India: It’s people’s right to boycott elections: Maoist leader

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It's people's right to boycott elections: Maoist leader
CPI (Maoist) Dandakaranya special zonal committee secretary Ramanna speaks on the party’s stand on the Chhattisgarh assembly elections.
CPI (Maoist) Dandakaranya special zonal committee secretary Ramanna speaks on the party’s stand on the Chhattisgarh assembly elections and justifies the May 25 attack on Congress leaders that killed Mahendra Karma and V C Shukla among others.

Q: Why have you appealed for election boycott? A: As usual, we have appealed to people to boycott the elections because they are a farce. Elections only renew five-year tenures of loot and torture by the elected representative in the present system. Our target is to change this system from the root and establish a people-centric society and that is not possible through elections.

Q: Will the poll boycott be violent this time too? A: This does not depend on our saying anything. Like always, this time too, the government has deployed a huge a number of security forces in the name of conducting free and fair elections, which are already exploiting and torturing people. Attacks on villages in the name of search operations, arrests, beating up people, fake encounters are consistently on. It is important to resist such acts. Therefore, I can only say that when the government tries to defuse our poll-boycott movement through crackdown on the people, then there will certainly be a counter to it. Continue reading

“Bastar attack a punishment to Salwa Judum supporters”

[Here, a corporate media report on the discovery of Maoist banners about a recent armed conflict which eliminated the architect of the notoriously brutal anti-tribal Salwa Judum program (para-military violent squads organized and paid by the state).  The media, typically, expresses the police view, referring to the Maoists as "ultras," thereby indicating their support of the Salwa Judum. -- Frontlines ed.]

Zeenews.com, Friday, June 28, 2013

Gadchiroli: Maoists on Friday put up banners in remote parts of this district justifying the attack on the convoy of Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar area on May 25, in which 29 people were killed, as an act of punishment for “supporters of Salwa Judum”.


“How can punishing the supporters of Salwa Judum be an attack on the democratic values,” the ultras asked in the banners put up by Gadchiroli Divisional Committee of CPI (Maoists), at different places in Regdi, Kasansur, Ghot and other areas of the district.

“The death of Mahendra Karma and other Congress leaders is a punishment given by the people. It is a natural justice,” the banner further said.

Karma, who was the founder of Salwa Judum, the erstwhile anti-Naxalite movement, was killed in the brutal attack in Jiram valley of Darbha region in Bastar.

Former union minister VC Shukla, state Congress chief Nandkumar Patel, his son Dinesh and former legislator Uday Mudaliyar were also killed in the incident.

PTI

 

Brazil Needs a Great Revolution!

[The statement by the Revolutionary Front for the Defense of the People - Brazil (Frente Revolucionária de Defesa dos Direitos do Povo - Brasil), has now been translated into English.  It provides important background on the current rebellion, as well as clarifying the revolutionary program and strategy to move forward. -- Frontlines ed.]

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Proletarians and oppressed peoples of the world, unite!
“The law of the people is to fight, fail, fight again, fail again, fight again until victory!” — Chairman Mao Tsetung

Massive protests explode across the country and a spontaneous mass movement  of hundreds of thousands takes the center of large cities and spreads everywhere, shaking and panicking all the old order. A new phase of the developments of the revolutionary situation is seen in protest and rebellion!Major storms are approaching.

The final straw was the brutal repression of the just and peaceful demonstration against the increase of the bus fares in the cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The outrage spread across the country and released popular anger no longer stifled by decades of political demagoguery and constant barrage of misleading government propaganda of a Brazil of great progress and improvement. When even television networks, radio and newspapers trumpeted the popularity of President Dilma as the one bringing full employment, creation of a new middle class, the development of the country with a sound economy against the global crisis that sinks the world’s largest economies – this suddenly exploded with the upheavals that arose as a tsunami.

Amid the deep and prolonged general crisis of the imperialist system that causes suffering worldwide, hitting hard working masses with mass unemployment, making brutal cuts in hard-won rights, pushing them to the streets by the millions, in a desperate fight for survival and resistance,  repression launched by the capitalist governments in client countries has been unrelenting.

As a direct result of the contradictions and weaknesses of the economy of our country, dominated and plundered by imperialism, the popular revolt is the release of decades of screams stifled by the ‘eternal’ deception of fraudulent elections and false left demagoguery (PT/Workers Party; PSB/Brazilian Socialist Party; PCdoB/Communist Party of Brazil, etc). What happened? A snap broke the charm of a truth found to be a lie repeated a thousand times, and backfired, no longer the social anesthetic of bread and circuses. Continue reading

India: Maoists Warn of Ruling Class Hysteria, Threats, Attacks, and False Promises

COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST) — CENTRAL COMMITTEE

Press Release, June 11, 2013

See through the conspiracy of the ruling classes to launch bigger offensives on the people using the 25 May attack as a pretext

Unite, Fight back and Defeat the ‘War on People’

The gangster community that made Indian Parliament its lair is in panic. Terrified. Aflutter. Seething. Fuming. Up in arms. Baying for blood. Baring its fangs. Spitting poison. After all the May 25 Jeeramghati attack struck down one of their best trusted lieutenants in field. Quite Understandable.

Actually speaking, the scamster-gangster bunch does not care much for Mahendra Karma’s death because they knew that this was something waiting to happen even when they were carrying on mayhem and murder under Salwa Judum (SJ) which they all had contributed to create or let pester like senators watching gladiatorial contests in amphi-theaters, with Karma as SJ’s public face and with the support of fascist central and state mercenary armed forces. They are frightened more because in this country where every kind of exploitation, oppression, suppression, corruption and scam is carried on almost unchallenged, as the order of the day and shamelessly under public gaze, the fact that somebody ‘out there’ can bring these fascist scamster-gangsters to book and deliver justice is not so easy to stomach. It is like finding oneself completely naked and vulnerable with all robes of Z plus securities and paraphernalia of security suddenly vanishing into thin air with the fury of the suppressed masses breathing down their necks. Highly explicable. A strong reason to be upset.

Who knows who will be next? More chillingly, what would be in store if people completely vexed with the increasingly unbearable treacherous, undemocratic, slavish and wicked anti-people deeds of the pet-dog politicians choose to consider this as an option to vent their ire to put an end to their habitual comprador performance? Even worse, what if they consider doing away with the whole bunch by overthrowing the parliamentary system as the Maoists vouch to and call upon the people to follow? Very worrying indeed.

And for once it is better that they be. They better understand that not every politician can get away with the kind of neo-fascist suppression of the poorest of the poor of this country that was perpetrated in the name of a Salwa Judum, a Sendra, a Shanti Yatra, a Shanti Sena, a Harmad Bahini, a Bhairav Bahini, a TPC or an Operation Green Hunt, can get away with selling the riches of our country one by one as a daily routine at breakfast, lunch and dinner to fill the insatiable black-hole belly of the imperialist beast, can get away with turning every word that gives meaning to our existence as human beings like freedom, independence, sovereignty, self-reliance and democracy meaningless. They better realize for the umpteenth time (counting all such instances since the days of a Spartacus) that a people crushed so cruelly can never take everything lying down forever. For once it is better that they be alarmed.

Karma, a medieval type land lord, architect of SJ, looter, sadist, rapist and enemy of his own tribe; most of his security men, cannon fodder but undoubtedly deployed to aid in his mayhem and massacre; some SJ leaders; and some top Congress leaders were wiped out in the 25 May incident. Unfortunately a few others who got caught in the initial firing also died in spite of our sincere efforts to minimize the casualties once the main targets were caught and Comrade Gudsa Usendi, the Spokesperson of our Party’s DK unit had already tendered apology for it. The list of brutalities perpetrated by Karma and his ilk could fill many a volume. Though not all, many of them have been documented in detail by the CPI (Maoist), revolutionary and democratic mass organizations, civil and human rights organizations, democrats, journalists and concerned citizens for all those who want to see. There is no purpose to the various conspiracy theories doing their rounds in the media about the reasons for this attack other than diverting the people’s attention from the truth. An unabashed conspiracy by the corporate media to hide the truth about the brutality of the SJ and the role of the Indian Army, big corporate houses, central and state governments, the Congress and BJP parties and slaughterers like Karma in its creation and developing it into a man-eating monster. Such is its impatience to get rid of the Maoists that it did not even take into account that SJ was termed illegal by their own highest institution the Supreme Court. And all of them including Jairam Ramesh have once again repeated the most nonsensical and exhausted argument of ‘sandwich theory’ that Adivasis are being crushed between the armed forces on one side and the Maoists on the other. If they really believe in this then why don’t they demand first that the armed forces deployed in lakhs by the central and state governments be immediately withdrawn when they are agreeing that they suppress Adivasis? Their lies fly in their face with the fact that the overwhelming majority of Maoists are Adivasis in the strong areas of the movement. Our Party reiterates that we never work against the interests of the people. It is solely the ruling classes and their forces that suppress the people and our Party fights it back. Continue reading

Chhattisgarh: Maoists Torch Road Construction Machines

Outlook India | Raipur | Jun 10, 2013
Maoists today torched two road construction machines and took away a tractor in the insurgency-hit Kanker district of Chhattisgarh.”Maoists torched a bulldozer and a JCB machine of the forest department, apart from taking away a tractor, engaged in road construction work in Mendra village,” Pakhanjore Sub-Divisional Officer of Police Anil Kumar Soni told PTI.

Maoists are observing Jan Pituri Week from June 5 to June 11 to commemorate their `martyrs’.

Vehicular traffic was thin at many places in south Bastar’s remote areas. People faced difficulty in reaching their destinations.

As the Railways have decided not to run the passenger train from Visakhapatnam to Kirandul beyond Jagdalpur fearing Naxal attacks during the week, passengers were forced to travel by bus from Jagdalpur to Kirandul.

Police said patrolling by paramilitary forces had been intensified in the Naxal-infested areas.

However, this time Maoists neither announced any relief for public transport system nor gave any call for bandh during the Jan Pituri week, contrary to their past practice.

Meanwhile, a Naxal was arrested from Mardapal police station area of Kodagaon district, police said. “Guddu Muriya, 25-year-old member of Usri Jan-militia, was arrested in Mulnar village on Sunday late night,” Additional Superintendent of Police Surjeet Atri said.

Maoist attacks are a counter violence of resistance against the state: Arundhati Roy

 

First Post, May 28, 2013

(First Post) Editors note: This interview was originally run in April 2010 by CNN-IBN. Given the context of the recent attack in Chhattisgarh on a Congress convoy, (First Post) has republished the interview as it resurfaces some interesting points of view. 

In that interview, Arundhati Roy says that the Maoists have no choice but to indulge in ‘counter-violence’. Here is Roy’s interview with CNN-IBN Deputy Editor Sagarika Ghosh:

Arundhati Roy. AFP

Arundhati Roy. AFP

Sagarika Ghose: You wrote your article ‘Walking with the comrades’ in The Outlook before Dantewada happened. In the aftermath of the Dantewada (incident of 2010), do you still stand by the tone of sympathy that you had with the Maoist cause in that essay?

Arundhati Roy: Well, this is a odd way to frame before and after Dantewada happened, because actually you know this cycle of violence has been building on and on. This is not the first time that a large number of security personnel have been killed by the Maoists. I have written about it and the other attacks that took place between the years 2005-07. The way I look at is, people make it sound that, ‘oh, on this side are people, who are celebrating the killing of CRPF jawans, and that side of the people who are asking for the Maoists to be wiped out.’ This is not the case. I think that you got to look at the every death as a terrible tragedy in a system, in a war that’s been pushed on the people and that unfortunately is becoming a war of the rich against the poor. In which rich put forward the poorest of the poor to fight the poor. CRPF are terrible victims but they are not just victims of the Maoists. They are victims of a system of structural violence that is taking place, that sort to be drowned in this empty condemnation industry that goes on. This is entirely meaningless because most of the time people who condemn them have really no sympathy for them. They are just using them as pawns. Continue reading

India–“Peals of Spring Thunder”: Oppressive System cannot control the struggle against oppression

The Naxalite Attacks at Sukma
by BINOY KAMPMARK, writing in CounterPunch

naxal_attackThey have been considered one of India’s most pressing threats, and the recent attack by the Naxalites that ambushed a convoy of the Congress Party went that much further.  The ambush took place over the weekend in Sukma on the Maharashtra, Andra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh border. Reports suggest that there were as many as 200 Maoist rebels who inflicted heavy losses – 28 killed and 24 others wounded – before fleeing.

The attacks have shaken the establishment.  Among the dead were four state party leaders including Mahendra Karma of Chhattisgarh, and five police officers.  For BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, “This new aggressive strategy of the Naxalities is a real threat to the Constitution and the rule of law. It is a challenge to sovereignty” (Times of India, May 26).  Former police chief of Punjab state KPS Gill is pessimistic about the new surge – the government of the day did not “have the political will and bureaucratic and police set-up to prevent such attacks” (Dhaka Tribune, May 26).

How the Naxalites have been treated has varied.  In 1967, when the movement first made its presence felt in the West Bengal village of Naxalbari, the Home Minister Y. B. Chavan treated the matter as a case of “lawlessness” in action.  The mistake was classic but fatal.  During the 1970s, the state authorities moved in on the movement hoping to crush it with repressive enthusiasm.  As usual with such measures, the quotient of extra-judicial killings and corrupt practices accompanied the operations.  Legislation was passed to enable various state authorities to take measures – the attempt, for example, by the N.T. Rama Rao government to free up arms licensing in Andra Pradesh in 1983 for individuals to protect themselves against the Naxals. Continue reading

“The mighty Chhattisgarh falters, once again”

Monday, May 27, 2013 | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Securitymen inspect the site of ambush on Sunday. 27 people were killed and over 30 injured in the attack.One lakh (100,000) men of state police, 40,000 paramilitary fighters and 11 IAF copters fail to make a difference on ground.

[Photo:  Securitymen inspect the site of ambush on Sunday. 27 people were killed and over 30 injured in the attack. - PTI]

 

 

 

The biggest Maoist strike in Chhattisgarh in terms of political impact that killed 27 people, including four state Congress leaders, has once again proved that little has changed on the ground in the tribal heartland and the CPI (Maoist) remains well entrenched there, capable of calling shots almost at will.

The undetected movement of a well equipped force of over 250 Maoists that engaged for nearly two hour gun battle in broad daylight on a state highway has thrown up several questions for both Centre and Raman Singh-led state government to answer for.

The first and the foremost question that intrigues is how over a lakh strong state police machinery that has support of almost 40,000 central armed police personnel on ground and air support of drones and 11 IAF and BSF helicopters failed to track and fight such a large movement of Maoists.

While the security officials blamed vastness of the area, its rocky and jungle terrain and ill-equipped and low morale state police as reasons for unable to overpower the Maoists, activists like GN Saibaba, vice-president of Revolutionary Democratic Front of India claimed the reason for Maoist domination lies in having a popular support base among the tribals.

“The tribals have been at the receiving end at the hands of the state machinery. They have been harassed and killed by repressive governments for last 60-70 years and find a natural ally among Maoists. Till you do not have a pro-people government such situations will keep arising,” said Saibaba.

Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh indicated slackness on part of the Chhattisgarh government for not being able to change the ground situation. “If you go by statistics I don’t think we have been able to see any change in districts like Kanker, Narayanpur, Bijapur, Sukma and Dantewada in last 9 years like we have been able to see in several Maoist affected districts across Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal…. The target of the attack was to send a message that this is a liberated zone, political parties keep off,” said Ramesh. Continue reading

India: Government officials ordered to learn local tribal languages

[The inability of government officials to communicate with millions of adivasi (tribal) people has long been a feature of the non-existent relations over the great divide in India.  The communication gap is rooted in the officials' lack of language skills, and in their political disdain for the poor.  But growing attention to the powerless majority and their waves of rebellion and revolutionary struggle, has embarassed the government of the self-proclaimed "largest democracy" to announce new plans for communication with their oppressed peoples.  What they fail to mention is that Maoists, over several decades, developed the written form of the Gond language and others, thereby enabling literacy campaigns, educational programs, and publications which have become accessible to the people.  Now, some government officials, if they follow their directives, will be reading Gondi books published by Maoists, or using Maoist literation systems.  It remains to be seen if these officials will make somewhat friendly conversation, or will be only measure these verbal encounters in counter-insurgency terms -- by how clearly government and military orders are barked at and understood by the victims of Operation Green Hunt and other attacks on tribal people.  -- Frontlines ed.]

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Speak the same tongue

Suvojit Bagchi, The Hindu, April 25, 2013

Grassroots communication: Imperative for better problem solving. Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury
[The Hindu Grassroots communication: Imperative for better problem solving. Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury]

Now it is mandatory for IAS and IPS officials posted in Chhattisgarh to learn at least one local tribal language

The Communist Party of India (Maoist) had made local tribal language learning mandatory for its cadres in Chhattisgarh (erstwhile Madhya Pradesh) soon after they arrived from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh in the early Eighties. Hence, in the next decade, all its Bengali, Telugu or Marathi speaking cadres picked up at least two main languages of the Gond tribals in Dandakaranya — Halbi and Gondi.

Thirty years after the CPI (Maoist)’s dictum to learn tribal languages, the government has decided to coach its administrative officers in tribal languages of Chhattisgarh. IAS probationers now will have to learn at least one of the local languages to “communicate more effectively at the grassroots,” Sunil Kumar, Chief Secretary of Chhattisgarh, told The Hindu.

Cultural sensitivity is mandatory to counter the guerrillas militarily or to introduce various welfare programmes in the rebel strongholds, especially if the State officials are ethnically alien to the local people. The fact is, the tribal languages of Chhattisgarh are alien to most of the IAS or IPS officers who would carry the State-sponsored schemes. In this context, the State government has decided to impart training in oral communication skills in all dialects of Chhattisgarh.

According to Mr. Kumar, the State Academy of Administration has already been advised to “strengthen necessary language laboratories with facility to impart” language training. However, it would be limited to oral communication. Continue reading

In Nepal, Jimmy Carter urges arrest of opponents of elections

[Ex-US President Jimmy Carter, who has provided the stamps-of-approval on many "nation-building" elections and electoral stability--(conditions for foreign investors and for diplomatic "aid" in many countries)--is now playing an even more open role in constructing a "post-People's War" orthodoxy in Nepal, walling off non-compliant revolutionary people from the new power arrangements.  Frontlines ed.]

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Constituent Assembly polls likely in November, says Carter

KATHMANDU, APR 01 – Former US president Jimmy Carter on Monday said there is general political consensus that Constituent Assembly (CA) elections are not possible in June.
Carter, who is here on a four-day visit, made the statement after holding talks with President Ram Baran Yadav, Chairman of the Interim Election Government Khil Raj Regmi, top leaders of the major parties and Election Commission officials. With election-related preparations yet to be complete, Carter said the polling date is likely to be set for November.
“I think there is general consensus, which I share, that June election will not be possible at this point,” Carter told a press conference here. “My guess, as a foreigner who is here for three-four days, is that elections will be scheduled for after the monsoon season. The third week of November would be a possible time.”
The 88-year old leader pledged that his organisation, the Carter Center, would monitor the elections, while he vowed to visit Nepal to observe the polls. Carter visited Kathmandu in April 2008 to observe the first CA elections and was recently criticised by leaders from the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML for endorsing the election as “free and fair” on the very day of polling, without making a critical assessment. Responding to the criticism, Carter said that Carter Center staff are stationed in countries months before elections to conduct ‘real’ observations. “There was certainly some intimidation by the Maoists and others, which we acknowledged in our report,” he said. “But, in general, my view was that the election adequately represented the will of the Nepali people. It was not perfect but in my judgment it was honest and fair enough to say that it was a successful election.” Continue reading

Indian Maoists’ message to Nepal Maoists CPN-Maoist — August 31, 2012

[We have recently seen this message from the CPI (Maoist) to the new CPN-Maoist party, sent in late August of last year.  The new party in Nepal has, since this statement was issued, held its Congress early in 2013 -- and while it decided not to return to the revolutionary path of Protracted People's War, there are indications that an intense struggle continues within the new party to adopt this revolutionary course.  The content of this statement reveals some of the reasons Indian Maoists appear to be hopeful as well as cautious in in their assessment of events in Nepal as of late August, 2012. -- Frontlines ed.]

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COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST) — CENTRAL COMMITTEE

Hail the formation of Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist

Message of CC, CPI (Maoist) to the CC, CPN -Maoist

 August 31, 2012

To Comrade Kiran, The Chairman, CPN-Maoist

The CC, CPI (Maoist) is sending its warmest revolutionary greetings to you and all the CC members and the entire rank and file of the CPN-Maoist on the formation of the new revolutionary party in Nepal after a prolonged internal ideological and political struggle against the opportunist and neo-revisionist leadership within the party who betrayed the Nepalese revolution and by demarcating and making a break with them.

Even while the Nepal Revolution reached the stage of strategic offense, the UCPN (Maoist) leadership assessed the national and international situation subjectively, took erroneous tactics which themselves led the party get bogged down in the quagmire of parliamentarianism with capitulationism uninterruptedly since end 2005. The opportunist faction that was dominant in the party rapidly went on taking modern revisionist positions including 12-point Agreement, 8-point Agreement and Comprehensive Peace Agreement etc thus betraying the cause of the Nepal people and causing enormous harm to the New Democratic Revolution. The revolutionary faction of the UCPN (Maoist) led by Comrade Kiran and other revolutionaries put up a fight against the neo-revisionist stands that harmed the interests of the Nepal oppressed masses and have split at various stages from the revisionist leadership. Our CC considers such splits resorted to by genuine revolutionaries demarcating from the neo-revisionist leadership and its erroneous right opportunist line as correct steps that would advance the revolution in Nepal and serve the interests of the oppressed classes and all oppressed social sections in Nepal. Continue reading

India: Desperate state seeks spy drones and mind-reading robots to quash the rebellious people

Drone robots to add more teeth to anti-Maoist operations

The Times of India, February 4, 2013

KHARAGPUR: After drone missiles of the US military, drone robots will come to the help of Indian security forces in anti-insurgency operations. The robots are being developed at a research institution in Delhi’s Karol Bagh, which has already developed another land surveillance robot and a mind sensing robot that can read the human mind.

Once ready, the drone robot can be used as an effective surveillance tool by the armed and security forces engaged in anti-Maoist operations. The robot can spy over a battle zone while flying over it. Enemy positions, camps and even soldiers or rebels hiding behind bushes within a 50 km radius can be captured on its camera which even has night vision. “Information sent by the robot can help the security forces plan their operations with greater precision,” said Diwakar Vaish, head of robotics and research at the Delhi-based A-Set Institute of Training and Research, that is working on the project.

Work on developing the robot is at an advanced stage at the A-Set Institute. The drone apart, Vaish from the 20-year-old institute demonstrated several other robots at the three-day KSHIT technology fest that began at IIT-Kharagpur (IIT-Kgp) on Friday. Continue reading

India: Maoist rebels attack Indian air force helicopter

 ASSOCIATED PRESS
 NEW DELHI, Jan 18: Police say suspected Maoist rebels have fired on an Indian Air Force helicopter, injuring one wireless operator on board while the aircraft was trying to evacuate wounded policemen from the Maoist stronghold.
Indian Air Force Helicopter

Indian Air Force Helicopter

The helicopter was forced to land in Teliwara area in eastern Chhattisgarh state on Friday, a police officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

Pranay Sahay, a paramilitary force officer, says the helicopter was trying to evacuate two state policemen wounded in fighting with Maoist rebels in the area.

The rebels have been fighting the central government for more than four decades, demanding land and jobs for tenant farmers and the poor. About 2,000 people — including police, militants and civilians — have been killed in the past few years.

Published on 2013-01-18 21:12:51

India: Maoist action frees Political Prisoners

Maoists ambush Jharkhand jail van, kill 4 and free eight comrades

, TNN | Nov 10, 2012

Maoists ambush Jharkhand jail van, kill 4 and free eight comrades
About 100 Maoists ambushed a police van carrying 32 prisoners from Giridih court to the divisional jail on Friday. They freed eight of their comrades and three cops and one prisoner were killed in the attack.
DHANBAD: In a carefully-planned and deftly executed operation, about 100 Maoists, including armed women, ambushed a police van carrying 32 prisoners from Giridih court to the divisional jail on Friday. They freed eight of their comrades and three cops and one prisoner were killed in the attack during which more than two dozen ordinary prisoners escaped. Continue reading

India: Bhilai Steel Plant to ‘fund barracks’ for paramilitary forces to access iron ore

RAIPUR, November 7, 2012

by Suvojit Bagchi, The Hindu

CPI-Maoist have formed several committees to oppose the project

Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP), one of the main steel-producing units of Steel Authority of India (SAIL), ‘will fund construction of barracks’ for paramilitary forces to ensure security for the coming mining project at Raoghat in Kanker, central Chhatisgarh. The construction has been initiated, both Union Home Ministry and SAIL sources confirmed.

The BSP needs iron ore from the Raoghat mines, about 175 km south of Bhilai, as its existing nearby mines are fast depleting. The banned CPI-Maoist, which has a strong presence in Raoghat, has opposed the mining project.

The BSP is accessing iron ore from various captive mines in and around Dalli-Rajhara, 85 km south of Bhilai, for a few decades. However, those mines are depleting, according to SAIL officials.

The BSP needs to access iron ore from Raoghat, a hilly forested patch another 95 km south of Dalli-Rajhara. The BSP and Dalli-Rajhara are connected by rail to transport iron ore, unlike Bhilai and Raoghat. SAIL is keen to have a rail road to Raoghat from Dalli-Rajhara. However, strong Maoist presence and land acquisition issues are postponing the project, resulting in cost escalation.

In the recent meetings between Home Ministry officials and SAIL, it has been decided that four battalions, with more than 4,000 personnel, of elite paramilitary forces will be deployed to guard the railway construction site between Dalli-Rajhara and Raoghat. The Border Security Force and the Central Reserve Police Force will provide two battalions each. The BSP will ‘fund barracks’ of the paramilitary forces along the 95-km track. Continue reading