2009 - CPI(Maoist) Information Bulletin,
- 1 CPI(Maoist) celebrates the Fifth Anniversary of Party Formation on September 21: One Year of Revolutionary Battles
- 2 Development Activities of Janathana Sarkars in Dandakaranya
- 3 Images arms and other materials seized from the enemy in Operation vikas
- 4 Chidambaram’s war on the adivasis and Maoists on behalf of the big business and MNCs
- 5 Kesikodi: Goebbels comes alive in the avatar of Vishwa Ranjan! Kesikodi episode exposes mainstream media’s shameful, repugnant role in spreading police lies!!
- 6 Bandh in protest against the illegal detention of Maoist leaders
- 7 Maoist offensives during the Bandh
- 8 Five SAP troopers wiped out in Maoist attack
- 9 BJP leader Tansen Kashyap annihilated by Maoist guerrillas in Bastar
- 10 Police Outpost blown up by Maoist guerrillas in Kandhamal
- 11 Maoist attack in Bundu wipes out a police agent and injures a CRPF jawan
- 12 CoBRAS taste their first defeat at the hands of the Maoist guerrillas and the people’s militia
- 13 Jharkhand Intelligence officer annihilated
- 14 Comrade Chhatradhar Mahato’s arrest by police posing as journalists exposes the social-fascist cunningness and cowardice
- 15 Comrade Kobad Ghandy’s arrest
- 16 Chidambaram’s Lies stand Exposed
- 17 Bandh called in five states against the arrest of Kobad Ghandy, Chhatradhar Mahato and the fake encounter killings in Chintagufa area in Dantewada
- 18 The Day that Death brought overwhelming Joy! How the revolutionary camp reacted to the sudden death of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YSR Reddy in Nallamala forest
- 19 From the Newspapers
- 19.1 Halt Lalgarh operation, demand rights groups
- 19.2 Massive offensive against Maoists
- 19.3 Excerpts From ‘Waging Peace in Redland’,
- 19.4 THE NEW FACE OF NAXALISM
- 19.5 May need to use special forces against Naxals:Home Minister Chidambaram at idea exchange
- 19.6 Centre for new war on Maoists
- 19.7 Salvajudum defended
- 19.8 Police target naxal support base
- 19.9 Biggest ever thrust against Maoists after polls
- 19.10 Police put out from forests, give ground to Maoists
- 19.11 Bring on those Drones
- 19.12 Low-flight alert over red zones
- 19.13 Air force seeks nod to shoot Maoists in self-defence
- 20 The following are some excerpts from Shoma Chaudhury’s cover story article Weapons Of Mass Desperation which appeared in Tehelka Magazine, October 03, 2009.
- 20.1 The Real Divide in Bastar
- 20.2 The Situation in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh today
- 20.3 Leaflet from rally of Bastar Sambhag Kisan Sangharsh Samiti (BSKSS)
- 20.4 YSR search bares ‘peril’ of Maoist combat
- 21 News from Nepal
- 22 Khagaria: Reactionary rulers continue their war of Lies against the Maoists, Media joins the chorus
- 23 Interview with comrade Ganapathi, General Secretary, CPI(Maoist)
- 24 Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!
- 25 Communist Party of India (Maoist) Dandkaranya Special Zonal Committee
- 26 Press Release
- 27 Operation Green Hunt’s lies exposed!
CPI(Maoist) celebrates the Fifth Anniversary of Party Formation on September 21: One Year of Revolutionary Battles
On 21 September 2009, the CPI(Maoist) completed five years of its formation. On this historic day in the year 2004, two Maoist Parties leading the people’s war in India—the CPI(ML)[People’s War] and the Maoist Communist Centre of India—merged into a single unified Party, the CPI(Maoist), bringing new hope to the oppressed people of India and achieving a quantum leap in the ongoing revolutionary war for establishing new democracy, socialism and to march towards the final goal of communism. In these five years the Party, the PLGA and the revolutionary masses have taken great strides forward, yet they face serious challenges in their onward march to smash the existing order and build a new democratic society. Ever since the merger, and particularly in the past one year, the victories in the battlefield in the face of intense police action, has, on the one hand, awakened a great hope in the oppressed masses, and, on the other, created panic and fear in the minds of the ruling classes and their lackeys. Specifically, the further consolidation of the people’s democratic power, with the evolution of the rudimentary forms of people’s government in Dandakaranya, has placed before the people of the entire country a concrete alternative to the present unjust system. In addition, the historic uprisings in Nandigram, and particularly Lalgarh in West Bengal, coupled with the thorough exposure of the social-fascist CPM, has brought forth new and militant forms of mass struggle and helped more clearly draw clear lines of demarcation between ourselves and all forms of reformists and revisionists. More specifically, the armed mass upsurge and the seven-month-long blockade of the State from Lalgarh has brought forward a new form of struggle, with the call for building Lalgarhs throughout the country becoming the new slogan. As the unified Party enters its sixth year, the Polit Bureau of the CPI(Maoist) summed up the achievements of the past one year i.e., since 21 September 2008. The following is based on a Party Letter issued by the Polit Bureau of the CPI(Maoist) in the beginning of September, 2009.
Advances in the Last One Year
Particularly in response to the Central Task of the Party to Build the Base Areas, transforming the guerrilla war into mobile war, and the PLGA into PLA, there have been significant advances on the war front beating back the attempts by the enemy forces to crush the revolutionary struggles. After the historic raid of Nayagarh and the wiping out of 38 Greyhounds in Chitrakonda (Ballimela) Dam near the AP border in the preceding year, the current year has seen a quantum leap in the attacks on the enemy forces. Around 300 security forces have been wiped out in the past one year and there has been further consolidation of the new people’s power, particularly in Dandakaranya. The emerging new democratic power, in the form of the Jantana Sarkars in spite of the vicious attacks by the Salwa Judum-State’s repressive forces has been a great source of inspiration countrywide.
If we look at the past one year we can pinpoint five main achievements:
- First, and most important, has been the more successful TCOC (Tactial Counter Offensive) in the current year, in which there have been at least a score of major guerrilla actions and scores of smaller actions. In most of our areas there have been a significant rise in the number of actions and losses inflicted on the enemy. In the past one year our heroic PLGA, people’s militia and revolutionary masses have wiped out more than 300 police, commando and central forces. Even greater number of the enemy forces was injured in our attacks. This is a significant development in the overall development of the people’s war. Our resistance has become particularly significant from the time of the 15th Lok Sabha elections. Over 150 enemy personnel were wiped out during these four months alone. During these ambushes, raids and attacks on the 3 enemy forces great courage was shown by our forces. There were massive protests during the bandh calls against the arrest of Com Ashutosh, the encounter of Com. Vikas and in support of the Lalgarh movement. For instance, in just the three months from April to June 2009, in the B-J area over 50 enemy forces were killed and an equal number injured. In DK the actions continue on a regular basis harassing the enemy forces and creating panic in their ranks. In the last six months hardly a week passed without witnessing losses to the enemy. This has had a huge impact on the morale of the enemy forces who are panic-stricken to operate in Maoist areas.
- Second, the past one year has seen a consolidation and expansion of the organs of people’s political power, our janathana sarkars, in Dandakaranya. our organs of people’s power have spread to hundreds of new villages and have been consolidated at the area and divisional level. One more departmen--that of trade & industry--has been added to the existing eight departments under the janathana sarkars reflecting the expanding functions of the organs of people’s power. A magazine in Gondi language named Lokur Adhikar on behalf of our people’s governments was also started in May 2009. The consolidation and expansion of our people’s governments has become an inspiration to the oppressed people everywhere and a nightmare to the reactionary ruling classes of India and the imperialists who are itching to crush these new alternative models of power based on functioning democracy, and models of development based on people’s needs and local resources.
- Third, we have witnessed the armed mass struggles of the people of Nandigram forcing the CPM to retreat from its plans of seizing peasant’s lands for foreign-based industrial projects. This was followed by the historic uprising against the state and the social-fascist CPM rule in Lalgarh and the surrounding areas. The armed mass upsurge was a purely political action targeting the state and police forces. The masses came out in thousands armed with their traditional weapon and prevented the state administration from entering their area for over seven months. The forms of struggle adopted were: a social boycott of the police not giving them even food and water, gherao of police stations and camps in the area, physically resisting police attacks and chasing them out of the area, creating roadblocks. The historic significance of these struggle lies not only in bringing forth a new form of mass resistance in which thousands participated with arms, but also it played a significant role in exposing the CPM social-fascists who lorded over the people of West Bengal for over three decades. Besides, the people of the area took up development works based on shramdan, building roads, irrigation schemes, health centres and education for the trbal children — schemes neglected by the corrupt CPM bosses over the past 30 years. Singur, Nandigram and more particularly Lalgarh have changed the face of the polity of West Bengal which had been in the viselike grip of the social-fascists for over three decades.
There have also been extensive mass movements under the leadership of the Party together with other progressive forces, against the massive displacements taking place due to projects which is expected to hand over about one core acres to big business. Extensive struggles have taken place against bauxite mining in Vishaka of AP, and the mining projects at Posco and other places of Orissa; in Chittisgarh the aroused masses have stopped activity of not only the Tata plant at Lohandiguda but also the huge projects planned in North Bastar; so also in Jharkhand the huge mining projects are being resisted. Along with this there have been many movements throughout the country against displacement and the handing over of our land, wealth and resources to the imperialists and CBB, like Ganga Express Highway in UP, SEZs, etc. In all these movements our Party too played a significant role thereby gaining new experiences.
- Fourth, our PLGA forces with the active help of the revolutionary masses freed our beloved leader, PBM, Com. Sunirmal from the clutches of the enemy, through a daring and well-planned raid in broad day-light in the district town of Lakkisarai, Bihar. In the light of the continuing losses of our leadership comrades this heroic action has had a great impact and has come as a slap in the face of the Chidamabaram clique. This has created a hope in the hundreds of prisoners who have been leading heroic struggles in the jails, created panic in the enemy camp and raised the confidence in the entire ranks of the Party and among the masses.
- Another important impact on the polity of the country was the wide-scale boycott by the Party during the recent Lok Sabha elections. Notwithstanding the presence of huge contingents of central and state police forces for over three weeks in the areas under Maoist influence, our Party, PLGA, revolutionary organs of people’s power and mass organizations carried out a mass political propaganda campaign, besides undertaking several tactical counter offensives against the gun-toting enemy forces who were desperately trying to coerce people to vote. Our propaganda campaign was so effective that there was hardly any electioneering by the political parties in Dandakaranya, many parts of Bihar and Jharkhand, West Midnapore, Bankura and Purlia districts and near-total boycott in Lalgarh area of West Bengal; in parts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Gajapati, Ganjam, Rayagada and other districts of Orissa; and other places. Besides, significant educative campaigns were taken in many parts of the country exposing the fake nature of the democratic process which is merely an expensive exercise to give legitimacy to the ruling classes to loot the country and the people.
- Another significant episode which particularly has given much hope to the minorities and dalits of the country was the annihilation of the VHP fascist Swami Laxmanananda in Kandhamal of Orissa. The fascist gangs of the RSS. VHP, Bajrang Dal, etc have been instrumental in perpetuating genocide against the Muslims in Gujarat and elsewhere and also attacking the Christians in Orissa in a big way, and actively promoting discrimination and attacks on dalits, with State complicity, either directly or indirectly. The great political impact of the action on Laxmanananda and some other RSS-VHP leaders has aroused a hope that the Maoists will always be in the forefront standing with the minorities and dalits to resist the discrimination and attacks on them.
In spite of these important advances we have faced serious losses in the past one year. The losses we have been facing of leadership comrades in the past few years has continued in the present year seriously impacting the Party and the movement. We have lost our beloved comrade and CCM, Com Vikas, as also the arrest of an important CCM, Com Ashutosh.
Though these important developments in the advance of the Maoist movement of the country over the past year have aroused a great hope in the masses, yet, given the vastness of the country and our insignificant impact in vast urban and plain areas, the Party faces serious challenges in spreading the movement to newer and newer areas, with a focus of spreading the armed struggle throughout the country with the orientation of fulfilling the Party’s Central Task.
Challenges & Tasks
The above mentioned situation places the following challenges and tasks before the Party:
- Take serious steps to thoroughly Bolshevise the Party by
- ridding it of all nonproletarian tendencies
- adopt a Maoist style of work and leadership, ensure committee functioning at every level with deep integration of the Party with the masses and the leadership with the cadres and
- adopting a correct class line and mass line in all our activities.
- Utilise the growing crisis situation to build our subjective forces by recruiting large numbers to the Party and develop all our party forces ideologically and politically. Conduct the rectification campaign in an effective way by concretely pin-pointing concrete manifestation of non-proletarian trends.
- Utilize the unfolding excellent crisis-ridden situation to intensify the people’s war in the areas of armed struggle and in other areas build the Party deep in the masses with the aim to spread the war and revolutionary mass movement to newer and newer areas of the country.
- Prepare the Party, PLGA and masses to counter the growing multi-pronged fascist offensive of the ruling classes. Take specific attempts at knowing the enemy’s methods thoroughly, through a deep study of our LIC document, and, in the particular, by studying the concrete steps being taken by the enemy in our respective areas of operation.
- To take serious steps to stop the continuous loss of leadership comrades at all levels by going into the roots of the specific problems, also develop time-bound plans for the generation of new leadership at all levels in the course of advancing the revolutionary movements.
- Counter the enemy’s attempts to isolate us and build vast united fronts against the reactionary forces with all progressive forces and particularly the Nationality forces
- Pay specific attention to building and strengthening secret structures of the Party and build up a strong, consolidated, political and organized mass base through revolutionary mass practice.
- Take initiative to utilize the growing crisis situation in the world and its effect on our country by a concrete study of its manifestation in our areas of operation to evolve effective tactics. Seeing the possibility of big people’s uprisings in the light of the unprecedented crisis in the capitalist system, make timely and effective interventions to arouse the masses not only on their demands but also into political struggles and also to draw them into the war against the existing unjust system.
- Establish the Party as a significant political entity in the polity of the country by effective political intervention on all issues of the day. The political intervention should entail mass propaganda, agitation and selective military actions, drawing in the vast masses on the issue.
Development Activities of Janathana Sarkars in Dandakaranya
Images arms and other materials seized from the enemy in Operation vikas
Chidambaram’s war on the adivasis and Maoists on behalf of the big business and MNCs
Chidambaram, the man handpicked by the imperialists and the comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie (CBB) to oversee the job of suppression of the Maoist movement, particularly the adivasi uprisings from West Bengal to Andhra Pradesh, has been getting applause from his masters. For, unlike his predecessor Shivraj Patil, the new manager of the imperialist MNCs and the CBB heading the Home Ministry has been working overtime right from the day he took charge.
He first came out with a country-wide ban on the CPI(Maoist) and declared it a terrorist organization on June 22. He assured the social fascist government in West Bengal of all assistance to crush the militant mass movement in Lalgarh and rushed over 2000 central troops for the purpose. Buddhadeb, Karat, Yechuri and other social fascist leaders in the garb of so-called Left, who waxed eloquently against the Congress during the recent Lok Sabha election and spoke of an anti-Congress, anti-BJP Third Front, forgot all ideologicalpolitical differences with these erstwhile opponents and joined their shrill chorus against the Maoists. Buddhadeb hugged Chidambaram begging him to save West Bengal from “Maoist menace” by sending in more central troops and to maintain the central forces in Lalgarh as long as normalcy did not return to the region. Chidambaram promptly delivered whatever assistance the Buddhadeb government asked for and assured that the Centre will extend support to every move of the state government including brutal terrorist acts against the Maoists and the people of Lalgarh by the CPI(M) and its storm-troopers like the harmad bahini. Overnight, the Congress and the CPI(M) became bedfellows. Karats, Yechuris and Co have shown once again that they have no difference with the Congress or, for that matter, with the Hindu fascist BJP when it comes to crush revolution in India. The Maoist movement, by eroding the social base and obstructing the rapacious plunder of the country’s resources by all the mainstream parties, had united all the rabid anti-people reactionary forces whether they are clad in khadi, saffron or red.
After bringing into its fold the so-called Left that had been sulking over the civilian-nuclear deal, Chidambaram visited Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand; held secret parleys with the Chief Ministers of the first two states and the Governor of Jharkhand which has been under President’s rule; and drew up an elaborate plan to unleash a brutal blood-bath in these states. The Delhi meeting of the Chief Ministers and DGPs of the Naxal-affected states on August 17 drew up the blue-print for the biggest-ever offensive by the central and state governments against the Maoist movement in India.
In the second week of September, Chidambaram dashed off to Washington on a four-day tour to fine-tune his plan and get the final approval from his imperialist mentors on the proposed offensive against the Maoists based on the American imperialist policy of Low Intensity Conflict. He was assured that no voice would be raised by the imperialist governments on human rights violations during the military operations against the Maoists and the ordinary people in the areas under Maoist control and influence.
The American imperialists, in particular, assured that they would completely back the blood-bath against the Maoists just as they had done in the case of the Sri Lankan military offensive against the LTTE and the Tamil civilian population or the indiscriminate massacres and bombings of Palestinian civilian targets in Gaza by the Zionist Israeli regime. American imperialists under Obama are too keen on delivering Hi-Tech war machinery to the Indian government in its war against the Maoists. An aerial survey of the entire Maoist-held areas Macaulay’s Breed: Indian in Blood but Foreign in Thinking, Culture, and Behavior was conducted with the help of the American masters and satellite images are taken to give the final shape to the counter-revolutionary war.
Chidambaram also made deals with Zionist Israel and he was assured of all assistance from the notorious Mossad in tracking down the Maoist leadership in India, through sophisticated methods the Mossad had used to track down and assassinate Palestinian leaders and other anti-Israeli forces in various countries. A list of hundred top Maoists in India is prepared and the entire intelligence machinery is entrusted with the task of eliminating these leading cadres of CPI(Maoist). Chidambaram obtained from Israel scores of unmanned aerial vehicles that would scour the Maoist areas, send satellite images, and help in bombing specific targets if required.
An elaborate plan for psychological warfare was also drawn up by the Union Home Ministry as part of the imperialist counter-insurgency policy of LIC. Huge amounts of people’s money are sanctioned for carrying out this irrational war based on outright lies and slander. Chidambaram ordered for a war of ads in all the major newspapers across the country. Dead bodies of the Special police Officers (SPOs) annihilated by the Maoists are published besides those of police informers. SPOs are drawn from the local adivasi youth, most of whom are just boys and girls who had not even attained 16 years of age (not to speak of the official age of 18 required for recruitment into police force), paid around Rs 2000 a month, given arms and training, and ordered to kill Maoists or those who support the Maoists. At least 5,000 such youth were recruited by Raman Singh’s BJP government in Chhattisgarh with the approval of the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre since 2005. Chidambaram’s hypocrisy regarding his much-taunted ‘rule of law’ is glaringly seen in approving the SPO set-up which goes against the provisions of the Indian Constitution and against the Geneva Convention on the employment of minors in armed conflicts. By exhibiting the dead bodies of these SPOs and police agents punished by the Maoists or the people themselves, Chidambaram is desperately trying to seek justification and legitimacy for his so-called war on “red terror”
No fascist regime in history has ever succeeded in keeping an entire population under its jack-boots for long. And no fascist regime could fool and dupe the people forever through sheer lies and slander. Hitler and Goebbels failed most miserably. George Bush and his team of notorious criminals like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, and Colin Powell ultimately failed to fool the American people through their Himalayan lies regarding weapons of mass destruction and Islamic terrorism.
The Sonia-Manmohan-Chidambaram (SMC) fascist clique will fare no better. Though, like every fascist dictatorship, the SMC fascist clique might secure a few gains initially, it will ultimately meet the same fate as a Marcos, or a Pinochet. It may cover up its blood-bath and succeed in suppressing the truth by managing the media or not allowing free access to the media into the battle zones. The Dantewada SP Amrish Mishra has already become infamous with his order issued to his men (which now stands exposed) to shoot at the journalists if they dare to cover the happenings in the battle zone. It may succeed for a while in boosting up the successes achieved by its mercenary forces in the field and hushing up the casualties. But how long can the hypocrites ruling the country—fascists hidden behind a veneer of sophistication—hide the truth from the people at large? And can they subdue and suppress the entire population in the 200-odd police station areas which they say are under the control of the Maoists?
Moreover, it is impossible for Chidambaram & Co to meet the ever-increasing demands from the various regional satraps. Orissa has demanded the immediate deployment of an additional seven Battalions of CRPF, Jharkhand demanded five more Batalions on war-footing, even Maharashtra which had been boasting for long that its C-60 commandos and special anti-Naxal police forces were adequate to deal with the Naxal movement, came out with the demand for central troops after the series of ambushes carried out by the PLGA between February to May 2009 that had wiped out 34 policemen in Gadchiroli district. The more the parasitic regime spends on the repressive apparatus for suppressing the people’s war and democratic people’s movements such as the one in Lalgarh, the more it will get bogged down in the morass of economic, social and political crises. As people’s armed resistance spreads far and wide the demand for central forces will grow to such a high pitch that the fascist UPA regime will find it extremely difficult to meet the demands from various states. That is why Chidambaram has been trying to impress upon the state governments that Law & Order is a state subject and that they must find the wherewithal to raise sufficient police force to suppress the Maoist movement in their respective states.
Chidambaram has been continuously talking of first resorting to police action in the Maoistheld areas followed by rapid development. In other words, he wants to implement the clearand-hold policy pursued by the British imperialist occupation forces in Indonesia and Malaya against the Communist revolutionaries as described vividly by Robert Thomson in his book on counter-insurgency war. The first step in this strategy is to deploy a huge repressive force, evacuate entire villages by decimating the population if need be, achieve area domination at any cost, and re-establish the reactionary authority of the state. This is what is meant by Chidambaram’s talk if “reclaiming territory” from Maoist control and establishing the authority of the civil administration. The more areas the state tries to recapture from the Maoists the more troops it needs for re-establishing the brute authority of the state or the so-called civil administration.
Repression breeds Resistance. This is a universal principle valid at all times and in all places. The comprador-feudal gangsters who are in power wish to suppress the just, revolutionary-democratic struggles of the people against the anti-people, reactionary, proimperialist policies pursued by the ruling classes and want to hand over swathes of territory containing abundant forest and mineral wealth to the imperialists and the filthy rich for a pittance. The war on “Red Terror” unleashed by Chidambaram & Co is precisely to fulfill this task entrusted to them by their masters abroad. These traitors are only too eager to sell our motherland in exchange for a few crumbs from the imperialists and the CBB.
These native rulers are native insofar as their descent is concerned. These are actually Macaulay’s children—Indians in blood, but foreign in tastes, habits, culture, behaviour and so on. They can never think like Indians, can never look at the interests of the Indian people; all that these parasitic, privileged, leisurely classes have for the toiling masses of India is contempt. They have organic ties with the imperialists, love their culture, habits, and display a great degree of snobbery by imitating the imperialists in all walks of life.
Sonia-Manmohan-Chidambaram & Co and the swadeshi brand of imperialist boot-lickers like Raman Singh, who kowtow before the imperialists, can never succeed in their counterrevolutionary war and brutal reign of state terror on the revolutionary people of India. The Tatas, Mittals, Jindals, Essar, Vedanta and other thugs and bandits can never succeed in displacing the adivasis from their villages and grabbing the forest and mineral wealth by resorting to brute force in the name of establishing the “rule of law”. Every act of brutality will beget equally ferocious resistance. A billion people will sweep away the few hundred thousand pests that are ruining the country.
Kesikodi: Goebbels comes alive in the avatar of Vishwa Ranjan! Kesikodi episode exposes mainstream media’s shameful, repugnant role in spreading police lies!!
The shameful episode of Kesikodi has exposed the real, ugly face of the so-called mainstream media. Contrary to its tall claim of serving as a watchdog of so-called democracy and as a Fourth Estate, the media has proved itself to be a faithful dog and mouth-piece of the reactionary ruling classes through its shameful, obnoxious role in reporting the fake incident at Kesikodi village in Koyilbeda block in Kanker district in Dandakaranya. It is through such a loyal media that the police and the political class is able to wage their dirty, repugnant war of lies and slander against the Maoists, the national liberation fighters in Kashmir and North Eastern states, and the democratic struggles of the people everywhere.
The Kesikodi farce has shown that the so-called fourth estate is actually the private estate of the exploiting classes in India and whatever the ruling class chieftains like Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram, Narendra Modi, Raman Singh and other political bosses or the top police brass say, it is faithfully and uncritically reflected in the media. Thus the so-called mainstream media has become an indivisible part of the dirty psychological war waged by the establishment against the Maoists. It is only a small section of independent newspapers that swims against the tide, refuses to report without proper investigation at the cost of losing the revenues from state ads.
What happened in the media reportage of Kesikodi is atrocious, to say the least. It has exposed the fascist face of the so-called journalism of today. It has also revealed the hypocrisy and the lack of honesty of the media personnel as they had conveniently “forgotten” to set right a distortion even after it was exposed. (For details of the Kesikodi farce see the statement by the CPI(Maoist)’s special zonal committee of Dandakaranya published in the current issue of MIB.)
On August 12/13, all newspapers and TV channels prominently carried the news of a massacre said to have been perpetrated by the Maoists in the village of Kesikodi on August 11. Many newspapers published headlines or box item on front page vomiting venom against the Maoists for having “burnt alive” eight adivasis in Kesikodi which included two children, one a two-year-old. The papers and some TV channels had even mentioned the names of those said to have been burnt alive.
Among those burnt alive, according to the claims of these electronic and print media channels, were one 70-year-old woman Sukhbatti, 12-year-old Pramila, 4-year-old Sarita and 2-year-old Amrita, and so on. They reported that the Maoists had slit the throats of all the eight villagers belonging to the family of one Ramayan Vishwakarma and then threw the bodies into flames. Some papers and TV channels reported that they were all burnt alive. The depiction of the incident by the media leaves none in doubt regarding the veracity of the incident. For instance, the names of the Maoists who were said to have committed this fabricated massacre were given as Soma, Sop Singh, Udde Marar, Hichami and so on. These Maoists were said to have entered the village on the afternoon of August 11th and had carried out the massacre between 1.30 and 4 pm.
The Hindu fascist Chief Minister Raman Singh immediately expressed condolences at the death of the eight villagers and condemned the inhumanity and brutality of the Maoists. The police, however, did not go to the village even after 48 hours since they knew the truth and as they themselves were the authors of the episode. Two days later, the media which had prominently run the police version of the massacre in banner headlines, published a small news item saying that the incident was, after all, fake and that not a single person had died in Kesikodi.
However, the tragi-comic story of our media coverage did not end there. On August 15 the media once again lent credence to a new police story that the news of the “Kesikodi massacre” was propagated by the Maoists themselves with a view to lure the police into the village and 12 carry out a massive attack. They heaved a sigh of relief that the police had not fallen into the Maoist trap and that another Madanwada was averted! No media person bothered to ask why the policemen did not go to the village even 48 hours after hearing of the “massacre”? A little bit of common sense, not to speak of investigative journalism, would have revealed to even a mediocre mind that Kesikodi massacre was the brainchild of the police. That was precisely the reason why they did not bother to visit the village even when the entire media was carrying front page news of the massacre and Raman Singh himself was condemning it. The Chief Minister too did not pursue the police to go to the site of the supposed massacre since he too was an author of this dirty psychological war.
The second story too was floated by the police chief Vishwa Ranjan. This brainless officer, who reached the highest police post in the state of Chhattisgarh, had not even thought of the negative impact such dirty psychological war would have on the police department itself. His aim was to defame the Maoists and show them as monsters who do not bat an eye-lid before murdering a two-year-old. Vishwa Ranjan is aware of the fact that even when the incident is proved to be a fake it would go unnoticed by many since it would not be a banner headline again. And even when it is exposed the blame for the false propaganda can be placed squarely on the Maoists themselves! And the docile media would parrot his words. Such is the plan of this perverted mind adorning the highest post of DGP. For there is no shortage of journalists like Arnab Goswamis of Times Now or Sailesh Pandeys and the entire team of police journalists of ETV from Chhattisgarh, or the so-called reporters of newspapers published from Raipur, to name only a few of the most notorious among this tribe, who even add some more masala to the police stories. These loyal servants of the exploiting classes float stories deliberately due to their inherent class bias as well as due to their mercenary nature.
As the war intensifies, more such police-inspired stories will do the rounds. The police would resort to such propaganda out of sheer desperation as they suffer increasing casualties in the hands of the Maoist guerrillas and as the morale of the police forces touches its nadir. DGP Vishwa Ranjan, Bastar range IGP Longkumer, RK Vij, IGP Mukesh Gupta, Dantewada SP Amrish Mishra, Rajnandgaon SP Vinod Kumar Choubey (annihilated by Maoist guerrillas in the daring ambush in Madanwada), and other police bosses have been floating stories of encounters in which several Maoists are supposed to have been killed while not able to recover a single dead body. Where bodies were said to have been recovered, it is more often the case that innocent unarmed adivasis are abducted from villages and murdered brutally while claiming that Maoists were killed in encounters. Neo Nazi fascists like Raman Singh and Vishwa Ranjan will not hesitate to enact real massacres of women and children and place the blame on the Maoists. Like Herr Hitler setting the Reichstag on fire! The role of the media becomes important at such a crucial juncture when the rulers indulge in deliberate vicious propaganda to malign the Maoists.
A George Bush was able to deceive the overwhelming people of America for sometime due to the obnoxious, anti-people and hypocritical role of the American media which deliberately obfuscated the truth so as to continue the brutal unjust war of aggression against Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, with the help of the media, Obama is able to continue Bush’s so-called “global war against terror” by razing entire villages in Afghanistan and killing innocent children and women through missile attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan
An uncritical media becomes an accomplice in every crime committed by the rulers. Only a responsible, independent media freed from the moneybags and corporate-financial bandits can become an instrument for reflecting the truth. To do this, it should come out of the status quoist, even worse, the police structure in which it has embedded itself, and adopt a propeople class approach. Without such a class approach it can never sift facts from a plethora of lies spread by the reactionary ruling classes to further their narrow, selfish class interests and will end up with lies and fake stories like Kesikodi.
Bandh in protest against the illegal detention of Maoist leaders
On 19th August 2009, two Maoist leaders—comrade Amitabh Bagchi aka Anil aka Sumit, a Polit Bureau member of CPI(Maoist), and comrade Tauhid Mulla aka Karthik—were abducted by the Intelligence police while they were proceeding to Patna from Ranchi in a train. As usual, the lawless cops did not bother to produce them in the court stringently following the jungle ‘rule of law’ preached by Home Minister Chidambaram. The conspiracy to eliminate the two Maoist leaders was hatched at the highest level presided by our ‘rule of law’ preachers— Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram. However, their plans went awry in face of massive protests leading to a virtual paralysis of the administration and economic shut-down in the five states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and West Bengal.
The CPI(Maoist), in a statement issued on the 23rd of August, initially called for a two-day bandh in the five states on August 24 and 25 demanding the immediate release of the two leaders. The bandh was successfully observed in most parts of the five states, entire traffic on all the roads including the National Highway running from Kolkata to Mumbai came to a standstill, attacks on the police left several policemen injured, trains stopped plying, transport of coal and other minerals as well as other essential commodities came to a halt, and the administration was paralysed. Chidambaram’s khaki men, however, remained intransigent, and wanted their own ‘rule of jungle law’ to prevail. They were bent on eliminating the Maoist leaders. The CPI(Maoist) decided to fight to the end and declared an indefinite general strike from the 26th of August if its leaders were not produced immediately. With this, even mighty Chidambaram (a man backed by the might of lakhs of central forces and special anti-Naxal commando forces), and his lawless khaki goons had to beat a hasty retreat from enacting their usual fake encounter and were compelled to produce the arrested leaders in the Court. The episode showed to everyone that the autocratic rulers, the terrorist Indian state and the lawless policemen will never abide by the Constitution and the laws they swear by unless the people rise up in massive protest and compel them to do so.
MIB hails the people of the five states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and West Bengal for having risen up promptly to save their leaders from the clutches of the bloodthirsty khaki hounds led by the khadi wolves. Chidambaram and his gang of khaki-olive terrorists should be made accountable for every illegal arrest and fake encounter. Yes, it is possible for the people to achieve this.
Now we must start building a massive resistance movement for the unconditional release of all prisoners languishing in various jails in the country. Thousands of under-trials are locked up behind bars for periods that stun one’s mind. The ‘rule of law’ allows cops to incarcerate minor boys and girls as well as old-aged people in the most appalling conditions in the jails. Today senior Maoist leaders in their late ’60s like Narayan Sanyal, Sushil Roy and others are locked up on foisted charges. They are languishing in jails mainly for their ideological political beliefs in revolution.
Maoist offensives during the Bandh
Maoists blew up railway tracks and bombed a mobile phone tower in Latehar and Palamau districts of Jharkhand on the first day of the two-day bandh across five states. The house of a reactionary leader in Chatra was also torched. Around 50 armed guerrillas went to Kupbera, 200km from Ranchi, in the Vishrampur police station area of Palamau, barely five minutes after the 48-hour Maoist-sponsored bandh began in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Bengal and Orissa, besides Jharkhand. They blew up a portion of a Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) tower, erected at a cost of Rs 50 lakh, leaving a big crater on the spot. Within seven hours of the strike in Kupbera, another armed squad of 20 blasted a pillar (No. 236/37) and small stretch of tracks between Hehegarha and Ghumandi stations on the CIC section of Dhanbad division in Latehar district, disrupting train services for four hours. While the Delhi-Ranchi Rajdhani Express had crossed the stretch several minutes earlier, the blast — though low in intensity — stranded the Gomoh-Choupan Express for over three hours. Earlier in the day, the rebels also targeted the abandoned house of one Moinuddin Khan, an anti-Maoist village-level leader, at Jolhabigha in Chatra. A group of 100 guerrillas carried out the attack on Khan’s property and torched the house before leaving. Response to the bandh was total in several parts of the state, including Ghatshila sub-division of East Singhbhum, the industrial hubs of Chandil and Chowka in Seraikela-Kharsawan, Nawadih, Bermo, Gomia and Petarwar areas of Bokaro, besides the Maoist pockets of West Singhbhum, Chatra, Palamau and Latehar. Schools, offices and business establishments remained shut, roads, including NH-33, witnessed hardly any traffic throughout the day.
On August 25, the second day of the 48-hour bandh, the Maoist guerrillas struck in Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar blowing up a railway station and community centre besides engaging security forces in an encounter after burning four trucks on NH-33 between Ranchi and Jamshedpur.
In Jharkhand, armed guerrillas blew up another mobile phone tower, torched five supply trucks — four on the arterial NH33 — and injured four persons in Latehar, Ranchi and Khunti districts. A squad of some 30 guerrillas planted a bomb at the base of an Airtel tower at Lali village in the Manika area of Latehar district around 10 am.
Almost around the same time, a second armed Maoist squad torched a truck at Manjhidih village between Tamar and Khunti, 70km from the Jharkhand capital. When an anti-landmine vehicle carrying some jawans of the district armed police was coming from Bundu, guerrillas opened fire injuring a constable and the driver.
In Orissa, around 35 armed Maoists flattened Roxy railway station and torched 15 vehicles parked there in the K Bolang police station area in Sundergarh district around 2am on 25th.
The guerrillas first asked railway men to move out before setting off the explosives that destroyed the station, around 80km from Rourkela.
In Bihar, around 100 guerrillas raided Irki village and blew up a community centre with dynamite in Aurangabad district. Most private bus operators suspended services from Patna to Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Jamshedpur, Daltonganj and Bokaro with police patrolling national highways.
A group of Maoists attacked Ismailpur railway station in the evening and a ticket counter and signaling systems at the station were damaged, delaying several trains on the Grand Chord section.
The bandh, called in five states demanding the release of the abducted Party leaders— comrades Amitabh Bagchi alias Sumit alias Anil and Tauhid Mulla alias Karthik—was on the verge of being extended indefinitely by the Maoist leadership, who demanded that the two leaders be immediately produced in court. The bandh was called off only after the police announced in Ranchi that the two Maoist leaders were produced in court.
Five SAP troopers wiped out in Maoist attack
On 22 August, 2009 Maoist guerrillas ambushed a Special Auxiliary Police (SAP) force near Sonobazaar in Jamui district in Bihar, annihilating four, including an assistant sub-inspector. A fifth jawan died in the hospital the next day. The armed squad of the PLGA boarded a tractor trolley to reach the southern bank of river Banarsa.
They abandoned the vehicle and crossed the river to reach Sonobazaar. “One of the guerrillas grabbed a jawan from behind and snatched away his rifle while his accomplices opened fire on the security team. Our men were taken aback by the suddenness of the event and outnumbered by 60-odd rebels,” admitted ADG (police headquarters) Neelmani.
BJP leader Tansen Kashyap annihilated by Maoist guerrillas in Bastar
In a daring attack on 26 September, Maoist guerrillas shot at the two sons of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Bastar Lok Sabha MP, Baliram Kashyap, killing one of them. The entire Kashyap family went to their native village of Parsaguda in Bastar for celebrating Mahashthami Durga Puja. The guerrillas who went on two bicycles dressed up as villagers, swiftly carried out the operation and retreated safely. Both Baliram Kashyap and his another son Kedar Kashyap, who is a MInister in the Raman singh government, had left the place just before the guerrilla attack.
Tansen Kashyap, shot in his head with country-made pistols, was rushed to the Maharani Hospital in Jagdalpur but succumbed to the bullet injuries. Dinesh Kashyap who was shot in the back was admitted in the hospital. BJP President Rajnath Singh visited Chhattisgarh to console Baliram Kashyap for the loss of his son.
The entire Kashyap family is notorious for their anti-people activities. They had been in the forefront of the brutal attacks against the Maoists and the revolutionary masses of Bastar. In the name of salwa judum they had carried out a brutal reign of terror in the region murdering adivasi peasants, raping women, burning entire villages and destroying the property of the adivasis who were suspected to have links with the Maoists. The Kashyaps are an important pillar of the saffron fascist regime of Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh which has been carrying out a brutal counter-revolutionary war against the Maoists in the state jointly with the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre. Earlier, Maoists had carried out attacks on the BJP MP Baliram Kashyap as well as his minister son Kedar Kashyap, but they had survived the attacks.
In an Interview given to TV channels three days after the incident, a Maoist commander comrade Raju explained why they carried out the attack on the Kashyaps. He pointed out the brutal incidents committed by Tansen as the leader of salwa judum in the region and how the vast majority of adivasis in the region hated Tansen and other members of the Kashyap family. he said that the Maoists carried out the attack in accordance with the demand and aspirations of the people.
Police Outpost blown up by Maoist guerrillas in Kandhamal
On the night of October 4, armed guerrillas of PLGA attacked a police outpost in Katingia village under the Brahamanigaon police station area in Kandhamal district of Orissa. The police outpost was blown up with dynamite after ordering the policemen to get out of the building. Around 30 guerrillas were said to have participated in the attack. It was the second attack on the Katingia outpost. The road leading to Brahmanigaon was cut off by the guerrillas by felling trees and putting up road blockades. Additional police forces did not reach the spot for over a day fearing ambushes by Maoist guerrillas.
Maoist attack in Bundu wipes out a police agent and injures a CRPF jawan
An armed squad of 100 guerrillas led by comrade Kundan Pahan carried out a daring attack on a 38-member police party which was taking rest in the Nawadih Middle School situated on the Ranchi-Jamshedpur Highway about 35 km from the state capital killing a police agent and injuring a CRPF jawan. The incident took place at around 11 pm on August 25.
The Deputy Superintendent of Police of Hatia who survived the attack said police and CRPF personnel were returning from Ulida after a long-range patrol when the attack took place. The police took position in eight class-rooms and would have suffered heavy casualties had additional reinforcements and anti-landmine vehicles from nearby Bundu police station not come to their rescue. The surprise attack by Maoist guerrillas had rattled the police and central forces who halted their long-range patrols in the area after the incident.
CoBRAS taste their first defeat at the hands of the Maoist guerrillas and the people’s militia
The much-touted special counter-insurgency force formed from the CRPF last year—the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action or simply CoBRA—received its first big blow at the hands of the Maoist-led PLGA guerrillas in the third week of September. When a huge force of 4,000-strong CRPF-BSF-Grey Hounds and Chhattisgarh state police force led by around 600 CoBRA men carried out a massive operation called Operation Green Hunt, which a section of the media called Operation Red Hunt, in the Palachelma-Chintagufa forest under Kishtaram police station area in Dantewada district in Dandakaranya Special Zone, they came under fierce counter-attack by the Maoist guerrillas.
Two Assistant Commandants of the CoBRA force, a sub-inspector, two head constables and a jawan—all belonging to the CoBRA battalion—were wiped out in the daring surprise counter-attack by the brave Maoist PLGA warriors. At least 20 jawans of the invading force were missing after the CoBRA and CRPF men ran helter-skelter following the Maoist resistance. These mercenaries were sent by the Sonia-Manmohan-Chidambaram gang in consultation with their bosses in Washington with the aim of clearing the forests of Maoists and adivasis and paving the way for the unbridled plunder of the resources of the region by the imperialist MNCs and the CBB. It is obvious that such mercenaries cannot fight a war that is clearly unjust and anti-people with courage and that they have absolutely no support from the local people. Hence these forces act like invaders of another country and go about murdering and maiming people, raping women, destroying people’s property and turning the region into a veritable hell for the people. And the “heroic” CoBRAs and other mercenaries did exactly the same: they were too scared to venture further after the deadly blow they received at the hands of the Maoists. They beat a hasty retreat from the area but not before abducting seven adivasis from Singanamadugu, Gacchanpalli and Kotakpalli and murdering them. They had also burnt down four villages after they lost six of their men. The Maoist guerrillas chased the retreating force for over 10 km. So scared were these mercenary forces that none had gone to collect the dead bodies of the six CoBRA men for almost 24 hours even though thousands of central and state forces were present in the forest area.
Raman Singh. Vishwa Ranjan, Chidambaram and all the liars hailed the “heroism” of their mercenary men for having killed several Maoists. If ever an impartial enquiry is held Chidambaram himself would be convicted for war crimes since it was upon his orders that innocent civilians were deliberately murdered by his men in uniform. Such a fair trial can be expected only under a genuine democracy and hence is ruled out in India under the present police raj.
The police claimed to have destroyed an arms manufacturing factory run by the Maoists near Singanamadugu village and captured a huge cache of arms. The fact was the said armsmanufacturing factory was actually a weapon-repairing unit and what the enemy found there were a few arms that were kept there for repairing. all the arms were taken away by the PLGA guerrillas before the enemy attack bagan.
The immense courage and dare-devilry exhibited by the Maoist guerrillas, the people’s militia and the adivasi people of Palachelma area at large, in countering Chidambaram’s biggest ever attack on the Maoist revolutionaries in the name of Operation Green Hunt on September 18 and the heavy casualties it caused to these mercenary forces will stand as a shining example for other PLGA forces and revolutionary masses throughout India who are es to confront the massive country-wide counter-revolutionary terrorist attacks by the Indian state. By pushing back the invading forces from Palachelma forest area and dealing the first major blow to the elite commando forces who are specially trained in jungle warfare, the Maoists have demonstrated the superiority of guerrilla warfare and are doubly confident to defeat the coming offensive being unleashed by Chidambaram & Co. The first victory of the Maoists against the Operation Green Hunt has greatly enthused the people of Dandakaranya and the country at large.
Jharkhand Intelligence officer annihilated
Francis Induwar, an Inspector working in the Intelligence wing of the Jharkhand police, was arrested by a Maoist PLGA squad from Hembrom Bazaar in Khunti district on September 30, and kept in their custody for a week before annihilating him on October 6. Before annihilating the intelligence officer Maoists placed the demand for the release of two of their leaders— Kobad Ghandy and Bhushan Yadav—and another leader of the people’s movement in Lalgarh, Chhatradhar Mahato, in exchange for the police officer. When the government refused to meet the demands placed by the Maoists the officer was annihilated after a week of detention.
During the interrogation by Maoist guerrillas the Intelligence inspector divulged several secret plans hatched by the state police department in Jharkhand to eliminate Maoist leaders and cadres, such as: infiltrating the Maoist ranks through covert agents, encouraging villagers through material incentives or coercing them at gun-point to secretly mix poison in the food given to Maoist guerrillas, supplying cell phones to selected individuals and gathering information concerning the movements of the Maoist guerrillas, and so on.
Induwar’s dead body was left near Raisha Ghati under the Namkom police station area, about 12 km from the state capital Ranchi. A poster was pasted on a tree on the RanchiJamshedpur highway stating that the body was that of the police officer
A hue and cry is raised by the police top brass, the media and the political establishment that Naxals had beheaded the Special branch officer mot cruelly while hushing up thousands of brutal tortures and murders of Maoist revolutionaries and innocent people by the police and state-sponsored terrorist outfits like salwa judum. The media hardly raised a voice when a member of the central committee of the CPI(Maoist) and chief of its intelligence wing comrade Patel Sudhakar was abducted in May 24 by the APSIB, tortured in the most cruel manner, and murdered in cold blood. In just less than five months after the Comgres-led UPA came to power at the Centre for the second time, several massacres had taken place in Chhattisgarh but the media did not raise a voice to condemn these brutalities. One instance of beheading of Induwar is made into a fetish to prove the inhumanity of the Maoists. Some have even christened it as India’s Taliban. If so, then does not the media think it apt to describe the innumerable atrocities perpetrated by the repressive forces of the Indian state led by Sonia-Manmohan-Chidambaram fascist clique as similar to those under the Nazi regime of Hitler?
To appease the family members of the police officer and the police association, Home Minister Chidambaram, the incorrigible liar as he is, lied once again that there was no demand from the Maoists for swapping prisoners for the police inspector, no matter if the entire media was brimming with stories of the Maoist demands. At the same time, he also stated the stand of the government: “We cannot swap prisoners with those who are outside the purview of law, who take the law in their hands”.
What if a VVIP such as one of his cabinet colleagues was captured by the Maoists? Would Chidambaram stick on to the same stand that he took when a relatively smaller fry was captured? One has to wait and watch.
The social fascist government in West Bengal led by the CPI(M) has shown it can surpass Hitler in deceiving the people. By asking its policemen, posing as journalists, to apprehend Chhatradhar Mahato, the PCPA leader who has been in the forefront of the Lalgarh mass upsurge, the CPI(M)-led “Left Front” government in West Bengal has revealed its true neoNazi colours. It has demonstrated once again that it will go to any extent to suppress the just and democratic struggles of the people.
On September 26, two police officers, acting as journalists from a Singapore-based TV channel, approached Chhatradhar Mahato and apprehended him at the point of gun. Three truck-loads of policemen arrived at the venue of the Interview as soon as the policemen reached there. One Anirban Roy led this cowardly operation. West Bengal Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen shamelessly defended the police in uing journalists as bait to arrrest Chhatradhar. 22 charges were foisted on Mahato including leading movement against the administration, providing shelter to the banned CPI(Maoist) and murder of CPI(M) activists. A Jhargram court remanded him to five-day police custody on September 27 and later again extended it by another week until October 7.
As soon as the news of the arrest spread, people organized street demonstrations throughout Jungalmahal and elsewhere in West Bengal. Several intellectuals from West Bengal such as Jnanpith award winner Mahasweta Devi, Prasun Bhowmik and Sukhendu Bhattacharya along with 19 local organisations have issued a memorandum demanding Mahato’s unconditional release. “Arresting him means crushing a democratic protest,” said filmmaker Aparna Sen. “When you do that, it forces people to take to violence.”
A 48-hour bandh was observed on September 30 and October 1 in entire Jangalmahal after the PCAPA issued the call to protest against the arrest of its leader. The unconditional release of the people’s leader Chhatradhar Mahato was also one of the demands put forth by the CPI(Maoist) during the 24-hour Bharath Bandh called by it on October 3.
“Unless Chhatradhar Mahato is released unconditionally, the entire Jangalmahal (a forested belt) in five states [West Bengal, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Bihar] will be up in flames,” warned comrade Koteshwar Rao,a Polit Bureau member of CPI(Maoist). “A hundred other Chhatradhars will be created to carry on the activism.”
The corrupt and immoral police officers, who thrive on extortion, began a malicious campaign against Chhatradhar Mahato as part of the psychological warfare against people’s leaders by the reactionary rulimg classes. DGP of West Bengal, Bhupinder Singh floated false stories of Mahato having amassed huge wealth and possessing prioperties in various towns. It is the social-fascist regime which has been gobbling up people’s money to fatten thousands of socalled full-timers of the CPI(M) living in palatial buildings like Anuj Pandey. No wonder, they try desperately to malign revolutionaries and leaders of democratic people’s movements in order to mislead the people and dilute the movement.
|Police posing as journalists arrest Chhatradhar Mahato|
Comrade Kobad Ghandy’s arrest
|Comrade Kobad GhandY|
The arrest of CPI(Maoist) Polit Bureau member and a senior leader of the Indian revolution, comrade Kobad Ghandy, on September 17 in New Delhi, in a combined operation by the Delhi and AP police, has made headlines. The Doon school background of comrade Kobad and the interesting bit of information that Sanjay Gandhi had been his classmate at Doon, and comrade Kobad’s London education have all compelled the media to sit up and take notice of this seemingly odd phenomenon of a highly educated, afluent man fighting a violent revolutionary war for the overthrow of the existing social system. It seemed like an unbelievable thing, a rude shock for many of the educated elite who nurture only contempt for the oppressed masses and can never think beyond what the capitalist class defines for them.
To those who had been indulging in incessant propaganda that the Maoist movement has no intellectuals worth the name, no enlightened, educated leadership, and that it has only “lumpenised” elements (a phrase the filthy rich reserve for anyone belonging to lower classes) in its ranks and leading committees, were in for a rude shock upon hearing of a Doon school product in the midst of “bandits” as Chidambaram would love to call them. Incidentally, the real bandits and bandicoots are those who have been pillaging the wealth of the country and are waiting in the wings for plundering the wealth of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and other states once the Maoists are crushed through brute force. And Chidambaram was chosen to perform the job of clearing the region of Maoists so as to turn it into the kingdom of bandits and a hell for the native adivasis.
In the eyes of the upper classes to which comrade Kobad once belonged and whose interests he had gladly betrayed, revolution is a business of the wretched of the earth and there is no reason for one belonging to their own privileged class to join the revolutionary ranks. However, the news that a member of their class had gone to the other side of the barricades became a subject of heated discussion in the elitist circles. Those who have been fed with stories of Naxal savagery that included acts such as brutal throat-slitting, cold-blooded murders and senseless violence, were at a loss to understand how a former member of their own elite class could continue in a Party that indulged in such acts. Some began to doubt the stories floated by the establishment against the Maoists. Some TV channels began to debate whether Kobad was a terrorist or an ideologue. Interestingly, it was only the thieves who were shouting “Thief! Thief!”. Besides the Manmohan-Chidambaram gang and the police officials representing state terrorism, the saffron terrorists of the BJP family, social fascist terrorists of the CPI(M) variety, there are very few people who believe that Maoists indulge in terrorist acts.
Chidambaram’s self-professed love for the “rule of law” was laid bare when he uttered a deliberate lie that comrade Kobad was arrested and produced in the court within 24 hours as per the provisions of law. But what were the facts?
The police claimed comrade Kobad was arrested only on Sunday (20th) night. However, the fact was that he was abducted on the 17th itself and produced in the court only after three days of intense interrogation. Home Minister Chidambaram who was informed of the arrest on the 17th itself lied to the media that comrade Kobad was produced within 24 hours. He appreciated the efforts of the Delhi police for achieving what he described as a big success against the Maoists and claimed that he would definitely see that the remaining “nine Polit Bureau members” would soon be arrested.
Comrade Kobad’s long revolutionary career should be an aye-opener for every intellectual who has the urge to make our country self-reliant and prosperous. Intellectuals of India have a great role to play in the struggle for genuine democracy, self-reliance, and liberation of the people from feudal and imperialist exploitation and oppression. Today in the face of increasing social and economic inequalities on a hitherto unheard of scale, extreme poverty and misery, ever-increasing number of farmer suicides, marginalization of the vast majority of the Indian population, it becomes the urgent task before the democratic intelligentsia to come forth boldly and determinedly to stand by the side of the oppressed and challenge the oppressors who wish to defend the status quo at any cost.
Chidambaram’s Lies stand Exposed
Reacting to the arrest of comrade Kobad Ghandy, Home Minister Chidambaram said it was the biggest gain for the police in recent times. He congratulated the Delhi police for the success in apprehending the Maoist leader. He, however, publicly lied about the date of comrade Kobad’s arrest. Speaking to CNN-IBN on 29 September, Chidambaram asserted that Kobad was arrested on the 20th and produced in the court within 24 hours as per the requirement of the law. But Chidambaram knew he was lying for he was informed about Kobad’s arrest on the 17th itself. A courier of Kobad led the police to Bhikaji Cama Place in South Delhi on the 17th and from that day until his production in court on the 21st he was illegally detained and interrogated by the APSIB and Delhi police. It was only after rising protests from various civil rights and democratic organizations that he was produced in the court. Comrade Kobad himself explained how he was picked up on the 17th and illegally detained until the 21st. Chidambaram cannot fool the people by indulging in distortion and falsification of the facts concerning Kobad’s arrest.
The Home Minister, who cries from the roof-tops about the “rule of law” and pretends like a holy cow, should first learn to respect the law. He should order his armed goons in the police and intelligence departments to adhere to the law whenever they arrest a citizen. Or he should come out frankly and assert that his “rule of law” cannot be applied to Maoists, who, to his perverted mind, are but bandits. Can anyone believe in the rhetoric of the Home Minister when he himself deliberately utters such lies and defends the lawless goons who abduct people and detain them illegally?
Bandh called in five states against the arrest of Kobad Ghandy, Chhatradhar Mahato and the fake encounter killings in Chintagufa area in Dantewada
A 24-hour Bharath bandh was called on October 3 by the Central Committee of CPI(Maoist) to protest against the arrest of its Polit Bureau member comrade Kobad Ghandy, PCAPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato and against the coldblooded murders of adivasis in Palachalma in Dantewada by the CoBRA and CRPF personnel. The CPI(Maoist) demanded that these leaders be released immediately and that the joint operations by the Central and state forces in several states, particularly in Chhattisgarh, which had seen the cold-blooded murder, illegal detention and displacement of several adivasis be halted forthwith. The CPI(Maoist) called on the people at large and the PLGA in particular to resist the brutal reign of terror unleashed by the Centre and the state governments in all the adivasi regions in order to hand over the mineral and forest wealth of the region to the imperialist MNCs and the comprador business houses
The bandh was observed successfully in most parts of Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Oriisa, West Bengal, and parts of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
The Day that Death brought overwhelming Joy! How the revolutionary camp reacted to the sudden death of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YSR Reddy in Nallamala forest
September 2. As the radios blared the news of the missing helicopter carrying the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, there was an air of rejoicing in the make-shift guerrilla camp in interior Dandakaranya.
In the afternoon regional news, the government tried to fool the people by saying that the helicopter was finally located and that the occupants were safe. But by evening the radio report said that the chopper was still not traced and that the communication link was lost when the helicopter was crossing the dense forest of Nallamala. From then on virtually everyone in the guerrilla camp was glued to the radios anxiously waiting to hear about the doom of the man whom everyone who worked for the oppressed hated. “The bloody…..should die a dog’s death”, said a new recruit in the PLGA.
Not just in the Dandakaranya Special Zone, or the Andhra-Orissa Border Special Zone, or several such guerrilla zones spread over half-a-dozen states in the country but throughout the revolutionary camp in India one could witness a feeling of joy at the news of the probable death of a mass murderer who occupied the highest pedestal of power in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Yes. The news that the butcher, whose hands were stained with the blood of hundreds of Maoist revolutionaries and ordinary innocent people, has been missing since the morning was enough to enAnd by next day when the news of discovery of the charred body of Rajasekhara Reddy along with those of the other three occupants of the helicopter broke out there was an atmosphere of a festival. Meat was specially cooked to celebrate the occasion. And sweet too was served. Everyone went into a spontaneous dance. A few creative minds wrote some poems instantaneously. One poem described how Forest Mother Nallamala took revenge for the murder of her heroic sons and daughters like comrade Madhav, Sridhar, Rajita, and so on. Under the fascist rule of Rajasekhar Reddy more than 300 Maoist revolutionaries and people were murdered in cold blood. What was worse, he had carried out this bloody murder campaign under thethuse the democratic and revolutionary-minded sections of society. As the 2230 BBC news in Hindi spoke of massive search operations in Nallamala forest undertaken by thousands of CRPF, Grey Hounds and other forces backed by several helicopters and even naval divers who desperately searched the Krishna river, none had any doubt that the murderer was dead. More than 12 hours had passed since losing contact and it was clear that whatever the government or the Congress leaders might be saying, the chopper must have crashed somewhere in the forest.
And by next day when the news of discovery of the charred body of Rajasekhara Reddy along with those of the other three occupants of the helicopter broke out there was an atmosphere of a festival. Meat was specially cooked to celebrate the occasion. And sweet too was served. Everyone went into a spontaneous dance. A few creative minds wrote some poems instantaneously. One poem described how Forest Mother Nallamala took revenge for the murder of her heroic sons and daughters like comrade Madhav, Sridhar, Rajita, and so on. Under the fascist rule of Rajasekhar Reddy more than 300 Maoist revolutionaries and people were murdered in cold blood. What was worse, he had carried out this bloody murder campaign under the smoke-screen of talks with the Naxalites, saying that Naxalism was a socioeconomic issue and promising that there would not be fake encounters once he came to power. And it was in the forests of Nallamala that he had carried out the blood-bath most brutally compelling the Maoists to temporarily retreat from the region. Ironically his chopper crashed in the very same forest. In another poem one PLGA fighter expressed her unhappiness that due to the accident we had lost the chance of eliminating Rajasekhara Reddy. “Had he been alive, he would have been punished by our PLGA one day” she wrote
Death is generally a painful thing. Hence it is true that death brings pain, not joy. When we hear of lakhs of peasants committing suicide (over two lakhs had died in the past one decade in India as a whole) it makes us extremely depressed. When we see several thousand people dying every year due to hunger, starvation, disease and man-made calamities, our senses are numbed. When we witness the gory massacres of countless Muslims, Sikhs and Christians, for the only fault of being born as members of minority religious communities, by saffron and khadi gangs, our blood curdles with indescribable pain. When we hear of the deaths of citizens of this country in police custody, in fake encounters, state-sponsored murders by private vigilante gangs running to thousands every year our hearts bleed. And even when someone completely unknown to us dies of an accident we cry with pain and sympathy for the dead.
But why is it that the deaths of some individuals bring immense joy to the hearts of people who otherwise bleed at the slightest pain caused to others? The death of dictators such as a Hitler or a Mussolini, mass murderers like a Vengal Rao, or Rajasekhara Reddy can only create sorrow among their class of exploiters besides their loyalists and beneficiaries but to the people at large their death is .
From the Newspapers
Halt Lalgarh operation, demand rights groups
Sadiq Naqvi, Hardnews
15 August, 2009
They termed the operation as a ploy to isolate the tribals and pave the way for corporate to take control of the mineral-rich resources
“Everybody sees us as a market and not as a people,” Arundhati Roy, author, said. She was speaking at a convention against the State’s offensive at Lalgarh and adjoining areas held at Gandhi Peace Foundation on .......Thursday.
It was organised by the Lalgarh Movement Solidarity Committee, a group of various organisations and student groups
“Earlier, after the November landmine attack directed at West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee when he was returning after inaugurating a Jindal steel plant at Salboni, State tyranny has gained massive proportions. Police and CPM harmads allegedly created havoc in tribal area of Lalgarh in West Midnapore on the pretext of catching Maoists, who they believed have mingled with the tribals,” said Amit Bhattacharyya of the Committee for Release of Political Prisoners.
Later, finding no other way of ending this oppression, the tribals of Lalgarh launched a resistance and formed the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) headed by Chhatradhar Mahato. Police was not allowed to enter the area and local CPM leaders were hounded and their palatial houses razed to the ground. Seeing the disturbed situation of the area, a joint action was launched by the Centre and the state to flush out the Maoists and bring back the area under the control of the state government. Nearly 5,000 troops were deployed to challenge the guerrillas who were reportedly supporting the locals in their resistance.
The intellectuals expressed their worries about security forces taking control of jungles and destroying the unique culture and distinct identities of the different tribes inhabiting them. They termed it as a project to isolate the tribals and pave way for corporates to take control of the mineral-rich resources of the country. “This is nothing new in the Brahmanical thought process. Tribals have never been allowed to be a part of the development process and have been considered uncivilized and unworthy of being a part of the modern society. Barriers of the language and culture have never allowed them any space,” said Madan Kashyap, poet. He went on to add, “The CPM is not aloof of this thought process. Student leaders have taken control of the party leaving no space for the grassroots leaders working among the peasants. Consequently, the party has distanced itself from issues of the tribals and rural population.”
Drawing attention towards the proposed post-monsoon offensive against the Maoists, Sumit Chakraborty, editor of Mainstream, termed Lalgarh Operation as an experiment to test waters as to how the Indian middle class takes it. “The government wants to check out how the middle class reacts to this onslaught.” he said. He attacked the State’s policies for being responsible for the spread of radical ideologies. Maoism is thriving in areas reeling under extreme poverty. Moreover, SEZs and other neo-industrial policies have led the population to part from their lands and houses leading to massive displacement of people. Most of the time, paltry compensation is paid in lieu of the land.
Retired professor KR Choudhary of the Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan termed the struggle of Lalgarh as one of the finest examples of resistance guided by revolutionary forces. “The tribal population has been subjected to untold miseries. They are the first victims of industrialisation and they will continue to fight for their rights.” he said. “Singur, Nandigram and now Lalgarh - they show that the struggle of the people is a success,” he elaborated. Security men in action during the Lalgarh operation Raj Kishore of the Revolutionary Democratic Front termed the struggle as a fight between the people’s and the State’s model of development.
While accepting the presence of Maoists in the region, Bhattacharya said, “Maoists were engaged in development activities like building roads and health centres for the locals. He said that nothing would have happened if the administration would have conceded the just demands of the locals.”
Hardnews learnt that PCPA had put forward unique demands like the then superintendent of police of West Midnapore must apologise holding his ears and also policemen who assaulted women must be made to crawl on the ground with their noses rubbing the soil. Later, some more demands of development of the native Santhali language and protection of natural resources were added to the list. But, none of the demands were accepted by the authorities.
Bhattacharya accused Anuj Pandey, local CPM leader, of financing goons who killed members of the PCPA. He said something very sinister is going on in the Lalgarh area because nobody is allowed to enter the area. Even eminent social activists like Medha Patkar and Gopal Menon were detained by the police.
All the organizations demanded immediate halt of the Lalgarh operation, compensation to the affected people, commencement of dialogue with the locals and repeal of the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (amended), 2008.
Meanwhile, launching an attack on the neo-liberal market dynamics and the hysteria surrounding India as the new superpower Arundhati Roy said, “India has become a talking point in the capitalist societies. The big question for them is will India be able to save the ailing world economy in these tough times.”
She questioned the source of funds for the election campaigns of the major political parties. “More than 90 per cent of the independent candidates lost the elections and 10 times more money than the US presidential elections was pumped in the Indian elections. She called for diverse forms of resistance to counter the oppression and said mining and related activities are responsible for most of the genocides in the world.
Massive offensive against Maoists
Midnapore, Aug. 21: Bengal and Jharkhand will soon launch a “massive” joint operation in the Maoist-hit areas of the two states, home secretary Ardhendu Sen said here today.”We are working on launching a massive joint operation against the Maoists soon,” the Bengal official said after a meeting with West Midnapore district officials. “We are in constant touch with the neighbouring state on this,” he added. Sen, who was present with chief secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti at the Prime Minister’s meeting with chief ministers in Delhi on Monday, was here to review the Lalgarh operation. Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s statement, which was “tabled” at the meeting in his absence, had referred to the state’s keenness on the joint operation.
In the first week of August, such an offensive was discussed at a meeting here between Jharkhand director-general of police Vishnu Dayal Ram and top Bengal officers.Yesterday, Maoists and their sympathisers dug up roads and blocked them with trees at several points just outside the security forces’ circle of domination in West Midnapore. The central and state forces have so far been only “partially” successful in tackling the Maoists, Sen said. He had earlier said the second phase of operation Lalgarh, which started after the circle of domination was completed on June 29, had failed. About 200 tribal women today laid siege to the Pirakata police outpost, some 30km from the place where Sen was discussing the crackdown, demanding the release of four youths picked up from a forest last night for alleged Maoist links.
Excerpts From ‘Waging Peace in Redland’,
Neelabh Mishra, Outlook, August, 2009
Chaired by Debu Bandopadhyay, a former rural development secretary, the Expert Group on Development Issues to Deal with Causes of Discontent, Unrest and Extremism said in its report that after the insurgency in Naxalbari was crushed by force in the late 1960s, it has 36 spread from one police station, one district and one state to 560 police stations, 160 districts and 14 states even though the police budget to counter Naxal activity has increased a thousand times during the decades since then. This is because the basic craving for justice and equity, which spawned far-left extremism in the first place, was never addressed. Chidambaram’s proposed operations are going to cost much more in terms of human lives and resources, but placing arms above amelioration, one fears, will only escalate the insurgency, even spread it further to newer territories.
The expert group also noted that, besides the ideological motivation for violence, it is the craving for equity and justice, denied by a brutish State, that propels Maoist expansion. Its report suggests that if exploitative land relations were a trigger for Naxalbari, the massive displacements caused by mega projects, often with unfair compensation packages, is the trigger for the current phase of Naxal expansion. Some six crore people have been coercively displaced by mega projects since 1951, of whom not more than 20 per cent were properly rehabilitated. The Maoist-dominated areas in central India are coterminous with areas of massive forcible displacement. The expert group has clearly identified equity and justice issues relating to land, forced displacement and evictions, extreme poverty and social oppression, livelihood, malgovernance and police brutality as being behind Maoist expansion. More than development, this is also a question of rights. Ensure that they have it and people will accept these rights with both hands, dropping their arms, despite any ideological prodding.
THE NEW FACE OF NAXALISM
By Aloke Banerjee in Kolkata (From Mail Today)
THE ARREST of Kobad Ghandy has sent a shock wave nationwide. What was the Londoneducated son of an ice- cream magnate doing in the top echelons of the Communist Party of India ( Maoist)? Indeed, a look at the leadership of the Naxalite movement today does make Ghandy appear a little out of place.
But that is not how the revolution began. Many of Ghandy’s comrades in the 1970s — the time he joined the stillnascent uprising — were intellectuals born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Like Ghandy, they were the alumni of premier institutes such as Kolkata’s Presidency College and Jadavpur University. Like Ghandy, they left their affluent backgrounds to pour into the villages and arouse the destitute to join a Maoist struggle.
Unlike Ghandy, however, most of them drifted away from the hard life of a revolutionary once the police crackdown began. When Ghandy was learning chartered accountancy in London, his comrade Tapan Mitra, who later worked with leaders like Charu Majumdar and Shushital Roy Choudhury, was studying in Canada.
Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, who left the country in the early 70s for advanced studies and also to escape arrest, belonged to a family that produced one of the most respected chief justices of the Calcutta High Court.
Bhaskar Mitra, a front- ranking Naxalite leader of the 70s, also studied in London.
Ashim Chatterjee set up his Naxalite base in 1970 in the Debra- Gopiballavpur region of Midnapore in West Bengal as the youngest member of the undivided Communist Party of India (Marxist- Leninist). He was then still fresh from College Street — a hotbed of revolutionary student activity.
Comrade Kaka, as he was popularly known, was a bright student, whose teachers felt he had a bright academic career ahead of him. Instead, he took with him a bunch of similarly brilliant students to Gopiballavpur for an abortive bid to lead the farmers to revolution — on the path shown by Chairman Mao.
Four decades later, the mantle of leadership of the movement in this area has fallen upon Bikash, a tribal youth in his early 20s. Most of Bikash’s comrades in the Midnapore- BankuraPurulia special area committee, which is spearheading the ongoing Lalgarh movement, are either tribals or from poor farming families. None of them has gone anywhere near a premier Kolkata college, and most can’t pronounce their names.
“ As the police began to crack down on us and differences emerged among the comrades, most of the students returned to the cities they came from,” says Partho Bandyopadhyay, a former state secretary of People’s War. “ They were arrested soon after their return, but were released after the 1975- 77 Emergency was lifted. However, they never returned to the revolution.”
Bandyopadhyay himself studied textile engineering in the 1970s, but did not pursue his career. He says even when the People’s War began its organisation in West Bengal in 1996, many comrades leading from the front were ex students from rich families.
“ Again, when the police began to crack down, most of them left the party. But local comrades, those who were from tribal or farming backgrounds, firmly stayed back.” But Ranbir Samaddar, a noted social scientist, differs. He says most students who went to the villages in the early days of the struggle never intended to stay back. “ They were part of Red Guard campaign teams who went to the villages for a few months and then returned. It is wrong to say they did so because they couldn’t cope with the hard life and the police assault.” Bandyopadhyay says the core leadership of the CPI ( Maoist) still has some former students who joined the movement in the 60s, 70s or early 80s. “ They form the politburo and the central committee. But the state committee and lower- level committees are mostly made up of people hailing from rural or tribal backgrounds.” Ghandy is one such politburo leader. As are Ganapathy, the general secretary of the party, and Koteswar Rao alias Kishanji.
Both were brilliant engineering students. For Comrade Kaka, the changing profile of Naxalite leadership is a natural progression. “ Students and intellectuals first carry the fire of revolution to the rural masses and workers. The consciousness takes time to develop, but you eventually get leaders from among the downtrodden,” says Kaka, who has no links with the Maoists now.
Lenin, he points out, hailed from a well- to- do family. But his mantle was carried by Stalin, who belonged to the poor cobbler class.
May need to use special forces against Naxals:Home Minister Chidambaram at idea exchange
Express News Service:September 22
Special forces of the Army might be called out for surgical strikes against Naxalites if required, Home Minister P Chidambaram said today. Speaking at the Idea Exchange programme of The Indian Express, Chidambaram, however, ruled out the use of regular Army units in flush-out operations against Naxalite groups. The government intended to fight Naxals using only para-military and state police forces, he said.
“But, it may – and I want to underline the work may become necessary to induct Special Forces of the Army, like the para-commandos, to supplement the efforts of para-military and state police. If such a need is felt, we might consider that,” Chidambaram said.
A major assault against Naxalite groups, which Prime Minister Manmohan Sing has described as the gravest threat to India’s interna security, is expected towards the ed of the year. With central para-military forces over-stretched, there have been reports that the government might call in the Army to quell the Naxal upsurge.
Centre for new war on Maoists
Siddarth Varadarajan The Hindu, 24 September, 2009
ON BOARD PM’S SPECIAL AIRCRAFT:
Riding high on the recent arrest of senior Maoist leader Kopad Ghandy, the Manmohan Ghandy, the Manmohan Singh government is considering a major escalation of its war against Maoist insurgents across the country.
In an interaction with reporters accompanying the Prime Minister to the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, official sources said the Home Ministry’s proposal for the use of special forces, including air power (initially for transportation alone), was being considered by the appropriate committees and no decision had been taken as yet. While a strong case had been made out for the greater use of force against the naxalites, the government was evaluating the downsides of such a strategy. “The question is whether we can calibrate the governments use of violence”, the sources said.
“You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs…[But] if we end up killing many more tridbals in the process, there will be problems.”
By way of illustration, the sources drew attention to the recen report by General STanely A. McChrystal, commander of the United States forces in Afghanistanm which linked mounting civilians casualties in the war against the Taliban to the use of air power by the US and its allies. The sources criticized what they said was the media’s unwillingness to focus on the violence perpetrated by the Maoists. “Despite the fact that naxalites have been carrying out the worst atrocities, there is very little public outcry. When kobad Ghandy is arrested, we see intellectuals are protecting him. But when tribals are killed by the Maoists, the intellectuals and NGOs [are silent.]”
Asked about the need for dialogue with the Maoists, the sources said this had been experimented with between 2004 and 2006. “Today, there are no offers from their side and Iam not sure any purpose will be served either.”
The sources defended the Chhattisgarh government’s controversial Salwa Judum strategy of arming tribals to attack Maoist insurgents and their suspected sympathizers, a strategy that has led to the displacement fo thousands of tribals and been questioned by the Supreme Court. “I think the Salwa judum was a genuine people’s movement and the Naxalites were frightened by it. But thanks to NGOs and other extraneous elements, it was undermined and completely destroyed.”
The Prime Minister will halt in Frankfurt for the night before proceeding to Pittsburgh on Thursday. He is accompanied by a high-level delegation including National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan. Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Sing Ahluwalia and Foreigh secretary Nirupama Rao will join the PM at the G20 summit.
Police target naxal support base
EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE, RAIPUR, 23 SEPTEMBER, 2009
Stepping up the anti-naxal operations in Chhattisgarh, police have begun targeting supporters of the rebels to strike at the root of the popular support they enjoy in their strongholds. The police have started a crackdown on ‘sangam’ members- village level supporters of Maoists, Jan militia (platoons of armed village sympathizers) members and local leaders of its frontal organizations even as paramilitary forces continue intensive patrolling for “area domination and surgical strikes” to target the rebels within and outside the tribal Bastar region in the state.
Security forces in neighboring Andhra Pradesh Orissa, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh bordering the Bastar region and in areas of Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon district are on high alert. The police have gone as far as to ask boat owners to stop plying their boats in the Sabri and Indravati rivers to prevent the Maoist cadres from entering the state through the river routes.
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram is likely to visit the state capital on Thursday to reveiew the ongoing joint operations against the Naxals at a high-level meeting to be attended by the state’s senior civil and police officers and top officers of the paramilitary forces engaged in the operations, official sources said. “We cannot disclose the operational details. I can only say that the morale of forces is high and lots of things are happening,” Director General of Police Vishwaranjan told The Indian Express. However, he confirmed that the police had begun detaining active members of ‘sargam’, Jan militia and its local leaders who extend support to the rebels besides intensifying efforts to locate and strike Naxal hideouts.
“The People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA), the military wing of the Maoists, has clearly defined the role of everyone supporting them. Even its “Bal Sangam” members (group of children) are found to be acting as couriers to carry ammunition and weapons.
Biggest ever thrust against Maoists after polls
Aloka Tikku and Varghese K. George
Preparations are underway for India’s biggest, most organized offensive ever against the 42 year old Maoist insurgency that is now the country’s biggest internal threat.
Home Minister P. Chidambaram will go on a whirlwind tour of the two most Naxal affected states –Chattisgarh and Jharkhand – to review preparations of security forces for the coming offensive slotted for after the Maharashtra elections in October, home ministry sources said.
An additional 20,000 security men, who have trained in army camps, are being withdrawn from Jammu and Kashmir, the Northeastern states and elsewhere.
The battles will have to be fought in the jungles of central and eastern India, which is where the naxals have their stronghold. “All these being sent has been put through four weeks of rigorous training to prepare them for life in the jungles,” a ministry official said.
“We teach the boys to make friends with the jungle, to learn the art of turning what seems to be a hurdle, into an advantage,” said Brigadier Basant Kumar ponwar, Director of counter terrorism and Jungle Warfare College in Kanker, Chhattisgarh, where many of the forces are being trained.
Apart from reviewing the preparations, Chidamambaram will also iron our any small differences over detail to ensure a smooth operation. The center and the affected states, whatever their other political differences, have agreed on a joint strategy, except for, said the official, ‘some murmurs of protest’.
A media campaign will run alongside to remind people of the senseless violence – unsparing of women of women and children – Naxals engage in.
Police put out from forests, give ground to Maoists
Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times
Dantewada(Chhattisgarh): The Chhattisgarh police have frittered away the advantages gained in the war agaist Maoists by abruptly withdrawing their operation against them.
This is likely to give the Left-wing extremists in the forest villages of the southern part of the state, which is called the Bastar region.
Though the Maoists suffered heavily in Operation Red Hunt, the name given to the offensive, the state police had to retreat because of the difficult terrain food and water not being available, and the lack of a communication network.
“We have withdrawn our forces,” said T.J. Longkumer, inspector-general(IG) of police, bastar region.
He said that the Maoists got the support of their comrades from Andhra PRdesh and over 300 of the red brigade from the neighbouring state reached the place to provide assistance.
Dantewada (south Bastar district) Superintendent of Police Amrish Mishra, who supervised the operation, said that troopers had to walk over 30 km to the encounter site because one cannot take a vehicle there
“This is the first time in history that the police entered the area and challenged the Maoists,” Mishra added.
The launch against Maoists started on September 18, was the first all out offensive by the Chhatisgarh police in the forest villages of south Bastar. Over 30 Maoists and six police personnel, including two assistant commanders of the Commando Battalion for Centra Reserve Force were killed in gun battles near Singhanmadgu village in the Palachalma Reserve Forest area, somee 300 km from here, on September 18 and 19.
The state police had also busted the rebels’ unit for weapons production and seized arms and ammunition. The Maoists were making weapons using a high-powered generator. Almost all the villagers of Singhanmadgu and four nearby hamlets – Buglnka, Pamlur, Palachalma and Aitrajpada – had received arms from the Maoists. It was the armed villagers of Singhanmadgu who first put up resistance before the police and paramilitary forces and
Bring on those Drones
UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES, either armed or unarmed, have become critical for the fight against the Maoists
Manish Tiwari in New Delhi : Hindustan Times, 24 September 2009
Ngashepam Manoranjan Singh, an assistant commandant of CoBRA, the elite anti-Naxal special unit, and his team members were caught off guard in the thick jungles of Dantewada, about 500 km south of Raipur in Chhattisgarhm when they came under heavy fire from a large Naxal group last week – soon after they had neutralized another group.
The terrain was hilly thickly wooded and remote – it was 35 km from the nearest road. Singh’s bravery and that of his men, could not save his life; or that of eight other commandos. This was the biggest loss (in a single mission) suffered by the commando unit of the Central Reserve Police Force, India’s largest paramilitary organization.
But unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) also called drones – which fly ahead of ground troops, shoot video and still pictures of what lies ahead, intercept rdio and telephone communications and relay them to a laptop – could have forewarned them of the Maoist presence and saved their lives.
But future missions against Naxalites may be better equipped. The government is considering buying an inspecified number of such drones from European aerospace and defence equipment company EADS. Officers on the ground say the spy machines can keep them a step ahead of the ultras.
The issue has become all the more important as the government has launched a massive paramilitary operation to stamp out Red terror, which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described several times as the greatest internal security challenge facing the nation. Naxals wield considerable influence in 223 of India’s 625 districts, Home Minister P. Chidambaram recently said. More than 400 security personnel have been killed fighting Naxals this year
DIG Intelligence (Raipur) Pawan Deo, who is in charge of anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh, said: “Drones can be very helpful in collecting data on Naxal movements in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Maharashtra) their hideouts and camps.”
Some UAVs like the once used by the US armed forces in Afghanistan to kill Pakistan Talliban Chief Baitulla Masood and about 450 other terrorists can even fire missiles and drop bombs with precision. It could not be ascertained which version of the government is interested in.
But drones, either armed or unarmed, have become critical for the fight against the Maoists.
“Had the forces in Dantewada got intelligence inputs on the presence of the second Naxal group, they could have been able to coordinate their offensive accordingly,” said Ved Marwah, former Delhi police commissioner and an internal security expert.
Since most Naxalite bases are in inaccessible hilly terrains in states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa, it is difficult to collect intelligence and trck their movemets. Drones can be very effective in such areas, a senior IPS officer who has served in Mayurbhang, a Naxalhit district in Orissa, said.
CRPF Director General A.S. Gill told HT: “we’ve been able to penetrate deep inside the forest areas that are the strongholds of the Naxaltes. But communication in these areas ia a problem. We’re trying to address it.”
But not everyone is convinced about the effectiveness of drones.
Last year, the security forces used drones against Naxalites on an experimental basis in Bastar (a Naxalite stronghold in Chhattisgarh). It did help, but not to the extent desired.
“Such technology requires proper integration between the intelligence administrative and operations arms of the security forces (which is not the case now). Unless that is done, they won’t be effective,” said a senior police officer who has served in Mayurbhangj, a Naxalite stronghold in Orissa.
But if the experience of the US forces in Afghanistan are anything to go by, UAVs, whether armed or not, can be extremely effective if used properly
The government is, meanwhile, planning to use images collected by Indian Space Research Organization and Indian Air Force fighter jets to help security forces launch surgical strikes against the Maoists.
Low-flight alert over red zones
Raipur/Ranchi, Sept. 8: The Chhattisgarh government has issued a directive to chopper and aircraft pilots not to fly too low over Maoist-hit areas of the state. Pilots have been instructed to keep to 8,000-10,000 feet during normal days, or fly as low as 500-1,000 feet during inclement weather. Though the decision was taken while reviewing the air-worthiness of the state’s chopper in the backdrop of YSR’s helicopter crash, officials attributed the decision to the Maoist menace. Besides Bastar, the region of Sarguja adjoining Jharkhand is often a target of Maoist attacks. “There shall be a ban on flying too low in Maoist-hit areas,” confirmed a senior official with the aviation department. The state has also decided to set up a high-frequency satellite phone in the chopper that usually flies chief minister Raman Singh. The double-engine, seven seats Agusta that the state possesses has an FM transceiver system, used when the craft loses contact with Air Traffic Control. The state has received inputs that rebels are planning to use hi-tech weapons as anti-aircraft guns. “Since Maoists strategically place themselves behind thick foliage or rocky outcrops, low-lying choppers are soft targets,” said an intelligence official talking to The Telegraph.
However, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh’s neighbour and a Maoist-hit state, does not have any such prohibitions. “The guidelines issued by the director-general of civil aviation are good enough to ensure safe flights. So, we don’t need to issue separate norms,” said inspector-general (modernisation) and police spokesperson S.N. Pradhan.”But a chopper is prohibited to fly below 2,000 feet. It is only in special circumstances that it is relaxed,” Pradhan added.Incidentally, Jharkhand received two Dhruv choppers from the Centre to run its anti-Naxalite operations. The previous Dhruv, which former Governor Syed Sibtey Razi transferred to civil aviation department, is being sent back to the home department. Effectively now the state has three choppers to run its operations. “We will be hiring pilots soon,” said Pradhan.Police sources stressed that pilots flying the Dhruv choppers earlier often violated safety norms. In fact, two pilots, Ajay Srivastava and Animesh Mukherjee, were also removed for violating DGCA guidelines, sources added.
Air force seeks nod to shoot Maoists in self-defence
SUJAN DUTTA OCT 2, 2009 The Telegraph
New Delhi, Oct. 1: The Indian Air Force has asked the government for permission to open fire during the offensive against Maoists when its helicopters will transport equipment and troops.
”We have asked permission to open fire in self-defence after one of our air warriors was killed by Maoists who opened fire from the ground,” Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik said here today.
The use of lethal firepower from the air is a sensitive issue. Even in Jammu and Kashmir and in the Northeast, the air force says, it has not done it. But a senior air force headquarters officer said the offensive against the Maoists required separate rules of engagement “that are now being drafted”.
Armored and armed Mi-17 helicopters of the Indian Air Force will be used extensively during the offensive, as will be pilot-less spy planes, Naik said. He said “we do not want to publicize” the number of Indian Air Force personnel and equipment to be deployed in the anti-Maoist offensive, because “it was up to the ministry of home affairs”.
“We are very, very chary about collateral damage (killing or hurting non-combatants),” the air chief said “but there is definitely a case for greater use of airpower.”
The air force sought permission about 45 days back — in August — when the Union home ministry began calling for inputs from multiple agencies in the security establishment to plan its offensive. Defense minister A.K. Antony, asked about the IAF’s plea, said: “We are yet to take a decision on it. We will take a decision at some point of time. Right now we are providing logistical support.”
The anti-Maoist offensive has begun unfolding in Chhattisgarh but it is likely to be stepped up later this month after the Maharashtra Assembly elections (October 13).
The flight engineer in an IAF helicopter, Sergeant Mustafa Ali, was shot in the head on November 14 last year even as Squadron Leader T.K. Choudhury was desperately piloting the Mi-8 to safety. Suspected Maoists had opened fire with AK-47 rifles damaging the helicopter’s rotor blades, fuselage and engines but it managed to fly from Pidia, about 500km from Raipur in Chhattisgarh, to Jagdalpur, Bastar district. The helicopter was barely 30m above the ground when it was targeted.
Again on April 16 this year, an Mi-17 piloted by Squadron Leader R. Dhobhal and Flying Officer K. Prakash was fired at at Binagonda in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district when it was transporting voting machines and polling personnel to Laheri. The helicopter was being loaded when the attackers opened fire.
On the strength of its experience, Naik said, the IAF had made recommendations and sought permission to use the Mi-17 in attack mode if it seemed fit.
“The IAF tries to ensure that there is minimum threat to the air crew in these areas,” the Air Force chief said. “The role of the IAF in internal security is going to increase.… We are already involved in internal security in different areas of the country,” Naik said.
The air force has used its helicopters from as many as 13 airbases largely to transport troops and machinery, in search and rescue operations and as air ambulance. In February 2008, however, it deployed two Chetak (two-seater) helicopters to help ground troops track Maoists who had raided police armouries in Orissa.
Naik said in the offensive against Maoists that was now on the drawing board, unmanned aerial vehicles could be used to guide and direct ground troops. But he said arming the pilot-less planes for firing on the ground was not likely.
He referred to the US’s using Predator drones against suspected Taliban militants and said “remember, none of this is being done in ‘own-territory’”, because the risk of collateral damage runs high. He said he believed the air force’s primary role was in or near the borders but it was inevitable that it would get involved in internal security duties.
“The decision to go on the offensive (from the air against in Maoist zones) is a very tricky issue and must be taken at a very very high level,” the Air Chief said. “It must be based on 120 (sic) per cent intelligence,” he said.
Pending the permission to open fire in self-defense, the air force was using “tactical measures” in the naxal areas, Naik said. “We pay attention to angle of descent, uniform of the crew and such like,” he added. The angle of descent is often a downward spiral because the helicopters do not fly low in these areas. To land, they must descend sharply.
The Air Chief Marshal said the UAVs — Israel-made Searcher II and Heron pilot-less spy planes — could be equipped with sensors to “see through” the foliage even if the “forest cover (in the naxal areas) did pose some problems”.
These aircraft have an endurance of 12 to 16 hours and can be used not only for surveillance but also to guide ground troops. In other words, central police forces in the anti-Maoist offensive will have a kind of close air support.
The air force has also asked for helipads to be sanitised in such a way that they are outside the range of the firearms that the Maoists are armed with. It has said the police should have a cordon at a radius of at least a kilometre around the helipads. All air warriors, involved in the anti-Maoist offensive, have been asked to wear body armour and carry revolvers.
The Mi-17 helicopters that are deployed for the offensive can carry upto 1,500kg of armaments. A senior air force officer said the helicopters will be armed with machine guns but not with rockets.
Though the Mi-17s are used mostly to transport personnel and cargo, they can be configured to attack. In the 1999 Kargil war, the helicopters were used to fire rockets in the heights of Tololing ridge. One Mi-17 of the 152 helicopter squadron with its crew of three was brought down by a shoulder-fired rocket by the intruders.
The following are some excerpts from Shoma Chaudhury’s cover story article Weapons Of Mass Desperation which appeared in Tehelka Magazine, October 03, 2009.
The article is a good exposure of the current state offensive against the Naxals.
People who say human rights activists and the questions they raise are anti-national, would be surprised to know what men like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee themselves have had to say earlier about the Naxal riddle. Not to mention a galaxy of judges and constitutionalists.
In 2006, the Planning Commission asked an expert committee for a report on development challenges in “extremist affected areas.” The committee comprised senior officers like former UP police chief Prakash Singh; former intelligence head, Ajit Doval; senior bureaucrats like B. Bandopadhyay, EAS Sarma, SR Sankaran and BD Sharma; and activists like Bela Bhatia and K Balagopal. The report submitted in October 2008 had some visionary analysis and recommendations.
“The main support for the Naxalite movement,” it said, “comes from dalits and adivasi tribals”: the element of water: the infinite constituency in which Naxal leaders swim. Dalits and adivasis comprise a staggering one fourth of India’s population, yet are disproportionately destitute and low on the Human Development Index scale. Worse, they suffer the most humiliation and indignity: the proverbial insult on injury. The report is an exhaustive anthology of the causes for rural discontent and violence — recording meticulous data and case studies — but at the heart of its argument, it places the “structural violence implicit in our social and economic system” as the key explanation for Naxalite violence. Slamming the neoliberal directional shift in government policies, it urges a “development centric” rather than “security centric” approach to the Naxal problem.
Curiously, three years earlier in 2005, human rights lawyer Kannabiran had written a letter to Dr Manmohan Singh reminding him of his own report as a Planning Commission Member in 1982 and one written by Pranab Mukherjee in 2002 that had come to the same conclusion. As Bela Bhatia says, “With all this insight and understanding already with them, it is completely mystifying why they should go against their own intuition and recommendation and take a security-centric route. Actually,” she adds, “it is not mystifying. It only makes the character of the Indian State more clear.”
This ‘character’ gets even more depressing when you know that barely a week ago, on 15 September, Arjun Sengupta, former economic adviser to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi also wrote that “Naxalism is a cry that must be heard”. Responding to Dr Manmohan Singh’s admission that despite the State’s best efforts to contain the “Naxal menace”, violence was still on the rise, Sengupta wrote powerfully, “It is important to understand why this is so and in what sense Naxalite violence is different from other violent outbursts. Although it has always expressed itself as a breach of law and order with violence, murder, extortion and acts of heinous crimes, it may not be prudent to think of every protest movement of the disaffected people as a simple issue of law and order violation, and calling for its brutal suppression. This form of extremism, indeed, goes beyond law and order, fanning some deep-seated grievance. We must try to resolve those problems first, as otherwise the violence will remain insurmountable.”
(Way back in 1996, Justice MN Rao of the Andhra Pradesh High Court had also remarked in a judgment, “While left wing extremism is viewed as a problem by the administration, it is increasingly being perceived as a solution to their problems by the alienated masses.” Why is this so? That’s a question every self-styled jingoistic nationalist must ask themselves.)
As Sengupta reminds the prime minister, he is right to fear that Naxal violence will raise its head again and again, because at its heart is the deeper structural violence that our democratic Republic refuses to address: a violence that forces 77 percent of Indians to live on less than Rs 20 a day while 5 percent enjoy lives that border on obscene excess.
Structural violence: that’s an imaginative vacuum. For most urban Indians, the lives of tribals and dalits has no meaning, no face, no flesh. Our books no longer write of it, our films no longer evoke it, our journalists no longer cover it. It’s not just the poverty; it’s bumping into a face of the Indian State you have never seen before: brutal, illegal, rapine, pimped out to serve the interests of a few. Unless one travels into the silent smoky hole in the heart of this country — the remote jungles of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh; the desolate corners of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and Rajasthan, one cannot feel the dread of this question: How will Operation Green Hunt solve this? You might stealth-march a mythic army of COBRA commandoes into this imaginative vacuum, but how will that dissolve the “two categories of human beings” our nation has created? Operation Green Hunt may kill several hundred ‘informed revolutionaries’ and several thousand of the despairing poor who have taken up arms, but how will it address the birth of new anger — anger born out of bombing an old wound?
As anthropologist and historian Ram Guha says, “It’s like a house with three rooms. One room was already on fire. Instead of dousing that, you willfully set fire to another room, than bulldoze the whole structure down.”
The Real Divide in Bastar
(We are reproducing a Commentary from the EPW No 33, August 15, 2009 penned by Gautam Navlakha who is with the EPW and Asish Gupta who is with the Assamese newspaper, Pratidin on the rally organized by the BSKSS in Jagdalpur on June 1st.)
Gautam Navlakha, Asish Gupta
The large rally-cum-public-meeting of adivasi peasants, organised by the Bastar Sambhag Kisan Sangharsh Samiti on 1 June in Jagdalpur, opposing the construction of the Bodh Ghat dam and the privatisation of mines and river water resources was an eye-opener. In the savage war for “development” in Bastar, the wrath of the people is reserved for the state, which for decades treated them as less than human and is now busy promoting rapacious capitalism
After two months of persistence, the Bastar Sambhag Kisan Sangharsh Samiti (BSKSS) could hold its first rally-cum-public-meeting on 1 June in Jagdalpur to protest against the displacement of adivasi peasants from their land and forest, construction of the Bodh Ghat dam, and the privatisation of mines and river water resources.
As the only two “outsiders”, we looked on as streams of people, at the height of the summer, marched, raising slogans, with their fists held high. They gathered at the College Campus and then from Dharampura the rally made its way to Indira Priyadarshini stadium. The steps they took, many bare-footed, were determined and firm. After the rally, as people made their way into the Stadium, some were seen leaving in a different direction. These were people who had arrived the night before and now had to travel long distances to return home, anxious to do so before dusk. But those who remained behind for the public meeting sat under the shade provided by canopies rented by the organisers. They sat down to listen. Now was the time to hear what their leaders, their own, had to say.
The organisers claimed that 20,000-25,000 adivasi peasants came for the rally at Jagdalpur on 1 June. There were certainly more than 15,000 people in the rally, local scribes affirmed, maybe even more. Numbers apart, the turnout was nevertheless impressive, given that the administration had permitted the rally just the day before, after more than two months of prevarication, on the morning of 31 May. For so many to come at such short notice from four of the five districts (Narayanpur, Bastar, Dantewada, and Bijapur), which constitute Bastar division, was no mean achievement. Peasants from Lohandiguda walked all the way as did those who came from Abuj Madh across the river Indrawati. Others walked and then took the buses to reach Jagdalpur. They came because their very existence is under threat. Many could not make it, especially those from Kanker district, which boasts of the infamous Jungle Warfare School, which trains soldiers to become more proficient at fighting their own people. Those who came did not come to listen to some potentate or leader from Raipur or Delhi. The BSKSS did not pay them to entice them there. They came to lodge their protest and listen to their own who addressed the gathering in their individual capacity, keeping their party and other affiliations aside. Many had been until the other day at loggerheads. Thus, the entire political spectrum from the right to the left, including sadhus/mendicants, addressed the gathering. Some spoke in Gondi and others in Hindi. But the message was more or less the same. All voiced their opposition to the government’s development policy, and were determined to fight for the common cause of saving Bastar from an administration which was backing the “capitalist profiteers” and “marauders”, not our words, but this is how the speakers described them.
Blind National Media
The supposedly “national” media was of course unaware of the rally and meeting since neither did their “sources” inform them nor was this a sensational incident for them to vent their outrage where Bastar is concerned. The local media of Bastar alone reported the event. And they covered it truthfully. But, the administration remained alert, which is to say, fearful, with a huge deployment of security forces
The Jagdalpur edition of Navbharat (2 June 2009) pointedly referred to the fact that this was the first time ever that such a large rally-cum-meeting was organised entirely by the local people. Haribhumi, another local newspaper, wrote the next day that the peasants who came paid for their own travel, and that the administration was caught unawares by the rather wellorganised event. The local edition of Dainik Bhaskar (2 June 2009) added that throughout the rally and public meeting the officials remained busy monitoring what was happening.
In the Name of ‘Development’
Be that as it may, in their memorandum addressed to the governor of Chhattisgarh, the organisers listed various proposed projects, including that of the Tatas, Jindal, Essar and Mittal, for which memoranda of understanding had been signed. They point out how the Tata Steel project has through “stealth and use of force” got peasants to part with their land and then forged compensation paid to them. They wrote that they were in possession of at least 100 such cases of forged compensation. The memorandum mentions that Bodh Ghat dam not only “poses an environmental threat but the submergence of thousands of acres of forest land”, which, in turn, also means loss of minor forest produce for the adivasis. They go on to refer to privatisation of mines in Chargaon, Ravghat, Kuvve, Budhiari, Madh, Amdai, and Metta among others, which will “benefit private companies, not the people of Bastar”. Finally they refer to the fall in the water level in parts of Bastar region due to the Essar pipeline meant to transport fragmented iron ore from Dantewada to Visakhapatnam.1 This means, according to them, destitution and the loss of livelihood for an already impoverished peasantry. They instead asked the administration to help promote agriculture, provide power, construct ponds, check dams, small dams, lift irrigation, promote forest-based cottage industry and small industries as an alternate model of development.
The handbill which was distributed in thousands and blown up as a poster across Jagdalpur town provided more details. To cite some portions of the handbill, in our freely translated version, it reads:
Brothers and sisters, come look at the lethal pro-capitalist development of Bastar. In the name of development and employment Bailladilla mines were started. Iron ore is being exported to Japan, South Korea and China at a throwaway price. Railways were started in the name of public interest. There are tens of goods trains but only a single passenger train. In 1978 when people were demanding permanent employment they were fired upon and many adivasis were killed; thousands of huts were burnt to ashes. Thousands of adivasis were rendered home-less and left to fend for themselves. The women of Bailladilla were dishonoured and sexually abused. We want an account from Bailladilla of Bastar’s purported development. Four decades ago, at a cost of Rs 250 crore the Bodh Ghat dam was proposed and Rs 50 crore was spent on the project but it was suspended because of a popular agitation against it. We would like to record our appreciation of the contribution of B D Sharma.2 So why have they revived the same project at a cost of Rs 3,600 crore? How come the Ministry of Environment cleared the project?
Instead of big dams like Polavaram and Bodh Ghat why no irrigation is being promoted through ponds, small dams, check dams, lift irrigation, etc? Despite the people deciding not to give their land why is it that land belonging to 10 gram panchayats of Lohandi-guda is being forcibly acquired? Why are people being threatened and warned? Why is there a lathi charge? Why are more than a hundred people behind bars? Why are teachers and doctors being used to help Tata acquire our land? Why have 300 persons in Nagarnar been sent to jail? Why has Essar been given permission to transport iron ore through a pipeline? Why, despite the presence of rail-ways, has permission been given to divert river water to the Bay of Bengal? In whose interest is it when the railways earn Rs 300 per tonne whereas it costs Rs 30 per tonne to transport the slurry through the pipeline? Is it not true that in order to benefit Essar to the tune of Rs 270 per tonne, the people of Bastar and land is being deprived of water? Why?
The organisers were queried as to why, according to them, the administration appeared reluctant to give them permission when the newly formed organisation comprises people of diverse backgrounds from as far apart as the communists to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Indeed, some of the office-bearers fought the recently held elections. For instance, the president of BSKSS, Subhash Chandra Maurya of Usribera in Lohandiguda block, fought as an independent candidate and polled 31,000 votes. He began as an RSS activist and was in 48 the Bharatiya Janata Party for many years before joining Uma Bharati’s Bharatiya Jan Shakti Party. So what persuaded him to traverse an entirely different path now? According to him, the Tata Steel project will affect at least 10 villages in the Lohandiguda block, mean loss of nearly 5,500 acres and deprive 9,000-10,000 families – perhaps going up to 20,000 – of their livelihood. According to him, their land is fertile with up to three crops a year. He asserted that fake gram sabha meetings were organised by the ad-ministration to elicit consent for alienation of their land to Tata Steel in Lohandiguda. He said rhetorically: “Why doesn’t Tata Steel construct its plant in Jagdalpur instead of destroying our villages if it is so keen to bring development to Bastar?”.
Corporate Land Grab
Bonjaram Maurya, patron of BSKSS, told the gathering that the administration was reluctant to issue permission for the meeting because they feared that Maoists were behind their effort. He told the audience that he informed the administration that while they “brought his people to the roads” (meaning Salwa Judum), the Maoists supported them. He said that he asked the administration: “Why should we reject the support extended to us by the Maoists for our demands? If you are so concerned, why don’t you listen to the people?”. He told the gathering that although 61 years have elapsed since the country gained in-dependence, government still behaves like the British colonialists towards the poor, the workers and the peasants. This was the tenor as speaker after speaker – Balram Majhi, Budhram Netam, Jai Singh Sodhi, Suresh Sargam, Budhram Poyam, Rajman Benjam, Bangaram Sodhi – gave vent to their feelings. Not one spoke against the Maoists; in stark contrast, all of them spoke against the government and the corporate houses for destroying their habitat, their Bastar.
We asked many present why were they silent about the Maoists? They were in a “safe zone” with police all around to protect them from the Maoists? Did they not fear the Maoists who are supposed to have oppressed them? Subhash Maurya spoke for many when he said that he began his political life as an RSS activist and had supported Salwa Judum. But not anymore. “It is our adivasi brothers and sisters”, he said, “Who are being pitted against each other”. Does it mean that the Maoists are also adivasis? “Yes, of course”, he replied. What about the dada log? A person who chose to remain anonymous said they speak better Gondi than many of us. He then went on to say that it is not the Maoists who are grabbing our land, destroying our forests, privatising and polluting the rivers but the corporations which are being supported and aided by the administration. “So why should the people fear the Maoists when the two hold the same view”, he asked? When I asked others if they endorsed this view they joined in to tell me that Salwa Judum has brought disaster and they do not want these soldiers here. It was pointed out to me that there was a link between the corporate land grab and Salwa Judum, because the latter came into being just as these projects were proposed; the administration has been coming down heavily on the people to evict them from their land and forests.
Critics of the Maoists must display intellectual honesty in admitting that the Maoists are not “outsiders” or middle class romanticists of 1960s vintage but are the underclass who have been mobilised because people are no longer willing to sit by and wait for the fruits of development to trickle down in the distant future. Some of them still swear by the politics of agitation; others are convinced that the state and society must be transformed. The people do not perceive a divide between the two. The claimed disconnect between the Maoists and the people is as unreal as the rift between the people and the State (which is carrying out a savage war for “development”) is real. In the war in Bastar, the BSKSS shows that the wrath of the people is reserved for the state which for decades treated them as less than humans and is now busy promoting rapacious corporate capitalism.
Sustaining the Struggle
From our conversations with BSKSS activists, it appears that there was much discussion and debate that preceded the crystallization of views and the formation of the organization in its present shape – giving it a non-partisan character, ensuring that all official posts are so divided that every view finds representation, and making sure that all are drawn from the affected community. The only disconcerting thing was the absence of women speakers (barring one) and women activists in the leadership whereas women were well represented in the gathering.
Will the BSKSS be able to sustain its struggle? After all the state is strong and cunning and has enormous resources at its command to weaken them, we asked? They said they were aware of this but their only strength lies in their unity. If they are able to ensure unity they will be able to force the government on the back foot. Nandigram and Singur came easy to their lips as examples of what the people can achieve.
Now, if some proof was needed about the gulf between the “reality”, as projected by the state and disseminated by the corporate media, and the ground reality as it exists, it was evident in Jagdalpur. Here was an organization of persons directly affected by rapacious capitalism protesting against corporate-driven development.
1. Essar transports fragmented iron ore in slurry through a 267 km long pipeline, completed in 2006. The diversion of water for the pipeline is what BSKSS was referring to. Ashok Putul in “No Man’s Land” points out (cgnet.in/Min/document. 2008-07-16. 2767482423/document-view) that Tata Steel, with which the memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on 4 June 2005, wants 25 million gallon of water daily. Essar, which signed its MoU in July 2005, first asked for the same amount and then raised it by an incredible 2.7 times. According to Putul, 4,000 ponds have dried up in Bastar. 2. Bodh Ghat dam was refused union environmental clearance in 1984 because a centuriesold Sal tree forest with rare species was threatened with sub-mergence. This year, just prior to the general elec-tions, it was cleared on the claim that compensatory “afforestation” had been undertaken. The impact of the dam on the local people and their livelihoods was never an issue either then or now. B D Sharma is a respected and an endearing Indi-an Administrative Service (IAS) officerturned-activist who has campaigned relentlessly against the exploitation and oppression of the adivasis of Bastar for more than three decades. It was during his stint as Commissioner of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes that he raised many issues of concern. His opponents representing corporate interests were so incensed by his opposition to various alleged development projects and his raising uncomfortable questions about employ-ment, which led to his humiliation when he was almost stripped naked and paraded in Jagdalpur town. He took premature retirement from the IAS and became a social activist in the service of the people.
September 21, 2009
The Situation in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh today
(This article taken from Sanhati website presents a summary of the current situation in Chhattisgarh, and also has a translated leaflet from the recent rally of BSKSS in Bastar.The article is dated September 21, 2009)
By Sudha Bharadwaj. Columnist, Sanhati
This article is written on behalf of Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha (Mazdoor Karyakarta Committee), C/o CMM Office, Labour Camp, Jamul, District Durg, Chhattisgarh.
The Government of Chhattisgarh admits that since the start of Salwa Judum (SJ henceforth) in the year 2005, 644 villages of district Dantewada, whose overwhelmingly adivasi population is about 350000, have been emptied out.
Our common sense understanding that en masse displacement on this scale could only have been made possible by extreme violence is vindicated by the horrifying incidents of arson, loot, murder, rape, and widespread arrests by the SJ and security forces that have continuously been coming to light, and which can no longer be ignored.
In honest moments, security experts of the Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College (CTJWC) in Kanker district admit that this is the well known American counter-insurgency strategy of “draining the water to kill the fish”. In addition, many of us who are witness to widespread displacement all over Chhattisgarh for rich mineral resources believe that there is also considerable evidence that the motive for ground clearing is acquisition for mining companies.
Whatever the motive, what is the situation in Dantewada today?
The 200,000 by-default Naxalites
Recently the Home Minister admitted that out of the 50,000 “internally displaced persons” who were being housed in the roadside SJ camps since 2005, now barely 8,000 remain, the rest of them have run away. The recent incidents of a trigger happy CRPF jawan killing a woman and baby in the Cherpal camp, or of SPOs beating three persons to death in the Matwada camp, perhaps illustrate why. And yet - all schools, health centres, ration shops, (of course polling booths), which have been totally withdrawn from the 644 villages, (and even gram sabhas for determination of forest rights!) continue to be run from those camps.
The administration openly declares that the people of all those villages who have refused to come to the camps, all those villagers who have not joined/ co-operated with the Salwa Judum, those who are still daring to sow their fields in the affected villages (only to flee when the security forces arrive leaving the vulnerable behind to be killed or arrested), and certainly those who are living in the forests, are automatically “Naxalites”.
All youth found in the abandoned villages, and all persons from these villages who come to markets are beaten black and blue and thrown into jail on mere suspicion. And there is always a stock of uniforms and rusty “bharmars” to show as seizures.
Even conceding that around 50,000 persons might have fled to Andhra Pradesh and maybe another 50,000 to Orissa or Maharashtra, this means that at least 200000 people, by virtue of being in the forests or “Naxal stronghold” areas, have now been declared “Naxalites” by the State, and therefore it is considered legitimate that they can be starved of food, medical supplies and access even to village markets. No doubt “anti-Naxal operations” against them have, and would further result, in swelling the ranks of armed militants. For now, the ever present issues of land and livelihood have turned into the burning issue of the very survival of these hundreds of thousands of people. And history tells us that in those circumstances, the adivasi people have always fought fiercely. Even 14 battalions of paramilitary forces, who, apart from occasional forays for “searching” within a small radius of their base, remain holed up in thanas, jails and schools with electrified barbed wire fencing, are feeling quite helpless against the swarm attacks of hundreds of Naxalite militia.
In the past few months, at least 25 jawans have committed suicide after killing their officers and colleagues out of sheer stress
The demolition of “middle ground” and attack on Gandhian institutions
That the Government of Chhattisgarh is hell bent on demolishing any “middle ground” is amply illustrated by its treatment of the Vanvasi Chetana Ashram, an NGO inspired by Gandhian ideology, which has been trying to implement the recommendations of the NHRC with regard to rehabilitation of the displaced villagers, and to provide legal aid for the filing of FIRs/ complaints in the cases of disappearances and rapes.
The Ashram was demolished recently; rice being taken to the villages of Lingagiri, Basaguda and Nendra, which have been resettled by the Ashram, was confiscated as “being supplied to Naxalites”; and a young volunteer of the Ashram – Sukhnath - has been booked under the draconian Chhattisgarh Special Public Safety Act.
The voice of civil liberties is still sought to be silenced: two more supplementary charge sheets, again not disclosing any legally admissible evidence, have recently been filed against Dr Binayak Sen, General Secretary of the Chhattisgarh PUCL, even after unconditional bail was granted to him by the Supreme Court. Apart from the cases filed against Salwa Judum in the Supreme Court, numerous cases filed against fake encounters in the High Court of Chhattisgarh, and private complaint cases in the lower courts drag on without providing substantial relief, despite the best efforts of the Petitioners. Strident demands made in rallies of local adivasi organizations in Bastar, protesting the handing over of their lands to companies, meet with no response, either from the district administration or the Governor – the constitutional authority of the Scheduled Areas.
It is in this context that the implications of “clearing out the Naxalites by military operation” have to be understood. Today, this can only mean an indiscriminate massacre of adivasis, a full scale war against hundreds of thousands of people, against the people at large.
How can “civilians” and “combatants” possibly be distinguished under such a dispensation? Have not our experiences in the North East and Kashmir told us that there is no “quick end” to such a war? We are already witness to the recent incidents of Singhavaram…Kokawada….Vechapal, cases where people came out on the streets in Bastar to protest that the so-called “militants” killed by the security forces and SJ SPOs were actually only simple villagers.
That is why, it is with a sense of great urgency, and in defiance of the fascist attitude of the Government of Chhattisgarh, that we appeal to all democratic minded people of this country to demand that –
First and foremost, the hundreds of thousands of displaced adivasis of Dantewada be allowed to return to their villages and rebuild their ravaged agrarian and forest based economies. Thus their rights to food, to basic health, to land and livelihood, and above all – to life, must be assured.
It is only this, that can ensure a de-escalation of the polarization between security forces on the one hand and the adivasi people at large on the other, and can avoid potential genocide in the name of counterinsurgency.
Leaflet from rally of Bastar Sambhag Kisan Sangharsh Samiti (BSKSS)
Translated from Hindi by Amit Singh, Sanhati.
Dear People of Bastar,
The existence of Bastar is in danger. The existence of people of Bastar, especially of Adivasi peasants, is in danger. In the name of mines, in the name of Bodh Ghat Dam, in the name of big industries, thousands of acres of land is being transferred to the big capitalists. Green dense forests are going to be destroyed. The life stream of the rivers that never dry is being cut away. Tens of thousands of Adivasis are forcefully being evicted from their zal-jangalzameen (rivers-forests-lands). This displacement is taking place in the name of development. Under the excuse of industrialization, under the pretense of providing employment, in the name of irrigation and electricity, this displacement is in continuation. For the welfare and profits of the big capitalists the government has signed the agreements and now we are forced to run away from our ancestral lands. Our opinions, our consent has no meaning here. For the sake of public purpose the land of anyone could be legally acquired (confiscated) anytime - the government holds this right by a draconian law. That law is – Land Acquisition Act of 1894 - a law created by the British imperialists for evicting the people of colonies from their own land. In todays independent India, for ‘public purpose’, that is to say for the purpose of big capitalists and multinational companies, the land of people is being appropriated by taking the course of that law.
Facing protest, the government flexes its muscles with its armed forces. By Laathi-JailBullets people are made to understand the meaning of development.
Brothers and Sisters! Come! Lets have a look upon the pro-capitalist lethal policy of the development of Bastar!
Under the name of development and employment Bailadila mines were started. The iron ores are being exported to Japan, North Korea and China at throwaway prices. Railway lines – they were started in the name of public interest. Tens of thousands of goods trains, one Passenger train. After the demand of permanent employment in the year 1978, there was firing – tens of Adivasis were brutally killed in the shootings spree, tens of thousands of huts were burnt to ashes. Thousands of Adivasis were rendered homeless to take care of themselves without any support. Women of Bailadila were disgraced, dishonored and humiliated. We demand the account of Bastar’s so-called development from Bailadila!
Four decades ago at the proposed cost of 250 crores the construction of Bodh Ghat Dam, even after having spent Rs 50 crores, was suspended because of the affected Adivasis’ movement against it. It would be fitting here to mention the popular concerted efforts and outstanding contributions of pro-people Dr. B. D. Sharma. Now why to resume it again at a cost of Rs 3600 crores? How and why the Ministry of Environment approved the project? Instead of Polavaram, Bodh Ghat and other big dams, why can’t we rely upon the irrigation by ponds, small dams, check dams, lift irrigation, anicuts and so on. Even after Tata was denied for the land, why the people’s land of 10 panchayats in Lohandiguda is being forcefully acquired? Why are people being bullied and threatened? Why lathicharge took place? Why were more than hundred people sent behind the bars? Why have the teachers, doctors and the whole government machineries been employed to facilitate the land acquisition for Tatas? Why were 300 people thrown in Jails in Nagarnar? Why the permission of pipeline was given to Essar Company for the transportation of iron-particles? Despite the railways, whose interests are being served here when the river water of Bastar is diverted to the Bay of Bengal? Who benefits? Railway costs Rs 300 per ton, where as pipeline requires a payment of Rs 30 per ton. Isn’t it that the land and people of Bastar are being denied to their water so that Essar could profit Rs 270 per ton? But why it should be?
The government has made agreements with Jindal, Mittal, Essar and other companies to give them tens of thousands of fertile land for their big industries. But how many jobs would be available to illiterate or semi-literate people of Bastar in the modern computerized mechanized industries? In whose interest Adivasis are being displaced by taking away their means of livelihood? Could the government be able to cultivate grains by the machines of industries after installing them on fertile lands? Why the cottage and small scale industries, 53 based upon the forest products available in Bastar, are not being promoted? Why is there always the talk for big industries?
Come, the people of Bastar! The great Bhumkal (1910) will continue the fighting heritage of the martyrs. Together, for the sake of our existence and identity, we’ll consolidate our voices. Against our eviction from zal-jangal-zameen, we’ll agitate shoulder-to-shoulder. We’ll march ahead towards the path of movement for our real vikas (development).
Come, the people of Bastar! The great Bhumkal (1910) will continue the fighting heritage of the martyrs. Together, for the sake of our existence and identity, we’ll consolidate our voices. Against our eviction from zal-jangal-zameen, we’ll agitate shoulder-to-shoulder. We’ll march ahead towards the path of movement for our real vikas (development).
Dated: June 1st , 2009, Monday. Time: 11 AM
Place: Start from College Ground the rally will go to Priyadarshini Stadium ground,
Jagdalpur : Meeting: 2 PM
Published by: Bastar Sambhag Kisan Sangharsh Samiti (BSKSS)
Slogans for the rally:
- Bodh Ghat Dam We don’t want – We Don’t Want, We Don’t Want!
- Stop Bodh Ghat Dam – Stop the dam, Stop the dam!
- Tata Factory We don’t want – We Don’t Want, We Don’t Want!
- Will give our lives but not our land – Not the land, Not the land!
- Its not the estate of Tata, Essar - Our Bastar!
- Stop the big dams - Stop the dam, Stop the dam!
- Shut down Aamdai, Metta mines – Shut down, Shut down!
- Keep Inda Alive – Keep alive! Keep alive!
- Don’t steal the greeneries of forest – Don’t steal, Don’t steal!
- Don’t ruin the happy lives – Don’t ruin, Don’t ruin!
- Don’t install the industry on fertile land – Don’t install, Don’t install!
- Don’t evict us from zal-jangal-zameen (rivers-forests-lands) – Don’t evict, Don’t evict! #Shut down Raoghat mines - Shut down, Shut down!
- Shut down Kuvvemari mines - Shut down, Shut down!
- Shut down Budhiyarimaad - Shut down, Shut down!
- Ta Ta to Tata – Ta-Ta!
- Stop Essar Pipeline – Stop it, Stop it!
- Don’t export Iron ore from Bailadila – Don’t export, Don’t export!
- Long Live Bastar Sambhag Kisan Sangharsh Samiti – Long live! Long live!
- Shut down Chargaon mines - Shut down, Shut down!
- March ahead for Adivasi Existence – March ahead, March ahead!
- March ahead for defending Adivasi Identity - March ahead, March ahead!
- We all are one – We are one, We are one!
- Our demands – We’ll achieve them! How do we fight – Together we fight!
- We don’t agree to the displacement for big capitalists – We don’t agree, We don’t agree! 26. Provide electricity in every village – provide it, provide it!
- Open schools in every village – open schools, open schools!
- Open hospitals in every village – open hospitals open hospitals!
YSR search bares ‘peril’ of Maoist combat
SANKARSHAN THAKUR Telegraph
New Delhi, Sept. 10: The desperate effort mounted to trace Y.S.R. Reddy’s chopper in the Nallamala forests last week has had a chilling side effect — the security establishment has realised that for all the high talk on an all-out assault on Naxalites, it is abysmally low on preparedness. “We commandeer all our resources on land and in the skies and still take more than 24 hours to locate a chief minister’s helicopter whose broad route is known. I think we should not even think about opening a front against Maoist rebels, much less talk about it,” a top police officer, who has been in discussions with the Centre on combating Naxalites, told The Telegraph. “We can have skirmishes with the Naxalites… but we are in no position to talk about an offensive to the finish, it will be perilous and foolhardy.” The Centre has been building up to a major confrontation with armed Maoists sometime in early winter. The seven Naxalite-affected states — Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar and Bengal — have been asked to begin the groundwork for what one official called a “comprehensive and full-blown” assault which will most likely include elements of the paramilitary and the armed forces. According to official estimates, 172 districts which make up as much as 43 per cent of the country’s territory are either affected or controlled by Naxalites, who officially go under the banner of the CPI (Maoist) and espouse armed overthrow of the Indian state. A June 2009 document of the CPI (Maoist) flags the government’s preparations for an offensive, particularly in the Maad jungles of Bastar, Chhattisgarh, as well as Naxalite resolve to fight it off. “The scanning of the entire area by satellites is almost on the verge of completion and the satellite images and the concrete topographical map of entire Maad will be ready in another month. Based on this map complete with all hamlets, forest tracks, water points, etc., police and central forces will carry out their operations. “They are also claiming that preparations are on to check the retreat of Maoist guerrillas into neighbouring areas in Jharkhand and Orissa,” the document says. “We have to once again prepare the people of the area to resist the marauders and mercenaries sent by Sonia-Manmohan-Chidambaram combine to subdue them, destroy their culture, and loot the resources of the region for the benefit of a handful of exploiters. This time the fight will be more long-drawn and more bitter than the one against the British imperialist armies.”
Union home ministry sources say the government’s resolve to “neutralise” the “disruptive dominance” of Maoist cadres over large parts of these states became firmer following the confrontation in Lalgarh. “It became clear from Lalgarh that their strategy is not merely violent takeover of territory but also audacious decimation of the elements of the state by force, that is not something the government can brook.” But though security experts agree with the need to “outflank and uproot” the Maoists from their expanding bases, along the country’s eastern flank — from Bengal down to Andhra Pradesh through Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa and Chhattisgarh — they remain deeply sceptical of the offensive in the works.”It will be nothing less than suicidal to go into an all-out conflict given the state of the capability, capacity and technical and manpower strength of our security forces,” said Ajai Sahni, executive-director of the Institute for Conflict Management, a Delhi-based, counterterror think tank headed by K.P.S. Gill. Sahni would not even take credible cognizance of the government’s planned offensive against Naxals. “We are so thoroughly unprepared, I do not even believe we are preparing for a military operation, it could be just a rumour floated on the basis of some exercises being carried out. But if this does happen, it will only lead to a whole series of adverse implications, the biggest of which will be large-scale security the civilian fatalities. Where are you going to go in, who are you going to fight, do we even have an idea?” Sahni’s boss, K.P.S. Gill, who was for a short period adviser to the Chhattisgarh government on anti-Naxal operations, concurred that the lessons from the search of YSR’s chopper were grim. “It proved to us how primitive we are even with supersonic aircraft which can do thermal imaging. If we cannot locate a chopper, which isn’t really a small object, for more than a day after we have pressed all are resources into action, it tells us a sad story. We are terribly ill-equipped and, more than that, we remain terribly backward in integrating our security systems. For a start, we have no ability yet to receive, interpret and synchronise data or information real time. We are nowhere in an offensive with Naxals if we cannot do that, even if we have correct information, it has turned stale by the time it gets to the man on the ground, he is either dead or doing nothing to his adversary,” Sahni argued, “We are poorly equipped, badly trained and grossly undermanned, and those are things the government will have to take into account before it decides to move in.”
News from Nepal
Mass Upsurge towards Climax
(The following news is taken from the website The Red Star, dated 4 September, 2009)
United National People’s Movement (UNPM), recently formed common platform for the struggle under the leadership of UCPN-Maoist, has declared its programme of struggle allover the country. It has recently published and publicized its manifesto of struggle against all the imposed problems by the anti-people forces and the foreign powers. The ongoing struggle has its inseparable fertile ground for progress and strong relationship of UCPN Maoist with the people with its long historical background.
It has clearly given its focus over the target, form and task of the movement along with the reasonable demands. The demands are categorized: i) as related with peace process; ii) related with nationality; iii) related with people’s power and iv) related with the people\\\’s livelihood. The 45- point demands have been included in the manifesto
The first meeting of the (UNPM) has formed its 144 member body under the leadership of Vice President of the UCPN-Maoist Dr. Baburam Bhattarai. After the meeting, the mass organizations have declared their phase-wise programmes of the struggle all over the country.
Paris Height Meeting: A Victory for the Proletariat by Basanta, CCM, UCPN (Maoist)
The Central Committee Meeting held at Paris Height, Kathmandu, of our party, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), has been concluded recently. This meeting was organized when the Nepalese revolution was at a turning point. Therefore, the people of the whole world had kept their ears close to the outcome of this meeting. The imperialists, expansionists and all sorts of reactions the world over wanted our party, as a whole, to take up a reformist course and, if that did not take place, wanted it to undergo a split, at the least. Big media houses spent a lot of money to make their design happen. On the contrary, the international working class and the entire oppressed masses all over the world wanted our party to develop a correct ideological and political line and at the same time remain united stronger than before to fight imperialism and their lackeys. It was of course a big challenge before the central committee meeting, at Paris Height, of our party.
As had the international working class yearned for, it was not at all an easy task for this meeting to simultaneously build up a correct ideological and political line and maintain the party unity intact. It was of course an arduous task given the obvious differences in their way of thinking among the central committee members, in general, and the top leaders, in particular. Unlike before, most of the central committee members, including the top rank leaders, were sceptical of whether or not the party can build up a revolutionary line and the party remains united. Consequently, all of the central committee members in this meeting were down-weighed with two heavy responsibilities of firstly, building a correct line and secondly, developing party unity stronger than before.
The two-line struggle that surfaced at the Paris Height, first in the political bureau meeting and later in the central committee meeting as the continuity of the former, was in essence centred on how to comprehend the democratic republic in place and what steps to take up in order to realize the minimum strategic goal of new democratic revolution from the present stage of strategic offensive in Nepal. The central committee meeting was held in such a challenging situation in which the adoption of a correct ideological and political line would lead the Nepalese people to a victorious conclusion of new democratic revolution while an incorrect one would either Comrade Basanta 56 entrap the whole party into reformism or defeat it for a long way ahead in the face of tightening encirclement of the enemy nationally and internationally. This situation had unsurprisingly made the entire central committee members serious in their responsibility.
However, it is not one’s seriousness and honesty that is decisive in formulating a revolutionary line. But it is his or her way of thinking that makes one able in applying dialectical materialism when analyzing the concrete condition and thereby developing a line to act upon it politically. Therefore, there was in this central committee meeting a vigorous ideological and political struggle against various wrong ideological trends, principally the right opportunism, which is the main danger in the contemporary communist movement.
The line struggle we engaged in is the obvious outcome of the present objective situation. The tactic of democratic republic that the Central Committee Meeting in Chunwang, October 2005, had adopted was successfully over following the election of Constituent Assembly and proclamation of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal in June 29, 2007. No later than the republic was declared it was necessary on the part of our party to develop a next political tactic and sequence of class struggles to achieve it. Although we adopted a new tactic, People’s Federal Democratic National Republic, in the Kharipati gathering, November 2008, and figured out the programmes of struggles, even then, apart from a number of pro-people programmes on the part of the government, the party could not in the main attain target in class struggles worked out from the meeting rather it engaged in day to day affairs for a long period until Paris Height meeting was held in July 2009. In this situation, it was obvious to surface these questions sharply in the meeting because they were related with party’s overall ideological and political line.
Strategy and tactic are two basic aspects of a revolutionary line. Strategy is determined to resolve basic contradictions of the given society where as tactic is adopted to resolve the principal contradiction at a particular juncture. In short, sum of all tactics taken up as to resolve all of the fundamental contradictions makes a strategy. In this sense, strategy and tactic make a dialectical relation as do the whole and part of an entity. There must in no way be erected a Chinese wall in between these two. And, failure to grasp it and apply the interrelation between these two correctly has at times led to unjustified and avoidable splits within the revolutionary camp and sometimes to an unprincipled compromise among the classes which differ in their class interest.
As had been said earlier the tactic of democratic republic that was adopted from Chunwang meeting had already completed with the promulgation of federal democratic republic from the Constituent Assembly. When the tactical political objective had been achieved then the tactical unity expressed in the form of the 12-point understanding between seven parliamentarian parties and ours had also become obsolete. In spite of this, for a long one year and more our party remained hesitant to address it correctly but remained in the main groping in the dark with no comprehensive ideological and political line and correct tactical slogan to go forward to establishing people’s democratic republic under the leadership of the proletariat. Unless this situation was dealt with in a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist way the danger of democratic republic, the tactic adopted from the Chunwang Meeting, eating up the strategy of new democratic revolution was looming on the horizon. It was the main ideological question where the twoline struggle was focused on.
Like every entity, our party is also a unity and struggle of opposites in which unity is conditional, time-bound and relative while the struggle is absolute. None can escape from struggle; neither can there be any monolithic unity in a party. What happens is that people change their ideas in the course of struggle and thereby undergo relative transformation. Every line struggle strengthens unity to a higher level only when there is transformation. However, what we have achieved through this struggle is relative transformation and relative unity not the transformation and unity for ever. Had not we undergone transformation from our previous ideological positions no such unity was possible.
The thoroughgoing and sharp debate followed by relative transformation and unity not only made the central committee meeting of our party finally reach to a correct line but also made the party centralized and united strongly than before. The ideological unity we achieved in this way was the reason behind our success to unanimously develop an overall ideological and political line that ensures the way to go forward to accomplishing new democratic revolution and plan of action to agree with it.
Khagaria: Reactionary rulers continue their war of Lies against the Maoists, Media joins the chorus
If the fake massacre in Kesikodi was “enacted” by the saffron Chief Minister Raman Singh and DGP Vishwa Ranjan of Chhattisgarh to defame the CPI(Maoist) (see the writeup on Kesikodi earlier in this issue), the blame for the Khagaria killings of October 1st in Bihar was placed on the Maoists not just by the state police but by Union Home Minister Chidambaram himself. Although the Maoists had no relation with the incident, the media, the bureaucrats, the police top brass, and the ruling class parties had shamelessly carried out non-stop propaganda of lies against the Maoists for almost 72 hours. It was only on October 4th, three days after the incident, that the Bihar Chief minister Nitish Kumar clarified that there was no Naxal link with the carnage in which 16 people belonging to the backward Kurmi and Koeri castes from Icharwi village in Khagaria district were killed by a group of dalit Musahirs over a land dispute.
Union Home Minister Chidambaram, for whom uttering lies has become a second nature, utilized this incident to spit venom against the Maoists. Speaking in Coimbatore, this incorrigible liar just went on abusing the Maoists without showing the least sense of honesty or responsibility to verify the facts before hurling baseless accusations against the Maoists. “
The killing of unarmed and innocent civilians seems to be the hallmark of Maoists,” said a spokesperson of the Home Ministry on the day after the incident took place. Now that it is proved beyond a shadow of doubt that the Maoists were in no way involved in the Khagaria killings, one would naturally expect at least an apology from the Home Minister and all those mischievous police officials and media personnel who indulged in lies and slander and created nuisance to poison the minds of the people. However, such decency is a rare commodity in the world of the indecent albumenized mafia gangsters ruling our country and who are supposed to maintain the internal security of our country.
When the Maoists have no relationship whatsoever with the carnage, why then was such a hue and cry raised by the police, political leaders at the state and central level, and by the electronic and print media? To understand this we have to understand the criminal, conspiratorial and scheming mentality of the liars in power who have unleashed a dirty, immoral, and repugnant psychological warfare against the Maoist revolutionaries with a view to justify their brutal counter-revolutionary suppression campaign.
Now every responsible citizen of this country should squarely question the liars: who will assume the responsibility for the continuous barrage of lies and slander hurled against the Maoists for three days? Will the media personnel relent and apologize to the public for having contributed greatly to poison the minds of the people through their irresponsible and over-enthusiastic reporting against the Maoists without ever trying to verify the facts or visiting the site of the incident? And will the media personnel make introspection, take lessons from the continuous lies and falsehoods they have been indulging in and show restraint at least now? If the media continues to act as a rogue fourth estate of a rogue state then it is high time that people teach it a fitting lesson.
The Maoists boldly state whatever they do. They never lie about acts they commit whether it is the punishment given to an informer, a class enemy, a cruel police official, a corrupt bureaucrat or a political leader. They accept mistakes when innocent people are killed due to mistaken identity or amtuerishness of their cadre. The Maoists have never in their history shirked from political responsibility of explaining to people at large when a mistake is committed on their part. It is only the reactionaries who thrive on lies and falsehood every day of their lives. Manmohan Singhs, Chidambarams, Raman Singhs, Buddhadebs, Vishwa Ranjans, GK Pillais and all exploiters and oppressors will never survive for a moment if they speak the truth. For their very existence is dependent on lies. But can they win the war against the people by spreading white lies against the Maoists like Khagarias and Kesikodis?
Interview with comrade Ganapathi, General Secretary, CPI(Maoist)
(On 12 July 2009, the PLGA carried out a series of attacks in Manpur area of Rajnandgaon district, in which 30 policemen were wiped out, including the S.P. Vinod Kumar Chaube. After these attacks, some of the media representatives raised a lot of questions before us. This interview given to MIB in the first week of September attempts to answer these questions.)
Q: Your party had carried out a big attack in a very planned manner in Manpur area of Rajnandgaon district. Rather, it should be said that, you carried out many attacks, simultaneously. In Chhattisgarh, this is the first time that you have killed an S.P. This has resulted in a great loss of men and material to the police. This is said to be the biggest attack since Ranibodli. What are your comments? Can you tell us in some detail that how all this happened?
A: Yes, certainly it was a fairly big operation. A special company of our PLGA has successfully carried out this ‘Operation Vikas’. This was actually an ‘area ambush’. Under this operation, four ambushes were carried out at three places. The first ambush was carried out near the Madanwada camp at about 6 a.m. on 12th July. A small team of ours, attacked the STF jawans stationed at Madanwada base camp in which 2 jawans were killed. Rest of the policemen ran into the camp. On hearing this, the S.P. came running with his force. Behind him came IG Mukesh Gupta with his contingent. Our second ambush on them was planned near the village Korkotti. Since, Korkotti is merely 5 km from Manpur and is situated on a metalled road, and also since it is 15-20 km away from Madanwada, we calculated that police will not expect an ambush at that place.
First time, SP’s contingent managed to pass the ambush site, because of some misunderstanding on our part. Only one or two rounds were fired from our side, in which his driver was injured. There was no firing from their party. They just ran for their lives. SP’s party had passed from the ambush spot at quarter to ten. After 15 minutes, when it was about 10 am, another police party came from Manpur on 13 motorcycles. They ran straight into our ambush. This ambush continued for about an hour in which 11 policemen were killed and all their arms were seized. While this ambush was going on, SP’s party, taking along the additional force from Sitagaon camp and with the help of a mine-proof vehicle, ran straight towards Manpur. At that time, our comrades were on the road engaged in wiping out the remaining policemen and in seizing the arms of the dead policemen. But the SP did not muster courage to stop at that place. The question of confronting us didn’t arise. He went straight to the contingent of the IG who was stationed at some distance towards Manpur.
After this ambush, our comrades, retreated to a small distance. After a lot of consultations, the IG and SP probably concluded that our attack was over. They were assured that our guerrillas had gone away. Firing from our side had stopped for quite some time. Other policemen had already fled leaving behind the dead. Everything was quiet. It was with this confidence that they started advancing under the protection of the mines proof vehicle. We were watching all their activities keenly. In a way, it can be said that our PLGA was waiting for this opportunity only. When they came and started picking up the bodies of their dead policemen, at that time our third ambush, second one at the same spot, started. This ambush was much swifter than the first one. Our fighters completed the entire operation in a very short time. Our red fighters kept advancing at a lightening speed. Along with the SP, many others were also killed in this ambush. In all, 14 policemen were wiped out and their arms were seized. In these two attacks near Korkotti, 3 policmen were also injured, of which, one died later on. In this way, totally 26 policemen were killed and 2 injured at Korkotti. Our comrades came away from that place at arround 1:30 pm. That means, our comrades were stationed there for nearly three and half hours.
After this, at about 2:30 pm, at Karekatta between Madanwada and Sitagaon, our fourth and final ambush was carried out successfully. There too, a small party of ours targeted a police party that was coming on foot. In a mine blast and firing, two policemen, which included one officer also, were killed and one was injured.
Although the police force following them fired in retaliation, it had no effect. After completing their mission in a few minutes, our comrades safely retreated. In this whole operation, we seized 25 arms, after wiping out 30 policemen, including an SP and injuring three.
Q: According to the police, 10 to 15 naxalites were also killed in this offensive. Some papers have also published that many bodies of your people have been buried in the forests. How far this is true?
A: This is a blatant lie. What has been very special about this operation is that we suffered no losses at all. Only one of our comrades got a scratch, which was healed within a few days. All the claims of the police are nothing but a pack of lies. With the help of such blatant lies, police officers are trying in vain, to boost up the morale of their demoralized force. Not only this, in many recent attacks also, such false claims were made. As far as the propaganda about burying the dead bodies is concerned, when any of our comrades is martyred in a battle, we don’t hide the fact. On the contrary, we propagate their sacrifices among the masses. We build Martyrs’ columns in their memory. We print pamphlets about them and distribute widely. We take pledge to carry forward their unfulfilled dreams.
Q: In the media it has also been reported that your guerrillas looted the belongings of the dead policemen and there was ill-treatment of the dead bodies. Is it true?
A: Not at all. As I told earlier, from the dead policemen, we seized 25 modern weapons, which included 7 AK-47, 14 Insaas, 3 SLR, 1 two inch mortar, hundreds of bullets, more than a dozen of hand grenades, 22 bullet proof jackets, 14 helmets, 3 walkie talkie sets and some cell phones. During the search, some currency (Rs 8,732) was also found. Apart from this, we seized no private belongings. As for ill-treating the bodies, such a question just does not arise. Our policy regarding the enemy soldiers is quite clear.
Q: You have called it ‘ Operation Vikas’. What does that mean? Can you elaborate on that?
A: We had named this operation as ‘ Operation Vikas’. Recently, on 24thMay, 2009 Andhra SIB had brutally murdered our central committee member comrade Vikas (Patel Sudhakar). It was also in this area, on 16th September 2006, our Special Zonal Committee member Com. Vikas (Srinivas) was killed in a fake encounter. Avenging these murders and bringing ‘Vikaas’ (development) in the revolutionary movement by defeating the repression of the enemy in the Manpur area with the help of these attacks - this has been the aim of our ‘Operation Vikas’. This operation vikas is part of the Tactical Counter-Offensive Campaign (TCOC) taken up by our party in entire Dandakaranya region with the objective of destroying the enemy forces in large numbers, accelerating the guerilla war and arming our PLGA forces with better weapons seized from the enemy forces.
Q: Rajanandgaon district is generally considered as a calm area and the people here are peace-loving and you have caused this bloodshed. Why you have done so?
A: We must see the peace and tranquility from the class outlook. It is true that the people of this district generally desire peace and tranquility. Not only in Rajanandgaon this is true about the people of entire Chattisgarh and for that matter in every region of the country. The persons breaking this peace and tranquility are the oppressive exploiters and their state machinery. The peace-loving nature of the people shouldn’t be interpreted as their willingness to indefinitely bear injustice and oppression. The masses of Rajanandgaon always fought against the oppression, exploitation and repression carried out by the rulers. The Adivasi people of the forest area always kept their flag of revolt flying high staking their claim on the forest and to protect the water, forest and land from the occupation of outsiders. The working class here has a glorious history of struggles in BNC mill and many other factories fighting against the exploitation and oppression. And many workers had faced the bullets.
In this Manpur area there was an attack on 31st May when police forces created terror in Jakke and Ghodagaon villages beating the people including women brutally, abused them and molested the women. But the people didn’t take it quietly, the men and women joined hands protesting against the police brutality. Maddened by the people’s protest, police opened fire on unarmed villagers seriously injuring two villagers. We can cite many such incidents of police brutality on innocent people and the strong and fearless resistance by the people.
As far as bloodshed is concerned, it is better that this question is put first to Ramansingh, Mahendra Karma and Manmohan Singh or else to Viswaranjan and Nankiram. Who is playing with the blood of innocent people? Singaram, Thongapal and Punjare massacres, like this how many more can we count? Who is responsible for the deaths of more than 1000 innocent people killed in the last four years in the terror campaign unleashed by Salwa Jhudum in west and south Bastar? Mass rapes of hundreds of women, complete destruction of more than 600 villages, forceful evacuation of people, arson and fake encounters were carried out for ensuring the control of big capitalist houses like Tatas, Jindals, Essar on the wealth of Bastar district. It is to avenge all these actions that we had carried out this action.
Q: Recently police had opened new police stations/camps in the interior villages in Manpur area. It had increased considerable pressure on you. As per the police officials you had planned this attack as you felt threatened by this pressure. How far this is true?
A: This exploitative government has been implementing many oppressive policies in Manpur area for suppressing the revolutionary movement advancing day by day. This Manpur area situated on the southern part of Rajanandgaon adjacent to Kanker and Durg districts on one side and Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra on other side is an important strategical area. This region has rich mineral wealth and for this many big Indian and foreign companies are eyeing. Particularly in Pallamad area, many big capitalist houses are playing with the livelihood of people opening mines in that area. They have all set to enact the destruction of water, forest and land of this region. But the people organized under our party leadership has become a major obstacle for this path for exploitation. This is the reason for opening of police stations/camps by Raman Singh government. The highly condemnable one-sided firing on people organized in Jhakke-Ghodagaon on 31st May will help in further clearly understanding this conspiracy.
As regards building up pressure on us by opening new police stations/camps, police and administration is trying to cover up the truth of what they are actually doing to the people of the area by using this propaganda. Take for example the village Madanvada where there are hardly 30-35 houses. There they have opened a base camp with more than 150 policemen. The Adivasi people living there are living like inmates of a concentration camp. People cannot come out of their houses after 6 PM. Even during the harvest season no one can leave their house before 7 AM in the morning. If any one wants attend nature calls he/she must carry the water container as a proof. Relatives from other villages can’t come and stay with them. If anyone from the village has gone out the family members will be questioned. There was clear order from the police that anyone found to be violating these rules will have to face firing. Even the marriages in the village had to conclude all the ceremonies before 6 in the evening. Dancing should be stopped, singing should be stopped. During day-time policemen enter every house searching for liquor. They force people to brew and sell the country liquor. You can imagine the state of innocent women in such terror conditions. They threaten the people that if there is an attack by naxalites, they will hold the villagers as responsible and kill them. What is more terrifying, no one ever knows who is going to be picked up for being a Naxalite or a Naxal sympathizer, taken to the camp, and tortured. This is not the case of Madanvada or Sitagaon or Khadgaon only, we have similar situation in every village in this region where police stations/camps had sprung up every few kiolmetres.
It is not that the police terror is confined to the adivasi villagers only. Few days back, a teacher in Madanvada village was brutally beaten up just because he came to school on his motor cycle as per his routine. All the school buildings in Madanvada, Sitagaon and other villages in Manpur area have come under police occupation and because of this students and teachers are forced to sit on ground out side the school building. With the presence of heavily armed policemen how can the innocent children learn anything? What education can the teachers give? Particularly how can the girl students concentrate in their studies under the piercing looks of the policemen? How can the parents send their children to school under these insecure conditions? There are no answers to these questions. (It is really puzzling to see why this truth is not visible to those who keep on yelling that “education system is being deteriorated because of the naxalites”). The entire economic, social, educational and cultural life of the villagers is on the verge of complete destruction.
Under these circumstances can anyone welcome these police stations/camps instead of opposing them? It is not only our party but the entire people of Manpur area are opposing these camps. If someone wants to call this as our scare let them call it.
Q: Is it true that SP VK Choubey was on your hit list? Is it true that you killed him because he had damaged your urban network?
A: It is true that our PLGA command had targeted SP VK Choubey in a foolproof plan. We have been monitoring his every movement for the past few days. There is nothing like ‘hit list’ but such reactionary officers and the trusted servants of the exploitative ruling classes will naturally become our targets. We have clearly explained this aspect in our press release. In Rajanandgaon district particularly in Churia, Dongagarh, Khairgarh and Manpur areas, Choubey had his hand in planning and execution of every police repressive plan. Along with this as you have mentioned he had an important role in the arresting our town organizers in Raipur-Bhilai, brutally torturing them and putting them in jails by implicating them in many false cases. Particularly he had arrested one of our comrades Sumit, lured him to become approver and arrested many of our comrades through him. In addition to this Choubey and his close subordinates had swallowed Rs.10 lakhs they had seized from Sumit when he was arrested. VK Choubey is infamous for putting all types of pressure on unemployed youth who were influenced by the revolutionary movement, turning them into informers, enrolling them as agents, getting information regarding our leadership’s movements and making plans for eliminating them. This timid police officer who is shit-scared to confront us in direct battle, had used his agents to poison the food given to our squad members and made plans for murdering them several times. He played the leading role in the recent firing on innocent villagers in Jakke-Ghodagaon on 31st May. This Choubey later camped in Manpur and made efforts to suppress the public anger that had erupted after this incident. Later he forced the doctors treating the injured persons in the district hospital to say that the injuries to the villagers are not due to police firings but due to the firing from naxalites. This was the height of his brutality. That is why our Party had decided to kill this reactionary police officer which was successfully implemented by our PLGA on July 12th.
Q: You are saying VK Choubey is a timid officer while the police machinery is describing him as a bold and courageous officer who had taken the bullets onto his chest. And he had confronted you without fearing for his life.
A: This is again as rubbish as many of their other claims. Firstly when our comrades fired two three rounds injuring his driver, he started fleeing without even turning back. Leave aside the counter firing, he ran for his life and stopped only after reaching Kohakagaon. When our PLGA was ambushing the motorcycle party of policemen at Korkotti, the “brave” SP had jnot gone to their assistance. He ventured to proceed to meet his higher official IG Mukesh Gupta who was camping in Manpur only after our first ambush was almost complete, and that too, only with the help of mine proof vehicle. Even at that time, this ‘courageous’ officer didn’t stop at the dead bodies of his colleagues lying on the road. He speedily drove to the other side of our ambush area. After reaching there, these two officers spent considerable time discussing the situation. By that time our first ambush was complete in which 11 policemen were killed and we had seized their weapons. Firing had stopped. These two officers were completely relaxed thinking that our ambush was over. It was only then that they displayed their ‘courage’ by approaching the ambush site with all their reinforcements. Had they any hint that we still stayed in that area it is certain that they wouldn’t have dared to step into the area.
When the SP was hit by bullet, the “courageous” IGP ran and hid inside the mine proof vehicle. After this all the policemen were scared so much that they all ran into the jungle to save their lives. They didn’t reach the police stations till very late in the night. The fact that the police officials were not in a position to give the correct number of their dead men because no one dared to go to the spot after the SP was killed speaks of their valour.
Self-portrayal by the police regarding their heroic and exemplary fight is part of their cheap propaganda campaign which they promote through electronic and print media. The fact is that not only SP Choubey but the entire police force are the armed protectors of this present corrupt and exploiatative society. The corrupt officials like SP Choubey, besides being the trusted dog to defend the system, are also involved in many crimes like amassing lot of wealth through illegal means and black market. It is really amusing to search for ‘heroism’ and ‘courage’ in such corrupt officials. Leaving aside their higher officials almost all the lower level policemen do this job to feed themselves and their family. Those who are fighting against us for their salaries naturally lack the determination to fight us at the cost of their lives. Whereas the red soldiers of our PLGA are fighting with clear political objective, selflessness, and for a just cause of emancipation of the masses from all types of class exploitation. That is why there will always be a difference in the fighting spirit, courage and tenacity in the battle-field between the mercenary forces employed by the exploiters and the Maoists who are fighting selflessly for a just cause. In short, we believe in the truth that the masses are the real heroes. Reactionaries, hired forces and their officers can never become heroes.
Q: According to government and even some political pundits you are having more sophisticated weapons compared to police. You are getting these weapons from external sources. That is why you are having an edge over police forces while the police equipped with inferior arms are not able to counter you.
A: This is again a blatant lie. Just for getting the public opinion in favour of their plans to deploy armed forces in large numbers with ultra-modern weapons and to implement the worst form of repression the ruling classes are writing and speaking without head and tail. This white lie floated by forces who got used to the comforts provided by the state is finding wide circulation because neither the electronic nor print media gives us the space to write or speak our point of view. It is a well-known fact and the police and the political establishment know that the standard weapon in the hands of our guerillas today is a 12 bore gun. The proportion of weapons available to us to the proportion of the people willing to join our forces is always less. As far as the modern weapons we have, we don’t get these from the external sources but from the police and paramilitary forces only. In almost every successful ambush our guerilla forces seize some weapons. For example in the last one year we got about 100 ultra-modern weapons in Dandakaranya alone. They included AK-47, SLR, Insas etc.
It is also not a fact that police are not having modern weapons. Take for example this ambush in Korkotti, we got around 25 automatic rifles. They are definitely not bringing them to give us. Now all the armed forces deployed in our struggle areas are armed with ultra-modern weapons. If the police forces are repeatedly getting blows from our PLGA forces it is not because they don’t have modern weapons. As I told you earlier war can’t be won only with the ultra-modern weapons. Though having ultra-modern weapons is an important aspect of war, that is not the only condition for winning the war. Public support and mass base is the most important aspect. In spite of arming with the most sophisticated and ultra-modern weapons, why the American forces are getting reverses in Iraq and Afghanistan? Why the Israeli Zionist terrorist regime had to bite the dust in the hands of Hizbulla? In the history, how the poor masses of Vietnam forced mighty America to run away from their country? The same reasons are working here also. Our fighters with their country-made guns and other traditional weapons are fighting the state’s superior forces armed with ultra-modern weapons.
Today, the police and paramilitary forces who are deployed in entire Dandakaranya, are acting like foreign occupiers and are carrying out inhuman and unspeakable atrocities on the people. They are carying out mass rapes, murdering the people, carrying out massacres, burning the houses and property, carrying out arson. In one word they have made the region into a veritable hell for the people. The people not only hate these forces but are continuously demanding us to attack them. This is the reason why whenever our PLGA achieves victory in any battle, this news brings great joy to the people and a festive-like atmosphere is created throughout Dandakaranya. This is an example of the widespread and active support our PLGA campaigns are getting from the people.
Q: Apart from the weapons police are not having the modern equipment also. The opposition party Congress is accusing the state government was not able to release the bulletproof jackets as the government refused to pay taxes. What you have to say on this?
A: Possibly the opposition is raising this issue to corner the ruling party. But there is no truth in what you are saying that the police forces are not in possession of sophisticated and ultra-modern equipment. Almost all the policemen killed in this ambush were wearing bulletproof jackets and helmets. In spite of this, our PLGA fighters, displaying the best sense of timing, swiftness and war technique went closest to them and killed them with their flawless aiming. We seized 22 bulletproof jacket and 14 helmets. Possibly this is the first time we got such a large number of bulletproof jackets and helmets. What more proof do you need?
Q: After every ambush, police officers accuse you of attacking from behind as you don’t have the courage to make frontal attack. What you have to say on this?
A: This is a very old and most repeated accusation. Our response to this is that ours is a guerilla war. The fundamental principle in guerilla war is attacking the enemy at a place and time when he is least expecting it. Not only for guerilla war but for any war the fundamental principle is– self-preservation and destruction of enemy. We are fighting a strong enemy with lakhs of forces and many other organs at his disposal. Presently we are militarily very weak and inferior to the enemy. But in spite being weak we are the representatives of the majority of the toiling masses of our country. Our enemy, in spite having strong army, is representing the class interests of a handful of exploitative and oppressive rulers. Until our peoples’ war passes through the current phase of self-preservation and reaches a level of equal par with the enemy or surpassing him, guerilla warfare will continue to be the principal form of our warfare. But this must not be construed to mean that our war is immoral or wrong just because we are not fighting face-to-face with the enemy. You might be aware oif the fact that today all modern armies are learning the art and science of guerilla war in order to crush the people’s wars and other insurgencies. And the Jungle Warfare School in Kanker is against the principle of face-to-face war. There, the techniques of attacking us from behind are also taught.
And what about the police officers like Choubey? Do they have the courage to fight us in face-to-face battle? If so, then why has he made so many informers? Why has he adopted such cheap and cruel tactics of killing the people after poisoning their food? Why he has stooped to such low-level of infiltrating coverts into our Party, PLGA and other organizations? Picking up people sleeping in their houses during the night like thieves, killing them in the morning, and concocting the stories of fake encounters--what sort of face-to-face war is this? It is not only about Choubey but every police officer and the entire police system is based on such deception and sheer lies. It is only to downplay our just and heroic activities and to throw mud on us that such accusations are made and a dirty psychological war is unleashed.
Q: You agree that policemen come from poor and exploited families. In the name of peoples’ war you are killing the people from same class for whose emancipation you claim to be fighting for. What is this dilemma?
A: What you are saying is right. The lower level policemen and officers are from poor and middle class families. In recent years Adivasis are also joining the police in large numbers and their numbers have increased. Today exploiting classes, in order to face the challenge to their political supremacy posed from the toiling masses, are using a section of the same toiling masses as cannon-fodder. It has always been like this. The British imperialists who ruled this country for almost 200 years also recruited large numbers of Indian soldiers into their army. Today the biggest enemy of the world people, the American imperialists, also use large number of black (African) soldiers in their invasions. That is why time and again through our pamphlets and other means we had appealed to the common policemen and lower-level officers not to use their guns against us. We are trying through every medium possible to reach them and explain to them that it is unjustifiable for them to aim their guns against the same class of people from whom they hail from.
We are seeing some impact of this propaganda. Some policemen and officers are refusing to work in our areas. They know that working in our areas means aiming the guns at the toiling masses. In some instances some policemen dropped their weapons at the time of ambush. In such occasions our PLGA forces left them unharmed. It is also a principle in Maoist Peoples’ War not to harm the enemy soldiers who surrender dropping their weapons. For example, we had left unharmed three STF jawans at Kudoorghat near Mardapul in May 2007, policewoman Kiran Usendi near Pachangi in Jnauary 2009, 5 SPOs at Banda in June 2008 in South Bastar and many years back in 1996 all the policemen during our raid on Manpur police station as per this principle. We hope that with the advancement of our struggle every policeman and the armed forces will better understand this. It is a fact that they are all under the influence of negative propaganda by the government and their officers. However our continuous effort will be to explain the aim of our revolutionary war and convince the ordinary policemen to refrain from aiming their guns at the toiling masses. We call upon them to aim their guns at the exploitative system and fight shoulder-to-shoulder with our forces in the ongoing peoples’ war. However it will take some time before some concrete progress is visible in this regard.
Q: It is believed that Greyhounds played an important role in destroying the revolutionary movement in Aqndhra Pradesh. And now the central government is constituting CoBRA battalions on the similar lines. Two battalions are going to be stationed in Chattisgarh. Do you think with the deployment of CoBRA battalions will restrain your attacks?
A: We totally disagree with your conclusion that our movement is completely destroyed in Andhra Pradesh. There we had suffered only temporary setback. There are many reasons for it and we had analysed them. Some are political, some are organizational and some military reasons. Greyhounds force was constituted in 1989 and our movement’s temporary setback occurred in 2006. All the attacks by greyhounds were carried out only with the help of informers or covert agents. Our guerilla squads suffered losses because they were surrounded by large number of forces in multiple times and some times more than 100 times. Even then greyhounds is not an invincible force. This was proved by our guerillas near Balimela (Orissa) in last June. Previously during our historic Nayagarh attack greyhounds didn’t dare to face our comrades. Even with hundreds of weapons greyhounds couldn’t touch our guerillas. Hence we can say with confidence that in the glowing light of our advancing peoples’ war in Dandakaranya, the myth of the invincibility of greyhounds or CoBRA battalions will be shattered. The plundering ruling classes have their confidence in criminal and murderous gangs like CoBRAs, Naga, Mizo battalions, Greyhounds etc., and in contrast we have confidence on the people. Let us leave the result it to the history.
Q: Are they going to deploy army as well?
A: Yes. Though army is not directly deployed so far, its role is significant. This is likely to increase in the near future. The jungle warfare school set up in Kanker is managed directly by the army officers. They are going to open a regional office in Bilaspur. In search and combing operations army helicopters are being used. The official visits of senior army officers have been increased. All these aspects point to the fact that the army is making all the preparations for crushing our movement. Those who feel that our revolutionary struggle will be crushed with the deployment of army should look at the struggles in Kashmir and North Eastern states. I repeat again the determining force is the masses. Today the people and their people’s army here are directly confronting the CRPF, Naga-Mizo forces, SSB, STF and other forces. Tomorrow they will learn to fight the CoBRA forces and also the Indian army.
Q: After this attack Congress party has demanded for president’s rule in the state. They accused that BJP government has failed in controlling the Naxalism. There was an uproar in the assembly. How do you look at this?
A: First of all let me tell you one thing Naxalism is not a problem but a solution. It is such a solution that it can resolve all the problems persisting in the current society because of the corrupt and oppressive system. This is the only solution for all the problems as people have tried all the other alternatives. As for the conflict between the Congress and BJP over Naxalism is concerned, there is no conflict between them on the problems of the people or the interests of the people. Both parties want the quick destruction of the movement because both parties are representing the comprador big bourgeoisie and big zamindar classes. Such parties, just to give legitimacy to their sitting in opposition, once in a while raise the people’s issues so that they win the trust of the people and hope to come back to power. But it seems that Congress party in Chhattisgarh had left even this tradition. It is now in favour of crushing our movement with merciless brute power. Its alliance is in power at the center. Their home minister P Chidambaram is also saying the same thing. Working as an agent to the American imperialists, declaring our party as a terrorist organization, and so on are all part of this policy. Till some time back they have been repeatedly telling that Naxalism was social problem and its solution lies in the development. But now their language has been changed and say: “Naxalism had lost its path and it has become the biggest stumbling block for the development. Now development is possible only through the complete crushing of Naxalism using armed power.” In totality we can say that there is no difference between Congress and BJP with regard to the implementation of pro-imperialist policies and suppression of revolutionary movement. If one is Nagnath the other is Sampnath. People are watching their roles. At the time of Singaram and Tongapal massacre Congress was confined to newspaper statements while condemning them. It is nothing but lip sympathy. It didn’t demand the arrest of culprits and neither did it organize any protest against them. This is because their protest lacked sincerity. But when 30 policemen were killed in the Manpur incident they are raising a hue and cry. Both people and the lower-level activists of their own party got good opportunity for understanding the class character of Congress party.
Q: Few months back your people killed an Adivasi leader of BJP in this area. And now you have carried out a big attack on policemen. The vehicles engaged in road construction are burnt on regular basis. Why these violent activities?
A: BJP leader Darbar Singh was sowing the seeds of fundamentalism in this area. He was completely engaged in implementing the Sangh Parivar’s agenda in this area. It was a big conspiracy and he had the protection of Raman Singh. We have recently seen in Kandhamal (Orissa) what is the meaning of spreading Hindu fundamentalism in an Adivasi area and what danger it can cause. Our party can’t tolerate religious chauvinism and fundamentalism. One must see his killing from this point of view.
As far as the road construction is concerned, as more and more police stations/camps are opened in interior villages, the movement of forces is also increased and also the construction of roads become faster. Central government had allocated 7300 Crores exclusively for the construction of roads in our areas. The intention is very clear: construction of roads is a precondition for eliminating naxalites. The majority villages have severe scarcity of drinking water. Particularly this summer it was worst. There was complete drought in this area. There is no provision of irrigation for agriculture. Farmers don’t have bullocks and even if they have they don’t have fodder to feed them. They don’t have seeds to sow and fertilizers to their crops. There are no teachers in their schools and not every village has a school. There are no facilities in the hospitals and people die even with simple ailments. The government has turned away its face on all these problems. They are singing the songs saying that development will flow with the road construction and setting up of police stations/camps. The important objective of these roads is transportation of mineral wealth out of this region and to facilitate the movement of security forces. Since both these are against the peoples’ interest, we oppose it.
Q: We are seeing a change in your attacks in the recent times. Take the incidents of your attacks, the one in Durg district last year and in the current the one in Risgaon of Dhamtari, the one in Thongapal in Bastar, here in Manpur and just now near Barasur…. you are attacking at areas where you don’t have much presence or the areas where there was no history of such incidents. According to the government sources you are doing this only to divert the police attention so that police can’t put pressure on you in the interior areas. What is your comment on this?
A: It is true that our revolutionary movement is continuously expanding. Taking the peoples’ war to every corner of the country and creating base areas in vast rural areas is our political task. But wherever our movement is expanding, government is deploying huge forces in that area and is ready with the plans of widespread repression. It means crushing our movement even before it takes roots in to the people. For this they are spreading terror in people. It was like this since the beginning. When we expanded to North Bastar or to Balaghat we had to advance the movement facing the severe repression. In this process many of our comrades became martyrs. Now the government is repeating the same thing in areas like Dhamtari. Two and half years back they have arrested our senior comrade Marakam Gopanna and three other comrades, implicated them in false cases and put them in jail. Many other comrades and general people are portrayed as naxalites with price on their heads and imprisoned. They are building new police stations/camps. All this was going on Manpur also. In totality government has intensified its efforts to contain the expansion of our movement. But history has its own laws. Based on these laws we developed our strategy and tactics to defeat the police repression and to expand and advance our movement.
As far as diverting the police attention is concerned, it is the basic rule of guerilla war that we will not enter into war whenever and wherever enemy wants us, contrarily we will fight the war at our convenience, on our own terms and only when we are assured of victory. There is nothing unnatural about this.
Q: Final question, how long this cycle of violence-counter violence will continue? Is there any peaceful resolution for this?
A: It is not we, but the exploitative ruling classes who had started this violence. This society which is based on inequality, discrimination and exploitation is the mother of all this violence. According to the recently issued report 77 percent of the people in the country (about 83.5 crore people) are forced to live on just 20 rupees per day. On the other hand the gap between the rich and poor is increased so much that the wealth of just one lakh families is about 1,75,000 crores which is little less than our GDP. If it is not violence then what is it? Starvation is violence. Poverty is violence. Price rice is violence. Unemployment is violence. Displacement is violence. New economic policies are violence. SEZs are violence. The suicides of farmers is violence. Contract system is violence. Taking work from labourers for 12 hours a day is violence. Denial of minimum wages is violence. Corruption is violence. And even the callousness of government is also violence. Only to end this violence we have opted for this just violence. The exploitative ruling classes i.e the imperialists, comprador big bourgeoisie and the big feudal lords with all their armed forces are continuing this endless violence on the toiling masses only to continue their oppressive rule. They are flowing the rivers with the blood of toiling masses. It is not only against the Naxalites, it has become their routine to apply lathis and bullets against every section of people who are agitating against their problems. There are many examples of this state violence carried out for serving the interests of big capitalists like for Tatas in Kalingnagar(Orissa) and Singur (West Bengal), for Salem company in Nandigram (West Bengal), for Jindal company in Lalgarh (West Bengal), the brutal violence carried out in the name Salwa Judum in Chattisgarh for Tata, Essar companies and many more. Our party and our peoples’ army (PLGA) are actively resisting this violence wherever we are present. From peoples’ point of view this is essential and fully justified.
As I told you in the beginning, this is not started by us but we are the ones who are going to end this. Only revolutionary struggles with large scale mass participation can put an end to this violence.
Q: Finally what is your message for the people in plain areas of Chhattisgarh?
A: We want to send this message to all sections of people that there is a strong revolutionary movement with huge potential in Chattisagarh. Our revolutionary movement for the past 29 years had brought many changes in the lives of people. Fighting against the forest department, revenue department, paper mill factory owners, tendu leaves contractor, police and various mafias the people of Chattisgarh have registered many victories. The various oppressive campaigns carried out by the state to suppress these struggles were successfully resisted and defeated by the masses under the leadership of our party and PLGA. From every suppressive campaign people emerged more strongly and our peoples’ army became stronger. Not only this people started building their own peoples’ power organs (Janatan Sarkar). Masses started taking initiative for their development. People have achieved remarkable progress in the fields, health, agriculture, education and other areas. All this happened in the midst of fierce battles with enemy forces. In one word, today the struggle of Dandakaranya is standing out like an example and role model to be emulated by the revolutionary people of our country.
But the challenges are not less. Central and State governments are standing on one foot to suppress this movement. They are putting all their efforts. Entire Dandakaranya has turned into forest of Khaki forces. Thousands of armed forces are deployed. Claims are being made that the movement will be completely suppressed in one year or so at the most. They are talking about encircling the Maad area and eliminate the naxalites. From all these talks what becomes clear is that the people of Chattisgarh are going to face unspeakable violence in the coming days. Plans are being hatched for forcefully dislocating the people and shifting them to refugee camps in the lines of Salwa Judum. For this army’s help is being sought. Though army is not directly present the whole operation, it is a military operation. You all must raise your voice against this. Not only raising your voice you have to open many struggle fronts in support of the revolutionary movement. The people of Lagarh have placed a model before us. The heroic Lalgarh people with their strong mass base have added a new page in the Indian history of peoples’ struggles. There is huge pile of problems on all the sides of Chhattisgarh. Displacement is burning problem which is burning in the hearts of people from Kunta area to Sarguja area passing through Raipur. Raman Singh government is moving very fast to hand over the rich natural resources to big capitalists and MNCs. Immediately after returning to power it has restructured the State electricity board playing with the lives of 17000 employees. The problems of revenue employees and teachers are still unresolved. Because of the anti-people policies of centre and state governments the prices have gone so high that it became difficult for the ordinary people to buy even rice and dal. This is when the government is claiming the whole-sale price index has reached the lowest in the last 30 years. Not only workers and peasants every section of the society is in problems. There is a need to coordinate all these struggles with revolutionary struggles as it is only the revolutionary struggle that can resolve all these problems.
Hence please join and stand by the revolutionary movement under our party’s leadership. Oppose all the efforts of the government and ruling classes to suppress our movement. Initiate struggles against the anti-people policies of government at every possible place. Expose the government’s lies and stand by the truth.
Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!
Castles in France...islands in the Caribbean...private jets.... With a collective wealth of $1.27 trillion at their disposal, the members of the Forbes 400 could buy almost anything, Business magazine Forbes said about its annual ranking of America’s 400 richest persons.
The collective wealth of the richie-rich club has, however, declined from $1.57 trillion. The individual fortunes of many Forbes 400 members are as big as some of the world’s economies, the magazine noted.
Let’s take a look at some of these super-rich entrepreneurs...Bill Gates, America’s richest man with a net worth of $50 billion, has a personal balance sheet larger than the gross domestic product of countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Bolivia and Uruguay.
“The Microsoft visionary’s nest egg is just short of the GDP of Tanzania and Burma,” Forbes added. Legendary investor Warren Buffett, ranked second richest with a wealth of $40 billion has a fortune equivalent to the size of North Korea’s economy, Forbes said.
The publication further said that one of the Forbes 400 members - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg - actually runs “a small chunk of a state in an official capacity.”
“While he is busy serving as the chief executive of New York City and grappling with its sluggish economy, his own personal balance sheet ($17.5 billion) — amassed through financial information services and media company Bloomberg LP — equals the value of all the goods and services produced in South Africa’s Republic of Zambia’s.”
Land developer Donald Bren’s assets throughout the vicinity of Orange County, include 475 office buildings, 115 apartment communities, 41 retail centres, resort properties and new housing. Bren with a net worth of $12 billion, could, in theory, buy Haiti’s economy. Casion mogul Sheldon Adelson’s $9 billion is akin to the GDP of the Bahamas. Pierre Omidyar, founder of the world’s biggest auction marketplace eBay, could theoretically control Somalia’s market with his $5.5-billion fortune.
Famed Hollywood director George Lucas, with a net worth of $3 billion is worth as much as the GDP of Guyana. Hedge fund expert David Shaw’s $2.5 billion net worth parallels Belize’s marketplace. Although philanthropist and art collector Eli Broad’s fortune suffered because of AIG’s collapse last fall—his wealth ($5.4 billion) rivals Barbados’ economy.
Broad is well known for his philanthropy and extensive art collection. He is also a founder of the financial giant Sun America, now a subsidiary of the American International Group.
Investor John Paulson amassed much of his fortune by exploiting the real estate bubble and shorting the sub prime market in 2007. Paulson’s net worth of $6.8 billion is equivalent to Montenegro’s gross domestic product.
Communist Party of India (Maoist) Dandkaranya Special Zonal Committee
The Farce of Kesikodi ‘Massacre’- Part of the Psychological war of Raman Singh Government on Revolutionary Movement!
The news of the alleged mass murder of 8 members of one family by naxalites in village Kesikodi which comes under Koylibeda police station jurisdiction in Kanker district on 11 August 2009 jolted the whole state. The news stated that among those killed were six women including a two-year-old child and an old lady of seventy years. The media which thrives on lies, frenzy and sensation, instead of truth and honesty, broadcast an exaggerated version of this fabricated story round the clock. Basing its knowledge solely on the alleged statement by Ramayan Vishvakarma, a resident of village Kesikodi the police chief of the state Vishwaranjan used it to fuel the fire of its familiar campaign of spewing venom against the party. Soon after receiving the news a press conference was organized to place the blame on our party. Condemnations and criticisms gained so much ground that no one felt the need to confirm this news. Whether ministers or leaders everyone made all possible efforts to fling dirt on our party. The editor of a newspaper called ‘Chhattisgarh’, one Sunil Kumar, wrote an editorial on this misleading massacre, saying he would now stop supporting talks between naxalites and government. His meaning is clear- he would now support the repression of the revolutionary movement by police and paramilitary forces. Another newspaper had the editorial headline- ‘Naxalites burn people alive!’ A well known journalist of Raipur, who claims to be democratic, blamed our party for the massacre speaking on BBC radio in a way as though he had been an eye witness. This whole issue helps us understand the real character of the media which considers itself the ‘fourth pillar of democracy’.
Next day the media once again relied on the police sources to report that the police had not reached the site of the massacre even after 48 hours fearing the danger of a naxalite attack. Despite this, the police and administration kept claiming that the ‘massacre’ had been carried out by our party. It did not take long for the truth to come out. And the truth is that there had been no such incident at all in Kesikodi. All the eight people who were supposed to be dead were very much alive and kicking. Everyone should have stopped talking at least after this revelation. All those people who had baselessly tried to place the blame on our party and had spoken or written nonsense should have apologized publicly. This should have been the democratic procedure. But this did not happen. This shameless and venomous mal propaganda campaign was taken still further saying that this false news was intentionally spread by our party to trap and attack the police. The common public is also well aware that whatever be the intention such low grade propaganda can only be done by the police. All the television channels right from ETV and newspapers picked up this false version next day and broadcast it with all their force. Police, administration, leaders and media- all participated in one tune in this false propaganda. If Goebbels had been alive today he too might have been ashamed to see these taller than Himalaya false stories being fabricated!
The local committee of our party investigated this whole issue in detail. In reality the resident of Kesikodi Ramayan Vishwakarma had been an agent of police from before. He had been a police informer for a long time but the villagers and our party activists were not aware 70 about it. Some other members of his family also regularly provide information to the police. It is true that there are many internal disputes related to land in this village. But there was no such feud between the brothers in this family as was spread by the media quoting Ramayan. Ever since he filed this false report, Ramayan is under police protection while his paternal cousin Bhajan is also a police agent. After questioning all members of this family in front of the public, the police conspiracy of using money to lure people into turning informers has been exposed. This family already had a pact with the police. Along with Ramayan, Bhajan often went to the police station to report about the revolutionary activities going on in his village and those nearby. He confessed to doing this. After a public hearing, with the consent of the entire public, our comrades annihilated Bhajan.
The filing of a false report of a massacre in Koylebeda police station by Ramayan on 11 August was the result of an elaborate and sinister conspiracy. The intention of the reactionary ruling classes behind this is to isolate our Party from the people through this mal propaganda. The exploitative ruling classes are scared of the revolutionary struggles advancing in every nook and corner of the country under the leadership of our party. And they have plotted a fascist and all round attack under the direction of American imperialists through Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Chidamabaram. An important part of this conspiracy is psychological war in which it is getting full support from the media. But the public has foiled this conspiracy. The psychological war of the state has been consigned to the dust-bin. DGP Vishwaranjan and his masters ruling our country, as well as the media which faithfully serves them may not know this, but the truth is: if you try to spit on the sun the spit falls back on your face.
Dandkaranya Special Zonal Committee
Communist Party of India (Maoist)
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST) CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Hail the Heroic Resistance of Maoist PLGA against the CoBRA-led massive brutal offensive in Dandakaranya!
Condemn the mass murder of unarmed adivasis by the Chidambaram-Raman Singh’s armed goons!!
On 18 September 2009, Chidambaram-Raman Singh’s central para-military and state police mercenaries led by the specially-trained CoBRA commandos began their blood-bath in the forests of Dandakaranya to establish the ‘rule of law’ of the imperialist MNCs, comprador big business houses and unscrupulous contractors. Code-named ‘Operation Green Hunt’, the biggest-ever offensive till date, mobilized around 4000 CRPF and BSF troops of the Centre, STF and other special police forces from Chhattisgarh, and the Grey Hounds from Andhra Pradesh. Around 600 commandos of the CoBRA force led the anti-Maoist, anti-adivasi operation. The Operation Green Hunt which was unleashed in Kishtaram-Gollapalli area in Dantewada district, is itself a part of the larger ‘Operation Godavari’ encompassing the states of Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa which is meant to turn Godavari into a river of blood of innocent adivasis. All these brutal so-called mopping-up operations are planned and executed by a unified command set up to co-ordinate the police forces of seven states besides the central forces. Simultaneous operations are launched in Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal so as to cover the entire adivasi-inhabited region stretching from Paschimi Midnapur-BankuraPurulia in West Bengal to Srikakulam-Vishakhapatnam-Vizianagaram in North Andhra Pradesh and Khammam in North Telengana.
The Maoist PLGA guerrillas beat back the massive brutal offensive most courageously and wiped out at least six Cobra mercenaries including two assistant commandants, one SI, and three other Cobras. At least 20 more Cobra personnel are said to be missing after the operation. This is the biggest ever loss suffered by the Cobra commandos. Demoralised by the serious losses, these mercenaries pounced on the surrounding adivasi villages, caught several unarmed adivasis and murdered them in cold blood. After this ghastly massacre, these ‘brave’ commandos claimed that 30 Maoists were killed in a series of encounters. Thus the ‘rule of jungle law’ of Manmohan Singh-Chidambaram-Raman Singh was implemented.
The brutal onslaught launched by central and state forces in the forests of Dandakaranya reveals the extreme demoralization and utter desperation of the imperialistbacked Sonia-Manmohan-Chidambaram clique at the Centre, and Raman Singh’s saffron regime in Chhattisgarh, whose plans to isolate the Maoists and to lay their dirty hands on the vast mineral wealth in the adivasi-inhabited regions in Eastern and Central India or the so-called Red Corridor, have come to a nought. Chidambaram and his bunch of Washington-trained gangsters in the Home Ministry first outlawed the CPI(Maoist) and declared it as a terrorist organization. Then they stepped up their savage state terror and 72 state-sponsored terror in the name of establishing the ‘rule of law’. It is the massive participation of the adivasi masses, led by the CPI(Maoist), into militant struggles against the anti-people policies of the government that has rattled the rulers and prompted them to unleash a brutal reign of state terror in the name of countering the so-called terrorism of the Maoists. However, with the staunch support of the adivasis masses, the PLGA led by the CPI(Maoist) had heroically confronted and defeated several police offensives causing considerable losses to the security forces. Neither the Cobras nor other commando forces trained in jungle warfare, nor the Rashtriya Rifles of the Indian Army which the desperate rulers want to deploy, can suppress the just movement led by the Maoists whose roots are firmly entrenched among the vast oppressed masses of India.
We call upon the entire Party ranks, the heroic fighters of PLGA, and the members of all revolutionary mass organizations to mobilise the masses all over the country into militant movements against the brutal onslaught by the Congress-led UPA government and the BJP’s Raman Singh government in Dandakaranya. We call upon all democraticminded organizations and individuals, and the entire people of the country to condemn with one voice the fascist onslaught unleashed by the Central and state governments on the adivasi peasant masses and the Maoists who are leading them in their struggle against displacement, exploitation and oppression by the imperialist MNCs, comprador big business houses and the parasitic Indian state.
Central Committee, CPI(Maoist)
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST) CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Fight for the unconditional release of Maoist leader comrade Kobad Ghandy! Maoists are champions of people’s cause;
Expose the reactionary propaganda that Maoists are terrorists!!
As part of their all-round brutal offensive against the CPI(Maoist) and the ongoing people’s war in India, the Sonia-Manmohan-Chidambaram fascist clique at the Centre and the various exploiting class parties in the states, irrespective of their colour, have engaged their lawless repressive state apparatus to eliminate the central and state leadership of our Party. Exactly a month after the arrest of a Polit Bureau member of our Party, comrade Sumit, from Ranchi on August 19, and four months after the abduction and brutal murder of our Central Committee member com Patel Sudhakar, another Polit Bureau member and a senior leader of the CPI(Maoist), comrade Kobad Ghandy, was arrested from Delhi. Comrade Kobad Ghandy had just returned from a trip to the guerrilla zone. The arrest of comrade Kobad Ghandy is being touted as a big success of the Intelligence officials while it was actually a result of the betrayal by a weak element in the Party who was acting as his courier. He was betrayed by his courier who led the SIB from AP and the Intelligence wing in Delhi to the appointment spot in Bhikaji Cama Place in South Delhi. The police claimed that he was arrested on the night of 20th September, but 73 the actual arrest was made two days earlier. The prompt reaction from various democratic and civil rights organizations foiled the plan of the Intelligence agencies and the police officials to torture and murder him as is their usual norm. The CC, CPI(Maoist) hails the efforts made by the various democratic forces in defending the life of comrade Kobad Ghandy and appeals to them to fight against the heinous attempts of the reactionary rulers to implicate him in false cases, to conduct Narco tests and to mentally harass him.
Comrade Kobad Ghandy, who hails from a rich, elitist background, had abandoned everything and mingled with the oppressed masses serving them selflessly for almost four decades. He lived with the unorganized workers, adivasi peasants, and the urban poor and became popular among the oppressed sections of the Indian people. He organized revolutionary activity in Maharashtra during the 1970s and became a member of the Central Committee of erstwhile CPI(ML)[PW] in 1981. He continued as a member of the CC of the merged CPI(Maoist) in 2004 and was elected to the Polit Bureau after the Unity Congress—9th Congress in February 2007. He played a crucial role in bringing out the Party publications in English and was also looking after the subcommittee on Mass Organisations set up by the CC besides other works. The arrest of comrade Kobad Ghandy is a great loss to the CPI(Maoist) and the Indian revolution.
The reactionary rulers were elated by this temporary success and the wily Chidambaram had congratulated the Intelligence agencies for the ‘prize catch’. Like true heirs to George Bush these state terrorists have stepped up their propaganda that the Maoists and the Maoist leader comrade Kobad Ghandy are terrorists. They churn out numbers to show how thousands have become victims of Maoist violence. But the fact is: while the Maoists had punished only the repressive forces of the state, the anti-people feudal forces and the police agents, it is the police, para-military forces and the armed vigilante gangs like the salwa judum that are continuously carrying out a mass murder campaign completely destroying over 800 tribal villages, murdering over 500 adivasis and raping over a hundred adivasi women in Dantewada and Bijapur districts alone. Same is the story in Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal’s Lalgarh and other areas, Orissa, Maharashtra, and so on. This 21st century breed of Goebbels can never fool the people through their outright lies about the Maoists who live among the people, who live for the people, and who have no other interests than those of the oppressed people. None would believe that the freedom-loving Maoists who are fighting for the oppressed people undergoing countless sacrifices and facing tremendous hardships and brutal repression by the police would terrorise the very same people for whose liberation they have been waging a bitter war against the Indian state. It is a Tata, a Mittal, a Jindal, a Vedanta, a Ruia and their loyal representatives like Manmohan, Chidambaram, Raman Singh that are terrified by the Maoists who are challenging their exploitation and oppression of the adivasis and the abundant wealth in the vast adivasi belt.
Comrade Kobad Ghandy is a role model to be emulated by the new generation of youth that is being estranged from its own people by the elitist, slavish, anti-people colonial education system and selfish values promoted by the pro-imperialist rulers. Let us unite to fight against the attempts by the Indian state to persecute revolutionary intellectuals, Maoist leaders and fighters like comrade Kobad Ghandy who had dedicated their entire lives for the liberation of the people from the clutches of imperialist, feudal and comprador capitalist exploitation and oppression. Maoists are servants of the people while Manmohans, Chidambarams and Raman Singhs are servants of the imperialists, feudal forces and the lumpen, parasitic, mafia capitalist class. Maoists are fighting selflessly for the liberation of the oppressed while Manmohan Singhs Chidambarams, Raman Singhs and Co are the oppressors spreading terror among the people.
STOP THIS MASS MURDER IN THE INTERESTS OF IMPERIALIST MNCS AND COMPRADOR BUSINESS HOUSES!
PEOPLE OF THE ENTIRE COUNTRY!
UNITE TO WAGE A DETERMINED WAR AGAINST STATE TERROR!!
The Sonia-Manmohan-Chidambaram (SMC) fascist clique has stepped up its cruel war against the people in the areas of armed struggle led by the Maoists. It launched its biggest-ever armed onslaught on the adivasis and the CPI(Maoist) leading them from the second half of September this year. Having turned mad and desperate after the dismal failure of their four-year-long state-sponsored counter-revolutionary terrorist campaign of mass murder of adivasis, mass rapes of adivasi women, and destruction of adivasi villages and property in the name of salwa judum, the Congress-BJP fascist combine had begun the biggest-ever state terrorist offensive in the vast adivasi-inhabited hinterland in order to pave way for the unbridled plunder of the region by imperialist MNCs and comprador big business houses.
The SMC fascist clique had drawn up an elaborate conspiratorial plan under the guidance of the US imperialists to carry out mass extermination of the adivasis so as to loot the enormous mineral and forest wealth in the region. Several thousand crores of rupees are paid to the faithful brokers like Chidambaram, Raman Singh, Naveen Patnaik and others by the MNCs and the Indian big business houses to suppress the armed uprisings of the adivasi masses in the region stretching from Paschimi Midnapur-Purulia-Bankura to North Andhra and North Telengana. Chidambaram, the Indian avatar of Adolf Hitler had finalized the plan during his trip to Washington last fortnight.
The hideous plan includes aerial bombardment of some Maoist-held areas even at the cost of heavy civilian casualties, destruction of several clusters of villages and resettling the inhabitants in Vietnam-type “strategic hamlets” which they had already tried through the salwa judum with limited success, setting up permanent heavily-fortified police camps in the interior regions after clearing up the region of Maoists and adivasi peasantry, and carrying out propaganda campaign against the Maoists through cultural performances, media ads, and so on. On September 25th at least a dozen adivasis were murdered by the CRPF and other repressive forces of the state in the district of Bijapur. A week prior to this at least 30 adivasis were murdered in Singanamadugu in the Palachalma forest in Dantewada district by Chidambaram’s Cobras after they were beaten back by the Maoist guerrillas and losing six of their men.
In a move that reminds us of the desperate morale-boosting trips to Iraq and Afghanistan by Donald Rumsfeld, George Bush and Co, the US imperialist agent Chidambaram too rushed to Raipur and Ranchi on September 25 to boost up the morale of the central forces deployed in these states and assured the state governments of all assistance in suppressing the Maoists. It is clear that the SMC clique is all set to carry out a blood-bath in vast parts of the country where the people’s war is surging ahead. And to justify this hideous plan these Indian offspring of Goebbels have intensified the psychological war through media 75 ads against the Maoists. The photos of police agents and Special Police Officers punished by the Maoists are prominently published in the ads in a vain attempt to prove that revolutionary violence by the Maoists is senseless. This cheap trick cannot fool the people who are witness to the daily violence perpetrated by the reactionary rulers and their lawless armed gangs called the security forces. Thousands of Maoist revolutionaries and even a greater number of innocent civilians were murdered by these repressive forces in the past four decades. In just four years of the bloody salwa judum campaign since June 2005, over 500 adivasis were brutally murdered by the combined forces of salwa judumn goondas, police and central forces in two districts of Chhattisgarh alone. Can Chidambaram succeed in fooling the people through his Goebbels’ propaganda? Such cheap propaganda is certain to ultimately back-fire on his face.
The CC, CPI(Maoist) appeals to all revolutionary, democratic and peace-loving forces to unite to resist this fascist country-wide offensive by the Central and state governments, build a mass movement to force the reactionary rulers to stop this mass murder of the adivasi people, and extend solidarity and all kinds of help to the victims of this bloody state terrorist violence. It calls upon the entire rank and file of the Party, the brave PLGA fighters, and the revolutionary masses to rise up courageously to confront the brutal offensive unleashed by the imperialist agents ruling our country, to prepare for immense sacrifices in this war of resistance, and by displaying exemplary steadfastness and courage to inflict severe blows on the mercenary Cobras and other state-hired forces that are causing havoc in the areas of armed struggle.
Operation Green Hunt’s lies exposed!
---Comrade Ramanna from Dandakaranya
Speaking soon after the CoBRA-led operation in Chintagufa area, comrade Ramanna exposed the truth behind the so-called success of the counter-revolutionary Operation Green Hunt unleashed by the khadi terrorist regime of Manmohan Singh at the Centre and saffron terrorist regime of Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh. Nailing the lies floated from Raipur to Delhi by the breed of George Bush that is ruling our country, he explained how the killing of so-called Maoists had taken place. He said that not a single Maoist was killed in the so-called Operation Green Hunt while the CoBRAs suffered heavy casualties and were forced to retreat soon after two of their Assistant Commandants and several other personnel were wiped out in the counter-atack by Maoist guerrillas. When asked about the dead bodies found by the police after the operation comrade Ramanna said that all the seven dead bodies belonged to innocent villagers. Two of the men murdered were oldaged adivasis and one was a woman from the village. These three villagers were killed in Gacchanpalli village. Two others were murdered in Kotakpalli and one in Singanamadugu. The CoBRAs and CRPF men had burnt down four villages in the area—Enthapaad, Ethrajpaad, Burkalanka and Gacchanpalli.
Comrade Ramanna stated that the CoBRAs of the CRPF had to pay dearly for the heinous crime of burning down the four villages and murdering seven villagers including two old adivasi men and one adivasi woman. He said the CoBRAs and other forces were chased for about 10 km and these mercenaries ran for their lives after six of their men were wiped out. The Maoist guerrillas had also seized two AK-47 rifles, one Insaas rifle and one SLR from the CoBRA force. He heckled at the courage and heroism of the central and state forces who were present in the forest in huge number for three days to carry out the Operation Green Hunt but none of them had dared to go to the aid of the CoBRAs or to collect their dead bodies for almost 24 hours when the latter were attacked by the Maoists.
He admitted that the enemy force had attacked an arms factory near Singanamadugu village but refuted their claim that a huge cache of arms was found. “No arms were found by the police except a few broken ones meant for repair that were left behind by the PLGA. All the arms were taken away by our PLGA guerrillas before the enemy attack,” he said. He also said that the target of the enemy forces were villages like Chintagufa, polampalli and Palachelma but they could not do anything due to the heroic resistance put up by the PLGA and the local people.
The central forces led by the elite CoBRAs have tasted the resistance of the people of the area. Even if a bigger force enters with the same evil aim of crushing the people’s movement they will also meet a similar fate” he asserted with great self-confidence.
The central forces led by the elite CoBRAs have tasted the resistance of the people of the area. Even if a bigger force enters with the same evil aim of crushing the people’s movement they will also meet a similar fate” he asserted with great self-confidence.
The rulers are planning to bring another 23 battalions of central forces from Kashmir to deploy in Bastar to crush people’s resistance. The plan is hatched by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home minister Chidambaram and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh. This military operation will only create a blood-bath in Bastar in which a large number of innocent adivasis will be killed by the enemy forces. but they cannot achieve their aim of crushing the people’s resistance led by the Maoists.
Comrade Ramanna appealed to all the democratic and revolutionary forces and the people of India at large to unite to fight against the unfolding brutal suppression campaign by the Centre and states. “Naxalites are not terrorists, anti-nationals or separatists. They are Indian citizens who have the deepest love for the country and its people. That is why they are waging a bitter struggle to liberate the country and the people from the clutches of imperialism, feudalism and comprador bureaucrat capitalism which have ruined the country and shattered the lives of the people. We will intensify our resistance if the central and state forces continue their massacres as in Singaram, Singanamadugu, Kokawada and Bhairamgarh.”
Comrade Ramanna demanded the immediate withdrawal of the central forces, CoBRAs, Grey Hounds from Bastar and to end their massacres and atrocities on the adivasi people. Or else, the war will take an ugly turn with far-reaching repercussions both for the civilians and the political parties, he warned.