INDIA'S FORGOTTEN WAR – blogging naxalism.

Archive for September 2009

Soft Targets

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This India Today article is interesting, but largely misses the point:

They [the Maoists] are said to be attacking telecom towers to prevent the police eavesdropping on their conversations, and to neutralise police informers.

True enough as it goes… but, in a country which effectively bypassed land-lines, particularly in rural areas, disabling poorly defended mobile towers is an effective means of paralysing all rapid local communication.

More later.

Written by Michael

September 10, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Chief Minister Dead

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Unconfirmed reports suggest that the body of YSR Reddy, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, and four others have been recovered from the crash site.

Written by Michael

September 3, 2009 at 1:30 am

Posted in Andhra Pradesh

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Andhra CM Missing… Update 5

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A couple of things before I turn in for the night. As more information comes in, it seems increasingly likely that the helicopter crash was the result of a number of factors entirely unrelated to the Naxalites. A reader of mine who is a professional helicopter pilot suggested that it was likely that, given the inclement weather, the helicopter was flying low (possibly at high speeds) to avoid the clouds. Comparable weather and terrain contributed to a fatal crash of a similar helicopter in the neighbouring Bastar forests last year.

Furthermore, some reports claim that the CM’s chopper was not airworthy, although at this point claims such as this ought to be met with a great deal of skepticism.

Finally, it has been pointed out that even if the Naxals did possess anti-aircraft or other high-calibre weaponry, the density of the areas forest cover makes it nearly impossible to secure an adequate field of vision. And while it is possible to bring down a chopper with small arms fire, it’s unlikely especially if the target is moving at a high speed.

Written by Michael

September 3, 2009 at 1:24 am

Live Updates- YSR Crash

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A good site which has up-to-the-minute coverage of all relevant information on the crash of the CM of Andhra’s helicopter near Kurnool.

Written by Michael

September 3, 2009 at 1:05 am

Andhra CM Missing… Update 4

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Y S Rajasekhara Reddy’s helicopter has apparently been located by Indian authorities 70 km west of Kurnool. There are no reports on either the state of the helicopter or the passengers.

Written by Michael

September 3, 2009 at 12:52 am

Andhra CM Missing… Update 3

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The kind of terrain the security forces are facing (2005 photograph of Naxalite column in the Nallamalla Forest):

FILE- This Aug.3, 2005 file photo shows Maoist rebels patrolling ...

(Source: AP Mustafa Quraishi)

Written by Michael

September 2, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Andhra CM Missing… Update 2

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A couple of things… while the NSA has stated that it is unlikely that the CM’s helicopter was brought down by the Naxalites because they lack the weaponry for such a strike, this runs contrary to some previous reports. According to the Indian Express, material was seized during a raid by Jharkhand police in August 2007 which indicated that:

the extremists have been training in the use of 12.7 mm anti-aircraft guns and have already acquired 80 mm mortars and rocket-propelled grenade rifles.

The Economic Times has also claimed that unnamed ‘reports’ suggest that the Naxalites have acquired a number of anti-aircraft guns. While the Times is… umm… a little bit vague on the details, it is a surprise that the NSA has so soon and so unequivocally stated that the Naxalites do not possess the capabilities to undertake a strike against a helicopter. It’s a bit premature.