Naxals/Maoists Watch

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by Daredevil, Apr 12, 2009.

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Should the Indian government use armed forces against the naxals/maoists?

  1. Yes

    71.8%
  2. No

    28.2%
  1. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    The Statesman

    Dateline Lalgarh

    ;Shyam Sundar Roy & Sabyasachi Roy
    MIDNAPORE/LALGARH, 18 JUNE: The Lalgarh situation reached boiling point today as state armed police and Central paramilitary forces began preparations for the long-awaited operation to flush out Maoists who had laid siege in the area since November last year while keeping the Police Santras Birodhi Public Committee (PSBPC) in the forefront.
    The build-up for the operation started from the Pirakata police outpost ~ about 22 km from Lalgarh ~ triggering a violent protest from local people who formed a human barricade to prevent security forces from entering Lalgarh.
    Before leaving for Lalgarh, senior state police officers, including DGP, Mr Sujit Sarkar, DG (Co-ordination), Mr Bhupindar Singh, IG (western range) Mr Kuldeep Singh, held a meeting with commandants of eight companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at the outpost. Soon after that policemen and jawans of the CRPF ~ led by additional superintendent of police, Jhargram, Mr Murlidhar ~ started marching towards Lalgarh around 3.40 p.m. At least 3,000 PSBPC supporters, mostly women and children, tried to block their way at Malida village. Apart from forming a human barricade, armed tribals blocked the Pirakata-Lalgarh Road with logs. The IC of Pirakata outpost, Mr Debashis Mojumdar, urged agitators to remove the blockade. As the PSBPC members refused to clear the road, the additional district magistrate, Mr Santanu Naha, instructed police to fire tear-gas shells and lathicharge the agitators. Several women and children were hurt in the lathi-charge. PSBPC members responded by throwing stones.
    As PSBPC members retreated, CRPF jawans launched a combing operation in the area in search of suspected Maoists. Around 5.10 p.m. when the security team had just left Malida village, some PSBPC members, who had taken shelter in a roadside house, allegedly fired at them and fled the spot. The house was later cordoned off and searched thoroughly.
    The first day of the operation ended after the police force reached Pirakuli village, 12 km from Lalgarh, around 7 p.m. Police camps were set up in the area. Later, PSBPC leader Mr Chatradhar Mahato threatened that “tribals will resist the entry of the police in Lalgarh with their traditional weapons till our 23 point charter of demands are met.”
    Meanwhile, the second in command of the CPI (Maoist), Koteshwar Rao alias Khishanji, said the state government and the Centre will be held responsible if there was bloodshed in Lalgarh. Maoists have called a 48-hour bandh in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa, Bihar and Chattisgarh from Monday to protest against the police operation in Lalgarh.
    CPI-M state secretary Mr Biman Bose said the Lalgarh situation was strictly an administrative issue and the administration was dealing with it. “Had it been a political question, we would have reacted accordingly,” he said.
    Earlier, the bodies of two CPI-M members were found in Patharpara forest in the Goaltore area. They were identified as those of Badol Ahir and Chaitan Soren. They were allegedly abducted by PSBPC activists three days ago.
     
  2. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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  3. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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  4. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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  5. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Landmine blast, firing by Maoists as securitymen move forward

    Landmine blast, firing by Maoists as securitymen move forward

    Saibal Gupta
    Lalgarh/New Delhi, June 19 (PTI) Police backed by paramilitary personnel today continued their surge towards reclaiming Lalgarh from Maoist stranglehold drawing retaliation from the ultras and triggering a gunbattle as tribals blew up a bridge and set off a landmine in a bid to stop the security forces.

    Maoists detonated a landmine targetting a police jeep this evening injuring two policemen at Pirakata bazar as the joint operation entered the second day. The jeep which was at the rear of a convoy of vehicles of journalists came under attack as soon as it passed the area, police said.

    Earlier in the day, the security forces moved from Pirakata where they had halted for the night and moved to Koima some distance away on the road to Lalgarh, 23 km away.

    The securitymen moved carefully sweeping the area with mine detectors and moving door to door in villages asking residents to keep indoors.

    Top Maoist leader Koteshwar Rao, who had been camping in Lalgarh for the last few days spearheading the agitation, is said to have escaped along with six other leaders.

    With Jhitka jungle a Maoist-hit area, the security personnel in armoured cars and high-axle trucks moved with extra caution.

    In Delhi, Home Minister P Chidambaram said the Maoists should lay down arms and come for talks, endorsing an appeal made to them by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. PTI
     
  6. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    Iranian news in maoist thread .
     
  7. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    Madni revealed LeT link with Maoists: Police
    19 Jun 2009, 1950 hrs IST, PTI


    NEW DELHI: Investigators on Friday told a Delhi court that Mohd Omar Madni, a suspected militant, has disclosed links between Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashker-e-Taiba and Maoists in Jharkhand.

    "He (Madni) revealed that LeT was acting in coordination with CPI (Maoists) in Jharkhand. He has acted as conduit for LeT and provided training to recruits in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and sent them to India to carry out terror strikes," the public prosecutor told the court which extended the police remand of Madni for seven days.

    Delhi Police, which is interrogating Madni, contended that his custodial quizzing was necessary to ascertain his emails details and bank account which revealed transactions to the tune of Rs 25 lakh.

    Metropolitan Magistrate Manish Yaduvanshi allowed the plea of the police, which has arrested the militant under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

    50-year-old Madni, a resident of Bihar who acquired Nepalese citizenship, was arrested on June 4 from near Qutub Minar area in South Delhi and produced before the court after the completion of 14 days police custody.

    The investigating agency sought police remand of Madni under the recent amendments of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act which empowers them to interrogate an accused in custody for 30 days.

    Bakshish Singh, who was appointed amicus curiae, opposed the plea of the police, saying they had already been provided with enough time to interrogate the accused.

    Mohd Omar Madni, a suspected operative of Lashkar-e-Taiba told the court that he repented his "acts" and wanted to spend his life behind bars.

    "I have committed some mistakes and I want to remain in jail," Madni told the court in Hindi with folded hands.

    His remarks came after Metropolitan Magistrate Manish Yaduvanshi asked him whether he wanted to say something on the plea of investigators seeking extension of his custodial interrogation.

    His police custody was extended by the court for more seven days.

    Madni revealed LeT link with Maoists: Police - India - The Times of India
     
  8. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    Security forces, Maoists clash in Lalgarh
    19 Jun 2009, 2212 hrs IST, PTI


    LALGARH/NEW DELHI: Police backed by paramilitary personnel on Friday continued their surge towards reclaiming Lalgarh from Maoist stranglehold drawing retaliation from the ultras and triggering a gunbattle as tribals blew up a bridge and set off a landmine in a bid to stop the security forces.

    Maoists detonated a landmine targetting a police jeep on Friday evening injuring two policemen at Pirakata bazar as the joint operation entered the second day. The jeep which was at the rear of a convoy of vehicles of journalists came under attack as soon as it passed the area, police said.

    Earlier in the day, the security forces moved from Pirakata where they had halted for the night and moved to Koima some distance away on the road to Lalgarh, 23 km away.

    The securitymen moved carefully sweeping the area with mine detectors and moving door to door in villages asking residents to keep indoors.

    Top Maoist leader Koteshwar Rao, who had been camping in Lalgarh for the last few days spearheading the agitation, is said to have escaped along with six other leaders.

    With Jhitka jungle a Maoist-hit area, the security personnel in armoured cars and high-axle trucks moved with extra caution.

    In Delhi, home minister P Chidambaram said the Maoists should lay down arms and come for talks, endorsing an appeal made to them by chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

    Security forces, Maoists clash in Lalgarh - India - The Times of India
     
  9. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    IG , I have changed the post. Will you please do the favour ?

    Govt has a plan for the final assault- Hindustan Times

    Govt has a plan for the final assault

    Surbek Biswas, Hindustan Times
    Email Author
    Kolkata, June 19, 2009

    First Published: 23:12 IST(19/6/2009)
    Last Updated: 23:16 IST(19/6/2009)

    The real battle for Lalgarh in West Midnapore between the Maoists and security forces is yet to begin. Friday’s action drama was only a trailer.

    A state government official, who refused to be identified, told HT the administration and security forces had already chalked out a plan to take on the Maoists and block all escape routes from Lalgarh, about 250 km southwest of Kolkata.

    The COBRA (Combat Battalion for Resolute Action) and Greyhounds, a specialised anti-Maoist force raised in Andhra Pradesh, will carry out the final assault deep inside the 1,000-sq-km Maoist ‘liberated zone’ in Lalgarh.

    The state government, which asked for six more companies of central forces on Friday, however, did not disclose that Greyhound personnel had already reached Lalgarh.

    About 100 COBRA men will be airdropped on a field adjacent to Lalgarh police station at least 24 hours before the real operation, while another COBRA contingent is already headed there from Midnapore.

    Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men and state police will assist the COBRA force in removing barricades and human shields en route.

    Another company of CRPF men reached Lalgarh police station on Thursday to assist the COBRA and Greyhound forces. But state home department and top police officials know they’ll face the real resistance in a 15-km-long stretch between Lalgarh and Ramgarh towards farther west.

    The authorities have decided to use the COBRA force, which comprises men with special jungle warfare training, to flush out Maoists from this particular zone.

    The state police, Kolkata Police commandos and CRPF will assist the COBRA. It has also been planned to surround Lalgarh and confine the Maoists to the Lalgarh-Ramgarh stretch, denying them reinforcements.

    Another team, mainly Border Security Force men, will stop Maoists from crossing the Kangshabati river to enter Belpahari in Bankura district. Besides, the Lalgarh-Midnapore route through Pirakata, 12 km from Lalgarh, will be cut off midway at Goaltore.
     
  10. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    3 Naxals held, huge cache of explosives seized in Bihar

    Biharsharif (Bihar), June 19: 3 Maoists were arrested and a huge cache of explosives, including gelatine sticks and 6000 detonators, were seized from their possession in Nalanda district on Friday.

    Acting on a tip-off that a truck with a consignment of explosives had left Koderma in Jharkhand for Nepal, Bihar police intercepted the vehicle at Bijwanpur village and three Naxals who were travelling in it, Additional Director General of Police (law and order) V Narayanan said.

    The driver and cleaner of the truck were also arrested, he said.

    A police team has been sent to Koderma to ascertain from where the consignment had originated and the place and person it was sent to, Narayanan said.

    Bureau Report

    3 Naxals held, huge cache of explosives seized in Bihar
     
  11. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    The Statesman

    Top Maoists to skip combat?

    KOLKATA, 19 JUNE: Top ranked Maoist leaders, who have been spurring on the initial police boycott and the subsequent violence at Lalgarh are unlikely to be involved in any direct combat with the security forces engaged in the current operations.
    This is because they want to use this as a learning experience, say senior Intelligence Branch officials.
    Amidst reports that senior leaders of the CPI (Maoist) who had been camping at Lalgarh for the past few months, have already left the area after police operations began yesterday, IB officials said that the Maoists have brought in squads from Jharkhand and Orissa to augment their West Bengal unit that will engage the security forces at Lalgarh. “Action squad members from three state units are camping in Lalgarh and adjoining areas. The senior leaders of the outfit will brief them about how to go about it. But they themselves will not engage the security forces. The time is not ripe for them to engage in direct combat as inputs suggest that their objective is to strengthen their cadre base in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh,” said an IB official.
    Sources also say that for the Maoists, combating security forces in Lalgarh is a new proposition in their guerrilla style of warfare. “Top leaders will want to gain experience from how their squads tackle this combat scenario. No engagement between the Maoists and security forces in the country has seen such a large civilian population being directly caught up. While the security forces must make sure that no innocent person gets killed in the conflict, it is also the prerogative of the Maoists to ensure that they can defend the very people who supported them. They would not like to lose their leadership status in Lalgarh,” said the IB official.
     
  12. NikSha

    NikSha Regular Member

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    Hindustan Times

    On the road to Lalgarh, troops taste red terror

    At the break of dawn, two air force helicopters lumbered through the sky, dropping what looked like shimmering pieces of confetti. The pilots were flying at a height safe from Maoists’ mortars.

    [​IMG]

    The shimmering pieces were leaflets urging villagers to help fight Maoists who are dug in, preparing for their first face-to-face battle with the state (contrary to their favourite hit-and-run guerrilla strikes).

    A direct confrontation, however, is still a few hours away. The troops — a mix of West Bengal police, the Central Reserve Police Force and anti-naxalite force COBRA — are moving slowly, very slowly.

    “The operation will take considerably more time as security forces are moving cautiously,” said home minister P. Chidambaram in Delhi.

    “They are addressing people through loudspeakers and distributing handbills,” he added.

    The forces covered just two kilometers on Friday morning. They were in Bhimpur at 9 am — around 17 km from Lalgarh. By the end of the day they were nine km short of their objective.

    They came under fire at Bhimpur as they prepared to enter the dense Jhitka forest. The COBRA operatives went in first to sanitise it.

    Just as they entered, word came that the Maoists had gone around behind them to cut off their retreat path — by laying landmines. When they fell back to check, they came under heavy fire from villages on the sides.

    The gun battle continued for nearly an hour, after which the Maoists retreated. Women of the villages alerted the Maoists of advancing securitymen by high-pitched wailing sounds. :((

    “We are trained to encounter the Maoists front on. But here we have to tackle the villagers,” said a CRPF jawan, “This is new to us.”

    It was also new to the 50 journalists tagging the securityforces. They were caught in the crossfire, prevented, they thought, from taking the safe passage offered by the Maoists — through the mined fields.

    But there was nothing new here for the Maoists. They seemed to be working to a plan. Koteshwar Rao, the second-in-command in the Maoist hierarchy, had warned on Thursday, “The forces don’t know what they are getting into.”

    Seventeen kilometers away, the Lalgarh town, beyond which lies an area called the “liberated zone” by the Maoists, looked deserted. There were few people out on the streets, and shops were all closed.

    “We are afraid of a major clash,” said Uttam Soren, a Class XI student, speaking to the HT correspondent from behind the boundary wall of his house. “Why is the government sending military to suppress peasants who want their own governance in their villages.” :((

    Seven kilometers from the town, in Chota Pilia village, the Maoists discussed strategy and future course of action in a hut surrounded by close aides and security personnel.

    And just a few meters away, in another hut, villagers huddled around a television set following news stories of their area, and the impending violence.



    Talk about brainwashing them. Actually, it's the fault of state government since day-1. If you don't give them progress, terrorists are what they will turn to. Maoists are now just using them to save their ass, they don't care if these people live or die (else they wouldn't be fighting IN THE VILLAGES).
     
  13. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Frontpage | State seals Bengal border

    State seals Bengal border

    KUMUD JENAMANI

    [​IMG]

    Jamshedpur, June 19: Jharkhand sealed areas bordering Bengal in the Ghatshila sub-division since late last night and set up a floating force of 100 commandos to prevent movement of rebels across Chakulia and Dhalbhumgarh after security forces launched an operation against Maoists holding siege to Lalgarh in West Midnapore district of Bengal.

    Till now, the administration in Jharkhand, known to be a training ground for Maoists, has been keeping a close watch on the events unfolding in Lalgarh and had sounded an alert along its borders with Bengal on Wednesday after deputy inspector-general of police (Kolhan) M. K. Mishra held a meeting with the SPs of three adjoining districts of East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan.

    The decision to seal the borders in the Ghatshila sub-division was taken last night in consultations with the state police headquarters in Ranchi after the Bengal government ordered 300 CRPF men and 100 riot policemen to begin their long march to Lalgarh.

    State police spokesman S.N. Pradhan said Jharkhand was in touch with senior officials of the Bengal government, including the DGP. “We are not ruling out infiltration of Maoists from Lalgarh. But I expect the rebels to move out to other parts of Bengal since the CPI(Maoist) isn’t a banned organisation in the state,” Pradhan said.

    “Only those with connections in Jharkhand will cross over here,” he added.

    East Singhbhum SP Naveen Kumar Singh said they were in touch with West Midnapore police to stay updated on Lalgarh. “Soon after the operations were launched yesterday in Lalgarh, we sealed the borders and beefed up security to prevent influx of rebels,” he said.

    Singh said all entry and exit points in the Ghatshila areas bordering Bengal had been sealed (see map).

    The floating force, comprising commandos with training in anti-insurgency operations, had begun patrolling the border areas of Ghatshila, Dhalbhumgarh and Chakulia — the nearest from Lalgarh at 55km.

    “Apart from the usual entry points to Jharkhand from the Naxalite-infested West Midnapore and Purulia districts, there are a few other areas from where rebels could cross over,” Singh said.

    The floating force, which is under the command of the SP, would remain in the border areas until the operations in Bengal were over. “The force will otherwise patrol the areas and keep in touch with intelligence officials in both states,” he said.

    Now that the security apparatus was in place, the state would concentrate on gathering intelligence from Bengal about the movement of Maoists. “As the Maoists are trained in guerrilla warfare, we will have to bank more on the intelligence inputs than the deployment of forces along the border,” Singh said.

    With inputs from our Ranchi bureau
     
  14. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    Four Maoists arrested

    Staff Reporter

    VISAKHAPATNAM: A member of Pedabayalu Dalam of CPI (Maoist) and three militia members were arrested by the district police on Friday.

    Additional SP (Paderu) Karthikeya said in statement that the accused – Korra Silpa alias Chanti (member of Pedabayalu Dalam), V. Pandudora, K. Sathibabu and K. Sanyasi Naidu (all three militia members) were arrested at Tulam, their native village, of Pedabayalu mandal. They would be sent to court.

    The Hindu : Andhra Pradesh / Visakhapatnam News : Four Maoists arrested




    Six Naxalites arrested in Bihar

    Sasaram (Bihar), June 19: Six members of proscribed CPI (Maoist) outfit were today arrested in Rohtas district.

    Acting on a tip-off that some Naxalites were hiding in a house in New area locality of Sasaram town in the district, a police team cordoned the area and arrested the extremists, SP Vikash Vaibhav said.

    The arrested six had earlier demanded 'levy' from a tendu leaf contractor in the district.

    Bureau Report

    http://www.zeenews.com/news540692.html
     
  15. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    http://www.ptinews.com/pti\ptisite.nsf/0/01908C93652ECE02652575DB003ED65C?OpenDocument

    Security forces reach Lalgarh, partial victory, say police


    Saibal Gupta
    Lalgarh (WB) Jun 20 (PTI) Security forces today stormed Lalgarh and without much resistance reclaimed the police station under control of Maoists, who had cut off the area in West Midnapore district for eight months.

    "It is a partial victory. The hundred per cent operation is yet to be completed. It may take days, even weeks to do this," DIG (Midnapore Range) Praveen Kumar told an impromptu press conference outside the Lalgarh police station.

    An anti-landmine vehicle cleared the path for the security personnel who reached the police station to take charge of the building.

    Central forces, comprising men from BSF and CRPF, fanned out in the forests for combing operations against the Maoists. The securitymen donning camouflage and bullet-proof vests sanitised the five-km stretch of Jhitka jungle, a Maoist area near here.

    AK-47 and Insas rifle-toting securitymen came under intermittent fire from Maoists at the Pingboni-Sarenga road today, Superintendent of Police Burdwan Humayan Kabir said adding two landmines planted on the road were defused.

    Lalgarh police station was out of bounds since November last year when tribals under the banner of People's Committee Against Police Atrocities launched a boycott of police to protest raids on their homes following a landmine blast targeting Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee's convoy. PTI
     
  16. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Lalgarh Maoists ready for talks, asks Govt to suspend ops

    Lalgarh Maoists ready for talks, asks Govt to suspend ops

    Posted: Saturday , Jun 20, 2009 at 1618 hrs IST

    Kolkata:

    Maoist leader Koteswar Rao said on Saturday the West Bengal Government should stop the police operation in Lalgarh and hold talks with the people to find a solution to their problems.

    "If the Left Front government wants to have discussion with the people of Lalgarh, the operation by the police and security forces against them should end by this afternoon," Rao, a politburo member of the CPI(Maoist), told a TV channel.

    "Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee should come to Dalilpur Chak (a place near Lalgarh) and talk to the people. Many of the demands can be met through discussion," Rao, also known as Kishenji, said.

    Referring to the ongoing joint operation by the state police and the para-military forces, he advised the Left Front government "not to dance to the tune of the Prime Minister or the Union Home Minister".

    "If the CPI(M)-led government does not want any bloodshed, it should take a stand on its own," Kishenji said.

    Though there was speculation that Kishenji had left for Jharkhand, he claimed that he was present in Lalgarh. Kishenji said that Friday night's landmine blast at Pirakata bazar was triggered after the people in many villages sent him messages advising that they should not wait any further and strike at the forces.

    Asked how the Maoists would resist the security forces, he replied, "I cannot say right now."

    The Peoples' Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) had made several demands which needed to be looked into, he said, underlining that they should not be rigid on the demand that the police would have to apologise for "atrocities against the people"
     
  17. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Maoist leaders speak to Sri Sri Ravishankar, ready for negotiations

    Maoist leaders speak to Sri Sri Ravishankar, ready for negotiations

    Posted: Saturday , Jun 20, 2009 at 1552 hrs IST

    [​IMG]
    'As many as 118 Maoists are willing to come to the
    negotiation table if the government can agree to
    these terms.'

    Bangalore:

    Maoist leaders at Lalgarh in West Bengal are willing to come to the negotiation table if the government agrees to accede to their demands.

    "Maoists in Lalgarh have few basic demands like water, electricity, local language medium schools, compensation for deaths in the ongoing violence and cases against them to be withdrawn", a release said on Saturday quoting Sri Sri Ravishankar, Founder of Art of Living Foundation.

    "As many as 118 Maoists are willing to come to the negotiation table if the government can agree to these terms", the release said.

    According to the release, the spiritual leader had a talk with Maoist leader Chakradhar Mahato on Friday and persuaded the group to lay down their arms.

    Ravishankar has conveyed the willingness of Maoists (to come to the negotiation table) to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, it added.
     
  18. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    The terms "acceding to demands" and "negotiations" are mutually exclusive... either there can be negotiations, or there can be accession to demands... and since the Maoists are saying that they want the government to accede to demands, which means they really don't want to negotiate anyways....
     
  19. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    5 CRPF ment killed in landmine attack by Naxals in Dantewada
    20 Jun 2009, 2234 hrs IST, PTI



    RAIPUR: Five CRPF personnel were on Friday killed and 10 injured when the truck in which they were travelling was blown up by Maoists in a landmine blast in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh.

    The incident took place late evening at Kokanara village, nearly 375 kilometeres from here, Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) T J Longkumer said.

    Ten personnel were injured in the blast. They are being taken to a hospital in Jagdalpur.

    The CRPF personnel were returning from patrol duty to Tonagapal from Sukama and had taken lift in the truck when they were ambushed, police said, adding Maoists and security personnel also exchanged fire.

    5 CRPF ment killed in landmine attack by Naxals in Dantewada - India - The Times of India


    RIP
     
  20. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    Security forces reach Lalgarh police station
    20 Jun 2009, 1404 hrs IST, PTI


    PIRAKATA (WB): Pushing deeper into besieged Lalgarh, security forces today reached the police station in the area, which was cut off by Maoists for months.

    An anti-landmine vehicle cleared the path for the security personnel who reached the police station without much resistance to take charge of the building was locked from inside.

    Central forces, comprising men from BSF and CRPF, fanned out in the forests for combing operations against the Maoists.

    The securitymen in camouflage and bullet-proof vests sanitised the five-km stretch of Jhitka jungle, a Maoist area near Lalgarh in West Midnapore district.

    Lalgarh police station was out of bounds since November last year when tribals under the banner of People's Committee Against Police Atrocities launched a boycott of police to protest raids on their homes following a landmine blast targeting Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee's convoy.

    AK-47 and Insas rifle-toting securitymen came under intermittent fire from Maoists at the Pingboni-Sarenga road today, Superintendent of Police Burdwan Humayan Kabir said. Two landmines planted on the road were defused, he said.

    A bridge over a shallow river was blown up earlier by Maoists creating a temporary obstacle. However, the personnel could cross the stream on foot.

    The operation to reclaim the Maoist areas was being carried out by personnel of CRPF, BSF, State Armed Police, Eastern Frontier Rifles and Kolkata Police, who were moving in armoured vehicles fitted with anti-landmine devices and mortars.

    When the security forces were driving from Pingboni, they were obstructed by a number of women. The forces were moving cautiously for the last two days to avoid civilian casualties.

    Firefights with the Maoists occurred at two places between Pirakata and Bhimpur and near Pingboni last night with the villagers fleeing to safety, police said.

    As the operation entered a crucial phase, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P Chidamabaram in New Delhi and apprised them of the situation in Lalgarh.

    In Lalgarh, DIG (Western Range) Praveen Kumar said all the central forces, including specialised anti-Naxal unit CoBRA (Combat Battalion for Resolute Action) and the CRPF, have been a "great help".

    "We ask people not to be misguided by the Maoists. We know all their tactics now and have more surprises for them this time," he told reporters.

    Security forces reach Lalgarh police station - India - The Times of India
     

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