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Archive for September, 2011

Communist Party of India Marxist Leninist (Naxalbari) Statement on Nepal

Posted by Admin on September 15, 2011


Socialist Platform

On the current situation in Nepal and the challenge before the Maoists

Participation in the Constitutional Assembly process, and in government, in Nepal has been used by the UCPN (Maoist) leadership to liquidate the revolutionary nature of the party and sink it in the morass of parliamentarism. For quite some time now, this has been the concrete political manifestation of revisionism, of the derailment of the party from the path of New Democratic Revolution. It has now been taken to a new depth with the recent appointment of Dr. Baburam Bhattarrai as the Prime Minister of Nepal through a deal with the Madheshi parties, known agents of the Indian expansionists. Following a script already given by the reactionaries and endorsed by the UCPN (Maoist) leadership, the new government promptly handed over the keys of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) stored weapons. Severely drained of its fighting qualities through the policies followed by the leadership of the UCPN(Maoist), it is now being prepared for formal elimination, to finish off the last remaining, and one of the most important, achievements of the 10 years of People’s War. Thus the people will have nothing to bank on and will be helplessly thrown back to the reactionary wolves.

10 years of heroic war of the masses and their immense sacrifices gave the tiny organisation CPN (Maoist) international fame and recognition. Once the emerging shining armour in the glorious history of the international communist movement, this party is now reduced to being ‘just another petty political party’, shamelessly bargaining for some space in the ruling class benches. Today the very leaders of this organisation are trading sacrifices and pains of the revolutionary masses for a few ministerial posts and recognition from the Indian expansionists, in the service of the imperialists. Every step taken by them is meant to prove to their aakkas (masters) that they are genuinely committed to abandoning the path of revolution. Read the rest of this entry »

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Police commit murders, Naxalites framed

Posted by Admin on September 14, 2011


September 12, 2011

by Himanshu Kumar (Translated by Deepankar Basu, Sanhati)

(Source: Janjawar, 7 September 2011)

It is common in Dantewada for the police to pass off responsibility for their crimes onto the Maoists. While the media parrots the police version, people accept this as yet another instance of “inherent Maoist cruelty”. I would like to highlight a recent event from Dantewada as an example of phenomenon. The event in question, it is interesting to note, has not only seen the incarceration of sub inspector of police, Ghanshyam Patel, but also the rejection of his bail petition by the High Court. Two SPOs involved in this event, moreover, are absconding.

I informed Medha Patkar about these murders. When Medha Patkar wrote about this event to DGP Vishwaranjan, the latter had retorted that Himanshu has the habit of lying. It must have been the handiwork of the the Maoists, the DGP went on to suggest to Medha. Now, a sub inspector from his own police force is behind bars for the incident. So, who has been lying?

The event in question took place on 18th March, 2007. On that day in Salwa Judum camp Matwada in Bijapur district (of Chhattisgarh), sub inspector Ghanshaym Patel and 15 other SPOs brutally killed three adivasis. The adivasis were first beaten up by sticks; then their eyes were gouged by knives; and then, their heads were smashed by stones. The dead bodies were buried in the sand on the banks of a nearby river and the media was informed that the Maoists had killed the three adivasis.

The newspapers, of course, published the police version of the incident. In reality, the three adivasis that were brutally put to death had committed the crime of going to their village, every morning, for collecting and selling mahua fruits to buy rice to feed their hungry children. The police and SPOs were angry about the possible consequence of this daily morning visit to the village. What if more and more adivasis started the trek back to their village? If all of them left the Salwa Judum camp, how would the SPOs hide from the Maoists among innocent people?

My friend Kopa Kunjum had been terribly agitated by this event. In those days (when he had still not been jailed), Kopa had been working on public health issues in the same area where this killing had taken place (and the Salwa Judum camp was located). Suddenly he disappeared and reappeared after three days with the kith and kin, including brothers and wives, of the three adivasis who had been murdered. We invited to media to come and talk directly to the wives of the three who had been killed. This created a veritable storm: interviews of these widows started appearing in Dantewada, Jagdalpur, Kanker and Bilaspur. The State was on the back foot!

We filed a case about this event in the Chhattisgarh High Court. As part of its defense, the government came out with a ludicrous story. These women, the government claimed, have been captured by an NGO called Vanavasi Chetna Ashram…After these women had lodged FIRs against the Maoists, the government story went, the Maoists had asked them to make false allegations against the police…To have them do so, the Maoists had beaten up these women…That is why, claimed the government, these women had levelled false allegations against the police.

In the context of providing support to these unfortunate women, the State and the police declared us as Maoists in court. It is a different matter that, in the High Court, now the Chhattisgarh police is being hauled over the coals in the same case. But the State has refused to accept its previous mistakes and tender any apologies. Since we had helped the law enforcement machinery, this should be duly recognized; and, proceedings should be initiated against those who had declared us as Maoists in court. But, let it be. Which individual in the State machinery would be generous enough to take this up? In fact, as a reward for our efforts Kopa Kunjum has been put behind bars and my ashram demolished. Anyways…

This incident has been investigated by the Human Rights Commission. In its report, the Commission has pointed out that it is extremely difficult to accept the police version that the three adivasis had been killed by the Maoists. Because the incident took place bang in front of a police station… And right behind the scene of the incident is a big CRPF camp… That is why it would be nearly impossible for the Maoists to come there and kill them… Sub Inspector Ghanshyam Patel, the person who wrote the FIR against the Maoists, is himself indicted with the killings. The widows of the murdered adivasis, with our help, lodged the complaint for the killing of their husbands against the same police officer and the SPOs.

That is why it is essential to investigate the FIR written by him (Ghanshyam Patel)… And the High Court, while dismissing his bail plea, noted in its remarks that since Sub Inspector Ghanshyam Patel had himself written the FIR and since the widows had lodged a complaint against him for the same murders, his application is nullified.

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“The police are trying to kill me. They know I know too much.’

Posted by Admin on September 14, 2011


Source: Thehalka

This is not the first time Soni Sori has been targeted by the Chhattisgarh police. Hiding in the jungles of Chhattisgarh Sori speaks to Tusha Mittal, about why she is being hunted

Soni Sori

Photo: Tehelka Photo


This is the story of a tribal woman named Soni Sori, 35, a teacher in a government primary school. As you read this, she is hiding in the jungles of Chhattisgarh, dodging bullets, fleeing from police. She is hiding because, perhaps, she knows too much. When Sori spoke to this correspondent in hurried, muffled phrases on the evening of September 11, she had just shifted location. That afternoon, as she hid in mountainous terrain, there was the thud of boots closing in. She ran. They fired. She lived.

This is the story of a tribal man named Lingaram Kodopi, a 25-year-old jeep driver from Chhattisgarh. He had once been wooed by the banned CPI (Maoist), offered a party position. He refused. He has since been threatened by the rebels. He had once been locked up in a toilet in the Dantewada police station for 40 days, brutally beaten, then offered Rs 12,000 a month to become a Special Police Officer (SPO). He refused. He has since been under police radar. In the winter of 2009, Lingaram Kodopi did what many others in Chhattisgarh’s conflict zone have been compelled to: he fled.

In Delhi, Kodopi lived in the basement of an NGO and enrolled in a journalism course in Noida. “I know I will be arrested if I go back home,” Kodopi had earlier told TEHELKA. “But why should I be afraid? I want to do something for my community. Both the Naxals and the police threaten me because they know I don’t fear them.”

He returned to Dantewada in April this year after the 300 homes were razed to rubble in a three-day police operation. At great personal risk, he visited the burnt villages of Morpalli, Tadmetla and Timmapuram, saw first-hand the debri of attacks by the COBRA and Koya Commandoes, met raped women and got precise narrations of police atrocities. By now, a trained video journalist, Kodopi was just beginning to document the stories of his own people.

Kodopi was arrested on September 10. Dantewada SP Ankit Garg confirmed that he has been charged under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, the Chhattisgarh Public Security Act, and sections 121, 124A and 120 B of the IPC for criminal conspiracy, sedition, and waging war against the State of India.

On Independence Day this year, both Kodopi and his aunt Soni had defied the Maoist order to raise black flags in Chhattisgarh. When Maoists tried to put up one in Kodopi’s village, he tore it apart in their presence. When rebels directed Sori to remove the Indian flag from her ashram school, she refused. “Too many people have died for this,” she told the rebels. This is why the story of this aunt and nephew is significant. It is the story of another kind of adivasi voice trying to speak crisp and clear from the chaos of a conflict where all parties claim to speak for them.

TEHELKA has learnt that in June this year, a few months before his arrest, Lingaram Kodopi met senior IAS officer and Bastar Division Commissioner K Srinivasulu. “Both the police and the Maoists are killing my people. This has to stop,” Kodopi told the officer. In a significant admission, Srinivasulu has confirmed to TEHELKA that he met Kodopi, a man the Chhattisgarh police have described as a Maoist commander. “Yes, I met him. He came to my office with social activist Swami Agnivesh. I cannot say whether he is a Maoist or not. I don’t think he has any Maoist links,” Srinivasulu told TEHELKA. “I know him is a poor tribal boy from a backward region trying to study in Delhi. He represents this area. He told me he fled because the police doubt him to be a Maoist informer. I said he should return, he belongs here, his presence here is important. I said I would help him in whatever way I can. I have a soft corner for him.”

Srinivasulu said he was not aware of Kodopi’s arrest. “I was traveling. I have just returned. I am hearing about this from you. I have called the Inspector General and Superintendent of Police to find out. It is an allegation of the police. It has to be proved. We will try to sort it out.

It is past sundown in the jungles of Chhattisgarh, and still Soni Sori must not return home. In frantic phone calls, she has been warned of men in plain clothes lurking outside her mud-hut, roaming the village market, patrolling all entry and exit points.

“Soni Sori is absconding,” confirmed Dantewada SP Ankit Garg. “We are looking for her.”

Over a breaking phone signal, her voice fading in and out, this is what Sori told TEHELKA on September 11: “The police are trying to kill me. They fired at me today. I fled. I fell into a hole as I was running. I managed to hide. I’m trying to escape from here. I need to get to Delhi. They know I know too much. I need to stay alive to keep the truth alive. They don’t want me to reach Delhi. I can’t let them kill me.”

There is nothing in Soni’s exasperated voice to suggest helplessness, to suggest that she is a victim. What is more terrifying is her sense of resolve. Last year, the Chhattisgarh police arrested her husband on charges of Maoist activity. Two months ago the Maoists accused her family of aiding the police, looted her house, and shot her father in the leg. “I can’t understand what’s going on,” she continued. “The Maoists looted everything we have. They shot at my father. Now, I’m running from the police. My five-year-old daughter is at home crying. My husband is in jail for being a Maoist. I don’t know what they want. Just wait. Let me come to Delhi. I will expose them. I cannot tell you on the phone what I know. Let me get out of here first. I don’t want to anger the police now.”

According to the Chhattisgarh police both Soni Sori and Lingaram Kodopi are abetting the banned CPI(Maoist). On September 10, police arrested Lingaram Kodopi and a local contractor named BK Lala for attempting to transfer funds to the Maoist party. The arrests were made after a secret US embassy cable released by the Wikileaks website alleged that Essar industrial group was paying huge sums to the Maoists to not interfere with their mining operations in Chhattisgarh. Essar has denied this.

“Lala was acting on behalf of Essar while Kodopi was acting on behalf of the Maoists”, Dantewada SP Ankit Garg told TEHELKA. “We arrested them from a weekly market in Palnar village. They planned to exchange Rs 15 lakh. We got a tip off and caught them red-handed with the money. There was another woman called Soni Sori with them. She escaped due to some confusion. “

Sori denies the allegation. “This is totally false. Seven men in civil dress arrested Lingaram from my house in Palnar village. They tried to drag me as well, but could not. We have nothing to do with Essar,” she told TEHELKA. She also revealed what is a significant twist to the official version. “The police wanted Lingaram and I to pose as Maoists. They asked us to meet the Essar representative as Maoists. They told us to collect Rs 15 lakh from Lala and hand it to them. We refused to do it.”

Asked whether the police plan to question any named Essar officials, Garg said: “BK Lala has confessed during interrogation that he was supplying money on behalf of Essar. But the statement of an accused has no value. It has to be corroborated. We will question Essar officials. If this claim is verified, then we will definitely make arrests and take legal action against Essar as well.”

This is not the first time Sori and Kodopi have been targeted by the Chhattisgarh police. “Both are Maoist associates with a criminal record,” SP Garg told TEHELKA. In July 2010, Chhattisgarh police issued warrants against the Kodopi, Sori and her husband for involvement in a Maoist attack on a Congress worker Avdesh Gautaum and his son. Gautam had escaped unhurt, while his son sustained bullet injuries. Incidentally, Sori’s elder brother Vijay Sori is a Congress block president in Dantewada. “This was not right. The Maoists should not have attacked Gautam’s son,” Soni told TEHELKA in an earlier interview.

Sources say the Maoist attack came after Gautam had convinced then Dantewada collector Reena Kangale to close down all the PDS distribution shops in Dantewada’s Kuakonda block. Alleging that Naxals were benefiting from rice doled out of village PDS shops, Gautam suggested he control all the rice distribution from a central point, his home. If any Maoists came to collect rice, he reasoned, he could then have them arrested. Gautam could not be reached for comment.

“It is Avdesh Gautam who named me in the FIR,” Sori says. “The police asked me ‘Did you not feel remorse attacking his son?’ Then they said they will withdraw the arrest warrant if I give them information about Maoist meetings and threatened to arrest me if I don’t.” Sori told TEHELKA in an earlier interview. The police also threatened her to sign a document which implicated them in the crime.

“The document said Lingaram is not of good character, that he travels to Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and abroad. It said that both Lingaram and I had attended a Naxal meeting in Andhra Pradesh a week before the attack on Avdesh Gautam,” Soni says.

It is these allegations that surfaced in a Chhattisgarh police press release in July last year. It alleged that Lingaram Kodopi is a senior Maoist Commander who received arms training in Delhi and Gujarat, and who frequently travels to America. It also touted him as a potential successor to CPI(Maoist) central spokesperson Azad who was killed in an encounter last year. Kodopi does not have a passport and claims he was not even present in Dantewada at the time of the Naxal attack on Gautam. He challenged these allegations in a press conference in New Delhi with social activist Swami Agnivesh and lawyer Prashant Bhushan. “There is no difference between the police and the Maoists,” he said.

It remains unclear whether the Chhattisgarh police continue to view Kodopi as a “Maoist commander” and spokesperson, or whether they now view him as a “Maoist associate.” When asked, Garg told TEHELKA: “In this particular case [Essar money transfer], it suggests he was playing the role of a Maoist associate. In the previous case, we are still ascertaining his role. Maoists spokesperson are not a single person, until they are completely identified (sic). As far as the Congress case is concerned, we are still investigating how Kodopi was connected. We are looking at all possible angles.”

It also remains unclear why the Chhattisgarh police have not yet arrested Soni Sori. While Kodopi fled to Delhi in 2009, Soni has remained in her village Palnar. “There are three arrest warrants against her. She has been absconding,” Garg told TEHELKA. This is a dubious claim since Soni says she had been marking attendance at a government school all along. “Yes, Soni is a government teacher. She was attending school,” Garg admitted to TEHELKA. “We tried to nab her several times but we were not able to. She could not be found [in the school]. We have written to the Collector to take appropriate action against her.”

A likely explanation for the police’s inability to arrest Sori is perhaps that she was being used as bait to lure Kodopi back to Chhattisgarh. “The police told me they will release my husband and withdraw my warrant if I call Linga back. But how can I betray my nephew?” Sori said.

Why Kodopi became a police target also remains unclear. It points to the eccentricities of a conflict zone where merely owning a motorcycle or organizing villagers can leave you marked. “My name is Lingaram from Sameli. I am a driver. My family has a car in which I ferry people. We have some land on which we farm. I am not very literate,” Kodopi said during an Independent People’s Tribunal held in Delhi in April 2010.

“I was watching TV at home in September last year. Five motorcycles came, with 10 men holding AK 47s. They asked me questions such as “Where did you get the bike from? How do you go about in style?” My family is fairly comfortably off, but they accused me of being a Naxalite. Then the police tortured me for 40 days. Why can’t we adivasis wear a good watch or drive a car without being picked up by the police?”

Kodopi was released from police custody on the direction of the Bilaspur High Court after his family filed a habeas corpus petition. Before he fled Chhattisgarh, Kodopi had been assisting a government project to built 22 toilets in Dantewada’s Kuakonda block.

“I’ve seen Avatar five times,” he once told then freelance journalist Divya Gupta. “Look at the technology used in that picture and the amount of money spent. In reality there are people dying who nobody wants to save. But I really liked that movie, even if it cost so much. It’s about us.”

Tusha Mittal is a Principal Correspondent with Tehelka.
tusha@tehelka.com

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Declare Solidarity with The Workers

Posted by Admin on September 12, 2011


Demand Maruti Suzuki India and Suzuki Motor Corporation to end lockout and take back all dismissed and suspended workers

India is witnessing one of the greatest workers’ struggle in recent times following the decision to force a lock out at the Manesar, Gurgaon plant of Maruti Suzuki India, the biggest car company in the country since the morning of 29th August. On this occasion we request all our friends to sign the petition declaring solidarity with the workers.


This piece is from Gurgaonworkersnews
Gurgaon in Haryana is presented as the shining India, a symbol of capitalist success promising a better life for everyone behind the gateway of development. At a first glance the office towers and shopping malls reflect this chimera and even the facades of the garment factories look like three star hotels. Behind the facade, behind the factory walls and in the side streets of the industrial areas thousands of workers keep the rat-race going, producing cars and scooters which end up in the traffic jam on the new highway between Delhi and Gurgaon. Thousands of young people lose time, energy and academic aspirations on night-shifts in call centres, selling loan schemes to working-class people in the US or pre-paid electricity schemes to the poor in the UK. Next door, thousands of rural-migrant workers uprooted by the agrarian crisis stitch and sew for export, competing with their angry brothers and sisters in Bangladesh or Vietnam.

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Red women on green rampage – Women’s wing of CPI(Maoist) tells Giridih to stop felling trees

Posted by Admin on September 1, 2011


VISHVENDU JAIPURIAR, The Telegraph

30hazgiridih.jpgMembers of Nari Mukti Sangh stage a rally in Pirtand, Giridih, on Monday. Picture by Tausheen Rubani

Forests of Pirtand in Giridih district have new best friends in the form of CPI(Maoist) women’s wing, Nari Mukti Sangh.

Since one week, around 70 women of the rebel outfit are taking out hour-long roadshows in the afternoon across the block, exhorting people not to cut trees. If they do, they better pay up a fine of Rs 1,000 or face some unspecified punishment, which is likely to involve beatings. It is green activism that takes itself seriously.

“Jungle bachana hi hoga varna aane wale vinaash ke liye hum khud hi zimmewar honge (we have to save forests at any cost now, otherwise we will be responsible for natural calamities),” thundered Neela Devi, one of the leaders of the outfit.

The women, armed with axes, sticks and spades, move from village to village with grim determination, spreading the message of afforestation.

Not only are they sloganeering, they are also taking out rallies and staging nukkad (neighbourhood) meetings in different villages of the Maoist stronghold.

Sources said unlike their male counterparts, the women don’t believe in violence. But if anyone felling trees is caught red-handed, he might be roughed up, as the women members have “threatened dire consequences” if people damage the area’s green cover.

When the women rebels are not issuing threats, they are also informing people about the importance of trees.

“Forests are our real assets. Please realise their importance and save trees. They absorb poisonous gases and are the best friends of man and wildlife,” said Devi at a rally on Monday.

Villagers, slightly bemused, are however turning up in large numbers to hear the women speak.

“We have had good response. Villagers have promised not to fell trees indiscriminately. But the Sangh will keep its eyes open,” said Devi.

On Monday, the Sangh’s roadshow passed through different villages including Masnotand, Pandnatand, Chilga and Palgunj, with around 70-odd women armed with pickaxes, spades and bamboo sticks chanting pro-green slogans and holding impromptu meetings.

At every spot, tens of villagers listened in pin-drop silence that would have been the envy of any green NGO.

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