungles of Bastar

The deep scars on constable Anup Sethi (name changed) are still visible to those who care to see. A year ago, while on an undercover mission in Dantewada, one of the worst-affected districts of Chhattisgarh, Sethi was caught by the Maoists, his AK-47 snatched away and his face and arms slashed with knives. He was allowed to live, since he was once a Naxalite. Back in uniform now, Sethi regrets the loss of his AK-47, but has now opted for something the Indian army discarded a decade ago: the older 7.62 mm Self-Loading Rifle (SLR). “It shoots straighter and kills better,” he says, patrolling deep in the jungles of Dantewada on a sunny afternoon.

For years, the ragged security infrastructures in the Naxal-affected states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have worked in isolation, pitting their motley crew of state police and central paramilitary forces againstMaoists—the whole thing was marked by an absence of strategy. The wheels might now begin to turn. Come November, and the Centre will mark the beginning of a coordinated, seven-phase offensive to take on Maoists in their core areas. For the first time, the ground is being laid for involving the Indian army and air force should the need arise, and strengthening existing state and paramilitary forces.

For the first time ever in chhattisgarh, the army is setting up a brigade headquarters.

With each part of the operation designated areawise as OAs or Operating Areas, the November Offensive will mark the first phase. A two-pronged attack, it will begin simultaneously in the Kanker district of Chhattisgarh and Gadchiroli in Maharashtra, together characterised as OA1. The objective is to proceed on a north-to-south axis from Kanker and a west-to-east axis from Gadchiroli, and meet at the 6,000 sq km swathe of forest called the Abuj Marh, which is “unknown jungle” in the local Gondi dialect of the tribals (see map). Indeed, the Marh is an impenetrable forest that has not even been mapped for revenue records and has therefore served as a major training and logistics base for the Maoists for years. The strategy now is to push ahead, hit Abuj Marh and then hold ground. Read the rest of this entry »

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Human Rights Groups Condemn Maoist Violence in Jharkhand and Maharashtra

Posted by Admin on October 18, 2009


10-Oct-2009.jpgSaturday 17 October 2009

CHRI Statement

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative condemns the killings and gory violent means being adopted by the Maoists in the last few days. The merciless beheading of the police officer in Jharkhand and the brutal murder of 18 police personnel in Gadchiroli is shocking and such mindless bloodshed cannot be justified as a means to achieving any end in a democracy and the perpetrators need to be brought to justice before the law.

The CHRI urges the Maoists to abjure the path of violence and come to a common negotiating platform to resolve grievances within the democratic frame of the Indian polity.

At the same time we urge governments at the Centre and States to arrive at an early resolution of the conflict by exploring all channels of negotiations with the Maoists. The CHRI also believes that the recent promise of the Home Minister to wipe out the Maoists will not solve the problem. A resolution can be brought about only by genuine negotiations and providing just solutions to long standing grievances. Govern-ments at the Centre and State levels need to generate confidence among the people that they are equal partners in the process of conciliation. Without this the mindless cycle of violence will continue consuming innocent lives and will hold back democracy and development in large parts of the country.

PUCL Statemen
t

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties strongly condemns the brutal killing of the police officer by the alleged Naxalites in Jharkhand. It is an unacceptable act of gravest human rights violation by the people who claim to work for the downtrodden and poor. It is a long standing firm belief of the PUCL that violence in any form can never be a means to achieve any end however grand that might be. There is no place for such mindless violence in a democratic state and society that India is. Read the rest of this entry »

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Delhi: Scanner on pro-Maoist academics

Posted by Admin on October 18, 2009


DSU 4ANANYA SENGUPTA

New Delhi, Oct. 17: The government is drawing up a list of academics from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Jawaharlal Nehru University who it believes are Maoist sympathisers.

The CBI had put these senior doctors and professors under its scanner soon after the arrest of alleged CPI (Maoist) politburo member Khobad Ghandy last month. Agency sources say many students from across Delhi too are using their rented accommodation to shelter Maoists.

CBI sleuths claim these doctors and university teachers had helped Ghandy set up base in Delhi and recruit students from the capital.

They add that the agency has tracked two meetings in Delhi organised by the city’s Maoist sympathisers to discuss Ghandy’s arrest.

The sources claim the CBI has documents to show that at least three AIIMS doctors, and many more Delhi academics and students, had visited Russia, China and Kazakhstan for ideological discussions. It’s not clear, however, if arrests will follow.

When Delhi police applied in a city court on October 8 for an extension of Ghandy’s remand, they had said they were looking for three alleged Ghandy associates — two businessmen and a PhD student, Arvind Joshi.

The police application said Joshi, 27, who is from Haldwani in Uttarakhand, was believed to have hidden Ghandy at his rented quarters in the Badarpur area of south Delhi.

The police found nothing in Joshi’s rooms but claimed the student had removed a set of Maoist literature, documents, CDs, a laptop and the hard disk of another laptop as well as Rs 5 lakh from his quarters.

Officers said these claims were based on information that Ghandy allegedly provided during interrogation.

The police say they are on Joshi’s trail and would arrest him. The claims about Delhi-based sympathisers providing logistical support to the rebels come days after Union home minister P. Chidambaram asked civil society to stop “romanticising Naxals” and start judging them in the context of the “mountain of (Maoist) violence”.

On Thursday, an agricultural scientist who had briefly studied for a doctorate at Delhi’s Pusa Institute years ago was arrested for allegedly heading Maoist operations in Bihar and Jharkhand. His wife too was arrested. TT

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