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.