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Friday, November 24, 2006

Naxals, cops take battle to blogosphere

aditya.ghosh@hindustantimes.com
The war between Naxals and the police has found a new stage — the blogosphere. On October 1, Naxalites took their ideology to cyberspace through naxalrevolution.blogspot.com. Afraid of losing the online battle, officers attached to the anti-Naxal wing launched a counter-blog — naxalwatch.blogspost.com.
The Naxal blog contains comprehensive articles about their ideology and objectives. The content, in well-written English, attacks the political system and claims to have registered 3,196 page views in the last two months. Besides India, there were hits from the US, mainly New York, Chicago and Washington.
There were also many hits from the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland.
The blog has a list of other radical left-leaning blogs too. In its acerbic articles, the blog describes large corporates as “legal psychopaths” and criticises Nepal Maoists for getting influenced by the “dark side of the force”. It also lampoons the Indian Left by describing Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury as a “stooge and stormtrooper”.
“Naxals took to blogging after the government banned their website. There is nothing we can do about it, but we are trying to develop a strategy on how to tackle the menace,” said Inspector General of Anti-Naxal Operations in Maharashtra Pankaj Gupta.
The anti-Naxal blog is anonymous, but some officers who declined to be named confirmed that it was set up and is being run by anti-Naxal authorities. The blog claims to “monitor all terror activities of Indian naxals”. It claims that the aim of the People’s War Group’s is to destablise India and the sub-continent “through a well coordinated strategy with international revolutionaries, and support from Pakistan and China”.
“I am not sure who runs the counter-blog. The Union Home ministry may have an idea,” said Gupta. Additional Secretary (Union Home Ministry, Anti-Naxal Wing) Vinay Kumar declined to comment.
This blog also lists police achievements in containing the Naxal violence and details achievements of policemen, describing those who died in Naxal attacks as martyrs.Home Ministry sources who declined to be named said setting up the counter-blog was one of the first decisions taken by the Anti-Naxal Wing after it was formed a couple of weeks ago. “The aim of the wing was to monitor and curb Naxal operations and to have a central one-point agency to coordinate the efforts,” said a senior home official

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