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Kashmir Back on Burners!

The Indian Army Chief, General V.K. Singh, has recently opined that political initiatives will be more crucial than the security requirements of India in the occupied State of Jammu and Kashmir. That such initiatives need to be all-inclusive and must take on board the people of Kashmir. General Singh was of the impression that the internal security situation has been “brought under control” and it is because of the “forces which have sacrificed with their blood” to achieve this. The fresh spate of riots and ensuing curfew certainly point towards much more of such “sacrifices” which India’s security forces are poised to continue making in Kashmir. India’s colonial mindset has bared its teeth, yet once again.

Violence is back in Kashmir, courtesy unrelenting atrocities by the Indian security forces mandated under special powers and equipped with torture weapons. The underlying reason for the current upheaval is the brutal rape, murder and subsequent cover-up by Indian soldiers in Sopore. This saga was never forgotten, nor is it likely to be. Despite this, the Indian military continues to use rape, torture and murder as weapons duly authorised by the state and union governments.

The current wave of uprising in Kashmir covers Anantnag, Aachidorian, Srinagar, Kupw-ara, Bandipura, Budgam, Phu-lawan, Kagan, Sumbal Handw-ara, Rajwari areas etc. Over a dozen people have been killed by the Central Reserve Police Force. Their only fault was that they were protesting against the state terrorism perpetrated by the police and the military. Periodically, long spell curfews have been imposed and cell phone services suspended. Indian Home Minister P. Chid-ambaram has asked the IHK government to act “strongly” and has promised support from the centre.

The Indian media, too, has gone crazy to generate an impression that violence in IHK picked up momentum after the Home Minister returned from Pakistan and just as talks are about to get underway. As we know India has never been enthusiastic about talks, and it has been brought to this point under international pressure; hence it is preparing the environment to blame Pakistan for instigating violence in Kashmir. On this pretext, India could walk away from the dialogue.

It is interesting that the wors-ening of Kashmir’s situation comes just when Pakistan’s importance for the Afghan issue is being recognised and there is a move towards national rec-onciliation and integration in Afghanistan. In this process Pakistan is playing the lead role, something that India cannot stomach.

The decades old struggle for independence in IHK has its own peculiarities. Kashmiris have never accepted the Indian rule, and as a corollary, Indians have never trusted the Kashmiri populace. These two perceptions often superimpose each other to give a periodic impetus to the freedom movement if ever it falls short on steam. When the authorities imposed strict curfew restrictions in most parts of Srinagar and closed schools and colleges, after the protestors had appealed to the students to hold anti-India rallies, thousands of people came out on the streets to defy the curfew, while shouting “we want freedom.” The writ of state was effectively challenged.

More so, the violent Kashmir and Central Reserve Police Forces, which have only guns at their command to tackle such protests, aggravated the situation. The use of force against the protesters was brutal and without restraint. Consequently, the deaths of protesters, in the last three weeks, have triggered the biggest anti-India demonstrations in two years, across the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley. In accordance with his rote script, Indian Home Minister Chidambaram has accused Pa-kistan-based militant group, Lashkar-i-Taiba, of backing these snowballing anti-India protests; however, a majority believes that the protests are mostly spontaneous and home-grown.

The Indian occupation forces in IHK have since years been trying to suppress the Kashmiri freedom movement. But so far all efforts to contain this movement have failed. The Kashmiri youth appears to be highly determined to fight for their just cause of self-determination. Their elders have sacrificed their lives and honour for freedom and have suffered grave losses at the hands of the Indian army. The objective of the Indian army is to inflict emotional and psychological pressures so that the people of Kashmir give up their struggle for self-determination. Admitting that human rights violations at the hands of the Indian army “do occur” in IHK, the Indian Prime Minister in his recent visit to Jammu and Kashmir said: “The security forces in the state have been strictly instructed to respect the rights of civilians.” It was in response to such observations that the former Kashmir Chief Minister and the current Chief Minister’s father, talked about the “trust deficit” between New Delhi and the people of Kashmir. This sentiment is also shared by Vijay Dhar, the son of late DP Dhar: “Indians have not been able to give Kashmiri Muslims a sense of belonging, a partnership in the Indian enterprise.”

Indeed, the baton of struggle for the right of self-determination has successfully passed onto the next generation. This generation grew up watching the fate of that segment of the Kashmiri population that opted to go along with the Indian occupation in exchange for limited political gains. Elders, as well as children, of such clans know the hard reality that their families have been used as puppets for perpetuating the Indian hegemony over Kashmir. Pro-India elements have become irrelevant. The conflict in Kashmir has cost tens of thousands of lives since the revolt against New Delhi got rejuvenated two decades ago.

Thus, it is the firm belief of the younger generation that only a homegrown struggle could lead to a solution in Kashmir that is in line with the aspirations of the Kashmiris in general.

Essence of the matter is that the issue must be solved quickly through a participatory political process involving Pakistan, India and the people of Kashmir. But Indians remain content with accomplishing fire-fighting through brutality. This certainly is not likely to lead towards a perennial solution. It only reinforces the resolve of suffering people to continue till the finish line.

The people of Kashmir are struggling to keep the issue alive. And Pakistan needs to undertake a supportive campaign to correct the international perception by unscrambling this legitimate freedom struggle from terrorism. Likewise, the UN needs to wake up to the reality and implement its resolutions on plebiscite.

The Nation

Fake Indian ‘Flag Marches’ won’t stop the Kashmiri ‘intifada’

Fake Indian ‘Flag Marches’ won’t stop the Kashmiri ‘intifada’

Bharat (aka India) are in total denial. The media as well as the diplomats don’t seem to realize the foreign policy failures that that Deli faces. Delhi has still not woken up from its disastrous involvement in Afghanistan which has been expensive in money, but also in diplomatic mileage. Bharat openly supported Bush in the US elections and got Obama. What kind of foreign power takes sides in US elections? Only incompetent ones. Bharat supported Abduallah Abdullah in Afghanistan and got Karzai. What kind of foreign power supports a candidate who represents a minority of the population.

Bharat has colossal internal cavities, and Kashmir, Assam, and the Naxals are some of them. One of the biggest cavities is the 450 million Dalits, Untouchables and Tribals who are not part and parcel of Bharati society. The 150-180 million marginalized Muslims have been totally isolated from the mainstream (Muppie propoganda stories notwithstanding).

The Bharati media is totally divorced from the plight of the Kashmiris and absolutely do not comprehend the reasons for the “intifada” in Kashmir. When Jawarlal Nehru ruled Delhi he ran Hyderabad, East Punjabi boundary and Kashmir roughshod. In in irredentist zeal he manipulated the boundary so that Gurdaspur would to to the newly emerged nation and then connived to create a fake articles of accession on Kashmir (which Bharat now claims is lost–as if it ever existed).

  • “The Centre’s belief has essentially been that the Kashmir issue will be addressed with the passage of time. This approach is flawed.” The government has been unimaginative, bureaucratic and insensitive towards the entire issue. Former Air Vice-Marshal Kapil Kak
  • “Kashmiris are essentially politically conscious people and the Centre has to realise this. There has to be a political solution to the issue with dignity and selfrespect,” said Kak, who has been involved in several Track-II initiatives on the Kashmir imbroglio. Analyst.
  • New Delhi’s enthusiasm for talks with Islamabad compelled it to overlook the warnings of the crisis that was on the anvil. Former national security adviser Brajesh Mishra

Jawarlal Nehru than forced about 560 states into a so called “Union”. Most the states were threatened with war. They joined this hodge podge “country, but never really accepted it. Nehru then went around changing boundaries based on ethnicity and language. That was his bane. Today the ethnicities are demanding distance from Delhi. the masses who thrive under $2 per day want out–they want fifty states (insted of the current 22) and most want either independence from Delhi, semi-independence or so much autonomy that it is close to independence. While the masses toil under starvation, the military establishment and corrupt politicians are throwing away money as if it is going out of style. It is spending about $3 billion on a rust bucket which Bharat calls an aircraft carrier, and is wasting $10 billion in 126 new aircraft–all this while half of Mumbai, Delhi, Benaras, Kolkota (and all major Bharati cities) sleeps on the sidewalks.

This India Today report is as hilarious as it is inaccurate.

India has failed to comprehend Pakistan’s change in strategy-from sabotage to subversion-in Kashmir, experts have said.

This is reflected in the unleashing of the intifada-style stonepelters on not only the security forces in the Valley but also the central and state governments.

The strategy change in the past couple of years was visible to everyone except the government”, according to experts.

The impasse over Amarnath Yatra in 2008 which was precipitated by Pakistan-sponsored mass demonstrations in Kashmir and the RSS-encouraged mob violence in Jammu should have served as a forewarning.

Plotters from across the border have realised that intifada-style stone-pelting and mass demonstrations have and will fetch them optimum results with minimum input, they said.

Experts claimed that intelligence agencies had cautioned the government of the build-up such intifada and that Pakistan

will resort to subversive strategies using the civil society after it failed to achieve its objective through violent means.

But the Indian government brushed the warnings aside and did precious little to nip the problem in the bud. Mail Today Bureau, New Delhi, July 11, 2010

  • “The basic reason behind the flare up in the Kashmir Valley is the failure to build on the gains that had been made by the security forces in the troubled state”  Indian Army Chief General V K Singh said Sunday.
  • “The Kashmir situation has been tense for quite some time and the reasons are many. The basic reason being that we have not been able to build on the gains that have been made.” Indian Army Chief General V K Singh.
  • “So far as the army is concerned, I think as security forces, a lot of work has been done. The situation has been brought to a particular level when other initiatives should have started to make way for betterment.”Indian Army Chief General V K Singh. TOI

The army chief of Bharat is saying it clearly–but the media and the politicians in Delhi cannot comprehend it and have a tin ear to it. It is a lot easier to blame Pakistan for the massive blunders made in Kashmir.

Aghast over the state’s response, former Intelligence Bureau director A. K. Doval said: “The government chose a wrong tool to address the situation. Instead of reaching out to the civil society, it from satisfactory.” “The Centre should have been cautious after the Amarnath crisis. Signals were evident that Islamabad was trying to escalate tensions in the state. But the government, it seems, was fast asleep,” he added.

Former Air Vice-Marshal Kapil Kak said: “The Centre’s belief has essentially been that the Kashmir issue will be addressed with the passage of time. This approach is flawed.” The government has been unimaginative, bureaucratic and insensitive towards the entire issue, he said.

“Kashmiris are essentially politically conscious people and the Centre has to realise this. There has to be a political solution to the issue with dignity and selfrespect,” said Kak, who has been involved in several Track-II initiatives on the Kashmir imbroglio.

While the Bharati Army clearly tells the politicians to resove the issue politically, the gung ho cowboys in Delhi want to rub the noses of their real and preceived enemies in the mud. “Kashmir is an integral part of Bharat” they scream. “It is an internal issue” they holler”. “Borders cannot change” they yell. This sort of hollow rhetoric bellicose sloganeering resolves nothing and frustrates the Bharati Army which is sick and tired of having to go into the streets of Kashmir and shoot innocent kids throwing stones at them.

Even the Wall Street Journal a Right wing newspaper owned by Rupert Murdock repudiates Bharati lipsitick on a pig. Titled “Flag marches won’t solve Kashmir”

Then there’s the political stalemate between the secessionists, led the All-Party Hurriyat Conference, and the state government. Though the secessionist agenda has only limited support in the state, local demands for regional autonomy remain very popular. Despite protracted negotiations over a period of more than a decade, no tangible progress has been made.

Consequently, a substantial segment of the population harbors much pent-up frustration. Any incident, however trivial, can easily stoke this anger. In the summer of 2008, at least 50 people were killed when unrest broke out over the government’s decision to allocate land for the building of shelters for an annual Hindu pilgrimage. The situation was finally brought under control only after weeks of demonstrations and violence.

Unfortunately, in the wake of the most recent outbreak of protests Kashmiri authorities have only made the situation worse. The local police have focused on counter-insurgency duties over the last several years and can’t cope with civilian mobs. National-level forces aren’t much better. The most significant of these, the Central Reserve Police Force, has lost much of its crowd and riot control capabilities. Thanks to them, a woman died from a stray bullet and a man drowned while trying to flee them. Both these incidents generated a new wave of protests.

If India Today’s report was an isolated story, one could ignore it. In the so called “world’s largest democracy”, each media outlet tries to outsell the other with sensationalism.  It ends up in a media frenzy which ratchets up tensions in the entire nation. The Bharati media is the most immature on the planet.

Experts claimed that mishandling of the Shopian case by the state government also contributed to the current impasse.

Pakistan’s change of strategy has suited the mismanagement of Kashmir’s affairs over the past two years.

“Frustration has been rising in the Valley over a series of events and this suited Islamabad’s subversive approach. It would be judicious to address the grievances before the situation slips away from hand. The implications could be disastrous,” a noted Kashmir expert said.

Former national security adviser Brajesh Mishra said New Delhi’s enthusiasm for talks with Islamabad compelled it to overlook the warnings of the crisis that was on the anvil.

“It is clear that Pakistan-sponsored terrorism has received a boost from our anxiety to hold a dialogue with them. And they have taken full advantage of this,” he said.

Intifada was an uprising by Palestinian Arabs against Israel in the late 1980s and in 2000.

Intifada is an Arabic word which is usually translated as “uprising”. It mainly included non-violent resistance, besides general strikes, boycott of Israeli products and refusal to pay taxes. Stone-pelting by youths was an integral part of the movement. Centre slept as Pak unleashed Palestine- style intifada in Valley, Mail Today Bureau, New Delhi, July 11, 2010

Bharat has trampled on the rights of the Kashmiris. It brought them in at a special status, and then merged them into the union. The Kashmiris have repeatedly rejected the leaders who Delhi purchased. The Lion was thrown to the wolves after he took the bribes. His progeny are known as puppets and cannot venture out of their plush palaces. Kashmirs are brutalized every day–half the Bharati army is there to keep the insurrection down.

If a half a million strong army cannot keep down Kashmir, it should be fired and Delhi should hire Swiss guards. Repeated reports have shown that infiltration is down and Pakistan is not the culprit. However Kashmir simmers and Srinagar is burning. All Bharatis can do is blame others for their ills.

The problem with the India Today story is not that it blames Pakistan for everything. The problem is that it concentrates on the symptoms, instead of looking at the causes. The causes are the illegal occupation of Kashmir.

AI Expresses Concern Over IHK Indian Brutalities

London—The London-based world human rights body, Amnesty International has expressed serious concern over the excessive use of brute force by Indian troops on protesters in occupied Kashmir.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the Amnesty International in a statement issued in London said that Indian authorities should avoid excessive use of force while dealing with demonstrators in occupied Kashmir.

It said that during the last month, a total of 11 persons, at least eight of them teenagers, were killed in shootings by the Indian paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel stationed across the Kashmir valley, as protestors held demonstrations in Srinagar, Sopore and other towns, which were put under curfew. The Amnesty International demanded probe into all the killings to bring the involved troops to justice.

It also urged India to take steps to ensure protection of the right to life in the occupied territory under international law. It said that at least 35 people sustained injuries during the demonstrations so far. The statement said that on June 11, 17-year-old, Tufail Ahmed Mattoo of Srinagar was killed, according to initial reports, by a teargas shell fired by the police at the protestors. However, later reports said that he was shot in the head.

It maintained that on June 20, during the protests over the killing of Tufail Ahmed Mattoo, a 24-year-old carpet weaver of Srinagar, Rafiq Ahmed Bangroo, sustained serious head injuries, went into coma and later succumbed at a hospital on June 19. It said that the next day witnessed further protests over the death of Bangroo, and a 19-year-old relative of Bangroo, Javed Malla, was killed in the CRPF firing. The Amnesty statement pointed out that on June 25, two teenaged children, Firdous Ahmad Kakroo and Shakeel Ahmad Ganai were killed as the CRPF personnel fired at demonstrators in Sopore town. It said that over the next two days, the town witnessed the deaths of Bilal Ahmed Wani, 22, and Tajamul Ahmad Bhat, 17, as the CRPF personnel fired to quell protestors. The statement stated that on June 28, demonstrators on the outskirts of Baramulla town clashed with the CRPF personnel after which another youth, Tariq Ahmed Rather was shot dead.

The Amnesty statement said that the next day, three protestors, 15-year-old, Ishfaq Ahmed Khanday, 17-year-old Imtiyaz Ahmed Itoo and 19-year-old Shujatul Islam – were shot dead in Islamabad. The Amnesty International reminded the Indian authorities that they had an obligation to protect the right to life in accordance with international law. “This includes the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which India is a state party, and standards such as the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials and the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, which state that firearms should be used only when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life,” it added.—Online

Pakistan Observer

INDIAN STATE TERRORISM: 33 Kashmiris martyred in IHK in June: Report

SRINAGAR: The Indian troops have martyred in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) at least 33 innocent Kashmiri people including four children by taking resort to their ongoing interstate terror activities during the month of June, a report said.

According to calculations sent to media from Research Center of Kashmir Media Service, those brutal killings have rendered two women widowed and four children orphans.

Meanwhile, a total of 572 Kashmiris were injured during peaceful protests and mass rallies all over Indian Held Kashmir by Indian troops by taking resort to unprovocative firing, tear gas shelling and carrying out violence in torture cells.

Moreover, as many as 228 people were arrested, most among them were Hurriat leaders. Indian troops raped 8 women during the period, besides pounding 16 residential houses with mortar shells.

Meanwhile, the curfew is clamped over Srinagar, Islamabad, Sopur, Baramula and others in order to undermine protests against illegal occupation.

India urged to prosecute soldiers for IHK killings

The Human Rights Watch on Tuesday urged India to prosecute soldiers accused of killing three men during an alleged fake gunbattle in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK).

The Indian military said the victims were rebels who were killed when it foiled an infiltration by militants along the Line of Control, the de facto border that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

But the victims’ families said they were innocent civilians who had been abducted by the army three days before the supposed battle on April 30.

The army has suspended an officer and removed another from his command pending enquiries into the killings.

“If the army is serious about punishing those responsible for this latest incident, it will transfer the suspects to the police for trial in a civilian court,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, a senior researcher at the Human Rights Watch.

“Given the army’s poor record in holding its soldiers accountable, there is no reason to believe that a military court can be trusted to deliver justice,” she said. Ganguly said the killing of the three men underscored the urgency for the Indian government to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

The act gives soldiers wide powers to shoot, arrest and search suspects, and is widely detested by the people of IHK.

Maoists winning the battle to control India

Friday’s train crash in India has been blamed on “sabotage” by Maoist rebels. It was the latest in a series of rebel attacks after the government launched an offensive against them. The BBC’s Soutik Biswas asks whether the rebels are gaining the upper hand.

It is not surprising that Maoist rebels are being blamed for the derailment of an express train in India’s West Bengal state, in which 71 passengers were killed.

The police claim they have found posters signed by a local Maoist militia claiming responsibility for removing part of the track, which led to the train skidding off and colliding with a freight train coming in the opposite direction.

West Midnapore district, where the incident happened, is the hotbed of Maoist rebellion in West Bengal, one of the states where the rebels have a presence.

Tribespeople dominate the district, especially the forested Junglemahal region bordering Jharkhand state.

They feel ignored and deprived by the Communist government which has been ruling the state since 1977. Most live in abject poverty. The only visible signs of “development” I spotted during a trip to the area some years ago were cheap liquor shops.

Strong support

Fed up with the state of affairs, Junglemahal’s tribespeople even agitated for a separate state.

When neighbouring Jharkhand was carved out as a separate state, their alienation grew and they were quick to welcome the Maoists, who wield most influence in areas which are poor and dominated by tribespeople.

The security forces are on the backfoot after a spree of rebel attacks
The Lalgarh area in Junglemahal is the rebels’ most formidable stronghold.
In February, they stormed a police camp in Lalgarh, killing 24 policemen.
Rebels love to describe Lalgarh as a “liberated zone” where the state has withered away – schools and medical centres have closed down because teachers and doctors are afraid to attend, and policemen are confined to the police stations fearing reprisals.

Friday’s incident in West Midnapore demonstrates how the rebels are taking the battle to their enemies ever since the federal government launched an offensive in what is known as India’s “red corridor” earlier this year.

This comprises 223 of India’s 636 districts in 20 states which the government says are “Maoist affected”, up from 55 districts in nine states six years ago.
Ninety of these affected districts, the government says, are experiencing “consistent violence.”

The rebels have been carrying out attacks with impunity in recent months – two major attacks Dantewada in Chhattisgarh state left more than 100 people dead, including 75 paramilitary troops.
But there are also theories that in this case the Maoist script went slightly awry.

Maoists frequently tamper with railway lines and often these lead to minor derailments; a number of such attempts have been caught well in time. There have been hijackings but no major attacks on civilian transport with such a death toll.

In the past year, Maoists have carried out 32 attacks on railways, mainly in Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa, Chhattisgarh – but no major casualties have been reported.

Support for the Maoist cause across India generally will be dented by such an attack, just as it was after the assault on troops in Dantewada.

Following the twin Dantewada attacks, the government said it was reviewing its strategy for fighting the rebels, who have refused to respond to repeated government offers for talks.

Analysts say that the strategy of “clearing, holding and developing” rebel-affected areas evidently inspired by the US strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan is not working.

‘Visible retreat’

One reason, they say, is that the surge of security forces and resources on the ground are not sufficient enough to take on the rebels who are spread over a vast swathe of remote mineral-rich forest lands.

Maoists call Lalgarh a “liberated zone”

The government is now in a “visible retreat” after a spree of rebel attacks, says security analyst Ajai Sahni.
He believes that a lack of adequate forces, training and intelligence is leading to these “disasters”.

“Unless local capacities for intelligence and operations are enormously augmented, this [offensive] can go nowhere, and lot of lives are going to be lost for no useful purpose,” Mr Sahni says.

But the under-equipped local police and intelligence-gathering networks remain Indian security’ s weakest link, and there no visible efforts to bolster them.

The government appears to be confused over how the rebels should be tackled – there are differences in the ruling Congress party itself on whether the state should strike hard against it’s own people.

Recently federal home minister P Chidambaram requested wider powers to deal with the rebels, saying that he had been given a “limited mandate.”
He said the chief ministers of some of the worst affected states have asked for air power to be used against the rebels – a measure that the government has refused to sanction.

Analysts believe that many states are not doing enough to take on the rebels, leading to a “centralisation” of the problem.

The train ‘”sabotage” was one of the biggest attacks launched by the rebels
“The principal responsibility for dealing with the Maoists remain that of the states; the first responders, the local police stations, have to be strengthened and equipped to deal with the task on their own.”

Till that happens, the rebels will be seen to have an upper hand in what promises to be long drawn out and bloody conflict, the like of which India has never seen.

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At least 35 die as Maoists blow up bus in India

RAIPUR: At least 35 people were killed after Maoist rebels blew up a bus carrying police and civilians in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh on Monday, an official said.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh told reporters in the state capital Raipur that the dead included 11 police personnel.

“Twenty-four civilians and 11 policemen have died and 15 persons including 14 police personnel were injured in the blast,” the chief minister said.

He said an unspecified number of bodies were still trapped in the mangled bus following the mine blast in Dantewada district, a Maoist stronghold where rebels ambushed and killed 75 policemen last month in the bloodiest massacre of security forces by the extremists.

Television footage showed bodies laid out on the road next to the wreckage of the bus. The front portion of the vehicle had been almost completely destroyed by the force of the blast.

“The killing and targeting of innocent civilians travelling on a bus is to be strongly condemned by all right-thinking people,” Indian Home Secretary G.K. Pillai told reporters in New Delhi.

The security men among the dead and injured were special police officers, who are recruited from the civilian population to help security forces in anti-Maoist operations, said S.R. Kalluri, deputy inspector general of police.

The left-wing guerrillas have stepped up attacks in response to a government offensive against them that began late last year in the forests of the so-called “Red Corridor” that stretches across north and eastern India.

The insurgency began in the state of West Bengal in 1967 in the name of defending the rights of tribal groups, but attacks have since spread to 20 of India’s 28 states.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has labelled the insurgency the biggest internal security threat to India.
Tribal groups and many rural areas have been left behind by the country’s economic development, and the poverty and discontent with local government corruption is seen as a major source of Maoist support.

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