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Archive for June, 2009

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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Heroic Martyrs of the India’s Revolution ( Random Images )

Posted by Admin on June 24, 2009

Heroic Martyrs of the India’s Revolution ( Random Images )

Com Charu Mazumdhar

Com. Vempatapu Sathyam

Com. Panchadi Nirmala

Com. Panchadi Krisha Murthy

Puli Anjanna (Sagar) APSCS
October 1993

Com. Saroj Dutta

Hari Bhushan

Swarupa (Jyothi)
Seernaplli 5-2-92

Kongala Sudhakar Reddy

Muralidhara Raju

I.V. Sambasiva Rao (Master), CCM
28 Feb. 1997

Seetha (Nagulakonda)

Chintala Venkata Swamy
(Suryam) APSCM

Sneha Latha

Madhava Reddy

Gaddar at a Martyrs column

Naxalbari Lal Salaam !

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Lalgarh Tribals hold huge rally at Dharampur

Posted by Admin on June 24, 2009

Lalgarh , June 24 At least 5,000 tribals today held a rally brandishing swords, spears, bows and arrows and shouting anti-government slogans at Dharampur near here when the top government officials including state Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty were making a visit to the restive Lalgarh area.

The rally, which the police claimed had outsiders suspected to be Maoists and organised by the PCPA, was held just 10 km from the police station at Dharampur. The speakers, mostly unknown faces, raised anti-government and anti-police slogans.The rally starting from Gahanichowk village went to Dharampur village via Harina village and then went a further one kilometre up to terminate near the CPI-M party office. A meeting was held there.

The speakers urged the government and police to leave the villages so that the tribals can live in peace. They also promised to protect their villages at any cost.


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CPI-Maoist West Bengal spokesperson arrested in Kolkata

Posted by Admin on June 24, 2009

Kolkata: In a major success for security forces local Maoist leader and Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) spokesperson Gour Chakrabarti was arrested from the office of a TV news channel in Kolkata on Tuesday night.

Chakrabarti is being interrogated at the Kolkata Police Special Branch office.

The arrest came as the state government, backed by paramilitary forces, is carrying out an operation to flush out the Maoists from Lalgarh.

Just before he was detained by the Kolkata Police, Gour spoke to CNN-IBN and said the Maoists were willing to lay down arms and talk to the government. The CPI-Maoist spokesperson also said the organisation might consider a ceasefire in Lalgarh if the government cooperated with it

“We have sent a press release stating that we are ready for discussion if there is a ceasefire. The people who have been running this country for the past 62 years have kept the people poor and hungry. They are responsible for the violence. Maoists believe that to give back to the poor their basic rights, there is a need for war,” Chakrabarti said.

Meanwhile, West Midnapore police have lodged a case against filmmaker Aparna Sen, theatre personality Shaoli Mitra and some others for violating Section 144 of the Indian Criminal Procedure Code

The administration claims that Sen and Mitra’s recent visit to Lalgarh in West Midnapore was in violation of Section 144 in effect in the area.

The section prohibits assembly of five or more persons or the holding of public meetings.

Sen and Mitra were part of a group which visited Lalgarh on Sunday in an attempt to end the violence in the area.

They called for a ceasefire after holding discussions with local people and groups active in the area.

IBN Live

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Lalgarh villagers vow to resist security forces

Posted by Admin on June 24, 2009

Indo-Asian News Service

Lalgarh, June 24, 2009

Amid allegations that security forces were ransacking homes and even throwing away food, villagers in this trouble zone where operations to flush out Maoists have been on for a week said on Wednesday they would continue to put up resistance.”Lot of people have fled the villages. But some have decided to stay back in their houses. And they feel they will suffer at the hands of the forces whether they remain in the villages or not, so they have chosen to die resisting the forces,” Sidhu Soren of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) said.

Another PCAPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato indicated that the agitators would lie low for some time and resume their movement once the central forces comprising the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Border Security Force (BSF) leave.

“We know we can’t resist such a massive force. But the central forces will not stay for ever. Once they leave, we will resume our agitation in the scale we did last November,” Mahato told reporters.

Alleging that the forces were committing atrocities against innocent villagers, including women and children, ransacking houses and even throwing away food, Mahato said thousands of villagers have fled their homes fearing torture.

The PCAPA, backed by the Maoists, had since last November established virtual control over 42 villages in Lalgarh, 200 km west of the state capital Kolkata, and surrounding areas by driving away the civil and police administration.

But the combined forces of the centre and the West Bengal government have re-established the writ of the state in more than half of these villages since the operation was launched on June 18.

On Tuesday night, Communist Party of India-Maoist spokesperson Gour Chakraborty was arrested in Kolkata, a day after the organisation was banned by the union government. Till now, 21 Maoists, including top ranking leaders, have been arrested.

Before he was arrested, Chakraborty had told the media that the Maoists were willing to talk to the central and state government, but only in the presence of anti-Left Front intellectuals like filmmaker Aparna Sen, who had visited Lalgarh on Sunday.

The state cabinet has decided to set up a university named after three tribal heroes – Sidhu, Kanhu and Birsa Munda – in the neighbouring districts where the tribal people have a strong presence. The Sidhu Kanhu Birsa University will have campuses in Purulia and Bankura districts.

“There will be lot of scope for higher studies in Santhali in the university. We will prepare a bill and present it in the assembly soon,” Higher Education Minister Sudarshan Chakraborty told reporters in Kolkata.

Lalgarh has been on the boil since last November when a landmine exploded on the route of the convoy of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and then central ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitin Prasada.

Complaining of police atrocities after the blast, angry tribals backed by Maoists launched an agitation virtually cutting off the area from the rest of West Midnapore district.

The Left radicals torched police camps, set ablaze offices of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and drove out the civil administration to establish a virtual “free zone” in the enclave of West Midnapore district.

The Maoists have been active in three backward districts – Purulia, West Midnapore and Bankura – in the western part of the state.

Hindustan Times

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Lalgarh: Statement by Sumit Sarkar, Achin Vanaik, Tanika Sarkar, Sumit Chakravartty and Praful Bidwai

Posted by Admin on June 23, 2009

We are profoundly disturbed by the massive Central and state armed police operation in Lalgarh-Jangalmahal in West Bengal. This was launched without exploring a negotiated settlement of genuine popular grievances and by blurring the crucial distinction between violent Maoists and peace-minded civilians. The operation is taking an unacceptable toll of civilian life and safety in an extremely backward area with sub-human living conditions and absence of public services and social opportunity worsened by unremitting police atrocities.

We deplore the reckless, self-serving violence of the Maoists, who have exploited West Bengal’s post-election chaos by using deprived and angry tribals as pawns and by brutally attacking CPM cadres and offices. This cannot be rationalised as just retaliation against the violence unleashed by the CPM over the years. The two kinds of violence only feed and aggravate each other.

Some self-proclaimed leaders have appeared, claiming to represent the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA), who openly preach violence and murder. Their actions can only invite more state repression. Deplorably, the media has equated the Maoists with the PCPA, which has conducted a democratic and peaceful struggle among tribals for dignity and security, and against state excesses.

We urge the state Governor, respected for his integrity, understanding and compassion, to take an initiative to bring about a complete cessation of violence and open a dialogue on the people’s concerns highlighted by the PCPA, by using responsible civil society groups as mediators. Preventing a bloodbath remains the greatest imperative today.

Sumit Sarkar, Achin Vanaik, Tanika Sarkar, Sumit Chakravartty and Praful Bidwai


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Abujhmar – Where no outsider can go

Posted by Admin on June 23, 2009

Our Roving Editor Man Mohan writes from Orcha (Chhattisgarh)
You may not believe it. In this western Bastar region exists a huge hilly forest tribal area — nearly the size of Goa — where Indians and foreigners have not been allowed for the past three decades.

Welcome to Abujhmar. The Naxal-controlled inaccessible and the so-called ‘liberated zone’ in Narayanpur district, bordering Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. The Government of India’s writ does not run here. About 60 km from Naryanpur, Orcha is the north-eastern fringe of Abujhmar.

Seemingly virgin country, the tribals are still living a primitive life, like some Andaman and Nicobar Island tribes, with no connection with the civilisation.

Some days ago, the BJP-ruled state government decided to open doors of this mystery land for the common man. The aim was to find out what the Maoists were up to.

Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen, some years ago, was denied entry in Abujhmar when she wanted to shoot for a soft drink ad film.

Women in Abujhmar and many other Bastar areas wear a one-piece dress called ‘kosti’. Many of them even prefer to go topless.

‘Abujhmar’ is said to be that land whose mystery none could solve. ‘Abujh’ in local language means ‘unknown’ and ‘mar’ means ‘hills.’ So, the Abujhmarias means “people of the unknown or little known hills.”

The Abujhmarias are mainly Maria, Murias and Halbas tribals. The Naxals have brainwashed them by telling them that the government deliberately calls them ‘Abujh’ (idiots) and ‘mar’ (land) – the land of idiots.

The Chhattisgarh government is clueless about the kind of life the tribals are living in Abujhmar, and about their population, religion, social and economic status. There are no land revenue records of the villages.

“Two years ago, we met some Abujhmarias when they ventured out to purchase salt and other items at a ‘haat’ (weekly market). They did not know their country or state’s name,” said a local shopkeeper. “They had not heard of India’s Prime Minister, but acknowledged knowing Mao’s name,” he added.

In the 1970s, the Narayanpur collector had issued an order banning ‘outsiders’ from entering Abujhmar. He enforced an ‘inner line policy’ by which one could gain entry only after obtaining a special permit. Gradually, the Maoists/Naxals ‘captured’ Abujhmar. The police, forest rangers, teachers and other government employees stopped going there.

The provocation to ban the entry of outsiders in Abujhmar had come following a BBC film on the ‘ghotuls’ (tribal youth club) of the Bastar tribes where youngsters interact, drink and dance in the evening. The impression given in the film was that free sex was legitimised through ghotuls in the tribal heartland.

The Maoists got Abujhmar virtually on a platter. In this extremely backward area, some tribals are reported to have only recently begun tilling their land and sending their children to schools run by Maoists.

The Abujhmar terrain varies from 450 to 750 metres above the sea level, has dense forest and many high ridges and deep valleys created by streams, which provide an effective natural barrier from all sides, isolating it from the rest of the region.

In 2005, nearly 132 years after the British conducted a land survey in Abujhmar, Chief Minister Raman Singh acknowledged the difficulties faced by the police in entering the Naxals’ ‘liberated zone’, and decided to get an aerial survey done to prepare revenue records and map the Naxalite terrain. The Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Agency carried out the survey.

One wonders how much time the state administration will now take to unravel the mystery of Abujhmar and confront the Maoists to ‘reclaim’ the lost territory.

The Tribune

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Centre bans CPI (Maoist)

Posted by Admin on June 23, 2009

Vinay Kumar

Hope West Bengal government will also do so: Chidambaram

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Monday banned the Communist Party of India (Maoist), terming it a terrorist organisation. It invoked Section 41 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against the extremist outfit.

The CPI (Maoist) came into existence following the merger of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), the People’s War Group (PWG) and the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC).

The ban came two days after West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee met Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram in the backdrop of violent incidents in Lalgarh and the ongoing operation by the police and the security forces to reclaim the area.

The Chief Minister had said that his government would give a “serious thought” to banning the CPI (Maoist) as advised by the Home Minister.

The ban was to avoid any ambiguity though all formations and front organisations of the PWG, the MCC and the CPI (ML) came under the purview of the ban.

In September 2004, the CPI (ML) and the MCC announced their decision to merge and named the new organisation CPI (Maoist). There was some opposition to the merger and some elements in the two organisations continued to function independently.

Mr. Chidambaram said the merged organisation would continue to be listed as a terror organisation. “When I looked into the matter a couple of days ago, I said that may be the position in the law. In order to avoid any ambiguity, let us add the CPI (Maoist) by name in that schedule of the Act.”

Many States, including Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, had declared the CPI (Maoist) an unlawful association. Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu had done so under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

“When I had a discussion with Mr. Bhattacharjee, I advised him to ban the CPI (Maoist) under Section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1908. That power is available with the State. I did not change my view. I still think that West Bengal should declare the CPI (Maoist) an unlawful association,” he told journalists.

Asked about the Left parties’ opposition to the ban, Mr. Chidambaram said the Left had taken a view which was not that of the West Bengal government. “I hope distinction between the party and the government is still there in this country. I expect that the Chief Minister will look into the matter.”

The Hindu

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Ready for dialogue if government agrees to some of our demands: Maoists

Posted by Admin on June 23, 2009

Raktima Bose

QUEUEING UP FOR ESSENTIALS: Residents of Lalgarh and its surroundings wait to collect rice at the Block Development Office of Lalgarh on Monday. Due to “Operation Lalgarh,” shops have been closed and people have not been able to get essential items.

LALGARH (PASCHIM MEDINIPUR DT.): Keeping the option of dialogue with the West Bengal government on the Lalgarh issue open, Communist Party of India (Maoist) spokesperson Gour Chakraborty said on Monday that the organisation might also consider declaring a ceasefire in the area if the government cooperated with it.

The statement comes close on the heels of the Centre banning the organisation for the second time after 2004 and declaring it a terrorist outfit.

Speaking to The Hindu over telephone from an undisclosed location, Mr. Chakraborty said: “Our representatives will have a direct dialogue with the State government on the Lalgarh issue and we might also consider declaring ceasefire in the region. But the State government too has to relent and agree to some of our demands for the dialogue to happen.”

He added that the points raised by the group of intellectuals who visited Lalgarh on Sunday — to stop the joint operation of the Central paramilitary forces and the State police and not to harass common people — should also be considered by the State government.

Asked what would be the organisation’s course of action if the government decides to ban it on the lines of the Centre, Mr. Chakraborty said the outfit would continue its underground activities.

“The CPI(Maoist) has been a banned organisation for most of the time since its inception, yet we have carried on with our activities. Now that the ban is in place by the Centre’s order, we will have to take action according to the situation,” he said.

The Hindu

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Nukes and missiles can’t retake Lalgarh – Part 1

Posted by Admin on June 23, 2009

A LONG range Agni-2 missile weighing 18 tonnes and capable of delivering conventional and nuclear warheads over a 2300km range was test-fired from Eastern India in mid-June in a trial prior to mass production. The top leadership, with the goal of turning the country into a ‘superpower’ in another 11 years, was brimming with joy that the missile had “achieved all its flight parameters without a hitch”. Meanwhile, just 150km away in Kolkata, hundreds of men in uniform were slugging it out.

Toting AK-47 and INSAS rifles, 1300 soldiers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and about 600 Border Security Force (BSF) troops had to struggle for three days to reach the block headquarters police station at Lalgarh. This was the first step to recapturing some 50 villages that would be ‘liberated’ from the clutches of exploitative officialdom. Read the rest of this entry »

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