India: Intellectuals protest government killings of adivasis

Chhattisgarh killings: RDF demands cases against PC, Central forces

Eminent educationist Chukka Ramaiah speaking at a round table conference on police forces massacre of tribals in Chhattisgarh state held by Revolutionary Democratic Front in Hyderabad on Monday. RDF president Varavara Rao and Prof Haragopal also seen.

Hyderabad, 10 July 2012: Intellectuals, revolutionary and civil society organisations on Monday condemned the cold-blooded massacre of 8 Adivasis and their children in Chhattisgarh on June 28 and demanded that cases against Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and the commanders of Central forces be filed under SC and ST Prevention of Atrocities act.

Participating in round table conference, organized by Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), Professor G Haragopal alleged that Chidambaram was the brain behind the killing of innocent tribals by deploying central forces in the forest under the guise of attack on Maoists in Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh.

He saw a conspiracy behind that attack. The conspiracy is to exploit rich mines and natural resources by displacing tribals from their forests, he said. Haragopal said, time has come to fight against Imperialism and state sponsored violence tooth and nail.

He said it was unfortunate that some national media organisations created an impression that the country’s growth rate will not reach two digits if the mines and resources in the forest areas were not utilized properly in the coming days.

The same media projected Gujarat Chief minister Narendra Modi as Prime Minister candidate, though he killed many people in his state while the Maoists, were projected as ‘ traitors ‘ , he bemoaned. Continue reading

India: Protests of government’s June 28 massacre of adivasis continue to grow

[As a revolutionary democratic activist has noted, The 28 June Adivasi Massacre is the biggest ever single incident in which the largest number of adivaisis have been killed since 1947. The massacre is indicative of scale of atrocities that are presently going on in the tribal regions.” It is essential that international attention and protest is brought to this atrocity by the Indian government—but, unfortunately, many “progressives” and “leftists” continue to turn a blind eye to such realities.  Here we post (1) a report from an all-India fact finding team; (2) a report from investigators; and (3) statements from families of villagers killed.  We have heard that local and countrywide protests are underway, involving a wide spectrum of political forces. – Frontlines ed.]

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Report from Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations

An all-India fact-finding team of rights activists belonging to the Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO) visited the area in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh where 17 adivasis died as a result of firing by CRPF forces on the night of June 28, 2012. The team visited the villages of Sarkeguda, Kottaguda and Rajpenta and elicited information about the events. The following is a brief report of the team. A more detailed report will follow in due course. The team visited the villages of Sarkeguda, Kottaguda and Rajpenta on July 6 and 7 and elicited information about the events.

All three villages are small settlements located close to each other and in the jurisdiction of the Basaguda police station which is located about a km. away. There is a CRPF camp at about three km from the three villages. While Sarkeguda with 25 households and Rajpenta (12 households) are in Korsagudem panchayat, Kottaguda with 30 households is in Cheepurupatti panchayat. Most residents of the three villages belong to the Dorla Koya tribe.

About 60 adivasis of these three villages assembled from around 8 pm on June 28 in an open area between Sarkeguda and Kottaguda. Such meetings where decisions have to be taken collectively are usually held during the night since adivasis are busy with work most of the day. As the sowing season was upcoming, the meeting was held to discuss several issues related to farming including fixing the date for the traditional seed sowing festival known as bija pondum- (this was to have taken place a few weeks earlier but was delayed because the pujari who conducts the ritual had died), distribution of land for tilling, lending help to those families who were without cattle, deciding the amount of rent for using the new tractor they had brought and how to raise fish. Arrears of Rs 10,000 due to the adivasis since two years for tendu leaf collection were paid only recently and they also wanted to discuss what use to put it to. It was a fairly cloudy night and visibility was poor. All those in the gathering were adivasi residents of the three villages and unarmed.

While the meeting was going on, a large contingent of CRPF personnel and CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action, a specialised anti-naxalite guerilla unit of the CRPF) commandos numbering well over a hundred, cordoned off the area. According to the villagers, at about 10 pm there was gunfire without any warning. The first burst was from towards the west and it hit three adivasis who died instantly. This was quickly followed by firing from three other directions. Terrified villagers began screaming and running. Most ran towards their respective villages. Some tried to hide in a hay-storing enclosure. Those who were fleeing for their lives were also fired upon. The firing continued for about 30 minutes after which, as if to survey the dead, the CRPF forces fired two flare guns that lit up the area. The forces stayed on in the area.

It was clear to the fact-finding team that a peaceful gathering of adivasis, none of whom carried any firearms, was surrounded by the CRPF and without any warning fired upon indiscriminately. As a result of this firing, 16 adivasis died — 15 that night and Irpa Suresh (15) in Bijapur hospital the next day. Six of the dead were minors, including a 12 year old girl Kaka Saraswati, daughter of K Rama. She was hit while fleeing towards her house in Kottaguda. Of the other five minors, two — Kaka Rahul (16) and Madkam Ramvilas (16) — were studying in class 10 at a school in Basaguda. Both stayed at a hostel in Basaguda and had come home during the summer vacations.

It was plain slaughter that night near Sarkeguda.

According to the villagers, those who did not die from the bullet wounds were killed by the police with axes they picked up from the village itself. Several eyewitnesses from outside the village, including mediapersons who saw the bodies before they were cremated, referred to some of them as having been brutalised with deep hacking cuts on the chests and foreheads.

The 17th victim of this senseless butchery was Irpa Ramesh, husband of I Lachmi and father of three children. After the firing began, he ran and made it to the safety of his house and stepped out at dawn at about 5 am to survey the area. He was fired upon immediately and though he was hit, managed to get back inside his house. The CRPF men followed him in and clobbered him to death with a brick in front of his family members. According to Ramesh’s father Irpa Raju, the CRPF men also stole Rs 5,000 from their house. The same night the police also stole Rs 30,000 from Irpa Narayana’s house in Rajpenta as well as Rs 2,000 from the house of Madkam Nagesh. Continue reading

India: Corporate Mining project faces people’s resistance to deforestation and displacement

Aman Sharma   |   India Today  |   New Delhi, July 3, 2012

Bhilai Steel Plant in Chhattisgarh faces shutdown due to lack of iron ore as Maoists oppose mining

The writ of Maoists runs in most districts of Chhattisgarh. (Photo: Yogesh Kumar)

The Centre is worried that one of the country’s biggest steel plants, the 53-year-old Bhilai Steel Plant inChhattisgarh, will have to be closed down in the next three years as it runs out of iron ore supplies.

A high-level meeting was held at the Union Home Hinistry on Monday, attended by home secretary R.K. Singh, steel secretary DRS Chaudhary and Chhattisgarh‘s chief secretary and director-general of police after reports that Naxals are bitterly opposing mining in a new area called Rowghat for the Bhilai Steel Plant as well as the construction of a railway line to transport the iron ore from Rowghat to the plant.
The new railway line will pass through Maoist zones.

Mining the new reserves is crucial as the existing iron ore reserves at Dalli Rajhara area, which keep the steel plant running now, will be exhausted by 2015. The new mining project involves deforestation in an area of over 2,030 hectares in Kanker and Narayanpur districts, both Naxal hotbeds. Further, the proposed 235-km railway line will run through Abujmad, also a red zone.Rowghat is estimated to have 510 million tonnes of iron ore reserves, sufficient to keep the plant running for decades.

The Chhattisgarh government has said it has no security force to spare for the project. At Monday’s meeting, it was decided that an exclusive force will be created drawing personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF) and the Chhattisgarh Armed Police for the purpose.

Till then, two battalions from the CRPF and the BSF will guard the mining area and the railway line, for which all necessary forest and environmental clearances have been given.

At present, only four CRPF and BSF companies are posted in the area and, hence, are in no position to provide foolproof security to workers engaged in the deforestation of the mine area. The Home Ministry wants the state police to provide a matching force but the Chhattisgarh Police are non-committal.

The Bhilai Steel Plant is India’s first and primary producer of steel rails and the sole supplier of the country’s longest rail tracks, which measure 260 metres. It is a flagship unit of the Steel Authority of India and its largest and most profitable facility.

To keep the plant running, the Steel Ministry identified Rowghat for fresh iron ore mining. For the purpose, no village will be displaced. Only the area will be deforested and a new railway line constructed.

But Naxals are objecting to the plan to mine the area as well as the new railway line, which will pass through Maoist zones such as Balod, Kanker, Narayanpur, Kondangaon and Jagdalpur districts. The home secretary, in Monday’s meeting, asked the Chhattisgarh government and the steel ministry to make the tribal people aware of the benefits of the project.

The Chhattisgarh Police are of the view that as the mine area and the railway line are close to Abujmad, it will invite violent reaction from the Maoists as well as local tribals. Sources said the project was destined to run into rough weather as no amount of security can protect every inch of the proposed railway line, which is going to be the lifeline of the steel plant – the plant literally drives the economy of the region. The home ministry has suggested that both the projects – deforestation and the railway line – should be taken up simultaneously.

Cops own up to child deaths in raid

SHEENA K, Telegraph India

Bodies kept at the police station for identification. Picture by Bishwajeet Chakraborty

Raipur, June 30: Chhattisgarh police today admitted that the 18 victims of yesterday’s anti-Maoist operation included children and women but sparked fresh controversy by claiming they were all rebel cadres.

The admission came after the bodies were laid out in front of a police station to facilitate identification — a routine procedure — and journalists took photographs. It was clear that several of the victims were children and at least one seemed a girl.

The BJP government had also come under pressure from the Congress, which sent a team to the remote encounter site and claimed that “preliminary information” suggested at least three children “below the age of eight” and several women were among the dead.

The security forces had yesterday claimed to have killed 17 Maoists in a pre-dawn jungle swoop in Bijapur district — an injured rebel died later in hospital — but local people had alleged that most of those slain were villagers attending a meeting called by the rebels.

“As far as our information is concerned, more than a dozen innocent villagers were killed,” state Congress president Nandkumar Patel said today. Continue reading

India: More on the state’s false “Maoist” labels on adivasis killed by security forces

Day after encounter, villagers say no Maoist among those killed

Ashutosh Bhardwaj | The Indian Express | Sarkeguda, Bijapur |  Sunday July 01 2012

The bodies of 20 who were killed by the Central Reserve Police Force in the dense jungles of Dantewada in Chhattisgarh on Friday.

On Saturday, over 40 hours after the “biggest encounter” involving security forces and Maoists in Chhattisgarh, bodies of 19 alleged “hardcore Maoists and Jan Militia members” lay outside their huts in the three villages of Sarkeguda, Kottaguda and Rajpenta in Bijapur.

Villagers alleged no government official had spoken to them or visited their homes, and no autopsies had been carried out on the bodies.

Several bodies appeared to have been brutalised. This correspondent saw deep, hacking cuts, apparently made by axes, on some chests and foreheads. A senior CRPF officer rejected the possibility that the wounds might have been inflicted by security forces. “Our forces have never done such things and will never do this,” the officer said.

Bijapur superintendent of police Prashant Agarwal said, “Proper post mortem was conducted in Basaguda thana. A team of doctors visited the thana and a report will be prepared.”

Policemen at the thana — where the bodies were kept for about 12 hours before being handed to the families — were unable to say when the post mortem happened. No stitches or other tell-tale marks of an autopsy were visible on the bodies that this correspondent saw in the villages.

At Sarkeguda, the spot deep in the Dandakaranya jungles 520 km south of Raipur where the encounter happened, the stench was overpowering. A rotting pig lay nearby, a bullet in its jaw and two in the torso.

Late in the afternoon, one by one, the villagers began to cremate the bodies.

Yesterday, Home Minister P Chidambaram said three important Maoist leaders, Mahesh, Nagesh and Somulu, had been killed in the encounter.

There is no Mahesh in the official list of those killed. There are two Nageshes. Continue reading

Chhattisgarh, India: Villagers bury their dead as Maoists and CRPF forces trade charges

Aman Sethi | The Hindu

A tribal family grieves over the death of a victim of Friday’s police action against suspected Maoists at Sarkeguda in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district. Photo: Aman Sethi

SARKEGUDA, 1 July 2012 — The air is thick with rhythmic wailing and smoke from funeral pyres on the barren fields of Sarkeguda, Kotteguda and Rajapetta in the Kotteguda panchayat of Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district.

“The funerals are being conducted one by one as there aren’t enough men to help out with so many bodies,” said Sangam Ravi, a resident. “Some have to be buried, but who will dig all the graves? Some bodies must be burnt, but then you need to collect the wood.”

A day after the Chhattisgarh police claimed to have killed 20 Maoists in an encounter in Bijapur, villagers have offered a sharply divergent description of the incident, claiming that the security forces fired at a peaceful gathering of villagers, killing 20 of them, including five children aged 12-15, and sexually assaulted at least four teenaged girls during the encounter.

“There were no Maoists present at the village that night,” said Madkam Ganpat of Rajpetta. “We had gathered to discuss the upcoming seed festival, which is held every year before sowing begins.” He said the meeting continued for several hours, when the participants were suddenly surrounded by a large contingent of the security forces.

Mourners surround a corpse at Sarkeguda village in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district. On Friday morning, the Chhattisgarh police claimed they had killed 20 Maoists in an operation. Yet villagers insist that the victims were innocent tribals attending a village meeting. Photo: Aman Sethi

“The forces immediately opened fire, all of us tried to run away but many were shot in the legs, back and chest,” he said. Kaka Saraswati was among those killed in the ensuing confusion. “She was only 12 years old,” said her mother Kaka Sinakka.

Several of the bodies seen by this correspondent had bullet wounds in the torso and the neck. Sabka Mitu, 17, was killed when his throat was slit by a sharp object. Several bodies also had lacerations from what could have been a knife or an axe.

Mr. Ganpat’s account was corroborated by a number of villagers who insisted that no Maoists were present at the meeting, but none could explain how six policemen were injured. “The forces had encircled us,” said Mr. Ganpat. “Maybe, they accidently shot each other.”

The firing lasted several minutes, the villagers said, after which the forces radioed for a tractor that took away a number of bodies. “The force then camped in the village and dragged me into the fields,” Devi (name changed), a 14-year-old girl, said in an interview. “They threw me on the ground, beat me, kicked me, tore my clothes and kept threatening to rape me.” She said three other girls were similarly molested.

Continue reading

India: Maoists blow up new police station in Chhattisgarh

Dantewada: Naxals destroy newly-built police station

Press Trust of India

Raipur: Naxals destroyed a newly constructed police station using explosives in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district, police said on Wednesday.

Following the incident which took place on Monday night, the state government transferred Dantewada SP Ankit Garg and posted him at police headquarters to Raipur, official sources said.

A group of 50 Naxals assembled at the police station near Geedam area and asked the labourers present there to leave. They blasted the building using huge amount of explosives, police said, adding there were no reports of any casualty.

Dantewada: Naxals destroy newly-built police station

The police station, which was completely destroyed, was recently constructed at a cost of Rs 30 lakh, but it didn’t have adequate security, they said.

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Raipur, Dec 27 (IANS)

About 50 armed Maoists blew up a two-storeyed police station under-construction  in Chhattisgarh’s restive Bastar region Tuesday, police said.

“Maoists stormed into the building at Geedam town, hardly 10 km from Dantewada town and set high-powered explosives and blew it up,” Dantewada Superintendent of Police Ankit Garg told IANS over the phone.

The two-storeyed structure was almost complete but was not handed over to the police. “It was a massive blast and the building was mostly blown up,” Garg said. Police have launched a massive search operation to apprehend the  rebels but no arrest has been made, he added.

The building was barely one km away from the Geedam police station but policemen posted at the old building had not reached the demolished site even after three hours of the blast. Continue reading

The Guardian (UK)–India’s Maoist Liberated Zones, part 3: “‘In two weeks, I was a paramedic’”

What led Jairam Ramesh to tag Maoist areas as ‘liberated’? In the last part of the series, Suvojit Bagchi explores the reasons
 SUVOJIT BAGCHI  11th December, 2011

A Maoist doctor, somewhere near the Indrawati River, Bastar district. PHOTOGRAPHS: SUVOJIT BAGCHI

The reasons for the rise of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in south Chhattisgarh’s heavily forested region — an area as big as a mid-sized European country — was the subject of several conversations with party cadres and leaders during my five-week stay in the upper course of the Indrawati River in Dandakarnya (DK). While the strength of party units, built over a span of 30 years, is the primary reason for rise of the Maoists in DK, there are other factors that prompted Union Minister Jairam Ramesh to recently describe south Chhattisgarh as a “liberated zone”, where the state’s writ does not run.

Health Care

Health care in DK, provided by the state government, is nothing less than atrocious. There are few health centres and doctors are not available round-the-clock.

To fill the vacuum, Maoist barefoot “doctors”, a few hundred boys and girls in their early 20s, often travel like missionaries from one hamlet to another with boxes full of medicines for common ailments such as malaria, snake bites, dysentery, severe itching and fever. They are adored by villagers.

Prakash, a 23-year-old doctor with a serious, oval face, told me during a casual conversation one evening, “Earlier, no one took me seriously. One day, the party’s division secretary asked me if I would like to be a doctor. I thought he was joking but then he sent me to a camp, manned by doctors from cities, where I was trained for two weeks. I returned as a paramedic. Now the entire village, mine and others, runs after me. It gives me a strange sense of empowerment and purpose — I am doing something for my people, my land.”

Imparting this “strange sense” of purpose to a group of illiterate, underfed, sickle cell-ridden and half-lost tribal populace to organise themselves against the world’s third largest military power is what the Maoists’ success is all about.

Maoist Schools

The children of guerrillas are tutored by senior members and travel with a platoon or a company. Older children with a basic understanding of language go to what is called the Basic Communist Training School. A close look at the syllabus of the school reveals a mix of life-skills training, basic education and political theory that may help raise volunteers for the party. Continue reading

Chhattisgarh High Court rejects bail for Binayak Sen


February 10, 2011
Binayak Sen’s family tells NewsX they will appeal to the Supreme Court after the Chhattisgarh High Court rejected the activist’s plea for bail.

Sen has been sentenced to life imprisonment on sedition charges over his alleged Maoist links.

Fresh reports of sexual assault by Indian forces surface in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district

The Hindu, October 25, 2010

Kunjami Mangli's torn blouse and a lock of her hair that she says was cut off when she was sexually assaulted by the Chhattisgarh police's Koya commandos. Photo: Aman Sethi
Kunjami Mangli’s torn blouse and a lock of her hair that she says was cut off when she was sexually
assaulted by the Chhattisgarh police’s Koya commandos. Photo: Aman Sethi

A young woman carries a torn blouse and an undergarment and a lock of her hair in a clear plastic bag that rarely leaves her side. Kunjami Mangli (name changed) of the Bade Bidme panchayat in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district preserves these items as evidence of the events of the night of October 12.  “Four uniformed policemen burst into my house at 2 a.m.,” said Mangli, speaking through a translator. “They ripped off my blouse and brassiere and sexually assaulted me.”

“I was sleeping on the floor, one policeman put his foot on my head, pulled my hair and cut off a lock with a knife,” said Mangli. “The three others pulled up my petticoat and tried to rape me.” Mangli said her ordeal lasted about 15 minutes, even as her mother pleaded with the men to spare her daughter.

Mangli and her mother said the assault was perpetrated by the Koya Commando wing of the Chhattisgarh police. The Koyas are a commando unit raised from Adivasi special police officers, a tribal police corps recruited in the aftermath of the 2005 Salwa Judum, and is at the forefront of the Chhattisgarh police’s battle against the CPI (Maoist), a banned organisation committed to the overthrow of the Indian state.

Villagers say the October 12 raid began with an eight-hour blackout in which the adjoining panchayats of Bade Bidme and Phulpar were plunged into darkness. The police raid continued through the night during which, villagers say, policemen assaulted Kunjami Mangali and arrested Kunjami Bhima from Bade Bidme’s Kunjamipara village and picked another five men from Phulpar panchayat’s Domarpara and Koyalipara villages. In the last month, 12 residents of Bade Bidme have been arrested on the suspicion of aiding Maoists. Continue reading

India: 78 Chhattisgarh cops evade duty in Maoist areas

Chhattisgarh Police Camp, 2006

IANS, Sep 25, 2010

RAIPUR: As many as 78 policemen in Chhattisgarh have been sent show cause notices for refusing to join postings in Maoist-hit areas of the state, a senior police official said Saturday.

The police headquarters here served notices to 33 inspector-rank officers and other police officers who refused to take postings citing health reasons, mostly diabetes and high blood pressure.

“The police department can’t afford such kind of gross indiscipline among jawans. The 78 policemen, who have been evading new postings, have been asked to explain within three days, otherwise we will take stern action,” Inspector General of Police (administration) Pawan Deo said.

The problem of state policemen refusing to take postings in the seven Maoist-infested districts has been rising every month, an official said, adding that new recruits were not joining their duties in such areas. Continue reading

India: Report of torture, sexual assault and illegal detention of adivasis in Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh Police with Lathi

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC STATEMENT

14 September 2010

The Indian authorities should order a prompt, impartial and independent investigation into reports of torture and ill-treatment, including rape and other sexual violence, against adivasis (indigenous people) illegally detained in Chhattisgarh, Amnesty International said today.

Adivasis from Pachangi and Aloor villages in Kanker district told Amnesty International that paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF) personnel and the Chhattisgarh state police rounded up 40 adivasi men from their villages on 5 and 6 September, stripped them and beat them with sticks. Five men – Narsingh Kumra, Sukram Netam, Premsingh Potayi, Raju Ram and Bidde Potayi were reportedly raped with sticks and are still being treated at the Kanker government hospital.

These violations followed the 29 August ambush of a BSF-police patrol by members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in which three BSF personnel and two policemen were killed. Continue reading

100 Maoists ambush police patrol in Chhattisgarh

"Operation Green Hunt": The government has deployed over 200,000 soldiers, police, and para-military forces, mainly in tribal (adivasi) lands. They have added Border Security Forces (BSF), as shown above, to fight this domestic war. Several BSF jawans were killed in the Chhatisgarh ambush by people's forces

http://www.way2online.com

August 30, 2010

Five security personnel were killed as over 100 Maoists ambushed a patrol in Chhattisgarh’s restive Bastar region Sunday, leading to a gunfight, police said.

“Maoists ambushed a police patrolling party drawn from the Border Security Force (BSF), district force (DF) and special police officers (SPOs) in a thickly-forested area,” Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) T.J. Longkumer said over phone from Jagdalpur, headquarters of Bastar region.

He said the gun battle took place in Bhuski village in Kanker district, 250 km from capital Raipur, when Maoists ambushed the troopers. “It was a major ambush but our jawans fought bravely and fiercely…Maoists were in large numbers and estimated to be over 100,” Longkumer said.

Chhattisgarh Director General of Police Vishwa Ranjan said that those killed were three BSF men, including a head constable and two constables, one belonging to the DF and an SPO.

He added that a chopper was sent to the attack site for rescue operations and evacuating an injured trooper. Police claimed that some Maoists were also killed in the gunfight but none of their bodies were recovered. Continue reading

Lohandiguda, India: We won’t give up our land!

Land nor Freedom

August 22, 2010, New Indian Express

‘Nahi denge zameen!’ (we won’t give our land) – said one villager of Lohandiguda, as over 150 villagers – Sarpanches and ward members with their families, stood up, and walked out of the meeting with government officials on the 12th of May of this year. In 2005, the villagers in Lohandiguda didn’t even know their land was up for acquisition by Tata Steel – they learnt about it after they read the newspapers.

It is a known fact that the Adivasis have existed long before there was any idea of India. And there are estimates that there has been more displacement by development projects in India than by the Partition, and a majority of the displaced have been Adivasis.

It’s therefore not surprising that the Maoists don’t believe that India has attained independence. In a school in the liberated-zones of Dantewada, a lone poster of Chandrashekar Azad remains, there’s no sign of Gandhi or Nehru. In the Red Corridor, the Maoist squads go to schools in the middle of their Independence Day celebrations, remove the tricolour, holster up a black flag, distribute sweets or biscuits to the children and leave. Continue reading

27 Indian CRPF troops die in Maoist ambush

[More details are being reported in various media.  The Hindu newspaper reported, “Local journalists in Narayanpur said the attack occurred in the backdrop of a two-day bandh called by the Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Sources said the attack took place near a hilly stretch known as the Jhadha Ghati, 3 km from Dhudhai. According to a PTI report, Maoist fighters opened fire from a hilltop as the soldiers were returning from their patrol.

“A large number of Maoist fighters surrounded the rear section of the CRPF party and opened fire,” said a source.

The Narayanpur-Orcha road is considered the gateway to Abujhmad, a 4000-sq. km. forested area that has been declared a “liberated zone” by the CPI (Maoist).”

No statement from the CPI(Maoist) party on this incident has  yet been seen.  But the AP story, below, repeats the government claim that the Maoists were also responsible for an April train derailment, which the Maoist party denied, as it is not their policy to target civilians.–ed]

By INDRAJIT SINGH (AP)

PATNA, India — Maoist rebels killed at least 27 paramilitary troops in an ambush in eastern India on Tuesday, the latest in a series of bold attacks by the guerrillas, a senior police official said.

A 50-strong patrol of the Central Reserve Police Force was ambushed Tuesday evening on a routine patrol in a densely forested area in the Narayanpur district of Chhatisgarh state, said Sunder Raj, a senior local police official. Ten other troops were wounded, he said.

Few other details were immediately available from the remote area. It is a stronghold of the rebels, who are also called Naxals, after the village of Naxalbari where their movement started in the 1970s. Continue reading