Monday, 27 September 2010

Naxalites hold cops hostage

NAXALITE rebels in India have killed three policemen and are holding another four hostage in the impoverished Bastar region of the Chhattisgarh state.

Reports The Hindustan Times: "The killing and abduction comes a month after Maoists did the same with four policemen in Bihar’s Lakhisarai district.

"Handwritten posters were found nailed to trees near some villages in the district, giving the state 48 hours to meet the rebels’ demands or have the remaining cops killed, senior police officials told HT on condition of anonymity."

Meanwhile, a survey in Andhra Pradesh, where the state has claimed it has won the battle against the rebels, has shown huge popularity for the Naxalites, who champion the rural poor.

Reports The Times of India: "India's biggest internal security threat, as the Prime Minister famously described it, may be worse than you thought.

"That's because even in Andhra Pradesh, where the battle against the Maoists has apparently been won, it turns out that the government is losing the battle for the minds and hearts of the people.

"Perhaps the most revealing answers are in response to questions on whether the Maoists — still better known as Naxalites in this belt — were good or bad for the region and whether their defeat by the AP police has made matters better or worse.

"Almost 60% said the Naxalites were good for the area and only 34% felt life had improved since they were beaten back.

"As for whether exploitation has increased after the Naxalite influence waned, 48% said it had against 38% who said it hadn't, the rest offering no opinion.

"Those answers are buttressed by the responses to three other questions. The first of these was on whether the characterization of the Naxals as extortionists and mafia was accurate. Two-thirds disagreed.

"An elaboration of this came in response to a slightly more open-ended question. Over half said the Naxalites worked for the good of the area, another one-third said they had the right intentions but the wrong means. Only 15% were willing to describe them as just goondas [thugs]".