Indian Vanguard

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Archive for July 9th, 2009

Lalgarh and the Radicalisation of Resistance: From ‘Ordinary Civilians’ to Political Subjects?

Posted by Admin on July 9, 2009

by Saroj Giri on Monthly Review

One image stands out from the Lalgarh resistance.  Chattradhar Mahato, the most visible leader of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), distributing food to ordinary villagers — not as a high-up leader doing charity but as one among them.  Is this the ‘new’ image of the Maoist?  But maybe Mahato is not a Maoist — he himself denies being one.  But if he is not, given his power and influence in the area, the ‘dictatorial’ Maoists must have eliminated him by now?  Then maybe he is only being used by them, following their ‘diktat’ out of fear.  But a man with the kind of popularity and love from the masses would fear the Maoists?  So, is he a Maoist, or like a Maoist, after all?  But a Maoist who is this popular among the masses and who does not seem to terrorise them?

These questions are tricky, almost baffling to many.  For the resistance in Lalgarh is a unique experiment, not following any formulaic path or given script.  The Lalgarh resistance not only rattled local power relations and state forces but also challenged accepted ideas and practices of resistance movements, their internal constitution, and above all opened up radical possibilities for the initiative of the masses — partly symbolized in the unscripted image and contested political identity of Mahato and indeed of the PCAPA vis-à-vis Maoists.  Crucially, Lalgarh undermines conventional ideas about the relationship between ‘peaceful’ and ‘violent’ forms of struggle and inaugurates possibilities of resistance unfettered by given notions of political subjectivity or by subservience to the ‘rule of law’. Read the rest of this entry »

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PCPA bandh in Jangalmahal

Posted by Admin on July 9, 2009

LALGARH: Life was paralysed in almost all areas of Jangalmahal on Wednesday, thanks to a bandh called by the Maoist-backed People’s Committee Police Atrocities (PCPA). The bandh was also supported by SUCI.

All vehicles went off the roads in Bankura, Purulia and Jhargram subdivision of West Midnapore. Shops and other business establishments remained closed.

Panchayat employees, however, worked at Satpati, Lalgarh and Ramgarh panchayats and at Binpur-I block office in Lalgarh as state officials have instructed them to take up development work on a war footing. Most of the staff were busy preparing new ration cards.

Police, meanwhile, arrested Sardiha anchal Congress president Chittaranjan Mahato and Debagram anchal Trinamool Congress president Kartik Deb Singha from Sikorbhanga in Jhargram. According to police sources, Deb Singha has Maoist links and he is wanted in connection with several cases in Salboni.

Police have started interrogating Deb Singha. Mahato, who allegedly gave shelter to Maoist linkman Kartik Deb Singha, however, was granted bail.


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Bengal, Jharkhand plan joint operation

Posted by Admin on July 9, 2009

Bengal, Jharkhand plan joint operation
Bengal police chief Bhupinder Singh in Purulia. (Mita Roy)

July 8: Bengal and Jharkhand are planning a combined off- ensive along the border bet-ween the two states where Maoist guerrillas turning tail from Lalgarh are believed to have taken refuge.

Bengal police chief Bhupinder Singh flew down to Ranchi today to draw up a blueprint for the operation along with his Jharkhand counterpart.

After the two-hour meeting, Jharkhand director-general of police V.D. Ram only said his force was “keen on co-operation”.

But a spokesperson for the force, S.N. Pradhan, confirmed to The Telegraph that the police brass of the two states had indeed discussed the joint operation.

He said: “The meeting was aimed at thrashing out interstate co-ordination. Although we have not set a deadline, a joint operation will be launched soon. The two DGPs discussed the standard operation procedure for the operation.”

Chhattisgarh and Orissa already have an agreed standard operation procedure with Jharkhand for joint operations, he added.

Sources said Ram would be coming to Calcutta in the next few days to take the action plan forward.

At Ranchi, the Bengal police chief was accompanied by western range IG Kuldiep Singh and IG (law and order) Raj Kanojia. They went to Purulia this morning, discussed logistics and resources with the district police brass and proceeded to the Jharkhand capital.

Sources said personnel drawn from state police forces as well as the central paramilitary would be deployed in the areas touching Purulia, West Midnapore and Bankura districts for the assault.

Today’s meeting was said to be a sequel to Union home minister P. Chidambaram’s go-ahead to such a strike. The minister had asked the affected states to begin joint operations to flush out Maoists.

On his return from Ranchi, Bhupinder Singh met chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at Writers’ Buildings this evening.

Over the past two weeks, central and state forces have swamped West Midnapore’s Lalgarh and parts of adjoining Bankura where Maoists had been holding fort since last November with the help of a section of villagers.

However, no prominent Maoist leader was caught during the operation, prompting the police to suspect that they have fled to the thick forests along the Jharkhand-Bengal border.

Intelligence reports apparently suggest that Kishanji, the guerrilla squad chief who had been camping in Lalgarh, and other Maoist leaders have sneaked into Jharkhand.

The Bengal chief minister has said several times in the past that his police were helpless because Maoists carried out operations in Bengal and fled to safe haven Jharkhand.

A Bengal police officer said: “There have been plans for joint operations with Jharkhand police in the past but they have not worked out. But now that is the need of the hour.”

A section of the police, however, thinks sealing forest routes along the Bengal-Jharkhand border is next to impossible. “There are a number of places in the forests where the security forces have never managed to reach. But our enemies know every dirt track,” said an officer.


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