Indian Vanguard

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  • Interview: Koteswar Rao

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The Statement of the Proletarian Party of East Bengal About the brutal killing of Indian Maoist Communist leader Comrade Kishenji

Posted by Admin on December 12, 2011

“The surge of mass rising can’t be stopped by killing us.”

Supreme Leading Committee, PBSP (MBRM), 1st week, December’11.

The Communists guide the oppressed class to the way of freedom, lead them in the struggle of changing their fate. Hence, for the reactionaries, the most favourite option for keeping the oppressed under control is to demolish the communists. It is their design to diminish the onward movement of revolution, which is essential for the oppressed class. In the Indian subcontinent, such a barbaric attitude was first imported by Indira Gandhi and the Congress govt. Later on, it was exported to the neighbouring countries including East Bengal. Sonia Gandhi, daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi, present leader of the Indian Congress party, is still practising the same reactionary, savage, severe policy of which Comrade Kishenji has been the last victim.

Comrade Kishenji alias Koteshwara Rao was the Polit Bureau member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). With a goal to establishing neo-democracy, socialism and communism overthrowing the rule of imperialism-feudalism and bureaucratic-capitalism, Comrade Kishenji, both in practice and theory, had been playing a decisive role in the Maoist people’s war led by the CPI(M).

Under the leadership of comrade Kishenji, people’s war of the Maoists developed in Telengana, Dandakaranya, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal provinces, particularly in the Junglemahal region, shook the base of Indian exploit some ruling class. As a result, the central govt. of India led by wared Sonia-Manmohan and their partner West Bengal state govt. led by Mamata Banerjee, became up and to uproot the Maoists, especially to assassinate one of the top leaders Comrade Kishenji. Consequently, Comrade Kishenji was arrested, tortured in chains and brutally killed in the region of Junglemahal on 24 November under the guise of so called encounter.

Comrade Kishenji dreamt of the freedom of the oppressed class. His dream is our own dream. His dream is the dream of the Maoist communists all over the world. Comrade Kishenji had been in the forefront of the worldwide struggle for establishing neo-democracy, socialism and communism overthrowing the rule of imperialism-feudalism and bureaucratic-capitalism. So, the killing of Kishenji is a great loss for the Maoist communists all over the world. And the oppressed class have lost a forerunner of their war.

Like Comrade Kishenji, we too, in our country, are struggling, for establishing neo-democracy, socialism and communism overthrowing the rule of imperialism-feudalism and bureaucratic-capitalism. In this case, Indian reactionary ruling class is one of the biggest enemies to our revolution . So, we consider that, the struggle of the Indian communists against these same enemies, goes in favour of the revolution of our country. For this, the brutal killing of Comrade Kishenji, we are hurt at losing our nearest one. It gives us pain of shedding blood and losing flesh, bone marrow of our own body as we felt at the death of Comrade Siraj Sikder, Comrade Taher Azmi, Comrade Ramkrishna Paul. We are deeply saddened at the death of Comrade Kishenji and expressing severe condemnation of this barbarous killing.

The aim of the reactionaries is to suppress the revolution by committing killing of Comrade Charu Majumder, Comrade Siraj Sikder along with innumerable Maoists. Let their evil design never come true. For this, we have to advance the revolutionary struggle for the implementation of Kishenji’s dream, all of our own dream, being united with all the Maoist communists of the world. Thus we have to prove again that, “The surge of mass rising can’t be stopped by killing us”.

We express our deepest condolence to the CPI (M) and to the bereaved family of Comrade Kishenji and hope that they will recover the loss soon. It is a universal fact that “day and night appear by phases.” and “darkness and light substitute each other”. In the same way, “triumph shall mount over all the sufferings.” 

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तस्‍वीरें झूठ नहीं बोलतीं… (Kishanji: photos before postmortum)

Posted by Admin on December 7, 2011

पोस्‍टमॉर्टम के दौरान खींची गईं माओवादी नेता किशनजी की ये तस्‍वीरें आज सुबह सर्कुलेट हुई हैं। अब तक वरवरा राव समेत किशनजी की भतीजी, उनकी मां और मुख्‍यधारा की राजनीति के कई नेताओं ने आरोप लगाए हैं कि किशनजी को पुलिस मुठभेड़ में नहीं मारा गया (जैसा कि सरकार का दावा है), बल्कि बिल्‍कुल चेरुकुरी आज़ाद की तर्ज़ पर गिरफ्तार कर के प्रताड़ना दी गई और फिर मारा गया। इन तस्‍वीरों के आने से पहले ये महज़ आरोप कहे जा सकते थे, लेकिन नीचे दी गई तस्‍वीरों को देखने के बाद भी कुछ कहने की ज़रूरत रह जाती है क्‍या …????




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CPI Maoist Statement on the brutal murder of Comrade Mallojula Koteswara Rao (Kishanji), the beloved leader of the oppressed masses

Posted by Admin on November 28, 2011



Press Release

November 25, 2011

Condemn the brutal murder of Comrade Mallojula Koteswara Rao, the beloved leader of the oppressed masses,
the leader of Indian revolution and CPI (Maoist) Politburo member!

Observe protest week from November 29 to December 5
and 48-hour ‘Bharat Bandh’ on December 4-5!!

November 24, 2011 would remain a black day in the annals of Indian revolutionary movement’s history. The fascist Sonia-Manmohan-Pranab-Chidambaram-Jairam Ramesh ruling clique who have been raising a din that CPI (Maoist) is ‘the biggest internal security threat’, in collusion with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, killed Comrade Mallojula Koteswara Rao after capturing him alive in a well planned conspiracy. This clique which had killed Comrade Azad, our party’s spokesperson on July 1, 2010 once again spread its dragnet and quenched its thirst for blood. Mamata Banerjee, who had shed crocodile’s tears over the murder of Comrade Azad before coming to power, while enacting the drama of talks on the one hand after assuming office, killed another topmost leader Comrade Koteswara Rao and thus displayed nakedly its anti-people and fascist facet. The central intelligence agencies and the killer intelligence agencies of West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh chased him in a well planned conspiracy and killed him in a cowardly manner in a joint operation and now spreading a concocted story of encounter. The central home secretary R.K. Singh even while lying that they do not know for certain who died in the encounter, has in the same breath announced that this is a big blow to the Maoist movement. Thus he nakedly gave away their conspiracy behind this killing. The oppressed people would definitely send to grave the exploiting ruling classes and their imperialist masters who are day dreaming that they could wipe out the Maoist party by killing the top leadership of the revolutionary movement.

Comrade Koteswara Rao, who is hugely popular as Prahlad, Ramji, Kishenji and Bimal inside the party and among the people, is one of the important leaders of the Indian revolutionary movement. The tireless warrior who never rested his gun while fighting for the liberation of the oppressed masses since the past 37 years and who has laid down his life for the sake of the ideology he believed in, was born in 1954 in Peddapally town of Karimnagar district of North Telangana, Andhra Pradesh. Raised by his father Late Venkataiah who was a freedom fighter and his mother Madhuramma, who has been of progressive views, Koteswara Rao imbibed love for his country and its oppressed masses since childhood. In 1969, he had participated in the historic separate Telangana movement while he was in his high school studies in Peddapally town. He joined the revolutionary movement with the inspiration of the glorious Naxalbari and Srikakulam movements while studying graduation in SRR college of Karimnagar. He started working as an active member of the Party from 1974. He spent some time in jail during the black period of the Emergency. After lifting up of the Emergency, he started working as a party organizer in his home district of Karimnagar. He responded to the “Go to Villages” campaign call of the party and developed relations with the peasantry by going to the villages. He was one of those who played a prominent role in the upsurge of peasant movement popular as ‘Jagityal Jaitrayatra’ (Victory March of Jagityal) in 1978. In this course, he was elected as the district committee member of the Adilabad-Karimnagar joint committee of the CPI (ML). In 1979 when this committee was divided into two district committees he became the secretary of the Karimnagar district committee. He participated in the Andhra Pradesh state 12th party conference, was elected to the AP state committee and took responsibilities as its secretary.

Up to 1985, as part of the AP state committee leadership he played a crucial role in spreading the movement all over the state and in developing the North Telangana movement which was advancing with guerilla zone perspective. He played a prominent role in expanding the movement to Dandakaranya (DK) and developing it. He was transferred to Dandakaranya in 1986 and took up responsibilities as a member of the Forest Committee. He led the guerilla squads and the people in Gadchiroli and Bastar areas of DK. In 1993 he was co-opted as a member into the Central Organizing Committee (COC).

From 1994 onwards he mainly worked to spread and develop the revolutionary movement in Eastern and Northern parts of India including West Bengal. Particularly his role in uniting the revolutionary forces which were scattered after the setback of the Naxalbari movement in West Bengal and in reviving the revolutionary movement there is extraordinary. He mingled deeply with the oppressed masses of Bengal and the various sections of the revolutionary camp, learnt Bangla language with determination and left an indelible mark in the hearts of the people there. He worked tirelessly in achieving unity with several revolutionary groups and in strengthening the party. Comrade Koteswara Rao was elected as a Central Committee (CC) member in the All India Special Conference of erstwhile CPI (ML) (People’s War) held in 1995. He strived for achieving unity between People’s War and Party Unity in 1998. In the Party Congress of erstwhile CPI (ML)(PW) held in 2001 he was once again elected into CC and Politburo. He took up responsibilities as the secretary of the North Regional Bureau (NRB) and led the revolutionary movements in Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Delhi, Haryana and Punjab states. Simultaneously he played a key role in the unity talks held between erstwhile PW and MCCI. He served as a member of the unified CC and Politburo formed after the merger of the two parties in 2004 and worked as a member of the Eastern Regional Bureau (ERB). He mainly concentrated on the state movement of West Bengal and continued as the spokesperson of the ERB.

Comrade Koteswara Rao played a prominent role in running party magazines and in the field of political education inside the party. He took part in running ‘Kranti’, ‘Errajenda’, ‘Jung’, ‘Prabhat’, ‘Vanguard’ and other party magazines. He had a special role to play in bringing out various revolutionary magazines in West Bengal. He wrote many theoretical and political articles in these magazines. He was a member of the Sub-Committee on Political Education (SCOPE) and played a prominent role in teaching Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to the party ranks. In the entire history of the party he played a memorable role in expanding the revolutionary movement, in enriching the party documents and in developing the movement. He participated in the Unity Congress-9th Congress of the party held in 2007 January, was elected as CC member once again and took responsibilities of Politburo member and member of the ERB.

The political guidance given by Comrade Koteswara Rao to the Singur and Nandigram people’s movements which erupted since 2007 against the anti-people and pro-corporate policies of the social fascist CPM government in West Bengal and particularly to the glorious upsurge of people’s rebellion in Lalgarh against police atrocities is prominent. He guided the West Bengal state committee and the party ranks to lead these movements and on the other hand conducted party propaganda through the media too with initiative. In 2009 when the Chidambaram clique tried to mislead the middle classes in the name of talks and ceasefire, he worked significantly in exposing it. He did enormous work in keeping aloft the importance of People’s War and in taking the revolutionary politics into the vast masses. This great revolutionary journey which went on for almost four decades came to an abrupt end on November 24, 2011.

Beloved People! Democrats!!

Do condemn this brutal murder. It is the conspiracy of the ruling classes to wipe out the revolutionary leadership and deprive the people of correct guidance and proletarian leadership. It is a known fact that the Maoist movement is the biggest hurdle to the big robbers and compradors who are stashing millions in Swiss banks by selling for peanuts the Jal, Jungle and Zameen of the country to the imperialist sharks. The multi-pronged, country-wide brutal offensive named Operation Green Hunt of the past two years is exactly serving this purpose. This cold-blooded murder is part of that. It is the duty of the patriots and freedom-loving people of the country to protect the revolutionary movement and its leadership like the pupil of their eye. It’s nothing but protecting the future of the country and that of the next generations.

Even at the age of 57, Com. Koteswara Rao led the hard life of a guerilla like a young man and had filled the cadres and people with great enthusiasm wherever he went. His life would particularly serve as a great inspiration to the younger generation. He studied and worked for hours together without rest and traveled great distances. He slept very little, led a simple life and was a hard worker. He used to mingle easily with people of all ages and with people who come from various social sections and fill them with revolutionary enthusiasm. No doubt, the martyrdom of Comrade Koteswara Rao is a great loss to the Indian revolutionary movement. But the people of our country are very great. It is the people and the people’s movements which gave birth to courageous and dedicated revolutionaries like Koteswara Rao. The workers and peasants and the revolutionaries who have imbibed the revolutionary spirit of Koteswara Rao right from Jagityal to Jungle Mahal and who have armed themselves with the revolutionary fragrance he spread all over the country would definitely lead the Indian New Democratic Revolution in a victory path. They would wipe out the imperialists and their lackey landlord and comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and their representatives like Sonia, Manmohan, Chidambaram and Mamata Banerjee.

Our CC is appealing to the people of the country to observe protest week from November 29 to December 5 and observe 48-hour ‘Bharat Bandh’ on December 4-5 in protest of the brutal murder of Comrade Koteswara Rao. We are appealing that they take up various programmes like holding meetings, rallies, dharnas, wearing black badges, road blocks etc protesting this murder. We are requesting that trains, roadways, commercial and educational institutions be closed and that all kinds of trade transactions be stopped as part of the ‘Bharat Bandh’ on December 4-5. However, we are exempting medical services from the Bandh.



Central Committee,

CPI (Maoist)

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Communist Party of India Marxist Leninist (Naxalbari) Statement on Nepal

Posted by Admin on September 15, 2011

Socialist Platform

On the current situation in Nepal and the challenge before the Maoists

Participation in the Constitutional Assembly process, and in government, in Nepal has been used by the UCPN (Maoist) leadership to liquidate the revolutionary nature of the party and sink it in the morass of parliamentarism. For quite some time now, this has been the concrete political manifestation of revisionism, of the derailment of the party from the path of New Democratic Revolution. It has now been taken to a new depth with the recent appointment of Dr. Baburam Bhattarrai as the Prime Minister of Nepal through a deal with the Madheshi parties, known agents of the Indian expansionists. Following a script already given by the reactionaries and endorsed by the UCPN (Maoist) leadership, the new government promptly handed over the keys of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) stored weapons. Severely drained of its fighting qualities through the policies followed by the leadership of the UCPN(Maoist), it is now being prepared for formal elimination, to finish off the last remaining, and one of the most important, achievements of the 10 years of People’s War. Thus the people will have nothing to bank on and will be helplessly thrown back to the reactionary wolves.

10 years of heroic war of the masses and their immense sacrifices gave the tiny organisation CPN (Maoist) international fame and recognition. Once the emerging shining armour in the glorious history of the international communist movement, this party is now reduced to being ‘just another petty political party’, shamelessly bargaining for some space in the ruling class benches. Today the very leaders of this organisation are trading sacrifices and pains of the revolutionary masses for a few ministerial posts and recognition from the Indian expansionists, in the service of the imperialists. Every step taken by them is meant to prove to their aakkas (masters) that they are genuinely committed to abandoning the path of revolution. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal | 4 Comments »

Police commit murders, Naxalites framed

Posted by Admin on September 14, 2011

September 12, 2011

by Himanshu Kumar (Translated by Deepankar Basu, Sanhati)

(Source: Janjawar, 7 September 2011)

It is common in Dantewada for the police to pass off responsibility for their crimes onto the Maoists. While the media parrots the police version, people accept this as yet another instance of “inherent Maoist cruelty”. I would like to highlight a recent event from Dantewada as an example of phenomenon. The event in question, it is interesting to note, has not only seen the incarceration of sub inspector of police, Ghanshyam Patel, but also the rejection of his bail petition by the High Court. Two SPOs involved in this event, moreover, are absconding.

I informed Medha Patkar about these murders. When Medha Patkar wrote about this event to DGP Vishwaranjan, the latter had retorted that Himanshu has the habit of lying. It must have been the handiwork of the the Maoists, the DGP went on to suggest to Medha. Now, a sub inspector from his own police force is behind bars for the incident. So, who has been lying?

The event in question took place on 18th March, 2007. On that day in Salwa Judum camp Matwada in Bijapur district (of Chhattisgarh), sub inspector Ghanshaym Patel and 15 other SPOs brutally killed three adivasis. The adivasis were first beaten up by sticks; then their eyes were gouged by knives; and then, their heads were smashed by stones. The dead bodies were buried in the sand on the banks of a nearby river and the media was informed that the Maoists had killed the three adivasis.

The newspapers, of course, published the police version of the incident. In reality, the three adivasis that were brutally put to death had committed the crime of going to their village, every morning, for collecting and selling mahua fruits to buy rice to feed their hungry children. The police and SPOs were angry about the possible consequence of this daily morning visit to the village. What if more and more adivasis started the trek back to their village? If all of them left the Salwa Judum camp, how would the SPOs hide from the Maoists among innocent people?

My friend Kopa Kunjum had been terribly agitated by this event. In those days (when he had still not been jailed), Kopa had been working on public health issues in the same area where this killing had taken place (and the Salwa Judum camp was located). Suddenly he disappeared and reappeared after three days with the kith and kin, including brothers and wives, of the three adivasis who had been murdered. We invited to media to come and talk directly to the wives of the three who had been killed. This created a veritable storm: interviews of these widows started appearing in Dantewada, Jagdalpur, Kanker and Bilaspur. The State was on the back foot!

We filed a case about this event in the Chhattisgarh High Court. As part of its defense, the government came out with a ludicrous story. These women, the government claimed, have been captured by an NGO called Vanavasi Chetna Ashram…After these women had lodged FIRs against the Maoists, the government story went, the Maoists had asked them to make false allegations against the police…To have them do so, the Maoists had beaten up these women…That is why, claimed the government, these women had levelled false allegations against the police.

In the context of providing support to these unfortunate women, the State and the police declared us as Maoists in court. It is a different matter that, in the High Court, now the Chhattisgarh police is being hauled over the coals in the same case. But the State has refused to accept its previous mistakes and tender any apologies. Since we had helped the law enforcement machinery, this should be duly recognized; and, proceedings should be initiated against those who had declared us as Maoists in court. But, let it be. Which individual in the State machinery would be generous enough to take this up? In fact, as a reward for our efforts Kopa Kunjum has been put behind bars and my ashram demolished. Anyways…

This incident has been investigated by the Human Rights Commission. In its report, the Commission has pointed out that it is extremely difficult to accept the police version that the three adivasis had been killed by the Maoists. Because the incident took place bang in front of a police station… And right behind the scene of the incident is a big CRPF camp… That is why it would be nearly impossible for the Maoists to come there and kill them… Sub Inspector Ghanshyam Patel, the person who wrote the FIR against the Maoists, is himself indicted with the killings. The widows of the murdered adivasis, with our help, lodged the complaint for the killing of their husbands against the same police officer and the SPOs.

That is why it is essential to investigate the FIR written by him (Ghanshyam Patel)… And the High Court, while dismissing his bail plea, noted in its remarks that since Sub Inspector Ghanshyam Patel had himself written the FIR and since the widows had lodged a complaint against him for the same murders, his application is nullified.

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“The police are trying to kill me. They know I know too much.’

Posted by Admin on September 14, 2011

Source: Thehalka

This is not the first time Soni Sori has been targeted by the Chhattisgarh police. Hiding in the jungles of Chhattisgarh Sori speaks to Tusha Mittal, about why she is being hunted

Soni Sori

Photo: Tehelka Photo

This is the story of a tribal woman named Soni Sori, 35, a teacher in a government primary school. As you read this, she is hiding in the jungles of Chhattisgarh, dodging bullets, fleeing from police. She is hiding because, perhaps, she knows too much. When Sori spoke to this correspondent in hurried, muffled phrases on the evening of September 11, she had just shifted location. That afternoon, as she hid in mountainous terrain, there was the thud of boots closing in. She ran. They fired. She lived.

This is the story of a tribal man named Lingaram Kodopi, a 25-year-old jeep driver from Chhattisgarh. He had once been wooed by the banned CPI (Maoist), offered a party position. He refused. He has since been threatened by the rebels. He had once been locked up in a toilet in the Dantewada police station for 40 days, brutally beaten, then offered Rs 12,000 a month to become a Special Police Officer (SPO). He refused. He has since been under police radar. In the winter of 2009, Lingaram Kodopi did what many others in Chhattisgarh’s conflict zone have been compelled to: he fled.

In Delhi, Kodopi lived in the basement of an NGO and enrolled in a journalism course in Noida. “I know I will be arrested if I go back home,” Kodopi had earlier told TEHELKA. “But why should I be afraid? I want to do something for my community. Both the Naxals and the police threaten me because they know I don’t fear them.”

He returned to Dantewada in April this year after the 300 homes were razed to rubble in a three-day police operation. At great personal risk, he visited the burnt villages of Morpalli, Tadmetla and Timmapuram, saw first-hand the debri of attacks by the COBRA and Koya Commandoes, met raped women and got precise narrations of police atrocities. By now, a trained video journalist, Kodopi was just beginning to document the stories of his own people.

Kodopi was arrested on September 10. Dantewada SP Ankit Garg confirmed that he has been charged under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, the Chhattisgarh Public Security Act, and sections 121, 124A and 120 B of the IPC for criminal conspiracy, sedition, and waging war against the State of India.

On Independence Day this year, both Kodopi and his aunt Soni had defied the Maoist order to raise black flags in Chhattisgarh. When Maoists tried to put up one in Kodopi’s village, he tore it apart in their presence. When rebels directed Sori to remove the Indian flag from her ashram school, she refused. “Too many people have died for this,” she told the rebels. This is why the story of this aunt and nephew is significant. It is the story of another kind of adivasi voice trying to speak crisp and clear from the chaos of a conflict where all parties claim to speak for them.

TEHELKA has learnt that in June this year, a few months before his arrest, Lingaram Kodopi met senior IAS officer and Bastar Division Commissioner K Srinivasulu. “Both the police and the Maoists are killing my people. This has to stop,” Kodopi told the officer. In a significant admission, Srinivasulu has confirmed to TEHELKA that he met Kodopi, a man the Chhattisgarh police have described as a Maoist commander. “Yes, I met him. He came to my office with social activist Swami Agnivesh. I cannot say whether he is a Maoist or not. I don’t think he has any Maoist links,” Srinivasulu told TEHELKA. “I know him is a poor tribal boy from a backward region trying to study in Delhi. He represents this area. He told me he fled because the police doubt him to be a Maoist informer. I said he should return, he belongs here, his presence here is important. I said I would help him in whatever way I can. I have a soft corner for him.”

Srinivasulu said he was not aware of Kodopi’s arrest. “I was traveling. I have just returned. I am hearing about this from you. I have called the Inspector General and Superintendent of Police to find out. It is an allegation of the police. It has to be proved. We will try to sort it out.

It is past sundown in the jungles of Chhattisgarh, and still Soni Sori must not return home. In frantic phone calls, she has been warned of men in plain clothes lurking outside her mud-hut, roaming the village market, patrolling all entry and exit points.

“Soni Sori is absconding,” confirmed Dantewada SP Ankit Garg. “We are looking for her.”

Over a breaking phone signal, her voice fading in and out, this is what Sori told TEHELKA on September 11: “The police are trying to kill me. They fired at me today. I fled. I fell into a hole as I was running. I managed to hide. I’m trying to escape from here. I need to get to Delhi. They know I know too much. I need to stay alive to keep the truth alive. They don’t want me to reach Delhi. I can’t let them kill me.”

There is nothing in Soni’s exasperated voice to suggest helplessness, to suggest that she is a victim. What is more terrifying is her sense of resolve. Last year, the Chhattisgarh police arrested her husband on charges of Maoist activity. Two months ago the Maoists accused her family of aiding the police, looted her house, and shot her father in the leg. “I can’t understand what’s going on,” she continued. “The Maoists looted everything we have. They shot at my father. Now, I’m running from the police. My five-year-old daughter is at home crying. My husband is in jail for being a Maoist. I don’t know what they want. Just wait. Let me come to Delhi. I will expose them. I cannot tell you on the phone what I know. Let me get out of here first. I don’t want to anger the police now.”

According to the Chhattisgarh police both Soni Sori and Lingaram Kodopi are abetting the banned CPI(Maoist). On September 10, police arrested Lingaram Kodopi and a local contractor named BK Lala for attempting to transfer funds to the Maoist party. The arrests were made after a secret US embassy cable released by the Wikileaks website alleged that Essar industrial group was paying huge sums to the Maoists to not interfere with their mining operations in Chhattisgarh. Essar has denied this.

“Lala was acting on behalf of Essar while Kodopi was acting on behalf of the Maoists”, Dantewada SP Ankit Garg told TEHELKA. “We arrested them from a weekly market in Palnar village. They planned to exchange Rs 15 lakh. We got a tip off and caught them red-handed with the money. There was another woman called Soni Sori with them. She escaped due to some confusion. “

Sori denies the allegation. “This is totally false. Seven men in civil dress arrested Lingaram from my house in Palnar village. They tried to drag me as well, but could not. We have nothing to do with Essar,” she told TEHELKA. She also revealed what is a significant twist to the official version. “The police wanted Lingaram and I to pose as Maoists. They asked us to meet the Essar representative as Maoists. They told us to collect Rs 15 lakh from Lala and hand it to them. We refused to do it.”

Asked whether the police plan to question any named Essar officials, Garg said: “BK Lala has confessed during interrogation that he was supplying money on behalf of Essar. But the statement of an accused has no value. It has to be corroborated. We will question Essar officials. If this claim is verified, then we will definitely make arrests and take legal action against Essar as well.”

This is not the first time Sori and Kodopi have been targeted by the Chhattisgarh police. “Both are Maoist associates with a criminal record,” SP Garg told TEHELKA. In July 2010, Chhattisgarh police issued warrants against the Kodopi, Sori and her husband for involvement in a Maoist attack on a Congress worker Avdesh Gautaum and his son. Gautam had escaped unhurt, while his son sustained bullet injuries. Incidentally, Sori’s elder brother Vijay Sori is a Congress block president in Dantewada. “This was not right. The Maoists should not have attacked Gautam’s son,” Soni told TEHELKA in an earlier interview.

Sources say the Maoist attack came after Gautam had convinced then Dantewada collector Reena Kangale to close down all the PDS distribution shops in Dantewada’s Kuakonda block. Alleging that Naxals were benefiting from rice doled out of village PDS shops, Gautam suggested he control all the rice distribution from a central point, his home. If any Maoists came to collect rice, he reasoned, he could then have them arrested. Gautam could not be reached for comment.

“It is Avdesh Gautam who named me in the FIR,” Sori says. “The police asked me ‘Did you not feel remorse attacking his son?’ Then they said they will withdraw the arrest warrant if I give them information about Maoist meetings and threatened to arrest me if I don’t.” Sori told TEHELKA in an earlier interview. The police also threatened her to sign a document which implicated them in the crime.

“The document said Lingaram is not of good character, that he travels to Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and abroad. It said that both Lingaram and I had attended a Naxal meeting in Andhra Pradesh a week before the attack on Avdesh Gautam,” Soni says.

It is these allegations that surfaced in a Chhattisgarh police press release in July last year. It alleged that Lingaram Kodopi is a senior Maoist Commander who received arms training in Delhi and Gujarat, and who frequently travels to America. It also touted him as a potential successor to CPI(Maoist) central spokesperson Azad who was killed in an encounter last year. Kodopi does not have a passport and claims he was not even present in Dantewada at the time of the Naxal attack on Gautam. He challenged these allegations in a press conference in New Delhi with social activist Swami Agnivesh and lawyer Prashant Bhushan. “There is no difference between the police and the Maoists,” he said.

It remains unclear whether the Chhattisgarh police continue to view Kodopi as a “Maoist commander” and spokesperson, or whether they now view him as a “Maoist associate.” When asked, Garg told TEHELKA: “In this particular case [Essar money transfer], it suggests he was playing the role of a Maoist associate. In the previous case, we are still ascertaining his role. Maoists spokesperson are not a single person, until they are completely identified (sic). As far as the Congress case is concerned, we are still investigating how Kodopi was connected. We are looking at all possible angles.”

It also remains unclear why the Chhattisgarh police have not yet arrested Soni Sori. While Kodopi fled to Delhi in 2009, Soni has remained in her village Palnar. “There are three arrest warrants against her. She has been absconding,” Garg told TEHELKA. This is a dubious claim since Soni says she had been marking attendance at a government school all along. “Yes, Soni is a government teacher. She was attending school,” Garg admitted to TEHELKA. “We tried to nab her several times but we were not able to. She could not be found [in the school]. We have written to the Collector to take appropriate action against her.”

A likely explanation for the police’s inability to arrest Sori is perhaps that she was being used as bait to lure Kodopi back to Chhattisgarh. “The police told me they will release my husband and withdraw my warrant if I call Linga back. But how can I betray my nephew?” Sori said.

Why Kodopi became a police target also remains unclear. It points to the eccentricities of a conflict zone where merely owning a motorcycle or organizing villagers can leave you marked. “My name is Lingaram from Sameli. I am a driver. My family has a car in which I ferry people. We have some land on which we farm. I am not very literate,” Kodopi said during an Independent People’s Tribunal held in Delhi in April 2010.

“I was watching TV at home in September last year. Five motorcycles came, with 10 men holding AK 47s. They asked me questions such as “Where did you get the bike from? How do you go about in style?” My family is fairly comfortably off, but they accused me of being a Naxalite. Then the police tortured me for 40 days. Why can’t we adivasis wear a good watch or drive a car without being picked up by the police?”

Kodopi was released from police custody on the direction of the Bilaspur High Court after his family filed a habeas corpus petition. Before he fled Chhattisgarh, Kodopi had been assisting a government project to built 22 toilets in Dantewada’s Kuakonda block.

“I’ve seen Avatar five times,” he once told then freelance journalist Divya Gupta. “Look at the technology used in that picture and the amount of money spent. In reality there are people dying who nobody wants to save. But I really liked that movie, even if it cost so much. It’s about us.”

Tusha Mittal is a Principal Correspondent with Tehelka.

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Declare Solidarity with The Workers

Posted by Admin on September 12, 2011

Demand Maruti Suzuki India and Suzuki Motor Corporation to end lockout and take back all dismissed and suspended workers

India is witnessing one of the greatest workers’ struggle in recent times following the decision to force a lock out at the Manesar, Gurgaon plant of Maruti Suzuki India, the biggest car company in the country since the morning of 29th August. On this occasion we request all our friends to sign the petition declaring solidarity with the workers.

This piece is from Gurgaonworkersnews
Gurgaon in Haryana is presented as the shining India, a symbol of capitalist success promising a better life for everyone behind the gateway of development. At a first glance the office towers and shopping malls reflect this chimera and even the facades of the garment factories look like three star hotels. Behind the facade, behind the factory walls and in the side streets of the industrial areas thousands of workers keep the rat-race going, producing cars and scooters which end up in the traffic jam on the new highway between Delhi and Gurgaon. Thousands of young people lose time, energy and academic aspirations on night-shifts in call centres, selling loan schemes to working-class people in the US or pre-paid electricity schemes to the poor in the UK. Next door, thousands of rural-migrant workers uprooted by the agrarian crisis stitch and sew for export, competing with their angry brothers and sisters in Bangladesh or Vietnam.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Red women on green rampage – Women’s wing of CPI(Maoist) tells Giridih to stop felling trees

Posted by Admin on September 1, 2011


30hazgiridih.jpgMembers of Nari Mukti Sangh stage a rally in Pirtand, Giridih, on Monday. Picture by Tausheen Rubani

Forests of Pirtand in Giridih district have new best friends in the form of CPI(Maoist) women’s wing, Nari Mukti Sangh.

Since one week, around 70 women of the rebel outfit are taking out hour-long roadshows in the afternoon across the block, exhorting people not to cut trees. If they do, they better pay up a fine of Rs 1,000 or face some unspecified punishment, which is likely to involve beatings. It is green activism that takes itself seriously.

“Jungle bachana hi hoga varna aane wale vinaash ke liye hum khud hi zimmewar honge (we have to save forests at any cost now, otherwise we will be responsible for natural calamities),” thundered Neela Devi, one of the leaders of the outfit.

The women, armed with axes, sticks and spades, move from village to village with grim determination, spreading the message of afforestation.

Not only are they sloganeering, they are also taking out rallies and staging nukkad (neighbourhood) meetings in different villages of the Maoist stronghold.

Sources said unlike their male counterparts, the women don’t believe in violence. But if anyone felling trees is caught red-handed, he might be roughed up, as the women members have “threatened dire consequences” if people damage the area’s green cover.

When the women rebels are not issuing threats, they are also informing people about the importance of trees.

“Forests are our real assets. Please realise their importance and save trees. They absorb poisonous gases and are the best friends of man and wildlife,” said Devi at a rally on Monday.

Villagers, slightly bemused, are however turning up in large numbers to hear the women speak.

“We have had good response. Villagers have promised not to fell trees indiscriminately. But the Sangh will keep its eyes open,” said Devi.

On Monday, the Sangh’s roadshow passed through different villages including Masnotand, Pandnatand, Chilga and Palgunj, with around 70-odd women armed with pickaxes, spades and bamboo sticks chanting pro-green slogans and holding impromptu meetings.

At every spot, tens of villagers listened in pin-drop silence that would have been the envy of any green NGO.

Posted in Nari Mukti Sangh. | 1 Comment »

Immediately Withdraw the Death Sentence against Adivasi and Dalit Cultural Activists Jeeten Marandi, Anil Ram, Manoj Rajwar and Chhatrapati Mandal!

Posted by Admin on August 30, 2011

Jeeten Marandi and others in Death Row are Targets of Indian State’s Conspiracy!
Immediately Withdraw the Death Sentence Pronounced against Adivasi and Dalit Cultural Activists Jeeten Marandi, Anil Ram, Manoj Rajwar and Chhatrapati Mandal!

27 June 2011–The Giridih Lower court has awarded death sentence to peoples’ cultural activists Jeeten Marandi, Manoj Rajwar, Chhatrapati Mandal and Anil Ram in connection with the Chilkhari killings. On 27 October, 2007, Anup Marandi, the son of Babulal Marandi, ex-chief minister of Jharkhand, was shot dead by the Maoists along with 19 members of the Nagarik Suraksha Samiti, a vigilante gang promoted and patronised by the ex-chief minister.

Jeeten was deliberately and falsely implicated in this case, because Jeeten as a cultural activist has been exposing and opposing the anti-people and repressive policies of the state, through his organisations Jharkhand Aven and Krantikari Janvadi Morcha. Through his songs, plays and articles he consistently opposed displacement, corporate loot and state repression.

Jeeten had been arrested and jailed in the past too as he tried to spread consciousness among people through his cultural activities about the anti-people policies of the government. The state wants to strangle his bold voice. He was being implicated in the Chilkhari case because he wrote an article in three parts in a Hindi daily Prabhat Khabar. In the article he tried to explore the reasons behind the spreading of the Naxalite movement where he analysed and exposed the anti-people role of the state and showed the close relations the Naxalites have with the people. On 5th April 2008, after the third part of the article was published, the police immediately arrested its writer when he was returning home from a state committee meeting of Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan, which took place in Ratu Road, Ranchi.

The state had first put the charge of sedition on Jeeten Marandi where they alleged that he has given ‘inflammatory speeches’ in the rally that took place on the issue of release of political prisoners on 1st October 2007, in front of Raj Bhavan in Ranchi. After that a series of false cases were slapped on him. Along with the Chilkhari case, the state had put two cases from Thana Gaon, one case from Pirtand police station and two cases from Teesri police station. It must be noted that when the cases of Pirtand and Teesri P.O. took place, Jeeten was in jail for different cases. This clearly reflects the real intention of the government to implicate him in false cases to silence his voice.

Even in the Chilkhari case, the police denied the possibility of involvement of Jeeten Marandi. While reporting the incident of Chilkhari the Hindi daily Prabhat Khabar published Jeeten’s photo in the first page calling him the prime accused of the case. Later

the editor of Prabhat Khabar acknowledged his mistake and publicly apologized to Jeeten. That time the police officers also confirmed that the prime accused of Chilkahri case was not cultural activist Jeeten Marandi, but allegedly a Maoist commander of the same name. But later the police changed its statement and said both cultural activist Jeeten Marandi and Maoist commander Jeeten Marandi are involved in the case. In order to involve the cultural activist Jeeten Marandi, three new witnesses were incorporate in the case. This is how the conspiracy to falsely implicate Jeeten Marandi was hatched.

On 24 March 2009 Jeeten Marandi was produced in the Sessions court for the Chilkhari case. There he was waiting in the Sessions lock up along with other accused, when a person who claimed himself to be the OC of Giridih Town police station came and met Jeeten Marandi, and left. Later the police constables forcefully took Jeeten out alone and took him to the Sessions court. Outside the Sessions lock up the Giridih P.S. O.C showed Jeeten to some people and said this is Jeeten Marandi, remember his face. Then all those people followed Jeeten till the court. In the sessions court they tried to take him out without signing the attendance register. Later the people to whom the police had shown Jeeten in the court gave false witness and said Jeeten Marandi was present when the incident happened. Jeeten Marandi even intimated the court of this whole incident. None of these so-called witnesses were the family members of the ones who died in Chilkhari. They were all members of Babulal Marandi’s party Jharkhand Vikas Morcha. The Sessions court sentenced Jeeten Marandi and three others to death on basis of these ‘witnesses’.

The sentence awarded to Jeeten Marandi and three others once again exposes the puppet nature of the criminal court procedures of the government and police. This is the way the criminal court implicates and frames people who resist the state policies or raise their voice against oppression or injustice. Especially the most oppressed sections, the dalits, adivasis, backwards sections and minorities are always targeted and are given the harshest of punishments like death sentence by the court. The ones who have been given death sentence in Chilkhari case, i.e. Jeeten Marandi, Manoj Rajwar, Chhatrapati Mandal and Anil Ram are also from extremely poor adivasi, dalit, and backward families. The use of the judicial process and criminal court proceedings that led into the capital punishment of Jeeten Marandi is not a new thing. Earlier also the revolutionary leader from Andhra Pradesh Kista Gaud and Bhumaiyya were sentenced to death. In Barah, Bihar, five poor peasants have been given death sentence. Justice Bhagvati from the Supreme Court had accepted earlier that ‘many times the police create witnesses in order to prove their cases’.

In the same case the Supreme Court said that death sentences can be awarded in the ‘rarest of the rare’ cases. But despite that in the Indian judicial system death sentences are being distributed like freebies. According to a report by the Amnesty International, as many as 140 death sentences were handed out in India during 2006-07. In 130 countries death sentence has already been abolished. But the country that claims to be the world’s largest democracy is not ready to end the practice of death sentence so that it

can use death sentences in largest numbers to strangle the voices of the revolutionaries and the people who dream to change the society and can implement the policies of loot and exploitation without any resistance or dissent.

Revolutionary Democratic Front demands the immediate withdrawal of the death sentence of Jeeten Marandi and three others and their unconditional release. The politicians and police officers involved in the conspiracy against Jeeten and the rest three must be punished. Death sentence must be abolished. RDF appeals to all intellectuals and democratic people and organizations to unite and intensify the struggle for the release and justice of Jeeten, Anil, Manoj and Chhatrapati without delay.

Raj Kishore
General Secretary

G N Saibaba
Deputy Secretary


Posted in Jharkhand | Leave a Comment »

PUDR Statement – Commute the Death Sentence of Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan

Posted by Admin on August 29, 2011

August 28, 2011

The People’s Union for Democratic Rights, Delhi (PUDR) is deeply distressed by the President’s rejection of the appeal for mercy for the three accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The three accused, Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan had been awarded the death penalty in 1997 by the TADA Court and the same was confirmed by the Supreme Court in 1999. While the crime committed is heinous, there are a number of reasons that should permit commutation of their sentence to life imprisonment.

The trial of the accused was conducted in a TADA court with all the associated biases of altered procedures and that TADA permitted. Hearing the appeal, the Supreme Court had to conclude that nothing has been established to show that the accused attempted to overawe the government or to strike terror in the people and therefore the accused were acquitted of the charges under TADA. (pa. 59, 61, 67 1999 (5) SCC 253, Nalini & ors. Vs Union of India). Yet the fact that the trial was conducted under TADA unfairly affected those accused.

TADA specifically barred appeal to the High Court. Thus the accused were denied one of the two appeals that are available to every person sentenced to death.

1. TADA also permitted the admissibility of confessions to the police as evidence. Normal law disallows such confessionals since these are routinely taken through torture. The conviction in the present case was crucially based on confessions by 17 of the accused which each of the accused retracted once they reached the court, alleging that these were extracted under duress. One of the accused died while in police custody. These facts should have been sufficient to prohibit the use of the 17 confessionals, but the same was not done.
2. The atmosphere surrounding a TADA court and the impact it has on even the judicial mind, let alone that of the opinion makers in society, weighs the scales heavily against the accused.
3. The Supreme Court judgement also clearly records that the accused had no intention to kill any person other than Rajiv Gandhi. The Court records that the motivation of the accused was to avenge the atrocities committed by the IPKF in Sri Lanka. Given this fact alone, there is little to fear a repeat of similar crime. or to reason today crime does not

Today, when the President on the advice of the Union Cabinet has rejected the mercy appeal, there are many more reasons to be sympathetic to the mercy appeal:

1. Exemplary conduct has been exhibited by the accused during their 20 years in prison. Perarivalan completed his BCA and is pursuing the MCA course. He has helped educate many illiterate and semi-literate prisoners, has helped many in passing their Class 10, 12 and even graduate level exams, has formed a musical troupe teaching both instrumental and vocal music. Prisoners taught by him have formed a „Perarivalan Kalvi Paasarai‟ which is assisting children from poor and impoverished background to get education. Murugan passed the BCA and MCA as well as certificate courses in Radio & TV mechanics and Two wheeler engine mechanics. He is a talented painter and an exhibition of his paintings was inaugurated by the former Director General Prisons. Santhan has written numerous poems, short stories and a novels. One novel was highly acclaimed in Tamil literary circles and his poems have been published in many magazines. He also tends to the temple in the prison and conducts the daily pujas. The three prisoners have not been accused of committing any prison offence or come for any adverse notice by the prison officials in their 20 years on stay there.

2. There has been a delay of 12 years in the examining of the mercy petition. This has led to the three prisoners undergoing a sentence of life imprisonment. The orders of execution being readied today amount to a second penalty for the same crime. It has been established by the courts that delay in execution is sufficient ground for commutation. (Smt. Triveniben v. State of Gujarat, 1989 (1) SCC 678; Daya Singh v Union of India 1991 (3) SCC 61). The court has also expressed its anguish at the plight of death row convicts due to prolonged delay in deciding commutation petitions. (Sher Singh v. State of Punjab (1983) 2 SCC (Cri) 248; Jagdish v State of M.P. 2009 (2009) 9 SCC 495).

3. Today there are a large numbers of people in Tamil Nadu appealing to the government to spare the lives of these three prisoners. Given the compassion shown by society at large it is only logical that the Sovereign in a democratic order should value this sentiment.

PUDR therefore appeals to the Governor and to the Government of Tamil Nadu to show compassing in sparing the lives of the three prisoners. The killing of these three persons serves no social objective today. Sparing them would in fact protect the citizens of our country from the ill-effects of promoting of revenge as a justifiable objective.

Paramjit Singh
Harish Dhawan
Secretaries, PUDR

Posted in Tamil Eelam | 2 Comments »

Red Banner: Voice of Democratic Movements in South & South-east Asia Volume II., Issue 1., March – 2011

Posted by Admin on August 28, 2011

Red Banner Voice of Democratic Movements in South & South-east Asia Volume II., Issue 1., March - 2011

Posted in Red Banner | Leave a Comment »

Red Banner: Voice of Democratic Movements in South & South-east Asia, Volume II., Issue 2., August – 2011

Posted by Admin on August 28, 2011

Posted in Red Banner | 1 Comment »

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