Saturday, March 06, 2010
The Left Front Government led by Communist Partyof India (Marxist) of the state of West Bengal completes its 32 years in office .The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) swept to power.The Left Front's uninterrupted rule in West Bengal for over three decades(it first came to power in 1977) is paralleled only by the record of the Liberal Democratic party of Japan (Reform Party joined Japan Liberal Party to form Japan Democratic party on Nov.15 1955).But in 2009,the Liberal Democratic party(LDP) ousted from power.The LF government's triumph in seven consecutive elections mirrors in many significant ways of priorities and preferences of the society that votes it to power.
According to experts,Bengali society has chosen stability over change.Despite land reforms and land distribution programs, the percentage of house holds owing agricultural land in West Bengal is 34.7% compared with national average of 45.6%.
The Marxist led LF government which for the better part of the 32 years was led by Jyoti Basu and his successor, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has never had a formidable challenger who proposed a viable alternative to the policies of the LF government .There are sections of population that are opposed to the Left Front Government efforts to industrialize the state.This has resulted in turmoil.The Marxist faced stiff opposition over land accusation and sporadic violence also broke out between Marxist and TMC led Bhumi Uchhed Pratirodh Committee (Committee against land eviction).The state government faced lot of troubles from the opposition and left allies in Singur and Nandigram. In these two regions, people gave their verdict against the Marxist party.The results of three-tier rural polls (panchyat election) in West Bengal,which were held in three phases in districts on May 11,14 and18,2008, show that opposition has made major inroads into Marxist parties' rural support base.The excellent results in Municipal and general elections boost the morale of the opposition. Singur,Nandigram issue gave Trinamool Congress a new lease of life.Mamata’s popularity also reach an all time high
The Bengal government is in dilemma over the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha's demand for a separate state.Similarly,Gorkhaland movement of the eighties crippled the hilly areas of Bengal creating the autonomous body DGHC but allegations of financial irregularities against its chairman Subhas Gishing gave the opportunity to leaders like Gurung who start demanding statehood for the hilly region.
Last year,paramilitary forces led by Bengal police started offensive against Maoists in Lalgarh.Marxist government of Bengal try to take back Maoist-controlled Lalgarh and surrounding areas.But the situation remains the same.
New Delhsi: The West Bengal CID is trying to bring in top Maoist ideologue Kobad Ghandy, who is under arrest in Delhi, to Kolkata so that he can be grilled along another Maoist leader Venkateswar Reddy alias Telugu Dipak.
Dipak is suspected to have masterminded the attack that killed 24 Eastern Frontier Rifles personnel in Silda in West Midnapore district.
As per the latest news report, the CID officials are exploring if peace talks could be brokered through the leaders in custody and a link established with those still at large.
Dipak, a close aide of Maoist Polit Bureau member Kishanji alias Koteswar Rao, is a member of the State Military Commission, West Bengal chapter, and is in charge of armed operations in Orissa, Bihar and Jharkhand, CID sources said.
The State Military Commission of Maoists is responsible for detailed planning, operational method and process of execution of an armed operation, said sources. An expert in explosives, Dipak was behind all major strikes in West Bengal in recent times as also the attack on Andhra Pradesh Police’s elite anti-naxal force Greyhound in Balimela reservoir in Orissa’s Malkangiri district killing 38 cops in June 2008.
Dipak’s arrest is the biggest catch after the arrest of Maoist ideologue Kobad Ghandy, the sources said, adding that the leader, who holds a mechanical engineering degree, also masterminded the Maoist strikes in Silda, Sankrail, Gidhni and the Rajdhani siege incident in West Midnapore district of West Bengal since last year.
The city police had chargesheeted Ghandy, accused of trying to set up a network of the banned outfit here, under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, besides booking him for various offences under the IPC relating to cheating, forgery and impersonation.
In its over 700-page chargesheet, the police had alleged that 63-year-old Ghandy along with his associates was trying to build a Maoist corridor in the national capital.
Kolkata, March 6 : The family of an abducted school teacher in West Bengal Saturday appealed to the Maoists to show mercy and release him, even as police and joint forces launched search operations.
"We request the abductors to release my father as he is the only earning member in our family. Earlier, we heard the Maoists had released a police officer. We hope they will listen to our appeal this time," school teacher Rajat Dule's son, Raunak, told reporters while breaking down in tears.
Dule, a former Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) supporter, was abducted by a group of suspected Maoists in Bankura district's Sarenga village, 160 km west of here, Friday.
Raunak said his father was not involved in any political activities in the village.
"My father recently became the headmaster of Sarulia Secondary School," he said.
The Sidhu-Kanhu Gana militia, the armed wing of Maoist-backed People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), has claimed responsibility for the abduction.
They have demanded the immediate release of six people recently arrested from the same village for allegedly carrying out Maoist activities, local sources said.
"We are probing the matter. We cannot say anything about the abduction now," Inspector General of Police (Western Range) Zulfiqar Husan told IANS.
Copyright Indo Asian News
Kolkata: The CPI (Maoist) in West Bengal has successfully developed a coordination system with the ultra-red forces in Bangladesh, arrested Maoist leader Venkateshwar Reddy alias Telugu Dipak has confessed.
Home minister P Chidambaram had warned a few weeks ago about Indian Maoist guerillas having established links with similar groups in neighbouring countries.
Before his arrest, Dipak was coordinating with Bangladeshi rebel group Lal Pataka (Red Flag), a wing of the Purba Banglar (East Bengal’s) Communist Party (Marxist - Leninist).
According to West Bengal director general of policeBhupinder Singh, Maoists had tried to establish many such networks with terror outfits in India and abroad.
The main purpose behind establishing links with Lal Pataka was to set up subsidiary Maoist bases at the bordering districts of Maldah, Murshidabad and Nadia. “Setting up bases at these bordering districts would have helped them escape to Bangladesh as and when necessary,” a CID official said.
Interrogating Dipak, the CID sleuths came to know that during the third week of February, he had a meeting with two top leaders of Lal Pataka at a secret location at Tehatta in Nadia.
Just days after Maoist leader Kishanji's right hand man Telugu Deepak is arrested by the West Bengal police, the Maoists fight back. In a late night development, Kishanji has now laid down conditions for the release of a school teacher who was kidnapped by the insurgents on Friday.
Kishanji has called a reporter in Jhargram and served a 48-hour ultimatum for the school master's release.
He has demanded the release of six villagers of Saluka village in Bankura district in exchange for the school teacher.
The call to the reporter came from Kishanji's much advertised number.
After Kishanji spoke, the phone was taken by a leader of the PCPA, a man called Sidhu Soren, who made the same demand.
Soren said the kidnapping was done by an outfit called Sidhu Kanu Grnamilitia which appears to be a Maoist front organisation.
The school teacher was kidnapped in Sarenga in Bankura and was picked up from school. Maoists reportedly, came riding on a bike which was seen heading towards Goyalbhorer Amlachutir jungle.
Kolkata: With the arrest Maoist leader Telugu Deepak the West Bengal CID seems to be close to solving the mystery behind the attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's. Telugu Deepak claims that the Communist Party of India –Maoist was behind the blast.
The decision to launch the landmine attack on Chief Minister's convoy was taken by CPI-Maoist politburo. West Bengal CID sources say that the politburo entrusted Kishenji to carry out the task who in turn passed it on to Deepak.
Maoist ideologue Kobad Ghandy is being brought to Kolkata for cross-examination. CID sources in Kolkata say Deepak and Kobad may be jointly interrogated. Ghandy was the only politburo member who was arrested after the blast on the Chief Minister's convoy in November 2008 in Salboni, in West Midnapore.
Police now feel that Deepak's arrest may now deal a blow to preparations of another Nandigarm-like resistance in Haripur in West Bengal where the government plans to acquire land to set up a nuclear power plant.
New Delhi : In a first of its kind statement, the government on Friday suggested that Naxalite groups might be getting help from some ex-servicemen for training and planning of operations.
“The precision and the manner in which Naxalites carry out their operations and the way they carry out a post- mortem of their operations gives the impression that they might be getting support from some ex-servicemen,” Home Secretary G K Pillai said here.
“The references to words like targets and positions in their literature are typical of the language that is used in military vocabulary,” he said, but told The Indian Express later that it was only a “surmise” and there was no evidence to show that any ex-servicemen were helping the Naxalite groups.
Speaking almost simultaneously at a different venue, a group of activists led by Arundhati Roy, slammed the government for initiating military action against the Naxalite groups and said it was aimed primarily at driving out tribals from the mineral-rich areas which they inhabit. Contending that 99 per cent of the Naxalites were helpless tribals, who have been completely neglected by the government so far, these activists said the military action was leading to a genocide-like situation with the government “engaged in a war against its own people”.
“There cannot be a military solution. The government must respond positively to the Maoists’ offer of talks,” Arundhati Roy said.
Meanwhile, PM Manmohan Singh reiterated his government’s offer of talk to Naxalites but only if they laid down their arms. “While we are determined to take firm action, we are ready to talk to any group that abjures violence unconditionally and agrees to abide by the due constitutional process,” he told Parliament .
"In some places we have received reports of the use of children (by Naxals); we have drawn up an integrated plan to tackle the problem in consultation with the states," he told the Lok Sabha while replying to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President's Address.
"We are taking firm action to curb Naxal violence. It is unfortunate that they are targeting innocent people and destroying roads, power lines and other essential infrastructure," he said.
Expressing the government's willingness to talk to any group that abjures violence without conditions, the Prime Minister, however, said the government was determined to take firm action.
Rajat Dule, principal of Sarulia Secondary School in the district, was abducted during class hours by four leftwing rebels who came on motorcycle.
The rebels reportedly barged into Duley's office and blindfolded him before taking him out of the school. Naxals also grabbed the mobiles of 6 teachers present at the time of the incident and took Duley out in front of alteast 100 students.
"We have got reports that Dule was abducted from his school by a group of suspected Maoists who came on motorcycles and sped off after the operation. We have started a probe into the case," Bankura Police Superintendent Vishal Garg said.
Locals said that Duley was a former supporter Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M). Maoist shot his elder brother to dead for refusing to leave the party in 2009
The Gana Militia of the People's Committee Against Police Atrocities who has claimed reponsibility for the abduction has reportedly set 48 hrs deadline for the release of 6 of their leaders in exchange for Dule's release.
Earlier in Jharkhand, Maoists abducted Block Development Officer (BDO) Prashant Kumar Layak in exchanged for the release of their arrested Moaist leaders and sympathisers.
Dubbing the Centre's talk of ceasefire and talks with naxals “non-serious,” members of democratic and civil rights organisations on Friday demanded that the state stop the military offensive, Operation Greenhunt, “against its own people” and initiate back-channel talks with the CPI (Maoist).
Addressing a press conference here, writer and human rights activist Arundhati Roy said: “The government's use of the military to solve political problems is not new. The government has long since followed a policy of extermination against the Maoist movement. But each time the movement has come back stronger and better organised as it is not the people but an ideology under attack and this ideology cannot be wiped out by attacking tribals in the name of defeating Maoism. Moreover, considering the fact that no one has defined the word ‘Maoist', if the government talks of wiping them out, then it refers to a genocidal language where it could be dispensing with lakhs of people who are anyway fragile and on the brink of survival.”
Ms. Roy said: “We are in a situation wherein corporatisation of natural resources such as coal and iron ore has led to scandals galore and it is this money which can buy governments, elections, courts and media, making our democracy the best democracy that money can buy today. Despite a large number of farmer suicides and a majority of the population living below poverty line, we have the most expensive elections in the world and the money for the same comes from the iron ores of Karnataka and Chhattisgarh and bauxite in Orissa which is then is used to cleverly subvert democracy and wage war against its own people.”
Sumit Chakravartty, Editor, Mainstream magazine, said: “The Union government has undertaken the task of launching a full-scale war against the indigenous tribal population in the vast tribal heartlands. The most important thing for talks to be successful between the CPI (Maoist) and the government is that it has to be a mutual affair of cessation of hostilities. It cannot be one-sided. While asking the Maoists to abjure violence, the Centre should also do the same and initiate back-channel talks, but so far this seriousness and initiative on the part of the government has been lacking.”
Alluding to the treatment meted out to social activists working in naxal-affected areas in Chhattisgarh, he said: “The government's allegation that the Maoists are not allowing development works to take place is hollow because if that was true, then why would civil society and voluntary organisation representatives working for the uplift of the Maoists be targeted? Since the government is not interested in the development of tribals, a large number of them have joined the Maoists as it is a question of survival for them.”
IN A BLIND ALLEY
By opting to settle the issue militarily, instead of finding a political solution, “the government has already entered a blind alley and there is no win-win situation here as you cannot destroy the tribal's resolve for survival.”
The Union government on Friday said the objective of the Maoists engaged in an armed ‘liberation struggle' was to overthrow the Indian state by 2050, as indicated by documents seized from them.
Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said that an in-depth analysis of Maoist operations also pointed to assistance by former Army men.
Speaking at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis here, Mr. Pillai said the Maoists did their homework before launching attacks and their approach was that of a well-trained army — surveying the place, making notes and studying every aspect.
“After every attack, they do a post-mortem and analysis. The analysis is as good as any that the armed forces of any country do,” he said. Mr. Pillai said as many as 908 people lost their lives last year — the highest since 1971 — in naxal violence. “It is quite likely that the violence will go up in 2010 or 2011 before the tide begins to turn,” he added.
The Home Secretary said that even though the joint anti-naxal operations were going on, the rebels had not suffered any significant reverses, and that the government would need seven to eight years to have full control over the areas lost to the Maoists.
“The operations have not hit even five per cent of hardcore militants. The real armed cadres are yet to come out,” he said. According to him, they would not come for talks unless they felt the heat and that whatever statements they were making about peace were not serious.
Referring to the offer to halt anti-naxal operations, Mr. Pillai said the left-wing extremists were against allowing any kind of development. “They destroy school buildings, health centres and blast mobile towers.”
The Maoist influence was spread over 34 districts in eight States, he said.
Mr. Pillai said the rebels were looking to regroup and building their own army to implement their plans. He added that if they were willing to hold talks with the government, they should first give up violence.
“Under-development and administrative vacuum at some places are coming in handy for them,” Mr. Pillai said. He stressed the need for training and strengthening the police forces.
Sources in the Home Ministry said that in the nine days following the offer of talks on February 22, there have been 22 acts of violence involving Maoist cadres — seven in Bihar, four in Chhattisgarh, six in Jharkhand, three in West Bengal, and one each in Karnataka and Orissa — in which 12 civilians and two security personnel lost their lives.
Meanwhile, the Maoists said a cessation of hostilities by both sides for a specific time-period was the minimum requirement before talks.
“If the rulers think the Maoists are proposing ceasefire from a position of weakness, they are gravely mistaken. It is because the CPI (Maoist) has great concern for the oppressed people that it has proposed a ceasefire that could be of some help to poor Adivasis living in conditions of the worst famine of the decade and brutal state terror,” a statement from Azad, spokesperson of the Central Committee of the CPI (Maoist), said.
* Home secy says leftist rebels working on well thought-out plan to overthrow govt by 2050
* Says Maoists not serious about talks
* Says govt has ‘credible’ evidence of local support for the rebels
By Iftikhar Gilani
NEW DELHI: India’s top-most security officer on Friday admitted that the government has lost large tracts of Indian territory spread across eight provinces to radical leftist rebels known as Maoists or Naxalites and warned of a “long bloody war” ahead to recover the so-called liberated zones.
Increasing influence: Speaking at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA), Home Secretary GK Pillai said the Maoists – mostly active in the tribal regions – were working on a well thought-out plan to slowly increase their influence and to overthrow the Indian state militarily by 2050. He said currently the estimated budget of rebels was at a staggering Rs 14 billion. Pillai also indicated that the precession and the scale of rebel operations suggest that they could be supported or guided by some ex-army officers.
The revelations of the home secretary led some defence experts present in the audience to openly conclude that Pakistan’s problems in its tribal areas pale into insignificance when compared to India’s Maoist predicament. “They (Maoists) are working under a plan. They have capacity to bring many sections of the Indian economy to its knees. But they wouldn’t do it. They are just building up their capacity for a final and lethal assault.” Pillai said. Reading from a document, he said they plan to encircle cities in the last phase and until then do not want to undertake a big operation to enrage the Indian government beyond a limit. Lack of pressure:
The home secretary further said the Maoists were not serious about negotiations because they were not under enough pressure to do so. He said the operations to recover territory from Maoist control would take anything between seven to 10 years, revealing that paramilitary forces did liberate 4,000 square kilometres during 2009. But he candidly admitted that they (Maoists) have take over territories in other regions. “The way I see it, in another two to three years, the tide will turn in India’s favour and it will probably take another seven to 10 years before we take complete control of civil administration,” he maintained.
Rise to power: The officer said the Maoists owe their rise to power to the administrative vacuum and the isolation and deprivation of a large population in remote areas. But he added that socio-economic development could not take place unless these areas are wrested back from rebel control. Pillai said the rebel cadres were so indoctrinated that during interrogations they expressed complete ignorance about any national leader be that Mahatma Gandhi or Jawaharlal Nehru, but had an effusive knowledge of Karl Marx or Vladimir Lenin. “They are totally brainwashed,” he revealed. Last year alone, Maoist violence accounted for over 1,100 deaths, the largest seen in recent years. The government has decided to reassert the authority of the civil administration in these rebel strongholds, Pillai said. But, he admitted that despite large scale operations, not even five percent of the armed cadres have been hit by the security forces. “The Naxals are keeping their armed cadres in reserve for big offensives,” Pillai said.
Citing some important documents seized during anti-Naxal operations, the home secretary said, “The banned guerrillas were operating in remote areas - the soft underbelly of the economy - and trying to influence more and more people to join their movement.” He also did not rule out the possibility of Naxals gaining local support, adding that there was credible evidence of local support for the Naxals. Pillai even hinted that there are fears that ex-servicemen were helping the home-grown rebels.
BHUBANESWAR: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today demanded a high-level probe by a central agency to determine the involvement of local Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leaders in the Naxalite-affected areas in ganja cultivation and the cut given to ultras from this.
The role played by the local police in this should also be probed, BJP State general secretary and spokesman Nayan Kishore Mohanty said in a statement here. Referring to the arrest of president of the Malkangiri district Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD) and three others by the Uttar Pradesh Police at Lucknow with ganja worth over Rs 10 crore, Mohanty alleged that this has exposed the nexus between the Naxalites, local BJD leaders and the police.
Only a probe by a central agency can unearth the truth, he said.
Reiterating the allegation of the BJP that the BJD leaders have a clandestine understanding with the Leftwing extremists (LWEs), Mohanty said that the ultras are running a parallel administration in Malkangiri.
Alleging that local BJD leaders and Naxalites are involved in illegal ganja cultivation, he said that a large share of the money from this goes to them for funding their activities in the State.
The BJP leader criticised the district police for its lapse as a result of which ganja in such a huge amount could be smuggled out to Uttar Pradesh. He demanded a statement from the State Government and the police as to how the ganja laden truck could slip out from Malkangiri without the police knowing anything about it.
Acting on specific information that the Maoists were taking shelter in the bunker in Birma village, police and para-military forces encircled the bunker and asked them to surrender, Superintendent of Police Shyam Kumar told reporters here.
The naxalites, however, manged to escape but left behind two rifles looted from the police earlier, one 9 MM regular pistol of foreign-make, 100 cartridges of different bores, three country made pistols and ammunition, one cane bomb weighing 20 kgs and naxalite literature in huge quantity, he said.
The information on the bunker was furnished by a naxal arrested two days ago from the district.
The Maoist, identified as Deba Padiami(32), was arrested during a joint combing operation, conducted by SOG and the district police in the forest near Chitrangapalli, Superintendent of police Anirudha Singh said.
Padiami is a leader of Padia Naxal Dalam operating in his native Durmaguda village in the district.
Singh claimed that the police have got vital clues about Maoist activities in the district during Padiami's interrogation.
Padiami had confessed that he was involved in the blowing up of Padia police outpost, booth capturing during elections and other incidents of violence by the Maoists in the district, he claimed
Express News Service
First Published : 05 Mar 2010 05:41:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 05 Mar 2010 08:58:39 AM IST
UDUPI: “Naxalism does not only pertain to law and order, hence the police alone cannot solve it. We should address social and economic problems that are responsible for the menace,” said Director General of Police Ajai Kumar Singh.
After visiting Mairoli, where a naxal was killed in a police encounter recently, the DGP told reporters here on Thursday that it was a tough job for the department.
Praising the professionalism of his men and officers, he announced a cash award for the team.
He claimed that the department has clues on the other two naxals who fled from the scene, but were unaware of their whereabouts.
The operations by the district police and ANF has been successful in checking naxal activities in the districts of Udupi, DK, Shimoga and Chikmagalur.
“Their numbers are reduced.
A recent attempt by them to hold a meeting was also foiled,” Singh said, adding that since two years it was not possible for Naxals to forge relations with people.
“We have given complete information to the Centre on the naxal menace in the state. But the Centre is not declaring it a naxal-hit area.
It could be because our state has less naxals compared to Chattisghar and Andhra Pradesh,” he said.
“To tackle the naxal menace, the government should find solutions to improve the social and economic conditions,” he said.
New Delhi, March 04, 2010
First Published: 10:12 IST(4/3/2010)
Last Updated: 13:47 IST(4/3/2010)
The Maoists have threatened to start a full-scale offensive against the government if their leader Venkateshwar Reddy alias Telugu Deepak is not released by 5 pm on March 6.
Telugu Deepak was arrested by the CID on March 3 in Kolkata.
According to the Police Deepak was in-charge of Naxal operations in West Bengal and was close to Naxal leader Koteshwar Rao alias Kishenji.
Telugu Deepak has been blamed of planning the attack in Sildha in West Bengal on February 15, in which 24 jawans of the Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR) lost their lives.
The Naxals are planning to launch protest similar to the one witnessed in Nandigram against the government's drive to acquire land to build an atomic power plant.
This has come to light after the arrest of Telugu Deepak, a prominent Naxal leader on March 2 from Kolkata. Deepak is a crucial catch for West Bengal police as he was the man said to be the mastermind behind the attack on security forces in Sildah.
He is also credited with setting up a party organisation among mill workers and the unorganised sector in Bengal. He is believed to have travelled frequently to Howrah, Nadia and Murshidabad in West Bengal. Tapes of Maoist propaganda and a dictaphone were found on him.
It is being said that he planned to build another Nandigram like resistance in Haripur. The West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh CIDs are both pitching in together to trace the links of Telugu Deepak and his network among the Maoist cadre.
What is priority now for the security officials is to detect the preparation going on for the proposed protest in Haripur on the central government atomic plant project. The Maoists are planning a Nandigram like protest against the land acquisition. Both the state and central government fear that the impact of the Haripur resistance will be more than that in Nandigram.
The arrested were identified as Lakhmu, Jai Singh, Santu, hannu and Kohlu.
Police were searching for Lakhmu who has been active in Naxal activities since last many years.
At least 17 warrants were issued against Lakhmu from different courts in Chhattisgarh.
He was also presiding Naxalite's Gardha Area Committee. Police also believe that Lakhmu was behind the attack on police forces in Hudtarayee forest area in February.
According to police, the arrested were active in the Kanker, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Bastar and Dantewada regions. (ANI)
Friday, March 05, 2010
Around 4.5 quintal of explosives were found by the security men during a search operation in Sirsi and Chandiwala villages of Kotwali area, they said.
The cache included 200 kgs of ammonium nitrate, 50 kgs of sulphur, jelly gunpowder and 300 bullets of AK series.
NEW DELHI: A trial court on Thursday directed Delhi Police to provide top Maoist ideologue Kobad Ghandy with the documents, which formed the basis of the chargesheet that named him as a member of the banned outfit.
Chief metropolitan magistrate Kaveri Baweja directed the special cell of Delhi Police to give Ghandy copies of the seized memos and CDs purportedly showing him addressing armed Maoist cadre in Nepal. The orders came after Ghandy moved the court seeking copies of certain documents besides compact discs (CDs) used by Delhi Police in the chargesheet.
In an application filed through his advocate, Rebecca M John, the Maoist ideologue said that he had not been provided the complete documents being used by Delhi Police to prosecute him. The court posted the matter for further hearing on March 19. Earlier, on February 19, Delhi Police filed a chargesheet against Ghandy under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, accusing him of trying to set up a network of the banned outfit here, besides booking him for various offences under the IPC relating to cheating, forgery and impersonation.
In its over 700-page chargesheet, the police had alleged that 63-year-old Ghandy, along with his associates, was trying to build a Maoist corridor in the national capital. The police said that it recovered important documents related to the CPI (Maoist) centre's plan of action, and literature related to Maoist ideology. The police arrested Ghandy on September 20 from the national capital.
NEW DELHI: U Anitha and three other students of the Osmania University, who are the respondents in the Special Leave Petition filed by the Government of Andhra Pradesh told the apex court that the demand for a separate State of Telangana is more than 55-years-old.
In their counter affidavit filed in response to the affidavit of the Government of AP, Anitha, second year student of MA (Economics) and three others stated that students of the Osmania University took out a peace rally in the campus on February 14 to express their solidarity with the MLAs and the MPs who quit their posts for the cause of Telangana.
Incensed by this, the special armed forces of the Centre and the State, such as the Rapid Action Force and the Greyhounds switched off the power in the campus and attacked the students and the journalists covering the rally mercilessly with lathis.
Greyhounds are meant only for special operations like the jungle operations against Naxalites, the affidavit stated. Teargas shells were lobbed and vehicles damaged.
These paramilitary forces entered the hostels and molested the girl students.
This was to deter them from participating in the movement. All this was telecast live by all the TV channels, the students stated.
Aghast at this, the students and journalists moved the High Court the very next day, on February 15 seeking the removal of the special forces from the campus. Sensing the gravity and seriousness of the situation in the campus, single judge of the High Court directed the State Government to remove the Special Armed Forces from the campus as they were deployed there without the consent of the Vice Chancellor.
A writ appeal was filed by the AP Government challenging this order, but the same was dismissed by the Division Bench on February 16. The action of the State/police on February 14 is in total breach of the guidelines of the AP Police Manual, they pointed out.
The contention of the Government of Andhra Pradesh that Naxalites had intruded into the campus is wrong. It is only a ruse to suppress the peaceful agitation of students in the campus by deploying special armed forces. This is evident from the fact that not a single Naxalite was nabbed or identified so far by the police in the campus after the cur rent movement was launched, they averred.
To emphasize as to how serious the movement for Telangana is, the students pointed out that more than 250 people have committed suicide either by immolating themselves or by hanging themselves or by throwing themselves before the running trains.
This in two months’ span.
Five people killed themselves on a single day on February 20, the students said.
During the earlier agitation for Telangana in 1969, 369 people were killed in police firing, they said and added that the continued presence of the special armed forces on the campus and the suppression of the students’ movement would only further aggravate the situation, they said.
|OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT|
Patna, March 4: Nitish Kumar has virtually refused to support Union home minister P. Chidambaram’s campaign to arrive at a consensus for intensifying Operation Greenhunt against Maoists.
The Bihar chief minister skipped the February 9 meeting with Chidambaram and Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. He is yet to respond to the Union home minister’s letter requesting a discussion on the issue, triggering the perception that he does not want to antagonise the Maoists in the poll year.
Nitish believes that there must be proper balance between tough action and introduction of development schemes and democracy at the grassroots. “Tough action alone is not a panacea and I am opposed to it,” he reiterated categorically.
Talking to The Telegraph, the chief minister came out with facts and figures to support his contention that violent Maoist activities, described as the biggest threat to internal security by the Prime Minister, can be tackled by strengthening democracy at grassroots and taking development schemes to the hinterlands.
“It is not only the consideration to win elections that has compelled me to oppose tough action,” Nitish said. “Working as a political activist in a Naxalite-affected state (Bihar) for over 30 years, I have consistently been advocating peaceful and democratic ways of dealing with alienated elements of society.”
“If I advocate for development and democracy it does not mean that the state machinery and its laws should not work. We have arrested 406 Maoists in 2009 against 107 in 2004. Responding to our endeavour, as many as 17 hardcore Naxalites surrendered in 2009 against only one in 2004,” he said, adding that his government allowed its actions to do the talking.
He quoted statistics to drive home the point that his approach has played a bigger role in containing Naxalism in Bihar in over four years of his rule. Quoting figures from police records, he said: “The state had witnessed 342 incidents of violence and 218 murders in connection with Maoist-related violence in 2004 in the golden era of UPA, with the Manmohan Singh government at the centre and Lalu-Rabri regime in Bihar.
“Our government seized 52,833 tonne explosives and over 71,000 detonators from Maoists in 2009 against 17kg explosives and 7,401 detonators in 2004,” he said.
A large section of the bureaucracy and grassroot-level political activists also admitted that introduction of party-less panchayat raj institutions and reservation of panchayat and local bodies’ seats for EBCs and backward class women have ensured the participation of weaker sections in the governance and developmental process. These sections, by and large, were Maoist supporters.
Besides, Nitish Kumar introduced the novel sarkar aap ke dwar (government at your doorsteps) programme under which he and the officials visited hinterlands to talk to people, locate problems, solve them and even implement development schemes at the micro-level.
He said that these measures coupled with the administrative and police action in accordance with the existing laws have led him to succeed in containing Naxalism and he has no compulsion to toe Chidambaram’s tough line unlike his Gujarat and Bengal counterparts, Narendra Modi and Buddhadeb.
First Published : 05 Mar 2010 04:50:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 05 Mar 2010 09:14:06 AM IST
BHUBANESWAR: Despite the recessionary impact on the economy, the State Government has decided to go ahead with its flagship schemes catering to the key constituency, the rural poor.
An amount of Rs 910 crore has been allotted for Rs 2 per kg rice scheme in the vote-on-account for the first four months of the financial year to be placed by the State Government in the Assembly on March 15. The monthly stipend of physically challenged and orphan students will also be hiked from Rs 500 to Rs 750. The vote-on-account was approved at the meeting of the Council of Ministers presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here on Thursday.
The State Government has also made provisions for two new schemes to be launched from April. While Rs 18 crore has been provided for Biju Saharanchal Bidyutikaran Yojana, Rs 75 crore has been earmarked for making the village roads concrete. Sources said 40 per cent of the funds required for the project has been made available now while the rest will be provided in the full budget later.
It was decided that Rs 20 crore will be spent during the first four months for deployment of 5,600 police personnel in the Naxalite-affected areas. While Gopabandhu Grameen Yojana will get Rs 165 crore, the Biju KBK Yojana has been provided Rs 120 crore. The Biju Kandhamal Yojana, another new scheme, has been provided Rs 28 crore while Biju Gram Jyoti Yojana will get Rs 50 crore.
The MLA Local Area Development (MLALAD) fund has been provided with full provision of Rs 110.25 crore. Other provisions include Rs 60 crore for `Mo Kudia’ and Rs 120 crore for Madhubabu Pension Yojana. A provision of Rs 20 crore has been made for the Employment Mission.
The vote-on-account will be of Rs 17,050 crore which includes Rs 12,360.75 crore non-plan, Rs 3,686.1 crore State plan, Rs 380.36 crore Central plan and Rs 619 crore Centrally- sponsored plan. The budget has been projected at Rs 38,441 crore. However, changes are likely to be brought in the full budget on the basis of recommendations made by the Thirteenth Finance Commission (TFC).
Finance Minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadei told mediapersons after the meeting that agriculture, irrigation and communication have been accorded priority in the voteon- account. He said that all welfare measures started by the State Government will continue and there is no chance of these being affected.
I like to imagine that when Union home minister Chidambaram called Maoist leader Kishenji over his offer of a ceasefire, he was confronted with an outrageous caller tune. I’d like to use my imagination and hope the two of them started to exchange smileys via SMS as well.
That’s probably the closest any of us will get to an environment of peace with two warring parties, who it seems have neither the intention nor the humility to put the interests of the other before their own. Both claim to be committed to the highest ideal — the will of the people.
The idea of a just peace may be Utopian as well as any hope that the Adivasis and the poorest of the poor have a say in their own fate. Yet if one were to dream, one could believe that this longed-for bilateral ceasefire is followed up with massive land reform, the protection of forest rights — the return of the Adivasis to their jal, jungle and jameen. Yet if the people win, the biggest losers would be the multi-national companies and India’s industrial growth model. And Vedanta’s advocate P Chidambaram is not going to accept that the simple demands of the Dongria Kondh (who are in no way linked to the Maoists) for a mountain are key to the idea of a just peace.
Kishenji’s 72-day call for an unconditional ceasefire is proof that the Maoists are a political force. Only a politician could make such a perfectly calculated move. He is aware he can’t hold a gun to the head of a MNC or a Special Economic Zone as easily as to the head of a corrupt landlord or exploitive contractor. He is aware that he is in no position to undo the evil effects of displacement or the brutal repression unleashed on the Adivasis by the state. Yet he can try to capture the imagination of the people, as he obviously has done.
And why would a legally-endorsed (no matter how corrupt or criminal) government give the poor their rights at the behest of an armed revolutionary group? Would the state allow the Maoists such a political victory?
One should forget any idea of peace, as neither the state’s trigger-happy belligerence — which has almost no care for the number of police personnel it is exposing to the terrifying arbitrariness of guerrilla warfare — nor the Maoist’s desire to abjure violence when a majority of its terror activities over the last four decades involved the acquisition of arms (a kind of hatyaar-kabbaddi, when the Maoists come over-ground, steal weapons and disappear into the jungles before the security forces can nab them) offers a solution.
Yet what both parties can do is to help create an environment for democratic space. A bilateral ceasefire is the first step, but the state is missing the point when it is arresting the Mahatos and calling everyone who stands up for the rights of the poor a naxalite or naxalite sympathiser. The Maoists too need to stop targeting cadre of different political parties, or alleged informants, or using improvised explosive devices and landmines to blow up off-duty police personnel. It is a cruel sport.
The onus, however, is really on the state to cease combing operations that are not just isolated acts of random violence. I have spent months around the Andhra-Chhattisgarh border, collecting testimony from villagers of the so-called ‘liberated zones’ who have been attacked by the security forces. And there is a definite pattern.
‘The police came, we ran, and those who couldn’t escape were either caught and taken away or they were killed.’ — they told me again and again. Only the tone and place were different. This is a known counterinsurgency tactic. The idea isn’t to merely kill known rebels and sympathisers but to terrorise the society from where they come. For that reason, you need to break the will of the people and for the same reason you sever them from their support bases — their community leaders, their press, their judiciary, their activists and every idea of hope. You don’t govern them; you don’t administer them. You alienate them. You administer collective punishment and you turn murder into a part of everyday life.
Human rights activists and independent observers can scream themselves hoarse about the creation of more Maoists and more violence, using the hate-breeds-hate, violence-begets-violence logic. But a machine-gunned silence over a population that has accepted injustice, along with learned helplessness is the goal of counterinsurgency.
Why would the poor fight for their rights if they would lose all hope in the struggle? Peace for the Adivasi can’t exist without justice. If every politburo member is killed in an encounter tomorrow, and every dalam has been disarmed, there’s no guarantee that deep-rooted injustice, held together by structural violence won’t lead to bloodier, more violent revolutions. There have been Adivasi uprisings for centuries long before there were any Maoists. Countless more contemporary uprisings are written off as influenced by the Maoists. By painting it in this hue, the state can deal with it militarily — repression without any need to address the real causes of unrest.
These issues need to be addressed. Not just by activists, politicians and Maoists, but by the people. Until the concerns of the Adivasi in the jungle, or the iron in Irom Sharmila’s soul aren’t taken note by every Indian, one cannot speak about the idea of a nation. As the saying goes, it is not how deep you feel, but how wide.
New Delhi : The Union Home Ministry has decided to send around 2,000 additional paramilitary force personnel to Bihar and Jharkhand to assist the state police forces to counter the Maoists violence.
The two battalions (1,000 personnel in each battalion) of security men, having specialised training in jungle warfare, will reach the two states by March 10.
Both Bihar and Jharkhand will get one battalion each, Home Ministry officials said.
The central government will send 6,000 more paramilitary personnel to Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal in the next 40 days after completion of their training.
The four eastern states had together asked for 14,000 additional forces from the central government at the February 9 meeting of the states held in Kolkata. The meeting was chaired by Home Minister P Chidambaram.
Around 60,000 central security personnel are currently deployed in Naxal-affected states to assist the state governments to counter the Naxals.
Security forces are now engaged in an offensive against the Maoists in the three inter-state junctions which are considered to be the hotbed of the extremists. They are Chhattisgarh-Maharashtra-Orissa, Chhattisgarh-Orissa and West Bengal-Jharkhand.
CJ: Rupam Banerjee
Fri, Mar 05, 2010 17:05:37 IST
THE CAT is out of the bag once again. After Kishenji, a Maoist politburo member, it is now the turn of Venkatesh Reddy, alias Dipak, alias Gauranga, to expose the red rebels’ close links with the Trinamool Congress, the major partner of the Congress in the UPA.
Dipak, a member of the Maoist military commission, was arrested this week from Sarsuna area of Kolkata by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). It is a big success for the West Bengal Police. But Dipak’s revelation during interrogation is an ominous sign for the state’s future, intelligence officials feel.
“It is clear from Dipak’s disclosure that the Trinamool Congress and the Maoists worked together in Nandigram, Khejuri and Haripur in East Midnapore district and the forest areas of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts as a part of a bigger evil design to dislodge the Left Front Government in West Bengal,” a senior investigating officer said.
What was an even more dangerous disclosure was that the Maoists had killed Nishikanta Mondal, a Trinamool leader of Nandigram and a member of the Bhumi Uchched Committee, on charges of not returning ten sophisticated firearms and large funds, which the Maoists had left with him before moving to Khejuri and Haripur.
The Centre has decided to set up a nuclear power plant at Haripur in East Midnapore district. Both Trinamool congress and the Maoists are opposing the Centre’s decision to set up the nuclear power plant there.
“We are worried about the misuse of these firearms and we have to recover these weapons. We are also looking for those, who have received Arms training from the Maoists,” the officer said. “It is now clear that the Maoists had run several arms training camps in both Nandigram and Khejuri in active connivance with the Trinamool Congress,” he observed.
The officer said the State and City police are also trying to find out the contacts of both Kishenji and Dipak in the city and the suburbs. Despite claims by both Kishenji and Dipak, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee continues to blame the CPI (M) for the killing of Mondal last year for the reasons best known her.
Political observers and intelligence officials, however, described as “rubbish” the claim of Trinamool Congress MP and UPA Minister Sisir Adhikari that the CPI (M) had used the Maoists against the opposition in Keshpur and Panskura and Dipak and his gang was taken to Nandigram in a Government vehicle.
They said it was good news that the Centre had decided to send 6,000 more paramilitary personnel to Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal in the next 40 days after completion of their training.The four eastern states had together asked for 14,000 additional personnel from the Centre during last month’s meeting in Kolkata. Around 60,000 central security personnel are currently deployed in the Maoist-affected states.
“It’s high time that the Centre and the States start joint operations against the Maoists and restore confidence among the poor people. Most of the poor people are forced to join and help the Maoists at gun points,” they observed.
“Truly speaking the Maoists today are nothing but groups of mercenaries, who are plagued with corruption and bloody rivalry among their own hit squads,” they pointed out.
They said the Centre and the state should not give any opportunity to the Maoists to regroup and reorganize under any pretext and launch the joint operation without any further delay. “In our state the Maoists are trying to expand their bases in other districts like North and South 24 Parganas, Hooghly, Bardhaman, Birbhum, Nadia, Murshidabad, Malda and Darjeeling districts,” they added.
Calcutta, March 4: Whether in the forests of Lalgarh or in urban Calcutta, Telugu Deepak, police believe, had cast the Maoist web wide across the state.
The police claimed that besides training youths in guerrilla tactics in the Maoist-infested districts of Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore, Deepak was involved in setting up ultra-Left trade unions in Calcutta as well as North and South 24-Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly.
Sleuths questioning Deepak, a member of the CPI (Maoist) state committee, said he had frequented Calcutta and nearby areas in the past couple of years. His task was to set up unions, especially in the unorganised sector, but also where trade unions were existing.
“He was arrested en route to Haripur, the site of the proposed nuclear reactor in East Midnapore. Deepak had for sometime been engaged in setting up Maoist-backed units among jute workers, tailors, barbers and other daily wage earners,” an officer said. “He also set up a union for Group D bank employees.”
The police said that he used to do this with the help of frontal organisations of the Maoists to avoid prosecution.
“For instance, he had set up the Mazdoor Kisan Shramik Sangathan in many of the jute mills along the Hooghly and also Naba Parjay, an outfit of state government employees sympathetic towards the Maoists,” the officer said. “This (the work for the unions) is what brought him often to Calcutta.”
Deepak was also the architect behind the Maoist bases in Nadia, Murshidabad and Birbhum. “He organised the farmers and poor villagers who reside on the banks of the Jalangi in south Bengal and also helped organise a violent movement against ration dealers in Birbhum,” the officer added. “But last year, after a police crackdown and arrest of key operatives recruited by Deepak, the Maoist base in Murshidabad and Nadia suffered a setback.”
The officer also said that Deepak was in touch with “some political” leaders as well as intellectuals but refused to elaborate. “Deepak is a big catch and we are relieved he has been arrested.”
“The central intelligence bureau had submitted a report that the Maoists should be neutralised in Haripur to set up the nuclear reactor there. There was pressure on the state government to do so and Deepak’s arrest will go a long way in achieving that.”
P. Nirajnayan, inspector-general, CID, said: “We have enough proof to show that he went there (Haripur) a number of times and appointed his point men there,” said.
Suspected Maoists shot dead a CPM leader in West Midnapore’s Binpur area. Police said Swapan Mondal, 35, a panchayat samiti member and a CPM local committee member, was returning home on a motorcycle when he was shot dead.
P C RAP
New Delhi, March 4: P. Chidambaram today said the CPM and the Janata Dal (United) had been ambivalent in the past to Maoist threat, the accusation apparently directed at the main parties in the Bengal and Bihar coalition governments.
The Union home minister’s remarks came at a meeting he held with the administrative heads of 33 districts worst affected by the menace.
Sources said a battalion (around 1,000 men) each of central forces would soon be sent to Bengal and Jharkhand. “The battalions should reach by March 10,” said a senior official.
KOLKATA: Maoist military commander in Bengal, Venkateswar Reddy alias Telugu Deepak, has confirmed that his men — and not the CPM — gunned down senior Trinamool Congress leader Nishikanta Mondal in Nandigram because he “betrayed them”.
Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee had all along accused CPM of the killing, though Kishanji claimed responsibility for the murder. Deepak’s statement indicates that no matter how close one is to the Maoists, their ‘friendship’ comes at a price.
Deepak, who is learnt to be handling interrogators with ease, answering questions selectively, surprisingly opened up on the Nishikanta killing, say sources. “We killed him because he was a friend turned enemy,” he is reported to have said.
According to police, Nishikanta, a CPM-turned-Trinamool leader, was hand in glove with the Maoists during the land agitation. Deepak was leading the Maoists there as Gouranga. They fought many battles together and Nishikanta earned the trust of the Maoists. While leaving Nandigram, the rebels left 10 sophisticated arms and a huge amount of money in his safe-keeping.
Things started changing after Trinamool swept the 2008 panchayat elections in Nandigram and neighbouring areas. As pradhan of Sonachura panchayat, Nishikanta started distancing himself from Maoists, stopped them from expanding their network and even blocked their activities in Haripur where the rebels want to stir opposition to the proposed nuclear plant, Deepak told the police.
Also, Nishikanta denied any knowledge of the guns and money Deepak had left with him. The Maoists waited until the poor men in the area got angry with Nishikanta’s handling of NREGA funds. The guerrillas started building up a movement along with some members of Bhumi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee (BUPC). Deepak then chalked out a plan to kill Nishikanta after getting the go-ahead from his seniors, including Kishanji.
The killing sent shockwaves in the Trinamool ranks, especially among grassroots activists who had at times come close to Maoists while fighting CPM gunmen. So, when Mamata Banerjee went hammer and tongs against the Maoists after the killing of two partymen in West Midnapore, some Trinamool activists in the area chose to quit politics
fearing a retaliation from the Maoists.
Deepak's statement came just when the Maoists was demanding his release along with the rest of the top Maoists leaders.
The detained Maoist, who is a close aide of the CPI(Maoist) polit bureau member Kishanji, is believed to be the mastermind behind the attack on Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR) camp at Silda camp attacks in which 24 EFR personnel were killed.
Deepak was reportedly planning a Nandigram like attack in Haripur, when he was arrested by the West Bengal police on Tuesday, Mar 2.
A dictaphone and propaganda tapes were found with Deepak at the time of arrets.
Comrades wary of Kishenji’s sound bytes GS VasuFirst Published : 05 Mar 2010 05:49:00 AM IST HYDERABAD: It is not just Union Home Minister P Chidamba
GS VasuFirst Published : 05 Mar 2010 05:49:00 AM IST
HYDERABAD: It is not just Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, who is finding top Maoist leader Kishenji’s statements, the latest one on the 72-day ceasefire, bizarre.
The CPI-Maoist top leadership also seems to be perturbed over some of the statements made by its politburo member in the recent past and more particularly, the form he has been adopting -- speaking over phone to television channels on a regular basis, a strict NO-NO for an underground leader.
The discomfort among the Maoist leadership was revealed to anti-Naxal Intelligence agencies during the course of interrogation of some ultras arrested in the past few months.
The prize catch was, of course, the one managed by the Bengal Police on Tuesday when they arrested Venkateswar Reddy alias Telugu Deepak, a close aide of Kishenji.
There are quite a few aspects which appear baffling.
Kishenji is currently heading the East Regional Bureau of the CPI_Maoist (West Bengal, Jharkhand and NE states) but he is acting as if he is the official spokesman, a job entrusted to another senior who goes by the name of Azad.
Any policy decision of the Maoist party, whether on ceasefire or the Telangana issue, is expected from the official spokesman.
On ceasefire, Kishenji gave a telephone number on which he could be contacted for government response but the mobile turned out to be that of a constable. On the T statehood demand, Kishenji went to the extent of giving phone-ins to some local channels on more than one occasion and even answered questions from viewers.
This has caused consternation among the protagonists of Telangana, irrespective of their political ideology as they feel it has unnecessarily lent a Maoist tag to the statehood movement which is mainly led by mainstream political parties and mass organizations.
They are not wrong.
The TV interviews of Kishenji have been used by the AP government before the Supreme Court to prove its point that Maoists have infiltrated the statehood movement, though there is little evidence to suggest the same.
While Intelligence agencies are said to be more than happy with the “loose cannon” Kishenji, Maoist sympathizers are puzzled.
For, Kishenji, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, is no novice, having joined the movement almost three decades ago and is more than aware of the nuances that govern underground life.
Home Minister stresses need to ensure complete coverage while preparing National Population Register
The Union Home Minister, Shri P. Chidambaram has stressed the need to ensure complete coverage of population without duplication while preparing the National Population Register (NPR). He was addressing here today an All India Conference of State Coordinators/ District Magistrates/ Collectors/ Deputy Commissioners on the subject of “Census of India 2011 & National Population Register”. The Home Minister cautioned that special efforts would be required to ensure coverage of vulnerable sections of the society like the elderly, handicapped, weak and marginalised. He asked the Collectors of Districts that are facing special threats and border districts to be extra vigilant.
The exercise will be taken up from 1st April this year. Nowhere in the world has a Government tried to count, identify and issue identity cards to more than a billion people. This is, perhaps, the biggest exercise of its type since humankind came into existence. The Home Minister said that the task is not easy given the vastness and complexities of our country. While India has considerable experience in conducting Censuses, this is the first time a National Population Register is being prepared. There are no existing models that the country can emulate. This is a path breaking initiative for others to follow.
The Home Minister clarified that local officials are not required to seek proof of nationality or citizenship from each and everyone, as NPR is a register of Usual Residents and the nationality being canvassed in the form is only as per the declaration of the respondent. This will not confer any rights of citizenship on anybody. The emphasis at this stage of data collection is on inclusion rather than exclusion.
Shri Chidambaram said that there had been occasions when State Governments came up with the plea that the Census had not been conducted properly in their States. He pointed out that it was the State’s own officers who conducted the Census and certified that the exercise had been conducted without omission or duplication.
In his address, the Minister of State for Home, Shri Ajay Maken expressed satisfaction that before the exercise of creation of NPR begins, the country will have the benefit of experience of preparation of NPR in 3,331 villages in coastal areas of nine States and four Union Territories. He said that implementation of the project would not only help the country become more secure, but also bring about a paradigm shift in the basic governance, service delivery mechanism to the poor and monitoring of welfare schemes.
The exercise will involve 35 States, 640 districts, 5767 tehsils, 7742 towns, 6,08,786 villages, 24 crore households and 1.2 billion population. Over 2.5 million field functionaries will be involved with the exercise. The Census exercise is likely to cost Rs.2,200 crore and the NPR exercise Rs. 3,756 crore.