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Archive for August 10th, 2010

Azad killing was murder: Mamata

Posted by ajadhind on August 10, 2010

LALGARH: Trinamool Congress chief and railway minister Mamata Banerjee lived up to her reputation of being a maverick politician at a rally in Lalgarh, West Bengal, on Monday.

Putting herself at odds with her own government’s assessment that Naxalism is India’s biggest internal security threat, Mamata Banerjee on Monday questioned the killing of a Maoist leader and virtually offered them an olive branch. “Give me a date and time for the talks. Let this politics of murder and terror stop. If need be, the joint operations have to stop during the negotiations,” she said.

Referring to the encounter death of Maoist chief spokesman Cherukuri Rajkumar, popularly known as Azad, in Andhra Pradesh on July 2, Mamata described it as ‘khoon (murder)’. “Azad’s killing was not right. Swami Agnivesh has told me they want to talk again.”

Mamata clearly does not mind if her comments raise eyebrows in Delhi. She is ready to bear with the unease — as long as it serves to mobilize people against the ruling CPM in rural West Bengal.

Posted in ANDHRAPRADESH, Comrades, GREEN HUNT, IN NEWS, NAXALISM, WESTBENGAL | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Five farmers commit suicide in Vidarbha in three days

Posted by ajadhind on August 10, 2010

source – DNA

Five debt-ridden farmers have committed suicide in last three days in Vidarbha region.

They have been identified as Eknath Madavi of Wandali (Chandrapur), Chandkant Mesharam of Sarali (Bhandara) Dilip Kumare of Nimboli (Wardha ), Prahlad Rathode of Grampoha (Washim) and Shankar Gujarkar of Sawra (Akola).

All the victims were already debt-ridden and their financial woes compounded as they lost standing crop due to the recent heavy rains, Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) said in a press release today.

Posted in IN NEWS, VIDARBHA | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

In Chhattisgarh’s war zone, no value on an Adivasi’s life

Posted by ajadhind on August 10, 2010

Aman Sethi, hindu

After ‘encounter,’ police try to buy villagers’ silence with Rs. 3,100 and packets of biscuits, chivda

The monsoon skies have cleared over this village in Dantewada district, but a cloud of doubt still lingers over the site of last week’s encounter between the police and suspected cadres of the CPI (Maoist).

On August 4, according to the official version, the Koya commandos spent 18 hours combing through the rain-soaked forests near Kutrem, during which they broke through a Maoist ambush, engaged in a fierce gun battle lasting several hours and ultimately recovered the body of a uniformed Maoist fighter, a 12 bore shotgun and two improvised explosive devices.

The Koya commandos are a specialised police team largely comprising surrendered Maoists or Adivasis whose families have been targets of Maoist violence.

“We were ambushed deep in the jungle and fought the Maoists for about four hours,” said a policeman who was part of the operation, “We fired hundreds of rounds of ammunition … and killed six Maoists, but could recover only one body.” The corpse was identified as Kunjami Joga, a 23-year-old resident of Kutrem.

At Kutrem, however, the villagers have a very different account of the circumstances that led to Joga’s death.

About 11.30 a.m. on August 4, the villagers say, a party of the Koya commandos cordoned off Kutrem and took positions outside several houses in its Kotwalpara neighbourhood. Kunjam Hidme, 40, sat quietly in her house when she suddenly heard a policeman scream, “Hold your fire, don’t shoot!” followed by a burst of automatic fire.

“Kunjami Joga was stepping out of his sister, Karti Budri’s house, when he was shot,” said Hidme. He was unarmed, and was wearing a blue shirt. “I could hear him shouting ‘Ma, Ma’ as he lay on the path.” Hidme says the commandos hurriedly dumped the body on a wooden cot they took from one of the houses and left the village soon after.

On August 5, the Chhattisgarh police conducted post-mortem, initiated a magisterial inquiry and handed over the body to Joga’s parents. “When I got back his body, Joga was naked except for his underclothes,” said Joga’s father, Kunjami Lakhma, “He had a bullet here [pointing to the small of the back near the kidneys] and knife marks on his chest.” As per custom, the body was cremated the same day.

On August 7, the villagers say, the Koya commandos visited Kutrem again, this time with a carton of biscuits and sachets of Haldiram’s mixture. “The force called a public meeting outside the primary school,” said Kunjami Aiyte, Joga’s aunt, “They said, ‘If the press comes, tell them that Joga was killed in the forest, not in the village’.” Aiyte says the police then gave Rs. 1,100 to the gathered villagers for “food and alcohol.” The biscuits and mixture were distributed among the children.

“The Koyas gave me Rs. 2,000 and told me to keep quiet about Joga’s death,” said Kunjami Lakhma when asked whether he had been given any compensation.

Senior police officers expressed surprise when The Hindu questioned them about the money paid to Kunjami Lakhma. Sources refused to come on record, citing the sensitive nature of the allegations and the ongoing magisterial inquiry.

“No one has authorised this [payment],” said a senior policeman speaking on background.

“It is hard to keep control of the Koyas once they are sent out on operation,” continued the source, “The wireless set is our only link to the patrolling companies.” On the day of the encounter, this link was severed by heavy rain and inclement weather. Police officers said the Koyas were not supposed to go to Kutrem at all.

“We were just supposed to go up till Hiroli,” admitted a policeman involved in the operation, “But at Hiroli we received information that a Maoist company was moving between Gumiapal and Kutrem village.” The patrolling party tried to radio headquarters for permission to pursue the Maoists; when the wireless set stopped working, the patrolling party chose to press on moving to Kutrem without waiting for permission.

Posted in CHHATISGARH, GREEN HUNT, NAXALISM | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

9 Telangana districts ‘backward’

Posted by ajadhind on August 10, 2010

source – hindu

Three in Rayalaseema and one in Coastal Andhra also listed by Centre

Thirteen districts of the State have been identified by the Central government for inclusion in the backward regions grant fund (BRGF) for the current financial year.

All the districts of Telangana, barring Hyderabad, and three Rayalaseema districts, except Kurnool, have been included the backward districts’ list by the Centre. Vizianagaram is the lone district from Coastal Andhra to figure in the list submitted by Union Minister of State for Rural Development Pradeep Jain Aditya in reply to a written question in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Warangal, Medak, Mahabubnagar, Rangareddy, Nalgonda and Khammam in Telangana, Chittoor, Anantapur and Kadapa in Rayalaseema and Vizianagaram in Andhra regions would get Rs. 348.28 crore out of the Rs. 4,670.04 crore earmarked under the BRGF for the current financial year.

Interestingly, the Central government has included Karimnagar district, which has been recording high foodgrain production since the past few years surpassing East Godavari, in the backward regions list, while Srikakulam and Prakasam, perceived to be backward due to lower literacy levels, poor infrastructure and low rainfall do not find a place. The announcement assumes significance in the light of series of presentations being made before Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee on the backwardness of Telangana.

Supporters of separate statehood made several presentations to the panel arguing that the region had been ignored by successive governments in the development process and the latest announcement by the Centre bolsters their claim.

Ministers and elected representatives from other regions, however, claimed that Telangana had, in fact, witnessed more development than Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra in terms of health, education, agriculture and other sectors.

Posted in ANDHRAPRADESH, IN NEWS | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

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