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Tuesday, 28 May 2013

From Today's Papers - 28 May 2013








http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130528/main1.htm
Major offensive against Maoists in Bastar jungles
* 1,000 securitymen comb area
* NIA team begins probe

Raipur, May 27
Two days after the deadly Maoist attack on the Congress ‘Parivartan rally’ in Chhattisgarh, over 1,000 security personnel have been sent into the jungles of the Maoist-dominated Bastar region for a major offensive against the Left extremists.

“Over a thousand securitymen are on a combing operation in the region (Bastar) after the attack on Congress leaders,” Director General of Police Ramniwas said today.

Heavily armed Maoists ambushed a convoy of Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district on Saturday, killing 27 persons, including state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel, senior leader Mahendra Karma and ex-MLA Uday Mudliyar, besides leaving 36 others injured, including former Union Minister VC Shukla.

Ramniwas said the police received a tip-off about the extremists who orchestrated the attack and promised an early action. “We have inputs about Maoist leaders involved in the attack and efforts are on to nab them,” he said.

On the missing security personnel, the DGP said, “A police jawan Pawan Kindro is missing and search is on for him in the jungles.”

Police sources said security forces have recovered 24 bodies from Jiram valley of Darbha block where the attack took place.

As reports emerged that Maoist politburo member Katakam Sudarshan, alias Anand, was the mastermind of the attack, the NIA team flew to Raipur on way to Darbha in Bastar district. The team, headed by Inspector General of Police Sanjiv Kumar Singh, will investigate the circumstances leading to the attack and find out those Maoists who were involved in it, official sources said.

The Central investigators have taken over the case registered in Darbha police station under various sections of the IPC, the Arms Act, the Explosive Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had announced yesterday that the NIA would conduct the investigation and the formal order of handing over the case to the probe agency was issued today. Minister of State for Home RPN Singh said investigation would be conducted to find out possible lapses on the part of the Central forces or the state government and action would be taken if anyone is found guilty.

“Any lapse on the part of the Central forces or the state government, buck will have to be stopped somewhere. We have to take action,” he said.

Union Home Secretary R K Singh, Director of Intelligence Bureau Syed Asif Ibrahim and other senior Central officials will visit Chhattisgarh tomorrow to review the situation there.

Sources said the team will hold meeting with state government officials how to engage the security forces in a better way to tackle the Maoists menace with the involvement of neighbouring states.

The Centre has already deployed 30 battalion (approximately 30,000 personnel) in Chhattisgarh to help the state government carry out anti-Naxal operations. — PTI

Army won’t be deployed: Antony

Ruling out the possibility of deploying the Army in anti-Naxal operations, Defence Minister AK Antony on Monday said the answer lies in strengthening local and Central police forces. He said the Services have been extending full support to the police troops on the ground and the IAF was operating its helicopters during the night also in Naxal-hit areas.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130528/nation.htm#5
Army denies Chinese road on India side
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 27
The Army has denied that the Chinese have built a road on the India side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh while Defence Minister AK Antony has said the “Army is updated about the latest position”.

“Regular routine activity, including patrolling, is on in all the sectors along the LAC”, said a top functionary.

The Chinese have not build any road in the Siri Jap area, north of the Pangong Lake, after 2008, he said.

Reports that emerged yesterday said that the Army had stopped Indian patrols and that the Chinese had built a road five km inside the India’s claim of the LAC.

The alignment of the LAC is disputed. Hence, troops on either side patrol as per their perception of the LAC. Incidents of troops coming face-to-face occur and the most of such incidents happened in Siri Jap area. Each time such incident happens, troops withdraw as per the April 2005 protocol. Both sides avoid permanent structures in the disputed areas.

Meanwhile Defence Minister AK Antony at function at Thanjavur said “Army is updated about the latest position there. Whenever these kind of incidents happen in the local areas, they handle it”.

“India can protect its national interests,” the minister said.

The alleged incident took place near Finger-VIII area, also known as Siri Jap, on May 17.

When asked about the readiness of the armed forces, Antony said, “We are fully prepared. The nation can be fully assured that our armed forces are fully prepared."

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130528/nation.htm#7
Antony opens Sukhoi airbase

Thanjavur, May 27
Strengthening India’s presence over the Indian Ocean region, Defence Minister A K Antony today inaugurated the first fighter aircraft base here in southern India where the IAF is stationing its most lethal Su-30MKI combat aircraft.

“Thanjavur airbase is going to be another strategically important airbase of the Indian Air Force. By stationing our frontline fighter aircraft Sukhoi at Thanjavur, IAF can protect vast area of interests,” Antony said after inaugurating the airbase.

The establishment of the premier fighter base is important in the view of current geo-political scenario and threat perception in the peninsular region and in the Indian Ocean, the Defence Minister said.

“There is a threat of piracy and terrorism and also emerging security scenario around the country is volatile,” Antony said. “Even though we are a peace loving country but we have to be ever ready to face any kind of aggression towards our national security,” he said.

The Defence Minister mentioned that the assets envisaged for the futuristic airbase would be able to provide security to all the strategic and vital installations in this region. —PTI

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130528/edit.htm#4
Unending menace of Naxalism
Time to meet the threat militarily
by Harsh V. Pant

Finally, the Congress party is speaking in one voice. After sending mixed signals in the fight against Naxalism for years, the Congress has now been forced to come to terms with the reality that many had identified long back — the Maoists are fighting a war to the finish with the Indian State. And unless the Indian State can credibly demonstrate its ability to stand up to the threat being posed by the Naxalites, it is by no means certain that the Maoists will lose. The Maoists are not only targeting the nation's security forces but are also going after innocent civilians and the political class.

For some time now we have been hearing the government talking of Naxalism and Maoism in grave terms, labelling them as the greatest internal security threat facing the nation. Yet the policy response has not been up to the mark. It has been full of sound and fury signifying nothing. The United Progressive Alliance government in its first term failed to see the Naxalite threat for what it was — one of the most significant challenges facing India today. As a result, its response was a mixture of denial accommodation and neglect.

With the Left parties as coalition partners and an ineffective Shivraj Patil as the Home Minister, the government ended up worsening an already serious situation, giving ample opportunities to the Naxalites to demonstrate their might across an ever expanding swathe of territory called the “Red Corridor”. In the absence of leadership from New Delhi, the states decided to chart their own courses and their approaches ranged from offering amnesty to the raising of armed militias like the Salwa Judum.

Realising that the situation has got out of control, the UPA government in its second term had no option but to take the threat head on as the then Home Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, admitted in Parliament that the national security threat posed by the Maoists had been underestimated for the last few years. He launched Operation Green Hunt, the 100,000-troop-strong counter-offensive against the Maoists launched though it did not work as per the expectations of its planners.

Chidambaram's detractors were more interested in neutralising the Home Minister than in confronting the Maoists. Mr Digvijay Singh not only publicly questioned Mr Chidambaram's approach in tackling Naxalism but also attacked him for not knowing the terrain of the area. He openly demanded a rethink of the government's strategy of fighting Naxalism and accused Mr Chidambaram of “intellectual arrogance.” And his own remedy refused to move away from banalities: “We have to win over the people of the area…” One wonders where Mr Digvijay Singh is now when his party colleagues are labelling the Naxalite attack on Congress party workers a “holocaust”.

The conventional wisdom on tackling Naxalism, much prevalent amidst the Indian liberal intelligentsia, suggests that this is a mere socio-economic problem. And only if we can provide jobs to the disaffected youth and win their hearts and minds, can we prevent Maoism from spreading. This assumption is the basis for the developmental package that the government has announced for the Naxal-infested areas where significant development aid is now being channelled in the hope that this will help in alleviating the perception of alienation from the national mainstream.

It is true that good governance and economic growth have simply passed over certain parts of India, and the Naxalites thrive in this developmental and governance vacuum, often supplanting the state's legitimacy. And as the state's authority has eroded, the Maoists have moved in to fill this vacuum by erecting parallel structures of governance. According to some estimates, the Maoist movement has nearly 40,000 permanent members and 100,000 additional militia members spread across 22 of India's 35 states and territories. They have established their own regimes that dispense justice, extort taxes and provide security. The insurgency of the Naxals is funded by extortion to the tune of Rs14 billion each year.

Development, however, is never the goal of such movements. It is all about power. A multi-pronged strategy is needed to tackle Naxalism and one of the planks will have to be to ensure that the developmental aid trickles down to those at the very bottom of the nation's socio-economic ladder. But this should not mean that the military defeat of the Maoists should be put on the back-burner. For far too long there has been a complacent attitude towards fighting these forces. There has been an absurd sentimentality about the Maoists' leftist pretensions.

The argument went that these are idealistic, well-intentioned people who have gone awry, but soon they will recognise the benefits of participatory democracy and start engaging with the nation's electoral process. The Congress party remains ambivalent about defeating Maoism and we keep hearing clich├ęs suggesting that development is the only way to tackle the menace of Naxalism.

Only a dimwit would argue that development should not be a part of the solution, but development can only take place once the Maoists have been militarily neutralised. There can be no credible development programme when civilians and security personnel are getting killed day in and day out. The Maoists have no interest in development nor do those politicians who only talk about development to score partisan points. The tacit alliance of the Maoists with some political parties needs to be exposed.

There is no substitute for good governance. After failing to provide corruption-free governance for decades, sections of the political class have the gall to shed crocodile tears for those who have found it difficult to enjoy the fruits of India's economic development. The politicians who have been ruling the states where Naxalism is thriving are as culpable in the present travesty as those who are wielding the gun without any compunction. Sections of the Indian intelligentsia continue to buy the arguments of the Maoists about the grievances that motivate the Maoist rank and file. This has led them to equate illegitimate Maoists actions with the actions of the legitimate state.

The indiscriminate nature of their killings and the brutality of their methods should be enough to convince anyone who chooses to see that the real aim of the Maoists is to establish a totalitarian state. For years, Naxals have been killing security personnel and civilians continuously and consistently with a ruthlessness that is unprecedented, but the Indian State has tended to look the other way while celebrity activists have tended to justify these acts on all sorts of moral grounds.

The Maoist insurgency is a blatantly illegal and no-holds-barred war against the Indian State, against the idea and existence of democracy, and that includes the poor tribals and farmers for whose cause the Maoists claim to fight. It is not only ignorant but also extremely dangerous to romanticise the Naxal cause. The main task of great urgency before the government today, therefore, is a military defeat of the anti-democratic Naxal forces. New Delhi needs to re-establish its authority, creating conditions for pursuing an inclusive political process and developmental agenda.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Army-handling-Chinese-incursion-issue-in-Ladakh-defence-minister-Antony/articleshow/20294279.cms
Army 'handling' Chinese incursion issue in Ladakh: defence minister Antony
THANJAVUR: Army was "handling" the situation arising out of the latest incursion in Ladakh, defence minister A K Antony said on Monday after Chinese troops prevented Indians from patrolling up to LAC in Finger-VIII area where they have built a road inside Indian territory.

"Army is updated about latest position there. Whenever these kind of incidents happen in the local areas, they are handling it," he told reporters here asserted that India can protect its national interests.

The defence minister was asked about the recent Chinese incursion in Ladakh where its troops have built a road five km inside the Indian territory.

"Indian can protect its national interests. India is not the India of the past," the minister said.

A recent incident has come to light in Ladakh where Chinese troops prevented their Indian counterparts from patrolling up to the Line of Actual Control.

The alleged incident took place near Finger-VIII area, also known as Siri Jap, on May 17, two days before Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang arrived in New Delhi after it was announced that the stand-off resulting from a 19-kilometre deep Chinese intrusion had ended.

Asked about the readiness of armed forces, the minister said, "We are fully prepared. The nation can be fully assured that our armed forces are fully prepared."

He said countries are "showing keen interest in strengthening defence relationship with us. Every body wants more cooperation of our defence forces, that shows gradual enhancement in our capabilities."

The minister said he would be visiting China soon as was decided during the visit of the then Chinese defence minister Gen Liang Guanglie in September last year.

The minister said that he would visit Australia, Singapore and Thailand in the first week of June.


http://www.indianexpress.com/news/chinese-troops-prevent-indian-army-from-patrolling-lac-in-fingerviii/1121278/
New China incursion targets Indian Army, stops jawans from entering LAC in Finger-VIII
Indian Army was "handling" the situation arising out of the latest incursion in Ladakh, Defence Minister A K Antony said today after yet another China incursion led PLA troops to prevent jawans from patrolling up to LAC in Finger-VIII area where they have built a road inside Indian territory.

"Army is updated about latest position there. Whenever these kind of incidents happen in the local areas, they are handling it," he told reporters here and asserted that India can protect its national interests.

The Defence Minister was asked about the recent Chinese incursion in Ladakh where its troops have built a road five kms inside the Indian territory.

"Indian can protect its national interests. India is not the India of the past," the Minister said.

A recent incident has come to light in Ladakh where Chinese troops prevented their Indian counterparts from patrolling up to the Line of Actual Control.

The alleged incident took place near Finger-VIII area, also known as Siri Jap, on May 17, two days before Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang arrived in New Delhi after it was announced that the stand-off resulting from a 19-kilometre deep Chinese intrusion had ended.

Asked about the readiness of armed forces, the Minister said, "We are fully prepared. The nation can be fully assured that our armed forces are fully prepared."

He said countries are "showing keen interest in strengthening defence relationship with us. Every body wants more cooperation of our defence forces, that shows gradual enhancement in our capabilities."

The Minister said he would be visiting China soon as was decided during the visit of the then Chinese Defence Minister Gen Liang Guanglie in September last year.

The Minister said that he would visit Australia, Singapore and Thailand in the first week of June.

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/chhattisgarh-attack-defence-minister-ak-antony-rules-out-army-deployment-for-anti-naxal-operations-371909
Chhattisgarh attack: Defence Minister AK Antony rules out Army deployment for anti-Naxal operations
Ruling out the possibility of deploying Army in anti-Naxal operations, Defence Minister AK Antony today said the real answer lies in strengthening local and central police forces.

He said the services have been extending full support to the police force on the ground and the Indian Air Force was operating its choppers during night in Naxal-hit areas.

Asked if the time was right to deploy Army in anti-Naxal operations given the intensity of the attack on Saturday in Chhattisgarh, he said, "There is no proposal like that. We extend our support without direct involvement. The real answer is to strengthen the local police and para-military forces".

The Defence Ministry has been against deployment of Army and the Indian Air Force in anti-Naxal operations.

Reacting to the deadly attack on Congress leaders on Saturday by the suspected Naxals, Mr Antony said, "India is a democracy, there is procedure, there are institutions and there are methods and opportunity for every section to express grievances. But this kind of violence is not acceptable."

Heavily-armed Naxals ambushed a convoy of Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh's Bastar district on Saturday, killing 24 people including Congress leader Mahendra Karma, former legislator Uday Mudliyar, state unit chief Nand Kumar Patel and his son. Senior party leader VC Shukla was among those injured in the attack.

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