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Archive for August, 2010

Lalgarh – Letter from Nari Ijjat Bnachao Committee to Kabir Suman

Posted by Admin on August 31, 2010


Sanhati

Translated by Debarshi Das, Sanhati

Click here to read the original Bengali version of the letter.

To
Mr. Kabir Suman
Member of Parliament, Government of India
Date: 03.08.10

Respected sir,

The inhuman incident of housewives of Sonamukhi village having been molested and raped by the joint forces of the Congress and CPI(M) must have reached you. You may have watched it on TV also. The story does not end here. The victims spoke to the media and went to the SDO of Jhargram for grievance redressal. Yet no offender was brought to the book and we were compelled to launch a movement. From Sonamukhi to Jhargram to Binpur: women of all these areas wiped the tears, with clenched fist marched to Jhargram. The SDO did not respond. But on July 16 and 17 the police beat up and drove us away, we were not told what was our fault. The story was not over. It had just begun.

We demanded justice but did not get it. Therefore we chose not to remain silent. As a consequence, the administration and CPI(M) attempted to attack us more. There is a village named Gnosaidanga near Dahijuri of Binpur. In solidarity with us, as a mark of protest the residents of the village wanted to block the road. The joint forces beat them up and injured 20-25 of them. The wounded tribals of village went to the Jhargram government hospital for treatment. Government doctors and other babus told us no adivasi or mahatos could be treated there. We are poor people, we were at a loss as to where to go. We do not have money or courage to go to private hospitals. So, we congregated a big mass and once more went to the hospital. There were thousands of us. We asked the administration and police bosses, if you would not treat us why are you bashing us up? They did not heed. But all of us, the housewives, daughters, daughter-in-laws, sisters, grand mothers rallied around. We did not keep mum just because there was no one to protect our ijjat (honour). We stood up. From sub-division to the parliament, we knocked at each door. We wanted to go to the world under the banner of ‘Nari ijjat bnachao committee’ (Committee to protect the honour of women). Read the rest of this entry »

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Whose Development Is It, Anyway? by Kobad Ghandy

Posted by Admin on August 30, 2010


For Vedanta, mining means development, but for Adivasis it means plunder.(Photo: AFP)Source: Open Magazine

Now that the Government has finally struck down the Vedanta mining project in Orissa, senior Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy, presently under arrest inside Delhi’s Tihar jail, writes about how mining giants are making obscene amounts of money at the cost of the poor while even the State fails to make any gains.

Exclusive
For Vedanta, mining means development, but for Adivasis it means plunder.(Photo: AFP)

Vedanta continued its activities creating environmental devastation in the Niyamgiri hills, particularly, three villages on the foothills face devastation.

wicked-dots-active.gifwicked-dots.gif

Our defeat was always implicit in the victory of others; our wealth has always generated our poverty by nourishing the prosperity of others—the empires and their native overseers. In the colonial and neo-colonial alchemy, gold changes into scrap metal and food into poison.

— Eduardo Galeano in Open Veins of Latin America

It is ironic — the richer the land the poorer its people: Eduardo Galeano, in his above mentioned book said: “The Indians (local inhabitants) have suffered, and continue to suffer, the curse of their own wealth; that is the drama of all Latin America”.

Vedanta continued its activities creating environmental devastation in the Niyamgiri hills, particularly, three villages on the foothills face devastation.In India too, the richest states of Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh are amongst the poorest in the country. Of course, unlike two centuries back in Latin America they no longer exterminate the local population. They induce slow death through starvation, disease and lack of livelihood. Development for some has always been at the cost of ‘development’ for the many.

Tantalum, a necessary ingredient of computers, cell phones, ipods, and so on, is to a large extent, extracted cheaply from Congo which has one-fifth of the world’s deposits. But to extract that (together with gold and tin) MNCs have tied up with warring warlords which has taken a toll of 5.4 million lives since April 2007. Killings continue at the rate of 45,000 per month and Congo has become the world capital of rape, torture and mutilation.

Yes, computers are huge development, but for the people of Congo what does it all mean? Can the super profits of the mining companies and computer manufacturers be slightly reducd so that the people of Congo share in the wealth creation?

In India, too, the concept of development seems to be different for different people. For Ficci, the representative of big business interests, it is one thing and for the Supreme Court of India another. Read the rest of this entry »

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Staged show slur on police – ‘Surrendered’ woman held in April: Maoist

Posted by Admin on August 30, 2010


PRONAB MONDAL, Telegraph

Midnapore, Aug. 29: A woman Maoist squad leader who “surrendered” before West Midnapore police on Friday was in custody of the same law-enforcement force since April, a jailed rebel and a section of policemen have told The Telegraph.

Sova Mandi alias Soma alias Uma “surrendered” before West Midnapore superintendent of police Manoj Verma on Friday evening, saying that she had found her way to the town through “narrow jungle paths” from her hideout in the interiors of the forest where she was ensconced for the last four months after escaping from the clutches of her “tyrannical Maoists comrades”.

However, Kamal Mahato, a Maoist charged with murder and now lodged in Midnapore jail, has contested the claim. His version has been denied by police chief Verma but a section of policemen in Midnapore corroborated the rebel’s account, following which this newspaper decided to publish the report.

Kamal told The Telegraph: “On April 20, this year, I was travelling with Soma on my motorcycle. I was riding the bike and Soma was riding pillion. She was going to Midnapore town to meet someone and she had requested me to drop her there.”

According to Kamal, they were stopped by the police at Poradihi on National Highway 6, about 15km from Midnapore town. “The police had prior information, or a tip-off, that we would be travelling on that route,” Kamal said. “So, as soon as we reached Poradihi, the police stopped us and surrounded the bike. We were taken off the bike and whisked away by the police to the Midnapore police lines where we were kept.”

Kamal said that after being brought there, he did not see much of Soma except that he was “aware” that she was also there.

“I heard from the policemen that Soma had also been kept there,” Mahato said. “Like me, she was not officially arrested but simply kept there for questioning.”

Police chief Verma, however, said: “Soma had contacted us a couple of days ago and told us she wanted to surrender and we welcome the move. We had not detained anyone and then forced a surrender on them.”

Kamal said that although he was kept billeted at the Midnapore police lines since April 20, he was officially arrested only a few days back, produced in a Midnapore court on August 17 and remanded in judicial custody.

“The police had questioned me for so long and so many times that they did not even ask for police remand. I was sent to jail straightaway,” Kamal said. If indeed the Maoist facing a murder charge was arrested a few days ago, it was unusual for the police not to have sought his remand.

Kamal’s brother-in-law Mahendra Mahato said: “After Kamal disappeared, we searched for him far and wide and spoke to his comrades also, but no one knew where he was. It was only after he was put in jail that we come to know of his whereabouts.”

Mahendra said Kamal had told him in detail how Soma and he were picked up by the police and then detained but not officially arrested.

Some policemen also said that Soma was in police custody since April.

When she appeared before a few journalists days before her “surrender”, she had, in fact, been taken under police escort from the Midnapore circuit house to the fringes of a forest in Salboni, the policemen said. After the media interaction was over, she was taken back to the Midnapore police lines, they added.

A few weeks ago, the government had announced a rehabilitation package for rebels who turn themselves in. The build-up involving Soma and Friday evening’s “surrender” are being seen as an attempt by the police to suggest that the package is drawing a good response.

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Azad Encounter: No Point-Blank Justice

Posted by Admin on August 30, 2010


“In the Azad case, the state and the Centre abdicated responsibility. What prevents the Centre from asking AP to hold an inquiry?” —Justice Hosbet Suresh, Ex-judge, Bombay High Court “I heard 110 cases of encounters in two years…the victims were all shot in the head or chest. The cops must be really great marksmen.” —Justice A.P. Shah, Ex-CJ, Delhi High Court

“Encounter killings must be probed…. They mustn’t be the rule. And we can’t simply accept what the state says without question.” —Justice J.S. Verma, Ex-CJI, ex-NHRC head “The guidelines of the NHRC seem to be ineffective. Time and again we have asked for judicial inquiries into cases of police impunity.” —K.G. Kannabiran, Advocate, rights activist

“In the Azad case, as in all others, an independent body must conduct the inquiry, not the same police that killed him.” —Justice V.S. Malimath, Ex-CJ of Kerala, Karnataka “P. Chidambaram, the home minister, should have been the first to order an inquiry into Azad’s killing. His silence indicates his guilt.” —Prashant Bhushan, Advocate, Supreme Court

Source: Outlook


Just as the ghost of Sohrabuddin Sheikh has come to haunt the Gujarat government and claimed the state’s home minister, will the ghost of Chemkuri Rajkumar Azad, the cpi (Maoist) second-in-command who was shot dead in an ‘encounter’ on July 1 in the Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh, come to haunt the upa government at the Centre? So it seems, at least from the post-mortem report. Read the rest of this entry »

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What does government want in Junglemahal ?

Posted by Admin on August 30, 2010


Umakantha Mahato, PCPA Leader

Photograph: Deadbody of Umakanta Mahato. Anandabazar Patrika, 28 August, 2010.

Yesterday, Umakanta Mahato, leader of People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) was found dead in Lalgarh. According to the police sources he was killed in an encounter although no casualty of police has been reported. Not only in this particular case, but also in last two encounters in Ranja and Metla forests where joint forces gunned downed total fourteen PCPA leaders-supporters including Sido Soren, no casualty of joint forces was reported. It is therefore very possible that police and joint forces have been killing the leaders of PCPA in clod blood and want us believe that they were killed in encounter.

Fake encounter is not something which we have never hard of. In seventies, so many students and youths were killed in the name of encounter in West Bengal. Although in their words government is keen to restore peace In Jangalmahal, but actually prefers to eliminate the leadership of PCPA, the organization leadading the democratic movement against police atrocities. They are not going to stop the brutal state repression, rather aggravates it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Azad Encounter: Mountain Of Lies

Posted by Admin on August 30, 2010


ramana_20100906.jpgChemkuri Azad Rajkumar’s death in an ‘encounter’ in Adilabad district on July 1, 2010, never did fool his family or sympathisers in Andhra Pradesh who allege “it was not just a fake encounter, it was an assassination”.

“There was no chance that he would be present in Adilabad district for a meeting in the first place since there is no Naxal activity in the area any more,” says his brother Dr Anil Kumar, a practising gastroenterologist in Hyderabad. “He was obviously convinced by the central government that he was safe and then trapped and killed,” alleges older brother Colonel Ratna Kumar. Dr Anil asserts that a top leader of Azad’s cadre would not be left alone to face bullets from police personnel. “He would have been surrounded by a minimum of 40-50 squad members.” The doctor also goes on to wonder: “If he was on a hillock as the police claim, then random firing from the AK-47 which he was allegedly carrying would have killed several policemen. How come not a single cop was even injured? The police don’t even know how to concoct a story.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Azad Encounter: Holes In The Dark

Posted by Admin on August 29, 2010


Out look
Question 1 First information report (FIR) says, acting on a tip-off from the state intelligence police, Andhra police were searching the forests off Adilabad on the night of July 1 when the encounter took place, claiming Azad’s life.

But then… Azad’s mother had filed a petition with the AP human rights commission on March 20 saying her son was missing since March 12. (The Maoists later issued a statement clarifying that he had reached a safe spot.) Maoist sympathiser, poet Varavara Rao, alleges Andhra police had picked up Azad in Nagpur at 11 am on the day of the encounter. What is the veracity of the police claim, given these contradiction?

Question 2 The FIR, filed at Wankedi police station on July 2, and the inquest report the same day, says the exchange of fire with a group of 20 Maoists lasted 30 minutes from 11 pm. “Early in the morning”, two bodies were discovered.

But then… The FIR, filed at 9.30 am, based on a complaint by circle inspector Ch Raghunandan Rao, does not mention the name or identity of the two deceased. But the inquest report, also filed on July 2, says witness no. 1 (Rao) and his police party identified the body as Azad’s at 6 am. How could police identify a bald Azad so quickly when the only photograph they have of him is a hirsute one of him from 35 years ago?

Question 3 FIR says when the police team questioned the identity of the Maoist group, “they opened fire with arms on us”, and that they continued firing and “we noticed them advancing towards us, firing indiscriminately”.

But then… If the police fired in “self-defence”, were there no injuries/casualties on the police side despite a 30-minute encounter? Did Azad and co-deceased Hemchandra Pandey not use the AK-47 assault rifle or pistol that was allegedly recovered from them? Did all the associates of Azad flee from the scene of the “encounter” without attempting to save a senior leader like him or without firing a single bullet?

Question 4 FIR says police were conducting a search of the “area on the hill” when they noticed the Maoists and were fired at. FIR also says after the firing stopped from the other side, “we advanced towards the hilltop side.”

But then… If the Maoists were indeed at a higher altitude than the police (according to some media reports, the “encounter” took place on a 500-metre-high hillock), which is why the police had to traverse upwards at the crack of dawn, how come the trajectory of the bullet that pierced Azad’s upper chest is downward, not upward?

Question 5 FIR says Andhra police used their “night-vision devices” to spot the Maoists in the darkness of the night of the ‘encounter’ after they noticed some commotion “in the area close to us” during their search.

But then… If there were 20 Maoists at a distance, how did the police spot Azad with such pinpoint accuracy in the dark? How did the bullets leave an oval-shaped entry wound with dark burnt edges in his upper chest, signs of a close encounter? Why was journalist Hemchandra Pandey, who had gone to interview Azad according to media reports, wearing sandals if he was crossing a forest in the monsoon at night?

Question 6 FIR says, after halting for the night when firing stopped, “early in the morning, we searched the area and found two persons dead with bullet injuries at the place of exchange of fire”, one of which later turned out to be Azad.

But then… In recent encounters with the police, like in Dantewada, Maoists have been known to physically carry away their dead comrades, leaving no trace of the fallen. Why would a group of 20 Maoists leave behind the body of a high-ranking leader like Azad, and let it be picked up, especially given the six-hour time gap between the end of the alleged encounter (11.30 pm) and the discovery of their bodies by the police at 6 am?

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Death By An Inch… Lies By The Mile

Posted by Admin on August 29, 2010


Silent knight: Gadar singing at Azad’s funeral at Punjagutta (Photograph by P. Anil Kumar)

Outlook

Dead men tell no tales. But when the deceased is Chemkuri Azad Rajkumar, the manner of death can speak volumes. The Maoist leader’s post-mortem report, which Outlook has now accessed, categorically establishes that he died in a fake encounter. Read along with the FIR and inquest reports, it exposes the elaborate set of lies drawn by the Andhra Pradesh police to explain his death. The claimed encounter, a much-touted “gain” in the UPA government’s war against India’s “gravest internal security threat”, was in fact a cold-blooded execution by the state. Azad, a key player in the planned negotiations with the government, was picked up and shot with a handgun from a distance barely more than the size of an outstretched palm. The official version, that the Maoists were atop a hill and fired at the police party and Azad died when the cops retaliated from down below, just doesn’t add up.

The post-mortem on Azad’s body, conducted by doctors at the Adilabad district hospital on July 3, two days after the killing, records a 1-cm oval-shaped wound just a few inches above the left nipple where the bullet entered, tore through his heart and exited from the back just between the ninth and the tenth vertebrae. The wound’s entry point, the doctor conducting the post-mortem records, had “darkening (and) burned edge” at the “left second intercostal space (the space between two ribs)”.

In forensic medicine, which also deals with decoding fatal bullet wounds, the words “darkening, blackening and burning” are revealing. Experts with hundreds of autopsies behind them all say that when there is “burning” associated with a “darkening or blackening” of an entry wound, it can only mean that the victim has been shot from a distance less than 7.5 cm or less—practically point-blank range.


Near-Shot. Close-Range. Fired From Less Than 7.5 cm.’

Outlook invited three experts to analyse Azad’s post-mortem report, without revealing his
identity. All three say Azad was shot from a distance equal to, or less than 7.5 cm

“If there is darkening, blackening and burning around a bullet entry wound, it is caused by the flame, smoke and gunpowder emerging from the firearm. The flame and the gunpowder, due to low mass, cannot travel very far. These residual marks, therefore, strongly suggest a near shot.” —Dr Sudhir Gupta, Associate Professor of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology at AIIMS, New Delhi. Has conducted nearly 30 autopsies of police encounter deaths.

“While the report mentions burning, there is no tattooing. But if the deceased was wearing a shirt, then the tattooing could be on the shirt and only the burning is visible. The presence of burning in an entry wound accompanied by tattooing clearly indicates a shot fired from less than 7.5 cm.” —Dr B. Umadethan, Former head of the department of forensic medicine, and police surgeon, Thiruvananthapuram Medical College. Author, Principles and Practice of Forensic Medicine.

The oval-shaped wound shows that the bullet was fired at an angle. It is almost certain that the bullet was fired at extremely close range. The weapon used was a handgun and not a rifle like AK-47. My guess is that the bullet that killed this person was fired from a .38” (9 mm) pistol.” — Retired Director of the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory, Chandigarh, an expert on wound ballistics and the author of several books on ballistics who requested anonymity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Indian government rejection of Vedanta bauxite mine a “landmark victory” for Indigenous rights

Posted by Admin on August 25, 2010


Dongria Kondh protesting Vedanta’s bauxite mine project

Amnesty International :: 24 August 2010

Amnesty International today described the Indian government’s decision to reject the bauxite mine project in Orissa’s Niyamgiri Hills as a landmark victory for the human rights of Indigenous communities.

India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests today rejected the mine project proposed by a subsidiary of UK-based Vedanta Resources and the state-owned Orissa Mining Corporation, after finding that the project already extensively violates forest and environmental laws and would perpetrate abuses against the Dongria Kondh adivasi and other communities on the Hills.

“The Dongria Kondh and other local communities have been struggling for years for this decision, which is a very welcome one,” said Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Deputy Director, Madhu Malhotra.

“The companies and the Orissa government should now guarantee that they will not attempt to simply move the project to another site without ensuring adequate safeguards – they must ensure they will respect the human rights of Indigenous and local communities wherever the companies operate.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Post-mortem indicates Azad was shot from close range

Posted by Admin on August 24, 2010


Top Maoist leader Azad, who the Andhra Pradesh police claimed to have killed in an encounter on July 1, was shot from very close range, according to his post-mortem report accessed by Rediff.com’s Krishnakumar Padamanbhan.

Top Maoist leader Azad, alias Cherukuri Rajkumar, who the Andhra Pradesh police claimed to have killed in an encounter in the forests of Adilabad district in Andhra Pradesh, was shot from very close range, probably from less than one foot, according to his post mortem report, accessed by Rediff.com

The post-mortem report stands in contradiction with the police version that Azad was killed in a gun-battle between 11 pm and 11.30 pm on July 1 in Sarkepally village, Wankedi, in Adilabad district.

After the Andhra Pradesh police claimed Azad, a member of the Communist Party of India-Maoist central committee and politburo as well as its national spokesman, was killed in the forests of Adilabad district, the Maoists claimed that he had been picked up in Nagpur a day earlier, flown to Adilabad by helicopter, and executed in cold blood along with a man named Hemchandra Pandey.

In May, Home Minister P Chidambaram [ Images ] had invited Swami Agnivesh, who had led a peace march in Chhattisgarh in April, to mediate with the Maoists and explore the possibility of a cease-fire, which would likely result in peace talks with the central government.

With Chidambaram’s permission, Agnivesh met with senior Maoist leaders Kobad Gandhy in Delhi’s [ Images ] Tihar jail and Narayan Sanyal in Raipur jail in Chhattisgarh to begin the peace process.

He also wrote to the Maoists, informing them about the government’s interest in a dialogue, to bring about a peaceful resolution to the Leftist insurgency that has crippled life in many districts in the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lalgarh: 8 months after ‘arrest’, Raju and Jaydeb produced before Jhargram court

Posted by Admin on August 24, 2010


OUR CORRESPONDENT

23adakwife.jpg Raju’s wife Kanika (top) and mother-in-law at their Jirapara home on Friday. (Picture by Samir Mondal)

Midnapore, Aug. 22: West Midnapore police have been accused of arresting two alleged Maoists from Lalgarh and holding on to them for eight months before producing them in a Jhargram court on Friday.

The district police, however, have denied that it was they who arrested Raju Adak and Jaydeb Bera, who had disappeared from Lalgarh in December. Officers claimed the duo were brought to Bengal from Jharkhand police’s custody.

West Midnapore superintendent of police (SP) Manoj Verma said his force learnt a week ago that the two youths, whom they had been looking for, were in a jail in Ghatshila, Jharkhand.

But Kanika and Anjali, the wives of Raju and Jaydeb, claimed that district policemen had dragged both men out of their beds on the night of December 6 and arrested them.

“It was around 1am and we were sleeping. I heard a knock on the door. When I opened the door, I saw armed policemen had surrounded our house. They dragged my husband out of the house. I asked them why they were taking him away but they refused to answer,” Kanika, a resident of Jirapara village, said yesterday.

She said the police then went to her sister Anjali’s home in neighbouring Dharampur. “They picked up her husband (Jaydeb).”

Anjali said the police took Jaydeb away even though he told them he would go to Lalgarh police station the next morning.

Kanika and Anjali went to Lalgarh police station the next morning. “An officer told us the police would release our husbands after interrogation. We came back home but our husbands did not return. When we went to the police station again, officers told us they had not picked up anybody by the name of Raju Adak or Jaydeb Bera,” Anjali said.

The issue of the names had cropped up on Friday itself when the police identified the duo as Prasanta Mandal and Jhantu Das in court. After the defence lawyer protested, the police said the accused had given these false names to the Jharkhand police. Read the rest of this entry »

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Open Letter from Bapi Mahato on Jnaneshwari Train Tragedy

Posted by Admin on August 23, 2010


Sushma Swaraj‘We were angry. We wanted to do damage. Someone in the crowd said, leave it to us…’

BY PARTHA DASGUPTA, Tehelka


THE COLLISION of the Jnaneshwari Express with a goods train just after midnight on 28 May near Jhargram killed 148 passengers and dealt a severe blow to the public image of the Maoists. The West Bengal CID named Monoj alias Bapi Mahato and Umakanto Mahato, members of People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), as the prime accused. Sections of the media claimed that Bapi had confessed to masterminding the incident.

TEHELKA has now obtained exclusive possession of handwritten notes which Mahato has written from Midnapore Central Jail, in which he denies the CBI charges. To establish his innocence, his ‘Open Letter’ gives a blowby- blow account of what unfolded on 28 May.

In a second letter titled ‘Plea to the Inhabitants of Jangalmahal’ Bapi denies having given any testimony to the CBI, which lauded the West Bengal police for arresting him. TEHELKA cannot independently verify the authenticity of the letters, signed in both English and Bangla. But the contents of the letter may lead investigators to an entirely different narrative. Here are the translations in full.

AN OPEN LETTER FROM A PRISONER TO THE PEOPLE OF WEST BENGAL

Prison blues Bapi Mahato at the time of his arrest soon after the 28 May tragedy and (below) facsimiles of the handwritten notes in which he gives blow-by-blow accounts of his movements

Sushma Swaraj Prison blues Bapi Mahato at the time of his arrest soon after the 28 May tragedy and (below) facsimiles of the handwritten notes in which he gives blow-by-blow accounts of his movements

In our village, the PCAPA was formed on 25 December 2009. Around March this year, I was made responsible for 20 villages. The primary objectives of this committee were [establishment of people’s] rights, non-cooperation with the fraudulent-murdererrapist- liar (West Bengal) government and an all-round development of the rural society with mass support and mass involvement. It is this development work that irked the local Harmads (armed CPM cadres) and powerful CPM leaders and they planned to harm the committee.

As our committee grew in strength and number, the atrocities perpetrated by the Joint Forces increased proportionately. I was exasperated at the regular complaints by villagers against Joint Forces’ atrocities and could not take it anymore after the torture became unbearable around three days before the train tragedy. So, I took stock of the situation in the villages of Guimara, Sitabhuna, Shalpatra, Murabani, Amrashol, Baimanabandh, Indrabani and Barbigha with 8-10 of my comrades from the PCAPA. We found that around 3,000 members of the Joint Forces and 117 Harmads, who came from Chandra, unleashed horrible torture on the villagers. Angry at this, I organised a meeting with my comrades at Murabani [on 27 May, the eve of the Jnaneshwari tragedy]. From there I telephoned my leader (Umakanto) and conveyed the problems that we were facing. Umakanto suggested (on my phone, which was on loudspeaker mode) a bandh or road-blockade or damaging of government property.

On hearing this, the local leadership, comprising Samir, Manik (from Murabani), Tapan (from Amrashol) and Altaf (from Shalpatra) gathered the villagers and asked me for direction. The meeting was mainly conducted by Manik, Samir, Tapan and others. An estimated 1,500 villagers attended the meeting. I suggested felling of logs with hacksaws [to put up a rail blockade with those]. Hacksaws were collected. But a little later, the plan was rejected. Then the villagers suggested that the CPM party office at Sardiha and the local committee office be ransacked. This was also rejected. Read the rest of this entry »

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