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Archive for May, 2010

Train Mishap: Scavenging Consent: Desperate For Casus Belli

Posted by Admin on May 30, 2010


By Trevor Selvam

29 May, 2010
Countercurrents.org

First, the Ms. Quasimodo of Bengal and Indian politics, Mamata Banerjee announces that it was a “bomb blast” with great bombast. Then, Bhupinder Singh, the Police IG and KPSGill-wannabee (who had earlier smeared and lied about Chatradhar Mahato’s insurance, property etc and never bothered to retract anything) says that two posters were found proving that the Maoist PCAPA had taken “responsibility ”for the train disaster. The two posters, it turned out, merely stated the intent of the local PCAPA the reasons for their on-going struggles. Ms. Bomberjee also claimed that a pilot vehicle had passed by just before. She did not state how “before” it was. One hour, two hours, five hours, one day? After the entire place is “infested” with Maoists. Is it not?

Now the tone is changing gradually. A foot and half of fish-plates were found removed. A BBC cameraman has displayed the gap in one of their broadcasts. No evidence of a blast any longer. No evidence of gelatine, dynamite, ammonium nitrate. The foreign press had already expressed some caution, in their statements and terminology. But not the Indian press. They are so free, unfettered and dynamic when it comes to spreading innuendo!

The Maoists have officially stated that they had nothing to do with the incident to BBC and other reporters. There are now reports that the government has toned down its mischievous rhetoric and has stated that “Maoist involvement cannot be ruled out.” After the damage has been done, and abuse is proliferating the email bandwidth, some sobriety is slowly emerging, but only in back-door doses. This was a prime opportunity to “false flag” the incident into a Maoist carnage scorecard or tally sheet, which as Indian we love to read over and over and get spasmodic about. After all, this is “Maoist-infested” area. The vermin had declared a 48 hour bandh just a few days ago, is it not? And in the weeks before they had blown up the bus with a roof-load of uniformed Police Officers (a fact that until now was suppressed, that all on the roof were policemen, and the news about the civilians inside the bus was emphasized repeatedly). The civilian bus incident has done some damage to the Naxalite-Maoist image no doubt, but the real truth about the incident took a while to emerge and it is now also appearing that some of the civilians were also locals who had applied for SPO positions and were still in civvies. What other opportunity than this rail incident to nail the Maoists down?

Let’s cut to the chase with some questions:-

1) Does the state really think that the Maoists are intellectually so handicapped that they would blow up a train and kill civilians to further their revolutionary cause, especially after the extraordinary media savvy-ness they have displayed lately? Because if that is their estimation of the Maoists’ intelligence, the cause of the Indian state is already doomed.

2) Does the media and the government really believe that the Maoist squads will engage in terrorism against innocent civilians to get public support? Is it not true that self-appointed Indian experts of counter-insurgency strategy have repeatedly declared that the Maoists are no longer a rag-tag band of roving rebels, but a highly disciplined and technically somewhat advanced formation?

3) Does the media question why the train was travelling at break neck speed at night, whereas instructions have been repeatedly issued to go slow through “insurgent” territory, especially right after a Bandh?

4) Does the media understand that the PCAPA operates openly and with down to earth simplicity (please read their last two letters to the APDR—they read like a hundred year old passage from the time of the Santhal revolts), with published addresses and telephone numbers (even though they are understandably “underground” since their last President was assassinated in front of his family and the matter is practically forgotten by Mr. Perfidy himself –PCC)? Why would they carry out such an attack, since their only demands are stemming strictly from a tribal sense of justice? Has everyone forgotten their original demand that the Police hold their ears and apologize in Lalgarh for what they did—that was all that they wanted?

5) Does the media understand that fishplates have been removed before during a rail-roko and openly so, and announced to the media to ensure that a bandh is maintained? That after such a bandh, the rail authorities must recheck the lines as is always and routinely done in all countries of the world?

6) Does the media ever ask the question, that in a typical Indian rural (or even semi –urban setting) there are hordes of fringe elements, looters, free-lancers, half politicized riff-raff who indulge in lumpenism that borders on luddite outrage?

7) Why don’t the media ask the Maoist leaders (with whom they are having constant conversations) why they are unable to control ALL the people in their “territories”” of control? That would be a test of their mass organizational skills, would n’t that?

8) Does the media ever ask, whether there could actually be a foreign hand? I mean, like there was a foreign hand in blowing up the Air India Kashmir Princess during the days of the Bandung Conference in 1955? Do the swashbuckling Indian journalist starlets know that a Kuomintang deployed engineering technician team serviced the plane in Hong Kong and when this team was tracked down, the CIA flew them over to Formosa and they disappeared forever from the scene? Intrigue can be pretty sophisticated in India these days.

What is it that makes Indian journalists/reporters rush to judgement, arrive at hasty conclusions and choose terminology that is already prejudiced about the outcome? The answer is simple–because laziness, irresponsibility and tabloidism is encouraged in Indian media.

Why do newscasters emphasize words like “massacre, terror, murder, barbarity, gruesome attack, sabotage, carnage, death cult, inhuman terror, ” in describing suspected Maoist attacks, whereas massive evidence of police attacks, rampage through village communities, “encounter” killings, acts of mass rape, forced displacement by Selwa Judum and SPOs, burning of peasant and tribal huts and homes of minorities, cutting of breasts of 80 year old women and fingers of two year old children not reported as genocidal, maniacal, psychotic? Why is it not reported that already since Operation Green Hunt over 200 civilians have been killed by government forces and promptly declared as Maoists? Why do reporters not follow the nearly clichéd approach of innocent until proven guilty? Why do Indian journalists not display an iota of investigative acumen when they start blabbing about an incident? Why don’t they take some time out and go back to educating themselves on the basic principles of reporting the facts and not hearsay, repeating police officer and IAS chatter instead of what aloof bystanders have to say? Why do they parrot those who talk the most, and are ready with press conferences as soon as an incident is reported, instead of talking to those who shy away from the camera and avoid the public gaze?

The answer is very simple. Indian journalism has so far resided in a nebulous comfort zone of non-democracy and pre-capitalist formation, despite all the hardware and verbiage that they have mastered so well. Whereas litigiousness is a product of advanced capitalism, where the sue-r wants to make sure that the sue-d has the bank balance that can be extracted, in a pre-capitalist society there is no such concern; irresponsibility, chicanery, grandstanding, stagecraft and sensation- mongering passes off as “journalism.” Collating data from others and rushing out reportage to make the editor’s need to make it to the wire before others is a prime consideration. News syndicates are constantly dishing out hearsay as news.

Indian journalism is not an upholder of genuine democracy in the thought processes. Because the democratic process, itself, is not understood. Root cause analysis of incidents is not initiated. In fact the removed fish plate is not the end of the investigation. How was it removed? Who in the village has the wrenches and spanners to remove the parts? Were any loose parts found nearby? Do the railways have special tools to unbolt and re-bolt the fishplates? Has a search been conducted of the missing fish plates? Meanwhile, one hundred civilians have perished and manipulative propaganda is being carried out for political reasons?

As we write this article, word is coming out that the “convincing” evidence of North Korea torpedoing the South Korean Naval vessel, in which over 40 sailors died, is not that convincing anymore. Reports have appeared in Japan, in China, in Australia that the explosive traces found on the sunken vessel indicate evidence of very advanced magnet-guided rising-type submerged mining technology. That a team of US divers were exercising with the same type of mines in the same area in joint exercises with the South Korean Navy, some weeks before. That this particular relatively secluded seaway has never seen North Korean incursions. That the North Koreans do not possess such weaponry. That North Koreans, despite their frequent hot and cold and belligerent behaviour, could not have carried out the attack.

The question that one must ask is who would benefit the most, at this time from such a rail accident? Which party, which government, which organization? Who has already demonstrated the ability in India to stage false flag incidents to blame “foreign” and minority communities? The Naxalites, by the way, own up to what they do.

Meanwhile, two persons have repeatedly shown abject inability to conduct their portfolios with a minimum degree of finesse. Mamata Banerjee and PC Chidambaram. Why is the media not asking for their resignation? In any other democratic country, these two would have been history, by now.

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Train Mishap: PCPA Denies Hand, Alleges CPI-M Role

Posted by Admin on May 30, 2010


Amidst allegations that the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities played a role in Jnaneswari Express derailment, the Maoist-backed organisation today denied any involvement in the incident and charged the CPI-M with "hatching the plot".

"We have no intention to target trains and we condemn and mourn such a colossal loss of civilian lives," PCPA convener, Asit Mahato told PTI

A day after the state police claimed to have identified two persons of the PCPA recently released on bail having a hand in the derailment of the train’s 13 coaches, Mahato said, "Politically motivated statements are being issued to separate us from the masses."

"We will take out a procession in the Jangalmahal to mourn the dead in the train disaster. We strongly condemn such acts which take lives of common, innocent men and we express deep shock," Mahato said.

Countering police’s claim, the PCPA leader named four CPI-M district and local leaders and alleged "Under their leadership, the CPI(M) has opened camps in the last 15 days at Burjoli, Kolla, Patri and Dahimara villages close to Sardiha where the express train derailed."

The mishap that occurred in the wee hours Friday has claimed 148 lives so far.

Mahato further alleged the four CPI(M) leaders "conspired to create panic by triggering a train mishap and the objective is to malign us and take us away from the people in Jangalmahal by creating a bad name for us."

The PCPA leader said "CPI(M) had plans to politically isolate Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee so that she is forced to resign under directive of the UPA government after the train mishap".

"We strongly protest against such a conspiracy by the CPI(M) which led to such a heinous crime," Mahato said.

The Railway Minister had said yesterday that there was "a political conspiracy" in the derailment of the Jnaneswari Express two days ahead of the civic polls in the state.

"Whoever did it… It was a political conspiracy. The accident has happened two days before the (civic) election. One may be politically against us, but I feel bad the way the incident was engineered to fulfil one’s political interests", Banerjee had said.
over telephone and charged the CPI(M) "with hatching the plot".
Filed At: May 30, 2010 16:30 IST Outlook

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CPI (Maoist) and PCAPA deny any involvement in Friday train derailment

Posted by Admin on May 30, 2010


http://icawpi.org/en/peoples-resistance/statements/467-both-the-cpi-maoist-and-pcapa-have-denied-their-involvement-in-the-friday-train-derailment

Statement from the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF):

Yesterday’s( 28 May 2010) Gnaneshwari Express and a goods train tragedy near Kharagpur in West Bengal in which 80 people were killed and 200 injured was attributed to CPI(Maoist) and Peoples Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) by the media. The media unscrupulously played false news stories blaming CPI (Maoist) and Peoples Committee for two days. Some political parties like Trinomial Congress and the ruling CPI(Marxist) also blamed these organisations without any verification. Significantly Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has declined to attribute the blame on the CPI (Maoist) and also announced that there was no evidence of any bomb blast in the incident.

The Union Home Minister has ordered an enquiry to find out any possibility of sabotage. During the day the leaders of CPI (Maoist) clarified through a long statement that they were not responsible for the train tragedy and condemned any possible sabotage work if any force involved behind the incident. They have also expressed their condolences for the families of deceased. The PCAPA also clarified that their activists are not involved in this incident. They suspected the ruling CPI(Marxist) to have been involved in the sabotage desperately trying to tilt the public opinion against the fighting forces.

Purposefully the media did not cover the statement issued by the CPI (Maoist) while playing the false stories and commentaries blaming the CPI (Maoist) for the incident. Some all India newspapers like The Hindu wrote editorials blaming the CPI (Maoist) for the incident. Many other newspapers wrote major articles decrying the CPI (Maoist) as terrorist attributing the blame on them. Now when the clarifications come from CPI (Maoist) and PCAPA, will these media houses withdraw their false stories and give the facts to the people? Will they regret for propagating the false news?

These two days of false propaganda is made with a malicious intension of maligning the CPI (Maoist) and PCAPA.

I attach here news reports covering the statement of clarification from the CPI (Maoist) and PCAPA by a section of newspapers in West Bengal. The same newspaper didn’t cover it in their editions coming from all other cities.

G N Saibaba

Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF)

Statement on Train(Jnaneswari Express) accident by the Maoists

The following report was published in the Bengali Ananda Bazar Patrike dt. 29 May 2010, page 7, Kolkata edition. It bore the caption ‘Denying allegations about their involvement, the Maoists demand enquiry’ and written by Prasun Acharyya. The statement was issued in the name of Aakash, the Maoist WB State Committee leader.

On Friday night, the following statement was issued on behalf of the CPI(Maoist) WB State Committee. “We are in no way involved in this incident. We did not carry out any explosion in the railway line. Killing innocent people by sabotaging railway line is not our agenda. When we carry out any action, there are always some specific reasons behind. We also acknowledge responsibility for that. Whenever we commit mistakes we admit it. However, responsibility is being placed on us now for an incident in which we are in no way involved”. Accusing the CPI(Marxist) of putting blame on them the Maoists said “The CPI(M) is haunted by the prospect of a landslide defeat in the coming municipal elections. Thus they have opted for a strategy of killing two birds with a single stone. On the one hand, attempts are being made to brand us as terrorists and thus isolate us from the people. On the other hand, they are seeking to prove that Mamata Banerjee is completely misfit as the railway minister”. The Maoists did not directly state that the CPI(M) was involved in the incident. But what they said is: “In the coming days also such unfortunate incidents can take place in order to malign Mamata and the Maoists”. The WB State Committee of the Maoists strongly condemned this act and stated: “This act deserves unequivocal condemnation. We are extending our sympathies to the members of the bereaved families. We also wish the speedy recovery of those who are injured”.

Meanwhile, the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities has accused the CPI(M) of being involved in it. In reply to a query, the Maoists said: “We are not accountable for whatever one might say. We are not saying that the CPI(M) was involved in it. Let the railways make enquiry. The members of our party have made investigation after the incident. It was the removal of fish plates that led to the accident. There was no line for one metre stretch, side-clips were open. That led to derailment. Let the railways enquiry why side clips were open at the junction points of rail lines. No explosion took place at the site. Had there been any explosion, stones would have broken up and thrown out. But nothing like it happened”.

The Maoists said that whenever any untoward incident takes place along the railway route, the tendency is always to accuse them for such incidents. “Three days back, eleven bogies of the New Delhi -Gwahati Rajdhani Express were derailed near Naogachhia Station in Bihar. It was not a major accident. However, initially the blame was put on us. Later on, it was found that it was the fault of the railways that led to such a mishap”.

Even though the Maoists claim not to have directed any attack on the innocent people, why did they carry put land mine explosion in a passenger bus at Dantewada? The statement reads follows: “Special Pollce Officers(SPOs) and the CRPF were travelling in that bus. We have told people in Chhattisgarh time and again not to travel in the same bus along with the police and CRPF personnel. But it was the state government which had forced the common people to travel along with the police in the same bus. That is why common people also died along with the police”.

The Maoists accepted responsibility for the Dantewada incident; but not for this mishap. “We are not involved in the Sardiha incident, so we take no responsibility of it”, the Maoist statement said.

The Hindustan Times dt. 29 May 2010 carried only a brief statement from the Maoists: “Killing innocent civilians is not on our agenda. We have no links with this tragic incident, and we sympathise with the families of the deceased and the injured”.

Akash, Member, CPI(Maoist) State Committee, West Bengal.

——————————————————-

‘Not We, CPI(M) is to blame’

Both the CPI(Maoist) and PCAPA have denied their involvement in the Friday train derailment of the Maharashtra-bound Gyaneshwar Express, and condemned it as an act of criminal conspiracy on part of the ruling CPI(M), as reported by the Bengali daily Sangbad Pratidin, 29 May).

The statement by CPI(Maoist) state committee secretary, Kanchan, says, “This incident is against the line practised by our Party. We are not involved in it. CPI(M) and Police have jointly conspired to effect it.”

Confirming it, Com Khokan representing the State Committee leader Akash of CPI(Maoist) said, “We are not at all involved in this incident. We do not kill innocent people. Fearing losing its rule, this is a ploy by CPI(M) to kill two birds with one stone. To paint the Maoists as terrorists and to declare the Railway minister, Mamata Banerjee as incapable. Even before this when the Rajdhani met with an accident, the State government pointed the finger on us. Our State Committee fully condemns this act. We share the pain with the families of the deceased and stand by them in this hour of grief.”

The PCAPA has also denied its involvement with the incident, and declared it as an act of sabotage by the ruling CPI(M). Its leader, Asit Mahato said, “We are not involved with this incident. CPI(M) is directly involved in it, and writing posters in our name and planting the same on the site, is trying to put the blame on us.”

Meanwhile the student union, USDF, leader Soumya Mandal also said, “Whether this incident is a handiwork of the CPI(M) or the Maoists, we completely condemn it. We offer our condolences to the families of the deceased and demand a comprehensive inquiry into the incident.”

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Maoists regret the killing of civilians, alleges police used them as human shields

Posted by Admin on May 25, 2010


Ramanna,member, special zone committee, CPI ( Maoist ), Dandakaranya spoke to CNN-IBN’s Rupashree Nanda from Bastar over phone. Rammana says Maoists regret the killing of civilians, alleges that the police used them as human shields and rejects the offer of conditional talks by the home minister.

Q. What you have to say about yesterday’s killing of civilians?

In yesterday’s incident it is alleged that Maoists targeted civilians . Our target was Koya Commanders . Our aim was precise and correct. 16 Koya Commanders are dead. Police was using civilians as human shields.

Q . If the government did a wrong thing by using civilians as human shields, can you say that you did the right thing in blasting a bus and killing innocent and poor people?

You are right. Out target were not civilians Our target was the Koya commanders. The administration is using civilians as a human shield, so they got killed. But I regret this.

Q Chidambaram has offered talks if you give up violence. Are you ready to give up violence and accept the offer for talks? Read the rest of this entry »

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Victory for press freedom, Karnataka police withdraws notice

Posted by Admin on May 17, 2010


BENGALURU: Karnataka has backed down on a police move to seek source of information on Naxalites from a journalist by threatening to clamp cases under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act

Buckling under protests by the Editors Guild of India, the state government asked the police in Shimoga to withdraw a notice served on a reporter to furnish information on a Naxalite leader whom he had interviewed or face criminal action.

The interview was done by Rahul Belagali, a reporter of Prajavani daily, in the forests of Shimoga, the home district of Chief Minister B.S.Yeddyurappa.

He refused to part with information sought by police on the location where he had interviewed the Naxal leader and the sources who gave him access to the Naxal hideouts.

The Editors Guild and the Karnataka Journalists Association cried foul, seeking withdrawal of the notice served on both Rahul and the editor of Prajavani.

"The case is being closed" said Shimoga Superintendent of Police Murugan.

Murugan said the government had no intention to curb press freedom and promised cordial relationship with the fourth estate.

Journalist associations had threatened to hold protests in Shimoga as well as in Bengaluru against the police move to curb press freedom.

Yeddyurappa and Home Minister V.S.Acharya held discussions with the top brass of the police and it was decided to withdraw the case.

Editors Guild President Rajdeep Sardesai had slammed the police for trying to intimidate the press.

He said professional ethics demands that media persons should protect their sources.

"Without such privilege, sources would not be willing to speak freely to the media, whose duty it is to report the facts fairly and objectively from all points of view to present a true picture to the public,"

"The confidentiality of a source is a well established journalistic principle. Without such privilege, sources would not be willing to speak freely to media, whose duty is to report the facts fairly and objectively from all points of view to present a true picture to the public," Rajdeep Sardesai said.

"The Shimoga police had demanded information on the Naxalite leader who the reporter had interviewed for an article on Naxalism (Maoist) which appeared in his publication. When the reporter refused to comply, the police also sent a notice to his associate editor, RPT Dandavati , threatening to use the same act against him," he said.

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Interview with Gopalji, Spokesperson of the Special Area Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in a Forest in Jharkhand, Eastern India

Posted by Admin on May 14, 2010


by Alpa Shah, Monthly Review

Communism in the rest of the world seems to have collapsed. What hope do you have of achieving a socialist state in India?

The claim that there is no hope for socialism and communism, that they are dead, is mere propaganda unleashed by the imperialists and the apologists of capitalism. The 20th century saw the first round of revolutions led by the working classes and the toiling masses of the communist parties in various parts of the world — the Russian Revolution, the Chinese Revolution, the Revolution in Vietnam and many more. The 21st century will see a new wave of revolutions led by communist parties such as ours in India.

Massive socio-economic and political transformation takes time. The bourgeoisie took at least 400 years to achieve victory over feudalism and even then they entered into unholy alliances with the feudals in order to fight the working classes. These alliances are still prevalent today in many countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America in order to stop the revolutions of the toiling masses led by the communist parties. Read the rest of this entry »

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Halt the Offensive Against People and End Militarisation of the Forests Joint Statement of Forest People’s Movements

Posted by Admin on May 12, 2010


12 May, 2010

Countercurrents.org

Halt the Offensive Against People and End Militarisation of the Forests
Joint Statement of Forest People’s Movements

Today, the police have killed one person in Kalinganagar and critically injured at least thirty more; at the proposed POSCO plant site in Jagatsinghpur, Orissa. 25 platoons of police have been deployed to crush the people defending their land. They expect an attack tomorrow or the day after.

As national platforms of democratic forest movements, with more than 200 organisational members spread across the country, we unequivocally condemn this brutality. But such atrocities are not occurring in isolation. Operation Green Hunt and the increasing miitarisation of the conflict in central India is wreaking devastation in our homelands.and closing the space for democratic struggles. We first reiterate the following facts, to expose the myths being promoted by the government:

> In all the areas where Operation Green Hunt is underway, aside from individual atrocities, security forces are now preventing people from entering the forest, cultivating their lands or collecting minor forest produce. The numbers that are threatened with starvation or disease as a result is not even known. These facts have been ignored even as the tragic loss of lives in Maoist attacks have received a lot of attention. How can an offensive with such results be justified?

> An offensive in the name of the “rule of law” has been launched in areas where the government has never shown the slightest respect for the law. Under the law, land acquisition in Scheduled Areas is subject to consultation with the gram sabha (village assembly); diversion of forest land in all forests is subject to the consent of the gram sabha; and people have rights over village common lands, forests, water bodies and grazing areas. Can the government name a single place in the country where the rights of people over forests and lands have been fully recognised and respected? Can it name a single “development” project in the forest areas that has complied with the requirements of law? Rather, in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh alone, after 2006 the government has illegally granted in principle or final clearances for the use of 15,411 hectares of forest land to various “projects”.

> The government’s true intentions are revealed by their response to democratic movements in the majority of forest areas, where the CPI(Maoist) does not exist. As an indicator, in just the few weeks between March 20 and April 20, activists in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Assam and West Bengal were arrested or attacked by police for the crime of standing up for the law and demanding legal rights. The protesters at POSCO and many other places, who have no link whatsoever with the Maoists, are being attacked. These are examples of a trend that has become far worse with Operation Green Hunt, under which the label “Maoist” is used to justify all kinds of brutality. The Home Minister’s latest statement threatening anyone “supporting Maoism” with jail is clearly aimed at justifying yet more such brutality.

> The conflicts in forest areas, whether with the CPI(Maoist) or with other movements, have nothing to do with “security” or “development”. What is at stake is the right of people to control their ecology, their production systems and their lives. Can a community lead a life of dignity when they are harassed, beaten or killed every time they cultivate forest land, collect minor forest produce or protest evictions? People are not demanding welfare; they are struggling for the right to live with freedom and dignity. This is the true meaning of security, development and the rule of justice.

> It is clear that the government’s offensive is driven by more obvious interests – resource grabs (in water, minerals and land) have become a key source of profits. As the Maheshwar Dam, Vedanta or POSCO projects were found to break the law, the government has scrambled to bend or break the law itself to favour the corporates. When the Forest Department promotes illegal policies in international negotiations on climate change (i.e. the REDD agreement), these are not just condoned but promoted as a point of pride. Meanwhile, people’s rights over minor forest produce, forest land and common lands are frustrated at every turn by official violations of the Forest Rights Act. Clearly this is why the government now wants to crush all resistance, whether it is organised by the CPI(Maoist) or not.

Beyond Green Hunt: A Call for Democratic Space

We believe in and stand for the mass democratic struggle of the working people for social transformation. From this perspective, the damage is not limited to this offensive and the devastation it is wreaking. More insidious but much longer lasting is the destructive impact this militarisation is having on the democratic space for people’s struggles. This militarisation is not limited to Operation Green Hunt.

Even outside this offensive, the government has consistently used its force against all democratic formations and those who speak the language of people’s rights; it has thrown the Constitution to the winds. The CPI(Maoist) has also engaged in indiscriminate physical attacks against those who are of a different political allegiance, and has often shown little tolerance for those who are engaged in other movements or who are critical of them. The turning of vast areas of the country into war zones, where all else is subordinated to the perceived military needs of the government or the CPI(Maoist), is unacceptable. It constitutes a betrayal of the values that both the CPI(Maoist) and the government claim to believe in. For this reason above all, there is an urgent need at this moment to restore basic democratic norms in the conflict zones.

Our Call:

1. The paramilitary forces must be withdrawn and the salwa judum, as well as other similar private militias in other states, must be disbanded. Public facilities – schools, clinics, etc. – must be treated as out of bounds for the conflict.

2. The government must respect the rights of people over their lands, forest produce and community forest resources as provided by the Constitution, the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, the Forest Rights Act and other such laws. It must comply with the requirements under these Acts relating to the consent of the community prior to diversion or acquisition of land.

3. The security forces must stop interfering with the rights of people to cultivate their fields, go to markets and engage in their livelihood activities.

4. Illegal arrests, fake encounters and police murders must be halted immediately.

5. The CPI(Maoist) should make clear its position on the activities of other political forces in the conflict areas. It should respect the right of the people to be members of other parties, including opposing parties, or other movements and to otherwise exercise their democratic rights.

6. The right of refugees and the displaced to return home, especially in Dantewada, must be respected by the security forces and their private militias.

The list of signatories to the joint statement of forest people’s movements was inadvertently left off the previous mail. It is as follows:

Campaign for Survival and Dignity:

Madhya Pradesh Jangal Adhikar Bachao Andolan
Jangal Adhikar Sangharsh Samiti (Maharashtra)
Bharat Jan Andolan (Jharkhand)
Campaign for Survival and Dignity – Orissa
Jan Shakti Sanghatan (Chhattisgarh)
Adivasi Mahasabha (Gujarat)
Jangal Jameen Jan Andolan (Rajasthan)
Orissa Jan Adhikar Morcha
Campaign for Survival and Dignity – Tamil Nadu
Adivasi Jangal Janjeevan Andolan (Dadra and Nagar Haveli)

National Forum of Forest Peoples and Forest Workers:

Adivasi Banihar Shakti Sangathana (Chhattisgarh)
Nadi Ghati Morcha (Chattisgarh)
Jharkhand Jangal Bachao Andolan (Jharkhand)
Chattisgarh Jan-ban Adhikar Manch
Birsa Munda Vu-adhikar Manch (Madhya Pradesh)
Patta Dalit Adhikar Manch (Uttar Pradesh)
Kaimnoor KShettra Majdoor Sangharsh Samittee,Sonebhadra,UP
Ghad Kshettra Majdoor Sangharsh Samittee,Uttarakhand
National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (North Bengal Regional
Committee)

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JNU students protest against Operation Green Hunt and it’s architect P. Chidambaram.

Posted by Admin on May 9, 2010


JNU Students protest against Operation Green Hunt and it’s architect P. Chidambaram.

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My Book Is Red: Education in India’s Maoist-run Areas

Posted by Admin on May 9, 2010


The word is Revolution. Maoists give a leg up to tribal languages.

Debarshi Dasgupta

It’s not just guns that keep the engine of the Maoist rebellion revving. Away from the battlefield, in the quiet of the camp schools, textbooks developed by the “people’s government” are becoming crucial tools in the next war, the one for young minds. The books may be focusing more on the Maoist worldview, but to children in the tribal regions of Chhattisgarh they are often the only means of education. Outlook met with a few outsiders who had a chance to look through the texts, and asked them about the greater role it plays in the Maoist heartland.

Gautam Navlakha, consultant editor of the Economic and Political Weekly, spent about a fortnight deep in the Dandakaranya jungles in January this year and got a close-up look at the way the Maoists function. He says the “people’s government” in the Dandakaranya division already uses four textbooks for mathematics, social science, politics and Hindi for classes I to V. The books are written in Gondi, which is the language of instruction (also referred to as the “lingua franca” of the Naxal movement). There are about 2.7 million speakers of Gondi, according to the 2001 census, and it is a “non-scheduled” language. Published by the Janathana Sarkar from an undisclosed location in Dandakaranya, the books are mostly in black-and-white with sparse use of colour illustrations. Read the rest of this entry »

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Supporting Maoists Will Invite 10 Year Jail

Posted by Admin on May 8, 2010


By Times of India

07 May, 2010
Times of India

NEW DELHI: Those who speak in favour of Maoist guerrillas will face legal action and 10 years imprisonment, the government announced Thursday in a warning to civil society groups who raise voices in favour of Leftwing extremism.

"Any person who commits the offence of supporting such a terrorist organisation (like Communist Party of India (CPI)-Maoist) with inter alia intention to further the activities of such terrorist organisations would be liable to be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or with fine or with both," a home ministry statement said.

It said such action would be taken under Section 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

The home ministry said the government has noticed that some Maoist leaders were directly contacting certain NGOs and intellectuals to propagate their ideology and "persuade them to take steps (and) support the CPI-Maoist ideology".

"General public are informed to be extremely vigilant of the propaganda of CPI-Maoist and not unwittingly become a victim of such propaganda," the statement warned.

The Leftwing extremist group and all its front organizations have been designated as terrorist organisations by the government.

According to the ministry, the "sole aim" of the CPI-Maoist is to overthrow the Indian state.

It "continues to kill innocent civilians including tribals in cold blood and destroy crucial infrastructure like roads, culverts, school buildings, gram panchayat buildings so as to prevent development from reaching these under-developed areas", the statement added.

Copyright © 2010 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.

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Ensure Free Expression and Opinion for Maoist Supporters: Human Rights Watch (HRW)

Posted by Admin on May 8, 2010


Source: Human Rights Watch (HRW)

Date: 07 May 2010

Warnings to Civil Society a Threat to Fundamental Freedoms

(New York, May 7, 2010) – The Indian government should not equate peaceful political speech with criminal acts while conducting its operations against armed Maoist groups, Human Rights Watch said today.

The Indian government appears to have threatened to curb the right to freedom of expression by treating it as equivalent to providing material or physical support for criminal acts by the proscribed Communist Party of India (Maoist), also known as Naxalites, which the government has banned.

"The Indian government should think twice before trying to silence political discussion and demanding endorsement of its views on Maoist groups," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "The recent views expressed by the Indian government against so-called sympathizers could be understood as carte blanche by local authorities to harass and arrest critics of Indian government policy."

On May 6, 2010, the Home Ministry issued a statement saying that, "It has come to the notice of the government that some Maoist leaders have been directly contacting certain NGOs and intellectuals to propagate their ideology and persuade them to take steps which would provide support to the CPI (Maoist) ideology." Government officials warned members of civil society that the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, which calls for imprisonment of up to 10 years, could be used to punish individuals in contact with the Maoists. Home Minister P. Chidambaram had earlier called upon civil society demanding "voices of condemnation of those who have, erroneously, extended intellectual and material support to the CPI (Maoist)."

The Maoists claim to speak for the rights of the marginalized, including landless peasants, tribal groups, and Dalits. Maoists have been responsible for serious abuses, including the destruction of schools and hospitals, extortion, torture, and killings. The Indian government has acknowledged that the failure of the government to provide adequate services and development opportunities has led to disaffection and support for the Maoists in some areas.

The Indian government has carried out armed operations to restore law and order in areas dominated by the Maoists and to protect the population. Some state governments combating the Maoists, particularly in Chhattisgarh, have long subjected human rights defenders and activists to surveillance, arbitrary travel restrictions, filing of false cases, arbitrary arrests, and slander campaigns in the press. Journalists often practice self-censorship to protect themselves from government harassment. Arbitrary arrests, torture, and extrajudicial killings by government forces create a risk of fueling anger and recruiting people to the Maoist cause, Human Rights Watch said.

The population in affected areas is often caught between the Maoist combatants and government security forces. The Maoists frequently demand food or shelter at gunpoint and engage in forcible recruitment. Government forces often arrest and abuse those same villagers, claiming that they are Maoist supporters.

"The Indian government is well aware that security operations often result in increased rights abuses," Adams said. "An active and fearless civil society that monitors abuses by both sides is crucial to ensure the protection of civilians. Threats to civil society have no place in a democracy."

© Copyright, Human Rights Watch 350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor New York, NY 10118-3299 USA

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ATIK: Petition to Condemn the Attacks on Arundhati Roy

Posted by Admin on May 5, 2010


May 5, 2010 by reed

http://www.icawpi.org/en/intl-campaign/solidarity-statements/435-atik-the-petition-to-condemn-the-attacks-on-arundhati-roy

As the Confederation of the Workers from Turkey in Europe (ATIK) we condemn and oppose the attempt of the Chattisgargh government to prosecute Arundhati Roy for an article that she wrote about the Maoists.

A country that prides itself as the “biggest democracy in the world” is attempting to choke and oppress the dissenting voices in India. This shows that ‘real’ democracy is not actually practiced in the daily life in India.

Arundhati Roy is a well known progressive writer and journalist. She spent some time with the Maoists in the Dantewada district and wrote an article “Walking With the Comrades.” For this the DGP Chattisgargh wants her to be booked under the Chattisgargh special Public Security Act.

With this petition we oppose this repressive measure of the Chattisgargh Government and demand an immediate end to the persecution of Arundhati Roy. Freedom of Press is an international fundamental right.

Add your signature: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stoppersecutionroy99/

See current signers: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stoppersecutionroy99/signatures

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