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Archive for the ‘Lalgarh’ Category

Encounter deaths or cold blooded murders ?

Posted by Admin on July 20, 2011


Sidhu Soren, CC Member of PCPA, CPI Maoist leader

Sidhu Soren, CC Member of PCPA Martyred on 26-07-2010, Goaltore – Lalgarh

July 18, 2011 by Ranjit Sur

The Supreme court of India ordered a CBI enquiry into the death of CPI( Maoist) leader Azad (Cherakuri Rajkumar), following allegations by his party and several civil rights organizations that Azad was murdered in a fake encounter by the Andhra Police. Even Ms Mamata Banerjee, the new Chief Minister of West Bengal, raised her voice in protest and demanded a proper enquiry, while addressing a public meeting in Jangalmahal before the Assembly election.

In West Bengal, except Chatrodhar Mahato, almost all the important leaders of the Adivasi Uprising of Jangalmahal (or the Lalgarh movement as it is popularly called) have faced the same fate as that of Azad. According to the previous Left Front government’s statements, all of them died during “encounters” in the jungles.

Lalmohan Tudu was picked up from his house by the West Bengal police and shot dead on 22.2.2010The legendary leaders like Lalmohan Tudu, Sidhu Soren, Umakanta Mahato, Shoshodhar Mahato and many more died in “encounters” with the joint forces in West Medinipur’s Lalgarh region. People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA), in a written statement, complained that Lalmohan Tudu, their President, while returning from home after meeting his daughter (who was due to appear in the Madhyamik exams) was killed by the joint forces from point blank range. Sidhu Soren was killed along with four more militia activists while sleeping in the jungles at Metala. Umakanta Mahato was captured by the CPI(M) activists and handed over to the joint forces who eventually killed him. Seven young CPI(Maoist) squad members were killed at night in the jungles at Ranjja while they were asleep – their bodies were carried hanging in bamboos which created huge resentment.

Lalmohan Tudu, President of thePCPA was picked up from his house by the West Bengal police and shot dead on 22.2.2010

The last “encounter death” in Lalgarh, just before the election process began, was that of Shoshodhar Mahato’s. He was the younger brother of Chatradhar Mahato – jailed PCPA spokesperson. After identifing the body of Shoshodhar Mahato, Chatrodhar issued a statement and claimed that his brother was killed in a fake encounter. He claimed that he was killed by the joint forces after being captured from a hideout. An Association for Protection of Democratice Rights (APDR) fact finding also claimed that bullet injuries and position of his body and arms etc proved that there was no encounter at all and he was killed in a fake encounter. Police authorities and Government of West Bengal as usual claimed that he was killed in an encounter and they refused to order any enquiry.

Actually, the Left Front Government of West Bengal never ordered any enquiry for any of the “encounter” deaths. PCPA has published a list of martyrs of the Lalgarh movement and there were 94 names on that list, counted till August 2010. Out of these 94 persons, 45 persons were shown as murdered in fake encounters by joint forces or Bengal police. Not a single encounter has been investigated by the Government of West Bengal, nor any enquiry has been ordered.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRzG_-oX2PXe1aEeNayoYHq1ma7GaqMy_cGHdGab5RUxCVraGFdEIRFrgUmakant Mahato, PCPA Leader was captured by the CPI(M) activists and handed over to the joint forces, later killed on 27th August 2010.

National Human Rights Commission has ordered that every ‘encounter death’ should be reported to them within 48 hrs and every ‘encounter death’ should be investigated by an independent organisation. Our IPC, CrPC and Article 21 of Indian constitution also demand full and impartial investigation in case of each and every ‘encounter death’. Yet none of that has happened in West Bengal. The most heinous crime is that in most of these cases, the families were deprived of the bodies of their dear ones. The Government claimed that the families did not demand the bodies. But APDR investigation revealed that they were strongly threatened of facing the same fate if they were to go for collecting the bodies. Even the post mortem reports were not provided to most of the families of the victims.
Sasadhar Mahato, Maoist leader Killed in a fake encounter on March 10, 2011

West Bengal has a new government now. But the new Chief Minister ,Ms Mamata Banerjee, is still maintaining a calculated silence over the issue. Not a single Police personnel has been punished for torturing people during the previous regime. But the people of Jangalmahal and rights activists across the state expect and demand that the new government announce a thorough investigation into all the cases of encounter deaths in West Bengal and give exemplary punishments to the culprits and due compensation to the families of the victims.

(The author a Secretariat member of APDR. But the opinions expressed here are his own.) Source: Sanhati

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Pictures That Turn A Generation; Armies That Lie

Posted by Admin on June 30, 2010


Nguyen.jpg

By Trevor Selvam

28 June, 2010
Countercurrents.org

A picture could very well be a tide turner. The one image that makes a nation sit up, shake itself off its torpor and ask itself, how much more of this repetitive official nonsense can we accept and justify in our quest to become a developed nation and overlook the rampant denial of due process and decency. A picture can be a conscience raiser, the final straw, the one blow that cuts up the fine line between what a civil society will accept and outright barbarism. Not too many people remember the name of Nguyễn Ngọc Loan. But a lot of people remember this picture.

The man who took this picture, Eddie Adams, won a Pulitzer prize. It helped turn the tide of one war-The Vietnam War.

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Nguyen Ngoc Loan c Loan was the former Vietnamese Army Brigadier and later Chief of the National Police of South Vietnam. Here he is seen executing Nguyn Văn Lém, handcuffed Viet Cong Captain. This was one of many pictures that turned the tide in many ways and showed American people, how bestial were the forces that they were propping up. America lost that war decisively. Lock stock and barrel. Thousands and thousands of anti-war activists and radical groups took to the streets. Nixon was caught red-handed with the Watergate break-in. The entire fibre of American society was on the block. They used all the might they had, all the firepower, WMD and chemical defoliants (remember Agent orange and its creators Dow Chemicals, who are the proud owners of Union Carbide today? ) available at that time to unleash a ruthless, at times covert war, against the Vietnamese people. Wave upon wave of Viet Cong swarmed the Americans and eventually, the world’s most powerful military in the world, scurried away with their stooges in tow and so did this Vietnamese Brigadier at the time of the fall of Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City). He took refuge in America. He opened a pizza restaurant in Washington DC and managed to hide his identity for a long time. Eventually, he was exposed and history caught up with him. Signs started appearing in the bathroom of his pizza parlour. “We know who you are, fucker.” The man died a lonesome death very soon after. Read the rest of this entry »

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Chhatradhar Mahato responds to Mamata Banerjee

Posted by Admin on January 26, 2010


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Source: Sanhati

[Recently, Mamata Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress supremo, had offered to mediate negotiations between the agitating adivasis of Lalgarh and the government. In response, Chhatradhar Mahato, the imprisoned leader of People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), wrote an open letter from jail, which was published in the Bengali daily newspaper Pratidin. A translated version of the letter is published below.]

I saw in the newspapers that you have organised a press conference and declared: “who is Chhatradhar?”. Also, you have accused me of being corrupt. I don’t regret that you don’t know who Chhatradhar is, but you are certainly answerable for saying that I am corrupt. Prior to this, the DG of the state spread stories about my possessing crores of rupees and owning houses in different places and now have shut up. Now you too have said so. Fine. I now request you to tell the public what acts of corruption I have committed and where. I see that at the same time you have expressed a desire to unleash the armed forces. I don’t know whether you remember the bone-chilling screams of our mothers in Manipur: the Indian Army raping them. So, our mothers and sisters in Jangalmahal got extremely concerned with these talks about deploying the army. I fear that the bone-chilling screams of our mothers in Manipur might be echoed in Jangal Mahal, the breeze through the Shaal and Mahul forests will get poisoned. I pray that this wish of yours is never fulfilled. Read the rest of this entry »

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Amit Bhattacharyya on the Historic Importance of the Lalgarh Movement

Posted by Admin on January 3, 2010


Source:Revolution in South of Asia Posted by Ka Frank on January 2, 2010

PCPA meeting near Lalgarh

In this article, Amit Bhattacharyya, a professor of history at Jadavpur University in Kolkata, takes up two important subjects.First, he describes the people’s development projects that the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities and the Maoistshave undertaken in the region around Lalgarh in the areas of land distribution, irrigation, road building, health, education and the preservation of adivasi culture. Secondly, he responds to some urban intellectuals criticisms of the role of the Maoists in the Lalgarh movement, and their objections to the movement’s use of arms to resist the much larger and more heavily armed central and state military forces.

Originally Posted by Democratic Students Union, December 31, 2009

War Against the People and the Historic Lalgarh Movement

-Amit Bhattacharyya

The Indian ruling classes and the central government they have set up to serve them have very recently declared one of the most unjust and brutal wars against the people which is quite unprecedented in the history of our country. Such a massive mobilization of armed forces, paramilitary forces, police forces and air forces totalling around 1 lakh personnel, along with US-Israel military assistance of various types only highlights the magnitude of the war.

They have identified the Maoists as the ‘greatest threat to the internal security of the country since independence’ i.e, the security of the Indian ruling classes. The entire forested region in central and eastern India have been divided into seven Operating Areas, which they want to ‘clear’ within the next five years of all resistance, including that by the Maoists and other Naxalite organizations. A massive amount of money to the tune of Rs.7300 crore has already been earmarked for meeting the cost of this war.

Needless to state, this war against the people is being waged in the interests of foreign capital and domestic big comprador capital. Hundreds of MoUs have been signed between imperialists and domestic sharks and the central and state governments that would further intensify the process of plunder and loot of our vast natural resources and bring more displacement and add to the misery and ruin in the lives of the impoverished people of our country. Lalgarh, nay, the Jangal Mahal region, is a region that, as the central home minister Mr. P. Chidambaram declared, would be treated as a laboratory to undertake experiments in dealing with this ‘greatest internal threat’ and then to utilize that experience for crushing resistance in such states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa. We propose to deal with the great Lalgarh movement that has already found its rightful place in the history of just struggles of our country. Read the rest of this entry »

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Forest officers dial Kishenji, seek protection

Posted by Admin on December 29, 2009


If revelation of Maoist leader Kishenji’s calls to state bureaucrats was not embarrassing enough for the Left Front government, it has now come to light that on Wednesday two forest officials called on the elusive leader’s cellphone and pleaded with him to protect them.

“We tap all the calls on Kishenji’s cellphone. That was how we got to know about the calls from two rangers in the Lalgarh-Jhargram belt. They spoke for 5 to 6 minutes,” said a senior police officer.

The rangers called up Kishenji hours after the Maoist-backed Sidhu-Kanhu Gana Militia ransacked the Parihati range office in Jhargram and assaulted ranger Pratap Acharya.

Acharya had earlier refused to hand over the government funds he had in the office to the Maoists. Irked by this, the Maoists beat him up with wooden planks. At present, he is in a critical condition.

Asked about the issue, Atanu Raha, principal chief conservator of forests, said: “We inquired into the matter. As of now we have not got the names of the rangers. Around 5-6 cases have been reported to me in which the Maoists after ransacking the range offices stole mobile phones of our rangers. There are possibilities that the Maoists are using these cellphones to mislead the police and the intelligence agencies.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Our movement for Adak and Bera’s release will continue: PCPA

Posted by Admin on December 19, 2009


Rebel kill-&-burn spree
OUR CORRESPONDENT
19trucks.jpgThe blaze at the sponge iron factory. (Samir Mondal)

Jhargram, Dec. 18: Maoists killed three CPM workers, set ablaze oil tankers on a national highway and torched a sponge iron factory and over a dozen vehicles on the first day of a protest against arrests which police denied having made.

Raju Adak and Joyram Bera had allegedly been picked up from Lalgarh on December 6, but no one by those names has been produced in court — in Jhargram or Midnapore — in the past few days.

“No such arrest has been made,” West Midnapore police chief Manoj Verma said.

The People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities identified the duo as its leaders and vowed to continue the agitation for their release.

Police sources said the duo were “hardcore” Maoists who used the committee as a front. Residents of Lalgarh, they have over 30 murder cases against them.

“The Maoists committed today’s murders and engineered the arson,” said Verma. Read the rest of this entry »

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Maoists fuel villager ‘anger’ – Roads dug up to protest Thursday’s police firing

Posted by Admin on December 12, 2009


12salboni.jpgOUR BUREAU
An assembly of alleged Maoist-backed villagers on Friday night outside the Salboni police camp that was attacked on Thursday. The demonstrators allegedly snapped power lines in the area during the protest. Picture by Samir Mondal

Dec. 11: Maoists mobilised people in thousands who surrounded police camps in Salboni and protested a day after security forces killed a villager, firing on a mob that had besieged them.

The guerrillas, who instigated last evening’s attack and then joined the villagers with guns, seized the opportunity today to cash in on popular anger over the police firing.

The police said the more the rebels were getting cornered in Lalgarh, the more they were trying to build up “Lalgarh-type” resistance in other areas.

“Their might in Lalgarh is not what it used to be because the joint forces have been able to take control of the area to a large extent. So, the Maoists are now looking for fresh hunting grounds. That’s why they are killing CPM workers and attacking the forces in Salboni and parts of Jhargram,” an officer said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lalgarh: Police fire on mob, 1 dead

Posted by Admin on December 11, 2009


– Rebels kill 4 CPM activists, stir trouble at cop camp
OUR CORRESPONDENT

Midnapore, Dec. 10: Police firing killed a man and injured several others who were part of a mob allegedly backed by Maoists that raided their camp this evening, capping a 24-hour spell in which the guerrillas gunned down four CPM supporters, looted homes and torched an office.

Those who stormed the state armed police camp at Satbari in Salboni, 15km from Midnapore town, were allegedly armed with bombs and pistols.

They were protesting this morning’s arrest of alleged Maoist squad member Dipali Mahato in connection with a blast on November 27 which killed two cops.The police said that between six and seven this evening, a large crowd gathered in front of the camp and tried to prevent two groups of policemen from entering after duty. The mob dispersed when chased, only to reassemble.

When reinforcements arrived at 7.30, the van drove through, but scores of people made it in, too, following it.Once inside, the police said, they started hurling bombs and firing.West Midnapore superintendent Manoj Verma the police fired in “self-defence”.“While four people took bullets, four sustained splinter injuries from bombs that some of their own were throwing.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Forces leave one school in Lalgarh

Posted by Admin on December 4, 2009


04student.jpgOUR CORRESPONDENT
File picture of a students’ protest against the shutdown at Gohomidanga High School

Midnapore, Dec. 3: The government has started shifting security forces camping in schools in the Lalgarh region, days after Calcutta High Court set a December 31 deadline for doing so.

About 200 CRPF and state police personnel today vacated Gohomidanga High School, where protests against the halt to classes began in July.

The forces had entered the school in June after marching into Lalgarh to end a seven-month siege led by Maoists.

Today, the jawans marched 15km to Chandra, where a temporary camp has been set up on the panchayat premises.

West Midnapore district police chief Manoj Verma said the high schools under security forces’ occupation in Kantapahari, Bhimpur, Lalgarh and Nachhipur would be vacated in the next seven days. “New buildings to house the forces are almost ready. Work on water and power supply is on.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Teachers, students hail Calcutta court’s order to troops to vacate Lalgarh schools

Posted by Admin on November 27, 2009


Student's protest agianst police camps

From ANI

Lalgarh (WB), Nov 26: Teachers and students in a Lalgrah village cluster on Wednesday welcomed the Calcutta High Court’s recent order asking paramilitary troops to vacate all school campuses by November 30.

Paramilitary forces had set up camps in various schools in Medinipur district, where Lalgarh is located, in July when joint operations commenced against the Maoists who had declared a ‘liberated zone’ in the areas under their control.

In Jangalmahal area, 20 schools were initially occupied by paramilitary forces. However, presently, the forces are camping in 10 schools of Binpur, Goaltore, Lalgarh, Ramgarh, Gohomidanga and Salboni.

“Removal of paramilitary forces would help the students to study properly. Many of our rooms have been occupied by the troops. We can now conduct classes properly,” said Chandi Das De, a teacher.

“Hearing the High Court’s order we were very happy as the paramilitary forces will vacate the place and we will be able to study and take exams freely,” said Abhishek Das, a student.

The frequent strikes and shutdowns called by the Maoist-backed People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) had also crippled academics since the tribal movement against the state administration started in the area.

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Lalgarh: Students block highway in protest against torture

Posted by Admin on November 20, 2009


Lalgarh students protest against police camps

Kolkata, Nov 20 (PTI) Students of a high school today blocked the state highway near Lalgarh for nearly four hours in protest against the alleged torture of a schoolmate by joint forces.

Agitated students of Bikash Bharati High School blocked State Highway-9 at 11 am demanding immediate release of Lalit Mahato, a student of class-X who was detained by the joint forces, and apology from the district administration, police said.

The incident took place early in the morning when the groups of joint forces, who were returning after a gunfight with maoists at Joyalbahanga forest near Jhargram, held Mahato and two other students, who were going to take board examination, for questioning, they said, adding the security personnel left the two but took Mahato to the camp for further interrogation.

Manipur: Four lakh students, protesting against extra judicial killing may lose academic year

Around four lakh students may lose out on an academic year in Manipur, following a boycott of classes since September 9 in protest of the alleged extra judicial killing of a youth.

The All Manipur Students’ Union, Manipur Students’ Federation and Kangleipak Students’ Association had declared a boycott of all Educational Institutions in Manipur in response to the killing that occured in July this year.

The mass protest has continued for over two months and the student bodies are refusing to budge until their demands for Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh’s resignation is met.

Parents and educationists in the state blame the AMSU and government for the plight of these students.

“If classes are boycotted further, we do not know what will happen to the fate of lakhs of students in the state and thousands of them may also lose the opportunity to apply for professional courses next year,” said a principal of a reputed government institution.

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Lalgarh: Japan boost to Jindal steel project

Posted by Admin on November 20, 2009


OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Calcutta, Nov. 19: The world’s sixth largest steel maker may come to Bengal as a partner in Sajjan Jindal’s JSW Steel for its proposed project in Salboni, West Midnapore.

JFE Steel Corporation of Japan and JSW today announced strategic collaboration on various fronts, with the Bengal project being the cornerstone of the deal.

Jindal, vice-chairman and MD of JSW Group, said JFE was keen to participate in the 10-million-tonne Bengal project.

Industry sources said JFE could even pick a stake in the special purpose vehicle, JSW Bengal Steel Ltd, which would execute the Rs 35,000-crore project over the next 10 years.

Jindal had announced the commencement of construction on November 2, 2008.

While chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was returning from the programme that day, Maoists tried to blow him up. The police action that followed sowed the seeds of the Lalgarh agitation and a guerrilla uprising.

JSW stopped construction, but blamed the economic meltdown for the delay instead of the Maoist trouble. Jindal said he would be able to arrange funds for the 3-million-tonne first phase only by 2011, when the company’s ongoing expansion at Vijaynagar, Karnataka, was completed.

The year 2011 is also one when Bengal will go to polls with the possibility of a change of guard at Writers’ Buildings.

Not many are hopeful of a start earlier than 2011 and Jindal has remained non-committal. Read the rest of this entry »

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