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Archive for June 25th, 2009

CPI Maoist spokesperson Gaur Chakraborty remanded to Police custody

Posted by Admin on June 25, 2009

Kolkata At 72, Gaur Chakraborty may have served in many outfits, but his ultra-left leanings are still as firm as they were in his student days. Today, as he takes on the Communist parties he has been associated with in the past, there is a note of disillusionment in the voice of the man who has been arrested for playing a spokesperson for the CPI(Maoist), which has just been banned by the Centre.

“This is the beginning of Fascist activities of the Left Front government,” Gaur said as he was being taken from Bankshal Court to Kolkata Police headquarters.

Gaur’s wife Mukta Keshi, who was present at the court premises on Wednesday, was at pains to point out his husband’s sympathies to the Maoist cause. “Gaur has believed in Communist-Maoist ideology since his student days,” she said.

Sources in the state intelligence say Gaur had been closely involved with CPI(ML) People’s War Group, popularly known as PWG, which emerged as an extremist force in Andhra Pradesh in the early 90s. PWG was banned in December 2001 after Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance was promulgated by the Centre, which later became the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) before being allowed to lapse.

Police arrested Gaur in March 2005 from his residence at Madanpur in North 24-Parganas for his links with Maoist outfits. After being booked on charges of criminal conspiracy, killing and plotting of landmine blast in West Midnapore and Purulia, Gaur was jailed at Midnapore and Purulia for more than a year and later released on bail. The charge-sheet in the case has been filed and the case is still pending, says Mukta.

According to her, Gaur, who once worked as a hawker in trains, was associated with the CPI before 1967. He later joined the CPI(ML). “Gaur used to hawk in local trains for a living and was also an active member of the hawkers union led by Left parties.

A close associate of Gaur said even after the Naxalite movement crumbled in early 70’s in West Bengal, he maintained his contacts with Naxal leaders and later joined CPI-ML (Party Unity), a breakaway organisation of the Naxals.

In 1998, CPI-ML (Party Unity) merged with the PWG. In 1998-99, when the PWG was active in West Midnapore and Bankura, Gaur had visited Belpahari and Lalgarh.

In September 2004, PWG and MCC(I) merged to form the CPI(Maoist). Gaur was picked up in March 2005 for his links with the CPI(Maoist) and sent to jail. After his release from jail, Chakraborty joined Ganapratirodh Mancha, an arm of the RDF, an ultra-left outfit, and became its state committee member in 2006.

On December 14, 2008, Gaur announced his new identity as a spokesman of CPI(Maoist) and quit the Ganapratirodh Mancha. Till his arrest on June 23, he maintained he was not a member of CPI(Maoist), but merely a hired spokesperson and that was never involved in killings or violence.



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Artists write to Chidambaram, Stop repression

Posted by Admin on June 25, 2009

Lalgarh (West Bengal), June 25 (IANS) Eminent artists have written to Home Minister P. Chidambaram complaining about atrocities by security forces, whose presence in this trouble zone was beefed up Thursday by 1,000 paramilitary troopers crossing over from Jharkhand.
“We have written to union Home Minister P. Chidambaram based on our experiences. We have demanded that the security operations be stopped and a ceasefire declared to facilitate talks between the ultras and the administration,” said theatre personality Kaushik Sen.

“We have also written to the minister about our experiences and the tales of atrocities committed by the forces we heard from the villagers,” Sen told IANS in Kolkata.

Sen was part of a delegation of intellectuals opposed to West Bengal’s ruling Left Front who Sunday visited Lalgarh, a former rebel-held enclave, 200 kms from the state capital Kolkata, where the state had virtually abdicated its role to hundreds of Maoist extremists till the security operations were launched June 18.

The West Midnapore district administration has already filed a complaint against the intellectuals in the Lalgarh police station alleging they had violated the prohibitory orders in force in the area on the assembly of more than four persons.

Expressing surprise at the state government action, filmmaker Aparna Sen said: “We were in touch with the chief secretary before our visit. He never told us about the prohibitory order. Also, we went there openly. There were lot of mediapersons with us. Why didn’t the police stop us then?”

As the artists geared up for the fight, so did the security forces.


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Bengal, Central governments flayed for repression in Lalgarh: KG Kannabiran

Posted by Admin on June 25, 2009

HYDERABAD: President of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) KG Kannabiran has come down heavily on the West Bengal Government as

well as the Centre for unleashing a wave of repression against the people living in Lalgarh. In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the PUCL president  said that there were complaints against the CPM’s vigilante motorcycle riders who had become a law unto themselves after Jindals were given land for setting up an SEZ. He took objection to the Centre deploying Army, which cannot differentiate between common people and the ultras, to deal with the Maoists and to quell a constitutionally valid right.
“Maoist intervention or for that matter any political intervention on account of the failure of the successive governments to perform their fundamental obligations could not be considered an act of terrorism and justify invocation of draconian laws,” Kannabiran said. He pointed out that to consider any political movement as a problem is obnoxious, particularly when it is persisting for over four decades.

Banning an organistion or killing its members in “encounters” had never provided the answer to a problem, he said and urged the Prime Minister not to tread this punitive course of action. Kannabiran wanted the Prime Minister to “to fix certain economic and social goals for immediate attainment of non-violent revolution and any resistence to these demands would only complicate the problem”. He said that he was not against any peace talks and the State could call the Maoists to suspend armed violence by staying all moves by the Army and para-military forces and withdrawing Cobras and other intelligence agencies from all States.

The Prime Minister could ask the Maoists to come forward with their demands on issues affecting the people in the areas like Singur, Nandigram and Lalgarh assuring immunity to them at least for a period of four weeks initially, he suggested.

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Lalgarh Tribals hold huge rally at Dharampur

Posted by Admin on June 25, 2009

LALGARH: Even as chief secretary Ashok Mohan Chakrabarti and senior bureaucrats and government officials were huddled in a meeting at the Lalgarh BDO office on Wednesday morning, a 5,000 strong crowd gathered at Dharampur to listen to Maoist leaders’ call for resistance, barely 4 km away.

Members of the banned outfit’s armed militia including their leader Bikash urged villagers not to leave their homes and help them fight the forces. The rally was preceded by a procession, escorted by armed Maoists on bikes. All this with a huge posse of security forces camping within walking distance.

The men on bikes joined the march a little after it had started. PCPA members, it seemed, did not have a clear idea about the route to be taken. The men, acting as navigators, led the march. “Our brothers are here. They are showing us the way,” said a PCPA member.

TOI followed the march, which started from Ghamichowk village and went through Adharjora village before meandering into the adjoining forest. It traced the same route back to Dharampur where the meeting was held at the spot where a CPM party office had been ransacked and burnt down by a mob two weeks back.

A hundred yards from the meeting venue, Bikash relaxed on a cot placed under a mango tree. A guard armed with an AK-47 nearby. Around a dozen other gunmen loitered around. Clad in a light green shirt, trousers rolled up to the knees and a towel wrapped around his head, Bikash was soon surrounded by villagers eager to listen to him.

The Maoist leader waved to a comrade and asked him to fetch some water. Then, he lit a cigarette. “We are not worried about the fact that police has taken over Lalgarh. They were here before the operation started.

Let them come, nothing will happen. It is not easy to enter the villages because the people will resist. We are with them and we will fight together. No matter how big the forces are, they will be driven away,” said Bikash.

Meanwhile, it was time for the meeting to commence. Leaders shouted instructions to some members to spread out in the area till the meeting is over. Bikash let others do the talking. “Follow our directions to resist the police. The forces might be camping at Lalgarh but they will not dare venture into the villages. They are scared. Be on guard and revive night vigil. The moment you spot a police force, inform us. We will rush to your support,” said a Maoist leader in his address.

All the while, Bikash had his eyes on the rally. “I am giving no interviews because I have been asked not to. But we will keep in touch with the people and also with journalists. Soon, we will be meeting you openly,” he said.

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Like water off a duck’s back

Posted by Admin on June 25, 2009

KOZHIKODE: The Central Government’s decision to ban the CPI (Maoist) in the wake of increased Naxal attacks in various parts of the country is unlikely to produce the desired impact.Ever since its inception in 2004 the organisation and its leadership have been operating underground, evading the eagle eye of the intelligence and security agencies.

The Maoist Communist Centre of India and the CPI-ML (People’s War), which merged to become the CPI (Maoist), were banned by the Centre years ago but both organisations survived the ban.The CPI (Maoist) decided to work underground till its mission — completing the new democratic revolution — is accomplished. So a ban may not help the security agencies to make a dent in the party structure, which has remained intact till now despite the severe reversals suffered by the outfit at regular intervals.A ban on a terrorist outfit usually chokes the financial resources of the organisation. But this may not happen in the case of the CPI (Maoist).

The outfit’s main source of funds is extortion from big contractors who have a stake in Naxal-affected areas. Maoists forcibly collect funds from the contractors, which they brand ‘revolutionary tax’. They also collect a day’s wage from labourers in their ‘liberated zones’ and loot banks whenever possible.Documents seized from an arrested Maoist leader show that the CPI (Maoist) has a Rs 60-crore budget for a year’s operations. A ban will not disrupt the fund collection activities.The imposition of a ban is not likely to affect their procurement of arms and ammunition either. The main source of weapons for the Maoists are the security agencies themselves: Maoists attack the police and escape with the weapons available at the site.

They also have weapon manufacturing units deep in the jungles. Sophisticated weapons are bought from the arms market. The ban may not succeed in containing the propagation of ideology by the Maoists, who are increasingly using the cyber world for dissemination of their thoughts.The Centre had banned the pro-Maoist website People’s March in 2007 but it continued to appear in the print version.Ernakulam district authorities banned the print edition of the People’s March after the arrest of CPI (Maoist) central committee member Malla Raja Reddy from Angamaly. Then the Maoists brought out a magazine called Maoist Information Bulletin which carries news about Maoists all over the country.

There are also blogs like Peoples Truth, Parisar, DSUJNU, Peoples Movement Support Group, Banned Thought and Ajadhind which regularly carry Maoist propaganda materials.

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