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Archive for September 28th, 2009


Posted by Admin on September 28, 2009

Kobad GandhiMediaWhistle , JYOTI PUNWANI


“How did he dress?” “How did he talk to all of you?” “When you met, what did you talk about?” These were some of the questions asked of me by journalists assigned to write on Kobad Ghandy, the Maoist arrested in Delhi last week, following the piece I wrote on him that appeared on Sept 23. Since these interviews were conducted over the phone, I could only guess that the interviewers were very young. One of them herself told me she was just 22, and couldn’t understand what had made me, Kobad and others, who were then the same age as she was now, sit on the lawns of Bombay University every week and discuss human rights and politics.

One can understand that today’s young reporters know nothing about the atmosphere in Mumbai 30 years ago. But when they are sent to gather information about a “prize Naxalite catch”, surely their chief reporters should brief them a bit about the Naxalite movement? Had they been told that Kobad Ghandy was just one of hundreds of well-off, educated youth who gave up everything to plunge into the radical Left movement that started in 1967, they may not have regarded him as a freak. Read the rest of this entry »

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Who is Kobad Ghandy?

Posted by Admin on September 28, 2009

28 September 2009 by satark,

I didn’t know the name leave alone the person Kobad Ghandy until yesterday. Indian express carried an item that a very high ranking Maoist, a catch prized by the police, has been arrested in Delhi. I guess that his Doon school back ground -he was classmate of Sanjay Gandhi -, his British education and the fact that he belongs to a wealthy family from Mumbai made it newsworthy. The man who would have been a flourishing chartered accountant or a corporate honcho was instead found to be concerned for poor people & even devoting his entire life time to them. A sense of disbelief pervaded at how one of us made the poor choice of joining the utterly forgotten tribals & others from the ultra under developed areas. It wasn’t without precedent. T Nagi Reddy, an elected legislator at state & national levels, first with CPI and later after the split with CPI(M), finally chose to forge militant mass movement to assert & claim the rights of poor people although he himself came from a rich & landed family. Incidentally, he was brother in law of Dr. Nilam Sanjiva Reddy, the first chief minister of Andhra & President of India in 1977. Some 24×7 news channels had reportedly likened Ghandy to Al Qaeda terrorists. Not surprising when our news anchors suffer from HAS (hyper newsy syndrome), while the spectators are displaying ADD (attention deficit disorder), may be due to sensory overload. So much so only few noticed the irony. Bibek Debroy chose to name it “The Insurgent’s mind” in his article. It was mentioned Ghandy was in his early sixties. That made him less than a decade older than me. Since I was a keen student of politics in college days – remember asphyxiation, mercifully short, of democracy in 1975-77 – and I got interested. This is what I found his late wife’s brother, Sunil Shanbag, has to say as told by Sheela Bhatt. Some others say this about him in India’s unlikely Maoist revolutionary. Ghandy’s story as it unfolds hereafter may become interesting, but I will return to it shortly after a detour – albeit a very instructive one. Read the rest of this entry »

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Peoples movements & Intellectuals demand the unconditional release of Chatradhar Mahato, the leader of the Lalgarh Movement

Posted by Admin on September 28, 2009

We demand the unconditional release of Chatradhar Mahato, the leader of People’s Movement

We, the undersigned individuals and various oraganisations register our strong protest against the arrest of Sri Chatradhar Mahato, the spokesperson of PCAPA by the C.I.D. sleuths on 26-09-’09. We demand the immediate the unconditional release of Chatradhar Mahato, the leader of people’s movement. We all condemn in no uncertain terms the tactics and the ways that the police arrested him. Because, first, this mode of arrest is absolutely illegal. According to the instruction of the honourable Supreme Court (In D. K. Basu Case), the police is required to wear uniform and put up identity at the time of arrest, to prepare memo of arrest to be duly signed by the arrestee, to give a copy of inspection memo to the arrestee, to inform about grounds of the arrest etc. The last one is also a constitutional right of the arrestee (Article 22). Not only that, the police had consciously violated the newly amended scetion 50A of Criminal Procedure code. Secondly, there is , therefore, no sanction in Indian law to project themselves by the police as belonging to another profession, such as Journalists and raided the area and arrest the citizen, Rather, this act should attract the relevant provision of Indian Penal Code pertaining to the offence of "imposter"

Thirdly, as the media reports, Chatradhar Mahato is accused in 20-22 criminal cases. We have strong reasons to believe that he has been falsely implicated in criminal cases as because he is a man of peoples’ struggle and has had no record of such activities . Till June 13, this year, the Election Commissioner of the state and the state government had held a number of discussions with him; during this period, at no point of time, he has been informed, let alone arrest, of existence of such cases against him. As a matter of fact, from 19 June onwards, immediately after the beginning of operation of the joint forces in Lalgarh area, the government had launched this campaign that he is wanted for a number of offences.

It is easily understood that this act of the police at behest of the state government is a clear proof of act of vengeance on the part of the government .In order to punish the leaders of the peoples’ movement in Lalgarh, the cases have falsely been framed .

We reiterate our demand that the government instead of pursuing repressive measures, must open up dialogue with PCAPA and before that, must release Chatradhar Mahato unconditionally.

We all also appeal to all journalists as well as all the forums of journalists to stand unite against such unprecedented nefarious misuse jrf and of attempt to assault over the sanctity of media profession and take appropriate legal action against the police.

Mahasweta Devi, Shankha Ghosh, Bibhash ,Tarun Sanyal Kaushik Sen, Joy Goswami, Jaya Mitra, Tarun Naskar, Dilip Chakraborty, Arpita Ghosh, Sukhendu Bhattacharya, Prasun Bhowmik, Abhi Dutta Majumdar, Sujato Bhadra & Others


Saha Nagarikder Muktamancha
Total Theatre
Birhbum Adibasi Gaota
Brihi – Bankura
Loknadi Resource Centre
Mandra Lions Club
Shilpi Sanskritik Karmi Buhijibi Mancha
Sangrami Sramik Sangathan (Struggling Workers’ Organisation)
Majdur Kranti Parishad
S.E.Z. Birodhi Prachar Mancha
West Bengal Govt. Employees Union (Naba Parjay)
Lalgarh Mancha

Posted by Red Barricade

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Human Rights activists condemn Chhatradhar’s arrest

Posted by Admin on September 28, 2009

Kolkata: Human Rights activists have condemned the arrest of tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato, who has been leading an agitation against alleged police excesses in Lalgarh since last November.

"Chhatradhar has been charged with murder, kidnapping and under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act which is absolutely unethical," human rights activist and documentary film-maker Gopal Menon told an agency over phone from Bangalore.

"Chhatradhar led a tribal movement protesting against injustice by the government," Menon said.

Speaking about the incident when he was stopped from going to Lalgarh with other human rights activists after the crackdown by security forces on Maoists began there, Menon said that he had been beaten up by the police then.

Chhatradhar, chief of the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities, was arrested on Saturday near Lalgarh and remanded in police custody by a special court till October 1.

Association for Protection of Human Rights leader Sujato Bhadra referred to Mahato’s arrest from Lalgarh by the police disguised as journalists.

"The police must show identity and should be in uniform. You just cannot go in disguise and arrest somebody. This is not only unethical, but also illegal." "We are trying to work out the legal possibilities," Bhadra said.

Meanwhile, Maoist leader Kishenji told the agency that a Bharat Bandh had been called on October 3, which would be followed by an indefinite bandh in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal from October 4.

Bureau Report

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Mahato charged under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act

Posted by Admin on September 28, 2009

Chhatradhar Mahato at Jhargram court on Sunday. Mahato has been charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Picture by Samir Mondal

Chhatradhar Mahato at Jhargram court on Sunday. Mahato has been charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Picture by Samir Mondal

JHARGRAM: People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) leader Chhatradhar Mahato, who was arrested on Saturday, has been charged with
sedition and remanded in five days’ police custody. He also faces charges under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

A grim looking Mahato was produced before the Jhargram assistant chief judicial magistrate on Sunday, along with eight suspected Maoists arrested from Kantapahari and Kumarbandh on Saturday. No civilians, including journalists, were allowed into the court premises that was ringed by heavily armed securitymen.

Koushik Sinha and Prashanta Roy, counsels for the accused, claimed police had tortured Chhatradhar and the eight others so badly that they were unable to walk properly. The prosecution, however, argued that they were injured when they ‘‘fell down while trying to escape’’. Chhatradhar has been charged under various of the UAPA and is accused of raising fund for a terrorist organization, attempting to murder members of security forces and conspiring against the state to create terror. He also faces charges under IPC like sedition, waging war against the state, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

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In jail, Ghandy plans book on late wife

Posted by Admin on September 28, 2009

Anuradha Gandhy

Anuradha Gandhy


New Delhi, Sept. 27: Khobad Ghandy, the suspected Maoist leader now in solitary confinement in Tihar jail, is planning his “memoirs”, which will focus on his late wife and their two decades of “struggle” together, sources said.

Ghandy’s book on his wife Anuradha, who was the lone woman member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) central committee, will be in the form of a memoir, the sources indicated. She died on April 12 last year of cerebral malaria. Ghandy had married Anuradha in 1983.

The book, if it materialises, will perhaps be the first in Ghandy’s own name.

The Doon School alumnus has been writing about political economy in economic journals and newspapers under the pseudonym Arvind. However, he will not use his other pseudonym Azad, which he had adopted as an underground spokesperson of the CPI (Maoist), the sources said.

Ghandy, who is suffering from cancer and cardiac problems, has requested officials for writing and reference material from the jail library, the sources added.

Officials at Tihar jail said Ghandy was also keen to write a book on political economy and has requested material on the subject. The alleged Maoist, who is yet to be officially informed under what charges he has been booked, has asked for a copy of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act to study its sections, the sources said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Protest over Mahato arrest

Posted by Admin on September 28, 2009

KOLKATA: Policemen impersonating as journalists to arrest PCPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato came in for criticism from intellectuals and journalists
on Sunday. Incensed with the impersonation, Press Club Kolkata shot off letters to Union home minister P Chidambaram, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, chief secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti and home secretary Ardhendu Sen, condemning the way Chhatradhar was arrested.

On Monday the day Vijaya Dashami will be observed all over the state intellectuals will sit on a dharna to condemn the arrest. They are demanding immediate release of Chhatradhar. On Sunday, a rally was taken out in support of the PCPA leader, projected as a "leader of people’s struggle".

"The way Chhatradhar Mahato was arrested is illegal. Policemen have to be in uniform and disclose their identity before arresting a person. Police cannot impersonate as other professionals and carry out their activities. There is no provision in the indian legal system for the police to do so. The Indian Constitution gives Mahato the right to know why he was being arrested. We doubt whether he had been told at all," said human rights activist Sujato Bhadra.

"Police have broken the law and should be punished for impersonation. They has violated the newly amended section of 50A of Criminal Procedure Code," Bhadra added.

Among those condemned the arrest are writer Mahasweta Devi, poet Shankha Ghosh, theatre personalities Bibhas Chakraborty, Kaushik Sen and poet Joy Goswami.

"Police claim that Chhatradhar is involved in 20-22 criminal cases. He had held meeting with state officials, chief electoral officer and even senior police officers. We suspect that he has been falsely implicated," said Bhadra.

The president of Press Club Kolkata Premananda Ghosh said the way Chhatradhar was arrested would pose problem for journalists.

"We don’t have to say anything about the arrest. But posing as journalists they have endangered our lives. They even used Press identity cards. People will lose faith in journalists. We are protesting against this," Ghosh said.

Former public prosecutor Kazi Shafiullah said that Mahato can lodge a case against police. "Legally there is nothing to stop police from doing so. But morally this is wrong. No one will talk to unknown journalists after this incident," Shafiullah said. TOI

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Mhato’s Arrest gives Lalgarh a deserted look

Posted by Admin on September 28, 2009

lalgarh_20090706Kolkata A day after Chhattradhar Mahato, leader of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) was arrested, Lalgarh wore a deserted look on Sunday with shops and business establishments closed after Maoists called a bandh in the area.

File picture

The Maoists who abducted two constables of the state armed police last night, demanding the release of Mahato, however remain untraced even as the security forces launched combing operations in various parts of the area today.

“There is no doubt that Mahato is an important leader for the Maoists. They abducted two constables last night and demanded the release of Mahato. Moreover, the Maoists have called a bandh in protest against Mahato’s arrest,” said Manoj Verma, Superintendent of Police, West Midnapore, who is leading the joint forces. Read the rest of this entry »

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No hard disk in Kobad’s laptop

Posted by Admin on September 28, 2009

|NEW DELHI: The laptop seized from CPI (Maoist) politburo member Kobad Ghandy (58) does not contain a hard disk. The Delhi Police special cell and
Andhra Police, who hoped to learn more about attacks being planned by the naxals following Ghandy’s arrest on September 22, have now hit a wall.

The laptop was sent for forensic tests which revealed that the device did not contain a hard disk and therefore, no information could be obtained from it. “It is possible that the hard disk of the laptop was taken away by Ghandy’s accomplice who was staying with him in the Badarpur area,” an official said. The Delhi Police plans to seek his remand on Wednesday for further questioning. Cops claimed that Ghandy was in Delhi for treatment of prostrate cancer.

Police alleged that Ghandy is part of the conspiracy of major naxal strikes in India. “He is one of the top members of CPI (Maoist) and his arrest will affect naxal operations in north India. We have learnt about his involvement in the Nayagarh naxal attack in February 2008 in which 14 policemen were killed. They took away arms and ammunition worth several crores of rupees from the police stations and police training college,” said a senior Andhra Pradesh police official.

Sources also claimed that Ghandy had been liaising with revolutionary parties in various countries and authored a document titled Post Election Situation – Our Tasks seized by security agencies from a laptop. “Ghandy is also believed to have ordered the attack on policemen in Rajnandgaon in Chhatisgarh in July this year. In this attack 30 policemen including a superintendent of police were killed,” said an official.

“His role in major naxals attack can be gauged from the fact that he is part of the politburo which has only nine members. These members are tasked to plan such large operations without any direct involvement. In their language it is referred to as tactical counter offensive campaign (TCOC) which is aimed at gaining stronghold in areas where they strike,” explained a senior official from Andhra Pradesh’s intelligence wing.

The police also added that to prove that Ghandy conspired in these attacks will be a herculean task as there is no direct involvement of Ghandy in these cases. “He was the member of central committee of CPI (Maoist) which mainly looked into planning and execution and were never involved in direct action,” said a AP cop. TOI

The police also said Ghandy had been diagnosed with prostrate cancer a year ago around the same time his wife Anuradha was suffering from malaria. The couple had been underground since the 1980s. Anuradha later died due to cerebral malaria.

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