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Posts Tagged ‘Naxal’

Naxal activity noticed in Delhi, says Govt.

Posted by Admin on July 8, 2009


New Delhi (PTI) The Government on Wednesday said intelligence inputs suggest Naxal activity in Delhi, Punjab and Uttarakhand.

“As per available inputs, certain Maoists activities have come to notice in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand,” Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Maken said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

He, however, said there were no reports of Maoist violence in these areas.

He said the government has adopted an integrated approach in dealing with Left Wing Extremism activities in the arenas of security, development and public perception.

The country has witnessed a total of 1,128 incidents of Naxal violence till June 30 this year which left 455 civilians and security personnel dead.

A total of 107 naxalites were killed and 861 arrested during the same period.

The Hindu

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Lalgarh: an analysis of the media’s war hysteria

Posted by Admin on July 2, 2009


By Partho Sarathi Ray, Sanhati. June 24, 2009.

War-hysteria in media: cobras, shields, and sanitization

police-take-lalgarhWe have been witnessing what can only be described as “war hysteria” in the media coverage of the current situation in Lalgarh and adjoining areas. It appears as if the great protectors of the “rule of law”, the West Bengal state police, propped up by the CRPF and a plethora of other armed forces, with suitably scary acronyms like COBRA, are out to regain a chunk of Indian territory occupied by a hostile country. What is conveniently not being mentioned is that for ages the police itself has behaved like invaders in the area, willfully torturing and humiliating people, and that is why they had been boycotted in that area for the past six months. With blow-by-blow accounts of their progress, and description of how they are penetrating “human shields”, and “sanitizing” whole areas, it doesn’t seem that their adversaries are the poorest of the poor, the most marginalized sections of Indian society, the adivasis who are armed with traditional weapons like bows and arrows, and some Maoist cadre, who would be a few dozen at the most, and armed mostly with weapons looted from the police and improvised explosive devices.

The trigger in Dharampur: a popular response to rampaging harmad militias

More importantly, what is being represented as a war between the Maoists and the Indian state, conveniently glosses over some points that we need to pay our attention to. The rural area of Lalgarh has been out of bounds for the administrative machinery of the state since last November, since the uprising of the adivasi-moolvasi people of the area against police atrocities. With the setting up of the PCPA, the adivasis had been running their own affairs, and even taking up much-needed developmental work, a whiff of functioning democracy in the middle of the hoax that goes on by the name of democratic governance in large parts of India.

Then, what suddenly triggered this confrontation, and this cascade of events that is lalgarh111today witnessing police dragging out women from houses in the Lalgarh area and beating them blue and black and hundreds of people fleeing to relief camps?

It points to the incident which happened in Dharampur, near Lalgarh town, on June 14th. It was reported in the press on that day, but now has been conveniently forgotten as the press is busy to set up the Maoists, and the PCPA, which they repeatedly call Maoist-controlled contrary to all evidence and denials by the PCPA leadership, as the arch-villains in this episode.

Dharampur is near Lalgarh town, and it was a CPI(M) stronghold where the house of the zonal committee member, Anuj Pandey, was located. On 14th June, a PCPA rally was proceeding towards that place, called to protest against the arrest and reported rape of adivasi women who had gone to a meeting in Chakulia in Jharkhand. It was a usual PCPA rally, with traditional weapons and led by women as usual. When it neared Dharampur, it was attacked by CPI(M) harmads, targeting the women. The rallyists couldn’t resist this attack and dispersed, but then a Maoist squad arrived and started a gun battle with the CPI(M) cadres, which continued till late in the night.

With their superior firepower, the Maoists gunned down at least nine of the CPI(M) attackers. Thereafter, the next day there were multiple rallies called by the PCPA, and the people in these rallies, who were incensed by the CPI(M) attack of the previous day, decided to take over the CPI(M) strongholds of Dharampur, a major operating base for the CPI(M) harmads, and Lalgarh town which was still under the administrative control of the government. The Maoist squad accompanied them, to resist attacks by the CPI(M), and not allow a repetition of the past day’s incident.

20,000 Maoists and “frontal organisations”?

What followed has been widely reported, how CPI(M) party offices were burnt down,lalgarh-adibasis how the palatial house of Anuj Pandey, the widely hated CPI(M) leader, was broken down, and how some CPI(M) members were killed. It was a spontaneous outburst of pent up fury of the people, people who had been subjected to humiliation and exploitation by these same CPI(M) leaders on a daily basis. They acted out of a sense of deliverance from the hegemony and corruption of the CPI(M). The Maoists were definitely present, but the 10,000-20,000 people who participated in this uprising were definitely not Maoists, as has been represented by the press. They were common people, and their anger and frustration found expression in this outburst. Although a number of political leaders, including those from the Trinamool Congress and Congress, made statements to this effect, it has completely been glossed over by the mainstream press.

Human shields – a physical protection of liberty and development

In order to reinforce this idea, multiple press reports have tried to represent the human walls set up by the adivasis as “human shields” being used by the Maoists to protect themselves from the police and paramilitary. It is possibly incomprehensible to the corporate media that these people were standing there not to protect the Maoists, but to protect the freedom that they have enjoyed for the past six months, freedom from daily harassment and humiliation, and to preserve the gains that they had made during that time, like the building of a few roads and digging of a few ponds, meeting the immediate needs of the people, things that Indian state has not provided in the past sixty-two years.

Teaching adivasis a few lessons along the way

mass_movement_lalgarh_maoismHowever, as expected, they could not resist the brute force unleashed by the same state that had failed them so miserably. The police and paramilitary dispersed them by teargas and lathicharging, and since then there has been innumerable reports of atrocities being committed by the police. Remarkably, much of these atrocities were committed in the villages on the way to Lalgarh town, which were not even within the zone that was under the control of the PCPA. It appears that the state is bent upon teaching the adivasis a lesson for standing up for their dignity, and the Maoists represented a suitable bogey for doing so. The Maoists, according to their stated policy of guerrilla warfare, would not engage in a frontal confrontation with the paramilitary forces. So what have effectively taken place are a few skirmishes between vastly assymetrical adversaries, and the brave saviours of “law and order” have vented their righteous ire on the unarmed adivasis.

Maoist presence: an old fact and a rehashed bogey

The Maoists have been active in the entire jangalmahal area for a long time, and have been fighting a running battle with the state. The adivasis in the area have long been victimized by the police for this, and it was the police brutalities in the wake of the landmine attack on the West Bengal CM’s convoy by the Maoists that triggered this uprising. The Maoists have been with the adivasis of Lalgarh in this uprising against the state, just as members of many other political parties including the Congress, have been with them. What we are witnessing today is that the Indian state is using this as an excuse to delegitimize the just demands and aspirations of the adivasis, which stemmed from a simple demand for the recognition of their dignity. Attacks on indigeneous people are taking place all over the world, whenever they are resisting the state and the corporations attempt to deprive them of their land, water, forests and dignity, as we recently saw in the attacks on the Peruvian indigeneous people in the Amazon area. All attempts to resist and retaliate are being represented as insurgency and a breakdown of “law and order”. The corporate press is playing along with this, as we see in the case of Lalgarh, and deliberately glossing over facts and issues, to represent the struggle of the indigeneous people, in which armed struggle is increasingly playing a part, as a loss of sovereign authority by the state, which has to be regained at any cost.

Ground dynamics and civil society

The “civil society” in West Bengal, and all over India, has rightly been very distressed over these incidents and condemned both the atrocities committed by the state and what many think to be the reckless behaviour of the Maoists. However, it is also to be expected that the civil society cannot decide, or dictate, what course a movement on the ground will take. A movement develops its own dynamics, based on the ground conditions, and always does not follow a linear path to the most desirable end. Therefore, it becomes the duty of civil society to stand up and be counted when common people are at the receiving end of oppression by the state. We should express our solidarity with the struggle of the adivasis for justice and development, deplore the atrocities being committed on them by the armed forces of the state and demand the immediate withdrawal of the latter from the area as a necessary condition for normalization of the situation and also condemn all the attempts by the state to use this excuse to impinge on the democratic rights of the people. The adivasis had risen up with the demand of a small apology from the police, if what is happening now does not stop, the Indian state will owe them a much bigger one.

Sanhati

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The Dark Side: A Political Travelogue through Orissa

Posted by Admin on July 2, 2009


Traveling through cut-off villages near Balimela reservoir, to parts of the Dandakaranya forest and the Niyamgiri hills, the writer encounters villagers who have been paying the price of “India’s economic miracle”. His guide-book promises a great place for scenic beauty and adventure water sport – he finds instead darkness, hospitals five hours away, aluminum behemoths displacing tribals with impunity – and growing mutinies.

Balimela reservoir: The cut-off village of Sitagandhi

Our launch took two hours to reach Singaram, the first “cut-off” village on Balimela reservoir, which my tourist guidebook calls “a great place for scenic beauty and adventure water sport.” As the lone boat of the day had left, the only way in was to hitch a ride with the police. As advertised, serene deep blue water surrounded lush and lofty green hills. But life for people in this unhappy corner of Orissa state is no idyll.

India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, built dams here in Orissa in the 1950s to improve the lives of the poor. He called them “the new temples of modern India.” Balimela was a pioneer project of a hopeful new experiment of a newly independent nation: Nehruvian development. Read the rest of this entry »

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Masses make their own histories — Democratic Students Union Document

Posted by Admin on July 2, 2009


Expose SFI-CPM’s Lies! Stand by Lalgarh’s Struggle against State Repression!

Masses make their own histories, not in the best of circumstances of their own choice but in the circumstances given to them.

–Marx

The old is dying and the new is struggling to be born; in this interregnum there arises a great diversity of morbid symptoms.

–Gramsci

As more and more write-ups and commentaries on the people’s uprising in Lalgarh is pouring in, it is important to respond to some of the salient points that keep coming up albeit couched in political sophistry. Whether it is from the sensation-crazed media or from Karats to Yechury, Biman Bose or Buddhadeb and their likes in the Liberation, or the SFI and AISA in this campus, all have striking similarities. The most striking aspect which also speaks volumes of their political bankruptcy is their latent and mortal fear to accept that people, the masses of the people, can also think. They do have a political will determined by their objective and subjective experiences of the harsh realities of eking out a livelihood in some of the most economically backward regions of the subcontinent. This is a deliberate vice of all ruling class ideologies and their practitioners to portray people as lifeless beings, empty receptacles who can only be `gullible’ and `innocent’. So like the “white man’s burden” it is for the righteous CPM, Liberation and their torchbearers in the campus —including some of the learned faculty— to show the people the `true’ path. But this path is of servility to the existing exploitative, blood-thirsty policies promoted by all the political parties that have put their money-bags in the parliament.

Why are these parties insisting that the people of Lalgarh are gullible, ignorant, innocent, illiterate…? It is only in that way they can justify their massive police-paramilitary build up in the region to `liberate’ the people from the clutches of the Maoists who have led them astray under the barrel of the gun. What CPM, Liberation, SFI and AISA is conveniently forgetting is that the same people of Lalgarh has long been fighting the harmads, the fascist goons of the CPM armed to the teeth with ammunition provided from the government ordinance factories. These storm-troopers were the forces through which the CPM used to maintain their control over the people, enforce elections, corner government money meant for the development of the adivasis, and maintain an informers’ network which used to work in tandem with the police. So to say the Maoists have terrorised the people of Lalgarh into submission to indulge in their `infantile disorder’ is to refuse to admit the bold and daring initiative of the masses of Jangalkhand, their efforts to build a future free from all forms of exploitation and domination. The efforts to build health centres, roads linking up all the villages, small check dams and other water harvesting methods through which they have managed two crops a season are all definite indicators of the political will of the people, their vision of their future. Through these efforts where the people –adivasis and dalits were at the centre of development and not CPM and its village strongmen – the impoverished masses of Lalgarh has succeeded in freeing themselves from CPM’s stranglehold in the last eight months of the movement against state repression, and to reverse their dependency on migratory labour outside the region. This people who have dared to manage their own future can rebel against any form of domination and exploitation, and as per SFI if the Maoists are doing that, then they too will be taught a lesson by the masses. The People’s Committee have given an open call for everyone to visit these areas to have a first hand knowledge of what is becoming and what is passing away in the unfolding struggle of Lalgarh. Perhaps the SFI and AISA members should go to these areas and see the initiative of the masses for themselves, and discover the truth.

SFI was quoting Mao perhaps to teach the DSU a lesson or two on the need for politics to be in command of all the actions by the revolutionaries. But strangely one thing that is missing in all the SFI and AISA pamphlets was politics from the point of view of the oppressed, deprived, discriminated and exploited. While reading Mao, SFI might have also come across this great insight from that Marxist practitioner—to have faith in the masses and only the masses. All the parliamentary parties fear the masses. Whenever the masses rise in revolt they grab the constitution which normally and conveniently they forget. They turn upside down all dissidence of the people into a `law and order’ question. So when Yechury is busy asking Manmohan Singh to show his seriousness by deploying the forces with immediate effect in Lalgarh and adjoining areas, Prakash Karat makes a song and dance about the virtues of dealing with the Maoists politically and `administratively’. To add to this, Brinda Karat has gone senile to the extent that she has harped on the imperialist backed (for CPM’s alleged opposition to the Nuke Deal) efforts of the Congress-Trinamul-`Ultra Left’ combine to dislodge a democratically elected government of West Bengal. In all this double–talk of the CPM leaders, their fascist face could not be hidden from the masses. Soon they set the gun on Chidambaram’s shoulder to declare the CPI (Maoist) as a terrorist organisation. So much for their political and ideological dealing with the Maoists. They have even declined to differentiate between the Maoists and the members of the People’s Committee leading the struggle, paving way for the persecution of one and all resisting state repression. When we look into the arms-haul made from the CPM office in Khejuri near Nandigram—which Mamata Banerjee had declared as `liberated from the clutches of CPM’—nobody asked as to how a party could have police uniforms and ammunition from the ordinance factories in its office. Predictably, there was no police-paramilitary operation against Mamata’s `liberated’ Khejuri. This also shows the class character of ruling class oppression of all forms of dissent —whether armed or unarmed— that are genuinely from the masses of the people. As long as it is turf war between CPM and Trinamul, Congress or BJP, it is not a law and order question.

SFI has blamed the Maoists for making people’s struggles a `law and order’ question. Does that mean the people do not have any right to defend themselves against the flagrant violation of their right to livelihood, dignity, and security? There was also an indication that in Kandhamal it was due to the Maoist killing of the Hindu Fascist Lakshmanananda that the people of Kandhamal had to suffer the persecution of the RSS-Bajrang Dal goons. So does that mean by the same standards, the people of Lalgarh have to suffer in the hands of the security forces because the Maoists sided with the oppressed masses? The SFI should come clear. They would make even an RSS and ABVP proud with their findings, which lacks any class analysis and reads like the handout of the officialdom.

Today anyone who defiantly speak against the anti-people policies of the government and at the same time keep all ruling class parties away from their struggle are branded Maoists. And Chidambaram-Buddha combine have also called the Maoists as terrorists. The SFI taking cue from that has also started profiling the very ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. If they have differences with the ideology of the revolutionaries, they should state first their ideological-political differences. Who is the genuine representative of the revolutionary ideals of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Mao and all people’s heroes will be determined by those who have dared to make their own histories not in circumstances of their own choice but in circumstances given to them. Lalgarh and its people have dared to do it. The progressive and democratic forces including the Maoists have said they are with them. It is only the CPM, SFI, Liberation and AISA by indulging in duplicity have turned against the fighting masses, or are parroting the oft-repeated sophistry that `innocent’ [read ignorant] people are caught between the state and the Maoists. They should know that the failure of the revisionist CPM in West Bengal or Kerala does not mean the defeat of communist ideology in the subcontinent. It only shows the failure of a party that turned against the cause of social change by caricaturing Marxism, by becoming a part of the Indian ruling class, and thereby the trusted agents of imperialism, feudalism and the big bourgeoisie. The complete failure of CPM in addressing the genuine demands of the adivasis and poor peasants even after their 30 years of virtual reign in West Bengal is a tell-tale sign of the party’s deviation from the basics of Marxist politics. Their reactionary political ideology as is visible from the failure of land redistribution among the masses, and also from the invitation to the Tatas and Jindals for establishing the industries at the cost of poor peasants and adivasis. It is no different from Congress and BJP’s pro-imperialist political line.

Branding anyone who is standing against state oppression as Maoists has become a license to torture and kill. And it is not a new tactic, it was employed when dalit Christians were burnt alive by the RSS goons in Orissa, in persecuting adivasis in the name of Salwa Judum, in the cold-blooded murder of adivasi youths on mere suspicion of being Maoist supporters in Chattisgarh, and in the present state repression in Lalgarh. The SFI is trying hard to justify the butchering of poor adivasis because they have started to resist the perpetuation of decades of organized and systemic violence on the most oppressed sections of the society. The SFI is ruing the punishment of Avijit Mahatos and Anuj Pandeys of the CPM, who has generated people’s wrath because of their fascist stranglehold over the poor masses. SFI must understand that Marxist politics is not what is propagated by CPM, but what is manifested by the conviction of Lalgarh’s adivasi masses to fight against the ruling class’s dictatorship. No amount of `course-correction’ and `introspection’ can save CPM from its eminent doom, and no amount of repression can break the resolve of the heroic Lalgarh masses for their liberation.

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CONDEMN THE ARREST OF GOUR CHAKRAVARTY, THE WEST BENGAL STATE SPOKESPERSON OF CPI (MAOIST)! RELEASE HIM UNCONDITIONALLY!

Posted by Admin on July 2, 2009


COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS
185/3, FOURTH FLOOR, ZAKIR NAGAR, NEW DELHI
The Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) strongly condemns the arrest and media trial of Gour Chakravarty, the West Bengal State Spokesperson of the CPI (Maoist).
This is a complete volte face of the CPI (M) led government which had continuously insisted that they would deal with the Maoists politically. In fact it shows beyond doubt that the issues raised by the Maoists and the militant struggles of the Adivasis of Lalgarh have become a real problem for the CPM-led government in West Bengal. The only way that this government can deal with the issues of life and death for the toiling masses, pertaining to the four dreaded Ds—Displacement, Destruction, Destitution and Death—are through the baton and barrels of the police and paramilitary. Otherwise any people oriented government would have first listened to the just demands of the Adivasis of Lalgarh. The right to dissent against the policies of the State is a constitutionally guaranteed right. And when the people of Lalgarh have protested against the policies of the government which they understood would result in their peril, the political and administrative response of the government of West Bengal was through ruthless military action and a high voltage media blitzkrieg demonising the people of Lalgarh ably supported by the Central Government under Manmohan Singh and home minister Chidambaram.
Anyone who is closely observing West Bengal politics particularly since Singur and Nandigram struggles of the people can recall that Gour Chakravarty stood as a spokesperson of the CPI (Maoist) of West Bengal responding to the challenges thrown by Buddhadeb Battacharjee, the Chief Minister and CPI (M) for an open political debate on issues Maoists differ with the ruling party in the state. But the Chief Minister instead of engaging in a political debate with Gour Chakravarty being the political representative of the CPI (Maoist), put him behind the bars. Therefore, the basis for the arrest of Gour Chakravarty is intensely political. This shows that the Chief Minister and his ruling party did not want to answer questions raised by the Maoist spokesperson regarding the people’s issues entailing Singur, Nandigram and now Lalgarh. Instead they resorted to the brutal suppression of the voices of the people using military might and draconian laws like the newly promulgated CLAA by the central government. Ironically, while Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was busy banning the CPI(Maoist) his own party was opposing the same as he went about the same law to arrest, incarcerate, and silence the incessant and flowing voice of Gour Chakravarty.
Gour Chakravarty as the spokesperson of the CPI (Maoist) had upheld the right to dissent of the Adivasis of Lalgarh against the World Bank, imperialist backed up anti-people policies of the West Bengal government. Further he had openly exhorted the people that merely fighting against the West Bengal government would not suffice as he was convinced that the fundamental problem was related to the exploitative, predatory class character of the Indian State. This conviction had made him exhort the people to do away with this parasitic apparatus of the Indian state.
Though the Constitution of India calls itself a democracy with the right to freedom of expression and association, the governments of West Bengal and the one at the centre would dread such a scenario where the people have the courage and conviction to stand against the policies of the government.
Gour Chakravarty had tried to measure the possibilities of the human face that the Congress government at the centre and the CPI (M) government in West Bengal were pretending to project before the people. He was only trying to push the limits of stability that these governments were promising the people before and after the parliamentary elections. His crime—he insisted that there cannot be any stability without the just interests of the toiling masses being served. Without putting an end to all forms of exploitation; humiliation; mistreatment; discrimination. All these ideals of Gour Chakravarty have become a ‘law and order’ question for the CPM-led government in West Bengal.
This also brings to the fore that the CPM-led government despite all its pretensions is no less different from a Congress or BJP government while addressing the burning issues of the common masses. To address sincerely the issues that are dear to the masses of the people one need to have the political will to openly defy the policies of the World Bank and imperialism.
Gour Chakravarty being the spokesperson of the West Bengal CPI (Maoist) has challenged the CPM-led government to be one of, by and for the Will of the masses of the people. He is the conscience of the toiling masses. He cannot be behind the bars. We demand his unconditional release.

27.06.09

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CPI Maoist spokesperson Gaur Chakraborty remanded to Police custody

Posted by Admin on June 25, 2009


Kolkata At 72, Gaur Chakraborty may have served in many outfits, but his ultra-left leanings are still as firm as they were in his student days. Today, as he takes on the Communist parties he has been associated with in the past, there is a note of disillusionment in the voice of the man who has been arrested for playing a spokesperson for the CPI(Maoist), which has just been banned by the Centre.

“This is the beginning of Fascist activities of the Left Front government,” Gaur said as he was being taken from Bankshal Court to Kolkata Police headquarters.

Gaur’s wife Mukta Keshi, who was present at the court premises on Wednesday, was at pains to point out his husband’s sympathies to the Maoist cause. “Gaur has believed in Communist-Maoist ideology since his student days,” she said.

Sources in the state intelligence say Gaur had been closely involved with CPI(ML) People’s War Group, popularly known as PWG, which emerged as an extremist force in Andhra Pradesh in the early 90s. PWG was banned in December 2001 after Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance was promulgated by the Centre, which later became the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) before being allowed to lapse.

Police arrested Gaur in March 2005 from his residence at Madanpur in North 24-Parganas for his links with Maoist outfits. After being booked on charges of criminal conspiracy, killing and plotting of landmine blast in West Midnapore and Purulia, Gaur was jailed at Midnapore and Purulia for more than a year and later released on bail. The charge-sheet in the case has been filed and the case is still pending, says Mukta.

According to her, Gaur, who once worked as a hawker in trains, was associated with the CPI before 1967. He later joined the CPI(ML). “Gaur used to hawk in local trains for a living and was also an active member of the hawkers union led by Left parties.

A close associate of Gaur said even after the Naxalite movement crumbled in early 70’s in West Bengal, he maintained his contacts with Naxal leaders and later joined CPI-ML (Party Unity), a breakaway organisation of the Naxals.

In 1998, CPI-ML (Party Unity) merged with the PWG. In 1998-99, when the PWG was active in West Midnapore and Bankura, Gaur had visited Belpahari and Lalgarh.

In September 2004, PWG and MCC(I) merged to form the CPI(Maoist). Gaur was picked up in March 2005 for his links with the CPI(Maoist) and sent to jail. After his release from jail, Chakraborty joined Ganapratirodh Mancha, an arm of the RDF, an ultra-left outfit, and became its state committee member in 2006.

On December 14, 2008, Gaur announced his new identity as a spokesman of CPI(Maoist) and quit the Ganapratirodh Mancha. Till his arrest on June 23, he maintained he was not a member of CPI(Maoist), but merely a hired spokesperson and that was never involved in killings or violence.

Expressindia

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CPI-Maoist West Bengal spokesperson arrested in Kolkata

Posted by Admin on June 24, 2009


Kolkata: In a major success for security forces local Maoist leader and Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) spokesperson Gour Chakrabarti was arrested from the office of a TV news channel in Kolkata on Tuesday night.

Chakrabarti is being interrogated at the Kolkata Police Special Branch office.

The arrest came as the state government, backed by paramilitary forces, is carrying out an operation to flush out the Maoists from Lalgarh.

Just before he was detained by the Kolkata Police, Gour spoke to CNN-IBN and said the Maoists were willing to lay down arms and talk to the government. The CPI-Maoist spokesperson also said the organisation might consider a ceasefire in Lalgarh if the government cooperated with it

“We have sent a press release stating that we are ready for discussion if there is a ceasefire. The people who have been running this country for the past 62 years have kept the people poor and hungry. They are responsible for the violence. Maoists believe that to give back to the poor their basic rights, there is a need for war,” Chakrabarti said.

Meanwhile, West Midnapore police have lodged a case against filmmaker Aparna Sen, theatre personality Shaoli Mitra and some others for violating Section 144 of the Indian Criminal Procedure Code

The administration claims that Sen and Mitra’s recent visit to Lalgarh in West Midnapore was in violation of Section 144 in effect in the area.

The section prohibits assembly of five or more persons or the holding of public meetings.

Sen and Mitra were part of a group which visited Lalgarh on Sunday in an attempt to end the violence in the area.

They called for a ceasefire after holding discussions with local people and groups active in the area.

IBN Live

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Abujhmar – Where no outsider can go

Posted by Admin on June 23, 2009


Our Roving Editor Man Mohan writes from Orcha (Chhattisgarh)
You may not believe it. In this western Bastar region exists a huge hilly forest tribal area — nearly the size of Goa — where Indians and foreigners have not been allowed for the past three decades.

Welcome to Abujhmar. The Naxal-controlled inaccessible and the so-called ‘liberated zone’ in Narayanpur district, bordering Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. The Government of India’s writ does not run here. About 60 km from Naryanpur, Orcha is the north-eastern fringe of Abujhmar.

Seemingly virgin country, the tribals are still living a primitive life, like some Andaman and Nicobar Island tribes, with no connection with the civilisation.

Some days ago, the BJP-ruled state government decided to open doors of this mystery land for the common man. The aim was to find out what the Maoists were up to.

Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen, some years ago, was denied entry in Abujhmar when she wanted to shoot for a soft drink ad film.

Women in Abujhmar and many other Bastar areas wear a one-piece dress called ‘kosti’. Many of them even prefer to go topless.

‘Abujhmar’ is said to be that land whose mystery none could solve. ‘Abujh’ in local language means ‘unknown’ and ‘mar’ means ‘hills.’ So, the Abujhmarias means “people of the unknown or little known hills.”

The Abujhmarias are mainly Maria, Murias and Halbas tribals. The Naxals have brainwashed them by telling them that the government deliberately calls them ‘Abujh’ (idiots) and ‘mar’ (land) – the land of idiots.

The Chhattisgarh government is clueless about the kind of life the tribals are living in Abujhmar, and about their population, religion, social and economic status. There are no land revenue records of the villages.

“Two years ago, we met some Abujhmarias when they ventured out to purchase salt and other items at a ‘haat’ (weekly market). They did not know their country or state’s name,” said a local shopkeeper. “They had not heard of India’s Prime Minister, but acknowledged knowing Mao’s name,” he added.

In the 1970s, the Narayanpur collector had issued an order banning ‘outsiders’ from entering Abujhmar. He enforced an ‘inner line policy’ by which one could gain entry only after obtaining a special permit. Gradually, the Maoists/Naxals ‘captured’ Abujhmar. The police, forest rangers, teachers and other government employees stopped going there.

The provocation to ban the entry of outsiders in Abujhmar had come following a BBC film on the ‘ghotuls’ (tribal youth club) of the Bastar tribes where youngsters interact, drink and dance in the evening. The impression given in the film was that free sex was legitimised through ghotuls in the tribal heartland.

The Maoists got Abujhmar virtually on a platter. In this extremely backward area, some tribals are reported to have only recently begun tilling their land and sending their children to schools run by Maoists.

The Abujhmar terrain varies from 450 to 750 metres above the sea level, has dense forest and many high ridges and deep valleys created by streams, which provide an effective natural barrier from all sides, isolating it from the rest of the region.

In 2005, nearly 132 years after the British conducted a land survey in Abujhmar, Chief Minister Raman Singh acknowledged the difficulties faced by the police in entering the Naxals’ ‘liberated zone’, and decided to get an aerial survey done to prepare revenue records and map the Naxalite terrain. The Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Agency carried out the survey.

One wonders how much time the state administration will now take to unravel the mystery of Abujhmar and confront the Maoists to ‘reclaim’ the lost territory.

The Tribune

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Centre bans CPI (Maoist)

Posted by Admin on June 23, 2009


Vinay Kumar

Hope West Bengal government will also do so: Chidambaram

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Monday banned the Communist Party of India (Maoist), terming it a terrorist organisation. It invoked Section 41 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against the extremist outfit.

The CPI (Maoist) came into existence following the merger of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), the People’s War Group (PWG) and the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC).

The ban came two days after West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee met Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram in the backdrop of violent incidents in Lalgarh and the ongoing operation by the police and the security forces to reclaim the area.

The Chief Minister had said that his government would give a “serious thought” to banning the CPI (Maoist) as advised by the Home Minister.

The ban was to avoid any ambiguity though all formations and front organisations of the PWG, the MCC and the CPI (ML) came under the purview of the ban.

In September 2004, the CPI (ML) and the MCC announced their decision to merge and named the new organisation CPI (Maoist). There was some opposition to the merger and some elements in the two organisations continued to function independently.

Mr. Chidambaram said the merged organisation would continue to be listed as a terror organisation. “When I looked into the matter a couple of days ago, I said that may be the position in the law. In order to avoid any ambiguity, let us add the CPI (Maoist) by name in that schedule of the Act.”

Many States, including Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, had declared the CPI (Maoist) an unlawful association. Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu had done so under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

“When I had a discussion with Mr. Bhattacharjee, I advised him to ban the CPI (Maoist) under Section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1908. That power is available with the State. I did not change my view. I still think that West Bengal should declare the CPI (Maoist) an unlawful association,” he told journalists.

Asked about the Left parties’ opposition to the ban, Mr. Chidambaram said the Left had taken a view which was not that of the West Bengal government. “I hope distinction between the party and the government is still there in this country. I expect that the Chief Minister will look into the matter.”

The Hindu

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Ready for dialogue if government agrees to some of our demands: Maoists

Posted by Admin on June 23, 2009


Raktima Bose


QUEUEING UP FOR ESSENTIALS: Residents of Lalgarh and its surroundings wait to collect rice at the Block Development Office of Lalgarh on Monday. Due to “Operation Lalgarh,” shops have been closed and people have not been able to get essential items.

LALGARH (PASCHIM MEDINIPUR DT.): Keeping the option of dialogue with the West Bengal government on the Lalgarh issue open, Communist Party of India (Maoist) spokesperson Gour Chakraborty said on Monday that the organisation might also consider declaring a ceasefire in the area if the government cooperated with it.

The statement comes close on the heels of the Centre banning the organisation for the second time after 2004 and declaring it a terrorist outfit.

Speaking to The Hindu over telephone from an undisclosed location, Mr. Chakraborty said: “Our representatives will have a direct dialogue with the State government on the Lalgarh issue and we might also consider declaring ceasefire in the region. But the State government too has to relent and agree to some of our demands for the dialogue to happen.”

He added that the points raised by the group of intellectuals who visited Lalgarh on Sunday — to stop the joint operation of the Central paramilitary forces and the State police and not to harass common people — should also be considered by the State government.

Asked what would be the organisation’s course of action if the government decides to ban it on the lines of the Centre, Mr. Chakraborty said the outfit would continue its underground activities.

“The CPI(Maoist) has been a banned organisation for most of the time since its inception, yet we have carried on with our activities. Now that the ban is in place by the Centre’s order, we will have to take action according to the situation,” he said.

The Hindu

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CPI Maoist Politburo member Koteshwar Rao had spent time in Nagpur

Posted by Admin on June 22, 2009


NAGPUR: Maoist master tactician Mullajola Koteshwar Rao, alias Kishanji, who spearheaded the Naxalite insurgency in Lalgarh throwing West Bengal

government off track, had spent several years working for the rebels in city and in Gadchiroli, sources here claimed.

Rao, along with Chhatradhar Mahato of People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, had established a ‘liberated’ zone in Lalgarh until state police aided by central paramilitary forces reclaimed it. Rao, along with his wife Sujata, had created much impact in Vidarbha region in the late 80s and early 90s. Rao, a Brahmin scholar of philosophy, had a charismatic personality and could attract cadres into the movement. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cellphone turns weapon of mass resistance in cop-free zone

Posted by Admin on June 22, 2009


PRONAB MONDAL

A member of the People’s Committee speaks to another activist on a journalist’s cellphone to get clearance for the scribe to proceed to a village in Lalgarh last week. AFP

Lalgarh, June 21: A young Lalgarh tribal flaunts his Nokia 1110 despite not knowing how to send a message or save numbers. But he knows how much it means to him and his movement.

“I got this cellphone from our leaders around five-six months ago. This helps me communicate with them and take their instructions,” said the man in his mid-twenties, a village committee member of the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities in Khasjangal, 9km from Lalgarh police station. He has a small notebook of numbers.

A telecom revolution has swept Lalgarh over the past few months, coinciding with the collapse of intelligence as the Maoists-backed people’s committee shut the cops out. Read the rest of this entry »

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