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The latest news from various mainstream sources  in India

Sedition law or harass tool

The Telegraph, Sunday, April 17, 2011 - by SAMANWAYA RAUTRAY

New Delhi, April 16: Sedition, a charge against Binayak Sen that the Supreme Court did not find merit in when the case came up yesterday, remains a harassment tool as it was 150 years ago when it was introduced by the British who have since abolished its use against their own citizens.

Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi spent varying terms in jail under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, promulgated in 1860 by Thomas Macaulay who is more famous for teaching Indians English.

Convictions now are few and far between under the law, which minister Veerappa Moily has described as “outdated” while promising a “relook”.


Jharkhand: Reliance Power Manager killed; investments hampered

Maoists kill General Manager of Reliance Power in Jharkhand

Ranchi, Thu, 07 Apr 2011:

Ranchi, Apr 7 (ANI): Maoists have killed a general manager of Reliance Power and critically injured another corporate official in a forest area in Jharkhand's Chatra District.

According to reports, the bullet fired by the ultras penetrated the chest of the deceased named Manoj Ojha, who was General Manager in Reliance Power, while Haren Buch, the Additional Vice-President of the same organization got severe bullet injury in his abdomen during the incident.


Chhattisgarh government opposes Binayak Sen’s bail

The Hindu, New Delhi, April 6, 2011

Chhattisgarh government on Wednesday opposed the petition of rights activist Binayak Sen in the Supreme Court seeking bail and stay on his life term for his alleged links with Maoists saying he was involved in providing safe hideouts and logistic support to hardcore Naxalites.

"He (Dr. Sen) provides active support and co-ordinates in spreading the base of CPI (Maoist) in the country. Apart from providing logistic support, he exchanges information and material directly and indirectly with the Naxalites in the area of Chhattisgarh, Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa and propagates Naxal ideology," the affidavit filed by the State government said.

Chhattisgarh government filed its affidavit through advocate Atul Jha in response to the notice issued to it on March 11 by the court on the petition by Dr. Sen challenging the rejection of his bail by the High Court on February 10.


Chattisgarh CM admits villagers brutalised in Red zone

Samar Halarnkar and Ejaz Kaiser, Hindustan Times
Raipur, April 05, 2011:  On Wednesday, as the Supreme Court prepares to hear how Chattisgarh has shut down the Salwa Judum, the state-sponsored vigilante group and the state government have, for about two weeks now, closed all access to three remote villages where about 300 homes were burnt and an unknown number of women raped and men killed during a security operation.  Though the Chief Minister claimed otherwise, police and semi-official vigilante groups are stopping reporters and anyone outside the government from visiting the villages of Tadmetla, Timapuram and Morupalli in the tribal district of Dantewada in south Bastar, more than 550 km south of state capital Raipur.


Supreme Court: "State can’t arm locals to fight Maoists"

statesman news service

NEW DELHI, 6 APRIL: In what may be a precedent-setting example for the West Bengal government that has armed CPI-M party cadres to ostensibly take on the Maoists, the Supreme Court today disapproved the idea of arming local people to counter Maoists and sought an explanation from the Chhattisgarh government for creating an anti-Maoist armed group of special police officers ~ Koya Commandos.
"What is this Koya Commandos? How are they appointed and how are they given training ? It is very dangerous.., giving them arms to fight," a Bench comprising Mr Justice B Sudershan Reddy and Mr Justice SS Nijjar said. The Bench directed the state government to file an affidavit on the raising of Koya Commandos and also state under what rule they were being supplied arms and ammunition. It posted the matter for further hearing on 15 April. "The affidavit will tell under which rule the Koya Commandos are appointed and under which rule they are given arms and ammunition? We must know it," the Bench said, while making it clear that the affidavit has to be filed by a senior officer.


Supreme Court wants HC judge to probe Salwa Judum's attack on Swami Agnivesh

Dhananjay Mahapatra, April 6, 2011, NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday took a critical view of social activist Swami Agnivesh being violently chased away by alleged Salwa Judum activists. The apex court felt a judicial inquiry by a high court judge would be proper.

The court also questioned the Chhattisgarh government about mode and conditions of appointment of the armed group of special police officers - Koya Commandoes - for anti-Naxal operations and village protection.


Don't go back on word, Maoist leader warns Naveen

Indian Express, March 15 2011

Maoist ideologue Ganti Prasadam has warned Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik against going back on his word to release 700-odd tribals lodged in various jails of Orissa.

In a statement from jail, Prasadam (55) said it would be Naveen's great political folly if he "either intentionally or rather out of any compulsion from any quarter allows himself to be swayed by the disruptionist forces of different sorts who are bent upon destabilising the peace process and sabotaging the agreement reached".