News

    Maoist Violence Escalates in Indian State of West Bengal

    In India, paramilitary troops have been dispatched to West Bengal state, where Maoist rebels have killed three Communist Party workers after taking control of several villages.  The rising violence by Maoist rebels in eastern India has resulted in the deaths of six Communist Party members.

    Police in West Bengal say suspected Maoist rebels shot dead three workers of the ruling Communist Party.  Several other party workers are reported missing.

    The rebels have also been blamed for burning down a police station in the area, and demolishing the local offices of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which governs West Bengal state.  

    Violence has escalated in recent days in the Lalgarh area, which was earlier considered a stronghold of the Communist Party.  But since last November, Maoist rebels have expanded their presence, taking control of many villages.  The guerrillas say the area is their first "liberated zone" in West Bengal.  

    The rising violence has prompted the federal government to dispatch troops to assist West Bengal state in re-establishing government control in the region.  

    Home Minister P. Chidambaram say the state government must take the lead in tackling the violence by deploying its own forces as well.   

    "Central paramilitary forces are available in adequate numbers," Chidambaram said. "The impression is that one side of the government is willing to take action, the other side of the government is worried about the consequences.  This is a judgment the chief minister must make."

    The director of the Institute of Conflict Management in New Delhi, Ajai Sahni, says the standoff has been building up for several months as Maoist rebels have steadily gained control of many villages in the area.  He says the government may be worried about mounting an operation that could harm villagers.

    "The point is they [Maoist rebels] have actually successfully prevented the police from entering over there or paramilitaries from entering over there," Sahni said.  "That of course is largely because police or paramilitaries are apprehensive of going in because they would cause significant civilian casualties.  As a result you have no presence of government over there."

    The Lalbagh area is part of a large belt in eastern India where Maoist rebels have expanded their influence during the past decade, and have mounted many ambushes on police and security posts.

    Security analyst Sahni says the Maoists represent a potential threat, not only in the east India, but through many parts of the country.  

    "They are setting up their political apparatus, they are mobilizing, they are training," Sahni said.  "We see a steady process of creeping consolidation, which will translate into violence. This is the real strategy of the Maoists."

    The federal government has acknowledged that Maoist rebels represent the country's biggest internal security challenge, and have been urging state governments to do more to counter the rebels.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora