SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
N A T I O N

Mission Budget Session
Meira meets BJP top guns but fails to pierce logjam
New Delhi, December 30
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar with BJP leaders LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on Thursday Though Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar today failed to persuade the main Opposition to allow the orderly functioning of the two Houses of Parliament in the Budget session next year.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar with BJP leaders LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on Thursday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Let’s discuss Maoist issue, PC tells Buddhadeb
Kolkata/ New Delhi, Dec30
A day after West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee slammed his assessment of the law and order situation in the state, Home Minister P Chidambaram today invited him for a meeting to discuss the Maoist issue.


EARLIER STORIES

Thackeray scion sweeps varsity polls
Mumbai, December 30
Bal Thackeray’s grandson Aditya, a BA-III student at St Xavier's College, Mumbai, made an impressive political debut after his Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena swept the university senate elections winning eight of the 10 seats for which polls were held.

Committed to JPC, but PAC powerful too: Joshi
New Delhi, December 30
MM Joshi After the unease in BJP over his active pursuit of a 2G probe, Murli Manohar Joshi today said that “as a member of BJP”, he was in favour of a JPC to go into it but made it clear that the PAC he heads has “vast powers” in bringing greater accountability in public spending.“As a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, I stand fully committed to the demand for the formation of Joint Parliamentary Committee to look into the broader questions related to corruption facing the country today,” he said in a statement here.

MM Joshi

Helpline for ex-servicemen
New Delhi, December 30
The Hisar-based 33 Armoured Division of the Army has launched the first of its kind phone-interactive helpline for ex-servicemen.

Cabinet doubles eligibility ceiling for SC post-matric scholarships
New Delhi, December 30
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today revised the financial assistance norms for post-matric scholarships to Scheduled Caste students. Now, children of parents with an income of less than Rs 2 lakh will be eligible for such scholarships.

 Gujjars have a meal during their agitation in Bharatpur on Thursday. No headway in Gujjar-govt talks
Bayana/Jaipur, December 30
Fresh talks between agitating Gujjars and the government today remained inconclusive with the protesters seeking an assurance from Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot that quantifiable data to justify quota in state jobs will be expeditiously submitted to the Rajasthan High Court.


Lunch on the tracks: Gujjars have a meal during their agitation in Bharatpur on Thursday. — PTI

Jan 25 to be celebrated as Voters’ Day
New Delhi, December 30
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to declare January 25 as ‘National Voters’ Day’ as part of its ongoing efforts to create awareness among the people about their greater participation in the electoral process.

HP forest body bound by notification on produce: SC
New Delhi, December 30
The Supreme Court has ruled that the Himachal Pradesh State Forest Corporation (HPSFC) should stick to the 1991 notification on sale-linked economic pricing system for the purchase of forest produce.
A kite maker displays specially made kites with Indian and Pakistani flags, to spread the message of Indo-Pak friendship and wishes for the New Year, in Amritsar on Thursday.
A kite maker displays specially made kites with Indian and Pakistani flags, to spread the message of Indo-Pak friendship and wishes for the New Year, in Amritsar on Thursday. — PTI

IAF women aim for Mt Everest
New Delhi, December 30
An eight-member all-women contingent of the Indian Air Force (IAF) is readying itself to scale Mount Everest next year. Official sources confirmed that the contingent of women officers was slated to make an attempt at the highest peak (8,848m) in the world.

Aarushi case closure unfortunate: Minister
New Delhi, December 30
Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath today termed the closure of Aarushi Talwar murder case by the CBI as "unfortunate" and said the guilty must be punished.

4 years and Rs 50 cr later, CRPF network a non-starter
Chandigarh, December 30
In spite incurring an expenditure of over Rs 50 crore and four years after its launch, a system to network the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) establishments and centres remain unutilised, besides raising several issues pertaining to information security.

2G Probe
Gadkari brushes aside BJP-Joshi differences 
New Delhi, December 30
BJP president Nitin Gadkari is attempting to brush under the carpet the differences between PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi and his party on 2G scam probe. Last night, Gadkari discussed the issue with Joshi, where Joshi reportedly assured him that he was never opposed to a JPC probe.

Looking back: Telangana
Maoists reviving activity
Hyderabad, December 30
At a time when Andhra Pradesh is in the grip of political instability, there are ominous signs of Maoists reviving their activity in Telangana region which was once their stronghold.

 





Top








 

Mission Budget Session
Meira meets BJP top guns but fails to pierce logjam
Faraz Ahmad/TNS

New Delhi, December 30
Though Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar today failed to persuade the main Opposition to allow the orderly functioning of the two Houses of Parliament in the Budget session next year, the BJP seemed to be getting increasingly isolated with more and more parties reluctant to allow a repeat of the winter session.

Meira Kumar had especially invited BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and LK Advani to break the Parliament impasse. An agitating BJP and some other parties stalled the entire winter session of Parliament demanding a JPC probe into the 2G scam.

BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman announced after the meeting, “The BJP’s position is that we are asking for a JPC. We are clear and we are firm on our demand for a JPC,” she said. “The responsibility of running the Parliament lies with the government. We are still firm on our demand. The way out (to run the budget session) is clear. The government should concede our demand for a JPC,” she added.

But while most Opposition parties support this demand, many are unhappy with the continued impasse in Parliament. At least two leaders -- former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta -- while continuing to criticise Manmohan Singh for not conceding to the JPC probe, however, clearly indicated their opposition to disrupting the Parliament any further.

Similarly, writing in the CPM party organ People’s Democracy, Sitaram Yechury, too, hinted at his disinclination to hold Parliament to ransom for another session. Repeating his demand for a JPC probe, Yechury also seemed satisfied with the Prime Minister’s offer to appear before the PAC and said today, “If this very same statement was made in Parliament at the very outset of the winter session, maybe, things would have been different. But if the Prime Minister is willing to appear before the PAC, then why not before a JPC? Both the PAC and the JPC are, after all, joint parliamentary committees.”

In an editorial in People's Democracy, he noted with regret that the PM was willing to appear before the PAC only after “unprecedented ‘wasted’ winter session” of Parliament ended sine die.

Apart from the Speaker and the two leaders of Opposition, today’s meeting was attended by Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee, and Parliamentary Affairs ministers PK Bansal and his Deputy V Narayanasamy. 

Top

 

Let’s discuss Maoist issue, PC tells Buddhadeb
Tribune News Service & PTI

Kolkata/ New Delhi, Dec30
A day after West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee slammed his assessment of the law and order situation in the state, Home Minister P Chidambaram today invited him for a meeting to discuss the Maoist issue.

Chidambaram today sent two letters to Bhattacharjee, as a reply to the Chief Minister's December 28 communication. “Both letters have been faxed as well as sent by Speed Post. The Home Minister has invited the Chief Minister of West Bengal to Delhi at his earliest convenience to discuss the subject and agree upon the way forward,” a Home Ministry statement said.

Bhattacharjee, in a strongly-worded reply to Chidambaram’s letter last week, had taken strong exception to use of the word 'harmad' (hired killers) in the communication while asking the Left Front government to disarm CPM cadres. “Your assessment of the situation in the state is surprising and is far from an impartial overview of the situation,” he had said.

The Chief Minister had sarcastically described the Home Minister's letter sent on December 21 as 'secret' after he and the CPM took umbrage at the apparent leak of its contents before it could reach him. He said the letter was received on Monday.

Chidambaram's earlier letter had asked the state government to disarm CPM cadres. He had questioned the West Bengal Government on its use of central forces in the state, saying the killing of activists of political parties point to a “virtual collapse” of law and order there. Admitting that it was not a happy situation, Bhattacharjee had said, “I am trying to disarm and demobilise all armed groups engaged in violence in some pockets in the state.” 

Top

 

Thackeray scion sweeps varsity polls
Shiv Kumar/TNS

Mumbai, December 30
Bal Thackeray’s grandson Aditya, a BA-III student at St Xavier's College, Mumbai, made an impressive political debut after his Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena swept the university senate elections winning eight of the 10 seats for which polls were held.

Candidates backed by Thackeray trounced those fronting for the Congress, NCP, Bharatiya Janata Party and Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. The major losers were the Congress and the BJP, which have active students' organisations in Mumbai. The Shiv Sena only had three members in the outgoing senate while the National Students Union of India of the Congress had five seats.

The BVS won all the five seats in the reserved category and three of the five seats in the General Category. The other two seats were bagged by the Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena belonging to MNS. In all, 55 candidates contested the elections.

Aditya Thackeray, who was initiated into politics by his grandfather at a major political rally on Dussehra day earlier this year, kicked off campaigning for the senate polls several months ago by enrolling students and teachers. Among the issues raised by Thackeray were improvement in college canteens and a revamp of college syllabi. The Shiv Sena rank and file also aggressively enrolled voters with nearly 22,000 of the 46,000 registered voters belonging to it.

The victory of the BVS has sparked off celebrations by Shiv Sainiks across Mumbai with party workers bursting fire crackers and distributing sweets. "Aditya Thackeray's campaign to remove Rohiton Mistry's Such a Long Journey from the syllabus struck a chord among the Marathi manoos," BVS chief Abhijit Phanse told reporters at the victory celebrations this afternoon. 

Top

 

Committed to JPC, but PAC powerful too: Joshi

New Delhi, December 30
After the unease in BJP over his active pursuit of a 2G probe, Murli Manohar Joshi today said that “as a member of BJP”, he was in favour of a JPC to go into it but made it clear that the PAC he heads has “vast powers” in bringing greater accountability in public spending.

“As a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, I stand fully committed to the demand for the formation of Joint Parliamentary Committee to look into the broader questions related to corruption facing the country today,” he said in a statement here. At the same time, Joshi said, “As chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, I believe in its vast powers in bringing greater accountability to public spending. I commit myself to playing this role effectively.”

The statement came after a reported meeting between Joshi and BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who is believed to have conveyed to him the party’s concerns over the perception that he was toeing a line different from the party, which is spearheading the camp-aign for a JPC probe into 2G scam.

Contending that the “issues of corruption during UPA-II” are of “great concern for the people of India”, Joshi said the PAC that he heads would look into matters of public spending based on the CAG reports. “The PAC has a constitutional jurisdiction and its function is well laid out. It shall function within its purview and within the rules and procedure of the Parliament. It shall make sure that every paisa of public money is well accounted for,” he said. — PTI 

Cong slams statement

The Congress was dismissive of Joshi's statement that “as a member of BJP” he is in favour of a JPC, insisting at the same time that the PAC has “vast powers” in bringing greater accountability in public spending. “Joshi has said nothing new. As a member of the BJP, he has on earlier occastions asked for the formation of the JPC. He is examining the CAG report as head of a PAC,” a party spokesman said.

Top

 

Helpline for ex-servicemen

New Delhi, December 30
The Hisar-based 33 Armoured Division of the Army has launched the first of its kind phone-interactive helpline for ex-servicemen.

Named ‘Milap’, the facility is an Interactive Voice Response System and would benefit the veterans of Hisar, Bhiwani, Jind and Fatehabad districts in Haryana.

By dialing 01662-223550, the ex-servicemen would be available to have an access to information related to ECHS, CSD, education, recruitment and pension. The Army has also started email (esmhelpline@gmail.com) and SMS (9541662036) services for the convenience of the ex-servicemen. — TNS

Top

 

Cabinet doubles eligibility ceiling for SC post-matric scholarships
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 30
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today revised the financial assistance norms for post-matric scholarships to Scheduled Caste students. Now, children of parents with an income of less than Rs 2 lakh will be eligible for such scholarships.

The increase in income ceiling from Rs 1 lakh is likely to increase the number of beneficiaries. The announcement is particularly vital for government employees post the Sixth Pay Commission as many had become ineligible for the benefit.

Politically, the announcement is seen as a sop in the backdrop of Rahul Gandhi’s attempts to woo Dalits, who have preferred BSP supremo Mayawati and regional leaders like Nitish Kumar, Lalu Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan. The move will cost the exchequer Rs 7,136 crore, almost Rs 3,054 crore more than the current allocated outlay of Rs 4,082 crore.

Making its sop “tamper proof” from states not wanting to implement it, the Centre has said that the additional liability on account of revision of aid will not be passed on to the states till March 2017.

The Cabinet also revised maintenance and other allowances for SC students and increased the same for dayscholars and hostellers. The aid for Group I students will now be Rs 550 and Rs 1,200, respectively, up from the existing Rs 330 and Rs 740. Similar hikes have been effected for students categorised under three other groups.

Revision of maintenance and other allowances aims to provide enhanced financial assistance to SC students to meet costs of board, lodging and out of pocket expenses. Financial aid for study tour, thesis typing and book grant for correspondence courses has also been increased.

Top

 

No headway in Gujjar-govt talks

Bayana/Jaipur, December 30
Fresh talks between agitating Gujjars and the government today remained inconclusive with the protesters seeking an assurance from Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot that quantifiable data to justify quota in state jobs will be expeditiously submitted to the Rajasthan High Court.

“The meeting was held in a cordial manner and another round of talks is likely to be held soon. Gujjars are satisfied on several other matters but the 5 per cent reservation issue is yet to be resolved,” GS Sandhu, Principal Secretary Urban Development, said after holding the meeting at a village near Pilukapura, the epicentre of the agitation.

“Several other matters including withdrawal of cases against the protesters were discussed at the two-and-a-half hour meeting besides the main issue of 5 per cent quota. They are almost satisfied with the government in regard to other demands, but not on the quota issue,” he said.

Sandhu said that the 11-member Gujjar delegation led by Bhim Singh Khatana demanded that the Chief Minister, state minister Jitendra Singh, Union Ministers CP Joshi and Sachin Pilot should visit the agitation site to meet the protesters and assure them that the government will speed up the case in the High Court.

“We are informing the authorities in Jaipur about the demands of the agitators and the next round of meeting is likely to be held soon,” he said. Official sources said another round of talks might be held tomorrow.

The High Court had on December 22 stayed the operation of an Act granting 5 per cent reservation to Gujjars and directed the state government to undertake a data collection exercise to justify the quota for members of the community.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Mahesh Bhagwati asked the government to complete the quantifiable data collection exercise within a year to justify the quota for Gujjars under the Special Backward Class category. Khatana, leader of the Gujjar delegation, said he would convey the outcome of the talks to his leader Kirori Singh Bainsla. This was the second round of talks between the two sides. — PTI 

Top

 

Jan 25 to be celebrated as Voters’ Day
Our Political Correspondent

New Delhi, December 30
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to declare January 25 as ‘National Voters’ Day’ as part of its ongoing efforts to create awareness among the people about their greater participation in the electoral process.

The first celebration will be held next month when newly eligible voters will be handed over their identity cards in a coordinated effort in each of the 8.5 lakh polling station areas across the country. President Pratibha Patil is expected to launch the drive in Delhi at a special function on that day also celebrated as the Election Commission’s Foundation Day.

The decision follows deep concern in the Election Commission (EC) about the present level of apathy and non-involvement, particularly among the youth, in polling and even enrolment in the electoral rolls.

In a letter to Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrasekhar, Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi has requested him to inform all ministries, departments and other Centre and state government agencies about the move so that they could take necessary steps to celebrate the occasion in a befitting manner.

As a first step, the commission is making efforts to enrol all eligible electors at the earliest.

“The commission has found that new voters are missing from the electoral roll in a big way year after year,” Quraishi pointed out, adding that in certain cases the level of their enrolment is as low as 20-25 per cent. As a first step to deal with this problem, the commission has launched a massive nationwide exercise to identify all eligible voters who have attained the age of 18 years on January 1 every year in each of the 8.5 lakh polling stations. Advertisements informing the newly eligible voters about the enrolment exercise have been appearing periodically over the past month. The drive will culminate in the distribution of their elector photo identity cards (EPICs) on January 25 at a special felicitation ceremony in every polling station area.

The commission has already sent out necessary instructions to all chief electoral officers and district officers about this programme.

Top

 

HP forest body bound by notification on produce: SC
R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, December 30
The Supreme Court has ruled that the Himachal Pradesh State Forest Corporation (HPSFC) should stick to the 1991 notification on sale-linked economic pricing system for the purchase of forest produce.

A Bench comprising Justices B Sudershan Reddy and SS Nijjar made the clarification while dismissing an appeal by HPSFC challenging the HP High Court verdict. The High Court had ordered the Corporation to pay the erstwhile Raja of Mandi, Ashok Pal Sen, on the basis of the economic pricing system.

Under economic pricing, the Corporation purchases the forest produce and makes the payment on the basis of the sale proceeds. The Corporation is supposed to recover its expenses with 18 per cent interest and also take a profit of 15 per cent, while passing on the rest of the proceeds to the producer.

However, in the case of Sen, the Corporation had forced him to sign an agreement for procuring the forest produce on the basis of cubic volume in 1993-94. Sen had signed the agreement after duly expressing his protest. After taking the Rs 3 lakh offered by the Corporation, he challenged the agreement in the High Court. Accepting his contention, the court had directed HPSFC to pay triple that amount under the economic pricing system.

The Corporation had come to the Supreme Court challenging the High Court verdict. Appearing for Sen, counsel Anil Nag argued that the Corporation could not enforce the agreement as his client had signed it only after questioning its legal validity.

Under the HP Forest Produce (Regulation of Trade) Act, 1982, those owning forestland should sell the forest produce only to the state government or its agent. The Act allows felling of certain trees and other forest green cover once in 10 years. 

Top

 

IAF women aim for Mt Everest
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 30
An eight-member all-women contingent of the Indian Air Force (IAF) is readying itself to scale Mount Everest next year. Official sources confirmed that the contingent of women officers was slated to make an attempt at the highest peak (8,848m) in the world.

As a prelude to the Everest expedition, the women had scaled Mt Kamet (7,757m) and Mt Abi Gamin (7,354m) in May this year. The IAF team is also achieving the unique feat of scaling the highest peaks in various continents.

The entire training is built upon the ultimate physical and mental challenge for mountaineers to prepare them to endure for Mt Everest.

The IAF women team has already scaled Mt Stok Kangri (6,123m) in Leh, Mt Bhagirathi-II (6,512m) in Garhwal region of Uttarakhand.

Top

 

Aarushi case closure unfortunate: Minister

New Delhi, December 30
Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath today termed the closure of Aarushi Talwar murder case by the CBI as "unfortunate" and said the guilty must be punished.

A day after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a closure report in the case, due to lack of evidence, Tirath said, "if you know that a crime has been committed and then that case is closed, then it's very unfortunate. Be it the CBI or someone else, it's important to nail the guilty". The CBI yesterday sought to close Aarushi and Hemraj's murder as an unsolved case. Aarushi was found murdered under mysterious circumstances on May 16, 2008. — PTI 

Top

 

4 years and Rs 50 cr later, CRPF network a non-starter
Vijay Mohan/TNS

Chandigarh, December 30
In spite incurring an expenditure of over Rs 50 crore and four years after its launch, a system to network the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) establishments and centres remain unutilised, besides raising several issues pertaining to information security.

Referred to as SELO (Service and Loyalty), the system involved networking 114 CRPF offices from the level of Director-General to Group Centres located in 64 stations through a wide area network (WAN). This was done in five phases and the last phase was completed in 2007.

“Deficient input controls and validation checks made the date incomplete, incorrect and unreliable. Inadequate logical access controls, poor segregation of duties combined with dysfunctional firewall and intrusion-detection system made the WAN insecure,” the CAG observed in a recently-tabled report.

The integrated software covered financial management, personnel management, operations, including deployments, movements, training and intelligence, personnel payroll and tax, and inventory control. “SELO, with its unreliable data and security vulnerabilities, had the risk of exposing the management of internal security by the CRPF to associated threats and shortcomings,” the CAG remarked.

The CRPF is the main agency of the Ministry of Home Affairs. It handles internal security situations and its mandate now also includes counter-terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

The objective of SELO was to develop an integrated state-of-the-art IT-based management system to cover all functionalities of the CRPF headquarters, sector and range headquarters, group centres and executive battalions. It included an internal mail and messaging system and a decision-support system to meet stipulated requirements.

The benefits of the system included savings by way of reduction in manpower to the tune of about Rs 9 crore per annum. Further, savings due to efficiencies arising in procurement and inventory management were envisioned at 4 pc of the budgetary expenditure.

Observing that major activities were being carried out manually, the CAG revealed that though many battalions were still to be integrated through the WAN, SELO was not being used even in establishments that were already networked.

The firewall and intrusion detection systems of SELO were dysfunctional since March 2009, due to lack of support from the manufacturer, exposing the system to an unauthorised access. 

Top

 

2G Probe
Gadkari brushes aside BJP-Joshi differences 
Faraz Ahmad/TNS

New Delhi, December 30
BJP president Nitin Gadkari is attempting to brush under the carpet the differences between PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi and his party on 2G scam probe. Last night, Gadkari discussed the issue with Joshi, where Joshi reportedly assured him that he was never opposed to a JPC probe.

Senior BJP leaders, including LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, have raised the pitch for a JPC probe into the Telecom ministry and the summoning of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh there so high that they are finding it hard to digest Joshi carrying on a parallel probe through the PAC. They took this up with Gadkari after the last PAC meeting.

As PAC chairman, Joshi had demolished almost all arguments extended by the trio for a JPC. But he told Gadkari that he had not crossed the party line and explained that he is merely doing his job as the PAC chairman in studying the 2G scam. But Gadkari is a worried man because of the bad publicity the BJP is getting on account of these open differences between the PAC chairman and the parliamentary party leaders.

A day earlier he summoned the members of his party’s media cell and lectured them to ensure that no one in the party spoke out of turn on this issue. Though he did not name anyone, he seemed to be referring to Sushma Swaraj going out of her way soon after the PAC meeting and insisting that the PAC cannot concede the Prime Minister’s request to appear before it. 

Two BJP spokespersons, Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Syed Shahnawaz Husain, turned up for this meeting. Gadakri also issued instructions to the party leaders not to speak about this out of turn and decided in view of the TV bytes.

Top

 

Looking back: Telangana
Maoists reviving activity
Suresh Dharur/TNS

Hyderabad, December 30
At a time when Andhra Pradesh is in the grip of political instability, there are ominous signs of Maoists reviving their activity in Telangana region which was once their stronghold.

In fact, the outlawed CPM is trying to use the Telangana agitation as a springboard to bounce back into reckoning. It has thrown its weight behind the Telangana movement while its well-known public face and revolutionary balladeer Gaddar has floated Telangana Praja Front, a conglomeration of civil society organisations and caste groups numbering nearly 60. The timing of his political plunge has raised several questions about the possible repercussions on the future course of agitation. The development has come as a vindication of the argument of integrationists that Maoists would gain ground if Telangana state was formed.

Those opposed to the division of the state argue that Gaddar, a 61-year-old Dalit, who was an underground Naxalite leader for several years, was a mere tool in the hands of Maoists who want to stage a comeback using popular agitations. In fact, the government had told the Supreme Court that the Maoists had infiltrated into the agitation and had a key role in the violent incidents that had rocked Osmania University campus, the epicentre of the statehood movement.

The authorities feel that creation of smaller states will put pressure on resources and thereby make it difficult for the police to check the activities of the outlaws. “The renewed activity is part of their strategy to expand their operations. Through such sensational attacks, they want to prove their existence in the region,” DGP K Aravind Rao said, referring to recent spurt in Naxalite attacks targeting politicians and policemen. Following sustained pressure from paramilitary forces in the neighbouring Chhattisgarh and Orissa, the Maoists were trying to cross over to Andhra Pradesh to regroup as a formidable force.

After the failure of the first-ever peace talks with the government in October 2004, the Maoists suffered setbacks with several of their top leaders being eliminated in police operations and many more surrendering.

At one stage, the Naxalites were in a position to run parallel administration in some of the pockets of Telangana region. Apart from facing the heat from the police, the Maoist movement also witnessed significant erosion in its support base over years. As a result, the residual leadership has shifted its base to Chhattisgarh and Orissa.

The success in anti-insurgency operations was largely due to “greyhounds”, an elite anti-Naxalite outfit of the state police raised in 1989 to specialise in executing intelligence-led precision strikes.

“We have specific information that the Naxals are making a re-entry into the state and staying for a longer time in Khammam district which shares border with Chhattisgarh and Orissa.,” the DGP says. The Maoists’ attempts to revive their activity comes against the backdrop of growing concerns over political situation in Telangana region after December 31, the deadline for the Justice BN Srikrishna Committee to submit report on the contentious issue of bifurcation.

Top

 





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |