Archive for December, 2006

Maloy Krishna Dhar(Former Joint Director of the Intelligence Bureau), Quote

December 31, 2006

M. K Dhar Quote

“The Maoist movement is a symbol of the divide between rural and urban India. The movement cannot be solved by police action at all. There could be a time when they (Maoists) could overrun urban citadels,”

— Maloy Krishna Dhar

(Former Joint Director of the Intelligence Bureau predicting that
the Maoists are all set to overrun the cities in the near future.)


Download Peoplesmarch January 2007

December 31, 2006

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Peoplesmarch January 2007

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‘Maoist movement symbolises urban-rural divide’

December 31, 2006

‘Maoist movement symbolises urban-rural divide’

The occasion was the launch of a book of fiction on the Maoist movement. But the chilly afternoon on the Press Club of India lawns was turned into a platform for the exchange of well-rounded views and facts on the movement with CPI’s AB Bardhan and former IB intelligence officer MK Dhar supporting it and KPS Gill saying it is nourishing meaningless violence.

Seeing through the Stones: A tale from the Maoist Land’ by senior journalist Diptendra Raychaudhuri is a tale of the lives of a group Maoist leaders and cadres. Bardhan called the Maoist movement – which the author had done extensive research – as necessary to shake the society out of its existing slumber.

“We are only talking about the sensex, GDP, foreign exchange. These are very good figures. But they do not provide food to the vast majority. They do not provide clothing and shelter to millions. What should they do,” Bardhan said, adding that the Naxals have shaken the society out of its complacency.

He said there is no reason to idealise the Maoists or the Communists. “But the movement is a symptom of the struggle in our society. The Government can not just crush them and go back,” he said.

The veteran Communist leader called the Salwa Judum – apparently initiated by the Chhattisgarh government in 2005 to wean away the tribals from the Naxals – as the work of “perverted minds.”

Dhar, who retired as joint director of the Intelligence Bureau, said the towns and cities maybe dazzling, but rural India is still buried under poverty. “The Maoist movement is a symbol of the divide between rural and urban India. The movement cannot be solved by police action at all. There could be a time when they (Maoists) could overrun urban citadels,” Dhar said.


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Maoists’ kin protest terror tag

December 31, 2006

Maoists’ kin protest terror tag
[ 30 Dec, 2006 0143hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]
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VISAKHAPATNAM: High drama was witnessed at the King George Hospital (KGH) for nearly 30 minutes after relatives of the slain Maoist leaders—Vadkapur Chandramouli alias Devanna and his wife Kavitha alias Jyothakka—took serious objection when police asked them to sign on some papers in which they mentioned the deceased couple as terrorists.

Devanna’s brother Niranjanachari said, “Everyone knows that Chandramouli and Kavitha were Maoist leaders and not terrorists. How can they categorise them as such?”

Earlier, the bodies of the couple were handed over to their relatives at KGH, following a direction from the High Court.

The bodies arrived at KGH for preservation after an autopsy was conducted at the Narsipatnam area hospital late on Thursday.

Meanwhile, SP J G Murali told reporters that APCLC leaders were creating a scene without knowing the facts. “We made all arrangements for the safe transportation of bodies as per the court directions”, the SP added.

The bodies were sent in an ambulance along with a police escort vehicle to Vadkapur in Karimnagar, the slain naxalite’s native place.

Neighbours duck joint operations against red

December 31, 2006

Neighbours duck joint operations against red

Ranchi, Dec. 29: Bengal and Bihar were said to be non-committal in launching a joint offensive with Jharkhand against extremists at the Bhubaneswar meet convened by the Union home ministry to evolve a strategy-coordinated response to the Naxalite menace.

State director general of police (DGP) J. Mahapatra told The Telegraph that his Bengal counterpart cited the political ideology of the CPM-led Bengal government as prohibiting a joint operation against rebels.

The Bihar officers, the DGP claimed, said they do not depend on Jharkhand to contain the Naxalite menace. Claiming to be self-sufficient, the Bihar representatives said their forces had been able to successfully fight the Naxalites, Mahapatra said.

The DGP said the success of the Andhra Pradesh (AP) government in fighting the red menace could be attributed to a number of factors.

First, the AP police enjoyed more freedom. Second, the development projects were expedited to lure away people from the clutches of the extremists. Huge funds were also pumped in to ensure the successful implementation of security-related measures.

Similarly, people’s participation contained extremists in Chhattisgarh. Jharkhand depends on the police alone to fight the Naxalites, the DGP said. He added that their intelligence sharing is perfect with Orissa, while there is active cooperation from Chhattisgarh in launching a joint offensive. But the communication gap with Bengal is going to affect the anti-Naxalite operations, he said.


Ultras, police exchange fire: Minor injured

December 31, 2006

Ultras, police exchange fire: Minor injured
Saturday December 30 2006 12:10 IST

MALKANGIRI: A seven-year-old girl, Basanti Madkami, sustained bullet injuries during an exchange of fire between police and Maoists in Jinelguda forest area under Motu police limits on Friday.

She has been admitted to the district headquarters hospital. On a tip-off, the cops reached the forest and raided a Maoist camp.

Around 200 rounds of fire were exchanged between police and Maoists. Later, the ultras fled the spot. Some Maoist uniforms were seized.


Three Maoists gunned down in Andhra Pradesh

December 31, 2006

Three Maoists gunned down in Andhra Pradesh
Dec 31, 2006 – 6:24:02 PM

By IANS, [RxPG] Hyderabad, Dec 31 – Three Maoists were killed in a gun battle with police in the forests of Khammam district in Andhra Pradesh Sunday, taking the number of guerrillas killed in 2006 to 139.

Khammam District Superintendent of Police R.K. Meena said the Maoists opened fire on the police party engaged in combing operations in Paritala Lanka forests in Kuknoor mandal, forcing the latter to retaliate.

‘After some time, police found bodies of three Maoists,’ he said.

While the guerrillas were yet to be identified, police believe they belonged to the Communist Party of India-Maoist.

A .303 rifle and two spring rifles were recovered from the scene. Police suffered no casualties in the gun battle.

With these killings, the number of Maoists killed this year went up to 139.

Meanwhile, M.A. Basit Sunday assumed office as new director general of police. After taking charge from Swaranjit Sen, he said the current anti-Maoist strategy, which yielded good results, would continue.

Sen, who served as the state police chief for two years, said police had overcome the Maoist problem with people’s cooperation. He said the Maoist violence had declined by 65 percent during 2006.

The number of people killed by Maoists came down to 52 this year from 211 in 2005, he said.

Police also achieved a nmajor success during the year by unearthing 53 arms dumps and recovering huge caches of arms including 875 rocket shells and launchers. Sen said 320 extremists surrendered while 717 of them had been arrested during the year.


Maoists on the prowl, cops had a tough time

December 31, 2006

Maoists on the prowl, cops had a tough time
Saturday December 30 2006 12:11 IST

BHUBANESWAR: It was a year law-enforcers of the State would like to forget. Kalinga Nagar bloodshed, one among the string of tragedies, sent ominous signals for Orissa. Or was it just for Orissa Police?

If the men in khaki were in for some serious battering after the firing that claimed lives of 13 tribals in Orissa’s emerging industrial hub in Jajpur, it only got worse afterward.

Chairman of Rairakhole block Harekrushna Pradhan was shot dead when a police officer was ‘aiming’ at a wild bear in a forest. The incident led to Sambalpur bandh and the State Government had to order an RDC probe.

On the wee hours of March 24, more than 500 Left Wing extremists swooped on an OSAP camp at R Udaygiri, gunned down three policemen before freeing the inmates of a sub-jail.

While retreating, they took an SI and the jail superintendent hostage, virtually cocking a snook at anti-Naxal operations. It was not before 11 days that the two officials were set free by the extremists.

Entirely on their own terms. Little over two months later, ultras shot dead the officer-in-charge of Motu Police Station Durga Charan Mishra in a local market during the daytime.

The spate of Naxal violence prompted the State Government, so far reluctant, to impose a ban on seven outfits including the CPI (Maoist) on June 9.

But the ban, as experience showed, never stopped the Red radicals. They were on the offensive as usual. They shot dead a village headman in Malkangiri on October 13 and two days later, three locomotives were torched at Tampardihi in Sundargarh district.

However, the worst, was yet to happen. Jaswinder Singh, DIG of South Western range, was killed while on his way to a media conference on October 23.

At first, police termed it a handiwork of Maoists, but it turned out to be an ‘accidental firing’ by one of his personal security officers.

How it happened and under what circumstances is still being probed by Crime Branch Police. Seven days later, Naxals gunned down Bandhu Behera, a trader, in Malkangiri who they termed a police informer.

Similarly Baideswarpur, a small village under Tangi police limits in Cuttack, hit the headlines when a police constable allegedly killed his wife, son and a daughter. Orissa Police possibly could not have had it any worse.

But security personnel had their share of success. Deogarh Police pushed the ultras on the defensive. In two encounters, the cops gunned down at least nine cadres of the CPI (Maoist) leaving their local unit in tatters.


Quote on information

December 29, 2006

Quote on information

“Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit.”– Anonymous

The world is listening. Are you talking? Global: Now Spelt Blogal

December 29, 2006

The world is listening. Are you talking?

Global: Now Spelt Blogal

There’s a radical shift underway in how information is exchanged, says Shivam Vij after a recent international blogger summit

Something really big is starting to happen,” geek extraordinaire Ethan Zuckerman told a meeting of international bloggers at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society in 2004. “What I’m really curious about is whether we’ll find ourselves becoming a movement.” Two years later, that was no longer in question, as Zuckerman’s Global Voices (GV) — co-founded with former cnn correspondent Rebecca McKinnon — held its second annual summit at Delhi’s India Habitat Centre last week. The issue now, as participants agreed, was not whether blogging is a movement, but how they are to take the blogosphere’s trans-continental conversations forward, far enough to dent the mainstream media’s predominantly Western coverage of events. At one point during the conference, Bala Pitchandi from New Jersey asked via webcast what GV’s long-term goals were. “Total world domination,” replied Zuckerman, as laughter lit up the room.

The important role that bloggers could play within and without the newsroom became clear for the first time in 2003, when an architect in Iraq who called himself Salam Pax started blogging the Second Gulf War. Ever since, the international media has often turned to bloggers in conflict zones to bring local perspective to their coverage. For GV, this has been central to its project — prominent bloggers from around the globe are roped in as regional editors who would write posts linking to blogs, explaining the context they were written in, thus making local issues accessible to a global audience. “The nature of conversation in the blogosphere tends to be insular,” says Neha Viswanathan, GV’s South Asia editor. “Bloggers in a country tend to speak only to each other. We add the context to posts and offer them to a global audience.”

The aim is to provide media spaces that bypass State controls to get citizens across the world to speak for themselves

However, GV is more than a bloggers’ community. With free speech at the core of its manifesto, it aims to provide media alternatives that bypass government controls to get citizens across the world to speak for themselves. Contrasted with mainstream media practice, GV’s approach to information sharing, for instance, encourages people to ask why a particular story is not picked up by its editors. When questions were raised, at the summit in Delhi, about biases and information imbalances within GV’s coverage, Trinidadian blogger Georgia Popplewell, a GV co-managing editor, gave the example of a Cuban who wrote in to say GV wasn’t covering his country well. To correct the shortcoming, Popplewell hired that blogger as Cuba editor.

The stories GV covers come overwhelmingly from the developing world, ignoring almost all of Western Europe and North America. (GV has been anxious to not be seen as an American site — which is partly the reason for its registering in the Netherlands.) For journalists, it is a mine of contacts and story ideas; mainstream media too often turns to it for help with on-the-ground reportage. During April’s revolution in Nepal, bbc World picked up GV’s Nepal contributor, Parmendra, for a chat. Israel’s bombing of Lebanon and the Mumbai train blasts were two big events on which GV provided dedicated feeds to Reuters, one of its sponsors. Along with foundations like MacArthur and the Dutch NGO Hivos, Reuters also funds GV because it realises that the proliferation of individual voices on the Internet has influenced the way information is exchanged.

However, despite its democratic emphasis, issues of access persist — in every country, computer usage remains confined to the elite. How do we hear what farmers in India or street kids in Vietnam have to say? Further, while English is the dominant medium on the Web, it is not what most of the world talks in. GV is trying to expand its linguistic frontiers — it already has a Chinese version, and there are a handful of editors who read posts in other languages and discuss them in English. Oddly, however, when the issue came up at the conference, of all the Indians in the room, not one was willing to be a GV Hindi editor.

There was also some brainstorming during the summit on using software like tor to bypass Internet censorship and what GV could do for bloggers who find themselves under government suppression. “In Arabian blogospheres, human rights, free speech and democracy are topics of constant discussion,” says Amira Al Hussaini, Middle East and North Africa editor. “With strong media censorship, online self-publishing becomes an important outlet”.

“The world is talking,” goes GV’s tagline, “Are you listening?” For the innumerable conversations that GV fosters every day, Zuckerman could as well say: the world is listening, are you talking?