Indian Vanguard

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Posts Tagged ‘Interview’

We fight for the people, and our only partners are the oppressed: Maoist Leader Koteshwar Rao

Posted by Admin on July 26, 2009

Date: June 21
Kolkata: A Maoist leader says the rebels are ready for “a protracted war” in Lalgarh, the area in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district that security forces are trying to free from the control of tribals and Maoists.

Defiant stance, A May picture of Koteshwar Rao, who says the stand-off between the Maoists and the government won’t end until police atrocities stop and the administration builds infrastructure at Lalgarh. Indranil Bhoumik

Defiant stance, A May picture of Koteshwar Rao, who says the stand-off between the Maoists and the government won’t end until police atrocities stop and the administration builds infrastructure at Lalgarh. Indranil Bhoumik

“Tell Buddhababu, his forces should fight us—the guerrillas—and not the tribals,” said Koteshwar Rao, who heads guerrilla operations of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in West Bengal. Buddhababu is a reference to West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

Seven months ago, tribals of Lalgarh, backed by Maoist guerrillas, seized control of the area in protest against alleged police atrocities. The administration last week deployed state and central forces to flush out the guerrillas, and has since regained control of the Lalgarh police station.

Rao, who claims to have amassed a huge cache of arms and ammunition, wants a dialogue with the state government, but the administration has ruled out any negotiations with the radical group or the tribals.

“Our aim is to free the locals of Lalgarh, who are living under the terror of the Maoists,” said Raj Kanojia, inspector general of police (law and order).
‘Let them send another 500 companies (of police)… This protracted war is not going to end soon.’

“The tribals are a pawn in the game…they are being used by the Maoists as a human shield. We are trying to flush out the Maoists, who have come from other states such as Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.”
In a telephone interview from Lalgarh, Rao denied that the Maoists were shooting from tribal shoulders. “They support us, and the support is entirely voluntary,” he said. Edited excerpts: Read the rest of this entry »

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Need to redefine nationalism: Binayak Sen

Posted by Admin on July 19, 2009

binayak_sen_20090526Since before Maoists were declared terrorists, Binayak Sen was treated like one for almost two years. The social activist, who works among the tribals and mine workers of Chhattisgarh was lodged in Raipur Central Jail, accused of being a Maoist conduit. His crime – being a doctor, he had agreed to treat the Naxal ideologue Narayan Sanyal. In a stunning move that one hopes is not routine, the state government clamped the dreaded Unlawful Activities Act on Sen and kept fighting against his release – without any proof, without any witness.

Released on bail and recuperating at his house after undergoing heart surgery at the Vellore Medical College, Binayak Sen tells’s Shashank Chouhan about his days in prison and how this country needs to reclaim its lost values.

Shashank: Is your case only an example of what’s happening across Chhattisgarh?

Binayak: Indeed. I have earlier also described mine as an index case- it only highlights problems in the other parts of the state. I had a lot of support from NGOs, Nobel laureates etc; think of the hapless tribals who don’t have that. Read the rest of this entry »

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Interview with Brigadier Basanth Kumar Ponwar, Director of Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College

Posted by Admin on July 19, 2009

‘We will have more Lalgarhs’

lalgarh_maoists_20090619Q&A: Brigadier Basant Kumar Ponwar
R Krishna Das / New Delhi July 19, 2009, 0:10 IST

Brigadier Basant Kumar Ponwar, the army’s counter-Naxalite expert and director of Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College, tells R KRISHNA DAS that this is the right time to destroy the rebels militarily and dismantle their network.

The Union government has imposed a ban on Naxalites. How effective will this be in tackling the problem?
Very effective. Now, there will be one rule across the country that will help the states reeling under the problem to coordinate better. Now, Naxalites have been bracketed with terrorist groups, including Lashkar E-Toiba. This will help the army (if required) take action against Naxalites.

Chhattisgarh and a few other states had earlier banned Naxalites and their frontal organisations. But this did not yield results
In Chhattisgarh, the Special Public Security Act helped authorities take action against the rebels’ sympathisers. The Naxalite movement cannot be seen only as an armed movement. A number of intellectuals, including experts from different fields, are associated with them. They may not be directly involved in operations but they help Naxalites one way or the other. Chhattisgarh was fighting alone as Naxalites used to slip into other states after committing crimes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mainstream politics not for us, says Koteshwar Rao,a member of the politburo of Communist Party of India (Maoist)

Posted by Admin on June 15, 2009

*This is a rare interview with Koteshwar Rao, a member of the politburo of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), the partys highest decision-making body. He is also head of the partys guerilla operations in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa. The original comments on this article said The 51-year-old Maoist leader refused to be photographed and set his own terms for the meeting. Mints reporters were asked to arrive at a school in Chakadoba where they waited for around 5 hours. At around dusk, they were escorted to where Rao wasa clearing in the jungle that was reached after a brisk 30-minute walk. In a conversation that lasted at least 5 hours, Rao, who greeted the reporters with the Maoist Lal salaam or red salute, explained the Maoist philosophy. And his groups ultimate objective.

*  *Edited excerpts:*

*The administration alleges that you ambush people and run awaythat you dont have the courage to fight them*

Absolute rubbishthey know we dont run away, but say so because they can neither ignore us nor can they fight us. Even on 2 November, when Buddhababus (West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee) convoy was attacked, I was within a kilometre of where the blast took place. Huge forces were deployed, the area was combed, but I did not run away. All our comrades in (West) Bengal are sons and daughters of the soil. Where will they run away? For the last five years, I am camping here and helping the organization grow. The Intelligence Branch knows everything. They know what I look likethey even have a picture taken last year. Read the rest of this entry »

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